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This is What I’ve Been Doing Lately

I haven’t talked about my writing in a while, so I thought this would be a good day to tell you what I’ve been doing for the past few months.

I received the comments from my editor on my short story collection Thursday. She’s so sweet and says the nicest things, even as she is going to town with her red corrections and suggestions. She is excellent at what she does, and I take her input seriously. If all goes well, I will be working with the publisher some time next month to introduce that book to the world. Even though I’ve had many stories published, this will be the first book that’s all mine.

My critique group is helping me with final edits on my novel, which I hope to have completely finished by the end of the year. I’m probably never going to feel like it’s good enough because my stories are my babies. I keep wanting to shower them with more love and detail. However, there comes a time when I must stand back and be satisfied with what I’ve done. If I don’t, it will never see the light of day.

I’ve entered a few writing contests this year. I’m thrilled to say that I’ve been pretty successful in that endeavor. I’ve won 1st Place in two contests and won some great prizes in writing-related drawings. I’ve also entered a couple of art contests. I’ve entered the Ozarks Writers League photography and alternative 3D art contests. The results will be announced on April 24th at our virtual conference.

I’ve been taking classes and workshops here and there. I participated in a poetry workshop today, and I was thrilled to see one of my cousins was also in attendance. I had no idea she loved poetry, but I’m certainly going to visit with her about it next time I see her. This cousin is one of those talented people who excels in everything to which she sets her mind. I have no doubt I’ll be seeing her name in a bookstore near me soon.

Photography has become a new passion for me in the past couple of months. My husband bought me a beautiful, yet complicated, new camera for Christmas that I’ve been trying to learn to use. I’ve taken some lovely pictures with it, but I haven’t been able to capture the moon to my satisfaction yet. I’ve watched some instructional videos, but I’m still struggling to understand all of the settings. My next class will be one on photography.

I’m not just writing and taking pictures these days. I’m also an advanced reader for Bestselling Thriller Author Tierney James’ new book, Dark Side of Noon, which will be released on May 2, 2021. It’s available for preorder now for 99 cents. Well, that was the price when I checked. It may change.

I’m honored to read my friend’s book and write an honest review for her. Dark Side of Noon is the second book in the Dark Side (Wind Dancer) series, following Dark Side of Morning. I adore Tierney, and I hope she will return the favor when I have advanced reader copies.

Of course, Ozarks Maven keeps me busy writing three posts a week. I strive to bring you articles that are interesting and will make you smile or learn something. Spotlighting Ozarks authors is my favorite part of Ozarks Maven, and I hope you enjoy getting to know these regional authors as much as I do. I post my author spotlights on Tuesday and Thursday of the first full week of each month. My friend, Kathleen Garnsey will be April’s Author Spotlight.

It’s hard to believe that it was one year ago when I was home for six weeks due to the pandemic shutdown. I devoured novels at a rapid rate and wrote a great deal because everything was closed. I like spending time at home, but I hate not having the option of going somewhere if the mood strikes me. Things are slowly starting to open back up, and I’m looking forward to two real in-person conferences and a writers retreat this fall. Things are starting to look like they may return to normal someday. A year ago, I didn’t know if they ever would.

I hope you are all healthy and enjoy the fun things in this world as it awakens from its COVID coma.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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