Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Signing Advice

A friend posted this on facebook, "How to Conduct a Successful Book Signing Event" by Sally Watkins via @JohnKremer. I haven't gotten to this point yet, but some of you may find it useful!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Remembering Dale

This is in memory of my ex father-in-law. I was part of the family for 16 years and knew him most of my life. He was a good man known by folks far and wide.


           Remembering Dale

                 Aug. 24, 1932-Feb. 9, 2010

To George Dale Alexander, everything
was either black or white—no gray,
no in between of wrong and right.
He loved to joke and pick; always
held out his hand in friendship,
served the public as deputy, supervisor,
and the board of the water department.

He made sure that every Sunday, his boys
attended church. They learned to play hard
and they learned how to work. During
the week without surprise you’d find him
at the stockyard, stopping on the way
at Williamsville to buy some groceries.

He was someone on whom you could
depend—faithful to God, wife, country,
family and friends. I see him now
with that curly black hair and wide,
welcoming grin, shaking hands,
meeting friends old and new, eating
an endless supply of Moon Pies
in his beautiful new home in heaven.

                                  —Wynne Huddleston Alexander

Friday, February 12, 2010



When it descends, you can’t feel
but a cold, numb, awe
at how accumulated snow can make
the ugly, clinging mud, spilled garbage,
broken, fallen limbs;
the lovely, green blades of irises, red
flowering quince, angel statues—

give up their identity to become
one in an unspeakably beautiful world.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

From the Depths of Red Bluff: How God Uses the Holes in Your Heart

The Heart as a Flute

I feel this is a message many people need to hear, especially near Valentine's Day, and I feel that God wants me to post this for someone who is going through heartache, as we all do from time to time. One of my friends read my poem, “In the Depths of Red Bluff,” a few days ago while critiquing my poetry book. She called to tell me how it had made her cry, because she connected with it so deeply. [4 years past this post--I wasn't even going to include the poem in my book because I felt it wasn't really "finished" but she begged me and then I wound up naming my book after this poem!]. The next day I saw someone on facebook who is in our writers' guild and requested that he be my “friend.” He emailed me that my little blog was what made him finally decide to join the Writers Guild in the first place. (What?) He said he was going to stop fighting God and focus on writing rather than singing (although he is a successful gospel singer). Apparently this is something he had felt God leading him to do, but maybe he hadn't wanted to give in until now. I was speechless…I was shocked! I wasn’t even sure anyone was reading my blog! I get chills thinking that God might use me for His purpose...but, then, He is the One Who gives me the words, when I allow Him to speak through me...whether worthy or not. Then I began thinking about the analogy of how our bodies are like a hollow reed that God blows through, I had to do research. 
There are many cultures and religions that have a flute story. Hindus picture Krishna with a crown of colorful peacock feathers playing a flute. This is because they believe God's love must ultimately fill the whole body of man through his heart, which is like a flute. Buddhist Komuso were samurai priests with no masters. They covered their faces in a show of total selflessness, with only their flutes showing beneath the baskets they carried on their heads to collect illnesses or problems of others. This shakuhachi music, or Sui-Zen, would cause those who heard it to fall into a trance and lose their sufferings in the music. Rumi claims that the heart is first a solid reed, then the holes are created by the painful experiences we endure, causing the heart-reed to become a flute so that God may play his lovely music through us. It would seem to me that just the right amount of holes allows God to play the most beautiful music, providing we keep the path open for His holy breath. Rumi believed that the music produced by God through the instrument of our hearts is the only music that can raise the soul to eternal life.

Hopi legend tells of an eagle who allowed only those who could play the flute to dwell with him. They use the Eagle feather for prayers. I can relate this to Christianity; one of my favorite Bible stories is about God lifting us heavenward on eagles' wings: 

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 King James

This eagle was actually hand
sculpted & painted by my very
talented friend, Joey Horn!

The Heart as a Canyon
© Donna Huddleston Smith

Red Bluff, "Mississippi's Little Grand Canyon"

From the Depths of Red Bluff” is about a place I visited with a wonderful friend who had invited me to Columbia so I could get away when I needed it most. He took me on his motorcycle (not an ordinary thing for me, but I loved it) to Red Bluff, “Mississippi’s Little Grand Canyon.” I was going through a very bad time, having been led down a path of thorny roses, and having been stabbed through the heart several times. When I saw that little canyon with so many different beautiful colors I immediately felt a kinship; but there was trash along the road in front of it, and trees losing their footing, falling over into it. I was angry. Then my friend explained that this is a privately owned spot without funds for clean-up of the constant visitors, and that the trees that fell, along with the corrosion from rain and the elements are actually what gives it the multitude of beautiful colors and causes it to keep growing (the road has been moved twice.) If you saw it in person, you would cry, too, for it is a mirror of the heart. My poem is now in my book From the Depths of Red Bluff and the entire book reads like a story that relates this much better. Red Bluff is visual proof that the holes in our hearts make us grow stronger, and allow God to play His music through our heart-flutes. And that, my hurting friends, is beautiful.

   Reed Flute Cave in Guilin (China)
I'm sure there are more breathtaking places, such as Reed Flute cave in China, but look how long it took to become what it is today! It was named for the ludi cao growing in front of the cave. This "reed grass" is used for making flutes.The cave is 600,000 years old and about 240 meters long.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mom's Proverbs

Mom’s Advice

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
There’s a fine line between love and hate.
Take care of yourself—nobody else will do it.
No, it isn’t right, but you’ll get your reward in heaven.
Hold his feet to the fire, by crackedy.
It’s a man’s world.

me, Mom, Barbra, Donna...I was not happy
that mom made me have my picture taken in my pj's!

About Me

My photo
Wynne Huddleston is a poet, musician and teacher. Her first book of poetry, From the Depths of Red Bluff, ISBN: 978-0-9840483-2-8, published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc., is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ms. Huddleston is the Mississippi Poetry Society 2014 Poet of the Year. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications including the Birmingham Arts Journal, Camroc Press Review, Stymie Magazine, Danse Macabre, Orange Room Review, New Fairy Tales Anthology, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Four and Twenty. Her poem, Same Stars, Different Houses received a Pushcart Nomination from Deep South Magazine. Awards include the 2013 MPS Award, and Winner of the Grandmother Earth National Contest 2010 for Environmental Poetry. Ms. Huddleston was born in Lone Star, Texas, but has lived in Mississippi most of her life. She has been an elementary music teacher for 25 years, and has 2 grown sons, and 2 grandchildren.