Howdy!!! Celia Yeary is the author of Texas Blue, a western historical sure to make you want to dust off your cowboy hat and don your cowboy boots.
Let's give her a warm welcome.
***Contest: She's giving away one PDF copy of Texas Blue to one lucky winner who leaves a comment or asks a question. Sorry, the cowboy is not included.
In six years’ time, I have written about a dozen manuscripts, have three of them published, and three more contracted. In the beginning, I only wrote, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. My life had settled down, I had new-found freedom for the first time since the age of eighteen, and simply by chance I wrote a couple of paragraphs about a young woman walking down a dusty road. Then I decided the woman had a little girl with her, and they lived deep in a forest, isolated and abandoned from the world.
This simple act turned on my brain and out gushed story after story. All I did was write, not knowing or thinking an editor or publisher would ever see my work. But as an oil gusher at first pours out tons of oil (pretend the Gulf Oil Crisis does not exist), the flow one day slows to a trickle.
Now, I know too much. Is the POV clean and pure? Are the chapter transitions clear and precise? Did I include too many passive sentences? Have I told the reader too much, instead of showing?
When I begin to doubt every word I write, I place myself in a time-out. There’s no use banging my head against the wall or slamming the lid down on my innocent laptop. So, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Writing Bursts: One exercise I perform sounds very easy, but if a writer is truly in the doldrums, it can still present problems. You won’t know until you try. The exercise is called “writing bursts.” Sit down with a blank sheet of paper in front of you. For me, that would be my Toshiba laptop. For others, that might mean a pen and notebook. Think of a topic or ask someone near you—“name any topic that comes into your head.” Then, begin to write without thinking—assuming you know a little something about the topic—and continue for ten minutes. Do not stop to edit for anything—don’t worry about spelling, style, or grammar. Now. See? Isn’t that easy. It warms up your brain.
A Story in a Nutshell: Next, describe your plot in one three-part sentence—a story in a nutshell. Try it first using one of your published novels. Next, try it using one of your WIPs. Note: you may not use, “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and then boy gets girl.” Now, you have an outline made of three sections—the beginning, the middle, the ending. This makes your plot resemble a three-act play, a tried and true method.
Concentrate on One Character’s Desire: Concentrate solely on your protagonist—male or female. What does this character want more than anything? Answer this question in detail, and voila! You have a plot based solely on his/her desire.
Now, if only I can make this work for myself.
She wasn’t a fit mother…
So said the county judge who hired Buck Cameron to retrieve his little daughter. But when Buck finally locates the pretty mother and child, he finds the claim very hard to believe. Now, he faces a dilemma. Should he obey the order? Or should he defy the judge and rescue Marilee and her child from isolation?
She’d been banished…
Rejected and abandoned by her father, Marilee Weston used the pain of betrayal to survive. Now, she needs a way out of the forest, where she and her daughter had lived for five years. But the towering pines and fear of the unknown imprisoned her. How could she begin a new life for herself and five-year-old daughter? Will the alluring stranger free her, or prove to be even more dangerous?
“Oh…well then, what else would you like to talk about?” Her voice trembled, but she couldn’t control it.
Without turning to face her, he said, “Are you trying to make a joke, Marilee? We haven’t talked about anything worth a damn since that night in the boarding house.”
At this, he turned on the step to look up at her with his eyes narrowed. “And we had one hell of a night, didn’t we? Or maybe you didn’t. Now that I think on it, that didn’t make any impression on you. You know what it feels like, Marilee, to be made a fool? It hurts. Gut-level pain. Stupidly, I honestly thought you wanted me just like I wanted you. I’d fallen so in love with you, I firmly believed I could make you love me, too. Then what did you do? Slapped me right down from my lofty feelings.”
“Don’t placate, me, Marilee. I got the message, loud and clear. Finally. You were right. I do have a thick skull. Takes me a while to see the real picture.”
His words struck deep, into her soul. Now, she realized how much he truly loved her, and she knew in her heart, he could overlook all of her shortcomings. He started to rise, and gently, she placed her hand on his arm to keep him in place.
“My darling,” she whispered. She felt his muscles tense. “Please forgive me. I am undoubtedly the most stupid woman on the face of the earth. Now, you have to answer this question.”
With a disbelieving look, he stared at her. She heard him breath slowly and deeply. Still as stone, he looked into her eyes and waited.
“I have six dollars saved. I have a daughter, soon to be five. I have a few clothes, but they’re all castoffs. That’s all that I have in this world. Except for one more thing. I have so much love for you, I will go anywhere with you, that is, if you still want me. And I…”
He cut her words off with a hard kiss, an open-mouthed, devouring kiss. He pulled her up, around the church, and between two Rose of Sharon bushes. He pushed her against the clapboard siding of the building, placed his hands flat on the wall, and pressed his body into hers.
“Damn, honey. You’ve about killed me.” Pushing back a little, he took her face in his hands and whispered against her mouth, “Will you marry me?”
She managed a nod, but it was enough for Buck.
NOTE: This isn’t the end of the novel—a few more events take place before the wedding day.
Thank you for visiting today--
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