I’ve had one deadline slamming against the other, and I’ve been slightly nuts with all of them. My stories have permeated my dreams and half the time I can’t remember which characters have done what! To make it worse, I’m a slow typist and a perfectionist. Quality means everything to me! My readers deserve it. I’m asking them to take hours from their lives and spend them with my characters. If I break that confidence, they might not be back for the next one! So I will not put out a book that is rushed or hasn’t been through strong edits.
I put out Loving Matilda through Kindle World’s Montana Sky Series, which is part of Amazon but not the same as the regular Kindle books, but goes right to your Kindle, and for most of the world looks like a normal Kindle book. And I knew another KW opportunity was coming for this summer also for Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Series, so I started it. But few things got in my way and I had another story to write. I put that Montana Sky western to one side and wrote the next historic Wyoming book, A Rancher’s Wish which is almost ready to release. And with luck, it is going to the newspaper before it will be released to the general public. There’s one more hurdle to jump through with the newspaper before the publication deal is finalized.
Don’t worry, readers. You will have it! It’s just slightly delayed as the newspaper will have it exclusively while it is running through their presses. Then it will be available on Kindle and in print. To say I’m excited about this fabulous opportunity with the newspaper is an understatement. This is not a big city newspaper but rather one that covers a good chunk of farmland in this part of Virginia. These are the brunt of my readers, they love their men/farmers/cowboys. Those natural muscles of men who work for a living, the men who know dirt, wear roper boots on a daily basis and think getting dressed up is wearing a sports jacket and fancy boots with their good jeans. Yeah, those guys!
And for some strange reason, that’s scaring me to death. Maybe because it will make me a more public figure. I won’t say I’m shy, but I tend to be rather reserved and quiet. But I have have a friend at the one local paper, and he knows my writing, knows I’m good, and not putting out junk. So he came to me with this idea, but everyone has a boss including him.
Then since I loved the characters so much in that story, I did a modern day version of the ranch. What happens when people leave the ranch to find other work? What if when the dust bowl hit, this family left but never sold the land? And what would happen if a family member today goes back thinking they want to get that ranch going again, yet they have no experience? Okay, that left me wide open for some funny scenes and some heart-breaking ones. I only have to write the ending and that one will be released this fall. But for now it’s sitting to one side.
Oops, that other book for KW! How fast can I write when I’m in edits for the one going to the newspaper? I went back to find the one I had started. I could not find it! I have a tridillion-mega-byte hard disk! (I don’t remember what the disk size is – it’s just got a number in front of it and it starts with a T. And I was told the odds of me running out of room on that thing is next to nothing.) And no matter where I looked I couldn’t find that story. Almost 20K words lost on my big disk. I looked on my flash drive. I looked on my laptop. GONE! I must start from scratch. I told myself if I find it someday, I’ll use it. (I found it last week by sheer accident.)
So I started on the newest KW book, Loving Ellen, and I have two very emotionally hurt people in this story. The story opens with her standing by the grave of second husband in the middle of Montana. Having been widowed early when her two boys were little, she managed by taking in laundry and doing alterations and mending. She spotted an ad in the newspaper and became a mail-order bride with the hopes of some stability in her life and a father for her rambunctious boys. Hubby #2 didn’t exactly lie when he applied for a bride, he just painted a better picture of the house and ranch. Three weeks into this new marriage, she’s living in a tumble-down shack with virtually no food. And some stranger brings hubby #2’s body to her and offers to dig the grave. Oh, I don’t want to give away the whole story.
I read the start of that book to my writer’s group and a few of the gals flipped. We often don’t realize how far we have come and how many more options there are for women these days. Why would a woman opt to be a mail-order bride and marry a man she didn’t know? And why would that woman… I’m not telling you the story. 😉
But times have changes, attitudes have changed and, in general, we’ve changed as a society. For those who are not familiar with what happened back then, it does come as a bit of a shock. Yes there were women who managed to get a college education and there were women who ran their own ranches and farms or business. But take a city gal and plunk her in the wilds of Montana or Wyoming Territories with no clue as to how to manage a ranch, she might not even know how to ride a horse or handle a gun, and then expect her to survive… She might know how to make bread, knit, and do fancy stitches, but that doesn’t mean she knows how to shear sheep or card her own wool. She might not even know how to milk a cow and I doubt she knows how to castrate a baby bull.
So here I am in edits on two books and driving myself nuts! This newest one for KW needs a cover and I’ll handle that this week, because I obviously have nothing else to do! And to make matters worse, I swear originally this KW release was scheduled for August but apparently not. I believe it will release July 22. I’m running out of time! 😦
I’ve already promised myself that I will take a break before I finish my contemporary book. I’ve been on a marathon writing binge and I need to get back to the real world. Besides I’ve heard the newest Pixar movie, Finding Dory is even better than Finding Nemo. It’s supposed to be twice as funny with a better story line, and if I’m going to go to the movies, please let me laugh and enjoy it! Besides I love Pixar movies! (I’m such a little kid.)
As for the real world, I have a treadmill calling my name! And a doctor screaming at me to gets some exercise before I’m in deep doggie poop! So I will drag myself away from my computer and come up for air! Maybe I’ll even try going to the park in uptown and walking on their track. (I have a friend walking 4-5 miles a day there. You would not believe the amount of weight he has lost. He looks amazing.)
Of course I could be doing housework, which is quite a workout, but if the doctor asks how many minutes of exercise I’m getting in a week, it sounds better if I say I’m walking a mile a day, than for me to say of I’m vacuuming and scrubbing floors, and I cleaned the bathtub and I… Nah, I’d much rather say I’m walking. He didn’t tell me to clean my house, he said for me to walk. Any excuse will do to get me out of housework. 🙂
As for the rest of my life… I’m now on a BiPAP (fancy CPAP) machine while sleep. I should have gone through a sleep study years ago! I can’t remember sleeping this well ever in my life! I actually look forward to sleeping at night. I still can’t say I’m leaping out of bed with tons of energy, but I’m aware of the difference, and I feel much more rested. Why didn’t I do it sooner? Because I didn’t want to be tied to a machine all night? I really don’t know why I didn’t do it. I know I had sleep apnea, but I ignored it. They told me I was averaging not breathing 49 seconds out of every minute and my blood pressure and my oxygen stats fell to lows that shocked me. Why I’ve not died in my sleep is beyond me!
I have another nasty medical test to go through the next month and that will determine if I will need any more surgery anytime soon. But my surgery in March has taken away so much pain that I’m thrilled with that outcome. And I’ve lost 15 pounds in about a month. Yippee. But I have quite a few pounds to shed. I’m keeping my eyes on the horizon because I’m feeling better than I have in ages.
My primary care doctor is a young female and I adore her. She said I’m going to get you healthy and oh does she mean it. I’ve never had so many doctor appointments in my life. They have probably removed four gallons of blood from my body in the last six months and analyzed it for everything imaginable. If you had asked me a year ago how was my health, I would have told you that I was healthy as a rock. Okay, I had a few problems, I’m not twenty-five, I’m… never mind, I no longer have birthdays. But I was fine! Really, I was!
But bit by bit, I’m changing and I like these new changes. And they still don’t have the thyroid going. 😦 But my energy levels are increasing, and I’m feeling better. Getting rid of continuous pain and sleeping better is making a difference. I’m not diabetic, but I’ve been borderline for a long time so I take my blood sugar levels occasionally and lately I’ve noticed they are dropping. Yes!! Happy Camper!! So maybe this is my chrysalis year.
And since I’ve had several book signing at some local libraries, I’m feeling better about doing those. Wish me luck because one of my favorite Starbucks is what they call an evenings store. They sell craft beers and wines in the evenings. They are having a book signing and they are featuring me! There will be several of us there on the 14th of this month. And they will be be having a wine tasting at the same time, except I can’t drink on the med they gave me after my neurosurgery. 😦 (Shh-I might taste – just a few drops.) So if you live in Tidewater, Virginia, come visit! Leave a note below and I’ll tell you which Starbucks. I’d love to meet you! 🙂
That’s my news! What is new with you or at your house? Have you done anything that has been a real life altering change for you? A diet change or something? Tell me, I really want to know!