Two of my favorite things: flowers and baskets. This basket will be on the cover of a novella, 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.
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 Tallchiefseries years ago, still love them.
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!
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.
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>>
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?
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.
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.
When my daughters were young, so was this hilly neighborhood subdivision. Set in the Ozarks, it was pure country with nightcrawlers thick after rains, or when a yard light stayed on. Nightcrawlers are fishing worms–big ones, FYI. And only one of my three daughters would get out of bed early to collect these with me. The other two daughters groaned and flopped over. There is always one….
This painting was what I saw outside my kitchen window. (Back in my Van Gogh days.) Now there are mobile homes, so quite the few changes. It’s slanted in the shot, and in my daughter’s home, but quite large and suiting a dark corner.
We had a few driveway barbecues and with the guys below crawling everywhere we had a driveway turtle race. Basically, the terrapins had numbers on them and we put them under a plastic swimming pool, drew a chalk line around the poor, voila! Turtle/terrapin races. They bury/hibernate and those marks on his back may be from my lawn mower. They say the red heads mean snapping turtles. I don’t know and don’t want to challenge that warning. See this one’s little evil eye?
I wondered about this guy, if he was the great, great however many greats of one of those in our driveways great turtle race. I found out later–aren’t the LATER stories you learn from your kids just fabulous?? One daughter–a businesswoman now, 7 at the time–wanted to take bets on those turtles.
My books reflect times in my life, or bits of color in it–I love color–but I haven’t used turtle races yet.
Currently, I’m hard at work in a series set where I grew up in northwest Washington state mountains. The trees are “pointy” pines there, while the Ozark hills are rounded oaks. As a college girl, I hiked in the Cascades and gosh, if I knew any of my daughters had done that ALONE, I would have freaked.
I’m writing now with my windows open, the fresh air coming in as we wait for more rain. I hope you’re enjoying your days, too….
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. 🙂
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, 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.
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!
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.
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!