Tag Archives: errands

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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First day of my working vacation

I don't have to return to the office until Monday. That means I should get some writing done, in theory. Today wasn't the best for it though.

I had to take my truck in for service this morning. That took a couple of hours, but I took Wings of Mayhem along with me and spent my time reading. This is shaping up to be a fantastic book if you're looking for something to read.

Otto monopolized a bunch of my time when I got home. He's still in the “put things in my mouth and bite them phase.” The things are usually my feet or hands, but to change it up on occasion, my chest played a part too.

I'd type a few words and extract my foot from the puppy's mouth. Not too much productivity. I distracted him by putting a cup of ice in his outside water bowl. It didn't preserve any writing time, because I made a quick video and posted it to Facebook. Otto fans can check it out over there. There is a link thingie in my sidebar.

I managed to finish my short story about two dipshits chasing Chupacabra in the New Mexico desert. I think it needs some tuning, but I'm counting it as success.

As far as the short stories go, some of them I love, some of them feel like filler to me. Funny thing though, I felt the same way with my first Experimental Notebook, but the feedback didn't reflect that. Every story in that book was someone's favorite. I need to listen to my gut, and possibly the Raven of Doubt, but I need to move the next Notebook ahead. I have one more story I want to write, then I'll be content.

In other news, I managed to get the comments up on this blog with my last post. The likes didn't increase at all, but I managed to get people talking. Who knows, maybe my “liker” is defective.

And in still other news:

Lisa is still excited about what she calls “Mad sign shaker skills.” She's looking for more characters to host on her radio program.

These posts take a few rounds to piece together, so I'd like to get a couple more started. I've been sharing the posts on Flipboard, Stumbleupon, two Facebook sites, and Twitter multiple times on the day of the post. I've also taken to tweeting the old posts out on Fridays at random. It's a popular bit so please consider it if you're a fiction writer. It may be the only character interview slot out there.

Here is the link if you'd like to take part: Lisa Burton Radio

I don't know what the rest of the evening will bring. I want to read more Wings of Mayhem. I need to read the last few chapters of The Yak Guy Project to get ready for writing more of it. My wife will insist on Lip Sync Battle sometime tonight.

Tomorrow, I expect to write something. It could be Yak Guy, it could be the urban wildlife story. Depends upon how much danger my toes are in.

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Cursed!

I must be cursed. I never got to do any writing last weekend, and the near future isn't looking any better.

Today, I had a recurring appointment to get my blood pressure medication refilled. I knew this was coming for a long time, and should have allowed me some quality time this afternoon. Then my eye doctor called and my glasses were in.

The appointments weren't exactly back to back, so I decided to surrender and got a haircut while I was out. The day was shot, so I tried to make the best of it.

The best I could manage was to rough-out the shtick for a future Lisa Burton Radio interview. I got it sent out, and it's going to be a fun one. Then again, I think they're all fun.

This weekend, I've been invited to a family event at a State Park. This will kill Saturday.

I took two days off next week, and they are already booking up with errands. Does anyone know any rituals to recover lost writing time?

I've slacked off on personal promotion too. This is by design, because I've never been able to accomplish much during the summer. Maybe it's the kind of books I write. Books about girls at the beach might be more popular this time of year. God bless them, and I hope they sell a ton. I'd like some consideration when the kids go back to school though.

I'm already pondering some plans for a September/October push. This is how my mind works. I'll probably do multiple things at once to spur things along.

On the plus side, I'm pretty happy with my new glasses. Otto is growing and getting a lot more active. His favorite game is still put things in his mouth and bite them. At least he's moved beyond my toes.

They say Bulldogs don't do well with temperature extremes. Otto loves being outside, even though it's over a hundred degrees today. He's learned how to cool off, and likes to sleep on the air conditioner vent. I've never had a dog who wanted anything to do with the vents, so this is kind of unusual.

This evening, I am going to try to read, but I expect occasional trips outside, broken up by visits to the vent.

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Strange day off

I had an errand to run that ate up a chunk of my day off. It was a contentious point under my roof. It's time to drop off our taxes with the accountant. I tried to talk my wife into dropping them off after she got off work, and apparently, this was a ridiculous idea. The accountant is one block from where she works. As a result, I drove fifteen miles through traffic, spent 30 seconds dropping off the package, and another fifteen miles through traffic to get back home. I don't get it, but it ate up a chunk of my day and tainted my attitude.

I did some reading when I got back, then decided I had to do something progressive.

I uploaded a Lisa picture to Facebook to promote The Cock of the South to a couple of groups I joined. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. I created a different one for Twitter that doesn't feature Lisa. Scratch off the fact that I accomplished something.

I spent a limited amount of time researching items for the stories currently underway. I avoided the Sirens this time. When I find time to write again, I have a better idea of what I need to include.

I decided to take a visual break and surfed for my next background. I downloaded four or five, because it's a struggle to get one to fit on the narrow edges of this blog. Images need to be free, and they need a strong vertical element to work best. Even then, I have to crop them to get the vertical element to the sides. With that many images, one should work well.

March arrives next Tuesday, and that's when my critique group meets again. I sent my submission out days ago, and could have worked on their submissions today. I just didn't. I'll probably get to it sometime this weekend. My next rotating day off is Monday, and that might be a good time.

This evening will bring more reading. If I need a break, I may work on a short story briefly. This one involves a return to Bergamot Holler, the key area in Will O' the Wisp. I have some fun ideas for it, and am excited to see where it goes.

Sales have been strange lately, and I'm getting a lot more pages read than actual sales. That doesn't bother me at all. I'm happy to have action. If you joined Amazon Prime, and want to check out my stories for free, please do. I have no idea why this happens. I haven't done much promotion lately other than Twitter, and the new Facebook stuff. I'm sure more promotion would net more results, but I can only do so much.

Right now, I'm stressed for writing time. I can post a Tweet with some decent hashtags and get it online in seconds. Writing guest posts takes a bit of time, and blog tours require monitoring. I'll be doing that soon enough, but it isn't in the cards right now.

It won't be long before I hear back from the beta readers. I'm anxious to see what they thought about The Playground. Working on that book will take priority at that time. Then I'll have to move toward launch, and get all the guest posts written. I already have a couple of them, but need to keep pecking away at them.

Somewhere in the middle of this, I have a fun new idea for this blog. I'm not ready to announce it just yet, but it's going to require some hours too. I'm looking forward to it though, and am chomping at the bit to get started on it. It will all happen in time, so I'm better suited to clear some other things off my plate right now.

Back to the plate clearing.

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