Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What's Wrong with Roundup? Ask the Bees.

I found this article from NPR very interesting today. 
Study of roundup weed killer could be linked to deaths of bees.

We have been told for several years that our bee population was declining. Many possible answers were given, but now this one makes sense.

My experience with Round Up happened more than thirty years ago when we were partners in a Christmas Tree farm with my sister and brother-in-law. We planted the trees in February when they were only about a foot tall. In south Georgia, where we lived, the weeds quickly covered them in the spring.

We, like all the farmers, looked for the easiest and least costly manner of ridding our fields of weeds. We could have hired several people to come in with hoes, and they could have chopped out the offending growth as workers used to do in the cotton fields, but labor in today's world is extremely high. We found we could buy a large container of Roundup and spray it on the ground around the trees. It killed the the unwanted greenery without harming the woody stalks of the pines.

We did not understand there was any danger from using this chemical. After all, it wouldn't be on the market if it were dangerous, right? We never considered the runoff into the ponds and into streams. No one told us it was not safe to use. We certainly did not know all the things now known about this weed killer.

I have learned that Roundup contains a chemical, glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide which is believed to cause cancer and has been banned in many countries but not in the USA.

Researchers Nancy Moran, Erick Motta and Kasie Raymann of the University of Texas at Austin suggest their findings are evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that has been wreaking havoc on honey bees and native bees for more than a decade.

The chemical giant Monsanto created this product, but Bayer has bought out Monsanto, and they say there have been no studies that show glyphosate is harmful to bees which is what the study by the university is proving.

"We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide," Motta, the graduate student who led the research, said according to the university. "Our study shows that's not true."

I know that environmental organizations have been active in trying to ban this product for many years, but it is hard to go up against these huge corporations and win, especially in the climate we have in Washington now.

Have you used Roundup and did you think it was safe?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Joan and Paula get out the news

I am behind in my blog posts, but I invite my readers to check out these articles you will find online.

Thanks to Joan Gage for this post on Netwest Writers blog.

A big thank you to Paula Canup for this article in our local newspapers.

This is Estelle Rice co-author of this book.

Deadline to order at discount price of $14.00 plus $3.00 S&H is September 20.
Regular retail price is $16.00 plus $3.00 S&H
This book will make great Christmas gifts for anyone who has a pet, who loves animals, who used to have a beloved pet.

To order: Make check or money order to Estelle Rice or Glenda Beall.
 Mail to Blue Heaven Press, PO Box 843, Hayesville, NC 28904


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Lyn Hawks wrote about the pitfalls with agents coming and going.

Thanks to Tara Lynne Groth, I read this article that I must share with other writers.

Finding an agent you like and can work with is difficult. One writer says she wasted a year with an agent who she finally realized was not that interested in her books.

Some people find the perfect agent and give that person accolades for all the help given to the author. In the above post by Lyn Hawks, writers can see the journey toward the published book is not straight and easy. Perseverance seems to be the most important virtue of the author who has books on the shelves in Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. How about receiving over 100 rejections? Would you stay with it that long?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Do you like to listen to podcasts? Do you read fiction or nonfiction?

I am in love with podcasts. I listen to them while I work around the house, at my desk and in bed at night. One of my favorites is Clear and Vivid, with host Alan Alda. The theme is communication. Recently Ann Patchett, author, was his guest. She said that Women read Fiction and Men read more Nonfiction. I would not have thought that to be true. Of course, I know many women read romance novels, and beach reads, but I thought men would be reading the mysteries and thrillers. My father enjoyed western novels.
I used to read fiction all the time. I lost myself in stories about other people, other times, other lands, and hated for a good book to end. From the time I was a child and read all the horse books in the book mobile to reading Ayn Rand in college, totally engrossed in the characters and the philosophy of each character. My early books were Little Women and the Yearling. Later I read Gone with the Wind. I was a big fan of these books. I was addicted to books when I was younger.

I liked those huge historical novels by James Mitchener, also, and books about large families that fought and made up and always loved each other, somewhat like my own. While I still have memories of scenes in the books, I can't remember the title or the authors of most of them. I like to read John Grisham for escape, or I used to read his books. Now I listen on Audible. I like Joslyn Jackson, a prolific Georgia writer and really enjoyed books by Haven Kimel, a North Carolina writer. Recently I listened to a memoir, Dimestore, by the author, Lee Smith. Very interesting book. She is a most interesting lady.

Lee Smith, author

I have no Sirius Radio in my car now. I canceled my subscription because I kept losing the signal here in the mountains. So I listen to podcasts while I drive.

I will not be teaching any classes at Writers Circle studio until next year. So I have a long time to catch up on reading and writing.

But first, I and my friend, Estelle, will be reading from our new book, Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins, and signing books wherever we get an opportunity. If you would like to have us come to a meeting or business once we get our books in hand, about mid-September, let us know. It must be within driving distance of Hayesville, NC.

We will be reading at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC on Thursday, September 20, 7:00 PM. Come out and join us.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


August 29, 2018 – Well-published poets, Janice Townley Moore and Robert Lee Kendrick, will headline Writers’ Night Out at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA, at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 14. The event is free and open to the public. Following the reading is an open microphone where audience members can share their own poetry or prose.
Janice Townley Moore

Robert Lee Kendrick
Moore, who lives in Hayesville, NC, is an Atlanta native and Associate Professor Emerita of English at Young Harris College. Her poetry chapbook is Teaching the Robins (Finishing Line Press) and her work has appeared in esteemed journals including The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Connecticut Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and numerous others. Among the anthologies that include her poetry are The Bedford Introduction to Literature and three volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Contemporary Appalachia, Georgia, and North Carolina) from Texas Review Press. Moore serves as the coordinator of the North Carolina Writers Network - West poetry critique group, which meets at Tri-County Community College.
Robert Lee Kendrick grew up in Illinois and Iowa, but now calls Clemson, South Carolina home. After earning his M.A. from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, he held a number of jobs, ranging from house painter to pizza driver to grocery store worker to line cook. He now teaches. Kendrick’s poems appear in Birmingham Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Tar River Poetry, Louisiana Literature, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection, What Once Burst With Brilliance, was released in 2018 by Iris Press. His chapbook is Winter Skin (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2016)

Anyone wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read three minutes of poetry or prose. Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092. Food and drinks are available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information on Writers’ Night Out, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or