Saturday, July 29, 2017

Neil A. Waring - Writers Update on a Super Summer Day

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. – James A. Michener 
Oh – That First Line
The above quote about sums it up for me – I like the sound of words when strung together in great sentences. Once in a while, often a long while, I write something that I think sounds great. Sometimes I will read it to my wife for her reaction and hope she likes it as much as I do. Like everyone else who writes, I have read the lists of best first lines or best opening paragraphs, most I like, some I scratch my head. Regardless all writers hope to come up with a great opening hook – keeps readers reading. And not only an opening hook, but enough great lines to make the read memorable, possibly quotable.

Works in Progress
So here I sit today working on a couple of different projects but having a tough time with the opening lines. That’s the way I write – most of the time. First I get an idea, then I write the opening line, paragraph or typically the entire first page. From that point, I outline, or in my case, more of a list of where I will go from there. Don’t get me wrong here, I have opening lines for these in progress works, but I’m not sure I like them. Maybe it’s my way to not work too fast or too hard on a pleasant summer day.
From our Backyard Garden

Good day to be Outside
Today I am sitting on our back deck writing this post, temperatures have moderated, at last, and it is once again comfortable outside. My wife is sitting at the table reading on her Kindle, and I am typing away sitting in one of the Adirondack chairs my dad built to sit on our front porch, when I was a kid, more than 60 years ago.

 Almost Silent
It's comfortable outside listening to birds singing, the occasional dog barking or car passing and the helicopters from the near by base whirling overhead. Seems like all the sounds come in a jumble then it turns almost silent except for a Blue Jay calling from high up from the safety of one of our front yard Aspen trees. Such is life in our small town in Wyoming.
They Stay Around all Year - Fun to Watch

Think I have something, time to write, and for all of you,  keep on reading and keep on writing. 

Need a relaxing read? See all my books here

Cliff Swallow Nests at Register Cliff - along the Oregon Trail

Monday, July 24, 2017

Writing Westerns - What? Writers Block!

There is no such thing as writer's block, anyway, that is what seems to be a hot topic for bloggers lately. Maybe so. Might not be such a thing. I always have ideas but sometimes life gets in the way of my writing. I am not blocked right now but my time seems to be. Summer time, lots of visitors, and outside activities, that might not be writer's block but it does slow me down a bit. I am back to work on several of my projects, working some here and there as time and my mood allows.
 My Office - Everything I Need and Ready to Go

Goals - This time of year is the perfect time to set some goals for fall and winter. I hope to complete three of my projects/books by Christmas. Most of my writing each year takes place in the fall and winter anyway so there may be a chance I will make that goal.

Selling Books - I also hope to continue to market my books keeping my sales on a steady rise. Sales since May have been the best for me since I started selling on Amazon more than two years ago.

Books by Neil A. Waring – my books
My two historical fiction books with Marshall Blade Holmes, Commitment, and The Ghost Dance are doing particularly well. My book of short Christmas stories, Under Western Skies, continues to sell despite Christmas being half a year away. My newest book, Beginning Gardening and Other Entertaining Lies, with real tips and lighthearted stories, is selling surprisingly well. Not because it is not a good read, actually I am quite proud of it, a book that is both a good garden resource and some smiles, along with a handful of murder mystery short stories.
Front Yard Visitors a Few Days Ago

My other five books also continue to sell a few copies each month despite all the things potential readers have to do in the summer.

Meanwhile – Keep on reading and keep on writing

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Coming Soon - My Tenth Book

After doing little writing the past several weeks, something happened – I started again. Not too fast mind you, but I am spending some time at it. Two days in a row with over a thousand words. Those two-thousand plus words are more than I wrote the entire month of June. Guess I was on vacation and didn’t know it.

Seems lately I have been reading quite a lot and some of it about writing and editing, maybe that is starting to sink in. Now it’s time for some goals. First, actually my only goal so far, is to publish my next book, it will be my tenth, before September first. If I keep working, I might make it.

Lawrence Block, who created one of my all-time favorite fictional characters Bernie Rhodenbarr, might have said it best when it comes to taking time off from writing.

"I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing — writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”

Lawrence Block in Writer’s Digest

Blue Herron - Looking for a snack in the mud

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Man From Hanksville - Terrific Western Read

A couple of weeks ago I finished Oscar Case’s excellent western – The Man From Hanksville. I planned on reviewing it earlier but spent too much time watching Little League Baseball. Just kidding, no Grandpa can spend too much time watching a grandson play baseball, and the kid is pretty darn good.

The Man From Hanksville is another fine read from Arizona Western Author Oscar Case, this is one I enjoyed as much as any western I have read this year. Written in the traditional western style but without the over the top violence, this is a book I am sure all western readers will enjoy. The story follows Jimmy Snyder the sheriff that cleaned up Hanksville as he attempts to start a career as a writer. From that point everything, well almost everything, except for the girl goes south.

This one is my kind of story, a western but a good mystery also, who are the bad guys? Who is in the grave? Why does nothing seem normal? All the parts for an entertaining read, and a couple of good horses too.

Can't seem to post without a photo or two - I took these in my front yard about an hour ago. In case your are wondering, we live in a small town in beautiful eastern Wyoming.

Thought for a minute they wanted to borrow my pickup

I took this photo standing on our front porch about 30 feet from these Mule Deer
As an old guy, I should have hollered at them

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Neil A. Waring - Writing Update

Update time
As seems to be my M-O, when it turns to summer my writing becomes sporadic at best. I have done a bit of work on a few smaller projects and posted a handful of blogs, but, otherwise, have been pretty silent when it comes to writing. I have finished one short story I like and another is nearly finished. I spent a few hours in research for my next nonfiction and wrote less than a thousand words on my novel in progress, the third of my Blade Holmes novels.

So – What have I been up too?
Just returned from the state Cal Ripken League, (11 and 12-year-olds), state tournament. Not much that beats watching a grandson play baseball on a hot summer day. We watched four games the past two days.
I have also been out and about with my camera watching wildlife

and watching where I step.
Question - Why was the Rattlesnake crossing the road
Answer - To see how far, and how high, and old guy could jump
The garden is doing well, picked our first tomato on July third. We are picking many raspberries and harvesting some very nice onions, peas, radishes, and soon, it looks like Bell Peppers.

Now Reading
Thomas McGuane’s, Nobody’s Angel and Tony Hillerman’s, Talking God, very different but both good reads. We are also listening to a pretty good thriller as we travel, might need to look at the title so that I can mention it here.

June Book Sales
June was a pretty good sales month, as my softcover books and my, KENP, (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read), were up significantly, my Kindle pages read was my best ever month! My E-Books continued an upward trend started a few months ago for which I am most thankful. All in all, a nice month.

Why Do We Like Summer?
That is the question my neighbor often poses. We spent time working on the lawn, working in the garden, traveling, visiting and hosting visitors, relatives, and friends. We also have to put on sunscreen, mosquito repellent and take constant showers to wash away sweat from the hot summer days.
A pool of clear water in a mountain rock crevice

My neighbor lady suggests we should embrace winter rather than summer as it is the time for relaxing. A time for sitting around reading books, watching movies, and complaining about the cold as we happily sit by the fire sipping a favorite hot beverage. I think she may be on to something.
Maybe not!


Keep on reading and for all you writers, keep on writing, even if it is hot and time for summer at the lake, pool or on the golf course.  
Not many know that all the horses and mules from Rocky Mountain National Park are taken to Fort Laramie for the winter. Old animals from the park are also retired there.