Friday, December 29, 2006

Santa Snoopy. I can't believe it another Santa arrived last night his gifts were filled with laughter. This time Santa Snoopy and his Woodstock reindeers arrived delivering the largest Christmas card we had ever seen. Of course Santa Snoopy was in the inside and outside -what a jolly good fellow. Santa Snoopy and his beloved reindeers decided to stay. They know we need company and a reminder to laugh for it is still a wonderful world, no matter what the news reports. When we travel down the road we listen to our Snoopy CD music. I am telling you Snoopy is everywhere in our house. Happy, Happy New Year to all - Laugh and the world laughs with you.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I am re-organizing clutter as I prepare for the New Year.The house slave work will be caught up and the top layer in my creative space cleared, so when the ball drops at midnight on the old year, I will be dropping off to a peaceful sleep while
characters dance throughout the night. My built in alarm will go off between 5 and 6 am on the morning of 2007 and I want to be prepared to start work in my studio office. I don't believe November through January is a good time to submit, items get lost in the mail and editors do have some time for holidays (I would hope).

I was so excited when Santa surprised me with a visit and he was loaded down with gifts. What really surprised me, he forgot he had been here and made a return trip. It was a squealing surprise. I thought maybe he returned for the chocolate milk and roasted marshmallows I forgot to put out.

I squeezed in some interesting TV watching. On CMT I watched scenes from the movie Charlotte's Web, how it was created and met the actors. I have to see the movie. I have always enjoyed the story and I still have the book. I had a little pig that looked like Wilbur. Wiggles was also the runt of the litter. He was raised
in the house, moved to the woodshed and as he grew I sent him to the barn. Wiggles became huge and fat-too big for the barn so he was sent on a very, long trip. Tears of sadness caused pains deep in my chest. I know he is not forgotten for he supplies wonderful memories today.

I watched Secondhand Lions with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. The story reminds me to look on the bright side each day, maybe the hurts in life can lead to an exciting adventure.

"When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of the pen." -Samuel Lover

Monday, December 25, 2006

Life's Beautiful Path
Have a Merry Happy CHRISTmas and a Healthy New Year. This morning I listen to the words of poet Mattie Stepanek who passed away in 2004. His poems and words of wisdom for hope and peace is so important for people to listen to over and over-then maybe the world would be happier and peaceful. Mattie believed we are on earth for a short time and heaven is forever. While on earth don't waste a day, use it, fill it with joy and peace. I have been blessed with many mircles, love ones and most of all parents that taught me about God's love. I am blessed.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Writing non-fiction books for 2007. My walk in the woods yesterday with my camera in hand I found more material/photos to insert in my fungi and oddities folder. When my granddaughter was visiting she wanted to know what that large thing was among the trees. I thought if she is curious, so would other children. I have gathered a lot of interesting oddities on my everyday walks. I was walking along the shores of the White River taking pictures of the ghost trees and I wanted one filled with vultures. But, they flew away before I got a picture. There is one where the eagles hang out when they arrive in January. Mr. Gaston was there looking for creatures to photography for his website. He said he gets his photos of vultures from the new vistors center. His camera was more powerful than mine. Gaston's White River Resort has nature trails that I hope to walk this spring when it is warm and streamy.

I am disappointed each year as the State and Federal Parks continue to up-grade by cutting down trees and bushes with it comes lots of burning of underbrush and leaves. We move or come to visit to see nature at its best. Every year there is less wild flowers, birds and small animals. If I wanted to see a manicured park, I would have visited the city parks.

Now, I will get off my high horse or soap box to finish my books that kids and adults will be able to see pictures of what was. I love people who set out to create oddites for all of us to enjoy. The book, Eccentric America is filled with wonderful surprises.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I will return. I have been buried in responsibles of repairing storm damage and preparing for the holidays.

There is no downside to creating and enjoying writing - only the downside of allowing ourselves to listen to the "nay sayers."

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 08, 2006

Children's Books, dachshunds and awards. Each day I renew my creative energy by reviewing another writers' website or blog. I learn from the professionals in the different genres I enjoy writing.

Christine Taylor-Butler She had her first book published in 2003 and now she has 20 books. That is, breath taking fast.

Hotdog on Tv by Karen T. Taha ( a Dial Easy-to-Read Level 2 book. Hotdog as you have guessed is a dachshund. I have an eighteen year-old dachshund who is writing a series about her sad and happy life. She shares injuries, mishaps, and how she bounces back to good health to run her daily mile.

The Twin Lakes Submarine Veterans Base won the first prize in the civic category at the Mountain Home Christmas parade. We are very proud of the group.

I had a gardening article about Marigolds accepted for Ozarks magazine's May issue. I love gardening for it mades me feel peaceful and life's beautiful path is indeed worth traveling.

This is the season to buzz along with many projects to do before I turn in a substandard monster of the human race.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Helicopters and Submarines: I am searching for information on the Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron SEVEN, HSS-1 United States Atlantic Fleet Antisubmarine Defense Force-Hunter Killer Force with Commander Mac A. Graham and J.S. Thach, 16 May 1956-1961. In 1958 who were the sonarman aboard the U.S. Navy's atomic-powered submarine Nautilus when it dived under the polar ice cap at Point Barrow, Alaska. During the journey it passed directly under the North Pole?

I am doing researching on different fungi/mushrooms, caring for injured dachshunds,and Mute Swans to just name a few. I hope to finish a couple of these books for children and adults.

Happy hunting and stay warm.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

authors blogs and websites:
Darcy Pattison Darcy writes children's books.
Candie Moonshower Military Writers Society of America

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Historical Short Story - Fiction or Non-fiction: Recently, I attended a program on how to write historical fiction short stories presented by Pat Carr. Believe it or not, she said to start from 1970 and back to the stone age. Most of the audience had written a short story by the time the program ended. When asked for a show of hands to read what was written down members of the audience provided the beginning, middle and the end. Pat made sure we moved in the right direction to produce a good short story. The last part was for the writer to fill in the gaps and polish it into a sellable short story. An adult short story is ten pages.

In the beginning write down the year the story will take place and the location. Start with a theme/symbol such as your story takes place during the Dust Bowl, when President Kennedy was shot, or a day or year when some other outstanding event took place. What should the reader know before the incident-first set up the story.

Write down an incident that happened or is about to happen. The beginning is the hook to entice the reader to continue.
Who is the characters - use five or less, less is better. Start with the main character showing his/her mood, age, goal or problem. One character causes friction.Characters should have qualities of a caring nature, fear. bitter and etc. Does the main character or one of the other characters have hang-ups, life hanging in a balance(danger), life or death sitiuatin or dying; one or more charactors may believe it is, but to others it is not.
Write the story in the first person or the third. Stay out of peoples heads. Girls write from a girl's point of view and a boy from his insight.

A story should be a life changing experience where a person's life will be changed afterwards from bad to good or sad to happy. The end of the story should end with action, dialogue, or an image of the time of the year, weather or a symbolic note. Don't end with the dawn or morning,or have the weather outside reflect what is happening inside.

Writing the Short-Short Story by Marg McAlister can be found at, George Edward Stanley has written a wonderful book, Writing Short Stories for Young People, and Why & How I teach with Historical Fiction by Tarry Lindquist at 1.htm

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Writers ...I am grateful to all the published writers/authors in the many different genres who have crossed my path and taught me how to be a professional writer. Over the years I have stored how-to knowledge in my mind until some days I think I will burst. My burst of energies swell up causing all the characters from untold stories to run through my mind yelling, "I want out. I want out, NOW." Oh, how I look forward to allowing many of the characters to escape in the upcoming days as I squeeze in more writing time.

Myrna Tempe taught me how to stretch a short story into a novel, Ridley Pearson taught me if you want to be a writer I must step out, go for it and never give up, poet Vi Gale said, " You will never be a writer, but your enthusiasm for writing will probably get you there." Then, she turned around called the book review editor at the Oregon Journal, and I had my first writing assignment as a book reviewer, Karen Taha showed me how to persevere, and Dusty Richards pushed me, a stranger in his state out into the crowd (I was hugging a wall for comfort.) at a writers conference in Eureka Springs. The list goes on - Darcy Pattison, Lori Casey Caldwell, Veda Boyd Jones, Joan Banks, Ellen Gray Massey and Max McCoy; this could continue for pages. You will find more in my blog in days ahead about the ones noted and the ones not noted. So many wonderful hard working writers and I am so pleased to have met and known.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Writers and photographers beware the rules are changing incredibly fast. It appears we must keep up with the electronic world of the future. What I have read and heard made me disappointed. Some of the answers I need are difficult to find on the internet, in books or from friends.

For several years one of the writers groups I belong to had speakers who knew their craft as authors, editors, publishers and agents. It has slowly moved toward having speakers where I rush to Preditors and Editors website, click WARNINGS to check their credibility. A speaker may have a long list of credits and degrees attached to his or her bio, but I am learning you can't always rely on it.

POD Print on Demand, E-Publisher or self-published by a printer are some of the companies you pay or the company will publish your book free. I may be wrong it may be the world of the future. But, I question if they are well written books and will any endure for generations to enjoy. By going the instant route an author doesn't have to abide by rules or need to worry about changes to their manuscript. But, are they misleading the writer who comes to hear them speak or give workshops. Be careful not to become involved where it allows an editor from a trade publisher to question your credibility.

Editor is another title that can be misleading. When an author mentions editor we think of someone at a big reliable publisher not a book doctor or someone who edits books for a fee. There are good book doctors and freelance editors. If you are having one as a speaker it needs to be explained in the brochure before people are mislead. Do not pay an agent or a publisher. To learn more about the writing profession check out the different authors websites, read how-to books at the library, ask published authors and join the Writers Digest book club.

On Friday, Novemeber 24 on Book TV C-Span2 I listen to the program,"The Google Print Project and the Future of the Written Word." The panel members were Marvin Kalb, Allen Adler, Paul Aiken, Jonathan Band, Andrew Glass, David Robbins and Sidney Verba. The decussion is, will Google's print program protect the authors and the publishers from theft. Go to

I have to learn more about the updates in black and white negative and slides developing. Can they be saved or will I have to toss them.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mary Nida Smith is blogging. I am a person who loves life. God has truly blessed me. Thanksgiving Day is everyday. I am full of ideas for writing, illustrating, gardening, crafting and inventing things.

When I mention to friends what I have accomplished or what projects I am working on, they say I am bragging. They don't realize this has been a lifetime struggle to do all the things I love to do in-between moving many times. Each place I have lived I have seen and learned many wonderful things. I have joined or started a writers group or artist guild. I always check out the newspapers and libraries for I got my first start writing book reviews for the Oregon Journal and I have written for papers in Washington, Idaho and Arkansas. Librarians have been a great help in answering questions, introducing me to published authors and illustrators. For two years I have taught creative writing for the children's summer programs. I love children; they are smart and creative. I believe we learn from each other;this is the fun part.

I am writing non-fiction and fiction picture books. I made one dummy with about 27 illustrations for a 32 page picture book. I continue to submit; who knows maybe today will be my lucky book day.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Writers are everywhere. Everyone appears to be a writer, but can they write? The answer is yes and some are very good. Most people write for themselves and wouldn't let an editor edit their material even if it meant getting published. I am not a writer without mistakes. Editors' suggestions and changes have improved my work where I was able to be published. I have a lot of respect for editors. They want you to look good in print for that makes them look good. We are all in the same field.

Writing is easy, rewriting and rewriting for publication and going by their rules/guidelines is work. Remember a doctor, lawyer and other professional people didn't get their degree overnight, it took commitment to study and practice. In any career we have a superior to direct us.

Today,I received a rejection from a magazine for an essay I submitted. It was a big time magazine I have always loved. I followed all the rules to submit so I know I have no regrets. My day will come. I don't easily give up. Today I know I have a couple of future deadlines to meet. I will concentrate on doing my best.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good morning,
Writing lifts my spirits. It is great to be alive. I try not to get too excited about all the wonderful happenings for I am afraid my bubble will burst. For the last couple of days I haven't written on my blog. Somedays my time is limit in the studio office.

I attended an Audubon Society meeting last week. It was filled with people sharing the discovery of a new bird, butterfly or animals such as a fox, bobcat, bear or mountain lion on or near their property. My woodland garden has been a welcome place for the wildlife being squeezed out of their woods as houses continue to spring up like giant mushrooms.

Saturday, I attended the Ozarks Writers League. I continue to be amazed by what one can learn or refresh the mind of what it had tucked away. This is a special group bubbling with news of books, magazines and sharing experiences. I picked up my copies of the Echoes of the Ozarks volume II where my essay, Ancestry and Nature Unite Ozarkians, was published.

I found a publisher to submit another children's picture book manuscript. Now I will have five in the mail, plus an essay. I am working on writing a garden and a submarine article.

The sun is shining. I don't see any birds outside my window, maybe it is too cold.
Enjoy the day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I am researching submarines and the men who rode them into the depth of hell during World War II. I am reading the USS Puffer SS-268 book compiled and written by Craig McDonald. Also, I read a personal story written by one of the crew members.

I published a story in the October issue about the S-28 in Salute(a military e-zine)and Polaris (U.S. Submarine Veterans World WarII magazine).

My book "Submarine Stories of World War II" will soon be released. It is written for ages ten and up. I wanted the children of the submarine veterans to come to understand what their fathers or grandfathers lived through to survive during war patrols.

This morning I will be cleaning my studio office where I will have my next projects lined up for the next work day. I will be working on poetry and children's book manuscripts.

Take care. The wind is howling, the trees are dancing and the birds are sleeping in.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wildlife is always welcome to my yard and woodland garden. I keep a journal where personal observations are added to writing garden articles.

Today I organize photos taken while my husband served on different submarines to submit with the stories I write. Also, to post on the different boat websites.

During the next three months I will be preparing manuscripts to be submitted. November, December and January are busy holiday months for everyone. February is a good time for me to submit. Deadline submissions are kept no matter what.

Several inches of rain are suppose to arrive followed by snow. Hopefully, in this part of the Ozarks it will only visit overnight.

Enjoy the day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Good morning. It is a cool and sunshine morning.
I continue to read and research material for my books I am writing about World War II submarines and the men who rode them into danger. The books will be written for children and adults to enjoy. Submarine Stories of World War II for ages ten and up will soon be released by Red Engine Press.
I am also a freelance writer and I enjoy writing children's picture books. I have three picture books at publishers. The books go out and so far are returned to me to take another look. Then my creations are in the mail hoping for a gold star.
Back to work. Today is a busy day. I hope everyone reading this takes a deep breath and enjoys the day.
Life is beautiful