Loralee, Available on Amazon

Loralee, is now available on Amazon, the Kindle version is only 99 cents!

 

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From the outside looking in, former beauty queen Loralee Montgomery has everything she ever dreamed of, a sprawling Texas ranch, two grown kids, and a wealthy husband. But when greed sinks its clutches deep into the soul of a man, there’s no telling what he might do to keep what is his, or take what isn’t.  When love draws a woman out of herself into giving away her heart, there’s no telling what she might do if betrayed.

 

 

About this story…

 

On October 26, 2011, I wrote the first chapter of “Loralee” on my webpage, it was a Wednesday. I had no draft of the story, no outline, no idea where it was going. I hit the button to open a “new post,” and I started writing.

There were a few things that I wanted to accomplish, I was writing with a purpose. The first thing was that I thought it would be a cool idea to write maybe one chapter a week, or one every two weeks, or whenever, and post it like a serial novella, like something of a cliff-hanger or weekly series. It sounded like it would be a fun thing to do, a fun thing to write. The next thing was that I wanted to see if I could do it, if I could sit down and basically write a novel, one chapter at a time, on the spot, cold, just building on or entangling from whatever I’d written in the previous chapters.

Up to that point I’d been working on writing short stories of ever increasing length. I began this journey to novelist as a poetess. I’d been writing poems for more than thirty years and though I’d written short stories before, in addition to a few scattered longer pieces, I’d never completed work on a novel. The idea of writing longer fiction as a regular thing seemed daunting to say the least. My thinking was that it had taken me however long to work my way into writing longer poems, I’d approach writing stories in the same way, just keep writing until it got easier and I got better at it. At first, I wondered how I’d ever write something five thousand words long and have it be a complete story, not the beginning of something longer, or something that went nowhere. I began to educate myself.

When I first started writing stories again, I’d write these little self-encapsulated bits sometimes that I thought were cool, but I’d never heard the term “flash fiction” before. I didn’t know the difference lengthwise between novellas and novels, and so on, I’d never thought about it. I would give myself word count goals and parameters to stay within, to teach myself how to write longer fiction. “Loralee” was to be an exercise in writing a novel. It ended up being novella length but that taught me something too, about letting the story tell itself and be however long it is, or isn’t.

It felt risky to write the chapters one at a time and just put them out there, it felt bold, whether it was I don’t know, but it was something I felt the need to challenge myself with. There was also an aspect of feeling like I had to finish it, as though I’d put myself on the spot. At that time, I was also submitting short stories for publication to online zines and doing pretty well at least getting published.

I posted the second chapter within a day or two of the first. Subsequent chapters were written and published as follows;

 

Chapter Three, Houston, January 12, 2012

Chapter Four, Miss Tulsa Pie, January 27, 2012

Chapter Five, Tangled Web, March 28, 2012

Chapter Six, The Garden Suite, April 29, 2012

Chapter Seven, Buffalo Nickel, April 29, 2012

Chapter Eight, Luxury, May 20, 2012

Chapter Nine, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, June 28, 2012

Chapter Ten, Real Estate, June 30, 2012

Chapter Eleven, That Wears the Crown, September 6, 2012

Chapter Twelve, Cold, Hard, Cash, December 5, 2012

Chapter Thirteen, Fresh Molasses, December 26, 2012

 

It was, in so many ways, one of the easiest things that I’ve ever written, the story came to me naturally each time I sat down to add a chapter, though it was written during one of the most difficult times in my life. The words were there for me, this story was there for me, waiting for me to write the next chapter, waiting for me to disappear into.

During the summer of 2012, while working on “Loralee” here and there, writing and submitting short stories for publication, and continuing to write poetry, I wrote two other novels. By the time I wrote the last chapter of “Loralee”, there was no doubt in my mind that I could write long fiction.

When we publish online, or only in the digital world of cyberspace (is it even digital anymore? Has technology leapt again?) what becomes of our work thereafter? Where does it go? Perhaps that is fitting in some ways, everything is temporary, after all. Call me romantic, I like the idea of book rooms in thrift stores, dusty paperbacks, and someone making a discovery of some writer who is new to them. I wanted to see “Loralee” in print.

As for how you come up with a name like “Loralee”, you watch the film “The Outlaw Josey Whales” a few hundred times with your husband, or even if you’re not watching it, it’s just kind of on the television and parts of it seep into your subconscious.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this story, it will always be a sentimental favorite of mine. I wrote this one for me.

Sincerely,

Teri Skultety

30 May, 2017

 

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A New Novel, and All The Bright Young Things At The Last Picture Show

I am in the final stages of making my “Loralee” novella available again. I plan to make this one as inexpensive to purchase as possible. It will be available in paperback and on kindle, a month or less from now probably. This re-write and edit took longer than I expected it to. The proofreading took longer than that. I also did everything that I could think of to distract myself from the task at hand. I “window shopped” online frequently, made playlists, got back into pinterest again recently. I managed to keep exercising and working out, but I also made five dozen of the best oatmeal and sugar cookies that I have ever made. I’m not kidding you, these were some good cookies. The last few days I haven’t slept hardly at all and I’ve consumed some terrible food and snack items, noodles, which I regret pasta and noodle carbs. every time, popcorn, the natural kind, it was good but still I rubbed salt in my own eye, a quesadilla yesterday, and today, nachos. I ate healthy things too, of course. It gets to the end stages of working on something and I just don’t want to fool with food so there’s the grabbing of convenience and junk food, and the over-consumption of caffeine ( as if)  I’ve realized, need to plan better for that. I worked on some landscaping and planted some plants. I didn’t color my hair during this write , but I think I probably will in the next few days, just blonde, always blonde, from now on only blonde. (I’m sure I said that at some point before but really, I’ve learned my lesson about the hair color. I’m a blonde, obviously.) I’ve got new eye-glasses ordered! Super cute, excited about those. (Six years ago I didn’t wear reading glasses, now I have to.) I made memes. I couldn’t seem to stay on task for any length of time with this one and somewhere in the middle of it, I realized why I kept wandering off to chase butterflies. I’m ready to write something new.

I have abandoned all such goings on that would entail working through any kind of  list of things I’ve already written, it’s all free-wheeling now! I don’t even want to talk about those dark days of the idea of that regimented, stifling to the creative depths of my soul, list. But really, it gave me something to focus on though it is no way that I’d ever attempted to work/write before. “Loralee” will be the fifth book that I’ve nudged out the door since last September. I’m not tired or burned out in general, but I think it was what I needed to do to get me to here.

I’m going to be working on a book that will be a conglomeration of things, poetry and other writings, taking the title for it from a poem I wrote that I’ve already shared here, All The Bright Young Things At The Last Picture Show.  Of which I know I once was one, which is part of the understanding of it. Yes, it is something loosely inspired by the classic 1971 film masterpiece, “The Last Picture Show.” ( And the novel of the same name which I have ordered to add to my ever growing reading stack.) I think that these are things that I couldn’t have written prior to this stage of my own life and experience as a woman, as a person, as a writer. It’s something that I’m looking forward to the composition of.

The new novel does not have so much as a working title. I cannot tell you anything about it other than I know where it begins and I don’t intend for there to be any “monsters” in it other than those of the strictly human variety. Again, this is something I couldn’t have written, known where to begin, prior to now.  I’ll be done with both of these writings, writing these books, whenever I’m done with them. I would be surprised if I’m finished with either this year. ( but then, it also wouldn’t surprised me if I finished writing both books.)

It’s summertime and I’ve got house stuff that I want/need to get done. I want to really spend some time reading, write some more books reviews. I want to watch some movies, catch up with some things, let myself really get into some things for a while, find out what I feel like I’m into right now. I think I was feeling that too with re-writing this one, like I needed to get out of the car and really stretch my legs, get some fresh air. It also might be a good idea to spend some more time promoting the books I’ve already got out there. Not my favorite part of doing this but a necessary part, even if minimally. I’m interested in the creative part, in doing my writing, my work. I’m feeling like I’ve found my groove with it again, and that is a beautiful thing.

Teri

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You know, in case you ever need a meme-quote thingy. When I set out to distract myself, I don’t play at it, I get the job done.