Change, Change, Change

It’s not exactly an anthem we would choose for life, but some times the choice is not ours to make. Sometimes we fight change, mostly we’ve learned to embrace it. We’ve found the moments leading up to the change are the hardest to push through. And then freedom. Relief. The change has come and it’s really not as scary as we thought.

So, that’s our way of saying, we have a new blog. Hannah will be posting at Hannah Writes. We won’t be posting here any more. Come and check it out!  We hope you find this change as freeing as we do.

Choosing Risk,

Hannah~* and Jeff

Ode to the Unpredictable Routine [Alternate Title: An Explanation]

winterchase_proofOur second book, Winter Chase (as well as our first - Tahosa Treasure), will make wonderful stocking stuffers this Christmas! At least, Baby Boy seems to think so ;)

Here I am at 7:30am on a Wednesday morning. I’ve been up for more than an hour and Baby Boy is still sleeping. This is unheard of.

There is a blustery wind whipping through… I was going to say the lone pine tree outside our patio doors…but I was interrupted. Baby Boy woke up. I went to nurse and cuddle him and – also unheard of at this hour of the morning – he slipped peacefully back into dreamland.

I will steal a few more minutes of quiet thought and quiet writing before he wakes again. MiMi is coming today to help us with a few projects and spend some time hanging out. Even though it is a blustery day outside, it will be warm and cheery in here.

I have a “to do” list for the day, as I do practically every day. But I will hold it with loose hands. I celebrate the little victories – like nursing & cuddling Baby Boy off to sleep at 7:45am. What gets done, gets done. That’s what I tell myself.

This has been life since February 15th of this year, the day our Baby Boy made his grand entrance. Being a stay at home mom is simultaneously the best and the hardest thing I have ever done. The pattern of my days is simultaneously routine and unpredictable. One moment flows into the next – from the first waking sounds of Baby Boy until his little eyes fall shut in sweet sleep (at least, most of the time!) at the end of the day.

I didn’t write this post as an ode to motherhood or stay at home moms or parenthood. I wrote it by way of explanation. Our ShadowTime Writers blog has fallen silent as I’ve stretched myself to catch onto my new existence as a mother. BUT we’ve still been creating; I’ve still been writing. Just not in the open for all to read.

Draft after draft has gone through our hands. We’ve critiqued and edited and added and taken away. We’ve written and re-written and then written again. After almost a year and a half, the second book in our Talon Family series is about to go live on Amazon! Winter Chase has truly been an adventure for us and we are excited to let you in on it. More details will be coming very soon!

If you’d like to keep up with my journey through motherhood and occasionally receive updates on ShadowTime Writer’s latest projects, please follow my personal blog. For now I’ll be consolidating so that when blogging is an item on my “to do” list, perhaps I can fit it into my unpredictable routine just a little bit easier ;)

~Hannah

Book Review: Reilly’s Luck

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Title: Reilly’s Luck

Author: Louis L’Amour

Number of Pages: 229 pages

What is this book about?

Reilly’s Luck is one of L’Amour’s best novels. In it Will Reilly – an honest professional gambler – becomes the guardian of a four-year old boy named Valentine Darrant. The duo travels the West and Europe as Will makes his living. When Will is killed, Val must make his way alone relying on the skills and judgment Will taught him. 

Why should you read this book?

I started reading westerns when I was about fourteen. My dad read them so I asked him what book I should start with. He handed me Reilly’s Luck and I have to say my life has never been the same. Up until then my reading interest was predominately mountain men and western history. Louis L’Amour’s westerns gave me a much richer flavor of the Old West. Reilly’s Luck was no exception.

Reilly’s Luck contains action, adventure, good and evil. I’m betting you will enjoy it as much as I did then (and still do)…and that it just might change your life like it changed mine.

Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think?

Our Second Book Signing [Estes Park, CO]

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My sister recently got married in Estes Park, CO. It was a beautiful affair. And a family affair. In other words, we were all there.

Since Tahosa Treasure is set near the Estes Park area, a couple of months ago Dad and I scheduled a June book signing at Macdonald Book Shop in downtown Estes. We’re pretty excited about it.

Anyways, while we were in town for the wedding, we were able to stop in the bookstore and – low and behold – there was Tahosa Treasure. Our book. On the shelf. In real life. It was pretty awesome.

So, if you happen to be in the Estes Park area in June, here are the particulars:

Macdonald Book Shop Book Signing

Saturday, June 15th

10am – Noon and 1-3pm

We hope to see you there!

Writing in Real Life [Third Edition]

details

Or the story.

In the first edition of Writing in Real Life, we discussed how writing is a choice. And I told you about my “30 minutes of writing” strategy.

In the second edition of Writing in Real Life, we discussed knowing what to write. And I told you that taking from real life is one of the best ways I’ve found to do just that.

In this third edition of Writing in Real Life, I would like to discuss details. And how they make or break a story.

Adding details to a story accomplishes a few things. It…

- it creates a firm foundation for development 

- adds dimension to the plot

- cues the reader to believe

A Firm Foundation

You don’t have a story without details. And details can’t be thrown in at the last second. They have to form the foundation of the story its self. The who, what, why, when, where and how are a great place to start but they don’t make a story. A police report, maybe, but not a story.

Details are the little things that make up the one big thing. The color of a character’s eyes. The way the rain sounded when it hit the pavement. The emotions of saying good-bye to a loved one. These are the details that lay the foundation for a great story.

A Multi-Dimensional Plot

Just like a sketch is one-dimensional, a plot without details is…you guessed it, one-dimensional. Details add layers of interest. They add height and depth and breadth. They make certain that the reader doesn’t walk away with a bland taste in their mouth.

Details make something of little interest suddenly seem like the most interesting thing in the world. Just as we’re more likely to remember a full-scale model than we are a sketch, the reader is more likely to remember a plot that was full of details than one that was lacking.

A Cue to Believe

Details in a story are the reader’s cue to believe. Details create believability. They make it possible for the reader’s imagination to connect with the story. Without details, the reader has nothing to grasp onto and they are left floundering. Without details, the reader is left with little choice but to disbelieve.

With details the reader is taken to a place beyond themselves – a place that might seem unbelievable – but is very much believable because the details say it’s so.

How about you? Do you think details are important to a story? Why or why not?

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

This last six weeks have been filled with many things. A whole lot of writing hasn’t been one of them.

I had my baby boy on February 15th. As you can imagine, my days have consisted of feeding and sleeping and diapering and bathing and rocking.

Yes, not a whole lot of writing.

BUT.

April is a new month. Baby Boy and I were given the “all clear” at our six-week appointment. I am eager to get back into my writing schedule. I loved my 30 minutes a day writing sessions. I got so much accomplished!

So here’s to a new month and being back in the saddle again!

Cheers!

Full Circle Book Signing

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This past Saturday we had our very first book signing at the Full Circle Book Store in Oklahoma City. We appreciate everyone who stopped by to say hello and grab a book – we had a wonderful time!

Our next book signing will be in Estes Park, CO at the Macdonald Book Shop, June 15th at 10 am. So, if you happen to live in the area, we’d love for you to stop by!