By Ashley Kath-Bilsky
First, I had way too many irons in the fire. Secondly—and something I should have realized long before now—I am not empowered with superhuman, multi-tasking abilities. Despite my best efforts, the items on my ‘To Do’ list were taking longer than I expected to complete – and time was running out. The word ‘failure’ started flashing in my thoughts like an incessant, internal panic sign.
However, with some necessary shifting of book deadlines, I focused on fulfilling my judging commitment for the RITA contest, and then prepared for my March trip to Colorado. What started out as a hectic, stressful month soon became one of the happiest, most productive months of my life. My trip to the Rocky Mountains not only empowered me as a writer, but as a person. And I would like to share with you some of the reasons why.
Enlightenment with Margie Lawson
Like a heat-seeking literary missile, she analyzes the writing of her Immersion students, and meticulously instructs them how and where to identify problem areas and strengthen their writing to NYT heights. Margie Lawson has worked with a multitude of aspiring authors, award-winning and published authors from a variety of genres, as well as highly respected and (okay, famous) New York Times Best-Selling authors.
For more information about Margie Lawson and her Immersion Master Class schedule for 2014, visit her website at www.margielawson.com. Please note Margie also travels to various parts of the country (and even different countries) to teach her Immersion Class for those who may find it difficult to journey to Colorado.
In fact, I will be hosting Margie for an Immersion Master Class at my home in June. There are some openings remaining. Margie will also be presenting a workshop at RWA’s National Conference in San Antonio this July.
In Search of Buffalo Bill Cody
I have been doing research on my own for quite some time, including reading William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody’s personal autobiography. However, I have longed to tour the Buffalo Bill Museum in Colorado and check out their research materials. I had planned to visit the museum during my trip to Colorado, and arrived a day early to do so. Much to my surprise, the thoughtful and very dear Mrs. Lawson and I had lunch at the Buckhorn Exchange, a National Historic Landmark restaurant and Western Museum founded in 1898 and once frequented by Buffalo Bill Cody.
Henry 'Shorty Scout' Zietz was a famous cowboy, and one of the youngest members of Buffalo Bill Cody's band of famous scouts. He was also a big game hunter, and the Buckhorn Exchange restaurant has quite a display of over 500 animal and bird mounted trophies on display, including a rather ferocious mountain lion that looked like he wanted to pounce on me and Margie where we dined.
As the snow accumulated on the mountain roads, the kindness and understanding Margie had for my desire to further my research on the legendary hero of the American West touched me deeply. I will never forget how she went out of her way to help me further my research. Pictured is a pair of Buffalo Bill's buckskin riding gloves with beautiful Indian beadwork that he wore during his famous Wild West Shows.
The Buffalo Bill Museum documents the life and times of William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody. Located in Lookout Mountain Park, the museum features an abundance of information and personal items that belonged to Buffalo Bill, as well as memorabilia from his internationally renowned Wild West Show.
We had a great visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum, and I was able to learn more about him, view some amazing items that were part of his life and times, and obtain some terrific research books, too. I will share more information and photos about this remarkable individual next month.
The 2014 RONE Award Nomination for WHISPER IN THE WIND
While in Colorado, I received some exciting news. InD’Tale Magazine notified me that my best-selling Time Travel Romance, WHISPER IN THE WIND, has been nominated for a 2014 RONE Award – for Best Paranormal Romance of 2013. A sensuous time travel set in 1885 Texas, WHISPER IN THE WIND was my first Indy published novel. And since the RONE Award "spotlights the very best and rewarding excellence in 2013 Indie and Small Publishing", this nomination is such an honor. Finalists for each category are selected by Readers who vote for their choice online following a set weekly schedule.
Subscribers to InD’Tale Magazine can vote for WHISPER IN THE WIND by visiting this link: http://indtale.com/polls/paranormal-2013
If you are not a subscriber to this free, exceptional book review magazine, you can still subscribe and cast your vote. Or, if you do not want to register for a free subscription on the website, simply email your vote for favorite Paranormal to Ana Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Puppies and New Beginnings
Last but not least, some of you may remember that our family lost Kane, our beloved 13-year old German Shepherd in July of 2013. His little brother and best buddy, our 12-year old Scotty named Patrick passed away in his sleep two days after Christmas. The loss of these two wonderful pets (both of whom we raised since they were babies) has been so painful. We miss them every day and always will. Someone told me that when you are ready to welcome a new pet into your lives, you will know.
Well, that time came on Sunday, March 23, 2014. Permit me to introduce the newest addition to our family, a Grand Pyrenees puppy named Loki.
I cannot think of a better way to close the month of March 2014 than with the addition of this beautiful, lively, mischievous, loving, and joyful puppy.
So, as you can see, March has been an interesting month for me personally and professionally. Granted, it was challenging, stressful, and hectic, on many levels. But through perseverance and patience (especially with myself and my goals), it proved empowering, enlightening, and exciting.
Spring is here. A time for new beginnings. May we all continue to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be, and to pursue—as well as achieve—our dreams. Remember to take a moment each day to embrace the natural beauty of our world, and the people (and pets) whose path joins with ours on life’s journey.
For more information about Ashley Kath-Bilsky, visit: www.ashleykathbilsky.com
You can also follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AKathBilsky, and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashley-Kath-Bilsky/302554710513
WHISPER IN THE WIND is available for purchase in Print and Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Wind-Ashley-Kath-Bilsky-ebook/dp/B00CC6ZZJG/ref=la_B008E2ABA0_1_2_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396266314&sr=1-2
It is also available in Nook, Apple, and Kobo formats.