Sunday, August 28, 2011

Monday Mish Mash

When I saw Rebecca's classy newspaper hat on her website a few days ago, I was reminded of my comic paper broach. A friend bought it for me at a St. Louis crafts fair a few years ago. I still love it! Visit Rebecca at where you will find a lot of clever ideas!

When I first started blogging, I was leery of what to say and what to put out in cyberspace. I would not allow anonymous comments. But last week I went into settings and changed some so anyone could post a comment without being a follower or registered with Blogger. I am always glad to see comments from around the country, around the world.


I've been reading Lynne Hinton's latest novel, Pie Town. I have read her other books like Wedding Cake and Friendship Cake. Her stories are always pleasant and easy reads, ones for carrying in your purse and having handy for any spare minutes. Pie Town drew me because it has a New Mexico setting, a favorite area of mine. The novel starts a little slowly, but it is all a set up for the faster pace that begins to pop about mid-book. Without revealing too much, the story is about brokenness and healing. Hinton, an ordained minister of United Church of Christ, writes beautifully of Catholic faith in New Mexico and reminds us that God can be known by many names.


DH and I took a little ride to the Mennonite store outside of town yesterday. Coming back we stopped at a garage sale on the spur of the moment. Quite a supply of odd and useless things! I did buy this Haviland bowl for $2.00. I know, it is really a soup tureen and should have a lid, but it is so pretty as is! Yes, a small chip in the rim, but it will work for a nice planter indoors or out, although making it a planter will cover the pretty little flowers that are scattered on the bowl's inside.

I  wait for news on Storm Country, and meanwhile I get nice emails from folks still wanting to donate books for Joplin. I have a new contact who wants to donate a couple thousand novels; so this week I will see what connections I can make for her.

With weather writing in mind, some of my readers might be interested in the following writing op:

SOU’WESTER, a literary journal founded in 1960 and housed at Southern Illinois

University Edwardsville, will be devoting our next special issue (Spring 2012)
to the weather. Weather is quite a celebrity, after all – grabbing the headlines
when it’s feeling particularly unruly or whimsical. Weather has its own TV
station and its own In the Midwest we talk about the weather with
noteworthy frequency and ardor. Yet some days, the weather is diffident, serving
as little more than a decorative (or not) backdrop of banal clouds and sky. But
it is always there.

As editors, we anticipate seeing different sorts of weather portrayed (bucolic
spring days, dark and stormy nights, etc.). But we’re hoping for variety in the
broadest sense. That is, we hope to be surprised by the many ways (subtle to
profound) in which weather has informed, inspired, or rained on your poetry,
prose, and uncategorizable written works.

Our general submission guidelines apply. Please limit your submission to a
maximum of five poems or one prose piece at a time (under 8,000 words
preferably). We will also consider a suite of two or three flash fictions.
We will read for the Weather issue until it is filled. Please check our website
for updates. We are also still accepting general submissions for the Fall 2011
issue; we expect to close this reading period sometime in October. Again, please
check for updates before submitting.
SOU’WESTER only accepts submissions through our online submission manager. When
you submit, please identify whether the submission is for the Fall general issue
or the Spring special issue on weather.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Claudia/Had to Know

Last Saturday in August so this is the last Saturday Centus for August! Jenny tossed out a weird one today. I am late but finally had a little something that came to me while fixing lunch. For complete rules to play and for more 100 word Centus writings. go to: ttp://
                                    Had to Know

Today was the day. It would be a test, one her friend warned her against trying. Jerrod wasn’t ready for a baby, but Mallory’s biological clock was running out. Jerrod had every reason in the book for not starting a family while he promised he would someday. Was he faking his true feelings? Mallory had to know.

That evening she met Jerrod at the door, looking chipper, and with a chilled glass of red wine in her hand.

Surprise! I’m pregnant!

Jerrod’s expression turned to stone. Resentment charged through his eyes, anger rumpled his lips, Mallory’s answer was written all over his face.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Blurb/Taos Tea

Absolutely amazing this morning! It was 61 degrees when I stepped out on the deck as soon as light was showing. I brewed tea and grabbed reading materials as fast as I could. Delightful! Of course, now at noon it is alreayd 94 again, but with the memory of 60 degree air still fresh on my skin, I can tolerate the heat.

I am slow on the book blurb today, but I didn't want to miss again. So here goes with a little ditty for the photo that Lisa posted. For more blurbs and writing rules to play, go to

Taos Tea
As soon as Mellie Fangrove saw the stucco building on the High Road to Taos, she knew she wouldn’t be returning to Cincinnati. She didn’t know if she could convince the locals, much less the tourists, to stop for her cranberry muffins and hand-made scones, but she was determined to try.

The local ranchers, wearing chaps and spurs, did stop in at her shop "High Mountain Hot Buns", but they wanted black coffee with their raisin scones. She didn’t give up though. She brewed a pot of dark, rich tea every day even if she had to drink it all herself.

Then one day tall and rugged Chic Montonya walked in, his dusty Stetson pushed back on his forehead, boots crusted with sheep manure and said, “Ya got any Darjeeling?” Mellie lost her heart. Had she finally found gold and riches in northern New Mexico? Only time would tell….

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blue Willow Woes

It is after 7:30 p.m. and my computer tells me it is still 100 degrees outside. Do I hear the same weather song today in August that I heard all of July? Yep, and I’m mighty tired of the music. It was also windy today which is unusual in August. It is now quite dark at 6 a.m., but it is a little cooler then. By the time I get flowers watered and bird baths filled, it is tea time and light enough to read. I would have ridden my bike this morning, but I was up a little later than normal.

I baked some sugar-free blueberry muffins before the heat began to compete with the air conditioner. They were rather ugly things because the blueberry color ran throughout the batter, but they were tasty enough to overlook their appearance. I will make them again someday when a toasty oven will be appealing on a winter’s day.

Yesterday I designated Blue Willow day in the spirit of weeding “stuff”. It was an exercise in futility! I dragged out two bins in the living room and then added pieces from the bottom of a hutch. I ran out of living room floor and had no idea what to do with the pieces. I have more in the top half of the hutch, in the kitchen cupboards, on tables throughout my house. I couldn’t part with any, didn’t know how to organize it. I have 37 dinner plates in the kitchen area alone. We use them daily but still that is a lot of plates!

Anyone who knows me knows my love of Blue Willow and the history behind it. When I was a child, I had a perfect set of child-sized Willowware made in Japan. I was child who always took care of her toys, and there wasn’t a chip in any piece. A five year old friend came to play. We put out a tea towel tablecloth, set every piece on my child’s table, and put marshmallows in the tea cups. She wanted to show me a trick. She grabbed the tea towel edge, said Abracadabra, and pulled. I screamed even louder than the sound of that breaking china.

Santa brought me a new set the following Christmas but it wasn’t Willow. He could only find a nice floral, lovely, but…. After I was married, I had a nice set of ironstone and another of pottery, but when I saw a Blue Willow cup in a flea market, I remembered my first love. The search began and DH got into it the Willow saga too. We have picked up pieces here, there and yonder. That is why I have so much and why it is a jumbled assortment of odd pieces.

A few years ago, I found a pin and ear rings made of Blue Willow at a craft show. Now if you go online you can find Broken Plate jewelry made of all kinds of china pieces. Most of it is very expensive due to the silver it is trimmed with today. I would be willing to trade some of my chipped pieces for a silver trimmed piece, but no takers locally. So while I had the chipped pieces out, DH did try his hand at shaping some pieces that I think will work as pins. We are still thinking of creative ways to use the chipped and broken pieces of Willow Ware, as I cannot toss them out. But then again, we have to have room left in the house to live here too!

Have you seen Broken Plate Jewelry in your area or are you a craftsman of such pieces?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We are sliding into almost the last week of August which seems impossible. July vanished under a blanket of searing heat that blistered the shrubs and grass to ochre shades. Then August shambled in with its normal scorching heat, made tolerable by being ten to fifteen degrees less than July.

Normally, I use Labor Day to switch the house over from the red and blues of summer, but due to the jury summons, surviving intense heat, and a few other factors, I took today to bring out pumpkins and sunflowers, to reach for yellows and oranges of autumn. It seems the seasons fly by anymore.

I have been digging in drawers and closets as I change things in the house. We have a rule here that if we bring in one thing then two things have to go out. Lately, we have been lax in following our own guidelines which has resulted in bursting closets and having things in the house we can’t even find. I watch my older friends and family divest themselves of material possessions and think I should do the same while I am the one able to do it, not leave a mess for my kids to sort or throw on an auction wagon. I think of the many tea cups, tea pots, pretty baubles, and stemmed glasses that I don’t need. None of my children or nieces will appreciate the old farm house sugar bowl stained by many families’ use or the knife rests that decorated many other wives’ table before me. Then again, I love using my things even occasionally and hate to part with them. So I part with a few, stash a few, make changes a little along.

One of the changes this weekend was my tableware. Years ago my Gran gave me a box of pretty flatware for my wedding, but I put it away. Hubby had a nasty habit of using the spoons like shovels and bending them in ice cream. We had received another set of flatware for a wedding gift as well. It was sturdy like a tool but ugly. I never liked it, but it served me well through hubby and sons. This weekend, I put the ugly utensils away and put the pretty spoons in the drawer. (Hubby now knows about an ice cream scoop too!)

I need to go through all my dishes and sort out the chipped and cracked. I need to organize the tea pots and eliminate the ones I don’t ever use (which would be hard because I brew in each one once in a great while). I need to reduce the number of tea cups down to a manageable number. Ah, but all of that will have to be another day!

The new issue of Victoria magazine came this weekend. That meant a sit down for a while to linger over lovely pictures and daydreaming over other homes with lovely dishes. The homes must be larger than mine, have more secret places to stash things. Victoria is one of the very few magazines with an end piece. I always read the last page essay of magazines first.

A few years ago, the changes began slowly but were the forerunners of print media changes. First the end page became a full page photo, maybe with a quote. Then the end page became a collection of bits and pieces, or a few questions for a celebrity, maybe even a puzzle or joke. Oprah, Southern Living, and Victoria are three magazines that still end with a thought-provoking essay or commentary.

Do you read the end of a magazine first? Do you even read magazines anymore?

This writing op seems to have a pricey entry fee, but it might interest some of my readers.

Best Midwest Writing 2012
The postmark deadline for our new writing contest has been extended to Tuesday, November 1, 2011. The 2012 Bright Harvest Prize is open to all writers in the Midwest (or with ties to the Midwest). Award consists of cash prizes and publication in an anthology distributed nationally, including to select agents. One grand prize for Poetry ($250) and one grand prize for Prose ($250). Honorable mentions and notables published along with grand prize winners in anthology; all selected entrants will receive one copy of anthology. Anthology publication date in early 2012.
Entry requirements:

• Cover sheet with name, address, phone, email, category entered and brief bio with statement on entrant's Midwest connection

• Poetry--up to 3 poems per entry, 40-line limit per poem

• Prose--up to 3,000 words; excerpts from longer works accepted, but indicate on cover sheet

• Manuscript double-spaced (single-spaced for poetry is allowed) with single space between punctuation and .3" tabs/indents.

• Entry fee(s) enclosed with manuscript or paid online

Entry fees are $20 per entry for Poetry, $20 per entry for Prose. Entry fees are nonrefundable. No previously published or simultaneous submissions, no email submissions. No limit on submissions, but each entry must have a cover sheet and fee enclosed (or transmitted online via PayPal or Aquarius Press Storefront). Methods of payment accepted: PayPal (to Aquarius Press), our Storefront, or check/money order payable to Aquarius Press ($25 fee on returned checks). No entries will be returned, so do not send originals. Enclose SASE postcard for confirmation of receipt of manuscript; enclose a #10 SASE for notification of winners.

All judges' decisions are final. Judges reserve the right to not select a winner in either or both categories. Works selected for the anthology must be provided in Word or RTF formats via email before publication. Entrants authorize Aquarius Press to use his/her entry in promotional content as needed and to make light edits as necessary for publication. Entrants may withdraw entries from consideration at any point before the contest end date but request must be made in writing.
Winners will be announced in late November 2011.
Postmark deadline is November 1, 2011. Send four (4) copies of entry, along with $20 fee to:
Aquarius Press
PO Box 23096
Detroit, MI 48223
Attn: Bright Harvest Prize

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Blurb/Those Left at Home

No, the heat hasn't driven me so crazy I see snow! This is the picture Lisa posted today for Book Blog. It does look cool and refreshing, but I am NOT in any hurry for winter again. While not the sizzling heat of July, the heat this week has been typical of August in Missouri. Early mornings we could grab a few hours reading on the deck, but by lunch we were driven inside again.

On top of the heat, the washing machine has been down. Hubby is a do-it-himselfer which can be a double-edged sword. When he finally got it fixed last night, he had jarred so many water deposits off in the filters that water would not flow. So this morning he worked on that and in twisting the knobs, broke a pipe. Thus today was PVC glue and clean day!

As the week ends and I can do laundry tomorrow, I took a stab at Lisa's book blurb picture. Wish I had more words, but I followed the rules of 150! For complete rules and more blurbs to read, go to Lisa's blog at

                                                                Those Left at Home

Snow fell as Ruth Snyder stepped off the metal steps of the passenger train, which wasn’t unusual in Vermont during November. She knew enough to expect the possibility of being snowbound a couple of months with Richard’s parents. It would be a perfect time to get acquainted with the Rileys.

It was 1943. After meeting Richard in the Connecticut USO canteen, a whirlwind courtship, and then a hasty wedding, Ruth found herself a lonesome military wife six weeks later.

Now Richard was flying B24s, the famous Liberators, in the Pacific. The hazardous planes flew out over the seas near Japan, each flight more perilous than the last. When his mother wrote asking Ruth to come to Vermont for the holidays, she thought it was an ideal time to meet his family.

Was she prepared for his tight-lipped Yankee parents, a brother home from Europe without his arm, and even Richard’s old girlfriend?

Friday, August 12, 2011

End of August's First Week

The first week in August has ended and the air has cooled. Energy returned somewhat. Then that jury summons for the months September and October came and set me back on my heels! What? After a long winter, almost nonexistent spring, a killer tornado season, recording-breaking heat strong enough to feel like cannibals had us in a stew pot over an open fire, and now someone is dampening my autumn! I picked myself up off the floor and began to get organized.

I was already slowly returning to writing, but now I have hit the rewrites this week like Aesop’s ants working around a grasshopper. A chat with an editor gave me new energy and focus plus the jury summons threatened my days enough that I have been getting up at 5:30 am to start work. I have bugged my sister-in-law for proof reading; I took pages to the Writers’ Guild for advice. Finally this morning I sent off my second (did you hear that, second!) western story to contest. Now I must return to rewriting a story the editor asked for rewrites on, and I am half way home with that.

Last night’s Guild meeting had a low attendance, but we seemed to get more done than usual. I found the conversation invigorating, but then I had pages on the table so the talk was more personal. Often some of our members talk too much on off topic subjects. How do you handle that in your writing groups? Last night, I took a timer for our Brag Session section of the meeting! I gave each member two minutes to tell what they had submitted and what had been accepted. At first the members snickered because most there weren’t offenders.

They were good sports about the timer and no one needed the full two minutes.

A writing group is a double edged sword. If you aren’t careful, you spend too much time talking about writing or sponsoring writing programs that you aren’t producing writing. I had planned last night to do some Free Writing, but our critiques were too long. I moved Free Writing to next month’s agenda, hoping to help spur the more non-productive member into action. Do your writing groups use Free Writing programs? What program have you had impressed you as most beneficial? Any ideas for me?

Also how do you draw in new and exciting members? Our guild has dwindled some, and I would like to pump new blood into this group. Any ideas on how to draw a writer to the group who is experienced enough to be an asset to others but still needing support himself from others?

At noon we picked up our friends for lunch to thank them for help when the tree fell on our deck a couple of weeks ago. They chose a new place to us, The Red Barn and Hen House Bakery. It was packed with eaters, a sure sign of good food. The menu was full of wonderful old things like chicken fried steak and homemade potato chips…and pies, pies, pies! Ate too much!

Then we drove around in the little town where we were  and checked out a flea market, found some garage sales, and a junk store. We came home with a $3 apron, a $4 wooden chair, and two Stone Hill wine glasses for $1. It was a bargain day.

Just as we got home, thunder rumbled in and soon a light rain fell. Just right for a snooze. It has been a long day but such a good one. Does writing to start the day make everything go better?

I have had literary fiction in Rosebud and can say it is a nice publication. Below is a writing op for scifi writers.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Prize For Imaginative Fiction -- original works of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, or horror; 4000 words or less. Awards: Grand prize: $1,000, 4 runners-up receive $100. All winning pieces published in Rosebud. Entry fee: $10. Rosebud acquires first rights for the five winning entries.

Deadline: September 1, 2011. Info: Acquisitions: J. Roderick Clark, editor, Guidelines on website at

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Musings

First, I'd like to welcome two new followers. Greetings and hello to BJ and PJ who became followers over the weekend.

Secondly, I would like to thank all the people who commented or emailed me about my Centus this week. I have had some most encouraging comments. Yes, that is my great great grandfather in the picture, and no, the story is pure fiction. Sometimes writing ideas just pour out, slick as olive oil  from a decanter. When I read the first Centus pieces and prompt on Saturday morning, I thought I had nothing to say. So I jumped up from the computer and headed to fetch my tomatoes and cantaloupes from the farmer's market.

All the way to town, scenes kept moving in my head like slides in a projector. When I came home, the story would not leave me alone. So I sat down and wrote it. Like many of you, I guess that story wanted to be told. It flowed out and even I was surprised where it went. I loved it myself though! Again, thanks for all your appreciation.

Today the air is actually cool! The air conditioner actually cycles to the off position occasionally, creating an absence of noise we haven't noticed for a long while. While there is only a smidgen of rain now and then, steely gray clouds come and go while thunder rumbles today. The moving air is delightful, reminding us that autumn stands in the wings. At 6:00 a.m. this morning it was dark outside reminding me the days are already becoming shorter, a very sad realization for me. I watched skies lighten about 6:30 while I worked on my second western!

 I have a few markets I know some followers will want to know about:

Past Loves Day Story Contest, 2011. Write your true story of a former sweetheart, in 700 words or less. Awards: $100, $75, $50, Honorable Mention(s). Winning stories will be published in an upcoming anthology. No entry fee. Authors retain all rights.

Deadline: August 17, 2011.

Short fiction wanted: Uncle John's Flush Fiction

Uncle John's Flush Fiction wants your short story! The editors of the
bestselling Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series are looking for entertaining
short fiction, suitable for bathroom (or anyroom) reading, for our new
fiction anthology. 1,000 words maximum. All genres, themes, styles, and
hybrids considered; humor is appreciated, but not mandatory. Previously
published OK. Payment: $50 honorarium plus two contributor copies.
Publication date: Spring 2012. Deadline: August 31, 2011. For guidelines,

Mixed Fruit is accepting submissions through September 10 for the October issue. We're looking for works of literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, translation, and visual arts. Please read our submission guidelines before sending your work. Press Review is accepting poetry submissions until August 31.

CPR considers only previously unpublished poetry or translations of poetry in English, and reviews of poetry books of approx. 500 words. CPR does not accept simultaneous or email submissions. Submit up to 5 poems at a time, preferably via our online submission form (available online between April1 and August 31) or by postal mail. Cover letter is preferred with mailed submission. Include short bio (50 words maximum). SASE required for reply. Do not send unsolicited disk or e-mail submissions. Poems are circulated to an editorial board. Responds in 1-6 months.
Full guidelines and our submissions manager are available at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Centus, Fresh Start

Saturday has rolled around again and that means Centus. In  my world that is so hot and boring, Jenny is doing her part trying to help me avoid a melt down by priming my creative pump! This week she gives us the right to use a picture, made more words available, and tossed in a prompt of "You are my sunshine..." Did she know any wording with sun right now might push me over the edge?

We are on our way to another 106 day here. I have watered flowers, dumped pots that couldn't make it water or not, and been to the farmer's market for tomatoes and cantaloupes. I have read other Centus writers this morning, and their takes are a lot lighter than mine--which is often the case. Something about writing bring out my serious side. While I drove to the town square my Centus formed in my head, unbidden, and I am going to go with it.

The picture is my great-great grandfather of Cherokee lineage who lived on the Missouri/ Oklahoma line, among other places. One of 16 children, he died in 1919.
For more Centus to read and complete rules to play today, go to

                                                   Fresh Start
John Walks Forward was sitting on a rock ledge by the Illinois River thinking about his life. Two years ago, he and Star Morning had lived through the Trail of Tears, but not without paying a premium price. They had buried the baby just before crossing the Mississippi at Missouri’s bootheel. Then they lost their son somewhere after leaving Springfield in the frigid march towards the White Man’s Midwest.

He and Star Morning swallowed their sorrow and started again in a leafy area near the Illinois. No forest could be as dense as those in Carolina, but they made the best home possible of saplings they found. The garden was dug, planted and now grew squash and corn. Five cows of the Walks Forward place grazed on an Ozark hillside. Now he waited for his wife to deliver them a new baby, a new hope.

He heard the woman whistle him up and headed back. He stood over his wife’s sweat-riddled face as she prayed thanksgiving. “You are my sunshine, that which puts light into my sky, that which will put stars in my night. You will give me my song again.”

“He is named,” said John. “Star Morning’s Sunshine.”

Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Blurb Friday/ Spring Rains

It is Book Blurb Friday again, and today Lisa gives us a nice wet picture so we here in prairie drought can dream of rain! I am not a big fan of wet weather, but at the moment this picture looks cool, refreshing and inviting!

Limiting the blurb to 150 words is extra hard this week, but I gave it a shot. For full rules on writing your own blurb and to read more entries, go to Lisa's blog at:

Spring Rains
Lawrence, Kansas-1968 Camille Wilkins was heading back to college while her longtime boyfriend shipped out for war. Although no real promises, it was understood she would be waiting for Jeff when he returned from Vietnam.

By the spring semester, the rainy season moved onto the KU campus. One soaking Wednesday she raced into Professor Clark’s philosophy class to see a grad student taking over the teaching. With damp curls stuck to her head and soaking feet, she was mesmerized by Mr. Stone, a man 15 years her senior, speaking on Aquinas.

But the lecture was less fascinating than the dark lock that coiled over his forehead, the permanent dimple resting near his lips. His cabled vest sweater and the pipe that peeked out of his shirt pocket all called to Camille like sirens calling sailors at sea.

Would Camille’s common sense stay afloat or wash away in the spring rains?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reading, Free Writing, and Writing Ops

It is mid-afternoon and officially 102, but they are warning us the air feels like 113. I am not going out to make my own judgement! At 7:00 am this morning it was already very warm. For the first time I passed on a pot of tea. Started deck time with ice water and finally made iced tea. I have been worthless this day!

But I have to think "writing" and it can't be put off any longer. Next week is Writers' Guild and I need to plan a program. I also need to get reminder out very soon. So what will we do? Last month one thing I brought up was the usefulness of Free Writing after reading about Riff Writing in Elizabeth Lyon's book Manuscript Makeover. The group was lukewarm on Free Writing. They either did not know about it or felt it useless. Almost any book on writing or creativity urges writers to free write, journal, or do some kind of aimless penning of words to see where it goes. I am thinking, like it or not, we might take five minutes next week and practice some Free Writing. Do any of you writers do something like this at your meetings.

I'll admit that I have not been writing myself. One would think that all this cooped up time in the heat would be good for writing, but my mind hasn't seen it that way. Instead I have kicked back and read novels for fun. I did The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard which was a quick and engrossing read. I love Pickard's mysteries because they are set in Kansas and have characters with interesting relationships.  I followed that one with Ann Weisgarber's The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, a novel set in South Dakota Badlands of 1917. This novel is built around a drought and the hardships of homesteading this area. Also a fast read it takes you quietly up to a whammy ending, one that makes women cheer!

I have found a few writing ops so I need to put my thinking cap on soon. I will share them below.

Greenwoman Magazine is a new garden writing magazine and we're looking for imaginative work in the areas of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and comics. We love new perspectives and original voices–funny, sad, smart, bawdy, angry, contemplative, weird, joyous, sexy, but most importantly, the work must be compelling. We're looking for writing that gets to the heart and intellect that underlies the pursuit of a gardening life. Writing that pushes the boundaries of garden writing and that reflects what is going on in the garden in 21st century America.

About half of our content is personal stories, art and fiction, and the other half is features. Each issue includes one or more articles on 21st century trends in gardening and environment awareness and a biography of an individual whose contribution in plant sciences, agriculture, gardening, or food knowledge has been not just notable, but significant. Each issue will also have an interview with a writer or artist who uses the garden as a central theme in their work.
(It helps to read an issue of the magazine to get a good idea of what we are after. An online version of our first issue is available at our website, for $3.95.)

Submission Guidelines: All pieces should be under 2,000 words. I will consider longer pieces, but this is a small publication (about 64-80 pages), so the chances of having a longer work accepted diminish with length. Up to six poems may be submitted at a time. Please query first on all article ideas. If you contact us through regular mail, please do not send originals of your artwork or writing. Send good copies only, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope for my reply if you send it physically. Our mailing address is P. O. Box 6587, Colorado Springs, CO 80934-6587. Artwork and submissions cannot be returned without proper postage. Artwork should be black and white only and I’m looking for artists who are skilled at drawing both plants and people.

Submissions may also be sent via email (sandra(at) or (sandra(at)
(replace (at) with @ in sending e-mail), but only if they are in the body of the email. We will not open attachments.

Payment: As a brand new self-funded venture, the current compensation for stories is six copies of the magazine in which your piece appears and $50 per accepted submission. I hope that with Issue #3 I will be able to offer more.

Missouri Poetry Society has Summer Contest ending Sept 1. For full information please go to their site at


Lebanon Poetry Society has an annual contest closing Dec 2.

Provide 2 copies of each poem with name and category of the poem on both in left corner. Put name and address o ONE in the right corner.

Each poem submitted should be 36 lines or less.

$3 per entry. Checks to Velvet Fackeldey.

Enclose SASE.

Prizes at $25-15-10.

Mail to: Nancy LaChance
              14940 Highway 64
               Lebanon, Mo 65536

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pop Corn at 106

This morning the sky was a peacock blue with only a few tufts of cottony white clouds in places. It was beautiful, but the rich icy blue was also a strange harbinger of heat coming. By 9:00 the air draped over our shoulders like a wool shawl…just as it has done for days, will do the rest of this week.

Yesterday we went by DH’s family farm in Kansas. The corn was so burned and dry. Some fields had a tinge of green left, but not this one. It was blistered to withered stubble. Had there been any breeze at all, I am sure the stalks would have rustled like a crinoline petticoat!

We were in Kansas because my mom had a sudden surgery. They found her gall bladder rotting inside and gangrenous fluid around it. An hour surgery took closer to three, and she was put in ICU for a while afterwards. She will have a longer recovery but things look better today.

I ordered my mom some flowers this morning, wondering what they might have in this hot season. They had only a pink but the delivery truck was coming. I urged them to find something red if possible. My mom and I had a color war when I was about five years old. Red is my mom’s favorite color, and this was the years when she wore Rita Hayward nail polish and lipstick to match her red clothes. All I wanted was pink everything, a color she detested. She was determined I would like red when her mother finally convinced her to let the five year old have her “pink spell”. I had pink Easter dress and coat, pink shirts, pink jeans, and I would have had pink shoes if I could have found them in the market that only did white and black patent Mary Janes.

I recall a lot of childhood things these days; how far away my memories seem from today’s world. I remember staying with my cowgirl Gran a week each summer. One of my favorite things to do was go with her to her Tripoli club, an excuse for about eight women to eat, play, laugh and gossip. I remember one really hot summer that we visited a house cooled by a water cooler, no central air then. I stretched out on the itchy carpet and played with my Annette Funicello paper dolls and eavesdropped on the ladies game and chatter. When one lady said she kept her underwear in the Frigidaire freezer, I gulped. My mind struggled with that one, trying to picture what frozen panties felt like!

The late afternoon is now 106 here. The thermometer on my desk is registering 82 and that is with the air conditioner pumping away. The electric bill came in at $300 last week, and as I listen to the ac work, I know the meter is clicking up a nice big bill for next month too!