December 31, 2011

Quick Trip's Competitive Advantage

Alabama River from the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Every morning I drink several diet cokes to get the day going. I never drank coffee because I was happy with a morning coke, so I didn't need to acquire a taste for coffee. I like my diet coke in a can very cold. From time to time I am out at home. Over the years I have tried different things to make a "hot" diet coke cold. The freezer for 20 minutes works okay.
But recently, I discovered that QT (Quick Trip) gas stations have cold 12 packs of diet coke. The other day when I purchased four with their buy 3 get 1 free promotion I told the clerk that they only had one more cold. He said, "Everything you see is stored in the back in a refrigerator. So there is always another cold drink." I have thought about this a lot. What all is in that store?

Now I have two reasons to go to QT. They usually have the best price for gas and I know they have a cold diet coke waiting for me.

What is your competitive advantage?

December 18, 2011

Tradition -- What Are Yours?

One of my favorite musicals is Fiddler on the Roof. It all looked like such fun to me as a child. I thought of the song "Tradition" as I wrote the word above because Tevye says it with such conviction. We need that!

Now, I am working really hard on our family traditions.  In part because I believe children grow up way too fast these days. It's important as our Montessori teacher preached, "To let them have their childhood."
Along these lines, we made both cranberry bread and banana bread for Thanksgiving. Yesterday I made Peppermint bark. It's delicious candy and enjoyable and fast to make. It's one of the few sweets we can really eat out of the bowl before it's ready because there aren't any eggs in it. So, some of our family traditions are around foods and cooking together. What are yours?

Peppermint Bark
Line a 13" x 9" pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Crush 1/2 C of peppermint candy canes.
Melt 11 oz of white chocolate chips in the microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between. Stir in the peppermint. Spread in a thin layer in the pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until set. Break into pieces and store in the refrigerator in a large bag.

December 17, 2011

It's a Great Time to Photograph Christmas Lights

One of the best times of day to photograph lights is just as the sun is setting. You will capture the beautiful light from the day and be able to see the twinkling lights from the Christmas decorations.

Here is a photograph of the East Cobb Park's Christmas Tree. Another neat place to view Christmas lights is Southern Poly Tech in Marietta, Georgia. I will try to make it there for photographs.

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y S !

December 07, 2011

I Saw a Kingfisher Today

Little events can bring lots of hope and inspiration. But I was ready. The bird looked somewhat like a blue jay but different. It was alone hunting on the river. I decided it was a kingfisher. And, for once, the dog was waiting for me instead of me waiting for the dog.

Kingfisher I captured in DeLand, Florida in 2010
 Kingfishers have a large territory they claim as their own. Many miles in fact. They are much less common than blue jays and blue birds. So, the sighting made me think. What can I do that is special? Unusual? Before the bird... I am thinking about new products. A conversation I started after the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio review in October. Now I am also researching one idea on Etsy for existing products and possible competition. When you search on Etsy for flower photographs there are 17,000 items. There are 4,053 floral photographs. But if you search for flower photography there are 69,049. Lots of competition. A search with just photography yields 406,442 images. I'd rather be the kingfisher.

What are you thinking about doing? And where are you researching the competition?

I have a learning curve on my new product. Once I solve that I will be ready to share. Meanwhile, my anticipated release date is in January 2012. You'll find out here and on Facebook all about my new art. So, go ahead and subscribe. Here's to us being kingfishers!

November 22, 2011


Today, I will share a little about me. Here are photographs of a pink camellia bush. Yes, I do always drive and walk around looking for flowers. No, I don't carry my camera with me all the time. I find I have to be in the mood. Plus usually, if it's worth photographing (for me) it's worth driving back to. I can tell you where a lot of pretty flowers live.

Since, I didn't study flowers in college, I am learning hands on and really marvel when I discover something new. I remember specifically the first time I saw a camellia tree blooming. It was at the children's dentist. You know that shocked feeling... that's what I sense when I find a new flower or discover something I didn't know about flowers. I usually photograph a flower during its peak. Each time I have ideas about what I want from the picture and may wait a whole year for the right shot.

I discovered what may be a camellia (no flowers, yet) growing in my yard today and cleared out the ivy from nearby. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 17, 2011

Use Photoshop's Guides

It seems like I am always needing guides in Photoshop, so I thought I would share a project completed with guides. I am introducing calendars this week. I used the guides to align my objects. Click and drag in the ruler area and pull a guide down onto the project or to the right into the work space.  Guides are turquoise lines. Remove guides by dragging them back to the ruler. Above I bring in the dates and boxes and align them to the blue lines.
My monthly calendar Southern Belles 2012 is officially produced and sold too! Printing more now. And I have a yearly version too. Here is 2012 Pink Wall Calendar.


November 15, 2011

Crepe Myrtles are Pretty Addition to a Garden for Fall Color

Crepe Myrtle Adds Fall Color
Marietta is filled with pretty crepe myrtle trees this Fall. The flowers decorate for many weeks during the summer and just now displayed vibrant leaves. The best time to plant crepe myrtle trees is in the winter... so add one or two to your yard soon.
New Crepe Myrtle

But be careful if one pops up in the middle of your yard. Dig it up, if you don't want it there before it establishes roots. The plant is considered invasive by some. Here someone has decided to let a crepe myrtle planted by nature take off. They are fast growing trees. 

November 12, 2011

Nature Undisturbed Photo Contest Deadline is Dec. 17

Nature Undisturbed is a Georgia nature photography contest. There are several Georgia sites and an open category for the contest. In preparation, I visited Line Creek in Peachtree City yesterday. Here are some of my images. Entries are due Dec. 17. Learn more here.

The juried show is a fun opening on March 17 at the Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone. Make plans to attend.

November 10, 2011

CMAs, Music and Art

The Country Music Awards event brings together an amazing collection of professionals to celebrate their music. More and more as I listen to country music I think about about each song as a product. Each single is carefully designed to make a point and take the listener somewhere special.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood's "Remind Me" is a great example of a song that takes you to the early days of a relationship. The song makes a picture without a camera.

But there is a lesson in their lyrics, notes, and presentation. Each single has a life of its own and affects people. The goal here is to do the same with each photograph.

November 09, 2011

Lantana makes a pretty Fall garden!

Lantana is an easy to grow plant, which attacts butterflies all summer long. Here are photographs from Chastain Park in Atlanta, which I have taken recently. So you can see it is still going strong in the Fall. The park system planted a pretty yellow colored version next to deep wine plants, which really stands out.

The pink lantana in my yard grows by leaps and bounds all summer even in the sweltering Georgia heat. It retains water, so it doesn't need my attention. The only draw back to lantana is that it spreads... so give it plenty of room in the beginning. It is not meant for the mailbox area.

Add this plant to your list for planting next spring. Click here for the Chastain Park map. The park is part of the PATH foundation in Atlanta. I shot these images in front of the Chastain Arts Center.

October 31, 2011

Chip Simone Exhibits at High Museum

Atlanta Photographer, Chip Simone spoke on October 20 at the High Museum in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography. His exhibit The Resonant Image is on view until Nov. 6, 2011. Take a tour and you may find Chip in the galleries. He told the ACP crowd he has been visiting the galleries a couple times a week, so he could "talk to people who have never gotten to meet an artist."

This show is all about color. During the presentation Brett Abbot, curator of photography at the High, mentions the emotional power of color, which is something to think about as an artist. Here is another image from the show.

Chip studied under Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design. The artist explained that Harry's style was to get students to "become their own teacher by studying their own work." Chip Simone does this at the Atlanta Photography Group. He usually leads the monthly critiques there. The next critique is Nov. 2 at 7:30 PM and the subsquent first Wed. of the month.

October 27, 2011

American Hydrangea Society Meets in Atlanta

Founded by Penny McHenry in 1994 the American Hydrangea Society has become a place to enhance your knowledge about hydrangea through garden tours and lectures. This week Jamie Blackburn, Curator of the Woodland Gardens at the Atlanta Botanical Garden spoke to the group. He provided a clear picture of where the ABG is with hydrangea and where the garden is headed. His presentation was polished.

There is a section of the ABG in honor of Penny McHenry. There are also plans in the expansion of the gardens for more hydrangea, which have already been planted. Blackburn's long term goal is to apply to American Public Gardens Association to recognize the hydrangea collection in Atlanta.

Here is a list of named collections by the APGA: This is quite a resource if you are particularly interested in a plant. To-date Blackburn believes the ABG has 13-14 species and 350 taxa of hydgranea. Currently the ABG is recognized for its maples and pitcher plant collections. Presently the only hydangea garden recognized is the Norfolk Botanical Garden with 190 taxa.

At the end of this meeting many hydrangea and other plants were raffled off.  Here is one of my images taken on this year's American Hydrangea Society Tour. This image was juried into the Women In Focus annual show by Brett Abbot. Available on Etsy.

Twist N Shout

October 24, 2011

Footloose is Better than the Original

I remember thinking "Oh, no!" when I heard they remade Footloose. I loved Kevin Bacon's dance scenes and the message to stand up for what you believe in of the original movie.

But the new show is better because it is updated and the messages are clearer. There were many scenes that could stand on their own as award winning photographs. Take a look at the show as set up photographs.

Kenny Wormald stars in this version as Ren McCormack. He can dance! And, he delivers the message the you can say no to pot. And, he also politely refuses Ariel's (Julianne Hough) request for a kiss. The children have fun in this show just by dancing. I saw the movie with my teenagers and was delighted to hear the respect around sex and watch the pot being flushed.

Afterwards, we started watching the original movie on VHS and the lines seemed to be exactly the same in both movies. The Volkswagon beetle was there too. But there were nice additions to the film as well. In the new show, Kevin has to rebuild the VW.
It is a great time to remake this dancing classic with the popularity of "Dancing with the Stars." Maybe Saturday Night Fever or Dirty Dancing will be next...

October 22, 2011

Ashe Simpson Garden Center in Atlanta has Your Camellia

What a garden find.... Gorgeous Camellias are ready for planting and blooming in your yard at Ashe Simpson Garden Center on Peachtree Industrial Parkway just north of the Brookhaven MARTA Station in Atlanta.

Owner, Carole Ashe-Simpson is considered a specialist in camellias. So, now is the time to head on over and ask Carole your questions and add to your garden. Camellias are beginning to bloom all around Atlanta. Here are a few images from the nursery.

And, if you don't feel like planting yourself, they will do it for you. Carole is a renown landscaper.

Ashe Simpson Garden Center
4961 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Atlanta, Georgia 30341
(770) 458-3224

October 19, 2011

Georgia State Parks on YouTube

As part of my current photography show at REI Perimeter in Atlanta at 1165 Perimeter Center W Ste. 200, I presented photographs from 19 parks in a lecture last night. Today I added many of my images from the store and created this video set to Jason Aldean's "Days Like These."  The show is on view until December 4th.

Take a look! And, let me know what your favorite Georgia State Park is! The audience asked about my favorite. (I have visited 20.) And I said, "It is Cloudland Canyon because it is has lots to explore and it is right near the Lookout Mountain Scenic Highway."

One of the big take-aways from my talk is to ride up 985 when you are heading out of Georgia in that direction, if you can. And, if you are traveling west, try heading towards the Lookout Mountain Scenic Highway and enjoy a different view of Georgia.

Another take-away was to spend the night in the park, so that you can enjoy the sunset, sunrise and early morning nature. It is just $25 for a tent site per night, but make a reservation.

I also answered the question, "What am I doing next?" I am looking forward to visiting John Tanner park with my children. I am also going to really explore Florence Marina.

October 13, 2011

Print on canvas to Epson 3800

I recently purchased a 44" Epson 9880 printer, so I can print on canvas directly. Prior to that I was printing on canvas with my Epson 3800 by adding a strip of cardstock to the back of the canvas.

Cut 3/4 inch card stock strips the exact width of canvas.

Attach strip to back of canvas double sided tape.

Here's how I made it work for me. I cut a 1 inch strip from 110 pound cardstock the exact length of my paper. Then I attach 3/4 inch removable double-sided poster tape to the backside of the canvas. After that I adhere the cardstock strip (keeping everything perfectly straight) to the back of the canvas.

I set up a new paper size for my printer .25 inch longer than the paper size because it is .25 inches longer. In this case, I used the watercolor paper choice for the printer. Canvas is available in cut pages from After I let the canvas dry, I take the canvas to a framer to stretch. Afterwards, I add a coat of finish either spray or brush on, so that the image is protected.

How do you print to canvas?

October 12, 2011

Pick Up a Box of Crayons for a Lot of Color

Looking for some ideas?

I bought a box of 24 crayons today to see what colors were in the box. Besides the usual
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet there were gray, white, black and brown crayons.

There were a couple things that surprised me about the box. There wasn't a plain "pink" crayon.
I also was surprised to see the three languages on the crayons, but this makes perfect sense from a production point of view and children learning point of view. Wow!

There was the paint color celeron inside the 24 crayon box. I am hoping payne's gray is in the larger box of crayons... and I loved finding out that Amarillo (Texas) is the color yellow in Spanish.

Great photography assignment -- Pick up a box and shoot!

October 05, 2011

Art in America as a Valuable Resource

At a well stocked book store, I can flip through magazines unsure the best investment. Recently I subscribed to Shots magazine, which a wonderful black and white juried photography magazine. It provides fresh photos on a monthly basis around a theme.

At my photo review, one of the reviewers referred me to Art in America. The magazine covers all genres. The ads are just as important and enjoyable as the articles. Included in ads this month is info about the Houston Fine Art Fair Sept 16-18 search Many galleries and museums paid for full and half page ads. The images give a nice overview of the art scene. There is much to learn from the text in the magazine. After pursuing the current issue you will feel in the know. Openings, book reviews, and job appointments are all included. I especially like the Call for Artists+Competitions in the very back. Take a look:

October 02, 2011

Participate in a Portfolio Review for a New Perspective

This weekend I spent $300 and 140 minutes that will change the course of my photography in many ways. I am sifting through my notes and thoughts about the reviewers' comments. More than anything I received many new ideas about where to sell my art.

I was honored to participate in the Atlanta Celebrates Photography's Portfolio Review. This year I was lucky to meet with Kevin Miller, Dana Salvo, Jennifer Ward, Steven Kasher and Michael Itkoff. All five were smart and articulate. They had great suggestions and direction. The simple purpose of the review is, perhaps, to edit a final portfolio for showing gallery owners or other potential clients. I met with each reviewer for 20 minutes and took many notes.

Preparing my portfolio, picking images, and printing them was just as important as the event itself. The directions were to present 15-20 images in a hinged box. The photographs were to be sized from 11 x 14" to 20 x 24" and of one body of work. I chose an archival box by Century.  I selected a variety of my floral images all sized to 20 x 24". For the event, I selected a range of colors and flowers.

Fellow photographers, Dorothy O'Connor, Gail Des Jardin and Anne Berry were in attendance for their reviews too. And, I met many new-to-me photographers in the review waiting room. One part I especially loved was seeing other photography papers being used and learning what paper they were from the photographer.

In case this has you thinking... there is an upcoming photography portfolio review in New Orleans in December called PhotoNola. Los Angeles held a similar event, MOPLA in April. And, next March 16 - April 3, 2012 Houston will host their international event, FotoFest, which includes portfolio reviews for 500 artists.

You'll find out what actions I take as the year progresses, but in the meantime, I hope you will find a portfolio review to attend nearby.

September 28, 2011

Magnolia Art -- Thirty ACEOs Framed as One

For the past four years, I have been photographing the magnolia each Spring as it blooms for just a few days in different locations.

Recently, I created a new piece of art combining thirty of the images into one framed piece. It is pictured to the left. Watch the YouTube video of the images set to Zac Brown Band's "Free." Information about the titles and magnolias is below.

September 20, 2011

Slow Exposures Exhibit Closes on Saturday - Don't Miss It!

There aren't a lot of photography shows that benefit a county, public buildings or the land. But does! This was the most fun photography show I have participated in. They had a soiree, a ball and a book of the images all as part of the fundraiser for a neighborhood in need. This year's show benefited the Whiskey Bonding Barn in Pike County, Georgia.

Show Book $50 and name tags
 Even though I had another art festival this past weekend, I attended the show. I hope you take the drive down south and explore the art and the city before it's over on September 25th. Here are a few photographs from the Ball and Exhibit. My image titled Slow Dance was juried into the show. P.S. These photographs were taken with my iPhone... so they are lacking a bit, but you can get the idea. This was definitely a first class event!

September 16, 2011

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a Great Choice for Flower Lovers

The Language of Flowers is a delightful story about a young girl finding her way in a world with odds stacked against her. Victoria spends her days causing trouble in school (which she doesn't like) moves from foster home to foster home and never lives somewhere long enough to make roots. The book is about Victoria finding her way, figuring out how to support herself, finding family and putting down roots through the flowers!
Vanessa Diffenbaugh's book is for you if you are a florist, gardener, foster parent, adopted child, or child in a foster home. If you are out of work or looking for your calling in life, this book could help you find direction.

As a floral photographer, I really enjoyed this book and its information about the meaning of flowers. It also talked about the contradictory meanings, which was helpful too. My favorite part was when Victoria learned how to photograph flowers. This discussion was interesting and factual. And, in the middle of the summer, Victoria is searching for a blooming Cherry tree. That made me chuckle and roll my eyes. I'd love to find blooming cherry trees year-round. But then the photographs and beautiful trees wouldn't mean so much.
Cherry for Victoria
In its heart, the book is also a wonderful love story of Victoria and Grant. And, too, a sweet picture of a mother's love and the hard part about having a new baby. I'm not sure how Vanessa Diffenbaugh pulled all this together neatly in one story, but nothing seems forced. There is much to learn here in this work of fiction. And, a few tears to shed as well. There was one part of the book... that was especially surprising to me. You will know after  you listen to CD #9.

I listened to this book, but will purchase a copy to highlight and reread. The meanings will be perfect photography titles.

September 09, 2011

September's Slow Dance

Slow Dance
This month is jam packed. I have four art festivals: Marietta Art in the Park, Birmingham Artwalk, Roswell Arts Festival, and Charlotte's Art in the Park. All of these festivals are new to me. See my show schedule here.

On the 3rd, I opened my exhibit of 12 images titled Georgia's State Parks at REI Perimeter in Atlanta.

Slow Exposures is opening on the 16th... I dropped off my photograph titled Slow Dance and 3 prints yesterday.

Women In Focus' juried photography show is opening on the 16th at Mason Murer art gallery in Atlanta. My hydrangea image titled Twist-n-Shout was selected for this exhibit. You can see it on my webpage.

I remember thinking when I read Gary Vaynerchuk's book Crush It that there was no way I would work every minute. I thought, "I won't have time for that with three kids." But I have found time. This past spring I remember packing for my trip to Colorado, and running outside with my camera and snapping  up the neighbor's dogwoods. (I knew they wouldn't be blooming when I returned.) In those few minutes I captured many beautiful photographs like the one above.

Yes, I did attend to my children's open house last night. We had two home-cooked meals this week. In a lot of ways this September seems surreal. I am very lucky that all these events have fallen into place.

This morning many areas in the Northeast are flooding, the fires are burning in Texas, much of California is without power, and September 11 is almost upon us, but take my image with you. It reminds me to dance slowly. Enjoy each activity like it's your first slow dance in high school.

August 29, 2011

The Value of a Photographic Society

I am a member of four photographic societies. Each has helped me become a better photographer in different ways.

The Photographic Society of America has on-line critique groups, which helped me learn skills quickly because as part of the group, you critique everyone else's work. Each member critiques your photographs and all the information is compiled and posted in pdf files for review. It is helpful to see if other members agree or disagree.

The Roswell Photographic Society of Roswell, Georgia is one of my favorites. It meets twice a month, which helps me stay connected to members. The first Monday of each month there is a critique. The third Monday of the month a speaker teaches about photography. In the beginning I attended the critiques but didn't submit. After a few months, I added my image to the collection. These critiques are anonymous, which may motivate you to submit your work. Now, I place in the critique judging. This club also has several juried shows during the year.

Women in Focus is an Atlanta based photography club that meets on the second Wednesday each month. This club also has periodic critiques and an annual juried show. I like this club because there are only women in the group and this provides a less intense environment for the beginner. It is also smaller in size, so it is easier to get to know fellow photographers. This group has an artists' choice show, which is a perfect place to begin showing photography in Atlanta.

Atlanta Photography Group is a group based in Atlanta that has a gallery they support. The club has many juried shows in the gallery each year. They have an open review on the first Wednesday of the month, where you show and explain your work in front of the club and listen to advice from members. This group has a speaker each third Wednesday of the month about a photographic subject. I haven't attended these meetings, but enjoy the shows and recently was juried into In Your Dreams. The competition is stiff here, so beware, but pat yourself on the back should you get in a show.

If you don't live in Atlanta, search the web for a society near you. If there isn't one, consider starting something informal via This is a great way to connect with people that have similar interests and become a better photographer.

August 23, 2011

Unsolicited Advice is Fun at Art Festivals

I really enjoy meeting the public at art festivals. I actually take notes in my receipt book during a show. People see my art and get to talking and one thing leads to another. I thought I'd share some notes from my past shows.

A lawyer asked me if I had copyrighted Big Flower, Little Bird, so I did the very next day. I recommend doing this yourself without a lawyer. If you happen to use Etsy, then look back in your bills and find the first time you listed that item as the "first use." I also recommend only copyrighting images that you are selling. No need to copyright an image that might not sell.

Recently, a birder recommended the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds. This is definitely a super reference book to take on your adventures.

A browser recommended I apply to the Marist School Holiday Traditions art show on November 5, 2011. I have another obligation this year, but thought I would share this info. At a different art show, a customer recommended the Norfolk, VA Stockley Gardens Art Festival, which is Mother's Day weekend.

Several vendors in Virginia were using a Light Dome tent, and they highly recommended this tent. I would love a new waterproof tent!

At the Sunflower Farm Festival, a customer told me that Panola Mountain State Park in Georgia has a night hike the night of the full moon each month.

So, please leave a comment with great advice you received at an art festival... or if you are in the mood, leave me some unsolicited advice.

August 19, 2011

Take your Boat to Florence Marina -- Georgia State Park

Now I want a boat! Just to take it to Florence Marina! I can't believe something so beautiful and relaxing exists so close to my home. This Georgia State Park is part of Eufalla National Wildlife Refuge. I saw beautiful wading birds, spanish moss and peace.

There is a map on page 2 here of the entire refuge, which includes Florence Marina for perspective. Enlarge and print this map before you go. You can view it in your computer by right clicking on the map and select rotate clockwise.

The marina is on the north end of the refuge on Lake Walter F George off of the Chattahoochee River. I saw lots of wildlife here. The US Fish and Wildlife site says that wading birds migrate to here November - February.
Florence Marina State Park
218 Florence Road
Omaha , GA 31821

August 18, 2011

Providence Canyon Georgia State Park is a Must See

Notice the Trail in the Canyon
The three mile rim trail at Providence Canyon could convince you to take up hiking. This was the quietest place I have been in a long time. Talk about peaceful! I will include an image from this park in my upcoming photography show at REI Perimeter, Atlanta.

Don't get out of your car until you reach the visitor center because part of the rim trail is along the street as you drive in and that will spoil the views. The signs at this park say to wear hiking boots, bring [lots of] water and [easy to carry]  food. I would add to wear a hat and bring a friend. Be sure to sign in as you enter the canyon.

Children will especially enjoy this park (not for anyone with a health issue) because there is immediate enjoyment and lots to explore. The dramatic landscape is appealing and condensed into a small area. And, there were several abandoned cars along the rim hike (not removed because it would cause too much damage to the environment). The walk to the canyon floor is a short hike and canyons are close by.
Abandon Car
Another couple walked into canyons 1 and 2 and said that it was very muddy and the path was over grown. This could be a great project for Friends of Georgia State Parks. If you purchase an annual park pass, you automatically become a member. Admission to the parks is $5, so the $50 parking pass pays for itself quickly.

Here is a link to a detailed map of the park. Print this map before you go, so you have a color version.

8930 Canyon Road
Lumpkin , GA 31815
Unidentified Plant
Rare plum leaf azaleas grow here, but I didn't see any blooming on 8/17/2011. But I found this plant on the left. Do you know what this is?

I preferred the drive down to Columbus, Georgia on 185, exiting at 1A; this seemed like less time on back roads. After visiting Providence, be sure to leave time to watch the sun set at Florence Marina State Park. These parks are about 16 miles apart and are about 2.5-3 hours south of Atlanta.

August 08, 2011

Folly Beach is an Enjoyable Listen

Sunrise on Folly Beach
 I am just back from Virginia Beach. I drove to the beach with Dorothea Benton Frank's Folly Beach playing. I selected this book because I visited there last February and the word beach in the title jumped at me. Folly Beach is located in South Carolina near Charleston; I attended SEWE there.


The story flips back and forth between the present day life of Cate Cooper and a play about Dorothy and DuBose Heyward's life and the writing with George Gershwin "Porgy and Bess" in 1934.

The best part of the book is Frank's language and narration. I like the historical fiction mixed in. (Read a little Folly history on this site.) It is easy to see, hear, touch and smell life through Cate Cooper. Who definitely got an eye full, finding her husband dead at the very beginning of the tale. She later discovers his life wasn't the only thing he took from her, an interesting novel in our current economy.

The Road to Folly Beach View
But the real story here is a delightful romance between Cate Cooper and John Risley. This is a down to earth book with Southern etiquette, tips about being a mom and dating questions all told through great descriptive writing. I'd love to cook all the recipes in the book! The ideas of melting syrup and butter together for pancakes and eating a delicious pecan pie (but maybe the recipe is on the back of the karo bottle) bring on hunger pains. One of my favorite lines in the book is, "Sometimes I wonder if women ever do anything else besides grocery shop, cook, eat, and clean up the kitchen." Visit the author's site at