Rosanne Bittner: Heart of the West

Rosanne Bittner: Heart of the West


Updated 21 November 2021


Rosanne Bittner, March 2015       More and more, I am being asked to write articles on my love of history and the American West, as well as on the business of writing. Several of these are posted here on my website, and even more on my writer's Blog. Some very nice articles have also been written about me. To make all of them easier for you to find and read, I've started this "Articles" page with summaries and links to the articles and blog entries. I plan to update this page monthly, or more often if I have a new blog entry I think will interest you!

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The Touch of Love       To all of my faithful supporters, I am making available my novella THE TOUCH OF LOVE! THE TOUCH OF LOVEis a 46-page novella about Robert Kingsley, the half-Indian boy raised by Rising Eagle of my Mystic Indian trilogy, which was previously only available by download from In action, it falls between MYSTIC VISIONS and MYSTIC WARRIORS (Books 2 & 3).

 divider graphic   Read THE TOUCH OF LOVE   divider graphic 

Articles on this Website:

  • What Goes Around, Comes Around: The Beauty of a Backlist: I’m pretty old-school when it comes to the publishing world. When e-books were first introduced, I couldn’t believe they would ever be successful. After all, who would rather read a book on some kind of device as opposed to having the real thing in their hands? Today, I can’t imagine NOT having my books available as ebooks, and the best part is that doing it has completely revitalized my backlist and my writing career! Additionally, as a result of these advances, we get to discover writers whose talents we might never have enjoyed otherwise. Read more here!

  • Please ... Just Write!!: WIth all the hype about internet and social media marketing, the most important thing to remember is -- before you can market your book, you first have to WRITE it!

  • The Power of Passion: This three-part article was adapted from my Romantic Times conference workshop, April 2012. "Passion … the word is used in so many ways by romance writers and the industry as a whole - in our titles, our blurbs, our dialogue, our love scenes, our plots … and it is the basis of our dream to write - a passion for the art of writing, for our particular genre, and for our characters. The word Passion holds power -- it covers all aspects of life...,"

  • "Cowboys and...Well, Just Cowboys!": "It’s the “cowboy” in Americans that makes them dare to try new ventures, dare to leave the familiar and take a new job or start their own business or move to a completely new area of the country. There is a little bit of “cowboy” in our armed forces, in that devil-may-care attitude of our veterans who fought world wars, in those who dared travel into space, in a boxer, a football player, a race car driver, even a reckless investor who risks it all on a hunch. It’s the American spirit, and a whole lot of that spirit can be identified as the “cowboy” in us."

  • “Religion In Secular Fiction vs. The Inspirational Romance” – I’ve lived with a dilemma during all my 35 or so years of writing, and that dilemma is to write “reality” (which means not-so-perfect characters and not-so-perfect situations) – while struggling with my own deep Christian faith and how to incorporate some of that faith into my stories, even though they often include war, bar fights, gunfights, prostitutes, smoking, drinking, outlaws, bad language, gambling, murder, brutality, sex . . . you name the problems with an untamed land and I’ve written about it. I am a firm believer in writing reality that includes the faith it took for some people to bear up to the challenges they faced in settling the West. As I re-read many of my backlist titles for reissues, I find that I did weave faith into many of my stories. I am really surprised at how often I hinted at (mostly the heroine’s) Christian faith.

Articles on my Blog:

  • So, You Think Writers Have It Easy? (9/23/21): Think again. I have back problems, had a hip replaced, suffer from migraines and swelling in the legs – all from too much sitting. I toss and turn all night with new ideas, or because I wonder how I can improve on my current work in progress. I write “in my head” constantly – during a conversation – during a meal – while I’m driving – watching TV – gardening – cleaning – no matter what I’m doing. My characters are always with me, nudging me, haunting me, interrupting my sleep, and sometimes arguing with me. I spend some really long, lonely days sitting here alone and wondering if anybody cares what my characters do or say or if anybody cares about my books at all.Read more here!

  • 40 Years of Characters & Memories : We have sold some property that means cleaning out a pole barn. Thank God we have one, because my husband is a bit of a pack rat, and we have owned the property for 46 years and used to live there. . . . we have realized that now is the time to sell the entire property, while prices are up, so we are selling to a developer who has the means and the money to properly clear it and do much more with it than we can at our age. But, oh, the memories! Read more here!

  • Stand and Listen (9/23/21): It’s chaos out there, isn’t it? The daily news has become repetitive and depressing. Right is wrong, and wrong is right. You don’t know whom to trust, and car lots and store shelves are half empty because product is unavailable – and that’s because there aren’t enough people working to keep things running smoothly. We hear about an uptick in prices, taxes, and crime, while hurricanes and wildfires prevail. We miss peoples’ smiles because of masks, and we worry about that invisible creature called Covid. Read more here!

  • Taking the Big Step (9/14/21): I wrote a blog several months ago titled “PAGE ONE.” It was about how intimidating Page One can be when starting a new book. Well, I am having the same problem with Book #75, which I have started (and did already write Page One). However, every chapter – every page - feels like “Page One” to me – i.e. – the whole book is intimidating because it’s my first big contemporary story. I have a title but won’t give it away yet, so I’ll just call it Book #75. Read more here!

  • The Circle of Life (8/4/21): Sometimes we writers live vicariously through our books, because our lives and relationships are seldom as “perfect” as we make them out to be in our stories. But the fact remains that we are born, we live, we have children, then grandchildren – and now our first great-grandson has come into the picture. Little Bannon was born July 21st, and it warms my heart to know the bloodline goes on. Hubby and I were once the “young couple” – then the parents – then grandparents – and now our oldest grandson has had a child. Read more here!

  • Real Therapy Through Fiction (6/18/21): I have often talked about how writing has been a catharsis for me through numerous “life” challenges over these many years. In return, I have also heard from many of my readers about how one or more of my books helped them get through the same types of problems - emotional crashes, health problems, marriage problems, the challenges of children, death in the family and numerous other depressing experiences. Read more here!

  • A Writer's Nostalgia (5/30/21): Recently, I thumbed through my file cabinet filled with all my written notes for every book I’ve written, and it struck me what a long journey I have taken with my writing. There are some really old files in that cabinet – old notes I’d forgotten about. I found one folder titled HARVEST OF OUR SINS. I wondered what the heck it was, because I never wrote a book with that title. I looked in the folder, dated 1991, and all the notes were for the story that became OUTLAW HEARTS! The note paper was old and worn, the notes faded, but there it was. So my beloved Jake has been on my mind for 30 years! Read more here!

  • A Mother's Day Greeting (5/9/21): A Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! I think Mother’s Day is lovely and special, and so many mothers through the centuries have made sacrifices for their children in a hundred different ways. They deserve this special day. Read more here!

  • Is There A "Before" Life? (4/25/21): This all leads me to wonder – was there a “before” life? Did we all live in an earlier time? I wonder sometimes what creates our idiosyncrasies. Read more here!

  • Keeping a Story Short (4/21): I have seldom been able to write a short story. I’ve tried. ... In every single idea I have ever had, I see a full novel. I could take any one of the above short stories and turn them into a 90,000-100,000 word novel. Whether long or short, I get very involved in a story’s characters, and I want to flesh them out, stay with them far longer, come up with surrounding characters, back story, goals and motivations that need a long story to be worked out." Read more here!

  • The Love Factor (2/12/21): February brings all of us the vision of Valentine’s Day and red hearts and white lace, flowers and cards and candy and Cupid and the word “love” used with smiles and hugs. I was thinking about how casually some of us use that word. We love our pets, our relatives (well – most of them), sometimes our jobs, a dear friend, our children, our spouses and parents, our grandchildren – maybe our car, our house, a special piece of jewelry, a certain smell, some foods, a certain movie or song. We use that word so loosely. “I love this,” and “I love that.” Read more here!

  • Dear Younger Me (1/21): "Well, not long ago I opened my web site with a message about the new year, and here it is already the middle of January. Today (the 14th) is my 76th birthday, and I have no idea how that happened. Last week I was only 46, and just a few days ago I was 66. I woke up this morning and I was suddenly 76, with no memory of how I got here." Read more here!

  • The Christmas Spirit (12/20): "We are all familiar with what is called the Christmas Spirit – good cheer, well wishes, excited children, bells ringing, beautiful decorations, special store sales, sleigh rides, skiing, sledding, ice skating, appearances by Santa, greeting cards, storefront decorations, and spoken wishes for a Merry Christmas – Happy Christmas – Holiday Wishes – Happy New Year and all of that." Read more here!

  • The Value of My Readers (11/20): "A writer’s income fluctuates like a roller coaster. After nearly forty years of writing, I’ve had some great years, and some not so great. I really don’t care. Honestly. For some reason, that fact hit me today really hard when I realized how grateful I am for my readers. Maybe these melancholy feelings are due to my age. Or maybe it’s because I’m sitting here alone in my little bedroom office wondering if anyone cares that I write at all. Covid has put a damper on conferences and book signings and other ways of meeting my public, so writers feel kind of isolated and alone. Working on my story alone at the computer feels like giving a speech to empty chairs." Read more here!

  • The "Great West" (As I See It) (11/20): "In going through old hand-written notes and observations I recently found in an old file folder, I decided I could use some of these notes for blogs, mainly because to me these observations so beautifully describe what I see and feel when traveling America’s Great West. I live in Michigan, but I have loved the West my whole life. I have studied it, explored it, written about it, and I truly believe I lived it somewhere in the past, either as a pioneer or a Native American. It is all so real and important and beloved to me. I wrote these descriptions a good 30 to 40 years ago, and I think my love for the West comes through in these notes." Read more here!

  • Writing the Familiar vs the Unfamiliar (10/20): "I know it seems many of my blogs are for other writers, but I think readers get as much out of my “advice” blogs as do authors. Not only is it likely that some of my readers are also aspiring authors, but I think readers enjoy learning the many aspects of writing and what their favorite authors go through in writing and decision-making.." Read more here!

  • Where I'm From (8/20): "I am from the days of Spam, Hills Bros. coffee and Hamm’s Beer. The days of drinking right out of the hose, listening to a big, furniture-style radio and staring at it as though it were a TV (which we didn’t have), setting up “tents” in the back yard with my sister by throwing blankets over the clothesline and securing the edges with rocks." Read more here!

  • THE BEAUTY OF TREES (7/20): "I have always appreciated the beauty and grandeur of old, tall, solid trees, but not as much as now. We own 29 wooded acres on a piece of lake property here in my hometown in southwest Michigan. A couple of weeks ago a tornado ripped through those woods, and the only word I can think of for the result is “devastating.” Unbelievable destruction." Read more here!

  • Coming Soon: LAWMAN IN THE HIGH LONESOME (6/20): A "teaser" about my 30 June book! Read more here!

  • Making Scents of it All (6/20): "I have a tube of body lotion by Lancome called Hydra Fraichelle “invigorating” body lotion. What is most “invigorating” about it is the smell. It’s one of those scents that makes you want to take a deep, deep breath when you smell it and then let it linger in your senses – and then you take another deep, whiff." Read more here!

  • Heaven Only Knows (5/20): "I just finished watching an old 1947 western called Heaven Only Knows, starring Bob Cummings. I know – most of you can’t begin to relate to 1947 (I was 2 years old), and you probably have no idea who Robert Cummings was (used to be a very handsome and popular actor). But old movies and old actors aren’t the point of this blog. The point of this blog is “hokey” movies and how many of them touched our hearts.." Read more here!

  • The Little Girl Inside (4/20): "I’m sure I’ve written about memories before – how and when I started writing and such. But this blog is about my very first memories after being born. In my case, since I am 75, that means going back at least 71 years. As far as I can dig into my past, I think that first memory is from when I was four years old. I was sitting in the loft of a barn and watching it rain." Read more here!

  • The Best Incentive for Cleaning Your House (4/20): "Do you have closets and junk drawers, the back of which haven’t seen the light of day in a year? Maybe two years? Maybe longer? I proudly call myself the Queen of a Fake Clean House. Everything is lovely – neat and tidy. I scrub the bathrooms and kitchen and I dust and vacuum and I do all the things required to keep a house clean and orderly … but DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT CHECK MY DRAWERS AND CLOSETS! You will be arrested! I am also the Queen of shoving 10 cubic feet of “stuff” into 5 cubic feet of space … hidden space … dark places no one dares go. I have never feared some culprit might hide in my house and attack me. I DARE anyone to even FIND a place to hide in my house. Every tiny space, nook and cranny has something stored there. Hide and seek is a game my grandsons always had trouble with, because there is no extra space anywhere." Read more here!

  • Bad Men With A Good Heart (3/20): "Yes, the title of this blog is the basic theme of nearly all my books – men others see as “bad,” and some truly start out that way. Some of my heroes did do bad things and spent time in prison – some are even wanted men throughout my story – some are actually lawmen who deal a hard, hard hand – and ALL of them have a good side and always have an underlying reason for their actions and decisions." Read more here!

  • Go With Your Gut Instinct (3/20): "The third important lesson I needed to learn is one I thought I’d conquered along with everything else. That lesson is - “go with your gut” if something about your story doesn’t feel right. I’ve followed that rule for years, but I failed to do so on my most recent book, which led to this blog. I kind of knew there was a problem with the book I wrote for my third “Men of the Outlaw Trail” series." Read more here!

  • Changes and Reflections (2/20): "Been doing a lot of thinking lately about my writing – how far I have come and how things have changed over these 40 or so years I’ve been writing. I sat down to write a book in 1979, after reading THE PROUD BREED by Celeste deBlasis. I wanted to write a great love story as well as a saga that covered 2-3 generations like that book did, and off I went! Soon as I wrote that first sentence, combined with a dive into extensive research about Native Americans and the American West, the ideas poured into my brain and out through my fingers, starting with a 4-book series that turned into 7 books (SAVAGE DESTINY) and ending with (currently) 70 published novels, including two series and several trilogies. Two more books will be published in 2020, and I am working on novel #73. My goal was 100 books, but at the age of 75, I’ll just have to see how long God allows me the energy, health and the use of my brain to write more." Read more here!

  • Nobody Does It Like A Cowboy (11/19): "I was recently asked about the tag line I often use – “Nobody Does It Like a Cowboy.” The person wanted to know what I meant by that. For me, that line has all kinds of meaning besides the one that “romance” conjures up. You know what I mean. And in my books, nobody “does it” like a cowboy. (I am smiling.)" Read more here!

  • Excepts # 3 & 4 from RIDE THE HIGH LONESOME (11/19)

  • A Good Problem To Have (10/19): "Lately I’ve been complaining about being bogged down with a plethora of “things to do” that involve promoting two new books. I’ve been trying to get started on the third book of my new “Men of the Outlaw Trail” series (THE LAWLESS LAND) but haven’t been able to type one word of it. " Read more here!

  • Excepts # 1 & 2 from RIDE THE HIGH LONESOME

  • To Tell The Truth (9/19): "Real history means telling the Truth. And that sometimes means not being politically correct." Read more here!

  • I Need A Hero (8/19): I write heroes, and I will ALWAYS write heroes. Why? Because I write about women’s deepest passions and deepest desires. Romance readers want a hero, a man with skills that were needed in a time of wild danger, a time of settling untamed country where there was no law. And my heroines match my heroes in bravery and that special independence that was once rare for women. I love writing heroines who only make the men in their lives even stronger and more able to defend home and hearth, able to hunt, to fight, and to lead. Read more here!

  • Blogging About Blogging (7/19): Just think if our pioneers could have had these methods of instant communication! Once, we wrote long, long letters. Now we blog. Read more here!

  • A Day To Celebrate and Remember Our Pioneers (7/19) :Few people today think about what it took to build this Nation. They don’t think about the lives and fortunes that were sacrificed so they could live with today’s freedoms. For me, the Fourth of July brings to mind early settlers who risked their lives on ships that originally came here over a dangerous ocean, who risked their lives associating with America’s original natives, who risked their lives fighting a very powerful King’s rule, who risked their lives against the elements of weather, disease, wild animals, torrential rivers, unsurmountable mountains, blazing hot deserts, the lack of doctors and the conveniences we have today. Read more here!

  • Hero or Heroine? Which Is Your Favorite To Write? (2/19): In all the books I have written, and after all these years of writing, I realized that for a book to come together for me, I have to be in love with the hero, and I need to know his story. For some reason I can’t identify with the heroine until the hero is completely in place. Once that happens, then I can more easily flesh out the heroine and her feelings and where she is coming from as it relates to the hero. If I start a book based solely on the heroine, it’s hard for me to even like her or to care about her. Read more here!

  • Second Excerpt from LOGAN'S LADY (2/19)

  • Odd Comforts (1/19): I usually blog about writing advice, but today I am thinking about the small, odd things that comfort us at times. Things like appreciating being inside a warm house and looking out the window at snow … and thinking about how nice it will be to walk outside and enjoy a cup of coffee in my rose garden come spring … how pretty things will be when the snow is gone and the grass is green and the roses are red and birds are making a lot of noise in our pine trees and will flit past me and perch on the bird bath or flutter around the bird feeders. I’ll watch the baby bunnies hop around in my garden and nibble at the petunias I will set out just for them. Read more here!

  • First Excerpt from LOGAN'S LADY (1/19)

  • Death to the Fainting Virgin! (11/18): Today, romance is finally beginning to move away from the constant “young and beautiful and perfect” characters, and publishers are beginning to recognize there is a market in writing the older couple. Some publishers are beginning to actively seek stories involving the older hero and heroine. I have always believed there is a market for the older couple, even in romance. There is nothing more beautiful (to me) than sex between two people, married or not, who know what it’s all about – know what they want and how to do it right – who are solid in their confidence (whether having sex with someone new, or if they have been together for years and know each other’s bodies intimately) – a man and woman who know what “turns on” their partner – and who (as in most of my books) are so familiar with each other that one can hardly breathe without the other and each usually knows what the other is thinking. Read more here!

  • That First Page (8/18): “That first page” is probably the hardest thing there is for writers to deal with. When it is time to start that “next” story, we sit staring at “that first page,” trying to decide what to do with it. Sometimes we just want to write “Once upon a time,” and hope that great idea strikes us then and there. But in today’s time, we need something more catchy than “once upon a time.” Read more here!

  • Characters And Covers(8/18): “In all my years of writing, I very seldom get a cover that accurately depicts my characters the way I see them. Usually the background scenery is perfect. The pose is perfect. The blurb is perfect. The colors (usually) are gorgeous. But out of all 68 books I’ve had published so far, only a few depicted the hero close to how I saw him.” Read more here!

  • Possessiveness – A Roadblock to Finishing Your Book (7/18): As writers, we sometimes feel very possessive of our characters. Deep down inside, I don’t always want to share my favorite story and its characters with my readers. Sounds crazy, I know, but then I haven’t been totally sane since I started writing. I often feel a little jealous that my readers get to walk into my personal and private world, my thoughts and loves, my personal story ideas that belong only to me. As a writer, I am forced to give these things away once I finish a story. If I want to make a living at this, I have no choice. And yet for me, it’s never been about money. It’s always been about the stories, and my desire to tell them and to share them. Yet when I do, I feel as though I’ve lost a part of myself to the whole world and to a host of strangers who are reading about my very personal thoughts and dreams. Read more here!

  • Focus: The Key to Finishing Your Book (7/18): I have talked to many “would-be” writers who never seem to finish a book and/or never even start one. One thing that seems to be a common problem in this situation is that many new writers have so many story ideas in their heads that they can’t decide which one to work on. Or, even if they have only one idea, they can’t decide on a firm direction for their story. They spend months, sometimes years, trying to decide how to flesh out their story. . . . Finishing a book means FOCUSING on just one idea and developing it into book length, perfecting it, having it edited and submitting that finished book. Read more here!

  • The Value of Those Voices in the Night (6/18): A few nights ago I woke up with a great idea for a blog. By morning, I forgot it! I am so upset that I didn’t write it down. That in turn gave me a different idea for a blog, so I’m writing about the value of remembering to write down a good idea RIGHT AWAY! Those voices in the night are simply the product of your writer’s brain offering up ideas. Read more here!

  • Riding The Outlaw Trail … (6/8): I am currently reading THE OUTLAW TRAIL by Robert Redford (yes – the actor). In the early 1970’s he actually rode the old Outlaw Trail so that he could experience what it was like and then write about it. The trail runs from Canada to Mexico. Mr. Redford started at Hole-In-The-Wall in northern Wyoming, and traveled mostly by horseback to south of Robber’s Roost in southern Utah. . . . My reason for reading this book is to prepare to write my three new books for Sourcebooks, which will all be set against the Outlaw Trail in one way or another. Each story will bring in a cameo of sorts – of various characters from other books I’ve written – characters who also visited the Outlaw Trail at some point in their story. . . . I am hoping to have my new heroes not only meet some of my other characters, but also some “real” outlaws of the time. Read more here!

  • Nostalgia (5/18): The nostalgia comes when I realize how special these characters and their stories are to me, but are they special to anyone else? Why did I go to all this work over all these years (since 1979) to write these stories, just to see them here today and gone tomorrow? And then I hear from my readers, and I see the fabulous comments posted on Amazon or Goodreads, and I know I am touching other peoples’ lives with my books, and I am writing characters who are special and memorable to others besides myself. Read more here!

  • Writing – A Joy, Not A Job (5/18): I was answering someone else’s blog a couple of days ago, and I ended with saying writing should be a joy, not a job. Soon as I wrote that, I realized it was a great topic for my own blog! Read more here!

  • Birds of a Feather Flock Together (4/18): This weekend I’ll be attending a small weekend writers’ retreat, and I can’t wait! Writers love hanging out with each other, because only other writers can counsel each other on our own unique problems. . . . Only other writers know the joy of being around those who know and understand all the trials and tribulations of being a writer, as well as the highs and lows, the sorrows and the joys. Read more here!

  • Becoming History (4/18): Our area newspaper has a “Local History” section, where it reprints news from 100 to 75 to 50 years ago and so forth. Recently, there was a section under “35 YEARS AGO,” and it was about my first publication, SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION, Book #1 of my SAVAGE DESTINY series. Apparently, I am now a part of “history.” Well, being born just five months before WWII ended, I guess I qualify, but I’m not terribly happy about the fact that that was 73 years ago! Read more here!

  • The After-Book Let-Down (3/18): When I finish a book, and probably because my books are so long, I feel a big let-down and am depressed for several days afterward. After writing a 400-500 page book, usually 100,000 to 110,000 words, it’s hard to let go of the characters and “send them away” to the publisher. Read more here!

  • What’s In a Name? (3/18): What’s in a name? A lot - sometimes! You have to feel comfortable with the names you are using in order to write a good story, or you won’t be able to delve deeply enough into the character because the name will bother you. Read more here!

  • Fiction vs Reality (2/18): Writers are often asked if their characters are based on someone they know. I’ve been thinking about it and I realize I really should say, “Yes - not on distinct individuals, but on their character traits and what I personally know about real people, including my husband and myself.” Read more here!

  • Don’t Get Sad … Get Mad! (2/18): Did you just get another rejection? Has someone dissed your book? Has someone said that if you write romance, you’re not a “real” writer? Are you stuck with your “sagging” middle? (I mean your book, not your body).?? Is some other writer you believe isn’t all that good more successful than you are? In all cases, don’t get sad – GET MAD!! Tell yourself you’re a damn good writer and the book that “x” didn’t want will sell to “y” – and in the meantime, KEEP WRITING! Read more here!

  • Focusing Your Ideas (1/18): My purpose here is helping writers, especially new writers, learn how to focus and decide on your next project. There are times when you will wish you could clone yourself about 5 times, so that you could work on all your great ideas at once and turn out 5 different books a year. Read more here!

  • Stick to Your Guns (1/18): “Stick to your guns” is not just fitting for my theme, which is to write from your heart and write what you believe in, but also fitting because “guns” are most certainly a big part of what I write! Read more here!

  • Turning Your Great Idea Into a Book (11/17): I can’t count the number of times an aspiring writer has told me, “I have a great idea, but I don’t know how to make it into a whole book.” Or, “I started this book with a great idea, but I’ve reached a wall that I can’t get over. I don’t know where to go from here.” I’ve been in that same situation more than once myself, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you’re a born story-teller, you can write your way through almost anything.. Read more here!

  • What Makes Your Hero and Heroine Real and Memorable? (9/17): I have written articles and blogs on creating “real” characters for years, but I’ve never been able to pinpoint the answer to an often-asked question: “What is the secret to creating characters that to you and your readers are so real and memorable that you and they both feel these people really lived?” . Read more here!

  • The Long Journey (8/17): Where do all the years go? I scan through some of my older books and have no memory of when I wrote them – or even how I found the time not only to write them but to do all the research involved. I worked full time, was raising two active boys, helped develop some property we bought that needed a lot of work, and I would stay up at night and write until about 2:00 am – get up at 5:00 am and do it all over again. I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep some nights, usually 3 the other nights. I even put off needed brain surgery once because I told the doctor I had a book to finish first. That’s how devoted I was to my writing and my stories … and yes, to my CHARACTERS, who always came alive for me and seemed so real. I’ve even had readers write me and want to know if those people really existed. Yes, they did, as far as I’m concerned, but in reality, only in my mind. Read more here!

  • The Benefits of Blogging, Social Media and Facebook Parties! (8/17): I remember when, probably at least fifteen or twenty years ago, a former agent told me I should create a blog. BLOG? What a weird word. I wonder who invented it. Read more here!

  • 400 Years Of Publishing and Hardly Anything has Changed for Authors! (8/17): I found it interesting that in over 400 years of publishing, royalty percentages have actually gone down, or in the best case, stayed the same; and that 200 years after most American authors published at their own expense, a good many of them are doing so again today! Read more here!

  • Are You a “Writer-Holic?" (7/17): When life hands us some unexpected events that are hard to deal with, it’s so easy to turn to whatever makes us feel great and forget our troubles. I can most certainly attest to that. But there is one habit that comforts me that I’ll never give up, and that’s WRITING! Read more here!

  • Writing Can Be Your Meditation (6/17): My escape … my meditation … my relaxation … is my writing. I have recently allowed personal problems to shut down my writing. And the longer I go without writing, the sadder I become. Last night I forced myself to get to work on a new story for Sourcebooks, and doing so helped me see that not writing is probably the worst thing I can do when things go haywire in my life. It only feeds the sorrow. Getting back into the lives of my characters and into my beloved western landscape lifts my spirits. We should never allow others’ actions to so deeply affect us that it steals our writing spirit.Read more here!

  • The Dangers of Writing a Series 6/17): There are some drawbacks for the writer when writing a series. For me, the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM is that I get so involved with the characters that it is very, very hard for me to go on to something entirely new. Often, the series continues because I simply cannot bring myself to think about new characters. I am too much in love with the ones I have “lived with” for months or even years. Read more here!

  • Retaining Your Inspiration (6/17): Life can sometimes take some pretty heavy turns. It happens to most of us, and when it does, inspiration to write simply dies … or so it seems at first. But always it is there, like the little gas flame at the bottom of a hot water tank, keeping the water warm even when it’s not being used. It sits there, waiting for us to turn on the faucet and use it. Don’t let that flame go out. Keep the water warm for when you will need it. Read more here!

  • PTSD – Yes, Even Writers Get It (3/17): Yes, indeed, writers can crash into deep depression after finishing a book that took months to write. We all strive for perfection – write – proof – edit – re-write – proof – edit – then go through a series of more edits after we turn in the book. All the hard work and extra hours catch up to us physically. ... I get so involved with my characters that leaving them is actually depressing. Read more here!

  • Poetry: Oh, Mighty Mountains! (3/17): Is there anything more beautiful or majestic than the Rocky Mountains? Read more here!

  • Poetry: Whispers of Summer (12/16): I wrote this while working for the manager of the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan. There was a time when big companies had their own small newspapers or newsletters. At that time they were called House Organs. Wherever I worked I always contributed to the company house organ because deep inside, years and years before I wrote books, I had that need and desire to write, so I started with poems, which is why I have so many of them. This one fits the season. Read "Whispers of Summer" here!

  • Poetry: Days Gone By (12/16): For some reason I have always been fascinated with the past, or rather, what might have been or could have been … what has been lost through progress … the mystery and memories of those who once lived. The following poem reminded me of how nostalgic I am about the subject, which is probably why I prefer to write historical rather than contemporary stories. This is another poem I wrote a good 45 years ago, and it shows me that even then I was imagining what life was like in days gone by. I think it’s sad that too many people have been forever forgotten. Read "Days Gone By" here!

  • Poetry: War's Children (12/16): I wrote "War's Children" in 1981, 35 years ago, and in reading it I realized nothing has changed in all those years or even in the last 500 or 1,000 years. Man always seems to find a way to make war, and the primary victims of war are children … children! Those in power seem not to care about them. When our own government made war on our Native Americans, too many children were simply shot down as though they were nothing more important than rabbits. Recently we’ve seen the horrific suffering of children in Syria … unforgivable abuse and annihilation. It blows my mind what some men can do to children without concern. As you can see from this thirty-five year old poem, nothing has changed. The sad part is, it probably never will. Read "War's Children" here!

  • Poetry: Our Magnificent West! (12/16): I wrote this poem when I was in my 20's. I don’t remember exactly when I became so fascinated or fell so in love with America’s magnificent mountain ranges and its Western landscape. I truly believe I lived another life, either as an Indian or a pioneer woman. That’s just part of my weird side, and I think you need to be a little weird to be an avid writer who is as much in love with his or her subject as I am. Read my untitled poem to the American West here!

  • Poems Can Be an Emotional Release (11/16): I wrote this poem in 1967. I wasn’t the child I was when I wrote my first poem in the second grad. I was twenty-two years old and the war in Vietnam was happening … and my own husband was involved. Read "A Prayer For Our Nation" here!

  • The Beginning: My Poetry (11/16): Long before I ever dreamed of writing a real book, I wrote poems. In fact, I wrote my first poem in the second grade. Over the years I wrote many poems, and our local newspaper published many of them until they stopped that feature. I never did anything else with these poems, and they've sat in a folder for years, some of them close to 50 years. When I read through them, I am surprised by how some of them reflect feelings that are still pertinent for today’s times. Read more here!

  • The Importance of the “Unexpected” Character (10/16): I love unexpected characters because they help build my plot, help the hero or heroine grow or change or make an important decision. They can end up being a sounding board for the hero or heroine. Conversations and interaction with the unexpected characters can even help tell back story in an entertaining way. And the unexpected character always opens the avenue for a great plot twist or plot enhancement … or … they can actually bring me an idea for an entirely new story! Read more here!

  • “It’s Not the Sales - It’s the Readers That Count” (10/16): I am eternally grateful for all my readers. They keep me going. With each new book I worry about whether or not I will again please them – or will I disappoint them this time? They mean everything to me – and many of them have actually become good friends. Read more here!

  • “When It’s Okay to Procrastinate” (10/16): Anyone who knows me well, and my Facebook fans who have read my comments and other blogs, know that procrastination is NOT one of my faults. Still, there are times when you HAVE to procrastinate. I’m not so sure it should be called that, but that’s what it feels like to me when I get stuck on a decision of which way to go with a story. I often go through a procrastination stage before I start a new book, like the short story I am working on now for a Christmas anthology. Read more here!

  • “Finishing The Book” (8/16): Have you ever felt like someone just ran over you with a semi, then pulled your brains out through your ears? That’s how it feels after a two-month marathon of writing and finishing a 622-page historical novel. You’ve heard those stories about people who, in matters of emergency and desperation, get a surge of adrenaline that helps them pick up a whole car to get someone out from under it. I think that’s what happens to a writer when she has a short deadline but a long book to write to meet that deadline. Read more here!

  • The Joys And Perils of Writing Series-Type Stories (7/16): All of this brought me to think about the joys and perils of writing a series. The joy comes mainly from being able to stay with the characters and their family for three, maybe even six or seven books. And that means “living” with them for up to three, maybe even five years or longer, because each book takes a good six months to write, and when it’s finished it’s usually another six months (at least) before it gets published. When you are totally in love with these people, they live in your mind and heart constantly, and you hate leaving them, so you get to pick up their story with the next book and continue being a part of their lives. Read more here!

  • Common “Scents” (6/16): I recently purchased a diffuser that sprays a soft cloud of scented water into the air, as well as one of those warmers that melts scented wax. Both are lovely and do a good job of filling my house with wonderful aromas. That got me thinking about how certain smells awaken memories and can even be used in our writing. Read more here!

  • The Last Page (6/16): Just as with “Page One,” there are things to love and to hate about “The Last Page.” As far as catching a reader’s eye, I look at “The Last Page” with as much importance as “Page One.” That’s because, believe it or not, when I pick up a book and contemplate buying it, I read The Last Page as well as the first. For me, there is something about that last page that intrigues me. I can tell if the book was memorable, full of romance, if it ended happily, if there is a ring to it that makes me want to cry, even though I don’t know the whole story. I judge a book more by "The Last Page" than the first. Read more here!

  • Page One (6/16): Horrors! When we write a book, we have no choice but to start with “Page One.” Yes, it’s that annoying, intimidating, proverbial Page One that can bring a writer to his or her knees. We sit and stare at that blank piece of paper (or the pretend piece of paper on our computer screen), and we realize that what we put on that very first page is what the reader will see when he or she takes a look at the book – that very first page that they use to decide if they want to buy the book – that very first page that either hooks a reader, or causes them to put the book back on the shelf – or to not “click” order the book on-line. Read more here!

  • What Goes Around, Comes Around: The Beauty of a Back List (6/16): I've been writing for 35 years, so I’m pretty old-school when it comes to the publishing world. When e-books were first introduced, I couldn’t believe they would ever be successful. After all, who would rather read a book on some kind of device as opposed to having the real thing in their hands? Read more here!

  • The Long Haul (4/16): I'm sure you've heard the trucking term “long haul,” or the phrase “I’m in it for the long haul.” Maybe “It’s been a long haul.” For anyone who writes, “the long haul” perfectly fits your chosen profession – or even as a hobby, if you see it that way. You’d better be in it for “the long haul,” because that’s what it will be if your goal is a long-term career in writing. Read more here!

  • When Fiction Becomes Our Reality (3/16): In my book IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOUNTAINS, about the birth and first 25 years or so of the growth of Denver, Colorado, I had my heroine build a monument to her father toward the end of the story. Her father was one of the (fictitious) founding fathers of Denver, and the monument was (in my story) in the foothills of the Rockies. After reading the book, one fan wrote me wanting to know where they could find that monument because she wanted to go see it. I had to explain to her that it doesn’t really exist. It was just part of the ending of my fictitious story. But that letter showed me just how real my characters become to my readers, and nothing warms my heart more. Read more here!

  • Are Our Books Ever Good Enough? (2/16): I just finished the edits to my September book LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE. One thing I advise other writers is that before sending a book in to your publisher, if there is anything about it that bothers you, fix it first. Ninety-nine per cent of the time it’s that very part of the book that bothers you that will come back to you with editor comments and/or requests for changes. It’s usually nothing major, but you still want to kick yourself in the butt for not addressing your concern before letting your editor read the book. Well, I didn’t follow my own rule, and a couple of places in the book that nudged at me as not quite right are exactly the places where my editor made comments and requests for a few changes.... Read more here!

  • The Writing Curse (11/15): I have discovered something about writing that I should have known for all these 30(+) years of sitting at the computer for thousands of hours and getting arthritis in my lower back and suffering shoulder and wrist inflammation and having carpal tunnel surgery and going through the incredible highs and lows of writing for a living … having the talent to write can be a curse… i.e. “if you don’t write, you die!” or something like that. If I go too long without writing I literally get tired and depressed. .. It’s a nice curse in most ways, but there are moments when I want to tell that writing bug to leave me alone. It never works. In this case the “bug” isn’t something you go to bed for and sleep it off. If you go to bed and sleep you only get sicker. You have to get back to work in order to get well and keep the “bug” at bay. Such is the life of a writer. Read more here!

  • The Vicarious Life of a Writer (10/15): I have decided that most of us writers have one thing in common – the desire to “be” like the characters we write … or perhaps we are only writing about ourselves. When you consider that we write in genres that we love, then we must be wishing we could actually live in another realm, or perhaps in old England, or in the WWII era, or maybe experience being a pioneer, or a gunslinger, etc. ...Whatever the fantasy, we put it into our books, and I’m willing to bet that we choose our genre along the lines of the way we’d really like to live ourselves, or perhaps at least have the characteristics of our heroes or heroines. If you can’t picture yourself as the character you are writing, the story won’t seem as real. ... I have discovered something about myself. Since spending the last two years working on my “outlaw” stories about Jake Harkner, I find myself “feeling” his persona in me … and here’s the weird part … I find I am carrying myself with a little more of an authoritative attitude. Read more here!

  • Religion In Secular Fiction vs. The Inspirational Romance (9/15): Several years ago, after writing at least 50 secular historical romances, I decided I wanted to try writing (historical) inspirational romance. I have always had a desire to write faith-based books and I hinted at faith and Christianity in many of my books up to that point but never wrote straight inspiration. I sold FOLLOW YOUR HEART, WALK BY FAITH and WHERE HEAVEN BEGINS to Harlequin’s Love Inspired line, and they all sold well. WHERE HEAVEN BEGINS even won second place for the prestigious WILLA Award from Women Writing the West … but I was wrong to think I could stick with a genre that didn’t (in my opinion) involve “real life.” In a lawless land where people have to struggle to survive, sometimes what’s right and wrong gets all mixed up in the name of life and death. And in the Old West, which is almost all I write about, there was not much law, and there were few churches, and in many places none at all. Read more here!

  • The Lost Summer (or) How Writing And Our Characters Can Take Over Our Lives (9/15): I call this The Lost Summer, because I spent most of it sitting at the kitchen table writing, or traveling to give talks and sign books and went to Dallas in May for the Romantic Times Convention. I haven’t stopped to take a breath....I am overwhelmed with guilt over the fact that my grandsons are already heading back to school and I didn’t do much with them this summer. I had my nose in my computer and one Sunday I wrote for 18 hours straight. When I get deep into a book it just takes over everything in my life and it takes me a while to “come down” from being away from reality for so long. My husband lives like a widower and house cleaning suffers. I didn’t even spend as much time in my garden this year as I usually do. I think my family understands, but I still feel so guilty! Read more here!

  • What's In A Hero? (8/15): Let’s face it. Women love to read about the bad-ass who’s vulnerable in some way when it comes to his woman – a man who would die for her, who loves her unconditionally (actually he adores her) – who always has her back and who is true to her. He might be hard to live with, but what woman wants to live without him! Read more here!

  • Savage Destiny Series - New Covers and Now Available in Kindle and Print! (7/15): After over thirty years of being in print, my SAVAGE DESTINY books are still selling. I consider this such a blessing, because I poured so much research and hard work into those books, and the hero and heroine will live forever in my heart – and from the feedback I get from my readers, they live in a special place in their hearts too. The seven books in this classic series cover about 45 years in the lives of Zeke and Abigail Monroe, beginning when they meet on a wagon train west when Abbie is only 16 and Zeke, half Cheyenne, is 25. From this union comes seven children and a herd of grandchildren, stories about many of them wound into the main story about the hero and heroine - all the tragedies and triumphs any family faces over the years. . . SAVAGE DESTINY closely follows the real history of the settling of Colorado (much like James Michener’s CENTENNIAL). Read more here!

  • Why I Wrote The Mystic Indian Series (4/15): Many years ago I read an article in a flyer I receive from the Wind River Indian Reservation that was about a stone medicine wheel on the top of Medicine Mountain in the Big Horn Mountains of northern Wyoming. The article fascinated me because no one is certain which Native Americans built this medicine wheel, or even when. At the top of a nearby mountain peak is a stone arrow pointing to the medicine wheel, which I found even more fascinating, because at the time someone created these places out of stones, there were no airplanes. There would be no way to see the arrow pointing to the medicine wheel except from above. Native Americans consider the medicine wheel sacred, believing only spirits from above would see it. There is a central cairn, with spokes coming out to join in a circle of stones so that the entire site looks just like a wagon wheel. . . . The moment I read about this stone medicine wheel, I knew I wanted to write a book that would be based around this sacred site.

  • My Love of Writing (4/15): I wrote this close to thirty years ago and thought it might interest you as to how much I love to write and how I managed to write sixty big, historical romances over the past thirty years. Read more here!

  • Why I Write American Western Historical Stories (4/15): I recently came across something I hand wrote close to thirty years ago, and it says it all when it comes to why I write American Western Historical stories. I was just doing some musing, after writing a description of how I feel about certain places out west. I thought this would interest my readers. Read more here!

  • Historical Research (1/15): Anyone who writes about history must, of course, do plenty of research. I am very particular about getting my facts straight because doing so brings much more realism to my stories. I have at times even brought real historical characters into my books, as with a young George Washington in INTO THE WILDERNESS. Some people might dread the research. NOT ME! I enjoy reading for research more than general reading, and always, whatever I am researching not only helps me with facts I need for the book I am working on; but it also leads me to a wealth of new ideas. So the research only helps me find plot for future books. Read more here!

  • Born To Write (1/15): I am sitting here thinking about the fact that I have written 60 books over the past 30 years. That’s an average of two books a year, and I have no memory of when or how I did that. Each book takes about six months to write, some less, some more. That does not include the edits and re-writes that come back once the book is finished and sent in, so it’s a constant procedure of writing, reading, editing, writing, reading, editing, writing … Read more here!

  • Happy Holidays! (12/14): I can’t believe we are headed into Christmas. It seems summer always disappears suddenly and without warning. And the way the weather has turned, I am already looking forward to NEXT summer! I am especially anxious for the Romantic Times conference next May in Dallas, Texas, because there I will be pushing my 60th published book, DO NOT FORSAKE ME, a sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS, which will be reissued and published next June, right before the sequel. The covers for these books are outstanding, and I am planning some wonderful promotional events for these two books, which I absolutely loved writing. Read more here!

  • The Ideal Hero (10/14): After 35 years of writing, even more years of reading, and having completed 60 novels, I’ve come to the conclusion that most female readers’ ideal hero (and yes, male readers, too) is the alpha male who is tough and able on the outside, but vulnerable and tender on the inside. I absolutely love the “tough guy” persona, a man who’s strong and brave and can handle weapons and fists … but a man who would never dream of laying a hand on the woman he loves. Read more here!

  • Don't Try to Be God (9/14): At the MMRWA's June meeting the discussion of omnipotence came up, and I have been thinking about that ever since because it’s a problem I had earlier in my writing years. Being the dense person I can be sometimes – as well as writing back when there was no help of any kind in this business and no opportunity to learn through others, it took me a while to catch on to what all this meant. In case you're not sure what omnipotence is all about, I thought I’d offer some help. I have realized that there is a strong connection between PASSIVE VOICE and OMNIPOTENCE. If you are interested in reading more, please click here!

  • Getting "In the Mood" (7/14): Okay, I know that title sounds like it has something to do with sex, and in a way I guess it does because I’m talking about how certain songs get us in the right mood for whatever book/scene/character we are working on when working on a book. Sometimes the right music conjures up brand new story ideas. Want to see my Playlist and hear some of my favorites? Please click here!

  • Saying Good Bye (7/14):How do I explain to non-writers what it’s like to “let go” of a book that is so dear to my heart? Think about saying good-bye to a loved one for what could be the last time. That’s how it feels. You are leaving your mother or father for some place far away and might never see them again – or your child is going off to Afghanistan – maybe just to college – but you have to let go of someone – maybe a loved one who is dying – and you know you will never see them again. Believe it or not, that’s how it sometimes feels to be “finished” with a story that has been an integral part of your life and your heart and your passion for months, maybe years.

  • Procrastination - The Good Kind (6/14): Anyone who knows me knows that I do NOT procrastinate when it comes to ANYTHING. More than anything else, I never put off writing. If I procrastinate at all, it’s with housework, or washing the windows, or getting my flowers planted, or any number of other things all us women need to do in our daily lives.... However, lately I have been procrastinating when it comes to my writing … sort of. It’s not writing per se - it’s editing and re-writing my newest book DO NOT FORSAKE ME – due July 1st.... I know that once I read Chapter One, I’ll be hooked and I will lose sleep and won’t eat and will be a bit grouchy when it comes to interruptions and I will remove myself from the “real” world and find it difficult to stay in touch with what’s going on around me.

  • What's In A Hero? (6/14): Let’s face it. Women love to read about the bad-ass who’s vulnerable in some way when it comes to his woman – a man who would die for her, who loves her unconditionally (actually he adores her) – who always has her back and who is true to her. He might be hard to live with, but what woman wants to live without him!

  • Who Wants to Argue With Ghosts? (4/14): Well, this is your latest blog from this very crazy writer. . . I’ve been in “down time” after finishing DO NOT FORSAKE ME (coming in 2015). I am forcing myself not to start editing the book yet because I know that the minute I do, I’ll fall right back into not being able to get away from the story and I won’t get anything else done. I miss Jake so bad I can hardly stand it! Most writers are far removed from the real world when they are “into” a story. . . I, for one, believe all my characters really lived. They just “visit” me in spirit form and ask me to write their story. And who wants to argue with ghosts?

  • Am I Losing It, Or Is This the Way It's Supposed To Be? (3/13): I honestly think I might be losing my mind. I am so lost in the book I’m writing that it is affecting me emotionally. I wonder if that happens to actors when they “get into” the role they are playing. The last few days I have been a little down and unsure of the book I’m working on – and suddenly I am jumping-up-and-down happy and positive again. I figured out why. For the last few days I’ve been working on a part of the book where hero and heroine are apart. He is very worried about her health, and she is (always) worried about him because he’s a U.S. Marshal in the unsettled Territory of Oklahoma. While they were apart, I was low. Now I am at the point where he’s coming back, and all I can think about is “he’s coming back to me!” And I’m happy again because they get to be together. Am I crazy? Is old age making my brain live in another time and another world?

  • Work or Vacation? Sometimes They Are One And The Same! (2/14): One thing I've learned while on vacation is that vacation is what you make of it. If you like lying around all day and (in our case) heading to a casino for a few hours daily, and of course if you like warm weather in winter, Vegas is the perfect spot. So, I should have been basking in that sunshine, right? WRONG! I'm sure some of you will think I've lost my mind, but I was in my office writing every spare moment. I finished 200 PAGES of my next project, a book for which I haven't yet even signed the contract!

  • What Goes Around...Comes Around (2/14): Twenty-six years ago I had an idea for a book. I was curling my hair and the idea just hit me out of the blue. I had nothing to write on, so I wrote it on the back of a check book with an eyebrow pencil. That book became OUTLAW HEARTS, with (other than Zeke) my favorite hero of all other books. OUTLAW HEARTS was published in 1993, and ever since then I have wanted to write a sequel. I dreamed of the sequel. Jake Harkner lived in my heart and mind almost constantly. His story wasn’t finished, which is why he continued to haunt me. Now, twenty years later, I will be able to write that sequel!

  • The Hero Who Never Was (1/14): I am wondering how many writers besides me live with a particular hero in their heads but never tell his story. I have lived with and loved Ben Colter for a good 20 years now. He’s the hero from the contemporary I have never written because I don’t feel confident writing contemporaries. More than that, though, it’s because I can’t pin the man down as far as who he really is. He is this “being” that haunts me almost constantly, asking me to tell his story, yet I don’t know what that story is, and this character is so special that I don’t want to mess things up by getting his story wrong.

  • The Writing Slut (12/13): Yes, that’s what I am. When it comes to writing, I’m a slut – I can’t get enough of writing itself, I can’t get enough of the genre I write – the Old West and its magnificent landscape and explosive growth – the Native American – the iconic cowboy - and I can’t get enough of my heroes....I write this blog for other writers who might wonder how to become so engrossed in their stories that they can forget about all the “do’s” and “don’ts” of writing, all the worry over motivation and conflict and goal of the story – you have to personally be passionately in love with your characters. They have to be so real to you that you cry over them, you dream about them, you long for them, you’re loyal to them, you hate ending your book because it means leaving them, and you NEVER FORGET THEM – EVER!

  • The Power of the Alpha Hero and Falling in Love With Him (12/13): My Savage Destiny series (7 books) will soon be available as e-books for ALL types of e-readers. That means proofing the books all over again, because a different conversion program is used when converting a book for all types of reading devices. Every single time I read these books again, I am totally lost in them again, they are such good stories. There is just something about Zeke Monroe that keeps you reading … and reading … and reading.

  • The Perils of Heroines and Due Dates! (11/13): I'll bet the last thing you would probably think is that I would have trouble deciding how to end a book, but that's what happened with DESPERATE HEARTS.

  • Places We Hold Sacred (11/13): There are places in this country that will always, always be held sacred… places where you just get the chills when you stand there, places where people whisper even though they don’t need to … places that have a church-like affect on a person. I am always fascinated and find it a bit surreal to be standing where some monumental historical event took place.

  • The Joy of Life...and Change(9/13): I am grateful to live in “small town” America, where people pray and sing hymns and neighbors know their neighbors … where there is a church every couple of blocks and one of them plays hymns on its church bells every day at Noon … where people still say “under God” when they say the pledge of allegiance … and where friends abound, some of them I’ve had since high school fifty years ago!

  • Taking a Walk on the Wild Side (10/13): Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to the "wild side" that is buried deep inside us by the wisdom and common sense that come with age. My mirror may show me a Grandma, but on the inside, I’m not old at all. Yes, this old gal might spend a lot of time in her back yard enjoying her rose garden and the peace it brings, but sometimes when she closes her eyes, she’s flying along a winding road through Colorado or Wyoming or Montana on the back of a Harley. Maybe she’s even walking across the prairie, admiring the rugged, buckskin-clad guide who is taking her through dangerous country. For all you younger readers, don’t ever underestimate what’s going on in the back of grandma’s or grandpa’s mind. Yes, they were young once, and they might look old on the outside, but they never change on the inside! “Young at heart” isn’t just a phrase to be used in a song. It’s a state of being.

  • Who Was Haym Solomon? (6/13): I received an e-mail that was full of some interesting historical facts about the U.S. dollar bill. As much as I have studied our history, I did not know all of this.... . My blog for today is to give you these facts about the dollar bill, which I intend to share with my grandsons. My readers can make a game of this with their own children and grandchildren. Read more here.

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