Tag Archives: bulldogs

Trying for fun

While the world is in exile, it’s important to enjoy the little things. I snapped his photo when I got up this morning.

I think the dogs are trying to tell me something, but their penmanship is horrible.

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There are still fun things

“We’ve finally got him surrounded, Dad.”

”What should we do with him?”

***

Stay safe everyone.

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As authors, what do we do with it?

I’m in a quiet house this morning. My daughter is here, and she brought a Rottweiler puppy with her. These all belong to her room mate, and nobody seems to want this one. He’s cute as hell and they’re trying to give him away. I tried to snap a photo for you guys, but he’s kind of a perpetual motion machine. He looks more like a Black and Tan coonhound right now. They never got His tail docked, but I have a hunch this will change once he fills out. You’ll have to make due with Frankie and I.

As authors, we’re all kind of observant. There is a lot going on around us right now, and I wondered what to do with it all.

I remember my grandparents talking about quarantines and such. One of my grandmother’s sisters was quarantined at Ellis Island, because they thought she looked sickly. Grandma had to make her way to Utah alone. They were both children. I think grandma was eleven at the time, and her sister was a similar age. One parent in Wales, the other in Utah and they shipped them between the parents.

I’ve heard them talk about the kind of quarantines we see today, but always thought that was something for the history books. Something to use in one of my historical pieces, or maybe fantasy. Here we are in the 21st Century and living it. I told my son he should grab a couple of rolls of toilet paper and try to find a girlfriend this weekend. “Hey, baby. I have toilet paper.”

I added some quarantine issues to Viral Blues, but obviously got a few things wrong. I hope this doesn’t kill the enjoyment of the story. I had my quarantines limited to specific areas, and I never anticipated the hoarding and shortages that we’re seeing.

When I think about my Lanternfish project (70,000 words and growing) the Coronavirus isn’t going to make a difference. It’s set in a fantasy world, and nothing will have to change.

That may not be the case with my side project, currently called The Ballad of Mrs. Malony. (10,000 words and now what?) I dealt with some monsters in Viral Blues, but an intentional spreading of disease was the undertone of the story. This poses some issues for me. The Hat stories are set in the modern world. Sure it’s supernatural/paranormal, but in our world. I’ve already dealt with a virus in this series.

In the stories, Lizzie and the Pythons are a cover band that allows me to move them around the country to discover new paranormal adventures. Nice trick for an author. However, bands play in nightclubs. Those are all closed today. How realistic is it to have them doing this in their stories? I don’t want to trash what I’ve already created, but I have to admit the opportunity to show them out of work and have Lizzie bicker with The Hat over such things has merit. Maybe they have to deal with looters and riots. The Hat always said humans are the worst monsters of all.

Part of the problem is that I have long term plans for them. I have two and a half more books living in my head, and changing continuity of their story isn’t something I relish. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it’s a great way to lose interest in writing them.

In a perfect world, this will all blow over in six months. I’ll look like a genius to future readers, because I have my virus story in the continuity of the characters, and nobody will check the publication dates and compare them to the current outbreak. Fun times for everyone, etc.

What about our future projects? Are all of the real world stories going to have to acknowledge the happenings of 2020? Our world will change because of this, whether it involves where people work, health insurance, vaccines, or any number of things. Our economy will change, too. Should we all hold off on real world settings until we see where we’re headed? It might seem odd to readers if the world looks like 2019, but they’re reading it in 2022. Maybe traditional things will become a page in the history books, and having fictional kids going door to door on Halloween will be an archaic reference. Big family Thanksgiving??? I think you can see where I’m going with this.

I decided years ago that any science fiction I write is better in the near future. I don’t think I write outer space all that well. Honestly, it’s okay not to be great at everything. Having some parameters on my imagination is a good thing. However, I have a nearly complete storyboard for a post apocalyptic story. The world tore itself apart, and I can draw from some of the things I see going on today. But, do I have to acknowledge 2020 in some small way? Today would be part of history in the setting this story will take place in.

You’ll probably see me around next week as I continue touring Grinders around. This is some of my near future science fiction, and doesn’t reference Coronavirus at all. It didn’t exist when I was writing it.

I’ve talked about my concerns with writing around the outbreak. I also have to admit it offers some new and realistic opportunity. Your super spy runs into a roadblock because the airports are closed. Cute romance involves a quarantine, but they both live in the same building. Heroic stories about coming up with a vaccine, or delivering one to a decimated area. There are some possibilities here. We can use the selfishness, create new forms of prejudice, add some riots, all of these make good story turns.

Since I’m rambling, here’s one more Boyack thought for you. When the media creates the next generation of heroes for us, I hope they skip over the sports stars, the box office heroes, and the musical starlets who can’t seem to wear enough clothes. Maybe there ought to be some space reserved for the scientists, the CDC workers, even the truck drivers, and those who are serving our elderly. I would watch their awards show.

Talk to me people. Do we need to rethink our works in progress? Are you excited to fictionalize the things you see going on today? Do we need to reassess what a real hero is? I know you’re all home, and if you’re reading blogs this weekend, I’d love to hear from you.

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Vacation day

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for us at work. With everything pretty much settled now, I decided to take today off.

I didn’t have any specific goals other than not having to get up and commute. This week began with a return to Daylight Savings Time, included a full moon, and ends with Friday the 13th. None of those are particularly troubling. In fact, I published Viral Blues the last time Friday the 13th rolled around.

The news is depressing with all the viral scares going around. I was looking forward to baseball season, so that’s kind of disappointing. I understand why they’re making all these changes, but I don’t have to like it.

Fortunately for me, there is the writing thing. I need to address some critiques I have back, but I don’t have them all. With that in mind, I decided to add more words. It wasn’t a banner day, but 1600 new words are more than I had when I got up this morning. I kind of like them, but always reassess when my next writing day begins.

The tour for Grinders is ongoing, and I needed to deliver some materials for that. I think it’s time well spent. No sense publishing these things if I don’t try to make people aware of them. This tour hasn’t been any more productive than any of the others, but there is one noticeable difference. I’m enjoying it more. By only having two posts per week, I don’t feel rushed and harried to cover all the comments and such. Comments have been great, too. There seem to be more of them this time.

This could actually be a good thing in the long run. I buy books by earmarking them in my head, then getting to them when I have some time. I don’t always remember all the things I was interested in, and sometimes a reminder will send me running to Amazon. Perhaps, by spreading the posts out, I can have those little reminders online for those who are more like me.

Two years ago, I decided that writing my next book was my best source of promotion. It seems to be working to a degree. My backlist is getting more action than it ever has. It isn’t a lot, but it’s noticeable. More publications means I’m out there more frequently than ever before. Phase two of this idea will be some “specials” when my series books are ready to come out. It’s possible I might weave in a free day for one of the older titles, too. That’s all speculation. My main goal is to get the next Lanternfish book ready to set sail.

Those 1600 word might be all I accomplish this weekend. There could be a few more, but the story has moved to a point where I’m not stressing about it. If I can’t get it finished before Summer, I may just release it in the middle of Summer. I never have great luck with Summer releases, but I’ve been told the middle of a trilogy is a tough sell anyway. They usually don’t move until the series concludes.

I’m open to suggestions on that point. Let me hear from you in the comments. I’d like to learn your release day and promo secrets.

Oh, Public Service Announcement: Hiding in the closet with a copy of Grinders is a great way to spend the weekend and will not expose you to Corona Virus. It’s an E-book, so you can’t substitute it for toilet paper, but you won’t want to after you get into it.

On one of my last posts I tossed a photo of Otto out there to draw interest. Frankie demanded equal time, so here she is on one of the rare times when she pauses in her playing.

Being good, temporarily.

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Sometimes you just have to update

It’s Wednesday, and there isn’t anything real sexy to talk about. I’ve been working, and trying to read a chapter of Grinders here and there. This phase always convinces me what a hack I am.

I know some other authors who feel the same way, so it isn’t just me. It was all so cool when I was creating this world, and now I’m questioning everything. This isn’t my first book, and I won’t let it stop me.

I got my W-2, so yay for the Internal Revenue Service.

Otto is a mess right now. Nothing too Earth shattering with him, just a lot of little things. The fold on his face is inflamed, and we’re putting cream on it. That usually clears everything up. He’s also had an ear problem. We have drops for that, and it usually clears that issue up.

His feet are driving him crazy, and this time the little wipies aren’t doing anything for him. Today, when Old What’s Her Face came home from work, there was blood all over the place.

The blood is from his tail, and there’s a big welt there. Otto’s never had a tail problem before, but his sister has. We have some stuff we can try. It looks more like a wound than something that got infected. There is a hell of a welt there, though. Something might have bit him while we were at work. (Looks at Frankie.)

I decided it was time for an Epsom Salts soak, at least for his feet. While I kept his feet soaking, my wife used a rag and soaked his little tail.

There really doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him, and he played ball like a madman tonight. When everything dries, we have a steroid powder they gave us when Frankie had a tail infection. We’ll add some of that before bed time.

Still a good boy

In book news, I’m going to miss my first deadline of the year. I really wanted to release Grinders sometime around Chinese New Year. It probably won’t matter to the book buying public, but I’m year of the rat. This year will be year of the rat. Also there is a scene in the book that involves the parade in San Francisco, where it is also year of the rat. Aside from that, there are rats who play a pivotal role in the story.

All sounded good, except the new year doesn’t start in February this time. It’s next weekend. Those darned lunar calendars.

I still have to finish my final pass, get the MS to my formatter, and I don’t have my Lisa Burton posters yet. I did get a cover just the other day. It looks like I can salvage a cover-reveal kind of post for Chinese New Year. I can talk about the story a bit, and some friends offered to host me if I take it that far.

As the work week ends, we’ll be keeping an eye on Otto. He may have to go see the vet this time. I’ll work on my final pass for Grinders, and probably write something for the cover-reveal. There ought to be enough time to add a few words to HMS Lanternfish, too.

At least that’s how I’m approaching the weekend. Sometimes the best laid plans of rats and men oft go astray. Bring on the weekend.

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Some weekends are like that…

This is my short weekend based upon the flex schedule at work. Because of that, I made limited plans and seemed to have accomplished those.

My only real goal was to tune up a section of HMS Lanternfish, and it needed some serious tuning. It was full of autocorrect and “it’s” kind of mistakes. My group looked it over, and I found some additional ones while I was working on their suggestions.

I just get typing along and these things happen. My big problem is that I can’t see them in my own work. I must have gone over this three times before I shared it. The work is much tighter now, and vastly improved.

That is the only thing I had planned. Tomorrow is the day I call my parents and I usually veg a bit on Sundays.

Next weekend, my flex schedule plays to my advantage. I wind up with a four day weekend, and ought to get some new words then.

I need to finish reading a book I started a long time ago, then I really ought to start word searches and the final read through on Grinders. Sean will deliver the cover art in no time now.

We managed a nice date night at a new place in Eagle. This is only about ten highway miles from town, and it was pretty good.

In other news, Otto and Frankie got new tennis balls. There’s been a whole lot of ball playing going on around here.

Otto

We buy him the oversized ones, because his mouth is so damned big. Frankie gets ones that are smaller than tennis players use.

My daughter texted while we were at supper. She is pretty highly ranked at the airport, and graduated from beauty school several years ago. The fire department is going to pay her to do some theatrical makeup simulating a plane crash at the airport. This is a training exercise and she’s pretty jazzed about it. She never said if she was participating in the exercise, but she’s going to do all of their makeup. I think that’s pretty cool.

There you have it. Not a lot going on for me personally, but it accomplishes a blog update.

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Could have been worse…

Maybe this is an age thing, but I think I’ve always loved definitive answers. Even back in my younger days, I thought “no” was a great answer, because it allowed me to forge ahead. It’s that hemming and hawing that drives me crazy.

Maybe this is why I hated the submission process when I was trying to attract traditional publishers. The old, “No response means no” thing does not work for me. No is fine, but tell me that so I can move on.

Today it is about something very different, but I find myself in the same circumstance. To explain it, this photo will help.

That’s a picture of Frankie’s right wrist. I spotted the lump a month ago. Then I did some research. This is what bone cancer looks like, only it isn’t. Bone cancer is one of the worst things that can happen to a dog. They amputate, then the dog fades slowly, and dies anyway.

When we took Otto for his vaccinations, I showed this to Dr. Sessions. She felt it, and asked some questions. She did not think it would turn out to be bone cancer, but thought she should X-ray it to be sure.

Her positive thoughts were that Frankie is only two. She’s extremely active, and bone cancer hurts.

We decided we will not put Frankie through all that. Bulldogs don’t do well on three legs like other dogs can. If she’s happy, we’d let her be happy as long as possible.

We’re not wealthy by a long shot, so we have to budget for these things. We scrimped this pay period so we could get this done. Whatever it is, it is not bone related. This thing is hard as a rock, but has nothing to do with the bone.

I looked at the images myself, and there isn’t even a shadow of a cyst, tumor, or anything. A smart blogger would have had an X-ray image for you.

She wants us to biopsy it anyway. The idea was to watch it for growth or leakage, but we ought to biopsy it to be safe. This means more budgeting, but we’ll get to it.

So it’s a positive outcome, but not a definitive one. It looks like her natural wrist to me, but the lump is not matched on her left side. Could be a birth defect, I suppose.

In other news, I haven’t accomplished much. Frankie has been occupying most of my mental space. Work has also been crazy this week. I owe an author friend some promotion and will try to get to that tomorrow.

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