Monday, January 28, 2013

(Steel) Magnolia by Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Water Effect

(Steel) Magnolia
Delicate beauty
Of Creamy Perfection
With Roots Running Deep
In Southern Soil,
A history almost
As old as time,
And endurance
As tough as
She defies description
And explanation
Beauty is its own excuse.

Patricia Neely-Dorsey
My Magnolia Memories and Musings - In Poems

If you are called a "Steel Magnolia" by someone, take it as a compliment. It is a Southern term that means a woman who is tough, strong, yet sweet and feminine. She has the toughness and strength of steel when it comes to family, hard times, and sad times. However, she has the loving tenderness and inner beauty that shines through.

In the book "The Road to Gandolfo" by Robert Ludlum (originally published in 1975 under an assumed name), in chapter 18, he writes..... 
"There was a will of steel beneath the soft magnolia exterior..." 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Welcome Guest Blogger ~ Sarah Gordon Weathersby

Thanks so much, Patricia, for the opportunity to guest blog at your place. I’m currently in the midst of a 10-day blog tour to promote my new novel TELL THEM I DIED. Amazon has paperback copies listed for $8.99 and an Amazon Kindle version for $3.99. You can find it also on in NOOK version for $3.99. I need reviews to help generate word-of-mouth buzz and interest in the book.

Amazon link - TELL THEM I DIED 

Barnes & Noble link - TELL THEM I DIED

TELL THEM I DIED is a romantic adventure that doesn't conform to the usual romance novel genre in that the protagonists are all over fifty years of age, retired, and with discretionary time and funds to enjoy life, and online friends to share every minute.  And unlike other romances, much of the action takes place on the internet on social networking sites. The story was inspired by the many people I came to know and love over many years on social networking sites.  People who are not online a lot don't realize how real those long-distance relationships can be.  Over all those years, my online friends have married,  had children, divorced, and some have died.  And then there is the travel element.  My husband and I travel a lot, and we share our travel photos with our friends online.  Several friends have suggested that I write a book about my travels.  I think travelogs can be rather boring, but I decided to weave some of our adventures into the story. 

The main characters of TELL THEM I DIED are Laura (Screen name: A1QTEE), owner/operator of, and the men in her life who come in an out of the social networking scene.  There is Laura's number one confidante and forum moderator, Angela (Screen name: Angelplaits), and her husband "Bodine." The men in Laura's life, ex-fiance', Jackson (JackDaniels), Lester (TheGuy), Laura's son, Carlton, and her some-time boyfriend Harman all present challenges for Angela as she tries to find out what happened to her dear friend when she gets the news that Laura has died.

I hope you’ll take the time to check out TELL THEM I DIED and write a review at or on your blog. It's a light-hearted page-turner of a story, that my early reviewers have said they hated to end.

My tag line: When it comes to long-distance internet romances, sixty is the new seventeen.

Here is an excerpt:

Jackson hardly knew what day it was. He had been awake over twenty-four hours, and although he was tired, he knew he still would not sleep soundly. He showered and dressed so he would be ready for his morning trip to find Carlton. He set the clock for six a.m. and lay down on the bed fully clothed. At least he’d had a good meal at Bonita’s house. Now he could laugh at how ridiculous that scene had been.

Internet hoochie-mamas. Those girls were so tame online. I never would have guessed. And Stacey was married. Laura probably had them all figured out, but Angela was so naïve. What a set-up.

He slept for a few hours before the alarm rang. This time he drove his rental car and picked up a cup of black coffee on his way. The built-in GPS took him to Carlton’s place in a short time. Carlton lived in a small bungalow on a quiet street. Jackson parked down the block where he could see Carlton whenever he left. After Angela told him how he lied, he didn’t want to take a chance on being dodged.

The front door opened after Jackson had been waiting close to an hour. A young woman with a toddler emerged. Jackson recognized them as Carlton’s wife and baby. He had never met them, but had seen photos Laura had posted on the web. Jackson headed them off before they reached their car.

“Good Morning, Keisha. I’m so glad I caught you before you got away for the day.”

Keisha didn’t know this man, but she smiled and stopped since he called her name. “Good Morning.”

“We’ve never met, but I’m Jackson Gooding. I was Laura’s friend. I met Carlton, but I never met you. I would like to talk to Carlton, if you don’t mind. Is he in?”

“He goes to work around ten, so he’s not up yet. Why don’t you call him later?”

“I don’t have his number. Can you give it to me?” Jackson knew how to turn on the charm. He hoped Keisha would trust him enough to give him the number. She did. She gave him Carlton’s mobile number and work number.

“Thanks, Keisha. I know you working moms have to get going in the morning. I don’t want to make you late.” He helped her with getting the baby into his car seat, and held her car door while they said goodbye. He didn’t want her to know he wouldn’t leave until he saw Carlton.

Jackson settled into his car again. This time he allowed himself to nap until about nine. He thought by then Carlton would be up and getting dressed. When he rang the doorbell, he listened for movement inside the bungalow. He could hear a television and someone approaching the door. Jackson stepped back, expecting the door to open. He knew Carlton had to be on the other side of the door watching him through the peephole. When the door didn’t open, Jackson knocked, and said, “Carlton, it’s me. I know you’re in there.”

Carlton opened the door, looking down at his feet.

Jackson extended his hand to shake it. “Hey, man. I’m so sorry about your mom. When Angela told me, I took the first flight I could get.”

Carlton still stood in the doorway, not motioning for Jackson to come in.

“Can I come in? I know you have to go to work, so I won’t take too much of your time.” Carlton let him in, and led him into the kitchen, where Carlton had been eating a bowl of cereal.

“Tell me what happened. How did she die?” Jackson asked.

I am giving away four (4) autographed copies of TELL THEM I DIED through a giveaway administered by
If you're not already a member of Goodreads, it's easy to join.
Go here for the giveaway:

~ Sarah Gordon Weathersby ~

Sarah Gordon Weathersby is the youngest of seven siblings, and the first to migrate back to the South after living in DC, New Jersey and New York. She is a retired Information Technology professional who lives in Raleigh with her husband, and their imaginary dog, Dusty. Sarah is the author of a memoir, Motherless Child - stories from a life, and publisher of a family saga, The Gordons of Tallahassee, written by her sister LaVerne Gordon Goodridge. Tell Them I Died is her first work of fiction.

You can contact her online at
And Twitter @saraphen

I appreciate your time and consideration, and I hope you’ll enjoy my novel. Thanks so much, Patricia and friends.

Monday, January 21, 2013

THANK YOU DR. KING by Patricia Neely-Dorsey

TODAY is Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King . Jr . It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)


President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King.

The White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983.

Happy Birthday" is a 1981 single written, produced, and performed by Stevie Wonder for the Motown label. Wonder, a social activist, was one of the main figures in the campaign to have the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. become a national holiday, and created this single to make the cause known.
The song, one of many of Wonder's songs to feature the use of a keyboard synthesizer, features Wonder lamenting the fact that anyone would oppose the idea of a Dr. King holiday, where "peace is celebrated throughout the world" and singing to King in the chorus, "Happy birthday to you". Wonder used the song to popularize the campaign, and continued his fight for the holiday, holding the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.

Originally written for Itawamba County MS 12th Annual King Celebration- 2011

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I am so proud to say that the audience for the poems from my books Reflections of s Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories- In Poems keeps growing day by day ..
The poems seem to strike a familiar cord with so many people.

I am very passionate about Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi.
I love that the poems are being used by others to Celebrate the South, in their own way.


Dear Patricia Neely-Dorsey,
A friend of mine found your site and referred me to it so I could read some of your poetry. Your poetry is surely the best I have ever read. As a retired teacher-librarian-media specialist, I have read a few. I moved to Mississippi in the middle of my senior year in high school but went on to college at the "W" and later to MS Southern, East Carolina, Purdue and Samford, for an advanced degrees. I am retired from the Pascagoula School System.
I am president of a Mobile Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The Alabama Division is having a state convention the middle of this September. We would like to reprint two of your lovely poems from the "Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia." We know it isn't a Mississippi organization but our theme for the formal dinner is magnolias and history of the south. We would like to copy the poems on Southern Life and the one on Magnolias on pastel paper, roll the paper with one poem on it, tie it with ribbon, and place it by the place setting as a gift to each participant of the convention. Your name would be placed underneath as author/poet with reference to your book. The poems are lovely and I think everyone would appreciate them. The centerpieces for each table will be silk magnolia blossoms.
Please consider this sincere request for the use of two of your poems.
With highest regards.

I wrote back that I would be glad to have the poems used at the event.
She was thrilled !

After the event in September , I received conformation that the poems had, indeed,been used.
She wrote :
We used your poems. The lady that was helping me, printed them out . Each one was on a separate and different pastel color paper. The tables for the formal dinner sat eight people at each one. A different poem was placed by each place setting. After the meal and the program, we had a number of ladies that waited around and went table by table to collect the different poems that they didn't get. That should give you an idea of well they were received. They liked them so much they wanted all that was available!
I have praised your work to all who will listen. Thank you again for your help.

with the explanation:
My daughter-in-law did the magnolia arrangements for the centerpieces. She is from Biloxi, a career Air Force child. who used to do arrangements for the furniture stores in Biloxi. Her parents are buried right next to the road in the cemetery on Hwy 90 facing beach. Her father immigrated alone to U.S. from Germany when he was 17. He had escaped from a prison work camp. He was with U.S. Air Force in the Berlin Air Lift during WWII. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Patricia Neely-Dorsey - (Unofficial) International Mississippi Ambassador


Recently, a Facebook friend posted  this comment
on her wall :
"I've been reading 'My Magnolia Memories and Musings In Poems' written by Patricia Neely-Dorsey. What a lovely book of poetry that truly captures the beauty of The Deep South!"

This Facebook friend is from Mississippi but, now lives in TEXAS
One of her friends (from SPAIN) replied:
"Thanks for sharing, have been looking for Southern literature."
I suggested that my Facebook friend's friend check out my website for more information and to read a few poems.

She replied: to me saying:
"I visited your state two years ago, and found it to be the most welcoming and warm state! Many greetings from Spain! Xx"

I just read that you are from Tupelo, which is where we visited. I read your Magnolia Tree poem, and it brought back childhood memories of a Magnolia Tree in our garden. Sadly we had to leave it behind when we moved to Spain, and I have pined for it since.

"The Southern Man poem is exactly why we love the South, and why it will be in our heart forever more. We feel southern in our hearts, even if we are a mixed breed Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us."
"I'm half Serbian half Burmese, but was born in Germany "

She responded::
"Thanks for adding me! I just realized you’re a fellow BU alumni, I attended BU in '91!"

PND: OMG!!!!

I Now I have a new Facebook friend in Spain ..
who loves my poetry and the South ....especially Mississippi...
AND loves the ways of our southern men...
AND loves magnolias...

Did I say .."It's a small world " ???!!!
Yes, I think I did !!!! 

I am so proud of my two book babies, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia -A Life in Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings -In Poems.
Because of the many negatives so commonly associated with Mississippi and the South, I have taken on a personal campaign of "Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi." I want to show that there is absolutely MUCH to love about my state and region. I have used my poems to help convey my platform and they have been very well received from people all over the United States ..and now , I see , beyond our borders! I am very encouraged to continue what I am doing:

"Always' Always,Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi"
Woo Hoo !!! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Today, Elvis fans from all over the world will be celebrating the birthday of Elvis Presley .
Can you believe Elvis " THE KING " Presley was born in my hometown???!!!
Elvis Aaron Presly was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8,1935, to 18-year-old Vernon Elvis and 22-year-old Gladys Love Presley in the East Tupelo two-room "shotgun" house built by his father , uncle and grandfather. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered 35 minutes before him, stillborn. As an only child, Elvis was very close to both parents and formed an unusually tight bond with his mother.  In November 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee.

Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953.
In 1954, Elvis began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. By 1956, he was an international sensation
Known all over the world by his first name, Elvis is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture

Scheduled Celebrations:
TUPELO-1 p.m. - Birthday cake at the Birthplace
2 p.m. - Tupelo Unity Choir premieres video at the Elvis Birthplace
2:15 - Tupelo Unity Choir performs at the Elvis Birthplace
5:30 - Lighting Ceremony at Elvis Statue in Fairpark District Tupelo celebrates Elvis' birthday with several events in town

MEMPHIS-Elvis fans from around the world will travel to Graceland in January to celebrate the king's birthday and the opening of a new exhibit in honor of the 40th anniversary of his landmark “Aloha From Hawaii” concert. Numerous events are scheduled, concluding with the Elvis Presley Day Ceremony, which includes a birthday cake cutting and proclamation by both Memphis and Shelby County officials. The new Graceland exhibit “Elvis’ Hawaii: Concerts, Movies and More!” celebrating the 40th will also be unveiled.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I received a message from a Facebook friend which said :

"I am 57, almost 58 years old and I have not lived up to my own expectations , let alone what I think the Lord wants and needs for me to be doing ."
I told her that I believe we all bloom in our own time and reminded her of the quote that I post all of the time: "You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream."

It's SO true !!!
Heck, I didn't write my first poem until I was 43 years old and published my first book at 44.
Out of the blue, I decided to compete in the Mrs. Mississippi Pageant at the age of 47, even though most of the other girls were in their 20's and early thirties On top of that , I had only been in one other pageant in my life ...the Miss Northside Pageant the age of 16 !!!!
I am a poster child for NEVER TOO LATE LOL!!!

I am in good company !

F. Murray Abraham got his first decent screen role as an actor when he was 45. The role was in the movie Amadeus and he won an Academy Award for his brilliant portrayal of Antonio Salieri. He had thought of giving up acting just two years before but thankfully didn't. 

Andrea Bocelli didn't start singing opera seriously until the age of 34. Some 'experts' told him it was too late to begin.

Phyliss Diller became a comedian at the age of 37. She was told by many club owners that she was "too old" to become a success.

Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, was 43 when he began drawing his legendary superheroes and his partner Jack Kirby was 44 when he created The Fantastic Four.

Julia Child didn't even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn't launch her popular show until she was 50.

Elizabeth Jolley had her first novel published at the age of 56. In one year alone she received 39 rejection letters but finally had 15 novels and four short story collections published to great success

Mary Wesley was 71 when her first novel was published.

Harlan Sanders, the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.

Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing as a columnist in her 40s. Contrary to a belief begun by the TV series about her family, the popular Little House books weren't written when she was a young girl at all. They were written and published when the 'girl' was in her 60's!

Sylvia Lieberman became an entrepreneur in fall 2007 when she was 90. This is when she realized her dream of having her first children’s book published. So why not start a company to author and promote the book?
Archibald”s Swiss Cheese Mountain is an award-winning book about a little mouse with a big heart who teaches children how to reach their big dreams.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses is one of the biggest names in American folk art, and she didn't even pick up a brush until she was well into her eighth decade.
Grandma Moses was originally a big fan of embroidery, but once her arthritis grew too painful for her to hold a needle, she decided to give painting a try in the mid-1930s.
She was 76 when she cranked out her first canvas, and she lived another 25 years as a painter -- long enough to see the canvases she had sold for $3 fetch prices north of $10,000.

Ronald Reagan had been no slouch as an actor, but he wasn't elected to his first public office until he was 55 years old. In 1966 Reagan won California's gubernatorial race by over a million votes. 

Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn was founded by Orville Redenbacher and Charles F. Bowman in 1965 when Redenbacher was 58. To this day it is still the #1 selling brand of popcorn.

Our Place - written February 14, 2007
 Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions : Plan your Work and Work Your Plan ...Just Do it ! Get On It ! Keep On It !

Being a writer/poet, I was very intrigued and inspired, when I came across this entry of New Year's Resolutions written in a journal , by a not yet famous...but eventually wildly famous , poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Most of her resolutions were focused on her writing/her art/her craft and she was very specific. 

Gwendolyn Brooks : New Year's Resolutions - 1934
Journal Entries

1. Write some poetry every day.
2. Write some prose every day.
3. Draw every day.
4. Improvise at least ten pieces of music.
5. Invent several dances, including variations of the tap dance, and know them perfectly.
6. Sing persistently and improve voice by 1935.
7. Have at least seven stories accepted, and paid for by 1935?
8. Have at least fifteen poems accepted and published during the year.
9. Practice the piano continually.
10. Use correct English.
(From George Kent's book , A Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. Lexington : UP of Kentucky, 1990.

About Gwendolyn Brooks
Brooks' first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville (1945), published by Harper and Row, earned instant critical acclaim. She received her first Guggenheim Fellowship and was included as one of the “Ten Young Women of the Year” in Mademoiselle magazine. With her second book of poetry, Annie Allen (1950), she became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry
1968, appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois. 1985, selected as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, an honorary one-year position whose title was renamed the next year to Poet Laureate. 1988, inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. 1989, awarded the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement by the Poetry Society of America. 1994, chosen as the National Endowment for the Humanities' Jefferson Lecturer, one of the highest honors in American literature and the highest award in the humanities given by the federal government. 1995, presented with the National Medal of Arts.

Focus- Keep Your Eyes On The Prize!
Be Consistent-Keep "Doing It" !
Be Persistent-Don't Give Up !

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success." - Napoleon Hill

Gwendolyn Brooks planned her work and worked her plan ...BIG TIME!!!
What's Your Master plan for 2013 ? Just Do It ! Get on It !!!