Archive for September, 2015

A DEPARTURE FROM THE NORM–BACK TO THE COWS FOR HUMOR

September 11, 2015

Many of my loyal readers know that to provide a bit of revenue, we raise beef cattle. Not many this year, four to be exact.

I was, I admit, a bit smug about my picking success this year. We had an Angus last year that was the spawn of Satan, so I was determined to not have that happen again. It took me three nearly eighty mile trips to the cattle auction to locate what I though was my ideal herd. Labor Day weekend proved me wrong. To be honest it wasn’t the cow’s fault.

I’ll say that one of the cows was distressed on Saturday. She began the morning at 5:30 am. by mooing and running around the pasture. 5:30 am. is not my daughter’s normal waking time, so you can imagine how well the mooing cow was received—especially on a holiday weekend. Cows don’t care about holidays.

There seemed to be no reason for the frantic mooing so after about an hour, we ignored it.

Saturday night, someone (obviously the victim of too much celebration) went through our pasture fence. Lucky for the cow, not so lucky for the humans.

Sunday morning, three cows arrived for breakfast; one did not. My daughter walked the pasture in search of said cow—no luck. My son walked the pasture—no luck, but he did find the broken fence and the place where said cow made her escape.

We looked through the neighborhood—no cow. In case you aren’t aware, cows don’t move quickly so she should have been in the vicinity. Around 5 pm. my daughter and I decided to make one last tour of the area. We stopped to ask a lady walker if she had perhaps seen an Angus in the area. “Oh sure,” she replied. “There’s been one pacing and mooing all day behind my daughter-in-law’s house.”

There she was in the easement between the subdivision and fortunately, my cousin’s pasture. It was getting dark, so we put her into my cousin’s pasture for safekeeping until we could get her home.

On Monday afternoon, my son and daughter retrieved the cow, but the excitement wasn’t quite over. We put her into the corral for the night until we could decide what to do with her. Tuesday morning, she wasn’t in the corral, but arrived with the rest of the herd for breakfast. What can we say?

Hope this gave you a chuckle.

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FACTS ARE IMPORTANT

September 4, 2015

Writing a novel? You may think you don’t need to research anything, after all it’s fiction, right. You don’t need to know any facts to write fiction. You are very wrong.
Here are a few things to consider.

1. The time frame for your setting may deeply effect your story. You may think having your main character write on a computer in 1915 is an obvious “no brainer” but what about a typewriter or a ballpoint pen. If you had to think about either one of those things, you need to do some research. You may think your reader doesn’t know or care, but some of your readers do know better and do care. If you’re wrong, you lose credibility and your audience.
2. What about dialogue? Certain words were taboo in the early 1900’s right through the 1930’s. If your characters are using a specific four-letter word pre-World War II, you’ll lose some of your older readers immediately. Do some research.
3. What are your characters wearing? An above the knee dress in 1860 would be unheard of. And I really hate to tell you romance writers but lacy brassieres weren’t even heard of in the late 1800s. So do a bit of research.

There are some great books out there that will speed your research time and put you on the right track. The EVERYDAY LIFE IN… are some of the better quick references on the market. Some were published a decade ago, so check your local library.

Research, research, and then research again. It will gain an audience you may not have had before. And it will make you a better writer.