This post by Gayle M. Irwin
The first half of 2017 ends in a few short days – how is it possible that six months of this year now wanes? However possible, the conclusion of the first six month is upon us. What have we, as writers, accomplished from January through June?
For me, I’ve written and published a new children’s book: A Kind Dog Named Mary. Released in time for Children’s Book Week, observed in May, I was blessed to read the book during three events that week and stock it in a few stores in Wyoming and Montana for the summer tourist season as well as sell a few copies to libraries and bookstores in my region as well as to friends who support my writing endeavors. I’ve also written a few magazine articles, with more forthcoming that I’ve worked on. And, a story I submitted to Chicken Soup for the Soul, titled “Jasmine’s Journey,” was accepted and will be featured as one of the 101 stories about rescue dogs in The Dog Really Did That?, scheduled for release August 8.
So, what are the plans for the next six months? What’s the next chapter for my writing?
I’m in the process of completing the next installment of the Mary-dog series called A Town Dog Named Mary Visits a Ranch, which I hope to have published by summer’s end. I plan on another Mary book before the holidays: A Dog Named Mary Visits Yellowstone. I decided to create a trilogy of Mary-dog books and have the books available as a set for the Christmas season. I need to complete the Ranch book and will write and publish the Yellowstone book this fall. I also plan to continue writing the pet rescue romance but have put it and the children’s pet rescue book on hold (as far as completion) until next year. I also have a few more magazine articles assigned that are due in the late summer and early fall, so those, and the Mary books, will be my focus the rest of the summer and into the fall.
I also have some events lined up, including participating in a book signing for the book They Served with Honor: Vietnam. The book is being created with the stories I and other Wyoming writers created for the Casper Star Tribune/Casper Journal over a two-year period. A special signing for the veterans and their families will be held the morning of July 15 and a public reception/signing takes place that afternoon. I don’t know how many of my stories are part of the book collection, but I wrote 12 to 15 during that two-year project. I’ll also be participating in a program and booksigning at the Johnson County Library in Buffalo, Wyoming on Friday, August 25 alongside two other children’s authors, both part of the Wyoming Writers, Inc., group and both friends of mine. I also have a speaking engagement and booksigning lined up for Saturday, Sept. 30, celebrating October’s Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, stressing the importance of pet adoption and the important role pets play in people’s lives.
So, the next chapter of the year 2017 for me appears to be quite busy already, and there will likely be more events and opportunities to speak and sign books as the months progress.
Just like the books we write, we have chapters in our lives. We can look at years as chapters, either each month a new chapter, each quarter a new chapter, or each half-year a new chapter…. and within those chapters are plans, hopes, challenges, joys, disappointments and dreams, just like our characters experience. Perhaps that’s why we are writers – we experience life and we showcase that in our stories. And we captivate our readers with each chapter.
What about you? How has the first installment of this year panned out? Do you have writing projects in the works? What’s the second chapter of 2017 look like for you?
Gayle M. Irwin is an award-winning Wyoming author and freelance writer. Her inspirational pet books for children and adults teach valuable life lessons, such as courage, perseverance, and friendship. She is a contributing writer to magazines and newspapers, including pet stories in the Colorado-based Prairie Times, and her short story about a rescue dog, titled Jasmine’s Journey, will appear in the August Chicken Soup for the Soul release called The Dog Really Did That? This will be her seventh contribution to the Chicken Soup series. Learn more about Gayle and her work at www.gaylemirwin.com.