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. 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

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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?Β 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. Β 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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.Β And don’t forget–put this in your planner πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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?Β And please let me know what you would like to see in these posts? Thank you for subscribing.