This week has been hectic and I got to thinking about how many tasks fall to us writers that don’t involve our writing and research. Here’s an example of a week’s time:

First and second edits on my latest book have arrived and need immediate attention.

Stacks of entries for a contest that I’m chairing for the Ozarks Creative Writer’s Conference  were lugged up the hill from our mail box until hubby threatened to charge me by the pound. They await filed in bank boxes ready to number and mail out to the judges.

Up on the mountain tomatoes ripened and I had to go haul home a box.

Okay, so I settle down to take care of the final edits. First thing I run across is editor’s questioning the use of “faunching” by my hero. Said she believed me when I said it was a colloquialism, but the copy editor would want a dictionary definition. So I Googled it and after an advanced search found that it was what I told her. A fit of rage or anger. And it is in the Urban dictionary as well as several others.

Right now we’re discussing whether the term “gutter mouth” would’ve been used back in the 1870-80s. I say yes because the term “gutter snipes” was used for homeless gangs of children, so gutter would have been a known term. Writing historicals calls for a careful use of language. It’s not wise to use terms like “I didn’t see that coming,” or the like. Folks back then had their own way of expressing themselves.

Then the art department awaits. Debbie, a very sweet lady asks for some ideas of what I might want on the cover. Goodness, nice that small presses care. This has been a new experience for me. So I send a photo of a castle in silhouette from Dreamstime, then we decide that makes the book look like a medieval, but I so like the castle cause my heroines live in one in Victoria, Kansas. So I ask if it could go far into the background with western stuff up front. That’s where it stands now while they discuss it. Wilda’s Outlaw is coming together.

In the midst of these projects, a screen adaptation of one of my novels, Images In Scarlet, arrives for my approval. Hard to believe how they can take a book and switch things all around until it only vaguely resembles the original story, yet it’s there, with stuff left out of course to fit the time limitation. Hmm, not bad at all. Hope some movie producer agrees and picks it up to option. Or even better, turns it into a movie that probably won’t resemble the book at all. Still, it’s exciting and fun.

This all fringes on writing, but doesn’t get me anywhere on my latest project, a novella due by March. It’s a western too. Neither does writing this blog, but I like staying in touch with my readers and followers.

Oh, yes, then there’s the workshop Saturday, where I’ll try to help new writers with their books and stories. What a fun day that will be. Friday afternoon I’ll bake one of my mother’s favorite’s, cranberry bread, for everyone to enjoy with coffee before we get started. At noon we’ll drive down the mountain for a mile, travelling the ridge of the Boston Mountains with the jade green of the Ozarks spread out at our feet in all directions. We’ll eat at Grandma’s House. Home cooking big time, with pies still warm from the oven, while we get acquainted and visit. What a treat that is. Then back to Ozark Folkways to finish up the day and send some happy writers home with their proud accomplishments.

Made some telephone calls, checked out writer friends’ books online, forwarded information through the email. And last of all: wrote this blog.

About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
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  1. Honestly, I’m beginning to think back fondly on the good-ole-unpublished days when all I had to do was sit in front of a computer and enter into a world of my own creation. You, with all your books and projects? You’re an inspiration to me that, no matter how busy I get, I must find time to write. That and the little fact that, when I stop writing, I go even crazier than usual.

    • Know just how you feel. I just look upon these chores as a part of my writing. Even the tomatoes. Who could survive without those luscious red sweet fruits? Thanks for your support and comments on my post.

  2. Well, Velda, after reading your post, I’m exhausted! But I know exactly what you mean.
    I’m working hard to promote my mystery novel, “Mixed Messages,” which came out in April and takes place the week of Halloween. I just signed the contract for the sequel, “Unfinished Business,” which will be published sometime in November. (You know how much work that involves.) And, I signed up to do a two-week blog tour in November/December. Plus my own weekly blog and social networking – the list is endless .
    Oh, and as soon as possible, it might be nice if I spent some time plotting and writing my third novel. Now, I’m even more exhausted – but happy!

  3. Russell says:

    We didn’t have any gutters where I grew up, but I have been called Potty-mouth on more than one occasion. Does that help?

  4. jimcopeland says:

    Dear Miss Velda:
    It’s always a pleasure to hear your voice. Couldn’t help thinking about the term “Gutter-Mouth,” however I know there were things that went on in history that were not something you expected. I personally know about ‘Snipes.’ My grandpaw took me on a snipe hunt one night, dark too. I never did see that skutter. Grandpaw laughed when I struggled back across the terrace rows to the light on the porch where he was sitting. I got one for you, Shoot-fire-fuzzy. Ever hear that used? By the way I used it in one of my books recently, can’t remember which. I’m sure it has a gang of implications.
    Keep up the good work!
    Your friend…always
    James M. Copeland

    • Thanks, Jim. Shoot Fire Fuzzy. I like that one. Grandma used to say Land a Goshen and I hadn’t thought of that in years till you wrote and for some reason it just popped into my mind. Liked your snipe tale. Thanks for reading and comment on my blog.

  5. Velda, you have more energy than i can muster up. You’re an inspiration for the rest of us. Everyone go to Velda’s workshop. They are fun, full of great info and Granny’s is a great place to eat.

  6. Helen Ginger says:

    Uh-huh. What do you do in your five minutes of spare time?

    I really like the cover of Images in Scarlet. Very pretty!

  7. Velda, you had my mouth watering when you mentioned Grandma’s House. I remember when you took me to lunch there. Food was great – pies were fabulous! You sure keep a number of balls in the air at one time. Makes me feel like I should get back to work on my writing projects.

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