I came home last night to this in my email. Gosh! What can I say? I’m over the top excited so here’s what I want. Take a clear pic of of this billboard ad if you live in or are passing through the Salt Lake City area. It will be somewhere along the I-15 corridor this coming week on a rotational electronic billboard.Then contact me and I will get right back to you! The first person who can send me the clear pic of this ad on the billboard will get a $20 GC to their choice of Starbucks, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s, Walmart, or WaWa.
I had a manuscript that was on a deadline, and I was failing miserably to get it finished. Now it’s in the edit process which can also be hectic. But that is a hurry up and then wait. Life tends to insert itself at all the wrong times and this fall was one of those times. So I stressed and I wrote. I have no idea how many books I managed to turn out in 2015. I’d honestly have to look it up. Several books went to print, several were bundled, and in the meantime I was writing.
I’m not going to go through that this year. I’m putting my foot down and saying no! I do have an unusual chance to do something odd concerning our local newspaper, but I have to catch up on some other things before I even think about tackling that project. But that project is calling to me.
The Authors of Main Street are already talking about a new Christmas project for 2016. That’s a yes. But some of the other things? I’m slapping a big NO! on them.
Being an author means sitting in front of the keyboard and turning words into sentences and putting sentences together to form paragraphs, and paragraphs to chapters until I reach the end of the story. I’m a slow typist and that correlates into lots of hours of sitting. Sitting is not good for me. I need to be more active. So I need to cut down on the number of projects that require me to sit here and type. No, I’m not joining the gym!
But I do need a life. True, I do hang out with friends almost nightly at one of my local Starbucks. I guess you could argue that it’s having a life, but I want more! When I get into these writing binges, my housework goes out the window and never returns. Does a dirty, messy house effect a writer’s mind? I’m going to say no, I can ignore all sorts of messes and dirt, but I’d much rather live in a serene house that is clean. Well, it’s not going to happen by itself!
Ever notice when you redo a room, maybe paint it and fix it all pretty, that you gravitate to the room? I have. That’s telling me that my mind wants to be in a clean pretty place. I can survive with this but I want that. I’m not going to paint this house by myself! Not with the super tall ceilings that I have. But I do intend to get it clean, organized, and probably painted. I’ve lived here for over 20 years and it has never been painted. Never! The only way any of that will happen is if I get away from the computer for a few hours each day, because it’s such a mess right now that I couldn’t hire someone to paint it. (And I know someone who will give me a great deal on painting!)
Also I was given a fabulous camera. It’s an older model but I’ve used this camera for years so I’m comfortable with it. I want a chance to spend more time with it and take more pictures. This is something that my muse craves. When I grab that great pic, I get that Adrenalin rush of a junkie. Why not spend time allowing my muse to find beauty in all things? Plus it gets me out of the house – into nature, and places that I wouldn’t have gone when I’m at the computer. Furthermore, I’m sniffing some fresh air and getting some exercise. I’m not against exercise, I just don’t like gyms. Go take a nature walk for an hour and not on some pretty, flat path. You’ll get a workout and a big, fat dose of fresh air with Mother Nature.
And can you imagine how many books are on my Kindle waiting for me to read them? Not just books but books that I really want to read? I need to feed my mind with words other than my own.
I think it’s all beginning to sound as though I’m going to have a life beyond the keyboard. But don’t worry, I intend to keep writing. Maybe it will be one day day a week that I spend away from the computer and that coupled with a few hours each day taking care of my home, etc. will mean less hours to write. And that might count up to one less book a year, but I think having a chance to refresh my mind and body will be a positive thing both on a personal level and as an author.
I don’t make resolutions, I make plans!
My out of control to-do list:
I know I must catch this site up to date!
I know, I know, I need to do my website, too!
My desk is a wreck with piles of papers that are threatening to fall over onto the floor.
The wreath on the front door needs to be changed from summer to autumn. That means the porch needs a good scrubbing before it gets too cold.
I have rooms in this old house that are begging for a deep cleaning and a coat of paint!
I have the edits that need to be done for my upcoming Christmas story. Oh, it’s cute. (Crossing my fingers that you’ll love this story.) Remember Frank from Mariner’s Cove? The irresponsible cousin? Well, Frank’s grown up. He still loves motocross, but that accident took him out of competing, besides he’s not the right build for such a sport. Except he still loves to ride motorcycles!
Well, he’s back and the adrenaline rush that he once got from competing… Oh, he found it in the courtroom…for a little while. That concept of charging in for the win soon wore off. Now he’s run away to Mariner’s Cove to make some decisions about his life.
I have another manuscript (Clare Coleman’s story) partially written, sitting in the background that’s begging for time. I’m committed to three more stories, including a historical western that must be completed by various dates between now and spring
I’m playing with characters in my head for that historical western and just when I think I have a story – I back off from it. If I can get past one scene in my head, I think I’ll be ready to write it.
You know what a perfectionist I am. I don’t write fluffy stories. I have a wonderful female lead for this story. She’s cemented in my head. She’s feisty and gritty, has seen the tougher side of life. She’ll never be a prissy female. I love her! But creating a hero who is strong enough to handle her… I’m having my problems. So as they do in the theatre – it’s cattle calls, except they are in my head! So one scene and one hero.
Now let’s add some more real life into the mix. UGH! Yes, I have a real life, or at least, I’m supposed to have one, right?
I’ve got a guy working on my yard and I need to get him back here to do some more. He’s awesome! He knows my perennials when he sees them. He’s not cheap but he’s worth it. But I must be here when he’s here.
I also have the County Fair. I love the Fair! I’m the photographer for our local fair. I’ve been with the Fair in various capacities since before the Fair was reinstated in 1994. But being the photographer is the best job! I actually get to see the entire Fair, meet with people, and enjoy myself.
The Fair is one of those jobs that for a few days, I’m no one other than me. No one even cares that I’m an author. I’m just one more cog in the wheel that makes the whole thing happen. There’s a full year of planning and hard work that goes into the event, and the people who are doing it are friends. Some are new and some are old.
Some have retired, declaring it’s time to let the younger ones do it. The Grim Reaper has taken a few too soon, a few have moved far away, including my very best friend, and several have had life changes that caused them to step away. So when I walk into a meeting, it’s filled with old faces and new. But I love seeing those “old” faces.
Maybe some day I’ll write a series of books all based around a county fair. (I live in the east. We have farmers, not ranchers.) But I love our farmers. A little rain never stops our farmers – those city folks stay away if rain is predicted, but not the farmers. They aren’t going to melt! They are there to have fun! They work hard and play hard.
I also love the bull riding! Okay, I’ll admit I have this cow thing. It comes from being raised in dairy country. There’s something extra special about playing with a calf and letting it suck on your fingers. But those bulls are raised to perform in the ring. They aren’t friendly!
BTW, I’ll let you in on a secret about bull riding. Those four-legged boys know that when they go back to the pen after their performance in the ring, they are going to get a treat! Yep, it’s waiting for them! But they also seem to enjoy the noise or maybe they don’t. Anyway, they aren’t always good about going back. And don’t ever think that they won’t hurt the people who work with them! They are not pets. When you see those folks scrambling, they aren’t faking it! Riders get hurt, clowns get hurt, and even judges get hurt! I swear bovines are not the smartest of creatures. They fall on the low end of the scale for intelligence.
Oh, here’s another secret. There is a rope that goes around the bull’s abdomen. It’s what the riders hang onto with one hand. Many people think it wraps the bull’s…male anatomy. Nope! It does fit the narrowest part of their underside. It has to do that. The bull rider can’t have it sliding around, therefore it must wrap the skinniest part. But it’s not there to hurt the bull. Although I don’t think the bull is real fond of having a tight rope around him. Would you be? I don’t think so!
Did you know that the bull earns points, too? He’s as important as the rider. And if he earns enough points, he can go pro, too! That makes the bull’s owner happy.
I love the chickens. I’m drawn to certain breeds. If my memory serves me correctly, it’s the Polish chickens that always look like they are having a bad hair day. Seeing them just makes me laugh. There must be hundreds of breeds and for fun, people collect them.
And I love watching the children. The 4-H kids as they show off their lambs and goats, and the children who have never touched a farm animal. Some great photo ops there!
I’m very partial to that whole Ag (agriculture) area because for years it was my area. I was the chairperson in charge of it. I grew it from one small tent to several large ones with a chairperson for each tent. I’m definitely a proud Ag “parent” when I see all those big tents today.
So this week I will take something like 800 photos a day and then I must whittle all the photos down to about 100 great ones. It’s a huge job that must be done in a very short time.
I think I’m off topic! Oh, well my point is my to-do list is getting way too long. And considering this is my county fair week, I have plenty to do. So anything that isn’t directly related to the Fair is pushed to one side. This is my week to give back to my community.
I intend to enjoy this week as I have done for the last 23 years. I don my western hat, and my denim shirt that says photographer, arm myself with a couple of cameras, and pack a bag filled with lens, batteries, etc. My muse gets yanked in a different direction and recharged. I see old friends who I haven’t seen in a year and I make some new ones!
When it’s over and all the photos are filed, I’ll be exhausted and facing my to-do list which has lost a week. That will put me further behind. But I promise I’ll post a few photos.