A Weird “Off” Day

posted in: CRAFTS, MY BOOKS, REFLECTIONS | 1

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. 🙂

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? 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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.

https://madmimi.com/signups/199386/join
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? 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.  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 | 0

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 babies….

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 isn’t buying, though she settles in Amen Flats, near Duncan and his siblings. A heady blast of Duncan’s sexuality and her unexpected demanding passion unsettles Sybil’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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. And don’t forget–put this in your planner 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 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?

Organized or Stressed?

posted in: DIY, REFLECTIONS | 2

! The multiple winners of my Cradle Contents have been notified via email. I am so hoping this cover is going to be super and you’ll see it here with its mates. I have some idea I’m going to draw a logo for all 3 books, but we’ll see. 🙂 

Jan/Feb are my really hard working months and right now I’m amid organizing for 2017. I am not using the new snazzy hot pink planner I bought. It did not note Pearl Harbor, which is important to me–truly disappointed in that. I am a planner-snob.

This is the first year I’ve tried working ahead, with a planner. I opted for making my own to which I could add pages, pockets, etc. I love these smaller 3-ring binders for almost everything. This one is my work book, where I keep notes about projects, etc. Love, love this notebook. Then my brand new homemade planner is white. Homemade works better for me, where pages can be added or removed. These notebooks are handy for just about everything. And it’s fun DIY.

Sometimes I think that with all the electronic gizmos, it still comes down to paper. With these DIY notebooks, you can have sticker-fun. Who doesn’t love stickers? And happy cups. That’s my happy cup on my notebook, btw.

I’m just starting a new book/series and marking total words written per day in my DIY notebook. This is where the goal setting comes in. Some writers want so many words per day. I don’t. I write more in scenes and go with the flow, but I know to make a deadline, I need to be midpoint by a specific date. I approximate. I’ve written enough to know when it’s time to stop, to take a drive, walk, and generally get away.

SIDE NOTE: In case you didn’t know, laying out a new book, the possible start of a series, is an agonizing process. Character names have to be matched, selected carefully. Where to start, etc. are big mulling items. Generally, I just write and worry about getting the set up down, then re-edit those first pages and take off.

Is this current planner rage more beast than help? Is extreme goal-setting creating even more stress to our everyday lives? We are actually pressuring ourselves. Some days, I am disappointed that I didn’t get whatever done, most frustrated. On those days, I make a list of the things that I did and it’s quite a long list. I forgive myself. There are only so many hours in a day, so much of my energy.

And then, life comes along and interferes, disrupting the whole planned ball game. Demands on an individual are huge, encompassing care for our families, work routines, maintenance of car and home and health, plus huge amounts of paper work and daily business.

This year, I am taking more time off Internet, especially the holidays. Many writers are not on Internet on Sunday or a chosen day, and that is a good plan, to back away for just that one day and do something else. Refreshing, nurturing ourselves is very important. We’re not machines, programmed to run constantly.

My question is: Are we planning ourselves into stress, rather than relieving it by planning ahead? Are we too goal oriented? What is our individual time and energy vs the goals we set, the plans we make?

2017 Best Wishes 2 U

posted in: CRAFTS, DIY, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 0

Aloha from Chilly Foggy SW MO!

Ok, I took a break. I admit it. And thoroughly enjoyed the holidays and especially the very end of the year. I think I enjoyed this time more than any other year. I hope you did, too. It’s foggy this morning and we’re expecting 0 temps soon. January and February–especially Valentine’s Day–are my favorite times of the year.

Reflecting on 2016: I am so thrilled with the reception of my Basket Series. So many kind people posted their reviews and I sent copies to my sister, who is not on Internet. Thank you so much! This was a series I’d waited to write and I already have the rough draft of a short story to follow–whenever.

First: The Cradle Contents and the Website Ideas Contest are now closed. The Cradle Contest had multiple winners with the same very good ideas and the prizes will be my books. I have some of the items on hand for the cover of The Cowboy and the Cradle.

I am so pleased that people remembered the Tallchief series and their very nice comments are most appreciated.

These are boxes my daughter wrapped. I had more fun with these perfectly wrapped boxes. She could have just sent empty ones. Weren’t they gorgeous in the previous basket shot? I love that basket. In fact, I love all my baskets as you can guess by my Basket Series.

 

This is a gift I wrapped for friends, complete with a Tunisian crocheted mat and The Basket Maker’s Wife and The Egg Basket. I also crocheted dishcloths and caps, some for messy buns. Now, isn’t that a word for hairstyles?

I started on a new series last night and had been mulling ideas. I drive a lot when thinking, just open road, the wheels on the pavement and no media. Lots of good thinking/ideas come from that time. I’ve driven across the country and up into Canada and am planning some trip, somewhere this summer. I lost my favorite seagull picture and I want a good shot of an old windmill.

And my homemade 2017 planner? It’s filling up. It’s a new project, one of many. 🙂

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

 

 

Building Stories

posted in: writing | 7

This is my painting in my daughter’s home. I’m hoping to do a bit of painting during my break at the end of the year.

Thank you for subscribing to my blog. I’m learning as I go on this new website, so look for changes (what gizmos work or don’t) and please let me know what I might post that interests you? Just write.

I’m a very visual writer, and I like color, though the two–painter and writer–cannot work at the same time. It’s a choice.

For those who have followed my books through the years: Thank You.

I’m “nesting” right now, building a story, building a series, taking notes, developing characters and story lines. Life amid Missouri’s Ozarks gives me lots of visuals for ideas.

One book in particular–Sleepless in Montana–centered on an artist, and I found myself very much involved in his art, feeling the colors move around me, feeling how Hogan would feel about objects and lines.

Another book, Be Mine, a Western Historical romance, came from a country drive. An Amish girl, bonnet/long dress, was riding a paint pony beside the road. The pony was galloping, her long skirt lifted to expose jeans below. That visual caught me. I understood much of Emma, raised in a strict German family, her neat, waste not/industrious nature. I understood because my parents were of German descent, so I had a model for Emma.

Nesting is really difficult. This is where it may get weird for you, btw. 🙂 Nesting is like some big nebulous haze with little sparkles of ideas floating around. Some will work; others won’t. I can only explain it like this: Tails/tales are out there, floating, tantalizing, and if I can grab one and hold it as a good idea for a story, that’s good. But the next idea (tail of one) floating nearby, will not work with the primary. This is difficult/straining work, believe it or not, just thinking, pushing, waiting for a basic idea to gel.

It sounds all very mystical, doesn’t it? But then, I was/my writing was studied in some college course somewhere as an author who uses myths and legends as basics. True. But not on purpose. I have read a lot of Roman/Greek/Viking mythology and epic sagas, so that comes out, I guess.

Basically, I incorporate my experiences and life into my stories. Writers need experiences and a story is grown, much like a baby grows. Someone once said, paraphrasing here: A Writer must get out from behind a desk to experience life. (Yes, my life experiences about. I have thrown a tomahawk, btw. :))

It is so hard to cut that umbilical cord from one story to the next. After my Basket Series last book, The Bride’s Basket, I wrote a short story (not published), about one of the characters to help tie off that attachment to the series. Have no fear, readers who asked for more, I have another story planned for the series, but at this time, I’m wanting a fresh start. Creative minds move on to keep fresh.

I’m at that point now, starting a whole new series. Some writers can repeat the same story and that is their style. But I am one who needs diversity, and you can find that in my Printable Book List (on my website).

And that is how I get my stories, but what is in me–my experiences, my interests, visuals and whatever else is in the package, like a traveler, a mother, a friend, a cook, etc. Most writers are intimately connected with their stories. And I was originally contracted and worked with by top editors to get those stories out of me. I asked about that once: why the editors worked so intensely with me. They replied that I had a lot of stories in me and they wanted to get them out. That hit me so strange at the time. Now it doesn’t.

Wish me luck on this new story I’m starting? And please let me know what you would like to see in these posts? Thank you for subscribing.

Peace in the Holidays

posted in: SEASONS | 0

Thank you for subscribing to my Blog. This website is brand new and I’m making adjustments here and there. Please visit the For Readers page and enter the Contest there for what you would like to see on my Website? Thank you!

My daughter sent these packages and I thought they were so pretty that I put them in my favorite basket–a thrift store find and quite large, lightweight. Someone called this a French market style. I have no idea, but to me, it symbolizes many gifts that we are given, including those not material.

I’ve just gotten the bones of my website lifted, more little pieces to adjust, etc. I am learning as I go. No easy road. But it has been a struggle and a time/energy sucker, now completed. Yes, I am creating it, no designer for me, though they do marvelous, artistic work I appreciate. I’m a do-er as you’ll find out. 🙂 Yep. Love to do stuff. Busy, busy, busy. 🙂 And feeling so blessed to be able to live/do/create as I want–mostly. 🙂 And there is this friend, at the ready when I need encouragement. I called her just last night and we shared a virtual glass of wine and friendship.

I intend to settle into the last of this tumultuous year with gratitude and peace in the holidays. The reviews on my Basket Series, out this year, humbled me. Truly. Truly grateful for each one, each person who took precious time to review. I’d waited to write these stories and they are different from those of my long-time career.

My Big Holiday Plans: Candles, easy chair, fire, calling friends, Tunisian crocheting and do hope to get started on canvases–I’m a painter–that have waited. My teapot is steeping green tea now and I’m set for an evening of working with new stories. (I’m studying how to read tea leaves, thus the tea. :)) Brainstorming, or nesting as I call it, is no easy task, yet fulfilling.

Wishing you a wonderful peaceful holiday. We so often forget to take time to enjoy blessings, but we can. We will. We will seize this time to reflect, to plan, to enjoy peace in the holidays.

Cait London/POB 1096/Hollister, MO 65673

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