Tag Archives: family

Is it even worth talking about?

My wife has to work all weekend. This is usually a prophesy for some quality writing time. We both have Monday off, but I don’t mind that. Some time together is a fine thing.

Our daughter came home for the weekend too. This is an obstacle to any writing I want to do.

I got up early, did my usual social media tour, then started into my project. I always re-read my last chapter before moving ahead. I modified a couple of lines, fixed some typos, that kind of thing.

Then I started writing. Serang and her master decided to take their new boat down the river. Turns out neither of them ever operated a boat before. They have a few things to learn. The purpose is to move to the sea, and the next event. Then again, a bit of familiarity with boats, then ships, is important to who Serang becomes. I kind of want to rush it, but can’t. I have some things I can pepper in to keep it interesting, like river dolphins and such.

Then… my daughter woke up.

It came to 762 words, which poses the question, is it even worth talking about?

We talked about her work, her hair, and even her makeup. Not my favorite topics, but I’ll take what I can get. She brought Jackson the cat this time, and it’s fun having him around. My dogs and Jackson were always buddies and it’s nice to see them rekindling that relationship.

I love her, and won’t trade my time with her for quality writing time. There is always another hour out there somewhere. She isn’t here all that often. She came last weekend, but I had a houseful of people. Quality time wasn’t really available.

Those measly 762 words may be all I get this weekend. I really want to get this one published before school lets out, but let’s face it… it isn’t looking too good. I’ve lost two weekends in a row now. I have two events that have to happen, and can’t just write them. This one has been an epic journey, and I need to dedicate a certain amount of time to travel.

They have to go downstream, then overland where one adventure awaits. After that we have a bit of maturing and changing of the status quo. Then a quick trip leads to the last major adventure. After that I need to devote a bit of time to the denouement.

I can only do what I am allowed to do. I may have some hard decisions to make here. If I have to release it in the summer, I likely won’t spend any money on promotion. My summer releases have always performed poorly, despite the amount of money I’ve thrown at them. What reviews I’ve gathered have always been good, but that new story becomes an old story by the time readers are shopping again.

Holding it for fall isn’t a good option either. I’ve placed one story on the back-burner to focus on this one. Writing two at once turned out to be a wonderful experience. That other story demands an October release. This means any promo money I might have needs to go into the paranormal tale. There is also a matter of time involved. Managing and keeping up with a blog tour and other promos is tough enough, doubling that is not something I’m willing to do.

I’ll take what I can this weekend. If it’s father/daughter time, great. If it’s writing time, that’s great too.

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A tough stretch for me

Last weekend was my two day weekend, and I didn’t get much done. My wife was off at the same time, and it’s a distraction. Some things, but not a lot.

I get a three day weekend this time out, but my parents will be here any minute. I allowed myself to sleep in, because I deserve it once in a while.

Today came to about 1000 words. Not my best effort, but it’s progress. It will probably be the only writing I get to do.

Serang finished her assignment out in the wilderness, had some vivid dreams with deeper meaning that will payoff later, then she and her master headed out once more. They passed through miles and miles of opium poppies in bloom. There is no specific adventure for this part, so it’s just a bit of scenery.

Their main goal is to get to a boat, then meet back up with the only other monk left alive after the great purge. (As far as they know.)

I need to steer Serang toward what people know from Lanternfish, and this involves both internal things and external things. She showed a bit of growth and maturity in conversations with her master, now it’s time for her to experience boats.

It’s important to give Serang her hat, boots, and the rest of her outfit. She needs to learn martial arts, and weapons training. She also needs to grow and mature. She’s already been involved in some thefts and fights, which will relate to her future life.

Now it’s time to get on a boat. Can’t become a pirate on dry land. My next real day off is Wednesday, and I hope to move the story ahead then.

I’m looking forward to Mom and Dad coming. I haven’t seen them since fall, and we’ll go out to dinner somewhere. It will be nice. Our daughter is also coming since it’s her birthday weekend. I haven’t seen her in a while either.

Behind the scenes, I have some blog projects to work on, and may get some time for that Sunday afternoon.

I probably won’t update again until Wednesday night, but it’s because things won’t be that interesting. Hope all of you have a great weekend, Happy Easter, and all that jazz.

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Small progress day

I woke up early and added a few more words to my WIP, Serang. It didn’t amount to much. When 8:00 rolled around, I talked to my parents for an hour.

Beyond that it was time for a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich, with a fresh cup of coffee. I added a few more words after that. All in all, it felt like a thousand new words.

Then I quit the new words idea. I needed to reread and make small corrections before sending it to my critique group. I like what’s there, but I’m always nervous about middle sections. Guess I’ll find out what they think later this week.

I should have broken it into two submissions. I didn’t really plan to get that much new stuff accomplished. My wife visiting out of state was spontaneous, so I made the best of it.

Last night I watched a dumpster fire of a ballgame instead of typing away. There’s one on now too, but it looks a bit better.

My wife made it back about an hour ago, and it looks like a wrap on my writing weekend. All in all, it was outstanding. It may be a year before I get this kind of opportunity again, so I made the best of it.

Right now, Serang and her master are camped at the mouth of a canyon and ready to enter the Temple of Wind. It’s probably good to stop here and dwell on it for a week. I need to kind of foreshadow something that is going to happen near the end of the story, and a bit of time might help me do a better job of it.

I also need to consider wind, sounds, echoes, temperatures, shadows, and more for the Temple of Wind. Time is my friend now.

Back to the real world tomorrow.

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Temporarily out of service

My daughter just headed home. I always love seeing her, and we had a nice visit. She and Old What’s Her Face went shopping yesterday while I was at work, so I know they had a nice visit too.

Her work schedule isn’t one that allows actual full weekends, so we take what we can get.

The blog tour for Lanternfish is officially over. (Try not to cheer too loud.) This is the longest tour I’ve ever done, but I had a lot of hosting offers and didn’t want to let anyone down.

I’ve always been blessed in that my regulars will follow the tours, at least in part. Some of you made every stop and I’m so grateful for you. This is a benefit to those who hosted me too. It increases their blog volume, and they might gain a new follower along the way. My hosts were all pretty interesting people, so it’s fun to get acquainted that way.

We sold some books, had some fun conversations, and kept each post unique. It’s pretty tiring though. I have a habit of checking the comments for several days. I don’t want anyone to think I snubbed them. Every night, I surfed back across four or five posts to see if there were new comments. I’ll keep doing that for the last couple of posts.

It’s time to kick back and watch for reviews. Hopefully, there will be some. I try to reblog those that do blog reviews, but Amazon is what I’m watching.

My mind is filled with creative ideas this morning, but I’m not going to do any writing. This is a good weekend to spend some time with the Muse. I need to string some scenes into the overall plot of my stories. A bit of thought makes for better tales.

Work was crazy this week too, and is scheduled to continue into next week.

Right now, I’m watching the original Star Wars, except it’s the one they added extra crap to. They should have just left it alone.

We hope to work in date night tonight. No specific plans, but probably dinner somewhere. (Update, Old What’s Her Face just made reservations at PF Chang’s.)

For me, I’ll check blog comments, but otherwise, I’m temporarily out of service.

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Weekend

Mom and Dad came for a visit this weekend. It didn’t leave much time for authorly things, but it was fun. We went to dinner, and Mom did some Christmas shopping. I tagged along and scored a beer at Old Chicago while they hit the mall.

We stopped by the pet store, and the dogs scored these cool tire toys. They have ropes through them, and they love them.

Frankie loves her new toy

I managed to prepare the shtick for a new Lisa Burton Radio interview and send it out. I also worked my way through some critiques. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for one afternoon.

Hope everyone else had great weekends too.

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Introvert Hell

Take a perfectly adult household. Invite everyone for Thanksgiving. Let the fun begin.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are here. They brought their two small dogs with them. Otto and Frankie want to play. The little dogs don’t. Honestly, Otto takes a crap that’s bigger than these dogs are every morning. I don’t want him to break them.

My son came over, and brought our grandson at about 9:00. He’s making the turkey on his fancy-schmancy smoker. It takes some watching, so he has to stay. Old What’s Her Face gave our grandson a gaming console that apparently has to be turned up to full volume.

Add in the fact that my brother-in-law insists on watching 12 hours of football. What I mean by that is the TV must be on, but nobody is even watching it. In fact, he isn’t even in the room right now. Add football to the gaming console as far as noise goes. Note: My team doesn’t play today.

But wait, there’s more. My daughter is here and brought Jackson, the cat. I’d kind of like to see Jackson, he grew up here before he moved to Sun Valley. However, he’s been running for his life because the tiny dogs want to get him. This means Otto and Frankie have to chase the little dogs. Put all of that on my hard-surface floors, and it creates quite a din.

There is also the nearly constant calling out of dog names. Mostly the little dogs, but imagine a harsh voice saying the same word over and over and over and over and over and…

My daughter-in-law just arrived with the rest of the grandkids. Oh, by the way, they brought their dog with them. He is an Airedale mix of some kind. I’ll be shocked if we don’t wind up with at least one dead pet by the end of the night. Also the tiny dogs like to bark at the new arrival.

My daughter’s friend is also showing up, but I don’t think she’s bringing pets. Same thing for my son’s mother-in-law. They really don’t play into this story.

Imagine a group of people surrounding me, and they’re all honking airhorns at me. Add in some arguing and barking, along with a video game soundtrack at full volume, and you get a fair idea of how I feel.

I’m actually writing this before dinner, and while they are all here. It gives me some focus and a bit of a breather.

It may not sound like it, but I love these people. Hell, I even like their pets. I had some great one-on-one conversations with a few of them before the mob showed up. As an introvert, it is about all I can handle, but I’m being a trooper.

I think I’d like to have Thanksgiving somewhere else next year. I can handle this stuff for hours, but eventually I can go home.

Let the celebration begin, and by that I mean drinking.

Oh, and not for nothing, I went to bed about 11:30 last night. I had to raise dough and make my rolls. The dogs started barking at house guests at 6:00 AM. Kind of a sleep deprived state to add to the mix.

Bonus, I gave my entire department tomorrow off. That means I have to work tomorrow. It’s not my first Thanksgiving/Black Friday.

Update. Two beers later and things are looking better. This stuff is 9% alcohol by volume, so that’s a bonus. New Belgium Oakspire, Bourbon Barrel Aged ale using Knob Creek barrels.

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Presto!

Today was my day to get some things done. I screwed that up before I even got home last night. I was supposed to pick up medications for Otto, one of our dogs. This is about two blocks from where I work. I failed to do this. Let’s face it, at the end of shift you have hundreds of reps involving getting in the truck and going home.

This meant that I had to go back downtown this morning and pick up his pills. It took me an hour and a half. It’s a forty mile round trip, plus the time inside the vet’s office. It kind of killed any forward momentum I may have had.

My wife wanted to go to pizza tonight, and our daughter decided to drive over from Sun Valley to go with us. Sounds nice, right? The hospital called my wife back in, so we had to cancel the whole thing. She has to work until eight o’clock tonight. I feel bad that our daughter drove all the way over here for nothing.

I don’t know what some employers are thinking. They are cutting everyone’s hours due to what they call “low census.” I won’t go into a deep explanation, the main point is reduced hours.

When there is a problem, they seem shocked that people don’t want to drop everything and pull extra hours now. “Gasp!” I’ve learned over the years that happy employees will do anything. Unhappy employees will place you lower on the priority list.

I got a decent small visit with my daughter after Old What’s Her Face went back to work. Everyone is gone now, but it’s time for baseball.

Today, I had low expectations and failed to meet them all. Things can change fast, so I’m just going to go with it. Tomorrow will be partially about packing and getting ready for my flight. I’ll be in Texas next week, but I’ll take my iPad with me. At least I can keep up with blogs and such.

I’m looking forward to the trip. There are times in life where the author in me has to take a back seat. Perhaps I can get some forward momentum when I return. If not, I have vacation coming around the Veteran’s Day holiday.

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