Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The sunrises on the upcoming new year
above The Woodland Garden,
like bright Spring flowers
announcing an exciting year ahead.
Be thankful for the small joys,
sing their praises each day.
For they are the stepping stones
into a happy world
of what is to come.
Photo - Verse  (c) by Mary Nida Smith                       

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Poem of the month: Please go to children's book author's blog to vote for the best poem written for December. My poem is listed: BONE CHILLING. Each month David provides a word and the different poets write that word into their poem. Last month the word was "thanks".

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I am sitting out the next few days.
Write, create, and enjoy life.
(c) Photo by Mary Nida Smith

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mistakes! Mistakes!

I have been presenting
grammar mistakes to all.
I know better.
I must slow down
and take another look.
Oh, I could present a page
of why my brain is overloaded,
but this is no excuse.
It causes me to pause
to feel more humble.
I’ll never be perfect.
I am who I am.
- Mary Nida Smith

Monday, December 14, 2009

Children's Poetry and Twin Lakes Writers:

I want to thank President Nancy Thatcher Cerny,
and members of the Twin Lakes Writers for the certificate
of appreciation for being the founder and for supporting
of all writers. Thank You!

I have enjoyed reading two poetry books for children
that any adult would enjoy. They are funny and serious; mostly
funny where they take you back to see yourself as a kid.
As an adult with a kid lurking about; meaning me; a kid that
was and is still asking too many questions, the poem below
relates to me, written by Arnold Spilka.

Don’t Tell Me That I Talk Too Much!

Don’t tell me I talk too much!
Don’t say it!
Don’t you dare!
I only say important things
Like why it’s raining where.
Or when or how or why or what
Might happen here or there.
And why a thing is this or that
And who is bound to care.
So don’t tell me I talk too much!
Don’t say it!

The above is found in The Random House Book
of Poetry for Children (A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today’s Child)
selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Arnold Lobel
(Filled with wonderful illustrations.).

I remember one time a member of my family quickly
sneaked up behind me implementing another use for duct tape.

Another good read is Kids Pick the Funniest Poems by Bruce
Lansky and illustrated by Stephen Carpenter.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

PO Box 256
Clarksridge, AR 72623
Meeting: Saturday, December 12
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Room D, 353 Highway 5 North
Mountain Home
Large church sign on Highway 5, a block past 201 intersection.

Their works are on display for the month of December at the
Baxter County Library. Check them out. Very informative display.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Contest, Book Winner, Follower and Flash Fiction; Check out a contest at and then go to where you can read- Flash Fiction: The Spiral Staircase written by Steven Withrow, published on his blog October 29th.

Yesterday, I received an email from Meghan Killeen, that I had won the book The Pricker Boy by Reade Scott Whinnen. Click on to read Meghan's interview with Reade and my comment about my own personal monster.

I am most grateful for another follower.
I am enjoying writing poetry on David Harrison blog. If you enjoy poetry, stop in and read all the poems that have been submitted.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Writers Workshop: Write What You Know. Click on for information on January 16, 2010 workshop. Signing up for a workshop, visiting with other writers will unfreeze writers' block and lift your spirits during the winter. So, come, join us where it will give you a jump start for Spring's upcoming workshops and conferences.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sara Webb Quest: Children's book author
& freelance writer. Congratulation's Sara-great review!
Wow, I'm still reeling over the recent book review of my
link to the review:
The review was a very pleasant surprise! Marie, the amazing
book buyer & manager of Cape Cod's book-store chain "Books by
the Sea," called,informed me of the review, said she hadn't
gotten the copy of "AYDIL VICE" back because a few people at
the newspaper were passing the book around to read (another
pleasant surprise)Best for last, here are the dates and
times for my book(s) signings this month:

December 12, 11-1, Books by the Sea, rte.28, South Yarmouth,
The Hearth-n-Kettle Plaza.
December 13, 2-4, Books by the Sea, Osterville
In addition to signing "AYDIL VICE," I will also be signing
my adult poetry book "OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD."

A link to my facebook page which I update regularly.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Ozarks Writers and Illustrators for Children!

Our OWAIC, social will be Saturday, December 5th, at the Library
Station 9:00 to 11:00. We've had a wonderful year. Please join us
in celebrating our breakthroughs, our accomplishments, and blessings.

Refreshments will be provided. There will be a modest gift exchange.
And I do mean modest...white elephants and regifting allowed.
(It should have something to do with writing or illustrating.)

There will not be a meeting in January due to the New Year's holiday.

Please contact me, Naomi Shaw at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Robert Frost wrote in metaphors/free verse. "A poem...begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words."
Letter to Louis Untermeyer (January 1, 1916)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Poets, Authors, Contest, Children’s Magazines,
Newspaper, OWL:

I love the freedom to enjoy life where I explore
various creative topics. My mind is like a sticky,
tight spun spider web. I catch ideas out of the air,
causing some strain until I am able to release a
few to paper. I am constantly writing and rewrite
on paper or in my daily thoughts. Who knows,
I may have a big sale and it will be like winning
the lotto.

I write short pieces; I sell some and others
float free. In 2010, I am dedicating more time
to submitting larger pieces.

A photo and a small article was published in
The Mountaineer Echo newspaper, Thurs, Nov 26, it
was a shot of encouragement.

I am still trying to catch-up with photos
I took as my church's historian.
I think I take too many.

I am having problems creating CD’s
for the submarine veterans I did two.
I haven’t been able to do more. I have
several request for the 53 photos I took
during the Veterans Day event at Mountain
Home Military Memorial Plaza.

Baxter County Library: The Friends of the Library
had a successful booksale last weekend and an
enjoyable meeting Wednesday. They are a special group.
We hope to move into the new library July, 2010.

The Mountain Home, AR Chamber of Commerce’s
beautiful new brochure mentioned Twin Lakes Writers
under Community Cultures.

I continue to write poems on David L. Harrison’s blog.
It has been a learning experience. I have written several.
He features a monthly word and you have to write a
poem incorporating that word. The poems for November
are up where you can go and vote for your favorite at

Last Friday night at Boxcar Willie’s Motel
the Ozarks Writers League had a catered dinner
and open-mic. I read a poem.

I receive “The Writer” magazine newsletter.
It filled with helpful information and some free-lance
writing jobs are listed.

Important websites to check out:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baxter County Library booksale November 19,20, 21. It is a big one!

Saturday, November 21, Ozarks Writers League

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Check out "Golden Country" on the website!
The outhouse/potting shed photo was photographed
by Mary Nida Smith.
Sunrise: This morning shroud in misty fog a dazzling coral red and gold sunrise filtered through the woods rising above the tree line. I dashed for my camera where I tried to capture each changing moment. I would love to use my ever changing sky photos in a poetry book, or children's picture book. Happy is the moment capturing memories.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Faye K. Pfister
Pottery Exhibit
November 12-20
College of the Ozarks
Boger Gallery: Jones Learning Center
Lecture-Reception: November 17 (Tuesday)
4:00 p.m—6:00 p.m.

Friday, November 13, 2009

LIFE ON A SEESAW VOLUME III Premieres November 14, 2009 at WORDS BOOKSTORE in Hardy, AR.

Marjory Wentworth, (South Carolina) Poet Laureate of South Carolina; teacher of poetry in an arts and healing program in Charleston, SC; columnist for THE CHARLESTON POST and COURIER; member of Board of Directors for Low Country Initiative for the Literary Arts, the Poetry Society of SC, and the University of SC Poetry Society; Poems have appeared in numerous books and magazines

“Life on a Seesaw is a refreshingly original heartfelt approach to life.”

Barbara Massie (Arkansas) noted floral watercolor and acrylic artist; holds dual membership in the National League of American Pen Women as both a writer and an artist; charter President and current Treasurer of the Spring River Branch of NLAPW; published 400 plus articles and six books

“This last volume of the Circle of Life Trilogy, Life on a Seesaw Volume III, is an adventure that captures imagination as you walk through and relate to the seesawing events in life. The inspiring writings and art are not to be absorbed in one reading. You’ll go back many times to view Funke’s paintings and re-read Oplinger’s written images. Funke and Oplinger create the true essence of real happenings”.

Nancy Funderburk, (New York and Mississippi) nationally acclaimed needle and fiber artist; McCall’s Quilt for The Cure Campaign for the Susan Konan Foundation; award-winning instructor and Past-President of the Mississippi Quilt Association
Premieres November 14, 2009 at WORDS BOOKSTORE in Hardy, AR

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veterans Day Ceremony, Nov 11, at 11:oo am,
Mountain Home Square.
The history of Veterans Day can be found at


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Harrison Contest, OWAIC, Bookstores, Photos:

Was I surprised yesterday to learn I had won a contest for posting on
David L. Harrison, blog. David is a children's book author of many
books and a poet. David
is critiquing a picture book manuscript for me. I feel so honored.

Ozarks Writers & Illustrators Club Great
bunch of writers and my friend Veda Boyd Jones is their speaker
Saturday, November 7th.
Also, remember this day is - Support your Bookstore Day.

Yesterday, in the sunshine of the day, I planted 8-10 Hostas
that was given to me by a neighbor. I love pass-on plants.
Also, I planted two mums. Yes, I had to rake leaves.
When my daughter walked in leaves as a young
child she said the crunching sound, like cornflakes.

As our church historian & photographer, I took 73 pictures
last Saturday at the "Trunk & Treat." I have to have some
printed by this Sunday.

This afternoon I go to the dentist-the big chair- Ouch!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween, Publishers Weekly, David L. Harrison, Library, Art Show, Turkey Vultures:

October Fun

Happy is the Halloween
that is scary and mean.
Dark moon and starlight
witches ride in teams.
Beware of hidden faces,
ghosts, goblins and spooks
in light shaded places.
Halloween is gobbledygook.
Remember it is all for fun
silly with pumpkins
and not for everyone.

By Mary Nida Smith (c) (c) Mary Nida Smith

Four days ago, I signed up at for their daily email newsletter. Every writer should sign up to keep updated. Oct 29, newsletter had a article, "What do Teens Want?" by Carol Fitzgerald. Josie Leavitt has a regular informative blog, " Shelftalker: A Children's Bookseller's Blog." You can sign up for genre newsletters.
Vote for your favorite "Dirt" poem at My poem is tucked among the dirt poems. I was informed that I had David blog address incorrect. I always forget to place the small L after davidl It is difficult to see.
Last week end just for fun I entered 3 photographs in the Bull Shoals Art Show. My photos have been published in several magazines and I did win a photo contest while living at Siloam Springs, AR. My last photo was published in the Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine Nov/Dec issue.
It was exciting this morning to look up above the tree tops in The Woodland Garden to watch the Turkey vultures fly over. They roost in near-by trees. I also enjoy watching them slowly fly in late afternoon.
Every Halloween The Woodland Garden comes alive with spooks. The spooks will stay hidden this year because of the rain. Can you believe it, the spooks are afraid of melting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday Writers: Short story contest sponsored by
Saturday Writers, a chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild.
The extended deadline is Nov 15.
Please pass to your writing friends.
Donna Volkenannt
Saturday Writers Website Editor

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell, a local freelance writer and author, will offer a 6-week facilitated writers group at The Belle Writer’s Studio, located on her property near Pine Mountain in rural Marion County. The group will begin meeting the week of November 9, either on Tuesday or Thursday, the exact date and time to be determined, based on participant interest and availability. The group will meet once a week to critique each other’s work and Kerri will provide written feedback on writing samples submitted by members. This will be a mixed genre group and all writers are welcome. Cost is $40 for 6 weeks.

Kerri is a former adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College in the Kansas City area, where she wrote curriculum for writing classes, and taught and facilitated writing groups for 6 years. Kerri’s work has appeared in such publications as Mother Earth News, Entrepreneur Magazine, Arkansas Life,,, and, and she’s written the book, “No Immediate Threat: The story of an American Veteran.”

For more information, contact her through her website, or call her at 870-436-3860.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Garden Visit: I entered The Woodland Garden on October 19th
on a rare day where the sunshine sparkled through the colorful
autumn leaves. The tree trunks are turning dark as they prepare
for their winter rest. My thoughts on The Woodland Garden:

Mary, Mary quiet contrary how does your garden grow?
My garden grows in weeds you see, they come up
where they entangle me.

I pulled and pulled with all my strength,
the tall, Blue-eyed grass growing thick on the bank
of my wild woodland garden.

I spent three hours a pulling and enjoying
the fresh outdoor air. The birds flew in singing me songs
of welcome, welcome back.

The squirrels hopped by. The chipmunks peek out.
They all thanked me for entering the world
I created for all creatures; including me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ozarks Writers & Illustrators Club Great bunch of writers and my friend Veda Boyd Jones is their November speaker. If weather permits - GO.

Hello Friends,

It is my great pleasure to announce Veda Boyd Jones has agreed to present a program on writing historical fiction for our November 7th program. Veda is the author of forty-two books, five of them historical fiction, and a popular speaker.You can visit Veda's website at

Please join us from 9:00 to 11:00 at The Library Station at 2535 N. Kansas Exprwy, Springfield, Missouri, in the Children's Storyroom.

A critique session will follow.

See you soon,
Naomi Shaw

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn Leaf
photo by Mary Nida Smith(c)
Bright as the sunshine today,
lay an autumn leaf
on cold-weather moss.
Spreading moss collects
a colorful bouquet
of changing colors,
beyond the garden gate.
-(c) by Mary Nida Smith

Friday, October 16, 2009

Independent Bookstores: Hardy & Berryville, Arkansas. Hardy's Book Store, Coffee Shop & Eatery (Words&Afterwoods) is located at 201 North Spring Street. The owner is Greg Bess, he writes (Words about Books) for the new North Central magazine "AVENUES." He also own a B&B where I think it would be a wonderful week-end adventure for a couple of writers to stay while giving a workshop, or just to stay for a get-away to write without interruptions. I wish his place was in Lakeview. It is so neat!

Berryville's (Sow's Ear) bookstore features old & new books at 202 Public Square. The owner is Daniel Krotz. I have been there once and they were very busy. Also, they are very involved in making Berryville, a special place to visit and enjoy.

Readers out there, do you know of other independent bookstores? Shares with us for they are very important to all of us writers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update: Anna Webman, agent at Curtis Brown Ltd is interested in children's picture books. She did not feel we would make a good match. I received an answer in about a week. So, maybe, Anna Webman is the agent for someone reading my blog. Good luck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pirate books: Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry latest adventure book for young adults was released; Peter and The Sword of Mercy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blogs I Follow: Please enter my profile to click on the blogs I follow. Each one is filled with helpful information. Join in: read and comment. Enjoy and put what you learn into action. Boy, I need to get to work. My book Submarine Stories of World War II written for ages ten and up is sold out. I am happy and sad. It is exciting to have copies placed in museum gift shops. It has been an exciting adventure.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Illustrating & Writing Children's Books Group is forming in this area. If you are interested, please email Mary Nida Smith at or call 870-431-5369.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Romance novelist Bobbie Smith is coming to our area. Bobbie's
books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
She has published over 40 books and many short stories. I have
to pick a date, time and place that we both can agree on.
My friend Donna Volkenannt put in a good word for me.
Donna's blog is one of my followings.

I have enjoyed writing poetry and posting them on David
Harrison's blog.
I heard from Rich Davis again today with an update on his
new PICK & DRAW website
Check it out.

I sent a follow-up letter to Ladybug magazine that I
submitted to over a year ago. They requested I resubmit.
I did and today I received my standard rejection. I am again,
querying agents for my children's picture books.

I received my check today from Good Old Days magazine
for a family story of a special horse. The story will be published
in Jan/Feb issue. My photo of an outhouse with a Christmas
wreath on the door will be published in the Nov/ Dec issue of
The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine. Look for it in
The Golden Country pages of poetry.

I have had a lot of interesting things happening with my book.
Check it out on my submarine stories blog. Hopefully, I can have
the news placed there before anyone checks it out.

I purchase a new sign for my Garden Studio where I plant ideas,
watch them grow and start the work of weeding and feeding.

"Time Is Measured
By Stars and Seasons,
But, Life Is Measured
In Dreams and Love."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Rich Davis, illustrator for children's picture books developed
and design a package of cards "Pick and Draw." Fun for kids
of all ages. To learn more, go to my list of blogs I am following
and click on his blog and where it states "HOME," this is
his website.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hold Fast Your Dream by Louise Briscoll. This encouraging poem can be read at Poetry is very important. I believe most writers at a young age began their careers writing their daily emotions down in this form.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nature Writing: I love nature. I try to surround myself with it in our yard and in my Woodland Garden. I take a lot of photos and do research. Two helpful and interesting places to explore with Barb-Harmony Art Mom and http://www.wildmanstevebrill,com/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Living in a Little House: Check out my friend Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell's website

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Agents, Editors & Publishers: I search and search. I spend hours looking for an opening to submit. I feel like a farm kid who is searching for her first lost tooth that was dropped in a pile of hay. N0 tooth fairy today. Or a fisherman trying to catch a trophy fish. I have several manuscripts revised and critiqued by published children's authors. The manuscripts are ready to fly, but will they find a safe home? Writers write and keep the faith.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Festival, Books and Limerick: Missouri Literary Festival Oct 2-4 A great place to meet authors and buy books. out David Harrison's blog he is promoting several books that will be a great help to writers and teachers. His blog nudged me into creating a limerick. Right or wrong I wrote one.

I once met a squirrel named Ted.
He never slept in a bed.
His eyes were always droopy.
He looked a wee bit sloppy.
His biggest worry was he was underfed.

Speeding down the road of creativity. The sun came out today
to remind me there will be bright days where I create and there
will always be cloudy days to dream.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My fireplace cricket decided to show-up. I wonder if my noisy unwelcome guest in the garage is black or a big fat green one that fishermen love to take fishing with them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Autumn Love is Hurting my Ears
(C) by Mary Nida Smith
An unknown male cricket is having fun teasing my nerves with his
high pitch sounds. It is hiding in our garage near my studio door.
It is quiet by day and when the light is on at night. But, when the
garage is dark he starts creating his awful ear-piercing sound. Singing,
no, I wouldn't adventure to say that, for the sound is created while
rubbing his legs together. I hope he rubs them raw.
Yes, I know about the lovable Cricket Chester in the children's book,
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden and The Very Quiet
Cricket by Eric Carle, where between one of the pages a cricket sound
appears. I thought it was adorable. But, this cricket I haven't seen. If
I was able to catch him, I would place him outside where I hear the
soft tones of his lover singing.
Oh, the chirping songs of lovers. I made a deal with the garage
spiders.The first one to quiet this cricket's love song or chase it
out into the open I will allow it to live safely in my garage for life.
I do believe they had a short lifespan.
Yes, I know about the old wives-tale that a cricket on the fireplace
hearth brings good luck. I thought it was a cute saying, so I have
a black metal one. No good luck here. The chimney sweep man
reported we need to have a liner put in.
I know all creatures come with the territory when living in the
natural state and having a large woodland garden. I wouldn't
want it any other way for I enjoy taking photos of insects.
I took a photo of my cricket on my fireplace hearth to show you,
but it wouldn't upload. Too big, I guess.
For some beautiful musical sounds click on

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Writers Groups, Bookstores, Libraries and POD Press: When I travel if there is a writers group having a meeting I love dropping in; make connections and learn what their members are doing. I dropped in on the Naperville Writers Group (Naperville, Ill). It was interesting.

I checked out the Anderson's Bookshop, a Independent bookstore. It is busy with authors' book signings. I picked up a couple of interesting and helpful books. One of the books I will share in another blog update. When I am in Naperville I try not to miss going to this bookstore. I love it!

I try to go to at least one library in Naperville, buy used books and pick up information on what programs they offer. Purchased about five picture books and a book on porches.

Are E-books the publisher of the future? A lot is being written on this subject. Reports are no more newspapers, magazines or books - everything will be found on the Internet. Scary!

Check out Forrest L. Rawls book, Legacy of the Holy Warrior at Another POD or E-publisher I haven't heard about.

Enjoy these rainy days writing and reading.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Writing Children's Books and Magazines: Check out Children's Writer Newsletter of Writing and Publishing Trends. Click on Writing Contest - There are several and they must be submitted by October 31th.

This newsletter is great source to keep up with the latest news in children's book publishing and magazines. They provide markets and guidelines and articles. Check it out. Also, don't forget to go to the Children's Book Council for a list of publishers and see who are excepting manuscripts.

You don't know if you don't try. Possibles can be yes, if not, remember that story you sent in may not have been written, if you hadn't tried. Gathering experience is an important part of growth in becoming a professional writer.
Friends of the Library Board of Directors, President JoBelle has asked me to be a board member and I said, "yes." Baxter County Library, Mountain Home is very important to me as a person who loves books and writing. They bring sooo many special programs to meet the needs of everyone. Please, if you live in this area get out and support the best place to visit and gather knowledge in this area of Arkansas.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vacation and Books: Just returned from traveling for almost three weeks. I attended the World War II USS Submarine National Convention at Green Bay, Wisconsin. Came home with lots of pictures, information and sold books.

After many years I returned to my family roots and where I was born. What a great experience! My friends and relatives have been a great support system when it came to promoting my book and other writings. I have an extra special family.

I purchased and was given a lot of books. Tell you more later. I just wanted everyone checking in to know I am still writing. Several exciting things are happening. I have lots of work to do in the studio the next couple days. Keep in touch.

Monday, August 24, 2009

OWAIC Ozarks Writers and Illustrators for Children
September meeting is Saturday12th. Program: Turning over a New Leaf, Staying Motivated During Seasons of Change. Other appointments keep me from attending. I hate it, for I can learn sooo much from this group of professional writers. I love Naomi's emails; they inspire me. I wish they would provide a tape of each session. I would buy it.
I do a lot of wishing and dreaming while writing on my blogs. I wish I could bring some or all of OWAIC members to speak at an all day workshop at Bel Arco Resort.
Dreams do come true -believe it, stay focus and stay positive. Write on your computer or the paper of your mind. Never stop writing or drawing.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Writing for Children: I finished my chapter book for ages 7-10. I have a wonderful exciting feeling that children will love it. I am finishing up Bodoom and Scooter and the Wild Tail, a picture book. I sent a follow-up letter to Ladybug magazine and waiting for a reply from a literary agent. I keep writing and hoping that dreaming is worth doing. Maybe, I dream too often and too big. I had more dreams come true than I ever dreamed. So, what do I want? I want to see more of my manuscripts turned into published books to share with kids. I love kids! I love promoting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

College of the Ozarks and Baxter County Library Booksale:
It is an honor to have my book, Submarine Stories of World War II, displayed with other members of The Ozarks Writers League in the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks.

You can find a copy to read at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home or you can buy a copy by sending $12.95 plus $2.00 postage to Mary Nida Smith, 162 Stamford Dr., Lakeview, AR 72642
Important booksale August 20,21,28 at the Baxter County Library. For hours open check their calendar at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Springfield Writers' Guild meeting is Saturday, August 22.
Speaker is Ellen Gray Massey, a wonderful person, friend and a writer with many published credits. For more information go

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ozarks Writers League meets Saturday, August 15. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. For all the details click on Speakers: Cherry Weiner of the Cherry Literary Agency, Jory Sherman, a master of the writing field with over 1.000 articles, 500 short stories and 300 books. Plus, he is an artist. Fred Pfister, editor of The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine and the 5th edition of the Insider's Guide to Branson. The 4th speaker will be Allan Young that has written several books in different genres and many magazine articles. Four speakers with many years of writing and publishing experiences. I am in awe, in the presents of seasoned writers with so much knowledge to share.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

White County Creative Writers 14th Annual Writers' Conference Sept 5, 2009. For more information

Free photos & clips art site

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Chapter book and The Woodland Garden: I am excited about the chapter book I am rewriting for ages 7-10. It is scary, silly, and funny. I love it when I can escape to the world of make-believe.

For two hours this afternoon I ventured to the wind and rain battered woodland garden. Dead-fall everywhere, beds of poison ivy (I sprayed), leaves covered with mildew, half eaten fungi popping up through the moss, unknown wild animals creating underground tunnels, and feathers of dead Bluebirds and Jays. The birds, squirrels, chipmunks and turtles have not been seen since the large hawk flew through. The owls, hawks and neighbors cats have created a hell hole for my little wild friends. I love cats, hawks and owls, but not in my wildlife sanctuary. I always find interesting things to photograph as I walk through my Woodland Garden.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Donna's Book Pub blog Wednesday August 5, Donna will interview Sue William Silverman author of Fearless Confessions: A Writers Guide to Memoir. Sue will separate truth from fiction.

Also, check Donna's blog for contest and markets.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Workshop photos and new blogs to follow: Check out my photos I took at the Ozark Writers and Illustrators For Children workshop I have discontinued some of the blogs I have been following. I added two new ones: Nature writers for children's books and Phyllis Harris, illustrator. Changes bring excitement and excitement brings a new spirit to your writing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ozark Writers & Illustrators for Children
Saturday, August 1

The Library Station
2535 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, MO
9:00am to 11:00am (critique session to follow from 11:00 to 1:00)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Renew your goals.
If you do not have meaning in your life-
Life has no meaning.
To discover and go forward
you must go outside your comfort zone.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Woodland Garden is my sanctuary. I am amazed what I discover every time I
stroll though.

July 23, I armed myself with a bottle of poison and clippers.
The poison ivy is spreading rapidly and approximate two-four
inches tall. Stormy weather keeps me from entering the garden
and allowing the poison to be effective. Leaves three beware.
This is difficult in a wild garden. The unknown seedlings
don’t show their true selves until they have grown to
display four or more leaves such as the Virginia Creeper.

I pruned some ground cover, small trees, and bushes. In the
meanwhile my husband discovered I was working in the
garden. The push moor's roaring sounds drowned out the
birds joyful songs and raised my temperature. I quickly
removed myself as I saw my small Mimosa tree being
topped as the sticks with red tags surrounding it crumbled.

I discovered a large walk in hole under my wood pile with
another hole leading from it. The tracks I couldn’t
make out. There are new holes on the bank and throughout
the garden and as usual lots of chipmunks escape hatches.

Under the deck steps is a mud turtle’s home. A blue strip salamander
continues to ran out from under the stepping stones.

July 24, As I sat on the sun porch watching the orange tinted
sunrise peek through the trees two bats raced around the large
oaks as the yard light displayed flying insects. This year I
haven’t adopted a summer buddy. I miss having one.

On a couple of other matters, I had a poem rejected July 13
from Mature Living magazine. I guess, I am not mature
enough for it. Jim Hamilton is looking for a poem with the
title-The Devil in Arkansas. As a writer we are always
learning and receiving interesting items.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children's
Annual Summer Workshop July 11, at Lebanon, Mo –
what a wonderful experience!
Naomi Shaw was in charge of keeping the workshop
running smoothly and what a great job she did.

The first session was “Coffee with Vicki Grove”. Vicki
mesmerized us with insight to a dedicated writer’s life
with all the ups and downs, and what inspired her to write
each teen novel. She was serious, witty, and encouraging. I
have never met a writer who provided so much helpful
information for beginners or sparks to fire up the professional
writer to continue to share their words to motivate readers to
continue reading and to become a person that gives back to
their community.

Lunch was provided by Maria’s Café located in the library.
The café carries a Route 66 theme to encourage patrons to
visit the library’s Route 66 Museum.

Afternoon we had three break-away sessions:
J.B. (Jamie) Cheaney- “Sweatin’ the Small Stuff.”
Lizabeth Hardman- “Getting your Foot in the Door
with Non-fiction.”
Louise Jackson – “Believable Characters.”

Three great programs; I hate break-away sessions, because
I want attend them all. I decided on Lizabeth’s who writes
for a history magazine and a work-for-hire for non-fiction teen
and adult books. It was Eizabeth’s first time as speaker. She did
a great job providing us with importance of research: Gathering
information no older than ten years, and where to find reliable
information on the Internet.

From 2-3 a.m., the first manuscript page of ten attendees
was shown by Power Point. Naomi read each manuscript’s
1st page and afterwards the five panelists gave their critique.
It was very informative to hear ten different critiques by
J.B. Cheaney, Louise Jackson, Vicky Grove, Barbara
Cochran and Lorrie Cardwell-Casey. At the workshop’s
closing each page with five critiques were handed in an
envelope back to each writer to take home to read and digest.

Three of the authors are members of OWAIC that meet
the 1st Saturday of each month in Springfield.

Thanks again to OWAIC, Lebanon-Laclede County Library
and the Ozarks Penmasters Guild.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good Old Days magazine: I received a letter that my story, Buck the Comeback Horse will be tentatively scheduled for Feb 2010. Check their contributor guidelines at their website. Real stories of people who lived and grew up in about 1935-1965. Check it out. They also publish other magazines. Share your family stories for others to enjoy and create excitement among your family. You will be a celebrity at your family reunion - the family writer. Stories recorded and passed down through generations will enrich family history.

This will be my second family story published in Good Old Days magazine. A couple of years ago they published, Christmas Among the Wolves. My brothers and sisters were excited as they received their copy. I purchased several extra copies. It was fun!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ozarks Writers & Illustrators for Children, Ozark Pen Women and the Lebanon-Laclede County Library sponsored Authors Day and the Ozark Writers & Illustrators for Children Annual Summer Workshop July 10 & 11. I thank each and everyone for their hard work in presenting these two programs where I was able to sit back for two days to learn and have the time of my life.

Authors Day was from noon to 5 p.m. The tables were set up in rolls for visitors to stroll by viewing authors on both sides. There was about 35-40 authors attending. I met new authors and visited with authors I have known since moving to the Ozarks.

I sold several books, Submarine Stories of World War II. What pleased me more than anything was to see young pre-teen boys standing in awe reading my handouts and mothers purchasing the book for them. A young boy won my book as a door prize. We were both excited as he asked me to sign it.

Teachers and parents spoke to me about WWI &II history was no longer being taught in schools. History bluffs visited. I met Tina who just received her degree in World War I & II history. Tina’s heart was filled with love for her subject. She shared how she is searching for information on the Merchant Marines who played a huge part in World War II. Thanks to my friend Joyce Larimore, a member of the Fleet Reserve who gave me the book, They Couldn't Have Won the War Without Us-Stories by the men who sailed the ships. Edited by Pete Peterson who served in the Merchant Marines. It is a book that shares the horror they endured bringing supplies to our men. I promised Tina the book. I sent it Monday.

I met Teri Haux, an ex-Navy brat who wrote Movie Viewer Extraordinaire – Discerning the Influences of Movies on your Freedom, Family and Happiness. Teri’s husband is station at Fort Leonard Wood. He was there for awhile and I regret I didn’t have the chance to go over to say, “Thanks for serving.” Teri is also a screenwriter and is searching for a military women photography that she wants to write a screen play concerning her career.

My friends Ellen Gray Massey (Whom I cornered for advise.), Brenda Brinkley (Ozarks Writers League), Lee Ann Russell and Larry Cunningham (Springfield Writers Guild – were there.

Next time I will share my day at the Ozarks Writers & Illustrators for Children’s Annual Summer Workshop. What an upper! What speakers! What a day! It was soooo special.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lebanon-Laclede County Library: I will be
there from 12-5 pm July 10th with several
other authors at the Author's Day to promote,
sell and sign my book. July 11th at the library
I will be attending the Ozarks Writers &
Illustrators Workshop from 8:30 am -3pm:
speakers are J.B. Cheaney, Lizabeth
Hardman and Louise Jackson.

My book, Submarine Stories of World
War II for ages ten and up.

Review by Max McCoy author of Hellfire Canyon: A fascinating
series of vignettes about the war beneath the waves during
World War II, as told by the men who fought it. Only the
submariners could describe how it feels to hear mine cables
skitter along the hull or the whooshing sound when the boat
buries itself in the sandy bottom to hide from Japanese
Mary Nida Smith has done a fine job collecting theses largely
untold stories from the silent service.

Conner and Davis, two young grade school boys wrote a
note to me and said: I will forever continue thinking
your book is awesome!

Review by Deborah Edmonds, Children's Librarian, Baxter
County Library:
Mary Nida Smith has compiled a set of personal experiences
from submarine veterans of World War II that should not only
speak to family members of the Silent Service. Her book also
informs the rest of the population of the thoughts and feelings
of these brave men who served under the seas to
protect our country with no guarantee that they would resurface.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ridley Pearson, a friend when we both lived in Idaho. He has come a long way and is a great guy and writer.
JULY 2009 NEWSLETTER KILLER SUMMER STARTS...On Sale Date: June 30th!!!KILLER SUMMER ORDER THE BOOK:IndieBound, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble

St Louis ( Fenton, MO) Barnes and Noble, Tuesday, June 30, 7 PM
Scottsdale, AZ—Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Wednesday, July 1, 7 PM
Houston, TX—Murder By The Book, Thursday, July 2, 6:30 PM
St Louis (Frontenac)—St Louis County Library, Thursday, July 9, 7 PM
Ketchum, Idaho—Community Library, Thursday, July 16, 6 PM.
Thanks for the support, Ridley

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Historic Ozarks Mills Book ~ Take the tour! Order at < click here, call or go postal. Collectable 1st edition, details on website, order before they're history! Photozarks ~ Mike McArthy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Children's Books
Writing Picture Books
If you get a chance, please stop by Donna's Book Pub tomorrow. I'm having a special guest blogger who has written several books for children. Her latest book from Writer's Digest in on Writing Picture Books. Even if you don't write for children, her advice is helpful. She is posting about "Grabbing Your Reader from the First Word" and offering to give away a copy of one of her books to a randomly selected visitor who posts a comment or asks a question on my blog this week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Castles of The Blue

Unique, uninhibited compositions composed by
Wes Bensching born with talent to hear musical
sounds that inspires the imagination.
Album has eight distinct orchestra numbers.

Castles of the Blue – I visualize different cloud formations passing
before me.
The Night in your Eyes – Generates the feeling of a vintage movie
of two lovers struggling with their emotions.
Getting Back up – Will give the listener the enter feeling of
encouragement to try again.
Blinding Wind – Sparks the imagination of riding the wind on
a magical unicorn into an uncharted world.
It’s Gone – The emotion of ecstasy ascends and fades beyond reach.
Sister – Reflection of what was and what is.
On One Level – Homage for all
OG’s Dream – Questioning the elements with anger and compliance
© Written & Designed by Mary Nida Smith

The original flyer/poster design would not reproduce for the blog. If you would like a copy of the original -email me at :

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rejections test your will to continue. Read more on this subject "Writers & Rejections: Don't give up" at

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Promotional Campaign, Gardening, Crafts & Focus:

I volunteered to help promote a wonderful young man named Wes Bensching and his new label Hard Fault. He has a great love for writing and composing his own style of unique music. Every note on Hard Fault’s CDs is performed by Wes. He plays several instruments, compiles, and edits to create leisure music.

January’s ice storm removed many tree limbs in the Woodland Garden. No more canopy of trees. The sun has found its way in where I have to rethink from shade to sun growing plants. This is a new adventure. The garden is my place to think – refocus my life as a writer- what book to rewrite, what one to submit, and what one to start writing.

Focus, focus, focus- How does one keep focused in this crazy, changing world. Deadlines I can keep because I gave my word – I keep my word. I just wish, I could keep my word I place on myself,

Before I start submitting crafts and recycling articles and two books I have finished on these subjects, I would like to start a blog on these subjects. What I have sold in the past and what I have researched; non-fiction sells quicker than fiction for children and adults.
What do you think?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ozark Writers & Illustrators:
The deadline for submitting a first page for critique at the Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children [including YA] is June 12th. The conference is July 11th (Saturday) at the Lebanon-Laclede County library this year. For more info, including a downloadable registration form, go to Great conference for writers - even if not specializing in children's writing. Great for illustrators, too.
On July 10th, the library is hosting an Author Day/Book fair for writers of all ages and genres [except things not suitable for public library] from noon to 5 - no charge, but need to reserve a table by emailing
~ member MWG, Ozark Pen Masters Guild, SCBWI

J.C. Ragland, Ed.D.
One cannot build an orchestra with one instrument; harmony requires multiple notes.
-- Elaine Estervig Beaubien

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Illustrators Workshop, Library, OWL Books in Museum and Living a busy life:

The illustrators’ workshop was rewarding. I am hoping to hear from other illustrators who are interesting in writing and illustrating for publication. If you are interested, email me at Updates on the workshop click on To learn more about children’s authors and illustrators click on; http://childrensbooks, and .

To keep up dated with the publishing world and the dishonest publishers & agents go to - Writer Beware (Round the clock coverage of BookExpo America 2009;; and

I was saddened by the death of Noogie, the Llama (1993-2008) and now the beloved Lurch is very ill. Lurch, is a Watusi steer. What makes Lurch special, is not because he is a Guinness Record Holder – it is because he is kind and lovable. I wrote an article about Lurch and the herd. It was published in The Ozarks Mountaineer magazine. Everyone who knows Lurch is ill is chipping in with donations to help with his treatment expenses.

This month has been very busy and I believe it will continue for the next six months.
May 16th I attended the Ozarks Writers League is where you see old friends and meet new ones. Great group! Soon OWL members will have their books with the history of the league in the Ralph Foster Museum, College of the Ozarks.

May 27th was the last meeting of the Friends of the Library for the next three months (Gosh, I’ll miss it and the special people who help support the library.). Please, don’t ever forget your library - big city or small town it is so important. Go beyond the Internet, check out your local library to do research and reading. The book sale May 21-22, 23 was a success. If you have any extra books – donate them to your library and please attend the interesting programs they provide throughout the year.

A Sharing Garden: Last week when I entered the Woodland Garden I was met by the Poison Ivy family. They welcomed me with a bouquet of their family’s fast growing crop. Long after I left the garden, their freely given gift is staying close to my heart. When I triumph over the emotions I have been feeling; I’ll re-enter the garden with my gift for the Poison Ivy family. Hopefully, this gift will change their life.

I felt a little safer on the deck when I planted flowers and seeds in pots. In a couple days the seeds were growing. With a little unwanted help from my chipmunk friends, holes have dug in several pots. I guess they wanted me to plant some sunflower seeds. The wildlife that has made homes and do visit the Woodland Garden continues to amaze and inform me. I have my own Red-headed woodpecker family. I fought for them and continue to watch them at the campgrounds belonging to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Hard Fault has some new music; check it out and listen at I love this artist. He is the creator of every note and also the beautiful covers.

If an editor or writer acts unprofessional do not bend. Remember to always act as a professional and you will be rewarded.

I’ll be updating my blog, Submarine Stories and Military Writers soon at and my website at

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children meet each month in Springfield, Missouri. They are having their Annual Summer Workshop July 11. Check out their website
The Lebanon-Laclede County Library is having an Authors' Day & Book Fair July, 10,11 &12 from 12-5 p.m. Please make reservations with Rosalie Klein 417-532-2148 or email

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Sale, Baxter County Library May 21,22, & 23 starting at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hard Fault Music is by a new artist. His music will calm you after a difficult time,transport you on a journey of cloud formations and heavenly sounds.

Enjoy the peace Hard Fault's music will bring to you. You will not be sorry. Hard Fault is an artist who's music is pure because it is created from the heart of one of the greatest new artist to come to us in 2009.
Illustrators Workshop

Illustrators’ workshop on illustrating a 32-page children’s
picture book will be held at Bel Arco Resort’s Conference
Center May 22, 2-4 p.m.

Mary Nida Smith, freelance writer, author and illustrator
will present the workshop.

The workshop will discuss how to create a storyboard,
thumbprints, and spacing to develop a dummy book to submit
to an art director, agent or an editor at a publishing house.

On display will be several how-to-books, a completed dummy,
a storyboard, thumbprints and a light box.

Attendees are invited to bring their illustrations
for display.

If you have any questions call 870-431-5369 or email
For more information and Smith’s bio go to
Registration fee $10. by May 18th or $15.00 at the door. Send to Mary Nida Smith 162 Stamford Dr, Lakeview, AR 72642

Check big event in June at Chicago. It appears I will miss it again this year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 11-17 is Children's Book Week

Did you know all children's books published before 1985 may be removed from your library in 2010?

One of my favorite books for 2009 is "These Darn Squirrels" by Adam Rubin. I am a nut who loves squirrels. They have taught me what I read online is not always true and that I can learn from them.

SCBWI/ Arkansas Conference this weekend.
Blogs I follow list - HOME is Rich Davis' website He has something new for children to enjoy.

22nd Annual Ozarks Romance Authors Writers’ Conference
"Committed to Write"
June 6, 2009, 9:00AM-3:30PM (registration 8:30-9:00)
The Springfield Library Center
4653 South Campbell Avenue
Springfield, Mo.

Friday, May 08, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM. Not a day passes that I don't think of you. I will always be grateful to God for choosing you to be my mom and best friend. You continue to guide me from your new home in heaven.

To my daughter Margeret, who is a special mom. I love you.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Rain, JacketFlap, Ozarks Mountaineer , Christian Writers:
The ice storm is long gone, debris slowly disappearing from the landscape and now, warm damp or rainy days have arrived creating moments of nostalgia for the West coast.

It has been a busy week preparing my program for the “Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book Workshop.” I pulled out a lot of helpful books from the shelves and some of my drawings to display, hoping to inspire people attending my workshop on Friday, May 22.

I had a piece published in the Round & About the Ozarks department of The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine May/June issue on page 23. I enjoyed the cover by Mike McArthy.

Check out Kid Magazine Writers’ website at for updates of what is happening in the children’s magazine business and lots of helpful articles.

Check out author Susan Taylor Brown at and JacketFlap at, a social networking community of 3,100 published authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults.

The Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers meets the 2nd Saturday of every month from 1 a.m. to noon at the University Heights Baptist Church 1010 S. National (Corner of Grand and National near MSU), Springfield, Missouri,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Workshop, Library, Lamp, Garden, Cat: I finished creating my workshop poster (Will display it at Bel Arco) and flyers, plus started writing the press release and placed 2-pages of information on Bel Arco Writers Workshop blog.

I worked in the garden – replanted one bush and a sapling tree. I am not sure what it is, for a squirrel planted it last fall in one of my potted plants on the patio. I replanted a native fern growing in the garden where it wouldn’t be trampled. Wild native plants choose where they want to grow. I sowed a wild flower seed gathered from the forest in a spot I wanted it to grow. But, oh, no – it moved the second year about two feet from where I plant it. Now, three year’s later I have a collection of five. I must remember the Woodland Garden is wild.

My neighbors will agree I am probably the wildest thing out there. I will not share why, but you can ponder it over after I share this – Mrs. Pileated Woodpecker was enjoying breakfast at the base of a stump, when out of no where, like a demon from Hell, a neighbor’s huge stray cat pounced at it. I was watching from an open, un-screened bedroom window. I almost fell out the 8-foot drop while screaming above what my voice box is tuned for, “NO. NO GET OUT,” over and over I repeated as I frantically waved my arms. The bird flew to the bottom of a tree as the feral cat dashed to who knows where.

No, my list for last week is still intact as adventures took me on different paths after I attended the Friends of the Library (I am a member) yearly white elephant sale. I purchased a large, wrought iron floor lamp which I have converted into three different useful pieces. While at the meeting I learned what is happening throughout America in our libraries. I came home did some research about a very important piece of news on Children’s books. I will have follow-up news as soon as I receive some information in the mail. Please keep up with what is going on in libraries at the American Library Association.

Saturday May 2, 9 a.m. SCBWI Children’s Writers Springfield, Mo meet in the meeting room at the Library Station Library.
Sunday May 3, Books in Bloom, Eureka Springs, AR
May 15-16 SCBWI Conference, Conway, AR 72032

When the world says give up, hope whispers one more time. I have been blessed with another day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Schedule and Focus: A schedule is difficult to keep, and keeping focus with distractions that comes with living can cause me to take a different path. But, I must keep trying for I am accomplishing some things on my list and this is the reason to re-focus and revise my schedule to meet my ever changing days.

Since April 6th, I have submitted an essay to a church magazine and a memory story to another magazine. I am in the middle of making some small changes to a children’s picture book I had finished. Plus, I checked on a couple of literary agents.

I am in the planning stage for an upcoming workshop on “How to Illustrate a Children’s Picture Book.”

I kept records and did some research on the wildlife that lives in the Woodland Garden. I worked a few hours replacing bird houses, making hummingbird food and enjoyed how God is showing me the ice storm didn’t destroy, only brought new life filled with surprises. I now have a 4-inch tall holly. The wind or a bird planted the seed. It replaced the small Mimosa tree I lost.

The squirrels provided knowledge about themselves for a picture book I have written and posed for my camera so I would have photos. What I learned about them I was unable to find on the internet. The squirrels have taught me many things over the years and each season I learn more.

Remember, besides the work I mention on this blog, I have the Bel Arco Resort Workshops that I organize, and my submarine stories and military writers’ blog where I am involved with mostly submarine veterans. Also, it is where I promote my book, “Submarine Stories of World War II.”

What was time consuming this week was searching for an important photo I misplaced. But, I did find it. Also, I was able to organize other photos I will be using in future articles and a book.

Yes, I did do all my weekly duties as a housewife. My hours are from 5:30 a.m -10 p.m. I try not to waste each day, but I am guilty of goofing off. Tomorrow, at 1 o’clock I am planning to attend “The Poetry Thing” at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home. It is a great program.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Blessings


Sunshine Days

The things which are impossible

with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27

Photo (c) Mary Nida Smith

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

  1. Lessons learned: Do not rely on information on wildlife that has been passed on through the years. It is like relying on the same old gossip that may or may not be true. Investigate and study the person or the animal. We are not alike and we can change. This I learned from studying the female robin bouncing off my patio window. She was not daffy.

    With the ice storm problems behind me, I will be on a mission to keep focused on my work in the studio. Get rid of obstacles that block my progress.
    1. Keep only materials needed/associated with the projects I have finished, started and outlines of future projects.
    2. Only do research on current project I am preparing to submit.
    3. Do not follow/read too many blogs and websites. They do come addictive.
    4. Do not compare myself to other creative people. Sing my own song.
    5. Open e-mails in the evenings instead of watching TV.

    I have been guilty of the opposite type of behavior. It can take a professional writer to a social writer. I am taking stock of my time allowed in the studio in-between all my other responsibilities. I must be focus to consider myself a professional writer for I am wasting precious time writing and submitting.

    I will hold myself accountable with weekly updates on my progress of staying focused:
    · manuscripts and queries mailed
    · manuscripts accepted and rejected
    · notes from editors and agents
    · obstacles that will come up and how I handled them


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daffy Female Robin:

For several mornings a female robin has perched on a lawn chair or stands on the deck near the patio window. Her eyes are filled with rage as she forces her chest again and again against the window. She appears to be knocking herself silly.

The same old story is told when this happens; that she sees her reflection and believes it is an adversary that she needs to scare off. I don’t believe this, for the robins have returned three years prior to this time, utilizing the nests on both end of the house over the down spouts. This has never happened before.

I believe she is knocking herself silly so she can take up with that dark rust-colored dude who has been hanging around her. He constantly bugs her and will not take no for an answer.
Once her eyes are blacked where she can’t see who she has taken up with, and appears to look as if she had a bad hair day – then maybe, she’ll take up housekeeping.

It doesn’t really matter how she looks when she gives in to him. Later, he’ll act as if he’s God’s gift to another female robin; he’ll strut around below her as if he didn’t have a care in the world, knowing he’s was the conquer

Is there a moral to this observation? You tell me what you think.
(C) Mary Nida Smith

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Writer's Digest Books: Resource books - Children's Writer's & Illustrators Market, Writers' Market and Poetry Market are books people buy or bring home from the library to find a market for their writings or illustrations.

But, they miss many other important features provided in the front and back pages? Yes, they do. I am one who reads my book front to back, then, puts it on the shelf. I get busy where I only bring it out when searching for a market for my work. The front and back pages should be read often.

The books are full of helpful resources: contest, awards & grants, agents & art reps, clubs & organizations, conferences & workshops, list of helpful books & publications, useful online resources, glossary, names index (list of all the editors, art directors, agents & etc listed in the pages of the market books), age-level index, subject index, and professional organizations. This list is in the back - now read the front.

Writing is a difficult task
You think and research
You write and rewrite
It is no ordinary task.

A writer is made
Out of many rewrites.
The length of a writer's life
Is as uncertain as the morning fog.
-(c) Mary Nida Smith

Monday, March 16, 2009

What a day!
Fog filled the air with heavy mist evoking the mood of mystery lurking beyond as I went for an early morning walk.
I was on a mission to visit one of the World War II Veterans who has a monument with four other veterans created in their honor at Naperville, Illinois. He was not home.

I took my camera for fog can sometimes creates strange encounters with nature and the surroundings. The woods I passed by was filled with rat-a-tats and squeaks of different woodpeckers working on trees. The ice storm had gutted rotten trees exposing meals fit for the king of the woods; the pileated woodpecker.

The ice storm caused terrifying crisis for the vultures roosting near the tree tops. As the trees suddenly creak, broke, and dropped; so did some of the vultures. One still hangs low on a broken bough, it's body limp and cold. A warning of the unknown, perhaps more death may enter these dry woods. Of cause I photographed this eerie, but sad phenomenon. I love watching vultures fly, they are beautiful as they tip their wings moving with the wind. Vultures are 26-32 inches in length and have a wingspan up to 6 feet.

I photographed the little fog spiders; this is what I call them, for I only see their webs on foggy mornings. I also took pictures of the butter-yellow forsythia bush; Ally, the neighbor’s dog with her green St. Patrick Day scarf; a young sweet girl who held her lovely cat, and the gray-white foggy backdrop beyond the trees.

The afternoon was spent in my Woodland Garden raking, uncovering flowers, building little forts for the rabbits (I hope) and placing garden ornaments back where they belong.
Tomorrow, I hope the mist has created fungi to photograph. I have lots of fungi pictures, but I
continue to find more for my collection.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mystery Writers:

Links of interest to OWL members and other writers interested in writing and reading mysteries! (Plus, some good publicity for some of our OWL members!)
AND Lots of authors and helpful information on both.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Missouri Writers' Guild Conference:
The 94th Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference will be held April 3-5, 2009 at Drury Lodge (phone number: 573-334-7151) 104 South Vantage Drive, at Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Speakers will be Lee Goldberg, writer for Monk and Diagnosis Murder Television series,
Angela Mackintosh and Annette Fix, editors of the WOW! Women on Writing e-zine. Fix is also the author of The Break-Up Diet, and she will present a session on memoir writing, poet Harvey Stanbrough, Simon and Schuster editor, Kate Angelella, editor of Listen Magazine, Celeste Walker, tween series author Jessica Burkhart, and Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Marcia Kay Preston. Check the website for speaker updates, bios, and classes at or
or Margo L. Dill 217-714-8582 or

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Arkansas Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators(SCBWI) Spring Conference is set for May 15-16, 2009 at the University ofCentral Arkansas in Conway, Ark. On the slate to speak are Martha Mihalick,associate editor at Greenwillow Books; Jennifer Rofe, associate agent atAndrea Brown Literary Agency; Anastasia Suen, author, consultant and writingteacher; Darcy Pattison, author and writing teacher; and, Melanie Siegel,illustrator.The conference brochure is now available online at
Dear members of the Arkansas Region of the SCBWI,
I retired as the Arkansas SCBWI Regional Advisor on March 1. The last four years as your RA have been a pleasure, but the time has come for me to concentrate more time to my work. Phyllis Hemann, who has worked hard for the last couple of years as the Conference Director is the new RA. She will do a wonderful job. You can reach her by email at:
I will continue to support AR SCBWI in any way that I can, and hope to see each of you at the Spring Conference on May 15-16.

With warmest regards,

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gardening, Library, Storm, Ideas for Writing and Blogging:
Baxter County Master Gardeners Seminar will be in a couple of weeks; check it out on their website I plan on attending to learn how gardeners will be renewing their damaged gardens. I don’t recognize my garden. I and the wildlife feel so exposed in our surroundings – no place to hide, ponder or frolic.

March 6, 10:30 am – Please be at the groundbreaking ceremony for our new Donald W. Reynolds Public Library at 300 Library Hill back of ASU Mountain Home. I’ll be there to help serve coffee. As a member of the “Friends of the Library,” I am very excited. When I move (too often) to a new area the first places I look for are the library, newspaper office and bookstore. Library website:

Every so often I click on the website of an area I have lived. I use to shop at the Air Force Base at Mountain Home, Idaho when I lived in Twin Falls, Idaho. Do you know they have an Arts Council, supporting their local creative people? Their website is I wished our Mountain Home/Baxter County had one, where all creative people could be in one place sharing ideas. is temporarily closed. Check back in a couple of days. You can register for the “Basics of Blogging Workshop” by emailing Send your $25 registration fee to Mary Nida Smith, 162 Stamford Drive, Lakeview, AR 72642. It will be $30 dollars at the door Saturday, March 7th. Thank You.

Baxter County will be picking up all our piled high storm debris. I figure by the time summer solstice provides warmer days filled with longer work days, the wasted wood will be gone. During the storm we were begging for wood for the unused fireplace. Joe, are neighbor kindly supplied us with wood. Larry Ofner kept us supplied with hot coffee. Thank you both, the electrical company and all the tree trimmers.

Life is a constant adventure usually blown in on the wing tips of the unpredictable weather. Before each storm our bodies were warmed by the southern winds, then entered the fast driven roar of the mighty north wind displaying its power over all. The warm rains angered the cold wild winds, causing a curse of heavy ice to pull down the trees to enclose us in a crypt of ice. It will be about two weeks before the roof can be repaired, the siding may not be able to be replaced (It will be about five weeks before we will know.), and the sunroom we are hoping for a solution with out removing it or a replacement. I have been trying to draw up plans so we can save the sunroom. I am not disheartened for there are so many others who have bigger concerns.

Stories ideas continue to form in the midst of each new adventure. I don’t understand when some writers will say to me, “Where do you fine ideas to write?” I say, “Look at your feet. Write down the different things about feet, shoes, shoe strings, and the list continues. The stories, articles or poetry can’t write itself, so start with a line and work up to a page. Maybe, you should start by writing a friend a letter telling her all the problems you are having with your feet and where all the wonderful places your feet can take you. Write, just write!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baxter County Library is having a book sale February 19-20-21. Check out their website at

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Donna Volkenannt - check out my friend Donna's blog "Donna's Book Pub" at

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rich Davis - Rich Davis & Deborah Edmonds, Children's Librarian

Baxter County Library February 7th, I attended the children’s program: Drawing with illustrator Rich Davis from Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The children loved every minute. Rich captured the children’s’ attention the moment he started. Rich worked several years at Day Springs Cards - designing cards.
Check his website:

I met Rich several years ago when I lived in Siloam Springs. We both attended a writers group that met at Rogers library and when I was President of Siloam Springs Artist Guild. Each year in March the guild and five Northwest art clubs were involved with Sager Creek Arts Center in organizing a competitive show at John Brown University. I loved Siloam Springs and the people, but my husband was looking for a bigger and clearer fishing lake.

I just finished my job as a contest coordinator for the Missouri Writers Guild Conference coming up in April. So many good writers! I am hoping to attend. Don’t forget Ozarks Writers League (OWL) Saturday the 14th, at the College of the Ozarks. Great group!

One of my favorite magazines is “Grit” magazine. Jan/Feb issue had a much needed article “Protect Yourself From Power Outages.” We all needed to read and employ the substance of this article before we had the last ice storm. Great articles, photos and covers. March/April issue articles: Spirit of the American Barn, A Tribute to Country Women, and Sweet, Sour and Savory Rhubarb, just to name a few. Don’t forget to read the humorous piece “The Ruminant Romp” by Barbara Westhoven (a writer friend of mine). When I visit with Barb she shares many funny stories of what is happening on their farm.

Check out the poster for the “Basics of Blogging Workshop” at Bel Arco.
For information and I hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Woodland Garden and Ice Storm: I have returned from the world of ice and destruction. One day it was a beautiful crystallized landscape and the next few days it appeared as scenes from a horror movie. The demons were the ice and cold trying to destroy your mind and body.

A sad week for my Woodland Garden, where I escaped to enjoy being by myself and to watch the wildlife God created. My garden lot was for the unwanted wildlife held back from surrounded fences to enter to eat, drink, raise their young and entertain me. It was our woods.

Without trees and bushes to hide in and places to build homes will I loose my wildlife friends? I am sad for them and for me. The two woodpecker trees are untouched. Will they now become over crowded wildlife high-rise apartments? Can animals get along better than their human friends?

It will take weeks to cut, trim and remove all the debris. To keep safe from damaged limbs and trees during removal, I must remove what remains of garden items such as benches, chairs, statues and trellises.

When the garden is cleared and cleaned. I’ll have to take notes on what trees and bushes can be salvaged and where to start rebuilding. There are so many questions. I know my Woodland Garden I have loved for ten years will only be a memory created in many photos.
It was carved out of a wild overgrown wooded lot into a quiet refuge. Now, it must be re-created out of the ruins of an untamed freezing winter storm of January 2009. Above are the before and after photos. All my blogs have been updated - check them out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Writers’ Conferences, Workshops, and Websites: Start checking writers’ groups websites early to have time to enter their contest and to prepare to attend your favorite conference or workshop.

January 28, The Friends of the Library meets at 1:30 p.m., at the Baxter County Library, Mountain Home. Please join us and watch our new library go up and forward.
February 21st Ozarks Writers League
March 7 Bel Arco Writers Workshops will have a “How to Create a Bog” workshop
March 13-15 Missouri Spring Retreat
March 15-17 41st Annual Literature Festival University of Central Missouri
April 3-5 94th Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference http://www.missouriwritersguild,org
May 15-16 Arkansas SCBWI Spring Conference
June 5-6 The Sixty-Fifth Annual Arkansas Writers’ Conference

Vivian Brown author of “Finding the Gold Ring” (Non-fiction) and a new mystery “Just LikeYour Mother” published by Xlibris, and “Thirsty For Love” by Tate Publishing. Vivian is a new writer to this area from California.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi wrote the book, “Writes Online Marketplace.” I am hoping Writers
Digest Books will ask her to do an update. It is a very helpful book.

Elaine Deyo is the author and illustrator of children’s books.
Mike McArthy is a photographer who uses some of his photos to reproduce in a creative manner depicting paintings, drawings, animations and antique interpretations.

God has blessed me with a huge imagination filled with all my senses or is it non-sense.
A writer is always a writer – their blood flows from a pen into words, only the act of God can remove this drive or as some people would characterize - a disease of the mind – she is out of her place of what a woman is suppose to do.

Discouragement comes from the devil and encouragement comes from God.
Faith makes things possible, not easy.
Exercise daily, walk with God

Christian writers and market places:

Thursday, January 15, 2009


On June 7-14, Writers Hall of Fame, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri is sponsoring a bus tour to visit fifteen of Missouri’s most successful and well known children’s authors, artists, playwrights, and poets, many of whom are members of SCBWI.

Tour guide, Dr. Linda Benson, is professor emeritus of children’s literature at Missouri State University. Graduate and undergraduate college credit is available through Drury University and can be transferred.

The tour begins in St. Louis and moves to Kansas City and southwest Missouri before returning to St. Louis eight days later. Along the way you’ll meet in the homes and studios of Pat and Fred McKissack, Constance Levy, Lynn Rubright, Vicki Grove, C. B. Mordan, Eileen Bluestone Sherman, Cheryl Harness, Dorinda Nicholson, J. B. Cheaney, David Harrison, Judy and Ross Young, Kate Klise, and Veda Boyd Jones.

Other highlights include a riverboat dinner cruise with entertainment, a tour of historic St. Charles with costumed docent, a performance at Shepherd of the Hills Amphitheatre, and visits to Precious Moments Park & Chapel and Laura Ingalls Wilder home and museum.

Your tour will include round trip deluxe motor coach transportation, 7 nights deluxe lodging with hot breakfast and manager’s reception each evening, 7 dinners and 1 lunch. All taxes, service charges, group meal, gratuities and coach driver’s gratuity are included in the price of your ticket. Prices range from $1,169 (four in a room) to $1,711 (for a single).

For more information contact David Harrison ( To make reservations, contact Brian Garrison ( Reservations require $500 down and the rest by May 8.

Submitted by David Harrison