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I stay up late at night and, as a consequence, sleep late. This morning my hubby arose at his usual teeth-gritting 6 a.m. and by 7:30 had left to go to town. Bobbi, our cat and I curled up and settled in to go back to sleep for a while. Just as I began to  Read More 
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Another Contract

Today was another good day. A publisher has agreed to publish a book for which he asked me to send a proposal last October. When he approached me at Ozark Creative Writer's Conference, I was amazed. I've never written a cookbook, but he is a requisitions editor for a small press, Goldminds Publishing, LLC, and they are having a lot of success with cookbooks that include stories of specific areas. So I will write him a cookbook with stories and photos of our Boston Mountains of the Arkansas Ozarks. This is my second contract within the past few weeks, and I'm so happy to be working on deadline again.

With the book business in such disarray, it only makes sense to go where the business is good, even if it means going in another direction.

I like fiction. I love to write fiction, both novels and short stories. But right now where it's at is nonfiction in a category with which I'm very familiar. The history of the Ozarks. Adding recipes seems the easy part. Still, writing nonfiction is much more difficult than writing fiction. However, I'll write the stories of these people with a great deal of affection for their way of life. It's where I come from, though I've traveled in a wide circle to return home.

My latest short story came out in Echoes of the Ozarks Volume IV in December, and I'm working on one for an anthology called Voices Vol. II, so my fiction desires are being fulfilled. Which reminds me, I need to get to work on that latest short story. It's due Dec. 31 and that's coming right up.

Have a Happy New Year, and writers: Write, Network, Pitch, Attend Workshops and learn your craft. Then Teach it.  Read More 
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The first pages

Years ago, while writing a weekly historical column for local newspapers, I began to run across more and more stories about communities that no longer exist in these Boston Mountains of the Ozarks. I had this idea for a book because the stories and the people were so intriguing. The way settlers lived when they first emigrated into these rugged Ozarks was a real eye opener for me, though I was born here.
I began to keep notes but as time passed discovered that no publisher was interested. At least that was the case then. Networking at conferences told me one thing. The subject matter was too regional. Still, every chance I got I pitched the book. Then this year at Women Writing the West Conference, the editor and publisher of Old American Publishing showed an interest. It didn't hurt that my previous book was a finalist in the WILLA awards either. He seemed only mildly interested, so as we packed up to come home, I didn't figure I'd hear from him. I sent him the materials he requested and went on about this business of writing.
A week later his acquisitions editor emailed me saying that he was really interested in offering me a contract for the book. After we exchanged ideas on promotion, that's exactly what I received. A contract.
So now, all those stories I've saved have found a home at last. The book is going well. Will have to update some of the stories, travel around rechecking the communities to verify if buildings are still standing or not and the routes to get there.
But this just proves that you shouldn't ever give up when you're sure of your project. Somewhere, sometime, if you network long enough, someone will want to publish your baby.
So now my book, which has no set title yet, will see the light of day after all,
That wandering along the back roads and trails of the Ozarks will have paid off once again.  Read More 
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