My Work

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spring and Summer Comin' Our Way

We’ve spent a great deal of time giving the ground hog grief this winter, and of course he deserves every bit of it, but it’s time now to turn our attention to spring and summer, set aside the bitter cold, and welcome green leaves and red birds. Being a writer, foul weather can be a blessing, while trying to maintain a small hobby farm, the foul weather begets foul moods.

If I can’t get outside and clean corrals and chicken coops, can’t plow the fields and protect the roses, I can luxuriate in my little office and pound out vowels and consonants by the hundreds. All the while, Big Mama Nature is putting white stuff on top of the mountains and wet stuff in the aquifer, which means I might just end up with a good growing season later on.

Also, the more I can get written during the winter means the more often I can go fishing and camping this summer. The word is handed down from marble statues that date back hundreds of centuries, that to be a writer one must write every day. So, when fishing, I take notes, of the weather, the nature stuff, and anything else that pops into my limited mind whilst awaiting the next strike from a monster trout.

While camping, I have a yellow pad at my disposal day and night, and sometimes those little vowels and consonants find their way onto a page or nine. My short story, The Legend of Santé that was just released by Solstice Publishing  was conjured during a camping trip Patty and I took to Davis Creek Campground a couple of summers ago. Just the skeleton, mind you. It took a while to flesh it out to the fun little story it is now.

So the first day of spring is Sunday, March 20, and in my neck of the woods that means we will have frosty cold mornings, probably at least three or four more blizzards, until late in May. Our little rancho sits above 5,000 feet, so planting is always late in the spring. I cheat once in awhile and plant the root crops a little early, and often get caught by Jack Frost. That guy is not a friend.

All of that leads to that much more time to write. The garden is plotted, hopefully there will be opportunity to till in some good horse and rabbit manure, and my plans for planting are on paper. I was contemplating a story during the last big storm, watching snow swirl outside my office window when I received an e-mail notice from Solstice Publishing that they wanted some romantic short stories.

Humph, I said, I don’t write romance, and then vowels and consonants started dancing around the room and I started thinking western romance. No, I said, I’m not gonna write that some mean old law dog was going all googly eyes over the rancher’s daughter. But the idea wouldn’t let go and I started pounding the keyboard.

I was taught to type back in the ‘50s (1950s, smarty pants) on a beat up old Royal. So yes, I actually still type as if the stroke needed some muscle behind it, and I’ve been known to wear out a computer’s keyboard.

Well, getting back to the idea of a romantic western for the Solstice Valentine’s anthology,
I huffed and I puffed, the little piggies ran away, and I came up with what I thought was a slightly humorous western romance short story. By golly the editors at Solstice thought it was humorous enough to be included in the anthology.

Now, here’s the kicker, Solstice has also published it as a stand alone short story. Life is good if you don’t take it too seriously. I call the story Miss Minerva’s Sheriff.

I guess I really should give the groundhog a little slack. Without all those storms I might have found myself mucking out the corrals instead of getting two short stories published as stand alone books. On the other hand … Oh, never mind, let’s get the fishing gear out and make sure it’s ready to take on the trout, and we better make sure the camping boxes are filled with necessaries, and keep a close eye on that weather bird.

Until next time, read good books and stay regular

Johnny Gunn
Member, Western Fictioneers
Member, International Thriller Writers
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