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The Mississippi Gulf Coast Writers Association's


Featured Writer

~ Deborah Smith Ford ~

Fort Myers, Florida



Deborah Smith Ford's first priority is her family. She is also a former shuttle missionary and teacher. In addition, she is an award-winning model, actress, and writer. One of her most recent writing projects has included authoring the children's book series, "Allie's Adventures." Ford's latest literary project is that of her third book in the series, "Growing Up Behind the Scenes." This book is in its final stage of production, and Ford says there will be others to follow!

Learn more about this author and her book series at www.alliesadventures.com

The following is an excerpt from "The Little Goat in Africa."

It is the 2nd book of Ford's children's book series, Allie's Adventures.

Milly had already jumped out from the Cruiser’s other side door. I heard her voice speaking in Maasai, and I saw her dad and mine walking away from the vehicle toward the tribe’s chief. They were talking about treating his animals.

I remember thinking about Kilamoi, and if that could be him. Sure enough, as I finally got out of the vehicle a very tall Maasai, wearing brown sandals, came toward me. I ran to hug him, and he let me, but I found out later that is not proper social etiquette for men and women to hug in public, but I guess me being a kid it was okay.

I was so happy to have met my first person that my folks had been telling me about all these years. I was so happy that I almost forgot what I was doing.

I finally realized that I was looking for Milly. I could not see her, so I followed the little crowd of children and women, and I could hear Milly’s voice among them. I could not see all of her, just some of her blonde hair.

I also heard another sound, and it was not human. What I heard was more like a bleat.

Finally, the crowd parted, and it was Milly in the middle of it. She stood there holding the tiniest little black and white goat I had ever seen.

It was a baby goat, called a kid, and it was making a lot of noise. He was bleating, calling out probably for his mama.

Milly, as she held him under the belly with his legs dangling, told me he was a boy. He was also black and white, but not in spots, rather in splats. So in my mind, an instant name came to me - Splat!

With the Maasai, their own human children do not have names until they are older. This goat, however, and only a few days old, already had a name, Splat. I just unofficially named him, and in so doing, I felt a connection.

Milly asked, “Allie, haven’t you ever seen a goat before?”

I laughed and said I had, but mostly in pictures. I told her that I had never seen one so cute and so little, and I told her the name I had chosen. She agreed it was a fine name, especially considering the splats all over his body.

Milly handed me Splat to hold, and I reached out carefully. I felt his soft hair against my arms, and his little head rested up against my chest, and he tucked his head under my chin.

I was in love with Splat, but I saw our dads walking our way, and I knew we had to leave soon, without Splat.

I did not remember putting Splat on the ground, I did not remember the ride home, nor did I remember writing about him in my notebook, but I did remember my eyes flooding as my memory still felt his soft hair against me, and his big eyes looking into mine. All that I remembered, as I was seated in the Cruiser riding back home, was that a little goat in Africa had changed my life forever.



With Love and Wet Kisses

by Paul E LaViolette

The Wagon Ride

by W. Michiel Hawkins

The Second Generation
by Terry I Miles
Mans Best Friend
by Bruce Wayne Sullivan

Dusty Pages
by Michael Gardebled

One Last Dance

Ayleene Thompson

Purple Passion

by Elva Avara

Holiday Poetry
by Patty Butkovich

Isle of Enchantment

by Henry Heitmann

The Guarantor

by Jay Waitkus

The Coffee House Dinner

by Shannon Rule

Sevan Laws of the Universe
by Linda Eschler

In the Garden

by Celine Rose Mariotti

The Devine Secret

by Mary Ann Sharp

Florida Has Cute Boys

by Lucy Jane Dixon

Roll 'Em, Roll 'Em, Roll 'Em

by Annie B McKee

Baptizing in the Pond

by Fred Prince

Dream World

by Alice Fitchie

Kidnapping of Charlie Rose

by Michael Groetsch

A Southern Baptist Courtship

by Karen Blakeney

Hand Prints

by Joe Brooks


by Elena Ahrens

Something Happened-Cross

by Ed Hennessy

Love Hurts

by Bob Struthers

Veteran's Day

by Brenda Finnegan

by Kristina Mullenix


by Harold McLelland

Up From the Grave

by Betty Wilson Beamguard

Late Edition

by Dixon Hearne

Born Again Christmas Believer

by Elaine Stevens


by Nelda R. Broom

by Douglas Crotty

Archeologist Ruins Labrador

by John Freeman

Mom's Not Chummy With Fish

by Kristen Twedt

Pelham’s Sat. Morning Frolics

by R. F. Marazas

Old Mule Named Blue

by Charles Riley McInnis

On Being A Woman

by Victoria Olsen

In the Fine Print

by Philip Levin

Waiting for Barley Soup

by D. H. Clair

A Duet
by Andrew Badger
by Lewis Stockham
by Jane Blanchard
The Day the Music Ended
by Connie Rainey
by Dixon Hearne
You Gotta Be Kidding Me
by Sharon C. Walker
Run, Redneck, Run
by Sam Irwin


by Judy Davies

Dixieland Murder
by Teresa Lynn
by Elaine McDermott
Afternoon Conversation
by Meg Peresich
The Girl with the Bluebird Tattoo
by Lenny Emmanuel
Ruby Silver (excerpt)
by Randall Reneau
Apple Tree Tavern
by Mary Ellen Gavin
by Frank DeCanio
Excerpt from "Gabe"
by Sue Monkgress
Nevermore, Once Again
by Charles Jones
Days of the Week
by Mandy B. Fernandez

We Went Skydiving...
by Frank Wilem

A Good Girl
by Johnnie Bernhard
by Poppy Herrin
Excerpt from Bounty Hunters
by Melanie Atkins
In An Enemy's Country
by Jim Fraiser
by Carolyn Files