Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last Post of the Year

Look's like we are about to do away with another year. I have much to look forward to in 2018. I have two books being edited now, and another soon - so, fingers crossed, three, maybe four, new books this year. Also coming, our anniversary number 50, and my birthday, number 70. 

Not sure how I feel about that last one. 

As of this late date, I have not come up with a list of New Year's Resolutions. No wonder, they never last long for me. But, I am thinking about a few things - maybe, just maybe. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday season. We never mind the snow this time of year and it's a good thing as we have several inches on the ground. Nice White Christmas 2017.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


We are enjoying mild temperatures for the middle of December making it not at all Christmas like. But I did remember it was time to write my annual letter. I have for years, written my, tongue in cheek letter, I will admit only to it being an anti-everyone else’s letter. Here is an example from the second paragraph.
Reindeer ? - Probably not!

Christmas Letter Excerpt - Our kids, Jennifer, Aaron, Thomas, & Andrew, are all doing well. The grandkids, like everyone else’s, are all special, good looking, and talented. Jan and I are shocked and happy when people are surprised to learn we are over 50 years old and often remark, “You guys don’t look a day over 30,” It makes us feel so good. NOTE – I made up that last part, but our kids and grandkids really are fantastic.
 I write the entire letter without really saying much of anything, and that’s the way I like it, and I have written 49 of them. All letters are on one side of the page only – short and sweet.
Winter Look

A Week Of Writing - The reason I am talking about my Christmas letter, is because I am not getting much done with my two work in progress books. Some but not much. Christmas programs, shopping and maybe a bit too much time out and about with my camera have slowed down my writing. I did write about 5,000 words last week which is about average for me. My winter word numbers often run to 10,000, but guess I will take five.
Thanks to everyone who purchased my Christmas storybook, I watched with pure glee as it rose into the top 25, for a time, on Amazon.  
Open water and Ice

All photos were taken this week - my early winter collection.
Below Power Plant - Guernsey Dam - On the North Platte River

Thursday, December 7, 2017

At Last Cold Weather and a Time to Write - A Lot

Cold weather has set in here and it’s almost comical how much my writing has picked up. Yesterday I final-edited 30 pages from my humorous nonfiction look at aging, and completed another short story for my Christmas book, coming in 2018.

A Writers Struggles - I still seem to be struggling with my third western mystery. It is another Western historical mystery with my popular protagonist, Blade Holmes. Thinking about trashing the two chapters and outline I have, and come up with a new story. Meanwhile, I will just keep working on other things.

Outlining or Not - Speaking of outlining before writing, I have a bit of an unusual method, or at least it looks odd to me. I outline or list what I want to happen in my novels and nonfiction books. With short stories, I start with a title, use it for my inspiration as to where the story will lead. Occasionally, I will write a short story then go back and change the title I started with, but not often.

I keep saying coming soon, and hope it is a true statement - With a bit of luck I will have two books ready soon, one in the next few days, and another, the fourth in the series of my kid's chapter books, should be out within six weeks.

Photos - I still attempt to get out with my cameras most days. If the weather is nice we walk and I snap what I see, and when it’s cold most shots come from the warmth of my pickup.
All of today's photos are from one of our afternoon adventures.  

Keep on reading and keep on writing, and make sure to buy yourself a nice book for Christmas

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Stories From Out West

Excited to see my book of Christmas Short stories, all set in the west, up to Number 35 on Amazon – Thanks for readingUnder Western Skies

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Best Selling November

It’s almost the end of another month, not sure I am looking forward to cold weather, but with December, we know it is coming. I can still remember as a kid what fun it was to play in the snow. We skated, sledded, played our own version of hockey, fox and goose, snow forts and so much more. Now, I stay inside mostly. 
No snow here yet, but like a movie promo - It's coming soon

Remembering back - That's why I am still working on the fourth of my Mike and Moose and Me, series. Books for kids and about kids growing up. I have been pleasantly surprised to have found an older readership for this series also. Seems that lots of people who grew up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s have found a kinship for these books.
Winter - The third book was set in the winter, and I wrote it in the winter, remembering the fun those times were. The others in the series are set in the summer, the best time, out of school time.
Dinner time

Free Read - Take a look and read a free sample from the first of my three kids, Mike and Moose and Me, books HERE.
For a peek at all of my work CLICK HERE to go to my Amazon Author Site.
Meanwhile - Yesterday was a picture perfect day in our little part of Wyoming

Book Sales - Thanks, for making November my best month ever! It is both fun and rewarding to watch my sales continue on an upward trend.

Keep on reading and keep on writing.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Writing Update

Most of Thanksgiving is over – part of the family has left, part is still here. It was a terrific day, I only overate a little bit. Believe it is getting close to evening meal time, we used to call it supper, but believe I will settle for a glass or two of iced tea.

No writing today, except for this of course. Tomorrow, or Saturday I will be back to work on two of my works in progress. The first is finished, except for some final touch up. The second, the kid's book I talked about here a few weeks ago, and the fourth in the series, is getting close to what I hope will be an exciting finish. 

I continue to struggle with my latest full-length novel and my massive nonfiction book but occasionally work on them. Seems I have the motivation to write, but only in a light-hearted vein. I did finish up another short story, number seven, for my second volume of Christmas stories. Originally I planned to have this volume II ready by today – oh well, maybe next year.

Sales – Wow, thanks so much. Most pages read and most e-Books sold in a month and with another week to go. Hope it keeps up!
Today’s photos are from our hikes in Guernsey State Park the past week.

Have a great weekend - keep on reading and keep on writing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?
The title, with apologies to a great song from my high school years, asks a question that I really wish I knew the answer to.  Much like everything else, blogs seem to come and go. Over the past decade or so, I have watched several that I enjoyed go away. One of my favorites, the writer got simply tired of posting and interacting from his front porch cabin. It was hilarious and he had quite a few followers, including myself, who often joined in on the front porch conversations. Two others, that I really looked forward to reading passed away – sad as neither was what I would consider old. Others just quit posting, one I checked on yesterday to see what happened, it is still up but no new posts for over three years, guess I will give up on that one. Another blogger recently announced he was quitting because, well, I’m not sure, giving up because he was tired of it and moving on to other things. One lady who wrote my all-time favorite gardening blog, gave up because she didn’t have as many followers as she wanted, too bad, as it was a terrific blog for gardening and food preservation.

So why am I writing this? Am I about to quit? No, not yet and not thinking about it. I have been blogging on this site for nine years, and eleven on my Wyoming site. I have not posted as much lately but that is a slowdown, I’m not quitting anytime soon.

I have always enjoyed reading a good blog but lately, most of what I read are big commercial type blogs with hundreds of thousands of followers. I like reading many of these, but they do not seem nearly as personal as ones I followed back in the old days of blogging, a few years ago.

Recently another of my favorites has slowed to nearly a stop, hope he makes a comeback.

Selling Books - Odd, but I have done no recent advertising and as my readers are aware precious few posts, but my sales and pages read are up. Who knows what drives book sales, just when I think I have it figured out – I don’t.
We are just back from a nice break, spending a few days in the Ozarks enjoying shows and great company in Branson.

Today's photos - are from our daily walks the past three days – wow were we tired after returning home, but we forced ourselves out on the trails anyway – once we were out we enjoyed them, came home and crashed.

Have a great week and keep on reading and keep on writing. 
This one I snapped on vacation at one of my favorite childhood haunts outside of
Fairbury, Nebraska where I grew up

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November - After a Fast Finish in October

Packing and getting ready to head out for some R & R.  Reminds me of years ago when someone asked Willie Nelson if he was ever going to retire. His answer, “Retire from what, all I do is play golf and play music.” That’s much like me saying I am going for some R & R. All I do is write, take photos and play golf. I also watch way too many football games and am enjoying this year’s World Series.

Vacation - We are off to Branson, Missouri, we have been there many times and always enjoy the entertainment and the friends we will meet there. On the way a chance to catch up with brothers and sisters.

Writing - I have not done as much writing as I expected this month although I did finish one small project I have been working on. The small project/book is about turning 70, which incidentally will happen to this old guy in early March. I thought a thoughtful but humorous look at turning 70 might be fun to write and fun for others of us Golden Year people to read. It is a short read of 75, or so, pages and after some editing should be ready to go by Thanksgiving. I had hoped to get out my second book of Christmas short stories this year, but it looks like it will not be ready in time.

Sales - I started slowly this month and then everything turned around, and October became my second best ever, sales month. Thanks, everyone.

Work – Work – Work - I am still working on other projects, both fiction and nonfiction, just not very fast. Looks like my next finished book will be the fourth in my series of kids chapter books. There will be a fifth book, and then the series will likely end. My third Blade Holmes novel is still in the outline, thinking stages, but someday it will take off.  I am still researching my second Wyoming history book and will be into my third year with it soon, might need to speed this one up a bit.

Now for 10 days of travel and relaxing. See you soon – Keep on reading and keep on writing. The first thing to pack? Reading material.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Writing in the Fall

Here in Wyoming, we are having a spectacular fall. Warm weather and wonderful colors. Looks like it might be winding down with more wintery weather coming in. Winter keeps me inside much more than I like, but it does give me more time to write, which I am looking forward too.

Lately, it seems I am too tired, or not motivated to sit down and write. I have several projects going but seem to have stalled on all of them. My wife has suggested that maybe I am not interested in any of the stories I have going. She might be right, I may be bored with them or, YIKES, they might not be good.

Considering that I am blogging about half of what is normal for me I guess I will chalk up my lack of writing to a shortage of motivation. But I will forge on – who knows – might be today. We do have a week of vacation planned, then for sure, I will start again – or maybe. . . . 

Enjoy the day and keep on reading, and keep on writing – as for me, at the present time I am reading, David Baldacci’s, The Christmas Train. Might be a little early, but it is an entertaining cozy mystery, I’m enjoying it.  

The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.

Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

After a Bit of Time Off

I have taken a few weeks off - seems a series of trips to the Dentist and Cardiologist will do that. If you are as old as I am, or close, you may have heard the expression, "I was feeling kind of punk." It came from when wood started to rot and got punky, not sure I like that definition but then again . . . .

Muted colors as the sun was setting -  Mule Deer  does and fawns

Now I am feeling better and hope to get back to writing more than a couple of hundred words a week, where I am now. I have always tried to post on this blog three or four times a month and hope to still make it this month. 

View from the Castle on the North Bluff in Guernsey, Wyoming State Park

We are also planning our annual trip to Branson Missouri, in early November. We have been going there for many years, and it always seems to rejuvenate me, and along with that, my writing.

Walking up a mountainside

Meanwhile, my sales and pages read also seem to be slipping - might be my lack of advertising and blogging. 

My wife and I have been out the past few days hiking and walking, and with that, I have taken a few, okay, a lot of nice fall photos. Enjoy!

See all of my books here - read a free sample.

Taking a break on our Saturday afternoon hike

Keep on reading and keep on writing!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Writing Can Be Hard Work

I have written several posts over the past few years about how fickle the process of selling books can be. This has been emphasized by my nearly complete lack of sales in September. It doesn’t help when bloggers write about September being slow because of school starting, doesn’t console me much.

Christmas comes early in the Laramie Range
Writing - Today instead of sales I am thinking more about the writing process. Seems that every week I read or learn by writing, new things about the process. Following is a list of what I learned about writing this week.

1.  Although many writers say that all first drafts are crap, I have learned that forcing myself to write results in something so bad it cannot be fixed.
2.  Not feeling like writing most often results in no writing
3.  Maybe there really is such a thing as working on too many projects at once
4.  Tired and Dr. appointments are good excuses to not write, but nothing more – still not many words on paper.
5.  Writing is hard when lacking enthusiasm and goals
6.  Maybe what I’m writing is boring me – Should I follow Elmore Leonard’s advice and leave out the boring stuff, in this case maybe an entire project or two?
7.  On the good side of writing – I am reading a couple of good books at the present and enjoying what others have to say about writing. Guess I am in the school of, when I don’t feel like writing I enjoy what writers have to say about the process.
New growth Aspen - in a burn area, looking wonderful

Fall is here - In other news, It’s fall, and here in Wyoming the weather is turning and it is officially my favorite time of year. I am hoping for a long and beautiful autumn, full of good writing, photographs, and friends.
Almost harvest time

My wish for you - Write on, and read on and get out and enjoy fall.
Photo’s today from our time out and about in beautiful Wyoming this week.

See all my books here  Free sample pages