Second Place: Arts Council of Appling County Poetry Contest

The Arts Council of Appling County recently held its first poetry contest. My poem came in second!

Here it is:


Most Insincere Form


Photographs of snow do not melt.
No wives are widowed by paintings of soldiers.

My echo is more talkative than me
And my shadow’s taller.

The lovers I meet in my dreams
Are gone by sunrise.

And not a word on this page
Was handwritten.

The man in the mirror
Reflects well on me.

Such insincere imitation
Must be flattery.


Grateful American Book Prize: My Book Received an Honorable Mention!

Here’s a press release from the Grateful American Book prize!

Grateful American

WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 21 – The winner of the 2017 Grateful American Book Prize is Margot Lee Shetterly, for her non-fiction work, HIDDEN FIGURES, a New York Times number one best seller, which tells the story of the pioneering African-American women who overcame racial barriers at NASA in the 1960s. They played significant roles in the very early days of America’s space program.

“They were called ‘computers’ where they worked and were largely dismissed until the authorities at the space agency’s Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia realized that their help was indispensible if the U.S. was to prevail over the Soviet Union in the conquest of space. Despite the rampant racism of the times four mathematicians, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, showed they had the right stuff. Using primitive tools by today’s standards – pencils and adding machines—they calculated the trajectories that would successfully launch America’s first astronauts into outer space,” David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Prize, said in making the announcement of the 2017 Prize.

Ms. Shetterly’s book was published in September of 2016 by William Morrow; the Academy Award winning film version—also released last year–starred Dorothy Vaughan, Janelle Monáe, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner.

Jennifer Latham’s DREAMLAND BURNING, a work of historical fiction– also about racial injustice—and Edward Cody Huddleston’s THE STORY OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 250 YEARS AFTER HIS BIRTH were selected to receive the Prize’s Honorable Mention Awards for 2017.

Dreamland Burning, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, with its focus on the Tulsa race riot of 1921, raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations – yesterday and today, according to one reviewer.

The Story of John Quincy Adams, produced by the Atlantic Publishing Group, examines the life of the sixth president of the United States, whose father, John Adams, was America’s second American president. “This work of historical nonfiction is likely to have a special appeal to young readers; despite his burdensome self-doubt, he was a constant achiever,” according to Smith.

The Prize, which carries an award of $13,000, and a medallion created by American artist, Clarice Smith, will be presented at an October 12th reception at The National Archives in Washington, D.C. Recipients of this year’s Honorable Mentions will also receive the medallion, and $500 each.


(Note: The photo above is not of my medallion. I’ll update this post with a picture of mine once I receive it!)

1ST PRIZE: Build a Better World Writing Contest

So, I saw this flyer a while back:


I submitted an essay and hoped for the best.

Well, the best happened! My essay won the contest. Here I am holding my almost comically over-sized trophy:


You can read the essay I submitted below:


Two Voices


Edward Cody Huddleston

There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, ‘I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.’ -Shel Silverstein

We each have two voices in our heads. One of them preaches mercy, kindness, and benevolence. The other preaches malice, cruelty, and bitterness.

Life is nothing if not a struggle between these two voices, a tug-o-war for our souls that lasts as long as we live. Examples of this exist everywhere.

My favorite TV show is Dexter. It tells the story of a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. Every day for Dexter is an inner battle between his conflicting desires, his desire to kill, and his desire to live a decent, productive life. His evil voice tells him to kill innocent people. But he fights it.

I recently watched a documentary about a support group for non-offending pedophiles. Their evil voice tells them to destroy the innocence of children. But they fight it.

Likewise, you may have days when your evil voice seems irresistible, a powerful James Earl Jones against the puny Gilbert Gottfried of your good voice, but you’ll fight it. You’ll choose the good voice and, thanks to you, your spouse’s head, and the 9 iron you’ll want to smash it with, will stay intact.

Because deep down, we all want to be closer to each other. Many of our latest and greatest technological marvels, such as smartphones and the internet, exist for that very reason. We live in a new, exciting age where, if someone speaks loudly and boldly enough, their voice can reach millions. Let that voice be yours, and let it be the voice of reason. Let what you tell the world echo what your conscience tells you, because a culture without a conscience can’t survive.

When we speak from the conscience, our voices become a powerful chorus. That’s why it’s called living in harmony.

The Story of John Quincy Adams

Here’s something a little different:



A few months back, I wrote a history book. It’s a biography of one of my heroes, John Quincy Adams. It was fun to write, and quite a departure from the haiku that spill out of my pen on a daily basis.

Anyway, a lot of ink, sweat, and tears went into this. Hope you love it!

(Sort of) Another Haiku

The meaning of life

and the mystery of life

are one and the same.


Originally published: Haikuniverse


It’s a bit different from what I normally write, and I was hesitant to submit it anywhere. But there it is, written out as a sentence and following a 5-7-5 scheme.

The basic idea of the haiku is this: The question is the answer. We’re here to wonder why we’re here. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be justified in wondering about it anyway.

Kinda pretentious, huh? Don’t worry, though. I’ve written several proper haiku (if there is such a thing!) over the last few days, and I look forward to sharing them with you soon!