The Journal, Tuesday, 9/19

Hey Folks,

For awhile, occasionally I’ve included links to articles on Science Alert. Recently I’ve come to believe it’s more of a populist rag with sensational, click-bait headlines than a valid source of stimulating information.

So I looked around.

If you’re interested in space and science, try https://www.space.com/. If it looks interesting to you, you can sign up for any or all of three separate newsletters:

Space.com newsletter, headlines about the space program, space tourism and more.

LiveScience newsletter, the day’s science news covering space, animals, health, environment, technology and history.

TechNewsDaily newsletter, technology news and information for non-geeks.

If you’re interested in exploring our own solar system, I recommend Solar System Exploration at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/. I didn’t see a way to subscribe, so I’ll be visiting this one regularly.

And finally, you can find all things NASA at https://www.nasa.gov/.

All three of these are listed with the subheading Science under Writers’ Resources in the left sidebar of my website.

If you haven’t visited in awhile, that would be a good place for you to explore too. A lot of great stuff there. Just sayin’.

***

An early trip to the grocery for stuff for supper tonight, then home. But I spent a lot of time just playing, on my website, then on FB.

Finally to the writing around 10. For at least the first part of the writing day, it will be the same process I was following yesterday.

Well, when I get to the novel it will be the same. (grin) I spent the next hour and a half writing a nonfiction article called “On Addiction.” I published it as a note on Facebook.

I’ve decided I have to give up smoking cigars, and I decided to make the decision public so it will maybe help other addicts too. If you don’t do Facebook and you’d like a copy, send me an email.

In fact, a little later I think I’ll come up with a cover and distribute it to Smashwords, Amazon and D2D as a free publication. I’ll also add it to my main website as a page under the Free Stuff tab.

Now, a little before noon, I’m finally opening the novel. I’ll be doing more adjusting and stitching together, so I expect a low word count for today.

But that’s all right. Just the way this one’s going together. And I have a feeling once the stitching is finished and I have the timeline right, it’ll be a race to the finish.

It’s almost 2 p.m. now. I think a lot of the stitching is finished, and I’ve added only about 200 words. That’s good, though, because I didn’t have to stitch much. (grin)

I also think I’m going to have to cycle all the way from the beginning and read through to get back into the flow of the story.

Welp, I always feel like crap when I don’t get much writing done. I did a ton today but very little was in new fiction words. There’s (almost) always tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Guy, see “Where Crime Fiction Meets the Talmud” at https://electricliterature.com/where-crime-fiction-meets-the-talmud-6f62214a5da8.

Articles to titillate the imagination. See LiveScience at https://www.livescience.com/.

More articles to titillate the imagination. See Space.com at https://www.space.com/.

Fiction Words: 1012
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal) 1230 (“On Addiction”)
So total words for the day: 2790

Writing of Current Novel (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375
Day 12… 3452 words. Total words to date…… 30827
Day 13… 1747 words. Total words to date…… 32574
Day 14… 1012 words. Total words to date…… 33586

Total fiction words for the month……… 40667
Total fiction words for the year………… 420287
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11450
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 147850
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 568137

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 660 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 9/18

Hey Folks,

Rolled out considerably early this morning, yet two hours later I’m still reading and toying with this thing. I even wrote a topic based on the article on Comic Sans typeface referenced in “Of Interest.”

Then I remembered that a longer, more well-thought-out version will hit the big blog on October 3, so I’ll wait.

Well, my eyes are a little fuzzy this morning for some reason. I’ve tried polarized (brown) shades, my regular grey-tinted glasses, and a cheap pair of flip-up blue blockers I bought on eBay.

The last few days my eyes haven’t been bad, but for some reason today they’re giving me fits. So we’ll see what I can get done.

After email and FB, just doing things around the house until about 9. I went for a walk, just a bit over a mile. By the time I got back and settled in, my eyes were okay again.

So finally to the novel around 10. I took a wrong turn yesterday, so I spent a few hours cycling through (off and on) and moving bits to the CUTS section at the end of the document.

Usually I add words when I cycle. Today I’m taking words out. Well, it’ll be what it’ll be. I’m just enjoying the process, and as I keep telling myself, every novel writes differently.

So I added only around 500 new words by about 1. Hey, there are days like that. Anyway, I think all the adjustments are done. I’m starting a new scene soon, so things should pick up.

Uh, no such luck. Not today. I had a timeline problem and a bunch of stuff moved up one full day.

So I’m adjusting another chapter, and then maybe writing another scene. Or not. Overall it’s probably not going to be a very productive day. On the other hand, it’s already been a pretty productive week. (grin)

Well, I hoped to hit at least 2000 words today, but it’s not going to happen. Still a pretty good day.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Especially if you design your own covers, see “Hate Comic Sans?” at https://blog.prototypr.io/you-hate-comic-sans-you-dont-know-anything-about-typography-5133fbd4c8c4. There are a few gems in this that you need to know.

See “What the “Book People” Won’t Tell You” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/09/17/book-people-wont-tell-print-dead/.

See “David Sarnoff Library … Images” at http://digital.hagley.org/.

Via Science Alert, see “BREAKING: Light Has Been Stored as Sound…” at http://www.sciencealert.com/breaking-light-was-just-stored-as-sound-for-the-first-time-ever/.

Fiction Words: 1747
Nonfiction Words: 400 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2147

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375
Day 12… 3452 words. Total words to date…… 30827
Day 13… 1747 words. Total words to date…… 32574

Total fiction words for the month……… 39655
Total fiction words for the year………… 419275
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9670
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 146070
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 565345

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 659 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 9/17

Hey Folks,

Up a little earlier than usual this a.m. and was at the novel by 4. I did some cycling, then some writing into the dark, finishing a chapter and starting another chapter.

And that was both “into the dark” and in the dark at my outside desk. Something peaceful about the only light in the universe being my computer screen. Maybe I need to write an SF novel next. (grin)

It occurred to me this morning I might actually be writing two novels concurrently: a noir PI novel and a crime novel. Remember awhile back I mentioned this might be the first novel I’ve written that’s separated into “parts”?

Well so far, Parts 1 and 3 appear to be a crime novel. Part 2 wants to be a PI novel, albeit one working with the police. We’ll see. For now I’m just going to keep writing the story. After the smoke clears, I should be able to tell fairly easily whether the PI novel needs to be separated out.

I can write the noir hardboiled PI stuff, and I can write the crime stuff (that’s from the POV of the criminal[s]). I’m not so much on writing police procedurals. Been out of the business too long to include any level of detailed modern procedures required.

Anyway, it’s kind of exciting to know I might be writing both at the same time. I could even end up with two novels about the same crime, albeit one from the PI’s POV and one from the criminal’s POV.

As usual, I worked on the novel intermittently. Around 5:30, the hummingbirds reminded me I forgot to take their feeders down last night. The bats spilled it all out, so I refilled them. Annoying, but not as annoying as a hungry, ticked-off hummer buzzing your head at a b’jillion miles per hour.

Back to the novel, and sometime later I emptied the dishwasher and started filling it again, then revised my website a little. I removed a menu item, made the remaining menu items and the space between them a bit larger, and changed the colors.

Now it’s a little after 7 and I’m back to the novel again after a brief break to let my wife know I’m still here. (grin) We’ll probably walk in a little while, and then I’ll be at the novel off and on through the day.

Had a pretty amazing day. I didn’t write again until around 2, and hammered out a lot of words before I stopped because I was running out of time.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you’re interested in seeing some very old magazines, check out https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008893741?type%5B%5D=all&lookfor%5B%5D=Black%20Cat&ft=ft.

Fiction Words: 3452
Nonfiction Words: 450 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3902

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375
Day 12… 3452 words. Total words to date…… 30827

Total fiction words for the month……… 37908
Total fiction words for the year………… 417528
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9270
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 145670
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 563198

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 658 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Saturday, 9/16

Hey Folks,

Even after a relatively late night, I rolled out at 3:30 this morning. Not sure how much I’ll get done in writing today since it’s Saturday.

TOPIC: On Challenges, Part 2

Note: This follows on yesterday’s topic. If you haven’t read it, you can find it at http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-friday-915/.

At the beginning of the calendar year, I challenged myself to write 15 novels during the year.

Later, after an intended novel fell short and ended as a novella, I adjusted the goal to 16 novels or novellas. That should have clued me I was in trouble.

It didn’t. I plunged merrily ahead but conveniently forgot the whole purpose of a challenge: productivity.

In my desire to write a certain number of novels, I allowed myself to be overwhelmed. In short, I lost sight of the little picture: the word count.

Grandpa always said you can’t build a house, but you can drive a nail. (Or you can’t write a novel, but you can write a scene.)

If you drive enough nails, you’ll look up one day through the clearing smoke and see that you have a new house.

Now just for fun, let’s slip a bit afield.

Productivity isn’t finishing a certain number of novels or novellas or even short stories.

In its initial, base form, productivity is putting words on the page. Like it or not, it all boils back down to the basic act: word count is what produces short stories, novellas and novels. You can’t escape that fact.

I find it particularly telling (and humorous, actually) that so many writers wrinkle up their nose and eschew word count as if it were gross and even distasteful. Pedestrian, even. Like sex.

Well, it might be. But it’s still a necessary (if ugly, depending on your POV) act in which the writer must allow his conscious and subconscious mind to engage if he is to birth a new novel.

It occurs to me that the metaphor extends when you realize word count generally isn’t talked about in polite circles.

Get it?

And it’s something all writers engage in whether or not they want to admit it.

After all, if such things really were only for us peasants, Great Britain’s royal line would be really short. In fact, it would have ended abruptly on the other side of a pair of crossed arms and a head shaking side to side eons ago. (Somebody stop me!)

Okay. Okay (deep breaths). Enough on the metaphor.

Now I don’t push productivity for its own sake. I push productivity as a matter of business.

The more works a writer has “out there” the greater the chance readers will stumble on something he’s written, like it, and buy more.

This is common sense, even given that what was once common for most seems to have become a luxury for many. But I digress.

Noting word count, whether it’s done publicly (as here) or in private (all the better people only do it in private) is what drives the writer to produce more literary children.

And when our word-count drive begins to weaken, there’s no better way to enhance it than to give ourselves a challenge.

Try it. You’ll like it. And you don’t have to tell anybody.

***

Well, I didn’t get a lot done today. I got a lot done but not a lot of writing. Calling it early to watch a ball game.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Here you go, SF folks. How could the government use the new “Micropods” at http://www.sciencealert.com/vaccines-made-of-these-tiny-micropods-could-an-end-to-booster-shots/.

Even if you don’t write erotic fiction, see “Smashwords Implements New Classifications for Erotic Fiction” at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/09/smashwords-erotica.html. Lot of good info there on BISAC codes, etc.

Fiction Words: 1514
Nonfiction Words: 620 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2134

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375

Total fiction words for the month……… 34456
Total fiction words for the year………… 414076
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8820
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 145220
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 559296

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 657 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 9/15

Hey Folks,

Welp, I started the day closer to my usual time. I read a lot (see “Of Interest”) and then checked Dean’s site.

Much of his post for today is a rehash of the previous couple of days, so it didn’t make “Of Interest,” but parts of it keyed something in me.

So I wrote the topic for today. Actually, I also wrote the topic for tomorrow (I won’t count those words until tomorrow).

I had so much fun with the latter, I decided to cross post that one to the main blog where it will appear on September 19.

You, lucky readers, get to see it tomorrow. I almost titled it “How Warped Was My Rainbow,” but decided finally on “On Challenges, Part 2.”

In the meantime, here’s the first part.

TOPIC: On Challenges

In today’s post, DWS writes “challenges … are a way to prioritize writing time. … [That is o]ne of the many values of a challenge and why I do them regularly for myself. I get far more writing done when I have challenged myself…” (see http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/time-is-everything-these-days/ if you want).

Yeah, what Dean said. I’ve noticed that too.

Back in June when I challenged myself to write a short story every day, I failed miserably. But I still wrote 8 or 9 short stories in a row. I was hyper-productive because of the challenge.

Engaging in a personal challenge is a kind of partnership between the conscious mind and the subconscious creative mind.

The conscious mind says, “Ha! Bet you can’t do this!” and the subconscious responds with “Yeah? Hold my beer and watch this!”

Obviously, this works better if you happen to have an inborn stubborn streak, and the stronger the streak the better.

I do. And it is.

Now I’m not on the verge of announcing a new personal challenge. I’m not in that place at the moment. At the moment, I’m just getting back to writing every day.

At the moment, I’m more the curious observer, watching my own progress on my WIP and marveling that the new (to me) process I’ve come up with apparently is going to enable me to finish a novel in what many would see as record time.

And for now, for me, that’s good enough. I’m happy with it. Writing is fun again.

But if you’re a seasoned writer and you find yourself stuck in the doldrums, or if you’re just starting out and feeling a bit overwhelmed (or even just whelmed) and not sure what to do first, try giving yourself a challenge.

I almost wrote “a realistic challenge,” but if it’s too “realistic” it won’t be a challenge, will it?

***

Yesterday, I guess, I mentioned in passing that when I started writing I was “stuck.” A few folks wrote me about that. Thanks.

But I didn’t really mean “stuck” in a bad way. I remember one novel I wrote that was like pulling teeth with a pocket knife pretty much all the way through. Fortunately, most of mine aren’t like that.

Most of mine flow straight from get-go to been-there-done-that.

In this particular WIP, I’ve been “stuck” two times that were big enough to mention. One of those was yesterday.

But notice too, being “stuck” lasted only until I’d stared at it long enough. I wasn’t stuck so much as mired. There were a lot of “little” bits of the scene I wanted to form and fashion and sequence just right.

You could say I rewrote that segment several times, but I wouldn’t call it that. I did make several passes until it was “just right.”

But each pass was in the creative mind and each pass made the scene (it turned out to be a chapter) a little better. A little fuller. Once I waded around in the muck and found a few rocks, I came straight on out and moved ahead.

So that’s all that was about.

Went to the grocery around 8, spent half a boatload of money and got everything put away around 9:45.

After that I did some other small things, including playing online for awhile. Finally around 11 I started to cycle back over the last couple of chapters.

When I finished cycling, I went right on writing instead of taking a break. Including what I added in cycling, I hit around 1800 words by 12:30. Then I took a break. (grin)

Flying along on the novel again for a bit, then took a break to chat with a friend via email. For a long while, I’ve told folks if you need cover or layout design check out CovertoUpload.com.

Kat Magee, the owner, changed it. She’s rebuilding the site and the new name is Daring Creative Designs. And she’s very good. Check it out at https://daringcreativedesigns.com/.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “Business Musings: Rethinking A Title” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/09/13/business-musings-rethinking-a-title/. Hint: This is only peripherally about retitling a book. It’s more about Kris’ process, and in that way it’s both rare and very insightful.

Via The Digital Reader, see “You Are Already Living Inside a Computer” at https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/09/you-are-already-living-inside-a-computer/539193/. It’s very long, very thought provoking, and chock full of story ideas.

Check the comments on “The Attitude of a Challenge” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-attitude-of-a-challenge/#comments/.

Fiction Words: 3614
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4494

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861

Total fiction words for the month……… 32942
Total fiction words for the year………… 412562
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8200
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 144600
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 557162

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 657 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 9/14

Hey Folks,

Man, I hate outsmarting myself. And I’ve done that twice recently.

The most recent was yesterday, when I planned to watch the historic Cleveland Indians’ game against Detroit. Cleveland won and extended their streak to 21 games. But I didn’t get to watch it.

When MLB Network advertised they would show the game live at “noon Eastern,” I counted the hours the wrong way. I expected it at 4, when actually it came on at 9. Sigh.

And a couple weeks ago, I decided to take down my 10-volume Wes Crowley saga from Smashwords and D2D. The series was experiencing low sales, so I decided to give Amazon KDP Select a shot at it.

This morning, as I started to institute that process, I did an online search for the books. And of course, the paper copies are still available for sale all over the place.

So I can’t do KDP Select. Duh. All I accomplished was removing my books from consideration around the world for almost three weeks.

And I created another couple hours of work for myself, reviving them on Smashwords and D2D.

I realize I ought to let this go and just quietly re-upload them. But I thought I’d mention my costly (and stupid) error on here just in case it might save you the trouble of making the same mistake.

Anyway, it didn’t take two hours. It took an hour and fifty-five minutes. So there’s that.

I don’t think I’m going to bother putting them back up in BundleRabbit. I mean, they’re a bundle all by themselves, and a bargain at almost 500,000 words of quality stories for only $20.

Or maybe I’ll put up the first book in the series so it can be included in bundles.

Anyway, now for about an hour-long break (mostly so I can calm down), and then back to the novel.

***

Weird. Today is turning out like yesterday, so far. I started a new chapter but it wasn’t quite right. The characters wouldn’t let me move on. So I hovered.

In about 3 hours (like yesterday) I managed about 1000 words (like yesterday). I can only hope now things will break loose and the novel will run for awhile (like yesterday). (grin)

Well, it ran pretty good. Frankly I just got tired. Figured I didn’t want to push it. The story’s still speeding along just fine, and I have zero clue how the characters are going to solve what’s going on. But I’m sure looking forward to finding out.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

At Dean’s place, see “Bet You Didn’t Know I Wrote YA” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/bet-you-didnt-know-i-wrote-ya/. I swear, the guy’s more of a ham than I am.

For more Raymond Chandler from The Passive Voice, see “When I got home” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/when-i-got-home/.

Fiction Words: 2780
Nonfiction Words: 450 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3230

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247

Total fiction words for the month……… 29328
Total fiction words for the year………… 408948
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7320
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 143720
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 552668

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 656 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8 Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 9/13

Hey Folks,

Not a lot other than reading and writing (very little arithmetic) going on at the old homestead today.

It feels like a do-nothing day, but I don’t want one. Besides, I need that like I need a cliché in my head.

I finally broke down and took my lawn mower in to a repair shop. That and surrounding details and sidetracks ate up the first two working hours of the day.

I started playing at the novel right at 10:30. It’s now almost 1:30 (I’ve done some other little stuff too) and I’ve written barely over 1000 new words.

I had to stop and check the total word count because I knew I hadn’t written much. I was actually surprised to see it was over 1000 words. My focus has just been scattered a bit thus far today. (For a reason, see “Of Interest.”)

It will be interesting (to me) to see what happens for the rest of the day re that focus.

Well, I really thought this would be a small day, but it worked out all right. I also have a great starting point for tomorrow (a jagged edge) and a ball game starting in about 8 minutes (grin). Tonight Cleveland might extend its winning streak to 21 games. That would be history in the league.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, something perhaps “relevant to author promo, website and cover design decisions.” See “Designing for Human Attention” at https://uxplanet.org/designing-for-human-attention-ac0abe3d657d.

If you use Smashwords, see “Smashwords Introduces Global Pricing Control…” at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/09/global-pricing.html/.

See “The Attitude of a Challenge” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-attitude-of-a-challenge/. Some good notes there re attitude.

For any Facebook users, via The Passive Voice, I read that FB is changing its mission statement. See https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product.

For some witty wordplay from The Passive Guy, see “Much Ado about Lavender” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/much-ado-about-lavender/.

Fiction Words: 3147
Nonfiction Words: 290 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3437

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467

Total fiction words for the month……… 26548
Total fiction words for the year………… 406168
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6870
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 143270
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 549438

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 655 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8 Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, 9/12

Hey Folks,

Okay, I mentioned a couple of times a workshop I’m taking with Dean. It ended this morning, so here’s my report.

On the Online Workshops tab of his website, the title (if you want to read about it) is officially “Writing Mysteries.” If you’re interested, I encourage you to read the writeup there.

First, I found that the actual workshop more than nailed the description on the website.

This is an actual writing workshop. He teaches you how to write mysteries in the ten most popular subgenres. Plus there are extensive notes on writing Thrillers (used to be a subgenre of Mystery, but is now on its own).

He doesn’t teach plotting, but he does teach what’s required in each subgenre of Mystery (in other words, How To Write it).

In each subgenre, he provides instruction on five areas:

1. Focus-of and details-about the sub-genre.
2. Types of writers best suited to write the sub-genre (with examples).
3. Can it be used in other genres?
4. Focus on the POV character “type” needed and the focus of the POV character.
5. Focus of the opening. What needs to be in the opening. What will draw readers in.

Those five areas make this workshop pretty much invaluable if you want to learn to write mysteries. It’s also a good idea to study those five areas of any genre you’re interested in writing. Just sayin’.

The weekly assignments were also good. I won’t comment specifically on those because how well they work for you will depend on your level of skill. If you’re a beginning writer (a few novels/a couple dozen short stories under your belt), I have no doubt you’ll find them all very useful.

So I recommend this workshop if you

1. Want to write in a Mystery subgenre, or
2. If you want to learn Mystery elements to include in other genres (SF, Young Adult, etc.).

***

Started cycling through what I wrote yesterday at about 8:30. Allowed myself to touch the manuscript, but very lightly, always looking forward to resuming the story.

By 9:30 I was through cycling. During that hour I also answered some email, etc.

One of the emails I worked with was the notice that the next bundle my work is included in, Death Before Defeat, a 10-book SF omnibus, is available for presale at only $2.99. For details, see https://bundlerabbit.com/b/death-before-defeat/.

Too much playing. By noon-thirty I’d written only a little over a thousand words. My fault. When I pay attention to it, the novel’s flying.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/the-only-rule-amazon-truly-cares-about/. PG’s response is priceless. Of course, in his posting of the article you can also click through to the original post.

Via The Diginal Reader (and strictly for fun), see “10 Books That Were Written on a Bet” at https://electricliterature.com/10-books-that-were-written-on-a-bet-5e0343dd3030/.

Also via The Digital Reader, for anyone who believes publication in TradPub is a golden ticket, see “Publishers Are Now Shedding Best-Selling Authors” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/09/11/publishers-now-shedding-best-selling-authors/.

Anybody need an SF novel idea? See “We Can Finally Read The ‘Clock’ That Tells How Long Human Cells Have Left to Live” at http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-can-now-check-how-long-live-human-cells-have-left/. This could go in MANY diferent ways.

Dean posted “Some More Challenge Details” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-more-challenge-details/.

Fiction Words: 3775
Nonfiction Words: 530 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4305

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320

Total fiction words for the month……… 23401
Total fiction words for the year………… 403021
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 142980
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 546001

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 654 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 9/11

Hey Folks,

Well, have you guys heard me whine enough?

The thing is, I’m either a writer or I’m not. For awhile now, I haven’t been. Not really. So I’ll see about cutting down on the whining, and instead go back to tending to business.

I am somewhat heartened, because in the original essay in which Robert Heinlein laid out his Business Habits for Writers, he mentioned that he himself had violated his own rules on occasion.

***

Today in “Of Interest” you’ll see that Dean’s going to offer his services as a first reader again in two challenges, short story and novel. Something to consider.

Even if you don’t want to take advantage of his generous offer (if you finish the challenges or opt out after paying, you still get two online workshops), it still might be a fun challenge for some of you to do on your own.

***

I’m going to read back on my novel start to see where I took a wrong turn and get back to writing.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Dean’s “New Story and Novel Challenge For You” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/new-story-and-novel-challenge-for-you/.

See “Humans Have 27 Distinct Emotional States” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/humans-have-27-distinct-emotional-states/. The Passive Guy’s take is excellent in my opinion.

Do yourself a favor and visit Science Alert at http://www.sciencealert.com/. Several stories today that might be of interest to writers. Read Skeptically. For example….

If you want a laugh and an example of Orwellian Doublespeak, see “The World Is Facing a Global Sand Crisis…” at http://www.sciencealert.com/our-world-is-facing-a-global-sand-crisis-because-we-re-mining-way-too-much-of-it/. (One of the major ways nations are using mined sand is to repair beaches. So picking it up, then relocating it, and putting it down.)

“RIP Jerry Pournelle, the first author to write a novel on a computer” at https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2017/9/9/16279582/jerry-pournelle-science-fiction-author-writing-computers-obituary/.

Fiction Words: 3182
Nonfiction Words: 300 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3482

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545

Total fiction words for the month……… 19626
Total fiction words for the year………… 399246
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 142450
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 541696

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 653 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8 Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 9/10

Hey Folks,

Rolled out late again this morning. That’s all right.

Had an urge to write something different, so I started another story. Then I got stuck. Then I sat back and thought about that. It’s been happening a lot over the past couple of months. Then I realized what’s going on and wrote the topic below.

TOPIC: Introspection

Recently, privately, a friend applauded me for sharing the down sides as well as the up. Possibly he didn’t realize he was only encouraging me. (grin)

I find myself in a ridiculous predicament, though “predicament” is too strong a word. Besides, it’s so ironic I have to laugh.

After 182 short stories, 26 novels and 4 novellas, I’m stuck. I can’t say I’m blocked. I don’t believe in writer’s block as others have desribed it to me: a general inability to come up with anything to write about.

Um, if nothing else, write about the writer’s block. Soon your brain will grow tired of you wasting its time and move on to something more interesting. It worked for me back when I still believed writer’s block was possible.

So I’m not blocked, but I am stuck.

Now it seems to me when a professional encounters a problem, he simply takes a deep breath and works through the problem to a solution. He keeps working the problem. Diagnose, attempt and repeat.

In Writer World, that simply means Practice.
I’ve diagnosed why I’m stuck.

I write an opening, concentrating on grounding the reader. Then I seem unable to Just Move On.

Why? Because I’m concentrating.

Allowing my conscious mind in to make sure I’ve pulled the reader deep into the story at the opening.

How do I get past it?

Practice.

In coming days (as long as it takes) I’ll practice writing openings and moving past them to finish stories. I’ll resist the urge to cycle back until I’ve written at least a thousand words.

And when I do cycle back, I’ll just read what’s there, allow myself to briefly touch it, then move on. That’s the practice part.

I won’t stick on it.

I won’t become encumbered (and allow the story to become encumbered) with details.

I already know how to ground the reader, and my subconscious has it. I’ve forgotten how to move on because I’m not trusting my subconscious. So that’s what I’ll be practicing. Trusting. Moving on.

If I can do that, my novel goals for the calendar year are still well within reach.

***

Today is an excellent day. It is a lazy day. We made a necessary shopping trip.

I walked our quarter-mile lane, clippers in hand, to cut back the encroaching mesquites. I watered our large cactus-and-succulent garden (attempting to tempt some rain to fall).

I read. I did some online stuff. I took a few pictures. I rooted for the gathering cumulus clouds.

I even wrote the earliest beginning of a story (about 100 words), which led to a bit of Deep Thought and the topic above. But the only real writing I did today was on this Journal.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Nothing really of note that I saw around the web today. I didn’t receive a newsletter from The Digital Reader (supposed to come every day) or Science Alert (ditto).

I did receive The Passive Voice and it was fair, but nothing specifically that I thought I should point out.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 580

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 16444
Total fiction words for the year………… 396064
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5750
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 142150
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 538214

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 652 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8 Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182