Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just a Backwoods Country Girl

For starters, I grew up in the city.
Not THE city but a city, which is larger than a town.
Despite having spent the summers of my childhood in an obscure village in Missouri, it was quite a culture shock when my parents moved us to a town of only six thousand when I was 12.
For the first three years we lived here, I didn't even know there was city pool. Super dinky. There was a little WalMart and a small grocery store and a theater in the next town over.
People waved at you and said "hi" to you even if you didn't know them. It was weird. When we first moved here some of the kids made fun of me because I talked funny.
I talked funny. All proper and such.
Admittedly I've picked up a bit of that Ozark twang but I can control it if I want to. It's not so bad, like when I watch too many episodes of The Closer or Justified. Then I REALLY start talking funny, without meaning to.
This is one of those towns where everyone swears as a teenager that they will leave and never come back. But I'd say 90% of us have stayed or left and come back despite our fervent pledge. It's a nice town with nice people. Our pool is bigger now and so is our WalMart and we got ourselves our own theater.
It's a good place to raise kids. Everyone knows you so most everyone knows your kids. Makes it difficult for them to get away with much. We have clean parks, safe schools, a quintessential old town square. It's lovely.
We don't live in town though.
Neither do we live in a creepy, gothic revival place in the bayou.
Although that would be awesome. Except we don't have bayous 'round here. We do have a bit of a bog though.
I just live in a simple house in the woods. We have chickens...somewhere around 60 of them. It's hard to count them, they move around a lot. We also have two dogs, three cats, a one-eyed gander and his mate, and my son's filthy rat. He keeps her in the basement where she belongs.
A lot of my time is spent fighting the weeds in my garden because I refuse to spray chemicals on them. If I'm not weeding my garden then I'm probably cleaning the coop or watering the chickens or doing laundry. Or I'm kickin' my oldest son's rear trying to get him to put his novels down and work on a merit badge. If I'm not doing any of those things and I'm not running one of my three sons to a meeting and I'm also not entertaining my nieces or nephews...then I'm probably writing.
I know a lot of writers get their work done at night.
I don't know how they do it. My reserves often don't carry me past 9:30 lately.
A lot of people want to know why it takes so long for me to put out a new book in The von Strassenberg Saga. Well....being a mom and wife is my first job and it really wears me out. And secondly, when you write historical fiction it's necessary to do research.
Book 3 of The von Strassenberg Saga has split itself in two. So I have abandoned the portion that begins in 1917 (part two) two research the year 1905 and write the first part. It is my goal to have part 1 finished and published by August 1st. Happily, my sons will be on vacation with their grandparents later this month and my husband will be away with the National Guard, leaving me here to do nothing but tend the chickens, garden and my book.
The first part will be approximately 40-50,000 words and will be available (digital edition only) SOON! When both parts are finished I will combine them into paperback format.
Anyway, it's raining and the boys are still asleep, so off to work!

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