Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Great Peach State Book Tour

As the sun set slowly on I-85 northbound, I  drove home from Newnan, the Great Peach State Book Tour officially over. 

In the CD player: One Sweet Day by Tom Watts, our musician for the American Pie Tour.  We had just reprised the Tour at the Corner Arts Gallery: Sara DeLuca and Paul Lentz reading, along with yours truly, and Blue Donkey Coffee providing the stellar coffee for our pies.

Jenny, our hostess, was a gem--not only for opening up her gallery to us to perform, but locating chairs, moving space heaters, letting finances go through her system, taking photos and pushing PR.  Thank you, Jenny!

Tom's wife Rebecca, who facilitates our writer's group, closed the afternoon by declaring us a bonafide group, that needs a funky head shot, and to go on the road through the 50-odd libraries in Georgia. What do you think?! 

A great idea that will have to wait...I'm about to close the boatyard for the season...the season of new adventures! 

On January 1, my sister and I began edits of my brother Peter's novel, and we are having a great time!  Who knew how much editing fun we were missing en famille?!  While Mary and Pete hunt for dangling participles, adverbs and passive verbs, I'm tackling structural and character issues.  We're all on grammar police duty.   Grateful for the workout with fiction for a change, and hoping for a writers' retreat this summer with the peeps.

We also took time to edit my chapbook submission "Squibs"--
produced during the November PAD Challenge--now at Poetic Asides, awaiting final judging--due today!  Either way it goes, I'll begin submissions of individual  poems in other journals and see how I do. 

I'll leave a note on the door, while I head out to sea...well, over the sea...four months in Europe await me, and you'll have to shift over to my travel blog if you want to read about those.  Among other things), the trip will include continuing edits on The Culture Shock Poems--with maybe a few additions.

So stay tuned, shift if you like,  and track the continuing adventures of an urban clamdigger in a foreign land.

Ciao for now!  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Southside Review

For those of you who visited this blog only to find an empty space where the Southside Review should have gone, here it is for real :)


Reviews Of Books Recently Written By Southside Authors Compiled by: Forrest W. Schultz 770-583-3258 

Blog Address: 

November 20, 2013 

Pat Butler Contributes Poetry to the Southside Scene: 

A Review of Pat Butler The Boatman's Daughter 

(Finishing Line Press, 2013), 36 pp $12.00 ISBN: 978-1-622229-424-4 Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz 

The boatman in the title does not refer to a sailor or a captain of a boat, but to a builder of a boat. Half of this chapbook is the poem ("The Scent of Poplars"); the author has written about this builder, her father, and the analogy it has with life, which is striking because the boat was not finished, which is parallel to that of our lives -- they are not finished here; they only start here. This is the best poem in the collection. The others are short -- some of them very short -- and most are about life on the seashore -- egrets and crabs and the like. The meanings of some of these are clear and others are not (at least to me), which is also like life -- some things we understand; some we do not. Butler, who lives in Fayette County, is involving herself in the local literary scene: she recently appeared at Dogwood Gallery and participated in the recently held Books Down South Festival, where she had some enjoyable conversations with a fellow Fayette poet, Brigitte Byrd. Information is available at,

Thank you, Forrest Schultz, and hope to meet some day in the local literary scene!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Polar Vortex & Other News

The Polar Vortex...a good time to hunker down and finish edits on the November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge.  This was a family affair, with 2 of my favorite editing peeps--bro Pete and sista soul twin Mary.  The manic marathon editing began New Year's Day, and finalized hours before the deadline (Jan. 7).  With a bow to the Polar Vortex, the celebration drink was Mexican Hot Chipotle Chocolate.  It's a rare winter when we actually get weather cold enough to warrant hot chocolate in the Great Peach State, so it was a treat to put my feet up, sip, and contemplate the next poetic challenge.  

Results will be announced on Groundhog's Day (gotta love it).  Looking forward to seeing how I did in this very competitive venue.  Whichever way it goes, I thoroughly enjoyed the workout with my peeps, and got a new batch of poems to market around. Some of them will go to the upcoming...

Friends of the Peachtree City Library
Fourth Annual Poetry Contest

You might remember I scored first prize on this last year, which would be nice to reprise, as there is a lovely cash prize awarded to the winner. 

(The Friends have received donations toward the prize fund, but still need $100. Additional donations would be much appreciated. Please leave donations at the library circulation desk in an envelope marked “Friends Poetry Contest” or mail to P. O. Box 3641, Peachtree City, GA 30269. Thank you!)

American Pie, Reprise: this was such a successful event, we decided to take our show on the road!

From the press release: 

"Corner Arts Gallery, 14 Jefferson Street, Newnan, invites you to American Pie: a Tour in Words and Music from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 18.  

"Pat’s autobiographical chapbooks, 'Poems from the Boatyard' and 'The Boatman’s Daughter' take us to the New England Coast. Sara’s poetry has been published in numerous regional and national journals. Her latest collection, 'Shearing Time,' paints vivid pictures of farm life in the Upper Midwest. Paul writes of rural Georgia during the Great Depression in his coming-of-age novel, 'The Gospel Truth: Tales from Ty Ty.'  Original music will be performed by Tom Watts, and will include selections from his recent album, 'One Sweet Day.' Refreshments by Blue Donkey Coffee (and pie will be served)."

This will conclude (temporarily) the winter book tour, while I move on to another this space! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Into the Unknown

Before we get too much further into the New Year, let me wish you a Great Adventure.  For some, entering a new year evokes the thrill of beginning again: the blank slate, the white page, the reset button.   For others, it is beginning with pain, and a question of how to survive.  I'm thankful to be in a period where life is more about the former than the latter. 

However it is with you, may I offer this poem, written several years ago, when I had the chance to visit a beach in my home town on New Year's Eve.

Before leaving this home, it had been my custom to drive to Stehli's beach on New Year's Eve and watch the sunset.  With the gulls screeching and wheeling overhead, the temps usually glacial, and the skyscrapers burnished by a setting western sun, I made my peace with the closing year, and greeted the new one beginning.  A thin time, as the Celts say, when the Unseen Real pierces our earthly realities and makes its Presence felt. 


When there is that evolution of the self that severs the previous
from what is to come, that sheds an old skin and births a new one,

with no qualms about betraying an old self, with no defenses
worth keeping, no passage worth delaying—this new self walks

toward the sun on the bay of its childhood, taking photos of light
and shadow, cold and ice, kite and cloud, feeding the gulls wheeling,

keening, scrabbling for food.  This new self bumps into its true self,
blown in on a gust of wind, and light shines as on a mother’s face.

These two selves walk along the crust of snow on water’s edge,
chatting in the cold clarity of winter, into the unknown, the unfamiliar,

tingling with beginning, in the surety of the sole possibility,
with resolute steps along the path that is the only option.

May we walk with resolute steps along the path that is our only option: the one into the future.  May the Great Adventure be gentle with you, and may it cause you wonder by the close of the year. 

With prayers and blessings from the Boatyard, Happy New Year and all best wishes for a creative 2014!