My Dog Ate My Homework, or Why I Couldn’t Do My Assignment on Concrete Imagery

Dear Editor, I know I promised to write about how concrete imagery draws a reader into a story, but I’ve had such a week that I just couldn’t. Several months ago we had a huge Red Oak tree cut down after it dropped a large limb onto my neighbor’s driveway.  Unfortunately, she was in the […]

Blogs Are Old News: A Brief History of American Journalism – Part One

Five years ago, when I taught Journalism, my syllabus was set. We began with a brief discussion of colonial gazettes, then focused on objective news. Until recently I hadn’t connected those two dots – how American news writing evolved from opinionated essays to what is now considered fair and accurate reporting. This connection turns out […]

Freshly Baked Books: Shadow of a Smile

Valerie Joan Connors’ latest novel, Shadow of a Smile, is about a woman discovering her mother’s hidden past. Recently published by Deeds Publishing, Shadow of a Smile takes its name from Johnny Mercer’s “The Shadow of Your Smile,” a song that helped launch Anastasia Springfield’s brief singing career. Anastasia is 30-year-old Meredith Springfield’s mother, and […]

The Art of Selling Your Book at Signings

As a Sales Executive-Turned-Writer with twenty years of selling behind me, I feel comfortable in saying that I may be somewhat of a “mindful expert” on the matter of selling. In the first three months after the publication of my first novel, Falling Through Trees, I did more than thirty book signings in a variety […]

Beyond Yoknapatawpha: Oxford, Mississippi

Last Tuesday I wrote about my pilgrimage to Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s home in Oxford, but there’s more to Oxford than Faulkner.  Below are some suggestions if you’re thinking of paying a visit. Out from town 1. Blue Creek Cabin: a 19th century log cabin located north of Oxford, disassembled and moved from Tennessee. My friend Claudia and […]

On the Southern Literary Trail: Yoknapatawpha County

 I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it… –William Faulkner Faulkner’s little postage stamp was his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, immortalized as Jefferson, located in Yoknapatawpha County. Yoknapatawpha, from the Chickasaw yocona petopha, meaning water runs slow through […]

Ann Frellsen: Emory University Book Conservator

My initial contact with Ann Frellsen at the first Decatur Book Festival had nothing to do with book conservation and everything to do with jewelry.  She and several friends had a booth at the festival selling tiny book earrings, which were quite well made with lovely covers and even a few “pages” inside.  Books are […]