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Some teaser fun.

I’m fast approaching a time where new fiction has to take a back seat to promotion. I always try to target the Halloween season, so this may seem weird to see in August. It really does no good to release a book on Halloween. The season is over, and there isn’t enough time for people to find it for their seasonal enjoyment. My goal is to have the new book out in mid September, thus a few advance teasers.

Here’s how they work. Look at the graphic. Listen to the music (It’s pretty awesome stuff), then ponder what the heck I’m up to now. If I can schedule this correctly, it will lead up to a cover reveal and a shiny new book. I’ll try to run one of these out every week. Feel free to ponder in the comments.

You collectors are welcome to snag the new Lisa Burton posters along the way. They make great Pinterest pins.

 

Lisa Burton

What is headed your way for the Halloween season?

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Most of my adventures are like this

My wife and I are both off this weekend. It’s best to surrender the idea of doing any writing at all before it gets into my head. We decided to check out the huckleberry festival up in Donnelly.

Idahoans are crazy about huckleberries, and they have kind of a narrow window for picking them. Rumor is there are plenty about right now. Several years ago, I went up to McCall and picked a large baggie of them I made into fritters.

These huckleberries are actually blueberries, but don’t have that conversation with one of the natives.

We opted to leave the doggies home, because it’s been incredibly hot, and this was a day trip.

Hot wasn’t an issue at all once we got there.

Pretty scenery, though.

Donnelly was having a parade about the time we arrived and parking was non-existent. This place is tiny, but they even had a traffic cop on the main drag, which is also the state highway to more popular destinations.

We opted to drive to McCall and check things out later.

We had lunch at McCall Brewing. I had a lovely pastrami Reuben, and this Wobbly Man beer. It’s a smoked scotch ale, for those who are interested. It’s a wonderful beer and is occasionally available in Boise, where I seldom pass it by. McCall also makes a great Lemon Ginger Hefeweizen, and it has Ginger from Gilligan’s Island on the label. I passed on Ginger and had a glass of English Bitter as my follow up. I was pretty excited to even find a bitter, but it didn’t quite measure up to their more popular offerings.

After lunch, we decided to go a bit further and check out a campground, and possibly find a few huckleberries of our own. It’s a nice campground, but you could put all the berries in the palm of my hand. I think I’m in line for a huckleberry pancake tomorrow, but only one.

When we went back to Donnelly, it was raining like a mo%^*#F$@!er. Everyone got washed away, and boarded up for the day.

All the covers were down, and the vendors headed for shelter.

One stouthearted fellow operated out of a trailer, and kept his place open. I was looking forward to some pancake syrup, maybe a fritter, even some alcoholic concoctions. This fellow had ice cream and it was outstanding.

That was our day. Great lunch. Great beer. Pretty scenery. No huckleberries, but the ice cream was outstanding. As a bonus, I may have found a new campsite that won’t leave me hanging off the side of a cliff with my camp trailer.

In other news, the dogs got a new toy from Nylabone. They’re both crazy about it, but Otto takes the best photos. (Frankie never stands still long enough.)

Otto

He looks like a towel rack or a door knocker.

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My off day

Today was kind of a surprise, but has been known since the weekend. My wife is off, and that makes writing impossible. I moved one big chore to today so I could recover tomorrow as a writing day.

I spent quite a bit of my morning on various social media sites, because there was no good reason not to. I find myself avoiding Twitter on my off days, and this held true today. I put most of my Twitter effort into supporting others, so I tweeted out those blogs I read. I’ll get back to tweeting out your pinned tweets later this week.

I waited until about ten o’clock to head for the dump. First I salvaged the few high peaches the birds didn’t get to, and put my ladder away. The season is over, but these late peaches are the best ones I’ve ever grown. I’ve been snacking on them morning noon and night. I’ll miss them until next year.

The dump has evolved since I was a kid. In my hometown you could go to the dump whenever you wanted and it didn’t cost a thing. This included the middle of the night if that’s the time you had available. Today they have business hours and they charge.

There is the pay booth, then you have to stop again for some kind of traffic director guy. He had a problem because I had branches and grass. They want to mulch the branches, but can’t do it if there is grass worked in. I finally convinced him it was one single bag of grass and I could easily place it aside. He directed me to unload my branches, but I had to put the bag of clippings in a different place. (Dude, I’m sorry I didn’t bring two trucks so one included only a single bag of clippings.)

Finally, he handed me a green safety vest and let me in. (I’d already paid, so I didn’t think he would send me home for a second truck.) Since when do we have to wear a safety fest to unload garbage???

The load was nasty and slimy, because the remaining peach parts were rotting now. I got wet, I got slimed, and there is some kind of ooze in my truck bed now. However, it’s done. I don’t have to deal with it tomorrow, and there are no clouds on my Wednesday horizon.

I did make some baby steps on the formatting front for Viral Blues. These involved an exchange of emails to address some minor issues. It had to get done, and this kept it off my Wednesday schedule, so bonus.

Many of you were interested in my zucchini grown in a pot. This old pot has grown petunias out front for over ten years. When the idea occurred to me, I dumped the tired remaining soil in the flower bed and raked it smooth. I bought a big bag of potting soil, cleaned some doggie debris from the back yard for the bottom of the pot, then added the potting soil. When the roots reach the bottom, they’ll get a dose of high-powered fertilizer when they likely need it.

The pot is on the back patio now. I selected a bush variety to avoid vines going everywhere. Most of those don’t produce as much, but let’s face it, zucchini tend to produce more than you want anyway.

The whole project is about four feet tall now, and may get a little bigger as summer goes on. My wife is talking about some stuffed squash blossoms for supper very soon.

Attempting to write tomorrow, then it’s back to work for the rest of the week.

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Expansion Pack: The Stakes Character

Hey, everyone, I’m up at Story Empire today. We’re discussing stakes in our stories, and the use of a stakes character to drive them home. Stop over and say hi.

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig here again with another Expansion Pack. These are designed to enhance the series I wrote about The Hero’s Journey, also known as the Writing Monomyth.

It’s worth repeating that none of the Expansion Pack material is required for your stories. These are just as advertised. If you want to get a bit deeper into the optional stuff, you might find them helpful.

I think everyone understands the concept of stakes, but in fiction there has to be a risk of some kind. What might be lost? What might be gained? That kind of thing.

You can even use a recipe card to a degree: If hero doesn’t accomplish goal, blank will happen. There is a lot of room to play here, particularly in the goal area. Today we want to focus on the ________ will happen part.

You’ve read books, or seen films, where the…

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Running water, no hospital required

We did a few events around here yesterday. I dreaded changing out the kitchen faucet, and have done it one other time. Our old one started leaking inside the fixture and simply gave out on us.

Saturday found me outside squeezing peaches. They were about perfect, and I earmarked part of Sunday to pick a bunch of them. Oddly enough, Frankie woke up in the middle of the night and had to make a security patrol. I chocked it up to doggie strangeness and we went back to bed.

In the morning, I discovered the problem. The tree broke. I’ve seen this happen to other peaches, but never had this problem. I guess the wheel just went around for me. We decided to leave it as is while we tackled the sink first. (12 hours. I only needed 12 more hours.)

The nightmare part of the sink project was getting the old faucet off. It has a nut that needed to come off and it was waaaay up there between the basins of the sink. I tried about ten different tools, and none of them fit. The best I could manage was a pair of pliers, but that required me to twist like it was a bottle cap. I couldn’t use any leverage, which is the advantage of a wrench.

It failed. I sent Old What’s Her Face to search the toolbox. I have a roll of old open end/box end wrenches. This isn’t what they are for, but one fit, and the handle left room between the basins to move it about an eighth of an inch.

It took me about ten resets to move the nut one revolution. Keep in mind, this is inside the cabinet, on my back (Which I feared for) and at the limits of what my short arms could reach. It took a long time, but I prevailed. Once it was loose, it easily spun off then hit me in the head.

The new one was a piece of cake. My wife put the fitting together while I grabbed coffee. She crawled inside and put the mounting nuts on, which were designed to be finger twist tight. Whoever designed this one deserves an award of some kind.

After coffee, I connected all the water lines and installed the gun. This unit has one of those pull out hoses for squirting off dishes or filling pots. What do you think? No hospital required.

We took a break, then tackled the peach tree. We managed about three baskets of fruit from the broken part before giving up. It was 90 something degrees outside. There are a lot more peaches on other parts, and I hope they don’t decide to break off too. I won’t get another chance at them until Friday.

We’ve always picked a basket here and there, but I feel like I’m pressing my luck. Probably based upon what already happened. The poor old tree is in for a major trim, the kind you give with a chainsaw, now. I really like this tree, but if this is the end of it, so be it. No matter what I do, it’s going to be ugly, but it could fill back out next year.

My back is surprisingly okay today. My neck and shoulders are kind of stiff, but that’s easily overcome.

Time for a peach, possibly in a daiquiri.

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B. W. I.

Okay, not particularly intoxicated, but well lubricated. What does an author blog about when he isn’t writing? Stuff like this.

When we walked into Old Chicago at the Boise Town Square Mall, the Blood Mobile was parked out front.

Old What’s Her Face asked, “Do you want to donate, dear?”

I said, “Yes, but I want to donate from that guy over there. Grab him.”

You probably had to be there, but we had a good laugh.

They actually had a Belgian beer on tap tonight, and those are kind of hard to come by. I had two. I had two different ones as well.

Supper was mediocre at best, but I got to actually watch a Diamondbacks game on their televisions, and they actually won. (A rare thing these days.)

My pizza was one of those with so much sauce the toppings all slid into my lap. Otherwise it was wonderful, but it wasn’t what I’ve become accustomed to at OC.

Old What’s Her Face went for a pedicure while I watched the game and swilled good beer. She has her thing, and I have mine.

I’m not going to get to write this weekend, but I did work on a blog post for Story Empire. It’s all scheduled now. If you enjoy the Expansion Pack series, there is another one up on Wednesday.

My daughter made a surprise visit this weekend, and we had a nice chat. She even offered to cut Dad’s hair, and I couldn’t pass that up. She really does a good job.

While this isn’t a writing weekend, I have some vacation time scheduled. I’m milking the flex schedule, and by taking two ten-hour days off, I actually get six days off in a row. It all starts next Friday. My hope is to give Lanternfish a good launch.

Aside from that, I need to work on some blog tour posts for Viral Blues. The release will be upon me before I know it. I want to do a tour of favorite sites, but I may get a mutual promo tour with some friends going, too. I’m kind of excited about that. We all draw some people and the crowd is bigger because of that. Maybe one of their regulars will be interested in my release, and maybe one of mine will be interested in theirs. More on that later.

We have some home improvement stuff to deal with tomorrow and I’m dreading it. I’m not a tool guy, and not particularly handy in that department. I’ve replaced the kitchen faucet before, but I really don’t think my back is up to it these days. I’ll update on this later. It will either be a successful replacement, or a trip to the hospital. Either way I get a blog post.

On another note, my side project is moving along well. I’m in the mucky middle, but about to move out of it. I’m finding that a side project might not move as fast as the targeted book, but it doubles my productivity.

That’s it, B. W. I. How did I do?

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Some Lanternfish love

I just discovered this awesome review of Voyage of the Lanternfish. I’m currently working on a sequel called HMS Lanternfish, so now is a great time to join the crew and come along.

My Review:

I bought and read this book back in January and somehow managed to forget to review it until now, six months later, lol. So, here my review is, at last. It says a lot that even after all this time, I still remember this book and its characters clearly, which is one reason I mention my little episode of forgetfulness now.

I’ve read other books by this author and love his easy style, sense of humour, and vivid imagination. He has a way with words. And Voyage of the Lanternfish certainly didn’t disappoint. Read the rest of the review

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