Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Memos...Updates, Auctions, Oh my!

"Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen."
-1 Corinthians 13:7-8
It is a hot, sunny day in Tuscaloosa this morning. A morning commute in my beloved town still creates a crestfallen reaction. People who are just getting here still breakdown into tears from the sheer magnitude of one tornado. It is hard to reinforce the fact that this is better than what it was 3 weeks ago. I survey the landscape and take in a deep breath.

We have seen such love for our town, for our people and it is here in this disastrous situation that I thought of Corinthians. The passage rolled around in my head this morning as I listened to the destruction that occurred over the weekend in Joplin, Missouri. Every storm is different, it hits different buildings, different homes, different walks of life but in its differences there is a common feeling of being stripped down and attacked. We refer to aftermath as "bombings, war zones, destructions, decimation, heart wrenching sadness." It is all those things. A battle we were unprepared to endure, an attack of mother nature, a destroyed town, decimated homes and the sadness of people lost...but endure we will. The people of Joplin are wandering around their hometown today, not recognizing their favorite spots, but if there is one thing I would love to tell them all it is that you will endure. The love you have for each other, each stranger, each friend, each place that made your town a home will make your town stand again. It has not fallen, it is not lost, it is merely in need of repair and rebuilding. We love you. We are praying for you and we know you will outlast.


It is Day 11 in the ALL 4 ALABAMA Tornado Relief Auctions! yep, Day E.L.E.V.E.N!!! We are still accepting donations (items & funds). We are still going strong and we are still using ALL funds for the community of Hackleburg - though if you guys help us raise enough there may be even more to spread around. Hackleburg is still reeling from all of this. Tuscaloosa is already showing great signs of a long recovery, but a productive one. However, Hackleburg is so completely decimated that its recovery process will not be as swift and will be very trying on their community. Please keep them in your thoughts, as well as Joplin, MO and the other towns hit by tornadoes.

Be sure to swing by the auction: ALL 4 ALABAMA Tornado Relief Auctions

Frankie has a teasing and tempting post this a.m.

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday around the blogs so be sure to check out Shannon M

Carrie Harris is talking Storks and Booties...But Not Babies

of course the Roeckers have a great one on Parenting today!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


There are moments in life where winning is not exactly the important aspect - it isn't that you are doing it for the team, for the ring, for the prize it is truly for something inside you. No matter what the outcome you, you will reach into the recesses of your mind and bring it forward one day. The moment is filled with so many things: colors, smells, laughter, tears, sorrow, anger, frustration, determination, desire...a piece of yourself that you might never know existed.

Within that piece there is strength, a divine power if you will, that holds onto the belief that this moment, this second is worth it all. The outcome negative or positive will forever be imprinted on your mind. It will come back to you in other moments ones where chaos may reign or peace is filtered in. You might smile and think how much things have changed or you may grimace because it is merely a reminder that you are still exactly as you were on that day. They will try you when you are down and find you when you are celebrating. They are picture books of our soul and in their pages we seek answers.

Do not fret, moments are meant for this. They are destined to be filed away, filtered through and brought forth. Without moments we cease to exist and with them we learn how to truly live...

Monday, May 16, 2011


It is Monday...well usually Monday is a drag but not today!!

Day 4 Auctions resume today and start off with a Royal bang! All you Lindsey Leavitt fans need to be ready because in 14 minutes you will get the chance at Royal treatment! Oh yeah!

We have a stellar line up for Day 4 and are ecstatic to continue raising money for the Tornado Relief. Be sure to check them out, we put 5 per day up and the first goes up at 10 a.m. CST and the last one of the day goes up at 2 p.m.

Please remember that your donations and contributions are going to the adopted rural community of Hackleburg. The quaint Southern town of Hackleburg lost its fire station, police station, elementary school, high school - actually 31 of the town's 32 business were destroyed. The population is 1500 and over 2 dozen lives were lost. The numbers when you get down to it are staggering, yet these people do not want to pick up and just move. They love their town, they love the community and most importantly they love each other. This town will rebuild but it is going to take as much help as they can get! YOU ARE HELPING!!

So go, bid, view, donate, spread the word!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

30 Minutes....DAY 3 goes live for ALL 4 ALABAMA Tornado Relief

Hey Guys!

We are on Day 3 for ALL 4 ALABAMA Tornado Relief!!

in 34 minutes we will begin another day of amazing auctions!!!

Just to let everyone know - the auctions are open for 5 days! 5 DAYS GUYS - you still have plenty of time to go after the items from Day 1 and Day 2.

The response has been wonderful! We have some lovely things coming up in the next days and I truly hope you will stop by, bid, spread the word and enjoy the eccentric and exciting items we have up for grabs!

Go forth - Bid - Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 2 Auction Items

Guys!!! Have you seen what the amazing Bree Despain is offering over at ALL 4 ALABAMA Tornado Relief Auctions

OMG - a character in the final book of the Dark Divine Trilogy?

Or have you seen the Critique by PJ Hoover?

What about the Book Lover pendant

Or, oh my gosh, the BOOK WREATH????

I cannot even bare to keep my grubby fingers off these things!!!


We have item number 5 coming up in 10 minutes!!!

ONE HOUR & 25 MINUTES until DAY 2 Auctions Go LIVE!!

Okay guys...

this is Day 2...the auctions are under way...we are giddy with anticipation of items that will be popping up over the coming days...

Remember all items are up on the site for 5 days from start date to close date...

This will help victims in the rural town of Hackleburg left after the horrific tornado...

Oh and a little hint for Day 2, Item #1...

Her knowledge of the writing world might give your tablet views of the world being the necropolis....

Happy Bidding...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Okay guys as of 19 minutes ago the very first item is up for bid!!

It is a BEAUTIFUL handmade artisan vase from an artist in Selma, Alabama.


Get on over there because in 40 minutes another delightful item will be up for grabs...

hint hint: zombies + boys = AWESOMENESS!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Hey Guys! Tomorrow the bidding begins over at ALL 4 ALABAMA Disaster Relief!!

Be there at 10 a.m. CST.

Also, please spread the word about the auctions and if you would like to put one of the buttons on your site please don't hesitate to copy the embed link!! Check them out over on the Left of this blog.

I want to thank in advance all the wonderful writers, agents, editors, artisans and citizens who are donating items or services. Your commitment to this cause is wonderful! Living here in Alabama during all of these devastating circumstances can make some forget that four letter word....Hope...but it is through events like these and Help Write Now that remind us all that no one is ever truly alone and that the spirit of mankind exists and still reigns supreme...

Have a wonderful night! We will see you in the a.m.!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Getting the Word Out!!

We are getting the word out! It is such a wonderful thing to know that people care for one another.

Our radio stations rarely play music these days because they act as a call center and hotline. People STILL unable to get food and water are having anyone with a cell phone call these stations so that their community/neighborhood/town can get on the map again. So that someone will add their names and those of their loved ones to their prayer list. They don't care who you are praying to, just please pray for them.

I listened with tears streaming down my face as Erica stood on a hill so that she could get signal in order to call our local station JUST to get the people around her on a prayer list. Five months pregnant and she has been living in a tent with her husband since the storm. He gets up every day and walks down the road to help those who are sifting through what is left. She bides her time by helping some other families also living in tents around them. There are dogs who would not leave the side of their loved one even after that loved one no longer breathes the same air. One dog sat sadly on the rubble that was his home and watched as his beloved owner was taken away. These are real people, real stories - they need our help...

Just last night I met with the amazing Crystal Harris at Barnes & Noble in Hoover, Alabama. I was beyond excited and ever so touched by her enthusiasm to help in every way possible. Together with all the amazing people who contribute, donate, bid, communicate - I am confident that this will be a great success!!

We are contacting so many people but there is still a great need for items/services/critiques. SO SPREAD THE WORD about the upcoming ALL 4 ALABAMA Disaster Relief Auction!!

Oh by the way HELP WRITE NOW is also hosting an auction that is already live! Go bid - spread the love for these devastated communities!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting Organized over at ALL 4 ALABAMA Disaster Relief Auction Site

Good Morning!

I have had some wonderful contacts about the upcoming auction!! So excited for all there is to come.

There are some wonderful writers/bloggers/authors contributing so far (check out the Contributions page on the ALL 4 ALABAMA Disaster Relief Auction Site ). I know that list will continue to grow.

It sounds like some awesome items will be given but also some amazing opportunities for query & manuscript critiques!!! I know!

So continue to spread the word to all who want to contribute and those that are just itching for it all to begin.

Lots of Love,


Monday, May 2, 2011

My Life Belongs to the Whole Community...

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

~George Bernard Shaw


Good Morning! It has been a crazy past few days. I have found myself crying at the smallest things, at the oddest things and at the most beautiful things. They say that with faith you find strength. Many people still search every day for a God to believe in, for a reason to keep going, for meaning that they may never truly understand. Well we are human. We question, we wonder, we ask, we ignore, we believe and we begin again every morning. Life makes us remember that time is not something we can control.

In an instant a child is born, a flower blooms, a baby cries, laughter rings out, lives are changed and lives are lost. If you have seen any sort of news outlet you know about the devastating scenes that surround a town and state that I cherish. We are still combing through the rubble even as the academia class this storm a Category 1 Natural Disaster - that my friends means that we are now the history books with Hurricane Katrine and 9/11. I am beginning to accept that life here will be termed a timeline event; a Before & After. Already our local news source ,Tuscaloosa News, offers the unique tool using Geo & Google Earth to see the exact Before & After. Modern media outlets were able to utilize technology that filmed live the devastation as it literally tore a path across three states. They were there when the lights went out in each town and as my own family huddled in the basement of our home. We all have been through terrible storms, tornadoes, hurricane winds or some weather controlled scare but this day was different. We knew it even before we saw the horrible images online.

Our power was out for 3 days, for others it still is and who knows when it will return. Alabama Power has worked diligently to restore power to so many areas. But friends the "area" is so large. We have National Guard units, my brother's included, patrolling our town hoping to keep looters at bay. We are under a curfew every night. Areas are still under a boil water advisory. We lost 3 schools - LOST - as in gone. Who knows when school will return to some form of normalcy. This storm hit on exam week and commencement week for our University of Alabama and others. These are just a small collection of the impact of the storm in my area.

There are other areas: Hackleburg - the town is gone, the people remaining are trying to get help. Sawyerville is much the same, Moody, Phil Campbell - towns that will not only need aid but will have to completely rebuild EVERYTHING.

So I decided to quit the tears, to reach out and see what this writing community, this collection of amazing people can pull together and do. Some of you, my dear Royal Court, will have received emails from me. I hope that we can ban together and do something for the rural communities in this great state.

I have created the blog: ALL 4 ALABAMA. I plan to soon begin auctioning off items & services in order to raise money for those rural affected towns. If any of you would like to contribute, be it an idea, an item, a service or even a dollar please contact me. I plan to go live with the auction as soon as possible. It will just take a little bit to get all the items set up, so please keep watch on the blogs (this one and the ALL 4 ALABAMA); go over and follow it in order to keep updated on all news.

The people need help. Truly. Please do what you can. I know we can do this and by golly we will do it well! Please spread the word - tell people that you know who can help donate or supply items for auction to contact me.

contact me at all4alabamarelief(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sunday, May 1, 2011

COMING SOON: ALL 4 ALABAMA Disaster Relief Blog!!!

I am working to get a Donation/Auction site up to benefit those affected by the 4/27/11 Tornado in Alabama! I hope to offer some wonderful items soon! Please check back periodically!

I always enjoy being surprised by the outpouring love of mankind. My beautiful city that has seen such horrific destruction over the past few days has been shown kindness beyond belief. But there are other areas, rural areas begging for help and needing to be reminded of hope.

After much prayer, tons of inner turmoil on where to begin & continue I decided to contact a community full of wonderful people who have welcomed me with open arms over the last few years...the Writing community. I am so blessed to have 4 walls around me, my husband safe and sound, my dog at my side, my niece safe at home - a few streets over was not so lucky. I just had to find a way to help soooo......

If you or someone you know, publishers/editors/writers/friends/neighbors/dogs/cats can offer critiques, experiences, items...WHATEVER it is, please contact me. I created the blog ALL 4 ALABAMA so that we could help to raise money for these areas. There is already a Donate button but I plan for it to work very similar to the Do The Write Thing for Nashville campaign. We will auction items/services off via the blog. ALL proceeds are going to Disaster Relief in Alabama.

Please if you have any ideas or want to help contact me at

Have a beautiful Sunday and check back for updates soon!