Sunday, September 25, 2011

SCBWI Carolinas Conference in Charlotte

This past weekend was a whirlwind of workshops and meeting new people at the SCBWI Carolinas Conference in Charlotte, NC. Many of those who attended the conference have other jobs or interests, but everyone I met has a passion for writing and especially for children. I can't thank my new friends enough for their suggestions about how to promote and market my books, Tired of School and Tired of My Bath.
The workshops were well organized and informative, with a lot of work behind the scenes to get ready. Jenn Bailey, one of the presenters, especially opened my eyes to a world out there I didn't even know existed. That world is Google + 1. Well, I knew it existed, but I didn't know how to play in the circle so to speak. I signed up today and have had fun playing this afternoon. I hope some of you will come join me.
I'm already excited about going to the conference next year and can't wait to see what new things I'll learn and new people I'll meet. In the meantime, I have a lot of living to do and a lot of circles to make.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dicy McCullough: Get to know real farms | Salisbury, NC - Salisbury Post

Dicy McCullough: Get to know real farms Salisbury, NC - Salisbury Post
This tells the story of how a business is helping consumers and farmers build a closer relationship.

Farms and Farmers

This past week I wrote an article for the Salisbury Post about a tour of farms sponsored by a local business, Know Your Farms. Know Your Farms is based in Davidson, NC and is owned by Wes Shi. Wes wants to help farmers market their produce, meat and eggs and feels one way to do this is for people to interact with farms and farmers. Many of the farms on the tour had special activities scheduled that visitors could participate in such as cooking demonstrations or corn shucking. This was the third annual tour with thirty plus farms participating in a nine county area.
I was able to visit several of the farms and had a wonderful time. I especially enjoyed eating the ice cream at the Hoffner organic farm. Organic means no chemicals. In order to qualify the farm has to have been chemical free for at least three years and from that point on must stay chemical free. If you would like to read the article about Know Your Farms and the tour go to and type in Dicy Mccullough: Getting to Know Real Farms in the search bar. The article was printed on Friday Sept. 16.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Keep Your Head Up

I've been married to my husband for thirty years and during those entire thirty years he's been a football coach for the local fifth-sixth grade teams. One of the sayings he uses on the football field applies so aptly to life. He tells the players to keep their heads up. The reason is because while on the field the players need to see where they're going. They can get hurt otherwise.
This isn't true just for football but in life as well. If we don't keep our head up and watch where we're going we too can get hurt. So many times we blindly go through life not watching what's ahead. We get hurt in relationships because we don't notice the signs. For example, when someone says they care about us and yet continually mistreats us, we're not seeing the signs. We're not keeping our head up.
I'm proud of my husband for the years he's spent teaching young people not only about football but also about life. He insists each player must perform in the classroom in order to perform on the football field the following Saturday. He never cusses or disrespects any player and yet he has had many winning seasons. It just goes to show if a coach respects his players then the players will respect him back. Remember keep your head up. It will take you far in life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Head Can't Hold All this Social Media Stuff

You probably think I've lost it. Well, I guess in a sense I have. I've lost all sense of balance in my life and wonder if I'll ever get it back. Learning how to facebook, twitter, hyperlink and blog all in a short period of time can cause anxiety.
I've been fortunate to have people in my life willing to help me, but unfortunately, many of the lessons mysteriously disappear in my brain shortly after. While it's true the info is supposed to still be there, I just don't know where.
One recent lesson that did stick was due to the patience of a wonderful teacher, Stacy Jones, during a Social Media Workshop at Press 53 in Winston-Salem, NC. Stacy is the Director of the Center for Creative Writing at Press 53, and she's also a talented writer who has had various experiences working with publishers throughout the United States. At the workshop she taught me how to hyperlink. After a couple of weeks of experimenting, some of my blogs are now color coded in black and blue.
Writers have opportunities to come to the Center for Creative Writing at Press 53 to learn, grow and share experiences through workshops and critiquing groups. Last month I took advantage of one of these opportunities and enjoyed a meal with two Press 53 authors, Valerie Nieman, author of Blood Clay, and Marjorie Hudson, author of Accidental Birds of the Carolinas. Listening to their excitement about their new novels, it was obvious that they not only enjoy the process of writing, but also enjoy seeing a story as it develops on the page waiting for others to read. It was a wonderful night of interaction shared by all.
I also learned from Stacy when writing a blog get to the point and keep it short. How did I do?