The Journal, Friday, February 23

Hey Folks,

The saga continues. I looked over several Mac laptops and frankly, they were all well out of my range currently.

So I finally contacted Lenovo to see whether there was a way to manually disable the trackpad, since Bill The Godfaddah Gates decided I can no longer disable it through Windows. (Actually, if Gates knew what some mindless moron did, he probably would fire the guy.)

The tech said to disable the trackpad, I had to either press fn+f6 or just f6. One of those would work, he said.

Neither one worked.

Then he said then obviously it was a hardware failure. He recommended I take it to Best Buy to get it repaired.

So let me get this straight: the trackpad DOES work even though I don’t want it to, but it “fails” by not being able to be turned off.

Fine. Got it.

Thing is, I don’t want the trackpad anyway. Why should I pay to have it repaired just so I can turn it off. 🙂

So I flipped over the computer, whipped out my set of jeweler’s screwdrivers, and took a shot of whiskey. Then I opened the back of the computer and poked around until I found a cable that was conveniently marked with a TP (TrackPad) tag. I unplugged it, then folded it back out of the way.

(Thanks to my granddaughter Amber for suggesting I unplug the thing. I’ve done that before but didn’t think of it this time until she brought it up.)

Guess what? No more trackpad. YAY! Now maybe I can get back to more enjoyable things. Like poking myself in the eye with a stick. Or maybe even writing.

For now, the writing ‘puter goes back to the Hovel and the Lenovo resumes its place in my office.

***

I recently copyedited a long novel for a guy. When I emailed him recently to ask about the balance owed, he wrote the reasons the payment was delayed and asked for a couple of weeks’ extension.

Then he wrote something that shocked me: “Anyway, I can’t publish this novel without your concent as you are my copy editor.”

Folks, that’s just flat wrong. No matter who you hire to copyedit or do a cover or formatting or whatever, that person can never require you to get their permission to publish. Just so you know, neither can they require you to include their name as co-author or editor or cover designer or any of that nonsense.

In fact, I specifically tell my clients that if they reject more than 10% of my suggested edits, they are not allowed to tell others I copyedited their work. To do so wouldn’t be fair to me or to the reader.

If any service provider tries this with you, them NO (resoundingly) and find someone honest to deal with.

For a great deal more on this sort of thing, see the first item in “Of Interest” below.

***

No writing today, probably, other than this. Today I’m putting my little two-computer world back together now that I rectified my problem with a pair of pliers and a large hammer. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

See “Business Musings: Editorial Encroachment” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/02/21/20734/.

Just in case you’re interested in supporting Dean’s North by Northwest Kickstarter, check out “Five Days Left” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/five-days-left/. The guy’s helped me so much I try to support him in any way I can.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 570
So total words for the day: 570

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 8193
Total fiction words for the year………… 46349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9510
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 17530
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 63879

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, February 22

Hey Folks,

I probably shouldn’t post anything today. Prepare for a slight rant.

So, any former PC users out there who now use Apple computers?

I’m in the midst of enduring the umpteenth (this year) “update” from Microsoft. Like all their other updates since the inception of Windows 10, this one is mandatory.

I’m not good with that. I’m not good with being told some faceless company wants to update MY property and there’s nothing I can do about it. I guess I just don’t care for suppositories.

I don’t like people who do things to me that I don’t want them to do, then smile smugly and say it’s for my own good.

So if you Apple users can tell me you don’t endure suppositories from The Almighty Businessman on High (whoever the Apple version of Bill Gates is now), I’m gonna make the switch.

I’m just annoyed. Too annoyed. I’m not gonna put up with it anymore.

Is making the switch a hassle? Yes. Is it worth it? If I get the responses I suspect I’ll get, ohdeargawd YES.

So talk to me, Apple users. Especially if you have previous experience with a PC. Gimme your comparison notes. Teach the old dog a new trick or two.

Until I make the switch, I’ll tranfer everything back to my HP (the writing ‘puter) where I can disable the trackpad manually.

So no writing today, beyond this. I have only a half-day on Thursdays anyway, and I’ll be spending the rest of the morning dealing with this issue. Grrrrrr

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Podcast and Cool Video” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/podcast-and-cool-video/.

And strictly for fun, see “Actors Who Served: Hollywood Stars Who Are Military Veterans” at https://www.moviefone.com/2011/04/12/actors-who-served-in-military/.

Also for fun, I used a Facebook note to send an open letter to Bill Gates, not that it will make the slightest difference. You should be able to see that at https://www.facebook.com/notes/harvey-stanbrough/an-open-letter-to-bill-gates/1733139333390947/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 310 (Journal) 410 (Letter to Bill Gates)
So total words for the day: 720

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 8193
Total fiction words for the year………… 46349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8940
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 16960
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 63309

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, February 21

Hey Folks,

Well, a day of writing today I hope. Feeling a bit better I think, and not so much domestic stuff on my plate today. Just checking the PO later. I have a book coming in (grin).

I’ll also have to spend some time with the kitten today. With the weather we’ve been having (extended rain and now ice cold) she hasn’t gotten to go outside much, and she is definitely a love-it-outside kind of a girl.

She has that nice fur coat, but I’ve yet to find any gloves that will fit her, so I worry about her little pads getting too cold. And of course, sugar melts in the rain, so….

***

The KillZone Blog often has a First Page Critique, and they’re done by different professional writers.

I usually don’t mention those here even in the “Of Interest” section because they aren’t my cuppa whatever, but I can understand how they might help some folks, if you’re bent toward learning that way.

I recommend you sign up for an RSS subscription at https://killzoneblog.com/ and check it out. At “free” the price is pretty good.

***

Well, plans change. The house heater’s making a strange sound, so I’ll make myself available to the landlord when he comes over to check it. And later I have to go shopping for food.

***

Also decided today to set aside The Age Exchange. I’m just not excited about it at the moment, so I’ll wait until I am.

And the short story I started yesterday really isn’t. It’s basically a scene of dark humor. Setting it aside too.

I need to get back to writing novels. So the next “Writing of” thing you see below will be a novel title. In a day or two. Today? Back to reading and learning.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Wow. See “More Misc. Stuff Once Again” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/more-misc-stuff-once-again/. And check out my comment there. Can’t say it often enough.

To go directly to the Kickstarter for Dean’s North by Northwest bookstore, click https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/403649867/north-by-northwest-bookstore.

See “A long time ago” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2018/02/a-long-time-ago/. Raymond Chandler’s words. This will almost certainly give you an aha moment.

See “From Watchmen to Catch-22: can TV tackle ‘unfilmable’ books?” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2018/02/from-watchmen-to-catch-22-can-tv-tackle-unfilmable-books/. I love TPG’s extensive take on Milton.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 390 (Journal) 920 (main blog)
So total words for the day: 1310

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 8193
Total fiction words for the year………… 46349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8220
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 16240
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 62589

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, February 20

Hey Folks,

After an intentional day off yesterday, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things today.

I started the day by finishing the copyedit of Mona’s memoir. She hasn’t come up with a title yet. When she does, and when it’s published, I’ll announce it here.

Today I’ll write a bit of fiction. By the end of the day, I should know whether I’m in the mood to continue with The Age Exchange or move on to something else and save The Age Exchange for later. I won’t just toss it out completely.

***

As one item in the “Of Interest” below, Kristine Kathryn Rusch makes some good points re mentors when she stays on point. That’s why I listed it.

Because of some other sections of her post (specifically re her bias concerning “white males,” a group of which her husband and I both are members), I take this opportunity to state unequivocally that I have never met her.

Furthermore, I personally have done nothing as far as I know to “offend” her, other than that bothersome breathing-in-and-out thing I do, of which all us white males are guilty. And for that, of course, I apologize profusely. (grin) Bless her heart.

***

Actually, I didn’t write anything on The Age Exchange today. Didn’t even look at it.

A short story idea occurred to me, so I sat down to write that. But I think maybe I was a little more drained from recent events than I thought. I got almost 2000 words, but decided to leave the rest for tomorrow.

So I’ll go ahead and get this posted.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Some Reasons To Avoid Traditional Publishing” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-reasons-to-avoid-traditional-publishing/. Dean gave me permission to cross-post this one over on the big blog. That will happen in early April.

For fun, see “Your Story’s Character’s Life As A Six Word Story” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/your-characters-life-as-a-six-word-story.html.

See “Business Musings: Mentors, Inspiration, and The Future” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/02/14/business-musings-mentors-inspiration-and-the-future/.

Fiction Words: 1893
Nonfiction Words: 330 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2193

Writing of “LOL” (short story)
Day 1…… 1893 words. Total words to date…… 1893
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 8193
Total fiction words for the year………… 46349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6910
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 14930
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 61279

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, February 19

Hey Folks,

There’s a lot of good stuff in “Of Interest” today, and this is a long post. Steel yourself.

Well, my buddy and I got back a day early from camping. Actually, as rain clouds closed in, we climbed a hill, took a look at the horizon in all directions, and decided the better part of valor at the moment was retreat. (grin)

So we hobbled back down to the campsite, packed up and hauled a… Um, I mean, departed the area.

Sure enough, all the way back heavy rainclouds followed the Gila, west to east, off to our north. And we had been camped along the Gila, teetering only about 500 feet above it on a rock. So….

***

Strangely enough, my buddy wrote a blogette (his term) about fear — not the fear of being caught in a precarious position perched on a ledge high above the Gila River in strong winds — but about fear in writing.

But his take was positive, on using fear to your advantage in writing. Basically, if you DON’T fear what you’re writing, if you don’t stretch yourself, you might get into a rut and get bored. I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s a look at another kind of fear. The kind that seems to paralyze writers once they’ve written. We’ve all faced it.

Topic: Fear of Rejection

Wow. I am depressed.

Well, not really. But had I not finally understood awhile back that I can only advise, and that I can’t afford mentally or emotionally to tie my advice to a given outcome, wow would I be depressed.

I edited a novel for a client in February 2006. Then I edited a rewrite of a couple chapters in April 2006 for the same novel.

This morning, TWELVE YEARS after the initial edit, the guy announced on Facebook that the novel “is going to be submitted for publishing.” Then he named a target date and added that the target date was subject to change.

I. Was. Floored.

Of course, I did my best at my current skill level as an editor twelve years ago to help the writer ensure his manuscript wouldn’t end up in a slush pile. Today it would be a different edit. Today I’d talk more about cliffhangers and openings and grounding the reader.

But I did my best. And I never dreamed that manuscript would still be in a drawer somewhere waiting to be “submitted” or published 12 years later.

There was very little electronic publishing 12 years ago, and very few ebooks. Very few ebook companies or ebook publishers.

In fact, my own massive poetry collection, Lessons for a Barren Population (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004USLSKO), was the first full-length poetry collection published as an ebook. That was in 1998 or 1999. It was a runner up in the Frankfurt Ebook Awards at the Frankfurt Book Fair. But I digress.

Anyway, the keywords in the writer’s announcement are “going to be” and “submitted.” The former is a fear-based phrase. As my mama used to say, “Going-to never did anything.”
“Going to be” is just a fear-based way to put off something that could easily have been done, in this case, 12 years ago.

This is a classic case of the overpowering fear the critical mind can generate. And the kibosh it can put on a writing career.

To my knowledge, this writer has written only this one novel and a few short stories.

Even if he wanted to go with an agent and/or traditional publishing, he could as easily have submitted the manuscript as early as 2006.

Having held off on that for whatever reason (fear of rejection) he still might have easily self-published his novel in 2011 via Smashwords and/or around the same time with Kindle Digital Publishing.

Okay, so in practical terms, think of how much money that book might have made over the past 12 years, or in the alternative, as a self-published book in the past 7 years.

It’s none of my business. And certainly not the way I RUN my business. I’m no businessman, frankly, but I know the customers can’t buy your products (your books) if they aren’t published and available.

With many writers, the thinking goes, “If I put out a book before it’s ready, readers won’t like it.”

My response is, “Well, you don’t know, do you?” And you’ll never know until you publish the thing.

One more note on this… the only way you get better in this art form (as in all other art forms) is Practice.

Had my editing client published his book (or at least submitted it) back in 2006 and moved on to the next one, how many books could he have had out by now?

Even at only one per year (a snail’s pace) he could have announced the submission or publication of his 12th novel this morning. Instead of his first.

And at even 70,000 words per novel (the first was just under 70,000), today he would have 840,000 words of practice writing novels instead of… well, 70,000 words.

At one novel every six months, he’d have announced the publication or submission of his 24th novel this morning. And he’d have written 1,680,000 words of practice. In all probability, he would have been a Stage 4 writer. Sigh.

So the point? If you’re allowing “going to be” to keep you from doing something, please, my friends, shove that thought aside and get on with it.

***

No writing today, other than this. Reading, relaxing, getting ready for tomorrow.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Better Book Descriptions in 3 Easy Steps” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/better-book-descriptions-in-3-easy-steps.html.

See “Want to Sell More Books? WRITE More Books!” at https://www.indiesunlimited.com/2018/02/13/want-to-sell-more-books-write-more-books/. Hmm. Someone I know has been saying this for years.

Take a look at Dean Wesley Smith’s offer for “Lifetime Subscriptions to Workshops and Lectures” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/lifetime-subscriptions-to-workshops-and-lectures/. This is a great value.

I also recommend “A Bunch of Stuff” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-bunch-of-stuff/.

See Linda Maye Adams “Filling the bucket of learning” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2018/02/19/filling-the-bucket-of-learning/.

See “Fun Reading Time” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/fun-reading-time/. He’s looking for input on a couple of new workshop proposals. You might want to check the comments too.

Fiction Words: XXXX (novel revision over the past week)
Nonfiction Words: 1020 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1020

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 6300
Total fiction words for the year………… 44456
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 14600
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 59056

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, February 16

Hey Folks,

My apology in advance for the long post. I promise, it’s worthwhile.

After I signed off yesterday I listened to a few more videos from the “Writing Thrillers” workshop. Good stuff.

Today I’ll probably finish the workshop, then work on some new book pages for StoneThread Publishing. Eventually, each major book we publish will have its own page.

The pages for the novels and short story collections (or most of them) are finished. I only need to add a few of those and then code a new page for each nonfiction book.

But back to the workshop for a moment.

I already know a lot of what I’m hearing in the Thriller workshop, but reminders are good too. And I knew hardly any of it a year or two ago. Yet I thought my writing was good. More on that in the tied-in topic below.

I finished the workshop around 1 p.m. All I can say is Wow. I didn’t think anything could unseat Dean’s “How to Write Science Fiction” workshop for the sheer number of writing gems and excellent insight and advice.

But this “Writing Thrillers” workshop completely eclipses it. I recommend it highly.

I’ll spend the rest of the day working on the StoneThread Publishing website. I might write a bit tomorrow early. Then it’s a few days off for a camping trip near a thousands-of-years-old pueblocito.

I won’t post while I’m gone, obviously, and I’m not going to worry about pre-posting anything. Just be sure to check the KillZone blog and Dean’s blog, and I’ll see you again on Monday or Tuesday.

***

All of this workshop stuff reminds me again of the woman who emailed me a year or so ago asking for a critique of her work.

After some back and forth (I generally don’t offer critiques), I read her story. It was only six pages.

I invested some time (free) and offered a constructive critique in the form of a series of short questions in imbedded comments scattered over the first couple of pages of her manuscript.

Topic: Character, Setting, and Grounding the Reader

In the opening of any story (scene, etc.) you must hook the reader and take them to depth. That means within the first 200 – 500 words, the reader should connect with the POV character in some way AND be firmly grounded in the setting. More on that later.

The story I was to critique opened with a husband on an exercise bike in the living room of their home. His wife came in and they started talking. The conversation went on for three pages.

At no time did I learn what the husband or wife looked like or what they were wearing. I have no idea whether they were young or older, trim or heavy, wet or dry.

I didn’t know anything about the setting except that there was an exercise bike of some sort in the living room and the guy was sitting on it as they talked.

I have no idea what other furniture, if any, was in the living room, whether there were any windows or doors or a fireplace, or whether there was anything on the walls.

(No, wait. As the story opened, the wife DID “walk into” the living room and saw her husband on the exercise bike, so there must have been at least one door.)

But I don’t know whether she came in from outside or from the kitchen. If there was a kitchen.

I don’t know whether the floor covering was carpet, hardwood or tinfoil. Or even whether there was a floor. I have no idea whether it was day or night. There were no clues.

I have no idea why the exercise bike was in the living room, though I kind of assumed he was watching TV as he pedaled. But I have no idea whether there was a TV in the room either. Or a potted plant. Or whether he pedaled, for that matter. There was no movement.

I have no idea whether the temperature in the house was warm or cool. I didn’t hear an air conditioner or fan running, or the exercise bike, for that matter.

The only sounds were the disembodied voices of the characters. There was no sense of setting, no sensation of movement, even on the exercise bike. It was talking heads on a white background, minus the actual heads.

So I made a few suggestions, posed as brief questions like “What’s he look like? What’s she wearing? Can you describe the room?” etc. I explained about grounding the reader, and so on.

In her quick reply, the author wrote only, “I’ll take this under advisement.”

Oh. Well, good for you.

She also told me that “usually critiquers make a point of finding something good to say.”

Umm, I’m pretty sure she had me confused with her mother. Liking something unconditionally is Mom’s job. Mine is to write and, to a lesser degree, to attempt to pass along what I know.

Okay, to that end…

Folks, when you open a story, you MUST pull the reader to depth quickly.

Spend 200 to 500 words naming and describing the POV character and allowing that character to provide his/her opinion of the setting.

And remember that opinion MUST be filtered through the POV character’s physical senses. After all, the story comes from the character, not the writer.

As a quick example, say the setting is a formal library in a mansion and the deceased owner had a habit of smoking a pipe filled with black cherry tobacco while he read.

The reader doesn’t care whether you, the writer, think the room stinks or is aromatic. But what the POV character thinks about the room reveals part of who he/she is and enables the reader to connect.

When any given POV character encounters the smell, one might wrinkle her nose and frown or say something snarky. Another might smile slightly and think of her father, who also smoked a pipe.

In that opening 200 to 500 words, invoke all five of the POV character’s physical senses and let him use those to provide his opinion of the setting.

The lighting is dim or bright (happy or glaring, etc.); the wingback chair, which is covered in human skin, is repulsive or interesting or even enticing; the paneled walls evoke a warm, comfortable feeling or are closing in. You get the idea.

This technique, this opening, will both reveal part of the POV character’s character and enable the reader to see, hear, taste, smell and feel the setting. It will pull the reader into the POV character’s head.

And your reader will be firmly hooked. THEN you can allow the plot to advance, get into the action and so on without risking losing the reader’s interest.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Radish Fiction” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/radish-fiction-a-new-income-source-for-writers-plus-changes-to-amazon-kindle-worlds.html. There’s a bunch of stuff about Amazon Kindle Worlds first, but you can scroll down to Radish Fiction. It’s worth the short read, and it has nothing to do with radishes. (grin)

See “Hugh Howey: Self-publishing is the future — and great for writers” at https://www.salon.com/2013/04/04/hugh_howey_self_publishing_is_the_future_and_great_for_writers/.

Dean has upped the ante on his new Kickstarter. See “North by Northwest Kickstarter Getting New Rewards” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/north-by-northwest-kickstarter-getting-new-rewards/.

Fiction Words: XXXX (novel revision over the past week)
Nonfiction Words: 1180 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1180

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 6300
Total fiction words for the year………… 44456
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5560
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 13580
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 58036

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, February 14

Hey Folks,

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

Well, I’m learning a lot about writing thrillers from reading Jack Higgins and Lee Child. But I’m all about cutting learning curves (mine and other’s) so this morning I also signed up for Dean’s “Writing Thrillers” online workshop.

It’s a classic workshop, meaning no homework, but it’s also half-price at only $150. Six weeks of instruction, and I’ll get through it in a week or so. Probably I’ll work on that whenever I need a break from prepping my latest novel for publication or working on the StoneThread Publishing website.

Another good thing about Dean’s having moved his workshops to Teachable.com is that once you buy one, you can revisit it whenever you like and as many times as you like. Great value.

I don’t mean for this to sound like an advertisement. It’s just that if you want to invest in your writing, his workshops are a great way to go.

To the degree that I’m able, I’ll review the workshop for you re its value once I’m finished with it.

***

I worked on my previous novel (reading over it) until around 1 p.m., then decided to listen to the first week of videos in the Thriller workshop.

That took only about a half-hour, so I listened to the second week too. Already well worth the money.

Then back to the reading of the novel. Very cool. I even came up with a couple of ideas for sequels. (grin)

***

If I may ask a favor, if you enjoy this Journal and/or my Pro Writers blog over on the big site, would you spread the word to your writer friends? Maybe even mention it in a meeting if you’re in one of those groups? Much appreciated.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

OMG. See “Hollow Point Bullets & Other Stuff” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/hollow-point-bullets-other-stuff.html. And thanks to John Gilstrap for this excellent article.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 320 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 320

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 2405
Total fiction words for the year………… 40561
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4040
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 12060
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 52621

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, February 13

Hey Folks,

Not sure what’s going on in my head currently. I have to slow down, I know that much. Probably today I’ll try to finish getting StoneThread Publishing up to par, and then do the necessary things to publish my previous novel.

I gave up on the notion of reading it to my wife. We’re both too tired in the evenings for that sort of thing.

When I do return to writing, well, I’m kind of losing interest in my WIP, The Age Exchange. Not really, but sort of.

The thing is, I’m itching to write a true thriller. I love writing action and convoluted story lines, and thrillers are mostly non-stop action and convoluted story lines.

So that itch has morphed into a possible desire to make The Age Exchange an SF thriller, which would be really cool. But to do that, I have to let the basic premise boil around in my head for at least a few more days.

In the interim, if another thriller crops up, I might set aside the WIP and come back to it after I write what would then be the new WIP.

I have two ideas for thriller series at the moment (plus the one-off that would be The Age Exchange).

One began with “what would I do if I could do it over” thought re my own life, and the other has to do with the sequels I mentioned yesterday.

Not sure which of those (or perhaps something else entirely) I’ll write when I start again, but I do know for now it’s important to slow down, do things that are necessary. Those include gtting StoneThread Publishing done, then designing a cover, formatting and publishing Keeper of the Promise.

I plan to keep publishing this Journal every day too even through this brief non(fiction)-writing period, so we’ll see.

Well, as of noon-thirty all I’ve done is read through Keeper of the Promise. About a third of the way through, converting the necessary text to italics, etc. After I finish that (probably tomorrow) I’ll move on to StoneThread Publishing and put that behind me.

Okay, so I’m gonna go ahead and post this and get on with it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “The Latest Trends In Cover Design: Think Pink?” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/the-latest-trends-in-cover-design-think-pink.html. Remember, these are suggestions, not ironclad rules. (grin)

Linda Maye Adams touched on something that’s been bugging my obstinate self for awhile in “Apologizing for What’s in Our Stories?” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2018/02/12/apologizing-for-whats-in-our-stories/.

For some great humor, see “I Am the Very Model of a New York Times Contrarian” at http://amp.slate.com/culture/2018/02/i-am-the-very-model-of-a-new-york-times-contrarian.html. I was amazed to find this on Slate.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan (I’m not) you might enjoy “Infographic: Getting from A to B like Harry Potter” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/02/12/infographic-getting-b-like-harry-potter/.

To see the value of a regular schedule, see “Still Having Sleep Issues” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/still-having-sleep-issues/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 480 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 480

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 2405
Total fiction words for the year………… 40561
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 11740
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 52301

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, February 8

Hey Folks,

Good stuff in “Of Interest” again today.

Well, mostly a day off today. Mona will be at work this morning. While she’s doing that I’ll be working on a copyedit of her recent memoir. That will probably take up the morning and part of tomorrow.

Otherwise, I’ll spend an hour or two reading today.

Then this afternoon we’re going to Sierra Vista for a combination of shopping and just getting away for a few hours.

Of Interest

See “Eight Ways to Tell if Your Author Site Has Been Hacked” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/02/07/eight-ways-tell-author-site-hacked/.

There’s a cute video re Dean’s new Kickstarter campaign. See “We Have Liftoff… North by Northwest Kickstarter” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/we-have-liftoff-north-by-northwest-kickstarter/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 120 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 120

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 2405
Total fiction words for the year………… 40561
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1950
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 9970
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 50531

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, February 7

Hey Folks,

Not sure what I’ll do today for writing, other than this. We’ll see. In the meantime, Dean and Kris have come up with two new workshops. See “Of Interest” below.

As it turned out, I wrote a blog post for HarveyStanbrough.com. Almost a thousand words. Some of you will like it. It’s titled “The Use of Italics, Revisited.” I moved the other pre-posted ones out, so the new one will post next Tuesday.

Well, also as it turned out, today I finished cycling through the short story that I’m turning into a novel. It took about two hours (so two sessions) and in that time I added a little over 1100 words.

Not too bad for cycling. When I return to the WIP in a day or two, I should be able to get back up to speed. Very interested to see where this is going to go.

See you in a day or two.

Of Interest

Check out “Two Brand New Workshops and Special Offer” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/two-brand-new-workshops-and-special-offer/.

See “Avoid Burnout With Strategic Breaks” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/avoiding-burnout-with-strategic-breaks.html.

Just for fun, see “What Did That Sign Say?” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/what-did-that-sign-say.html.

Fiction Words: 1120
Nonfiction Words: 1180 (200 Journal, 980 Blog)
So total words for the day: 2300

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390

Total fiction words for the month……… 2405
Total fiction words for the year………… 40561
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1830
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 9850
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 50411

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182