Saturday, April 29, 2017

Write On!

I'm excited to say that I've been involved in something that has become much larger than anything I could have imagined. It's the Middle Mississippi chapter of the Mississippi Writers Guild. I started the chapter on April 1, 2016, putting out the call to area writers to join us for an informative monthly meeting. Here we are, one year later, and we now have 30 or more writers attend our monthly meetings!

When our chapter first began, Micah Smith, a reporter with the Jackson Free Press, did an article about it.

I attended my first statewide board meeting in October with representatives from all the chapters in the state, and somehow, I walked out of the meeting having been nominated and elected as the new president of the Mississippi Writers Guild! I took over that position on April 1, when the immediate past president, G. Mark LaFrancis, handed the gavel over to me.

Passing over the gavel with G. Mark Lafrancis, outgoing president of the MWG

Our annual conference will be held in Jackson  August 25-26, and I'm looking forward to the incredible lineup of speakers that Richelle Putnam (founder of the MWG and conference chairman) has scheduled for the conference.

Two years ago in Oxford, James Meredith was awarded with the MWG's first-ever lifetime achievement award. At last year's conference in Natchez, New York best selling author
Greg Isles was presented with the award. This year, the recipient will be John Evans, owner of Lemuria Bookstore and someone who has a long history of promoting Mississippi writers.

For more information about the Mississippi Writers Guild, visit their website or Facebook page. If you're in the middle Mississippi area, we invite you to join us the first Monday from 2pm to 4pm. We have speakers monthly who talk on topics about writing, publishing, marketing, etc. For more information on meetings, visit the Middle Mississippi chapter's Facebook page.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What's Old is New Again

I love to write articles about how people live. I've written about a tree house deep in the woods, a chateau that if you didn't know better you'd think you were in the French countryside instead of rural Madison County, Mississippi, and I've written about log cabins and houseboats. I've written about ordinary homes where folks have done extraordinary things. I think it's human nature to be a bit voyeuristic. Who hasn't looked into a window at night while taking an evening stroll, hoping to catch a glimpse of what a house looks like on the inside?

One of the best ways for an organization to raise funds, and often awareness is by having a tour of homes. Some tours are at Christmas, others in the spring. There are pilgrimages in Natchez and Columbus, Mississippi each year when antebellum homes are opened to the public so folks can see what it was like to live during the days before the Civil War.

Recently, the Mississippi Heritage Trust sponsored a MOD tour, focusing on mid-century modern architecture. One of the homes is known by Jacksonians as the Weiner house, as it was designed by William B. and Samuel G. Weiner.

The home has been purchased and lovingly restored to its original 1951 style by the Busbea family. I had an opportunity to tour the home and write about it for "A Sip of Culture" in The full article, with photos, can be accessed by the link below. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing about it.