Dreams of living Hemingway’s life sunk for Guardian writer

I knew the morning may prove nauseating as I listened to the Coast Guard advise boaters a small-craft advisory would be in effect for the duration of my day fishing with friend Brian Finnegan, a charter boat captain out of Bohickett Marina, on Seabrook Island, S.C.  

The night before any fishing trip with Finnegan on his 24-foot center console boat, I lay awake dreaming of landing a glimmering green and blue Mahi-Mahi or a large Spanish mackerel. I imagine myself writing about my epic adventures with creatures from the deep, as if they were my personal “white whale.”

Weekly Reads

Notable Young Adult Books of 2016

by Scott D. Strawn


What a year!   All the stresses of school, sports, school clubs, science projects, special assignments, band, working a part time job, keeping up with your friends and family, getting ready for graduation, when the heck is one supposed to have time to read?  Yet reading is fundamental to the human experience.  Encountering others’ experiences throughout time and over the continents and distance is essential.  Reading is also a powerful form of relaxation.  Here are some titles from last year. 

Weekly reads

Happy (but Deadly) New Year


The bubbly is chilled and ready to be poured.  The noise makers and funny hats are standing by.  Everyone is watching the last minutes of the old year tick away and anticipating the possibilities of the new one.  Finally, the bells start to toll…one…two…three…a shot…looks like this New Year is starting off with blood…


Murder at Midnight, by C. S. Challinor


On the Write Track

While the focus this past week has been on the Christmas gifts you all have given or received, I thought I would change gears a little and write about the gifts we have every day.

When you have a minute, here’s an idea. Why not pick up the telephone and give your family a call, the ones you don’t see every day or the ones you might not see over the holidays. Most will probably do this, but take my word for it when I say that every moment is precious.

On the Write Track

The boxes on the shelf might say for ages five and up on most of the children’s games, but there are those out there who still enjoy playing the games well into adulthood.

No matter which game you choose, you will more than likely, as the adult, end up playing the games with your children or family members. Even though some might not like to admit it, they can be fun no matter how old you are.

Weekly Reads; Hanukkah Romance

Hanukkah Romance

by Scott D. Strawn


Holidays – they bring families and friends together.  But with nights by the fireplace, and lighting by candles, the winter can be the perfect atmosphere for romance as well.  And what if a holiday extends for several nights?  Here are five titles that examine love during all eight nights of Hanukkah.


Lighting the Flames: A Hannukah Story, by Sarah Wendell


On the Write Track

As shoppers scan the isles for all those Christmas gifts this year, one item is always on the list.

They always seem to choose the hard peppermint candy or candy canes or for that matter anything that comes in wrapping that can break the sound barrier when there’s silence.

On the Write Track

Make sure you take a right on to the Possum Corner Expressway.

I think these are some actual directions given out by Siri and OnStar.

If not, you would think they all directed motorists attempting to escape gridlock on Interstate 95 right on down our way.

As most were giving those turkey leftovers one more last hoorah, there were motorists believing the turkeys who told them they needed to travel through Possum Corner Road last Sunday night.

No Matter Where You Go, Santa Will Find You

We’ve been told that he knows when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake.  He supposedly knows if we’ve been bad or good, though we don’t tend to pay attention to that until December.  But does he always know where to find us?  What if we go on vacation this year?  What if we move?  What if we go to Grandma’s?  Here are a few titles that let little ones know not to worry.  Santa will manage to deliver.


On Christmas Eve, by Liz Rosenberg, with illustrations by John Clapp


Is saying ‘Happy Holidays’ being inclusive or just politically correct?

It's early, but Merry Christmas anyway.

It's really not that early when you consider that Christmas decorations were going up in stores alongside the garish gore and garnishes as Halloween loomed. But temperatures where I live were still in the 80s at that time, and "Merry Christmas" just didn't fit.

On the Write Track

I did something the other day and did not really think about it again until later.

You just never know what a simple gesture of kindness can mean to someone.

While I was driving in a nearby neighborhood, I slowed down as I saw a young mother and her child walking along the side of the roadway. I was preparing to pass them as they stopped for a second to watch me pass by. The mother looked up, waving at me in a friendly manner. As I continued to travel down the road, I could hear say thank you.

Weekly Reads

The Best Gifts

by Scott D. Strawn


Everyone enjoys a gift, receiving one, giving one, just seeing someone opening one.  A gift says that it sends a message of friendship and love to the recipient, a piece of the giver’s spirit.  The only thing that can surpass that is if the gift was actually created by the giver.  Those gifts may not last very long, but the sentiment they convey will be remembered for holidays to come.


Food, Gift, Love, by Maggie Battista


On the Write Track

It truly has been a long time my friends, glad to be back on the ‘write’ track again.

For those who don’t remember me or may not have known me, my name is Shellie Murdaugh and I am a former news editor and writer for The Guardian. I built a lifetime of memories in those positions and it’s time to continue to write as I once did, at least in column form.

Weekly Reads; Christmas is nearly here

It’s Almost Here!

By Scott D. Strawn


Millions celebrate it, but some totally hate it.  Some complain that its religious meaning has been overlooked, or completely forgotten. Some complain it’s just too religious.  Some complain that it is frivolous in light of all the world’s problems, and others complain that there’s so much complaining about it, that it’s tantamount to war.  Christmas in America, love it or hate it, it’s coming around again.  Maybe it’s time to get some background.


Weekly Reads

No, It’s Not the Same as Mexican Food!

by Scott D. Strawn


It’s that time of year to launch into a diet of pumpkin pies, turkeys, dressing (or stuffing) and cranberries.  But before you do, perhaps you might want to let your taste buds “wander” the country a bit and try something a little bit different before their yearly binge on the traditional.  How about somewhere in the States but very different from South Carolina – maybe New Mexico?


Weekly reads, for teens

Reads for Teen Read Week

by Scott D. Strawn


Next week is Teen Read Week.  Teen books are not only stories that happen to be about people in their teenage years, but books that delve into the hope, and horrors, of being that age.  They are about striving in life at a time when how one strives will determine how one faces the rest of one’s life.  In other words, they’re great reads for teens…and everyone who remembers being one.


A Picture Is…

A young woman at Kent State kneeling next to a body, Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, a Depression-era mother looking worried for her children – chances are that a distinct image comes to mind when each of these events are mentioned.  These images and others like them form a common human physique because of the art of photography.  Someone didn’t just snap another photo but looked for that exact moment and angle that would frame the event forever for us.  The following titles have several of these moments.


Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs edited by Andrea G. Stillman

Weekly library reads; 9/11

One Particular Morning

by Scott D. Strawn


For us older Americans the events of September 11, 2001 tend to stand out.  It was a day one tends not to forget – one that provides an easy answer to the question: “Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when…”  For teens it is a moment in history from when they were either very young or not yet born.  For them the question is more likely to be:  “What was it all about?”  Here are five books to help answer that question


The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner



Subscribe to RSS - Opinion