Sunday, September 20, 2020

So Much Green!

This week turned out to be showered in green.

Here's what I had hoped to get done and what I actually accomplished. Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is worked on and red lettering is a failure.

1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”

a. Post a blog about it once this week. No, I did not.

b. Post that video I made on YouTube. No, I did not do that either. Technology is scaring me off. I gotta suck it up and figure it out.  

c. BONUS. I did set up for a free promotion of the e-version starting tomorrow.

2) My WIP, the novel, “Rewrite the Now”.

a. Write three chapters. I wrote only an actual two total chapters for 3,356 words, with 360 on the next chapter, but also wrote the premises for the next four chapters, an additional 167 words, so I’m really thinking this goal was met. 

b. Do an evening of research for it. Done. I watched another hour on the documentary about the Civil War.

3) Other writing.

a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles. Yes.

b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Yes.

c. Do research into markets for some of my short stories.  Yes, actually I did!

4) Other stuff.

a. Work on my family tree. I did about an hour.

b. Work on one of my several quilt projects. I did sew together the easy one – just needed to sew the front to the back and stitch it together.

Dino plopped down on the quilt as soon as I spread it on the floor. 
And no, I did not stitch that pattern together, it came just like that. 

 This coming weekend, my kids are taking Hubby and I to a cabin up north for a few days. I will probably have time to work on my writing and other things, as the cabin does have WiFi, but I should probably focus on spending time with the family.

 I think it’s reasonable, though, that I accomplish the following during the week.  

          1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”

a. Post a blog about it once this week.

b. Post that video I made on YouTube.  

c. Promote the free e-book version on my social media.

2) My WIP, the novel, “Rewrite the Now”.

a. Write three chapters or 4,500 words.

b. Do an evening of research for it.

3) Other writing.

a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles.

b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.

c. Write a short story to submit to one of the markets I discovered last week.  

4) Other stuff.

a. Going to that cabin on the weekend, so don’t think I’ll get a chance to work on anything extra. But that is super-okay, right?   

Oh, and once again, this new Blooger set up is making me lose my mind!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the way this looks today, all spread out. Stupid Blogger!!!!!

Have a great week, be safe and stay healthy.  Chris

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Jumped in and here I am

 As usual, I jumped into the past week with high hopes and dreams of unbound energy. And here we are, Sunday night, thinking I did okay, but surely could have done better.

Nothing much exciting happened all week. Just life – the day job, the house keeping, the family. We are all hanging in there, as best we can and taking it a day at a time.

Here's what I had hoped to get done this week and what I actually accomplished. Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is worked on and red lettering is a failure.

            1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”
a. Post a blog about it once this week. No, did not.
b. Market it in some way. Not really, but almost. I spent most of the afternoon yesterday making a video about it. Will have to try posting that to the web this week.
2) My newest novel.
a. Come up with a better working title. End of discussion, just pick one. Ok, after much ruminating, I am calling my current WIP “Rewrite the Now.” Will maybe talk more about why another time.
b. Write three chapters. Wrote one and a half chapters for 2,105 words.
c. Do an evening of research for it. I watched an hour-long documentary on the Civil War. Learning more about the lead-up to the Civil War, it sure does sound like history is repeating itself.
3) Other writing.
a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles. Yes, I did and actually used it as a third post to -
b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Posted three times.
c. Do research into markets for some of my short stories. Hmm, I don’t think I did.
4) Other stuff.
a. Work on getting the kittens to be friends with our old cat. I think this is as good as it’s going to get. Maybe they will never be friends, but I don’t think the old cat will kill them.
b. Work on one of my several quilt projects. I got one of them out, didn’t do much with it, but it’s out, staring at me, waiting for me to attack it.
The Old Cat thinking "you've got to be kidding"
As close as Old Cat, Dino and one of the kittens are going to get. 
 Not much going on that I can think of in the upcoming week. I guess that’s okay. I just need to stay on track. Oh, and one more thing - I hate, hate, hate that blogger is changing their site. Why are they all doing that? Leave stuff alone. Who needs any additional changes right now. 

Okay, moving along to next week. 

          1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.”
a. Post a blog about it once this week.
b. Post that video I made on YouTube.   
2) My WIP, the novel, “Rewrite the Now”.
a. Write three chapters.
b. Do an evening of research for it.
3) Other writing.
a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles.
b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
c. Do research into markets for some of my short stories.
4) Other stuff.
a. Work on my family tree. It’s been a while.  
b. Work on one of my several quilt projects.

Hope you are enjoying the fall weather. And praying that you are safe, wherever you are.

Have a great week.  Chris

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Strange Week


It was a strange week. I can’t really go into it. Well, I can say that I called in sick Tuesday, with a headache. Not a big deal, I think it was just from stress and lack of sleep.

That being said, I should have gotten more done. But I, at least, have a bit more green and yellow. I’m okay with that.

Here's what I had hoped to get done this week and what actually happened. Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is worked on and red lettering is a failure.

.           1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.
a. Post a blog about it once this week. Hmm? No.
b. Market it in some way. Hmm? No again.
2) My newest novel.
a. First, I need to think hard about a better title, even if it is still a working title, it has to be better than “Save Our School”. Maybe I need to write this out, type my thoughts and something brilliant will come to mind. The book goes back and forth from the Civil War era to the near future, maybe around ten years from now. So, I’m thinking of a take on something like “Back to the Future”. So, more like “Forward to the Past” or like “History Comes Alive”. As if those aren’t as dumb as “Save Our School”.  Maybe “Gone with the Future”. It’s also a post-quel to my new old spies series. I know, has anyone ever heard of a post-quel? Opposite of a pre-quel, right? Ok, so at least I can give this goal a yellow, as now I have proof that I have thought about it.
b. Write three chapters. Close. I wrote a chapter and a little bit for a total of 1,532 words.
c. Do an evening of research for it. Yes, I’m going to count the movie I watched on Tuesday set in the Civil War.
3) Other writing.
a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles. Yes, twice actually.
b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Yes, thrice actually.  
4) Other stuff.
a. Work on getting the kittens to be friends with our old cat. Yes, but it is a slow process.
b. Work on one of my several quilt projects. Noo, what was I thinking!   
c. Go out to my mom’s property. Yes, and picked up this awesome teapot in the old family dump along the swamp on the property line.
Adorable! And it cleaned up so nice, just like new. 
Well, except for the bottom being missing. Oops!
With Labor Day tomorrow and nothing else on my plate, I’m hoping to get at least a few things done. No plans yet for next weekend either. Life is on hold right now, more than usual, so maybe I will lay low and get lots accomplished then as well.

1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.
a. Post a blog about it once this week.
b. Market it in some way.
2) My newest novel.
a. Come up with a better working title. End of discussion, just pick one.
b. Write three chapters.
c. Do an evening of research for it.
3) Other writing.
a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles.
b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
c. Do research into markets for some of my short stories.
4) Other stuff.
a. Work on one of my several quilt projects. 
b. Work on getting the kittens to be friends with our old cat. 
First time outside, inside the fenced garden, watching the old cat stalk passed. 
How about you? Do you have any plans for Labor Day? Feeling like summer truly is over? And how about school? Have the kids in your town gone back to school physically, or are they do it virtually?

Have a great week.  Chris

Sunday, August 30, 2020

the highest point - not really


My brother-in-law and his wife came up Thursday night to spend the weekend. We had a good time, were able to visit and get caught up on life, and took them for a ride to the highest point in our state. Too bad my accomplishments for the week weren't at the highest point. 
(It will be beautiful up there once the leaves change colors in a few weeks)
Even with all of that, I should have gotten more done on this list. Instead it was one of those weeks where I sat down today and thought, “why am I even posting this? I accomplished nothing on this list.”

Yet, here I am, willing to share with you what a failure I am, because, in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “tomorrow is another day”.

Here's what I had hoped to get done this week and what actually happened. Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is worked on and red lettering is a failure.

1)    My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.
a.     Post a blog about it once this week. Nope.
b.     Market it in some way. Pretty sure I didn’t.
2)    My newest novel.
a.     First, I need to think hard about a better title, even if it is still a working title, it has to be better than “Save Our School”. Nope. Maybe it’s just too soon though. Maybe I need to write some more on it to get a handle on it. On both my previous novels, I changed the working titles several times before settling on the final ones.
b.     Write three chapters. Nope.
c.      Do an evening of research for it. I actually did spend an hour or two watching YouTube videos about the Civil War.  
3)    Other writing.
a.     Finish updating my website. Yes! Finally! This has needed to be done for a long time. Click here to check it out.
b.     Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”. Nope, didn’t even do this. That is kind of my barometer of a bad writing week. I ALWAYS post to “The Dino Chronicles” twice.
4)    Other stuff.
a.     Continue working on getting the kittens to be friends with the dog and our old cat. The kittens are totally okay with the dog now. The old cat? Haven’t worked on that yet.
b.     Take our company somewhere, showing them some of the sites around our town. Yes.
c.      Go out to my mom’s property. Nope, still haven’t gone out there.

I’m not going to despair, though. I will just keep retyping these goals (or more like copying and pasting them), until I see all green.  

1) My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.
a. Post a blog about it once this week.
b. Market it in some way.
2) My newest novel.
a. First, I need to think hard about a better title, even if it is still a working title, it has to be better than “Save Our School”.
b. Write three chapters.
c. Do an evening of research for it.
3) Other writing.
a. Write an entry in my Covert Corona Chronicles. I’ve been trying to write something once a week; I need to remind myself to keep on that.
b. Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
4) Other stuff.
a. Work on getting the kittens to be friends with our old cat.
b. Go out to my mom’s property.
c. Work on one of my several quilt projects. I have a co-worker who can make a quilt – start to finish – in one week. Me? I’ve got three started – one from about three years ago. I guess it’s like my writing – it’s so hard for me to stick with one thing and finish it.

With the Labor Day weekend coming up, I feel like I will have more time to get things done. We’ll see how that works out for me.

Have a great week.  Chris

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Getting Back to It


It hasn’t been by leaps and bounds, but I have started getting back at it. I’m realizing, once again, that this writing thing may always be just a hobby. Sure, I write a book and publish it, never coming out ahead financially, but if I enjoy doing it, why not continue moving along.

Here are my goals from last week and whether or not I was successful with them. Green highlight is goal accomplished, yellow highlight is worked on and red lettering is a failure.

      1)    My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River”.
a.     Blog about it again on Friday. Done.
b.     Marketing. I feel I’ve done all the marketing I can, but I’ll keep thinking on it. I won’t give up on it. Umm, surely I did some marketing. . . .
     2)    My newest novel, “Save Our School” (working title only, and a dumb one).
a.     Write three chapters. Wrote two chapters and 2,436 words.
b.     Do another night of research. Not really, but I did start reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, as my book begins in that same time period.
     3)    Other writing.
a.     Post about the last day of our camping trip on my other blog. Done.
b.     Finish redoing my website. Worked on it, but not finished yet.
     4)    Other stuff.
a.     Finish washing the last of the windows in my house. Yes, done. What a chore that is.
b.     Go out to my mom’s property. Nope, didn’t make it.
c.      Spend lots of time playing with the kittens, especially acclimating them to our old cat and the dog. Yes, of course.  

The best news of all, though, is that just as I came back in my office to start finishing this, I looked out and saw my big ol’ doe going through the backyard. I haven’t seen her in a few months. I wasn’t worried about her; there’s enough in the woods to eat. But I did miss her and the last time I had seen her, she spent an hour in the shade of our pine tree. I hadn’t seen her fawn all spring (Hubby saw it once.), so I was sure the fawn had met its demise. But there he was, following Mama along the trail. Sorry the pictures aren’t the greatest; it was starting to get dark in the trees. I’m so happy to see them!

 And what about the coming week? My brother-in-law and his wife are coming up later in the week to stay for a few days. That will be so nice, as they haven’t been here since Christmas, due to COVID19 and we’ve missed getting together. It may put a damper on some of my progress, but it will be well worth it.

1)    My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River.
a.     Post a blog about it once this week.
b.     Market it in some way.
2)    My newest novel.
a.     First, I need to think hard about a better title, even if it is still a working title, it has to be better than “Save Our School”.
b.     Write three chapters.
c.      Do an evening of research for it.
3)    Other writing.
a.     Finish updating my website.
b.     Write two posts on my other blog, “The Dino Chronicles”.
4)    Other stuff.
a.     Continue working on getting the kittens to be friends with the dog and our old cat.
b.     Take our company somewhere, showing them some of the sites around our town.
c.      Go out to my mom’s property.

That sounds like enough. Summer is definitely winding down. As much as I like the Fall, I hate it because it means that Winter is coming next. Uck! But it can’t be worse than the eight months of 2020 we have slogged through already.

Have a great week.  Chris

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Truth Beyond Tommy

Tommy studied Bill’s still face, gazing into his lifeless eyes.
Tommy felt a hand on his shoulder. “Come on, buddy, it’s time to go.”
“I don’t think so.”
“I’m sorry Tommy, but you’ve seen men die before. Heck, you’ll probably see more before you get home.”
“I think I am done here.”
“Don’t we all want to believe that?” The sergeant patted Tommy’s shoulder. “We all want this war to end, for the fighting to end, but I—” he choked on his words. “We gotta go.”
“This is not my war. Next time I fight, it will be at home where I belong, where my people are, where I can fight a war and win.”
           
Since publishing “The Truth Beyond the River” last month, I’ve been sharing excerpts focusing on some of the main characters. I’ve been holding out on writing more about Tommy.

Twice in the book, he is referred to as a “troubled man”. And not through any fault of his own; life has not been kind to him. His father was killed while drunk driving, and his mother raised Tommy and his sisters on her own, with help from friends and neighbors, all of them living in poverty on the reservation. Fighting in the Vietnam War only added to his burdens. He came home suffering from PTSD, which in the mid-1970s had yet to be diagnosed. He’d always been somewhat short-tempered, but the trauma of the war made him volatile at times.

As he dove under the water and resurfaced several times, he thought about the months he slogged through Vietnam without so much as a clean change of clothes. His feet, along with those of most of his platoon, seemed to rot inside their army-issue boots. Nothing ever got dry. On those rare days when he got a shower, within minutes of toweling off sweat seeped from his pores. The humidity was unrelenting. He didn’t feel clean until his feet were dry and back on American soil.
Even then, though the filth came off his body, his mind remained poisoned.

Somehow, though, Tommy retains a kind and caring side. He is committed to not only winning a new war at home, but also to caring for his nephew Jericho. In fact, he is fighting this battle to better the lives of all of the children in his tribe.

Six men, two women, and a boy had gathered in the large kitchen, which was equipped with industrial grade appliances and the space to accommodate them. The small boy wore jeans a size too big and a t-shirt a size too small. His tennis shoes had holes in the toes and it was hard to tell what color they had originally been. His black hair hung straight down just to his shoulders, and his face was smudged. His lips were set in a straight line, but it was obvious he was having difficulty suppressing a grin.
“Jericho.” Tommy squatted down and pulled the boy into his arms. “How is my little corporal?”
The boy snuggled his head into his uncle’s neck.

In some ways, Tommy is the most complicated of the characters in my book. In others, he is the most straight forward. Though I created him in my head with no one in particular in mind, he is the easiest for me to picture. Perhaps because of that, though, I had the hardest time finding a photo of my own which reminds me of him
My sister Pat at a waterfalls up north in 1981.
I can imagine Tommy drawing strength from the rushing water in the same way. 
If you’ve already purchased a copy of "The Truth Beyond the River", thank you from the bottom of my heart. If not, click on the link to get yours. Or let me know and I will get you one of my copies. Thanks for all of your support and have a great weekend. Chris

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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Stay-cation


Last Sunday evening’s blog post presented quite a gloomy outlook. But as mentioned then, it was brought on by the usual letdown which occurs every time I publish another book.

I never know when I will be able to get back in the saddle again, yet, surprisingly another horse showed up at my house last Monday all ready to be ridden. So what was I to do, except to start writing a new novel, even though I had already started one two years ago and was 14 chapters and 16,000 words into it.

I really never saw myself as someone with attention deficit disorder, yet here I am, with my head in sixteen different places, wondering why I can’t get anything done!

That’s enough rambling. Here is what I did this past week, during my staycation.

     1)    My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River”.
a.     Blogged about it on Friday.  
b.     Reminded pretty much everyone I talked to to write reviews of it.
c.      Got the four copies in the mail to those who had helped with it and heard back from all four of them that they had received their copy and were so pleased.
d.     Sold one copy and have cold hard cash to show for it.
     2)    Other writing.
a.     Blogged about our camping trip.
b.     Wrote three chapters and 1700 words in my newest novel.  
c.      Did research for the newest novel.   
d.     Started redoing my website.
     3)    Other stuff.
a.     Cleaned the shelves under the basement stairs. What a horrendous mess that was!
b.     Cleaned three drawers in the kitchen and three night stand drawers.   
c.      Picked and froze beans every other night.
d.     Washed half the windows in the house.
e.     Took a walk at a park in town and took lots of pictures.
f.       Met my brother-in-law and his wife halfway between our town and theirs for a picnic lunch.
g.     Picked up the two new additions to our family! 
Emma, in the carrier on the way home. She is so adorable and such a cuddler. 

Gizmo. He was supposed to be a girl, but oh well. He is a little dickens though.
He looks so big in this picture, but he's really only a little taller than she is. 





































I’m thinking, as always, how wonderful it would be to be retired so that every week could be like this one. But, no, it’s back to work tomorrow. And after work each night, what am I going to get done?

     1)    My novel, “The Truth Beyond the River”.
a.     Blog about it again on Friday.  
b.     That might be it. I feel I’ve done all the marketing I can, but I’ll keep thinking about it. I won’t give up on it.
     2)    My newest novel, “Save Our School” (working title only, and a dumb one).
a.     Write three chapters.
b.     Do another night of research. Half of it takes place during the late 1850s and up through the Civil War. The other half takes place ten years from now, it’s kind of dystopian. This will take a fair amount of research.
     3)    Other writing.
a.     Post about the last day of our camping trip on my other blog.
b.     Finish redoing my website.
     4)    Other stuff.
a.     Finish washing the last of the windows in my house.
b.     Go out to my mom’s property, because I’ve been going to do that all summer and here it is almost the end of August!
c.      Spend lots of time playing with the kittens, oh, and especially acclimating them to our old cat and the dog.  
Emma and Dino actually get along pretty well already. 

Gizmo and Dino? Not so much. 

That’s about it. Wish me luck. And here’s hoping you have a good week as well. Chris