This week I heard a news story saying that the use of Google has made us stupid. Of course, I looked up the report on Google. I didn’t find the report that I’d heard but found this.
In fact, I found an amazing number of opinions about the topic. Who’d have thought?
There’s even something called The Google Effect. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/therapy-matters/201107/the-google-effect I quote a statement from that site.
According to these researchers, people are more likely to look for information on the Internet, and when easy to find, they’re more likely to remember where they found it, rather than the information itself. On the flip side, information that is less accessible online is more easily remembered.
I may be stubborn and unwilling to listen to research in certain topics but I love Google (or any search engine). Just this week I looked up
- pictures to use as models for characters in my story.
- http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/ to create character motivations.
- I researched how to develop character arc–hoping for some simple way that I could apply. However, I didn’t find one.
- I looked up the definition of ‘escarpment’ to make sure it meant exactly what I thought it did.
- I looked up coulee as well and discovered there is a meaning in North America that differs from other places.
- I researched superstitions regarding a red-haired woman. There are some nasty ones…like insanity being linked to that particular hair color. I’m thinking to be constantly watched for signs of insanity might be enough to drive anyone around the bend–never mind hair color.
- I needed the exact date of Montana achieving statehood.
- I needed other names–insults really–for homesteaders. In this case, I found a more satisfactory answer in one of my books.
I could do on and on. Suffice it to say I love Google. It’s made life so much easier. I have learned household repairs, new recipes, and how to prune my trees.
What about you? Is the Internet something you use a lot? What is your favorite thing about having so much information at your fingertips? What is the worst? My biggest gripe about it is trying to find the right words to get the answer you want.
There is a new skyscraper in Calgary. The Bow.
It’s now finished and occupied.
It took forever to get to that place. The ground breaking was June 13, 2007.
From then until Oct. 2008 when superstructure began, it appeared the construction crew accomplished little. Oh there was activity. But what were they doing?
We all know they were building the foundation.
So why do I tell you this?
Because I had another epiphany this week. That’s right. 2 in one year. (I’m just as surprised as anyone!)
You see, I was trying to figure out a story. I spent days making notes, doing various methods of brainstorming, attempting to fill in charts, and doing a lot of whining (not that anyone listened). All with nothing to show for it.
Then it hit me. The epiphany. It’s like building a skyscraper. The stuff that no one sees is vitally important. I was laying foundation hoping it would help me create a strong, solid story. (Only time will tell if I succeeded).
I’m grateful to say I am ready to begin the superstructure of my story.
I’m including a link with harsh but true things about being a writer.
This box of books came a few days ago but I opted not to post it during the Remembrance Day weekend as I didn’t want to distract from our thoughts toward those who have served.
But it’s here. The next book in the Cowboys of Eden Valley series.
It was a challenging book to write. (It seems each book is challenging in its own way and they aren’t getting any easier!).
The story came to mind when I had this picture of a woman and her friend (maid) traveling west on the stagecoach. I so clearly saw the maid ill and needing care so they get off the stagecoach and go to the only place that is suitable — the home of a recluse who is known to be most unwelcoming. This woman wasn’t about to take no for an answer.
But that isn’t the story I wrote. Perhaps I’ll do it another time. There were a number of issues with the story I started with. The biggest one was it didn’t take place at the Eden Valley Ranch so didn’t belong in the series.
The heroine is Eddie Gardiner’s sister, Jayne. She and two friends have traveled west to the Eden Valley Ranch–each for their own reasons and each with their own story.
Jayne witnessed the murder of her fiance back in England. It was a terrifying experience that has led her to the decision she will never again be unprepared to defend herself or those she cares about. But her first lesson in shooting leaves a handsome stranger injured. She insists on nursing him whether or not he wants it.
The cowboy recovers and that should be the end of it. But it’s not. I hope you’ll pick up the book when it is released in Jan. and read how these two cope with the dangers and challenges they encounter.
Despite my initial struggles to find the right story for these characters it ended up being a fun story to write.
Starting Mon. Nov. 4, a free story will be on www.harlequin.com (follow links).
Her Honor-Bound Cowboy was such fun to write. This is a short story that is written in 20 500-word chapters. A new chapter is released every day. You can read each chapter as it comes or wait until the end of the month and read it all at once.
This story is a continuation of my Cowboys Of Eden Valley series with 3 more full-length books coming in in Jan. Mar and May of 2014.
The time has come to renovate the bathroom. The tiles are falling off the shower. The pipes leak inside the wall. There is mildew visible along the ceiling. It’s way past time to have it done.
But I hate renovations. The mess. The choices to be made. The compromises. The mess. The delays. The trips to town to find things. The mess.
I can’t help thinking it’s like revising a story. First, you deconstruct. Then you fix the basic structure. From there you put things in the right place. Then you fill in the cracks and paint (polish).
As Dwight Swain says in his very good book, Techniques of the Selling Writer, “A first-draft story is ordinarily a lumpy, awkward thing. To shape it up, you must rework it.” It’s a messy process.
Alice Orr in No More Rejections says, “A positive attitude toward revision is essential to becoming a professional writer. …Too many authors think of revision as a chore and approach it grudgingly.” I’m sorry, Ms. Orr, but I don’t think I will ever rejoice over revisions but I’ll be happy when they are done.
Just like I’ll be happy when my bathroom is done.
I love books. I love them on display.
I love seeing journals and notebooks created by others.
This is a page from one of Emily Carr’s notebooks.
There are unique and historic ways of displaying and reading books. Did you wonder how one read under candlelight?
Now you know.
Books were highly valued before the advent of radio, TV and the computer so homes often had a library full of them.
Then there are books I make notes in. Anywhere, anytime works for me.
I even like quirky book displays.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
I had an epiphany this week and it’s worth noting because I don’t often have one. In fact, I can’t remember the last one but that could because of my poor memory.
Back to the epiphany. I was bemoaning to my writer friend, Carolyne Aarsen, with whom I brainstorm and share writing problems so we can discuss them. My complaint was after writing 40 stories, more or less, haven’t I run out of things to put in a story? We both know the answer is no. New characters and new situation mean new story. Nevertheless, my concern was that it could no longer be fresh and new for the reader.
Shift gears with me for a moment. I love autumn sunrises and sunsets. I especially like the time they occur morning and evening.
I was enjoying yet another sunrise when the epiphany came. God uses the sun, the sky and clouds over and over, twice daily for year after year after decade…well, you get the idea. Basically the same three ingredients and every sunset, every sunrise is different. Every one is beautiful.
Now I realize I’m not the Creator but I found in encouraging to think I could take the same components of story–setting, character and plot–and hope to craft a fresh one every time.
So that’s my great epiphany. Now go out and enjoy the sun, the clouds and the sky.
Lamentations 3:22, 23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Animals are interesting subjects. I thought I’d share a few taken over the past few months.
Spring has sprung. The grass is ris. I wonder where the flowers is.
Oh there they are.
Hawaii isn’t just for people either. Take a gander at these.
Let me know if I’m getting too much sun and I’ll roll over.
Are you done breakfast? Can I have the leftovers? Never mind, I’ll take them even if you aren’t done.
Look how easy those pigeons have it. They don’t even have to beg. Some lady just tosses out food for them. Unfair.
You pay no attention to those crazy birds. They’re uncouth. Ducks have much better manners. We sit nicely and wait our turn.
Uncouth. All of you!
Once upon a time, there were 3 little horses. The smallest horse, the second and the biggest of all. Or maybe that was The Billy Goats Gruff.
A huntin’ we will go.
A final Ya Hoo from Harry the Horse.
In January 2014–which is not that far away–another Eden Valley Ranch story will be released.
A Haven Out West
After witnessing her fiancé’s murder, Jayne Gardiner won’t let herself be caught on the wrong side of a gun again. But a disastrous first lesson in self-defense has left her with a wounded cowboy. She insists on nursing the handsome stranger back to health—whether he wants it or not!
Getting waylaid by a wild shot has definitely put a hitch in Seth Collins’s step—and plans. Duty may call him home, but Seth can’t resist lingering on Eden Valley Ranch to teach the English beauty to shoot. And when a shadowy figure from Jayne’s past resurfaces, Seth’s sudden urge to protect her has nothing to do with duty.
Cowboys of Eden Valley: Forging a future in Canada’s west country.
This is the first of three stories featuring young ladies who have traveled from England to the Eden Valley Ranch.
What’s the surprise, you ask? It’s that we are getting summer in September and I love it. Hot days with cool mornings and cool evenings. Apart from the pesky bugs what’s not to enjoy?
The crowning event for me was two days at my favorite spot–Sylvan Lake.
The first day, I combined 3 special things. I had a day off. I took my wheelchair client for a nice outing. And I sat in the sun, undisturbed, uninterrupted and edited 200 pages. A perfect day.
The second day was to be with family. Two four year olds and their mothers.
But one of the four year olds woke with a sore throat and fever and couldn’t go. Aww! So only one little girl and her mommy went with me. We had a nice day despite the cold wind coming off the lake.
I wish this weather would last until Christmas. But so long as it does, I intend to make the most of it.
What is your favorite thing to do during warm autumn days.