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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are hitting my area right now. My poor collie, Ty, hated to go outside this morning and now is hiding in the corner of the kitchen as he tries to escape the big booms outside.

Me, personally, I love the thunderstorms. I delight in the rain falling in sheets and the crack of thunder and streaks of lightning. It’s a symphony I never seem to tire of. As I stood at the window, enjoying the show, it brought back a long-buried memory. And it got me thinking of when more is too much.

writing

When I was young, we often grew a yearly garden to have vegetable reserves for the coming year. One spring, when I was about ten or eleven, we had a terrific thunderstorm. It was flooding our garden. I was instructed to go outside, take boards, and try to barricade the garden.

It was pouring rain. I was soaked.  I recall using the board to push the dirt back as inches-deep muddy water rushed past my ankles, washing away our seedlings. I recall my bare feet sinking into the cold mud and my hair plastered to my scalp as I tried to beat the watery surge. It seemed equivalent to holding back the tide of the great lakes.

We had hoped for steady, soft rains to water our crops. Instead we got too much: a deluge of relentless rain that destroyed a portion of our garden. And sometimes we do that in other areas of our life.

Like when we tell a little white lie, that starts innocently enough and soon turns into a flood of endless falsehoods. Or spices added to a meal that should have enhanced it and instead drown out the food’s intended flavor.

Or when we are writing a scene and once we reach the wrap-up, we keep going  and going like the Energizer Bunny. The scene is complete, the loose ends tied up, and the conclusion is satisfying. We should close and move on. Instead, we belabor points, add dialogue or narrative that isn’t needed, and in general we linger in the scene far longer than necessary.

We have all read books like that, and some of us have written books like that. Yes, me too. I call it a learning curve and a rite of passage as we grow and mature as writers.

daydreaming kitty

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I can so relate with Snoopy right now. I plowed into 2018 with three new releases under my belt and a firm resolve to take a few months to recoup from those, and then spend the spring writing two more time-travel novels for late 2018 submission. However, a new opportunity presented itself last month so I  decided to temporarily pause the novels to work on a short story, of which I am now 3,000 words into.

While I do have more than one sheet of paper, I have limited time and reserves to write when I need to be doing everything else. I’ve heard it said writing is hard work. Personally, I don’t find the real writing so hard, I find many other aspects of being a writer the hard work.

I wish ol’ Snoopy all the luck with The Cabin and his one sheet of paper. In the meantime,  please wish me luck on the literary endeavors I am writing my way through.

Snoopy one sheet of paper

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Today I was thinking about starting a writing project. Whether it be a journal, memoir, book of fiction, or a poem, we all have to start somewhere. But where?

My dad has kept a journal for upwards of forty or fifty years. My own journal keeping started around 2004. My first book was written in 1979. My first poem was written shortly thereafter. Articles came later, as did novels. My great-aunt wrote poetry, though I’ve no idea when she started scribbling her thoughts.

Countless times I hear people say they’d like to write a book or a memoir, but they can’t. I’ve also heard countless reasons why. No time…no skill…no ideas…no notion of where to start. All I can say is you start where you begin.

Sit down with blank paper and a pen, or computer and open document. Write or type that first word. Then a second word. Etc… Change them and maybe change them back again. It doesn’t matter. The key here is to stick with it until you have something completely down. If it’s a journal, it’s your honest thoughts for that moment. If it’s prose, it’s a first draft, with time to go back and make it better. Ditto for song lyrics if that’s your passion. We all have to start somewhere.

When I began with my journal back around fourteen years ago, I had no grand plan of keeping lengthy journals. I was frustrated, scared, and desperately clinging to optimism at the time, and the writer in me begged–nay, demanded–that I write it down. So I sat and wrote, capturing all the pieces of my tumultuous life at that moment.

Since then, they’ve evolved into ‘chapters’, complete with titles to reflect the period of my life. As each stage of my life changes, one part closes and something new begins, I end that ‘chapter’ and begin a new one. November 24, 2017 I began chapter 11, titled ‘Standing on Faith & Stepping into the Unknown’. Chapter 10 was called ‘Strong in the Storm’. I’ve no idea when or how this eleventh chapter will end, but I don’t worry about it. I just write when inspired, and let the days and pages unfold. They average about a year and a half to two years, though many years ago I had an entire chapter covered in three months. That was an intense three months!

So whether you’re wanting to write that first word or tackle that fiftieth project–just begin it. And that is your point of beginning. You can only go forward from there. Good or bad, it can always be redone, but it can’t be undone. It might be lost or trashed, but it was done. Celebrate yourself, you have started. Congratulations.

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If you’ve been following my Facebook author page during the last few months, you probably noticed several short posts referring to “crazy woman” and either how far along I was with it or how crazy it was making me–along with two novels to edit for December releases and a non-fiction article deadline all looming simultaneously. The good news is everything is finished now, except the final wait.

Several months ago I noticed a call for submissions from Limitless Publishing, wanting stories that dealt somehow with the theme of ‘country’. I pondered a few days before sending them a proposal, which they replied with “Write it and send it to us. Deadline for edit ready scripts is…” Gulp! I got to making tracks…all over my keyboard. And I submitted it on time. But it drove me crazy.

Limitless Publishing is a multi-genre publishing house. They recently had two of their books recently picked up for  major motion pictures; “Ghost Files” & “Ghost Files 2”. They also have a number of Craving anthologies out on such themes as Christmas, soldiers, security, and bad (bad boys and wicked girls). My contribution is part of their 12-author Country theme. Right now they are seeking stories to include in their mafia collection.

The concept of the Craving: Country anthology is simple: There is something about a country boy that makes us hot for denim jeans and country hats.

They are mysterious, intriguing, confident and demand our attention in everything they do. Then there’s the fierce loyalty you see in their eyes that makes you think of tangled sheets and sinful deeds.

There’s definitely something sexy about a cowboy…

So pull on those jeans, roll up your sleeves, and grab your boots.  Things are about to get dirty in Craving Country.

My story is “Crazy Woman Creek”:

Legend of Crazy Woman Creek(1)

Craving;Country is set to release January 18, 2018, with the entire twelve story anthology. I am very excited to be a part of this. I’ve been included in a Christmas anthology with Soul Mate Publishing and Food & Love anthology with Melange Books and enjoyed both experiences tremendously. This is my third anthology and it makes me want to find a fourth!

“Crazy Woman Creek”

Rancher Dawson Lonigan is hunting for cattle and finds a lost woman. Though well dressed, she is scratched up, scuffed up, and suffering amnesia. He takes her back to his ranch, tends her wounds, and temporarily calls her Faith.  He shares with her the legend of Crazy Woman Creek and the Native American maiden who lost her beloved warrior and her spirit still haunts the area, and how she refuses to allow any couples to remain happy together.
Time passes. Faith stays on with Dawson, and tries to adjust to life on a ranch. It is not easy. The clothing seems foreign, the food tastes strange, and the people are different. She has no memories, only strong emotions and gut feelings.
To complicate her situation, she knows she has something important to do, but can’t remember what it could be. As Dawson spends more time with her, to help ease her frustrations, he goes from being a comforting presence to a smoldering attraction. Yet how can she fall for him when she doesn’t know who could be out there, looking for her? And what about the pale circle on her left ring finger?
It’s mutual for Dawson. Each hour he spends with Faith, he only grows to enjoy her more. She has a passion and a grit he admires, and he starts to hope she never discovers who she is, because he is liking who she is now a whole lot. He is encouraged how well Faith and his little girl strike up a relationship too. All he can do is hope there is no husband or lover out there looking for her.
Attraction grows. Passion grow. Life settles into a routine. Then a visitor to the ranch mentions about city folk on their land. Well-heeled men. Faith goes in search of them, knowing they are somehow a part of her past. She finds them, only to learn too late why she left.
Dawson tracks Faith back to Crazy Woman Creek and finds her and who she was running from in her past.

 

 

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Hello. I hope your holidays are going well. Mine is super crazy. I hope I never release a book during November and December again! I gave up on the idea of decorating this year and just stuck my 2 foot tree-in-a-burlap-sack on a bookcase by the window. I tossed six ornaments, a string of lights and a star on it and called the whole decorating thing done. But I have been super busy with other things to occupy my time instead. Read on….

First, I signed up with BookFunnel. This is a cool site where I get a bunch of free/ discounted downloads for my Kindle. I even have this grand illusion one day I will get to read them.

The first book I want to offer on BookFunnel is my romantic comedy novella, “It Happened at the Park”, now free for the taking but only until January 1, 2018. You might be prompted to sign up for my newsletter, which only comes out about 3 or 4 times a year max. You always have the option to unsubscribe to that after you get the free download of “It Happened at the Park.”

If all goes well, I plan to offer other books for free periodically. Here is the tagline:

Cassidy’s a career girl, not a dog mom. Then she inherits her sister’s two pampered pups. Hopeless, she meets Ethan, the hunky dog park ‘daddy’.

Get your FREE copy of It Happened at the Park at this link:          https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nt4dxa0w0t

It Happened At The Park - Tara200

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Okay, next up, I have two full-length novels releasing very shortly. And I’m also promoting the heck out of them on virtual blog tours.

Set against the exciting backdrop in the chase for the Triple Crown and filled with mystical surprises. Season is not a witch, but she can make a horse run and Ty’s heart race.

Season Moriarty is part fey and part druid. She can see the future and alter it. She welds control over the natural elements of earth, wind, fire and water as well as manipulating life and death. And she is an accomplished racehorse trainer, able to get any horse to run like the wind. Now Season has landed the dream job that will test all of her skills and abilities.

Ty Masters runs his horse racing business with an iron fist. No one dares to question him. He hires Season based on her reputation. Then they meet. Immediately, she questions him, challenges him, infuriates him, intrigues him, captivates him, and even intimidates him a little. Then she spellbinds him. But can she make a Triple Crown winner out of his willful colt?

Mysterious threats to Ty’s racehorses bring him and Season together in another kind of race against the clock. As the stakes for the Triple Crown rise and the identity of who wants to destroy Ty, so does the undeniable interest and the fiery sparks between them.

Wild Whispers cover

First, on Magic of Books Blog Tours, I am promoting “Wild Whispers”, a contemporary romantic suspense with mystical elements. (read: it’s a cool book with lots of good stuff). The tour is going on now, until December 12th and there is a giveaway raffle for a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Yes, you are required to sign up for my newsletter to qualify, but I promise they don’t come out that often.

The link to follow the “Wild Whispers” pre-release tour is: https://magicofbookspromo.blogspot.ca/2017/12/pre-order-tour-for-wild-whispers-by.html

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Then, January 29th- February 2nd, “Wild Whispers” will be on Reading Addiction Blog Tours, also with a neat giveaway of a signed paperback copy of my backlist Romantic suspense novel, “Chasing the Painted Skies”.  Link is: http://readingaddictionvbtreviews.blogspot.com/

“Wild Whispers” officially releases December 12th and will be available on Kindle, Nook, and all your favorite devises and paperback.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AyCG72

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-whispers-ryan-jo-summers/1127561125?ean=2940158952869

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/762819

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/ryan-jo-summers/wild-whispers/paperback/product-23410521.html

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Up next is a sweet, contemporary Christian romance. “Rainbows in the Moonlight”.

A Southern romance novel about family, forgiveness, starting over, and love.

 Koda Jacobs urgently needs a nanny–right now. Fresh from prison, Dalton Clayton needs a job–and just about anything will do.

 Divine Intervention steps in and tosses Koda and Dalton together. Koda struggles with the conflicts of her impulsive decision to leave her babies with an unknown, convicted felon. That just can’t be wise, can it? But she can’t help but see how quickly the children bonded to him and trust him. Or the reassuring sense that this is just right. Meanwhile, Dalton stumbles through the spills and thrills of two young children, and his growing interest in their mother. A chance meeting brings him back to his estranged family as well.

Over time mutual attraction forms between  Koda and Dalton as the bond between Dalton and the children deepens. A sweet, southern romance full of forgiveness, second chances, and fun kids.

“Rainbows in the Moonlight” releases in e-book format December 20th.

The Magic of Books blog tour begins December 26th, and once again I have a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs. The Reading Addiction book tour runs February 5-9, 2018 and I am giving away a free, signed paperback of my backlist Christian romance novel.

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In even more exciting news, my Christian romance to release last November, “Beside Still Waters”, will be available in paperback starting January 10th, 2018 on Amazon. You can pre-order it now at this link:  http://amzn.to/2C0aG9V

BesideStillWaters850

Top Journalist and corporate climber McKayla Buchanan is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political and high-society assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers, rescued horses—and Clay.

Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide one. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely woman, or for him to have such an attraction to her.

Between McKayla’s worldly experience and Clay’s strong faith, they form a partnership to help with the endless challenges of the kids.

While McKayla’s assignment is supposed to be temporary, it isn’t long before she and Clay are each wishing it could last longer. A serious situation will force McKayla to decide if she can give up her worldly ways and place her faith in the same higher source that Clay does.

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And lastely, (whew!) I am also promoting a holiday buy for a good cause (because I don’t have near enough stuff to juggle just yet). You might remember my collie, Ty, who I adopted March 2015 from the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. He arrived with so much emotional baggage, we almost needed a U-Haul to bring it all with us.

It has been a rough and wonderful and never boring journey with Ty, helping him overcome his past. He’s pretty well adjusted now, almost three years in, and I am very happy with everything about him. Over the months, I journaled and blogged the steps, successes, failures, doubts, and included loads of photos. This past summer I created a self-published novel on Kindle KDP and have it available in Kindle and paperback up on Amazon.

A portion of each sale will go back to the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. Now there is a holiday purchase you can feel doubly good about!

kindle https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted-ebook/dp/B073MSG8SM

That’s Ty on the cover. He is such a pretty, happy boy, isn’t he?

Paperback: http://amzn.to/2AJeRHg

https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted/dp/1521728518/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512842610&sr=8-3&keywords=ryan+jo+summers

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Okay, that’s it. I did mention there was a lot going on, right? If you want to keep up with my comings and goings, below are my social media links. Some I am more active on than others, and a lot of it depends on my writing/editing/promoting/ and life schedules.

Oh yeah! I nearly forgot…how could I possibly forget this? Edits will begin soon for the January 2018 release of Limitless Publishing’s “Craving Country” anthology. I am one of the contributing authors to this collection with my short story called “Crazy Woman Creek”.  Follow my media sites for updates as things unfold for “Crazy Woman Creek” and the “Craving Country” anthology collection.

Website: www.ryanjosummers.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RyanJoSummersAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RyanJoSummers

Blog: https://www.summersrye.wordpress.com 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/phoenix690322/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6604705.Ryan_Jo_Summers

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Now I am off to read a download on my Kindle. Wish me luck.

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via Wednesday Writer Welcomes Ryan Jo Summer and Rainbows in the Moonlight

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My day job is in the security sector. Loss Prevention specifically. Many of my department co-workers have come from law enforcement or are using this job as a stepping stone to enter law enforcement.  As such, I’ve been privy to some of their classes and find them quite interesting. One such class a co-worker was taking dealt with criminal justice and report writing.

I liked that course because there were videos to watch–skits to help drive the lessons home. One dealt with a hapless detective who was hopeless at report writing. His superior called him into the office one day to discuss a recent report he had submitted. It was dated April 31st. The superior could not find that day on the calendar. When pressed, neither could the detective. The superior started reading sketchy parts of the report, asking for better details or clarification. One such item was this: “April or May, seen bad stuff.”

I love that line. It is hilarious in its vagueness, but also encapsulates how I write. The detective was asked about his method of note taking. He produced several scraps of crinkled papers from his pockets, all with some obscure or incomplete note scribbled on it. The superior officer was not impressed. I agree. To take a legal document to the D.A. to prosecute someone, the report needs to be letter-perfect and accurate.

When writing a fictional story, we can get away with “seeing bad stuff” in “April or May”. That line has become a long-standing joke with my co-worker regarding my note-taking while writing a story or observations at work. Exhibit A:

and  Exhibit B:

This one was actually scribbled as a ‘go back and add’ afterthought and then stapled to the page where it needed to go.  This is a typical example of how I write.

These piles of scribbled notes in the top picture are from my novella “Crazy Woman Creek” recently completed and submitted to Limitless Publishing for their anthology, ‘Craving: Country’, due out in Jan 2018. They are not much to look at here, sort of like some bad stuff, but they turned into a great little story.

What is even more thought-provoking is the origins of the story itself. I’d been experiencing some events around the house lately that made me want to let my ‘Crazy Woman’ out (the one who lives deep inside me). On my way to work, I needed to let her out for a bit in order to arrive at work in a half-way decent state of mind. So I wrote some paragraphs to rant my anger and frustration at the situation. Finished, I felt better. The Crazy Woman went back inside where she belongs.

A few days later I noticed the call for submissions from Limitless. The requirement was the story had to be country themed. I spent a few days wondering what partial or idea I had that could be considered now, or could become, ‘country’. Actually, taking my angry rant and building on was not that difficult.  Writing to meet the timeline is the reason, however, that I have neglected my social media life for a few weeks.

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