Tag Archives: Blogging

I’ll take this kind of day

My wife had to work this morning, so I was left to my own devices. What else could I do, I wrote.

Serang and her master made it to an ancient abandoned temple and met up with the only other living monk they know of. This woman is actually from the opposing side of the conflict the governments have going on. I kind of like how the regular people don’t seem to have a skin in this war, but they have to live with its consequences anyway.

The older woman, Tomomi, taught Serang a lesson about tigers by introducing her to a live one. It made for a scary night in the jungle. They returned to a bit of temple life, but it’s going to prove temporary.

I also introduced a fictional animal, just because I can. I called it the hoofed pheasant. It was delicious.

I started writing the part where Serang has to handle a task on her own. This is the first time she hasn’t had a mentor to help her along the way. It will reflect some of the things she should have learned along her journey and test her in some new ways. This task is dangerous, and death is not out of the question.

I expect her to come out the other side a changed woman.

I left her during that task because I ran out of gas. All told, I didn’t keep count again, but it feels like about 4000 words. I’m becoming a pretty good guesser with all these updates.

My idea of publication before school lets out is over. I’m not going to stress about it any longer. Sean isn’t done with my promotional art anyway. I have a cover and one Lisa Burton poster so far. I may hold it for fall now. Summer releases never have been kind to me.

This will pose a new problem, because I want to release The Viral Blues around the Halloween season. I need to finish writing it, but it’s pretty close to complete. I parked it when I was trying to get Serang ready.

I hope to have a completed draft of Serang by mid June, and that leaves me all summer to put the finishing touches to The Viral Blues. It also gives Sean some time to make that cover and the promotional posters for it.

I may be blog tour mad by the time I finish promotion of both books so near each other.

In other news, my sprinkler system is fully repaired and working as I type. I also got my PSA test drawn in anticipation of an annual checkup I have to have. This isn’t a fun checkup, but since I have a problem, it beats the alternative.

I also managed to schedule the first of several posts I’m calling Expansion Packs over at Story Empire. The one about Fairytale Structure will go live later this month.

The convention I signed up for is underway, and they made a second effort at the Cover Wars and Character Battles. I feel like I kind of missed the boat due to the malfunctions. Sean Harrington also promoted it, because it’s all his artwork, but nothing worked.

The new sites seem functional, and my fantasy stuff is holding its own. Both the cover and the root monsters are into round two. This requires more voting.

If you’re so inclined The Lanternfish cover.

The Root Monsters from Lanternfish.

Don’t know if I’ll hit it that hard tomorrow. That’s the day I check in with my parents, but I might find an hour somewhere.

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The author lifestyle

I’ve always updated with warts and all. Seems like lately there have been more warts than cool stuff. It wasn’t in my master plan, but much of it is out of my control.

This is the third weekend in a row that I haven’t been able to write. I’ve done some blog things, and they count. They simply aren’t new fiction.

We watched the Derby yesterday, and I spotted the interference before the race was even over. I may be in the minority, but I agree with the disqualification.

This is the biggest stage in the world for horse racing, and they struggle to survive in this world of extended animal rights. I’ve been at a race where a horse had to be shot, and watched the tractor drag him away. News crews would love that for their headlines, but the sport itself doesn’t need it.

The jockey yesterday put a lot of equine lives at risk, and a few human ones too. This is made more risky by the large field the Derby always has.

We raced out for date night and had a nice dinner at Kahoots. This is one of our regular stopping places. I never learned of the DQ until I googled it later in the evening. It was the right call.

Plans to publish Serang before school lets out are all but gone. I haven’t finished writing it, and there isn’t any time to set up tours and such. Things are about to be incredibly busy at my office, and it’s field trip season for my position too. This poses a new issue.

Summer releases have always sucked for me. Yak Guy is a pretty fair story, but it goes relatively unnoticed for that reason. I can toss Serang to the summer wolves, or hold it back for later. I want to release The Viral Blues in conjunction with the Halloween season. This story seems to still have a realistic publishing goal.

If I hold Serang back, I don’t want to try two releases at the same time. This would make Serang more of a December release, but it has nothing to do with the holidays.

Some of this is my fault, because I’m shooting for three releases this year. It’s a tough goal to meet while holding down a full time job.

I’ve always understood the commercial reasons to write series instead of stand alone novels. I largely ignored it and wrote what I wanted. Right or wrong.

My inner circle talked me into it, so I’m committed now. A series is the one thing I haven’t taken on, and maybe it’s time. Of course, I never do anything half-way…

There are two kinds of series. One kind has an overarching plot, and the other involves more stories in the same universe using the same characters. I’m writing one of each. Lanternfish is intended to become a trilogy. The Hat will have more stories in the same universe.

Many of the overarching series have supporting stories to keep interest going. This is what Serang is. She is a supporting character to Lanternfish who earned her own story.

I mentioned this, because not everyone reads every blog post I throw out there. I’ve probably already talked about all of this in the past. Serang’s job is to preserve interest in the Lanternfish series until I can publish the next volume in 2020. The Hat will return in October.

In a perfect world, Serang would be ready to step on the stage and do her job. This would give me all summer to finish The Viral Blues.

It isn’t a perfect world. I may have to start leaving the house on Saturdays for a few mornings just so I can meet my goals.

They say all blog posts perform better with a picture of some kind. It has nothing to do with writing, but enjoy a picture of Otto falling asleep on his feet.

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If it’s progress it counts

I spent my day working on stuff that didn’t involve new words of fiction. While that is my favorite thing to do, these other tasks have to get done too.

I started with two critiques I received on Serang. This was a super long section, and about the time I finished them, the final one showed up in my email. It was perfect. This took me until about noon.

Serang is now ready to move forward with new words.

I spent a big part of this afternoon researching my next post over at Story Empire, then writing, assembling, and posting it. This is from my living documents, and involves story structure. I’m tackling the writing monomyth, also known as the hero’s journey. It’s going to have to be a series, and that’s fine by me. If it performs well, I may do others of this ilk, like the villain’s journey, fairy tale story structure, etc. Show up over there on Wednesday to let me know how I did.

It made for a full day, but I accomplished a lot. My slate is now clear for new fiction. My parents just announced they’re unavailable tomorrow, so I gained Sunday to go along with Monday.

With any luck I’ll be making the pixels fly tomorrow.

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Date night and not much more

This is my short weekend, plus Old What’s Her Face is off too. This isn’t a situation where much writing gets done. As a weekend warrior, I accept writing time as it comes and do what I can.

I did some research for a post over at Story Empire on Wednesday. We’re going to be setting the stage for a great character arc. I got it all assembled and scheduled. Then… well, that’s about it.

We played with the dogs, watched some television. There was a show on about CDC investigations and some major outbreaks. I thought I might get an idea or two that I could weave into my nameless team story, but to no avail. The Muse might twist things around in my mind and give me some hints still.

Then I watched Paul Kersey kill people. Charles Bronson made some great movies. Rumor has it that Bruce Willis remade Death Wish, but I’m not big on remakes. I love Willis too, but I’ve never seen it. (Any Rumor and Bruce Willis puns were purely unintentional.)

Old What’s Her Face was dying to go to Olive Garden. This is our payday weekend, so what the hell. I have to admit dinner was great. They have a horrible beer list, so I stuck with water. I’ve never been able to get into wine.

Tomorrow I’ll call my parents, and wish Dad a happy birthday. I have a loose idea for a series of posts over at Story Empire, so I may look into them. Then again, I may not. I don’t have a deadline over there for a while now.

I hope everyone who wants to be productive is getting their wish. I hope everyone else is doing something fun or relaxing.

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Still under the weather

It seems like things take longer to get over the older I get. I made the mistake of going to work yesterday. I figured I could get something done, even if I were at half-power. It turned out to be a pretty productive day.

The nighttime coughing is a mother. I’m getting very little sleep. Cough drops seem to help, but barely. Food is starting to taste better, but I’ve eaten next to nothing this past week. I forced myself to eat a sandwich today, just because I should.

I have things to do, and it’s frustrating to have a damper put on my abilities. Maybe a bit of context is needed.

At work, I have specific goals for my projects. A certain amount of focus is already built into the system. It helps to simply be able to work through the task and stay on the path.

Writing here is always fairly simple too. It’s usually a simple update of some kind. What have I been working on, maybe a task list, that kind of thing.

Story Empire is a bit different. I have three posts to write for March. Our goal there is to help our fellow authors. I try to take things a bit more seriously over there. I try.

Today, I spent all day writing one post for Story Empire. Without this cold, I would have all three of them done by noon. I just want the posts to be helpful, and simple to understand. That seems to be the part of my brain that’s drowning in phlegm.

If nothing else, I bought myself a week at Story Empire.

I also have three other obligations on behalf of other authors. My sense of honor requires me to work on these before anything else. That’s kind of where the issue lies. I don’t want to let them down if my creativity is off a bit.

This means I will dedicate any abilities I have this weekend to helping my friends. It may take three times longer than normal, but I owe them that much. Any editing, personal blog tours, or online convention tasks for myself will have to wait. Obviously, it isn’t a good time for new words of fiction.

I may be moving slow, but I’m doing what I can.

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Miss me?

Yup, just me today. No book promo involved. The book tour is ongoing and will continue for a while.

I’m grateful for all of you that are coming along. To keep it interesting, I made every post unique. To those of you who already purchased a copy, I’m even more grateful. Even if Lanternfish isn’t your cup of tea, there are some decent posts about the inner workings about creating such a book. I’ve had a great time talking to everyone along the way.

This weekend, my wife had to work. Aside from chasing back and forth to monitor blog comments, I managed a lot of new words of fiction. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’m over ten-thousand. I didn’t break it down, because it spreads across two different projects.

When one project requires a bit of thought, I switch to the other. This is completely unlike my regular process, but it’s working.

Aside from letting Otto chase the squirrel, and Frankie chase him, that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend.

We’re off together tomorrow, so I might not get any more writing done, but I really can’t complain. I was pretty productive.

I don’t know what we’ll do, but I have a post out there somewhere to find and monitor. I’ll share it here to provide a path to those who are interested.

Such is the glamorous life of an author. We’re staying in tonight and finding something on the television.

How was your weekend?

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2018, better than last year

It’s time for my annual assessment of the past year. It was noticeably better than 2017, but it almost had to be. This isn’t to say that it was good, just better.

In 2017, I did something to my back that I still can’t figure out. I spent weeks unable to do much more than complain. My back is sore every day now, but I haven’t had any kind of relapse.

All of the pets are alive and well, unlike last year. Otto had a bad back last year too, but glucosamine and drugs seem to keep that in check. We lost a puppy last year too, and never want to repeat that process.

I released two books in 18, and am content with that schedule. As a general theme, nothing that used to work for promotional purposes seems to work any longer. I used to run the occasional Facebook push or Amazon ad, but they seem to do nothing today.

I hired a promotion company when I released The Hat. This worked extremely well, and the cherry on top was access to Net Galley. This turned out to be my most popular title, and has the most reviews too.

When it came time to release The Yak Guy Project, the promotional company was gone. I couldn’t find their website, and they never responded to emails either. Unfortunately, that seems to be a common thing in promotions too.

Both books were released with an extensive blog tour on my part, and that always helps. Still, Yak Guy did not perform as well as The Hat. Everyone who read it seems to have enjoyed it, but I’d like to have gotten it in front of more people.

As a positive sign, both books were well received. I don’t have people burning yaks in effigy or anything like that.

I blogged less in 18 than any other year, at least on Entertaining Stories. My blog stats are slightly down too. The most popular posts were all Lisa Burton Radio posts. This makes sense, because it’s a regular slot. I suspect there are people who come by only on Thursdays to check these post out.

There are a few things I’ve always done that remain moderately popular. The Idea Mill posts perform well, but not as well as I like. My October micro-fiction has its fans too. None of these are huge, but they perform well.

My stats show a good lifespan for older posts. This means some kind of Google connection exists, because people still find them. I got a great number of people coming from StumbleUpon and Flipboard in the first part of the year. StumbleUpon stopped operations earlier in 2018, and became Mix. Flipboard just stopped working for me. I smell some kind of new algorithm I haven’t figured out yet. I still share many posts to Mix, but haven’t seen a single visitor to my blog from that site. Mix is likely a waste of time, and the interface isn’t easy to use either.

My blog auto-feeds to many places. Google Plus is one of those, but they’ve announced they are stopping. I still get visitors from Twitter and Facebook, but Google Plus never did much anyway.

I didn’t post as many tales from the writing cabin. These are the ones where I interact with Lisa Burton, my assistant. Other guests are my Muse, the raven of Doubt, and occasionally characters from my books. These were always popular, and I should get back to them.

On the other hand, instead of taking the time to write about my progress in a fictional environment, I posted drips and drabs about my next book. These were popular posts, and there are people interested in reading Voyage of the Lanternfish when it comes out. (Soon.)

Is there a happy medium between writing cabin posts and just writing about it? Could there be a sweet spot where turning those same posts into a writing cabin post would have performed better? I’ll never know, but maybe I should try this. It wouldn’t have been too hard to have the writing cabin overrun by root monsters, or take a boat out looking for the gigantic jellyfish.

Some of this could be due to my participation at Story Empire. The writing cabin posts were a bit of fiction, but designed to illustrate one author’s struggles and growth. Story Empire is all about helping others, and many of my ideas go there now. Let’s face it, I only have so much to share at any given time.

In 2017, the Boyacks lost about half of our income. This was based upon a small mining royalty that is gone now. This means where we are now is the new normal. It’s been an adjustment, but one we must make. It means budgeting has to go into new Lisa Burton posters, book covers, and promotional expenses.

I’ve recycled some of the blog art this year, but let’s face it, one post a year ago shouldn’t render the posters useless. I have a bunch of them, and may do it again.

All in all, 2018 was better than 17. Two good book releases, and none of them were collections or anthologies. I’m not saying collections or anthologies are bad, I love them. I’m just saying these were more extensive works. They were both well received if not wildly successful.

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