Why would anyone turn down a good income for the unknown?

By Jan Ballard
MSU Extension Service
Choctaw County

Let’s just say a person graduated at the top of her high school class, received only one “B” in college while studying Elementary Education, graduated as a member of the Hall of Fame at MSU, went back to school later and studied engineering for three more years…what might be a good career choice for that individual? If you guessed writer/artist/jewelry maker, that would be a strange guess, but it would be correct.

Tuesday, April 5th, Laurie Parker will join the Yarn Spinners Book Club (Mississippi State University Extension-Choctaw County) at the library in Ackerman to discuss her third novel, Hush, Swing, Hush.

Set in Meridian Mississippi, Hush, Swing, Hush is the story of Dee Loder, a forty-year-old divorcée and school librarian who has a lot on her plate in the spring of 2008.

First and foremost, she is dealing with the ongoing challenges of being the mom of a special-needs child, an eleven-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome, whose dad is a bombastic high-school football coach and little help with their son.

Photo Submitted Laurie Parker

Photo Submitted
Laurie Parker

Then, when her book-hoarding father passes away suddenly, Dee, a bibliophile herself, is left to deal with both the memories of a man she never really knew, as well as the overwhelming number of boxes he crammed into the Craftsman-style bungalow in which she grew up.

When handsome Leland Dixon arrives in town from Texas with a guitar and a gallant willingness to help her out, things become all the more dicey for this mother of a misfit and daughter of a mystery. Before she knows it, life begins dishing out a heaping helping of bombshells, and she is hit head-on with the heavy realization that she may ultimately have to rewrite more than just her own personal history.

After being born in Bruce, Mississippi, Laurie and her family moved to Starkville in the early 1960’s. She graduated from Starkville High School and then Mississippi State University. Laurie’s name might be more easily recognized as the author of the children’s book, Everywhere in Mississippi, which was published in 1997, followed by eleven more books for young people.

Ms. Parker wrote/published her first adult novel The Matchstick Cross in 2013, followed by Yonder Breaks the Morning in 2014, and Hush, Swing, Hush in 2015. All of Laurie’s books are available at The Book Mart in Starkville and a copy of her current novel has been donated to the Choctaw County Library. Both Yonder Breaks the Morning and Hush, Swing, Hush are also available at Amazon for Kindle at $1.99 each.

Yarn Spinners will begin at 10:00 Tuesday, April 5th at the Choctaw County Library. There will be a short discussion of the book, followed by light snacks and a time for book signing. Everyone is encouraged to attend, even if you have not read the book. Who knows, you might decide that you would like to read it in the future?

So, why would anyone turn down a good income for the unknown? In the words of Laurie Parker, “if something brings you joy, that is what you are meant to do. Follow your heart.”


“Hush Swing, Hush” Book Cover

The public is invited to attend any Mississippi Extension events, free of charge.

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