It’s been a busy month of June for us here in Colorado. We had a chance to get our motorhome out for a few days of RV’ing at a local state campground. Camping is great for social distancing, especially at Colorado State Campgrounds. They are nicely spread out, with lots of room between you and the next RV or tent. We went to St. Vrain State Park, which has many ponds and tons of birds. If you’re a birder it’s a wonderful place to visit. We went on a long walk around the park seeing dozens of different birds enjoying all the trees and water. Here are a few pictures. Any bird experts out there can probably identify them.
Even though it turned hot in June, I continued to work in the yard of our new home. One item we wanted to change was the amount of grass I need to mow each week. Our old home was mostly xeriscaped, with only a small grass area for our dog. This yard is on a large corner lot, the front all grass. We began to change that by putting in some drought-resistant shrubs, which will grow from 6 to 10 ten high, with some other plants. I removed the grass in chunks, which was hard work, using that sod to fix some bare patches in the back. This will be a gradual process where we plan to remove much of the grass on the side of the house, replacing with shrubs and flowers. Here is a shot of what we’ve done so far.
I’m often asked where my story ideas originate. I can be sitting around reading, watching TV or a movie, working in the yard, or doing absolutely nothing and an idea can pop into my head. It can be for a new book for an existing character, or a new group of characters like in the forthcoming first book in The Divine Devils series. Many ideas get tossed away or forgotten, while others can bloom into a story or be added to an existing one. For instance, Twice As Fatal came out of an idea of two cases for Jarvis to work on at the same time, with them both coming together to a climatic finish. I had no idea what the two cases would be when I first started, but it grew into a full-blown 80k word book as concepts came to me while writing. Blood Brothers would be a flashback book of Jarvis growing up, born from going back home to Iowa to help his brother out of a jam. Again I wasn’t sure what trouble Jarvis’ brother Flynn would get into when I first started writing. The simple story notion grew from there, essentially writing itself as I went along. The twists and turns flowing out of me while I typed. It’s hard to explain, but that is the way I’ve always written, even going back to my teenage days. When inspiration hits I write. The process works for me, though at times when I go back to edit, I say to myself “What was I thinking!” 🙂
One item I’ve added since December was a sit to stand type of setup at my desk. I actually enjoy standing while I’m writing, as sitting at times is harder on my body, especially my surgically repaired knee. Standing allows me to move my feet and legs more, as I can stretch and move while writing. It also helps to keep my mind sharper, as falling asleep in my chair has become easier with age. Here is a shot of the setup, the platform easily able to move up and down. If you do a lot of work at home I would suggest looking for an option like this. I absolutely love it.
My editor this week returned my latest book, The Divine Devils. Work has begun sharpening the story and content, with lots of labor ahead of me, a process that can be painful and time-consuming. My editor does a great job of helping me get my stories where they need to be. I will be digging in deep over the next several weeks getting it ready to send to her for another final polish. I was hoping I’d have the book ready by now, but it will likely be later in the year before it’s done. In the meantime, you can check out the first two chapters via my website, both with updated edits (Chapter 1 & Chapter 2). As well as checking out the new logo for the series below. Once a release date is set, I’ll be sure to keep everyone informed.
I was able to do one craft fair this month in Berthoud Colorado. Lots of rules needed to be followed, including limiting people inside and the wearing of masks. It was great to get out again and talk with people about my books. And we used a section of the table to sell my wife’s face masks. She did quite well, both of us selling about the same amount of product. My next events aren’t until September. Hopefully, the virus will have calmed down by then and they can be held safely. If you have a need for a mask, send me an email. They are $5 each plus shipping. And they come in several styles and sizes.
Need something to read to get you through the summer months. If you haven’t already check out the entire Jarvis Mann PI series. All the books are available on Amazon, the first The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card being free. The rest are available to purchase and on Kindle Unlimited. And anyone who signs up for my newsletter, I give them the novel, Tracking A Shadow in eBook format for free. If you signed up and didn’t get it, email me and I’ll send you a copy right away,
This month there are two more Prolific Works free eBooks you can download, including The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. Be sure to check them out.
Criminally Good Reads giveaway runs until July 15th featuring 19 free ebooks to read for free. Find them via this link.
Buried Secrets – Mystery and Thriller giveaway runs until July 15th featuring 70 free ebooks to enjoy. Find them via this link.
That is all for this month, as I need to get back to editing. One task authors don’t enjoy. I plan on covering the process in detail in a future newsletter. Thanks again for reading my work. Be sure to share with friends who love to read.
Stay safe, healthy, happy, and cool. The summer heat has arrived!!