2013-Winner-Square-ButtonWriting ruled the ranch last November. “Warm Like Melting Ice” developed as a NaNoWriMoImage project, and I won with a few words over 50,000 by November 30. My daughters were on hand to uncork the champagne to celebrate my second consecutive NaNoWriMo project. The first, “Miracle of Ducks,” is in the revision process and I hope to polish it up for the Great Rejection Rodeo.

Actually, I’m excited about the Great Rejection Rodeo. If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not trying to catch the calf. If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not learning to throw a new loop. I know enough about traditional publishing to know that I don’t know much. Sending out my polished manuscript and agent queries will fill in those learning gaps. After a period of rejection and recalibrating, I look forward to victory in publication.

Now that 2014 is blooming before our very eyes (okay, for some of you it’s a frozen horizon, but that’s why I spurred my boots outta Minne-snow-ta) this blog is going to refresh. Other than the occasional “carrot sticks”–random posts such as this–I’m going to focus on the following blog topics:

Tips for Writers. Writing is a business. Writers are creative, of course, but if you want to write successfully (insert your own definition of success), you need to balance creativity with strategy. Strategy for what? Well, that could be making time to put pencil to paper or developing a plan like the Great Rejection Rodeo. Each Monday, I’ll alternate between tips for creativity and tips for strategies.

Review Roundup. Much of my online content writing revolves around reviews of products, media or best practices for businesses and careers. Each Tuesday and Thursday, I will focus on a short introduction with a link to a published review. If you are a newly published author and would like me to review your book, contact me and we’ll negotiate a horse-trade of sorts.

Flash Fiction. It’s a blog-hop (something like a square dance with other blog-writers) and the beginnings of a monthly contest. Currently under construction as I hammer out the details and recruit willing hands to play (because I can’t just lasso other bloggers). Look for the hop to begin March 5, 2014. The rules are simple: using the weekly prompt, craft an original story 99 words or less, post it on your blog and then submit your blog link to my host-post. Each week a new prompt is issued for the following Wednesday. All participating bloggers get a link back to their own blogs. Once we start getting at least 10 submissions a week, one blogger will be selected as a “Blue Ribbon Winner of the Month.”

Recipes From the Ranch. A buckaroo’s gotta eat. And around this ranch, she’s also gotta grow the food and cook. On Fridays, I’ll post a seasonal recipe from my very own chuck-wagon, often using ingredients from my organic garden, inspiring you to use seasonally fresh and local food. If you can’t garden, shop the farmers markets or co-ops.

If you’d like to follow my creative non-fiction, please join me over on Elmira Pond which is the real-live headquarters for Carrot Ranch Communication where migrating blue herons, mergansers and osprey distract me from writing. Most times, the natural setting inspires reflections and stories, like the time I sat on a bee to pick raspberries.

If you are a business, professional or fellow creative looking for some help with a 2014 writing project, give me a holler at the ranch as I am still accepting limited clients for the year. E-mail me: wordsforpeople@gmail.com or call: 208-263-3766. Ask for the lead buckaroo!





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