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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

Jacksonville Landing shooting: Tragedy in gun-free zone

Yesterday I got a text from a loved one who wanted to know if all my family in Jacksonville was okay. Media were reporting a mass shooting in Jacksonville. I turned on the TV and watched as the latest assault on innocents commenced. I am still dismayed at the loss of lives and the injuries. I am still not surprised, however, by what happened on social media before the bodies and injured victims were removed from the site. 

Gunboat Diplomats latest: Paean to summertime pop

With Gunboat Diplomats, you never know what to expect. These musicians recording as a group, who perform in a variety of venues and bands, including solo acts, most definitely embrace variety. The last song, “Original Sin”, was described as “a bastardized bossa nova.” I liked that song, bastardization or not. The latest from GD is a sharp turn compared to past recordings, however. 

Saving Country Music notes negative impact on musicians from Facebook changes

I’ve told every musician and artist I know to not make the mistake of relying on one social media site to connect with fans. Now a major music site is pretty much doing the same, and if you’re an indie artist, read this article. It’s well worth your time. After Facebook changed its algorithm, musicians are among the hardest hit. How hard is the hit? 

Advice to musicians: Don’t beat up fans like this singer allegedly did

Depending on the type of music, concerts can sometimes go south very quickly. Now there’s a story breaking about a punk rock singer who allegedly spit in a fan’s face and then allegedly proceeded to hit the man too. The dustup was about politics, ever-present today in some music scenes partly as a means of the band catering to the corporate machine controlling their revenue. How’d it all get started?

Indie film a spectacular mix of drama, suspense, horror and dark comedy

By Jen Day Thompson Durden Godfrey’s I Am Going To Kill Someone This Friday premiered in Jacksonville with a sold out, one-night-only event at the downtown Public Library on Thursday, August 9th, 2018. For months, Facebook followers had seen teasers and promotional posts about the film, sparking interest, conversation and even a shout out from James Murray of television’s Impractical Jokers. Based on crowd response as the film ended Thursday, viewers were not disappointed. Godfrey’s film premiere started with a red carpet pre-party and cocktails. Guests’ photos were made on the red carpet upon entering and everyone enjoyed drinks and

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