The Journal, Monday, 10/23

Hey Folks,

I was going to talk about Dean’s age-based challenge frenzy, but you can see it for yourself in “Of Interest” and draw your own conclusions.

I’ll turn 65 in a few weeks. I tried to set up an interesting goal that has something to do with the numeric designation of my age, but I kept coming back to “Why?”

I mean, if setting such a goal increased my actual productivity and made writing fun again, that could be something.

The closest real challenge I could come up with was to write 52 short stories (one per week) during the year. Add 13 novels to that and I would have 65 publications.

But that goal has serious flaws. For example, I could as easily fulfill the “65” requirement by writing 13 additional short stories.

Okay, so the most salable length for short fiction according to most sources is 3,000 words. If I wrote 65 3,000-word stories, that would still be only 195,000 words (that’s 535 words per day). No real challenge there, eh?

But what if I wrote only the 52 short stories and then compiled 5 10-story collections and 10 5-story collections? That would bring my number of publications for the year to 67.

I could even toss in an omnibus collection of all 52 stories and make it 68.

But including the collections would feel a little like cheating just to beef up my numbers.

Besides, I’m not into writing short stories right now. The only reason to write all of those would be to reach that arbitrary number, and that just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe because in my story-a-week streak, I reached 72 stories before I broke it.

Now 65 novels in a year, that would be really something.
***

I rolled out late, a little before 4, did a lot of online reading, then wrote a lot of this.

After my wife went to work I started setting up the camping trailer as a writing office. The Internet out there is iffy at best, but I’ll carry a flash drive with me back and forth just in case.

(When the Internet’s working, I just save things to my Dropbox and they’re uploaded on my office computer by the time I get inside.)

Anyway, not surprisingly I ran into some problems, so that will be the rest of the day. When I was writing at a kitchen table out there, the Internet was fine. When I moved my little writing stand in there—it’s two inches lowerat 27″—the Internet became iffy.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

From The Digital Reader, see “From eBooks to cBooks…” at http://www.talkingnewmedia.com/2017/10/20/ebooks-cbooks-new-ebook-format-combining-best-book-film-exciting-new-story-platform/. Reminiscent, in an odd way, of silent films back when “movies” first started.

Also from The Digital Reader, see “199+ Plot, Name, Story, and Other Generators” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/22/199-plot-name-story-generators/.

From DWS, see “My Two New Challenges” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/my-two-new-challenges/. Personally, I’m more interested in following the 30 stories in 30 days November challenge.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 500 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 500

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 164453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 611061

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 693 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 8/31

Hey Folks,

Before the sun is up, I already know today will be another day of learning/reading for me. For one thing, irrationally, I’ve become attached to the beginning and ending of months. Go figure.

Frankly, I’m glad August is almost gone. From a writing standpoint, it’s been a traumatic month for me. I probably could have pulled myself out of it any number of times, but I didn’t, so. And in a way, I feel as if I’ve been holding myself back, sort of waiting. Anyway, I’m glad it’s almost gone.

***

We’re in an age in which companies and service providers, instead of assuming we consumers know what we want, assume our lack of intelligence. They assume what we want is for someone else to do everything for us.

This is an assumption that repeatedly ticks me off. It’s part of the natural progression of the dumbing down of America. We’re all being slowly integrated into Sheeple Nation.

Today’s companies strive continually to “improve” their products to make them less complicated and more user friendly. Only they don’t. What they’re actually doing is wresting control away from end users.

They believe we don’t care. And if we do care, we’ll, they’ll never know it or be bothered by it. Ever try to reach a human at one of those corporations?

With every so-called improvement comes less functionality and less personal choice over the functionality that remains.

As an easy example, just look at Microsoft. Both their Windows platform and their applications (Microsoft Office et al) even update automatically now. And they add updates whether or not you want or need them. All of that takes up space and memory in your computer.

And now WordPress is at it again with their impending “improvement” via the forthcoming WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg. I’m leery to say the least.

I’m not a “drag and drop” kind of website builder. I was annoyed when WordPress forced the “customizer” on us, and I’m even more annoyed now. Basically, I just want to continue blogging and working with my website as I have since about 1998.

In short, I want other people’s hands (the hell) off my website.

According to The Digital Reader, I have about a year before Gutenberg will land with both feet on my abdomen. So this morning, I keyed “blogging platforms” into a search engine, and I’ve been reading about them ever since.

I looked through sixteen (16!) comparisons of WordPress with other blogging platforms, and all of them fell short.

So I might just have to put up with yet another learning curve to learn how to use something I didn’t want in the first place. MAN I hate suppositories.

***

Today’s quote, a snippet of conversation between Brett and Jake in The Sun Also Rises. Brett begins:

“You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.”
“Yes.”
“It’s sort of what we have instead of God.”

Wow.

***

Okay, anyway, time to wake myself the hell up and become goal-oriented again. For me, now, the year is four months long. Here are my new goals for the rest of this calendar year:

1. Write at least one short story per week, with the first to be finished by Sunday, Sept 3. (I’ll try to squeeze in two more somewhere to make 20 by year’s end and push my story count to 201 published short stories. Stories may be derived from as-yet unwritten novels.)

I might change my mind, but I don’t think I’ll do any of these “in public.” I will see that my donors get a copy of each one, though, as it’s published.

2. Write two novels each in September, October, November and December. (This will bring me to 16. If I fail by one, I’ll still have 15 on the year.)

3. 21,000 weekly word count (the base is 3000 WPD but the goal is weekly to make it more flexible)

If I pull off the weekly word count goal, I will add at least 366,000 words of fiction to my numbers below and finish the year at something over 745,600 words.

This is silly, really. Especially if you consider that 3,000 words per day isn’t all that difficult, yet it will look like quite a feat. I’ll write almost as much fiction in only 4 months as I wrote in the first 8 months. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

But whatever it takes.

Now I’m gonna post this before I lose my nerve. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

For those of you who prefer stylishly formatted ebooks and use D2D, see “Draft2Digital Introduces Professional-Quality eBook Templates” at https://draft2digital.com/blog/draft2digital-introduces-professional-quality-ebook-templates/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 750 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 750

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 16642
Total fiction words for the year………… 379620
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17290
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 16400
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 516020

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 642 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Saturday, 6/24

Hey Folks,

Not a lot to report today. It’s Saturday and I’m still clearing decks to prep for the upcoming challenge.

This morning so far I made more tweaks on the main website. Then I moved over and made a few tweaks on the Writing in Public website.

After that, I worked on this website, The Daily Journal, to include creating a new header. I also narrowed it a bit and revised some of the colors. Finally I made some major revisions on the MailChimp side of things.

Now I’ve been to the store (with Mona) and am about to go back over to mess with the Writing in Public website again.

Speaking of Writing in Public, Linda Maye Adams is about to embark on a similar challenge at her website. Check out her site at http://lindamayeadams.com/.

Hey, thanks to Alison for mentioning that moving the tag cloud on the main site wouldn’t be a bad idea. And to Gary for mentioning that when he swipes stuff off a blog post, he’d prefer it would have a white background rather than yellow. (grin)

Keep ’em coming. If any of you have any recommendations regarding any of the three main websites (HarveyStanbrough.com, HEStanbrough.com or HStanbrough.com) please let me know.

Today, and Writing

Yeah, no writing today. Still doing prep work with regard to the sites. And with regard to my subconscious, I think.

A few days ago, I had a story idea. The next day, three or four occurred to me. Yesterday and today they’ve been almost nonstop.

It’s a little like being nagged by a two year old, but I’ll take it. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Mark Coker of Smashwords says in this year’s survey he found a lot of gold. See the survey at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/06/smashwords-survey-2017.html/. Note: This is a slideshow. The actual survey begins on page 25 of 111. The summary of key takeaways begins on page 101.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 330 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 330

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13670
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103650
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441607

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 576 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176

The Journal, Friday, 6/23

Hey Folks,

Well, here we are back at HEStanbrough.com. Yep, I’ve moved the Journal back over here. Much more on that in the topic below.

***

Thirty-three years ago today Mona found out I’m a much better judge of women than she is of men. That’s when we tied the knot, and she hasn’t figured out how to untie it yet. (grin)

***

The first gem I took from Dean’s current post (see “Of Interest”) when I started reading was this: “Challenges get me focused for short bursts of time on writing.”

There you go. That’s the reason to establish a challenge. A personal challenge creates focus.

If you have a go at a challenge, at worst you’ll fail to success. Meaning you’ll have more work when the challenge stops than you would have had without it.

And if you succeed outright, you’ll have even more work out there plus the knowledge that you accomplished something you weren’t sure you could do.

Topic: Decluttering and Revamping My Writing Business

The plan for the day is to revise and tweak websites. I’m posting this as a topic in case it gives some of you an idea or two:

StoneThread Publishing — I’m giving up on StoneThread Publishing as a separate entity.

StoneThread was designed to give discounts to booksellers and private readers. Thus far (after almost two years) not one bookseller and few, if any, readers have taken advantage of it.

I’ll retain the name as my publisher, of course, unless I get a really good offer.

HEStanbrough.com — This is the once and future home of The Daily Journal.

I’m sending the Journal back down to the minor leagues beginning today. (grin) Those who are subscribed shouldn’t notice a difference.

I moved the Journal to the main site almost exactly two years ago in hopes of garnering new subscribers. But that hasn’t happened, so away it goes. This move will help declutter the main website. From now on, only the Pro Writers blog posts will appear on the main site.

Also, as more Topics from The Daily Journal become Pro-Writers blog posts, there will be less overlap on the main site.

HarveyStanbrough.com — This is my main website. First, I’m simplifying the menu (I started that yesterday). If you have a moment, take a look and let me know in the comments what you think.

I’m also transfering everything from StoneThread Publishing (individual book pages, etc.) over to this main site. Then I’ll link the StoneThread URL to the main site. I should be finished with this process in a few days.

Now to one more website and the challenge I mentioned above:

HStanbrough.com — This is the new Writing in Public site. This is my modern-day effort to recreate what Harlan Ellison did in that storefront display window several decades ago.

Only those who subscribe to HStanbrough.com will witness my efforts to write short stories (and maybe novellas and novels) “in public,” posted one scene or one chapter at a time.

Everybody who watches NASCAR or Indy car racing watch for one of two reasons: To see whether their favorite driver will prevail or to witness the wrecks first hand.

Wanna see me succeed and watch as I’m building stories? Subscribe. Wanna see me crash and burn? Subscribe. (grin)

Either way, I’ll be glad to have you along.

But don’t dawdle. The new Writing in Public challenge will begin on July 1 at the latest. But knowing me, there’s a good chance it will begin sooner than that.

Today, and Writing

No fiction writing again today, but I made a lot of headway on the websites.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Dean’s “Another Crazy Challenge For Myself” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/another-crazy-challenge-for-myself/. I haven’t read it yet (as I write this), but I suspect it will jump start me.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 520 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 520

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13340
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103320
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441277

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 575 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176