Winner of Cleveland State University's Short Fiction Award.

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* Please scroll down entire page for both columns of articles.


(This article has been published in The Farmington Post, The Prairie Grove Enterprise, and the Lincoln Leader newspapers. ALSO in the Sept/Oct issue of Senior Savvy Magazine AND in Finally! Magazine for adults age 45 and older. It also won third place in the Feature Article cagegory of the Oklahoma Writer's Federation writer's conference - May 2007)

Prescription Drugs: Name Brand vs. Generic
Is there a difference?
By Lea Milford

When most Americans think of the term “generic” they think of store-brands, lesser quality, and an imitation of an original. Much of the time, the generic brand is equal in every way to the innovator or brand name product. So, how are you to know which to buy? Will the generic live up to the standards of the original? In the case of prescription drugs, much research has been done on generic alternatives. You might be surprised by the findings.

In 1984, the Waxman-Hatch Act was passed. This act allowed generic drugs to be lawfully produced in our country. There were many generic companies submitting applications to the FDA within a short span of time. The market was ripe for the introduction of lesser-priced generic drugs.

Unfortunately, the FDA’s methods of approving the flood of applications were inferior. Yet, there was considerable pressure on the FDA from generic drug firms for acceptance. Therefore, many drugs were not properly reviewed.

In 1988, just four years after generics were introduced, scandal covered the drug market. The FDA discovered that at least ten generic drug companies had misrepresented data to the FDA to gain production approval. These pharmaceuticals could make drug companies millions of dollars in profit. In their early years, generic offerings were not up to par with the known and trusted brand names. Americans have not trusted generic brands since.

After this calamity, the FDA changed its protocol and procedures. They analyzed almost 3000 samples of generic drugs - taken directly from store shelves. Since the changes, the FDA has regularly inspected the facilities of generic drug companies to ensure the data collected is genuine.



The following is my first place win for the Ozark Creative Writer's contest - Laugh Your Way Through Life. October 2006.

** Only partial story is printed ** 

Welcome to my World

Perimenopause: a time between childbearing years and post-childbearing years. Ranges from one to ten years. Symptoms are these: hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia and fatigue, heart palpitations, mood swings, migraine headaches, water retention, thinning hair, drying skin, weight gain, fuzzy thinking and memory problems.

I was officially in perimenopause when I asked someone at the make-up counter for "lash lengthener" because I could not remember the word mascara. I remembered the wordy alternative, but could not retrieve the actual noun. That was the beginning of a period of stuttering, stumbling, and substituting when I spoke. Verbs? No problem. It was those #@!* words like art, elbow, and prescription.

I am a writer for a popular fashion magazine, so words are my life. I have resorted to keeping a pocket thesaurus/dictionary in my purse. It helps on days when I go to the veterinarian with my dog for his injection of the inactive disease that causes foaming of the mouth or when I want to watch a movie burned to a disc from Blockbuster.

Memory is not the only part of my body that suffers. Below, my average day:

I fought hot flashes and fatigue at my desk for most of the morning, only to remember a company-wide meeting when I noted co-workers filing past me, reports under arms. I arose, my own copy of a pre-printed business report in hand, and walked between two well-dressed men toward the conference room. As we talked, they veered toward the door to the stairwell. I did not. After a morning spent battling waves of sweats and conserving energy so I could lift my telephone receiver, I didn’t need to sprint up a flight of steps. However, I could use the exercise. Increased body fat had turned me into one of those flabby, gray, circus animals that eats peanuts.



[This article was published by the Washington County Newspapers on March 29, 2006]


Shade Gardening
By Lea Milford

In Northwest Arkansas, the shade given from oak, elm, sycamore, and many other trees offers a cool spot to rest from sunny, warm days. If you are lucky enough to live in a wooded area, you know that gardening in the shade can be a challenge. Zinnias, hybrid roses, and Black-eyed Susan’s will not thrive in shady locations. However, many other beautiful plants love growing
in dappled shade.


[This article was also published by the Washington County Newspapers in March 29, 2006 in their "Hello Spring" insert]


Making Herbal Vinegars & Oils
By Lea Milford

With spring officially here, we gardeners can turn our sights to planting and finding recipes that use those garden offerings. I have been an avid herb-grower for twenty years and enjoy trying new recipes each year that include these useful plants. I usually make herbal vinegars with fresh herbs that I have container-grown on a sunny deck just outside my kitchen. My family uses these vinegars on beans, casseroles, vegetables, and grilled meats. They add tang to our foods, without adding calories or fat. I just take a bottle of white wine vinegar and add different mixtures of fresh herbs, dried spices, and occasionally a citrus rind. After the vinegar’s flavors infuse for a couple of weeks on my kitchen counter, the vinegar is ready to use.


My article about Devil's Den State Park in West Fork, Arkansas appeared (with my own photos) in the April/May 2008 issue of Ozarks Magazine. If you are in my region of the country, take a look.

This state park is full of water features, wildlife, organized activities, and challenging walking trails. Even beavers enjoy its shores. That was evidenced by a felled tree with obvious beaver activity. The photo of this tree won in a photography contest at a recent writer's conference. So, take a look at this issue!


Contest wins:

Cleveland State University - 2006 Short Fiction award

Ozark Creative Writers - First place in Humorous Short Story

KFSM Channel 5 TV - winner - mugshot contest

Ozark Writer's League - Cliff Edom contest

Oklahoma Writers Federation - two wins in 2007

Arkansas Writer's Conference - Young Adult Fiction

Recent publications:

The Northwest Arkansas Newspapers - 3 articles

Mary Engelbreit Magazine (Nat'l)  - October 2006

The Open Directory Project (online) - editor (an ongoing project)

Celebrate Arkansas Magazine - November 2006 - feature article

Senior Savvy Magazine - October 2006

Echoes of the Ozarks II - anthology of shorts and poetry - Available on Amazon.com

Echoes of the Ozarks III - anthology of shorts and poetry - Also available on Amazon.com

Collector Editions (Dept 56 Gifts - Nat'l)  - Dec/Jan of 2006/07

Finally! A Magazine for Me!  (online) - November 2006

Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine - Sept/Oct 2007

Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - October 2007