My Summer Plans

It’s the first weekday since my Summer Vacation started.  I was thinking of getting a summer job, but I thought better.  This school year was tough and the chronic health issues I ended up battling at random intervals didn’t help.  Need to give my body, mind, and heart a rest.  It’ll be the next school year before I know it, so I have 2 months to relax and do some personal projects.  So, what’s the overall plan?

  1. Write Darwin & the Halfling Hunt
  2. Possibly write Darwin & the Avenging Elf
  3. Bike every other day
  4. Time with my son when he’s not in camp.
  5. Sleep in when I can
  6. Make sure I hydrate properly
  7. Eat healthier lunches like fruit or hummus
  8. Prepare September posts for blog when I only have 20 minutes free
  9. Clear some shows off the ‘to watch’ pile
  10. Get back into cooking some dinners
  11. Finish this ‘Witcher’ puzzle
  12. Stay cool
  13. Relax
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The Five Monotremes: Yes, These are Real Animals

Monotreme–  an egg-laying mammal

I’m pretty sure everyone just thought of a specific one.  Yet, there are five species.  One is the platypus and the other four are types of echidna.  All are listed as critically endangered due to habitat loss and overhunting.  Bushfires, drought, and invasive predator species are other threats.  At least, that’s what some sites said.  Others said only two of the echidnas are critically endangered while the rest are fine.  Still with me?  I’m guessing at least one person isn’t sure what an echidna is, so I’ll explain.

Echidna:

  • Also called spiny anteaters, but not related to true anteaters.
  • There is the short-beaked echidna, Eastern long-beaked echidna, Western long-beaked echidna, and Sir David’s Echidna aka Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna.  (They don’t actually have beaks.)
  • When threatened, they will try to bury themselves with their spines aimed up.  If they can’t dig, they roll into a ball.
  • Males have spurs that secrete a milky substance during breeding season. (This is important for later.)
  • They have no teeth.
  • They can feel vibrations through their nose.
  • Both males and females have pouches.
  • No, they don’t punch people when angry.
  • Babies are called puggles.

Eastern Long-Beaked Echidna

Short-Beaked Echidna

Sir David’s Echidna

Western Long-Beaked Echidna

So, what about the platypus?

  • They are REAL animals that look like a combination of a duck, otter, and beaver.
  • They aren’t green or spies.
  • Males have venomous spurs on their hide legs.  Venom isn’t deadly, but it hurts.
  • Under ultraviolet light, their fur glows green and blue.
  • A platypus bill has tens of thousands of sensory receptors to allow them to sense things underwater.
  • Platypuses (and echidnas) don’t have stomachs, but gullets that put food directly into the intestine.
  • Since they don’t have teeth, they scoop up gravel with food to grinding it down.

Platypus

Let’s get to the videos.

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Goal Post: Summer Break Has Begun

Well . . . Here we are.

Yesterday was the last day of the 2021-2022 school year.  I survived in technically one piece.  My son did great as far as his grades go.  Things have been cleaned up and the work clothes have been put away for 2 months.  Seriously, I don’t want to wear slacks and dress shirts until September.  So, what to do now?

My summer is going to be simple because I’m tired.  When I have time with my son, I’m going to do stuff with him.  Unless he wants to play his new Pokemon game, which will be him playing on one side of the room and me writing on the other.  We’ll see how this system works.  I could very easily get drawn into what he’s doing or be needed for help at various points.  He is at the age where he needs to entertain himself, but it’s tough since I mostly did schoolwork with him for the last 10 months.  We have a lot of cartoons and movies to catch up on. Before anybody says it, we will be going outside when the weather is good and not too hot.

The big thing is going to be getting back into writing.  I’m into chapter 5 of Slumberlord Chronicles: Darwin & the Halfling Hunt and I should be able to get into chapter 9 of 18 by Wednesday.  The plan is to finish this book before the end of July and take maybe a day before jumping into Darwin & the Avenging Elf.  This way, I should be able to get both books done or at least close to done before the next school year.  If the past year is any example, I won’t be getting any writing time.  So, this will give me 3 finished novels that I can start working on publishing after some editing.  Printing out the books and hand-editing during lunch and prep period worked out really well.  I’m still hoping to publish Do I Need to Use a Dragon? (Fantasy Writing Tips) sometime this year if I can get the pieces together.  Dragging my feet on the blurb, the pricing, and the usual post-editing stuff.

Another thing I need to focus on is health.  I’m leery about mentioning what I’m planning since people always pounce on this subject.  You can’t mention a dietary change without someone declaring why it’s a bad move or how it can be improved regardless of you asking for that input.  Seriously, it’s stressful and difficult to take such steps like exercising every other day or cutting out a favorite food.  Pouncing like that is an easy way to get a person to give up before they even start.  I’m saying this as someone who is still on the fence because several people have already told him why he shouldn’t do what he is about to do.

I’m going to add yogurt and grapefruit to my diet as well as severely limit, but not fully eliminate, fast food.  Going to drink primarily water too with a soda maybe once a week, but only if I get fast food.  Looking into finding gourmet salads too, which I can have with a simple marinated chicken for dinner at times.  For a month, I’m going to be doing all the cooking, which means plenty of leftovers too.  Might keep it up after that, but then I get stressed over all of the critiques and complaints.  Avoiding stress is another thing that I have to do during the summer.  We’ll see how that goes.

Funny thing is that I know I have a ‘Summer Goals’ post coming up on Monday.  So, I’m not sure if those have changed, but I’m too lazy to check.  We’ll see what happens.  I think a few of the items were already finished because I realized the next day that I shouldn’t put them off like the September (and October) posts.

So, goals of the week?

  1. Write more Darwin & the Halfling Hunt.
  2. Zoo trip with son.
  3. Fireworks show.
  4. Visit family.
  5. Grocery shopping to prepare for camp and dinners.
  6. Start a new puzzle.
  7. Get a haircut.
  8. Hydrate!
  9. Maybe start ‘The Boys’ Season 3 or something else.  Depends on my mind.  Still on the fence about ‘Umbrella Academy’ Season 3 since I was meh on the second season when I watched it again.
  10. Help son start playing ‘Pokemon Legends: Arceus’.
  11. Figure out party favors for his birthday.

By the way, I made an Instagram post about a Lego set I finished.  Want to see if I can link to it here.  CLICK!

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Last Day of School Memes

Yup.  Last day of school here.  Get 2 months of relaxing bef . . . We all know I’m not going to be relaxing.  I’ve got 2 months to write 1-2 books, spend time with my son, exercise, hydrate, and sleep in.  I won’t exhaust myself, but I’m definitely not going to let any moss grow on me.  Still, enjoy the funnies while take in the end of another year.  (All pictures found in a Google Image Search.)

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Suspension of Disbelief

Hi, gang. Craig with you once again to talk about something directly related to the kind of fiction I write. It’s called the suspension of disbelief.…

Suspension of Disbelief
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Poetry Day: Bholed Owr Greightness

Let’s be honest. You know who this is and where he’s from.

(This was a silly poem that got a lot of traction back in the day.  Wrote this in 2011 near the start of a big poetry period.  Enjoy if you get it.)

We R Soupereor

Two all uhthr crechurs

Owr brayns R whyse

And hellp us kreate

We bilt a wurld

Abuhv the uhntamd whyld

Pruving owr soupereorite

Owr citees wil nevr fal

Bkaws we bilt two last

Owr wurks wil b remembrd

Aftr we R gon

The beests nv us

For tha wil nevr rech

The levls that we threyev

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The ‘Reality’ of School Subjects

Yahoo Image Search

Nearing the end of the school year, so let’s get some laughs.  I mean, there are so many subjects in high school.  They should all be taken seriously . . . Except when you really start to lose your mind and think of these things.  I genuinely have no other explanation for this list I’ve been putting together since March.  It’s just silly.

  • Algebra– Basic math that you will always . . . Yes, I know they added letters.  Stop crying and pass the test.
  • Pre-Calculus– This proves that Calculus isn’t that bad.  Now you’re ready for it.
  • Calculus– WE LIED!  WELCOME TO HELL!
  • Geometry–  For those who need a math course and managed to get out of Calculus.
  • Special Education– Our teachers are fueled by passion, love, and so much coffee that their sweat has more caffeine than Jolt Cola.
  • Phyiscal Education–  Don’t you dare call us gym!
  • World History–  Stop crying while we cram all this ancient knowledge into your head.
  • American History–  Stop crying while we cram this not as ancient knowledge into your head and we’ll get to that war in the next unit.
  • Government–  We know you’re going to forget most of this, but this is the easiest way to get you to willingly register to vote.
  • Economics–  Let’s play with the stock market and see why daddy’s retirement fund isn’t what it should be.
  • Technology–  Getting paid to break shit!  Envy our teachers!
  • Woodshop–  Your teacher’s furniture isn’t going to build itself, kids.
  • Computer–  We know you already hacked the system to look at porn and play violent games, but let’s pretend your teachers know more than you.
  • Teaching Assistants–  We really enjoying teaching, but have a lethal allergy to grading and paperwork.
  • Spanish–  This course just appeared one day along with all teachers and budget.
  • French–  Never a year goes by without a student asking about the kissing technique.
  • Italian–  Taken entirely because the students love the food.
  • ASL–  Never a year goes by without a student doing that one gesture.
  • Biology–  You will forget everything except for Dissection Day.
  • Chemistry–  The only class where students are allowed to play with fire, but it’s usually the teacher that gets the fire department to visit.
  • Earth Science–  We swear you’ll learn about more than rocks.  We have weather too.
  • Physics–  Isaac Newton . . . Thank you for coming.  The final is next week.
  • Home and Careers–  We cook.  There are other things, but this is all that matters to kids.
  • Health–  Putting condoms on vegetables since the 1990’s.
  • English– We will teach you to read and write with such passion that you will NEVER pick up a book again.
  • Creative Writing–  Let the muses flow through you as long as they follow this strict story idea from the Internet.
  • Band–  A few of you are amazing.  The rest of you are just trying to hide your noise behind your neighbors.  Don’t worry.  The acoustics will save you.
  • Chorus–  Working in unity until the MMA match to see who gets the concert solo.
  • Orchestra–  We assure you that ears bleeding is a compliment to violinists.
  • Music Theory–  For the students who love music, have no desire to play, and figure this is an easy A.
  • Driver’s Education–  Our teachers have nerves of steel and a sense that they’ve already lived a fulfilling life.
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A Voice in the Silence by DL FIinn. #newbook

Please join me in Welcoming an old friend and Story Empire fellow member D. L. Finn. She has a new paranormal adventure and she wants to tell you …

A Voice in the Silence by DL FIinn. #newbook
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Happy National Seashell Day! (Great Reason to Hit the Beach with a Book)

Yahoo Image Search

Lay out in the sun with the action adventure of Legends of Windemere 1-15 for $2.99/volume.  Volume 1 is FREE!

Legends of Windemere
CLICK FOR AMAZON PAGE

OR

Enjoy the beach with the fang-filled fun of War of Nytefall 1-8 for $2.99/volume!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

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Questions 3: Anybody Having Any Luck with Marketing?

Spaceblls the Gif!

I’ve got nothing here.  For a long time, I’ve felt that one needs tons of money to succeed in marketing an indie book.  Another way is to send out tons of freebies in the hopes of snagging reviews.  Yet, Amazon penalizes that, so I don’t understand how some people openly do it and not get banned while others are punished for a friend reviewing of their own accord.  Nothing seems to work and I know most people are going to agree on that since it’s the comments I typically get.  Still, I had some questions.

  1. Why do you think it’s become so much harder to advertise and sell a book?
  2. What is one tactic that you wish you could do, but can’t?
  3. What is a tactic that may work, but you can’t bring yourself to do it for some reason?
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