Tag Archives: Lizzie and the Pythons

It’s a conundrum

I may have finished Lunar Boogie this morning. Then again, maybe not. I’m struggling with a situation and airing it out might help me. A few of your comments might be helpful, too.

First is to admit that The Hat series is a form of superhero fiction. Readers expect certain things, but I’m troubled by what you don’t see regularly.

Lizzie and the hat have a symbiotic relationship that lets them fight monsters. They need each other. However, Lizzie is just a regular girl.

In superhero tales, we get used to seeing massive destruction and various villains getting done in. It’s part of the expectations. We almost never see the down side of all that.

Lizzie is a good character, and I want to make sure she’s fully developed. Some of this should start to wear on her at some point and that’s what I want to get across. I understand it isn’t why we read heroic fiction, but if you have fully developed characters, sometimes they’re going to have issues.

In other genres, like adventure, we know people fire machine guns in the streets, but the cops never seem to show up. First, why not? Second, is this police absence expected in the story?

My thought was to deal with some of this between books. I understand that readers of heroic fiction don’t want to spend chapters of effort on mental health issues. Those stories are best suited to other authors.

To deal with it between books, I have to leave readers with a sense of the problem. I can pick things up on the other side with a nod before the next adventure. I have some fun things planned for that.

What I have in hand is a book that ends on a bummer note. The goals were achieved, people will live happy lives because of Lizzie’s efforts, but it’s kind of a downer at the same time. Keep in mind these are also supposed to be comedic in part. (Bummer and comedy don’t mix too well.)

When I pick it up in the next story, since Lizzie is a musician, I figured people might mistakenly refer to her episode as rehab. In fact, that part works pretty well.

My problem is the mental cliff-hanger I’ve created in this volume. I like it, but I don’t at the same time, and I’m out of time today. Perhaps a medical professional can deliver a line or two about things being okay and that would work. Would this be enough of an uplifting phrase if I do it well?

I could also add one more chapter, which after writing it here seems like a good idea. She wouldn’t be completely cured, but readers could see her getting some help.

In some ways, I’m lucky to be out of time. This has been on my mind for months, and now that it exists it could be easier to find a way to address it. Having a week to ponder the issues might play to my advantage.

One thing that’s also possible is to get the next book ready to go for a quicker release. Then Lizzie’s fans can get the answers a bit sooner than the annual release schedule.

Do any of you ever have struggles like this? I know the genre pretty well, and what I’m proposing isn’t required. Would I be better off to drop the idea entirely and go back to her musical lifestyle as if nothing happened?

Right now, I’m leaning toward the additional chapter. Maybe even just a scene to end on a higher note. What do you guys think?

34 Comments

Filed under Writing

First day of Staycation

I took a couple of days off with the goal of working on my manuscripts. I kind of needed some time anyway. I never took any holiday time, allowing others to have whatever they wanted.

Yesterday was my flex day and it was a bust. I’ve had an eye appointment for weeks, and made it for my normal day off. That canceled out any ability to write, but I knew it would.

Turns out my far sightedness has gotten worse. This leads to new prescriptions and I decided to get new frames at the same time. We have insurance and a flex account, so why not?

I also lost a couple of days this weekend, because my in-laws are coming. It’s good for me to socialize, so it will be fine. It makes days like today more important though.

My start was kind of slow. I took my time making coffee and tending dogs. I even read blogs before I decided what to work on.

As is my norm, I read my last chapter before I started. Then added to the story about Lizzie and the hat. It started off with humor, a musical performance, and some of her band mates having fun at the expense of the saxophone player. Lizzie and the hat exchanged barbs about wet tee-shirt contests.

Then things got real serious. I brought in some isolation, and close proximity to the possible killer in this story. I stopped there, but it’s going to be a long night for Lizzie. Might be a sad one, too.

I’m excited for this section, but it’s time to stop. I find it’s always better to stop when I have something screaming at me for the next day. Company won’t show up until Friday night, so tomorrow should be productive. I also have the Monday holiday for writing as well.

I’ll have to put together something for a new character I introduced as well. It’s about time for he and Lizzie to meet up. There are some fun things planned for that, and it will give him a lot more depth.

My hope here is to end this one well, but also on a bummer note. I don’t know how that will work out as far as keeping the books as possible stand-alone reading, but it will set up events for the next volume. I’ll have to rely on my critique group to give me feedback there. They can’t weigh in until I write it, so I’ll keep forging ahead.

I’m sure it needs some work, but today’s effort came to 3300 words. This is a good day by my standards.

33 Comments

Filed under Writing

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

21 Comments

Filed under Writing

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

26 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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

25 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Kicking it into Overdrive

It’s September now. The best month of the year is just over the horizon. I can taste the pumpkin spice in my beer, and detect the crispness of the occasional morning. We’ll still dabble with the occasional 100 degree temperature, but October will be here before we know it.

It’s been my favorite since I was a small child. All the spooky Halloween oriented things. The changing colors, I love all of it.

Late summer was busy. It seems like Lanternfish sailed all over the world in the last month. We visited a lot of old friends and managed to get Lisa Burton out of the writing cabin. I’m hoping that my free promotion of the first book will walk some new readers into this series. It’s time to send the ship to dry dock now. She has holes to patch and barnacles to scrape before I take her back out for her last cruise.

I’m going to be popping up here and there this month to promote Murder They Wrote. This is an anthology of seven different short stories with a theme of murder. My character, Jason Fogg, is a private detective on the trail in my story.

I’ll be on the lookout for review posts. With Lanternfish’s free days, plus the new book, plus the anthology, one or two could pop up. If I find them, I’l try to share them here.

You might be thinking, Craig’s had a busy year. He’s probably going to relax for a while. That’s just not the case this year. I try to have a Halloween themed promo of some kind every year, and 2020 be damned, I’m doing it this year, too. I have another book I hope to release on October first. I only have part of my promotional artwork, but I have a cool cover. I’m sure the rest of the art will arrive in time. I don’t even have the formatted MS back, but it will be here.

I decided to post some teasers this month. Simple, visual and auditory at the same time. With this post, I’ve officially promoted three new books in one week. Take that 2020. Check it out. Are you teased? Are you intrigued?

Lisa Burton

30 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

From the Writing Cabin

My day started at 5:00 AM. The dogs had all the sleep they could stand, and wanted breakfast. My wife has to work, so it was a reasonable writing opportunity.

I made good time flying out to the writing cabin, and landed just as the sun peeked over the horizon. The elevator lowered the gyrocopter into the hangar, then I trudged toward the stairs.

Lisa Burton met me at the top landing. She held out a half-gallon bottle of sanitizer. “Hands.”

I paused, then reached forward. She pumped several squirts into each hand. “Wash them completely. If you still have some, do your forearms.”

“Jesus! I have enough to do my whole body.”

“Maybe you should. I have. I’ve also wiped down your office and iPad.”

I walked into the cabin, and an alarm went off. “Stop! You are too close to Lisa Burton. Please maintain social distancing at all times.”

“What was that?”

“I downloaded it, then paired it with my internal radar. You’ll find a canister of sterilizing wipes on your desk, and a gallon of bleach beside the door if you have any accidents.”

“That’s awesome.” I opened my iPad and the manuscript for The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. Lisa sat at the far end of my sofa. “What are you doing?”

Lisa Burton

“Watching. So I know what to clean after you’re done out here. The chair and desk for sure.”

“Is there any coffee?”

“I made it after you took off this morning.”

I headed for the kitchen. “Stop! You are too close to Lisa Burton—”

“Oh, my God. Turn that off.”

“It protects both me and you.”

I retrieved my coffee, then returned to my desk. “I used this cup.”

“And touched the cabinet, and moved one cup to get to your favorite one, and the coffee pot, and who knows what else.”

“I need you to go away. I have to do some writing, and you’re bugging me.”

“Fine. I’ll be in the bubble bath. I haven’t washed up for an hour.”

Music came on over the speakers.

“That’s Lizzie and the Pythons, for inspiration.”

“Cool. What playlist?”

“This one’s from The Hat. I can play Viral Blues if you like.”

“Maybe, when this one runs out. Now scoot.”

She left me to my own devices and I relaxed a bit. I managed to add 1700 new words to my side project. Not my best day, but not horrible at all. I stopped just before I had to describe a tiki bar the previous band trashed the night before Lizzie and the hat had to play there.

Lisa’s voice came over the speakers. “Maybe you should do one of those business letters like everyone else. You know, something comforting in these uncertain times.”

***

Dear Readers of Entertaining Stories:

We are open for business here at the Writing Cabin. You should have no worries about Lisa Burton, because she is in fact a robot, and immune to catching the virus.

Because it is possible for her to carry and transfer the virus to others, she is currently washing and using hand sanitizer like a mad woman.

I’ve checked our recent invoices, and there is another 50-gallon drum of sanitizer on the way, along with two cases of soap, and twenty-five pounds of bubble bath. She has also rented scaffolding so she can wash the walls and ceiling after I leave.

Rest assured we are still producing new fiction, and will have more releases in 2020. As ebooks only, these are free of all contagions, and you can enjoy them, along with our previous releases in relative safety.

Sincerely, the Management.

44 Comments

Filed under Muse

Viral Blues, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey, everyone. Welcome to a special Friday the 13th, late night edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and while we’re awaiting the full moon to rise in conjunction with this day, I have something special for you.

Craig thought this wonderful event would be a perfect time to release his latest paranormal story, Viral Blues. He told me to note that it’s also his 13th publication. You have to admit, it seems kind of Karmic somehow.

If you’re familiar with these shows, you know I always have a guest, but I’m the guest today. I’ll explain how that all happened.

Craig wanted to write a sequel to The Hat. One evening, he was commuting home from work when he was joined by his Muse. Lorelei told him he has a lot of characters who could all be living in the same world. He called me at the writing cabin, and set me to work immediately.

I went down to the Character Union Hall, and all these people were just hanging around, looking for new stories to appear in. I interviewed them, one by one, and chose some to appear in the new story with Lizzie and The Hat.

The next weekend, Craig came out to the writing cabin to look over the list, then get started. He said it needed something extra. I was afraid of letting him down, but he was only teasing me. He said what the story needed was a robot girl to round out the cast.

I have to admit, I cried a little. I like being helpful, but I’ve been asking for another story for years. Then to find out I get to be in a story with some of his most popular characters. It was kind of overwhelming.

Superhero team-ups are all the rage right now. Why not in book form too? This is the group of heroic characters in the story:

  • Me (obviously)
  • Lizzie St. Laurent
  • The Hat
  • Dr. Gina Greybill
  • Mohan Gupta
  • Clovis
  • Jason Fogg
  • Clovis’s girlfriend, Justine

This story also has a bunch of Easter Eggs inside for those who have read Craig’s previous work. I won’t go into those, so as not to spoil it for you.

The deal is that Dr. Greybill and, and her helper Gupta, called this group together under her Host Program. There is someone or something tampering with the nation’s vaccine supply. That’s where the story starts.

If you’ve been following along with the teasers, my posters and the music will start to make sense now. The posters all have something to do with the book.

The Hat is Craig’s most popular book, and they are going to be getting even more stories in the future. Just this one time, we all thought it was fun to get together for one huge adventure.

I want to point out that just because this is a sequel, well, for a bunch of us, really, there is no prerequisite reading here. If this is where you start, it will all be perfectly readable.

The story is set up to be a Hat story all the way, so the format is like that book. There are some fun graphics inside, and a lot of dark humor, too.

Also, be sure to check out the secret last chapter at the very end of the book. It’s beyond the author material, kind of like those scenes after the credits in movies.

I had a lot of fun, and I’ll bet you will, too. Check out this awesome cover, and I’ll include a purchase link. This thing just went live about 30 minutes ago.

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07XVTSYYV

39 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio, Writing

Even more teaser fun

Time for another taste of my coming publication. Like before, turn your speakers on, click the video, then ponder Lisa’s new poster.

Lisa Burton

Feel free to share Lisa’s poster around, use for your iPad background, whatever. Big old No-Prize if you know what she’s curling her hair with. Standard reminder, Lisa’s posters make great Pinterest pins.

Let’s hear it in the comments, have you figured out what’s coming for your Halloween reading?

26 Comments

Filed under Writing

More teaser fun

Time for another teaser leading up to publication of my next book. Tap the video and turn your speakers up. Then ponder Lisa’s poster and see if you’re imagination gives you any clues about this story.

 

Lisa Burton

 

As always, feel free to use Lisa’s poster for your phone background, or whatever. She makes for great Pinterest pins.

How about it, gang? Any idea what this Halloween story might be about yet?

41 Comments

Filed under Writing