Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My 5 tips for writing a novel made it as one of Today's Top Reads in SheSaid!
"5 Tips for Writing Success" 
I'm so thrilled about it, I just had to share.
Check it out here, in Articles/Lifestyle:

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Having a lovely time exploring a splendid website called Vintage Colorado Poetry, by editor and publisher James B. Hemesath. The collection is also known as Colorful Colorado in Regional Verse, which gives you a further clue as to the kind of poetry contained therein. Here's the link for those of you who are interested: http://www.vintagecoloradopoetry.us/
    A veritable gold (silver?) mine of old-time western poetry that, before long, will make you feel quite transported. This collection is why I love poetry so much, preserving language and history, and giving us that wonderful window on the past, not to mention the emotions and thoughts, views and observations of the versifier.
    This is a gem of a poem...

A Cowgirl's Sweet Confession

Don't know just how it come about,
But me an' him was walkin' out
Along the creek, an' jokin' like
Two silly little kids, when Ike
Got sort o' serious, an' got
So nervous, like, I honest thought
'At mebbe he was sick, but he
Soon knocked the wind from that idee.

He said fur many a draggin' day
He'd been a bracin' up to say
A somethin' that was in his heart
A stickin' like a cactus dart,
But every time he'd try to squeal
He'd git the lockjaw, an' 'd feel
Embarrassed an' as shy o' tongue
'S if he was goin' to be hung.

But now he'd got his nerve in j'int
An' screwed up to a desp'rate p'nt
An' had to talk, or he would just
Swell up with hope deferred an' bust !
He couldn't sleep nor couldn't eat,
An' sot oneasy in his seat
Up on his saddle hoss's back,
Because his heart was out o' whack.

An' then he said:  "Jane Annie Duff,
You've bin a mav'rick long enough
A runnin' on the range, an' I
Am goin' to make a honest try
To pitch the matermon'al rope
Around yer heart, an' have a hope
That you will make a willin' stand
An' let me spot you with my brand !

"Just drift into my home corral
An' there won't be no other gal
On all the range 'll have as true
An' solid-hearted man as you.
I've got a bunch o' steers, beside
I've got a ranch, an' if you'll ride
The range o' life with me you'll find
No bogs to aggervate yer mind."

By this time I was trimblin' like
A calf out in a storm, an' Ike
Was rattled, I've an idee, more
Than ever in his life before.
He sort o' choked an' hemmed an' hawed
Like he'd bronchitis, then he drawed
My willin' head ag'in his breast
An'---Well, you've got to guess the rest !

               --James Barton Adams

Reprinted from Breezy Western Verse, Denver, 1899.

Friday, August 12, 2011


"It centres on Kelley Keaton, a Wyoming farm girl who is sent to the city to live with an aunt. She returns years later to find the family home threatened by a war with a ruthless cattle baron, Ed Parsons, who wants their land. Parsons will stop at nothing, bribing the local sheriff to harass the Keatons and threatening violence through his thugs. The avaricious Parsons particularly covets so the ranch belonging to the Keaton's neighbours the Taylors, who have formed "the Alliance'' with the Keatons to guarantee their property and their freedom. Before the end of the novel there will be more bribery, some extortion, two murders, a trial, romance and everything you expect from populist novels."

Excerpt from the unabridged review of HEARTLAND On the Side of Angels by Troy Lennon at The Daily Telegraph, 11.08.11 

You know, when I first began writing HEARTLAND, it's first draft in fact, at the very centre of the story was Kelley Keaton. She adored her brother Mart. She couldn't bear his BFF Luke Taylor. That was the initial premise. It was like a sibling love triangle. You can't have my brother for your brother, he's mine and you are a great big pain, so nick off. That was the dynamic.

Sibling relationships are very complicated at times. You can love your sibling at the very same moment that you can't abide them. And sometimes their friends leave you shaking your head. What the hell are they thinking hanging with that... individual? I have numerous siblings; there are six of us and when we were growing up our parents had their hands full. I seem to recall my mother used to disappear up to the shops to get away from us. Overall, as people we didn't turn out too badly. But as siblings there are issues between us that are incredibly complex.

What I love about Kelley is that she doesn't entertain a whole lot of forebearance with Luke, as a child or as an adult. She lets him have it, he knows where he stands. There is no place in her world, or Mart's if she could manage it, for him. I admire her for that because my upbringing was strictly 'don't let it all hang out'. It was a risky business speaking your mind.

And I also knew what kind of people Kelly, Luke and Mart would be. What made them tick. What motivated them. The black, white and grey bits of their personalities. And what other people thought about them. Their relationships with others. I knew their history and how they grew up and what that meant for them as young adults. I knew things about them they had yet to discover and would discover as their lives got more and more complicated, as our adult lives tend to do.

All well and good... but it wasn't enough. They needed to be tested in fire. Their character, their beliefs, their desires, their relationships. 

That fire was defending freedom. 

That fire was battling terrorism.

That fire was withstanding the onslaught of unfettered capitalism.

They were my three protagonists. Could they, so wrapped up in their own problems, stop their squabbling and unite to get the job done? Everything they loved stood on the brink of destruction - did they have what it takes?

Maintain freedom, uphold democracy. Fight terror wherever it threatens or strikes. Withstand the cruel fallout of greed and corruption?

And could they, in a spirit of heroism, for the sake of integrity, make the journey as important as the outcome?

Which begs the question: can we? Can the world? Are we brave enough to identify, understand and face the core issues that prevent freedom, peace and prosperity for every individual on the planet?

It is a scientific fact, drawn from the study of mitochondrial DNA (which is passed down from mother to child), that all human beings on the planet today share one common female ancestor 200,000 years ago. [New Scientist, 16 July 2011]

Whoa, baby Mama!... there's like six to seven billion of us currently and she is like our Mom!!!! So, does that mean we are... like siblings?

Man, we have got to get our sibling issues sorted.

Are we - in a spirit of heroism, for the sake of integrity, for the sake of humanity, out of respect for the woman who gave us life - brave enough to overcome those complex sibling issues, and usher in a much-needed era of peace?

I wonder.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


"Debut novelist Sedmak has written a grandiose saga reminiscent of those sprawling Hollywood dramas set in America's frontier lands in the 19th century...
...recreations of 19th century America are evocative and have a ring of authenticity and once the novel grabs you it holds the attention until the end, leaving the reader wanting more (which will come in part two)."

Excerpt from the unabridged review of HEARTLAND On the Side of Angels by Troy Lennon at The Daily Telegraph, 11.08.11.

HEARTLAND readers tell me that they really feel like they are right there with the characters.

It is mandatory that after months and years of researching an era and creating a world that very few if any people left alive on the planet can remember, that the reader can enter into it and feel not only part of it, but that it rings true for them. That is the point of the historical novel.

Back in the day, nobody whips out their cell phone to warn their beloved that danger is on the way; no one alerts their favourite social media network that their world is about to go to hell in a hand basket. Nobody googles anything.

Back in the day, people do everything the long way. Hard to imagine now, isn't it? The historical novelist imagines it for you. Brings it to life in the context of fiction, so you can have your old-time adventure and romance and then text a friend about it.

Back in the day, people are inventive, adaptive, not old-fashioned or devoid of know-how or ideas. In fact, the era in which The Legends is set, the Gilded Age, is one of the most inventive periods in all of history. But everything in history is connected; there is no one era that could exist without the milennia that came before it.

Human beings are on a journey through time. Whether we study the past to make sense of this journey, or image the future in an effort to steer our way, it is our story, our very own narrative. It doesn't get any more fascinating than this.

There is no room or excuse any longer for isolationist thinking on this journey. Once, maybe. But time and ingenuity has brought us to this point, and we know each other so well that there is absolutely no escaping the bonds we share. With all living things. We are a planet of billions and billions of creatures, both human and animal, all connected to time and the journey.

And we don't all feel at peace in this familiarity. We don't like our sameness and we don't like our differences. We just don't like each other much at all. Get back to where you came from and take your alien ways with you... that's how we feel about each other. The fact is, there is no 'where you came from' any longer. We are all from 'the world, the earth, the milky way, the universe'. Do you remember writing that as your address as a child?

Everyone needs to do what they can to keep this earth spinning smoothly through time and space. 

Today, for me, the world feels like it's going to hell in a hand basket. And no amount of technological wizzardry is going to make me feel any better. Is that why I write historical fiction, to escape the present and the way of the future? Or am I hoping that somewhere in my imagination I can re-route history away from despair and disaffection to the hope that it will all work out tomorrow, the next day, in the end?


A review of HEARTLAND On the Side of Angels from Rebecca's Reads:

Heartland: On the Side of Angels
Terri Sedmak
Vivid Publishing ISBN 9781921787393
Reviewed by Kam Aures for Rebecca’s Reads (08/11)

"Heartland: On the Side of Angels" is Terri Sedmak’s first book in "The Liberty & Property Legends" series of books. The story opens in the Cheyenne Courthouse on August 28, 1884. "And so she sits there, wide-eyed, her blue gaze fixed on Cam, waiting to begin. He holds the journal and is about to give it to her. Her eyes follow it as he puts it into her hands. It happens slowly, as though time has changed its course, like a small stream that skedaddles round a bend and meets the wide, gainly river." (p.2) This is her brother’s journal that she is about to share with the courtroom and she hopes they believe the writings within.
After the initial opening, the reader is taken back to the year 1869 and we start to meet the main players in the story and learn the events leading up to the Cheyenne courtroom scene. Each part of the story is told through a different character’s eyes which I found to be very intriguing. I enjoyed having an insider’s view as to how each character felt about what has happening. I think that Sedmak’s choice to tell the story in this format was a good one as it amped up the storyline quite a bit and made it all the more interesting.
"Heartland: On the Side of Angels" is a very lengthy five hundred and twenty three pages, which for the most part is filled with substance. There were a couple of slower moving parts in the novel, but overall the storyline and the main characters held my interest. The characters were well-developed and the book flowed smoothly. If you enjoy historical fiction, then I recommend this first book in "The Liberty & Property Legends" series.