Sunday, November 29, 2009

Borders express

To make a long story short. . .

My husband and I went to Town Center Mall on Saturday.

I looked over and saw Borders express!

"Oh, honey," I said. "Let's go see if they have Christmas Traditions."

Yes! I found it on the shelf with the other Christmas books! There it is, second from the left.

I was so excited to see the book. We just had to take pictures. Needless to say, we got a few looks from a few people. But I didn't care.

These pictures were taken with my husband's cell phone. We met a very nice lady and when she found out what we were doing she offered to get her son's camera and take pictures with it. I'm a little shy, it was her and my husband's idea, but I finally agreed. She went out into the mall and came back with the camera and her husband took the pictures.

We talked for a long time. She said my husband would make a great agent. I don't have their pictures yet, but I gave them my email address and they are going to send them to me. She said she had an idea for a children's book but didn't know if she'd ever try to write it or not.

It was a great! I found my book and met a very nice family all in the same day.

Just received the pictures took by my friends I met in the mall.
Here's one they took of me and my husband.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Writer's Thankful List

I am thankful I stopped thinking about it and started writing.

I am thankful God gave me the imagination needed to be a children's writer.

I am thankful to have the time to put my thoughts into words.

I am thankful I write a column for children.

I am thankful I had a short story published in an anthology.

I am thankful I belong to a writer's group.

I am thankful to be surrounded by books.

I am thankful to have my writing friends to encourage me each day.

I do not have an agent, I do not have a publisher, and none of my children's stories are published yet, but . . .

I am glad my thankful list is larger than my do not have list, and that brings a smile to my face.

Comment and let us know what brings a smile to your writer's face, so we can smile, too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Advice From Famous Authors

Online College recently posted Words of Wisdom: 101 Tips from the World's Most Famous Authors.

I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites:

John Steinbeck
- I've always tried out material on my dogs first. Make sure that above all, you are happy with your work. . . and see if the dogs stay awake.

Sounds like good advice to me :)

Jessamyn West - Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.

I agree!

Margaret Atwood - Don't be afraid of failure. A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.

My wastebasket near my computer is a nice big one and is usually full on trash day :)

Annie Dillard - Writing sentences is difficult whatever their subject. It is no less difficult to write sentences in a recipe than sentences in Moby Dick. So you might as well write Moby Dick. No matter what, write.

If you like writing recipes, I guess you could always incorporate them into your storyline :)

James Patterson - I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody. I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished.

That sounds like a very good idea to me!

Agatha Christie - The best time to plan a book is when you're doing the dishes.

Maybe I should go do those dishes now, instead of waiting until later :)

Malcolm S. Forbes - Failure is success if we learn from it.

I think we can all learn from our failures.

Helen Keller - Find the joy in small accomplishments. I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

All of your short stories could add up to a great novel!

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Believe in yourself. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

I think this is something you must do to persevere. If you don't believe in yourself, why should you expect others to believe in you.

I enjoyed these quotes, I hope you did too.

Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


You know how I am always writing about the waiting game. Nathan Bransford just did a post titled "Waiting is the Worst Part." It was good to see that someone else hates to wait, too.

I've been busy editing, again!
Seems like that's all I do lately, but I don't mind. I love going through my manuscripts and 'trying' to get it just right.

I think my middle grade is finally ready to go out into the world. I changed the title again. It has went from being "The Family Treasure" to "The Honeysuckle Mystery" to "The Family Secret."

It has been critiqued by my writing group, but it is amazing what you miss when you do a final once over. I thought I'd caught most mistakes, but I've come to the conclusion that you never catch all your mistakes. I hope the publishers understand this, too, and don't throw it to the slush pile for little grammar errors.

I single spaced it and ran it off on the printer, read through it and made changes. I printed it again. This time on the back side of my 'chicken scratched' copy to save on paper. (I used to drive my writer's group crazy when I did that, but now I've found that some of them are doing the same thing).

I read it again and still found errors. How could I have missed these? I had the letter '2' at least twice where I should have spelled it out. Had 'mom' capitalized when it shouldn't have been. Took out a few 'he said' and 'she said' tags, etc., that I could do without. I checked for consistency, in one place the dad had blue eyes and in another place he had dark eyes. I guess he could have had 'dark blue' eyes, but I changed it anyway.

And should I mention the double spaces after sentences? I guess that's what I get for being from the generation that used typewriters. We were always told to double space after a sentence. It is a habit very hard to break. I did the 'find' search for double spaces and I cannot tell you the number of double spaces it found after my sentences. "Oh, my goodness," as Shirley Temple used to say.

I know these type of errors are little things, but I'm amazed I didn't find them earlier.

I think it's time to send it out, my house is suffering. You see, I love writing, but I hate housework. My house looks like a poor abandoned soul that has been neglected and left to gather dust and clutter. It's a good thing we don't have company.

Do these little things drive you crazy when you edit. Do you find things that you think someone else must have typed in your manuscript when you weren't looking?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wait Goes On and On. . .

One of the hardest parts about writing is the wait.
You write something and it could be years before you see it in print. I like instant gratification, I guess I'm into the wrong profession.

I had submitted a story to Cup of Comfort for Couples. The deadline has been extended twice. The first one only a few weeks. We were to be notified at the end of October, then an email stated that we would be notified by November 10th - 15th at the latest. Now I get an email stating that the development schedule for Cup of Comfort for Couples has been changed again. After being closed to submissions, it has now been opened for submissions again. You have till April 20th to submit and deadline for selection is now June 15th.

It's a wonder I have any hair left after pulling it out with all these delays.
I guess for all the people who procrastinated with submitting, this is good news. You now have time to submit.

My story Lucy of Tuppers Hollow is still away. After waiting 6 months, I inquired.
The reply I received apologized for the delay and he said he would find it and read it and I would hear from them by the beginning of the following week. (This was a while back)
I waited patiently for the email, and at the end of the following week, I did receive an email. He said 'our staff is still evaluating your manuscript. We will be in touch with you shortly.' That was over a month ago.

My question is, do you think any of us will arrive at our goal to be published before our hair turns completely gray? or before all our hair is pulled out?

Is anyone else out there as impatient as I am? Probably not.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Remembrance

In remembrance of Veteran's Day. . .

Go to and until November 13th you can search their military records for free!

They have copies of draft cards from WWI, WWII, the old mans draft of WWII and lots more records you can search through. I have copies of my grandpa's draft card from WWI and from the old mans draft of WWII. You can find lots of info about them on these cards.

You only have a few days to do it for free. Type in names and see what comes up. Go check it out and good luck!

For those of you new to my site, go here and see last year's post on Veteran's Day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I am From . . .

Sherri over at Sherri Tales had a blog post about 'I am from' poems.
I liked it so much that I wrote one, and I plan to write more.

Now, first of all, I am not a poet. I like to write poems and have written many, but most of mine are rhyming poems, which seem to be out of favor now a days. I wrote this poem yesterday and took it to our writer's group meeting last night. We have two members who are very good poets. Max, one of the poets, told me this was a "keeper." This meant a lot to me coming from someone who is very good at writing poetry.

I Am From Appalachia
by Janet F. Smart

I am from Appalachia,
from hills and hollows
and Grandma's front porch
with quilt covered gliders
cotton soft and squeaky.

I am from dirt roads
rutted from cars
that rumble past and
leave billowing clouds of dust
to scatter in the breeze.

I am from summer vegetable gardens
plowed in early spring
with Uncle Romey's horses,
whose long manes and straight rows
flow behind them.

I am from thorny blackberry patches
spread over hillsides
and gnarled grapevines hanging from trees
waiting for eager young hands
to grab hold and swing.

I am from close knit families
living in houses built by
strong hands and loving hearts
and cousins playing in yards perfumed
with the scent of roses and lilac bushes.

I am from time gone by
when fireflies dotted
dark country skies and
families left their doors open
for a visit from a night breeze.

I am from Appalachia
and I dwell in the shadows
of the rugged hills
where I walk in footsteps
left by my ancestors.

Well, that's it.

I've come to a decision as to what I am going to do in the near future.
I am going to continue writing my column for Two - Lane Livin' magazine (I love doing this) and I am going to send out my picture books to publishers. While I am waiting for an answer from the publishers, I am going to work on writing our family history. I think I will write these type of poems about different aspects of my family and include them in the family history manuscript.

Writing my family history is one of the things that got me started writing. I have learned a lot in the past two years and I want to continue where I left off.