Tag Archives: niceville

Panhandle Focus, now bi-monthly

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 12.07.09 AMJust finished the September issue of the Panhandle Focus and there was so much material it was going to be a whopping, overloaded affair.

Instead, I’ve decided to share the love over the month and simply go to bi-monthly publication now. It’s been suggested and requested that we go bi-monthly many times since the first issue Aug. 1. The issues will now come out on the first and fifteenth of each month.

Enjoy this September 1 issue—it’s packed with fashion shows, charity, women making a difference, archery, animals, cornhole… we do a lot in the Panhandle worth talking about!

To view the paper, simply follow this link (The Panhandle Focus) or visit PanhandleFocus.com. You can also always find it available to the right in my sidebar.

Horseplay at the Paper

Yesterday’s #TBT post got me thinking back to when I was first trying to get a job at the Beacon, and I started reflecting on what the almost two years have been like working there. Sometimes it’s been incredibly stressful as we race to meet deadlines in spite of server crashes, electricity outages and needed information not coming through. The rewards are worth it though.

All the time we have excited kids and parents come in the office to buy stacks of papers to send away to distant family. Sometimes I get to do a story that will help someone, further a good cause or share important information. Every week I get to learn about something new, making this the most exciting, fulfilling  job I’ve ever had. I’m so grateful to be welcomed in to this little corner of the world. Here’s the story I did this week:


Friends of the Library Book Sale/Signing a Success!

Signing books at the Friends of the Niceville Library annual book sale. I started with just over 50 books and took home just about 20.

Signing books at the Friends of the Niceville Library annual book sale. I started with just over 50 books and took home just under 20.

I was privileged to be able to sign books at the Niceville Friends of the Library annual book sale today. It’s been a few years since I’ve done a book signing so it was good to get out and do the social part of ‘authoring,’ but even better knowing I was able, in a small way, to contribute to a greater good.

I’ve watched this dedicated group of supporters over the last year. They put their own schedules to one side and tirelessly work to raise money to

They made me a poster... I was so thrilled!

They made me a poster… I was so thrilled!

contribute to our local library. With government cut backs, programs like local libraries are pinched, but with everyone’s budget pinched, public libraries are more important than ever. Today this group of ladies raised very close to $3,500 dollars that goes directly to library programs.

I am so honored that, in a small way, I was able to be a part of that. All authors need to be an active support for our libraries. Libraries promote reading, and what do authors need to survive? Readers. Supporting our local libraries is supporting literacy, and without literacy we are out of a profession.

Signing Books in Niceville

fan 15 I’m not big on book signings, but I volunteered this weekend to help a good cause: Friends of the Niceville Library. I’ll be signing copies of End of Mae and donating 100% of the proceeds to Friends.

They raise money all year to help support our local library, which promotes literacy. Of all the causes I can think of to support, building literacy, is in my mind, the best.

Literate people are not hateful, prejudiced nor do they act blindly and in fear. Books teach us that anything is possible, anything is lovable and we all carry the seed of greatness. How could I not support that? Here’s the scoop:

The Friends of the Niceville Library would like to invite you to their annual book sale. They will have a wide selection of gently used books and most items are $1 or less. The sale will be held in the Niceville Community Center 204 Partin Drive N. adjacent to the Library.

Friday, September 19, Presale for Friends of the Library Members is from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Non-members may join at the door to take advantage of the presale.

I’ll be on hand signing books from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 20, 100% of sales of my books go to Friends of the Niceville Library. The Public Sale is from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday will include an amazing bake sale. All proceeds benefit the Niceville Public Library.

What is it about Niceville?

nicevilleWhen I first started working in Niceville I knew I had found someplace special, and we started looking to move here almost immediately.  I’ve been told that there is only one town named Niceville in the entire world.

Originally named after Nice, France, to portray a high brow European town, the Niceville we know and love now has kept that European open minded quality but rather than being snobbish it has an air of friendliness and acceptance.  When you come to Niceville, you are made welcome.

I’m not the only one that sees something special here.  Niceville appears in a number of books, movies and stories as a place that inspires the imagination.  From Jonathon Stroud’s book titled Niceville, a horror set in a fictional town of the same name to Jonathon Gunger’s book 34/4, which is set in the real Niceville, this is the little town that sticks with you.

The popular movie, “The Help”, is named Niceville in some other countries, and the likes of Tobuscus and All American Rejects have called this town home.  The Bay Beacon, the paper I work for, was even just on David Letterman!  So why all the interest in one small town?

Here’s some of the places I’ve found Niceville in popular culture…

Niceville The Help

Niceville 1Niceville 2

Jonathan Gunger tonight on Journal Jabber!

Gunger BookListen in! Welcome to another Tuesday and another episode of Journal Jabber!  Tonight’s guest is Jonathon Gunger, author of 34/4, a novel set in the town of Niceville… the same town I currently live in.

Come join us as Gunger shares all his secrets on how he makes his way through the autho-verse.  While you wait, visit his book on Amazon.  Gunger was also the featured poet last Poetry Slam Sunday!

Visit the new show schedule to see what’s coming up next!

Tonight’s show is sponsored by The Eyes for Editing.


Broken tech? Call Sarge!

My hero!

My hero!

Anyone in the Emerald Coast area looking for an iPad and cell phone repair shop – try Sarge’s Cellular in Valparaiso.

Awhile back I mentioned that my beloved iPad, gift from my daughter, had been dropped and was caput.  I kept it around for months, entombed in its box, trying to find someone to fix it.

Then I ran into Sarge’s Cellular Repair.  The guy behind the counter was professional and friendly.  We had a chat and he told me all sorts of helpful information about my iPad and cell phones in general.  I left it there for him to fix.

Within a few hours I had my iPad back looking like new and was charged less than anyone else had quoted me.  Months later, it’s still working fine.  You will not going to regret taking your tech to Sarge.

Sarge’s Cellular Service

33 N John Sims Pkwy, Valparaiso, FL 32580

Or call them at 389-4301

Beacon highlights

It was a great week at the Beacon!  I got to interview Carsten Stroud about the sequel to his book Niceville, called The Homecoming.  I’ve had no time with all the finishing up moving and family visiting so I’m still at the beginning of the first book but so far it is excellent.  Spooky, real with a twist of the supernatural… I’ll be reviewing both books when I’m finished and look forward to talking to Carsten again next year about his final book in the Niceville trilogy.
Carsten Stroud article

Another highlight was this great photo I got of the Niceville city manager panhandling on the corner to help fund the city firework’s show.  The annual pyrotechnic show, which costs around $28,000 to put on, is paid without using one penny of tax payer money.  Niceville and Valparaiso, our sister city, have a year long fundraising push to collect the money.  They recycle aluminum cans, sell smoked pork butts at Superbowl, limited edition T-shirts and even beg on the street corners to make sure the skies over Boggy Bayou are lit up each Independence Day.  I’m so glad I was able to get this photo!

Fireworks Fund

My third favorite thing that happened at the Beacon this week was being able to get Mr. Smith’s visiting parents a cameo appearance in the paper.  Since all the festivities were rained out July 4, we went to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida where they were doing free admission and passing out flags to celebrate.  We ran into the museum manager, who photogenically was wearing red, white and blue and the rest is history ;p

Smiths in Beacon