I wanted to make it out to the writing cabin once more before going on vacation. The puppy saw to it that I got a good early start.
I found Lisa doing her nails in the front office. “What are you doing? I told you I was coming today.”
“I expected you later. I have a show to do tomorrow, and need to look my best.”
“It's a radio show.”
“I don't care. I do my best work when I feel confident. What's our plan today?”
“No plan, really. It's summertime, and I only want to keep the projects moving forward. I'll grab coffee and be in my office.”
I struggled with ideas for Halloween themed stories. For some reason, my Muse (Lorelei) hasn't been sending me much stuff along those lines. I finally gave up and started making a pass through The Yak Guy Project. I haven't done much with it, and wanted to get back in the swing. I need to completely rewrite one character to avoid him resembling the other characters. Anyway, my idea was to study the previous characters.
This story is based loosely around The Fool's Journey, from the major arcana of the tarot deck. The character I want to repair is the heirophont character. Yak Guy Ted (the fool) meets a lot of mentors along his journey. I have too many of them sounding like Miyagi.
It's probably poor planning, because at 50,000 words, there was no way I was going to get completely through it today. Then there was the idea of going on vacation for ten days.
I surrendered and went back to short stories. I wrote two of them. Word count came in at about 2700. They are too big to call micro-fiction, but too short for my determination of a short story at 5000. Whatever, I wrote 2700 new words, and one of them might deserve to be a little bit longer.
These are stories for my baseball project, called The Enhanced League. This is proving to be a challenge, because there is a lot of world building going on. Each story is supposed to stand alone, but support a longer book of short stories. This means my normal twist endings don't apply in every story. Like I said, a challenge. Actually writing them helps me with the clarity.
Does anyone out there still enjoy a tale with gobs of world building? They used to be pretty popular.
I looked up and stroked my beard. “Lisa, do you know where Wiki is hanging out these days?”
Lisa came into my office all in a flurry. “Don't even think about it. You remember how mad Lorelei got when you hung out with the Sirens.”
“It isn't like Lorelei's been around a lot lately. Probably hanging out at some Olympic beach party, or getting ready to go to the actual Olympics. Now answer my question.”
Lisa's eyelids fluttered ever so slightly as she checked the tracking data. “Wiki is hanging out at a coffee shop about thirty miles away.”
“Is she alone? She's more dangerous with her sisters.”
“She's alone, for now.”
“Pull the old Land Rover around. You can provide security.”
We found little hipster Wiki in the coffee shop hiding behind a huge mug and her iPad mini. She wore a long tee-shirt with a skull pattern over black leggings, with army boots. She had a cluster of colored string friendship bracelets on one arm, and two watches on the other. I have to admit, she looked adorable, but all of the Sirens do.
Wiki jumped up and squealed. “Hi you guys. What brings you here?”
“We're looking for you,” I said.
Lisa simply crossed her arms, lifted her chin, and said, “Wiki.”
I turned to Lisa, “Are the others nearby?”
“Wiki, I want to do some baseball research. Stuff like bullpen carts, city populations, pitch velocity, left handed catchers, all kinds of stuff.”
“Easy- peasy.” She typed on her iPad and showed me an image of the Mr. Met bullpen cart. “This kind of stuff?”
“Exactly that kind of stuff. When did they quit using them?”
Wiki made a few more keyboard strokes. “Looks like the last one was a Harley Davidson with sidecar, in 1995.” She made a few more keystrokes. “Check out this kitty on one of those Roomba vacuum cleaners.” She wrinkled her nose in that adorable way she has.
Lisa slipped her hand inside her purse and stepped forward. “I don't think so.”
“Can't blame a girl for trying,” Wiki said.
I grabbed a large Americano while Lisa stood guard. Wiki found me stuff on PEDs, ways to throw the curveball, how domed stadiums can move the grass outside for natural sunlight, and much more. I thanked her, and she hugged me with Lisa looking on like a prison guard.
We left, and I waited until we pulled away from the curb, before asking Lisa, “Is your gun in that purse?”
“Yup, sure is. The Research Sirens are supposed to trap you in an endless research loop. They wreck careers on the cliffs of cute kitty videos.”
“But she's only one.”
“Right, but she's a Siren and knows how to flirt with you. Thank God I captured Libraria's and Consultia's cellphone data when they came to the cabin. Now I can track them. All three of them could be deadly.”
“You aren't going to tell Lorelei, are you?”
“Heck no. We're friends and all, but you're my employer. This is like confidential business data.”
There are several new followers at Entertaining Stories. This tale involves quite a few recurring characters, and it's easier to explain this way than with a simple asterisk and footnote.
Lorelei is an actual Greek Muse who sends me an endless stream of ideas. They aren't always what I'm looking for, and a Halloween idea or two would be appreciated.
Wiki is one of the Research Sirens. She is the youngest, and more internet based than her sisters. The sirens are dangerous, but one at a time they aren't quite so bad.
Libraria and Consultia are the other Research Sirens, and you can guess what their individual focus is. They are mentioned, but do not appear in this story.
Lisa is my robotic personal assistant, and the official spokesmodel for my writing career. For more of Lisa, come back tomorrow for another episode of Lisa Burton Radio. Apparently, she'll have cute nails, but I have no idea how you'll see them over the radio.
Special aside: Lisa is always looking for more characters to appear on Lisa Burton Radio. If you'd like one of your characters to appear, drop me a note.
The Enhanced League is going to be science fiction of the near future variety. It has no deadline and will be a collection of short stories and micro-fiction. I wrote one about the umpires, and another one called Banned in Salt Lake City today. SLC is known for doing this on occasion, most famously with Olivia Newton John's song, Physical. The stories need some work, but they exist now.