Tag Archives: Blogging

Dragon Ass

Okay, this isn't a post about dragons. It's a post about attitude. My regulars will understand how my mojo flew out the window this week, and it's only fair to give you a small update.

Our veterinarian and our favorite breeder both gave us a measure of comfort with our loss of little Nyx. The vet said that heat stroke should not have happened in thirty minutes. Not with her in a shaded back yard and access to water. He said that Nyx may have had some other problem that was not known and contributed to her death. The other dogs were out there too and were unscathed.

Thinking back on it, she was the one who sat on the air conditioner vent regularly. Maybe he's onto something.

The breeder said she's lost dogs to heat before, and our dogs' father is susceptible to heat problems. She thinks we're lovely people, and can't think of better pet owners. I appreciate her sentiments, but beyond the regular bulldog problems with heat, maybe this bloodline is more susceptible to heat problems.

There is the possibility that our son isn't telling us the whole truth either. Maybe it was more than thirty minutes. We were only gone two hours, and nyx was happily licking my ear before we left.

It could also be a hideous cocktail of those facts. At this point we know all we're ever going to know, and the assessments are not conclusive.

We're both devastated. My wife couldn't go to work on Wednesday, and I had to leave after about an hour and come home myself. We both regularly place a hand on our remaining dogs just to see if they're breathing. We had them both wearing wet bandanas yesterday, because even with the air conditioner and overhead fan, we couldn't get the house below seventy-eight degrees last night. (I almost put one on myself.)

Frankie is having a hard time too. She wouldn't eat the first day, and kept looking for her sister. We finally had to buy a new outer bowl, run the glass insert through the dishwasher, and then she ate just fine. The other stuff smelled like Nyx, and I'm sure that's what the problem was. She's needed some extra ball playing, and spent a lot of time in my lap this morning with what we call poodle time.

Otto is still convalescing himself. He has good days and bad days. We have another appointment to see what more we can do for him. It's some kind of pinched nerve like sciatica, and that's about all we know. He feels decent and wants to play, which leads to a tough night after the exertion.

I'm still waiting for a formatted manuscript. I'll publish The Enhanced League as soon as I get one, then I'll put out a call for blog hosts. I'm the one being difficult and demanding here, in case you're wondering.

Beyond that, I assembled and scheduled next week's Lisa Burton Radio post. I also moved another one ahead in the queue. I need to keep working on these, lest my volunteers think I'm blowing them off, but with twenty five applicants, it does no good to get them all ready at once.

I finally got around to changing my wallpaper. Since July is determined to be so hot, I thought heat was an appropriate theme. Heat has caused all the disasters around my life this week too.

I'm going to see if I can work up a couple more promotional posts for Enhanced League. I may have enough, but might find a decent excerpt to share somewhere and those make fun posts.

I need to catch up on some reading too. I don't know if my mood is great for that until I try. I have several books I want to get to and may take a shot at one.

I really need to get on with The Yak Guy Project, but have been putting it off. This is for a couple of selfish reasons. I don't want to get tangled up during the Enhanced League release, and I don't want to release a novel during the summer months. Releasing Enhanced League around Major League Baseball's Allstar Break might not be so bad.

So that's me this weekend. I'll get some things done, but I'm kind of draggin' ass at the moment. (Wow, I've always free written the blog, but I'm starting a lot of sentences with I today. I don't think I'll edit it either.)

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A recipe for dead motivation

My critique group met last night, and we exchanged efforts. Everyone is loving Yak Guy still, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

I stayed up late last night playing Diablo III with my son. We downloaded a new expansion pack and created a couple of new necromancers to fight evil with. This is part of the recipe… up late.

At four AM, Nyx started barking behind my headboard. She squeezed back there and couldn't figure out that she had to go backwards to get out. She decided to try digging at my nightstand instead. I had to remove a king sized mattress, partially slide back the box springs, and motivate her with words I don't usually speak at four o'clock.

I tried to go back to sleep, but at six I gave up. Sleep deprivation, part of the recipe.

Otto returned to the vet yesterday, and he is doing better. He has good days and bad days, but there is nothing wrong with his bones or joints. More pain meds for him for the time being. Emotionally, part of the recipe.

I've hit it hard in the early part of my vacation. I even managed over a thousand words of a short story I agreed to write. The target is 5000 words by August, so I'm in good shape there.

In order to get this vacation, I agreed to a business lunch downtown today. I also agreed to proofread some things from my Executive Director. She emailed what she has and I marked it up and threw it in my truck.

This was the point where my mojo took a leave. I knew I had this meeting. I have to put on pants. From six AM through the meeting, I did virtually nothing. Nyx wanted to cuddle most of the morning and I let her. She never wants to cuddle, that's more Frankie and Otto's thing. Maybe she's being sorry for the headboard incident. I also read a few chapters of a craft book I've been picking away at.

I've been productive, and I'll include some details. I will be productive again this week. Today may not be the day. Here is the list I posted on friday:

Projects for my week off:

  • Re-read The Enhanced League and make edits.
  • Figure out how to add images to the back of the book and actually make them look good.
  • Get the final MS out to the formatter, and pay her. Still waiting for an invoice.
  • Assemble a guest post I agreed to host. Became two and I did both of them.
  • Work on Lisa Burton Radio stuff as it comes in. Moderate success, needs more effort.
  • Finish up a post I've been working on to appear elsewhere. Delivered it too.
  • Start the word searches on Yak Guy.
  • Read Yak Guy and start editing.
  • Write blog tour posts for Enhanced League. Have five done, need more.

Depending on how well I do, I can get to some of these:

  • Research and assemble something I'd like to post for July 4th.
  • Publish The Enhanced League.
  • Put out a request for blog tour hosts.
  • Do some deeper research and start writing my time travel short story for an anthology. 1000 words and counting. Target is 5000.

Looks like I need to focus on Lisa Burton Radio, the blog tour posts, and my short story. Yak guy can take a back seat while I get Enhanced League out the door.


I may find some scraps of motivation today. I'll update this evening. Right now I have to find pants.

***

Post meeting:

My daughter was supposed to give me a haircut this afternoon, but has misplaced her shears and her combs. She really does give the best haircuts, but aside from chewing the hair off, I don't know what she can do. This would have been the perfect day for it too.

Now one of her friends is here, and they're watching movies in the living room. Some days you just have to run up the white flag and surrender.

I still have four more days to work on projects, and my wife decided to go to Nevada this weekend. That will make for a nice quiet house.

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Vacation Update

I skipped my Sunday evening post to honor the guest I hosted. I'm typing this right now with Frankie straddled across one leg. She's the smaller of the puppies and more into cuddling than Nyx is.

Nyx is crashed out on the floor in a typical bulldog pose. Four feet in the air and snoring away. Otto is restless and uncomfortable. His pain medication seems to be helping, but not enough. I think we need to go back to the vet and see if there's more that can be done. I miss my happy-go-lucky dog, and he's more like an old dog that just sleeps all the time.

I've been getting things done, despite my little typing handicap. The Enhanced League is with the formatter, and we've exchanged a few emails. I've been working on blog tour posts, and have four of them roughed out, two as me and two from Lisa so she can distribute her posters. I need more, but it's progress.

I got my critique submissions all printed and worked up. I even put them in the truck so I won't forget them at tomorrow night's meeting.

Somewhere in the mix, I put my final touches on the Story Empire post and it went live this morning.

I got the initial shtick out for a couple of the Lisa Burton Radio posts. First finished, first posted on those. I need to work up a few more of these, because authors all work at different speeds. Some of them are waiting for publication dates and that's wise too. I will massage the schedule to time with their release dates.

The precursory research for my time travel story is done, but I need to do some deeper research. I also did a bit of research for my Fourth of July post. It's mostly a graphic, but I still want a few words.

For the remaining work, I need to finish reading the craft book I've been working through. There is also a novel I'd like to start reading. I need to write more blog tour posts, and a few per day feels like the right pace. I never know how many volunteers I'll get until I ask for them, and I like to be prepared. I'll have my own critiques to address after tomorrow night.

Then there is The Yak Guy Project. I swore I'd never release another book during the summer, but it looks like Enhanced League will come out in July. That might not be so bad for a 99ยข special that deals with baseball, a summer sport. Yak Guy might just have to wait until September, even if I get it ready before that. The challenge is to get it ready now. I can't procrastinate and cause it to come out months later.

I just checked on Lisa Burton Radio, which I track with another living document. It makes a statement about our society, that a nice post called Dear Lisa doesn't get any response. She pulls on her booty shorts and shakes her sign and gets twenty-one and counting responses. I've learned a lot about women in our society from Lisa, and tried to address some of that in The Enhanced League. (Fingers crossed. As a man, I may not have gotten it perfect.)

For the rest of today, I may read, I may write guest posts, I may edit on Yak guy. My son tells me there is an update coming on Diablo III that provides a new character class that we both want to try. It's supposed to come out this week, so I may chuck the whole thing and play video games. I am on vacation after all.

 

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Tuning up a manuscript

I woke up at 6:30 today. Hey, my wife had to work, and I'm on vacation. If the puppies let me sleep that long, I'm taking advantage of it.

I made it out to the writing cabin about 7:30. I had three dogs to feed, and forced Otto into a short, slow walk around the park next door. He's been pretty sedentary, and I wanted him to move around a little bit.

Lisa is still gone, having scheduled her own vacation right after she finished up posing for Sean Harrington. Right now, it's just me and Doubt the raven. A little bit of that New Orleans chicory coffee and I went to work.

I opened up The Enhanced League and started into my reading. My beta readers all pointed out things I used, and I wanted a final reading to make sure everything still flowed. They all had some ideas I didn't use too, but that's kind of how beta reading works. These wonderful people helped me make the book so much better.

Doubt spotted a spelling error and a formatting issue too. For these short stories, I usually start off with a date followed by a colon. Some of them had a location immediately after that, and some didn't. I revamped everything, replacing the colons with periods, and made sure they all had a location. This involved my fictional broadcast team being in some places where the location isn't relevant to the story, but that's how I did it. If nothing else, it helps define how big the league is.

I sent off an email to my formatter. I last contacted her in late April, and feel bad for taking so long. Life has a way of interrupting my writing career, and that isn't all bad either.

I decided to break up the work by assembling and scheduling a guest post for tomorrow. This is pretty simple to do, but it takes some time. I emailed the advance link back to the guest, and checked that off my task list.

Then I decided to start writing blog tour posts of my own. I only managed one, about something new in this book that I call anthems. I wrote about my inspiration to create them, and how I used them in the book. I still have more posts to write, but it feels good to get started.

That's when the phone rang. “Hello.”

“Hi, this is Lisa. Just wanted to see how you're getting along.”

“Oh, fine. It's the first day of my vacation. How's your vacation?”

“It's good, I finished up with Sean yesterday and grabbed a bus out of town.”

“A bus?”

“You know robot girls can't pass through TSA machines. It's a bus or come home to get the rocket-pack.”

“Oh yeah, from the second Notebook. Where did you decide to go?”

“I'm in sunny Southern California right now. There are cruise ships operating out of San Diego, and I may decide to play a little blackjack.”

“Hardly fair with your card counting skills.”

“It isn't illegal to be smarter than they are. Besides, it's my main source of spending money.”

“What about your paycheck?”

“That's cute, but it doesn't provide the kind of wardrobe I'm used to.”

“Well, try to have a good time. Then I need you to help me with a time travel story. Right after that I need to polish up The Yak Guy Project. Before you know it, we'll be starting on The Hat, and Estivation. We need some Macabre Macaroni stories too.”

“It all sounds like fun. The posters are going to be awesome.”

“With you and Sean, I never have any doubts. Can't wait to see them. Do you think I need to find a bus depot and pick you up eventually?”

“Um, I'll keep you posted on that. Bye.”

Research Note: The Henderson Motorcycle Company was an American company. If it were still around, it would be revered right alongside Harley Davidson. They were part of the Schwinn Bicycle company. The Henderson Streamliner is an Art Deco masterpiece.

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Taskmaster

I don't have to return to the paycheck job until July 3rd. I've been trying to get this week off since April, but things have been too busy at work. It isn't perfect right now either, but I need my time off.

I got enough response to my request for guest authors to carry Lisa Burton Radio into October without missing a week. This means working on those posts will be part of what I have to do.

I need to work through two critiques this weekend, and have them ready for our meeting on Tuesday.

I could have gotten my first book out by now if I'd have gotten the time off, but I didn't and it's time to do something about it. Those of you who know me will recall that I like to make a list.

Projects for my week off:

  • Re-read The Enhanced League and make edits.
  • Figure out how to add images to the back of the book and actually make them look good.
  • Get the final MS out to the formatter, and pay her.
  • Assemble a guest post I agreed to host.
  • Work on Lisa Burton Radio stuff as it comes in.
  • Finish up a post I've been working on to appear elsewhere.
  • Start the word searches on Yak Guy.
  • Read Yak Guy and start editing.
  • Write blog tour posts for Enhanced League.

Depending on how well I do, I can get to some of these:

 

  • Research and assemble something I'd like to post for July 4th.
  • Publish The Enhanced League.
  • Put out a request for blog tour hosts.
  • Do some deeper research and start writing my time travel short story for an anthology.
Nine days, Thirteen items on my list. Some of those are pretty variable, like the Lisa interviews. Might get one to work on, or a dozen.

On top of that, I intend to hang out with Otto, drink some beer, watch a few baseball games, and I might even play a video game. It's a vacation after all.

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Small Victories

I'll even write it like this: Victory! It's taken me a lifetime, but I'm learning to let some things go. I wanted to release two books before school lets out this spring. I kind of wanted The Enhanced League to come out sometime around opening day for Major League Baseball. It quickly became obvious that opening day was out, then the end of school too.

Part of this involves puppies, but I chose to do that. I work a full-time job, plus I treat writing like a job too. There are times when I have to fit being a husband, father, and a real life into the mix. The real life things are moving to the forefront now, as they do every year. I hate the idea of releasing one book during the summer, let alone two, because my experience with that has not been good. It will get done, when it gets done, and then I'll release them. In your face, Summer.

My goals this weekend were to work on some of Lisa's interviews, and do a little reading. I accomplished those goals. Having nice weather really helped, because I moved out to the back yard and gave the puppies free rein. At chapter breaks I checked on them, and it was wonderful.

I got Lisa's interview for Thursday all scheduled, and several more in various stages. I'm in good shape for that part of my plan. Maybe this evening I'll chip away at a guest post I have to write. Maybe.

Beta editing still needs to happen, and it looks like I'm booked up for several weekends in a row. I don't like doing it, but sometimes I can sequester myself in another room in the evenings and make some baby steps.

Somewhere in the mix, we even managed a quick date night. It was just dinner and beer at Kahoots, while our son watched the puppies, but it was a nice breather. (Today is our 24th anniversary.)

One of the new things I've been saying lately is, “If you're going to fall, fall forward.” It may not apply perfectly to my current situation, but the spirit of the saying applies. All these baby steps will add up, but with the arrival of Summer, I'm going to do other things too. There are a couple of fun things on my horizon, and I'll keep you posted on those.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and can declare more than a small victory.

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Been super busy

As a matter of fact, I could be mental. If not, I feel close and it woldn't take much to get me there. My paycheck job has kept me super busy. It's three weeks of craziness that seems to happen every year. It won't end until after next week.

I worked my personal slate clean ahead of time. I even burned some vacation time to get it all done. Now my personal life is falling behind again. That means blogging, reading, writing, and all the peripheral activities that go with it.

My blog stats are down, Lisa's Facebook site is stagnant, and my FB page isn't much better.

I have half of a Lisa Burton Radio post finished, but there is more to do. I have about a quarter of another one. I just need to find time to work on them. This will have to be a priority over the weekend. If you've been cursing me in private, I will get the projects up to date this weekend.

There is a cool Lisa interview scheduled tomorrow, so that will help me out a bit. Gotta love the scheduler option in WordPress. If I get everything done, I'll be two weeks ahead. That means Lisa needs more guests if you're of a mind.

One awesome beta reader turned The Enhanced League project around in about six hours. She made some outstanding comments and suggestions. I feel like a slacker right now. I want to dive right into the modifications, but it makes more sense to get a few more reports before I work through it all. It's a good enough reason to put it off for a while.

I still need to update my banner image, but at least I got the wallpaper changed. I really need to get back on social media too. My footprint doesn't amount to much over the last two weeks. I'm sure this can change, but I need to address it.

Everything will get done, I'm certain of it. I just have to make time for everything life throws at me for a few weeks. I kind of know how a ping pong ball feels right now. In my personal life, I like to work on projects in some kind of order. Lately everything is shuffled together, but I think progress is happening.

On the good side, early reports for The Enhanced League are positive. Actually, they're awesome. Lisa's show is scheduled for tomorrow, and the subsequent interviews are partially done. The Lisa promotional posters for Enhanced League are looking awesome too.

Harmony Kent has an awesome tool for us over at Story Empire today. This post kicked my Muse in the pants, and I got a cool new idea. I even wrote it down so I don't forget. (Bonus!) I was also invited to contribute to another anthology dedicated to time travel. I've never written a time travel story before, and I already have a cool creepy new idea for it. It just needs some serious daydreaming time before I start writing it.

This weekend I'll work on the Lisa interviews, maybe apply a bit of triage to my social media accounts, get that banner updated, schedule my next Story Empire post, and write a new one for Chris Graham. If I accomplish any more than that, it will be gravy.

It sounds like a plan. If I'm lucky, it will carry me through the 12th. On the 13th we get to pick up Frankie and bring her to her forever home. I'm pretty excited about that part.

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