Sunday, October 27, 2019

Happy Halloween (early)

Many local events for Halloween take place on the week of or before the fun holiday of dressing up and make-believe in being something else for a day.

At least one of the local high schools has indoor trick-or-treating for the kids put on by the high school students and their teachers. While my oldest helps with the event as part of her school group, the youngest likes to dress up and get candy.

I got into the spirit a little with a picture of my youngest in her wizard costume. The photo manipulation isn't perfect, but it was fun to create. Below are before and after pics of my Photoshop manipulation.

And here's what my family did for jack-o-lanterns with pumpkins from our garden this year, the few pumpkins we had:


Saturday, October 19, 2019

creative sparks

This morning, after a fairly good night of sleep (which is elusive for me), I was lying in bed thinking about Forgotten Worlds #6.

I've been cruising along writing but was feeling like something was not coming together with the story, and I'm at the midway point. I knew it was there and that the link existed but couldn't quite see it yet. I'm a plotter as a writer, but I also allow room for surprises. And those give me a rush, which I suppose is akin to a gambler winning at slot machines (I don't gamble). I LOVE those moments!

It happened again with this story. I could feel in the back of my thoughts for the longest time, but I didn't know what it was. I was having trouble with inserting the action I wanted in a transition in this story and trying to come up with the right way to do it and to keep the characters in trouble--without challenging the characters, there is no purpose to the story. I had to dig the hole deeper for the characters, instead of letting them crawl out. I'd been struggling with the right way to do this.

This morning, while lying in bed thinking, the answer finally emerged. I had the missing link in the story and the revelation that the story needed. Then everything made sense, and my characters got into even deeper trouble. Even better, it adds a twist that will really add some intrigue and new concerns to the rest of the series.

I hate sagging middles and do my best to prevent them. This will definitely lift it.

I feel like the evil genius rolling his fingers together and grinning malevolently as his diabolical plan unfolds better than expected.

Until you read this next summer, you can catch up on the series so far by reading A NEW BEGINNING (#1), THE RULE OF YONDER (#2), and VAULT OF THE CELESTIALS (#3) and by pre-ordering IN DARKNESS, LIGHT (#4). THE DESTRUCTION OF WALLS (#5) will be listed for pre-order once a release date has been determined.

Keep up on the latest book pre-orders and new releases on my MeWe page at or follow to receive notifications from my Amazon profile at .

Friday, October 11, 2019

October snow storm

We've been in the midst of a big snowstorm this week. It was beautiful on Tuesday, which is why I went out to see my horse (see Tuesday post). Wednesday was cold and misty. The storm was supposed to hit overnight then but it wasn't too bad yesterday. Last night, however, the snow fell heavily and the wind blew hard. The deck was protected from the wind, so we get a better idea of just how much snow fell. The wind created a big drift in our driveway. Luckily, school was canceled and hubby had already taken the day off. I did the same; my regular job is flexible.

I had also planned and made sure we had supplies on hand for several days of being snowed in.

What I can't believe is that we had a snow storm like this so early in October! This is usually reserved for November, but anything can happen and has happened in North Dakota. Looks like it'll be a loooong winter! Bring on the global warming!

Dargo looks out the back deck door.

The front yard and the big drift in the driveway.

A couple hours later, the drift is almost 3 ft high
and about 40 ft long (half the driveway).

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Happy Birthday, Dargo!

Our second oldest kitty turns 9 today. Happy birthday to my big beautiful baby who still acts like a kitten, because... Siamese.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

horse time (pictures!)

Today was a gorgeous day that I couldn't let go to waste. It was a cool mid-70's, almost 80. But there was that cool breeze. We're expecting a winter storm starting tomorrow night through Saturday. It was like a summer day, and being the last nice day that we'll probably see this year, I had to see my Buddy boy.

He's been a real pill lately when being ridden. Ever since he and Jewel became BEFFs (best equine friends forever), I almost can't ride him. He goes nuts about being away from her. After the last time I rode, I decided I'd had enough of this behavior and would let the little ass accompany us. (I write ass, because it is a legitimate term when referring to a donkey, although the double entendre is intended also.)

It turns out she isn't as annoying as I had thought, and I was right that it did keep Buddy calm, except that he fussed with a threat to buck when I asked him to canter. I just have to get comfortable in the gait on him; but his behavior isn't helping us get past that, and so my anticipation of trouble just makes it more likely. It's a vicious training circle that I'm trying to break. At least I had a good ride. It looks like I need to let her come along from now on, if I hope to get any actual training in, instead of a rodeo.

Jewel actually wandered back and forth from me to Buddy to patches of grass or just checking things out in the barn. She was like a foal around its mother being handled by humans. Except I think she also wanted me to take the burrs out of her coat. She kept coming to me and standing for that, unless they were in pretty deep. I had to get a scissors for those. I think she appreciated getting those off.

I took some pictures today because a friend asked for them. I figured I might as well share them here. In a couple days, I'll probably be sharing snow pics. I'm surprised how well some of these turned out, since Jewel kept coming right up to me and the sun made it hard to see my phone.

Jewel, the mini-donkey

With all the rain out on the farm these last few weeks,
the dam has turned into a lake! Bucket debated crossing
to reach Buddy and Jewel coming back to the herd. Eventually, he did.

ps--I'm told that she bites, but she hasn't tried to bite me yet. I wonder if it's because she knows I come for Buddy and they are friends, so I'm a "friend" or if it's because I've given her a treat a couple of times when I've gone out to catch Buddy.

pps--After I was back up at the barn and left them at the gate in the last pic, I turned around and saw Buddy and Jewel chasing each other, playing.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Forgotten Worlds series keeps growing

I'm not posting much, because I've been busy writing. I'm actually having a very good weekend of writing and was getting too excited to keep it to myself. Besides, I haven't updated the blog in a while.

Starting #6 of Forgotten Worlds was a challenge, but once I hit on the right start, it took off. The false starts aren't so useless after all, but they never are. I keep all the scenes I write in one form or another, usually in a "deleted scenes" file for each book, so it's easy to go back and pull in scenes that didn't fit when I originally wrote them but which do fit later.

The two scenes I wrote in my first attempts to start this book don't fit as openings, but they do fit into the story. I'm so glad I have them, because they fit perfectly into the story in other ways. I wish I could describe the format and how that works, but I don't want to ruin anything.

Forgotten Worlds #6 is about 1/4 drafted with those scenes inserted where they fit. It's not too hard to reach those milestones since these books are each around 40,000 words, just long enough to be called novels but nowhere near modern novel lengths. As I've said before, I love this length. It's just enough to write a fun story but not enough to feel overwhelmed in one big doorstopper book. I can do a lot more with this series than I can with fewer but longer books. Shorter books mean more books and more adventures!

I hope you're enjoying the series so far. Granted, only the first three books are available, but in just over two months, on December 19, book 4, IN DARKNESS, LIGHT, will also be available and book 5, THE DESTRUCTION OF WALLS, will go up for pre-order. I think you'll like the new character introduced in #4; I did. He proved to be exactly what the team needed.

I have many books planned for this series. I hope I can keep going for a couple of years yet. I don't have every book outlined, but I do have many ideas outlined. The problem is that I keep coming up with new ideas and so keep adding to the number of books this could be. I can make this a good long series. I can also tease you with one thing--there will be a book of the Orast Belt race (mentioned in THE RULE OF YONDER). I have that all outlined and am looking forward to writing it, but not until a couple books ahead of what I am currently writing. There is an overarching plot, after all, that I need to keep up, and the Orast Belt story will be more of a fun side-track story. I love the variety in this series!

Thanks for reading!