Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Writers Week

Here in Wyoming, we have been blessed with the wettest May and June in the 35 years I have been in the state. Seems almost like I am back in the Nebraska farm country where I grew up. Gardens are looking terrific, now bring on the sunshine.

Writing – I have been spending more time researching people that served at Fort Laramie, for my next nonfiction offering, coming out in early 2019,  than I have spent putting words on paper. To some writers, research can be tedious, but I have run across countless wonderful stories. I am getting some work done on that book, and some on my third Blade Holmes western mystery, not a lot, the Blade Holmes book, about 1,500 words this week and the nonfiction, just over 300. Let me see, if my math is correct, I am only writing about 250 words a day. Why so little? Well, I have been playing golf about three times a week, spending time taking wildlife photos and building wooden tomato cages for what I hope will be a bumper crop.

Reading – Not sure how I missed this one but am reading and enjoying Mari Sandoz’s, Love Song to the Plains, terrific book. I am also spending more time reading about book marketing, probably won’t change the way I do anything, but it does put forth some good ideas.

Selling Books – As seems to happen this time of year, my nonfiction CCC book on the building of Guernsey State Park is selling pretty well. The rest, well, I will say they, like me, are moving along, but not as fast as they once did.

Today’s Photo’s – Backyard garden, and from the Civilian Conservation Corps, (CCC), built Guernsey State Park.

Summer Reads – Want something lighthearted and quick? I have two books that will fill the bill – my latest, On Turning 70, and my book of garden tips and short stories - Beginning Gardening & Other Entertaining Lies, which Includes - 4 Garden Murder Mysteries. Give one or both a try, click the link and read the free first chapter or more.

Enjoy the summer and keep on reading and writing.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Writing Westerns and a Trip to the Laramie Range

The garden is planted, the flowers are blooming and summer is here. I remember watching so many old (maybe as old as me), characters in TV westerns when I was a kid. They often talked about the sun making it easy on their old bones, now it’s my old bones enjoying the warm weather. Think I must have reached that point in my life. I spend time every day in the sun, and more in the shade, but still outside on these terrific summer days.

Writing – Blazing away on my third Blade Holmes western mystery, or at least working along on it. I have also taken some time to polish my second book of Christmas short stories this week. Kind of fun sitting in the sun and writing about cold and snow.

Reading – Much of my reading is centered around research for the books I’m working on, but I always take time to read for relaxation also. Right now I am enjoying, William Kent Krueger’s, Minnesota adventure, Iron Lake.

Selling Books – As is to be expected this time of year, sales are slow, glad my writing income is only part, and presently, a small part of our income. I have had a few weeks with only a handful of sales and darn few KDP pages read, but in the end, it will all work out when fall arrives.

Writing tip – Start with a character, preferably your protagonist, and put them in a mess – yep, create conflict, keeps readers turning pages. Here is how I started my second Blade Holmes novel, The Ghost Dance.

The man riding alone on his horse should have heard the shot, but he was already dead. The huge .52 caliber slug had torn through his shirt an instant before the sound reached his lifeless body. The noise from the big gun reverberated through the canyon, but only the shooter heard it.
Less than an hour later U.S. Marshal Blade Holmes found the body, vultures looked to have arrived shortly after Jimmy Spear had been blown from his saddle. The young, smallish Appaloosa he’d been riding was grazing oblivious a hundred yards away.

Todays Photos – From west of town on our Sunday drive and from our backyard.

It’s hot outside, super time to get in some extra reading and writing.