The Queen's Proclamation




December 2010
News, updates, & pronouncements from Pat Ballard,
the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Something to think about....

"Boy, whatever you is and wherever you is
don't be what you ain't
because if you is what you ain't,
you isn't."

Uncle Remus,
fictional character of writer Joel Chandler Harris

This "Something to Think About" piece didn't start out to be about Joel Chandler Harris. I recently ran across the quote above and liked it so much I wanted to use it. But the more I read about Joel Chandler Harris, the more intrigued I became with him.

"Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1845 to Mary Ann Harris. His father, whose identity remains unknown, abandoned his family shortly after Harris was born. The parents had never married, so Harris took the name Joel from his attending physician, Dr. Joel Branham. Chandler was the name of his mother's uncle. Harris remained self-conscious of his illegitimate birth throughout his life."

"A prominent physician, Dr. Andrew Reid, gave the Harris family a small cottage behind his mansion. Mary Harris worked as a seamstress and helped neighbors with their gardening to support herself and her son. She was an avid reader and instilled her son with a love of language: "My desire to write—to give expression to my thoughts—grew out of hearing my mother read The Vicar of Wakefield."

During the course of his early childhood and young adulthood, several people took Harris under their wings and helped him along with his future writing career.

But because of his insecurity of where he came from, "Harris spent hundreds of hours in the slave quarters during time off. Much of his self-consciousness disappeared in the slave quarters, and his humble background as an illegitimate, red-headed son of an Irish immigrant helped foster an intimate connection with the slaves. He absorbed the stories, language, and inflections of people like Uncle George Terrell, Old Harbert, and Aunt Crissy. The African-American animal tales they shared later became the foundation and inspiration for Harris' Uncle Remus tales. George Terrell and Old Harbert in particular became models for Uncle Remus as well as role models for Harris."

As a child, I absolutely loved the story of Br'er Rabbit. I loved it that Br'er Rabbit told Mr. Fox not to throw him in the briar patch, where he really wanted to be. I think that was when I learned to use "reverse psychology" on my younger siblings, even though I didn't know the concept even had a name. And I plead the Fifth for some of those said siblings, who I know will read this!

I was happily surprised to find that these wise stories with so much meaning had come from African-American slaves, African and Native American folklore. I had no idea they were that old.

"On July 20, 1879, Harris published "The Story of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox as Told by Uncle Remus" in the Atlanta Constitution. It was the first of 34 plantation fables that would comprise Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings in 1880. The stories, mostly collected directly from the African-American oral storytelling tradition, were revolutionary in their use of dialect, animal personage, and serialized landscape."

"Br'er Rabbit is a direct interpretation of Yoruba tales of Hare, though some others posit Native American influences as well."

So this person who had been born into a situation where so many have stood back and used their circumstances to claim that life is unfair and they can never "be anything," went forward in life to be such a success that even the president of the United States invited him to the White House.  

"Harris did travel to accept an invitation to the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt. Two years earlier, Roosevelt had said, "Presidents may come and presidents may go, but Uncle Remus stays put. Georgia has done a great many things for the Union, but she has never done more than when she gave Mr. Joel Chandler Harris to American literature.""

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful November.

Husband Joe and I went to Mississippi for Thanksgiving. Forty of us gathered at an aunt and uncle's home and had a fun time together. Food, fun, and food! And so many other things to be thankful for.

The day after Thanksgiving, my Aunt Mildred (80-years-young), sister Ellen, and I walked through some woods that are on my small spot of "God's Country," and close to my aunt and uncle's property. It was cold and spitting rain, and I absolutely loved it. I love walking in wet leaves and smelling the permeating air that comes from the wet bark on the trees and wet leaves. It just surrounds me with a feeling of, "Yes! This is what fall, and Thanksgiving, is all about!"

In the meantime, Ellen was shaking from the cold and cursing me to the far reaches of hell for wanting to be out in that kind of weather, because she was walking behind Mildred and me, who were taking three steps then stopping to talk about a tree or vine or some other extremely interesting thing.

So finally Ellen decided to get in front of us and start blazing the trail. She got warm by breaking twigs, stomping down fallen, rotten logs and other debris so that just possibly Mildred and I might move a bit faster. Finally, when the rain started falling harder and Mildred and I had stopped in the rain to continue our deep discussion of property lines, an old pear tree that was still standing and bearing fruit after being there for at least 70 years, and other important things, with a disgusted wave of her hand Ellen left us and went to the house to make a pot of coffee.

Then the eating of leftovers from the day before started all over again. I do love Thanksgiving!

Everyone have a wonderful and safe December.   



Something To Think About: Reflections on Life, Family, Body Image & Other Weighty Matters by the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

Download it for free at


Visit Pat's Place at | Write me at

Click on the Bookbuzzr graphic (if visible on your computer screen) to browse an excerpt from Pat's book

10 Steps to Loving Your Body
(No Matter What Size You Are)

As a young woman Pat Ballard almost died trying to starve her body into a societally approved size. In 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are) she shares the steps she created―and took―to heal the damage of years of dieting. Join her in celebrating size diversity, self esteem, positive body image, and health at every size.

Your body is a unique work of art.
There never has been, nor will there ever be,
another body just like yours.
Learn to love it and it will love you back.

More info at the Pearlsong Press website. (All copies of 10 Steps purchased from the Pearlsong Press website are autographed by Pat.)

You can also browse and share Bookbuzzr excerpts from 10 Steps to Loving Your Body, Something to Think About and Pat's other books online at


Weighty Matters

 It's December. Time for Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate, if any—so love your body by allowing it to relax and enjoy the food that is prepared with loving hands (either yours or someone else's) and shared with family and friends.

Treat your body with love and respect, just like you'll do for all those other bodies that will surround you during this season. Be guilt-free. Be happy. And be at peace with your body.

Oh, darling, let your body in, let it tie you in, in comfort.
Anne Sexton
U.S. poet (1928-1974)

Reader Review of the Month

Editor's Note: Post a review of one of Pat's books
at an online bookstore, magazine, or public website, email us at proclamation @ to let us know, and we'll consider your review for inclusion in The QP

The following comment about Pat's books was posted on Facebook by Karen

Mrs. Pat Ballard, I had the pleasure of reading your book Nobody's Perfect. I actually read the book twice, it is indeed a wonderful love story. Five years ago I was introduced to your talent, and now I have the opportunity to say thanks for such a terrific piece!"

Browse and share excerpts from Pat Ballard's books online.

Listen to the mp3 recording of Pat, her fearless publisher, and several other Pearlsong Press authors in a Pearlsong Conversation about
creating fat friendly fiction and fat positive characters

Listen to a Feb. 11, 2009 Conversation with Pat Ballard
(blog post with link to 50-min mp3 recording of Pat talking about her journey to
self- and body-acceptance and -love, her writing process,
and why a truly Happy Valentine's Day and satisfying sex life
starts with loving your body,

no matter what it looks like.

Calendar of Events

Now available from Pearlsong Press—Pat's newest book, the nonfiction Something to Think About: Reflections on Life, Family, Body Image, & Other Weighty Matters by the Queen of Rubenesque Romances. It's a FREE PDF ebook that can be downloaded at or via the link at the beginning of this newsletter.

Pat is now co-hosting Radio Free Nashville's Health At Every Size show, which airs every Monday morning. The show is streamed live over the Internet 10-11 a.m. CST Mondays. You can also subscribe to the podcast of the show. Go to for more info, including archived recordings, or to subscribe.

You can also listen to or download recordings of many of the shows at

Give someone a good read as well as support in loving themselves.
Pat's books make great gifts!


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