Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Here Comes Trouble--and a Whole Lot of Fun! Welcome, Shellie Thomlinson to Words to Go

More comfortably billed as a “talker” than a speaker, author Shellie Thomlinson enjoys entertaining and encouraging a wide range of audiences, as long as she can weave her faith through the stories. Whether sharing her humorous slant on growing up southern in civic and educational settings or offering inspiring devotional features in church services, seminars or weekend retreats, Shellie’s “talks” are full of laughs and motivation. Shellie is the author of “Lessons Learned on Bull Run Road”, “’Twas the Night before the Very First Christmas” and “Southern Comfort with Shellie Rushing Tomlinson” and the recently released title from Penguin Group USA, Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On . Shellie is owner and publisher of a website called All Things Southern and the host of a daily radio show and weekly TV segment by the same name. I’m so pleased to invite Shellie as a guest author on Words to Go. Welcome, Shellie!

SHELLIE: Thank you, Patty, for inviting me.

PATTY: Shellie, As a kid, I didn't follow the herd very well. I got into trouble for starting a book club beneath a tree during kickball. When I persisted, I got sent to the classroom as punishment. That was great--no sweaty kickball in my gut and more time to read. Growing up a little different from the other kids, though, can be painful. Whether we learn passive resistance, mouthy behavior, or dressing above the expected mores for fashion, somehow artistic souls find expression. What is an early remembrance you have as a kid that says, I was different,and this is how it was either good or painful, you fill in the blank?

SHELLIE: When you grow up tone deaf in a family of songbirds sporting an extreme speech impediment and wearing thick coke bottle glasses and big ugly corrective shoes, the You Are Different Memo isn't necessary. Trust me on this.

PATTY: I married into a family of songbirds. I understand your pain.

SHELLIE: Add to that my earliest dreams of becoming a famous country western singer and/or a famous writer despite the obvious hindrances noted above and you have a stellar look into my world.

PATTY: What do you remember about your childhood?

SHELLIE: I settled early on just making the world around me smile, which I still contend is all I was trying to do in the fifth grade when Mrs. Gilly returned to the classroom to find me standing atop my desk and singing, "Oh, yes, they call him the Streak, look at that, look at that...fastest thing on two feet."

PATTY: I remember that song playing on our hometown radio station. What did your teacher do?

SHELLIE: I like to say I didn't have to turn around to know she was there. First, there was the sudden dead pan look of my previously laughing audience. (I'd been hoping for a better review.) Plus, I could feel her breath on my neck. Together with my parents and the principal, they convinced me to give up entertaining, at least for a while.

PATTY: Teachers were so humorless in those days. Some people just don’t have an imagination for fun. In hindsight, when you look now at how your life has unfolded as an author--truly, in your friends eyes, an elevation above the herd--what are you thankful for?

SHELLIE: I could write a novel here from a grateful heart, but as gracious as you are to have me come play at your place Patty, I think you're looking for something considerably shorter. I shall choose three. I'm grateful for the maternal grandmother who saw in me a famous writer and bought me a type-writer when I was eleven, who acted like I had something to say and people needed to hear it. Every child should have such a gift! I am grateful for the opportunity to use words to lighten the loads of those I come into contact with and I'm grateful for The Word that inspires and motivates everything I do.

PATTY: And we are grateful to have you visit us today here on Words to Go. Thank you, Shellie, for dropping in. You can pay a visit to Shellie’s place, All Things Southern, and read her thoughts and ruminations on life.

Tomorrow, I’m pleased to say that we another celebrity in our midst. Kathy Patrick is the founder of the world’s biggest book club and most famous as even Oprah talks about this lady’s book club The Pulpwood Queens. I met Kathy when she picked Painted Dresses as a Pulpwood Queens Selection. And now she has authored her own book too. So drop in and sit a while as we chat with Kathy Patrick—don’t forget your tiara.