Tag Archives: bulldogs

A post of opportunity

When I sent out all of my blog tour posts, I never gave anyone specific dates to post them. I figured I’d be happy that anyone volunteered to host me at all. I think it’s a respectful way of borrowing other folks’ blog space.

It puts me in the position of watching my WordPress Reader so I can support those posts when they do go up. I knew this would be the case, this isn’t my first blog tour. I haven’t seen a new one today, so I’m checking in. If one goes up this evening, I’ll post right over the top of this post with no remorse at all.

Sales are doing well so far. I never did get close to the top 100 list again, but each review bumps the standings higher. I’ve watched these things for years, and a cluster of sales will do it, as will a couple of reviews in rapid succession. Shy of asking everyone to do something at a specific time, I’m at the mercy of the Fates. This feels right to me. Hitting a top 100 list is nice, but in the long run it doesn’t accomplish much. It’s like collecting a badge in a video game; makes you happy for a while and that’s about it. Staying there for a length of time is another matter.

The odd thing is that both of my Experimental Notebooks have started selling again. They are doing pretty well too. I’m not promoting them at all, only The Enhanced League. Could people be following Enhanced League to my author page, then getting a glimpse of those awesome covers and changing direction? I’m not complaining at all, I just find it interesting.

We’ve had some nice comment threads on a few of the tour posts, and I invite you to join in. I enjoy talking (writing) with everyone. The tour should wrap up by next weekend or shortly thereafter.

The air conditioner broke down on Wednesday. This created a huge panic at our house, because we’ve already had one heat stroke disaster and don’t want another one. We got the bulldogs through with wet bandanas, the ceiling fan, and their wading pool. I had an odd flex day this week and was able to be home for the repair man. All is well now, and it was under warranty.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Try to stay cool, maybe dig between the seat cushions and find 99 cents and check out The Enhanced League. It’s okay if you get distracted and wind up with an Experimental Notebook instead. What? Oh, just click that cover picture in my sidebar. Thanks.

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Today’s Efforts

You might guess that I spent a lot of my time today sending out blog tour posts. I have a bunch of them pre-written, but got a few requests for some custom pieces and wrote those too. I still have half a dozen to send out, and a few more to prepare. There are also some long term supporters who I haven’t heard from yet, and I expect them to show up too. These are people with lives, who don’t spend every waking moment behind a keyboard. I expect to custom write a few of these pieces too.

Preparing blog posts is easy enough on work nights. I’ll tap away at them throughout the coming week. It’s easier to support all of my hosts if they spread out a bit too. My posts are all unique, so watch this space to keep up with my personal challenges, Lisa art posts, and more.

Lisa Burton Radio is all scheduled for this week, and I know what’s going up next week too. I’m in good shape there.

I also cracked open a new book today. I didn’t get far, because Frankie needed a lot of poodle time, and we played a lot of ball too. I always miss the best events with my video camera, but posted the final few seconds of Frankie chasing the reflection of a wristwatch over on Facebook. It’s like cats with laser-pointers, but with a bulldog puppy. Unfortunately, I missed her lioness stalk, rush, and pounce.

I need to start my next Story Empire post, and have a vague idea of what I want to write. I have a week plus to post it, so it has time to take form.

My baseball team took a nosedive over the past week, and it feels like they need the Allstar Break to regroup. I hope this is the case, and they can return refreshed and tough for the second half. I managed to watch a few games, and pieces of others. I also played a few video games in the late evening.

Finally, this makes me happy. Maybe it will make you happy too.

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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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A change in plans

Today, I was supposed to knock out a couple of my beta reports in anticipation of finishing tomorrow. We also wanted to go to town together. We had a generic list like most weekends. The other idea was to maybe have beer and pizza tonight.

That isn't what happened. Some good, some not good.

Otto woke up in the middle of the night and sat alone in the bathroom. I discovered him when I had to pee about 3:30. This isn't like him. The girls got up when I moved around, and this means everyone has to go outside.

Otto went to the bathroom too, and I thought maybe that's what he needed. At dawn, he seemed to be pretty sore and depressed. He refused to eat or drink.

My wife decided to do her grocery shopping and we could assess how he felt when she got home.

I decided to tackle my beta edits in force. I did more than I intended, because they changed my wife's shift again, and now she's off tomorrow. I only have one left to work through, and it will take a couple of hours. This is the good part.

Our veterinarian is open seven days per week. This saves us from going to one of those emergency centers. Of course we had to take the puppies too.

Turns out Otto ate more of those pecans than we thought. One X-ray, a pancreatitis test, and an office visit later, and he has an impaction. The doctor showed us the X-ray. It's all the way at the end, and she is certain it will pass. The impaction is causing pain, because he was born with two fused vertebra and another one that is half sized. This is a result of breeding for the bulldog's curly tail.

She gave us some pain killers to give him, and said after they kick in to take him for a walk. Also to try giving him water. He refused water, but went for some chicken noodle soup. He managed a mediocre poop when we walked him.

The doctor said he's going to have pain problems when he's older and to keep an eye on him. Never one to take something at face value, I did some research of my own. It says if your bulldog reaches nine months without a problem, he probably isn't going to have one. It also said the spine deformaties are more common in screw tailed breeds and aren't usually an issue.

I, on the other hand still can't keep food inside for more than an hour. I feel fine otherwise.

The puppies were pretty popular at the vets, and they got free bandanas out of the deal.

Some good stuff, my beta edits moved forward more than I thought. I may not get to the final one this weekend, and completion was the main goal. I'll take what I can get and be happy with it.

I think we're going to ban pecans from our house. All my dogs liked nuts and never had any problems before. They weren't given unsupervised access to all they could eat, including the shells.

We have tickets to Wonder Woman tomorrow, and even have someone who can watch the puppies. It may be all the date-night we can muster. Tonight, we're watching John Wick 2 on blu ray. It isn't date night, but it's the best we can manage.

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Trying to catch up

I had a doctor's appointment this morning that interfered with any idea of doing edits. I swear I'm not procrastinating, and intend to get with the program this weekend.

This led to starting my catch up work. I read the blogs I missed. Tried to work through Facebook, that sort of thing.

My appointment was to renew my blood pressure medication. They congratulated me for losing some weight, and I burst out laughing. Skipping all food for 48 hours and spending that much time in the bathroom will do that to you. My blood pressure is great, but they want me to try getting more potassium. I have no idea what that means or why. Hopefully it means eat more hotdogs or drink more beer.

I tried to hurry, I really did, because the dogs were unsupervised.

When I walked in there were pecans all chewed up on the dining room carpet. You couldn't help laughing. All three of them, Otto included, ran to meet me with a pecan in their mouths. Their little butts were just wiggling.

Many of the nuts were cracked and the nut meat was devoured. I blamed Otto, because I didn't think the girls could pull it off. When Old What's Her Face showed up she tossed them each one, and by golly the girls cracked them open like champs.

This small gunny sack of pecans has been on the floor of the pantry for about ten years. It isn't really a loss of any kind. I suspect we could have a pooping problem in our future, but after the week I already had, I guess I'm primed for it.

I started roughing out a post I'm supposed to contribute to another blog. It has bones, but needs fleshed out. I used my Apple Pencil to do some photo manipulation to accompany the post. I'll probably deliver it next week sometime. Baby steps, but they count.

Honestly, I'm in a pretty good position to get some things done. We're going to hang out together tomorrow, and I'd like to see either Pirates, Wonder Woman, or in distant third The Mummy.

I have the house to myself Sunday, and want to finish those edits. I may get a small portion of it done tomorrow to make Sunday more of a sure thing.

I'm still trying to play it safe around food, but braved a few scrambled eggs today with my fresh morels in them. Made me run for the bathroom before I could eat them all. I finished, after I finished, if you know what I mean. I think that will be all I try today.

Wouldn't it be poetic if getting more potassium means I'm supposed to eat those pecans, and the puppies knew it all along?

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