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

Writing, Blizzards and Such

It has been a busy couple of weeks. We took a week to visit family and friends in Nebraska and this week we are digging out from a blizzard. So goes March in the middle of the country.

back yard nice shot

Book Sales – Not sure, what has happened but since Google Plus, where I posted quite a bit about writing, and about my books, started to shut down, my sales have slowed. Guess I did not know how important that site was for me. I hated seeing it go into shutdown mode; I have tried other sites, but have not fallen in love with any of them. Last month and this, so far, looks to be some of my lowest book sales, and KDP pages read in a couple of years. Guess I will get busy on some other platforms and see if it helps.

Writing – Like my sales, my writing has slowed some. I am near the end of my WIP and do not seem to want to finish – maybe spring weather will help.

Twitter – I am trying to ramp up my followers on Twitter, not sure it will help my sales but it is an excellent way to kill an hour or two every day.

Photos – The snow has slowed me some, but not much, there seems that I can always find something I want to photograph. Today’s photos are from the past week.

Have a great weekend.

out for a drive

See all my books here –
https://www.amazon.com/Neil-Waring/e/B00XV26KLC

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 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  
Tags: ,

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.

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.

 

IMG_9075

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: , , , , ,

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  
Tags: ,

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  
Tags: , ,

Wyoming the Almost A Square State

Remember one of the first puzzles you put together as a kid, sure we all do? It was the wooden map of the United States. Just find the shape of the state and put it in the correct place, which was properly embossed into the cardboard or wood backing for young learners. Every state had a unique shape and this made learning where each state was located fast and easy. But wait a minute, hold on here, what about Colorado and Wyoming, they are square, or almost so, properly rectangles. How did they get their rather non-unique shape? Not sure about Colorado as I am a Wyoming guy, but as for Wyoming.

Wyoming is the only state whose territory was taken from all four of the major land accusations of the United States. Parts of Wyoming have been claimed by five different countries and parts of Wyoming came under the rule of a dozen Spanish kings between 1479 and 1821. Not that it’s important but there were four kings named, Charles, four Phillips and four named Ferdinand.  

France also ruled parts of Wyoming under kings, Francis One and two, three Henry’s, Charles IX and four guys named Louis. At long last the little Emperor himself, Napoleon, gave up the French claim to Wyoming when Jefferson made the greatest land purchase in history, the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803.

Wyoming was also part of:  Utah Territory, Washington Territory, Nebraska Territory, Colorado Territory, Dakota Territory, and Idaho Territory.

It took thirty boundary changes to come up with the present day shape of Wyoming, an almost square rectangle- ahh, the government at work.

Oh- then we named it after a valley in Delaware.

Wyoming where mule deer sleep in your front yard, bear’s wander through local parks, elk, moose and pronghorn outnumber the people, mountain views are everywhere and people ski in the morning and play golf in the afternoon. It really is like no other place on earth.

It’s good to be back.