Tag Archives: dogs

Saturday goings on

I bounced around a lot today. I wrote one blog tour post, and need one more. My schedule is all taken care of next week, but I want to get ahead of the following one. If I can get one more written, then I will ask a couple of folks about their availability.

Honestly, doing it this way is less stressful than trying to pre-write everything. A couple of stops per week is also easier to keep up with. I enjoy chatting with everyone along the way and it isn’t like trying to cover too many bases at once.

I pulled down my portable generators and am running them in the garage. They haven’t been started for a long time and it’s good for them. It’s also better than learning in the field if I’m not going to have air conditioning in the camper. Bulldog lives are at stake here. One of them only seems to work if I use the choke. That’s not a good sign. I’m thinking maybe a bit of STP or something might help. Open to suggestions if you have a trick.

Speaking of bulldogs, it’s pumpkin ball season again. This has always been Otto’s favorite toy of all time. They seem cheaper this year than previous years. The old ones used to have a flasher in them and were made from a more durable plastic. They’d squeak and flash as he played with them.

Here’s a photo of him with one of the older kinds.

He and Frankie went ballistic when they came out of the bag today. They were both bouncing off the walls. We’ll probably play with them again after supper. It appears she likes pumpkin ball too.

Can pumpkin beer season be far off?

I have all my corny graphics inserted into The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. I’m one title page and some Copyright data away from sending it to my formatter. Shooting for an October 1st release on this one.

Then I spent some time with the Muse. For some reason she’s sent me some great ideas for a Space Opera. I don’t think I write them particularly well, but I’m keeping notes at this stage. I’ve matured over the years and it might be time to try it again. It hasn’t earned a storyboard yet, but it has me thinking.

I already have a bunch of storyboards I can start writing on when winter rolls around. Sometimes a board takes years to mature, and this concept could be one of those.

Hope all of you are having a good weekend. Tell me what you’re up to, and stay safe.

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A glorious writing day

This had to be the longest work week in history. It added to my back problems, because I had to spend the entire day yesterday in an uncomfortable chair to attend a Zoom meeting.

I doubted my ability to even get out of bed this morning, but I made it around 7:00. I think the Woodford Reserve helped last night, because I slept like a baby.

Frankie was a little shit most of the morning. She’s really smart and calculates things. She wanted Otto to play outside with her, but he’s figured out her nonsense. She spots an imaginary squirrel, then paws the door with urgency. She runs out all excited, but he watches from the doorway.

Now she’s added me to her game. It was cold, but I’d let her out enough times that I left the door open so she could come and go. She started coming to me in a lather. She stomps her front feet back and forth, makes a Chewbacca noise, then runs to the door… but the door is open.

I decided that maybe someone threw a ball over the fence or something and she wanted me to see it, so I stepped outside and played right into her evil plan. Otto always goes outside if I do. As soon as he stepped onto the patio, she jumped him. I was just a device to get Otto to go outside. I really wanted to write, but you’ve gotta stop and laugh at that.

The Lanternfish crew was in the wake of a large sea battle that introduced some new elements into the story. Today was about what’s known as a sequel. If you haven’t been reading Staci Troilo’s excellent series over at Story Empire, you’re missing out. Here’s a link to the first one.

Stories have a kind of ebb and flow that I’ve always thought of as waves. The crest of the wave is all cannons, fire, and action. The valley between waves is about recovery, regrouping, then forging ahead to the next crest. They’re more properly called Scenes and Sequels. I think the naming is unfortunate, and prefer my wave analogy.

The crew completed their primary mission as privateers. They delivered their goods to the Admiralty. From this point on, everything changes. It’s more dangerous, riskier, and I hope I can pull it off.

One of the weird things I love is an outfit upgrade, and I wrote two into this chapter. One involves passing Yoshiko off as a princess to Western minds. She is a princess, but it isn’t that big of a deal in the East. The hope is the Westerners will fall all over her.

The other involves General Serang. You guys remember Serang. She’s come a long way since her origin story, and her appearance in Voyage of the Lanternfish. Just to refresh your memory, here is Lisa Burton posing as Serang.

Lisa Burton

I really like her makeover, and as she steps to the dock ahead of her army, everything is different. The only things she kept are her weapon, and that rockin’ hat. Sadly, she just marched out of this story. At nearly 96,000 words, the final chapters are all about James and the Lanternfish crew. She has a big role to play in the final book of the trilogy.

Makeovers are a great way to announce a change has happened. There’s something new here. If you like superhero movies you’ll see them used all the time. Two characters, two visions, one of grace and loveliness, the other of power and strength.

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with it, but it may need some fine tuning. Today’s word count comes to about 3200. A very good kickoff to my four day weekend.

If you’d like to check out Serang, you can find her origin story or Voyage of the Lanternfish on my Amazon Page.

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Trying for fun

While the world is in exile, it’s important to enjoy the little things. I snapped his photo when I got up this morning.

I think the dogs are trying to tell me something, but their penmanship is horrible.

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Redneck Thanksgiving

Meet Opie.

He is my son’s dog. My oldest is having one of those Thanksgivings where he had to go to the in-laws’ s house. Opie doesn’t do well at the boarding kennel, and none of them really do. Guess where he is spending his Thanksgiving.

He’s well mannered and trained, unlike my heathens. He plays ball like a pro, and is not allowed on the furniture.

Don’t tell my son, but he might be developing some bad habits.

This morning, he was feeling kind of lonely and neglected. He decided to crawl up with Otto and I before I went to work.

That’s Otto’s big butt off to the left. I’m surprised I didn’t have Frankie up here, too. She elected to go to her little Frankie bed instead.

The footstool doesn’t qualify as furniture, does it? I don’t think he’s being bad at all.

Tomorrow, my in-laws will be here, and they travel with two small dogs. My daughter is also coming, but I don’t think she’s bringing her cat. We’re all set up for a regular redneck holiday.

Winter storms are abundant, so I hope everyone is careful. I’d rather have them stay home than have an accident. My oldest and his family went to California. (Donner Summit is closed right now. Hope they can avoid a Donner Party Thanksgiving.) The in-laws are coming across the high Nevada desert, and my daughter has to come from Sun Valley.

Whatever your plans are, I hope you stay safe and warm. Enjoy family, good food, and even the dogs if you have that kind of family.

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Otto

“…and tiring of conquest, he ruled over the field of bones like a despot from a darker age.”

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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

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A long week.

This was the week I went to San Antonio. That’s really nothing new, at my level seminars are a fact of life. This one had its good and not-so-good parts. Some of that has to do with my seasoning. I’ve been around this stuff for a long time, and it’s getting kind of hard to show me something new. They managed it though.

One of the unexpected things is kind of telling. I’ve been to many a seminar, but the seats in those meeting rooms are starting to wear me out more than ever before. A day or two, no problem. Four days, and I think I need a wheelchair.

Add air travel into the mix, and it gets even worse. There is no such thing as a comfortable chair on an airliner. I wound up with the middle seat on all four legs of my journey. From Phoenix to Boise, the guy with the window seat never showed up. I moved over and it was wonderful just to have a bit of extra room.

I actually left my iPad Pro at the TSA check in stop in San Antonio. Fortunately, my employee spotted it and saved it for me. I’m starting to feel like I need a keeper.

As far as San Antonio goes, it rained. Then it rained some more, followed by rain, with an additional portion of rain. It stopped raining while I was at the airport to go home.

We braved it anyway. We wandered down the street to someplace called the Buckhorn Saloon for lunch. It’s one of those places that seems dedicated to taxidermy. Animals covered all the walls, and they call part of it a museum that requires an admission fee. Apparently, it was not dedicated to cleanliness. To make it clear, polar bears and mountain goats are white, not grey.

The lunch itself was pretty good, and I scored a local beer that came off quite well. Craft beer wasn’t easy to find, but Texas brands were in abundance. I wound up living on Shiner Bock. Not awesome like a craft beer, but you can live on it.

While we were there, a Ted Cruz Rally broke out. My co-worker took a photo, but I didn’t feel the need. Cruz is kind of an odd dude, and I sat on my hands, lest judgment be passed upon me.

My co-worker has several Army buddies in the area, so he went out with them most nights. The one night we wandered around didn’t turn out all that great.

We got to the Alamo just as it closed. I still snapped a photo, the only one I took.

I briefly considered storming the fortress, but that’s already been done, and seems so 1800s by today’s standards.

Note: It was raining.

Then we wandered down to the River Walk. I went through the Alamo years ago, and spent a lot of time on the River Walk. This time, the River Walk seemed like it’s lost some of its spark.

The last time I was here, there were shops, bars, and restaurants filled to overflowing. This time, very little was open, people were scarce, and some construction was going on. It does make for a lovely scene to put some vampires in and have them stalk the patrons stumbling out of the bars.

My co-worker said his buddy, a former Army Ranger, told him this part of town wasn’t a great place to hang out after dark. We took the hint and went back to the hotel. I settled for another Shiner, some poorly conceived bar food, and called it my birthday dinner. I went back to my room so I could watch the World Series. It’s hard to ask a group of Spurs fans if it would be okay to change from basketball to baseball. (Sounds like something for one of John’s top ten lists.)

Old What’s Her Face called me on Face Time, something I’d never done before. This was so I could talk to Otto. He missed me and was confused how I got inside the iPad. It was kind of fun.

When I got home, the house was dark. My wife had to work today. That didn’t stop the dogs, and they swarmed me. I had to stay up for an hour just snuggling them. (Mostly Otto.)

I have a big old list of things I should be doing today, but I’m kind of worn out. Spending a lot of time with my old friend, Mr. Hot Pad today. At least I got to spend some time editing while I was on airplanes. That and reading a mediocre craft book I bought. I’m finding that craft books are kind of like seminars these days. It’s isn’t exciting and awesome anymore, but there are small nuggets of information that I find valuable.

That was the week that was. I really do have a ton of things to do, but this whole month has been like burning the candle at both ends. I think I’ll take a day and see how I feel about it tomorrow. I wonder if John Wayne is defending the Alamo on television somewhere today.

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$2,446.96

It’s been a quiet week online for me. The best I could manage in most cases was to hit the like button on some blog posts. I’m trying to post something tonight, but even that is half-hearted.

It all started about 12 days ago. Our female bulldog, Frankie, started throwing up when she drank water. There were no other symptoms, including those of dehydration. She played hard, and drank too much. It happens, and I’ve never owned a dog that didn’t do this a couple of times.

Ten days later this was still going on, and we needed to have the vet check her out. There were a couple of timing problems here, one of which involved payday not happening until today.

The other issue is my work sent me to Moscow, Idaho during the week. This is a long way from home, and involved an overnight stay.

Nothing improved for Frankie, and our vet said he would see her, and we could pay him today. He did an x-ray, and there was something…

No idea what it might be, so another kind of x-rays were ordered. It could have been an ulcer, a tumor, or any number of things.

The barium helped reveal an object in her stomach and throat. He said it looked fibrous, like a sock or something. There was a half day period where the vet thought it might pass, but the clock was against us here.

Our vet doesn’t work Fridays, but he did for us. There are other doctors in the office, and they are all good. Frankie is his patient, and we appreciate him for this. Our most recent update involved the object moving, but not as much as he thought it should. He really didn’t want to do surgery, and gave us the choice.

We’ve been to the emergency vet several times. These people are good, but would not necessarily have the x-rays and diagnoses if we went there in the middle of the night. We reluctantly chose to put her through the surgery.

That turned out to be the right choice. The object was skinny, long, plastic, and pointed. He could not identify it, and we did not get to see it. This would not have passed, and could have led to an emergency situation. (Almost certainly.)

She’s home now, groggy as hell. There is a square shaved on her back from an epidural they gave her. She has a mountain of pills we have to give her too, and a restricted diet.

This is not her first experience with swallowing something, and we have to watch her like a hawk.

I’m not above a bit of speculation, so here goes. If you can imagine her chewing something up first, it sounds to me like it was a piece of someone’s fireworks. These aren’t just for the 4th of July around here. People set off fireworks all year long, and every summer night there are various small pops, and at least a few big sky shells going off.

More than once, I’ve picked up the residue from my yard. If I were to speculate further, I’m not able to cruise the yard before going to work. It’s dark outside. I think there was something in the yard, and she found it before one of us could get to it during the daylight.

I’ll never know for sure, but that’s my best guess.

I usually approach my weekends with a plan, and sometimes a task list. This weekend, I’m kind of dialing it in. I have a post to schedule for a friend, and am waiting for some interview data to come back. Don’t have a plan beyond that.

Oh, “Hey buddy, want to buy a book. I’m trying to raise $2446.96.”

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Back to the grind tomorrow.

Today was my one chance to work on things I wanted. I spent the early hours assembling some upcoming guest posts. Then there were the inevitable bulldog needs. My back started bothering me again, but just slightly. I moved the doggie bed out to the foot of my chair in hopes of avoiding some of the cuddles today. — Didn’t work. I’m fine, but there was a certain amount of twisting and adjusting so I could type.

There must be a dozen Lisa Burton Radio questionnaires out right now, but nobody returned one this weekend. I have a show for this Thursday, but might not have one the week after at this rate. This has become a pretty popular spot, so if you’d like to take advantage of it drop me a line.

I opened my work in progress, and managed about 1700 new words. Of course I deleted about a thousand of the old words, so it’s about a push. I have this habit of reading the last dozen or so pages before I start writing. I find a lot of mistakes this way. I’m also working with some important plants for later payoffs and I want to make sure everything is in place. Plants and payoffs always work that way for me; two steps forward and one step back.

Overall, I killed three people, captured a runaway slave, and set the stage to free said slave the next time I can tackle new words. No idea when that will be, because I have some things going on next weekend. I need to think up some kind of hinkey slave name for this character now. Maybe something will come to me during my commutes this week.

We discovered another piece of pink plastic in the back yard yesterday. That’s one more than we expected. On the other hand, Frankie is feeling pretty feisty and is back to her crazy old self.

Our new oven works just fine. My wife created some kind of beer braised meatballs that were awesome. She added in some mashed potatoes to go along with the extra gravy they produced. We’re pictures of health around here, but we’re generally pretty happy. Hope all of you enjoyed your weekend too.

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A blogging kind of day

I didn’t set any gigantic goal for this weekend. Life has been throwing me curves lately, and plans seemed like a bad idea.

Today was a day to pick something up, finish it, and move to the next project. With that in mind, Lisa Burton Radio is assembled and scheduled for Thursday, and so is the following Thursday. This actually feels kind of good to get ahead a tiny bit. I used to track every questionnaire I sent out, and do appropriate follow up, but I stopped doing that this year. People seem to be benefitting from the interview slot, but they need to have some skin in the game too. There are probably ten or more questionnaires out, but it’s up to them to respond and get back with me. Makes my part of the process less stressful, and that’s a good thing. I’ll be here for you from now on, but I’m not twisting arms to fill the interview slots.

I also spent some time writing, assembling, and scheduling my next post over at Story Empire. It’s up on Wednesday, and I hope it comes across well.

Oh yeah, there is this post too.

Life continues to throw us curves. The range decided to go out, including the oven portion. We’ve been doing without it for a couple of weeks now. Between the barbecue and the microwave, we’ve survived. Now that Frankie seems like her old self, today was time to address our appliance problem.

The old range was original to the house, so seventeen years old. In this day and age, that’s a good run.

The debate of the day was whether to pay for the range or finance it. Holding back a tiny bit of cash seems like a good idea in light of current events. Free delivery swayed us to use our Sears credit card. In event of another emergency, we have a few bucks available, and can make minimum payments if we have to. If everything evens out, I’ll probably take two months to pay it off. That way we get a couple of paydays in there and don’t strap ourselves.

Delivery will happen next weekend. At that time, I’ll probably wake up Tituba, my sourdough starter and christen the new oven the right way.

To her credit, Old What’s Her Face chose a very reasonable range. There was a time when both of us did a lot of cooking. As the kids have moved out, the appeal of a Wolfe gas range isn’t there any more. We wound up with a decent Kenmore electric that matches all the rest of the appliances. Honestly, I’ve always had good luck with Kenmore stuff.

After signing the papers, we walked over to Old Chicago for pizza and beer. We called it an early night, because my wife has to work this weekend. A few Winter Olympics and I’ll figure out what tomorrow has in store. I might even add some new words to my work in progress. Maybe I’ll paste together a new background for Lisa’s Facebook page. I have some new images that might be fun to use as Polaroids on her table.

The dogs are getting some ball time right now. All posts are more popular with a picture, so here’s Otto being a crazy man with his oversized tennis ball.

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