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

 

 

 

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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 –

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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 –

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

Writing the West 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 and 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 –

single cottonwood

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

Find me on  Twitter at @wyohistoryguy 

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

Photo 2 –

Nt herd

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Site Coming Soon

In the near future – who knows what that means – I will be moving most of my blog posts to WordPress.

With Google+, shutting down soon anyone that would like to continue following me, can find me here on my new Facebook author site

Or find me on Twitter, here –  @wyohistoryguy

nice from davis bay

I will still be on blogger, but may start doing more with my WordPress site just in case Google abandons it blogs also.

I still blog on several Google sites but will be doing much more here on WordPress, including a new author/writing site – information coming soon.

 

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Slow Sales and Slower Writing

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

birds & beasts.jpg

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.
best shot

best shot

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.

 

 

Published in: on May 24, 2018 at 12:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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My New Book is Out

I am happy to say today that I, at last, got out my second book in the Blade Holmes western mysteries. This one entitled, The Ghost Dance, follows Marshall Holmes from Fort Robinson, Nebraska to Nevada and back to the Sioux Reservations of Southern, South Dakota.  The book centers on the famous circle dance of the white shirted dancers, the Ghost Dance. This one has lots of authentic western history and is a very nice follow up to, Commitment, the first Blade Holmes historic novel.

In other writing news, I am nearly finished with my final touches of my gardening book, then it will get final edits and off to my first readers. If everything goes well, I hope this one is only a few weeks away.

So what am I reading? Thomas McGuane – Keep the Change, so far I am enjoying it, even if it does fit best into the dreaded category of Literary Fiction. I am also reading and enjoying, Postcards, by famed Wyoming writer, Annie Proulx.

My book sales are picking up right now, always a good thing and the weather is looking more and more like spring. Can’t wait to start digging in that terrific garden soil again.

Keep on reading and keep on writing.

 

Published in: on April 10, 2017 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Writing to the End

img_6880Seems like my book sales always tail off in the first part of each month. I am not sure why, but there might be a reason. I am not much of a self-promoter and usually see an uptick after I do some type live of presentation. I do not have thousands of follows on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus like many writers do. My numbers have grown the past few years slowly, as I usually hand select which one’s I want to refollow.

It is embarrassing how slow I have been in getting new books published. I get down to the last few edit, revising and first reader steps and then start something else, or stall out on a book cover. I have always enjoyed writing the words, not so much with selecting or building book covers.

The last few weeks have been full of meetings, travel, Dr. Appointments and bad weather for us. Those seem to be pretty good excuses for my slow down.

I read a nice post recently about plotting or not plotting when writing a novel. It always interests me when I see how others go about putting a story together. I start with an idea, usually an event. In the two books that I am working on covers for, here is the ideas I started with. With my children’s book, book three of a series, It was easy, the entire series has a theme. In my newest, my three protagonist kids meet up with a vampire. This follows the theme of the first two where they met up with a ghost and a zombie.

My historical fiction is a bit more difficult. In the first of what will be four or more novels with protagonist Blade Holmes, he gets involved in a real mystery following bad guys back and forth from Laramie City to Fort Laramie Wyoming. The second book, also partially set at Fort Laramie ends with the Ghost Dance in the Black Hills.

After I have an idea, with nothing else to go on, I write the first chapter, letting my mind take it where it may. After that, I put together a few notes on where I want the story to go. With these notes, I will often write down scenes and places I want to include. Then I start writing. I never pick an ending at the start, often half way through I know how it will end, sometimes I end in a place and with an event that surprises me.

Love to hear from others as to how you put a tale together.

https://www.amazon.com/Neil-Waring/e/B00XV26KLC

 

Published in: on February 10, 2017 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Saturday Thoughts on Writing

Seems like western movies are here to stay. Every year or two a couple of new ones are fairly well received, at least well enough for someone to make another. I still see quite a few new, westerns that look and read a lot like the pulp westerns of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Not sure there is much of an audience for these and all are self-published. On the other hand, historical fiction, historical mysteries, and historical romance seem to still have quite a large audience. It also appears that writers of historicals are finding success with both self-publishing and traditional publishing.

Although I call this site, Confessions of a Writer of Westerns, I actually write, in most cases, historical fiction. MY definition of historical fiction is a work where the story is fiction, but the setting, events and some of the characters are real to the time and place.img_2964

My present novel, which I am still in the process of editing is a fictitious look at the Ghost Dance in the weeks before the terrible massacre at Wounded Knee.  In the work I use six main characters to carry the tale, and of the six, three are mine, and three are real people from the period and place. I enjoy writing this type of fiction, but to keep it authentic, it takes many hours of research. The research material becomes part of the story and adds to the history lesson that many historical fiction works carry. I hope that after reading my historical fiction, readers will do some research, finding out more about the events, people, and places in the story.

Before finishing I always run my stuff through a readability check. I like to make sure my works fall into an area where they are readable and understandable but not too hard. My kids’ books I try to get to a fourth-grade level my regular books around a low high school level. This lower high school level is above what is allowed on most government regulations that are to be read by all of us, ordinary people. By the way, this post comes in at 9.8 or just under, 10th-grade reading level, pretty normal for most novels today.5 horses

Published in: on February 4, 2017 at 8:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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