Tag Archives: Movies

Fiddling around friday

I woke up about 5:30 this morning. Sometimes life is just that way. I goofed around and checked email, my RSS feeds, Facebook, and all the other places. Email notifications reminded me that I had the post at Story Empire today. I recommended a craft book I really enjoyed. Here is a link, if you want to check it out.

Then I moved on to my work in progress. My last section was pretty action packed, so this one slowed things down. Clues were gained during the action bit, so some of those were examined in this section. These sections are always slower to write too for some reason. Still, 2600 new words is nothing to sneeze at.

I wrote with a handicap this morning too. I had both bulldogs in my lap the whole time. That’s about 120 pounds of fun to dodge with my iPad.

There must have been a dozen times they had to go outside to chase the squirrel. I’m a good doggie daddy, so I played along. Not a bad word count at all considering.

Then I went through a stage of polishing Lanternfish up. This took a couple of hours, but I’m glad I did it. I think it improves the overall product.

Beyond that it wasn’t too exciting. I needed time to think about my story, and stopped about noon. That’s about the time Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow came on. I decided to watch it again. Gwyneth had great hair in this one. Back then she was kind of known for her hair.

That’s about it for me. It’s personally exciting, but not exactly blog worthy. I’ll spend the rest of the night monitoring comments here and at Story Empire. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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My weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Personal hygiene over word count

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Do I need a plan?

I have three days off, and two of those will let me get some things done. I intended to monkey with some micro-fiction tonight, but didn't get that far.

The best I could manage was to change my wallpaper again. I like the speed racers, but the white Bonneville Salt Flat, mixed with the white page of my blog was too much for me. I cropped some of the sky out, and used a picture of the Sawtooth Mountains. This one may not be perfect, but I'm content with it.

My wife and I watched The Passengers on television tonight. I thought it was a wonderful movie. A little romance, a little science fiction, a bit of Titanic disaster. Good film.

I have a critique I need to work through, and that will take about fifteen minutes. I need to work up a couple more shticks for Lisa Burton Radio and send them out. Then I have a backlog of interview requests, but I have to keep the line moving too.

Beyond that, I want to write three micro-fiction pieces for October.

My main distraction is wanting to start one of my novellas. A blogger/author friend told me she wrangled 5000 words today. That's a tremendous day, and it calls to me to get started. I need to resist the call.

I committed to two October promotions this week. I haven't gotten any additional instructions, but will need to write something for those eventually.

Besides, I'm behind on my reading. I have at least three, possibly four books I need to read. If I resist the writing call for a couple of weeks, I may get a couple of those checked off.

It's a tough call to resist.

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This is your brain on memes

I am an internet citizen. Memes are out there. I see them and chuckle along with everyone else. The funny thing is that everything has become fodder for my mind these days. Why should memes be any different.

There has been one floating around for a while now and it stuck with me for a long time, because it relates to writing rules. It also relates to different ways of doing the same thing. If you're one of my regulars, you know I've been at this point before. I'm on the verge of an epiphany, but I haven't quite nailed it down. Sometimes I get clarity by writing about it.

If you stuck with me this long, I'll just jump right to it. This is the one that set me off:

I saw this a month or two ago and never gave it much thought. Last night we went to Guardians of the Galaxy II and it came screaming back into my mind. It actually took me a while to find the meme I wanted. Things on the internet don't have much of a shelf life.

Let's get the movie review out of the way, for those who expect such things… Awesome! I loved it, and so did the rest of my family. I'm sure there are hundreds of reviews in blogland, and this isn't the main purpose of my post.

This whole meme is just an extension of the DC vs Marvel thing that's gone on for generations. You know, Ford vs Chevy, Coke vs Pepsi, etc. I want to enjoy the contrast between the DC and Marvel films. The fact is, I enjoy them both. I can't wait to see the Wonder Woman movie.

This is a whole bunch like my reading habits. I bounce around in genres, and I like the tone of the stories to change from book to book. Truth is, I write this way too.

There were some lighthearted moments in Panama. The Playground had some dark moments. Practical Geology, in my last Experimental Notebook, was very dark. My first Notebook had one called The Soup Ladle of Destiny… lighthearted.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are older than the films, but it took the films to bring me to this point. Who the hell writes this stuff??? It's just batshit crazy. It's also brilliant.

Film has tools that an author doesn't have access to. I would love to have my hero walking in slow motion to a dramatic soundtrack. I'd love to use a sight gag, like when Rocket Raccoon was playing with his land mines. (Just see the film already.) As a writer, I have access to a lot of tools too. I'll just have to go about it a different way.

Last night it occurred to me. When I worry about how a story might be received, I might be holding myself back. Our world is so politically correct, so stressed about fitting within an ordained image, that it can influence our fiction.

Then it occurred to me that another internet meme could help me here:

If I put a governor on my words, I could be preventing myself from writing something brilliant. I even had this conversation with a prominent crime author last year. We discussed what a woman can write that a man cannot. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm working on it. Woman writes a grisly rape and murder scene, she's a woman and it's a serious concern. Man writes the same scene and he's a sick pervert.

She says there is no difference. I still worry about it, and I'll probably never get rid of my filter completely, but it's a great goal.

From now on, I think I'm going to daydream at the finished outline phase. I'm going to assess the insanity and darkness meters. What would a twenty percent adjustment do to the story. What if a dark story were twenty percent darker? What if a lighthearted tale were to go into insane territory? I may not write them that way, but by asking the question, I may be leveling up to a degree.

Help me out here. What do you guys think? Honey Badger might be onto something. The blog world has been kind of quiet, let's get some interaction going.

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A little of this, a little of that.

There has been a different kind of content here on Entertaining Stories lately. It isn't that my well ran dry, it's that I've been getting invites. If someone generously wants to support me, the least I can do is reblog and try to drive them a bit of traffic. Let's face it, many of my followers are authors and they should be saving those sites in a folder somewhere for the times they need a bit of support.

Next week is going to be different around here too. I'm participating in a fun blog tour that I helped to create. I'll be hosting the other Story Empire authors while they host me. You'll have the chance to learn about some awesome new books, with deep discounts or free days, and there will be prizes. I'm pretty excited about the ones I'm giving out, but you'll learn more about them tomorrow. It's going to be a lot of fun, so come along for the ride.

While we're doing this, there will still be original content on Story Empire, and I have the monday post in the rotation. In other words, I've been blogging while hosting friends, and being hosted by other friends, the posts just haven't been revealed yet.

My son and I have tickets to see Ghost in the Shell tomorrow. The advertisements look pretty awesome, and the source material was pretty popular. It sounds like the movie is getting terrible reviews, so I don't know what to expect. At least I get to hang out with my son, so that's kind of cool.

Last May, this little bundle of joy arrived at our house:

Otto was actually born on April First, which is kind of fitting after you get to know him.

He had a big first year. He got to wade in the Pacific Ocean, went on multiple camping trips, and had a long-standing battle with plastic water bottles. I'm writing this post in bursts, because he keeps shoving his ball onto my keyboard.

Today, this is what he looks like:

Not the best picture, but he doesn't stand still very long, and it's the best I could do.

If you look behind him, you'll see his gingerbread man, his big lizard, and his rope toy. Not a latex toy in sight.

We were warned about bulldogs and latex allergies. We bought him a glass food and water dish set on the day he arrived, just for this reason.

His absolute favorite toys are the plastic ones. His chin broke out with nasty pustules, and I took them all away. I still have his ladybug ring, several rubber balls, and the last rubber bone that still squeaks.

Over the course of several days, everything seems to have cleared up for him. I feel bad about it, but I may have to get rid of those toys that have latex.

It's odd that it wasn't a problem for a year, but that is kind of how allergies work. It's all fine until it isn't, then they never go away.

Otto tends to go at everything full speed ahead. He plays hard, then he crashes hard. In the time it took to write this post, we played ball for 45 minutes, and my wife participated too. Then he crashed. I'll sneak up and see if I can actually get one more photo:

Gotcha.

My flex day is Monday next week, and that's perfect. I can monitor comments on the first day of our big tour, along with those at Story Empire, and I may even finish my reading. (The same reading I was supposed to finish before April arrived.)

So happy April Fool's Day, happy birthday to Otto, and I hope all of you have a great weekend.

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Partial project day

Today was dedicated to finishing tasks. Some were started, some weren't, and I didn't get all the way through the list.

I need five posts for a promo I'm going to be doing. I still have two left to write, and those that exist need a little something too. Watch this space, and you may find some great deals on my books in the next couple of weeks. I blog about bulldogs, and movies, writing, and all kinds of things, but occasionally I need to mention that I have books to sell. “Hey, I have books to sell.”

The good news is that I don't return to the paycheck job until Tuesday. I have one more day to work on them.

I intended to do some reading today, but failed completely. We went to one of our favorite places last night, then I stayed up late playing video games with my son. Somehow, I forgot to plug in my iPad. No juice = no reading. I used what little juice remained to pay bills today, so I can scratch that off the list.

I dedicated my analog time to working on a critique. My crit group is on life support after several years. We're down to two members remaining, but we're meeting next week anyway. Part of the discussion will be about how to get new members. I don't know too many writers in the Boise area, but I'd really like to keep this going. I get different values from critique and beta readers. I want both.

While recharging, I found a movie. I said yesterday that Skull Island left me a little flat. Today, on cable, I watched Bridge of Spies, with Tom Hanks. This movie gave me more than I expected, and I would watch it again. I knew the story, but seeing it dramatized was well worth it. Great movie.

Tomorrow, I have to get my truck sniff tested. It's an absurd local regulation, but I have to do it. I may check my meds and try getting them refilled while I'm out. I need to write two more promo posts, and I'm going to read come hell or high water.

Next weekend brings the return of company, so no writing. I'm at a point in Yak Guy where I need to decide how much wandering around in the wilderness is acceptable. Too much will bore readers. I could work this toward the end, but it might wind up being a 70K word novel. In this modern era, maybe that is preferable. It's definitely preferable to boring readers with too much star gazing.

Talk to me here. Did you get a different vibe from Skull Island? Have you seen Bridge of Spies? Do you know any Boise area fiction authors who would like to join a critique group? Are you interested in some great book deals in the first week of April? How do you feel about novels on the short side of word count? How in the heck do you guys find time for your reading?

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