7 Tips for a Spooktacular DIY Halloween Village

In Florida, you can't trust the weather to let you know when it's fall. The calendar says that the autumnal equinox has passed, but the thermometer is still ordering up pina coladas and scheduling beach days. In such dire circumstances, I am left with no choice but to grab a pumpkin beer (Fat Tire's Pumpkick is my fave this year) turn the A/C down low, and just pretend like leaves are falling (instead of wilting). Truth be told, I've been itching to put my Halloween decorations up since Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, work has been so busy it kept my desires for … [Read more...]

9/11: What We Have Forgotten

I hate the "Never Forget!" rally cry of 9/11 ...because sometimes I wish I could forget. I wish I didn't know what it sounds like when a commercial airliner hits a skyscraper. Or the noise a falling body makes when it hits a roof. I wish I couldn't still see the glowing screen on my 13" TV as I lay in bed that night, watching Dan Rather's grim face tell me that the world I woke up to that morning didn't exist anymore. Even now, fifteen years later, I could take you back to my high school and plant your feet on the same spot in the second to last row of the science lab where I was standing … [Read more...]

Baptized into a Southern Summer

Even now, more than a decade after we said goodbye, she still finds me and takes me home. It always happens in an unexpected place, at an unexpected moment, but in the instant her ghostly fingers graze my heart, I willfully close my eyes and follow her to happier times. Most recently, she found me in the staircase of a friend’s beach house. Something about the scent of cedar planks and mildew brought her to me (or me to her) and like a portal opening to another world, I let my present surroundings fall away and opened my eyes to a memory. Orange clay clings to the soles of my bare … [Read more...]

Hello? …. Anyone? … Bueller?

Hi, there. *Cough* Man, this thing is covered up in some serious dust. I guess it's been a while, huh? Well, I'm happy to report that my absence is for good reasons. Life has been crazy, wonderfully, chaotically busy for me these last two years. I love my job at the lighthouse, I'm succeeding in my quest to become the World's Greatest Aunt, and I have a colorful cast of new and old friends who are always down for a few drinks and a lot of laughs. BUT, the downside to this crazy, wonderfully, chaotically busy life is that it hasn't afforded me much time to work on my … [Read more...]

Killer Shine Book Trailer

After a little New Year's hiatus, it's time for me to get back on the bandwagon and work on some new promotions for Killer Shine! I'm fired up to launch a new marketing campaign in 2014 because it gives me the opportunity to talk about all the great work going on at Kidz 1st Fund. Killer Shine is a thrilling, colorful murder-mystery novel that takes place on a fictional stretch of paradise called Crab Island. Hidden beneath the swaying palms and warm sunshine, the workings of a moonshine still pose a threat to the island's very way of life. Wrapped into the book's plot is the story of … [Read more...]

Just think, what a happy life we could live

I hate Valentine's Day. As we have all realized by now, everything about this designated day of "love" is painfully artificial. (Except the chocolates, they are delicious...) What is so egregiously insulting about this fake holiday is that *real* love is actually the antithesis of artificiality. Love is the most genuine, pure emotion we have. It comes without reason, without preamble or pause, in flourishing waves that gradually but powerfully wash over us and leave us forever different in their wake. Love changes us. Love inspires us. Love shapes our lives. Love is the reason … [Read more...]

My December

If not for the photographs below, my only memory of December 2013 would be one long blur of activity. A few of my highlights from this crazy month: Survived my first Luminary Night, the lighthouse's annual Christmas celebration Held my first Killer Shine book signing at the St. Augustine Holiday B&B Tour Welcomed my newest pseudo-nephew (son of a childhood best friend) Fisher! Celebrated Christmas with an assortment of friends and family (plus lots of yummy food) Enjoyed a beautiful candlelit Christmas Eve service Below are a few pictures to corroborate the above list, … [Read more...]

For family and conecuh sausage

The feeling starts not long after crossing the border, south of Dothan. Though the cotton fields are long past harvest in late November, a light dusting of leftover rebel snow is still tangled in the grassy shoulders of the road. From the car window I can see it, trembling in the autumn wind, telling me I'm headed in the right direction. Traffic thins after Montgomery where the two lanes of State Road 82 bend northwest in a rolling black stream rising and falling with the hills of central Alabama. Yellow leaves gather in piles against the canted remains of old barns and roadside barbecue … [Read more...]

Like sand through the hourglass

Less than 360 days now stand between me and… *gulp* …thirty. Wrapping my lips around that number is difficult. Every time my mind tries to comprehend that I have been walking around on this Earth for nearly three decades, the process is halted by the same question to which I have no answer. What do you have to show for it? If I had to stand before a faceless board of judges on the eve of my thirtieth birthday and present a thesis on my life to date, what I’ve done, and why I deserve to continue walking around for another (hopefully) three decades or so – what would I say? I can … [Read more...]

Read Candi Fisher’s Powerful Foreword

Killer Shine simply would not exist without Candi Fisher. As I mentioned last week, the story of Candi's son Ethan touched me so much I decided to work Fanconi anemia into the Killer Shine plot to help spread the word about this incurable, life threatening disorder. Candi and Cameron Ulrich from the Fishers' foundation, Kidz 1st Fund, graciously worked with me on making sure that I nailed all the details of FA for the book. They also allowed me to use the K1F logo and other promotional pieces to help tell people what they can do to help advance the quest for a cure. And if that wasn't … [Read more...]