Monday, October 08, 2018

Fall is upon us! by Paty Jager

Pumpkin from hubby's pumpkin patch
After a long, hot, dry summer, we had rain! And the temperatures have dropped drastically. Not an easy way to slide into the next season but we'll take it.

The haying went easy for me this year. ;) I was either off at a writing adventure or the neighbor offered to help drive tractor to get the bales out of the field. I only had to drive tractor one day.
Me driving the tractor pulling the trailer

We had half of our grandchildren move down the road from us this summer.It has been fun getting to hang out with them and do things together. They will be here permanently as their parents bought a ranch 7 miles from us. Now we have someone to watch the horses and dogs if we want to go somewhere during the winter.

While I was starting to panic about May when it seemed I'd never be able to accomplish my writing goals for 2018, I'm happy to say, I am now back on track!

You will see the first 3 books in the Gabriel Hawke series releasing in January, February, and March and the 12th Shandra Higheagle book will publish early January, introducing readers to the new Gabriel Hawke character.

Right now, I have book 11 in the Shandra Higheagle Series, Dangerous Dance up for pre-order and it releases on Oct. 10th. If you would like the book, go ahead and pre-order and it will drop into your ereader on the 10th. Or you can also go to your local bookstore and ask them to order the print book.

Here is the blurb and cover along with a buy link:

Jealousy… Drugs… Murder…

At the reservation to make final arrangements for her upcoming wedding, potter Shandra Higheagle gets caught up in the murder of a young woman about to turn her life around. 

Having no jurisdiction on the reservation, Detective Ryan Greer pulls in favors from friends in the FBI to make sure there is no delay in their wedding. 

However, the death occurs in a sacred place and could place the nuptials on hold. Following the clues may not only stop the wedding... But separate Shandra and Ryan for life. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Writing Diverse Characters

A photo from my trip to the beach.
I don't care to be a person who follows what others think. I'm not a person who follows trends or has to have the latest of anything.

However, I spent last Saturday at a Diversity Conference for Writers sponsored by Oregon Writers Colony. I didn't go to this conference because Diversity is the new buzz word. I went because I write one and soon two series who have Native American main characters. And even in my westerns I tend to add people from all walks of life. I've always believed the world was made up of a kaleidoscope of people.  From their ethnicity to their religion and every thing in between, having this mixture is a wonderful way to keep the world interesting.

Growing up the rural area where I lived was all white other than a few Basque families. Or so I thought. It wasn't until I was an adult I learned there had been a Black man living in one of the towns. I had never heard of him or seen him. I learned about all the different cultures, religions, and ways of life from reading books and watching television. There was a world of exciting people outside our little rural community.

There was a comment made at the conference that I wish I had had the nerve at the time to refute. One participant said she thought the rural people were the ones who held onto the old ways of White supremacy. Having grown up rural and continued to live rural, I don't see that. You could say she was bigoted toward rural people.

The speakers on Saturday were interesting, funny, and motivational. They talked about history and about change. About word choices and being aware of differences and not stereotyping or falling into the trap of trying to make them different.

We started off with a keynote address "Does Difference make a Difference for Writers?" by Kathleen Saadat. It was full of great words of wisdom and started the event off with a feeling this was going to help me be a better writer.

The first workshop I attended was Power, Privilege, and Writing with Emily Prado and Nancy Slavin. I have to say, I felt this one was too politically correct. There were words they said shouldn't be used that could have a totally different meaning than to be putting someone down. I think you can go overboard on this policing.

After lunch Poet, Emmett Wheatfall handed out a packet of his poems. They were thought provoking and made me realize a poem can sound better when read by the poet. They put the right emphasis on words to make the piece sound completely different than when reading it yourself.

Then there was a panel of  Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody, comedian Debbie Wooten, Novelist D'Norgia Tayplor-Price, and  graphic artist and graphic novelist Brian Parker. They talked about "Including Many Voices in the Creative Arts and Publishing." The information about their lives, how they came to where they were and how to keep making Publishing a place that really encompasses all cultures was uplifting. Debbie had us laughing a lot!

The last workshop I took was "Writing About a Culture Other Than Your Own" by D'Norgia Taylor-Price. She has a nice delivery and gave us a handout and we had to pick a culture and world different than our own and take 15 minutes to write it up.

This was my short story:
Angela Flores stood on the small balcony of her new studio apartment. Three years ago she'd decided to become more than a motel maid. A month ago that dream came true. She'd registered at the Culinary Institute.Cooking with her abuela always made her happy.

She wanted a job, a career. Where even if she was tired at the end of the day, she would feel fulfilled. There had been too many nights her mother could come home complaining about her day.

Angela didn't want to be worn out and bitter in twenty years. 

 Children played in the street below. Luck and her aunt had found the small apartment that allowed dogs. Moving to town where she knew only her aunt, Angela wanted Melody with her. This area was pet friendly and a young mother in the building had offered to take the mid-sized poodle for walks every day while Angela was at school. 

Angela stepped back in the apartment to finish unpacking when Melody yelped.

She spun around and found a rock next to her cowering dog. 

I learned I have been doing everything right while writing my books with characters of a culture than my own. I've respected that they are people with the same feelings and dreams as me. But there may be some ways they live or even some aspects in life they will see differently than me. That calls for researching the culture and having someone from that culture review my writing before it is printed. That's what I do with a sensitivity reader. Someone of or who knows the Native American culture I write about who can tell me when I'm off or clueless.

I went to the conference to see if I needed to be doing something different and it turns out I've been doing what I needed to do to write characters in a culture other than my own.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New Craft Project by Paty Jager

Because my mysteries and one of my trilogies have Native American elements in them, I bought the supplies to make my own dream catchers.  The plan, once I get them made, is to give them out when I do contests and send gift baskets to conferences. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my website URL on them but I think I have that figured out. 

The rings aren't willow. I thought for learning purposes, I'd start with something more sturdy. After I get these done, I'll try making them with willow.

When I get one built I'll put up a photo.

I'm also sewing pillowcases for my grandchildren for Christmas. Trying to get fabric that depicts things they like. Some of them are harder than others. Do you make handmade presents as gifts? I think making gifts is the most fun. I enjoy putting my time and love into the gift and hope that the recipient knows that it is not only a reflection of their personality but of my love.

I also have a more book bags to sew. I gave away every single one I had at Sumpter because I sold so many books! Which is a good thing!

Do you like to do craft projects? If so, what do you do?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hanging out in Sumpter!

Mary in our booth
This Labor Day Weekend I'll be hanging out in Sumpter with Mary Vine. We've set up a booth the last 4 or 5 years during Memorial and Labor Day weekends and sold our books. It is where I sell the most print books all year.

Not only is it fun to sit and visit with Mary and the people who wander into our booth, it's fun to hear the Sumpter Steam Engine blow it's whistle, listen to the wind sing through the pine trees, and the occasional thump of a pine cone hitting the ground, hopefully not the head of a passerby.

cracker creek
The booths are so eclectic that we always take turns walking around and looking at everything. But the time I like the most is staying at Mary's cabin in Bourne. There is no electricity, now running water other than Cracker Creek right off the deck of the cabin, just peace and quiet until the 4-wheelers go up or down the road.

I spend my evenings at the cabin writing. Thankfully, I have a computer with a long life battery. And with no internet and other things to drain the battery, I can get a lot of writing done in the three nights I spend there.

What are you doing this Labor Day weekend?

If you are planning to read, Lottie Mae, book 2 in the Silver Dollar Saloon series is now available in ebook and print!

Lottie Mae
book 2
Silver Dollar Saloon 

She was shunned by society.
He must fit in to survive.
Will their love be enough to battle both their demons? 

Lottie Mae Peck believes she isn’t worthy of anything more than being a saloon girl after a brutal attack. However, the school needs another teacher and her heart has taken a liking to a soft-spoken man.

Manfred Albrecht suffered a loss shortly after arriving in America. The voluptuous Lottie Mae catches his eye the first time he walks into the Silver Dollar Saloon. Her intelligence and good humor as she teaches him to read and write English, stirs feelings he thought he’d never have again.

But her happiness may be fleeting. The man who sent her life into a downward spiral years ago arrives in town, destroying her hard-fought battle to believe she deserves more.