Back to Writing

I may be back, or at least I hope I’m back. With a little luck, a fast horse, the grace of God, and lots of fair weather and sunshine I am going to attempt, again, a five or six times a month blog post.

It’s been a long year. I have dealt with things I never wanted to, none of us do. Family, health, finances, aging, the same things all of us have, or will have to deal with at some point in our lives. I didn’t handle any of them well and wrote only a handful of blog posts and little of anything else in an entire year. I have several books in various states, one a finished rough draft, one 80% complete and another off to a good start. Goal – I will finish something before the year’s end.

Did I learn anything from my time off? Yes. The less I did, the more my sales fell – I know, shocking. I also kind of missed the three or four thousand words a week I was writing.

Thank you to all my patient readers who keep asking when the next book or blog is coming. Looks like there will be more.

Wanna take a look? Find all my books, available in softcover, and eBook here – https://www.amazon.com/Neil-Waring/e/B00XV26KLC

Now back to work on the third in the series of my Blade Holme’s Western Mysteries, this one, tentatively titled after a completed rough draft – Wendover

Advertisements

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.

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

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.

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  
Tags: , , , , ,

Been Away Too Long

It has been three years since I have used this blog. Way too long, but I am back. Where was I?

Writing, I guess. I have published six books since I last posted. You can find them all here. I will not be away that long again, maybe a few days.

The End of the Old West

As I was writing an introduction to a book that I am working on several thoughts crossed my mind. The book, about Fort Laramie and the American West, has been a much more than interesting research project. Fort Laramie may be more a symbol of the old west and last frontier than anything else.

Fort Laramie 1849-1890

Throughout most of its active years, Fort Laramie was the most important fort of the West. The fort protected an area that was mostly unsettled when it was established as a military fort in 1849. One could argue that the 41 years the fort was active, were the defining years of what many called the old west. Yes, there were people, quite a few, in fact, Native Indian Tribes who would soon be displaced, and a few hunters, trappers, and wanderers, and with Fort Laramie, Soldiers.

img_2315

Here I am at Fort Laramie Trapper and Trader Days Last Summer

 

 End of the Frontier

During the active years of the fort the country rapidly expanded. The Gold Rush, Transcontinental Railroad, Telegraph, Pony Express, Civil War, and economic woes in the east all lead to the end of the old west. By the time 1890 rolled around, Benjamin Harrison was president and the United States Census Bureau announced the end of the frontier. In 1893, Fredrick Jackson Turner wrote an article for the Chicago World’s Fair, stating that there was no longer a line of Frontier in America. With the closing of Fort Laramie in 1890 also came the disgraceful Massacre at Wounded Knee and statehood for Wyoming. When Owen Wister published the first Western in 1902, The Virginian, the old west was gone.

Wild West

What about the Wild West? If it ever was, which it was not, it was a part of the old west. The Wild West was a creation by pulp writers turning out dozens of dime novel westerns and a few years later, Hollywood expanded the myth.

buf-group-on-mt

My part of the Wild West – 30 Miles from home last March

 

Fort Laramie was the first sign, or last sign, of civilization to an American people who farmed the land or lived in cities on the east and west coasts and in the south. It was also a sign of things to come, and 41 years after it opened, the buildings were sold off for salvage.

img_2413

4th of July at Fort Laramie

 

The Time’s They Are Changing

At my age, we just returned from our weekend 50-year high school reunion, I am not always in favor of the changes I see taking place. It was no different with the ending of the frontier, some saw it as a good sign, others hated the Idea of everything settled. Such is life, change and time march on.

best shot

Thanks for reading it’s great to be back.

Wyoming Funny Guy Bill Nye

Like all states Wyoming has had its share of colorful characters, none more colorful than Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye. Nye came west to Wyoming in 1876 and stayed seven years until 1883. He settled in Laramie and found his true passion and maybe what he was put on this earth to do – writing humor.

 

Nye practiced law, became postmaster of Laramie and worked for the local paper before started his own, The Laramie Boomerang, (still a six day a week paper) his newspaper columns became so popular that they were reprinted far from the small town in Southeast Wyoming being picked up by papers all over America and reprinted by more than a dozen newspapers in Europe.

 

Nye was indeed a first rate humorist, one of the best of his time, later in life he often shared the stage, and equal billing with Mark Twain. Unfortunately Nye’s humor has not been as lasting as Twain’s but in the last quarter of the 1800s he was one funny guy.

 

One of my favorite excerpts from his writing follows. This writing explains his resignation as Laramie’s Postmaster.

 

It is a full newspaper column I have reduced to only four of the thirteen paragraphs.

 

Enjoy!

 

                                                                        Postoffice, Divan, Laramie City, W.T.

 

Sir.—
I beg leave at this time to officially tender my resignation as postmaster at this place, and in due form to deliver the great seal and the key to the front door of the office. The safe combination is set on the numbers 33, 66 and 99, though I do not remember at this moment which comes first, or how many times you revolve the knob, or which direction you should turn it at first in order to make it operate.

 

You will find the postal cards that have not been used under the distributing table, and the coal down in the cellar. If the stove draws too hard, close the damper in the pipe and shut the general delivery window.

 

Tears are unavailing. I once more become a private citizen, clothed only with the right to read such postal cards as may be addressed to me personally, and to curse the inefficiency of the postoffice department. I believe the voting class to be divided into two parties, viz: Those who are in the postal service, and those who are mad because they cannot receive a registered letter every fifteen minutes of each day, including Sunday.
Mr. President, as an official of this Government I now retire. My term of office would not expire until 1886. I must, therefore, beg pardon for my eccentricity in resigning. It will be best, perhaps, to keep the heart-breaking news from the ears of European powers until the dangers of a financial panic are fully past. Then hurl it broadcast with a sickening thud. *

 

*Excerpt taken from—Bill Nye’s  Western Humor

 

                                                        Selected and with an Introduction

 

                                                        By T. A. Larson

 

                                                       University of Nebraska Press

 

                                                      Lincoln, NE  1968

 

If you would like to see the letter in its entirety you can find it here-http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/10/here-roads-seem-to-fork.html

Stage Coaches – Made to be Robbed

Ed Trafton was a pretty good stage robber he may have held up more coaches than any other western outlaw. And he did it all the same day.

On a hot July day in 1914 Tafton and his hidden, and not at all active, partner Charles Erpenbach robbed 15 stages in one day. All 15 were stopped near Shoshone Point on the way to Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park. Seemed like as soon as he robbed one and sent it on its way another one was coming around the corner.

Tafton’s one day take was nearly a thousand in cash and over $100 in Jewelry. Oh—and five years in Leavenworth.

Note-The first autos came into the park the next year and by the next, 1916, stages coaches were gone from the park.

Published in: on December 16, 2012 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ride Proud Rebel & Rebel Spurs

Ride Proud Rebel & Rebel Spurs

I consider myself to be a prolific reader (100+ books a year) and once in a while I run across something accidentally that is really terrific. The two novels in the title kept me very interested and eager to turn pages, I wish this was a trilogy, I need to know more. The first is set in the Civil War with the protagonist a scout for the Confederacy. The second is set in early Arizona immediately after the war.
Andre Norton (1912-2005) wrote the two novels but she (Born Mary Alice Norton) only dabbled in historical fiction, most of her writing efforts, and she published over 100 books, were science fiction and fantasy for young adult and children readers. And she was really good at it as evidenced by the dozens of awards she won in her more than 70 year writing career. Her novel, The Beast Master, became a classic to sci-fi readers and movie goers.
Ms. Norton, who published more than 30 books after the age of 80, also wrote under name of Andrew North and Allen Weston. Wish she would have published a few more westerns.
NOTE – I came across the first novel in a two dollar Kindle download of a 25 western megapack and found the second for free download. Both are worth the reading and each is only around 200 pages, (estimate).

Published in: on December 9, 2012 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

The Last Stagecoach Hold-up

The summer of 1914 may have truly marked the end of the old west. Why, because that was the year of the last stagecoach holdup, and it took place near Shoshone Point in Yellowstone Park. Other places claim the last holdup, including one of the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage and one in Nevada, but I like this one. The year marked the end of the horse’s only transportation in the park, as cars came for the first time the next year, and a year after that, 1916 would mark the end of the coaches in the park.

I like this bit of history  because the robber, Edward Trafton, (Ed Harrington) did not just hold up a stagecoach, he held up fifteen in a row. The stages carried tourists seeing the sights of the park, and the sixteenth coach, sniffing out something bad, turned around and went for help.

Wearing several layers of extra clothes and a black mask,Trafton stopped each coach rustled out the passengers and asked them, while holing a rifle, to put their money in a sack lying at his feet. For his days work he collected a little over nine hundred dollars and jewelry worth another one- hundred and thirty dollars. Trafton, a ladies’ man, or one who believed he was, laughed and asked the ladies to hide their jewelry, he was only interested in cash. Not sure how or why he ended up with more than a hundred dollars worth anyway, maybe he didn’t like some of the women as much as others.

Trafton had so much fun holding up a stage every half hour that he even allowed some of the passengers to take his photo. Not sure Tafton was the smartest of outlaws, but he likely believed he was, because of this day, famous, and needed to secure his place in history. It did secure a place but maybe not what he had in mind.

The well photographed outlaws next stop was Leavenworth, where he rested up for five years. He died more than a decade later
with a letter in his pocket claiming he was the cowboy Owen Wister based the Virginian on. More likely, if Wister  ever met him and put him in the famous novel, he was one of the bad guys or less than bright characters in the story. Trampas?