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A small update

I put the finishing touches to The Viral Blues this morning before dogs and family started stirring.

From my perspective, it was good enough to share with critique partners, but I have a lot to fix. They were all fast today, and I had responses before we even finished our goofing around for the day.

We decided to drive back to Donnelly, absent the trailer. My USFS maps indicate a lot of campgrounds on the back side of Cascade Reservoir. In all these years, I’ve never taken the drive around the lake, and today was the day.

The best campgrounds were near Donnelly, and after the pavement ended there wasn’t a lot to offer on that front. Beautiful, no doubt, but not quite what we were looking for in a campground. (There is a custom hat maker in Donnelly, but I resisted. This is like catnip to me, but when you’re broke all the time you have to behave.)

I was a bit disappointed in the road maintenance. The Forest Circus usually keeps the roads bladed pretty well, and while this road is big, it’s a pothole and washboard disaster.

We stopped one place to let the dogs potty. Otto was impressed that squirrels here live in the ground. He sniffed and dug at several holes. Frankie just freaks out, because she loves her own yard.

I snapped a few photos, but they all came out about the same. Here is one if you’d like to get a look at the scenery.

A more responsible photographer would have stepped off the road

There are ospreys everywhere you look, but not an eagle in sight. We also saw tons of pretty songbirds, and a few white pelicans on the water.

We’re getting ready for supper right now. I worked through one of the critiques, but am saving the others for later. I’m off Monday too, and that might be a good time for those.

If I get far enough, I might start the word searches on Serang.

Here is a still life from inside the camper.

I’ll probably fiddle around with Pinterest or something after supper. We thought about bringing a DVD of Captain Marvel, but blew it off.

We’ll go home at a leisurely pace tomorrow. That will give us time to wash the camper off, put our stuff away, and still have a day to accomplish things on monday.



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Worst campout ever???

We didn’t get out of town until about 10:00. We needed food, so that’s what caused the delay.

By the time we got up here, we went straight to our favorite campground. We followed a guy in. He got the last spot, and we were out.

Old What’s Her Face wanted to search for new places to camp, which sounds good on the surface. The problem is the McCall area is the most popular area in the state, and while it is pretty much the next place, it isn’t right next door.

There is one other thing she doesn’t seem to grasp. Forest Service roads are not built with the idea of turning around with a trailer in tow.

We wound up on a mountain road that climbed and climbed, and got increasingly narrow. There is a place up there, because I have USFS maps. However, we found a slide area and spotted some photographers ahead of us.

I made my wife walk ahead to see what the situation was. A truck was coming back our way. He said we could navigate the slide, but not the snowdrift beyond. This was looking like several miles of backing the camper down a narrow road an hoping nobody was behind us. (Side mirrors are great, but the rear window is full of camper as is the backup camera.)

I grew up in four-wheel-drive, so that doesn’t spook me, but campers aren’t built for this. I took my time and picked through the rocks, twice actually.

Turns out we were nearly at a scenic area and the Forest Circus made a turnout. This was on the edge of an 800 foot vertical drop off with white water at the bottom.

After some butt clenching to the seats, we got aimed back the other way. Our only choice was to go home. It was too late to chance any of the other campgrounds, because it’s friday night now. (Most popular part of the state, etc.)

Old What’s Her Face called a few places, but they were all full. We get service in McCall, so while I fueled up she phoned.

Home was looking like the only option, but I veered into a private campground in Cascade and they had an opening. It’s kind of a ghetto campground, but I promise you that opening didn’t last long. I ought to have a picture, and maybe I’ll grab one tomorrow.

One thing about private campgrounds, they have WiFi. Since we’re paying to stay here, I don’t feel like passing it up.

I have no idea what we’re going to do with ourselves. We didn’t plan on being in town, and the dogs don’t deal well with sidewalk heat. We’re running the AC full speed, but it really is only keeping pace with the temperature.

Editing will probably be on my agenda tomorrow morning before my wife gets up. I have plenty of that to do.


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Expansion Pack: The Villain’s Journey + The Monster

Just fed the bulldogs. It’s about time to hitch up the camper and get out of here. I’m at the plate over at Story Empire today, so I’m sharing it here to tide you guys over. It might be a few days before I have service again. Have a great weekend.

Story Empire

Hi Gang, Craig with you again. Time for another Expansion Pack that ties in with The Hero’s Journey, also known as the Writing Monomyth.

This time we’re dealing with our villains. Before you go all feral on me, there are some stories where the antagonist isn’t a human. Man vs Nature, Man vs Self, that kind of thing. This probably won’t help with those stories.

This Expansion Pack is more about what you need to know, not what you must put on the page. You’ll pick and choose what to include, but if your main character is the villain, you’ll include more.

I’ve researched all this stuff, and am trying to condense it for you guys. One of the things I find myself hating is the section names I’ve been running across. Therefore; I’m renaming all of them.

The Hero of His Own Story: The villain perceives himself as…

View original post 899 more words


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It’s a brain purge

I woke up this morning with a new character in my head. I have to get rid of her, because I have too much going on right now.

The bulk of this summer is going to be gearing up to release two books before the end of the year, and I already have multiple characters waiting their turns.

The next project has to be The HMS Lanternfish, so after I get everything beat into shape I can work on it. There are several more stories in my mind for Lizzie and the the hat, too.

So here we have this girl who is ten years or less. In my dream, she was on a bicycle that looked like it came right out of the seventies. Banana seat, tall handlebars, maybe some bolt on extras. She was a daredevil of some kind. In my dream she jumped her bike over a UPS truck. I’m not so sure we had UPS in the 70s, so maybe she has a second-hand bike. That could build a bit of family relationship and background for her.

She made kind of a signature move that I can’t quite describe. Maybe one of you will know how. She pursed her lips, then moved her lips to the side. (Is there better language for that?) Then she squinted her eyes before launching herself down the ramp.

I don’t exactly know what kind of trouble she gets into, but I suspect space invaders were involved in a small town setting. Those darned alarm clocks spoil everything.

I’ve written children, girls, and period pieces before, so I’m up to the task. I just don’t have time for her antics right now. I’m hacking this out in hopes that she goes away. If she refuses, I might have to deal with her one day.

Old What’s Her Face and I are going to try to go camping over a long weekend. If I seem a little unresponsive, it’s because I don’t have wifi or cell service. I’ll catch up with everyone when I get home.


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Don’t know what to call this post

I’m rambling again. It’s okay, we all need to from time to time. I just do mine in public.

I probably ought to be writing, but Old What’s Her Face is off today and tomorrow. Mondays is looking like my best opportunity right now.

Serang has been on the shelf long enough to start my word searches. Probably not long enough for my first editing pass, but there is always the wrong word that sneaks in somewhere. It’s-its. There – there – they’re. That kind of thing. Somehow, I just haven’t gotten to it.

I ought to be reading. I’m so horribly behind on that it isn’t funny. Several of my friends have released books, and while I’ve purchased them, I’ll wager they would appreciate some reviews too. I’ll get there, I promise.

Instead of that, I finally got around to watching “Thinner,” again. It doesn’t completely fit the fairytale mold, but several of the elements are there. Obviously the curse. The use of the number three is rampant. More rampant than I’ve ever used it.

  • Family of three
  • Three people get cursed
  • Encounter the Gypsy king three times. (Middle one is a beatdown)
  • He loses three pounds per day. (Most days)
  • Three acts of revenge against the Gypsy king.
  • Many more.

There is a neat parallel too. In order to remove the curse, the main character has to curse someone else. Love the idea of a curse pie.

Then there is Dish Network. My wife has no idea how to get rid of door-to-door people. This includes religious cults, salesmen, Girl Scouts, and others. Some kid has been stalking her and trying to convince her we need to switch to Dish.

I just bluntly tell them to peddle their wares elsewhere. If they still persist, I get rude. They have no problem interrupting my serenity, so why should they deserve any? I think the next time I deal with one, I’ll wipe the back of my hand across his/her cheek and say “Thinner.” I even have a cool witch hat I could put on first. Might not work, but I could freak someone the hell out.

This kid from Dish was supposed to come back and talk to both of us the other night, but managed to show up at 8:50 pm. He came back today and it looks like we’re switching back to Dish Network.

Old What’s Her Face has been talking about this for months to give her a fair representation. The kid is just someone I get to make fun of along the way. There was a time when all the providers were the same, but that isn’t the case anymore.

To get Dish, we have to give up HBO and Cinemax. They simply don’t have them available. As a packaging choice, we are giving up Turner Classic Movies. It comes in a bundle that costs too much for one decent channel. I watched all these channels. Game of Thrones is over, so that helped with our decision, but you know they’ll have the next big deal very soon.

The biggest loss for me is called Warrior. It’s based on some loose writing by Bruce Lee, and is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1800s. I’ve enjoyed it, and the first season ended last night. I just won’t be there next year when it returns.

I am picking up a sports package that will include Major League Baseball. This means I’ll get some games, but not all of the games the Extra Innings package provides. I can live with this, because I’m getting none of them currently.

The biggest factor for me is the price. We are going to save EIGHTY dollars per month. We can use the savings around here. That’s enough money for a nice date night, maybe a couple of movies per month. It buys a tank of gas so we can take the camper out this summer.

So, here I am, goofing off and not getting down to business at all. I’ve hit it pretty hard lately, and expect new words of fiction before I go back to my work week. Today just isn’t the day, and tomorrow might not be either.

PS: The new hazelnut M & Ms are awesome.


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Some Lanternfish love today

Head over to Victoria’s blog to see what she thought about Voyage of the Lanternfish

#AmReading + #AmWatching – June 6th 2019 #Reviews

It’s time to take a look at what I’ve been reading and watching during this past week.

If you want to know more about the book, or the author, click on whichever it is you want to learn more about, and it will take you to the appropriate page on Goodreads. Clicking on my rating should take you to my actual Goodreads review for the book in question. Please bear in mind that the format I’ve reviewed on Goodreads may not be the format I actually read. Keep reading here.


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A decent weekend

I never managed a single word of new fiction this weekend. Old What’s Her Face and I decided to go mushrooming on Saturday.

It wound up being a beautiful day in the mountains. It was sunny and warm, even though we had to drive around boulders as big as Buicks on the highway into the back country. The winter thaw rolled them onto the road. There was also a snowdrift to crash through, and part of the dirt road was underwater.

We saw a couple of deer and one turkey in the low country. The bulldogs were thoroughly worn out by the trip home. My wife bought this interesting pad for the dogs. It is supposed to cool them down when they lay down on it. It seems to work pretty well. No batteries or anything.

We wound up finding two morels. That’s it, not even enough for a decent omelette, but we tried today anyway. It looks like we’re going to have to find another hunting spot. The old forest fire in that area is about eight years old now, and maybe a more recent burn would be more productive. Pretty country and lots of fresh air to go around.

I worked on another of my “Expansion Packs” posts for Story Empire, but it isn’t where I want it yet. I have a couple of weeks to make it decent.

I also worked my way through a pile of critiques I received for The Viral Blues. It isn’t fancy, but counts as progress all the same.

After talking to my parents and finishing breakfast we made a Home Depot run. Old What’s Her Face wanted some hanging baskets for the back patio. I added a few light bulbs to the cart. Not too exciting, but it’s life for an author.

I have Wednesday off, so might manage a word or two then.

Hope all of you had good weekends too. Mine was pretty decent even if it wasn’t sexy.


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