Sh’ mal Ellenberg – The Inspired Mic Spotlight May 5th 2015

The Inspired Mic is now entering its third year! We began this wonderful trek at The BeachHouse Beanery in May of 2013. This May the 5th, we return to The Beanery and our roots! The Inspired Mic boasts writers of all genres, magicians, musicians, mentalists, actors, motivational speakers, painters, just to name a few. The write-ups you will be reading on this site were all written by the presenters as a way for you to get to know them. Pick your tickets up now, because they are $10 in advance, $15 at the door! You may get tickets in person at Change Jar Books, Flagler Beach Gift Shop, and The BeachHouse Beanery.You may also purchase advance tickets at The Inspired Mic

Sh’ mal Ellenberg

I grew up in Irvington, NJ.   At 20 years old went to Los Angeles.   Lived there for 10 years, 1959 to 1969. This is where I really grew up.  I left L.A. realizing something was out of place: Me. Many very far out times. One in particular—a terrifying afternoon with Charlie Manson on his commune in Topanga Canyon.

A bit about who this is.

Hippiedom had a big impact on my life when I left L.A. Adventurism had me under its wing following the hippie migration to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There I bonded with other teachers at the Santa Fe Community School an alternative open classroom school. We became close enough to buy 40 acres in the foothills of the Ozarks. We lived with no running water, hauling water from a spring; no electricity, using candles and kerosene lanterns. Living this way was life changing. It is where I learned the rudiments of meditation, spirituality, yoga, organic gardening. These I never stopped practicing. Also learned about communal sharing that included some amount of sexual indiscretions, learned to cook on a wood stove, split fire wood for the cabins we built by hand labor; after-all, no electricity. Learned to milk a cow. Nadine was her name.

In 1973 most of us moved to join others at another very rural commune in the hills of West Virginia. I don’t think I ever heard the term, but we could be called, “Hippie Hillbillies.” I left the commune after a year and moved with my seven year-old son to Parkersburgh, about 30 miles from the farm. There I helped start a natural food store, “Mother Earth Foods,” which is still in business. The store became a bit of a center for folks from our commune and other communes to gather, hang out, eat the food from the store in the upstairs apartment.

After two years of co-operating the store there was another calling, to work as a counselor-social worker. I did this for most of my adult life, working for a variety agencies each having a different client base.

I’m thankful for the forces of life that guided me to this work. It helped me earn enough of a paltry salary to raise my children and gave me shared experiences in helping others. At some point along my life’s path it became obvious to me this work was who I was. Not much wiggle room to fake it. It helped me be as authentic as possible which led me to do some community organizing for issues that touched me soul.

The Inspired Mic Recap – April 21, 2015

cropped-InspiredTransparent.pngWhat a Night!

Tuesday evening at The Inspired Mic energies flowed, presenters wowed, everyone walked away with a connection to some talented people. Flagler County sports quite a collection of people who work hard at their endeavors to create something of artistic or informative value in our world. Anyone who could not make THIS event sure missed out on some amazing presentations!

But did they? In the house we had a professional video guy recording the presenters! Yes, you will be seeing snippets of The Inspired Mic’s April event online! We (The Inspired Mic Team) as well as the presenters are quite excited about this new step into technology. We will divulge more information on many of the ramifications of this in later posts.

To recap the evening:

Stan Drescher opened up with two poems, the first a humorous piece about getting fired as a young lad, the other a history of Flagler Beach set to rhyme. Stan has a remarkable way of using meter and rhyme without letting it get tiresome.

Jim Farrell followed with the short story “Little Max and the Hooters Girl” from his “Kiss Me, Kate” book. This excerpt from his collection told the story of a little boy who was quite the “ladies man” at a very early age.

Angelica Timothy, a sixteen-year-old student at Flagler Palm Coast High School, read from one of her writings she titled “Relationships Suck!” I’m sure most of us can relate to that at some point in our lives…

Bodil Haheim, a lovely singer from Norway, performed her original song, “Whisper Your Name.” She mesmerized the entire room with her passion, her voice, her compositional talent, and her presence. Truly a moment to remember.

Jimmy Millhollin then stepped up to the mic to recount a couple stories about his father who recently passed away. This presentation was a followup to last month when he spoke of his difficulty in emotionally coming to terms with his father’s passing. This night, he led us into some poignant stories of who his father was in relation to his son.

Dennis Alsobrook made his first trip behind The Inspired Mic with a science fiction tale that intrigued we sci-fi aficionados. The excerpt from this work in progress connected us with a scene where the protagonist learns his entire psyche can “jump” into another person and take over their body. Very interesting…

Renny Roker delivered a story from his upcoming book “Positivity: Your Key to Success.” In this excerpt, he recalls a trip to Chicago to promote Nat “King” Cole to some power disc jockeys, how he just knew he was going to be thrown in jail, and ultimately how believing in oneself is a most important lesson.

After the intermission, Kathy Fisher brought her guitar up front and sang us an incredibly beautiful song. Her guitar work as well as her finely crafted voice, delivered a second powerful musical moment. Like Bodil’s presentation, the audience had to feel this was a moment to remember.

Mitchell Montgomery returned to The Inspired Mic for has second-ever presentation. He discussed the Lord’s Prayer and how one might want to think about whether it should be used as it has been for many generations. He presented some compelling viewpoints on the subject that made us think.

Paula Felici, a well-known local artist who maintains a studio at Salvo Art Project, went over how she actually stepped into writing after many years away from it. Her mother had instilled a love for writing in her in Paula’s younger days. She credited The Inspired Mic with being the catalyst for her article published in the nice slick magazine The Pelican Post.

Desiree McDaniel, a seventeen-year-old student at i3 Tech Academy at FPC read an original story that developed into some paranormal leanings. Desiree was presenting for the first time at The Inspired Mic and did a great job of overcoming the daunting fear of reading your original work to an audience.

Cyndi Rose brought us some deep-thought provoking views on the subjects of “civil liberties” and “civil rights.” Cyndi has been a fairly regular presenter at The Inspired Mic over our two-year existence. She always brings us something to sink our brains into, and I highly recommend checking out her website: You will not be disappointed…

Alexandra King picked up a story she’s been reading over the past few months at The Inspired Mic about a teenage girl who reluctantly gives safe haven to a “wanted-for-murder” suspect who is on the run from the police for having just killed two officers…while handcuffed. The young man is wounded and bleeding and there is much more to him than he shows…

Onicas Gaddis returned after a year away from The Inspired Mic with two powerful poems from his autobiography “Who Am I?” available at Onicas has a way of digging into depth with his poetry, and this night he most surely did not disappoint. The excerpts from his book hit hard and most decidedly deep.

Local writer Tim Baker closed out the evening with a tribute-reading from one of Walker “Rance” Newton’s books. Walker passed away suddenly on Monday, April 13th. Walker had presented a few times at The Inspired Mic, reading a couple times, and once, singing for us, as Walker was also a professional singer. He will be sorely missed.

Quite an amazing night. As you see the videos come out and pop up on Facebook and YouTube, please take the time not only to click “Like” on each post, but help the presenters by also clicking “Share” on Facebook so their work actually goes out and touches others.

Our next event will be in two weeks back at the “birthplace” of The Inspired Mic – The BeachHouse Beanery in Flagler Beach. Tickets are available right now at The Beanery, Change Jar Books, and the Flagler Beach Gift Shop, all in Flagler Beach. You may also purchase tickets online on this site. Simply scroll to the top of this page and click on the “Tickets” page.

We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

The New Home of The Inspired Mic!

Michael Ray King 12 16The Inspired Mic Finds a Home Online

Just shy of our two-year anniversary, The Inspired Mic now has its very own site. This site will be used for updates and ticket sales and news and anything else we can think of with regard to The Inspired Mic. For the time being, please check in with us often, and please, follow this blog. One of our largest challenges is letting people know we exist.

April 21st will be our twenty-fourth edition of The Inspired Mic. Time indeed flies and you might even say it soars! The number of presenters who’ve stood behind the microphone and dared to deliver to the world their slice of creativity is astonishing. We live in a community laden with talented folk who are willing to overcome their fears and show the world what they’ve got.

Please check our “About” page, and please consider purchasing tickets to our next event! Beginning in May, The Inspired Mic will be available twice a month! Stay tuned for details!