Books, life, and high school

I’m sitting here with three chapters written, ten chapters plotted, and at least half of the story laid out on paper. This feels good.

Also on my plate, is the design and construction of a cosplay costume for my daughter-in-law. So the creative muse is very busy.

My own personal deadlines for each project are good for me. I need these and work well in this situation. I always have. I am good at spreading a project out, making timelines, seeing what needs to happen next, and looking forward to the thrill of completion.

Time works when I have plenty to do. That saying “if you want something done, give it to a busy person,” well that is me. When I am busy, I am very productive.

Recently I have connected with some people from my high school years. I went to two different high schools, changing between sophomore and junior years. Sunnyside was a big school where I, as a new kid, could fade into the background and find my niche. The second school, Flowing Wells, was a smaller school where it seemed everyone had grown up together and had long histories, and the new kid was on probation. These classmates from Flowing Wells are the ones I am meeting. I express it this way because I never knew these folks when I was in school. I really didn’t know many of the students at all.  Getting to know them and hearing their stories has helped with some bitterness I had about the school. They are very nice people and I hope to have more chances to get together.

At both schools I was involved in drama and music. I was fortunate enough to have some wonderful instructors and my enthusiasm for these subjects helped ease me through the troublesome high school times. I’ve used my high school experiences as fodder for my writing. In fact my short story “The Green Bag” has a few scenes colored from personal experiences at Flowing Wells, and drawn into the fiction of the story.

I think this is why I love to tell stories. My grandmother, my beautiful Nannie, was a story teller. In a scene from The Walton’s the grandmother tells John Boy that her people would gather in the evenings and tell all kinds of stories and she intended to pass these stories on to him. Nannie did this with her children and grandchildren, with the result that we all have our “Nannie” stories.

My cousin Niki and I have written down one of our most favorite about a family of bears, and I hope one day that it will be published. It would be a wonderful tribute to Nannie, and a wonderful opportunity for other children to hear the story that captivated us.

Books. I have over a thousand in my personal library. It is something I hope to hand over to my children as a heritage. Writing, story telling, books-they are part of me. But the best part is sharing them with an eager reader. Don’t you agree?

Cheers!

-N

The new book

Story construction, especially the part where the characters are created, fleshed out, and developed into someone who draws emotion from you, is where I am in my current work.

My historical romance stories are equal parts romance and history. I need to make sure my people and places are fit together in a way that is consistent for the time period. The culture and the morals of the time are critical to the realism of the story. The history research plays into that part of the story. The romance part, the sexy part I build into the relationships in a way that is as compelling to me as I hope it is to the reader.

One part of the history I write has action in it. I love writing the action, with the help of my hubby. He is great help in developing these parts, especially from the mans perspective. The current story is set in 1869, has post civil war US Army and Chiricahua Apaches in it. The research has been so exciting, and fun. The discoveries I’ve made and the knowledge I’ve garnered is compelling.

I have to tell this story!

This romance is one I hinted at in the previous book. It’s funny how as a writer you find out what the character wants to say, feel, and do. They exist in my mind, but once they are on paper they become more than the words. I know what they sound like, how they walk, the way they caress the person they desire, and the emotions in their relationships.
I did discover a new character who stepped onto the story stage and will really mix things up. I’m excited to see how this all teases out.

So now it’s time to put it together.

Cheers!
-N

Click on the link below to buy the first book in the trilogy.

The past showed up

Today was a day of story telling. It was fun, interesting, enlightening, and gave me lots of things to think about.

I had lunch today with a new and old friend. It was cool to make an acquaintance with someone I went to high school with. We moved in very different circles, so we were not really friends, but there were some commonalities. Now in the fullness of life we connected on many levels.

Her name is Loree and I look forward to knowing her better. She has had a very interesting life, and her passions have part of that history thing I love, and a love for books. We shared the things that consume us, for me writing and for her Titanic.

One thing we share is we both have widowed mothers. We had lots of similarities in our maternal relationships and we are both from families of all girls. We were talking about the lifestyles of elderly folks and while we were talking our very fun waitress, Amanda, shared that she had observed many loving couples of that certain age who, to her surprise, were not married and had no intention of marrying. Many of them would lose benefits should they remarry. Loree and I both shared that our mothers felt the same.

Here is a pic of Amanda who works at Chili’s on Oracle in Oro Valley. Shout out to Amanda! She does a great job.

So my walk down memory lane was also one that made me realize I have forgotten a lot of people. Kind of strange experience. Loree has kept track of so many of our classmates and it was so interesting to hear what had gone on while I moved on.

So, to catching up and carrying on. Let’s see what happens.

Cheers!

-N

 

Research is fun

I’ve mentioned previously I have started plotting my next book. As a historical romance, the emphasis for me initially is on the historical part of the story I am telling. So this means I get to do historical research.

Yum!

As a history geek, I love this part of writing these books. It is important to me the scenes are accurate in speech, dress, actions, and setting. The way these people in 1869 interact within the parameters of the time period are very different from now. My goal as a writer is to walk the reader into the comfort of existing in this place with these characters.

Currently I am in a logistical difficulty. 100_6614Most of my library of approximately 2000 books is boxed up and in storage while the shelves are relocated, set-up, and painted. This means much of my historical resources are not accessible. Bummer. I’m ready to get them out, sorted, and organized.

 

When I say I have resources, I mean I have enough material my son could write a 10 page paper for his history class requiring one source for each page, and only one online source, and I had all of it!100_6612

I love my books.
100_6613

I do read a lot of eBooks,
but I also collect hardback copies of my favorite writers. Hubby does too (can you say Clive Cussler.) I prefer hardback if possible in the books I add to my collection.
I also am a book sale fan. And I love the smell of old books.

My library is a legacy I will leave to my kids. My daughter is a teacher after all.

The research I’m doing is about Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory and this is a location I have100_7059 actually visited.

It is truly amazing to walk the area my character will walk. To look at the surrounding hills and mountains, and see the colors of the vegetation will give the words authenticity.100_7062 I want it to be real for the reader and this is part of it.

So, let’s see what my hero experiences so far from home. Will he be the same person when he returns from the southwest?

Cheers!

-N

I’m learning

This self-publishing thing is kinda crazy for a person like me who’s brain is always going hundreds of directions and a hundred miles and hour.

I published my first book on Amazon KDP first as an ebook, then published it as a paperback on Create Space and learned the hard way that it’s full of pitfalls in linking them. I did the next novel through Create Space as a paperback first and then converted it to an eBook – but there were still things I missed.

Create Space and Amazon KDP support have both been awesome. They have cleaned up things for me and clarified processes, so now I have made a check list for myself as I go through this process for the next book which will be out this year.

I have also read lots of tips from other self published authors and I have two writing coaches who offer help with wonderful tutorials and webinars that give me confidence in my efforts and confirm I am not the only writer facing these issues.

I am wondering if other writers have used sites that offer to market your work? Some are through Twitter and Facebook, and others through their own websites. Another question is about selling rights to a group in China who will release my book in that country. Is this legit and why would I need to do this to sell in China? If I sell the rights to them does this eliminate my ability to sell in any other country? It sounds very iffy.

Don’t forget your Valentine on the 14th.Image result for valentine's day 2017

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

New book release!

the_holder_of_my_fla_cover_for_kindle

A dangerous job and a red haired beauty are setting Jacob Severn’s world up side down. 

http://www.amazon.com/Holder-My-Flame-Tremaines/dp/1539552896

Excerpts:

            “May I have this dance?” he asked, making her aware of the others around them. She looked at the gloved hand he held out to her.  She thought to herself that dancing would mean she would have to get up and she didn’t know if her legs would hold her.

            “I’m afraid I don’t waltz very well,” she responded meekly.

            “Well then why don’t we make fools of ourselves together?” he responded, leaning near her, his black eyes gleaming.

            She looked from his twinkling eyes to his gloved hand. She gave a brief nod, placed her hand in his and rose. He tucked her hand in the crook of his elbow and together they approached the dance floor.

            As she placed her hand on his shoulder and he put his arm at her waist everyone else in the room faded. They began to move to the seductive strains of the waltz, swaying and twirling, staring into each other’s eyes moving together as though they had been partners, dancing together forever.

            “You’ve mislead me,” he remarked. “You are a marvelous dancer.”

            “I fear, sir, it is my partner who excels in dancing,” her eyes dropped to the buttons of his shirt and she blushed slightly. “You are very easy to follow.”

            They smiled at the mutual compliments.

* * * * *

           The raids took place every two days and yesterday had been a day off, so he expected to participate in the next raid. Each of the men was paid from the bounty they stole while terrorizing the homeowners. After dressing, Jacob headed down the alley to the stable, it was likely he would need his horse to be ready. He didn’t want to hold up anyone or bring any unwanted attention to himself or Horace. He hoped this would be a routine job completed quickly. The sooner this job was over the better as far as he was concerned.

            He looked up at the bright morning sky and inhaled deeply. As he exhaled his mind raced with scenes of a beautiful, golden-eyed, woman, he had caressed, held and kissed. He allowed himself to think of her for a moment knowing he would have to block her out when he became a criminal.

            He found Horace waiting for him at the saloon, seated at a table with Seymour, a large, husky man with a bushy black beard that matched his thick hair and eyebrows. His eyes were dark and deep-set with his ruddy cheeks adding to his menacing looks. Jacob’s intense gaze swept over the two men. He noticed Horace had dropped the foppy gentleman and become a bearded, restless saddle bum, just in it to make enough money to move on. Watching Seymour, Jacob’s eyes took in the scroungy apparel and the gleaming brand-new Colt 45’s resting on each hip. The man’s priorities were clear, and he knew Seymour a smart man. They looked up as Jacob approached pulling out a chair, he carelessly dumped himself in it and ordered coffee.

I am very excited to share that my new book is out in paperback and eBook.

http://www.amazon.com/Holder-My-Flame-Tremaines/dp/B01NC0DBNE

Cheers!

-N

A new release!

Hey Y’all,

I am so excited to share a new release of mine on Amazon Kindle. This is a short story I’ve had mulling around in my brain, then writing and re-writing on the computer, then getting input from several people, and finally deciding it was going to stay a short story. I hope I portray these fictional humans in a realistic, feminine, sibling way. It might even help some men out there understand their wives and/or sisters.

It was one of those ideas that just popped into my head and before knew it was taking shape.

It is about the lives of two sisters, and is told from the perspective of the surviving sister. Sisters and their relationships are unique because of the difference in the way they see the world, although they have lived the same life experiences. There might be a few similarities from my own life.

Please check out this lovely story, and be sure to leave a review (you know how Amazon likes that) after you’ve read it.

P.S My hubby took the cover photo!

Cheers!

-N

Holiday insanity is over

My life is finally coming under my own control. Beginning the first of December I felt as though I was being let loose in a maze with no direction and doubtful resolution.

I started the month with a colonoscopy. Ugh, nasty thing, but I got a good report and don’t have to do it again for ten years! The prep is the worst, the procedure is no big deal since you are asleep. Wish I was asleep for a lot of other things. Then it was the eye doc and mammogram. I hate to admit this stuff because it’s old people crap.

Chuck started plans for a new deck on the north side of the house, running the length of the house, and will incorporate our spa. It is quite the undertaking, and as usual the two of us had “discussions” about what we wanted. Most of these things are done in sections since the construction budget is based on what we can afford when the bills are paid!

We also started working on rearranging the inside of the house, moving furniture and putting the television in the living room, installing in the old tv room large bookshelves that need sanding, wood filler, painting and molding. It’s lots of work to make it look rather like a built in. We are about halfway done with it. Also are planning to put in a wood stove in the same area, it will be a den filled with my beloved books.

We were very busy making Christmas gifts, two of which had to be mailed so the rush was on to finish them in time. We were also preparing the guest room for Melissa and Charlie who were coming for the holiday. I was trying to work on my newest book during all of this and feeling frustrated when I couldn’t spend time on it. I had about twenty pages of corrections, edits, new scenes and rewrites I had to finish. Also needed chapter numbers before I set up the format for publishing.

We planned to set Charlie’s pack & play in the sewing room/office giving Melissa her own digs but before they left for Catalina he got really sick with bronchitis. He was on the mend when they arrived but he did not want to be away from momma, so we moved his bed in the room with her. It was an interesting visit with a coughing, snuffy little man who moves constantly.

During her visit there was a lot of running around seeing people, shopping, having visitors at home and watching Charlie enjoy Christmas. It did take three of us to corral him! He is an amazing little guy, very bright, a bit mischievous, but we love him to bits.

During their time with us Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds passed away. I will admit it made me feel very strange. Especially just after Alan Thicke passing, I felt very mortal.

The day after they returned to LA I came down with a stomach bug that hung around for three days. It was hellacious. Chuck and I managed to stay awake on New Years Eve long enough for 2017 to show up on the east coast. As far as the book, I did manage to finish the cover, format the text, so now I just need to submit for my proof.

I don’t know what to expect from this year, but I hope and pray for success, happiness, prosperity, and health for my family.

Cheers!

-N

 

What a weekend

Yard sales can be a good thing, especially if you have stuff people want. The dilemma is you never know what will sell. Crazy stuff like old metal roller skates, the kind you had to clip to your shoes, and VHS tapes. You never know what to expect. One thing I did discover is that men don’t really care how things are set up or if the items are even clean. Women pay attention to the displays and if the things are wiped and dusted.

Venus and Mars you know. Just amazing.

yard-sale-picWe held a yard sale last Friday and Saturday and I think it was a success. We made some money, got rid of things we didn’t need and met some cool people.

Local people from all over Catalina, plus folks coming in from Tucson, San Manuel, and Winkleman stopped by. It was so cool they took the time to come by. There are also those folks who stop by, stroll around and look at the items and move on.

I always have little things for kids who come by. It is fun to give them freebies. The smiles are so cute.

A box full of hats had a dent made in it, and we sold some big ticket items too. One cute young couple came by and picked up several things for their new place. It was fun to watch them decide what they needed, and could afford talking happily as they shopped.

We had lots of compliments on our place, people surprised at how much green there was with all of our trees and plants. I even sold some books!

My big news is that my son was hired by Disney World as a stage technician!! Dream job for him, and the chance an opportunity will open up for my daughter-in-law there also. She is a theater major, wonderful actress and great singer, so I hope she can get a position as well. My son has been a sound guy for several years. He is good at it because he has an exceptional singing voice and a perfect ear for sound making him a perfect sound guy. He’s been complimented on how well he makes people sound.

We will be helping them move to Orlando this month, actually he is going out first then she will follow. I am so happy for him. Glad he will be going at the end of hurricane season!

A heads up all you writers, if anyone is looking for a proof reader I am ready and willing to offer my services.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Blogging, writing and rain storms

Last night my sister told me the reblog button is not showing up on my posts. I hadn’t realized this was occurring. Has anyone else had this happen? I recently changed my theme and now I’m concerned this has created a problem.

I’ve made contact with the WordPress mother ship and hope to have an answer.

In the mean time I am making progress on two-count ’em-two stories. My historical romance is coming along splendidly. I hope to finish second draft edits the end of this week, then I send it to my beta-readers. The second one is a contemporary fiction and I am currently at 12k words. Believe it or not, I’m having fun bouncing between the two of them.

I am so excited to tell every one that my baby sister has started her own blog! gammyjoy.wordpress.com. Give her blog a look and a follow, please. I am so proud of her jumping into the blogging universe.

Tropical storm Javier may bring us some heavy rain this week!! Whoopee, that makes me a very happy woman. My woman cave is messed up while I do a lot of sorting and tossing. It’s funny because when I do this to a room, closet, etc., it seems to do the same thing for my mind.

I have been looking for some part time work to supplement hubby’s income.20160527_093059

I am pleased to share I have actually been paid some royalties these last four months!

I am an author y’all. Right on.

 

Cheers!

-N