Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dear Friend dies...What do you think?

My dearest friend and secret mentor for years has passed from this world to the next. Not only is he gone, but all his writing has gone with him. Unfortunately this happens a lot. I'm thinking about putting together some sort of literary legacy database where relatives can put up their deceased relative stories for eternity. Any one have ideas?
My friend had written a comprehensive political treatise on Chinese history, and also gripping stories from a WWII memorial he was putting together. Both pieces of work are but a small slice of Walter Gourley's work which lay undone. What a waste to humanity.
He will be missed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Still Waiting 

I know and you know that I've been writing a historical fiction novel for years. What you don't know is how hard it is to get any tangible pieces of the characters I'm writing about.
Not to mention the court documents, I'm talking here about trying to  find relatives who may have photos of their great-great-great grandpa, etc., the person whom you are writing about. For years I've  tried to get one particular descendant to share some photos that she says she has of my main character Thomas Rose Whitcher and his wife Phoebe Elizabeth Smith. Finally I asked the relative if I could have the address of the woman who says that she has the photos. Anyway, jump to the end, I'm still waiting.
The relative did say that she got the letter and would be sending me some stuff, but it wouldn't be until after the holidays. Today is Feb. 14. The holidays are behind us forever. I know this because I have kids. And I'm still waiting for those photos.......
Any ideas on how to sweeten the deal?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

This is the original jail in Salinas built in 1878. It housed six prisoners!
I've been researching a family named Whitcher for a historical novel. Just the other day I located this jail in which the patriarch of the family, Thomas, spent six months! Not only that, but his son, who attempted to shoot him, would have been housed here too. One side is about 10 by 10 feet. The other is about 10 by 5 feet. The only separation between the cells is a piece of wood! 
In our modern world it is unimaginable, even inhumane, to imagine holding people in such a place for an extended period of time. 
If you look super close, you will see a horseshoe over the left cell pointed down. The normal way to put up horse shoes for luck is to put the shoe facing up, like the letter "U." This is to keep the luck in, but in this case, with the horse shoe upside down, it must mean that the person's luck had run out!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I recently put together a collection of stories for my biggest fan. My daughter painted the cover. Tell me what you think. Thumbs up?

Friday, December 14, 2012

I just discovered a great new tool for people who love to read (and writers too) called GoodReads.
If you've read East Garrison, for example, you can set up a free account and write a review about it, or any other book they have that you've read and want to shout out something about it. Check it out:

Stay warm, healthy, and happy this cold season, and always. Happy reading!

Best wishes,

G.M., AKA Pen Gwyn 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The process of getting my short stories up is working, albeit slowly. Readers can now go to KOBO.COM and download all the shorts I've been trying to get up for my readers. Two of them are even free. My web master has gotten my new cover  and 2nd edition of East Garrison up at Kindle (Amazon) for just $3.49, which I think is well worth it to see the photos, map, and new chapter about mountain lions. I'd love any feedback too.
Gotta go help with fixing Thanksgiving now,  but I'd rather be writing...
Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's interesting how most people, when asked what they'd like to do in their life, will often say "write a book." I'm in a writer's group and do a lot of reading and critiquing of my fellow group members' work. Sometimes that means reading 50 pages; sometimes it means reading 500 pages. I often get frustrated with this task, although I know it makes me a better writer because to be a good writer means reading and writing every day. But there's more to it than that. Lots more.
I think most people don't realize that writing is just a part, and a small part, of building a writing life. My stories are available at least at 11 different sites, and they're all different in their requirements for reviewing books (long and short stories). For example, if someone reviews one of my stories at Barnes and Noble, that review doesn't transfer over to the other 10 places (or more) it's available for sale. Plus, you must buy the story first before reviewing it. So, if you've read one of my stories already, say you bought it at one of my book events and decide to review it some time later on another site (where you didn't purchase it), you can't. 
Some sites have great review programs that are easy to rate with stars, such as, but they have another huge process for getting reviews and critiques through a program called Goodreads. This kind of stuff makes the promotional aspect of being a writer pretty challenging, not to mention time consuming. I end up spending more time promoting than writing...and that isn't a good thing.
I hope you'll take the time to write a review or rate my stories with stars whenever possible. I know it takes up your precious time, but it's enormously helpful for writers trying to live the writing life. I noticed at Kobo that all the best selling books have numerous ratings and reviews.
Thanks in advance for those who rate and review my stories. 
Regarding this post's title, I'm encouraged by the number of downloads of my two free stories "Hope Janitorial" and "The Rationale," but I have so much more to do to promote my writing and at the same time continue to write my second novel. A final FYI, I'm almost done with book number two. :-)