Tag Archives: reading

About as predicted

I spent most of Saturday working my way through some critiques. Aside from spelling and punctuation, I didn’t change much. Little things to make one of my characters a bit more relatable.

There may be more to do, but I want some distance from that section before I look at it again. I managed about 500 new words, but nothing to brag about.

We did the PPV thing last night and watched Venom. It wasn’t really canon, but I still enjoyed it. Kind of sad seeing Stan Lee, but things like this happen.

I also started reading a book I’ve been waiting for. I’m not very deep into it, but enjoying it so far.

Oh, and I spent a day and a half getting to a lightbulb. The house is fully illuminated once more.

Aside from mailing out a couple of review copies of Lanternfish, that was my weekend.

I made some dinner rolls today, but I’m not impressed. I added a palmfull of salt, and they still need more. Salted butter makes a huge difference though. We’re going to be dipping them in potato soup, so the camouflage will help too.

The house is all mine tomorrow, aside from Bulldogs. Old What’s Her Face has to work. If the dogs can avoid chasing the squirrel every ten minutes, I might get some new words on the page.

Honestly, these guys are so funny, it’s impossible not to get up and let them chase one. The squirrel is on top of the fence, and bulldogs aren’t jumpers. They’re like two little fat rhinos charging across the lawn.

It may not sound like much, but I enjoyed my weekend. I hope all of you guys did too.

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Checking in today

Hi, Gang! The tour is going well. We’ve had some fun conversations along the way, and there are a few posts yet to come. I hope you don’t mind the reblogs. Entertaining Stories isn’t just about this blog, it’s also about publishing Entertaining Stories a couple of times per year. Publishing leads to promotion, even if that isn’t my favorite thing. If nothing else, every tour stop is unique, so it’s not a total waste of bandwidth.

The book is doing okay. Results could always be better, even when things are great. Early reviews aren’t just good, they’re downright encouraging. This will certainly help with sales. My sales usually involve a spike up front, then the slow-burn starts. This is because my regulars pick it up right away. (So grateful for my regulars.) The tour goes to sites my regulars host, but it allows me to reach their regulars, who sometimes are new to my work. That early spike got me as high as 108 in one of the fantasy categories on Amazon. It’s since dropped down, but it’s still encouraging. (Fantasy categories are a tough nut.)

One of my goals is to continually improve, and I think Lanternfish shows bits of improvement over my previous works. Reviewers will give me some hints to this.

My 2019 goal was to explore the idea of additional works in an already existing environment. I’m currently writing two different stories with that in mind. Eventually, I’ll have to park one of them and focus on the other, but I will finish both. One of these is a prequel for one of the supporting characters from Lanternfish. It seems to be taking on a different tone, and that’s because much of the “comedy relief” didn’t exist at the time of this tale. I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming out so far, even if it is more serious.

About that comedy relief, the root monsters are pretty popular. In fact, they won’t leave me alone. I formulated two new scenes for them during my commutes this week. This is how many of my stories take shape. In fact there are quite a few other scenes involving my pirate crew. There is a good chance of a sequel for Lanternfish too. I may start a storyboard this weekend.

I sent out samples of these new stories for critique, and am getting the results back. My main focus is going to be making improvements to what I’ve already written. I don’t have new fiction on my list at all. The next goal is reading. I’m jazzed to dive into End of Day, by Mae Clair. I don’t usually read sequels any more than I write them, but dang that first book was good.

Finally, I need to check the Story Empire schedule and figure out when I’m up next. I don’t want to drop the ball over there.

Doesn’t seem like much of a list for a holiday weekend. My time isn’t completely my own though. Old What’s Her Face is off too. Between the spaces, I’ll obsessively check blog comments along the tour stops. You guys know how much I like comments.

What do you have planned for your weekend? Do you make a task list, or take it as it comes?

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Something fun for Halloween

Short and quick today. I’m participating in a Halloween Book Blast. Check it out for a bunch of Halloween themed reading.¬†https://sites.google.com/a/myaddictionisreading.com/halloween-book-blast-2018/home

Lisa Burton

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Happy Wednesday

I’ve been slacking off on the blog, because I’ve been doing a lot of things that don’t relate to the author’s life. When I do, they aren’t the sexy things. One of the things I’ve always done is share this life – warts and all, so that’s what today is about.

I spent the last week in a trade conference for my paycheck job. There weren’t a lot of extra hours available. Next week, I’m going to Texas for a conference that is more directly related to what I do. All part of the job.

This week was my week to catch up… except… we scheduled job interviews. This is because all of us on the interview team have been in and out for a month. The other two members are tied up for the next two weeks.

There is an outside chance that I can make some real progress on Friday, so I have my fingers crossed.

On the writing front, this was my flex day, and I spent it working on the stuff nobody ever talks about. It’s part of the writing life, and it has to get done too.

I wrote a post for Story Empire that will go live next week. I also assembled and scheduled a Lisa Burton Radio interview. I mention this, because this stuff takes time. It has value, so I forge ahead. It has value to me, and it helps other authors too. If you haven’t checked out Story Empire, you might want to cruise over. There is a wealth of information authors can take advantage of.

I dedicated a big part of this morning to finishing up a book I’ve been reading. I fiddled around with this for far too long, and I needed to finish it. I even resorted to reading one chapter on my 30 minute lunch breaks. At least I got four chapters per week that way. It was a wonderful story, and I gave the author a five star review on three different sites.

Time. It’s all about time, which seems to be in short supply these days.

I like to read on airplanes, but I like to find things I don’t necessarily have to finish. This time, I have a couple of craft books saved that I might dive into. Other flight, I’ve chosen short story collections, or even novellae, because I can finish them. (I made that word up, but novellae seems like it should be right.)

On Tuesday, I got another Lisa Burton poster via email. (It looks really cool too.) That means I have the Lanternfish cover, plus two promotional posters. I ordered the last one, and it looks like I’ll be able to meet my winter publication deadline pretty easily.

To round out my day off, I worked through nine chapters of Lanternfish. I found a few things to correct, even though this is about my third pass. Good news is that I’m really enjoying the story still. I think that bodes well for my future readers.

I nearly wrote that I worked through nine innings of my book. Can you tell I’ve been watching the baseball playoffs? I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the games have been very good. (I’m not cheering for any specific team, but I’m glad the National League will go back to Front Row Amy’s ballpark.) There’s one on right now, and I’d better get back to it.

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This and that

My day was scheduled around being nursemaid to my dog. She stirred most of the night, and was freezing. It wasn’t cold in the house, and she can’t be feverish. She’s loaded with drugs, and I suspect it had something to do with that.

She’s done all the major life activities, and is eating and drinking well.

This means I had to shoehorn bits and pieces into my schedule. I got the guest post scheduled for this site. Then I wrote and scheduled my next post for Story Empire.

I spent a bit of time reading a craft book I bought. It’s good to keep up with story craft and do some studying in the off season.

After my wife got home, and could spend some time with our dog, I did the word searches on Lanternfish. I drafted this one pretty fast, and honestly, I’ve never made so many “it’s” errors in my life.

Word searches are finished, and it’s time to start reading it again. I’ll probably tackle a couple of chapters tomorrow. I saw some wordy phrases during my word searches, and this indicates my mind is ready for the task. This is why authors step back for a few weeks and do something else before editing.

I need to dedicate some time to one last micro-fiction for October. Right now, I’m more inclined to get back to Lanternfish.

I intend to dabble again tomorrow. This is because of my doggie duties. My standard of practice is to hit one project hard and complete it. This isn’t my comfort zone, but it also helps get things done.

I’d like to get Lanternfish ready for my beta readers in the next couple of weeks. I won’t make this a deadline though, because I don’t have any money to put into promotion anyway. The reality of getting it to market might be early 2019.

There is no sense in rushing it either. I’ve published two books this year, and that’s not bad. Maybe we’ll recover from the veterinary bills sometime in January.

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Scouting Ahead

I like to formulate a plan for what projects I might take on during the coming weekend. This weekend, I lucked out and got four days.

One of my first priorities is going to be Lisa Burton Radio. I have two friends who sent me stuff, and I need to get those working. The interviews go back and forth a few times, and I can likely finish both of them this weekend. With a bit of luck.

I’m earmarking some time for BookBub. I signed up, but I haven’t done anything with it. I see people are finding me there, and I need to do some follow-backs, and add some book reviews too. A bit of monkeying around will give me confidence to do more with it. Also, after I get caught up, it will be easier to stay on top of it.

I’m also in need of some page long micro-fiction for my October posts. I have a list of concepts, and usually free write them, so it might not be too rough.

I have a couple of novels languishing on my Kindle app, and need to get on with reading them. I also have a couple of story-craft books I want to spend some time with.

I also have a couple of guest posts to assemble and schedule. I’ll make sure I take care of my friends before I do anything else.

Lower down on the priority list is editing. This starts with word searches for things I frequently get wrong. After those are addressed, I need to start reading it and finding the confusing passages.

There are some mundane things too. I need to replace some lightbulbs, pick up some branches, that kind of thing.

I’m hoping to make some serious progress this weekend. Some of the small things like scheduling the guest posts, I’ll actually finish. Others, like reading and editing will likely go on for weeks.

It’s an ambitious list, but I think I can make a dent in it. What do you guys have planned? Are you working on projects, or doing something more fun?

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Puttering about

I’m still on vacation, and don’t have to go back to work until Thursday. I expected to get a ton of writing done, but it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s more a bit here and there.

Sunday I was pretty much a vegetable. I felt bad about it, and after my ballgame ended, I decided to forge ahead reading. I’m so glad I did. This isn’t a book review blog, and never will be, but you need to read this one. I’ve always been a Mae Clair fan, but she took this one into a whole new atmosphere. It’s called Cusp of Night, and yes that is a hotlink for your convenience.

I finished it Sunday night, so I feel like I was at least productive to a degree.

Today I started out writing, but my wife is home, bulldogs had to play ball, and it was just dabbling. I’m a big believer in just pecking away at a project. Voyage of the Lanternfish is now at (checking) 66,089 words.

I can get a lot done a bit here and there.

This afternoon I had an eye appointment. There are new prescriptions, frames, and such on the way.

I also took on a small beta reading project. I messed around a bit with it today too. It isn’t long, and my goal is to turn it back before I have to go back to work.

My novel almost demands breaks at times. Now that my crew has left pseudo-China, they’ve had one success, but there is another problem to deal with. I also have to come up with another new country, but I have some ideas for it. This won’t be as big a stop, but they need to face some problems. This is where shifting into beta reading, or attending an eye appointment helps. It lets my brain work on the issues without the distraction of the keyboard.

This new country is bugging me too. I want to give it a name that will conjure an image before readers even learn about it. I’ve bastardized a name, but I don’t like it. I’m going with it for now, but intend to do a word search and change it later.

I posted over at Story Empire how I hate naming things. I offered up a few tips that worked for me, and invited others to offer some too. There are some good tips in the comments section, and I intend to try them. Oh yeah, that is a hotlink too, just in case you have a tip or want to see what others do when naming things.

I also discovered another five star review for The Hat today. Since I’m on a hotlink kick, might as well just link this one too.

None of it seems outstanding, but it all adds up. I’ve been busy, just not focused on one thing. I think I’ll just keep dabbling on this vacation.

However, my wife decided to go back to Nevada this weekend. It might only be a Saturday, but I could get a bunch done that day.

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Chipping Away

Mom and Dad had date night, and we got pumpkin hats.

I chipped away at my task list. I have a couple of Lisa interviews ready to go, but I’m holding off on which one to post. I’m waiting for purchase data for a book. I don’t have to decide until tomorrow, so I’ve gone as far as I can.

I successfully ignored The Hat. Stepping away is always better for the editing process.

All of my critique work is finished. I printed everything today and put them in my truck for our meeting Tuesday. I got down to the last few pieces of paper yesterday, printed the submissions out, and then learned my print heads needed cleaning. I had to throw them away and shop for paper. We swung by Fred Meyer after date night and all is well.

We ran a few errands, and even picked up some dog toys. We’re still picking up things like those undermats that keep the rugs from sliding around. After we finished my son and I logged a few hours of Borderlands. My character got a cool new sniper rifle that lights its victims on fire, and she got a new head too. Seriously, I don’t write this stuff. You get heads and bodies from a vending machine as a kind of upgrade.

In a way, it’s too bad the real world doesn’t work this way. I could insert my credit card and grow a foot taller. Then I wouldn’t be overweight.

When we re-upped with Direct TV, we were given a year of the NFL League Pass for free. We watched the game last week, but this week it’s not on. We probably need to call them, but were denied the ability to watch. My internet indicates the Steelers won, so there’s that. I might get to check out some baseball later today.

I say might, because Old What’s Her Face is binge watching The Outlander. While Outlander is on, I retreated to another room and started reading A Desolate Hour. It seems to take me forever to read a book these days, but I’m committed. Great story so far.

I also wrote a couple of future blog posts. When the Muse visits, it’s best to give in to her. Not kidding here, she gets violent.

I still haven’t gotten back to the edits on Yak Guy. Tomorrow is my best chance, but it’s dependent upon whether my daughter decides to talk my ear off.

So I chipped away at the task list. Some projects are complete, some on hold, and others yet to come. Maybe tomorrow will let me scratch them all off.

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I’m back home

We had a seminar that got us to noon, then we were free to come home. It was cold and rainy when we loaded the car, but the ten inches of predicted snow overnight never happened. We pulled out and one of my compadres asked about lunch. I said, “How about West Yellowstone?”

I wanted to put some miles behind me, and could have happily driven all the way to Boise without stopping except for gas. That isn’t how it works when traveling with a crowd, but West Yellowstone won out. At least I got about 30 miles down.

West Yellowstone is one of my favorite places. If one of my books ever takes off, or we win the lottery, I could happily rent a cabin there for the summer. I’m sure plenty of good stories could be written from there too. I had a buffalo burger, because that’s what one does there. I prefer the buffalo steak, but it was lunchtime.

There was a downside. We were only slightly ahead of the real storm. This was September 15th after we left.

It kind of reminds me of my morel mushroom hunt on June 10th, which looked like this.
A three month summer sounds about right to me but: SPRING AND FALL ARE SUPPOSED TO BOOKEND IT! Not friggin winter.

I want my autumn. It’s my favorite time of the year. I want my leaves and pumpkin beer. I want my cool nights with the window open. I want all the flies to die lonely cold deaths.

Enough of that. It’s time for some weekend goals.

  • I have to stop looking at The Hat and let it ferment for a while.
  • I want to read at least two books before I start writing again. Might as well start this weekend.
  • Print out two submissions and work up critiques for my group.
  • Work on edits for Yak Guy. This is a long process, but I have all day Monday.
  • Date night, Steelers game, Diamondbacks game, craft beer.
  • Keep cranking on Lisa’s interviews.

I won’t make the list too long, because some of these will take more time than simple blog updates. As far as blogs go, I missed reading some of yours. I drove most of the day and part of the night; that’s my excuse. I’ll surf back through, but some are going to get missed.

I have my next Story Empire post scheduled, and had an idea about a follow up post. The pending one is about starting a story. A fair idea came to me while driving, that starting in media res would be a good follow up. It also occurred to me that I can use Cat Ballou as a reference most folks will understand. Might have to find a more recent movie for younger readers. I’ll do a bit of research and see if I can make a post that includes Hanoi Jane fun somehow. Maybe there’s a YouTube video with Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole.

That’s the update and the plan. I’m home, and it’s time to get started.

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Checking in

I'm here at the Best Western in Moscow, Idaho. A rather concrete looking motel, if I do say so. Still, my presentation takes place here tomorrow, so that's handy.

I left at about 5:30 this morning and made good time. The Payette River canyon was pretty lonely, which almost never happens. It was early, and wednesday, so that helps. Saw a coyote and two herds of whitetail deer along my route.

Dinner amounted to a sandwich and a platter of Gorgonzola fries. The fries were wonderful. They also have one of my favorite beers called Irish Death. I managed a couple of those.

Getting here early was kind of a bonus. I downloaded a book of my own choosing, and started reading it. This is a singularly rare event. It's been three years since I chose a book to read.

My reading is usually related to my obligations with the Rave Reviews Book Club, or something one of my friends has going on. I do a lot of advance reading, beta reading, and simply supporting friends. I've read some awesome books this way, but there's just something about choosing a book I want to read.

To give you an example, one of my friends has released three books already this year. I simply can't get to them all and continue writing. I have another friends' book in the queue, and I really am excited about this next one.

My current book is an old one, and it does a few annoying things, but I'm enjoying it. I have to remind myself that it's an older style, and I may even finish it tonight.

Tomorrow, I'll make my presentation at mid-day, then drive home. I don't have to return to the office until Monday, so I might get a chance to start writing my next project.

Tonight, I'm going to leave the television off, and curl back up with Dr. Syn, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.

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