THE END

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” THE END by THE BEATLES…..
At 12:10 a.m. this morning I wrote “THE END” on the first complete draft of Dawn and Mateo Two Moon’s eternal love story, including a beautiful epilogue. I’m still on a high over finally finishing something I started two years ago. I love both of these characters so much! I’m on vacation on the East Coast until Tuesday, but when I return home to Colorado, we are going to plan one heck of an “THE END” cyber party for next weekend on my Facebook and Twitter pages, because as you all know, until recently switching genres was really difficult for me. But, oh baby, I’m into writing about sexy vampires now – forever…and even that is not long enough!

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MISSING CHRIS LEDOUX

Chris Ledoux“Glam Rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock and Kid Rock.”   That would be my answer if you asked me to list my favorite types of music.   Of course, take me out to hear live music and I’m not too picky.   I love the thrill of seeing and hearing musicians in person, especially if it’s in an outdoor setting.  Music has always been an immensely important part of my life for as far back as I can remember.

In the late 1960’s I was madly in love with groups like The Beatles, The Stones, The Animals, The Doors, and forever in love with Elvis.   I wore miniskirts and go-go boots and my mom and I never missed an episode of Hullabaloo or American Bandstand.   I wanted to hitch-hike to Woodstock from Colorado to New York in ’69 even though I was barely more than a baby.   Truth!  Thanks to my family, I discovered my love of music before I had even started school.

The 70’s found me getting down to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Aerosmith and Kiss.  I wore Granny Dresses, huge bell bottomed jeans, tube tops, and discovered my life-long love affair with stylish cowboy boots.

But, the eighties, those fabulous eighties will always be my favorite decade of all.  Poison,  Bon Jovi,  Motley Crue, Twisted Sister,  Cinderella, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Tesla, Scorpions, this list could go on and on and on.   My fashion tastes ranged from massive shoulder pads, legwarmers and fingerless gloves to parachute pants and jellies.   Bring back the eighties!

So how is it that Chris LeDoux, rodeo champion cowboy from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and all American Country Western songwriter and musician, is the greatest music inspiration in my life?   My love and appreciation for Chris and his music began the first time I saw him play live at our local small-town rodeo back in the early 80’s, and it will never end.   Maybe my upbringing had something to do with it.   My dad is an old rodeo cowboy.   I grew up listening to stories about Cowboys and Indians, the Old West, and the cowboy way of life.   We lived that life, too.   Every Friday night my parents hosted a sing-a-long at our house where friends and family would pile into our living room or out in the back yard with every sort of instrument imaginable and just play and sing until the wee hours of the morning.   The songs they performed were always Country.   I knew and sang every word of every song, in spite of my love for the wilder rock genre of music.  I guess I’ll always be a bit of a cowgirl at heart.

When I started writing Historical Romances way back in the 1980’s, I realized I couldn’t write unless I had music playing, and that hasn’t changed.   However, most of the headbanging songs I listened to then, and even now, aren’t all that inspiring for the types of books I write about romance and the adventure of the Old West.   But on a warm summer night under the star-lit Colorado sky so many years ago, I heard a young Chris LeDoux singing his songs about the legends of the West.   Magic happened.   For over thirty years, his songs have been a constant inspiration for me when I’m writing.  After that night, I never missed a chance to see him in concert as his music career achieved more recognition.   I even gave him an autographed copy of my very first book, TEXAS ROSE, and told him how much his music influenced my writing.

Chris LeDoux lost his battle with cancer in March of 2005.  But, for those of us who were so deeply affected by his music his legacy lives on forever.   Most people don’t even know who he was, but if you have ever read any of my Western romances, you might hear the distant whispers of his influence in my words.

Even now that I’m switching genres from Western to Paranormal Romance there are certain songs that must be playing when I’m writing certain types of scenes, and I’d like to share them with you here:

For the never-ending turmoil that must be a part of all good love stories, this song is the one that must be playing while I write about the conflict trying to prevent the hero and the heroine from being together for all eternity.   Of course, you have to know I love this video, too…Cowboys and Indians.   Sigh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWR7ILg75D4  Tougher Than The Rest

No love scene in any of my books has ever been written unless this song was playing in the background.  Yes, I love this video, too.  I had a lace dress just like the one the girl is wearing in this video back in the 90’s, and Chris is so gorgeous in this video.   Double sigh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSBH6bTZPro  Look At You Girl

And, last but not least, all great Western romances need for the hero to ride off into the sunset, at least for a little while, until he comes to his senses and realizes he needs more than his horse to snuggle up to at night.  I can’t tell you how many scenes I’ve written with this song playing over and over again on the stereo.    In the manuscript I’m working on now, my vampire hero drives off in his big Ford truck as he agonizes over his hopeless love for a human woman.  Of course, this song was playing while I wrote that scene.   Chris’ songs cross all genres, because the deep meaning is always there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkN3smeaVDw  Riding For A Fall

So, if you see me driving down the street, you can rest assured I’m headbanging to some old 80’s metal song, or rocking out to Kid Rock on my car stereo.   Chris LeDoux songs are special;  they need to be listened to with candles burning, a glass of wine, and inspiration lighting my imagination.

ART HARDER

rock onI experienced a devastating disappointment this weekend.  Disappointing only to me because it was very personal, and to just about everyone else would seem seriously petty in the big scheme of life.  Even I was becoming disgusted at myself for acting like the end of the world was here because I didn’t get to attend an event 1700 miles from my home.

As I was in the middle of my emotional meltdown over missing something that was deeply important to me—and will never happen again—I also realized there are very few people who would understand the way I was feeling or even the way live my life these days.  I felt very much alone.  Oh sure, the minutia is there for all the world to see on my Facebook posts, Twitter or Blog, but I only allow the deep intense stuff to surface occasionally, and every time it does, I end up regretting it.  If I have learned one important thing; it’s don’t ever whine about your life on social media unless you want to be reminded of how lucky you are, which I do remind myself of every single day.  This weekend I just wanted to have a big ole pity party and invite everyone who would feel my pain, even if it would have seemed silly and frivolous to most.  Sometimes, I just need to have a virtual hug or kick in the butt, and a falling down drunken cyber-party with my peeps.  Kapish?

So, after being pretty much of a hot mess all weekend, and listening to this song ‘Down’ over and over again, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGVhhdBhiqM, I think I’m coming out on the other side of this huge disappointment with a huge new resolve.  I’m going to ‘art harder’, thank you to my new kick-me-in-my-butt blogger and literary hero, Delilah S. Dawson, for this phrase.  For me, it means I’m going to finish this book that I’ve been whining about, and working on for the past two years, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make it the best thing I’ve ever written because I am never again going to miss out on something I desperately want because of stupid mistakes I’ve made in the past.

So, here’s to pity parties (real and cyber), well-meaning friends who remind me how fortunate I am (thank you), and most of all, to the very few friends who really do ‘get me’, and to ‘art harder’.  Now, let’s get ‘Down’ and rock on…

MATEO TWO MOONS

I’ve been trying to write this book for two torturous years. Never would I have imaged switching genres from Western Romance to Paranormal Romance would be so difficult for me. I’ve felt defeated numerous times, and wondered on many occasions if my writing days were finished because this story was just so hard for me to write. At least three times I’ve deleted every single word of this manuscript and started over again. Each time I have changed almost everything about the story line, except for one thing…Mateo Two Moons. Since the very first moment I decided to write this Paranormal book, this mysterious immortal man has haunted my mind and soul. I know everything about him intimately and I just had to find a way to tell his story. At long last, Mateo’s story is finally turning out the way I always hoped it would. I wish I didn’t have to work a ‘real’ job or sleep or do anything other than finish writing this book, because I’m truly living my character’s lives right now. Dawn and Mateo are all I can think about during every waking hour lately. It’s been a very long time since I have felt this passionate about my writing, but of course, I also have less time to write these days than ever before because of my crazy busy life. Today, in an unexpected flash, while I was doing routine accounting at the ‘real’ job, a new and perfect title for this book came to me. But, I’m going to keep that a secret for now and continue to use Savage Bite as the ‘working title’. I can’t wait to write ‘The End’ because I just realized Mateo’s story is only the beginning.Image