the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Monday, January 31, 2011

Preparing to be Snowed In

Two days from now we'll get another foot of snow, so even before writing today I was out like everyone else, stocking up on gas, groceries, and grain.  Before I left the house I got a timely call - I won the drawing at my local feed store for a "superbowl basket."  It's a small basket of dips and mixes that are made locally by Country Home Creations in Goodrich.  My basket included chili mix, fiesta nacho cheese dip, chile con queso dip mix, cheeseball mix, and chocolate covered cherry dip mix.  Party in a basket!  I can't argue with fate - I am obviously meant to ride out the storm in the company of tasty snacks.  I immediately added pretzels, sour cream and cream cheese to my grocery list.  Bring on the snow! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Snow Horse

Not everything relates to writing.  Sometimes a horse is just a pretty picture.  This was Fritz eating breakfast yesterday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sensing the Heat

If you're a writer, you've had it drilled into you: show, don't tell.  Don't tell the reader it was cold outside, let him see the ice coating the trees, feel the bite of the wind, hear the crunch of footsteps in snow.  No matter how many pretty adjectives you use, narration is boring.  Writers draw the reader in by using the senses.

Now, to set the scene:  This was a writing day for me, working on a story that centers around a honky tonk saloon in the Colorado mountains.  It takes place in the summer - bright days, warm nights, green meadows.  But I'm writing it in the grip of a ten degree day.  The air here hurts.  Summer in Colorado isn't enough to warm my bones.  So hey, sorry sexy hero, but that saloon of yours is going to catch on fire.  And you'd better believe you'll hear the crackle of flames, smell the acrid smoke, feel the searing heat that burns your eyes like you've been staring into the sun.  The author needs to warm up!

The rest of the home pack used more conventional methods:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Play Day

I don't usually write on the weekends, but this weekend I had several hours to myself with nothing to do, and my story kept running through my mind.  I could have easily sat down and knocked out a few pages.  But time off is important, and letting the characters play around in my head helps me know them better.  So I read instead.  For me, that's pure, carefree fun.

The horses took time off for play, too.  They've been sticking close to the barn all week, trudging through the snow like kids who are bored and don't know what to do.  But Saturday afternoon they got playful and took advantage of the full length of the pasture to stretch out and run.  I got a short video of the sprint when they came back to the barn after the first lap.  Code Red is in front with Remi right behind, and Fritz lagging far behind them.  (At 28, I give him credit for even breaking out of a trot!).  As they come back, Remi makes a wide circle just for the sheer joy of it, and my Siberian husky, Nikita, races Code Red along the fence line. 

Sometimes it feels good to cut loose and run for no reason at all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vacation - sort of

While I sit huddled near the fire in the depths of winter, working on Book #5, Book # 3 is vacationing in a tropical paradise.  Here's the proof:

My friend David likes to leave copies of my books in different countries for others to discover, and he just left THIEVES LIKE US at the Occidental Grand Flamingo Xcaret, a  four-and-a-half star resort on the Yucatan peninsula.  My characters are leading a good life!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cold Feet

As someone who has gone through most of life with cold toes, I can't help feeling chilled when I look at this:
It doesn't seem to bother them.  I don't know why - most of that snow is above the hoof, and that shaggy winter coat doesn't look THAT dense.

Monday, January 10, 2011


It's obvious from my lack of posts that we've hit a stretch of dull days.  Nothing happening in the barn or pasture.  Animals just stand around, waiting for spring.  That's good news for my writing, as I have no excuse not to sit my butt at the computer every day and pound out a few pages.  And I have help!

Cats know how to get attention, and they aren't shy about it.  This afternoon I had "help" with my writing from TC.  He wasn't the first cat on my desk today, or the last, but he was the most regal.

I've referred to TC before as "the Cat In Charge."  He was a stray who came to us as a full-grown Tom Cat - and was quickly snipped down to TC.  He has his own fan club, much larger than mine; several of our friends have called him the "coolest cat ever."  It's all in the attitude.  TC knows he's handsome, knows we are his servants, and knows rules are for everyone else.  He's broken every rule and doesn't give a damn.  We love him to death.  He's the perfect role model for my fictional alpha hero.

Someday in the future, if you're reading one of my books with a handsome hero named Jase who's laid-back and easy-going, with a rock-solid core of loyalty and determination, think TC.  He was there to make sure I got it all down right.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


It happens a couple times every winter, as it did this past week - a few days of unusually warm weather melts all the snow, and suddenly my pasture turns to mud.  At least it froze again so the horses aren't hock deep in slippery muck.  But now instead of a pretty white winter, everything is dull green and brown. 
I'd rather not have a muddy truck and muddy horses.  I'm hoping for more snow.  Today's flurries didn't stick, but it's a start.