Tag Archives: date night

Life takes the lead

I consider myself a fairly dedicated author. Most weekends I manage to accomplish something even if it’s small. Sometimes I make great strides.

This weekend wasn’t one of those times. I paid all the bills after the paychecks hit the bank. Always a good goal. I also had an appointment to get my brakes worked on today. This required a drop off at 8:00, then a pick up at 2:00. It’s about a 45 mile round trip and traffic can drag that out.

Basically, that was the extent of my day. Old What’s Her Face and I went to breakfast this morning after dropping off the truck.

I have twelve posts ready for my October blog tour and could probably use a couple more. Thing is, I don’t want to bore the hell out of people either. If I am a guest somewhere a couple of times per week, that’s going to fill the month of October.

Touring is a toss-up really. Most friends and fans will follow along and I kept each post unique. There’s only so much value in appealing to them over and over again. The dream is to reach new readers and that requires multiple appearances to glean them.

Where does that scale balance? More posts might help find some new fans. More posts could also get annoying to my loyal fans and friends. A dozen feels about right and the topics won’t get stale. I think that’s where I’m going to stand.

This means, no blog writing this weekend. I did a lot of surfing on Pinterest and a few similar places while daydreaming of future stories. I have some fun ideas and a few ideas how to bundle several of them into the same story. I suppose that’s productive in a way.

I’m looking forward to next weekend. I’m going to drive to Nevada and bring my mother back for a visit. I like long lonely drives and also enjoy drives were I can chat with someone. I’ll get one of each next Friday.

That might not be the best situation for writing, but regular life is important, too. I’m sure you’ll be hearing plenty from me once October arrives. Might even publish my book next weekend.

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Not my usual weekend

We wound up at Old Chicago Pizza on Friday night. This is around the third time I’ve been disappointed in them. The beer selection was pretty run-of-the mill, and their pizza has changed. It’s just not as good as before all the pandemic problems. I’ve tried to be kind of forgiving with all the supply, employee, and shortage issues, but this might be our last visit to a place we both loved. There is no shortage of beer places or pizza places these days. We might just have to try some new venues.

Saturday, I paid the bills and didn’t really do a damned thing besides that. I have plenty to do, but just didn’t do them. Some of this is my own insistence on order in my private life. At work, I have to move multiple projects forward at once. When I run into a roadblock, I change projects to something I can nudge ahead. When it comes to my free time, I have the right not to do that.

We made a drive to Twin Falls on Sunday. Old What’s Her Face had a care package for our daughter, and she’s been unable to visit lately. We dropped off her goodie bag, took her to a nice lunch, then came home. Totally worth it.

Today, I pushed my MS through Amazon once more and this time it looks perfect. I still have all my tour posts to write and need to get to those. I stopped after the Amazon previewer checked out, but still need a purchase link. I’ll probably park on that idea until later in the month. I want Midnight Rambler available for the October season.

Somewhere between the cracks we watched television. Caught the new episode of She Hulk, checked out Rings of Power, and I watched more of a K-Drama I’ve been enjoying. I find myself checking out more K-Dramas than anything else. Their stories are just a degree different than the usual fare and I find them quite creative. They always offer a laugh amid the drama and that’s something I strive for myself.

In other news, Old What’s Her Face found a package on the porch when we returned from Twin.

There were two of these bricks inside the box. I asked her what she was trafficking in. They turned out to be some kind of cookies to make a recipe of some sort. I’m excited for whatever she comes up with, but a few illicit dollars around here would have been cool.

Hope all of you had a great holiday weekend. Drop me a line and let me know what you’ve been up to.

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Vacation day two: Date Night

I managed one and a half pages yesterday. That’s it for writing. Digging back through my archives, it seems like about 1500 words is the norm, but I have days like this, too.

The big plan was going to the fair anyway. We had a good time, but it was hot. I feel for you women, because I got boob sweat in the sweltering heat.

The fair wasn’t up to snuff this year for some reason. I grabbed a few pictures to share.

This is the place where you get all your food. There are carnival rides in the distance. We both had a prickly pear lemonade. I opted for a gyro, but it was mostly salad. This is odd, because this place has been awesome over the years. I had every intention of sampling all kinds of things, but it didn’t work out that way.

Mechanical bull — nope.

The poultry barn has chickens and rabbits, with a few other kinds of birds. There were probably a third of what’s usually in there. I snapped this goth chicken for you.

The main exhibit hall was a kind of split. Painting and photography are still pretty popular. The produce section was a let-down. There were no big pumpkins to share this year. Baking had one display. Even it wasn’t as special as past years.

No free samples

I headed for the photography, but Old What’s Her Face said the gates were opening for the concert, and that kind of ended our browsing.

Pat Benatar put on a great show. We’ve seen her before and knew it would be good. The best part is the fair concerts are free with the price of admission. We had to sit in the heat for an hour or two waiting for the show to start, otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten decent seats.

We were back a ways, but our days of standing on the field are over. The bleachers were a bit much, but Old What’s Her Face blinked first. We walked down to the main level, grabbed bottled water, and finished the show on our feet. (Don’t tell her, but my back was killing me, too.)

Might get some writing in today some time. I also have the formatted MS back from The Midnight Rambler. I need to push it through Amazon’s machine even though I don’t want to publish yet. It’s the best way to see if my silly graphics moved somewhere other than where I want them.

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It was date night

Last night Old What’s Her Face decided she wanted to go to dinner. She mentioned La Tapatia, which is one of our favorite places. The food was phenomenal, like always.

The service was a bit slower than usual, but that seems to be a theme everywhere. I’ve even seen some places close for a day or two because they don’t have employees available.

During this waiting period we did what all loving couples do in the modern era. We gazed into each other’s eyes. Scratch that. We picked up our cell phones and ignored each other like a true American couple.

I spotted something on Facebook that Krispy Kreme has pumpkin doughnuts available already.

We swung by and picked up a dozen on the way home.

The one with the swirly top is supposed to be a pumpkin cappuccino, and new on the list. There is also a pumpkin cheesecake filled variety, but our dozen didn’t include any of those.

I wanted to taunt everyone about how awesome they were. However, they really weren’t. They were all pretty bland, and if you handed me one and asked me what the flavor was, I could not tell you. Guess we fell victim to marketing, but the product didn’t deliver.

Right now, I’m watching the Star Wars marathon, and blogging. Old What’s Her Face is currently making her own cheese cake. Bet it’s a damned sight better than those doughnuts were.

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This and that

I wound up having more decent writing days over the holiday weekend, but none that matched my 8000 word day. I jumped from Lizzie and the hat back to Mari’s swamp story.

I’m faced with a problem in Goodbye Old Paint. I’m at 25,000 words, but Lizzie and the hat are aimed back at their main problem. If I want this MS to come in around 45K, I need to think about how I’m going to add to the tale. There’s no guarantee they can solve the gremlin problem in one swoop, but I don’t need things getting repetitive on me either. This can only mean one thing… time to switch stories.

Mari and her new friend/rescuer/mentor, Kililah wound up trying to return the coonhound to her rightful owner. Turns out this pup revealed herself to be a cull. Meaning she fled from a wild hog, and the owner intended to shoot her.

Mari wound up buying her from him with the promise that she’d leave the area so the pup wouldn’t taint the bloodline. I had some fun moments with Mari and the pup, and she named her Worthless as a jab at the man who was going to shoot her.

I might go back and flesh some of this out, but Mari and the pup learned a little from each other by hunting squirrels and trailing rabbits. Mari is still getting used to her enhanced sense of smell. Can a dog be a kind of mentor? Maybe I should play that up. Hmmm.

Poor Mari got chewed up again when the ox panicked at the sight of a bobcat. I had some fun with her yelling at him that he takes a bigger crap than that puny bobcat. This led to what I thought was an emotional epiphany for Mari. She wasn’t the only one who lost everything. The ox lost his brother and life long partner, too, on that fateful day.

Wounded and bleeding, she discovered an old cabin in the swamp, complete with the skeleton of the owner. She spent some fevered nights haunted by things she’s not taken proper time to dwell on. She also spent plenty of time talking to the skeleton, then scavenging whatever she could to help her on her journey.

I stopped today with a scene I often use. I like to call it the Hero Revealed scene. Mari’s been treated pretty poorly in life, she’s been beaten, raped, had her entire family murdered, taken some hard falls, and kept coming back. Some of the salvage provided a new look for her, and I kind of like the way it roughed out. Kind of a no-nonsense post apocalyptic fashion statement.

At just over 31K words Mari has a lot left to her tale. I have one more mentor for her to meet, then she has to use her enhanced skills and lessons without benefit of mentors to reach her goals.

Right now, getting Mari’s story to novel length looks easier than getting Lizzie’s tale to the noveloid length I prefer for Hat stories.

I’m bagging it early today. Old What’s Her Face and I have some errands to take care of, and we might even wrangle date night out of the deal.

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Just Rambling

Since it was payday, Old What’s Her Face and I had date night Friday. We decided to try a new place. It’s fancy and they did a good job on the building. It was the mirror opposite of the burger joint we visited two weeks ago.

If you remember, I finished a burger the size of my head and thought I was going to die. Friday I ordered grilled ahi. It was supposed to come with black rice, spinach, corn salsa, and avocado.

The tuna was sliced and spread across the bed containing everything else. If you reassembled it, it would be about 3” x 3” and 3/4 inch thick. The black rice looked really cool, but tasted like dirt. No seasonings of any kind. There were two spinach leaves, a spoonful of corn, and I swear to God, one piece of avocado about the size of a sugar cube.

I mentioned this last time, but restaurants seem to find those extremes these days. Way too much, or not enough. The tuna was great, I’ll give them that much. For the price of my ahi, I could have bought three burgers the size of my head.

We’ve been watching some shows on the premium services. I watched a Netflix vampire movie this evening. Why does a skinny female vampire lift a huge man off his feet with one hand, but later in the film struggle to drag a wounded ally away before the sun rises?

Also, why does every damned vampire story seem to have a character named Victor or Viktor? Pay attention and you’ll notice it, too.

I introduced an alien woman in my WIP and named her Taisiya. I found it in a naming list and thought it was cool. Try actually spelling it the same way twice when it comes up every third page or so.

My WIP also has a character named Auburn. Do you know how many damned times I’ve typed out Amber? I finally did a word search to fix them all to this point.

I caught a couple of times where I wanted the Snakeworks, but wrote out the Skunkworks instead. Have to dodge that one, because it’s a real place. Word search to the rescue again.

I really try to take this stuff seriously and bring new things to the table. I worry about low-hanging fruit and try to shake things up. If I ever write a vampire named Victor, just shoot me.

We checked out the first couple episodes of Endgame. Truthfully, I watched it for Morena Baccarin. Old What’s Her Face probably had a different reason. Honestly, it’s really fun. It’s so complicated I can’t see it having a long run, but I’m going to stick with it.

Managed a tiny bit of writing today, and my damned crew still hasn’t left the Snakeworks. I never intended to get a lot done today, but there are a couple-three interesting things that happened there. Percy and Buffer are disabled veterans. She has a prosthetic arm, and his is only a finger. They are very close, so I had them wake up together after a drunken debacle.

Percy is a genetically engineered Space Chimp, and she’s a human. I wrote it such that nothing happened, but it changes their dynamic. I’m going to try getting some mileage out of the term, “Mostly Human.” Genetically, he’s close. Physically, she’s referring to her missing arm. Buffer’s really hung up about the stump of her arm.

Hope I can do something creative with it. Maybe they can have a discussion where it comes up, then he can buy her a necklace that say’s “Mostly Human,” or something. I’m still dwelling on it. Hope I can make it good.

I have a Sunday regular thing where I call my parents. It’s just Mom now, but I call her every Sunday. Maybe after that I can finally send my fictional crew back to space.

Hope all of you are having a great weekend. Leave me some comments. What do you think about character names, off-beat lovers, Morena Baccarin (Loved her since V).? Anything, really.

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Sometimes you get rained out

I don’t know why I started this with an old baseball reference, but there you have it. I didn’t accomplish a whole lot this weekend.

I finished the MS for The Midnight Rambler, but it needs something I just can’t put my finger on. I came to that conclusion because it’s shorter than other stories about Lizzie and the hat. Another 4000 words would give it a similar length. I made an editing pass and deleted even more words.

This one has a lot of loose ends to wrap up. I did this with short sections, using either section breaks or artwork panels. (This is the series with silly graphics included.) The end feels like chunk, chunk, chunk. I need a better idea of how to wrap this one, and it might even add a few words if I’m lucky. Time might bring me a few better answers.

I read a couple of short novels and posted reviews across all three platforms. I enjoyed this part of my weekend.

Old What’s Her Face and I made a trip to Home Depot, then used a Christmas gift card to go to dinner. Date night was fun, but I ate way too much. Restaurants seem to either deliver postage stamp sized entrees, or pile the plate to overflowing.

No idea what to do over the holiday tomorrow. I want to work on Midnight Rambler, but know it should rest for a bit. I could jump back to my unnamed space opera. If I do this, it will probably involve reading what I already have to make sure I set the next stage.

It was a fairly unproductive weekend, and I don’t really care. Wish I had more news to deliver to everyone. The last couple of years have been kind of brutal, and if my personal life slows down a little, that’s okay.

I hope all of you had great weekends, whether you were relaxing or trying to be productive. I’m going to take 2022 as it comes.

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I need to get more accomplished

I’m in a phase where I need to get Lanternfish ready to publish. If everything goes according to plan, that will be in November. I’m also pushing Good Liniment for sometime this winter.

In the mean time, I need to write about nine blog posts. I have two of them. I also need a good topic for Story Empire. I feel like I’m getting close to an idea, but it needs more work.

Reading and writing have to go out the window this weekend. As soon as I finish all that, I need to be thinking about some way of promoting Lanternfish and how that’s going to look.

November seems like a long ways away, but it will be here before I know it.

Old What’s Her Face and I had date night early this evening. We went to the fair and ate food that’s bad for us. It isn’t as hot as most years, but involves a lot of walking to even get out of the parking lot. I took a few photos and can share those.

Pumpkins seem like they’re off a couple of hundred pounds this year. I still like to see them. I’m an Autumn kind of guy and it makes me look forward to the season.

This one is a different variety. They’re flatter and have deeper grooves in them. I really need to look up the name. This is because I have a character who has something like this for a head in a future story. Not a main character, but it’s nice to be accurate whenever possible.

This one is also a pumpkin. I have no reason to share it other than it’s weird enough that some of you might be interested. Looks like it’s covered with peanut shells.

Lots of cute floppy bunnies.

Many varieties of chickens.

And one golden pheasant.

Basically we each grabbed a prickly pear lemonade to walk around with, scoped out the food vendors, then walked through the exhibits. We didn’t even look for the pigs and such this year.

I ate a(n) gyro as big as my head, and we split a bag of churros. That’s about it. The concerts are lousy this year, and we aren’t carnival age any more.

Gyro poses an interesting question. Since it’s pronounced eero, I prefer to put “an” before it. Since it’s spelled with a consonant, it looks like it should be an “a.” It’s a blog post, so who cares. I’ll be careful not to put them in any of my fiction.

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Rambles from the real world

I get a three day weekend once more. This is the end of my fun shift, then I get a short weekend in the middle before it starts all over again. This weekend wasn’t earmarked for writing, but it could still happen. Monday is probably my best chance.

Our daughter came overnight, and I wanted to spend any available time with her. She didn’t get to come on her birthday, so Old What’s Her Face wanted to take her out. Even this wound up being a compromise. She had to go home this afternoon to work Sunday.

When you write a series about a twenty-something female, it’s nice to compare notes with my daughter. She helps with some of Lizzie’s outfits, and knows some things I wouldn’t even think of. I’m good with monsters, freaky things, and even old-school music. When it comes to wrap dresses, nail art, and some of those things I appreciate the help.

We settled for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We’re both so full, it will serve as dinner and lunch. Still ordered dessert to go, so that will suffice this evening. I had mine early, maybe I won’t have heartburn all night by doing that.

Saw a cool whale-tale Porsche in the mall parking lot. This one had custom paint. It was pink, but so dark it was nearly purple. Doesn’t mean anything, really, I just thought it was cool. It was obviously well loved.

Came home and caught the Derby. There might have been some future book research involved, but not to the extent that I failed to enjoy the event. He never stood a chance, but I liked the name of one horse, Soup & Sandwich. He actually started strong, but finished dead last. He was also a pretty blue roan. Also, lots of pretty girls in hats. That could play into a future story after I give it some thought.

As far as accomplishing anything, after our daughter left, I wrote one blog tour post. This one involves Lisa visiting someone and handing out a poster. I don’t have the poster yet, but feel like I am a step ahead. I don’t even have a blurb yet, so I’ll have to tag that onto any posts I get written after the fact.

We had an awesome thunderstorm this afternoon. Lots of lightning and a downpour the likes of something we haven’t seen in a year. The dogs were hilarious, running out in the rain to bark, then racing inside because it was raining so hard.

Sundays usually aren’t good writing days. I call my parents, mess with bulldogs and other important things. There should be time to pre-write more blog tour posts. That will be my goal.

When it comes to Monday, I’m off, will have the house to myself, might score some quality writing time then.

Hope all of you are having great weekends. I am.

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Wrapping up the weekend

We did some random things this weekend without completely going out in public.

Saturday became a writing day, too. I managed about 2800 words on the day, so it was better than Friday. I think I need to start skipping ahead on the warfare and have an idea how to accomplish that. Wednesday is my flex day, so I might give it a shot. This story has a lot to accomplish beyond the war.

We managed some takeout from Wingers on Saturday night. Made for leftovers tonight. Nothing too special, but I always liked their sticky wings.

During Wingers, we watched Mortal Combat. It was exactly as advertised. Brutal, action packed, not angling for an Academy Award.

Speaking of the awards, Old What’s Her Face insisted on watching the red carpet show. She does not want to watch the actual awards, but the fashion seemed to make her happy. While it was on, I hooked up a few more hoses and puttered about that way.

I watched a few episodes of a new show called Shadow and Bone on Netflix. I’m still not sure I like it. That seems to be how Netflix things work. By the time it wraps, I usually put them in the win column.

It’s just basic life around here. Happy to have worked on my story. We rented a movie and hung out.

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