April Showers

posted in: Life Happens, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS, writing | 1

In SW MO, we have more than “showers”, we have flooding at this date. Rivers are brown with mud, sheets of gray rain and big, big lightning and thunder storms.

But the rolling hills are filled with new green, a contrast to the dark cedars. Not a good time for those who are allergy challenged. And the dogwoods are blooming, the roses and everything is just–grand, is the word. Grand.

My knockout roses have started to bloom and I can’t wait to see what else I’ve planted–not an organized gardener. If I can find a place for a bulb, there it goes. ๐Ÿ™‚

It gets really hot and dry here in the summer, so my porch has lots of succulents. They are new to me and I’m enjoying them. Meanwhile, these beauties are along our highways:

I’m writing heavily and unplug during high storms, which can really stop a story rolling along, coming thru my fingertips. I’ve been waiting to spend time working with my last contest “Happy4Me” and it was more difficult than I supposed. The question was: What do you do when you’re down?

The range of answers was tremendous, and most entries listed reading. I am truly inspired by all the ways people try to work with their I’m down-mood. Uncommon, thoughtful answers that included volunteering, video games, crafts, remembering good times, etc. Terrific thoughtful answers and I loved each one. I’m announcing the winners soon in my email list, so if you haven’t yet, SUBSCRIBE HERE.

If I can–remember, I’m writing heavily–I want to write more about my Happy4Me contest which has ended. You’ll know when I do write about it.

I am humbled by the people facing real challenges, either emotional or physical or both, and by the simple joy and appreciation of life people hug within them.

Enjoy!

Cait

Happy Birthday 2 Me!

posted in: REFLECTIONS, Uncategorized | 1

I’m celebrating my ?? birthday today. I usually take my camera and enjoy the day out. But today, with various people in my life having problems, I’m staying in and working on me to get me out of this funk. We all have those times, and typically we manage, but just sometimes….

Polishing Furniture Today

Tom Jones, etc. and Tina Turner and furniture polish usually do it for me and dancing to whatever between. Today, I found that Tina has some really deep thoughts for women especially; she’s had her times, too.

Antique furniture needs oil because of today’s AC/heating takes so much out of the wood. This dresser is an 1880s, I got at a yard sale years ago with the four-poster bed. I like contemporary furniture, a bookcase bed preferred, but at the time, I bought what I could afford. Typically, I polish furniture the last week of the year, but I’ve been writing so much that last holiday I skipped polishing. Today is the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have something that is a happy-mood changer for you and are on my email list, you can enter my Happy4Me contest. If you are not a member of my email list, you can SUBSCRIBE.

I would love to know what you do for yourself to put you in a better mood?

Day of the Buzzard

posted in: Life Happens, SEASONS | 0

Ah. Spring. Love you. The lawn guys came and my neighborhood smells like freshly mowed grass. My tulips are blooming.

http://caitlondon.com
Love Me Tulips

Some days are really excellent, like the other day when visiting my insurance agent. Some man was wearing western books done in ostrich hide. (Easy to notice in an amber shade with small pointy bumps.) The dialogue ran to: very expensive, wears well and soft.

Then he asked me if I wanted to feel his boot to see how soft it was. Naturally, I did. I mean how often do you get to feel a cowboy’s boot with ostrich hide? Yes, it was truly soft.

The reason I was in the office was to run through getting my buzzard-dent fixed. Minding my own business, driving carefully, I hit a buzzard in flight–this after he feasted on a dead armadillo with his buddies. His buddies flew off in one direction, he in the other and suddenly he bounced off my hood, just about the latch. It was raining and when I checked right then, I didn’t see the dent–but I could definitely smell buzzard.

I’ve run through whatever to get the dent fixed soon. April is my birthday month and I celebrate all month or maybe from April to May of the same date. I did not need a buzzard dent for my birthday.

The strange thing is that as I described the incident to friends, the laughing does not quit. They compare it a Lucille Ball episode. Everyone seems to be enjoying it, including one estimate guy who told me more than I want to know about buzzards. One daughter thinks it compares to the Lucille Ball episode where she and Ethel Mertz are working on the candy factory line. I fail to see the comparison, but okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

FWIW: Since it’s my birthday month, I give to others and do things for them, which makes me feel really good. I just made ginger root and honey tea for a neighbor who isn’t feeling well. She said it helped and I am so glad. She’s a really nice person. In fact, I know lots of nice people.

I’m deep into starting the rough draft of book 2 in my new series, but designed a new cover for a romantic suspense WHEN NIGHT FALLS.ย When I get really good at crocheting, I want to make a shawl like she’s wearing. I think shawls are so elegant.

http://amzn.to/2nUMbVc
When Night Falls

For WHEN NIGHT FALLS, I researched historical roses and the story is set in a small Oklahoma town with lots of rose gardens, some of them heritage roses collected from old homesteads.

Then I am so glad people remember the Tallchief Series and are enjoying The Cowboy and the Cradle and Tallchief’s Bride. In order, that is Duncan and Calum. Birk is up next in The Groom Candidate.

 

What else is new? I bought an iron skillet to use for baking. I have forgotten the weight of an iron skillet. ๐Ÿ™‚

I just love those raindrops on the opened tulip, don’t you? I love mist and rain. But not buzzards.

 

Spring and Storms

posted in: SEASONS, writing | 2

First, I am truly warmed by all the kind responses of readers who are glad my Tallchief series is re-releasing. The Cowboy and the Cradle and Tallchief’s Bride so far. Thank you.

I‘m working quickly this morning, preparing for the spring storms that interrupt writing. Boy, it’s aggravating to be in a great scene, the story running really quickly through you/your fingers, and a big thunder boomer warns you to shut down your desktop and unplug. I write more quickly on a desktop with a big ergonomic keyboard, but as a work-around the storms, today I’m starting a new book on my iPad and nifty new full size keyboard. Kids and toys, you know. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love scented geraniums. I just got these and will get more. One year, south of Lexington, KY, I got the most gorgeous ones, and plants love my big wide porch. I hope I can find those again, gorgeous blooms. The Amish greenhouse lady said they would last through the winter, but mine always fail, so each year, out searching for those scented geraniums. My succulents did make it through the winter fine in a sunny, back room

This is my old chive plant that has lived forever, poor thing. It really needs care. If I could recommend one herb/whatever, this would be it. Love me fresh chives. But I also will have a lot of others, namely basil. If you haven’t tried fresh herbs, please do. It’s a savory experience.

And who doesn’t need a little garden gnome. My daughter gave me this because she said he looked like me when I’m thinking about a plot. ๐Ÿ™‚

These little woodland violets are wild, but I replant them where likely, because I consider them to be God’s gift. There is probably a proper name for them, but they are violets to me.

With one book just now finished and starting the second one in a new series, I’m looking forward to seeing what these characters do.:) I’ve just finished a short story to go with my Basket Series, probably out in the holidays and other new work that has to “cool off” as writers say, giving the book space to see if it truly is a book and what needs to be edited. In the book I’ve just finished, I need to develop a setting–a lighthouse in the Cascade mountains. Yes, a lighthouse, not a tall fire-spotter tower. ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, if you aren’t subscribed to my enewsletter, you might want to. CLICK HERE. We’ve started a nifty little monthly birthday calendar with one prize per month. March’s was Bernadette. Don’t you just love that name?

A Weird “Off” Day

posted in: CRAFTS, MY BOOKS, REFLECTIONS | 4

According to a friend, I am a high energy personality. Today: Not So.

First: If you haven’t joined my enewsletter yet, please do SUBSCRIBE and send your name and birthday month–nope, not interested in years–HERE.

My neighbors’ high pitched barking dog was busy at 1:20 this morning. (Yes, I’ve done what I could, and will do more.) His/her barking penetrates distance, walls, layers of drapes, TV shows. But the result is lost sleep and droopy throughout the day–no writing done and I’m closing in on the last of the first book of a new series. I’d hoped to have it finished last month, but oh well…

Here’s a Nod to Arusha, no longer with us. (I wish I’d taken a better picture of her.) When my mother passed, I flew this 3.5 lb Yorkie from WA state to MO in my jacket pocket. She helped raise my 3 daughters and then at 14 years old moved on to stay with my mother. One of the best friends I’ve ever had.

Okay, I’ve gotten that off my plate, now on to the good stuff: Tallchief’s Bride, the second of the Tallchiefs is now available in ebook. That is Calum’s story and Birk is up next. Duncan started the series. I am very happy with the covers–until I’m not. Yes, that artistic personality changes w/whims. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2myeZBt/UK: http://amzn.to/2n4w2Mm/CA: http://amzn.to/2n4w2Mm/AU: http://amzn.to/2o1a6Bk/Nook: http://bit.ly/2n8S9mW/iBooks: http://apple.co/2mGLeOK/Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nkQ0VN

Today, despite not quite as alert–due to the barking dog–I am grateful for many things. One is this gorgeous afghan I got at a thrift store for $3. Someone loved it and worked so hard to crochet it and I appreciate the beauty. It looks super on my mother’s four-poster single bed with the patterned quilt. You crocheters may be interested in this close-up of the pattern. Huh, Florence? Huh, Carolin? ๐Ÿ™‚

Then, the neatest person from Australia contacted me via Facebook–and I hope you’ll visit my page there: CAIT LONDON BOOKS

We’re waiting for storms here in SW MO, and I unplug due to heavy lightning strikes. But thank you for listening to my Barking Dog Gripe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer As Multitaskers

posted in: MY BOOKS, Uncategorized, writing | 2

Writer, thy real name is Multitask. The following is an inside view of what’s been going on in my little writer world.

I’ve been writing my first book of a new series and closing in on the end; that’s my WIP. (BTW, WIP=Work In Progress).The first book of a series takes a lot of thought and arranging of the character cast, plus the story at hand progressing as it should. This first book is organic, the characters/conflict/etc. growing from nothing but my little old brain. I’m trying to keep the length shorter in this series, which is difficult as I am a “Long Writer”.

Also on the task list is Social Media work, and I’ve just issued my enewsletter. If you haven’t joined that, you will want to, I’m sure. ๐Ÿ™‚ Fun stuff planned for my April birthday. To subscribe to it, or better yet you and your friends to subscribe CLICK HERE. If you only knew how grateful I am to those subscribers!

Along with my other tasks, I cover-consult my own books. Or I may actually create them. You can read a previous post about this. Creating a cover consumes hours/hours of getting the right graphics. Many of us do our covers, format and market. Some hire these tasks. I am very pleased with the Tallchief Series layout. I think it will work well in print, too. That’s a whenever, folks.

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SUBSCRIBE TO CAIT’S NEWSLETTER?

Writers constantly recommend services, software, what works and there are lots of public comments on what works/doesn’t work. For covers, I can recommend Photoshop Elements. Some stock photos are so good that you may only need to add text. However, for some covers, I use my own snapshots, like that of the cradle and the ring. Isn’t that ring gorgeous? Those are garnets, btw.

I work with a proofer, whom I love and trust. You know who you are, don’t you?ย I also format my books, a task that can be hired out, but now good software makes it easy. It will get easier yet. I can recommend Vellum, a glorious, magnificent piece of software that promises to get even better.

Yes, it’s all about me. ย I’m loving what I do. Life should be enjoyed, right? And I’m so hoping readers enjoy my books, too!

Tallchief Series Covers

posted in: MY BOOKS | 2

The Tallchiefs are coming! For some time now, Designers and I have been working on cover designs for the Tallchief series. We may adjust a little, definitely the icons in the first 2 covers, but generally the layout will be the same. Giving a series a look is a huge process. Follow this blog to learn more about the icons, the legends, etc. as the 5 Tallchiefs’ stories are revisited.

Book #1 Tallchiefs

If you only knew!! When I had the Tallchief Cradle contest–what to put in the cradle–little did I know that would conflict with the icons necessary, first of all the Tallchief’s 5 arrows that Elspeth suggests for a brooch. To do the cradle alone, filled with what I wanted, would have given a mainstream women’s fiction look and THE COWBOY AND THE CRADLE is definitely romance with a capital R. So designers and I went back and forth, thinking about what the paper copies would look like later on. The decision after much batting back and forth was the look you see in Duncan Tallchief’s book.

We may juggle the size of the icons, but I have that cradle and some of the other objects in the series.

Each book in the series is tied to the Tallchiefs’ ancestors, a Scots bondwoman captured by a Sioux chieftain. The legend is:

The woman who brings the cradle to a man of Fearghus blood will fill it with his babiesโ€ฆ.

BLURB: The first of the Tallchief series: Women stalk sexy Duncan Tallchief, but Sybil only wants him to rescue her child. The rough, dark and brooding Wyoming rancher is fascinated by strong-willed and classy redhead Sybil. Both wounded by life, their sexual attraction cannot be denied, but Sybil isnโ€™t buying, though she settles in Amen Flats, near Duncan and his siblings. A heady blast of Duncanโ€™s sexuality and her unexpected demanding passion unsettles Sybilโ€™s lifeline cool control. In pursuit of the woman he wants, Duncan must learn how to handle this fiery woman as both must learn this new ball game called Love.

Calum Tallchief’s story, Book #2 in the Tallchiefs, is coming up: TALLCHIEF’S BRIDE.

I hope you’re in a mood to revisit these fan-favorites!

Nature’s Sweethearts

posted in: HOLIDAYS, MY BOOKS, writing | 2

I’m busy with Valentine’s Day and generally writing, working with ads, etc. But when I can, I walk along the lake and enjoy the waterfowl. Most of all, I admire the Canadian geese, and I think ours are the “minor” size. But I love the pigeons and yesterday, the male pigeon was showing off and cooing to his sweetheart. That’s a beautiful sound. There is also a shot of a grumpy male that I just love. His eyes are just plain angry–probably a rejected suitor? I captioned some of them and put them on my Facebook page. If I get really brave, I may try this slider option, which I’m still learning WordPress, etc. so don’t wait on that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

He’s grumpy!

If you haven’t signed up for my e-newsletter, you may want to subscribe now. I included sales of my own, along with others, and there is a Valentine’s Day party February 9 that you may want to attend.

Be Mine on Sale .99

Also, BE MINE, my western historical is now on sale for a limited time at .99.

BE MINE is available at these places: Kindle US: UK: KOBO, iBOOKS, NOOK

Now, about the ad you see below. I do my own, ’cause I like doing them. ๐Ÿ™‚ But many writers pay for them or have someone on their team do it. All that takes time and energy, so authors do have to watch their real creative time, which is writing.

Also, SAM’S STORY is up now for .99, a short story and the first of my Nice Guys Short Story. I enjoyed writing from strictly the male point of view (POV) very much. I’ve finished Jon’s story, but tied up now writing a new series. I really, really had a time of the series location and finally decided–guess where? Where I grew up–or near there, in Washington state mountains near the Canadian border. I’m amid trying a lot of new stuff as always and have just ordered a stylus to make drawing on my iPad much easier.

BTW, my planner for 2017 is something new, too, and it’s working out great.

If there is anything you would particularly like to see covered in my blog, please let me know? You can write to me.ย And don’t forget–put this in your planner ๐Ÿ™‚ My enewsletter comes out on Tuesday.

Have a great day!

Ducks in a Row

posted in: HOLIDAYS, REFLECTIONS | 0

I walk along the lake and take lots of pictures I hope to paint one day. This day was really chilly and the ducks and geese were huddled up. The white one is a farm duck or goose or whatever. I especially love to watch the Canadian geese, (minors, I think). The arch of their long necks and the curves along their body are beautiful.

NOTE: This reminds me of that old “birds of a feather stick together”. But not always, apparently by that white bird whatever it is.

Setting up a new series isn’t easy and I’ve been struggling with the first one. It’s finally moving along. The setting is in the mountains where I grew up. My family still resides there. (I’ve been to all my book settings and have fictionalized them into other towns, etc.) Talk about getting ducks in a row.

“Along. Remember the planner I started earlier? This is my first year to really try to pinpoint my schedule. With some big stuff coming up, trips, family stuff and a whole lot of work, publishing, promos, etc. I’m hoping the planner will help.

My favorite holiday is coming up, Valentine’s Day, and I really enjoy it. One of the things I’m doing is sharing a Facebook party for SWEET ROMANCE READS, a fun bunch. February 9. Check it out? Writers share/trade/help each other, btw. That will be in my e-newsletter with other stuff, i.e. the .99 cent sale on BE MINE, a historical romance, with a lot of my ancestry in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually managed to plan a Valentine’s Day sale!

A Valentine for You!

I am playing with a new graphics program, so no idea how this will turn out, once sent. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stuff has to be up and out there, before you see how it really works. I’m half proficient with Photoshop Elements, but testing programs on my iPad with various styluses. That one was done with a big clunky stylus.That’s one of my ongoing projects. Why, you ask? Because writers do a tremendous amount of ad work and covers, etc. (some of us anyway), and it’s fun, too!

Now, if I can just get those cookies made.

It’s bright and sunny and warm outside, so I’m headed off to visit the ducks with my camera! Have a great day!

My Bucket List

One of the most important lists of all time is an individual’s bucket list. I make and revise mine all the time. There is the usual travel stuff–boy, I’d love to see the Viking ships in Norway’s museums. I studied Viking for some time before writing a book as yet unpublished. I researched lovely 1890 hardback collectibles for the story.

Another on my list was to write and publish my BasketSeries, which I’ve done for the most part. I’d waited to do those books through category, romantic suspense, westerns, etc. Yet all of my books are “books of my heart”. Like most writers, I put heart and soul into my books.

At the top of my bucket list may be getting all of my work into print of some kind. Secondary, may be getting my Mountie book in movies with Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, Robert DuVall and those guys starring. I did drive to the locations and researched on site–quite the experience, driving up the Cariboo and visiting Barkerville B.C., a mining town. And driving the Oregon Trail is something everyone should experience.ย BTW, whatever happened to those good old western guys, including Glen Ford?

If you’re wondering where that awful cartoon comes from, look no further. I’m having fun playing with graphic programs and that is my first effort. I’m definitely not a trained graphic artist. I did that after taking a long drive to consider points in my WIP. Driving settles any story plotting questions I may have. My Work in Progress (WIP) is coming along and I’m quite happy with what I have so far, I also came home to make some quick notes on my WIP and then crochet a couple dishcloths.

I’ve actually done a large portion of my bucket list, but there is always more. This year, I visited San Francisco’s Asian Museum–love, loved it. I would love to revisit Seattle’s as it has been some time. I would love to travel in an RV, or spend some time in one. I think of Janet Dailey who traveled all the states, writing a book about each one. I would just like the travel/camping aspect. And I’d love to paint more, which I probably will. I’d better. I have enough art supplies stocked up.

While I’m sorting out my every-changing bucket list, I’d love to hear about yours? Just comment below?