Saturday, August 6, 2011

Welcome to my World, aka. Mini-autobiography

I grew up on the South Plains, in the northwest portion of West Texas, on the flat table-top Caprock, where the sky looked like a big blue bowl turned upside down on a sea of green cotton or brown plowed dirt. There’s something sacred about it, holding the clean, pure air and sky and land in my heart.
It was the best of times, “the Nifty Fifties", labeled conservative, a classic American era, in which all was right in our country. But the entire population was in the throes of dying innocence, with Elvis, the Hydrogen bomb, the McCarthy hearings, and Marilyn Monroe leading us along. America would never be the same again.
And so in the sixties, the social revolution began. Young men burned their draft cards and young women burned their bras.
Well, I didn't have a draft card, and my bra wasn't big enough to make much of a flame…so I put my two young children with a babysitter, and began college…at age 27.

I married very young. My husband and I took turns going to college for degrees. He earned two, and then it was my turn, back and forth, all the time raising our kids and working, too. Between us, we have five degrees—but I'm not the one with the doctorate.
Thank God for the G.I. Bill.

My life is divided into clear-cut sections. Now? I'm in a wonderful place, where I can "do my own thing." I learned to play golf first, and for years competed for quarters and sometimes a little trophy. Then, due to odd circumstances, I quit golf and took up writing stories. That was in 2004.
I'd like to invite you into my world, where I live and write novels. This place is in Central Texas, and even though we're in a drought right now, I won't live anyplace else. Why? Because it's home, and I feel tied to it just as I did the High Plains.
We live in a big subdivision, which was divided into three-acres plots about forty years ago. My desk sits beside a window so I can look through the sceened-in porch and out the back and watch all kinds of wildlife meander to the bird bath and water bucket.
This is the screened-in porch. Some of the deer, like this doe and her twin walk right up to the back door, knowing that's where that human appears with water, and sometimes vegetable peelings, stale bread, and cantaloupe rinds or banana peelings.
A red fox sneaks up early in the mornings and drinks from the bucket. Then she scurries away toward the back.
My back "yard" resembles typical ranchland around here—live oaks intermingled with a few mesquites and sometimes the juniper (misnamed cedar), which sucks up water ten times more than any other tree. We cut those down.
While I look out on what was once a ranch, I daydream about our pioneers who settled Texas 150 years ago or more. This photo is one of my ancestors. In this beautiful picture, taken around 1840, she is 16 years old, dressed up for her portrait. People like her inspire me to write Western Historical romances.

Two of my books: The Cameron Sisters


These are the last of the Camerons of Texas series. Please leave a comment to enter a drawing for one of these novels.
Thank you for visiting….
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. You definitely have a touch of heaven where you live, Celia. It absolutely gorgeous and I can see how in itspires you to write your great westerns. We had twin fawns romping in our back yard an hour ago - even though they eat my hubby's plants, they still are exciting to watch.

    The photo of your ancestor is so pretty. Her dress is quite something - did she come from a wealthy family? We could always tell by the clothes and bows in my grandma's photos as to how well her father was doing financially.

    I loved getting to know you. You had a great idea to do these bios even if I did kick dirt at the beginning. :)

  2. I love your world, Celia. Thank you so much for inviting me in to "sit a spell" and visit. We're kindred souls, loving the visiting wildlife in our backyards and feeling a connection to the land. Reading your post, I remembered the happy years my family and I lived in San Angelo, TX and get a bit misty-eyed. Thanks so much, my friend, for the stroll down memory lane.

  3. Hi Celia,
    I really enjoyed reading your
    "Welcome to my World". It brings back pleasant memories of when we went to school together. I remember the cotton and grain growing on my Dad's farms. What great times we had in our youth.
    I am so happy that your life has turned out so inspiring and that you have the talent to write such great novels.
    I enjoyed seeing your pictures of the area where you live. My husband and I also live in a small subdivision (in North Texas) that is divided into 2-5 acres surrounded by beautiful horse ranches.
    It is great that both our lives
    have been so rewarding and so blessed. Keep writing so we can all keep reading your works.

    Joyce Kimbrough Steagall

  4. Paisley--thanks for opening our blog party with your wonderful post--it was very popular.
    I'm glad you like my home--it's very quiet out here, and we love that.

    We are seeing a deer explosion this summer--on a regular basis in previous years, we'd see no more than 8-9 at once, but noe--more than that. And Fawns? One evening last week there were 7 fawns with their mamas playing under Big Oak.

    The photo of my ancestor--yes, I noticed that, too, that she looked rather wealthy. In fact, if we hadn't found the date for this, we might have thought it was much more modern. The family lived around the area in North Texas.

    Thank you for reading and commenting--you're a great team member. Celia

  5. Hi Celia,

    It sounds like you have a wonderful life and live in a beautiful place. I love the deer and wildlife out your window. I'm sure the view inspires you and your Texas experiences enrich your books. I wish you more happy days in Texas and success with your writing.

  6. Celia, thank you for sharing a little more about about yourself. Sounds like you and your husband are amazingly supportive and selfless.

    I enjoyed the pics very much. I'd be inspired to write every second with a panorama like that! Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. MAEVE--it's nice once in a while to stop and look around. I often forget to appreciate what I have, and just take it for granted. I'd love to "sit a spell" with you, except right now we'd have to do that inside the house--the porch is too hot!
    Thank you for stopping by--Celia

  8. Hi, Joyce! I know just about where you live--in that North Texas horse country. I've been through that area many times, and there's nothing prettier than beautiful horse in a green field surrounded by white fences. You must have a lovely spot.
    And thank you for your encouraging words about my writing and books. Who would have thought I'd ever do something like this? I certainly didn't
    I, too, remember school so well. I loved school--hated to miss a day, and would choose to go sick than stay home.And I loved teaching,too, so, yes, I do love a classroom.
    It's so good to hear from you--thank you for visiting. Celia

  9. GAIL--yes, life is good, even with the ups and downs. I have nothing to complain about--even though I do wallow in self-pity once in a while.
    Thank you for the good wishes--Celia

  10. Hi, Evie--Yes, we do share a good partnership. Your turn, my turn. It worked for us because both of us were so education oriented. And that's strange, because neither of us came from a family that encourage college. We thought it up on our own--it became a common goal.
    Thanks for enjoying my view--right now, it's a little too dry. But still, there's enough green trees and wild shrubs.

  11. Hi Celia-- now I can picture you sitting and typing next to your window. The wild life is lovely in your neck of the wood. It reminds me of my former house in Cincinnati and the deers, birds, chimpmonks that played in my backyard. No wonder you write about Texas with so much heart.

  12. I think I'm in love with Texas (and that says a lot, coming from a Jersey girl!). Your life sounds fulfilling and wonderful. Glad you're so happy, and such a great writer!

  13. MONA- Yes, that's the scene I look at as I think and muse. My computer faces the wall, and when I need a distraction to think--I turn my head to the right and watch the birds--didn't mention all of those--and deer.
    Thank you for visiting--Celia

  14. Jennifer--you might not like it right now--it's way too hot! Still, everything in my yard is natural, so if it rains, it turns green--if it doesn't, the grass goes dormant, and we leave it that way.
    And congratulations on #1 at WCP for your new release.

  15. Celia, I have enjoyed your blog today. It's nice to be able to picture where you are when you write those emails to me! I am a porch lover myself and I'm sure you spend many happy hours there. And surely your lovely ancestor's photograph will inspire another Western romance with her as the heroine. I wonder what what her name was. Do you know? Imagine wearing an ensemble like that in Texas summers without A/C. And those were the good ole days?

  16. Celia, what a lovely view from your desk. Also, your ancestor was a beautiful woman--especially when you consider how unflattering photography of that era was. Dear almost-cousin, we have so much in common, except golf and the fact I never completed a four-year degree, just a AA. We keep water for small animals on our patio and keep the bird bath filled. Amazing how quickly the water evaporates. Loved getting to know more about you.

  17. Hi Celia,
    Enjoyed your post so much. I love your back yard! I want one like it, except here in far west Texas. I'd love to be able to talk dh into acquiring a place with a few acres. We'd need to sell our house first. Although, if I had that view, I'd never get any writing done. ;-) Here in the foothills in the city we have feathered wildlife. We keep a birdbath filled and we have fruit trees. The birds love it all. The wildest thing we've enjoyed this summer is a hawk that comes to drink from our fish pond. I have to close my blinds in order to write, or else I'd watch the birds' activities. Some neighborhoods close by have deer, but they also risk having mountain lions who follow the deer. This year is so dry that there have been many mountain lion and bob cat sitings in the neighborhoods around us.

    I have a copy of one photo of my great great grandmother who came to Texas at age 16 from Alsace Lorraine. I think the photo must be a wedding picture taken when she married a good man from Holland, so she wouldn't be sent back to Alsace to her family after her father died from a snake bite. She's wearing a simple dark dress. They're sitting close to each other. He's wearing a dark jacket. He didn't speak her language, but they managed as he learned the local language, Alsatian, in Castroville, Texas. :-) I also have a photo of my great grandmother and great grandfather, on their wedding day, and they're dressed very nicely. Her dress has rows and rows of ruffles and pleated layers of good fabric. That was in 1881. She was wearing a corset and had such a tiny waist. :-) I think she was about 18 at the time.

    Like you, I've also drawn on my ancestors' lives for inspiration for my stories.

  18. I have always loved reading about Texas and it is a place I would like to visit one day. It's nice to have some pictures to remind me of this. Celia, it looks like you have carved out quite a lovely place to live. I do like the short bits about the past. It's great to read about pioneers and imagine what life was like for them.

  19. I loved this blog, Celia. Your windows look out on such a marvelous and peaceful world. If I were there, that's exactly where I would want to write, too.
    Such a wonderful history you have. It's such a wonderful feeling to know who your ancesters were and feel connected to them.
    Great blog, Celia.

  20. Hi, Linda--the porch is good in the spring and late fall. Otherwise--too hot. Right now I use it to brush my hair while I let it air dry--I never use a hair dryer. We love to out there during a thunderand lightning storm!

    Every time I see an old photo of our ancestors and study their clothing--that's all I can think of, too--how hot those must have been.

    I do know her name, but can't recall right now. I do have a post about her--it's written as if the girl was writing in a diary. And I use a made-up name so I won't use any of my family's real names.

    Thanks for your lovely note--Celia

  21. CAROLINE--We like it, but it's much nice when it's cooler and a little wet. It will rain again. I repeat that three times every day.
    I didn't include all the birds that come to the bird bath--some unique ones, some very different.
    Thanks for reading my post---Celia

  22. JEANMARIE--your comment was as good as a post in iself! How interesting.
    We don't ordinarly have bobcats, but this big division backs up to a shallow canyon and on the other side is the Freeman Ranch. One year we had a wolf--not a coyote, for it was bigger, and definitely a wolf--and it prowled around the division for a while. Reportedly, a neighbor shot it---I don't like that, but it was a menace. It's just sad.
    Oh, how I love old photos--I have quite a few--we found them years ago when we cleaned out our mother's house. We sorted and identified and ended up with about 16 good ones. We put those in our "archives," which is my sister's closet--and had three set of reproductions made so we'd each have a set.That was the best money I ever spent.
    Thanks for sharing about your home in West Texas.

  23. Thank you, Na. Our ancestors--whether they're really related to us or not, provide endless story material. If only there were enough time to write a story about every one of them.

  24. SARAH--I owe everything I know about my ancestors to my older sister, our biographer and geneologist, named....Sarah!
    I had not part in so much research, for I do not like to do geneology--my sister is so good at it, and fortunatley, she loves it.
    Thanks for taking a peek! Celia

  25. Your connection with the land upon which you live reminds me of Scarlet O'Hara and her dedication to Tara.

    Don't ever mess with a southerner's land. You will get a hurtin' put on you, that's for sure.

    I'm so inspired by your life story, Celia. You and Jim sound like such a good match.

    Live each day to the fullest.

    Maggie Toussaint
    On The Nickel

  26. You live on some gorgous land, Celia! Your writing history is much like mine. I grew up in the same era except in S California. I live in Wisconsin now and love it here, too.
    Wishing you success with your books!

  27. Hey, Maggie--well I sure don't feel like Scarlet! I feel more like Ma Kettle.
    But yes, the land. Don't mess with Texas.
    We are a good match--not that we didn't have some learning curves--but we always found a way to work things out.
    Thanks for commenting--I do intend to live each day to the fullest.

  28. Thanks,llona--I love parts of California, and hope to see part of Wisconsin this fall when we drive north to visit grandkids. We're taking a way different route to see another part of the US.

  29. Celia, your story is beautiful and I love the passion you have for your home.
    I would love to win either of your books. Your covers are gorgeous!

    My daughter and her family live in Glen Rose, Texas on the Paluxy River, which is bone dry, right now. And the heat is unbearable. I hope it breaks for y'all soon.

    Thank you for this opportunity, Celia.

  30. Thank you, Cynthia, for the lovely comments. I know Glen Rose--and much of North Texas because of family. Yes, it's dry and hot. What can I say? It's Texas.
    I love my book covers, too--I asked for bluebonnets on one and Indian Paintbrush on the other, and the artist did such a beautiful job.
    Maybe you will win a book!

  31. I am becoming addicted to Sweethearts of the West and to the many entries here. I've enjoyed Paisley's and, now, Celia's stories of their writing lives and personal backgrounds that enrich them. Loved the 16 year old's picture and the tales it can evoke.

  32. ARLETTA--you're just the kind of reader we love--one that's become addicted to us. Wow. What a wonderful compliment.
    Thank you for commenting--Celia

  33. Celia, here I am, late to the party again, but I just wanted to let you know how cool it is for you to give us a little glimpse into your life. We know it will shine through in your books, too. :)

  34. I LOVE (and am very envious of!)the views from your windows. Your love for Texas shines out from your blog, and also from your books. One day I might get to visit your beautiful state - and receive inspiration from it like you do.

  35. JACQUIE--you're not late! And welcome.
    Yes, this month on Sweethearts, it's all about the author--"Get to know our Authors." So far, so good--thanks for stopping by.
    I love your Romancing the West--good luck with it, and more power to the Western Historical Romance.

  36. Paula--VISIT IN THE SPRING! Do not come to Texas right now. You'd burn up. Everybody's sort of taking the heat and drought in stride--after all, this is Texas--plus all of the South is affected.
    But as once reporter said, yes, it's bad, "but it ain't your granddaddy's drought of the 50s"--not even close, yet.
    Thanks for peeking into my world--Celia

  37. Celia,

    Great to learn a little more about you and what inspires you to write.


  38. Thanks for sharing these insights into your life and inspiration, Celia. (You made me laugh on more than one occasion!) The photos added such a personal touch. Thanks again!

  39. Thanks for stopping by, Paty! Celia

  40. DEBBIE--Oh! My dream is to make someone laugh! Glad you liked the photos, too. I appreciate your taking time to read and comment. Celia


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