The Write Stuff
October, 2019


Yolanda “Michelle” Buick

Finally, the weather in Texas has cooled off! It’s harvest time after a long hot summer.

And we have a great Harvest Giveaway this month! Pumpkin-spice coffee and Texas pecans, as well as all the favorites: wine t-shirt, signed book, bluebonnet soap, among other things! 

And oh, do we have a big thing coming in December! See the Good News section below to read all about it. So much fun! We’ll talk more about it next month too.

Congratulations to Yolanda Buick for winning the September Giveaway!

For now, I’m writing and editing and doing all the usual things. Which includes an upcoming blessed event! See Wine Down below!

My newest novel is just about finished, and word from beta readers is thumb’s up 😊 We’ll see what my literary agent says. Lol. For a tease, you can get a hint of it here.
Come join the fun

Sample Contents of Bluebonnet Book Box

And of course you can join us


Virginia Tell

This month, novelist Virginia Tell talks about Nature and Change. Wise words!

Ahhh, yes.  It’s that time of year.  Trees announce their forthcoming respite with expositions of brilliant colors.  Fattened bears lap up the last of berries and honey.  Great waves of migrations create awe in childlike eyes.

Nature does a good job of changing itself.  If only we’d take a lesson!

As a species, we often flat hate change, so it’s hard to choose between taking the risk to go after our real desires and staying safe within our comfy status quo…even if it isn’t so comfy.  I know whereof I speak.  And it ain’t pretty.

  A few years ago, I lost a job, went bankrupt, and moved in with a man who offered to support me while I pursued a writing career.  Sweet…until he started abusing drugs and preparing for the apocalypse due in ninety days.  Friends were sure he was a psychotic who’d cut me up into little pieces, but I pshawed them.  Why give up writing and comfort because of some crazy talk?

A year later, I wasn’t “godly enough” so he kicked me out.  I had to go back to work immediately.  My new job was awful…but…

Ooooh…then came change of a different ilk.

An equally disenchanted coworker invited me to start a new company with him.  Instead of cash, I’d contribute know-how.  Riches abound.  Who’d’a thunk? 


Garner State Park, Concan, Texas

At every turn, I had told myself, “I’ll end up in a better place.”  But I had to let go of the free ride to embark upon a route that led to everything the natural world held in store for me.  Nature has a way of kicking our butts if taps on the shoulder don’t work. Nature can change everything for the good, if only we change our nature and follow the breadcrumbs


Cuteness overload, Miss Purple,
from Ellie J’s first litter

Well, this month my wine-down time is a little different. It’s actually the calm before the storm here, as I have a litter of pups due on Monday!

So excited!

Yep, this doesn’t exactly seem like a relaxing endeavor. My friend was saying, “This is how you relax…?!”

Well, kinda! It’s insane and hectic but oh, how I love Labrador puppies! Hopefully a week from now I’ll be hanging out in the box with blessed babies, drinking in all that wonderful puppy breath.

This will be Ellie J’s second (and last) litter. Ellie J had nice Specialty wins during her show career, and I just adore her! We’re supposed to be having a small litter, although she’s bigger than expected. But that’s a really good thing, as she had 13 puppies last time. And we raised all 13! She bounced back fine but it liked to killed me 😊. Mr. Green, our chief Bluebonnet Book Giveaway selector of winners, came from that litter.

So smaller in this case is definitely better!
  Excited and nervous and trying to rest up, as once babies arrive, not much rest will be had. I live with them for the first 3 weeks or so.

Photo Courtesy of Red Caboose Winery

And now and then, wine will be involved! Excited to be getting my Red Caboose wine-club shipment for the celebration. Love their wines, and it’ll arrive about the time I’ve actually slept and taken a breath 😊

Wish us luck!


Do you have a novel in you waiting to come out? Or one in the process? If so, Story Structure is a lot to wrap your head around. But all successful novels adhere to one set of parameters or another.

Every day while book editing, I help writers figure out not only how to make their books the best they can be, but also to find where they “fit” in the business as a whole.

Let’s make that simple!

1. The Milieu Story
The world is the thing.

This is world building at its finest, most often seen in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Rather than spending much up-front time in the character’s “real world,” and especially not creating how he got to be the person he is, we’re plunked smack dab into this new and crazy place.

2. The Idea Story
New information, new discoveries, new ways of seeing the world is the thing.

Mysteries follow this structure. The who and the why of the thing form the point here, as the what opens the novel. With a mystery novel, the murder needs to happen to begin (editors love on page 1). We know what happened, and the rest of the book digs into whodunit and what was the motive.

3. The Character Story
The personal transformation of the main character is the thing.

Now, all effective heroes grow and change through the course of any novel. But in character stories, such is the main point.

4. The Event Structure
A world event is the thing.

Event stories happen with, well, an event! The world has been knocked off its axis, and things are terribly wrong.  So wrong that without some heroic intervention, the whole thing may just blow up into one big mess.
Understanding, and being able to use, story structure frees you to let your creativity soar. Take a deeper look here!




We are excited to announce our holiday promotion planned for this December.  The 12 Days of Texmas ® will feature a giveaway-a-day for 12 days. The grand prize winner will receive all 12 gifts–one of each of the items given away—personally selected by Susan.     

More details coming soon! So stay tuned, tell your friends, and get ready to enter and have some fun!


In Words from a Friend, Virginia, “Jinny” Tell talked about the change in seasons and the beauty it brings both in life, and in landscapes. lists seven beautiful locations to view fall colors in Texas, which you can find here.

Below is a larger image of Garner State Park, shown in Jinny’s story, along with information on the park

 is one of the most beautiful places in the Lone Star State. That is certainly true in the fall, as the cypress, oak, mesquite, and persimmon trees adopt various breathtaking shades of red, orange, and yellow. Immerse yourself in all of Garner’s glorious fall colors when you explore its 11 miles of hiking trails. For the most jaw-dropping view, or a great spot to take an amazing photo, head to the scenic overlook where you can see the tree-covered countryside and the Frio River. Once you’ve gotten all tuckered out, pitch a tent at one of the park’s campsites or spend the night in a cozy cabin equipped with a kitchen, shower, and all the other comforts of home. Wake up the next morning and you can take it all in again. Garner State Park With its majestic limestone bluffs and the pristine flowing water of the Frio River,

The Colors You’ll See: Orange, Red, and Yellow
Varieties of Trees: Cypress, Oak, Mesquite, and Persimmon
Best Time to Go: Late October
Region: Hill Country

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