Tag Archives: editing

Not bad for a flex day

Like all flex days, this one started off with a task list last night. The day started with my alarm dog at about six o'clock.

Otto and Frankie play together all the time now. A big part of this involves him feeling much better. We took more detailed X-rays about two weeks ago, and had an additional expert look at them. He has several problems, but there was concern about one specific issue. It involves bone tissue that is degenerating and regrowing.

Our vet said the possibilities were bone cancer, and a bone infection. The cancer is almost unheard of with a dog Otto's age, and the infection is also extremely rare. He wanted to try an antibiotic in an abundance of caution, but thinks maybe the X-ray simply showed something that isn't there.

Here's the deal, though. After two days of antibiotic, Otto started feeling better. After a week, I have my boy back. He runs around, plays ball, and is acting like his old self. He still limps on occasion, but two weeks ago he was dragging himself across the floor by his front legs.

How the hell does anything get a bone infection?

They've been absolutely crazy today.

Oh, come on guys, you're making me look bad now. They were playing, I swear.

I wound up doing some maintenance on my part of the Story Empire blog, and finished that. About an hour ago, I found even more to do there, but still consider it a win.

I also explored and joined a new app a friend told me about. Something called Triberr, but don't ask me anything about it just yet.

I finished the edits on a 5500 word short story for an anthology, and delivered the edited version to them.

Edits on the Yak Guy Project are finished. I'm going to put it aside for a while to work on other projects. Quite honestly, I'm thinking about submitting it to a publisher. I haven't submitted anything for years, but maybe the hybrid author is the way to go. Right now, I just need time to think about it all.

I got another five star review today for the Second Experimental Notebook. I need to write a third one of these, and they make a great side project. Not just yet though.

First I need more micro-fiction for October. I intended to write one today, but never got that far. I might rough one out while my ballgame is on.

Ah, here you go. See all happy today.

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Entertaining Stories – Unplugged

We got a last minute chance to make it a camping weekend. It happened with very little warning, but it's hard to pass up these opportunities.

I wanted to check out Bull Trout Lake, because I'd heard good things about it from someone else. Like all campgrounds under the Forest Circus, most of the sites are reservation only, with four or five going to first come – first served. We didn't show up fast enough.

That left us scrambling for a place to camp, and we grabbed the first decent spot we found. Turns out it was a very nice site, but too close to the highway for my tastes. The highway only gets light use, and seems to die down about bedtime.

This was my weekend office. I took a book, a manuscript that needs edited, and the idea for a short story along with me. I managed some reading and editing.

This was a wildlife dead zone for some reason. There were no birds, no squirrels, not even the typical morning deer visit. The camp was covered in some kind of sego lily though, and they were pretty.

There was a nice stream just beyond our campsite, and Otto was thrilled. He isn't much of a swimmer, but wading and drinking wild water is a big deal. Go Otto, it's the little things right, buddy.

Frankie wasn't too interested in the stream. She preferred sunrise with Dad while editing and reading.

She's lost that baby face, but doesn't quite look like an adult yet. She had a good time chewing up sticks and chasing her ball, but developed a “hot spot” underneath her harness. It will take a couple of days to dry that out.

We took a drive to Stanley on Saturday. Stanley is traditionally one of the coldest spots in North America. People only notice that in the winter, but it applies in the summer too. Most of the time, it's either Stanley, or Whitefish, Montana. There are times where it's colder in Stanley and Whitefish than in the arctic.

We went to check out Stanley Lake along the way. I've always wanted to camp there, and my wife wrote down the slot numbers for the best spaces. Maybe in February we'll reserve one of the good ones and not chance to luck. That's how far ahead you have to reserve a site.

We went on to Redfish Lake, because we had a great weekend there years ago. It's too damned busy now, and we'll be giving Redfish a pass. Beautiful, yes – soothing, no.

I stopped along the way and grabbed you a random tourist shot of the Sawtooth Mountains. Maybe you'll want to visit one day.

I got a lot of reading done. I made progress on the editing. Short stories just weren't possible.

I decided to watch the stars come out last night, and thought I might see a bat. Woods, plus stream, equals insects – which bats love. Nary a bat in sight. Not even a Black Butte Porter or two helped me focus enough see one. I did get a fun idea for a story I'm going to call Little Brown Bat. It will probably be a bit of micro-fiction and post on my blog.

I missed the whole blog, social media, projects aspect of the weekend, but that's kind of the point. Sometimes a guy just needs to unplug. It would defeat the purpose to try and make up for everything I missed. If you posted something I should see, please let me know. I like to support my fellow authors. Heaven forbid I missed something that pertained to me or one of my books, so drop me a line if that's the case.

Otherwise, I spent the weekend unplugged away from wifi and even cellular service, and I'm not going to work doubly hard to catch up with everything.

Hope all of you had great weekends too.

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Still editing

I have more editing to do, so I headed for the writing cabin after tending the dogs. I flew the little gyrocopter low across the forest, around the meadow, and banked toward the landing strip.

That's when all Hell broke loose. An explosion sent rocks and sod soaring over a hundred feet into the air.

I pulled up on the stick and banked right. When I came around, the cabin still stood, but I wondered what the hell was going on.

Lisa Burton crackled across my radio. “I was paying attention to something else. Didn't know you were getting so close. Come on in, I promise it's safe.”

I touched down but veered at the end to avoid a six foot stone that landed at the end of the runway. The gyrocopter veered off into the soft dirt and grass. I left it there, and climbed out of the cockpit.

Lisa came running. “Sorry about that. I've been trying to dig a spot for your underground thingie. It's too rough for a shovel, so I tried the tractor. That didn't work either. Turns out Idaho is a sequence of granitic batholiths. I can't get your thing deep enough any other way.”

“It's a shelter, not a thingie–“

Lisa pushed me behind the gyrocopter.

She pushed down on the plunger and my knees buckled beneath me.

“Stop that!”

“Sorry, I thought you needed the shelter for your next story.”

“It's one of my next stories.”

“I found the outline and checked it out. Estivation is a cool title. I googled it, and it's like hibernation only in extreme heat.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“So what are we going to do down there, once I get it installed?”

“I figured we'd lock ourselves down there for three months, just like the people in the story. One of my author friends did some extreme research and she–“

“Oh, Hell no. You can stay down there for three months, but I have to take care of Bunny.”

“Bring him with us. It'll be fun.”

“Right, fun, until you go all Jack Nicholson from being locked up for so long.”

“I'll tell you what. You finish installing it, and then we'll talk about it. I have some editing work today.” I headed for the cabin. “And no more blasting while I'm here.”

“Killjoy. Fine, I can clear the hole with the tractor until you leave. I'll save my blasting until you go back to work.” She grabbed the gyrocopter with one hand and dragged it back onto the runway. “What about the other story? Is there something there I can work on while you're editing?”

“Not many special props for that one. It's called The Hat, so you can pick up a hat if you want.”

Squeee! I look good in hats, I'd better order a bunch of them.”

“That's the spirit. Nice quiet internet shopping while I work on Yak Guy.”

“You've got it, boss.”

“And you're going to have to bust up that rock and get it out of here.”

“No problem. With explosives.

“What's that?”

“Oh, nothing.”

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The Editing Cabin???

Frankie did her pee pee dance about six o'clock this morning, so I rushed her outside. I fed her and Otto, then headed for the writing cabin.

The place is quiet and has been for some time. Doubt the raven isn't very good company, and I always feel like he's judging me about something. I fed Lisa's rabbit and flitted between projects.

I managed to assemble the next Lisa Burton Radio post, and contacted the author for the week after that. I did a lap through social media and email before putting my editing jacket on.

I managed four chapters, and it's amazing what you'll find when you put a project aside for a month or two. I never really put The Yak Guy aside for that long, but these are early chapters and I probably haven't looked at them for six months. I found a couple of sentences that didn't make a lick of sense, but they do now. I also found a word that was too modern for the setting. It was waterbag, which is what we used to carry on the survey trucks when I was a young man. I used the term waterskin throughout the book, and it's easy to see how I got it in there. It had to go, and I fixed it. Doubt glared at me as if I still didn't have it right.

I spent some time also reading four chapters of a book. My spare time is scarce, and it's either reading or something writing related. Today I decided to split my time between the two. That was until a rumble sounded across the forest and meadow.

I ran to the front porch and stared into the woods. Something distinctly red flashed between the trees.

Lisa Burton roared down the gravel road on her new/old motorcycle. She slid to a stop on the elevator at the end of the runway, then lowered everything into the basement.

I ran back inside to meet her at the top of the stairs when she came up. “It's good to have you home.”

“What's going on out here?”

“Just tending the animals and doing a bit of editing.”

“I can see that. How did you ever get that thing on anyway?”

“I don't know, just part of the magic at the writing cabin.”

“Did you manage to write something while I was away?”

“Not so much. I scratched out a Macabre Macaroni piece, but I don't know if I'll keep it. Maybe I should start calling it the editing cabin. There hasn't been much writing going on this year.”

“I'm sure there will be. Lorelei the Muse won't let you stagnate.”

“I'm sure. Looks like you bought yourself a new toy.”

“Oh yeah, isn't it pretty. I won enough money on the cruise ship to pay for it, and still have money left over. Wanna go for a ride?”

“Um, maybe later.”

“Okay, I'm going to unpack and visit my poor lonely Bunny.”

“Glad to have you back. I think your posters came out great this time.”

“They were nice, weren't they? I like my umpire one best. I looked serious and fierce in it.”

“You had a no nonsense look on your face, that's for sure. Um, Lisa?”

“What?”

“Turns out getting into my editing jacket is easier than getting out of it. Do you mind?”

“No problem, turn around and I'll untie your sleeves.”

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Is it safe to come out yet?

Honestly, is there anyone out there who doesn't know I have a new book out? I've hit it hard over the last month or so on the promotional front. It takes time to write all those pieces. Then I have to organize my volunteer hosts, and participate in any comments we might get.

This is harder than it sounds, because I don't assign specific dates to the tour posts. I give the hosts some loose parameters, and live with what I get. I asked my hosts not to post on Thursdays, because Lisa Burton Radio is that day. My own guests deserve their day in the spotlight.

There were a couple of review posts that I didn't calculate into the mix, but I tried to support them too. I know there has been a lot of reblogging on my site through this phase. If I can benefit from my hosts' traffic, maybe they can benefit from some of mine too. It isn't much, but it feels polite to me.

Then there is the fact that all of the posts were unique. It wasn't like reading the same thing over and over. I also liked the Lisa Burton posters for this book. If you missed any of them, I included them as back of the book material. For 99ยข you can have all three of them.

The tour worked out well for mid summer. I moved about a dozen copies per day at first, and it's now trickled down to one per day. That may not sound like much, but that's all the promo I've done too. I was going to advertise on Facebook, but they've pissed me off lately. They push me to boost or advertise every single post I make. Let's face it, not every post is worth spending $20 on.

You authors out there would have met some wonderful supportive hosts if you went on the tour. Don't underestimate the value of knowing a few people like that. Someday you'll want to make a blog tour too, and there's no time like the present to make a few friends. I owe these hosts a lot, and you may see some of them over here from time to time.

I'm pretty happy as it stands now. Reviews are trickling in, and every book needs more. The point is that I have some. I got within three notches of one of the Amazon charts, but never did hit the top 100. It would have been great, but it could still happen. The Amazon machine is strange. Sell three or four in an hour and land a review on the same day and poof – top 100.

I'm checking for reviews a few times every day, but I'll calm down soon. I always have. The reviews have been positive, and that makes me very happy. This book was a risk in my mind, and those who took a chance seem to have enjoyed it.

Tomorrow I need to work on more Lisa Burton Radio posts. I have next week's post ready, I only need to assemble and schedule it. This isn't enough though. I also need to finalize the week after, and work up a couple more shticks.

I have some editing on my horizon too. Depending on how things go, I may even tackle some micro-fiction for October.

Hope you guys enjoyed the tour. Thanks for sticking with me through it, and thanks for reading and reviewing my newest book. There are more on the way.

Did you notice my restraint? No book title, no purchase link. If you're dying to know, scroll through my recent posts.

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In and out

I lost an hour today because I got a haircut and went for some food. We lost our Wingers, but they reopened in a new location. I had a craving for some sticky fingers and brought a batch home.

I finished my short story draft. It's a bit long at 5600 words, but it needs an editing pass or two. I usually lose words at that point. I'd like to send it in by the Fourth, that would give me plenty of time to make any edits they suggest. I like it, but it could use a little something. They always can.

I got more interview work done too. I stopped counting, but I have three almost ready to schedule, and a couple more shticks sent out to the authors.

Tomorrow I want to work on the editing, and write a couple more blog tour posts. I won't be checking in tomorrow, because I have a guest I'm hosting. He deserves his day in the sun, so be sure to make him feel welcome.

That's it, quick and dirty check-in. Hope you're all having a great weekend.

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Tuning up a manuscript

I woke up at 6:30 today. Hey, my wife had to work, and I'm on vacation. If the puppies let me sleep that long, I'm taking advantage of it.

I made it out to the writing cabin about 7:30. I had three dogs to feed, and forced Otto into a short, slow walk around the park next door. He's been pretty sedentary, and I wanted him to move around a little bit.

Lisa is still gone, having scheduled her own vacation right after she finished up posing for Sean Harrington. Right now, it's just me and Doubt the raven. A little bit of that New Orleans chicory coffee and I went to work.

I opened up The Enhanced League and started into my reading. My beta readers all pointed out things I used, and I wanted a final reading to make sure everything still flowed. They all had some ideas I didn't use too, but that's kind of how beta reading works. These wonderful people helped me make the book so much better.

Doubt spotted a spelling error and a formatting issue too. For these short stories, I usually start off with a date followed by a colon. Some of them had a location immediately after that, and some didn't. I revamped everything, replacing the colons with periods, and made sure they all had a location. This involved my fictional broadcast team being in some places where the location isn't relevant to the story, but that's how I did it. If nothing else, it helps define how big the league is.

I sent off an email to my formatter. I last contacted her in late April, and feel bad for taking so long. Life has a way of interrupting my writing career, and that isn't all bad either.

I decided to break up the work by assembling and scheduling a guest post for tomorrow. This is pretty simple to do, but it takes some time. I emailed the advance link back to the guest, and checked that off my task list.

Then I decided to start writing blog tour posts of my own. I only managed one, about something new in this book that I call anthems. I wrote about my inspiration to create them, and how I used them in the book. I still have more posts to write, but it feels good to get started.

That's when the phone rang. “Hello.”

“Hi, this is Lisa. Just wanted to see how you're getting along.”

“Oh, fine. It's the first day of my vacation. How's your vacation?”

“It's good, I finished up with Sean yesterday and grabbed a bus out of town.”

“A bus?”

“You know robot girls can't pass through TSA machines. It's a bus or come home to get the rocket-pack.”

“Oh yeah, from the second Notebook. Where did you decide to go?”

“I'm in sunny Southern California right now. There are cruise ships operating out of San Diego, and I may decide to play a little blackjack.”

“Hardly fair with your card counting skills.”

“It isn't illegal to be smarter than they are. Besides, it's my main source of spending money.”

“What about your paycheck?”

“That's cute, but it doesn't provide the kind of wardrobe I'm used to.”

“Well, try to have a good time. Then I need you to help me with a time travel story. Right after that I need to polish up The Yak Guy Project. Before you know it, we'll be starting on The Hat, and Estivation. We need some Macabre Macaroni stories too.”

“It all sounds like fun. The posters are going to be awesome.”

“With you and Sean, I never have any doubts. Can't wait to see them. Do you think I need to find a bus depot and pick you up eventually?”

“Um, I'll keep you posted on that. Bye.”

Research Note: The Henderson Motorcycle Company was an American company. If it were still around, it would be revered right alongside Harley Davidson. They were part of the Schwinn Bicycle company. The Henderson Streamliner is an Art Deco masterpiece.

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