Author and musician entertains with laughter

By Jessica Johnson

May 16, 2014

Author, musician, and motivational speaker Rhayne Thomas spent this week in Mount Airy, speaking to groups like the Mount Airy Rotary Club and the Plaid Cloth Literary Society, spreading her message of love and laughter.

On Wednesday afternoon at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, laughter could be heard echoing off the walls, as members of the Plaid Cloth Literary Society responded in delight as Thomas read portions of her book aloud.

“Think of this as your living room,” Thomas told the book club members before she began to read. “If it’s funny, throw back your head and laugh. If it’s not funny, throw your head back and laugh. Just have a really good time.”

Thomas told the group about a few of her books, and added that a portion of all of her proceeds go to breast cancer clinics and hospitals, a practice in which she has been engaging since before Thomas found out she had breast cancer in 2011.

“I am a cancer survivor, and it’s been 2.5 years. Praises go up, blessings come down…I love to spread healing through laughter. A couple of good laughs per day can give you a way to look at some things differently — it can change your perspective,” Thomas shared.

When applying Thomas’ message of healing through laughter, there was a great deal of healing going on in the museum Wednesday afternoon, as Plaid Cloth Literary Society members followed Thomas’ advice, and threw there heads back in laughter over and over again, with some even taking out tissues to dab the tears of laughter from their eyes.

Thomas read from several books, including “Born Again Bag Lady: Garage Sale-ing with a Purpose,” “I’m 40! I’m Feisty! And There’s a Gray Hair in my WHAT?!? and Other Surprises After Age 25,” “Hey Amy! I’m a Black Lesbian Rabbi and Other Spiritual Insights,” and “Gracie-Isms: My Mother’s Lists of Southern Sayings & My Job to Interpret the Consequences.”

Thomas said she loves garage sales and yard sales, which inspired her to write her pocket guide, “Born Again Bag Lady,” and added that “there’s a difference between garage and garbage,” then launched into reading tips from her book, leaving everyone in the room laughing and nodding in agreement.

“Hey Amy! I’m a Black Lesbian Rabbi and Other Spiritual Insights” is a book about how to “put your faith before your fears” by “surrounding yourself with all positive things and positive people,” which Thomas said will lead to a person doing “anything they want to do in the whole world, even be a black lesbian rabbi.”

“You can push past anything, if you just believe in yourself…fear grips us when we allow our thoughts to be irrational…how many times have you dreaded something that hasn’t even happened?” Thomas read from her book. “You have to go through to get through.”

Thomas shared that her book “I’m 40, I’m Feisty and There’s a Gray Hair in my WHAT?!?” was one she wrote when she realized that woman of all ages complain about the same things: “everyone is too tall, too short, too thin, too fat…I thought, when do we ever embrace our beauty?”

She added that every day when women wake up, the scrutiny begins with “I wish my blank was blank” and continues throughout the day. “It’s time to make peace with ourselves and enjoy every body part,” Thomas said.

“Each day you are fortunate enough to be alive, so thank your body for getting you where it needed to be the day before.”

At the end of her presentation, Thomas told the group about her campaign to “make prunes sexy” and said when she was growing up, she received prunes instead of candy. Her love of prunes continues to this day, adding that it’s better to receive prunes on Valentine’s Day than chocolates. Thomas runs a website about her love of prunes:

Thomas closed her presentation with a “song of inspiration” — “This Little Light of Mine.”

Thomas will be at Pages Books and Coffee in downtown Mount Airy on Saturday during Farm Fest, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and will begin with music, and after will be signing her books.

For more information about Thomas, visit and or email her at

Reach Jessica Johnson at 719-1933 and on Twitter @MountAiryJess.