Where Do We Get Such Moments?

We are finished.
Done.
Finito.

Get the beer, pop the cork, light the firecrackers…whatever you do to celebrate, please celebrate with us tonight!

Our manuscript is on its way to New York City (NEW YORK CITY???) and from there it grows its wings and flies itself. I like to use another analogy that describes the protectiveness a writer has towards their work, from my favorite author Liz Gilbert who said, “Put that kid on the bus already!”

Pops is 88 now. We started working on this book two years ago, sitting for hours…days…over endless weekends in these same spots on their couch, even when my friends said, “Wanna go to the beach/come over for drinks/go to the movies?” and I would always say, “No, I need to work on the book.”

…and trust me…since last summer it was often terrifying for all of us in certain moments as Pops had numerous surgeries… with complications…and heart thingies… and hospital vigils… and days when he said “I just don’t feel good today.” I’m not kidding when I say there was a huge WHEW! as I hit “SEND”. I always said to him, “Pops, I can’t finish this book without you.” and it was always truer than I wanted to admit.

And now we are finished.

An incredible man, an incredible life and now an incredible book, too. Where do we get such men?

Please look for
“Witness to the American Century”
January 2019!

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Sneak Peek From “Witness to the American Century”

Friends, I can hardly believe I am saying this, but I am almost finished with my second book project. This has been a unique opportunity and I think you will all be very surprised at what’s coming. It’s a collaborative work of non-fiction and I’m a ghost writer.

My step-father, Capt. Allen C. Brady (USN-Ret, pictured above, seated, with Bishop Mack Stokes), is a 30-year Navy Veteran, and has spent his life strategically placed inside of what is easily called a living, breathing American History textbook. He’s a real life Forrest Gump. Read more

10 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Me

In June of 2015, I gathered 20 of my best friends together to celebrate the completion of my memoir, Aprils and Decembers. Much of what we talked about that night was how I got here, how I got to be the luckiest person in the world, one who lives through a bunch of tough stuff and still emerges from it with a blessed life and a published book. In other words, in this picture the girls are getting the backstory.  (Jaco’s Restaurant, downtown Pensacola)

For you, here’s a little more of my backstory…
  1. I absolutely cannot stomach horror movies and I am a staunch critic of tattooing oneself. Having said that, Dexter and Sons of Anarchy are two of the best shows I have ever watched. Ever. (once again, mothering determines everything)
  2. My guilty indulgences include chocolate milk and french fries. I need to make note here that the chocolate milk I like the most is light brown (you could say I like chocolate-infused milk) and I love my french fries a little soggy, if I’m honest.
  3. I am extraordinarily easy to wait on in a restaurant. After waiting tables all through college, I can promise you, it pays to be kind to the waitstaff. I know their power.
  4. I tried to train my dog not to jump on people by pinching his paws. Now he refuses to shake hands. My mistake. #dogwhisperingfail
  5. I once had a vivid dream that I had surgery for stomach pain and when they opened me up all of my insides were microwaved. I haven’t been back to a tanning bed since.
  6. When I was little, my mom told me that Jesus doesn’t like it when you write on yourself. So I don’t EVER write on myself. Thanks for that warped guilt, Mom.
  7. I can get lost in watching someone cut the grass. The sounds, the smell and the linear, methodical nature of their movement makes me unusually content.
  8. I never wear yellow. No one should decide to bury me in yellow, either.
  9. I own a first edition printing of Gone With the Wind. I bought it for $1 at a flea market in North Dakota in 1991. It’s worth a lot more now, folks.
  10. When I write a blog like this one, I have to proofread it on each of my devices before I publish it. I think psychologists call that OCD.

We’re all a just little bit nuts, aren’t we kids?!

If you’d like to know more about my journey as an author, and by more I mean more important than my tastes in junk food, I invite you to check out the Frequently Asked Questions link above! Enjoy!

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Towanda! My Favorite Female Authors

Photo Credit: Instagram @samanthagrander.

Southern women writing about the Southern things that all Southerners understand. Southern characters who bring memories and scents and nostalgia flooding to the surface of our recollections. What more can a person hope for, being a reader, than to be taken somewhere we’ve already been before, a place we know and remember fondly? To return to a time and place when something so wonderful happened, with people we don’t think about nearly enough…well that’s what makes a really good book.

I am partial to Southern female writers, but the authors I admire come from all over, and I am a better writer myself having read about places in America that I’m not familiar with. When I reflect on the kinds of books I love the most and the writers I most admire, I have worked it out quite simply… Read more