I live in north Texas and I can see Southfork Ranch from the second story window of my house. Yes, the one from the T.V. show “Dallas” (and yes, it’s a real place). What else would I write about except cowboys? Obviously I’m around ranches and horses and cattle all the time, so should be easy!
Spoiler alert! That’s not how it went while writing this book. Here is what my morning looks like:
5:00 am (the ungodly hour I get up to write every day)
Writes 45 words. What’s the name of the breed of cow that they have in that field on the west side of Southfork? Googles: pictures of cows. Oh, look how sweet the little baby black and white ones are! Those aren’t the ones though. If I say my cowboy owns black and white cows, someone will say black and white cows aren’t native to north Texas. Wait. My cowboy’s ranch is in east Texas. Maybe they have different types of cows there. Why didn’t I set this book in Dallas? Right, I remember. Because Dallas has more shopping malls than ranches.
My cowboy has cattle, no breed mentioned. They’re big and clumsy and maybe if I don’t mention the color, no one will notice I never say what they are. Now. What do they eat? Googles: cow feed. WOW there are a lot of feed stores in this area. I had no idea that you could buy llama food at Wells Brothers. That reminds me, we need to get our propane tank filled. Apparently you can also get cow feed from Amazon. *shakes head* The times we live in.
Remembers that I’m supposed to be writing a book. Writes 125 words. Awww, my cowboy has a thing for this dog trainer he just hired. She’s pretty keen on him too and boy, does she like watching him work on the fence from her vantage point in the barn. Do barns have windows? Googles: pictures of barns. These look nothing like the ones on “Yellowstone”. Is the size of the barn supposed to be equivalent to the size of the property? Man, I could use me a Beth Dutton-sized glass of wine right about now. Checks clock. In twelve hours then. Sigh.
My heroine is now watching the hero fix the fence from the yard instead of the barn. The fence is made of wood. Why is the fence made of wood? Because I want to let the hero flex a bit with an axe. Errrr, I’m pretty sure all the fences around here are barbed wire. Barbed wire is expensive, isn’t it? My cowboy-hero’s money is earmarked for the no-breed cattle so he can’t be spending a lot of money on barbed wire. Surely some places have wood fences. Googles: wood fences. No, Google, not picket fences. The ones that go around fields. Split-rail fences. Yes, that’s the thing. Oh, that’s better for animals than barbed wire? Excellent.
My writing time is up for the day. How is my writing time up for the day?? Just once, it would be nice if those darn kids who live in my house could get themselves to school. Eleven-year-olds might be very proficient drivers. We’ll never know if we don’t let them try, right? Starts thinking about a story set in the distant future where all cars are self-driving and it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still get around. Ooooh, vehicle. What kind of truck should my cowboy drive? All of the trucks in Dallas are for show, not for actually working on a ranch. Spends a lot of time checking out other vehicles on the road as I drive to school…
Then I do the whole thing over again at 8:00 pm.
Check out The Cowboy’s Sweet Redemption. Feel free to holler at me if you have a guess which stuff I looked up, which stuff I made up and which stuff I actually know off the top of my head. I might actually tell you.
I’ll give away a $5 gift card to the online retailer of your choice (Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo or Nook) if you comment with one thing you know about cows (no Googling!).