Tag Archives: monsters

Talk Like a Pirate Day

I just realized today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I love this, and wondered what I could do about it on my blog. Writing out an entire post in “Pirate” probably isn’t going to impress anyone, so I’ll spare you that.

Truth is, I have a pirate tie in. I’ve finished Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it won’t publish until this winter sometime. Could be 2018, could be 2019, but winter just the same.

I’ve been working on posts for a blog tour to introduce the story to people. I’ve been working on getting my artwork together too. There is a lot that happens to pull off a successful release.

Normally, I just hold stuff back and spring it on people when I’m ready, but this is Talk Like a Pirate day. How could I avoid that? Check out this cover and see if you might want to read my pirate fantasy/adventure tale.

Voyage of the Lanternfish

Meanwhile, Lisa is hanging out with Sean Harrington again. Who knows what they get up to when I’m not around, but I have a hunch they’ll be talking like pirates in some tavern tonight. Lisa sent me this advance picture to let me know she’s actually working and needs to stay on the payroll.

Lisa Burton

I hope they leave the root monsters home tonight. I don’t think I have bail money to spare. Have a great day, mates.

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It’s a book!

Voyage of the Lanternfish is a book. Okay, officially it’s a draft, but spot me some of the emotion of finishing the damned thing for a day.

I could have easily finished yesterday. I was on a roll, but my wife got home from work, and with two more days off I wasn’t worried.

Some of you like to keep score, so it’s at 105, 503 words. This will likely go down in my editing phase. That makes for about 1500 words before I called my parents this morning.

My cool new monster did his job, and the pirates freed him to terrorize a small village somewhere. I think his abilities are pretty cool, and hope my readers will too.

In typical fantasy fashion, the girl is rescued, the enemy is smited smitten, and the ship is sailing over the horizon.

I also managed to shave the girl’s head because of lice, and embarrassed the captain a bit in front of his men.

Now it needs to rest. It goes in the fermenter for at least two weeks while I regroup and work on other things. Then I can start those editing passes. I’m sure the Raven of Doubt is already circling over the writing cabin in anticipation.

I dropped a couple of scenes, because I believe in short denouements. One involved the discovery of a sea battle gone wrong, and another involved a chipped tooth from blowing a conch shell horn. That was a minor character, and he hasn’t earned the page time.

I assembled an upcoming Lisa Burton Radio interview, then got it scheduled. I followed that up by writing a shtick for another one and got it sent to the author. Lisa still needs guests, so if you’re interested drop me a line. I’m working into September right now.

I think I’m done today. I’m up tomorrow at Story Empire, and may write a companion piece to that post over here tomorrow night. If I do, I’ll link to SE from here.

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Not quite a wrap

I slept in this morning. I never even got started until after 7:30. I have my morning routine to attend to, and bulldogs need fed, etc.

After I surfed through a few kinds of social media, I started reading my previous efforts. I caught a couple of word echos, but I’m sure there are more to deal with later.

The plan was to work through until the end, and it still is. That day was not today though.

However, I did get the issue with multiple ships resolved, and worked through the big finale. My new monster made his appearance and had his big scene. Part of the denouement happened during the big battle, but there is more to come.

I honestly wrote something just shy of 10,000 words. I would have surpassed that number, but my wife called. She was on her way home from work, and that signals the end of my writing time.

I am not complaining. This was a great day on the writing front, and I don’t get many like this. There are two more days in my weekend, so it’s likely I’ll finish my draft before I have to return to the office.

In a perfect world this will happen. I have to call my parents tomorrow morning, and that takes an hour. They’re also coming to visit next weekend, so there won’t be any writing time. If I get it all done this weekend, it won’t matter.

Now my wife has some film festival on that involves multiple headed sharks. They’re up to five right now, with six heads promised later tonight. These fall into the category of bad science fiction that I enjoy once in a while, but they aren’t good enough to really enjoy.

It almost makes me embarrassed to be writing a book with sea monsters in it… almost. My monsters are much cooler.

In other news, we learned that the woo-hoo song from Kill Bill makes Frankie crazy. She ran through the house like an insane dog, wrestled Otto to the ground, and made a loop around the backs of the couch. It was almost like one of those Las Vegas shows where the motorcycle drives around in a cage.

I may talk Old What’s Her Face into watching baseball after this posts. Last night’s game was so bad I went to bed before it ended. Still, it didn’t have a five headed shark in it.

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The Hat, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Welcome all you superheroes and ghost whisperers. You citizens of the great beyond. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, and I have a real treat for you today. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my guest today is Lizzie St. Laurent. She’s a twenty-one year old college dropout working multiple jobs to keep her head above water. “Welcome to the show, Lizzie”

“Hi Lisa. Hi everyone.”

“Lizzie, it looks like your parents are fairly well off. They were able to buy you a car, and pitched in for your education. How did you get to this point in your life?”

“College was always in the plan. To pull it off, I was going to live with my grandmother, and did up until she died. Then a college friend talked me into moving in with her, and that was okay until she bailed and went home to her parents. I was stuck with the apartment, and all the bills. I had to drop out and take on an extra job to make ends meet.”

“It wasn’t possible to keep living in your grandmother’s house? Did she have a mortgage or something?”

“No. She owned it free and clear, but it was part of the estate and my uncle couldn’t wait to get his hands on the money. He wound up with the lions share, because my mom, his sister, is out on the west coast.

“I didn’t care, but I loved her and wanted a memento of some kind. He refused and tried to pass off a casino ashtray as something of hers. Maybe it was, but I wanted a house plant or something.”

“I hate it when people are like that. This brings us to a pivotal point in your life though. Tell us what you did next.”

“I, um. I stole a box of stuff from the back of the truck. Partially because I’m an heir too, and partially because I wanted something of hers. It turned out to be this crappy old hat.

“Turned out it wasn’t a hat at all. He is a creature from another dimension, and he’s trapped in the form of a hat. He’s been here for thousands of years, and his last owner was my grandfather who I barely knew.”

“I know my fashion, and it changes even for men. I can’t imagine a style stuck around for thousands of years.”

“Oh, he can change, but always as headwear. It all started out when this soldier wanted eyes in the back of his head. He paid a witch to cast a spell like that on his helmet. The spell kind of worked, but it trapped him here and bound him to the soldiers bloodline. Turns out, I’m part of that bloodline.”

“That’s pretty cool. You could always have the latest fashion just by having him change, plus you could watch for muggers behind you at night.”

“Yeah, but there’s more to it than that. He’s a complete person himself. He has a mission, and my family’s been tangled up in it for years and years. He is some kind of paranormal avenger.”

“You mean like a superhero?”

“Yeah, if you want to put it that way, only he doesn’t arrest people or beat up the bad guys, he sh – um shoots them.”

“Wait a minute. How can a hat shoot anyone?”

“He um… He uses me for that.”

“You mean he takes over your body and makes you shoot people? Like some kind of Jekyll and Hyde thing?”

“Not exactly. Most of the time it’s monsters, but sometimes it’s people. Bad people though. I went along with it to save some babies.

“It’s more like I’m there, but he’s there too. I can do things I could never do before because he can.”

“I’m not understanding that, sorry.”

“He taught me how to shoot. I can shoot a pistol with my right hand, but at the same time, he can shoot one with my left hand. I can see what he sees, and I can even sleep while he drives my car.

“You make it all sound bad, but he’s an incredible musician. He plays the upright bass. I can sing a little, so we formed a band. It brings in enough money to pay the bills. It also takes us out nights where we can protect people from bad things.”

“What do your band mates think of him?”

“They don’t know. They just see me, wearing a hat, while I play the bass and cover the vocals. It makes me nervous not having a regular paycheck, but it’s worked out so far.

“Look, there’s a lot more to it, Lisa. There is a cabin in the woods, and the hat has some other skills, like being able to find people if he’s ever met them before. I don’t know if we have time for it all today.”

“Not for nothing, Lizzie, but I’m a robot girl who also appeared in a story. As such, I have some special skills myself. I can tell those earbuds you’re wearing aren’t giving off a signal of any kind. That’s him isn’t it?”

“Um, they’re just not turned on.”

“They aren’t turned on, because they’re fake. They aren’t even giving off an electrical imprint. Why don’t you come out and talk to us? Are you shy?”

“Oh, god no. He isn’t shy at all. He wants to maintain his cover. Thinks if people hear the broadcast they’ll just think I’m some crazy girl.”

“Lizzie, I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface here. I mean your grandfather was some kind of paranormal assassin, now you are too. We just don’t have time to dive into all of it.”

“It’s okay, Lisa. Your listeners can read all about it in the book The Hat, by our mutual author C.S. Boyack. It’s been a pleasure working with you today, and I hope we can do it again soon.”

“Maybe sooner than you think. The Hat is available on Amazon and I’ll go ahead and include a purchase link. I’m also going to add one of the posters I made to promote this book, since Craig wrote it. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

Pick up your copy right here.

One of the posters Lisa posed for to promote this novella.

Lisa Burton

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Lucked into some writing time

One of the odd circumstances about being broke is it provides more writing time. We like to go out on the weekends, or even just go to the farmer’s market, but have cut most of that out lately. After I called my parents, we had our usual Sunday breakfast, played ball with the dogs, and time was on my side.

My pirates picked up a new crew member, avoided a serious monster, but encountered another one that should not be taken for granted. I debated sharing him here, but I’m going to go ahead, because I’m happy with how he turned out. I’ve never heard of anything like him before.

Writing pirates brings its own challenges, beyond having never sailed in my life. Some tropes are required to make it piraty. Others take on the theme of seen it all before. As an example, there are no giant squid, krakens, or magic swords in my story. I’m trying to be unique here where I can.

My little monster is a riff on the hermit crab. Only imagine something more like a giant conch shell. Inside this shell is a kind of sea dragon. I modeled him after a Chinese dragon, but gave him an eel-like tail. He has a scary breath weapon too. I won’t mention any more, but I thought he was pretty cool for something about three feet long. I may change him up a bit on the editing pass, but I really like him.

For those of you keeping score I’m at 90,600 words today. That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 2600 words. That’s unheard of for a Sunday around here.

In other news we found this in our flower beds. Talk about monsters.

I didn’t put anything in the image for scale, but he’s about 2.5 inches long. He has the look of a borer. Last time one of these showed up, they killed my apricot tree. At least he was in the front yard away from my peach tree.

Keep away from my peach tree, dudes!

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Not according to plan

I had to leave work early on Thursday. It felt like an allergy issue, and there was a lot of smoke in the air, so it was certainly part of it.

I’ve had allergies all my life, but between Nevada and Idaho, they are different. In Nevada everything was about snot and sneezing. Up here it all seems to be about my eyes. I felt like someone was inside my head trying to push them out of my skull. It got so bad I couldn’t see my computer, and the headache that accompanied them was also a handicap.

I figured that’s all it was, until I got home and started shivering. It was only 100 degrees-plus outside, so there was a problem. I felt feverish until about two o’clock on Friday.

It could be that allergies weakened my resistance, and some bad juju snuck in. It’s all just theory though. Water seems to be the best medicine. More water = feeling better.

I try to avoid hydration, and I know that’s bad. I have an enlarged prostate to begin with, plus I get to enjoy a diuretic for high blood pressure. Combine that with lots of water and I may as well blog from the bathroom.

I dabbled with a Lisa Burton interview Friday night. New fiction didn’t get much effort.

Today was another matter. I managed some decent new fiction. My pirates sailed to the uncharted island to search for a specific man. They wandered in the wilderness for a bit, but eventually found him. He isn’t a very pleasant fellow. He’s hiding on this island on purpose.

It turns out the man doesn’t have what they are looking for, but… There could be another way to deal with the main story problem. They have to cut a deal here, and what can you give someone who has no use for gold? I could tell you, but I want to keep that part to myself.

I managed to weave in another monster who doesn’t appear on the page. Some of this is my attempt at world building. The wild places are truly wild in this story. However, there is another monster here who will make an appearance on the page. Maybe as soon as tomorrow. I designed him myself, and I can’t wait to see how it all works out.

Research and fudging are always interesting in fantasy and science fiction. We’re dealing with navigation issues now, and while I understand trigonometry, I haven’t exercised those muscles in decades.

Part of good fiction is bullshitting your way through these parts. Nobody wants to read about trigonometry. My job will be to make it sound painstaking, dangerous in the course of this story if it comes out wrong, give a bit of description, and forge ahead with results.

I also struggled how a man with a wooden leg would fare on a sandy beach. I kind of want this guy involved, so I decided the sand was wet packed enough that he could get around. Good thing there were no dunes just off the beach.

88,000 words and counting for those keeping score at home. I would kind of like to hit 100K on this one. All of my recent stuff has come in pretty short, and fantasy lends itself to more word count. I have a hunch my target won’t be a problem.

After they leave this island, there will be some experimentation, some fantasy mathematics, and we’re heading right into the big finale.

Now it’s time for more water. Does beer count as being mostly water?

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Quest of the Brokenhearted, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you disillusioned, disenfranchised, and faithless warriors. If you’ve ever suffered loss, you may be able to relate to my special guest, Kira Grasdon. “Welcome to the show, Kira.”

“Thank you for having me. It’s kind of surreal being here after hearing so much about the experience.”

“My bio says you were a successful business woman. What can you tell us about the Grasdon Merchant House?”

“To be fair, I wasn’t as successful as people think. My father built up the family business and made it an international trading power. We dealt in goods from every continent, which not many merchants could claim. My brothers and I were the successors, but I was the only one left after we were targeted by my fiancée’s enemies. That left me in charge and I didn’t do half bad considering everything else. Being trained as a warrior and more traveled than most of the prissy nobles, I was able to be more hands-on. I enjoyed going on the shipping voyages a lot because it meant less time traversing the desert. Be nice to get back to that life, but I don’t think I’d fit in there anymore.”

“Sounds like a pretty cush deal to me, but at some point you got to feeling adventurous. Where did that lead you?”

“All of that came from Luke Callindor who is one of the great heroes of Windemere. He was a foolish forest tracker that lied his way into an adventure at Hamilton Military Academy when I met him. I never had much ambition beyond taking over the family business, but he had this drive and wanderlust that . . . Well . . . You tend to adopt some of the traits of the person you love. I trained to be a better warrior, so I could join him in his adventures even though he was following a destiny. Last thing I wanted was to become dead weight and I would like to think I succeeded. I didn’t get to do a lot with Luke and our friends, but I did enough. Even got myself involved in the big battle against Baron Kernaghan, which is not a place you would expect to find the spoiled daughter of a famous merchant.”

“So hanging out with that crowd, you probably picked up some skills along the way.”

“Most of my training was done on my own while the champions continued following their destiny. I made sure to be stronger and better than the last time we met. I did learn a few things from Luke like remaining fluid in battle. People might say I was only staring at him because he practices without a shirt, but I was studying his moves. I mean, we were engaged, so I’ve seen him in less. Anyway, I use a kusari-gama, which is a chain and sickle commonly found in Bor’daruk. Being about to almost dance while fighting works amazingly well for this weapon.

“Another skill I picked up is planning ahead, which is something I already knew for business deals. This might be more of a transference if you think about it. I’d like to thank Luke for this, but it was really Sari. We were rivals for Luke and I may have gotten a little too aggressive at some points. I purchased gear and some heat elemental blood to counter her ice and water powers. If things went differently then it would have been a really nasty fight and one of us could have been killed. Thankfully, I caught up to her at a time where she wasn’t exactly at her best and I had to waste everything to help her. Come to think of it, I don’t seem to do much planning ahead these days. Just barrel right in and whatever happens is the hand I’ve been dealt.”

“Sounds kind of reckless to me. There’s something to be said about planning.”

“By the time the champions challenged Baron Kernaghan, Luke was the only family I had left. We weren’t married, but we had started making plans. I dreamed of the day we were husband and wife even on the morning of that battle. Then . . . he disappeared in the aftermath. He made one last mistake and got taken from me. All of Windemere thinks Luke Callindor died of his injuries, which were severe. I know he’s out there somewhere and his supposed friends know it too. He may have been badly hurt, but he’s come back from worse. Yet, all those who called themselves his friends believe he died and wouldn’t support the only loved one he left behind.”

“But you think Luke’s alive somewhere. Have you looked for him?”

“I tried to find him, but nothing worked. I bought every scrying tool that I could find and hired every seer that came by. I don’t know why it didn’t work. He’s out there somewhere. Maybe he’s protected by a relic or a spell that shields him from scrying. It would have to be very powerful like made by a god or . . . It doesn’t matter.

“My business partners got fed up pretty quickly because I developed a negative reputation. It was said that I went mad with grief, which isn’t entirely true. I was hurt and grieving, but I wasn’t insane. Still, I wasted enough money and ignored the business enough for my partners to push me out. Everything my family created was gone, including the manor and wealth that was claimed as company property. I had nobody left and ended up on the streets of Gaia, which meant my search for Luke had to stop.”

“So without your business obligations, what have you been doing?”

“Not what one would expect from a former member of the noble class. I was starving and sick, with nowhere to live. Lady Dawnlove found me and took me in. She’s the Madam of a brothel, which is a legal and regulated business in Gaia. I’ve lived and worked there for the last year.”

“No, really? I mean that red stripe is probably attractive to a lot of guys, but you can do better than that.”

“What? No, I could never do that. I really don’t like being touched that way since it reminds me of Luke. Nobody wants to sleep with a woman who cries from a hug. I run errands during the day like picking up food and clothes for the others. At night, I tend the bar and take orders for the kitchen. If there’s any trouble, I handle it. My warrior training comes in handy when someone becomes trouble. They never expect someone built like me to be a threat, which is why I’ve never lost a brawl. Well, the kusari-gama and its strength enhancer helps.”

“Whew. So when payday rolled around, did you keep looking for Luke?”

“I don’t know where I would start with that. I would never be able to afford anything that could pierce whatever is hiding him. So, I just found something else to do. I was told that Lacarsis is on the move and Lady Dawnlove was saying that I need to move on because I’m meant to be more than a brothel girl. Going into a city full of monsters that nobody has ever come out of alive doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Either I’ll find a new purpose in life or I’ll die. Both scenarios work for me.”

“Do you have a team?”

“I went in alone because I don’t know anybody worth taking. I made some friends inside Lacarsis though. Sort of. There’s Roland Gauntlier who attended Hamilton Military Academy with me. Seems he got scared and begged for his life, so the demon in charge kept him as a handyman. He can’t do much for me because he has to stay neutral, but it’s nice to talk to another human. Roland introduced me to Hyde the crafter gremlin. That’s not really a friendship though. He makes magical gear for me while I fight the monster champions. I don’t really understand why he’s sided with an adventurer, but I get the feeling that he doesn’t like the Shadow Earl.

“Then there’s Rayne. Where to even start with her? Apparently, the Shadow Earl’s game involves giving each adventurer who survives the first test an attendant. I was given this elf who can’t be older than sixteen and apparently grew up in Lacarsis. Her parents abandoned her or something, so she’s been raised by monsters. Rayne is sweet and helpful at times, but she’s so quick to accept punishment even if I’m not angry. The Gooie Pig that follows her around is a pain too. It’s this slimy pig that eats everything and makes a mess of the sheets. Still, having her as an attendant beats being stuck with a savage beast that will probably attack me in my sleep. I thought Rayne might be that at first, but you really can’t fake the level of . . . I don’t know how to explain her. Kind of creeps me out at times with the way she suggests punishments and apologizes without reason.”

“So is this like sneaking around and looking for Walkers?”

“Not sure what a Walker is, but I did think it would be sneaking and fighting throughout a monster-infested city. Turns out the Shadow Earl gets bored and uses all adventurers who enter his city as competitors in this tournament. I haven’t figured out the rules, but we’re randomly called to fight these champions. These would be monsters instead of the human ones that fought Baron Kernaghan, which confused me at first. Anyway, we get summoned to an area to fight and it’s shown to the populace. That or we’re jumped in public, but that might just be me because I’ve gained the Shadow Earl’s attention. He thinks I’ll be the first to earn a right to face him in combat, which is something that hasn’t happened in centuries. Like I said before, if it happens then I’ll do it.”

“So the prize for winning all those fights is to get into another fight? Maybe you should have entered a drinking contest or something.”

“Not much into drinking these days since it makes me moody. I don’t really mind the fighting because I lose myself in the violence. Just pushing to survive and seeing if the next move will be the one that gets me killed. Since I don’t care if I live or die, I dive right in and follow my instincts. Do I care if I face the Shadow Earl? Not really, but I won’t back down. Luke never did and I refuse to be weak. Maybe winning this thing will make me strong enough to travel the world in search of him or there could be a monster that’s run into him. I mean, it’s more likely that I’ll die since lifelong adventurers have been killed here and I’m only a former merchant playing hero. At least, the pain would go away if I die.”

“Should I put twenty bucks on you? Do you have any closing remarks for our listeners?”

“Best not to bet on someone whose apathetic to their own fate. I mean, it does seem to give me a suicidal edge as a few people have pointed out. The monsters aren’t used to someone being this aggressive, so I might get further than I expected. People should check this out and see how things turn out. I’ve been told my fighting style is very entertaining due to the high amount of action and destruction. Somebody once said they’re like what you see in movies, but I don’t know what those are.”

“You can read all about Kira and the City of Lacarsis in the book Quest of the Brokenhearted, by Charles E. Yallowitz. I’ll post all the purchase links and stuff after I go off the air today.

“Charles is a super supporter of this show, and may have reblogged every show I’ve ever broadcast. Today is your turn to give him a little of that support back. Pick up the book, leave a review, use those sharing buttons. Charles has done it for you, and you’d want people to do the same when your character appears on the next, Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

From the pages of ‘Legends of Windemere’

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

 

Quest of the Brokenhearted link-  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F5V3CT5/

Social Media Links-

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

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