Lisa* and I decided to try a bit of editing out at the writing cabin. New words were hung up in my headache, but editing seemed like a possibility. /there might be a small chance to spruce up The Playground.
“Okay, Lisa. You're out for a walk, and it's cold outside. You have your pea coat on, and your special work bag.”
“Oh crap. Do you think I should order a pea coat?”
“Just wing it, and we'll go over the dialog one more time.”
“I don't know. It would probably come across better if I had a pea coat. Should I order a blue one, or a tan one?”
“It doesn't matter. It won't be here in time.”
“Good point. I ordered one anyway.” She looked down at the antique blunderbuss and toyed with the hammer. “Oh cool. They have a pink one too. I'd better order both of them.”
“Can we get back to work now?”
“And a scarf. They would look really cute with my pea coats.” Her eyes fluttered the way they do when she's online.
I figured I'd lost her down a rabbit hole of matching nail polish, and probably some shoes that match the new coats.
In the last month, I've read The Playground a dozen times or more. It has three point of view characters, and I even read those sections like short stories all at once. “Let's give up for the night. I don't think I'm improving anything from here on out. It needs fresh eyes.”
I closed my word processor and checked email. There were a few new Facebook likes, some blog likes, and a note from Mom. “Woo Hoo! Look at this?”
“What? Is there another color of pea coat?”
“No! It's the cover to The Playground.”
Lisa jumped up and ran behind my desk to look for herself. She put a hand to her mouth and bent at the knees. “Oh my God. Sean Harrington is so talented. Does this mean we're publishing tonight?”
“Noooo. You haven't been listening. The manuscript needs fresh eyes.”
“Will you put out a call for beta readers again?”
“Not just beta readers. A whole street team. Maybe I need a cry to action, something like, Avengers Assemble!”
“Do you want the Avengers?”
“Yeah, kind of, but I doubt that's going to happen. It would make a great call to action though.”
“It already has. Maybe you should just ask nicely. You know, like the last time.”
“Yeah, that works too. Alright then, Wednesday night I'll ask for volunteers. I need some time to think about what I want. It's only polite to tell people what they can volunteer for. There are the beta readers, the cover reveal, maybe a reviewer or two. Then I need to get people to host me, and you too. You aren't getting off the hook on this one.”
“I'm sure. I have my new poster all ready to hand out.”
“While the betas are working, I can write some guest posts. It's easy enough to grab an excerpt to share.”
“Do you want me to put the blunderbuss in the basement with the other story elements?”
I picked up the antique gun and shouldered it. “It really is cool. Maybe we ought to display it up here.”
“Don't they traditionally go over a fireplace?”
“Good plan. Why don't you hang it over the fireplace in the paranormal office. The Playground is a paranormal story.”
“Got it. What are you going to do?”
“I'm going to go home and see if the X-Files is on tonight.”
“Goodnight then. See you Wednesday?”
“Give it up. Just ask everyone nicely. You don't need a stupid battle cry.”
I headed past the paranormal office toward the landing strip.
*Lisa Burton is my robotic personal assistant. She's also the official spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories.
A 'No Prize' for anyone who recognized Lisa's outfit as one she bought in her short story, Bombshell Squad.
~~~ “Stop with the Marvel rip offs. I'm reading your blog.”