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Friday, July 21, 2017

Through an Author's Eyes - Part 5

Morning FFFs,
It's HOT. The heat index today is supposed to be 105º. This week I feel rather in limbo. You see, last Friday, my brother ended up being admitted to the hospital because of an infection on his ankle. That meant all 6 kids came over here. My sis-in-law who is due with baby #7 tomorrow, spent the nights at the hospital, and then went home during the day. My brother came home Monday afternoon, and all the kids went home then too. But it was pretty crazy. Now we're waiting. Will the baby be late like most of the other kids? Or will it be on time? How long will we have the kids? The answers to these questions remain unanswered.

So, I did get a little bit of writing done. I finished my goal of 7k for this Camp. :P Yeah, I lowered it again. I just wasn't getting the time to write. Even now I'm not writing much. Actually last night and today I have to listen to all of the 2nd Graham Quartet book and check for mistakes. My producer decided to do the book this week instead of in August. And he just told me that Wednesday night. And last night he got all the chapters up. He wants all the corrections that need made to him by Saturday. It's pushing things, but I'll try.

There are so many things I want to do, but I'm not sure I want to start anything because of not knowing when Baby is coming. We are doing a lot of organizing and rearranging in our house right now. It will look very nice and not so crowded when we get finished. But right now things are rather, shall we say, out of order. ;)

This is the last part of this story that I have corrected. I'm not sure what I'll post next. I might re-post a story. I don't know. Any ideas?

Through an Author's Eyes
Part 5

    “Of course,” Savanna agreed. “But we’d better get going before it’s time to set the table.”
    The tour was quick, and Annette thought it would take her a little while to get the full lay of the land fixed in her mind. She was shown the hay barn, the stables, the corrals, and some of the other outbuildings. She was going to like living out west for a few weeks.

    Supper was full of talk. Annette’s two other cousins, Levi, who was twenty-two, and fourteen-year-old Vic had returned in time to wash up before the food was brought to the table. As everyone ate, Annette observed them all with her writer’s mind. Each cousin was catalogued and little quirks noted, from Levi’s fiddling with anything his hands could touch, to Ava’s giggle, to Savanna’s pushing back a stray piece of hair from her face.
    Uncle Cleveland caught her silently observing and sent a wink in her direction before asking, “So, Annette, what story are you writing now?”
    “I’m not quite sure. I just started it on the way here. I’m writing about an author who goes to spend the summer with a friend she met at a conference.”
    “Is this a boy friend?” Aunt Yvonne asked.
    “No, a girl. But she has a fairly large family. And there are cousins who live near by. I thought of having her have the same sort of things happen to her as I experience.”
    “Oh, like what?” Uncle Cleveland grinned.
    “Like learning to ride a horse.”
    “Haven't’ you ever ridden a horse?” demanded Devon staring at her over his empty plate.
    “Nope.” Annette shook her head. “I did sit on a pony once at a fair and was led around in circles when I was four, but that doesn’t count. I want to ride a real horse.”
    “Levi can teach you,” Savanna said. “He’s good at that.”
    “Will you?” Annette asked, turning to her older cousin.
    Levi nodded, his mouth full of steak.
    “What else do you want to do?” Savanna asked. “Well, besides having those adventures you mentioned,” and she grinned mischievously.
    With a shake of her head, Annette gave a soft snort. Before she answered, she thought for a moment and her eyes drifted to the window where the mountains could be seen. Her face took on a dreamy look as she gazed at the rugged splendor. “I want to hike the mountains.”
    Levi raised his eyebrows. “Have you ever gone hiking in mountains before?”
    “Yes. Dad and I used to hike the Appalachian Trail all the time back home. Once some friends joined Dad and me and we took a five day back-packing trip along the trail. But I want to experience the Rockies. I want to look down from their lofty heights and see the valleys. I want to watch the sun rise from a vantage point up in the mountains. I’ve seen it rise over the ocean, from the Smokey Mountains, and even from a hot air balloon, but never from as far west as the Rockies. I want to hear nature come to life as the sun rises, to watch the light filter through the trees urging the tiny insects to life and telling the night animals to return to their beds for slumber.” She gave a long sigh and sat motionless, her eyes still on the distant mountains. Lost in thoughts and dreams, she didn’t hear the questions asked her or notice the amused glances exchanged.
    Someone nudged her foot, and she brought her gaze back to the room with a start. A quick glance around the table told her she had missed something. “What?”
    “Oh, nothing,” Aunt Yvonne assured her with a smile. “We were just making note of how much you and your uncle are alike.”
    “Getting lost even when everyone is around,” Vic said, grinning from across the table. “Seems to be a habit of writers.”
    “Sorry, I don’t usually lose myself in daydreams when I’m around others, but sometimes I just can’t seem to help myself.”
    Putting his napkin on the table, Uncle Cleveland leaned back with a chuckle. “Not to worry, Annette, everyone is entitled to a bit of eccentricity. Even the dog.”
    Annette’s ears perked up at that though she didn’t say a word.
    “Yep,” Uncle Cleveland went on, “John Wayne has a habit of liking rabbits. He won’t chase them from the garden, but he’ll take on other dogs, coyotes, bobcats, even snakes if he doesn’t like them. But not rabbits. No siree! Rabbits are safe from him on this ranch.”

    By the time Annette had crawled into bed that night, she was exhausted. The time difference and the late nights getting ready to come, all combined to weigh her eyelids down and she knew no more from the time her head touched the pillow until the sun was well up in the sky.

    The first full day at the ranch left no time for Annette to even pull out NEO and try to write. She visited all the horses with Savanna and Levi, and they chose a gray one named Mouse for her to ride. Uncle Cleveland took her to his study and the room which opened from it which was called the library. He showed her his working space and told her to help herself to any books in his office or in the library. She would have loved to settled right down and start skimming books, but Ava pulled her away and gave her a tour of the house, eagerly telling her bits of information in her cute seven-year-old manner.
    In the afternoon Annette helped Aunt Yvonne prepare supper. Only Vic and Devon seemed to be a little unsure of their cousin and kept their distance. They would talk if others were around or if she asked them a question, but they didn’t volunteer to show her things. Savanna quietly said they were the shy and quiet ones of the family.
Are you a writer who gets "lost"?
Do you like hiking?
Have you ever ridden a horse?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Through an Author's Eyes - Part 4

Good morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
It's a cloudy, rainy morning here. We've had some gentle rumbles of thunder, some light rain and now things are quiet. I think we're supposed to get more rain later. But this is a nice change from the hot 100º weather we've been having.

This has been a different sort of week. I was planning on writing. Lots of writing. But I wrote for the first time last night. Here's the rundown.
I had been planning on getting the Bike Trip book finished and uploaded to CreateSpace on Saturday. But things weren't right. The files were too large, and I had to spend an hour resizing all the pages I had created, and another hour inserting them again. Then there was something wrong and the pages weren't lining up right.
This is the front cover of the book.
Sunday I checked some files, found some duplicate pages and some missing pages.
Monday I planned to finish things. I made the last corrections, fixed some pages, then tried uploading it. It uploaded, but wouldn't change to a pdf. I finally just decided to wait until Tuesday because I was tired of messing with it!
Tuesday. Story of the day: The file won't save as a pdf. I spent four and a half hours trying everything I could think of. Nothing worked. There were tears, prayers, and finally God nudged me to try opening the file in a different format. I did, it saved as a pdf with no problem. Uploaded the file, finished the cover, and yesterday I ordered my proof copy.

Wednesday we ended up having all 6 grandkids over because my brother had to go to Urgent Care/ER with what they thought might be a blood clot. It's not, thankfully, but it is a bacterial infection. Add that to his athlete's foot, and my sis-in-law who is due next Saturday, and you have a family that could use prayers. :)

Anyway, I got the Bike Trip proof copy ordered, I received my proof copy of Dylan's Story, and I've been working on my Christmas books.

Enjoy this next part of the story.

Through an Author's Eyes
Part 4

    “I think so, but I didn’t know if you would or not. I can’t describe things as you can. Dad said he wants you to paint a word picture of the house and barn as seen from the gate.”
    “Why doesn’t he do it?” Annette was puzzled because her uncle was a writer like she was. Surely he could do just as well if not better than she could at describing his own place.
    “He likes the way you describe scenes. He said, well, I won’t tell you what he said or you may not write a scene again.”
    Unbuckling as Savanna stopped before the house and turned off the car, Annette laughed. She couldn’t imagine anything stopping her from writing. Writing was just a part of who she was. She had to write like some people seemed to have to text all the time.
    A large dog ran around the house barking a warm greeting. “That’s John Wayne; he’ll like you once I introduce you.”
    It took only a minute for the dog, which Savanna said was an Australian German Shepherd mix, to make friends with Annette. The front door of the house swung open and a young girl, a boy a little older, and someone Annette knew had to be her aunt hurried out to the porch followed a few minutes later by a man who looked much like her own dad.
    “Annette!” Aunt Yvonne exclaimed, hurrying down the porch steps with her arms out. “You finally made it!”
    Annette found herself in a warm embrace. “I’m so glad you let me come!”
    “Of course we’d let you come,” laughed Uncle Cleveland, pulling her into hug. “I’m tired of being the lone writer in the place. It’ll be nice to exchange ideas with someone who doesn’t look at me as though I were crazy.”
    Returning the hug, Annette laughed also. “I’d never think you were crazy, but I’m afraid you’ll think I’m a bit of a nut.”
    Uncle Cleveland chuckled and held her off at arm’s length. “You look just like your mom. She wasn’t much of a nut, so I don’t expect you’ll be too bad.” He winked and everyone laughed.
    “Oh, you can talk writing another time,” Savanna interrupted, pulling Annette back. “This is Devon and Ava,” she said, introducing the children. “Ava is seven and Devon just turned eleven. I expect Levi and Vic are out on the range somewhere.”
    It was all a bit of a whirlwind for Annette as the little girl hugged her, Devon shook hands looking slightly shy, and then grabbed part of her luggage while Uncle Cleveland asked questions, the dog barked, and Savanna and Aunt Yvonne talked. In no time at all she found herself inside, following Savanna who kept up a constant chatter about the house as they climbed the stairs and turned down a hall. Finally they stopped before a door which was half way closed. “Here’s your room.”
    Pushing it open, Annette surveyed the room with a smile of complete satisfaction. The room was a comfortable size, not too large, yet not small either. A desk stood beside one wall just waiting for her laptop. The bed was a double bed and covered with a denim and red rag quilt. Three windows let plenty of light into the room, and Annette lost no time in hurrying to look out of one of them. From it she could see the barn and corrals. And the mountains. Oh, those mountains!
    To her right, when she finally pulled herself away from the view, was a walk-in closet large enough for every piece of clothing she owned!
    “You have a bathroom all to yourself,” Savanna informed her, motioning to a door on the other side of the room. “We know writers keep strange hours at times, so we thought it would be easier for you not to have to try and bunk with anyone. Besides, if we shared a room, we’d talk all the time and you’d never get anything written. Now, we’ll let you settle in. Come on, Devon, Ava.” Turning back to her cousin, she added, “You can unpack now or later. But you might want to change into something a little more practical for a tour of the ranch. Something like boots on your feet would be good for a start.”
    Annette looked down at her comfortable shoes. They were low and light colored. “All right, but I don’t have any cowboy boots. We didn’t have time to go shopping for any.”
    “No problem. I’ve got an extra pair. You can wear them for now. Come down when you’re ready.”
    “Thanks, Savanna.”
    Left alone in her room, Annette looked about her once more. The desk was no doubt put there for her use. She wondered if she’d write better at the desk or in front of the window. “I guess I’ll have to try writing in both places,” she decided, setting her carry-on down on the desk’s smooth surface.
    It didn’t take Annette long to unpack and get settled. She quickly changed into her most comfortable denim skirt and a t-shirt. It took a few second to brush her hair back into a fresh ponytail and then she hurried from her room. The glimpses of the house she had seen on her way upstairs made her long to explore, but she knew Savanna would be waiting for her. And she did want to see the rest of the ranch. After making two wrong turns, she discovered the kitchen and found everyone waiting for her. Or at least they were standing around not seeming to be busy about anything.
    “Here,” Savanna said, pointing to a pair of western boots on the floor. “See if these fit you.”
    Sliding her feet in, Annette strode about the house. “I feel ten feet tall and able to lick my weight in wildcats,” she joked, grinning. “They fit.”
    “Can me and Devon go out with you?” Ava begged.

If you are a writer, do people think you're a bit strange?
Do you think other writers are strange?
Do you wear cowboy boots?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Through an Author's Eyes - Part 3

Good morning FFFs,
I've come to a conclusion that I'm getting two Fridays a week. How about you? Perhaps you are getting two of another day each week, but for me it's Friday. You see, we clean the house on Friday, and it sure seems as though we just cleaned it two days ago!

This week:
I ordered my proof copy of "Dylan's Story"! Now I can't wait to get it and see what it actually looks like!!! I think it's more exciting to get my proof copy than it is to get my final books.
I reached the end of "Finding Joy" this week! My editor hasn't read it all yet, so I don't know if I'll have to add any thing here or there, but it sure feels good to have finally found the end of the story. :)
I wrote my next part of the "joint author" story I'm writing with Kate.
That was my writing news.

We had a great time last Saturday celebrating the 4th on the 1st at some friends' house. Every year they invite everyone from church over and it seems like each year the numbers grow. We hang out, visit, eat, shoot off fireworks, and go home late. :)
Then on Monday evening we went over to my brother's house to celebrate the 4th only a day early (it was supposed to rain on the 4th), and Doodle Bug's 6th birthday (late!). It was a lot of fun. My youngest niece, Ti-K, wasn't sure she liked the "bang bangs" but she got used to them.

Tomorrow my nieces and nephews are coming over for the morning. I am planning on getting the last picture I need for the "Bike Trip book" when they're here. I need one of them (the 4th generation) all on their bikes. :)

And here's the next part of this story. Enjoy!

Through an Author's Eyes
Part 3

    “This is such a cute place!” Annette craned her neck trying to see everything at once.
    “We’ll come another time or two while you’re here, don’t worry. But I thought we might stop for some ice cream.” Flipping on her blinker Savanna expertly pulled into an angled parking place and shut off the engine. “Aunt May’s is the best ice cream parlor around! And I’m not kidding. It’s an old fashioned place, and a few times a year they hold dress-up days where anyone dressed in whatever sort of costume Aunt May has decided on, gets ice cream for half-price. And, if they really like your outfit, you get it free. The most common dress-up day is the old west. But they have done WWII day and oh, you should have seen the costumes! I spent most of the day there just watching people coming in and out.”
    “Oh!” That one word spoke volumes, and Annette gazed at the store front almost with awe.
    “Come on,” Savanna said, unbuckling and reaching for the door handle. “Let’s go get something.”
    Fascinated by the striped awning, the old-fashioned half curtains on the windows and the name on the door, Annette would have stood on the sidewalk until dark if Savanna’s words hadn’t roused her.
    “Oh, Uncle Art and the sheriff are inside. Come on, I’ll introduce you.”
    “Why?”
    “Because Uncle Art is a deputy, and they should both know who you are in case any of those adventures you were wanting require their assistance.” The laugh in Savanna’s voice showed she was teasing.
    Annette blushed as she felt herself being hustled inside the cool, dim shop. It was as quaint inside as it was out. But her cousin gave her no chance to linger looking about.
    “Hi, Uncle Art, Sheriff. I’d like you to meet my cousin, Annette.” She looked at her uncle. “She’s Aunt Marie’s daughter, you know.”
    Both men rose from the table where they had been sitting and held out their hands. “Welcome to Gone, Annette,” Uncle Art said, smiling from a bronzed face. “I haven’t seen you since you were a little girl in pigtails.” He pulled her into a hug.
    “Are you here for a visit or are you planning on settling down?” questioned the sheriff.
    “I’m just visiting for a few weeks.”
    “Well, we’re might happy to have you.”
    Annette nodded, noticing the hats on the table, the holstered guns strapped to the men’s sides, the shiny badges on their shirts and the cowboy boots on their feet. Her quick eyes had already taken in the mustache the sheriff wore. It was dark, and he looked just like she imagined a sheriff in an old western town would look. No police in the city back east looked like these men.
    “Savanna, tell your mom we should be able to make it to supper on Friday,” Uncle Art said.
    “Good. I’ll tell her. Come on, Annette, let’s get some ice cream.”
    Before long Annette was perched on a high stool before the counter staring at the giant scoop of black walnut ice cream before her. “How do you expect me to eat all this?” she demanded.
    Savanna laughed and shrugged. “It’ll tide you over until supper.”
    “It may fill me up until breakfast tomorrow,” Annette retorted, tasting her cold treat. “Yum!”
    In between bites, the two cousins sat and chatted. Savanna seemed to know everyone who came in, and Annette found herself introduced to so many people that she lost count. She had been hungry when she had arrived, but by the time her last bite was taken, all she wanted was a nap.
    “Ready to hit the road again?”
    Annette nodded. “Sure. But I need to take a walk soon if I’m going to stay awake.”
    “We could walk around town for a little while if you want.”
    The girls had stepped outside and blinked in the bright sunshine. After the cool air of the parlor, the warmth felt good and Annette rolled her shoulders in enjoyment. “That’s okay, I think I’d rather just get all the way there. But I will want to come back sometime.” She looked up and down the street, noticing all the shops and cafes, and a little barbershop complete with a red and white striped pole.
    “Then let’s get going. Levi and Vic will probably be out with the cattle, Dad’s probably working on the article that has to be sent in next week, and who knows what the others are doing. Ava is probably driving Mom nuts waiting for us.”
    With a sigh, Annette settled into her seat, clicked her seat belt and leaned back. “Boy, I’m tired,” she yawned. “I still don’t know how long it’ll be before I’ll get settled into the two hour time difference.”
    Laughing, Savanna started the car and backed out of the parking space. “It might also have to do with how early you had to get up.”
    “And my late nights this past week helping get Mom and Dad off and stuff like that.”
    “Maybe,” Savanna laughed again. “I don’t know if you’ll get a nap at the house or not. I know the younger ones are excited that you are coming, though Devon probably won’t say much, and you’ll most likely want to see the house and stuff. But if you want, I can be quiet and you can try to nap on the way. We have about a thirty minute drive.”
    Annette didn’t reply, but yawned again and settled herself back in the seat. She tried closing her eyes, for she figured a short nap would be better than none, but her eyes refused to stay shut. She wanted to see every bit of detail of this new country she was traveling through.

    When Savanna turned the car into a long gravel driveway, Annette sat up and looked about her. “Wow!”
    Glancing over, Savannah grinned. “Bigger than you thought or smaller?”
    “I don’t know. But it’s just . . . just beautiful!”

Would yo like to go to that ice cream shop?
Would you dress up?
What's your favorite kind of ice cream?