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."