Thursday, August 16, 2018

Check out this poem.

Read a powerful poem here and hear the poet read it out loud.

Maren Mitchell is an excellent poet. This is one of my favorites.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Setting Writers on the Right Track

Anne Bowman, Terri Thrower, Carol Gladders, Caroll Taylor, Nancy Meyers Lisa Long
Back: Richard Cary and Don Long
Sitting in front, instructor: Glenda beall
TCCC Publishing and Marketing Class August 11, 2018

Carol Crawford presented a power point program on what a writer needs to know when preparing a manuscript for publication.
Glenda Beall discussed the importance of marketing before publishing, places to submit poetry and prose as well as online methods of marketing.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

From 2014, a dog story people seemed to like

Glenda Beall

It was summer and the hot August sun beat down on the fields and pastures surrounding our white frame farmhouse in southwest Georgia.  My sister Gay and I played with our dolls on the covered front porch while Fluffy, a black curly dog near the front screen-door, slept. She had been given to us when she was a puppy, and we loved her. I often buried my face in her soft fur and squeezed her in a tight hug. She licked my face to show me she loved me as well. Wherever Gay and I played, under the huge oak tree beside the house or on the porch, Fluffy was always close by as if she had appointed herself babysitter.

Our playtime was interrupted when Mother rushed out on the porch, grabbed each of us by the arm and hurried us inside.  We were forced to leave our dolls and Fluffy behind.

Being grabbed so quickly and seeing my usually calm mother in such a dither, I cried, “Mother, what’s wrong?”

“There’s a strange dog in the yard.  He looks dangerous. Stay inside until he’s gone," she said.

It was then we saw through the screen door, the large brown dog coming from behind the house.  Mother had noticed him from the kitchen window, his muzzle white with foam, slobber dripping down in long streams. He seemed intent on a mission, looking for a victim.

Mother called to Fluffy, "Come here, come inside, Fluffy."

But Fluffy would not come. Mother did not believe in having pets in the house. Fluffy had never been inside. She ran down the steps heading for the place where she felt secure, her bed under the porch. It was the only refuge she knew.

The strange dog saw her and followed. In minutes we heard Fluffy’s pitiful yelps. I wanted to go to her. I pushed on the screen door, but Mother would not let me open it. I stood safely inside and called Fluffy until she finally came up on the porch. I let out a sigh of relief. I saw no blood. She looked fine to me. I wanted to run out to her and give her a big hug. There was no sign of another dog in the yard.

“He didn’t hurt her, Mother,” I said. “She’s not bleeding or anything.”

Still, Mother insisted we stay inside away from Fluffy who was back on the porch, licking her fur, cleaning herself of the terrible ordeal she had experienced.

My father and brothers came home for the noonday meal, and Daddy examined our friendly pet. He found bite wounds we had not seen. The rabid dog had done the damage. Daddy locked Fluffy in a cage beside the barn. She would be fed and given fresh water as he watched for signs of illness. She was quarantined, a word my sister and I did not know.

Her sad brown eyes begged for our pats and hugs, and when we approached she wagged her bushy tail. But we could only talk to her from a distance and tell her how sorry we were that she had to stay in the cage.  We missed her and every day we asked, “How much longer does she have to stay shut up?”

One day Gay and I went out to visit Fluffy and found the cage shut tight, but our beloved dog was not there.

“Mother, Fluffy’s gone. What happened to her?” I ran inside to the person who always made things right. Tears ran down my cheeks. Somehow I knew she couldn't fix this problem. She seemed as sad as I was, but I couldn't help my anger toward her. If only Fluffy had been an inside pet.

We were little girls and no one wanted to tell us Fluffy had to be euthanized. Daddy said she must have gotten out of the cage somehow. He evidently wanted us to believe she escaped and wondered away. Even today my older brother tells me he doesn't know what happened to our pet.

I knew Fluffy would never have left us. No matter what we were told, Gay and I believed she had been destroyed. I vowed then and there, at the age of six, that when I was grown up and had my own house, I’d have my own dog, and he would sleep in the house and even sleep in my bed so that I could protect him.

We had other dogs as I grew up. They were family pets. Brit was an English Shepherd that was killed when she was run over in our yard by a neighbor kid.  Turbo, a purebred cocker Spaniel, was given to us by an Air Force officer who was going overseas. That was a big mistake. That fine animal deserved a home where he was groomed daily and fed treats, curled up by the fireplace. Instead he ran out and collected sand-spurs and burrs in his lush coat. He went to the field with my brothers and my father. Turbo rode in the pickup and acted like a hound dog. He disappeared one day, and we never saw him again. I always hoped he had found a better place to live.

One week after my wedding day, I was finally able to fulfill the promise I had made to myself. My husband Barry, who also loved dogs, gave me a puppy, a miniature black poodle, that we named Brandy.  This lovable little animal quickly owned our house and both of us. In many ways he looked like Fluffy with his dark curly coat, his deep expressive eyes that could read my mind. For nineteen years I kept him safe in spite of his mischievous ways, his daredevil personality, and his stubbornness. But one afternoon, his old body gave out as he slept in our bedroom. It was raining. Barry was out of town. Alone, I buried him under the trees behind our back yard.

Since that time I've opened my heart to other dogs – Nicki and Kodi, the Samoyeds, so pristine white, always smiling and loving – Rocky, the rescued mix, who was Barry’s dog, but won my heart even as I grieved for Kodi. We protected them well, loved them and they loved us.

Each one had his own personality, his peculiar traits just the way humans do. They all lived long and good lives except for Nicki who died at the age of two from a mysterious malady no one understood. All of them lived in our house and Brandy slept in our bed. The bigger dogs had their own beds or slept wherever they wanted.

Rabies is a terrible disease, and found in wild animals in our area even today. I am grateful that my mother was vigilant enough to protect my sister and me, even if she couldn't save sweet Fluffy.
Did you ever see a rabid animal or have a pet bitten by one?

Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins by Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice will be available early in September. $16.00
Order now and get a discount: Contact for ordering information.

 "Glenda Beall and Estelle Rice have documented that unique companionship offered by our furred, finned, and feathered friends. The community of animal lovers will cheer for the poodle who rode motorcycles, the rabbit that went to college, and all the other remarkable pets in these pages. It’s a pleasure to spend time with these creatures in a book that is funny, poignant, and full of warmth. 
--Carol Crawford, poet, writer, teacher, owner of Carol Crawford Editing

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Writers' Night Out in Blairsville, Georgia

Each month on the second Friday evening, Karen Paul Holmes hosts a night for writers in Blairsville, GA. This event is sponsored by the NC Writers Network West, a program of the state literary organization created for the writers in the far western part of North Carolina and includes bordering counties of North Georgia.

Writers' Night Out: 
  • Friday, Aug 10, 7-8:30 pm
  • Featured readers: Mary Ricketson and Maren Mitchell
  • Followed by open mic*
  • Union County Community Center, Blairsville, GA 
  • Optional dinner or drink: The View Grill (arrive by 6 to order food)
*Note: We must vacate the room by 8:30 this year, so we reserve the right to limit the number of open mic readers to the first 10 who sign up at the door. Limit 3 minutes per reader. Please time yourself at home. This is normally 1 page of poetry or prose (12 pt Times New Roman). 

Maren O. Mitchell, an internationally published poet, has had poems in POEM, The Comstock Review, Slant, The Pedestal Magazine, Tar River Poetry, Poetry East, Hotel Amerika, The Lake (UK), Skive (AU), and many other literary journals. Her work is also included in The Crafty Poet II: a Portable Workshop; The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins; The Southern Poetry Anthologies, V & VII; Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems; and more. She has had two poems nominated for Pushcart Prizes and received a first-place award from the Georgia Poetry Society.

A North Carolina native, in her childhood Maren lived in France and Germany. Due to spinal cord surgery when forty, she spent many years learning how to live well in spite of chronic pain. She shares her experiences and advice in her nonfiction book, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide, (Line of Sight Press, 2012) .  For over thirty years, across five southeastern states, Maren has taught origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Mary Ricketson has been writing poetry 20 years. She is inspired by nature and her work as a mental health counselor. Her most recent full-length collection is Shade and Shelter: Poems of Breaking and Healing (Kelsay Books, 2018).  Her poetry has also been published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, Future Cycle Press, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Red Fox Run, It’s All Relative, Old Mountain Press, Whispers, Voices, and two other books: I Hear the River Call my Name and Hanging Dog Creek. 

Currently Mary is using her own poetry to present empowerment workshops, combining roles as writer and her helping role as a therapist. Her writing and activities relate with nature, facilitate talk about a personal path and focus on growth in ordinary and unusual times. She also writes a monthly column, “Women to Women,” for The Cherokee Scout.

Mary is Cherokee County representative for North Carolina Writers’ Network-West, president of Ridgeline Literary Alliance, and an organic blueberry farmer.
Hope you'll come hear these two local poets. Come and read something of your own at Open Mic. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Why No More Anonymous Comments

Who can comment on this blog? Only users with a Google Account.

Why? To open the comments to everyone, I have to allow anonymous comments that are using my space for their purposes. They are what we call Spam.
They fill up my comment box with all sorts of ads and gibberish, most in  broken English. 

I hate to make it difficult for people to leave comments because I love hearing from my readers, but most people have a gmail account these days and if you don't have one, I suggest you get one. It is very easy to sign up. Since Google bought out Blogger, they make it necessary for people to use a Google (gmail) account.

Lately I am getting email in my gmail account from some strange looking names and with only very short messages that seem to want me to give them personal information.

It is sad that we have to be suspect of everyone we meet on the world wide web. We don't know who to trust when it comes to anonymous entities showing up in our lives. Just today I heard that Facebook has discovered more of what they think are anonymous accounts from Russians. I don't think it is just Russia. I believe the bad guys online are from everywhere. 
It is hard to inform those who are legitimate readers and friends without opening my doors to suspicious nameless people out there. I am careful, but like many, I have had to change my password and once I closed an email account and deleted my favorite email name. 

In my Stats page today, I had more page views from Russia than from the United States. This often happens and I'm not sure if they are bots or what. Just looks peculiar to me. 

Meanwhile, I am very happy with my number of followers and subscribers. Thank you for being a faithful reader, but remember, when you receive my blog in your Inbox, you cannot hit Reply and leave a comment.

You must go to the website: and leave your comment at the bottom of the post. 
Thanks for visiting with me and have a great week.