Tag Archives: Lizzie and the hat

Nothing like a long drive

I woke up at five o’clock on Sunday. By visiting my parents, I missed out on a visit from my daughter. Old What’s Her Face said if I got on the road by seven, our daughter would stick around Boise and cut my hair. It felt kind of abusive of her time, but I wanted to see her.

The drive started before sunrise, and I enjoyed the dawning across the high desert. This is something I used to see every day, but took for granted.

By the time I reached Lone Mountain Station, there she was. It’s still winter, so she wore a bulky sweater, tights and knee high boots. Her shock of long brown hair moved slightly in the breeze. She watched two vehicles drive by, then stuck out her thumb as I approached.

I eased into the parking lot, then rolled down the window. “What brings you all the way out here, Lorelei? Kind of lonely territory for a Muse.”

“You.”

I watched, mesmerized by her tights, as she walked around to the passenger side, then climbed inside.

“I just wanted to check in. See how your writing is going.”

“It’s been kind of slow. There were a couple of good days, but I got bogged down in the muddy middle for a while.”

“That’s familiar territory for you. Still, I know you’ve added to your storyboards. It seems like you are well primed for your next few tales.”

“Yeah, listen to this.” I turned up the music.

As she listened, I kept talking. “It’s just too obscure for Lizzie and the Pythons to play at one of their gigs.”

“Maybe when they make the movie you can include it as background music.”

“Yeah. That would be great. Since Netflix doesn’t seem to be calling, about all I can do with it is enjoy it.”

“Have you thought about making a character based around this theme?”

“That’s a great idea. He could take a supporting role for one of Lizzie’s adventures. But, I have storyboards that will take years to write out.”

“Hang onto him. He might fit on an existing board, or maybe he needs a new story.”

“Gives me something to think about.”

“That what a Muse does.”

“Of course, Good Liniment is next for that series. Then there’s The Midnight Rambler, and I have one with some gremlins, maybe one about St. Vitus’ Dance, and I’m toying with one that will take Lizzie to the Kentucky Derby.”

“How did you come up with that?”

“The hat, of course. He would hate to be one of those fancy women’s hats. I can get some comedic mileage out of that.”

“That’s a paragraph. You’re going to need a bit more.”

“Okay, Good Liniment will expand the witchcraft world. Readers asked for that, but I wanted Lizzie to evolve into her position for a few tales. There are going to be a bunch of new characters in that story. One of which is a horse lover in the form of the headless horseman. I figure he can be the herald to walk Lizzie into some problem with the horses. Weird enough for one of my tales?”

“It’s certainly weird, but so are you.”

“Thanks, I think. I don’t think I can get her there with a Barnstable Brown performance, or even Phillies and Lillies. Lizzie and the Pythons aren’t big enough for those events. I might have to invent some dive bar in the area for them to perform at.”

“Then invent one. Sounds like it’s going to take a couple of years before you write it. I’m sure something will come to you. Start a storyboard, and remember you only have about two years to complete it.”

I signaled to exit the freeway at Meridian. “What I really need is some help with Lanternfish.”

“Sorry, this is where I get out.”

“Oh, come on!”

“Anywhere near that strip mall is fine. I’ve seen your board. Lanternfish will be fine. You just need to sift through the parts until the pieces are in position for the end game. Since this is a trilogy, make sure you bring some closure to more than just James and Serang.”

“But, you could really help me.”

She leaned over and kissed my cheek. “Of course I could, but your creativity feeds me. Not the other way around. The next time you make a long drive, maybe play something other than your Lizzie and the hat playlist.”

“But, it’s such good music.”

“It really is. Sounds like that series will survive for a long time. You gained a new character out of our visit. Be happy with that.”

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A good day for writing

I didn’t get to the writing cabin very early. I allowed myself to sleep in, took my time tending the dogs, then browsed through a bunch of sites.

By the time I got there, Lisa had already set everything up for me in the paranormal office. She wore one of her favorite bandage dresses with a cherry pattern and red heels.

“What’s all this?” I asked.

“It’s your first real writing day in weeks. I put the coffee in a thermos beside your desk, and disabled the WiFi in here so you won’t get distracted.“

“I won’t get distracted.”

“I know. There’s no WiFi. I’ll turn it back on so you can save to the cloud when you’re finished. Now see if you can help that poor girl find the killer.” She left to take care of other duties.

I read back over my last chapter, made a few corrections, then forged ahead. It felt like a slog, because everything is starting to come together. There were a couple of times I had to go back and adjust the plants that were starting to pay off in the story.

My detective character still can’t remember his encounter with Lizzie and the hat. His wife’s spirit talked him into asking his father for help, but that happened off the page. I spent some time with him going over the six silver bullets his father provided him, and kind of like the way that scene came out.

Because of this POV character, I’m using more section breaks now. As the story comes to an end that always seems to be the case.

Meanwhile, Lizzie finished blinging up her pawn shop jacket and earned some new snow tires, because it’s the little things that count. She also spent the evening with one of her bosses at the diner. When chasing a monster that only shows up a few days per month, she also tends to get a little grouchy.

I enjoyed her evening with Dave at the diner, and it’s a nice reminder that she had friends before the hat upended her life. The diner was quiet, it was a major snowstorm, and a killer is stalking their streets. Makes the dinner shift kind of slow. I’m not totally out of my mind, because right after they locked up, Lizzie went monster hunting on the first night of the full moon.

Because of the blizzard, their night was mostly a stakeout. They spent some time listening to the idiots who call in to Night Bump Radio, then checked what appears to be a favorite travel path of the monster. They just reached the drainage when the sound of distant gunfire pulled them into action.

That’s where I stopped for the day. While it felt kind of laborious, I’m happy with the scenes. I was surprised when my word count came in at 3000 words, because it felt like about half that.

Sundays usually make for lousy writing days. I need to put something together for Story Empire so I’ll dedicate my time to that. I have a couple of things roughed out, but I need to find some graphics. I know posts always do better with graphics, but rarely use them here.

I’m calling it a win. I got some words down, and actually like what happened. Tomorrow I’ll get my next SE post scheduled.

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A Banner Day for me

I knew company was coming this weekend and really wanted to get some things done before they arrived. They’re here now, but I made the most of this morning.

I have dual points of view in this story. Obviously, Lizzie is getting the bulk of screen time, but there is a detective, Joe Yoder, who is chasing what he thinks is a murderer. He’s kind of cool, because he communicates with his dead wife during the story. Neither Joe, nor his wife, have any paranormal abilities.

The day started out with Lizzie staking out the monster, but did not work out according to plan. As the victims pile up, she and my cop wound up on the same lonely street.

It wound up not being a great moment for him, but he’s chasing something he cannot understand. This is clearly Lizzie’s territory. She’s kind of soft hearted and doesn’t want him to get killed while trying to do his job. This led to a conflict that involved some of the hat’s special powers.

What I liked is that Joe also has a supernatural father. I’ve known this since before I started drafting this one. Joe plays a prominent role in this story, but he started off in my imagination as the herald to the next story which will heavily feature his father.

I used this section to discuss the secret between Joe and his dead wife. That way, readers get a clue, but Lizzie and the hat do not. The next book is going to dive deeper into the witchcraft community, and Joe’s dad will be a big part of that.

Joe got a lot of depth from this, because he blames his father for letting his wife die. He’s wrong, and I’ll have to weave in some kind of minimal reconciliation.

The trick is going to be keeping these as stand-alone stories in the series. Right now, I don’t think readers have to read Lunar Boogie in order to understand Good Liniment. My critique partners will help me on this point.

It was a banner day for me. I didn’t hit 5000 words, but I broke 4900 before I ran out of gas. I’m pretty happy with what I produced.

The weekend is for enjoying my company. I might get another writing day on Monday.

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Sunday update

Old What’s Her Face just called from the freeway. She went to Nevada to visit her brother for the weekend. There is a huge construction delay just outside Boise, but she’s nearly home.

Normally, this would be great writing time for me, but I’ve sworn off of new words for a while longer. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been working.

I have a bit of a conundrum involving the publication of my next book. I want to announce it as part of a larger promo on October first. To do that, I need an actual purchase link. I’m off on Wednesday next week, but that’s September 30th. It sounds perfect, but Amazon doesn’t play that way. They can have up to a 72 hour lag time to put a book on their shelves.

This left me no choice but to publish it this afternoon. I need to guarantee the book’s availability on October first. It could be available when you read this, or it could take a day or two. Out of my control.

If nothing else, it allows me to concentrate on lining up some hosts to take this one out on tour. It’s called The Ballad of Mrs. Molony, and it’s a new caper for Lizzie and The Hat. Just in time for the Halloween season.

I also managed to write and schedule my next post on Story Empire. I thought I had a week, but I checked and it’s all set. Then I scheduled one post for this site on September 30th. Aside from that, I changed the wallpaper to something more Halloween related and updated my banner in anticipation of the new book release.

Beyond that, I finished binge watching a show called The Order. Very CW kind of thing, but fun with witches and werewolves. I also made some heavy progress on reading the anthology I appear in.

Not a bad weekend at all. I made some progress on the author front, got to watch what I want on television, and even functioned as a blogger.

I also ate a bunch of Asian pears and it’s about time to visit the tree again. Hope all of you are staying safe, and had some fun times yourself.

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The Friday Teaser

Here we are, at the last Friday in September. I don’t think I’ve actually fooled anyone with the teasers, but they amuse me. Nothing too complicated, just hit the music and check out the poster.

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony is going to drop on October first, Lord willing and the Amazon doesn’t rise. Enjoy this poster of Lisa Burton recreating an image from the story.

Lisa Burton

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Time for the weekly teaser.

October is fast approaching. It’s time for all the creepy-crawly things to visit our imaginations. While you’re preparing for whatever C-19 will allow, I’d like to suggest some reading. There are a ton of horror, paranormal, supernatural tales out there to help you during the month. I also have a new book coming out that you might consider. Here’s a little teaser for you.

Lisa Burton is portraying a scene from the story.

 

 

Lisa Burton

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Time for our weekly teaser

I suppose nearly any of my books might loosely fit into the Halloween theme. I’m still hoping to publish one on October 1st. At the time of this writing, I got a peek at the formatted manuscript and identified a few glitches. It’s all progressing according to the schedule.

For this little teaser, turn up your speakers, and enjoy the all-star assembly. Check out the Lisa Burton poster to get some ideas about what Halloween means at Entertaining Stories. Have fun.

 

Lisa Burton

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Saturday efforts

Today, I sent out the first submission of my side project. This one involves Lizzie and the hat in their third adventure. They’re chasing vampires this time in a rodeo/country music type environment. I know I’ve kind of avoided vampires, but believe I can put a different spin on it, and still keep the humor the characters have become known for. I’m chewing my nails to find out what my critique group thinks of it all.

I also sent out the manuscript of Grinders to my formatter. She sent me an invoice, but I’m loath to pay it until tomorrow. She’s already completed the finished product, but I can’t publish until I have my Lisa Burton promotional posters. What would one of my releases be without Lisa?

Speaking of Grinders, several bloggers offered to host a cover reveal for me. I sent all those out, and several have posted already. I’m not reblogging these because they’re all the same. If you find one online somewhere, I would appreciate a tweet or Facebook post. I’m getting some nice comments on these, so I have high hopes about the eventual publication.

I wanted to get something out for Chinese New Year, and the cover reveal is that attempt. I’m a few weeks away from publication.

I’ve been working on a critique for a friend, and am about half-way through the submission. I’ll probably finish it tomorrow. Our rules are to send the feedback to the entire group, and it’s a great way to raise my own game. Sometimes we don’t know everything and a bit of effort like this helps me improve my own fiction.

Then I scheduled my next Story Empire post. This one is a continuation of the Character Archetypes; the Mentor. I hope it will be well received.

I’m off until Tuesday, so I have high hopes for Monday. I don’t quite have enough to send out the next section of Lanternfish, but could have by Monday night. The crew left the magical floating island of Bungo Bungo and are headed for Giapon. This is a stand-in for Japan in my story. This is the country that Serang’s Emperor has been at war with for decades. Maybe I can build some tension with placing her in this environment.

Sunday is the day I call my parents, and spend some time with my family. There are some Sundays when I can read or maybe write a paragraph or two, but I don’t usually push it on Sundays.

Old What’s Her Face and I had a lovely date night at one of our favorite places, Kahoots. They have a great selection on tap right now, so I had a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, a nice Scotch Ale, and a Expresso Stout. Aside from that, the prime rib was outstanding.

With all that wonderful beer, that’s why I’ll pay my invoice tomorrow. I’m going to watch an old movie tonight and just chill. Hope you’re all having a good weekend in whatever you’re doing.

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