WRITERS WORKSHOP

Writers at work

Writers at work

 

 Twice a year I lead a writer’s workshop. The locale is so beautiful this time of the year that sightseeing is on the agenda of those who attend, so some of them plan on spending either Friday or Saturday night or both in the area. We gather at Ozark Folkways which is on top of the Boston Mountains of our Arkansas Ozarks. We always hope October will bring the peak of the change of colors, but a lot depends on the weather. It’s been so rainy all summer that our trees are still a deep green, never having gone to that faded shade brought on by a hot, dry summer.

 By this Saturday, Oct. 25, when the workshop is scheduled, there will be splashes of red and gold amid all the green. Standing on the ridge, one can gaze across the peaks and valleys that reach as far as the eye can see to the horizon. Inside, however, seated in the long, well-lit room across the back of the old stone building, work will begin at 10 a.m. when students, seated with a cup of coffee and perhaps a slice of cranberry cake from my mother’s recipe collection, get down to work.

 You’ll be asked to bring a work in progress (WIP) or just a head filled with ideas and we will go to work by learning such things as our character’s defining moment, who our story belongs to, what POV is and how to use it, etc., then we will write a paragraph based on the defining moment of our character. Reading and discussion will follow.

 One thing I’ve learned after giving these workshops for more than ten years is to listen to the ideas voiced by everyone in the class. It’s amazing what can come of these discussions. Someone will say, “well, what if …?” Or, “how would it work if …? and so on. Or a member of the group will have tried something that worked so well they want to share it.

 After lunch together at Grandmas, a mile down the road, where homemade food is delightful and the pies that come out of the oven there are so scrumptious everyone wants to take an extra slice home for later, we’ll return to discuss the subjects brought up on the handout, answer questions, talk about writers today, the market today, publishing books, short stories, the opportunities that abound for new and experienced writers. How and where to find answers to questions no one can answer.

 I always welcome novice, published and unpublished, brand new and very experienced writers to my workshops and we share all our knowledge with each other. There’s still time if you’d like to attend, we have a few slots open. Call Ozark Folkways and register, then you can pay at the door when you arrive. You can find their phone number online at Ozarkfolkways.com. and further information on my workshop is available at my website or here on my blog. Join us if you’d like.

 

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Driving Mr. Jack

veldabrotherton:

Just one of the many unusual things that come up for wounded warrior wives and their warriors.

Originally posted on Wounded Warrior Wife:

jack's chevy.
Jack’s first car was a ’47 Chevy. At sixteen, he’d work all week at the creosote plant, cash his paycheck on Friday, load the car with friends who were still attending Americus High School, and they’d head for Panama City. Get back at dawn-thirty Monday morning, just in time for his buddies to get back to classes and him to get to work.
After Vietnam, when he was driving 100 miles each day, back and forth between work and home and Sacramento State, he had a conversion van. As I understand it, a lot of adventures took place in the back of that van. He had a Porsche when we started dating twenty-five years ago. He drove another conversion van on a stumbling-four-breakdown trip the length of Mexico pulling a thirty-five foot trailer with me in the captain chair beside him and a wrinkled Sharpei dog on his lap…

View original 602 more words

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Stuff you never knew about ….

stack of booksReading and Writing are what I do best, but here are random facts about my life from a posting in July, 2007. What is in bold was added today.

1. From the deck of our house we see a creek named Sinclair and pronounced Sinkler, and the Boston Mountains.

2. I have no formal education beyond 12th grade, yet I have at one time or another been city editor, features writer and editor of three newspapers.

3. When we were building our home in the Ozarks we lived in a converted chicken house and bathed in the cold waters of Sinkler Creek, women first, then men.

4. I wrote three novels on a Sears electric typewriter before acquiring a computer which was actually nothing more than a word processor with a six by six inch screen.

5. None of those novels were ever published, but I’m reworking the first one, Beyond The Moon, which I finished in 1986. This book was published this month by Oghma Creative Media and is now available.

6. I met my husband when I was 14. We were high school sweethearts, and I only dated two other boys before marrying him 3 years later.

7. The Ozark National Forest is our next door neighbor and occasionally a black bear visits us.

8. I cannot think of another thing I would like to do if I could no longer write.

  1. When it comes to writing, I’m not sure what I enjoy the most: Western historical: watch for Rowena’s Hellion Oct. 24; mysteries: look for A Telltale Stone, the second in the Twist of Poe series, in April, 2015; or mainstream love stories: see Once there were Sad Songs and Beyond the Moon. Coming up is a horror, A Savage Grace, that will be released for Halloween in 2015.
  2. My favorite flower is the fragrant lilac, I enjoy movies in my spare time.

I was 71 when I wrote the above eight facts. Today I added nine and ten. Now that you’ve read a blog entirely about me, don’t you wish I’d write something about you? Well, I will. If you would like to have a post featured here, please let me know and we’ll get together on your ten favorite things. Write me at vebrotherton at gmail dot com.

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From Whose Head is Your Story?

A Writer's Post

A Writer’s Post

This first section is reprinted from March 2, 2007 Blog

Realizing the importance of this subject, I decided to repost several of my blogs which go deep into point of view for writers who continue to have problems. Hope this will help all those who are confused by POV.

POV, or point of view continues to present problems for writers. Here’s a description of all the points of view and how they are used. In my next post I’ll go into using deep point of view in your fiction writing and how much more imminent it makes your stories.
KINDS OF POINT OF VIEW
First Person: The “I” of fiction. The person is both character and narrator.
Second Person: The “you” of fiction. You are both character and narrator.
Third Person: Traditional “he” or “she” of storytelling. There are clear
distinctions between the characters and the author. More than one character
can be POV character. Beginners should stick to one POV per scene, though
experienced writers often have more.

There are three other types of third person POV. They are called the
omnisciences.
Omniscient: The author can enter any character’s head, see through any
character’s eyes or muck around any character’s heart. This is not really “as
God,” because readers only need to be told as much as they need to know.
Normally, though dipping into all characters, a writer should stay with two or
three main characters to keep from muddying the waters and confusing the
reader as to who is most important. Not for beginners.
Limited: The protagonist is the only pov character. Writer is objective toward
secondary characters, but delves deeply into pov character’s heart and mind
and soul. This is an easy pov and one that beginners should try first.
Objective: A cool, impersonal tone is created and writer makes no value
judgments. Moral distinctions are left solely up to the reader. Writer is as
objective of the main character as he is of all the others. It’s like watching
someone else’s home movie. No internalization. This is rarely used in today’s
fiction except in experimental works. End of early post.

Now, today, I’d like to talk more about the use of POV in modern writing. Think about it this way. When you step into a room with windows and doors, your point of view shows you what is in the room, what you can see out the windows and what you learn when you open a door. If someone walks into that room, then in your point of view you listen to their dialogue, but you cannot hear what they are thinking or what they know unless they tell you. If a dog barks outside, you cannot know what kind of dog it is or who it is barking at or why unless you go to the door, open it and step outside.

There you may see someone, maybe you recognize him. When he hollers at the dog you can hear in your point of view what he says, see his gestures. But you cannot know why the dog is barking unless you see something amiss. There is no guesswork allowed here unless it is in your internalization. Not in that of the dog owner or anyone in the room with you.

So when you write a story you must first decide whose story it is, and then remain in his or her point of view throughout the story, using the rules of this room I illustrated to you. Your character cannot see his own expressions other than being aware that he frowns or laughs, smiles or cries. But what he looks like doing this is not available unless someone says, “boy you sure look weird when you laugh or cry or whatever.”

Writing from a singular point of view is the best way for beginners to write. And don’t tell me it can’t be done and tell your story. My latest book, Beyond the Moon, is 565 pages long written from a singular point of view. It has five other characters who play a large part in the plot, yet it gets told very well from my main characters POV. Or so I’ve heard from readers and my editor and publisher.

As an experienced writer, some of my books are written from dual or more points of view, but there are rules that must be learned very well so they can occasionally be broken. And those should come later in your craft after you’ve accomplished the ability to write very well in singular POV.

My Writer’s Workshops are held in the spring and fall of the year at Ozark Folkways on top of the Boston Mountains south of Winslow, Arkansas. If you are interested in taking this fall’s workshop, the date is Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $35. Please go to my website or the News Page here on Word Press for more information on the workshop.

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It Drives Me Nuts

I'm so confused

I’m so confused

First, I have to say I am the contest chair for Ozark Creative Writers Conference contest. Some weeks I block on writing a blog. That probably shows up in the ones I do write. This week has been H E Double L.

The weekend spent at the hospital with my husband, who was taken from home by ambulance and put in the cardiac section. Turned out to be either a hiatal hernia or gall bladder. We still don’t know.

Then, after sitting three hours waiting to get him out—cause who wants to work on Sunday, even in a hospital?—and him lying there punching his button and moaning “I want to go home.” every three seconds—we finally trailed in about six o’clock. Then he had to be fed because he was starving. That green stuff looked like a cow’s cud and the chicken was nested on something foreign he couldn’t identify and would not put near his mouth.

Waiting patiently on my computer were messages, pleas asking me to make sure a certain contest submission got in the contest. People who wait till the last minute drive me nuts, but I do understand. It’s just that I can’t handle that. I have to be organized,

Going Nuts

Going Nuts

have all my ducks in a row and be ahead of schedule on everything, so naturally people who don’t drive me nutty. I still love them, don’t get me wrong. Friends and acquaintances, writers and family galore, I love them all. Some just drive me nuts. As I no doubt do them. About now, if my editor could see that sentence, he’d be turning purple.

So here I am, all the entries sorted to where they belong, envelopes to judges addressed, letters written telling them when to return their choices so I can get them in to the lady who writes the checks and fills out the certificates. I’m ready. But I have to wait for those late comers. Please don’t write me how you were sick, or broke your arm or had your appendix out. I already know and I do understand. But, and that’s a big but, there are those who absolutely cannot be ahead of schedule. They just can’t work that way, even without a broken arm.

I am a gentler, kinder contest chair. You leave your name on the pages, if you only have a few pages, I’ll black it out and send it on to the judge. Most chairs return them. If it’s too many pages to mess with, I make a phone call with a chance to fix it if there’s time.

Next time you enter a contest, please consider that contest chair who has to handle each and every submission, make sure the rules have not been broken before she sorts them into the proper files, and eventually number and remove your cover sheet and mails the bundles off to the individual judges. So, read the rules and follow them explicitly. Don’t drive her nuts.further nuts

It’s almost over. I can mail them all Friday morning and relax. But wait. The judges have been reminded that I must have the results by September 26. I can start going nuts again because at least one or two will wait till midnight that night to send theirs. Is there no end to my dilemma? I guess not.

My latest book, Beyond the Moon will officially be out Sept. 30, and will anyone do the stuff that needs to be done? No, not until the last minute, effectively hitting my nuts button once again. It’s just the way the world works. I’m the one who is out of step. Everyone else is doing a fabulous job promoting the book, designing posters and cards. The book is gorgeous. It’s available on preorder for ebook at a discount. So what’s my problem?

Celebrate with joy

Celebrate with joy

How do you handle working with people who don’t understand that you need stuff done weeks ahead of time, not at the last minute? Or maybe you are one of them that drives me nuts.

 

 

 

 

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You Want Me To Do What?

stack of books

Attend a ribbon cutting at Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Why would I do that? Because it’s for a company like no other I’ve ever been associated with. They wanted me and their other authors to be there when they officially cut the ribbon for Oghma Creative Media, a Promotional and Publishing House. Right here in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where there are so many authors you can’t stir ‘em with a stick, as my grandma used to say.

Several months ago I signed with these guys, having no idea what I was getting in to, but impressed by the pure energy exuded by Casey Cowan, its founder, who along with Patty Stith came up with the novel idea of promoting authors, artists, musicians, and artistbusinesses. And by golly, it was working.So I decided to try them out. I signed for promotion of a three book series I had on Kindle, something from my backlist. Known as the Montana Series—yeah, I know, that’s not very creative—the three books had slacked off from earlier booming sales and were clumping along with sales of five to ten books each month.musicians

I’d see what they could do for me to improve those sales. Immediately, Casey began to promote not only the Montana series, but what was more important, me as a writer and my work on the whole. Things rocked along. Casey said Tweet these subjects five times a week and so I did. Only one of them had anything to do with my books. The rest were information, entertainment, socializing. I continued to blog and Tweet and hit the social media route online, and there I would see stuff about me and my work, posted by the people at Oghma Creative Media.

Then the unbelievable happened. Casey decided if they could promote writers, why not publish them as well. He went to work learning the ropes. If you know him, you know he doesn’t mess around. He gets right to the core and it wasn’t long before he’d contracted M.G. Miller for a reprint of his incredibly fabulous book, Bayou Jesus, and Pamela Foster for Noisy Creek, her poignant story of aging gracefully in a small southern town. Then he asked me if I didn’t have a book. I said, sure, I’ve got several, but I was “fixin” —that’s Arkie for preparing—to put them on Kindle. “Let us see one of them,” he and Greg said in unison. So I did and the rest is history.

Beyond the Moon, the book of my heart and soul, will be released September 30 from Oghma Creative Media’s Foyle Press in Ebook, Hard cover and paperback, and I couldn’t be more excited. If you were at the ribbon cutting you know that Casey announced that Oghma is nominating Beyond the Moon for a Pulitzer Prize in Literature, which has me “beyond the moon.” Even more so than when I got the New York call back in 1993 that started all of this insanity.ny skylineOh, by the way, I’ve signed for two other books that will be out next year. The second of The Twist of Poe Series, The Telltale Stone, in April 2015 and a little evil thing I call A Savage Grace, scheduled for a Halloween release in 2015. You’ll be surprised that such a wicked story could come out of my sweet little self. Oh, and my cookbook will be re-released sometime during all this excitement. There’s talk of more, but why go on?

Casey is brilliant, Greg is a top notch editor, Staci and Jess and all the others who have a part in building this new business are super hard workers, always ready to lend a hand to any one of this stable of authors that is growing by leaps and bounds.

When Casey looks at me now and says, “I need you to …” I don’t hesitate, not any more.

 

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WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

wild west

Many times I’m asked where I get ideas for my western historical romances.  It’s simple, really. In fact I have enough stuff scribbled down to write these books for another twenty years or so. I prefer to write about the 1860s through the 1880s, though that’s not a set rule. Each time I go on a trip through that era in my research the most fascinating thing happens. Characters begin to appear and talk to me. Tell me what it’s like to live in the time and place I’ve stepped into. They speak to me of amazing feats, how tough life can sometimes be, how enjoyable certain facets of that life are. First it’s the women who visit with me, but it isn’t long before some strong heroes show up and give me the lowdown on being a man who sticks by his woman.

Soon I begin to ask questions. Where does she live? What sort of family  does she have and are they close? Sometimes I find myself hoping she is alone, because for my type of book that works out best. I need a heroine who has overcome many barriers on her own to get what she wants. Then she meets the man of her dreams and up pop more barriers that they must overcome together.pensive woman

Women were second class citizens, and I have to remember that. They weren’t much more than slaves to some men. So perhaps she’s trapped in this sort of situation. But because it’s a romance, she’s not married unless it was arranged. Her “master” may be her father or an elder brother who’s now the head of the family. He might be the man she works for, as in cooking, cleaning, washing. Or she could be an innocent girl caught up in the life of a “soiled dove,” or a widow battling being alone again.

Consider the set-up of several of my books to see how these women are situated: In IMAGES IN SCARLET, an original from Topaz and now available from Kindle, my heroine, Allison Caine, lives in Missouri. It’s 1866. Her father, a photographer during the Civil War, has died.  Trained by him in his craft,  she sets out alone with her camera equipment in what was known as a “what’s it” wagon to go to Santa Fe where she wants to set up a photography business. Oh, I forgot to tell you, she’s armed with a Navy Colt, just in case. Inspired by an article on women photographers of the day.

woman horseIn Goldspun Promises, also from Topaz and now available through Kindle as  MONTANA PROMISES, seventeen-year-old Tressie buries her mother and a stillborn child and is left alone on the prairie. She is obsessed with getting revenge on her father who deserted them to go hunt for gold. The only way she can do this is with some help. And in rides Reed Bannon, badly wounded and in bad trouble. She has to save him before he can help her out of her dire situation. The gold rush to Virginia City Montana inspired this, the first of the Montana books.

Moonspun Dreams from Topaz, is now available through Kindle as MONTANA DREAMS.  Our heroine Dessa Fallon travels from Kansas City to Virginia City because her parents have learned that her brother, missing since the end of the war, may be alive. During a horrendous stage ride, she is kidnapped by a gang of robbers. Unknown to her at the time,  the mercantile her parents own has burned down and  both died in the fire. Now she’s in a pretty fix, huh? Except for the reclusive Ben Poole who may be the answer to her prayers. Driving the golden spike to connect the east and west coast by rail inspired this tale of a mythical train ride.

I think that’s enough to give you an idea of how to place a heroine in a precarious situation to kick off a book about the wild West and the people who lived there as well as where the inspiration comes from.her saddle

 

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WOMEN WHO CONQUER AND RULE

 

armed woman Republished from July, 2012 with some updating

Besides being a writer, I’m a woman, a wife, mother, grandmother and a great grandmother. And I’m a human being, an American, a daughter of pioneers. My great grandmother on my mother’s side went west with her Victorian parents when she was 13. She was born in 1865 soon after the end of the Civil War. She married a lawman in Winfield, Kansas and they had four daughters. My grandmother lived in Montana after her marriage until they moved to Arkansas. Here she rode side saddle and carried a 22 revolver. I was told she was quite fearless as a young woman. One of her sisters went to work for the Winfield Newspaper when that was not really the thing a woman did. Another was a true rebel, what today might be called a flower child. So it is in my blood to do what I do.

Navy Nurse Corps

Navy Nurse Corps

Over the past 30 years that I’ve written and been published, I’ve seen the role of women in novels and stories evolve from the meek to the mighty. Some could say this has happened much too slowly, some could add that the female role has become a bit ridiculous in some instances. Women who fight and conquer monsters might seem to some to be outrageously impossible. Yet isn’t that what has been done since that day in 1920 when the lowly female of the species was at last allowed to cast her vote? It was once outrageously impossible. A monster which women conquered.

I can’t help but point out, being a writer of much that is western in fiction and non fiction, that the first time women were allowed to vote and hold public office took place in Wyoming as early as 1858. I have long wondered why this happened there, of all places. Could it be that because women were in such short supply on the western frontier, they were deemed more important? Or more probably, there weren’t any men who would consider holding these offices, and so it fell to women. Let’s hope it was because the women were stronger and more stubborn, having survived the challenges involved in going west and living on the frontier.

I know that is true of such job offerings as post masters of small towns on the early frontier. The pay was so small that no man would apply for the job. It was also work that could be done from home while tending to the washing and ironing, the scrubbing and cooking, the birthing and raising of children. Today, women are fulfilling all sorts of jobs, not because it’s easy, but because it’s difficult.

My favorite quote, and here again I’m paraphrasing: Women who behave don’t make history. In other words, if we don’t raise all holy Ned, then our names and our deeds will soon be forgotten. Take my very distant cousin, Clara Barton. She did what most other women of her day disapproved of. She cared for the sick, including the male of the species. My grandmother was so infuriated by such actions that she would not lay claim to our relationship to this courageous woman who began the Red Cross in this country. Barton dedicated her life to seeing that soldiers and indeed all those who fell ill or were injured, received the care they deserved.

Women who move beyond the limits set by their culture often gain other women’s disapproval. For instance, Mabel Dodge, who dared marry the man she loved who happened to be not only a Tewa Indian, but a man who worked as her chauffeur. She and her husband  went on to build The Sagebrush Inn in Taos, New Mexico.

My book, Fly With The Mourning Dove, is about a strong and determined woman, who from early childhood enjoyed the freedom of ranch life. A difficult life lived on the high desert of New Mexico where women were breaking out of the mold in so many ways. Edna Smith Hiller, who lived the life I wrote about, faced plenty of adversity, much of which the book doesn’t touch on. During her 92nd  and 93rd year, she shared her stories with me, the great adventures of her life, going back to the age of six. Her memories were precise, her stories amazing, and she recalled so much of the early Anglo settlements in New Mexico around Taos and Santa Fe. This admirable and amazing woman is also a sidesaddledistant cousin. At 97 she handed over the management of her ranches to her daughter and son-in-law. Until she passed away last year, a few months short of her 100th birthday, Edna had a hand in managing two of the ranches that have been in her family since the homesteading days after World War I. As far as Anglos and this United States are concerned, New Mexico is young compared to other states.

My header reads Sexy Dark and Gritty stories of Gutsy women from all walks of life. When all I wrote were western historical novels, it read Stories of Gutsy women who won the west, but now that I’ve branched out into women’s fiction of a contemporary and recent nature, we’ve changed that a tad so it includes all my fiction and nonfiction, including the new mystery series.

Women like those who were courageous and strong enough to settle unknown country, build homes, families, churches, businesses, molded our lives in so many ways, for which we should all be grateful. We are who we are because of these women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From a Nubbin of Inspiration

 

wood carving

wood carving

 Finishing a project is self-fulfilling, no matter what it is we create. Musicians, artists, crafts persons, writers, we all share something exciting. With our minds, we make something from nothing. Well, almost. That nothing begins as a nubbin of inspiration.

 It is said that a wood carver removes all the excess wood from something that waited within the piece of walnut or pine or birch. That is much the same way a musician works.music notes All the excess notes floating around are pushed aside to find those that await, perfect in every way. Painters discover images in the swirls of color, the strokes that slowly form what lay fallow in their minds until just the right movement of the brush revealed it in all its glory.

Artist

 When someone asks me where I get my ideas, I have no idea where to start. I find them in the sound of wind through a giant oak outside my window. In the ray of sunlight that prisms just so through the glass. The laughter of a child who has discovered something new in her world for the first time. A story told on the news that brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. A young, courageous man returning from war with a smile on his beautiful face. A mother who holds her newborn child for the first time and sees the hand of God at work.

 I could go on forever explaining where a writer’s ideas come from. But I won’t, because I think you get it.

Going all philosophical can be explained easily. My latest book has just passed through the galley stage and I will soon hold it in my hand. Approximately 150,000 words labored over off and on for years. Characters I have lived with so long I love them all dearly, hate to let them go, in fact. This book is the crowning glory of my writing career. I have this niggling feeling deep inside that I will never surpass it. 

Some writers only write one book in their entire lifetime. I’ve written many, but none have meant so much to me as this one. It is based on true happenings during a time when I was most vulnerable to new ideas. My children had left home to begin their lives, not without me, but apart from me, and I wandered the empty rooms of my house for months, not quite knowing what to do with myself. Then I turned on a television program that sent me reeling into what would turn out to be months and months of research, several years of writing, many more years of rejection and hope.

soldiers

 That television program featured a young, haunted man who had been charged with all sorts of trumped up charges. But mostly, he had come home from a dreadful war known as the Vietnam Conflict after being held as a POW for more than five years. And we called him a traitor, among other things. I watched Robert Garwood try to tell the American public that the military had left behind more than 2,000 men in Vietnam. I watched two men take him by the arms and escort him immediately away from the mics waiting for his statements. And I began to cry.

 I still cry when I think about what was done to this young man who was involved in the bloody killing fields, tortured and imprisoned, and then mistreated by his own countrymen. But I did more than cry, I did what a writer does. I spent the next six months digging into everything I could find out about that war and what happened to so many of the men who fought over there for their country. Then I wrote a fiction novel based on what I learned, and I decided to make a woman the main character. A woman who falls in love with a fictional Glen Tanner, who has returned from nine years of captivity and torture, broken and fighting a battle to survive.

 Beyond the Moon is the book that will soon be released from Oghma Creative Media. It’s a long book, a big book, a story of bravery and the power of love, and I hope many people will read it and come to admire Glen and Katie and their abiding courage.

 

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Naked Ladies in the Yard

Belladonna Lilies

 

I may be rather old fashioned, but that comes from my Victorian grandmother’s side of the family. She wouldn’t even refer to a stud horse or a bull by those names, but rather thought up euphemisms for such things, such as the gentlemen. Yet when it came to the beautiful pink lilies that emerge after their initial leaves have died away, their stalks standing talk and naked–their true name which is Belladonna, often called surprise lilies–she always called them naked ladies.

 

Indeed that’s what they look like, and we have bunches of them in several spots in our country yard. They are in glorious bloom right now. Since so few flowers manage to bloom in the heat of July and August these ladies are a welcome sight when all else save some Rose of Sharons (or would that be Roses of Sharon?) still struggle to show off their bright colors.

 

The wildflower kingdom is a bit different, for we still have all manner of sunflowers and daisies displaying their golden brilliance in ditches and at the edge of the woods. This morning I gazed into the shadowy wilderness that surrounds our yard and thought how beautiful this year’s foliage is. With so much rain it is more like a rain forest than a typical almost-August Ozark woods.

 

Into the woods

Into the woods

Jade green leaves of oak, maple, hickory, and black walnut are lush, while the plate sized lighter shade sycamore leaves brush against each other to sing in the breezes that blow on our north slope in the early evening to dark. The crisp fragrance of fresh-cut grass, still thickly green, floats in our windows flung wide to accept every breath of fresh air. No air conditioning to mar our enjoyment of the outdoors. The cloudless sky is so blue it appears to crackle in the sunlight.

 

Just sharing a typical day here at our place tucked up against the Ozark National Forest and a part of the White Rock Wildlife Management Area along the banks of Strickler Creek. Hope you’re having as beautiful a day as we are.

This is where  I create my books, novels and stories. Beyond the Moon will be out in late August and I’m ecstatic about its release. I know you will  enjoy this love story that you’ll remember for a long, long time after reading it. Glen and Katie will grab your hearts and minds with their courage and impassioned devotion.

 

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