Trying to get things done

Today was a reasonable day to get things done, I just didn't get as much accomplished as I'd like. I always start off with social media, and I may have lingered there a little too long.

I wound up with about 2000 new words on The Yak Guy Project. I know it isn't all that much, and if I would just force myself I would get more accomplished. Still, I moved it past the 50,000 word mark. This part is kind of fun, because Yak Guy, who goes by Ted is showing some real growth. He's focused on things beyond himself, and taking some genuine risks in the process. Let's face it, at the 50K mark he should have grown a bit by now.

I can tell that I've moved out of the middle muck that I mention on occasion. Getting between the index cards is going to be a lot easier from this point on. As far as the Fool's Journey, I'm about to have him face the strength card. I'm not going to hit it very hard, but he's going to face an obstacle that's always been there in the background. He'll do some things that reflect some of the imagery in the card. I think this one should be more of a demonstration than deep reflection for Ted.

After that, I'm going to have to make some deviations. The whole tarot thing is fun, but for the sake of story, I need to shuffle the deck a little. I need to move the Hanged Man forward, and possibly the Wheel of Fortune. Then there is Justice. I have a character who fits the imagery perfectly, but I don't know if her lesson is required for the sake of the story. Looks like I need to do a bit of research before charging past the Strength card. If I include Justice at all, it needs to weave into the story the right way.

What do you think? Am I deviating from my personal challenge, or making it work? In other words, am I cheating?

I also finished one of my baseball short stories. It ended sooner than what I had planned, but there is a sportscast next that explains some of what happened. I'm going to draw some connections to how spin gets put on a story by the media, lawyers, social media, etc. The sportscast will also have some reflections about human nature as far as competitiveness goes.

In other news, my mother bought Otto a reindeer costume when she was here. It's kind of absurd, and every dog I've ever owned would have chewed this thing to ribbons in short order. Otto likes the damned thing, and whines to have us put it on him. He's a special soul, and nothing like any dog I've ever owned. I've had a lot of bully breeds, but never a 100% pure bulldog before. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a picture of reindeer Otto.

The hood doesn't stay up very long, but it really makes him happy.

Sounds like we are having date night tonight, because Old What's her Face has some commitments tomorrow. We have a ton of errands to run during the day too. Hmm, could be some writing opportunity in there tomorrow night. Sometime this weekend, I have to work up critique submissions for my group. We meet on Tuesday night after work. Maybe I should do that tomorrow night.

This might be the last chance to remind you all to vote. This blog, Entertaining Stories, was nominated as blog of the year by the Rave Reviews Book Club. My novel, The Playground, was nominated as book of the year. Voting is open to the general public, and I'm up against some tough competition in both categories. Here is the link if you're so inclined. Vote Here!

33 Comments

Filed under Writing

A Little Personal – His Revenge now $0.99 in US and UK – #RRBC

This is an incredible deal on a great thriller.

Fiction Favorites

His revenge sale

Photo Courtesy of Gwen Plano

Yup, it is true. I’m running a sale on His Revenge. From Now until midnight Sunday, December 11th. Here are the links:

US  Amazon

UK Amazon

View original post

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Dear Lisa, on #LisaBurtonRadio

This is Lisa Burton Radio, and I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl. One of the things I've wanted to try is sharing some of the mail we get on the air. So here we go.

I've gotten a lot of mail about my tattoos. The questions vary, so I'll try to cover as much as I can and hopefully your answer is in there somewhere.

When I was first booted up, they gave me a job, planted me in a house, and abandoned me. I found myself with days off as part of my cover. Nobody was supposed to know I was a robot, so I had to live like everyone else. I spent a lot of my off-time at the open air markets and street festival. All the other girls that summer had a kind of retro-style going on, so I adapted it to fit in better. It's still a popular sub-culture, and I still enjoy it.

The other girls had tattoos, and I really didn't know if I could get one or not. I'm covered with a genetically modified human skin, and it's fed by a hydroponic layer from underneath. Basically, I gambled whether it would work or not.

My leg is based upon a silk painting I saw, but I changed it up to things I like. There are koi fish on my ankle, mandarin ducks on my leg, and a persimmon tree with fruit up on my hip. They're always in odd numbers, so three fish, five duckies, and seven persimmons.

My shoulder has a chambered nautilus out hunting. Mathematical things appeal to my programming. I like bricks and tiles. The perfect spiral of the nautilus is just awesome. My tattoo artist came up with the ruins she's hunting among, and I went with it.

It hurt, and my pain receptors worked pretty hard. I don't know if I felt it exactly like you might, but that's the only experience I have. The ink stayed, and I love them.

A couple of you wanted to know about my hair. It's real hair, and seems to have become permanent. I wore a wig until the lab decided to test some new baldness drug on me. They painted it wherever they wanted me to have hair. My skin registered some pretty serious chemical burns, but the hair grew. They never released the drug for human consumption. I guess, in a way, it's okay to experiment on a robot girl. At least I saved some poor rabbit from the same experience.

I don't have hair anywhere they didn't paint me. I'm okay with that, because I never have to shave. I like my hair, and my brunette wig didn't look nearly as nice.

This one says, “Dear Lisa, what it's like working for an author?” I only know about one author, but it isn't a bad gig. Craig mostly likes peace and quiet when he writes. That and a couple gallons of coffee. This is his quiet phase.

There are times when he gets all manic, and excited about stuff too. Those are the times when we assemble a cast of characters and go over dialog together. If it doesn't sound right, he changes things and we do it again. Sometimes I get to swing weapons around, shoot guns, and even mix up magical ingredients. Those are fun days, but then it's usually back to more quiet time.

Eventually it becomes time to publish something. I'm the one who arranges blog tours, places Amazon advertising, and nearly everything else. Over the course of the last few books I've gotten to pose with various story elements and share my posters with various blog hosts. I really enjoy that part of the job.

It helps that I have a swag deal that lets me keep the clothing and various things I pose with. That's how I got the formerly haunted biplane, the rocket-pack, and more.

So how about it gang? Do you like an occasional Dear Lisa segment? There are a lot of places I could go with this. I could get a sponsor, like one of your books. I could read your letters on the air, and include links to your social media. To do that, I need a couple of things.

First, I need more questions. It might be cool not to make them all about me. Maybe the odd advice question could be fun. Maybe you'd like to know how Craig sets up his book releases, or how he outlines things. If you like this segment, send me some questions.

Second, I would need someone to volunteer as a sponsor. It isn't bad exposure for the price of free. Maybe you have a price reduction, or an anthology to promote. My regular interviews are better for a new release, but a bundle or anthology would make a good sponsor.

Speaking of my interviews, I always need guests. If you have a new book coming out, maybe something freshly released, or even a special price reduction, a character interview could entice a few buyers. Drop me a line and we'll set something up. I need more guests right now.

Craig said I could use an anthology he's in as an example. It might sound something like this… Today's sponsor is Macabre Sanctuary, a collection of ten short stories by ten fabulous authors. These tales are all paranormal, supernatural, and horror, guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. Pick up your copy today for the amazing low price of absolutely free. Macabre Sanctuary.

For Lisa Burton Radio, I'm Lisa Burton. And seriously, you guys, drop me a question or set something up for a character interview. I think Craig wants to turn my radio station into a chicken coop.

53 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Published: In a Small Compass, Vol. 1

Karen has been a great supporter of mine. She’s published her first book, and everyone should grab a copy.

In a small compass...

Dear friends and readers,

cover_inasmallcompass_1It has finally happened: My first book, In a Small Compass – Vol. 1, was published on November 30, 2016 as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you may know, the book comprises my first 15 (optimised!) short stories. I hope you’ll take time to check it out at Smashwords, where you can download the book for free.

In a Small Compass – Vol. 1 is available at many retailers. Mobi format is available at Smashwords.

Buy/download links:  books2read.com/u/m0zodW

I am looking forward to your feedback and reviews. 🙂

Best wishes,

Karen

View original post

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

WordPress Gremlins at work again

It looks like WordPress is hard at work making unnecessary improvements again. I noticed this happening this afternoon.

First the icon on my site changed to the stupid bell thing. It lights up whenever something happens, but no longer lets me know if it’s a comment, like, ping, or follow. It isn’t terribly hard to click and find out, it just seems like a de-improvment over what they had. The bell has been standard on Reader for a long time, but what used to be on my site was superior.

Second, my handy stats link is gone from the toolbar. I now have to back into it through the “My Sites” link. Not terribly hard to use, just more clicks to get the data I want.

I noticed that I cannot switch between Entertaining Stories and Story Empire easily any longer either. I used to have an option in the My Sites area. One click and I’m there. Now I have to open the link, tell it to switch sites, and then it opens a godawful half-page thing instead of going where I want. It looks like the best option now is to include a link in my bookmarks and avoid the whole “improvement.”

While there, I nearly freaked out. The dashboard seems to be missing entirely. This is the only editor I use for anything. I upload photos, occasionally write posts there, and make all my changes there. Don’t worry, it’s still around, but it’s been moved to the bottom of that abomination they are trying to force upon us. I’m sure it’s short lived, because it’s better than what they are trying to shove down my throat.

When it comes to actual blogging I still use a third party app. It isn’t being updated any longer, but still works better than WordPress does.

I don’t know why they can’t leave well enough alone. The original versions I started with were the best and most simple to use. Every thing they improve makes WordPress harder to use. How hard would it be to give me a toolbar with simple links? Change sites, stats, new action on a post, even a log in from my page would be really handy.

39 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Writing Suspense

Here’s my Story Empire post about writing suspense into our stories.

Story Empire

Craig here again, and the topic this time is writing suspense. Staci posted a wonderful piece about horror back in October. This inspired a great friend of ours, Sue Coletta, to write some suspense techniques over at her blog. I encourage you to check it out here. I mentioned that I was considering this for my next post here. Sue encouraged me to do it, because my techniques are different than hers are. And here we are.

So how do you go about writing suspense into your stories? I’ll tell you next month. Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week.

Bad jokes aside, that is actually one way to include suspense. It’s a process of baiting the reader, but withholding the information. To write this, I’m going to refer to a living document I have on the very topic. Like many of you, I’m a writing student as…

View original post 1,347 more words

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Another bunch of stuff

Mom and Dad hit the road back home about an hour ago. It sounds like Mom got her Christmas shopping finished, and I already posted about Dad & I yesterday. We went to Kahoots and enjoyed a great dinner and I had a couple of nice craft beers.

Blogging is funny business, because you never know what people will like. I'm to the point where I just post what I like, and let the chips fall. I have to do some promotion, and it doesn't offend me as much as it used to. I'm getting galvanized to the process now. I posted an interesting vignette recently, and it got lukewarm results. The picture of the fox was much more interesting to my readers.

Yesterday was one of those rare posts that went crazy. Flipboard kicked in again, and the air museum post has over 1100 views and counting. Most of the traffic is from Flipboard. Maybe I need to write a book about a fox who flies an antique fighter plane. (Joking.)

Mom likes to spoil my dog when she's here. Otto must have gotten half-a-dozen new toys and can't decide what to play with next. My wife bought him this little Santa hat.

Since WordPress doesn't seem to like home videos, I had to share the video on the Entertaining Stories Facebook page. It seems Otto has a small problem with his hat, and it's pretty funny. There is a permanent link to the page in my sidebar to make it easy for you.

In other news, voting is still open over at the Rave Reviews Book Club. My novel, The Playground, is up for book of the year, and this blog, Entertaining Stories, is up for blog of the year. Voting is open to the public, and with all the new traffic, I decided to mention it again. Here is the link. It would be pretty cool to actually win something.

I'm the author at Story Empire tomorrow. We try to gear these posts toward writing craft, and publishing. It probably isn't the place for slice of life stuff. Tomorrow's post is all about including suspense in your fiction. Suspense is useful in all genres, and I'm offering up a few tips from my living document on the subject. I don't want to include a link for a future post, so I'll probably reblog it over here once I wake up. We'd like to grow Story Empire, so all of us would appreciate any sharing you might be inclined to do. I'll monitor the site and respond to any comments I get.

I got my critique submission out the door today. We meet on the 12th, and I should get started reading their submissions. I have a little time yet. I'm a little nervous about my submission, because it includes a sex scene. I choose to handle it delicately, but don't want readers to miss the point either. I'm not impressed by graphic descriptions, and I hope there is enough to let readers imagine the rest, if they're so inclined.

I'm about half finished with a book I'm reading, and may dedicate the rest of the day to that…and bills, there are always bills. At least both of us get three paychecks this month. This happens on occasion, and can be kind of helpful when it does.

My flex day is Friday, so maybe that will be my writing day.

I hope all of you had a great weekend.

33 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized