Tag Archives: Tim L. O’Brien

Appreciating Our Precious Gifts!

Hi Everyone!


What’s that smell?

Wait just a moment while I open up a window in here to let some fresh air in so that we can all breathe. There, that’s much better! Can you feel it? Can you feel that fresh salt infused ocean breeze from the Pacific rolling over the page?
Ah, yes…Refreshing!

Don’t mind the surfer. He’s just playing around in my backyard. 🙂

Now where was I?

Oh yes, that’s what happens when you get sick and leave a blog unattended. Things around here got mighty stagnant over the last couple weeks. Silence blazed through the pages of this ghost-like blog leaving it shattered in quiet desolation in the blogosphere. Why I’m still cleaning up all the cobwebs and dust bunnies.

Yet, with all the talk and the worry while I was away, life went on. You all kept connected, busy with your blogs, tweeting and posting on Facebook with others. I on the other hand felt like I was locked away in a cold dark dungeon and was finally set free to wreak havoc see the light. And what do I find? Myndi Shafer had her baby girl minus a gall bladder, August McLaughlin sang on her blog with a guitar (very nice by the way) and Tim L. O’Brien posted on his blog.

Say what? Tim’s blogging again? Is this still the year 2012? 🙂

When you’re forced into solitary confinement, a la infection, you make a choice as to how you might spend your days. At first you are too sick to care. Then as time wears on, you make a conscience choice: do you wallow in self-pity and depression or will you look at things in a more positive way.

I was inspired by all the wonderful encouraging posts that my dear WANA friends wrote while I was incarcerated. Because of weakness I left very few comments, but yes, be assured, I did read them. What a fine group of talented people who are willing to share a part of their lives, their world, their dreams or a splice of nature —a part of their many precious gifts.

Then I thought about how outstanding and versatile we all are and just how much our many differences make up the truly magnificent world that we live in. Some have a gift with an ear to hear and compose whimsical music. Some have a gift with an eye to see images capturing them in photos and canvasses. Some have a gift with a nose to smell and develop seductive scents and fragrances. Some have a gift of taste with a talent for preparing delectable dishes. Some have a gift with a mind able to calculate astonishing logical equations. And then there are those who have the unique capability to harness all those senses to create bright new worlds to share with the rest mankind.

Ah yes, the writer.

And for this, I am forever grateful. Grateful because if not for the writer and my new found love for my kindle, I would’ve completely lost my mind! Instead, I was able to indulge myself through the passage of wonderful stories. Stories that took me to another world, to far away places. First I spent time on a farm in northern Florida and then in a small country town in South Carolina. Then I found myself stranded on a deserted island to be finally rescued by helicopter after nearly drowning in a historical tsunami. Whew, that was a close call!

Not to mention all the new releases on Amazon over the past recent weeks from all my multi talented WANA friends. And I’m afraid that I may have missed some of them. So because I appreciate all your many precious gifts, here’s what I would like you to do. In the comment section below, please leave the name of your present novel and a brief description of your latest endeavor so that none of you will be missed. And just to even the score, let’s open this thing up to everyone, whether you’re writing a first draft or for those of you who have already published a novel.

Let’s have some fun with this. We’re all anxious to know what you’ve been working on! You all deserve the recognition! So bring it on and let’s appreciate our many precious gifts!

So what do you think? Did you miss me? It’s okay, lie if you have to! LOL! I missed all of you! 🙂

Would you like to see more great posts like you saw today? Then I encourage you to go now! Run up to the top right hand side of the page and click on the Follow button to receive your personal copy of future posts!!!!

Thank you everyone for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments! 🙂


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Row80: Kicking and Screaming!

The dreaded check-in
Okay, I thought before Jenny Hansen comes over here and grabs me by the throat that I would kick my own butt in gear and get my Row80 post up!

Well, let’s take a look at how I did last week…

It was not a pretty picture. In fact I don’t know why I am bothering with this because last week was absolutely crazy. And for those of you that know me, Hubby had surgery at the beginning of the week, which was no small task and that threw the whole week off, though not completely.

Shall we take a peak? Although seriously, it’s not worth looking at. But here it goes…

Goals for Round 1:
1- Work on my current WIP five days a week.
Uh, nope. No surprise there. I could not mentally get into it. I was zapped.
2- Check in with Donna Newton at WWBC once a week.
Donna was in L.A. and then I was busy with Hubby.
3- Participate in my online class to help authors balance writing and business with Bob Mayer.
Aha! This I did participate in and turned in my assignment as well. 
4- Blog at least once a week.
Well what do you know? Yep, I posted. And what a wonderful guest post by Tim L. O’Brien. It was an awesome piece of writing. Great job Tim. Thank you!
5- Visit and support 5 bloggers per day.
Check. Believe it or not, I did find time for that. Just don’t ask me how I did it. And yet again I found some wonderful blog posts too!
6- Tweet at least once per day.
Check. Did that more than once. How did I do that? All I can say is that from the start of this, my intention is to support others!
7- Exercise on my elliptical twice a week.
Well, uh…Nada. That didn’t happen either. There simply wasn’t any time and I was pooped.

So now I’m looking forward to a fresh new start to this week!

Whew, okay I did it. That wasn’t really so bad. And I’m not alone. There are others that are right beside me to help me along the way. So that I don’t irritate my wonderful supportive subscribers, feel free to delete my ROW80 posts if they start to irritate you. They probably won’t be all that interesting, unless…

Unless I can temp you all to join us over at the party at ROW80! Feel free to jump in anytime. See you there! 

So what do you think? How did I do? I wasn’t able to meet all my goals, but are you all still behind me? Can I still count on your support?

Awe, thanks guys! I knew I could count on you!


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Guest Post by Tim L. O’Brien

 I am honored that Tim O’Brien has agreed to be my guest today because I admire his writing and thought you’d like to know a little more about the man whose been causing all that “Static in the Airwaves” in the blogosphere recently.

Now he’s not to be confused with THE Tim O’Brien, the award-winning multi-published author and the Grammy award-winning bluegrass musician that goes by the very same name—although I hear he likes to sing in the shower.

Please don’t sing for us today, okay Tim? Thank you.

What he does admit to being is a Jack-of-all-trades and master of none…

Hmm maybe. Maybe not.

So what are a few things that make Tim O’Brien the man that he truly is?

Though Tim was born and raised in Houston, Texas he now resides near his Alma Mater, the University of Oklahoma. Go Sooners! There he received his degree in Journalism and is currently in pursuit of his Masters in Professional writing, that is when he’s not working, writing on his novels, or playing Mr. Mom to his ten year old son and his nine year old daughter.

He is also the proud father of two grown daughters, one married, both in college, while he himself just got married within the last couple of years. So all together there are three boys and three girls which makes them, as Tim put it, the real life Brady bunch, minus Alice.

Whew, did I get that right Tim? You are one busy man!

Yet besides his family and his strong desire to write, the closest thing to Tim’s heart is an isolated stretch of land along the Rio Grande called El Indio. There is where he feels most at peace and in isolation. And there is where Tim spent a week of vacation with his wife and children on his family’s full working cattle ranch, which sounds just about perfect.

Uh-oh, I hear more Static in the Airwaves. It must be Tim. Oh, hi Tim!

Hi Karen.

Take it away Tim!

Thank you Karen.

Hello everybody!

Ever since Karen asked me to write a post for her blog several weeks ago, she and I have sent messages back and forth about what I should write.

Until she asked me to write about this…

Hunting…For a Novel Idea

The first golden rays of the sunrise wouldn’t appear for another hour or so. We sat in muted silence, slightly shivering, and waited. We leaned against each other for comfort and added warmth, fighting the urge to close our eyes and grab an additional hour of sleep while waiting for the morning sun to illuminate our surroundings.

Sitting on the frost-covered ground nestled amongst mesquite trees and thorny brush gives your mind plenty of time to think and second-guess your decisions. Why in the world am I getting up at 5:30 in the morning while on vacation? At this precise moment in time that warm bed sounds much better than trying to remain completely still and quiet in the darkness.

The sacrifices we make to pursue our dreams and hobbies.

On this particular morning, I was sitting with my ten-year-old son not far from the banks of the Rio Grande River. We had spotted a big, mature whitetail buck several days ago and we were in hot pursuit.

Waiting for the sunrise gives your mind plenty of time to wander. I thought about ideas for my blog. I thought about the novel I’m working on and played out the next scene in my mind. I wanted to shut my mind off work and enjoy the moment with my son, and appreciate the great outdoors when I realized that hunting and writing are very similar in approach.

I’ve always felt that one of the most overlooked aspects of good writing is the writer’s power of observation and ability to pay attention to everything that surrounds us. The smallest of details can make the biggest of impacts.

Those details give the writer a time and place—a setting. Some writers like James Lee Burke are so talented at setting that it becomes a character in the book. Burke is so adept at description you can almost smell the salt-water air and feel the rain as you read about the world surrounding his fictional character Dave Robicheaux amongst the swamps and bayous in Louisiana.

Michael Connelly is another extremely talented writer who uses his setting—in the case of the novels featuring detective Harry Bosch—Los Angeles as a major character in his story. You can feel the smog drip off every page.

To be a successful hunter it is imperative that you pay attention to the same details. We had been following this buck’s track in the sandy soil and searched the brush for ‘rubs’ or ‘scrapes’ which a buck will do to mark his territory. Not unlike your pet dog and a fire hydrant. We needed to be aware of wind direction, time of sunrise and sunset, temperatures, and even the moon conditions from the previous night. We examined food plots and sources of water.

Slowly, we were able to determine the roaming radius of this buck and his likely pattern of travel. Using all of our clues we determined that the densely covered brush area, where we sat that early morning, could possibly place us in proximity to our goal. Let’s call this the research before beginning the novel.

Before any novel begins we must have some vague idea of the plot, a starting point—a plan.

The following quote if from James Scott Bell’s book Plot & Structure. “A plot is about a Lead character who has an objective, something crucial to his well-being. The major portion of plot is the confrontation with the opposition, a series of battles over the objective. This is resolved in a knockout ending, an outcome that satisfies the story questions and the readers.”

As the sun began to rise and our surroundings became more visible we began to detect an increase in activity. We could hear movement in the brush. Time for a little call and response. I picked up our rattling horns and began to simulate two bucks fighting over a doe. The thrashing of the antlers broke the morning silence. In less than a minute we had a buck come charging into our sights, his nose dripping and mouth frothing. His intention was to steal the doe while the two bucks continued to fight. Unfortunately, he was not the buck we were in search of.

We continued our call and response and I began to think back on one of my favorite books on writing by Jack M. Bickham, titled Scene and Structure. His chapter and explanation on stimulus and response is the best I have ever read.

We continued to rattle the horns (stimulus) and several more bucks came charging in towards us (response), but these were younger bucks and not the monster we were in search of.

Undeterred we moved spots, but again no luck. Time was running out on our vacation and hunting opportunities. The following morning we were scheduled to make the ten-hour drive back home.

That final evening we set out on foot, changing our tactics slightly, and moved into another area. The rut was on and our trophy buck was chasing does, making his behavioral patterns more erratic. This was our last chance. Make or break time, and time was running short.

And like any good novel our trip concluded on a happy note. The protagonist overcame several obstacles and setbacks for an outcome that satisfied both father and son.

I wish you all the best as you hunt for your novel ideas!


Thank you for having me here today Karen!

No, thank you Tim!

That was an awesome example and we wish you the best of success with your novel writing!

So what do you think? What methods do you take to capture an idea for your novels? What kind of hours do you keep? Do your ideas keep you up late at night, or are you awakened before dawn’s light with thoughts and dreams from your wildest imagination? If they do, then you deserve a trophy from all of your fine efforts!

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Thank you for your many thoughts and fine comments everyone!


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