Church group hosting humor writer

Published 12:04 am Friday, October 7, 2011

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, who has authored several books about Southern-style humor, will be the special guest of an upcoming weekend of “fun, food and fellowship” for women at a local church.

Calvary Baptist Church, located at 601 Chason St. in Bainbridge, will host the weekend on Oct. 14-15, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and continuing at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Tomlinson, who is from Lake Providence, La., and the author of books like Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On and Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy, will be the guest speaker. There will also be special music provided by the Florida Baptist College Ensemble on Saturday.

Tickets are available for $25 each, are good for both days and include t-shirts and meals. To reserve tickets, call (229) 246-1408.

Paula Stewart, one of the organizers of the ladies’ weekend, said Tomlinson is a perfect fit for the event.

“This is just a good idea for Christian ladies to get together for fellowship and just have a good time,” Stewart said.

Tomlinson said she talked with Stewart at a recent book tour, and that conversation eventually developed into the visit she is making next weekend. Tomlinson said she enjoys public speaking, but especially at churches.

“I was just talking to (Paula) about my books, and I guess it came across through our conversation that I was a strong (Christian) believer,” Tomlinson said. “I do enjoy speaking to churches and ladies’ retreats and events like that. I would say that those kinds of events probably rank high up there as some of my favorite things to do.”

Tomlinson said that she never “set out to be a humor writer,” but just wanted to write about a subject that was familiar to her — the South.

“I just tell people to look into the mirror that is the American South,” she said. “People look into it, and they see reflections of their customs, and traditions, and some of them are pretty funny and so we can all laugh at them.”

Tomlinson said her humor is always clean, and never mean-spirited.

“I don’t make fun of people,” she said. “If I make fun of someone, it’s going to be making fun of myself, and I’m going to let the readers enjoy the joke.”

Tomlinson added that one of her favorite quotes is from Oswald Chambers, and says, “Begin to know God now, and never finish.”

“I guess if I had to summarize my faith in just a few words, that’s what I’d say,” she said.