Tag Archives: family

Rambles from the real world

I get a three day weekend once more. This is the end of my fun shift, then I get a short weekend in the middle before it starts all over again. This weekend wasn’t earmarked for writing, but it could still happen. Monday is probably my best chance.

Our daughter came overnight, and I wanted to spend any available time with her. She didn’t get to come on her birthday, so Old What’s Her Face wanted to take her out. Even this wound up being a compromise. She had to go home this afternoon to work Sunday.

When you write a series about a twenty-something female, it’s nice to compare notes with my daughter. She helps with some of Lizzie’s outfits, and knows some things I wouldn’t even think of. I’m good with monsters, freaky things, and even old-school music. When it comes to wrap dresses, nail art, and some of those things I appreciate the help.

We settled for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We’re both so full, it will serve as dinner and lunch. Still ordered dessert to go, so that will suffice this evening. I had mine early, maybe I won’t have heartburn all night by doing that.

Saw a cool whale-tale Porsche in the mall parking lot. This one had custom paint. It was pink, but so dark it was nearly purple. Doesn’t mean anything, really, I just thought it was cool. It was obviously well loved.

Came home and caught the Derby. There might have been some future book research involved, but not to the extent that I failed to enjoy the event. He never stood a chance, but I liked the name of one horse, Soup & Sandwich. He actually started strong, but finished dead last. He was also a pretty blue roan. Also, lots of pretty girls in hats. That could play into a future story after I give it some thought.

As far as accomplishing anything, after our daughter left, I wrote one blog tour post. This one involves Lisa visiting someone and handing out a poster. I don’t have the poster yet, but feel like I am a step ahead. I don’t even have a blurb yet, so I’ll have to tag that onto any posts I get written after the fact.

We had an awesome thunderstorm this afternoon. Lots of lightning and a downpour the likes of something we haven’t seen in a year. The dogs were hilarious, running out in the rain to bark, then racing inside because it was raining so hard.

Sundays usually aren’t good writing days. I call my parents, mess with bulldogs and other important things. There should be time to pre-write more blog tour posts. That will be my goal.

When it comes to Monday, I’m off, will have the house to myself, might score some quality writing time then.

Hope all of you are having great weekends. I am.

31 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Tough going today

I scratched this weekend off as far as writing is concerned. Our daughter was supposed to come and we were going to help celebrate her birthday.

When you live in a smaller town, you keep a list of things you want to do when you do go somewhere bigger. Our daughter is living that now. One of her goals was to visit her hairdresser. The hairdresser came down with Covid and cancelled. This means our daughter isn’t coming and will have to reschedule.

I get it. She’s a young woman making her own way out there, and even the gasoline has to be accounted for. I would reschedule things myself in her place.

That left me with available time, so I used it to write. I’m in a tough transitional part of my story, so it was slow going.

My main character, James, has to give up everything and step into a new role. I tried to show a few emotions, but probably didn’t dive deep enough into that. Project for later.

I moved James inland to get involved in the land war. He’s separated from his son, who is MIA, but he has to go.

Transitions are part of every story, but I find them difficult. The words don’t flow quite as well as they do in the exciting parts. It came to just over 1800 words today.

Now that he’s relocated, it’s time to review all available intelligence. That will move to making plans, and things tend to pick up from there. The last line for today involved him hearing a rumor about Serang and her army. Some of this has to happen before all the characters can converge once more.

Saturday is looking like a writing day, too. Things might move faster since I put the work in today. I still have to figure out what to do with the root monsters. They’re with James, but can’t steal from his allies. I’m sure there is some kind of mischief they can get into along the way.

17 Comments

Filed under Writing

A writer’s lament

Hi, I’m Craig, and I haven’t written a new word for two weeks. I’m unlikely to get more next week unless something changes.

Sounds like an AA meeting.

The fact is, this has been the busiest week of the year at my workplace. I was heavily involved in prep leading up to all this, too. At some point, I kind of left it all on the field, to use a sports phrase.

Old What’s Her Face and I have had the same days off, too. This isn’t particularly useful when it comes to penning new material.

I have some leave coming up, and may get to do some writing then. However, I have a stockpile of errands that will interfere to a degree if I don’t plan things well. I have to get my truck serviced, and take care of a small repair. I also have to get it sniffed for pollutants. Then there is the matter of swinging by a hardware store for some blade oil for my chainsaw. My fruit trees need some tough love and it’s best done before the sap rises.

I’ve also promised to make a quick trip to Nevada to visit my parents, so here is a rough plan. I’ll get the truck taken care of Friday morning, then go find a station that can do my sniff test. Somewhere in that vicinity, I need to find any hardware store for my oil. I will leave directly from there for Nevada. That will kill Friday, but might salvage some other days for writing purposes.

Then there is the plot problem. I’ve been dwelling on it for weeks, but have an inkling of what I want. Nothing like a long car drive to help focus some of this. It isn’t like Lanternfish needs a new character, but I’m going to introduce one. My cons can keep a secret easily enough, but adding a third party to their game could introduce some extra stress. Stress is a good thing for characters.

Normally, in times like this I would switch stories. However, I’ve finished the draft of Lunar Boogie, and want to focus on Lanternfish. It’s probably crazy, because I lost two weeks that I could have been working on something else.

I also need to keep reading what I’ve already produced. That will help me sort out what cartoons I need to order for Lunar Boogie, and I need to put some thought into Lisa Burton promotional posters.

Lisa poses a different problem. How many pirate girls can I commission here? Same thing for Lizzie and the hat. It was simple enough to do when the first book came out, and even the second volumes. This deep into both series, it gets harder to come up with things.

I’ve had Lisa pose as Serang, then in Serang’s new armor. She’s posed as Lizzie the monster hunter, Lizzie the musician, etc. I’ll figure something out, of course, but it might be a few less than I usually do.

I’m looking forward to finishing the Lanternfish trilogy. I’m down to getting the last pieces in place before things really break loose. This is the middle slog, but there are some big things planned that I expect to almost write themselves.

On the bright side, I only committed to two books this year, and one of those is drafted. I have to keep things moving, because it’s already March, but I’m not in a bad position here.

I hope all of you are doing well, and not facing your own writing problems. I’ll sort mine out, then Lanternfish will move fast.

47 Comments

Filed under Writing

Checking in

I really don’t have much to report this week. I wound up with company for yet another weekend. Our daughter only managed to stay one night, then had to go home to work a shift. It was nice getting to see her for a bit.

My work week was busy, and the next one is likely to be just as busy. This is fine by me, but I feel it sapping my energy on my days off. Maybe it’s an age thing. After our daughter left, I really didn’t try to do much of anything.

Old What’s Her Face and I had date night last night. We went to one of our favorite places and had prime rib. It’s also a substantial beer garden, so I got to sample some wonderful new things. It was nice getting out, just the two of us.

Beyond that, I managed to send out a critique chapter, and marked up one for another member of the group. Mine all came back, but I haven’t tried to address them yet.

I used my sourdough to start a loaf of bread, but it isn’t looking too good. It’s better if it can raise overnight. Sourdough is not quick rising yeast. I’m cooking it for supper, so if it’s too heavy, so be it.

Next weekend is a three day weekend for me, so maybe I’ll get some new words down then. This post was mostly for me to check in. There’s nothing too special to report, but I’m still kicking.

41 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

First day of Staycation

I took a couple of days off with the goal of working on my manuscripts. I kind of needed some time anyway. I never took any holiday time, allowing others to have whatever they wanted.

Yesterday was my flex day and it was a bust. I’ve had an eye appointment for weeks, and made it for my normal day off. That canceled out any ability to write, but I knew it would.

Turns out my far sightedness has gotten worse. This leads to new prescriptions and I decided to get new frames at the same time. We have insurance and a flex account, so why not?

I also lost a couple of days this weekend, because my in-laws are coming. It’s good for me to socialize, so it will be fine. It makes days like today more important though.

My start was kind of slow. I took my time making coffee and tending dogs. I even read blogs before I decided what to work on.

As is my norm, I read my last chapter before I started. Then added to the story about Lizzie and the hat. It started off with humor, a musical performance, and some of her band mates having fun at the expense of the saxophone player. Lizzie and the hat exchanged barbs about wet tee-shirt contests.

Then things got real serious. I brought in some isolation, and close proximity to the possible killer in this story. I stopped there, but it’s going to be a long night for Lizzie. Might be a sad one, too.

I’m excited for this section, but it’s time to stop. I find it’s always better to stop when I have something screaming at me for the next day. Company won’t show up until Friday night, so tomorrow should be productive. I also have the Monday holiday for writing as well.

I’ll have to put together something for a new character I introduced as well. It’s about time for he and Lizzie to meet up. There are some fun things planned for that, and it will give him a lot more depth.

My hope here is to end this one well, but also on a bummer note. I don’t know how that will work out as far as keeping the books as possible stand-alone reading, but it will set up events for the next volume. I’ll have to rely on my critique group to give me feedback there. They can’t weigh in until I write it, so I’ll keep forging ahead.

I’m sure it needs some work, but today’s effort came to 3300 words. This is a good day by my standards.

33 Comments

Filed under Writing

A Very Short Update

Old What’s Her Face is off this weekend. Even though the holiday gave me a three day weekend, I don’t see myself getting much writing done.

I did send out a critique section and already received some of the feedback.

A portion of my day was spent writing out my 2021 business plan. Today was a day for Happy New Year posts, and I didn’t want it to get lost in a sea of those. Although, a Saturday post probably won’t perform all that well either. The plan is usually one of my more popular posts of the year, so we’ll see.

Old What’s Her Face turned on a show called His Dark Materials early this morning, and the episodes have been on all day long. They’re still on as I type this out. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with The Golden Compass, and it’s a deeper dive into those stories.

Even though I’m not into it particularly, it’s also distracting. I’ll probably start another storyboard for a future Hat story after I post this. I have a reasonable idea and some cool concepts. That’s where they all start, and maybe it will develop before time to write it.

Hope all of you started your new year on a positive note.

22 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Back to the Grind

That’s a wrap. We had a lovely small Thanksgiving. It was great visiting, and I even enjoyed having Jackson around. My daughter cut my hair while she was here.

She picked up supplies, then headed for home. I loaded my truck and went to the office to exchange projects for next week, since I’m still being quarantined. Old What’s Her Face has been cleared to return to work, but I have to stay home for two more weeks.

I’ve been writing along in the early hours while everyone else sleeps. I did the wrap up of Serang’s last battle and pointed her on the trail to her ultimate goal. I kind of want to write a chapter of my con-men, but it only amounts to about a page. That seems kind of short for a chapter. All this while Lanternfish is still in dry dock an ocean away. I need to launch that ship and get her into action soon.

There’s been another “murder” in the hat story. I have a theory how Lizzie is going to hunt this monster, but it conflicts with narrowing down its hunting area. It looks like I’m going to have to give them another month to start putting the more important pieces together.

I carried my coffee into the bedroom, closed the door, then sat down beside the bed. “I’m having some problems.”

A sound like rustling leaves came from under the bed. Dried cornstalks grabbed onto the frame and pulled something heavy closer. “Well, well, well. Look who’s back.”

“I know it’s been a long time. Work, family, the Muse keeps me hopping.”

“And now you’re stumped again. Is that it?”

“Yeah. I need monsters. Since you’re the resident expert, I thought I’d come to you. The cornstalks are a nice touch.”

“Yeah. I like to change things up. It’s Autumn.”

“How’s Missing-Sock monster?”

“She left me. Remember the “It” movies?”

“Yeah.”

“She became a roadie for him.”

“Bummer.”

“So what kind of monsters do you need?”

“It’s Lanternfish.”

“Still? Haven’t you been writing that one for years?”

“It’s a trilogy. Kind of yes, and kind of no. It’s just that I’ve spent so much time with sea monsters, I’m having a hard time adjusting to dry land again.”

“Why not stick with what you’re good at?”

“I will. I want to reuse the tortugators in at least one scene. It stitches the books together to a degree, but a lot of this story will occur on dry land. It’s a fantasy world, so I need to keep it similar, but fresh.”

“But these books aren’t about conquering the monster, are they?”

“No. It’s more of a global war kind of thing.”

“I might posit that you don’t want monsters. What you’re looking for are fantasy creatures to pepper your landscape with.”

“That’s exactly it. Why didn’t I think of it myself? I mean, I have the snubhorns. They’re horselike creatures, but they scavenge a bit of flesh to keep everyone uncomfortable.”

“I think you’re too close to it. Hunt your werewolf for a few chapters in the other story, then come back to it. What would the area look like in reality? You might have birds, bugs, a herd of grazing animals. Now redesign everything. You need something that flys, something that herds together, that kind of thing. They aren’t really monsters.”

“Thanks, Under-the-Bed monster. That really helps. Do you have any prospects lined up since your girl left?”

“Not so much. That little dog makes me play Nylabones when you’re gone. The big guy sleeps until you come back.”

“Yeah, Frankie is a little intense with her bones.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I kind of enjoy it.”

“Good for you. Just don’t become like a crazy cat lady. There’s a nice culvert across the park about thirty feet from here.”

“Yeah? Maybe I’ll check it out.”

“Get yourself out there. You never know who, or what, you’ll meet.”

“I think I will, and Craig?”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t be a stranger. I enjoy our little conversations.”

“You’ve got it.”

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Happy Thanksgiving

My wife has cleared quarantine. I, on the other hand, am being required to quarantine for two more weeks by my workplace. She actually had the virus and gets to return to work sooner.

Since everything seems to be clear here, our daughter came for Thanksgiving. Jackson came with her.

He’s about three years old now, and isn’t very big. Maybe my mom always had big cats. Not sure. Anyway, he’s pretty friendly and doesn’t put up with any crap from the dogs, so I kind of like him.

My daughter committed to giving me a haircut before she goes home, so I get that out of the deal.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. For those of you outside the USA I hope you have a wonderful day whatever you do.

Lisa Burton said to make sure you save room for dessert.

33 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Different weekend

My parents came for a visit this weekend. I don’t think I’ve seen them face to face for about a year. I know they haven’t come since Covid showed up, and they generally don’t travel during the Winter.

Things were subdued for obvious reasons. Mom likes to shop, but that didn’t happen. We all like to go to dinner, but that didn’t happen either. We had some upscale takeout from one of the popular restaurants around here instead.

We did a lot of visiting and that was the important part.

My daughter found a good deal on a floor model washing machine. It was in Boise, so we all made a drive to pick it up. I brought it home and left it in my truck until she could make arrangements to transfer it to a different truck for the trip to Sun Valley. That was our big outing for the weekend.

I have my blog tour stops in place for the coming week, but need to get the volunteers lined up for the following week. I’ve already heard from a couple and will get some things mailed out before bedtime tonight. I’ll just have to catch up on the others later.

Honestly, I wouldn’t trade the family time for another blog post.

Old What’s Her Face and I rearranged part of the garage. Some old things are headed for the dump. I found a couple of other things my brother might make use of. We made space for a 5 cubic foot freezer. It’s small, but we think it’s awesome. I’ll probably test it out by frosting a couple of beer mugs tonight. If that works we have about half a pig coming soon. This thing has been boxed up in the garage for too long, and it was time to deploy it.

Still watching for the first review for The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. I hope a few more show up. It’s a fun story, respectful of readers’ time, and perfect for some Halloween fun.

How was your weekend? Hope you got to do something fun.

29 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I owe you a post

During my downtime, there hasn’t been a lot to blog about. I’ve worked on promo and shared that here. The one time we got to go out I shared that with you. Sometimes life is just boring.

I paid the bills this morning and we’re already broke. That isn’t anything new around here. The skies have been so smokey it even affects my voice. Even the dogs are snotty right now.

We were promised rain, but only got around three drops. There was lightning, but it didn’t cause any problems in my locale.

I’m still trotting out the Friday teasers. Only one Friday left in September, then it’s time to publish. I’m hoping my last new Lisa Burton poster arrives in time, but if it doesn’t I’ll trot out an older Lisa poster along with a fun song.

I have a few blog things I need to finalize, or start, for appearances elsewhere. The first one involves getting a link to my new book. Timing is going to be important on this one.

Ultimately, I’ll start asking people to host me along the promotion trail, but not yet. I’ve fallen into the habit of writing tour posts as needed. Back when I pre-wrote a bunch of tour posts I also tended to get even more aggressive with my tours. This is both good and bad. It runs me ragged, but I may accomplish more, too. This time, it’s going to be the more leisurely couple of posts per week, and I can write them as needed. Some hosts have specific interested on their blogs and I can address those this way.

I failed on my reading goals this weekend. I feel bad about it, but our daughter came for a visit. Family comes first, now and always.

Old What’s Her Face is going to Nevada next weekend. That leaves me to watch the dogs, and there should be plenty of reading opportunities. I added an index card to one of my storyboards. That one is years down the road, but the board is coming along nicely.

Honestly, not a lot of interesting stuff happening right now. I’m okay with it, and kind of enjoying it if I’m being honest. Promo will start up soon, then I’ll start drafting a new book and things will pick up around here once more.

I hope you’re all being safe out there. Every corner of the country seems to have some kind of crap to deal with right now, and that’s beyond the universal crap of C-19.

32 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized