New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the skies

by Rain Trueax

 Great Fountain Geyser reaching to the clouds.. or trying.

From the waters, the skies seemed logically to be next. Yellowstone is high country and that often makes for spectacular skies. This time, we were  fortunate to be there at a time when thunderheads built up several afternoons. Off and on, we'd hear the crack of thunder and some rain would fall. Awesome time in the geyser basin and the Lamar.


In the high country, the light is ever changing and presents constantly shifting opportunities to get that one photo that speaks beyond the images to the energy. 

There are many things that draw people to Yellowstone, but the light is one that shouldn't be discounted as to why it feels so magical when there. That light draws photographers, painters, writers, and millions of people to this super volcano that someday may erupt and change the whole United States for centuries to come. I hope it never happens as knowing Yellowstone is there is one of those things that brings joy to those who have been there or shared its beauty with others. It's there even when we can't be...

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The waters

by Rain Trueax

Yellowstone is one of those special places with so much to see or take in that a lifetime wouldn't let a person know it all. Most of it is not reached by roads. In this trip, with only five days, we went to places that are, where even the old or handicapped could enjoy. Many of the photos were taken from the truck or a few feet away.

To share some of it in the blog, I decided the only way was to break it into subjects-- first the small geysers. Then the wildflowers. Today, the waters-- not so much the famous ones but ones many miss in their rush to the scenic spots. These are the ones that just are and let us just be.

Yellowstone takes me to a place of beauty and creativity, but it also is a place of violence and abrupt changes. Maybe the latter is part of what makes it so special. It's not just the pretty, innocent kind of beauty but the risky, savage kind, from which each moment could be the last. You know, the kind from which real creativity is born.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

It's their season

 by Rain Trueax

July is when the wildflowers do their thing in the high country of Yellowstone. Sometimes I try to figure out their names, have books to help me do that. I had none with me this trip. The thing for me though is to enjoy beauty. These are nature's gardens and none could be prettier with their gorgeous mix of colors.

In driving and looking for flowers, it's interesting how a tiny elevational difference determines what will be where. Wildflowers might look to be scattered randomly, but they have strong requirements as to where they will grow including amount of water, temperatures, nearby plants, and soil types. It makes finding, something like Indian Paintbrush, challenging. 

When on gravel roads, with less traffic, it was easier to stop where the flowers were. On the major roads, stopping for a wildflower is not safe. These were taken in parks or not far off roads.

I think, when I get my current manuscript to the rough draft phase (a long way off), I might try to put some of the Yellowstone photos into a video with music. Something classical would suit the images best.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Even in Yellowstone, it can be the little things

Having been to Yellowstone quite a few times, enjoying each visit, this July trip, we went for the little places-- not the main tourist attractions. These don't all have names but they have the same beauty as the major sites-- just smaller, with less people watching their shows.

It had an advantage of being quieter-- well, the little want-to-be geysers did gurgle.

Photos are all in the geyser basin but not where the big parking lots are.

You look out across the horizon and it feels like another world-- a world of creation and new beginnings.

A little hot spring can also have a tiny geyser, but hey, maybe someday it might be as impressive as Old Faithful-- or will it disappear?

 A few are named-- Pink Geyser.

For me, to be in the geyser basins feels like the earth speaking out-- creation in its essence.

You wait and never know what you will see.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Contemporary novels

If you are a writer with an inventory of books, you already know that the first books out on Amazon are easily forgotten, with a new book being added every five minutes. Algorithms are slanted to make the new release stand out and have better rankings with its sales. I learned that with Desert Inferno, where a few years back, it had four sales in one month, which didn't bring it up in the rankings.

So for books, out there over five years, that have fallen into Amazon's black hole, I've been looking into how to relaunch a book to get around the problem. There are books written on this. We bought one of them, and we'll see if it helps. One option that I don't like is pulling the book, making some minor changes, giving it a new title/cover, and presenting it as a new book. To me, it seems unfair to readers, could give the writer a bad name with them, but it's not hard to understand how some might do it.

The books on the poster are the first ones I brought out as eBooks. They are contemporaries which I have long called, Romances with an Edge. They were written when I had limited interest in seeing them published. In the '90s, I did query a romance publisher on one or two of them, but the answers I received told me I'd have to change my basic plots and characters to satisfy what they felt a romance had to have to satisfy their readers. I didn't and don't disagree with them, but a writer has to also stay true to their muse.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

a special place

In July, we were at the high country in Wyoming and Montana for a Yellowstone vacation. I am sorting photos and that will take a while to figure out how I want to share them, in what groups, to kick out the bad ones, and refine the ones I love into something others can also enjoy. It breaks down into various parts of Yellowstone, what we chose to do when there, and then Western Montana, the Missoula area where we spent four nights before heading back to our Oregon home.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Favorite Places

by Rain Trueax

There are those who love to travel and click off how many places they have been. It can become like a contest with the widely traveled feeling superior to those not so much. I have nothing against travel for others, but what I don't like about it for myself is going somewhere simply to say I've been there with no concept of what there really is like-- if I'd spent longer. I am against travel as a way to believe anyone can know a place when they have counted coup there-- especially when it impacts those who live there in ways that can prove damaging-- like elephants stampeding through villages but must remain in the area for tourists. 

My interest in travel is finding soul places for me, Through reading, I've learned about how some see their soul places. My bookshelves are full of such books.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


This is a good article on creativity. 

Recently, on Netflix, we watched a documentary on Shakespeare. It went into from where his inspiration might've come through history, his own experiences, or creative genius. I've also read Stephen King speak about how a newspaper can trigger a book for him. Is genius really about being able to see something has happened and use it in a different way?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

when it goes well

It might seem after the misery of June in editing the paranormals with the mistakes that were so upsetting that I'd let editing go for awhile and concentrate instead on having a good time in July-- or even begin writing Book 4 of the Hemstreet Witches. 

What was on my mind instead were the contemporary romances that I'd first brought out in December 2011 and into 2012, books I had written when I was writing for myself and not trying to get my books published. I didn't try to get them out there until Amazon made being an indie writerpossible

My debate today regards these contemporaries, which have fallen into Amazon's black hole thanks to not many sales and Amazon's algorithms. I believe in those stories. Should I should pull them (there are ten) from wider distribution and get them into Kindle Unlimited, where they can be borrowed, not necessarily just bought? Some say Amazon's algorithms are kinder to books in KU. I have no idea as this will be m first time there with the paranormal contemporary romances. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

the 'nots'

by Rain Trueax

When I put out a book, I am convinced it is without errors and written to the best of my capabilities (at that time). I believe the story is solid and has a reason for being, that the characters are exciting with depth, and that what happens in the plot makes sense for those protagonists. 

Before the word publish is clicked, I will have written a rough draft, done two or three word-for-word edits, not to mention scanning over multiple times for context. Two or three beta readers will have sent me notes on errors they found, which I have corrected. My editor will have also done one or two word-for-word edits. When he gets the final version, he will look again before hitting publish.

From experience, I know that won't have caught everything. It's the unfortunate nature of writing, where it isn't all done the same day and where typing is often done, while thinking ahead of the keys. There will be typos. There will be commas missed because of wanting to get down the action. There will be misused words, even when I know well the correct ones-- i.e. hear and here. Argh!

What there should not be are secondary characters' names changing during the book. There should not be dialogue that makes no sense. There should not be timing confusion. There should not be saying the same thing three paragraphs after it had just been said. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It is random

by Rain Trueax

Something has been on my mind. We, in the United States and most of the developed nations, live in a safe period of history. If you look back at history, you see wars that swept across people's homelands, along with plagues and famines. Those could decimate whole populations. 

As mankind has learned more, diseases have been taken on, and in some cases conquered.  When I was a girl, my parents feared having us swim in some rivers because polio was a very real risk. Then came the Salk vaccine, and polio has been all but forgotten for what it once meant-- unless you have a family member who had been touched by it. Iron lungs, what do people today know of that horrid but lifesaving device?

Saturday, July 08, 2017

what we don't know but think we do

by Rain Trueax

Subjects for blogs come from many sources- what I'm doing; what I read; something someone said; from the muse. I don't try to explain it anymore than I do from where my books come. Once in awhile though, something comes along that excites my interest enough to stick with it and then want to share it-- in fiction and here.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The day after the Fourth

As we once again have gone past Independence Day, a time in America for celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, this can be a time to reflect on the meaning of July 4th for Americans. For many of us, it has been a time for fireworks, camping, gatherings, picnics, and vacations. It is celebrated however because of a document signed by representatives from the thirteen colonies to break with Great Britain and become a sovereign nation.

It is a more lengthy document than most of us remember. If you haven't read its entirety in a while, it's here: [The Declaration of Independence]. What is familiar and often quoted is--