Charleston Selfie – Original Poem (A Girls Day and Night Out)

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Echoes of the first shots of the war that divided America heard as our hair blows from the winds of the harbor

The colors of Rainbow Row shower my background as I smile on the grounds of unity

Every street corner a photo shoot of memories stored forever

Laying on the cobblestone of Queen, so trendy

Strike a pose by the fountain as the water glistens our curls

Next, we frolic to the swings waving to the sailor passing by.

Smile, we say as we shoot our picture, best friends forever in the Holy City

A rooftop view of the sun setting behind the prominent St. Philips

In a moment mesmerized, we raise our glasses on the platform of Vendue and record this moment

Skipping down East Bay to Market we say hello to our friends who tirelessly carry the burden of the carriages.? We ask for a pet, snap a shot and kiss our new horse friend goodbye

Up King Street, we pose with Louis Vuitton, sip honey and make a goofy face with Savannah Bee Company, take an air brush shot with Reinert Fine Art and sip martinis with the brothers Halls

Time to freshen up and slip into our cocktail dresses as a night of hot Latin salsa awaits.? The boys at Club Trio will have to wait their turn to be part of our Charleston selfie

A night so memorable, so clear.? A city forever a part of our lives.

The boys in black open the doors of the Francis Marion with a Southern smile

One last selfie

Off to bed to dream of another day in Charleston

Letter to the Sea (Letter to Earth for Love, Hope and Peace) – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

Out to sea we will meet
Distant strangers together under a starry sky

In our differences, we see the world through a spectrum of colors
Different languages, looks, beliefs, morals and relationships; yet one unified bond
The pursuit of meaning and love

Each moment an explosion of millions of actions pulsating in a thunderstorm of emotion causing a chain reaction so raw with intensity we can only respect its being

Each one of us a gift
Each moment a mother touches her newborn for the first time, a legacy
Babies first steps, a dream becomes reality
A first kiss, fear is shed and enlightenment found
A vow of love, the ultimate promise
A reflection of life, the soundtrack of the harmonies of our days

Close your eyes to hate
Shed away the fear
Find comfort in the love that surrounds
Have faith in the hands that created you
Take shelter in the relationships that protect

Let this message be a guide to your continued journey
Look back on your footprints in the sand; soon to be washed away but forever secured safely in your lock box of life’s precious times

Each step a new beginning toward your destiny
One filled with conviction

Make these words a pledge to find inner peace and live with passion
Leap in the air and let gravity take hold
It is in this moment, new and fresh, you will become wonderful


Writing Your Memoirs 8 Week Course Offered in Charleston – Register Today

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Writing Your Memoirs?Class?Offered

Do you remember your first car, your first job or your first love? Is there a special trip or friend or incident you would like to share? Would you like to write down some of your memories so your children and grandchildren know more about your life? Now, you have a great opportunity.

Mount Pleasant resident Tonya McGue is offering an eight-week Writing Your Memoirs workshop from 10-11:30 am on Tuesdays starting October 23 at the Hamlin Clubhouse, 100 Amenity Park Drive, Mount Pleasant. Each class includes instruction, examples and writing exercises.?It’s a relaxed, positive and encouraging atmosphere.?No writing experience is needed. It’s all about having fun and doing something creative and interesting.

To register, email Tonya at? include your name and phone number.?The cost is $80 for all eight classes.?Class size is limited to 12 and it’s first come, first serve.

Heaven is Being Right Beside You – Original Poem

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By Mark A. Leon

It was meant to be
Baby, you and me
We are in it for the ride with you by my side
I’m a small-town boy, looking at my small-town girl who said yes to a dance
Now, I never want it to end
Let the music play every minute of every day

Just to hear your voice in my dreams
To see your face just as your lips touch mine

When you asked, “Where have you been all my life?”
I’ve always been there right beside you

In your prayers
A sound in the wind
An energy exchange pure to the heart of two souls wandering with purpose; with meaning

We shared a love in our growing hearts
From the youthful tone of a field of lilies on those northern plains
To the southern breeze so safe and familiar

I grew to know you one syllable at a time
Each piece of the puzzle one step to completing me

Now we are one
A dance in the clouds on a red letter
Free to fly above the reality to a fantasy built for two

A silly thought, but one we share
A promise made by a fortune teller so long ago
A prediction in the stars
A red carpet welcoming us to the ball

Take my hand, my princess
Let me have the first dance all over again

A miracle in heals
A savior in lace
Warm wet fierce rapids racing for the waterfall
Hold on tight

Blue Bicycle Books Introduces 2018 Youth Writing Camp Dates (Now in its 16th Year)

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2018 Writing Camp Dates!
Celebrating its 16th year in the Lowcountry, Write of Summer is where young people find their writing voices and have a blast doing it.
Each session will visit the Gibbes Museum of Art and will close with a coffeehouse reading.
Sessions for rising grades 3-6, 5-9, or 7-12 run throughout the summer at the bookstore and two locations in Mount Pleasant (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Cost: $190)

Questions? Call Jonathan at 843-323-2834.

Clay Rice Silhouettes
Renowned silhouette artist Clay Rice returns to Blue Bicycle Books Wed., Mar. 14, 3 – 6 pm, to?cut children’s silhouettes.?Call the store at 843.722.2666 to book a 5-minute slot.
Taught by his grandfather, Carew Rice, Clay is a 21st-century folk artist and a Lowcountry treasure. Watching him cut a silhouette in under five minutes is a performance in itself!
Personal silhouettes start at $42 for two copies. Clay will also sign his picture books including?The Stick?and?Ants ‘n’ Uncles?(Familius, hb., $17).

Ladson, South Carolina Author Publishes Science-Fiction Novel

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Salomon’s Exodus, a new book by Montell Johnson Sr., has been released by RoseDog Books.

Salomon’s Exodus: Diary of the Last King Volume I is a journey of the soul. After proposing to his high school sweetheart, Salomon has finally gotten everything he’s ever wanted. With the love of his life and plans set for the future; happily ever after seems simple. Until he is awakened from a dream with an unwanted gift and his world is turned upside down. Salomon is faced with a reality that is hard to digest, sending him into a downward spiral.

Salomon’s Exodus: Diary of the Last King Volume I is a journey of the soul. After proposing to his high school sweetheart, Salomon has finally gotten everything he’s ever wanted. With the love of his life and plans set for the future; happily ever after seems simple. Until he is awakened from a dream with an unwanted gift and his world is turned upside down. Salomon is faced with a reality that is hard to digest, sending him into a downward spiral.

About the Author:
With a deep love for words, author Montell Johnson Sr was born and raised in North Charleston, South Carolina. Taking care of and providing for his family are among the things he most enjoys in life.

Salomon’s Exodus is a 130-page paperback with a retail price of $13.00. The ISBN is 978-1-4809-7413-5. It was published by RoseDog Books of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, or to request a review copy, please go to our virtual pressroom at or our online bookstore at

Jessica Stillwell
Dorrance Publishing

Release ID: 257115

Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. Frankly and this Station make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are affiliated with this page and would like it removed please contact

In a Charleston Minute – Original Poem

By Mark A. Leon

With the warmth of a sunrise over the Charleston Harbor, the good Lord blessed this boat as it departs on its long journey

With the waves of steeples and the song of church bells, we say goodbye

In a Charleston minute, paradise found

With the breeze in our hair, we reminisce
Frolicking in the Pineapple Fountain
Tasting the sweet nectar of a Southern orange at the market
Toasting a life well lived from the rooftop overlooking the French Quarter
We walked in the footsteps of General Washington and heard the echoes of ghosts

In a Charleston minute, it was the perfect storm

From the beaches of Folly to the courage of the Yorktown
Cheers of the RiverDogs to the tears of Mother AME

This city has stories written on its walls
Inspired, blessed, haunted and nurtured

As the harbor curves toward the ocean, we salute the first shots of the Civil War and thank the sands of Sullivan’s for its cinematic sunsets

In a Charleston minute, we found peace in a world of chaos

Cultured by the art of Broad
Playful with the aquarium ocean life
Glittered by the shops of King
Educated by the beauty of academia
Showered by the residential passion of Colonial Lake
Soothed by the glow of The Battery
Danced to the country sounds of Darius
Dined by gas light under the stars

In a Charleston minute, we realized the meaning of home

A place of community blessed with hope
Where sun shines brighter, the faith remains strong and the promise of a life fulfilled for our children is the cornerstone of everything

In a Charleston minute, we loved

Dear Chelsea (Solidarity for New York) – Original Poem

Fear is honored by the serpent slithering in a path of mischief
A playful devil coloring the world with darkness
As thick as the blackness in his eyes he leaves a path of pain
Shrapnel pierces the skin of the innocence
Streaks of blood fill the streets

Once again the September sky is filled with tears

Dear Chelsea we stand with you
United in a front of brotherhood

The serpent hides disguised as homeless; without shelter, without direction, without remorse
In the shadow of millions of shattered dreams, he waits to strike again

Dear Chelsea
The white light of freedom has blinded the black empty fear
A flower has risen from the ground, nurtured and launched to the heavens like a phoenix
With the strength inspired by our forefathers that built the Pyramids we united hand in hand

Overcome by love, the wall of fear is destroyed
In bright red, artists spell the words on buildings, “Fear is dead, Love is Strong”
This street art represents a weapon more powerful than guns and knives

Dear Chelsea
You too will walk; you too will run

Run for the sun, in celebration and hope on a path of rainbow colors laid out by generations of resilience
Hand in hand, we are one

Dear Chelsea, with love always



The Importance of the Written Word: Has Mobile Technology Destroyed Our Ability to Connect

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

In a day and age where breaking up via text is as acceptable as Urban Dictionary definitions, the desire to embrace the essential impact of the written word is becoming more important.? Today, we express emotion through emoticons and acronyms; rely on the smartphone over the pen and celebrate the value of connection with gifs and jpgs.? The evolution of mankind and its infatuation with mobile technology has damaged the roots of humanity and its yearning for connection.

As I completed a seven-page letter to Beth, who currently is about to enter her third year in the Peace Corps in Africa, I reflected back on two years of global letter writing, with each letter bringing a bigger smile than the last.? Don’t get me wrong, we both have WhatsApp and Facebook and know very well in the four weeks of transit, will age the relevance of the letter, but the connection is still felt along with the emotions built into each correspondence.

I want us to take a step back to a time when the pen was magical and the ability to express oneself in words changed lives.? The following excerpts are from letters written several years ago, that pitted the depths of human emotion and effectively changed lives.

Original Hand Written Letter Excerpts:

“No words over a telephone could communicate what I have to say so I’ll have to rely on written words, which seem to be more effective in our relationship.? The letters you sent me were beautiful and plentiful.? They surpassed any gift I have received yet.? The first one showed you are a true friend.? The birthday greeting followed by good advice and a boost to my ego was very much appreciated.? In a word, thanks.? I needed to hear some of the things you said.? Coming from you, they were even more meaningful to me.” Raquel

“Remember when I said that there are very few people in the world who I identify with and that you were one of them?? I honestly meant that and not just in the sense that you challenge me.? I am glad we met and happy to have you in my life (even if it is a little more dramatic now).? I hope you have the best birthday and that you get all you hope for.? Did I mention I also find you incredibly attractive (I know, I’m being high school)” – Lorie

“There are too many things in the world that suck and you are one of them.? It is sad to say, but it is true.? You suck because of the way you act.? Everything else about you is fine except when it comes to your attitude and your pride.? I’m sure you’ve heard this before, yeah you must have.?? Everyone on this floor has been making fun of the immature way you act.? You are a great person and fun to be with until I get to know you.? Don’t get me wrong.? If you want to be friends, it is okay by me, but I know it will never be the same.? I will never try to get close to you again.? One just fails in doing so.? You are so closed.? You are like an asymptote.? People get closer and closer to you, but they never reach you.? Why couldn’t you talk to me?” – Raquel

“I meant what I said this morning that no one has made me feel special in a long time.? You don’t know how much it means to me when you do the little things, like saying “Thanks for going out last night for dinner”.? People can buy all the gifts in the world, but it doesn’t even come close to how I feel when I know you think about me.” – Amy

“If you are reading this then I have already said good-bye.? I can’t be friends with someone I don’t trust.? I do love you still and I have for a long time.? I mean these words.? I have tried to stop.? I am writing this now because I cried all the way down here and I will cry all the way home.? Losing you is one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time.? As the tears streak down my cheeks and the rain falls on the window, I think of all the memories.” – Kimberly

“Each day with you is a tender moment that fills my heart with joy and each passing thought of you still makes me believe – makes me believe in all the things that I could not comprehend before I met you.? I know that words never amount to much.? Words come and go and we always speak of our thoughts on a passing whim.? I cannot say anything or do anything that will change the way you feel, but what I feel is so strong – strong enough that each morning I awake and thank God I was given the chance to feel a love that no words, no song, no man or woman can ever describe.? I will hold the thought of you in my heart and soul – And I will carry your name with me forever.” – Hope

“I feel safety when I’m in your arms, like the entire army from hell couldn’t come close to me when I’m there.? The softness and passion in your kisses seem to lift me from the Earth, melting the rest of the world away and leaving only you and I to swirl around in the clouds of ecstasy.? The heat of your body next to mine, the feel of your hands on my skin and in my hair, the way your eyes sparkle when you say something clever… These are the things that caused me to drop my guard with you even though my situation basically doomed us from the beginning.? The way you seem to always be right, the way I don’t care when I’m wrong, how you laugh when you really think something is funny – and when you think it’s not.? These are some of the things that ultimately lead me to love you.? I don’t expect anything from you or out of “us”.? I don’t need you to love me back, I don’t need any promises or favors…All I need is for you to know how I feel.? Nothing more, nothing less.? Simple isn’t it?!?” – Summer

“Your letter was amazingly, awesomely, wonderfully great.? I was smiling and laughing out loud the entire time I read it.? The people around me thought I was crazy (oh no!? Now they know the truth about me.)? I got my Cosmopolitan magazine on my lap, some Juicy Fruit gum that Amanda gave me and the Walkman which I didn’t put on yet.? I wanted to write before we took off because I’m afraid I’ll get dizzy if I write while the plane is moving.? I want to tell you how great it is for me to have finally found some true, great friends like you and Rock.? I really appreciate all that you do for me.? I can’t begin to tell you how much better you always manage to make me feel.” – Stacey

“Once upon a time I gave my heart to you.? You kept it for a while.? Then you began to nurture it.? That part of my heart began to grow like the most beautiful, yet delicate flower.? There were not only fragrant petals, but thorns.? The thorns began to hurt.? You took that piece of my heart and began to play with it as a kitten does a ball of string.? I let you because I loved you.? You began to give me back my heart.? So I gave you a piece of my soul.? You will have that forever.? Now you choose to nurture neither my gifts, my heart nor my soul, but they are yours.? I have them to you unconditionally, selflessly and forever.? I love you for you.? For your spirit and for your love of life.” Kimberly

“It’s a very serious thing for me and I’m sorry to do this, but I need time.? I’m not asking for forever, just a couple of days.? I need it and I’m sorry for that, but I have to do this.? I need to not see you for a couple of days.? I need this.? You said that you knew your feelings for me for sure when you were not around me and I’m not saying that’s what I need because I know that I have strong feelings for you.? If I don’t take a couple of days or so from us, I feel that I will run from you and I don’t want to do that.” – Casey

As you can see from these excepts, the power of the written word can penetrate the soul with fulfillment or pierce the heart.? It can bring you to your highest point or lowest and everything in between.

That is one of the greatest losses with the onset of the mobile culture and one we cannot afford to lose.

Mount Pleasant Author Inspires Young Readers with New Hybrid Graphic Young Adult Novel

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

“My alarm clock wailed like an electronic banshee, foretelling not my death, but the next worst fate:? My first day of high school.? I hit “snooze” and snoozed.? Every year, my parents and teachers promised a better year than the last, but it never came.? When would things change? Senior year? College? First job? Marriage? Retirement? Nursing home?” Opening dialogue of new hybrid graphic young adult novel Me, Myself, and I’m Lost by Marc Kruza

When Marc Kruza, author, musician and computer geek set out to write a 347-page work, he had no idea how far the creative process would take him.? From concept of characters to story line; conflict to relationships; emotions to creative imagination, Marc took his story to a realm outside of our core imagination.

This Mount Pleasant based resident stretched his creative limits to script a generational story of the struggles of youth, the captivating magic of imagination and the suspense of life’s roadblocks.

Collaborating with illustrator Kenneth Leinaar, Marc took the character of Matt, a geeky young adult about to embark on the biggest challenge of his life, high school, and created a world where reality and fantasy become one.? From the front door of the high school to the space prison fighting pit, the reader is taken to a world of adventure while still tackling the same issues that face youth today.

Marc taps into the mind of a new generation provides a very entertaining piece of literature that many can and will relate to.

We took a candid opportunity to ask Marc a few questions about his first novel, tap into the mind of the author and learn about this new creative force in the Charleston community.

Author Marc Kruza Interview

CD:? Describe yourself in five words.

MK:? Author, musician, computers, fitness geek.

CD:? How does your personal and professional life play into the inspiration of your characters and stories?

MK:? Matt Kretzer, my novel’s main character, is largely drawn from my own teenage tribulations. The real drawing part, though, is a talent I can’t claim on my résumé. Matt’s has high school highs and lows, and he learns to illustrate graphic novels, surf, handle stress and deal with social change better (and faster) than I did.

CD:? Who is your primary audience and why?

MK:? Young adult and middle grade readers are my primary audience.? They will understand, relate and connect with the characters and plot of this novel.? The personality attributes of each generation changes, but the challenges faced remain.

CD:? Why is writing an important part of your life?

MK:? Writing lets me both entertain and enlighten my readers on the coming of age, as well as the coming and going of childhood friendships.

CD:? Who do you model your characters from?

MK:? My characters are modeled from family and friends throughout my life.? Who we are is shaped by those around us.? We are sponges that absorb and are influenced by those that come in and out of our lives.? That was important in the character development part of the process.

CD:? What do you want your readers to take away from your novel??

MK:? Adolescence is only a temporary condition. Asking for help in times of severe psychological stress is a sign of strength, not weakness.

CD:? What future storylines should we expect from you?

MK:? Matt has three years of high school left, which means at least three more novels!

After completing the first installment, we are looking forward to seeing how the next three years of Matt’s life plays out.

To learn more about Marc and to purchase his graphic novel, please go to:

Purchase: Me, Myself and I’m Lost

Marc Kruza Bio