Tag Archives: haircut

My weekend

I really only had two goals for this weekend. It’s a short weekend for me, between the holidays. We don’t get flex days on holiday weeks. I pretty much failed anyway.

I wanted to get some back of the book material out for Lanternfish, and I accomplished that much.

Getting a haircut was part of the plan too, and I failed. My hair lady has moved on to another shop in the same franchise. I went to her because she is good, but really didn’t like the franchise. Now that she’s 20 miles out of my way, my happiness with her skills doesn’t outway the other burdens.

This franchise has one of those computer systems you must use just to get a haircut. It reminds me of the thing at Red Robin where I have to place my own order, and pay at the table. It’s freaky. I don’t feel like I owe a server a tip if I’m doing all the work. Are they going to ask me to wash the dishes next?

I want to hand someone money for a haircut. I don’t want to contribute to their database, become part of their farm, or do their bookkeeping for them. I just want a haircut. They don’t need my email, Social Security number, phone number or anything else to do that.

There are two places closer to home, so I stopped in to them. One was booked solid, which is a good sign. The other didn’t have anyone on site who could cut hair. They only work Tuesday through Friday. Scratch them off the list.

I’m going to call the busy place, and maybe I can find a new person to do business with. Kind of rough on Thanksgiving week, so I’ll be a bit forgiving. (I may have to buy a ponytailer soon. Or do something like Einstein did with his hair.)

Then I started a different kind of Lisa Burton Radio post. It might take a week or two to sort out, but it’s going to be interesting. Having fun with it, and I won’t post it on Thanksgiving day.

Since we got paid Friday, we managed date night on Saturday. Nothing too fancy, just dinner at Kahoots, which is one of our favorite places. They had pumpkin beer on tap too. It’s the second place I found all season that had some. (Elysian Pumpkinchino.)

We had matinee tickets to watch the Grindelwald movie today. We had a great time, and I would like to see it again to look for all the little things. I like the way Rowling portrayed the rift in a society. Someone has to drink the KoolAid before a movement gets underway. I didn’t like the division of KoolAid drinkers, but I wasn’t supposed to. It was very well done. Go see it.

Okay, so for a two day weekend, it was still kind of productive. A lot of it was family stuff, but it was fun. I need to get back to work on that Lisa Burton post, but I may have to peck away at it during the week… unless I get a haircut one night.

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Personal hygiene over word count

It was one of those days. My daughter entered cosmetology school years ago, and since that time, I’ve paid her to cut my hair. I was her first, and last, supporter in this endeavor.

She never did take out her license, and her interests changed. She’s been working at airports since school, and recently moved back to Sun Valley. This is a good move for her, and came with a considerable raise.

I haven’t gotten my hair cut for about two months. It was looking pretty awful, and my hair grows pretty fast. She made arrangements to pick up some of her stuff this weekend, so we figured to do a haircut then.

Once again, this didn’t work out, and we had a little chat. Her life has changed, but I still need to take care of myself at some point too. I don’t mind waiting a week, but can’t hold out any longer. With her living in Sun Valley, this is the end of an era.

One of her instructors is now cutting hair, and the lady is really good. I went there today.

This cut into my writing time, and my word count was limited. It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 words today.

My pirates gathered news of the war, made an alliance, and set sail for an uncharted island. Not much, but what do you expect for 500 words?

I spent the afternoon watching television. I know this is a terrible waste of time, but there you have it. I started with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, followed that up with Dante’s Peak, and am now watching Young Frankenstein. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a waste of time.

I’m getting used to my progressive lenses. I hated them yesterday, but we’re starting to get along better. My big issue is the narrow field of clear vision. I love the idea of being able to raise or lower my head to get perfect vision. I don’t like having to move my head from side to side to read a simple blog post. Like I said, it’s getting more familiar.

Tomorrow is the day I call my parents, so writing time might be limited again. You never know, sometimes it works well. There is a lot that has to happen on this island, including another monster encounter. There are actually two, but only one will be an encounter.

My flex day is Monday, but my wife is off too. It’s up in the air, but we may bag everything and try to get a mid-day date night out of the deal. That has some value beyond simple word count too.

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Not quite a meltdown

In case you haven't noticed, I've been a bit busy lately. My regular writing week includes visiting your blogs and participating in the comments when it's appropriate. I try to post every day except Tuesday and Thursday. These are usually when I invite guests bloggers over. (Hint, this is my Friday post.)

Whenever I can steal a few hours, that becomes my writing time. I thought I might get a few hours today, but it wasn't meant to happen. There is just too much going on.

Guests and invites are becoming a regular, and welcome occurrence. This week I was interviewed by Mandy Eve Barnett, and did a blog swap with Ali Isaac. (Crawfish Boy, I crack myself up sometimes.) These would have happened in any normal week, and I enjoyed both invitations.

I volunteered to help Charles Yallowitz spread the word about his newest book, Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue. Charles was so helpful that he provided a complete post, along with instructions for how to post it. It only took me a few seconds to upload. The graphics and everything were included and formatted. Awesome!

On top of this normal week, I also took Will O' the Wisp out for a blog tour. Just in case there is someone in this star system who doesn't know, I have a new book out and would like people to read it. It's the big one in my sidebar.

I hired 4-Wills Publishing to take care of the details, and I'm glad I did. All I had to do was email the posts, along with the peripheral materials and they took care of the rest.

They took care of a few extras too that I didn't expect. When I got an email about what to give away for my Rafflecopter promotion, my first thought was, What's a Rafflecopter? I thought it was some kind of crowd funding site. They are taking care of everything, so I don't have to worry about it. I told them I'd give away copies of Will O' the Wisp. I still don't know how it works, but I'm in it up to my neck now. Who knows, maybe someone will win a copy and really enjoy it. Tell your friends, etc.

They also set me up with a Goodreads author event. I'm supposed to be there tomorrow between 12:00 and 2:00 CST. I hope they meant daylight savings time. I'm on mountain time, so that would be 11:00 and 1:00 for me, unless they really meant standard time. I've never participated in this format before, so it's a test to see if I can figure it out.

4-Wills also set me up with this cool web-page. It lists all the places along the tour, provides a link to the Rafflecopter, and allegedly tells us all how to find the author event. I'm extremely grateful for the folks who volunteered to host this shindig. Which brings me to another topic…

Etiquette. That's right, a bearded old curmudgeon is going to talk about etiquette. Emily Post died several decades before we had the Internet to worry about, so it's been every-man-for-himself out there. I have a personal code about this, and I do my best to follow it. It's based upon this premise: Someone out there did me a solid favor.

When someone does me a kindness, it's up to me to return the favor. When Mari Wells posts an awesome review, or Mandy Eve Barnett interviews me, or Ali Isaac agrees to a blog swap – I'm going to reblog the posts. This is my attempt to drive them some blog traffic. I'm also going to surf back through and participate in the comments, because it matters. I generally surf back through for three days to a week, so comment away. This is important, because if someone comments on another blog I don't get notified. I have to check in.

Add in all the wonderful folks who hosted the blog tour, and there's been a whole lot of reblogging going on around here. If my blog is your only point of contact, it might seem a little repetitious. Please remember that these people did a favor for me, and they might be the kind of people you want to associate with one day yourself. Please consider visiting them and checking out their blogs.

In other news, critique group went well last night. I sent them two micro fictions and one that reaches into short story territory. They were well received, and I got a few good suggestions. Sometime this weekend I need to go through them and make changes. I'm struggling with what to submit next month. More short stuff or the first part of my new novel project?

I also forced myself to get a haircut today. (Inspired by Sue Nichols.) My daughter did a great job. My wife really ought to take me out this weekend. I am some serious eye candy right now.

What do you folks have to say? Has anyone messed around with Rafflecopter? Do you believe in blogging etiquette? Are your rules different than mine? Is anyone else out there so busy they can't think straight?

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Insect Invasion

It all started in late January. Things warmed up, and we were giddy with excitement. Idaho can be a cold place for a few months each year, but this year was going to be different. Then the bugs showed up.

They are tiny little black flies of some kind. Some people are calling them fruit flies. I call them black gnats. They were charming at first, kind of like the first robin of Spring. That was short lived. They’re everywhere now. This includes a glass of water, my beard, a cold beer, the air we breathe.

I originally blamed Old What’s Her Face’s* pointsetta. I’ve seen similar insects show up with the arrival of a new plant. Christmas ended and so did the giant pointsetta. The flies remained.

They are attracted to Tituba, my sourdough starter. At first, I had to pick one or two off the top with a spoon. Kind of gross, but cutting and feeding her involves throwing most of it away and just keeping a drop or two for the next batch. Then I opened the crock one day and a swarm flew out. I swear I heard Barry White music inside.

Saran Wrap doesn’t stick to crockery. Guess how I learned this. Tinfoil seems to do the job, but the little buggers still found a way inside. I was faced with possibly freezing the whole crock solid to kill them, or spraying the whole thing with Raid. Niether option sounded good to me. Sourdough starter freezes well, and comes back to life just fine. The freezer space is premium real estate at the Boyack house. Raid, well, just no.

Oh the indignity

Tituba, and her cute crock are safely nestled in a giant ziplock bag. She never complains, and is working hard to keep us in sourdough bread this winter. I have no idea how I’ll dry some to save for next year. Exposing it to open air will probably bring back the swarm. Maybe I could dry smaller portions out in the refrigerator.

She isn’t stylish right now, but there are no bugs.

As an experiment, I sucked all the air from the baggie. It’s probably a good thing I did, because it inflated like a balloon. Yeast fermentation gives off carbon dioxide. If that were added to the existing air in the bag, I’m sure it would explode.

I had my daughter cut my hair this morning. We got a nice visit out of the deal. Three different students complimented me on my beard. Don’t tell me it’s just professional curiosity. I’m convinced that it’s awesome. I left my daughter a $20 tip, because she needs it.

In other news, the cover reveal for Will O’ the Wisp is scheduled for next Tuesday. I also made landing pages for both versions and added the copyright notice to the North American version.

Then I opened a blank page and created ending data for every book I have out. Now all I have to do is add the purchase link for Wisp, and it’s a simple copy and paste to get the “also by this author” data in each book.

I also used an online service to update my sidebar with these tricky links that direct people to the correct Amazon store. Now I’m not begging people to initiate a special search so they can buy one of my books from their store as opposed to Amazon.com. If one of my international followers would test any cover and report back, I’d appreciate it.

Since this post is mostly food oriented, I scored some baby bay scallops at Whole Foods. I’ll sauté them in garlic butter, and Old What’s Her Face is making us some Ceasar Salads for dinner – baby bay scallop Ceasar Salads. (Heck with that chicken Ceasar stuff.) Fresh ground black pepper — yes please, it cammoflages the black gnats.

Tonight I’ll probably tackle another post for my blog tour. I’d prefer writing them all before I book it.

* Entertaining Stories; protecting my wife’s online identity since 2013.

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Whew!

I worked my rear off today. I started off exchanging blog posts with other writers. I'm really excited to present some of these, and to post on their blogs.

I discovered another five star review of Panama, and that fueled me to new heights. Then one of my Will 'O the Wisp ARC readers contacted me with some wonderful things to say. After all of that, I worked on writing projects for the rest of the day.

The only break in the action was my haircut, which my daughter did a fantastic job on. She served as a model for the older class graduation, and showed me a picture. The graduates had to make up their models as rock stars. I preserve my family anonymity online, but she looked something like this:

She looked much cuter than this, and with more clothes, but I can't show you that. It sounds like a nice break from everyday school, and I have a hunch her senior graduated.

After my haircut, I worked up critiques for all four submissions this month. Each one was a minimum of 3000 words, so it took up some time. They were all really good this month too.

I dedicated the rest of the day to concluding my beta reading. This is different than pleasure reading, and it takes up a lot of time. It isn't fair to ask someone to help me, if I'm not willing to help someone myself. I hope I delivered on that premise. I sent it away minutes ago. I may not volunteer for another one for a bit, but it feels good to help.

I managed to write some more of The Playground today too. I wrote one sentence. That's it, one. It was mostly to note a street name so I don't have to run back to Google Earth when I start back up.

Here it is 9:45 PM, and I'm still writing on this blog. I have my plate cleared somewhat now. It feels good to get some of these projects done. I skipped supper tonight. I may crack open a beer and watch some more Twilight Zone before bed. My mind may not be in learning gear, but I can watch for fun too.

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Blasphemy

I’m a bachelor again this weekend. I figured once the kids moved to Boise, my wife wouldn’t be travelling to Nevada quite so much. I figured wrong.

My daughter-in-law is taking the grandkids south to visit my son. He’s working, and won’t return to Boise for a week or two. My wife decided to go with them, and watch the big game with her brother.

That leaves me to my own devices. I have a beta reading project that I’m nearly finished with. This requires some writing to send off my notes. I got a bunch of invites to host and visit other bloggers. Some of them have already delivered some fantastic stuff. I still have to write my posts, and any intros that accompany their posts.

I have an appointment for my daughter to cut my hair tomorrow. I don’t usually have to pay her to spend time with me, but I really don’t mind. She’s doing a fantastic job, and I want to support her.

I need to work on my novel to some degree. I concede that the middle is slower going, but I need to get some mileage on it. I have some decent plans, and have to move the characters toward each other now.

I have to write my normal blogs, in addition to anything I’m cross posting with other writers.

With this in mind, I’m considering not even watching the Superbowl. I know for a red blooded American male, that’s blasphemy. I just don’t care that much about the game. I’m not invested in either team.

I suppose I could do like half the world, and watch the broadcast to see the advertisements. There isn’t much value to that either. I already know Carl’s Jr. is going to use boobs to market hamburgers. I think my Lisa Burton graphic proves I already know that lesson, as evidenced by my blog invitations.

Then my wife went and made me a salami and cheese platter. She didn’t want me to watch the game without snacks. She even bought me some outstanding beer to keep me company. (She loves me.)  I’ll work my fingers raw, but come Sunday afternoon, the old pit bull and I are watching the game.

What are your writing plans? Do you have any marketing plans? Who’s watching the game, and are you invested in the outcome?

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I wanted to write today, seriously

I don’t even feel bad about it. I never set arbitrary word count goals. When I have the right situation, I can whip out a ton of words. This is perfect for creating first draft material.

Last night I decided to read a chapter or two of my Harry Dresden book before bed. I finished the whole thing about 1:00 AM. Damn you Jim Butcher. I swear I learn something every time I read one of these.

Dresden gets in so much trouble the situation is always hopeless. Still, he manages to find a way out, and it’s usually something I never saw coming. Maybe I should spend a summer as Jim Butcher’s gardener or something. I might learn a thing or two.

I promised to beta read something for a friend. My reading schedule is wide open now, and I’ve already started. So far, things are looking great.

I think it’s all part of the same whole. Writers need to read. They ought to critique, beta, self edit, plot or outline. Sometimes we need a walk in the woods too. In my mind it’s all forward motion. If I don’t finish my draft until President’s Day, it really doesn’t matter to me.

I also went down to the hairdresser’s school this afternoon. My daughter’s enrolled there and she gave me our second haircut. She did a smashing job too. This time she cut the whole thing with a razor. This was a new experience for me, and I like the final product. It felt like bunnies chewing my hair off, which was strange, but I look good.

Old Dad left her a good tip too. (200% of the haircut) She said most people don’t tip at all, and those that do leave a buck. What the hell! She said many of the appointments never show up and don’t even bother to call.

I get that it’s a school, and they may not be the best. (Yet) I also get that it’s the cheapest place in town, and that attracts cheapskates. Still, these are kids trying to better themselves. Most of them took on significant student debt to even be there. I respect them for not heading straight for the welfare teat. Even if I didn’t have a daughter to support, I always tipped my barber.

With the exception of watching Dr. Who, I’m going to dedicate my evening to my beta reading project. I hate waiting, and won’t inflict it on someone else. Hope you guys have a great evening too.

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