Editing My New Book

posted in: MY BOOKS, writing | 0

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 Tallchief series years ago, still love them.

Writer Basics & Happy Cup

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!

Enjoy!

Cait

 

 

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/

 

Water Everywhere

posted in: Life Happens, SEASONS, writing | 3

Days of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall have hit. Our weather alert radios are sounding every few minutes. Someone once called these consecutive storms, “Freight trains” which they truly are, one after another, pounding the countryside, filling the lakes and streams, and causing people to evacuate.

The best rule is “stay at home”, if you can and don’t get out there unless absolutely necessary. The state highway running past my home was closed, several towns, bridges, roadways closed due to an “almost” record breaking flood.

We did not have tornadoes here, but others did. Today, I am praying for so many people whose homes have been flooded, who are struggling and facing hard work to rebuild their lives.

Here’s to everyone out there:

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

Spring and Storms

posted in: SEASONS, writing | 2

First, I am truly warmed by all the kind responses of readers who are glad my Tallchief series is re-releasing. The Cowboy and the Cradle and Tallchief’s Bride so far. Thank you.

I‘m working quickly this morning, preparing for the spring storms that interrupt writing. Boy, it’s aggravating to be in a great scene, the story running really quickly through you/your fingers, and a big thunder boomer warns you to shut down your desktop and unplug. I write more quickly on a desktop with a big ergonomic keyboard, but as a work-around the storms, today I’m starting a new book on my iPad and nifty new full size keyboard. Kids and toys, you know. 🙂

I love scented geraniums. I just got these and will get more. One year, south of Lexington, KY, I got the most gorgeous ones, and plants love my big wide porch. I hope I can find those again, gorgeous blooms. The Amish greenhouse lady said they would last through the winter, but mine always fail, so each year, out searching for those scented geraniums. My succulents did make it through the winter fine in a sunny, back room

This is my old chive plant that has lived forever, poor thing. It really needs care. If I could recommend one herb/whatever, this would be it. Love me fresh chives. But I also will have a lot of others, namely basil. If you haven’t tried fresh herbs, please do. It’s a savory experience.

And who doesn’t need a little garden gnome. My daughter gave me this because she said he looked like me when I’m thinking about a plot. 🙂

These little woodland violets are wild, but I replant them where likely, because I consider them to be God’s gift. There is probably a proper name for them, but they are violets to me.

With one book just now finished and starting the second one in a new series, I’m looking forward to seeing what these characters do.:) I’ve just finished a short story to go with my Basket Series, probably out in the holidays and other new work that has to “cool off” as writers say, giving the book space to see if it truly is a book and what needs to be edited. In the book I’ve just finished, I need to develop a setting–a lighthouse in the Cascade mountains. Yes, a lighthouse, not a tall fire-spotter tower. 🙂

By the way, if you aren’t subscribed to my enewsletter, you might want to. CLICK HERE. We’ve started a nifty little monthly birthday calendar with one prize per month. March’s was Bernadette. Don’t you just love that name?

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!

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!

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.