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That’s Life!

It’s another morning at the old homestead. I spent the first half-hour trying to get dress while the younger kids took turns coming in to tell me they were hungry. That’s right. I do the cooking. The wife has other things occupying her; not the least is keeping me from doing stupid shit. It seems I do enough to keep us both busy in that respect.

In the second half-hour, I was a referee. The oldest boy and oldest girl were threatening to kill each other and coming together like they were not threats but a foreshadowing of things yet to appear, short order. Broke that up, but the peace was too much for the younger three. They complained that they couldn’t play on their electronic toys, but alas, they have had too much screen time lately. I exiled them to another room while they whined.

The last thing I had to tackle was the television. I had to set the rules again. It was a review, but they try to ignore the ones in place all the time, so I repeated them, rolled eyes, Humphs, and “Ah, Dad,” expressions and all. I started to tell a few dad jokes as punishment, but decided not to. They are all too young for my real jokes, wouldn’t understand — or worse, they would.

Does any of this sound familiar? Don’t you wish you were at my house?

Yesterday I sent off the metaphysical book’s full proposal to the first lucky publisher. It will take up to six weeks to hear anything back, so meanwhile I will dig up some more publishers and make multiple submissions. Such is the life of an author.

I almost have the first draft for the third book in the Factor series completed. That is my plan for today. I’m at the place I need to thin out the antagonists and protagonists. Although I’m afraid one or two of the major characters will have trouble making it out of the mix alive, this is the procedure.

I will not work on two books simultaneously for a long time, maybe never, especially one fiction and the other non-fiction. It takes too long to make progress on either Work In Progress. The other reason is, I found it harder to switch gears from fiction to non-fiction and back. Silly really. I find it easier to work different works one at a time. I didn’t have trouble working on a first draft while simultaneously editing another piece. But two from scratch is out.

The metaphysical book explored some tough questions — What is time, What is love, What happens after death. There is one question that has haunted me though, a real toughie, to which I don’t have the answer. Query: Why do kids work harder to get out of their chores than it would take to do them. I mean, I did it, and I’ll bet you did it too.

Yesterday, I noticed the goats were in the wrong pasture, so I had to investigate to find the hole they shinnied through. They are hilarious. Baby goats (kids) have an innate gusto about life. They will stand still, look around, and abruptly jump straight up. Then, off they go, scampering around, bouncing, and headbutting anything close.

The adults are more reserved; however, they will still headbutt anything. It doesn’t matter what it is either. At the risk of sounding like a movie — if it’s there, they will headbutt. I have yet to have the classic headbutt in the rear; however, they have gotten my legs several times. Usually, that happens when they try to sneak attack another goat, and the target goat moves just before impact.

They are fascinating animals. They can eat just about anything. Hell, when I lived in Birmingham, we would go to a petting zoo, and one of the goats there would eat people’s cigarettes, lit or not. He would snatch them right out of the smoker’s hands. The caretaker there said it didn’t harm him at all. Mine favor the thornbushes that grow around here. They chew them up and go on.

I have no idea how they don’t get perforated stomachs, but they are very healthy. Amazing animals.

Another unbelievable animal is our pet Vietnamese potbellied pig. Yesterday our pig walked to me across the yard from where she’d buried herself in straw to keep warm. Then, when she reached me, she snorted a few times until I scratched her behind the ears and patted her shoulder. She is smart, much smarter than the dogs who just run around and bark at whatever they see.

The dogs are fun, but they aren’t Einstein. They will run up to you, tongue flopping around, stand there looking like they just made the most challenging gymnastic move ever invented, and then jump up onto you to help you pet them. Dogs can be fun, but they aren’t pigs.

That’s what we have around here, pets and kids.

But enough of that. Right now, I’m working on the next thriller, and up until now I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Talking about fun and pets and kids and all helped. I figured it out. The problem centers about halfway through its body; the excitement level is about as electric as a marshmallow. Yep, pretty tense, huh? Yeah. That’s what I thought too.

I know what to do now — go back and rework everything. By the by, that’s way more in-depth than just editing. Don’t get me wrong. Editing is hard work, primarily if you work with one of the best editors in the business, someone like Jayne Southern www.bookaholiceditor.com. She’s fabulous.

But right now, I have a herculean task ahead of me — bend the river of my new thoughts to wash out the old barn of old crap and produce an exciting read. Everybody needs a compelling read, don’t they? Good pacing, wild suspense. Ahh, the joys of a good read, nothing better.

Well, maybe one or two things come to mind.

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Talk to you later.

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