Tag Archives: plants and payoffs

Back to the grind tomorrow.

Today was my one chance to work on things I wanted. I spent the early hours assembling some upcoming guest posts. Then there were the inevitable bulldog needs. My back started bothering me again, but just slightly. I moved the doggie bed out to the foot of my chair in hopes of avoiding some of the cuddles today. — Didn’t work. I’m fine, but there was a certain amount of twisting and adjusting so I could type.

There must be a dozen Lisa Burton Radio questionnaires out right now, but nobody returned one this weekend. I have a show for this Thursday, but might not have one the week after at this rate. This has become a pretty popular spot, so if you’d like to take advantage of it drop me a line.

I opened my work in progress, and managed about 1700 new words. Of course I deleted about a thousand of the old words, so it’s about a push. I have this habit of reading the last dozen or so pages before I start writing. I find a lot of mistakes this way. I’m also working with some important plants for later payoffs and I want to make sure everything is in place. Plants and payoffs always work that way for me; two steps forward and one step back.

Overall, I killed three people, captured a runaway slave, and set the stage to free said slave the next time I can tackle new words. No idea when that will be, because I have some things going on next weekend. I need to think up some kind of hinkey slave name for this character now. Maybe something will come to me during my commutes this week.

We discovered another piece of pink plastic in the back yard yesterday. That’s one more than we expected. On the other hand, Frankie is feeling pretty feisty and is back to her crazy old self.

Our new oven works just fine. My wife created some kind of beer braised meatballs that were awesome. She added in some mashed potatoes to go along with the extra gravy they produced. We’re pictures of health around here, but we’re generally pretty happy. Hope all of you enjoyed your weekend too.


Filed under Writing

Bad Writer, but with Chorizos

I slept in this morning. Five thirty may sound doubtful, but when you regularly get up a four AM it’s a godsend.

I headed for the writing cabin and intended to make a ton of headway.

Lisa* came over the radio, “The runway sucks. It’s frozen right now, but when you land, keep going. Park on the road. You’ll have to use it to take off again.”

“Roger that. I have some serious writing planned today,” I said.

I put the little gyrocopter down as lightly as I could, but it was really bumpy. The snow was removed and piled off to the sides of the runway.

Lisa said, “The coast is clear. I’ll unlock the front door. There’s just a few of those prehistoric stagmoose running around out there. They look pretty strange with velvet nubs instead of antlers. No saber toothed cats or anything to worry about.”

I stomped my feet and went inside. “Make a note. We need to order some gravel for the runway.”

“Got it,” Lisa said. She had on her Elvira dress again, and held Bunny, her pet rabbit, over the interesting parts. Her strawberry blonde hair was down and slightly over her shoulders.

I went into my paranormal writing office and hung my hat on the stone gargoyle. The alchemy artwork display bubbled merrily. Doubt** was still asleep in the gigantic hippo head.

I went right to work and immediately stopped. I hadn’t written any new fiction in about two weeks. I backed up and read the last three chapters. I only stopped long enough to change the occasional typo. You know, “hose” that should have been “house”.

I use a lot of plants and payoffs in my stories. This is the time to manuver all of it into place. I had to pause a few times to get everything right. I paced around the office, and let the Will ‘O the Wisp loose again. It careened off the bone chandalier and off the wall.

I looked out the enchanted window, and Godzilla was stomping through Las Vegas. I don’t have any control over what it shows, but it was a good scene.

The kids in my story needed a car, and I had to figure out how they could get permission without telling their parents what they were really up to. My main character, Patty, had to do some more library research. This time it payed off, she’s going on the attack. It’s kind of fun writing a story where the characters don’t have smart phones, Google, or texting. You have to think about how it all used to work, and make it seem realistic.

I moved my characters into position. They’re about to get slammed hard, but for now they ripped on each other and scared each other. It’s all fun and light hearted, and then someone bleeds, dies, or gets hurt.

Doubt started croaking away. Kaw kaw kaw.

“Hush you,” I said. “You’re no help when I’m on a first draft. You’re more useful when I’m editing.”

I made a few period references to make sure readers were still in the early 70s with me. Then I paced some more. I opened the enchanted window, and looked outside. Lisa was taking the skiis off my gyrocopter. The stagmoose were crossing the meadow, and they did look funny this time of year.

The Will ‘O the Wisp careened off the sill, and ricocheted toward the fireplace. I quickly shut the window. I didn’t want it floating across the meadow. I didn’t know if Lisa could catch it again, and I wasn’t even going to try.

I went back to work and typed like a madman. Doubt kept calling and I probably should have listened to him, but I forged ahead.

I heard Lisa come back in, and she spoke to someone. It sounded like Lorelei***.

“How bad is it?” Lorelei asked.

“It could be alright, but he’s been at it a long time,” Lisa said. “I hate to see him need a huge rewrite.”

“I’ll go talk to him. You make food, that always distracts him.”

Lorelei came in and sauntered to the couch. She wore a baggy sweater with some yoga pants and her Nikes. She turned slowly, so I could appreciate her yoga pants. “So how’s it going today?”

“I’m making up for lost time. I might be able to make up all the words I didn’t get last week, and still put out a decent word count for today. You were right, Friday is my day.”

She patted the couch beside her.

“No time, I need to keep this momentum. Where’s Lisa with my coffee?”

“I have her doing something else. Talk to me. I think you’ve about done enough today.”

I wandered over to the couch and sat beside her. “Does it suck or something?”

“No, but Doubt is trying to tell you it’s getting close. You may have to delete some crappy sections.”

“That happens,” I tried to stand up, but she put a hand on my neck, and pulled my head against her shoulder.

“Calm down. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The story is working, but you’re getting too excited. Look, here’s Lisa with your lunch.”

“Chorizos and eggs, one of your favorites,” Lisa said. This time her Elvira dress left little to the imagination; split up to there with her tattooed leg sticking out, split down to there with almost everything else sticking out. Her heels clacked across the stone floor.

I thought, Couple of nice views, if nothing else goes right today. I said, “I love that, I haven’t had chorizos for a long time.”

“So simple,” Lorelei said.

“I made notes,” Lisa said.

“I could wash all this down with a nice beer,” I said.

“More notes,” Lorelei added.

“Definately,” Lisa said. She headed for the refrigerator and the beer horns.

I wound up at 61,101 words. That’s 3945 new words today.

* Lisa is my assistant. She a robot, and the main character in Wild Concept. It’s a fun read, you should check it out.

** Doubt is a raven, kind of. He was a gift from my Muse, and is supposed to teach me things.

*** Lorelei is my Muse.


Filed under Muse, Writing

A Few Edits

It’s hard to write with a house full of noisy kids. They’re pretty excited about Christmas. Once they settled down, I slipped out to the writing cabin and went over my weekend work.

Lorelei showed up in another Christmas outfit, some kind of shiny green elf skirt. She spent her time decorating Doubt the raven’s tree. Now he had a Christmas tree to perch in.

I said, “What no Muse advice tonight?”

“You don’t need a Muse for edits. I just want to make sure you’re being nice to Doubt,” she said.

“Oh yeah, we’re getting along fabulously,” I said, sarcastically. I checked my outline, and I’ve already deviated. Everything’s still there, but it’s been rearranged quite a bit.

Kruk Kruk Kruk

“What’s he want?” I asked.

“Something could be wrong. He wants you to doubt something,” Lorelei said. “Remember, it’s up to you. His job is only doubt.”

“So he works like you? Inspiration only, doubt only.”

“That’s the way it works.”

I’d left out an important plant that was in my outline. I can’t use it a dozen chapters from now, if I don’t get it in today. I reworked the section to get it into the story.

Kruk Kruk

“Yeah, yeah. I know it isn’t perfect. Right now it’s a rough draft. I need to get it all down. I’ll make it better later.”

I didn’t accomplish much, and really wasn’t feeling it. I reached for the phone and hit the pager. “Lisa, do we have any more of those hot dogs?”

“I’m down on the elevator platform putting skiis on your gyro copter. I can make you one in a minute.”

“How are you answering the page from down there?”

“I hooked my systems into the whole cabin, and the gyro copter. You can even page me if I go to the store.”

“I’ll get the weenie. I just wanted to make sure the bird got a little meat.”

Lorelei smiled and winked. “You’re going to turn out just fine. He needs a varied diet.”

“Hey, Lisa. Get cleaned up when you finish. Let’s fly around and look at the Christmas lights.”

I heard, “Squee,” or something like that, then the elevator lifting the gyro copter into the yard. Lisa ran from the basement and turned upstairs.

When she came down she was in one of her Christmas pinup skirts, snowflakes instead of polka dots. She had a big fake fur hat. “I’ve got to make sure my tear reservoir doesn’t freeze.”

“The ‘copter has a heater,” I said.

“Oh that’s right.” She held up a hand and paused. “I just started the engine and turned on the heat.”

“Maybe having you out here’s going to be alright.” She ran up and hugged me.

“How about it Lorelei, wanna come?” I asked.

“Lisa’s heavier than you think. She has a battle chassis, remember. All of us will never get off the ground. You kids have fun. I’ve got a party later.”

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Filed under Muse, Writing