In My Garden


When I’m not writing, I’m in my garden.

flowerpotWhen you work from home and from coffee shops, sometimes you need an outlet. You need to think and to do that you need to be away from your desk. I often take drives through Idaho back roads when I’m trying to figure something out; some conflict that weighs on me. But, before I get to that point, I find refuge in my garden.

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I have this wonderful husband. He accommodates my quirky personality and helps me with anything I need. He knows I need to be alone and have my space at times and that’s usually in the evenings or the early mornings when he finds me tending to my flowers, my chickens or our dog Oakley.

This year, I tried something new with my containers. I mail ordered from Proven Winners  (I’m not an affiliate) and wholly moly, that was a success though I will do a few things differently next year. All of these container designs came from Proven Winners. (I seriously need to pick up some decent drip saucers for these pots.) I went with fuschia for the front porch and royal purple for the backyard and I think this was the best year for my containers by far.

flowerpot2My backyard looks amazing with these beautiful purple pots. These photos don’t do it justice.

flowerpot9flowerpot8They are mostly filled with Supertunia Royal Velvet Petunias and Superbena Large Lilac Blue Verbena. It’s a grand combination and I’ll certainly replicate that in the future.

The first purple photo contains a variegated upright purple verbena with the Purple Snapdragons and Royal Velvet Supertunias on the side. I’m not sure I’d do the Snapdragons again. They come and go, but overall I was happy with this combination.

My patio is flanked by these two large containers with again the Royal Velvet Supertunias and the Purple Verbena and they turned out spectacular. You can’t really tell from the photo, but they are huge and lush; I love them. flowerpot6

I also have a thing for hydrangeas this year and for Mother’s Day my family picked up a few for me and they are all turning out flowerpot11beautifully.

Anyway, I like to pass on good things when I find them. I mail order most items because I’m not a great shopper. I always feel like I should be home writing. So finding a reliable mail order source for flowers, well…I’m hooked.

All of these posts were purchased as a combination from their website. They even have preset flower combinations to go with. You just need to plant them and feed them once a month. Easy and gorgeous.

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Graham’s Resolution has an Ending


The Graham’s Resolution series is complete. It’s a bittersweet realization that you’ve finished a series you love.
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Like naming Sheriff, picking the virus, the position of Hope; everything seemed to fall into place as if it was meant to be there. So too was the finality of the last line I wrote today; it felt right. It’s the end of the Graham’s Resolution series. And, I’m a little crushed.

I’ll move on. I’ve got more ideas. But, I think I’m mourning a little over it all. Of course, I left a little opening to go  back and do a sequel for the next generation at a later date, but it won’t be the same and I know this.

To me, this story was one bursting to life. There were times, I couldn’t keep up. My characters let me know when I went off track. My fan encouraged me to go on. And I did…until it was done and now I’m a little at a loss. I think it will take me a day or two. I’ll clean off my desk and wait for the Beta readers to finish and offer any suggestions, then it’s off to my editor. I’ll implement the edits and then The Malefic Nation will become live, the last in the series of Graham’s Resolution.

I don’t think I could have made the story better. Of course, in the beginning the editing could have been a lot better. But the story itself, it’s what it needed to be and I hope everyone enjoys the ending as well. I believe in human evil and I believe in the human spirit. The battle of good and evil is real in fiction and it’s real in reality. Either can win. My hope is that no matter how evil the world becomes, there’s a way to win it over and strong people willing to make the sacrifice to bring it back at any cost.

Now what? Now, I think I’ll take a long walk and try to let those old ideas flood back in. I’ll let you know. Perhaps a quick sequel to Deception on Durham Road before I start the next big novel? Apparently, I need to blow up the neighborhood on my way out. 🙂 Might be fun.

In any event, I’ll keep you informed.

May Newsletter & Random Musings

May Newsletter

Signings, New Vendors & More

Hello. I have a few updates to share about the series.

Availability – I’ve often received emails expressing issues with the ebooks lack of availability beyond Kindle. In the past, I’ve only listed it exclusively with Amazon Kindle however, that has changed this week and The China Pandemic eBook version is now available at most major retailers. Kobo, BN.com, Scribd, Page Foundry, Tolino and of course Amazon. By next month, The Cascade Preppers and The Last Infidels will also be available at these retailers.

Book Signing – I will be reading from The China Pandemic on May 28th at 6pm at the Liberty Lake, WA Library. If you’re in the Spokane area, I’d love to meet you. Bring your paperback book for signing or you can purchase one there. (No purchase necessary) We’ll talk about the series, the publishing world and any other topics that arise.

Editing News – This has been a long journey. One of the most major issues in indie writing is finding a professional editor. Though I’ve had The China Pandemic edited five times, I knew it still needed polishing. So, I finally tracked down the best possible editor with fantastic credentials and he accepted me as a client. He has worked for major publishers. He’s worked for Amazon’s imprint 47north. And he’s worked on many major bestsellers. His name is Brian Bendlin and he just completed The China Pandemic. He is now re-editing The Cascade Preppers and so on and so forth. I’m finally relieved that when I publish something, it will be in it’s best form, from now on and I know you are too. 🙂

In other news, I’ve received a few contacts who are interested in representing the series as literary agents. This means, that possibly in the near future, Graham’s Resolution will be professionally Published. This is something I will only agree to if I do not have to sign a no compete clause which limits the number of books an author can produce in a year. If so, it means the series will be more broadly available and I can focus on writing instead of business; which would be nice…

Last but not least, I’m taking a trip soon to Hope, Canada. Though I’ve traveled to every destination in the series, I haven’t been to where the group is fleeing. I feel no matter how much research you do online, nothing compares to the impression you get gleaning from the place you’re writing about. So next month, off I go and I’ll take pictures to post. (Now I just need to write about Hawaii or France…)

Also, The Malefic Nation is coming along well though I don’t anticipate it release date until the end of summer, I’ll keep you posted. The manuscript is over half way complete and I want the story to end the best way possible. After completion, I’m leaving the series for a while. I may come back and write a prequel and/or a sequel, but I have a few stand-a-lones that I’d like to get out of my system first.

One thing I could use your help with, if you haven’t left a review on the series, please do. I would appreciate reviews on all the books I’ve written including Deception on Durham Road. This is one way you can support your favorite authors.

Thank you for all you kind notes. I welcome them anytime.

Until later!

A. R. Shaw

Glasses Day

10420415_359429904234508_1567344905641169335_nI don’t often wear my glasses during the day, but it was one of those mornings. It’s rainy. I have Italian music playing in the background while I’m writing and a cup of tea within reach. I’m three-quarters of the way through with the manuscript now titled, The Malefic Nation and it’s unfolding before my eyes with a surprising turn; even to me.

I’m safe and secure in my little home and hoping that the train wreck last night wasn’t terrorist related. Let the deaths be from careless human error… It’s a sad chain of thoughts we resort to in an instant when tragedy strikes. I don’t want them to gain anything here, not one shred of advancement in their game of terror. Not again.

I stay out of politics for the most part. I’m a writer and a voter; not an authority of political matters. I decide for myself, but I keep those opinions, like religion private. No one can sway me, I know what I think is morally right for the country and will vote accordingly. So as the political season gains momentum, you won’t find me honoring any single political candidate or party. Instead, I’ll regale you with news from my latest stories, other books I’ve read that I’d recommend and, like now, random musings.

The one thing I will say, and it’s more controversial that you’d think. ISIS is unredeemable in my eyes. There’s a point in humanity’s evilest moments that you can’t recover from. The Nazis knew this. Some say ISIS is worse than the Nazis; that’s only because they’ve forgotten how malefic the Nazis were. Take one look at Auschwitz and the scale of their atrocities is a glimmer of the magnitude. No, they are equally malefic.

So, on this gloomy day, I’ll continue to write; ignore the political commentary because life it too short for those ramblings and pray for those who died last night and hope that instead of terror they died by careless human error.

 

Cover & Title Reveal for Graham’s Resolution Finale

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Some news about Graham’s Resolution

Now that I’m at the halfway mark of writing book four, I have a better idea of how the series will finish. Yes, this will be the final book in Graham’s Resolution for now. I may come back and write a ‘ten years later’ book in the future and possibly a prequel, but it’s exciting to see that the story is coming to its end. There are still secret plans in the works for the series, however.

So I’m presenting to you the fourth book of Graham’s Resolution with The Malefic Nation.

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Here is the new cover. The season is summer and I like the way the cover artist, Keri Knutson, has depicted the town below the mountains surrounded by a lake and the brilliant summer sky. She’s a very talented cover artist and I’ve enjoyed working with her on this series.

She also made the Audio cover to match. Darriel Driml is currently working on The Last Infidels audio, and I believe he is nearing completion soon. I hope.

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This is a bittersweet realization that the series is nearing completion but I’m ready to move on, and I have a few projects in mind. I do still plan to do a companion novella for Deception on Durham Road, but I’m not sure if that project will be next or if one of my standalone works will  be the next focus.

In any event, I’ll keep you posted. I’ve got a new editor, and he’s very qualified and is currently editing the series, starting from the top.

As for the Presale issue, I didn’t like the way it treated my readers. I think it’s flawed in the release mechanism. So, I will hold off on submitting The Malefic Nation as a PreSale until its near release. I think that’s fairer.

That’s all for now, I welcome questions and comments. Thank you, and I hope you like the new cover!

Random Musings – Bullets & Slugs & Writing Details

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Look what my husband made for me. What a sweet gift for you wife/writer. It’s actually comes in quite handy though I don’t like to be too specific in my stories. I think the readers doesn’t appreciate getting too hung-up in an action scene on minuet details. Sometimes it’s appreciated but in the grand scheme, readers realize where there’s a gun, there’s bullets, no matter the style and configuration.

I suspect this is a difference between male and female readers. Where males prefer more details on ammunition and well, females really care more the story itself. I try to find a balance in there and I hope I’ve been successful.

What do you think? Do you prefer every detail of an action scene or does it muddle up the pace?

Tea Cup Of the Day

FullSizeRenderYes, I’m a tea drinker. My favorite stand-by is Earl Gray, but I’ve been known to drink English Breakfast and as you can see from the little leaf sticking up out of my cup, I enjoy Tea Forte and they have a tremendous amount of variations on tea. I love them all.

Oh, I was a heavy coffee drinker until about two years ago. Coffee began to taste like cigarettes for some reason and I just couldn’t stand it any longer so I made the switch and you know, I feel better drinking tea. I think listening to you body is a good thing.

This is an adorable little Create-Your-Own cup from Starbucks  that my daughter Wendy created for me. She an amazing artist and I love to see what she comes up with. So throughout my writing day, when I need a break in my train of though, I pick up my cup and wander over to my tea station and refresh a cup or start a new one. Then, I wander back and set my cup nearby and continue writing again until it cools enough for a sip. Rinse and Repeat…