The Journal, Tuesday, 7/4

Hey Folks,

In addition to being Independence Day, today is the birth date of the most important person in the world to me.

My wife, Mona Gay Griffith Stanbrough (who much prefers to remain anonymous), was born on this date roughly 39 years ago. (grin) Happy birthday, sweetheart.

Wow. Yesterday, not five minutes after I posted this Journal, I ran across this quote from The Passive Voice:

“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” ~ Douglas Pagels

I’ll take it.

I only mentioned the slump on here in the first place because this is supposed to be a candid look at my life as a writer. So the “bad” along with the good.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who commented via the site or emails.

One suggested it’s all right to take a “hiatus.” Another thought I should probably “shake it off” and get on about my business. A few others simply encouraged me to keep at it.

I really do appreciate any concern, but I’m not worried at all. I’m sure this will all work its way out in the wash.

Re the term I used (slump), probably it’s a matter of personal definition. To me, a hiatus is a vacation, something we plan. “Slump” is a term I stole from the baseball world. The guy still has all the mechanics in place, but he finds himself unable to deliver.

During this slump, I’ll continue to think like a writer. I’ll read, I’ll look at cover photos, and I’ll write down the opening lines of narrative and dialogue that pop into my head.

I’ll come up with ideas and write openings. If one takes off, the slump will end. Until then, it won’t. But I’m okay with that.

At least I’m still writing every day, if only in this Journal. (grin)

Today, and Writing

Posting this early, then taking a hiatus from my slump today to enjoy the day with the birthday girl. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Pretty sure during this month DWS is going to lay out his day and report on progress on his challenge each day. Worth following even when I don’t mention him here. You never know what little phrase or sentence he’ll write that will plant exactly the seed you need. http://deanwesleysmith.com.

Linda Maye Adams continues to progress on her own challenge, posting one scene per day at http://lindamayeadams.com.

My friend Christopher Ridge is taking on a challenge this month too, but I’ve forgotten the URL of his website. Chris? Add your website URL to your signature at the bottom of your emails and email me. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 460 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 460

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1840
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 109670
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 447627

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 586 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, Sunday, 7/2

Hey Folks,

I always hate registering a zero for fiction writing for the first day of the month. But it is what it is.

I didn’t clear the decks quite well enough to approach my much-touted WIP challenge in July. My wife’s birthday and vacation are both this month, and my son recently moved to Arizona, so visits will ensue. I’ll get back to the challenge sometime in the future. No rush.

For now I’m going to not think about challenges other than the ongoing novel-a-month thing and just get back to writing.

Yesterday, ideas were lining up outside my mental door and flinging themselves at it. I expect more of the same today.

I’ve also recognized something new about myself. I enjoy writing short stories, but I enjoy writing novels a lot more.

Even when I was writing short stories early last month, some small part of my subconscious was watching and hoping a novel would emerge.

I’m not sure what that means yet, but I suspect it will bode well for me. Stay tuned.

Topic: Writing Prompts

I’m not sure this is really big enough for a whole topic. But the notion of it is big enough that it deserves the tag.

As I looked through some of the writing-prompt sites this morning (see “Of Interest”), a thought occurred.

Poets and Writers’ weekly column “The Time Is Now” offers three prompts per week. They emphasize that one prompt is for poetry, one for fiction, and one for creative nonfiction.

I visited the site. As I scrolled down and read over some of the prompts, I got a great deal more inspiration as I read the paragraph beneath each prompt. So that’s one thing. And I actually got more than one idea from most of the paragraphs.

I also got some great, impactful story titles from some of their titles and derived from the paragraphs under the titles.

But another, much bigger relization is that ANY of the prompts can be used for fiction. Or poetry or creative nonfiction, I suppose. And that makes complete sense.

I’ve written several short stories that were based on poems I wrote years ago. I’ve written at least two novels based on poems I wrote earlier as well.

You can check out “The Time Is Now” at https://www.pw.org/writing-prompts-exercises/.

As you browse the list of other websites in the article in “Of Interest,” you’ll find more neat stuff.

Today, and Writing

Nothing again today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Self-Publishing Does Not Have to Cost You Anything at http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2017/06/26/it-self-publishing-does-not-have-to-cost-you-anything/. Amen.

Also via The Passive Voice, see “6 Websites with Great Writing Prompts” at https://medium.com/personal-growth/6-websites-with-great-writing-prompts-1c35288ef91a/. There’s actually more than writing prompt sites. Check out this one.

Have I said lately how much DWS amazes me? Check out “Novel One: Day One” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-one-day-one/.

If you have books available through Smashwords, visit https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos to enroll your books in their annual July Summer/Winter Sale. You know. If you want to.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 490 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 490

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 600
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 446387

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 584 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, 6/30

Hey Folks,

Yay! The last day of what turned out to be a major transition month for me. At least as far as life and websites go.

This morning I realized there’s a glitch in my challenge plans.

The challenge is to write a short story every day “in public,” meaning I’ll post it scene by scene over at hstanbrough.com.

But sometimes a story grows into a novel. I usually recognize a budding novel at around the two-thirds point of a story. Last month, in only 8 stories, two also wanted to be novels.

That made me wonder, for a short time, whether maybe I should delay the postings. Maybe wait to begin posting a scene at a time until I’m sure the story will wrap as a short story.

Then I realized that’s my conscious mind again, coming through a side door to try to shut down the process. Silly.

I still wrote 8 short stories last month. I was able to wrap them as stories, so there was no interruption in the process.

So I’ll go with scene by scene in real time and let the chips plop where they wanna.

I’ll also have to work out a schedule, a routine, as I go. The Hovel is out for now. Too hot. So we’ll see what happens in that regard. That’s another major change for me.

Today, and Writing

I rose late, did Facebook and email, wrote the stuff above and started the water on the yard.

I cast about for awhile for story ideas, but nothing came to me. I was still searching old files and my brain when noon rolled around.

I guess the calendar matters more to me than I thought it did. Shrug. So I’ll start the challenge tomorrow.

It’s kind of funny, really. I wrote a book called Writing Great Beginnings, but I’m having trouble coming up with a beginning (an opening line). Go figure.

Anyway, I’ll use the balance of today exercising my idea muscle, getting back into the routine of allowing story ideas to come to me.

Actually, I wrote fiction only 15 days this month and still exceeded 45,000 words of fiction for the month. Somehow I’m okay with that. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

A great post if you’re interested in how to plan for a challenge. See “Just Getting Ready For July” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/just-getting-ready-for-july/.

If you’re interested in Orwellian horror/sf come to life, check out “Netherlands Considers Euthanasia…” at http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/30/netherlands-considers-euthanasia-healthy/.

For yet another eye-opener re Amazon, see “Amazon Has a Fake Book Problem” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/amazon-has-a-fake-book-problem/. (Thanks, Alison.)

Alison also introduced me to David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital website. Just remember to take any advice with a grain of salt: https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/start-here/.

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

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… 17850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107830
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 445787

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 582 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, Wednesday, 6/28

Hey Folks,

Well, frankly I was too tired to keep going yesterday. I didn’t upload stuff to BundleRabbit, and I didn’t update my novel-novella page and my short fiction page on my website.

So probably one more nonwriting day today. I’m getting a lot of “writing related” stuff done, but I’m not writing. Writing is putting new (fiction) words on paper.

Ah well. Either way it should be a banner July. Guess we’ll see.

***

Had a guy unsubscribe today from the big blog. I wouldn’t mention it but he listed the reason as “Did not sign up for list.” Only thing is, he subscribed way back on July 10, 2014. I have to wonder how he’s been receiving it for almost three years but never signed up. (grin)

Topic: BundleRabbit

I can’t sing the praises of this outfit enough.

If you don’t have an account, and if you’re a writer or a reader, get one. You can do so at https://bundlerabbit.com/.

A few days ago, I was invited to have two of my titles — the novel No Kind’a Time and the short story “A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen” — in the forthcoming Guns of the West bundle.

And yesterday, I received another request to have my novella, A Rough New World, in the forthcoming Dystopia bundle.

I’ve had work in two previous bundles: SF and Chills, Thrills and Spills. (Both are off-sale now, though the books are still available.)

If you’re a reader, bundles present an excellent opportunity to taste the writings of different authors in a single, low-priced grouping.

If you’re a writer, bundles afford you the opportunity to increase your readership. And even while in the bundle, your books are still available wherever you have them distributed.

Finally, if you have your ducks in a row (a folder for each book with an .epub from D2D, a cover, and a promo doc) it takes about two minutes per title to upload to BundleRabbit.

(If you’d like to know how to put together a folder like this or a promo doc, email me.)

This is a good deal, folks. Don’t miss out.

Today, and Writing

Around 4:30 I started uploading nine new titles to BundleRabbit. I was finished a little before 5. Two to three minutes per title.

Filled the hummmingbird feeders (this is a major undertaking) and will soon begin uploading book and story covers to my main website.

Okay, by 9 I added three new book pages and nine new covers. Also updated the Novels and Short Fiction pages. Now I’m gonna take a break, then go through all the pictures in my media library to delete the ones I don’t need.

Then I’ll find cover pics for the remaining three stories and get those out and up.

Finally got the last three covers done and got the last three stories uploaded to D2D, Amazon and BundleRabbit. It’s 3 p.m. (grin)

I’m sure looking forward to being this exhausted from a day of writing instead of all this necessary stuff.

Tomorrow, I’ll see whether there’s anything else I need to do to clear the decks. If there’s little or nothing, I’ll get back to writing.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

A great little post titled “Some Movie Stuff” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-movie-stuff/. Both gave me a laugh and captured my interest.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 560 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 560

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… 16190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 106170
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 444127

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 580 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, Sunday, 6/25

Hey Folks,

Well, the best laid plans, etc.

An unexpected trip popped up for tomorrow morning. We’ll leave here around 6 for a 10-hour turnaround to Flagstaff to pick up Bryan.

Job Corps finally decided they have a slot for him. They called a few days ago (did I tell you that?) while I was in New Mexico.

Originally, Mona was going to drive to Casa Grande (about 3 hours) to meet Roy and drive Bryan back here.

But due to circumstances, Roy can’t do that now, so we’ll drive to Flagstaff to get him. Then on Tuesday, I’ll drive him into Tucson to his new digs at Job Corps.

Today, and Writing

So no writing today. In fact, I’m posting this a little early to keep the posting streak alive. I’ll try to punch in the “Of Interest” section before we leave.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Dean offers some thoughts on challenges. This is very good. See “Challenge Thinking” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/challenge-thinking/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 160 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 160

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… 13830
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103810
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441767

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 577 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