Memoir Workshop

Jessica Handler, author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013), will lead a memoir workshop at Peachtree City Library on Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop, entitled “There’s More Than ‘Me’ in Memoir,” is open to writers of all levels. There is a $25 registration fee, which includes lunch.

A good memoir tells a story, but in order to capture the reader’s heart and imagination, the very best memoirs place the author’s personal story within the beauty and tragedy of the larger world. In this workshop, participants will learn ways to develop their memoir so that it resonates not only with themselves, but with readers everywhere.

Handler’s memoir, Invisible Sisters, was named the “Best Memoir of 2009” by Atlanta Magazine and “one of eight great southern books” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Invisible Sisters is now listed as one of the “25 Books All Georgians Should Read” by the Georgia Center for the Book. Handler wrote her next book, Braving the Fire, after she started teaching workshops about the challenges and rewards in writing about grief and loss.

Handler earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.) and a B.S. in communication from Emerson College in Boston. Her essays and features have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine.

Honors for Handler’s writing include residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences, a 2010 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the 2009 Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellowship at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and special mention for a 2008 Pushcart Prize.

The memoir workshop is sponsored by the Friends of the Peachtree City Library. Registration forms are available online and at Peachtree City Library.

Entrekin Book Signing

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Peachtree City resident and former FW cover girl, Jill Smith Entrekin, will be signing her lastest novel, Buck’s Junction, at Peachtree City Library on Sunday, August 4th, at 1:00 p.m.  Entrekin’s first novel, Start of Flint was released in 2011 by Room 272 Press and has maintained a 5 star rating on Amazon.

Publisher’s Description of Buck’s Junction:

Buck and Lonnie are cousins growing up together in a small Georgia town. They are both gifted athletes and altar boys who enjoy the sweet, simple pleasures of their small town life: watching the train roar through the Junction each day, gazing at the stars from high atop the water tower and hunting with the best bird dog in the county. For Buck and Lonnie, life in the summer of 1960 is good. That is until Uncle Elwood shows up. A mean, sadistic drunk who takes pleasure in tormenting others, Elwood sets his sights on Lonnie and Buck, and their once innocent, idyllic world will change forever.

In the great tradition of Southern writers, Jill Smith Entrekin paints a rich picture of life in a small Southern town featuring colorful characters and lessons about the strength of family and the inevitability of shattered innocence. Buck’s Junction will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will remind you that sometimes only a best friend can help you get through the hurdles life puts in your way.

The book signing on Sunday at Peachtree City Library will be followed by the awards ceremony for the “Summer in the Bubble” photo contest at 2 p.m.

For more information on Jill Smith Entrekin and Buck’s Junction, visit Room 272 Press.

Free Gardening Make and Take

recycled planter
recycled planterPeachtree City Library’s summer reading program for adults, Groundbreaking READS, is presenting a free “make and take” gardening project at the Peachtree City Community Garden on Wednesday, July 17, at 10 a.m.
 

Volunteers from the library and Peachtree City Garden Club will show you how to turn an empty plastic water bottle into a self-watering planter. Attendees are asked to bring an empty plastic bottle (20 oz. or larger), although organizers will have extras on hand.  Every participant will get soil and a small plant to put in their planter.

Registration is recommended.

fresh salsaIf you love tomatoes, you’ll want to enter the Groundbreaking READS salsa competition at the Peachtree City Farmers Market to be held on Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m. Be sure to read the rules and regulations - prizes will be awarded. Better hurry – the deadline to enter is July 14!

Southern-Fried Sleuthing

Larissa Reinhart

Larissa ReinhartPeachtree City Library will host a book signing with local mystery author Larissa Reinhart on Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m. Reinhart’s latest, Still Life in Brunswick Stew (Henery Press, 2013), is the second installment in her Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first book in the series, Portrait of a Dead Guy (Henery Press, 2012), was a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner.

If you’re a fan of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse but could do without the “supes,” then you will love Reinhart’s Cherry Tucker. Cherry (short for Cherrilyn) is an artist and amateur sleuth living in Halo, Georgia, where she is known for her big mouth, small stature, and her ability to sketch a portrait faster than a buckshot rips from a ten gauge.

In Still Life, we find Cherry hard up for art commissions after her nemesis becomes president of the County Arts Council. Desperate and broke, Cherry and her friend, Eloise, spend a sultry summer weekend hawking their art at the Sidewinder Annual Brunswick Stew Cook-Off. When a bad case of food poisoning breaks out and Eloise dies, the police brush off her death as accidental. However, Cherry suspects someone spiked the stew and killed her friend. As Cherry calls on cook-off competitors, bitter rivals, and crooked judges, the police get steamed while the killer prepares to cook Cherry’s goose.

Still Life CoverThe Friends of the Peachtree City Library (FOL) is sponsoring a Brunswick Stew Cook-Off at the book signing – hopefully without the poisoning! Stews will be made by FOL members and special guests including FW cover girl Tricia Stearns of the Peachtree City Farmers Market. (I will also be serving up my own recipe!)

The public is invited to come and sample the entries for free; however, voting for your favorite recipe will set you back $1 per vote, a donation to FOL.

Geek the Library!

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It’s time to get your Geek on at the library!

 

From Southern Metro Atlanta Counties to Macon and Middle Georgia, libraries began a “Geek the Library” campaign on April 1, 2013. This is a community-based public awareness campaign for Public Libraries and their funding agencies.

Residents may soon add a new verb to their vocabulary—‘geek.’ All of the Libraries in the Flint River Regional Library System and surrounding area libraries are participating in Geek the Library.  In an effort to heighten awareness about the critical funding issues public libraries face, the campaign highlights what people are passionate about and how libraries can support them.  Geek the Library features local educational material that introduces ‘geek’ as a verb, and encourages the public to talk about what they ‘geek’—whether it’s engineering, superheroes, art, or whatever their interests may be.  The public awareness campaign illustrates the fact that everyone is passionate about something—everyone ‘geeks’ something—and that the library supports them all.

“This campaign is designed to provoke conversation about the vital role that public libraries and librarians play in today’s challenging environment,” said Cathy De Rosa, global vice president of marketing for OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative which led campaign development and conducted a pilot campaign from June 2009 to April 2010.  “We hope it will spark important community discussions about how public libraries can remain strong.”

The awareness campaign features newspaper advertising, social networking elements, a Web site and grassroots community initiatives to draw attention to the need for increased library support.

Millions of Americans turn to local libraries for educational opportunities, job-searching resources and entertainment.  The increased demand for library services is taking a toll on libraries already experiencing flat or decreasing budgets.  State and local cuts are impacting public library hours, programs and staffing, forcing some libraries to close indefinitely.  While most people have visited their public library and understand its important role in their community, many do not know that libraries are at risk or that local funding for libraries is heavily influenced by community members.

 

This public awareness campaign hopes to start conversations about library funding to inspire more people to take personal responsibility for keeping their local public libraries vital in their communities. The campaign will not support or oppose any candidate for public office, nor attempt to influence legislation.

 

You can read more about this campaign at www.geekthelibrary.org.

 

Nancy Lewis Book Signing March 14th at Fayette Library

book signing

Business Coach and Motivational Speaker Nancy Lewis,
Co-author of “Real Women, Real Issues,” to Speak and Sign Books at
Fayette County Public Library on Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m.

 

The Fayette County Public Library invites the public to a book signing by Fayetteville resident Nancy Lewis on Thursday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. Nancy will talk about the new self-help book she has co-authored with three other women from around the country, “Real Women, Real Issues: Positive Collaborations for Business Success.” Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event, with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, compliments of the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library.

Collectively known as “The Ebony Speakers,” Nancy Lewis, Debra Gould, Michelle Porchia and Carole Copeland Thomas have co-authored a book designed to help any woman find her own path to success in life and work. Nancy’s chapter, titled “Forget Networking … It’s All About Connecting,” offers guidance on the art and science of building and maintaining the kind of relationships that can help sustain the reader through turbulent times in the workplace and elsewhere. Those who seek partnership and collaboration with people whose skill sets complement their own can survive and thrive in today’s tough economic environment. Nancy outlines real-world strategies for initiating and following through on these vital connections. Other chapters in the book focus on finding balance in transition, building a new business, and staying the course with an ongoing business venture.

Nancy Lewis is president of Progressive Techniques, Inc., based in Fayetteville. The theme of her organization is “Developing a Better YOU!” She earned a master’s degree from Georgia State University in Urban and Public Affairs with a concentration in Human Resources. Nancy builds on her 20 years of training experience to work with organizations that want to grow their people, and with people who want to make a greater impact in their lives and careers.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administrative complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54.  For additional information, please contact the library at 770-461-8841.

Starting a Book Club? How to Do It Right – and Make It Last

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A good book is something to be shared. Many people enjoy passing along used paperbacks to friends, but if you truly want to share your reading experience, there is no better way than through a book club. Can’t find a book club to suit your style or schedule? Form your own with a little help from Fayette Woman.

Planning
First off, you need to ask yourself why you want to start a book club in the first place. Are you looking to deepen existing friendships through literature? Or perhaps you are stuck in a reading (or friendship!) rut and want to broaden your horizons?

Consider your approach. Some clubs are highly social, while others tend to be more academic. Will you take the traditional route of relaxed, open discussions or are you more interested in semi-scholarly conversations?

Membership

It’s best to start with three to five people you know well. Invite them over for a preliminary meeting to discuss the type of book club you envision. Then brainstorm to come up with a handful of titles to consider for the first “official” meeting. Ask them to invite one or two friends to the first meeting, preferably people from outside of your normal social circle. The more diverse, the better.

It’s best to keep the size of your book club from eight to ten people. That gives you enough people for discussion when three or four are absent, but not too many to make discussions chaotic.

The Meetings

Most book clubs meet monthly on a weekday. What time you meet will largely depend on your members. If they’re stay-at-home moms or retirees, then mornings will probably work best. If most of them work during the day, then you should plan for an early evening meeting.

Will you lead the discussion at each meeting, or will you ask members take turns? You’ll also need to think about location. Will you host your meetings in your home (or alternate with other members), or will you meet at your church or local public library?

Will you serve refreshments? If so, consider asking members to each bring an appetizer or dessert so the burden isn’t solely your own. Keep in mind that it’s fun to pair food with books. For instance, you could serve chips and salsa for books with a Hispanic theme, such as Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna (Harper, 2009).

Book Selection

What kind of books will you read? Fiction or nonfiction? Or maybe you prefer to limit your group to a specific genre, such as Mystery or Romance? If you are looking to expand your reading, I recommend switching it up. Reading possibilities in fiction are endless, so start with a fiction base and throw in a nonfiction title every three of four books. I like to read a classic once or twice a year too. Take suggestions from your members and vote on them, or take turns being responsible for the monthly selection. Be open to reading something you normally wouldn’t read.

Care & Feeding

It takes care and feeding to keep a book club going strong. It is essential to keep your members informed. Send out monthly meeting reminders via email or set up a phone tree. Take a field trip together once or twice a year to keep things interesting. For example, if your group read and discussed The Lacuna, take a group trip to The High Museum of Art to see “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting,” a special exhibition featuring some of the best examples of Kahlo and Rivera’s art. (Exhibit opens in Atlanta on February 16, 2013 and remains on view through May 12, 2013.) Also, many authors come to Atlanta for book signings and discussions; consider selecting a book from an author with an upcoming visit, then take a “field tip” to hear him or her speak.

Book clubs are wonderful for meeting new people and expanding your knowledge of books and authors. With proper planning, you can create a successful book club that engages your members and keeps them coming back for more!

WWII WAC Helen Denton Book Signing Dec. 8

Denton, Helen aerial

Helen Denton, Retired Soldier and Author of “World War II WAC,” to appear at
Fayette County Public Library on Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m.

The Fayette County Public Library is pleased to present local author Helen Denton on Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m. to talk about and sign her new memoir, “World War II WAC.” The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, compliments of the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library.

In 1942, young Helen Kogel got tired of watching the young men go off to serve their country, and decided to join them, enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). After serving stateside for a couple of years as a recruiter and as secretary to the post commander, she found herself in England, serving under Gen. Eisenhower. In 1944, Helen spent many days in a closed room, typing up the orders for Operation Overlord: the D-Day invasion of Normandy. For 50 years, she never told anyone – not even her husband Noel Denton (whom she met on Utah Beach) – about the significant role she played in the outcome of the war. Now, she tells all about it in a new nonfiction account titled “World War II WAC,” a collaboration with Robert O. Babcock. Visit the library on Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m., and hear Fayette County resident Helen Kogel Denton talk about her top-secret assignment and other remarkable wartime experiences. The author will sell and sign copies of “World War II WAC” after her talk. The book is priced at $20, and a portion of the proceeds from copies sold that day will benefit the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administrative complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54.  For additional information, please contact the library at 770-461-8841.

One Book, Many Seeds

The Seed Underground

The Seed UndergroundIf you read only one book this summer, join the rest of Peachtree City and read The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food by Janisse Ray (Chelsea Green, 2012). The book won’t be available for purchase until June 29, but Omega Books in Peachtree City is taking pre-orders now.

The Seed Underground is the book selected for the first “One Book, One Peachtree City” initiative. This city-wide reading and discussion program encourages all residents to read the same book at the same time to create a citywide book club. But you don’t have to be a resident of Peachtree City to read and attend our free programs – all are welcome! 

In case you aren’t familiar with Janisse Ray, she is the author of four books of literary nonfiction including the much heralded, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (Milkweed Editions, 1999). She is on the faculty of Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and in 2007 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Unity College in Maine.

Janisse Ray

Janisse Ray

In The Seed Undergound, Ray takes us across the country where a renaissance of local food, farming, and place-based culinary traditions is taking hold. And yet something small, critically important, and profoundly at risk is being overlooked in this local food resurgence: seeds. We are losing our seeds. Of the thousands of seed varieties available at the turn of the 20th century, 94 percent have been lost — forever.

With a signature lyricism that once prompted a New York Times writer to proclaim her the Rachel Carson of the south, Ray brings us the inspiring stories of ordinary gardeners whose aim is to save time-honored open-pollinated varieties like Old Time Tennessee muskmelon and Long County Longhorn okra—varieties that will be lost if people don’t grow, save, and swap the seeds.

Ray also tells her own story of watching her grandmamma save squash seed; of her own first tiny garden at the edge of a junkyard; of falling in love with heirloom and local varieties as a young woman; and the one seed—Conch cowpea—that got away from her.

The Seed Underground reminds us that while our underlying health, food security, and sovereignty may be at stake as seeds disappear, so, too, are the stories, heritage, and history that passes between people as seeds are passed from hand to hand.

Janisse Ray in Garden

Janisse Ray in her garden.

“One Book, One Peachtree City” culminates on Saturday, August 18 at 2 PM, with a book talk and signing with Janisse Ray at City Hall in Peachtree City.

We’ve also teamed up with FW’s own Bonnie Helander and Tricia Stearns of the Peachtree City Farmers Market and Community Garden to schedule other related events including:

• Workshop at City Hall presented by Peachtree City Garden Club on Saturday, July 21, at 10 AM: “Grow Your Taste Buds with Herbs!” Attendees will learn the ins and outs of growing herbs in Georgia and will receive their own herb to take home.

• Guided hike through Flat Creek Nature Preserve on Friday, August 10, at 10 AM sponsored by the Southern Conservation Trust.

 • “Fresh from the Garden Recipe Swap” (and Tasting!) sponsored by Fayette Woman on Saturday, August 11, at 10 AM at the Peachtree City Farmers Market.

More programs are planned and all are free and open to the public. You can find a full schedule of events as well as background information about The Seed Underground and “One Book, One Peachtree City” online at www.peachtree-city.org/library or by calling Peachtree City Library at 770-631-2520.

“One Book, One Peachtree City” is presented by the Peachtree City Library with support from Peachtree City Planning & Zoning Department; Friends of the Peachtree City Library; Peachtree City Garden Club; Peachtree City Farmers Market; Peachtree City Community Garden; USDA-Agricultural Research Division/UGA-Griffin; Southern Conservation Trust; Fayette Woman; and Omega Book Center.

Emerging Writers Showcase at Library

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A panel of nine local authors in the early stages of their writing careers will participate in the “Emerging Writers Showcase Spring 2012,” on Saturday, March 10, at 1:00 p.m., at the Fayette County Public Library in Fayetteville.  Each writer will give a book presentation, answer questions from the audience, and sell and sign books.  Admission is free, and complimentary light refreshments will be served.

Melvin Collier, an archivist with the Robert W. Woodruff Library – Atlanta University Center, retraces and reconciles the story of his enslaved ancestors, forcibly separated from one another, in his second nonfiction book, “150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended.” It’s a triumphant story of broken family connections re-established after many generations.

Renita Gibbs is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and mentor whose first book, “Finding Daddy,” is a fictionalized story based on her own experiences growing up fatherless, then reuniting in adulthood with her father.

Harrison Jones is a retired airline pilot who writes aviation fiction from a personal perspective. His first two novels, “Equal Time Point” and “Shadow Flight,” draw on his experiences in the air and include plenty of suspense, drama and adventure, with compelling characters in plausible situations.

Terry McAfee has developed “The Conversation,” a unique workbook designed to help individuals with memory loss maintain a connection with their loved ones. The 13-week journal provides guided exercises to promote active thinking and continued communication.

Brenda Starr Moon has written “Bird of Faith,” an inspirational story for all ages that sprang from personal experience with fear, doubt and renewed hope.

Damien and Kathy Nash are a mother-son team who have co-authored “Big Box, Little Box,” a modern-day parable formatted as a picture book. In the engaging illustrations and the companion animated DVD, boxes in a package delivery center contemplate their destinies and strive to achieve their potential.

Douglas Pearson, a retired Air Force colonel who teaches in the Air Force Junior ROTC program at Sandy Creek High School, presents “The 10-20-30 Life Wellness Plan,” a book detailing the health and fitness regimen he originally developed more than 10 years ago to improve his own wellness, and now teaches to his students.

Rick Ryckeley, a weekly columnist since 2001, has published “Musings of a Cluttered Mind,” a humorous collection of family-oriented stories in which he reminisces about the adventures of childhood, reflects on the joys and challenges of marriage, and makes general observations of life.

The event is free and open to the public. Proceeds from the sale of books at the Emerging Writers Showcase benefit the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library, the nonprofit group whose sponsorship makes this event possible, along with many other library programs and services throughout the year.

The Fayette County Public Library is located behind the Fayette County administrative complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the southwest corner of Highways 85 and 54.  For additional information, please contact the library at 770-461-8841.

 

Peachtree City Resident Publishes New Novel

Lynn Murphy author

Lynn Murphy, a resident of Peachtree City , has written a new novel. The Time Of My Life, which the author describes as “a sort of Blind Side for runners” is her fourth book.

The novel’s plot revolves around an African American teenager named Derious Cooper who at risk for failing and is on the fringes of gang activity. He is also a boy who loves to run, but his high school is without a track team. When Evan Jones, a wealthy white doctor and former Olympic hopeful whose injuries have left him unable to run begins coaching a track team on which Derious becomes the star runner, they discover that past events connect them and affect their future. Murphy was inspired to write the book because of her own teenage sons’ interest in the sport of running but also because as a teacher she is familiar with students in Derious’ (who is nicknamed “Coop.”) position.

Murphy lived in Cordova TN for fourteen years and taught in the Shelby County School system, at Shadowlawn Middle School and Bartlett High School. She learned to understand and appreciate the sport of track and field when her sons became involved in Shelby Youth Sports (SYS). While her sons excelled in distance events, there were other benefits. A number of her former students also ran for SYS and she noticed that it was a positive influence on students that were viewed as ‘difficult.” She says it gave her a positive way to bond with her students that she might never have had before.

“I taught many students like Coop who were at risk for dropping out of school or getting involved in gangs,” Murphy says. “I also saw how finding just one thing they were really interested in, whether it was sports, or music or the arts, could keep them from going that way. Sometimes they just need one person to point them in the right direction. In this story, that person is the character of Evan.” Murphy says that she was motivated to write the book “because I get tired of seeing books that are about negative subjects and because I am so weary of seeing books about vampires on the shelves. I wanted to write a book that people would enjoy, but one that had a positive message as well.”

During the time she taught in the area, Murphy was trained by Facing History and Ourselves and took over seventy hours of professional development in teaching tolerance related issues. “I gravitated to courses involving the Holocaust,” says Murphy, who was honored by the organization twice by being awarded their Margot Stern Strom Teaching Award. “But the principles they teach apply to all areas where differences separate people. In The Time Of My Life, there are two characters who both love the sport of running, but who come from very different backgrounds. The message is that they learn to look past the differences and find a relationship where they can help each other.”

Murphy does run herself for exercise and is a member with her family of the Peachtree City Running Club and an avid supporter of the McIntosh High School cross country and track teams, where her sons are varsity runners.

The book is available on Amazon.com, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble.com and CreateSpace.com estore. Visit Lynn Murphy’s website http://booksbylynnmurphy.yolasite.com for more information.

Write Your Story!

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Have you ever felt inspired after reading a really great article about someone’s life?  Do you wish you could write your own?  Now you can!  You can take the exciting pieces of your life and organize them on paper!  You will begin to see how the significant events in your life fit together like a divine puzzle.  If you’re ready for a radical adventure, come prepared to release your creative writing energy, and take a journey down memory lane!

Classes begin in February.  Come register today!

For more information, please contact the Fayette County Recreation Department at 770.716.4320.