The research phase

It’s time to do a little bit of research for my outlines. This is only preliminary stuff, more research will happen if I wind up writing one of these stories. For those who are new to my experiment, I’m in the middle of outlining four stories. I intend to make them slug it out survivor style for my writing time. This could make subsequent stories come along much faster, because they’ll be partly outlined.


The text, from Lisa* at the writing cabin, arrived at 2:30 today. “A group of guys just dropped off an old beater car. They said you ordered it.”

“I did. Check the model year and download a repair manual. I’ll be out after work today.”

As soon as I got home from work, I flew out to the writing cabin.

“Are you going somewhere in that junker?” Lisa asked.

“No, we are going somewhere in that junker. And it’s not a junker, it’s a Land Rover. We’re going on a research safari.”

“I can’t go camping. I have batteries to charge. And besides, who’s going to watch Bunny?

“Not to worry. Your friend Faith said she would tend Bunny while we’re gone.” I pushed my safari hat back out of my eyes. “Remember the Anurans from Arson?”

“Yeah…” She placed her hands on her hips and waited.

“I found some Anurans who operate a safari company. They dropped everything off using the Skyway system. They even pitched the tents and dropped off a generator.”

“It won’t be like a real safari. You have wooly mammoths and cave lions around here. And there are no bears on a safari.”

I ran inside and started packing books to the Land Rover. “I’ll have to use my imagination and improvise a bit. We’re going quite a ways, and we may find some real elephants, or some Cape buffalo.”

“Oh my gosh! I need to pack my clothes.” Lisa ran off in a flurry.

I loaded these books into the vehicle.

I’ve read them all before

I really need a book about propaganda, but maybe something will turn up. Do they have libraries on the savannah?

My hand moved to my beard, and I paused. I turned and yelled up the stairs. “We’ll drop Bunny off along the way. You probably ought to bring that big assed gun of yours.”

“Why? Crocodiles don’t eat robots.” The snicker echoed down the staircase.

“Very funny. If we hurry, we can probably get there just after dark.”

“Don’t wait for me. I’m ready for Camp Research.” She sat her trunk on the floor with a thud.

“Camp Research. I like that, we should put up a sign when we get there.” I stroked my beard again. “Um, what’s in the trunk?”

“Clothes and stuff. You don’t expect me to leave without a change of clothes do you?”

“Um, no. What was I thinking. You’ll have to lash it down in the back. And download a map, you’re driving.”

She lifted her trunk with one hand and carried it to the Land Rover. It’s surprising how strong she really is.

Lisa turned over the ancient four-wheel-drive’s engine. “Did you lock the door?”


“Did you go pee?”


“Can you see if Bunny’s scared?”

“He’s fine.”

“Will we find some natives?” She dropped the clutch and we made our way down the access road.

“I hope so.”

“Witch doctors too?”

“That’s the plan. You haven’t been out lately, have you?”

“Not really, why do you ask?”

“No reason. I think you have sixteen questions to go.”

*Lisa Burton is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps me around the writing cabin these days.


Filed under Muse, Writing

20 responses to “The research phase

  1. I really like the idea of outlining a few different stories. As you allude to, there would always be something else to work on if one wasn’t piquing your interest for the day. But I’m such a one-project-at-a-time sort of person, I’m not sure I’d be able to pull it off.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how Lisa is like a small child, lol! I felt like I was about to take trip with my youngest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now I’m curious to see how these stories come out and which one wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t imagine researching four stories at one time. I’m working on only one right now and it’s consuming me. Can’t wait to see which one grabs your attention (I’m picturing hungry fish snapping at a surface water line!)

    Lisa is so much fun. I love when she shows up in your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s an interesting process. Some will probably only get through Act 1. That doesn’t mean I delete them. I can return to them years later. It may be too ambitious for me, but I like to try things to see if I can get better. I enjoy writing Lisa. I’ve been holding that artwork for a long time. Hopefully my Muse will visit Camp Research too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ali Isaac

    Looks like your voyage of discovery is going to be fun… Especially with Lisa dressed like that…


  6. Pingback: Lazy day off | Entertaining Stories

  7. I always love the Lisa tales. At least she’s not taking off to Vegas again without taking care of your research needs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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