Number 34
WE'VE JUST WRAPPED (more or less) our 23rd CreateAthon, a creative marathon during which all of us at Riggs Partners devote 24-hours—usually without sleep—to a number of South Carolina nonprofits. They are our clients during that time and we develop some combination of brand refinement, identity work, fundraising programs, web, digital/social media campaigns, PR plans, marketing programs—whatever will best serve each, give their objectives. We do the work pro bono, and I am not exaggerating when I say it is a gift that gives as much to us as it does to these heroes. It is a great joy to serve those in our community who spend their lives and their careers doing so much for so many who are in need.
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Because this is 2020 and everything is different this year, CreateAthon was different, as well.
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We did the work in two 12-hour days rather than one overnight, and most of us worked remotely. This presented its own grand challenges as there was a great volume of work in the already wildly condensed CreateAthon timeframe. Still we soldiered on, Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting, and as always, the miracles came.
Grace abounded.

I was on the team devoted to the Animal Mission, an organization that raises money to fund spay/neuter, thus removing any financial barriers that may stand between a pet and the procedure. WHAT AN IMPORTANT MISSION THIS IS, as pet overpopulation results in so many bad and challenging things: homeless cats and dogs that wander, sick, hungry, injured; shelters so overcrowded it becomes impossible to provide adequate services; animals that are, as difficult as it is to acknowledge, unadoptable. This is why spay/neuter is not only a responsible act, it's the most loving thing an animal lover can do for our pet population.
My perfect Day Two CreateAthon-At-Home companion. Ellie, our granddog, a precious rescue pup herself.
I am now a most passionate supporter of this mission and this organization, and if I may suggest, helping fund spay/neuter is a beautiful way to honor or memorialize a pet—your own, or the precious dog or cat of a friend or loved one.

Here's to pet love!

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I don't do horror. But for some reason, this October brought with it a hankering for something moody, atmospheric, and, dare I say it, spooky. The Guest List by Lucy Foley has gotten a lot of buzz, and when the library offered it up on audio I snatched it. I AM SO GLAD I DID. I am 70% in and totally here for it. The story of a lavish wedding on an isolated Irish island, this is a finely crafted novel filled with complicated characters and just the right amount of mystery. It kept me thinking—and then what happened? And then what happened? I heartily endorse this book, particularly on audio, where the accents bring the story to life in a wonderfully foreboding way.
I was incredibly fortunate to study with novelist Silas House at this year's Appalachian Writers' Workshop. I am so happy to share with you his recent essay, published in Gravy, the journal of the Southern Foodways Alliance. A CROWDED TABLE for dancers, squirrel hunters and everyone else is beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful.
Quarantining With A Ghost? It's Scary. from the New York Times
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Photo: cookieandkate
Well this was a winner! Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash, by my fave, Cookie and Kate.
True story.
On Wednesday we voted, by which I mean we filled out our absentee ballots and drove them to the voting station, dropping them into the ballot box our very own selves and then coming home for prayer and bourbon. The prayer was fervent and heartfelt, and the bourbon looked like this.
bourbon, honey, lemon

What's not to love about a GOLD RUSH???

(Now if I could only opt out of ALL political ads.)
September 9, 2020

the dear deer

Seems to me we had about 20 minutes of relief, emotionally speaking, from the overwhelming stress of the pandemic. (I was probably watching college football at the time.) And here we are now, facing down a winter filled with dread and uncertainty. Some sweet mountain critters reminded me just how important it is to take care, to fortify, to fill your soul with the golden goodness of autumn.
October 8, 2015
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Once in a Thousand Years

It was four days filled with high stakes, tremendous anxiety, scary possibilities. The rain came and we watched it, the water rising in Bickley's Pond until it crested the road across the dam that forms the entrance to our neighborhood. And then we realized we were, in fact, experiencing a flood that would go down in the history books.

Wear a mask. Extend grace. Love your neighbors well.

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