Sunday, April 28, 2013


"His mother named him William, for his grandfather, who had fought in the English army. His papa's name was Ray. Everyone called him Billy. Gertie called him Billy Ray when he was in trouble, which, as far as she was concerned, was most of the time."

#nowhereandeverywhere, #northdakota, #historicalfiction

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Never Again

There is an energy right now that I may never experience again, according to Erica, Darling Publisher Extraordinaire. For now, as the first manuscript has been sent, the contract is being written, the designer has not been triggered, everything waits with bated breath.

Today, on a perfect spring day, I am dogsitting, tweaking Book Two. Book Two is close to my heart. Much of it takes place in Europe, and my parents are in Europe right now. I'm not exactly jealous, because I hope to go there again someday soon, but I hope they bring me some good chocolate and coffee for taking care of their dog and house!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Putting Sauce on It.

My final book class is tonight. I have been writing this thing for somewhere in the neighborhood of three-and-one-half years, and after tonight, I must decide what to do with it. I have written enough words, come up with a beginning and an ending, separated it into chapters (though I'm not really sure how many, as I sit here right now), and have actually slapped timestamps on them, to help orient you to the scenes.

I went in and revised Chapter Two last night and this morning. It's a little different and makes a little more sense now. Maybe I need this book out of my hands. It could very well be that I'm looking at it too much. I am thinking way too much about historical Dakota, but I hunger for it. I wonder what my great-great grandmother would say? I wish I could send it to her for a testimonial.

#historicalfiction, #northdakota, #somethingaboutsophia, #piano

Monday, April 8, 2013


Tonight in my fledgling author class, we were told that when the book is about three-quarters finished is the time to start farming for testimonials, or statements lauding our work. After all, people like books that other people like.

I began to make a list of folks who may just write a coveted testimonial for me, all the while reminding myself that three-quarters of a book is not a book I would necessarily hand over to someone with comfort. I can release a few paragraphs now, perhaps a couple of pages, but give me a week or so, and then you may have the whole book. I followed class with a phone call to my editor, a PR exec at a Midwestern college, who assured me this would all be fine, and the novel will be ready, and I can climb down from the roof now.

Meanwhile, her mother is going through brain cancer and has chemo brain on TOP of cancer brain. We needed that venting phone call, to take care of business and status updates.

Pam has always been good at that. When she bossed around the sports section of the college paper while I was the news goddess, we did a pretty great job of tempering each other's crises, whether the Bison won or lost, or there was a flood coming, or maybe Chub's bought a full-page ad, so we were going 24 pages at the last minute and had to stay until midnight to write more stories. 

Surround yourself with people who believe in, and can put up with, your dreams.

#littlehouseontheprairie, #northdakotahistory, #historicalfiction