Jamilla Brooks selected one of SWFL’s 40 Under 40 by the Naples Herald. http://naplesherald.com/2017/09/25/jamilla-d-brooks-40-under-40-list/
Jamilla performed her original poem “WOmeN” for the Women’s March in Naples on January 20th! You can see the video of the performance on her author page on Facebook by searching @desirejamilla
I am one of the newest committee members of the Dunbar Festival Committee and our next event is the Annual Easter Parade on April 1. If you are interested in being in the parade as an individual or organization please let me know. I have flyers and applications, deadline to register is March 24, 2018!
For the eleventh day of Christmas, I had the honor of performing “My First Tropical Christmas” on Gulf Coast Live, WGCU, 90.1 FM. Thursday, January 4 at 1:00. PM. If you do not live in the Sanibel area, you can tune into the station on the internet: http://news.wgcu.org/programs/gulf-coast-live-wgcu
Our local NPR station, WGCU, was kind enough to broadcast and create a website for my poem My First Tropical Christmas. Click the link below if you are interested in hearing the broadcast.
Hard to believe the collection of poems made it into a book, and that Amazon is offering it for sale at $14, free shipping if ordered by August 25th. The editing process, always ongoing, taught me just how much refocusing can happen when a publisher/editor asks simple questions about things you knew so well, before she asked.
Kelsay Books of Hemet, California published the book and sent it UPS to me, this July at Long Lake, NY. Two weeks went by as I tracked it cross-country to New Jersey, then to Glens Falls, NY where it got stacked in a warehouse, off the grid. Several calls, visits to the PO, cursing at the woods… Seems the destination address was insufficient. My luck changed when I spotted the Brown UPS delivery truck circling the village library. I hailed the driver, told him my anxiety-laden tale, and he handed me a 13.6 lb. box from California.
GCWA poets, Jim Gustafson and Joe Pacheco were instrumental in the editing process. Without the GCWA, I doubt I would have met either one of them. Karen Kelsay did a sensitive, efficient job at her end of the publishing process.
I encourage GCWA members to forge ahead with their work, to seek peer review and to learn how even the most modest publishing objectives can be accomplished.
I hope you buy The Time We Make in Passing and that you ask me to sign it for you. It will be an honor.
My good news this past month involved the celebration of my 80th birthday. The family had worked hard to get Dottie and me to travel to our hometown of Fennimore, Wisconsin, where we went to school and married while I was in engineering school. Over 55 years were to pass when in retirement, I started to write a newspaper column for the Fennimore Times. These stories have been published in six volumes telling the tales of my younger years from the over 750 columns written since August 29, 2002.
The birthday was one of great surprises, including a proclamation by my hometown declaring July 7, 8, and 9 as “Tom Nelson Weekend.”
“Mr. Tom Nelson… tells the story of life and growing up in rural America: namely Fennimore, Wisconsin.” In closing this declaration by the city’s mayor: “The writings of Mr. Nelson have sparked interest in growing up in this city prompting people of a younger generation to invite conversation with their elders of how things used to be.”
I was both humbled and caught speechless by the above.
Some years ago I wrote a story about my son and grandson’s short stay in the tiny town of Murdo, South Dakota. Their old van broke down, and they were stranded with a long trip ahead of them. I’ve thought about it so many times and felt I should let that town know how much their kindnesses meant to them and our whole family. Finally, I looked up the name of the local newspaper (The Mundo Coyote) and sent them the story. I received a response almost immediately. They said the story was “awesome” and they planned to publish it in their next edition. When they sent me copies, I was taken aback that they printed it on the front page taking up one-half of the entire paper. My son Michael died a year after that stay in Murdo. How proud he would be to have a story about him and his son featured in the town of truly Good Samaritans.