Today I got the first draft of the cover design for India Finds a Home, my dog rescue book. So I am very excited. Hopefully, things will start moving forward. Don't have any other book news except I am still working for myself as editor and have finished going over the first 13 chapters. I have notice how much better the story gets the more times I read over it and make new changes--even minor ones make a difference.
May 3, 2021
I have really neglected my blog for so long. I am so sorry and plan to write something new every week. I did read over my author page and saw that the information about my children's book, India Finds a Home, has completely changed before it got the OK to go to print. Because of circumstances not in my control, I had to change the last several pages of the story. I had to take out and then add new dogs that India meets. Please take a look at my author's page again and read about Mama Dog, Dog #821, Rocky, Butch, and Binky and best friend, blind Rodney. This is a book to melt your heart.
Hi. I am trying to get back into getting on my page more often and updating. Nothing new has happened and I am still waiting to get back to working with my editor. I have had a wonderful experience with a remarkable young man who has been helping me over the computer with the Lakota language for my Sunshine book. Peter lives in South Dakota and works with the language and is fluent. He has been working with me since last summer and has helped me tremendously. I have asked him to give me the correct words to use, asked him questions about customs. He even helped me to put the Lakota language keyboard on my computer so I can hit a certain key and then type the words with the correct accents markings. It is wonderful. I don't have that many words, but in some cases it just seems like the Lakota word fits, so I use it. Peter helped me translate my song that Sunshine wrote as grandmother had advises her to do. the language is so beautiful and I enjoy writing the words.
I flew last weekend to Clemson, South Caroline, to visit my granddaughter. She goes to school at Clemson University and she was getting her university ring. It was a nice, traditional ceremony. My son and I had a great weekend with Rylie in Clemson and nearby Greenville. First time I have been out in the world since I got back from South Africa three years ago.
So I am still plugging along on my own editing ...
Hi Everyone, Finally got back onto my page. Something happened and I lost the ability to get into my webpage information and update. But now maybe all is well again. Everything was going well last summer until the Covid-19 shut us down. I was on hold for my India Finds a Home book and my Spirit Journey; Sunshine's Song. Finally in the fall, I thought things were back on track but no, not to be. Then my wonderful editor got very sick and could not be my editor, so I have been assigned another editor (who is terrific), but she is busy with projects and cannot work with me for a couple more months.
In the meantime, I have been editing my chapters to get the work more polished, hopefully, for when I do get to work with my new editor. It has been fun, also, to have found a person who speaks fluent Lakota, and he has been helping me with getting the correct words for my characters to speak a word or two. I put the Lakota keyboard on my computer so I can make the accent marks. Just because I am not official yet, I am still working hard to write the best book I can. My dog rescue book is finished, but it needs to be illustrated. This all takes time.
From a woman who just recently read my book, Journey of the Cheyenne Warrior, I received the nicest review. I would like to share this with you:
Journey of the Cheyenne Warrior was a nonstop read from the moment I read the first chapter. During the entire book you cannot help but root for Little Eagle and his family/tribe. You have written the book so well that I felt like I was living the story with the tribe on their land, and while reading, the story plot came to real life like watching a movie. I wish that we can use stories like this to earn about history, as reading about the treaties and history of the Indian tribes through a story and making it more personal through the lives of those that went through that time period makes it an interesting way to learn about history vs reading names and dates in a social studies book. I am most shocked that the book is not marked with NY Times best seller as this truly was an amazing read.
March 12, 2020
My India Finds a Home book, a Fetch Fido A Flight book, is about ready to start the publishing process. My editor and I are reading over the last edit for any missed mistakes, then it will go on from there. The final phase. I am very excited, this is a heartwarming and important story about the animal shelters and how long terms dogs get forgotten and live many years in a cage waiting for a forever person to come give them a home. There is a happy ending. Fetch Fido A Flight organization helps pull dogs about to be euthanize and flies them to a shelter in Oregon to find their forever families. It is a wonderful thing. My India character--a big brown dog-- gets to go on this flight. This book tells her story from being abandoned to the shelter, then on a flight to Oregon.
Lots of love has gone into this book. And when it gets published, I will go back to the Spirit Journey; Sunshine's Song book. And since everything is shutting down and cancelling, I guess I will have plenty of time for editing this next book.
So, two important books coming out soon---lots of research, lots of hours on the computer. But it will all be worth it.
Still working on the editing for India Finds a Home book. It is turning into such a sweet story--sad but with a good ending. I visited the new Animal Shelter that just opened because of India and her friends and their life as long term dogs who lived in cages. This new shelter will have no long term animals, no cages but only runs, lots of open spaces. The dogs will now get baths and shots when they come in, and hopefully soon be able to get spayed and neutered and micro chipped. They are working with some vets to make this happen. It is life changing for these wonderful animals. The cats have nice spacious paces to stay and blankets and stuffed animals in their spots. The dogs also have big nice beds with blankets and stuffed animals. I feel so good about this and to know India and I were a very big part of making it happen.
There was another Fetch Fido A Flight rescue trip to Oregon yesterday with at least 100 dogs and a few cats.
We will get this book out and then go back to editing the Spirit Journey book.
January, 19, 2020
Wow, can't believe it is already 2020. Time goes so fast. I am still working on editing my two books. We have put aside the Spirit Journey book for a time and are trying to finish editing the India Finds a Home book so hopefully it will come out this spring. I have been working with the Fetch Fido A Flight rescue---helped them get 105 animals off to rescues in Oregon where they will get adopted within days. Such a wonderful experience to know you are saving so many awesome dogs and cats. They so deserve a good home and loving family. When the India story is published, then we will concentrate on finishing the editing of the Sunshine book. I am ever on point for that and always reading and learning. In the meantime, I have also given several book reviews to writing groups and book clubs. I will be ready to get back to my Indian book when the time comes. Never thought I would be working on two books at the same time, but it is exciting.
October 8, 2019
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.