Friday, December 23, 2011

I wish each and everyone a Blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

CORRECTION: The wonderful picture book from Flashlight Press is titled Pobble's Way not
Knit Pobble Mittens. I am thankful for the correction from Flashlight Press. I sent the email I received about this book on to friends. Sorry, about the mistake.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I LOVE CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS: I want to share both with you, one special book KNIT POBBLE MITTENS, by Simon Van Booy and illustrated by Wendy Edelson. Beautiful illustrated Winter scenes and the story of a lost mitten and the joy several animals found it to help keep them warm. Kids will love it and there is a mitten pattern where they can learn how to knit a pair of warm cozy mittens for themselves or for a friend. I have always wanted to learn to knit, maybe I'll try my hand at it. Pattern by Bev Qualheim. Click on to check out KNIT POBBLE MITTENS and all the other neat books.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Check out and
To help you change your VHS movies to DVD you can find a converter at Radio Shack.

Yesterday, was a beautiful warm sunny day - a day of joyful events. I had an enjoyable
lunch at 178 with several friends which three were celebrating birthdays. Laughter and
creative ideas and future plans were whirling about the table. Three of us with 22 more
authors will be at the library Sunday to show, sell, and sign our books. The fun part is

That afternoon I went for a walk to check out what Christmas decorations neighbors were displaying to photograph later and to check on my little duck on the pond. It appeared lonely
by itself as it swam toward me it shared a little voice that I hadn't heard before.

Drove down to the White River, then on to Gastons White River Resort to see their
Christmas displays. Boy! That place was hopping.

Enterprise printing Company Inc.,

Sunday, November 20, 2011



This can be the day you and your guest

make a list "A Blessing List." Share

them one by one.

What a thankful day it will be!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BOOK SALE at Baxter County Library Thursday 17, Friday 18, and Saturday 19th.
Ozarks Writers League all day event filled with speakers is Saturday 19th, at the College of the Ozarks. Twin Lakes Writers will be selling their books at this week-end craft fair at the Baxter County Fairgrounds.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am sorry, I was unable to get a good photo of the three wonderful creative wood burning panels of ducks in nature. Each one is 2x6 created by artist Carole Tormey Jones of Yellville, Arkansas. They are on display at Toll House Antiques & Gifts in Cotter. While you are there check out my book, Ozarks Sunrises.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Information to check for writers who want to be published. I hope this blog post helps you find information that will protect you from getting burned.

Writer Beware (R) Blogs

Velda Brotherton - Being a Writer

SPAWN ( Small Publishers,Artist and Writers Network)

Directory of ePublishers, Electronic Publishers

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I am back from the shadows of darkness reaching for the stars of hope. My monitor died a slow death last month where I was unable to reach the outside world for a couple of weeks. With the support of my family I am back. Where would we be without a loving family?

Dave Butts of BBS Computer Sales and Systems Services, Inc., Mountain Home (870) 425-9467
came out to my studio hooked up a large screen flat monitor (my son left me). I love it! It is like having new glasses where I can see more clearly. He hooked up my Skype ( my grandson and family gave me) to be able to see and keep in touch with them who are so far away. Plus, my newly purchased EPSON -Perfection V330 Photo that scans documents to edit, slides, film strips, and negatives into photos. I am looking forward to developing my slides into photos to be used with my books and poems I have finished and others I am working on. Also, photo essays for magazines. I still have things to clear up on the computer and then I am off and running toward my goals. It is hard to kill the dreams of a dreamer when they have been blessed by God.

I recieved a beautiful arrangement from my daughter Margeret and family-filled with bright colors of Fall that brighten up the house. Today, is the start of another day to believe in myself and go forward.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

(c) All photographs copyrighted by Mary Nida Smith

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Children's Story contest associated with the book and movie "The Help" was won by Darcy Pattison. Her story was tiled "11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph." To read more click on and Don't forget Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., on PBS.

It is a beautiful time of the year to enjoy and take photos. The landscapes colorful display is brighter and fuller this year. I did a lot of mess-ups yesterday trying to create my blog to promote my published & unplublished books/big and small. I am now following and talking to three Gray Treefrogs hanging around my house.

Did anyone see author Darcy Pattison last Friday night on PBS "On the Same Page?" She was wonderful. Her lastest book is "Prairie Storms" from Sylvan Dell Publishing. She will be on again this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Don't miss it! Darcy started the first SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrator) in Arkansas.

Don't forget OWAIC (Ozarks Writers and Illustrators for Children) will hold their meeting
in Springfield,MO.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kim Crow Sheaner, Community Outreach Coordinator for Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home , Arkansas did a great job taking a picture of the Friends of the Library officers. It was on,, and in The Baxter Bulletin newspaper.

I picked up my books today: Ozarks Sunrises: photos & free verse poetry - A small gift book to be given for all occasions. This was something I could accomplish using one hand after I had surgery May 13th on my broken arm. It was a bad break that can take up to a year to heal. I still may need to have another pin put in. But, I am pushing forward.

Now, I need to create that new blog I had mentioned before just for my books, I have published and I am working on. I will share my mistakes and my progress. I'll place the price of my gift book and where to purchase it. I haven't figured what I will charge yet. We all need encouragement. When I need it a writer or illustrator will call or email me, and I will be encouraged to keep doing what I love to do, and to share with others.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Deer grazing in my woodland garden



© By Mary Nida Smith

In zoos


run free

behind fences.


on open range

no longer roam.

Deer run free

in restricted forest.

Buffalo roam free

not near ranches

where cattle feed.

Wolves run free.

All the people said,

not by me

Saturday, September 24, 2011

OZARKS CREATIVE WRITERS IS OCTOBER 6-8 in Eureka Springs check their website

Watch for my upcoming book blog I am creating to promote and share what books I am self-publishing and submitting to traditional publishers.
OZARKS SUNRISES is my first in a line of gift books for all occasions - Thank you gifts, stocking stuffers, a thinking of you gifts in the mail, office gifts, get well and birthdays gifts, just to name a few. It will arrive in about three weeks. It was published by Enterprise Printing Company. Inc., Bull Shoals, Arkansas. On this blog I will share where you can purchase it, the cost and where you will find me doing signings. Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am sadly disappointed to hear the Twin Lakes Writers will no longer be meeting at our new Donald W. Reynolds Library. To learn more continue to read.

Monday September 19, 2011 -10:30 am, I attended my monthly board meeting of The Friends of the Library, where I heard the latest news about the Twin Lakes Writers.

The FOL is the only membership I continued to be involved with after May 10th when I fractured my left arm above the elbow and on the 13th; I had surgery where the doctor placed a plate with pins to hold the bone together. It was inserted through my shoulder; it continues to heal. So, I was unable to continue at that time as president of the group that I had founded March 1998. My vice-president was kind enough to be the president.

The library supported our writers group in so many ways. We had a large beautiful room with a podium and a speaker, plus a large screen for a “Power Point” presentation. December 4th the library will continue to sponsor “Local Authors Day.” To learn more click on
Go to their calendar on Sunday Dec 4th sign up to reserve a space and be mentioned in their press releases.

Watch for my new blog or website to announce information on books I am self-publishing, submitting to traditional publishers and books I am rewriting. I will be announcing my new book that will be released in 3-4 weeks. So continue to tune in to see what is happen as I try to go forward in a world of the unexpected.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Arkansas SCBWI Fall
Retreat 2011:
November 4-6, 2011

St. Scholastica Retreat Center, Fort Smith
This year's retreat is open to all writers working seriously toward publication. Space is limited.
The 15th annual Arkansas SCBWI Fall Retreat for Writers of Children's Literature will feature hands-on workshops led by Stacy Cantor Abrams, editor at Walker Books for Young Readers, and guidance on craft issues by Anna Myers. At the retreat, writers will learn techniques to strengthen their works-in-progress, submissions and writing skills.
Registered attendees will submit pages from a manuscript in advance (by Oct. 1) and receive feedback from the editor at the retreat. Instructions will be emailed to those who are registered.
Cost is $280, which includes private rooms with shared bath, meals, snacks and all sessions.Semi-private rooms with shared bath are available if you would like to room with a friend.Accommodations are retreat like with no phone or television in rooms. Television and phone service are available in the lounge area.
Reservations are on a first come, first served basis.
Registration is currently open for previous attendees and SCBWI members who requested information. Please email the Retreat Director for registration instructions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The information below is provided by Naomi Shaw, President OWAIC. (Naomi has worked hard to provide this group for writers who love to write & illustrate for children. I love this group. Thanks to you Naomi & your members for providing us monthly meetings and the best annual summer workshops.Mary Nida Smith)

It has been a great privilege to get to know all of you and be a part of your writing and illustrating career. I look forward to staying in contact with you in the future and continuing to be a part of OWAIC. However, I've come to a point where I have to make the decision to step out of the leadership role. OWAIC will continue to meet at the Library Station on the first Saturday of the month. But, I will no longer be able to make arrangements for programs, reminders, or the workshops. In the last five years our group has grown in numbers and in the craft. OWAIC meets a need in the region that currently has not been met by any other organization. Still, with the appointment of our very own Joyce Ragland as the Regional Assistant for Missouri SCBWI, we have a unique opportunity. We could "merge" our local group. Many are members of SCBWI now. Membership in SCBWI would not be a criterion for attendance. Joyce is willing to become involved with our OWAIC group in a leadership role as a facilitator until if/when someone else wants to lead the local group.

OWAIC would retain its identity for now as long as the GROUP wants to continue.

WHERE--The Library Station is reserved through the end of this year and we have our name in for next year.

JANIE--Will be stepping down from her role as planner and organizer for now, but will post announcements and updates on the website. Author J.B. Cheaney

DIRECTION--The group will retain its unique identity. Your creativity will continue to be encouraged and developed into marketable work. We have asked Joyce Ragland and Janet Weber (the Assistant RA) to bring their vision and resources, which are significant, to the group. Individual members of the group would need to take responsibility for some logistics.

OWAIC has assets. You are the biggest asset. Your desire to produce great literature, your willingness to share your time and experience, and your respect for each other cannot be quantified. Plus, we have established a great relationship with the Library Station and the Library Center.

SCBWI is the largest international organization promoting children's authors and illustrators on the planet. I feel our group will be in good company to share when we can at a local level.

Saturday,October 1, I hope all of you that can attend will attend and make the most of this new arrangement. I look forward to seeing all of you again as often as I can.

I will not be giving your contact information to Joyce automatically. If you would like to stay involved at the local level, please share your contact information with Joyce at Mention OWAIC in your subject line please. She looks forward to hearing from you. Or, if you prefer to attend the October meeting to see/hear more about the revised OWAIC, that is fine.

Thank you and God Bless,
Naomi Shaw

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR Children's Library has acquired two of Carole Tormey Jones, Artist/Illustrator's art work of the "Cotter Otter" now hanging on their wall for all to enjoy. Carole's prints and other paintings can be found at Toll House Antiques and Gifts in Cotter Arkansas.

Carole's paintings can be found in the homes of numerous collectors all over the world. She grew up in the horse country of Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.

I am pleased to say, Carole is a dear friend of mine. She is very active creating greeting cards, books, wood burning art and other artistic works.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Is life what we make it? When we get rejection letters as a writer do we say the heck with it and quit, or do we head out to our creative area and say, "I am not a quitter." Remember do not measure yourself with the accomplishments of others or you will fail. Be true to who you are, do not pretend to be someone you are not. Life is more fun and less stressful being who you are - a fun loving person filled with many things to share.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Check out Jan Fields website Read articles, computer help, read all links, list of kids magazines accepting submissions, and a list of magazines that have folded(Dead Zone).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogging is important to make connects and to collect helpful information, but traffic slows down during the summer and facebook becomes more popular.
First a website, a blog, facebook, and now twitter. Are we spending more time connecting while our writing/illustrating takes a backseat? How do we keep focused on our projects first? Our writings and other projects is what brought people to connect with us and will keep them coming back. My readers, what are your thoughts on this?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One foggy Fall morning

(c) Photo by Mary Nida Smith
I ventured to peacock land
to discover a peacock
dressed in greens and blues
sitting waiting for the sun
to rise.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Welcome to the Missouri Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators! Whether you are new to publishing or you are a seasoned professional, you can find help and support in the Missouri SCBWI. Our goal is to help writers and illustrators interested in traditional publishing.

  • We offer conferences, workshops, critique groups, and retreats all designed to help you in your publishing career. We are a regional chapter of the international organization of SCBWI. To join go to www.scbwi.orgTake a tour of our website!

  • Check out the events page to learn about upcoming workshops, retreats and conferences. There is always something new going on so check back often! If you are interested in having your manuscript reviewed, you may want to read the information on critique groups.

  • Enter the Missouri Mentorship competition to win the opportunity to have a published author or illustrator mentor you for an entire year!

  • Discover the latest industry and state information in our newsletter; MO Scribbles, and learn about Missouri Authors and Illustrators on the featured member page.If you have questions, we'd like to help!

  • Contacts:Missouri Regional Advisor - Joyce Ragland jcragland2011@gmail.comAssistant Regional Advisor - Janet Lloyd Weber
    Regional Advisor Emeritus - Sue Bradford Edwards suebradfordedwards@yahoo.comMentorship Coordinator - Donna Bateman

Friday, August 12, 2011

WRITERS INFORMATION: Place Creative Commons' logo on your website and blog for copyright notice.

Buy a flashdrive or a flash card to store files on. It can be used to move files from the desktop to the laptop. The first Thursday of each month from 1-4 pm the Twin Lakes Computer group meet in the Knox Community Room in the Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR.


Monday, August 08, 2011

PHOTO CONTEST: THE YEAR OF THE BAT! I enjoy watching bats during the evening and early morning catching the little creatures that kiss me with the itching death.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Monday, August 01, 2011

Saturday, July 30th I attended the all day OWAIC 3rd annual workshop at The Library Center in Springfield, Mo. I rode with my friend Laurel (Lonnie) Sheridan who has written for children’s magazines and has finished two teen novels. A large group came to learn, fellowship, and have a one-on-one, 10-minute manuscript critiqued with Editor Paula Morrow. I took one and she was very helpful and I enjoyed my ten minutes with her. There was also about ten one pages handed in for a critique read by the speakers, Vicki Grove, Cheryl Harness and Janie (J.B.) Cheaney. All the one pages submitted were good. We all learned from all the helpful comments.

Ms. Morrow shared a lot of good information on writing and marketing.
I purchased Cheryl’s coloring book. She writers and illustrates historical books for children.

Check out these websites:
Vicki Grove
J.B. Cheaney
Ink Think Tank – Nonfiction Authors in Your Classroom
I.N.K. Blog –

I only wished I could have taken my camera, but with one arm for now, it would have been difficult. I was so happy to be out enjoying myself. Tomorrow back to therapy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

No, Sassafras does not live in any of these. He lives in the background birdhouses
that have rough weathered boards that remind him of tree bark.

(c) photo by Mary Nida Smith

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Information on agents:
AAR- Association of Authors' Representatives at
place literary agents in Google search for more information

"Good Versus Great"

July 29-30 are the dates, The Library Center in Springfield is the place. Get ready for a full day (and a fun-filled evening) of information and inspiration!


Saturday, July 16, 2011


A man is reading Pinocchio to his son. The boy is miles away, and the man is reading into a digital recorder. He is an inmate in a state prison. The Storybook Project will mail the book and the recording to the child. The goal is “to keep families connected through reading.”

Warden David White has invited The Storybook Project to the North Central Unit in Calico Rock. He predicts about 200 inmates will want to participate each year.

The Storybook Project/North Central Unit will hold its first meeting
Thursday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.
Calico Rock Cumberland Presbyterian Church
692 Highway 56E

Pat Oplinger of Cherokee Village will discuss the program her group has run at the Newport Correctional Facility for the past thirteen years. Warden White and Accreditation Specialist Gary Teague will discuss how the program will be implemented at the North Central Unit.

Susan Varno has volunteered to start this new program. “The Storybook Project is a way for people in Izard, Baxter and Stone Counties to thank the prisoners for the work they have done in our communities: cleaning up after the ice storm and floods, repairing city streets, helping rebuild the Wolf House and more.”

If The Storybook Project completes 100 recordings twice a year, the Project must raise about $2000 annually. Initially they will have to raise an extra $1500 to buy digital recorders and at least 300 books.

At the meeting, committees will be set up for fundraising, book buying, making the recordings at the prison and mailing the books and recordings. Anyone from Baxter, Izard or Stone County interested in this project should attend the meeting or contact Susan Varno at or 870-297-4223.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Janice Votsmier is the new president of Twin Lakes Writers in Mountain Home, Arkansas. The writers meet at the Donald W Reynolds Library each month. they are designing a website at

Sunday, July 10, 2011

ARKANSAS'S MOST CREATIVE FINE ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATOR - CAROLE T. JONES You will find her art for sale at Toll House Antiques & Gifts 102 Combs Avenue, Cotter, AR

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Needed Recipes for Kids Cookbook:

Submit a recipe a kid can create on its own including a photo of your pet
Sun-e-dale Knoll
Box 735
Yellville, AR 72687-8562

This is a non-paying market
Thank you!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Arkansas Libraries License Plate - Winning Design by Library Staffer Baxter County Library’s very own, Kathe Altazan, created the winning design in a contest sponsored by the Arkansas Library Association for an Arkansas Libraries front license plate. The Arkansas Libraries plates are now available for purchase. They are made from a pliable, heavy-duty plastic and are intended for use on the front of your vehicle only. They are NOT state license plates. Show your support for Arkansas Libraries by purchasing a plate for $20.00 at the Library today!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011




Monday, June 20, 2011

3rd Annual PAL Art Expo Show
July 11-15, 2011

The P.A.L.’s Fine Art Gallery
Palette Art League
300 Hwy 62 West
Yellville, Ar 72687

Business Hours:
Tuesday thru Saturday
10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Oxford American magazine and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute are collaborating to host the inaugural Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers on June 21–26, 2011, on top of breathtaking Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas. With distinguished faculty and guest lecturers, this 5-day event will inspire participants, through innovative programming led by top-flight publishing experts, to sharpen and deepen their literary skills.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


© by Mary Nida Smith

The word of love
Friends forever
A guarantee
Easily broken
Cross your heart
Hope to die
Sworn to love
Death do us part
Shouldn’t be said
If easily broken
For part of the heart
Dies and promises
Blow in the wind.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Thursday, June 02, 2011


Louise Jackson will SHOW US THE Editors and Publishers. The door to most editors/publishers is through the medium of a successful query letter. Louise will help OWAIC members learn how to be more effective at getting through that initial door. She'll be talking about constructing an effective query letter at the June meeting. Come prepared to look at some query letters that worked, some that didn't, and try your hand at writing one yourself.

The meeting will be at the LIBRARY STATION, in the Children's Story Room, from 9:00-11:00am with a critique session to follow. (Please contact me at if you have a critique and don't know our guidelines.)

Two important dates to remember this summer ***July 29th & 30th Dinner and Workshop with Paula Morrow, Judy Young, and Vicki Grove. I have sent brochures to some of you through the mail. Please share with a friend or post it to the local newspaper. We need your help in getting the word out. This may be our strongest workshop so far! The brochure should be posted on our website now, or soon. for details.

If you are able to attend and want to take advantage of a one-on-one critique with Paula Morrow, please check the brochure for guidelines and deadlines. Your critique must be submitted by June 30th, 2011.

You have helped us each year have a successful workshop. This year, as in the past, we need you again. First, we need promotion. Please let me know if you could get the news out. I can get extra brochures to you. Tell a friend, tell a teacher, a librarian, a writer or illustrator.

We will also need help with refreshments and organization when the time gets closer. Please let me know if you are available. I really appreciate it.

Blessings to all,
Naomi Shaw

Monday, May 30, 2011

FAMILY CONNECTION-- I know over the years members of the Nida/Niday family since Lewis Nida who wrote history books for schools have been writers/authors and after my accident I received a message from one asking for my uncle's book - The Niday Family House. Check out Ellie's website She is the author of adult, teen and picture books.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hi friends. I miss you all. I hope to start posting again soon. I had all my shoulder stitches remove last Wednesday. It feels better. Take care and stay well. Mary Nida

Thursday, May 19, 2011

n c children's writers and illustrators has been canceled until further notice - no blogging workshop may 28

Janice will hold twin lakes writers meeting.

I have a spiral humerus fracture from falling on my left arm may 10th. I had surgery may 11 to place a rod in my arm.

sorry everyone
mary nida

my husband had surgery may 16 -replaced his heart pacer for another 5 years.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A new week, a new start to enjoy the moment and create. Mother's Day the sun was high in the sky bringing warmth to the earth. This morning the ever changing sky provided me with several changing scenes - from sunrise to storm clouds/beautiful! Check my facebook for a new photo I took on a foggy morning last week. Another fun morning walk.

David's new word "Promise" for the month of May. I have my poem "No Promise" up on ADULT "W.O.M." at

SHORT SHORT STORY - up to 2,000words
SHORT STORY - 2,000-8,000 words
NOVELLA - 8,000-40,000 words
NOVELS - 50,000 and up

Check out Read kid's book in the genre you want to write.
Learn by reading. Write down the parts used in the books you read.
Title: Is it interesting and why did they chose this title?
Strong opening:
Main Character profile:
Protagonist profile:
Secondary character profile:
Characters - think of them as actors in different setting on a stage or movie.
Point of view: Who is telling the story ?

  • Third person is the narrator not a character in the story

  • First person is a character in the story
What part does each character play in the story?
Voices -how each character has his own in dialogue.
What conflict is created to make this story interesting?
The writer creates mood through setting, characters, and descriptive details.
What did you like or dislike about the book/story?
How many words?
What grade or age group?
Who is the publisher?
If you like the way the book was written check out this author's website
for more helpful insight.
A very good book on this for beginners is "Extraordinary Short Story Writing" by
Steven Otfinoski

Information on self-publishing

Friday, May 06, 2011


to the best mother
who loved
her nine kids
with all her heart.
She taught us love,
to dream,
to enjoy life,
and to smile.
Most of all
she introduced us
to God
who has been our strength
in troublesome times.
Heaven has been blessed
to add Mom as one of the
angels in heaven.

Monday, May 02, 2011

OZARKS WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS FOR CHILDREN meet May 7th in Springfield, Missouri. For more information go to http:/// I am a member of this group and I support it even if I am unable to be their because of our meeting " NC Children's Writers & Illustrators" in Mountain Home, AR., on that date. They have a great summer workshop coming up the last of July. If all goes well I'll be there with bells on.

A Pet for Miss Wright just released! Miss Wright is an author and it's a lonely job, so she seeks a pet to keep her company. She tries out several, but the pet she ends up with not only keeps her company, but also helps her through the writing process. I've attached information about it. Please forward this to all the teachers at your school as this would make a great addition to their classroom and individual libraries.

If you or your teachers are going to the IRA Conference in Orlando, stop my the Sleeping Bear Press exhibits. I'll be there signing A Pet for Miss Wright, as well as my other spring release A Book for Black-Eyed Susan.Enjoy A Pet for Miss Wright! Judy Young-- Judy Young Award-Winning Author of Children's Books For information about Books, School Visits and Teacher Workshops, go to:www.judyyoungpoetry.com6155 E. Farm Road 132Springfield, MO 65802(417) 866-1800
LOTS OF NEWS!!! TWO NEW SPRING TITLES!A Pet for Miss Wright released April 1st (no fooling!) A Book for Black-Eyed Susan released in February!
* The Hidden Bestiary of Marvelous, Mysterious, and (maybe even) Magical Creatures 2012 LA Young Readers Choice Award Nominee * The Lucky Star
2011 MO Show Me Award Nominee * Minnow and Rose
2012 NY Charlotte Award Suggested Reading List
2012 MO Show Me Readers Award Nominee
2011 PA Keystone to Reading Book Award Nominee
2011 AL Camillia Book Award Nominee
2011 DE Diamonds Book Award Nominee
2010 Storytelling World Award For Author Updates Become a Facebook Fan Judy Young Books

Friday, April 29, 2011


NC Children’s Writers & Illustrators will meet
Saturday May 7, 1-3 p.m. We will not be meeting in
our usual room, it will be in the largest Study Room
at the back of the library. Bring only manuscripts
and illustrations pertaining to children’s material.
Twin Lakes Writers’ meeting has been re-scheduled
from Saturday, May 14th to May 28th 1-3:30 in Knox
Community Room A. The Computer Lab with 12 computers
is reserved for members who want to learn more on how to
Blog to promote yourself as a writer and let the public
know about your books, where to purchase, and your speaking
engagements. Information or 431-5369

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Storms: My thoughts and prayers go out to the people who are going through all the destruction the storms and flooding has and is causing.

Photozarks has Glory Hole and many other waterfalls available as artistic prints, greeting cards or for your very own custom designs to suit personal or business needs. Cover & stock photos are also available for publication. Please don't forget the ever popular "Historic Ozarks Mills" book. Internationally acclaimed photographer and writer Mike McArthy brings the Ozarks beauty in print to every continent in the world (except maybe Antarctica...?) and has been featured on NBC and PBS television with his award winning photography. Check out the website at and pick out your favorite Ozarks photos.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DONALD W. REYNOLDS LIBRARY: Friends of the Library meeting
and yearly auction is today, April 27 from 1:30 - 3 p. m.
Refreshments will be served. (Mountain Home, Arkansas)

Friday, April 22, 2011

(c) by Mary Nida Smith

© By Mary Nida Smith

Easter is the beginning
of a bright new season;
a season of hope.
Christ died to live
in us through all seasons.
The rainbow stripes of
pastel colors turning
dark shadows into
bright cheerful paths –
renewing our faith
that life offers
a faith filled future
to all who believe.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Photo taken by Kevin Frank Pieper. Permission to print here
given by Kevin. Taken on April 16, at the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony
at the Donald W. Reynolds Library. I took lots of photos and had a great time.
April 27, is the Friends of the Library auction. Join us to bid on lots of special items.

(C) Photo by Mary Nida Smith
Kevin is explaining to Bill and Vince
how to hold the lights as he prepares to take
our picture above.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last years poster for poetry month. I love poetry. Poetry written for children can be serious, but I love the ones that make me giggle and feel silly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I have tried to format this with white space and I am doing something wrong... HELP!

2010 was a busy year. My big job is the maintenance of house inside and out and the usual women's chores. I use the free time I have to create. I will be creating another website for my finish book manuscripts, keep track of submitting, where published and work-in progress. I am hoping this will keep me accountable to work harder this year. ACCOMPLISHED 2010 (1.) BLOGGING IS AN IMPORTANT WRITERS TOOL: Published Feb issue of online magazine – Kid Magazine writers (2.) GOOD OLD DAYS magazine May/June issue: Buck, the Comeback Horse (3.) THE OZARKS MOUNTAINEER magazine July/August issue: Dept: Two photos with information also won a year’s subscription. (4.) OZARKS WRITERS LEAGUE: Speaker (5.) DAVID L. HARRISON BLOG: Guest Reader for the Day (6.) DAVID L. HARRISON BLOG: Guest as Word of Month Hall of Flame. (7.) DAVID L. HARRISON: Second runner up for poet of the year. (8.) DAVID L. HARRISON: Wrote a poem a month or more. TWIN LAKES WRITERS: Founded (1998) was president and newsletter editor and had the first writers’ conference in this area. Took five & half year to spent more time on my writing; continued to be involved with Authors Day (Founded by the TLW) at the library. I also organized writers’ workshops at a local resort. I became president again the spring of 2010. NORTH CENTRAL CHILDREN’S WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS I started in May 2010. I am the president. I am a member of the FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY, hospitality lady and board member, help set-up for the book sales and other things if needed. The new DONALD W. REYNOLDS LIBRARY opened October 2010. Our church MIDWAY BAPTIST CHURCH: Historian and photographer. Member of the OZARKS WRITERS LEAGUE, OZARKS WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS FOR CHILDREN and MISSOURI WRITER GUILD

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

HEAR THIS! HEAR THIS! IMPORTANT NEWS: If you enjoy writing about nature - WILD ABOUT NATURE blog is a must read. Good books, reviews, and a list of publishers that publish non-fiction books. I just won their last book give away: At the Sea Floor Cafe. To learn more check out the author Leslie Bulion website : On today's WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING blog a writing contest is mentioned for The Cherrios Spoonfuls of Stories -deadline July. The winner for 2010 was Laurie Isop. Both blogs are part of my blog roll on this blog.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Time Capsule Placement Ceremony

at the Donald W. Reynolds Library Sunday,April 10,2011

It was wonderful and exciting. Took anout 24 photos.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Twin Lakes Writers and North Central Children's Writers & Illustrator have enjoyed these speakers this year. Judy Transue, Karen Montgomery, Kerri Fivecoat Campbell, Marsha Diane Arnold Thank you all for being our guest speakers we have enjoyed each of you.

Friday, April 08, 2011


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Month of Celebrations; It is Stress Awareness Month, I have already put that in motion hopefully by the end of the month I will celebrate National Humor Month or maybe I'll invent by own a Celebration of Tears. Then I could drag out the guitar after all it is, International Guitar Month to create a song, "Tears of Stress and Laughter," while I help Keep America Beautiful Month celebration raking the lawn and tending the garden month. Or maybe I could list the titles of over 20 poems I have written on author David L. Harrison's blog the past 17 months; after all it is Poetry Month. There is always some kind of holiday and celebration each month that will make your day or week or month. There is 12 month to be serous, happy, cry, or think to yourself who cares for it is more fun to invent my own celebrations; such as Trimming Your Toes Month, or Cracking Knuckles Month. Have some fun invent your own and celebrate the moment.

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fool's Day 1st and it isn't a joke that North Central Children's Writers & Illustrators (NCCWI) are meeting Saturday April 2 from 1-3 at the Donald W. Reynold's Library, Mountain Home, AR. --------------------OWAIC is meeting Saturday, April 2nd. It will not be at the Library Station. The meetingwill be upstairs at the Mid-town Carnegie Library, 397 S. Central, Springfield, from 8:30 - 11:00. Parking is not allowed on Central; parking is behind the library on S. Jefferson. Jefferson is a One-Way street southbound. Take Benton North, past Central High School and then turn east until Jefferson. Turn left on Jefferson and drive south to the parking lot north of Central. (There is an elevator to the second floor.) Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. -----------------PROGRAM SPECIAL! MAKE A SCENE! Some say that fiction is the art of scene creation, and these days that's certainly true. As much as any playwright or novelist, an author has to tell the story in a series of vignettes that focus the action, corral the reader's attention, shape the characters, and move the plot. J. B. (Janie) Cheaney will share some ideas about scene creation that will help you get the reader into your story. Janie is the author of four published novels with two more in the hopper.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

STORYTELLER MAGAZINE Cover photo (C) by Mary Nida Smith Thank you, Regina!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

INFORMATION FROM MY BLOGROLL LIST: More listed on my profile page. I am placing a taste of helpful information you will find; click on to their blogs to discover more. VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE MARCH POEM ON DAVID L. HARRISON’S BLOG. WRITING A DOCDRAMA (TRUE STORY BOOKS) by Sandra Markle WRITE ON – FOUR W’s What happen? Who was involved? Where did it happen? Why did the event happen? And why was the outcome possible? BRAN SNEED ILLUSTRATOR guest on Kathy Temean Blog – WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING –Illustrator Saturday 1.Illustrations reflect the mood of the story. 2.Characters in a picture book are consistent throughout. Brad lives in Prairie Village and he illustrated Marsha Diane Arnold’s children’s picture book, THE PUMPKIN RUNNER. Marsha shared Saturday with the North Central Children’s Writers & Illustrators and the Twin Lakes Writers. She was a joy to meet and learn from. Marsha was born and raised in Kansas, but now lives in California. WRITER BEWARE BLOG (Victoria Strauss) “A MUST READ” Beware Midwest Literary Magazine. Berryville, Arkansas bookstore website: To learn more about MYSTERY BOOKSTORES:

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Children’s book author Marsha Diane Arnold will be at
the Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR
Saturday, March 26. Donald W. Reynolds Library is
co-sponsoring with North Central Children’s Writers
& Illustrators and Twin Lakes Writers. She will share
with the children at Story Time from 10:30-11:30 a.m.,
and from 1-3 p.m., with both writers groups down stairs
in the Children’s-Teen’s Multipurpose Room. Books will
be available for purchase and signing.

Marsha was labeled a “Born Storyteller” by the media.
She has authored several picture books: HEART OF THE
She is now working on a chapter book. She taught aspiring
authors for nine years with the Institute of Children’s Literature.

In the afternoon she will share “7 Magical Ways to bring out
the Storyteller in you.” The program will be loaded with
information to inspire writers starting with 100 slides on
the art of the story, the craft of writing, conflict, themes,
strong protagonists, and rejections and determination. She
will share information on digital books and interactive books
followed with questions and answers.

Marsha’s website Both
programs are open to the public. For more information call
Mary Nida Smith, president of both writers groups
870-431-5369 or email
or Children’s Librarian, Deborah Edmonds
or Judy Transue, Assistant Librarian 870-508-0987
or visit


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


(c) by Mary Nida Smith
Along my woodland garden's stone wall.
Music of Spring
Trumpets of daffodils
sound loudly until
music of spring
days are fulfilled.
They now standstill
slowly returning
to the soil to rest
while spring continues
to blossom.
Wild plants and trees
join in to announce
this is the season
to be awake after
winter’s deep sleep.
© by Mary Nida Smith

Thursday, March 17, 2011

HAPPY ST.PATTY'S DAY! I will be wearing a little green as I play in my woodland garden today. Soon there will be little furry baby squirrels playing. My friend Mrs. M has little ones. When she sees me she comes running to my window, with her little hands reaching upward for me to toss down a peanut or two. We have been friends for about five years. I have taken photos of her and other family members playing,eating and working. I have written a picture book about two squirrels. If/when the manuscript is sold, I'll have lots of neat photos for kids to enjoy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Stumps in the woods
Display above the ground
Long finger roots
Reaching, searching
For life everlasting
Wild boars’ root
To unearth a treat
Of truffles hidden
Near large oak roots
A murder of bright-eyed
Ravens root them on
Waiting for just
A small morsel
Of a dinning treat.
© Mary Nida Smith
The word "root" was the word for the month
on author David L. Harrison's blog.
This is the poem I placed on David' W.O.M.
Join us.

Friday, March 11, 2011

CHILDREN'S BOOKS: I get so excited every time I receive my e-newsletter
from Elizabeth Kennedy at Elizabeth
writes everything about children's books. She writes about books for
each age group and daily events. Check it out!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Twin Lake Writers meet March 12, 1-3:30 in the Knox Community
Room A at the Donald W. Reynolds Library. Guest speaker is
Kerri Fivecoat Campbell, a local independent writer and social
media marketer/manager.

She will share“Blogging to Build your Brand.” As an independent
writer and author, she learned to build the brand for her company and
others though social media and blogging.

Her interest in social media was born on the old Prodigy network. Today,
she lives in a 480-square-foot home on Bull Shoals Lake with her five
rescue dogs and a very patient husband, where she writes and assists
with marketing campaigns. Campbell, also blogs about life in a small
home at http://www.livinglargeinourlittlehouse/. Since launching in
2008, the website receives an average of 100,000 hits per month.
For more information call Mary Nida Smith 870-431-5369

Saturday, March 05, 2011

CHILDREN'S WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS workshops and conferences coming up.
If you write or illustrate for the children's market, check out these SCBWI events. Each one has editors/agents to pitch to and authors to learn from.

Arkansas (SCBWI) Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators April 29-30

Missouri SCBWI Conference and workshops at

Ozark Writers and Illustrators For Children July 30th-Summer Workshop

NC Children's Writers & Illustrators 1-3 p.m., March 26, children's author Marsha Diane Arnold will be at Storytime at 10:30-1130, (The public is welcome at both programs.)

Friday, March 04, 2011

North Central Children's Writers & Illustrators meet tomorrow, Saturday March 5, down stairs in the Children's-Teen's Multipurpose Room in the Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. Guest speaker is Judy Transue, Assistant Children's Librarian. Information
The writing and publishing world is changing. Join a writers group in your area to keep up with what you want to accomplish for your writing goals.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

(c) Photo by Mary Nida Smith
Calico Rock, Arkansas
A neat place.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES: A guide to bookstores in the U.S. and Canada. Lots of important information on this web page.
Support your local bookstores.
TREASURE HOUSE BOOKS, Harrison 870-743-5624

Check out Ozark Regional Arts Council,
Gaston Lecture March 8th at 7 p.m.
Books in Bloom at Eureka Springs in May has been cancelled.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let the Voting Began! W.O.M. at check our my poem for February. See what can happen when you are in a hurry. I placed David website URL and not his blog where you vote. David's blog I hate it when I make mistakes; but I probably make them often without realizing it. I have to remind myself not to hurry, hurry, hurry.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WRITERS, ILLUSTRATORS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS: Our friends Kathy & Jim Johnson at Enterprise Printing Company in Bull Shoals, Arkansas can print your books, booklets, brochures and more. For illustrators and photographers you can place your art work on note cards to sell at your next signing or speaking engagement.

Feb 23, Friends of the Library Board Meeting followed by the Friends (FOL) regular meeting with speaker and refreshments.

March will be a busy month: All writers groups meet at the library on the dates stated from 1-3 p.m.

March 5, is North Central Children's Writers & Illustrators. I hope to reschedule assistant librarian Judy Transue (Donald W. Reynolds Library) to speak at this meeting. Feb 5th meeting was canceled due to a bad snow storm.

March 12, Twin Lakes Writers will have guest speaker Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell (Program-Blogging). &

March 26,Donald W. Reynolds Library,Twin Lakes Writers & North Central Children's Writers & Illustrators are sponsoring children's author Marsha Diane Arnold. She will be sharing with the children during the morning storytelling time and in the afternoon with the children's writers group.

Check out

Print out and save - tack it up to remind you not to miss these exciting programs for March. Any questions email me at -

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FEB 17-18-19TH

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Twin Lakes Writers last Saturday enjoyed our guest
speaker, Karen Montgomery. She shared her traveling kit
and book “Dress Well and Travel Light” that is sold on Amazon.
Karen also shared with us the steps to creating her kit and how she
promotes herself and how to travel light. We all brain stormed
where to, and how to promote your work. It was very interesting.

Today was the White River Writers Guild meeting in Batesville.
For future meetings get in touch with Earl Belcher
Earl’s website:

Go to to inquire for a free website and

Don’t forget the Cherokee Village Writers Guild meet the 4th Tuesday
at the Sharp County Library, Hardy, Arkansas 9-11 a.m.
Pat Oplinger

Thank you members for your monthly donations to help support future plans
for our organization. I will share in February’s newsletter and will welcome
your input. Planning ahead will help continue Twin Lakes Writers to go
forward in the right direction.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

When did a card sent
on St. Valentine's Day change
from a greeting of love
to a greeting of gifts?

This small beautiful card came
so packed with love, my heart
was over joyed. Thanks granddaughter!
I love you too. #1Fan
Today on Valentine’s day
our hearts openly
display what we hold
dearly within us.
The expression of love
without regrets everyday
not only on Valentine’s Day
but throughout the year.
Sharing love in
many small ways
knowing life
does not
go on forever.
(c)by Mary Nida Smith

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

SATURDAY FEB 12 1-3:30
Karen Montgomery will be our guest speaker.

Karen is the founder of "Chic Valise" a company
dedicated to helping others dress well and travel light.
Her program will help us be informed as authors andfreelance
writers to travel only with what is needed.
For information:
Feb 19th Free Verse Poetry Group of Mountain Home
Feb 25th Baxter County Poet's Assocation
Check the library events calendar Poetry of the South - history
or other interesting things about the South.

Monday, February 07, 2011

© by Mary Nida Smith
Birds of a feather
Flock together
Protecting each other
From feather heads
Gathering cozy feathers
To feather their beds
And jackets for winter warmth.
Feather-weights will pull
Tail feathers to feather
Their nest while birds
Go naked by day
And freeze by night
As two legged creatures
Nestle down in cozy
Feather beds gathered
From birds that
Flock together.
Placed on Feb W.O.M. David L. Harrison's blog

Saturday, February 05, 2011

New Blog:

Me and my two friends enjoying time
in the children's library area. We have
supported each other as writers for several years
in trying to form a children's writers group.
We now have one. It is exciting. Today, it was canceled
because of bad weather.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Naomi Shaw
Sent: February Meeting Reminder Ozark Writers and
Illustrators for Children at the Library Station, Sept. 5
from 9:00 to 11:00. Janet Weber and Joyce Raglund
are presenting an encouraging program.Invest in Yourself:
Janet and Joyce bring you perks gained from MoSCBWI
and SCBWI events. Networking pays-big time!
There will be a short business meeting with
announcements regarding our summer workshop
that I think all will be excited about.
Also, as usual, a critique session will follow.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011



Bring: Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market Book
A sample of a query and a cover letter
A manuscript to read or have critiqued
Illustrators bring your illustrations/drawings

If you want to only listen and learn - this is okay.

Mary Nida Smith, Founder & President

Sunday, January 30, 2011

By Darcy Patterson

(c) photo by Mary Nida Smith

Children's Picture Book Information:
Picture Book Artists Association
32 pages
500 words/ half in illustrations

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Sun Will Return

(c) by Mary Nida Smith

©By Mary Nida Smith

I live the life
of constant motion
like the wind
changing directions
never sustaining
one emotional direction.

I listen
to the directional
mood of the wind.

I stay calm
allowing God
who created me
to blow me calmly
in the right direction.

I listen
I watch
I stay happy
For I will move
when the wind
blows me
I have never been

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baxters Business: A Home

Baxters Business: A Home

(C)Digital art by Mary Nida Smith

Before starting a blog or website
check out your favorite authors, photographers,
illustrators or whatever your interest you have
to get an idea what would work for you.
Google: free website
free blog site builders
Check out:

Enjoy !

Meet at the Donald W. Reynolds Public Library
Knox Community Room A
1St Thursday of each month 2 p.m.
Saturdays 10 a.m, until noon.
Check on library website (
go to calendar events and click on computer group
for a list of their upcoming programs.
Feb 5th - Protection & backup
March 26th - Power Point Basics

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BY Mary Nida Smith Founder & President of Twin Lakes Writers
& North Central Children’s Writers & Illustrators
January 15, 2011


LETTERS by John Wood
The Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches & Proposals by Moira Allen
Preparing E-mail Queries by Moira Allen

HOW’S YOUR QUERY LETTER I.Q.? Dec 28, 2010 Kathy Temean’s blog

AAR Association of Authors’ Representatives is a professional organization for literary and dramatic agents

WRITING PLAYS FOR KIDS: Sandra Fenichel Asher

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writers Groups and Information:
Saturday, January 15 from 1-3:30 Twin Lakes Writers
meet at the new Donald W. Reynolds Library.

January 8th Laura(Lonnie), Cherie Neal and I attended the
Ozarks Writers & Illustrators for Children in Springfield, MO.
We enjoyed a Power Point program for writers on "Building a Platform," presented by writer/member,Tom Blubaugh.
President Naomi Shaw, continues to share programs and information
with NC Children's Writers & Illustrators in Mountain Home, AR.
We always have a special time.

I learned Joyce Ragland is the new SCBWI/Mo Regional Advistor.
We wish her the best and look forward 2011.

Agents and Editors Who Blog can be found at

The Society of Bloggers in Children's and Young Adult Literature:


Remember Spring is the time to start checking out upcoming conferences.
I will soon have a list on my blog.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

North Central Children's Writers & Illustrators'
member Laurel T. Sheridan published

in Vol. 4. Issue 4
on page 1o.
A very interesting piece.
THE KIDS' ART website

Friday, January 07, 2011

(C) Photo by Mary Nida Smith

Today is the day
to celebrate old rocks.
No, I am not off my rocker
I am just putting in a few words
why rocks should be respected.
When digging around and underneath
one could break a toe, an arm
or smash your head or house.

My woodland garden has ones
that trip me, move about and
are in the way.

Why do people hate old rocks?
Is it because they are free?
They replace dirty old, odd shaped
rocks with man made smooth ones.
I am happy with the ones
God created and dumped
in my woodland garden.
There is a rock fence
between the upper
and lower level.
I love my old rocks
I wish I had many more.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

NATIONAL BIRD DAY today January 5th, and five days ago at Beebe, Arkansas thousands of
beautiful male red-winged blackbirds rained from the sky. I believe the weather confused them - hot one-two days of Spring weather, then the weather changed quickly to a Winter freeze and the birds were caught in-between. Out West they go South for the winter and are the first Spring bird to return on the High Deserts of Idaho. Enjoy all birds, they are a blessing from God to keep the mean bugs from eating us up.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

FESTIVAL OF SLEEP DAY was January 3, and I missed out on it. Oh, well so goes life!