Finally, after…well, let’s not say how long…I have…drum roll, please!…finished ONE GOOD MAMA BONE, a novel that feels like the work of my life.  It’s what became of a failed novel I wrote some years back, chunking 90 percent and keeping just enough starter dough to get going again.  This “again,” as many of you know, is none other than cows, specifically mama cows and their young.   ONE GOOD MAMA BONE is the story of Sarah Creamer’s journey to reclaim her “mama bone” with the help of a Hereford mother cow named Mama Red.

The glorious Mama Red

The glorious Mama Red

Along the way, we enter the world of a time-honored rite of passage for 4-H boys and girls, the feeding out of a market steer for a shot at the Grand Champion glory.

I am lucky enough to be part of an amazing critique group, the Butt Glue Club, so when I thought I had a pretty strong draft, they gave me some feedback that put me over the moon.  They said they wanted more of Mama Red, more face time with her alone and more with her with Sarah, my main character.

So I did.  Continue reading »

I must admit that putting the name of my novel in the headline made my belly flip with pride. It was like seeing the name of my child in a graduation list.  The truth is my “child” is not quite ready for graduation, but she is in her last semester.  In other words, I am still in revision but getting closer!  So, when a fellow Facebook writer, Sophfronia Scott, asked me to participate in this cool thing going around the blogoshere about works-in-progress, I jumped on it.  What an honor.  I get to answer ten questions about my novel-in-progress and then tag other writers, so they can share about their work.  Hope you’ll enjoy! Continue reading »

Whoa! Seems the subject of the novel I am writing, that time-honored rite of passage of 4-H kids feeding out a steer or a lamb or goat for the big show and auction that follows, is getting a lot of buzz the last few days.  And I’m talking heated buzz as in almost 1700 comments left after CNN published two articles in its “Eatocracy” section of its website a couple of weeks ago.

The uproar began with a piece called “Five Reasons to Buy From Your Local 4-H.”   http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/06/21/55-five-reasons-to-buy-from-your-local-4-h/

So many people left responses that a second piece, “Does 4-H Desensitize Kids to Killing?” was published two days later. http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/06/23/does-4-h-desensitize-kids-to-killing/?hpt=hp_c2 As that article pointed out, two incredibly distinctive lines of thinking emerged: “One was that 4-H promotes responsible animal husbandry and the cultivation of food resources in a responsible, ethical way and the other was that it serves to desensitize children to the suffering of animals.”

This is the question my novel, ONE GOOD MAMA BONE, addresses.  Continue reading »