WLM Spotlight Sunday – Julie Freed

Julie Freed

 

Victoria Twead: We Love Memoirs

Hurrah! It’s Spotlight Sunday! Today we welcome WLM author Julie Freed, author of NAKED. http://smarturl.it/NakedAmazon. Julie is happy to answer any questions and will be along later as she hails from the US.

Valerie Robson: Your book title fascinates me… looking forward to hearing more about it later xxx

Frankie Knight: Same here! Wonder what time Julie will be with us? I’m dying to hear about her experience with Katrina….

Shirley Ledlie: Come on Julie – wake up!

Julie Haigh: Morning Julie Freed and welcome to Sunday Spotlight-hope you enjoy! I have your book and look forward to reading it. I was in Barbados when there was threat of the Hurricane getting near but thankfully it moved away again. Very scary experience so I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you being right in the middle of it. Was it a long time before you could write about it, was it too painful? Or did you keep a diary?

Cherry Gregory: Morning Julie. Hope you enjoy your Sunday in the Spotlight.

Janet Hughes: Wakey, wakey, come smell the pancakes…..

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Cherry Gregory: Well, those pancakes have woken me up…and that takes a lot of doing!

Janet Hughes: ….. and coffee

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Shirley Ledlie: The smell has just reached Toulouse yummm

–Pancakes not stinky coffee I mean

Julie Haigh: Wonderful, thank you Janet Hughes- and, not just coffee-I spy a nice piece of chocolate cake in the pic too!…………it’s gone! Yum!

–Stinky coffee Shirley?

Janet Hughes: Julie Freed, I confess that I haven’t read your book yet, although it’s it’s all nice and snug in my Kindle, under “Memoirs to read”… So what made you put pen to paper, and how long did it take to write “Naked” ?

–If you want more, just ask Roberto, he’s always pleased to oblige…

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Janet Hughes: as is Rocio

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Cherry Gregory: I’m sure Rocio is very nice, but I think I’ll keep to Roberto.

Frankie Knight: Stinky coffee???? Shirley, you and I will never get on!!!! Lurve my coffee. How can Julie resist all that’s been on offer to her this morning?

–As I’ve said before, Rocio and I would just not click – he’s prettier than me!!!

Julie Haigh: When is your birthday Julie Freed? Are you another Julie, like me and some of the other Julie’s I know, where, as we were born in July-oh, just name her Julie! Not very inventive on my parents’ part! I quite like the name now though lol

Shirley Ledlie: Roberto will do just fine – sorry girls I know it’s strange but even though I live in France I don’t like wine, coffee or eat bread! What am I doing here?

Micki Stokoe: Morning, Julie! I haven’t read your book yet, though it’s waiting on my Kindle. I’ve been in 3 hurricanes & they are scary enough without losing everything. Was writing the book a good way of dealing with your feelings?

Frankie Knight: Oooh-er, just trying to think where you would feel comfortable Shirley???? Tea, water, juice, which country specialises in these, I wonder?

Julie Freed: Good morning all!!! Just letting doggie out and getting some tea!

–And pancakes apparently

Becky Corwin-Adams: Your book sounds fascinating. I enjoy reading about Hurricane Katrina as I have a couple of family members who lived through it.

Julie Haigh: Yorkshire? We got Yorkshire tea here and water-although we call it watter.

Shirley Ledlie: LOLLLLLLLLLL

Julie Freed: Valerie Robson the title refers to being naked on a several levels – Being truly emotionally available and aware, being stripped of all physical belongings and community infrastructure, the shock and surprise at my then husband’s behaviors and his abandonment of his family … Not exactly like being a “nudey” as my 3yo old likes to be!

–In other words NOT like this kind!

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Julie Freed: Julie Haigh I did not keep a daily diary – I have never been a diary person or daily writer of my emotions. It was years later I decided to purge the hurt.

–My story is not just one about the horrific storm but also my almost simultaneous divorce – I was truly left naked in an incredible and unthinkable way.

Frankie Knight: Sounds liked my kind of book!!! Good morning Julie and welcome!

Julie Freed: The sort of “good” thing about hurricanes unlike other events of mother nature is that there is typically time to evacuate and get to safety. On the Gulf Coast we are often monitoring storms when they form off the coast of Africa. So it is a sort of slow and growing fear that builds over time sometimes a week or two depending on the speed, ocean temps, etc.

–Thanks all for all the great questions – I’m scrolling up and down so if I miss one please tap me on the shoulder

Frankie Knight: Julie, how close were you when the hurricane hit?

Julie Freed: Back to Julie Haigh Katrina was in August 2005 and I wrote the first draft of Naked in the late spring of 2007 right before the beginning of hurricane season.

–Janet Hughes I wrote the first draft in three weeks. It was a great purging at the time. I had no thoughts of publishing then – although people had repeatedly told me I needed to “write a book” about all that had happened.

–A few friends asked to read it that summer. Then people were telling me they stayed up all night, they couldn’t put it down, etc. So I started thinking seriously about sharing it more broadly. I remember my Dad reading it on a flight from NY to Seattle and calling me as soon as he landed. I am not a writer by trade (or training) but am a mathematician so people were a bit surprised I think by my ability to write and then they were just shocked and engrossed in the details and story.

–I’m giggling now at all that was offered on the buffet above – eyes must still be a little blurry – sipping tea!

Frankie Knight: Imagine waking up to being bombarded with nosey folk asking you questions. I’d be on the brandy by now….

Julie Freed: Yes Julie Haigh I am a July baby too! I vowed to change my name when I was little to something far more creative. But I guess these things just stick after a while!

Valerie Robson: It is so damned cold in the middle, or southern half, of Africa that I am having my second drinkie already? But it is lunchtime here… xxx

Julie Freed: Micki Stokoe thanks for your question – initially when I wrote the first draft it was incredibly helpful emotionally. For better or worse I have an incredible memory. By writing I didn’t have to keep replaying the scenes in my head anymore, the conversations were on paper. I didn’t have to remember them – but as I came back years later I added scenes more dialog, had more distance to reflect on the events, my marriage, my husband’s drinking, motherhood … and the writing became more of a hobby in the evenings – crafting and shaping the book into something I think is truly beautiful.

Shirley Ledlie: Hi Julie, I am looking forward to reading your book, it is on my list. It must of been terrifying for you. Did you remarry?

Julie Freed: Frankie Knight my home was right on the water. I evacuated with my neighbors, my one year old daughter, my doggie, and all that I could stuff in my car about a mile or so north to one of their office buildings. we were quite close indeed given the immensity of the storm which you might recall pretty much covered the Gulf of Mexico. But we were on high ground there, windows boarded, and across from a fire station. Much of the media was focused on the flooding in NOLA but that happened days after the storm when the levees broke. The hurricane actually landed on the Mississippi coast just to the east of NOLA.

–For those not familiar with the region here is a map from NOAA our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin in the US. Louisiana where beautiful New Orleans is, is the “L” shaped state. Mississippi is just to the right. And the MS coast is a small incredible little place!

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Julie Freed: PS. Janet Hughes it’s really great to have you back and active on #WLM!

Susan Joyce: Good morning Julie! Just getting my first cup of coffee. Pancake too! Happy to say I have read your book and it’s a great read. I related to your losses on many levels, and your wins.

Julie Freed: Morning Shirley Ledlie it wasn’t terrifying in the ways you might think – because you plan evacuation for days, everyone talks about where they are going, people stock up at the grocery (water, batteries, canned food, cash) – It’s this odd communal preparation time that really brings neighbors and a community together. And then most of the time, the storm passes, dissolves, takes a turn – and you end up with a bunch of canned food to donate and jugs of water in the garage!

–But this time most people understood Hurricane Katrina was massive and was possibly going to be the storm of the century. Unfortunately that summer and the previous there had been “mandatory evacuations” for other storms that never materialized. So people were tired of evacuating and many died horrible deaths as a result.

Frankie Knight: I watched, as did many others, the devastation following. How did you manage in the aftermath?

Micki Stokoe: Do you still feel nervous when the wind rises, even when a hurricane isn’t forecast?

Shirley Ledlie: Do you get panic buyers? do the shelves empty overnight?

Julie Freed: And YES Shirley Ledlie I did remarry! Took a while to let my heart trust again (ugh!). I thought in 2005 that I would never even date again, forget marriage. Unlike before I have a true partner supporting and loving. I adore him and quite simply he just gets me – I’m so lucky life gives us second chances!

Susan Joyce: It’s the aftermath that wears one thin, isn’t it?

Shirley Ledlie: Glad you found LURVE again

Julie Freed: Frankie Knight In the short term I stayed on the Gulf Coast only a few more days, there was no water, no electricity, no gas for the car, it was absolutely desolate and scary. My baby and I needed to get to safety. We drove to my cousins’ home in Atlanta, Georgia (about 6 hours northeast) and then flew with my daughter Genoa and dog Sweetie from there to my parents’ home in Connecticut which is in the northeast part of the US.

Frankie Knight: You were lucky you had the means to escape as those that stayed suffered horrendously.

Julie Freed: Dad and I drove back down to the coast shortly thereafter to salvage what we could. And then my daughter and I returned the end of September – lived with friends from the university. But the devastation lasted for years – the rubble, the slabs of former homes, ripped signs, …. even now there is still significant evidence since many have not rebuilt their homes.

Frankie Knight: I gather because they did not have the means to do so and the govt didn’t step in to help?

Julie Freed: Oh indeed Frankie Knight so many people had nowhere to go. It was the first time the US ever felt third world to me – people were reduced to their naked selves, with literally nothing – not even drinking water.

Frankie Knight: It was heartbreaking to watch on TV. You were one of the lucky ones, I think.

Julie Freed: The irony was we lived on this gorgeous coast surrounded by water, NOLA was flooded with more water than it could handle – but nowhere a drop to drink!

Micki Stokoe: Absolutely horrific. I remember the terrible pictures of the devastation. Did you get any help from the government at all?

Jill Stowell: Hi Julie. Haven’t read the book yet, I’m ashamed to admit but it is a “must read” list after the “paint the house outside list” which is never as simple as it sounds. Interested to know whether, in light of your experience with hurricane Katrina, you have a “grab bag” or “go bag” packed and ready for emergency evacuation and (here I’m blatantly tapping in to your first hand knowledge) what does it or would it contain?

Julie Freed: Frankie Knight – Some people are likely afraid to rebuild, insurance (if you can get any) is almost cost prohibitive, and for a while construction costs were sky high. There were also many many people who received little or no insurance money even with a total loss to home and property. And FEMA (the government) did help some people but it was mostly short terms monies from what I understand – not enough to rebuild a home and a life.

–Ha! Micki Stokoe you’ll love this – I received letter after letter after letter from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) stating I had “Insufficient Damage.” It was laughable – I said, “Do I have to be dead to be eligible?”

Frankie Knight: That’s scary!

Micki Stokoe: That’s awful! Must have been soul destroying, even though you have come through & rebuilt your life. Hats off to you!

Marilyn Griffin Medici: Thank you for sharing all of this, Julie Freed. I have your book in my Kindle, and plan to read it next! I’m originally from Mobile, Alabama and was in my late teens when Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. At that time, they said it was the worst to ever hit the U.S. I’ve lived away for years, but still have family in Mobile that lived through/ survived the east side of Hurricane Katrina. A year after Katrina, we drove Highway 90 from Mobile, going East, but the hwy wasn’t completely restored yet. Even then, we saw clothing bits hanging high up in trees, destroyed piers, empty house foundations, etc. I rode by my former house in Ocean Springs, MS, and it was still standing. Bless your heart, I’m so glad you survived, and I’m looking forward to reading your book.

Julie Freed: Oh good question Jill Stowell – I don’t have a “grab and go” bag. Since evacuation is not a quick thing. But after losing absolutely everything – I am so not attached to any THING. It was and is tremendously freeing!!! Everything – books, furniture, art, kitchen gadgets, instruments – it’s all just stuff. I would grab my laptop, phone, iPad, insurance papers … and now that I think about it I would grab the statue!

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Nancy McBride: Morning, all! Although we were safe (this time) in NE, the tragedy of broken homes and lives penetrated the entire country and thousands were transplanted hither and yon after Katrina. I took in a young woman (another story).

–I was also swept away in Hurricane Carol. I look forward to reading your book re: the stripped naked concept. I think many of us can relate on many levels. What have you learned about yourself, resultant?

Julie Freed: Thanks for writing Marilyn Griffin Medici I had clothes, sheets, and unmentionables hanging in my trees for a good long time. I hope the book brings back some warm coastal memories for you too!

–Thank you so much Susan Joyce – We have much in common indeed. I hope we one day share a glass of wine, a hug or two, and swap autographs!

Marilyn Griffin Medici: Thank you, Julie Freed. Looking forward to your book!

Susan Joyce: Julie, I feel certain that will happen one day. Your story is a testament to the strength, resilience, and determination of humans. Truly inspirational!

Julie Freed: Thanks Micki Stokoe fortunately I was able to just laugh through the FEMA letters, it was so ridiculously ridiculous. But it was heart wrenching to see the elderly trying to manage in these times. Some of my neighbors were in their 80s on Bridal Lane and lost all – their courage was simply inspiring!

Micki Stokoe: I love your statue. Where did you get it?

Julie Freed: And yes Shirley Ledlie the shelves do empty quickly! People get crazed. There must be some sociological term for this behavior. We just try to avoid the mayhem.

Frankie Knight: I simply cannot imagine how it must feel to lose everything you own. Where do you start, how do you prioritize? Who can you turn to for help?

Julie Freed: The statue is kind of a special secret Micki Stokoe, you’ll read about her in the book …Truth is I’ll get all weepy sharing the story right now.

Micki Stokoe: Intriguing! Your book will just have to jump the queue!

Julie Freed: Morning Nancy McBride thank you from the bottom of my heart for housing a Katrina victim. Being homeless is something that for most is impossible to imagine. Not having a space, even the tiniest of spaces to call a home, a place of rest is almost impossible for me to even describe. Thank you – Good people are everywhere!

Judith Benson: You can’t imagine having to replace everything can you? Before John and I came to Spain, we had sold the house I had owned and packed our big fixed bed caravan ready for our trip through France on holiday then on to Spain to house hunt! We left it on our drive and in very nice village where we lived and went to see John’s daughters and their husbands ! Sat evening and I got a message from my next door neighbour to say the caravan wasn’t on the drive and had we sent it for the repairs!!!!! We moved in with our neighbour for 6 weeks, a wonderful friend and my “2nd mum”!! The insurance got us a new caravan, not as good as other one the we then had to try and replace all contents. I didn’t have a pair of shorts, t-shirt, John’s fishing gear and painting easel etc. I was remembering stuff for years! That was bad enough but a house is so different, what an amazing woman you are Julie and deserve the very best! Read the book a while ago and loved it!! Keep writing!!!!xx

Micki Stokoe: Are you still living in the same area?

Bambi Flanner: I’ve read Naked and the statue is an amazing story in and of itself. Life throws encouragement at us when we need it the most. To have lived through such a horrible storm, being responsible for a very young life, and being abandoned simultaneously is unthinkable. And yet you just kept putting one foot in front of the other. You are a true inspiration.

Julie Freed: Nancy McBride I have learned so much about humanity, about myself, about being a single parent, about love, about breathing one moment at a time – it’s hard to know where to start!

–Perhaps the most important and yet seemingly obvious message I can share from what I’ve learned is to never attach yourselves to “things” but instead cling to the people you love and nurture the ideas and dreams you want to achieve!

Micki Stokoe: That’s a great philosophy, Julie.

Susan Joyce: Julie, that certainly became my philosophy after the Cyprus War. And, I found I experienced a freedom once I stopped collecting things.

–Here’s to Julie and her great book.

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Susan Joyce: Here’s to Frankie, for keeping us on our toes.

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Nancy McBride: It does take these shocks sometimes, unfortunately, to grasp those concepts in a concrete way. Actually, how else can one, really? I know for me I do not glean much from “book learning”. But we can learn that others not only survive, but thrive well beyond their presumed boundaries when forced out of their comfort zone.

Julie Freed: There you go again Bambi Flanner getting me all weepy – Thank you my friend!

Julie Haigh: I suppose it takes something like this to really realise how we take things for granted-you probably appreciate things far more now? Appreciate the good because you’ve had the very bad?

Julie Freed: Frankie Knight it’s a weird experience starting over and deciding what to replace or not … I started with a mattress off a truck, bought a couch also off the back of a truck. These trucks were coming down from North Carolina and it was the only way to buy anything. So there I was in a hot truck, holding a baby in one arm, hoping there was enough light for me to even tell what color my new couch would be . . . not exactly Neiman Marcus!

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–But THEN I bought a crazy expensive coffee machine from Italy mostly because it had my daughter’s name on it!

–Thank you Susan Joyce for the refreshments!

–Judith Benson I’m so sorry about your unwanted “repair” folks – ugh! I STILL think sometimes, “Where’s that so-and-so?? Oh that was pre-Katrina silly.”

— Judith Benson I’m so sorry about your unwanted “repair” folks – ugh! I STILL think sometimes, “Where’s that so-and-so?? Oh that was pre-Katrina silly.”

— Katrina was a great dividing line for me in several ways. I was happy to be free of stuff and I was also relieved to be free from my husband who suffered with addictions and all the baggage that comes with that.

Nancy McBride: In retrospect, those horrible things that happen to us in life are often the turning point we needed and would have never taken otherwise. My life was hell on so many levels after my ex left and yet the relief I felt was immense!

Julie Freed: Yes Julie Haigh the entire experience brought such perspective. It was also interesting at the time and now when readers open up and share their stories especially about their marriages, infidelities, etc.

–For those who’ve not yet read #NAKEDMemoir – While all of the Katrina bit was going on – since I was finished breast feeding our then one year old – my husband requested that I have a breast augmentation which made life that much more interesting.

— And Judith Benson so happy you loved the book

Bambi Flanner: “If you really love me.” Lol. All I can think when I think of your ex is a word that starts with D and ends with ouche.

Julie Freed: Here’s a link to my webpage if you’ve not seen it yet with a sneak peek to Chapter 5, Letters I’ve been blogging about the book, sign up for newsletter, some fun pictures too …. www.juliefreedauthor.com

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Shirley Ledlie: Julie – has your ex said anything to you about what you have written about him in the book?

Julie Freed: ‘All the good outcomes he had witnessed with boob jobs,’ was umm …

— And since I can share all these fun things today on #WLM here is the book trailer too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCQ-KqYDmj8

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Dodie Shea: Good morning Julie! I just opened Facebook and the size of the fred is going to take some time to catch up. Heading out so wanted to wish you a fun day with the group. Looks like they’re treating you very well! Enjoy. Will be back hopefully before you sign off.

Frankie Knight: It is often these tragedies and traumas in our lives which, when looking back, make us much stronger as we discover depths within ourselves that we weren’t aware of! Thanks Susan for the brandy, incidentally!!!

— Julie, what did you find within yourself you hadn’t been aware of before?

Julie Freed: Thanks Dodie Shea the inmates are behaving themselves probably only because Janet Hughes is back in the game. It’s my daughter who is setting traps for me as I walk back and forth from kitchen to desk for more hot water!

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Frankie Knight: Ugh!!!!

Shirley Ledlie: Please save ladybird I love them – that’s pretty gross Julie

Frankie Knight: Shirley, let me whisper in your ear – they aren’t real

Shirley Ledlie: hahahaha

Julie Freed: Frankie Knight The divorce which happened all by phone and email the same week as Katrina was probably the most rattled I had ever been. I was in utter disbelief this could be happening and happening to me and my baby now? I never dreamed I would be divorced. Divorce was such a dirty word to me – and with a child divorce could NOT be an option. I didn’t know if I could do it alone – I’d never never thought about it. And I didn’t know if I could do it alone AND be happy! The media paints “single mothers” so poorly and people talk saying “oh he comes from a single parent home” etc. I didn’t know what to expect. Single parents can do it, do it ALL, and do it just as well as two!

Frankie Knight: Well done Julie!!! I do think we sometimes amaze ourselves when the chips are down….

Julie Freed: My girls are both really into science and math (of course)! The spider is pretty gross I agree. Thankfully I think they are out checking on the seeds they planted yesterday now – no more bug shots (real or plastic) promise!

— A single Mom funny … I played sports all through my youth and college, a “tom-boy” some would say. I have a PhD in mathematics, worked mostly with men. I’d haul and stack wood with my dad, they were never gendered tasks growing up. But I’d always left the grill to the men. After Katrina I eventually bought a grill for my patio. Best kept secret – No wonder men love to grill so much – It’s SO easy, cook outside, and more fire cleans it up!

Susan Joyce: Julie, always curious about how people meet and connect. Tell us a bit about your new enlightened man.

Julie Freed: We met on eHarmony I decided I did everything else on my computer – why not? Online dating was a great way for me – a single mom – to meet people. It allowed me to decide if someone was even worth a coffee date before meeting and getting a baby sitter!

–It also allowed me to check out grammar skills prior to the java!

Susan Joyce: Lol! Of course!

Frankie Knight: Do your girls still have any contact with your ex? Sorry if someone has already asked, but what age are they now?

Susan Joyce: Are you working on any new writing projects?

Julie Freed: And it was an interesting way to meet people – You can ask really difficult questions that would never find their way into the first few dates. My fav to ask was: “If you were granted 3 wishes what would they be?”

–I have two daughters, one with my ex who is now 9 and my second is 3.

— Genoa does have visitation with him a few times a year. He is a plane ride away now. He’s been married and divorced again and is now engaged again. It’s been difficult and tragic all around to say the least.

Julie Freed: Susan Joyce I do quite a bit of writing for work, grant proposals, research papers. I have sketched another book but not yet started it. I’m also hoping to help a friend and co-author her memoir about southern women in leadership positions. She is so gutsy and needs to share her journey!

Julie Haigh: Invite her to join we love memoirs!

Julie Freed: Yes Micki Stokoe I am still living on the Gulf Coast. I teach math and love working with children and teachers. The poverty rates are high and the performance low – There’s much I can do here to help. Besides the seafood, sleepy beaches, boating, warm weather, spicy food … as my neighbor used to say, “It’s a secret paradise 364 days of the year!”

Julie Freed: And by the way not only was his grammar passing and worthy of coffee at a book shop – My husband also did the book cover!

Susan Joyce: Great cover! Congratulations to hubby!

Julie Haigh: It certainly IS a great cover!

Elaine Beckham: I’ve come late into the feed too (why do people call it a fred?). Am looking forward to reading your book Julie. You really sound like a very strong woman. Are you surprised at how strong you are, or was it just a natural progression?

Julie Freed: Thank you Susan and Julie – The cover was fun along with making the trailer! Many thanks to Victoria Twead and Ant Press for making it all come together.

–Hi Elaine Beckham thanks for joining us – I’m thinking “fred” is “slang for “thread.”

–And thanks for your question Elaine Beckham – Yes, I am surprised. And I still find myself kind of shaking my head thinking – Wait was that my life? How did I do that? I think I’ve come out stronger on this side of Katrina – I’m definitely changed.

Elaine Beckham: I’m thinking that your child has one heck of a good Mummy, and a very strong foundation on which to build her life.

Julie Freed: As Susan eluded to above sometimes it’s the process of prodding along, moving each day that can be worse than the shock or fear of a particular event. I did have dark days especially months after the storm, when so little had changed physically around me. But it was truly my daughter that kept me going – I could not have done it without her!

–Hugs Elaine Beckham – Thank you!

Frankie Knight: Sounds as if you may even have surprised yourself at your resilience and toughness when confronted with such a devastating situation, Julie. Is that the case? Just imaging how life may have been had you not been in the path of Katrina…..

Elaine Beckham: oh btw – just bought your book in kindle form, but won’t be reading it until sometime in September – looking forward to reading it!

Julie Freed: I dedicated the book to Genoa.

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Julie Freed: Thanks so much Elaine Beckham please do connect and let me know what you think of it.

Elaine Beckham: Will do Julie, but it won’t be until after September. I’m going on a long cruise to Australia, so will have a lot of time, and few distractions then.

Nancy McBride: Today I am actually dipping in and out to get a few things DONE around here! BUT, Naked is top of my list, now, and I don’t mean nudie. I have several nudes up in the bathroom. My grandson asked me once if I was the one in the chair. I said, No, but took the opportunity to education him in the differences between nude and naked. LOL.

Julie Freed: It’s funny Frankie Knight my girlfriends and I have had this very same conversation. What if Katrina had never happened? Would you have divorced him? Would you have stayed with an alcoholic, raised a child in that environment? Had more kids? Who would I have become as a women, mother, professional?

Elaine Beckham: could be the basis for a new book – or not

Julie Freed: Nora, one of my best friends from grad school who is in the book is convinced I would have “stuck it out” no matter what. “That’s just who you are Julie!” I can hear her voice now. It’s impossible to know. But I do feel like Katrina was my guide in many many ways and I’m thankful for where she brought me and my daughter.

Frankie Knight: I’m waiting arrival of my son, wife and 3 year old granddaughter that I’ve not seen since she was 3 months old! Should be here in about 4.5 hours! It’s been great having you to talk to Julie as it’s taken some of my nerves away and certainly settled my stomach!!! LOL

Nancy McBride: This is one of my absolute favorite themes, …”if I/he/she/it had not.”.. Its what I love so about life… and what the unpredictability can do for us. Too many get stuck in the poor me saga re: change. I embrace it…

Julie Freed: Enjoy that Elaine Beckham sounds heavenly!

Frankie Knight: We’ll never actually know, I suppose, how things would have turned out if such and such had not happened but interesting to speculate…..

Nancy McBride: Frankie Knight. Sit back and love every moment with these treasures of yours. Are you OK?

Julie Freed: Thank you Frankie Knight for all the great questions. Three is such a fun age – Enjoy the cuddle time and all the questions she’ll have for you!

Frankie Knight: I think you must Nancy. Surely otherwise you finish up with the regrets of a sad old age…. Not a pleasant thought!

Julie Freed: Indeed Frankie Knight it is always interesting to speculate, some mental gymnastics, and reflection

Frankie Knight: Yes, thanks Nancy! Providing I keep moving then they can’t get me…. LOL! Very nervous Julie as she doesn’t know me…

Julie Freed: And perhaps it could be a next book Elaine Beckham. Kind of like Sliding Doors. Hmm …

Elaine Beckham: yes, and wasn’t that an interesting film!

Shirley Ledlie: Julie, do you think you will write another book?

Julie Freed: re: Change Nancy McBride – I used the Greek letter delta throughout the book and on the spine for that exact reason. In the field of mathematics, the delta is used to signify change or a derivative from the previous – a transition, a shift.

Julie Freed: http://www.juliefreedauthor.com/letters/letter4-thedelta

The Delta A few readers have asked about the symbol I use repeatedly in NAKED. It is a section marker throughout and appears on the spine of the book. A spine defines a structure and creates balance. In an animal’s back it forms rows of support. In a book, the place where all pages meet in one…

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Elaine Beckham: Oh I LOVE this ! It so describes me and my immediate future – thank you for bringing to our attention.

Julie Freed: I think I probably will Shirley Ledlie – It will likely be on a completely different subject. I might even give fiction a shot – although writing about real events and people seems easier than making it all up. I’ve also really enjoyed some of the children and YA books I’ve read along with my daughters. Wonder was just my favorite book so far this year. I’m embarrassed I was so late to find it and have been thinking about that audience too since I spend so much time in public schools.

— Lots of ideas floating around up in there! But there’s that darn day job, kids that need to eat – daily (go figure!), softball coaching … But I do hope so I had fun with NAKED.

Shirley Ledlie: What does your daughter think to her mum having a book published?

Julie Freed: Neither of my children know about this book. It’s too adult and too intimate. I’m just the Mom around these parts!

–They do know about my academic writing but frankly weren’t all that excited when I showed them my last book chapter when it came in the mail! Not enough pictures, no adventures in a tree house, no secret garden …

Judith Benson: Just read some of the thread and it answered some questions for me! I loved how you “found” your 2nd husband! I looked in the paper when my first husband died “Find a Friend” and it worked, the funny thing was he lived in the same village as me about 100 metres away in a straight line and he used to pick his granddaughter up from school and lean on my fence! Much to some family friends being upset I was married 7 months after becoming a widow! As they say life goes on! xxx

Julie Freed: No Judith Benson fortunately she was too young. She has no recollection of that house or the storm. Older children suffered so much losing all their toys, clothes, dolls.

–One family down the Lane from me had two young children – maybe 6 and 9 at the time. Their house was sucked across the street, roof spread over the road, and all their toys floated in the water around the mess. I remember how sad I felt looking at the primary colors of their bikes and kites, little dolls with long hair – all covered in Katrina muck.

–I was lucky my daughter didn’t know what she seeing. She was just happy being strapped to my chest in a baby sling!

— I would like to offer a Mississippi Blue Crab Schmear for the group – If anyone could add some French bread I would appreciate it. And BTW is the WLM cookbook still in the works?

Photo#15-BlueCrabSchmear

Linda Kovic-Skow: Such an interesting, inspirational story Julie Freed. Your book is on my kindle and I’m looking forward to the read. I’m so glad you survived your ordeal and found love again.

Shirley Ledlie: I hope you are enjoying your day Julie, I have enjoyed it very much! We have a storm brewing so need to get my bedding in and get it back on the bed. I will catch up later. We have an Orange alert actually!

Julie Freed: Thank you Linda Kovic-Skow me too – Happy reading!

Susan Joyce: Here’s some wine to go with that scrumptious Schmear.

Photo#16-Wine

Susan Joyce: French bread coming up.

Julie Freed: I am enjoying it, thanks Shirley Ledlie for all your great questions. I’m looking forward to your book too! My mom was a breast cancer survivor! I’m currently reading Robin Roberts’ book and it’s excellent. Hope the storm’s not too bad. Cheers.

Julie Freed: Lovely Susan Joyce. You did bring the GOOD Pinot right?

Photo#17-GoodPinot

Susan Joyce: Por favor …

Photo#18-FrenchBread

Shirley Ledlie: Thanks Julie, I find it a bit funny that we have Orange alert after your subject today! I better fetch in more than the bedding – like the cat!

Susan Joyce: But of course, Julie Freed!

Cherry Gregory: Hi Julie. Just returned home from visiting my mother and so catching up on your wonderful thread. It makes for inspiring reading. Your book is certainly going on my list, especially as I want to find out about the statue!!!

Susan Joyce: Julie, has your ex ever apologized?

Judith Benson: Those sort never do Susan. That statue is brilliant Cherry! So enjoyed this book!!x

Cherry Gregory: I’m looking forward to it, Judith.

— Julie, has the extra strength and resolve you found in yourself also affected your career? Do you work differently because of it?

Frankie Knight: The WLM cookbook is still on as Victoria contacted me about it today!

— I will be leaving you all shortly but just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed spending time with you all today. Your book Julie is on my wish list now as there is more I want to know!!! Told you I was nosy, didn’t I?

Cherry Gregory: Good luck with your family, Frankie.

Frankie Knight: Thanks Cherry! I don’t normally do the Mumsie bit so am not sure how it will all play out….. I’m Ok with cats but not too sure about small children….

Cherry Gregory: Just be yourself and all will be well!

Julie Freed: Susan – The short answer is no. But the longer answer is, sort of. After he was remarried and wife 2 was standing beside him (along w her 3 kids) and he was trying to get some money from me …. He said, “I’m sorry I was not able to keep my vows to you.” My eyes welled. I simply thanked him without worrying about his motive. My life wasn’t about him anymore.

–Frankie Knight thanks so much for all your fun questions today! Children are just adults in little bodies. I bet she’ll love your cats!

Frankie Knight: Enjoy the rest of your day Julie, make sure they keep you plied with food and drink! Isn’t it about time there was a bit more alcohol arriving? Night , night everyone going to watch a bit of the rerun of F1 on BBC on my laptop now before the Tribe arrive…….

Julie Freed: Cherry Gregory – I think it has impacted my work. Initially, with all the infrastructure gone, the physical/emotional stress, no libraries, no office space, no home – It was a difficult first year to do any deep thinking. But once I got my sea legs I felt my creativity creep back. I also didn’t have the baggage and burden of my decaying marriage which probably freed up brain space for cultivating new ideas again!

–More recently my husband has been a tremendous support for me. He is not intimidated or competitive with me in any way. My success is his and vice versa. He’s so emotionally healthy and secure. There is nothing more sexy than confidence!

Susan Joyce: Frankie, one more for you before you leave us.

Photo#19-Brandy

Gramma Lupcho: So happy for you and pleased to know you have a happy mate. Keep writing. You’re on my Wish list,

Susan Joyce: And more wine.

Photo#20-MoreWine

Cherry Gregory: Julie, your relationship sounds so strong and healthy. Good to hear it!

Julie Freed: Thank you Cherry Gregory – Luckily 2nd time was the charm. When I met him, I couldn’t believe how “normal” he was. He just jokes that the bar was set pretty low!

–Speaking of … Hubby just brought home some hot crawfish for our lunch. Time for a quickie bite as Susan keeps pouring over there!

Cherry Gregory: Enjoy!

Micki Stokoe: So glad you’ve found Mr Right!

Julie Freed: Frankie Knight My 3yo is presently setting up a “drum station” consisting of pots and bowls. We are hoping she doesn’t ask for the wooden spoon and just uses her hands – but it’s always a winner!

–Enjoying some “mud bugs” as the locals call them. Never had these growing up in Connecticut!

Photo#21-MudBugs

Julie Haigh: Oh-I think I’ll pass on those-wouldn’t mind another glass of red wine though!

Micki Stokoe: Do you enjoy cooking by any chance?

Julie Freed: I thought the same thing when I first saw them Julie Haigh – but they are like tiny lobsters (but tastier) and now one of my favorites!

–I do Micki Stokoe! Cooking and eating. I especially love traveling and eating regional cuisine. I always want to know what and where the locals are eating.

Micki Stokoe: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Shirley Ledlie: Back. Food my favourite past-time. What is the local food where you live Julie?

Julie Freed: And then we come home and try to replicate. It’s tough with French breads we just can’t get the good flour here.

Julie Haigh: Well I don’t think I could eat those-it looks like something out of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ where they’ve got to eat ‘things’! Give me a piece of cheesecake any day! -No eyes in that!

Julie Freed: Tough one Micki Stokoe … maybe crawfish, although I had some unidentified “meats” while in Italy staying with a family, several interesting soups in Bangkok on the street, pork rinds here in the US (checked that box and moved on), and of course in the south they will fry just about anything and sell it! Fried pickles are pretty yummy for the record.

Shirley Ledlie: I love pickles so what pickles do you mean? and are they in batter?

Julie Freed: Since we are on the coast – lots and lots of seafood – Blue crabs, shrimp (season just opened), oyster, flounder, tuna, trout, redfish … This region provides a large percentage of the crab and oysters to the entire US. Also lots of barbecue too and greens (collards, turnip cooked with a little onion and bacon), gumbos, jumbalaya, anything blackened, and good and spicy!

–Yes Shirley Ledlie usually sliced into circles, battered and fried. They are like chips, served with ranch dressing or a remoulade sauce. Because of the French and Spanish influence it’s a whole fusion thing going on here!

Shirley Ledlie: Nom, nom just off to raid the fridge. I have been terrible today – supposed to be a fast day and I have eaten not one but TWO Snicker bars!

Julie Freed: And I forgot to add the Vietnamese flavors too. Vietnamese traveled here (some by small fishing boats) after the fall of Saigon to work in the industry here. Biloxi, Mississippi, which is about 90 miles east of New Orleans was once called the “Seafood Capitol of the World.” There is still a large Asian population and great bakeries, markets, and restaurants to match!

Micki Stokoe: Sounds great! An explosion of flavours! Interesting about the Vietnamese connection.

Julie Freed: It really is! Lots of great little places. I’ve heard New Orleans and this whole region described as the Last Bohemia left in the US.

Micki Stokoe: Intrigued – what’s the story about missing wedding rings?

Cherry Gregory: From one great thing in life (food) to another…music! I’ve heard it said that maths and music are related and if you’re talented in one, you’re likely to be talented in the other. What sort of music do you enjoy, Julie?

Julie Freed: While I was preparing to evacuate Conner, my ex asked me to be sure to get his wedding ring – wedding ring I asked? I hadn’t realized he had left it behind for over two months when he left for work in Florida … I always wore my ring … I realized in that moment it was the beginning of the end.

–Thanks Cherry Gregory – I love music period! Over the decades I’ve played several instruments – violin, viola, piano, saxophone, cello. On Sundays I almost always have some jazz playing. I wrote about the Chris Botti concert in the book – he’s an amazing performer!

Judith Benson: What a very clever lady you are Julie! I am not musical at all though I have a friend who plays the violin amazingly well. She studied at the Royal College of Music. Trying to help her and her son at the moment as her husband died very suddenly on 16th March. We are having 3 nights away with them , us in our caravan, them in their motorhome for Harry’s 17th!!! xx

Julie Freed: I also love soulful singer/song writers – When the artist has written the words it’s always more touching. Annie Lennox is a long time love and we just got to see Jo De Messina again a few weeks ago (both women I listened to in the days post-Katrina). Sting, U2, Andre Bocelli, Judith Owen, Adele, Norah Jones, Rob Thomas, I could just go on and on. There is always music playing in my world – like books I always like finding new artists!

Cherry Gregory: Wow, I have a lot of respect for that. It must give you a lot of pleasure.

Julie Freed: Judith Benson I don’t play anything amazingly well but I do enjoy playing with my family. We all just kind of fool around together! The 9yo on piano, violin, or vocals, the 3yo with some loud something to shake or bang, husband on guitar … It’s a sight for sure, not so sure on the sound!

Frank Kusy: Sorry late to the party, Julie, just back from a Buddhist course. Looks like you’re having a great Spotlight, enjoy! x

Cherry Gregory: My husband has a mathematical bent (he’s an engineer and can build and repair almost anything.) He just loves music. Whereas he would hardly ever pick up a book of fiction, he listens to a piece of Beethoven and ends up in tears. It’s his preferred method of communication. Great that you get the whole family involved.

Julie Freed: Judith Benson – I hope you have a wonderful few days of travel. So difficult for Harry and nice of you two to provide a bit of distraction and some laughs. I hope your friend might play for you!

–Frank Kusy it wasn’t a party until you showed up!

–I can relate to your husband Cherry Gregory – Music can transport me anywhere. Although I do read a bit of fiction here and there, not as much as I used to. The truth is better …

–It is like the sea – music. It can set the mood, change a mood, carry us places we barely recall, crash into islands unfamiliar, heal wounds … http://www.juliefreedauthor.com/…/letter1-the-extent-of…

–Letter 1 – The Extent of Your Touch www.juliefreedauthor.com

Cherry Gregory: That’s a beautiful piece of writing, Julie. Reveals how much the music meant to you when you needed it most. I just love it when music (or a book) speaks to you so clearly, it reminds you of who you are. Good stuff!

Julie Freed: Thank you Cherry Gregory

Micki Stokoe: Talent indeed! I got a ukulele for Christmas, & am looking forward to giving it a go! Not sure whether my (bad) guitar playing will.be a help or a hindrance! Which instrument is your favourite to play/ listen to?

Julie Freed: Oh fantastic Micki Stokoe a friend of ours bought one last year and she sounds amazing already! I love hearing her play on the beach.

Shirley Ledlie: My hubby has a Bodram (sp) Irish drum thingy, never been out of its cover

Julie Freed: I’m probably “best” at the violin, but I love the sounds of a cello. I took up cello when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I thought it would be great to have the sounds so close to my growing baby. I’m still not that great, but that is one of the THINGS I did replace after the storm when I could afford one. I also probably listen to cello music most while I’m working.

–Maybe tonight’s the night Shirley Ledlie while you’re both tucked in awaiting the storm anyway

Cherry Gregory: Love the idea of having the sounds close to the growing baby. I’m sure babies do “remember” some of their experiences before birth. I tend to think my (now 23 year old) daughter does anyway.

Micki Stokoe: I’ll be playing behind closed doors to the cats! How do yours react to music? One of mine rubs her head against my hand & I’m never sure if she’s in pain & really wants me to stop or is enjoying it!

Julie Freed: I have a great African Drum CD in my car – It’s not only great for me to listen to, it’s just short of the “sure thing” when the 3yo won’t go to sleep. Has been CD #1 for years now!

Susan Joyce: Micki, speaking of animals rubbing … it’s dog walking time here and one is letting me know it. Julie, many thanks for a Super Spotlight Sunday! Very enjoyable!

Julie Freed: Cherry Gregory I think the sounds, patterns, rhythms, languages, etc babies hear are so important for their development. I hate to learn of schools cutting their music or art programs so they can do more arithmetic and reading. Does your daughter have fetal memories?

–Thank you Susan for all the refreshments and all your wonderful support of my book. Some day my friend our traveling paths will cross!

Shirley Ledlie: Tonight wont be the night Julie, hubby is in India lol Yes me too Cherry, we always had music on in the house and both of them are music mad and even though they are in their late 20’s love and know so much of our Motown etc. Is your daughter musical Julie? Sorry if you have already said i am tired

Susan Joyce: Julie, I’m imagining it so.

Julie Freed: It’s funny you say that Micki Stokoe – My daughter’s violin teacher comes to the house and … well the dog goes running! She’s a mutt of some sort (like I am I suppose) with large sensitive ears. When the whole family is playing she just runs around barking perhaps adding her own harmony – or maybe thinking if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Cherry Gregory: I agree that it’s a backward step for schools to cut music and art and concentrate on only passing tests and exams (that tends to happen in the UK, unfortunately.) My daughter doesn’t have any memories as such but my husband and I laugh a lot together and right from the start, when she was only a few hours old, she responded to that laughter. She seemed to know things that at her stage of development she couldn’t possibly know!

Julie Freed: Yes Shirley Ledlie she plays violin and piano and wants to start trumpet next year. It’s hard keeping up with her no doubt! The little one is just …. well loud!

Cherry Gregory: I understand your barking dog. I used to help out at our local playgroup and when the children got out the musical instruments (drums, tambourines, bells etc) I joined in…it didn’t seem to hurt the ears so much if I was banging a drum as well!

Julie Freed: LOL!

–Food, music, how about some wine talk. We are too hot for grapes here, although the blueberries are exquisite! What kinds of grapes grow where you are?

Micki Stokoe: That’s so true, Cherry! I have several large bags of percussion instruments & once spent a week running 2 daily sessions exploring rhythm in a scenario of a ghost village with 60 plus children! It was far easier to join in!

Cherry Gregory: Too cold to grow grapes here without a greenhouse, though with the climate warming up, more grapes are being grown in Britain and there is a small vineyard about twenty miles from home. I’ve sampled their wine and it is definitely improving. However, we have a lot of cider being made in the nearby county of Hereford… that can be delicious and very potent!

–When I was in my early twenties, I was cycling past my uncle’s farm when they had just finished haymaking. My uncle and his men were drinking “scrumpy” (very strong cider) to celebrate and I was invited to join in. I only had half a glass but I rode through a river on my way home and didn’t even notice. The next day I wondered why my clothes were wet!

Micki Stokoe: We’re quite near to the most northern vineyard, but I admit I haven’t visited it yet! Tea & beer are more associated with Yorkshire!

Julie Freed: Ha ha! Note to self Scrumpy + Cherry Gregory + Bike = Bike + River

–I was lucky enough last summer to have a night on the Mosel in between conferences in Europe – the vineyards were ancient and gorgeous. Reminded me of the restful rice patties in Thailand – the small focused work of these types of farmers is fascinating to me.

–One of my favorite moments in #NAKEDMemoir

Photo#22-AHouse…

Cherry Gregory: That’s very true! In the end it is the people that count.

Micki Stokoe: Where in the world would you like to visit (or re-visit)?

Julie Freed: I would fly to Paris tonight! I can never get enough of Paris – even though it’s so trite to say so. I also love NYC – I’ve just spent more time there. Would like to get back to the Umbria region in Italy and also Amsterdam. Would also like to return to Glacier National Park and Bryce Canyon to hike with the kids. Oh goodness I could go on and on!

— I’ve never been to the UK but will likely be in London for work this fall I hope, I hope! Australia and New Zealand would be wonderful but no work there yet. I also would love to get to the Galapagos and heard Bali is incredible. Wouldn’t it be fun to travel the world stopping to visit WLM readers and authors all around this great planet?

Cherry Gregory: Yes, that would be wonderful. There are such great characters in the WLM group and from all over the world!

Nancy McBride: Road trip! As I’ve said before, just put me on the itinerary, and I’ll hang out with you, your place another time!

–Must have missed it, but where do you live?

Micki Stokoe: It would be great to meet people! & to travel again.

Julie Freed: This is the “Get Ya NAKED” martini for the WLM cookbook!

Photo#23-GetNaked

Julie Freed: Cherry Gregory this might work out better with the bike but no promises!

Cherry Gregory I’m willing to risk it!

Julie Freed: I will still be on for a few hours but it’s getting late across the pond and I wouldn’t want people going to bed without me! So Victoria Twead if you don’t mind I’d like to give four copies of NAKED.

–Frankie Knight is gonna need a good read post toddler time! Cherry Gregory and her quantitative music loving husband will hopefully enjoy this read together. Shirley Ledlie might not have her husband or a drum tonight but she’s getting #NAKEDMemoir. And Micki Stokoe you get the extra STAR for all the great questions!

Julie Haigh: Congratulations everyone!-well done Frankie Knight, Cherry Gregory, Shirley Ledlie and Micki Stokoe-enjoy the read! And well done Julie Freed-you have been an amazing spotlighter!

Julie Freed: Thank you all so much – I hope you enjoy NAKED and my journey. Please do write and let me know what it made you think about and feel. It’s been wonderful getting to know everyone a wee bit better. And like I said I’m not going anywhere – although I might move from my standing desk to my iPad on the couch (you know the one I bought off the truck)!

Alan Parks: Are you watching the World Cup Julie Freed? USA just kicking off.

Micki Stokoe: Thank you! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our chat!

Julie Freed: I’m not yet Alan, but I think my husband is or will be soon!

–You’re so welcome Micki Stokoe – You made my mind stretch today and now I’m craving travel like mad and I’m just home from Chicago last night!

Cherry Gregory: Thank you so much, Julie. This has been a wonderful thread and I’ve really enjoyed spending some time with you! I look forward to reading NAKED and will leave a review.

Julie Freed: We are actually one of those weird American families that does NOT have television. So he’s watching it now on his computer Alan Parks!

–Thanks so much Cherry Gregory that would be wonderful if you have time!

Julie Freed: Yes Alan he’s definitely watching – I heard the scream!

Dodie Shea: Just finished reading all your posts Julie. It was so very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

Victoria Twead: Julie Freed, fab thread, nearly 300 comments! Almost 1.00am here in Spain so I’m off to bed. Thanks so much for the chat and insight into your life and writing. Let me know who your lucky 4 winners are!

Julie Freed: Thank you Dodie Shea for joining in!

–Victoria Twead – The FOUR winners are Shirley Ledlie, Frankie Knight, Cherry Gregory, and Micki Stokoe: Thank you for sending along and happy reading to you all!

Julie Freed: And please connect with me on Twitter @JulieFreed and on Pinterest Juliefreed180 and here is my page www.JulieFreedAuthor.com

–Naked

–www.juliefreedauthor.com

–2014 Hurricane Katrina Memoir

Bambi Flanner: Hurricane season started and I immediately thought of you and your story. I’m sorry, I’ve been at work for the last 6 hours so I missed a lot, but I want to say again Julie that you are so inspirational to me, and I look up to you quite a bit. I hope the rest of your life is without bumps because you’ve paid your dues. It never works out that way, but that is my wish for you.

Susan Joyce: Congratulations to all the winners! Shirley Ledlie, Frankie Knight, Cherry Gregory, and Micki Stokoe. Lucky you! It’s a great read!

Julie Freed: Bambi Flanner you are so sweet! Thank you for the wishes. I hope the same for you always!

–We lost Nora and then Maya. They are both in Naked and I loved them both.

Photo#24-Nora

Nancy McBride: Moot. Tied. USA needs to play Germany, now…

Julie Freed: Thank you again WLM for inviting me to the SS. Time for “Books and Bedtime” here in Mississippi – Goodnight to you all!

Photo#25-LoveConquers

Betty Sue Brewster: I have very much enjoyed this ‘fred’ – look forward to reading your book on my kindle.

Terry Bryan: Julie Freed. You’re a pretty terrific lady.

The following morning …

Shirley Ledlie: Morning! Thank you very much Julie. I cant wait to read it. It was a great fred and glad you enjoyed yourself, so did everyone else :-))))) I vanished last night as I fell asleep and woke up to the storm overhead. It was great getting to know you Julie. What a strong and resilient woman!

Frankie Knight: Good morning Julie!!! Just been catching up on what I missed and find I’m a winner of one of your books! YIPPPPEEEE! Thank you so much for rewarding me for doing something I enjoy – being nosy! It was really great finding out all about you and cannot wait to read even more. Many thanks for sharing with us yesterday. I do hope you enjoyed your day as much as I did?

Victoria Twead: Prizes have been sent to the winners. Congratulations!

Cherry Gregory: Thanks, Victoria!

Shirley Ledlie: Yes, thank you Victoria

Frankie Knight: Many thanks Victoria!

Julie Freed: Happy reading all! Here is a 4 min video to give you a feel for the Mississippi Coast pre and post Kartrina. http://s143.photobucket.com/…/Video…/Summer.mp4.html Before and After – Summer s143.photobucket.com

–And finally I hope you feel like Sissy Gardner did at Parnassus Books when you read NAKED – Love, Me http://www.parnassusbooks.net/

Photo#26-SissyGardener

Charlotte Smith: So sorry I missed your Spotlight Julie Freed. To make amends I have just bought Naked. Will read as soon as possible but the kindle is a bit backed up at the moment!

Julie Freed You’re sweet Charlotte Smith – No amends needed – Life is far too short for guilt! Happy reading!

Marilyn Griffin Medici: Julie Freed, the Before and After – Summer video is so heartbreaking. Thinking of all that people went through — those who survived and those who didn’t — brought me tears. Thanks for sharing. Hearing about it on the news is quite different from seeing it. So glad you survived. God bless.

Julie Freed: Marilyn Griffin Medici he has two other videos – if you have any tears left – I still can only watch a little. Scroll below the one I linked to find the others. The antebellum homes are tragic from an historical perspective. But as you know from living here it’s the little Ma-and-Pop places that probably hurt our families the most.

 

 

 

 

 

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