Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Celebrating A Wonderful Charity Anthology To Aid The Gulf Coast Clean Up

Today we're celebrating LL Publications' release of OIL AND WATER...AND OTHER THINGS THAT DON'T MIX -an anthology to raise funds to aid the Gulf Coast clean-up edited by Zetta Brown and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown.

The disaster facing the Gulf Coast has been on the minds of millions of people and the ladies of the She Writes™ - Southern Writers group expressed many feelings of anger, sadness, and disgust. We are not helpless, but what can we do?

She Writes™ members Zetta Brown and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown decided that something needed to be done where people can put their talents together and help make a difference. What better way than to produce an anthology where the proceeds will go where it is needed most?

Oil and Water...and Other Things That Don’t Mix contains stories, poems, and recollections from 27 authors, women and men all dealing with the theme: “Conflict...Resolution Optional.” These selections will make you laugh, cry, think, and some may even get you angry.

These are stories from award-winning authors and journalists, newly published authors, as well as from talented new authors who make their debut in this volume.

Jenne’ R. Andrews - Shonell Bacon - Lissa Brown - Mollie Cox Bryan

Maureen E. Doallas - Mylène Dressler - Nicole Easterwood

Angela Elson - Melanie Eversley - Kimeko Farrar - L B Gschwandtner

John Klawitter - Mary Larkin - Linda Lou - Kelly Martineau

Patricia Anne McGoldrick - Ginger McKnight-Chavers - Carl Palmer

Karen Pickell - Dania Rajendra - Cherie Reich - Jarvis Slacks

Tynia Thomassie - Amy Wise - Dallas Woodburn

Zetta Brown - Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown

All proceeds from Oil and Water...and Other Things That Don’t Mix will go to directly benefit MOBILE BAYKEEPER, and BAY AREA FOOD BANK, two charities helping to combat the effects of the spill and help the communities affected.

Learn more about the project on the Oil and Water Don't Mix Blog.

WIN - Leave the authors a question about their book today at their Cyber Launch Party and your name goes in the hat for a copy of OIL AND WATER in your choice of print, ebook or Kindle. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are today's winner!


  1. Thank you, DeNita for hosting us today. The authors who contributed to this anthology is an eclectic bunch!

    Proceeds from the sale of this anthology benefit the Bay Area Food Bank and Mobile Baykeeper. Two charities that look after the people, wildlife, and environment of the Gulf.

    I want to invite everyone to visit the official "Oil and Water..." blog

    We plan to keep this issue in people's minds. The cameras are gone but the damage remains.

  2. Good Morning DeNita and Zetta, from the bay waters of Sarasota. I look forward to popping in during the day to join in any discussions or QA's. Happy Launch!
    Mary, author of "Where Luck Lies"

  3. Welcome Zetta and authors of OIL AND WATER AND OTHER THINGS THAT DON'T MIX!!

    I love that you guys stepped up and are making a difference. I totally agree Zetta - the cameras are gone but the damage remains and I'm so glad to see your guys keeping the cause alive!

    Now tell us a bit about what kinds of work we will see in this anthology - and please if any of you authors want to share a short excerpt or blurb about your contribution to this anthology, I'm sure all of us would appreciate it!

    Looking forward to hearing from a lot of you today and thanks for putting up a copy of this fantastic anthology as a prize for today's party!

  4. There is fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in the anthology. The official theme is "Conflict...Resolution Optional" so all the stories deal with some kind of conflict.

    The conflict can be between people, or conflict with authority, environment, beliefs...or even the kitchen oven. What do I mean? You'll have to read the book ;)

    Some of the pieces are light and others are darker but they will all make you think about the various conflicts (big and small) we all face.

    It's available in print and in Kindle format so you ebook lovers can get instant gratification. LOL

  5. Hi Everyone:
    So happy to be a part of this wonderful effort to aid in the relief after the BP disaster in the Gulf. We hear the word disaster a lot in the media but this one really qualifies. The effects will be felt for years to come.
    A little about my piece in the book.
    It's a prose poem. I like the form because it's not quite poetry and not totally prose. It has elements of both that allow the writer flexibility in mixing them together. That's what I like most about a prose poem. You can mix in any way you like.
    The world is made up of elements that either mix or don't mix. Like H2O. When combined those elements provide life for our planet. Elements that mix creatively provide everything every living creature needs. That's what I love about this book. It's made of of so many elements that mix together so well -- work, creativity, talent, motivation, generosity and more. I'm proud to be a part of it. And I look forward to hearing from the other contributors and readers here today.

  6. My short story "Where Luck Lies" takes place in Alabama, and uses imagery of the state's rivers and waterways running to the Gulf. The conflict and destruction arise from two mismatched people in an obsessive affair. That destruction is made graphic with references to Hurricane Camille, the disastrous 1969 category 5 storm.

    The story was a fit for me with its destructive love affair since the anthology sprang from the Gulf oil spill disaster and the need to rectify damages, but also to create and continue funding efforts for the BP victims. Thanks to Zetta and Nicky, we have the anthology with proceeds going to two wonderful charities distributing aid. I'm very proud to be a part of the effort they set in motion.

  7. Hi, there!

    I'm thrilled that excerpts from my book, Bastard Husband: A Love Story, were selected to be included in this wonderful anthology. BHALS is an autobiographical account of my first year alone in Las Vegas following a midlife divorce from someone I thought was my soulmate. And he was... until his 13th beer. You get the picture.

    So I moved to Sin City so miserable even Jesus would cross the street if he'd seen me coming, and in a few months I was performing stand-up comedy for the first time (at age 46). In addition to the excerpts I contributed to Oil and Water, you can read more at

    Um... any questions?

  8. I, too, am super psyched to be a part of this effort, and so glad to have been able to *do* something about this awful disaster, which feels can feel so far from where I live (NYC) but also also so close to how we all live our lives, no matter where we live them.

    My short, true story, "Loving Lola," has conflict between dogs and people, and between people, and is a bit about the trouble that arises when we try to monkey with our own and other's natures.

    I've really enjoyed reading all the other pieces. Zetta, I admired how you used creeping horror, and how it doubles back on itself. I wondered if you meant it as a parable to the spill?

    regards to all, dania.

  9. I'm proud of ALL the stories in the anthology and Nicky and I were in agreement! LOL

    @Linda - Thank you so much for the excerpts! Your story is soulful, hilarious, and inspirational.

    @Dania - actually, I wrote my piece years ago but it's never been published until now. The antho's theme just seemed to fit :)

  10. As a resident of New Orleans, I just wanted to thank y'all for donating your time and money for this cause. There are still a lot of fishers and shrimpers and oystermen and rig workers that have been put out of work by this disaster. A lot of subsistence fishers are still struggling to feed their families as well. Louisiana will come back, though; we always do!

  11. @CB - Thanks for saying this. It's important that we know from people who are there what is really going on because the TV cameras have disappeared.

    Please help spread the word about our project because part of the proceeds go to the Bay Area Food Bank.

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  13. First I want to thank Zetta and Nicky for putting together this fabulous anthology for such a wonderful cause. This book is near and dear to my heart because my story "Sewer Candy Store" is my life as we speak. 4 years ago I lost my business and became ill due to water department
    negligence....and today I'm still fighting for my rights along with everyone else that was affected. Resolution has come in different forms for me, with a final resolution hopefully this March when we go to trial against the "big guys." I've been called the Erin Brokovich of San Diego because of my determination to never let "them" take us down. Being part of a book that helps those dealing with the biggest water tragedy of all time is just surreal, because I have lived and been devastated by our local water tragedy for 4 long years. I promised myself that going forward nobody should ever have to go through what I have ever again, and I would do whatever I could to help those dealing with water issues of their own. Along came Zetta and Nicky with "Oil and Water"....I literally had tears in my eyes when my story became part of this book. "Sewer Candy Store" is my life, my story, and so like the stories of so many in the Gulf. We can never give up, we can never let corporations or government entities clean up the mess on the surface, and think they can just walk away. It's not over until everyone is made whole.

    Amy Wise
    Author of "Sewer Candy Store"

  14. This book sound very interesting and I am glad to know that the proceeds are going to such good charities. It was a shame that the oil spill happened.


  15. I, too, am thrilled to be part of such a diverse, distinguished group of authors. Thank you to Nicky and Zetta for all the hard work in publishing and promoting the book. Although I now live on the west coast (Seattle), I grew up in Texas, stealing down to the gulf to float in those warm, welcoming waters.

    My essay, "Out of Space- Out of Time," deals with my internal conflict when my job at a government service agency was at odds with the creative work I wanted to do. But I hope it also highlights the complexity of the individual-bureaucratic interaction and how easily conflict can arise.

    Congratulations all!

    Kelly Martineau

  16. I am also proud to have my essay "An Ordinary Difference" included in this wonderful book, along with the work of so many talented writers.

    After learning about the BP oil spill, I felt a great deal of guilt over my own role in this country's dependence on fossil fuel. When I saw Zetta's call for submissions on SheWrites, I immediately knew I wanted to participate. I hope my essay will get people thinking about what they can do to help reduce our dependency on oil. There is no action too small.

    @Virginia - thank you for your support! Please spread the word.

    @CB - my heart bleeds for the people of New Orleans. I'm glad I could be part of this project to raise funds for those along the Gulf coast who are still in need.

  17. This project meant so much to me because I grew up on the Gulf Coast and still own my grandparents old beach cottage. No matter where I live this is always "home." Over the years I've watched over-development and devastation to the environment, hurricane damage and now this oil spill. This is a unique part of the country with a slower paced way of life, great food, natural resources that are vital to the health of our planet, a mix of people that are a rainbow of colors and a culture that is a rich gumbo. There's nowhere else like it and it needs to be preserved and cared for. Thank you so much Zetta and everyone who contributed.

  18. Hey Nicky! Glad you could make it! And lemme give a shout out to Amy, Laura, Kelly, Karen, Dania, Mary, and Linda for stopping by as well as everyone else who peeks in here today.

    Well, it's approaching midnight in Scotland so I'm going to leave it in your hands for the rest of the day/night.

    I hope everyone visits here will also 1) spread the word about the book and 2) visit and follow the official blog

  19. This project and book means a great deal to me. Along with being my debut, it was close to my heart. I have lived in Alabama all my life and am going to go to college in Mobile. My family and my life is in the Gulf Coast and the oil spill not only affected thousands of people I consider neighbors, but my own family. I would love to thank Nicky and Zetta for their faith and diligence throughout this entire process. Especially Nicky, because she got the brunt of my antics during editing and has been an angel. I hope that everyone buys a copy of the anthology and tells their friends about it as well.


    "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
    -Margaret Mead

  20. Sweet Dreams, Zetta! I'll hang out with the night owls.

    Nicole, One of the things I loved about the anthology was the diversity. It was great to have an author just starting out. There is a freshness to the writing that we loved. And of course, the fact that you had a familiarity with the Gulf added to your story.

  21. A fabulous way to make a difference. Bravo!!

  22. Thanks to our wonderful hosts at Authors Island for helping us get the word out, to our fabulous authors for their contributions and to everyone who stopped by. Let's continue to do everything we can to help the good people who are volunteering their time to make things better on the Gulf Coast.

  23. Thank YOU Nicky and Zetta! Just a beautiful book for a fabulous cause.....and you two made it all happen. Amazing.

  24. I so enjoyed reading all the wonderful and diverse stories in your anthology. I purchased some copies for gifts as well, it makes a great gift, with the proceeds benefitting charities, it is a win/win!

    Blessings upon you all!

    Kim Le Piane

  25. Kim,

    My dear sweet friend. Thank you, thank you, for purchasing, for reading, for gifting, and for supporting! As always you make my heart smile. =)

  26. It's great that all of you got together to write the book. How did you all involved in the book?


  27. Hi Sherry,
    I got the idea after reading the comments the members of the She Writes Southern Writers group were leaving. We were mad, sad, and pissed off. Something had to be done--but what could we do? I figured that since we're a bunch of writers, we should put our talents to good use.

    I asked Nicky to help because she has deep roots in the Gulf (whereas I hail from North Texas!), and she's a steel magnolia who doesn't back down from a fight.

  28. Hi Sherry,
    Zetta and I are admins on the Southern Writers Group on SheWrites. We're in constant communication with one another. Zetta had the idea, I came up with the title and we went from there. Besides our group of over 200 Southern Writers, Kamy Wicoff who started SheWrites was a big supporter and helped us get the information out to the 13,000 plus writers on SheWrites and Zetta sent it out through other venues that she is involved with as a publisher. Thanks for asking such a great question.

  29. I am so happy to be a part of the Anthology and have fallen in love with each entry. I have lived in north Alabama my entire life and had never been to the coast. Well, not until the oil spill interrupted my very first beach vacation! Ugh! My relaxing getaway turned into three days of oily sand, polluted water and helicopters flying overhead. So when Nicky and Zetta put out the call for submissions I didn't hesitate to contribute even though it would be my first attempt at publication. The short story "Tomboys and Peach Chiffon" which I wrote a few months earlier, is based on my real life experience. I wrote Reconciliation Procrastination specifically to submit. I pray that our efforts make a huge impact and thanks for the support...


  30. Sherry,

    Zetta contacted me after she found my blog "The Many Shades of Love" on She Writes. I submitted my story, "Sewer Candy Store" because two things that don't mix...ever, would be sewer water and candy. You can read more about my story in the comments above. I am beyond thrilled to be part of this fabulous book that goes to such a wonderful cause. The side benefit that has come out of it is I have met some amazing women that have now become friends. What more could you ask for? I read every story, and loved every word. It's been a great experience all the way around. Thanks for asking!

    Amy Wise

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  32. Forgive me for being a day late-- but I have to say it has been a terrific honor to be included in this worthy project-- I wrote "A Bowl of Red" about my father's perseverance in the face of a decline from emphysema and my mother's mental illness-- I can vouch for the other fabulous pieces in this book. Feel free to contact me. xxxJenne' Andrews