I made sure to water all the outside plants while it was cool, then went to the writing cabin. Doubt, the raven, still hates my short stories. He tends to hate everything, and being able to move beyond his concerns is part of the trick to this stuff.
I took a small break to go over the last critique submission. For some reason, my printer decided not to talk to any of my hardware and I had to completely re-boot it. That seemed to solve the problem, but I’ve never had to do that before.
I finished up a couple of final word searches, and I’m to the point where I’m debating the merit of the tales themselves. This was the time when I sent the first Experimental Notebook out to beta readers. That time, my fears were unfounded. Every story in that book was someone’s favorite. I have my favorites too, but I couldn’t have been happier with those results.
So, what to do now? Is it time to pull the trigger? I’m never really certain. I called for my assistant, Lisa the robot girl.
“What’s up, boss?”
“I think it’s beer time. What do you have?”
“It’s a little early for you. Are you sure?”
“I think I’m done here.”
“I have a nice Belgian beer, but it’s made in the USA. I think you’ll like it.”
“Call the beer horns, and have one with me.”
“You know I don’t have to eat or drink.”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s only to make others comfortable. So be sociable with me.”
She whistled and the beer horns came running; tails wagging and sounding off like baby tubas.
We had a couple of nice cold Belgian brews and I called it a day. So, it looks like I need some help.
“Enjoy the rest of the weekend with your family,” Lisa said. “I’ll clean up around here.”
“You’re the best.”
Beta readers really help with the writing process. I need someone to tell me when something just isn’t right. I did a bit of experimenting, which is the point of these stories. It’s great when it works, but I need to know when it doesn’t so I can fix it prior to publication.
I probably have the email address for all my regulars, but I would never force anything on anyone. I’m looking for up to a half-dozen people to read this book of short stories and get back to me. I have a schedule this time too. I want to publish this in late August.
This is my standard fare; science fiction, paranormal, and one fantasy. It also includes two non-speculative pieces that I really liked. Rather than waste them, I made sure this book included two more stories than the last one. In other words, these will be free add-ons.
If you sign up, I need to get your report back by the end of July. That’s nearly a month to read a (free) book that should read pretty fast. That way I can spend early August making adjustments and get the formatting finished to pull this all off on schedule.
I’ve never scheduled this tightly before. Cover art is on order. Lisa Burton promotional art will be next, and I need to pull everything together before I release the book. I am a little bit ahead of time, but something always seems to come up, so I’m starting now.
This is my email address (in code to fool the bots). Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com. Drop me a line and I can send out Word, Apple Pages, PDF, or ePub as you please.
There you have it. I need beta readers. Be brave.
In other news, my wife and dog are home. We might find a way to pull off date night and spend some time together for the rest of the holiday. Otto was a big hit with family, and everyone was surprised at how heavy he is. I admit he’s like lifting a lead block.