Never Too Late To Write

It’s Never Too Late – After retiring this man decided to write a book. In his lifetime, he had published two works and a couple of essays. One of his books looked at early poetry, and another was about reading maps, both thirty years before his retirement in the early 1970s. He finished the book in a couple of years and, of course, no one wanted to publish it. At 240 pages it was, too short for some publishers and one rejected it saying, “It has trees in it.”

Finally, at age 75 the University of Chicago Press, as a favor to one of their old professors, agreed to publish it for him. This book would be the first ever fiction published by their famous press. How did it do? Well, Norman Maclean’s, A River Runs through It and Other Stories, did okay. Well, that is, if fabulous sales, a major motion picture, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination are okay.

There you have it – it truly is – Never Too Late

Writing by the Numbers Another nice week, I have settled into a routine where I am writing three to five thousand words each week. For the year, I have written a bit over 31,000 words, through yesterday, and have written 33 of the 44 days this year. I am on pace to reach my goal of a quarter million words in 2019.

Reviews – I Can’t Make This Stuff UpTo my dismay, the sample pages only contain the Foreward and Acknowledgement chapters, leaving me in the dark about the story.”   

The above was part of a one-star review I read about a very famous book. I wish this type of review could be taken off, as it has nothing, at all to do with the book.  (Note – I left the foreward, as I was using a direct quote – odd how so many misspell – foreword.

I once received a bad review for my misspelling of or misuse of a couple of words. The review stated they would go on to finish reading the book. This was at a time when I could not yet, afford an editor, still often my case. Did it really deserve a one-star if it was compelling enough to read on, and finish the book? Not in my mind, if I finish a book I will commonly rate it four or five stars. I rate on story, not on a handful of errors I might catch. I finished a New York Times bestseller recently that I noticed a – the – where it should have been they. It happens!

From the Old West The man who apologizes when there ain’t no need knows something you don’t.

My Photo of the week

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

Follow me on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

Have a wonderful rest of February.

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My Writing Week

Feeling Better – It seemed to take too long – seven weeks, but at last, I am feeling better. So much better that my wife and I have got in a couple of nice hikes in the park. Now, come on spring.

Taking a break

Writing Week A good one for me, this week a bit over 3,000 words. Three thousand might not be a lot for some writers, but for me, that is not a bad week. I saw a tweet this morning where someone’s goal for the day was 5,000 words – wow.

Book Sales January was okay, not great, but not bad. I did not sell as many books or eBooks, but my KDP pages read was up. Up for me means above 10,000 pages, about $50.00 worth. Some books sell, and others do not do so well seems to be a fact that everyone selling books has to face. My historical western mystery- Commitment – has been a consistent and reliable seller. If all my books sold as well as Commitment, I would be making thousands, not a hundred or two each month. As one of my kids used to say, “Oh well!”

My nonfiction gardening, humor and mystery book – Beginning Gardening & Other Entertaining Lies: Including – 4 Garden Murder Mysteries, is, at this time my slowest seller. Going to try a new cover and maybe with spring coming some advertising to see if it picks up a bit. The gardening book I really like, and thought it was a unique idea with the chapters of garden tips broken up with short, murder in the garden mysteries, but, alas, it never caught on. Maybe someday.

It is still too early yet to tell how my newest and fourth in the series of kids chapter books, Howling at the Moon, is going to do. It will be the second to the last book in the series, and I have been told it has a great cover – hope that helps.

Writing Goals I seem to be on track for my goal of a quarter million words this year, and that’s good.  

From the Old West – Do not tamper with the natural ignorance of a Greenhorn.

Photo of the Week –

Mule Deer Buck looking at Me

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

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

  & 

Have a wonderful February.

my site

garden book – Beginning Gardening & Other Entertaining Lies: Including – 4 Garden Murder Mysteries

three books last one Melvin books

Commitment

Christmas skies

Ghost Dance

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M8JD3B1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i14 Howling at the Moon

Book 13 – Halfway With First Draft

About  Goals for 2019 – I saw a funny tweet the other day that went something like this – “Well I have already failed on my 2019 New Year’s Resolution’s but wait until next year, in 2020 I will hold to my resolutions – wait until next year. That will be my year.

That is why I do not make any hard and fast resolutions.

Writing Year – I did say on here a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to write more – well so far, I’m doing okay. As of today January 28, I have written, with a bit of an estimate to the end of today, about 18,000 words – not bad. At that pace, I will end up only a bit short of my normal quarter of a million words per year.

New Book – I am presently hard at work on my third in the series of my western mystery – Blade Holmes books. These are not long I am shooting for fifty-five to sixty thousand words and more than halfway home with my first draft. Looks like I may have a first draft completed in February, then several editing rounds, some beta reads and, hopefully by the middle of March it will be for sale on Amazon.

Research – I am also back researching my Wyoming book – going nicely, but as always with research, slow going

Life Goals for the Year – At my age, soon to be 71 I have decided that maybe I need a few life-changing goals. I have ruled out a run for president and starting a rock band, and settled on the following.

  1. Start playing golf again – I hope I do. I have played most of my life, but last summer, life changes, and disappointments caused me to quit or nearly so. I played, four holes once and six holes once in early July, and have not played since. I used to play quite a bit, actually good exercise, even when I am riding in a cart.

 How much? – We will see, but maybe, before it gets too hot, nine holes three times a week.

  • Make sure we make our spring trip south to do some poking around in New Mexico state parks and historic sites. This trip has been planned each of the last three years, but sickness and lack of traveling cash have put it on the back burner each time. Also, make sure we, again, take our annual Branson trip in late October.
  • Start walking again – looking to get closer to 10,000 steps per day up from my present, 3,000 if I am lucky.
  • Last – get back to Nebraska, where we grew up, more often to see family and a few sites.

Photo of the Week –

Bald Eagle Looking for Dinner

From the Old West – Life is like checkers when you reach the top, you can move wherever you want.

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

Follow me on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

Keep on Reading and keep on Writingh

Published in: on January 28, 2019 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Week in Writing

It took a long time, too long, eight days to be exact to get around to my first 2019 post.

As I did last year and the year before I started this year, sick in bed. For me, the first part of every year seems to be my time for a sinus infection. When I was younger, I fought it off pretty well, popped a few pills for a week and did not miss a day of work – no longer.  Now, these things involve a trip to the doctor, prescription meds and lots of rest. I am, at last feeling better, but still not doing much.

Maybe with a start like this, the year will go out with a big bang – writing wise at least.

Goals for 2019 – Two books published and 36 read – that’s it.  I also hope to write in the neighborhood of 300,000 words. Last year I sluffed off, writing less, and taking fewer photos than I have for many years. That is what a New Year is all about, starting fresh.

What I am Working on Now – The third in my western mystery series. This one, like the others, is set in Wyoming and, so far is moving right along.

Cowboy Saying – Sometimes you’ll find a heap of thread on a mighty small spool.

What I’m Reading – I am through the first two tales in Steve Hockensmith’s highly entertaining – Dear Mr. Holmes: Seven Holmes on the Range Mysteries.

This one is a good mix of Sherlock Holmes, and an old fashioned western with quite a lot of humor tossed in. More about this later this month

Readers can find all of my books here on Amazon. All books are available as soft covers or eBooks. 

Published in: on January 9, 2019 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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My Writing Year

There Goes 2018 – Like so many people, as the year comes to an end, it is time to do a bit of looking back. This year seemed to be a slow down year for me. We didn’t travel as much, I took a few thousand fewer photographs, and I did not write as much as I have in the past.

Writing Year – I have written 250,000+ words each year since 2012 – this year about half of that. I posted on this site 43 times down from 59 last year. The other sites I post quite a lot on really took a dive. My Wyoming history blog went from 27 posts a year ago to seven this year. My Guernsey State Park blog went from 21 posts down to three. I did manage to publish a couple of books this year, although much of the writing on one was completed in 2017.

2019 Goals? – Looks like I could use some goals for the next year. Like most Americans, I would like to lose a few pounds and get in better shape. That being said, what about writing goals?

Writing Goals – I would like to get, at least, back to my quarter million words a year mark. I would also like to publish another book in my kid’s chapter books series and another of my Blade Holmes western mysteries. I also hope to finish at least one other novel and work on my nonfiction book and continue writing short stories. Wow – that’s a lot of writing, hope I can do it.

From the Old West When a cowboy’s too old to set a bad example, he hands out good advice.

Photo of the Week –

big horse

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

And

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy 


Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

Have a wonderful New Year.

My Writing Week

One thing I have learned is that when I am not feeling well, it is hard to write. Other than a handful of blog post, like this one, and a bit on social media I am nearly down for the count. A bad cold is whipping me, every day I think it will be better but, so far, not much. Enough about how I feel – read on.

Writing QuoteWrite while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.

Henry David Thoreau

deer in grass.jpg 

What Am I Working On? Two weeks ago I had a book nearly ready to go to my first reader – it is still there. Hopefully, who knows, maybe today, I will feel like working on it again.

Christmas Books – Don’t forget about my newest book, a book of Christmas short stories – G rated and fun. This one follows volume one that I published a few years ago. Both books, each containing 14 stories, are available on Amazon. Brighten your Christmas season and read a few short Christmas tales, all with happy endings. 

Reading – I am doing some reading, presently enjoying C. J. Box’s Trophy Hunt. I thought that I had read all of the books in the series, then discovered I had missed one from several years ago. Like all of Box’s books, this one is an excellent read.

From the Old West When a cowboy’s too old to set a bad example, he hands out good advice.

 Photo of the Week – Like my writing, photo opportunities have been few the last ten days. I did get out this week for two sunsets and found some interesting opportunities.

best sunset.jpg

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

                                         Or

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

 

Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

 

Published in: on December 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

When is 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

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 my nonfiction work on Fort Laramie, also more edit’s on my chapter book and continuing work on outlines for two fiction books.

 Photo of the Week –near empty lake

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

                                               Or

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

 

Meanwhile – Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

 

 

 

Published in: on October 24, 2018 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Indian Summer and Writing

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.

Walk in the Park

Nice Hike Yesterday

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 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 –

Hawk

Hunting

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

                                          Or

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

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

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 19, 2018 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Writing Week in Review

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 –

narrows

The North Platte River Narrows in Guernsey State Park

 

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

or

follow me on twitter at – @wyohistoryguy

For all the Cowboys and Cowgirls- The good thing about talking to your horse is – he will never talk back.

Photo of the Week 2 –

little guy

This little Mule Deer catching the last of the sun yesterday – This one would have been born in May or June

 

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

 

 

Published in: on October 15, 2018 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reading and Writing in Wyoming

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, simply like to keep track. This week I wrote – Monday – 197, Tuesday 198, Wednesday 289 and Thursday 1,501words.

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

This is a terrific 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 –

IMG_1784

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

or

follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

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

Photo of the Week 2 –

IMG_5761

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 12, 2018 at 6:34 pm  Leave a Comment