Snip: The Writer Magazine (online edition) April 5, 2011

Two creatives: Author and singer have stories to tell on Iran and more

I first came to know Nahid Sewell through her novel The Ruby Tear Catcher. I read the novel, and concurrently running through my mind were the Iranian expatriates I came to know well as friends in the 1980s. I wrote about her novel for The Writer Magazine. Years after I wrote that story, I saw video Nahid posted of her husband on Facebook where she and I had reconnected. I was blown away again. 

Continue reading
Page from Taylor Wells' children's story about a boy and a whale. Taylor wrote the book when he was young. (Used with permission)

Inmate’s children’s book surfaces; his case continues to haunt me

I mentioned artistic talent in a recent column about inmate Taylor Wells who is serving a life sentence in a Florida prison as a result of the Felony Murder rule—the hand of one is the hand of all. Years ago I learned about Taylor, and I wrote columns and talked about his case on radio gigs. Taylor’s longtime advocate Beth Cioffoletti, located a children’s book Taylor wrote. I remember reading it years ago, and I remember my angst over talent and what might have been.

Continue reading
Elegance abounds on Jekyll Island, GA. (Photo: Jen Day Thompson)

Shrimp and grits lovers celebrate escape from Hurricane Florence

As this past weekend approached, there was a lot of discussion on the Facebook page for the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival. Much of that discussion had to do with how Hurricane Florence might affect the weekend weather in the area. As is always the case, you don’t know what a hurricane is going to do until it does it. All worked out well as Mother Nature smiled on South Georgia. Festival organizers anticipated welcoming approximately 45,000 attendees intending to celebrate escaping the storm. 

Continue reading
Poster for 'I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday' used with permission.

Godfrey’s ‘Kill’ film heads for world tour

After viewing Durden Godfrey’s I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday, I hoped those involved in promoting it would launch it to a wider audience. The premiere played to a sold-out crowd. Now there’s an encore in Jacksonville, and I highly recommend it. The Jax encore isn’t the only future this indie film has, though. 

Continue reading
Jekyll Island Club, Jekyll Island, Georgia By.John Margolies; Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Shrimp and Grits Festival dodges Florence, dishes up 32 acres of fun

If you live in the South, you probably know about the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival. If you don’t know about it, now’s the time to learn. Last year, Hurricane Irma forced what is arguably the largest festival of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard to cancel. This year, the festival on the Georgia coast dodged Hurricane Florence, and organizers have lined up 32 acres of food, music, crafts, presentations, and children’s activities for the more than 40,000 people interested or going.

Continue reading
Actor Tim Dezarn stars in and co-produced the film 'Buckshot'.

‘Buckshot’ film hits on the great debate in country music

At present there’s an informal debate going around many country music sites and message boards. Bro country is all the rage, and there’s no denying pop has encroached on country in a way thought impossible a decade ago. Now the film Buckshot takes on the issue, and one thing is apparent just by watching the trailer. 

Continue reading
National Hurricane Center; 8 a.m. Sept. 11, 2018.

Hurricane Florence poised to interrupt everything, including music

Hurricanes are the great interrupters, and if you have lived on the East coast of the US, you know the drill. Right now forecasters place North Carolina as Hurricane Florence’s most likely target, but wind and rain will affect many who are outside the direct hit area. Business takes a wallop, and consequently, so do working musicians. 

Continue reading
Advocate and family friend Beth Cioffoletti (left) with Taylor Wells (center) and Taylor's mom. (Photo: Courtesy of Beth Cioffoletti)

Budding artist’s career and 8th Amendment derailed by a single night

I first ‘met’ Taylor Wells years ago. I came to know him well enough to accept his calls from a Florida prison. I came to know his advocate Beth Cioffoletti. Beth and I have since become cyber-friends who often disagree on politics but who are united in believing Wells should not serve more time for his role in a night of crime. Taylor is gifted in the arts, and that night not only derailed a potential career in the arts, but also the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Continue reading
Geoffrey Owens

Brouhaha takes actor from ‘Cosby Show’ to bagging groceries to new acting gig

Lots of us watched ‘The Cosby Show’ with our family, and we loved it. The Huxtable family was all-American. The messaging was pro-family. So when I saw news trending recently about actor Geoffrey Owens, I wondered what it was about. I found a brouhaha going, with a story Fox News did at the center. 

Continue reading
radio image Indie Art South

Spotify ‘experiment’ shakes up the Big 3; opportunity for indie artists

Spotify has big record labels in a tizzy over a policy that may help indie artists. Before this new initiative, if you wanted to get to the top of the charts by traditional means, you had three options. Now it appears indie artists will have another potentially better option, and the labels who’ve controlled the industry are not too happy about it. 

Continue reading