Mott Creek Ranch

This August I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting my friend, Marisue Potts, on her ranch near Matador, Motley County, Texas. We met via the internet when I had the temerity to email her, and ask if she would mind answering a few questions about ranching. There I was, a complete stranger, someone who has never set foot on a cattle ranch, never mind Texas. Without hesitation she agreed, and our years-long friendship started.

Continue reading “Mott Creek Ranch”

Watch Out Texas, Here I Come…

With both my sisters living in America, visiting the States is a fairly regular occurrence. At the end of July, I have my next trip coming up. I choose July/August as my oldest sister, Cynthia, will be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary. What an achievement!  

Oh, I almost forgot . . . it’s also an opportunity to escape the cold and wet Cape winters! I love the Western Cape of South Africa. The winter weather — not so much.

But this time it’s more than family for two reasons. Continue reading “Watch Out Texas, Here I Come…”

So What did I Learn?

… from the manuscript assessment, that is.

Having your work criticized is daunting. As a whole, I don’t take criticism well. I suppose not many people can handle being told you’re doing something wrong, but somehow it truly gets my back up.

But I needed to buckle up and tackle the task of revising my baby— after all, I paid good money for it! Continue reading “So What did I Learn?”

… and … Feedback!

The author can rightly be proud of herself for creating a novel with such a complex and ambitious plot. It takes enormous discipline and courage to write a romantic saga of 144 000 words. It is clear that she knows the genre well and understand the basic elements needed to engage readers from beginning to end. There are however various aspects of the text that can be improved. The rest of this report will be used to point them out and make suggestions on how to address these problems, so the author can strengthen her novel and refine her craft.”

It took me a few days to fully digest the 10-page report I received. Continue reading “… and … Feedback!”

Choosing a Setting

One of the important aspects of writing would be the setting—the time and place that form the backdrop of the story.

Logic says . . . write about what you know.

But I had a problem with that—the story developing in my mind would not suit a South African setting. I wanted a small town, cattle ranch community and the current political climate does not lend itself to happy ever afters.

I chose Texas.

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