Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Characters Have Become My Friends

I am doing my final read-through of my historical fiction novel, Commitment. ( I call it a western mystery) Then it goes off for edit and then to my readers.

When I finished I wondered what happened to several of characters from the novel, I also wanted to know what was going to happen next. Looks like I will need to write a second book with my main character, Blade Holmes.
Laramie Range - The setting for my historical fiction novel
Reminds me of Terry Brooks who said in his, Lessons From A Writing Life, “ If you do not ever wonder what happened to your characters after you stopped writing about them, you did not care enough about them in the first place and do not deserve to know”.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Three Rules for Writing

I read many books and articles on writing. Something I am sure many aspiring, and some successful writers also do. But of everything I read, seems like its Mark Twain that had the most knowledge of what it took to be a successful writer.
My favorite Twain quote on writing – his  three rules for writing. “First write, second write, and the third is write.”
Doesn’t really let anyone in on how Mr. Twain did his writing but a good idea of how hard he worked at it.
Speaking of three rules, Somerset Maugham once said, “There are three rules for writing a novel, unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
So why did I think of this stuff today? I am patiently waiting for, what I hope will be my final review copy of my CCC book. I thought I was done, but I didn’t like the looks of the formatting on my last review copy. Re-formatting a book with nearly 300 headings and 200 photos is not that much fun. Thought I could do it in 10 hours or so – took about 50.

My new three rules for writing.
   - Write and write some more (this is the fun part)
   - Edit and re-edit (not as much fun, but not bad)
   - Format it correctly the first time (not fun to do this one again and again)

And, how about a number four? If you don't do number three correctly all the lines may not match up as needed and wanted. (See #3 above)

My attempt at night photography - saw this yearling moose walking up out of a creek bottom about a half hour after sunset Sunday evening. Looks like he/she is still dripping wet. This photo has nothing to do with the post but I don't see many moose and thought it might be fun to post.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Writing and Vultures

Seems like the more writing blogs I read the more mixed up I become. Outlining or not outlining, traditional publish or self-publish. EBook or no ebook. How much should an editor do? Maybe a good proofreader is enough.
Sometimes I wonder why I read so many of these posts. Oh, I guess it is because I am always looking for one or two great tips. So today I will vary from my usual words of wisdom. That was a bit of a lame joke attempt.

 Not sure this has anything to do with writing but I had to post this great photo. Saw a wonderful vulture photo a few days ago and mentioned in the comments that I had always wanted to get a shot like this. Well, lucky me. Last evening I took this.
Sometimes when we hike these guys follow us - maybe they know something we don't

In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, is is unnatural, hostile and menacing, It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time. W. Somerset Maugham
More than a bit of wind on the lake last evening

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Too Much to Do

I have learned my lesson – maybe. Lately, I have been working on three books at the same time. Actually I took a peak at a fourth but we won’t talk about that.
These are not genre westerns, two are kid’s books and one is a nonfiction book about the Civilian Conservation Corps. The one I took a peak at is the western.
So what have I been doing? Trying to get both the print and Kindle additions ready. Thought it would take a couple of days at best, well I was wrong. From now on I am going to try to work on one book at a time.
The two kids books (3rd and 4th grade reading level) – Melvin the E Street Ghost and, Then Mike said, “There’s a Zombie in my Basement, are part of a six-book series.
My other book, no editions for sale yet, will be out by Friday. It is the nonfiction book and I am really quite proud of the way it came out. The book entitled, The Civilian Conservation Corps & the Building of Guernsey State Park – With Folktales and Stories of the Park, will be returned with finished edits Tuesday and should be for sale by Friday.

Bad Weather and Heading West on the Oregon Trail

Spring snowstorms are not uncommon in Wyoming, but all of us seem surprised each time we get one. We were so dry in March I was afraid that we would dry up by the middle of June – not now.

When pioneers headed west they had to very careful of the weather and spring storms. They weren’t this far, not yet. The early wagons would have reached Nebraska around this time of May. One of the crossing's on the Oregon Trail in southeast Nebraska was the Little Blue River near present day Fairbury, Nebraska, and that river has been out of its banks for several days.
When I hear sportscasters talking about how courageous some athlete was for: hitting some shot, taking the big shot or scoring the winning points, I think about these people. Now they were courageous, fighting the weather, often all the way west.
Trail Ruts south of town - taken before the recent snow

We are blessed to get all of this rain and snow this time of year. My part of Wyoming only receives about 12 inches of total moisture each year. So far in the month of May over 5 inches. Lovin’ it! 
The North Platte River, south of town, is running strong

Monday, May 4, 2015

Re-writes and a Walk in the Park

Doing some re-writes on all three of my books. Hope to have all ready to go again in the next week or ten days.
 Celebrated the completion of finishing the first with a walk in the park. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch as here I am taking a break.
Or maybe I was just enjoying the view.

Now back to work. But first some early spring beauty.
The first wildflowers are starting to show blooms
Beautiful and Creepy
With a bit of good luck, my next post will fill you in on my newly finished books. And some links.