The Journal, Monday, 9/4

Hey Folks,

I told my wife last night I needed to get back in the office and publish “The Tarp.” I didn’t. So after most of my Internet stuff this morning, I did that.

I’m rusty there too, so it took a little longer than usual. Anyway, I’ll be emailing it to donors shortly.

Actually, I ended up emailing the last three stories to donors. I might have sent the first two before, but I don’t think so.

I sent them “Going Home,” a war story about a sniper who encounters some unusual circumstances; “Pancho and Lefty: An Alternate Ending,” a story based on the popular song by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard but with a more redeeming ending for Lefty; and “The Tarp,” a story about a wise guy with too much on his plate.

Description and psychological suspense play large roles in all of those stories. They were written within a month of each other, yet oddly, they illustrate an improvement in my writing. I think. Then again, what do I know? (grin)

I was going to write a short topic on resetting goals, but I decided to just mention DWS’ post in “Of Interest” today.

The gist is this: There’s a third of the year left. It’s a great time to revisit your goals.

If you’re on track, great. Pat yourself on the back and keep plugging.

If you aren’t, there’s nothing wrong with setting new goals and starting fresh.

Even getting there isn’t as good as striving to get there. (grin)

Today and Writing

Rolled out a little before 3, did the Internet stuff, then realized I forgot to upload my story to D2D, Amazon and BundleRabbit last night. So I did that.

Then back to the Internet for awhile, then here to write this. Now it’s a little after 5.

Out for a walk around 7. Only a couple of miles but a good start to the day.

Well, I had a feeling maybe I should’ve taken a day off walking. But I was thinking just a liesurely 2 miles wouldn’t hurt anything and I’d feel better through the day because of it.

Turns out I should’ve taken a day off walking. (grin) Making the adjustment is difficult for me. Realize, only a year ago I was walking every day, and sometimes up to 12 miles in a day.

But my back didn’t like what I did to it yesterday. It started yelling at me just after the 1 mile mark.

Not sure what else I’ll do today. Some lounging for sure, and I hope some writing but even my desk chair isn’t comfortable right now.

Still, I have a good story waiting for me. I’ll get back to it when I can.

Well, we had a trip to the store and back. Then lunch with part of a ball game.

I read over what I wrote yesterday and added a few hundred words, but nothing big. I won’t count this as a writing day. I’ll include the little bit I did today in tomorrow’s numbers.

See you then.

Of Interest

See Dean’s “Time of Great Forgetting” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/time-of-great-forgetting-2/.

Via Linda Maye Adams on Facebook, see “A Curated List of Creative Writing Competitions, Contests and Awards” at https://www.dystopianstories.com/writing-competitions-contests/.

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

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 8862
Total fiction words for the year………… 388482
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2030
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 138430
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 526912

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 646 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 8/31

Hey Folks,

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

Wow.

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But whatever it takes.

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

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

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

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

Writing of ()

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

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

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