Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Writing In a New Year

Christmas is over, and now we are counting down to the New Year. Each year I make a few resolutions, and each year they seem to go quickly by the wayside. Last year I decided, for the first time, to keep track of how many words I wrote and published. I did it, but am not sure I will keep track this year, seemed to put too much pressure on me, and I started worrying about the days I didn’t write. Sometimes that causes a bit, or a whole bunch of bad writing, not worth saving. (Oh, for the record, I wrote a tad less than a quarter of a million words this year. Quite a bit for me but partly because I wrote a lot recently, trying to finish up last year's goals)
Geese on the ice

This year my goals are simple - 2017

1.     Publish the third of my kid's books – This book is finished but is yet to have a cover. I am sure to get this one out. The first two of the Mike, Moose, and Me series were fun and sold a good number of copies, I hope this one does as well.  
2.     Publish the second, in what I hope will be a series of five, western mysteries, with Marshall Blade Holmes as the protagonist.  This one is 90% written, but has some things I need to clean up. Then editing.
3.     Finish my modern day mystery, set in a Wyoming small town with murder on a golf course. This is to be a novella, and I am about the halfway point. Fun, especially for golfers and mystery lovers. (still in the western genre)
4.     Publish a book for gardeners, yep gardeners. This one started on a whim and now is about 2/3 complete. Gardening tips in the western high country with every fourth chapter a murder mystery.
5.     Continue research and writing of my second nonfiction book. I hope to add another 20,000 words to this one before the years is out.
6.     Keep on blogging, for the past few years I have written more than 100 blog posts each year, twice over 200, this year about 10-12 each month on my various blogs should do.
A few minutes before sunset

2016 - This year I published one book and one short story. I also ran a five-day reduced price, promotion on my Christmas book, which was well received. I also did a giveaway of a short story, that story is still doing well, selling for .99 cents. My newest book, Ghost of the Fawn, has enjoyed a good run on Amazon, staying in the top 200, where it still is, for several weeks.
We hiked this trail a few days ago - wonderful

Will I Make This Year’s Goals? - Maybe I will do more than my stated resolutions in the New Year, I hope not to do less, it often depends on our travel and my love of photography and golf. Several things I am sure of. I will run a couple more promotions for my books, I will take lots of photos, I will write and edit, and put some time in at far away, but not too far, destinations.  

Winter ski from the trail

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Long Night - Short Day

Short Day – Long Night, and Our 48th Anniversary - December 21, the shortest day and longest night of the year. That means days will start getting longer tomorrow and we can start counting down to spring. As gardening is one of my passions, I need only countdown to February 15 when I start planting inside. Today is our anniversary also, and how could it be better, with half of our six grandkids here to celebrate with us.
Winter Sky

Selling Books - On the seventeenth I started a five-day promotion, selling my book of 14 Christmas tales for .99 cents. Results have been mixed, sold very well the first day, not bad on the second, and then back to normal, still fun.  Still, time to get a copy if you are interested just hit this link.
100-year-old house and three or four-year-old buck (my estimate of years) 

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch -  I am still trying to get a bit of writing done, but with shopping, and lots of time with kids and grandkids it will not be much – but I’m not complaining. Love this time of year. I often read sites where writers talk about locking themselves away to make sure they get their work done, even over the holidays. Not me, love to write but, for me, it's family first.
Winter at Laramie Peak

2017 Resolutions - Now as I have mentioned before it is time to get my writing goals for the next year down on paper. For me, it is never too soon to start giving up or cutting back on my yearly resolutions. Especially the loose weight and exercise more ones!
One year ago Guernsey Lake

Merry Christmas everyone!
Santa's Reindeer Getting ready for trip

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Book Now .99 cents

Under Western Skies, now .99 Cents
Great Christmas Reading – and all set out west

Give yourself a Christmas Present and for less than a buck. That’s right for five days, my book of 14 Western Christmas stories – Under Western Skies - is only .99 cents.
14 stories and 144 pages, plus a bonus chapter at the end from my western novel Commitment, 160+ pages in all and that’s a lot of reading for less than a dollar.
If you like Christmas and you like westerns, this is the book for you.

Take a Look

Under Western Skies: 14 Tales Of Christmas by [Waring, Neil  A.]

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The End of the Year - Goals & Selling Books

Remember the old line from Alice in Wonderland, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get?” When I was a kid, more than a half-century ago, I used to see it quite often, I think we had a napkin holder on the kitchen table with that Lewis Carroll quote. Funny, I saw it often but had no idea what it meant.

Goal Setting - It took a lifetime to understand, but now I do, especially this time of year trying to tie up last year and get into a new one. This time of the year I start thinking about setting goals for next year. My first goal will be to work on them, and actually try to reach my goals. Seems to be much better than just surrendering in the middle of the year.  I fell woefully short this year, I wanted to publish three books. I published one and one short story. I wanted to write 300,000 words, watered down from my original goal of 350,000. I wrote just a bit over 200,000.

I wanted to publish a few more of my photos, I didn’t say how many, so I guess that I may have reached this one, as more than a dozen were picked up by various people/companies.

Dollars & Cents - I also wanted to pick up some paid writing, I also made that one. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, but my word count needs to improve. Next week I will be posting my new goals which I hope to work harder at this time around.

Yikes, My Neighbor Is A Vampire - I have, at last, finished the third of my kid’s book series, all I need now is a cover. I am pretty happy with this one, should be fun for 6-11-year-olds. What follows is a cut from page six of the first chapter with the 11-year old me narrating.
I grabbed my winter coat from the peg by the door, scooped up a pair of gloves, and my favorite stocking hat, pulled them all on, and headed outside. This time, I was careful to push it shut tight, I had been reminded enough times the past few weeks. I jogged along the first twenty or so yards, then took a full run and slide on the ice in front of Mike’s house. We were still in trouble for getting out the garden hose and building our little ice rink, but it sure was fun. Maybe leaving the hose out all night and then breaking it, several times, the next morning is what got us into trouble. That must be it because everyone loves a good slide on the ice.
The book, like all my kid's books, runs between 11,000 and 12,000 words. Should be fun.

Selling Books - I mentioned on my Wyoming Blog a couple of days ago how happy I was to see the reception and sales for my latest book, Ghost of the Fawn, it has consistently sold in both eBook and softcover and stayed in the top 100, in its category, on Amazon for several weeks. Gratifying to say the least – oh, how I love readers.

In a few days, my book of Western Christmas stories will be reduced to .99 cents for five days, I will let everyone know when the sale goes live.

Today's photos all taken in the last few days – it's winter outside.

 Keep on Reading and Keep on Writing