I never realized how hard it is to write a best seller book. My editor seems to think I may have one but I must continue to edit and rework sentences, take out, change, add--and my brain must stay focused at all times. I am used to hard work, but this is certainly a challenge. Hopefully, I will be able to produce.
At the same time I am working on the Spirit Journey book, my first tween children's book, India Finds a Home, made it to the contract spot. So I am editing this story, too. I am doubly excited because the editors think this book also will be an award winner. Tough work, but worth the extra sweat and tears to have a darn good book.
Not much going on this summer. I had planned to go on a book signing tour in Wyoming and also thought about going to the Western Writers of America Convention in Arizona, but my house AC went out and had to buy a new one, so all trips were cancelled. I have stayed busy though on working on the Lakota book. We have been editing and also working with the Cheyenne people and Lakota people for the native language I use in the book. Want everything to be correct. I have met some really nice and helpful people, but it has just been a slow process. Glad I now have the time to work on these since I am home. I do have some things lined up to do for the fall and winter which will be fun and interesting.
I have not been doing too well keeping up with my blogging. I have been so busy editing and working on my new book, Spirit Journey: Sunshine's Song, that I have been a slacker when it comes to blogging. Writing consumes several devoted hours each day and then you have to squeeze in house work and yard work. My highlights for the last couple of months have been a book signing at Barnes & Noble, several interesting activities at the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the cocktail party there where I met Kevin Costner. What a night that was. So I am working very hard to finish up my own editing so the editor can help me and work with me to get it ready to publish
Been working on this new book since I can take my time reviewing and editing and rereading. My new editor is still finishing up his other project, so I have the time now to really think about my changes and polish what I have. My editor gave me some wonderful ideas to give the story more life and to make the reader really get involved with what Sunshine is going through in her life. I think this will hook the reader into feeling what she feels and goes through with the events that occur in her life--ending with Wounded Knee. He said it could be a real heart-wrenching story.
I will be going to some book sales during this spring and a couple of history days at museums. This is always fun and I get to meet interesting people.
I have written a children's book which I plan to submit soon. It is about a rescued dog named India. Lots going on now.
In June I plan to go to Arizona for the Western Writers of America Convention. My first one was in Kansas City two summers ago. I had such a great time and can't wait to go to this one.
Having some problems with getting my blogs to stay put. I wanted to say that my next book has been accepted to be published. Work is now beginning on editing and fixing and changing again. My editor and I have a busy and hard road ahead to get the book just right. I am excited and don't mind the rewriting and editing that I must do, for it is a labor of love. I hope it's the best book that I can write. I love writing historical fiction because it is a wonderful learning tool. The reader will learn much history and culture about the Lakota Sioux people and their struggle to survive. Get a box of kleenex because it is not a happy story.
This past June, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to South Africa for 3 weeks. It was truly a journey of discovery. I really did not know what to expect in the landscape, weather, people, and wild animals, but I was amazed and overwhelmed at everything. South Africa is magnificent and powerful and different in so many ways. We flew to Cape Town for a few days, then traveled to Port Elizabeth on the east coast for a couple of days, then flew to Durban. This is wine country and it is delicious. We learned all about apartied and its effects on the people and land and economy. We got on a big bus at Durban and drove through Swaziland, over flat land and over mountains and valleys so beautiful, it took your breath away. At Johannesburg we learned all about the mining industry because there is where diamonds and gold were discovered. This big city is the "Wall Street" of South Africa. From here we flew up to Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls, the largest water fall in the world. Oh, this was so incredible and so big and powerful. We had an evening cruise on the Zambezi River and watched hippos and crocs along the shoreline. We had been already on 3 game reserve drives and had seen elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, lions, cheetas, leopards, impalas, hyenas, kudos, buffalos--so close and personal--it was amazing and so powerful. Before we left Victoria Falls, we drove down to Botswana and went on a walk with the lions---actually walking with them and petting them and sitting down with them. Their faces are so beautiful up close. Then we flew back to Johannesburg and on home---15 hour flight to Atlanta, Georgia. And it so happened that since the plane was already full, my two grandchildren and I flew first class! What an experience it was. The people were wonderful--so friendly and helpful and happy--and always smiling. The people and the animals all live in harmony with each other. There are very few fences, and animals could be any and every where. I have fallen in love with South Africa and hope someday to go back and do the very same trip. I had read the history before I left , and I was so glad I did because I understood more. It was a trip of a lifetime (And I sold three books)
March 16, 2018
I had the opportunity to visit the new Indian Museum here in Oklahoma City. It will open in the spring of 2021. It will be such a beautiful museum. Most of the outside is finished and it will be unique. The museum will be borrowing back (on loan) many items from the Indian Museum in Washington DC. So basically we are taking on loan items that we loaned Washington and presenting them in our museum. The theme that includes all the 39 tribes here in our state is water/earth/fire/wind. There will be in the outside center circle twelve 28 foot poles/flutes which represent the twelve language families that all the tribes speak. When the wind blows through them, one hears flute music from the wind. They have many wonderful ideas in making this museum special. I will be looking forward to seeing it complete.
March 9, 2018
I don't have anything new to write about, but I did come across a quote I found taped up on the bathroom door in a hostel in Peru where I was staying a few years ago. It really struck me ... as I have tendency to get a little bored when I have stayed home too long. I have traveled to a lot of places over the years and this quote made me realize why I get bored:
"I am not the same having seen the moon shine from the other side of the world."
The rest of the quote is also something to think about: "Most of all, inspire yourself. Find a tree and sit at its roots and listen, pick up a rock and hear it speak. The moon is our night light, the sun our everglow ... The world will turn eagerly towards you to hear your inspiring words and songs, see your paintings and drawings, touch your sculptures, drink your films and embrace all your inspirations. Let your inspiration feed others and give them the juice to grow and to glow, see you in dreams and telepathic communications ...
Just some food for thought.
Still editing and polishing Sunshine's book. She has an interesting life with the Lakota people. Of course, her story is filled with hardships and tragedies along with happiness. I found some new info which I have added and woven into her book--I like to have little known information in my stories to make them more interesting and to make learning more fun. Many times these facts are things I didn't know and always wondered about. Now I know and will share with my readers.
I will work on this book until I edit the whole thing and it is ready to submit--hopefully this next summer. I am still home a lot as I recover. I get impatient at not being able to be my old self with lots of energy, but it will come. I have to get my strength back before summer because I am taking two grandchildren to South Africa for 3 weeks.
I took granddaughter #1 to Europe, granddaughter #2 to New Zealand and Australia, now the next 2 want to go to Africa. I have 4 more trips with grandchildren to look forward to--don't now where in the world they want to go. This is such precious time with my grandchildren when they graduate from high school. Where will the next children take me?? It doesn't matter, I love to travel and have been to many exciting places all over the world.
I know many people blog every day, but I don't know what they talk about. I don't have that much interesting to report so I don't write very often. I am involved in many things besides writing, but this is my writing blog so I keep it at that. I guess I can tell you all about South Africa when I return. We are going to Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger National Game Park and several other game reserves, Durban, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls and much more. I have been reading about the history of this area--so very fascinating. I will write about my travels and hopefully about my next book this summer. In the meantime, I do have some events to look forward to this spring for my cowboy book.
Been working on editing and polishing my next book--Sunshine and her Lakota Story. Had lots of time while stuck at home recouping.
The cowboy was usually in his late teens. He worked up to 14 hours a day for about $25.-$30. a month. On trail, he slept on the ground with his saddle as a pillow, ate plenty of beans and biscuits, and drank strong six-shooter coffee. After about 6-7 years of hard, back-breaking work, the cowboy got burned out and found another job. He worked outside in all kinds of weather. He carried no watch, yet knew when it was time for supper or when it was time for him to ride out for his watch on the herd. The cowboy had a good appreciation for humor and could tell a long-winded tale which left everyone laughing until their sides hurt. Most could not swim, so the river crossings presented a fear unknown to us today. The cowboy dealt with Indians, stampeding cattle, crazy weather, and rustlers -- all in a day's work. The cowboy's job was far from glamorous, yet he invokes a spirit of freedom and adventure of the Old West.
Hope you readers will enjoy learning about the life of the cowboy, riding the Chisholm Trail, the Johnson County War in Wyoming, and the Cherokee Outlet Land Run.
If the cowboy was the hero of the West, then the Indian was in many cases the tragic figure as depicted in my first novel, Journey of the Cheyenne Warrior. Brave Eagle's life as a warrior on the plains was truly a simple life of nature and freedom and peace -- except when fighting another tribe, usually over horses. They did not covet the land but merely lived on it and with it. The white man came onto the plains and changed everything. The Native Americans had to decide how best to live with the ever-increasing white men. They could fight them or accept their rules, either way they lost. The brave warrior with feathers in his black hair, painted face and body, wearing fringed and beaded war shirt and leggings, beautifully beaded moccasins, carrying his war shield and bow and arrows, and seated on his pony was just as powerful an image of the West.
Cowboys and Indians are both part of America's unique history.