Tag Archives: puppies

An old reminder, enhanced by puppies

It's one of my favorite old sayings, and it came back to me in the comments of my last post. I've been whining about having too much to do. While blogland appreciates a good rant, they don't like it when it drifts into whiny territory.

I've been at this point before, and I will be there again no doubt. How do you eat an elephant?

Task lists are the elephant. I'll do what I can, when I can, and it will all get finished. It's a constant effort to remind myself there is no supervisor that's going to be upset with my progress. That's the paycheck world.

Even puppies know that a bunch of small efforts can add up. It took two weeks, but they slew the giant.

Note: Otto is fine. He is regressing to puppy mode and plays with the girls constantly now.

My wife and I are taking our mini vacation, and I'm not going to worry about this stuff. When I return, my tasks will still be waiting, and the elephant should be properly aged to make for fine dining.

I never mentioned it, because I thought I might play the “Where is Craig” game with you. It didn't work out so well when we went to Jackson, Wyoming, so I'll skip it. We are spending our holiday weekend in New Orleans. Neither of us have ever been there, and we're both pretty excited.

We don't have an agenda, but we are booked into the walking tour of New Orleans Voodoo one night. I hope to take some cool photos and maybe buy some fun stuff. We will no doubt find some beignets and some good seafood. I want to sneak a peek at their telephone book too. I constantly struggle to come up with decent character names, and this could be a great resource.

We're going to be staying relatively close to a site where a big shootout went down in The Playground. I'm tempted to take a cab and see how wrong I got it, but that might encroach onto my wife's plans. Some of the sites in Panama burned down years ago, but I might do a quick search for them too.

Come back tomorrow for Lisa Burton Radio. I'll get to play in the comments, and share it everywhere. After that, I'll update from the road, but it might be sporadic.

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Why I’m not moving ahead

I read a post by one of my fellow Story Empire authors about things being seasonal, and it certainly reflects my writing career. I do most of my writing in the winter. I try to do book releases in the Fall, particularly if they have a paranormal angle. I’ve also released some in the Spring. Summer is for family things, and now they’re starting to clash.

This year, the seasons got away from me. Part of this has to do with taking on two books at once. I’ll own that. I need to tackle those beta edits and ship everything to my formatter. I just got the cover art for Yak Guy, and need to start working on it too. I’m trying to finish an ARC read for a friend, but there hasn’t been a lot of time. I’m also falling behind on my RRBC reading obligations.

This weekend, Old What’s Her Face and I are taking a mini vacation. This may seem contradictory to my predicament, but we kind of need this. I can do some research while I’m there, even if it’s just people watching. I’ll update you guys from the road if something cool comes along. I do okay with reading on airplanes, so maybe I can finish that book, and even write a review during a layover. (Optimistic, no?) There are some decent novellas and short story collections on RRBC, and two of my Story Empire friends have some I haven’t read yet. It’s kind of a cheat code, but a shorter work might help me meet my reading obligation.

As soon as we return from our mini vacation, my critique group meets. I only have one submission so far, but maybe I can work it up tonight. I can’t print on an airplane, so I hope the others show up soon.

The following weekend, my parents are coming to visit the puppies. Let’s be honest, that’s the real attraction. We always have a good time, and I understand the appeal of little puppies. The chance to get anything else done is almost nonexistent here.

One weekend after that, I learned yesterday, we have a campground reserved in the heart of morel mushroom territory. That weekend may have some hope, because I could do some things after dark. I don’t need wifi to read, or even to edit. Then again, I may go for a drink beside the campfire and just bag it.

Every spare second is pretty hectic right now. There was a line something like this over the weekend: “You watch the puppies, and I’ll go to the mall and get a second suitcase.”

“It’s only a couple of days. Do we really need a second one?”

“Ours will be packed, and we might want to buy something and need room to bring it home.”

Yeah, it seemed like a good way to avoid spending a bunch of cash on trinkets, but I lost that debate. Then there are all the mundane things that we would normally save for the weekend, picking up enough food so kids and dogs can eat while we’re absent, dry cleaning, choir performances by grandchildren, etc. It’s also medical season. I just had one checkup, and tomorrow I have an eye appointment. I’m going to try to cobble some of those “weekend” errands onto my trip to the eye doctor.

Besides all of this going on, there is sleep deprivation. Frankie and Nyx seem to want to sing the song of their people about 11:30 to midnight every night. They want up in the bed with us, but what they need is to go outside and potty. This requires me to pull on shorts and rush them outside before we have a failure on the carpet. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t.

After all these events pass, I hope to be close on The Enhanced League release. Yak Guy will take the next priority. After that, I need to get hopping on a short story for an anthology I was invited to contribute to. Then I need to start thinking about Macabre Macaroni stories for October. They don’t write themselves either, and I enjoy doing them.

So my theory is to do some reading on airplanes, with luck I can get caught up there. When I go camping, I might be able to work on some edits at night. I may have to take some vacation just to work myself out of this hole.

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Small Victories

I'll even write it like this: Victory! It's taken me a lifetime, but I'm learning to let some things go. I wanted to release two books before school lets out this spring. I kind of wanted The Enhanced League to come out sometime around opening day for Major League Baseball. It quickly became obvious that opening day was out, then the end of school too.

Part of this involves puppies, but I chose to do that. I work a full-time job, plus I treat writing like a job too. There are times when I have to fit being a husband, father, and a real life into the mix. The real life things are moving to the forefront now, as they do every year. I hate the idea of releasing one book during the summer, let alone two, because my experience with that has not been good. It will get done, when it gets done, and then I'll release them. In your face, Summer.

My goals this weekend were to work on some of Lisa's interviews, and do a little reading. I accomplished those goals. Having nice weather really helped, because I moved out to the back yard and gave the puppies free rein. At chapter breaks I checked on them, and it was wonderful.

I got Lisa's interview for Thursday all scheduled, and several more in various stages. I'm in good shape for that part of my plan. Maybe this evening I'll chip away at a guest post I have to write. Maybe.

Beta editing still needs to happen, and it looks like I'm booked up for several weekends in a row. I don't like doing it, but sometimes I can sequester myself in another room in the evenings and make some baby steps.

Somewhere in the mix, we even managed a quick date night. It was just dinner and beer at Kahoots, while our son watched the puppies, but it was a nice breather. (Today is our 24th anniversary.)

One of the new things I've been saying lately is, “If you're going to fall, fall forward.” It may not apply perfectly to my current situation, but the spirit of the saying applies. All these baby steps will add up, but with the arrival of Summer, I'm going to do other things too. There are a couple of fun things on my horizon, and I'll keep you posted on those.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and can declare more than a small victory.

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A little bit behind

It's been trying around here. I usually get a small project finished in the evenings, but the house is chaos right now. If I open my blogging program, one of the puppies tries to mess on the floor. This requires me to jump up and address the problem. Then it usually requires me to play for fifteen minutes, darn it.

I have about three Lisa interviews to work on, and I must get one scheduled for next week. Puppies may be helpful in this regard. We've decided that one of us needs to stay with them, so we might be running individual errands for a while. With the arrival of nice weather, I can use the backyard furniture and slave away while the puppies get the run of the yard.

If I can get caught up on my commitments to others, I need to forge ahead on my reading. This is a commitment to a friend too, and this kind of task comes first.

Life won't work this well, but in a perfect world, I'll get to address my beta edits too. If I can catch up on the interviews and do some reading, I'll be content.

Our current situation also puts a damper on date night, but that's okay. There is a strong possibility that our daughter will babysit while we take a quick trip together next week. My fingers are crossed for that.

Otto has a little habit that we call poodle time. He likes to crawl up with me in the early mornings. With the arrival of his sisters, things are getting crowded. It's a lousy photo, but they had to move to the ottoman so everyone could fit.

Looks like a Bev Doolittle painting.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Twin Falls

We slept in a bit today, because the breeder offered to meet us in Twin Falls, instead of making us drive all the way to Burley. We loaded our new puppy bed, new toys, etc., making sure we had a bowl and some fresh water.

The breeder said the whole litter was spoken for, but she wasn't sure about one of the buyers. They want her to ship their puppy to Florida. They also never made a deposit. The breeder told them she would not ship, but they could still buy the puppy if they flew to Idaho, and held her on their laps on the return journey.

To fully appreciate this, you need to know a couple of things. These puppies are ten weeks old. That's a huge difference than say, ten months old. Bulldogs are also one of the brachycephalic breeds. This means, among other things, they have pushed in faces that interfere with breathing. Cargo holds do not get extra oxygen or heat.

They were still debating whether someone could fly to Idaho to pick up the puppy, until we solved the problem for everyone.

So in a nutshell, Frankie is the dark one. The other one is Nyx. (My wife named her, sorry Charles.) They're both pretty lively, and Nyx is a major cuddler.

Otto is their half brother, and he seems well pleased with the situation.

Right now, they're all out back and hopping around like a bunch of frogs. Otto keeps following me to the garage, like he expects me to bring another load of puppies inside. I'm pretty sure this is enough.

We're such suckers. Honestly, what would you have done?

It's been a long drive, and I'm ready to kick back. I'll post a video on Facebook of the girls and an old flip flop.

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Short and sweet

Today was a day of errands and correspondence. We watched the Kentucky Derby, and will head for the movie theater in an hour or so. Is it ever not muddy at the Kentucky Derby?

I usually watch the pregame show for the Derby too, but errands got in the way. Since I'm going to write a story called The Hat, I kind of wanted to see all the girls in big hats for research purposes.

The errands were important though. We bought a bag of puppy chow, a new doggie bed, a tiny little harness and leash, a new bowl, and some new baby toys. While we were out, the breeder sent us a few pictures.

This is the sweet part of my post.

Just look at that face.

A very patient cat helped lend a bit of size perspective here.

Next Saturday, we'll drive back to Burley and pick her up. Otto loved the puppies when we visited, but I hope he isn't a toy hog. He's going to have to share with Frankie from next week on.

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Meet Frankie

Did you guys miss me? The big tour is over, but it was a bunch of fun and I'm calling it a success. I had three different books crack the top 50 in their category, and Experimental Notebook #2 was at number 2 when I woke up one morning. It may have been higher, but a guy has to sleep sometime. Thank you all for making my guests feel welcome while I was visiting their sites.

We drove halfway across Idaho today. It's time to see the puppies and make a selection. Otto went with us, and his breeder is impressed with the way he turned out. He got to meet his mom and dad again, and they were so cute. We also met the mother of these puppies and she is cute too. The puppies and Otto share a father. Otto's dad is massive, and I have no doubt Otto will be too after he fills out a bit.

It rained on us the whole time, sometimes it was so heavy we couldn't see well, and it even turned to hail and snow briefly.

Here is a herd of bulldog puppies, oh and Otto's foot:

The pictures aren't great, because they don't stand still for long. Otto thinks puppies are awesome.

They're still babies, and won't be ready to move to their permanent homes until early May. It's nice to choose, and get out of the way of others. So this is Frankie and she'll be living with us after she leaves home.

Cute right? And so is the puppy. Here is a better look at her.

She's darker than Otto, but the breeder said he was dark too at her age. She could stay this dark, or may be more of a match for his copper brindle coat. Either way, she's the one we want.

Otto doesn't enjoy car rides, but he was a trooper. We stopped off at the pet store and let him choose a toy before coming home.

Tonight we're going to squeeze in date night somehow, but it might have to be pizza and beer, maybe a baseball game. Hope you guys had a great Saturday too.

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