Tag Archives: pirates

The heavens parted today

Some days even I get lucky. I made it a point to sleep in a bit and get a slow start. I wanted to surf through social media while having my first cup of coffee.

It actually felt good, but the dogs wanted me to get on with it. They took up their positions to remind me.

There is Frankie, who thinks she’s part monkey by climbing behind me.

Here is Otto, who has claimed one arm of my chair.

Today the words just wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop when I did. Old What’s Her Face called to say she’d gotten off work, or I’d still be at it.

At that time, I paused to work on Lisa Burton Radio interviews and schedule another announcement for a friend. Lots of new books coming out right now.

As far as my story goes, I concluded the romantic interlude. It made for a fun tropical vacation. A message in a bottle got dropped into the ocean, some skinny dipping occurred. A creature similar to an anteater appeared on the beach, only he’s a snaileater. Glow in the dark tiny bats made an appearance similar to fireflies.

When the kids got back to town, the captured ship had been completely stripped, painted, renamed (Lanternfish) and is getting ready to set sail. I even amazed myself at the way I stitched some things together.

I built that bit of doubt I mentioned the other night, then quelled it with a small private action and a bit of dialog. This served to strengthen the bonds of friendship amongst the main characters.

A couple of the main characters got new outfits, and one purchased a bird called an anvil bird. He’s like a combo of parrot, toucan, and hornbill. Sean Harrington may have to paint him one day down the road.

The woman who bought the bird revealed a very personal issue, and dealt with the matter by purchasing the bird. Too spoilerish for her character arc to go into more detail.

I even introduced a new crew member. Since this is an alternate world, using words like Asian, Chinese, or even the outdated Oriental won’t quite work. I gave her Eastern features and left it at that. I’ll probably have to go back and work that out later.

Her name is Serang. She’s tall, thin, beautiful, and deadly. She carries a single bladed pole weapon. Another creation called a bay frog got speared. (Frogs don’t live in salt water in reality, plus this one is big.)

I have some cool plans for Serang.

A bigger ship requires a bigger crew, but I can’t name them all. I need enough to make it feel like a whole crew, but limit dialog and actions to those with names.

Oddly enough, I did it all without root monsters, the moving reef, or any of the other sub stories.

Tomorrow, I really want to dive into it again, but it’s also the day I call my parents. I’ll sacrifice a few hours there any time.

Hope all of you are enjoying your weekends. Probably wrap up the day with Baseball, salted caramel stout, and Papa Murphy.

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Hodgepodge kind of day

Otto decided to get me up at 5:00 this morning. It really wasn’t in my plan, but Momma put some leftover chicken breast in his bowl, and he knew it was there. He held out as long as he could, then needed to get at it.

Across yesterday and today, I got one shtick out the door for an interview, and scheduled one for July. I have another one to schedule, and two more to move ahead in the queue. One of my guests is a planner, and needs a date in August. I went ahead and scheduled that one too. (I love planners. They can make the interview part of a larger tour.)

I managed about 2000 new words of fiction today too. Yesterday was all about cannons, swords, and action. Today was all about coming down from that. The pirate crew is starting to meld together, and it occurred to me that, as a whole, the crew is also a character. A lot of character building happened today. Fart jokes were made too.

I watched a beautiful horse race today, which led to another Triple Crown Winner. These things are rare, and there may have been as many Popes in my lifetime as Triple Crown Winners. (I’m not taking the time to count.) So excited for Justify and his peeps.

Now I’m hoping my baseball team can pad their lead in the west. This is going to be a tough series, and we’re on the road, but stranger things have happened.

I took a minute to catch up on blogs, and stumbled across some exciting news. Karen O, is the first book reviewer I ever met. Years ago, she was taken by Lisa Burton in her debut novel. She asked me if she could use Lisa in a story she was writing.

Lisa was just lounging around, and I hadn’t come up with tasks for Lisa at the time, so I said yes. Karen serialized this story on her blog, and it was a lot of fun. A while back, she asked me if it might be alright to publish it. I said yes, with no reservations, and encouraged her to do it.

Karen is doing a cover reveal today for her story, Neighbors. Lisa has a small co-starring kind of role in the story. Go visit Karen for more information at this site In A Small Compass.

If I do nothing else, it’s been a productive weekend. I plan on addressing those pending interviews, but we’ll see how it goes.

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A great day for piracy

Lisa met me at the top of the stairs. She had those knee high boots that turn over at the top, and her Captain Barbosa hat on. “What are we working on today, mate?”

“Well, figured to read my last chapter, then move the story ahead as much as possible.”

“Sounds like a plan, but I need you outside first.”

I followed her across the deck, then out to the field before she turned around. A black skull and crossbones flag flew over the writing cabin. “I love it, where’d you get it.”

“I made it, silly. I have a lot of time to myself out here, and did it for you. The logs on the cabin almost look like an old ship, if you use your imagination.”

“It’s perfect for this story. Guess I’d better get started.”

“Not so fast, matey.” She spun me around to face a line of logs she’d placed vertically in the meadow. Each of them held one block of ice. She handed me a flintlock pistol and stepped back.

“Really, for me?”

“You need to have the experience.”

I cocked the hammer, took careful aim, and missed the target. Sulfurous black smoke drifted across my field of vision.

She traded me for a fresh pistol, and started reloading the one I just fired. “Better hurry, they get smaller out in the sun.”

I repeated my motions, but this time the ice exploded into a million pieces. “Hey! Look at that.”

“Very nice, now the next one.” She handed me the freshly charged pistol. “You have two more coming at you.”

We repeated the exercise until all the ice disappeared. “Thanks for doing this. It helps to remember these aren’t semi automatic pistols that can be fired over and over with ease. Pirates would have to save their shot, or take cover to reload.” I handed the pistol back. “Guess I’d better get started.”

“Not so fast.” She pulled two cutlasses from the grass and tossed one my way. “Defend yourself.”

I blocked her strike and stepped back.

“Come on, you’ll never learn if you don’t try.”

“These things are dangerous.”

“I’m a sophisticated high-tech robot. I’m not going to hurt you.” She thrust at me, and I batted her blade away to the side.

“But I’m not. What if I mess up and hurt you?”

“Please. Class three battle chassis inside. You’d need armor piercing ammo to get through, and more firepower than that sword.”

I picked up my pace and returned the fight. We clashed all across the meadow, up and down the steps on the deck, and out onto the airstrip.

I took a step back and held my blade up with both hands in a halt position.

“What’s wrong now?”

“I’m tired.”

“You’re old and fat. This is where you get run through.”

“Besides, I don’t have a cool hat.”

“The hat has nothing to do with it. It’s all about skill, stamina, and experience.”

“I’d like to experience some iced tea about now.”

“I can make some.”

“And some air conditioning would be nice too.”

“Fine. Wimp.”

“It was fun though. Loved the pistols.”

“Gotta admit, that seems more your style.”

We headed inside and Lisa brought tea to my office. I took a sip, and placed the cold glass to my forehead. “I’m surprised you didn’t have cannons for us to fire.”

“I called Red Herring, but they’re all rented out. Seems like all the authors want cannons this weekend.”

“You didn’t really. Did you?”

“I know you don’t like the guy, but he has all the story elements you ever need. Besides, buying one would give you a stroke. Rental is the only way to go.”

I opened my iPad and started writing. Lisa piped some quiet pirate themed music through the building.

By the time I finished for the day, I’d written nearly five thousand new words. We captured a ship, got disappointed in the treasure. Experienced a monster of the deep, and witnessed what can only be described as carrot abuse.

I introduced one new character called Stuttering Lewis. Lest this sound like character soup, it’s fourteen chapters in, so you get one here and there. I’ll have a few more along the way, but they’re mostly color and background now. I can’t write a book and call them pirate #1 and pirate #2.

We also unfurled a new flag, but I won’t describe it because it’s kind of spoilerish.

It feels like an end to Act One. That arguably could have been an earlier section, but I don’t mind being a little vague on that part. Acts are more like guidelines anyway. (Sounds good for a pirate story.)

I’ve struggled over the last couple of books to hit a decent word count. This one is not going to have that problem. It may be the rare story where I have to cut things to make it digestible for readers.

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend, or will if you didn’t score friday off. I still need to work up some interview pieces, but it’s hard not to keep sailing this ship forward.

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Welp… Sunday.

I worked on writing projects this weekend. I could have been more productive, but could have gone the other way too.

Part of the mix, as always, is to keep Lisa Burton Radio moving along. At this stage of the game, I have worked ahead, so I stole some time for writing.

I didn’t accomplish much, but I never intended to. I needed to familiarize myself with the manuscript, because I stepped away from it for so long. This involved some light duty reading, and a few corrections along the way.

Writing never started until about 10:00 Saturday, and it came to about a chapter. We learned that bored pirates will do nearly anything for rum. We also spotted a distant ship on the horizon, and started giving chase. My intention is to give the idea that it takes time to pursue a distant ship in the age of sail. This isn’t to mean things are boring now. I’m using this phase to illustrate a battle plan and make ready. This will be a one shot thing, but I think it’s important to include.

Next stretch will involve a sea battle, some monsters, more monsters, some magic and mayhem.

After that, I assembled and scheduled interviews into early July. I have a hard time not forging ahead on these things. Right now, there are two more I need to work up shticks for. I know what it’s like being an author and trying to promote my work. However, what am I supposed to do when I get fifty applicants at once? These post once per week, and there are fifty-two weeks in a year. Not everyone will come through, so that won’t be the case, but it illustrates my position.

So, should I bust my hump and get those two shticks written and sent to the authors? Absolutely. But with being scheduled into July, I have to take the hours I can get for my own writing. I suffer with this all the time, and I realize there is no right answer.

I hope my guests will forgive me, but everything will be finished in time for the remaining July dates.

I also wrote my next post for Story Empire and got it scheduled. Then I roughed out one after that. I may not use that one, but I actually have an alternate idea too. I may pick away at that during the evenings, and decide when my next turn comes around.

Oh, I also assembled and scheduled a post I’m hosting for some friends. They sent an html file, so it amounted to a couple of clicks, but it’s ready too.

In personal news, we didn’t do a damned thing beyond hanging out. No date night, nothing. I managed to watch a couple of baseball games and even drank one beer.

I consider it a productive weekend, even if it wasn’t massively productive. I hope all of you enjoyed your weekends too. My next flex day is Friday, and I hope to deal with those monsters, cannons, and magic.

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Ready for the weekend

Today seemed like it took forever. At least I had a visitor for a little while. This little buck stopped just long enough to pose for photos.

I got a ton of things done today at the office, and I’m beat. Tonight, I’ll probably have a beer and watch a baseball game.

The free day for The Hat is going well. With Don Massenzio’s post it seemed like a good time to try it. The highest rank I caught was #32 under the superhero genre. You have until midnight to get it for free.

Okay, it’s a lousy picture, but it’s out of necessity. This data does not display on my phone. The PC doesn’t save images to my private account. Therefore, I used my phone to take a picture of my PC monitor.

It could creep a little higher with a few more downloads. The book is free until midnight. You might want to grab a copy today, and read it later.

Tomorrow I’m going to hoist the colors and get back to my manuscript. There are two interviews I need to schedule, but if I get to them Sunday that’s perfectly okay.

I’m kind of excited to get back to my pirates, monsters, and adventure. Hope all of you have fun plans and a great weekend.

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Tallying up the weekend

It’s time to wrap things up. I count today as part of my weekend, because it’s my flex day. I tried to keep my task list small, but items that made the list are large.

Saturday was dedicated to Lisa Burton Radio. I managed to assemble and schedule two posts, which covers scheduling for a couple of weeks. I also wrote and sent out multiple shticks for future interviews. Two of those came back complete, and I could schedule ahead for a month now.

Thing is, I don’t have to. I have some other things to do. I noticed during all this scheduling that there have been 100 episodes of Lisa Burton Radio. That led to the post on Saturday night.

Sunday, I moved on to advance blog posts. If I save up some pennies, I want to get Yak Guy out the door before summer. I sketched out a pair of posts to take it on a blog tour, but I need about eight more. It counts as progress, so I’ll take it. Some of these are easier to write with a few distractions around, so I may get another one during the work week on an evening.

Today is calmer to a degree, so I opened my current project. My characters dug up a graveyard, bought a crappy ship, and left their original project behind. I introduced some minor characters who make up the crew. This is a giant change in their task, but it symbolizes them taking control. There is another huge change coming soon, and it will mark another point of no return.

I’m feeling the presence of the Research Sirens once more. There are terms and locations on a sailing vessel that need to be correct. This is where I could disappear for weeks, but I usually manage to get enough data to fake my way through it.

A background character spent a page to give us an idea of his makeup. (Former hangman.) The basic idea is that all of the crew members come from a place of loss and have a colorful history. I may have to make that point more bluntly.

Under different circumstances, I would make this a writing cabin post, and have the Sirens show up in pirate costume. I had so much to do, I just didn’t take the extra effort that would require.

Maybe if I get those advance blog posts written, I can dedicate some time to making these posts more fun. I enjoy the writing cabin posts, and need to get back to them.

It was a weekend. It was productive. I’ll take it. Back to the office tomorrow for me.

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Working away here

I intended to update last night, but with a great new review I felt like that served me better. Actually, I got three new reviews over the weekend, but Robbie blogged about it and that means a lot to me. (Thanks, Robbie.)

Over the course of the last two days, I’ve managed about 5000 new words on my project. My characters made it to their destination city and are researching their options. In the mean time, another assassin is lurking about. There is a bit of small monster mayhem going on too. My main character, James, has been approached by a man with a shady plan. The new guy calls himself Johnny Jump Up. This little encounter led to James going missing.

Johnny has a past, and I’ll weave a bit of that into the story later. Particularly how he came by the name.

This one is tentatively called Voyage of the Lanternfish, and it’s pirate themed. I made a general piracy board on Pinterest, and it’s good for inspiration. There are some great angler fish images there. I chose the term Lanternfish for my fantasy story. I’d love to share one, but I don’t want to step on anyone’s copyright. You may want to check it out on Pinterest.

In author terms, I’m fast approaching the end of Act One. This is where the plan fails and the bottom falls out. I’m really looking forward to getting there. The section I’ve been writing involves a bit of deep tension. I like to jump ahead and get to the action, but some scenes like this are necessary.

One of the tough decisions I made was to set this in a fantasy world. This was an attempt to distance myself from a certain popular franchise. This means I need alternatives to places like Tortuga. It also requires me to include a few fantasy creatures, like the owlcats I referenced a couple of times. I plan to glance off some of this, just to give the world some flavor. Things like saltwater bay frogs, and pelicanfish. I’ll come up with a few more, but may not use them all.

What I need to be doing is chipping away at some blog tour posts. I have another book ready to go, and I want to release it before summer, because summer has been pretty dismal in my experience. I need ten posts, and really need to start on them.

In other news, I wrote and scheduled my next Story Empire post. It’s up on Wednesday. I also exchanged enough material to complete another of Lisa’s interviews. I admit to pecking away at these. I’m a bit ahead of the game, so I’m using that time to work on my story.

My wife and I are both off tomorrow, and that usually doesn’t lead to new fiction. This may be a good time to start working on those promotional posts.

I’ve also neglected blog reading, Twitter, and the rest. Maybe I’ll spend some time catching those up.

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