The Wood Thrush Makes a Landing at McIntyre’s in Fearrington!

mcintyresIt was the perfect day for poetry….wonderfully cool with a hint of sunshine, and the easy conversation among both old friends and new!

At today’s monthly reading of N.C. Poetry Society members, I shared the podium with poets Bill Griffin (and former Poet in Residence at the N.C. Zoo!) and Robin Greene, a professor of English at Methodist University in Fayetteville. I ended up with a lot of hugs, fresh flowers, and of course, two new books: Griffin’s evocative Riverstory: Treestory and Greene’s riveting Lateral Drift.

I read a handful of poems from my first poetry collection, Waiting for the Wood Thrush, which is available through Finishing Line Press. I also received some very friendly and helpful advice that I’ll try out at my next poetry reading. Speak slower, and let your audience appreciate your beautiful words. I was very touched, and to the kind lady who offered this wisdom, I promise to try and take it slower next time.


Book Club + Crepes = Good Times!

Last Thursday I had the honor of speaking to about two dozen members of a book club (a day time group and a nighttime group) in the lovely neighborhood of Chapel Ridge in Pittsboro. I was invited by a dear lady named Beti Ann, with whom I share another good friend and hairstylist, Tonya. In fact, it was through Tonya that the invitation came about, for she has been plugging my book for almost a year to all of her patrons!

Not only did the group serve delicious appetizer crepes (cream cheese with sweet-hot jelly), it was a joy to learn that many of them had already read Naked and Hungry. This led to an insightful discussion about not just the book, but the writing process, which is a favorite topic among book clubs. My heartfelt thanks to Beti Ann, Mary, Sherry, Katherine, Cary, Julie and all the new friends I made.

This is the second book club I have spoken to, third if you count a long-distance relationship with a club in Florida that is dear to my heart. In fact it was the Happy Bookers of Lakeland, Fla., that inspired the creation of a special Naked and Hungry Q & A just for book clubs. And my first book club appearance was arranged through another childhood friend from my hometown of Asheboro.

Lesson learned? For all of my writer friends, as you seek connections with local book clubs, don’t rule out your childhood friends and especially your hairstylist! As for the latter, not only does she or he know all your secrets, they also know everyone else’s!

Naked and Hungry Goes to Greensboro!

Just returned from the 10th Annual Celebration of Farmers at the Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market, a surprisingly extensive local market founded in 1874, which makes it one of the state’s oldest. The market offers a variety of seasonal produce, home-baked goods and even crafts, such as jewelry and crocheted hand-towels.

My good friend Donna Myers from high school organized this event, which offered a delicious country breakfast on red-checkered table cloths and live music. I recommend the biscuits and homemade strawberry jam! All total, there were more than 100 attendees, some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. These included tobacco and corn farmers, members of a Peruvian friendship mission, even Presbyterian minister-song writers. A highlight was my friend Cosmo pictured to the left showing off his new trick. Paws up to Naked and Hungry!

A special thanks to Donna for inviting me, and to Claudia and Charlie Griffin for their hospitality and cheerful help setting up the Naked and Hungry tent. Couldn’t have done it without you! Also, thank you Yolanda and Emma for making the trek from Durham to hear the reading. Wish I’d gotten your picture!
For more pictures, check out our Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market album.

Naked and Hungry Goes to Pittsboro!

A BIG thanks to all our attendees and to the Spa at Bell House in Pittsboro for hosting last evening’s reading. About 20 folks gathered to hear a short reading highlighting the character of Margaret Freeman, the highly stressed manager of McMullen Quality Pre-Owned Automobiles.

And boy, should Margaret have been there!

Not only did we enjoy tea, lemonade, and lemon-blackberry squares, Spa at Bell House gave chair massages to all attendees! Three lucky folks won 20-minute sauna retreats and we also gave away another crepe pan, which is as dear to H.T. as his nail gun.

We hope that everyone—from Type As to Type Zs—enjoyed the fellowship of friends in a relaxed, stress-free setting! And if you missed it, no worries, the spa has invited back for another event on October 21. And this time, we’re making crepes! So mark your calendar.

In the meantime, check out more photos in our August 19 album on the Naked and Hungry Facebook Page or check out Melissa’s blog for photographs taken by a true artist!

Calling all Type A’s!

Are you a Type A person? Trying to do too much? If you’re like Margaret Freeman, the office manager of McMullen Quality Pre-Owned Automobiles and one of the main characters in Naked and Hungry, you may be on STRESS OVERLOAD!

To be fair, poor Margaret suffers from stress on all sides. For an example, read this exchange between Margaret and H.T.

“You’re late again,” said Margaret. “And why can’t you just once dress up for work?”

“What’s wrong with my T-shirt?” asked H.T. “Is it the saying you object to?”

“ ‘I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.’ C’mon H.T., some people might take that as an insult.”

“Not our customers. They want one just like it., ” says H.T. “Hey, where’s Julio?”

“Out back, where else? You know he’s been like a man possessed, working on that Chevy. We’ve got other vehicles we need to fix up, H.T. In fact, we’ve had at least two people stop to ask about that Bobcat, but you know as well as I do that its engine needs to be rebuilt.”

For fun, and in celebration of our upcoming reading at Spa at Bell House on August 19, take a moment to participate in our trivia contest and identify the  major stress factor in Margaret’s life.

Tune in next time for the answer, the recommended Spa Bell House treatment for Margaret, and more details. In the meantime, RSVP for the event and make plans to join us on Friday, August 19. We’ll be reading a section from the book, giving away a special prize, but most importantly, enjoying some great food and conversation in the company of friends. Now that’s the ultimate stress-buster!

August 6 – Naked and Hungry Goes to Elodie Farms!

Save the date! On August 6, Naked and Hungry is delighted to be the guest of Elodie Farms, the Piedmont’s premier goat farm and maker of delicious farmstead goat cheese.

This partnership is inspired by Myrtle, my main character’s mother, who never goes anywhere without her pet goat, Bermadean.

At this special event, we’ll have a reading from Naked and Hungry (featuring the appearance of Bermadean), followed by a tour of a tour of Elodie Farms, which is situated on 21 acres of beautiful farmland in northern Durham County. The rustic charm is reminiscent of Winnabow County, the fictional setting of Naked and Hungry. Details are still emerging, so please stay posted to this blog for more information. We hope you’ll plan to join us!