Tag Archives: Story Empire

Fiddling around friday

I woke up about 5:30 this morning. Sometimes life is just that way. I goofed around and checked email, my RSS feeds, Facebook, and all the other places. Email notifications reminded me that I had the post at Story Empire today. I recommended a craft book I really enjoyed. Here is a link, if you want to check it out.

Then I moved on to my work in progress. My last section was pretty action packed, so this one slowed things down. Clues were gained during the action bit, so some of those were examined in this section. These sections are always slower to write too for some reason. Still, 2600 new words is nothing to sneeze at.

I wrote with a handicap this morning too. I had both bulldogs in my lap the whole time. That’s about 120 pounds of fun to dodge with my iPad.

There must have been a dozen times they had to go outside to chase the squirrel. I’m a good doggie daddy, so I played along. Not a bad word count at all considering.

Then I went through a stage of polishing Lanternfish up. This took a couple of hours, but I’m glad I did it. I think it improves the overall product.

Beyond that it wasn’t too exciting. I needed time to think about my story, and stopped about noon. That’s about the time Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow came on. I decided to watch it again. Gwyneth had great hair in this one. Back then she was kind of known for her hair.

That’s about it for me. It’s personally exciting, but not exactly blog worthy. I’ll spend the rest of the night monitoring comments here and at Story Empire. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Flex Day Fun

I didn’t produce any new words of fiction today, but got a lot accomplished. I looked over four chapters for a friend and exchanged thoughts on that. Then I wrote two blog posts for Story Empire. I have one more, but it’s late in December so I’m stalling that one.

It may not seem like much, but there was a lot of time involved. I feel pretty good about it all.

What it served to do was clear the deck for my next effort. I’ll have to re-read my WIP, then I intend to move it forward as best I can.

There were obstacles, there are alway obstacles. This time it was in the form of Frankie the bulldog.

I swear she wanted outside a hundred times today. She likes to play with the neighbor dog. They run up and down the fence together and act all tough.

She’s also become pretty good at spotting the squirrel. She doesn’t care about the squirrel, but she wants Otto to chase him. This is because she bites Otto in the butt while he chases the squirrel.

She spotted it on the fence this morning so I let her out. She stopped on the porch and looked back for Otto. Once he was ready, it was all fun and games again.

She’s also taken to flopping across the back of my chair like a monkey. She leans her head over my shoulder and occasionally licks my glasses. Makes it kind of hard to write if I can’t see.

This is an older picture, but you get the idea. I keep thinking, “We named the monkey Jack.” It makes a pretty good position for squirrel spotting.

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Gotta wear pants

This is my short weekend in the rotation. I only have Saturday and Sunday off. Nobody feels sorry for me, I’m pretty sure.

My goals for the weekend are two Lisa Burton interviews. I have one that’s finished, and just need to assemble and schedule it. Then I have one I need to work up the shtick for and send it to the author.

This actually eats up some time, but is well worth it.

I’d like to get that last micro piece written for my October thing. I have high hopes, but we’ll see how it goes.

That doesn’t seem like a big list, but I have to go out in the world on Saturday. Means I have to dress like an adult and do things. It takes a long time to do things in Boise. Everything is far from everything else.

I need another haircut. I’m so jealous of you bald guys sometimes.

It’s also time to get my truck serviced. This usually takes a couple of hours, but I can take my iPad to the work center and get some things done.

Today is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday, so we’re going out tomorrow night. All this doesn’t give me many hours for projects. That’s the big reason why I don’t have many goals.

I call my parents on Sundays, and I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of spare time.

If Sunday gives me some time, I need to get a post written for Story Empire. Beyond that, I’d like to start scheduling my micro pieces for Halloween. These aren’t goals, and I’m considering them as the bonus round. If I can manage the items up above the weekend will be a success. Anything else is gravy.

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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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For my next amazing stunt…

Story Empire is the group blog I belong to. Today, I’m holding down the fort over there and discussing those times when an author isn’t drafting new material. This post is intended to be a companion piece to that post. I’d appreciate it if you guys would also check out the Story Empire post, because it goes over other things than where I’m taking this one.

I have a bit of soul searching about what I might tackle next. I have no intention of starting a new draft before December, November at the earliest. It takes time to whip the storyboard into shape, and I want to be as productive as possible when I finally open a new project.

One of my mantras is: “Write the story you want to read next.” It’s served me well over the years, and keeps the task fun. The downside is that my mind moves around a lot. I write science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories. I like to switch things up.

The beauty of a group blog, like Story Empire, is that I get to hang out with people who are smarter than I am. Some of them have pointed out that I don’t have a series. I’ve covered a lot of bases; short story collections, novella, novels… no series. Some of my characters have returned via the short story, like Lisa Burton, or Pete from Will O’ the Wisp.

Still, they’re right… no actual series. I can’t see myself being focused long enough to write a long series, but still; throw JK Rowling kind of money my way and I’m your huckleberry. I might take a stab at a trilogy, but that would likely be my limit. Part of the problem is keeping the setting, characters, and plot entertaining.

I’m going to write this next part out as much for myself as you guys, but it opens the topics up for debate. I’d kind of like to hear what you have to say. Here are the things in my pipeline.

The one I may never write: This is an African adventure set in the colonial era. It will involve black magic, at least three kinds of opposition, and a bit of romance. (A new test for me.) It will also involve the safari. Because people have unrealistic views about hunting today, I may never write it. I don’t want to deal with knee jerk reactions to the hunting of fictional animals. I have some wonderful settings, scenes, and deceptions for this one, but I may have to add it to the scrap pile.

Score this one as more down side than up.

Grinders: This is a cyberpunk tale involving those who perform enhancement surgeries on themselves and each other. This stuff goes on today, and I can push it to an extreme in a science fiction environment. Imagine lots of neon, holographic advertising, and way too many people. I can dabble with where the internet world may take us one day. This might include cyber shut-ins who never leave their apartment. Drone deliveries, vitamin D deficiencies, and more.

Score this one as a plus in the story department, but not maybe career enhancing for me at this point.

The Group Project: I’ve had a lot of requests for a return of both Clovis from The Playground, and Lizzie St. Laurent and The Hat. It occurred to me they could exist in the same universe. They need other characters to interact with, and there are quite a few of my existing characters who could play a role here. This evolved, in my mind and on a storyboard, into something like an Avengers story only with a paranormal background.

Score this one in the middle somewhere, because I’ve never seen anyone do something like it before. The benefit to my career could be to interest readers in my backlist. Maybe a fan of The Hat picks it up, because it will be a sequel to The Hat. As they read it, they decide Lisa Burton is more interesting than they thought and want to pick up her novel. Or it could irritate readers, because Lizzie and the hat have to share the stage with other characters.

Another Lanternfish story: I just finished the draft of Lanternfish yesterday, but this world is ripe for another story. There is a war going on, and involvement of the pirates in the war could prove interesting. Yes, it’s a fantasy, but real things happened along this line and adds some credibility to them getting involved.

Score this one a bit of plus and a bit of minus. I feel this way, because nobody has read Voyage of the Lanternfish yet. If it flops, I don’t want to put six or seven months into a sequel. If it succeeds, the time for a sequel is upon me. It would head me down that path toward a trilogy. Lanternfish is the first one I’ve written that I feel could support a trilogy. (Sequels yes, but an actual trilogy is what I’m talking about.)

***

Those are the main possibilities, but they have to be looked at with a longer vision too. It is possible to write another Novella about Lizzie and the hat. This might be done a bit faster and satisfy their fans. Then I could focus on one of the other stories. I have an additional idea that could become a story pretty easily.

I could look at a third Experimental Notebook. That lets my mind bounce from tale to tale, which I enjoy. Then I could knuckle down and focus on some kind of sequel.

I also have a loose idea for a novella called Serang. She is a character from Lanternfish, and this would be her prequel story. The merit here is to satisfy any Lanternfish fans I might get while then writing one of the other novels.

Are fans willing to wait on sequels these days? I know all about George RR Martin, but I don’t quite have his kind of fan base. Would readers be satisfied with a trilogy that takes three years to deliver? These days, authors are pressed to publish more rapidly than ever before. If readers would stick around that long, I could squeeze some other stories between these and keep myself happy at the same time.

Keep in mind that I’m good for about two publications per year. With Lanternfish finished, I might put out three in 2019… maybe.

These are the things I have to sort out between now and late November. Before that, actually, if I’m going to spend some quality time on that storyboard.

What do you folks think? I know there is no correct answer here, and that I ultimately have to decide. I’m open to a bit of debate, and it may help me figure something out.

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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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A rare Tuesday post

My pals and I at Story Empire have been nominated for an award as a Favorite Writing Blog. If you like our blog, please visit the Positive Writer post and leave our name (Story Empire) and URL (https://storyempire.com) in the comments along with a brief statement of why you like our site. You don’t have to fill out any forms or click on a series of links. There’s no poll or checklist, and you definitely don’t need to subscribe to anything. Voting is as easy as putting our name, address, and a short sentence or two in the comments. (And if you want to ask your friends to do so as well, we’d be doubly grateful.) Voting ends December 1, so the clock is ticking.

This would bring recognition to our efforts, and help us gain a bigger footprint. If we’ve helped you in some way, or even entertained you, we would appreciate you leaving a comment in our favor.

I’m up at Story Empire tomorrow, and the topic is an odd bit of world building for us fictioners. I look forward to seeing you there.

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