Big Plans Today

posted in: HOLIDAYS, SEASONS | 0

I absolutely love fall color in the Ozarks. We have many visitors to the hills in the spring to see the white dogwood blooms and in the fall to see the fiery color. This is my favorite tree outside my window. It held baby robins early in the spring, and when the wind blows, I can tell generally how much by the flutter of the leaves.

One daughter who lives in California wanted to see pictures of the fall, so I sent this one.

I’m editing heavily now, sitting a lot, too much, and with the new stats on blood pressure lowered, I’m working not to be on the 46% of Americans with high blood pressure. Sitting is not good for blood pressure. However, I have not been able to write while pedalling or standing. I’m a formal, sit-up-straight desk-writer.

But Fall/Winter/coming holidays–and I am one of those who waits until Thanksgiving is over before starting on Christmas–I start laying out projects. (As if I don’t have enough already.)

My plan today is to organize this box of exercise equipment, resistance bands and weights for some indoor work. These resistance bands are unused, stored under a bed, except for one which I use and sometimes pack for trips. I also use a small ball with sand in it by my desk and a body ball for a workout on the floor. I like both. The sand-ball is easier on hard-working hands. It’s bigger, so a less tighter grip.

Again, the resistance bands have been stored. Today is the day for working with the instructions and the other bands. You’ll notice that the wrappers are still on the 5 pound weights. I use the smaller ones. The DVD instruction video with a small woman bouncing around with the 5 lb weights defeated me.

My similar to a recumbant bike machine is stored in the garage. I like that in hard winter.

We’ll see….

Frost in the Ozarks

posted in: REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 1

Twenty degrees. Does that sound cool enough?

After days of perfect 70-degree weather, but with high winds, this morning Jack Frost gifted us with a gorgeous blanket of frost.

Note: Does anyone remember Jack Frost?

Bye-bye African Violets

Yesterday, I salvaged whatever “porch” plants I could and needed inside shelving for them. Sadly, these African violets weren’t doing their best for some time now and after years, I’m giving them up–or maybe not until next year.

In addition to repotting, working with shelf space, I brought some firewood to the house, but still have to load my insert. There truly is nothing like wood heat, though I don’t light my fire very often.

Anyway. I love fall and all the gorgeous colors. This year isn’t exactly prime as we had a really dry summer. I love how sunlight dances over the white limbs and orange leaves of the sycamore trees, and that little gift of green right on top. The wind has been so strong, I haven’t gotten out to take fall shots, but I will and I’d better do that soon.

While walking by the lake the other day, I did not have my camera, and wished I could have taken shots of the big sycamore leaves floating on the sunlit water.

Speaking of shots, this a.m. I spent time with getting a selfie Facebook ID shot. Check it out?

And I’m so glad people love my Basket Series. I’m writing another series now, but this graphic (I do my own) says it all:

http://amzn.to/2gurfFn
The Rose Basket: Novella

Never totally happy w/my work, I should have outlined THE ROSE BASKET. I love my baskets and they were used in the covers and on my graphics.

I‘m hoping to do a big chunk of editing today, so I’d better get started.

 

Thank You for Being My Friend

posted in: Life Happens, REFLECTIONS, Uncategorized | 3

The River of my life is rich. I think of all the wonderful people I’ve known, each giving me so much, teaching me how to be better.

Yesterday, a dear friend passed. I was lucky enough to visit in her final hours. She knew me, said my name, and raised her hand for mine.

Her journey through cancer has taken two long years, and just two months ago, her beloved husband of many years passed.

I feel her near me now.

As mothers, we shared so much. As women involved with life, we shared more. I could always count on her to be my friend, someone to lean on difficult times. I hope I equaled the exchange, when she needed me.

In her final journey, she crocheted little hearts for her nurses. How thoughtful! One of my daughters is a nurse, my mother was one, and I know they give so much and are repaid so little. That isn’t why they are nurses, of course, and my friend would have been a lovely patient, no matter the painful circumstances. Now they have those little hearts to wear with their badges.

This morning, I drove through heavy fog above the waterways. I felt my friend nearby, enjoying the drive and the morning.

I’m sitting and beyond the window is a huge lovely red rose. I know she’s enjoying it, too.

You’ll always be with me, my friend. Thank you for being in the river of my life.

Fall is Writing Time

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

If you’re like me, you’re settling back from keeping up the yard, relaxing a bit, etc. and moving more into fall. My mums are set to bloom yellow and orange. Farmers Markets are stocked with apples/pumpkins/squash. (I love spaghetti squash.)  I made this Fall-theme graphic long ago, but still love it–mainly because I think of how my grandsons loved crawling all over those major pumpkins years ago. I’d take them on day trips, swimming, pumpkin patches and this day was so much fun. And here it is, Pumpkin time again. Check out those sassafras leaves. I have a stand of those near my woodpile. The tree leaves are from a tree right in front of my picture window. That tree tells me so much through the seasons. Do you have a favorite tree?

Fall is Here!

I’ve just finished the first book of an unnamed trilogy and looking at titles and cover ideas for all three. Like any writer, I stored stacks of them, with story ideas. I call those my toy boxes. I can pretty well generate a storyline from a live scene or a word. While writing for 2 publishers for most of my career, I had to always have a story idea at the ready.

Several readers noted that they liked how I used my personal things in the stories and on the covers. It’s nice to know what readers like, so if you have time, I’d love to hear from you. The story I just finished uses my mother’s antique single bed–which I have, called “the high bed” by my daughters. I’ll get that shot for you.

Writers discuss writing techniques. I plan to write a How-To, a compilation of tips gathered over years of writing and working with top editors. Someday. However, the most recent chat concerned a book/story’s overall Tone and Mood. I’m not hearing a lot of that particular thing, so FWIW to anyone writing fiction:

A journalist friend just relayed to me her difficulty in changing to fiction. I write fiction. Fiction has character depth. So here is a light version of the importance of Mood/Tone of the whole story, which is little discussed:

Character mix. To me, the character mix defines the story, the bad guys making the good guys look better, so contrast. Much the same as when painting, darks offset the lights and vice versa. If you have all dark/moody characters, you’ll have to work hard to light up. Peripheral characters highlight the dimensions of the major characters–

  1. Mood/Tone. In suspense and mystery there are all sorts of devices, i.e. ticking clock, endangering the sweet and/or innocent/child, revenge, needs, etc. The overall tone can be light/dark/mixed/humorous/romantic/emotional. BIG NOTE: Characters are people, so they all have emotions of some kind. To stick with the overall tone of the story is ultra-important and balance a mix to get what you want.
  2. Which brings us back to Character Mix.

Every one of my stories and characters after years of writing is different and that keeps writing interesting for me.

Yep, thrilled to be starting another series. Pretty much excited about everything this Fall. I’m a cool weather person who loves dark days. Love them. Do you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Fall

posted in: MY BOOKS, SEASONS | 0

Two of my favorite things: flowers and baskets. This basket will be on the cover of a novella, coming soon, The Rose Basket.

Coming Soon, The Rose Basket

Several of my faithful readers have mentioned how they like my incorporation of things I own into my books’ story lines. I get lots of ideas from my things, things I see, places I’ve been.

I couldn’t find just the right oak strip basket, created here in the Ozarks, so made do with a thrift-shop basket, some plastic roses, some graphic roses I shot on a California street, and my own rose cuttings.

This basket shot will be on the cover of The Rose Basket. I’d love to get my mother’s doily beneath it. We’ll see. I’m also working on covers for my Tallchief series now in re-release.

Every fall/spring, etc., I take my camera for a drive and really enjoy the day out. Fall is gorgeous, fiery, here in the Ozarks.

THE ROSE BASKET novella is an addition to my Basket Series, women’s romantic fiction. ARC/beta readers have already commented how much they love the story, and I hope you will, too. Expected pub date, mid-October.

Currently, I’m working on a new series and need to take a shot of my mother’s single antique four-poster bed. My daughters called it “the high bed”, because well… it is high.

I’m energized in fall and I hope you are, too. Time for baking, making Christmas presents for those I love, writing, and more. And now, I have to wash my car. Just… Must.

Best,

Cait

Editing My New Book

posted in: MY BOOKS, writing | 0

I truly wish you the best of days today. I’m editing Bk1 of a new series, my windows open to catch the first cool a.m. we’ve had. (Not a heat/sun person.) My washer is chugging away, this after spending so much time writing–I got behind on everything.

I thought any writer-people out there might be interested in my “process”. For the rest of you, just know that a lot of my books, new and re-released are in the works. I am so thrilled that readers who read my Tallchief series years ago, still love them.

Writer Basics & Happy Cup

I’ve just finished my first pass on my latest, the first of a series. Shh. Not a clue for the title of the series or the book. Right now, I’m concerned with massaging my rough draft and getting the time line right. (Massaging means: more/less info here or somewhere else, or cut altogether.) The shaping of a book is really important, i.e. pacing, slow/faster/more impact/action and reaction. This is a women’s fiction romance, so emotions are important as with mystery writing when you have more dynamic reactions–still emotions and depth, etc. so important.

Once after incorporating/deleting whatever, I’ll print another copy, double-spaced and in larger font, so as to catch any missing punctuations. Then another run, spelling checking, etc, and a landscape printout, 2 pages per sheet. before sending it off to my proofer. (Hiyah, Babe!)

BTW, do you know what that ceramic lid on top of my Happy Cup is called? It matches a different violet-patterned cup, but I use this topper all the time for tea/coffee, etc. I have different cups for different moods, do you?

This is my first time to set up a series of books (I’ve written a lot of series) on Scrivener, especially for writers. I am finding that software really helpful, especially in keeping track of characters/places/pets/etc. I’m already almost finished w/the rough draft of Bk2, so the notes are important for consistency. BTW, I use Scrivener between my iMac and iPad (In the Apps), works excellent, though it is available for PC, too.

Remind me to put up a list of my favorite How 2 Write Books? Thank you. Along the way, I do help a lot of other writers and they help me.

So back to this massaging-thing: This is were the art begins, only enhanced by good copy edits concerning punctuation. The art comes into working with the length of sentences/paragraphs, etc., start and end of chapters–too long, not broken at the right place, escalating to midpoint, rounding off, all questions answered, etc. And are the emotions for the genre there? A good editor is truly magical, shaping a book, no matter if romance with more emotion, or mystery which still requires emotion, especially body reaction to fear, expressions, etc. We’re human. We have emotions. 

Some stories just flow from the writer. Other stories have to be dug out, cleaned up, etc.

Now. Some writers write the same basic story, appealing to their devoted readers. That is good. It is good strong marketing and included in what we call “Branding”. However, I’ve never been able to stay in that bin and have moved around from entirely different storylines, through most of romance’s subgenres, and some in mystery/suspense, which are very different.

Okay, if you’ve soaked up all that, know that most of all, I hope you enjoy this beautiful day and if your weather is not great, I hope you do have nice weather. Love my open windows when writing!

Enjoy!

Cait

 

 

Catching Up!

posted in: MY BOOKS, SEASONS, Uncategorized, writing | 0

August is Catch Up Month. I’ve been writing heavily and working to re-release my fan-favorite books. Plus I’m downsizing and August birthdays for my family abound. Meanwhile, I just got a new camera, learning it, and this is a first shot, taken while walking along the lake. I have plans to paint these guys–not the mallard, but am so busy writing…. These are a perfect shade of Payne’s Gray.

Every writer I know is pushing hard now, this while some are traveling, or getting children ready for the school year, or canning summer’s great crops. Well. I am done with canning hundreds of quarts, making jams, etc. Finito! But I am skimming down the house now, no easy task. Then my old washer wants to give up the ghost. A Doberman ran free in our town’s subdivision. Ah, life! But I did get through Season 6 of Game of Thrones and issue a new newsletter–not this blog, but a reader enewsletter. You can SUBSCRIBE easily.

If you are a writer, you know there is more to it than working to make your manuscript the best possible.

 

Currently, I’m finishing book 2 of a new series, as yet untitled. My proofer is working hard these days, with the re-release of the TALLCHIEFS, a book at a time as that is as fast as we can go. Each contemporary Tallchief has a historical legend attached to finding each one’s special love. I’ve just got to post the history/story of writing this series. We’re working on Tallchief for Keeps now with has this legend attached:

Legend of Una’s Paisley Shawl: When the Marrying Moon is high, a scarred warrior will rise from the mists to claim his lady huntress. He will wrap her in the shawl and carry her to the Bridal Tepee and his heart. Their song will last longer than the stars.

 

If you haven’t studied the paisley design, it is so interesting. Paisley, Scotland, is most famous for these gorgeous shawls. A must have fashion in the 19th century England. I believe the design actually comes from India’s peacock feather designs. Russian and Greek designs each are a little different. I was absolutely fascinated when studying them for Elspeth Tallchief’s (a weaver) story.

BTW, check out friend Curtiss Ann Mattlock’s BLOG and her experiences with getting started/selecting an RV. I’m so excited for her and remotely, intensely involved that when she actually bought her mini away from home, I was exhausted the next day! You might want to follow her journey as well.

Meanwhile, you’re welcome to invite your friends to this BLOG or to SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter.

Well, I’m happy today and I hope you are, too.

Cait

 

 

Summer Eats

posted in: FOODS, MY BOOKS, SEASONS | 0

Truly enjoying our local vegetable stand right now. I’m getting ready to freeze zucchini and yellow summer squash.

I no longer can endless quarts, make jams/kraut, pickle. Thank you, Lord. One time, I came home from working 7:30-4p to a hungry family and still had 3 bushels of green beans to snap and can. I remember that un-fondly.

Because our heat/humidity is high, I keep things easy and at noon, just started my slow cooker, filled with vegetables. Tonight, it will go over rice noodles–I just love the kind that you place in boiling water and then remove from stove for 8 minutes, rinse and drain. Add some parmesan cheese in the individual servings, and you’re set.

What’s in it? 1 onion, green pepper, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, and when it cooks down a bit, cooked black beans and maybe chicken broth. Sometimes I add sesame seed oil at the last. Sometimes I roast pine nuts for the top, or just sprinkle sunflower seeds over it. Depends.

After looking at this picture, I probably should have used my bigger slow cooker.

If there is too much left over, it’s great to freeze for later.

By the way, if you are on my enewsletter list, I still have some iBook coupons left, but you have to be on the list–and I check. <<smile>>

Stay cool….

Summer Delights

To date, we’ve had a cool summer, with lots of rain. I’m not a sun/heat person, so I’m enjoying it. So are my herbs, especially the chives, cilantro, and basil. I am hoping they will grow inside this winter.

My front porch and back patio will grow anything and the herbs are responding nicely. I haven’t planted the lavender yet, but did take a start up to my neighbor, who also enjoys puttering/potting, etc. Love lavender and use the essential oil in my burner. I need to do that now, while writing…. If you haven’t gotten into essential oils, try them for different uses.

On the Fourth of July, while enjoying the neighborhood’s fireworks, I “burned” eucalyptus on my porch and the mosquitoes didn’t like it.

Yesterday, I snapped this huge bush. Gorgeous, isn’t it? How nice of it to bloom in my favorite colors.

 

As for writing, amazingly my 2nd book of the year in a new romance series is coming into the home stretch. Lots of editing needed, but the book is almost done. Am so hoping to get book 3 done also. That’s questionable right now, because we are amid getting the Tallchiefs back into print. The Cowboy and the Cradle will soon be in paper as well the rest. Am so pleased that people remember them and still love them. (My daughter gave me that handmade walnut cradle on the cover, btw. and that is my garnet ring on Tallchief’s Bride.) Do watch for more Tallchiefs to turn up?

 

 

 

http://caitlondon.com/tallchiefs/

 

Baby Robin’s Nest

posted in: About Town, MY BOOKS | 2

I’ve been watching 2 little heads in the tree just off my front porch. When Mom arrives with food, those little robin’s mouths are wide open.

I do hope the winds don’t hurt them before they can fly. Our neighborhood has a lot of robins, a few crows, and every once in awhile 3 buzzards. I truly do not like the starlings–we have them, too–and crows eating the cardinals, robins, finches, doves, etc. food. love, love to listen to the mourning doves and we have several around. Mr. & Mrs. dine at my yard a lot.

My neighborhood also has guard cats which patrol, and a rabbit my neighbor calls “honey bunny.”

All good wildlife to watch when I’m taking writing breaks from my computer.

OTHER NEWS: With Father’s Day almost here, Quinn and Wyatt, my DREAMY DADS are on sale for .99.

https://www.amazon.com/Dreamy-Dads-Cait-London-ebook/dp/B00WZTGRT2
DREAMY DADS

Then moving on with the Tallchief’s, THE GROOM CANDIDATE, is now up, Book #4 in the TALLCHIEFS.

BLURB: Since childhood, Lacey MacCandliss’s mission was to make ladykiller Birk Tallchief’s life miserable. Then one kiss ignites Birk and he’s set to capture the petite fascinating woman and change the rules. When Lacey needs protection, Birk marries his temporary bride and the love game is on…

Birk’s legend, and all Tallchiefs have a Legend, is:

The maiden who rocks upon the chair and sings a lullaby will claim the man of Fearghus blood who stands closest to her. She will be his heart and he will be her love.

That’s it for now. I’d love to hear from you! Write to Cait?

http://amzn.to/2rW8Yna

The Groom Candidate

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