Saturday, December 22, 2007

May all writers take wing in the moments of stillness to gain strength to reach for the stars in 2008.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lurch at Rocky Ridge Refuge http: 2004 Click on photos to enlarge
When my family comes to visit each year from Naperville we are always looking for unusual places to explore. August 10, 2004 we read an article in The Baxter Bulletin newspaper that Lurch was placed in the Guinness World Records book. I knew from that article this was the place to explore on October 23, 2004. We had a great time. The brave girl in the photos is my granddaughter Nicole Hoekstra. To remember this and other events I created Nicole a scrapbook with a story titled, Ozarks Vacation.
Later, I wrote an article on this visit with Lurch and the refuge for The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine. It was published in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue. From this visit and article my son-in-law purchased the Guinness World Record Book.
To learn more about the exciting and wonderful things happening with Janice Wolf, the caregiver and the refuge click on their website . Other websites to click on is: Ellen De Generes Show,, and
Each day is an new adventure-walk the trails around the Twin Lakes area this winter. I love the walking the trails. This is what I have on my winter list to do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Book signing at "Authors' Day" 2 December Sunday 2-4 pm at the Baxter County Library at Mountain Home. To participate you have to registered your name and book at the library. To learn more go to It will be an exciting day for writers. My most exciting moments at my book release in Branson was my two sisters and their husbands who drove nine hours to surprise me. They tested my heart. Short of a heart attack I verily regained by breathe to say "hi." Our friends and neighbor Larry and Virginia surprised us. They purchased our book and books from other authors sitting near us. Plus, I would like to thank family members and friends who sent best wishes. All of this means lots of wonderful memories to add to my memory book.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The colors of Autumn and Spring in my Woodland Garden makes my heart sing for joy - God indeed is the blue ribbon artist of all.
This morning five large does entered my garden. At the frightening bark of the neighbor's fenced in dog they quickly turned, with running leaps headed east. They never had the chance to linger to prune my bushes. I allow native plants to come up where they please for the wildlife and me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

God is wonderful. He always reminds me there is a bright light that always shines above the dark clouds. It is up to me to allow that light to shine for me as I go forward or stay in the shadows of gloom. Well, I have always enjoyed the sunshine with a breathe of fresh air.

I wish I could have met MWSA children's book award winner Jenny Sokol. She wrote I'm a Hero Too.

It is time I get back to the business of writing. I am working on several exciting projects: books for children and adults. I still have four children's book manuscripts, three poems and a garden essay floating in never, never land or should I say in the land of hope. We mailed 16 of my books today; a sign people are enjoying the stories in my book.

Let the sun hit your back feeling the warm comfort knowing each day is a new beginning.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Submarine book updates, PR beware information for writers and interesting new books will be placed on this website. Right now I am snowed under after returning from my book signing in Branson November 5-7. In the meanwhile check updates on my other blog Enjoy the warm weather and the artistic work of God.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The writing life never prepared me for behind the scenes of a first book release. I have tried to keep the public and friends updated since it was finished; which seems like years ago. It was suppose to be released last Spring, then Fall 06. Now, a limited addition has been released. The publisher is calling this the first printing and there will be a second printing. to meet the request. This is an exciting time and a stressful time. I am grateful for all the congratulations coming from friends and the excitement the book has produced among our submarines friends.

I am beginning to receive notices of upcoming conferences. Jerry Libstaff sent one for the 2008 Watermark Writer's Conference September 26,27 and 28, taking place at Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal, Washington. Our niece and her husband teach school in that area. I enjoy knowing what is happening with other writers groups. I discover publishers to submit to and learn what new and old friends are doing when I check their websites, blogs and newsletters. Also, check out their links to find research material and helpful information.
Read the different writers groups' newsletters. Also, check out their links to find research materials and other helpful information. I copied the Coeur d' Alene Chapter of the Idaho Writers league newsletter the Lakegazette. I found it filled with 10 pages of information. Nancy Owens Barnes, one of their members has a new book South to Alaska, an exciting non-fiction. Believe it or not, Nancy has an Arkansas connection.

National E-Book Conference will be held at Portland, Oregon, March 6-9, 2008. information is found on page 9 of the above newsletter. Spread your horizons read what other writers are doing. Oh... by the way of all the e-mails I received last week one was from a literary agent who rejected me a few years back. Good agency. I wouldn't mind being a client there.

A cousin, RJ Nida has updated me on his family and my uncle Melvin who lives at Salem, WV. I purchased Jack's new book, Images of Roane County, a history book of the early settlement of that area. My family history dates back to that area in 1740 when they came from Germany. Jean Carper's latest book is out EatSmart, go to Marlene Ford and Jim Yoder have books out on mountain climbing and Jodie Larsen has published several novels to enjoy reading during this winter by a cozy fire.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Time passes quickly-work piles up and it's all in a day. I laugh and cry as I enjoy the day God has honored me with as I try to balance my life of writing and doing what is required duties.

Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri is planning on nominating a state poet laureate. Nominate your favorite poet by December 1st at Information provided by Sylvia Forbes, Freelance writer.

Cara Brookings,contemporary novel Gadget Greek, for middle grade is under contract with Goldminds Publishing, LLC. This is her second novel to be published. Her first novel Doris Free, a historical fiction was published by Mondo Publishing. She is a member of the Arkansas Chapter of SCBWI. Kathy Duffield another member was honored with a letter of merit in the SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant competition this year for her young adult novel. Arkansas SCBWI Spring Conference held at UCA on April 11-12, 2008 will have speakers Jennifer Emmett, editor at National Geographic, Lisa Graff, editor at FSG and author Melanie Hope Greenburg.

Author Jane Yolen will be holding workshops at Columbia, Missouri during November. Click on under November events. Milbre Burch recommends this workshop to all published writers working in the fairytale and fantasy genre. Don't forget SCBWI/Missouri Conference Saturday November 10, 2007 at St. Charles Community College.

This was a greet week for me. One morning I had coffee and molasses cookies with Valerie, one of my writing friends. She provided the cookies. She loves to cook. We both missed our other friend Lonny as she was under the weather. We always have a good time together. Valerie mentioned one can only talk about writing to another writer. If you say you are a writer to a non-writer, they look at you as if you had another eye in the middle of your forehead. Serious writers are professional writers who keep the green monster in check.

I attended the local Arts & Crafts Show. The fairground building was packed with lots of hard working craft people. I saw my friend Dorothy and her husband James Wheeler, of Mountain Home. They both are nature photographers that do outstanding work. I met Lonny Canady from Maumelle, Arkansas. He is a landscape artist whose work took me to imaginary places from my past and where I wish I was again. His paintings take your breath away. He'll be at Mountain View Bean Festival coming up next week. I am glad to see a gourd artist from Bull Shoals still crafting her wonderful imaginary fantasy items. All one needs is some fairy dust and shrinking powder to enter. I love the jewelery created with beautiful stones. You can check out the local craft gift shop on the square at Mountain Home. Plus, I attended the Bull Shoals Art Show where the it gets bigger each year. They are a dedicated art group of enjoyable people.

Check out my other blog:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Audubon Society, Arts Center and writing organizations. For every genre or writing interest there is a group to join; Dog Writers Association, Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Garden Writers Association of America, America Society of Journalists & Authors, and many more can be found at the back of the Writer's Market. In each group will be members with one or more blogs where you will learn and can ask questions.

Check out where you can learn more about the Juvenile Writers of Kansas City and check out Christine's Friends and Favorite sites where you will receive lots of good information.

I am stepping out more and more. The writing business is a lonely one. When I was writing articles for magazines and newspapers I was out talking to people. Then, I decided I wanted to spend my writing time I squeezed out each day on my fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. I hate unfinished projects. Unfinished writings and continuously writing for free is a dead end. I must stay focus. Deadlines keep me focused and this is what I must place on myself.

I was unable to go out for a few years to different organizations where I could learn more about the subjects I am writing about because of our little ill miniature dachshund who needed me. She went on a long journey April 13, 2005 -Black Friday! I wanted to place Baby Girl's picture down here, but she decided she wanted to be placed where everyone could see her. She loved to go for rides before she reached the age of nineteen.
Last Monday, I went to the Audubon Society where I learned about bears, spiders, birds and photography. I have wanted to check out the Olde main Street Arts Center in Yellville. I wasn't disappointed. The crafts were nicely displayed. The crafters I spoke to were filled with excitement to first of all have the owners believe in what they were creating and encouraging them to expand their talents. Every town needs a place for creative people to express themselves. This type of creativity and music expressions can only enhance a community.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Writers, Conferences & Books: Check out Kerri Fivecoat-Campell at http://www.writerforyou,biz/htm to learn more about her business as an award winning writer, columnist and photojournalist. Click on http// to read her interviews with authors, writers and other business people.

Ozarks Creative Writers Inc., 39th Annual Conference, October 11,12, & 13, 2007 at Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Saturday November 3, Velda Brotherton's Fall Workshop will be at Ozark Folkways south of Winslow, Arkansas
Maumelle, Arkansas is having a Writers Conference November 3, 2007

Eccentric America by Jan Friedman is a wonderful book to use while traveling. The kids will love it. Kids just reading the book will produce a silly giggle and a smile from ear to ear. The book is loaded with interesting places to visit that will have you amazed - people with fascinating and extraordinary hobbies. This is a great source for travel writers and for writers of children's stories and books. Many small towns with outlandish sights were put on the map after being mentioned in one of Friedman's books. Such as Cottonwood, Idaho under 2,000 population with their Dog Bark Park. It has been written up in magazines and been shown on television shows.

Check out Bats at the Beach, a picture book by Brian Lies. I love sitting on the summer porch at dusk to watch the bats come to the Fly-In Yard Light Cafe for their evening meal. The past two weeks we have been enjoying and feeding a fox that has been visiting our woodland garden. Didn't see it today as this is a holiday week-end.

Nature and flowers bring peace and tranquility to my door.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oh, the ups and downs of a writer. Many of the days I resigned myself to give up the whole writing thing. To become involved in hobbies that allow me to float through life. Just to enjoy gardening, sewing, painting, puttering around the house, on the deck and the summer porch. Last Friday, I spent the day with my husband in my woodland garden raking, trimming and watering. I get so involved with my mud turtles, woodpeckers and other birds, a tree-legged raccoon and insects. I could watch them from sunrise to dawn until the bats disappear into darkness blocking my view. Sometimes, I do have the opportunity to sit on the summer porch to count a few stars and see how the moon will shape-up. Everywhere inside the house and out are affiliated with wildlife and the out-of-doors. such as birdhouses, fishing, nests, feathers, bird cages and a large black cricket on the fireplace hearth for good luck. One of the neighbors gave my husband two bird houses for watering their plants while they were on a trip. Why visiting my family at Naperville in August, my daughter and granddaughters after touring through several neat little shops presented me with a large white box with a bright pink bow. It was so pretty I hated to open it, but I did. What a surprise, a pedestal dish. The base was the form of a tree trunk with two male cardinals. Beautiful.

You can read between the lines I know you can. You are saying to yourself and to whoever will listen, she just received a rejection. So, you are right. I checked the publisher at and they had changed the editor after receiving my manuscript. This editor has different request on the type of books she would like to see. Oh, well... I already feel better. Once I reorganize my studio office and the large folding table in the guest room, I'll be excited to get back to writing. The love of my life for it places me into many different corners of the world.

I have finished several projects that need to be floating out in never, never land where I hope editors will snag one or two as trophies to become books. Sometimes, I allow myself to think about finding a partner to work on some of my non-fiction books. But, I'm a little crazy I see things... the world different than most people. I am like a butterfly that loves to try the nectar from all types of flowers. Writing is a passion to die-hard writers. Write on! See you on the printed page.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Books and Idaho Company: We had a special week filled with family from Nampa, Idaho. We visited the Ralph Foster Museum on the campus of the College of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri. We didn't go through the one room Star Schoolhouse north of the museum. No one can see everything in a day. We always enjoy our lunches at The Keeter Center's Dobyns Dining Room. We love that place check it out at, and Had lunch one day at Gaston Resort, went to the new Jim Gaston White River/Bull Shoals Visitors Center where I took photos of a Road Runner peering in the window and learned it was a female by its markings. Plus, we went to Top O'the Ozarks Tower and to several interesting gift shops at Cotter. White Mist Gifts of Cotter is filled with many local artisans works.

ZODIAC The Lost Twins, a YA fiction by Deb Peterson will soon be release by Blue Words at

Where ever I go if there are books I will be checking them out, such as yardsales. I haven't been to one for a couple of years. I found Abel's Island by William Steig, a Newbery Honor book filled with little pencil sketches, Romona the Brave by BeverlyCleary who lives in Oregon near where I lived and several books by Stephen Cosgrove and illustrated by Robin James. Stephen's roots reach back to Burley, Idaho near where I lived. I met him twice and he shared some interesting stories. I love books for they were difficult to come by when I was a child. In school we were taught to be kind to our books-do not bend their spine for you would break their back, don't dog ear your pages or mark in them. But, you were allowed to wear them out by reading them over and over-wellread and loved.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

SCBWI-Mo-Springfield Children's Writers Group met September 8th at the Library Station. I went with two other children's writers to hear a program on doing research for writing historical teen novels. Louise A. Jackson and J.B. Cheaney's program was very informative and interesting. Everyone in that group is published. We came away feeling in awe of such a knowledgeable group. I hope to return when they have their next meeting. To learn more about Louise and J.B. go to Sue Bradford Edwards is Missouri's Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators' Regional Advisor. She is the new editor of their newsletter MO Scribbles, which has been improved and enlarged. For ten dollars it looks like a good deal. While you are on their website check the upcoming conference to be held at St. Charles. It sounds like a good one.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My woodland garden has endured a hot, dry summer. I watered twice a week trying to help the roots survive. I didn't want to complain for gardens in some areas were under water and mud. Because of weather changes I have allowed wild native plants to grow where they wish. Only, the strongest survive unusual weather changes. Last spring the extra hard freeze set back all the plants and trees, the summer drought caused blossoms to die and leaves to fall prematurely. This week's rain has brought cooler temperatures. Under darken skies the morning glory displays open blossoms throughout the day allowing the hummingbirds and butterflies to enjoy her nectar. Each morning with camera in hand I will be checking for spider webs and fungi. They are nature's true artist bringing breath taking displays to my garden rooms.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Ozarks Mountaineer Sept/Oct issue page 24 Round & About The Ozarks department read New Bat Cave Discovered In Baxter County, submitted by Mary Nida Smith. It is packed with past and present articles, so why don't you read the hold magazine. Check out their website at

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dusty Richards, author of 79 books and Linda Apple, who has been published in six of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, tells how to be prepared to pitch Terry Burns a Christian book agent. Click on for November 16-17 Ozarks Writers League's special two day workshops. Your book manuscript should be 250 words per page,about 300 pages, know the genre and where it will fit on the bookstore shelf. Listen carefully to what the agent says. If he turns you down he may ask you what other book could you write, or can you write a series? If you believe you can say, "yes." Click on Dusty's and Linda's websites are and

The pitch: Introduce yourself while you hand him your bussiness card. Give the title of your book and howmany words and pages, then present him with four to five exciting sentences-a blurb of your book. Be sure and write it down to take with you. In the meanwhile practice your pitch. Remember agents and editors are nice people and you are the salesperson pitching a product you believe in.

An agent loves writers that are outgoing and dedicated. Mention the writers groups and other groups you are a member of.

For updates in book markets go to The Purple Crayon and Publishers Weekly at For a list of children magazines go to and publishers at Children's Book Council

Most of my extra time has been spent in my woodland garden raking fall-colored leaves. Yes, I did say, "leaves." The month of August we received no rain and leaves are falling. When I looked up at all the leaves still attached, I couldn't believe where the two huge piles come from that we raked. Also, I have been dead heading and watering trying to keep the roots alive until help arrives in the form of rain. But, I prefer to water than have a flood. It is so dry the dust is coughing.

Check out my latest blog Submarine Stories and Military Writers at

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writers are interesting people. Ozarks Writers League members gathered August 18th at the College of the Ozarks in the Plaster Auditorium. We learned how to and how not to pitch an agent, by Linda Apple and Dusty Richards. Georgie McIrvin and Jay Grelen shared their experiences on how to conduct successful interviews, and how one story can produce several future articles. They both were very knowledgeable. Of course, Ms. McIrvin inspired me with her go-getting attitude where you have nothing to lose. and how to be professional at all times. Most of all age means nothing when it comes to writing. A first rate interesting story is the most important part of writing. Ms. McIrvin started writing in 1999 when she was in her sixties.

We had lunch at the spectacular Keeter Center dinning room with four interesting people. Elaine E. Deyo, writes screenplays, children's books and is a fine artist. Check out her website Polly McCrillis aka Isabel Mere writes suspense and historical romance novels. She recently moved to Missouri from Florida and to learn more click on Connie Hjetmeng-Johnson is writing a children's picture book about the war. Her son is stationed in Afghanistan and writes articles for the Army Times. The forth interesting writer Ruth Hunter is a web/print designer and illustrator at

This is proof a blog can bring some people fame. The Chocolate & Zucchini blog managed by Clotide Dusoulier, a 27 year old women who clains she receives 4.5 million visitor a month and because of it has signed a book deal with Broadway Books.

Watch for my new blog. I hope to have it up soon. SUBMARINE STORIES AND MILITARY WRITERS. I will still continue this blog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bookstores, trip, country roads and fun: It has been a long time since we traveled-just the two of us. We use to be a threesome. Baby Girl, our miniature Dachshund decided to go on a long adventure without us. I know she is standing guard waiting for us to catch up. She was always on guard protecting us where she could keep us all to herself. This was our first solo trip in eleven years but, she was with us in spirit. We traveled the back roads to enjoy the countryside -just a touch of yesterday when people traveled slower and stopped at Mom and Pop cafes or an ice cream parlor. A time to gather ideas for stories and information for a future stop over, maybe at a B&B. I would like to call it "tripping" where we traveled light and quick. We packed a lot in it where we explored tiny specialty shops squeezed into small rooms in large old houses built in the 20s. Adventured through Barnes & Noble, and Anderson's independent bookshop and ate out often. I ordered from the children's menu when I could for the kid in me and at some places I enjoy the free toy. On the way home we did enjoy the Cracker Barrel and gift shop.

I checked the World War II books in the children and adult sections at both bookstores and it was sparse. It was interesting talking to the sales persons. I did purchase three books; Pearl Harbor by Stephen Krensky, published by Aladdin Paperbacks ready-to-Read, level 3, with lots of information in 42 pages with watercolor illustrations by Larry Day, Extraordinary Short Story Writing by Steven Otfinoski and published by Franklin Watts and Dachshunds for Dummies.(I love it.) The Dachsie book will be used to fact check Baby Girl's series providing insight into a 19 year-old Dachshund's life of happiness, injuries, recoveries and slowing down.

The most fun was being with family. It was a hot trip. It was spring green at Naperville and surrounding towns.

The remainder of this year will be packed with writing for children, adult and military magazines and working on future books. Writing and submitting press releases, creating curriculum for teaching creative writing for children and the newsletter editor for the Arkansas Submarine Veterans of World War II. Plus, we are expecting company we haven't seen for a few years, traveling, attending writers workshops and a week for my book release and signings.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the day.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Children's Writer, Institute of Children's Literature, Stay Focused: Over the years I have recommend to people interested in writing for children to use information provided by the Institute of Children's Literature and to subscribe to their newsletter Children's Write. Yesterday, I spent more time searching for information I wanted when I suddenly remembered to search There it was and more. Why did I ever stop making it my main stop. In the future I'll spend more time writing, less time surfing. So, I quickly subscribed to the newsletter.

When I am in my studio office I want to write, not surf, unless I am working on a non-fiction piece. Also, because I try to use the minutes I have to write, I don't always have time to learn more on how to use my computer. When I was on Children's Lit website I noticed Underdown's website mentioned. Gosh. I thought, I haven't been there for awhile. He keeps you updated with editors on the move. Low and behold there it was How to Make Self-Editing Easy by Margot Finke using your MS Word Tools. This will be on top of my list of things to do.

Stop and think, put things in order. Stay focused. Don't be like Chicken Little who thought the sky was falling in, running here and there before he discovered the facts. Many times when things go wrong it is our own doing. We don't stay focused before we go running here and there looking for an easier way to write and be published. There are many small steps to take before you can walk with the big guys.

Friday, July 27, 2007

SALUTE! The June and July issues of the military newsletters can be found at Both issues have eighteen pages filled with stories and photos including my two articles Mountain Home Plaza 2000 (June issue) and Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (July issue).

My computer was acting up where I was pushed into learning more on how to operate it. It is fine now, but I am still trying to figure out how to use my new digital camera and Wednesday, I purchased a new vacuum cleaner which is still in the box. I feel if I open the box before I am prepared to learn one more thing, I'll need to order more memory for myself. No relaxing, everyday new updates and products constantly changing. The last vacuum I had to return for it only went one direction across the carpet. Crazy!

My book Submarine Stories of World War II is listed in Salute as a Fall release.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Computer problems, classes, conferences and magazine: It feels as if it has been weeks since I posted anything. My computer was frightening me with its memory lost. I did have a couple of clues to what was ailing it. My son who lives in Idaho said I need to clean it up. So, that book Microsoft Widows (c)XP that has been in a drawer for three years was pulled out and read. I gained some knowledge how my computer works for me if I take care of it. Then, to make sure I asked BBS Computer Sales and Systems and Services Inc., to double check and answer questions and explain everything. He made it appear so easy. I am thankful for their help. His wife Geri accompanied him. We had a nice visit about their son who was in my creative writing class at the library.

This is my third year to teach. I shared what I had learned on a small scale. I tried to meet the poets, the short story writers and the illustrators needs. During the four classes I tried to motivate each one to write in a daily journal, where to find stories and how to put them down on paper. I gave them hand-outs on how to write, books to read and websites for young writers. I learned from them and enjoyed each one. The classes were sponsored by the Ozarks Regional Arts Council, CowGill Insurance Agency and American National Insurance -Jana Cowgill Agency.

Conferences, a Retreat and a Workshop:,

The June issue of the Writer magazine has an informative article The ABCs of writing for KIDS, written by Candie Moonshower. Candie is the author of The Legend of Zoey, published by Yearling (Random House) check out her website at She was at a week-end retreat I attended a couple of years ago and on her website there will be photos.

My daughter had a surprise birthday party in Illinois and I wasn't able to attend. I sent her a family heirloom which I know she will cherish and its 77 year-old history. I wish I could have seen her face when she opened the present.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Books, gardening and submarine veterans (subvets): I have been trying to do some reading in-between all the million projects I have on my "do list." I found the middle grade novel Doris Free by Cara Bookins, a very interesting read and it gives insight to how family memories can be written into novels, short stories or essays. Again, it made me aware of the different "point of views." I believe novice writers and seasoned writers who write more than one genres find the "point of views" to be complex. With all of this in mind I decided to compile a list of books written in the different "point of views." I find Doris Free to be written in the omniscient point of view.

A View From The Hills by Thomas Garrett, is filled with short essays on everyday life as he sees it. They were first published in The Baxter Bulletin starting in 1983 and continue today. I enjoyed what I have read for it is written from the first person point of view from someone from the Ozarks. He paints a picture how the world from the hills looking out provides things to ponder.

Gardening with the mosquitoes serenading me with the buzzing tune, "Oh, Happy Days," meant food has arrived. It left me wondering what was the bats doing that I seen flying last night.
Friday, I made the mistake of walking through the garden area of Wal-Mart where several different kinds of plants were half-price. I purchased four Hostas, a large fern, and two Bleeding Hearts. A couple plants I broke apart into several more. So, Saturday I spent four fun hours playing in the dirt.

I will update everyone on the next blog about my book, but it is not my book, it is part of all the veterans in the book and all our subvet friends who have given support along the way and still are lending a hand. I have so much to be thankful for.

As long as God grants me another tomorrow I will fill these days in a useful manner.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

REJECTIONS: One baby down and five to go of my babies I had shipped out into the big outside world of make-believe. We all know writers live in the real world. Below I will share a line from my most recent (today) rejection letter.

While you have a unique premise, unfortunately the storyline and overall tone weren't really working for me. Restructured sentence to cut to the heart of the problem: You do have a unique premise; unfortunately the storyline and overall tone didn't work for me.

A. Unique: exclusive, exceptional and distinctive
B. Premise: idea, foundation and/or principle
(A&B the character builder to soften the blow)

C. Unfortunately: regrettably, sadly and sorry-to-say
D. Storyline: plot, action, and story
(C&D melodrama - set-up the background music with the violins playing soft sad notes)

Now, we end with the biggie, the blow to the heart of a hard working writer.
E. OVERALL: the word is screaming at me drowning out the melodically weeping sounds of the violin orchestra.

I MUST rebuild my confidence, put on a breastplate to protect my heart, dry the tears of my babies (characters) and push them once again and maybe, again and again out into the big world's peering eyes.

At birth a writer's veins are filled with energy to march forward with the burden of forming stories that must be told- this is the blood of a storyteller and a recorder of history.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Independence Day is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1778, declaring our independence from Great Britain. May God keep our military men and women safe to return to our free country. Click on photo to enlarge.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Submarine Memories & non-fiction books: I need more blogs or a website for my non-fiction books I am working on for adults and children. I have gathered stories and photos over the years from past submarine conferences and events that I would like to share. Manchester, A Summer Village, I have half finished will included lots of beautiful photos and my columns from The Port Orchard Independent newspaper.

Non-fiction for children I have been researching and writing are about city parks, trees, marshes, fungi/mushrooms, cattails, crocodiles, and chariots. I must finish all before I start anything else. That is easy to say, but difficult to do, for ideas pop into my head constantly. I never have writer's block.

I believe story ideas are everywhere and they are not hiding. We as writers may say they are, because it gives us an excuse not to write. Write a little, play a little and do not forget your "honey do list" or should I say, "burn it."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Submitting and rewriting is not an easy chore. When submitting I find writing the cover/query letter difficult. Finding quality time is not found to finish stories requiring a lot of polishing. I repeat to myself over and over that I am thankful for the time I am provided.

Exclusive submissions submitted to children's book publishers:
  • Cheezie Denise
  • No one Wanted Me/Dachshund: The Come Back Dachie Series
  • Squeaky's Adventure
  • Polly Wants a Cracker
  • Two Naughty puppies and That Cat
  • Trail of Fears

I have two more ready to go:

  • Bodoom and Scooter and the Wild Tail
  • The Sea Captain Fights the Sea Serpent

Children's magazine: Jimmy's Bubblegum Tooth (a short story)

Three poems to a literary magazine:

  • Faded Dreams
  • Autumn's Fears
  • Winter Trees

Four short articles to an e-zine and a regional magazine.

July 3rd, I start my creative writing classes for kids ages 8-12 at the Baxter County Library. This is my third year. I enjoy teaching the kids for they are enthusiastic and willing to teach me as I teach them. This a sharing time to create excitement about writing short stories and poems that will extend a lifetime.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Korean Memorial -MVPA Convention: On 25 June, 2007, at 10 a.m. the Korean Veterans Memorial Ceremony will take place at Gen. MacArthur Park in Little Rock, Arkansas to honor the men who fought in the Korean War. To learn more click on

June 28-30 the Military Vehicle Preservation Association will hold their 32nd annual convention in Little Rock. To learn more click on , the Arkansas MV Travelers website, a chapter of the National Association.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Book signings and writing: I have been running in circles with many different tasks on the menu. My mind races with ideas and half-finished stories as my feet carry me to and fro. I worked in the garden and submitted a couple more children's book manuscripts, a story to a children's magazine, worked on several articles and prepared three poems to get in the mail. Last Friday, I attended Steve's signing at Hastings. We had a long discussion about promoting.

I spent most of last Saturday at the library during the children's program from 10-11 a.m. with Kathy Z. Price, author from New York City. I watched and carefully listened to her read from her book The Bourbon Street Musicians, and how she weaved her guitar playing into her story telling. It was fascinating watching how she kept the young children involved. It reinforces what they teach in poetry reading: Move while using gestures and emphasize words which create action and emotion - pulling the listeners in. Kathy knows how to do it successfully for she is a poet. She has published a book of poetry and is the editor for A Gathering of the Tribes, a literary magazine. She answered question about the ups and downs of writing and the publishing world and now has a novel making the rounds.

When I came home for lunch in-between programs, I had an email from the editor at Salute, a military e-zine requesting a couple of small articles and photos. Boy, was I busy. I submitted them Monday morning. I hope they work out as she is holding another article of mine.

Upcoming workshops and conferences: If you are interested in writing for the children's market click on (I find it quicker by placing SCBWI Missouri in the search engine.), Ozarks Writers League, White County Creative Writers, and the Ozarks Creative Writers Inc

An interesting article on "Point of Views" can be found at it applies to all genres. Click on Darcy Pattison Revision Notes. Darcy is the author of several children's books and she teaches creative writing. It is filled with solving many problems you have encounted with picture books and teen novels. Read Hotdog on TV by Karen T. Taha, a Dial Easy-To-Read with three chapters (40pages), A BEAR FOR MIGUEL by Elaine Marie Alphin, a level 3 for grades 3-4 with five chapters and 60 pages, and THE BARN by AVI with 28 chapters and 105 pages. List of (publishers) members click on CBC - The Children's Book Council, Inc., and a list of the latest books.

Harriet Hamilton, an Arkansas author, I have never met has friends who want you to remember - she may have left us when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but, her book RIBBONS OF THE SUN will keep her alive. Harriet just received several awards for her book. Her critique group and friends, Karen Taha and Jan VanSchuyver shared this good news with the AR/SCBWI members.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Authors, conferences, actors and magazines: Check out local writer Laurel T. Sheridan's article Quigley's Castle Rocks in the May/June issue of The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine and you'll find it on their website

Baxter County Library at Mountain Home, Arkansas will have Children's author Kathy Z. Price who wrote The Boubon Street Musicians presenting folklore in oral tradition for children and how to make a Krawdad Kazooz craft on June 16, from 10:30 am to noon. In the afternoon she will have a workshop from 2:00-3:30 pm for writers. She will share her experiences about networking tools to meet editors, literary agents, what to know before signing a contract and many other aspects of the writing business. For more information or call 870-425-3598, est.29 to register.

June 15, from 4-7 p.m. at Hastings at Mountain Home, AR, Steve Whisnant, member of the Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas will be signing his novel and sharing his experiences and The Baxter Bulletin's Editorial Page Editor, Thomas "Sonny" Garrett will be signing his book"A View From the Hills" June 30, 1-5 p.m. The books will be filled with his favorite editorial columns he has written over the years.

Western Writers of America ( will be holding their annual convention in Springfield, Missouri for five full exciting days June 12-16, with over 200 writers discussing Western fiction, non-fiction, poetry, movies and audio books. My friend Dusty Richards will receive two Spur Awards, plus friends Max McCoy and Ellen Gray Massey and many other authors will be doing book-signings at the PFI Western Store, 2816 South Ingram Mill Road (1-800-222-4734).

Actors and extras are needed in a film about Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri. Filming will take place August 9-12. Auditions will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 21. For more information check Wide Awake Films of Kansas City at

Conferences be sure and enter their contests: Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators of Missouri presents A Writing and Illustrators Workshop, July 14 in Springfield, Missouri for more information check on Sue Bradford Edwards, Regional Director at

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Gardening is magical with daily discoveries. We had a slow drizzling rain with heavy morning dew and the air was filled with mist. This brings magical fungi/mushrooms appearing on the woodland floor. I discovered among the bed of wild violets what I believe is a finger fungi; tall, thin and white. Scattered in different areas were yellow, peach, and purple colored mushrooms and ones that appeared as little brown cups or birds nest and a large white one with black gills. One of the yellow ones I picked to see how it would dry. The fungi/mushrooms,/toadstools quickly disappear for the squirrels and chipmunks enjoy the favor of several such as the peach and dark tan.

I took lots of photos where later I will research for names. To an amateur many look alike. They will be added to the book I am writing.

In the midst the birds were squawking at me as they flew low trying to remove me from what they believe are their woods. The Three-toed box turtle and the South Painted turtle were quickly heading out searching for insects or a mate. The Mississippi Mud turtle is still living under the dirt near my deck steps.

A few days ago, I put in my herb garden. I had dill and oregano coming up and my faithful chives. The weeds, stonecrop and cypress vine was taking over. The dill and parsley are for the swallowtail butterflies. One year we had ten caterpillars all different sizes eating on the dill. The sweet basil, sage and rosemary I use fresh, dried and added to vinegar. Some herbs I use to keep insects away and to freshen up the closets.

I created a few garden ornaments from clay pots and odds and ends. My deck is full, so I need to find the right place in my garden rooms to display each one.

Nature's song sings to me to explore and enjoy for God has blessed the earth.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Military Heroes, my husband, brothers and brother-in-laws

Monday, May 21, 2007

Books, meetings, workshops and poison ivy - Ivy traveled with me last week to meet with Pat Avery, one of the partners of Red Engine Press. We had a delightful chat over lunch at The Keeter Center on the campus of The College of the Ozarks. I was assured my book, Submarine Stories of World War II, would be published in time for the November 5-7, Military Writers Society of America Conference in Branson, Missouri. I wish it could have been sooner for our Arkansas Submarine Veterans gathering in June at Russellville and for the September National Conference in Billings, Montana. I am reading Pat's book Letters from Korea, an interesting read for children to learn how awful that war was and how families worried about their love ones in a war where over 33,000 men died.

I sent out my fourth children's book manuscript. I submitted to three editors I had met at conferences. I had an article published in the Ozarks Writers League's newsletter. It is a paying market. We went up on Friday to enjoy dinner with a few members and later met at one member's motel room to catch-up on all the news. Dusty Richards, a friend who has encouraged many writers has won two Spur Awards. He will receive his awards at the National Western Writers of America's conference June 12-16 at Springfield, MO. We are excited for him and his wife Pat. Their website What a list of speakers.
Plus, I got to visit with what I feel is a new friend, author Cara Brookins. She is the author of the children's novel, Doris Free, a story of a young girl living on a Wisconsin farm during the 30's. Nancy Robinson Masters was the morning speaker. I purchased her book, All my Downs have been Ups, filled with essays,articles and short stories. One of the stories she sold 18 times. You'll have to go to their websites to learn more.

We had an uplifting business meeting filled with exciting future plans for The Ozarks Writers League(OWL): a two day conference in November, selling our anthology, Echoes of the Ozarks 1 & 2 at Silver Dollar City's bookstore and plans are being made for the 2008 speakers. I was sorry to heard The Ozarks Mountaineer bookstore is closing. I love reading about the Ozarks. We still have the magazine.

Next time we go to a meeting at Hollister or Branson we'll be staying at the lodge on the campus for they have beautiful rooms for as little as $65.00. Check out my friend Velda Brotherton's new book, Fly with the Morning Dove. I can't wait to read it. I have a lot of reading
and writing to do. Plus, I picked up some work to get out before June. The garden needs the poison ivy killed, trimming, weeding and I need to direct all my vines.

Enjoy each day God grants you to see the sun and feel the rain. Fill each day with positive thoughts.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ozarks Writers League will meet May 19, at the Plaster Auditorium at the College of the Ozarks. It has been a long time since we had speakers who are children's book authors. Nancy Robinson Masters' ( and Cara Brookins ( will join us for an exciting full day of motivation to kick-start our creative juices. Registration starts at 8:30 am. For more information go to OWL meetings/workshops are quarterly: February, May. August and November. When you join you will attend four workshops with exciting freelance writers and book authors each year, receive the quarterly newsletter The OWL's HOOT and find new friends - all for 20 dollars.

Reading, writing and submitting makes for a happy creative person.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The library breakfast, poetry readings on Saturday, April 28, was a full day of enjoyment. Deborah Knox, Board Chair of the Baxter County Public Library Foundation invited all the volunteers to breakfast at Big Creek & Country Club. Many wonderful hard working people are involved in creating our library to be the most exciting educational and entertaining place to visit. I am proud to be a member of The Friends of the Library and to be able to teach the children creative writing during the summer programs. This will be my third year. At the breakfast the architectural version of the new library was unveiled. The library on the hill was a beautiful sight.

The library that afternoon presented The Poetry Thing, the fourth annual oral poetry contest from 1-5 pm. I enjoyed listening to all the poetry read by poets from 8 to 90 years of age. I visited with friends from The Baxter County Poets Association and Steve Johnson, who emceed the program for four years. Again it is all the volunteers that have made this a success story. The room was packed. It is difficult to be a judge. I know I was one of the judges for the first yearly contest.

I seen Edna Merritt from the Miniature Museum of Merritt. I wrote an article on Edna and the museum for Grit magazine a few years ago.

REMINDER: Books in Bloom, Sunday, May 6, at Eureka Springs, Arkansas. For more information go to The Ozarks Writers League is Saturday, May 19 at the College of the Ozarks, go to to check out the speakers Nancy Robinson Masters and Cara Brookins.

Please pick up the May/June issue of The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine. A friend Laurel T. Sheridan wrote Quigley's Castle Rocks! She writes for children's magazines.

I am thankful to God for allowing me another day to dream and write.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

AR/SCBWI conference was April 13-14. The two editors, Alexandra Cooper, associate editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Liz Waniewski, an editor for Dial Books for Young readers presented information on what types of books they were looking for, how they should be written, and what to write in a query/cover letter. I will be submitting to each of the editors.

Lin Oliver shared important information on how to write children's books and how she and Stephen Mooser started the SCBWI organization. It took lots of hard work to make it a success story today of 22,000 members from all over the world.

We also had Arkansas author and former Regional Advisor Darcy Pattison presenting programs.
Thanks to our Regional Advisor Carla Killough McClafferty and members for a special conference. It was great seeing old friends and making new ones.

Special thanks to Sandy Fox, former regional advisor who has written for children's magazines, Institute of Children's Literature's books and newsletters and the adult market not only provided me with a ride to the conference, but helped deliver 85 attendees bags in a rain storm.

Several critique groups will be starting up in different Arkansas locations. I have lots of projects I am working on;mostly non-fiction. Plus, I want to read more books. I purchased four at the conference and I am reading my uncle's book, "The Niday House" filled with historical facts of the times 1748-1815. The words I keep repeating to myself is, no matter what: NEVER GIVE UP.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fourteen pounds of pure unconditional love.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Helpful blogs to build writers confidence: Bev Walton-Porter and Darcy Pattison
share how writers feel about rejections and naysayers and how to get beyond them to continue reaching our goals. I can't say enough how I appreciate the honesty of these two published authors.

Kathy Z. Price author of The Bourbon Street Musicians is from New York. She will be presenting a workshop at Baxter County Library at Mountain Home, June 16. Watch for updates on my blog and the library's website. Also, I will be teaching for the third year creative writing to children through their summer program.

Books in Bloom is Sunday, May 6 and their website is where you will find a list of many well-known authors who will be speaking and selling their books. It will be an exciting day.

Confidence you will find in the words of professional writers who share the rough road of becoming a writer and the fairy-tale like joys of being a published author. Remember, doubts will always be here, they don't go away. We must put them aside while we put on our coats of confidence, hold up our heads and march forward to meet our goals.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Lilies grown in my Mulberry Garden

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Children's book authors' websites and blogs: Katy S. Duffield MYSTERIOUS ENCOUNTERS: POLTERGEISTS will be released May 07 from Kidhaven Press and her next book is about the life of Kutaragi, who invented the PlayStation video game console. I found it interesting that Katy's next book is about the inventor Kutaragi as my nephew Nathan Hendrickson is a game designer. He is co-writing a movie and the game for it will follow.

Carla Killough McClafferty SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING: Marie Curie and Radium and the book THE HEAD BONE'S CONNECTED TO THE NECK BONE. Carla is Arkansas's SCBWI Regional Advisor who keeps us up-to-date with the latest happenings with our state's members.

Darcy Pattison was our first regional advisor and is the author of several books. Her latest is NINETEEN GIRLS AND ME and you will find Darcy at AR/SCBWI Conference April 13-14 and the Arkansas Literary Festival April 20-22. Don't miss Darcy's blog DARCY PATTERISON'S REVISION NOTES is filled with helpful information and encouragement.

Promoting other writers encourages me to continue and reminds me the results of hard work and I mean hard work does pay off in any profession.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The publishing world is difficult to understand. I love to write - rejections will not force me to play dead. Furthermore, I may return to painting and designing artistic items. I love to create even if it is another room in my woodland Mulberry Garden. This is my time to unwind while several manuscripts are out.

It is up to me to enjoy each day.. Miracles do occur. All I have to do is look around me. Last year my husband received a pacemaker, and I am blessed to have him with me.

I have been redesigning and doing spring cleaning in my garden filled with dogwoods, redbuds and spring bulbs in bloom. I feel at peace in my garden surrounded with angels perched on columns. As I labor I block out the negatives, focus on the positives knowing God has blessed me with another day.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Read Breakthrough in the April issue of The Writer magazine under "A writer's success story" by Pat McGrath Avery. Pat has written several military books for adults and children, plus she is an editor for Salute, a military newsletter(It is more like an e-zine).

Author Joyce Faulkner was named the secretary of the Military Writers Society of America. The MWSA, a non-profit organization of 800 members was founded by veteran Bill McDonald. The MWSA will hold their yearly conference this year at Branson, Missouri in November. Watch for updates.

Bev Walton-Porter's book Sun Signs for Writers can be found through the Writers Digest Book Club or your local bookstores.

You can learn more about the above authors and MWSA at

Mountain Home Hastings Entertainment Center kindly donated bags needed for our AR/SCBWI Conference in April. The bags will be stuffed with publishers' catalogs, guidelines, bookmarks and other items of interest to hand out to each attendee. For more information go to

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Important websites & conferences: I titled my blog "Life's Beautiful Path" to remind me when I write to try to be optimistic and be thankful God allowed me another day and not to waste it no matter what I do. Busy mornings will be marching with an hour less. I needed that precious hour when my eyes are open. By mid-afternoon they appear to be at half-mast.

There are two websites I will be reading for encouragement and how to be more creative in my writing for the children's market. Jane Yolen at is one of my favorite authors and I will be re-reading Guide to Writing for Children 1989 and Take Joy 2006.
Cynthia Leitich Smith at website and blog is packed with helpful information and editor interviews. I will stick with them for the next couple of months as I write cover letters and submit manuscripts. Please don't forget to check with updates at CBC The Children's Book Council at for the latest books, news and a list of CBC members (publishers) where the list is updated twice a month.

Don't forget April 13-14, is the Arkansas Chapter of the Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Speakers: Alexandra Cooper an associate editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Lin Oliver, SCBWI Executive Director, CEO of Lin Oliver Productions and co-author of a series of books co-authored with Henry Winkler (Penguin Putnam), Darcy Patterson (Arkansas) author of picture books and novels and Liz Waniewski, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers.

Books in Bloom is Sunday May 6, from noon to 6 pm in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with guest speakers are Velda Brotherton, Pat Carr, Laura Parker Castoro and Katie Estill. You will find the complete list of speakers and schedule at

Go to under newsletters check on March issue of Yarnspinners & Wordweavers page 3 and read my poem - Anxieties of Kite Flying. Thank you

Remember to look up beyond the dark clouds for the sun waits to renew your day.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hope is hanging on to what you love to do and not allowing it to make you a prisoner. My strength to keep going is provided by my favorite fan at

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Nell is a silly farm hen.
She wants to be a tiny wren,
to sing and dance in the glen.
Nell has only feathers ten.

(c) by Mary Nida Smith

Dream of improving yourself
before dreaming to be someone you are not.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Newspapers, Blogs and Links: My mind was racing this morning of all I wanted to put on my blog. It is late afternoon where I feel my mind has gone on vacation. I wish I could rush to my studio office when my mind is filled with excitement for the world of writing and blogs. Sonny Garrett, Senior Writer for The Baxter Bulletin did a book review of HELLFIRE CANYON by Max McCoy. You can read it on their website. Check out Sonny's blog, also Larry Brody and Linda Masters.

Max said he would preview a copy of my book, SUBMARINES STORIES OF WORLD WAR II for Red Engine Press. Check out his website In his -Links- you will find the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum - Home of USS Nautilus. My husband was abroad on TAD as Sonarman July 28, 1958 when they went to the North Pole. On the museum's links you will find the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc that leads to the link mentioned below my book in my last post.

One of my biggest supporters placed my book information on her blog She is the one that keeps me going. She has an older brother and a younger sister. All three have special bloodlines to my heart; they keep it filled with love.

Check out the Yarmspinner & Wordweavers and the military e-zine Salute at This year the Military Writers Society of America will hold their conference in Branson, Missouri.

Today is slowly closing down. I am ready to enjoy a beautiful sunset, take a deep breathe, and be thankful for all this day has supplied.

Friday, February 09, 2007

BOOK RELEASE: I never know what to start my blog with. Today, I believe I will start with a great piece of news. Our book, SUBMARINE STORIES OF WORLD WAR II for ages ten and up will be released by June from Red Engine Press. Red Engine Press is a small independent publisher. It was started by Pat McGrath Avery under the name River Road Press. It merged with Red Engine Press. I will start a blog or create a website to place future information about the book, the submarine veterans who shared their stories, submarine sites, books, all my friends associated with this special organization, HS-7 Helicopter history, and the U-505. I have recieved request for the book. For more information go to

Monday, February 05, 2007

Snow, writing and photos - My Arkansas native husband left his snow shovel in Idaho when we returned to the SOUTH. South can mean a lot of different things; south of town, south of the North Pole, facing south, opposite to north, south of the Mason and Dixon's line, south for the winter and south of the border. South doesn't mean warn in the winter. We live twenty miles south of the Missouri border. Family members in the south, I mean in ARkansas, informed me if it snowed it would only last a day or two. But, they forgot to tell me how long their days were - stretching into a day or two. Compared to Idaho and Wisconsin where I have shoveled and shoveled snow, Arkansas had only a dusting. A dusting of snow is better than ice storms, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

Weather that keeps this writer home bound allows more quality time to write and reflect. I couldn't find the right voice in writing my non-fiction picture books. I played around with several voices. I believe I found the right one for my fungi book that will entice children to enter, read, and be entertained.

I love to take photos in my Mulberry Garden (a woodland garden) of angel statues, bird houses and birdbaths. The snow creates a clean appearance hiding the fallen leaves and untidiness of a wild winter garden.

A garden of peace is created by cultivating a quiet praying spirit and the wisdom to live in harmony with nature.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Writers conference & workshop: Ozarks Writers League meets February 17 at the College of the Ozarks. For more information go to and click on calendar to learn more about the speakers. Saturday March 10 a free writers conference at Springdale, Ar. You will find more information on the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) website.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Exciting happenings are beginning to surface as the new year slowly
awakes from the old year's holiday celebrations.

Carla Killough McClafferty AR/SCSWI Regional Adviser's book, Something out of Nothing:Marie Currie and Radium (Farrar,Straus and Giroux 2006)has been selected as a 2007 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
for Young people, a cooperatie project of the national Council for Social Studies (NCSS)and the Children's Book Council (cbc).

Katy Duffield, author of Farmer McPeeper and His Missing Cows (Rising
Moon Children's Books)will have a new book released May 07, Mysterious Encounters:Poltergeists (Kidshaven Press). Katy has been published in
several children's magazines.

Darcy Pattison ( received her Chinese translation of her children's book 19 Girls and Me, including a CD. Darcy's blog has been sharing information on revisions of writing a picture book.

Arkansas Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators(SCBWI) annual Spring Conference is April 13-14. Speakers are Alexandra Cooper Associated editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Liz Waniewski, editor at Dail and Lin Oliver, SCBWI Executive Director,author and producer. The Conference will be held at UCA, Conway.

I have volunteered my service for the second year as "bag lady." Publishers send me requested catalogs that I place in bags to give to each attendee. Audrey B. Baird, Editor of Once Upon a Time magazine sent over 100 back issues. I sent her a thank you note and a short article for possible publication. It was published in the January 07 issue.

The excitement of what this new year will bring inspires us to continue working toward our goals.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Life is not perfect, therefore I am not perfect. If I don't
give up - take the easy way out I must swallow my pride and
continue to chip away. Like the sculptor chipping away
and smoothing the rough edges until she perfects
the best piece of art she can provide for public view.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Writing- is difficult. I love it, but there isn't a day I don't think of giving it up to spent more time gardening. No matter how hard I try, I make way too many mistakes. I will have a special day for every day is precious.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life is a continuous struggle. If I didn't continue to struggle to do what I love to do, I wouldn't be rewarded the small and sometimes large rewards hidden in the struggles of life. I received an e-mail from a friend yesterday who has published two children's stories in Spider magazine. Now for the first time an article for a regional magazine: The Ozarks Mountaineer. To me it was one of my rewards. She was so excited and so was I. When friends share I feel happy - life is good. We both will have our articles in May issues. My garden article, MARIGOLDS: A diversified annual with many facets will be published in Ozarks Magazine. This is my fourth or fifth garden piece not all this magazine. I am known as a wild gardener. Allowing the moss and native plants to grow while wildlife visits for a day or more - to drink,eat,chew,dug and most of all have fun. My stress release is watching them out the window of my studio office. The hardest part of writing is not to write as I speak.

Remember to exchange the negative thoughts to positive thoughts. If you think you are not contributing to the world or any person - try sharing a smile, it takes little time, cost nothing and it will turn your life, a friend or a stranger into wearing an everlasting smile filled with good feeling.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Diverted plans, are they created by a higher calling or is it a cop-out to do something else-something easier? Many of my daily plans change as I head out to my studio office before the rooster crows. I am requested to practice the role of one of my many characters - labeled the housewife or better known as house slave. I do remember signing some kind of contract when I got married to love and honor. I have done so with a soft spot in my heart, but I don't remember or was informed I was signing a commitment to be anyone's house slave.

It could be my fault for some of the roles I place myself because I enjoy doing everything. But, I need a break to get to play my favorite role of a writer. No matter what I do, I still write and rewrite in my thoughts and I talk way too much to myself and our little 18 year old dachshund. Oh, by the way she is writing her life stories. The first story is how she came to live with us just a day before the people she was staying with was to sent her to "that place." She finished that one and it has been with a publisher for about four months.

By the time I sit at the computer I am rearing up like an unbridled horse. Yet, I can take a detour with all my plans to work on my children's manuscripts when my mind deverts me to my adult writing. No, no, not that kind of adult writing. Maybe, it is because I started writing for newspapers and regional magazines. So far it has been easier to be published there. Sometimes I think I write too tight in my children's story books and poems. It is so totally different style of writing.

I have written lots of children's material; poems, short stories, picture books and non-fiction. But, I have not been published in this market except in a couple of SCBWI newsletters. I have recieved words of encouragements and suggestions from editors when they have rejected what I had written. I guess my biggest problem is I am not consistent in submitting.

Keep on, keeping on with the mind open to new beginnings.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Time is flying. I relaxed Sunday and Monday in-between mopping up blowing rain below the garage door and the windows of the summer porch. We had about about 6 inches to add to the 2006 total of 58.15 inches.

Sunday night enjoyed the night with PBS-Live from Lincoln Center with the New york Philharmonic and Audra McDonald for two hours and three hours of Great Performances with Garrison Keiller and his guest Vince Gill, Rhonda Vincent, Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show (A new bluegrass group)and several other guests. It was a break from Dick Clark and all that New York roaring sound effects. New Year's Day watched the Rose Parade on HGTV no commercials and both of my favorite college teams played each other, so when one lost, I still had a winner. In-between everything I read the Daddy Goose Treasury and Monster Goose books - the old nursery rhymes will never be the same. It is a great writing exercise to loosen up the silly bones.

Back to work writing cover letters.