Tag Archives: short stories

With a Little Help from my Friends

It feels like it's been a long time coming, but The Enhanced League is a genuine book now. I played the usual games with my Mac before uploading it. It generally works like this:

“You've been logged out. Please enter your iCloud password.”

I loaded my password.

“You have upgrades.”

I start downloading the newest and greatest to the operating system.

“Your upgrades have just been upgraded.”

I start over. Looks like it will take about thirty minutes. I check back in half an hour. Twenty seven minutes remaining.

Play with he dogs and talk to my daughter before checking back.

“You've successfully upgraded your operating system. Please enter your iCloud password.”

When I clicked the keys, nothing happened. Replace the batteries in everything.

“Something went wrong. You have upgrades.”

Start all over again. Repeat the waiting times, and password entry.

“Do you want to activate Siri on this machine?”

“Whatever! Just get on with it already.”

“Please enter your messenger password.”

“I don't even want messenger on this machine!!!” I click the red dot to close the window.

“Please enter you messenger password.”

“FINE!”

Anyway, after about three hours I was allowed to do the only thing I need the Mac for. Everything else can be done on my iPad.

I just got the email from Amazon that I am live right now.

I'm not the best blurb writer, but here's what I wrote:

The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

***

This is where I ask for a little help from my friends. There are a few things you can do to help, if you're willing.

First is to reach down inside the couch and find ninety-nine cents (99¢), then go to Amazon and pick up a copy of The Enhanced League. This is the link. The widget on my sidebar is also linked. If you need an e-reader, there is a link for one of those on the side too. Grab a hotdog and a beer and have some fun with it.

Second, I need some blog hosts. I have several different posts already written. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to participate. You can request me, or a visit from Lisa Burton, and Lisa has some awesome new posters to share with a baseball theme to them. Let me know in the comments.

I also have a couple of posts I've written by request, and need to get them out to the hosts.

Third, don't be afraid to share the news, reblog one of the posts that pops up online, and tell your friends. I'll be doing the same on your new releases.

Finally, to the awesome group of volunteers who served as beta readers. I used many of your suggestions to improve this book. There is no expectation whatsoever, but if you'd like to post a review I'd really appreciate it.

I'm off to do a whole list of things next. These involve Goodreads, pinned tweets, my book club and more. I'll surf through and keep up with the comments.

64 Comments

Filed under Writing

Ichabod Brooks, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Don’t touch that dial, you’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show on the airwaves that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and this interview is one I’ve looked forward to for a long time. He’s my favorite character from the land of Windemere, and I’ve interviewed a few of them. “Give a warm welcome to Ichabod Brooks.”

“Thanks. Happy to be here and . . . talk. I have to admit that I’m not really sure how this set up works. I didn’t bring anything to help if one of these things explode.”

“Ichabod, your story inspires me. It’s encouraging to find an adventurer with a family. So many adventurers seem to wander from place to place, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I mean, you even have a pet… well, some kind of snort-pig thing. Can you tell our listeners how you make all that work?”

“To be honest, I did the wandering adventurer thing when I was younger. Just followed either the money, the rumors, or whatever caught my attention. Things became more stable when I began taking jobs and issuing contracts to my employers. Guess that’s what helped me make the transition more than most people in my career. Although, I never went for the glory and save the world type of adventures, so I may have been working toward this in the first place without knowing it. Just had to find the right woman and reach an age where I was more interested in putting food on the table than fighting monsters. Not that the latter doesn’t have some appeal.

“How do I make it work? Well, that depends on who you ask. My friends will say that I’m whipped and make it work by letting my wife call the shots. Bards would tell you that there’s nothing I can’t do, which is a blatant lie. My own opinion is that I make sure my wife and I discuss everything. She’s kind of an adventurer too, so we have to plan our jobs in a way that means one of us is always home with our son. There are no secrets between us unless the job involves sensitive material and we can’t legally share. That happens more with her than me since I avoid those headaches on principle. That principle is that I don’t want to deal with those types of messes.

“Only other piece of advice I can give is to make every minute of family time count. Romantic time with my wife and play time with my son are very important to me. Never know when my luck will run out or if I’ll ever reach retirement. This is one of the reasons I bring home trophies for my son and spend time telling him the stories. The real ones and not those abominations that the bards sing about me. Nobody could possibly defeat fifty trolls with a single shot of their longbow. Not unless they used fireball arrows and led the monsters into an enclosed area that’s been doused in oil. Fine, I guess it is possible.”

“There is a clause in your contract that warms my circuits. Before you take any job, they have to agree that you can claim a souvenir for your son. I’ve read your stories, and he must have quite a collection by now.”

“Funny how that started. My son hadn’t been born yet and an employer gave me a souvenir to bring home. This was a pinecone from a tree that had grown to take over an entire castle and I managed to revert it back to its normal state. That gave me the idea of adding the clause because it will help my son remember and learn about my real adventures. Last thing I want is for him to think the bard songs are all true. As far as size, the collection is in one room of the house and he can only get in there with me or my wife. I’ll admit to having a few dangerous items in there, but a friend specializes in display cases and he gives me a good deal for bulk products.

“Bards? Let me tell you about the bards! Do you have any idea how many of them wanted to sponsor today’s show? I was bombarded with CDs and demo tapes. I finally had to run one off at gunpoint because he staked out the studio. I mean, I’ve had to deal with paparazzi a time or two, but these guys are crazy.”

“Guess they caught wind of you having a big audience. Must be newcomers to the trade because the veterans are a lot more discreet and respectful. They still lie because they claim it’s good for business. There was one adventure where I traveled with a bard to handle some rogue barbarians. His name was Rebec and he latched onto me at a tavern. Couldn’t shake the man and he was trouble from the start. He nearly got us killed a few times and then made it sound like I took out an entire tribe when it was just a handful of warriors in a very narrow mountain pass. This is why I prefer traveling with friends who have no financial interest in lying about my exploits. Can’t get very far in this job without friends.”

“Oh yeah, Dex, Morgan, and Meg. They say no man is an island, and you have some pretty good help when you need it. Dex seems like a handy guy, tell our listeners about him.”

“Where to even start with a piece of work like Dex? As far as dwarves go, he’s fairly cuddly once you get to know him. Feels far too clinical to call him a good example of a great friend, but he’s there for me both on and off the job. We try to get together once a month to have a few drinks and get the families together. Dex doesn’t have kids, so he enjoys spoiling my son whenever he’s over. That and telling exaggerated tales of our adventures in order to get under my skin.

“Hard to remember when we first met too. Dex says it was when we were assigned to the same job, but I swear we got into a barfight two months prior to that. You can’t really forget a beard that red and elegantly braided. At my age, the memory doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.

“We don’t get to adventure together as often as we used to. Dex’s specialty is mountaineering, so I go to him whenever I have a job that requires a lot of climbing. My knee and lower back make those jobs more difficult. Hate to depend on him more than he depends on me, which is why he’s trying to help me get the kinks out. Now he has Meg helping him with this self-proclaimed quest because she wants me to stay in shape in case she needs me. Her expertise is the ocean and I recently worked with them to retrieve an artifact called Zaria’s Kiss. Kind of wish they were still squabbling instead of getting along because having a dwarf and a gnome teaming up on you is no picnic. Better to have them on my side.”

“I loved that one. It not only provided a great adventure underwater, it also hinted at the larger pantheon of Windemere. Would you like to offer some closing remarks to our listeners today? Then I have one more question, more of a request actually.”

“Not really sure what you mean by closing remarks, but I guess I’m just hoping people enjoy my real story. I’ve had plenty of adventures and this chat has left me more nervous than all of those combined. As you can tell, I’m not much of a talker. That definitely helps in the adventurer trade because you need to listen for danger and to your employer. Guess it’s nice to end with some advice like that.”

“Can I have your autograph?”

“I don’t see why not. Mostly because you asked politely. Good to see a youngster show some manners.”

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton. Don’t forget to tell your social circles about The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks. You do that by using the sharing buttons on the website. I’ll also include purchase links, and you don’t want to miss this one”

***

Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.

Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.

Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.

Pick up a copy of The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks right here.

 

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.legendsofwindemere.com

56 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

In and out

I lost an hour today because I got a haircut and went for some food. We lost our Wingers, but they reopened in a new location. I had a craving for some sticky fingers and brought a batch home.

I finished my short story draft. It's a bit long at 5600 words, but it needs an editing pass or two. I usually lose words at that point. I'd like to send it in by the Fourth, that would give me plenty of time to make any edits they suggest. I like it, but it could use a little something. They always can.

I got more interview work done too. I stopped counting, but I have three almost ready to schedule, and a couple more shticks sent out to the authors.

Tomorrow I want to work on the editing, and write a couple more blog tour posts. I won't be checking in tomorrow, because I have a guest I'm hosting. He deserves his day in the sun, so be sure to make him feel welcome.

That's it, quick and dirty check-in. Hope you're all having a great weekend.

18 Comments

Filed under Writing

Some success

Yesterday I tackled the Lisa Burton interviews. I have twenty-five applicants, but only nine who've delivered the questionnaire answers. (Oops, ten now.) I worked up six shticks and sent them out. This took me six hours. I'd like to have completed them all up to the minute, but I have to face some facts.

Six hours is an effort on my days off. It will take me twenty-five weeks to post them all, so I'm ahead of the game. I hope nobody gets disappointed, but I can only do so much. It adds up to a considerable word count too.

I used part of today to work my time travel story up to 2500 words. This one is taking me way too long, and I'm feeling some pressure. Truth is, I never intended to write a time travel story. I like a challenge, so we'll see how it comes out. Writing to a theme and a target is kind of new, but fun. My MO is to get it done with enough time to make requested changes. I may only have a week of padding, but it will be enough.

I got the final Lisa poster for The Yak Guy Project, then did something crazy. I thought it might be cool to have a Lisa poster to promote the anthology with. The other authors can do what they want, but I'm going to have some artwork to promote with.

My time travel story spent a couple of months in the daydreaming phase as a Western. It didn't come out that way, and I hope it intrigues a few readers. Sorry, no cowgirl Lisa, at least for now. You might like what I changed it to.

This story is taking some serious research too. I'll bend some facts, but I want to have the rest of the details right so my changes don't stand out. Things like train times, actual hotels, and more help sell the twists.

While I was at it, I decided to order enough art to get me through the end of the year. These will be mostly for holidays wishes, but one is for my Macabre Macaroni short stories. (God, I still have to write those too.) The deadlines are spread way out, so Sean can take his time.

We had a quick date night last night, since my wife won't be here. Just a quick dinner and a beer. I had scallops with squid ink pasta… in Idaho, just imagine. It was wonderful too.

My wife headed for Nevada this morning, but not so early as to allow me to get some major work done. I dabbled and had some moderate success. I got a proof back from the formatter for The Enhanced League, and there are a few minor adjustments to make.

For the rest of this vacation, I would like to finish my short story, write three more promotional pieces for The Enhanced League, and schedule next week's Lisa Burton Radio. I might chuck some of it and publish The Enhanced League instead. No, it isn't too much, I might be able to do it all with a little bit of luck.

I don't think I'll add any more than that. The interview is all done and awaiting a link. I have ideas for the promo stuff, and I'm 2500 words shy of a short story draft. Two days is a nice pace without killing myself over it. If Enhanced League gets out next weekend, that's fine too.

39 Comments

Filed under Writing

A recipe for dead motivation

My critique group met last night, and we exchanged efforts. Everyone is loving Yak Guy still, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

I stayed up late last night playing Diablo III with my son. We downloaded a new expansion pack and created a couple of new necromancers to fight evil with. This is part of the recipe… up late.

At four AM, Nyx started barking behind my headboard. She squeezed back there and couldn't figure out that she had to go backwards to get out. She decided to try digging at my nightstand instead. I had to remove a king sized mattress, partially slide back the box springs, and motivate her with words I don't usually speak at four o'clock.

I tried to go back to sleep, but at six I gave up. Sleep deprivation, part of the recipe.

Otto returned to the vet yesterday, and he is doing better. He has good days and bad days, but there is nothing wrong with his bones or joints. More pain meds for him for the time being. Emotionally, part of the recipe.

I've hit it hard in the early part of my vacation. I even managed over a thousand words of a short story I agreed to write. The target is 5000 words by August, so I'm in good shape there.

In order to get this vacation, I agreed to a business lunch downtown today. I also agreed to proofread some things from my Executive Director. She emailed what she has and I marked it up and threw it in my truck.

This was the point where my mojo took a leave. I knew I had this meeting. I have to put on pants. From six AM through the meeting, I did virtually nothing. Nyx wanted to cuddle most of the morning and I let her. She never wants to cuddle, that's more Frankie and Otto's thing. Maybe she's being sorry for the headboard incident. I also read a few chapters of a craft book I've been picking away at.

I've been productive, and I'll include some details. I will be productive again this week. Today may not be the day. Here is the list I posted on friday:

Projects for my week off:

  • Re-read The Enhanced League and make edits.
  • Figure out how to add images to the back of the book and actually make them look good.
  • Get the final MS out to the formatter, and pay her. Still waiting for an invoice.
  • Assemble a guest post I agreed to host. Became two and I did both of them.
  • Work on Lisa Burton Radio stuff as it comes in. Moderate success, needs more effort.
  • Finish up a post I've been working on to appear elsewhere. Delivered it too.
  • Start the word searches on Yak Guy.
  • Read Yak Guy and start editing.
  • Write blog tour posts for Enhanced League. Have five done, need more.

Depending on how well I do, I can get to some of these:

  • Research and assemble something I'd like to post for July 4th.
  • Publish The Enhanced League.
  • Put out a request for blog tour hosts.
  • Do some deeper research and start writing my time travel short story for an anthology. 1000 words and counting. Target is 5000.

Looks like I need to focus on Lisa Burton Radio, the blog tour posts, and my short story. Yak guy can take a back seat while I get Enhanced League out the door.


I may find some scraps of motivation today. I'll update this evening. Right now I have to find pants.

***

Post meeting:

My daughter was supposed to give me a haircut this afternoon, but has misplaced her shears and her combs. She really does give the best haircuts, but aside from chewing the hair off, I don't know what she can do. This would have been the perfect day for it too.

Now one of her friends is here, and they're watching movies in the living room. Some days you just have to run up the white flag and surrender.

I still have four more days to work on projects, and my wife decided to go to Nevada this weekend. That will make for a nice quiet house.

52 Comments

Filed under Writing

Daily Review: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II

Amazon Review

By Mae Clair

The author deals with death, afterlife, loyalty, survival and loneliness and weaves those emotions into cleverly constructed fast-paced short stories.

This is a spectacular collection of short and micro fiction. I really enjoyed the author’s first Experimental Notebook but this one is superb. The blend of stories from sci-fi, to paranormal and even horror, is an entrancing mixture much like strolling through a sideshow carnival and goggling at all the curiosities. Some of these stories will make you think, a few might make you squirm, but all will have you applauding at how deftly they’re delivered. Read More Here…

 

13 Comments

Filed under Writing

I love it when a plan comes together

I failed to take my own advice last night, and didn't do my word searches on The Enhanced League. I read the whole thing from start to finish last night, and I like it. The word searches can happen at any time, and maybe I can deal with some of them on the road during the week.

After I finish with them, this book will be ready for beta readers.

I slept in a bit this morning, but was still up before seven. Otto needed some “poodle time,” But he's snoring away in his bed right now.

His down time leads to my opportunity. The first draft of The Yak Guy Project is in the vault. I ended with a couple of emotional scenes, but it was the right place in my mind. I always like the “life goes on” ending, and after I wrapped up some threads, it just felt perfect.

It still needs some things, no doubt. This one is in first person, so I'm sure most of the sentences start with I, my, or we. This is the bane of first person, but I usually manage to change enough of them to make it palatable. Right now, it needs to rest while I turn full attention to Enhanced League.

My plans don't always come together, but this is exactly where I wanted to be sometime today.

I still worry about word count, but I've convinced myself that shorter is better for 21st century sensibilities. Enhanced League is 37,000 words more or less. Yak Guy is a novel at nearly 70,000. This will change during the editing phases, but it gives you a rough idea.

I don't know what to do with myself for the rest of the day, but I'll probably start those word searches. I need to read some blogs too, and now I have time to enjoy them.

Sounds like I need a new plan, and that has to be a call for beta readers. If I'm lucky that will happen next weekend, but I'd have to get incredibly lucky. Doubt, the raven, is whetting his beak as I type this. He loves my editing phase.

I also owe Chris Graham a few more posts, but if I drag my feet, I may be able to write about a new book.

22 Comments

Filed under Writing