The Journal, Thursday, November 9

Hey Folks,

Tomorrow marks the 242nd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Happy Birthday and Semper Fi to any Marines out there.

Sometime tomorrow, I’ll get off by myself and drink a toast (probably a shot of Beam Devil’s Cut) to those brothers and sisters who are no longer with us.

To those who are still around,

May your days be vibrant,
your evenings calm,
your heart safe and warm at home.
Semper Fi
***

The air is damp and chilly this morning. Probably around 40-some degrees, but damp so it feels colder. We got 3/10ths of an inch of rain night before last, and then were socked in with heavy, San Francisco type fog for a few hours yesterday morning.

I prefer the damper air. It’s very good for breathing, at least in my case.
***

Not much going on today. Mostly just prepping for the visit with two of our sons and their families.

Otherwise I’m reading and periodically checking online for items that might be of interest.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

DWS is offering a great deal. See “Holiday Offer for Workshops” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/holiday-offer-for-workshops/.

Via The Passive Voice, see “The People in Your Office” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/11/08/business-musings-the-people-in-your-office/.

Because I have a friend who was slandered (and maybe libeled, I don’t remember), see “Taylor Swift is Threatening to Sue a Blog for Calling Her a White Supremacist” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/11/taylor-swift-is-threatening-to-sue-a-blog-for-calling-her-a-white-supremacist/.

I wasn’t surprised, frankly, to see the ACLU standing up against Ms. Swift given their severe lean to the left side of the political spectrum. They tend to be all about the Constitution when they can use it to pummel someone on the Right.

But I was somewhat surprised to see TPG’s comment and those of a few others. I suppose, now, we can say (or publish) whatever we want about whomever we want and are protected by the first amendment. Just like that, libel and slander are protected speech. Huh. Who knew?

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……… 2238
Total fiction words for the year………… 451680
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4070
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 172133
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 623813

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 711 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, Wednesday, November 8

Hey Folks,

Well, I believe (knock on wood) the worst of the cigar madness is behind me.

Something in my mind sort of snapped late yesterday, leading to a lot more clarity than I’ve enjoyed in a while. I hope it stays that way.
***

I wrote for a little while, just some dialogue between two wise guys over a poker hand, something to get my hand in.

One wise guy is complaining that his associates think he doesn’t understand the concept of LOL all that well.

The other asks him for an example.

The first one says, “Oh. Well, I mean, say I’m workin’ a blade into this numbers guy an’ I say, ‘Hey, this is a STICKY situation, ain’t it? LOL.’ Now how is that not appropriate?

“I mean, a ‘sticky’ situation? You get it, am I right?

“Or since I gotta hit him with the knife several times, you know, to be sure, maybe I say ‘Hey, it’s almost like you’re STUCK in time, eh? LOL.’ Eh? Eh? You see where I’m goin’ here, am I right?”

He looks away, takes a drag off a cigarette, mumbles, “An’ they say I ain’t got the concept.” He shakes his head and looks up at his friend. “Seriously, can you believe that or what?”
***

Otherwise I installed the Opera browser on my business computer. Firefox was just dragging it down too much. But get this: Opera imported all my bookmarks, etc. from Firefox and I didn’t even have to ask. It’s a quick browser that, at least so far, doesn’t eat up a lot of CPU or memory.

I also revised my website a little more, again, still fine-tuning it to be a writer’s website. This time I got rid of the left sidebar, put everything in the right, and widened the right sidebar from 25% to 30%.

On the writing side, I began conceiving of a new set of goals, and a new overall annual goal that will rival Dean’s AND remain realistic. Not ready yet to announce it.

We have a big weekend coming up with two of our sons and their wives and children visiting, so looking forward to that. I suspect by Monday I’ll be ready to focus on fiction writing again.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

I hoped to have something here today, but frankly I didn’t see anything I thought was worth sharing.

Fiction Words: 1133
Nonfiction Words: 410 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 410

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 2238
Total fiction words for the year………… 451680
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3740
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 171803
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 623483

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 710 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, Tuesday, November 7

Hey Folks,

A mild morning for a change, at the cusp of 50°. If I took a photo straight up at the moon in the high mist, it would make a great horror or romance cover. Funny how those two genres can be so closley related in the images they invoke. Or maybe it isn’t.
***

Well, self-publishing platform and distributor Pronoun is shutting down. See “Epilogue” at https://pronoun.com/. I never got around to using them because of the extremely condescending language on their interface.

However, in other news, my preferred distributor, Draft2Digital, now distributes to Amazon. I am in hebben. For the announcement, please see https://www.draft2digital.com/blog/draft2digital-now-distributes-to-amazon/.

So Pronoun, who famously distributed works to Amazon, shut down yesterday, and then D2D, who previously distributed works to all the big-name players EXCEPT Amazon, began distributing to Amazon today. Hmmm.

Now I’m waiting for the announcement that McMillan bought D2D. (I hope it doesn’t come.)
***

Had to run a repair on my Office 365 today to make it work. Sure have had a lot of weird stuff happen recently. Ugh.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Oh my. See “An Offer To Readers for My Coming Challenge” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/an-offer-to-readers-for-my-coming-challenge/. Note the money back guarantee toward the end of the post.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 200 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 200

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 1105
Total fiction words for the year………… 450547
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3330
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 171393
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 621940

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 709 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
Days free of nicotine…………………………………………………………… 28

The Journal, Monday, November 6

Hey Folks,

I am annoyed to no end when some machine or program thinks it knows better than I what I want. Of course, the machine can’t be held to fault. Nor, these days, can the humans behind the machines because there’s no way to contact or, ahem, engage the humans directly.

Of course, if I were regularly screwing up people’s lives that much just as if it were a pleasurable past time, I wouldn’t want anyone to be able to get hold of me either.

Increasingly, “updates” (ostensibly “improvements”) are foisted upon us whether or not we want them. And this is all strictly because the [Fill in the Blankety Blank] Company wants it that way.

Yeah? Well it’s MY money I’m spending. What about what I want?

Yesterday a message popped up in a small box on the lower right corner of my screen. It read “Updates are available for Office 365. Click this message to begin updates.”

I was busy, so I clicked the X in the corner of the message to close it instead. I’d get back to it when I was at a stopping point.

But the program went ahead with the updates anyway.

I do have Office 365 installed, but I also have Microsoft Word 2007 installed. I did that myself a long time ago (10 years?) in a separate folder, etc. to save the computer becoming confused.

And I did it for a reason, primarily so I could use the Photo Editor that came with that wonderful program. With an earlier round of “improvements” Microsoft “improved” the Office Suite by removing the photo editor.

When Microsoft “improved” Office 365 yesterday, they somehow mananged to access my installation of Office 2007 and reinstall it OVER Ofice 365. This despite my previous installation having been in a separate partition of the hard drive.

They actually sought it out, found it, removed it, then reinstalled it over the newer program.

Then for good measure, they changed all my defaults. So when I opened a spreadsheet, it opened with Excel 2007. When I opened a Word document, it opened with Word 2007.

I finally had to completely uninstall Office 2007. I had no idea whether doing so would maul my entire Office installation since Bill Gates’ minions had mixed and matched them.

In the end, I was able to restore Office 365 as my default program for Excel, Word, etc. But of course, now my photos open with Paint.

I still have Photo Editor on my writing ‘puter. I’ll try later today to re-install it on my business ‘puter.

The typical response to such affronts is “Well, you can always use blah blah blah.”

Yeah, I KNOW I can do use some other program, but I already HAD the program I wanted to use. I bought it, paid for it, and some nameless, faceless corporation summarily removed it. Is there anyone left in America who does anything other than roll over anymore?

The first thing I did after I uninstalled Office 2007 was to disable updates to Office products. Period. And those are the only choices. You can have updates or you can disable them, but you can’t pick and choose which ones to install, when to install them, etc. It’s all or nothing.

And that’s fine. I’d rather have no updates than some I don’t want.

Okay, rant mostly ended. Grates on me that we’re careful not to lose our freedom of choice to politicians, then hand it over lock, stock and rubber duck to the corporations AND pay them for the privelege.

The whole thing puts me in the mood to download Corel WordPerfect and start using it again. Hmm. In case you’re interested, see http://www.wordperfect.com/en/product/office-suite/.
***

Dean has moved all his online workshops to Teachable. I mention it because now when you sign up for a workshop with him, you have access to it forever. (Used to he allowed access for about two weeks after the course ended.) This is significant. If you’re interested, see https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/yeah-all-november-workshops-on-teachable/.
***

Working with my computers and reading today. No fiction writing. Soon.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Linda Maye Adams’ “The Search for Discoverability” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/11/06/the-search-for-discoverability/.

And remember that the main thing you can do to enhance your discoverability is create more product (write more stories and books). The more you have “out there” the easier it is to find.

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……… 1105
Total fiction words for the year………… 450547
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3130
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 171193
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 621740

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 708 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, 11/2

Hey Folks,

Hmm… a meandering, personal-thought journey in today’s Journal….

I’ve still been thinking about challenges, but I think that’s almost over.

I thought about a challenge in which I would write at least one opening per day during the month of November.

If the opening took off, I’d write it. If not but if it piqued my interest, it would go into my Openings file. Either way, I’d still have to write a new opening every day.

But something didn’t feel quite right about that. Mostly it felt too contrived, probably because it was.

The main thing, I think, is that I don’t feel like I need to push or be pushed. I feel like when it’s time, I’ll write again. In short, I don’t want to force it.

That’s kind of an epiphany. So I’ll think about this challenge a little more.

No. I’m certain I won’t do the challenge, at least not as I first conceived of it.

Maybe I’ll make a few adjustments and then do it. Like if an opening takes off, I won’t write anymore openings until I’ve finished the story that took off. That might be all right.

But again, if I don’t want to force the issue, what’s the real purpose?

Maybe I’ll just forget the whole challenge silliness and trust that when I’m ready, the words will be there. (grin) We’ll see.

Okay, I called it “challenge silliness.” But back when I was first starting out, especially with writing novels, challenges were a very important part of that.

The various challenges I took-on drove me to the keyboard and kept me writing. Without them I probably never would have written a whole novel, much less 27 of them.

But today I don’t really need to be driven to the keyboard. Today when I get an idea that feels good, I just sit down and write. I break about once an hour, but otherwise I just write until I’m through the scene or chapter. Or too tired to keep going.

I stop with a jagged edge, then come back to it the next day, write my way out of the jagged edge and continue on. So maybe I’m beyond needing challenges. Is that possible? I do know that when the challenge is only about numbers, it no longer interests me because I’ve been there and done that.

And I have the kind of personality that rebels against being artificially psyched up or motivated.

Even back in high school when we were required to put our hands in the center of a circle, count one-two-three and yell “Team!” I was almost embarrassed. I just wanted to go play football already. I mean, does that sort of nonsense really help anyone?

It’s prevalent enough even in professional sports that I suppose it does, but it never did anything but annoy me. For me, it’s right up there with someone saying (with all good intentions) “I know you can do it.”

The truth is, the person “knows” no such thing. Again, artificial encouragement.
***

I was reading more of Stephen King’s take on writing in story introductions here and there.

SK writes into the dark, and he writes very fast, usually holding himself to four clean pages (around 2,000 words) per day When He’s Writing.

He also engages in cycling, going back over what he’s written each day, though I think I read somewhere that he’s more of a “taker-outer” than a “putter-inner.” (I’m definitely a putter-inner.)

Anyway, when SK isn’t writing, he’s mulling, observing, listening, reading and waiting. And when it’s time to write again, he writes.

A couple of days ago, I put up a quote of his here: ““Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.”

The thing is, when he has something to write, he gets up and goes to work. When he doesn’t, he doesn’t.

It isn’t that he’s “taking time off” between books. It’s that he doesn’t have anything to write.

That’s kind of how I’m feeling recently. And more and more, I think that’s probably all right.

You’ll note, maybe, that I’ve removed the accounting for Pulp Novel 5 from the Journal. It’s officially stalled at something over 13,000 words. Should it revive at some point, I’ll put it back. I promise.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Wow. Via The Digital Reader, see “Interactive Ebooks? Almost…” at JA Konrath’s blog at http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2017/11/interactive-ebooks-almost.html.

Also via The Digital Reader, see “8 Tips on Pricing Kindle Ebooks” at https://selfpublishingadvice.org/how-to-price-an-ebook/. Note: I offer this only as additional information. Her tips look pretty good to me but nothing really new.

See “Lifelike ‘Sophia’ Robot Granted Citizenship to Saudi Arabia” at https://www.livescience.com/60815-saudi-arabia-citizen-robot.html. Yeah. This is not a joke.

Today I refer you to The Passive Voice website for a lot of interesting things. Visit http://www.thepassivevoice.com/. Enjoy.

Finally see Dean’s “False Start on Challenge” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/false-start-on-challenge/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 780 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 780

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 1105
Total fiction words for the year………… 450547
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 169443
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 619990

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 704 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, Tuesday, 10/31

Hey Folks,

Happy Hallowe’en.

I’d planned to return to my WIP novel today, but didn’t. Other things took priority, but it was still a good day. No more pushing it. I’ll write when it’s time.

In the meantime, a brand new bundle launched today. The Trouble Comes Calling bundle contains my mystery novel, The Platinum Blond Perturbance. You can see the ad for the bundle at the top of the left sidebar on my website. The photo will take you to the bundle page.
***

“I’m not really that knowledgeable about police work. The real story is in the psychology of the characters.” ~ James Lee Burke

Worked on my website a little more this morning. I’m always trying to tweak it closer to being a writer’s website. I think it’s pretty much there. Take a look and let me know what you think.

The changes today were pretty big, so I thought I’d outline them for you here.

The main blog is still there, of course, but under the Home tab. As a related aside, I’ve thought about publishing a post occasionally on a Friday about my characters or my WIP or whatever. Then again, this Journal kind of covers the bases for that.

I got rid-of or reconfigured pretty much every tab. The new tabs for the long fiction are The Wes Crowley Saga with a drop-down menu, then Mystery/Action/SF with a drop-down menu.

It was kind of neat, grouping the non-Wes Crowley books. I found out I have 8 mystery novels, 6 Action-Adventure novels or novellas, and 7 Science Fantasy novels. Weird. I don’t remember having written that much. (grin)

After that is the Short Fiction tab with a drop-down menu. Then come the Writing Books, then For Writers with a drop-down menu, then my bio and personas.

Under the For Writers tab are Copyediting, Audio Lectures, Writer Resources, and Free Stuff.

Like I said, the change (or rearrangement) was pretty extensive.
***

I’ve come to understand that I’m motivated by the novels of Stephen King and James Lee Burke. I mention those two specifically because I know they write in much the same way I do. They just write off into the dark.

When asked by an interviewer, “How do you approach writing a new novel?” James Lee Burke replied, “I never know where a book is going. I have no plan. They just evolve and I incrementally discover the story.”

And King has said publicly he tries to make a habit of turning out four good pages per day (about 2,000 words). When he writes, he does nothing else.

So why am I motivated specifically by these two? Because even as I’m lost in the story, on some subsurface level I’m aware that they’re allowing the characters to shine through. They’re putting their fingers on the keyboard and trusting what comes. And what comes is amazing.

Soon, fingers crossed, I’ll get back to doing the same thing. But for today, no fiction writing. I’m going to read.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you read “A Story About Piracy” via The Passive Voice, you will be glad you did. See it at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/a-story-about-piracy/.

For an interview with James Lee Burke, see http://www.januarymagazine.com/profiles/jlburke.html.

To get JA Konrath’s The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing in PDF, visit http://harveystanbrough.com/downloads/ and click The Newbie’s Guide To Publishing.

Via The Digital Reader, see “Create an Ebook Cover with Spark and Canva: Which is Better?” at https://publishdrive.com/ebook-cover-with-spark. I mention this one mostly for the links in the article. Well worth the time to read and play.

Check out Dean’s “Catching Up And Pulphouse Fun” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/catching-up-and-pulphouse-fun/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 610 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 610

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…… 2834 words. Total words to date…… 13071

Total fiction words for the month……… 15296
Total fiction words for the year………… 449442
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 168063
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 617505

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 702 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, Monday, 10/30

Hey Folks,

This morning, in a piece I was reading online, I saw this: “In my opinion, less is more, just as it is when you’re writing, period.”

Oh dear god. I can almost see him primping.

Every time I hear a writer say “Oh, in writing, less is more,” I want to suggest they write nothing at all then. Based on their reasoning, their canon of work should expand exponentially.

But I can’t bring myself to do it. The vacant-eyed, slack-jawed stare that would ensue as the moron wondered whatever in the world I was talking about might be just enough to send me over the edge.

Hey, carpe jugulum.

And either the author of the article (James Ledbetter) or one of the bon vivants featured in the article tossed in a “try and weed out” where he or she meant to say “try TO weed out.”

The preposition “to” followed by a verb forms what is called an infinitive. Now, class, what do we call the conjunction “and” followed by a verb?

Yes, that’s right. A blatant illustration of ignorance.

Yeah, I know. Picky. But these things matter. You’re either a professional or you aren’t.

And the truth is, you don’t have to write a word of fiction to prove yourself a pretentious, condescending snob, uttering ridiculous platitudes that have zero meaning beyond the rhythm of the syllables themselves.

Hey, anything to add emphasis to that pinkie raised alongside the teacup or wine glass, eh?

Then again, the article was in the New Yorker, so maybe pretentious and condescending fits.

At any rate, I’ll ‘try and’ ignore my desire to hold the writer responsible for what he puts on the page. Instead I’ll ‘try and’ understand that he knew what he meant to say and so should I. After all, if the reader misunderstands, that’s the reader’s fault, right? Right? (Umm, no.)

Oh, the name of the article is “When British Authors Write American Dialogue, or Try To.” Perhaps it should have been titled “When American Essayists Write in the American Language, or Try To: Illustration of a Failure.”

Maybe before the New Yorker continues paying Mr. Ledbetter the big bucks, they should require him to ‘try and’ learn how to use the language.
***

I actually wrote fiction today. I’m not sure why. I thought I’d look back at the novel I started, read over it and see where it goes.

It went pretty well, actually, within itself. But I still don’t get a feeling that it wants to run to a full story.

Since today is the 30th and I have one more day in this month, I’ll give that one more day to this same story and see what happens. If it doesn’t take off, maybe I’ll shelve it and begin something new.

I really enjoy writing the two major characters currently in the WIP but I don’t know that they enjoy being written. Know what I mean? Maybe I’m intruding and they aren’t ready to tell this story yet.

Who knows… maybe my subconscious, realizing it’s under the gun, will cough up some good stuff. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Some interesting stuff in Dean’s “Some Clutter Gone” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-clutter-gone/. For my money (at the risk of the pot calling the kettle seared), he fiddled around with his website as an excuse—albeit a worthwhile one—to put off writing until his challenges begin.

Via The Digital Reader, see “Checklist: Eight Items to Include in an Author’s Book Listing” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/29/checklist-eight-items-include-authors-book-listing/.

Also via The Digital Reader, see the rant-starting “When British Authors Write American Dialogue, or Try To” at https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/when-british-authors-write-american-dialogue-or-try-to/.

Fiction Words: 2834
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3384

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…… 2834 words. Total words to date…… 13071

Total fiction words for the month……… 15296
Total fiction words for the year………… 449442
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 167453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 616895

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 701 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, 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, Sunday, 10/22

Hey Folks,

Tomorrow — Another Memorial Day — On October 23, 1983 the Barracks in Beirut was bombed. Please remember.
***

I didn’t roll out until 4:15 this morning after watching the Yankees sigh their last for the season last night. Oh well. What a powerhouse they have for the next few to several years.

We have a trip to Sierra Vista scheduled for today. I’ve already decided (at 8:20 a.m.) that I won’t write any fiction today. Still in deck-clearing mode. I wouldn’t want to bump into myself in the fog.

Soon, as a friend would say, all will be well. Then I’ll slip back into the groove of this thing I do and we’ll see where it takes me.

Semi-frigid outside this morning at 39 degrees. T-shirt weather when I lived in Indiana, but heavy coat weather out here where the heat thins the blood. (That’s silly, of course, but it sounds right doesn’t it?)
***

I’ve thought recently about writing a book on personal physics.

It’s long been suspected that different worlds are ruled by different sets of physical laws.

It has NOT long been suspected (by anyone but me) that the same is true of the various personal worlds right here on this planet.

But it makes perfect sense.

After all, we each have our own gravity (often depending on the situation in which we find ourselves), are the center of our own universe for purposes of observation (always), are stable (or hey, maybe not) to varying degrees, and so on.

And that, I believe, explains how one person can appear to be the scatterbrained purveyor of a life-long soup sandwich yet accomplish everything he sets out to accomplish while adding more to his personal plate of stuff-to-do with pretty much every passing day, and why another person can be focused and concise and clear-minded, yet accomplish zip-point-squat.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not complaining.

I’m just trying to postulate a new theorum here, one that has to do with a personal physics. A set of personal physical laws that, other than a passing nod to Gravity and a begrudging acknowledgment of the need to sleep and thus be rejuvenated, completely trumps the laws of physics for the overall planet.

When you read the entry on DWS in today’s “Of Interest” you will understand more about why I believe individualized personal laws of physics exist.
***

Wow. See the second item in “Of Interest” below.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “A Job By Another Name” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-job-by-another-name/.

Good old Amazon is at it again. See “Amazon’s Hall of Spinning Knives” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/amazons-hall-of-spinning-knives/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 430 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 430

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… 11270
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 163953
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 610561

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 692 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, Friday, 10/20

Hey Folks,

I love finding new resources, and I was handed one yesterday. A guy who represents another guy sent me a link to the second guy’s work and asked me to look it over.

There are so many scams in this world, at first I thought this was just another one. It wasn’t.

I looked it over briefly yesterday, then added two links to my website, one on Character Development under Writers’ Resources and one pointing to Jerry Jenkins’ website. That one’s under both Writers’ Resources and Quick Links.

Then this morning I spent a couple of hours reading different things on his website. It was time well spent.

When you have time to browse for awhile, check out the website of NYT bestselling author Jerry Jenkins.

Check out his Courses while you’re there, and maybe even his Writers Guild. But whatever you do, be sure to check his Resources tab. Some great stuff there.

His website is https://www.jerryjenkins.com/.
***

Not even thinking much about fiction today. I’m just gonna allow myself the time I need to drift through this major change. I have to admit, I didn’t think it would be this disruptive.

But regardless of expectations, what happens happens and it goes the way it goes and we deal with it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “A Book Ban Like No Other” at http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2017/10/book-ban-like-no/. The utter idiocy of some people is simply unbelievable.

Visit Linda Maye Adams’ blog for some great items of interest at http://lindamayeadams.com/2017/10/20/adventures-around-the-web-october-14-20-2017/.

If you’re interested in the upcoming “Orionid Meteor Shower 2017” see https://www.space.com/34373-orionid-meteor-shower-guide.html.

Almost forgot to check Dean’s site. He says he’s coming “Back To Regular Programming” (soon) at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/back-to-regular-programming/.

Via The Passive Voice, see “An Exemplary Mouse” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/an-exemplary-mouse/. I still have the very first wireless mouse I ever bought. I’ll stick with that one for now.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 310 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 310

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… 10400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 163083
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 609691

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 690 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