Tag Archives: T-Rex

Fun half-day with the grandkids

Otto and I woke up early today. I managed two chapters of beta reading, and while it isn't great, I get to count it as progress. That may be all I accomplish, besides updating this blog.

Our granddaughter was sick last night, so we only got our grandson overnight. We checked this morning, and she was fine, so we picked her up on the way to the Discovery Center. People were lined up before they even opened the door. Not us, we let the line go inside, then walked up without standing in the cold. No sense in exposing our granddaughter to any more cold than we had to.

The attraction is the traveling exhibit of Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex. I'll be honest and say I was as excited as they were. We get some cool things in Boise, but usually manage to miss them. This time we decided not to procrastinate until it was too late.

Sue is the largest T-Rex ever found, and one of the most complete. They aren't certain if “she's” a male or female, but it's named after one of the folks who helped extract her from the ground. They refer to her in the female, and with no better evidence, why not.

It really is impressive. The fossils are in a museum in Chicago, and are too valuable to travel. This is a reproduction/replica. The castings are so accurate even some scientists prefer to work with them. They have a second head on a rotating pedestal that you can get up close and personal with. There are cross sections of bones you can touch and examine, and even some coprolites and eggs (under glass). Cool stuff. I haven't been to a museum full of this stuff in decades, but there are several good ones in Utah. For Boise, this is a big deal.

Of course I had to be a fan-boy too. It's pretty cool seeing the remains of a predator that's longer than a cross-town bus.

We stuck around and played with slime, created a tornado, and experimented with a television green screen. We learned about levers, pulleys, and the grandkids got to lay on a bed of nails. It's the Discovery Center, it's what you do.

We have reservations at a restaurant tonight, w/o grandkids. I doubt I'll get any serious work done today, and Sundays usually aren't too productive either. I'm off Monday, and have high hopes.

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend too.

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Feeling pretty good about today

This will be another one of my rambling productivity posts. I'll try to ask a question or two to get the comments going. Today was only a flex day, but I feel like I had enough productivity to call it a weekend.

I started out by clearing a couple of tasks before bed last night. I also unwrapped a tea pellet to try it after it aired out for a bit. The tea today was awesome, and I skipped coffee entirely. The fishy taste is completely gone.

My main goal was to work on a beta reading project, and I moved that ahead substantially. If you've never done it, it's different than pleasure reading. I'm expected to deliver some comments and suggestions at the end. Because my memory goes everywhere, I started a document right away. I chose to do a chapter by chapter breakdown. This requires a certain amount of going back and forth. Great progress, fun story.

I took a few social media breaks, as one does. After I felt like I accomplished something, I returned to my outline.

I'm pretty excited about this story. I'm forcing myself not to start writing until I finish a couple of things up. The outline is finished enough to start writing now. I went ahead and added some photographs and reminders to the cork board, but it's ready.

I'll start the other one, and keep working on one for a novel as winter winds down. Which brings me to another point. These two stories are intended to be novella length. I've never really dabbled at that length before.

Some of my short stories may have drifted into novella territory, but realistically, they are short stories. Word counts for the various lengths are all over the place, so I made up my own based upon research, averaging, and what feels appropriate. I have novellas down as being 30,000 to 50,000 words.

So why would I want to create such a monstrosity? Sales dropped off after I stopped my autumn promotions. This is fairly predictable: no promo = no sales. The only things that seem to sell right now are the Experimental Notebooks. There could be all kinds of reasons for this, so let's explore a few.

It's possible that 99¢ books are more attractive to readers. Everyone I've talked to says price doesn't matter if they want to read the book, but my 99¢ books are the ones moving. It's also possible that short fiction is appealing. I love the stuff, because I can read one as I find time. I can make a storybook last for months without losing the plot, because the stories end after a few thousand words. In total honesty, it could also be author friends who want to test drive my writing. It happens, so I'll acknowledge it.

Speaking of the Experimental Notebooks, the first one has been parked at 19 reviews for weeks now. That's such an ugly number. Would anyone like to post a review for the first Experimental Notebook and make it look all pretty? It has a Lisa Burton story.

Novellas would combine some of my theories. They are shorter, and can be finished faster. (Reading and writing, now that I think about it.) They can also be 99¢ books. There is a possibility they could be attractive. That's why I'm planning this all out. Let's face it, self publishing gave short stories a new life, why not novellas? What do you guys think?

If it all works out, I'll go back and forth between two novellas for my summer writing projects. In a perfect world, my novel outline would be ready to start in the fall of 2017.

I'm pretty happy today. It wasn't a bunch of things, but it was bigger progress on a couple of things.

This weekend will be dedicated to The Yak Guy and The Enhanced League, but my slate is fairly clean. We're also taking the grandkids to see Sue the T-Rex at the Discovery Center. (Don't kid yourselves, I want to see it too.) Beyond writing, meaning when my brain says stop, I'll get back to my beta reading.

So how about it? What do you think about novellas? Have you ever been a beta reader? Have you seen Sue the T-Rex? Do you use a storyboard for outlining, or shun outlining all together?

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