Awards, Booksignings, and Libraries

Sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile, but my life has been all about taking care of Miss Adeline and her kitten babies. And I promise to post pics real soon, as three have already been adopted out to wonderful families. Here’s a pic of all six with momma.

DSC_1264 Elvis and Patric side cpyr

But for now, I’d like to give you updates on my writing.

IMG_1578 Folly Beach Dances at Schlafy

Hubby attended a lovely author event and booksigning at the Schlafy Branch of the St. Louis Public Library while I was away at the Missouri Writer’s Conference Guild on April 30, in Kansas City. I received two writing awards that weekend — Third Place for Best Magazine Article published in AAA Southern Traveler, “How Sweet It Is”, and Second Place for Best Poem published in Well Versed Literary Works 2015 for my poem, “Steadfast”, about my mom.

When I returned home from the conference, I was pleased to find that Kenneth Hardcastle emailed a pic of FOLLY BEACH DANCES being integrated into the library.

This past Sunday, I attended the Well Versed Literary Works 2016 booksigning event in Columbia, Missouri, and received Second Place for Nonfiction for my essay titled “The Stranger” about an incident where a stranger lurked in my parent’s basement when I was a young child. It came with a cash award, which made me smile.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally, we’re doing a FOLLY BEACH DANCES booksigning event at the Roasted Bean, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday June 18, at 441 Main Street, Troy, Missouri. Roasted Bean only serves Blue Print roasters coffee (from U City loop) — the best espresso around. So stop by, learn about our sea-inspired coffee table book of photography and poetry, and sip a great cup of java!

If you can’t make it to the signing you can order books on Amazon, or purchase in South Carolina or Missouri. Just check the book’s website for availability.

Flyer for Photo Exhibit and Booksigning - FBD roasted bean final 2

Thoughts on Being a Travel Writer

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frangipani – Sandals Cay

In case you missed my thoughts “On Being A Travel Writer for AAA” in the Funds for Writer’s online newsletter, click on the link below to read tips for those wishing to break into travel writing.

Thanks to C. Hope Clark for allowing me to do a guest blog on this topic. And thanks to my editor at AAA, Debbie Reinhardt, for listening to my queries, and giving me the opportunity to travel and write for AAA Midwest Traveler and AAA Southern Traveler.

http://www.fundsforwriters.com/on-being-a-travel-writer-for-aaa/

Private cabana on Sandals Cay

Private cabana on Sandals Cay

Beautiful by Nature – Turks and Caicos

This spring I had the good fortune to travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands for a feature story for AAA Midwest and AAA Southern Traveler Magazine.

During my assignment, I met so many lovely people, including Lindsey Mensen, manager of Blue Horizon Resort and Mudjin Harbor Grill on Middle Caicos; Hunter Viator, an expat from Florida that’s living the dream as a certified instructor at Kite Provo on Long Bay Beach, the oh-so-hip employees of Da Conch Shack in the Blue Hills region, and the employees of Beaches in Providenciales.

Each area I visited was vibrant and alive. By far my favorite was Mudjin Harbor. It’s untouched exquisiteness blew my mind.

Anyway, here’s the 3-page feature article titled “BEAUTIFUL BY NATURE”.  The lead in photo of fetching Pumpkin Bluff Pond beach was captured by my husband, Russell Nielsen.

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The Writing Process, and Favorite Women Bloggers

Cover photo - Seagul close up Folly Beach revised logoI’m honored that Mary Horner has invited me to be part of a blog chain to discuss my writing process.

Mary Horner is the author of “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing”, and is also a contributing author in my healing coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances – The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore. Mary’s a member of our critique group, a wonderful person, and a communications professor at St. Charles Community College. She blogs at http://writrteachr.blogspot.com/

1. What am I working on?

My ‘healing’ coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances – The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore, due out mid-April, published by Ocean Spirit Photography. It combines my husband’s and my love affair of Folly Beach, South Carolina, through our photography and literary interpretations, and reflections from five award-winning women authors. Visit our official website.

I’ve just submitted a full feature article on an organic/sustainable farm due out in October, and a local restaurant review due out in June, for Missouri Life.

My newest assignment for AAA Midwest Traveler and AAA Southern Traveler will find me in the Caribbean this month. This full-feature travel story will be published in September 2014.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s deeply inspirational, positive, as well as reflective. I try to find universal beauty and rhythm in nature, people, and even structures. I’m a beach gal at heart, and my writing usually draws me to the seashore.

 

3. Why do I write what I do?

Simple answer. Because I love it.

 

4. How does your writing process work?

If photography is involved (which it usually is), I typically snap photos for recreating the essay, poem, or story at a later date.

I usually carry a pad and paper with me. (I’m old school). Then, in the quiet of the morning when the songbirds are chirping and the sun is at its lowest point in the sky, I transcribe my notes onto my computer.

My critique group usually gives me great feedback through the editing process. That’s how the story, essay or poem evolves.

 

5. The last step in this process is to invite two other authors to participate in the blog chain.

I hope that my writer buddies, Patti Hall and Becky Povich, will continue this blog chain.

Patti Hall is a 54-year old veteran of life, who ran away to a little fishing village on the Washington Coast. She blogs about her journey, the daily grind, and writerly tips. I met Patti through twitter, and I love her blog http://1writeplace.com/blog/

Becky Povich is a writer, humorist, and bliss follower who blogs about crazy and goofy things life has placed in front of her. Her new book is a journey of life, titled “Pigtails to Chin Hairs.” Becky is somewhat unpredictable, and basically a funny (side-splitting) lovable woman. Visit her website at http://www.beckypovich.com/purchase.html

Thanks Mary Horner for inviting me to participate in the blog chain.

Remember, there’s beauty in every living thing.

Stay positive and remember to dance,

Sheree

 

 

Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts Takes me Away to Exuma and Nassau!

Our group with Exuma Cay Adventures

Our group with Exuma Cay Adventures

DSCN0459 us on exuma cay copyr

When your editor asks if you can go to the Bahamas to do an article on all-inclusive resorts, you say yes!

Just received my contributor copies of AAA Southern Traveler and AAA Midwest Traveler for November / December 2013 and was elated to see my feature article titled Packaged Deal grace the pages of both magazines.

The employees of Sandals, Emerald Bay and Sandals Royal Bahamian were gracious, friendly, fun and informative.

For the first time in my life, hubby and I experienced ‘king and queen treatment’ with butler service at both resorts.  And the Red Lane spa service, especially the West Indian massage, was to die for.

On Exuma, we snorkeled right off the beach, sipped cappuccinos and ate pastries at Café De Paris several times daily, and enjoyed the Friday night junkanoo with a limbo dancer.  The resort even set up a full day excursion for us – the 007 Thunderball Luxury Tour.

At the Nassau resort, we savored exquisite food, relaxed at our private cabana at the offshore island in a Zen garden setting, and enjoyed a personal tour of downtown Nassau with its colorful sights and sounds.

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Chester and Russell at Parade Is. bridge

Chester and Russell at Parade Is. bridge

Thank you Chester, Kendra, Snovakia our PR peeps at the resorts; Jessica our tour organizer, and Peter Burrows of Exuma Cay Adventures.  And who could forget our butlers – Logesh at Emerald Bay, and Everette, Dillon, and Antonio at Royal Bahamian.

It’s better in the Bahamas!

Here’s the links:

AAA Midwest Traveler

AAA Southern Traveler

(If you have any trouble with the links, plug in a zip code from Missouri for the Midwest Traveler article at the prompt, and one from Arkansas for Southern Traveler)