Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm Howling In The Wires

On Thursday evening August 26 at a nice establishment called Mimi’s there will be a book release party for a book called Howling in the Wires. The book is a collection of original writings from local writers and bloggers during the days after Hurricane Katrina. There will be book signing and the reading of some of the work in the book. Somehow yours truly ended up in this book and I am supposed to be reading a piece of my work at the event. We'll see how that goes.

When I was first asked to be involved I was okay with it but I didn’t want to read anything. I didn’t think that I could make it through without being emotional. The emotional phase of Katrina is over with for me or at least I like to pretend it is. That’s why I have been ducking Katrina coverage as much as possible. The other reason is that I had no idea what I said back then and had never went back to read any of it. The blogs that were selected for this project were all written in a hotel room in Jackson Mississippi when my mind was all over the place. I wasn’t sure if any of it made sense or did justice for exactly what I was feeling. I thought about it and I don’t think anyone really could express what they were really feeling. I guess that’s why everyone wasn’t asked to write something new. I’m sure everyone would see things a little different now. I am looking forward to seeing the book for the first time. I want to thank Sam Jasper and Mark Folse for asking me to be a part of it. I would like to invite everyone to come out to Mimi’s on Thursday and see if we can have fun while reflecting on such an emotional time.

No matter what anyone tells me I don’t look at myself as a writer. It just makes it easier to wake up every morning and go to the office to look at data and reports all day. Calling yourself a blogger is a lot less official and takes away a lot of pressure because you could just stop one day and it would be easier to deal with. I’m not a writer but I think I am a pretty good blogger. Every now and then I do something the people like and that’s good enough for me. Whenever stuff happens like this because of something I wrote I always feel like the kid in the hood that’s never been anywhere. I’m in awe of the whole experience.

Back in September 2005 I didn’t have a house, many clothes, or my vehicle. All of that was gone. I had a job in New Orleans for a non profit agency and I wasn’t making enough money to put me in a hurry to get back to the city any time soon. Plus, my job is based on funding sources that weren’t necessarily coming back. I didn’t know what I was going to do. One day I got a call from my supervisor Fran. She told me to hang in there and she was going to see if we still had our funding so we could get paid. She called me the next day and told me that we still had funding and not only was I going to get paid but she was going to give me a raise to a level I could survive with. I couldn’t make it to Monroe, Louisiana where the agency had relocated after the storm so she sent me a laptop that I could use for work while I stayed in Mississippi until the agency moved back to New Orleans and I could find a place to stay to come home. If it wasn’t for her sending me that laptop I would never have blogged about anything and wouldn’t be in this book. If it wasn’t for her taking care of me when I didn’t have anything I probably wouldn’t have been in New Orleans with the job I have now.

My participation in this book is dedicated to Fran Ledger. Like most genuinely good people she has never made a big deal out of these things and I am sure we never even discussed it. I’m going to see if she’s in town and invite her to Mimi’s to buy her a drink because she has a lot to do with me being there.


bayoucreole said...

Cliff, is it for 7 or 8? Some sites I go say 7, others say 8. Also, do you know if they will have books available for purchase at the launch?
I'll be there...just trying to get all of my ducks in a row.

Clifton said...

The official start time is 7. The readings will start about 7:30 from what I was told.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for "Fran," and many more for the blogger/writer. Cheers also for Mark and that other guy. I'm sure you'll introduce your read in a fashion similar to this blog; and all will be enthralled. BTW, your employer is fortunate to have an employee with a whole lotta common sense.

Anonymous said...


congrats sir.


K. said...

You may not think of yourself as a writer, but plenty of us out here don't agree. Fran sounds like a treasure Good luck with the reading! T. and I both wish we could be there.

Clancy DuBos said...


Big props on the Ashley Morris Award. You totally earned it.

Clancy DuBos

Anonymous said...


We wish we could have been there to share that momentous event with you but we were there with you in spirit. We can't put in words how proud we are of you but I know you are aware of it. Don't stop here. Keep on going. Write one for yourself. We know you have it in you to be a writer. A NUMBER ONE SELLER!!!

With love and pride,

Mr. and Mrs. Clifton J. Harris

Sam said...

Cliff, you did a spectacular job reading that night. We heard from several people who asked who was that guy? He was amazing! And they were right.

Thank you so much for being a part of this book. Also, a HUGE congrats on the Ashley. I think he'd approve. Wish I'd have been able to buy ya a drink. Down the road you'll have to let me do that.

Signed: the other guy