Monday, November 12, 2018

Of Writing, Photos, and Eagles in a Tree

Busy Week – Talk about having too much to do. This week it looks like I will be scrambling to get any writing done. Meeting tonight, early breakfast at the school tomorrow and then three-day school board convention in Casper. Yes. I am on the local school board, going into my third year. I will, off course, take along a laptop and hope for some late night hours to write. On days like this, I most often work on outlines for future products and look at plot twists for my works in progress.
Guernsey Lake looking very Blue this time of year

From the Old West Men and barbed wire each have their good points.

What I Am Working On – Most of the past few days I have been working on attempting to figure out why my KDP page reads had slipped to nothing. Never figured it out after going through eight days in a nine-day period with zero page reads – not good. The past two days I am back to several hundred each day – about normal for me.
For my readers that enjoy writing, that’s great, because the marketing part of writing is long, troubling and boring. When I started writing it was for the love of it, glad I still feel that way. Otherwise, it would seem too much like real work.
Took this shot from so far away that it looks more like a painting than a photo - somehow it seems to work - I like it.

 Photo of the Week –
Took this on today - on a day I was looking for eagles

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Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
Have a terrific week.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Writing - Editing, and Selling Books

Today Looks Like Winter – As I write this post, I am sitting near a nice window overlooking our backyard. I have been watching it snow, off and on, for the past two hours. Not sure, I am ready for winter yet, but, as always, the snow, big soft flakes, looks nice floating down. Getting back to the normal life routine can be tough after a vacation - that really hit home yesterday as we raked the front yard. Working outside is nice, but not quite like spending time with friends and family, eating out, and watching great shows in Branson.

From the Old West – Never gamble with a man that knows both sides of the cards.

What Am I Working On? – I have spent the last two days researching and writing on actions and activities in Wyoming in the middle and late 1860s – post Civil War. I also continue the rewrite and edit of my kid's chapter book, fourth in the Mike and Moose andMe series. I have also spent time, possibly too much time, looking at some marketing ideas as my sales seemed to have slipped the last two months.
Now that my second volume of Christmas tales (Under Christmas Skies), is complete and on sale, I ordered ten copies for myself. I often have people that want to order from me an autographed copy so always keep at least 10 of all my books.

 Photo of the Week –
Western Nebraska's, Chimney Rock, one of the most well known sites along the trails west.

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Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
I Hope everyone is enjoying a nice long fall, and that winter does not come until you are ready for it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Back from Vacation and back to Writing

Home Again – After a nice trip to Branson, Missouri we are back home. It is always nice to get away, and then nice, to be back home. While in Branson we caught up with old friends and took in several, terrific as always, shows.
Now home again with regular chores and back to writing, and oh, we just voted a couple of hours ago.   

From the Old West –  Too little temptation can lead to virtue

A View of Laramie Peak from the Trails at Guernsey State Park

What Am I Working On? – Editing the fourth book of my Mike and Moose & Me kids chapter books. Also doing some serious writing and researching on my nonfiction Fort Laramie Book.
For writers reading this, I have never done the NaNo, write a book during November project, admire those that do. I am too lazy and too random to keep to a tight schedule and to stay on the same subject.

My New Book is Out - My second book of Christmas short stories is now live and for sale on Amazon. 

 Photo of the Week – 
A ride and dinner on the Branson Belle

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Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
Hope everyone made it through the time change ok.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

I Write What I Feel

I Write What I Feel
So many times writers are told to pick a genre and stick with it. Pretty good advice, but I never follow it. Why, because I write what I feel, as my mood or life changes, my writing seems to change with it. Not a great way to get rich writing, but a nice way to keep my sanity, or what I have left of it.

I have published three non-fiction books, one a serious look at the Civilian Conservation Corps and the building of Wyoming’s beautiful Guernsey State Park, the other two are more of what I call, just for fun.  I am in the process – likely before Thanksgiving, of publishing my fourth in the - Mike and Moose and Me, series of kids chapter books.

When I am in the mood to write something longer, or more serious I write western mysteries, I have two Blade Holmes books, my best selling books, and a stand-alone novel set in central Wyoming that revolves around an ancient people’s mystery, and a modern-day murder. I also just published, only the eBook is available so far, the second of two collections of Christmas short stories.

There you have it – my eclectic writing collection.

From the Old West Lonesome creates diseases that friendship cures.

What Am I Working On? – Nothing the next eight or nine days – we are heading on our annual trek to Branson, Missouri. That means I may miss a post or two, but I will be back, rested and ready.

 Photo of the Week –
Nice looking young couple

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What a history and story this place must have
Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

Don’t forget - next weekend we get an hour back as Daylight Savings fades away for another year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Writing Time

It’s Writing Time Again
Sometimes I worry because I am such a non-morning person. Odd, since I was in my classroom teaching by eight AM for 42 years. Now that I am retired, and have the time to write full time, I find it hard to get up and get going. Because of this, I have become more and more an afternoon, evening and sometimes late night writer. So when is your writing time?

Hemmingway, despite his often, late nights, liked to write at first light. Stephen King writes six pages a day starting at eight or eight-thirty each morning.   Charles Dickens was at his desk by nine and wrote until two, taking a quick break for family lunch; afterward, he walked for three hours, and then enjoyed the rest of the day. No matter where I look, it seems everyone but me writes in the morning.

I do try to do my blog posts, which I have now turned into a twice-weekly effort, in the morning. Maybe these posts will spur me in to write more in the mornings.

The bottom line is – It doesn’t matter when you write, but if you write. I am writing five or six hundred words a day, plus whatever I do on my blog. Just write!

With great apologies to Buck Owens –
 It’s Writing Time Again and, I’m afraid the words will leave me
I can feel those faraway places in my mind
Saw this doe taking it easy on our evening ride yesterday

From the Old West –  Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

What Am I Working On? – Back to doing some research on my nonfiction work about Fort Laramie. Also working out the rest of the outlines for two fiction books.  Editing my kid's chapter book - again.

 Photo of the Week –
Front yard - looks like I have some raking to do - Lucky that some fall into my pickup.

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Keep on Reading and Keep on Writing

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Marketing and Selling Books

Book Marketing
I have not spent much time marketing my books, and I am afraid it shows. Most of my marketing efforts would be what people forty or fifty years ago called, by gosh and by golly. That old saying refers to doing something with no real planning; mostly hoping luck will be on your side. I spend some money on a bit of Amazon marketing each month, other than that, I rely on former readers, word of mouth and the few links I post on my blogs – like this one to all of my books. Using keywords and massive doses of social media are not my style. I guess I must be hoping that someday one of my books will hit it big – a little like winning the lottery with about the same chance.

Like so many who love to write, that is where I spend my time. I read much about marketing, but continue my efforts with my, by gosh and by golly approach. I guess at my age - that is what I do.

From the Old West – Army mules are branded U.S. meaning Unsafe at either end

What Am I Working On? – Finishing up front and back materials for my fourth kid's chapter book. With a bit of luck, I will finish today. I had a good week of writing, 5,000 plus total words working on a variety of projects.  

 Photo of the Week –
Terrific afternoon yesterday with my grandson watching the
 Wyoming Cowboys on a beautiful Laramie afternoon

As always, you can find all my books here on Amazon
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Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
Don’t forget Monday is coming up.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Indian Summer

Indian Summer - It has been a most interesting week. Cold and now back to wonderful fall weather. Technically, it is too early for Indian Summer, which according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac cannot start until the middle of November. Thinking that they are not taking elevation, where I live in Wyoming, into account, I have decided that it has started. After all, by definition Indian summer starts after a hard freeze, we were down to 10 or 11, which should qualify.

The term, Indian Summer most likely started with the eastern tribes and settlers. Winter cold brought on peace, as the harsh weather kept both settlers and native people working hard just to get through. But, if the weather turned nice again, it could bring on the fighting between the tribes and settlers of the East Coast.

From the Old West – “A go-getter is a cowboy who forgot to hobble his horse.”

What Am I Working On? – I should finish the first draft of my 4th kid's chapter book today or tomorrow followed by, edits, readers, a few other touch-ups and publish. After that, it will be back to my third Blade Holmes western mystery, tentatively titled – Wendover. By the way, that working title is the fourth for this book.

My first Blade Holmes (Commitment) novel continues to sell quite well on Amazon, the second one, (The Ghost Dance) which I really like, does okay but has never sold as well.

What Am I Reading? Still - Reading Wallace Stegner Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West.

My Photo of the Week –

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Keep on reading and keep on writing – have a great weekend!