It’s hot Friday night in Lilburn, Georgia and the cool breeze is a welcome relief as it touches my face with a gentle caress…I hear the firecrackers in the far distance popping at Stone Mountain Park.
Anderson Cooper is interviewing a family member of one of the victims of the Charleston Nine in Charleston, South Carolina. My windows are open and I hear the firecrackers like muted gun shots, and the emotional verbiage from my television in the Cable twenty-four news cycle on CNN and MSNBC. I dare not touch the remote button that would bring up the conservative spin on Fox News…my blood pressure is high enough.
As I have listened, the last two days about the horrific killing of nine innocent people at a Wednesday evening Bible Study at an AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the commentators, the experts and the reactions have ignited my emotions faster than any speeding six-flag rollercoaster.
I admired the family member’s classy forgiveness message to the “Racist Terrorist” and the humble response from the killer’s family. I’m still baffled about the response, from the Charleston Judge, and I am working on how I am going to emotionally respond to his remarks at the opening of the hearing of the alleged killer.
I hear words.
` I hear responses.
I hear all this talk, but unless you grew up in the AME Zion Church, you don’t have a clue about the response the faith community is exhibiting in Charleston. Why they are forgiving a heinous killer with love as their love ones lying in an undertaker’s establishment.
I can hear people asking… they forgive in less than 48hours?
I grew up in Winder, Georgia at Bush Chapel AME Zion Church that sits on a hill and still dominates the community. My great grandparents helped build that 100-year-old stone brick church.
It was a place of forgiveness.
It was a place of LOVE!
Love dominates the church as exhibited by the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what is coming through in Charleston, South Carolina and in every small AME Church across America!
You see small crowds, at services, but you see people dedicated people who love Jesus Christ. I learned early, if you don’t let love penetrate deep, then hate will surface and now you have anger then a reaction that will lead to further violence.
Bush Chapel AME Zion Church was a place of worship on Sunday mornings and Bible Study on Wednesday Evenings.
Many a Wednesday evenings, in the late 50s and early 60s, I held my Grandmother Katie’s hand and we walked through the cemetery to the church at the top of the hill for Bible Study. As I looked at the 87-year old Victims face, I could see my grandmother…I cried.
Back then, I felt so safe.
I felt love.
I also held that same strong hand as we walked through segregated Winder, Georgia to Peskin’s’ department store or stood in line at the back or Hardegre’s Restaurant at the Colored Window waiting for my favorite hamburger.
The last two days have brought back memories…I see the love in the people.
Bush Chapel AME Zion Church was a place of safety and love that carried us through “Segregated” times in Georgia.
In the summer, the windows were opened for the cool air to come in. We knew that “racist” could do anything, but we knew that GOD was bigger…nobody was every afraid.
I know the “Charleston Nine” knew in their last minutes, the GOD of love was with them and carry them home.
From my Bible Studies, I learned many things, but one of the most important was something from the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 31-8: “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”
The last few evenings have been full of anguish, but I know that God lives.
When I heard those responses from the Charleston AME Zion Church family, I could feel what I learned at an earlier age…Love.
It was deep!
It was in the soul!
It was true!
It was Christian!!!
You can’t love or hate at the same time.
If you hate, you will take up the banner of the Charleston Killer
If you love, you will take up the banner of the Charleston Christians.
It’s your choice?
May God richly bless the “Charleston Nine” in heaven and their families still on earth?
The “Killer” must be in our prayers. I was re-taught this principal of “Christian Love:” from the Charleston Christians who spoke today at the court hearing,
God Bless the person who killed nine innocent people at the Bible Study and his family.
For a Christian, this is what we must do.
This is our calling.
May God Richly Bless You!
It’s hot Friday night in Lilburn, Georgia and the cool breeze is a welcome relief as it touches my face with a gentle caress…I hear the firecrackers in the far distance popping at Stone Mountain Park.
JE Thompson at the June 13-14, 2015 Publish 15 event at the Forsyth Conference Center in Cumming, Georgia. Publish 15 is the first annual publishing convention in Georgia. There were literary agents, industry experts and more under one roof:http://juliusthomnovels.tumblr.com/
Passion: Successful authors love their craft!
They delve into the storyline with abandon. They make time to write and know their most creative time of the day. This is different for each author.
I know of a writer who sneaks out of bed at four a.m. and writes until six a.m. and then returns to bed and the warmth of their spouse.
In the space between daily tasks writers will find a time to write. I’m a high school teacher and sometimes, in the six minutes between classes, I will have a pencil and pad in the hallway and in between yelling “Get to Class!” I write a few lines for an upcoming manuscript.
Later, after the closing school bells sounds, I expand on the idea and thought and make it into something that is readable. You write when you can!
The health of a writer’s soul must be nurtured and developed.
Successful authors find the time to write and creating that “next” new and exciting scene in their novel.
Organization: Successful writers…Write!
They write story lines. They write chapters. They outline. They jot down notes for the book. They are on schedule with dates of submissions and deadlines jostling their brain cells.
Successful writers use technology. From pen and paper, Dictionary.com accounts, thesaurus, the smart authors have everything at arm’s length at their writing station.
I’m an author who uses his android to keep a schedule of his writing. I have the chapters organized with one and two notes on what I want to accomplish in the writing of that particular chapter.
I have two folders:
***One folder with all the chapters listed and the particular notes, setting and dialogue that fits that particular moment in the novel.
I have another folder for the entire novel. When I finish a chapter in one folder, I copy/paste that chapter into the folder for the entire novel. As the chapters build, I can see the word count and get a flow for the storyline.
These two folders give me the opportunity and freedom to work in one folder and keep a completed version in another folder.
Folder One: Each individual chapter word document is listed 1-to 50 with all the incomplete chapters.
: The entire novel. As I complete a chapter, I add that chapter building the first draft.
Right now, I’m up to Chapter Seven in Stormy Winds!
Uniqueness: Successful writers have their own voice, pacing, and storyline.
They are not robots.
They do not write in the trendy categories, popular genres or alter themes to suit the masses.
Unique writers write how they feel and the story they want to tell.
They are creative.
Despite our reasons for pulling the chair into a comfortable position in front of a computer and write, we measure success by finishing what we start!
“Keep Writing….Keep Beliving…An Never Give up on your Dreams!
The Inner-City Blues: Philadelphia Blazers still live in the novel Philly Style and Philly Profile!
Father’s Day is coming soon. If you don’t believe it, go to your Wal-Mart store or local grocery store and you will see balloons, cards and gifts lined up in neat rows on the shelves.
If you don’t have biological children, people give you a funny look…which is a look of ignorance.
A father is more than a person who has biological children. After a few years, I realized that God put me on this earth for different purposes and for different reasons.
The most enjoyable time in my life was as a community basketball coach in Philadelphia for my team called the Philadelphia Blazers. I wanted to help young people and when I see how successful they have become in life, it’s a wonderful feeling. The values and positive life lessons, worked on developing in the seventies, are being passed forward each and every day across the country.
One of my former Players, Thomas Gilbert, is doing a fantastic job with youth teams in Denver, Colorado
Over the years people have asked me why I coach.
Tarone Tee Thornton, Thomas, Nate Taylor and all the Philadelphia Blazers validate my decision. I wouldn’t trade the experiences or the close relationships for all the riches in the world.
Sometimes, I wondered what it would have felt like, the emotions flowing through my being, to have had biological children.
I’ve had many basketball sons and my players exemplify what I would want my biological sons to grow into…men of character who learn values and appreciate the people in their lives.
I want to thank my players for the wonderful comments about the impact I had on their lives!
Thomas Gilbert, point guard, Philadelphia Blazers, 1970s
“Hey Coach, hope all is well. My youngest son just finished his freshman season. He was named Most Outstanding Player on the JV team. He also played in every varsity game, and was a starter for the final 8 games of the season. His first start was against the #1 team in the state. He played very well the entire year. I want you know that his play is built on the foundation of the fundamentals that you helped to instill in us with the Blazers. I’m most proud that he is a really good student and a great young man. These are also qualities that I’m grateful that you stressed with us. Thanks Coach!”
Nate Taylor, forward, Philadelphia Blazers 1970s
“It was a great time in my life also I want to thank you for the experience of traveling and playing against people from all over the country. “
Tarone Tee Thornton, forward, Philadelphia Blazers 1970
Sent a few Father Day a few years ago.
“Happy belated Father’s Day coach, I know I’m a little late and you don’t have any biological kids, but you helped raise many. You showed us not only basketball, but life and how to conduct ourselves as young men and that there was a big world outside of Philadelphia and for that I will always be grateful. I wish you much success and happiness in your career as an author. Much love and respect to you always.”
As an author when I wrote Philly Style and Philly Profile, anovel centered on my experiences coaching the Philadelphia Blazers in the seventies; it was dedicated to all my Blazers. I wrote to remember the players and to put into words the feelings, emotions and experiences of seeing a group of young boys grow into productive MEN.
Now, with God’s Blessings, I’m still physically fit and still teaching, coaching and writing novels!
|Web Site: Philly Style and Philly Profile|
In 1995, a long, long time ago when Star Wars was the latest cinema rage, I started to pen my first novel called A Brownstone in Brooklyn. I wanted to write a novel and see could I actually put together a storyline that would interest readers…I wanted just one story published and see it in book form.
Well, I worked long and hard with a few disturbing ups and downs, including bad agents and negative comments and thoughtless critical people trying to keep a wonderful theme and book buried in the files of unpublished books.
I fought against the temptation of quitting.
I kept working and finally came up with a thesis or main idea for the book that was spawned out of my high school and early City College years in New York City: A Brownstone In Brooklyn chronicles the life-altering events that shape the future of Andy Michael Pilgrim, a young man growing up in the turbulent sixties.
Once I got the main idea, then it was many long nights writing. I remember one evening starting to write at 11:00 pm, I’m really a night writer, and working until 4:00 am. That would be good, but I’m a high school teacher and I had to be up at 5:30am and teach seventy juniors and senior high school English all day. That was a long, long day but I kept thinking about the 3,000 plus words I wrote and the wonderful character, Sister Love, that came into existence.
Tonight, I’m sitting at my typewriter on this rainy evening in Atlanta, Georgia, I mean computer (smile). I was using a typewriter in the early nineties, and thinking A Brownstone in Brooklyn will celebrate its’ 15th year of publication in late summer of 2016. That’s right, the book was published in 2001.
I started in 1995 and finished writing the book in late 1999. After editing and many disappoints, including finding a publisher, God Blessed me in 2001 to see the book in print. When the book arrived at my apartment, I ripped open the box and felt the smooth book cover and shed a tear.
One of the greatest thrills of my life was that my mother, Goldie Parks, read Brownstone and one of my greatest fans, Frances Grieff, an English teacher enjoyed my novels before leaving this earth.
I know I have two fans still pulling for me in heaven!
It’s been a long journey, but I’m still enthusiastic about writing and look forward writing many more novels.
Now, A Brownstone in Brooklyn, is on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles brick and mortar stores and on the shelves of public libraries from Chicago to Atlanta.
I want to share with you what has kept me going, from 1995 until today, as I pen my fifth novel, Stormy Winds:
And never give up on your dreams!”
Happy Writing and God Bless you!
J. E. Thompson
My national award winning novel, The Ghost of Atlanta, can be purchased at the new EBook Galore Website. Please click and order your copy of the Gold Medal novel in any EBook format.
The Ghost of Atlanta Synopsis:
In The Ghost of Atlanta, Andy Michael Pilgrim faces demons from his youth that haunted his life. These are the ghosts in the crawl spaces of his life; some are real and some supernatural. After landing a job with The Atlanta Defender, Andy returns home and visits the place where he finally faces remembrances of his deceased abusive father. While walking around the grounds, he meets his mysterious cousin, Joe Boy, and finds out that the property is going to be sold by unscrupulous cousins. While Andy fights this battle, he must confront the personal demon of a possible drug addiction, breaking the color barrier at the south’s largest newspaper, The Atlanta Defender, meeting his old girl friend and fighting the lingering effects of segregation in small-town Georgia life. As the story unwinds, all these forces push Andy toward the breaking point, where he almost quits on life. Malevolent mortal deeds are committed and Andy could be next in line. “The Ghost of Atlanta” is, overall, a superbly written book. 5 stars!~Readers Favorite.
The Ghost of Atlanta on the EBook Galore Online bookstore Website:
Stephen King wrote: “Writing is reading and reading is writing.” I believe this and when I have the opportunity, I read as much as I can from a variety of genres. Fever: Little Willie John is an excellent biography about one of the least known soul music legends. Sometimes I will review a book, but in other cases I will get information from other sources. The information for this book is from Amazon.com. I will be listing different books from time to time on the website.
Fever: Little Willie John’s Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul: The Authorized Biography
Little Willie John lived for a fleeting 30 years, but his dynamic and daring sound left an indelible mark on the history of music. His deep blues, rollicking rock ‘n’ roll and swinging ballads inspired a generation of musicians, forming the basis for what we now know as soul music.
Born in Arkansas in 1937, William Edward John found his voice in the church halls, rec centers and nightclubs of Detroit, a fertile proving ground that produced the likes of Levi Stubbs and the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and Hank Ballard and the Midnighters. One voice rose above the rest in those formative years of the 1950s, and Little Willie John went on to have 15 hit singles in the American rhythm & blues chart, with considerable cross-over success in pop. Some of his songs might be best known by their cover versions (“Fever” by Peggy Lee, “Need Your Love So Bad” by Fleetwood Mac and “Leave My Kitten Alone” by The Beatles) but Little Willie John’s original recording of these and other songs are widely considered to be definitive, and it is this sound that is credited with ushering in a new age in American music as the 1950s turned into the 60s and rock ‘n’ roll took its place in popular culture. The soaring heights of Little Willie John’s career are matched only by the tragic events of his death, cutting short a life so full of promise. Charged with a violent crime in the late 1960s, an abbreviated trial saw Willie convicted and incarcerated in Walla Walla Washington, where he died under mysterious circumstances in 1968.
In this, the first official biography of one of the most important figures in rhythm & blues history, author Susan Whitall, with the help of Little Willie John’s eldest son Kevin John, has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music industry and delved into the personal archive of the John family to produce an unprecedented account of the man who invented soul music.
“Little Willie John is the soul singer’s soul singer.” – Marvin Gaye.
“My mother told me, if you call yourself ‘Little’ Stevie Wonder you’d better be as good as Little Willie John.” – Stevie Wonder
“Willie John was one of the most brilliant singers you would ever want to come across, bar none. There are things that were great, there are things that were good. Willie John was past great.” – Sam Moore
“Little Willie John did not know how to sing wrong, know what I mean?”– Dion
“Little Willie John was a soul singer before anyone thought to call it that.” – James Brown
In The Ghost of Atlanta, Andy Michael Pilgrim faces demons from his youth that haunted his life. These are the ghosts in the crawl spaces of his life; some are real and some supernatural.
After landing a job with The Atlanta Defender, Andy returns home and visits the place where he finally faces remembrances of his deceased abusive father. While walking around the grounds, he meets his mysterious cousin, Joe Boy, and finds out that the property is going to be sold by unscrupulous cousins. While Andy fights this battle, he must confront the personal demon of a possible drug addiction, breaking the color barrier at the south’s largest newspaper, The Atlanta Defender, meeting his old girl friend and fighting the lingering effects of segregation in small-town Georgia life.
As the story unwinds, all these forces push Andy toward the breaking point, where he almost quits on life. Malevolent mortal deeds are committed and Andy could be next in line.
“The Ghost of Atlanta” is, overall, a superbly written book. 5 stars!~Readers Favorite
I have created a new Fan page for my new book on creative Writing: “Jump Starting Your Inner-Novelist to Life” that will be published in July 2015. Please visit and Like my Fan Page…Thanks in advance! https://www.facebook.com/JEThompsonWritingmanual
What a wonderful deal! You can purchase all four of my novels for your spring reading for just $4.00 in the Ebook format…that’s just $1.00 a Novel! You can buy just one or all four for the price of $1.00 for each book. My four published novels are on sale from April 17, 2015 to May 17, 2015 for half price. The regular price for the Ebook is $1.99, but I generated a fifty-percent coupon for each of the novels. The Novels include: A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile, the National Gold Medal Award winning The Ghost of Atlanta and Phantoms of Rockwood.. It’s a great deal and now you can purchase all four books at a fantastic price. The sale ends: May 17, 2015! Please follow these instructions to purchase the novels. Thank You for reading my novels! Please enter the code prior to completing the checkout and the website: A Brownstone in Brooklyn https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/58281 Promotional price: $1.00 Coupon Code: HP57S Expires: May 17, 2015 Philly Style and Philly Profile https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52558 Promotional price: $1.00 Coupon Code: YP77V Expires: May 17, 2015 The Ghost of Atlanta https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/485441 Promotional price: $1.00 Coupon Code: HW35S Expires: May 17, 2015 Phantoms of Rockwood https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/353764 Promotional price: $1.00 Coupon Code: WP79E Expires: May 17, 2015