Tag Archives: The Experimental Notebook

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?


Filed under Writing

Writing today

I managed about 2000 words of short fiction today, but I really don’t know how I pulled it off.

Otto let me sleep in until about 4:20 AM today. Hey that’s about ten minutes longer than my alarm clock demands the rest of the week. I took him outside to potty, then insisted we go back to bed. To my surprise, he was okay with the idea. He woke me up again about 6:30, and that was all I got.

He went outside a few times, then came in all swollen up. All of the dogs have gone through this since we moved to Idaho. They decide bees or wasps are fun to catch. They’ve all learned after one, but I’m not so sure Otto will. He was pretty needy after that, insisting on getting in my lap.

It’s hard to see, but his left lip is much larger than his right. I felt them both and it was about a half inch thicker and very tight. You can’t tell from this photo, but this is in my lap. There isn’t much room for my keyboard. I actually waited for him to fall asleep and left him in my chair. Being portable allowed me to keep working.

Otto is at the stage where he’s all puppy in mind, but not a baby in body. I really don’t need a sixty pound lap poodle, so we have some work to do. Still, new words are new words, so yay.

I chose to work on short stuff because I knew there would be interruptions. It’s easier for me to work on short stuff than to keep all the story arc and character arc in order on a novel. I need to work on the novel, and will when the situation allows.

In other news, I have two new Lisa Burton posters to promote the second Experimental Notebook. She will share these on my blog and other blogs depending on the invitations she gets. I also have a professionally formatted book, thanks to the efforts of Jo Robinson.

What a pleasure to work with her. She’s affordable, fast, and easy to get along with. If you need some help with your book you really should click that link.

I’m shooting for release on the last day of August. This is when my book club visits on our blog tour, and I intend to take full advantage of the extra traffic. I really don’t know if I should do another pre-release type of sale. I made sales every time I’ve done it, but who wants to wait for a 99¢ book? I’m open to suggestions here. If I do it, it will probably be a short time period.

Now it’s time to check out the Rio Olympics. Otto is un-swelled now, and pizza just came out of the oven.


Filed under Writing

The Party’s Over

We got the camper all cleaned and put away. Some equipment is still at the house being recharged. We can put it away later, or hang onto it until the next camping weekend.

Like all Sunday's, I spent part of the morning talking to my parents. We went to the Oregon Coast together a few times, and we had plenty to talk about.

I answered a mountain of email that I let lapse, and checked on all my social media stuff.

This vacation yielded some fun short story ideas, and I wrote one out today. This one is short enough to make it as a blog post, and fits the theme of Macabre Macaroni. I will use some pictures inside this story to try something new. I think it's pretty cool, and hate waiting until October to share it. It gave me a chance to use my Apple Pencil. You know me, I always like trying new stuff.

Macabre Macaroni needs one more story, and I have some decent competing ideas. One of them is going to be too long to work as a blog post, but the other one should fit well. Having things done ahead of time is becoming a habit for me, and one that seems to work well. I can go over them during quiet times and might make them better to a degree. I won't have to stress about getting them written the night before.

Speaking of meeting deadlines, I sent off the second Experimental Notebook to the formatter. If you still have a beta copy, you don't have to finish it because it's too late to make changes. I hope you'll want to read it, and I appreciate your volunteering, but I published the deadline when I sought volunteers.

I'll try to peck away at short stories when I have a moment, my baseball stories are keeping me entertained. When I get the rare quiet Friday or Saturday, the Yak Guy is still waiting for me.

Sometime before the end of August, I need to pre-write some promotional posts. Most of these I write upon request, but it's nice to frame out a few ideas and have them “close.” It depends on whether the host wants to hear from me, or from Lisa, my assistant.

Speaking of Lisa, I don't know what to do with Lisa Burton Radio. I made it twenty-four weeks in a row, and the last post got a ton of action. Next week, Lisa doesn't have a guest again. It's kind of cheesy to keep interviewing my own characters. I may have to accept the fact that Lisa's interviews will be more sporadic. The spot has been uber popular, and I'm not retiring it. I'll just say that if you would like a character interview, drop me a note and we'll set something up. In fact, after this posts, I'm going to tweet out a half dozen of the old posts or thereabouts.

In the real world, my paycheck job beckons tomorrow. I'm sure all my mailboxes are overflowing, but I have a good staff and I'm sure they covered whatever they could.

It wasn't great that we came home a day early, but that extra day came in handy. I guess the party's over. Back to writing and back to the job that pays the bills around here.


Filed under Writing

Safe at Home

We wound up cutting our vacation short by one day. It took so long to get to Lincoln City, that my brother-in-law wanted to break his travel into two days. He has four more hours after we got home.

I actually parked with nothing but fuel vapors left in my tank. I'm hoping I have enough left to deliver the camper about ten blocks away and get to the gas station without running completely empty.

It's kind of a bummer to cut a day off the trip, but I admit it is a marathon drive. We came back through Bend this time. I always liked Sisters and Bend, and love looking at the volcanos as we drive along.

Otto was so happy to get home that he ran crazy circles around the living room. He also ran them again in his back yard. He doesn't know it yet, but he's getting a bath today. I'll try to post another Otto video on Facebook in a few minutes.

This vacation is all about point of view. I could dwell on the blown tire, and the lost day, but choose not to.

We caught enough crab one day for a nice cookout. We got to watch whales right off the beach. On our last day we went to the big aquarium, and the giant pacific octopus was out in full view this time. If I can figure out how to resize a photo, I may make a cool jellyfish into my August wallpaper. He's just strange enough to fit in around here.

I got a great short story idea, and it fits my Macabre Macaroni theme too. I just don't know if I can make it short enough for a blog post.

The weather was great for the Oregon Coast. I thought the morning fog was awesome, and it reminded me of how I came up with the character of Jason Fogg. Jason has another story in my new Notebook, if you are a fan of his.

I even got a kick out of the early morning coffee runs with my daughter. Everyone else was asleep, and we grabbed her coffee and parked so she could catch Pokemon. I know it's a super popular game, but this one looks pretty fun.

We ate some great seafood and it seems like every place touts itself as having the best chowder. For my money, the Pelican Brewing spot in Cannon Beach does. We drank some great local beer too. I love the craft brew movement, and seeing what's local is part of the fun.

My wife and sister-in-law made an appointment with a glass blower on Thursday. They each got to blow and shape their own candy bowl. I, naturally, had to watch the dog. My daughter got some interesting videos of the process, but I can't share them. I try to keep my family somewhat anonymous online.

I'm kind of bummed about missing the glass blowing. The main character, Cobby, from The Cock of the South started life as a glass blower. I know it's backwards to call it research, but I would have liked to watch. At least there is video.

Everyone is gone now. The in-laws left at six AM. My daughter went to Sun Valley to visit friends almost immediately after we got home. Apparently, eight hours in the car wasn't enough for her. It all has the taste of, “Thanks for the free vacation, see ya!”

My wife is still asleep. Otto is sacked out on the couch, and I am barely awake. Today will be all about getting the camper cleaned up and put away. Then there are bills, mountains of bills.

With the end of the month looming, it's time to put the final touches to the second Experimental Notebook and send it to the formatter. There are still a few beta copies out, and I hope to hear from those readers in time. This is the first time I've used a formatter, and set an absolute date for publication. This means I have to live with deadlines.

I've also been a bad blog friend. I managed to read a few, but my comments were minimal. I'll spend some time today trying to catch up, but probably won't get to everyone. Sometimes you just have to go on vacation.


Filed under Uncategorized

I need to start a list

I posted recently about having my cool new cover art, and the pending release of my book of short stories. There is a ton of work to do before this comes out.

I have one piece of Lisa Burton art on order to promote this story, and when it arrives I'll order one more.

The betas are making good progress and I'm getting reports to work on. I've decided to farm out the formatting, and with a late August release, there should be plenty of time for this.

Meanwhile, I need to start writing ideas on my legal pad. I have promotional plans for more than just this book, and maybe they can tie together somehow. It probably won't all come to me until I have it all written out.

I would like to take this book on tour, and keep it with friends and volunteers. It's going to be a 99¢ special, and spending a ton of money on it isn't realistic. I can custom write things, and make Lisa Burton available to fly around with her posters and talk about the book. More on this when I'm closer to publication.

The Rave Reviews Book Club can help me on some fronts. There is a WhatsApp room where we can promote free and 99¢ books that I can make use of. They are also doing the Back to School Book & Blog Block Party again. I chose two dates, and hope I get one of those days. If I do, I'll try to make that my release date. This is because last year I had hundreds of blog visitors on that date. Why not make the date something special.

I will probably work on some Halloween type promotions too. I've already talked to a group of authors who write similar stories and we may do some group promotion. There are Halloween themed stories in both Notebooks, but I also have Will O' the Wisp and The Playground that are suitable too. I'll have to make those decisions later on. Part of this promotional push has to involve The Playground.

Beyond that, there are Kindle Countdown Deals, free days, giveaways, and Amazon advertising to consider. I can do some of this fairly cheaply, and might be able to spread it across several books. The idea is to be everywhere for a couple of months.

If I get really lucky, maybe someone will read one of the Notebooks and take a chance on a novel.

I intend to post some more Halloween style micro-fiction in October. I call these Macabre Macaroni, and they've been pretty popular over the years. I just need to find time to write them. So far, I have one. I need about three more.

I'd really like to try BookBub at the same time, but my best chance has a limitation. Will O' the Wisp has the most positive reviews, but I published it in two versions. This is because I purchased a license to use copyright protected song lyrics, but could only get rights to North America. It's available everywhere, but the versions are slightly different.

I won't be able to do everything, but I intend to do one hell of a lot. Between September first, and October last, I want to be everywhere. It all starts with a list.

I suppose I'd better fill a fountain pen and get started. A cool pen makes it more fun.


Filed under Writing

It’s time to get some help

I made sure to water all the outside plants while it was cool, then went to the writing cabin. Doubt, the raven, still hates my short stories. He tends to hate everything, and being able to move beyond his concerns is part of the trick to this stuff.

I took a small break to go over the last critique submission. For some reason, my printer decided not to talk to any of my hardware and I had to completely re-boot it. That seemed to solve the problem, but I’ve never had to do that before.

I finished up a couple of final word searches, and I’m to the point where I’m debating the merit of the tales themselves. This was the time when I sent the first Experimental Notebook out to beta readers. That time, my fears were unfounded. Every story in that book was someone’s favorite. I have my favorites too, but I couldn’t have been happier with those results.

So, what to do now? Is it time to pull the trigger? I’m never really certain. I called for my assistant, Lisa the robot girl.

“What’s up, boss?”

“I think it’s beer time. What do you have?”

“It’s a little early for you. Are you sure?”

“I think I’m done here.”

“I have a nice Belgian beer, but it’s made in the USA. I think you’ll like it.”

“Call the beer horns, and have one with me.”

“You know I don’t have to eat or drink.”

“Yeah, yeah. It’s only to make others comfortable. So be sociable with me.”

She whistled and the beer horns came running; tails wagging and sounding off like baby tubas.

We had a couple of nice cold Belgian brews and I called it a day. So, it looks like I need some help.

“Enjoy the rest of the weekend with your family,” Lisa said. “I’ll clean up around here.”

“You’re the best.”


Beta readers really help with the writing process. I need someone to tell me when something just isn’t right. I did a bit of experimenting, which is the point of these stories. It’s great when it works, but I need to know when it doesn’t so I can fix it prior to publication.

I probably have the email address for all my regulars, but I would never force anything on anyone. I’m looking for up to a half-dozen people to read this book of short stories and get back to me. I have a schedule this time too. I want to publish this in late August.

This is my standard fare; science fiction, paranormal, and one fantasy. It also includes two non-speculative pieces that I really liked. Rather than waste them, I made sure this book included two more stories than the last one. In other words, these will be free add-ons.

If you sign up, I need to get your report back by the end of July. That’s nearly a month to read a (free) book that should read pretty fast. That way I can spend early August making adjustments and get the formatting finished to pull this all off on schedule.

I’ve never scheduled this tightly before. Cover art is on order. Lisa Burton promotional art will be next, and I need to pull everything together before I release the book. I am a little bit ahead of time, but something always seems to come up, so I’m starting now.

This is my email address (in code to fool the bots). Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com. Drop me a line and I can send out Word, Apple Pages, PDF, or ePub as you please.

There you have it. I need beta readers. Be brave.

In other news, my wife and dog are home. We might find a way to pull off date night and spend some time together for the rest of the holiday. Otto was a big hit with family, and everyone was surprised at how heavy he is. I admit he’s like lifting a lead block.


Filed under Muse, Writing

A day of chores

Old What’s her Face* took Otto to Nevada this weekend. That left me to my own devices, and I have some chores to take care of.

I started out early to avoid the heat. I watered all the potted plants and baskets, then trimmed up my crab apple tree. Part of it decided to grow downward, as apples will, and the weight of the fruit had it covering the lawn. I sawed off three branches as thick as my arm and dragged them out front. I need to cut them up for the garbage man, but need a better temperature. Maybe tomorrow. This is green wood, plus fruit. I swear I’ve dragged mule deer bucks that weighed less than the biggest branch.

I sprayed Sevin on my fruit trees next. This is a mild insecticide, intended for vegetable gardens. Coddling Moth can ruin my fruit, and the Sevin usually takes care of them without resorting to crop dusters or anything. It was a bonus having Otto gone for a few days, because the lawn will water a couple of times before he returns, and he doesn’t climb trees (yet).

I was still driving on the factory tires that came with my Tundra. I checked the tread and knew it wasn’t looking too good. When I got it serviced a couple of weeks ago they confirmed it. Today I waited at Les Schwab while they installed four new ones. Tires are ungodly expensive these days, but I don’t want to drag the camper to the coast on four old baldies either.

While I was out, I picked up ink cartridges for the printer. These are expensive too, and we use a lot of ink around here. It’s gotten to the point where I can almost by a new printer for the cost of ink cartridges. I haven’t loaded them yet, because I’m waiting for one more critique submission. If he doesn’t deliver it this weekend, I may not be able to work on it before we meet.

I spent the hot hours indoors with my next Notebook. I did a bunch of word searches. It’s interesting how target words show up inside other words. There shows up in gathered, was shows up in wash, etc. I also finished a comprehension pass.

I have a few more passes, but will be asking for beta readers soon. Maybe even sometime this week. Cover art is coming, and I want to release this at the end of summer some time. I have a rough plan, but some of it depends on my book club.

Rest of the evening? Since baseball is a pay-per-view option these days, maybe I’ll crack open a beer and watch a movie.

*Not my wife’s actual name


Filed under Writing

Working Vacation Day #3. Have you seen my Mojo?

I had to find my productivity in other areas today. I just couldn't bring myself to be even remotely creative. I nearly bagged the whole thing, but that doesn't bode well either.

I started out with social media. There are always a few emails, tweets, and blogs to get through. This allowed me time to get the first cup of coffee down.

It was a good time to work through my critiques. The guys don't have me fixing much this time, but I'm disappointed that a cluster of “was” writing crept in again. I may never get over this flaw, and I think it sneaks in when I write fast. Thank God for critique partners who know my shortcomings.

By this time, I knew there would be no new words today. I still want to keep working, so I decided to assemble my short stories into a book. It came out a bit over 40,000 words. I still have to add the back material once I decide what that is, but it isn't fair to count those words.

The first Experimental Notebook offers 12 stories for 99¢. This one will offer 15, heck of a bargain if you ask me.

I chose a micro-fiction piece called Fever to start the book with. Amazon decides how much to offer as a preview, and I have no control over that. I want to let pre-viewers read an entire story, so by placing a micro in front I have some control.

This one offers a nod to pulp science fiction. This wasn't on purpose, but three stories came out that way, and I like that. The old pulps were a lot of fun. I also have two stories with no speculative element what-so-ever. (Shocking for me.) I struggled with what to do with them, but by having more stories than the first book, I've convinced myself they are freebies.

One of the stories without a speculative element turned out so good I decided to end the book with it. Like all decisions, it's debatable, but I really like it. It's called Practical Geology. (I never said it wasn't weird, it just doesn't include advanced technology or magic.)

I also wrote my intermission. The first Notebook included one, and I got some good remarks about it. If I'm calling this one a Notebook there ought to be some consistency. I'll probably change the intermission ten times before it gets to market, but it exists now and that's important.

For ending material, I'll probably pull an excerpt from The Playground. Clovis is kind of charming, (he said with tongue in cheek) there is probably a colorful section with him I can use.

I put together a fun draft for the next Lisa Burton Radio post, and it's turning out great. I also exchanged email with a couple of authors for future character interviews.

So all in all, it was a productive day. It wasn't even remotely creative, but I accomplished a lot. The task driven part of being a writer doesn't get talked about often, but it matters.

Tonight, we're going to try date night somehow. We'll have to be quick, because my wife has to work tomorrow at 3:00 AM.

Tomorrow, I need to start reading through these short stories. I'm sure there are spelling and punctuation errors in there. I may even have a “was” cluster to find and kill. It looks like I need to spend some time with the Raven of Doubt to get this thing ready.

I hope to publish this in September after the school year starts back up. That worked well last year. This means I need to think about cover art, promotional stuff and all that jazz. That will be a project for a different weekend.


Filed under Writing

Day #2 of my working vacation

Let's Play!

Guess who decided to wake up at 3:15 this morning. My wife heads for the hospital every day at that time, and he must have heard her leaving.

Otto needs to go outside when he wakes up, no matter what time that is. He's being very good about my carpets, but this involves me doing my part too. Potty time was followed by meal time, a big drink, and round of bite Dad's feet. Eventually he went back to bed.

My daughter is home from Sun Valley, and she likes to talk when she wakes up. I knew that would be many hours yet. What to do, what to do. The house is quiet, Otto doesn't need attention…

I whipped out another chapter of The Yak Guy Project. I set some wheels in motion for a larger event, and need to decide how much transition I need. It's important to get to the good part, but I don't want readers to get whiplash either. I didn't do word count again, but it's about ten pages of new material.

Otto stirred a few times, and I decided that short stories might be a better idea. I wrote one from start to finish. Hang on… Checking… 2204 words. This falls in a void for my personal descriptions. It's longer than a micro, but doesn't hit 5000 words to be a short story. It's kind of an ultra-micro-mini-short story.

Truth is, I'm very happy with it. With this story, I have enough material to put out another Experimental Notebook. I don't know about the total word count, and won't until I assemble it. I could have too many micros and not enough short stories.

Assembly is kind of a cool topic. I like to open with what I consider a good one. I like to end on a great story too. I'm of the mindset that if you write two stories, one will naturally be better than the other – even if they're both great.

The first story is important. It will likely be available for free in its entirety to anyone who reads the free sample. It needs to be good enough to make people risk 99¢ on the rest of the stories.

The last story is important too. It's the one they remember and could entice them to check out the novels.

Then there is the ending material, and maybe some of you have some input. In the first book, I included a section from Will O' the Wisp. This led to sales of that book, because I got comments that verified people bought it on that basis. All good stuff.

I am considering including a section from a yet-to-be-written book. The idea will be to whet someone's appetite for the next big thing. This could be a section from The Yak Guy Project, or it could be one more micro-ultra-whatever-story.

I'm thinking of including the short story called The Enhanced League as teaser material. I wrote this story for this book, and decided there were many stories in this environment. I pulled it and put it in a different file.

I don't have a mailing list, so this kind of enticement might not be that great. (I find mailing lists kind of spammy, and only sign up for close friends.) If someone can convince me otherwise, I might change my mind.

Would Amazon have a fit because this story is already published? I'm calling it a preview, but still???

Could I use one of the new stories for Macabre Macaroni in October on my blog? Amazon allows us to share excerpts. It would be an excerpt, but also an entire story. Thoughts? It would fit the Macabre Macaroni theme well, but also be a great enticement to check out the second Notebook.

To recap, I'm concerned about including one entire story as a teaser in the coming Notebook. I'm concerned about publishing a different one as an excerpt on my blog in October. Will Amazon have a cow when it's time to publish a whole book called The Enhanced League? Will they get torqued if I share one on my blog as an excerpt?

I could include a section from The Playground, but the first chapter is kind of dark. It doesn't reflect the entire book, it just spells out the stakes. (In a dark fashion, in case you missed that part.)

Alternately, I could include The Enhanced League, plus a section of the Yak Guy Project. I don't exactly know what Yak Guy is yet, but it's kind of got an alternate reality or alternate world going for it. What genre is that?

The day was broken up with bouts of Otto. Otto wound up on his back like a turtle. Otto found some socks to run around with. Otto pawed his outside water dish empty three times. I'm fine with that. I hit the novel while he was asleep and the short fiction while paying attention to the puppy.

Today was a good day. Ten pages of novel, a complete short story, and this blog update.

My poor wife has to work all weekend, so I'm going to try getting more done tomorrow. I have a Lisa Burton Radio post to assemble and schedule. I should start assembling Notebook #2 to get an idea of word count. I can write my intermission, which was well received in the last Notebook.

So what do you think about first stories, last stories, end material, Amazon policies, etc.?


Filed under Writing

Today wound up being a push

Push is an old Nevada term for a blackjack hand where the player ties the dealer. No winner, but no loser either. I thought a bit of explanation might help with readers who aren't familiar with it.

My parents are on a road trip, so I couldn't call them this morning. They promised to call me when they got home, but haven't yet. I'm not surprised, because it's a long drive.

I failed to go through my critiques today. There isn't much to address, and I should have done it. I just failed.

I did add about a page to a short story I've been picking away at. That's my victory for the day. It isn't much, but I'll take it.

I also added to my list of short stories for a future project I'm calling The Enhanced League. It's in my head now, and I need to keep jotting tidbits down. Actually the longer I take, and the more bits and pieces I have, the better this will turn out. I need to do a bunch of research for this one too, and make research notes.

I spent a bunch of time playing with Otto today. He's so much fun that I don't look at him as a distraction. I'm entitled to have a bit of fun now and then. I loaded a video to my Facebook Page of him with his new outside water dish. He thinks it's a wading pool and that we bought him the wrong size. Those of you who are enjoying Otto can see it over there.

This puppy has more than doubled his size in two weeks. Can you imagine what that would be like? It's no wonder he takes huge naps and eats like a horse.

For Summer, my stats are decent this week. Lisa Burton Radio remains popular, and I keep picking up a guest here and there. I'm gaining about a follower per day and this makes me pretty happy.

My post/story about Lisa's gardening adventures became the most popular one for June. June isn't over, but I'm thrilled for the comments and social media shares. It's nearly double the views of the next most popular post.

I occurs to me that if I'm putting out a second Experimental Notebook in September, I need to start getting organized. I have enough stories, but don't know if I have the word count. This means I need to read through the stories and do some editing. I need to assemble it all, check the word count, and write my intermission. The intermission was pretty popular in the last one, so I'm doing it again.

I have a large list of short fiction and would like to add one more. It's about a wildlife film maker who gets in over his head. I think I can do it justice and it would be nice in this Notebook.

Then I need to get a cover ordered, and a couple of Lisa posters for promotional purposes. I have some good ideas and am kind of excited to get it all ordered. The radio show image started as an idea for this book of short stories. Then it kind of evolved and I decided to make it something more.

Right now, paying for this is kind of an issue. We have to call the washing machine repairman and wait for that bill to arrive.

I think I'll call the blog updates a victory too. There are a certain number of words involved, so I'm counting them.

In the fail column, I didn't get to start the next book I want to read. My work is sending me on an overnight trip, and I may get to read in my hotel at night.

Victory or loss, does it really matter? I moved some things ahead, and failed moving other things ahead. I had a great time with Otto, and that has value to me.

I need to start making a promotional plan for September and October too. I've dropped a few hints to a friend, but nothing much beyond that. I want to possibly push my new Notebook and The Playground at the same time. First I need to have a new Notebook.

I'd probably be well advised to wash up a fountain pen and make a couple of lists. One for the new book and one for promotional purposes.

I'm still here, and I have vacation time Thursday or Friday. It feels like a chance to work on some bigger projects, but it's summer too. We'll see how it all goes.

No promises on a post tomorrow night. I always try to post something on Mondays, but I'll be on the road with colleagues overnight. Bonus though, we might get to visit an insane asylum from the 1800s on our personal hours. It evolved into a brothel and is now a restaurant/bar. I know the owner, and might get a behind the scenes tour.

If you miss me that bad, you can always check out one of my books.


Filed under Writing