Today, I had the rare pleasure to attend a lecture and book signing at the Winnsboro Arts Center by a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Local Reporting, author, Mr. Stanley Nelson. Mr. Nelson also won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. His book, DEVILS WALKING, recounts his investigation of the cold case Klan murders along the Mississippi during the 1960’s, in conjunction with the renewed investigations of the FBI beginning in 2007. For the past 10 years, Mr. Nelson, editor of the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, Louisiana, has delved deeply into uncovering the perpetrators of the atrocities of a vicious and secretive arm of the Klan, the Silver Dollar Group. He has spent that time researching and reporting in order to bring closure to the families of the eight (known) victims who were murdered by the group. Not only has he uncovered and exposed the evil, but has brought about justice from the truths uncovered. He is brave, committed, ethical and humble: a rare individual indeed. I definitely recommend his book–an important work in using truth to create justice in a world where too often, the facts are forgotten, overlooked or ignored. Thank you Mr. Nelson .
We just rolled in from the beautiful city by the bay–San Francisco– with its windy-twindy Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Ghirardelli Square, Union Square and a thousand other wonderful haunts! We were fortunate to have THE MOST PERFECT weather ever! Clear skies, cooling winds, 67 degrees and 10% humidity!. Now who could ask for a more perfect week than that?? It was a fantastic week. We rode cable cars, double-decker open-topped buses, ferries to Alcatraz, and cabs to and from the airport. We also walked a LOT. Dr. Sholl’s is a couple of dollars richer due to the challenging terrain of the city.
But we are in much better shape than before we visited SF. At least our calves are bigger and we breathe a little easier! The activity of the city was matched only by the friendliness of the locals and the beauty of the area. And then there was the food! Extraordinary dishes to delight the taste buds and satisfy the hunger brought on by the bay breezes!
Perhaps my favorite part of the week was our visit to Muir Woods. John Muir, the conservationist, was instrumental in having the area made into a National Park. What a gift. Nowhere was there a more serene and beautiful place to fall in love with nature than beneath the mighty redwoods and among soft green ferns along the trails inside the park. When I got home, so enthralled was I with the beauty of the woods that I ferreted out every book I could find on John Muir. He saw God’s hand in every aspect of nature. He was one of the first to explore the glaciers in Alaska and was instrumental in imparting a reverence of the might ice fields to the native Tlingits. The book, John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire: How a Visionary and the Glaciers of Alaska Changed America by Kim Heacox chronicles his discoveries and adventures in Alaska’s glacial areas and among the Tlingits. It is a thoroughly engrossing book, and I enjoyed it immensely. For those of you who love nature or have been to Alaska, it is a must read.
I love books. Whether in the form of Nook, Kindle, paperback, hardback or audio book, they can eliminate stress, heal an injury, soothe a troubled soul, lead you on a wild adventure or plunge you into the middle of a mystery! Books are powerful and magical–no doubt about it.
I am currently reading a couple that keep me up late at night, simply because I can’t bear to close the cover on the pages! A FLOCK of SPARROWS by Helen Foster Reeves is a lovely story about 5 widows ,whose lives, ages and backgrounds are very different. They wait out an ice storm together during which time secrets are shared, personalities revealed, courage unleashed. The story was written by three women–friends—who collaborated on the writing. Read it–I think you’ll like the story, the women, and the message.
I’m also thoroughly enjoying The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart. It is an endearing little tale about love. It is funny, it is sobering, it is imaginative. Set in a tiny town in France, a master barber finds his once loyal customers travelling to a nearby hamlet to another barber. With delightful twists and turns and laughable scenarios, the tale of Guillaume Ladoucette and the unusual inhabitants of Amour-sur-Belle will lighten your mood! I think you’ll enjoy it immensely!
Nothing is more calming than the steady ebb and flow of waves against the shore, rhythmically lulling you to a peaceful place. That’s the feeling we get when we visit our lovely Nags Head each year! It’s our letting go time. Letting go of routines, stress, work and home obligations, and a time to hang on to each other.
We love the beach in May–cool in the mornings and evenings, pleasant during the day. Even the thunderstorms take on a special feel. We feel free enough on the island to go bowling, play miniature golf, dig in the sand and play monopoly and ping pong into the wee hours of the morning! We are lousy at bowling, fair at miniature golf, and equally challenged at sandcastle building. But we have fun. And we rejuvenate ourselves and our marriage. And we leave the beautiful Outer Banks each year already looking forward to our return, planning excursions and anticipating adventures for the next year.
As Sarah O’Shea’s creator, I was pretty sure she would love the beach as well, so the Outer Banks is the setting of her next adventure. She and Claude enjoy the sun, sea and sand, and discover there’s more to the beach life than meets the eye! And it is anything but calm or peaceful! Join Sarah and Claude as they explore the Outer Banks in SARAH O’SHEA AND THE WACKY FAUCET. Check back next week for a preview of the trip to Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina with Sarah and Claude. The new book will be coming out around the middle of September. You’ll love it!
I’ve been busily trying to figure out the best way to let you know what I’m up to. Finally, it came to me: Create a new place where you can come to see not only what I’ve done, but what is coming next.
Please feel free to look around. Buying one of my books has never been easier: Just click on the cover when it appears, and you’ll be whisked off to an online bookstore where you can make your purchase.
Enjoy! And, welcome to My New Home!