Tag Archives: Christmas tree

Ahh, Sunday

Otto insisted I get up earlier than I wanted, so I walked him and shut the bedroom door. My wife managed another hour without him insisting she join us.

I called my parents, then my wife and I had a nice breakfast. We bought some fancy hand crafted bacon at Whole Foods yesterday, and you know… why wait?

While she made a run to Dutch Brothers (Think Starbucks) to feed her addiction. I took advantage and read a few chapters of a book. Then I fell for a Facebook ad.

It demonstrated an interactive book of Edgar Allen Poe tales. It's an Apple product, but isn't in iBooks. You have to buy it out of the app store. I downloaded the bundle called iPoe. It even came with a bunch of cool wallpapers that look similar to this one.

I always use Lisa Burton wallpapers, but it doesn't keep me from enjoying other art. They're mysterious and cool.

When you read a story, thematic music plays, sometimes you have to drag an image out of the way of the prose. There is even a painting in candlelight that you can see better by clicking on it. I thought it was so cool I went back and downloaded iLovecraft.

Okay, so maybe it's a little bit gimmicky, but I think it's cool. It would be fun to do this with one of my books, but by the time I hired a composer, an artist, and a programmer I'd have to charge $25 per book. Too bad, because The Playground would turn out great. The Experimental Notebooks would too. It's neat to see what is possible with the ebook concept though.

Rather than include a link, if you're interested just go to the app store and search for iPoe or iLovecraft.

I don't know when I'll actually get time to spend with them. I have books to write and some to read for other purposes. At least short stories are easy to get through in chunks.

The Christmas tree is up and decorated, and awaiting some presents. Otto is curious, but not being crazy over it.

The voting ended for the Rave Awards, so now I wait. I know a bunch of you voted for me in at least one category, and that means a lot to me. Win or lose, I'm glad to have supporters like you. They'll let me know at the end of the month, and I promise to post about it.

No writing today, but I'm off Wednesday. I did do some reading, so that's productive. My critiques are all written and in the truck for our meeting tomorrow night. I even have some goodies for my staff at work.

Tonight it's back to the macabre for me. If not Poe and Lovecraft, it will be the Walking Dead and the Evil Dead.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.


Filed under Uncategorized

A day of errands

I got up fairly early today with good intentions of working on my novel. Otto made sure everyone else got up too. Novel writing ended before it began.

This is one of the saving graces of having a short fiction project. It may sound funny, but it doesn't require the same level of concentration. There is no three act structure or large sweeping plot to keep track of. My short fiction has an underlying theme, and it has a timeline to follow, but it's so loose a few distractions don't ruin my ability to forge ahead.

I made a pass through a mostly finished story, repaired a few things and brought it to an ending. Then I wrote the micro-fiction about the fall out. I really like the recurring characters on the news broadcast, and they did a great job on this one.

After that the errands began in earnest. The plan was to get the replacement chair for the one Otto devoured. We'd use my wife's car, because it sleeted all day today. The new chair could stay warm and dry inside her SUV. Then we'd retrieve my truck, wash off the bird assault, and buy a Christmas tree.

The reality was that we got the chair, stopped at Whole Foods for some small items, (and a couple of good beers,) then picked out a tree on the way home. My wife didn't want to tie it to the roof of her car, but she didn't want to make a return trip to town even worse. The boys at the lot did a great job tying it down. My truck still looks like a victim of a certain Hitchcock movie.

So the chair is installed, the tree is here, and we'll assemble it tomorrow. She had to go to a work event tonight, so it's just Otto and me.

I used the opportunity to move ahead on a book I've been reading. I still have a ways to go, but it's been a fun read so far. My eyes are giving out now, and I might turn on the television or some music for the rest of the night.

Hope you all had a great Saturday, or are enjoying your Saturday night. I see a Frank Miller film is on later, and I've never seen this one. I used some of his style when I concocted The Playground. If I watch that, I can count it as research, right?


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Thoughts, Ideas, and stories

My mind seems to be everywhere at once these days. This post is going to be a bunch of random stuff, but it’s good random stuff. Let’s start with a story, a true one.

If a tree falls in the living room, does it make a sound?

Old What’s Her Face* brought home a tree last night. I knew we were going to have problems the minute I stood it up. The outside had been manicured to Christmas perfection. When I crawled underneath to slide it into the corner, I looked up. The trunk looked like a bad bout of scoliosis.

We decorated it with all of our heirloom ornaments, one per family member per year. It looked great.

About 1:00 AM, my wife got up and stormed into the living room. The Christmas tree was down. Ornaments were shattered across the living room floor. We wedged it into the corner and went back to bed.

When I got up, I picked up the pieces. The only broken ones were a store bought set we use to add consistency to our otherwise hodgepodge of ornaments. (Whew!)

We took care to redo everything, added new water, and settled in. It toppled again about an hour ago. We put the ornaments away and chucked it onto the back patio. Old What’s Her Face is off to get us a replacement.

The Hallmark Channel

My wife loves her some Hallmark Channel at Christmas. I watched it from a story structure perspective while slipping my bread into the oven. They use a formula, but it’s a pretty good one.

It occurred to me there is a story in this, but it’s not my story. Feel free to tackle this one if you like it. It’s a couple’s first Christmas together. Decorating the tree reveals different customs. This can reflect in parties, church traditions, caroling, and more. Selfishness can lead to tension. Eventually they will blend customs to form new ones, serving as a relationship metaphor.

A Rock and Roll Writing Prompt

People seem to have a lot of fun with prompts. I never lack for ideas, so I never participate. Still, others enjoy them. I thought it might be fun to host my own, and it’s an interesting idea.

Once upon a time, I told a writer who was stumped for an idea to listen to We Didn’t Start the Fire, by Billy Joel. The Idea is to choose a hero, a setting, and either a cause of action or an antagonist. Just for fun, you can find the lyrics here.

To do this, I would have to write the first one. I came up with:

  • Davy Crockett
  • Belgian Congo
  • Sputnik

That’s too weird for even me. Sorry, I just don’t feel that story. One of you might, and maybe it can become a prompt on your site. Maybe you like a Marilyn Monroe, China, H-Bomb story. It would be hypocritical of me to challenge you and not play along. I have other writing to get to anyway.


My bread is about to come out of the oven, gotta go.


*Entertaining Stories, protecting my wife’s identity since 2013.


Filed under Writing

Another weekend update

I assume everyone is tired of hearing about my fiction by now. The promotion is over, and I got my first review of The Cock of the South. How was your weekend?

I changed out my background for some Christmas aliens. I like it.

We did a bit of shopping. I needed some more Parmesan crisps from Whole Foods. I also grabbed some smoked salmon. There is a smoked salmon Ceasar salad in our future.

We stopped for lunch at Old Chicago pizza. I made a dent in my Christmas beer tour. I really enjoyed a ginger beer from Sam Adams. Then we grabbed our Christmas tree and headed home. I stayed up late and watched the last half of the Boise State game. They ought to give that Bulldog quarterback a medal, he was awesome in the second half.

Today was all about setting up our tree. We lugged it inside and put on the base. I went up in the attic and brought down all the baubles. Here is the end result:



I may have finished up my top secret project with Iris the fairy. I delivered the project, and will update all of you as soon as I’m allowed.


How many of you spent time in a musty old attic this weekend? Maybe a crawl space or a garage? You know some of you did. Was there beer and football involved? Let me hear about it.


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