(Hmmnn, I wonder if I need to explain high-fallutin'! LOL You'll understand in a minute!)
The Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts collected essays from its artist members in January, 2006. The topic: surviving Hurricane Katrina of August 29, 2005.
Artist member Melody Golding of Vicksburg had spent a number of days on a number of trips to the Coast delivering supplies in those first dreadful days after Katrina when it was just not possible for organized relief to reach all of the communities that had been hit hard by the storm.
Melody took some jaw- dropping photos on those delivery trips, and wise MSC- NMWA heads said, "Hey, lets publish a book with the proceeds going to help Mississippi women artists along the Coast get back on their feet!"
The book was published by University Press of Mississippi. That is the "high cotton" part because this publisher has high, high standards, and they can be very selective about what they publish!
MSC-NMWA member Sally Pfister compiled and edited the essay submissions...TONS of work. I have huge admiration for her dedication!
Actually, I did not know my little essay, "Small Blessings" had definitely been included in the book until a friend in Natchez read it and emailed me, saying it brought her to tears.
So I ordered my copy right away, and it came in this week! It is my first written piece to be published in a book under my name (not ghost-written)...and it is a University Press book! I'm kinda excited as you can tell!
In the past 20-odd years, my writing and photos have been published in newspaper and magazine and Internet publications and ghost written for a couple of published books. Over the years, I've been interviewed for and quoted in book, magazine, newspaper and Internet, but this is the first time I have written something to be included in a published book with my byline!)
I hesitate to photograph or scan any more of the book than the cover and the first page of my essay. Instead, I'll check with the publisher to see if they have any press-release photos that I may add to this blog post.
Here is a photo taken of one of my porcelain ornaments Gordon and I found buried in the sand at the home of Ret. Admiral and Mrs. Jim Lisanby in Pascagoula. We saw the destruction to their lovely old home five months after Katrina, and Gordon happened to notice the gold ribbon peeking out of the rubble.
This photo was taken after the piece was found and pulled out of the ground by the Lisanby neighbors who had walked over to check that we were not looters. (I was proud to see them taking good care of their neighborhood, even five months later!). That fragile piece was in perfect condition as you can read in the draft I submitted to the editor.
I hope it does not cross any copyright lines to share my submitted essay with you. I'll check with the publisher, and maybe they will let me excerpt the published version. Since the book arrived, we have not had time to see how my little piece was edited. (One can learn LOTS from editors, so I'm looking forward to comparing and learning!)
There are some book signings scheduled in the months ahead, to which all included writers are encouraged to attend. A good many of my friends and acquaintances are included in this 270 page book, so I look forward to sharing time with them at these book signings.
– 2 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Turning Pages Books & More
208 Washington Street, Natchez, MS (601/442-2299)
- 5 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
160 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS (662/236-2262)
- 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.
McCormick Book Inn
825 S. Main Street, Greenville, MS
- 2 p.m.-4:00 pm
Favorites: A Book Nook in the Mary C. O’Keefe Center of Arts & Education
1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, MS (228/818-2878)