If you look real close, you’ll see the rest of the family off in the distance. I guess this one needed a break away from the kids.
Last weekend I took a stroll over to a small lake near where I live. The swans swam as a family to about the middle of the lake. It looked so cute to see them floating with one adult in the front and the other behind the young ones. The swan in the rear came to where you see it in the cove. Maybe it found a fish to take back to them. Have a great rest of your week.
Here we are with February’s first “This or That” post. Please join me.
Back in the day I played video games with my boys and loved it. Here are a few to almost give away my age:
Do you have memories of any of these games?
Oh, boy, I had to look these up to remember. Here’s a link to one site. They weren’t like the video games of today. When married, we played a NASCAR video game. I wrecked my car more than I raced. It wasn’t fun to keep losing. About ten years ago, I played a video game with my youngest son. I haven’t played one since.
At school, when kids earned free-time, I’d sit with them as they played an age-appropriate computer video game. They made me play sometimes, but I didn’t complain. It gave me a break too! We had small class sizes in this particular job–Special Education. Our students had learning disabilities in reading and math. One sixth grade boy had permission to bring his Sims game. Personally, I had to wonder about that one. It was an earlier version, though.
Growing up in an era before video games, I played many board games. To name a few I liked:
We had the game of Yahtzee, but I never liked it–admittedly, because I never learned how to play. My older brother was nine years older than me, so he never stuck around to play games. That left my younger brother to be my opponent. We were opponents in many ways besides in a game, as we never got along as kids. Now we do. He’s all I have left other than cousins, and my boys, of course.
It looks like I couldn’t choose a “This” or a “That” and instead chose both. How about you?
Let us know your favorite.
Thank you for your visit! Stay safe out there.
PSA and FYI: New guidelines from the CDC say to wear two masks now. Count me in.
Hiya, folks. It’s me pondering again. Oh-oh!
I’m wondering how many series writers ask themselves: When do I end a series? Ending a series also affects readers who are fans of the books. As a reader and author, I, too, have saddened to see a series end.
Writers, have you ended a series? How did you come to the decision?
Readers, what do you think when a much-loved series is over?
Forgive me for making this about me, me, me. Haha. I might have mentioned this before, but early last year, I asked a few of my dedicated readers if my original subtitle Seasoned with Destiny:
BILL’S FINAL GIFT sounded like the final book in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight.
My oldest son first pointed this out to me when he asked if this was the final book. Bless his heart. He’s great with critiquing my titles. Indeed, the readers I asked agreed it sounded like the last book in the series. Therefore, I changed the subtitle to “A Gift of Love” because lo-and-behold, I didn’t want it to sound like the last book in the series. I asked my cover designer to change the subtitle, and even she thought the first one sounded like the series would end.
Since then, and after days of contemplating whether I wanted to write more books in this series, I asked myself if book five should end it after all. The series can stop where it is without another book. But after two new and unexpected characters popped up in the story, and a surprise declaration from another, I mentally made a plan for a sixth and seventh book. Maybe eight.
Should we step back from making major decisions at certain times in our lives? Wouldn’t illness be one of those times? Living in a pandemic when so many “normal” things change in our lives, also has an impact on decision making. Shouldn’t this be another time to take a step back and weigh all the options? This is what I’m trying to to. To me, these are rhetorical questions because I know the answer is yes.
Way before the end of writing book one, I planned on a long series. I’d be sad to see this one end. An author who I admire has advised others to wrap it up if sales dry up. Sales almost had, but to be fair, I blame myself. One needs to put books in front of readers, and I neglected to do this for many months–nearly a year. Therefore, I can’t base a decision on low sales until I put my heart and brain back into my job and promote myself and my stories.
When I promote, sales go up across the board and across all of my series books. My new book did push sales to all of my books. Needless to say, this encouraged me.
Another thing driving me to say farewell to the Carlson family is: I feel like I’m called to write something new.
Do you know this feeling, writers?
This new idea rolled out of my head like a red carpet at an awards show. A little part of me thinks I can extend the spin off series with the new books that popped into my head. I’m sure this harebrained idea is me (or my muse) trying to hang on to the series??? You see, the spin off series takes us off the ranch and introduces us to friends and acquaintances who live and love in and around Canyon Junction. 😉
I tell myself “The books can fit into the series.” Just in case, I wrote a short scene in Seasoned with Destiny: A Gift of Love for the second unexpected character who would begin with this “new” idea.
I can make it happen if I want it to. I’m a writer!
After all, I transformed an old draft for Finding Kimber into a western to fit into the spin off series. A new western setting changed everything especially my hero Zachary (Zach) Bryson, who is now a cowboy. He’s a mighty fine cowboy, too, though a stubborn–the way I like them–alpha. He was not named Zachary in the draft. The major parts of the story that I kept was Kimber’s name and her needing witness protection. Read her tempestuous beginning HERE.
It’s 2021, and I’m feeling a bit better than last year and thinking clearer now. The thing is, I have a new series to build in the Two-Five Ranch Outlaws. I’m behind in this series. Instead of writing the draft for book two, I should be writing book three, but in 2020 life got in the way… The same as it did for all of us. At this point, I don’t want to begin another new series. Shame on my muse for nudging me at the wrong time. Hmm. I’m leaning toward writing the next Double Dutch Ranch story and to go from there. Maybe the new series idea is for another life.
So much to write. So little time. All I can say is “Stay Tuned.”
Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
~Henry Austin Dobson
I’ve been writing and revising this post since last year. What does that say about decision making? So, if you continued this far, I thank you kindly for reading. 💖 Enjoy the rest of your day.
Readers? Authors? Any thoughts on the ending of a series?
Mom with her two little ones that aren’t so little anymore!
Oops, it looks like I cheated a little bit with words on #WordlessWednesday. Thank you for still hanging around. I miss you all.
Everyone Stay Safe and Responsible.
I call 2020: “The year that wasn’t.”
Image from Pixabay: JRMarketingDesign
I missed Book Hooks Wednesday again. The post almost made it, yadda yadda yadda…
This isn’t the snippet I had written for Book Hooks. Instead, this one stemmed from an upcoming post I trashed about Book Titles, which included Hey, Cowboy. The scene you’re about to read is why the title for Hey, Cowboy, Book two is what it is. However this scene is from Howdy, Ma’am, Book One. The snippet explains.
In the beginning, I didn’t want either of these titles to be for the books, but in the end, they were the perfect choice. I have no regrets. 💙
Caulder and Velia got to know each other before the season began. She fought the attraction forming between them, but she only fooled herself.
Set up: Velia did her best to deny what had happened between them the night before, on their first night on the road, no less. She promised herself and him, it would never happen again. We turn the page to the day after: Modified a bit from the original.
As soon as Caulder came out to practice wearing Wranglers and a shirt with the sleeves cut out, and pumped muscles filling her viewfinder, she almost choked on her own lust. “Focus, dammit!” He strutted around the arena like he owned each grain of sand. He went to every bull and talked to them. When he came nose to nose with one big, ugly critter, she had it in her sights.
She videotaped him around the horses, patting them on the back, and sliding his hand down their flanks. Like he slid his hand down my flank. “Focus.” She got him on video when he wandered to the other side of the arena. Yes, she got one fine part of him strolling away from her—his tight and toned, nice-looking, feel good ass. She stomped. “Why, dammit, why?” Her camera dangled from the neck strap as she watched him.
She followed and caught him inside the doorway. “Hey, cowboy?”
He turned toward her with a slow glance over her body, and she was aware of the longing in his eyes. She hurried to him and slid her arms around his neck.
End of excerpt.
And that, my friends, is where Hey, Cowboy got its title.
Thanks for reading. Find more on the Bull Rider Series book page.
Here’s a cute story about the title for Howdy, Ma’am.
A while back, a long while back, when this book was new, I sent a gift basket to a reader conference with this book included. Cover models were leading a BINGO game. The card squares had book titles on them. I don’t know which cover model, but I heard from the winner of the basket, that the model had a lot of fun calling my book title for this gift basket. When he drew out HOWDY, MA’AM for a spot on the BINGO cards, he’d repeat the title over and over with his deep voice and drawl. He, and the book, got a lot of attention. It made me glad to have kept the title!
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Some of you know I’ve been taking a break to let my eyes rest. I’m happy to say they are showing a bit of improvement. Giving them time away from hours of looking at the computer has helped, but my time at the screen is still limited. I’ve been able to spend a small amount of time each day working on one book while gearing up to format my upcoming book. In a nutshell, I have dry-eyes and macular degeneration, so I won’t take a chance with my eyesight.
As much as I wanted Judy’s book, the fifth book in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight to be released in May, it isn’t going to happen. Book five takes place three years after book four ends.
By the way, Cowboy Boss and his Destiny, book one in the Double Dutch Ranch Series is $0.99 cents. This is the new and revised edition–shortened A LOT yet combined with what used to be book 1.5. Not a bad deal for a book that begins a series where you’ll get to know the whole family including Judy, the ranch matriarch, who binds them all together. Welcome to the Double Dutch Ranch where no one is a stranger at their table.
I’m grateful for any change for the better to my eyes and for time I can spend working on my books. However, I won’t push it.
Thankfully, my Kindle reads to me, so I’m able to enjoy books written by other authors without having to stare at the screen. It’s a pleasant distraction, indeed.
Thanks for your patience.
On top of dealing with my eyesight and the pressure and stress on myself for NOT publishing a book, I was forced to enter a grocery store because of items I NEEDED and couldn’t get with my pick up order. That isn’t all. I HAD TO OPEN UP MY SAFE SPACE to maintenance when I developed a leak in my bathtub. I figured it would be a one-time thing, but after four visits, he still couldn’t fix the problem. This also means he had to go into my bedroom closet to access the pipes.
As my mom would say, “Things don’t run on an even keel all the time.” Something like that. Well, Mom, you were right!
We’re all in this together.
Enjoy your weekend, my friends.
P.S. I didn’t even mention the fact WordPress is changing its editor on June 1st, so now it’s one more thing I don’t have the time or patience to learn. Even though some of you said the new Block Editor was simple, I don’t agree. I looked at it for five minutes and said screw it. Now, it seems I have no choice. On a positive note, the old editor will still be available, but I rarely use it, instead choosing to go into the dashboard and use the old, old editor. What do I do? Use my limited time on the computer to publish a book or learn something I don’t want to learn? The answer is simple.
Signing off for now…