The Tale of Three Chickies

I wanted a backyard farm for decades, but we were always moving around because of my husband’s career.  Soon as we settled somewhere that we could have them, he went down and bought me this little coop.

barncoop

And I ordered ten female chicks.  Ten.  Yes.  Ten.  According to my research, at least two would die for no obvious reasons and at least one would turn out to be a rooster.  A cat would probably get another and one little peeper might drown in the waterer.  Since we live in a neighborhood, we can only have hens.  The rooster would go live with Grandma on the ol’ homestead.  That was the plan.

All the chicks lived and they were all girls.

We can have a total of five hens in our backyard, so I packed five hens off to the ol’ homestead.  That left us with five very healthy little egg-laying machines who pooed like crazy and desperately wanted to free-range everywhere!  We sent two of those to Grandma’s also.  And that left us with three.

chick1

Stella, the Welsummer, who lays dark-brown, speckled eggs,

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Anna, the Americauna, who lays fat, pale green eggs.  Love the funky roof on their new run?  It’s a work in progress.

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and Elsa, who doesn’t look it but is, in fact, also an Americauna.  She lays long, skinny pale green eggs.

These three stayed with Grandma for the summer while we were traveling around in our new RV.  We missed them.  It’s funny how pet chickens can unglue a kid from electronics to go play in the backyard!

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This is Anna’s egg.  Isn’t it pretty?  Can’t tell how green it is from the photo, sorry.  If I need to do some crazy-baking, I buy a dozen eggs from the grocery story.  Otherwise, three egg-laying hens is just right for our family of six.  The yolks are so orange and rich.  You’ll never want to eat store-bought eggs when you have pets who make your breakfast like ours do!

Next time I need to buy chicks, I’ll just buy five though.  Not ten.  Unless my mother needs new pet hens too.  🙂

Unless you live in the boonies, you’ll need to check your local laws and neighborhood rules on keeping chickens.  If they’re not allowed, find some other crazy-chicken-people and lobby to change the rules.  Sometimes, you only need to educate your community on the benefits of these birdies.

LL

Here is my favorite chicken and backyard farming site-   https://www.backyardchickens.com/

Okay, just heard another hen announce she’s just laid another egg.  Gotta go.  I’m having this one for lunch, with sweet potatoes. 😉

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Summertime & the Livin’ is Easy

9780743442701_p0_v1_s192x300Sorry for so much ‘dead air’ around here, but I am supremely distracted during the summer.  I just want to get out and explore and roast hot dogs over a campfire.  I can’t stand it.  Very hard to focus on things like blogging and sitting down to write.

 

Of course, I keep creating stories in my imagination.  I just can’t keep my butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard.  My plan is to create a series of posts which will go up automatically throughout the summer.  Yeah, I know.  Good luck with that, right?

Saddle Up for Summer

9780743442701_p0_v1_s192x300Presently, I’m brainstorming and planning my writing and online presence for the summer, since I will be pretty much off-line for about six weeks.  I will check email at least once a week and keep in touch with any writing commitments I might have.  But, for the most part, I want to get back to my Wild West roots and enjoy.  Will keep you posted, partner.  Yee-haw!

https://www.amazon.com/Frontier-House-Simon-Shaw/dp/0743442709/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496783117&sr=1-2&keywords=frontier+house

Christmas Books

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Longing for an old-fashioned Christmas?  Here’s some Western and Historical Western Romances to warm you up.  😉

 

 

 

 

 

There’s actually a bunch at Love Inspired Historical, but here’s one-

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Yep, Harlequin knows some of us are just suckers for Christmas Romance!  They got a bunch at Special Edition too.  Here’s a cowboy one, since that’s kinda my thing on Thursdays.

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Now, here’s one from the line they actually call Western Romance.

 

 

 

 

 

Cowboys are kind of a big deal at this publisher.  Maybe I should go see if they’re all that at some others too.  Ya think?  Goes without saying, there’s a bunch at regular Love Inspired too.

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I do have one Christmas story tucked away in my imagination.  It’s not a Western one though.  Wouldn’t take much to get me going on that jolly holiday, maybe one set at the Winterborn Ranch from Angel & the Cityboy.  Must ponder.  😉

 

 

Been trying to get the Christmas tree up at my house, by 1116-9780373719891-bigwthe way.  My family seems to think it’s too early.  What’s with that?

The Draw of the Wild West

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This novel is available at    http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html;jsessionid=BB1DF44AB075CDDBCA24A1F1A6FB0E7D?iid=67838

***

Thursdays and Fridays are my Indie Pub days on the writing schedule, while the rest of the week is devoted to A Vintage Heart.  These are both revision projects, which means I get to create new story just a little bit here and there and the rest is work, work, work.

Makes me miss Angel & the Cityboy.  For my unwriterly friends, I miss characters from other stories like I do old friends sometimes.  It’s a weird writerly thing.

But, I can’t let myself go reread that Western Romance novella.  Two publishers have the Full right now.  I need to keep my brain away from it, just in case I get a revision request for it.

I could start writing Molly’s Brave Summer which the Historical backstory for Angel & the Cityboy, but that would throw off my focus with the two revision projects.

So, I just gotta tough it out.  It’s for the best, you know.  I’ll console myself by reading someone else’s really great Western Romance, maybe even a Christmas one.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Hang in there, Buds.  Tomorrow’s Friday.

Star Trek and the Old West

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*This VHS tape can be found at   https://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Original-Episode-Spectre/dp/6300213609/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1476359111&sr=8-4&keywords=Star+Trek+spectre+of+the+gun

I know what you’re thinkin’.  What in tarnation does a Science Fiction show have to do with tumbleweeds and cow patties?

Theme.

Discovery, exploration, new life and new civilizations.

In fact, Gene Roddenberry originally pitched Star Trek to the studios as ‘A Wagon Train to the Stars.’

There are two memorable episodes which touch on the Old West, ‘The Spectre of the Gun’ from the Original Series

http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Spectre_of_the_Gun_(episode)

and ‘A Fistful of Datas’ from Star Trek The Next Generation.

http://www.startrek.com/database_article/fistful-of-datas

I think I like this one best, primarily because it’s a father-son story involving the normally gruff Mr. Worf, a Klingon.  It also involves one of my favorite characters of all, the empathic Betazoid, Deanna Troi.

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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dvd-star-trek-the-next-generation-season-6/27485685?ean=0032429145055

So, you see, just because one genre seems completely unrelated on the surface, doesn’t mean they have nothing in common.  Theme unites the great stories.

Molly’s Brave Summer

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Ellen Watson, the lady in the top picture, was lynched during the Wyoming land wars.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Watson

***

Molly’s Brave Summer is the title of the Historical Romance novella (or perhaps a novel) which is presently on-deck in my imagination.  If Angel & the Cityboy is accepted for regular ePublication, Molly’s Brave Summer is the next one after it.  (If not, it’ll probably be an SFR titled Paper Moon.)  I’m not sure how that will work as a series, since Angel is a Contemporary Western and Molly is a Historical Western.  Nevertheless, I had to write a backstory for the founding of the Winterborn Ranch because I’d established that it was originally homesteaded in 1883.  Being a history buff, I just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

The story is about a young mother who comes West to homestead with her husband.  In their second year, her husband is murdered by a rival who intends to marry her and annex their land.  After a Crow man saves her son’s life, she hires him to help save her ranch too.

I can tell you this because there are no original stories.

Only original ways of telling them.   😉

In this case, the young mother is white and the man she falls in love with is a Native American, which echoes many tropes from the Romance genre.  Class warfare, Cowgirl, Alpha Male, Enemies to lovers,  Friends to lovers, Forbidden love, Opposites attract, Protector, Revenge, Widow, and Woman and Man in peril are all Romance Tropes which make a showing in this story.

Truth is stranger than fiction too.  I’m not interested in writing Historical Fiction because of the cute outfits they wore.  Ever hear of the Wyoming Range War?  Well, get yourself over to Wikipedia pronto then.  It’s a start.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_County_War

Then, pop over to

http://www.wyohistory.org/essays/johnson-county-war

Molly’s Brave Summer is set in Montana and I think you’ll find it small potatoes compared to the real thing.  After all, it is a Historical Romance, which means there is a happy ending.  That’s not what Ellen got.