The Desperately Ordinary

My sister epitomizes this quote by Desmond Tutu: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Right now, she’s doing her bits of goodness by making soap. You can read about it in Encore Magazine, while enjoying the gorgeous photos taken by Brian Powers. This essay is part of my forthcoming book, Kissing the World Goodbye, a collection of essays, recipes, and more that will be published by Unsolicited Press this coming March.

My sister makes numerous appearances throughout the book, so if you enjoy this piece, you’ll want to get your hands on Kissing the World Goodbye. Until then, I’ll leave you with a collage of some of my sister’s work and photo of her cutting pumpkin soap.

Keep scrubbing those hands with soap!

Wrangling Black History

Since writing Johnny Appleseed: The Slice and Times of John Chapman, some of the most interesting people have cropped up in my life. If it wasn’t for Johnny, I doubt our paths would have crossed.

One person intrigued me so much I just had to write about him: Mr. Murphy Darden. I’m thrilled that Encore Magazine has published “Wrangling Black History” as their February feature story and that this most deserving man graces the cover. Yee-haw! You can wrangle up your own copy of Encore from one of these Southwest Michigan locations, or read it on-line, here. Enjoy Brian K. Power’s stunning photography that accompanies the article and learn about a man who Encore’s editor Marie Lee calls “one of Kalamazoo’s most interesting residents.” (Can you spot the Johnny Appleseed connection? Hint: Enoch & Deborah Harris.)