Friday, December 05, 2008

The design is created by Judy Hand- Judy Hand Painting Studio and published on a card by Barrington Studios Limited If you are interested in submitting art work or verse check the information on back of greeting cards and go to their websites for submission guidelines.

Dear readers,
Farewell, the sunshine and the light of days are growing dim, darkness is coming. This is the time to slow down, go on hold – watch and wait. This I will do – for I will not be writing on my blogs and website which I haven’t been able to conquer. If by some miracle, I will return in a few weeks.
Thank you for dropping in. I do wish each and everyone a blessed and prosperous New Year 2009.

“For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.” Ernest Hemingway.

P.S. In the meantime I will leave some suggested websites and information for you to check out when you have time – Once upon a time

JB Cheaney, Louise Jackson ( both write books for teens)and Judy Young at (Children’s Book author and poet), are three authors belonging to SCBWI Springfield, Missouri Writers who meet the first Saturday of each month in the Story Room at The Library Station starting at 9 a.m., for information get in touch with Naomi Shaw

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent a nature writer for children who writes from the beautiful area of Missoula, Montana, Eric Pinder who lives in New Hampshire, Bethany Roberts, Jan Brett author and illustrator, Gail Gibbons a non-fiction writer and illustrator and Nancy I. Sanders who has published a book, Christians Dealing with Depression.

I will be attending Authors' Day book sale and signing with 18 other authors at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, from 2-4 p.m. Sunday December 7th.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings are not only one day a year,
they are every day of the year. Give thanks to God
for our daily freedoms and joys of family and friendships.
Photo (c) by Mary Nida Smith

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wildlife in my world: Redheaded woodpeckers, spiders, deer and humming birds.

The days are rushing toward next month as I continue to make changes in my lifestyle. Day’s pop-up as I look over my list of things to do. Each day the plans take small detours. Some are a welcome surprise to move me in new directions in 2009 and others detain my daily chores from being productive.

The Redheaded woodpeckers have returned from up North. They and a squirrel delighted me with special photo opportunities. They seem to know I had left my camera in the car. Yesterday, I didn’t leave it, so a couple of big does posed for me.

People are complaining we have too many deer in this area. Just a couple of weeks ago before deer hunting season, people were asking, “Where are all the deer?”
This is what I have observe - Deer go into hiding after rutting season, come out in May and June after the fawns are born to fatten up and teach the fawns how to survive. Hunting season will drive the deer in around homes hoping for protection from being shot. After hunting season they disappear, except if someone is feeding them corn.

Yesterday, the little chippy that lives under the deck was standing looking in the patio window. I had brought in the potted plants where it had planted sunflower seeds. They are growing in every pot. I think it was trying to figure why it couldn't reach them.

The woodpeckers and other birds have been staying away. The suet wasn't touched so we come to the conclusion the last patch of suet was bad. We’ll have to try another store and hope it has good suet. Leaving food out for the hummers into November will help a youngster that wasn’t ready to fly south to grow and follow in a couple of days, or provide food for one traveling through.

In the garage I killed a large spider with two white dots on its back. I looked at a lot of photos on different websites, but I have been unable to identify it. There must be a million species. Spiders frighten me, yet I love to watch, photograph and identify them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Velda Brotherton

If you love to write and you have been doing it for a few years, but you feel discouraged and maybe, thinking of giving up because you feel like you are spinning your wheels and going no where, read Velda Brotherton's blog Now, don't give up reading her website and blogs for you will find new energy to continue your writing. What a lady! I have known Velda for over 12 years. I keep wondering where does she get all that strength and encouragement.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Children's Writers check out Children's Book Council at, JacketFlap, The Children's Book Council and the many Independent Booksellers websites. Check these sites and the different SCBWI chapters sites to keep updated and inspired.

Lynn Carney is honored to announce her short story, THE SHORES OF OBLIVION (VOICES, High Hill Press May '08) is nominated for a Pushcart Prize, the most honored literary award in America.

Over 260 judges are considering nominations, including Joyce Carol Oates, one of my favorites - whew! It's an honor to any writer just to be nominated, and I want to thank Delois McGrew and Lou Turner, editors of VOICES, for compiling such a beautiful anthology and for giving me this opportunity. I am so very proud of VOICES - from the cover to cover it's a lovely, lovely anthology. So many great stories from remarkable authors and editors.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Hallween -

Photo taken in the Woodland Garden 06
Copyrighted (c) by Mary Nida Smith

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nov 1st SCBWI meeting in the Story Room at the Library Station, Springfield, Missouri. The meeting starts at 9am , followed with a critique session. The program "Let's Get Organized" from idea to the finished manuscript will be presented by Beverly Crandell. For more information email Naomi Shaw at

Mary-Lane Kamberg has a new book released by Crickhollow Books The title is The I love to Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers. Mary is a very busy writer of 14 books. She lives in Olathe, Kansas and is a member of the Missouri Writers Guild and the Kansas City Writers Group.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blog and website protection. I have been checking out different sources that will help protect my writings and photographs, along with the regular copyright (c). I am learning about Creative Commons and Copyscape.

Also, for something new and interesting to help me in upcoming years, I am checking out different digital voice recorders that will easily convert the recorded material into text.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A large flock of vultures have roosted in our nearby woods. As I look up, all I can see is large black silhouettes. They arrive in Fall and leave in Spring. They leave during the day to search for food around 9 am and return a few at a time between 4&5 pm, until the tree tops are darken with large black specks. They are interesting to watch in flight.

This view over my Woodland Garden gate was taken last fall when color was breathe taking. This year the leaves decided to fall quickly so we could use them to mulch the plants with a warm blanket for an early winter. Color is about a month early. Spring came a month early this year, so that throws the regular balance of the seasons off. Enjoy the moments we are blessed with in small things that add to our joys of living.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn leaves are falling like snowflakes in a blizzard snow storm. The trees will carry patches of color, but the hillsides will not be picturesque. My Woodland Garden is quickly depicting a neglected garden. I will evaluate my garden and studio work preparing the changes that will bring color to the garden and new writing projects when the sign of rebirth arrives in 2009.

I am searching for new websites and blogs to inspire me as I read to be informed and encouraged. I love this one of Lynn Carney It is beautifully designed and informative.

I have been busy promoting my book, Submarine Stories of World War II, and being involved with submarine organizations and keeping my military blog updated.

Saturday, October 11, the Submarine Veterans Inc, Twin Lakes Base, had a breakfast to raise money. I was involved as a wife of a member and associate member.

The Twin Lakes Base meeting is October 28th at the Elks.
Oct 31-Nov 2 I will be attending the Arkansas Submarine Veterans WWII, Diamond Chapter gathering at Eureka Springs, AR.
The month of November the Twin Lakes Base will have a display of submarine memorabilia at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, AR.
November 26, 1:30 pm, Commander Wayne Kirk Smith, and Mary Nida Smith will be the speakers at the meeting of the Friends of the Library.
Sunday, December 7, 2:00-4:00 pm, I will be one of the authors at the library’s Books Sale & Signing Event.
Naperville, Illinois is next on the agenda to see family and check out Anderson's Bookstore.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy 3rd birthday Coco Chanel. Go to to see Coco wearing her birthday hat and eating her fancy cake.

Do you like to read Ozarks history check out Larry Wood's new blog

Monday, October 13, 2008

Picture book manuscripts (15), 4 poems and one published book
I am the author of SUBMARINE STORIES OF WORLD WAR II ages ten and up-published November 2007.
NO ONE WANTED ME –DACHSHUND: THE COMEBACK DACHIE (with an editor) Outline for a series of six based on facts.
POLLY WANTS A CRACKER – not just any old cracker. What kind of cracker does Polly want? Does she get her cracker? (With an editor)
COUNTING FLOWERS – all four poems are with a children’s magazine editor.
BODOOM AND SCOOTER AND THE WILD TAIL - a story of two squirrel brothers, one with an uncontrollable tail.
TRAIL OF FEARS – a series of four about nature and the environment experience by a deer family - Each book will be based on a blizzard, suburban sprawl, a flash flood and the Yellowstone fire.
THE BATTLE OF THE SEA SERPENT AND HIS PIRATE FRIEND - The battle takes place at sea where they interact with what lives in the sea and above the sea.
JIMMY’S BUBBLEGUM TOOTH – Jimmy tries to keep his older sister from pulling his tooth. The questions are, will she get the chance to pull his tooth, what schemes will she pull, will the tooth fairy ever get that tooth or will it be lost?
TWO NAUGHTY PUPPIES AND THAT CAT – Two puppy brothers were jealous of the cat that lived in the house with them and their masters. They wanted that cat out of their sight. Who wins this fight of removal or do they become friends?
WHAT WOULD CHRISTMAS BE WITHOUT A TREE - is about a two children who’s mother is divorce, they move far away to a small town where they know no one and are very poor.
TOY BEAR CIRCUS BEAR – a story of a little girl and her best friend who wanted to become a circus bear, but he would have to leave her.
RAT ATTACK – a silly, funny rhyming story about an unwelcome visitor
BUCK THE COME BACK HORSE – a story of a large farm family and their beloved horse.
BARN WITCHES AND ODD FRIENDS – At Halloween odd things happen in an old neighborhood barn. Who are the creatures in the barn and how do the neighborhood kids act toward them.
MARSH CATTAILS: The Seasons of the Cattails. A non-fiction nature/environment
SQUEAKY’S ADVENTURE – a mouse wanders away from home where it meets up with a very hungry crocodile.
CHEEZIE DENISE – Denise is a little girl who loves cheese. One day she had too much cheese and then something strange happened.

I finished two craft books with photographs and drawings for adults.
I photograph, do research on different subjects such as insects, fungi, animals and plants.
I love to explore my Woodland Garden and experience outdoor adventures.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Missouri Writers Guild newsletter published my article that is also on their website, BLOGS ARE VERY IMPORTANT

The Mountaineer Echo published my article, BULL SHOALS (BS) ART CLUB IS GROWING, Thursday, October 2, 2008.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blog Warning, photography, writers beware, warning on print cartridge.
Warning to all bloggers who put up too many photos, blog columns and another items on their blogs. It will turn a busy person away. Your blog may be filled with good information, but readers will not return if they feel they are wasting, writing time that is limited.

Don’t use flashers
Don’t add too many ads.
Don’t add advertisements that are dishonest
Don’t add large photos
Don’t add too many links

Be careful- do not bog down your blog.

Arkansas Outdoor Photographers Club (AOPC)
BatchPhoto – Powerful Watermarker Software
Free Stock Photos – U.S. Government Images Public Domain
What is copyright and how is it protected on the Internet? By Reinhardt Buys
Twin Lakes Computer Users Group

Preditors & Editors
Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) Literary Agents

WalMart notice on Lexmark color print cartridge: If this product is found for sale at a location other than WalMart please call …. This creates a problem when a person runs out of this cartridge and you need it now and you can’t find it at WalMart or anywhere else. No, you can’t get it refilled at Walgreens for it is considered defective. So much for trying to cut cost in a world where prices continue to rise; do other stores use these restriction on products and why?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Listening to our four-legged friends and teaching children to be kind. Many adults were not taught as children to be kind to animals - loving an animal when it appears you have no friends and you are very lonely, a pet will bring comfort.

A small independent publishing company is trying to teach children through their books.

On this blog Missy and Coco are sharing their relationship and important information. September 23, is a special day for the owner of this blog, it is her birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA ANN (Missy).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Favorite play areas as a kid: Country life, growing up on a farm while dreaming of far away places, dreaming of living the city life. I did get my chance to live the city life, well, it was small towns close to big cities. But, wherever I have lived the county girl still shows through. Being from a large farm family I was raised to share, be happy, budget, grow your own food, restore, and waste not was instilled in me and it never went away. I still love to explore creeks, play in the woods where I discover woodland friends and mysterious surprises. Barns were places that were one big play ground – fun and scary. Today, many weathered old barns stand alone uncared for, yet, are inviting as a building of mystery where bats, barn owls and other creatures have taken up residency.

This week I have been playing in the woods – my Woodland Garden. This year's storms with heavy rain and wind have changed my woods. Open spaces have entered creating a feeling I am being watched by neighbors. The wildlife, don’t visit as often – no place to hide. Oh, yes I still have lots of trees and rocks, but it will be something we’ll all have to grow into. I spent a couple of days, trimming, raking and burning. And I have more to do on my next visit.

Persimmons are falling in all shades of green, yellow, red and purple. The deer and raccoons love them. The mulberries, wild cherries, elderberries, service berries have come and went. There is still a few sassafras and dogwood berries, plus mushrooms to feed on.

The Woodland Garden has supplied many, many photo taking opportunities. Every time, I enter the garden my camera and I do a walk through looking for treasures that are framed and saved.

Check out GREEN PRINTS “The Weeder’s Digest” and WILDBIRD magazine at their website or blog.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Illustrators for children’s picture books: I have always been fascinated by different art forms. I have loved to draw since I was a young kid enjoying cartoons and funny books. Illustrations I have created by drawings, painting and using photographs. I have finished a 32 children’s picture book dummy, created posters, and art paintings of different styles. I still would love to do it. But, time is running out, so I am captivated with usages of digital photography and digital programs to create illustrations.

I am busy writing cover letters to go with my children’s book manuscripts, articles, and poems to be sent to publishers. Yes, I am still working on my military books for kids and a million (So, it seems) other writings. I am always busy, except when I am burned-out.

For people who are interested in creating digital illustrations check out, Photoshop, Adobe PhotoshopTM Corel Painter IX, Shutterfly (http// or Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006

Check out http://childrenillustrators,com/, click on style & medium gallery where you will discover all styles of art forms -3D-computer, 3D-conventional, digital, photo realistic, and retro and many more. Also, check out an advertise agency for illustrators, Digital Art by Tim Alt (, and Richard Deverell, digital illustrator of children’s picture books (
Check out digital children’s books “Maggie Tales MT”, a look into the future of children's books.

I love this music – Computer Animated Music at They have sold 500,000 copies. First of all, I love Wes Bensching's wonderfully crafted music.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bull Shoals Historical Society Meeting Monday, September 15th at Bull Shoals Presbyterian Church in Bull Shoals, AR at 3:00 P.m. Guest speaker will be Mary Nida Smith sharing stories from her book, SUBMARINE STORIES OF WORLD WAR II.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dachshund, Baby Girl as a young girl in the Mulberry tree. The trunk behind her and the one she is standing on were the trunks which had to be removed after the last storm. Oh, she love to go where tall people said her short legs shouldn't go. She has a children's picture book manuscript at a publishing company, and she is writing more stories.

Website: update

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Writers don't just write. There is a world within our world that encircles our property. What happen this morning was one of the huge five trunks' of the Mulberry tree came crashing down in the Woodland Garden. The red-belled sapsuckers and downy woodpeckers had homes in it, carved out after eating the embedded insects. The huge Mulberry tree was my center piece, it was filled with many memories where our little dachshund "Baby Girl" climbed one arched limb to look into chipmunk holes. Where Frank and Jessie, two little squirrels were born and stayed after their mother was killed by a neighbor. Where large fungi appeared as beautiful white flowers scattered along the trunk reaching upward. We have been trimming and cutting trying to be able to keep this treasured tree, but it is fading fast. One topped-off trunk has been producing shoots allowing a few mulberries for the birds to eat.

As the large dying trunk fell, it damaged two and brought down four of my beautiful dogwoods, plus destroyed some salvaged garbage items that I want to create pieces for the garden. It has been a sad year for trees, almost as bad as a draught.

I won't share the other stuff, it appears to be nothing compared to other people's problems elsewhere.

Books releases, blogs, writers conferences and meetings: The creative writing world continues to release exciting news updates. No one has an excuse not to learn something new and uplifting.
Carla McClafferty, Arkansas SCBWI Regional Adviser's latest book, IN DEFIANCE OF HITLER: THE SECRET MISSION OF VARIAN FRY was released September 2, 2008 after 2 1/2 years of nonstop work. It is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (htttp:// Congratulations Carla!

Arkansas SCBWI Fall Retreat September 19-21, 2008 for more information click on or

SCBWI Missouri Fall Conference November 8, at St. Charles, Mo at and Springfield monthly meetings at the Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway from 9-11 am.

Velda Brotherton is a WILLA finalist for 2008. The award is to the best book about women in the West, by Women Writing the West to honor Willa Cather.

BULL SHOALS BEACON, ONLINE NEWS MAGAZINE (, a daily update of local news for Marion and Baxter County. News and photos you will not find in your newspapers. There are several blog columnists with interesting information about gardening, weather, wildlife and many other subjects. Editor and Publisher Onedia Sylvest, is in need of contributors/writers and photographers.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

TAKE JOY, A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft, by Jane Yolen. At the end of each week as I ponder over which direction to take my writing career, I must not linger long or doubt may enter.

This morning, I looked down at a book I discovered under piles of notes. It is a little book I had finished reading a couple of weeks ago, titled, "TWO OLD WOMEN." An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival, by Velma Wallis.

Betrayed by the people they thought would never forsake them. But, they did, leaving the two to a lonely life without hope. The two women decided they would not fade away, they were too proud. Each one thought of the skills they had not used for many years, and knew if they wanted to survive they must depend on their own skills.

Each one of us must do what speaks to us, not what other people think we must do, for they can kill the creative spirit.

An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? - Michel de Saint-Pierre

Friday, August 29, 2008

Positive thinking - Life's beautiful Path was chosen as the name of my blog to remind me to always think positive. I am sorry, today, I don't feel positive. But its' okay, for tomorrow I'll feel positive. Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Treasures lost and The Garden Studio Office mess. Gosh, I hate it, that I was unable to attend the Baxter County Library Booksale. I love to go to booksales. For me they are an exciting unknown adventure for discovering important treasures, that propel me into different worlds, or books that allow me to peep into the lives of people who live interesting lives.

On one of my past blogs I show pictures of my Garden Studio and explain why I named it. I am continuously weeding out the old and growing new material. Today, My studio office needs weeding out for I have been so very busy working on projects. To be able to work on the projects I have seeded, I have to clear a new planning area. The studio was named and information about it was created for Darcy Pattison who asked writers to submit to her. She need this information to be able to put a booklet together to show students who ask, where do writers work.

Ozarks Creative Writers

Today, I updated my other two blogs: and

Thursday, August 21, 2008

White County Creative Writers 13th Annual Writers' Conference, Saturday, August 30, 2008 , 8 am to 4 pm. Their list of speakers: Linda Apple, Dr. Fred Pfister, Editor of the Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, Velda Brotherton and Dr. Terry Engel.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, AR is having a three day book sale Thursday 21, 8:30 -6:30, Friday 22 from 8:30-5:30 and Saturday 23 from 8:30-2 pm.

Yesterday, I had a rejection of three poems from a church magazine and today I was published in a military magazine. My credit will be place on my submarine stories blog tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Writers workshop article and Poets Association. Click on to read an article and enjoy photos from the Bel Arco Writers' Workshop, Saturday 16th.

Baxter County Poets Association meets the fourth Friday each month at 1 p.m., at the Baxter County Library 624 W. Seventh St., Mountain Home. For more information call Debra Hall at 1-870-499-4397.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Writers Write, blogs and useful information. Everytime, I meet a new author or agent my highway to information as a writer leads to new crossroads filled with advancements to new adventures. Writers Write at is filled with information such as Markets for Children's Writers. It is stated as "Your one-stop resource for information about books, writing and publishing."

To learn more about creating a blog or blogs check out 150 Useful, Educational, and Inspirational Blogs for Aspiring Writers OEDb at

I attended the Ozarks Writers League Saturday, at the College of the Ozarks near Branson where I enjoyed the two speakers Jordan Dane ( a novelist with Avon/HarperCollins, and Holly McClure author of adult and teen novels, plus an agent with Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency.

I thought this Missouri non-fiction author's blog and website was of great interest. Check out Linda Fisher at and her blog

We at a great time Saturday at Bel Arco Writer's Workshop with author Terry McDermid. She fed us plumb-full of unbelievable helpful information. Pictures and more about the workshop will be up soon on where future speakers will be listed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The simple life is so comforting. What a relaxing day with cool breezes circulating through the summer porch's open windows. It has been weeks since I had a free day to kick back to enjoy the sounds of a Blue jay sending warning cries that "Whiskers," the neighbor's cat was slowly approaching our property. The wildlife finds the Woodland Garden and our yard a safe haven to eat and live. They have become our watch dog since Baby Girl, our miniature dachshund went on her long journey April 13, 2006.

I was going to work in the Woodland Garden, but it was too wet after several inches of rain. So, I watched the sun play hide and seek causing shadows to dance below the large oaks and hickory trees. The birds came in for suet as a squirrel sharpened its teeth on a near-by plastic bird bath. Oh. for the simple life of taking off my shoes, kicking-back and saying thanks you God for allowing me to live and be so blessed.

This evening the pinkest reds of the sun reflected on the lake as it blended with a few clouds. The sky was filled with activity as the swallows, dragon flies and bats gathered mosquitoes for their dinner. Tomorrow, back to preparing for a full week ahead. Remember to attend the Bel Arco Writers Workshop Friday. Starting with the week of the 18th it is back to writing and submitting.

Smile and peace be with each of you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Beacon - The Bull Shoals Beacon, an on line news magazine. Please check out this blog magazine, you will not regret it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Blogs & gardening, what do they have to do with with writing? Also, writers want to know why I named this blog, "Life's Beautiful Path." First of all when I started, I knew little about blogs. I thought the name/title would remind me to write positive on my blog after receiving a rejection or it had been a difficult writing week. To read my article, Blogs are Very Important, click on

Gardening, what does it have to do with writing? It has to do with writing articles about gardening. I have written and published several articles on the subject, and I love to write poems about gardening. I have kept a garden journal for years on the ups and downs of creating a woodland garden for wildlife and me. I love creating items from the garden and for the garden.

I finally purchased my first bonsai plant. There wasn't a name on the tag, but I believe it is a juniper. The shape reminds me of the famous cypress tree I seen years ago along Pebble Beach's 17-mile drive in California. Last night, I took one of my special bonsai tools, the scissors and trimmed it to appear as if the Pacific Ocean winds had shaped it.

Take your writing wings, fly to new adventures and recall old adventures - Write - write - write! Keep a smile on your face.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

August 15, Romance author and freelance writer Terry/Tessa McDermid will be the speaker at the Bel Arco Writers Workshop - click on

To read about my book go to

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mabel DodgeMabel Dodge went out west to New Mexico in 1918 where she met Tiwa (Tewa) Indian Antonio Lujan (Luhan). She was immediately attracted to this giant of a man who cut quite an attractive figure in Taos society. He was over six feet tall and wore his dark hair in two braids. He wrapped his impressive figure in a traditional purple blanket.There was a catch in their liason. Antonio was married to an Indian woman named Candelaria. Mabel didn't let that slow her down one bit, and obviously he didn't either. She hired him to be her chauffeur. He showed her around and eventually sent her to an occultist who told her that Taos was the beating heart of the world. The occultist also convinced her that she had been chosen to be the bridge between Indians and Anglos, and that Taos was to be the center of the rebirth of the West.One can imagine how this must have appealed to this wealthy and extremely intelligent woman. She immediately bought the land Antonio had shown her. The two of them worked together and were known to be intimate for the next several years. What happened to Candelaria is not recorded anywhere that I could find.However, Tony and Mabel were married for 40 years. Together they built a rambling homestead that was 450 feet long. The Inn was built about half way between Taos and Ranchos de Taos. At that time there were no houses or buildings of any kind from the edge of Taos, which was about two miles south of the Plaza. The festive dinner parties in the place she called Sagebrush Inn attracted many well-known people of the day. The pretty gray eyed woman with thick chestnut hair, took up the style of the Pueblo Indians, wearing her hair in heavy bangs. Some guests were Thornton Wilder, Thomas Wolfe, Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, Edward Hopper and Mary Austin. Her prize catch at these parties was D. H. Lawrence, who she hoped would write the great American novel and cast her as the heroine. She was disappointed.Mabel died of coronary thrombosis at the age of 83 in August of 1962. Tony passed away shortly after. She is buried in the Kit Carson Cemetery in Taos and he is interred in the graveyard at the Taos Pueblo. The full story of her life has never been written. Perhaps someday a writer will take on the task.Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection This must be posted with the photograph of Mabel.
Excerpt from book, Fly With The Mourning Dove
Dance At The Sagebrush Inn

That winter was bitterly cold and snow fell day and night until the only way to get around was by sled.
The phone rang one evening and Edna answered.
“Hi, it’s Imogene Patchen. How are you?”
“We’re fine, and you?”
“The same. Listen, we’ve been invited to attend the grand opening of the Sage Brush Inn in Taos. You know the one Tony Lujan and Mabel Dodge built . . . or are still building?”
“Oh, my. That’s exciting. Are you going?”
“Of course, and we want you to go with us.”
Edna caught her breath, unable to answer for a moment.
“You there? Did you hear me?”
“Yes . . . yes. Wow, that would be super. Are you sure it’s all right?”
“Oh, yes, they said we should bring guests. It’s a huge affair, and you’ll want to dress up.”
Mabel Dodge and Antonio Lujan were the best party givers in New Mexico. Writers and artists, famous people like Thornton Wilder, Thomas Wolfe, Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, Edward Hopper and Mary Austin often dropped by. Once Mabel Dodge had a dinner party for the writer, D.H. Lawrence. It was said she hoped he would write a book about her. So far that hadn’t happened.
Antonio Lujan had been Mabel’s chauffeur, but eventually she had married him, even though he already had an Indian wife by the name of Candelaria. He himself was a Tewa Indian, and Mabel immediately embraced his culture.
Edna hung up the phone and danced around the room. Once she settled down enough to explain, Pop said:
“I guess we’ll have to figure out a way to get you to such a splendid affair. Wouldn’t want you to miss it.”
Outside, the snow had piled up so deep that the Chevrolet couldn’t plow through it.
“What will you wear?” Mom asked.
“The emerald green transparent velvet dress I bought in Albuquerque last summer. It cost me ten dollars. You remember, I showed it to you and you asked where I ever thought I’d wear that. Certainly not to a Saturday night dance in Tres Piedras.”
Mom nodded, a frown creasing her forehead. “Well, I don’t know how you’re going to get there.”
Edna knew Mother would like to be going to the party as well, and felt bad that she wasn’t.
Pop, who’d gone back to reading Zane Grey, glanced up, marking his place with a finger.
“I gave Tom Lowance a milk cow for part of his wages. He’s been wanting to get it home. We can load Edna and that cow onto the sled. The mules can pull it and take them into Tres Piedras. Tom will get his cow and she can go to her party.”
Excitement building, Edna pirouetted. “I’ll call Florida and make sure I can stay there overnight so I can catch the train to the Patchen’s in Taos Junction the next morning. Oh, Pop, thank you. Thank you.”
She threw her arms around her surprised father, then circled around the room once again. Everyone would be dancing. What a wonderful time she would have. And no telling who she might get to meet. Mabel Dodge and Tony Lujan. Wow.
Once safely delivered to Tres Piedras on the sled, along with Tom Luance’s cow, Edna spent the night with Florida and rode the train over to Taos Junction. From there she traveled with the Patchens by car to Taos.
The Sage Brush Inn had been built about halfway between Taos and Ranchos de Taos. There was a huge crowd at the grand opening. People from Santa Fe to Questa came. They bought their supper there and then there was a dance with live music. Oh, it was a great affair, and she could hardly believe she was there.
Dance after dance, she went from one man’s arms into another’s, whirling under the twinkling lights, scarcely pausing between sets.
Tony and Mabel Lujan took the crowd on a tour of all the finished rooms of the rambling abode. Edna was fascinated with Mabel, who as a white woman, had adopted the Pueblo way of dressing. She wore her thick chestnut hair as they did, with bangs covering her forehead to frame wide gray eyes wide. The couple appeared devoted, though it was an odd pairing. Mabel had all the money, but Tony appeared well-to-do and comfortable around her friends.
Edna returned eagerly to the dance floor after the tour, dancing on into the night.
Leaving a partner, she glanced over the crowd and saw the Patchens, motioning to her. They were ready to leave. She took a step and came face to face with Antonio Lujan himself. Over six feet tall. Adorned in colorful Pueblo attire, he wore his ebony hair in two plaits. She felt so tiny standing before him. Shivers ran down her back and she just kept smiling up at him like an idiot. Such a handsome man.
Say something. Anything.
She tried, but she couldn’t.
Then he did. “Might I have this dance?”
He held out a hand, large and broad and brown.
She swallowed, dragged in a deep breath. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, unable to recognize her own shaky voice. “But we were just leaving. Thank you. I . . . thank . . .”
With that she whirled away from him and shoved her way through the crowded dancers.
She approached John and Imogene Patchen and knew her face was flushed red. “Oh, dear. Oh, my goodness.”
“What in the world is wrong?” John asked. “Are you all right? Did someone—?”
“No, nothing like that. I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe he—”
“Child, stop babbling. What is it?”
“Tony Lujan . . . he asked me for a dance.”
“He did. That’s wonderful,” Imogene said. “ . . . isn’t it?”
“Well, yes, of course, but I . . . I can’t believe I told him no.”
“You didn’t. What were you thinking?”
“I guess I wasn’t. He’s so . . . large . . . and imposing . . . and he’s married to Mable Dodge.”
“Yes, so?”
John, who had stood by in gruff silence, said, “Well, come on, let’s go. And Edna, I’m going to make you walk the canon. Tony owes me fifteen dollars and he thought you were one of the Patchens. Now I’ll never get it.”

by Velda Brotherton

Taos County, New Mexico 1920
On this 640 acres of arid desert homestead six-year-old Edna grows
to love life on this remote homestead, but her world will never be the
same after her father's illness separates the family. To read the first
chapter go to
Buy Bookshttp://www.tinyurl.com5j66c2/
Velda Brotherton, Author

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Writing, blogging and computer problems can be at times frightening. Sometimes, I feel like I am on an island, and I am the only one on it. I do hope, the day I host the blog book tour it will not be overwhelming and cancel out my postings. I am researching and writing information on blogging. Stay cool, relax and enjoy what is important.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

V Brotherton is doing a Blog Book Tour. To learn more and to check on her schedule for a week click on Her blog title "On Being a Writer" is where you will find information on how to win books, and a silver and turquoise ring from Mexico. I am on her schedule for Monday the 28th where she will be visiting me.

Don't forget to check on for information on the romance novel workshop August 15, 2008.

Happy birthday Margeret - you are a special daughter.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I love to sit on the summer porch between 5&6 a.m. I listen for the sounds that invade the silents of the morning. A hawk slowly approaching our woods causes the birds to become silent, while the little squirrel living in a tree near-by, cries out warnings. I think of the ways of the Indians how they listened, searched for signs, and read time and other warnings in the sky. I always get blown away, when I read how things were before all this modern stuff kept us buried inside a grave of our own making. Enjoy the silents - let peace provide encouragement.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Writers workshop, The Mountaineer Echo & Blog Book Tours: Romancing the Heart - for writers who want to learn the ins' and outs' of writing a romance novel from novelist Terry McDermid on August 15 at Bel Arco Resort on beautiful Bull Shoals Lake, Bull Shoals, Arkansas - or Thanks to Dale & Jane Estes for publishing my press release July 3 & 10.

For a list of writers/blogs involved with the upcoming "Blog Book Tour" go to I have been trying to learn how to cut and paste. The instruction are easy to read and understand, but I have a little enemy putting the finishing touch on it... so in the end I hope I win.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blog Book Tour begins Monday, July 21. I am excited and nervous about this undertaking for my friend, Velda Brotherton, author and freelance writer. She is adventuring into a new opportunity for authors to promote their books. The word has not spread quickly, for this is the first time I have heard of this type of arm chair book tour, known as "Blog Tours" or "Blog Books Tours." You can see it in action next week when I host Velda and her books on my blog for a day. We are both new at this, but she has been studying it for awhile, so she promise to guide me along.

I have known Velda for several years and she is a quiet, sweet person, deeply involved in creating non-fiction and fiction books. She is a reporter, freelance writer and, a historical and fictional short story writer. She is a hard working writer and her published writings speak of this. You can read more of Velda at,,, and Her latest books are With the Morning Dove 3/07 and Images in Scarlet 08.

30 tips for a Blog Book Tour at

My favorite blog about dogs is, because it is not written for personal gain - it is written from a heart filled with love.

Michael Warriner, Field Ecologist from Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission presented a children's program at the Baxter County Library. I enjoyed it as much as the kids. Yes, kids are buggy about bugs. They know how they tick and are eager to learn more. I love to watch bugs, spiders and all God's critters. One afternoon a big black, hard shelled bug happened to visit me without my knowledge. It was using the soft cushion of my office chair to relax on. You can guess what happen next... it took a bite out of me. We went to battle and I won, then I added it to my collection of insects, feathers, nests, and dried fungi.

Writing is a lonely world where I live, so I guess this is another reason why I love to blog.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My blogs are helping me go forward as long as I don't talk too much. I am meeting new writers and saying hello to writers I have known for years. I continue to learn how important a blog is for promoting my work and other connections. I had the honor of having Sarah Lange, Associate Editor of The Writer magazine comment on my blog.

I continue to find Once Upon a Time magazine, helpful for writers who write for the children's markets.

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell author and freelance writer will be on KATV, Saturday Day Break Show July 12. A Little Rock TV station, talking about Going Green in the Ozarks/her blog.

Check out Max McCoy blog Blackstory at There is a picture of him and his beautiful daughter. Blogs are important and not a waste of time.

I claimed yesterday and today as my time to work in my studio office - to shut out what is expected of a wife. I have gotten a lot done. I have two children's picture book manuscripts ready to go in the mail, almost finished two articles and submitted some poems.

Thanks to the Twin Lakes Writers for putting the Bel Arco Writers Workshop information in their newsletter and on President Nancy Thatcher-Cerny's web page.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bel Arco Resort/ Bel Arco Writers Workshops-Author Terry/Tessa McDermid, Friday, August 15, 2008/Registration 9-10 am. Time:10:00am-2:30pm. Fee $20:00. Location:Off Arkansas's Scenic Highway 178 For full details go to Come as you are. Have fun and enjoy.
Kansas SCBWI It has been a long time since I checked their website. I discover under members sites several exciting illustrators & graphic designers. I think it is important to check out different state's SCBWI websites and their members. I will be doing it more often. I learn what the members are publishing and where, plus when they are having events near where I live. I know Missouri SCBWI/Springfield chapter is having a workshop on July 19th. I am still hoping to go.

Check out the websites of different organizations in each state for groups you are interested in, such as Mystery Writers, Romance Writers & etc.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Illustrating and writing - I have published illustrations where I was paid and I have published for free. I haven't done any drawings or paintings for awhile, for I listen to people who kept telling I couldn't, shouldn't and it would take years of studying to be good at it, and to be published in the book markets. For you see, I am self-taught in all I do. Don't ever listen to the nay-sayers. Listen only to the ones who encourage you, and help direct you to continue what you love to do. The other day I was telling a person that I had three blogs and trying to learn how to create a website to promote my work. This person said," When do you do your housework and cook?" So many people think a women can only do work such as cleaning and cooking. If I am allowed, I try not to waste the time God provides for me each day. Today, I wasted time on my website and learned nothing.

Illustrating Children's Books by Martin Salisbury, published by Barron's and Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz. The last book I used to create a storyboard (mapping a picture book),different drawings and a finished picture book with 22 drawings within 32 pages.

I have completed another illustrated dummy filled with doll furniture patterns and small drawings of each piece of furniture. I have ready an adult how-to-book manuscript with many photographs for illustrations.

I have painted pictures for people of their houses, paintings to match bedroom decor, created greeting cards, and a submarine painting. I love to create. I do the best I know how.

Today, I hope to have ready two children's picture book manuscripts to go out in the mail Monday. I try to keep items for the children and adult markets sent out as often as time permits.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Illustrators, blogs, website and me. I have been sharing a lot of information the past 6 months, which I will continue to on a smaller scale. But, I started this blog to get information out of who I am and my writings. I must return to sharing this - projecting my voice.

My website is slowing me down for I can't get a handle on it. I have to study this more, so in the meanwhile be patience with me.

Checking on illustrators and their books. Fairies by Brian Froud and Alan Lee illustrator, How to Draw and Paint Fairies by Linda Ravenscraft and Cathy Johnson of Missouri, Graphics/Fine Arts P.O. Box 321, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024 email: - website and check

I haven't entered into one of my very favorite illustrator's website for awhile. She is also a famous children's author. Tasha Tudor a creative person who lives and works on creating earthly things/county items. The site had news I didn't want to hear, Tasha Tudor went on a long journal to share her talents with the angels on June 18,2008. I thank God for sending Ms. Tudor to share her many talents with all of us who loved her and her works.

Friday, June 27, 2008

June 12 blog comments, be sure to read information on the Writer Magazine's upcoming issue with an interview with Jerry Spinell, author of teen novel Stargirl, (, Sue Bradford Editor, editor of SCBWI Missouri newsletter, and Onedia Hayes Sylvest who launched The Bull Shoals Beacon at

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Illustrators/authors for children's books.
The Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, Arkansas offers so many opportunities to learn and future directions for your dreams. June 21, Theresa Burns-Maler illustrator and author for children's pictures books shared helpful information into the world of publishing, creating dummy books and stories. She shared information how to use your art in different markets as a freelance illustrator for newspapers, magazines, clothing and toy companies, and murals. She is a very created artist and writer. Check our Theresa's website
Other sites to check out for local authors and illustrators - Phyllis Harris a member of Missouri SCBWI and
Next time I blog I'll share my experiences with drawing and using photography in illustrating.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Books, magazines, family and travels - the first week of June we traveled to Naperville, IL to visit family. What a whirlwind of excitement, creating memories to inspire me and lift me up on lonely days. I enjoyed the excitement of seeing what the area had to offer and being able to return to my quiet community. It was a ten hour drive with beautiful weather going and returning.

I was given a gift card to use at Anderson's Bookshop, boy did I have fun. I purchased books and Magazines. I love that Independent bookstore. If I was to stay one more day, I would have been able to attend Chicago tribune Printers Row book fair. I'll shoot for next year, just a dream away.

June issue of the Writer magazine ( is their annual children's writing issue. What an issue - you can find it at Baxter County Library at Mountain Home or a local bookstore.
SCBWI MO Scribbles newsletter will keep you up-to-date with all the events in Arkansas and Missouri and so much more. Subscriptions: $10/year (SCBWI members): $12/year (Non-members) Editor Sue Bradford Edwards, is doing a great job. National SCBWI: Missouri: and Arkansas:

May 28, Revision notes a daily newsletter by author Darcy Pattison was titled "Fear of Regret." I found it interesting for I believe we all allow fear to govern our daily lives in what we do or do not accomplish. She mentioned the book, "Art of Fear" by David Bayles & Ted Orland. On my bulletin board is a card my sister Pasty gave me many years ago. It reads, "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are more omnipotent. I believe we all should a couple of small books on positive thinking within eye view.

June 10, "Revision Notes" Darcy informs us about Cellphone novels - interesting.

Websites and blogs to check:, (The Writer's Life magazine is a paying market.),,, and (They do critique your manuscript for a dollar a page.).

Sara Webb Quest, I wish you would get at free blog at Try it, you will enjoy it. Sara is a hard working freelance writer and author, plus a member of SCBWI.

I am sorry to hear Ridley Pearson and his family are moving to China. I wish them well. When Ridley's first book was released he had his first speaking engagement with Magic Valley Writers ( A chapter of the Idaho Writers League) Twin Falls, Idaho. I was the president at the time and we continued to support each other until I moved to Arkansas and we lost touch.

June 21, Children's book author/illustrator, Theresa burns-Maler will be at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home.
July 19, SCBWI Missouri Chapter is having a writers workshop at Springfield, Mo
August 15, Bel Arco Writers Workshop

Friday, May 30, 2008

Missouri Writers Guild check out their website and then sign up to become a member. They are a great bunch of professional writers. I love it.

Check on Cara Brookins a hard working mother, wife and writer. She loves to write for teens.

Rita, I am so sorry I over looked your comment, but when I discovered it, I became very excited. Boy, sometimes we wonder if anyone reads our blog or website, but you proved it all takes time to get the word out. Thanks a million. Your book sounds very interesting. I love history.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Patricia Fry, Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell, Literacy Lab, Carla McClafferty(AR-SCBWI Regional Adviser and author), author Darcy Pattison, and workshops and conferences. Soooo much happening more and more opportunities for people who want to learn the craft of creative writing and teaching. When I moved to this area of Arkansas, January 1998, there was nothing - thank God for the Baxter County Library, its books and programs. I love the library and all the people involved that are creating a wonderful future for all of us book lovers and the creative arts.

Read Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell's blog at Read her interview with author Patricia Fry, and how you can have a chance at winning a book and be able to ask the author a question. I wanted to win the book, "Marley & Me by John Grogan - another great interview. I didn't win, but I purchased the book at a library booksale. I love the booksales. yes, I know my house is full of books. I just have to start getting up at four o"clock to read. Oh, back to winning Ms. Fry's book, " The Right Way to Write, Publish and sell you Book. I was the winner and she answered my question. Not a short answer, but a very long and helpful answer. I am so excited; I can't wait to run my eyes through it.

Carl McClafferty... sorry I was interrupted by my husband informing me there is a snake in my biggest Redbud tree. So, I grabbed my camera and slipped into my gardening shoes and away I ran. The Black snake was stretched out on a small lower branch. It came from the Woodland Garden. I was able to get some pictures, then it moved down the tree back to the garden where I took more shots - no not with a gun, with the camera. The Jays was yelling warnings as they watch from branches above until it quickly disappeared before our eyes. The Jays left while I continued to search for it. I found it wrapped around a clump of Mondo grass.

Cara is involved in teaching June 9-14 at Editors at the Teachers as Writers Workshop, with Literacy Lab. Click on

Sign up at for Darcy's newsletter Revision Notes filled with encouragement and helpful information. Fear of Regrets was a very mean full piece about the book with that title and her thoughts of never giving up.

Ozarks Romance Authors are having an event on June 14, 2008.

Thersa Burns-Maler author & illustrator of children's books will be at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, AR on June 21. For more information go to and I hope to see you there.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bel Arco Resort Writers Workshops, Friday, August 15, 2008 with author, freelance writer and teacher Terry/Tessa McDermid. For more information:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Novel Writers Workshop and children's writers. Do I have some exciting news for beginners and advanced writers on how to write a romance novel. Novelist and freelance writer Terry McDermid, will be our first speaker August 15, 2008 at Bel Arco Resort Writers Workshops. There will be more information on future blogs and on my website.

It has been an up and down week. Thanks to writers friends who made it a week of encouragement. Check out Missouri Writes For Kids,
Christine Taylor-Butler, and Juvenile Writers of Kansas City they are having a conference September 20, 2008 with agents as their speakers.

More important websites to check out, Harcourt Publishers, The Historical Novel Society, and The Shades Writer

Chicago Tribune Printers Row Book Fair June 7-8.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weather, gardening, websites and interesting authors. This year's weather keeps me wondering what twist in life will the storms hold. The writing life is very much like the weather it comes and goes where I never know what each day will bring me. Some days I take shelter in the Woodland Garden from the storms that blow into my writing convincing me to give up. Spending a few hours under the canape of trees as the birds serenade me smoothing my doubts. When I return to the studio I am refreshed and ready to set my world on firer for writing is where I receive rewards for stepping out.

Blogs to check on K.C.'s Write for you at today she interviews John Grogan author of Marley and Me. Mr. Grogan provides inside to writing a memoir and finding an agent. What I come away with when writing personal memoirs hidden deep within us, our writing flows easier and touches the hearts of many readers. Also check out this blog it is a journal of a young lady,her little girl and their journey for all animals to be love. My little nineteen year old dachshund named Baby Girl went on her long journey a years ago April 13. She is missed. I took lots of pictures and have written two stories for children from her point of view.

This is a busy week so I hope the weather is kind to all of us. My friends who write children's books and for magazines meet Friday morning. Thursday I meet a writing friend for lunch. Saturday and Sunday are picnics to attend with my husband.

Maybe, in the next blog I can share part of an exciting adventure I will be involved in. Don't forget Arkansas Writers' Conference is June 6-7 in Little Rock. Arkansas SCBWI is getting their own personal website created by talent Phyllis Hermann and I believe it is her sister Melanie Johnson who has provided the illustrations. She is doing a great job.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Books in Bloom Festival is the brain child of the Carroll and Madison Library Foundation. What a beautiful sunny day with no wind touching the mountain top where the ghost are known to visit the gardens at the Crescent hotel. This day white tents filled the grounds, inside were beaming authors waiting to share, sell books and enjoy visiting with their fans.

The hotel Conservatory was festooned in white, lots of windows over looking the garden with a parade of white chairs filled with extremely dedicated listeners. Five acclaimed authors shared their insight why they became writers, how personal bits and pieces of their lives are interwoven into their books. The two I had time to listen to was Carolyn Hart and J.A. Jance who made us laugh and sing a little song as they pulled us into their magical kingdom of hard work and commitment.

The twelve authors who didn't speak in the Conservatory spoke in the Readers Tent. I missed the ten authors stationed with their books in the Sows Ear Tent. The Sows Ear is a new bookstore located on the square in Berryville. I tried to take note of everything happening so much going on and so little time. I waved a quick "hi" to Radine Trees Nehring a member of the Ozarks Writers league and I sat a few, a very few minutes with Carla Kilough McClafferty, Arkansas's SCBWI Regional Advisor. Oh, I had several questions I want to ask about her book, "Something Out of Nothing".

It was great seeing and visiting with friend Veda Boyd Jones. We have known each other for about thirteen years and she gets younger looking every time I see her. Boy, has she been busy with some new chapter books for kids and other books for a total of forty-two and 300 articles. She is a member of SCBWI, Missouri Writers Guild and for many years an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature. Veda and I learned about the the ghosts who haunt the hotel from the guide who takes visitors to the dark corners of Crescent Hotel overlooking Eureka Springs. I couldn't visit too long after all the authors were there to sell books and visit with fans.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gardening, recycling, authors and writers writing - Cleaning up my garden most of the time causes storms to reorganize, fungi to photograph and weeds to weed through for wildflower gems. My Woodland Garden (Producing a name for my garden was difficult, this one and The Lot kept being repeated.) is my outdoor cathedral where I find peace and restore my disconnected brain waves. I discovered the birds have been overfed. This is not winter. It is spring where we start cutting back so they will search for and get rid of bad insects, such as ticks. These pinhead size seed ticks appeared on my body like small freckles. They can't be seen, but I know they are there when the first mouth full of my flesh connects between their teeth. Don't tell me they don't have teeth for I have the wounds to prove it.

At The Friends of the Library's white sale Wednesday I bid and got the containers and smooth rocks to start my Bonsai tree. It is a mixed dark/light blue oblong glass container. This is something I have always wanted to try besides creating a Circus tree. The art of Bonsai, doesn't that sound creative and intriguing. I believe I'll start with a Chalk Maple tree. The second item I purchased is a foot tall, stunning African giraffe with ears of smooth leather to add to my animal kingdom.

One of my brain waves signals every time a product with a container enters our place that I can redesign it into a useful item and I am off into another world. I tell that part of my brain to be still and go away; I'll call it when I have time to play.

Darcy Pattison's book Novel Metamorphosis Uncommon Ways to Revise, has been released, click on http://www.darcypattison,com/ and her picture book, 19 Girls and Me was placed on Read Aloud America List 2008.
Steve Weinberg e-mailed information about his two books. The Centennial History of the Missouri Journalism School is for sale at local bookstores or through the University of Missouri Press. The profits will go directly to the Journalism School. The other book is a biography of Ida Tarbee, the inventor of investigative journalism and published by W.W. Norton. Both books sound like great reads for non-fiction readers and writers. I would love to have him come to our area to share his books and his knowledge in researching.

Check Preditors & Editors, they need the support of freelance writers and authors. This a very important website to keep us all informed of scams we will encounter as writers.

Yesterday, I sent a query to a bird magazine and an article to a military magazine. Now, maybe I will not feel so bad while I spend time working on what is called, "spring cleaning and organizing."

My friends Valerie, Lonny, Barb and I met at the cozy little library at Gainesville for our monthly meeting. These three girls are such a joy to be with. When I come home filled with added knowledge I want to set the writing world on fire -get those manuscripts polished up bright as new sparkling gem sailing off to land on the chosen editor's desk. Each one must shimmer before their eyes.
Don't forget to check out my other blog -

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Books in Bloom correct date is Sunday, May 4, 2008 from 12 noon to 5:00PM at The Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Website is where a large list of authors are listed and their schedule to speak in their tent or in the hotel conservatory.

Children's book authors Veda Boyd Jones, and Arkansas's SCBWI Regional Advisor Carla Kilough McClafferty will be there. What a great list of authors. The five hours are packed with speakers sharing their talent and helpful information.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bookstore, book and authors' events, poetry contest and gardening: In my Woodland Garden April 14, 2008, twenty May flowers reached toward the sky hoping to catch a ray of sunshine to nurture each bud hiding below their canopy. The wicked witch of the southwest had blown in for several days crying buckets of tears until the Woodland garden was flooded. Later, the angry north winds circled the dogwoods and redbuds, but the warmth of the garden angels' wings protected them. Today all 31 dogwoods and five redbuds will continue to brighten up my days.

Upcoming exciting events not to miss. "The Thing" an oral poetry contest to be held Saturday April 19, at 1:00 p.m., at the Baxter County Library click on Each years they present tons of awards and prizes - most of all great poetry. Stephen Johnson has been the emcee since it began in 2004. Stephen,the judges and all the volunteers do a professional job. This year they are trying to limit to 50 poets. Last year over 100 poets signed up to read. Our library does such a great job promoting events. It is a fun and interesting place.

Books in Bloom May 6, Eureka Springs, AR. I love it and it is free. Lots of interesting books to purchase while you visit with authors. Several authors will be speaking.

Mountain Home has a new independent bookstore : Readers' Choice Books (870) 424-0101 featuring new and used books. The owner is Lynne Dugan. I am so happy to see an independent bookstore. Please visit with Lynne.

A good editor is a good thing. The key to an editor's eye is your cover letter. You must present an interesting blurb about your manuscript and yourself as a writer. Will your cover letter get the attention of the editor/reader to continue to read your manuscript or will the editor send a rejection letter without reading it? Remember the market place is very busy filled with over worked editors and lots of products to choose from. Think of it this way - you have just invented a product you believe in and feel everyone is dying to have it in their market place. Now, you have to convince a factory to produce it, next you have to convince the stores to carry it. (c)

Musical notes flow
Trees, shrubs splash in color.
Birds in social song
Spring has arrived.
Oh, happy days.

Monday, April 07, 2008

UPDATE -Read Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell blog at She will have an interview she did about me and my book, Submarine Stories of World War II. Also click on her website at

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Books, blogs and websites I continue to discover and rediscover. The weather has put a wet damper on using the computer. My small walk - in closet has become my tornado closet. I don't know when I can regain it as my clothes closet. Back to pen and paper and catching up on reading. Rediscovering some of my research, how-to write and illustrate books.

For a few weeks I will be focused on three books; Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood and Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella they are useful for all genres (adults, teens or children). They are filled with more then emotions and dialogue. #3 is How to write and Illustrate Children's Books and Get Them Published by Consultant Editors: Treld Pelkey Bicknell and Felictity Trotman, it was published 1988. All three books have much more than their titles reveal.

How to Reel in a Children's Book Editor with Your Writing by Margot Finke at Don't forget to check out Verla Kay's website packed with lots of good information and April's issue of Kid Magazine Writers and read back issues, Inside Markets and try writing some articles to submit. Anastasia Suen at

I continue to be up to my ears in writing projects. Humming birds are coming and Dragon Flies and birds are coming and going. Redbud trees and dogwood trees are filling my woodland garden with colors of hope. Hope you all are safe and being published - write on.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Writing... quitting what I love to do. There isn't a week that goes by the thought doesn't enter my mind. Sometimes my love to create is overwhelming. I have been writing for several years. I continue daily with ideas filling my thoughts that ache to be put down on paper. I have files filled with unfinished ones, ones that need rewriting (some a little, some a lot), and others that need a cover letter, envelope and a stamp to be sent on their way.

I use to set my weekly goals too high. When I couldn't mark off the complete list, I felt I had failed. Now, I place three projects a week on the list. When I have marked them all off I have a good feeling of accomplishment. If I can work it in, I start another project. If I can't no big deal.

I have written reviews for the Oregon Journal (Portland), a regular monthly contributor for Farm Lines ( an Idaho newspaper magazine), a weekly column and stringer for the Port Orchard Independent (Port Orchard, WA), several articles for The Ozarks Mountain News and submitted to several other newspapers. I have written on training horses for flat track racing, chariot racing, raising Tennessee Walkers, The Pony Club, balancing a farm and a small town business, Idaho noxious weeds, white mules and the list gos on.

Magazines: Northwest Living I published articles on natures arrangements, Christmas on the desert and chariot racing. Grit: In Hobbies and Crafts "Tiny Town" and in My Favorite Garden "Garden Oasis" and several small pieces. Good Old Days Special: "Christmas among the Wolves" and Rural Arkansas: "Cicada season." The Ozarks Mountaineer several small pieces (To a writer a small piece is as important as a big piece.), a poem and the article "Rocky Ridge Refuge." The Ozarks magazine: "Chives for all Seasons," "Magical Mopheads" and "Dandelions:The Shepherd's Clock."

I have published poems. opinion pieces, photographs, illustrations, stories, articles and etc. Each one was a big boost to keep me going. My book, Submarine Stories of World War II for boys ten and up. It is filled with real adventure stories of teenage boys on their first time away from home sailing aboard submarines and what they endured to help win World War II.

I continue to submit picture book manuscripts and poems to children's magazines. I have finished two books for the adult market that I need to submit. I need to remember to relax and enjoy the blessings that are bestowed on me each day. I must remember not to push myself beyond what I am able to accomplish.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Website, writers meeting, new author and rain. First of all don't forget to check out my other blog and my website where I continue to add items where hopefully you will find some of my past published credits while I was living in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and now Arkansas.

Monday 10th, Barb, Lonny, Valerie and me had our children's writers group meeting at a darling little cafe on the square in Gainesville, Missouri. We enjoyed breakfast at a large table where we could spread out all the items we wanted to share. It was very exciting to learn how hard each of us is working to be published in magazines and to have one or more books published. We shared market news, manuscripts we are submitting and what an editor added in the our rejection letters. We shared ideas that might work in a regional magazine or other magazines such as Grit and Wildbird.

Before we start home we head to the Gainesville Library to check out the books they have for sale. Valerie, our group leader who works overtime to get us all together asked if we could hold our next meeting April 18 at the library. If plans don't change we'll be there. We were informed of a new children's author who lives in the area. She is T. A. Sigafus author of The case of Beethoven's Bandit and her website is We are hoping she will come to our next meeting.

April 14, I had fun working in the Audubon Society's booth at the Home Show.

We had a good foot of rain in 36 hours or more as we watched the run-off from the neighbors yards surrounded us as the water traveled down to create a huge birdbath that covered the woodland garden. The weather radio went off constantly. I didn't know if I should swim or hide in the tornado closet. I am now trying to catch-up on a mile high of honey-dues and a studio office with one corner that has work backed up to the ceiling. Okay, maybe, its not that bad.

"Action is the foundational key to all success." - The Armchair Traveler.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Submitting, retyping, and rejections can be a good thing. When a manuscript is returned (I like the word returned better than rejection.), remember it doesn't mean it needs rewriting. But, sometimes we are still at the learning stage and the manuscript needs more than a second glance. Rewrite and correct if needed and when possible retype. When you retype think of it as re-staging for saleability. When the manuscript has been out with an editor from 8-12 months, we as writers are always learning how to improve our writings, so this is a good time to check it over and apply improvements if needed.

I received two rejections with encouraging comments on my children's picture book manuscripts. I shared with the children's writers group I belong to for comments. They were kind enough to be honest with additional comments, so I made some change and retyped. I will re-stage several others I will be resubmitting. Also, I sent four poems to a children's magazine this week. We'll see how this goes. I continue to do research on my woodpeckers.

I try to update my blogs and website once a week. I see I failed as I was very busy. Life is not dull at this time, it is the most exciting time of my life, for I am now living in a place without future plans to move ( Only God can suggest a new move for me.). My life was always on the move learning new things and making new friends, but I never felt like I had roots.

Worrying about tomorrow makes a sad day today.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kids Magazine Writers website at saved me lots of postage money and heartache. Under Market Info/Editor Speaks you will find the article "Going, Going, Gone. Provided is a list of magazines that have folded. Several were on my new list to send manuscripts to. This a great website for magazine guidelines for submissions and a whole lots more. If you have any information or an article to submit to their website it will help them keep supplying information we need and it provides you with another or your first published credit.

Hopefully some of these magazines will return and new ones will pop-up.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Garden and Music Entertainment: It is good for a writer to step out beyond the walls of their studio/office to energize the tired spirit.

The Home and Garden Show provided ideas to file in my folder for my garden articles. I love beautiful sculptures and being a gardener I was pulled in by the "Golden Garden Girl" in the photo created by Sculptor Michael Don Fees on display. Check out all his beautiful breath taking sculptures for the home and garden at Ryan Schmidt had his sculptures on display in the same area. You'll find information on his work on the same website.

Yesterday we had the privilege to attend an afternoon of out-standing music at the benefit concert presented by Oksana Pavilionis of the Ovation Academy and Twin Lakes Baptist Church for the Twin Lakes Music Foundation. ( There is a fountain of musicians and singers in this area that will never run dry. The Ovation Academy will provide classes in music, art and foreign languages.

Check out my new website Several bugs continue to plague me, so be patience when you visit. Don't forget to visit my other blog about my book and other military material at

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Garden Arrangements & Sculpure:Arkansas Flower and Garden Show.
The large arrangement is part of Chris Olson - Botanica Gardens
It was an interesting place. I am running short of time. I will return with more.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Writers Conferences & Workshops: April 4-6 Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock April 11-12 The Arkansas Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Brewer-Hegemon Center University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR. Speakers Jennifer Emmett an executive editor of children's books at the National Geographic Society, Lisa Graff an assistant editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers and she is an author, check her blog and, MelanieHope Greenberg is an illustrator of 16 books, 6 of which she wrote, and Darcy Pattison is the author of picture books and novels. April 11-13 Missouri Writers' Guild Writers Conference in Columbia, Mo August 30, White County Creative Writers Conference Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc Conference Springfield Writers Guild Conference, Ozarks Creative Writers Conference, and May 4, Books in Bloom, Eureka Springs For more information on conferences go to

Websites and blogs: On Being a Writer and my new website under construction at

Thanks for dropping in, continue to write your dreams into realities.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Storytelling is fun and a rejection letter can be helpful. I love to listen to a storyteller it reminds me of a one person play. Valerie Goetz, a Native American started with a question which pulled us into the story, then she continues to built the plot, making us listen close to hear and see what is going to happen next. She brings it to a close with the main character solving its problem. It is like someone reading their picture book. I read somewhere it takes twenty minutes to read 1,000 words. While she was telling stories we were making a "Dreamcatcher" A bag of material was given to each person attending her program at the Baxter County Library. We had two flute players presenting Native music. It was a fun two hours.

Don't forget to read Darcy Pattison's blog "Revision Notes", she is reporting from the 08 winter SCBWI Conference in New York City.

Today, I received a rejection on a children's picture book manuscript(325 words) that had been out since May 9th, 2007. It was with editor Liz Waniewski at Dial Books For Young Readers, whom I had met at the Arkansas SCBWI conference last Spring. I love this type of rejection letters. It soften the pain of rejection. It is one that is thoughtful and helpful. I will continue to send it once again. But, in the meanwhile I will take her suggestions to heart and rewrite it. I will read both the rejection and manuscript at our next children's writers meeting. I know they will give me some helpful suggestions. Write on and stay warm.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Information for writers: In future blogs I will try to provide websites to search and books to read that will help the beginner writer. Today I will start with the few listed below. (For all ages)

Check out your favorite authors websites they provide a lot of helpful information.
Don't ever forget your library for they provide sources for writers in the adult, teens and children's area. If you can't find the books ask someone.

Tuesday evening the tornado had us in hiding at the library. Thanks to author Darcy Pattison she continued reading her wonderful books and shared how she got her ideas for writing each one. Plus, we had a workshop on how to write a scene and to revise. The writer writes, then the writer revises until it is a story that jumps off the pages and readers wants to read it over and over.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Baxter County Library is buzzing with excitement for they were awarded a $9.8 million grant from the Donald W. Reynonds Foundation to build the beautiful new library. Our wonderful library was small but was busting at the seams with exciting programs. Libraries, newspapers and culture art centers are very important for they create excitement and build hope. Hopefully, tonight the weather will not put a damper on the special programs provided by author Darcy Pattison. Darcy will share with the children from 5-6 pm, and the adults and teens at 7 pm. I have been looking forward to seeing Darcy for several months. Come and join us by calling the library today. Bring pen and notepad.

Darcy will awake the sleeping writer in you or if you are a working writer she will excite the spirit to continue. The library has a large selection of books for writers in all genres-check them out.