Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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



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


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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I know, what an odd thing to be thinking about. I remember when I was a youngster, and a budding author wannabe, I adored my family’s encyclopedia set. The pages were thumb worn from how often I’d skim over them, looking for something or another. I loved research. The more I wrote, the more I needed to research and learn. I’d peruse the school library to scour every resource I could for my latest topic. Dewey Decimal was my friend.  I was as familiar with card catalogues as some people were of sport scores.

card catalogue at the Library of Congress


It was a cornucopia of goodness when I became a librarian’s aide in my junior year (or somewhere in those latter high school years) I had a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips! Or so it seemed.

Then came the advent of computers–everywhere. We had this neat butler called Jeeves and we could ask him just about anything and he’d scurry off to find the answer.  Before that there was something called Infoseek, though I only used it a few times before Jeeves. They each made researching in a library or book for that matter, almost obsolete. Librarians everywhere surely mourned.

I’m not sure what happened to ole Jeeves, maybe he retired, but now we have Google. And I must admit, for a Luddite, I have become fascinated at how endless Google seems. I can ask it anything, and so far it has never failed to instantly show me a list of items fairly close to what I was looking for.

For example, not long ago I was writing a scene in which the hero mowed the heroine’s lawn. She came home and discovered what a sweet guy he was. Trouble is, while I’ve always heard fresh mown grass smells good, I’ve never experienced it. (Google anosmia) So off I dashed to google “How does cut grass smell?”. Darn if I didn’t get at least a few descriptions I could use to describe the scene. Pretty cool.

And more recently I was working on a scene in which another hero kisses the heroine. He sports this full beard and mustache. Now, admittedly, it’s been more than a decade since I’ve kissed a man with facial hair, and I’ve kind of forgotten the details of how it feels. Not having a suitable model about to try kissing, I headed over to Google and typed in my query. Well, sure enough, instant answers. Not the greatest but sufficient to give me some words for the heroine to use to describe what she is experiencing.

It seems weekly I am dashing over to Google to inquire about some random thought for a book. I research locations, occupations, house plans, and so much more. And it’s so quick and easy, no need to rifle through card catalogues, prowl aisles and racks of books, and lug stacks of books and notes home to compile all in the name of research.

Now I google, and then save or copy and paste. I can print it for the hard folder or drop it to a virtual folder, depending on what it is.

I sure miss my old encyclopedia set though, and wonder if anyone ever saw this day coming. Maybe Jeeves did.

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Last year, about this time, I posted on the evolution of my blog. It had turned five years old and had taken a few radical turns over those years. My ponderings were on those twists.

This year–as my blog turns an incomprehensible six years old–I find those original thoughts to still hold true, with a year’s worth of experience to add to. However, first, a review of last year’s post:


Jan 1, 2016: In a few months my blog will turn five. I can hardly believe it. Just like I can hardly believe it’s already 2016. As I was taking the calendars down last night, I considered the fact it didn’t seem that long ago I put them up. And now I’ve turned their pages twelve times. I’m sure a few of you can relate.

And that got me to thinking about this blog. It hardly seems possible I started it, albeit very reluctantly, back in May of 2011. I had very little knowledge of what a blog really was, let alone the purpose of creating one. Yet I had been told if I wanted to be a serious writer, I needed one. So voila, Summersrye was created. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have skipped the nickname thing and just used my proper name. But I like Rye, and not knowing any better, it seemed acceptable. Honestly, I don’t recall how I ended up at WordPress. It might have just been the first blog site that popped up when I plugged in a Google search.

keyboard and notebook

I went through recently to see what kind of posts I’ve written and the transformation this blog has undergone. The results sort of surprised me. My first post was May 11, 2011, called “Starting out”. That was pretty much it for 2011. In 2012 there were a whole 17 posts. The content changed directions twice. First I was going to take a non-fiction manuscript and blog it piece by piece. Feedback was nil. I even sent out a post asking “Am I doing this right?” of which I got one response back. Okay, at least someone out there in cyber world was aware I was blogging.

directions sign

Then I got the contract for my first book, “Whispers in her Heart”, the book that would forever change my life. I was going to be a published author. Time to get really serious about this blogging thing. Right? My posts changed from the random and non-fiction snippets to lots of “Whispers” stuff.Whispers cover from amazon

2013 I posted about 48 times, (give or take one) I was learning book promotion and it showed. I started putting in progress on edits and cover creation as well as teasers for “Whispers”, and a few pictures of my first book signings. I included poetry and shared life happenings. I opened up just a little, trying to remember if anyone was reading this, they were a real person on the other end of the computer screen. I shared photos of my pets, who are part of my life. I shared personal reflections and works in progress.

chasing ideas

2014 I continued sharing anecdotes and photos of my pets. I was now reading other people’s books and trying my hand at posting my reviews. I was following other blogs and re posting things I found interesting. Now I had a few books out and was regularly sharing status and updates on “Whispers”, “Shimmers of Stardust”, and “When Clouds Gather”. I posted more times than ever before.

Recipe for writing success

2015 was much the same. Book reviews. Pet anecdotes. Personal situations. Personal reflections. I was getting pretty personal this year. My family of books was growing. Now we added “Chasing the Painted Skies” and “Sizzle in the Snow” Anthology plus more works in progress and two more slated for 2016. I had people contact me asking if I would please read and review their books. I added the new feature somewhere along the way of hosting authors, interviewing them and talking about their books. In exchange, I was usually hosted on their blogs. Giveaways were another new feature in 2015.

All in all, not bad for a kid who few thought would ever make a writer. I recall hiding in my closet, pounding away on an old manual typewriter I bought at a garage sale. I baby sat so I had money for paper, notepads, and pens. Finally my mother gave me an electric typewriter for either my birthday or Christmas when I was around twelve. To have access to the electric outlet, I had to move out of the closet and into first my bedroom and then a corner of the long harvest table situated in the living room. I guess she wanted to see her daughter once in a while.

old typewriter

So while looking back, I also want to look forward. What do I want this blog to accomplish in our brand new 2016? Well, I want it to be a communication point. First, I want to be able to share news with readers about new books, giveaways and anything else share-worthy. I want to continue having others from other houses on my blog, sharing news about their exciting new releases. Bonus if they offer giveaways too. I want to grow the book reviews. In fact, I just finished a sassy little story last night and will be posting a review this weekend. And I have that author scheduled to be hosted on the blog in a few weeks.

Writing is a gift

Of course I want to share stories and pictures of my zany pets. They are the world to me, as many pet owners will testify. I’d be tickled if readers shared their wonderful pet pictures. I will also continue to share personal reflections and observations. Sometimes life gets rough or crazy and it’s nice to talk about it on a blog. It may not fix it, but it makes handling it a little easier. I follow a few blogs of people who do that very well. I’ll probably go back to posting some of the poetry from time to time and maybe some short flash fiction or sample chapters. That has been in the back of my mind for a while too.

Happily ever after

The end result, I want 2016 to be a year of growth and connection both for this blog and my writing career.







Well, now it’s time to turn the calendars to 2017. I have added a pet sitting service to my life this year, which does had the unfortunate side effect of eating into my writing life. The bonus is I have met some interesting people and wonderful dogs and cats this year. I have settled comfortably into the house I bought in late 2014, but still have two rooms to paint (still!) and a few odd chores here and there I tackle when I need a break from writing.

What I would like to do with this blog in the coming months is much what I’ve done the last two years–share book reviews, host authors and their works, and continue the ‘Been Thinking About’ posts. Naturally I want to keep sharing misadventures of my pets, though my rescue collie, Ty, has his own blog I struggle to keep up with here on WordPress. Since I have two more books coming out in 2017, I want to share the steps from edits to covers to final release. I have a special giveaway planned for the first one, a Food & Love anthology coming up around May (ish).

Since I have two works in progress, and one more I hope to start soon, I want to share sample chapters. The opening chapters to one is already on my website at http://www.ryanjosummers.com. And I would like to encourage everyone to leave a comment with what they would like to see included in this blog, or more or less of any feature.

Lastly, I wish everyone a happy and healthy and wonderful new 2017.

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