Wednesday, November 26, 2008

conference photos labeled part two

It seems I can't figure out how to add text to a post with photos. Need a hands-on tutorial since I'm such a visual learner. I have a love/hate relationship with my computer.

I will label the photos, but first I want to thank all of the donors of door prizes--40 of them. Thanks for above and beyond go to Harvey Honsinger and Curt Iles for providing the muscle when we arranged the tables and chairs.

My apologies for my lack of computer knowledge. I made the rather unprofessional decision to post the photos in this manner so others can see them. Next time, I will have the knack.

The photos from the previous post in order are:

1. Martha Sylvest a the information table
2. Chris Baldauf at one of three door prize tables. The blanket made by BWG member Hillene Deaton is on the right end.
3. Speaker and Senior Editor of Boy's Life magazine, Paula Murphey
4. The Lafayette Group--the picture is dark but Mindy, our extraordinary newsletter editor, is at the far end
5. Nona Cross and Rosie Deskin
6. Harvey Honsinger--doesn't he just look like a western author?
7. Beverly Martin, Conference Chair, Jessica Ferguson, Conference Committee, and Pamela Thibodeaux, BWG co-founder
8. Speaker and author Randy Denmon, BWG co-founder Randy Dupre, and Speaker Paula Murphey

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Blessings to every reader,


Conference photos


Friday, November 21, 2008

On Rejections

Well, dear readers, I received another rejection. It arrived on an all ready horrific day. I've received other rejections, of course. This one had a particular impact and double whammy because just days before I had met and introduced the editor of the magazine , "The First Line," at our local Bayou Writer's Group writer's conference.

I had submitted weeks before the conference and was very excited about meeting Mr. LaBounty. As a daydreamer extraordinare I had fantasized about being told at the conference that my little story had been chosen.

I did my homework regarding reading some of the stories that had been published in the magazine. What didn't click is that my type of story--one of intense human emotion wasn't the generally accepted style. I understand that, especially after re-reading some stories from "The First Line," which is a literary journal.

I want to make it clear that I enjoy "The First Line" immensely. David LaBounty and his wife, Robin are enjoyable and interesting people. And, their children are just adorable.

I encourage readers of my blog to check out "The First Line," and submit. Of course, you can reach it at

Now, I'm off to take care of errands demanding to be run. Then, back home to find a home for my story. I still think it's a good story despite the rejection. I wish you inspired writing and no more rejections . . .


Monday, November 10, 2008

Accomplishments and Goals

It's November, we're nearing the close of 2008. That just seems impossible to me. There is some truth in the old adage that as one gets older time either flies by or crawls by. Mindy, the newsletter editor for Gator Talk has asked us to send something reflecting our accomplishments and goals. The Bayou Writer's Group has so much potential. I feel a bit small offering my little list.

My first thought--what accomplishments? I tend to compare myself to others. Pam, whose career is taking off like a rocket ship. And, not a moment too soon. She is deserving. She has finally got an agent. Judy, whose writing is becoming more and more available. Both of these ladies will become common household names in the near future. Angie who is an expert in freelance marketing to magazines. Harvey, whose western stories and novels transport the reader back in time. I shouldn't have mentioned names, there are just too many more. So, I just say--Cheers to BWG.

I thought of others who are just beginning on this writing journey. The young authors who presented their stories to our group. Each of the winners is in high school. Their creativity was amazing. And, inspiring. I pray their enthusiasm continues. I pray they are in touch with other writers who offer unconditonal support.

What were Nona's accomplishments?

I am steadily working on my novel, "Rebecca's Journey." I thank my Long Ridge Writer's Group instructor, Mary Rosenblum for that. I had a short story accepted by Mouth Full of Bullets, however MFOB had to close for a while. Thanks to Hurricane IKE. I have several works in progress to be fine-tuned and submitted. Including an article for the BWG newsletter.

The most interesting accomplishment for me this year is a new niche. About a year ago my husband suggested Iinterview a local man for the newspaper. His name is Johnny Harper. His trade is sharpening lawn mower blades, chain saws, knives and anything that can be sharpened. The tools he uses were handed down by his grandfather. His shop is like stepping back in time. The article turned out be a love story about a boy and his grandfather. I was thrilled when it was accepted and published.

I enjoyed so very much doing the interview and putting the article together. I loved seeing my by-line on page one. I loved the feedback. Because of this feeling of success, I have since interviewed a fellow member of BWG who is the father of seven sons. Rodney has raised his sons alongside his wife to believe in God, to appreciate nature and to use hunting and fishing responsibly. This article will also be a lesson in love.

When the first article was published a very knowledgable friend of mine, Jessica Ferguson, told me I could re-work the articles and submit them to magazines. I didn't know I could do that. But, I will.

I have become more active in writing groups that reflect my interests--ACFW, Short Fiction Mystery Society, 19th Century Writers, and NaNoWriMo. And, I started this blog.

An accomplishment I'm most proud of is taking part in the conference committe for the BWG annual conference. I worked with a superb group--Beverly Marin, chair, Jessica Ferguson, Angie Dilmore, and Walt Dutton. It's been a great deal of work, but the final product will be fantastic.

So, my accomplishments are not many. None of them are earth shattering or worthy of breaking out a bottle of champagne. These baby steps have given me a few more grains of self-confidence.

My goals for 2009 are much like New Year's Resolutions. I have great plans, but we'll see how many of them are met.

Because of the interviews I did for the newspaper I have discovered I like memoirs. I will simply list my goals:

1. Finish the first draft of "Rebecca's Journey."

2. Edit, find a market for and, hopefully, an agent for "Rebecca's Journey."

3. Write at least three articles for Chicken Soup and/or Cup of Comfort. Perhaps using the interviews I did for the newspaper.

4. Find homes for the three short stories I have completed, including "Lad with a Lyre" and "False Sanctuary," which has been rejected by AHMM and EQMM.

5. Submit an article to the BWG newsletter.

6. Write and submit at least two devotionals.

7. Begin my second novel, "Gifts from a P.O.W."

8. Encourage other writers to join a write 's group in their area. BWG has been a great influence for me. There is so much talent and support in our group. Serve on the 2009 conference committee.

9. Find a regular critique group and/or partner.

10. Continue reading often in different genres.

11. Try NaNoWriMo again.

12. Learn to do art journal like Mindy. And, be more consistent in keeping my journal up to date.

That's enough, isn't it? I tend to overdo. One thing I didn't include as a goal is a lifestyle change. I don't work outside the home, so I have no excuse not to make writng my job. I plan to write at least 4 hours a day. It will take discipline and learning not to proscratinate. Wish me well. If I don't or can't make this change my goals won't all be completed. If I do make the change, I believe I can succeed. Maybe even do more.

Thinking about accomplishments and goals puts things into perspective when one is honest. By the same token, it offers opportunites for the self to accomplish more, to improve in the mechanics of writng, and to lure others to the writing process.

Well, I'm off to write. Put your accomplishments and goals in writing. Print it out, put it on your notebooks and mirrors and refrigerator. Reminders are not so gentle nudges.


Monday, November 3, 2008


OK. We're three days into NaNo. The whole idea of writing a novel in a month is overwhelming. I'm working on the Oregon Trail YA novel I've researched, dreamed of, character developed and put aside time after time. For years "Rebecca's Journey" has been a part of me. She has wanted me to tell her story. I've balked like a stubborn mule in one of the scenes I've written.

I see Rebecca in my sleep. I fight for her. I want to scream at her when danger threatens. I even sigh when she receives her first kiss. Do you remember your first kiss? Your first real kiss. I do.

I wrote, and met the word count expectation, on day one. Yesterday, I just plain didn't have time to write. Today, I plan to make up for lost time and lost words. I have a bit of a problem. I'm one of those holdbacks. I tend to write longhand in a binder or notebook then type. I also tend to edit as I go. How on earth do you guys out there turn off that darn internal editor? Please, tell me . . . I really wanna know.

I know, that's old-fashioned and it doubles my work and eats up my time. I've decided that today I'll just use the computer. My notebook and sharpened pencils with the nerd erasers on them have been relegated to another room.

Something else has been everpresent in my mind. If you've read the post just before this one you know that I'm going to be attending my 40th high school reunion in the fall of 2009. Just thinking about it has been terrified. My heart beats faster. Questions about whether or not I'll be accepted interrupt my most rational thoughts. And, what if I don't lose weight? Do I go? My husband says yes. My heart says yes.

Well, that was not what I intended. What I was going to say is that these walks down memory lane have made me realize when I first began the thoughts of writing a book about the Oregon Trail. I was either a Sophomore or Junior and was taking American History. Mr. Gerald Haynes was the teacher. I became enthralled with the Oregon Trail and the cattle drives in the late 1800's. I did some kind of report about the Chisholm Trail.

Bottom line. This story has been a part of me for more than 40 years. Will 2009 be Rebecca's year? That is my plan. But, will it be the plan of a publisher? We'll see.

Now, to turn off internet and get to typing. I have about 4000 words to write today. Just to catch up. Jessica has succeeded in doing over 3000 words on day 1, despite coming to the Bayou Writer's Group meeting and being elected 2009 president. Mindy and I went to Starbucks after the meeting and wrote for a couple of hours. Few words were said, but I swear her computer was on fire. There I sat with my pencil and notebook. And, there she sat with a smoking computer. Go, Mindy!

I do so wish words typed in blogs and internet messages counted for NaNo. (Sigh). Until later, write well and tell your story.