Tag Archives: books

April and pollen count … still off the charts

Hi y’all!

Welcome to another week of Nashville’s heART! Whether you are itching to get out and see some creativity this week or your eyes and throat are simply itching because of the pollen count, you are in luck this week in Nashville. I can’t help you alleviate your pollen problems, but I’ll do my best below to let you know about how you can get your fix of fun around town.

Tonight, Monday, April 14th, from 6-8pm, at Necat Network (120 White Bridge Pike, #46, Building 110), YOU are invited to join the Nashville Creative Group April Meeting: Get Exposure on Arts Television. Hosted by the CEO of The Necat Network, Trish Puryear Crist, there will be a private tour of the studio space and discussion of how people can amplify their voice of the arts community. These monthly group meetings are great chances to network and brainstorm creatively with some of the best artists today. If interested at all, just spread the word and show up.

Also today, at 6pm, the ladies of Lockeland Springsteen are happy to present their second Monday musical mix & mingle. Ruination Day Happy Hour will include some of their favorite local musicians covering Gillian Welch’s album Time (The Revelator). It is FREE and from 6-8pm at The 5 Spot (1006 Forrest Avenue).

Speaking of FREE fun times this week, look no further than tomorrow, Tuesday, April 15th, with the celebration of another round of East Side Storytellin’. The 35 of its kind, this one will be unique because we are pulling together two of my favorite things in April … Bluegrass and Baseball. At 7pm sharp, at 1313 Woodland Street, at Mad Donna’s, I will host as author Skip Nipper (Baseball in Nashville) and musicians Rebecca Frazier & John E Frazier III rock the stage and rock your world in the most fun way possible with Baseball and Bluegrass. Can it get much better than that? … I think not. Hope to see you there.


Two other events going on tomorrow, a side of two for Tuesday if you will, is the following:

– at 5:30pm, at the Belcourt Theatre (2102 Belcourt Avenue), you can drop by and see a very cool art reception for Steven Knudson. It’s always a great time and place to see new things at the Belcourt.

– at 7pm, at Darkhorse Theater (4610 Charlotte Pike), you can listen to a staged reading of FLIT- a new play written by John Wesley Lasiter.

Skip on over hump day and get your groove on Thursday. At 6pm, at 2411 Brasher Avenue, you can join the Nashville Folk + Free Skool interest meeting to talk about ideas, classes, workshops, and participation projects you can help start. At 6:30pm, at The Bluebird Cafe, you can fly in for a set of stellar storytelling music by Chris Trapper. Then at 7pm, you can get your art explosion on at The Building (1008 C. Woodland Street), at UnBound’s Arts Presents: Third Thursdays at The Building April Event. The amazing artists Julie Sola and Melita Osheowitz will have some of their latest work on site for sight and you might want to buy it before it gets got. There will be a cool art reception from 7-8pm, and then a musical performance following that from the likes of 3 great bands- Don Gallardo & How Far West, Sergio Webb & Rob Matson, and also Amelia White & The Sidecars. It’s only $5 at the door for admission. A small price to pay for AWEsome.

Oh, and also on Thursday, April 17th, you can go to the Turnip Green Creative Reuse (535 4th Avenue South) for something really cool. From 5-8pm, join in the Green Gallery for incredible reuse works by the lovely Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel and friends: Kem Kem Alexander, Daniel Lai, Carrie Cox, Michelle Hall, Robert Bruce Scott, and Laura Young to be exact. Re-Discovered: a retrospective of sorts featuring Kaaren Engel and friends will probably blow your socks off, whether you have socks on or not. Trust me, be there.

To round off and end your week in style, we’ll keep it simple for ya. First, on Friday, you should hit up the Nashville Convention Center for the Full Moon Tattoo & Horror Festival. It’s the lucky number 13th one of its kind here and there will be over 130 tattoo artists, celebrity guests, contests, entertainment, movies, comics, and more.

Saturday, all you have to do is go to any music store in town and celebrate Record Store Day 2014. There will be ample amounts of great live performances and record deals for one and all. Check all listings for their own line-ups and details, but the main thing is that you just get off the couch and get out there.

And if Record Store Day didn’t blow your mind, leave it to “Head Case” by David Kenton Kring to finish you off for the weekend. Saturday, April 19th, from 6-9pm, at Julia Martin Gallery (444 Humpreys St, suite A), there will be quite the opening reception for the figurative and functional ceramic work by David Kenton Kring. There will be a special tea blend designed by Julia, David, and the fine folks at High Garden, and it will be presented and served with a one of a kind tea mug thrown by David. Talk about cool!

Yep, that pretty much serves up this week on a silver platter for you to enjoy. Don’t bother with this pesky weather this morning. Dry off, brighten up, and walk outside confident and knowing that that the week will only keep getting better and better if you want it to do so. Enjoy and be nice to one another.

much love,




April is HERE!!!

Hi y’all! Welcome to another week of Nashville’s heART! It is the start of my favorite month of the year, and it is the start of a very special week. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s just dive right into the fun below and have ourselves a session of creative conscious coupling why don’t we. 

Tonight, the last day ever of March 2014, from 6-10pm, you can find a party like no other at Zeitgeist Gallery (516 Hagan Street). Fashion Happening Nashville is the word(s), and it is a one night pop-up fashion experience that is open to the public, one and all. It will emphasize local design, and it will give Nashville fashion accessory designers the platform to share their work ina unique space in front of a broad crowd. Some of the participating designers will be Ceri Hoover Bags, CHARLES LORD, Denim & Spirits, Fanny and June, Kari Beth Jewelry, Sisters of Nature, and Studio Fjord. There will be beer, wine, and food trucks from Crepe A Diem and Crankees Pizzeria. Talk about a fun night of creativity! 


Speaking of fun nights of creativity, tomorrow, Tuesday, April 1st (no fooling around here), we will come together and celebrate the 34th edition of East Side Storytellin’! I can’t believe it’s already been 34 shows, but we are only getting started here. At Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street), at 7pm sharp, you and all of your friends need to arrive early to get your FREE seat to witness the storytelling of the amazing Sam Davidson and the music by the very talented Charlie Whitten. You can read about the 33rd show that has details about this show at the bottom here- http://eastsidestorytn.com/east-side-storytellin-33-where-honest-lewis-and-adam-hill-turned-the-red-lights-green-and-took-us-places/. Seriously, this will be one for the books. Don’t miss out. 

To gear up for the weekend of jam-packed fun, you might need to rest on Wednesday and then get an appetizer of smiles on Thursday. To bring you those smiles on Thursday, look no further than The 5 Spot at 9pm. This Thursday, April 3rd, at 1006 Forrest Avenue, from 9-midnight, Tennessee Jet will present “Dwight Night.” Dwight Night will be a tribute to the music of Dwight Yoakam. Talk about smiles here. Check out more here- http://www.tennesseejet.com. 

Friday, you have two big shows to choose from. And when I say choose from, you can go to both. But, you have to decide which one to go to first and then follow-up with the other. First on the list, from 6-8pm, at the Tennessee Art League (219 5th Avenue), you can see “Small But Mighty; The Art of Autism: Grace Walker Goad. Grace Goad (www.gracegoad.com.) has been creating art since she was four, and she is kicking off National Autism Awareness Month off in style. This show, up for the first 26 days of April as well, will also feature “Inaugural Artists/ Co-op Workshop Prints. This is something you’ll have to just see for yourself to get the entire idea here. 

Something that you’ll have to hear for yourself in person to fully appreciate and understand is the other thing I need to tell you about for Friday, April 4th. At BB King’s Blues Club Nashville (152 2nd Avenue North), from 7pm-midnight, you are more than welcome to experience the College Semifinals & Finals of the Mid-South Grand Slam of poetry slams. Hosted by two time national slam champ and DefPoet Roger Bonair-Agard, with DJ VU, you will witness some of the most articulate, emotional, skillful, and poignant poetry that you will ever witness anywhere else in the world (fact). General admission is $10, $5 for students 22 and under, and the winner will receive free studio time at thetoyboxstudio.com. You will see the best poets, emcees, and spoken word artists from MTSU, TSU, Vanderbilt, Belmont, APSU, Fisk, Nashville State, and UT. It is totally worth the price of admission for sure. You can read more about it at www.southernword.org, and you can read more about Roger at www.blueflowerarts.com/booking/roger-bonair-agard


Saturday, April 5th, is a very special day. You can only be blue if you’re at The Ryman this night. If you aren’t at The Ryman with your old friends River and the gang, then you have plenty of options to choose from (story of Nashville’s social life, right?). Here is a list that I suggest picking from: – From noon-4pm, drop by Nashville Cumberland Park (592 South 1st Street) to join the Native release party of the GREEN issue. They are asking people to come out and help do a river cleanup, but then hear some sweet tunes by Buffalo Clover, Patrick Sweany Music, Kelsey Waldon, That’s My Kid, and Blackfoot Gypsies. There will be beer by Little Harpeth Brewing and food by Boutique Burger Bar. Check out more info here- https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-compacts-spring-cleaning-day-tickets-10773197925.

– From 5-8pm, at East Nashville Family Medicine (801 Woodland Street), you can come celebrate the grand opening, meet the staff, tour the space, and view the current exhibition “View: Local Art in Local Business show, including art by visual artists Mandy Peitz Moody, David Morel, Camilla Spadafino, Gina Anderson and Wanda Collins Johnson” organized by Unbound Arts. Music will be provided by Sheriff Scott and the Deputies with special guest (and ENFM staff member) Kayt Lynn Jones. Food and beverages will be available.

– From 5:30-9pm, at David Lusk Gallery Nashville (516 Hagan Street), you can come out and enjoy artist Greely Myatt inaugurating the David Lusk Gallery Nashville space with a solo sculpture exhibition throughout April titled “Having Said That.”

– Then you can visit The Arcade, as part of the First Saturday Downtown Art Crawl to get a stellar 3-for-1 art viewing escapade. See the following: 

1- 5:30-9pm, at Corvidae Collective (11 The Arcade), celebrate the opening of “Modern Ruin – An International Urbex Photography Exhibit.” 

2- 6-9pm, at 40AU (69 The Arcade), celebrate “Reconditioned Terrain: new work by Kellie Bornhoft.” 

3- 6-9pm, at Blend Studio (79 The Arcade), celebrate “Pull: Peter Precourt and Luc Demers.” 

Moving on to Sunday, April 6th, you might sleep in just a bit and wake up like normal having to use the bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms and creative fun, let your imagination and laughs run wild when you visit another fantastical reading by Amy E. Hall with her “Bathroom Poems” reading and book signing over at Howlin’ Books (1702 8th Avenue South). At 2pm, there will be refreshments, possibly brownies to tie into the humor, and all will have a great time if you take the time to come and see a truly talented writer do her thing in public. 

To cap off the wonderful week ahead, let’s go back to a place where we started the fun with East Side Storytellin’ 34 at Mad Donna’s shall we? It is at Mad Donna’s, The MD Loft upstairs at 1313 Woodland Street, this Sunday, April 6th, where the already fabulously mentioned Roger Bonair-Agard (http://www.blueflowerarts.com/booking/roger-bonair-agard) will be on site reading from his own original work. The place will be packed, the reading will start at 7pm sharp, and you should get there early to get a seat and not miss a single word. As with all of the above, just trust me on this one.

I gotta run, literally run right now, but I hope this reaches you well and I hope to see you sooner than later at one or all of the above. You’re the best! Remember to be nice to one another out there. 

much love, 





@artobernash 2013, week3!

Well, with the crisp air and the fun sun still looming all around us, this is an excellent week to prepare yourself for events and people that will surely give you the goosies.  I’m sure I’m not the only person that was confused by the new characters that exited as quickly as they first appeared on AMC’s The Walking Dead last night, but don’t let that scare you.  As always with October and Artober and everything that goes on in Nashville in general, the best is always yet to come!

ImageTomorrow, Tuesday, October 15th, does just that.  With the 24th edition of East Side Storytellin’, it will be one for the books.  It will be the 1st annual Halloween-ish themed East Side Storytellin’, since it’s the last one of this month, and it will definitely not disappoint all who make it out for the occasion, dressed up or not.  Tomorrow, at 7pm sharp, at Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street), music will be provided by the classic married couple that call themselves Old Hazelwood when they perform around town (www.misterhazelwood.com/old-hazelwood).  And to set the ghoulish mood of the month perfectly, author Betsy Phillips (author of A City of Ghosts, tiny cat pants wordpress blog, and countless other scary good stories to come – http://betsyphillips.net) will be on site to read some of the most fun, spooky, and local Nashville tales you have ever heard … fact.  It is FREE to attend, over by 8:30pm, and will be an unforgettable time.  Seriously, you shouldn’t miss out on these shows while they last.

Wednesday night, October 16th, over at Fort Houston (500 Houston Street), from 7pm onward, you can honor the passing of the late documentarian Les Blank by visiting the Nashville Folk + Free Skool for their second part of their 3-part series to screen a handful of Blank films on rare 16mm prints, couresy of John Lomax III.  The featured movies this week are “Dry Wood” and “Hot Pepper.”  The night will have a Q + A session with archivist John Fabke of MTSU and journalist Ron Wynn.  It will be a hoot indeed, and all of this for a mere $5 donation for expenses to put it together.  Did I mention there will be home-brewed beer by Tim Davis available?

Thursday, you have 2 very cool literary choices to choose from.  First, if you find yourself in Clarksville (96 Clarksville, TN to be exact) at the Downtown Artists Cooperative, at 5:15pm, writer Amy Wright will read from her recent poems at DAC’s second Salon.  She is the Nonfiction Editor of Zone 3 Press at APSU, author of 3 poetry chapbooks, and has appeared in a handful of quality journals around the country.  Basically, her work is quality and you should totally take advantage of meeting and hearing her live in person if you have the chance.  The reading starts at 5:30pm, with light refreshments, discussions, and visiting with the writer afterwards.  Not to forget about one other hands-on event this Thursday, October 17th, never forget about Platetone Printmaking, Paper, and Book Arts (535 Fourth Avenue South).  This Thursday, from 6-9pm, they are celebrating the spirit of creativity and artmaking during @ArtoberNash by inviting YOU to join them for their FREE hands-on Third Thursday Open Studio!  This month, they are helping people make their own journals and sketchbooks: they provide the materials, and you’ll choose the interior signature pages, design and collage your unique cover, and everyone will have a blast!  Learn more about this event and others this month at @artobernash and www.artobernashville.com.

Skip over Friday and jump into Saturday and the weekend full force by going to the Tennessee State Museum (5th Avenue and Deaderick Street), all day long from noon-4pm.  For it is there where “Explorastory” is back with more riveting Scary Stories, all taking place in Tennessee.  This year’s tellers will include Magda the StorySpider, Barry Jones, Debbie Caldwell, & Betty O.  The museum’s annual ghost story festival, known as “Haunted Musuem” is back for its lucky number 13th and scariest year yet!  This event is FREE to the public, and you can find more information at www.tnmuseum.org.  Haunted Museum features a “ghost trail” through the museum with prizes, crafts, and refreshments for kids of all ages.  Seriously, if you show up you’ll get prizes!  Dress up and wild and come on down.

Then, if you dare to get out after the Haunted Museum, come over and visit one of the many excellent open art galleries on the East, West, North, South, and Downtown areas of Nashville.  There are some amazing artists doing some very amazing things all over that could use your amazing support.  Don’t just take advantage of the FREE admission prices to see the art, buy some and take it home with you for years to come.  Just saying, artists shouldn’t have to be starving artists or dead (or undead to come full circle with The Walking Dead here) for you to remember or take notice.

That said, enjoy your week ahead and be nice to one another, please.

much love,


@ArtoberNash, week 2!

I think I’ll take a break for Monday this week from promoting events tonight since I’m sure I’mn not alone from standing in the rain and watching yet another game where the Titans were who we thought they would be.  I’ve started to simply start my real weeks on Tuesdays, pretty much since starting East Side Storytellin’ last November on a Tuesday.  That said, this Tuesday, from 6-9pm, at Turnip Green Creative Reuse (535 4th Avenue South), the Tennessean Newspaper Rack Community Art Project will be in full effect.  The Tennessean, Beth Inglish, Turnip Green Creative Reuse, and the Nashville Creative Group are hosting an event to upcycle a few decommissioned newspaper racks for a community art project.  It is a BYOB (bring your own brush) deal, and the finished painted racks will be unveiled at a futre event at Turnip Green Creative Reuse.  It takes a village, y’all!

Speaking of villages, Honest Lewis is at it again this Tuesday night with another round of A Night of Free Speech.  From 7-11pm, at Logue’s Black Raven Emporium, everyone is welcome to get up and share their ideas, prose, shorts, longs, poetry, and whatever you have written down on a piece of paper or in your head that you’d like to share with other local literary folks in the round.  There are snacks and beer there for purchase and all the good writing your soul can digest in one sitting.  I highly recommend that you come out and try a taste.

Wednesday, October 9th, you can get your @artobernash fill over at Fort  Houston (500 Houston Street) with Les Blank Film Month: “Sun’s Gonna Shine” + “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopikins.”  Nashville Folk + Free Skool is partnering with Fort Houston on a 3 part series to screen a handful of Blank films on rare 16mm prints, courtesy of John Lomax III.  The films, beginning at 7pm, will be followed by Q+A sessions with regional scholars, musicians, and other culture-bearers.
And yet again connecting transitional dots here, and pointing out a few more culture-bearers that I know, The Coal Men are playing an epic show on Wednesday night and want you THERE too!  Dave & Dave will be hitting the stage at 7pm at the performing artist co-op (107 N. 11th St. in East Nashville’s 5 Points area) in order to officially celebrate the release of “Escalator” with a juke joint hang.  For adults above 21 there will be FREE beer, live music from The Coal Men, and the availability to buy their new tour EP “Skeletons” for $10 (half of that price will go to East C.A.N.).  Not a bad night if I don’t say so myself!

Thursday, October 10th, marks the beginning of the 3 day event called Creativity Moves Nashville 2013 Conference.  You can get more information at www.creativitymovesnashville.com, but from October 10-12, at Vanderbilt University Student Life Center (310 25th Avenue S.) the Nashville community will come together for inspiration and innovation in a gathering of Nashville’s innovative creative leaders, thinkers, and doers who believe in the power of creativity to do good and transform our community.  Creativity Moves, Jacob Weiss, Sam Davidson, Matt Cheuvront, Jen Cole, and Nancy Van Reece (among others) don’t really need an introduction here, but you should get your tickets and hear all of the good things they have to say.  Seriously, get your ticket and be there.  Most important thing going on this week for sure.

Skip over to single out Friday, October 11th, and you only need to know one thing … The Lower Caves are playing at Exit/In at 8pm.  Yeah, I said it.

Saturday, you have 3 options for awesome and you can definitely check out all 3 if you are willing and able to be awesome.  First, it should go without being said here (meaning you should already know) that the 25th Annual Southern Festival of Books is going down Downtown this weekend.  I actually get to introduce author Wendy Welch on CSPAN2 live at noon if you are channel surfing on CSPAN2 (aka the book channel thingy).  But yeah, you will have your choices of readings, books on tables, authors from near and far, and it be going on all day long.  Another highlight from the fest you should check out is the reading from Leslie LaChance, Art Smith, and Jeff Hardin as they read from their new books at the Nashville Public Library, Conference Room III, at 2pm.  They are all so very talented and worth your time.

Second on the list of must sees for Saturday is Poetry in the Brew.  Like clockwork, on the 2nd Saturday of every month, the finest local poets come together at Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue) from 5:30-8:30pm and do their thing.  Patricia Alice Albrecht will be guest hosting this week, and Curtis Rose (aka The Purple Poet) is returning to town to feature as well.  This should be AWEsome.

And finally, the place I will definitely be at and that will no doubt give you a week’s worth of AWEsome in one spot, you really need to come out to an art opening like no other in town at East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street, Unit B).  I know you might think that we are only a bookstore for local authors, but we also feature local artists’ work that is inspired by literature.  I can’t think of anything artistic wise so far in our short run of a year like this show.  Jeff Bertrand has taken pages from more than two handfuls of local authors featured at East Side Story (from New York Times Bestselling authors to self-published and everything in between) and painted their portraits on their pages.  You can see from the picture above that he is amazing and the authors will be blown away and surprised just as much as the rest of us seeing the work for the first time.  The exhibition is called “Nashville Storytellers: Faces behind the Stories.”  The reception is Saturday, October 12th, from 5-9pm, at East Side Story, and Jeff Bertrand will be there to show you the work and talk if you want to too.  This show coincides with the rest of the 2nd Saturday at 5 Points art crawl from 6-9pm as well.  THIS will be EPIC!

Sunday, maybe Sunday we can rest and pick up where we left off this past weekend with a win from the Titans.  Let’s do our part, while they spend a week learning from mistakes and practicing to earn their enormous paychecks.  Let’s do our part to live large with all that we have been given around us in Nashville this week art-wise.  We have a lot to be thankful for right now.  I hope to see you at a few or all of the above.

And be nice to each other.

much love,

ps- Heads up- Next Tuesday, October 15th, at 7pm, I am honored to say that we at East Side Storytelly are partnering up with Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street) to have our first annual Halloween-ish East Side Storytellin’ event.  We will have the spooky stories of Betsy Phillips (author of A City of Ghosts- www.acityofghosts.com) and the music by Old Hazelwood.  It is FREE to attend, will have merch for sale, and it will conclude by 8:30pm in case you have other tricks up your sleeve that evening.  Please come dressed for the holiday fun if you want.  We won’t judge, we’ll just have fun together.

September Smiles

As always, one of the hottest nights of the week for fun this week will be tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17th, at Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street), at 7pm.  It is there and then (starting promptly at 7pm so you might want to get there early) where and when I’ll be hosting East Side Storytellin’ 22.  The latest installment and episode will feature fresh poems from the legion Ben Burr and then original music from the epic Tim Easton.  You can see more information at this link- https://www.facebook.com/events/542718759128242/, but just make sure you get to Mad Donna’s before 7pm if you want a seat.

On Wednesday, September 18th, from 5:30-6pm, over at the East Nashville Farmers Market (210 S. 10th Street), Nashville keeps things hot with more storytelling at the Hot Pepper Festival.  Magda Underdown-Dubios will be the leader to get these spicy stories poppin’.  


Thursday, September 19th, there are a number of excellent places to choose from if out on town and getting your local music fix.  First, from 5-9pm, at The 5 Spot (1006 Forrest Avenue), you can experience The Alternate Root Presents: The East Nashville Detour.  It will be packed with people and great music with the likes of Eric Brace & Peter Cooper, Jon Byrd, Kevin Gordon, Tim Carroll, Amelia White, Dave Coleman (of The Coal Men), and Mark Robinson- all for just $5!  There will also be another show at The 5 Spot right after that too so you’ll get more for your night if you stay put once there. Second, two more East Side Storytellin’ alum in that of Allen Thompson and Don Gallardo will be playing a very special writer’s round alongside Joe Whyte at Puckett’s 5th & Church (500 Church Street) at 5pm.  Third, you can go to the Exit/In (2208 Elliston Place) at 8pm to catch a few other stellar local bands and the amazing The Lower Caves for only $3!  Lastly for Thursday, and back to the visual art side of things, drive on over to 427 Chestnut Avenue to get another Round Table of art talks.  Titled “Precarious and Art & Class,”  Hal Foster and Ben Davis will be on site to converse about the state of art from 6:30-8pm.  All of the above will be a blast if you get to any or all of them.


To kick off a Friday as jam-packed as Thursday, here are some of the highlights I think you should take notice of in town.  First, run by Ensworth High School (7401 Highway 100) to see Ellie Caudill’s solo show.  She has filled the top and bottom floor of the arts building with paintings that she has worked on for the the last 4-5 months.  It is from 4–7pm.  Second, at The Green Room (521 Gallatin Avenue, Suite 4), the one and only The Smoking Flowers will be playing with the likes of Derek Hoke and Sam Lewis.  Hosted by Artist Growth, there will great tunes and FREE beer from 7-11pm.  Third, back to The 5 Spot, at 10pm, you can join the cheering and spirit by dropping by the Pioneers Season Opener Pep Rally.

This weekend, you can do the regular music shows around town or stop by the good ol’ bookstore to say hello and maybe buy a local author’s book to read at East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street, unit B), and after a long, fun day of doing just that, you can head on over to Dose Coffee and Tea (3431A Murphy Road) to have Rishi Tea and Chocolate paired together!  Who doesn’t like good tea and good chocolate?  It’s $10 in advance or $12 at the door.  If you don’t like this, stop reading.  In fact, I’ll just stop writing to make this decision easy for you.  

Thanks for taking note of all of the above, and I hope you have a lovely and productive week ahead.

much love,




The gifts that keep on giving

Do any of you out there have parents and/or grandparents that also spent countless hours searching and waiting in line for any signs of the last available Teddy Ruxpin for sale on Christmas Eve (pre-internet and iPhone mind you)? Or maybe you were possibly one of ‘those people’ that set up tents outside the local Best Buy a few days earlier than the release date, sending texts messages to the rest of us for extra clothes or pizza, in order to make sure that you were one of the lucky few to take a first glance at the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, or even the original Atari game set? Either way you look at it, some people get caught up in the discount craze and LOVE to shop all the while others wish that Black Fridays never existed; I’m currently one of the latter as time has changed my focus from excitement for the gifts to the appreciation for the giving (don’t throw up yet … stick with me here………..).

I know some of you guys and gals are just as surprised as I am sitting here with you right now that Christmas Day is already NEXT WEEK! Don’t flip out or anything; I have a few gift ideas for you that won’t force you to lose any sleep over money or time spent trying to add the cheer in your holidays fast approaching. Not only will you avoid the mall traffic, with my options you can avoid the mall altogether! I know, I know … it sounds too good to be true, eh?

If your Christmas tree is up and you are lacking ornaments to fill in the bare spots or need just one or two more to really set it off, please look no further than the 2009 ornaments made by The Lost Boys of Sudan. Now an annual tradition, this year’s ornaments are unique cow ornaments painted white with a cold collar attaching a small bell. Also included in these $10 rarities is a red ribbon loop that has a brief story and artist name attached relating the peace and joy that they once had from making similar childhood cows with mud in their native lands. In a time where we all can relate with trying to find peace and joy in any fashion we possibly can, these ornaments that give back proceeds to The Lost Boys Foundation of Nashville hold a beautiful story of survival and hope that could possibly completely fill up your half empty cups of cheer this time of year.

If you already have presents for your kids that you found and/or made at Art & Invention Gallery (you need to find and/or make those gifts soon if you still haven’t yet), you might be similar to me in that you need to find some gifts worthy of giving your dogs. Since I have both a cat and a dog in my house, I know that I can always take care of my gifts at the one stop dog shop of See Spot Eat: A Doggie Bakery. Owned and operated by the bestest dog lover in the tri-county area (if not farther), Kat Martin blends her priceless humor with that of your dog’s health. With gifts such as Sweet Pawtato/Flax Macaroons, PB&C (Peanut Butter and Carob) cookies, Jimmy Chews (shaped like high-heeled shoes), liver brownies, birthday cakes, pupcakes, pupsicles, Treatza and Cheezy Gar-lick pizzas, holistic dog foods, interactive dog toys and other pup necessities that will make even the saddest dog wag its tail at hyper-speed, Kat makes my life as a pet parent fun and easy. As for my cat, she’s totally content with chasing a string with a bell on the end of it and me staying out of her way.

If it’s family Christmas cards that you seek to send to all of your friends and family on the last minute notice and don’t have time to stroll down to the Super Wal-Mart with matching sweaters in tow for a quick family photo op, don’t you fret. My good friend and local sculptor extraordinaire, Rosemary Swain has relayed the message to a few of us that we can give and receive this tradition to those we care about by supporting a good cause at the same time. Cards That Give is an organization that makes charity greeting cards for all ages and sizes. Most, if not all, of the money made from the sales of the cards you buy from them in turn help raise much needed funds for groups such as ASPCA, World Wildlife Fund, American Cancer Society and many others of your choice. And speaking of charities, don’t forget that you can also give to Cancer research by purchasing my first book, Adventures Inside A Bright-Eyed Sky (all of the proceeds go towards Cancer research) on our organization’s website.

If you have had the hardest of years that you can remember, maybe even lost your job, and are struggling for funds to keep the lights and the heat on, I have just the gift for you. If you are anything like brother and always find that even before any sight of snow or sounds of sleigh bells ringing in the sky that the holidays truly begin when he hears those old familiar, traditional Christmas songs beginning to play on the radio, in the stores and every stereo, then I have a delightful treat for you. You may find that the best way to keep your spirits high and holiday as festive as ever before (all within your budget of no price to pay at all) that you can download the wonderful sounds of the music group Venus Hum for absolutely FREE! No, this is not a gimmick; nor do I receive anything from any of these suggestions you have read above. That being written, you don’t have to be the Ghost of Christmas Future to foresee that your Christmas music collection will forever be lacking if you don’t immediately add and include these fresh Venus Hum tunes within their recently recorded Switched on Christmas (special edition) into your holiday repertoire.

Chuck Beard

Adventures Inside A Bright-Eyed Sky

Just a quick reminder…and break from promoting all the passionate artists in and around Nashville that I believe in…the following is a bit of shameless self-promotion……..

A few years ago, I set out on my own adventure and wrote and self-published this short novel:

Adventures Inside A Bright-Eyed Sky is a not so tall tale about a boy named Jay, told by Jay, a young boy that is having trouble finding the reasons why his childhood seems to be departing just as soon as he is getting to the heart of it all.

In the search of truth behind every day everyday mysteries at the same time crossing paths with various characters into his life with lessons not really pertaining to the current thought of the moment, Jay discovers just how adversity, friendship, and death all happen for a reason … Jay discovers himself.

Jays adventures remind us all that sometimes, you have to step on the bus and find out for yourself. Sometimes, life just happens. Sometimes, sometimes, just may be right now.

All proceeds will go to Adventures Inside a Campus for a Cure, Inc. A registered 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization whose mission is to create dialogue about the effects of cancer and to raise money for cancer research.

Together we can HELP find a cure!

To purchase a copy of Adventures Inside a Bright-Eyed Sky click HERE.

Chuck Beard