Nunnelee gives encouraging words

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 14, 2002

Features Editor

Patsy Lucas knew how to send a child’s spirits soaring.

"When I was in fourth grade at Shellhorn School, Patsy Lucas was my teacher," said Millie Nunnelee. "One day, I was called in front of the class to read a story I had written about a black stallion. When I finished, she came to me, complimented me and told me to keep writing."

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A teacher’s words were all it took to convince a shy, young girl that she had a way with words. A teacher’s encouragement and support were all it took to keep her writing.

"If Mrs. Lucas had not noticed that I had a talent for writing, I might never have known I had it," Nunnelee said. "What she said that day made a difference in my life."

From that time forward, Nunnelee has found pleasure, comfort and satisfaction in putting words on paper.

"My body might slow down, but my mind never does," she said. "I’m always thinking about something and, when a thought crosses my mind that I feel I need to write down, I do it."

Nunnelee often scribbles notes on napkins in a restaurant, on the back of a grocery list or on a paper sack.

"Any time I have a thought I want to keep, I find somewhere to write it down," she

said. "I keep a note pad by my bed because there are a lot of nights that something will hit me and I want to write it down before I forget it."

Nunnelee also keeps a daily journal so that she can record thoughts, feelings and events that are significant in her life.

She lives on a 160-acre farm near Brundidge. She raises horses and beef cattle and writes in her spare time.

After an eight-hour day and a 40-hour work week, she is ready for the serenity of country life and the opportunities that come with it. "Some weekends I don’t leave the farm," she said. "I love being there and doing the things that make me feel fulfilled."

Those "things" include writing.

Nunnelee has written a large number of short stories, a couple of which have been published. She has written a book for children which she hopes to soon have published. And, she has recently published her first book of poems, titled Day to Day and she is excited about the response it has received.

"I love poetry," she said. "It’s a different way of expressing yourself. Everyone can find meaning in a poem and I hope my book of poems will have special meaning for everyone who reads it."

Nunnelee said Day to Day

is basically about life.

"It’s about happiness and sadness and life and death," she said. "The first poem is called ‘Sunrise’ because a sunrise is a symbol of a new beginning. We all have new beginnings and they give us hope."

It is Nunnelee’s hope that, through her poetry, others will find strength and encouragement, laughter, reflection and a moment’s joy.

The poems are written from her"If I can reach just one reader and encourage and support them through my work, then that’s good enough for me," she said.