Sagging Middle At The Ranch Pen

IMG_2512 (1)

Sometimes in museums that showcase art, they will re-create the studio of a painter, sculptor, or writer and I always find those displays fascinating. I have no grandiose ideas that my studio might be re-created in a museum, but for anyone who’s interested…here y’go. Danni’s writing/art studio in living color. I’m gonna assume all countrified writers with a rabbit problem work with a rifle in easy reach. (Those rabbits! I’m not kidding. They have taken over the place.)

Today is just a quick update on where I am with the third book in the Love Is Not Enough series, which is titled Runs Alone Girl.

A little over a year ago, I had the startling revelation that the third book in my series is like the difficulties of bringing forth my third kid, (read the post here) but I was optimistic, hoping to finish the book that year.

Never mind, just kidding.

Back when I started writing this series, it wasn’t a series. It was one ginormous book. This book would lay Tolstoy’s War and Peace in the shade for weight and wordiness. If printed out, this book would’ve held it’s own against Obamacare’s reams of pages nobody wants to read.

Which reminds me of a joke.

Ol’ ranch gal to librarian: I’m lookin’ for a good book to read. Can you recommend one?

Librarian: Do you want something light, or heavy?

Ranch gal: Either way. I’ve got my pickup with me.

So, anyhow, to get a handle on this massive tome, I took an online class taught by the world’s greatest writing mentor, Terri Valentine. She gently told me I might have aholt of a lot bigger project than I thought I did, and she started helping me bust down the original book into a series.

People who write novels often hit what they call the “sagging middle”. The sagging middle is where the author basically flounders around for half the book with no direction and it’s SO BORING.

Reader, a few pages into saggy middle: “Are you kidding me? Did this author start taking stupid pills, or what? I’m not reading this junk, I need to wash my hair.”

Originally, Runs Alone Girl was the saggy middle of my massive book. Not only that, it centers on my character Annie, the Navajo girl. While I love Annie very much, she is emotionally frozen, stiff as a board, intensely personal, and an observer of life who doesn’t like to talk. Many of her scenes are written with her barely saying anything, or nothing at all. If you know anyone like that, you know how hard it is to interact with them and it’s just like that writing about them, too.

However, there isn’t anything more disappointing to me as a reader than an author who gets in a rush and starts cutting corners, so I’m going to put in the time to do Runs Alone Girl justice. I’m about 80% finished, and God willing I’ll be ready to release it later in the year. As they say, there’s light at the end of the tunnel…I hope it ain’t a train.

Thanks so much for reading. Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Rend Collective singing You Are My Vision.

A Budding Young Novelist At The Ranch Pen

Einstein, the author

Einstein, the author

 

Today, I’m pleased to announce my collaboration with a budding young novelist on his first book, The Squirrel’s Happy Day. The novelist, our five-year-old grandson, Einstein, is a young man his gramps has likened to “a bagful of bobcats”, so his whacking out an illustrated book, the companion audiobook, and an interview with the author–all before lunchtime–was a breeze.

As most novelists have experienced, Einstein’s story started out about one thing–the evil horse named Vader–but changed in mid-stream to accommodate a different and better protagonist, Chippy the Squirrel. Einstein took this developement in his nimble-witted stride and just went with his gut. The result is fabulous and Einstein has left his options open for a series of tales about Chippy.

*Mistakes in the text are solely those of Einstein’s scribe, Danni.

Without further ado, I present The Squirrels’ Happy Day followed by an interview with the author.

Vader the Evil Horse

Vader the Evil Horse

Chippy and his father, Eye-Socket

Chippy and his father, Eye-Socket with their knives

Chippy's mother, Darlene, and the evil shark, Maul

The evil horse, Vader, plotting with Maul and the evil pig, Kyle Rent

The evil horse, Vader–with a slight anatomical peculiarity–plotting with Maul and the evil pig, Kyle Rent

Chippy's father, Eye-Socket, in his super powers lab

Chippy’s father, Eye-Socket, in his super powers lab

Chippy fights Maul the shark/bear

Chippy blasting away, Vader and Kyle Rent running away extremely fast

Chippy blasting away, Vader and Kyle Rent running away extremely fast

Victorious Chippy all grown up with a mustache

Victorious Chippy all grown up with a mustache. The End

 

Interview with the author, Einstein McGrifith.

Danni: Okay, we’re here today with Einstein who has written a fabulous book, The Squirrels’ Happy Day. How did you get the idea for this story, Einstein?

Einstein: Well…We had a pet squirrel before and one day, he came to our house and gathered nuts…a lot. One day, we moved to another house and we didn’t get to see him, so…

Danni: You always remembered that squirrel, didn’t you? Did it have a name?

Einstein: Fred

Danni: You changed his name to Chippy in the story, didn’t you?

Einstein: Yes

Danni: Well, that’s very cool. Do you have plans to write more stories about Chippy in the future?

Einstein: Yes

Danni: Do you have any idea what your second book in the Chippy series might be about?

Einstein: A book where Chippy is protecting his family from hunters.

Danni: So, it’s gonna be more geared towards human hunters rather than the evil types of animals that were in your first story?

Einstein: Yes.

Danni: Will Vader be in your second story?

Einstein: No.

Danni: Did Vader and Kyle Rent survive the battle, or did they crawl off to die?

Einstein: They came to a hill and used it as a camp. Hunters found them and hunted them down.

Danni: Oh, so, they actually aren’t a threat to the squirrels anymore?

Einstein: No.

Danni: It’s these hunters that turn on the squirrels, now?

Einstein: Yes.

Danni: Well, Einstein, it’s been a pleasure to visit with you today and I was really happy to collaborate with you on your book and write your words down. I thought your pictures were amazing…I really did. I think that I’ll keep them forever.

*****

Let me just mention here that Einstein’s interview was truly a pleasure. He was extremely professional and heart-breakingly sweet.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you want to encourage Einstein in the comments, I will pass them along to him. Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy the Oak Ridge Boys singing Thank God For Kids.

 

Not So Much Brain As Ear Wax At The Ranch Pen

Shakespearean insults and tea, anyone?

Shakespearean insults and tea, anyone?

As a tea drinker, I am all about just-right mugs, so imagine my delight when my nice sister-in-law gave me an amazon card for Christmas to spend in any way I pleased. I, of course, immediately purchased this Shakespearean insults mug, which allows me to chortle as I sip tea and plan ways to insert some of these beauties into casual conversations, arguments, letters to the president and congress, and my books.

At any rate, since my “mountain of mad flesh” is under the weather this week and I am “not so much brain as ear wax” I’ll just share these twenty-eight zingers. They’re all priceless, but my favorites are in bold.

 

  • Mountain of mad flesh
  • Light of brain
  • Bolting-hutch of beastliness
  • Not so much brain as ear wax
  • long-tongu’d babbling gossip
  • Thou art a boil, a plague sore
  • Veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth
  • I do desire we may be better strangers
  • You Rampallian! You Fustilarian!
  • Lump of foul deformity
  • Highly fed and lowly taught
  • All eyes and no sight
  • All the infections that the sun sucks up
  • Elvish-mark’d abortive, rooting hog
  • Foot-licker
  • Infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker
  • O gull, O dolt, as ignorant as dirt
  • Clod of wayward marl
  • False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand
  • Roast-meat for worms
  • Anointed sovereign of sighs and groans
  • Lewdly inclin’d
  • The soul of this man is his clothes
  • Quintessence of dust
  • Canker-blossom
  • Poisonous bunch-back’d toad
  • A fusty nut with no kernel
  • Beetle-headed, flap-eared knave

Isn’t that last one great?  I shall try it on Gramps someday.  “Why hast thou tracked through the cow pen and onto my clean floor again, thou beetle-headed, flap-eared knave?” I shall screech. Ha. We’ll see what he has to say to that.

If you have a favorite, go ahead and post it in the comments. Until next time, God bless all y’all and lest I get too carried away flinging around my Shakespearean insults, maybe I’d better end with this Phillips, Craig, and Dean song, Let My Words Be Few.

Wimpy Barriers At The Ranch Pen

The nacelle of a wind turbine

Before NaNoWriMo kicks off in a few days and I’m too busy to blog tend, I’ll post a few pictures of some of the wind turbine components getting trucked out to the new wind farm location a few miles from our house.

As I mentioned earlier in the year sometime, Gramps and I entered into intense negotiations that lasted at least an hour with a wind power company. The outfit is building a new wind farm around some of our dirt farms and even though they are not setting towers on our places, they have built a power line across our farm and managed to accidentally kill one of our cows by digging a deep hole and fencing around it with some rope. Apparently, they were under the false impression that a visual barrier  would keep our cows from tumbling in. They obviously didn’t know what kind of cattle we raise–nosy, pestilential critters who gallop away with wimpy rope barriers around their horns like victory flags..unless, of course, the cow has toppled into the hole and perished, in which case, the rope barrier would be tangled sadly around the rump roast area. (The price of young, bred cows is high right now, so thankfully the wind farm outfit dug deep into their bank account and reimbursed us.)

At any rate, wind farm construction is coming on apace the past few weeks, and for those who can’t imagine how massive the wind towers are, I’ve snapped a few photos. The picture above is a nacelle that sits atop the tower and is connected to the rotor. The nacelle contains the majority of the approximately 8,000 components of the wind turbine, such as the gearbox, generator, main frame, etc. The nacelle housing is made of fiberglass and protects the internal components from the environment. The nacelle cover is fastened to the main frame, which also supports all the other components inside the nacelle. The main frames are large metal structures that must be able to withstand large fatigue loads.

Wow. I sound really smart there, don’t I? Yeah, that’s not me. I copied that description off the AWEA’s (American Wind Energy Association) website.

I haven’t got a picture of the rotor which is attached to the nacelle with three holes in it for the blades, but they are so big only one at a time is hauled on the trailers.

The next pictures are of a wind turbine blade. The truckers can’t turn these things just any-old-where, so the wind power company has built special turning places on certain roads.

IMG_1971

The picture below is just one of the tower sections.

IMG_1961

The turbines are set with huge cranes and it’s quite a process. Ironically enough, the wind can’t blow much at all in order for the construction guys to accomplish that job. Apparently, they don’t want those giant pieces lying in a mangled heap on top of our cows. (Which would be most unfortunate for the cows, but–greedily rubbing my hands together–a pretty good payday for us.)

And in other news, two of the grandkids, Blondie and Roper, have been learning some horsemanship skills and yesterday, for the first time, Blondie on the pony Frisco, and I on my mare, Sis, went on a ride together. I couldn’t be more pleased.

Blondie on Frisco

IMG_1629

Roper learning to be the boss of Frisco

As always, thanks so much for reading. Throughout November, I will try to post how the NaNo 50,000 word challenge is coming along.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Southern Gospel Revival doing When They Ring Those Golden Bells.

Rough Drafts At The Ranch Pen

 

by EK Johnson

by EK Johnson

Danni whacking out a rough draft

There is an event for writers each November called NaNoWriMo  in which participants on Nov. 1, begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. I had planned to try that last November, but a drunk driver crashed into my son’s pickup at 85 mph+, disrupting many plans. (If you know anyone who drives drunk, do whatever it takes to stop them–the lives they ruin may be more than just their own.)

At any rate, nearly a year has passed and I’m gearing up to try NaNo again. My plan is to whack out the rough draft of the sequel to Agnes Campbell’s Hat while continuing to work on the third book in the Love Is Not Enough Series and do a bunch of other stuff, too.

Agnes Campbell’s Hat is aimed at younger readers who read books in the 35,000 word range, so depending on how the drafting process goes, I may not need to write the entire 50,000 words.

Unfortunately, I’m not hopeful. My rough drafts usually go something like this:

Melba runs into the tootntotem store. Harold I think I just saw that guy with the gun (the small mustachioed man with the orange hat?)

Harold is at chip display (pork rinds?) sullen look.

Why are you just standing there, Harold? Chop, chop. (is she trying to figure out why Harold’s mad? Argument over cracked iPhone screen again? Losing the dog?) (Look up what kind of dog from last book) What’s your problem Harold? Did u not sleep again?

Not after you dug your toe into my shin at three o’clock.

Melba stares. What’s he talking about?

You  woke me up doin’ this–Harold makes grinding toe motion–on my leg. Figured I was breathin on you or something. only got two or three minutes sleep after that.

Melba: Dug into you with my toe? (Is he kidding? The guy with toenails like daggers?)  I know nothing of this so called toe incident, Harold. Do you seriously think I wouldn’t just–makes jabbing elbow motion–and tell you to quit breathing on me?

Harold scowls? You got up and went to the bathroom after that.

Well, the clues are really falling into place, now, Harold. sarcastic You know what this reminds me of? That time I was talking in my sleep*–Melba looks over his shoulder at small guy holding gun coming out bathroom? Harold duck, she yells

Then the poison dart hits her in the forehead? Harold thinks, serves her right now she knows how I feel after toe incident?

What if the gunman rips off his hat and he’s a woman with a mustache? Real? fake? Harold suddenly remembers a recurring nightmare about a man with a little mustache? His mother? Did they think she died a long time ago from the freak farm accident? begins to suspect he was adopted?

What does Harold actually need in scene? Resolution from pain of his past? New cell phone so he catches podcast about missing mob boss for next chapter? Just pork rinds? 

And, on and on.

*Parts of Harold and Melba’s conversation may, or may not, have actually occurred one morning before breakfast. Some names may have been changed to protect the guilty.

I might not have many brain cells left for blogging in November, but we’ll see how it goes. As always, thank you so much for reading what I write. Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Phillips, Craig & Dean doing You Are God Alone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRxae6mLvB4

Writing Humor When Life Ain’t Funny At The Ranch Pen

800px-Baling_twine,_blue_and_red_1

image via somewhere on the internet

 

Anyone with a finely tuned sense of the ridiculous can usually find something amusing about most any situation, but there comes a point when life just ain’t funny. As a writer, I’ve been warily circling the big, snarled up ball of twine in the middle of my metaphorical writing room, looking for the string to pull that will allow me to write something about some subject. Anything. Forget amusing, I’d settle for coherent. Finally, I began pulling strings.

String A? No.

B? Blah.

C? Meh.

D? Good grief. The worst yet.

  • danger
  • death
  • dementia
  • depression
  • despair
  • diarrhea
  • disappointment
  • disaster
  • doldrums
  • dopes
  • drunk drivers

I was on the verge of giving up again until I reached this one:

  • dumb dogs

At last! The right string after all.

Nellie, the happy extrovert

Gramps and I have a border collie named Nellie. Border Collies are typically livestock herding dogs, not bird dogs. She’s beautiful and we love her, but she is handicapped by hyperactivity.  Nellie is confined to our yard by a Pet Safe electronic collar that sends a wireless shock if she gets too close to the road. The collar has saved her life approximately twenty-three-million times, now, because Nellie loves to chase. She can’t be trusted with livestock, so she spends every waking moment chasing: motorized vehicles which she can’t catch because of her collar, the cat, grandkids, toads in the summertime, and birds. Mostly, birds. If she had the choice of a nice, juicy steak bone, or bird chasing, she would choose the birds.

Nellie’s obsession with birds causes her to go deaf so she still has to be kept on a leash when I take her out of her electronic circle. If I turn her loose, she races after birds and pays no attention to me calling her back even when I have a pocketful of meat as incentive to return. Bear in mind we are surrounded by miles and miles of wheat fields. She could run for a long time following birds as they lured her farther and farther away like the ruthless Pied Pipers they are.

Anyway, the other day while walking, some madness seized me and I let her off the leash. We practiced her commands for a while. Everything was great.

Then the flock of meadowlarks.

With single-minded zeal she dedicated her life to catching those birds. I don’t have a loud voice, and no matter how I shrieked, howled, or whistled, she ignored me. Anyone who has ever had a dog that won’t come on command knows how severely annoying that is.

Finally, she must have sensed it was good I wasn’t packing a gun and she headed back. I told her, “Good girl, good Nellie,” and so forth as reward for her reluctant obedience, but then she saw another bird and took off. I’d had it.

“Stop!” I roared. The force of my command pulled me up on my tiptoes and then rocked me back on my heels. A shower of spit sprayed all around.

Nellie stopped dead and looked at me like I was having a psychotic episode. Then she waggled over so I could snap on her leash. I stared at her, thunderstruck. All these months I had apparently been too nice with my calm, quiet commands.

We walked home with me periodically bellowing, “Stop!” And she did, looking at me like, “Geez. All right, just calm down.” I got the giggles.  How ridiculous we must’ve appeared from a birds’ eye view.

An FYI: I learned that the command has to be clipped, with particular emphasis on the P. The spit pattern has to be just right. (Remember, that particular command–if done correctly–is really a bummer when the wind is strong and in your face, so brush your teeth beforehand and use mouthwash. Or, just sell your dog.)

So, until next time, God bless all y’all and if you write humor and your life ain’t funny, just start trying to find the string that’ll pull out of the snarl and make you laugh. It’s there if you look hard enough. Nellie hopes you enjoy her favorite song, Chasing Cars.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GemKqzILV4w

*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse Nellie’s behavior, she just loves this song.

Third Kid Syndrome At The Ranch Pen

The grandson, Tater, a third kid

The grandson, Tater, a third kid

I’ve had several questions lately about book three in the Love Is Not Enough series…How’s it coming along? When will you be done writing it?…etc.The truth of the matter is that even though I’m working off a draft and have the basic storyline fleshed out, I am dragging this third book up kicking and screaming from my toes. (I know…ew!) I plug away at it, but have no idea when it’ll be finished. I’m shooting for sometime this year.

A few days back, I was struck with a thought like a bag of bricks on the head:

This third book in my series is like a third kid!

When expecting Son #1’s blessed arrival over thirty years ago, I was very young and too dumb to know what was coming down the pike, so I had some nameless fears and dreads. Son #2 came along when #1 was still a baby and I was too busy to dwell on my not-so-nameless fears. But #3, now, yikes. I was nineteen by then, had the mothering thing partially figured out, and enough brain power to accommodate fully formed fears and dreads:

  • With two healthy boy children, surely something would be wrong with #3?
  • #1 and #2 were so cute and smart-ish, what if #3 was ugly and dumb?
  • #1 and #2 reduced me to raving lunacy on a regular basis…how could I possibly manage when #3 hove onto the scene?
  • And finally, what if #3 was another boy and not the girl who would decrease the ratio of males to female in the family and save me from overmuch testosterone exposure?

Fast forward thirty years to me–having left childbearing–bringing forth book number three. I’ve had some of the same types of fears and dreads:

  • Books 1 and 2 are surviving, what if Book 3 comes forth fatally flawed?
  • Books 1 and 2 don’t read too badly, but what if I accidentally write the same basic story and everybody grins too much? (As one of my favorite one star reviewers so graciously pointed out on Amazon.)
  • Books 1 and 2 used up a lot of brain power…how can I possibly have enough left to write Book 3 especially when real life has continued to sap my old grey matter?
  • And finally, what if Book 3 isn’t what my readers want and expect–a real stinker?

Well, in spite of my fears, our third son turned out to be a keeper, and his third son, Tater, did too, so..maybe the third book in the Love Is Not Enough series will be all right when I finally get it hauled up from my toes.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy the inimitable Alison Kraus singing this beautiful song, A Living Prayer.

*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love her singing.

 

 

 

Top Ranch Pen Posts Of 2014–#5

The fifth most viewed post of the year at the Ranch Pen isn’t really a post, but the About The Author page, which surprises the goodness out of me, but thank you all. I blew off the dust, updated the info, stuffed in a new picture of Gramps and me, and…Shazam! (as my sister says). Gramps doesn’t actually write any of my books, but he is an invaluable part of the process. He proofreads, gives me technical advice, drops a new laptop on me once in a while, and inspires most of the smart-mouth witty dialogue from my male characters.

For Blog

image courtesy of It’s a Sweet Life Photography

Danni and her husband, Gramps

Danni McGriffith is the author of Agnes Campbell’s Hat–a novel for middle grade and young adult readers–as well as The Cedar Tree and Wailing Woman Creek, the first two books in the Love Is Not Enough series about two ranching families set in western Colorado. She blends a lifetime of experience with farm and ranch life, humor, and her Christian worldview into the stories she writes. Presently, she is working on the third book in the Love Is Not Enough series.

Danni home-schooled her three sons for sixteen years then finally graduated the last one and retired from that endeavor. After that, she started writing in earnest, unwilling to waste all those years of english classes. Most of what she writes is  politically incorrect but realistic Christian fiction, incorporating her lifelong love of horses, farming, ranching, and the Lord Jesus. She generally writes and blogs with her tongue firmly in her cheek because her foot is taking up the rest of the space in her mouth.

Danni and Gramps have been married 33+ years. They have three grown and married sons and seven grandkids featured on the blog from time to time–Kevman, Blondie, Roper, Eisnstein, Git’R’Done, Ladybug, and the newest member, Tater.

Danni and Gramps grow wheat and forage for cattle on about 850 acres in southwestern Oklahoma. They run a cow-calf operation with 80-100 mama cows, mostly black angus. McGriffith farms are scattered here and there across a ten-mile radius, but at the home place, Danni keeps her chickens in an old school bus–one of Gramps’ harebrained great ideas. She also keeps a rotating menagerie of cats, dogs, orphan calves, and a horse or two–at present the grandkids’ Shetland pony, Frisco, and her perfect granny-horse mare, Sis, who is too fat and lazy to buck. (Danni hopes.)

Danni thanks you for your interest, and by all means, sign up for new book notifications or use the contact form below.

*********

Thank you so much for reading and until next time, God bless all y’all while you enjoy Casting Crowns singing I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.

[youtube.com/watch?v=M7670CXvPX0]

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ’em.

Writing With Death Overhanging At The Ranch Pen

Kit Carson's gravestone Taos, New Mexico

A few years ago, Gramps and I visited the graveyard in a park in Taos, New Mexico where Kit Carson and his wife, Josefina, are buried.

One of our closest neighbors died this week. Statistically speaking, one out of one people dies, so there was nothing strange in her death. At over eighty years of age, our neighbor may have lived through one of the most radical periods of change in the history of mankind. She was an old-style Okie lady–tough, opinionated, a staunch Democrat, super friendly, and big-hearted. I liked her even though we couldn’t agree on politics. For years, she manned a spot at the polling booth in a local church where she tried–not always successfully–not to voice her opinions to the voters. Last Tuesday when Gramps and I went to vote, I missed her a lot.

Maybe her death and the deaths of many of our elderly farm neighbors in the past few years–along with writing a difficult book–is what set me to thinking about a quote from the writing craft book by James Scott Bell, Revision and Self Editing. 

“A gripping plot involves the overhanging possibility of death.”

~James Scott Bell~

 

What Mr. Bell meant was the stakes have to be so high for the character that if he or she doesn’t get what they need, they will not be okay. The character doesn’t necessarily have to get what they want, but their most basic need must be met or they will die…either physically, psychologically/spiritually, or professionally.

For instance, consider physical death. Every morning I want a cup of hot tea. I think I will probably die if I don’t get it. I will do almost anything to get tea in the morning. However, if the situation is distilled to basics, it turns out the only thing I actually need is just a boring cup of water to sustain my life.

Now, I can decide water is absolutely unacceptable. I must have my greatest desire–tea. Unfortunately, I don’t want to get dressed and drive to town. Do I:

  • Throw a wall-eyed fit and make Gramps miserable so he’ll stop drinking his coffee and go buy me some tea, or do I drink some of his coffee?

Gramps won’t share his coffee, I decide on the fit. Does Gramps:

  • Lay back his ears, refuse to go to town for tea, or offer me water?

I shrilly declare I’d rather drink gasoline and die than drink a cup of water. Does Gramps:

  • Say go ahead, see if I care, or try to distract me with a glass of apple juice?

I don’t want apple juice, either. He obviously doesn’t believe me about the gas. I feel honor bound to follow through, show him he has pushed me too far this time. Do I:

  • Show him a thing or two by drinking the gasoline and end up sputtering to an inglorious stop, or ditch my ridiculous pride and have some water-based apple juice?

All those scenarios (completely fictional) (except I must have tea) are where my story lies–what I want, what I think I need, what I’ll do to get my desire, and finally, what I truly need in order to avoid shuffling off my mortal coil.

If we think about it, the same things hold true as we write the stories of our real lives, too, so while we wrestle with our mortality and make decisions about the pieces of us we want to pass through time, let’s live so the preacher doesn’t have to lie at our funeral and let’s write like there is death overhanging.

Thanks so much for reading and until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Justin Hines and the Canadian Tenors singing Say What You Will.

[youtube.com/watch?v=5kf18ti4oug]

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love ’em.

 

 

Mind Barf From The Ranch Pen

No More Mind Barf

While some people in this age of ebooks are churning out three or more books per year, Danni McGriffith Super-slow-author is not. I always think, “I should crank out more books like those prolific people do!”. Then I look at the scientific formula below (that I made up just now and metaphorically taped to my forehead) to remind myself why that ain’t a good idea.

3-4 books/year by Danni McGriffith=Mind Vomit

Or,

3-4 books/year by Danni McGriffith=Danni’s personal journal

Below I’ve included a fill-in-the-blank sample entry from my personal journal to prove my point.

Oct __

Woke up from a nightmare where I killed ___wearing only my___. Feeling mentally unhinged and prickly toward___. My___hurts. I also have a strange pain in my___. Clear skies, high south wind, 99*.

Obviously, I should confine the mind barf to the journal and the blog and write my way through my books at a snail’s pace. Which is what I am doing on the third book in my Love Is Not Enough series.

One of the main characters in this book is Annie DeRossi Campbell, an emotionally frozen young Navajo woman who is reluctantly coming unfrozen. Almost everything about her goes on beneath the surface. She’s an exhausting personality for the other characters to deal with and she’s an exhausting personality to write. However, I want her to be okay, so I’ll keep trying with her. You can read more about Annie’s origins here.

While we’re on the book topic, people have asked whether there will be a follow-up to my novel geared toward the younger set, Agnes Campbell’s Hat. I plan to write one, but have not started it yet. If only there were more hours in the day, or more and younger brain cells sparking around in the old cranium!

Finally, the first book in the Love Is Not Enough series, The Cedar Tree, was free for a few days this week. It made number two on the Amazon top 100 free books in the Western and Frontier slot and top ten in Family Sagas, so thank you very much to anyone who downloaded a copy. I really appreciate it. Remember, too, anyone with an Amazon Prime membership or Kindle Unlimited can borrow my books for free on their Kindle and if you have paid for a download, you can share it with a friend or family member on their Kindle for free, as well.

Until next time, thanks so much for reading. God Bless all y’all and enjoy David Wesley doing The Stand.

[youtube.com/watch?v=V8C2xnZUXAk]

This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse the blog, I just love his music. If you do, too, you can download it on iTunes.