What I’m Working On This Month
Hello! I’ll update this page every month to let you know what I’m working on.
Well my first school visit was a huge success. Yay! The book club which sponsored me created a full day of events to surround the book, which meant a treasure hunt, a visit from a cowboy, and each student received a copy of the book. The event was even featured in the local newspaper. A happy surprise!
I finished what I call a “fat outline” of Burnt Boot Creek #2 and handed it over to my wonderful critique group. (My fat outline is a 50-page plot summary – including bits and pieces of dialogue – of the manuscript.)
My fellow critique group members are gifted writers, and they pointed out potential plot problems (say that 3 times!) while also sharing what they enjoyed. As soon as I finish resolving some story issues, I’ll start my first draft.
Also this month I returned to my writing roots with a historical fiction project. Over the years I’ve started at least a dozen HF manuscript, but finished none of them. This time – fingers crossed – I’ll conquer this genre.
Lastly, this was a month for turning in receipts and invoices for my tax records. That’s always a full weekend chore for me, so one of my 2018 goals is to do a better job of bookkeeping.
I’m enjoying some great “first” book moments in January – my first book signing, reading my first
review, and then this, getting my first, “She won’t stop reading!” photo. This is a sentiment near and dear to my heart since I was (and am) a hard-core bookworm and have said those words plenty of times. Just knowing I created a book worth shutting out the world for a wee bit was a magical moment.
On that note, I’ve been busy re-plotting Burnt Boot Creek #2. I’m tentatively titling #2 The Pirate’s Emerald Ring but I have no idea if that title will stick. (I am NOT good at titling.) Burnt Boot Creek #2 focuses a bit more on Tayte and Mae as they search for a certain parrot and its emerald ring.
What else? I’m also busy reading and suggesting books for kiddos 5-10 through my email newsletter. (You can sign up and get the free short story The Pirate’s Treasure by clicking HERE.) For the website, I have an interview series planned which I hope will be useful for other children’s authors. Last but not least, I’m developing an adult series in another genre. I’ve just finished the series outline and now am outlining book 1. More info about that series in future updates.
Yay! The Cowboy’s Golden Cup, my first book in the Burnt Boot Creek series, was published in December and immediately jumped to the category’s top new release which means the book earned that nifty little gold Amazon banner.
What else? December was full of day-job deadlines, visiting family, and food. Lots of food. :) But in between nibbles and sharing family stories, I did get some work done on Book 2 of the series, which I plan to get to an editor in late winter.
It’s been a whirlwind month of writing. I finally completed all the revisions for The Pirate’s Treasure but also started rewriting Book 2 of the Burnt Boot Creek series. Those projects, along with putting the finishing touches on The Cowboy’s Golden Cup with illustrator/designer Kim Fleming, kept me hopping. (Super glad my family was willing to take over all the holiday meal preparations. I peeled potatoes. That’s it! I really have a sweet family.)
Good gracious, October was a two-steps-forward and six-steps-back kind of month. I finished another revision of The Pirate’s Treasure, which has morphed multiple times from its original outline.
I have no idea how or when I lost control, but most assuredly, I have lost control. And, in a not so subtle way of art imitating life, my main character also loses control of his project. In the story, Doyle Reed is thwarted in his plan to steal back his treasure chest by a bossy parrot, Miss Thelma Lou, who repeatedly tells Doyle, “Miss Thelma is NOT happy!”
So, while I haven’t enjoyed the backstepping and rewriting and r-e-w-r-i-t-i-n-g I’ve done on this project, I have enjoyed creating Miss Thelma Lou. She grumbles in a much more humorous way than I do. :)
The other news is that my short story No Problem! which is about hopscotch, field days, and courage was sadly not picked as a finalist for a recent competition. Wah, Wah. Wah.
But, it is a story I think others would like, so I’m planning to bundle No Problem! as well as other stories into a collection for kids who like their stories in bite-sized pieces.
No details right now, but publication should happen in Summer 2018.
Illustrations for The Cowboy’s Golden Cup, book 1 in the Tales of Burnt Boot Creek series, is coming along wonderfully. I cannot wait to share some with you. The illustrator – Kim Fleming – is a super talented artist who captures the characters’ essence, and I just cannot wait for you to see the Burnt Boot Creek foursome – Mae, Tayte, Nathan, and Regan.
So, back to work for me!
Finished and submitted a short story for a magazine contest, but won’t know anything on its status until November. Also started a new short story called The Pirate’s Treasure which I plan to give away to those of you who sign up for my book club. The story has been fun and challenging to write! It’s a caper with a befuddled pirate who just can’t rid himself of his captain’s stolen treasure, no matter how hard he tries! I’m looking forward to having that ready for you to download for FREE in October.
Handed off the first book – The Cowboy’s Golden Cup – from my new chapter book series to my editor. Once the edits and revisions are finished with those, I’ll turn the manuscript over a proofreader and then, finally, the book designer and illustrator. Tales From Burnt Boot Creek is a chapter book series that follows the adventures of four friends who live, play and explore east Texas.
Working hard making revisions after my beta readers finished the manuscript for The Cowboy’s Golden Cup, book 1 for the Tales From Burnt Boot Creek chapter book series. Although I love hearing what adult readers have to say about the manuscript, the very best part is having kid readers!! My kid readers gave the manuscript rave reviews and kept asking their parents for book 2. This is the kind of praise every children’s writer loves to hear. So excited!!