Tag Archives: Oregon

Writing Historical Fiction is like Treasure Hunting

“Sure, ‘historical’ is a great idea, but why fiction?” you ask. For me, it has to be because of the ghosts. You see, I want to tell history from then, but it’s now. How to do that? And while you ponder the riddle of time and space, consider the focus of my next book of historical fiction, the haunted Hotel Belmar in Mazatlan Mexico.
This will be my fourth book. And,  I am excited about writing it. Why? Because  I am learning like crazy about this place.

Angel Flores in 1923

When I look back in time, especially after I have finished something, I see why events have happened.  So,  as I piece together the history of the Belmar in Mazatlan, I can see it alive and young through the eyes of those who experienced it that way, and realize that it is not too late because I have met the people to help me tell the story. A coincidence? And we bought a house on Angel Flores in the historical zone of Old Mazatlan.  The above picture is of our street, several years after the Belmar was up and running as the first Mexican luxury Hotel on the water.  It was taken in 1923 by American Edward Weston who, along with Tina Modotti, his model and a famous photographer herself,  made the  Belmar their home in Mazatlan.

The Great White Cloud in Mazatlán

Weston  wrote: “We found life both gay and sad, but always life — vital, intense, black and white but never gray.” Weston made a historic photo in Mazatlán, a classic called ” The great white cloud in Mazatlán”, labeling it one of his finest and most significant photographs, as it meant an artistic departure from figurative into abstract art, or negatives with intention as opposed to matter-of-fact records. I think about the ghosts in my writing just that way.
I am scribbling every day, reading dozens of books, and searching/translating the Internet for bits and pieces of facts and fancy, What fun. And along the way, I have learned some Spanish. Oh, I do love treasure hunting. Don’t you? Well stay tuned and I will share some gems with you to reflect on.


It will take me a year to complete this book.  In the meantime, order the historical novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, A Soldiers Journey.  Enjoy a sample reading below!


The Way Back. To find it on Amazon Kindle at  http://bit.ly/SoldiersJourney
Also as an Audiobook at adbl.co/2f0UeOp       Published as a paperback next week!
 And now out as a paperback, Epiphany. Starting Over in Oregon. Go to  amzn.to/2nasO9S
Also a Kindle book:

 


The Way Forward

The above photo is a modification of Photo 16 at <reed rummond.com>

Thank You

This is the last day to nominate Epiphany: Starting Over in Oregon at     https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/113MLKNVIX6T
This morning, I followed the above link and saw that the book is termed”hot”. That means that on this last day, people are nominating this book, people in Mexico, Canada, far away New Zealand and everywhere people are starting over. On this last day of this campaign, I honor the way forward and those who blaze trails. Please nominate Epiphany.
Let me tell you about Epiphany and why I wrote it. Best I can!
By the time I started over in Oregon, I had over 50 years of schooling, Masters Degrees from several Universities, years of work in treatment centers for chronic pain, and addiction, years of teaching behavioral science and the arts, a lifetime of hard knocks seasoned by the love of animals and children, and yet I felt like I knew nothing. I wrote the book to say “thank you.” Thank you to the unlikely, unusual, amazing strangers who believed in me as I started over in Oregon. Thank you to Oregon herself, the inspiration of her pioneers and to the inner voice that said “Just do it.”  I was too afraid, too guilty, too —too—too until finally late in life, I was sick to death of my victim self, and faced into the unknown. Today I see people all over the world faced with starting over.  I hope you enjoy this book, and “thank you” to all of you who think it should be published.
I remember sitting in my office in Elementary School talking with a child who was telling me about the abuse she was experiencing, and feeling, along with the pain, the certainty that life would be different for her from that moment. I looked into eyes brave in the face of fear of the unknown. Eyes that trusted the way forward. And so I wrote this book to honor that kind of courage. Thank you, God for letting me share that moment.Epiphany Starting Oversm


While I wait to see if Kindle Scout will publish Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Soon it will be an audiobook as well as an e-book.
Here is a Review:
The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

 
 

You Have the Power

Above image: http://www.gettyimages.fr/gi-resources/images/Homepage/Featured/FR/FR_39_2Pack_158259920.jpg
Today, and for one month, you have the power, as a reader, to nominate Epiphany to Kindle Scouts. Your vote and the judgement of the Kindle editors comprises “Reader Powered Publishing,” an idea whose time has come. Only new, never before published books are eligible. Please go here https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/113MLKNVIX6T
This link takes you to the page where you can read about the book and sample 5000 words of the novel. If Epiphany is nominated, you will get a free copy of it, and the author will get an advance and a contract. Below is the book cover and a few words describing the story. Please use this link and send it on to your friends. Your power can work magic!

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/113MLKNVIX6T

Epiphany Starting Oversm

Epiphany

Starting Over in Oregon

What if the price of her desire is her life?

Lori Moyer drives westward, white knuckled and sick at heart over her losses. When her vehicle slides into a death-defying spin on Montana black ice, she knows not to touch the brakes and lands by luck, safe alongside a Western Star truck. With the help of Oregon’s colorful characters, she continues to spare the brakes on her midlife quest for a meaningful life, helping the children of Lucky Strike Oregon while steering by starlight through a romance as treacherous as black ice.
Categories:

  • Romance Action & Adventure
  • _____________________________________________________________
  • While this one month campaign to publish Epiphany runs, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
    Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

     

An Oregon Kind of Love

 

As my new novel, Epiphany is being edited, I read and re-read it and let myself sink back into my own experiences that are the basis for what my character, Lori does and feels. My love poem to Oregon  appears on the last page. I wrote it to thank God, Oregon, and the friends and enemies I met, for teaching me more about love. Here are the last two stanzas of

“Love is too Small A Word”
For the gift of riding
Bucephalus unbridled
Singing quicksilver music
Soaring astride freedom
With no strings at all
No strings at all

Love is too small a word
For the light that shatters aloneness
And sets the universe spinning
Desire completing the circle
With no end at all
No end at all

_______________________________________________________

While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

 

Follow The River Out: A Metaphor

Above Image: courtesy of Mark Chadwick on Flickr.

Have you ever been lost and “followed a river out?”
My new novel, Epiphany  is being edited at present, and will be published later this year.  This post is one of several about themes, metaphors, and story structure. Lori our protagonist,  writes poetry filled with metaphors, to bring clarity to her life. What follows is an excerpt using the “Western Star” and “the river” as a metaphor.
Lori has interviewed for a job as a school counselor in the Oregon Cascades. As she waits, hoping to be hired, she writes a poem about leaving Wisconsin and driving West.  The trip, just before Christmas was terrifying. She remembers how frightened she was.
Too heavy my load
Of doubt and disgrace
Too late for me
Fear lines my face
I am a wave
Without a tide
Dust in the wind
Hitching a ride
I sail the seas
Without a tac
Can’t find the wind
That takes me back
Lori had wanted to turn around.  The face of the blizzard at her heels scared her less than going forward into the unknown.  But then her car and trailer spins full circle out of control on Montana black ice.  Panic. The reality is, she can’t go back.
I CAN’T GO BACK
There’s no way back
There’s no home base
I’m out of time
I’m out of place
Lost in the dark!
Which way to run?
Where is my map?
Where is my sun?
How will I live?
Without a man?
Lean on myself?
Make my own plan?
A teamster drives his big Western Star truck up alongside and leans out to congratulate Lori on surviving. “Santa put Lady Luck in yer sock.”
She drives on to Eugene, Oregon, where she walks along the Willamette River, listening to the music of the river and making friends of like-minded strangers. Lori knows she has been granted a second chance at life.
If Lori is hired, she can build this new life in Lucky Strike, Oregon. Her dream is happening. She goes to sit by the river, letting the restorative water wash away her fear of moving on. She thinks about what her father had told her, “when lost, follow the river out.”The last two stanzas of her poem reflect the role of a river as a metaphor for finding her way.
Across the prairies
Ore mountains-crest
Follow the river
On her sea quest
The pioneer spirit
Like Oregon’s rain
Refreshes my courage
To start over again


While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

When I Write

As I write the folks in my novel
Yes, it’s all coming back to me now.
Each one has traits so familiar
Don’t ask me the why or the how.

But each one has stamped me with something!
Time’s passed and they are afar.
Sure’n the writing is making me find in myself

Some part of who they all are.
 
How did this come round to happenin’
I guess cus we followed our vibes.

And they say we get changed and are different
When we let others into our lives.

We’ve tangled and jumbled each other.
I knew them, their love and their pain.
I felt their sunshine and laughter

And we all got drenched in the rain
 
‘Cus of them I found my direction
They’re apart and within just the same.
We meet up again in my writing.
My novel sets round them a frame.

When I write, we’re together again.
*epiphany


While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest


Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

Out of Place: Starting Over in Oregon

Place is a major character in many books-certainly in my book, Epiphany. As I look at the themes, the plot and the characters I have written into this book, I discover that the place where it all happens, Oregon, is the melody around which I am fashioning the words. It is the essence of the experience. Here resides excitement, fear, passion, romance, pain, majesty and the stuff dreams are made of. With that in mind, what would a cover for this book, set in Oregon, look like?
Since the book is about a modern day pioneer, I thought the image of where the Lewis and Clark expedition, and also the Oregon Trail,  ran smack into the Pacific Ocean—trails end for “Westward Ho” —was perfect for a cover!
A good cover for Epiphany would depict an insurmountable challenge. Aah, like a huge rock? And also, this cover needs a recognizable symbol of Oregon. How about the heft of Haystack Rock at Canon Beach?
The cover would suggest passion and mystery. How about lightening over the Pacific Ocean? Such a scene would feel wet and wooly and wild.  Aah yes. Western Oregon in all its glory!
Remember, “no matter where you go, there you are. “ Starting over  can be daunting. No wonder the lettering for “Starting Over in Oregon looks shaky, jagged and is obscured by dark clouds in places. Indeed, the font is called “Quake.”
Starting Over in Oregon
And with her back to us, we have our protagonist dressed in a flimsy, old fashioned, straight-laced dress looking at all of this drama. She is out of place! How perfect. And so, here is the cover I envision. I am finishing a review of each chapter, and then it will be edited.
Small Epiphany Book
Are you ready to feel the conflict, the pain of letting go, the fear of the unknown, the romance of the far west? Clearly, if our heroine, out of place as she is, can survive, she will need an Epiphany!
While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest


Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

 

The Art of Life: How to Channel Inner Knowing

Above Image: Trees by Mondrian

The first day Lori (our protagonist in my almost finished novel Epiphany) spends in Eugene, Oregon, she purchases a used copy of Magic Doors by John Pearson. The images in his book of photography are all about entering another dimension, perhaps not even noticing the portal passed through to get there. Art is like that.
Next, Lori took lessons in building stained glass and began putting the pieces together that she cut. How did she know what glass to use? What colors? What patterns? She felt her way along and that became her way forward. Life is like that, an art project she could create, and she wanted it to be a masterpiece. Against the advice of her teachers, Lori chose to do a Tiffany designed lamp for her first ever project in stained glass. Why not? How hard can it be—The teachers are present, and the student is ready! And that is the theme for my next blog.
In the meantime, arrange things, put an outfit together, paint a picture, order The Way Back and get to know your inner knowing!


Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

 

What Does It All Mean?

Image is modified from: tsmyfun.net/MyFiles/2014/05/sad-alone-love-girls-hd-wallpaper-10-450x337.jpg

Hoorah! I finished the first draft of Epiphany, my third book and second novel.  That was an accomplishment! Granted, it is full of passionate extremes and lush places to wander and wonder, but it’s entitled Epiphany. Does it live up to it’s name? Did I end up where I was going? Should I smooth out the bumps and delete the detours? Was it worth it? What was this journey like, and what will it be like writing it over?

It takes time.

I know I could have written this faster. But, rereading letters, making contact with friends from my Oregon adventures, musing on long walks, and sometimes, sitting at the computer at 4 AM, putting notion and inspiration into words—all of that and more, takes time. Like saddle breaking a horse, like baking a cake, like learning to play the violin, like listening to music.  I listened to Garth Brooks singing The River. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/garthbrooks/theriver.html

Trying to learn from what’s behind you
And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores…and
I will sail my vessel
Till the river runs dry…

Yes, trying to learn from what was behind me was worth it. Revisiting the haunting beauty of Oregon, and tying up the strings that brought me through heart stopping fear and mountaintop joy, going crazy, stretching the limits of my creativity, seeing clearly now and then. Wow. What a trip! Now I get to do it again, and find better words to honor all those that I met along the way. BTW, as I struggled through the first draft, I learned new wordplays. Here: I’ll show you. First, a simple poem about what I learned in the

 Game of Love.

Take what you want
And pay the price
Give it a shot Come roll the dice

You play the game
And steal the prize
Dodge the blame And pay with lies

Well, here is news
For when you cheat
Yourself you lose
In troubles deep

At the San Miguel Writers Conference, I learned an old form of poetry called a Villanelle. It is also simple—sort of lilting like the pastoral countrysides of Oregon. I wrote this villanelle about the same subject-love gone wrong.  That sounds “country like” doesn’t it?

“Come, lean on me, and warm—my—bed
Embrace my heart and hold my hand,
I’ll love you—forever,” he said.

“You could be hurt, or even dead
But I’ll keep you safe in this wild land
Come, lean on me, and warm—my—bed.”

“We’ll visit sites of which you’ve read,
Nothing’s too big, nothing’s too grand.
I’ll love you—forever,” he said.

“Abandon fears and take instead
My promised golden wedding band.
Come,  lean on me, and warm—my—bed.”

He filled her hands and filled her head
With all she and her God had planned.
“I’ll love you—forever,” he said.

He lied,  and bitter tears she shed
Ore cherished words, like fool’s gold panned:
“Come, lean on me, and warm—my—bed
I’ll love you—forever”, he said.

Oregon itself begs to be a poem.  Have you been there? Can you dream of such a place?

Lions, bears, possums, raccoons
Ravens, eagles, quails and loons
Mountaintops, valleys, cliffs and caves
Waterfalls, pools ‘n ocean waves

As I rewrite Epiphany, a journey into passionate extremes and lush places to wander and wonder, I want to take you along. It turns out this book isn’t about finding the love of my life-it’s about learning to love.

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.

Writing Epiphany

Image:By You Tube-Synthetic Epiphany Feat. CoMa - Icarus

I guess you could say I “struck it rich when I worked  for a school system in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, so, I am writing Epiphany to  share the gold I found there. To tell my story, I’ve created Lucky Strike, a mining community seeking a school counselor, and Lori,  who applies for the job and lives out life changing experiences with Oregon’s children. This is what it is like to write about this turbulent time,when I lived my dream. Ha. This is what it is like to write about a break through that could be called an epiphany.

Writing Epiphany

Driven by knowledge road-marked with failures, on and on chasing deaththe radiant koan
Around the impasses, still pressing onward, dropping illusions, feeling alone
Upstream to the well-head, the lake that is hidden, the source, the essence the unsullied truth
To once again feel it, with surety, clarity, the rightness, the virtue, the dream of my youth.
Thoughts passing by on a ticker-tape ribbon, concepts, names, words on parade
I reach out and grab some, as they go by me, quick write them down, lest they vanish or fade.
Some stories linger, calling attention, like The Little Prince traveling on home, to his rose.
And I realize this wisdom, grows deep down inside me, waiting for water, and light I suppose.
So I struggle to tell it, to express what excites me, to spell out my towervision, my opinion, my take
What good would it be to leave unspoken, my part in the play, a crime, a mistake!
I want to contribute the best that’s within me, to write something lasting for someone to grasp
To keep them from falling, to pull themselves up on, to step on, to fly from, to love and hold fast
Like Silverstein did when he wrote of what’s missing, the broken place, that lets in the sun.
Like Kesey did when he wrote of the madness, the “Cuckoo’s Nest,” the lobotomy done.
Crashing and burning, losing and grieving, courting disaster with RWS_Tarot_17_Starnary a clue
That the circle leads inward in the grey of uncertain that listens in stillness, that opens the flue
So the smoke can rise skyward from smoldering mindsets, so fresh air ignites epiphany’s flame.
Inspiration fueled by new understandings, transforms, enlivens, leaves nothing the same.


Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,

recently released in all e-book stores.