Tag Archives: pirates

Talk Like a Pirate Day

I just realized today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I love this, and wondered what I could do about it on my blog. Writing out an entire post in “Pirate” probably isn’t going to impress anyone, so I’ll spare you that.

Truth is, I have a pirate tie in. I’ve finished Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it won’t publish until this winter sometime. Could be 2018, could be 2019, but winter just the same.

I’ve been working on posts for a blog tour to introduce the story to people. I’ve been working on getting my artwork together too. There is a lot that happens to pull off a successful release.

Normally, I just hold stuff back and spring it on people when I’m ready, but this is Talk Like a Pirate day. How could I avoid that? Check out this cover and see if you might want to read my pirate fantasy/adventure tale.

Voyage of the Lanternfish

Meanwhile, Lisa is hanging out with Sean Harrington again. Who knows what they get up to when I’m not around, but I have a hunch they’ll be talking like pirates in some tavern tonight. Lisa sent me this advance picture to let me know she’s actually working and needs to stay on the payroll.

Lisa Burton

I hope they leave the root monsters home tonight. I don’t think I have bail money to spare. Have a great day, mates.

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It’s a book!

Voyage of the Lanternfish is a book. Okay, officially it’s a draft, but spot me some of the emotion of finishing the damned thing for a day.

I could have easily finished yesterday. I was on a roll, but my wife got home from work, and with two more days off I wasn’t worried.

Some of you like to keep score, so it’s at 105, 503 words. This will likely go down in my editing phase. That makes for about 1500 words before I called my parents this morning.

My cool new monster did his job, and the pirates freed him to terrorize a small village somewhere. I think his abilities are pretty cool, and hope my readers will too.

In typical fantasy fashion, the girl is rescued, the enemy is smited smitten, and the ship is sailing over the horizon.

I also managed to shave the girl’s head because of lice, and embarrassed the captain a bit in front of his men.

Now it needs to rest. It goes in the fermenter for at least two weeks while I regroup and work on other things. Then I can start those editing passes. I’m sure the Raven of Doubt is already circling over the writing cabin in anticipation.

I dropped a couple of scenes, because I believe in short denouements. One involved the discovery of a sea battle gone wrong, and another involved a chipped tooth from blowing a conch shell horn. That was a minor character, and he hasn’t earned the page time.

I assembled an upcoming Lisa Burton Radio interview, then got it scheduled. I followed that up by writing a shtick for another one and got it sent to the author. Lisa still needs guests, so if you’re interested drop me a line. I’m working into September right now.

I think I’m done today. I’m up tomorrow at Story Empire, and may write a companion piece to that post over here tomorrow night. If I do, I’ll link to SE from here.

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Fair enough, I’ll take it

The dogs drove me nuts last night. I pulled some light clothes on and went to sleep on the couch. Something about scratchy Frankie paws on my neck, and about 60 pounds of Otto on my leg wasn’t working for me.

Old What’s Her Face got me up when she went to work at 3:00 AM. She suggested I try again, since she wouldn’t be in the bed at the same time. I was in a pouty mood and intended to just get up and get started, but I gave it the old college try.

I still had to nudge Otto off of me, but managed to sleep until 6:00.

I spent the first two hours puttering on things. This is my normal process, but I dragged my feet, because I call my parents at 8:00.

After the phone call, I decided to give it a try. I wound up making some decent progress. It feels like 1500 to 1800 words. Not bad at all for a Sunday. This was a transition phase, and those are slower to write.

My pirates sailed to the uncharted island, and are now prepared to go ashore. I put some effort into approaching the island through a thick fog, and the dangers that might present. There was a shipwreck, some big lizards that we’ve seen before, and something I called a black shark from out of the blue.

I expect this island to take up some time in the story. There are several things that have to happen. I’m debating making it a place that is in constant fog, and letting my pirates see bits and pieces of it. To my mind, it keeps it kind of mysterious, and will let readers know this is a big world.

There are people here, and there will be monsters. I stopped when I did so I could daydream about some of it with more specificity than before.

For those who are keeping score, I’m at 81,600 words. I’d like to hit 100K, and it feels like I can. That’s long for me, but this is an epic fantasy. It may not be formal fantasy, it’s a kind of flintlock fantasy, but fantasy just the same.

I picked yet another basket of peaches this afternoon. Peach waffles tomorrow morning for sure.

I’m off tomorrow, but so is my wife. This usually isn’t the sign for a good writing day, but we’re going to have a date lunch out of the deal. We ought to be able to get in to Old Chicago and have pizza without the long lines and waits.

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Love Wednesday Flex Days

I dabbled early this morning. Ate some peaches, checked some social media. Then I reread my last chapter. Turns out there were some ‘its’ and ‘they’re’ errors to fix. Not to fear, these are on my word search before I ship it out to beta readers.

It was a weird writing day. I wrote a bit, did other things, wrote a bit more. It still came out to around 3000 words. This is a simple chore for the pirates, but there are some game changing things going on. Most of this will come in the form of news they haven’t received yet.

I just need to figure out what that is… A war is either starting or about to start. Things aren’t going to be as simple as sailing about and accomplishing goals. There is a new threat on the seas. The enemy has stripped their ships so they can refit the guns for land war. This turned out kind of handy, but there comes a time when the ships will be refitted.

My captain revealed some philosophy about warfare that he learned from his father. This turned into a fair bit of dialog with his best friend.

I did not force the readers to live through the monster encounter, but let the root monsters relay it instead. Old Hogar, the monster turned out to be a bear. I’m kind of happy with the back and forth about his size. The description of ‘about as tall as you are at the shoulder… if you were sitting atop a horse,’ came out well. I actually recycled it from one of my trunk novels.

Bears don’t actually get that big, but in fantasy they do.

Note to self: Probably need an excerpt of a root monster story for promotion purposes.

My outline is fast disappearing. I’m down to one major stop, some minor events, and a big finale. Then I have to concoct a denouement of some kind.

I only stopped because I need time to think about a meeting they’re going to with a semi-friendly military man. They’re all on the same side, but pirates aren’t generally the type you make allegiances with.

Thinking through this section will only make it better. I can come up with some minor tension that will still let the big events happen.

78,771 words and counting… or was that the number of peaches I ate this week?

Back to work tomorrow. That will give me four commutes with my Muse to work things out.

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A fair writing day

I didn’t hit it with a vengeance today. My crew is in a new country, and I needed to get some of the flavor on the page.

To do this, I used one of the unexplored supporting characters and weaved in a bit of his backstory. I think it worked out pretty well. He’s from this continent, and has proven useful.

The advantage is to have built fences. Now I have to live within those parameters, and I find it helpful. I could go back and change everything, but I usually find this to be a positive step.

There was a fight with the enemy sailors, but not in a way that would get them destroyed by the locals. (It wasn’t a dance off either.)

I’ve decided to let them tour outside the city while the foundry prepares their order. I’m thinking something do do with wine production, maybe stomp a few grapes. I think I’ll include some bee keeping, which could lead to some mead drinking as well.

It only seems logical that people who spend months on a ship would want to do things off the ship when the chance presents itself.

Maybe I should buy a good bottle of mead for inspiration. I’ve done stranger things.

Somehow, they should have a new problem to face when they get done playing in the countryside. It doesn’t have to be major, but I think the story would benefit from that. It’s time to do some more daydreaming about this issue.

Writing took me up until noon, but it was enough. I broke the 70,000 word barrier, and there is a lot of story to write yet. I usually suffer trying to stretch something to novel length, but that won’t be a problem here.

I dabbled with Lisa Burton Radio, but that didn’t take much time. Most of my afternoon was spent watching a baseball game. They won this time, so maybe my curse is broken. I hope so. It’s a lot more fun watching your team win.

Tomorrow is the day I call my parents, and my wife is driving home too. I don’t expect to get much done, but you never know.

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Glamping with bulldogs

I complained about our camping trip this week. I like to know where we’re going, and what we might be going for. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, but with no idea, it bothers me.

To make matters worse, it’s +/- the Fourth of July. My wife’s big plan was to go somewhere and camp out. Campsites are reserved months ahead of time around here, but they all offer a few that are first come first served. That was my only solace.

I asked for two weeks where we were going, and she never was able to spit out a location. She narrowed it down to about ten general areas, which is no answer at all.

On the Fourth, I said we were going somewhere around McCall. I chose this, because there is a sewer dump available in the area. (Two actually) It wasn’t a great reason, but at least it was no longer random driving.

There was a ton of traffic heading back to Boise, and most of them were towing campers. I decided we should at least look at Ponderosa State Park. Our chances were slim of getting a site, but it wasn’t far out of our way to check.

There were zero sites at Ponderosa, so I decided to head down Warren Wagon Road. There are lesser Forest Service sites all over the area, and if nothing else we could bushwhack another site.

Ultimately we wound up in a nice Forest Service campground alongside Upper Payette Lake. This was my office for two days.

When we got there it was over a hundred degrees. Bulldogs and heat do not get along. I left them in the truck with the AC running while I set up the generators and got the camper AC running.

It took hours to drop the inside from ninety degrees to eighty degrees. The pups had to wear their wet bandanas and drink lots of water.

Friday was much better. We got a head start on the heat, and it only got up to the mid eighties. The dogs got to play outside, and even took a walk. Otto loves meeting people and there were plenty to visit with around the campground.

Frankie is a bit more reserved, and even barks at people who walk by. She appreciated the cool green grass on her tummy though.

We got out of town with no movies, and there was no cellular service either. About all there was to do was read, and I did plenty of that. My wife brought her satellite radio and I listened to about half of a baseball game on Friday night. My team lost. I didn’t listen last night and they won. My curse is intact.

Some of you may not know how I was raised. We camped all the time. As teenagers, we would throw sleeping bags on the ground and sleep beside the fire with nothing but coyotes and stars to keep us company.

When we were a young couple, we had an army tent with cots for all the kids and a wood stove inside.

As one gets older, a camper has a lot more appeal. I never wanted all the flashy stuff that comes with a modern camper, but there really is no choice. As we’ve gotten used to it, I kind of look forward to movie nights out camping. I missed that this time.

Friday we took a drive to check out other camping areas. We drove all the way to Bergdorf Hot Springs, but didn’t stop to swim. It was packed and people were everywhere.

On the way home, our drive devolved into watching for a place that had a decent cell signal. This was so we could do our daily chores on some stupid video games we play.

How did it come to this? Camping has become movie time, satellite radio, and withdrawals from the internet.

Oh, and we ate well. The first night was just brats and some leftovers from home. Last night was steak and marinated shrimp on the barbie. I also downed two really nice bottles of stout.

I read about half of a great book, and will probably finish it while I’m still on vacation. I also added several thousand words to my new story. Old What’s Her Face and the bulldogs like to sleep in, and several hours each morning were dedicated to writing time. There are worse places to kick back and write.

My pirates got involved in a bit of larceny, pulled off a huge con, and had to fight their way out of port. They’re on the open seas now and headed for a neutral country. I expect with four more vacation days to make some serious progress.

Here is the obligatory scenery picture. Idaho is a beautiful state, and everywhere you turn is something worth seeing.

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Ganbei! And more word count

I spent my morning writing again. This time, the ship made port. It was kind of fun having them slow down by reducing sail until it was gone completely. They also had to man the yard arms. This involves every available person going aloft and lining up across the yards. This was occasionally done in the age of sail, because when men are aloft they aren’t manning the guns. This is a foreign country after all.

The locals towed them in via a sequence of longboats, complete with drums.

Their mission here is to pose as their enemies, and accept delivery of a cargo the enemy already paid for. I still need to bring some tension to the fact that someone could blow the whole thing for them.

They explored the new city, and I had fun describing it. They saw people who resembled cormorant fishermen, but in my setting the birds used were replaced by diving reptiles who resemble flightless pelicans.

I worked to describe streets filled with vendors of every kind, including flowers and the scents that go along with flowers, food, and the like.

Serang gave a bamboo flute lesson to some street thugs, and only broke one nose… and a wrist. She also stole the thugs money to pay for the flute. Good news, this time she didn’t kill anyone.

We met Serang’s uncle who is the brewer of Huangjiu. (Think saki here, but more Chinese.) Serang is a big drinker, and now we know why. There were many cries of Ganbei, as the cups were drained.

We also learned of her sad story, and how her father was killed by the dragon turtle. (Who will not appear in this story beyond a giant parade puppet.) We also learned that she was once something called a temple maiden. This was before the Emperor decided to westernize and eliminated the temples.

The ship’s (witch) doctor sought the help of a traditional Asian doctor. This made me stop to explore all kinds of things. There isn’t a ton of detail available so I made most of it up. It’s a fantasy, I get to do that.

To distract from the idea that I had to make part of this up, I also researched maggot and leech therapy. That ought to make your skin crawl, but it actually serves a purpose in the real world.

I am using a bit of googling to come up with the foreign words. There are some minor modifications on my part, but the terms have real meaning. I’ve worked pretty hard to update my cheat page so I remain consistent from this point on.

I’m horrible about spelling some things, and foreign words won’t even pick up on my spell-checker. By getting them right on the cheat sheet, I can copy and paste for consistency. It isn’t like these words are used every page, so it’s pretty easy.

If all goes well tomorrow, I may get to have some fun with false teeth, money changers from this newly westernized world, and a recovery by the severely wounded first officer. I may have even found a use for the skin of the bay frogs from a week or two ago.

The story is fast approaching 60,000 words, and I should break that tomorrow. I’m having a terrible thought about all the various land wars that are breaking out, and how this could become a trilogy at some point. Scares me to even think about it, because I have some different stories to write already.

I’m calling it The Voyage of the Lanternfish. I’m considering dropping the first word to make it Voyage of the Lanternfish. What do you guys think?

Chime in here. Are you intrigued by fishing reptiles, bamboo flutes, maggot therapy, and temple maidens?

There are a few more hours until first pitch, and my curse is consistent. I watched the game last night, so of course the Diamondbacks lost. Maybe I should just write and check scores in the morning.

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