How can artists and craftsmakers deal with Florida wildfire smoke at outdoor events?

Is there anything more inspiring to an artist than a beautiful Florida day? Despite a long run of fair weather, quite a few of us find ourselves with a bit of cabin fever these days. Why? Wildland fires. What can you do if you’re trying to perform as smoke wafts across the stage? 

Belated birthday hat tip to legendary bluesman Robert Johnson

Ditties written for pop culture of the moment may not last, but real art lasts forever. When it comes to legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, his music definitely lasted. Johnson’s birthday was May 8, so this brief is a hat tip to his talent. The guitarist was born May 8, 1911. He lived to be only 27 years old, dying in 1938. His story is one like so many others of his era—born in humble circumstances, managing to rise above them with his talent, but dying too young. Mystery surrounds his life and his death.

Band Mom: My first ever Possum Festival unleashed trove of memories

I never know what to expect from a venue when I head out of town to hear my daughters perform. Sometimes the distance is great; other times, it’s close to home. On Saturday, a 40-minute drive to Macclenny (FL) landed me in Heritage Park Village where the Possum in the Park Festival was held. I always enjoy local festivals, and I am always surprised by something. But this one was different. As I walked into this park in a town where the population is roughly 6,000, I was not prepared for the treasure trove of memories a single sign and

The needy artist: Equipment and wares

I have memories of doing book tours, and some of those memories aren’t the stuff sweet dreams are made of.  Even though I had a traditional publisher, if I was speaking at a small event, it was up to me to transport books, bio materials, and any other handouts related to my work. I quickly learned the importance of transport, a matter I’d never thought about as a budding writer.

Concert at Stetson to benefit Jax musician’s daughter

It was bad enough their daughter was in a terrible car accident. Making it worse, the accident happened on the other side of the country. Additional challenges involved care for the victim’s small  children and an ever-present search for resources to help her. A concert to benefit the victim will be held at Stetson University in Lee Chapel (Elizabeth Hall) on Wednesday, April 19, from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Most families would be overwhelmed. Kent Smedley, his wife Amy, and their younger daughter Kaitie chose to meet the crisis head on. 

‘I used to be French’: Irreverent and a perfect summer read

About this time of year, we book lovers keep our eyes peeled for potential books for summer reading. Maybe it’s the extended daylight hours. Maybe it’s just the feel of summer in general. Either way, choosing good books for our summer leisure is a tradition we keep. If you’re looking for a book that will at times make you laugh out loud as well as inform you about what it was like to grow up in France in the aftermath of World War II, I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography is well worth your time. Jacques Delacroix penned

Insurance adjuster’s self-pubbed book has enduring shelf life

Some books are read and soon forgotten while others remain relevant for years. The latter is the case for a book by Mandarin (Florida) public insurance adjuster Mark Goldwich.  Uncovered is the sort of book you’d want to keep on your shelf because ultimately, most of us will probably file at least one claim on our property in our lifetime.

With days to go, Cara Burky’s Blue Jay Listening Room nears fruition

Creatives are most definitely what I’ve come to call “thinkative” people. We come up with all manner of ideas, but as with everything else in life, the value is in the doing. Jacksonville Beach currently has a thinkative musician implementing a sensational idea. With just a little bit of help, this pioneer’s dream can become a reality and our community will benefit too.