Tag Archives: birthday

A long week.

This was the week I went to San Antonio. That’s really nothing new, at my level seminars are a fact of life. This one had its good and not-so-good parts. Some of that has to do with my seasoning. I’ve been around this stuff for a long time, and it’s getting kind of hard to show me something new. They managed it though.

One of the unexpected things is kind of telling. I’ve been to many a seminar, but the seats in those meeting rooms are starting to wear me out more than ever before. A day or two, no problem. Four days, and I think I need a wheelchair.

Add air travel into the mix, and it gets even worse. There is no such thing as a comfortable chair on an airliner. I wound up with the middle seat on all four legs of my journey. From Phoenix to Boise, the guy with the window seat never showed up. I moved over and it was wonderful just to have a bit of extra room.

I actually left my iPad Pro at the TSA check in stop in San Antonio. Fortunately, my employee spotted it and saved it for me. I’m starting to feel like I need a keeper.

As far as San Antonio goes, it rained. Then it rained some more, followed by rain, with an additional portion of rain. It stopped raining while I was at the airport to go home.

We braved it anyway. We wandered down the street to someplace called the Buckhorn Saloon for lunch. It’s one of those places that seems dedicated to taxidermy. Animals covered all the walls, and they call part of it a museum that requires an admission fee. Apparently, it was not dedicated to cleanliness. To make it clear, polar bears and mountain goats are white, not grey.

The lunch itself was pretty good, and I scored a local beer that came off quite well. Craft beer wasn’t easy to find, but Texas brands were in abundance. I wound up living on Shiner Bock. Not awesome like a craft beer, but you can live on it.

While we were there, a Ted Cruz Rally broke out. My co-worker took a photo, but I didn’t feel the need. Cruz is kind of an odd dude, and I sat on my hands, lest judgment be passed upon me.

My co-worker has several Army buddies in the area, so he went out with them most nights. The one night we wandered around didn’t turn out all that great.

We got to the Alamo just as it closed. I still snapped a photo, the only one I took.

I briefly considered storming the fortress, but that’s already been done, and seems so 1800s by today’s standards.

Note: It was raining.

Then we wandered down to the River Walk. I went through the Alamo years ago, and spent a lot of time on the River Walk. This time, the River Walk seemed like it’s lost some of its spark.

The last time I was here, there were shops, bars, and restaurants filled to overflowing. This time, very little was open, people were scarce, and some construction was going on. It does make for a lovely scene to put some vampires in and have them stalk the patrons stumbling out of the bars.

My co-worker said his buddy, a former Army Ranger, told him this part of town wasn’t a great place to hang out after dark. We took the hint and went back to the hotel. I settled for another Shiner, some poorly conceived bar food, and called it my birthday dinner. I went back to my room so I could watch the World Series. It’s hard to ask a group of Spurs fans if it would be okay to change from basketball to baseball. (Sounds like something for one of John’s top ten lists.)

Old What’s Her Face called me on Face Time, something I’d never done before. This was so I could talk to Otto. He missed me and was confused how I got inside the iPad. It was kind of fun.

When I got home, the house was dark. My wife had to work today. That didn’t stop the dogs, and they swarmed me. I had to stay up for an hour just snuggling them. (Mostly Otto.)

I have a big old list of things I should be doing today, but I’m kind of worn out. Spending a lot of time with my old friend, Mr. Hot Pad today. At least I got to spend some time editing while I was on airplanes. That and reading a mediocre craft book I bought. I’m finding that craft books are kind of like seminars these days. It’s isn’t exciting and awesome anymore, but there are small nuggets of information that I find valuable.

That was the week that was. I really do have a ton of things to do, but this whole month has been like burning the candle at both ends. I think I’ll take a day and see how I feel about it tomorrow. I wonder if John Wayne is defending the Alamo on television somewhere today.

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Some good, some bad

I write a post along these lines every once in a while. Typically, I get to whatever I’m excited about, then throw out the bummer thing. I’m going to change it up, because I want to end on a high note tonight.

Last night we learned we are losing about half our annual income. We both still have our jobs, but there was a royalty we’ve become accustomed to getting. This has ebbed and flowed for decades. Usually it tapers off for a year or so before it goes blank. This time things were flying high, and without any warning, it ended completely.

This is a huge hit for us, and we were counting on it for part of our Christmas. My ultimate goal was to pay off my truck and furnace before it trickled away this time. At least I’m close. The truck will get paid off around February or March. That will really help. It also helps me make up my mind about trading it in. It’s going to have to last a few more years.

I also afforded my writing habit with some of this money. Let’s face it, breaking even is a worthy goal for a writer today. I used it to commission book covers and promotional posters. I think I can still do this, but I have at least three books I’m planning on releasing in 2018. I already have two covers and most of the posters, so there is that.

Enough of this unhappy shit. There is some decent news too. Back in October, for my birthday, I bought myself a gift. Had I known about the royalty, I never would have done it, but what’s done is done. I commissioned three hat stands for my office at the house. Things like this look better in threes, and two of them arrived today. There is one more to come.

I own a lot of hats. I usually wear one of my fedoras, but if we’re camping there are a couple of nice cowboy hats too. My old hat tree is full to overflowing, and I even have some in boxes in a closet. Now I can put more of them out. Hats aren’t for everyone, but I’ve been wearing a hat since I was a child.

Anyway, they turned out really cool. Here is a photo.

C. S. Boyack

The remaining one will have a cross bone for scarves and such. It’s hard to see in my lousy picture, but the top skull on the stack has a gold doubloon in it’s eye socket.

This guy also makes custom pirate hats. I gave some thought to ordering one depending upon how the stands came out, but under the circumstances, this will have to do. I’m sure a pirate hat would make a great display on one of these stands. I do have a cool witch’s hat that can substitute.

This weekend, I’ll be going over the Christmas shopping list and trying to salvage what we can of the remaining shopping. Perhaps I should wear my witch’s hat while I do it.

Psssst, hey buddy. Want to buy a book? Will write for food, etc.

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It’s a conundrum, or two

I’m back in my room now. There was another junior thunderstorm, but it was right overhead. Some of you asked for photos, and I couldn’t get them. It shook the windows, but didn’t have the staying power of yesterday’s storm.

I also bought some ski-lodge quality slippers for my wife and daughter. Today is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday, and we exchanged texts and spoke on the phone. Seems to happen every year that work sends me out of town on her birthday. She already bought her own present, and the slippers are just for fun.

I had to attend a midday event, and wound up with some time to myself this afternoon. I have to go to a banquet this evening, but a couple of hours in between were well spent time.

The Hat is a finished draft. It came in at 25,500 words. My intent was to publish it as a novella, but my personal idea of a novella is 30K. Word count numbers seem to be pretty fluid. Am I worrying about something that doesn’t really matter?

There is a lot going on in this story. I demonstrated Lizzie’s symbiosis with the hat by having them play the upright bass together. He has all of the skills, but none of the arms and fingers. This is how they fight evil, by working together.

I’m a bit worried about the denouement part of the book. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, and currently, I’ve done it using my bass clef section breaks. I have the aftermath of the big fight, the replacement (and upgrading) of musical instruments, the demonstration that complex characters will go forward together. That last part means as musicians and as fighters of evil.

I don’t like long denouements. I once beta read for an author who spent a quarter of the book defining a happy-ever-after for her characters. This included naming grandchildren that hadn’t been born to children that hadn’t been conceived in the main story.

I know I’m not that bad, but I still worry. If I eliminate some things that are dear to me, I could probably turn this into a dynamite short story. I want a novella and those parts are important to me.

If I turn each necessary bit of closure into an entire chapter, that will help with word count, but it will also push me toward the long denouement I’m trying to avoid.

Any suggestions?

I’m fairly sure either my critique group, or a couple of decent beta readers can help me out, but I’m not ready for betas yet. I have several passes to make before I can share it with betas.

Okay, I know someone is going to ask. Here are the slippers. I think those dingle balls are going to be Frankie bait though. They should be cozy on our new floor.

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A little of this, a little of that.

There has been a different kind of content here on Entertaining Stories lately. It isn't that my well ran dry, it's that I've been getting invites. If someone generously wants to support me, the least I can do is reblog and try to drive them a bit of traffic. Let's face it, many of my followers are authors and they should be saving those sites in a folder somewhere for the times they need a bit of support.

Next week is going to be different around here too. I'm participating in a fun blog tour that I helped to create. I'll be hosting the other Story Empire authors while they host me. You'll have the chance to learn about some awesome new books, with deep discounts or free days, and there will be prizes. I'm pretty excited about the ones I'm giving out, but you'll learn more about them tomorrow. It's going to be a lot of fun, so come along for the ride.

While we're doing this, there will still be original content on Story Empire, and I have the monday post in the rotation. In other words, I've been blogging while hosting friends, and being hosted by other friends, the posts just haven't been revealed yet.

My son and I have tickets to see Ghost in the Shell tomorrow. The advertisements look pretty awesome, and the source material was pretty popular. It sounds like the movie is getting terrible reviews, so I don't know what to expect. At least I get to hang out with my son, so that's kind of cool.

Last May, this little bundle of joy arrived at our house:

Otto was actually born on April First, which is kind of fitting after you get to know him.

He had a big first year. He got to wade in the Pacific Ocean, went on multiple camping trips, and had a long-standing battle with plastic water bottles. I'm writing this post in bursts, because he keeps shoving his ball onto my keyboard.

Today, this is what he looks like:

Not the best picture, but he doesn't stand still very long, and it's the best I could do.

If you look behind him, you'll see his gingerbread man, his big lizard, and his rope toy. Not a latex toy in sight.

We were warned about bulldogs and latex allergies. We bought him a glass food and water dish set on the day he arrived, just for this reason.

His absolute favorite toys are the plastic ones. His chin broke out with nasty pustules, and I took them all away. I still have his ladybug ring, several rubber balls, and the last rubber bone that still squeaks.

Over the course of several days, everything seems to have cleared up for him. I feel bad about it, but I may have to get rid of those toys that have latex.

It's odd that it wasn't a problem for a year, but that is kind of how allergies work. It's all fine until it isn't, then they never go away.

Otto tends to go at everything full speed ahead. He plays hard, then he crashes hard. In the time it took to write this post, we played ball for 45 minutes, and my wife participated too. Then he crashed. I'll sneak up and see if I can actually get one more photo:

Gotcha.

My flex day is Monday next week, and that's perfect. I can monitor comments on the first day of our big tour, along with those at Story Empire, and I may even finish my reading. (The same reading I was supposed to finish before April arrived.)

So happy April Fool's Day, happy birthday to Otto, and I hope all of you have a great weekend.

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My Birthday Gift to You

That’s right, today marks one more orbit around the sun for me. I’ve been hitting it hard on the promotional front, and am about out of paranormal stories to push. Will O’ the Wisp is on an extensive blog tour, but that doesn’t leave much to do around here.

That means I need to stretch a bit to fit this into the Halloween theme. It’s actually an epic fantasy, but it contains lots of things that could be considered monsters. (If you look at them with your peripheral vision.)

Regular followers know I like to mash things up. This is a Greco-Roman fantasy with some of the traditional Germanic characters thrown in too. Elves, dwarves, and goblins are European in nature, so I decided they must have existed further south too.

They are in the mix with cyclops, satyrs, Amazons, and centaurs. In this world, Remus killed Romulus and the Remsians are the power instead of the Romans.

This is the story of Cobby, a Southern Dwarf. He loses his human family in an attack by some people who look suspiciously like Atlanteans. This sends him on a journey to discover his true heritage. He meets other downtrodden races along the way and seems to collect them all. Eventually it becomes a sizeable band.

It’s like Homer included Exodus in some kind of, well, mashup. I think it’s a fun story, and for my birthday it’s absolutely free. One day only. Hope you enjoy it.

Hail Cobby

This is one of Lisa’s paper doll outfits. You can download your own under the Look Free Stuff page up at the top of this site.

You can get your free copy of The Cock of the South at this link. (LINK)

I don’t know what time Amazon starts these things, and the international date line may come into play in your location.

***

Update: One of my followers said the link didn’t work for him. I used the universal link generator, but he suggested this alternate https://www.amazon.com/Cock-South-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B00P4H37WC

Also this happened:

Product Details

 

 

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One more trip around the sun

Yeah, today is that day. Fifty-four laps and counting. I’m about to have a houseful of company for the weekend, then a week long business trip to Columbus, Ohio.

It’s going to be hard to stick to my blogging schedule this weekend, but I’ll try. I’m taking my iPad to Ohio, and have some cool things planned for next week. Watch for my collaborative Macabre Macaroni story with Mari Wells on Thursday.

I really need to work on getting The Cock of the South published, but it’s not going to happen PDQ. I may plan a huge giveaway to celebrate getting it online.

This weekend is going to be about shopping, food, the World Series, and beer. I hope there’s good beer involved.

I’ll try to keep up with everyone’s posts, and will post on Sunday. No promises about Saturday.

Is there anything interesting about Columbus, Ohio?

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Safe at Home

It sounds like the Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a great start. They lost both of their early games to the Dodgers. These games were played in Australia, to promote the sport over there. I don’t see this as a disadvantage, since the Dodgers were against the same travel ordeal.

I, on the other hand am safe at home. (Lame baseball joke, for my international followers) We went to Nevada for my father’s 80th birthday.

There were about a dozen family members at his pizza party. Dad was totally surprised, and everyone had a good time.

There were lots of visiting requirements, and I’m pretty tired right now. It was nice seeing everyone though.

My writing suffered. I didn’t manage a single new word of fiction. It sounds like my current project, Will ‘O the Wisp is going to suffer even more. There are a lot of people planning on visiting me in the next 60 days or so. I’d like to complain, but can’t. I like seeing all of them.

I may have to make a decision about Will ‘O the Wisp. I can hack my way through, amid all the visitors. This means a ton of rewriting after I have serious time to write. I can also put it off. This will require me to read through and edit what I have, before tackling the ending with my normal style.

I don’t think there’s a winner or a loser there. It just is.

I’ve decided not to immediately start another story after Will ‘O the Wisp. I know what I want to write, but I have other obligations. I need to whip my remaining 3 projects into shape, buy cover art, and get them online. I’ve been trying everything at once, and while it can be done – I do better when I can check something off my list on occasion.

I picked up several more blog followers, thanks to Rachel Carrera. She interviewed me about my writing on Friday. Thank you, Rachel. Think about visiting her blog.

Other than that, it was blog silence for me this weekend. My overall blog numbers reflect this. (After Friday.) Ya gotta blog regularly, but you also have to live a life.

In other news Doobster428 left a nice comment on one of my posts. He read Wild Concept, and said he enjoyed it. Everyone should go visit his blog, as my way of saying thanks. He could probably use the good cheer after all the poets got finished with him.

I’m home safe. I’m ready for The Walking Dead, and can’t wait to see the aftermath of their own Red Wedding episode last week. Tomorrow is back to the grindstone. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

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Three Important Things

I’ll get to the main one first, since some of you skim. I responded to Rachel Carrera’s request for writers to appear on her blog. She asked me to address a sequence of questions, and promote my writing a bit.

My guest appearance is Friday, March 21st. Please check out Rachel’s blog and tell her I said, “Hi.” Here’s the link: Rachel Carrera, Novelist.

Next: I’m going to be a bit quieter this weekend. My father turns 80 this weekend, and we’re going to his party. This requires a visit to Nevada, some food, and adult beverages.

I’m not saying I’ll be silent, but there won’t be any new fiction written to discuss. You can always visit Rachel Carrera, Novelist, if you get bored.

Finally: I sent a long email to Lisa*. I told her I wouldn’t be around at all this weekend, and probably wouldn’t be available until the 28th. She’s going to use the tractor and plow the runway out at the cabin. That way it can dry for a week or so.

Oh, Lisa says “Hi”.

* Lisa is the main character in my novel, Wild Concept. She’s a robot and works as my assistant these days. Check it out on Amazon.

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Busy day today

I discovered an upgrade for my Mac last night. It was still running this morning. My devices needed an upgrade too this morning. I got everything running and had to leave. At least my phone and iPad were ready.

My wife decided I needed some upgrades to my truck. Tomorrow is my birthday, and she conspired with my mother to get this done. I wanted a hydraulic bed step, being ever practical. She decided I needed some fender flares. I took it in today, but since everyone is off, I had to wait there.

I went to work editing on my iPad, and they had free coffee, so all was good. Lorelei bailed on me, she’s not into editing. I see myself telling this story more than showing in places. I know this is drilled into writers over and over again. I’m starting to get defensive about it. When my MC has to plow through mountains of documents, I choose to tell. I’ll show when she finds something and makes conclusions. I guess readers can decide if I’m a hack or not.

This story is about four years old, and I still like it. I’ll take that as a good sign.

I wasn’t really into the fender flares, but they look awesome. Sometimes I short myself and try to stay practical.image

 

I’m not too impressed with the upgrade to Apple Pages. It seems harder to do everything. Dragging a button for indents was pretty easy, while it lasted. A help button would be nice too. They also hid undo and redo. I’ll figure it out, but it feels like change for the sake of change.

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