I’ll take this kind of day

My wife had to work this morning, so I was left to my own devices. What else could I do, I wrote.

Serang and her master made it to an ancient abandoned temple and met up with the only other living monk they know of. This woman is actually from the opposing side of the conflict the governments have going on. I kind of like how the regular people don’t seem to have a skin in this war, but they have to live with its consequences anyway.

The older woman, Tomomi, taught Serang a lesson about tigers by introducing her to a live one. It made for a scary night in the jungle. They returned to a bit of temple life, but it’s going to prove temporary.

I also introduced a fictional animal, just because I can. I called it the hoofed pheasant. It was delicious.

I started writing the part where Serang has to handle a task on her own. This is the first time she hasn’t had a mentor to help her along the way. It will reflect some of the things she should have learned along her journey and test her in some new ways. This task is dangerous, and death is not out of the question.

I expect her to come out the other side a changed woman.

I left her during that task because I ran out of gas. All told, I didn’t keep count again, but it feels like about 4000 words. I’m becoming a pretty good guesser with all these updates.

My idea of publication before school lets out is over. I’m not going to stress about it any longer. Sean isn’t done with my promotional art anyway. I have a cover and one Lisa Burton poster so far. I may hold it for fall now. Summer releases never have been kind to me.

This will pose a new problem, because I want to release The Viral Blues around the Halloween season. I need to finish writing it, but it’s pretty close to complete. I parked it when I was trying to get Serang ready.

I hope to have a completed draft of Serang by mid June, and that leaves me all summer to put the finishing touches to The Viral Blues. It also gives Sean some time to make that cover and the promotional posters for it.

I may be blog tour mad by the time I finish promotion of both books so near each other.

In other news, my sprinkler system is fully repaired and working as I type. I also got my PSA test drawn in anticipation of an annual checkup I have to have. This isn’t a fun checkup, but since I have a problem, it beats the alternative.

I also managed to schedule the first of several posts I’m calling Expansion Packs over at Story Empire. The one about Fairytale Structure will go live later this month.

The convention I signed up for is underway, and they made a second effort at the Cover Wars and Character Battles. I feel like I kind of missed the boat due to the malfunctions. Sean Harrington also promoted it, because it’s all his artwork, but nothing worked.

The new sites seem functional, and my fantasy stuff is holding its own. Both the cover and the root monsters are into round two. This requires more voting.

If you’re so inclined The Lanternfish cover.

The Root Monsters from Lanternfish.

Don’t know if I’ll hit it that hard tomorrow. That’s the day I check in with my parents, but I might find an hour somewhere.

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And another one

The Fantasy Character Battles have also been reconstructed. If you love the root monsters, you can give them a vote here. I’m currently behind my competitor at the time of this post.

Again, I appreciate everyone of you.

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A tiny update

I need to get back to my writing, but an update is in order.

First an apology. I signed up for the OWS CyCon, in an attempt to reach new readers. They have a lot going on, so I could only manage so much. One of the things I did was enter several cover wars and character battles.

Earlier, I asked for your support, but the voting apparatus let everyone down. It simply does not function. You guys turned out, but were unable to cast any votes. For this, I am sorry. I hate “going to the well” in the first place, but when something doesn’t work it makes me look bad.

At any rate, the convention people are trying to remedy this by using a different service. The only thing up so far that I’m involved in is Fantasy Cover Wars. The new voting link is here.

On this one, you have to hit the button titled “Cast Ye Vote” in the upper right hand corner. Then you’ll be taken through the cover battles one at a time.

I will understand completely if you are tired of messing with it and have your own manuscripts to work on.

I have no idea if the character wars will be revamped, or the cover war I entered The Hat into. If they are I’ll make a follow-up post.

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Hard to pass up a good soapbox

This is a topic I’ve addressed before, but it’s timely once again. I’ll try to do it without spoilers, but it’s pretty rare air way up atop this box.

I may have addressed this on Story Empire, and it might have made a good topic over there. I don’t get a turn in the rotation for a while, so you get it here.

Regular readers will remember my post about fandoms who think they have the right to dictate the plots and character arcs in popular stories. At that time, it was all about Harry Potter. People crawled out of the woodwork to petition Rowling for what they wanted to see happen.

You might remember the campaigning, Harry + Hermione, Harry + Ron, how Voldemort would get his, Snape’s story arc, etc.

The Walking Dead got a bunch of this too.

Now we’re down to Game of Thrones. I’m irritated how everything went down, and I’m about to tell you why… without spoilers.

Readers/viewers are part of a compact. A story cannot be successful without them. An author can entertain himself to no end without any readers at all. However; when that story goes out for public consumption we strike a bargain with our readers.

We promise to deliver certain things, and a satisfactory ending is part of that. Some of the other things are genre specific, but can you imagine a murder mystery with no murder, with no mystery? A horror story without anything horrifying?

This doesn’t mean you have to have a “happily ever after” kind of ending either. There are plenty of super-famous tragedies out there.

Okay, now I’ve set the stage. While I’m pissed off over what they’re doing with Game of Thrones, I don’t believe I have any right to dictate or even suggest how the story will wrap up.

Right now there is a petition circulating to force HBO to rewrite, refilm, and air an alternate ending. This whole concept is absurd. Even if people get all the signatures they are seeking, HBO has no duty to honor the petition. This applies to the writers, directors, actors, etc.

This story belongs to the writers to screw up or wrap up as they see fit. My right is to like it or not. I have no right to dictate how it will wrap up, demand a happy ending, or a fan favorite hookup.

When people like my stories, some of them leave a positive review. On the rare occasion they are dissatisfied, they can leave a negative review. Viewers of GOT have the same rights. No more.

I’ll be there Sunday to see how it goes. I’ve invested eight years in this story, so I’m going to finish it. Then I’ll either like it… or not.

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More convention stuff

I have no idea how all this is tallied, but you can still vote for The Lanternfish in cover wars at the OWS CyCon.

This is the voting portal. Since you can still vote, I assume I advanced to the next round.  here. My guess is that I start from zero in the new round, so feel free to vote again. If any of you know more about this stuff, drop me a hint.

The Root Monsters are entered in character battles here. Voting is open now, so you can show these little guys some love too.

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Help a guy out

It looks like the voting has already started. I signed up for one cover war, plus two character battles.

You can vote for Voyage of the Lanternfish in cover wars here. (Open already)

You can vote for everyone’s favorite, The Root Monsters, in character battles here. (Starting tomorrow.)

The root monsters have a little something to say in the Fantasy Sound Off Board.

The Hat has a little something to say in the Urban Fantasy Sound Off Board.

The Hat is entered in the character battles in his genre too. You can vote for him here. (Voting starts the 17th. Hint, it’s a Lisa Burton poster of her wearing The Hat.)

OWS CyCon is an online convention. It promises three days of fun, adventure, and learning. While you’re visiting, check out my author booth. There are a selection of Lisa Burton posters and a few of my books available.

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Springtime in Idaho, plus a bit of luck

Yesterday was a travel day for me. This means my only job was to get to Lewiston and check into my room. I have a presentation to make for work today. I’ll go over my presentation materials in a few minutes.

While I’m waiting for the hotel to place out continental breakfast it seems like a decent time to update my blog.

Springtime in Idaho is a beautiful time. I saw animals all the way here. There were pheasants, turkeys, both mule deer and white tails. I even saw a bald eagle over the Salmon River.

Mostly though, Idaho Spring means construction. I passed through three construction zones yesterday with lengthy stops by flaggers. I even got to see one car who must have blown past the flagger at the far end, because he nearly had a head on collision with the pilot car I was following. Good times. There were two more construction zones, but they were monitored by those construction stop lights that are showing up more frequently. Only one rock hit my windshield and it didn’t chip.

Just past Grangeville, I got to watch a crop duster working. These guys always amaze me. Their acrobatic stunts are better than an air show. He was working close to the highway, and I almost ducked when he flew over my truck. I’m pretty sure I’m free of fleas and ticks now.

Since my only task was to get here, I decided to leave early. I was on the road by six am. My intent was to score some writing time if possible.

You can laugh if you want, but bald eagles have always brought me luck. Whatever my goal was, the sighting of an eagle insured success. This is what happened yesterday.

Serang and her master were still on that river. At this point in the story, they’ve been traveling a lot. There were lessons to learn along the way, and some cool creatures and scenery, but this is a novel not a travelogue.

I decided to tell a bit, jumping the story ahead by weeks and months. They sold their boat, marched back into the mountains, and met up with the only other living monk as far as they know. We made a fun stop at a blacksmith’s shop along the way. The elder monk also taught Serang an important lesson about the tigers she seems so enamored with.

Considering I haven’t been able to write any new fiction for a month now, I’m pretty happy. It came to 4010 new words I didn’t have before. Thank you Mr. Eagle.

When I called Old What’s Her Face last night, I learned that we’re going to have company again this weekend. That kills any writing time for Saturday or Sunday. I have a flex day in there, so maybe I’ll score some time then.

Or maybe, I’ll see another eagle on my way home today.

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