Tag Archives: editing

A small update

I put the finishing touches to The Viral Blues this morning before dogs and family started stirring.

From my perspective, it was good enough to share with critique partners, but I have a lot to fix. They were all fast today, and I had responses before we even finished our goofing around for the day.

We decided to drive back to Donnelly, absent the trailer. My USFS maps indicate a lot of campgrounds on the back side of Cascade Reservoir. In all these years, I’ve never taken the drive around the lake, and today was the day.

The best campgrounds were near Donnelly, and after the pavement ended there wasn’t a lot to offer on that front. Beautiful, no doubt, but not quite what we were looking for in a campground. (There is a custom hat maker in Donnelly, but I resisted. This is like catnip to me, but when you’re broke all the time you have to behave.)

I was a bit disappointed in the road maintenance. The Forest Circus usually keeps the roads bladed pretty well, and while this road is big, it’s a pothole and washboard disaster.

We stopped one place to let the dogs potty. Otto was impressed that squirrels here live in the ground. He sniffed and dug at several holes. Frankie just freaks out, because she loves her own yard.

I snapped a few photos, but they all came out about the same. Here is one if you’d like to get a look at the scenery.

A more responsible photographer would have stepped off the road

There are ospreys everywhere you look, but not an eagle in sight. We also saw tons of pretty songbirds, and a few white pelicans on the water.

We’re getting ready for supper right now. I worked through one of the critiques, but am saving the others for later. I’m off Monday too, and that might be a good time for those.

If I get far enough, I might start the word searches on Serang.

Here is a still life from inside the camper.

I’ll probably fiddle around with Pinterest or something after supper. We thought about bringing a DVD of Captain Marvel, but blew it off.

We’ll go home at a leisurely pace tomorrow. That will give us time to wash the camper off, put our stuff away, and still have a day to accomplish things on monday.

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Crazy day, good stuff

Old What’s Her Face is still working nights. This meant another day of keeping everyone quiet so she could sleep a bit.

We had breakfast together again, then she unwound for an hour before heading for bed.

Quiet time is great for authors. I worked through the previous segment of Serang, then started writing again. Today’s effort came to about 3600 words. Something else wonderful happened too. At 75,000 words, it came to the end. Serang is now a first draft.

I fiddled with the new part for a few hours, then sent it to my critique partners. Next weekend I’ll look at all the critique suggestions, then may start my editing passes. It’s best to put it aside and look with fresh eyes, but the first chapters are months old to my eyes. I can do all my word searches on weeknights.

Honestly, I nearly made it. I wanted it out before school ends, but it wasn’t meant to be. This might turn into a November release now.

I’m torn about sharing this, because it’s going to be so long before anyone can actually read it. A peek at the cover might whet someone’s reader brain, so here it is:

This one is a companion piece to Voyage of the Lanternfish, but is quite a bit more serious. Serang is a serious character and deserves to be treated accordingly.

The weird part is our weather. We had a drizzle of rain when I got up, followed by sunshine, then thunder and lightning, then more sun, then a torrential downpour, wind, sun, another downpour, a hailstorm, sun, another hailstorm, and it’s sunny right now. Who knows what the rest of the day will bring. Maybe something cool like a haboob. Mostly I just like saying haboob, it’s probably too wet out there for one.

I think I’ll probably spend tomorrow getting acquainted with The Viral Blues once more. I put this aside in a misguided attempt to get Serang published before summer. Don’t know if I’ll do more writing on it, but it could happen.

Either that or I’ll scope out some old movies. John Wayne will probably be winning World War Two somewhere for Memorial Day. Hope everyone has a lovely holiday tomorrow.

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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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Tolerable productivity

It was another good day, but doesn’t compare to yesterday. Yesterday was one of the rare ones.

My goal was to work on edits to the Serang story. After I got off the phone with my parents, I didn’t feel like it. I accomplished a lot of procrastination today. Editing is one of my least favorite things.

I caved and added to the nameless project. It isn’t as much as yesterday, but it was a good day. It came to about a half chapter, maybe a bit more.

This section involved rescuing our heroes by using Gina’s backup plan. This top secret spirit of vengeance made a mess of the zombies, and that was before the bad guys pissed him off.

Hint: this one includes a lot of my previous characters. This one seemed to be a fan favorite at one time. Hint #2: the voodoo ritual took place beside a lake.

These guys are heroes, but against 75 to a hundred slobbering smelly zombies they needed a bit of help. Plus Lisa is out of commission.

Lizzie and the hat rushed the crane that manipulates the electro-magnet. It was operated by a type-one zombie. These are more Voodoo centric and aren’t the same thing Walking Dead fans might be thinking about.

They reached him about the time the “spirit of vengeance” arrived on the scene. This required some ducking for cover. Eventually, they got to the crane and we had adventures in operating the most complicated piece of equipment in existence. Typical Lizzie and the hat banter accompanied this scene, but their friends didn’t get crushed by an old Impala. A few zombies did.

Lisa is still out of it, but the extinguishing of the magnet will allow her to start on the road back. (She’s going to be so pissed at me when she gets back to work.)

Gupta got shot during the firefight, and Lizzie and the hat popped him to their secret cabin for some first aid. I’m now debating what kind of archaic old weaponry Lizzie’s ancestors might have stored there. This really is for a humorous scene involving Lisa (Still out of it), but I don’t know whether to include it or not.

We looked at my open browser windows a week ago, and that was kind of fun. Here’s what’s open right now:

  • Entertaining Stories. (Naturally)
  • Two different pages for that online convention. I did sign up for it, but have no idea what I’m doing.
  • Oils in Witchcraft and Hoodoo.
  • Hoodoo candle magic.
  • The Gutenberg Bible.
  • Psalms and Verses in Hoodoo.
  • Grumman F2F airplane. (Oops, another hint.)
  • Stinger missiles.
  • Photographs of crane interiors.
  • Coban medical wrap.
  • Injection vials.

This could only be one of my stories, right? I was particularly happy with my Voodoo/Hoodoo ritual. The secret to these is to do some research, then make it all up anyway – but based upon that research.

I did move on to the Serang edits. I worked through two of three critiques. These need to be done, but I also needed some whiny time. I could have moved the team-up story further down the line. I could have dealt with the last Serang critique. A little of both isn’t bad, but I’m left with that feeling of not getting something off my list.

No idea what I’ll do tomorrow. The same projects are still on my list. It might be smart to slow down the team-up story. It’s at around 35,000 words right now. I don’t want to bring it in under 50K.

There will be some words dedicated to the wrap-up. Gina promised the participants rewards, plus we need to see the positive result of their effort. Quarantines need to be ended even if it’s just a blurb on the television. Gina and Gupta aren’t “contractors” in this tale. They don’t get rewards.

I’m thinking about doing a self imposed quarantine at the mansion for all the characters. This means they’re going to get exposed to one of the viruses.

Lisa and Jason Fogg seem to be immune to everything, and the dog gets a free pass. Would a brief section of being too close for comfort and bickering be hard for readers to digest? I haven’t seen this done at the end of the story before. It’s usually a getting acquainted section at the beginning. I could trickle in knowledge that their efforts paid off. What do you guys think? You’re all readers.

There is a risk in dragging this part out. I have a lot of characters, and only the main ones will get focus in this part of the story. I’ll probably limit this to Lizzie and the hat, Lisa Burton, and briefly Clovis.

For this reason, maybe my best bet is to shift over to Serang tomorrow.

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Fiddling around friday

I woke up about 5:30 this morning. Sometimes life is just that way. I goofed around and checked email, my RSS feeds, Facebook, and all the other places. Email notifications reminded me that I had the post at Story Empire today. I recommended a craft book I really enjoyed. Here is a link, if you want to check it out.

Then I moved on to my work in progress. My last section was pretty action packed, so this one slowed things down. Clues were gained during the action bit, so some of those were examined in this section. These sections are always slower to write too for some reason. Still, 2600 new words is nothing to sneeze at.

I wrote with a handicap this morning too. I had both bulldogs in my lap the whole time. That’s about 120 pounds of fun to dodge with my iPad.

There must have been a dozen times they had to go outside to chase the squirrel. I’m a good doggie daddy, so I played along. Not a bad word count at all considering.

Then I went through a stage of polishing Lanternfish up. This took a couple of hours, but I’m glad I did it. I think it improves the overall product.

Beyond that it wasn’t too exciting. I needed time to think about my story, and stopped about noon. That’s about the time Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow came on. I decided to watch it again. Gwyneth had great hair in this one. Back then she was kind of known for her hair.

That’s about it for me. It’s personally exciting, but not exactly blog worthy. I’ll spend the rest of the night monitoring comments here and at Story Empire. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Planning and scheming

This is my flex day. I mentioned before that I work ten hour days, and get a rotating day off each week. We get the occasional three day weekend out of the deal, and this is one of mine. It also allows for a bit of manipulation if you watch the calendar. That’s what I’ve done for November.

My next flex day is Wednesday the 7th. I took vacation on the 8th and 9th. This means I’m off from the 7th through the 12th, because the 12th is a holiday. Burn 20 hours of vacation and get six days off. Not a bad deal.

This weekend is going to be all about clearing the decks. We’re taking the camper to have it winterized this afternoon. Since we got paid, we’ll probably work in date night. I can still get my Halloween tee shirt at Old Chicago if we hurry, and that’s likely where we’ll end up. Probably time to coil up the hoses and drain the water heater to keep ahead of the silt. I might even get a haircut, just to get it out of the way.

I’ll have time to work on some Lisa Burton Radio slots if anyone is interested. The recent ones have produced really well. Some of that has to do with the book being presented, but also the involvement of the author. The last few authors have shared everywhere, and are still sharing everywhere. I see the click throughs to Amazon too. Lisa could use another few guests right now.

I’ll probably keep polishing up Lanternfish this weekend.

During my vacation I want to hit it hard. There is a new story I started, and my work life just didn’t allow me time to do much with it. If I clear the decks this weekend, my vacation time is wide open to make some real progress.

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Trying to get some things done

I’m doing all the fussy little things today. Things like making sure I have battery chargers in my suitcase for my trip. I set out my wallet and other glasses to make sure they get packed too.

Then there are things I can’t pack until morning. Things like combs and blood pressure medication.

I used the app to get my boarding pass. It also gave me my employee’s boarding pass, and I hope it doesn’t screw him up. I suppose we can meet at TSA and go in together somehow.

I looked for a Steelers game, but it doesn’t look like there is one today.

After placing some things out, I decided to tackle a few more chapters of Lanternfish. I got through a couple, but there were interruptions.

“Daddy, this looks like fun. Check out my rope toy.”

Meanwhile, Otto decided to go spelunking again.

I’m still remembering things, and getting up to place them out for my trip. I should probably focus on that and get offline for a while.

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Happy Wednesday

I’ve been slacking off on the blog, because I’ve been doing a lot of things that don’t relate to the author’s life. When I do, they aren’t the sexy things. One of the things I’ve always done is share this life – warts and all, so that’s what today is about.

I spent the last week in a trade conference for my paycheck job. There weren’t a lot of extra hours available. Next week, I’m going to Texas for a conference that is more directly related to what I do. All part of the job.

This week was my week to catch up… except… we scheduled job interviews. This is because all of us on the interview team have been in and out for a month. The other two members are tied up for the next two weeks.

There is an outside chance that I can make some real progress on Friday, so I have my fingers crossed.

On the writing front, this was my flex day, and I spent it working on the stuff nobody ever talks about. It’s part of the writing life, and it has to get done too.

I wrote a post for Story Empire that will go live next week. I also assembled and scheduled a Lisa Burton Radio interview. I mention this, because this stuff takes time. It has value, so I forge ahead. It has value to me, and it helps other authors too. If you haven’t checked out Story Empire, you might want to cruise over. There is a wealth of information authors can take advantage of.

I dedicated a big part of this morning to finishing up a book I’ve been reading. I fiddled around with this for far too long, and I needed to finish it. I even resorted to reading one chapter on my 30 minute lunch breaks. At least I got four chapters per week that way. It was a wonderful story, and I gave the author a five star review on three different sites.

Time. It’s all about time, which seems to be in short supply these days.

I like to read on airplanes, but I like to find things I don’t necessarily have to finish. This time, I have a couple of craft books saved that I might dive into. Other flight, I’ve chosen short story collections, or even novellae, because I can finish them. (I made that word up, but novellae seems like it should be right.)

On Tuesday, I got another Lisa Burton poster via email. (It looks really cool too.) That means I have the Lanternfish cover, plus two promotional posters. I ordered the last one, and it looks like I’ll be able to meet my winter publication deadline pretty easily.

To round out my day off, I worked through nine chapters of Lanternfish. I found a few things to correct, even though this is about my third pass. Good news is that I’m really enjoying the story still. I think that bodes well for my future readers.

I nearly wrote that I worked through nine innings of my book. Can you tell I’ve been watching the baseball playoffs? I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the games have been very good. (I’m not cheering for any specific team, but I’m glad the National League will go back to Front Row Amy’s ballpark.) There’s one on right now, and I’d better get back to it.

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Did it anyway…

Today, I started off calling my parents, like any other Sunday. They’re planning to visit in a couple of weeks, and that should be fun.

After that, I had decisions to make. I could start another complete reread of Lanternfish. I could read some fiction I’m sorely behind on. I could read a craft book I’ve been chipping away at.

I decided to work on my new WIP instead. I find editing to be mind numbing. It has to be done, but not as a kind of death march. It just needs to be finished before publication. I’m still about a month and a half out from having all my promotional artwork.

The first thing I did was to delete 1000 to 1500 words I already had written. Then I added 3500 new words. Beginnings are tough, and there are some boxes I need to check off. I’m much happier with this version. All the characters have been introduced, and both the big picture and a secondary problem are on the table.

Oddly enough for me, this is where I’m going to start my outline. This isn’t how I typically do things, but it feels right in this case. With everything I have going on during October, I may not add new words for several weeks. I have some work related travel, the visit from my parents, and more going on. I’m okay with that. It’s a workable starting point, and a bit of daydreaming time will improve the final product.

A bit of theory is that editing can fill in the corners I’m left with. I’m also good at reading on airplanes. My storyboard app goes everywhere I do, so I can add index cards or sticky notes as things occur to me.

I mentioned last night that I built a storyboard for a subsequent project. I really like having even partial storyboards prepared ahead of time. It cuts down on that problem of wondering what I’ll write next.

Baseball ended without a whimper today. My team really stunk up the second half, and gets to watch the playoffs from a beach somewhere. I’m watching some football right now, and hope they deliver a better season than my baseball team did.

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Yuck!

I spent my entire day doing word searches on Lanternfish. I’m not joking about spending eighth hours on this project. I got all the way to the end, but it necessitates another complete reading of the manuscript now. No idea when I’ll get to that. There are a couple of books I’ve been trying to read, and I’m not finding the time for them.

My daughter showed up from Sun Valley for a few hours today. I stopped all progress, and had a nice visit with her. This is more important than word searches and edits.

One of my goals was to write some new words, and that may not happen. I get a four day weekend, but tomorrow is always an odd day with some personal requirements.

After I posted last night, I spent some time on an outline. In my case, they are storyboards. I made a huge dent in the storyboard for a novella I want to write. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is some progress. About all I have to do now is ramp up the tension points, and check some timelines. I will probably pin some graphics to my board, because they always help, but I could almost start writing it today. I won’t, because I’m working on something else, and haven’t got Lanternfish out the door yet.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably spend the rest of my weekend on edits. Had I dedicated myself to new words, I could have cranked ten-thousand of them over four days. Lamenting this probably isn’t a good idea, but that’s what I’m doing right now.

I’m going to call it a day, crack open another pumpkin beer, then turn on some baseball. There are only a couple of games left this season, and I want to get my money’s worth from the season pass on television.

I’ll hit it again tomorrow.

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