Tag Archives: parents

Writing isn’t all about word count

As of today, I haven't written one new word on a short story, micro-fiction, or The Yak Guy Project since last Monday. I want to, but writing has additional obligations these days.

If I don't promote myself, nobody else will either. This means sticking a toe into new things and expanding my reach. I spent a considerable amount of time getting into Facebook. This includes months of waiting for the artwork to make it perfect. I used the waiting time to piece together the Warhol/Harrington on yesterday's blog post. This sort of thing takes me forever, because I'm not talented that way.

As a result, both the Entertaining Stories, and Lisa Burton Facebook pages were well received. Friends offered me some suggestions about groups, and I'll get there too. Right now, I'm making and accepting friend requests, answering questions, that kind of thing. It's new (to me) and there is a learning curve.

In addition, I used a cool app called PhotoFunia to manipulate some pictures into fun frames and situations. I used these to post the Facebook sites on Twitter. My favorite involved Lisa on the cover of Vogue magazine. Cheesy? Sure, but it catches the eye in the tornado of information on Twitter, and maybe someone will visit the sites.

Several friends invited their social circles to visit the new sites, and I am eternally grateful for you guys.

While all of this was happening, I also exchanged ideas for the cover of The Playground. It seems minimal, and on a writing day it usually is. It might even wait, but there is a danger to putting stuff off too.

Right after I pushed all the buttons yesterday, I made sourdough bread. This one is an oatmeal honey whole wheat bread. I have this cool chokecherry honey I used. It may, or may not, involve chokecherry pollen, but there is a bit of chokecherry juice stirred into it. It even separates and requires stirring. It sounds strange, but it's wonderful. I set the dough out to raise before checking on social media again.

Sourdough usually takes a long time to raise, and I expected to bake it Sunday. I wound up baking it today, and had some for lunch. It turned out amazing. I think the yeast has a thing for chokecherry honey, and that's why it was faster.

We went to the 12, now 13 year old granddaughter's birthday last night. She had friends over for a slumber party, so we took the little ones home for the night. They were pretty crazy after cupcakes and pizza, and you can imagine it wasn't a perfect writing environment. This morning was calmer, but it's hard to write over the top of Ninja Turtles cartoons.

I managed to box up the first 3000 words of The Yak Guy Project and send them to my critique group. It's always nerve wracking showing them something new, but it's one of the best training grounds I have access too.

Tonight is date night, and tomorrow I dedicate my mornings to my parents. All of these people are important to me, and I can't be a writer every minute away from the paycheck job.

I consider it a very successful weekend, and I may snitch a bit of time tomorrow. My wife has to work, and there is still a possibility of some new words. The Facebook pages are live after months of planning. I managed to ship out my critique submission, and worked Twitter regarding my Facebook project. I also updated this blog twice, and will probably post again tomorrow.

There is writing, and then there is writing. This weekend I expanded my footprint, and that's progressive.

I did all of this while still hanging out with my grandchildren, having date night, and will spend some telephone time with my parents tomorrow. I may even have some sourdough toast for breakfast.

How do you guys feel about it? Does anything beyond new words count as writing to you? It has to count that way for me.

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Beyond the book release, and an artist invitation

Well, kind of. You've seen the reblogs and are probably all aware of my new release. I'm trying to reblog those posts with reviews, or where I wrote part of them. I'm also trying to surf back through the cover reveals and participate in comments.

Sales are still in double digits, and I would like to break 100 before Amazon delivers. The rumor is the pre-sales all count on the day Amazon delivers. More pre-sales equals a higher ranking, and can lead to more sales.

I've been answering a ton of emails, and writing some requested stuff for others.

My wife and I went to pizza and beer last night. Life still goes on outside of work and writing. Had a great pumpkin beer on tap. Forgot to write down the name though, so I can't share it with you.

Had a lovely conversation with my parents today. It's a Sunday thing I insist upon. I missed last week, because I was driving back from the coast.

I finished my critique work this afternoon, and loaded them in my truck. This is a habit I developed years ago, because I tend to forget things. Nothing like showing up for critique group and not having your stuff.

I even managed to write another Macabre Macaroni story today. I may be able to pull this off after all.

I publicly debated not doing Macabe Macaroni this year. Commenters encouraged me to post my micro-fiction again. If I post one story every Tuesday, I only need four. I now have enough stories.

You know how doubt works though. There is always one story you know is awesome. Likewise, there is always one you worry about. Last year my awesome story ranked right in the middle and surprised me. The one I worried about was my most popular one.

When I sent out ARCs of The Experimental Notebook, there was one story I worried about. Two different advance readers chose it as their favorite. I feel the same way about my stories for this year. It will be interesting to see what everyone likes.

On to the challenge. Since I'm doing Macabre Macaroni again, I think it deserves some artwork. Those of you so inclined can send your pieces to: Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com. If I get one, I'll post it with all the stories. If I get enough, I'll do one per post. If I get too many, I'll figure out how to do a seperate artwork post. I'll give the artists a nod of course, so include your contact information. Maybe I can drive you some blog traffic or clients.

So come on you artists out there. Your theme is Macabre Macaroni. If you want to glue macaroni to a board and photograph it, that's cool. Maybe you have some creepy idea to actually cook up and photograph. Maybe some of you can paint something involving a casserole dish and body parts. Use your imaginations, as long as it involves both words “Macabre Macaroni” it's good.

I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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Trying not to be a writer

I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to tone things down during the summer months. My writing pursuits can wait until winter for all I care. I just want a good outline when I start.

To that end, I’ve been dabbling in related projects. None of them are really serious.

I called my parents, like I do every Sunday. We talked for about an hour and a half. No real topic, but the killer hawk is defending its nest in Mom’s front yard again. I told her she should start carrying a salmon net. Maybe she can train it to leave her alone.

When we finished, I added some cards to the remaining outlines I didn’t work on the other day. I’m considering a gender swap for one of my characters. Maybe “she would do anything to save her man” has better punch than the other way around. They’re still the bad guys, and I need to manipulate the fealty readers will have for them. It still doesn’t feel quite right.

The whole time I was doing this, I felt like I was being watched. Something made my senses tingle, but I was just being silly.

Maybe my new blood pressure medicine has something to do with it. Like I said, I’m not taking things seriously this summer. I spent some time throwing my virtual goat out of a catapult.

Good air on this throw

My daughter got up and decided to make us some breakfast. She got scared by a large spider in the kitchen. Maybe not a big deal, but it was the morning for creepy stuff. Breakfast was good. Egg burrito with chipotle sauce.

We talked for about 45 minutes before she had to go upstairs and start getting ready for work. I went back to another project. I plodded through two chapters of an old book and corrected a couple of typos.

My Spidey senses tingled once more. I turned in my chair so my back was to the wall.

My daughter leaned over the stair rail. “Holy crap! What is that?”

I leaped up and looked out back.

I want your nuts.

My nuts are just fine where they are, thank you very much. I think even the old pit bull could have caught this one. He was asleep beside the air conditioner duct, and we gave this squirrel a pass.

Not a lot of writing related projects today, but some. I need to clean up the sauerkraut crock before it’s cabbage season once again. I also need to deadhead some roses. Maybe I’ll do that this afternoon. I’m keeping an eye on my nuts though.

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