Thursday, April 16, 2015

Writing Distractions

I've had a lot of writing distractions over the years, but the one I have now is beyond crazy. I have two cardinals attacking my office window on a steady basis. Instead of just looking at the relaxing lilac bush, I'm constantly hearing a peck, peck, peck as first the male cardinal attacks his reflection and then the female. I've tried putting more objects on my window ledge, but that doesn't seem to slow them down. Sometimes when I have the light on in the room, they falter for a while.

The first day I took pictures. Little did I know I would have countless opportunities to take them. Go away birds! It's so hard to concentrate.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Writing in the New Year

Well, have you made one of those writing resolutions? Is this the year you vow to finish your novel? How about submitting your work on a regular basis? Writers have several options for meeting their writing goals.

With the four book projects I juggled throughout most of the year, my writing went by the wayside. In 2013, I made great progress on my unfinished novel, but in 2014, I abandoned the project. Will this be the year, I get back in gear and finish that darn thing? I hope so!

I enjoyed editing That Mysterious Woman and working with the talented authors in the book. In my opinion, it is the best Shaker book to date, and it had some fantastic predecessors.

I'm not editing Well Versed this year. Hopefully, that frees up a block of time to work on writing. In 2014, I didn't write much. Somehow I found time to write a short essay and submitted to Chicken Soup for the Soul. My story "Under Control" was accepted for Thanks to My Mom. I'm looking forward to the anthology and sharing a story that gives my mom the credit she deserves for keeping Jim company when he couldn't stay alone.

Happy New Year, writers, and wishing you a year of successful writing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

May Your Christmas Season Be Filled with Joy and LoveFrom Harold and Linda, Mozark Press

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Coming Soon! 30 Years of Cultivating Soils, Souls & Minds

30 Years of Cultivating Soils, Souls & Minds, is the result of contributions from many people. The contributors are Master Gardeners of Greene County (MGGC) volunteers, leaders, and individuals who were at one time Master Gardeners or who continue to be a Master Gardener in other locations. Much of the material in this book was documented in the original Chapter newsletters, The Grapevine, and in minutes from Board meetings and general membership meetings as well as numerous personal interviews. The Grapevines were skillfully “untangled” to give readers a true picture of the rich history of this volunteer organization.

Master Gardener programs are offered by the University of Missouri Extension is a partnership between the University of Missouri and the United States Department of Agriculture in cooperation with local governments and local people. The Board of Curators of the University established the Extension Division in 1910. Ever since then, University of Missouri Extension has been helping people make their lives better.

This Anthology includes history dating back to the Civil War time and gives great detail about how the Dial-A-Gardener volunteer service was born and later became the skeleton for developing into a Master Gardener program.

Three University of Missouri Extension specialists have coordinated the Master Gardeners of Greene County Chapter since inception in 1984. Open the pages of this book and read about the development of the Chapter under the capable coordination of John Lower, Gaylord Moore, and current coordinator Patrick Byers. The reach of the programming of these three specialists has been greatly expanded by the service of the Master Gardeners of Greene County.

Read further and learn about this service. Demonstration gardens have provided a “living laboratory” of horticultural expertise shared with the public. Drought tolerant plants, herbs, ornamentals, fruits, vegetables, turf - all are displayed and described. The Hotline, the “go to” source for all things horticultural, annually assists over 1500 gardeners. Volunteer-organized and executed displays, presentations, workshops, tours, and writings reach thousands more of our citizens with science-based, locally relevant information.

The reader will also note significant events and developments in the Chapter history. The Master Gardeners of Greene County have hosted the Missouri Master Gardeners State Conference three times, in 1998, 2006, 2013. And with style – the most recent conference attracted over 400 attendees who went home afterward with a greater appreciation of horticulture, Ozarks-style! The Chapter was a founding partner in support of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and enjoys a close relationship with the many gardens and groups associated with the center.

In between the lines of this book are years of dedicated service – intellectual, physical, sometimes sweaty, always with style! This book is dedicated to the many volunteers of the Master Gardeners of Greene County who have served our citizens so well.

If you enjoy gardening, volunteering or history, you will certainly find this book an outstanding read.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

That Mysterious Woman -- Great cover and entertaining stories

My long awaited copies of That Mysterious Woman arrived today. I must say the cover is stunning and the stories are entertaining. It was my pleasure to edit these stories.

Some of the stories have a paranormal flare—“An Aura of Death” by Carolyn Mulford, “The Disappointment of Heaven” by David Aycock, “Trompe L’Oeil” by Steven Clark, and “Rearview Mirror” by Sharon Woods Hopkins.

Humor is evident in several of the stories including—“The Damn Diva” by Kari Wainwright and “Bob, Old One Eye, and the Pirate Queen” by Cathy C. Hall.

Daughters solve mysteries in “Sins of the Daughter” by Donna Volkenannt, “Wishing for Ignorance” by E. B. Davis, “The Photograph,” by Susan E. Thomas, and “At Storm’s End” by Harriette Sackler.

Husbands and wives vie for the upper hand in “Trophy Wife,” by Frank Watson, “Sauna” by KM Rockwood, and “Deception at Mallard Cove,” by Linda Fisher.

Retribution always has a place in mysteries, and revenge is sweet in “Remember Me?” by Georgia Ruth, “Triumvirate” by Suzanne Lilly, “The Hot Buns of Fate,” by Jennifer Jank, “The Butterfly Dress,” by J.D. Frost, and “Moving On” by Paula Gail Benson.

Watch as clues sprinkle the investigative path as amateur detectives analyze information in “Bess Harding, Mystery Queen” by Karen Mocker Dabson, “Pickled” by Edith Maxwell, “Dictation of Death” by Lisa Ricard Claro, and “Yolanda Karp Finds Her Inner Sleuth,” by Martha Rosenthal.

Stories fraught with twists and turns include “The Zookeepers,” by Eileen Dunbaugh, “Trial Run” by Mary Ellen Martin, “Cups” by Mitch Hale, “If Not for the Dog” by Rosemary Shomaker, and “All Dressed Up” by Caroline Dohack & Jodie Jackson, Jr.

Each author brings a particular talent to his or her story in the anthology. That Mysterious Woman is a great read!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

That Mysterious Woman: “Rearview Mirror” by Sharon Woods Hopkins

Sharon Woods Hopkins, author of Rearview Mirror said:  
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cover and so proud to have a story included with so many great authors in this brand new anthology from Mozark Press.

Dusty Shaunessy loved her classic car and didn’t trust just any mechanic to take care of her treasured 1965 Mustang. She thought Hector Fernandez of Best Mechanic Garage would be honest and not try to take advantage of her like other mechanics had. Dusty was pleased with Hector’s work on her car until he mentioned he had replaced her broken mirror. She knew the mirror wasn’t damaged, and wondered why Hector was lying to her.

She asks him to just remove the new review mirror and put the old one back in. The handsome Hector insists she keep it and try the buttons.  Is the rearview mirror magically dangerous? How will Dusty handle the power of the mirror?

Excerpt from “Rearview Mirror”:

Hector leaned in through the passenger door window and caressed the new mirror. “There is no charge, Señora. I do this for you. You are a special lady with a special car. The mirror, I already have. Look at it. It is beautiful, no?”

It was indeed, a fine, new mirror, same size as the old one. In fact, it looked identical. No, wait. Not identical. There were buttons along the bottom. “Yes, Hector, it is beautiful.”

“Like you, señora.” His dark eyes flashed.