Tag Archives: bulldogs

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.

Advertisements

53 Comments

Filed under Writing

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.

44 Comments

Filed under Writing

A mild writing day.

I allowed myself to sleep in a little. My wife has to work all three days that I’m off, so there is some writing time available.

Today, I took up Serang and moved her story ahead. This one involved her helping out the thieves to pay for the medical care her master needs. She deviated from the thieve’s plan and wound up killing a bunch of soldiers. She’s Serang, so that’s kind of expected of her.

Some camels died too, but she didn’t do it. These are Bactrian camels, the two-humpers. This is a fantasy world, but I want some similarities to Asia, so this desert is high and cold.

What Serang doesn’t realize, is that she is doing things she’s frowned upon previously. With her master on the mend, he’s going to call her out for this. She’s going to justify it in her mind, because they are soldiers. Doesn’t mean she’s right, but young people tend to find justification for their actions. It makes sense that she would too.

I’m at another transition point in the story, and those slow me down. I know what the next events are, but I have to get the characters in the right place and set the stage for it all to happen.

They’re going to join a caravan, travel with them for a while, then deviate for their own quest. While I think about this, I should probably come up with another fantastic creature of some kind too. This world doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of fantasy beasts, but there are some and it’s about time again.

I can’t just miraculously heal Yong, her master. This kind of thing takes time, but maybe he can hold himself in the saddle so they can move on.

I got all my critique samples back for the other story. This is the one with no name yet, and involves a bunch of my previous characters in a team-up kind of story. I need to work through them, then will probably take this one up again.

I might have gotten more done today, but bulldogs were involved. Frankie is more aloof than Otto and rarely wants lovins. Today she did. She wanted cuddled and scratched, and rubbed. How could I resist?

Of course, Otto was up here most of the morning, but he just hangs out and lets me write most of the time. Frankie insists on direct attention when she gets in the mood.

The writing wound up being nearly a chapter. Not a great day, but I can’t complain about it either.

Otto, just hanging out with Dad.

37 Comments

Filed under Writing

Some new words, some chores too

Today was my flex day. I was looking forward to getting some new words down, and I managed that to a degree. It feels slightly over 1000 words, so it isn’t much.

This time I worked on Serang. What I wanted to happen was for her to fall in with a gang of thieves. It started out with her master being bitten by a camel spider.

These are hideous beasts with long pointy jaws. They live all over the world, and I even killed one in my home when I lived in Nevada. People there call them air scorpions. Most of them aren’t hairy like this photo, and they’re a disgusting smooth nude color. This was the free-use photo I could find.

A bit of research revealed they are not actually poisonous to humans, but they are believed to be by the common people. I decided since this is a fantasy world, they’ll be venomous if I say so and went with it. They can also be as big or small as I want.

This also led me down a path involving a city at the beginning of a trade route. The country of Di Guo Quishi is a fantasy version of China, so think about the Silk Road here.

The Emperor has taken most of the men for his war. Many of the normal jobs are held by women or even children. How might the goods be exchanged, purchased, stored? How might the money flow? What kind of goods might flow into the west?

Most of these things involve one line or word, but I like to put the thought into them.

After this leg of the journey, they’re going to continue with their little quest by joining a caravan. I needed someone from the western world who will lead them. I decided since Don Velasco (From Lanternfish) was the fourth son in his family, I had one Velasco son to spare. (The eldest inherits the estate, the second gets a military appointment.) Everyone else had to fend for himself. This third Velasco son is the captain of a caravan heading back to his country.

This city has an active thieves market, and young Serang is kind of judgmental about it all. Eventually, if she’s going to become a pirate, she has to make an adjustment.

Unfortunately, I never got to the thievery part. I had chores to do. I have a hunch it’s going to turn into a massacre, but haven’t decided yet.

I ran into town and got my truck sniffed for emissions. It passed, but killed an hour of my day. When I got home, I had just enough time to schedule Lisa Burton Radio for tomorrow. Then I had a deviled ham sandwich.

Please come back tomorrow and check out the Fondant Lion. He’s pretty cute, and I think you’ll like the book he’s in too.

Today, Frankie helped me write. I may have gotten more done without her, but she’s hard to resist.

35 Comments

Filed under Writing

A writing day

I drew the lucky straw for the first time in years. My flex day at work is Friday. Combine this with the Monday holiday, and I get a four day weekend.

We gain a lot of leave hours where I work, so I decided to add a day to my weekend today. If I’d have been thinking, I’d have taken Tuesday instead. Today costs me 10 hours of leave; whereas, Tuesday would only cost me eight. Oh well, I’m glad to be off.

It’s raining like hell here today, and as much as I love it, Frankie does not. She’s one of our bulldogs, and I spent the bulk of my morning trying to get her outside so she could pee. She wanted out, but not in the rain.

Her older brother, Otto could care less. Finally, I lied and told him the squirrel was outside hoping they would both take care of business. He blustered out while she watched from the doorway. Finally, she ran outside, bit him in the head, then ran back in. He wanted to stay out, because he doesn’t care.

Eventually it stopped for a moment, and she did her business outside.

Besides tending dogs, I managed some writing today. This time it was Serang’s turn. She managed to catch a fish. This may not seem like much, but her father was a fisherman, and it means everything to her. He died when she was young, and being able to do this is very important to her. She shared the fish with some poor villagers that the soldiers took everything from.

They moved locations, which allowed me to introduce some minor fantasy creatures. Then she killed a couple of soldiers, stole their money, and fled for her life. They were some of the bad guys, and this needed to start happening.

She still isn’t completely mature, and there are some big lessons she needs to learn. She met another surviving monk and overheard the adults talking about her. Now she’s about to undertake a large journey, but she doesn’t know it yet. I’ll handle that tomorrow.

It feels like around 3000 words. I want to dwell on the next section, because I’m changing environments again. We’re leaving the cliffs, bamboo, and jungles and going to a high desert for the next portion. Serang and her master forage for a lot of their food, and I’m not quite sure what they’re going to find out there. I may just have them take it from their pursuers. In fact that sounds more adventurous.

Right now, I’m done for the day. I have some sourdough rising, and my wife is making soup when she gets home. Whatever you guys are doing, I hope it’s a good day.

37 Comments

Filed under Writing

We love our pets

Victoria Ziegler has a fun new spot where she invites the pets of authors over to her place. Today, Frankie is being interviewed by her West Highland White Terrier. Here’s the link https://ziglernews.blogspot.com/2019/01/friends-of-furkidfriday-frankie.html

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

About as predicted

I spent most of Saturday working my way through some critiques. Aside from spelling and punctuation, I didn’t change much. Little things to make one of my characters a bit more relatable.

There may be more to do, but I want some distance from that section before I look at it again. I managed about 500 new words, but nothing to brag about.

We did the PPV thing last night and watched Venom. It wasn’t really canon, but I still enjoyed it. Kind of sad seeing Stan Lee, but things like this happen.

I also started reading a book I’ve been waiting for. I’m not very deep into it, but enjoying it so far.

Oh, and I spent a day and a half getting to a lightbulb. The house is fully illuminated once more.

Aside from mailing out a couple of review copies of Lanternfish, that was my weekend.

I made some dinner rolls today, but I’m not impressed. I added a palmfull of salt, and they still need more. Salted butter makes a huge difference though. We’re going to be dipping them in potato soup, so the camouflage will help too.

The house is all mine tomorrow, aside from Bulldogs. Old What’s Her Face has to work. If the dogs can avoid chasing the squirrel every ten minutes, I might get some new words on the page.

Honestly, these guys are so funny, it’s impossible not to get up and let them chase one. The squirrel is on top of the fence, and bulldogs aren’t jumpers. They’re like two little fat rhinos charging across the lawn.

It may not sound like much, but I enjoyed my weekend. I hope all of you guys did too.

41 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized