Thursday, August 3, 2017

Neil A. Waring - My Life, Writing and Selling Books

What a day, with a high of 71 and it only stayed that warm for about an hour. Feels like fall, my favorite season, but then that reminds me that winter follows fall, so I am ready to bring back the heat.

Speeding Up My Slow Down
I have been writing but at quite a slow pace all summer, even the number of my blog posts fell off to only ten in July, about half my usual output. I decided to start, another, new project to see if that would help me get going. So far I am off to a pretty good start with about 4,000 words. Must be working as I have written nearly three thousand words on two of my other projects. Writing at an average of one thousand words a day ranks with my best weeks each year. Maybe the cooler weather will keep me writing.
Chester doesn't care how much I write as long as
 I toss him a few snacks.

Selling Books
I have been trying to do, once again, some book marketing. Right now I am going to concentrate on a book that I really like, but it has not found a market yet. I thought this one (Ghost of the Fawn), had it all, mystery, intrigue, Native Indian mysticism, murder, romance a good chase and lots of fun. I am considering changing the title as this one was set in 2015 but I’m afraid readers may think it is historical fiction instead of the mystery it is. The book does have three flashback chapters, which give it some history and more mystery.

Here is an excerpt, taken from chapter 4, from Ghost of the Fawn.


Mary Bison-Man sipped from her tea, asked if the boys wanted their glasses refilled, both shook their head no, and she began her story. The story of the Arapaho from a time long past and a legend that was one of the greatest in their history.
“It was in the years when the great Sioux Warrior Chief Shunke Witko (Crazy Horse), was trying to gather all the people to push the whites away from Indian lands.  It was only eight moons from when the tribes would kill Yellow Hair on the Greasy Grass River, the one the whites would call, Little Big Horn up in Montana. The tribe was moving closer to Fort Brown for the winter but wanted to take a longer trip for supplies, a trip to Fort Casper about 100 miles east of here. Casper was much larger than Fort Brown or the small village of Riverton and the tribe thought it a better place to trade for winter supplies. In those first years on the Reservation, it was good to get off the Rez whenever the chance came.
The railroad had already reached Casper but didn’t go on from there, just stopped. Small freighters carried supplies to Lander and Riverton, but not near the variety the tribe could purchase in Casper. The Indian, like the white man, had learned that wherever the railroad went the supplies were abundant. Only the most basic of supplies came on west by wagon.  The few wagons that came did not make it far past the towns, and none found their way to the outlying areas, like to the Rez. This would be the third year the tribe would make the journey to Casper for winter provisions.  Most that made the trip were young but a few of the old people, because of their status as elders in the tribe, also made the journey. Ghost-of-the-Fawn, who at nearly eighty summers, was still strong and spry for her age, traveled with the group over the silent objections of Iron Cloud, the chief, and two of the sub-chiefs who were to lead the group to Casper and back.
“Ghost-of-the-Fawn was the most powerful medicine woman in the history of the tribe and had done much good for all the tribe. That is why she was allowed to go.  No one knows what she carried in her medicine pack that day or any day, but I guess you boys are hoping to find out, am I right?” Before Jimmy or Robert could say a word, she added.            
“What makes the two of you so much smarter than all those others who have looked for that pack all these years? No one has ever found a thing.”
Jimmy and Robert turned at the same moment and looked at each other. Jimmy nodded, and Robert began. “We’re hoping for luck, the others didn’t have, and the last two summers have been the wettest in years, lots of snow and more rain than usual, people are starting to find old relics out there again like arrowheads and bones, stuff that’s been washed up by the rains.” Before Robert could finish the screen door swung open and banged shut. 
She was the most beautiful girl Jimmy had ever seen. After taking a long puzzled look at Jimmy and Robert, she sat down, cross-legged on the floor next to Mary Bison-Man and asked, “Who are our visitor’s, grandmother?”
“These are treasure hunters from Indiana, child, only they won’t find nothin’.”
Jimmy could not take his eyes off the teenage Indian goddess who had only now entered his already complicated life. His mind wandered as Mary took over the conversation from Robert and continued her story.
 Jimmy had forgotten all about the treasure, now it was this girl, a girl that had just moments ago entered his life, that he wanted to know about. This girl sitting, Indian-style, on the floor, wearing red Addis sweat pants, sandals and a gray tee shirt that said Lady Chiefs across the front. She had eyes the color of sparkling green jade, not the brown that Jimmy had believed all Indians had.  Her hair was also different, it had an almost magical look, a shiny coal black with a bright white stripe down the side, Jimmy wondered how she put it there, and if other Indian girls on the reservation wore their hair like this. She looked about as tall as Robert, her skin was a golden honey color, and she was, well she was breathtaking, the most beautiful girl Jimmy had ever seen.
“Jimmy, oh Jimmy,” Robert whispered, then whispered again, “Jimmy,” louder the second time. 
“What, what?’ Jimmy answered.
“Where are you? You look like you’re in some kind of a zone man.” Robert said with more than a bit of irritation creeping into his voice.
“Oh, sorry, just daydreaming about the treasure I guess,”  Jimmy murmured, as he lowered his eyes, after taking yet another quick peek at the young goddess, then pretended to be thinking deeply.
Mary continued the story and then suddenly stopped and said, “Forgive me and my poor manners, I was so caught up in my own story that I didn’t introduce you to Echo, boys this is Echo-of-the-Fawn, Echo this is Jimmy and Robert. From Indiana and hunting, as I told you, for treasure, hey, you boys aren’t related to that Indiana Jones are you?” She chuckled, again, at her own joke, Robert smiled, and Jimmy felt his face flush red with embarrassment.
“No, no relation,” Robert answered.
“Echo has lived with me since she was eleven days old. She is the last of a line, a line of the most powerful medicine clan in the history of the Arapaho nation.”
“Grandmother, you know what I think of those old legends and stories, if they were true I wouldn’t be the last of the line, someone would have healed themselves or one of the others if they really could. Wouldn’t, they?
She looked at the two newcomers and said, “Besides, if I were some powerful medicine woman wouldn’t I have powers like Spiderman or Batman or, at least, Wonder-Woman?” Then she turned to her grandmother, winked at her, shrugged and sat quietly. It was nearly dark when the boys crawled into the red Thunderbird and turned east toward Hell’s Half Acre. 
Jimmy and Robert built a small fire in the cave, tossing in a few sticks of firewood they bought at the 7-11 in Riverton  It was late, but they no longer worried about being caught by someone seeing the fire.  So many people were in and out of the canyons each day that Robert lettered a sign for the cave. ‘PLEASE—WE ARE CAMPING—DO NOT MESS WITH OUR STUFF!!!’

I spend time, every day, on the deck reading and writing and watching little ones like this.

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