The Journal, Thursday, January 18

Hey Folks,

Be sure to hit the “Of Interest” section below. There’s a lot there. It will seem overwhelming, but I read all of the info there in less than an hour. Either way, you don’t want to miss it.

***

Well, the water heater started leaking last night. One of those times I’m glad I’m renting instead of buying. The owners know us well and trust us, so we do pretty much anything we want to the house and the property, but when big expenses come up (like replacing a water heater) that’s on them. It’s all good.

I moved out to the Hovel a little early this morning at 5. I put down about 600 words then headed back up to the house to shower and spend some time with my wife before she heads off to work.

Still chilly here, in the low 20s overnight and with around 60 for a high, with a cold north wind that feels like it’s blowing off a block of ice. I count my blessings though, that I’m here and not on the icy plains or in the refrigerator of the midwest.

***

Well, kind of a slow day for writing. I got one more good session, then helped the landlord install the new water heater, then ran back out to hammer away a little more. Not the day I’d hoped for, but I’ll take it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

For a much more in-depth explanation of Dean’s new coast workshop see “I Wasn’t Clear” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/i-wasnt-clear/.

See James Scott Bell’s “What’s the Deal on Dreams in Fiction?” at https://killzoneblog.com/author/jimbell.

See John Gilstrap’s “Internal Monologue” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/internal-monologue.html. I especially like this one because he talks in some detail about italicizing unspoken thought.

Then see Jordan Dane’s “5 Key Ways to Balance Internal Monologue with Pitfalls to Avoid” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/16773.html.

Finally (for The Kill Zone blog) see PJ Parrish’s “The Agony and Ecstasy of Starting Over” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/the-agony-and-ecstasy-of-starting-over.html.

See “How To Brief A Cover Designer” at https://kobowritinglife.com/2018/01/16/how-to-brief-a-cover-designer/.

As a resource, see the list of “The Book Designer” article categories at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/articles/.

And strictly for nostalgia, see “Goin’ by Fats’ House” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/goin-by-fats-house.html.

Fiction Words: 1857
Nonfiction Words: 360 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2217

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347
Day 2…… 2636 words. Total words to date…… 37983
Day 3…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 41172
Day 4…… 2525 words. Total words to date…… 43697
Day 5…… 2609 words. Total words to date…… 46306
Day 6…… 2455 words. Total words to date…… 48761
Day 7…… 1341 words. Total words to date…… 50102
Day 8…… 2354 words. Total words to date…… 52456
Day 9…… 1194 words. Total words to date…… 53650
Day 10… 3297 words. Total words to date…… 56947
Day 11… 1358 words. Total words to date…… 58305
Day 12… 2840 words. Total words to date…… 61145
Day 13… 2615 words. Total words to date…… 63760
Day 14… 1857 words. Total words to date…… 65617

Total fiction words for the month……… 36661
Total fiction words for the year………… 36661
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 6620
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 43281

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, January 3

Hey Folks,

I’m constantly amazed at the variations among writer experiences.

In that regard, there are several informative comments on Dean’s post from yesterday. You can see those at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-few-words-about-starting/#comments. I was gratified to see that a couple of commenters on Dean’s post took away some of the same things I got out of it. Amazing. We aren’t quite as insulated and alone as we sometimes believe we are.

I also get an occasional blog post from a young writer named J.R. Murdock. You can see his latest at https://jrmurdock.com/2018/01/02/looking-back-moving-forward/.

Like some of the folks who commented on Dean’s post, J.R. experienced a major life event, the near loss of his job. J.M. Ney-Grimm, an experienced professional fantasy writer who commented on Dean’s post, lost her mother in October. Those are massive life rolls.

In the case of J.R., I exceeded his word count goal although I fell far short of my own annual goal. (I wrote 75% of the 12 novels I planned to write in 2017, but only 60% of my extended goal (15 novels). Yet I wrote only 41% of the overall annual word-count goal I hoped to reach.

Yet J.R. reached almost 74% of his own annual word count goal.

What does all of this mean? Only that goals, discipline, and life rolls are very personal things. I’ve always believed in comparing myself to others as a way of stretching myself. Dean has been the dangling carrot to my mule for years.

But the only truly valid comparison (the excused absence granted by life rolls aside) is comparing your own production with your own realistically set goals.

J.R. set a much lower goal than mine last year, and he missed it, though in my book at 74% he did pretty well. Especially considering that he has a stressful full-time job, still has children at home, and lives in Southern California, which perhaps holds the crown for the most attractive-nuisance distractions per capita. I applaud the guy, and I’m pulling for him.

I’m always surprised a little, in a good way, at the energy pouring out of the new starts we make at major junctions, like the recent beginning of the new year.

You saw that same thing recently from me (http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-friday-december-29/), despite my cynicism regarding the way humans think about Time. I’d like to hear about your writing goals too, if you have time to add a comment below.

***

Despite rolling out at 3 a.m., I didn’t get started on the novel today until 9 a.m. That’s fine, in keeping with my new, more-relaxed attitude toward writing.

My daily word count goal drives me to the computer, but once I’m there I trust that I’ll get the words I need. So driven and relaxed. The best of both worlds.

In the first two sessions (still cycling) I added just over 1200 words in the Hovel. Up to the house for early lunch and to spend a little time with the baby (my cat).

I went back to play. I didn’t really think I’d hit the word count goal today, but I actually exceeded it. Man that feels good!

Back soon.

Of Interest

See John Gilstrap’s “Note to Copy Editor” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/note-to-copy-editor.html.

Some of the other posts at The Kill Zone blog might be of interest and/or useful to you as well: https://killzoneblog.com/.

See Dean’s “I’m Back Writing As Well” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/im-back-writing-as-well/.

See “The Kindle for Nonfiction Already…” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/01/02/kindle-non-fiction-already-exists-might-not-recognize-not-book/. Excellent, insightful article.

Kevin Tumlinson, who is a major mover at Draft2Digital, is also a good thriller writer and a podcaster, among many other talents. Check out his site at http://kevintumlinson.com/. He also personally answers his own email.

Fiction Words: 3189
Nonfiction Words: 620 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3809

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347
Day 2…… 2636 words. Total words to date…… 37983
Day 3…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 41172

Total fiction words for the month……… 8514
Total fiction words for the year………… 8514
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1910
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 1910
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 10424

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182