Archive for May, 2007

bring on the hype: wren’s nest fest 2007

Written on May 30, 2007 at 5:40 pm, by carson

Friday, June 8th has officially made the 10-day weather forecast! That’s how we know the big day is almost here.

Weather for Wren's Nest Fest 2007

Even if it is a balmy 89 degrees next Friday, the 10% figure is low enough to keep Lain sleeping like a baby for the next 9 nights. My fingers will dutifully remain crossed all week. On Thursday, I’ll ask Marshall how his telltale joints are feeling. And that will be the last word on the weather.

In the meantime, allow me to BRING ON THE HYPE!

According to my intuition, Lain’s undying (and largely unfounded) faith in my event planning skills, Jeri’s infallible foresight, and Star’s optimism, I can say with confidence that this June 8th is going to bear witness to the best Wren’s Nest Fest on record.

[EDIT: Not only are we going to have hundreds of little kids ravaging our food table and making bunny ears out of Burger King hats, but we have a birthday to celebrate! Wren’s Nest Superfan David Sokol (WNSDS) will be turning 24 on this very special, multi-purpose day. We’ll be sporting those bunny ears for you, Dave!]

In addition, WNF flyers are flying Br’er Rabbit all over town. Hundreds of letters have been mailed. Mama Shakespeare’s kitchen is piled to the rafters with cupcakes and icing. Ponies are being groomed and bridled somewhere in rural Georgia. The bunnies are… being born (specifically for this occasion). We’ve got postings on Atlanta Buzz, and Atlanta INtown!

And if you were even debating whether or not to attend: here’s a sneak preview of our LIMITED EDITION Wren’s Nest Fest 2007 t-shirt, going to print as you read this!
Wren's Nest Fest 2007 T-Shirt
We’ll have them in youth and adult sizes, plentiful and affordable. Get ’em while they’re hot (and it’s hot) on June 8th! Every kid, parent and senior in Atlanta will be sporting one come Saturday, June 9th. In fact, I predict their popularity will go so far as to exceed the popularity of gaucho pants.

“Is that even possible?” says Lloyd Farklenkuh.

“Entirely, especially if they’re worn together!” replies WNIC.

Atlanta Intown Features the Wren’s Nest

Written on May 29, 2007 at 9:49 am, by Lain Shakespeare

Last night Carson and I were doing a little research at Neighbors Pub in Virgina-Highland and we came across the June issue of Atlanta Intown.

Atlanta Intown Wren's Nest

Looks like all those glamour shots paid off! Carson and I probably couldn’t get anymore famous.

Props to Atlanta Intown writer, Wren’s Nest researcher, and girl I sat next to in ninth grade geometry Mary Logan Barmeyer. Great article–though next time let’s find a picture where my eyes aren’t so squinty.

Also, Carson isn’t just any intern from Chicago. As far as I’m concerned, she is THE intern from Chicago. Nice pirate pants, Carson.

At press time the June issue of the paper isn’t available online, so I guess you’ll have to pick up a copy around town. I usually find them at Java Monkey, but they’re pretty ubitiquitous inside the perimeter.

Wren’s Nest: The Wedding

Written on May 24, 2007 at 9:46 am, by carson

Remember how Lain was worried sick about the wedding we were hosting at the Wren’s Nest on May 5th?

Well, it went great. It didn’t even rain. Not one drop!

The grandma of the bride had a wonderful time:

So did the groomsmen:

We had a mishap involving some tipsy bridesmaids:


But overall, the event met with overwhelming success.


When the bride rolled up in one of Willie Watkin’s vintage horse carriages, the guests looked on in silent awe. The house nodded. The magnolias curtsied. The amphitheater beamed. It was magical.

In fact, we should do this again! And again, and again! I mean, with grounds like these and attractive prices to boot, who wouldn’t want to get married here? Or host their next book club meeting, or family reunion, or poetry reading, or rock concert, or championship slip-n-slide competition?

Marshall and I feel we need to give our publicity efforts a little kick in the rump, because otherwise this gem of a venue is growing weeds with no good reason to pull them!

So, I’m going to make a flyer. And I’m going to give it to lots of people. And they’re going to rent out our grounds and have a fantastic time and tell all their friends that the Wren’s Nest is all the rage, just like parking spaces and online data storage!

Help us by spreading the word!

Ghost Hunt 2007, Chapter III

Written on May 18, 2007 at 8:44 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

It’s not quite dark yet, so I’m not quite terrified yet, but let me tell you what–Carson is hiding under her desk, rocking back and forth, and trembling a little.

Scooby Gang

(Carson is the one in the glasses)

Luckily for you, she’s got her laptop under there and is prepared to post live updates on Wren’s Nest Ghost Hunt 2007, Chapter III: This Time, It’s For Real.

Keep it locked, and we’ll keep you posted throughout the evening on the Wren’s Nest ghosts, the Ghost Hounds, and everything bizarre that happens along the way.

[For those of you following on facebook, this post will probably stop here. More awaits you at]

9:38 pm, Lain – Okay, so maybe Carson wasn’t as scared as I’d thought. She made her way not only out from under the desk, but out of the room, too…about forty minutes ago.

And she hasn’t come back.


Actually, she has. But only to tell me that (more…)


Categories: Ghosts!, Hunting! |

Lain: through the Ages

Written on May 18, 2007 at 10:23 am, by carson

Saturday, May 12th marked a very special occasion: the 24th anniversary of Lain Shakespeare! Turns out Lain has a short attention span when it comes to birthdays.

Here he is at the big number 1: curious and even a little bit excited!

But by the time he reached 1-0: sleepy and disinterested.


Those of us who know Lain can attest to the fact that if he had to rank all things good in life, birthdays would not even make the top ten. Here’s what would:

1. trains!

2. blogs about skyscrapers

3. growlers

4. the swim times of seven-year-olds

5. yogurt (a recent development)

6. getting a good night’s (and day’s) rest

7. the Atlanta beltline

8. Going for it.

9. Imani Simone “goofball” Harris

10. scoping babes

So, here we are on Saturday giving Lain all the encouragement he needed to celebrate his birthday at the Wren’s Nest. Behind the camera is Mama Shakespeare, who had only moments before knocked our socks off with her world-famous chocolate chip cake (see? we’re not wearing any socks!)
Team WN
The East Atlanta Beer Festival took care of the rest.

Happy Belated Birthday, Lain!

Shakespeare at the Wren’s Nest

Written on May 17, 2007 at 11:54 am, by Lain Shakespeare

For those of you who are new, my last name is Shakespeare.

Shakespeare at the Wren's Nest

Having a famous and relatively rare last name is both a blessing a curse.

For instance, whenever I hand over a credit card, three things invariably happen:

  1. The cashier’s eyes boggle a little.
  2. The cashier somehow begins to believe that s/he is no longer a cashier, but instead Don Rickles.
  3. The wisecracks begin.

I’ve fielded many, many ridiculous questions over the years.

(For example, last week a cashier was like, “Oh, so your name is Shakespeare, huh? What, do you think you’re bad or something?” …as if I had given them attitude or chosen my name. And, after thinking to myself “What an odd thing for this person to say,” I was all like, “No no, not bad — bard!” Zing!)

The more mundane questions are usually like, “So are you a writer?”

And I’ve always answered, “Nope.”

That is, until today!

Today, if someone asks, “Say, sport! You a writer?”

I will say, “Yes! Now run to the nearest Little Shop of Stories and pick up a Warm Weather Pocket Field Guide for 2007, courtesy of the Duck and Herring Co. and check it out.”

Duck and Herring

You may remember the Duck and Herring Co. from our little get together last month. Well, they happen to produce a little journal. No, really, it’s little!

Not only are the Pocket Field guides fit-in-your-pocketable, adorable, and so very affordable, they’re funny, too!

Incidentally, author readings / demontrations will take place at Little Shop of Stories on June 9th. If you want to find out how to hold your breath for a really, really long time, I suggest you attend.

secrets, secrets are no fun… until they’re revealed!

Written on May 15, 2007 at 12:02 pm, by carson

Remember how we were deliberating over whether to open a mysterious safe deposit box?Well, our curiosity got the best of us. We opened it!

Lain and I went to Bank of America on Thursday. We paid a locksmith $150 to drill into a rectangular metal container that hadn’t seen daylight in fifteen years. We held our breath, bit our nails, tried to put visions of treasure hunts and leprechauns and locks of hair and the remains of Joel Chandler Harris aside, but boy (oh boy!) was it hard not to dream… (more…)

Wren’s Nest Brochure

Written on May 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Alright big news: our brochure is real close to being ready. All we need is a map, some directions, and a few edits on the text.

I know it’s the weekend, but in the off chance you’re reading blogs instead of doing something truly spectactular, let us know what you think of the cover.

We wouldn’t want to put these in every hotel, AAA office, and welcome center in the state without your approval, would we?

Wren's Nest Brochure
One thing to consider–we’ll probably go with old book parchment paper as the background.

Old Book Paper

Indeed, it’s the very same background that we use on the main site headers.

Now, have at it!


front porch

See the resemblance?

Final Edit:

Rhodes Hall

Compare and contrast.  Good work, Rhodes Hall.

happy birthday miss nannie!

Written on May 9, 2007 at 10:38 am, by carson


Our loyal docent and housekeeper, Nannie Thompson, turned 76 yesterday. Here she is with Star and Lain. She may be tiny, but she’s as feisty as can be!

our namesake

Written on May 8, 2007 at 2:26 pm, by carson

Want to know why Lain almost fell over with excitement this morning?

Because wrens are nesting in the mailbox of the Wren’s Nest!

If you’ve been on our tour, you’ve probably seen the original mailbox, which rests on the mantle in the storytelling room. You’ve probably heard the story about the wrens that made it their home year after year, giving the Wren’s Nest its name. In fact, Mr. Harris was so fond of the wrens that he put a second mailbox next to the first, so as not to disturb the little guys with the daily mail.

Today, we have only one mailbox. And no wrens that anybody knew of, until now. This is what we found when we lifted the lid over the weekend:




Wikipedia tells me that there are about 80 species of wrens, some as small as 10 cm and 9 grams in size. That’s small enough to fit through the slot in our mailbox, methinks. They are meant to be very aggressive birds, going so far as to destroy the eggs of another species in order to set up camp. And despite their size, they have very assertive mating calls.

Tiny, but feisty. I like it.

So we’ll be keeping an eye out for baby wrens in our mailbox! And in the meantime, tell Mr. Mailman to please put all of our fan mail and donation checks elsewhere.