Tag Archives: bulldogs

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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Otto

“…and tiring of conquest, he ruled over the field of bones like a despot from a darker age.”

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Something about plans

I never had much of a plan for the weekend. One of the items was to maybe do a bit of writing today. Last night, I learned that my wife is off from today through Monday. I have to go back to work on Monday, but that kind of erases any quality writing time in one fell swoop.

We had to bathe the dogs last weekend, and that always requires a special effort where Frankie’s tail is involved. We made sure to dry it multiple times that day, and a couple of times per day afterward. She got a tail infection anyway.

The vet gave us some power to use when this happens. We managed a couple of doses and she seemed to feel better. However, I have bloody scrapes on my legs from trying to hold her so my wife could apply the dust. (Bulldogs are strong.) We were then faced with Thursday afternoon.

She wanted to play ball, but just wasn’t herself. We decided to get her an appointment this morning. Part of this is because things always seem to go sour in the middle of the night on Sunday, when nobody is available.

Old What’s Her Face took the dogs to Dutch Bros. for coffee. They love this, because they get a treat. When she got home she said, “Get their harnesses on. I’ll take a quick shower, then we’ll go.”

No problem. I got them suited up, but things seemed to be taking too long. I found my wife in the shower, in tears. Her back went out again, and she could barely walk. We’re both subject to this lately, and I feel for her. The decision was for me to take Frankie to her appointment.

Otto was really disappointed, because he didn’t get to go. I can’t handle both of them by myself. After 20 miles of rush-hour traffic, I wound up being ten minutes late. The infection is there, but it isn’t too bad. A pain med, some big old horse pills for an antibiotic, plus instructions to keep using the powder, and we headed back home.

I called my wife, and she made it to the couch after some pills we both rely upon.

One of the things we had planned is to go to the fair tomorrow. She was supposed to go out with a co-worker this afternoon, but had to cancel with this lady. (Might have made for some writing hours.) This deal is payback for something nice the coworker did for my wife. Now it sounds like they might go to the fair tomorrow if my wife can walk. It’s a payback, and I appreciate the need to take care of it.

However, I was looking forward to the fair. It’s been on my radar for a month. Now I’m without productive time, have a dog to keep medicated, and no plans for anything.

I have a blog post to schedule for a friend, so I’ll probably do that if they go to the fair.

If nothing else there are storyboards. I added some notes to a future story today, and it helped solve a plot issue. It’s way out in the future, but it’s a nice step.

Not much else to report. I had three days, but plans aren’t worth making at this point. I’ll take it as it comes. Might write some promotional posts, might not. May rent a movie or something.

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Most of my adventures are like this

My wife and I are both off this weekend. It’s best to surrender the idea of doing any writing at all before it gets into my head. We decided to check out the huckleberry festival up in Donnelly.

Idahoans are crazy about huckleberries, and they have kind of a narrow window for picking them. Rumor is there are plenty about right now. Several years ago, I went up to McCall and picked a large baggie of them I made into fritters.

These huckleberries are actually blueberries, but don’t have that conversation with one of the natives.

We opted to leave the doggies home, because it’s been incredibly hot, and this was a day trip.

Hot wasn’t an issue at all once we got there.

Pretty scenery, though.

Donnelly was having a parade about the time we arrived and parking was non-existent. This place is tiny, but they even had a traffic cop on the main drag, which is also the state highway to more popular destinations.

We opted to drive to McCall and check things out later.

We had lunch at McCall Brewing. I had a lovely pastrami Reuben, and this Wobbly Man beer. It’s a smoked scotch ale, for those who are interested. It’s a wonderful beer and is occasionally available in Boise, where I seldom pass it by. McCall also makes a great Lemon Ginger Hefeweizen, and it has Ginger from Gilligan’s Island on the label. I passed on Ginger and had a glass of English Bitter as my follow up. I was pretty excited to even find a bitter, but it didn’t quite measure up to their more popular offerings.

After lunch, we decided to go a bit further and check out a campground, and possibly find a few huckleberries of our own. It’s a nice campground, but you could put all the berries in the palm of my hand. I think I’m in line for a huckleberry pancake tomorrow, but only one.

When we went back to Donnelly, it was raining like a mo%^*#F$@!er. Everyone got washed away, and boarded up for the day.

All the covers were down, and the vendors headed for shelter.

One stouthearted fellow operated out of a trailer, and kept his place open. I was looking forward to some pancake syrup, maybe a fritter, even some alcoholic concoctions. This fellow had ice cream and it was outstanding.

That was our day. Great lunch. Great beer. Pretty scenery. No huckleberries, but the ice cream was outstanding. As a bonus, I may have found a new campsite that won’t leave me hanging off the side of a cliff with my camp trailer.

In other news, the dogs got a new toy from Nylabone. They’re both crazy about it, but Otto takes the best photos. (Frankie never stands still long enough.)

Otto

He looks like a towel rack or a door knocker.

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A decent weekend

I never managed a single word of new fiction this weekend. Old What’s Her Face and I decided to go mushrooming on Saturday.

It wound up being a beautiful day in the mountains. It was sunny and warm, even though we had to drive around boulders as big as Buicks on the highway into the back country. The winter thaw rolled them onto the road. There was also a snowdrift to crash through, and part of the dirt road was underwater.

We saw a couple of deer and one turkey in the low country. The bulldogs were thoroughly worn out by the trip home. My wife bought this interesting pad for the dogs. It is supposed to cool them down when they lay down on it. It seems to work pretty well. No batteries or anything.

We wound up finding two morels. That’s it, not even enough for a decent omelette, but we tried today anyway. It looks like we’re going to have to find another hunting spot. The old forest fire in that area is about eight years old now, and maybe a more recent burn would be more productive. Pretty country and lots of fresh air to go around.

I worked on another of my “Expansion Packs” posts for Story Empire, but it isn’t where I want it yet. I have a couple of weeks to make it decent.

I also worked my way through a pile of critiques I received for The Viral Blues. It isn’t fancy, but counts as progress all the same.

After talking to my parents and finishing breakfast we made a Home Depot run. Old What’s Her Face wanted some hanging baskets for the back patio. I added a few light bulbs to the cart. Not too exciting, but it’s life for an author.

I have Wednesday off, so might manage a word or two then.

Hope all of you had good weekends too. Mine was pretty decent even if it wasn’t sexy.

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Sometimes even I get lucky

Today was supposed to be my last real writing day this weekend. I took it in that spirit, and cranked out 3200 words this morning. I forced myself to stick with Serang, because I want to get through the middle slog.

This was with an hour delay to update iOS, and Apple Pages, which is my word processor.

Our fictional caravan spotted the bandit’s fire before trouble began. They chose their ground and compelled the bandits to come to them. This led to a big fight, and Serang had to fight with an alternate weapon or two when she lost her staff. Turns out she’s pretty good at combat improv.

The caravan leader decided to make a forced march to get out of the bandit territory. All in all, that’s a pretty great writing day for me.

Then something miraculous happened. Old What’s Her Face came home from work and announced she is going to Nevada to hang out with her brother for the weekend.

Being the dutiful pet father that I am, I volunteered to babysit the dogs and tend the home fires. We played a little ball, I had a sandwich, then we all took a short nap.

I got up, and turned my attention to my MS again. Otto, not so much.

Daily word count is at 4300 and counting. I need to stop for a while to scrounge something for dinner. I also need to do a bit of research about their next obstacle. So I’ll leave Serang and company at the desert water hole that’s operated under a loose treaty with a killer baboon. He’s not kidding, but if everyone behaves they may not have a problem.

There is a real place in Namibia called the Wind Cathedral. You’ll have to Google it, because I can’t find any free use pictures. Basically, I’m going to turn the dial up on this and make it into a desert maze they have to go through. Since there are so many references to temples in this story, I’ll rename it something like the Temple of Wind.

This particular water hole is the tipping point of this journey. Serang and her master are going to leave the caravan and set off on their mission alone from here. I have a cool piece of folklore I can’t wait to write, and I’m making the whole thing up.

Since I have all night tonight, plus all day and night tomorrow, I may really make some progress on this story. I feel like the toughest part of the middle is behind me now.

Who knows, I may actually get to publish this one before school lets out. Cover art has been ordered already.

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A writing day: the middle slog

I’m in one of those enviable positions at my paycheck job, in that I have a lot of leave time coming. I decided to take some today for writing purposes. (Look, Mom, I’m getting paid to write. From a certain point of view.)

Tomorrow is my flex day, so I have that going for me too.

What I really want is to publish Serang before school lets out. Summer releases usually fail for me, so that’s my goal. The problem is, I need to finish writing it. There’s no reason I couldn’t hold it for fall, except I have another one I want to release this fall.

The nameless team-up story is going to have a good vibe for the Halloween season, so I really want Serang to be the spring release. I just have to finish it.

I got up fairly early, poured some coffee, then read my last chapter. I was joined by my writing partner.

Frankie rarely helps me, but maybe she’s interested in this story. (Otto is across my legs out of the frame.)

My characters are joining a caravan to cross the desert. They’re only going part way, then they’re going to branch off on their own. It’s a transitional chapter, and those take more time than the action bits.

Part of my issue is that the other story is becoming really fun. It’s over the middle slog and headed for the finish line. Serang isn’t quite there yet. “Aren’t middle slogs fun?” said no one ever.

There is a secret to getting over the middle slog. Lace up your boots and get to work. Sorry, that’s it. I know where the story is going, I need to move the players around, and it’s pure work. This is a good place to weave in a bit of introspection, or a growth point for Serang. I’ll look back through it and see if I can ramp some of that up later. Right now, I just want to survey the borders and get to the next part.

All in all, it wound up being a bit over 2800 words. I’ve reached a point where I need to decide if there’s going to be a battle, and there probably should be. I set some of this up and readers will expect it to happen. This will provide some exposure to western style weapons for Serang and might come across really well. Considering making it a longer battle where her traditional weapons aren’t much help.

Still, 2800 words is nothing to sneeze at. Not my best day, but certainly not my worst either.

I think Frankie is being overly critical here.

I may succumb to the thrill of the other story tomorrow. I really should try to get this one to the same point though. Serang’s finish is going to be fun too, but it’s looking like a longer story. Once I get past the middle it will practically write itself.

I have a hunch real baseball is on somewhere, so I’m stopping a little early today to check it out.

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