Tag Archives: #Lisa_Burton

Some Teaser Fun

It’s about time to run out another teaser on my way toward publication. Turn on the music, ponder the poster, and contemplate what might be headed your way for the Halloween season.

As always, Lisa makes for great Pinterest pins. Tell your friends, etc.


Lisa Burton


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Lisa Burton Radio with John Cannon #RRBC


Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the Robot Girl, and this is the show all about characters. I understand more than anyone, that characters make the stories complete. Where would our authors be without them?

Today’s sponsor is the John J. Cannon Trilogy by John W. Howell. The main character of these stories is John J. Cannon. He’s waiting on the line, so let’s welcome him to the show.

“Hi, John. Welcome to Lisa Burton Radio. It’s an honor to have a genuine hero on the show.”

“Hello Lisa. I am very pleased to be on your show. I have been seeing a number of your posters and I have to admit you are certainly getting around these days.”

“Well aren’t you sweet, thank you. You’re a litigation attorney, taking a leave of absence from your firm at the time of these stories. It doesn’t sound like a very fun vacation. Tell our fans a bit about what happened.”

“It was very strange Lisa. I took a leave of absence from my firm and bought a boat. I didn’t know at the time but the boat was targeted to be used by a terrorist group. My first inkling of a problem was when I woke up in the hospital and learned I was found unconscious next to the body of the woman who sold me the boat. From there I got involved with a nasty guy named Matt Jacobs. He was behind the whole thing and it just so happened I had made a very big enemy in Matt. He’s sworn revenge. I think I would say I was the right guy in the wrong place.

“What is it with authors and making sure everyone has an enemy? It’s like happy characters don’t make good books, or something. Why is Matt Jacobs so angry with you?”

“You know I have yet to understand authors. Mine took me from San Francisco and threw me into mayhem almost costing me my life and those I care about. Matt is angry at me for two reasons. The first is I humiliated him during a law suit between his company and my client. It cost him over a hundred million dollars in the settlement. He could care less about the money since he has billions, but I put him on the stand and made him look like a fool. The second reason is I stopped him from completing his vindictive strike against America. Matt Jacobs does not suffer fools lightly. He has since decided not to kill me but use me to meet his ends. In the book His Revenge he actually gives me a choice of helping him or watching thousands of innocent people die.”

“That’s terrible. It’s bad enough that Matt’s a terrorist, but to use you like that is just heinous. It must have tempered you in some way. Can you tell us about that?”

“Well I finally decided the authorities were going to have a difficult time getting evidence on Matt. It became my job to thwart his plans. You know Lisa I’m not one of those all powerful heroes who can fight their way out of difficult situations. I have to remain calm and look for points of leverage over Matt. I guess you could say I have to work smarter not harder. Matt has an entire organization dedicated to embarrassing America. He blames all of us for some perceived oppression of his Palestine homeland. I’ve been lucky to be able to use his arrogance against him. I can assure you I will not rest until I see Matt Jacobs behind bars to answer for his crimes. He’s been on a path of revenge and as one philosopher once said, “When you seek revenge dig two graves. One for the one from whom you seek revenge, and one for yourself.” I want to be there when Matt is finally brought to justice.”

“I’m honored to know you. It isn’t everyone who can stand in the line of fire like that, with no promise of survival. I’m sure our listeners have some questions for you. Let’s take a call.

“Hello, you’re on the air with Lisa and John. Do you have a question for John?”

“Yes, this is Matt Jacobs and before you go any further let me point out there is no proof I have had anything to do with these events that John Cannon has ill-advisedly accused me of planning and executing. Your guest is quite delusional and is making these accusations to further his desire to be an American hero. I want to let you both know you will be hearing from my attorney regarding these egregious accusations. You know quite well John Cannon I am a man of my word. I would like to hear what you have to say now.”

“Well, Matt. I have to say I’m very surprised an important man like yourself would take the time to listen to this interview let alone call in. I think there may be a tender spot here. Your threat of a lawyer is a good one. I would welcome the opportunity to get you and your lawyer into a courtroom. I know you would have no problem lying through your teeth, but I can assure you I have enough proof to make any charge of slander look ridiculous and raise enough questions about you that the civil suit could be the basis for a criminal charge. So why don’t you make my day and bring a suit. I would enjoy that very much. I’m really sorry Lisa that this man is rude enough to interrupt your show. I see he has hung up.”

“That was certainly uncomfortable. Don’t worry about me, I’m bullet resistant, and my author gave me a big assed gun. With computerized aiming, I’ve never missed before. Besides, if he wants to sue me, he’ll have to wait in line.

“Let’s try something lighter. How is your relationship with that girl? The one with the hole in her head. I think her name was Stephanie.”

“I like your description of the hole in her head and luckily I can smile about it now. Stephanie was targeted by Matt Jacobs during a trip we made to Washington to get a medal from the President. The idea was to take her out and demonstrate how serious he was about getting me to cooperate. Lucky for both of us the shooter was a little off and she was wounded but not fatally. Stephanie and I have to work through some issues as a result of Matt sending her some pictures of me with someone else. We weren’t in a committed relationship, but still I regret putting myself in a position that brought pain to Stephanie. I think we’ll be able to get beyond this evil act by Jacobs. At least I hope so.”

“John I wish you luck in your next adventure. Take care of yourself, and it’s been an honor having you on the show.

Don’t forget to check out all the links and important data on the website. Pick up the John J. Cannon Trilogy today.


John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a daily blog. His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold. His second, His Revenge is available on Amazon and KDP Select. The conclusion of the series, Our Justice, is coming soon.

John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of South Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.


Global Amazon link http://a-fwd.com/asin=B016P42OH6



Shelfari –http://www.shelfari.com/johnwhowell
Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Martin Sisters Publishing –Http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com

Author database http://authorsdb.com/bookshelf-thrillers/20190-his-revenge


Note from Craig: I was honored with an advance copy of Our Justice, and you guys are in for a treat.


Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Announcement, Announcement, Announcement!

I'm bringing a new feature to this blog. I don't often pander for social media shares and re-blogs, but tomorrow is the day. Not this post, tomorrow's post. Do what you will with this one, it's just the announcement.

The best way to explain it is by telling you how it went down.


I got to the writing cabin Monday, and determined to add new words to The Yak Guy Project. I parked the gyrocoper in the basement, and stomped upstairs. Lisa, my robotic assistant, was nowhere to be found.

I typed away, and at least she'd made coffee before she went shopping. My thought process was interrupted by the sound of heavy equipment. When I looked outside, I saw a tree topple in the forest.

The meadow looked safe enough, not a mammoth in sight, so I walked down to see what the commotion might be.

Lisa was back-dragging the bucket of the tractor we used in Will O' the Wisp. it looked like she'd made some sort of building pad. When she saw me she climbed down, grinning from ear to ear.

“What the hell's going on here? I didn't authorize any construction.”

“You're going to love it. You wrote the short story about the radio station, right?”

“Yeah, so.”

“I get to keep the swag from all my artwork projects with Sean Harrington. I'm having the old Airstream delivered here.”

“Why? Isn't the cabin big enough for you?”

“The cabin's great. This is your next big adventure.” She made a very Vanna White style gesture at the building pad.

“Yeah… I don't get it.”

“Lisa Burton Radio. Isn't it cool.”

“No, not really.”

Then this happened:

“Look here. You made me the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories, and all that goes with it. I've worked really hard to live up to my role, and this is a good idea. What's that stupid saying you've been uttering, 'If you run with the herd, you get what the herd gets?' This idea steps away from the herd, it's unique.”

I tried to calm down. I don't think she'd ever get violent, but she's a lot stronger than I am. “What exactly is Lisa Burton Radio?”

“That's a better attitude.” She placed her hands on her hips. “I can interview characters from various stories on my show. My spots have gotten really popular, and maybe some authors would like to book their characters on my show.”

“So we would invite characters to my writing cabin, my sanctuary?”

“No. It's a call in show. They can be from anywhere, and still call in. I found a few old story elements in the basement, and after I hook them up, they can call from the future, the past, or Hell itself if they want.”


“It's not creepy. Characters carry the story, and you know it. Characters can sell the story too. Maybe people would like to hear from them outside the covers of their books.”

“So are we going to sit around and wait for people to contact us?”

“Hardly, I'm stacking the deck to make sure we get off the ground. I already contacted some of your friends, and they're all on-board for this.”

“Huh, maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all. I mean if other authors think it's a good idea–“

“It's a great idea. Now I have to string wire up to that peak.” She pointed off to the nearest mountain. “That's where the antenna will go.”

“Who's doing all that work?”

“I am. I can carry a roll of wire like you can carry a roll of toilet paper. I'm not edible, so I'm not worried about the wildlife.”

“Why Lisa Burton Radio? It should have a fancy name, like Character Promo Radio.”

“That's terrible. It's Lisa Burton Radio for SEO purposes. Maybe you can get some search engines to pick up the show. Then it benefits you as well as the other authors.”

“What do you need me to do?”

“That's the beauty of this. I'll take care of it and you can just write.” She turned back to her building pad. “In fact why don't you go do some writing right now. The old trailer will be here this afternoon, and I want to have the place ready for it.”

“Fine, but don't think I'm not putting this in my blog.”


There you have it. The veil is off my super secret project, and there are some really fun guests lined up. In order to make this work, I need people to share it across social media. Tomorrow is the first broadcast, and we'll take all the tweets, shares, reblogs, and whatever else we can get.

Maybe your character will appear one day, and all that support will be for you. it could be a fun stop on a blog tour too.

I'm off to work on the project myself. I probably need a new page, and a new category so authors can find their old promos easily.

Tommorow, big support tomorrow, please.


Filed under Lisa Burton Radio, Muse

A writing lesson, Craig style

Lisa* the robot girl and I sat in the front office at the cabin. I pecked away at The Yak Guy Project for about thirty minutes. Part of my story involves a gradual movement from the guy’s familiar environment to one that is a bit more Asian. This requires a little more world building. I suppose it’s because the yak screams Asia to me.

“What kind of world building should I do to make it real for the readers?”

Lisa said, “I suppose clothing and style might help. Maybe some mannerisms.”

“I don’t know, clothing is always your thing. It kind of feels like low hanging fruit at this point. What about silk?”

A knock came at the door. Lisa spread her hands to indicate she wasn’t expecting anyone as she walked to the door. When she opened it, three beautiful women barged into the writing cabin and headed for me.

A blonde in a tailored skirt-suit spoke first. Her hair was in a tight bun. She lowered her glasses and looked over the top, revealing her perfectly arched brow. “I’m Libraria, these are my sisters Consultia and Wiki.”

Consultia had light black skin, a spiral perm so huge it sagged at the ends. She wore a shiny black top with a collar so wide it hung off one shoulder, and was dangerously close to falling completely off. She paired it with a black and white skirt and a pair of those low-topped, high-heeled boots. Her smile could serve as a beacon to lift anyone’s spirits.

Wiki had a denim skirt with black tights underneath. She paired that with tennis shoes, and an Abercrombie tee-shirt that showed off her athletic physique. She wore red hair, straight from the bottle. It had an A-line cut and layers that gave her a Sonic the Hedgehog look. She wore a cluster of string friendship bracelets on one wrist, and a necklace that amounted to a gold plated thumb drive.

Libraria opened a book bag and pulled out an old leather covered book. She slid it slowly across the desk with her perfect French-tips. As she slid it she leaned over farther and farther. I saw all the way to her navel between two perfectly tanned breasts. “This is the complete history of the Silk Road. It’s fascinating stuff, and will give your story a deep sense of reality.”

Wiki tapped away at her iPad-mini with her home-painted nails in alternating black and white. She turned the iPad toward me. “Look at this video. These cute little silkworms are munching away at fresh mulberry leaves.” She wrinkled her nose and smiled. Mesmerizing.

Consultia walked around the desk and sat beside me. She had some of the longest legs I’ve ever seen. From her position on the desk, and my position in the chair, we were close to having a Sharon Stone moment. “Did you know the Chinese kept the secret of silk away from the rest of the world for centuries? A person could be executed for smuggling out silkworm eggs.” She grabbed my hand and placed it on her top. “Feel this, it’s 100% pure silk. Nice huh?”

I managed something like, “Uh-huh,” right before Consultia sat in my lap.

Libraria said, “The cultivation of silk worms is called, sericulture. It’s been going on for thousands of years.”

Wiki said, “Here is a documentary about sericulture you should watch. And look at these beautiful Chinese dresses.”

Consultia reached for the iPad. “I love the cherry blossoms against the sky blue background. I think I could pull this off. Do they have one that’s a little shorter, or with a split for my leg?”

Wiki wrinkled her nose again and smiled. “You could totally pull that off. Let me check for other styles.”

Consultia ran her fingers through my hair. “Do you think I could pull that look off?”

“Oh yeah.”

She pulled my head to her chest and hugged me. “You’re so sweet.”

Libraria touched a nail to her collar bone and slowly slid it down over her breast. “The Silk Road began at the Pacific Coast and went over the Himalayas.” She kept moving downward. “It wound up in the fertile Mediterranean area.”

I think my jaw must have popped open somewhere around Nepal, because Consultia eased it shut.

Wiki said, “Look at these silk paintings about sericulture. Isn’t it cool that it’s a painting about silk, and it’s actually made on silk?”

Consultia pulled me tighter and looked up. “You know what? We should actually go to China.”

“Looking up tickets and accommodations,” Wiki said.

Libraria said, “Or we could take your little gyrocopter. I mean it goes into outer space and everything.”

“Great idea, but it’s only built for two.”

Libraria said, “We can double up. Wiki is tiny, and she could sit in your lap.”

Wiki clasped a hand to her heart, smiled and nodded. “Sounds like a blast.”

The sky grew dark and dimmed the light in the writing cabin. Thunder rolled across the meadow, and the door kicked in. Lorelei* stood in the doorway, and she was pissed.

“What are you doing here?” Libraria asked.

“Call it an intervention. Now you bitches get out.”

“That isn’t very nice,” I said. “These girls are helping me with my book.”

Helping! Is that what you think? These are Sirens, Research Sirens, and their job is to enrapture you and distract you until you abandon your story. Then you’ll think of a better story, and a better one after that. You’ll never finish another story. Now I said move, and I meant it.”

The girls slowly backed away, stuffing things into book bags, purses, and in Consultia’s case her blouse. They walked in-step to the door. The view from this direction was just as fabulous as the other way. I put my elbows on the desk, and my face in my hands.

Lorelei slapped me across the cheek.


“Oh you liked it. They are distant cousins of mine, and have been wrecking authors for centuries. Fiction isn’t the same as other writing. Speculative fiction is even less connected to facts.”

“Yeah, but there still needs to be a basis in reality to ground the reader.”

“Absolutely, but after you’ve developed the world, you can plow through some of it. Imagine your story about Yak Guy growing up. He’s coming along nicely, and then your readers are shifted into ten thousand words about the history of silk. They’ll be disappointed. They’ll lose the story.”

“That sounds bad alright. So where’s the line?”

“It’s different for every story. In something like Panama, you needed to research the area, and get the names right. In Wild Concept and Arson, you can make some of it up. Some science fiction is less adventure and more theory based, in that case you have to do your research.”

“How do you suggest I proceed? They seem like great researchers.”

“They are the absolute best researchers. That’s part of their spell, but their goal is different than yours.” She put an arm around Lisa. “This is all the research you need. She can Wiki, Library, and Converse with the best of them. She can even feed a video to your monitor if she has to. She isn’t trying to derail your career, and keep you from success. Remember, a paragraph or two is usually enough in the stories you write.”

“But I learn so much cool stuff when I research.”

“Yes, it looked like you were having a good time. You can’t share everything you learn. Take some tidbits and bullshit your way through it. The Raven of Doubt will be there for you at the end.”

“How did you know to show up here?”

“Lisa called me. She told me what was going on and emailed me pictures of the Sirens. I came as soon as I could.”

“Thanks, I think.”

“I’ve been helping you write since the day you started. Your talent has improved over the years, and your success has grown too. You have to trust me on this one. Part of that success is your ability to finish what you start. Perfection is impossible, but damned good is a possibility. Those girls would ruin all of that, and have you thanking them for it.”

“Lisa, make a note to always be here when I’m researching. If something goes off the rails, you can intervene.”

“I’ve got your back, boss.”

* Lorelei is my Muse. Lisa is my robotic personal assistant.


Filed under Muse, Writing

Tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow

I spent most of my time setting up some guest posts that you'll be seeing over the next ten days. There are some really cool authors stopping by, and I expect you to check out their wares.

This stuff is important, because there will come a time when we need to step out and promote our own books. I'll be doing that very soon.

I also wrote one guest post involving Lorelei my Muse. I'll offer it to one of my street team members first when I'm ready to launch The Playground. It still needs links that I won't have until I pre-publish.

I'm cooking up ideas for other guest posts to keep them all a bit different. Lisa has some fun new posters to go along with The Playground, so I need some posts from her point of view too. It seems like I can write these even with distractions. While my wife watches American Idol or something, I can hack out 500 words or so.

I've wanted to get back into graphic novels for a long time now. I have some real classics from before the advent of the ebook, but haven't bought one since. I promised myself that I would read at least one this year, and I broke down and ordered a paper one.

I'm a little bit disappointed that I can't get it electronically. Maybe if I'd have shopped harder, I could have found something in electronic format.

It was the artwork that drew me to this one, and I don't mind telling you that I'm always on the lookout for Lisa ideas too. Madame Mirage has some powerful girl art, and maybe I can find something to keep Lisa's image up to snuff. Still, a computer generated super heroine, sounds like it has something going for it.

You guys have no idea what I go through to keep Lisa updated. I even have clothing sites bookmarked just in case something might work for her. My search history must look pretty dicey to any NSA agent who checks it out.

Speaking of my browsing history, I also wrote a murder short story last night. I'm pretty happy with it, but there is no speculative element involved. That kind of leaves it homeless in a way. I could post it here, or save it for Macabre Macaroni next October. Either way, I had a blast writing it, and will do something with it eventually. I'll claim word count in the 2200 class, so some writing happened.

Yup, NSA must think I'm either a pervert, a poof, or a murderer. When the black helicopters come I have no idea what island they'll put me on.

Tomorrow is the day. Yak Guy better be ready, because I have plans for him.


Filed under Writing

Check another project off my list

I set my alarm clock for 4:00 AM and flew out to the writing cabin early. I intended to finish this short story by hook or by crook.

Lisa monitors my gyrocopter, and the lights were on at the cabin as I made my approach. I touched down and maneuvered onto the elevator that goes to the basement.

The smell of fresh coffee almost made me drool as I climbed the inside stairs. Lisa is the best assistant.

The rocket pack sat on the coffee table in my office, beside the fishbowl style helmet. My story couldn’t end until this thing flew one more time.

Clacking came downstairs from Lisa’s rooms. She wore her leather flight jacket, a body shirt, and a pair of thigh high boots that still needed zipped up. She leaned against the wingback chair and wrapped her hair into a bun.

She stomped each boot before zipping it up tight. “I think you’ve been stalling. This story doesn’t end until that rocket flys again.”

“It’s damaged, are you sure about this.”

She only gave one slow nod in answer, grabbed her helmet and balanced it on her hip.

“I’ll carry your rocket down.”

“No. You need to watch from the back porch. Take lots of notes. I’ll bring myself up on the elevator.”

I carried my coffee to the back porch. The freezing temperature made the fog rise from my cup. The first rays of sunlight punched through the trees and lit the runway in a surreal glow of fog and sun.

The machinery of the elevator engaged, and the door slid open revealing blackness in the basement. Tiny horizontal swirls of ground fog marked the moving of machinery. A mechanical clunk and the motor preceded her arrival.

I swear the moment required orchestral music and tympani. She looked so small on the flight elevator coming out of the darkness.

As she rose to the surface, the sun backlit her strawberry blonde hair. She put her helmet on, and clicked it into place. She already wore the rocket pack that would send her into the heavens.

She looked different somehow, more confident, stronger. No polka dots and pencil skirts, today Lisa was all business. I admit to having a tear in my eye, a combination of pride and concern.

“How you reading me, Boss?” I jumped at the hand radio she’d placed out ahead of time. Lisa thinks of everything.

“Five by Five.”

She snapped to the right and marched out onto the landing strip away from the elevator and cabin. The rising sun provided God’s own spotlight down to her knees. She gave me her best fist over the heart salute.

It’s been our thing since I wrote The Cock of the South. I returned the salute and she pointed at the sky with her right hand. When her arm came down, she hit the button on her crossed harnesses.

Fire lit up the meadow.

Smoke curled off the runway obscuring my vision. It rose higher than the cabin. Higher than the trees.

The noise of jet wash deafened me.

I looked frantically for the fire extinguisher. I couldn’t lose her after all we’ve been through.

Lisa rose on a pillar of flame against the blue black morning sky. Tears streamed down my face as she rose ever higher. At approximately two thousand feet, she trimmed her engine, and gained speed. Like a fiery arrow, she flashed across the morning sky until she faded out of sight.

I went to my knees, happy she didn’t explode, and dumbfounded by the sheer beauty of it all until I spilled coffee across my frozen wrist.

“This is Lisa Burton. Lisa to Writing Cabin, do you hear me?”

I keyed the radio. “I hear you. Are you alright?”

“I’m fabulous. You should see things from up here. It’s absolutely beautiful. I’ll try to bounce a signal off a satellite so you can stay with me.”

“Roger that. It looks like the repairs were a success.”

“Was there ever any doubt?”

“Yeah, a little.”

“Sometimes you have to launch anyway. Hey, you could use that for Yak Guy.”

“I’ll write the books around here. Better come home now.”

“No way. It’s weightless and beautiful up here. I’m making a couple of orbits while I have the chance. Since you write the books, why don’t you write the big launch scene just the way it looked this morning.”

“Roger that, and Lisa?”


“Enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it.”

Note: Lisa Burton is the most capable robotic assistant I know. I couldn’t have written this short story without her. I’m now calling it The Last Flight of the Rocket Men. Writing it in first person from the viewpoint of the rocket man was a bit of a challenge, but it’s now a complete draft.


Filed under Muse

The game changes

Lisa* and I decided to try a bit of editing out at the writing cabin. New words were hung up in my headache, but editing seemed like a possibility. /there might be a small chance to spruce up The Playground.

“Okay, Lisa. You're out for a walk, and it's cold outside. You have your pea coat on, and your special work bag.”

“Oh crap. Do you think I should order a pea coat?”

“Just wing it, and we'll go over the dialog one more time.”

“I don't know. It would probably come across better if I had a pea coat. Should I order a blue one, or a tan one?”

“It doesn't matter. It won't be here in time.”

“Good point. I ordered one anyway.” She looked down at the antique blunderbuss and toyed with the hammer. “Oh cool. They have a pink one too. I'd better order both of them.”

“Can we get back to work now?”

“And a scarf. They would look really cute with my pea coats.” Her eyes fluttered the way they do when she's online.

I figured I'd lost her down a rabbit hole of matching nail polish, and probably some shoes that match the new coats.

In the last month, I've read The Playground a dozen times or more. It has three point of view characters, and I even read those sections like short stories all at once. “Let's give up for the night. I don't think I'm improving anything from here on out. It needs fresh eyes.”

I closed my word processor and checked email. There were a few new Facebook likes, some blog likes, and a note from Mom. “Woo Hoo! Look at this?”

“What? Is there another color of pea coat?”

“No! It's the cover to The Playground.”

Lisa jumped up and ran behind my desk to look for herself. She put a hand to her mouth and bent at the knees. “Oh my God. Sean Harrington is so talented. Does this mean we're publishing tonight?”

“Noooo. You haven't been listening. The manuscript needs fresh eyes.”

“Will you put out a call for beta readers again?”

“Not just beta readers. A whole street team. Maybe I need a cry to action, something like, Avengers Assemble!”

“Do you want the Avengers?”

“Yeah, kind of, but I doubt that's going to happen. It would make a great call to action though.”

“It already has. Maybe you should just ask nicely. You know, like the last time.”

“Yeah, that works too. Alright then, Wednesday night I'll ask for volunteers. I need some time to think about what I want. It's only polite to tell people what they can volunteer for. There are the beta readers, the cover reveal, maybe a reviewer or two. Then I need to get people to host me, and you too. You aren't getting off the hook on this one.”

“I'm sure. I have my new poster all ready to hand out.”

“While the betas are working, I can write some guest posts. It's easy enough to grab an excerpt to share.”

“Do you want me to put the blunderbuss in the basement with the other story elements?”

I picked up the antique gun and shouldered it. “It really is cool. Maybe we ought to display it up here.”

“Don't they traditionally go over a fireplace?”

“Good plan. Why don't you hang it over the fireplace in the paranormal office. The Playground is a paranormal story.”

“Got it. What are you going to do?”

“I'm going to go home and see if the X-Files is on tonight.”

“Goodnight then. See you Wednesday?”

“Absolutely. Exelcior!”

“Give it up. Just ask everyone nicely. You don't need a stupid battle cry.”

I headed past the paranormal office toward the landing strip.

*Lisa Burton is my robotic personal assistant. She's also the official spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories.

A 'No Prize' for anyone who recognized Lisa's outfit as one she bought in her short story, Bombshell Squad.

~~~ “Stop with the Marvel rip offs. I'm reading your blog.”



Filed under Muse, Writing

Puttering again

I'm still feeling under the weather today. Everyone who's had this locally has to deal with it for weeks. Yay me. Let's just say if I'd written my creative Day Of Pots post today I could add one more pot. This is the kind you set on, and we'll just leave it at that.

My crud even put a stop to date night, and I'm kind of bummed about that.

I puttered around all day on mini projects. I read a few chapters of an ARC for a friend. This iPad Pro is wonderful in that I can have a second window open for notes. I made a few, but it makes beta reading so much easier.

I bounced around with various social media today. I used a couple of free apps to make graphics for Twitter and Facebook. I found one where you can place a note into a bottle on a sandy beach. I added the cover of Experimental Notebook and posted it on Twitter. It's getting a little bit of action, and reflects one of the stories in the book.

I also made a few like this using the older Lisa Burton artwork. I'm using them to post the new Facebook links.

In case you missed it, Lisa is on Facebook and is the administrator of Entertaining Stories on Facebook.

The app has a Playboy cover too, but that is sooo not Lisa. Gotta stay in character with these projects. She's willing to fish with that bait, but not all of it, if you catch my drift.

If you have a chance, check out these sites and tell your friends about them. Thank you to those who already have, but I'm trying to expand my footprint here. Enough said.

I added a few lines to the retro science fiction story. These include gelatinous water spheres instead of plastic bottles. The characters just eat them. I decided they should also be gelatinous olives in cocktails, and something to bite after a tequila shot. (It sounded fun to me.)

The girl in this story has to convince the guy he needs to give up on his past and face his future. Tequila seems like a decent way to introduce that.

I managed to change my wallpaper too. Let's go with toy robots for a month.

Not a ton going on here today. With all this time on my hands I should have made some bigger progress. I'm afraid I'm going to be puttering along for some time. After this goes live I'll probably look at those critique submissions. They aren't going to read themselves and we meet Tuesday.


Filed under Writing

Promotion takes a step forward.

I read through my morning emails, and sent some ideas off to Sean Harrington. Sean was the cover artist for Wild Concept, and makes the awesome Lisa Burton* art I share here. He is going to make the cover for The Playground.

I stepped away from my iPad and went to find Lisa. I like to bounce ideas off her when it comes to being in public. She’s much more social than I am. I found her nailing up a painting behind her desk.

“What the hell? Where did you? Is that a Warhol?”

Lisa stepped off my old soapbox and turned. “Warhol’s dead.”

“Yeah, well we get ghosts out here sometimes. Remember the one in Will O’ the Wisp?”

“Oh yeah, I had do download French so I could talk to her.” She put the hammer on her desk. “It’s a Harrington. You’ve had us working together quite a bit, and he made this for me.”

“Huh. I um…” I scratched my head while Lisa fetched coffee. She knows me so well.

“What’s on your mind today?” She sat the cup on a coaster made from an old circuit board.

“I think I need to expand my social media footprint. I really don’t like that stuff, and would rather just write. Still, if nobody knows I have books available, it’s hard for folks to read them.”

“So, spit it out.”

“Well, you’re more social than I am. What do you know about Facebook? I think I should probably have a page on Facebook.”

She looked off into the distance. Her eyes fluttered like when the television flickers briefly. “Done!”

“What do you mean, done?”

“You have a Facebook page.”

“You mean, you just made one? Right now?”

“Look.” She pointed at herself. “Robot girl plus great WiFi, equals you have a Facebook page.”

“Show me.”

She sat at her computer and entered the address for Entertaining Stories on Facebook.

“Was it hard to set up?”

“Not for me. You might have spent days at it. I had to set up my own page first before I could set up a business page, so it took me a nano-second. Check it out.” She opened a site for Lisa Burton on Facebook.

“All of it looks pretty good. What do we do with it?”

“You need to make some friends, and they can interact with you.”

“Yeah… Interaction is good, I like that. It’s the making friends part I’m not so good at.”

She rolled her eyes and sat behind the computer. “Go write your stories. I’ll spend some time making you some friends.”

I patted her on the shoulder. “You’re a great wingman. Thanks.” I headed back to my office.

I really don’t know what to do with Facebook, so I’m open to suggestions. It looks like I’ve already gotten a bunch of work done today. Maybe I’ll watch a movie, or make some sourdough. Then I can spend my afternoon seeing if Lisa made me some friends.

*Lisa Burton is my personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She’s also a robot.


Filed under Muse, Writing

Kill it with fire

Lisa* helped me into my editing jacket, and I was joined by Doubt the raven. We had to make our final character pass through The Playground. This pass involves Gina who carries the paranormal burden in the story.

Doubt pecked my hands raw, but I think I’m about finished. I love all my stories, but at this point in the game I never want to see them again. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Cover art is probably a month away, then I’ll ask for some advance readers. These people are encouraged to kick my butt and give me a chance to fix any failures I may have missed. I think it’s nice to share the artwork with advance readers.

Reminder: I am not seeking readers today. We’re just hanging out and complaining about editing.

Here’s what this story involves, in case someone is debating asking for an advanced copy.

My personal goal was to write three different stories that weave together to tell a complete one. There are three different point of view characters. I got this idea from the movie Pulp Fiction.

The story involves a business man who makes a new social media for children. He places the Playground Network inside a sequence of dolls and plush toys. At some point before chapter one, he realizes the power he has over our children. One of his soldiers is in every home. He turns to the occult to accelerate his plans.

Chloe is the character who represents the victims in this story. She acquires her ultimate dream of a Playground doll, and goes into a downward spiral under the influence of the network.

Gina is a cancer survivor and doctor. Her life is broken at the beginning of the story. She winds up being the only person who can stop the Playground Network from taking over. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, but has a capable mentor. Her story involves demons, the fae, and conjuring a dead oracle.

Clovis is a thug hired to retrieve stolen Network hardware. He’s bigger, tougher, and has a head start over Gina. He’s brutal and not afraid to use harsh tactics. (He was a lot of fun to write.)

This is a paranormal story with some science fiction sprinkles on top. I’ve looked at it until my eyes want to fall out. I’m sure I’ll love it again when it’s time to send out copies. Watch this space for the announcement.

It feels good to finish something. Yeah, it’s a phase of something, but it smells like victory.

Doubt is back on his perch, the paranormal office is dark, and it’s time to beg Lisa to let me out of this jacket.

*Lisa Burton is my personal assistant, and spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She’s also a robot.

PS: This is a prescheduled post, but I’m doing a quick update. The Cock of the South just cracked the top 100 in it’s subgenre. It’s been out there for over a year, and I’m sure it’s fleeting, but good news is welcome at any time.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)


Filed under Muse, Writing