Tag Archives: Otto

Road Trip!

I have a million things to do today (I always have a million things to do.) We decided to goof off and drive over to Twin Falls. We met my parents there, and went sight seeing. It's about the same distance for them, only we get freeway all the way.

I've talked about the Bonneville Flood on this blog before. It's an ancient event that carved the Snake River Canyon across the western USA. (Pardon the cell phone shadow. I couldn't move the sun.) The attraction today was created by that event. It's called Shoshone Falls.

When you first approach, the humidity is visible, as demonstrated by this rainbow. It wasn't the only rainbow present.

This is the same bit of canyon that Evil Knievel tried to jump and failed. Yeah, yeah, some guy recently did it, but who cares about him. He isn't Evil Knievel.

There is a huge home just above the falls to give it a bit of perspective. These things are huge, and with the runoff from our massive winter, there's a lot of water flowing by.

Oh, and the bulldog ambassador to the world must have made over a hundred new friends today.

I swear, I'm going to buy Old What's Her Face a tee shirt that says, “Pet the bulldog, $2.00.”

So not much work got done today. I need to catch up on blog reading, and may work through my critique, but that's it until tomorrow. Hope all of you had a great day, even if you were goofing off.

PS: I posted a short video clip of the falls over on my Facebook Page, if you're interested.

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Guess what happened yesterday afternoon!

Otto’s half siblings were born. The ultrasound predicted six puppies, but eight showed up. That is a C-Section scar, because those big heads are hard to pass.

We wanted two originally, but Otto’s litter was all spoken for. This time we’re first in line. We’d like to get a female to stack the deck that they’ll get along better when we aren’t home. The litter is four boys and four girls. We haven’t been told which are which yet, but they’re still fun to look at. I tend to go for the ones with the most white, because I like the contrast. It doesn’t appear any brindle showed up in this litter.

The breeder also sent us a short video that’s almost annoyingly cute with it’s nursing sounds and little whimpers. It’s hard to imagine Otto ever being able to fit in one hand like these guys can – for now.

We’re talking about a visit in about four or five weeks. It’s only a few hours from home, and I know the lady would love to see Otto again.

So it’s looking like another summer of sleepless nights and potty training for old Craig.

What the heck, here’s a shot of Otto for all the new followers. He’s a lunker, and his first birthday isn’t until the first of April.

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Goofed off all weekend

I posted on Friday about my minuscule word count, and how Otto was demanding attention. I also mentioned the eagle, but have no idea what he's about yet. There are some big goings on at work this week, and maybe he has something to do with that.

My wife and I went to Costco for date night. Okay, we went to dinner, but we chose the restaurant based on its proximity to Costco.

I spent a considerable amount of time playing video games with my son. I got an X-Box for Christmas, and haven't really done anything with it. He and I don't do much together, and we both had a good time.

Do I regret not working on my novel? Not really. I spend mountains of time on writing, and if I goof off for a couple of days – so be it. It will all get finished.

The next small project is invading my dreams now. It's screaming for attention, and that's where I have to be concerned. A bunch of nearly complete projects don't help me at all. I need to finish Yak Guy, and the ending should be fulfilling. I'm looking forward to writing it, but goofed off anyway.

I need to hold off on the small projects until I get through the editing phase of two books. I also need to put some thought into my promotions too.

I spent a big chunk of the morning getting our tax stuff bundled up for the accountant. It's always an eye opener to see how much I spend on self publishing compared to what I make. I'm looking forward to a day when I can break even.

I hope all of you enjoyed a good weekend. I did, and I feel like I deserved it too.

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Not what I expected.

I went to bed last night with visions of finishing The Yak Guy Project. I needed about ten thousand words, and expected to knock it out today. You see, I had a visitor yesterday.

These guys only appear to me about once or twice per year. It's been that way since I was small. Golden Eagles, all the time, but not Bald Eagles. They always herald some version of good luck. It may be a day when I caught the largest fish or some other small item, but it always works.

I had a working lunch with a colleague yesterday. On my way to the restaurant, an eagle flew over my truck. He wasn't close enough to scratch the paint with his talons, but he wasn't much further either.

The fact is I can't force the eagle. He foreshadows luck of some kind, but I can't manipulate it to what I want. I wanted word count, but that isn't why he showed up.

I managed less than a thousand words of fiction today. If you want to see why, you'll have to visit the Entertaining Stories Facebook Page, because they won't let me upload videos here. Not without going through YouTube first. (Hint, it's Otto.)

Have I ever mentioned,”You Can't Always Get What You Want” is one of my favorite songs. It's so true in so many ways.

I know the eagle is telling me something, but have no idea what. Sometimes it amazes me when it happens a week later, but it happens.

Some of you probably think I'm crazy, but when you observe something enough times you start to pay attention.

I managed to be productive in other ways. I wrote some blog posts, with frequent interruptions. I communicated with my Story Empire colleagues about an upcoming project, and we moved it forward.

Something is on my horizon, so I'm kind of excited about that. It could be something small, but it adds a nice perspective to the weekend.

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It’s a Draft

I put in the effort today. I needed to pick a project and focus on it, so I limited myself to just one thing. I added about 4500 words to The Enhanced League and finished it.

It's a draft with flaws, and it needs some help here and there, but it exists now. I can address the issues in the editing phase.

So what is it? It's a story about an alternate baseball league where anything goes. This includes performance enhancing drugs, aluminum bats, lasers that call balls and strikes, and more. I borrowed pages from my Experimental Notebooks, and my novel The Playground to try telling an overall story by writing a bunch of short stories, micro-fiction, and something new. There is a pinch of science fiction involved when it comes to my semi-main character too.

That something new is what I am calling anthems. They're almost like a monologue, but written in second person point of view. I think I shared one on this blog a month or so ago.

4500 words is a long day for me. Since these were individual stories, I didn't know what I had until I assembled them all. The book came together at slightly over 37,000 words. That isn't a lot, and I feel like it could use another three to five thousand.

Still, my intention all along was to make it a 99ยข special. I also have a theory that novellas are where it's at right now, so maybe it does work.

My personal goal was to make all the short pieces tell a larger story, and I did. It keeps me from my normal twist endings, but I'm okay with that. This isn't an Experimental Notebook. I still managed two pretty good ones using my semi-lead character Roger Warren.

I'm trying to celebrate, I swear, but I always wind up critiquing my own work. I poured a big glass of Laphroaig, not my usual drink, and am trying to type between bouts of throwing a squeaky bone for Otto.

I would like to work on The Yak Guy Project tomorrow, but can't. I have a Lisa Burton Radio to assemble and schedule. I also have a new one to work up a shtick on and ship to the guest author. Then there are those Storyreading Ape posts I need to write. To tell you the truth, I'm dragging my feet there, because I may have a new release to post about. Maybe I'll write May's post and deliver it. Then, if I have a new release, I can write about it for June.

Lots to think about, more toys to throw, and a nice smoky scotch to down. I'd like to see a Spring Training game for actual baseball, but there doesn't appear to be anything on right now.

My wife called and already spent all her money on the first day. Let's be honest, I knew this would happen. It sounds like they are having a great time, and I'm going to have to accept the fact that another day of spending is going to happen.

So it appears I did get some writing done. The girls are having a great time, and did spend too much money. Otto is having fun too, and whisky (without the e) is good for what ails you.

Tomorrow is all about blog work, after I call my parents. Then I need to deal with some mundane things like dirty dishes and such. It won't be that hard to resist the editing phase, since it isn't my favorite. I'll probably still dwell on things like cover art, Lisa posters, beta readers, and the whole releasing a book strategy. I promise not to initiate any of it though.

I wish I could share it with my critique group, but I may be on the verge of losing the group. We've been together for years, but three of the members stepped out. We got one new member, but now we're having trouble scheduling the meetings. We skipped February all together. My beta readers for Enhanced League are going to be more important than ever.

The Enhanced League needs time to ferment. A couple of weeks of being ignored will give me a new perspective on the whole thing. It may also give me time to finish The Yak Guy Project.

Yak Guy is next, with no new projects until it is a draft too.

Talk to me tonight. Did you do any writing today? What do you think about novella length works? Would you rather be at the Mall of America with my wife and daughter?

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Handicapping the coming weekend

It's been a long week at the paycheck job. I had two standup presentations this week, each with original material that I had to prepare, then rounded out my week by conducting job interviews. It's cool, because it makes the week go by, but it's tiring too.

My daughter and Old What's Her Face* are in Minneapolis tonight. My daughter is using her flight benefit for the first time, and they are spending a couple of days together at the Mall of America.

This leaves Otto and I to our own devices. He's in my lap as I type this, enjoying what we call poodle time. (He's actually a bulldog who acts like a poodle.) To make a complete confession, I think I'm coming down with something too.

In this corner is Craig, with a looming cold, a bulldog puppy that deserves a bit of attention, and a serious concern about his credit limit. The challenger is a tag team of unfinished manuscripts. One novel called The Yak Guy Project, and a collection of short stories called The Enhanced League.

The starting bell is tomorrow about dawn. Can Craig finish one of these manuscripts and still keep Otto entertained? Will Craig's wife and daughter spend more money than they should? Will some sort of illness get the better of Craig, causing him to use tissues and watch old Twilight Zone episodes when he should be writing? Is whiskey really “Good for what ails you?” Will Craig shower first, or just dive right into his writing? Will Craig succumb to the call of blog posts he needs to be writing in advance? Does typing on a moving keyboard during poodle time cause carpal tunnel?

Tune in tomorrow night to find out the answer to these questions and more.

*Entertaining Stories, protecting my wife's personal data since 2013.

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The downfall of a weekend

I've been a bit quiet around here this week. Most of it is because I had things to promote here that deserved time in the spotlight. My post at Story Empire on Monday did very well. Today, I forgot to write a post about the Rave Reviews Book Club, but managed to reblog Mae Clair's post. If you decide to join and take advantage of the discount, tell them Mae Clair referred you.

We ran some errands on Saturday. Bought my mother a birthday present, got my wife's car serviced, pretty mundane stuff.

We managed to go to The Great Wall with Matt Damon. We thought it was great. Not a ton of plot, but lots of pageantry and color. It's kind of a mash-up with a bit of Kung-Fu style, some action, and a fantasy. It may not be for everyone, but we had a great time.

That's kind of where it came to a screeching halt. Our bulldog puppy, Otto, weighs in at 65 pounds now. He gets kind of crazy, and one of his favorite things is to jump around on the bed for a few minutes before we go to sleep.

Bulldogs have short legs, and when you add in that weight, he can't jump on the bed… so my wife lifts him up. She usually goes to bed about 30 minutes before I do, so I get to lift him down. Only this time, she wrenched her back.

“Don't give me that look. You played a part in all this.”

Anyway, my wife's Sunday was spent on the couch, followed by calling in sick on Monday and Tuesday. Oh, and lets add in a couple of visits to the chiropractor.

So, my big plans to make Monday my writing day evaporated. Maybe this coming weekend I can get something done. My wife and daughter are flying out together for some quality time. It will be just Otto and me, and my keyboard.

She's on the mend and went to work today. It's just one of those things you need to be aware of from time to time. The keyboard will always be there, but this weekend turned out to be about something else.

Oh, and come back tomorrow for Lisa Burton Radio.

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