Tag Archives: Baseball

No regrets today

I had a reasonable opportunity to do some writing today, and squandered it away. This is my two day weekend, and Old What’s Her Face is off. That makes it kind of hard, but not impossible.

I dabbled. I switched back to Lanternfish, but it probably didn’t amount to 300 words. I also made some adjustments to an earlier part of the story. Nothing too Earth shattering.

Mostly, there were some decent movies on television. A couple of old James Garner comedies were on, back-to-back. I keep thinking I create wild characters, but I have a long way to go. Watching Harry Morgan and Dub Taylor yell at each other was hilarious. I’m calling it a study session.

Old What’s Her Face had to get her Toyota serviced, and I just kept watching movies. She was nice, and brought home an empanada and an apple fritter for me.

I also watched game 7 of the 2001 World Series. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It might be the only baseball I get this year.

In a few minutes The Invisible Man is coming on Pay-Per-View. I’m going to rent it and see what it looks like. Haven’t heard a thing about it, but the trailers look pretty good.

Hope all of you are staying safe, and enjoying the weekend.

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Vacation day

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for us at work. With everything pretty much settled now, I decided to take today off.

I didn’t have any specific goals other than not having to get up and commute. This week began with a return to Daylight Savings Time, included a full moon, and ends with Friday the 13th. None of those are particularly troubling. In fact, I published Viral Blues the last time Friday the 13th rolled around.

The news is depressing with all the viral scares going around. I was looking forward to baseball season, so that’s kind of disappointing. I understand why they’re making all these changes, but I don’t have to like it.

Fortunately for me, there is the writing thing. I need to address some critiques I have back, but I don’t have them all. With that in mind, I decided to add more words. It wasn’t a banner day, but 1600 new words are more than I had when I got up this morning. I kind of like them, but always reassess when my next writing day begins.

The tour for Grinders is ongoing, and I needed to deliver some materials for that. I think it’s time well spent. No sense publishing these things if I don’t try to make people aware of them. This tour hasn’t been any more productive than any of the others, but there is one noticeable difference. I’m enjoying it more. By only having two posts per week, I don’t feel rushed and harried to cover all the comments and such. Comments have been great, too. There seem to be more of them this time.

This could actually be a good thing in the long run. I buy books by earmarking them in my head, then getting to them when I have some time. I don’t always remember all the things I was interested in, and sometimes a reminder will send me running to Amazon. Perhaps, by spreading the posts out, I can have those little reminders online for those who are more like me.

Two years ago, I decided that writing my next book was my best source of promotion. It seems to be working to a degree. My backlist is getting more action than it ever has. It isn’t a lot, but it’s noticeable. More publications means I’m out there more frequently than ever before. Phase two of this idea will be some “specials” when my series books are ready to come out. It’s possible I might weave in a free day for one of the older titles, too. That’s all speculation. My main goal is to get the next Lanternfish book ready to set sail.

Those 1600 word might be all I accomplish this weekend. There could be a few more, but the story has moved to a point where I’m not stressing about it. If I can’t get it finished before Summer, I may just release it in the middle of Summer. I never have great luck with Summer releases, but I’ve been told the middle of a trilogy is a tough sell anyway. They usually don’t move until the series concludes.

I’m open to suggestions on that point. Let me hear from you in the comments. I’d like to learn your release day and promo secrets.

Oh, Public Service Announcement: Hiding in the closet with a copy of Grinders is a great way to spend the weekend and will not expose you to Corona Virus. It’s an E-book, so you can’t substitute it for toilet paper, but you won’t want to after you get into it.

On one of my last posts I tossed a photo of Otto out there to draw interest. Frankie demanded equal time, so here she is on one of the rare times when she pauses in her playing.

Being good, temporarily.

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Vacation time trickles out…

I have everything I need to publish Serang today, but I procrastinated. People aren’t hurting for something fresh from me, so I have time.

  • Side note, still time to read Viral Blues for Halloween.

I’d like to publish this before the year runs out, and next weekend is a fair option. I need to devote some time to the blurb for this one. Because it’s a supporting story for Lanternfish, it takes place in a mildly fantasy setting. It isn’t quite as big as Lanternfish, but there is a dragon of sorts, (Maybe two or three depending on how you count) and I don’t want to mislead anyone.

Serang is a coming of age tale, so I need to communicate that. It takes place in a time of great political upheaval, so that has to get in there. I don’t want people to be upset because there are fantasy elements, or disappointed that it isn’t epic fantasy. A bit more thought might help when writing this blurb. By next weekend I might have it all sorted out.

What did I do with my spare time? I spent some time supporting the Something Wicked blog tour, along with some of my older posts. Today there is a blog push from the paid promo I did, and I already saw one sale from that. Fingers crossed for more.

I’ve also been staying up late for the World Series. So far the home team hasn’t won a single game. That’s never happened before, and it’s been a great series. Game seven is tonight, so I’ll be tired at work tomorrow. A nap seems like a good idea so I’m not too flat in the morning.

We had a chore day, so we got the camper put away for winter, and managed a date night out of the deal. Halloween is the only beer tour I participate in these days, and got my glow in the dark tee-shirt. I’m wearing it right now.

I spent a couple of days adding thousands of words to my side project. This one is a cyberpunk tale set in a futuristic version of San Francisco. It challenged me to use science fiction to exaggerate some issues we see in current society, and it challenged my world-building skills, too.

I’m very happy with a piece I wrote yesterday that went down during the Chinese New Year parade. A cyberpunk version of that parade. If the stars align, I can publish it on actual Chinese New Year for a bit of extra luck. I’m year of the rat, next year is rat. Maybe I’m due for some luck. There are rats in the story…

The story is called Grinders, and I’m at 71,000 words right now. Getting it done this year shouldn’t be too tough, and if I can afford the artwork, publishing on Chinese New Year seems realistic.

I didn’t do anything particularly exciting, and it felt great. I did what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. I was mildly productive and I wasn’t at the office. Sometimes it’s good to have a break from the workaday world, and that’s what I did.

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween, and finds a way to take a small break on occasion.

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Saturday checking in

Things have been pretty crazy around here. I (nearly) finished up my blog tour for Viral Blues this week. The big climax was the Something Wicked tour with all my Story Empire friends. I like to reblog my appearances in hopes of sending the host a bit of traffic. For that leg of the tour, I had my own guest that day and could not post over the top of them. They deserved the spotlight, and brought us some wonderful options for Halloween reading.

I say almost finished, because I have one interview that will post on Halloween. It promises to be a good interview, and I’ll share it here. Then, that’s it for Viral Blues. I’ll watch for reviews, and if they’re on BookBub I can tweet them out. BookBub is starting to warm on me. I need more followers there, and am willing to follow back.

This is where I come to a rift between heart and head. My heart wants to return to drafting of new material. I still have two projects in the works, and one of them is near conclusion. I also have some fun ideas for the Lanternfish sequel, but it is lagging a bit behind. I may have a little maneuvering room here this coming week.

My head is telling me to release Serang. This one is a supporting story to Lanternfish, and not part of the main trilogy. I made big strides toward publishing today, and expect to publish it next week.

This may actually be a cover reveal. I don’t recall sharing the image before. With Serang, I’ll need to do a bit of promotion. I’ll do a blog tour, but I don’t think it will be as extensive. I only have two specific pieces of Lisa Burton art, plus I can recycle the one from Lanternfish. I haven’t even started writing posts yet, so that’s going to eat into my time.

I have my concerns about this story, but I freak out about all my releases. Lanternfish had comedy bits, and they were well received. Serang was one of the more serious pirates, and her origin story will be serious, too. (Sorry to disappoint those comedy fans.) I have some neat settings and situations in the story, so we’ll all find out together. The few coming-of-age stories I’ve written were well received, so fingers crossed. A lot of things about Serang are explained in this story.

My wiggle room is in the form of vacation, paid vacation. I’m getting paid to be an author. (Don’t laugh, I’m counting it as a win.) I don’t have to return to work until Halloween. Old What’s Her Face is out of town for a couple of days, and that helps, too.

I’ll spend the next few days dabbling with blurb ideas, maybe cobble together some promotional posts. I’ll check my list of potential hosts, and see who I haven’t put the touch on lately. I really have no idea who I’m going to ask.

I may even pull up that nearly finished draft and add a chapter to it. It’s science fiction, so it won’t tangle with any fantasy ideas I’m working on.

No matter what, I’m breaking for the World Series. I still have a few remaining pumpkin beers and can’t be expected to work all the time. I don’t have a favorite team, and nobody this year has me cheering against them either. So far the games have been great, and I hope they continue on that path.

Let me hear from you. Are you watching the Series? Do you have a favorite team? Am I crazy for releasing another book on the heels of Viral Blues? Do you like or hate the cover? Are you sick of all this book promo?

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Peeking out

I’ve been admittedly quiet around here lately. This is because I’ve been appearing everywhere else. My local efforts haven’t been that interesting, so I’ll just brief on them.

I try to have a couple of posts per week out there, then spend my time supporting those. If you’ve hosted me, you may have seen all the Twitter action and such.

Every weekend, I try to contact a host or two, then write something specifically for them. This tour has been 100% unique material, even though the cover and blurb are the same.

There has also been a surge of interest in Lisa Burton Radio. This takes quite a bit of work, but I like to be there for my fellow authors. I’m not one of those who takes but never gives in that regard.

It honestly doesn’t sound like much, but it’s kept me hopping. I’m enjoying the baseball playoffs to no end this year, but many of those games find me with my iPad across my lap and trying to polish up a post during the game.

Some of you might wonder why you haven’t heard from me for this tour. I will send something if you like, but I have another book coming right on the heels of Viral Blues. I don’t want to wear my usual hosts out, but I’ll need places to promote that book, too.

Part of this weekend is dedicated to whipping Serang into final shape. Most of it involves adding a title and copyright page, a bit of back material, and a fast sweep of the tale itself. If I get everything done, that will make three publications for me this year. I think anyone would admit that’s a pretty busy 2019.

For now, it’s Viral Blues until the end of the month. It has a Halloween theme, and you can read it in a long day. I think it’s funny, and maybe you’d enjoy some seasonal reading.

With this schedule, something had to give. I’m sad to note there is no Macabre Macaroni this year. I never had to time to write some seasonal micro-fiction. Nobody appears to have noticed, but I hope you’re all having a fun Halloween season anyway. Here’s an old MM image of Lisa to hold you over.

Lisa Burton

Old What’s Her Face has a Pirates film festival on today. I adore these movies, and find the music inspirational. They also serve to remind me that I haven’t touched Lanternfish II in over a month. In a perfect world, I would finish this manuscript by the end of the month.

It’s about time for me to knock off, eat some Asian pears, drink a pumpkin beer and find some baseball. (So many Asian pears this year, and they’ve been better than any previous year.)

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Errand Day

I’m parked at the dealership waiting for my truck to get serviced. They have a great workstation, so I brought my iPad.

My last post got me to thinking about the old iPad. It makes a great coaster. Maybe one day, Christie’s will auction it off for millions in cyber currency.

“Step right up folks. This is called an iPad, and it once belonged to famous author C. S. Boyack. He wrote the novel “Panama” on it, and it is the birthplace of Lisa Burton, who we all know and love. Let’s start the bidding at one-hundred-thousand.”

After I leave here, I have to swing by the pharmacy and pick up prescriptions. High blood pressure is a real thing, so it’s best to stay on top of it.

After getting home, I need to schedule a blog post for a friend, then send her the advance link. I’m watching for a couple of my own promo posts, so I need to find and support those.

After that??? One of my favorite teams is playing today. They’re the “anyone against the Dodgers.” Always love them.

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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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Failure today is my fault

I stayed up late and watched the Diamondbacks game vs the Padres. I don’t expect a lot to cheer about this year, but baseball is funny. It’s one of those games that takes a long time, and it seems like not much happens. When it does, it can be spectacular. Last night was one of those nights.

Zack Greinke is an aging superstar pitcher. The fan boards all complain about how we’re paying him too much, etc. I’ve seen it too, the reduction in velocity, but there’s been an adjustment in trickiness.

His opening day start against the Dodgers was a disaster. There have been a few of those over the years too. Last night wasn’t one of them.

During the off season, Manny Machado landed what was then the biggest contract in baseball history. His record lasted a few days anyway. It was the Padres that gave him the big money.

The first inning looked like another sub-par performance for an aging pitcher. I’ve been watching baseball since the 1960s, and I’ve seen it before. Greinke is a professional, and somehow he managed to shake it off.

By the time he left the game, he’d struck out ten San Diego Padres. A stellar night by anyone’s standard, but wait there’s more. This is the National League, and they play real baseball here. This means pitchers have to bat just like everyone else.

Greinke hit two home runs last night, and the first one had two guys on base ahead of him. While this has happened over the years, it’s a pretty noteworthy event.

Bonus, it was Machado who struck out to end the game. Greinke, our starting pitcher, now has more homeruns in Petco Park than Manny Machado who calls it home.

Machado is a bad dude all around. His antics in last year’s World Series are pretty memorable. Trying to step on the first baseman’s ankle to injure him, and possibly change the outcome. Failing to run when he hit the ball, because he assumed it was a home run and wanted to showboat.

Last night he stepped on our catcher to prevent him from fielding a fly ball, then dropped his bat before the man’s feet intending to trip him so he might drop it. It worked, our guy failed to make the catch. The umpire called him out for interference. It was sweet.

So today, I’m not firing on all cylinders. I got up late. My critiques need attention, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get there today.

Do I regret not forging ahead with one of my stories? Not-one-bit, to be honest with you. Last night was worth it. It may be years before I get to see something like that again.

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Small progress day

I woke up early and added a few more words to my WIP, Serang. It didn’t amount to much. When 8:00 rolled around, I talked to my parents for an hour.

Beyond that it was time for a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich, with a fresh cup of coffee. I added a few more words after that. All in all, it felt like a thousand new words.

Then I quit the new words idea. I needed to reread and make small corrections before sending it to my critique group. I like what’s there, but I’m always nervous about middle sections. Guess I’ll find out what they think later this week.

I should have broken it into two submissions. I didn’t really plan to get that much new stuff accomplished. My wife visiting out of state was spontaneous, so I made the best of it.

Last night I watched a dumpster fire of a ballgame instead of typing away. There’s one on now too, but it looks a bit better.

My wife made it back about an hour ago, and it looks like a wrap on my writing weekend. All in all, it was outstanding. It may be a year before I get this kind of opportunity again, so I made the best of it.

Right now, Serang and her master are camped at the mouth of a canyon and ready to enter the Temple of Wind. It’s probably good to stop here and dwell on it for a week. I need to kind of foreshadow something that is going to happen near the end of the story, and a bit of time might help me do a better job of it.

I also need to consider wind, sounds, echoes, temperatures, shadows, and more for the Temple of Wind. Time is my friend now.

Back to the real world tomorrow.

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Breaking for a moment…

I really threw myself into writing today. It’s fun when you can see the end in sight, and know everything is coming together. I woke up fairly early, and managed 4600 words before lunchtime. Then I took a break.

I’m at 5450 on the day right now, and decided I needed another break. I’m going to see if my game is televised in about an hour, and if it is, I’m likely done. If not, I’ll probably keep going. I don’t get this kind of opportunity every weekend.

Serang and her master broke off from the caravan. They avoided a conflict with a huge baboon troop over the water hole, by riding around them. Have you seen the teeth on those guys, and the muscles. A few flintlock muskets wouldn’t be enough to stave off an entire troop of them. Since it’s fantasy, I can ramp up their abilities a little without concern.

They spent an extra day at the next waterhole, but the caravan is long gone now. Finally they went looking for an ancient trail that her master said was used by “wild men.” He’s referring to ancient people before civilization took hold.

They found bits and pieces of it, and something I never planned for happened. This is called an inukshuk.

The trail may be long gone, but the ancient markers are mostly still there. It gave the desert crossing a bit of a treasure hunt feel, and I really like it. I even played with shadows and light to reveal some of them and it turned out cool.

I saw inukshuk when I was in arctic Canada many years ago. The Inuit told me people made them because they were lonely, and that way they had a friend. Sounds like BS to me, but that’s what they said. The Basque sheepherders made rock monuments to mark the path they moved the sheep on every summer where I grew up. Eh, I stole a little from both of them.

I kept my monuments pretty primitive, and used desert sandstone to make them instead of glacial rubble.

Just before this post, they finally spotted the Temple of Wind in the distance. I’m excited for this part too, and don’t have any real plans for what happens as they pass through. I’m excited to see what happens myself. As a storyboarder, my index cards only hit the high points. The Temple of Wind is on an index card, but how I deal with this will be revealed as I write.

I should probably keep going, but if the game is on, I’m watching it. We’re dropping the Extra Innings package this year. I watched nearly every game last year, but it’s too damned expensive to keep up with. I’ll catch what few games I can, and check scores in the morning. We’re even talking about going with Hulu and getting rid of the whole satellite system entirely.

Maybe there’s something more to the statement about being a starving artist. Sometimes the only entertainment you can afford is your art. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to mine this weekend, and intend to spend more.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend whatever you’re doing.

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