Tag Archives: Blogging

It’s a flex day, not a vacation day

Yeah, really, what’s the diff. I am out of the office until the Second of January now. Technically, today is part of my ending work week, and is my assigned flex day. Beyond that, there is no difference except I don’t have to use vacation hours today.

I want to keep a few projects moving forward, and I want to do some writing of my own too. I refused to hit it too hard, because I wanted some me time in the mix.

I started my day with a beta reading project I took on for some friends. I don’t know how many chapters I worked through, but I’m about 1/3 of the way finished. It’s a fun story so far, and I want to get it finished before I have to report back to the office. I know what it’s like at the other end waiting for the report, so I also don’t want to keep the authors hanging.

I scheduled one blog post for Monday. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s also out of my hair now too. Then I went over what I have so far for my 2017 wrap up post. I’ll share it sometime prior to the new year. It may need a bit of polish, but it’s pretty close.

Finally, I received what I think is the final version of The Hat from my formatter. I’m waiting for one more email from her, but I have a few weeks before I want to publish it. One of the important things to dedicate my time to will be some blog tour posts. They don’t have to be long, but it would be nice to be ready for a whirlwind tour of the blogging world when I publish it. Gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this one.

On the goofing off front, I binge watched a television show I’ve wanted to see. I deserve some goofing off time on occasion, but I also studied the story line as an author. Our daughter loaded her Netflix account on our television and invited us to try it out. We’re probably old timers, and this is really new to us. Hey, I got my first X-Box for Christmas last year and it’s taken me months to get comfortable with it.

Anyway, about the show. See once upon a time, I had to choose what to watch and there was a conflict. I really wanted to check this one out, but it was either The Flash or Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD that conflicted with it. I watched a couple of seasons of The Flash and gave up on it. I never really connected with the characters even though Flash was one of my favorite comics. SHIELD is still fun and I want to get this posted before it comes on tonight.

The one that got left out is called iZombie. It’s on Netflix and it’s wonderful. I watched about six episodes today, and can’t wait to get back to it. This has more of a superpowers vibe about it than other zombie tales. The premise is a nearly finished medical student with a bright future get’s turned into a zombie. We jump forward and she’s taken a job at the morgue so she has access to a supply of human brains to eat.

Eating the brains gives her a limited view into the person’s life and some of that person’s skills and quirks. One example is that she developed kleptomania for a period of time. She uses her newfound insight to fight crime by passing herself off as a psychic. She helps solve the murders of whoever provided her last meal.

There is also a visible transformation that happened and the producers made sure it was dramatic. The fun part is that Liv, the zombie coroner, is really hot as a zombie. Her style and hair reminds me a bit of one of the Research Sirens I named Wiki. Wiki isn’t nearly albino and has a bit of color in her cheeks and her hair is red, oh and she’s a siren and not a zombie. I’m talking style here, not status.

Episode one includes a great character arc and some nice revelation and acceptance at the end. You can bet I’ll be watching more of this one. Even my wife started paying attention. I laughed out loud at a couple of points, so it’s one of those with drama and comedy mixed in. I love stories that do that.

We’ve also been watching Stranger Things and it’s been a lot of fun too. It was recommended by someone who read Will O’ the Wisp and said my style reminded them of this. Heck, gotta check it out after something like that, right? It’s fun, but I feel Stranger Things is getting kind of tired in season two. It seems kind of repetitive on many fronts now.

Gotta run, SHIELD will be on soon. Probably beta reading and my own writing tomorrow.

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All things updateish

I worked this week, kind of. I managed Monday and Tuesday, but couldn’t do it on Wednesday. My back is getting better, but there have been setbacks. I worked all day Friday, so there is that. These ten hour shifts get rough in my office chair.

On the blogging front, I managed to send off two shticks for Lisa Burton Radio, so I assume there will be one for next week. I don’t plan on having one the week of Christmas. People are doing better things, and I wouldn’t be helping my guest author out by posting their promo that week. I’ll come up with something else for that slot so it isn’t dead airspace.

I hired my formatter and sent off the manuscript for The Hat. Last night I paid the invoice, and today I looked over the formatted book. I’m sorry to say the only mistakes were my own. I found a missing space, and a typo even after all the beta readers and my own efforts. That’s what always happens though. Even books put out by major publishers have errors. I’ll fix these, but none of it is the formatters fault.

I also decided to include the Lisa Burton promotional posters as back-of-the book material. I did this with Enhanced League and they were well received. There is a link to my Amazon page if folks want to check out my other work.

The good news is I could publish The Hat tonight. I won’t though. 2017 has been a sucky year for me, and I’m not donating this cool story to the 2017 gloom and doom. I’ll release it sometime in early 2018. This means I need to get on the stick and write some blog tour posts. Then when I ask for volunteers I’ll actually have something ready for them.

The Hat is a novella. It can be read in one afternoon. I think it’s a ten on the fun meter, so I’m struggling with the price point. I priced my short story collections at 99¢. I intended to do the same with this book, but now I’m not so sure. My novels are only $2.99, and I’m seriously considering pricing the novellas at $1.99. You get more involved with them than a short story, but not as involved as a novel. It’s like a novel, only fun size. It’s either that, or publish it at $2.99 and jack the price of my novels to $3.99. Honestly, this shouldn’t be that big of a decision. I can’t believe we don’t sell our novels for eight or nine bucks each. I’m open to suggestions here folks.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably assemble and schedule one of the Lisa interviews. Then I need to add some new words to my other novella. This has been slow going, but I have the week between Christmas and New Year off, so I hope to make the electronic ink fly then.

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Trying to get something done

I’ve had a lot of time to myself, but not a ton of motivation. That isn’t quite right either, I desired to work on some writing related projects, I just didn’t feel like it. Today seemed like a day to accomplish a bit more.

My daughter happened to be home again today. This means she talks my ear off. I’m pretty patient about such things, because I know there will come a time when she has better things to do. For the last three days, I’ve learned how to load a pit on an airplane, how bags get broken by falling off the conveyor belt, how some people try to sneak pets on the plane without paying for them, etc. Today I learned all about the color wheel and how to apply eye makeup. At some point my ears started to get tired.

After my makeup tutorial, I told her I needed some quiet time to get some things done. She decided today was a good time to run some errands downtown. It feels kind of mean, but she is an adult and I need my time too.

My partner and I went to work on projects.

I opened my art program and did what I could to decorate for Christmas on my blog. Could be better, could be worse. It was time to retire the time machines and move ahead. It may seem like a tiny effort, but I’m counting updating the site as an accomplishment.

My app added some cool new brushes to the mix. Now it does things like add falling snow with one swipe. There is even one for a corrugated tin wall. Don’t know how I’ll use those just yet, but they’re cool.

I finished up a small guest post I committed to and sent it off. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but it’s all delivered.

I lengthened my manuscript out to the end of a short chapter one. Two thirds of my characters are on the page, they have a problem, and a dream for the future. What they don’t have is personality. The damned thing reads like deadpan facts. I need to work on it, and have a few physical hand brushes and such that can add something to their relationship. Rather than just grabbing a quick bite before they head for the shelter they could feed each other. Little flourishes, but I’ll work on it.

Chapter one ends with a scream, and chapter two will introduce my antagonist. (There are only three characters in the story, plus a few news reports and such.)

I’m going to claim daily blog updates as an accomplishment too.

I fiddled around with Pinterest, which is a great time waster. One of my folders is called Loose Collections, and it’s getting too big. There are some things I can break into their own folders, and should do that. I have a lot of classic cars, some pinup art, that kind of thing. I also need to revisit the board for Estivation. I’m writing it now, so there some inspiration and a few reminders are stored there. Moving things around is kind of a pain from what I can tell. First I have to make the new board, then re-pin everything I want in it, then delete the pin from Loose Collections. They really need a way to mass select and move the pins.

On the spinal front, I managed a tiny pop yesterday, and it felt a bit better. The pain has virtually gone from my left leg. I started waddling up and down the sidewalk out front. Just short stretches, multiple times. I feel like I need to move around.

Yesterday I was limping on two legs, today it’s just one. I didn’t feel like I was getting a full stride, if that makes any sense. I leaned against a post, and just swung my leg. It may have looked like a kick, but it was more of a dead-weight type thing. My back popped again. I felt even better.

Everything is improving at the speed of a glacier, but it is improving. I’m determined to go into the office tomorrow. It all depends on how hard it is to get out of bed, and get socks on my feet. I’ve been sleeping in a chair, and I’m trying the bed again tonight.

I already told my boss I would try. I also told her I might not last all day. That all depends upon how my desk chair treats me. It’s pretty hard, but it’s uber adjustable too. She has no problem with me staying home, but I’m dedicated.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

The Beat Goes On

Last night was no better than the one before. I tried to roll over in bed and couldn’t move. Everything sent pain shooting through my back and legs. It hurt either way, but less so to just get up.

At about 2:00 AM, I used the walls to wobble into the bathroom. I spent the next half hour trying to pull on some lounge pants and slippers. This led the dogs to think it was breakfast time, so I fed them. Then I tried to sleep in a chair.

It feels better to sleep in a chair, but I tend to slouch after I fall asleep. This leads to waking up whenever I move. Right now, I’m kind of lacking for quality sleep.

Eventually, I woke up with Frankie on my footstool licking me. I must have slept somehow for her to get up there without waking me up.

Yesterday, my wife massaged it briefly, and that helped enough to take a bath. We repeated that event today, and it helps temporarily.

She also went to the store and picked some things up. I have a large medicated bandage she stuck over it. It doesn’t stick well, and feels kind of wet. It seems to be helping a bit. The hot pad helped, but the box says not to use one if using the bandage thingie.

She also bought me some Aleve. I haven’t tried that yet, but my favorite aspirin hasn’t done a damned thing.

Today, I worked on more Lisa Burton Radio stuff, and added 500 words to a new project. That’s a lousy word count, but I’ll take it considering the circumstances. I also worked on a blog post I need to send to a friend. Tomorrow is looking like more of the same. I’ll schedule one interview, write the shtick for another one and send it out. If I still feel like it, I’ll open my manuscript once more. If I finish that guest post, I’ll send it out too.

I complain about lack of quality writing time, but this isn’t quality time. I need to be at the paycheck job, but I can’t get in my truck.

Tonight, I’m going to start out in the chair. I have one of those old toilet seat pillows for use on airplanes. At least my head won’t flop around.

It’s a writing blog folks. You get it all, warts included. Hopefully this will pass soon, and we can get back to something a little more fun.

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Blogging – like a boss

I started my day off like most of them. Feed the dogs, make coffee, surf social media. I had tomorrow’s Lisa Burton Radio to assemble and schedule. I should note this is no small feat. Most of these posts come with a lot of links, and that all takes time.

Right after that, I had my regular – and invasive – checkup with my doctor. Everything is fine, even better than last time. It still wasn’t fun, despite the good news. It also cost me a couple of hours just in driving time.

When I got home, I decided to assemble and schedule my Thanksgiving post. This one wasn’t too tough, but I needed to get it done. I have company all weekend, and more coming next week. This was my version of making hay while the sun was shining.

I felt pretty good about myself at that point, then realized I’m up over at Story Empire next Wednesday. I hacked out a post about a part of world building that sometimes gets overlooked. I hope it comes across well, because I didn’t have weeks to worry about it. Wow, three blog posts in one day.

However, this post has to count too. I know it isn’t long, but I still wanted to check in. I need to get my butt in gear and start writing Estivation, my next short project. I’ve been a little bit loath to do it, because I have too many unfinished projects. Maybe after Sean Harrington finishes my promotional posters for The Hat, I can publish that one and will feel like I have some room.

Before I leave tonight. I snapped this picture before my doctor’s appointment. I like the idea of Frankie saying, “Don’t make me tell my big brother on you.”

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A Doubt filled weekend

Doubt

Yesterday involved a bunch of problems, sponsored by WordPress and Apple.

Apple’s iOS had a bug that hit some users, but not others. It forces a symbol replacement for a capital I when you type. I googled how to fix it, and they suggested a kind of macro that tells the computer when you type “I” what you really mean for it to do is type friggin “I”. It didn’t work.

A different website promised a repair was coming soon from Apple, so I checked. The update was already available, and fixed everything.

The second issue came from WordPress. It seems they’ve driven away all the decent blogging apps, and I’ve been using the actual WordPress app. One of the good things about it was the way it handled pictures. That all changed.

I used to be able to size, move, and tag photos. Today that’s all limited. For instance, if I tell it to move the raven to the left, that’s no problem. However; now it will no longer allow me to type beside it. The image insists upon taking up the entire area. That’s why the photo is centered above on today’s post.

I used to have two options for tagging images, but today I only have one. I can schedule the post, then edit it inside WordPress, but it worked well two days ago.

The other thing it’s doing now is randomly changing the pitch of my type. All is well if I just keep going, but if I go back to make a correction, all the future words want to be in some kind of micro-text. I have to delete my last good letter, then retype from there to get it right.

None of the WordPress issues are major, but it worked fine a couple of days ago. They need to address this, and while they’re at it,would it be too much to ask if I wanted to actually center some text, and change the pitch of my letters inside the app? As an example, I will add a section break below this paragraph. I will have to left justify it, post it, then edit it inside the WordPress Admin function to make it look right.

***

I went to the writing cabin around nine o’clock this morning. I spent yesterday working through The Hat and some suggestions I received. It really is looking good right now.

I plucked the hat from my desk and dropped him on my head. He was configured as a grey fedora, his preferred look. I opened the window, and gestured outside to Doubt, the raven. “I don’t think we need you for this one.”

It was an odd feeling. I have doubts about all my stories, but this time I feel great about one.

The hat said, “Go catch mice or something. Craig and I got this covered.”

Doubt glared at us like we brought his daughter home late.

“Go on, buddy. We don’t need you. In fact, Craig and I are ready to publish,” the hat said.

“Well, not exactly. Lisa is still with Sean Harrington, and we need her promotional posters. We may not have those until the end of the year.”

“So, what are we supposed to work on today?”

“I received feedback on The Yak Guy Project from a dear friend. I thought we might work our way through that.”

“What’s that got to do with the old hat?”

“Nothing really. I thought you might like to read over my shoulder. Lisa isn’t here, and maybe you have some suggestions.”

“You’re probably smart to come to me. Besides, I wasn’t doin’ anything anyway.”

I turned on my computer, and sat up an iPad beside it for the redline copy of my book.

“So, that Internet has the corrections, and the other Internet has the actual book? Is that the deal?” The hat asked.

“They’re two different devices, but they work on the Internet.”

“That’s what I said.”

“It’s, well it’s like… Yeah, we can check the suggestions on one, and make any changes on the other one.”

“Sounds like a good plan.”

I scrolled down the redline to the first suggestion.

“Slow down. Still reading here,” the hat said.

“Sorry.” I pondered the first suggestion and looked across the room.

Doubt lowered his head into what I call his classic vulture pose. “Kaaaaw, ha, ha, ha.”

“Oh, shit! Why couldn’t you just leave while I felt good about The Hat”

“Kaaw.”

“Hey, Yak Guy is kind of a dork. I gotta tell you, Lizzie has her shit together a lot more than this guy,” the hat said.

“Yeah, they’re different stories. In The Hat, Lizzie is supposed to be a go-getter who needs a bit of direction–”

“Your’s truly.”

“Exactly. Yak Guy needs a major overhaul in his life. Where you are more of Lizzie’s partner, Yak Guy needs a mentor.”

“Man I feel sorry for that guy.”

“He’s a yak.”

“How can a yak be a mentor?”

“How can a hat be a partner?”

“Touché. I’ll just go with it.”

“Thank you.”

***

Between the evil glances and croaking of Doubt, and trying to explain everything to the hat, it was a long day. The book, The Hat, is nearly ready to go. I’m expecting to hear from one more reader, and need some artwork.

The Yak Guy Project keeps waffling from deleting it entirely, making it into a trunk novel, self publishing it, or submitting it to an actual publisher. I kind of need to narrow the distance between those bookends somehow. This weekend is in the books, so I don’t have to decide anything today. I need to get on with it though.

How about some covers. Everyone loves covers, right?

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Hi, remember me

There’s been an awful lot of guesting and hosting going on lately. It’s going to slow down, but not go completely away. I will say that it was all original content, even if you followed me to another site or heard from one of my guests. Quantum Wanderlust seems to be selling well, I’ve never seen it out of the top twenty, but reviews have been hard to come by.

Yesterday was a strange work day. There is an airshow going on at the Boise Airport this weekend. Yesterday the USAF Thunderbirds were practicing outside my office window. I tried to get a photo for one of those “looking out my window” posts. You know the ones where a fox came by or something. Those darned Thunderbirds are fast. We still have leaves on the trees and all I got was quick fly-bys through the gaps. I saw some diamond formations and at one time they were about thirty feet from my window. Really shakes the glass.

I read a short story in Quantum Wanderlust during my lunch hour. That’s the only way I can get through it, one story per day. This one is about a Navy pilot and the added sound effects really enhanced the story.

Today, I dedicated my time to blogging. I assembled and scheduled three posts for next week. In some cases, I had to follow up with someone for a bio or something, but they were all good about sending things to me. I also had to write Lisa’s lead in to this week’s Macabre Macaroni story.

Some reading time found me this morning. Don’t know what I did to earn that, but I made full advantage of it. I enjoy reading, but it’s a rare few hours in my life.

There are still two more posts I have to write, but they won’t post for weeks. Yes, I could have dedicated my hours to those, but I wanted to read. Sometimes want-to plays a role.

2017 has been a strange year. My timing feels off somehow. I just completed a paranormal tale, but it’s in draft form. It’s fermenting before I take my editing passes at it. If I’d been thinking, I would have started sooner, and released it during October. Now I’m asking myself if I should put it away for a whole year and release it next October. I’ll never make it. It’s a fun story, and I can always give it a second push in October 2018.

I’ve been focusing on pushing my other paranormal tales, but the results aren’t what they were in previous years. There are pages being read on my Amazon report, so it isn’t all grim. I don’t mean to sound grim.

As far as October themed tales go, not all is lost. Right now the Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing. That’s very much an October thing. If you’re looking for something that screams October, without blood and monsters, maybe you’d enjoy The Enhanced League. It’s a steal at 99¢.

In other news, we took the camper and had it winterized this afternoon. It’s kind of a bummer. The hospital screwed up Old What’s Her Face’s schedule, so we don’t get a lot of weekends together. We only got to take it out twice this year. Hopefully, next year will bring a more promising schedule her way.

Next week, I have to make a work trip to Portland. I’ll be able to play in the comments, but may be out of touch for a few hours at a time. If I get a few moments, I’ll try to update from Portland. Might see something cool.

Way out in the future, we scored a pair of tickets to a Pink concert. Yeah, yeah, the show is in Las Vegas and everyone has to say something about the shooting. I can’t cower inside forever. We can use our daughter’s flight benefits and fly for free, which leaves us with lodging and food for a fun long weekend next Spring.

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