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, Sunday, November 5

Hey Folks,

Well, it’s Sunday. Not much here in the Journal today.

Around here we’re breaking out our winter clothes, putting away summer stuff, etc. Generally taking the day off to do little things we don’t have to do more than a couple times a year.

Doing some cleaning, some cooking, some redecorating of one wall in my office. Revisiting and adjusting the bedroom closet, stuff like that.

I hope to break out tomorrow and write some fiction. But I guess we’ll see.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Not directly about writing but hilarious, see https://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/d/2001-jeep-wrangler-sport-and/6351701604.html.

For some reason this Journal and the tag “The Writing Life” got me to thinking aout Howard Nemerov’s nonfiction book Journal of the Fictive Life. If you enjoy reading about how other people do things, find that and read it. Great book.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 100 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 100

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… 2380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 170443
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 620990

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 707 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, Saturday, November 4

Hey Folks,

In “Of Interest” below, I mention a Smashwords podcast. It’s all about how to work with beta readers. As such, it extolls the virtues of letting readers into your work and (I’ll bet) mentions none of the downsides.

You all know that I often employ a first reader. That’s one avid reader who knows exactly what to look for (specific places where confusion ensues, inconsistencies, and OBVIOUS wrong-word issues IF they pop out at him) and what to leave alone (literally everything else).

Sometimes, with some stories, I ask Kenneth to look for certain overall things: Is there too much description? Is the story too vague? Too anything? Not enough something?

But even when I do that, I never ask-for (or want) his advice on how to fix anything. He understands that and he’s good with it.

So if you use a first reader and the two of you are clear on a set of strict guidelines, that’s fine. In fact, I recommend it. In fact, I recommend Kenneth (krf1952@gmail.com).

So what are the downsides of using beta readers?

The first and biggest, to me, is that using beta readers is the latest thing. The latest craze. I’m lucky, I guess, in that I’ve never been big on chasing after the latest craze. Like writing in all lower-case or omitting quotation marks around dialogue or not using punctuation at all or using beta readers.

So here, just to play devil’s advocate, I’m going to point out a few more downsides. Consider them food for thought.

1. If you allow ten people to read your book, all ten will give you different input. (Of the ten, two or three will LOVE your book, two or three will HATE it, and the others will think it’s all right. And chances are, none of them will tell you the truth.)

2. Input from one reader will often directly contradict input from another. In that case, whose advice do you take?

3. Most advice from beta readers, no matter how it’s disguised, will boil down to how they would have done it.

4. The biggie — why would you ever allow anyone else, especially someone who’s never written a novel, to influence how your novel is written?

Of course, every writer is different, and I’ve heard that a lot of writers swear by beta readers. So there y’go.

As the Big Mick just said, “Hey, whatever you wanna do. I got my own mountain to climb.”
***

Had a slow early morning, then a leisurely trip to Sierra Vista, then home. I’m going to read today, and maybe do some thinking, but I’m not going to write fiction.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, I encourage you to read “The Pendulum May Be Swinging Away from Fair Use” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/11/the-pendulum-may-be-swinging-away-from-fair-use/. Read TPG’s comments, then maybe click through and read the original post. But read TPG’s comments.

Maybe to make up a bit for “8 Things…Fight Scenes” in yesterday’s Journal, via The Passive Voice see “Q&A: Uneven Balance is a Tension Killer” at http://howtofightwrite.tumblr.com/post/165745299548/qa-uneven-balance-is-a-tension-killer. If you don’t read it all, scroll down to the 12 “rules of action.” This seems a great deal more realistic than the thing from yesterday.

And finally, see “How to Work with Beta Readers” at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/11/how-to-work-with-beta-readers.html. Remember your salt shaker, please.

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……… 1105
Total fiction words for the year………… 450547
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2280
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 170343
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 620890

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 706 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, November 3

Hey Folks,

Yesterday after I posted the Journal, I noticed it looked as if it read “Thursday, One and One-Half.” So I’ll try to remember to spell out the month from now on.

More on writing…

In my ongoing mental-morphosis, I’m coming to understand more of what’s going on.

Nothing. Nothing’s going on. (grin) Well, nothing sinister. Maybe.

I got so used to a daily word count and then other goals that it feels odd not to be writing constantly. That’s all.

I’ve become comfortable with storytelling, and comfortable with knowing stories will come. At least that’s what I think has happened.

I can’t take the coming of stories for granted, but neither do I want to worry them into existence.

Somehow I feel like all of this is still tied up with me kicking cigars, a process that’s ongoing.

But what I wrote above about being tied to productivity and challenges and goals — that seems like something I don’t need anymore. Yet on the fringes of my mind, something about not having a set goal nags me.

Could I have met my novel-a-month goal in October and kept it going?

I think so.

But do I need that?

Maybe.

I talk about S. King and others, but I don’t know what goals they set for themselves, if any. And I don’t have to emulate anyone else, but it’s a luxury to know what’s possible.

Ah well, the battle continues.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Linda Maye Adams’ “Writing Around the Web” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/11/03/adventures-around-the-web-oct-28-nov-3-2017/. Very good post. At least the first two thirds of it.

If you read the articles she lists, read the third article (8 Things…Fight Scenes) with a HUGE grain of salt, or not at all. It’s filled with so many generalities and, in places, outright inaccuracies that I actually shudder to think how many young writers will take it to heart.

Via The Digital Reader, see “‘Carat’ vs. ‘Karat’ (vs. ‘Caret’)” at https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/usage-carat-vs-karat.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 340

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… 1720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 169783
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 620330

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 705 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, Wednesday, 11/1

Hey Folks,

Wow. November already. For that matter, 2017 already. What happened to 1978? Just sayin’.

I failed to mention yesterday that we had a little visitor.

In the pre-dawn pitch, I was at my outside desk when I heard a sound that seemed not part of the usual early morning sounds.

I grabbed my torch (I like the Brit “torch” so much better than “flashlight”) and went looking for my kitten.

As I stepped past the southeast corner of the house, I shined the light to the west.

Toward the southwest corner of the house, something was sniffing at the base of the double doors that lead from my bedroom into the back yard.

When I shined the light on it, the head moved and a pair of eyes shone back at me. But it was too black to be my kit and it was too small to be Hannah, my wife’s cat. Besides, Hannah was still in bed.

Thinking it must be one of the neighborhood toms, I stamped my right foot and yelled “Git!”

It blinked a time or two, then stuck its fluffed-out tail straight up in the air and turned around to leave.

In that flash of time, the broad white streak up its tail filled the beam of my light.

At that point — and I am thankful — the story ends. The visitor wandered off to the west, the aroma around the back of my house no worse for wear.
***

Out east of my house where I usually walk there are a few planted cottonwood (grandfather) trees. Until recently, the man who owns the little strip of land on which they stand was keeping them watered with a buried PVC system.

But the PVC kept breaking, I guess, and leaks kept springing up, so eventually he turned off the water to the whole row.

The two nearest my house had become oases for local wildlife. But for the past week, they’ve been dying.

At first I thought they were simply going dormant with the advent of autumn. But when I started walking again, I noticed the ground around them was dry.

My landlady knows the guy well, so I’d meant to ask her whether she might ask him to turn the water back on to the few trees that are (maybe) still viable.

I hadn’t seen her until this morning. She said she would talk with him. Then she asked whether, for the time being, I could rig up something to run from her water source at the back of the corral. Maybe I could at least run water to the “big” tree at the corner. (This cottonwood is well over a hundred feet tall and very full.)

So instead of walking this morning I spent a couple hours gathering old garden hoses, inserting new washers, and running a system. As it turned out, I was able to run water to two cottonwoods, so we’ll see whether we got to them soon enough. I hope so.

Cutting off water to ANYthing out here is just counterintuitive, or should be. And that’s a very nice way of expressing the red-hot thought that’s usually in my mind on this topic.
***

Well, I wrote right at a thousand words in a crazed hour today, but the thing didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t on the WIP. Not sure what’s going on with that.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Indie Authors on Indie Authorship” at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/10/indie-authors-on-indie-authorship.html. Frankly, I didn’t read this. I thought some of you might be interested.

Fiction Words: 1105
Nonfiction Words: 600 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1705

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
Day 9…… 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… 600
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 168663
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 619210

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 703 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, Sunday, 10/29

Hey Folks,

Well, I didn’t stay up for the whole game last night but I still woke up later than my usual time. Sorry to see that Houston lost their first home game in the post season.

Plus although I’d like to watch a seven-game series, I was also kind’a hoping Houston would wrap it up at home.

This morning I tweaked my website again. Most notably, I changed the home page back to the ProWriters Blog, moved the bundles into the left sidebar, and moved Writer Resources onto a dedicated page.

And frankly, that’s about all I did today.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Amy Tan on Writing and the Secrets of Her Past” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/amy-tan-on-writing-and-the-secrets-of-her-past/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 130 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 130

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… 14220
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 166903
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 613511

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 700 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