So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label coal mining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coal mining. Show all posts

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nadine Justice, new author

Today I had lunch with a new author. Her name is Nadine Justice. 

About five years ago I met Nadine when she registered for a class I taught at Tri-County Community College in Murphy. Nadine said she was working on a memoir. She read some of her stories about her life and I could see she indeed had a story and was a storyteller.

Over the past five years we have remained close as she took more of my classes, and I met her and several members of that first class for lunch every few months. Nadine has a home on a mountain in Union County Georgia, and a lovely home in Cumming, GA. She stays busy with her clients and her family, especially her adored grandchildren. 

In the past year, Nadine made her book, I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang,  a top priority while continuing her successful career of interior design in Atlanta. The book was released this month.

Readers go on the journey with her as she takes us from a coal camp community in West Virginia to Zonguldak, Turkey. We see this little girl grow up, make mistakes, live through divorce, bad marriages, fight hunger for her and her kids, but never giving up on herself or her dreams. We see inside her large southern family, a father who loses his arm in a mining accident, but never looses his work ethic, a complex mother who deals with her own secret desires as well as the death of her children.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read memoir. It is honest, heartbreaking at times, but the author tells her story with no apologies or glossing over the facts. Nadine ends the book with a touching poem, Who Am I? I believe, like most writers, she learned the answer through the "memory snapshots" in this book.
To order copies of this memoir, email:

I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang
by Nadine Justice
United Writers Press
ISBN 978-1-934216-83-5

Soon to be in bookstores

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Delightful Day on a Mountaintop

Nadine, Ash, and Vicki

Nadine, Ash and Glenda
On this beautiful autumn day I was invited to join four former writing students at the home of Nadine J. on top of a mountain in north Georgia. We sat on her nicely appointed deck and feasted on a lovely lunch, enjoyed a bottle of wine with various desserts and laughed at the clever remarks of our dear friend, Ginny.

One of the nicest perks of teaching adults is finding friendships in the class. When the course ended, Ash Rothlein, a WWII veteran, enjoyed the others so much he invited them to the home he shares with his lovely wife, Liz, where they continued sharing their stories. I was included. Since that time, several years ago, we have all come to love each other.

Nadine's gritty and memorable stories about her childhood growing up in a coal mining camp will soon be compiled in a memoir. Meanwhile she designs interiors for fine homes all over the country.

Ash is involved in trying to reach descendants of those brave men buried above the beach in Normandy where he plans to be on the seventieth anniversary of that battle and on his 90th birthday. His writing consists of articles about his mission on D-Day for the Citizen-Times and other newspapers. Today he said he wants to motivate people to think about the lives lost in that war and the way our country came together as one after the fighting was over. Ash believes America can return to the way we were then. He is speaking to college students and sharing his story with all who listen, and those who listen find him captivating.

Writing has brought me joy in many ways, but finding friends such as Ginny, Vicki, Nadine, Ash and Liz is like the cherry on top of the whipped cream on the hot fudge sundae. We wrote down what we are thankful for in 2011, and these good friends were at the top of my list.