Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stories All Around Us

I've been a Bad Blogger. I haven't written a new post in 11 days, oh no! But I've been traveling, visiting, Thanksgivinging (I made that word up) and helping a loved one move. But the entire time I've been working on a new novel by Story Sparking. (I just made that phrase up, too, and writers will know what I mean.)

There are Sparks, or Story Ideas, Everywhere! Here are a few - based on real events - that I've tucked away in my brain for possible future use in a novel (all names and places to be changed to a fictitious version of course.)

  • Driving a rental truck across several states and narrowly avoiding a several car pile-up in the fog. Or having the truck (with all your worldly possessions) break down on a narrow stretch of mountain pass (oh, and let's have a snow storm, shall we?) and waiting for hours until another truck becomes available, only to have to move everything from the old truck to the new one. But then you accidentally drop the cat carrier and the hinge breaks and the door springs open and out flies your cat . . .
  • Arriving in your new location, and the movers you have lined up to help you unload boxes are the shiftiest looking people you have ever seen, and you are alone. Or wait, maybe it's the hunkiest, most handsome guy you've ever seen and he questions you about your life, and you tell him, but finally you are alone in a new apartment in a new town, a new state, with everything that constitutes your entire life stacked in boxes around you and it's just too much, too much - and you begin to sob but you can't find any Kleenex, or toilet paper, and your cat begins to howl because it wants out of the cage which is now wired shut, and the neighbor opens his door to greet you, and . . .
  • Okay, I ran a little long on that last one. How about you are in the airport flying (home after Thanksgiving, moving, starting a new job, whatever) and you meet a young man waiting at the gate with you, for the same flight, and he confides that he's just ridden the bus three days from Alabama, and now he's flying to the Northwest for a job and it's the first time he's ever flown on an airplane, and he's a little nervous. So you comfort him, and ask about his life, and he tells you he's making a new start, a better life for his daughters. How old? you ask. They're six, he relates. Oh, twins? you ask (a natural question.) Nah, he says, flashing white teeth in a huge grin, and you really, really want to ask more, but decide to leave it at that.
See what I mean? Stories all around us.

Now must begin Writing . . .

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Snow

I decided this morning that I've lived in the north country long enough. Normally I delight in the first snowfall of the year, get out the camera and take pictures of the lovely snow-laden branches and crisp frosty air, crunch through the new-fallen snow in awe of its beauty.

This morning, I woke up and said "oh, it snowed. It's going to be a long winter." Then I laced up my insulated rubber boots, discovered there was a rip in the outer covering which means I need new ones, padded over the cold garage floor to find duct tape, and proceeded to patch them together so my feet wouldn't get wet and frost-bitten. After pulling on several layers of clothes, an orange Carhart fleece cap (it's still hunting season,) scarf and mittens, I trudged out to feed animals and take the dogs for a short romp.

At least Penny, eleven months old, thought the snow was pretty fun. Here she is pointing at mice or some other suspected "prey" in the grass.

For my part, I'm dreaming of warmer climates. But at least winter gives me plenty of time to curl up by the fireplace and read, which is one of my favorite things to do in life. And write.

Just a short reminder that a giveaway of two copies of my brand new ebook, THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES, is going on over at Equestrian Ink. Here's the link if you haven't entered: and the contest runs through the end of November, 2011.

Do you like winter?
Or do you groan and whine, like me, and dream of summer?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Club News!

Our New Book Club (hmm, we don't have a name yet, maybe we should remedy that) is off the ground and running. We had our third meeting this week with eight members and a lively discussion.

So far we have few rules, and are managing to pick books by consensus. Usually someone has read one and recommends it, but occasionally we pick a new release that no one has read, but we've agreed that they sound awesome. And we're managing a mix of heavy topics interspersed with lighter fare.

Here's what we've picked to read for the next few months:

Sarah's Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay

The Last Time I Was Me, by Cathy Lamb

The Lost Wife, by Alyson Richman

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

My Life in France, by Julia Child

Second Glance, by Jodi Picoult

Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Are any of these titles on your reading list?

Already read some of them? Let us know what you thought!

Feel free to jump in with a comment!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A New Book - Finally!

Gosh - folks - getting this brand new book out was like birthing a ten pound baby in a short but furious labor. Releasing an ebook is a different critter than releasing a paper book.

Why? Well for one thing, releasing a hardback book often takes up to two years, at which time the UPS man delivers a box of books to your door, which you open lovingly, take one from the top of the stack, inhale the wonderful new book smell and then begin to gingerly turn the pages, all the while thinking "Mine. I WROTE this."

No, publishing an ebook with a brand new publishing house, whose staff is keeping round-the-clock hours, means it's possible to sign a contract just over two months ago, go through two rounds of edits with a head editor, be working on copy edits, acknowledgment pages, and an author bio right up almost until the release date itself, with your stomach in knots hoping everything is finally, actually correct. Then looking at your pages in a PDF document on your computer, formatted in book form, with a beautiful cover with wild horses galloping across it, thinking - Wow, this looks (and reads) pretty darn good!

Then, on Release Day (yesterday) looking on the Musa Publishing/ Euterpe Imprint site and seeing a picture of your book cover and it now says "Featured Book." And then seeing that it's actually up on Amazon, too. (It will be on the Barnes and Noble site soon, also.)

If you want to know the actual length of time it took for THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES to go from glimmer in this author's brain cells to published, you can read its journey on fellow Musa author Sharon Ledwith's blog:

If you want to know some of the reasons I'm glad it's coming out as an ebook, read Euterpe's blog post right here:

THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES is now available in all electronic formats PDF, ePUB, Mobi, PRC. It's a great book for Horse Lovers of all ages - from 9 to 99. (My 86-year-old mother is reading it in PDF form on a laptop.) So Go! Buy it! (It's only $4.99) And be sure and let me know what you think!

Right now I'm going to go take a well-deserved Nap. Birthing this book was Exhausting!