Friday, December 30, 2011


Happy New Year to everybody on planet earth!!!!
I'm been Trick or Treating, stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey, addressing Christmas cards, shopping, wrapping, cooking and decorating our home for the holidays.
I'm finally writing again. Woooo hoooo.

My New Years resolution was going to be overcoming my writer's block. One thing urging me on was our grandson Loftin . . . he asked me when I was going to write another story.
"Soon," said I.
It's amazing how little folks can encourage us old guys! Thank you, Loftin Propst.

Thus far, I'm some 30 pages into my new book!
Yawl, please wish me luck. Milam

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Enough Attention for Jamey!!

It was a week ago today that my husband officially ended his water skiing career. I'm happy to report that the Man of My Dreams, currently a lovely blueish purple from his waist down, is healing nicely from his fall into Lake Guntersville. He even managed to mow the lawn yesterday---this when I wasn't watching, of course.

In other news, Skyler Day, the star of "The Adventures of Ociee Nash" has a new and exciting role. Skyler, who, just last week, was a quite a hit in an episode of "The Closer" has landed a recurring part on another terrific TV show, "Parenthood." According to her very proud mother, Kelly Day, Skyler will make her debut on the show September 27.

Jamey and I will be watching, that is, if we have no more accidents and aren't back at St. Joseph's emergency room. I say this because, I wasn't home yesterday, AND, had our daughter not been here to stop him, my husband would have climbed up on the roof to clean out the gutters!

Nurse Milam, retired

Monday, September 5, 2011

Never Too Old to Ski?

The cool weather has inspired me. Having not written a blog for weeks now, a pleasant evening walk with our dog Bella has given me renewed energy. Perhaps a new book is in the mix???

There's something else, too. I have a dreadful story to share.

It began as a perfect day for my beloved husband, Jamey Propst on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. Perfect for HIM, no sun, dark clouds, misting rain.
We should have known.

"I'm ready," said the Man of My Dreams as he jumped into the water and signaled our nephew to bring his boat around to the front of the dock.

I tensed up as the crowd of family and friends gathered in anticipation of Jamey's magnificent return to his former glory as an ace water skier.
(Only later did I discover he'd been lifting weights for weeks in preparation.)

Jamey gave us a thumbs up and curled his fingers around the rope.
"GO!" he commanded.
Less than five seconds later, he shouted, "I'm done."

Indeed, he was.

Our niece's husband is trained as a physical therapist. Thank goodness. His news: "It's not serious, Uncle Jamey, BUT you'll be in a great deal of pain."

That was Sunday. Jamey moaned and groaned, packed his body with ice, and limped about like Chester on the old TV western "Gunsmoke."
**For readers decades younger than are we, my poor husband's gait looked as though he had flaming rods up both legs. It only gets worse.

As much as Jamey hates pain, he hates even more being bored. So on Monday, while I was occupied in our room, my extremely uncompliant patient escaped my jail-keeper's watch and got on his computer. Well, that is, he attempted to do so. Actually he missed the desk chair all together and crashed down onto the floor injuring his shoulder The man howled like a wounded moose.
I ran to the scene. It's a full blown miracle I didn't plunge down the basement steps and kill myself.

The headline would have read: "Two elderly people were found dead in the basement of their Sandy Springs home. Police are investigating the mysterious circumstances. The husband was so badly hurt, the late wife is considered the primary suspect."

In a scene like this, sometimes it helps to laugh. Once I saw Jamey was breathing, I did. He didn't.

Long story short, we ended up at St. Joseph's Hospital where a very kind and patient staff diagnosed the Man of My Dreams with a severely pulled groin muscle along with a badly sprained shoulder. We came home with pain pills, a walker (which he plans to sell on Ebay), and a gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The lesson to be learned here is people can be too old to ski, especially, if they've not practiced the sport within the last twenty years.

I may have to chronicle our disaster in a sequel to "Creola's Moonbeam." However, fans of the Newberrys would never believe Beau tried to water ski (he's much too wise) or that Honey laughed at her beloved's tumble. Honey Newberry is much more compassionate than am I.

Then again, Honey isn't married to Wile E. Coyote.

Too Old to Ski


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home from the Beach

You may ask what the beach could have to do with books and writing. If so, please read on:

One vacation morning, while we were finishing breakfast, our daughter-in-law Abigail casually mentioned to me that she thought her husband William might just write his own book one of these days.
I, of course, lit up like a torch, as in passing mine on to our son!

William and Abigail's son Emmett, a dreamy blond little man of six, who has enormous blue eyes and lama-like eyelashes, immediately put down his bacon and joined in on our conversation.
"I'm going to write a book, too," he proudly proclaimed. "About my family, and I'll put love on every page."

Abigail and I looked at one another, sighed, and both welled up in tears. Such a sweet, precious moment was this.
Surely wish I were back at that breakfast table with both our grandsons . . . MMP

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nice Trip

Jamey and I just returned from a delightful book event in Highlands, N.C. Having turned into a couple of plump-ish chickens roasting on a spit for the past few weeks in Atlanta's heat, the mountains provided quite a cool respite for my husband and for me.
*One marvelous perk of becoming an author is being invited to speak to charming groups of readers and this was no exception.

The gathering came about through Boo Jackson, a darling friend whom my Jamey has known for a long, long time-----well almost since the day he was born!
*Admittedly, Jamey was quite a spirited young man; and Boo made note of the fact the bad little boy from Clanton, Alabama, still has a certain, shall we say,"zest for fun"? We'll not discuss the cherry bombs at the county courthouse or Mrs. Popwell's garage fire.

My audience was made up of some kindly enthusiastic ladies from the Center for Life Enrichment. We did have a pleasant afternoon of conversation and viewing the Ociee movie. ALSO they fed us a wonderful lunch. Prior to the program, my special guests, Mary Brantley and Betty George, the audience, and I feasted on yummy tomato pie, cookies and salads, AND pimento cheese sandwiches----with the crusts trimmed away! That's work as any woman knows.
*Could it be that people are more inspired to cook while in the comfortably cooler mountains miles away from summer's heat? Just a theory.
At any rate, everyone seemed to enjoy the luncheon as well as my talk. As for me, the amount of food I consumed certainly adds credence to the phrase "I work for food."

Thank you, Boo, and thank you, too, Evelyn Miller and Jack, for your tremendous help, especially with the Ociee DVD. Milam

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nook Book . . . DUH!

I was having lunch with some friends yesterday when one of the ladies mentioned "NOOK BOOK" . . . here's where the "Duh" comes to light. I pulled up my website and realized, thanks to Belle Books, I currently have FOUR, make that FOUR BOOKS available through Nook Book (Barnes & Noble ebook).

Here's the list: "A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street", "Ociee on Her Own", "The Further Adventures of Ociee Nash", AND, for those of you who might be interested in reading about someone besides my grandmother(!), Nook Book offers "Creola's Moonbeam." The novel is based very roughly on this author and, according to my high school English teacher, is my best story.

Happy Fourth of July to one and all! Milam

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Last night was our 44th wedding anniversary, and what a grand time we had-------at a BOOKSIGNING! The gathering was so much fun, the food delicious (CRABCAKES!!), and the guests so delightful that my bridegroom and I couldn't drag ourselves away for a "just us" anniversary dinner.

I joined three other authors poolside in an Eden of a Garden until the sky cracked open; thunder, lightening, heavy rain, hail even. All of us ran, books in hand, for the safety of the host's home.
Oh my, what a home it was! Beautiful, welcoming, and around every corner was something or someone interesting to enjoy. For those of you who have read "Creola's Moonbeam", think of Beatrice's art-filled abode. If you haven't, try to imagine a magical house with marvelous surprises in every direction you turn.

John Cuevas, the author of "Cat Island", headlined the list of booksellers. His fascinating story is set on a Mississippi Gulf Coast barrier island. Painstakingly researched and beautifully written, John's historic book about his own family's island makes for quite a read.

We were also in the company of Casi McLean, whose book, "Wingless Butterfly: Confessions of a Recovering Jerk Magnet" was released only days ago. I recently met this courageous gal and plan to check out her website:

You've often read about Frank Cox in my blogs. Our longtime friend was also there last night and hopefully had as much fun as did Jamey and I. His "Lullabies for Lieutenants" is still going gangbusters! More congratulations to our Marine.

Indeed, congratulations to all the authors ... an event like this is what keeps us writing!

Many, many thanks to our host and hostess and to their terrific helpers/cooks/money handlers. The party couldn't have been any better.

How about those Cat Island descendants who graced the gathering . . . quite a family you've introduced us to, Beverly. Thank YOU!

On a personal note, thank you each and everyone, friends, neighbors, fans, Pius alums, Marist buddies, bridge players, and the Artist Way dear one, for our super anniversary celebration----did I mention the crabcakes?

What a night! Milam

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great Career Day at Belmont Hills

Ociee and I just spent a delightful morning at Belmont Hills Elementary School in Smyrna, Georgia. What a grand time we had!

Our audiences were made up of the 4th and 5th graders, all of whom were polite, responsive, enthusiastic, and asked truly interesting questions---one boy, in particular. This young man will know who he is because he said he was smart; AND his teacher agreed!
Another boy, a math whiz, gave me a big hug in the hallway later in the day. I thrive on hugs. Thank you.
And the last group all asked me for autographs. Grin. I felt like a celebrity, sure enough.

Had my late grandmother Ociee Nash, REALLY been there with me, she would have been very impressed with this school.

I don't know if any of the students will go right home and begin to write their own books, but many seemed to want to read mine. Reading is a great start to writing!
My congratulations to the faculty and staff of this very fine Cobb County school.

Happy summer to all of you, and thank you again, Linda Kelleher, for inviting me to Belmont Hills Career Day!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things are Hoppin'

Happy Easter, Happy Springtime, Happy Reading!

If you read my blogs, you'll know how much this author enjoys receiving fan mail, most especially, letters from young readers.
Well, my latest favorite emails are from a darling girl named Janey. She is reading the entire Ociee series (YES, SHE IS!!!). Janey has told me, even though she's living in 2011, not in 1898, when the stories are set, she finds she has something in common with both Ociee and Elizabeth Murphy. For example, Janey is adventuresome and rather curious.
I've also taken notice about how SMART this young lady is.

For my part, I'm having a delightful time sharing with Janey some of the secrets in my books, such as who the real Elizabeth was/IS, and the fact that the big fire in the movie and in "A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street" actually took place some 100 years AFTER Ociee Nash lived in Asheville!

I'm also having lots of fun talking to audiences about my work. A couple of school visits, a book club appearance, and a trip to the Highlands to teach a class are on my schedule in the coming weeks.

But, prior to these events, I will have a booksigning at our neighborhood pharmacy here in Atlanta. Yes, indeed, all of my books are currently being shelved at Tuxedo Pharmacy on Wieuca Road, a charming shopping destination noted for its fine selection of gifts, childrens items, wonderful greeting cards, and books by local authors.
Wanting to do something special around Mother's Day, Robin, the gift buyer, invited me to visit the store for a couple of hours the first week of May. Kindly write to my e-mail address for details.

I'll close now with best wishes for each and everyone, especially for Janey, for Robin and the folks at Tuxedo Pharmacy, Milam

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Ociee Nash has two new fans, Gretchen and her mommy, Andreana, who live in Southern California.
Gretchen is a very busy little girl; home schooled, she loves "Little House on the Prairie" and is helping her parents with two younger siblings, Amanda and Toby.

Seems Mommy and Gretchen discovered "The Adventures of Ociee Nash" on Netflix, and much to my delight, wrote to me with a few questions about the real Ociee.
Gretchen also shared photos of her family with me . . . precious people, they made my day! Folks like these are the reason writers write!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back from Memphis

The real Ociee Nash (Whitman) was honored this weekend as a new inductee into the Saint Agnes Academy "Hall of Fame." Her family, the Whitmans, could not have been more delighted or prouder. Surely Ociee herself was dancing on the clouds as her name was called and so kindly added to the list of other outstanding graduates of the school.

The organizers permitted me to accept the award and to speak on Ociee's behalf. For the occasion, I had planned to read my grandmother's own words of praise from a 1925 "75th" anniversary publication.
In her beautifully penned piece, Ociee writes about St. Agnes Academy, happily recalling her treasured years there, most especially, as she singles out several of the beloved Dominican nuns. I would follow her words with a personal memory of my own, regarding my grandmother's support and devotion to our school.

HOWEVER, just before the program began, I was told Ociee's tribute in the decades old publication so touched the committee, they would introduce me by quoting directly from her text! YIKES.

Although I'd not planned to read from one of my books, I had little choice. Right?! So I read from the chapter where George Nash takes his daughter Ociee into St. Agnes (the original building on Vance) for the very first time.

KNOWING MY GRANDMOTHER, I have to believe she orchestrated every moment of the Hall of Fame event, including the shameless "tooting of my own horn." After all, she was a business woman with a keen sense of promoting things about which she cared, including St. Agnes and, fortunately for me, including her granddaughter's work!

Friday night's celebration was one of the best evenings of my life. I will be forever grateful to the school, of course, and also to Jane Tonning, Ginger Jordan, Suzanne Gehringer, Marta Patrick, and to Barbara Daush, O.P.A., president of St. Agnes and St. Dominic School.

I truly hope Ociee Nash Whitman enjoyed her front row seat . . . I saved one right next to me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ociee Nash to be Honored

My smart, beautiful, and talented grandmother, Ociee Nash Whitman, is going to be inducted into the St. Agnes Academy "Hall of Fame." A 1908 graduate of SAA, she spent many years supporting and saluting our school.

Along with my mother, Mary Catherine Whitman McGraw, and yours truly, Milam McGraw Propst, many Whitman cousins followed in Ociee's footsteps. Some attended the original school on Vance in Memphis, TN, while all of the recent graduates went to the "new" school which opened in 1951. I was in the first 1st grade. Yes, old as dirt am I.

I will write and tell the readers of the Ociee Nash series all about the festivities. For now, just know how happy this news makes Ociee's biographer and her biggest fan. Me.

*I will also be taking additional copies of the five Ociee Nash books to donate to the school library. Wouldn't want any of St. Agnes students having to wait to read about St. Agnes Academy, circa: 1900!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Photo of Skyler

Happy New Year to everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Over the holidays, we had an opportunity to visit with Skyler Day and her entire family when they returned from LA for a Christmas visit to Georgia. Naturally we jumped at the chance.

So on Facebook, readers and moviegoers can see how our little Ociee girl from "The Adventures of Ociee Nash" has gotten all grown up; AND HOW! Check out her photograph with me and with our grandson Loftin on my Facebook page.

When Loftin greeted Skyler, he said, "Last time I saw you, I was wearing a dress!"
Yes indeed, our grandson, who has just turned nine played the "baby" in the film. He and his parents (our William and his Abigail) are passengers on the train that carries Ociee to Asheville.

Check out Skyler Day's website, too. She is one busy young lady!

Best wishes for a fruitful and joy-filled 2011, Milam