Tag Archives: weekend

Chipping away at things

So far, I managed to make edits to a chapter of Lanternfish. This is the one my critique partners had recently. Good suggestions this time, and they improved the story quite a bit.

I got the next chapter ready for submission, then sent it off. They only have about a half-chapter left after that. I may add my back material and let them look at it, too.

The next Hat story has been languishing while I finished Lanternfish. I decided to read every single word of it this morning. Never added any new words, but it’s still progress. When I’m ready to write next time, I’ll be up to date.

It rained like crazy this morning. We have ducks swimming above the lawn in the park next door. That’s a lot of water. It’s also giving my Asian Pear tree fits. Fire blight spreads this way, and it has a touch of it. It kills whole trees, but this variety is pretty resistant.

Between projects, I decided to monkey with one of my old cowboy hats. This started life as a custom beaver blend hat. I was always disappointed in it, because it wasn’t quite what I expected. The crown was about 30 degrees crooked, and I had to reshape that myself. It was supposed to be a nice light brown, but arrived in a pumpkin color.

I’ve turned this hat into my lab rat over the years. Recently, I’ve been surfing the web looking for ways to artificially weather hats. They just seem to look better after they break in a little. Out comes my lab rat hat for a bit of experimentation.

I used the tea kettle to steam the crap out of the brim, then used an old round extension cord as a mold to put a kettle roll around it. It looks pretty darned good.

For my next amazing stunt, I used thick instant coffee in a spray bottle to darken it up. This one didn’t work as well as the Internet sold it. It knocked the pumpkin color out, and it’s kind of a buckskin now. (Not horrible) My question is whether it will remain color-fast. Meaning when it rains am I going to have cold coffee running down my neck?

I also spent a couple of bucks on something called fullers earth. This can be used to add some stains for artificial wear and tear. I haven’t tried this, yet. I’ll do it in conjunction with some salt water and olive oil so the colored earth will stick. My attempt will involve lightly using a soda straw to blow the color on in some key places, like the pinch point of the crown. Maybe where I normally handle the brim, etc.

Fiddling around with hats probably doesn’t sound as much fun as writing about root monsters and pirates, but it gives me something to do. Who knows, maybe this hat will be something worth wearing on a camping trip one day.

I still need to go through my short story one more time, but I have a few weeks yet. If there’s any time after I call my parents tomorrow, I will probably tackle a fresh new chapter of the next Hat story.

Hope all of you are having good weekends whatever you’re up to.

26 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

And then Rusty showed up

I already posted about my 3500 words on Friday. I’m on the downhill slide of Lanternfish, and it’s getting fun to move toward the big event that ends book two.

Old What’s Her Face has to work all four days I’m off, so getting to the conclusion is a real possibility. I added 2500 more words on Saturday morning. This included the creation of another new creature called a snubhorn, who is basically a beast of burden.

I needed to think the next bit through, and turned to my short story. Normally, I would jump to Mrs. Molony, but the short story has a deadline. I wound up finishing it, but it needs a little something. It’s going to be a bit short for the desired word count, but I don’t want to lengthen it only for that.

Then Rusty showed up. My daughter decided to drop in for a visit, but she brought Rusty with her. This is the leftover from a litter of Rottweiler puppies her roommate had bred. Since nobody wanted him, she decided to keep him.

I’m here to liven up your life.

I love seeing my daughter, but Rusty is a handful. He’s a perpetual motion machine, and licks everything. As he walks he licks the couch, the footstool, the chair, my shoe, the wall, whatever is within reach. It’s cute, but weird. He also get’s Frankie pretty fired up, to the point of angry sometimes.

He’s also gangly. He slid across the dining room floor, into the kitchen with all four paws in the air. He impacted the pantry doors and I had to put them back on track.

I worry, because he’s an intact male Rottweiler. Otto is also intact, and I would like to see Rusty start staying in Sun Valley when our daughter visits. He’s twice as big as he was when he came in April, and while he’s cute, Otto doesn’t need that shit. I’ve been around a lot of dogs, and Rusty is going to be huge when he grows up.

My daughter took him to town for a few hours this morning, and I added another 1500 words to Lanternfish. It isn’t a lot, but it’s better than nothing. It’s important stuff, too, so that helps. Then she came home and gave me a haircut.

As I’m writing this, Old What’s Her Face took our daughter to the store. There was some talk about buying something for dinner, so I have a hunch Rusty will impact my Monday writing plans, too.

All told, there isn’t a downside. I get to visit with my daughter, got a haircut, and honestly get a kick out of this gigantic weird puppy. I just wouldn’t want a steady diet of him.

26 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

No regrets today

I had a reasonable opportunity to do some writing today, and squandered it away. This is my two day weekend, and Old What’s Her Face is off. That makes it kind of hard, but not impossible.

I dabbled. I switched back to Lanternfish, but it probably didn’t amount to 300 words. I also made some adjustments to an earlier part of the story. Nothing too Earth shattering.

Mostly, there were some decent movies on television. A couple of old James Garner comedies were on, back-to-back. I keep thinking I create wild characters, but I have a long way to go. Watching Harry Morgan and Dub Taylor yell at each other was hilarious. I’m calling it a study session.

Old What’s Her Face had to get her Toyota serviced, and I just kept watching movies. She was nice, and brought home an empanada and an apple fritter for me.

I also watched game 7 of the 2001 World Series. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It might be the only baseball I get this year.

In a few minutes The Invisible Man is coming on Pay-Per-View. I’m going to rent it and see what it looks like. Haven’t heard a thing about it, but the trailers look pretty good.

Hope all of you are staying safe, and enjoying the weekend.

37 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Trickling down…

My daughter left for Sun Valley yesterday. All the others decided to go to town. I get it, Elko is a small town and Boise has a bigger selection of things. I helped my daughter load up, then she decided to stay and chat a while.

While loading, we decided to run my trap line. I finally caught up with the little bastard that’s invaded my home.

Gotcha

We’ve lived here for 20 years and never had a mouse. My wife decided to pick up some newfangled Bloomingdales traps. I must have caught thousands of them with the old fashioned Victor Mouse Traps. These new ones went off multiple times, without catching the little bugger. I don’t think it would have taken this long with better equipment.

I kind of thought I’d sneak some reading or writing time in, but my daughter stayed two hours. I really don’t mind. One-on-one with my daughter for a couple hours was kind of a treat.

The in-laws left about two hours ago, with their two small dogs. We had a good visit, and even tried a new restaurant last night. It made for a wonderful evening.

Funny how people with a refrigerator overflowing with leftovers will go to a restaurant. We wouldn’t have, but it was a family visit kind of thing. We likely don’t have to do any shopping this week.

Opie, the dog, is the only one left. My son and his family got home about 2:00 AM. They said they’d come get him first thing this morning. It’s 11:30 already, so they kind of missed that appointment.

I don’t mind. Opie is a good boy and my dogs had a lot of fun with him.

I paid the bills this morning, and it’s about time to dig in for the remainder of the weekend.

I started reading a novel yesterday. My visit limited me to one chapter, but I started it. I may work on that sometime this afternoon.

If you had a holiday, I hope you had a wonderful one. If not, I hope you had a great weekend.

33 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A whole bunch of stuff

The weekend is upon me and I need to figure out what to do with it. This is my two day weekend, so I’m not planning any new fiction, not a single word.

I scrambled to come up with my next Story Empire post, and already have it scheduled for Monday. Then I found out I’m not only up Monday, I’m up Friday, too. This means I have to write and schedule one more. I ought to be able to handle this easily enough.

I also need to schedule a couple of promotional posts to go with my weekly theme. These are kind of fun, because I get to sift through a lot of fun music videos.

While I’m on the topic of blogging, I’ve seen something interesting in my stats again. I’m getting a bunch of weird searches leading to my blog. Sexually weird searches. I really have no idea why Google, or Bing, or whatever leads them here, but I have a message for them. “Hey you perverts! While you’re here…

Lisa Burton

Seriously, dudes, Lisa is about the most exciting thing you’re going to find here, so this image is for you. I suggest reading Yak Guy, it might actually help you with your lives.

Aside from blogging, I need to save a couple of files on the Mac. These are completely formatted manuscripts, and I can’t put them in a folder on this iPad. I usually save them to the Mac’s home screen so they’re easy to publish or email out. I plan on signing up for NetGalley again, and they’re just easier to send out that way.

I also need to contact the promoter I’ve used in the past. Like all things in the book world, they have a schedule, so if I want promo in October I need to contact them before October.

There is a folder in my email right now about a promo I’ve already signed up for. My goal is to fill out the form to the best of my ability, then send it back. I’ll have to send the purchase link after I actually have one. Fortunately, I’m on good terms with this host, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

If there is any time left, I’ll sort thought my victim volunteer list and figure out how many promotional blog posts I can write ahead of time.

Aside from that, I have one more critique of HMS Lanternfish to address. It isn’t super important, but if the hours are available I’ll deal with it. That ought to make a full weekend.

Next weekend isn’t looking super productive either, even though I get three days. It’s fair time, and we always go to the fair at least once. Sometimes author projects take a back seat. The thing is, that I don’t feel bad about it this time. I’ve been super productive this year and some family time has been well earned.

Wishing all of you a great weekend.

45 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Writing

Checking in today

Hi, Gang! The tour is going well. We’ve had some fun conversations along the way, and there are a few posts yet to come. I hope you don’t mind the reblogs. Entertaining Stories isn’t just about this blog, it’s also about publishing Entertaining Stories a couple of times per year. Publishing leads to promotion, even if that isn’t my favorite thing. If nothing else, every tour stop is unique, so it’s not a total waste of bandwidth.

The book is doing okay. Results could always be better, even when things are great. Early reviews aren’t just good, they’re downright encouraging. This will certainly help with sales. My sales usually involve a spike up front, then the slow-burn starts. This is because my regulars pick it up right away. (So grateful for my regulars.) The tour goes to sites my regulars host, but it allows me to reach their regulars, who sometimes are new to my work. That early spike got me as high as 108 in one of the fantasy categories on Amazon. It’s since dropped down, but it’s still encouraging. (Fantasy categories are a tough nut.)

One of my goals is to continually improve, and I think Lanternfish shows bits of improvement over my previous works. Reviewers will give me some hints to this.

My 2019 goal was to explore the idea of additional works in an already existing environment. I’m currently writing two different stories with that in mind. Eventually, I’ll have to park one of them and focus on the other, but I will finish both. One of these is a prequel for one of the supporting characters from Lanternfish. It seems to be taking on a different tone, and that’s because much of the “comedy relief” didn’t exist at the time of this tale. I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming out so far, even if it is more serious.

About that comedy relief, the root monsters are pretty popular. In fact, they won’t leave me alone. I formulated two new scenes for them during my commutes this week. This is how many of my stories take shape. In fact there are quite a few other scenes involving my pirate crew. There is a good chance of a sequel for Lanternfish too. I may start a storyboard this weekend.

I sent out samples of these new stories for critique, and am getting the results back. My main focus is going to be making improvements to what I’ve already written. I don’t have new fiction on my list at all. The next goal is reading. I’m jazzed to dive into End of Day, by Mae Clair. I don’t usually read sequels any more than I write them, but dang that first book was good.

Finally, I need to check the Story Empire schedule and figure out when I’m up next. I don’t want to drop the ball over there.

Doesn’t seem like much of a list for a holiday weekend. My time isn’t completely my own though. Old What’s Her Face is off too. Between the spaces, I’ll obsessively check blog comments along the tour stops. You guys know how much I like comments.

What do you have planned for your weekend? Do you make a task list, or take it as it comes?

35 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Just work

I’m a fairly regular blogger. People come here to learn something interesting, have a laugh, and hang out. There are times when there just isn’t anything all that fun to post about.

Part of being a writer involves a lot of things that aren’t research, or drafting new material. It still has to get done, and that’s what this weekend was all about for me. It isn’t all robot girls and talking yaks around here.

I wrote one more micro-fiction for my Macabre Macaroni event, then assembled and scheduled all five of them. To top it all off, I did an intro post for these stories and scheduled it too. (Six posts.)

I updated this site Friday night, and then there is this post. (Seven posts.)

I also wrote, assembled, and scheduled something for Story Empire on October 1st. (Eight posts.)

I already mentioned scheduling the interview for Thursday, and the idea that Lisa needs guests once more.

On top of that, I managed to write 5000 words of new fiction. I’m a little dubious about this one, because it’s something I’ve never tried before.

It was all work. It wasn’t sexy, but it needed to get done. I’ll probably spend a bit of time looking for some good wallpaper to lead into the next month.

I hope all of you were either productive or had a good time somewhere.

36 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Writing

Kinda late tonight

I’ve been dabbling all night. I scratched out a shtick for Lisa Burton Radio and sent it out. Someone wanted the last July date, and there’s plenty of time to put it together. Still have some August openings if you want one.

On the way home I was accosted by a character. I dwelled on her story, and hacked out a micro piece just now. It needs some work, and kind of wants to be longer than one blog post.

I’m going to make it behave and stash it in my Macabre Macaroni folder. If I get enough of these things, I can do my October thing again this year.

I probably shouldn’t be worrying about anything other than my novel, but getting a draft out at this length doesn’t take too long. I’ve gotten the character out of my head and can start on the novel without her fictional baggage.

I have a few ideas for the next section of Lanternfish, and will probably just start writing and see where it leads me. I’ve produced some good bits this way, and just fleshing out the scenes can get me on the right track.

Old What’s Her Face went to Nevada today. It’s their annual Art in the Park event, and she wanted to go. This gives me one day to work on whatever I want.

Things are looking kind of peachy in my back yard tonight. I may have to taste test this year’s crop to see if they’re ready.

I survived the partial work week, and am looking forward to my one personal day to do whatever I want.

Hope all of you find time for yourselves this weekend too.

20 Comments

Filed under Writing

Scouting ahead

It isn’t quite the weekend yet, but I have Friday off this week. It’s getting close.

Old What’s Her Face decided to go to Nevada to visit her brother this weekend. Darn it! What will I do left to my own devices?

There is writing time in my future.

I need to get through another sea battle, suffer some kind of damage, and discover something unexpected. That sounds easy enough, but it isn’t.

I want to unleash my new character, and have some lines already in mind. The tough part is balancing the new plan, the eventual success, against the losses and the bummer parts of the story.

In other words, the fun has to balance with the reality of being a pirate. It wasn’t an easy life, and I need to reflect a bit of that.

Honestly, free writing usually solves these problems for me. I know my characters and how they will react to certain things. Then it becomes a matter of timing. In other words, it’s all fun until someone needs an eyepatch. You don’t want to discover the disaster until the successes are revealed.

After that, I need to design a whole country, city, and culture. There are things I want to happen there, but don’t know if I can fit them all. It’s probably better to overwrite it and clean it up on the next pass.

If anyone is interested, I pinned some graphics to help me out. Here is the Pinterest Board.

There is a temptation to spend a lot of time in this new country. In reality, they’ll probably need ten days. If I do it right this can eat up some pages without becoming boring.

What I’m not looking forward to is naming things. I hate coming up with names. Those usually aren’t hard to change and at this phase I can come up with something and change it later.

Another struggle point is how to leave town. They can accomplish their mission covertly and sneak away, or they can screw it up and shoot their way out of the harbor.

There is a lot to be said for the latter part, but it might eliminate an option from the denouement part of the story. Maybe I can make it a really big country, leaving them an option for a happy ever after in an alternate part of the country.

Am I blowing it by talking about this stuff? Does anyone feel like I spoiled a fantasy pirate adventure by mentioning they will get a happy ever after? I kind of doubt anyone wants to read an adventure story where everyone dies and cries.

Kind of excited about this weekend. It can’t get here soon enough for me.

37 Comments

Filed under Writing

Planning the weekend

Today marks the end of the longest two weeks we have at my paycheck job each year. In the last two weeks, I’ve had to put on a tie three times, make two presentations to groups, and several small ones to a political body. Prior to that it was all research, scripting, and Powerpoint stuff to get ready. But it all ends today! (Of course, I’m behind now at other work projects.)

On Tuesday morning, I received the upload copy of The Yak Guy Project from my formatter. Do you have any idea how hard it is to park on that for days that never end? Well, it’s hard for me.

Saturday is another matter. I can do my early chores, and start hammering it through Amazon. I have contacted the usual suspects and they agreed to help me with one of my home-made blog tours. There are a pile of pre-written posts in an attempt to keep them all unique. I also have some Lisa Burton art I’ve been parked on for nearly a year. I tried to contact folks in a small batch. This way, I can send them stuff and see what’s left. Then I can start a second wave and not lose track of who got what post. I used to do this all at once, and wound of losing track of things. Two waves should work… in theory.

Warning: There will be reblogs at Entertaining Stories. When people help me, it’s the least I can do to try driving them some traffic too.

I’ll send everything to my hosts after Amazon gives me the green light. After that, I need to update my sidebar to reflect the new title, deal with Goodreads, and all the peripheral stuff.

I already took the time to give the place a facelift. We have some nice fruit trees in bloom to replace the mud of Spring. Lisa’s ice sculpture of The Hat finally melted in the banner, but the yak is sticking around.

This is always an exciting time, but it kind of stresses me out. In some ways uploading to Amazon feels like putting my manuscript through a shredder. I had one bad experience many years ago and it’s stuck with me.

I can’t wait to get through this day, but the weekend will all happen in due time. I just have to remember this calming lesson:

18 Comments

Filed under Writing