Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lakeshore Drive and Books for Sale

Work is going well in the park. Lakeshore Drive was open today and I drove to Black Canyon Cove and back. Looks like two major areas of concern, the crumbling road on a very dangerous curve
Wonderful looking fix on a very bad curve
and a bad culvert.
The CCC would be proud of the way this was fixed in their style
I stayed until just before dark waiting for the sunset, it wasn’t spectacular but was pretty nice.
Sun turns the sky golden over Laramie Peak - looking from the boat dock
When the moon started peeking through the trees I knew it was time to head for home.

 My newest novel, Commitment, is now available as a book or eBook
Take a look here
Commitment is a historical mystery/western, set in and around Fort Laramie and south to Laramie City and Cheyenne. Good old fashioned story with a bit of mystery, romance, bad guys and one very special good guy – great fun.

And of course, my book on the Building of Guernsey State Park can be found almost anywhere online and at many local sellers.
Get it here from Barnes and Noble

Or get it here from Amazon
Hey, talk about the perfect Christmas gift for everyone that loves the park.

Need a book for the kids or grandkids? My two kids chapter books are good clean fun.  

Fast moving adventures of growing up in the 1950s, with a ghost and Zombie just for the heck of it. Find them along with all my books here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

How I Write

Seems like there is software for everything now. I have read a few recent blog posts about the newest in writing software. I know that many modern writers use Scrivener, which helps writers manage their work from outline to formatting. I have thought about giving this one a try, then decided, you know the, “hard to teach an old dog new tricks,” adage. So I passed.
Still pitch my books the old fashioned way also - here talking to the Goshen Co. Historical Society
Civilian Conservation Corps book
Now I read promotions for writers of software that plots or helps a writer to plot, gives a writer story ideas, keeps the bad guys separated from the good guys and does just about everything but wash the pots and pans in the river. Although I have never tried any of these, it seems that the story lines would seem a bit mechanical and contrived. Not sure any software can replace imagination and an author's imagination is what makes a writer stand out.

At times, I feel like I should be still writing out stories or story ideas on my old legal pad – oh, never mind, I do still do that. But I do not use a typewriter. I write on my laptop and occasionally when I am out of the area on my tablet, but the word program seems to be a bit more cumbersome on my tablet so I usually try to take along my laptop if I think I will have time to write.
My office - where I write when I am under a deadline
For the most part, I sit in my easy chair in the family room or at my desk in my office and write.
My blogging, reading and game watching - Command Center - in the family room
Occasionally, when the weather is perfect, I write outside on the deck.

As for story ideas, I have too many to write in my lifetime. How do I keep track of characters, plot lines and other elements of the story? In a notebook, with pen and pencil, old fashioned but it works for me. My fifth book, Under Western Skies, 12 Tales of  Christmas, will be out in a couple of weeks. If all goes as planned, my sixth and my second nonfiction, should be out by the middle of May.

My go-to  home library

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Still Working and Enjoying the Fantastic Fall Weather

Spoke at a very nice Rotary Club luncheon today in Cheyenne. Gave me a chance to talk about my Civilian Conservation Corps book and tell a few stories about Guernsey State Park. Great crowd and I sold a few books too.

In other news, I have finished the re-write of my historical western, Commitment.
Is available now as an Ebook and should go live as a book Friday. Pretty excited as this was a long project, glad to see it over and the book, well the book, is a really good read, even if I am a bit prejudiced.

I still plan to have my western shorts  collection of Christmas stories out by the first week in November, and I have a title - Under Western Skies - 12 Tales of Christmas.

Also hard at work on the third of my Mike and Moose and Me chapter book,
and researching my next non-fiction. Life is good when you keep working, but not too much. I accompany my wife for a nice hike in the park several times a week. Walking in the park is great exercise and most therapeutic.
Taking a break hiking a CCC trail in Guernsey State park a few days ago

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Writing Can be Hard Work - Or Sorry About all the Photo's of Me

Trying to edit one book, complete another and research a third may not be good for a writer’s mental health. But, that is what I am doing, not sure why. I have a backlog of several completed, first draft books that I need to edit, polish and just finish up. I remember reading once that writing can be the loneliest profession and whoever said it may have been trying to do too many things at the same time. Oh, and I attempt, often weakly to sell a few of my books also.
Pitching a book
It is so easy to get started then look up and several hours have passed. Unlike many writers I don’t do much during the regular work day. Guess my 42 year teaching career warranted some of the normal work day hours off. So when do I write? Three in the afternoon to whenever I decide it is time to quite, three to six hours most days.
Research trip? Sitting in the Oregon Trail Ruts south of town yesterday.

Walking, playing golf, gardening and photography take up many of my mornings, not a bad way to spent the early part of the day either. Not sure I could ever treat writing as a day job. I have written for many years, publishing my first stories more than 30 years ago. Now that I am retired I still write in the evenings and on weekends, same as I have done for three decades. Does that fall under the old adage, “you can't teach an old dog new tricks?”
Typical working morning for the old history teacher

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom we can neither resist nor understand.

George Orwell.