What I’m writing: January 2014

These are stories I wrote that were published this month.

Groundbreakers: Meet the people and organizations creating change in our community

pm iconPhilip Morris’ figurative fingerprints cover Birmingham. As executive editor of Southern Living from 1976 to 1991 and an editor-at-large with Southern Progress Corporation until 2000, Morris was able to research and report on design issues throughout the south. In his retirement, he’s volunteered on the design committees of such projects as Vulcan Park and Museum’s renovation, Railroad Park, Red Mountain Park, Operation New Birmingham, Mountain Brook villages and more. Read more “Groundbreakers” at bhammag.com.

Behind the Music: Through the Sparks members share a peek into their process and mindset as the band faces its 10-year anniversary.

tts iconThe lineup has changed several times over. The sound may vary. But this month, Birmingham band Through the Sparks celebrates 10 years of making music with the Jan. 21 release of its latest collection, “Invisible Kids.” The album includes live performances, unreleased tracks and alternate takes that span the band’s history. Band members Jody Nelson and Shawn Avery say the band’s prolific output ensures it will always have extra material for such collections. Read more “Behind the Music” at bhammag.com.

Comfort Food: The grilled cheese sandwich has been a mainstay of Urban Standard’s menu

urban iconUrban Standard’s menu has been tweaked over the café’s six-year existence and is often updated to reflect the season’s produce, but the grilled cheese sandwich remains a perennial favorite. And as temperatures drop, sales increase, notes General Manager Trevor Newberry. Read more “Comfort Food” at bhammag.com.

Disconnect: When social media seems to permeate all we do, how can users draw boundaries?

disconnect iconWhether the notifications popping up on your phone and in your email are from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, social media has become so integrated in some of our lives that it can be difficult to take a step back. And according to some experts, complete disconnection may not be the best choice. Read more “Disconnect” at bhammag.com.

Perfect: A boy as witness, the mother to blame

perfectRachel Joyce’s masterful second novel, Perfect, explores how one event can unravel a life. Byron Hemmings is an ordinary British schoolboy in 1972. He’s not the most sociable child, but Byron has a best friend in James Lowe. Like many adolescents, he’s got a curious mind. And so, when James reads in a newspaper that two seconds will be added to time, Byron becomes fixated on how, when and what the ramifications might be. Read more “Perfect” at bookpage.com.

Anna Quindlen: This prize-winning ‘reporter of invented stories’ tells the tale of an artist at midlife

aq iconWhat inspires a female writer whose work runs the gamut from a Pulitzer Prize-winning column to best-selling novels to thought-provoking essays? Anna Quindlen says she admires a number of female writers. Read more “Anna Quindlen” at bookpage.com.

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