Tag Archives: Frankie

Chipping Away

Mom and Dad had date night, and we got pumpkin hats.

I chipped away at my task list. I have a couple of Lisa interviews ready to go, but I’m holding off on which one to post. I’m waiting for purchase data for a book. I don’t have to decide until tomorrow, so I’ve gone as far as I can.

I successfully ignored The Hat. Stepping away is always better for the editing process.

All of my critique work is finished. I printed everything today and put them in my truck for our meeting Tuesday. I got down to the last few pieces of paper yesterday, printed the submissions out, and then learned my print heads needed cleaning. I had to throw them away and shop for paper. We swung by Fred Meyer after date night and all is well.

We ran a few errands, and even picked up some dog toys. We’re still picking up things like those undermats that keep the rugs from sliding around. After we finished my son and I logged a few hours of Borderlands. My character got a cool new sniper rifle that lights its victims on fire, and she got a new head too. Seriously, I don’t write this stuff. You get heads and bodies from a vending machine as a kind of upgrade.

In a way, it’s too bad the real world doesn’t work this way. I could insert my credit card and grow a foot taller. Then I wouldn’t be overweight.

When we re-upped with Direct TV, we were given a year of the NFL League Pass for free. We watched the game last week, but this week it’s not on. We probably need to call them, but were denied the ability to watch. My internet indicates the Steelers won, so there’s that. I might get to check out some baseball later today.

I say might, because Old What’s Her Face is binge watching The Outlander. While Outlander is on, I retreated to another room and started reading A Desolate Hour. It seems to take me forever to read a book these days, but I’m committed. Great story so far.

I also wrote a couple of future blog posts. When the Muse visits, it’s best to give in to her. Not kidding here, she gets violent.

I still haven’t gotten back to the edits on Yak Guy. Tomorrow is my best chance, but it’s dependent upon whether my daughter decides to talk my ear off.

So I chipped away at the task list. Some projects are complete, some on hold, and others yet to come. Maybe tomorrow will let me scratch them all off.

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I’m partying, and you win #Freeby

I skipped a day this week as far as blogging goes. I could have trotted out some more word metrics, and talked about all the promo work I did. While those posts have some value, they can get a bit stale too.

I changed the wallpaper up for September. This is a brindle bulldog coat in closeup. This time it’s Frankie, and she’s darker than Otto. Otto shines like a new copper penny in the sun, but it’s hard to get a calm photo of him. I have to catch him sleeping and sneak up or he thinks it’s playtime.

Let’s talk some baseball today. My team, since the year they announced a team, is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Prior to that I followed the Cincinnati Reds. When you live a thousand miles from a Major League team, you go with who’s popular. When I was a kid, the Big Red Machine was pretty darned cool.

Anyway, Arizona had a pretty dismal summer. They started strong, and the National League West held the best teams in baseball at one time. The top three would have all won a division if they hadn’t all been in the same one. Right now, it’s looking like one division winner and both wildcard teams will come from the NL West.

Just recently, Arizona seemed to work their way out of their funk. It hasn’t been pretty, but they’re looking good again. The LA Dodgers are so far ahead of everyone that nobody will top them, but my Diamondbacks just swept LA three in a row. I feel like celebrating.

It may be the last good thing they do all year, but today is their day.

 

To celebrate, I’m making The Enhanced League free all day tomorrow, September First. Since this is an international world, your timezones and even dates might vary.

I’m not going to do a huge promo over this. I’m posting it here, and it will auto-feed to various social media sites. You can help with the heavy lifting if you like. I have all those sharing buttons at the bottom you can use.

If you want your free copy of The Enhanced League, click right here on September First.

Do you like the new wallpaper? Are you cheering for a baseball team this year? I need a pumpkin beer; found the first one and it’s habanero enhanced.

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Wednesday Update

Today is my rotating day off this week, but I took the next two off. There are big things happening at my house, and I need to be here for that.

My morning started off like most. I get up when the dogs demand it. Today it was somewhere about six A.M. After feeding dogs, making coffee, and the usual routine, I decided to start from zero on my WIP called The Hat. I found a lot of errors, and feel bad for having sent it to my critique group already.

I also made a stupid mistake. I edited my way through, and it stopped at about 3000 words. I’d spent my first hour editing the submission to critique group instead of the manuscript. That was easy enough to address, but I felt stupid.

I had plenty of interruptions, and that’s my excuse. My interruption looked like this:

Frankie isn’t much of a cuddler, but today all she wanted was poodle time. She isn’t all that big, and can wiggle beside me in my chair. The iPad fits on the arm of the chair, and it’s a pretty comfy writing position.

Once the edits were finished, I was also refreshed on the story. I decided to keep on writing. Lizzie learned how double-action revolvers work and took a few practice shots. Their symbiosis grew when she trusted the hat to drive while she slept. It was still her body doing the driving, but her mind got to catch a few hours sleep. Turns out the hat is kind of an aggressive driver though. Lizzie and the hat are starting to mesh really well, but they still bicker.

My story is over 11,500 words now, and I feel like I’m 5000 words ahead of where I expected. Beginnings are always this way for me. I start strong, I finish strong, it’s the middle that bogs me down. This was always intended to be a novella, but if it reaches novel length I won’t panic. I don’t know if these are formal rules, but short stories generally don’t have as much setting as novels. If it looks like I’m approaching 70K at the end, I may beef up my settings to raise the word count. I may also need one more plot twist, but I’m thinking about it even now. I don’t know what might be expected in a novella, but I assume it’s somewhere in the middle.

I got a new piece of Lisa Burton art in the email today. My October micro-fiction will have a nice point of reference for people who like to read those. I think it came out pretty well.

After the writing ended, my daughter, her BFF, my wife, and I moved furniture. We’re finally getting rid of the seventeen year old carpet in the majority of the house. We’re having a fake wood floor installed tomorrow. This is a kind of vinyl plank that is hard to tell from real wood after it’s installed. It wears better than wood, and that’s a good thing for a family of dog lovers. We also tend to pick up road sand on our winter boots and this will hold up better than wood. I’ll get some pictures, but might not post them until Friday. Lisa has a guest tomorrow and we want that post to get all the attention.

We also have company coming for the rest of the week. That will eat into writing time, but I may get lucky on Monday.

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Home again, home again.

Yesterday went well. I had a bunch of intelligent questions and stayed late to make sure everyone got some level of satisfaction. This put me into the house at 9:30 PM.

I have a hard time going to sleep after a long drive, so I stayed up for an hour and dealt with blog comments. My plan was tentative at best to sleep in this morning.

The alarm puppy had the good sense to wait until 5:00 am to wake me up. I let her go potty and tried to go back to sleep. This time of morning meant all the dogs had to crawl in with us. It’s cute, really it is, but Otto weighs 65 pounds. He’s like a big rock when he leans against you and steps on the blanket. I tried to sleep, but by quarter to six, I gave up completely.

I fixed their kibble, and they ate like little horses, then went back to sleep with mom. I monkeyed around with blog comments, RSS feeds, Facebook, and Twitter. After that, I knew I had to work on Lisa Burton Radio posts. I assembled next week’s post, but didn’t do much with the week after. I still need to do that prior to Monday.

I also got some material out for a promo I jumped on for October, and another post for The Storyreading Ape’s site. Then I responded to an inquiry about a pet interview. All I have to do is respond to it as one of my dogs.


I glanced over my shoulder. Huh, wife and dogs are still asleep. Whatever shall I do?

I opened a new document and started writing The Hat, a paranormal superheroish origin story. I like the character intro, and I think readers will have some fealty with her right away. She’s been through a tough stretch. I am doubting myself because it needs a bit of backstory. With a two character, buddy type, story it’s almost necessary. I can introduce Lizzie and get everyone up to speed the right way. When it comes to the hat, yes he is a character, I have to dive into some backstory.  He’s ancient compared to Lizzie and readers need to know some things. I already have some plan to get part now, and another part later. That helps to break it up.

All in all, I’m nearing 2700 words. I didn’t plan this as a writing day, so I’m content. My wife has to work tomorrow and Sunday, so I’ll have much more time to dedicate to this project.

This also poses a mental shift to me. All I want to do now is work on the new story. I have to keep Lisa burton Radio moving ahead, and I have edits back on The Yak Guy Project. I want those edits completed by Mid September. — so it isn’t exactly an emergency.

By the end of the weekend, all I need to do is get another Lisa Burton Radio almost complete. Then I need to respond to the pet interview. After that, I can work on whatever I like, and I kind of choose The Hat.

Just for giggles, someone talked me into starting Pinterest boards for my pending projects. I started one for The Hat if you’d like to check it out.

I got some strange message from Twitter about adding my telephone number to my account. I didn’t want to do this, but they make it nearly impossible not to. The process sends you a call and a text from some cryptic number that has nothing about it that says Twitter. Then they ask if I’d like to receive updates and notifications. Oh sure!!! I’d love to have my phone ringing whenever one of my thousands of followers posts something. Particularly love that shit in the middle of the night. I turned all that off, but they said not to worry, I could always text to turn it back on. All I have to do is text to the cryptic number that has nothing about it that says Twitter.

Personally, I think they just want my number to sell to telemarketers. I’m relatively certain I’m about to start getting texts about fake prizes I’ve won, timeshares I need to visit, and vacations I haven’t really won. They make me choose between accepting this, or quit using Twitter. I’m trying to be an author here, but Twitter has rendered itself almost useless. Most of my activity is to support others there.

The Twitter thing only happened after their last update. Did anyone else get this message too?

I’ve been playing with the actual WordPress app on my last few posts. Blogsy is outdated and they have no plans to update it for future versions of iOS. It’s too bad, because they did WordPress better than they WordPress does. Everything was easy, made sense, and came with options even WordPress didn’t have. I checked, and there aren’t any decent blogging apps left in the App Store. This leaves me with the WordPress App. How does this post look at your end?

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Not bad for a flex day

Like all flex days, this one started off with a task list last night. The day started with my alarm dog at about six o'clock.

Otto and Frankie play together all the time now. A big part of this involves him feeling much better. We took more detailed X-rays about two weeks ago, and had an additional expert look at them. He has several problems, but there was concern about one specific issue. It involves bone tissue that is degenerating and regrowing.

Our vet said the possibilities were bone cancer, and a bone infection. The cancer is almost unheard of with a dog Otto's age, and the infection is also extremely rare. He wanted to try an antibiotic in an abundance of caution, but thinks maybe the X-ray simply showed something that isn't there.

Here's the deal, though. After two days of antibiotic, Otto started feeling better. After a week, I have my boy back. He runs around, plays ball, and is acting like his old self. He still limps on occasion, but two weeks ago he was dragging himself across the floor by his front legs.

How the hell does anything get a bone infection?

They've been absolutely crazy today.

Oh, come on guys, you're making me look bad now. They were playing, I swear.

I wound up doing some maintenance on my part of the Story Empire blog, and finished that. About an hour ago, I found even more to do there, but still consider it a win.

I also explored and joined a new app a friend told me about. Something called Triberr, but don't ask me anything about it just yet.

I finished the edits on a 5500 word short story for an anthology, and delivered the edited version to them.

Edits on the Yak Guy Project are finished. I'm going to put it aside for a while to work on other projects. Quite honestly, I'm thinking about submitting it to a publisher. I haven't submitted anything for years, but maybe the hybrid author is the way to go. Right now, I just need time to think about it all.

I got another five star review today for the Second Experimental Notebook. I need to write a third one of these, and they make a great side project. Not just yet though.

First I need more micro-fiction for October. I intended to write one today, but never got that far. I might rough one out while my ballgame is on.

Ah, here you go. See all happy today.

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Entertaining Stories – Unplugged

We got a last minute chance to make it a camping weekend. It happened with very little warning, but it's hard to pass up these opportunities.

I wanted to check out Bull Trout Lake, because I'd heard good things about it from someone else. Like all campgrounds under the Forest Circus, most of the sites are reservation only, with four or five going to first come – first served. We didn't show up fast enough.

That left us scrambling for a place to camp, and we grabbed the first decent spot we found. Turns out it was a very nice site, but too close to the highway for my tastes. The highway only gets light use, and seems to die down about bedtime.

This was my weekend office. I took a book, a manuscript that needs edited, and the idea for a short story along with me. I managed some reading and editing.

This was a wildlife dead zone for some reason. There were no birds, no squirrels, not even the typical morning deer visit. The camp was covered in some kind of sego lily though, and they were pretty.

There was a nice stream just beyond our campsite, and Otto was thrilled. He isn't much of a swimmer, but wading and drinking wild water is a big deal. Go Otto, it's the little things right, buddy.

Frankie wasn't too interested in the stream. She preferred sunrise with Dad while editing and reading.

She's lost that baby face, but doesn't quite look like an adult yet. She had a good time chewing up sticks and chasing her ball, but developed a “hot spot” underneath her harness. It will take a couple of days to dry that out.

We took a drive to Stanley on Saturday. Stanley is traditionally one of the coldest spots in North America. People only notice that in the winter, but it applies in the summer too. Most of the time, it's either Stanley, or Whitefish, Montana. There are times where it's colder in Stanley and Whitefish than in the arctic.

We went to check out Stanley Lake along the way. I've always wanted to camp there, and my wife wrote down the slot numbers for the best spaces. Maybe in February we'll reserve one of the good ones and not chance to luck. That's how far ahead you have to reserve a site.

We went on to Redfish Lake, because we had a great weekend there years ago. It's too damned busy now, and we'll be giving Redfish a pass. Beautiful, yes – soothing, no.

I stopped along the way and grabbed you a random tourist shot of the Sawtooth Mountains. Maybe you'll want to visit one day.

I got a lot of reading done. I made progress on the editing. Short stories just weren't possible.

I decided to watch the stars come out last night, and thought I might see a bat. Woods, plus stream, equals insects – which bats love. Nary a bat in sight. Not even a Black Butte Porter or two helped me focus enough see one. I did get a fun idea for a story I'm going to call Little Brown Bat. It will probably be a bit of micro-fiction and post on my blog.

I missed the whole blog, social media, projects aspect of the weekend, but that's kind of the point. Sometimes a guy just needs to unplug. It would defeat the purpose to try and make up for everything I missed. If you posted something I should see, please let me know. I like to support my fellow authors. Heaven forbid I missed something that pertained to me or one of my books, so drop me a line if that's the case.

Otherwise, I spent the weekend unplugged away from wifi and even cellular service, and I'm not going to work doubly hard to catch up with everything.

Hope all of you had great weekends too.

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Today’s Efforts

You might guess that I spent a lot of my time today sending out blog tour posts. I have a bunch of them pre-written, but got a few requests for some custom pieces and wrote those too. I still have half a dozen to send out, and a few more to prepare. There are also some long term supporters who I haven’t heard from yet, and I expect them to show up too. These are people with lives, who don’t spend every waking moment behind a keyboard. I expect to custom write a few of these pieces too.

Preparing blog posts is easy enough on work nights. I’ll tap away at them throughout the coming week. It’s easier to support all of my hosts if they spread out a bit too. My posts are all unique, so watch this space to keep up with my personal challenges, Lisa art posts, and more.

Lisa Burton Radio is all scheduled for this week, and I know what’s going up next week too. I’m in good shape there.

I also cracked open a new book today. I didn’t get far, because Frankie needed a lot of poodle time, and we played a lot of ball too. I always miss the best events with my video camera, but posted the final few seconds of Frankie chasing the reflection of a wristwatch over on Facebook. It’s like cats with laser-pointers, but with a bulldog puppy. Unfortunately, I missed her lioness stalk, rush, and pounce.

I need to start my next Story Empire post, and have a vague idea of what I want to write. I have a week plus to post it, so it has time to take form.

My baseball team took a nosedive over the past week, and it feels like they need the Allstar Break to regroup. I hope this is the case, and they can return refreshed and tough for the second half. I managed to watch a few games, and pieces of others. I also played a few video games in the late evening.

Finally, this makes me happy. Maybe it will make you happy too.

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