Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Late May Writing Update

Seems pretty quiet around here. Schools out, and the pool and golf course are busy. I am spending time working on my lawn and garden, and my wife is planting flowers. As far as my writing, I am doing some, but not as much as I should be, churning along at a pace of 500, or so, words a day. I am still working on both a fiction, and a nonfiction project at the same time, most often working nonfiction sometime during the day and working the fiction story late at night when I should be sleeping.

Another Book About to Go – An odd time of year for it, but I am putting the finish touches on my second volume of Christmas stories, to be released in mid-October. It has been complete, except for one last story, since January, right now I am adding the front and back matter.

Book Sales – After a slow couple of weeks, sales are picking up once again. Happy Days.

Now Reading – I should say looking through, Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters, by Bill O’Neal, interesting nonfiction read.

Photos today from our Memorial Day trip up into the Snowy Range.

Meanwhile, enjoy the start of summer, and keep on reading and writing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Writing, Reading, and the Distractions of Summer

Spring seemed quick, we are now into some summer-like temperatures, and it feels wonderful - until it gets too hot.

Yard Work - At one time, not so long ago, I enjoyed mowing and trimming the lawn. The lawn care only took a few hours a week, not much, but now I look at mowing as a chore that has to be done more than something I really like. In that vein, we do have some nice flowers started to show off in the yard, and that I like.

Writing Outside - I am writing churning along at five to seven hundred words a day. Right now I am doing most of my writing sitting outside on our deck. Writing outside can be a bit of a distraction watching birds at the feeder and the squirrels arriving to get their share. Living in a military town I also like to watch the helicopters, C-17s, and 
C-130s, as they circle practicing touch and goes and helicopters practice their version of the bucket brigade, for the fire season in the west.

Book Sales – My KDP pages read are way down, sales of both eBooks and soft cover books are down some but not nearly as much as the pages read has dropped. Not sure why thinks have tumbled so far on the financial side of my writing, I can only speculate.

10 Reasons Book Sales are down – My best guess

1.     People are spending all their free time mowing and trimming their lawns leaving no time to read.
2.     Fishing is picking up
3.     It is the start of picnic time
4.     School is out and adults, along with their kids, decide they will play video games on their phones instead of reading during their summer off.
5.     Too many baseball games to watch and not enough time
6.     Readers are turning to, summer romance on the beach books, instead of what they normally read
7.     Invaders from another galaxy have entered reader’s brains, and have them reading endless political and royal wedding articles online.
8.     Sunstroke
9.     Everyone has decided to reread old books
10.   Summer reruns have started on television and are too captivating to miss.

What Am I Reading? Mountains and Molehills, by Frank Marryat. I am also beta reading a book, far out of my normal genre, for an indie-author, so far it has been a fun read.

Enjoy the rest of the week, and please, keep on reading, even if the yard is calling.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Writing and Social Media - Spring Photos Too

Lots of May showers here in Wyoming hope that leads to an abundance of good pasture and many wildflowers.

My writing has taken a backslide as we had guests here the past two weeks. We did get to do much in the way of catching up, and, of course, took some time to see the local sites.

Words - I did get a thousand words, or so, on my nonfiction, but nothing else written in the last 10 days. Meanwhile, my third in the Blade Holmes, western mysteries, sat by waiting for more words, but it didn’t happen. Did have time to edit the 6,000 words I have completed, I like the story so far.

Cutting Back – I have cut back some on my social media, I just don’t have, or do not make, the time I need to use everything I was trying to do. I have several sites on Blogger along with this one, an active presence on Google Plus, and I try to keep going strong on Twitter. I recently created an author site on Facebook, and hope that will make up for giving up, mostly, on Word Press, and other sites that I just could not keep up with. (Please feel free to click the link and follow me on my Facebook author site). I am also posting less often, which I find may not be good, sales are down.

Speaking of Sales – Sales of my soft cover books and eBooks are trending down. May has also started with a downturn in my KDP pages read. At times I think maybe everyone that wants to read my stuff has already done so – then miraculously, everything takes off again. Waiting for my next uptick, but not waiting patiently.  

Reading- Much like my writing, my reading has suffered lately. I am re-reading a favorite, Absaroka Ambush, from  William Johnstone’s Mountain Man series. I have also started, (just), David Dary’s, Cowboy CultureA Saga of Five Centuries. Looks to be a fine reference for those who write about the old west.

Todays Photos – From a drive this week up to the tiny mountain village of Esterbrook, 50 miles away.

On Turning 70 - See my latest book here, a tongue in cheek look at aging, at least up to my age. 
Here is that 70-year-old taking a break on Horseshoe Creek

Have a great week, enjoy the beginning of spring, and keep on reading and writing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Writing Update and Fort Laramie

Another month has come and gone, and we have reached May 2018. I remember May 1, May-Day as a big deal when I was a kid. We would do something called a May Pole at school, and after school deliveries of May-Baskets full of candy to our friends and sweethearts – not sure any of that goes on in today’s world. But, the 1950’s in the middle of America were much different than today.

Selling Books – April never seems to be a great month for selling books – speaking of my books only. I was down a bit in pages read, eBook and regular book sales. Still, I am happy to be able to pick up enough each month to pay a bill or two.

Works in Progress – As I was with my last post I am spending most of my writing time working on a nonfiction work on Fort Laramie, and my third Marshal Blade Holmes western mystery. I am also spending time watching my grandson at baseball practices and reminiscing about my days as a kid.

What am I Reading?The Hair of Harold Roux: A Novel, by Thomas Williams and still reading, A Guide to Photographing Rocky Mountain Wildlife, by Weldon Lee.

Life in General – My wife and I enjoyed spending time at Fort Laramie this weekend in the celebration of the 150 year anniversary of the Treaty of 1868. The crowds were big, and the weather was nice - a wonderful event. I am also spending time tending my growing flats of, tomatoes, onions, and flowers, three more weeks, and in the gardens, they go. Still spending some time, out in the wilds, with my cameras, and doing our walking.

Today’s Photos – From the four-day celebration at Fort Laramie.
Keep on reading, keep on writing, and enjoy the renewing season – Spring

From our backyard