Issue 12.81 | Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
SUGAR HILL, Ga., Feb. 5, 2013 -- Each year, hundreds of thousands of new book titles are published, with self-published titles growing exponentially. In fact, the number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287 percent since 2006. These now total more than 235,000 print and "e" titles, according to an October 2012 analysis of data from Bowker Books In Print and Bowker Identifier Services.
Bowker, the official U.S. agency that issues International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), reports that "2011's 148,424 self-published print books represented about 43 percent of that year's total traditional print output and contributed to the first significant expansion in print production since 2007."
One promising pronouncement that could be gleaned from this data is that people are still reading books. This is good news for aspiring authors, those who have dreamed for years of publishing their story and sharing their knowledge with the masses. Yet many would-be authors keep their publishing dreams on the shelf, because of a number of reasons.
One of the main reasons people never finish writing their book is because they say they don't have the time. In addition, many aspiring authors don't know how to organize their thoughts, outline their book, turn their amazing ideas into compelling content, and they do not understand the process of publishing.
Paul has written several books herself, including Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write (2011, The Write Image,); Publishing as a Marketing Strategy (2011, Booklogix); and the soon-to-be-released, How to Market Your Book for Free (The Write Image).
Having assisted numerous authors achieve their publishing goals, I have created a system to help write a book in 90 days or less. My process walks writers through what is needed to complete the first draft of their manuscript within three months and have it ready to turn over to a professional copy editor.
After all, writing a book isn't rocket science. It takes commitment, focus, and a willingness to write what you know.
To help hopeful authors move beyond wishing to writing and actually completing their books, I am hosting a workshop titled "Get Off Your ASSets! Write Your Book" on Saturday, February 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at The BizLynks Center in Duluth.
The session is designed for authors at various stages of content development. Potential authors will walk away with not only a clearer understanding of how to get started writing, but also with strategies to fund their book project, sell more books, and leverage their book for broader success.
FEB. 5, 2013 -- Since Georgia will be choosing a new U.S. senator in 2014, what would be best consideration for the people of Georgia in picking this person?
One thing for certain: forget sheer logic, which is too simplistic a way for the voters of Georgia to act. After all, no matter what political race you consider, it's not the reasonable logic about any of the candidates in the races that determines the winner. It's always politics that enters the picture, as it probably should, in selecting the person to represent any geography in any election.
Yet especially in races for the U.S. Senate, instead of thinking politically, it would always be best for the citizens of the state to think strategically. After all, the office of senator is for a six year term, and during those six years, a senator begins to build seniority. By the time the senator is in his or her second term, they should be pretty far up the totem poll of ranking senators, especially in their own party. Get a person of their party to be president, or be in the majority party in the Senate, and they begin to build a power base within their chosen committee assignments.
That's why it's regretful to hear of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss saying that he won't seek a third term in the Senate. Should he have won a third term, he would be well up in seniority, compared to Georgia sending a newcomer junior senator to the Capitol. That would have translated into a Georgian having much more power in the Senate.
So how should Georgians be thinking about their next senator? In one word, strategically. Send someone to be in the Senate who has good staying power, and over the years, can build seniority to become an even more influential senator.
That means, in effect, Georgia should elect someone who is relatively young to that post. That person needs to have the credentials to get elected politically, but also have the intelligence and background to do a good job once there.
Though Georgians from all walks of life could fill that slot, among the potential candidates are the 14 Georgians who now serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. While seniority in the House doesn't count in the Senate, at least a congressman would know the ways of Washington, which should give a leg up in serving.
Look at the list of the current Georgia congressmen. Four of the 14 are under the age of 46. Based on age alone, any of these four gentlemen would be primed to serve.
What Georgia should not do is to send an elderly representative (or anyone else) to the Senate for a caretaking term. They would never gain enough seniority to be effective.
Woodall (age 42 on February 11), Austin Scott, Doug Collins and Tom Graves:
strategically, they are our best choices among representatives. And if
other relatively younger Georgians would consider the election, they would
be in a strategic position to benefit the state for years.
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The 2013 City of Suwanee event calendar includes six races, seven festivals, three movies, at least four concerts, and a variety of other traditional favorites including Woofstock, Trek or Treat, and the 30th celebration of Suwanee Day. Among the more than 30 events on the calendar are a handful of new ones being organized by private groups as well as two sponsored by the City: a September unveiling of the artistic, permanent setting for Suwanee's 9/11 artifact, and an event being called Food Truck Friday.
On Food Truck Fridays, to be held the first Friday of the month in May, June, August, and September, several trucks, offering a variety of ethnic and comfort foods, will pull up at Town Center Park. The community is invited to come enjoy a casual dinner and musical performances from the Town Center stage. On the first Food Truck Friday on May 3, local high school jazz bands will perform.
Events Manager Amy Doherty says: "People seem really excited about the Food Truck Friday events. We're pleased to be able to continue to offer area residents fun reasons to gather as a community at Town Center Park."
Below are a few highlights of privately organized (indicated by an *) and city-sponsored events on the 2013 calendar. To see the full calendar, visit the What's New/Events page at www.suwanee.com.
Library card gets you admission to puppetry arts events
Gwinnett families can use their library card for a free visit to Big Bird, the Fraggles, Wayland Flowers' Madame, and a host of other popular puppet characters. Thanks to a new partnership between the Center for Puppetry Arts and Georgia's Public Libraries, citizens with valid library cards can check out the Center's new "Passport to Puppetry" at any participating public library in all 159 Georgia counties, including Gwinnett.
The "Passport to Puppetry" is valid for up to four free museum admissions -- a potential savings of up to $33 per family. Parties with children must include at least one adult.
The museum provides educational fun with more than 350 puppets from around the world, highlighting the fact that every civilization on our planet has its own unique form of puppetry tradition. By examining and learning more about the cultural traditions of other countries, one gains a greater understanding of our shared histories and values.
Vincent Anthony, the Center's founding Executive Director, says: "We strive to be accessible to anyone who wishes to avail themselves of our programming and welcome this opportunity to partner with the Georgia Public Library Service. Whether you're an elementary, high, or college student; parent, toddler, or senior citizen, we endeavor to provide access to many different activities thereby gaining a greater understanding of our shared cultural heritage. After a visit, we hope that you understand that puppetry is not just for kids: it's for everyone."
at the Center for Puppetry Arts is open Tuesdays through Sundays with
hours varying upon day and programming. In addition to four free admissions,
the "Passport to Puppetry" also entitles library patrons to
attend a performance at the Center and/or participate in a Create-a-Puppet
Workshop at a 25 percent discount, when space is available. Complete details,
including valid dates, show times, hours of operation, and reservation
information are available online at www.puppet.org.
Gwinnett's Arena is winning world-wide recognition, based on box offices sales and attendance in 2012 for live entertainment. The recognition comes from Venues Today and Pollstar magazines.
The Arena was going up against international entertainment centers. Gwinnett was No. 10 on Venues Today's top stops for venues between 10-15,000 capacity. (Gwinnett's Arena seats 13,000)
Number one on the list was the Brisbane (Australia) Entertainment Centre, with other venues following, including World (Hamburg, Germany); Sidney (Australia) Entertainment Centre); Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand; and Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
Venues Today also ranked Gwinnett fifth domestically and 10th worldwide with year end gross ticket sales of $10,073,326.
Meanwhile, Pollstar rated in a different manner, saying Gwinnett's Arena ranked 32nd domestically and 66th worldwide, based on an arena attendance of 207,076 tickets sold.
Literacy speaker says 28% of Atlantans need reading help
Some 28 percent of Atlantans cannot read on a fifth grade level, according to Literacy Volunteers of Metropolitan Atlanta Executive Director Victoria Kingsland. She spoke at the Philadelphia Winn Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution recently.
assume the 28 percent is made up of immigrants," Kingsland said.
"Most are native Atlantans who for one reason or another never learned
to read." The immigrant student population is growing and range from
adults who are not literate in their own language to adults with a PhD.
All come to LVMA to learn English language skills.
how LVMA enhances the lives of families, workers, and communities through
the power of literacy facilitated by volunteer tutors. "If you teach
one person in a family to read," she noted, "you affect that
family for generations to come."
Volunteers reading at libraries during Black History Month
Volunteers from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity/ Sorority, Diamonds and Pearls, will be at the Gwinnett County Public Library to participate in the fifth Annual Black History Month Reading Relay throughout the month of February. Library branches across the county will take turns hosting Diamonds and Pearls volunteers.
Readers will showcase stories that honor the many contributions and achievements of African-Americans, past and present, while promoting literacy in the community. Weekly readings began February 2nd and continue on each Saturday through February 23.
For more information about the Black History Month Reading Relay schedule, or other Gwinnett County Public Library events, visit www.gwinnettpl.org, or call (770) 978-5154.
Augusta Jane Evans wrote nine novels about southern women that were among the most popular fiction in 19th-century America.
Her most successful novel, St. Elmo (1866), sold a million copies within four months of its appearance and remained in print well into the 20th century. The sexual tensions between the book's cynical Byronic hero, St. Elmo, and its beautiful Christian heroine, self-made writer Edna Earl, inspired the christening of villages, plantations, steamboats, railway carriages, male infants, a punch, a cigar, and one infamous parody, St. Twel'mo, or the Cuneiform Cyclopedist of Chattanooga (1867).
Edna Earl also later became the namesake of Eudora Welty's heroine Edna Earle Ponder in The Ponder Heart (1954).
Evans was born in Columbus in 1835 and died in Alabama in 1909, buried among the Confederate soldiers she loved. She became a writer partially to recuperate the family fortune. Her father, Matthew Evans, lost palatial Sherwood Hall, dubbed "Matt's Folly" by Columbus citizens, after he was bankrupted in the 1840s. His family of ten migrated to Texas.
However, the dangers of a frontier border town and the Mexican War (1846-48) caused them to resettle in Mobile, Ala. There Evans penned her anonymous first novel, Inez: A Tale of the Alamo (1855), an anti-Catholic diatribe, followed by the much more popular Beulah (1859). Beulah began the theme of female education that persisted in her novels. Although Evans never returned to Columbus, she made it the setting for St. Elmo.
Slavery remained in the background of Evans's novels, but she supported the Confederacy zealously in her life and fiction. She broke off her engagement to New York journalist James Reed Spaulding in 1860 because he supported Abraham Lincoln. She worked as a hospital nurse during the Civil War, yet wrote General P.G.T. Beauregard in mid-1862 that she still felt marginal to war efforts.
Her novel Macaria (1864) attempts to remedy that situation by showing how Southern women can sacrifice their lives for the Confederacy. Macaria penetrated the Northern blockade with 5,000 bootlegged copies sold in the North. So effective was Macaria as pro-Southern propaganda that General G. H. Thomas, commander of the Union army in Tennessee, banned it among his troops and confiscated and burned those copies that existed.
Evans and her family faced serious financial problems at the war's end, with the loss of their slaves and other property. She accompanied her brother Howard to New York City seeking a medical specialist to treat a paralyzed arm resulting from a war wound. In meeting with her publisher there, she discovered that he had been holding for her a substantial sum of money from northern sales of Macaria. Realizing just how profitable her writing could be, she quickly completed St. Elmo and ended any future financial worries for herself and her family.
In 1868 Evans married Colonel Lorenzo Madison Wilson, a wealthy planter 28 years her senior who had been widowed in 1862. She moved to his estate, Ashland, next door to the Evans home and spent much of the rest of her life making it and its surrounding gardens one of Mobile's most beautiful showplaces. She continued to write, though more sporadically.
When Colonel Wilson died in 1891, Evans Wilson left Ashland and moved into her brother Howard's home in Mobile. Despite deteriorating health and eyesight, she wrote two more romantic novels, A Speckled Bird (1902) and Devota (1907). She died of a heart attack in 1909, a day after her 74th birthday.
Recent feminist critics have read past the marriage themes in Evans's novels to show how her women characters are as intellectually capable as men and how they gain personal and public power in their world.
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"After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut."
Previously out of print, Elliott Brack's 850-page history, "Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta," is now available again. Since its original publication, the book was declared the winner of the 2010 Award of Excellence for documenting Georgia history by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. It is also the winner of the Gwinnett Historical Society's Whitworth-Flanigan Award for 2011 for preserving the history of Gwinnett County.
The book includes 143 demographic and historic tables, with more than 4,000 names in the index, and 10,000 names in the appendix.Two versions of the book are available. The hardback edition is priced at $75, while a softback edition is $40. Books are available at:
You can also order books through the Internet. To do that, go to www.elliottbrack.com to place your order. For mail orders, there is a $5 shipping and handling fee. Purchases are also subject to the 6 percent Georgia sales tax.
Or call me (Elliott
Brack) at 770 840 1003 and tell me how to dedicate a book to a friend
(or to you) as he adds his signature!
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
Bob, a new play, by American playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, continues through February 10 at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. Armed with nothing but an unfailing optimism, Bob is the epic, fast-paced comedy of one man's desire for greatness. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Call 678-226-6222 or visit online for details.
Water Conservation Workshop: 7 p.m. Feb. 7. at Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville. Attendees will receive indoor and outdoor water efficiency kits and a do-it-yourself home water guide. For more information about the workshop, send an email or call (678) 376-6722.
(NEW) "Doors and Portals" is the title of the new exhibit at the Kudzu Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street in Norcross. Opening reception and awards program of this exhibit is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Feb. 9. Juried art work in a variety of styles and mediums will be on display. The gallery is open Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The current exhibit continues through March 23.
(NEW) Bat Conservation in Georgia: 7 p.m., Feb. 11, meeting of the Southern Wings Bird Club, Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Speaking will be Trina Morris, wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. More: www.southernwingsbc.com.
Kick-Off Meeting for 2013 of Peachtree Corners Business Association: 7:30 a.m., Feb. 11, Atlanta Marriott Norcross. Speaker will be Joyce Bone, entrepreneur and author, who will speak on the state of the economy. Get details by email.
(NEW) Mind/Body Health Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 16, Norcross High. Presented by the Georgia Psychological Association, the Fair is free and is a collaborative venture between Norcross High School and GPA and is sponsored, in part, by the City of Norcross and Trader Joe's. More: www.gapsychology.org/events or call (404) 634-6272.
Event for Quilters: 10 a.m., Feb. 19, Cannon United Methodist Church, 2424 Webb Gin House Road, Snellville. Meet Marie Bostwick, a quilter who is author of the Cobbled Court Quilt novels. The event is put on by the Gwinnett County Public Library and the Gwinnett Quilter's Guild. There is a $5 charge to attend for non-members of the Guild. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org.
(NEW) Meet the Author Series: 7:15 p.m., Feb. 21, Norcross Cultural Arts Center, 10 College Street. Featured will be bestselling author Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan's widow and long-time editor Harriet McDougal. They will be celebrating the conclusion of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. They will discuss and sign the new book, A Memory of Light. For more information about library events, visit www.gwinnettpl.org, or call (770) 978-5154
(NEW) Gun Violence Reduction program: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1025 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Join Alice Johnson, Gun Safety Georgia; Kathryn Grant, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus; attorney Michael Manely; and the Rev. Terry Davis, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation for a discussion on strategies for "Gun Violence Reduction, a discussion on where we go and what we do post-Sandy Hook."
Caregiver's Conference: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 23, First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville, 395 West Crogan Street. Guest speaker will be Maria Greene, a consultant with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. Cost, including breakfast and lunch, is $10. This is a program from the Gwinnett Coalition of Health and Human Services supported by Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership and Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services. For more information, call 678 964 4838.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
CONTINUING OBJECTIVES FOR GWINNETT
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
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