Tag Archives: snow

My Castaway Journal #3

I sent Old What’s Her Face a message that I was leaving early. A storm was scheduled to hit Idaho in the afternoon, and I wanted to beat the front coming in. She answered with a photo and said Frankie loves playing in the snow.

I have to admit her face looks a little insane in this image. Otto, in his typical fashion, is just happy all the time. The snow also served as a warning that my drive would be an adventure.

The natives filled me with sausages and eggs before it was time to leave. Then I filled my travel mug with coffee, and my truck with gasoline before hitting the road.

Very few cars were out, and Sundays aren’t usually like that. The roads were a sheet of decaying ice along the first third of the drive. Not too bad when they received a good angle from the sun, worse if not. Owyhee canyon was solid ice.

After I got through the Indian reservation, I started climbing. This section was drifting snow almost all the way to Mountain Home. After that, the roads were clear and the speed limit is 80 on the freeway.

My average speed for over a hundred miles today was 45. I cranked up the tunes on my phone, and may have found a couple that would work for Lizzie and the hat to play in a subsequent story. I have some new parameters that I’m not ready to go into yet, and it makes choosing a little tougher. I may not start writing this one until next year.

The WiFi at home is a welcome thing. I’m not going to get anything else accomplished, even though I could hit it hard and maybe get one project out the door. Right now, I kind of want to kick back and do nothing.

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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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Progress, such as it is.

We just walked in from date night, and took Otto for a walk. It's nice to have the gigantic snow drifts gone again. There are still some ten foot tall piles around everywhere, but most areas are clear now.

I managed about 1500 words today on my novel. That isn't great, but it's better than nothing. This part involved killing some bad guys, and accomplishing one of his goals. The next goal is a journey through the wilderness with people who are ill suited for it. (Children.) This time, he's the one leading and not in the care of others. Did I mention this is a personal growth story?

The story structure is based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. I'm torn as to whether to include the Death card in the next section, or not. It might come across as forced, and many might not realize that it doesn't signify actual death. Decisions to be made on the fly.

After this journey, one big turning point, then denouement.

I stopped to take care of some neglected chores. Where we shoveled the driveway, there were four + foot piles of snow for the last two months. It was 50+ degrees this week, and that's all changed now. The drifts are small enough to allow me to recover my extension cords. These were out for Christmas lights, but got frozen in place then buried. I also picked up my ladder and broom, these were in place for multiple cleanings of the satelite dish. My dream is that's all behind us now for the rest of 2017.

Right before date night, I hacked my way through a proof of next week's Lisa Burton Radio interview. If my guest author approves, I'll assemble and schedule it on Sunday. I have another one to work on too. Then I need more guests.

Tomorrow I have another shot at some writing, so maybe I can work right up to the end. I could actually finish, but that would be an extraordinary day. If this one stumps me, I'll shift over to the book of short stories.

Hope the rest of you are having a great weekend.

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An actual day off

Holy cow! It’s cold here. I’m writing this at 4:00 PM and it’s a sweltering 18 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

I’ve been following a blog from New York State, and she has five feet of snow in her yard. They have another two feet predicted. I guess I’ll quit complaining. I had to shovel my father’s roof for him years ago to keep the house from collapsing. (My own roof was steeper and shed the snow.) When I finished I actually walked off the roof without the aid of a ladder. The roof snow plus the ground snow was high enough.

I suppose I’ll quit complaining about my weather, but snow and temperature are not the same thing. On the plus side, I have a beer mug outside that I keep hitting with a mist bottle. Frosted beer mug for me tonight.

Today was a day of bouncing. I have a top secret project I’m writing something for, so I centered my time around that. I write for a bit, then read two chapters of a book I’m engrossed in. I’ll probably make one more lap through both before calling it quits today. This way both things are getting done.

I spent a little time on positive daydreaming. I have a plot issue to sort out, and this is actually my method. No notes, lots of daydreaming, and exchange emails with my writing buddy. I’m almost there, but it might take another week. Then I have to modify my outline/storyboard.

Things are getting accomplished in bits and pieces. When payday comes around I need to pay an invoice for cover art. When I get around to editing it, Will ‘O the Wisp is going to have an awesome cover.

It sounds like a lot, but it’s all fun. If I had my way this is what I’d be doing for a living. Alas, I still need a paycheck job and all the benefits that come with it. Tomorrow is another work day.

With all this inclement weather it’s time to curl up with a good book. That’s what I’m doing on lap two tonight. If you need a book, I could make a suggestion or two.

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Blogging stuff

I surpassed fifty followers. (Yay 🎉) I heard this is pretty fantastic for such a short time. My next goal is over a hundred. The biggest thing is to be an active participant. I responded to comments, and visited lots of other blogs. I liked a lot of posts, but I was honest about it, and I followed anyone that followed me. I even left a few comments when it was appropriate. The secret is to be an active participant. I get pretty comfortable being a lurker, but that doesn’t win many friends.

I changed my background to something more reflective of December. I’ll give a Marvel No Prize to anyone that figures out what it is. ( Does Marvel still do this?)

I even activated the snow flake thingie in WordPress. I can’t see it on my iPad, so I ran to the Mac and checked it out. It works.

Blogging’s a blast. I did it to promote my eventual publication of some ebooks, but I should have done it a long time ago. It’s fun, without any ulterior motives. I’ve also made some pretty interesting online friends. Everyone should be doing this.

I really should steal a technique from Greg Urbano. He invites people from new countries to follow his blog. That would be cheesy though to borrow from Greg. Still, I would like to see some folks from Greece and Italy show up on my map. My newest novel, The Cock of the South, is a fantasy that covers those two countries.

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