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Archive for the ‘Bits and Pieces’ Category

AN OZARKS AUTUMN

Sometimes I think autumn in the Missouri Ozarks is one of the most well-kept secrets left, and certainly the most little known anywhere. Granted, the scenery will not glow so incandescently as the blazing fire from acres of sugar maples, the major draw of New England autumns. Here, the colors of the Ozarks hills blend into more of a wonderfully colored tweed, with highlights that include the burnt orange of the Sassafras, the vermillion of the gum tree, the bright gold of the hickory, the butter yellow of Catalpa and the blood red of the sumac, all on a field of the caramel and cafe au lait of the oak forest. And underneath, the feathery goldenrod, the bittersweet berries and little clumps of fringed lavender where the fall asters grow.

Everywhere on my farm there are views large and small that snatch the breath and stop the earnest feet on their morning walk. And for the observant, there is a feast for more than the eyes, as the wild harvest makes its last effort to bring us through the winter unworried about hunger and lack. The trees here are literally raining fruits, from Walnut and hickory to persimmons, the last of the pawpaws and, for the squirrels, buckeyes of every size and description.

Granted, if you’re a harvest gardener, the joy of the first tomato is long gone and the persistence of okra and peppers is prompting a longing for one good, hard freeze to get to the end of it, so it can be appreciated in reminiscence. Funny how in remembering, we tend to remember the fruits long after the work it took to gather and store them is past. I must remember to bring along my camera on my next walk, so as to harvest the beauty of these Ozarks autumn days, and pass it along.

Wisdom for the day: Get outside. Soak up the scenery. Drink in a last taste of summer’s bounty. There’ll be time enough later by the fire to wonder if you chose the right pepper variety, canned enough applesauce, gathered enough walnuts, put up enough persimmon puree or grew enough garlic. Instead, harvest the Ozarks. It will keep you through the long winter, into spring.

-m

photo credits, S. Denton, Moonmooring

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Once upon a time there was another press, called Elder Mountain, the creation of two women, one a writer and one an artist. The artist is no more, and neither is that endeavor, the name having passed on to the Elder Mountain Journal, a publication of Missouri State University-West Plains. The writer from Elder Mountain is now a solo act, and this is her journal.

-m

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Written sometime last year;

This is a new thing for me. I just gave up a press, after my partner died, and I’m not sure if this press will actually be a press or just someplace for me to blab on about what I’m doing. Time, I expect, will tell. Just finished a manuscript, and getting ready to send it off. Working now on a collection of stories about a mythical being, called “Tales of the Senachie.” Fun stuff. I’ll post a sample soon. Have a good day. Send rain.

-m

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I’d originally composed this blog as a requiem for a publishing effort I thought had died with one of the creators of Elder Mountain Press. In fact, I bequeathed the name “Elder Mountain” to the journal of folklore studies at Missouri State University – West Plains, and gave up the notion of publishing my own works under that imprint, and on publishing in general.

It turns out I have failed in that attempt. I just keep writing things, and I believe they need a home, even just a little one, where they can be printed and passed along. I attempted a compromise view earlier this year, and self-published a hand-bound special edition of a selection of stories and essays. Most of them came from my radio essay series, These Ozarks Hills, which airs monthly on KSMU-FM, a regional public radio station based at Missouri State University-Springfield. To fatten up the content, I added another couple of longer essays, then sweetened the pot by including a clip from the first chapter of my unpublished novel, The Seed Mother. It’s an attractive little tome, so very handmade that it doesn’t even have an ISBN number, and so cannot be cataloged. I figure if all 250 sell, I’ll whip up a second edition/first formal edition that’ll be perfect bound and have cataloging info included.

The problem, if problem it is, is that having seen and handled the little handmade book, I want to make another one. Maybe two. And I can’t decide which one to do first.  Will it be the Costa Rica/Panama Travel Journal, with photos on a CD in back, or the short fable “Who’s That Knocking: A tale of the Senachie,” with audio CD of me telling the story included? I just don’t know. What do you think?

-m

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The real show will be on Friday at the Civic Center in West Plains at 7:30 p.m.

See you there!

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Ozark Radio Network

Missouri Arts Council

National Audio Theatre Workshop Performance Tonight Our friends in the National Audio Theatre Workshop will be putting on a show at the Yellow House in West Plains MO Wednesday at 7 p.m. featuring nationally known dynamic performer Barbara Rosenblatt, the NATF band of cool musicians, and a reading from one of the plays in development for the REALLY BIG SHOW at the Civic Center Friday night. This is a free show! And the Yellow House is air conditioned!! In spite of the construction at my house toda … Read More

via Moonmooring

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Hello world!

Greetings, fellow earthlings, from the island nation of Ozarkia. More to come soon, I’m sure.

-m

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