Day of the Buzzard

posted in: Life Happens, SEASONS | 0

Ah. Spring. Love you. The lawn guys came and my neighborhood smells like freshly mowed grass. My tulips are blooming.

http://caitlondon.com
Love Me Tulips

Some days are really excellent, like the other day when visiting my insurance agent. Some man was wearing western books done in ostrich hide. (Easy to notice in an amber shade with small pointy bumps.) The dialogue ran to: very expensive, wears well and soft.

Then he asked me if I wanted to feel his boot to see how soft it was. Naturally, I did. I mean how often do you get to feel a cowboy’s boot with ostrich hide? Yes, it was truly soft.

The reason I was in the office was to run through getting my buzzard-dent fixed. Minding my own business, driving carefully, I hit a buzzard in flight–this after he feasted on a dead armadillo with his buddies. His buddies flew off in one direction, he in the other and suddenly he bounced off my hood, just about the latch. It was raining and when I checked right then, I didn’t see the dent–but I could definitely smell buzzard.

I’ve run through whatever to get the dent fixed soon. April is my birthday month and I celebrate all month or maybe from April to May of the same date. I did not need a buzzard dent for my birthday.

The strange thing is that as I described the incident to friends, the laughing does not quit. They compare it a Lucille Ball episode. Everyone seems to be enjoying it, including one estimate guy who told me more than I want to know about buzzards. One daughter thinks it compares to the Lucille Ball episode where she and Ethel Mertz are working on the candy factory line. I fail to see the comparison, but okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

FWIW: Since it’s my birthday month, I give to others and do things for them, which makes me feel really good. I just made ginger root and honey tea for a neighbor who isn’t feeling well. She said it helped and I am so glad. She’s a really nice person. In fact, I know lots of nice people.

I’m deep into starting the rough draft of book 2 in my new series, but designed a new cover for a romantic suspense WHEN NIGHT FALLS.ย When I get really good at crocheting, I want to make a shawl like she’s wearing. I think shawls are so elegant.

http://amzn.to/2nUMbVc
When Night Falls

For WHEN NIGHT FALLS, I researched historical roses and the story is set in a small Oklahoma town with lots of rose gardens, some of them heritage roses collected from old homesteads.

Then I am so glad people remember the Tallchief Series and are enjoying The Cowboy and the Cradle and Tallchief’s Bride. In order, that is Duncan and Calum. Birk is up next in The Groom Candidate.

 

What else is new? I bought an iron skillet to use for baking. I have forgotten the weight of an iron skillet. ๐Ÿ™‚

I just love those raindrops on the opened tulip, don’t you? I love mist and rain. But not buzzards.

 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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?

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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 dayย 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?

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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?ย And please let me know what you would like to see in these posts? Thank you for subscribing.