Saturday, June 19, 2010

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.

Dear Dad,

You were always such a hard worker, you built up a business, became your own boss and we traveled across the Southern states for years. Finally we landed back here, but you still had to travel. Although you were often far away, working long days and nights, I remember some special times just the two of us shared and how you sometimes spoiled when you took me to the country store and told me I could have whatever candy I wanted, like the time I was running for princess in 2nd grade at the school Halloween carnival, and you pulled out an extra $20 (a lot back then) so I could win, like when the adults played cards and you let me be your partner, like when you took me to the car lot and told me to pick out any car I wanted, so I’d have a way to college. I wouldn't say, because I didn’t want you to spend much. But you saw me looking at the white Ford Granada with the half-vinyl red roof (I thought it looked like a convertible). It was $5,000 and you bought it. Yes, you were often gone miles away for many days, but it was because you were working to provide our family with whatever we needed—more than just material things, you gave me a solid work ethic, the security of home, support for my endeavors, and most of all, you gave me unconditional love.

Thank you, Daddy,

Your loving daughter


Halloween Princess Wynne and Prince Tandy              My ex-husband and me with my '76 Ford Granada Beulah Hubbard Attendance Center 1965                             

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mississippi Writers Guild Conference

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, nationally known presenters at our writer’s conference this year.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Southeast Christian Writers Conference

Writers from 11 states attended the Southeast Christian Writers Conference at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on June 11 and 12, 2010. It was held in the beautiful and spacious Education building The gracious host was Joanne Sloan, who spoke about the most common grammar mistakes. Keynote speakers were Crystal Bowman and Edna Ellison.

Crystal Bowman has written more than 60 children's books. Her topic was on devotionals, story books, and board books for babies to age 8. Here she is blogging about the Florida conference where she was a speaker.

Edna Ellison had me in tears. Her stories are so bittersweet. One of them is at the top of the 101 All-time Best Chicken Soup stories. She made it clear that God’s plan for us is not always our plan; she never intended to become a writer, but look at her now! She wrote hundreds of devotionals her first year as a writer and is also an inspirational speaker for women mentoring women.

Irene Latham is poetry editor of the Birmingham Arts Journal. (My poem, His Shirts, is forthcoming in this journal.) What are the most important words in a poetry line? How do you avoid trite words? What words should be cut from your poems? Irene answered all these questions in her workshop. Irene has a heartwarming novel named Leaving Gee's Bend and a prize winning book of poems called What Came Before.

I attended Billy Beard's Screenwriting workshop because my son is interested in writing screenplays. He is a former writer for the Fame tv series, Trapper John MD, movie scripts for Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox and Disney. His movies include Stars Fell on Alabama and Rebel Yell. Wow, I was amazed at how informative this workshop turned out to be in turns of simply how to write a story. He says that the conflict IS the story; you create it by heating it up. He was very inspiring as he encouraged us to look within us, no further than our own backyards to find our stories.

Jo Huddleston (not sure if we are related) gave an excellent workshop on short fiction, detailing the elements involved and advice on how to use fewer, but effective word choices. You can sign up on her site for a free helpful newsletter and a free "how to write devotions" book.

Betty Hassler, editor for Open Windows and Deacon gave us the inside news on how to approach and query an editor (gifts help, she jokingly says), Lavonne Stevens told attendees how to find an agent, George Daniels was the blogger guru, Cheryl Wray, author of "Writing for Magazines: A Beginner's Guide," gave us information on how to query magazines, Delbert Reed, author of Paul "Bear" Bryant gave a personality profile workshop, Carolyn Ross Tomlin spoke on how to be a prolific writer, Carla Jean Whitley, editor of Birmingham magazine gave advice on City and Regional Magazine writing, and Bruce Barbour, an agent who has been in the publishing business for 35 years offered personal sessions along with his workshops. Panel discussion hosted by Cheryl Wray pic below: Cheryl Wray, Edna Ellison, Betty Hassler and Bruce Barbour.

The conference was a great experience. I wish I could have heard all the speakers!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eudora Welty, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams added to Meridian's Riley Arts Center Walk of Fame Stars

Tues, June 1, 2010 Meridian presented plaques to representatives of three of her finest writers— Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams. 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! Faulkner was a Pulitzer prize and Nobel prize winner, and Welty and Williams were both recepients of Pulitzer Prizes and Presidential Medals of Freedom. Paul Ott, a Missisisppi entertainer and Marty Stuart, with wife Connie Smith spoke at the ceremony.

Richelle Putnam, Representative accepting award for Eudora Welty.

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.

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

Marty Stuarts’s traveling memorabilia collection,"Sparkle and Twang," containing about 20,000 items will be on display at the MSU Riley Center July 10-Sept. 18. It is an interactive exhibit which tells the story of Stuart's personal experiences with some of the most famous stars of American roots music.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Poetry Submissions-Part 4: How to Write Poems

It begins with an idea... a word sticks in your mind, becomes a metaphor; your muse whispers inspiration. You have to write it. 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, both tools and resources, on the internet about writing. First, you should 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 here. Then proceed to writing your own poetry! And remember, poets are famous for breaking the rules.

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.