If you want to make a basket, you have get out on the court and aim at the goal. As President of a writer’s group for over thirty-five years, I know a lot of writers. Most of them want to be successful, published authors. Currently, the majority have one or more books up on Amazon. How? They wanted to write a story that interested them and that only they could create. They studied how to write, read a lot, and wrote a lot of stories. Then they either found help or figured out the steps to self-publish. Some have been more successful than others. One or two have been traditionally published.

The problem with writing and publishing your book is the difficulty in finding an audience to read what you write. Here are a series of articles addressing the problem.

Notice that in 2002, the author advised against it because there were 80,000 books published each year.

In 2013, this author is advising against self-publishing a book because there are 800,000 to 1,000,000 books published each year, and building a platform to get noticed is no longer easy.

This is the most positive article I could find on self-publishing. Basically, it advises writers to write more books and pay for professional services to compete, while expecting to earn much less on each book.

A last list of ten self-publishing trends. I couldn’t find the number of titles being loaded onto Kindle this year, my guess is it is probably double the numbers in 2013. In one Facebook group I belong to, one writer had just finished writing seven novels in nine weeks. The competition is fierce. Since I’ll be lucky to complete three or four things this year, it is discouraging.

Personal Goals for 2016

To finish my Mountain Wives Series – another week should give me time to finish Wild Violets, the third in the series.

To write the third Ghost Warrior story – to complete that series. Unlike the Western Wives and Mountain Wives Series – my blood-thirsty, half-breed warrior does not have an audience yet. But his story is still rattling around in my head and I need to clear it out so I can finish other things.

Hope to write another story to  include in an anthology again this year. Have no idea if any of the Anthologies I’ve been in have a few or a lot of sales, but I enjoy doing the group publishing thing.

To start another series. Widow Wives, about women who lose their husbands during the bloody Civil War and still have to move forward to raise children and find happiness.

To keep writing. Somebody has to break the odds which are longer and longer in publishing. Believe it’s like the lottery ticket, highly unlikely that you’ll ever win, but sure-fire certain you won’t, if you don’t buy a ticket or write that book.






A simple word this time.

Admire means to look at with pleasure, or to regard someone with warmth and approval.

I am generous in my admiration of all things beautiful, complex, or interesting in any way. I can honestly say  I admire anyone who gets up in the morning with a list to do and settles in at night with a list that is done. I admire people who show love and kindness to others, and those that capture the expression of that in any form.

I thought, this would be a quick blog to write. I’ll just post ten greatest lists: novels, paintings, songs, sculptures, inventions, discoveries, etc.. Couldn’t find anyone’s list I agreed with perfectly. Most of the great art and sculpture lists feature an awful lot of nudity, so will leave you to make your own. Sharing this cute definition of etc., since it fits me to a tee.



See nothing to admire here. Narcissus was a Greek god of great beauty. The goddess Echo loved him, but as you can see, he only loved himself. Always depicted looking at his own reflection, (although you have to admit Echo was giving him plenty to see if he’d looked her way.)

Some people are famous for posting their self images. Needless to say, that qualifies them as narcissistic, (having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance). Part of this blog challenge has involved posting the blog each day to Facebook and Twitter, where one sees daily examples of this.

Artists in order, Michelangelo, Solomon Joseph, John William Waterhouse, and unknown (site




There were a lot of people saying the world was going to end on 7/29/16. Apparently it didn’t. Thank goodness, since I am behind on all my goals this month. We were away for more than a week, plus there were so many things going on here, including my computer getting sick. Only a little over 30,000 during CampNaNoWriMo, so I won’t make 50,000 goal for the month. Still, I’m pleased to have made progress on the book. Now I know there will be a tomorrow, plan to work on it a lot harder. I’ve done either 25 or 26 new blogs this month, hopefully get a couple more done by Sunday. Not bad when the mind is such a blank.

Liked this tweet, by the Jamison twins, “The end of the world was cancelled due to a lack of interest.”

Here’s a little of the doomsday rhetoric. Japanese stock market had a disastrous day, Hillary was hacked again, and fire-balls were seen on the west coast.

Outside World

On the computer hacking, everyone thinks it’s Russia doing it, even Trump (who asked them to find her missing Benghazi emails). Clearly the hacker is some evil person with more time on their hands than good sense. No one seems to care about these emails, even Bernie Sanders went ahead and gave her a hug and his endorsement. If most people are like me, they don’t have time to keep up with their own.

Since I’m still listening and trying to decide which person to vote for, I watched a few speeches every night from each convention. Today we went to the movies and watched Hillary’s America. Someone at the Y told me I really needed to see it. Probably should go  if you are undecided too. Certainly gives you plenty to think about and fact-check. Hope the election gets here before the end of the world. Plan to make up my mind on who is the least evil by then, so I can vote.


Some of my favorite things to tweet tonight were these.





Easier to be scolded by hunky actors than myself. I only have 769 on my new novel tonight, too much listening to the DNC and surfing the web reading scandalous news and rumors.  Learned nothing last week from my computer meltdown, after doing the same as I listened to the RNC.

This is one of the meanest elections I’ve ever experienced. Nothing is too low to say or accuse the other one of doing. All I have decided is that I will vote, and neither candidate holds much  appeal.

Feel so disillusioned and confused by the current state of the world and our government.  Seeing the posts of headlines from respected News media, matched to verbatim leaked Democratic emails, didn’t help.

All I know for certain is that when lips are moving, lies are being told. Also, our government is for sale by our elected officials who promise what they think we want to hear, and then vote for whoever has the most grease for them.

Would love for health insurance to have a one payer system and the blank check written for Obamacare to be cleaned up. I want peace and harmony, and ISIS and other terrorist groups to blow only themselves up, and leave the rest of us and the world alone.

I like the men in the picture, because they’re not in costume. Tonight, Hillary really seemed to be trying too hard to look pure in her white suit.


Twain's Trash of James Fenimore Cooper - great advice for all writers.

Loved an article in Writer Unboxed, and made a little Pinterest post from it.  Love Cooper, and read most of his books when I was young. To see him slammed so hard by Mark Twain, another of my favorite authors, was enlightening.  As Bob Dylan once sang, “Everybody must get stoned.” (It may not mean to have rocks thrown at you, but I’ve always interpreted it that way.)

Still Learning

Ending with a pin I didn’t create. My fourteen-year-old granddaughter loves Bridge, and she and my daughter-in-law tried to help me learn the basics again last week.

Hopefully, this will make you smile like it did me.







Plot Holes

Not sure if the current novel has any plot holes. Won’t know until I reach the end and read it. Tonight at 25,346 for new words added during camp. Was at 30,000 at the start. Last third to go.

Since having a plot hole is a terrible thing, found this nice article with ways to find and fill the rascals.


Does not sound easy. Hope to finish this book and turn it over to trusted Beta readers to scream out when they hit one. Takes more than one set of eyes to find and fix all the errors in a novel draft. I edit in everyway I can think to find them all, at least a week before letting trusted friends read. Early readers are worth their weight in gold.


Placed the article on my Pinterest board called Writers. Lot of good and useful things there, that I can find more easily than stored on my computer. Love Pinterest and the Cloud. Meant to include it on my research tools the other day. Many scenes in novels have been sparked by the right image. Come visit my Pinterest page, and take anything you find useful.




Behind on Blogs

I’m at least four blogs behind and saw this word/photo challenge, These little blogs will be short and random, but most of mine are like that anyway.

Define the word elusive.

First kisses are like that.

Maybe a brother falling in love with his new baby sister on first sight,


Or two friends who like each other so much they exchange that first real boy/girl kiss.


My first thought was of that magical moment when you fall totally in love forever. Like a boy and girl at the end of the perfect date, when they really look at each other for the first time, seeing all the way to the core of that other’s being and know, they don’t want to live without this feeling of love. Which always leads to their first kiss.


All these feelings are elusive – hard to recapture. Like the perfect image of the ever more elusive butterfly – landing on the right flower. If we don’t see, snap, and save them, are they lost forever? I say no, they are always there as teasing, elusive memories.







Knitting Argyle Socks

I’ve always had restless hands and a busy mind. When I was younger and first married, I loved crafts, especially knitting and crocheting. It seemed the harder the pattern, the more challenging the stitch, the more I enjoyed trying to make something. Other than a few sweaters, a shawl, baby caps and booties, and several baby blankets, I never did that much knitting. Crochet is faster and far easier.

The hardest successful piece was a sweater for my new husband with lots of cabling in the front and back that required the use of little short needles and then a circular one to form the neckline. Forty-seven years is a long time ago and I doubt that I could even knit and purl a row these days, but it was fun then.

I even tried to knit a pair of argyle socks, not as colorful or elaborate as Mr. Louis Armstrong’s above, but they were ambitious. I ended up with a lot of colorful threads that always wanted to tangle and snarl, and discarded the project about a third of the way up one sock out of frustration. There was little chance they would have fit any better than my husband’s burgundy sweater did, anyway.

What does that have to do with writing?

Plot Lines in a Series

I started writing tonight (only 333 words) and had the scene in mind to write. But then I had to check the first two books in the series since it felt like I might have written and included it in one of them already. I had. I didn’t want to duplicate the scene, even though it would be from Charlotte’s viewpoint in Wild Violets, instead of Jeanne’s in Widow Mouse.

I made the mistake of doing that in my  first series. I think it was just two scenes, but the girls were traveling west on the same wagon train and the scenes were pivotal in the second novel, Bright Morning Star. I thought if E.L. James in Fifty Shades of Gray, could rewrite her novel, this time from the man’s point of view, and have another best seller, a couple of scenes would go unnoticed. After all, they included different facts and were from a totally different point of view. Of course they did not, and a couple of reviewers pointed it out. I hate bad reviews.

Series are a lot like Argyle socks. Every detail and line written creates a unique period and place that’s shared by the characters in that series. There are a lot of threads that need to be carefully pulled through the books to create the pattern of the complete series without any snarls or blotches.

So I’m still awake, trying to figure out how, or what, to write to get through this section without making any reader feel there is repetition. Enough of a challenge that I am going to bed to sleep on it. One has to trust that the brain will solve the problem by morning, otherwise I will be rereading my Mountain Wives Series again.



Seeking Inspiration Today

That’s what I use for an excuse when I want to goof off and just watch movies for awhile. Watched three, none worth commenting on, although the last two were romantic comedies and made me want to write one of those for a change.

Only wrote 1556 words on the novel today, and I’m blogging after midnight. Decided to check the muse, wasn’t sure after finding these images. These old girls in the Greek frieze above look as bored as I feel. The Nine Muses were the daughters of Apollo and interested in inspiring the creative arts: Clio (history), Euterpe (music) , Thalia (comedy), Melpomeni (tragedy), Terpsichore (dance), Erato (love poetry), Polymnia (mimicry art & grammar), Ourania (astronomy) and Calliope (the superior muse -heroic poems and rhetoric arts). Since I’m working on a new historical romance, suppose I should summon Clio and Erato, but those have more modern connotations, and I’m definitely not writing erotic fiction.


This painting by John Singer Sargent at least has the ladies moving around Apollo.

My Nine Sources of Inspiration

Books, I read  a lot. Have shelves of books, a well-worn library card, and the Kindle App on everything I own. These days, I am downloading more than I take off the shelf, finding it easier to keep things in focus on my tablet. I intend to read far more than I do. Start way too many books these days that I don’t finish. Feel incredibly guilty, but there is so much information out there to consume (3.9 million books on Kindle alone), and who has the time. Love finding myself hooked and unable to put the book down. Read hoping to find more of these.

Television, we have cable. Since we each have one, I call them dueling remotes. My husband likes sports, news, and flipping. I like some news, reality television, old movies, new movies, new television shows. Find it less and less interesting these days – with far too much flipping. Most days I watch my game shows (Jeopardy and Wheel) and nothing else. Today I over indulged in movies.

Movies, we just got back from time with the grandchildren. They were trying to decide what movie Granny would like to watch, when Grandpa yelled, anything. She will watch anything. And that’s true. Don’t enjoy horror, raunchy comedy, or comic book movies. But if someone wants to watch a movie with me, I am willing to give it a try.

Magazines, no longer subscribe, but get half a dozen anyway from memberships. Find I read more than enough articles on-line. Just Googling a topic and then skimming several until I find one with the answers and depth I need.

Wikipedia, I know it’s not reliable, but by following the annotated references, can usually find the information needed. Again, Goggle search brings more material than one can ever read, plus access to books and historical documents from major libraries. Turn to one of my three sets of Encyclopedia at home if I haven’t found what I want.

YouTube, if I’m trying to learn how to do something and I’ve read about it, listened to webinars about it, and asked people, then I turn to YouTube and watch someone show me how to do it. All I know about Gimp, formatting documents for Amazon, screenwriting format, I’ve learned on YouTube.

Blogs, read the blogs written by experts in the area, whether historical research, writing, or publishing. Endless free material out there at the end of a Google search.

Newspapers, dating myself, but I love to open a daily newspaper and read from first page to last, working the crossword and other puzzles as I go.

People, have a large group of writer friends and participate in two writer’s groups each month as well as online Facebook groups. Someone has the answer. Someone can and will give you honest feedback on what you are writing. Well worth the time to ask them for help.







Life is Fleeting

Summertime, and the living is easy.

At least it’s supposed to be. I sit here, doing my usual search for how to move forward. On a day like today, I would love to hire someone to help promote me, to build a working funnel, and a better webpage. Only two things stop me. Money first, everyone who is out hawking their services claim their method has made them rich. But I don’t want to pay a big training charge and add a monthly fee to pay for the rest of my life, to help them stay there. The second thing, is unlike the beauty lounging with her graceful hands in the water, I don’t have a daring or trusting bone in my body. This is what I imagine is below the surface.


Danger, Beware

Like this fit guy on his paddle board, I keep wondering if you encounter a shark, or a school of them, how do you proceed to get back to shore and safe ground. After my little episode with the computer this week, I know I lack the skills to make it back safely. So I sit here, like a little turtle stuck in its shell. Wishing and dreaming, but never sticking my nose out to move forward. Well, at least inside, I can retreat into my imagination and just write.


Many of you have looked at the Internet and taken the plunge for self-promotion. Please share what method you use and whether or not you are happy with it.




Off Track

I’ve been no account. Managed to blog four of the five days we were gone, but not to write on my current novel. I will not make my original camp goal of 50,000 words and didn’t change goal in time. It has been a challenging month, so I’ve decided to grant myself grace if I reach 30,000 words. Not a winner by Camp standards, but pretty good for me.

Came home and first thing I clicked was a Bible reference page. I had clicked on one of those info-ad things about the super food that can prevent Diabetes. It said the food was in the Bible and gave the page and of course I started a quick internet search. Bingo, it  locked a virus on my computer. I knew it the instant it said dial this number to reach Microsoft support. Checked, and sure enough it was the wrong number and one of the warning flags for a virus.

Took about four hours and two experts at Microsoft Windows to get my computer all cleaned up, then they told me I would need to delete and upload my books again. It was the back-up drive that ended up corrupted. My heart stopped. I used to print off a book every ten pages as I wrote it. Now, I just wait to the end when I’m finished with automated editing and ready to do a read through  and last edit before sending it to Beta readers.

I told the poor phone kid (sounded like an Indian, did not ask this time but they always are overseas) that I needed to get off, and cry awhile. He transferred me to Microsoft Word and the young man there helped me erase, reformat my backup drive, and download uncorrupted files to the clean drive. So I don’t have to retype the thousands of pages I’ve churned out since retirement. No tears – but no new words either. Maybe, God Bless those who help, and that weird Cloud up there, and special curses on those people planting viruses everywhere to sell their online protection programs.

Have not written today – trying to clear my 500 + emails, unsubscribing from lists as I go. Last night made only 1500 words, and no blog. As I said, I’ve been no account and no good.



Sick Computers

My first helper was a young woman and she sent me this list of guidelines to protect my computer – sharing them with you. The list numbering was already off, and sorry, but I’m too off to format it.

To help protect your PC from future virus attacks, follow these steps regularly:

  1. Defend your computer.
    • Keep your software current with automatic updates.
    • Make sure that your firewall and antivirus software are always turned on.
    • Protect your home wireless connection with a password: Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
  1. Protect your personal and financial information.
    • Be careful when you share personal information online. Be aware of the information you share in your profiles and other public forums.
    • Look for signs that a website is safe before you enter sensitive data: web addresses with https (“s” is for secure) and a closed-padlock symbol beside them. Don’t provide sensitive data in emails or instant messages unless you fully trust the recipients. See more information on protecting your privacy.
  1. Think before you click. Don’t be tricked into downloading malware.
  • Only download software from websites you trust. Be cautious about “free” music, games and videos. They’re notorious for including malware.
    • Beware of fake virus alerts. Fake security software, also known as “scareware”, often poses as real software but generates misleading alerts to lure users into participating in fraudulent transactions. See more information on how to help protect yourself from rogue security software.
    • Stop and think before you open suspicious attachments or links in an email or IM. Make sure the message is authentic. Contact the supposed sender or visit the linked websites directly by typing the addresses yourself. Avoid clicking links or buttons in unsolicited pop-up windows.
  1. Create strong passwords and keep them secret.
    • Make passwords at least eight characters long and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password everywhere.
  1. Protect yourself from email and phone scams.
    • Look out for alarmist messages, misspellings and grammatical errors, deals that sound too good to be true, and requests for sensitive information like account numbers. Turn on a filter like the SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer, which warns you about suspicious web sites.
    • Cybercriminals might call you on the phone and claim to be from Microsoft. Be very cautious if you get a call like this. Microsoft and our partners don’t make unsolicited phone calls to charge you for any computer security or software fixes. Never hand over control of your computer to a third-party unless you’re sure the request is from a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you’re already a customer.
  1. Practise safer social networking.
    • Look for privacy settings or options in services like Facebook and Twitter. Manage who can see your profile, control how people can search for you and make comments, and learn how to block unwanted access. Don’t post anything you’d say only to a close friend. Be selective about accepting friends. Periodically reassess who has access to your information and review what friends write about you.
  1. Take extra steps to keep children safe online.
  1. Be vigilant when using public computers or Wi-Fi networks.
    • Avoid sensitive transactions or sharing private information in public unless you’re sure the system is secure.
  1. Keep up with the latest information.

Find even more information on this topic by visiting the Microsoft Virus and Security Solution Centre


Silver Dreamer