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.

Catching Up in June

posted in: About Town, REFLECTIONS | 1

Life happens. So true. I’m behind on my 2nd book of the year, but not too worried about that. Things to do, you know.

Amid lots of house/yard upkeep now means I’m in the stores more, getting supplies. While in Menard’s plant section, 2 little boys in a cart pushed by their mother were talking. So cute. One said, “When Mom gets us another brother…” She was busy with the 6 months or so baby on her hip….

Friends sent me this and I really laughed when opening the package. So funny. Thank you, F. and M. Please know how much I enjoy it.

I scheduled June as catch-up month and am working hard toward that goal. Remember my planner attempt? It is working well, with lots of projects underway, plus life. I do enjoy the small things like having tea while sitting on my front porch and chatting with a good friend. Last night, the fireflies put on a show.

I’m working on about everything this month, including more Cait’s Classics, covers, and writing my new series.

I hope you’re signed up for my E-NEWSLETTER for more information on my releases and please do visit my Facebook Page? I’d love to hear from you, too.

Do enjoy this gorgeous summer? I am.

 

Turtle Races

posted in: Life Happens, MY BOOKS, REFLECTIONS, SEASONS | 2

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….

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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?

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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?

1 2