Tag Archives: Pets

Worst campout ever???

We didn’t get out of town until about 10:00. We needed food, so that’s what caused the delay.

By the time we got up here, we went straight to our favorite campground. We followed a guy in. He got the last spot, and we were out.

Old What’s Her Face wanted to search for new places to camp, which sounds good on the surface. The problem is the McCall area is the most popular area in the state, and while it is pretty much the next place, it isn’t right next door.

There is one other thing she doesn’t seem to grasp. Forest Service roads are not built with the idea of turning around with a trailer in tow.

We wound up on a mountain road that climbed and climbed, and got increasingly narrow. There is a place up there, because I have USFS maps. However, we found a slide area and spotted some photographers ahead of us.

I made my wife walk ahead to see what the situation was. A truck was coming back our way. He said we could navigate the slide, but not the snowdrift beyond. This was looking like several miles of backing the camper down a narrow road an hoping nobody was behind us. (Side mirrors are great, but the rear window is full of camper as is the backup camera.)

I grew up in four-wheel-drive, so that doesn’t spook me, but campers aren’t built for this. I took my time and picked through the rocks, twice actually.

Turns out we were nearly at a scenic area and the Forest Circus made a turnout. This was on the edge of an 800 foot vertical drop off with white water at the bottom.

After some butt clenching to the seats, we got aimed back the other way. Our only choice was to go home. It was too late to chance any of the other campgrounds, because it’s friday night now. (Most popular part of the state, etc.)

Old What’s Her Face called a few places, but they were all full. We get service in McCall, so while I fueled up she phoned.

Home was looking like the only option, but I veered into a private campground in Cascade and they had an opening. It’s kind of a ghetto campground, but I promise you that opening didn’t last long. I ought to have a picture, and maybe I’ll grab one tomorrow.

One thing about private campgrounds, they have WiFi. Since we’re paying to stay here, I don’t feel like passing it up.

I have no idea what we’re going to do with ourselves. We didn’t plan on being in town, and the dogs don’t deal well with sidewalk heat. We’re running the AC full speed, but it really is only keeping pace with the temperature.

Editing will probably be on my agenda tomorrow morning before my wife gets up. I have plenty of that to do.

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A writing day: the middle slog

I’m in one of those enviable positions at my paycheck job, in that I have a lot of leave time coming. I decided to take some today for writing purposes. (Look, Mom, I’m getting paid to write. From a certain point of view.)

Tomorrow is my flex day, so I have that going for me too.

What I really want is to publish Serang before school lets out. Summer releases usually fail for me, so that’s my goal. The problem is, I need to finish writing it. There’s no reason I couldn’t hold it for fall, except I have another one I want to release this fall.

The nameless team-up story is going to have a good vibe for the Halloween season, so I really want Serang to be the spring release. I just have to finish it.

I got up fairly early, poured some coffee, then read my last chapter. I was joined by my writing partner.

Frankie rarely helps me, but maybe she’s interested in this story. (Otto is across my legs out of the frame.)

My characters are joining a caravan to cross the desert. They’re only going part way, then they’re going to branch off on their own. It’s a transitional chapter, and those take more time than the action bits.

Part of my issue is that the other story is becoming really fun. It’s over the middle slog and headed for the finish line. Serang isn’t quite there yet. “Aren’t middle slogs fun?” said no one ever.

There is a secret to getting over the middle slog. Lace up your boots and get to work. Sorry, that’s it. I know where the story is going, I need to move the players around, and it’s pure work. This is a good place to weave in a bit of introspection, or a growth point for Serang. I’ll look back through it and see if I can ramp some of that up later. Right now, I just want to survey the borders and get to the next part.

All in all, it wound up being a bit over 2800 words. I’ve reached a point where I need to decide if there’s going to be a battle, and there probably should be. I set some of this up and readers will expect it to happen. This will provide some exposure to western style weapons for Serang and might come across really well. Considering making it a longer battle where her traditional weapons aren’t much help.

Still, 2800 words is nothing to sneeze at. Not my best day, but certainly not my worst either.

I think Frankie is being overly critical here.

I may succumb to the thrill of the other story tomorrow. I really should try to get this one to the same point though. Serang’s finish is going to be fun too, but it’s looking like a longer story. Once I get past the middle it will practically write itself.

I have a hunch real baseball is on somewhere, so I’m stopping a little early today to check it out.

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Some new words, some chores too

Today was my flex day. I was looking forward to getting some new words down, and I managed that to a degree. It feels slightly over 1000 words, so it isn’t much.

This time I worked on Serang. What I wanted to happen was for her to fall in with a gang of thieves. It started out with her master being bitten by a camel spider.

These are hideous beasts with long pointy jaws. They live all over the world, and I even killed one in my home when I lived in Nevada. People there call them air scorpions. Most of them aren’t hairy like this photo, and they’re a disgusting smooth nude color. This was the free-use photo I could find.

A bit of research revealed they are not actually poisonous to humans, but they are believed to be by the common people. I decided since this is a fantasy world, they’ll be venomous if I say so and went with it. They can also be as big or small as I want.

This also led me down a path involving a city at the beginning of a trade route. The country of Di Guo Quishi is a fantasy version of China, so think about the Silk Road here.

The Emperor has taken most of the men for his war. Many of the normal jobs are held by women or even children. How might the goods be exchanged, purchased, stored? How might the money flow? What kind of goods might flow into the west?

Most of these things involve one line or word, but I like to put the thought into them.

After this leg of the journey, they’re going to continue with their little quest by joining a caravan. I needed someone from the western world who will lead them. I decided since Don Velasco (From Lanternfish) was the fourth son in his family, I had one Velasco son to spare. (The eldest inherits the estate, the second gets a military appointment.) Everyone else had to fend for himself. This third Velasco son is the captain of a caravan heading back to his country.

This city has an active thieves market, and young Serang is kind of judgmental about it all. Eventually, if she’s going to become a pirate, she has to make an adjustment.

Unfortunately, I never got to the thievery part. I had chores to do. I have a hunch it’s going to turn into a massacre, but haven’t decided yet.

I ran into town and got my truck sniffed for emissions. It passed, but killed an hour of my day. When I got home, I had just enough time to schedule Lisa Burton Radio for tomorrow. Then I had a deviled ham sandwich.

Please come back tomorrow and check out the Fondant Lion. He’s pretty cute, and I think you’ll like the book he’s in too.

Today, Frankie helped me write. I may have gotten more done without her, but she’s hard to resist.

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A writing day

I drew the lucky straw for the first time in years. My flex day at work is Friday. Combine this with the Monday holiday, and I get a four day weekend.

We gain a lot of leave hours where I work, so I decided to add a day to my weekend today. If I’d have been thinking, I’d have taken Tuesday instead. Today costs me 10 hours of leave; whereas, Tuesday would only cost me eight. Oh well, I’m glad to be off.

It’s raining like hell here today, and as much as I love it, Frankie does not. She’s one of our bulldogs, and I spent the bulk of my morning trying to get her outside so she could pee. She wanted out, but not in the rain.

Her older brother, Otto could care less. Finally, I lied and told him the squirrel was outside hoping they would both take care of business. He blustered out while she watched from the doorway. Finally, she ran outside, bit him in the head, then ran back in. He wanted to stay out, because he doesn’t care.

Eventually it stopped for a moment, and she did her business outside.

Besides tending dogs, I managed some writing today. This time it was Serang’s turn. She managed to catch a fish. This may not seem like much, but her father was a fisherman, and it means everything to her. He died when she was young, and being able to do this is very important to her. She shared the fish with some poor villagers that the soldiers took everything from.

They moved locations, which allowed me to introduce some minor fantasy creatures. Then she killed a couple of soldiers, stole their money, and fled for her life. They were some of the bad guys, and this needed to start happening.

She still isn’t completely mature, and there are some big lessons she needs to learn. She met another surviving monk and overheard the adults talking about her. Now she’s about to undertake a large journey, but she doesn’t know it yet. I’ll handle that tomorrow.

It feels like around 3000 words. I want to dwell on the next section, because I’m changing environments again. We’re leaving the cliffs, bamboo, and jungles and going to a high desert for the next portion. Serang and her master forage for a lot of their food, and I’m not quite sure what they’re going to find out there. I may just have them take it from their pursuers. In fact that sounds more adventurous.

Right now, I’m done for the day. I have some sourdough rising, and my wife is making soup when she gets home. Whatever you guys are doing, I hope it’s a good day.

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We love our pets

Victoria Ziegler has a fun new spot where she invites the pets of authors over to her place. Today, Frankie is being interviewed by her West Highland White Terrier. Here’s the link https://ziglernews.blogspot.com/2019/01/friends-of-furkidfriday-frankie.html

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Miss me?

Yup, just me today. No book promo involved. The book tour is ongoing and will continue for a while.

I’m grateful for all of you that are coming along. To keep it interesting, I made every post unique. To those of you who already purchased a copy, I’m even more grateful. Even if Lanternfish isn’t your cup of tea, there are some decent posts about the inner workings about creating such a book. I’ve had a great time talking to everyone along the way.

This weekend, my wife had to work. Aside from chasing back and forth to monitor blog comments, I managed a lot of new words of fiction. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’m over ten-thousand. I didn’t break it down, because it spreads across two different projects.

When one project requires a bit of thought, I switch to the other. This is completely unlike my regular process, but it’s working.

Aside from letting Otto chase the squirrel, and Frankie chase him, that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend.

We’re off together tomorrow, so I might not get any more writing done, but I really can’t complain. I was pretty productive.

I don’t know what we’ll do, but I have a post out there somewhere to find and monitor. I’ll share it here to provide a path to those who are interested.

Such is the glamorous life of an author. We’re staying in tonight and finding something on the television.

How was your weekend?

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Weekend

Mom and Dad came for a visit this weekend. It didn’t leave much time for authorly things, but it was fun. We went to dinner, and Mom did some Christmas shopping. I tagged along and scored a beer at Old Chicago while they hit the mall.

We stopped by the pet store, and the dogs scored these cool tire toys. They have ropes through them, and they love them.

Frankie loves her new toy

I managed to prepare the shtick for a new Lisa Burton Radio interview and send it out. I also worked my way through some critiques. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for one afternoon.

Hope everyone else had great weekends too.

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