Hambone, Hambone. . .

Hambone, Hambone where you been
Round the world and I’m going again.

Remember that old folk song . . .?

While I didn’t go completely around the world, it has sure felt like it.
Since March, I’ve been either getting on or getting off an airplane.

In April, I flew to Madison for the Writer’s Institute and had a great time with my Writing Sisters. And then down to Milwaukee for a mini-reunion with friends and to celebrate the debut of my first fictional book, THE CARETAKER.

In May, we took off to France for a visit with a  dear friend, Carolyn Corelle who lived in a small village outside of Paris – Neuilly En Sancerre. She showed us around the countryside of France — it was delightful Great food, incredible wine (so they tell me) and we spent three days in Paris researching places and people for the next La Lumbre book, NO REGRETS.

Martha's Vineyard -- son, Eirik, Grandsons — Pierce, and Josh
Martha’s Vineyard — son, Eirik, Grandsons — Pierce, and Josh

July we traveled to Boston and Marblehead to celebrate the 4th  with our eldest son, Scott, and his family.

Last dinner in Marblehead before returning to CA
Last dinner in Marblehead before returning to CA

 

 

 

 

Then a quick ferry ride over to Martha’s Vineyard for a week in the sun and surf.

I did the sun, not the surf. It was a great time to be with family.

Keiko
Keiko

We came home and immediately adopted a puppy. She’s an Australian Shepherd, and her name is Keiko, Japanese meaning blessed child.

Keiko at 7 weeks and at 4 months
Keiko at 7 weeks and at 4 months

She’s five months old now and a delight. She keeps up hopping.

 

 

 

Scott and family visit in August
Scott and family visit in August

I had planned on staying home the rest of the year after Scott and his family visited in August. However, you know how the best-laid plans go.

 

 

In September, I made an emergency trip to Memphis to be with my sister who’d had two brain surgeries within a week to remove a hematoma. She’s doing great I’m happy to report. I’m amazed at her recovery and so appreciate all the support from family and friends.

I returned in time to repack and leave for to Chicago for a week. My husband worked, I played and visited with a few of my Writing Sisters. And managed to get some writing time.

I find I can write while I travel. How about you?

My suitcase is unpacked—affirming that I’m home for a while.
NaNoWriMo begins today, November 1st—are you participating?

It’s pure insanity, isn’t it?
And yes, I’m signed up and ready to go.
But then sanity has never been one of my strong points.

Now hustling to complete the next book in the La Lumbre series.

 

UW Writer’s Institute—April 2018

April in Wisconsin got confused, very confused and thought it was January. Operating as an efficient January, April opened up the heavens and blew snow on high winds all over the mid-west. Lots and lots of snow and icy roads.

I’d flown to Madison to attend the  Writer’s Institue Conference with my Writing Sisters. We didn’t let a little unusual weather slow us down. We ate, they drank, we all laughed a lot, and plotted mayhem and murder in our works in progress.

After our panel presentation on writing groups, we went out to dinner at the Old Fashion Restaurant across from the Capitol

Martha Miles and Lisa Kusko

Blair Hull and Cheryl Hanson

Julie Holmes & Barbara, Bibi Belford.
Bibi is the author of the award-winning book, Crossing the Line.
Her mid-grade books are great!!

Lisa Kusko, Roi Solberg, and Julie Holmes

Blair Hull wearing the cover of her book on her jacket. The woman knows how to promote.

Our writing mentor, Chris DeSmet, in the striped top was with us.
She has no choice, we keep hanging around and refuse to leave.

Blair Hull (author of St. Mary’s Private Dancer), Julie Holmes, Chris DeSmet (author of Fudge Shop Mysteries), and Cheryl Hanson (Ceone Finn, author of To Reap the Finest Wheat). All these books and mine, The Caretaker are available on Amazon.com

Cartoons of Chinese Food

Cartoons of Chinese Foods—every time I think of this typo in the first printing of THE CARETAKER, I have to laugh. Not that typos are funny in the book that you’ve just published and very proudly announced to the world—well, a small portion of the world, anyway.

Editing is never-easy and never-ending. The manuscript was edited by no less than six or seven people, each of us went over it numerous times. I ran each chapter through two software programs for editing and still, things got through.

The only thing one can do is say— Ah, so —and move on.

The good news about self-printing on Create Space is that you can edit and repost as opposed to waiting until your publisher’s print run is done and another run can be corrected and loaded.

The copy that is now for sale doesn’t have any cartoons of Chinese Food, sorry, you’ll have to get your own.

 

THE WRITING SISTERS – SEVEN WRITERS PANEL

 UW Writer’s Institute 

April 13, 2018
3:00 – 4:00 PM

What happens when a Write-by-the-Lake Retreat Master Class ends but the writers keep meeting? They get published, among other achievements. Our group of seven women decided to meet annually for a reunion, sharing and critiquing each other’s pages. We call ourselves “The Writing Sisters” and despite our differences in genres, locations and lifestyles, draw strength and power from our continued friendships. We just finished our third reunion in August. Find out what we do and how we keep in contact and what’s happened with our writing. We hope to inspire you to create a writing group that will fuel your passion and help you reach your writing goals.

These are the panel participants:
Julie Holmes (technical writer, blogger, new 2-book contract through agent attending this conference)

Barbara Belford (published author of three middle grade books with Sky Pony Press)

Christine DeSmet (Barnes & Noble best-selling author and instructor at UW)

Lisa Kusko (college writing instructor, currently seeking manuscript acceptance)

Roi Solberg (intuitive consultant, radio host, newly published author)

Cheryl Hanson (self-published author of To Reap the Finest Wheat, retired social worker and speaker at women’s book groups)

Blair Hull (published author of St. Mary’s Private Dancer, UCC Minister, Whitewater, WI)

And a surprise guest.

This, That . . .& More

The Caretaker by Roi Solberg
Celebration!

THE CARETAKER, my first novel was published last week!

Years ago I made a vow that I would not die with regrets. I knew if I didn’t at least attempt to write a novel that it would be the biggest disappointment of my life.

First, I found Judy Bridges’ Shut up & Write Workshop in Milwaukee WI. That’s where the real work began. Judy was instrumental in helping with my first nonfiction book, The Spirit of Archetypes: Cards of Spiritual Guidance.

After that, I began writing fiction, giving voice to the characters that were bouncing around in my head. It was the only way shut them up. I began attending Judy’s Round Table class and writing scenes that became chapters. Very basic and not very good.

A few years went by and I moved to Madison. There I met Laurel Yourke and learned how to improve those scenes under her tutelage.That’s when The Caretaker began to take shape.

First Draft or the first dozen of drafts later ~~
I had a story … of sorts. I submitted it to Christine DeSmet’s Master Novel  Writing workshop at Madison’s Write by the Lake.  But never got to the ending.

Next dozen drafts ~~
I realized that while The Caretaker was a mystery about a murder, I had no police or a detective. Oops. . .

Back to the drawing board and more drafts ~~
I spent a lot of time trying to work the story with only two POVs—Sam and Lauren’s. And it wasn’t working for me. Finally, I decided that if I were going to spend this much time and effort on the novel it would be told the way I wanted in multiple POVs.

That decision meant that I rewrote the book—about a dozen times and after that began the endless editing and sending out to agents.

This year I decided to self-publish. And so, I did.
I’m pleased with the result and trust you will be as well.

THE CARETAKER is available on Amazon.com
Print and Kindle.