Tag Archives: writing

The Beat Goes On

Last night was no better than the one before. I tried to roll over in bed and couldn’t move. Everything sent pain shooting through my back and legs. It hurt either way, but less so to just get up.

At about 2:00 AM, I used the walls to wobble into the bathroom. I spent the next half hour trying to pull on some lounge pants and slippers. This led the dogs to think it was breakfast time, so I fed them. Then I tried to sleep in a chair.

It feels better to sleep in a chair, but I tend to slouch after I fall asleep. This leads to waking up whenever I move. Right now, I’m kind of lacking for quality sleep.

Eventually, I woke up with Frankie on my footstool licking me. I must have slept somehow for her to get up there without waking me up.

Yesterday, my wife massaged it briefly, and that helped enough to take a bath. We repeated that event today, and it helps temporarily.

She also went to the store and picked some things up. I have a large medicated bandage she stuck over it. It doesn’t stick well, and feels kind of wet. It seems to be helping a bit. The hot pad helped, but the box says not to use one if using the bandage thingie.

She also bought me some Aleve. I haven’t tried that yet, but my favorite aspirin hasn’t done a damned thing.

Today, I worked on more Lisa Burton Radio stuff, and added 500 words to a new project. That’s a lousy word count, but I’ll take it considering the circumstances. I also worked on a blog post I need to send to a friend. Tomorrow is looking like more of the same. I’ll schedule one interview, write the shtick for another one and send it out. If I still feel like it, I’ll open my manuscript once more. If I finish that guest post, I’ll send it out too.

I complain about lack of quality writing time, but this isn’t quality time. I need to be at the paycheck job, but I can’t get in my truck.

Tonight, I’m going to start out in the chair. I have one of those old toilet seat pillows for use on airplanes. At least my head won’t flop around.

It’s a writing blog folks. You get it all, warts included. Hopefully this will pass soon, and we can get back to something a little more fun.

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“Digging in” for a new project

Company left early this morning. I had a quiet cup of coffee with no distractions. I didn’t even check email or anything else, just soaked up the calm. Sunrise here was beautiful, and I snapped a photo. It might not be creative, but would make a nice background for December. Then I opened my iPad and hacked out another one of the interviews and sent it out.

I arrived at the writing cabin in the late morning. Lisa wore one of her traditional pinup style outfits. She followed me into my office.

“Are you ready for this?” I asked.

“Not really, I mean, yes. Everything is physically ready, I just think it’s a bad idea.”

“It’ll be fun. We sequester ourselves inside the bunker for three months, just like the characters in Estivation will. That will really help me get the setting right, and the mood it has on them.” I headed out to the circular door atop the culvert in the front yard.

Lisa went first. “I’ll give you the tour.” At the bottom of the ladder, she threw a switch for the power. A tube of concrete and corrugated metal sprung to life around her. She led me into a concrete pod that served as living room, kitchen, and general gathering place. Different culverts led off the great room and served as bedrooms, a walk-in freezer, bath, and pantry.

“You did a great job on this. After the weekend I’ve had, some peace and quiet is just what I need. Is Bunny already down here?”

“Not yet. I mean, what are you going to do with the raven, Doubt?”

“Maybe I can open the window and give him free rein.”

“I hate to tell you this, but Idaho winters can be brutal. Leaving a window open for three months will be a disaster for your cabin.”

“Oh, come on. Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“There is adventure, and then there’s common sense. I have things to do. I still have to work with Sean Harrington to make posters for The Hat. You want to get that published don’t you?”

“Sure, but this place has great wifi. Maybe you can use a video connection to work with him.”

Lisa Burton

“Look, I’m not staying in a smelly culvert for three months, just to hustle you coffee. I’m not missing Christmas either. The confinement will drive you crazy, and I don’t want to deal with that.”

“It won’t drive me crazy. I thrive on peace and quiet.”

“It will in three months. Check your outline and what you intend for that nice young couple. You can come down here and write all you want, but you need to air out once in a while.”

“It won’t turn out quite the same, you know.”

“If you lock yourself down here, it won’t turn out at all. You’ll be chewing on your iPad and drooling in two weeks.” She opened the refrigerator. “I bought a growler of the last pumpkin beer. Write for a couple of hours, then I’ll bring down the enchanted beer horns. You’ll get plenty of stress and strain from this industrial style furniture. I know you hate it.”

“I really do hate it, but pumpkin beer sounds good.” I opened my iPad and sat in my bent-pipe style desk chair. “Seal the door behind you. Wouldn’t want any snow to get in.”

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Ahh, the holidays

I’m the poster boy for introverts. I swear these holidays are going to kill me.

Company arrived on Wednesday. They’re still here, and they brought their dogs.

Thanksgiving day we had twelve of us, and my son’s family also brought their dog. I mention this, because we just put in a new hard-surface floor. Doggie feet are loud on it. My dogs tend to take the occasional nap… but not when there are other dogs around.

There are three doors to get outside my house, and on Thanksgiving day they were all in use. (Think grandchildren here.) My son deep fried our turkey outside, and the kids were in and out in some kind of revolving door situation. I didn’t want my dogs out front, because they aren’t familiar with cars and streets. This meant a constant checking every time the doors opened. Add in the fact that (doing higher math, bear with me) ninety doggie toenails clicked across the floor every time someone touched a doorknob.

My brother in law likes to rough house with the bulldogs. In his defense, he doesn’t have large dogs at home so it’s kind of unique. Roughhousing at six AM is not quite what I want when I wake up.

Working at a small government office yesterday was kind of a godsend. It was calm and quiet. I think I had one telephone call all day and managed to get some long suffering paperwork finished.

Last night we all went to dinner together. This included my son’s family too. It was nice, but the Black Friday crowd made for long waits. We even paid valet parking at the shopping center because it was that busy. Five bucks was much nicer than forty minutes of cruising followed by a half-mile walk.

Today, the in-laws and my wife went shopping. I’m here with the four dogs and my other son. He’s upstairs doing his prescription opioid addiction problem right now. He’s snapping his fingers and slapping his chest all while swearing and hollering in an argument with someone who isn’t actually there. Before you ask, he doesn’t have an internet capable device, so he isn’t playing a game online.

It’s still noisy here.

I managed to prepare and send out one shtick for Lisa Burton Radio. I want to do a couple of others, but we’ll see how I hold up. These things don’t write themselves, and I need to keep the line moving. I also assembled and scheduled a guest post I agreed to host.

I finally got five minutes to debate women’s dress sizes with my favorite consultant, my daughter. Then I incorporated some small changes to The Hat. I also heard from my last beta reader for this project, and he seems to have enjoyed the story. He said notes are coming, so I’m watching my mailbox.

On a “just for Craig” basis, I wrote a little new fiction. I don’t even know what to call it, but it’s one of those pages that goes between the copyright page and chapter one. It isn’t really a dedication, so that word doesn’t fit. It’s more of a definition. It’s part of the story and helps folks understand what’s going on.

I also wrote the opening paragraphs and stopped early on purpose. My goal was just to start. This also means I started a separate “cast of characters” sheet which I always make. Starting a couple of paragraphs is always a bigger effort than it sounds.

Here is my thing that comes before the story. I am considering italics and squeezing the margins, just to make it stand out.

Estivation: In times of environmental stress, some species are known to estivate. They slow down their breathing, heart rate, and intake of food and water. Estivation occurs under times of excessive heat; whereas, hibernation occurs under times of extreme cold. The processes are similar, in that resources are limited or non-existent. When the situation improves, these creatures leave estivation and go about their normal lives.

So what do you call a page like this one? Does it intrigue you to read on? Now all I have to do is write the story. (And survive the holidays… or become a super-villain.)

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A rare Tuesday post

My pals and I at Story Empire have been nominated for an award as a Favorite Writing Blog. If you like our blog, please visit the Positive Writer post and leave our name (Story Empire) and URL (https://storyempire.com) in the comments along with a brief statement of why you like our site. You don’t have to fill out any forms or click on a series of links. There’s no poll or checklist, and you definitely don’t need to subscribe to anything. Voting is as easy as putting our name, address, and a short sentence or two in the comments. (And if you want to ask your friends to do so as well, we’d be doubly grateful.) Voting ends December 1, so the clock is ticking.

This would bring recognition to our efforts, and help us gain a bigger footprint. If we’ve helped you in some way, or even entertained you, we would appreciate you leaving a comment in our favor.

I’m up at Story Empire tomorrow, and the topic is an odd bit of world building for us fictioners. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Filed under Blogging

Chipping Away

Mom and Dad had date night, and we got pumpkin hats.

I chipped away at my task list. I have a couple of Lisa interviews ready to go, but I’m holding off on which one to post. I’m waiting for purchase data for a book. I don’t have to decide until tomorrow, so I’ve gone as far as I can.

I successfully ignored The Hat. Stepping away is always better for the editing process.

All of my critique work is finished. I printed everything today and put them in my truck for our meeting Tuesday. I got down to the last few pieces of paper yesterday, printed the submissions out, and then learned my print heads needed cleaning. I had to throw them away and shop for paper. We swung by Fred Meyer after date night and all is well.

We ran a few errands, and even picked up some dog toys. We’re still picking up things like those undermats that keep the rugs from sliding around. After we finished my son and I logged a few hours of Borderlands. My character got a cool new sniper rifle that lights its victims on fire, and she got a new head too. Seriously, I don’t write this stuff. You get heads and bodies from a vending machine as a kind of upgrade.

In a way, it’s too bad the real world doesn’t work this way. I could insert my credit card and grow a foot taller. Then I wouldn’t be overweight.

When we re-upped with Direct TV, we were given a year of the NFL League Pass for free. We watched the game last week, but this week it’s not on. We probably need to call them, but were denied the ability to watch. My internet indicates the Steelers won, so there’s that. I might get to check out some baseball later today.

I say might, because Old What’s Her Face is binge watching The Outlander. While Outlander is on, I retreated to another room and started reading A Desolate Hour. It seems to take me forever to read a book these days, but I’m committed. Great story so far.

I also wrote a couple of future blog posts. When the Muse visits, it’s best to give in to her. Not kidding here, she gets violent.

I still haven’t gotten back to the edits on Yak Guy. Tomorrow is my best chance, but it’s dependent upon whether my daughter decides to talk my ear off.

So I chipped away at the task list. Some projects are complete, some on hold, and others yet to come. Maybe tomorrow will let me scratch them all off.

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A 3/4 good weekend

Heck, I’ll take it. I made a task list friday night, and worked through 3/4 of it on Saturday. We got in a decent date night too.

After dinner at Old Chicago, my son and I stayed up late playing Borderlands. He also talked me into buying a solo game called Skyrim, and we set that all up. These are probably ancient news to you gamers, but I’ve never owned a game system until this year. They’re all new to me.

Sports wise, Boise State lost in OT, the Diamondbacks lost. Today the Steelers won, and the Diamondbacks also won. Can’t gripe about that result. This time of year is strange for me, because both sports overlap for a month or two. I’m not as big a football fan as I used to be, but I enjoy it. Baseball is my sport of choice. I was able to watch the Steelers game, and one Diamondbacks game. The others were sporadic iPhone score checks.

I got up relatively early this morning, and my parents are still in Alaska. That means no Sunday morning telephone call. I kind of thought I could add new words to my WIP, but that wasn’t to be. My wife got up about twenty minutes after I did, and that doesn’t allow me to write. It’s probably a personality quirk, but I need quiet solitude when I write.

I wound up working ahead a bit on promos and blog projects. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it was productive. I now have some promotional posts for Quantum Wanderlust when it releases. All I need for my posts is a purchase link. Honestly, it feels good to be prepared.

I exchanged some texts with my daughter for something I want to add to The Hat. A dress size can be a reasonable part of description. This is coming late in the story, but I also used it to show a bit of character. Lizzie went up a couple of dress sizes, but only admits to one. Let’s face it, she isn’t seventeen anymore.

I have to make a field trip with my paycheck job this week. I’ll be around, and check in when I can. I’m sure I won’t be scarce, but I may be more sporadic than normal. Hope you all enjoyed your weekends.

In other news, the USA always has one active volcano in Hawaii, today we have a devastating hurricane going on, and Idaho had a small earthquake on the eastern side of the state. Add that to all the ongoing wild fires, and the US is a mess. Honestly, it’s a big country. It’s hot and beautiful in Boise this evening. Keep your eyes open if you’re at the northern edge of the USA, you might see the Northern Lights tonight.

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Procrastinating and falling forward

It wasn't quite the weekend I intended, and then it was. That's kind of cryptic, but here's how it happened.

I needed to keep the Lisa Burton Radio line moving. I'm in the habit of telling folks two weeks out when to expect their radio interview. At one week out, I send a final proof to that week's guest, assemble, and schedule the post. That was my primary goal, because folks are counting on me to get it done. Mission accomplished.

I needed to write my last micro-fiction for October, but put it off all day Saturday. I've learned, when procrastinating on these, that something isn't quite ready yet. That was the case with the last story.

The novella, called The Hat, tried to seduce me all day. I promised myself I wouldn't start it until next weekend, and staved off the craving by writing a blog piece about the Research Sirens. This was only partially fiction. Conversia, one of the sirens, wanted me to interview some folks to get the details right. I have reached out to a medical person and a musical person, and they are willing to help me. In the comments, I also got another offer of musical assistance. It's so cool to know folks who will help out. I'm willing to consult on anything I might know about too if anyone needs it.

I spent a big part of today on email, and Sharknado Five. Yeah- yeah, these films suck, but how bad they suck is part of the appeal.

Old What's Her Face, said she needed a pedicure and asked if I could watch the dogs while she was out.

“Well, of course, Honey. Whatever you want.”

While she was gone, the stars lined up for my last micro-fiction. I wanted some confusion, and I want readers to see it right away in this story. I'm doing it on purpose, and don't want readers to think I'm just an idiot when things happen out of order. Today, I was ready to put it all on paper, and did. This one made me emotional when I wrote it, and I hope that comes across.

These micros will post, one per week, during an October event I call Macabre Macaroni. Tuesday is usually a non-blogging day for me, and works perfectly for this event. This year there are five Tuesdays, so I needed five stories. I have them now.

I've adopted the philosophy that if I'm going to fall – fall forward. That's kind of how it worked, and I'm pretty pleased with my weekend effort.

I have to make a road trip to Moscow, Idaho on Wednesday. I will drive back on Thursday. I'll check in when I can, so make sure to treat Lisa's radio guest well during my drive home. I'll weigh in on the comments as soon as possible.

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