Shirley A. Hammond

Shirley A. Hammond

She is the youngest of five children, and the mother of one son. She is also currently attending graduate school at Liberty University, where she is finishing a Master's of Art in Teaching and Learning with an endorsement in English. She has launched her new book, "Xtreme Ride Wish: An Untwinnable Day."Known mononymously as Shirley, she can be contacted at
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So far, she has been blessed to write 27 books, 25 of which are published. She also freelances as a journalist.
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Almost completed a graduate degree in Secondary Education with an endorsement in English.


When I feel the PULL, that s the story for me to write.



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  • Maya Angelou
    Meeting Maya Angelou in person was one of my best moments as a fellow writer. She inspired, she offered her strength. She was a most excellent, phenomenal woman.
  • Captain Phillips: Movies
    Captain Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, was the hero in the movie. However, it was others who saved the day. The film is listed on IMDb as based on a true story, and is pegged as a biography, drama, thriller and adventure. It is all that and more.
  • Podcasting Lesson Plan for ESL Classrooms
    Podcasting can help students gain English speaking proficiency. Three lesson plans and an introduction to Podcasting are included.
  • Release Your Greatness Event: Austin, Texas
    For several years, Lynda Coleman of Austin has been showcasing her work and artistry. She has worked tirelessly to make sure other writers, poets, painters, etc. get their due. Her latest event (Release Your Greatness) was a chart-topper by any measure.
  • Winnie Mandela: The Movie
    Darrell Roodt and others involved in the 2011 film project, "Winnie Mandela," have given us a jewel. Featuring Terrence Howard as Mandela and Jennifer Hudson as Winnie; this is a film that gives a glimpse into the wife of South Africa's unifying leader.
  • Movie: "The Best Man Holiday"
    Every kind of emotion a viewer can have was tapped into during the movie, "The Best Man Holiday." Most movies don't take viewers through the spectrum of highs and lows, the whole slew of feelings. This movie does. A brilliant plot and superb acting awaits
  • Dropcards: Digital Download Cards
    Access, Access, Access. This is the name of the game now days when creative types want to sell their music, books, or other content. Dropcards has made that easier than ever. I am now using them to sell my new ebook.
  • Documentary Film: Dark Girls
    The colorist issue lingers like an energy; hovering in the air and lighting onto many people. It catches people unawares, divides within and without races,and makes unity elusive and rare. Colorism is explored on several fronts in this documentary.
  • Quinceanera Expo
    Austin's Crowne Plaza Hotel hosted a Quinceanera Expo on Sunday, September 29. A massive crowd flowed into the venue to see all the glitz and glam associated with the Quince Anos, or 15th birthday celebration.
  • Book: A Life Unscripted
    Mary Inez' story is still being written. Even so, she wrote an autobiograhy which details the interesting journey she's had so far. She tells that life can be unpredictable and unsettling at times.
  • Book Marketing on the Cheap
    I was blessed to learn from other authors about creative and inexpensive ways to market books. Thoughtful penmasters who attended Austin's 2nd annual Meet The Author Extravaganza shared how they market and pitch their books to move from local to global.
  • Tyler Perry's Temptation
    Tyler Perry keeps upping the ante. With his latest movie, "Temptations" he gave his own high water mark a new level. It's almost as if he competes with himself, striving to do better and better with each production.
  • Cupcakes from Heaven
    Yummy Delicious cupcakes were a bit hit at Austin's 2nd Annual Meet The Authors Extravaganza. I went there to meet the authors, and to showcase my book; but I also met a young baker/entrepreneur who had some smashing delicious cupcakes.
  • Book: Addictive Adages
    Keith Carter recognizes that it's a major accomplishment for someone like him to have written and published a book. He shares how he emerged from a bad place to authorship and motivating youth to choose the path he's now on early in life.
  • Book: Elopement for One
    Fleeta Cunningham never meets a stranger, garnered a book deal through great ingenuity, and leaves behind marketing information all the time. She was glad to discuss her experiences and offer wisdom and ideas for other writers.
  • La Chapparita Restaurant
    All food is NOT created equal. I had the chance to try out some Peruvian food at Highland Mall's La Chapparita. It surprised me with its layers of flavor, variety and other delightful aspects. The owner said she is from Lima, Peru.
  • Books: "In Him I Live, Treasures from My Heart, Loving God Through Poetry"
    Nadine Flowers was one of the most unassuming authors at Austin's August 10 Meet The Author Extravaganza. She was poised at her table, and at her mike. She also had a wealth of family support.
  • Avon: Imari Blossom
    Austin's Highland Mall has an Avon store; which allows me to save on shipping and handling from ordering online. When I need a pick-me-up, I head to this store. I usually stock up with Avon goodies there and leave happy as a lark.
  • Book: "Bold Enough to Say"
    Llarme Palmer is a West Coast native who has written a bold title that she is not afraid to talk about. She was a splash of audacity at Austin's 2nd annual Meet The Author Extravaganza.
  • Book: Gathering Strength
    Peggy Kelsey has been to Afghan a few times. Touched by the devastation of 9/11, she burned with a desire to do something in the wake of that tragedy. It led to her founding an organization, and traveling to Afghanistan to get close and personal.
  • Book: "Dangerous Last Name Games"
    Oh those captivating titles! Myra Towner-Rankin seems to know how to hook readers with compelling titles, and then draw them into her stories. She was a popular feature author during Austin's 2nd annual Meet The Author Extravaganza.
  • Book: "The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle"
    I wondered why someone in middle school would be dubbed a king. That word in the title was a hook for me. When I stopped at Jedah Mayberry's table during an author event, I found out about this creative and compelling book.
  • Book: "There's Jews in Texas"
    I met Debra Winegarten at Austin's 2nd annual Meet The Author Extravaganza. She had a table featuring a variety of books that she'd written, and she seemed to love networking with other authors and showcasing her literary work.
  • Lean CUISINE Salad Additions
    Salads have gotten some help. Lean Cuisine new pre-packaged salad additions helps you turn a plain salad into a meal.
  • Fuzi
    Citrus-y and sweet, the Fuzi brand of Pina Colada is a delicious spin of coconut and pineapple. Served cold, it will please your palate. It is a balanced well-thought out drink.
  • Dawn: New Zealand Spring Scent
    Oh My! I am looking forward to washing dishes. I mean, really. It's not my favorite chore, but if I have two dishes to wash; I will wash them - just so I can enjoy the pungent, ultra-pleasant aroma of my new Dawn Ultra dishwashing liquid.
  • Linda J. White: Seeds of Evidence
    Meeting Linda J. White in Virginia was a treat.
  • Bath & Body Works: Pure Paradise
    Is Paradise lost or found? If you try Bath and Body Works new Paradise selection, you will think you've found a little slice of paradise on this side of heaven.
  • Kindness
    Is kindness hard to implement? Is it a lost of de-emphasized grace? Is home the best training ground for kindness? It seems that if it's practiced as a homegrown quality, it can ripple out far, deep and wide. Teaching kindness is easy when it's modeled.
  • Jodi Arias: Overkill
    Oftentimes there are more questions than answers after a murder trial. Some of them have twists and turns and missing information. The CBS documentary on Jodi Arias settled some of the details.
  • Schlotzsky's Smoked Turkey Muffa Lotzas
    I don't like my sandwich to be wimpy or weak. The Muffa Lotzas selections at Schlotzsky's are some of the tastiest sandwiches I've ever had. Robust and flavorful, they stand out in a class by themselves.
  • STAR Flight Rescues
    The stranded, the injured and the trapped have a haven of hope in hovering helicopter rescues. These rescue teams can get people out of tricky situations when no other means of escape seem possible.
  • Jessica Alba Visits Austin's BookPeople
    Actress Jessica Alba has uncovered some hidden secrets about what is and isn't safe and healthy. The "Spy Kids" actress has written a book and founded eco-friendly Honest Company.
  • No Money for College
    College dreams don't have to go down the drain if you carefully plan and strategize. Educational consultant, Roberto Noya offers some ideas for how to clear financial hurdles when you can't afford to send your child to college on your own dime.
  • Eat This Not That
    Sometimes you can make your own ice cream shake treat. Sometimes Dollar Tree offers a sensible alternative. When you are craving snacks, you can save money by taking a detour in your thinking. I found two ways to get your snack-on on the cheap.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Book Review
    To Kill a Mockingbird will probably never lose its appeal. It certainly doesn't for me. The novel was selected by librarians as one of the best books of the 20th Century. It still gets read, re-read and reviewed.
  • "The Impossible": Movie Based Upon a True Story
    "I love you." These words were spoken during the film, "The Impossible." It is this very love that helps this family when incredibly trying times hit them during a vacation.
  • "Passing Strange" the Rock Musical (Play) About Art, Love & Family
    In the Texas premiere of Passing Strange, characters had to cue up for multiple roles, use their creativity and make the stage come alive all while giving their all until the show was finished.
  • "Mama": Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mother
    A wonderful woman is a mother. Maria Perez-Brown decided to say so in 2002 in her collection of tributes from Latina women to their mothers. It's a timeless and well-prepared read.
  • I Want Candy: An Austin Fashion Event
    Beautiful Spring dresses and vintage looking jewelry pieces were modeled during an Austin Fashion event at Hemline on W. 2nd Street. Cool breezy looking, breathable fabric dresses by Amber E. Perley were a smash at the "I Want Candy," fashion show.
  • 'Calico Joe' Book Review
    John Grisham writes about all types of subjects. In his new Doubleday Publishing release, Calico Joe, he takes on a favorite American pass time (baseball).
  • Remembering Whitney
    Mother knows best, they say. This is probably true of Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy Houston. Cissy Houston wrote a book about her daughter. In almost 300 pages she catches fans of her daughter up to speed on the life of this sweetheart musician.
  • Found Art Bracelet
    Making a bracelet with found objects and cast-away fabric is a breeze. Found Artist, Chesiel John shares the steps for using found art to make a wearable and fashionable bracelet.
  • Children Resisting the Idea of College
    It's not enough to assume that your child will agree with your argument for attending college versus entering the job force. Educational consultant Roberto Noya offers some tips on steering a reluctant child toward college.
  • Pink Eye
    Why they call it pink eye, I can not tell you. I do know that when I got it in March, my left eye was way more red than pink. I was glad to find Similason's homeopathic pink eye relief.
  • Beautiful Day Bath & Body Works
    Mother's Day is a great time to introduce something mommy, mom, and mother appropriate.That's what Bath & Body Works did when they introduced their fragrance, Beautiful Day. A poem about beautiful days and a review of the product seemed to be right.
  • College Bound Students
    Roberto Noya has held many positions in education. Most recently he has worked as an educational consultant. He shared his ideas on how to impart expectations for college to students when they are young.
  • Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Chair-Elects sort of hold a spot until they officially take over a full chair position.This is how Thomas Miranda explained his new position. He stated that he will be the official chair of GAHCC as of January 2014.
  • Hair Woes
    There are do's and don'ts regarding our do's. Hairdos, that is. I was happy to listen as two experts weighed in on what their eyes and ears tell them about hair issues, and how hidden self-esteem and performance problems can often be traced to hair woes.
  • How to Undress a Cop: Poems: Sarah Cortez
    Police Officer Sandra Cortez has some poems to share about the on-call and on-duty life of police work in her poetry book, How to Undress a Cop. In April, Sarah Cortez offered a slice of law enforcement life at an Austin poetry event.
  • Chef Fabio Vivani
    When Chef Fabio breezed through Austin's BookPeople, he turned a group of fans, cooks, chefs, and admirers into his family. He shared his life, his loves, and even offered some advice to passionate cooks and chefs in the audience.
  • Book Tours: Balancing Book Tours and Family
    Your bestseller may demand that you tour the country, or trot around the globe to speak and promote your book. If you have a family, this may require some juggling. Several authors weight in on how they balance book tours and family life.
  • Stage Manager Savvy: Fire Codes to Consider for Productions
    If you have the ideal production, and you want to put on a performance with an audience who appreciates your marvelous idea, there are some non-artistic considerations you must heed.Think safety.
  • Texas Poet Laureate Shares Poetry
    Jan Seale was designated Texas' Poet Laureate for 2012-2013. The McAllen resident was in Austin for An Evening of Poetry event at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on April 25. She shared some insight into poetry during and after the event.
  • Low Budget Marketing Tools
    Low-budget marketing tools can still get attention from potential customers. There are many well-played tools and ways to use them to draw customers to your business or readers to your book.
  • Found Art Project:Shadow Box
    Chesiel John, a found artist from the Caribbean, told me about one starter project for someone who wants to break into the found artist scene. It involves gathering and assembling to create a found art shadow box.
  • Solo Vietnam and Flying Solo
    Jeanette Vaughan of McKinney, Texas knows how to spin a tale with strong aviation-themes. I met her during the Spring Texas Book Festival in Austin during April. She told me a lot about her reasons for writing these books.
  • "Solo Vietnam" by Jeanette Vaughan
    Solo Vietnam by Jeanette Vaughan has a real presence. Readers get a realistic slice of the heavily-conflicted war and some characters who are caught up in the experience.
  • AIPF, Austin International Poetry Festival
    Poetry festivals bring fresh and experienced talent, and makes an injection of vibrant life into hosting cities. During Austin's 21st such festival, poets from as far as Australia visited and added some spice and flavor to the gumbo of local poets.
  • Italy Launch: Bath & Body Works
    Let's Go To Italy, read the Italy-themed display at Bath & Body Works. When I spoke to Sarah Gasperson at Austin's Hancock Center store (100 E. 41st Street), she told me a lot about the Italy collection, which launched on April 22.
  • Mother's Day: Bath & Body Works
    Giving mother something she will like and remember this year may have gotten a little easier. For many shopping and window shopping in advance, this article contains B&BW gems which may help with the decision on what to buy.
  • Found Artist
    Found art, reclaimed objects and found objects is trendy now. Chisel John sees dented items and beat up stuff and turns them into objects de art that are themed or tribute pieces.
  • Capital Metro Rocks
    The transit system in Austin (Capital Metro) is exceptional in all kinds of ways. I have a car, but I have been blessed to park and ride the bus quite often. I even use it in my work as a free-lance reporter.
  • Texas Spring Book Festival
    After a winter thaw and with signs of spring emerging, Austinites got another book festival. A project of Texas Association of Authors, the event takes place at the Hickory Street Cafe in Austin; combining food and literature in one setting.
  • McDonald's Shuttered
    I have never seen a McDonald's go out of business. Yet a couple of weeks ago the McDonald's where I got my first restaurant burger was torn down. Seeing this was almost like going to a friend's funeral.
  • A Single Woman by Kamala Lopez
    U.S. Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin is featured in a
  • 'Preachers' Wives': Lifetime Movie Network
    Perhaps the stress of putting on a fashion show as a fund-raiser was not such a good idea. It's not certain whether the end justified the means in the pilot. What happened to "pretty is as pretty does?"
  • Preachers' Daughters: Lifetime Movie Network
    It was an episode of conflict. Conflict between parents and children, and conflict between the life of faith and the life of the world.
  • Great Baseball Books
    Jackie Robinson is certainly due all the attention he received and is receiving. He did a marvelous work in baseball. Some forgotten ones might be worth noting; as some recently published books serve to remind a baseball loving public.
  • Candy Royalle: "Thunder from Down Under"
    The "Thunder From Down Under" delights audiences with her poetic wit and energy. Her stage presence and thought-provoking poetry make her a poetry festival favorite.
  • How Children Raise Parents
    Dr. Dan B. Allender has taken a different approach from many writers of parenting books. His book title gives away the fact that he writes off the beaten path. He focuses a lot of attention to parents listening to children - with both ears and hearts.
  • Mama Made the Difference: Bishop T.D. Jakes
    A tribute to his own mother, the late Coretta Scott King, and the wife who mothered his children, Bishop T.D. Jakes shares some lessons learned at the knee of mothers who took seriously the work of motherhood.
  • Chedds in Austin, Texas
    Grilled cheese sandwiches have gone gourmet. One Austin restaurant seems to know something about how to cross over from just a grilled cheese sandwich to a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Popeye's Rip'n Chick'n
    The Rippin' Chicken from Popeye's is a surprise treat. It tastes more like something you'd cook at home, than as restaurant fare.
  • Chadwick Boseman a Hit in ' The Kill Hole'
    The Kill Hole is a war story that does not unfold in the way of most war stories. This movie confirms that the pen is mightier than the sword, and so are some other things. The Kill Hole keeps you guessing and leaves you wondering.
  • Children Playing with Leopards: Poetry
    Reading the poetry book Children Playing with Leopards is like a romp into childhood again. The title poem is found in the middle of the book. Other poems are in English or English with French translations.
  • Oikos Greek Yogurt
    Oikos Greek Yogurt has certainly gained attention with their claims that it's the best Greek yogurt ever! I wondered if it would endure as a favorite. I checked it out by eating it exclusively for 2 weeks.
  • AIPF, Austin International Poetry Festival
    Form poetry versus free style poetry is a subject of debate in many creative circles. During the Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF), many of the more experienced members of the group weighed in on this issue.
  • Prison Poetry
    Governors may request his help, or he may receive an invitation to do a prison visit from another source. Whatever the case, John Row has found a life-enhancing work going to prisons to help inmates find their writing muse.
  • Sex Trafficking: Guerilla Pimping
    Using one's celebrity to support a cause and raise awareness about one of society's ills has been a technique used by lots of major players on the Hollywood scene. Actress and Yale graduate Kamala Lopez stumbled upon something really vexing in California.
  • Generation Roe: Generation Roe Author Sarah Erdreich Visits Austin
    Eye-opening truths dawned on Sarah Erdreich when she was working at the National Abortion Federation in D.C. She heard a lot of stories about restricted access to abortions. She has chronicled them and other information in her book Generation Roe.
  • "42" Jackie Robinson Biopic
    Jackie Robinson's daughter said that while he died at age 53, her barrier-breaking father did alright. "He had a great life, a tough life with lots of hills and valleys, but he had a full life." She told a panel that she was pleased with "42."
  • Preachers' Daughters: Lifetime Movie Network
    This episode of Preachers' Daughters was a time of change, reversals and a few surprises. This episode of the Lifetime Movie Network docu-story show was worth watching twice. It put the spotlight on the girls and amped up the focus on their flaws.
  • Madea Gets a Job: Tyler Perry Dishes Wisdom
    Madea always teaches me something. She has so many chuckle worthy antics during the plays that Tyler Perry acts, directs, and produces. This one had more profound messages than any of the prior plays. It had significant take-aways for me.
  • Point Your Face at This: Drawings by Demitri Martin
    Your funny bone has a new reason to laugh, guffaw and LOL. Laugh master Demitri Martin has released a book that is sure to get you thinking and laughing, and maybe even holding your bladder. His book of drawings showcases his trademark humor.
  • Balance Massage Center - Book People
    Chair massages at Austin's Book People are a bonus experience for those who visit the indie book store. It is a place where one can pay $1 per minute. This method leaves room for every budget. But I wondered whether I could get much for my small budget.
  • The Searchers by Glenn Frankel
    Alan LeMay looked at the issue in a 1954 book, John Ford explored it in a movie with John Wayne as top-billed actor. More recently a new book has emerged. Same title, same basic story - different approaches to telling the story of Indian kidnappings.
  • Preachers' Daughters: Lifetime Movie Network
    The Preacher's Kids (PK's) in this movie grapple with rules, their resolves for Godly living, and paternity issues. Nothing is cut and dry for most of them, but with Christian parents, they have help with life's issues. They also have some standards.
  • Italy Launch: Bath & Body Works
    Italian-themed lotions by Bath & Body Works all bring something fresh to the Italian buffet. This is one way to enjoy the aromatics of the European republic without leaving home. Scheduled to launch in April, these Italian products are worth knowing.
  • "Monday Morning:' Wheels Within Wheels
    If there were subtitles for Monday Mornings, the "Wheels Within Wheels" episode should have gotten the subtitle "I don't think so!" There were many points of disagreement, and some different views of what at first seemed a victory over death.
  • Glory Be: Civil Rights Book
    The struggles of the segregated south seems to keep unfolding. There is always something that we didn't know about. In Glory Be, some of the secret struggles and their effects come into the light.
  • Outspoken by Avon
    Outspoken by Avon, is another Fergie fragrance. It has a pleasant quality, but is not as robust as one would expect of a fragrance by that name. I tried it and offer a review.
  • The Carpenter's Miracle by GMC
    It is the belief of a risen Savior that sparks the annual celebration of Easter by Christians worldwide. Piggybacking off of that, GMC premiered a movie with a Christ-type man to bless families with Easter-y beauty and celebration during Easter weekend.
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt
    I believe Chobani Greek Yogurt may qualify as what Shana Niequist calls "nursery food," in her upcoming book release Bread & Wine. She credits this as a British term. We are more apt to call it comfort food. I explain why I put this brand in that class.
  • Lincoln, the Movie
    It took time to lay out the story of Abraham Lincoln, the president who set the slaves free and ushered in a United States. Acting and other particulars made it a spectacular view.
  • How to Save Your Daughter's Life and Taken 2
    A book and a movie can jointly help us soberly grasp that there are dangers lurking out there. Some of them are female-specific. Criminal profiler Pat Brown shares ideas and wisdom for safer, saner living. Taken 2 drops some clues along this line also.
  • Hilary Davidson: Evil in All Its Disguises
    It ends up that one of Austin's Book People mystery maven employees know a lot about crime fiction. When Hilary Davidson did her book talk, one employee knew her books well. They discussed aspects of the book before a mixed audience.
  • The Beyonders by Brandon Mull
    The epic series, The Beyonders, is about an alternate world, with otherworldly characters. When visiting Austin's Book People, Brandon Mull discussed the way he creates such highly imaginative books.
  • Writing Widsom from Women
    Adherents to writer Natalie Goldberg are stepping up to the front of the writing world and telling how they gained from Goldberg's writing genius. I met some at Austin's BookWoman and participated in their writing exercises. Later, I got more information.
  • 'Bread & Wine' by Shauna Niequist
    Recipes and stories were both delightful and personally engaging. Through both the reader feels a deep connection to the author. It reminds of why the tradition of table eating and food sharing is worth keeping or rekindling.
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