Tag Archives: daydreaming

Lorelei Comes for a Visit

My company left at around 10:30 this morning. I haven’t honestly had a writing day since before Christmas and was looking forward to some quality time.

I arrived at the writing cabin and got ready to work. My robotic personal assistant, Lisa Burton dropped off some coffee, then waited for instructions. She wore boots and leggings and an oversized sweatshirt with a wide collar, exposing one bare shoulder.

“I need to read what I have before I get started. It’s been so long I can’t decide whether to pick up the Lanternfish story or the one about the hat.”

“If you need anything, just yell. I’ll be in the front seeing if there are any online bargains today.”

I had started reading Lunar Boogie when Lisa returned. “You have a visitor.”

Just what I needed on the first quality day in weeks.

Lorelei, the Muse, stepped around Lisa and into my writing office. She was as tall as Lisa, but less curvy. Beautiful in a Greek goddess kind of way. “What’s this I read about you toning things down in 2021?”

I held my palms forward in a gesture of peace. “That was about my publishing schedule. I want to satisfy the fans and get some series books out there. After that, who knows what I might do.”

“That’s where I have a problem. Your act of creation fuels me. I let you take some time off last summer, but it can’t become a habit. In fact, you haven’t been behind the keyboard since mid-December.”

“Calm down. There’s a difference between publishing and writing.”

“I’m listening.” She moved to the recliner in the corner and sat down.

Lisa took a place on the couch in case there were assignments.

“I intend to publish those two books, but will keep writing. I have several storyboards and am kind of missing my stand-alone stories.”

“That doesn’t sound like a plan. Maybe you just need some inspiration.”

“That’s as good as you’re getting right now.”

“Did you know the laws of salvage are nothing like people think? They’re actually about how a good samaritan deserves compensation.”

“Seems like a quick change in topic, and one of your tricks to me.”

“If someone were to rescue or preserve something, could be goods, or even part of a ship, they receive a lien against those items. The owner has to make good on the lien before claiming the goods.”

“So, it’s not just finders keepers?”

“Not at all. In fact, you could be charged with theft by keeping the items.”

“What if there’s nobody left alive to claim the items?”

“The country of origin can also participate. Spain will occasionally make a claim when someone discovers a sunken treasure ship.”

“That’s a maritime system, and I don’t see it working in the Lanternfish plot.”

“Just because something is on your property doesn’t make it yours, either. Otherwise, whenever someone walked in here you could claim everything they have.”

“That’s right, so pull that top off and hand it to me.”

“Ha ha. Nice try.”

“So, you’re telling me that if an alien ship crashed on my ranch, I can’t claim the wreckage. I can render a service and claim compensation, but can’t keep what I find.”

“Seems about right.”

“But the country, or planet of origin, could make a claim in our Earth courts.”

“In theory, yes.”

“I think if it were me, I’d take as many pictures as possible. Save them to a thumb-drive to protect them from government deletion, then share the photos with every news service and social media format I could find. The government couldn’t cover it up then.”

“Might make you a fugitive.”

“Almost certainly. If I filed my claim right away, there would also be a court record. That’s a bit safer place for the evidence.”

Lisa leaned forward. “The aliens probably wouldn’t go to court. You might gain possession by default, given enough time.”

“If only it weren’t for the damned Feds. They’ll try to take everything and claim it was a weather balloon. They won’t get away with it, because I have photographic evidence and good filings in the court. Once something is in the court record, they aren’t going to cough it up.”

“Looks to me like even losing possession of the wreckage, you’re poised to make yourself a celebrity speaker and go down in history as bringing the existence of aliens to the general public,” Lisa said.

“I’d need a place to hide for a while. I’m sure the Air Force or FBI would want to haul me in. It would have to be off the grid someplace.”

“You’d be dodging those guys for months.”

Lorelei stood, then dusted her palms together. “I think I’m finished here. Good to see you both again.”

“Wait a minute,” I protested. “You played me, but it won’t work. I have my own storyboards to jump on.”

“Looks like my little scheme failed. I’ll let you get back to your writing. Have a happy new year.”

“You, too,” Lisa said.

I watched Lorelei walk down the hall until she turned into the living room that served as the front office. “Did you keep any notes?”

“Your robot girl is on the job.” Lisa polished her nails on her sweatshirt. “I have a video recording of the entire meeting.”

“Why don’t you reduce the video to notes. I’ll get set up for storyboarding, and we can work on it together.”

“That sounds fun.”

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Punking out today

I’m not doing much of anything today. Everyone is home, and the dogs are noisy to the point of nuisance.

I could have done some reading. Could have done some writing, but they both require a quiet place.

Did a lot of internet surfing today. Found some nice reviews for Lanternfish. Seems odd to me that the USA reviews post on the UK site, but the UK reviews don’t post on the US site. I have a great review on the UK site too.

Lanternfish is thing. People seem to be enjoying it. If you haven’t picked up your copy, you still have time to do so and tell your friends, “I was into Lanternfish before it was cool.” Think how much you’ll enjoy that.

All you have to do is click on the cover, over there.

I managed a bunch of daydreaming and added a ton of lines to a notebook about future stories. This is pre-storyboard stuff, but they make cool vignettes, scenes, characters, monsters, etc.

It helped with the ideas that the Harry Potter and Magical Creatures marathon is on television today.

With tomorrow being Super Sunday, I doubt I’ll be any more productive. I have Monday off, so maybe there’s hope for it. I have a wonderful book I’m reading, and the mashup story could use another chapter.

I left Jason Fogg inside a skyscraper trying to steal some corporate documents to help the group gain an advantage. I’m pretty sure he’s going to get thrown off the building. He’s Jason, so he can fog-out before hitting the street. I can still build some tension in that his thrower is watching, and he has to time it right to convince the guy that he splatted on the ground.

Jason’s stories were always in first person, and it would be great in a scene like this. It doesn’t work in the mashup, because all the players get time in the spotlight.

I also woke up Tituba the sourdough starter. She’s bubbling away and ready to bake. I might do some of that too.

I hope all of you are having a great weekend. I couldn’t care less about the game. It’s the ones who got there on a bad call vs the ones who got there on a lucky coin toss for possession. There will be the advertisements, some great craft beer, and my wife promised hot goat cheese dip with poblano drizzled over the top. Go craft beer and goat cheese! Nom.

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Daydreaming and research

Today is the last day of my vacation. I’m pretty sure to be behind at the office, and that’s gnawing at me. I have a fantastic staff, and I’m sure they covered for me, but there are some things I have to handle myself.

I’ve reached a point in my current project where I need to daydream about the next section. This seems to work better for me than freewriting my way through. Because of this, today is a day for distractions and research. I may even take a nap this afternoon.

Part of my research involved digging up the 1972 pilot episode of Kung Fu and watching it. Anything I gleaned here would be for a potential future project, but it could have some minor impact on my current story. If nothing else, it’s a good distraction. I may have to check out a few more episodes. They’re absolutely dated, and don’t have the settings of modern martial arts films, but that can be remedied in whatever I write.

I also did some more research on cannons; siege cannons in specific. These things were not portable, and most of them gained permanent placement as harbor defense weapons.

The most common way of naming these things is based upon the weight of a solid shot. This means a cast iron ball. I found several resources, and different eras and countries did things differently.

My better resource involved the standardization of British cannon sizes. Prior to this, the guns were all unique, and it made for a supply disaster. They came up with weights from four to forty-two pounds.

My story is a fantasy of sorts, so I don’t have to follow the exact rules. I like the pattern involved though, so kept to the references of a gun as being an eight pounder, or an eighteen pounder.

I also researched black powder mortars. These were used in the 1800s in both field and siege models. They fired shells as opposed to shot, meaning they were explosive. Cannon of that era were also capable of firing shells. Obviously a shell will not weigh as much as a solid shot, but I kept the naming convention anyway. Research is important for bringing bits into the story, but not if it overwhelms the story.

I’ve given you the general idea of how big these things were, now let’s talk about siege guns. Imagine a muzzle loading cannon that fires a 1080 pound shot. It took 200 pounds of black powder to fire it. (Who got to lift the ball into the gun?)

Siege mortars also existed. The biggest ones fired a 137 pound shell nearly two and a half miles. Remember the shell weight is lighter than the shot weight. This might be classed as a 200 pound gun.

This is where writing a fantasy helps. Most of this data is from the 1800s. The era I’m writing about is earlier than that. It most likely would have fallen back when all the guns were unique. I took the liberty of massaging a bit. This way they can capture guns and munitions with a reasonable hope of being able to use them.

There were rockets back then too. Those are even referenced in our National Anthem. (USA) These were usually inaccurate fizzling devices that proved pretty worthless. Their best hope was to start a fire somewhere. I wove a couple of those into my story, and made them just as worthless as they sound.

I had the privilege of visiting Fort McHenry when I was in Baltimore years ago. That’s where the song lyrics came into being. It was bombarded with ship born mortars, and I got to see some shell fragments. The advantage to mortars is they fly over a wall and blow up inside the fort. Cannons don’t do well against earthen forts.

Don’t know why I decided to share all this with you today, but maybe some of you will find it interesting.

If you managed to read this far, I have one more piece of data. There are two Lisa Burton Radio shows scheduled for July, and one who asked for a special date in August. That’s it…

Lisa needs more guests, and I would love to get a few in the works. I’m not going to run out her sign shaker image this time, because last time I got too many responses. Authors started to get mad and dropped out after I did 100% of my part. There are still half a dozen shticks out there somewhere that the author never responded to.

If you have a new release, or are planning a push, drop me a line and maybe we can get you on the schedule. It’s been a pretty popular spot and I’d like to keep it available for everyone.

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