Tag Archives: date night

The saga of today

I took today off for my annual exam. This is because sometimes there is blood involved and I did not want to go back to the office under those circumstances.

On my first appointment I saw one doctor, then he kicked me to the curb. After that I saw Dr. Rowe. I liked Dr. Rowe, because he talked to me in plain English and took time to answer my questions.

After three years, Dr. Rowe has kicked me to the curb. I hate how modern medicine does this.

The new guy dropped the idea that he’s been at The Tumor Institute for about six months. To be honest, he looked like he’d been licensed about six months. He also let me know Dr. Rowe is still with the practice, but works across the street in a different office now. Why the hell wasn’t I given the option of going across the street and having my appointment with Dr. Rowe?

My PSA is great now, thanks to the medication. When I asked the new kid about it, he wanted to explain some kind of long division and how to compare the number to the general population. He also wanted to stick to the number. I told him, “I don’t need to know all that, and don’t know what the number means. How about you tell me if it’s normal or not?” Apparently it’s normal. (Trying to talk over my head is not going to work. I’m not the one who nods demurely, then shuts up.)

When it came time for the exam, I told him Dr. Rowe said we’d only be doing that every other year. He seemed kind of sad, and told me I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. This kid looked like someone who wanted to stick his finger up my butt, so I declined.

My hope now is this kid will move on before I have to go back next year. Otherwise, I may spiral into cancelling my appointment and not going back at all.

I’m looking at it as good news this time. My blood test was great, even my blood pressure was great. It’s like when our heroes survive the ordeal portion of our stories. After the ordeal, the hero gets a reward.

Old What’s Her Face is off today, and she wanted to go to Old Chicago for lunch. This reward is an Odell’s Brewing Big Cookie A La Mode. It’s a special brew that OC got in and promoted to come sample. It’s a very good beer, but does not taste anything like a cookie or ice cream.

Some beers actually live up to their names, like banana bread beer that actually tastes like banana bread. I won’t complain though, because it was very good.

I go back to work for the rest of the week. Old What’s Her Face has to work nights this weekend, something she’s never done before. (People shouldn’t have these disruptive schedules after a certain age and years on the job.) My holiday weekend will be spent walking on eggshells while she tries to sleep.

Fortunately, my keyboard is pretty quiet, and I might wrangle some writing time.

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The author lifestyle

I’ve always updated with warts and all. Seems like lately there have been more warts than cool stuff. It wasn’t in my master plan, but much of it is out of my control.

This is the third weekend in a row that I haven’t been able to write. I’ve done some blog things, and they count. They simply aren’t new fiction.

We watched the Derby yesterday, and I spotted the interference before the race was even over. I may be in the minority, but I agree with the disqualification.

This is the biggest stage in the world for horse racing, and they struggle to survive in this world of extended animal rights. I’ve been at a race where a horse had to be shot, and watched the tractor drag him away. News crews would love that for their headlines, but the sport itself doesn’t need it.

The jockey yesterday put a lot of equine lives at risk, and a few human ones too. This is made more risky by the large field the Derby always has.

We raced out for date night and had a nice dinner at Kahoots. This is one of our regular stopping places. I never learned of the DQ until I googled it later in the evening. It was the right call.

Plans to publish Serang before school lets out are all but gone. I haven’t finished writing it, and there isn’t any time to set up tours and such. Things are about to be incredibly busy at my office, and it’s field trip season for my position too. This poses a new issue.

Summer releases have always sucked for me. Yak Guy is a pretty fair story, but it goes relatively unnoticed for that reason. I can toss Serang to the summer wolves, or hold it back for later. I want to release The Viral Blues in conjunction with the Halloween season. This story seems to still have a realistic publishing goal.

If I hold Serang back, I don’t want to try two releases at the same time. This would make Serang more of a December release, but it has nothing to do with the holidays.

Some of this is my fault, because I’m shooting for three releases this year. It’s a tough goal to meet while holding down a full time job.

I’ve always understood the commercial reasons to write series instead of stand alone novels. I largely ignored it and wrote what I wanted. Right or wrong.

My inner circle talked me into it, so I’m committed now. A series is the one thing I haven’t taken on, and maybe it’s time. Of course, I never do anything half-way…

There are two kinds of series. One kind has an overarching plot, and the other involves more stories in the same universe using the same characters. I’m writing one of each. Lanternfish is intended to become a trilogy. The Hat will have more stories in the same universe.

Many of the overarching series have supporting stories to keep interest going. This is what Serang is. She is a supporting character to Lanternfish who earned her own story.

I mentioned this, because not everyone reads every blog post I throw out there. I’ve probably already talked about all of this in the past. Serang’s job is to preserve interest in the Lanternfish series until I can publish the next volume in 2020. The Hat will return in October.

In a perfect world, Serang would be ready to step on the stage and do her job. This would give me all summer to finish The Viral Blues.

It isn’t a perfect world. I may have to start leaving the house on Saturdays for a few mornings just so I can meet my goals.

They say all blog posts perform better with a picture of some kind. It has nothing to do with writing, but enjoy a picture of Otto falling asleep on his feet.

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Date night and not much more

This is my short weekend, plus Old What’s Her Face is off too. This isn’t a situation where much writing gets done. As a weekend warrior, I accept writing time as it comes and do what I can.

I did some research for a post over at Story Empire on Wednesday. We’re going to be setting the stage for a great character arc. I got it all assembled and scheduled. Then… well, that’s about it.

We played with the dogs, watched some television. There was a show on about CDC investigations and some major outbreaks. I thought I might get an idea or two that I could weave into my nameless team story, but to no avail. The Muse might twist things around in my mind and give me some hints still.

Then I watched Paul Kersey kill people. Charles Bronson made some great movies. Rumor has it that Bruce Willis remade Death Wish, but I’m not big on remakes. I love Willis too, but I’ve never seen it. (Any Rumor and Bruce Willis puns were purely unintentional.)

Old What’s Her Face was dying to go to Olive Garden. This is our payday weekend, so what the hell. I have to admit dinner was great. They have a horrible beer list, so I stuck with water. I’ve never been able to get into wine.

Tomorrow I’ll call my parents, and wish Dad a happy birthday. I have a loose idea for a series of posts over at Story Empire, so I may look into them. Then again, I may not. I don’t have a deadline over there for a while now.

I hope everyone who wants to be productive is getting their wish. I hope everyone else is doing something fun or relaxing.

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Date night, kind of

Friday was my only writing day. I went through the Serang MS with the intention of deleting a chapter. I know we’re supposed to kill our darlings, but in this I failed. I deleted 10 words.

Part of this has to do with setting up some tragedies that wouldn’t be as tragic if treated as backstory. While Serang is a character from Lanternfish, her story does not have the comedic undertones that Lanternfish has. She is a serious character in that book, and her origin story is serious too.

Who knows how it will be received? I never do.

After I finished that project there was no time left for new words. Old What’s Her Face is off Saturday and Sunday, so that might be it for writing this weekend.

I may rough out some cover ideas tomorrow in anticipation of hiring Sean Harrington to start my artwork.

Speaking of Sean, he made me some cool pointers. I have a whole collection of them. Mine are more monstrous than the typical fingers you can find on Pixabay. Their purpose is to give direction on my blog.

It works like this. My sidebar has linked covers to my two most recent titles. By clicking on the covers you can grab a copy of The Yak Guy Project, or Voyage of the Lanternfish. I recently shared three wonderful reviews of Lanternfish, and I have the intention of writing more adventures for the crew.

You can also find a slideshow featuring all of my covers. There is a link to my Amazon page if you’d like to check out the older titles. There’s going to be another story for Lizzie and the hat. You might want to jump on board with The Hat about now too. I’m thinking of holding it until October. It will fit the Halloween theme pretty well.

I had a gift card to Old Chicago Pizza, so we decided to go there tonight. It was kind of disappointing this time. Our server didn’t know anything, and simply told me they were out of every beer I wanted to order. Finally, I told her the guy at the table across from me just received the beer I tried to order. Lo & behold, they did have it and she brought me a pint.

The pizza was off tonight too. It’s almost like there was old dough in the freezer or something. We’ll still go there, but we’re chocking it up to a bad night. Didn’t recognize a single person working there, and we go there a lot.

After that, we went to check out the new Albertsons on Fairview. This is their version of competing with Whole Foods. They have over two acres under one roof. They have some cool stuff, like jackfruit and a million kinds of salami. It’s one of those places where you would make impulse purchases. With lines about a quarter mile long at the checkout stand, my impulses didn’t happen. Maybe we’ll go back in a couple of weeks when the newness wears off.

As for writing, well… I have Wednesday off. I have one chore to take care of though. I have to go to town to get my truck sniff tested. The test doesn’t take long, but the travel back and forth does.

I think I could have accomplished more, but this cold is lingering. I’m still phlegmy and coughing. I feel a lot better, but I still missed one day at work last week. This thing can’t go away fast enough to suit me. It makes my mind foggy, and that isn’t good for writing new words.

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One of those kind of days

I woke up this morning to the mellow tones of Otto barfing on my bedroom floor. That’s one of those sounds that wakes you completely up. It was 4:00 AM. He’s fine, sometimes he gets snotty and chokes. I’ve woken up coughing more than once myself.

Since I was up, I had some quiet time and spent it reading. I don’t often get to read these days, and relished the opportunity. As a young man I could devour a book per day. These days it’s more like a book per month.

I’m currently writing two stories at once, and intended to devote some time to both of them. I had a pile of critiques to address on one of them, and did that this morning. If I don’t do anything else, at least I got that done.

I looked to the other one and discovered a problem. This is me, being anal, but it completely stifled me. I’ve been working on it using two different computers, one Apple and one PC. (We get a lot of hour long lunches during January and February due to the holiday weeks.)

Specifically, I’m using Microsoft Word and Apple Pages for iPad. My problem involves straight quotes vs curly quotes. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? Some whizbang formatting trick and all should be well. (Apostrophes are the same way.)

I tried the help link in Pages to no avail. I Googled what to do, seemed like some reasonable suggestions, except they didn’t work. I found instructions to try on a Mac. Okay, I have a Mac. I opened my manuscript and went through the step by step instructions. Very easy to follow… except it didn’t work.

I fiddled around myself, and if I delete my paragraph marks, the entire super-paragraph takes on the format I want. Then I can hit return again, make the quotes the way I want them before moving to the next paragraph.

This is possible, but I’m not going to do it just yet. I’m going to see if I can fix it using Word. At this point I gave up completely.

This is my short weekend, and I have other things that need tending. I got a haircut, paid the bills, and we have some errands in town. We’ll probably go out to dinner while we’re out.

Tomorrow is the day I call my parents, and I’m not going to address it then either.

I have some decent time coming up, and I’ll take up the keyboard then.

I hope you are having a better weekend than I am. Boise is covered in snow and ice, but it’s pretty shallow. More freezing than anything else. Maybe some beef and beer will improve my outlook tonight.

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Better the second day

Everyone in my family loves Chinese food… except for me. It’s food, it’s okay, but I always just kind of went with the flow until a few years ago.

That’s when we bought our bibimbap bowls. These are carved from a solid piece of soapstone. Soapstone is wonderful, because it absorbs a temperature and hangs on to it. I have a huge slab I’ve even frozen before and used as a serving board for shrimp cocktail.

Last night our date night was to P. F. Changs. We made sure to order extra in anticipation of tonight. It really doesn’t matter what dishes you order, they all get the same treatment.

First stick your stone bowls into the oven and bring them up to 500 degrees. Think of them like a battery, they’re going to take on heat and hold it for hours. (Dinner won’t take hours, but it forces me to wait before washing them up.)

Add a generous splash of sesame oil to the bottom of your bowl. The first layer is leftover rice. Any kind works, but I recommend leftover fried rice. The kind they add everything but the kitchen sink to.

I like to stir mine around to get a good sizzle going. We shared the fried rice leftovers, and added a bit more of the white rice that nobody ever seems to eat with dinner.

Then we passed around the takeout cartons. Anything left is fair game here. Hopefully, there is a bit of some protein left, but it isn’t completely necessary.

Crack an egg, and place it raw over the top. Add a generous scoop of Asian chili paste, then put the lid back on. Old What’s Her Face saved me a spoonful of broth from her won ton soup. Makes a nice steam for my egg.

Give it a minute or so.

In my case, I like to place everything nice and neat, but that ends at suppertime. When you’re ready, place the lid aside, break the egg, and stir it all up. Add soy if you like.

This time we had noodles, sweet and sour, some choice beef bits. Other times there has been broccoli, shrimp, pork, it honestly doesn’t matter.

This is Chinese food I love. I’m sure it works with Japanese or Korean food too, but I haven’t gone that far. A few gyosa, maybe a couple of those tiny pork ribs, I’m sure it’s all great.

The bell peppers and chunks of onion will get lava hot, so blow on them.

Ahhhh!

Maybe I’ll clean up the bowls in a couple of hours after they cool.

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Temporarily out of service

My daughter just headed home. I always love seeing her, and we had a nice visit. She and Old What’s Her Face went shopping yesterday while I was at work, so I know they had a nice visit too.

Her work schedule isn’t one that allows actual full weekends, so we take what we can get.

The blog tour for Lanternfish is officially over. (Try not to cheer too loud.) This is the longest tour I’ve ever done, but I had a lot of hosting offers and didn’t want to let anyone down.

I’ve always been blessed in that my regulars will follow the tours, at least in part. Some of you made every stop and I’m so grateful for you. This is a benefit to those who hosted me too. It increases their blog volume, and they might gain a new follower along the way. My hosts were all pretty interesting people, so it’s fun to get acquainted that way.

We sold some books, had some fun conversations, and kept each post unique. It’s pretty tiring though. I have a habit of checking the comments for several days. I don’t want anyone to think I snubbed them. Every night, I surfed back across four or five posts to see if there were new comments. I’ll keep doing that for the last couple of posts.

It’s time to kick back and watch for reviews. Hopefully, there will be some. I try to reblog those that do blog reviews, but Amazon is what I’m watching.

My mind is filled with creative ideas this morning, but I’m not going to do any writing. This is a good weekend to spend some time with the Muse. I need to string some scenes into the overall plot of my stories. A bit of thought makes for better tales.

Work was crazy this week too, and is scheduled to continue into next week.

Right now, I’m watching the original Star Wars, except it’s the one they added extra crap to. They should have just left it alone.

We hope to work in date night tonight. No specific plans, but probably dinner somewhere. (Update, Old What’s Her Face just made reservations at PF Chang’s.)

For me, I’ll check blog comments, but otherwise, I’m temporarily out of service.

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