Monday, October 21, 2013

My "Little Books of Southern Poems" Have Benefited Greatly From The Kindness of Strangers

Sweetest Day, observed on the 3rd Saturday in the month of October (this year October 19th), was originally begun to honor sweethearts, close friends, relatives or employees with special gift of sweets or chocolate. Sweetest Day was first organized by candy manufacturers to promote the health benefits of eating candy and chocolate everyday. 

Sweetest Day has become a time to honor/recognize/remember friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed. 

I am sure that we have heard the saying: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers"
The statement uttered and made famous by character Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' play, "A Street Car Named Desire", rings very true for me in my literary journey of publishing and promoting my "two little books of southern poems"...or more affectionately known as my "my book babies". 

Strangers have played a tremendous part in helping me to further my message of "Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi ". The contributions of these "strangers" (and now considered friends) have been invaluable.
I would venture to say that up to 90% of my book signings /speaking engagements have come from Facebook friends or referrals from Facebook friends, whom I had never met before the event. 

One social networking friend, who did one of the first articles/reviews of Reflections in her newsletter in late 2008 or early 2009, called it "a celebration of the south". That phrase stuck with me and I use it to this day to describe both of my books. 

I have shared many times how grateful I am to a dear Facebook friend, Debra Estep from Ohio who makes beautiful graphics for my poems.  Her artistic talents have helped to make my poems much more easily shared over social media sites. 
Also, I have many Facebook and social media friends who have been extremely supportive of my work over many years and share, share, share my poems consistently to everyone that they know.  Many are often giving me tips and leads on how I can further the reach of my poems and my message.  I can hardly begin to express how greatly these people have been and are appreciated ! 

Beautiful Watercolor magnolias by Debra Estep that are on many of my poem graphics


NOTE: Did You Know ...

Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, MISSISSIPPI.
Williams described his childhood in Mississippi as pleasant and happy.  But life changed for him when his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri. The carefree nature of his boyhood was stripped in his new urban home, and as a result Williams turned inward and started to write.
When he was 28, Williams moved to New Orleans, where he changed his name (he landed on Tennessee because his father hailed from there) and revamped his lifestyle, soaking up the city life that would inspire his work, most notably the later play,  A Streetcar Named Desire.
Williams adapted much of his best work for the cinema, and also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. On March 31, 1945, his play, The Glass Menagerie, opened on Broadway and two years later A Streetcar Named Desire earned Williams his first Pulitzer Prize.
His work reached world-wide audiences in the early 1950s when The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire were made into motion pictures. Later plays also adapted for the screen included Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tattoo, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, and Summer and Smoke.

In honor of my "SWEET" Ohio friend Debra  .........

Sweetest Day - National Holiday Founded in Cleveland Ohio

Sweetest Day, observed on the third Saturday of October, was started in Cleveland in 1922 by candy employee and philanthropist, Herbert Birch Kingston as a way to give something or do something nice to those less fortunate than ourselves. Originally called "The Sweetest Day of the Year," Sweetest Day has evolved into a romantic holiday, similar to Valentine's Day.


The first Sweetest Day came out of one man's desire to do something "sweet" for Cleveland's orphans and unfortunate residents. With the help of movie stars, Theda Bara and Ann Pennington, Herbert Birch Kingston, delivered thousands of boxes of candy throughout the city. Begun in 1922, the holiday, observed on the third Saturday of each month, became popular during the bleak economic times of the Great Depression.

Sweetest Day Today:

Although it started as a regional holiday, Clevelanders have taken the custom with them as they moved around the country. Today, Ohio still tops the list in sales of Sweetest Day cards, but other states on the top ten list include California, Texas, and Florida. Over the years, the holiday has evolved into a day to celebrate romantic love, similar to Valentine's Day.