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A City of Ghosts. By Betsy Phillips

Hello everyone! It is that time of year again when the rest of the masses catches up with the lot of us that tend to celebrate and take time to think about all of the blessings we have in our lives every day. And it's also time for people to come together as the one big family that we are, the born and the chosen. That said, before I get into some of the fabulous creative events and things going on this week around Nashville, I'd like to shine a big, huge, heart-warming spotlight on that of my good friend and great poet & performing artist in that of Jamie Zoe Givens.

You might have heard me boast about Jamie and her spoken word a time or two- mainly in the East Side Storytellin' event she was featured in this past year that you can read about and listen to here on this link … But ever since that event, Jamie has been in an all out battle against Cancer and she could use your help. If you go to any middle Tennessee branch of Sun Trust Bank, you can ask to make a deposit to the account for Jamie Givens to help fund her battle. For deposit questions, contact Ms. Rhonda Rutherford at 615-279-4033, or email for other questions to Holly Waldrop at In case you want to see how she is fighting Cancer with all her heart, kindness, positivity, and everything you already know or should know about Jamie Givens, see this video (she said I could post it) - and check out other stuff that makes her & YOU smile too here -

Seriously, now that you've met Jamie Givens, don't you already feel better. She has that effect on everyone she meets … smiles always happen. Speaking of smiles, this week is going to give plenty of people plenty of frowns upside down.

Tonight, at 9pm, at 1 Cannery Row (Mercy Lounge), you can catch 8 bands, 3 songs each, and all fun. It's called 8 off 8th: Glazed Edition, and the featured artists are Beat Burns, brotherun, girls and money, Blank Range, Neil O'Neil, DEDSA, Easy Tiger, and T. Rust. Oh, and they'll also have FREE DONUTS!!!!!!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26th, you can have a blast and hit up 2915 Gallatin Road (Black Raven Emporium) for another round of A Night of FREE Speech. Hosted by author Honest Lewis, this is your bi-monthly reminder of the bi-monthly author fest on every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month where Honest opens to doors and the microphone to all willing writers brave enough to share their latest work in public to a positive crowd of peers. It is well worth the visit and your time. It starts at 7pm, but you might want to get there early to sign-up to read or get a real cozy seat.

Skip over Wednesday and you might just land yourself smack dab into Turkey day with a load of grits, turkey, casseroles, good friends, and spirits for days. Yep, I want you to take the day off from worries and work, and enjoy the time we have with one another … the ones you want to enjoy the brief times that we have with one another. Call it a football audible and make sure you earn that nap on the couch.

Friday, good ol' Black Friday, unless you are chopping down a Christmas tree like some people I know, you might be shopping. All I can say and promote is that you need to shop local. I'm totally bias in that opinion and statement, but why not? You have plenty of options in the Nashville area that are owned and run by people that you call friends (or at least a good amount of cool people that you should get to know and call friends. I'd say that one of the first places I'd point you towards is 5 Points East Nashville with my family and friends on The Row (1108 Woodland Street). Where everybody knows your name, honest injun.

Saturday, I'll be back in the store, alongside my friend and local author/artist Bill Schumm on site promoting his latest book called "Shelby Past & Present." Schumm will have books, photographs, art prints, and a few jokes on the side if you want to drop by to get a signed copy of whatever he has for any gifts for the holiday season. Shelby Past & Present is a beautiful pictorial book featuring images of Shelby's changing seasons, its incredible past and current structures, activities, wildlife,, and basically the Park's beauty. You can read more about it here- and then show up Saturday to meet the man behind the book.

Speaking of books for the holiday season, you can drop by East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street, unit B) in the next few weeks to buy your own copy of Betsy Phillip's "A City of Ghosts." It is a wonderful book that has numerous ghost stories, all set in Nashville. In fact, to do you even better, if you buy the book at East Side Story, you can sign up for a book club event with Betsy on Friday the 13th of December where we will get our spooky on in store at 6pm. Betsy will be on site to talk about her writing process, real ghost story moments, and she might even include your name and personal ghost story moment into her next round of spooky short stories next year. I'm just saying, the book club is FREE with purchase of the book. You can read more about her book here - - and more about the book itself here - It will be a blast! Don't miss out!

Back to Nashville and this week though, this Sunday, December 1st, is going to be quite the jumpstart to an awesome month ahead to close out 2013. First, if your love has any desire to learn the art of burlesque, you can give her a 3 week minimester for Burlesque 101 Classes: Blue Christmas Minimester! For $50, you can give the gift that keeps on giving with performance art so she can learn the quick and dirty basics of burlesque movement, including a fully choreographed routine to show off to friends or whomever. The first lesson is Sunday, 2-3pm at 604 Gallatin Avenue, Suite 209. You can learn more about this at

Second on Sunday, you can shop local for the holidays at this unique East Nashville event called the Holiday Art Circus. From 11am-4pm, at 1000 Main Street, aka the Chop Shop, there will be plenty of gifts made and sold by local creatives. It's a must visit for one and all!

Third, and certainly not least, on Sunday, Platetone Printmaking, Paper and Book Arts (535 Fourth Avenue South) is having quite the party. Platetone's "The Artist Online: MailChimp Basics" is a 3-hour one-time workshop designed to help you learn the basics about MailChimp: how to set your account from signup to send-off. This session is especially targeted to artists to help you manage different facets of your professional career. It is from 2-5pm, $30 per student (all supplies included), with instructor Megan Kelly of StudiOmnivorous, and all you have to do to register is contact ASAP! This will help any artist make the most of your visual presentation for people to discover and love your artwork.

So, that is the week ahead. If you want to know about a bright light next week to also help jumpstart a wonderful wintery December, Look no further than East Side Storytellin' 27 at Mad Donna's (1313 Woodland Street) at 7pm next Tuesday, December 3rd. At 7pm sharp, I will introduce the likes of award-winning author Lydia Peelle, who will read from some of her awesome prose, and then follow that up with music by the amazingly talented Griffin House! It is FREE to attend, come early to get a seat, and it is over by 8:30pm … just in time for Drag Bingo to begin ;) You can find more information about Lydia and Griffin here - AND here -

Before I go, I'd like to say one last thing. As many of you probably know, our friend, writer John Egerton passed away this past week. The media reports that it was a heart attack. A man with a tremendous gift with words and with helping other people telling and sharing their stories, he covered more in his lifetime that many ever dare to live. I was honored to help be a part of one of his volunteering efforts at a local school to help kids get excited about reading and writing this past year. I will not forget it or him. Here are some links that might help shed a lasting light on John.

Thank you and remember to be nice to one another.

much love,

ps- Something else to begin the holiday season just right ... w/ The Rough & Tumble, Scott & Mallory ... enjoy and share the love!

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