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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sites - Reading

I overlooked my Twitter site. You can also follow me on Twitter.

I've been reading and trying to absorb some of the information about indie publishing and marketing that's contained in The Indie Author Power Pack, a three-book set covering the subject of indie publishing and marketing, etc. The books are Write, Publish, Repeat by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant; Let's Get Digital (2nd Ed.) by David Gaughran; and How to Market a Book (2nd Ed.) by Joanna Penn. It also contains some Exclusive Content on the subject.

This set has taken me about a month to go through and I'm not completely finished yet. It was slow going in some areas with a lot of detail, all worthwhile to someone trying to learn about indie publishing and marketing. I haven't been able to do any writing on my novel because of this and the usual day-to-day "busy" times, violating one of the rules of the set, which is write, write, write. I've picked up some pointers which I will try out with my new book when it is finished.

This isn't a review of the set, but I can see where it is going to be very helpful in my future writing and would have been on my books already out there, if I had only known.

I purchased the set on Amazon, the Kindle edition, about a year ago.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sights on Sites

I'm on the following sites:

Facebook

Linked-in

Pinterest

Send an e-mail to "ocase at cox.net" to join my sites or just go to each and look me up and be a friend. Be careful on Facebook. There is more than one with that name.

Enjoy the Springtime!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Short Stories by Zane Grey

I read a couple of short stories by Zane Grey this week from a book entitled The Westerners Frontier Stories published in March 2000 by Five Star in Unity Maine.

The first story was The Ranger about a Texas Ranger who reminisces about life in the past and hopes for the future before he is ordered to find out what happened to Roseta Uvalde. He and others think that she either ran away or was kidnapped by the Mexican Quinela, the bandit and "friend" of Senor Uvalde. Tex Medill, the Ranger, knows Roseta and thinks at times that he could resign from the Rangers and marry her and settle down on a ranch of their own. Now, he has the task of finding her and bringing her home safely. Turns out that everyone was right about her disappearence, she did "go on a ride" with a cowboy acquaintance for fun, and she was kidnapped by the Quinela gang of outlaws while on the ride. Quinela wants her and hopes to get revenge on Uvalde for a past misdeed.

Medill is captured, too, by the gang and must use his brain and ranger experience to get free and save Roseta.   How he does this and brings Roseta back safely is a dangerous and difficult job and an exciting story by Mr. Grey. It is a fairly lengthy story, but that doesn't lessen the interest in it for me. I liked it.

The second story, Lightning, is almost as exciting as two brothers set out to capture the wild mustang that has been stealing horses from ranches. Lightning is a beautiful, grey horse with a long, white main that lives in Sevier County, Utah, in the cedars and forests of central Utah. How they go about capturing the animal makes for a fine outdoors story where they have to outsmart the animal. This story has no shoot-outs or gunfire to enliven it, but I really enjoyed reading it.

This book also contains a couple of unusual stories, one by Grey's son, Loren Grey, about whales. Not exactly western in nature, but very interesting. I will tell you about them when I get to 'em. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Dusty Richards Novel, Ambush Valley

This novel has been my "waiting book", that is, it has been in my car waiting for me to read it while I wait for the wife to do her shopping. About every time she makes it back, I was caught up in the plot at an exciting place and had to put it away until the next time. It is one of the Byrnes Family Ranch   stories.

In this one, Chet Byrnes moves lock, stock, and barrel to Arizona from Texas. A year earlier he had gone to Arizona to check out the possibilities and found them pretty good. He bought a ranch in the Verde Valley and now he was ready to move in. He packed everything into wagons and took along some cowboy relatives and the family to supplement those in Arizona and settled in the Verde Valley. He was busier than a one-armed prospector digging for gold, buying a couple more ranches, chasing outlaws, and buying and selling cattle. When Chet was there before, he met Marge Stephenson and fell in love and they get married later on.

Dusty Richards paints a fine portrait of Chet Byrnes and family and all the problems that comes with running a cattle ranch, plus the other two ranches Byrnes acquires. The story moves right along with action mixed in with domestic plans. And like the other Dusty Richards stories that I have read, I enjoyed this one, too. The book is a Pinnacle pocket book in the First Edition printed in 2014.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

New Books

True West Magazine for April 2016 has some reviews of new westerns by Stuart Rosebrook. They are:

     1. A House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke. Fifth in a series of the Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland novels.
     2. The Grant Conspiracy: The Wake of the Civil War by Lee Martin. A mystery novel around a supposed conspiracy to assassinate President Grant.
     3.Entertaining Women - Actresses, Dancers, and Singers in the Old West by Chris Enss. Non-fiction review of some of the entertainers of the old West.


And there is an advertisement for three books "On sale now." They are:

    1. Pray for the Dead by Dusty Richards.
    2 .The Searchers by Alan LeMay
    3. Ten Guns from Texas by William W. Johnstone.

Sounds like powerful good reading there and True West Magazine is always full of good reading..





 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Not Again?

Yes, I tried it again. I rolled out my two-wheeler and pulled into position in the hallway near the closet and wrestled my box of books out of the closet and onto the two-wheeler. What a struggle that was at my old age. I don't have enough common sense to split up the books into two boxes, and I stuff the box with more books than I'll ever sell in a morning. Always the optimist, I rolled the contraption back out to the garage and parked it next to the trunk area of my car. I had already loaded two chairs into the trunk and all I had to do was put in the books and the cart.

I only dropped the box once and the books came tumbling out onto the cement floor. I coulda cussed a blue streak, but I was calm, cool, and somewhat collected and only said a few words about the design the books made there. I promptly threw the books back into the box and managed to pick it up and push it onto the chairs where it said thank you for not dropping me again. My wife and I piled in and drove the one-half mile to the church parking lot that was full, except for the one spot I saw in the next to last row.

"Good, we have only 300 yards to the spot where our table is," I said to the better half, and started unloading the trunk. The box of books seemed to gain ten pounds pulling it out and setting it on the ground where the cart was already placed. Moving it onto the cart, I unloaded the chairs and placed them on the box. Off we went, pushing the cart in front of me for the distance. I set up a chair and sat down, regaining my breath before we unloaded most of it. "Next time, we're not going to bring so damn many books," I said.

For the next three hours, we sat and ate hot dogs and donuts that we purchased at the stand and drank cold water. We were hungry, not having any breakfast. We sold enough books to pay for the trouble and a little extra, so we packed up and headed home. We then went to the Olive Garden and had lunch, spending our profit. Oh, well, a penny earned is a penny spent.

Now I'll keep a record of the income and try to figure out how much tax we'll have to pay on it. Tomorrow I'll be all stiff and sore from the heavy lifting, and the next time, I will be sure to repack the books into smaller boxes or I'll have to hire somebody to do the heavy lifting.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Best Western Shows

Among the 12 Best Western Shows per an article on Yahoo was number one Gunsmoke. I sure don't disagree with that choice. I still watch some of the series in spare moments. Number 2 was The Wild Wild West and I never cared too much for it and only watched maybe a half-dozen episodes.

Other favorites on the list were Bonanza (No. 3), Have Gun - Will Travel (No. 4), Maverick (No. 6), and The Lone Ranger (No. 9).

Others were Cheyenne (No. 7), Zorro (No. 8), and The Virginian (No. 12), that I watched a few episodes of each, Cheyenne being the one I liked best of these.

The Guns of Will Sonnett and Kung Fu (Nos. 10 & 11), I never saw much of and don't know if they were good or bad. The Kung Fu shows I saw were all right.

And then there was Rawhide (No. 5). Didn't see too many of these, but were okay in my book.

Do you agree, disagree with my selections? 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Miscellaneous items

Lately I've been studying how to write fiction stories in the hopes that I could then produce better stories. I can't say that I do now write better than before, since I'm still trying to learn how to do it. I am looking forward to some of it sinking in or rubbing off on me, but only time will tell.

I have been also studying up on marketing and selling for self-publishers or indie writers. I knew exactly zero on this subject when I began writing and over the years have picked up on a few tips, but they don't seem to be helping me much. I'm sure my reading will help me on this subject, but I'm not certain about the doing of it yet.

And, I've also been checking up on some events that maybe I could afford to attend this year. The Tucson Festival of Books is out and I don't want to travel around the country carting a trunk full of books, so maybe I will just sit this year out. I have been contacted by someone looking for writers who would enter their books in some events like the Chicago Festival of books, but I think he was just trying to make some money by selling spots that are not very cheap for a three-day event. He called me again to see if I wanted to enter my book, Blood and Blazes in Upamona, at a special price, but I can't afford what he said. I tried selling a few times as I've said once or twice before and here is proof:







You can see Blood and Blazes in Upamona is to my right in the pic. But that day was a waste of time,
since nothing was sold. I may try an event here in Arizona if I'm feeling well enough, we'll see. I'll probably sell some at the church a couple blocks away later this month.

Enjoy the Spring weather and sell lotsa books!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wanderlust Creek and Other Stories by Elisabeth Grace Foley

I've had this book on my Kindle for PC for a few months, but hadn't got around to reading it until now. I thought Ron Scheer had written a review of it but I went back through his blog posts and couldn't find it. I knew that he could do a much better review of it than I could, because he had a really nice way with words, more formal yet not, just a great use of the English language. The book cover still shows on the front page at his Buddies in the Saddle blog. I followed him up to the end and am sure sorry he is no longer with us.

Anyway Elisabeth Grace Foley is a fine writer of short stories that she tells with grace and charm, even though some of them in this book are action-packed and bloody. She tells and show us the feminine side of life in these hard times of the West. The women had to endure much hand-wringing and worry over the men they loved and this is brought out in the final story, Wanderlust Creek. There are women in the other stories, but the woman in this one is more fully described in showing the type of life some women had to live through. This story is at the end of the lot.

The first story is Single-Handed, about a gunslinger that has a messed up gun hand from a fall that broke his wrist and must face an up and comer gun slick who challenges him. Does he live or die?

The Rush at Mattie Arnold's is a completely different type of story, being the tale of a small town cafe owned by Mattie and showing the daily routine she and her daughter goes through feeding and dealing with their clientele, both humorous and serious at the same time.

A Search for Truth is a story of cattle rustlers and ordinary men and women caught up in it. A fine story.

Another fine one is The Mustanger's Bride. Can a mustanger make a good, settled-down husband or not? Her father doesn't think so, but she ain't goin' to give 'im up.

Room Service is an interesting story of disagreement between father and son. I knew the young man was in trouble when he checked into the hotel and just had to keep reading to find out what was going on. 
 
Ms. Foley writes historical fiction and the Mrs. Meade Mysteries series. Her favorite authors she says on her profile page are O. Henry, B. M. Bower, Booth Tarkington, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, Mary Stewart, P. G. Wodehouse, A. A. Milne, and Angela Thirkell. You can read her blog at www.thesecondsentence.blogspot.com.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tired of It!

I'm getting tired of not having any writing time over the past few days and weeks. I kept up with most of my blogs, but hardly any production on my novel. I have now about 110 pages of the first draft done and am getting ready to begin on the ending part, but just haven't had any time for writing. As I look back on it, where did the time go?

For one thing, it's income taxes. My little income is very taxing, but Uncle Sam says I have to send them something every damn year so they can build their bridges and streets. I have just about completed this year's submission and hope to finish it within a week. And another thing, is all the time I spend eating. I probably waste half my time for writing, stuffing the large, disproportionate, misshapen mid-section of my body with various chips, dip, bread, meat, cheese, veggies, etc . not to mention the time it takes to travel from and to the many restaurants.
And, there is still the continuing normal everyday "stuff" that takes up my time.

Anyway, here is another short excerpt from the draft:

--------------------
The Merik house, which they saw from the trail was another quarter-mile set in a clearing surrounded by cedars and pine trees on the flats. Approaching a gate, the Kid and Bobby were jolted out of their silence by shots from a rifle that whizzed by a couple of feet over their heads.

"Hold up there, and don't come any closer!" a female voice carried through the darkening night. "Who are you and what do you want?"

"This is Kid Ferry and Bobby-Chase-the-Lord!" the Kid yelled. "We came to see about a cabin that we heard was empty. We need a place to stay for a while. We're comin' on in."

"Don't try any tricks or I'll let you have it with this rifle!" said Daphne Merik. "Come ahead slow and stay on your horses!"

"If you shoot you'll kill the new sheriff of Idle Springs or his deputy," said Ferry, nearing the front of the house. "Trace Schneider said you may have a cabin we could rent, and we're desperately in need of a place to take off our boots and grab some shuteye."

"It is you, all right, Mister Ferry," said Daphne, rising from her position behind the bushes planted along the front of the house next to the hitch rail. "I'm sure glad it wasn't that useless gang of thieves of Serge Castinat. Two of 'em came by here and threatened to burn us out if we didn't pack up and get out of Idle Springs. Pa told 'em we weren't going anywhere and they knocked him down jumped on him, and hit him some more. I don't know why anyone would want this place."

"Why don't you put down that piece of artillery and we'll dismount and take a cup of coffee with you," said the Kid, "Or if you haven't had supper, we'd sure like to join you. How's Mister Merik doin'?"
 
"Pa's in bed licking his bumps and bruises them cowards put on him, but he'll be up and around in a day or two," she said and opened the front door. "Come on in and I'll warm up some beans and throw in some bread and a cantaloupe fresh off the vine. That's about all we have to eat right now."

"Sounds like a biblical feast to me the way my stomach has been growlin'," said Bobby, rubbing his midsection. He removed his hat and followed her into the cabin behind the Kid.

"Can I talk to your father a minute, Miss Merik?" said Kid Ferry. "Maybe he can help identify those skunks that beat him up."

"He's probably sleepin'. His room is down that hallway there, the first door on your left. If he's awake, he'll talk to you."

The house was an oblong, five-room affair with the front room taking up the area from wall to wall. The hall was on the right side of the house that led past three rooms and to the kitchen. The kitchen was the same size as the front room and held a wood-burning stove in one corner on which always sat the coffee pot. A large dining table and eight chairs made up the bulk of the furniture. Against one wall were the cupboard and a smaller table for food preparation or other use for which there was a need.

Bobby followed the lady of the house to the kitchen, where she told him to take a seat at the table. She disappeared through the back door and returned carrying a cantaloupe and some raw potatoes.

"They was the Castinat twins, Willie and Wylie, that beat me up," said Mister Merik from his bed. His face was white where it wasn't bruised or cut. "They both had beards coverin' their faces them cowards. I was just finished milkin' my cows when they rode up saying they wanted to parley. They began cussin' at me tellin' me I better hightail it out of Idle Springs. Wylie yelled that his father wanted this no-good ranch for his cattle. And when I told 'em I wasn't movin' fer anyone, they both climbed off their horses and Willie knocked me to the ground. They both jumped on top of me and I couldn't do nothin' with Wylie holdin' my arms pinned to the ground and Willie hittin' me with his fists. I was about to pass out when Daphne shot at them and missed. They ;jumped up and shot back, but nobody hit anything, thank God. They hopped on their horses and rode away. Daphne said she thought she winged one of 'em, but couldn't tell for sure. She helped me up and led me to my bed and here I lay That's about all there is to tell you, Sheriff."

"Why them dirty polecats, pickin' on a ole man," said Kid Ferry, looking at the bed at the beat-up face of Merik. "First thing tomorrow, me and Bobby are goin' to make a call on the Castinats. How many are they anyway? I thought we was up against only that Serge after Bobby shot his brother. We heard he went back into town with a gang. Who are they, Mister Merik?"

"Probably Willie and Wylie and their cousins the Barnetts. There's a passel f them, too."

(Copyrighted material.)
-----------------

NOTE: The Header picture is a photo of the cliffs that are on the northwest side of Sedona. Rocky, the tour boss, took us to a ranch there that was now abandoned, but is an attraction for tenderfoots. An interesting and picturesque old place with remnants of the ranch house still standing.