Happy Father’s Day

I am proud that I still have my dad. He is of the most impeccable character; one would have a hard time finding any fault in him. He is a wonderful father to his 3 daughters, grandfather to our 5 sons, great-grandfather to our 2 great-grandsons, (first granddaughter is on the way), and 4 adopted great-grandchildren. My parents were born at the beginning of the Great Depression. Dad was telling me about the WWII rationing of gasoline, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, nylon and even pepper. He, nor mom could understand why there was a shortage of pepper, maybe something with the ammo? At least they didn’t have to worry about destroying planet earth back then. Perhaps they should have. But their water was clean, and the ozone layer still existed; then factories brought the air pollution. I wonder how bad it will get for us; the rationing of power and fuel.

My parents went through some tough times, put they pulled together, never apart… each playing their assigned role in our lives without question or complaint. Being born of that stoic generation, they often held us at arm’s length, with strict rules for behavior and an expectation of success. They were not huggers, they did not tell us “I love you,” in words…but we knew.


Writers Conference: 4th Annual Mississippi Writers Guild

Don’t miss the Mississippi Writer’s Guild Conference held at the Riverwalk Casino in historic Vicksburg, MS on August 6 & 7. Pay by June 30 to get the early bird discount! You can register and pay online or by postal mail. Formal Critiques are available. The convention will begin Friday night, August 6 with Literary Artists Onstage, in which writers are welcome to read their short stories or poetry at this time. The convention continues on Saturday, Aug. 7, with the Opening Keynote Speaker and four workshops of your choice and ends with the Keynote Speaker and Panel Discussion. Authors may sell their books at the workshop, which is set up through the Lorelei Books Store.  There will also be a silent auction to benefit our nonprofit writers guild. Please see the MWG website for all details. Here are the outstanding Presenters at our writer’s conference this year:

Regina Brooks

The Keynote Speaker is Regina Brooks, founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC, based in Brooklyn, New York. She is on the faculty of the Harvard University publishing program, and is the author of the children’s book, Never Finished! Her workshops are “WRITING THE UNDENIABLE BOOK PROPOSAL,” and “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LITERARY AGENTS.”

The Closing Keynote Speaker is Katie McHugh, executive editor at Da Capo Lifelong Books, part of Perseus Books Group, the largest independent trade publisher and distributor. Ms. McHugh is the author of many nonfiction titles dealing with diet, health, cooking, parenting, relationships, self-help, lifestyle, and inspiration. Her workshops will deal with small press and women in publishing.

Lauretta Hannon

Lauretta Hannon has been called “the funniest woman in Georgia” by Southern Living. She is the author of The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life, Gotham 2009, (a Southern Indie Bestseller three weeks afterits release), has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and on Georgia Public Radio’s Georgia Gazette. She has been nationally-acclaimed as the most award-winning communications expert in higher education. Her workshops are “DON’T WAIT FOR ‘EM TO DIE,” and “MARKETING MOJO.”

Hestor Bass

Hester Bass is the author of  the biographical The Secret World of Walter Anderson, winner of the 2010 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and multiple other awards. Her workshops are “I THINK I CAN: WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS,” and “AGENTS AND EDITORS: YOUR PARTNERS IN PUBLISHING FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS.”

Dr. Alan Brown

Dr. Alan Brown, professor of English at the University of West Alabama, began collecting oral ghost stories in 1993 from people he met while lecturing for the Alabama Humanities Foundation. These stories were published in The Face in the Window and Other Alabama Ghostlore (1996).  His workshops are titled, “HOW I GOT PUBLISHED: NAVIGATING THE WORLD OF SMALL AND UNIVERSITY PRESSES” and “PRESERVING FAMILY HISTORY.”

Copyright Questions: Is Glee in Violation?

Does Glee infringe copyright laws by their remakes of songs such as Madonna’s Vogue musical video and Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit Physical? Fines could total $150,000 for each of these instances. The fine for the use of a camcorder to record Physical could reach $300,000. You may think children would be excempt from the illegal use of such copyright infringements, but think again. According to the New York Times, Girl Scout troops were told by the the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) that they must pay royalties for their public performance” of copyrighted songs at camps in the 1990s.  There are also cases against Youtube videos of kids dancing to copyrighted songs. A Brainerd, Minn. mother refused a $5,000 infringement fine for file sharing, and is slugging  it out in court with RIAA (representing 4 major companies) . The fine has gone from $1.9 million to $54,000.  What is the law concerning copyright? Here are six.

Bloggers, be aware of  copying things into your blog without getting permission. Even if you credit a photo or written work you may be in violation of these laws.  Credit is not permission!

Southern Christian Writing Conference June 11-12, 2010

SCWC Panel-Cheryl Wray, Edna Ellison, Betty Hassler, Bruce Barbour

I attended the Southern Christian Writers Conference  at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama this weekend! It’s been called one of the three best writing workshops of its kind in America, and I can attest to the high quality of the workshops. Speakers included Betty Hassler, editor of Open Windows! Irene Latham-poetry, Jo Huddleston-short stories, Crystal Bowman-children’s books and piano lessons, Bruce Barbour- publisher, Billy Field-screenplays, Cheryl Wray-magazine writing, Edna Ellison-Bible Stories, and more.


Please click here  for more pictures and to read (on my other blog) all about the details about this wonderful, inspiring conference!

Eudora Welty, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams added to Meridian’s Walk of Fame

Tues, June 1, 2010 Meridian awarded star plaques to representatives of three of her finest writers— Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner. Richelle Putnam, founder of MWG, was presenter. Faulkner was a Pulitzer prize and Nobel prize winner, and Welty and Williams were both recepients of Pulitzer Prizes and Presidential Medals of Freedom. Lt. Governor Phil Bryant was on hand to reiterate one of Mississippi’s promotional themes, “Yes, we can read; and some of us can even write! ” Paul Ott, a Missisisppi entertainer and Marty Stuart, with wife Connie Smith spoke at the ceremony.

Richell Putnam, Mayor Cheri Barry, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Lt. Governor Phil Bryant

The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center Board added their names in stars to the Walk of Fame in front of the beautiful MSU Riley Arts Center. The gold stars were placed on the sidewalk next to those of  Jimmie Rodgers and B.B. King, who were added last year.

Star unveiling

Poetry Submissions-Part 4: The Craft of Writing Poems


It begins with an idea… a word sticks in your mind, becomes a metaphor; your muse whispers inspiration. You have to write it, but writing is a craft. How do you put down in words this idea in your mind? Does anyone want to read it? Will they understand what you mean? While we want to be original, we also want to be well versed in the craft of writing.

There is a wealth of information on the internet about writing. First, you must read and learn from other poets’ works– both classic and  contemporary. Take classes, attend workshops at colleges or writers conferences, seek advice from published authors and check out the links provided below. Then proceed to writing your own poetry! And remember, poets are famous for breaking the rules.


Author Links – Author bios and link

The Academy of American Poets – a list of the most popular contemporary poets

Poetry Daily – Great resource of poems from various journals


“Blurbs of Wisdom”  Poetry Free For All index to everything you need to know about writing poems–meter, rhythm, figurative languages, modifiers, line and stanza breaks, images, symbolism, critiques, rewriting, etc… Don’t be scared off by the strange warning at the top of these pages; the information is great!

The Craft of Poetry (Great site)

ENGL 310: Modern Poetry  -Yale course

Writing.com Avoiding cliches and abstractions


What are the forms of poetry?  Form is the category or genre of a poem, such as sonnet, haiku, cinquain, sestina, villanelle and ballade.

Poetic Asides – a list of poetic forms

The Poet’s Garret – all about various forms

Minimalist poetry – overview

Prose vs. Poetry  What is the difference?



Poetry Terms




Enchanted Learning Homonyms 




The Elements of Style by William Strunk – Rules for word usage,  composition, form, commonly misused and misspelled words.

Annenberg’s “Literary Visions” series of helpful videos for poetry, fiction, drama and literature

Poet’s Corner – Resource of poems and poets

Rhyme Zone   find a rhyming word quickly

Poetry Rhyming Dictionary – find a rhyming word by # of syllables