Tag Archives: errands

Sunday update

My parents were here this weekend, and I was about ready for a small writing break. It’s in my nature to lament every lost day, but I’ve hit it pretty hard this year. We tried a new franchise restaurant called the Longhorn, and I have a hunch it will go on our regular rotation.

Aside from visits and dinner out, I didn’t get much done. I dedicated a small amount of time to critiques I received back on HMS Lanternfish. I messed up a lot of things here, but getting one of my own characters misnamed is a new one on me. Truthfully, she is a peripheral character, and … I have no idea. Thank God for sharper eyes than my own.

I’m all set up to write tomorrow, because it’s my flex day. This isn’t going to work out well, because I have to drive to the bank and make a deposit. This might sound like general whining, but there isn’t a bank in my small town. I need to get this done, so I can pay my formatter. After that, I’ll dedicate some time to sending out the manuscript and all the graphics that go in Viral Blues.

I have to keep moving things forward to hit my release schedule. Things like HMS Lanternfish aren’t even on the release radar yet. Once Viral Blues is in hand, then I’ll focus on Serang. I’ll have to get a bunch of blog tour posts ready, too.

Tonight, I may turn my attention to my next Story Empire post. Or, I could get distracted by a cowboy or pirate movie, or Jurassic Park, or aliens of some kind, or Hobbits. I’m not picky, and that’s part of the problem.

Tomorrow is a crap shoot. I may work on my story, or I could dedicate time to the peripheral projects. Depends upon how the day shakes out.

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One of those kind of days

I woke up this morning to the mellow tones of Otto barfing on my bedroom floor. That’s one of those sounds that wakes you completely up. It was 4:00 AM. He’s fine, sometimes he gets snotty and chokes. I’ve woken up coughing more than once myself.

Since I was up, I had some quiet time and spent it reading. I don’t often get to read these days, and relished the opportunity. As a young man I could devour a book per day. These days it’s more like a book per month.

I’m currently writing two stories at once, and intended to devote some time to both of them. I had a pile of critiques to address on one of them, and did that this morning. If I don’t do anything else, at least I got that done.

I looked to the other one and discovered a problem. This is me, being anal, but it completely stifled me. I’ve been working on it using two different computers, one Apple and one PC. (We get a lot of hour long lunches during January and February due to the holiday weeks.)

Specifically, I’m using Microsoft Word and Apple Pages for iPad. My problem involves straight quotes vs curly quotes. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? Some whizbang formatting trick and all should be well. (Apostrophes are the same way.)

I tried the help link in Pages to no avail. I Googled what to do, seemed like some reasonable suggestions, except they didn’t work. I found instructions to try on a Mac. Okay, I have a Mac. I opened my manuscript and went through the step by step instructions. Very easy to follow… except it didn’t work.

I fiddled around myself, and if I delete my paragraph marks, the entire super-paragraph takes on the format I want. Then I can hit return again, make the quotes the way I want them before moving to the next paragraph.

This is possible, but I’m not going to do it just yet. I’m going to see if I can fix it using Word. At this point I gave up completely.

This is my short weekend, and I have other things that need tending. I got a haircut, paid the bills, and we have some errands in town. We’ll probably go out to dinner while we’re out.

Tomorrow is the day I call my parents, and I’m not going to address it then either.

I have some decent time coming up, and I’ll take up the keyboard then.

I hope you are having a better weekend than I am. Boise is covered in snow and ice, but it’s pretty shallow. More freezing than anything else. Maybe some beef and beer will improve my outlook tonight.

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Life takes precedence

I never even opened my manuscript today. Not one new word, or bit of editing. My wife and I were both off and decided to dedicate ourselves to other things, like each other.

The day started off with peach waffles.

Fresh from the backyard, these were awesome. There is a waffle in a baggie, and a few more spoonfuls of peaches in the refrigerator. I might do this again tomorrow.

It’s getting to where finding a good peach on the tree is a challenge. The birds are having a field day back there right now. There are probably about ten bushel baskets left on the tree. It grows enough for all of us, and I’m about finished with peaches for this year.

We had to get my wife’s car serviced today, so we spent an hour at the dealership. Service is free there, and free is important to us right now.

After that, we went to Old Chicago for pizza, and I had beer. There were a few stops on the way home to get Otto a new ball, and my wife some lemon cucumbers.

I pulled an odd stunt today. My out and about glasses are bifocals, and they darken in the sun. I elected to leave them home in favor of the progressives. All the material says you have to wear the progressives, or you’re never going to get used to them.

I would have liked to have the shades, but I’m determined to get used to these odd lenses. It’s working out really well. They have a distance correction, and that’s very clear. So far so good.

Drinking a couple of heavy dark beers, then heading out to 100 degree bright sunlight, was pretty strange. The peripheral vision on these things is dismal at best. Everything moves in an unreal fashion off to the sides. I may, or may not have said something to my wife about how her jelly was jiggling.

Honestly, I’m getting along well with the progressives, but there is a reason I have the other glasses too.

It’s looking like new fiction over the coming weekend is on thin ice. I only have two days this time, and we’re both off together. This story has no deadlines, so I’m not going to let it bother me.

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Short and sweet

Today was a day of errands and correspondence. We watched the Kentucky Derby, and will head for the movie theater in an hour or so. Is it ever not muddy at the Kentucky Derby?

I usually watch the pregame show for the Derby too, but errands got in the way. Since I'm going to write a story called The Hat, I kind of wanted to see all the girls in big hats for research purposes.

The errands were important though. We bought a bag of puppy chow, a new doggie bed, a tiny little harness and leash, a new bowl, and some new baby toys. While we were out, the breeder sent us a few pictures.

This is the sweet part of my post.

Just look at that face.

A very patient cat helped lend a bit of size perspective here.

Next Saturday, we'll drive back to Burley and pick her up. Otto loved the puppies when we visited, but I hope he isn't a toy hog. He's going to have to share with Frankie from next week on.

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Back to work tomorrow

Okay, so I admit to being responsible for my own attitude. Last week was shitty, and I can either walk in with a bad attitude, or find a way to get over it. It won't be easy, but I hope I'm capable of getting on with things.

I finished all my promotional posts, but they need a little time to ferment before I send them out. They're all pretty minimal right now and maybe a little more will occur to me. I also finished up this week's Lisa Burton Radio and got it scheduled.

Then a friend suggested a guest post, and I roughed something out but it's still in the works. I also managed reading a half dozen chapters of a new book.

Beyond that, I did my errands and spent a few hours running around town. I'm calling it a good day, even though there was no new fiction involved.

Ennis Fine Furniture is having a warehouse auction that I'd really like to attend. It's on a week night after work, and doesn't fit into either of our schedules. This is mostly about commuting, but we're going to have to give it a pass. My wife has never been to an auction, and it might be interesting. (Twenty miles home, twenty miles back, twenty miles home again. Her alarm goes off at 2:30, mine at 4:00, and we just started Daylight Savings Time… no.)

Thursday is critique group, but there are only two of us now. That won't take very long, and it's near the office.

I have company coming next weekend, so I'm in good shape to slack off a little. It's probably good to step back from Yak Guy, even though I can see the finish line. When I can pick it up, I'll be in a good place to work on it.

Hope you guys had a good Monday.

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Partial project day

Today was dedicated to finishing tasks. Some were started, some weren't, and I didn't get all the way through the list.

I need five posts for a promo I'm going to be doing. I still have two left to write, and those that exist need a little something too. Watch this space, and you may find some great deals on my books in the next couple of weeks. I blog about bulldogs, and movies, writing, and all kinds of things, but occasionally I need to mention that I have books to sell. “Hey, I have books to sell.”

The good news is that I don't return to the paycheck job until Tuesday. I have one more day to work on them.

I intended to do some reading today, but failed completely. We went to one of our favorite places last night, then I stayed up late playing video games with my son. Somehow, I forgot to plug in my iPad. No juice = no reading. I used what little juice remained to pay bills today, so I can scratch that off the list.

I dedicated my analog time to working on a critique. My crit group is on life support after several years. We're down to two members remaining, but we're meeting next week anyway. Part of the discussion will be about how to get new members. I don't know too many writers in the Boise area, but I'd really like to keep this going. I get different values from critique and beta readers. I want both.

While recharging, I found a movie. I said yesterday that Skull Island left me a little flat. Today, on cable, I watched Bridge of Spies, with Tom Hanks. This movie gave me more than I expected, and I would watch it again. I knew the story, but seeing it dramatized was well worth it. Great movie.

Tomorrow, I have to get my truck sniff tested. It's an absurd local regulation, but I have to do it. I may check my meds and try getting them refilled while I'm out. I need to write two more promo posts, and I'm going to read come hell or high water.

Next weekend brings the return of company, so no writing. I'm at a point in Yak Guy where I need to decide how much wandering around in the wilderness is acceptable. Too much will bore readers. I could work this toward the end, but it might wind up being a 70K word novel. In this modern era, maybe that is preferable. It's definitely preferable to boring readers with too much star gazing.

Talk to me here. Did you get a different vibe from Skull Island? Have you seen Bridge of Spies? Do you know any Boise area fiction authors who would like to join a critique group? Are you interested in some great book deals in the first week of April? How do you feel about novels on the short side of word count? How in the heck do you guys find time for your reading?

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A day of errands

I got up fairly early today with good intentions of working on my novel. Otto made sure everyone else got up too. Novel writing ended before it began.

This is one of the saving graces of having a short fiction project. It may sound funny, but it doesn't require the same level of concentration. There is no three act structure or large sweeping plot to keep track of. My short fiction has an underlying theme, and it has a timeline to follow, but it's so loose a few distractions don't ruin my ability to forge ahead.

I made a pass through a mostly finished story, repaired a few things and brought it to an ending. Then I wrote the micro-fiction about the fall out. I really like the recurring characters on the news broadcast, and they did a great job on this one.

After that the errands began in earnest. The plan was to get the replacement chair for the one Otto devoured. We'd use my wife's car, because it sleeted all day today. The new chair could stay warm and dry inside her SUV. Then we'd retrieve my truck, wash off the bird assault, and buy a Christmas tree.

The reality was that we got the chair, stopped at Whole Foods for some small items, (and a couple of good beers,) then picked out a tree on the way home. My wife didn't want to tie it to the roof of her car, but she didn't want to make a return trip to town even worse. The boys at the lot did a great job tying it down. My truck still looks like a victim of a certain Hitchcock movie.

So the chair is installed, the tree is here, and we'll assemble it tomorrow. She had to go to a work event tonight, so it's just Otto and me.

I used the opportunity to move ahead on a book I've been reading. I still have a ways to go, but it's been a fun read so far. My eyes are giving out now, and I might turn on the television or some music for the rest of the night.

Hope you all had a great Saturday, or are enjoying your Saturday night. I see a Frank Miller film is on later, and I've never seen this one. I used some of his style when I concocted The Playground. If I watch that, I can count it as research, right?

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