Category Archives: Writing

What do you do?

I’ve been pretty quiet here this week. Things are going on at my paycheck job that have kept me hopping. It’s convention season, and I’ve had to cover the office while others are absent. We’ve all been tied up at one this week, but at least it’s in Boise. I’ll be heading to Texas soon for my own convention, followed by another week of covering for others.

This is how real life works sometimes. I try to keep the blog updated regularly, but might have let it slip this week. I have my Macabre Macaroni tales on Tuesdays this month, and I usually have Lisa Burton Radio. There has been a drop in authors wanting interviews, and honestly, I needed some of that time. There are two in the works right now, so we will likely have a couple of interviews over the next few weeks to help keep some original content here. Lisa needs guests, so if you could use a bit of free promotion, drop me a line.

On top of it all, I will have company at my house before I get out of the convention tonight. I’m looking forward to the visit, so it isn’t a burden or anything.

New fiction slides at times like this too. I have some editing to deal with, but might not be able to get serious about it until November. Since there is nothing I can do about it, there’s no sense in dwelling on it.

This is the kind of stuff you never seem to get on other author sites. We would like you to believe it’s all robot girls, and rocket packs, but that isn’t realistic. Authors have to deal with real life too.

I have a draft underway, and might not get to revisit it until November. I’ve always filled in the cracks with writing related projects, but there aren’t many cracks right now. About all I can manage is to read a few blogs before work, and tweet those out to help the bloggers out. I’ll get back in the swing of things, I always do.

What do you guys do about the real life stuff? Do you wring your hands and gnash your teeth, or just go with the flow? I’m learning to go with the flow. It’s about time for me to clock in, and I hope to deal with comments later this evening.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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Productive, in its own way

I had today off as a holiday. I’m looking forward to the eight hour shifts next week, as opposed to tens.

My plan was to deal with a bunch of author chores that didn’t involve new fiction. I was moderately successful, if not completely.

There were some blog chores. I traded pages with a few other authors. I got one shtick out the door for an interview, plus I sent an additional questionnaire out.

I finally took the time to work through my own critiqued pages, and that was wonderful. I haven’t had a critique group for a while, and it’s nice to get back to it. These small changes led me to add a couple of lines that really improved my story.

Beyond that, I did a bunch of research on infectious diseases, as one does. I swear, if anyone ever looks at my browsing history I’m in big trouble.

I wanted to at least start on another complete read of Lanternfish. I made some changes and need to re-read it to look at the big picture.

I also wanted to work on a couple of storyboards, but that fell by the wayside.

October is going to be a busy month for me, so these chores may get finished in bits and pieces.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend, and a happy Columbus Day if you got the day off too.

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Field trip and a bit of luck

My paycheck job sent me to Idaho Falls for a couple of days. We avoid work related topics, but it puts a damper on my blogging ability. That’s the main point here.

Fortunately for me, two of my guest appearances posted while I was absent. That allowed me to keep some fresh content on my site, and I managed to deal with comments after hours. I think I answered everyone, but I’m going to surf back through the host sites to make sure after this goes live.

I have things to do today. (I always have things to do.) I’ve just come up against a wall of “I don’t wanna.” A big part of this involves driving, hotels, and all the rest of it. Driving across Idaho is not like driving across Vermont. It takes about five hours to drive across Idaho, and I did it twice. Bonus though, I got to see about 200 antelope, and one really nice mule deer buck. I also saw an elk rack that did not fit completely in the bed of a pickup truck. I know we’re all supposed to hate hunting and everyone that partakes, but I do not. It was impressive, and that was one of the biggest racks I’ve ever seen. If the rest of him was that big, someone is going to need a bigger deep freeze.

I’m going to have to sacrifice most of my planned word count for now. The stuff I need to do involves commitments to other author friends. I’m not going to let them down. There is one small bit of critique work I have to get to. Thank God for my Apple Pencil, and its new ability to work with Pages, my word processor. This speeds things up a bunch over the old redline versions.

I have two Lisa Burton interviews to work on. One has returned his questionnaire, and I’ll address it soon. The other is in a holding pattern until I get the questionnaire back. Still, it’s good to know there will be more “broadcasts” from Lisa’s trailer in the woods.

Yesterday was payday too. This means we might pull off a date night tonight. Old Chicago Pizza sounds good, but there is a BSU game tonight. Both things are good, but sometimes it means the place is SRO. Never know if we don’t try. I can be content with the MLB playoffs too, so I’m not picky as to whatever. We’ve talked about a backup plan that might involve a total absence of sports.

As a State employee, I get Monday off too (Thanks Columbus). Lower on my list is a cluster of critique pages of my own work. They aren’t going to spoil or anything, but if I get my commitments dealt with, I’d like to find time to slick up my own story.

It isn’t a huge list, and all of it is possible in three days. I just have to figure out how to deal with the “don’t wannas.”

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Did it anyway…

Today, I started off calling my parents, like any other Sunday. They’re planning to visit in a couple of weeks, and that should be fun.

After that, I had decisions to make. I could start another complete reread of Lanternfish. I could read some fiction I’m sorely behind on. I could read a craft book I’ve been chipping away at.

I decided to work on my new WIP instead. I find editing to be mind numbing. It has to be done, but not as a kind of death march. It just needs to be finished before publication. I’m still about a month and a half out from having all my promotional artwork.

The first thing I did was to delete 1000 to 1500 words I already had written. Then I added 3500 new words. Beginnings are tough, and there are some boxes I need to check off. I’m much happier with this version. All the characters have been introduced, and both the big picture and a secondary problem are on the table.

Oddly enough for me, this is where I’m going to start my outline. This isn’t how I typically do things, but it feels right in this case. With everything I have going on during October, I may not add new words for several weeks. I have some work related travel, the visit from my parents, and more going on. I’m okay with that. It’s a workable starting point, and a bit of daydreaming time will improve the final product.

A bit of theory is that editing can fill in the corners I’m left with. I’m also good at reading on airplanes. My storyboard app goes everywhere I do, so I can add index cards or sticky notes as things occur to me.

I mentioned last night that I built a storyboard for a subsequent project. I really like having even partial storyboards prepared ahead of time. It cuts down on that problem of wondering what I’ll write next.

Baseball ended without a whimper today. My team really stunk up the second half, and gets to watch the playoffs from a beach somewhere. I’m watching some football right now, and hope they deliver a better season than my baseball team did.

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Yuck!

I spent my entire day doing word searches on Lanternfish. I’m not joking about spending eighth hours on this project. I got all the way to the end, but it necessitates another complete reading of the manuscript now. No idea when I’ll get to that. There are a couple of books I’ve been trying to read, and I’m not finding the time for them.

My daughter showed up from Sun Valley for a few hours today. I stopped all progress, and had a nice visit with her. This is more important than word searches and edits.

One of my goals was to write some new words, and that may not happen. I get a four day weekend, but tomorrow is always an odd day with some personal requirements.

After I posted last night, I spent some time on an outline. In my case, they are storyboards. I made a huge dent in the storyboard for a novella I want to write. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is some progress. About all I have to do now is ramp up the tension points, and check some timelines. I will probably pin some graphics to my board, because they always help, but I could almost start writing it today. I won’t, because I’m working on something else, and haven’t got Lanternfish out the door yet.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably spend the rest of my weekend on edits. Had I dedicated myself to new words, I could have cranked ten-thousand of them over four days. Lamenting this probably isn’t a good idea, but that’s what I’m doing right now.

I’m going to call it a day, crack open another pumpkin beer, then turn on some baseball. There are only a couple of games left this season, and I want to get my money’s worth from the season pass on television.

I’ll hit it again tomorrow.

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Just work

I’m a fairly regular blogger. People come here to learn something interesting, have a laugh, and hang out. There are times when there just isn’t anything all that fun to post about.

Part of being a writer involves a lot of things that aren’t research, or drafting new material. It still has to get done, and that’s what this weekend was all about for me. It isn’t all robot girls and talking yaks around here.

I wrote one more micro-fiction for my Macabre Macaroni event, then assembled and scheduled all five of them. To top it all off, I did an intro post for these stories and scheduled it too. (Six posts.)

I updated this site Friday night, and then there is this post. (Seven posts.)

I also wrote, assembled, and scheduled something for Story Empire on October 1st. (Eight posts.)

I already mentioned scheduling the interview for Thursday, and the idea that Lisa needs guests once more.

On top of that, I managed to write 5000 words of new fiction. I’m a little dubious about this one, because it’s something I’ve never tried before.

It was all work. It wasn’t sexy, but it needed to get done. I’ll probably spend a bit of time looking for some good wallpaper to lead into the next month.

I hope all of you were either productive or had a good time somewhere.

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Starting my weekend

I started off with a pretty short list, and dove right into it this morning. I didn’t finish everything, but I’m okay with that.

I have my Lisa Burton interview all scheduled for next week. For anyone that reads this, Lisa is getting a little think on candidates to interview. Now would be a good time to jump in if you’re thinking of doing some kind of Fall/Halloween push for your books.

I also wrote my last micro-fiction for the October event I call Macabre Macaroni. Then I went ahead and scheduled them all. They will post every Tuesday in October. These have traditionally been pretty fun, and I hope you enjoy this year’s selections.

Personally, I never know which ones are going to click with people. I have my favorites, but I’m always surprised. This year, I opened the first story with an almost Rod Serling kind of introduction. I also ended the last one with something similar. I doubt anyone will put the bookends together, because it’s going to take a month between these stories.

The only thing that’s left is to turn Lanternfish into a book. This means to add a title page, copyright data, and some end of book material. There is no rush here, I don’t even have all my Lisa Burton artwork yet.

So I did something relatively stupid. I started writing a new story. I haven’t even published Lanternfish yet, but I’m 2800 words into a new tale now.

This is supposed to be a relaxing journey into self improvement, but I’m on the verge of turning writing into a job.

Honestly, I enjoy drafting new material, so it looks like I didn’t make it to November, which was the mark on my calendar.

This one is kind of odd, because I don’t have a complete outline. I have a bunch of vignettes that I need to pull together into a plot somehow. This can work with a character driven story. It remains to be seen if I can pull it off.

It looks like I’m off to the races now. I have Saturday as a fairly productive day too. Sundays are more problematic, but it’s looking like a productive weekend.

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