Sunday, October 28, 2018

I Write What I Feel

I Write What I Feel
So many times writers are told to pick a genre and stick with it. Pretty good advice, but I never follow it. Why, because I write what I feel, as my mood or life changes, my writing seems to change with it. Not a great way to get rich writing, but a nice way to keep my sanity, or what I have left of it.

I have published three non-fiction books, one a serious look at the Civilian Conservation Corps and the building of Wyoming’s beautiful Guernsey State Park, the other two are more of what I call, just for fun.  I am in the process – likely before Thanksgiving, of publishing my fourth in the - Mike and Moose and Me, series of kids chapter books.

When I am in the mood to write something longer, or more serious I write western mysteries, I have two Blade Holmes books, my best selling books, and a stand-alone novel set in central Wyoming that revolves around an ancient people’s mystery, and a modern-day murder. I also just published, only the eBook is available so far, the second of two collections of Christmas short stories.

There you have it – my eclectic writing collection.

From the Old West Lonesome creates diseases that friendship cures.

What Am I Working On? – Nothing the next eight or nine days – we are heading on our annual trek to Branson, Missouri. That means I may miss a post or two, but I will be back, rested and ready.

 Photo of the Week –
Nice looking young couple

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What a history and story this place must have
Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

Don’t forget - next weekend we get an hour back as Daylight Savings fades away for another year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Writing Time

It’s Writing Time Again
Sometimes I worry because I am such a non-morning person. Odd, since I was in my classroom teaching by eight AM for 42 years. Now that I am retired, and have the time to write full time, I find it hard to get up and get going. Because of this, I have become more and more an afternoon, evening and sometimes late night writer. So when is your writing time?

Hemmingway, despite his often, late nights, liked to write at first light. Stephen King writes six pages a day starting at eight or eight-thirty each morning.   Charles Dickens was at his desk by nine and wrote until two, taking a quick break for family lunch; afterward, he walked for three hours, and then enjoyed the rest of the day. No matter where I look, it seems everyone but me writes in the morning.

I do try to do my blog posts, which I have now turned into a twice-weekly effort, in the morning. Maybe these posts will spur me in to write more in the mornings.

The bottom line is – It doesn’t matter when you write, but if you write. I am writing five or six hundred words a day, plus whatever I do on my blog. Just write!

With great apologies to Buck Owens –
 It’s Writing Time Again and, I’m afraid the words will leave me
I can feel those faraway places in my mind
Saw this doe taking it easy on our evening ride yesterday

From the Old West –  Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

What Am I Working On? – Back to doing some research on my nonfiction work about Fort Laramie. Also working out the rest of the outlines for two fiction books.  Editing my kid's chapter book - again.

 Photo of the Week –
Front yard - looks like I have some raking to do - Lucky that some fall into my pickup.

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Keep on Reading and Keep on Writing

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Marketing and Selling Books

Book Marketing
I have not spent much time marketing my books, and I am afraid it shows. Most of my marketing efforts would be what people forty or fifty years ago called, by gosh and by golly. That old saying refers to doing something with no real planning; mostly hoping luck will be on your side. I spend some money on a bit of Amazon marketing each month, other than that, I rely on former readers, word of mouth and the few links I post on my blogs – like this one to all of my books. Using keywords and massive doses of social media are not my style. I guess I must be hoping that someday one of my books will hit it big – a little like winning the lottery with about the same chance.

Like so many who love to write, that is where I spend my time. I read much about marketing, but continue my efforts with my, by gosh and by golly approach. I guess at my age - that is what I do.

From the Old West – Army mules are branded U.S. meaning Unsafe at either end

What Am I Working On? – Finishing up front and back materials for my fourth kid's chapter book. With a bit of luck, I will finish today. I had a good week of writing, 5,000 plus total words working on a variety of projects.  

 Photo of the Week –
Terrific afternoon yesterday with my grandson watching the
 Wyoming Cowboys on a beautiful Laramie afternoon

As always, you can find all my books here on Amazon
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Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
Don’t forget Monday is coming up.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Indian Summer

Indian Summer - It has been a most interesting week. Cold and now back to wonderful fall weather. Technically, it is too early for Indian Summer, which according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac cannot start until the middle of November. Thinking that they are not taking elevation, where I live in Wyoming, into account, I have decided that it has started. After all, by definition Indian summer starts after a hard freeze, we were down to 10 or 11, which should qualify.

The term, Indian Summer most likely started with the eastern tribes and settlers. Winter cold brought on peace, as the harsh weather kept both settlers and native people working hard just to get through. But, if the weather turned nice again, it could bring on the fighting between the tribes and settlers of the East Coast.

From the Old West – “A go-getter is a cowboy who forgot to hobble his horse.”

What Am I Working On? – I should finish the first draft of my 4th kid's chapter book today or tomorrow followed by, edits, readers, a few other touch-ups and publish. After that, it will be back to my third Blade Holmes western mystery, tentatively titled – Wendover. By the way, that working title is the fourth for this book.

My first Blade Holmes (Commitment) novel continues to sell quite well on Amazon, the second one, (The Ghost Dance) which I really like, does okay but has never sold as well.

What Am I Reading? Still - Reading Wallace Stegner Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West.

My Photo of the Week –

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Keep on reading and keep on writing – have a great weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Reading and Writing Westerns

We had the first good snow of the year over the weekend. We got about three inches, nice to see it will be warming up over the next two weeks. Maybe I will still get the rest of our garage painted this fall.

What Am I Working On? – Added 3,500 words to my kid's chapter book – pretty good week for me. This book the 4th and possibly last of my Mike, Moose and Me series, will be complete at 12 to 15 thousand words, I am over 8,000 now, so getting close. I also spent some time working on my newest non-fiction book, tentatively titled, Elderly. It is just nicely started with about a 1,000 words and a partly completed outline.

What Am I Reading? Still - Reading Wallace Stegner Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West. 

I am also revisiting a book I started a while back but did not finishLove Song to the Plains, wonderful read by the incomparable Mari Sandoz

My Photo of the Week –

North Platte River Narrows in  the lake at Guernsey State Park

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Old West Knowledge- The good thing about talking to your horse is – he will never talk back.

Photo of the Week 2 –
Little Mule Deer as the sun disappears for the day

Keep on reading and keep on writing – have a great week!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Counting Words and Sunshine

It is nice that, at last, we have some sunshine in our part of Wyoming. We have had quite a few cold, wet, dreary days in a row. Today the sun is shining, and I have spent some time outside enjoying it.

What Am I Working On? – I am still working on the fourth and most likely last of my kid's chapter books in the series I call, The Mike, Moose and Me Growing up Mysteries. Each of these books is 12-15 thousand words. The print is a bit larger and the spaces between sentences a little wider, making them easy to read for younger readers. Surprised and happy to find some older readers enjoying these books also. The books are pure fiction but based on my life and times growing up in the 1950s.  
Like many writers, I keep count of how many words I write each day. (Only with my books not posts like this one) Unlike many writes I have no goals for words per day, just like to keep track. This week I wrote - Monday – 197, Tuesday 198, Wednesday 289 and Thursday 1,501words.

What Am I Reading? – Reading Wallace Stegner - Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West

This is an excellent read, the stories are all, at least, a quarter of a century old, but still terrific today. The book itself is a collection of essays and reminiscing. For those of us who live in the west and for those that do not – a nice collection.

My Photo of the Week –

On the Grounds of Fort Laramie

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Keep on reading and keep on writing – have a sensational rest of the week.

Photo of the Week 2 -
Jr. High Football in October - Nothing Better

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A New Book and Finding Steampunk

With the weather here wet and cool, I have plenty of time to write. If it were sunshine and warm, I would be out finishing the painting of our garage. I am always happy to have an excuse to skip painting.

What Am I Working On? – At last, I have finished my second volume of Christmas stories. I enjoy writing them, but it might be a few years before I am able to come up with enough for a third book of Christmas tales.  This book titled – Under Christmas Skies, is already available as an eBook. The soft cover should be ready in the next two weeks.
What Am I Reading? – My first ever steampunk story. (Artificers Apprentice by D.H. Edwardson) It is a short story of 25 pages, I read the first half or a bit more before, I became distracted and started writing this post. I do not have much of an idea what steampunk is, that is why I decided to try one. The story, so far, is excellent and well written. By the way, I found this one free on Amazon. If you, like me, want to learn a bit about a genre called steampunk, I linked above to this free story.

My Photo of the Week –

North Platte River in Guernsey State Park

As always, you can find all my books here on Amazon - 

Look me up on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

Keep on reading and keep on writing – have a sensational rest of the week.

Photo 2 -

Young Big Horn Sheep

Monday, October 8, 2018

Places to Find Me and My Stories

Looks like Google + will be shutting down. Hate to see it, as I enjoyed being on the site. According to their news release, Google+ has not been doing well, but the huge data breach is what pushed it out.

With Google+ shutting down soon, anyone that would like to continue following me (and I hope everyone follows), can find me here on my new Facebook author site -

Or join my 800 followers on Twitter @wyohistoryguy

I will still be on Blogger but may start doing more with my WordPress site just in case Google abandons it blogs also. I am also considering a new WordPress author/writing site - news coming soon. 

Guess what? First snow of the season here this morning - not much but snow is snow. Have a terrific week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I Think I Am Back

After taking two months off, I am back to writing. Went through, what we all do, some tough times, and just couldn't do it. Proud of myself for putting down almost 8,000 words in the last four weeks. That is not a lot by most writing standards, but for me, it was pretty good after nothing for ten weeks. Was able to finish my new book of Christmas Stories to follow up on the one from 2015. They are not all westerns but many are, and all are set out west. 

Next, I hope to finish the fourth in my kid's chapter books series, and then on to book three of my Blade Holmes western mysteries.

Hopefully, I will be back here more often.