Monday

I’ve been remiss in blogging and realized it was time to plunk myself down in front of the computer and get busy.

My house is a mess, lots of boxes and very dusty. I’ve neglected it while trying to help Chuck with the back half acre which looks like a scene from the “Sanford and Son” TV show. We’ve done some yard cleaning, and he’s hauled some stuff away but more seems to sprout from the ground. We are having a yard sale this weekend so that will help clear a few things out.

It’s hard to get ready to sell a place you’ve lived in since 1991.

Got up this morning, had a cup of coffee, ran through emails then hubby and I went for a walk. We did about a mile and a half and thank goodness it wasn’t too warm. He was a little distracted from his ongoing job search, but that was ok since I was distracted as well.

I usually walk by myself so I can stay in my head mulling ideas around. I have an intense scene to write and I’m not quite sure about the set up this critical meeting between antagonists. Needless to say after being married as long as we have he read me well and knew I wasn’t into chatting.

The life of the people from my story run in my head like a movie and right now the action is paused until I figure out what’s next. This is the best part of writing. I’m flipping back through my notes looking for that word or the thought which will tease out the right idea for dialogue and actions.

Three days until my book is released on Amazon. I’m nervous.

Cheers!

-N

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Oh man, I like these people

I’m sitting in my writing place. This is it! Dark chocolate and a Napa Cab nearby.writing place

Maybe I should change the blog to vinowithchocolate, but I digress.

My ebook will be available on Amazon in twelve days and I smile whenever I think of it. I can’t wait for the readers to meet Mitch and Amanda.

I’m building followers on my blog, my Facebook author page and Twitter which amazes me. I love followers and I welcome as many as there are out there.

I have started my next book. I had a lot of it roughed out, a lot of research done-love research-and it is well plotted so the writing has started to flow. Flow is the optimal word to describe what is happening. These are really fun people to write for. My heroine is a dream to write dialogue for with her voice in my mind. She is spunky, immature, adventurous, spoiled and sexy. My hero is, well, a hero, you know-tall, dark and handsome-oozing testosterone.

The male voice and perspective is the part where my husband steps up.

I’ve mentioned this before, he is a man’s man and will tell me when I’m writing my male characters too soft or not in a true gender POV.

He’s the first one to go through the story for errors and inconsistency. Like me, he is an avid reader, but not in this genre, so he has fresh eyes.

My stories are historical so the research is paramount to it being valid as not only a romance but in giving the reader a stimulating historical experience. I had someone ask me if I would want to live in the time I am writing and I had to be honest and say-um no. I like central air and heating, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and feminine hygiene products. But in my study of the times and people there were people who blew my mind.

I have been mulling the idea of a biography of an amazing woman who lived in the late 1800’s. She was who I would have wanted to be had I lived in the time she lived. She watched history be made. We’ll see.

Time to get back to work. I need more iTunes music.

Cheers!

-N

Morning coffee

Life here in good ole Catalina, Arizona has been pretty crazy.

Good and bad news, both bringing major changes and decisions. I spend a lot of time in my own mind working things out, I get that look on my face humans have when there isn’t a sure fire answer or an obvious direction. I want to know whats next so I can prepare myself.

The bad news, Chuck was laid off. Ugh, stressful and definitely not what I wanted to be dealing with. He is busting his butt at job hunting and networking, he did the unemployment filing which is something he has never done before, never needed to and is working very hard on the house and property so it can be sold.

The house was painted and looks fresh and new, personal items are being packed or put into the yard sale pile. The inside is a mess that’s hard to keep up with. I like things put away, behind cabinets or  stored in the pantry. We are plugging away at this.

The good news, I finished my fiction work and it is now on Amazon for pre-order with a release date of March 31st. I’m really excited to introduce these fictional humans to the world of readers. I like them and I hope others will as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Blame-Whiskey-Nancy-Vaughn-ebook/dp/B01CQ4S8R4/

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I’m making time nearly every day to write, either on the blog or the new book I have started. This whole my-husband-is-unemployed  thing will pass but it’s hard on this woman. It’s affecting my sleep and my dreams, but I pray for peace and guidance, confident God sees us and loves us. I guess that’s why it is called faith.

Cheers!

-N

Marketing multi-tasking

Life really does go on even though my brain is wrapped up in writing. I now have an author Facebook page, this blog, twitter, Linkden, Tumbler-all the places I go to get the word out and all this is happening while the rest of the world is doing its own thing.

I woke this morning, my brain running to all the places I need to check and what needed to be done next. This is really good for me. It is also really challenging.

Yesterday Chuck and I spent a glorious three hours attending the Tucson Book Fair at the campus of the University of Arizona. 20160312_125044I met authors, editors and publishers. I found some interesting books, new and used and saw some very cool science stuff courtesy the UA science departments (I got to make my own lightning.) I bought a cute parasol to ward off the intense southern Arizona sunshine, 20160312_125135and caressed a beautiful king snake named Elvis.

The book fair is eight years old and has grown tremendously in attendees and vendors. They included about 400 author tents along with many other types of vendors using the opportunity of exposure to around 150,000 visitors. It was packed but everyone was having fun. I found a very cool board game for my daughter’s class room and OMG there were books for sale everywhere! There was one vendor selling antique books which I was totally into, but all the books were wrapped in plastic. I mean that was annoying because-hello-how can you smell the books if they are wrapped up. The guy running the booth did unwrap one for me so I could smell it. I love the smell of old books.

Anyway, we had a fun day. I got a little sunburn thus the parasol but we came home with memories of a good day.

All I kept thinking was “I’m gonna do this one day.”

Cheers!

-N

Getting excited

I’m sitting here in my writing cave excited about progress I’ve made. I’ve submitted as short story to a literary magazine with the hope it will be accepted for publication. The Green Bag is a story about sisters. I know about sisters considering I have two of them. The relationship of sisters is unique, often hilarious, flowing with secrets and can be volatile. The unbreakable attachment is almost always there if they’ve grown up together.

My story is told in flashbacks, of the life history of two very different, yet close sisters. I have mirrored this journey in my own relationship with my sisters. Though the situations aren’t the same as my own, it is fiction after all, the way these two women interact is acutely familiar.

Also…I am almost completely set up to self-publish my first novel Blame it on Whiskey. The story is written, the final draft is ready and now the cover art is the only part left. Once that is ready I can download the whole thing to Amazon for Kindle. It is a bit nerve wracking yet so thrilling to think the reading public is going to meet these people, these fictional human characters, whom I know so well.

Updates to come.

Cheers!

-N

A day to experience

Yesterday morning, after coffee and a bit of getting the day started Chuck and I decided to drive to Tombstone Arizona. We got the idea after a fun and informative conversation Sunday afternoon with my wonderful and creative friend Scott Taft who has agreed to do the cover art for my book. We were talking about what I was visualizing and what he imagined after reading some of the story. Chuck also had a really good idea for it and once a date was set for the photo shoot I got very excited to do my part of the prep.

The point of going to Tombstone was to find some props for the shoot, and get a feel for the time period of the book-1886. I’ve lived most of my life in Tucson and have been to Tombstone a lot, starting in the 1960’s. On this last visit I realized how it is changing. In my memories Tombstone is a dusty old town, with old buildings full of the old west spirit and characters who seemed to come right out of history.

The Tombstone I saw yesterday was spiffed up, cleaned up, painted and very touristy. They have even made a place called “Old Tombstone Western Town” on the outskirts to the south. Bizarre. The outside of “The Bird Cage Theater” was painted freaking pink! I never, ever remember that place being pink. It was a faded white-washed adobe building, a bit crumbly but maintained it’s essence. The inside still held onto the old stuff. The ghosts of the ladies and the gamblers moved there. 20160307_131808 The host, dressed in appropriate attire found an old whiskey bottle for me to photograph. It was authentic to the period, blown glass and had a beautiful amber color. Most of the bottles of the day didn’t have labels, instead they were etched or embossed with the makers name and what it contained.

I went across the street to “T. Miller’s Tombstone Mercantile & Hotel” to look around and found two books with some helpful material and a beautiful black Victorian cravat! Woo hoo, one prop down. The woman who worked there, CC, was so helpful in directing me to some places to look for my other items so here is a shout out to her.

We stopped in at “Big Nose Kate’s” for lunch and to get strategic on what was next. Down a tiny metal spiral staircase was “The Shaft” and there is supposed to be the ghost of “The Swamper”. I left Chuck to wait for our food and went down there and looked into the gated off area where he is supposed to be. It was where he lived while he worked there in the Hotel that was originally there. I asked the woman working the gift shop if she had seen him come out of there. She laughed and said, “I haven’t seen him come out,” then smiled. Hmmm, so maybe she’s seen him go in? I left it there, we finished our lunch and moved on.

We stopped at an amazing place called “The Killer Bee Guy” and discovered the most amazing honey and honey blends ever. We sampled and bought some really good stuff, because Chuck is a real big time honey eater. If you ever get to Tombstone go to this shop on 5th and Toughnut. We found it by accident when I was looking for the location of the “Russ House” which I mention in my book. Buildings and history are perfect bedfellows and to kno20160307_151604w this place was part the culture and touched by the people of Tombstone gives it history energy.

Nellie Cashman, the owner at the time my story is set, knew the Earps-she was there when the OK Corral went down. She walked the floors of this building, served food and helped many people who were in need. She was called “The Irish Angel of Mercy.”

We walked to our car to drop off our honey purchase and just before we walked back Chuck pointed to a Land Rover next to us. It’s plates were from the UK, it was covered in stickers and it had a blogger named on the side. I looked it up and am now following her blog. She is a traveler.20160307_151104So here’s a shout out to janetdowle.wordpress.com who was in Tombstone when I was. A very cool co-incidence.

We wandered into “Russell’s Roadrunner” and after much searching and a very helpful Cheryl Honeycutt, we found a perfect replica 1880’s gambler’s hat for the shoot. Boom, that’s two props!! Chuck spied the smoke shop across the street so it didn’t take long for him to find a cigar. Walking slowly back toward our vehicle we said a see ya later to this town. I hope they don’t do too much more fixing up. Leave some of the ghosts of the past to wander through whats left of the old adobe of 1870.

As we drove home I looked over to the west toward the Huachuca Mountains, looking across the landscape where my fictional people live. The light was soft, there were storm clouds with scattered rain and winds blowing up dust swirls. I know these characters well and as we rode on I spoke of them as real people who experienced life in such a place.

Cheers!

-N

Yes, I’m attached

I have seen wonderful foster families in action and it is inspiring. Terrific story. Give the idea of fostering a chance if you are able.

Fostering My Family

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“I could never do what you do; I would get too attached.” This is what we hear. We hear it at the park, at school, and when we meet strangers on the street that eye us and ask about our diverse family. We even hear it from family, and dare I say, at church.

Every. Single. Time. I hear these words uttered, the phrase “’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” broadcasts emphatically across my mind. Who knew Alfred Lord Tennyson would have such a lasting impact in my life. But this is not usually how we respond.

After fostering for seven years, we have learned to respond with love as these words tumble effortlessly off someone’s tongue. And to be honest, I say effortlessly because it is a shockingly casual remark considering the circumstances of the children in foster care.

Children are…

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Reviews Are The Lifeblood of Authors

I look forward to the experience of having reviewers of my books.

Don Massenzio's Blog

online-reviewers

As many authors will attest, reviews are one of the most important gifts that readers can bestow upon us. Yes, buying our books is a great thing, but giving us feedback about the books that you’ve read is much more important.

When I buy products on Amazon, because I can’t see or feel the product beforehand, I relay on reviews from other people that have purchased the product to guide me in my purchase. This is true of books.

Reviews also help authors get recognition from Amazon and other venues. They help with ranking and placement in ads.

Your reviews don’t have to be essay’s. You can simply select the number of stars as a rating and leave one or two words. Of course, the more constructive feedback you give, the better it is for the author. We always want to improve our product for future readers.

Recently, I did…

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I don’t get it

My great-niece Trinity, whom I have mentioned before manages to keep me current on what teenagers are up to. I must say there are times I just don’t get it. Trina is a very cool chick, I mean this is the girl who at age eight educated me on Hannah Montana – hello.

I saw a post of hers on Facebook where she did one of those surveys where you give short answers to a list of questions, then have your followers copy and paste the list and do their own answers. She answered the question about being single as “totally not.” Ok, I’ve met her boyfriend, he’s a real cutie, but there was no mention of my 15 year old niece getting married.

I’ve seen other people do this also.

In my day (does that make me sound old?) a single person was someone who was unmarried. Otherwise you were dating, going steady, had a boyfriend/girlfriend. But you were still single. I guess it goes along with sex being downgraded to just a part of getting to know someone and not an act of commitment. Once that cherry is popped it’s all over except for the cleanup.

Something else I don’t get and maybe this goes along with the LOL, wtf, c u 2 and all that. When did the sound of the letter T get changed or in most cases disappear. For example the word button. When you read it you see two T’s.  BuTTon. But I hear it pronounced as buh-un. This aggravates me as much as someone saying newcewler instead of nuclear, reeluhter instead of realtor.

Anyway, that is the rant for this blogging day. FYI-I can do the Cupid Shuffle!

Cheers!

-N