I have no good excuse, but maybe some mediocre ones. What little writing time I've had has been devoted to Lying Swords, plus the inevitable work needed for submissions. I've submitted the first 4,000 words of World to World (3969, exactly) to Embark for their novel excerpt contest. They accept only the opening of the novel, 2500 to 4000 words, plus an author's statement explaining the rest of the book and why it's being written.
My short story, The "Weatherman" has been submitted to two contests, Sequestrum for their genre fiction contest and Craft, for their Elements contest featuring conflict.
Last weekend was devoted to a trip to Peoria, IL for out great-granddaughter's first birthday. Drive there Friday, birthday party on Saturday, drive back on Sunday, and then wait till our son and his son showed up for a brief visit. His visit was sort of a last minute decision, so we weren't given much notice—not enough for me to take off work. But those two spent most of their time fishing, which was the primary goal.
We have a new puppy named Rusty. Eventually he will be an old puppy. Half Border Collie (a large one) and half Great Pyrenees, we can expect an adult about 60-70 pounds, smart, affectionate, but possibly a little stubborn. We got him at four months, which is a little young to take him from mama, but we chose to do it anyway. He's eating fine, is playful and affectionate, but house training a puppy that young is getting to be old very fast. That is using an unexpected amount of my time at home. Our old Yorkie, Doc, is on his last legs. He's stopped eating, even his treats or the puppy food. That the new addition wants to play with him like he would with his siblings is not something Doc is able to appreciate. But that's why we acquired another pooch. My wife wants a replacement. She wants company while I'm at work.
On the reading front, I've just finished Stephen King's On Writing. I recommend the book and I'm glad I've read it. I will probably read it again in the next two years. His personal description of his near-death accident when he was struck by a van is nearly worth the price of the book all by itself.
One thing is clear early on: he's a born writer. He was submitting his writing for publication in high school. For him, learning writing was just refining his natural talent and goal. He is also an avid reader. I also am an avid reader—in case you hadn't noticed that already. But my list of read books is much shorter than his—he hasn't had to work forty to fifty hours a week away from home. In fact, he may work that many hours some weeks. That is not included in his memoir. But he is working on his writing.
I read six to seven short stories every week—one from Daily Science Fiction and two or three in Page and Spine. Plus the poetry and articles, plus, now, there is a novel by Erika Hoffman, a regular contributor, titled It Started with a Swan. So far, I'm kinda neutral to it. There's nothing wrong with the style or the the writing in general, I'm just not sure it's "my kind of book."
Now for the bad news. Gnome on Pig Productions, the publisher of my Just Lucky books, was forced to close their doors. This was caused mostly, directly and indirectly, by the novel corona virus. So for the moment the books are not available. They were generous enough to give me the rights to the ISBN and the cover art. But I must re-format them and remove their name from the title page, though the publisher's name as editor can remain. These will now be self-published books.
I know nothing about formatting, except that it has to be done one way for electronic, another for paperback, and still another for hardback. I have a vacation coming up and I'm going to try to learn and accomplish the formatting at least for Amazon. I don't mind learning and trying something new, but all that will take away time from the writing.
Last post I mentioned how I was going to take a risky move to expand my readership. However, since those two novels are not now available I'm going to put that move on hold until they are.
So, are those excuses acceptable enough (barely)?
Till next time, which hopefully will be much sooner than last time, please read.