Tag Archives: The Hat

All quiet here

Old What’s Her Face decided to visit her brother this weekend, leaving me to take care of the dogs. It wasn’t my first choice, but I decided to make the best of it.

I spent my time writing. I actually got a lot accomplished, but it wasn’t what I had in mind. There really isn’t any need to start a new tale this year, but it gives me something to do.

It’s kind of fun expanding the witchcraft world in the hat universe. There is a challenge, though, in that Lizzie and the hat aren’t part of that environment. They can only learn what they are told or observe themselves.

I solved some of this by introducing two new characters. By alternating sections, readers can get a bit more than what Lizzie will discover on her own. It’s been fun, but I still intend to leave some of that mystery without complete explanations. It allows readers to use their own imaginations.

Each member of the witchcraft community has different magical roots. I’m not explaining these either, but there are clues if readers want to figure it out on their own. It shouldn’t be too hard, but won’t be required if someone just wants to blast through for a good story.

I also did a section that was a bit of character soup. We’ve all been to a gathering where we met a bunch of people, but didn’t get to know all of them. It feels realistic to me, but maybe my critique group can give me some advice here. My secret intent was to glance across some characters that could be used in future stories.

At this stage, I’m tired. I’m not at a slog of any kind, but it’s time for me to rest my brain. Hope everyone had, or is having a great holiday.

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I’m such a keyboard slut

What can I say? I finished Lanternfish and took a break that lasted almost 24 hours. I started a new project on Sunday, and since today is my flex day I added to that.

I’m already 10,500 words into my next story. This might give you some hints as to what I’m up to. Oh, and turn the speakers up. This woman has some chops.

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The Party’s Over

Lunar Boogie has been published. The blog tour has ended, and it’s time to forge ahead. We had a lot of fun on the tour, and I got some wonderful comments.

Some people have read it already, and the early reviews are awesome. Maybe consider clicking on that cover in the sidebar and checking it out.

This week was crazy. Not only did I have a book tour going on, I also had to make a quick road trip to Sandpoint for my real job. Responding to comments on a cell phone with dicey wifi is a treat.

Sandpoint is a beautiful town up close to Canada. It sits on the shores of Lake Pend Orielle. It’s frequented by bald eagles, so I kept my eyes open.

I saw a lot of ospreys on the way into town. As cool as they are, they aren’t the same. I heard an eagle scream from my hotel, but couldn’t spot the bugger through the trees.

I drove the rental car for our group, and when we drove home from supper, I spotted one. It was twilight, and I was watching the geese in a grain field. The closest bird to me raised his head and wasn’t a goose at all.

This seemed like my luck lately. I spotted the dumbest, outcast eagle of all time. He was out past bedtime and appeared to be grubbing for worms in the mud not twenty feet from the car. Not very majestic, but I’m counting him.

I know eagles don’t spend all their time posting selfies. I’ve seen swarms of them crawling around a beached whale carcass like maggots. They aren’t anything more that what they need to be. People like me put the image on them.

When we left town, I had a glorious sighting of another one. This one swirled around on thermals above the lake, then landed on a pole just as I drove past.

Bald eagles are a rare sight around here. I watched the Boise River all winter, but never saw one this year. I always felt like they foretold luck for me. By sighting two, I’m kind of artificially excited.

Never got to see the famous lake monster. Maybe next time. I should have placed out some cookies or something.

I’m considering doing a series blog tour this fall for The Hat Series. I have enough books now to make it a thing. I can take advantage of some free days as part of the promo. I’m curious what you folks think of this approach.

Lanternfish beckons now. I have three days to myself, and need to hack out some new material so I can get this one out in 2021. If you include Serang, I could tour this series around in a similar fashion.

Procrastination is part of the game. This week was brutal, I’m telling you. I’ll write at some point, but I kind of want to vegetate for a day.

Let me hear from you. Do you have a connection with a specific animal? Do you know any fresh new promotional tricks? Have you ever seen a lake monster?

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What’s next for Lizzie and the hat?

I’m visiting with Denise Finn today. We’re talking about what happens down the road in The Hat Series. Stop over and say, Hi.

Denise is one of my Story Empire partners, a great author, and a strong supporter of the author community. While you’re over there you should check out her site and works. Follow this link: https://dlfinnauthor.com/2021/05/24/new-release-lunar-boogie-by-c-s-boyack-virgilante-storyempire-indieauthor-newrelease-whattoread/

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Blog Tour #NewBook #paranormal

I’m over haunting Harmony Kent’s house today. This is part of my tour for Lunar Boogie. Today’s topic is writing an ongoing series.

Harmony is one of my Story Empire partners, and a great writer. One of her stories is next on my reading list. Stop over and say hi. We already have some good comments going, and I’ll be checking throughout the day.

All you have to do is click here: https://harmonykent.co.uk/lunar-boogie-the-hat-series-by-c-s-boyack-virgilante-newbook/

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I’m visiting with Gwen today

I’m over at Gwen Plano’s place today and the topic is comedy. Well, at least some of the comedy in The Hat Series. Gwen is a good friend, and one of my Story Empire partners. Check out her site and wares while you’re over there.

Hello, blog friends!

I’m excited to welcome C.S. Boyack to this site today. Most of you know and appreciate Craig through his books. He’s a prolific writer and amazing storyteller. His latest publication, Lunar Boogie, just became available, and Craig’s going to tell us about it. We’re in for a ride, because the entire series is laced with hilarious and unforgetable scenes.

C.S. Boyack has a wonderful way of taking reality and masking it in a fantasy. Through laughter and quirkiness, he opens our eyes to possibility. That’s no small achievement. 

Let’s see what Craig has to say! https://www.gwenplano.com/blog-reflections/boyack-is-on-tour-with-lunar-boogie

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No writing for you!

This is my short weekend, and I had one important chore to attend to. The appointment fell at about the perfect time to disrupt my whole Saturday. I got my second Covid vaccination today.

I wanted to jump aboard Lanternfish and move the story forward, but sometimes you have to face reality. Next weekend isn’t looking that favorable either. Old What’s Her Face is off the same days I am, and our daughter is coming for a visit. Family first is kind of a personal rule. If they go shopping or something, I might snitch an hour. I’ll have to play that by ear.

I did come up with some fun ideas while waiting in the parking lot for my appointment. This afternoon, I started two new storyboards for Lizzie and The Hat. I don’t know why I do this to myself, because any ability to write them is a couple of years away. Still, if they exist, it’s easier to tweak and perfect them over time. Hopefully, readers will still be interested when I get that far. They are pretty fun ideas.

Maybe tomorrow I can find enough time to add back material to Lunar Boogie. After that, I can send it to my formatter. Lisa Burton posters are on order, and I could get this out before June. This has always been something I wanted to do, and never made it before. If it goes into June, I’ll hold off on publication until Fall.

I also wrote something for Story Empire. It won’t post until May, so I didn’t schedule it yet. Gives me time to make it pretty.

Last injection, I felt like my arm was going to fall off. So far nothing like that. In two weeks I’ll be bulletproof.

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A writer’s lament

Hi, I’m Craig, and I haven’t written a new word for two weeks. I’m unlikely to get more next week unless something changes.

Sounds like an AA meeting.

The fact is, this has been the busiest week of the year at my workplace. I was heavily involved in prep leading up to all this, too. At some point, I kind of left it all on the field, to use a sports phrase.

Old What’s Her Face and I have had the same days off, too. This isn’t particularly useful when it comes to penning new material.

I have some leave coming up, and may get to do some writing then. However, I have a stockpile of errands that will interfere to a degree if I don’t plan things well. I have to get my truck serviced, and take care of a small repair. I also have to get it sniffed for pollutants. Then there is the matter of swinging by a hardware store for some blade oil for my chainsaw. My fruit trees need some tough love and it’s best done before the sap rises.

I’ve also promised to make a quick trip to Nevada to visit my parents, so here is a rough plan. I’ll get the truck taken care of Friday morning, then go find a station that can do my sniff test. Somewhere in that vicinity, I need to find any hardware store for my oil. I will leave directly from there for Nevada. That will kill Friday, but might salvage some other days for writing purposes.

Then there is the plot problem. I’ve been dwelling on it for weeks, but have an inkling of what I want. Nothing like a long car drive to help focus some of this. It isn’t like Lanternfish needs a new character, but I’m going to introduce one. My cons can keep a secret easily enough, but adding a third party to their game could introduce some extra stress. Stress is a good thing for characters.

Normally, in times like this I would switch stories. However, I’ve finished the draft of Lunar Boogie, and want to focus on Lanternfish. It’s probably crazy, because I lost two weeks that I could have been working on something else.

I also need to keep reading what I’ve already produced. That will help me sort out what cartoons I need to order for Lunar Boogie, and I need to put some thought into Lisa Burton promotional posters.

Lisa poses a different problem. How many pirate girls can I commission here? Same thing for Lizzie and the hat. It was simple enough to do when the first book came out, and even the second volumes. This deep into both series, it gets harder to come up with things.

I’ve had Lisa pose as Serang, then in Serang’s new armor. She’s posed as Lizzie the monster hunter, Lizzie the musician, etc. I’ll figure something out, of course, but it might be a few less than I usually do.

I’m looking forward to finishing the Lanternfish trilogy. I’m down to getting the last pieces in place before things really break loose. This is the middle slog, but there are some big things planned that I expect to almost write themselves.

On the bright side, I only committed to two books this year, and one of those is drafted. I have to keep things moving, because it’s already March, but I’m not in a bad position here.

I hope all of you are doing well, and not facing your own writing problems. I’ll sort mine out, then Lanternfish will move fast.

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A bit of writing work today

Today wasn’t intended for new words. I had some writing messes to clean up, so that was my big goal.

First, I’ve had critique samples for Lunar Boogie for a week. While there weren’t any huge changes to make, there were a lot of small things. I find it too hard to focus on weeknights, so today I took up the challenge.

I also needed to get another submission ready for my group. I bounce back and forth, so this time they get to see Lanternfish. I worked on the next chapter for about an hour, including checking with an online editing program before sending it out. It’s out, so I’ll get to learn if my married cons still have what it takes to carry a chapter.

Only after taking care of all that, did I turn my attention back to Lunar Boogie. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I had some issues with the ending of the story.

As a recap, I wanted to end this one on a down note which provided for a bit of character growth for Lizzie in the next book. I wound up ending it on a major bummer and wasn’t happy with it.

Last weekend, I added a scene and it kind of helped, but still wasn’t what I needed. Remember, these are partially comical in nature, so they really can’t end on sour note.

Today, I threw caution to the wind and added a bunch of material I was saving for the opening of Good Liniment, the next book in the series. It wound up requiring a chapter break which caused the last two chapters to be short ones.

This required me to research crystal therapy and come up with a name for a pot shop. All in a day’s work, right?

I hate to sacrifice some of the stuff from the next book, but think it probably works better here. Basically, Lizzie’s parents made an appearance earlier in the book via FaceTime. At the end, Lizzie goes to California to spend some time with them. Alone, without the hat.

As far as what I included, Lizzie spent this time with her mom, and she is a genuine C. S. Boyack character. I will have to come up with some additional material for Good Liniment, but I can handle that. I can also have Lizzie spend some time with her father who is running for State Senate.

What I enjoyed is how Lizzie is an amalgamation of her mother and father. I never planned this and it just happened. This is one of the fun things that keeps me going as a writer. Lizzie is hard working like her father, but lives paycheck to paycheck as a musician and hangs out with some strange characters. She isn’t quite as stoic and dedicated as her dad, but isn’t as batshit crazy as her mom either.

Lizzie’s mom helps add a laugh or two after the bummer moment. I think moving the material to Lunar Boogie was the right move.

I need to turn my attentions back to Lanternfish. I left James on the high seas the instant before the opening volley of a huge sea battle.

I hope all of you have power and water by now. That you’re warm and safe. Drop me a line and let me know what’s going on.

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It’s a conundrum

I may have finished Lunar Boogie this morning. Then again, maybe not. I’m struggling with a situation and airing it out might help me. A few of your comments might be helpful, too.

First is to admit that The Hat series is a form of superhero fiction. Readers expect certain things, but I’m troubled by what you don’t see regularly.

Lizzie and the hat have a symbiotic relationship that lets them fight monsters. They need each other. However, Lizzie is just a regular girl.

In superhero tales, we get used to seeing massive destruction and various villains getting done in. It’s part of the expectations. We almost never see the down side of all that.

Lizzie is a good character, and I want to make sure she’s fully developed. Some of this should start to wear on her at some point and that’s what I want to get across. I understand it isn’t why we read heroic fiction, but if you have fully developed characters, sometimes they’re going to have issues.

In other genres, like adventure, we know people fire machine guns in the streets, but the cops never seem to show up. First, why not? Second, is this police absence expected in the story?

My thought was to deal with some of this between books. I understand that readers of heroic fiction don’t want to spend chapters of effort on mental health issues. Those stories are best suited to other authors.

To deal with it between books, I have to leave readers with a sense of the problem. I can pick things up on the other side with a nod before the next adventure. I have some fun things planned for that.

What I have in hand is a book that ends on a bummer note. The goals were achieved, people will live happy lives because of Lizzie’s efforts, but it’s kind of a downer at the same time. Keep in mind these are also supposed to be comedic in part. (Bummer and comedy don’t mix too well.)

When I pick it up in the next story, since Lizzie is a musician, I figured people might mistakenly refer to her episode as rehab. In fact, that part works pretty well.

My problem is the mental cliff-hanger I’ve created in this volume. I like it, but I don’t at the same time, and I’m out of time today. Perhaps a medical professional can deliver a line or two about things being okay and that would work. Would this be enough of an uplifting phrase if I do it well?

I could also add one more chapter, which after writing it here seems like a good idea. She wouldn’t be completely cured, but readers could see her getting some help.

In some ways, I’m lucky to be out of time. This has been on my mind for months, and now that it exists it could be easier to find a way to address it. Having a week to ponder the issues might play to my advantage.

One thing that’s also possible is to get the next book ready to go for a quicker release. Then Lizzie’s fans can get the answers a bit sooner than the annual release schedule.

Do any of you ever have struggles like this? I know the genre pretty well, and what I’m proposing isn’t required. Would I be better off to drop the idea entirely and go back to her musical lifestyle as if nothing happened?

Right now, I’m leaning toward the additional chapter. Maybe even just a scene to end on a higher note. What do you guys think?

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