Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day in the Desert - Pictures

I took my Wednesday day trip south, down the Rio Grande Valley, following the Mission Trail, which contains several missions dating back to the days the Spanish claimed the region...like Tigua, Ysleta, Socorro, San Elezario (I'm missing one...it'll come to me). I stopped at the second and last of these to snap a few pictures. Molly was unimpressed...except by the half of a gordita she got from my lunch.

The Ysleta Mission


A typical sight in West Texas, cotton fields (in winter fallow), pecan orchards, and mountains in the distance (these are in Mexico).

I'm not in the city any more.

Eye-catching adobe wall. (At least it caught my eye)

Moving down Highway 20, to San Elezario, a Spanish precidio's mission.




The police station of the metropolis of Clint, TX.


I stopped for lunch at a rough looking hole-in-the-wall. This sign clinched that I needed to keep my hand on my wallet. 

I snapped this picture out the window where I was eating lunch. I think this girl may be destined for tomorrow's gorditas.


Have a great day.

Covers Three (164 - 166)

164 Artist: Guan-Yu Chen

165 Artist: Diego Fernandez


166 Artist Pascal Campion

Have a great day.

(Did I mention I create e-book covers?)


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Covers Three (161 - 163)

161 Artist: Gregory Alphonse

162 Artist: Lea Rondeaux

163 Artist: Kevin Broberg



(Did I mention I create e-book covers?)



I've felt Awful…



…About the title of my last posting, since I clicked Publish.

I don't read 'awful writing.' At least not more than a few paragraphs, before I return to my title list for the next book in my reading list.

I DO continue to read writing with significant craft issues. Even though the errors in craft may be irritating and distracting, most writing I've found by Indies have a combination of excellent literary building blocks.

As I read the poorly crafted unfortunately, I continually practice my editing…I would have improved this by…. And the practice, I hope, improves my own writing. *big smile* A win-win.

So now I will go back and re-title that last posting.

Have a great day.

-R. Mac Wheeler
(Did I mention I create e-book covers?)
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Learning from Writing with Craft Issues



I've been reading mostly Indie authors for about four years. As an Indie myself, I wanted to support my peers. The number of Indie authors out there first excited me. But then the quality of the craft started to sink in.

I started out writing reviews. Almost every work I read had redeeming qualities. But to review with integrity, I couldn't overlook the negatives. And quickly realized it appeared as though I was ripping my fellow writers apart.

Not my intent.

Personally, I think a 3-star review is pretty good…means I enjoyed the read. But the craft issues with the poorly edited Indie novels makes it tough to bestow a work with a 3 if the point of view and paragraph structure of the piece sucks.

And there are a lot of Indies out there who have no clue what point of view is, how to break narrative up so that nothing washes over from one character's turf to another. (If you don't know what I mean by that…you should not be publishing your work yet. You are one of the writers driving me nuts.)

One good thing about reading writing with significant craft issues [edited]…the weaknesses are there because an author editing their own work doesn't work…and the issues they leave in…I know I must be overlooking in my own work. So I pay more attention to the negatives than what shines in the piece.


[Note per Lisa's comment: Of course a writer CAN and MUST edit their work. My intention is to state that a writer can NOT rely only on their own editing.]

I hope that will make me a better writer by working on my paranoia *smile* 

I look forward to finding some more Indie works that I can shout out in the near future. I have about 600 novels sitting on my tablet, after all.

Have a great day.

Sunday Safari - Campus of UTEP


My temporary relocation to El Paso creates a very different style of safari. I hiked my alma mater. Boy...has it changed since I took my last class 30 years ago. My safaris are usually about nature. Today includes what you can find in the urban environment in the middle of the desert...but you'll see most of today's pictures are about texture. I hope you enjoy.

CONTEST: How many times does Molly show up in a picture?








UTEP, before it was Texas Western College, started out as the College of Mines.



Ever since I was student, I scratched my head that the complex which I felt had the least personality...was home of the College of Fine Arts

















UTEP overlooks the US-Mexican border. You are looking at the suburbs of Juarez, MX

The background is all Mexico

You see a lot of Border Patrol along the Rio Grande. Don't laugh...yes...that is the Rio Grande...diverted for agricultural purposes until many miles south of El Paso. If you ever visit Big Bend Park...you can see a Grand River.

A close up view of the Colonias. I love the colors.

If you aren't aware...UTEP is the home of the Miners...thus the pick axe.

Feathers fluffed in the breeze


 Have a great week.