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