Bluffton Packet

Author shows there is joy in being single

After two marriages and several other relationships, Celeste Friedman decided to stay single. Not only that, she decided she was going to celebrate it.

The former Hilton Head Islander recently self-published, "Single 101: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Being Single."

Friedman returns to the Lowcountry next weekend for the Savannah Book Festival and a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 18 at Books N Brew in Okatie.

"Society looks at single people as outcasts or people who are lonely or desperate," she said. "I thought that I could create something that turns it around. It's time to celebrate singledom."

Writing has been a bit of a side project for Friedman, who found success as a musician and composer -- she was nominated for a Grammy. The Ohio native spent a year on Hilton Head as on-air talent and program director at WIJY, now 107.9 WLOW.

"I loved it there, and it was great there," she said. "Sometimes it could get sad when you're working and you look outside and see everyone going to play tennis or something. But if I didn't have so many obligations going on (in Ohio), I'd pack a bag and be down there in a heartbeat."

In fact, it was a relationship that forced her to move from Hilton Head. Her boyfriend pursued a business opportunity in Seattle, and she moved with him. Within a few months, they broke up and Friedman moved back to Ohio.

She started a successful career, recording albums and composing for film and television. She scored the music for the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, "The Glory of Living." In 2005, she was nominated for a Grammy for her work on a children's compilation album called "One to Grow On."

But she also went through two divorces and decided she was content being single. "Single 101" takes a light touch on single life, showing that happiness and singledom aren't mutually exclusive.

"A lot of women, in particular, rush right into one relationship after another," she said. "You deserve some time to breath and discover more about yourself.

"Plus, I have to admit it. I kind of prefer the bed to myself. I like being a fussy housekeeper. I enjoy the fact that, if I've made a banana pudding or something, it will still be there when I come home."