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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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? πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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.Β 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. πŸ™‚Β 

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 dayΒ 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 WifeΒ andΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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