Things Happening This Autumn

Well, here in the northern hemisphere, winter is ready to swoop in and freeze everything. Winter is my least favorite season. Summer used to be my choice of all, but as I aged, I realized that both spring and fall are so much more comfortable, and they edged into my favorite. Of the two, I’ll take autumn, fall, or harvest, whichever title you prefer. They are different names for the same time of year.

I like spring, but where I live in Arkansas, spring catapults quickly into the steam-oven of summer. Conversely, autumn usually languishes, morphing through Halloween and Thanksgiving, strolling through two of my favorite holidays.

Of course, the advertising umbrella that covered the entire season is that of the perennial rush to Christmas. This year, it almost gave nosebleeds because of the supersonic rush to compete to sell Christmas presents. Each prospective present bid not only for their share of the economic boon but, in many cases, the advertisers pushed to capture even more than their fair share, seeking to harvest everyone else’s. The push began this year before September barely got underway while still in summer. The Christmas saturation of commercials came as a nonstop onslaught on all media, not just television and radio, with many apps joining the greed fest. Hell, I am even trying to sell my new book.

But back to autumn. Not only are the temperatures more comfortable, but the many aromas wafting about during this season are hard to beat — burning leaves, pumpkin spices, cinnamon on apple pies, and in hot cider. Even the smell of a crisp morning as it stands, ready to usher in the deep freeze of the season to come. More scents delight my nose, too; nutmeg, marshmallows, and all sorts of pies and cobblers like cherry, pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan come to mind. Can I mention the aroma of baking bread rolls?

As a kid, that mouthwatering smell heralded the arrival of a seldom-appearing item on our table. It was only during Thanksgiving when that delicacy of dinner rolls graced our table, and often only if we had company visiting. To this day, the smell of baking bread makes me wonder and begs me to watch for unexpected things.

The salivating my mouth has going on just from ruminating about all these smells is unbelievable. The only thing that makes me behave more like a dog immediately after Pavlov rings his bell is when I read my great friend and colleague Yvonne’s blog, The Gripes of Olive and Tilly. It’s a blog about food, recipes, the history of entrees, and the difference between American and English cuisine. I Love the blog. Every time I read it; the words awaken hunger in me that I find myself needing to fix like an addict.

I’m getting carried away just remembering the blogs.

Her blog is wildly informative and covers great information. It is wonderful to read. Now, here is the one thing I have yet to mention. Olive and Tilly come across as two crotchety women who present all this incredible food while arguing with each other. You can find it all at www. Check it out. You won’t regret it.

The world is rife with good writing. And in all humility, I recently sent off my next book to my editor, Jayne Southern. She is, without a doubt, the best editor I’ve ever run into. She takes my ordinary writing and in a snap; she polishes my words into something remarkable.

After the first round of edits, she sent a small note. The wording on it was polished and well-written, but she told me to quit screwing around and give her something with which she could work. Oh, she didn’t say it that way. But that was what she meant. Like my kids, Sometimes I need discipline.

I read the letter, and my brows furrowed. What the devil … Then it hit me. I knew what she meant, exactly. I had been loafing. I’d taken an easy route in the book, which is not what I was there for.

My job as an author is to present my audience with wonderful plots that twist and turn beautiful characters that work well and collide and bounce in unsuspected ways. I also need to tickle the minds of my readers in a way only I can do. If I can’t do that, I should take a walk in the woods and get lost until I can. I need to make my pencils stubby from overwork and use my brain in a way that explodes with ideas not yet in use.

My next step is reworking the book. There is no choice. Why would I put out a book that took an easy way out? I wrought the previous books through toil in a way that produced a work of art. Why, then, would I settle for less than that?

I gleaned all of this from a well-written note from a professional woman for whom I have the utmost respect. That’s what my editor does — she polishes even the craggiest things into works of art. Need and editor? Look her up; you won’t be disappointed. I’ll make it simple, just click here.

I don’t understand authors that argue with their editors. It is the two together that produce the finished product.

Next, I want to discuss that I belong to a writers’ organization. There are many organizations for writers where like-minded writers can associate with others, including romance writers, mystery writers, history writers, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, and those for the screen and television. The list is inexhaustible. The organization I am a member of is the International Thriller Writers. Sounds highfalutin, doesn’t it? It can also sound pretentious. It is neither. The membership comprises a continuum of writers from the freshly published to the bestselling royalty. I see no need to name-drop. Everyone can figure out who are the bestselling thriller writers.

It’s a great organization. In it, a writer can find professional development symposiums, lectures given by great authors, and how-to classes that address common problems. The organization has a definite place.

This last week, I received an email from the assistant editor of their monthly emailed magazine, The Bill Thrill, which they send out (the magazine, not the letter) to 27,000 subscribers. In case you are wondering, that translates to 30,000 readers. In that letter, they asked if it would be alright with me if they reviewed my upcoming book, The Dao. After doing the happy dance for a half hour, I wrote back a please do and attached a copy of The Dao.

The review will appear in the December issue on the first of the month. The review will be an honest, nonbiased critique of the book, and the magazine has a long reach.

I have already had two editorial organizations review the book, The Prairies Book Review, and The Book Commentary. Both organizations gave rave reviews and currently have The Dao reviews on their websites. Just click their links, and you can read them.

If you like thrillers, you should investigate subscribing to The Big Thrill. It is free, and they present the best thrillers coming out each month. It is a great way to find your next read.

As far as my book, The Dao Book two of the Sigma Chronicles, is concerned, it will release on December 13th. Click here to reserve your copy. It’s a good one. To sweeten the deal; if you sign up for my newsletter, I will send you a code so you can pick up a free copy of Recall Book One of the Sigma Chronicles. Click here to sign up for the newsletter.

Thanks for reading my blog, and don’t forget to leave comments.

Oh, say. I forgot to mention that my publishing house, Indies United Publishing House, is hosting a short story contest. Click here for more information. Who knows? You may win some money and a publishing contract. Wouldn’t that be great!


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