Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rule Breaking

The Jul-Aug 2012 issue of Writer's Digest calls this issue the Rule-Breaker's Issue and published four articles that supports that:

1. The Reluctant Risk-Taker's Guide to Filling the Creative Well
2. Go Your Own Way
3. Pulling the Rug Out
4. Rewriting the Rules of Marketing

You may find the articles helpful or at least interesting. I did. I like the magazine, but I find that I don't have time to devote to it, thereby missing a lot of good advice. Maybe if I spent the time on each issue to thoroughly read through it, my writing would improve by osmosis. I don't believe in the tooth fairy, so I'll keep plugging away, going my own way, and see what other rules I can break.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Short Story

Now that the Navy allows women to serve on ships, it will raise all kinds of problems. This story illustrates one that could arise.


The ship is getting underway this morning at 0930 and I have exactly one hour to make it and deliver my baby to my parents to watch while we're out to sea. I'm already stressed out from all that has preceded this trip to the docks. I haven't mentioned a thing to my parents about the baby or its father, and I know they will be upset that I haven't said anything about it and even more upset that I am leaving it with them to take care of. There is nothing else I can do, except leave it in the hands of some stranger, an option that doesn't appeal to me in the least. I hate its father, but I love it and want it to be in safe hands.

I could end it all by turning my car into a semi, but that would be murder, even though I wouldn't be around to face the charges, at least I hope I would be killed in the accident. That seems a little drastic, killing my baby to get even with its father. He's a no-good slacker of a man and not worth the time it would take. I was deeply in love with him, is why I had this baby, but the baby is here and he isn't. Didn't even show up at the hospital to help me through the birth or see the new-born piece of his flesh. I should've had better sense than to believe his words and let him take advantage of me. And now, having to face my parents and hand the baby over to them and scoot out in a hurry is almost too much to have to go through. I could go AWOL and hope they never catch up with me, but that wouldn't be a very good life for me or the baby. I have to turn in this rental car as soon as I drop him off, too, and no money to pay for it. I'm going to write them a bad check and hope I can get out of there without them knowing it and catch a cab to the dock.

How did I ever get into this mess? If I wasn't in the Navy, it would be a lot easier, but when my division officer hears about this, it'll be the last straw. At least the baby will be safe. I can see it in the rear view mirror sound asleep with a little grin on his cute little face. A feeling of desperation comes over me as I look at him.
I'll just have to do what I have to do and let nature take its course. Here we are at my parents' house. It's almost more than I can bear. I can hear my mother now, "You can't do this, Katy. We don't have any way to care for a baby with your dad sick and me in a wheelchair." I'll just hand him to her and not say a word and turn around and leave. Oh, God, this is too much!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another site for e-pub/self-publishers

Here is another author's blog site that provides some good info for authors who self-publish and e-publish and traditional publish, too: The blog, The Writer's Table, contains many valuable hints for writers, including these articles: Publishing the Write Way, Standing Out from the Crowd, and Think Write About E-Publishing, and more. She is a member of the Arizona Authors Association.

Michaele Lockhart writes (from her home page) "contemporary fiction  that portrays and appeals to the vast spectrum of multi-generational readers." She is "currently working on a mystery series set in the Southwest." Check out her books at and, if they sound good to you, purchase them.

(Thanks to the AzAuthors Newsletter.)


Thursday, June 14, 2012


Here's a recap of my western novels in case you may have forgotten them:

The Stranger from the Valley. Marshal Chappie Wesford is given a military mission to a small town, Altaveel, to deliver Civil War awards to two residents. He arrives a couple weeks early and runs into trouble with the Henberry clan who think he's there to take over their business. A comical and exciting story.

The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle. Marshal Red Skene is on the trail of two prison escapees who have joined up with sheepherder Slim Sanglant and are trying to take over his cousins' gold diggings.

Blood and Blazes in Upamona. Red Skene, now the County Sheriff, is called back to Upamona to control Slim Sanglant who is back in town after serving time and is bent on revenge.

The Bloody Gulch. Just out. Sheriff Bill Little has his hands full when the CB Ranch gang comes to town.

All these are available for purchase at reasonable prices from and the first three are available for the Kindle machine and other readers. The Bloody Gulch will be coming on to Kindle, etc., in the near future. I ask that you pick up a copy of one or all and enjoy the read.

My next book, Posse Justice, will be coming out in a couple of months for your reading pleasure.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Posse Justice

I am deep into my new novel, Posse Justice. This one has been around a few years and I'm polishing it up and  hoping to finish it in a month or two if all goes right. Here's a little excerpt from Chapter 7:

     Three days went by and we still hadn't caught any of them. We tracked them back to the road to Denver to an old abandoned shack sitting against the ridge to the north where the old Blue Mountain Road heads off to the northwest. They had already moved on.
     "Look at this, Boss, tracks heading up this old road."
     Custard was bending over holding his horse's reins in one hand and pointing at the tracks in the soil.
     "See, they milled around here and went that way," he said, standing straight and pointing up the old road.
     "Why are they goin' that way?" I asked, thinking out loud. "That's the way back to town up around this ridge and we're some thirty or forty miles into Colorado."
     "Maybe to meet those others that stole Miss Thompson," said the Ute, looking bored.
     "And maybe to get some money would be my bet. Those others must have the money," I said, watching the Ute. "They'll lead us right to it and we can free the Thompson girl, too. Come on."
     We started up the road following the tracks.
     Another day of riding took us to the narrow end of Stuntz Ridge barely into Utah Territory again. The weather turned bad before we reached the ridge. Clouds moved in and cluttered up the sky. I could feel it getting colder.
     Late in the day, the snow began falling, being blown around by a stiff wind, and the ridge kept disappearing and re-appearing in my vision.
     "We better make camp while we can still see," I told Custard.
     "Over there, Boss, next to the cliff out of the wind," Custard pointed, although I could barely see him through the blinding snow.
     I followed him to a site under the cliffs where the wind was less of a bother and there was grass for the horses. Dismounting, I untied my bedroll, throwing it in a level spot between two boulders with the snow coming down heavy. I was glad I brought my heavy coat. I loosened the strap and pulled the saddle off Sugar, letting it drop next to my bedroll. I led the horse into a clump of cedar trees and took off the bridle, knowing he wouldn't wander far in this weather with enough bunch grass around to chew on. The Indian's horse was already there.
     "We wandered off the trail, Boss," said the Ute when I returned to my bedroll. He was peeking over a large boulder, trying to locate me in the obscurity of the falling snow. "We are under Martha's Peak."  
     "That's good. From this elevation we can see down along the ridge when it clears up and maybe see the outlaws before they see us," I said, rolling out my bedding and arranging the tarp. I sat down, pulled the tarp over my head and leaned back against the rock. A wild goose chase. It's turning into a wild goose chase, and only the Indian and me to take 'em on if and when we catch up with 'em. Not very good odds. I ruminated on the problem, turning it over and over in my mind until I fell sound asleep still in the same position.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Site for self-publishers

This site was made known to me through the Gits-to-Go Newsletter and Michael Murphy, author of a new novel coming out called Goodbye Emily, and here it is: On this site you can promote your books and blog and do other stuff for publicity for free. All you have to do is follow their guidelines. Good luck!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Heart of the Country

      I've been reading Heart of the Country by Greg Matthews, author of The Further Adventures of Huck Finn where he "Magically captures Twain's world of comedy, satire and adventure." In this long book of 532 pages, Mr. Matthews tells the story of a young half-breed hunchback who was found on the church steps by a Doctor Cobden as a baby. The good Doctor names him Joseph Cobden and their relationship is antagonistic from the beginning, at least it wasn't a very close and loving type relationship. Young Joe turns into a teenager and takes off for the West in search of a better life. Self-schooled for the most part because of the harrassment of the other kids, he doesn't attend much school but reads every book in the Cobden household and is no dummy.
     Young Joe struggles around St. Louis to make a living and then gets the job as a bouncer in a house of ill-repute where he becomes friends with a black man living in the basement and whose sister is one of the working girls. Joe gives up on this job after a while and the black man's sister is killed by a nut. Joe hooks up with a buffalo hunter and shoots buffalo for their furs for a couple of years and becomes almost famous for his sharpshooting and makes a lot of money. All the animals are killed, it seems, and Joe starts hunting the bones of the carcasses left on the prairie to sell since there is a market for them.
     As I plowed through the first half or so of the book, I realized that all the main characters are misfits of one sort or another, including the misshapen Joe, struggling through their crazy lives with their odd dreams and desires. Take, for instance, the black man and his sister (who is really his wife) in the cathouse. The man was robbed of his manhood by white men for some sleight he had supposedly made, and so he exists in this basement taking care of the furnace and lets his wife earn the money upstairs taking on hard-up white men. And the characters move in and out of Joe's life with all their insane ideas and hopes.
     This novel is not your typical shoot 'em up and I think it would fall into a literary western due to its length, style, and subject matter, but as I read along, I find that I enjoy reading about Joe and the misfit characters and find it entertaining. Right now, Joe is living in an idiot's house and raising the idiot's son, because the idiot's wife left him and emptied his bank account of all the stolen money he found while hunting for Joe to kill him. This episode would make a good short story in itself.
      What could be next?