Month: April 2007

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First person to find a typo wins a Wren’s Nest t-shirt. They’re cooler than you think.

So how about it? Like it? Hate it? Want to change some stuff? Let us know in the comments!

Since this is merely the launch of our website, we’re still missing some content, notably: history of the museum, text of select stories, video of our storytellers, Wren’s Nest and Brer Rabbit couture, donate online, and other totally awesome stuff. We’ll worry about all that later, though.

Now, you: find the typos! write the comments! tell us what you think!



This is what we’ve been dealing with the past three hours: Babies! Well, just one, but this little guy’s ambition could account for two, maybe three of the little buggers. He’s a clearly a hand- and mouthful.

And this is Lain taking a break. Since opening our doors at 10 this morning, we’ve had 76 visitors, one curious baby, one baby’s mama, the Rentokil man, and a homeless guy sleeping on the front porch. We also sold six books, a couple pounds of rock candy, and a whole lotta pencil erasers.

I’d say we’re doing pretty good for ourselves, despite the rain.

Unfortunately, this morning’s hoopla came in the midst of a fairly uneventful week. Two groups cancelled their storytellers, which made me and Lain (and Curtis, of course) very sad. What are we going to do to make people keep their promises? Shall we give away party favors? Sell funnel cakes? Offer back massages at the end of the tour?

Suggestions welcome.

Does the sight of this logo excite you? 


Me too! Now get this: 

Word on the street is, the Wren’s Nest may soon be joining the ranks of presidential candidate John McCain and newly discovered planet Gliese581 on the pages of the New York Times!

This past Monday, around 12:23 pm, a New York Times photographer with an exceptionally large camera was spotted wandering the grounds of our West End estate.

He came inside, took pictures of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, mumbled a few things about the “Escapes” section of the Friday paper, something else about house museums in Georgia, and then packed up his things and left.

He did this all very, very slowly. How mysterious!

Moral: keep your eyes peeled for greatness, my friends.

Next week Team Wren’s Nest will unveil the details about our partnership with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival, but today I’d like to touch on something related and maybe more pressing.

Some of you may have read about the recent personnel overhaul at the AJC. In short, many writers that have opted for compensation packages are retiring–the rest will have to reapply for new positions.

Weird, huh.

Particularly disturbing and relevant is that the AJC is wiping out the Book Editor position, formerly held by the estimable Teresa Weaver.

(Some of you may remember when the Wren’s Nest graced the cover of the Arts and Books section. Some of you may remember when they accidentally placed the best picture of the article not on the front cover, but on page K12.

marshall and lain
…I’ve since forgiven them, by the way.)

The consistently dynamite Wordsmiths Books blog has tackled the issue and received a “reassuring” response from editor Julia Wallace: book coverage isn’t going away, just the position of Book Editor.

While she has a point, I think it would make more sense (cents, too), so to speak, to put their mouth where their money is.

DBF Blog

After all, they are the primary sponsors of the totally awesome AJC Decatur Book Festival — a first year festival that drew over 50,000 people and won a few awards despite a Sunday of driving rain.

Deleting the Book Editor position (and, like, all the other ones) is akin to the Wren’s Nest throwing out its artifacts and replacing them with holograms of Joel Chandler Harris and all of his stuff in the name of technology and cutting costs.

Except holograms aren’t cheap (believe me) and neither is cutting a service that is valuable enough for folks to blog in protest and write petitions. What is most amazing to me is the amount of positive feedback about the Book Editor now that they’re getting rid of the Book Editor. The AJC has never sounded so reputable! …unless of course if you count what they’re currently doing.

I don’t understand why they don’t take a look around at all the successful book blogs or journalists who blog very succesfully and then fit the mold. It’s not rocket science.

That way you retain value, develop a fan base, make the writer more of a household name, and maybe draw in some readers that wouldn’t normally read the Arts and Books section. I mean, that’s what the Wren’s Nest has done for WNIC, and look at her! Famous!

Carson Chop

Here you can see Carson waiving to a stadium full of her adoring fans. “Thank you, Wren’s Nest Blog!” she says.

Then again, I guess it’s tough and very very complicated to downsize a large company, and in the end it’s about the bottom line. I refuse to believe, however, that the AJC can’t make money by allowing their writers to become small time celebrities and enticing more internet readers. ESPN understands this concept well, I think.

If Joel Chandler Harris had worked at the Atlanta Constitution in the 21st Century, I’ll bet he would have been one hell of a blogger. Can you imagine if Lewis Grizzard had a blog?

Nuwaubian News

Remember when we were talking about the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors last Christmas morning?

You know, the Nuwaubians: that religious cult that built so much faux-Egyptian religious iconography on their compound in Eatonton, Ga? The same Eatonton, Ga that Joel Chandler Harris is from?


Yes, that photo was taken in Georgia, and boy howdy have I got news for you! From photographer Anderson Scott:

Atlanta Magazine is going to publish some more Nuwaubia pictures from the same series in its next issue. There will be a show of many of the pictures from Atlanta Mag. & Oxford American at Eyedrum Gallery opening June 23.

Who’s coming with me? Carson, you’re in. The rest of you, let me know: or via the comments below.

If you’re not sure or confused, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Take a look at this: Audio Slide Show – The Nuwaubians of Putnam County, Ga

For those of you expecting Wren’s Nest or Joel Chandler Harris news today (ahem, mom): tough! You’ll have to wait until next time when my brain isn’t so preoccupied with poison ivy or Nuwaubians.


After that freak snowfall we had a few weeks ago, it seems the quality of the weather is rapidly on the upswing. A bit like soy products, which I’ve noticed are becoming more popular by the day (see: soynut butter, midnight snack extraordinaire).

I had a “moment” in the backyard this morning, when the sky was cerulean and the clouds were lounging about like sleepy Spring Break-ers. In the middle of the West End, I felt like I was in the country, far from the noise and pace of the big city.

I happened to notice how “mowed” the grass looked and how “swept” the brick path and how “freshly pruned” the rose garden. Those of you who attended the Writer’s Service Day this past weekend, bravo. Good work with that.

Taking a deep breath of crisp, fragrant air, and silently thanking the convection currents for bringing us this fine Spring weather, I climbed the steps to the back door. Lain, who apparently spent some Quality Time with a mysterious green plant this Saturday, was there to greet me. He was covered in poison ivy.

Thanks to the Wilderness First Aid course I took this past weekend (note: having a WFA certification should be a new requirement for all Wren’s Nest interns) I knew just what to do: I went straight to CVS for some hydrocortisone cream.

Not everything Spring-related is worth clicking your heels for. But at least this particular menace is treatable. Or so the merchandiser in lane 17 proclaims.

This is Star, appreciating the Spring:


I’ve recently been marveling at how beautiful the backyard at the Wren’s Nest is. The sprawling, tree-shaded lawn, winding pebbled path, the huge tree overlooking the storytelling garden, the wysteria terrace, the rustic amphitheater and engraved stone promenade–they all make me want to jump for joy. Wouldn’t you love to attend a concert here, or a wedding, or a block party, or perhaps a full day of music, storytelling, free t-shirts, food and fun?

Ladies and gentlemen, mark your calendars for June 9th. I’m talking about Wren’s Nest Fest 2007. It’s going to be off the hook like the winter coat you never had the patience to hang up right. It promises to be more thrilling than a petting zoo, more educational than the Discovery Channel, more witty than an episode of Captain Kangaroo, and certainly the best weather we’ve had all Spring. Ha, if only I could say that with an ounce of confidence.

Stay tuned for the juicy details.

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