Sunday, December 13, 2009

" In the Sanctuary of Outcasts" by Neil White

I pride myself on being a reader who reads many different genres. It keeps me from missing out on many great reads being published in the reading world. I love memoirs that read like novels! A couple of months ago one such book was recommended to me....... " In the Sanctuary of Outcasts" by Neil White. This is an incredible book!! I met Neil White this past week at my local bookstore. He is as incredible as his book! I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with him and I encouraged him to continue to write as he really has talent.
This is a picture of "Carville" in Carville, Louisiana which is the setting of the book.
Rather than write a review...... I'm adding this scripture that I think fits.....
ROMANS 8:28 " and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
And letting Neil tell you in his own words...............
In His Own Neil White
In 1993, I pled guilty to one count of bank fraud. My publishing business was running short on cash, so I kited checks as a form of bridge financing. When the FBI called, I invited them to my house, put on a pot of coffee and told them exactly what I'd been doing. " It was just business," I explained, certain they would understand.
Two weeks later, I ran into one of the FBI agents at a cocktail reception at our country club. He told me that during his 20 year career, I was one of only two criminal suspects who had not lied to him. He added that I'd still do time in federal prison.
I was never arrested, never handcuffed,never indicted and never posted bond. I signed a document accepting responsibility for my actions. Then, the judge gave me several months to get my affairs in order before I packed my bag and self surrendered at the federal prison at Carville, Louisiana. I had no idea it was an experimental prison that also housed the last leprosy patients in America.
From my first day inside, I recognized that this odd coupling- housing leprosy patients and convicts - would make a great story. In fact, as a journalist, I couldn't have dreamed up a more sensational setting. Within a week of my arrival at the colony, I made a pact with myself. I would not buy into all that inmate stuff. I would be an undercover reporter.
I carried a notebook with me at all times. I recorded events as they occurred. I had every intention of publishing an expose' on this strange government experiment upon my release.
However, as the year progressed, I learned about the plight of the leprosy patients - the very last 130 Americans to be forcibly quarantined by the government. In the most unlikely of places and among the some of the most unusual people in the world,I rediscovered the pleasures of simplicity and surrender, friendship and gratitude. Among these secret people, I found a new best friend in Ella Brown-an eighty year old, African-American, double amputee who had contracted leprosy at the age of twelve. Though not formally educated, Ella was a woman of great wisdom. As I fumed about my incarceration, struggled with my wife's decision to leave me and planned for a grand comeback, Ella guided me: sometimes directly, sometimes with story and metaphor, but mostly by how she lived. She, along with Harry and Jimmy(two life-long leprosy patients) and Doc, Link and Jefferson (inmates with provocative views), helped me to re-discover values I had ignored in my drive to succeed all all costs.
So, I simply couldn't bring myself to write the story as I'd initially intended. But I continued to take detailed notes for my entire I would never forget.
The story of my year in Carville was an extraordinary journey. I was grateful for the time I lived with the leprosy patients; appreciative of how it altered the course of my life; indebted to this group of men and women who were the last of their kind. I felt an obligation to get this story perfect.
I spent a decade reviewing my journals and re-living the mental images I captured during my imprisonment. I searched for meaning in every scene and event. I tried to identify why Ella and Harry and Doc and Link meant so much to me. And I spent twelve years with top creative writers to hone my writing skills and this story. (Neil White 2009)
In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White
Hardcover 2009 313 pp.
ISBN # 978-0-06-135160-0

Thursday, December 10, 2009

" The Writers Porch Celebrates"

My eclectic blog THE WRITERS PORCH celebrated its ONE YEAR Blogerversary yesterday with an on-line interview with Author Jessica James............ Jessica is the author of the Award Winning Civil War Novel " Shades of Gray" ..........
Miss Kitty chose to celebrate by sleeping in The Porch Reading Chair..........
Click HERE to go to "The Porch" and read Jessica's Interview !!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

" The Winner Is "

First, let me say Thank You for your response to my new book blog! There were 23 comments and 12 followers in 1 day! For the book giveaway you got 1 point each for a comment ( a couple left 2) 1 point for following. Kat Magendie joined and left 2 comments so she had 3 points. For each point I put your name on an list. I would show this list like I did last time but my scanner is acting up and won't scan! So, there were 37 numbers for Hubby to choose from! He chose # 7 ! AND....... The Winner Is.... PAT, from East Tennessee! Congratulations Pat!! Send me your snail mail address and I'll get it out to you!! ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I can hear you guys right now saying; " What ? Where will she find the time? " I have been planning this for awhile now. When I started The Writers Porch I had in mind to post about my LOVE for BOOKS.............. Well, I had so much fun going eclectic that I felt my original intention to promote THE WRITTEN WORD got lost, so I've created THE BOOK HOUSE, where I will post occasionally (probably once a week) on books and authors. For my first post I want to talk about one of my VERY favorite reads, "Alex Stewart Portrait of A Pioneer " by John Rice Irwin..........ISBN # 0-88740-053-1 : Paperback : 293 pages If you don't like reading about the Appalachian Pioneers and their hardships, you won't like this book. If you do, this is one of the VERY BEST ever written on the subject!! I absolutely fell in love with the man Alex Stewart and with John Irwin's writing! This is not a work of fiction. John started visiting Alex in the 1970's and taping their conversations. He went so often that he became a honorable member of the Stewart family. He then turned 20 years of tapes into one of the best books I've ever read. A book I HATED to see end !! To learn more about John Rice Irwin, who is the founder of the very famous Museum of Appalachia please click on the name. You can also click this to see a YouTube Video of him talking about M of A. Below is a picture of Alex on the books back cover. He reminds me so much of my maternal grandfather who passed away when I was 17 years old.
These are books I received in the past week. I have a few more coming but have promised myself that I will BUY no more until the TBR Stack shows signs of shrinkage!
The above books and these are some of the books I will be talking about on this new blog!!!