The hero’s journey, and the real world

I’m up over at Story Empire. I don’t have a Valentine’s Day story, but it is a February story. Maybe we can use it to mark out plot points and character arc.

Story Empire

Hey all, happy Valentine’s Day and all that goes with it. Craig here today, and how the heck did I draw February 14th in the rotation? We have a number of romance authors, and even erotica authors here at Story Empire, but somehow you got the speculative fiction guy.

So, we aren’t touching romance with a ten yard chain today. I have two ideas, one about self promotion, the other about the hero’s journey. Time for the coin toss.

Hero’s journey it is.

There are any number of plotting methods out there, and my living document on the subject has about seven. In a nutshell, they involve a reluctant hero taking on incredible odds to save the day. There are reasons for all of this, including making the hero relatable, facing incredible odds, and coming out the other side with some version of success and personal growth.

For today’s post…

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Book Review Feb 2018. “The Hat” by C.S.Boyack. @Virgilante #Paranormal #Speculative Fiction #RRBC

Some more lovely comments about The Hat. Soooz focuses on Lizzie’s desire for a memento of her grandmother. Visit her site and check out her wares while you’re over there.

Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke.

BOOK REVIEW COVER THE HAT By C S BOYACK

BOOK Review “The Hat” By C.S. Boyack.

Meet the author.

BOOK REVIEW BIO PICTURE OF C S BOYACK

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

BOOK REVIEW COVER THE HAT By C S BOYACKBLURB

Lizzie St. Laurent…

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Writing hazards

I don’t play golf, but I know they have hazards on the course. There are sand traps and water hazards that can mess with your game. My writing days are full of hazards too.

The main one is my daughter. She likes to talk — a lot. She talks for hours about her job to the point where I feel like I was there with her on her shift. Today, she has a new topic though. Enter Jackson.

We’ve never owned a cat. In her entire life there has never been a cat. We’re dog people. They aren’t foreign to me, my mom had cats at various times. It’s something new to my daughter, and she’s really excited about it. I refuse to stop her chatter, and try to be a good dad. Things change and young adults have been known to move halfway across the country on short notice. We spent a lot of time letting the animals get used to each other.

My big concern is dogs and cats together. They get supervised time together and are doing really well with the situation. Otto wants to sniff him, but that’s about where his interest ends. Frankie is the one to watch. Jackson likes to sneak up on her and bonk her on the head.

I’m still being diligent, because Kipling taught me The Female of the Species is more Deadly than the Male. This certainly seems to hold true with my dogs. Otto is a big hugger and lover of all things. Frankie is psycho and I don’t completely trust her around Jackson.

After my daughter goes to work, and Jackson goes to her room, I get a chance to write new words. There is still the bulldog hazard, but I’ve gotten pretty good at writing around it.

This one is Frankie, and I can get an arm around her and still type. I can’t quite reach around Otto in the same fashion.

Still, all progress is good. I wound up with around 2500 new words on the day. Skulls were bashed, shackles were fitted, and the big abduction happened. Aside from this, an ugly fish bit one of the supporting characters. My next move will be to define the stakes for the characters, imprison the love interest, and force the men into a task they don’t want and are ill equipped for.

Unfortunately, my own servitude is calling. Tomorrow begins the work week for me, so it will be Saturday at minimum before I can write again.

In other news, I got three more nice reviews for The Hat over the weekend. People seem to really be enjoying it, and that’s like rocket fuel to my writer brain. I haven’t sold a copy in days, but there is lag time between purchases and reviews. Reviews can lead to sales, so I hope it keeps up a bit of momentum.

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Hat,” by C. S. Boyack

Here is another great review of The Hat. Get to know Colleen while you’re over there. She has a great writing blog and you probably ought to follow her.

colleenchesebro.com

122517_2210_ColleensBoo1.pngTitle: The Hat, A Novella

Amazon Author Page: C. S. Boyack

Publication Date: January 11, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science fiction & fantasy, Superheros, Paranormal & Urban

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

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Bad author! No beer for you.

Today was kind of an odd day. I worked through all the writing chores I could think of. Today is also the day I call my parents, something I do every week. Then my daughter showed up for an hour. She likes to talk about her job and her cat. The dogs are starting to get along with the kitten and it’s kind of cute that he tries to play with them. Otto really is more curious than anything, but he’s kind of indifferent to the whole idea. Frankie concerns me. She’s been pretty good, but she’s gotten slapped more than a few times.

About the time my daughter had to go to work, she put the kitten away, leaving me with the morning phase of the dogs. The morning phase is more calm than the evening phase. I opened the Estivation manuscript and made a light editing pass. Then I added a few words, nothing to really brag about. Something just isn’t working for me yet here. I need to transition the characters from a getting used to the new normal phase to an outright horror phase. I don’t want to jump in too fast, and I just need some more daydreaming time on it. Right now it’s coming across like a recipe card and not an engaging story.

Sooo, I reviewed all my storyboards. Then I created some folders in my word processor. A little time on Google, and I came up with a few names. With names, I created a couple of casts of characters.

Then I wrote 1500 quick words on a new project. File name The Lantern Fish, it will eventually be Something Of The Lantern Fish. It will come to me later.

Lisa Burton

I know, I know. This is bad. It felt so good though. The words flowed pretty well too.

One thing I believe in is finishing the stories I start. I have one (two) chomping at the bit, and Estivation feels like it needs more daydreaming time. I really should force myself to finish Estivation and deal with issues in the editing phase. If I don’t get the length I’m targeting, I can always park it for another Experimental Notebook.

On the other hand, I have worked on one novel and some short stories at the same time. Could a novella work as my side project? I don’t really know, because I haven’t tried before. Short stories and micros, sure.

What do you guys do? I wrote one of my Experimental Notebooks as a side project. The other one was the main project, but there were multiple stories going on at the same time.

I think I can do this by making Estivation my side project.

Here’s where it gets crazy. I have another novel that would also make a great side project. I’m sorely tempted to start it too. This one doesn’t even have a complete storyboard, but I already know all the characters and several situations that have to happen. Then there is that one I may never write, and it has a complete outline.

Winter has always been my best writing time, so I think I have to lay down some rules. Two projects at once might be possible. Four probably aren’t.

Seriously, what do you guys do when this happens? I know some of you write pretty fast, so maybe it’s not an issue to just wait. I’m a weekend warrior and quality writing time is limited. I have to be a little selective as to what I spend that time on.

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A blogging kind of day

I didn’t set any gigantic goal for this weekend. Life has been throwing me curves lately, and plans seemed like a bad idea.

Today was a day to pick something up, finish it, and move to the next project. With that in mind, Lisa Burton Radio is assembled and scheduled for Thursday, and so is the following Thursday. This actually feels kind of good to get ahead a tiny bit. I used to track every questionnaire I sent out, and do appropriate follow up, but I stopped doing that this year. People seem to be benefitting from the interview slot, but they need to have some skin in the game too. There are probably ten or more questionnaires out, but it’s up to them to respond and get back with me. Makes my part of the process less stressful, and that’s a good thing. I’ll be here for you from now on, but I’m not twisting arms to fill the interview slots.

I also spent some time writing, assembling, and scheduling my next post over at Story Empire. It’s up on Wednesday, and I hope it comes across well.

Oh yeah, there is this post too.

Life continues to throw us curves. The range decided to go out, including the oven portion. We’ve been doing without it for a couple of weeks now. Between the barbecue and the microwave, we’ve survived. Now that Frankie seems like her old self, today was time to address our appliance problem.

The old range was original to the house, so seventeen years old. In this day and age, that’s a good run.

The debate of the day was whether to pay for the range or finance it. Holding back a tiny bit of cash seems like a good idea in light of current events. Free delivery swayed us to use our Sears credit card. In event of another emergency, we have a few bucks available, and can make minimum payments if we have to. If everything evens out, I’ll probably take two months to pay it off. That way we get a couple of paydays in there and don’t strap ourselves.

Delivery will happen next weekend. At that time, I’ll probably wake up Tituba, my sourdough starter and christen the new oven the right way.

To her credit, Old What’s Her Face chose a very reasonable range. There was a time when both of us did a lot of cooking. As the kids have moved out, the appeal of a Wolfe gas range isn’t there any more. We wound up with a decent Kenmore electric that matches all the rest of the appliances. Honestly, I’ve always had good luck with Kenmore stuff.

After signing the papers, we walked over to Old Chicago for pizza and beer. We called it an early night, because my wife has to work this weekend. A few Winter Olympics and I’ll figure out what tomorrow has in store. I might even add some new words to my work in progress. Maybe I’ll paste together a new background for Lisa’s Facebook page. I have some new images that might be fun to use as Polaroids on her table.

The dogs are getting some ball time right now. All posts are more popular with a picture, so here’s Otto being a crazy man with his oversized tennis ball.

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Going All In, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to steam things up a little.

What happens when congenial poker nights among a group of six friends take a turn into dark territory? Someone suggests an alternative payout. Everyone consents to the new stakes. They are all excited – but before long, repressed thoughts and even sinister emotions begin to emerge.

With me in the studio today is Katie Kelly. She and her husband, Steve, were one of three couples who participated in this fateful poker affair, and she’s here to dish all the dirt for our listeners. “Welcome to the show, Katie.”

“Thank you so much for having me, Lisa! I’m happy to be here.”

“Let’s start off with some background. Tell us about you and Steve.”

“So, Steve and I were college sweethearts – then he went on to law school and I went to grad school to become a psychotherapist. But fate had something else in mind, at least for me. I got pregnant with our oldest daughter, Jamie, and well, career took a backseat. But Steve’s got a great job in New York City with a big, important law firm and we also have another daughter, Anna. Life’s pretty sweet, I’d say. We have a nice house in New Fairfield, Connecticut. I spend most of my time keeping up the family duties and doing a little part-time teaching at the local college while Steve brings home the proverbial bacon. I’m hoping to eventually go back to finish my counseling licensure hours at some point, though. Oh, and I’m writing a self-help book, – gotta keep busy, you know. There are only so many floors to sweep and loads of laundry to wash.”

“And how long had this couples’ poker night been going on before the rules changed?”

“Well, my hubby and I hang out – maybe too much – with two other couples who live nearby. They all trudged to our house one night in the middle of a snowstorm and we ended up playing a pretty feisty game of drunk poker. We had so much fun, though, that we decided to keep it going every other weekend.

“Some nights we play at our house, but it can get so loud and inappropriate we send the girls to babysit for one of the other couple’s twin sons. That’s Erin and Marty. Erin is a doll. We’ve known each other, God, forever it seems – BFFs and we share everything. I actually never had such a close girlfriend until I met her. Marty, on the other hand, is an ass. Can I say that on the radio? – I really have no idea why they’re together. Anyway, when we’re not playing at our house we rotate – sometimes it’s at Erin and Marty’s house. And other nights we play at Scarlett and C. Thomas’s house. Boy, they’re a pair – hot as hell but neither of them is the sharpest knife in the drawer if you know what I mean. Scarlett is three Bs – busty, beautiful, and brainless. Nice alliteration, huh? and C. Thomas – well, he looks like he was just carved out of butter.

“I know it probably doesn’t sound like it, but we’re all really good friends.”

“Blackjack is my game, and I’m pretty successful at it. My computer memory lets me count the cards. Poker is new to me, so tell us, Katie, are you good at poker?”

“Poker…hmm…Texas Hold’em, actually. Yes…and no, I guess! I’m still learning, you know. Steve is really the best player hands down – beats the pants off everyone most nights. Sometimes I don’t know why we keep playing.”

“Tell us what caused the change in the stakes.”

“God. We really had fun at first. Booze, snacks, lots of laughs…But as the hubby likes to say, familiarity breeds contempt. I guess it was just too much time together and well, the game simply started getting boring. And to be honest, how many times can anyone deal with Marty’s gross, drunken bumbling – or steer clear of his accidental groping? Or worse, have to see Scarlett’s silicone-injected boobs popping out of her skin-tight tank tops? And those nipples! Not that it bothers the guys.

“So out of the blue, C. Thomas suggests we raise the stakes. Instead of getting a few bucks from the pot, why not get something more valuable? he says. A one-night sexual hall pass with anyone we choose, except our own spouses! I think we all choked on our tortilla chips – Marty probably swallowed his tongue. I mean, what C. Thomas was suggesting wasn’t anything I’d ever thought I’d do – in my entire life! Or that Steve would do, or the rest of us for that matter. A fling! A one-night stand! An extra-marital affair! Anyway, you see, C. Thomas has this empire he inherited from his dad. That includes a cute cabin on the lake. He suggested we take another player’s spouse to the cabin if we won…to do with whatever we choose. What happens there, stays there, you know. Granted, it wasn’t great odds for me. Like I said, I’m far from the best player. And I only had one real choice – C. Thomas. If I EVER had to sleep with Marty I think I’d rather poke out my eyeballs.”

“So did you?”

“Did I what?”

“You know, were you the prize or the winner at any point? Did your husband win? Who did he choose? We want some dirt here–.

“Hold that thought, we seem to have a caller today. Hello caller, you’re on the air with Lisa and Katie. Do you have a question for our guest?”

“Yes, um, hi, Lisa. And hey, Katie! Sorry, this isn’t really a question, but, well, Katie – this game thing is really bringing out the worst in everyone. I don’t know what’s going on but you’ll never believe what I found on Marty’s computer.”

“Hey, Erin. What’s the matter? Ha, ha. Remember we’re on the radio! Keep it PG – if I know Marty, it could be anything!”

“You’re right – but this is worse, I mean, worse to me. To you – Scarlett, too! Remember the day we decided we were going to GO ALL IN? You know, that day we were drunk and skinny dipping in your pool?”

“Yeah…?”

“I found pictures of us! On some social media site! Who the hell could have taken them? How did they get there? Marty was working that day!”

“Oh, my God!”

“I know! I’m not sitting back anymore and taking this – or losing the games. I’ve got a plan for us to win.”

“Hey – we don’t know if the guys could be listening. I’ll call you later. I’ve got to know because I’m tired of losing, too.”

“Okay, talk to you later. Thanks, Lisa, Bye, Katie.”

“Thanks for calling, Erin.

“So back to you, Katie. Wow – so your misadventures wound up online. On the one hand, who really cares, but on the other, it could have some social and even employment fallout. I mean, Steve a prominent attorney, your college position, a self-help book. These things could be at risk. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. Do you have any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Well, we’re really in the thick of this now, you know. And I guess we’re just going to have to see how all this plays out, pun intended. I’ll tell you, though, I’m not sure we made the right decision sometimes. Part of me thinks there could be some serious fallout, you know” Everything has consequences. But then again, we all agreed to it, so how bad could it be? It’s not like we’re talking life and death stuff here. And it’s not cheating if everyone says it’s okay, right?

“Hey, I have an idea! Maybe you can have me back on after a few more games – I’ll probably have a lot more juicy stuff to report.”

“You can read all about Katie, Erin, and the rest in the book, Going All In, by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley. I’ll post all the pertinent details on the website.

“You can help everyone out today by using those sharing buttons at the end of this post. Stephanie & Wayne would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

BLURB:

A tale of three suburban couples who, during a pummeling Connecticut Nor’Easter, start up a friendly game of Texas Hold’em. The impromptu get-together leads to the institution of rousing, alcohol-driven, bi-weekly poker nights. One evening on a lark, someone suggests an alternate payout – instead of playing for pocket change, the winner may choose a different player with whom to spend the night. Before long, everyone’s Going All In.

All too quickly, friendships are strained and relationships crumble. Lies are told, truths are exposed, and feelings are hurt. In the end, can anyone bear the weight of this wanton self-indulgence? They are six fully consenting adults, and this was supposed to be just for fun. No one could possibly get hurt; after all, it was only a game. Or was it?

GOING ALL IN IS AVAILABLE AT:

Amazon-http://amzn.to/2fKcuO9

Nook-https://tinyurl.com/y7gmxotd

Smashwords-https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/750670

Kobo-https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/going-all-in-11

LULU (print book) – http://www.lulu.com/shop/stephanie-c-lyons-keeley-and-wayne-j-keeley/going-all-in/paperback/product-23349345.html

BIO:

Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley

Stephanie and Wayne are award-winning writers, directors, and producers as well as bloggers, who have other “day jobs” as well. Stephanie has an MA in counseling psychology and is a psychotherapist and professor of psychology. In addition to being a four-time Emmy-nominated and two-time winning writer and producer, who also is the author of the legal thriller Mahogany Row, Wayne is a media attorney and a part-time professor of communications.

Together the married duo (who are parents to a blended brood of seven children, two dogs, and three ferrets) pen “he-said/she-said” entertainment reviews and conduct interviews on their website, Pillow Talking.

Stephanie and Wayne have combined their creative talents on myriad works for film, theatre, and TV which are in various stages of development.

Read about Stephanie and Wayne’s projects here:

Their production company, Someday Productions LLC: www.somedayprods.com; and their blog, Pillow Talking: www.somedayprods.com/talking or find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc.

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