The Next Chapter

Gayle_Cheyenne bookstoreThis 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.

Mary book cover    Chicken Soup book_Dog Really Did That_2017

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 & Mary outsideGayle 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


Mary book cover   cody-cabin-cover2    SageBigAdventureFront-smallbookcover_tail-tales_front-cover   Walking_FrontCover_small   Chicken Soup book_Dog Really Did That_2017   Chicken Soup_DogDidWhat_Cover   Spirit of America book

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13 Responses to The Next Chapter

  1. Doris says:

    I am always in awe of the discipline you have and the work you offer the world. I’m lucky to get a couple of short stories out. But I keep trying. *Smile*.

    Here’s to a great next chapter in your writing life, may it continue to grow and bring you joy. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gayle Irwin says:

      Thank you, Doris — I truly appreciate your kind words! I took some time off the past few days, and as I have the week off during 4th of July, I look forward to cabin and writing time, now that I’m a bit rested and ready to jump into “the next chapter!” 🙂 I appreciate you reading and commenting on my post.


  2. Barb says:

    Very nice and very thoughtful. I enjoyed the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think my next project will be a collection of short stories I started working on last year before My Ideal Partner was published ahead of schedule. However, I’ve been so busy with blog posts and other obligations that I don’t know when I’ll get to it. There’s no rush, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gayle Irwin says:

      That sounds like a great project, Abbie, and a very worthy pursuit! Just carving a bit of time out here and there helps, as I’ve learned with two projects I’m working on — the children’s dog rescue book and the pet rescue romance novel. Sometimes writing comes easily, other times it doesn’t: I believe our writing “births” when it’s supposed to, just like babies. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my post. Best to you in all your endeavors!


  4. Wranglers says:

    My next big project is closing my sister’s estate, entertaining friends, spending time at the fair with grandchildren–then unpacking all the genealogy I’m bringing home. Congrats on all your writing achievements and successes! So happy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gayle Irwin says:

      Thanks, Neva, for your kind words. I know you’ve been very busy and have much more to do; working with an estate, especially one like yours, is time-consuming. I do hope, though, as I mentioned in a comment on your blog, that you will take some time to rest; there’s a lot for you to take in and spending time resting and reflecting will certainly be beneficial to your emotional and physical health. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment on my post. Hugs!


  5. Mike Staton says:

    The first 6 months of 2017 have been good to me. My publisher likes my Civil War novel and agreed to publish it. The debut date is October 1. I’ve outlined book 2 and am now writing it. Just started working on chapter 12.


  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    You’ve worked amazingly hard this last six months and have a lot to show for it- well done! My six month goal posts for writing keep being moved backwards on a swiftly and ever receding pitch. My main achievement since the New Year has been to make contact (a few times) with other Scottish authors face to face at get-together meetings, Literary Salons and a Conference.


  7. Wranglers says:

    You go girl. You have done so much since thou came into my life. Congrats on all.


  8. S. J. Brown says:

    Wow,you really do keep busy. I managed to get the launch team together for the book my sister and I co authored. We have kept them busy with excerpts from the book and questions . I have submitted the manuscript to several agents and publishers and plan to submit to more. I have completed the first half of my follow up book and plan to finish it by the end of the year. Of course I have been traveling and taking photos, and planting trees with a local group. Jay and I have also worked on the house a bit and have plans to complete a few more projects before the end of the year. But compared to you I am standing still.


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