Still editing

I have more editing to do, so I headed for the writing cabin after tending the dogs. I flew the little gyrocopter low across the forest, around the meadow, and banked toward the landing strip.

That's when all Hell broke loose. An explosion sent rocks and sod soaring over a hundred feet into the air.

I pulled up on the stick and banked right. When I came around, the cabin still stood, but I wondered what the hell was going on.

Lisa Burton crackled across my radio. “I was paying attention to something else. Didn't know you were getting so close. Come on in, I promise it's safe.”

I touched down but veered at the end to avoid a six foot stone that landed at the end of the runway. The gyrocopter veered off into the soft dirt and grass. I left it there, and climbed out of the cockpit.

Lisa came running. “Sorry about that. I've been trying to dig a spot for your underground thingie. It's too rough for a shovel, so I tried the tractor. That didn't work either. Turns out Idaho is a sequence of granitic batholiths. I can't get your thing deep enough any other way.”

“It's a shelter, not a thingie–“

Lisa pushed me behind the gyrocopter.

She pushed down on the plunger and my knees buckled beneath me.

“Stop that!”

“Sorry, I thought you needed the shelter for your next story.”

“It's one of my next stories.”

“I found the outline and checked it out. Estivation is a cool title. I googled it, and it's like hibernation only in extreme heat.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“So what are we going to do down there, once I get it installed?”

“I figured we'd lock ourselves down there for three months, just like the people in the story. One of my author friends did some extreme research and she–“

“Oh, Hell no. You can stay down there for three months, but I have to take care of Bunny.”

“Bring him with us. It'll be fun.”

“Right, fun, until you go all Jack Nicholson from being locked up for so long.”

“I'll tell you what. You finish installing it, and then we'll talk about it. I have some editing work today.” I headed for the cabin. “And no more blasting while I'm here.”

“Killjoy. Fine, I can clear the hole with the tractor until you leave. I'll save my blasting until you go back to work.” She grabbed the gyrocopter with one hand and dragged it back onto the runway. “What about the other story? Is there something there I can work on while you're editing?”

“Not many special props for that one. It's called The Hat, so you can pick up a hat if you want.”

Squeee! I look good in hats, I'd better order a bunch of them.”

“That's the spirit. Nice quiet internet shopping while I work on Yak Guy.”

“You've got it, boss.”

“And you're going to have to bust up that rock and get it out of here.”

“No problem. With explosives.

“What's that?”

“Oh, nothing.”

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Guest post by CS Boyack

Trot on over to Planetary Defense Command and let’s talk some science fiction. Which side of the line do you fall on?

Planetary Defense Command

I’ve been crushed at work for the past few weeks, so I haven’t had much time to write original content here, or even to visit other blogs.  My company hired three new people to take over some of my duties, but showing them the ropes increased my workload in the short term.

Fortunately, this guy stepped up to write an article for the PDC:

Craig 25

That’s SFF author CS Boyack, who writes his own blog at Entertaining Stories, and alternates posting with other authors at Story Empire.  Because he just released a new near-future sci-fi collection of short stories (The Enhanced Leauge), I asked him to do a guest post about writing science fiction.

I’m a fan of Boyack’s “Experimental Notebook” short story collections, which I’ve reviewed here and here.  They make great reading around Halloween, and if they were available in paperback I’d tell you…

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The Editing Cabin???

Frankie did her pee pee dance about six o'clock this morning, so I rushed her outside. I fed her and Otto, then headed for the writing cabin.

The place is quiet and has been for some time. Doubt the raven isn't very good company, and I always feel like he's judging me about something. I fed Lisa's rabbit and flitted between projects.

I managed to assemble the next Lisa Burton Radio post, and contacted the author for the week after that. I did a lap through social media and email before putting my editing jacket on.

I managed four chapters, and it's amazing what you'll find when you put a project aside for a month or two. I never really put The Yak Guy aside for that long, but these are early chapters and I probably haven't looked at them for six months. I found a couple of sentences that didn't make a lick of sense, but they do now. I also found a word that was too modern for the setting. It was waterbag, which is what we used to carry on the survey trucks when I was a young man. I used the term waterskin throughout the book, and it's easy to see how I got it in there. It had to go, and I fixed it. Doubt glared at me as if I still didn't have it right.

I spent some time also reading four chapters of a book. My spare time is scarce, and it's either reading or something writing related. Today I decided to split my time between the two. That was until a rumble sounded across the forest and meadow.

I ran to the front porch and stared into the woods. Something distinctly red flashed between the trees.

Lisa Burton roared down the gravel road on her new/old motorcycle. She slid to a stop on the elevator at the end of the runway, then lowered everything into the basement.

I ran back inside to meet her at the top of the stairs when she came up. “It's good to have you home.”

“What's going on out here?”

“Just tending the animals and doing a bit of editing.”

“I can see that. How did you ever get that thing on anyway?”

“I don't know, just part of the magic at the writing cabin.”

“Did you manage to write something while I was away?”

“Not so much. I scratched out a Macabre Macaroni piece, but I don't know if I'll keep it. Maybe I should start calling it the editing cabin. There hasn't been much writing going on this year.”

“I'm sure there will be. Lorelei the Muse won't let you stagnate.”

“I'm sure. Looks like you bought yourself a new toy.”

“Oh yeah, isn't it pretty. I won enough money on the cruise ship to pay for it, and still have money left over. Wanna go for a ride?”

“Um, maybe later.”

“Okay, I'm going to unpack and visit my poor lonely Bunny.”

“Glad to have you back. I think your posters came out great this time.”

“They were nice, weren't they? I like my umpire one best. I looked serious and fierce in it.”

“You had a no nonsense look on your face, that's for sure. Um, Lisa?”

“What?”

“Turns out getting into my editing jacket is easier than getting out of it. Do you mind?”

“No problem, turn around and I'll untie your sleeves.”

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Is it safe to come out yet?

Honestly, is there anyone out there who doesn't know I have a new book out? I've hit it hard over the last month or so on the promotional front. It takes time to write all those pieces. Then I have to organize my volunteer hosts, and participate in any comments we might get.

This is harder than it sounds, because I don't assign specific dates to the tour posts. I give the hosts some loose parameters, and live with what I get. I asked my hosts not to post on Thursdays, because Lisa Burton Radio is that day. My own guests deserve their day in the spotlight.

There were a couple of review posts that I didn't calculate into the mix, but I tried to support them too. I know there has been a lot of reblogging on my site through this phase. If I can benefit from my hosts' traffic, maybe they can benefit from some of mine too. It isn't much, but it feels polite to me.

Then there is the fact that all of the posts were unique. It wasn't like reading the same thing over and over. I also liked the Lisa Burton posters for this book. If you missed any of them, I included them as back of the book material. For 99¢ you can have all three of them.

The tour worked out well for mid summer. I moved about a dozen copies per day at first, and it's now trickled down to one per day. That may not sound like much, but that's all the promo I've done too. I was going to advertise on Facebook, but they've pissed me off lately. They push me to boost or advertise every single post I make. Let's face it, not every post is worth spending $20 on.

You authors out there would have met some wonderful supportive hosts if you went on the tour. Don't underestimate the value of knowing a few people like that. Someday you'll want to make a blog tour too, and there's no time like the present to make a few friends. I owe these hosts a lot, and you may see some of them over here from time to time.

I'm pretty happy as it stands now. Reviews are trickling in, and every book needs more. The point is that I have some. I got within three notches of one of the Amazon charts, but never did hit the top 100. It would have been great, but it could still happen. The Amazon machine is strange. Sell three or four in an hour and land a review on the same day and poof – top 100.

I'm checking for reviews a few times every day, but I'll calm down soon. I always have. The reviews have been positive, and that makes me very happy. This book was a risk in my mind, and those who took a chance seem to have enjoyed it.

Tomorrow I need to work on more Lisa Burton Radio posts. I have next week's post ready, I only need to assemble and schedule it. This isn't enough though. I also need to finalize the week after, and work up a couple more shticks.

I have some editing on my horizon too. Depending on how things go, I may even tackle some micro-fiction for October.

Hope you guys enjoyed the tour. Thanks for sticking with me through it, and thanks for reading and reviewing my newest book. There are more on the way.

Did you notice my restraint? No book title, no purchase link. If you're dying to know, scroll through my recent posts.

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Our Review: The Enhanced League by Craig Boyack @coldhandboyack

I’m loving these early reviews. Anita and Jaye are super supportive authors and bloggers. Stop by their site and check out their wares while you’re there.

anita dawes and jaye marie

61dfzghv0BL._UY250_.jpgThe Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.
Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.
I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. – CB

Our Review

I love the way Craig Boyack writes, I swear he could make the phone book interesting, so I was keen to read his latest story, which…

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Requiem for the Status Quo, on #LisaBurton Radio

“Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Lisa Burton. What can we do for you today?”

“I don’t think I’ve met you, Lisa, this is Patrick Quinn, can you please put my daughter, Colleen, on the phone?”

“Sorry, Patrick I think you’ve got the wrong number. I’m actually a radio talk-show host, Lisa the robot girl.”

“Robot girl? What can I do for you?”

“Well, Patrick, you called me and I’m glad you did. Now that we’re on the air, what would you like to talk about?”

“If I had my druthers, I’d like to talk about and to Connie. She’s my wife. She died a few years ago. Let me tell you about her … did you say your name is Laura?”

“Close, it’s Lisa.”

“Let me tell you, Lisa, that wife of mine was a firecracker, she sure kept me on my toes but a few years ago now, she got her wish to die in her sleep. Let me tell you, that’s a wish that I’m sorry came true.”

“I’m sorry about your wife’s passing, Patrick.”

“Me too, and you see, it used to be that I felt I could communicate with her, you know, even though she’s in whatever and wherever the afterlife has to offer, but I don’t seem to be able to reach her anymore.”

“You’re saying you can’t talk to her anymore? I’m sure she’s still there somewhere, Patrick, I bet she still hears you.”

“Well, that’s good to know, thanks for saying so. Just wish I could hear her. Ya’ see, it seems my brain isn’t exactly tuned in to her anymore. Colleen, did I tell you she’s my daughter? She understands all about that, she’s a darn good caregiver for her old man as well. The last thing I ever wanted was to be a burden to her, she deserves to have a life of her own, ya’ know.”

“Wait a minute, your daughter’s your caregiver, does this mean you’re not feeling well?”

“Nice of you to ask, Miss Laura, um Miss Lisa? Anyway, other than my prostate that’s acting up something fierce, I’m feeling fine, I just can’t remember things as well as I used to because of a dementia thing I’ve got. The Doc says it’s Alzheimer’s plus something else, I can’t remember the something else…well, I guess it’s no surprise I can’t remember. So when Colleen and I met with the Doc, now he’s a real smart guy, let me tell you, he’s a brain doctor so he’s gotta be…um, what was I saying?”

“You and your daughter met with a smart doctor.”

“Right, so the Doc, he says there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s so Colleen and I knew right away that wasn’t good news at all, which, let me tell you, didn’t sit at all well with either of us. I said to the doctor, I said, “Look Doc, there must be a pill or two I can take, isn’t there?” Then I said, “They’ve got a pill that can give a man a four-hour erection, can’t they give me a pill that’ll take care of my withered brain?” Get it, withered?”

“Um, yeah, that’s kind of funny.”

“I thought so too, but the doctor didn’t laugh, I guess he was supposed to be serious and all, but I thought the erection comment would lighten the mood.––”

Give me that Dad, who are you talking to? Hello, who is this?”

“I’m Lisa Burton, the robot girl. I was just having a pleasant conversation with Patrick. Who are you?”

“I’m his son, Jonathan, I have to apologize about my dad, he’s not exactly right in the head…”

“I don’t know, he made total sense to me.”

“He’s got Alzheimer’s so that would be a first, him making sense. It’s pretty difficult for everyone, I mean …”

“Well, Jonathan, I would imagine it must be more difficult for your wonderful, father, wouldn’t you say?”

“I know, you’re right, it’s just that Colleen, she’s my sister who I hope will be back soon from a support group meeting she attends, she’s the one who is more involved with him so I’m not used to when he asks the same question over and over again. And the other day, he was at my wife’s and my house for dinner, and even though my wife told him what type of soup we were eating several times, it was squash soup, he kept forgetting. It was pretty embarrassing, I know that sounds harsh, but I’m just being honest.

“Oh, and the other day, Dad walked to a restaurant near his house to meet up with some Korean war buddies of his and he got lost and he forgot to put his house keys in his pocket. Colleen had put a Contact list of people in his wallet, you know, her and me, so the police were able to get in touch with someone who had keys to help him get home. We thought he was still able to live on his own without getting into trouble but Colleen and I are going to have to figure something out, and soon.”

“Jonathan, do you ever attend the support meetings?”

“I don’t really need that kind of crutch, and besides, anything I need to learn about my dad’s disease I can find on the internet.”

“How’s that working out for you?”

“I only go to websites I know are professional so I get all the correct information.”

“What I meant was, how’s that working for you, not getting support from people going through the same thing as you are? Maybe hearing how others handle stuff related to their loved one’s illness would be good for you. Sometimes the textbook answers aren’t as good as the real-life ones. Maybe the medical journals don’t adequately address the person inside the diseased body, how they feel, what they need from a personal perspective. I don’t know, I guess what I’m saying is it couldn’t hurt, right?”

“I’ll think about it…just a sec, my dad’s saying something.”

“Jonathan, what happened to that nice lady who called me. Did you find out what she wanted?”

“Dad, I’m just saying goodbye now. Sorry, Lisa, I have to go, and, uh, thanks for listening.”

“How about it, listeners. Have any of you ever had to care for a family member or friend with dementia? My author, Craig lost a grandparent to this horrible disease, and while he wasn’t the caregiver, it was hard on his entire family.

“You can learn more about Patrick, Colleen, and Jonathan in the novel, Requiem for the Status Quo, by Irene Frances Olson. I’ll post all the purchase links and other pertinents on the website.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton. Please use those sharing buttons to help Irene spread the word. The book is available today for the first time, so I’m honored to be part of Irene’s and Patrick’s release day events.”

***

Family caregivers are oftentimes ruthlessly challenged by uninvolved family members who are quick to condemn, but reticent to offer assistance. Such is the case for Colleen Strand, a widow who recently found her own footing who takes on the task of caring for her father, Patrick Quinn, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her older brother, Jonathan, criticizes Colleen at every turn and verbally abuses the father when he has the gall to exhibit symptoms of his disease. In short, Jonathan travels down the road of denial, leaving Colleen to deal with all matters regarding their father’s care.

Connected tenuously to a father who barely remembers her and a brother who has become an enigma, Colleen faces the moving target that is Alzheimer’s disease, determined to clothe her father with the dignity he deserves, while struggling to squeeze every minute of time she can from him.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Black Rose Writing Books-A-Million Indiebound

Irene Frances Olson writes from passion and experience. She was her father’s caregiver during his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Having previously worked in memory care, she was not new to the disease, nor was her family immune. Irene hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by writing novels that encourage and support those who just might need another person in their corner.

***

You can also find Irene on the following social media sites:

Author website

Twitter: @Boomer98053

Facebook: @RedmondWriter

Instagram: irenefrancesolson

 

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The Enhanced League by C. S. Boyack #NewRelease #SpeculativeFiction #Baseball #RRBC

I’m over at Mae Clair’s place today. We’re talking about all the pomp and peripheral things in The Enhanced League. Stop over and say hi.

While you’re there, look around. Mae is a fantastic author and blogger, and someone you should definitely follow. As an example of how supportive she is, her own book, A Desolate Hour, dropped yesterday. Maybe check out her book while you’re there https://www.amazon.com/Desolate-Hour-Point-Pleasant-ebook/dp/B01MDPY2A5/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1500463803&sr=1-1&keywords=Mae+Clair

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Craig Boyack is a regular visitor on my blog, but no matter how many times he drops by, he always has something new and unusual to share. That slant is par for the course with Craig’s main genre as a speculative fiction author. His latest release, The Enhanced League is truly unique and possibly my favorite of his varied works. I was a beta reader on this novel and was mesmerized by the creativity involved. You can find my 5-Star Amazon review here.

I asked Craig to write about the showmanship he incorporated into his baseball league with mascots and other splashy theatrics. (I loved the Kawaii Girls). Another favorite part for me were the vignettes with sportscasters Ricky Sunderland and Uber Velasquez. Pure gold! Trust me—you’re going to want to pick this one up!

~ooOOoo~

Thanks for the invite, Mae. It’s nice to have places to talk about our new…

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