I refilled the bird feeder this afternoon, and before I got back into the kitchen to look out the window there were six birds on it. Yesterday I had a mama cardinal and the day before the papa with all his fine coloring. I love watching them. Decided to put a bird feeder on the front porch next summer, if I can figure out a way to keep the squirrels away from it--and I think I can. One pesky squirrel comes to the tree next to the kitchen bird feeder and stares at me with those beady eyes as though challenging me. I have a secret weapon: my dog!
Speaking of outdoor things, I forgot to mention last night that today, Monday, I was guest blogger at http://damesofdialogue.wordpress.com/. My subject? "The Vanishing Front Porch." If you check it out on Tuesday, please scroll down past the Tuesday post to read mine. And leave a comment. I discovered today several random readers share my love of front porches.
My big announcement: my novel Mattie and my short story collection Sue Ellen Learns to Dance are both available now for Kindle on Amazon and for all other readers, including online reading, on Smashwords. The short stories have been up a while, but I spent last week buried in the Smashwords Style Guide, trying to get both projects in proper shape. I never did get paragraphs indents in the short stories, but the paragraphs are separated, so if it's not good fiction style at least its legible. Both books are priced at $2.99, the minimum Kindle price.
The short stories are dear to my heart. I can't sit down and say, "Today I'm going to write a short story." I either have the idea or I don't. So these 14 strories were written over many years, most previously published, two winners of awards from both Western Writers of America and the National Cowboy Museum. The one that still makes me cry if I have to read it aloud is "The Art of Candle Dipping," based on a true story I found in the files at the Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth.
Mattie is also special--the first adult novel I wrote out of whole cloth (the only previous one had been specifically written for serialization in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram during the Texas Sesquicentennial Celebration). The story of Mattie jumped into my mind after I read about Dr. Georgia Arbuckle Fix, a pioneer physician on the plains of western Nebraska at the turn of the 20th century. But the characters and plot have no relation to Dr. Fix, although I did "lift" the incident of her sewing a silver dollar into a man's skull after he was hit by the handle of a well rope gone amuck. But the loves of Mattie's life are pure fiction, as is her daughter.
It's a big milestone for me to have made these two titles available digitally. Watch for free samples on my web page soon. Meantime, I'm turning back to my first mystery, polishing again, and, I think, getting ready to submit to a small press.
Yes, Christmas is coming, but I think I have that under control and I'm still spending days at my desk. I did polish silver tonight. Sometimes in cold weather I am overcome with ennui, and I can't tell you how many times I walked by those dishes before I made myself polish them tongiht.