Tag Archives: spokes model

Meanwhile, back at the Writing Cabin

Pain. Throbbing. Cold. I put a hand to my head, felt the ice bag, and removed it. I swiveled my legs to the floor and opened my eyes. I’m cross eyed.

It looked like I was in the paranormal office, on the couch. My right eye wandered independently of my left. I closed my eyes and put the ice bag back.

Lisa* ran down the hall and into the room. I decided to try one eye at a time. She wore her short coveralls, a tee shirt, and rubber kitchen gloves. Her hair was tied back in a bandana. “Slow down. Don’t get up too fast.”

“Not a problem. What happened?”

“I don’t know completely. I finished my shoot with Sean Harrington, and came home. The cabin was a mess, and you turned into a giant snail.”

“Remember that bronze bust of me?”

“Yeah.”

“My head feels like that.”

“Odd, I thought it would feel more like calcite because of your shell and all.”

“What? – Nevermind. My eyes are going every which way.”

“She said that would happen for a while.”

“Who?”

“Well, I tried to reach Jinx, but you left her in 1906 at the end of Panama.” Lisa spread her hands apart. “Jinx doesn’t have email. Then I tried Patty Hall, but she’s back in school. She told me to use the spindle in her desk because it does spirit writing.”

“Yeah, and?”

“She told me how to contact her ancestor. Remember the ghost in Will O’ the Wisp?”

“The French one?”

“Yeah, her. She came, but I had to download the entire French language to talk to her. After she got you back to normal, you screamed escargot, ran in here and whacked your head on the bottom of the giant hippo head. You’ve been here ever since.”

I concentrated on making my eyes obey me, and worked my way to the enchanted window for some air. Today it was the image of the French ghost waving back at me. I spotted the biplane on the runway. “What’s with the plane?”

“It’s a prop from my photo shoot. I got to keep the outfit too. Do you want to see the poster for your book?”

“Yes, absolutely. Then I need to respond to all my email, arrange some reviews, and try to do something with my blog sidebar.”

“Oh, I’ve already done all that.” She unrolled the poster to promote my Notebook.

“Well, what do you think?”

“It’s beautiful. Kind of has an old Hollywood flavor to it. We need to send it to the folks who are helping promote the book.”

“I’ve already done that too, and cleaned up your mess I might add.”

“Lisa, you’re the best. I don’t know what I’d do without you sometimes.”

She rose up on her toes. “Aww, thanks. Now relax, and I’ll find your iPad. You can catch up on all the blogs you’ve been missing.”

“Thanks. See that thing, hanging in the fireplace?”

“Yeah?”

“That’s the Soup Ladle of Destiny. Do you think you could scoop me out a bowl of soup. Oh, and don’t put any salt in it. For some reason, salt scares the crap out of me right now.”

“Should I put the poster in the break room?”

“I say we hang it right in the front office. What are you going to do with the plane?”

“I’ll use the elevator to put it in the basement. We’re pretty far out here, and catalog shopping isn’t as much fun as trying things on. I can go to Rodeo Drive now.”

“It has machine guns. The FAA might not like it too much.”

“Uh huh. In that flight jacket, they might be checking out my guns, but not the plane’s.” She snorted, then laughed at the snort.

I put the ice bag back on my head, and stretched out on the couch.

*Lisa Burton is my robotic personal assistant. She’s also the official spokesmodel for this blog.

***

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack is available for pre-order on Amazon right now. It’s a collection of short stories and micro-fiction, and priced at 99¢ it’s a steal of a deal. Just click on the title, or the linked image in the sidebar. It contains a new Lisa Burton story, one with that biplane, and one called The Soup Ladle of Destiny. (Among other tales.)

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Filed under Muse, Writing

Company went home

I've been on radio silence this weekend. My parents came to visit, and I really enjoyed them this trip. The weekend was mostly about visiting, shopping, and going to dinner. I even wound up at Bed Bath & Beyond. Nobody offered us a lotus cake, and we were able to actually leave before the bank account was empty.

My wife and my mother had to visit Trader Joe's for some cookie butter. This stuff is pretty good, and is similar to peanut butter. They don't have such things in Mom's small town, so it's a treat for her. I used the opportunity to slip away to a new brewery for a pint of Porter. The timing was about perfect. We all met back at the car at the same time.

We delayed our dinner out to watch American Pharoah win the Triple Crown. This is such a rare event that I'm glad we took the time. It was absolutely thrilling, and I see online that several of you paused to watch too.

After my parents drove away, I sprayed a little Sevin on the flowerbeds, and my fruit trees. This is the bug killer for vegetable gardens, so it's pretty mild stuff. Now it's just me and my iPad.

I am researching the book promotion sites you so generously provided. Part of me wants to sign up for all of them at once. I'm just anal enough to use one at a time and track the results for future reference. By the end of today I'll jump ahead with one of them. Thank you for your tips.

As far as the rest of my day, I'll probably read a book. I may add the final bits to a short story I'm writing, or an index card to one of my outlines.

Here's an update on another side project that might be good for some debate. I am going back through Wild Concept, and here's why. I wrote a short story for Lisa Burton, the robot girl. This will be part of my book of short stories one day. I decided to revisit Wild Concept just on the off chance that someone goes there after reading the short story.

It's a mess! I wrote this in 2008 and 2009. It appears that I've learned some things since then. I've been bouncing around like a ping pong ball about it ever since. Part of me thinks unpublishing it might be the best thing to do. Part of me wants to fix it.

This story has a great character and her story arc is solid. The plot and themes are great. It's my skill set that was lacking. So what's a writer to do? This story isn't nearly as well written as Will O' the Wisp.

I've invested a lot in Lisa Burton. She is a regular on this blog, and I've even bought some updated art to use occasionally. There is more coming, and it's going to be fun, it's even interactive to a degree. More on that later.

I decided to correct what I can, as a reasonable edit, and upload that version. I'm leaving it available in the Kindle store. There may come a day when I look back at Will O' the Wisp and feel the same way – because I've improved in the future half dozen years. I think unpublishing it is a descent into madness. At some point every book has its warts and flaws. (Maybe not quite this many.)

Lisa has become the spokes model for my writing career, and that's not something I'm willing to change. Steamboat Willy was a pretty awful cartoon, but Micky Mouse went on to bigger and better things. Walt Disney didn't fare too bad either.

On the plus side, it showed me how much I have learned since then. I work hard at this stuff, and take it pretty seriously. Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Here's the point of debate today. What would you do? Is it best to never revisit the older stories? Would you do a complete rewrite? Hit unpublish? Edit it and write something new? Eat your cookie butter and pout? There is no right answer and what I chose might not be the right move for you. Let's discuss it.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Let’s do something crazy

Writers all know how hard it is to get noticed on the Internet. We all try the same things with one degree of success or the other. Guest posting is extremely valuable to our efforts. Today I was honored to appear at P. H. Solomon’s blog, and at Rachel Carrera’s blog. If you haven’t visited them, please consider checking out their blogs.

These invites are wonderful, particularly when the host has hundreds more followers than I do. I have one more scheduled appearance involving werewolf month over at Mari Wells‘ place. Intrigued? I’ll let everyone know when it goes live.

It’s time for me to pay it forward. I’ve hosted a few things, and I need to do more. Most of them have been affiliated with the Rave Reviews Book Club, but I’m expanding my horizons. I was concerned about trying to keep things genre specific, but in the end, does that really matter? I read broadly, and I’ll bet most of you do too.

This leads me to my second topic. Stick with me here, because I’ll bring them both together at the end.

It’s time to talk about Lisa Burton. Lisa is the robotic main character in Wild Concept. (Linked cover off to the right.) She is also the one who helps me around the writing cabin, for you who enjoy those posts.

Lisa is fabulous, for lack of a better word. She’s into her fashion, and is really concerned about passing for human. She never had parents like we did, so she learned about hair and makeup from YouTube videos. It can come out a bit garish on occasion. She also got about $25,000 worth of GMO skin tattooed when she made her first group of friends.

I’ve relied upon Lisa so much for my posts about word metrics, writing struggles, and tips that it’s time for her to do more. I don’t know of a single other writer trying this stunt, so I am. Lisa Burton is going to be the new spokes-model for Entertaining Stories.

I went back to Lisa’s original cover artist, Sean Harrington, and had him prepare a group of images to use on the blog. I’ll use them sparingly, and will probably use each one more than once. I gave him minimal instruction and got out of his way. He’s also receptive to guest blogging here, and I hope to post something from him soon.

So here’s the deal. I’m more open to hosting people on my blog, and can usually accommodate a Tuesday or Thursday request. I’m also available to prepare something for your blogs. I’m kind of like a creature from the Never Never. You have to invite me in, but I’m pretty harmless. Lisa Burton is standing by to take your calls.

 

 

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Filed under Blogging, Muse, Writing