The Writing Process Blog Hop

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog, Butter in the Well book series, Kansas Quilter book series, Planting Dreams book series, western romance

Thanks to Terry Odell for invit­ing me to join in the Writ­ing Process Blog Tour, where writ­ers share their writ­ing processes. We were given four ques­tions to answer, so here are my responses.

What am I working on? Patching Home by Linda K. Hubalek

I’m working on Patching Home, the second book of the Kansas Quilter series, which is about my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt’s trip to the Indian Territory. This will be my twelfth book about pioneer women who homesteaded in Kansas. All my books so far have been based on my ancestors, their original homesteads, and the communities that grew around them. And I’m also putting together the outline for an eight book western romance series, set in 1873 around the Ellsworth, Kansas area, a real cow town back in the cattle drive days. I wrote a short story, The Perfect Homestead Bride for the anthology book, Lassoing a Groom, and I’ll be expanding the theme, only with fictional characters this time instead of real people like past books. Although this anthology is full of lighthearted sweet romance stories, my western series be more in tune with the actual real-life drama pioneer women went through to find a husband and a safe home.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Butter in the Well by Linda K. Hubalek. Published by Butterfield Books Inc.My first dozen books were based on real people—most of them my direct ancestors—with added real and fiction stories to fill out the time frame these people lived in. My Butter in the Well series was written in the form or diary entries to tell the story of the Swedish immigrant woman that homesteaded the farm I actually grew up on. The Planting Dreams series told of my paternal ancestors’ journey and homesteading days. My Trail of Thread series, written in the form of letters written back to family, tells the story of my maternal ancestors’ wagon train trip to Kansas. The book series continue telling the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War stories that rocked the state and the nation in Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage. I’m sure other writers have done similar themes, but my books also include photos of the families and township maps of where they lived.

Why do I write what I do?

I’ve always been curious about my Swedish ancestors, but I wanted to know more about them than just their birth and death dates. Why did they travel all the way from Sweden to the middle of the Kansas prairie? What did they think of the open plains when they first saw it? I wanted to learn about the actual person’s life, or dream of what it was like before my time. When I researched my next series I wanted to learn and tell how Kansans (and my relatives) were drawn into the Civil War even though all they wanted to do is build a new home for their families. I’ve been told I’m a good storyteller, even though my formal education wasn’t for writing. I guess I’m tying my agriculture degree with stories of pioneer women to fulfill the need of both writing and farming.

How does my writing process work?

Trail of Thread by Linda K. HubalekI have over twenty years of research material stashed in the basement, so I go through boxes and pull out files that I want to concentrate on. I put them in my desk drawer so I can easily look up facts and dates I want to add to the book I’m currently writing. Outlines scribbled on note pads become outlines typed up into a word document. Then I add more thoughts and facts, expanding the story line until they become scenes. Sometimes I know exactly where the story is going, and other times a scene might be moved into another book. And facts I find later may cause a story to change, mainly because my books were based on real people whose descendants are now reading the stories of their family, and I want the facts correct for them. I edit each time I read a section, but I like to wait a week or two between the second and third edit because by then I have moved on to other scenes and thoughts. When I read older work later I’m seeing it with a fresh mind again. All books are edited by a professional editor, and then I read them again before formatting  them into both digital and printed versions.  The books are published under Butterfield Books Inc.

Thank you, Terry Odell for including me in this blog tour. I appreciate the chance to connect with both current and future readers through this tour. Click­ing the link in Terry’s name will take you back to her stop on the tour, and you can go back or forward to read other author’s questions. Every author’s responses are unique, so please take a moment to read and enjoy them.

Planning a 90th Birthday Party

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Cake stand-1949Even though my mom has a computer, she’s not savvy on it, so I think I’m safe to say me and my siblings are working on a picture book to celebrate her 90th birthday this month.

But don’t tell her because it’s a surprise…although dad got a book for his 90th birthday last year so I’m sure she’s expecting it…but doesn’t know the theme yet.

When going through old photos to put in this book, one thing that kept popping up was birthday photos. “Us kids” are standing by a frosted cake, usually on a particular glass cake stand. There are candles on each cake, and I’ve gotten my magnifying glass out to count them if there wasn’t a date on the photo. (Pictured here is my brother’s first birthday cake in 1949.)

There’s enough “cake” photos that it became the theme for the book—not only birthdays, but for anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and Mother’s and Father’s Day.

We all have our favorite kind of cake, so it will be an angel food cake on the cake stand when we celebrate mom’s birthday next week.

70th wedding anniversaryIt was also interesting that I found photos of my great grandparent’s Ira and Kizzie, celebrating their special days with a cake too—including their 70th wedding anniversary in 1964.

My Kansas Quilter series is about this special lady. The first book Tying the Knot is done and now I’m working on the next book Patching Home. Maybe I’ll work a birthday cake scene in this book since I’m putting together a 90th birthday party now…

Contests to win new book, Tying the Knot

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Author Linda Hubalek and great grandmother

Kizzie Pieratt & Linda Hubalek, 1959

Enter contests for my new book Tying the Knot

Please enjoy my new book, post a review online somewhere, and tell your friends and family about it. I appreciate it!

AND, there are three places you can win free books.  I’m giving away three print copies of Tying the Knot at a Goodreads contest. If you want to win one of five ebook copies, either go on my author website or Facebook contest.

Who is in this photo with this blog? It’s me at age five with my great grandmother Kizzie, who was age 85 at the time, taken back in 1959. It’s hard to believe the influence she had on me at a young age, but I must have been impressed with her stories even back then.

Enjoy my new book from the Kansas prairie!

Tying the Knot is done!

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Tying the Knot by Linda K. HubalekI wrote in my diary on April 24, 1982 that I wanted to write a book about my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt and the many quilts she made. Although that idea started my writing career, I didn’t get around to starting on Kizzie’s book until 2003. Then other things in life took priority…

Now I’m proud to say the first book in my great grandmother’s story Tying the Knot is finally out this week! The Kansas Quilter series starts with my ancestor’s decision to leave their rented Kansas farm to move to the Indian Territory in 1902 (before Oklahoma became a state). Although the story line is fiction, I worked in facts and family photos as Kizzie prepares for their wagon trip. Some of the many quilts Kizzie made are woven into the story and I have photos of them in the book too.

I wonder what Kizzie would have thought of her quilts being featured in a book. Like most women, she probably be proud of some of her quilts, and wished I had left others out! But all these quilts are special to me, first when they kept me warm on winter nights as a child, and now as I write about them 50 years later.

If you’ve read my Trail of Thread series, this new series continues with Kizzie Pieratt, who would have been Maggie Kennedy Pieratt’s daughter-in-law. Maggie was featured in Stitch of Courage, and this is her grown childrens’ story.

 

Hello 2014!

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

2013 just flew by, and at times I wonder where I spent my time.

Well, I do know…My husband and I completed building our own home from scratch (it was a two-year project), and my dad fell and broke his hip (but back home with continual help from me and others). I also expanded my gardens this summer, and read a lot of books on my Kindle. (My current favorite genre at the moment is western romance.)

Kizzie's Legacy by Linda K. Hubalek2014 brings a new year, and plans for my 60th birthday. The Kansas Quilter series will be published this year, I’m going to take care of my body (I’ll eat only the best quality dark chocolate) and I’m going to enjoy life!

To celebrate the big 60, I’d like to go to Las Vegas to the National Rodeo Finals in December. Why you ask?

1) You see above what I like to read right now and there will be lots of cowboys there, 2) I grew up riding horses and going to rodeos, 3) I’d like to see Las Vegas once in my life. If any of you are rodeo fans and have been to the NRF, please send me a note of what to do while there.

Sound like a good plan? Please join me in my adventure this year as I ride, read, and write in the 1800’s and 2014!

Back to Writing

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Linda Hubalek's gardenAfter the cool weather and twelve inches of rain we’ve had the last part of July, I feel like August is going to slip right into fall.

My buffalo grass lawn, flower beds, and vegetable garden are looking lush and productive for this normally hot and dry time of year. I’ve really enjoyed the busts of color and produce I have around our acreage. Pictured in this post is zinnias with a patch of corn behind them. (I mix flowers and veggie’s together to make a unique visual scene to view from my porch.)

I take the summer off from writing to enjoy my outside flower and vegetable gardens, so our cool, rainy weather is shifting my brain to fall writing and projects. Plus school starts in a couple of weeks here in Kansas, so it makes me feel like I need to get back to a schedule of “ reading and writing” too.

I’m back working on the second book of the Kansas Quilter series now. This book is based on my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt’s growing up on the Kansas prairie, and her moving to the Oklahoma Territory during the land rush era. Her son, my great uncle Ralph, had lots of stories about this time frame—don’t know if they were true or tall tales—but they make the perfect background for the book.

You’ll just have to wait and guess how the book turns out… But at least I’m back to work after the summer break so you’ll hear more from me now in my blog and social sites.

Hope you have had a good summer too.

Welcoming the New Year

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Author Linda Hubalek's great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt

Linda Hubalek’s great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt

The year 2012 went by fast for me as my husband and I built our own house, plus me taking care of my aging parents. Both “jobs” were filled with work, trauma, and joy. But, these were important things that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

Now I’m starting the new year by moving into my new home office and planning my dad’s 90th birthday open house on Jan. 20th.

I’m enjoying a sunny winter snow scene from my office window and getting back in gear…and still wondering what I did with… where I put… certain files… that envelope of research photos, etc.

I wasn’t able to concentrate on my writing as I would have liked to last year, but now I’m working on my next book.

I have enough research done to start writing the story of my great grandmother, Kizzie Pieratt who was a spunky pioneer, and an avid quilter.

It’s going to be fun to write her story. Please keep tuned in to see how the new book progresses.

Kansas Quilter died 40 Years ago

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog, Kansas Quilter book series

Wedding photo for Ira and Kizzie Pieratt

Ira and Kizzie Pieratt

I thought of my great grandmother Kizzie Pieratt several times yesterday. It had been 40 years since she died. Besides my having a good memory for event dates, I’ve been working on the Kansas Quilter book series about her life and the quilts she made. I watched the calendar as her death date approached.

She and husband Ira were married 70 years, and she lived another seven years after he died. My husband and I have been married 35 years this month­—half the amount that my great grandparents were married.

Kizzie and Ira were pioneer children. First generation to be born to my Kansas homesteading ancestors featured in my Trail of Thread book series.

I think of all the changes I’ve seen in my life span, and then compare it to theirs. Huge inventions—electricity, telephones, cars, and airplanes, and so much more—were invented during their lifetime.

Although Kizzie’s been gone for several decades, I still have items we both touched and used…including her quilts she hand stitched decades ago.

Electricity may have changed how we can make quilts, but quilting is still done the same way—with our hands, while thinking of who may touch the quilt in future generations.

Linda’s Books & Series

Butter in the Well

Autographed. Book 1, Butter in the Well Series
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

Looking Back

Autographed. Book, Butter in the Well Series
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

Trail of Thread

Autographed. Book 1, Trail of Thread Series
$11.95 (tax incl.)
by lindahubalek

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