Ozarks grow in popularity

It seems the Ozarks have gained some popularity while I wasn’t looking. I’ve pitched ideas for stories on the Ozarks for several years with little or no interest. Now the public can’t seem to get enough.
I was approached by a publisher at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference in October. He’s had a lot of success with a book out of Missouri that combines old recipes with Ozark Tales, and wondered if I would like to do a similar one set in the Boston Mountains of our Ozarks here in Arkansas. So I’m busy on that. Then at the Women Writing the West Conference later that month, I pitched an idea I’ve pitched uncountable times about the lost communities of the Boston Mountains. Old American Publishing sent me a contract a few weeks later to write the book, so I’m working on it as well.
To strike while the iron is hot, I pitched a fiction mystery series set in the Ozarks. Hey, why not? Of course, fiction is a harder sell than nonfiction, but might as well hit all the bases while I’m at it. Haven’t heard anything from that one yet.
About a year ago, the U.S. Marshal Museum for the Western District settled on a home. Where? You guessed it. The Ozarks. Actually Ft. Smith where Judge Isaac Parker brought the gavel down on guilty verdicts and hung so many men. So, I met a publisher at WWW who is interested in a story about some of the marshals and deputies who kept order in Indian Territory during that turbulent time. I’m getting my ducks in a row for that one. Hope I can soon report a contract for the book as well.
Hey, I like to stay busy. The more books I have going, the better I feel. Looks like I may feel real good for quite a spell now.
Meanwhile, our long-lived critique group lost its meeting home, and we’ve been scouting around for a while now. It’s hard to find a place for a group that charges no dues therefore has no money. We finally did though. The Shiloh Museum of the Ozarks in Springdale, AR has offered us a meeting place and we’ll go there right after Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, we met in the home of one of our members, Linda Apple. She and her husband were kind enough to host a bunch of homeless ragamuffin writers so we could keep our meetings. And for that we’re grateful. We have 31 members, not all are active or we’d need an auditorium. Our meetings usually consist of from 15 to 18 members on any given week. We’ve been doing this for 23 years now. Dusty Richards and I are the only two left of the original founders, so we co-chair.
I’m trying to count how many of our members are published, as of today. One of our original members, who now lives in Texas, is Lisa Wingate and she’s published. Is she ever. Several of our members have published short stories in anthologies and articles in magazines. One is published 9 times in the Chicken Soup Books. Another has just had her second book published. Another her first. And the list goes on, so I guess we’re doing something right.
This Thanksgiving week is a good time to count our blessings. I’m thankful for all my writer friends, for my wonderful family and for their good health, for my curmudgeon husband who helps me with my writing and traveling to conferences. I’m thankful for my parents, who are no longer with us, but who shaped my life in such expressive ways. My dad the storyteller, my mom the cook and confessor and the one who pushed me to write those first stories and apply for a job with a newspaper so many years ago. My daughter, my best critique and cheer leader. The grandchildren and great grandchild for all the joy they’ve added to my life.
And beyond those thanks, I thank the Supreme Being for standing back and letting me try anything I think I’m big enough to do. And then blessing me when I fall or when I succeed.
May you all have a terrific Thanksgiving day.

About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
This entry was posted in Chicken Soup, Thanksgiving, Velda Brotherton, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ozarks grow in popularity

  1. Great message, Velda. Thank you. I love the picture!

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