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.

Fall is Writing Time

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

If you’re like me, you’re settling back from keeping up the yard, relaxing a bit, etc. and moving more into fall. My mums are set to bloom yellow and orange. Farmers Markets are stocked with apples/pumpkins/squash. (I love spaghetti squash.)  I made this Fall-theme graphic long ago, but still love it–mainly because I think of how my grandsons loved crawling all over those major pumpkins years ago. I’d take them on day trips, swimming, pumpkin patches and this day was so much fun. And here it is, Pumpkin time again. Check out those sassafras leaves. I have a stand of those near my woodpile. The tree leaves are from a tree right in front of my picture window. That tree tells me so much through the seasons. Do you have a favorite tree?

Fall is Here!

I’ve just finished the first book of an unnamed trilogy and looking at titles and cover ideas for all three. Like any writer, I stored stacks of them, with story ideas. I call those my toy boxes. I can pretty well generate a storyline from a live scene or a word. While writing for 2 publishers for most of my career, I had to always have a story idea at the ready.

Several readers noted that they liked how I used my personal things in the stories and on the covers. It’s nice to know what readers like, so if you have time, I’d love to hear from you. The story I just finished uses my mother’s antique single bed–which I have, called “the high bed” by my daughters. I’ll get that shot for you.

Writers discuss writing techniques. I plan to write a How-To, a compilation of tips gathered over years of writing and working with top editors. Someday. However, the most recent chat concerned a book/story’s overall Tone and Mood. I’m not hearing a lot of that particular thing, so FWIW to anyone writing fiction:

A journalist friend just relayed to me her difficulty in changing to fiction. I write fiction. Fiction has character depth. So here is a light version of the importance of Mood/Tone of the whole story, which is little discussed:

Character mix. To me, the character mix defines the story, the bad guys making the good guys look better, so contrast. Much the same as when painting, darks offset the lights and vice versa. If you have all dark/moody characters, you’ll have to work hard to light up. Peripheral characters highlight the dimensions of the major characters–

  1. Mood/Tone. In suspense and mystery there are all sorts of devices, i.e. ticking clock, endangering the sweet and/or innocent/child, revenge, needs, etc. The overall tone can be light/dark/mixed/humorous/romantic/emotional. BIG NOTE: Characters are people, so they all have emotions of some kind. To stick with the overall tone of the story is ultra-important and balance a mix to get what you want.
  2. Which brings us back to Character Mix.

Every one of my stories and characters after years of writing is different and that keeps writing interesting for me.

Yep, thrilled to be starting another series. Pretty much excited about everything this Fall. I’m a cool weather person who loves dark days. Love them. Do you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catching Up!

posted in: MY BOOKS, SEASONS, Uncategorized, writing | 0

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.

Well, I’m happy today and I hope you are, too.

Cait

 

 

Summer Delights

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?

 

 

 

http://caitlondon.com/tallchiefs/

 

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?

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.

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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!

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?