Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ozark Writers & illustrators for Children:
The Library Station, Children's Story Room, Springfield, MO
February 2nd, 9:30

Janie Cheaney will share information for online promotion and insights from a recent Kansas Writer's workshop on the subject. We'll discuss the basics of researching editors, agents and publishing houses online and using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networks to promote yourself. It's possible to build a fan base even before you publish a book!

We'll begin at 9:30 in the Children's meeting room at the Library Station (just north of the Kearney/Kansas Expressway intersection). There will be a brief business meeting before the program begins. Around 11:30 we'll have a short break, then continue with a critique session.

Contact Naomi Shaw at to RSVP or if you have questions regarding our critique sessions.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter in the South
January 30, 2010
7 a.m.
4 degrees
9-12 iches of snow

Friday, January 29, 2010

by Mary Nida Smith (c)

Oh, the day it snowed
I stood with my mouth open
to catch the snowflakes.
I leaned my head back
to feel the snow against my face.
I took my hands swishing
fluffy flakes back and forth
playing with them before they land.
I ran and yelled, "Snow, Snow."
I'll always remember
the day it snowed.
I twisted and turned
as I laid on the ground
feeling the snowflakes
coming down.
I'll forever remember
the first time
I saw and touched snow.

First snow for my young son when we were living in Oregon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poems and Book Series: Click on David L Harrison's blog to your right.
Vote for your favorite poem of the month. While you are there, please
read my poem. Thank you!

I discover a new author (to me she is) from a friend of mine who
wants to collect her books. The author is Mary Pope Osborne.
She wrote the Magic Tree House series. A series of 42 books.
What is neat, she has her family involved with her work.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Agents and other helpful information: Read why your query or manuscript will be rejected by agents at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Illustrators: I have discovered and added Sherry Rogers to my blog list: http://sherryrogers.blogspot/ She shares a lot of helpful information on
how she does her art. Never give up on creating your art for children's
books and magazines. If you don't have time to create a picture book
dummy, create a magazine one-page. If you write poetry; write one
where you can add your illustrations. This will help you to continue
or have something to submit to an art director of a magazine or
publishing house.

Reading different artist or writer's blogs you will learn life is not
perfect and we all have our problems. But, even a little at a time
will help us achieve our goals.
Don't waste your creative energy on the negative.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Click on Widgets: Click on the widget AUTHORNOW on this blog and click on JACKFLAP widget to glean more information at Two very informative places to learn more about the writing business.

Monday, January 18, 2010

ELIMINATING CLUTTER AND STRESS: January is the month many writers are in the organizing mode. If you can keep your office under control it will allow more time to write, and less time searching for information you know you have, but where? I wrote an article on that subject a couple of years ago. It was first published in the SCBWI/Missouri newsletter "MO Scribbles," Ozarks Writers League newsletter, and "Fine LInes" SCBWI Australian Chapter newsletter. It has been in their archives until this year. They have a beautiful new website I may have to submit it to the Missouri Writers Guild to place on their website.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Poem      


By Mary Nida Smith

Before dawn magic
took wings
beyond my window.
When I looked out
into my garden
I saw the tree branches
dressed in bridal wear
under a canopy of blue.
Branches reached outward
displaying garments
of white crystal beads.
The bright sun rushes in
with a guest named Breeze.
Suddenly the white crystals
turn into sparkling diamonds,
floating slowly to the ground,
covering guest foot prints
like ghostly vapors
disappear from camera’s view.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sara Webb Quest, author and freelance writer at her recent book signing at Books by the Sea, South Yarmouth, MA where you will find more
information on Sara. Congratulations Sara! Great photo.
Also check at Twin Lakes Writers website for information on Saturday, Jan 9 meeting. 

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Illustrators: If you are beginning to find your way into the business of illustrating for the children's market and you are not sure where to begin here is a suggestion. Look out your window - write a short poem/verse about the weather of the day. Illustrate several drawings to reflect your poem on one page or a spread of two pages. You can file it until you feel you have done your best, then submit to a children's magazine. Buy the CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET BOOK or check out one at your library. All the children's magazines are listed at KIDS MAGAZINE WRITERS I will have an article published in this emagazine - Feb. issue.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Writing projects: Now don’t dream too high.
Placing your goals too high can give
you a headache.

1. One day at a time.
2. Start with the most finished piece: Finish it!
3. Reread, revise until it is publishable.
4. Search for a publisher and editor. Don’t give up!
5. Write a query or cover letter depending
on the finished project.
6. Mail
7. Start second project

I see 7 goals – while doing them, don’t think
of everyday duties while in the studio/office.
This can be the number one stress factor
that will keep a person from being productive.

Remember as a child we had to learn to walk
one step at a time. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
(c) Mary Nida Smith