Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Writing, Reading, and the Distractions of Summer

Spring seemed quick, we are now into some summer-like temperatures, and it feels wonderful - until it gets too hot.

Yard Work - At one time, not so long ago, I enjoyed mowing and trimming the lawn. The lawn care only took a few hours a week, not much, but now I look at mowing as a chore that has to be done more than something I really like. In that vein, we do have some nice flowers started to show off in the yard, and that I like.

Writing Outside - I am writing churning along at five to seven hundred words a day. Right now I am doing most of my writing sitting outside on our deck. Writing outside can be a bit of a distraction watching birds at the feeder and the squirrels arriving to get their share. Living in a military town I also like to watch the helicopters, C-17s, and 
C-130s, as they circle practicing touch and goes and helicopters practice their version of the bucket brigade, for the fire season in the west.

Book Sales – My KDP pages read are way down, sales of both eBooks and soft cover books are down some but not nearly as much as the pages read has dropped. Not sure why thinks have tumbled so far on the financial side of my writing, I can only speculate.

10 Reasons Book Sales are down – My best guess

1.     People are spending all their free time mowing and trimming their lawns leaving no time to read.
2.     Fishing is picking up
3.     It is the start of picnic time
4.     School is out and adults, along with their kids, decide they will play video games on their phones instead of reading during their summer off.
5.     Too many baseball games to watch and not enough time
6.     Readers are turning to, summer romance on the beach books, instead of what they normally read
7.     Invaders from another galaxy have entered reader’s brains, and have them reading endless political and royal wedding articles online.
8.     Sunstroke
9.     Everyone has decided to reread old books
10.   Summer reruns have started on television and are too captivating to miss.

What Am I Reading? Mountains and Molehills, by Frank Marryat. I am also beta reading a book, far out of my normal genre, for an indie-author, so far it has been a fun read.

Enjoy the rest of the week, and please, keep on reading, even if the yard is calling.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Writing and Social Media - Spring Photos Too

Lots of May showers here in Wyoming hope that leads to an abundance of good pasture and many wildflowers.

My writing has taken a backslide as we had guests here the past two weeks. We did get to do much in the way of catching up, and, of course, took some time to see the local sites.

Words - I did get a thousand words, or so, on my nonfiction, but nothing else written in the last 10 days. Meanwhile, my third in the Blade Holmes, western mysteries, sat by waiting for more words, but it didn’t happen. Did have time to edit the 6,000 words I have completed, I like the story so far.

Cutting Back – I have cut back some on my social media, I just don’t have, or do not make, the time I need to use everything I was trying to do. I have several sites on Blogger along with this one, an active presence on Google Plus, and I try to keep going strong on Twitter. I recently created an author site on Facebook, and hope that will make up for giving up, mostly, on Word Press, and other sites that I just could not keep up with. (Please feel free to click the link and follow me on my Facebook author site). I am also posting less often, which I find may not be good, sales are down.

Speaking of Sales – Sales of my soft cover books and eBooks are trending down. May has also started with a downturn in my KDP pages read. At times I think maybe everyone that wants to read my stuff has already done so – then miraculously, everything takes off again. Waiting for my next uptick, but not waiting patiently.  

Reading- Much like my writing, my reading has suffered lately. I am re-reading a favorite, Absaroka Ambush, from  William Johnstone’s Mountain Man series. I have also started, (just), David Dary’s, Cowboy CultureA Saga of Five Centuries. Looks to be a fine reference for those who write about the old west.

Todays Photos – From a drive this week up to the tiny mountain village of Esterbrook, 50 miles away.

On Turning 70 - See my latest book here, a tongue in cheek look at aging, at least up to my age. 
Here is that 70-year-old taking a break on Horseshoe Creek

Have a great week, enjoy the beginning of spring, and keep on reading and writing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Writing Update and Fort Laramie

Another month has come and gone, and we have reached May 2018. I remember May 1, May-Day as a big deal when I was a kid. We would do something called a May Pole at school, and after school deliveries of May-Baskets full of candy to our friends and sweethearts – not sure any of that goes on in today’s world. But, the 1950’s in the middle of America were much different than today.

Selling Books – April never seems to be a great month for selling books – speaking of my books only. I was down a bit in pages read, eBook and regular book sales. Still, I am happy to be able to pick up enough each month to pay a bill or two.

Works in Progress – As I was with my last post I am spending most of my writing time working on a nonfiction work on Fort Laramie, and my third Marshal Blade Holmes western mystery. I am also spending time watching my grandson at baseball practices and reminiscing about my days as a kid.

What am I Reading?The Hair of Harold Roux: A Novel, by Thomas Williams and still reading, A Guide to Photographing Rocky Mountain Wildlife, by Weldon Lee.

Life in General – My wife and I enjoyed spending time at Fort Laramie this weekend in the celebration of the 150 year anniversary of the Treaty of 1868. The crowds were big, and the weather was nice - a wonderful event. I am also spending time tending my growing flats of, tomatoes, onions, and flowers, three more weeks, and in the gardens, they go. Still spending some time, out in the wilds, with my cameras, and doing our walking.

Today’s Photos – From the four-day celebration at Fort Laramie.
Keep on reading, keep on writing, and enjoy the renewing season – Spring

From our backyard

Friday, April 20, 2018

Writing Snacks and Other Nonsense

It's Warming Up and I Am, Once Again, Up and At Um
So much has been written about the habits of writers, so much, that I decided to make a list of some of my writing habits. Seems since most who write do it differently than others, we all might be a bit odd – but here we go.

1.  Most of my writing is on my laptop, (touchscreen, no mouse) sitting in my favorite recliner with the television on. (Seldom could I tell anyone details of what was on, I like the noise I guess)
2.  When writing in my office, about 10% of my writing, I also turn on a television
3.  Writing snacks – Salted peanuts, black licorice, dried cherries, hot or iced tea
4.  I always have both fiction, and a nonfiction project going on
5.  My best writing time – afternoon, evening and late – too late
6.  Mornings I use for news, and social media, and new research
7.  I try to walk a mile or more or play golf, usually 9 holes, every day. (When playing golf I ride, I figure I get plenty of steps along with twisting and turning in the 90 minutes I am on the course)
8.  I spend time in my gardens, or out with my cameras, whenever possible
9.  I spend an hour or two each morning reading, outside in the sun when possible
10.              I sign books with a black rollerball pen, I sometimes use fountain pens when I write personal notes from home.
11.              Last, I check my online sales twice a day – morning and evening
12.              Another last, my wife and I take lots of day trips when we do I take one of my cameras, but no writing when we are out enjoying the day.

There you have it,  as Frank Sinatra put it, My Way.
So how do you write? Anything that seems a bit far left or right of the norm?

Feeling Better – Writing More - I am spending more time writing, the past two weeks, than I have for several months. At last, I feel well enough to think and write. Seems the older I get the tougher it is to get through the winters without various health problems. Nothing serious, just the same old, cold and flu stuff, to which I added an ongoing problem with my left foot.

Writing – Still spending most of my time on the third book in my Blade Holmes western mystery series. I changed the tentative title yesterday and also a bit of the focus of the book. Now working on an updated character list and outline of events for my famous marshal.
Reading – Still reading Sioux Dawn, by Terry C. Johnston, also taking my time reading, A Guide to Photographing Rocky Mountain Wildlife, interesting and with so many terrific photos.

Today’s Photo’s – From the mountains 20-30 or so, miles west of town
Keep on reading, and keep on writing, see all of my books on my Amazon author site – here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Marketing Books

Last week’s (wow has it been two weeks?) eBook give away seemed to be a success. If nothing else it let me know I am reaching a few more people. Next year I will try another with hopes to give away 100 books. Not close to that yet, but when I passed 20 I felt good about it.

Book Sales – Surprisingly my latest book – On Turning 70, is selling pretty well, not only in the eBook form, this month I have sold more regular books with this one than any of my others. Maybe because it is a large print edition has helped with sales to people my age.  I sell a few of my CCC nonfiction book in the soft cover version every month and now that it is warming up my humorous and helpful look at gardening is doing better.

Book Marketing – I have been reading more and more about bookselling and marketing, trouble is, I read about it but do not do much – guess that’s not working. Like many writers I spend too much time writing, messing around on social media and unlike many writers, I spend lots of time gardening, playing golf and shooting photos outdoors, all fun, but not a huge help when selling a book or two.

Writing – Spending most of my time on the third book in my Blade Holmes western mystery series. The book, tentatively titled, Cattleman, is set from Platte County to Johnson County Wyoming.

ReadingSioux Dawn, by Terry C. Johnston, the book is based on the 1866 Fetterman Massacre, so far a well written and fascinating read.

Today’s Photo’s – Breaking spring in Wyoming

Keep on reading, and keep on writing, see all of my books on my Amazon author site – here. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Free eBook - Neil Waring's - Ghost of the Fawn

Free Book – download here.  Ghost of the Fawn. Set in modern-day central Wyoming.

Last week I mentioned that I would soon have a book up for free.

Free today through the weekend. This book – Ghost of the Fawn, has not sold as well as many of my others, not sure why. It is a story of two Native teens trying to find themselves until they get in the middle of intrigue and murder in Central Wyoming. I love the story and think you might too.

Thanks, and enjoy!
This year, here in Wyoming, this is spring.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Writing Update and Easter Guests

Looks like March does not want to go out like a lamb. Two or three inches of snow last night and looks like we will struggle to reach 40 degrees today (Thursday, March, 29).

Lots of guests here at our house recently, and that has made for good times, but not much writing. I have got out a little with my camera and taken a few photos. Now with Easter Eggs died, and the weather outside not fit for man nor beast, maybe, just maybe, I will get some writing done. Lately, most of my attention has been on the fourth book of my kid’s chapter book series, the Mike and Moose and Me series. They are fun to write and sell pretty well, but this one, the fourth is scheduled to be the end of the series. Might be a chance at another, but not right away, if ever.

Writing Goals - I am quite a bit behind on my writing goals, three books, to be exact. I hoped to have the kid’s book, I mentioned above, plus my nonfiction book, and the third of my historical fiction series, all complete by June first, now I hope to finish at least one by then. Such is the life of a procrastinating writer.

New free offer coming soon – One of my books, Ghost of the Fawn, has consistently underperformed, just does not sell many copies. The problem seems to be I wrote it with teenagers as the main characters, because of that it seems my adult readers are not giving it a look. I love the story, think it is a really fun read for all ages. In a couple of weeks, maybe sooner, I am going to put it up for a few days only - as a free book. Take a look here and read the free three chapters, I think you will like it.

Today’s photos from the Laramie Range a half hour west of our home in Guernsey, Wyoming

As always keep on reading and keep on writing - have a wonderful and safe Easter weekend.