Category Archives: General Chit Chat

Pew, Mind Blown, a #MondayBlogs

What happened to me blogging every Monday? Where’s the love? Where’s the romance?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Deadlines. Deadlines are what happened. It’s tough to publish a book every two months even if those books are more novella than a novel. What hasn’t been a book signing, a family reunion of some sort, or a ball game (I brake for the Toronto Blue Jays,) has been me with my butt in the chair and writing. It’s rather grueling to write historical romance and goes something like this:

Patrick gave his horse to the stable hand at Fort Leaven…..wait. What did they do with horses at Leavenworth in 1866? Google, horses at fort leavenworth1866. Nothing. Okay, assume there are stables… Fort Leavenworth. Grabbing his saddlebags…no, would he have saddlebags? Google, army officer saddlebags? Crap. Army officer saddlebags 1866. Eh, no. Again, we punt and assume there are saddlebags. Where was I? Oh, right, Grabbing his saddlebags, he went to the…..crap. They’re not BLQ (bachelor living quarters) or were they? Google, history of army blq. Okay, not an answer.

See? Okay, so this is the hard way. The easy way would be to read all the research first, then write. Maybe. I’ve been to Fort Leavenworth, Fort Larned, and Fort Dodge many times but there’s only so much that’s been carried forward from history. The land has been cultivated and modified into something the early trail riders wouldn’t recognize.

So yeah, when you add the historical accuracy to the spelling and grammar, writing well and engaging the reader, making an ongoing hook to keep the story flowing and interesting, and managing interruptions of all kinds that pull you out of the world you’re writing? It takes time.

I do have two other topics in this makeup post. Romance: My husband has been a darling this past week. We were out getting out the votes for the midterms when I tripped on a dodgy sidewalk. I’m an expert at stumbling and catching myself but when the second foot comes forward to hit the same thing my first foot caught? Boom. I literally landed on my face. My husband ran and brought our vehicle to me, brought every bandage from the drugstore along with ointments, aspirins, and wine when needed. I’m fine, and the injury looks far worse than it hurts. I suppose if I had to be housebound with a black eye, a deadline week was the best time to happen.

Second topic? A writing tip. Okay, when I hit submit to Santa Fe Woman on Friday, I was free at last. Free to play computer games, go shopping (my eye and face looked a lot better by then), and even better? Read! I had a new story in a genre I LOVE but don’t write in to read. Yay!

I already have an author who I worship in that particular genre and made grabby hands for the new author in the same genre. They are worship author equals author A, and new author equals author B. Okay, B was good. I read her first book in the series and loved the world, the couple, thought the sex happened a little too soon after traumatic events, but I’ve been married 24 almost 25 years. My perspective is different. Author A tends to wait longer for her naughty stuff even if the attraction is instant between the couple.

Still, I did love author B and will, of course, read more. But it got me thinking about something. Why will I read the grocery list of A as soon as she writes or types it and I don’t mind waiting when B does the same? Why the hero worship of one and not the other when most things about their work are the same with the same elements?

I was laying in bed thinking about this before going to sleep when it hit me. Emotional events and the point of view. Boom. I’m going to make up the events, so they’re fiction, but here goes. Let’s say, and I’m going to use situations NOT in these authors’ genres, that a train’s boiler explodes when our hero is nearby and hurt. The heroine comes up on the scene and begins to help him with his near-fatal wounds.

Author A would have the hero’s point of view during the explosion. We would feel his fear, surprise, and pain during the event. Then, when the heroine arrives, we’d switch to her point of view to feel her fear, surprise, and empathy for the hero’s injuries. All the feels.

Author B happened to do the opposite, and I bet I’ve done this in my books, too. She wrote the explosion in the heroine’s point of view when she arrived. Then, in a bit of a tell, not show, we got the hero’s point of view during the heroine is caring for him scene. So we missed out on the initial shock from him of the explosion, and we missed the fear for the hero’s life from the heroine. We do feel, but superficially.

I’ve always known point of view matters. The same story told by different characters ends up being vastly different. I use this in the last half of Undesirable and the first third of Uncivilized. Undesirable is through Sam and Marie’s point of view. Uncivilized is the exact same events, conversations, everything, but through Del and Ellen’s eyes. Words in the conversations are identical, but the feelings surrounding them are vastly different. Making sure the dialogue perfectly matched was tough but I had a blast with writing those books because of the point of view shift.

So there you have it! Part of what I did on my summer vacation! By the time you’re reading this, I’m getting ready to or on my way to Florida for a conference. I plan on learning more and meeting people I’m in awe of while there. The husband and I are crossing off Cape Canaveral from our bucket list. Should be fun!

Comment below with any concern, questions, or even random thoughts.

3 Steps in Getting to Know You, a romantic lifestyle #MondayBlogs entry.

It’s about time I got back to the love and romance stuff, right? Launching a new book in a new series kept me distracted for the past couple of weeks. But now, I’m back to it, giving advice gleaned from twenty-four years of married bliss. By bliss, I mean no one’s been murdered, yet.

So. You’re in love. Can’t live a moment without each other. This is forever, and you know it. This time, anyway. Which was a lot like the last time, oddly enough.

Really, though. You’ve found the perfect for you person and want to make the relationship work. Today it’s easy. Tomorrow? Eh, your tomorrows tend to fall apart.

What do you do?

  1. Road trip! Pick a place as far as time will allow you to travel and spend the night. The best thing to do is find somewhere neither one of you have been before and go. Why overnight? No reason and you are encouraged to make the trip longer. A road trip will tell you what another person is like when they’re lost, tired, hungry, or at the end of their compromise limit. I would recommend sharing a room even if you don’t share a bed quite yet. If you can tolerate the other person’s bedroom habits, it’s a checkmark in the Keeper column. Once you’re back home and remembering the trip, your feelings will tell you how much longer the relationship will last. Relieved to be alone? Yeah, unless your excursion lasted a week or so, it’s a warning.
  2. Family or friend reunion! Does the idea scare you? Before you pull the ripcord on either your loved ones or loved one, think. Are you worried about them liking him or her? Or is his or her perception of your roots the problem? If you can’t introduce your significant other without qualms, you might rethink the whole in love thing. I’m assuming your relationships with reunion attendees are somewhat normal. A family with extreme dysfunction or toxic friends might be the ones you reconsider keeping in your life versus the love you’ve found.
  3. Share the disinterested! Huh? He used to ski, you used to antique shop. Or, she used to run races, you used to put together model cars. Now, you both do neither for now. And that’s a point to consider. Train for the 5K with her, hit the slopes with him. Even if one or both people can’t get into their partner’s interests, they should at least be able to empathize.  My husband doesn’t knit, and I don’t Knights of Columbus, but we appreciate how the other likes doing so. He brings me Tootsie Rolls from their fundraising, and I’ll knit him sweaters. I’d say if one person has a destructive habit or a red line activity, really take a step back and reconsider if this is a relationship you want to work on. Expanding your interests or point of view are all right but compromising them is quite another.

Are there more ways to truly get to know a person in a hurry? Leave a reply and tell me your ways!

My newest book!

It’s always fun to press “Publish” on a finished manuscript. There’s so much coordination after typing The End. I’ll get a germ of an idea, research the heck out of it, consider how I might link the concept to my currently published books. I’ll plot, write, edit twice, send to the editor, fix per the editor’s instructions, re-edit, format for ebook and print, and give the book a final read through.

Is that all I do? Ha! No. There’s more. I’ll upload to Amazon and CreateSpace, and have my digital guy/husband upload everywhere else. Plus, while I have waiting time for editors or if I can’t write for some reason or another, there’s plenty else to keep me busy. I’ll search out stock art for my cover artist and personal/virtual assistant to create covers and advertising. You’ve seen both artists’ work but here’s some of the latest.

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This will be good for July 1, 2019, when book #5 is freshly published. I’m still working on Surplus, so…. yeah.

Undesirable

It’s on sale for .99 everywhere ebooks are sold!

I’ll also write the back cover blurb, write blog posts like this one, and yes, it’s a little late since the book came out today. My newsletter is also delayed, going out this week instead of today. I also look at my social media to see if anyone needs a question answered, or if I can learn something new. I love my readers, and I hope they know it because while I write for me, I publish for them.

I’m in the middle of writing book two in the American West series. Because I’m not familiar with the terrain between Sacramento, CA and Fort Bridger, WY, I’m taking more time than usual on researching. I don’t know that I have a favorite part in writing and publishing, but if I did, it’d be the research. I love learning new things and following informational rabbit holes. That’s probably why writing history is one of my favorite things to do.

Considering how many more books I have planned, I’m not sad that one book is done because the next is already started. In fact, I not only have nearly a chapter done of book two in my American West series, but I also have it and the next two books’ covers ready to go. It is so tough to not share them, either. I’m the gal who needs to shop last minute for presents because I can’t keep my own secrets. I can keep your secrets to my grave, but never my own.

I hope you all had a great time learning more about my publishing process. Comments, questions? Tell me about it!

This started on a Monday… #MondayBlogs Interrupted

If you’ve been following along on my Monday Blogs, you’ve seen the helps and hints on romance and living a more love-filled life.

I have serious plans for future posts about love and romance…not advice per se, but certainly information and actionable items.

This week, however, I haven’t had a chance to plan my blog plan. In fact, you could say I didn’t plan to plan the plan very well. Ha ha!

It doesn’t take much to amuse me, obvs.

So this week, the blog post is going to be quick and not so much dirty. What am I doing that I couldn’t focus on the blog? Traveling! I’m going to the Vancouver Author Event on May 26th. We’re spending extra time on the Northwest coast for me to research at least one book coming out soon and two new series I have set for 2019.

I have a loose schedule and it’s fixed in place only by the hotels we’ve booked. I’ll get to see where Aaron was pushed down the cliff by his brother in my book Betrayal. Even better, I’ll be able to meet some of my favorite readers and Facebook friends. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see the photos in real time. I’ll write blog posts and create videos for my Youtube channel, too.

Laura Stapleton's Newsletter

This should probably link to my newsletter signups, but it’s nearly 2am.

I had a major interruption this evening, so this post needs to be short because sleep, shower, you know the drill. Follow me on any or all of my social media to see my trip events. (It’s late, and my brain is done.)

In my day, Tinder was for picking up sticks, not chicks. A #MondayBlogs about modern love.

So. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m struggling with finding a place on the cake for all the candles. I catch myself almost saying, “You kids get off of my lawn,” and “Is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back?” far too often. And in both cases, I’m thinking those phrases about today’s political climate in the United States.

Sunset and someone's sleeping on the couch

I’m ignoring you.

I’m personally tired of the fighting and want to get back to the love. Turns out, love can be automated! Who knew? Okay, everyone under a certain age did, but still. Swipe, and voila! Someone new to accept or reject. While the saying might be don’t judge a book by its cover, everyone goes by appearances at first. We have to, until we’re able to dig deeper.

Does digital hookups mean we’re finished with random dating and plunging all in with love at first swipe? Maybe, and maybe not. Thing is, if you’re out there living your best life, you’re going to run into interesting people because they’re going to be focused on their best life, as well.

If you’re socially active and know to get out of the house to find datable people, you probably already know to expand your interests to meet ideal people for dating. What do I mean by that? Simple. If you date men, attending female-oriented clubs or organizations won’t be the best way to find guys and vice versa. Of course, there are exceptions. You know there always are. But if you want to meet a straight man at a knitting class, the odds aren’t in your favor. Which is good for the straight guys and honestly? Non-knitting men are missing out. Seriously. If you’re wanting to meet cute, hip, and crafty women, knitting and other fibery arts are the way to go. Don’t want to sign up for a “girly” class just to pick up chicks? That’s cool. Someone else can meet and marry one of your soulmates, no biggie.

The bottom line? Meeting a romantic interest in real life is possible. If you’re rarely finding anyone new and interesting, get out of your comfort zone. Shop in new places, work out in a new park or gym, link up with your friends and go on a day or weekend road trip.

Do you have a story about trying something new and meeting a dating partner? Comment and tell me all about it! Obviously, I love romances and want to read yours. ❤

 

Now is NOT a Good Time. #MondayBlogs

Laura Stapleton's BlogSo when IS a good time for love and romance? Like everything else in the world, the answer depends on what you need and what stage of your life you’re in.

For example, and he’s going to LOVE this, my husband made up his mind on how exactly he was going to fall in love, with what type of woman, and approximately where he’d meet her. And? He did. The guy had a template in his mind and while he might have dated around, he didn’t deviate from his internal list.

Side note: If you’re in for a quick lesson on how to create your own perfect partner template, check this out. I plan on having a longer post later on how perfect is a moving target when it comes to people so click the follow button wherever it is at the moment.

Me? I’d been building my internal list all of my life by dating men who were almost but not quite right. One had the master’s degree and physical appearance but not the sexual preference. Another had the solid family background but not the appearance or ambition I wanted. Still others didn’t have the financial knowledge, something I lacked and wanted my life partner to have, but did have mechanical knowledge.

Another side notes: Turns out, my perfect partner doesn’t have mechanical knowledge after all, but knows how to hire people who do. Thus, a good example of how perfection is a sliding scale at times.

And that’s the bottom line. My perfect is not only NOT your perfect, sometimes, I have no perfect and that’s okay. No one is 100% every minute. The secret is to find the person who compliments you without needing to complete you.

I know this is another short and sweet, but in author news, I’m researching the Pony Express like a fiend, planning for the Vancouver Author Event and week researching the Pacific coast’s history, and marketing our latest release with my anthology partners. In personal news, I’m helping a friend by being a quilting guinea pig, studying for my ice skating test (yes, it’s a thing), and resuming the five to six miles a day trail walking.

Whew! I need a nap. 😉 Comment below with what you have going on this spring. It’s my favorite time of the year and I love how everyone celebrates the new season.

Who Do You Want To Be? A #MondayBlogs Post.

I’d spent the weekend hibernating which means I’m playing catch up today.

I had this lovely blog post typed up with so many words to say in relationships, don’t look to others to fix you. Don’t look to others to complete you. Don’t look to others to improve you.

Or to put everything in a positive light:

Fix your broken parts first. Take care of your heart, mind, body instead of putting the responsibility on someone else. Unless…they happen to have letters after their name like MD, Ph.D and you’re not dating them. In that case, let them fix you because it’s their job.

Be an entire person for yourself. “You complete me,” is a lovely quote but in real life? No one should be another person’s missing half. Stronger Together is always better than Need Each Other To Survive. Another unless…unless you’re in a frozen wasteland like my backyard in the above photo and have only the two of you to rely on for survival. Then yes. No rules.

Self-improvement is best done by yourself. Not someone else’s self. My final unless? Unless you’re paying fees to a trainer, nutritionist, life coach, or doing another sort of expertise swap, your significant other isn’t your guru. In a perfect world, each person is improving and sharing the improvement instead of dragging each other along.

Bottom line? We aren’t puzzle pieces but whole human beings. Situations and people knock chunks out of our well-being and it’s up to each one of us to Spackle our own wounds. When you’re looking for a new relationship or trying to keep a marriage strong, go in as a complete person.

 

Thoughts or questions? Comment below!