Tag Archives: WIP

The economics of fireworks

Now that I think about it, that could be a good book title. It isn’t what I’m up to today.

For years, New Year’s Eve here has been like a war zone. My wife almost always has to work, and the bedroom lights up like we have a photographer in there and the explosions go off until sunrise.

This year, a few anemic pops about nine o’clock and that was it. How could this be? Why? What changed?

We didn’t lose those neighbors. They’re still here.

The fact is that Americans are currently underpaid. Disagree all you like, but I learned my economics during the Reagan administration. I, and most like me, had money to burn and burn it we did. We bought snowmobiles, new shotguns, pickups, etc. (We were western kids.)

This allowed people who operated those business to also thrive. The money moved around. I was there. I saw it in action.

Now here we are at New Years Eve (Last night). Honestly, I don’t miss the fireworks. The dogs don’t either, but it isn’t hard to draw conclusions. People don’t have any money right now. Those who do are hanging on to it. Never know when there will be another toilet paper run. Things like fireworks take a back seat to food and fuel.

That was just my observation from last night. Probably has no real value to anyone. Least of all those who have initiated their own personal space programs.

I called Mom this morning and spent a lovely hour with her. After that I managed to pull Mari’s fat from the fire, but it was touch and go for a while. Not a great volume of words, but I’m now ready to dive head first into the long denouement this story deserves.

I hope you all celebrated in some way, even if it was a bit more demure.


Filed under Uncategorized

Vacation gyrations

I’m enjoying one of my routine staycations this week. I was about to max out on accrued leave, so I decided to treat myself.

I had a list, but I haven’t gotten real far on it. The first point was a big one though.

1. Finish my WIP.
2. Work on a project for a friend.
3. Return to Midnight Rambler for a complete read-through.
4. Consider a cover and Lisa Burton posters for Midnight Rambler.

I haven’t really gotten that far, but I’ve been consciously trying to goof off a bit, too. Here it is Thursday, and I finished my manuscript.

Percy the Space Chimp has his first book finished. I want this to become a trilogy, so we’ll see what the Muse brings me here. I still don’t have a title for the damned thing, but once the trilogy is finished it might come to me.

I know it’s Thursday already, but I’m trying not to take on so much my staycation becomes stressful. I’m bound to get at least one more thing accomplished before I have to return to work.

Somewhere soon, I need to decide what to write next. My heart lies with the Hat Series, but I already have one I could publish. Maybe I’ll see if I can dream up some more post apocalyptic elements for my revenge in the swamp story. I might even write that at the same time as the next Hat story.

I always liked writing two at the same time, and I think the world is ready for another stand-alone title from me.

Hope you’re all having good weeks out there.


Filed under Writing

Welp… Sunday.

I worked on writing projects this weekend. I could have been more productive, but could have gone the other way too.

Part of the mix, as always, is to keep Lisa Burton Radio moving along. At this stage of the game, I have worked ahead, so I stole some time for writing.

I didn’t accomplish much, but I never intended to. I needed to familiarize myself with the manuscript, because I stepped away from it for so long. This involved some light duty reading, and a few corrections along the way.

Writing never started until about 10:00 Saturday, and it came to about a chapter. We learned that bored pirates will do nearly anything for rum. We also spotted a distant ship on the horizon, and started giving chase. My intention is to give the idea that it takes time to pursue a distant ship in the age of sail. This isn’t to mean things are boring now. I’m using this phase to illustrate a battle plan and make ready. This will be a one shot thing, but I think it’s important to include.

Next stretch will involve a sea battle, some monsters, more monsters, some magic and mayhem.

After that, I assembled and scheduled interviews into early July. I have a hard time not forging ahead on these things. Right now, there are two more I need to work up shticks for. I know what it’s like being an author and trying to promote my work. However, what am I supposed to do when I get fifty applicants at once? These post once per week, and there are fifty-two weeks in a year. Not everyone will come through, so that won’t be the case, but it illustrates my position.

So, should I bust my hump and get those two shticks written and sent to the authors? Absolutely. But with being scheduled into July, I have to take the hours I can get for my own writing. I suffer with this all the time, and I realize there is no right answer.

I hope my guests will forgive me, but everything will be finished in time for the remaining July dates.

I also wrote my next post for Story Empire and got it scheduled. Then I roughed out one after that. I may not use that one, but I actually have an alternate idea too. I may pick away at that during the evenings, and decide when my next turn comes around.

Oh, I also assembled and scheduled a post I’m hosting for some friends. They sent an html file, so it amounted to a couple of clicks, but it’s ready too.

In personal news, we didn’t do a damned thing beyond hanging out. No date night, nothing. I managed to watch a couple of baseball games and even drank one beer.

I consider it a productive weekend, even if it wasn’t massively productive. I hope all of you enjoyed your weekends too. My next flex day is Friday, and I hope to deal with those monsters, cannons, and magic.


Filed under Writing

The Work in Progress Blog Hop

I made this blog an award free zone a long time ago. I find it takes a lot of time to research other bloggers, and my time is kind of precious. Having said that, I love participating in blog hops. My friend Sue Nichols invited me to participate in this one. It involves talking about my work in progress, adding a few snippets, and ratting out some more of my friends. Fun fun!

Sue’s post was about a follow up to her hit, Red Clay & Roses. You can read it here. She’s got a pretty fun blog too, and I encourage you guys to follow her.

My current project is called The Playground. It involves a new social network aimed at children. The gadgetry is inside a variety of dolls that include fashion dolls, soldiers, plush toys etc. The kids can make friends all over the world, and even do homework together from different continents. Sounds lovely, right.

The creator of the network is corrupted by his own greed and lust for power. He decides he can turn the children into his own personal army, no invasion necessary – they’re already in our homes. His foibles attract a supernatural influence and it gets even worse.

Regular readers know I try to include a personal challenge in each story. This one involves what I call a Pulp Fiction method of telling the story. There are three seperate stories used to tell the overarching tale. The players are one victim, one anti-hero, and a heroine.

The playbook said to discuss my first three chapters and then include a snippet. I’m going to break the rules, and go with the first chunk of each character. (Do I ever completely follow the rules?”)

 The first section is all about the villain. We meet Tommy, but he won’t show up again until the end. This gives readers a foot into what’s happening:

Tommy Fazio lit the black candles in his seventeenth floor office and pulled on some surgical gloves. The faint light revealed a bank of computer systems with cables leading to an autopsy table. The smell of burning tallow mingled with that of bleach.

He pulled on a white lab coat and walked up to the girl on the table. She was six or seven years old, it didn’t matter. Cables ran into every opening in her body, with a large one stitched inside her abdomen. Bloody slobber hung out her mouth and dripped into a plastic bucket. He wiggled the cable between her legs and she coughed.

“This one’s about finished,” Tommy said.

Nice guy, right… The next section is about Chloe. She represents the victims here:
Chloe twirled in front of the mirrored closet door and watched her dress spin. When she stopped, her hair spun over her shoulder and she smiled. She pulled on her jacket and stepped inside her yellow galoshes. Her mother adjusted the coat on her shoulders and opened the front door.
“We need to hurry, the mall’s crazy this time of year,” Mother said.
Looks like Chole and her mother are going shopping. I wonder what they’ll bring home.
Clovis is the anti-hero here. He’s fast approaching the end of a long and brutal career. In this intro he’s doing a little work for a loan shark:
The tweaker rushed around the corner behind the bushes, tried to slam the gate shut, and yelled “Get him. Get him!”
Clovis rounded the same corner into the front yard, dropped his small duffel bag in the snow, and crouched for battle. A gangly mixture of bullmastiff and pit bull barked and wagged his tail. Druggie dog, but you’re no threat today. Maybe next year.
The front door slammed and the bolt clicked. Clovis kicked the door open and followed the tweaker inside. He grabbed the man by his collar, just as the tweaker picked up a kitchen knife. The tweaker spun and thrust the knife at Clovis’ face.
Clovis twisted and let the knife go past, grabbed the man’s upper arm and slammed the back of his head into the kitchen counter. The tweaker fell in an unconscious lump.
Gina is the heroine here. The section with Clovis got pretty exciting, so I took my time with her. She’s an oncologist who survived her own battle with cancer. She’s having a crisis of faith, and working in end of life care at this time:
Gina Greybill lifted the stethoscope from the old woman’s chest and pulled out her earpieces. She pulled down the poor old thing’s eyelids and covered her face with the sheet.
“Oh, Miriam, rest in peace. We don’t all get to go in our sleep. Shame your family never came by this week.” The old woman’s room held furnishings from a bygone era, filled with her personal history. A wooden vanity with a tri-level stone top and a large oval mirror stood against the back wall. Hand laced doilies covered the upper wings and Miriam’s favorite cup sat upside down on its saucer waiting for morning tea.
Will Tommy succeed in his nefarious plan? Will Chloe get the Christmas present of her dreams? Will Clovis find a retirement plan that works for his active lifestyle? Can Gina get out of her funk long enough to actually make a difference? Can Craig pull these loose story threads together and make a coherent novel? Tune in about six months from now and we’ll all find out together.
This is all draft material, and is subject to change. My critique group hasn’t even seen it yet. Now is the part where I get to rat out my friends. I always seem to pick on the same ones, so I’m changing it up.
Sue Coletta writes crime fiction, and has one of the most interesting blogs going. She also keeps a resource page that is a wealth of information. Come for the resources, stay because she’s awesome. Her blog is called, Inside the Mind of a Crime Writer. Please visit her, because I skipped out on a blog award recently, and this blog tour is my way of directing her some well deserved traffic.
My other victim friend is Mae Clair. She calls her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair. She’s into cryptids and paranormal stuff with the occasional romantic bent. She volunteered to be on my street team for the release of Will O’ the Wisp, and I’d love to direct some traffic her way. I really want to see a snippet of her Mothman project.
The rules are to tell us what what you’re working on, show us a few paragraphs, and tell us where it’s headed. Pick a couple of friends, ping backwards and forwards; you’re golden.


Filed under Writing