Time to stop researching

I looked up from my iPad and watched a pair of flamingos wing overhead. The smell of a distant brushfire faded and was replaced with a delicious smell from the cook tent. Lisa* popped outside and placed the folding table in the shade.

“Your lunch is about ready. I still can’t believe you shot that gazelle,” she said.

“I couldn’t eat another can of that Dwarven scrapple. I know you’re an animal lover, but a man has to eat. Besides, all you need is recharging.” I moved to the table, and refilled my coffee.

“What’s on the agenda today? Watch the rhinos in the mud again? Maybe watch the elephants water again?”

“Nope. I think it’s time to go home. I’ve gathered enough research, now I need to figure out what to do with it all. I’m still making everything up, but it’s nice to have some points to ground my stories. Besides, I’ll bet you miss Bunny.”

Lisa sat down my plate and turned away. “I’ll get started packing. Do we have to break down these tents?”

“The service will do everything. Load our gear, gas up, and we’re out of here.” I tucked into my lunch.

Lisa loaded her trunk, and my few meager items. She used the hand pump to fill the Landrover, then lifted the rear of the vehicle so the differential sat on a rock with the tires off the ground. “I still think we should have ordered a new starter.”

“It’s an old car, and getting one clear out here isn’t easy. We’ll order one back at the writing cabin. Besides, you’re a good starter.”

She muttered, “Yup, that’s me. Girl Friday, auto mechanic, cook, and laundry.” She placed the transmission in gear, and wrapped the right rear tire with a length of rope.

“Don’t forget spokes model, and main character too.”

“Hmph!” She grabbed the end of the rope and gave it a mighty pull. The rope spun the tire, and the Landrover engine coughed to life. Once she had the car out of gear, she lifted it off the rock, climbed behind the wheel, and backed over to where I sat.

I walked across the compound and coiled up the rope. “We’d better take this, just in case. We can pay the service for it when we get home.”

I crawled in beside Lisa and we got underway. A huge dust cloud formed behind us and I had a hard time looking back at Camp Research.

“So are you ready to choose your next novel?” She asked.

“No. I have two outlines that are into act two, a third one that’s almost there, and one that’s languishing.”

“Lorelei** is getting impatient.”

“I know, but I need to get back to the writing cabin and use the Internet.”

“Oh sure, I need the Internet and it’s no big deal. You need it, and it’s worth breaking camp over.”

“Well, I am the writer, and you’re the fictional assistant.”

She backhanded me across the chest. “Does that feel fictional?”

“No!” I nearly blacked out and spent a minute catching my breath. “For whatever reasons, I need the Internet, and I have an assignment for you.”

“I’m not leaving Bunny again so soon.”

“It’s a day job, I promise. You’re posing for Sean Harrington again. We need some new blog art to promote The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, and The Playground.”

“I hope it isn’t for a few days. I’m going to need that long to wash Camp Research out of my hair.”

The savanna faded into higher grasslands, and eventually timber. The African animals were replaced by more ice age fauna typical of the area near the writing cabin. Lisa handed me a gazelle sandwich with horseradish as the shadows grew longer.

We slowed for a unicorn in the road, and Lisa blew right by the turn to pick up Bunny. I waived at the road in confusion.

“I’ve got a great WiFi signal here. Faith said she’ll drop him off at the cabin for me.”

Lisa drove to the lower driveway and opened the garage door. She didn’t want to stop and risk having to pull start the vehicle again. Once she parked, she turned off the engine and ran up the stairs for her beloved pet.

*Lisa Burton is the robotic main character in Wild Concept. She also has a new short story in my Experimental Notebook. You can get a free set of Lisa paper dolls here.

**Lorelei is my Muse. She didn’t appear in this story, but since we talked about her, I thought I should define who she is.

10 Comments

Filed under Muse

The Winners of the Annual #BloggersBash Awards Are…

coldhandboyack:

Wish I could have attended. It was cool to get nominated alongside some real blogging Giants.

Originally posted on Sacha Black:

So here we are, it’s results time. If any of the winners/those who place want to display the award on their sites, drop me an email and I will send you the logo.

But first, I wanted to share with you the speech I made earlier today at the first Annual Bloggers Bash:

View original 1,781 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ready for the weekend

Like all my weekends recently, it will be a combination of work and fun. I already changed my wallpaper. It must be August somewhere, right? There are fireflies in part of Will O' the Wisp, and I decided it looks cool.

I bought ink cartridges on the way home from work. I need to load them in the printer and get moving on my critique assignments. I also need to send off my 3000 words to my peers.

I still have a bit of research to do. There was a true story I wanted to borrow from, but I'm about to make the whole thing up myself. Authors are allowed to do that. I also want to work on my outlines a bit more.

I've been stalling about editing The Playground. I have a bunch of vacation time coming up, and may wait until then.

Boise has a huge Basque festival going on this weekend. We may run downtown and get some awesome Basque food tomorrow. My wife has something planned with the grandkids too, but I'm almost certain to tag along.

I may get all of it finished, I may not. Right now, I really don't care either way. It's going to be time to push my book of short stories soon, and then I'll have to get serious. We're still fiddling around with the cover art, and a few advance readers are still working on things. I earmarked September sometime for publication, so right now I'm cruising. This weekend I can just go with the flow. (And listen to all the Alice Cooper music I downloaded.)

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Welcome to My Nightmare

Last night fulfilled a bucket list item for me, kind of. I’m not a huge believer in bucket lists, but I’ll just say I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.

The final tour for Motley Crüe came to Boise, and my wife wanted to go. I moaned about the ticket price, and the fact that I’d already been to one of their concerts. She said, “But Honey, they’re on tour with Alice Cooper.”

That was all I needed to know. We bought our tickets about six months ago. Last night was the night.

Waiting for the show

Alice Cooper was phenomenal. I first stumbled across him in the early 1970s, and my eight track player was always loaded with one of his tapes. I’ve always heard that he put on the best, and most theatrical live shows. Until last night, I’d never seen one.

I Googled it, Cooper is 67 years old now. I wish I had gone out of my way to see him sooner. It would have been worth a trip to the coast, or Phoenix to take in his show.

He’s had a long career, and the show was a mixture of older and newer music. He chose well. I still lamented the songs I didn’t get to hear.

I never got to play with the Black Widow, or Go To Hell, there was no help from Nurse Rosetta, or a trip to the Quiet Room.

There are just too many songs for him to cover them all in the scope of a concert. I still knew every song, and had a great time.

His choices ran the gamut from oldies like Under My Wheels and Eighteen, to his newer hits like Poison and Feed My Frankenstein.

 

How could he not include Frankenstein. It just screams to be part of a live show. This included some cool electrodes, and a fifteen foot monster running around stage chasing the band members. My picture is crap, but that’s Frankie behind the band members. That ought to give you an idea of scale.

I may have been to over a hundred concerts in my life. I’ve seen everything from country to acid rock. There are some things that become staple items. I’ve seen fog, lasers, fireworks, and all the usual things before.

This show had swords, straight jackets, electrodes, a working guillotine, and a fifteen foot monster. (Did I mention the monster?)

I am one happy dude today, and I bought the tee shirt. I’m going to spend a portion of my day downloading those songs I didn’t get to hear last night.

Oh yeah, and Motley Crüe played last night too.

29 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

On Editing

coldhandboyack:

Rachel has a great theme going on. We can all learn from each other, but it involves sharing a bit. I’ve already participated. Won’t you share a tip or two? I’m always open to learning new things.

Originally posted on Rachel Carrera, Novelist:

Tap, tap, tap.  (Tapping my microphone.)  Is this thing on? 

Well, folks, I thought I’d have a nice little Tuesday segment during the summer that all of us writers could participate in and share and enjoy, but I can’t get anyone else to play along.  Don’t YOU want to share some of your editing tips and tricks with us here?  In exchange for your participation, you’ll get a shameless plug for your book(s) as well as a heartfelt thank you from many of my followers.

Too many of you seem to think that you don’t do anything special, or you don’t know anything that everyone else doesn’t know.  But that’s not necessarily true.  We all do things a little differently, and we want to hear from YOU.  What do you say?

If you’d like to play along, please email your responses to the following questions to my email address…

View original 133 more words

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Slacker!

I skipped my normal Sunday post this weekend. It isn't that I had no topic, we were just busy. It didn't even involve writing related stuff.

My wife earmarked the spot where my deceased apricot tree was removed. She's also a sucker for a good promotion. A local nursery gives away what they call “bucks” during the Spring and early Summer sales period. If you save these bucks, you can use them after the season winds down to purchase items they didn't sell during the rush. (I was thinking tools perhaps. Silly me.)

It's a great business idea. People who don't care where they buy petunias go out of their way to shop where they get bucks. They return toward the end of the season to spend bucks on junk the nursery could not sell.

This time, we got lucky. My wife picked out a magnolia tree that was over $100. We paid less than $40 because she had so many bucks to spend. That means I got to plant a rather large tree on Sunday. Our soil is rocky, and this takes a bit of effort. I even screened the soil to remove the rocks before it went back in the hole. (I didn't need dynamite, but it was close.) (Also, can I get some bucks for a back massage and some muscle relaxers?)

Immediately after finishing it was time to clean up, and dress up. We made a mad dash to The Morrison Center to watch The Book of Mormon. This is the Broadway play that was put together by the fellows who brought us South Park. We wound up getting there about fifteen minutes late because a stoplight was out.

Sometimes even I get lucky. So many patrons were blocked by the light that they held up the curtain. All was well. The play was hilarious. We grabbed a sandwich and a beer on the way home, and that about did it for me.

Tomorrow, we have tickets to the final tour for Motley Crüe. My wife is way excited, but I saw them live before I ever met her. They will be excellent, and I'm not worried about being bored. I'm looking forward to Alice Cooper who is also part of the bill. I've never seen him perform, and always wanted to.

We almost never buy tickets to the big stuff. It's kind of once per year, or less. It just so happens this year we have tickets to two events in three days. If I consider the play as last year's event, and the concert as this year's event, can I go to something fun again next summer?

Oddly enough, I need a tie for work tomorrow. Sunday, I went from shorts and a tee shirt to putting on a tie for the play. Tomorrow, I'll rush home to get rid of the tie and pull on shorts and a tee shirt.

So I was a slacker in blogland. I may have missed a post or two that I should have read. I didn't write, edit, or promote a darned thing. I had a pretty good time though. I may even see some interesting people to make up stories about tomorrow.

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Well, that was strange…

Date night. Saturday night. Anytown, USA. You get a hot tip on a good restaurant, and decide to try it out. Steak and shrimp, the specialty of the house. You do an Internet search to make sure they are as good as your tip said. This place is famous for their gigantic prawns. Maybe you download a Groupon; it's always good to save a buck.

Your spouse presses your shirt. It's the one night a week when it's just the two of you. You drive to the restaurant, and the parking lot is full; a good sign. The cars are all top marques , another good sign. You place your hand upon the horseshoe doorknob, give it a good swing and hold it for your wife…

Cue the music, motherfu****. You've just entered The Twilight Zone.

My pupils narrow, and I'm blinded temporarily by the sea of white. The tint in my bifocals darkens until I can see the light is coming from the white hair from the patrons. The decor is dark tongue and groove wood with wrought iron trimmings. Ancient photos and replicas of famous western paintings hang on every wall.

I check the menu. Did I wander into The Golden Corral by mistake? No, we're in the right place. It's like walking into the best restaurant in town, in 1974.

The place has a Hotel California vibe to it, in that the patrons never left. I'm relatively certain the lady with the walker must have won a Lindy Hop competition at some time in her past. The man swirling his whiskey and Coke looks like a retired barnstormer, for sure. Even the waitstaff has grey hair, our waitress has hers in a grey ponytail. It's probably the same hairstyle she wore to work when she was sixteen.

I looked around for someone more my age. I saw an old man with a pornstache. Those went extinct some time in the last century. Another man had on a cowboy shirt, the kind with the pearl snaps instead of buttons, and pointed pocket flaps. He's snapped up all the way with a bolo tie to finish it off. His high water white slacks reveal pointed black cowboy boots underneath.

When our meal arrives, it involves beef the way they used to serve it. Goddamned near raw, except it's a few degrees warmer than when it was alive. The prawns are gigantic, except they're prepared in the only way I ever saw shrimp until I turned thirty. They're flattened out like a lollipop, breaded, and deep fried. Just like you might find in a box from the frozen food section.

I ate my supper in silence. Fear prevented me from asking if they'd ever heard of scampi, or barbecued prawns. I didn't want to have to stay there forever. We paid the tab.

The meal was great, it was just the height of cuisine from forty years ago.

We hugged each other in the parking lot, glad to have escaped the permanence of the place. Old What's Her Face wanted to go to the mall. I was so happy to be alive, that I agreed.

I celebrated my good fortune with a beer from Old Chicago. She bought some pants and shoes to wear to the theatre tomorrow night. On the way home I stopped for a couple of magazines, the paper kind, like I haven't read in years. These are for stocking in the camper. I picked up Azimov's, Ellery Queen, and Hitchcock's. I even added a copy of the new Heavy Metal magazine, just for fun. The next time my iPad battery dies out camping, I'm ready with some evening entertainment.

It was a decent night. We're never repeating it — ever. There has to be some kind of fusion restaurant, or Tuscan based place around.

I hope all of you had a great Saturday night. Mine was fine, but a little bit scary.

31 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized