Tag Archives: yak

Acceptable amount of progress

Lisa* and I spent the day with Yak Guy. I have to admit, she spent most of her time with the yak. She has this thing for animals, and this one talks.

Yak Guy isn't quite as spoiled and entitled as he once was, but he has a long way to go. I even got him to the point where he shows a bit of the hero he may become. He revealed a minor bit of heart, but not a great amount.

He's at the point where he can meet a new character in the story. They just have to make a treacherous journey over snowy mountains. He has no coat, poor shoes, and no clue what's going on. His life is in the yak's hands, (hooves). He will grow and learn.

I'm excited and terrified by this story at the same time. I can handle a bit of adventure, and excitement. This is going to include some spiritual growth, and I hope I'm up for it. I may need a real editor by next fall.

I'm alternating between things going too fast, and not fast enough. I'm at 8600 words, and I've already blasted through total commitment, (he had no choice) and taking action where he had to be heroic. On the other hand, there has been a lot of traveling and camping.

This section is all about learning to take care of his basic needs. Imagine a spoiled city kid, who leeches off of his friends, being suddenly thrust into life in the wilderness. He needs to know some things, and I'm trying to show his growth this way. I honestly don't know if people will find it boring, or get the idea that he's growing through small lessons.

Many of the characters will represent major arcana cards in the fool's journey. Obviously, Yak Guy is The Fool. The Yak serves as The Magician. It's the yak's job to teach a work ethic to Yak Guy. I intend to have the yak around throughout the story, but we'll see where it goes.

The next character will be the High Priestess, although it may be a priest when I write it. After those lessons, Yak Guy will be ready to be around people again. I think I'll have him make a major decision at that point to signal the end of Act One. I'll check the word count at that point, and get an idea how long this story will turn out.

We'll see how it goes, but I'm writing it. I haven't left the outline behind yet, it's just a long way between the mile markers.

Lisa saddled up the yak, and led him out the garage doors from the basement. She led him to the front door, and we watched Yak Guy ride off into the snow. I have a fair idea who he is now, and what he's all about.

*Lisa Burton is my robotic assistant. She's also the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories.


Filed under Writing


Rain pelted the windshield on my gyrocopter as I lifted off from home. It became snow before I landed at the writing cabin. I struggled with the stick to keep it on the runway, but eventually got it onto the elevator and into the basement.

Lisa* was down there shoveling out the stables. She had on coveralls, red rubber boots, and a red bandana in her hair. The yak waited patiently outside his stall.

“Shouldn't yak guy be doing that?” I asked.

“Probably, but he's kind of needy,” Lisa said.

“Let me guess, he told you he'd do it later,” the yak said.

“Exactly. He's up there sleeping on your couch. He drank all your beer, and ate all the food I picked up for your lunch.”

I scratched my head. “Maybe I'll write him off a cliff today.”

“Would you?” Lisa said.

“I've already pushed him off a ledge,” the yak said. “It helped, briefly.”

“Some of this is my fault,” I admitted. “It has to do with his character journey. Lazy entitled parasite, becomes functional human.”

“When is he going to be functional?” Lisa asked.

“I can't rush that part. That's why the yak is so engaging. He carries the story for now.”

Lisa hugged the yak. “You're so cute and fluffy. You're smart too.”

“Someone has to be smart in this story,” I added. “Remember, I'm basing it off the fool's journey. I have to start with the fool.”

“Well then, try to write a bunch of it today,” Lisa said. “It would be nice if he could pick up after himself, or even do a dish or two.”

I went upstairs and found yak guy in my office. A dirty plate and cup sat on the coffee table, and he was curled up on my couch with his dirty shoes on.

“Hey, get up. Put your dishes away, and get your shoes off my furniture.”

“I'm sleeping, besides, that's what the maid's for.”

“I don't have a maid.”

“Then who's the babe?”

“She's my assistant, and she's going to kick your ass if you don't take care of some of this.”

“I'll do it later.”

I sat at my desk and turned on my iPad. The new keyboard snapped into place and I started writing. The first thing I did, was write Yak Guy's shoes out of my writing cabin.

He rolled over and tucked his feet against the back of the couch. I wrote his pants and shirt away too.

“What the hell, man?”

“Put your dishes away and clean up after yourself. If you can manage that, you can have your stuff back.”

“That's bullshit. I told you I'd do it later.”

“My next trick is to invite Mr. Freckle over from a book I wrote called Arson. He eats people that move too slow.”

He jumped up, grabbed his plate, and stomped off toward the kitchen. Writing this story could be quite the adventure.

*Lisa Burton is my assistant. She's also a robot, and spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories.

PS: Lots of words today. They aren't exactly good words, but there are a lot of them.


Filed under Muse

Houseflies and Elephants

People seem to be enjoying my new story ideas. This one isn’t a vignette, but I decided to tell you about it anyway.

My Muse, Lorelei, really poured it on a couple of weeks ago. She threatened to leave me if I didn’t start writing again soon. Then she sprinkled something in my peaches or something. I had a couple of pretty good story ideas, and blogged about them. I also had a ton of ideas for the story I just started. I’ll withhold those, because they’re mostly enhancements and not the main story.

Things are trickling off now, but I got one in a dream last night. They don’t all come as dreams, but this one did. It’s not even a vignette. It’s just a flash of something, but it was in vivid HD color. I was with someone, and I wasn’t in Idaho. It was a bit more tropical. A group of pink and grey cockatoos flew into the trees around us. Someone said they aren’t supposed to be here. (Apparently it wasn’t Australia.) There was a comment about them being feral, and something about global warming.

This one feels pretty useless, but I’m putting it in the old cauldron anyway. I know exactly what kind of birds they were, and they have an Australian name that I’m too lazy to look up. I heard somewhere they are pests.

The next one seems to work much better as a story idea. It’s been really hot in Idaho. It’s so hot that whenever someone opens a door, the flies invade. Why wouldn’t they, we have an air conditioner. It got pretty bad when the grandkids were here, because the door opens every 3.7 seconds.

This probably sounds pretty old school, but I’m a bathtub kind of guy. I know everyone prefers showers this century, but I love my bathtub. Every day, I have to pluck two to four dead flies from the tub before running my water. I could take a photo, but nobody wants to see that.

I was on my 4:00 AM bathtub cleaning this morning and said to myself, “This is where houseflies come to die.”


“How about that?” I have this cool idea about these people in Africa. The elephant graveyard is an African legend that rivals King Solomon’s Mines. I know everyone hates the idea of ivory these days, but at one time it was quite acceptable everywhere. The idea of thousands of tusks lying about on top of the ground is a treasure hunter’s dream come true. Carry them to market, never fire a shot, live like a king for the rest of your life. Since this would be an historical piece, it works out pretty well.

You can bet this one went in the cauldron too. It was immediately drawn to the vignette about the African couple.

Who knows, maybe the cockatoos will like the guy with the yak. Maybe the yak walked to Australia because of a land bridge or something. I just keep adding stuff to the cauldron and letting it blend together. There’s still an old idea about the ghost of Steve McQueen in there somewhere. Maybe he can figure out what to do with the cockatoos.

I’m off to have my first pumpkin beer of the year. It’s just a Shocktop, but I’m a pumpkin beer junkie. I’m sure more pumpkin libations will show up soon. The Shocktop is like the first butterfly of summer.


Filed under Writing