Tag Archives: work

Home cookin, and my own bed

My work trip is over. I’m really looking forward to some home cooking and sleeping in my own bed.

The work part was productive, even if it was a bit of hard work. McCall is a pretty nice place, and it isn’t too far from Boise. It’s a resortish area. It isn’t quite like Sun Valley, or Jackson Hole, but it’s getting there.

This is an iPhone shot out the window of the restaurant we ate at last night to give you an idea.

Speaking of the restaurant, how could I pass this up…honestly?

As the author of The Yak Guy Project, I felt obligated to try them. They were good, but very lean. Reminded me a bit of range beef, if anyone knows what I’m talking about. This is beef that never went to a feedlot to get fattened up before going to the slaughter house. Growing up out West, range beef is kind of a staple. You can always buy directly from the rancher, say a 1/2 beef at a time.

Home cooking amounted to a scrambled egg sandwich. Meh, can’t have everything. Old What’s Her Face didn’t know when I was coming home, and I respect not wanting to prepare something fancy if I wouldn’t be home in time. I honestly didn’t know when I would get home. I was at the mercy of the group.

I’m off for the next three days, and hope to accomplish a couple of things. I need to work on some interviews, and I’d like to move my pirate story along too. I’ll have prime writing time, because my daughter is already in Sun Valley, and my wife has to work.

I already know I’m going to have to force things on the pirate story. In real world time, they are holed up doing repairs that will take a long time. In story time, I’m going to have it take a month, but that’s speeding things up. My mission is to deliver the concept of time to my readers, and divert their attention with a side trip for two characters. This is because I want to expand them a bit, make what is really going on be a surprise when it’s revealed, and maybe even dabble in a tiny bit of romance on a tropical island.

I can keep some tension by having the best friend complain that the main mission seems to be getting lost. Spread a bit of dissent, that kind of thing.

Piece of cake, right?

I probably missed some things while I was gone. I’ll browse pretty fast in an attempt to catch up, but I’m almost certain to not read every bit of what I’m trying to catch up on. Hope you guys understand.

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Miss me?

I’m still at the convention for my paycheck job. These things mean my time belongs to someone else. There has been a steady stream of networking receptions and things I have to attend.

I had some simple goals as far as returning to NOLA is concerned, and I didn’t get to accomplish them.

One of my bosses likes to ask the hotel staff where the best places to eat are. This is not a good plan, and I had some pretty lousy food as a result. My shrimp po-boy sandwich yesterday day was bland and tasteless. We spent last night at yet another reception, and I played by all the rules. When it ended, I tried to talk some people into taking a cab or an Uber to the ACME Oyster House. They were having none of it.

The night before, one of my bosses wanted to walk to Cafe Du Mond for beignets. He doesn’t drink coffee, but I had a cup of chicory with mine. This is one of the things you do in NOLA. It’s kind of a factory environment though, and there are better beignets around.

One of the attendees from Tennessee wanted to see Lafitte’s, so we walked up there. This put us quite a ways from our hotel. The bar itself is nothing special, but it’s also one of the things you do here.

Another one of my bosses saw us along Bourbon Street and dragged us into a piano bar. It was okay, but I was starting to fade. Standing room only isn’t my thing anymore either.

Tonight was another reception at the Presb├Ętere. This is a museum dedicated to the hurricane. It was really interesting… for about ten minutes. They served drinks, but their idea of bourbon is Jack Daniels. I had one to be polite before leaving.

On trips like this, you usually get one night, or maybe an afternoon to check things out. This was my night. Old What’s Her Face and I came here last year, just for fun. This means I know my way around.

I never got to ACME, but we were impressed by the Royal House, so I stopped in there. They also have chargrilled oysters, so I took my chance.

They really aren’t as good as ACME, but that doesn’t mean they were bad. I had a full order, so they came out on two plates. Apparently, they didn’t invest in plates like the other places. The waitress suggested a dark and stormy hurricane to wash them down with, so I had one of those too.

Once again, I wound up a long damned way from my hotel. I mention this, because I didn’t sleep the first two nights here. I had horrible Charlie horses all night. I expect to have them again tonight, but hey… chargrilled oysters.

Royal street heads back toward my hotel, so that was my route. Old What’s Her Face and I stopped into the Cafe Beignet last year, and their product is better than Cafe Du Monde. I stopped off for dessert and another cup of chicory. It was wonderful.

I love looking in the shops in this part of town. I spotted an antique writing desk that was beautiful. I’d kind of like to have it, but we’re pretty broke right now, and I don’t have anywhere to put it. It was pretty though.

I also spotted a place with a live band. One of the musicians was playing an upright bass. They stopped me at the door, because it was a private event. I’d like to have watched him play for a while, because of Lizzie and The Hat.

Can’t have everything, I suppose.

I am well fed, refreshed by alcohol, and back at the hotel. It’s fairly early, but I’m not as young as I used to be. I’ll finish this post, chug a bunch of water to scare off Charlie and his horses, and call it a night.

I missed some things online, and that’s how it’s going to stay. I’ll pick it back up Sunday, but if I missed something you’d like tweeted out or shared say so and I’ll see what I can do.

Half a day of seminars tomorrow then I head back to Boise.

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It’s a conundrum, or two

I’m back in my room now. There was another junior thunderstorm, but it was right overhead. Some of you asked for photos, and I couldn’t get them. It shook the windows, but didn’t have the staying power of yesterday’s storm.

I also bought some ski-lodge quality slippers for my wife and daughter. Today is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday, and we exchanged texts and spoke on the phone. Seems to happen every year that work sends me out of town on her birthday. She already bought her own present, and the slippers are just for fun.

I had to attend a midday event, and wound up with some time to myself this afternoon. I have to go to a banquet this evening, but a couple of hours in between were well spent time.

The Hat is a finished draft. It came in at 25,500 words. My intent was to publish it as a novella, but my personal idea of a novella is 30K. Word count numbers seem to be pretty fluid. Am I worrying about something that doesn’t really matter?

There is a lot going on in this story. I demonstrated Lizzie’s symbiosis with the hat by having them play the upright bass together. He has all of the skills, but none of the arms and fingers. This is how they fight evil, by working together.

I’m a bit worried about the denouement part of the book. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, and currently, I’ve done it using my bass clef section breaks. I have the aftermath of the big fight, the replacement (and upgrading) of musical instruments, the demonstration that complex characters will go forward together. That last part means as musicians and as fighters of evil.

I don’t like long denouements. I once beta read for an author who spent a quarter of the book defining a happy-ever-after for her characters. This included naming grandchildren that hadn’t been born to children that hadn’t been conceived in the main story.

I know I’m not that bad, but I still worry. If I eliminate some things that are dear to me, I could probably turn this into a dynamite short story. I want a novella and those parts are important to me.

If I turn each necessary bit of closure into an entire chapter, that will help with word count, but it will also push me toward the long denouement I’m trying to avoid.

Any suggestions?

I’m fairly sure either my critique group, or a couple of decent beta readers can help me out, but I’m not ready for betas yet. I have several passes to make before I can share it with betas.

Okay, I know someone is going to ask. Here are the slippers. I think those dingle balls are going to be Frankie bait though. They should be cozy on our new floor.

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Been super busy

As a matter of fact, I could be mental. If not, I feel close and it woldn't take much to get me there. My paycheck job has kept me super busy. It's three weeks of craziness that seems to happen every year. It won't end until after next week.

I worked my personal slate clean ahead of time. I even burned some vacation time to get it all done. Now my personal life is falling behind again. That means blogging, reading, writing, and all the peripheral activities that go with it.

My blog stats are down, Lisa's Facebook site is stagnant, and my FB page isn't much better.

I have half of a Lisa Burton Radio post finished, but there is more to do. I have about a quarter of another one. I just need to find time to work on them. This will have to be a priority over the weekend. If you've been cursing me in private, I will get the projects up to date this weekend.

There is a cool Lisa interview scheduled tomorrow, so that will help me out a bit. Gotta love the scheduler option in WordPress. If I get everything done, I'll be two weeks ahead. That means Lisa needs more guests if you're of a mind.

One awesome beta reader turned The Enhanced League project around in about six hours. She made some outstanding comments and suggestions. I feel like a slacker right now. I want to dive right into the modifications, but it makes more sense to get a few more reports before I work through it all. It's a good enough reason to put it off for a while.

I still need to update my banner image, but at least I got the wallpaper changed. I really need to get back on social media too. My footprint doesn't amount to much over the last two weeks. I'm sure this can change, but I need to address it.

Everything will get done, I'm certain of it. I just have to make time for everything life throws at me for a few weeks. I kind of know how a ping pong ball feels right now. In my personal life, I like to work on projects in some kind of order. Lately everything is shuffled together, but I think progress is happening.

On the good side, early reports for The Enhanced League are positive. Actually, they're awesome. Lisa's show is scheduled for tomorrow, and the subsequent interviews are partially done. The Lisa promotional posters for Enhanced League are looking awesome too.

Harmony Kent has an awesome tool for us over at Story Empire today. This post kicked my Muse in the pants, and I got a cool new idea. I even wrote it down so I don't forget. (Bonus!) I was also invited to contribute to another anthology dedicated to time travel. I've never written a time travel story before, and I already have a cool creepy new idea for it. It just needs some serious daydreaming time before I start writing it.

This weekend I'll work on the Lisa interviews, maybe apply a bit of triage to my social media accounts, get that banner updated, schedule my next Story Empire post, and write a new one for Chris Graham. If I accomplish any more than that, it will be gravy.

It sounds like a plan. If I'm lucky, it will carry me through the 12th. On the 13th we get to pick up Frankie and bring her to her forever home. I'm pretty excited about that part.

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A real quick update

I'm alive and well and in Kentucky. Yesterday was a travel day, and it was kind of tiring. The sweatshirt that felt so good in Boise was stiflingly hot by the lime we landed in Louisville.

Spotted some beautiful architecture on my cab ride here, but that's about all I'll get to see of it. Every other billboard is about bourbon, those that aren't are about the Kentucky Derby or involve Colonel Sanders.

Sampled a bit of the bourbon last night, and tried chicken and waffles. Enjoyed the bourbon, but don't really see the appeal of chicken and waffles. It was a great piece of chicken. It was a great waffle. Together just didn't make any sense to me.

Here's the view out my hotel window:

Not much to see, really. (Yay, rooftop!) It's a nice day here though. I got to go to Indiana last night. The cops had the street closed to go downtown, so we had to cross the bridge and come back on a different bridge. Technically, add in another state I've never been to – for about 30 seconds.

It's a work trip, so I really never expect to see very much. I'll be in sessions pretty much the entire time I'm here.

While I'm here, I might not be a very good blog friend. I won't have nearly as much time to read blogs. If I missed something important give me a kick in the rump and I'll try to get there.

Doing what I can under the circumstances.

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Projects and family

I managed to assemble a future Lisa Burton Radio interview early this morning, but that was about it. I don't actually have a lot of projects looming right now, so I feel pretty good about this. I hit it hard during my time off and cleared some space.

Our daughter was here, and we all had a nice visit this morning. She and my wife went to the mall, but I still didn't get a lot done. Otto was pretty lively, and I admit to spending a good chunk of time playing with him. About all I managed to do was add one line to my list of short stories. It isn't a bad idea and might make a decent Macabre Macaroni someday.

My main goal now is to finish the first draft of The Yak Guy Project. After that comes several rounds of edits on The Enhanced League. Right now it's looking like Monday is my best opportunity. I have the post over at Story Empire that day, so I'll have to monitor comments more closely. At least I hope there are comments to monitor. It's an opinion piece about “write what you know,” and I'm trying to be opinionated this time.

We had date night at Red Lobster, and got our cheddar biscuit fix. It was a nice date, but we're back home now. Nothing too spectacular, just a few hours together.

Party day was a big success once more. It started off a little slow but that was my fault. Club rules are to send in a link before it goes live so they can include it on the tour page – piece of cake. They also want the post to go live around midnight Central Daylight time. I always schedule for midnightish, so that's what I did. Then I rolled back the time by a couple of hours to make sure it was live when the club expected it to be.

Yeah, when you roll back prior to midnight it doesn't change the date. This means I had it scheduled about 23 hours later than it was supposed to be.

I got it fixed about 4:30AM and sent an emergency email to the club. They fixed me up, but it took several hours. I know I missed some of the early traffic, but it was completely my fault. What a rookie.

There was still a lot of sharing, and some great comments. I gained blog followers too. Every little bit helps. The club will tell me who won the mugs, and I hope to get them sent out PDQ.

There may be a week long delay in shipping. My paycheck job is sending me to Louisville on Tuesday for a convention. I'm excited to go somewhere new, even though I'll be working most of the time. Maybe I'll see something interesting to share with you while I'm on the road. Is there anything I can't miss while I'm there?

I keep thinking about how one week later might have been more interesting, and caused me to stay a few extra days at my own expense. I've always wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby, and I'll miss it by one week. I have a hunch some bourbon will get sampled as a consolation prize.

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Back to work tomorrow

Okay, so I admit to being responsible for my own attitude. Last week was shitty, and I can either walk in with a bad attitude, or find a way to get over it. It won't be easy, but I hope I'm capable of getting on with things.

I finished all my promotional posts, but they need a little time to ferment before I send them out. They're all pretty minimal right now and maybe a little more will occur to me. I also finished up this week's Lisa Burton Radio and got it scheduled.

Then a friend suggested a guest post, and I roughed something out but it's still in the works. I also managed reading a half dozen chapters of a new book.

Beyond that, I did my errands and spent a few hours running around town. I'm calling it a good day, even though there was no new fiction involved.

Ennis Fine Furniture is having a warehouse auction that I'd really like to attend. It's on a week night after work, and doesn't fit into either of our schedules. This is mostly about commuting, but we're going to have to give it a pass. My wife has never been to an auction, and it might be interesting. (Twenty miles home, twenty miles back, twenty miles home again. Her alarm goes off at 2:30, mine at 4:00, and we just started Daylight Savings Time… no.)

Thursday is critique group, but there are only two of us now. That won't take very long, and it's near the office.

I have company coming next weekend, so I'm in good shape to slack off a little. It's probably good to step back from Yak Guy, even though I can see the finish line. When I can pick it up, I'll be in a good place to work on it.

Hope you guys had a good Monday.

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