September Travel and Writing News

September is travel month. Well, so far. I visited Canada for the first time and saw some of the countryside and a few cities. We drove up to Coquitlam and saw a beautiful park there, full of everything from sand volleyball to a track. It had a water park, playground, skate park, soccer fields and concessions. Now it also has permanent ping pong tables from my husband’s company, Bravado Outdoors! I have to say I’m a bit jealous of their park – we need more parks like this here in the US. You could seriously spend half a day there with your kids, and it was free.

Canada wasn’t that much different from Oregon and Washington, but I noticed a fun accent that seemed to pop up on the end of sentences.

The entire drive from mid Oregon up into Canada was beautiful and it didn’t get really hot until our last day coming home. After Canada, we returned to Washington and went to the San Juan islands. This was another first for me, and well worth it. My favorite part was actually the hour ferry ride out to the island and back.  I love watching the water, feeling the wind when we went outside and watching for whales. I didn’t see any on the ferry ride, but I was lucky enough to spot one off the Oregon coast about two weeks ago. It was hot in Washington and on the island, but it felt pretty cool and windy on the ferry deck. There were sailboats everywhere – we watched them from the ferry and while we ate dinner in a place overlooking the boats and bay.


September Writing Updates

Check out my previous blog for the Big Giveaway. There’s several blogs hosting a giveaway – check visit them to enter for a combination of print and ebooks from my titles.

I have a guest blog on Bee’s Knees Reviews titled “What the Publishing Revolution Means to Readers.”

A Cowboy For Christmas is featured in the Book Junkie Library for September along with two other books. The site lists over 150 authors and 300 books. I’m hoping A Cowboy For Christmas makes the top 1,000 in Kindle this month. We’re getting close!

A Flash of Inspiration is free in Kindle. It’s a collection of 100-word stories, including two from me.

Wow, that’s a lot of updating for the first week of the month! I’m enjoying the end of summer (and the return of hot weather here) but I’m also looking forward to writing more during the winter hours.

What’s your favorite part of summer?

A brilliant orange sunset filled the stormy sky last night as I drove into town, and the air was saturated with the smell of blackberries, sweet grass and rain. The mix of beauty and smells turned my thoughts to all the things I love about summer, especially in August when the garden is producing and blackberries are ripe, but we sometimes get thunderstorms, like last night, that hint at autumn. It’s summer with excitement about back to school and apple pies, hot apple cider and fun fall time activities.

But back to summer… I love swimming in the river in August because the water is at its warmest here. (Which isn’t actually very warm compared to some other states.) I enjoy this time of year when we can throw on shorts and tank tops and not worry about keeping warm or stay dry. Summer is more simple.

I don’t think summer is my writing season, though. There is so much to do outside, and it’s light until 9 in the beginning of summer. It’s time to go out, have friends over, float the river and play outside. We also swim almost every day that it’s over 80 degrees. I have been hard at work with freelance writing through the summer, but I haven’t worked on a novel since spring. However, I wrote Book Promoting 101 and A Miraculous Fate during the last school year and published those two along with More Than Memories. That’s one reason why I look forward to those long winter nights. I’m able to focus and write after putting the kids to bed.

Of course summer also means the kids are home, and I’ve actually been working on a children’s picture book with my middle child. He wanted something to do over the summer and loves art. I printed out a couple of stories I’d written and let him pick one to illustrate. Both my sons are talented at drawing and artwork. I’ve focused my creativity on writing, but I’ve also drawn and painted in the past. He’s finished four pages so far that look very nice! I can’t wait to share with people, but we’re waiting until the book is almost done. We hoped to finish it over the summer, but once again, we had so many fun, outdoor activities! But sometime soon he’ll have his very own published book to take for show-and-tell and send to family.

What is summer to you? Camping and traveling, or parties in the city? Like many people, I cherish family gatherings, special memories with the kids and the special magic of the season.

The Scenery of my Life

The road is a fairytale lane filled with sunshine. At least it was today when I drove through on my way home from the small nearby town. Light purple blooms huddle all over a tree on the left while white blossoms cover the trees on the right. Smaller bushes sport pink flowers too. Color everywhere, from the tender new blooms to the newly grown bright green grass covering all the surrounding hills and mountains beyond. There had been a rainstorm here in the valley last night that left snow capped mountains to frame our world.

The country road curves through the trees and then straightens out into farmland. The river runs wildly over on the other side of the pasture, which is filled with hundreds of lambs right now. They lay in cuddle piles of white fluffiness or run about after their mothers. On the other side of the road, the pasture holds calves. They’re smaller than you’d think, than you’d expect of a cow.

This is the scenery I drive through. At home, daffodils decorate the bottom of all the tree trunks. Each flower clump is a slightly different color. Some have bright orange centers, others peach, and still others a rich yellow. Bluebells bloom close to the house in blue, pink and a beautiful purple. I suspect another bird family has moved into the Rhoddies. Last year a scrub jaw nested there in a half foot wide nest of sticks. These birds are smaller and orange, and that’s all I’ve notice as they fly away when I walk by.

Some days I write 10 or 20 pages on a book project or get a book formatted for publication. Today it was hard to focus on getting much done, so I did little things like adding this blog to my website. Writing can focus my mind when it wands to run in all directions. Taking a drive and then writing about the beauty out here calmed my thoughts today.