“The truth is, I love to listen to people. People are so entertaining, especially when they don’t mean to be. I love the cadence of the talk and the relationship in the works between people. I love to hear them reminisce and tell stories of their youth. I just love to talk to and listen to people. That is really my inspiration.”
Marlene Ratledge Buchanan is a southern humorist. She draws from a deep well of experience and has a keen eye for observation. Like all truly good humorists, Marlene subtlety sews wisdom with a smile. That rare gift comes through in this interview…
Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): Tell us about your book, Life is Hard, Soften it With Laughter. What brought it about and what was your goal in writing it?
Marlene: I have worked for over 34 years in high school as an art teacher and a counselor. I rarely got a phone call that was good news. I found that when you are talking to parents and kids alike, you need to break that hard shell of anger, grief, fear, whatever it is troubling the person. Humor does that. If I could get a little smile or a giggle out of the person who was so miserable, I knew I could help.
“Great art can awaken something within us that we have maybe forgotten or ignored and give us a different perspective on life. As a Christian it is natural for me to express something of that faith within my music. Sometimes it is in the form of words and themes that resonate with me, and at other times it is just enjoying that connection and relationship with a God whom I believe loves us more that we can understand.”
Something of Dave Bainbridge’s creative persona is infused into everything he does – and he does a lot.
Founding member of the Celtic, progressive-folk-rock band, Iona, leader of Celestial Fire, keyboardist with Strawbs, guitarist/keys player with Lifesigns, member of occasional guitar band GB3, solo artist, and half of the Dave Bainbridge and Sally Minnear duo.
“I prefer to give the listener a chance to really get into a certain space before throwing something new at them. Maybe now more than ever people need music that doesn’t interrupt them with something new every few bars, that gives their minds a chance to stretch for themselves.”
Jeff Ali reached out to me after watching a video of an ambient music piece performed by Bill Vencil and me at Chords of Orion. He forwarded a link to some of his work. I was immediately hooked and curious to learn more about him.
Based in Los Angeles, CA, Jeff composes music for film, theater and advertising, and often performs live. He scores music for movies and live production. His movie credits includeLetting Go (2006), Assassins’ Code (2011) and Dreamers (2010).
Jeff describes himself as a “live-loop ambient artist, multi-instrumentalist who works with creatives across several mediumsweaving a tapestry of sound and music into the fabric of each unique creation I participate in.”
I recently caught up with him as he was finishing sound design for a live musical. He was gracious in taking time to share his thoughts on composing, performing, and finding his voice as a creative.
“We’re living in an amazing time for visual storytellers. The digital cameras and the post-production software can do things that just a few years ago would have cost millions. Because we don’t have huge crews or large salaries for the cast and crew (most of us are volunteering or are working WAY below our usual rates) we have to rely on creativity and ingenuity to make the show engaging and professional.”
Brett Monk has been a radio, TV and film professional for over 30 years. He is the director and showrunner for the Mount Hideaway series on Amazon. He has acted, directed, and crewed in hundreds of productions over the years. He also planted a non-denominational church where he served as Senior Pastor for 10 years. In addition to his film activities, he co-owns a successful real estate business. Brett lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, and goldendoodle.
“God… created us as whole people, and wants us to bring all that we are and all that we are going through to Him in worship. When we do, He speaks to us through His word in a way that we won’t receive if we are holding back. And only when we He speaks to us can we become fully alive, worshiping God with our whole heart.”
Music in worship. For many churches, it’s a struggle between traditional and contemporary. Is there perhaps another way which honors people’s feelings, glorifies God, and displays unity to a broken world?
“The journey of each of the women in Ulysses’ Diaries is a simple one, a rewarding one, and a healing one. I want everyone who reads this story, especially African-American children, to find reconciliation with the God of all gods, and to know his gift to us, his love for us through Jesus Christ.”
Marlene Griggs was born on the 4th of July, 1957, along with her twin sister Darlene. She’s a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and still lives there.
Marlene has five sisters and says, “There was never a time where I felt alone. It was fun growing up, always being able to engage our imaginations by staging a play or a film (musical) down in our basement.”
“As I neared the finish line, I had to forego my three mornings at the gym; my only exercise became sitting at the computer!”
Claire Underwood Hertzler recently released her first book, The High Sheriff of Greene, based on the life of a legendary Georgia sheriff.
Claire’s writings include these published articles:“Travel Insurance Tips,” Transitions Abroad Magazine; “Encounter With God,” Church Recreation Magazine; and “Easter at Flat Rock,” Georgia Magazine, also about Greene County, Georgia.She has two articles in The Pens in the Piedmont, an anthology released July, 2017 by the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers.
In addition to writing, Claire was one of the first activists fighting human trafficking in Atlanta.She is active in Atlanta’s North Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): This is your first published book. What prompted you to write this story as your first?
Claire: I had been considering writing a book set in Greene County, Georgia, because I grew up there. I knew Sheriff Wyatt by sight – “there go Wyatt and Taylor”; however, I never expected to write a book about a sheriff! So it’s been a surprise to me. It’s like L.L. Wyatt’s name came to me from outside myself and the more doors the opened to me, the more I felt called to write his story. Continue reading “Claire Underwood Hertzler and The High Sheriff of Greene”