Tag Archives: posters

A writer’s lament

Hi, I’m Craig, and I haven’t written a new word for two weeks. I’m unlikely to get more next week unless something changes.

Sounds like an AA meeting.

The fact is, this has been the busiest week of the year at my workplace. I was heavily involved in prep leading up to all this, too. At some point, I kind of left it all on the field, to use a sports phrase.

Old What’s Her Face and I have had the same days off, too. This isn’t particularly useful when it comes to penning new material.

I have some leave coming up, and may get to do some writing then. However, I have a stockpile of errands that will interfere to a degree if I don’t plan things well. I have to get my truck serviced, and take care of a small repair. I also have to get it sniffed for pollutants. Then there is the matter of swinging by a hardware store for some blade oil for my chainsaw. My fruit trees need some tough love and it’s best done before the sap rises.

I’ve also promised to make a quick trip to Nevada to visit my parents, so here is a rough plan. I’ll get the truck taken care of Friday morning, then go find a station that can do my sniff test. Somewhere in that vicinity, I need to find any hardware store for my oil. I will leave directly from there for Nevada. That will kill Friday, but might salvage some other days for writing purposes.

Then there is the plot problem. I’ve been dwelling on it for weeks, but have an inkling of what I want. Nothing like a long car drive to help focus some of this. It isn’t like Lanternfish needs a new character, but I’m going to introduce one. My cons can keep a secret easily enough, but adding a third party to their game could introduce some extra stress. Stress is a good thing for characters.

Normally, in times like this I would switch stories. However, I’ve finished the draft of Lunar Boogie, and want to focus on Lanternfish. It’s probably crazy, because I lost two weeks that I could have been working on something else.

I also need to keep reading what I’ve already produced. That will help me sort out what cartoons I need to order for Lunar Boogie, and I need to put some thought into Lisa Burton promotional posters.

Lisa poses a different problem. How many pirate girls can I commission here? Same thing for Lizzie and the hat. It was simple enough to do when the first book came out, and even the second volumes. This deep into both series, it gets harder to come up with things.

I’ve had Lisa pose as Serang, then in Serang’s new armor. She’s posed as Lizzie the monster hunter, Lizzie the musician, etc. I’ll figure something out, of course, but it might be a few less than I usually do.

I’m looking forward to finishing the Lanternfish trilogy. I’m down to getting the last pieces in place before things really break loose. This is the middle slog, but there are some big things planned that I expect to almost write themselves.

On the bright side, I only committed to two books this year, and one of those is drafted. I have to keep things moving, because it’s already March, but I’m not in a bad position here.

I hope all of you are doing well, and not facing your own writing problems. I’ll sort mine out, then Lanternfish will move fast.


Filed under Writing

Missed it by thiiiis much

I hit it hard this weekend. I was so close to finishing H.M.S. Lanternfish I could taste it. Needless to say from the title, I never made it. I blame Rusty, but let’s concentrate on the positives.

I just received critiques back on one chapter, but have about three more written. I also received cover art, and followed this up with ordering the first Lisa Burton promotional poster.

My short story is in the can, but I need to pass over it one more time, then get some other eyes to check it out. I already checked with them, and they’re on board. I’ll probably send it out PDQ. I still need to figure out a title.

Inside Lanternfish, I have a lot going on in these closing chapters. There’s a bit of intrigue and some crazy things, too. I’m going to end it with a lot of daring do, and kind of a disaster at the same time. This is going to be a challenge to pull off, and maybe it’s good that I ran out of time. It might be best to tackle this when I’m fresh so the balance comes out well.

Remember when I said the middle volume of a trilogy is usually the shortest one? Yeah, I was wrong. This one is going to be every bit as long as the first, and may exceed it to a small degree.

All combined, I hit about 9700 words over the four days. That’s nothing to cry about. I’m down to counting weeks before I can send it to my formatter and think about publishing. Honestly, I’m probably about six or seven weeks out. That’s mid-July sometime.

That timetable will depend on me, my mentors and helpers, and Sean Harrington with the promotional posters. It may seem absurd, but I’m already concerned about my ability to have The Ballad of Mrs. Molony available for the Halloween season.

I think I’ll make it all work, and while Lanternfish is aging, I can add words to Mrs. Molony. I need to avoid taking on any more projects and it should be fine.

It’s fun to lament the completion of the draft, but honestly I couldn’t be happier. Even though I lost some time on Saturday and Sunday, I wouldn’t trade a visit with my daughter for a few more words.

Hope all of you had a great weekend whatever you were doing.


Filed under Writing

2017, from a robot’s perspective

Lisa Burton here today. It seems 2017 took some offense to Craig’s last post and his furnace went out. The same one he’s still making payments on. He’s kind of busy right now, so I decided to cover for him.

My job involves being Craig’s personal assistant, and serving as his spokesmodel. This takes me to some awesome places, and I get to wear some fun outfits along the way. I also get to keep the swag from the posters I’m in. You can bet I’m wearing that awesome fur as I put this together. (Craig still hasn’t discovered the bomb hanging from a hoist in the basement.) Anyway, I’m not the writer here so I decided to post a photo collage of the year I had. Hope you enjoy.

There’s also some fun stuff on the calendar for 2018. Hope you guys will stick around.

Lisa Burton


Filed under Muse

Back in the swing of things

I went to work on Monday. I figured I could get more done at half speed by going to work than I could by staying at home. I ran out of gas about halfway through the afternoon, but that time got longer each day. I hit it hard all day today.

My cold doesn’t mean I was completely idle on the writing front. I sent out two copies of The Hat to beta readers. I also received beta feedback on my novel, The Yak Guy Project. In addition, I have two Lisa Burton Radio interviews to work on now, and several more inquiries.

Today started like any other; in the dark and covered by bulldogs.

Frankie is across my lap just below Otto in this image. (They love me.) Before I left for work, I received the first Lisa Burton promotional poster for The Hat. That gives me a cover and one poster.

By the time I got home, I already received one full beta workup on The Hat. I am so excited about the remarks here. It went over well, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Tonight, I sent off a lengthy email to Sean Harrington for the second promotional Lisa poster. I included a lot of photos this time, because it’s a big scene in the story being represented.

Looks like this weekend is all about editing either the novel or the novella. I also have some interviews to get to. No idea what kind of time I’m going to have, but it feels good to get back to full power.


Filed under Writing

An Executive Decision

I pushed my iPad away and rubbed my eyes. This task list was long and difficult, but it's nearly complete. I crossed the room and opened the windows to let the Raven of Doubt outside for some sunlight and air. Lisa Burton* was just finishing up waxing the formerly haunted biplane.

She came inside and put her gear away. “I'm ready to go, whenever you give the word.”

“That's great, but I need you at the big party on Wednesday. We can't start the tour until September.”

“I have Lisa Burton Radio on Thursday. I'll leave after that.”

“Yeah, um, sounds good.”

She placed a hand on her hip. “What's wrong?”

“It's the posters, to be honest with you.”

“Don't you like them?”

“I love them, but I'm struggling with letting my blog hosts reveal them, or doing it here first.”

“It might be fun for the hosts, I suppose.”

“Yeah, but Sean Harrington and I drive a lot of traffic to each other. It's hard for me to drive him traffic when the artwork appears on someone else's blog. He's open for commissions and does a great job. It's the least I can do to help him out.” I clicked on my iPad. “I mean, look at that great cover. It's a completely different style than your posters. That's versatility.”

“I agree. It's a beautiful cover.”
“The pre-sale is almost over. I need six more sales to equal the first Notebook. I'd like to feel like I'm moving ahead with each project.”
“I'm sure the big party and the blog tour will move some copies.”
“It will, but it won't be during the pre-sale.”
“How about this then? Reveal the posters, talk about the stories they represent, and maybe you can move some more copies before the book delivers.”
“Makes sense, I suppose. I mean, nobody's asked for any kind of exclusivity or anything. I just thought it might be fun for my hosts.”
She sat on the couch and crossed her legs. “When you go on a blog tour, the hope is to reach new readers, right?”
“Of course.”
“There is always some overlap among friends, but you get the book in front of new folks too, right?”
“What's your point?”
“Well this is a blog too. You have readers here they don't have… So why not share them with your readers too?”
“It sounds like good advice.”
“Alright, let me explain it how you'll really understand it. Who paid for the posters?”
“That makes a lot of sense. There was the expense of sending you to see Sean, not to mention your wages, printing, shipping and handling, wardrobe expenses,–“
“Stop. So what are you going to do?”
“I think we'll share the posters and talk about them.”
<Squee> Lisa ran from the room to retrieve her leather map tube. She ran back in and took off the cap. Look at this one, it's my favorite.

“That's just because you're obsessed with the rocket-pack.”

“In part, but I like the whole Barbarella feel to it. I think it captures the pulp science fiction vibe you used in the story. Plus, there's my swag deal to consider. I got a new mirror, a Kindle, a new brush, and a blow drier. According to my contract, I get to keep the rocket-pack too.”

“Oh yeah, that's part of the deal isn't it?”

“That's right. I can make quick trips to the spa now, followed up with some Paris shopping, and still be home in time to feed Bunny.”

“Are you going to want the yak when we finish up The Yak Guy Project?”

“Don't be silly. He's a sentient being, you can't own him.”

“Oh yeah, how could I forget. What else do you have?”

“Check this out.” She spread the other poster across the desk.

“Wow, that turned out really cool.”
“I know, right? I think it captures some of the pulp horror vibe. Plus it makes a non-specific political comment too.”
“Yeah, I appreciate that, especially this year.” I smoothed the corners out to make sure it stayed flat. “So are we going to be housing that thing down at the beaver pond?”
“No, but I can use the bolero jacket, shoes, and bracelets again. I might wear the dress somewhere too.”
“So those are the stories you settled on. Fifteen stories boiled down to two. You could have milked that swag deal on Holobarkers. It would be a street scene with lots of cars.”
“I didn't want to get greedy. Besides, I took the old Airstream with the radio equipment you used in Night Bump Radio.”
“Well, the biplane is all ready. The tour spots are locked. You have your posters, and we revealed them here first. I have two critiques to mark up, and I've completed my task list for this weekend.”
“I picked up a growler of pumpkin beer too. When you finish those, just whistle and I'll bet the enchanted beer horns are excited.”
“You're a good personal assistant.”
*Lisa Burton is my personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She's also a robot.
The newest Notebook is available on pre-order right now. Don't forget to come back Wednesday for the big party and a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card. Then follow Lisa and I as we take the Second Notebook on our blog tour.



Filed under Muse, Writing

Time for some street-team help

First a little locator to help you all find your way:

My newest book, “The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II” is available for presale right now. This is another collection of short stories and micro-fiction with an unusual bent to them.

It will deliver on August 31st, and it’s probably best to wait for then before taking on any kind of blog tour. That way I can take advantage of those spur-of-the-moment sales, because the book delivers immediately. This isn’t a cruel thought process in my mind, because the book is only 99¢. Less than a pack of gum.

Because of the price, I don’t want to hire an expensive blog tour, or spend a ton of money on it. I think my royalty per sale is something like 35¢. The goal here is to share some stories, have some fun, and maybe build curiosity in my larger body of work.

What I’m looking for is people who would like to host me, or my assistant Lisa, on their blogs. I’m willing to custom write the pieces depending on what you think your regulars would appreciate.

The normal topics are inspiration, characters, the difference between short stories and novels, that kind of thing. Excerpts are hard to deliver, because these are all short stories and micro-fiction.

For Lisa’s appearances, I commissioned two new pieces of art. One relates to pulp science fiction, and the other to pulp horror. She can deliver a poster for your blog and talk about her role in helping me write. She can get into other topics if you prefer.

So my plea today is: Who wants to host either Lisa Burton the robot girl, or me as part of a cheap blog tour? If you do, what kind of topic would you prefer? I have a few weeks to write them up and get them delivered.

I have my keyboard all ready to go. Lisa has the biplane all fueled up and a roll of posters waiting. I even changed my banner to reflect that. Most of my regulars have my email address, and new folks are welcome to volunteer in the comments.

For the rest of you, every little bit helps. The simple act of retweeting my pinned tweet about the launch, or adding it on Goodreads is very helpful.


Filed under Writing

Getting ready to go on tour

I did a bit of weeding, and some fence repair today. After I lugged the garbage to the curb, I headed for the writing cabin.

Lisa* had the front office piled with bags, and cardboard tubes.

“What's with all the stuff?” I asked.

“It's about time to go on another book tour. I need my clothes, and makeup. These tubes are all the posters for your hosts. I added a few more book covers, just in case.”

“Great idea. How do you decide which posters to give to someone?”

“They usually decide themselves. They can have one of each, if they like. They both turned out good.”

“I thought you didn't like the one with the dog.”

“It was all a mistake. I expected something else, and when it happened it was a surprise. My circuits like planned out results. Over time it grew on me, and it was kind of funny. I could never stay mad at a dog. He's kind of goofy, but that's just the way he is.”

“So do you still like the other one?”

“The Blunderbuss one? Yeah. It's an important piece from the book, and I like the pile of books I had to stand on. Besides, I got to wear that cute outfit I picked up in Bombshell Squad.”

“I figured you'd like that. Are you going to use the old biplane again?”

“Transportation isn't a problem these days. I still have my Harley, you bought us that old Land Rover that works most of the time. Then there's the biplane, which was handy over longer distances. Still, it took a long time to get overseas. You have a lot of friends in places like Europe, Africa, and Australia.”

“So what do you have in mind? Do you want to use an airline?”

“No. Since we repaired the rocket-pack, I could take it into a shallow orbit and get overseas in record time.”

“Are you sure? It's kind of jury-rigged.”

“Believe me, I understand its circuits and can monitor it for any problems during flight. If I run into an issue I'll just touch down for repairs.”

“You know Earth is mostly water, right. Robot girls don't exactly float. You might be in for a long walk home underwater.”

“I'm not worried about it. You may have to pick up the tab for shipping if I find some cute clothes though.”

“What do you mean if? You've never failed to find something. Shipping isn't exactly in the budget.”

“Look, I don't eat, so it isn't like you have to pick up my meals. I'll get free shipping when I can, but you can pitch in if they charge. Either that, or you can let the dog pull off your trunks and we'll send out your posters.”

“Um, no. Nobody wants to see that. I'll pick up shipping, but try not to bankrupt me.”

“I can't, based upon my paychecks. I might get one cute pair of shoes, or something.”

“Do you need me to do anything while you're away?”

“Not if I use the rocket-pack. I can be back in time to cuddle Bunny and count out his pellets.”

“Whew, saved from cuddling with Bunny duty. Use the rocket-pack by all means.”

* Lisa Burton is my personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She's also a robot girl, with a couple stories of her own. She is willing to make more visits if you'd like her to come to your blog.


Lisa is promoting my latest book, The Playground. Look at that awesome cover and pre-order it today. Look, there's that dog again. http://a-fwd.com/asin=B01D6EF6RI


Filed under Muse