Tag Archives: Undesirable

#MondayBlogs Post and You Want Me To What??

Howdy #Mondayblogs fans!

 

My book, Undesirable, hit Amazon on the 14th.  Since then no less than four people have asked me what’s next.  Sure, I know what’s next on my plate, but it might be a while.

Secretly?  I like the impatience and curiosity of my friends and family.  It means they like what I do well enough to want more.  That’s never a bad thing and I’m thrilled.  So while I’m writing a prequel to my Oregon Trail series, get started reading Undesirable or maybe Undeniable first if you’ve not read it yet. Out of order is fine, too, and you won’t be lost, it’s just not what I’d prefer.  Meanwhile, I’ll be planning arguments, fights, and love at first sight.  When that’s done and I get to type the last line, my next task is to paint another cover for Unavoidable, the Oregon Trail series prequel.

After that, there’s a lot more down the road. The last book in the series, The Very Worst Man, three more American West novels, some paranormal romances, and some science fiction.  There’s be mysteries, romance, and all sorts of plot twists in these.  I’m so excited at the projects hovering on my horizon and hope my readers are, too!

A quote for #MondayBlogs

“Now I know the full power of evil. It makes ugliness seem beautiful and goodness seem ugly and weak.” – August Strindberg

Villains.  Who doesn’t love defeating a good bad guy?  Who doesn’t love seeing a bad good guy struggle with his inner demons?

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for Undesirable, planned release is July 4th, the characters for The Very Worst Man have already started giving me their witty one liners.  Their quips bubble to the surface like those mud volcanoes shown on the Science Channel.  Snippets of mean things run through my brain from the bad guy soon followed by clever retorts from the good guy.

I should probably stick to talking about Undesirable, book two in my Oregon Trails series.  I should talk about how Sam and Marie deal with a huge confrontation that’s happening in a few thousand words.  Maybe blog about how fun it will be to write an emotional reaction and how the event spreads ripples through their little community.  I should do that with the subliminal message of “Buy my book.”

However, Alexandra and Hayden’s story is nagging me to no end.  The Very Worst Man picks up a little of where The Very Best Man left off, though both are stand alone.  There’s been some, what, critique?  Complaints?  Suggestions?  Requests, maybe, to have a bit of a WWE smack down on Dave and Jane’s part.  That’s not the kind of people they are, and yet anyone is capable of anything and it might just be fun to write a courtroom fight scene.  I’ll have to see what’s boiling up from my creativity’s depths.

I Need More Sex

I’m halfway through with writing a book, Undesirable.  The plan?  To have it chock full of hot, romantic, adulterous pioneer sex.

The result so far?  Not even a kiss between the two main characters.  This is a romance, they’re supposed to at least kiss.

Not until chapter six, I guess.

So, the question on most non-writer’s minds is most likely why can’t I just force the issue?  Aren’t I, as the author, the one in control?

To which I answer, I was in control, but now I’m not.  I created the setting and conflict.  I created the characters, each with their own lives and motivations.  They’re not 3-D, more like 100-D, with that many dimensions to them.  Again, why can I not ‘write’ them what to do?

Because my work with creating them is done. It’s kind of like having adult children.  You can set things up to be easy or difficult, but in the end, character drives their actions.  I think in the best stories I’ve ever watched or read, the characters are always true to themselves.  Sam in Undesirable is a straight arrow, intent on right and wrong.  Even if wrong is where he wants to go, he won’t because that’s not who he is.  Marie, his love interest in the novel, is also an honest person.  Her feelings for Sam are growing but her love for her husband is keeping her from giving in to them.  Me?  I’d planned on them having a make out session in chapter one, and yet, it’s in chapter six that they kiss.  I’m not even sure they’ll do that, to be honest.

So now I put it back on you.  Are readers in an instant gratification world fine with extended sexual tension?  Can characters be truly that strong in a writer’s mind that they call the shots?  Is adding violence a good way to substitute for the lack of sex?

Being Accurate is Exhausting!

My biggest fear in writing anything historical is someone coming up to me and saying, “That was wrong.” Checking and rechecking everything takes a lot of time. Enough that, at the moment, I’d like to write anything that’s in the present day and familiar. Not the future, because that would take tons of research, too, into today’s technology extrapolated by X number of years.

Don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE research. It’s my favorite part of writing. But sometimes? I just want the words to flow and damned the facts. Instead, I’m on Google Earth, inching my way along the Oregon Trail from overhead, and typing out each tiny little paragraph at the same time.

You Are Here!

Who doesn’t love a clear label? And who doesn’t love a map that says “You are here?” Especially when you’re lost and all.

This is a great picture showing where exactly I’m herding my pioneers in Undesirable. Between South Pass and Lombard Ferry, there’s a whole lot of nothing. Well, sagebrush and gravel, but no water. Even if they take one of the green routes to the Green River, there are two small rivers that might have water for the people and animals. Heavy on the might, because even in July, the spring thaw had just begun in the higher elevations. Snowfall was a real possibility in the high desert. Days there are hot and the nights freezing cold.

The average distance traveled per day for people so far had been anywhere from 15 to 20 miles a day. To get through this stretch of dry, people went as far as 30 to 45 miles in a day. By the time they reached South Pass, their shoes and clothes would be worn to nearly nothing.

There’s tons more information at Greater South Pass Historic Landscape alliance, the site where I found this picture. Click on the photo to go visit them and learn more about their work. For more information on my work, try one of the menu items above, particularly the Oregon Trail tab.

From Here to the Parting of the Ways.

I’m not sure what I love most, Google, or Google Earth. Using Google, I found this video from the University of Wyoming. Why is it relevant? In my current book, Undesirable, my group of people are camping here for the night. It’s high desert country, so the nights are cold but the days are hot.

Notice how the wind is blowing her hair around? In that part of the country, that’s not considered a windy day. Plus, very few trees meant not much wood for campfires. Or for hiding behind during a bathroom break.

Anybody else reading slough as “slew?” Maybe it’s just me. 😉

The Only Source of Water on the Trail

Where I am in writing Undesirable is shown in this photo. Lovely, and I wonder how cold is that water? Can you imagine this being your only way to bathe? And in July? It’s too early for this part of the United States to have snow melt runoff raising the water level. That happens in August.

Growing up on a farm with well water helped me appreciate turning on a faucet for clean water. Especially when the electricity would go out and the water pump didn’t work. I’ve not had to melt snow for drinking or to flush the toilet ever while living in town. Even with the well going out at times, we had ways of getting bottled water, something I’m sure the people on the Oregon Trail would appreciate. Every drop they needed had to come from surface water. Have you seen surface water? Mosquito larvae, silt, other little floaty things I don’t even want to know about all are scooped up in a bucket or pail. Plus, people back then didn’t really know about germs. Bathing and drinking were done at the same source. Doing so probably wasn’t as bad as it sounds. People around the world still think of water as magically self cleaning.

Parts of the Oregon Trail had pools of alkali water, poison if too much was ingested by anyone. Thirsty and unruly animals drank with deadly consequences and people not heeding the warnings grew sick as well. Springs of good water occurred among these, causing a trial and error of sorts for the first trailblazers. Later travelers avoided death by heeding the signs and guidebooks’ warnings.

Every time I get clean, cold water from the tap, I think a silent “Thank you!” to everyone who made it possible.