Tag Archives: Frankie

Back to the grind tomorrow.

Today was my one chance to work on things I wanted. I spent the early hours assembling some upcoming guest posts. Then there were the inevitable bulldog needs. My back started bothering me again, but just slightly. I moved the doggie bed out to the foot of my chair in hopes of avoiding some of the cuddles today. — Didn’t work. I’m fine, but there was a certain amount of twisting and adjusting so I could type.

There must be a dozen Lisa Burton Radio questionnaires out right now, but nobody returned one this weekend. I have a show for this Thursday, but might not have one the week after at this rate. This has become a pretty popular spot, so if you’d like to take advantage of it drop me a line.

I opened my work in progress, and managed about 1700 new words. Of course I deleted about a thousand of the old words, so it’s about a push. I have this habit of reading the last dozen or so pages before I start writing. I find a lot of mistakes this way. I’m also working with some important plants for later payoffs and I want to make sure everything is in place. Plants and payoffs always work that way for me; two steps forward and one step back.

Overall, I killed three people, captured a runaway slave, and set the stage to free said slave the next time I can tackle new words. No idea when that will be, because I have some things going on next weekend. I need to think up some kind of hinkey slave name for this character now. Maybe something will come to me during my commutes this week.

We discovered another piece of pink plastic in the back yard yesterday. That’s one more than we expected. On the other hand, Frankie is feeling pretty feisty and is back to her crazy old self.

Our new oven works just fine. My wife created some kind of beer braised meatballs that were awesome. She added in some mashed potatoes to go along with the extra gravy they produced. We’re pictures of health around here, but we’re generally pretty happy. Hope all of you enjoyed your weekend too.

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A small miracle

Here is some great news on the Frankie front. Weeks ago, a piece of a toy went unaccounted for. She was chewing on it when I spotted the rubber arm of this squeaky toy missing. My wife and I looked everywhere for the missing piece, and decided she had to have swallowed it.

She vomited in the middle of the night about two weeks later, and aspirated some of it. Bulldogs are notorious for breathing issues, and this is about par for the course. She wound up with pneumonia from this and was really sick for a day or two before the meds kicked in. I mean middle of the night emergency vet sick.

Two rounds of X-rays, plus an ultrasound later, and there was no sign of this missing chunk of rubber. We knew rubber wasn’t likely to appear on an X-ray or an ultrasound, but the vet said other things like blockages and stomach lesions would show up. Nothing did.

Earlier this week, a big chunk of pink rubber appeared in our back yard. The culprit was Otto, and it passed through. I was not convinced, because the chunk wasn’t big enough.

Otto is huge, 65 pounds. Frankie is pretty tiny. She weighs in at 35 pounds, but bulldogs are so dense that it equates to about the size of a Scottie. (She was the runt of her litter.)

Last night I woke up to the sound of a dog horking on the floor again. I jumped right up, because she had that emergency trip recently. This time, I found more than froth to clean up.

The squeaky toy was some kind of monster, with rubber arms that ended in crab claws. That’s my key ring for perspective. I can’t believe she swallowed the damned thing in the first place, and it’s a miracle that it ever came back up. It would have had to line up perfectly just to fit back in her throat. If it had started out the other end, it could have killed her.

Surgery to remove a swallowed item starts at about $1500, but bulldogs need special intubation to make sure they keep breathing. We may have dodged that bullet.

Oddly enough, she had no other symptoms. I’m sure the aspiration pneumonia is related, but she’s been eating like a little horse, playing hard, and going potty regularly.

Now all we have to do is worry about the next damned thing. She and Otto chewed up the backing underneath one of our rugs yesterday. Underneath.

Our daughter swears she picked up handfuls of the stuff, and doesn’t think they ate any of it. This is all Frankie’s doing, no doubt. She’s psycho, but Otto will play her games if they look fun. I swear I need to start tranquilizing them when they’re out of my sight.

But we love you, Dad.

Note: I wrote this about 2:00 this morning, because up is up at that time. I scheduled it for tonight so Joan got to be the spotlight post of the day. If you missed Lisa’s show, check it out by rolling down the page to the previous post.

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A small update

I’m still not getting anything done. That stresses me out, but life comes up sometimes and we have to deal with it.

Frankie is on the mend. I was at the vet before the sun came up for her ultrasound. The ultrasound is kind of a mixed bag, because there is a chance of no answer at all. The missing part of a toy is either hard rubber or plastic and that rarely shows up on an ultrasound. There are other symptoms that can show up during the procedure.

Our vet was training on the ultrasound, or he was updating his skills, something to that effect. He said he would only charge us about 60% of normal if they could look at Frankie as part of this. That’s a bonus for us right now. I also had the expertise of the trainer to go along with our own vet.

The results: They did not spot the piece of the toy. This is not definitive. The device could have missed it because of its makeup. That leaves us with exploratory surgery, or watching and waiting.

The doctor said they saw no lesions, no hot spots, gas pockets, or anything else that would indicate a foreign body. He recommended the watch and wait method. This drives me nuts, because I like real answers. We discussed the likelihood of this thing passing into her bowel. It is 2.5 to 3 inches long, so it would have to line up perfectly before it could move on. He said he’s removed objects that were in the stomach for six weeks or more.

I asked about the possibility of it digesting, at least in part. He said it would not, but it might lose the bright pink color, or even become softer like old gum. That might make it easier to pass. Or… it isn’t there at all. The only thing we know is she was chewing on the toy and the piece is unaccounted for. For all we know, Otto could have swallowed it, and as big as he is it would likely pass.

Here’s my thought tonight: It isn’t there. However, I wouldn’t like to have an emergency situation while we are out camping a hundred miles from town either.

The aspiration pneumonia happened. Frankie was like a bear rug for a couple of days. She barfed up a piece of cloth about five days ago, something like the tag off a tee-shirt. It’s possible she aspirated some of this, and caused the bigger problem. She got an injection for that yesterday and we brought home some pills for her. Today, she is not her old self, but she is happy and animated. (She’s normally bat-shit crazy, and climbs on the back of furniture like a monkey. I expect my monkey child to be back tomorrow.)

We simply need to be better pet owners than we have been. Frankie is limited to her ball for brief periods and a few Nylabones that she can only get tiny slivers off of. We aren’t ready to turn the whole house into a white-room, but that’s about what she needs.

I was sick all day yesterday too. My nose ran all day, I had chills, aches and pain. I actually went to bed about 7:30 and don’t regret it all. I feel better today.

Some of this put me behind on Lisa Burton interviews. I now have two complete ones to schedule, but it won’t slow down my guests at all. I’ll just have to schedule two of them on Saturday instead of one. Eventually, I’ll get some new words of fiction down.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.

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My new pillow

You get a little bit of everything when you visit Entertaining Stories folks. Tonight, I want to talk about pillows.

Guys never really worry about stuff like this. It’s wives that are the catalyst for change over such things. New sheets, towels, that kind of thing. In early Fall, Old What’s Her Face said we needed new pillows. I think I may have answered something like, “Uh- huh.”

I’ve used the same old pillow for years and years, and had no problem with it. One day she met me at the door and said, “Our new My-Pillows are here.” You know the ones they advertise on TV and radio with those annoying ads. I think I said something insightful like, “Cool.”

We both commented about how awesome they were. Truth is we both hated them. I caved first and told her I hated my new pillow and asked where my old one was. She breathed a sigh of relief and admitted she hated hers too. These things are overstuffed, smothering, heat retaining, torture devices.

I happily went back to my old pillow. Then fate struck me a cruel blow. See, the dogs like to play on the bed. They’re fun, they bounce around and act all crazy. For some reason (I wasn’t home at the time) my pillow didn’t have a pillow case. Frankie had been outside and didn’t properly clean herself. I wound up with a large fecal stain on my pillow; the one without a pillow case. After playing Taps over the garbage can, I sadly returned to My-Pillow.

Really sorry, Dad.

It took me one night to realize this was never going to work. Somewhere about this time, I started sleeping in a chair because I hurt my back. This means it had to have been about early December. When I finally returned to our bed, I grabbed an ancient throw-pillow and used it. It was so much better than My-Pillow. It was old enough that I could fold it and sleep on my side, or use it as-is to sleep on my back.

Still, this isn’t a long term solution, and I needed a new pillow. About twenty years ago I heard of this odd pillow that always intrigued me. Lo and behold, they were still around on Amazon. I showed my wife and she secretly bought me one. I am the proud owner of a new buckwheat hull filled pillow.

Unfortunately, she measured and ordered one that is too small for our king-sized bed. The pillow is about the size of a big computer screen. Not to be deterred, I had a new pillow and needed to try it out. It’s still bigger than the throw pillow I’d been using.

I love the damned thing.

First, they shipped it with extra hulls in case I need to add more. It comes with a zipper that is well hidden and I can remove hulls too if I want. I haven’t done anything drastic, but I may remove a cup or two. My-Pillow should have thought of that. I would have gutted it like a fish and tried it again.

This thing shapes to my head, then stays there. I can punch it up or spread it thinner depending on what I want. This is a big plus because I sleep on my side and my back. Here is another fun thing. I may be unique here, but I’ll admit it anyway. Sometimes I wake up with a pain in my ear from sleeping on it. It folds or crushes, etc. Like I said, I could be unique. The buckwheat hull pillow takes one more small dent with a finger and leaves a place for my ear. It’s awesome, I’m telling you.

Finally, this thing stays cool all night. I hate hot pillows, and the promos say it’s because air can circulate around the hulls during the night. Whatever the reason is, I’ll take it.

I’m still in the test drive phase, but one week in this is looking like a winner to me. I’ll give it more time before deciding if I’ll remove some of the hulls.

It’s kind of like a sandbag, but buckwheat hulls are larger than grains of sand and lighter too. You can bet it’s in a frigging pillow case now too.

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Not doing what I should be doing

While I’m following my blog tour around, I’ve found it hard to write. That doesn’t mean I’ve been completely idle though.

I have bulldogs that need cuddles, a daughter who likes to talk about her big promotion, and my back to deal with. For some reason, my back issue decided to remind me it’s not over yesterday. It’s a bit worse today. This is an important week at work, so it needs to go away.

I reblogged Joan’s post earlier today. Now that it’s after five here, I’m going to mention that it was my turn over at Story Empire. There is a neat conversation going on in the comments about how different we all are when it comes to developing character. Stop over and join in the conversation, I’ll be monitoring the comments.

I also took some time to give my blog a facelift. I found some cool snowflake wallpaper, and Lisa went out to the island and made a snow sculpture for the banner. Then I assembled and scheduled this week’s Lisa Burton Radio.

One of the things I’ve been doing between comments and tweets is looking at my outlines. Something odd happened and it deviates from my master plan. After I finish the novella, I’m supposed to start on a novel called Grinders. This one is a cyberpunk novel about people who do extreme body modifications in an attempt to become better than everyone else. There will be some bio-hacking and such to flesh out the world.

The deal is that it’s not quite ripe when it comes to plot. I have some great characters, locations, and events. It just needs more time in the fermenter.

While I was doing that, one of my problem children kind of grew up. This one started off as a fantasy. Then it evolved into a flintlock fantasy. Somehow, in the past few weeks it became a pirate story and it all seems ready to go. Maybe it has something to do with my new hat stands. There will be magic, some artifacts, and monsters to make it one of my stories. The only remaining question is whether it’s our world or an alternate.

Sometimes it happens this way. I didn’t think this one would be ready for a couple of years. It’s nearly there, and whatever else it needs will come to me as I’m drafting it. I went from one act that I completely reworked, to three acts that are ready to start writing. You know, after I finish the novella called Estivation.

The Hat is still selling, and the reviews are all favorable. I’m so glad that people are enjoying this one. It needs more action, but I have faith in this little story. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, click on the image in my sidebar and drop 99ยข, I think you’ll be glad you did.

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Running on empty

Look at this one as a real world example of being an author today.

With the release of The Hat yesterday, I have a lot of things to do to bring it to the attention of the masses. I’m quitting now, but it’s not quite as lazy as 11:00 AM sounds.

I woke up in a pile of bulldogs at 4:00 AM this morning, and have been largely covered with them all day in various positions. They like their early morning poodle time, but I can place my iPad on the arm of my chair and type away.

Old What’s Her Face decided to wash our bedspread yesterday, so we had an alternate last night. This freaked the dogs out for some reason. They were kinds of twitchy all night. I swear they are like Sheldon Cooper in that regard. Between the dogs, the nightly kink in by back, and my bladder it was just easier to get started.

I tweaked six different posts about the new book and sent them to their respective hosts. This included all the necessary attachments and such. Then I filled out an interview form for another one, and assembled a post for Story Empire later this month. All of them required at least one extra email, and my iPad battery is about dead too.

Then I assembled no less than four guest posts for Entertaining Stories. Seems like a lot of other folks are releasing books right now too. Everything is scheduled to post right now.

There will be traffic jams, but I’ll simply have to deal with it. My guests can have the spotlight until after I get home from work. If one of my hosts posted that day, I’ll try to reblog it then. I want to reblog in the hopes of sending my hosts as much traffic as I can. They don’t get much out of this, but maybe I can get them a follower or two.

As for me, I’m calling it a day on the author front. Old What’s Her Face found some strange ice cream I’ve grown fond of, and I feel like I deserve a treat. It’s made with marscapone, figs, and balsamic vinegar. Don’t wrinkle your nose up until you’ve tried it.

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Friday night

I’m trying to save any good stuff for 2018. I’ll not donate anything else to this lousy year.

Old What’s Her Face and I used some gift cards and went to dinner at Old Chicago. We’ve been living close to home, but Christmas provided us a way out. It was just beer and pizza, but it was nice to get out.

Right now, I’m camped on enough stuff to post another Idea Mill post. I’ll hang onto it until the new year, but it will be coming soon.

In other news, I finished the beta reading project I took on and delivered the notes to the authors. This leaves me a day or so for my own writing, and I need to get on with it. Aside from that, I need to start writing some guest posts for my new release.

I’m trying to keep things short tonight, so I’ll leave you with this. Some people like Shit Tzus. I prefer Shit Heads.

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