Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shirley Phillips' Obituary

I found Shirley's obituary online today, and decided to copy and paste it here, along with the picture they also had posted.

Shirley Styles Phillips

Shirley Styles Phillips, 75, of 389 Orchard Road, Bakersville, North Carolina passed away October 23, 2011 at home after a long illness. She was a native of Yancey County and the daughter of the late Theodore and Zona Harris Styles. She was preceded in death by a son, Robert Scott Phillips.

Survivors include her husband Bobby E. Phillips of the home, and her beloved daughter Janet Kenniasty of Columbia, Maryland as well as three sisters, Teddie Styles Hall of Statesville, North Carolina, Erma Styles of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Doris Styles Laughrun of Midlothian, Virginia.

She was valedictorian of her Burnsville High School class, a graduate of Mars Hill College, Meredith College and received a graduate degree from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. She spent 21 years as a teacher in the post secondary schools of Osceola County, Florida.

She and her husband, Bobby, were married in Burnsville June 9, 1956.

She enjoyed active membership in First Baptist Church of Spruce Pine, the Blue Ridge Red Hats, the Mitchell County Extension Homemakers, and the Mayland Writers Club. She loved painting, writing short stories, and singing.

To remember Shirley, a gift to Hospice Of Mitchell County in Spruce Pine is suggested.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church of Spruce Pine, North Carolina on Saturday, November 5 at 2 pm. Following the service, the family will receive friends in the fellowship hall until 4:30 pm.

Henline-Hughes Funeral Home of Bakersville is assisting the family with arrangements.

Monday, October 24, 2011

We'll Miss You, Shirley

We are so very sad to announce the passing last night (10/23) of group member Shirley Phillips.

Shirley was a wonderful woman. She always had a smile on her face (may be a cliche, but so true for her), and her stories always made us laugh. We always looked forward to hearing her read her latest work, all of which drew on her life experiences.

Shirley was also a painter and exhibited her work at local galleries alongside her husband Bobby's woodworking pieces.

There are no words to describe the sorrow we feel at Shirley's passing and our thoughts are with her husband and her entire family.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Carolina Mountains Literary Festival

The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is fast approaching; September 9 - 10, 2011. (I am posting their press release about the workshops offered below.) It's always a fun weekend so if you've never been, you really should go. And if you've been before, you know you really should go again. Hope to see you there.

Workshops for Visual Artists, Poets & Playwrights at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival

July 20, 2011 - Burnsville, NC -- The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is offering three writing workshops in addition to their dozens of author readings. This year, they appeal to playwrights, poets learning about prose poetry and, most important to this area, artists wanting become better writers about their art. Each workshop is three hours long, and requires a $25 pre-registration, though participation in other festival events is free and does not require pre-registration. Participants may register through the website or by picking up a form at their local library.

Brenda Lunsford Lilly will lead Can my play be set on Mars? Creating Memorable Characters and Character Arcs

Just like a house furnished with cardboard tables and chairs, a plot filled with one dimensional characters will seem hollow and uninteresting. So, how do you create interesting characters that make your story ring true and make your play entertaining? In this workshop we will

explore exercises and techniques to enhance your creation of characters and bring them vividly to life. This workshop will help the playwright develop accurate character arcs within the story, streamline the number of characters needed to tell the story and allow the characters to naturally inform the story. The importance of dialogue will be discussed, as well, and exercises to enhance this important element of playwriting be discussed. (1:30-4:30 Friday, September 9 in the Yancey Library Meeting Room)

Lynn Ennis will lead What Words May Come: Visual Artists Writing About Art

Have you ever been completely stuck when asked to write an artist statement, a description for websites, information on exhibitions, philosophy of art/creation and/or articles for art publications? Does the thought of blogging leave you frozen? This workshop is designed to use creativity models that will help you connect your ideas and art to words. Come with issues in hand and we’ll explore various creativity models to help you in your writing. You will produce takeaways that you can continue to build on as you move forward. This will be a spirited interactive workshop that draws on a variety of techniques to get words flowing. (9 - 11:45 Saturday, September 10 in Mountain Heritage Center )

Holly Iglesias will lead What is Prose Poetry?

Just what is a prose poem? And isn’t it a contradiction in terms? We will explore the way prose poems overturn expectations of poetry simply by virtue of their appearance. Lacking the lovely curvature of lined verse, they seem like boxy, ordinary, blunt, pedestrian objects. But in fact, prose poems fulfill poetic expectations through the use of techniques common to all poetry—compression, fragmentation, figurative language, repetition, rhyme. In this workshop, participants will create prose poems that are textual equivalents of snapshots and postcards, those tiny, square-ish items that are dense packages of memory. (1:30 - 4:15 Saturday, September 10 in the Mountain Heritage Center )

For a complete schedule of events and to register online, visit

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meeting One Week Early

Our group usually meets on the last Monday of the month at the library in Spruce Pine. This month's meeting will actually take place one week early, on May 23rd. The last Monday falls on Memorial Day, and the library will be closed. We'll still be there at the usual time, 6pm - 8pm.

So, come on out and join us. Bring something to read to the group, or just bring your ears to listen. We look forward to seeing you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Small Writing Prompt

The month of February is more than half over. Hard to believe isn't it? Seems like it was just Christmas, and now Valentine's Day has come and gone. WOW!

How about a bit of a writing prompt?

This is a month when many people turn their thoughts to love and romance, whether they write about the wonders or the heartache. So, it would of course be very obvious to put love or romance or even hate out there for you to write about. We're not going to do that though.

Sit down, pick up that pen and write about a world without technology. And use the word "technology" is as broad a sense as you'd like. Maybe you just want to write about a world with no computers, a world with no television. Maybe you want to write about a world where those things were suddenly taken away, or one where they never existed in the first place. As with most writing prompts, the possibilities are practically endless.

So, there ya' go. Have fun.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Creative Ideas

Ever hear of the 365 Project? It's an idea where you document a year of your life by taking a photo every day. (More info can be found here:

Now, as writers, maybe y'all don't think this would be something you'd be interested in, but give the idea a chance. We're not talking super great well-composed pictures here. We're talking just photographing something that illustrates your day; a cloud, a frozen dinner, a bird...whatever. Looking back on these pictures may give you some great ideas for stories, essays, poems, songs...who knows.

I'm starting my 365 Project tomorrow. What about you?


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