Tag Archives: piracy

Not quite so organized

I stayed up past eleven o’clock last night watching my baseball team lose another game. They lost again today. Sometimes I think the only time they lose is when I can watch. It’s a powerful burden to carry a curse.

With that in mind, I hoped to sleep in a bit, but Otto wasn’t having it. Whenever he gets table scraps in his bowl, he can only hold out so long. My day started at six.

I tried not to do anything too heavy until after I called my parents this morning. After reading Father’s Day blogs, I really am blessed to still have them around.

I moved into writing by rereading what I came up with the day before. A few minor edits, and I was ready for new words.

The words didn’t come as easy today. I had to search back for some of the commitments I’d already made. Things like how many guns this ship was designed to hold. Gear certain characters have available to them. That kind of thing.

I also had to research the language of root monsters. Let’s face it, I’m making it up on the fly, but once I commit, I need to be consistent with it. This also revealed an inconsistency in the way I spelled some of their words, so I fixed it.

The biggest accomplishment was updating the “cast of characters” sheet so I have this data readily available.

On the momentum side, the root monsters declared war on seagulls. The cook declared war on root monsters, and my main character had to deal with all of it. Bay frogs were cooked and eaten.

There is a tropical storm brewing, and they sailed out to get ahead of it. The couple who got together had to figure out how to be together aboard the ship, but that was pretty easy.

There might be a use for the skin of bay frogs. They’re pretty big, like roast turkey big. Might make a cool look for some leather items. Frog skin gauntlets? Frog skin chicharones?

I’m debating whether the new character, Serang needs a magical fu dog at her disposal. That might be drifting too far into the magical stuff, but it’s added diversity too. What’s scarier, a realistic looking fu dog, or one that’s bronze with a green patina? They’re also supposed to come in pairs, so maybe she needs one of each.

Now that I think about it, that’s a lot of work from nine o’clock to noon. That’s when Old What’s Her Face got off work today.

She went to the store and went seafood crazy. We googled a recipe for grilled oysters. They turned out good, but they weren’t New Orleans good. This might have to do with living in Idaho instead of next door to actual oyster beds.

She also bought a few king crab legs. I’m stuffed right now.

My hands are kind of buggered up from shucking oysters and trying to coax king crab out of its shell. For those who don’t know, king crabs are kind of spiky.

I’m off tomorrow, but so is she. I may get some new words down, but I’m not making big plans.

Hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day. I called my dad. If you still have access to yours, you should too.

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Odd day to update

I had to change my work week around. This led to me getting Tuesday as my flex day. I kind of expected to get a lot done, but it never felt quite right. Sometimes you just have a feeling.

Otto tried to get me started early, but I got him to go back to sleep. I didn’t get up until 7:00.

This is still okay, but the dogs were well rested and crazy for a few hours. Think of a moving battle that rolls from room to room and across the floor. They’re just playing, but bulldog style has to be witnessed to be appreciated. Imagine two hippos with mouths wide open. They growl and rush at each other before a lengthy pushing match ensues.

I wound up reading through the last two chapters of Lanternfish and making some edits. I discovered an odd bit about paying off the crew when they got to the pirate stronghold. It’s all fixed now, but it took some thought and experimentation.

I also dreamed up a few more scenes to bring into the story somehow. Then I drifted off into research.

This time it’s about jellyfish. How they work, which parts do what; that kind of thing. It’s probably going to lead to a jellyfish that’s several miles wide, and big enough to get a ship stuck for days. It’s also big enough to ensnare an entire pod of whales. It’s a work in progress, so we’ll see how that comes out after a bit of improvement.

I’m also working on bits about the root monsters vs seagulls, and vs the ship’s cook. May, or may not, include them.

My daughter was home today, so we spent most of the day talking. For some reason I can daydream and say, “Uh huh,” at the same time. (I think it’s a Dad thing.) Her last day at the Boise job is tomorrow, she starts in Sun Valley again Sunday.

The cat will be moving with her. He was pretty funny today too. He attacked the dogs and ran upstairs. He’s quite the little antagonist. He likes to hide between the throw pillows while Frankie tries to draw him like a badger.

I can’t complain about today’s outcome. It will be the last big visit with my daughter for a while, and it was nice. My story is between acts, and at a transition phase. It’ll keep.

Things might be quiet on my front for the next few days, but Lisa Burton Radio is all scheduled and ready to go. I will respond to comments and such as time allows, but will be with colleagues in McCall and my time is not my own.

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Time to move on to the next project

The Yak Guy Project has been launched. The tour is over, and it’s safe to come out now. I always try to reblog for my hosts as a way of paying them back. If you missed the tour, you can still catch up by scrolling back through my feed. If you have a mind to.

I am grateful to all of my hosts, and you can all borrow my blog space any time you like.

During the tour, we sold a few books, and even managed to garner a few reviews – all of which were favorable. I intend to share any review blogs I stumble across in the next few months too. Of course, if the reviewer just manages to find Amazon to post, that is more than enough for me.

I want to get back to my work in progress, but that’s going to take at least two weeks. I’m sure there will be a warming up phase too, because I’ve been away from it for a while.

I’ve also been thinking ahead. Pinterest is a wonderful source of inspiration for me. I came across some great black and white photos from colonial Africa, and added them to a board called, “The One I May Never Write.” Many of these were people around campfires, and their faces are so interesting. There is so much character there.

Part of what’s holding me back here is popular sentiment about hunting. I can’t, in good conscience, take people from that era and work around the modern concepts of how evil hunting in all forms is. A young man in that era would want to go on safari, and he would enjoy the process. I used to be a big time hunter myself, and still look forward to my annual grouse dinner. I can write that part pretty convincingly.

I’ve toyed with some tricks. The woman in the story would be a local, and might impart some sensibility into his thought process. The group might be able to eat an entire impala, but it’s absurd to take an elephant for supper. The other trick is dealing with a man eater of some kind. Probably need a man eater in one of my type stories anyway.

The outline has a lot going for it, but the question remains. Will modern sentimentality kill this book faster than a .450 Jeffries to the head. It has a lot going for it, like magic, awesome setting, a love interest, a bit of war involving multiple factions, and oh yeah… diamonds.

Then there is a bit of author magic I need to do. I want to weave together some elements of style to help bring the setting up to something with a little more romance. There are some cool pins I’ve saved for that too. If you want, you can check the Pinterest Board. The debate still goes on in my mind. Should I dedicate months to write something the haters with an agenda could very well attack?

I don’t get it, but if you kill a fictional monster you’re a hero, kill a fictional lion and you’re a bad guy.

I also have a few different ideas involving Lizzie and the Hat. I’m determined to bring them back somehow, because that book performed really well.

Before anything else, we’re going to Las Vegas this weekend. Back when we still had money, we bought tickets to the Pink concert. I may be harder to catch this weekend, but I will get to everything somehow. This is my wife’s dream concert, but I’m kind of jazzed about it too. I’ve seen bits and pieces of her performances, and she puts on quite a show.

The following weekend, I left a bunch of people afloat on the ocean in a small ship, with piracy on their minds.

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A little catching up

The blog tour ended some time ago. THE HAT is still selling in some degree. I did have a blank day, but only one. That seems to be the way of all my releases. They spike as my friends spread the word, then drop off. Still, those seventeen positive reviews might help me out a bit.

Before I get into my weekend plans, I’m going to suggest that not everyone is into the Superbowl. If you’re one of them, you could probably read THE HAT from start to finish before the game ends. The cover in the side bar is a link.

Today was my flex day, which gives me a three-day weekend. I spent today working on Lisa Burton Radio stuff and reading. It looks like tomorrow will be more of the same. That should clean up the interviews I have working, and finish the wonderful book I’ve been reading.

I am going to surf through some active storyboards at some point. I’ve gotten a lot of decent ideas from Lorelei, the Muse, lately. I want to leave a few sticky notes at minimum, and may do more than that on a couple of them.

If the stars line up, I may even add a chapter to ESTIVATION. This is the second novella I have planned and it is a suspense story with a science fiction background. I don’t feel rushed at all with this one. THE HAT is out there, THE YAK GUY PROJECT is a finished product playing a waiting game. I have all year to finish ESTIVATION, and like I said, it’s a novella.

I’d like to start stockpiling some more short stories, but I’m not exactly feeling it right now. There is a pretty good chance that I’ll dive into another novel after I finish it. This one is a pirate story, but it needs to spend act one not being a pirate story. This is because the main character has to spend some time trying to be his father before realizing that he’s not. He is his own person, and has a different skill-set that might solve the big problem. Right now, I’m debating whether this is a deal killer. You put a pirate ship on the cover and people expect some piracy right off the bat.

Lisa would look good as a pirate, wouldn’t she?

Something will come to me. It always does. Besides, I should do something more with THE HAT, and I should find something to do with THE ENHANCED LEAGUE. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in two weeks. Unless someone offers a cool suggestion this might amount to a free period around Spring Training somehow. It cracks me up how a 99¢ book gets ignored, but if you offer it for free – people scoop them up like M & Ms. I’ve gained reviews from free copies too. This is one of those places where I’m inclined to just accept it and go with it.

You guys remember THE ENHANCED LEAGUE, right? Any really good promotional ideas you can spout?

Lisa Burton

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Jaded Tides Blog Tour

Welcome to P. S. Bartlett who's come to tell us about her new book, Jaded Tides. This is the second book in her Razor's Adventures Pirate Tales.

The Kind of Writer I Want To Be

I’ve believed since I dedicated myself to this journey two years ago that I knew exactly what kind of writer I wanted to be. Since I wrote the first sentence of my first novel, that dedication hasn’t wavered. A simple little sentence started it all.


“Ennis found a bird.”


I’ve had no formal training in this profession but I’ve done a ton of research, logged countless hours writing and I’ve dug in my heels. I’m not going anywhere.


I write fast. I think fast and once I set my sights on a goal I rarely give up unless I’m personally not satisfied with my level of performance or the quality of work I’m doing. So far, I see no reason to quit. As long as I keep breathing, moving, growing and evolving as a person, I’ll never stop.


It is important to me to produce quality books. Since I am still learning every day what that means to me and how it relates to my writing, I believe I can only keep improving. I’ve always loved writing and although I spent most of my adult life working, raising children and just trying to keep my boat right side up, I chose to put my aspirations on the back burner and take care of my family. I do not regret it one little bit. Through that journey, I learned so much about myself and gained volumes of experience at just being a human being. I’m proud of whom I’ve finally grown up to be and I need to be proud of the work I do too.


It’s a long road from writing your first page, to publishing. You will be knocked back more times than you can imagine. You’ll be told over and over again that your book “just isn’t what we’re looking for at this time.” Roadblock upon roadblock will rise up in front of you but you have to keep pushing on. Family problems, money shortages, day job, responsibilities and oh, that little thing called sleep will feel like a ball and chain at times but no matter what, you can’t give up. If being a published author is truly your calling or at the very least, your goal, allowing anything to stop you is not an option—no matter how long it takes or what road you take to get there.


The most important thing to me is that I write what I want to read. I want to write words that feel like warm butter on a hot roll. Words that get inside of you and either make you squirm or rise up inside of you and escape with a smile. Words that stick in your head and come to mind when you least expect it. I want to write stories that when you close the book, you want more. The reason I know how important writing what I want to read is, is because I’ve tried writing stories that may fall into one of the hot selling genres and I couldn’t get through the first chapter. You’ll know you’re writing what you want to read, when closing your laptop feels like kicking a heroin addiction.


I don’t want to write about what everyone else is writing about. I don’t need to sit at the cool kids table to feel good about myself. I know there are lots of genres and I know which ones sell the most. No, I’m not crazy and of course I want to make money and be able to write full time but I have to do it in a way I feel good about inside. I have to do it on my own terms. I have to tell a good story with characters you want to meet and know, and talk to again and again. I believe at some point I’ll be able to put almost anything into words but it has to be my anything, not what’s hot at the moment and not just because I want to be with the in crowd. My readers are out there and as long as I keep looking, I’ll find them and they’ll find me.


I want to stand out. I have this crazy dream that my stories will one day be considered as some of the best ever. I’ll stand by that. I believe that and soon, I’ll live that.


Thank you,


P.S. Bartlett – I’m taking a fantastic voyage. Won’t you join me?



Blurb-

After finding love in the most unlikely of places, Ivory’s life appears to at last be falling into place. Having proven herself a force to be reckoned with, she has at last set sail for the first time as a pirate. The only problem is she’s a woman and must disguise herself in order to set foot on a ship. Being in love with her captain isn’t helping matters either and whole new set of obstacles are presenting themselves at every turn. Her brash style and tenacity, however, could prove to make her, her own worst enemy.


With a sword in her hand and her new found love at her side, Ivory Shepard is about to embark on a mission to rescue and return every young woman she can who has fallen prey to the jaded tides of the Caribbean sex trade. Armed with a secret log book she acquired from a pirate captain—who also happened to be an evil smuggler, she believes herself well prepared for the task. As she’s already learned the hard way, pirates always prove to be unpredictable and ruthless. Unfortunately for them, so is she.


Purchase link: Jaded Tides

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Hoist the Colors!

Time for a bit of piracy, mates. Welcome to P. S. Bartlett who’s here to tell us about her newest book; Demons & Pearls, the Razor’s Adventures. Take it away, Peggy.

***

Articles of the Code of the Demon Sea

 

1. The captain of the ship is to be elected by a majority vote of the crew: If any time the crew finds just cause and sufficient evidence to prove the Captain unfit or the Captain is killed in battle, the Quartermaster shall act as Captain until the vote is taken. The Vote must be taken within one full day of its announcement. Failure to follow this procedure will be deemed mutiny.

2. Every man has a vote in affairs of moment; has equal title to the fresh provisions, or strong liquors, at any time seized, and may use them at pleasure, unless a scarcity makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

3. Every man shall obey civil Command; the Captain shall have two full shares and in all Prizes; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and a quarter. The fund of all payments under the articles is the stock of what is gotten by the expedition, following the same law as other pirates, that is, No prey, no pay.

4. If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marooned with one bottle of powder, one bottle of water, one small arm and shot.

5. If any Many shall steal anything in the company, or game, to the value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marooned or shot.

6. That Man that shall strike another man whilst aboard ship and whilst these Articles are in force shall receive 40 lashes on the bare back.

7. That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke tobacco in the hold, without a cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a lantern, shall suffer the same punishment as in the former Article.

8. Lights and candles must be snuffed out of eight o’clock. If any man desires to drink after such time, he shall do so on the open deck without lights

9. That Man that shall not keep his weapons clean and fit for an Engagement, or neglect his business due to drunkenness, shall be cut off from his share, and suffer such other punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.

10. If any Man shall lose a Joint in time of an Engagement he shall have 400 pieces of Eight; if a limb 800.

11. No boy or woman is to be brought aboard ship or amongst the crew in disguise for the purpose of sexual seduction. If any man is to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he is to suffer death and the woman or boy will be placed in the custody of a sentinel.

Wait, did pirates have iPhones?

Pirate Lore and Superstition – Fact or Rum?

First of all I’d like to thank Entertaining Stories for having me and my new book, Demons & Pearls, on the blog today. I sent up a flare asking for hosts and well, lucky me. Here I am and I hope you will find this story entertaining.


For the past year, I’ve been obsessed with writing pirate stories. On their own, pirates are entertaining to write about. Now hold that thought for a minute and allow me to explain: Pirates and their dirty and often times brutal deeds leave them to history as unscrupulous, murdering, thieving monsters who instilled fear in every vessel they hunted down. I’ve become fascinated with their way of life, the freedom of sea life and most of all, their governance of themselves as equals in all things. There is however one aspect of these men I have yet to delve into; superstition. So in keeping with the theme of this blog, I’d like to explore it with you now.


Sailors have always been some of the most superstitious men in history and these brash and scrappy men (mostly), were no exception. They held deep seeded beliefs which dictated their actions. Everything from their course headings to how they laid their fellow crewmen to rest was steeped in superstitious rituals. From mermaids to the deadly kraken, they told tales of lore that struck fear into even the deadliest of pirates. Although they lived their lives according to their code or what we’d call laws today, their lives were more closely lived by their unwritten beliefs.


Among the more common superstitions, were those associated with the bringing of good or bad luck. Actions such as boarding a ship with your left foot forward or whistling could bring certain doom. If a shark was spotted following the ship, it signified certain death. However if a pod of dolphins were along for the voyage, good luck was certain. Women aboard a ship were considered unlucky, although a naked woman was thought to calm the seas. This is why many ships had figureheads of a bare-breasted woman, which brings me to those mystical, magical and often times maligned ladies of the sea; mermaids.


Stories and imagery of mermaids can be traced back to 2,000bc. However, these mythical creatures were never more romanticized, as well as feared, as they were during the golden age of piracy. Some pirates as well as sailors of any kind, believed them to be sirens, whose sweet singing would lure them off course and ultimately causing the ship to wreck on the rocks and sink. Other tales of mermaids describe sailors who were drowned accidentally by mermaids, who although trying to save them, inadvertently squeezed them to death. Most often, these stories have been discredited to state that these so called mermaids were no more than manatees who were mistakenly identified as half woman half fish by sailors, who’d have taken part in far too much drinking.


One such description of a mermaid sighting went as follows, from http://www.livescience.com/39882-mermaid.html:

Edward Snow’s “Incredible Mysteries and Legends of the Sea” (Dodd Mead, 1967). A sea captain off the coast of Newfoundland described his 1614 encounter: “Captain John Smith saw a mermaid ‘swimming about with all possible grace.’ He pictured her as having large eyes, a finely shaped nose that was ‘somewhat short,’ and well-formed ears that were rather too long. Smith goes on to say that ‘her long green hair imparted to her an original character that was by no means unattractive.'” In fact, Smith was so taken with this lovely woman that he began “to experience the first effects of love” (take that as you will) as he gazed at her before his sudden (and surely profoundly disappointing) realization that she was a fish from the waist down. This dilemma is reflected in a popular song titled “The Mermaid,” by Newfoundland band Great Big Sea:

“I love the girl with all me heart
But I only like the upper part
I do not like the tail!”

Today, sightings of mermaids are mostly contained to entertaining tank or pool shows, where women who are enchanted with the myth of the mermaid, perform beautiful water ballets either together or with marine life. To my knowledge, none of these ethereally beautiful creatures could ever be confused with a manatee. However, with our world being covered with seventy-one percent of water, who’s to say who’s had too much to drink and who saw a mermaid?


Drawn by the author herself.



***

What a cool guest. Written with the general theme of this blog in mind. Check out the book at this link.


She has other books available too. Check them out at her author page

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