Category Archives: Blogging

So I missed a few things

Going on vacation will cause you to miss some things. I really didn't go through my reader while I was gone. I tried to read back, but you guys are pretty prolific.

In the real world, my friends do things outside my sight. We don't share every waking moment, so I choose to look at it like that. I will pick up my blog reading from this point on. If I missed something important, let me know and I'll try to get to it.

I hit it hard on Lisa Burton Radio today. I got one scheduled for Thursday, and worked on three others. I'm about two ahead, but Lisa always needs guests so don't be shy.

I read the children's book I tried to read on the airplane, and posted a nice review. The Big Cheese Festival has a nice message about bullying, and I can relate to it because of my grandchildren.

I grabbed a copy of Unseen Motives, by Joan Hall to read next. I really need to keep up on this stuff, but I feel like I'm getting caught up now.

While I was at Amazon, I decided to check my own progress and found a wonderful five star review of The Playground. Thank you, Don Massenzio, so glad you enjoyed it.

I have to go back to work tomorrow, so I may knock off for now. I may even play a video game.

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A little bit behind

It's been trying around here. I usually get a small project finished in the evenings, but the house is chaos right now. If I open my blogging program, one of the puppies tries to mess on the floor. This requires me to jump up and address the problem. Then it usually requires me to play for fifteen minutes, darn it.

I have about three Lisa interviews to work on, and I must get one scheduled for next week. Puppies may be helpful in this regard. We've decided that one of us needs to stay with them, so we might be running individual errands for a while. With the arrival of nice weather, I can use the backyard furniture and slave away while the puppies get the run of the yard.

If I can get caught up on my commitments to others, I need to forge ahead on my reading. This is a commitment to a friend too, and this kind of task comes first.

Life won't work this well, but in a perfect world, I'll get to address my beta edits too. If I can catch up on the interviews and do some reading, I'll be content.

Our current situation also puts a damper on date night, but that's okay. There is a strong possibility that our daughter will babysit while we take a quick trip together next week. My fingers are crossed for that.

Otto has a little habit that we call poodle time. He likes to crawl up with me in the early mornings. With the arrival of his sisters, things are getting crowded. It's a lousy photo, but they had to move to the ottoman so everyone could fit.

Looks like a Bev Doolittle painting.

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Not Feeling It

I’m just not feeling it today. This isn’t an infrequent situation, to be completely honest. What I normally do is bull my way through and accomplish what I can anyway. I always have so much going on that I can’t afford a goof off day. Today I’m taking one, and that’s bad.

Here’s what I need to do this weekend:

  • Schedule a guest post I committed to. (This is simple, I just need to do it.)
  • Assemble and schedule next week’s Lisa Burton Radio.
  • I have two “radio” posts to get started on, which takes some time.
  • I have a book I need to keep reading.
  • After this gets finished, I need to start working on my own beta edits.

My daughter came home last night. She gave me an awesome haircut, and we had a nice visit. She also had some visit left in her this morning. I dedicated 100% of my time to her before she left.

I took today off, but it was for a checkup with Doctor Finger. It turned out to be a consultation, and I avoided the finger completely. It was a great report, and my PSA continues to drop. Still, between this and my daughter, half a day was shot. That contributes to my attitude a bit.

Tomorrow is dedicated to a different project. We have to drive to Burley and bring Frankie home. She had her final puppy appointment and weighs 10 pounds 1 ounce.

That shoots down tomorrow. Sundays are never all that productive. I’ve been watching a lot of baseball in the evenings too. I’ll probably continue this habit, with a puppy in my lap. Need to get to my task list in the mornings.

The good news is my flex day off is Monday. I can usually be productive on my flex day.

I won’t actually wait that long. I’ll chip away at things every day, and maybe the list will be smaller when Monday rolls around. What do you do when you’re just not feeling it?

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Squeezing a post in

It's Sunday, it started like every Sunday, with a call to my parents. We talked about family triumphs and struggles, the opening day of Major League Baseball, and other things.

My son and I went to see Ghost in the Shell today. Everyone seemed to be wondering what I thought, because the reviews weren't that good. I thought it was awesome to be honest. One of the things I wanted from it was visuals of the futuristic environment.

My next novel (possibly 2018) is going to be called Grinders. It's about bio-hackers, and I want to use setting similar to what I saw in the film previews. (Okay, I'm old enough that I was thinking Blade Runner, but you get the gist.) Ghost in the Shell delivered big time, in fact, I may have to step up my setting beyond the ideas I already have.

I thought the story was good too. It wasn't overly complicated, and it suited the genre well. I would have liked to see more familiar faces, but it could be that I wasn't looking at the faces. Scarlet Johansen tends to make me look many places at once.

Tomorrow kicks off the Story Empire Blog tour I already shared with you. This is going to keep me busy. I will have a guest here tomorrow, and at the same time, I will be a guest somewhere else. Never one to slack-off, I also have the regular post in the rotation at Story Empire. This means I have some serious comments to follow across the internet.

I will not be reblogging my own tour posts, because I won't step on my guest's toes during this event. If you want to win one of my prizes, you'll have to visit my host's sites. This is the tour schedule, and there are some fun prizes up for grabs, and some great deals on good books.

Then there is the social media support to go along with it all. There are occasionally comments there that I need to respond to, on top of the WordPress comments.

During all that, I want to move ahead with my reading responsibilities. I may try reading a few chapters, surfing all the sites and media, then reading a few more chapters.

Lisa Burton, my personal assistant thinks she can explain it better than I can.

Wish me luck. Have you seen Ghost in the Shell? What did you think? Do you have any tips for keeping up with all of my blogging responsibilities?

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A little of this, a little of that.

There has been a different kind of content here on Entertaining Stories lately. It isn't that my well ran dry, it's that I've been getting invites. If someone generously wants to support me, the least I can do is reblog and try to drive them a bit of traffic. Let's face it, many of my followers are authors and they should be saving those sites in a folder somewhere for the times they need a bit of support.

Next week is going to be different around here too. I'm participating in a fun blog tour that I helped to create. I'll be hosting the other Story Empire authors while they host me. You'll have the chance to learn about some awesome new books, with deep discounts or free days, and there will be prizes. I'm pretty excited about the ones I'm giving out, but you'll learn more about them tomorrow. It's going to be a lot of fun, so come along for the ride.

While we're doing this, there will still be original content on Story Empire, and I have the monday post in the rotation. In other words, I've been blogging while hosting friends, and being hosted by other friends, the posts just haven't been revealed yet.

My son and I have tickets to see Ghost in the Shell tomorrow. The advertisements look pretty awesome, and the source material was pretty popular. It sounds like the movie is getting terrible reviews, so I don't know what to expect. At least I get to hang out with my son, so that's kind of cool.

Last May, this little bundle of joy arrived at our house:

Otto was actually born on April First, which is kind of fitting after you get to know him.

He had a big first year. He got to wade in the Pacific Ocean, went on multiple camping trips, and had a long-standing battle with plastic water bottles. I'm writing this post in bursts, because he keeps shoving his ball onto my keyboard.

Today, this is what he looks like:

Not the best picture, but he doesn't stand still very long, and it's the best I could do.

If you look behind him, you'll see his gingerbread man, his big lizard, and his rope toy. Not a latex toy in sight.

We were warned about bulldogs and latex allergies. We bought him a glass food and water dish set on the day he arrived, just for this reason.

His absolute favorite toys are the plastic ones. His chin broke out with nasty pustules, and I took them all away. I still have his ladybug ring, several rubber balls, and the last rubber bone that still squeaks.

Over the course of several days, everything seems to have cleared up for him. I feel bad about it, but I may have to get rid of those toys that have latex.

It's odd that it wasn't a problem for a year, but that is kind of how allergies work. It's all fine until it isn't, then they never go away.

Otto tends to go at everything full speed ahead. He plays hard, then he crashes hard. In the time it took to write this post, we played ball for 45 minutes, and my wife participated too. Then he crashed. I'll sneak up and see if I can actually get one more photo:

Gotcha.

My flex day is Monday next week, and that's perfect. I can monitor comments on the first day of our big tour, along with those at Story Empire, and I may even finish my reading. (The same reading I was supposed to finish before April arrived.)

So happy April Fool's Day, happy birthday to Otto, and I hope all of you have a great weekend.

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Beyond new fiction

I spent the majority of my day working on blog projects. I'm declaring yesterday a victory, and not getting greedy about it. I have more things to do than new words of fiction.

It does little good to craft new stories, if you're not willing to promote. The tales might be good for the soul, but I want people to read mine. That means dedicating time to other projects.

I worked up one more post for Chris Graham. His StoryReading Ape site has driven me a bunch of traffic. He wants twelve posts for 2017, and by adding one here and there, I can stay ahead of the curve. The challenge with Chris is to promote myself without coming right out and saying, “Buy my book.” I've turned to craft posts and theories for this.

This has the potential to cause me another problem. As a member of Story Empire, we are gearing those posts to craft and skills too. Do I have enough tricks to keep all the posts different and still deliver quality content? I guess we'll all find out together.

I also drafted my next Story Empire post today. I need graphics, and have time to gather them, but the post is in fair shape already. I don't have to post it until March 15th, so I can still make it pretty. The topic is branding, and it should be a good one.

In addition, I worked up the raw shtick for a future Lisa Burton Radio post, and finalized and scheduled next weeks interview.

I also set up a guest post for a friend, but that was pretty easy. I suppose I get to count this post as part of my daily output too.

None of this stuff happens in a vacuum. It takes planning ahead, and getting a few words down ahead of time. I still need to come up with some March wallpaper, and possibly a new banner. I just don't think I'm going to get that far tonight.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow, but I feel like this was a super productive weekend. I'll surf around this week and see if I can find some images for March, and maybe modify may banner image.

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The Rave Awards! #RRBC

The limousine pulled into a row of other limos. Lisa Burton* sat across from me in the back. A four-hundred pound man sat next to me in a tux. “Why is he here again?”

“Don’t worry about him,” Lisa said. “He’s from Harry Winston, and he comes with the diamonds. I have to give them all back after the program.”

“That’s too bad. They look really nice.” We pulled forward a few car lengths, and I asked him to let me out.

“What are you doing? You’ll miss the red carpet.”

“That’s the idea. I’m slipping in the back, grabbing a beer, and meeting you at our table. You’re the spokesmodel. It’s your job to take this bullet for me.”

“You’re such a baby. Don’t worry, I’ve got this.”

I wound my way to our table and sat where my name card indicated. The room filled up as Lisa wound her way over. She paused to pose for selfies, and sign some autographs.

The show started and we applauded when Jan Sikes won for most creative tweets. Lisa grabbed my arm, “Her character appeared on Lisa Burton Radio, and she included you in her presentation on promotion. So excited for her.”

“I agree, she’s a talented lady.

Rea Nolan Martin’s, The Ansesthesia Game won for best cover, and Beem Week’s, Jazz Baby won for best book trailer. We applauded their victories. I started chewing my nails.

The award for best blog site was called. “In third place, Entertaining Stories, by C. S. Boyack.” The crowd applauded and I waived. The cameras were mostly focused on Lisa though. “In second place, Fiction Favorites, by John Howell.” We applauded again.

Lisa grabbed my forearm. “John’s so nice. I’ve been to his house, and his characters appeared on my radio show a couple of times too.”

“And the Blog of the Year goes to, Nonnie Jules for Watch Nonnie Write.” The crowd went crazy. Nonnie is one of the hardest working people I know, and deserves all the awards she can take home.

Nonnie also won the award for Most Giving Hands. The Most Supportive Member of 2016 is Wendy Scott. Jan Hawk won for Member of the Year, and Lisa reminded me that Jan’s characters have appeared on her show too.

Karen Ingalls is the Top Reviewer of 2016. Stephanie Collins is the Top Recruiter of 2016. I took my napkin and dabbed it across my forehead.

“For Book of the Year, in third place, The Playground by C. S. Boyack.” I waved once more, and Lisa attracted camera flashes. “In second place, She Dies at the End, by A. M. Manay. And the Book of the Year, for 2016, goes to Type and Cross by Staci Troilo.” The crowd went wild. The Book of the Year competition was tough, and all the entries were good. Lisa grabbed me once more and reminded me that Max the dog appeared on her show.

I shook hands with those around me, and slipped quietly to the lobby. The bar was only a few steps further, so I went inside. John Howell was already there. I offered my hand. “Congratulations, John.”

He waived down the waitress and she slid me a dark frothy beer. “Congratulations yourself. Where’s Lisa? Is she joining us?”

“Hardly. She went to the Governors Ball. I think she wants to recruit characters for her radio show.”

“How does she rate? She isn’t even a nominee.”

“That doesn’t matter. Velvet ropes just move aside for her.”

“I can see that. I heard they have an upgraded bar at the ball. Wanna check it out?”

“Why didn’t you say so sooner, John.” I dropped a twenty on the bar and we headed across the street.

***

*Lisa Burton is my personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She’s also a robot, and makes regular appearances here.

***

You might guess that we have a lot of fun in the Rave Reviews Book Club. It’s all about supporting each other, and climbing that ladder together. The Rave Awards are only one fun event, and there are a couple of blog parties and some writing contests that are worth checking out. In December they held an online convention that was very popular.

If you think this club might have something to offer you, please check us out at this link.

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