Thursday, December 1, 2011

Silly Season

Thanksgiving is over and everyone is in high gear preparing for the Christmas season. It has been given many nicknames, but it is what people make it. I'm not a Scrooge and really enjoy Christmas, but not all the commercial nonsense that accompanies it. Can anyone say, "Black Friday?"  That is where I say, "Bah Humbug!"

Because of scheduling, hubby and I spent a peaceful Thanksgiving day alone. Family gatherings were on Saturday.  So on Thursday, I curled up with a good book.  If you haven't read "Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks" by K.C. McCrite, you are missing something great. The first book, "In Front of God and Everybody: Confessions of April Grace," had me hooked.

As a writer, I read with a writer's eye. It has been a while since I read a book that was so well written, I got engrossed in the story.  If you need a terrific Christmas gift, I recommend either book.

By the way, I also have my children's books available. Don't forget Albert's Happy Thanksgiving and Cleveland the Green Camel.

My books are available on or through High Hill Press or you may contact little old me at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Brenda's Barnyard Books

Albert's Happy Thanksgiving was my first children's book. It was published in 2010. After numerous rewrites, I entered the manuscript in a contest at Ozark Creative Writers and won an award. That spurred me on.     Albert has been very well received and it was my joy to introduce him to schoolchildren in the classrooms.  This spring, my second book, "Cleveland the Green Camel" came out.  Children love the little turkey and the crazy camel, but they really like the goofy old goat, Frank.  That is what a great illustrator can do.  Frank will have his own book, but it will be a little while.  I'm still working on it.  A goat as unique as Frank can't be rushed.   I will be at OCW October 6 - 8 and will have both books there. Stop by and take a look.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Autumn in the Ozarks

I love fall in the Ozarks. It is a wonderful time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us. I also love to capture the color in photographs.
I spent the afternoon at school, signing books. What fun!  I really love introducing my characters to the kids.
My two children's books are Albert's Happy Thanksgiving and Cleveland the Green Camel.  Both would be a delightful addition to any child's bookshelf.  The kids are sure to fall in love with Albert the turkey, Frank the goat, Fluffy the hen, and Cleveland the camel.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ozarks Mountaineer article

I am absolutely delighted with the article in the Ozarks Mountaineer.  Watching Daddy Pull is an article about my dad and his tractor, Lonesome George.  Yes, the tractor has a name.  The article also tells a little of the history of tractor pulling.
I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I did writing it. 
The story was written as a contest entry for the Ozarks Creative Writers conference last fall. (2010)  Although it didn't win anything at the conference, I sent it to the Ozarks Mountaineer and the editor asked me to add a little of the history to it.
So never be discouraged if you don't win.  Your story might still be a winner.  This is not the first time my contest entries have gone on to be published, and I'm not through by a long shot.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Day Off

I spent the day with my two youngest granddaughters. We went to Mansfield to see the home of Laura Ingals Wilder. It was a great day.
No matter how many motivational speakers I hear, a trip to her home is always encouraging. When the guide says she began writing her famous 'Little House' books at the age of sixty-five, I grab those words with hope in my heart.
To see how she wrote is humbling. No computer, not even a typewriter. She wrote on Big Chief tablets. And it worked. People around the world fell in love with her books long before there was a television show. Her books are wonderful and her life inspiring.
That is how I spent my day off. Now back at it, with renewed hope.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


If you write non-fiction articles, chances are you interview people from time to time. There is one question that should never be forgotten. Yes, there is a universal question. You might wonder what question would fit any subject. Well, here goes.

"How do you spell your name?"

That's right. It is simple, but sometimes overlooked. We often take for granted the spelling of a common name, but we shouldn't. When a child is born, the parents want their precious baby to be unique. That leads to some very unusual ways to spell even the most common names.
Examples: John/Jon   Carol/Carole/Karole  Freddie/Freddy  Gary/Garry  Kathy/Cathy/Kathie   and the list goes on and on. Now just think of all the unusual names out there and the many ways to spell them.
 When a person sees his/her name in the newspaper or magazine, they want to see it spelled correctly.
That is my tip for today. It is not a small one, because every person you write about wants to see their name in print and they want to see it done right.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's just me showing off my Barnyard Books in the new shirt my daughter-in-law made for me. She embroidered my book characters on the shirt.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Award-winning photo

I won the Cliff Edom Photography Award at the Ozark's Writers League conference in May with this photo. The Award is shown here, but is much prettier in person, as is the photo. The photo is now on its way to Massachusetts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ozarks Mountaineer article

Yes, it is about my dad's tractor-pulling and a little history about the 'sport.'
If you check out the last issue of the Ozarks Mountaineer, you will see a picture of a young girl holding a trophy by a tractor (in the What's Ahead section). That girl is little ole me, many long years ago. Take a good look at the hair.

Staying busy, but not cool!

I have been doing interviews and writing articles for Ozarks Farm & Neighbor. I had the cover photo on the last issue. Recently, I interviewed a 96-year-old man who is still raising hogs. It was very interesting to hear all the changes he has witnessed over the years.
I will have an article in the next issue of the Ozarks Mountaineer. Look for "Watchin' Daddy Pull." It is about my dad and a hobby he dearly loves.
My photography will be on display at the Library Station in Springfield until the end of this week. I want to thank all my family and friends who have stopped by to see the exhibit. It has been very successful.
I'm also gearing up for the next OWL meeting. Hope to see many of you there.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Brenda takes 'Cleveland' to school.

I made the rounds at several area schools before they dismissed for summer. Cleveland the Green Camel came out in April and I have been introducing him to the children. I am happy to say that Cleveland has been met with the same enthusiasm as Albert.                         
I am also pleased to announce that my photography is hanging on display at the Library Station in Springfield. Stop by and take a look. One of the photos won the Cliff Edom Photography contest at the recent Ozarks Writer's League conference.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back to School

It was back to school for me today.  I read my new book to 7 classrooms.   I should have it memorized by now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cleveland the Green Camel

At last, Cleveland the Green Camel came out one week ago today. We endured windy weather at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield and had a good time. But the weather turned ugly on Sunday and Monday while I was at the Baker Creek Spring Festival near Mansfield.  Cleveland and I visited Halfway Elementary yesterday and have three schools to visit next week. I love visiting with the kids. Yesterday, one of the little girls said, "You interviewed my daddy."  Luckily I remembered him. That is one of the great things about also writing non-fiction. I never know when I'm going to run into one of my subjects.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Latest Cover

This is Mysteries of the Ozarks Volume III.  It a collection of stories compiled by Ellen Gray Massey.  The book is available on    I am very proud to have one of my photographs gracing the cover.

Friday, April 1, 2011

This is the first in the series of Brenda's Barnyard Books.
It will also be available at the Marshfield Cherry Blossom Festival.
April 29 & 30, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Writer's Groups

Until a few, probably eight, years ago, I didn't know writing groups existed.  What a wonderful discovery.  They are terrific support groups that bubble with inspiration.  I love OWL and ORA.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome to my Blog!

I don't know how on earth to do this, so I guess I'll give it my best shot.
I am a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, photographer, weaver, and I like to garden.  In my spare time, maybe I'll figure this blogging thing out.