A few months ago we moved into a quaint, Cape Cod style home built in 1931. The house still has the original chandeliers and wall sconces. Glass drawer pulls and door handles. Gorgeous cupboards. Pink-and-black tiled bathroom. A covered stoop over the side door. And a prayer room.
As writers we create our characters, and over time, they tell us who they are, about their background, their secrets. This home is like one of my characters with her own, unique charm. I wonder too,
what she will tell me in time. Her stories.
My dad's grandfather, Charls Veden, emigrated from Sweden to America in 1858, the same year Minnesota because a state. He fought in the Civil War before becoming a U.S. citizen and served three years in the Minnesota Voluntary Infantry, Company D. After the war, Charls and Carolina left the Swedish settlement in Stillwater and homesteaded 160 acres on Horsehead Lake in the prairielands of Central Minnesota.
Family history notes tell the tragic story of the young family who lived across the lake. On a cold, winter night their cabin caught fire and they were forced into the frigid elements. Barefoot, they walked across the frozen lake to seek help from Charls and Carolina. Days later, my great-grandfather was burdened with a heavy task.
My short story, Cries on the Prairie recounts a fictional version of that night, and earned "Winner" in the 2014 Wyoming Writer's Contest.
"Set amidst the tapestry of Wyoming's rugged landscape, Painted Skies is the story of one woman's journey to find healing through her most cherished relationships--an only daughter, a newfound friend, and the charismatic cowboy asking her to trust him. "
I'm very excited about Painted Skies, a story that first came to me in 2010 when I attended a writer's retreat at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch near Laramie, Wyoming. Told in the single POV of Vonnie Daniels, the storyline and characters evolved as I began writing. Over time, Vonnie shared her 'story' with me, her background, her deepest pain, and her longings, which are now woven into the plot.
This is a contemporary women's fiction novel that blends mystery, romance, and inspiration, set in Wyoming's rugged mountain country, forever changing the course of one woman's life.
Inspiration. Often, I find the best inspiration at a writer's retreat.
Time away brings clarity and vision for the current piece I'm working on. I've been blessed to attend retreats in such wonderful places as Devils Tower National Monument, Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Willow Creek Ranch, and the Saffrin Family Cabin on Dead Lake to name a few.
Where do you find inspiration?? What triggers your creativity?
Based on a true story, Seeds of Salton explores the deep, father-son bond, opening a window into the fractured Kramer family. The novel's contemporary western landscape and themes of love and forgiveness resonate with readers long after they finish the book.
It's been said there is no bond greater than between a K9 handler and his partner. In Saginaw, Michigan, Officer Joaquin Guerrero sensed God's call to work the dangerous night streets with Rookie, his K9 partner. On 9/11, Guerrero and Rookie responded to Ground Zero and worked The Pile with a never-give-up spirit.
Imagine growing up in one culture, only to find out that you belong to another. Adopted at birth, Paul Summers grew up in white, middle-class America and didn't discover his American Indian heritage until he was in his mid-30s. Risking everything to reunite with his blood family, he sets out to reconnect with his true ancestry.