The Journal, Friday, February 23

Hey Folks,

The saga continues. I looked over several Mac laptops and frankly, they were all well out of my range currently.

So I finally contacted Lenovo to see whether there was a way to manually disable the trackpad, since Bill The Godfaddah Gates decided I can no longer disable it through Windows. (Actually, if Gates knew what some mindless moron did, he probably would fire the guy.)

The tech said to disable the trackpad, I had to either press fn+f6 or just f6. One of those would work, he said.

Neither one worked.

Then he said then obviously it was a hardware failure. He recommended I take it to Best Buy to get it repaired.

So let me get this straight: the trackpad DOES work even though I don’t want it to, but it “fails” by not being able to be turned off.

Fine. Got it.

Thing is, I don’t want the trackpad anyway. Why should I pay to have it repaired just so I can turn it off. 🙂

So I flipped over the computer, whipped out my set of jeweler’s screwdrivers, and took a shot of whiskey. Then I opened the back of the computer and poked around until I found a cable that was conveniently marked with a TP (TrackPad) tag. I unplugged it, then folded it back out of the way.

(Thanks to my granddaughter Amber for suggesting I unplug the thing. I’ve done that before but didn’t think of it this time until she brought it up.)

Guess what? No more trackpad. YAY! Now maybe I can get back to more enjoyable things. Like poking myself in the eye with a stick. Or maybe even writing.

For now, the writing ‘puter goes back to the Hovel and the Lenovo resumes its place in my office.

***

I recently copyedited a long novel for a guy. When I emailed him recently to ask about the balance owed, he wrote the reasons the payment was delayed and asked for a couple of weeks’ extension.

Then he wrote something that shocked me: “Anyway, I can’t publish this novel without your concent as you are my copy editor.”

Folks, that’s just flat wrong. No matter who you hire to copyedit or do a cover or formatting or whatever, that person can never require you to get their permission to publish. Just so you know, neither can they require you to include their name as co-author or editor or cover designer or any of that nonsense.

In fact, I specifically tell my clients that if they reject more than 10% of my suggested edits, they are not allowed to tell others I copyedited their work. To do so wouldn’t be fair to me or to the reader.

If any service provider tries this with you, them NO (resoundingly) and find someone honest to deal with.

For a great deal more on this sort of thing, see the first item in “Of Interest” below.

***

No writing today, probably, other than this. Today I’m putting my little two-computer world back together now that I rectified my problem with a pair of pliers and a large hammer. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

See “Business Musings: Editorial Encroachment” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/02/21/20734/.

Just in case you’re interested in supporting Dean’s North by Northwest Kickstarter, check out “Five Days Left” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/five-days-left/. The guy’s helped me so much I try to support him in any way I can.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 570
So total words for the day: 570

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 8193
Total fiction words for the year………… 46349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9510
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 17530
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 63879

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, February 20

Hey Folks,

After an intentional day off yesterday, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things today.

I started the day by finishing the copyedit of Mona’s memoir. She hasn’t come up with a title yet. When she does, and when it’s published, I’ll announce it here.

Today I’ll write a bit of fiction. By the end of the day, I should know whether I’m in the mood to continue with The Age Exchange or move on to something else and save The Age Exchange for later. I won’t just toss it out completely.

***

As one item in the “Of Interest” below, Kristine Kathryn Rusch makes some good points re mentors when she stays on point. That’s why I listed it.

Because of some other sections of her post (specifically re her bias concerning “white males,” a group of which her husband and I both are members), I take this opportunity to state unequivocally that I have never met her.

Furthermore, I personally have done nothing as far as I know to “offend” her, other than that bothersome breathing-in-and-out thing I do, of which all us white males are guilty. And for that, of course, I apologize profusely. (grin) Bless her heart.

***

Actually, I didn’t write anything on The Age Exchange today. Didn’t even look at it.

A short story idea occurred to me, so I sat down to write that. But I think maybe I was a little more drained from recent events than I thought. I got almost 2000 words, but decided to leave the rest for tomorrow.

So I’ll go ahead and get this posted.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Some Reasons To Avoid Traditional Publishing” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-reasons-to-avoid-traditional-publishing/. Dean gave me permission to cross-post this one over on the big blog. That will happen in early April.

For fun, see “Your Story’s Character’s Life As A Six Word Story” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/02/your-characters-life-as-a-six-word-story.html.

See “Business Musings: Mentors, Inspiration, and The Future” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/02/14/business-musings-mentors-inspiration-and-the-future/.

Fiction Words: 1893
Nonfiction Words: 330 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2193

Writing of “LOL” (short story)
Day 1…… 1893 words. Total words to date…… 1893
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985
Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270
Day 2…… 1120 words. Total words to date…… 9390
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 8193
Total fiction words for the year………… 46349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6910
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 14930
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 61279

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, February 1

Hey Folks,

Well, here we go again. I was out in the Hovel poking around and found another short story that I’ve wanted, for awhile, to turn into a novel. The short story is titled “Going Back,” and it was considerably larger than itself even when I first wrote it. I’m interested to see where it will go and to watch it develop.

As I glanced over it, the characters begain speaking to me and my fingers began moving over the keyboard. Before I realized it I’d added over 1000 new words. Feels good when that happens.

I’ll be interrupted in the writing of this WIP by a trip to New Mexico to attend a second memorial service in less than 30 days. But I plan to take my writing ‘puter with me so it’s available if I find time to write. I feel like I’m slowly returning to normal at least as a writer.

Still digging out from under the flu, the last vestiges of which seem to have settled in as a chest cold. That’s okay. I can deal with that. Thanks for your ongoing kind wishes and support.

Once the life rolls settle down a bit and I work back into more of a routine with my writing again, I hope to begin publishing this Journal every day again. It’s a habit that I’ll have to re-develop.

***

Actually, I have to prep for the trip, so no more writing today. Back in a day or two or three.

See you then.

Of Interest

See “Indie Publishing: The Good Stuff (2017 in Review)” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/01/31/business-musings-indie-publishing-the-good-stuff-2017-in-review/. Toward the end of the article, she lists “gamechangers,” programs etc. that changed the indie publishing experience for the better. I recommend it.

Over at the Killzone Blog the various writers there have been posting “first page critiques” recently. I seldom read them and I don’t report on them specifically here, but you might want to check it out at https://killzoneblog.com/.

I check Dean’s site every day. There’s some small stuff going on over there, though nothing specific to point to. You might check it out at http://deanwesleysmith.com.

Fiction Words: 1285
Nonfiction Words: 350 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1635

Writing of The Age Exchange (novel, working title)

Brought forward…… 6985

Day 1…… 1285 words. Total words to date…… 8270

Total fiction words for the month……… 1285
Total fiction words for the year………… 39441
Total nonfiction words for the month… 350
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 8370
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 47811

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, January 30

Hey Folks,

I meant to post this yesterday. I really did, but there wasn’t a lot to talk about. Mostly I worked on the copyedit yesterday, as I will today and tomorrow, and took care of a few household chores.

***

Well, the hits keep on coming. On the tail of losing a paternal uncle a few weeks ago, yesterday I lost another one. I am now officially the Old Man of the Stanbrough clan.

Clifford Jerry Stanbrough was a tin-can (destroyer) sailor, a gunner’s mate, in the early 1950s. After that, he enjoyed a long career as a photographer, working with Lockheed-Martin before eventually retiring and going to work for his local police department as their photographer.

Cliff was also an excellent guitarist who taught me to play. His friends included the likes of Lefty Frizzell, Web Pierce and others. Bill Mauldin, who later became the cartoonnist famous for Willie & Joe, was a childhood friend of Cliff and a few other paternal and maternal uncles. Cliff was a force of nature, always with a joke on his lips and a ready laugh. We will miss him.

***

Every so often, I read another article about how and why I should learn to dictate my stories and novels. According to its proponents, dictation, once learned, greatly enhances a writer’s productivity, miraculously adds 4 to 6 hours of free time to the average 24-hour day, a quite possibly is a cure for the common cold.

I bought a good hand-held voice recorder back about the time MP3 files were first becoming a thing. Ten years ago? Fifteen? I set out to talk my stories while I was walking. Problem was, I didn’t know what to say.

Over the years, each time I encountered another article regarding this miracle cure for various writers’ maladies, I tried again, most often with the same results. Yesterday was no exception.

After reading the article in “Of Interest” below, again I pulled out my VR, dusted it off and made ready flash past my usual productivity.

Then I remembered I would need a way to turn the recording into text. 1) There are no free ways, other than manual transcription. 2) There is no guarantee that even the $300 Dragon program will render the text as-spoken.

Oh. Well, okay then.

I’ll still plan to carry my VR with me when I start walking again. If nothing else, at least it will be there Just In Case a story springs upon me in mid-step. I’ll let you know how it works out.

With only one day left in January, and with the copyedit I’m working on nearing completion, and having almost extracted myself from this flu-thing, and with a trip to NM imminent, it will be a few days before I get back to fiction. See you then.

Of Interest

See “How To Use Dictation For A Healthier Writing Life” at https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2018/01/10/healthy-writer-dictation-tips/. Have you ever tried writing via dictation? What did you think?

See “The Indie Publishing Lesson” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/01/24/business-musings-the-indie-publishing-lesson-2017-in-review/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 500 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 500

Writing of (working title)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 38156
Total fiction words for the year………… 38156
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8020
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 8020
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 46176

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Saturday, December 16

Hey Folks,

Okay, I’ve figuratively traveled some twisted, warped subterranean depths over the past month or so. In that time, I’ve tended to (or dealt with) a lot of tasks that have little if anything to do with writing in any specific way. In fact, they touch writing only in that they added to my general overall experience. I won’t bore you with details.

Suffice it to say some of them are tasks that are common in the human experience. There also were a few that I’m glad are not common in the human experience, at least where my friends are concerned.

Now I’m in a place from which I can look back and see that I’ve encountered hand- and footholds here and there that are bringing me nearer the surface all the time.

The most recent of those was today’s blog post from Linda Maye Adams, which you can see at http://lindamayeadams.com/2017/12/16/calling-time-out-on-writing-in-public/.

It rocked me a bit, frankly, as a kind of indirectly shared experience. But I want to thank her publicly here for posting it, chiefly (and first) because of her candor, and secondly because she pointed to another post, one by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

You can read that one in its entirety at http://kriswrites.com/2017/12/06/business-musings-sustainability/.

As some of Ms. Rusch’s posts are lengthy, I especially recommend you skip down to the subhead “Scheduling.” Depending on your own experience, you might also want to read the subheads “Attitude” and “Product” above that and “Cash Flow” below it.

But for my particular situation, “Scheduling” (prefaced with Linda Maye Adams’ post) is what I needed to see. If that wasn’t the final leg-up I needed to pull myself from the subterrain, it was one of the last few.

So I thank Ms. Adams for her candor and join her in recommending you read that post, or at least that part of it. It’s pure gold.

Back soon.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 300 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 300

Writing of “”

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 453762
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2460
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 178013
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 631775

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, 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, Friday, 9/22

Hey Folks,

Rolled out on time this morning, then spent an enjoyable hour or so talking via email with my young granddaughter, Taylor.

By the way, just in time for my topic today (see below) DWS is finally back to busting myths with another Killing the Sacred Cows chapter. It’s in “Of Interest” today.

Topic: Lying to Readers

It’s annoying when Dean Wesley Smith is SO right on everything he says. Well, on most things. He does occasionally say he’s going to make me angry when he’s busting some idiotic myth, but that has yet to happen.

But on the other stuff, he’s always right. Always. At least so far.

And it always annoys me a little. Especially on stuff that I initially believe is bunk and later come to learn (through being beaten to a pulp, and therefore gaining enlightenment) is true after all.

My most recent annoyance wasn’t with DWS, but it was based on something I read in his blog a long time ago.

He wrote (paraphrasing), If you want readers to value your work (meaning “buy your books”) you have to lie to them.

I’ve come to understand that’s true.

Readers by the droves automatically assume, sight unseen, that a novel that’s written in a month or two or three is not worth reading.

As you know, I don’t post my numbers as some sort of competition; I do it to illustrate what’s possible if a writer simply spends time in the chair.

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t tell anyone how quickly I go from the title to “the end” when I write a novel. And I would revert to using my personas and/or pen names.

Given that I write, on average, 12 novels and scores of short stories per year, I would have at least 12 different pseudonyms for novels and probably three or four times that many for short fiction.

Why? Because of math.

As simply EVERYbody knows, it takes at LEAST a year to turn out a quality novel. And a 2- or 3-year, labor-intensive process will result in an even better novel. Hence, at least 12 pseudonyms for novels.

With those pseudonyms, I could still turn out a novel every month, but each pseudonym would publish only one novel per year (or less frequently).

Gervasio Arrancado would release a new magic realism novel every January. Nick Porter would release a new noir novel every February. Ray Sevareid would release a new SF novel every March. Eric Stringer, bless his heart, would release a new horror/psychological-suspense novel ever April. See where I’m going with this?

And if I had 36 novel pseudonyms, each one would turn out one novel every THREE years. Get the idea?

It’s all in the math.

I write, on average, 1000 polished, ready-to-publish words per hour. That a crawling-on-all-fours 17 words per minute. It gives me plenty of time to find just the right word from the thesaurus (not ‘green stuff on a rock’ but lichen). It gives me plenty of time to jump online to find out the name of that particular cross street on San Antonio Drive in downtown El Paso in 1887.

So say it takes me 100 hours to write a 100,000 word novel.

Okay, so if it takes me 3 years to write a novel and I take two days off every week and two weeks off every year for vacation, that’s 150 weeks or (with two days off per week) 750 days.

So to write a 100,000 word novel in 3 years, I’d have to write an average of 134 words per day. (I refuse to talk about rewriting. Writers are paid to write, not to rewrite. They are paid per word, or per haps, not per endless word-erasure-word-erasure-word.)

To write the same 100,000 word novel in only 1 year, I’d have to write at a blazing-fast rate of 400 words per day.

Well, that wouldn’t be so bad, I guess. At least that’s almost a whole half-hour workday 5 days per week.

But to write the same 100,000 word novel in a 30-day MONTH (4.285 weeks) of 5-day weeks, I’d have to develop an actual work ethic.

I’d have to sit at my laptop and churn out 4,668 words every day for 21.425 days. Still less than a 5-hour workday. And still only 5 days a week.

And many MANY of my novels are in the 25,000 to 70,000 word range. My average is around 60,000 words.

In case you’re wondering, for a short novel of 25,000 words I’d have to write 34 words per day over 3 years or 100 words per day over a year.

For my average novel length of 60,000 words, I’d have to write 80 words per day over 3 years or (Oh No!) 240 words per day over a year. And if I write that novel in a month, I have to actually write 2800 words per 5-day week. Three hours per day.

Again, it all boils down to math. But unfortunately, so does reader opinion. So you have to lie to them.

I’m a resonable guy. It’s true that I tell lies for a living. Still, I don’t like the dishonest feeling of telling someone it took me much longer to write something than it actually took.

So tell me again why, if I churn out a novel over a 3-year period it “just might be a masterpiece”; if it takes “only” a year, I’m rushing it but it “still might be worth a look.”

But if I write the SAME 60,000 words in one month or less, it isn’t worth the time it takes to sniff and turn up a nose.

Sigh.

Okay, so if you’re reading this, and if you’re young (meaning you expect to turn out novels for at least another 10 years or so), and if you have a work-ethic AT ALL, get yourself a stack of pseudonyms.

Just sayin’.

***

I did very little in the early morning other than some Internet stuff and writing the masterpiece topic above (grin, took all of a half-hour), then moved straight to the novel around 9.

In a little over 3 hours, I read the whole thing through, skimming, to correct one more problem, an awkward metaphor that wasn’t working for me. In all that time, I added around 400 words.

Well, something happened to me today that has never happened before on a novel. Sometimes I’ll enjoy writing a short story so much that I really like the story as a reader. So I read it again, later.

That happened today with this novel. As I was reading through it, I was pulled in and actually enjoyed it. So I kept going.

So that’s all the writing I did today. Just little bits here and there. Welp, every novel writes differently.

And tomorrow might be a light day too. I have to go to Sierra Vista tomorrow morning. We’ll see what shakes out.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Beta Readers Help You” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-beta-readers-help-you/.

Via The Digital Reader, see Kris Rusch’s “I Spent Decades Developing My IP” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/09/20/business-musings-i-spent-decades-developing-my-ip-contractsdealbreakers/. Seriously, this is a must-read.

Some good stuff on Linda Maye Adams’ blog today. She does an “around the web” thing each week. Check it out at http://lindamayeadams.com/.

Fiction Words: 1146
Nonfiction Words: 1223 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2369

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881

Total fiction words for the month……… 42962
Total fiction words for the year………… 422582
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13293
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 149693
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 572275

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 663 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 9/15

Hey Folks,

Welp, I started the day closer to my usual time. I read a lot (see “Of Interest”) and then checked Dean’s site.

Much of his post for today is a rehash of the previous couple of days, so it didn’t make “Of Interest,” but parts of it keyed something in me.

So I wrote the topic for today. Actually, I also wrote the topic for tomorrow (I won’t count those words until tomorrow).

I had so much fun with the latter, I decided to cross post that one to the main blog where it will appear on September 19.

You, lucky readers, get to see it tomorrow. I almost titled it “How Warped Was My Rainbow,” but decided finally on “On Challenges, Part 2.”

In the meantime, here’s the first part.

TOPIC: On Challenges

In today’s post, DWS writes “challenges … are a way to prioritize writing time. … [That is o]ne of the many values of a challenge and why I do them regularly for myself. I get far more writing done when I have challenged myself…” (see http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/time-is-everything-these-days/ if you want).

Yeah, what Dean said. I’ve noticed that too.

Back in June when I challenged myself to write a short story every day, I failed miserably. But I still wrote 8 or 9 short stories in a row. I was hyper-productive because of the challenge.

Engaging in a personal challenge is a kind of partnership between the conscious mind and the subconscious creative mind.

The conscious mind says, “Ha! Bet you can’t do this!” and the subconscious responds with “Yeah? Hold my beer and watch this!”

Obviously, this works better if you happen to have an inborn stubborn streak, and the stronger the streak the better.

I do. And it is.

Now I’m not on the verge of announcing a new personal challenge. I’m not in that place at the moment. At the moment, I’m just getting back to writing every day.

At the moment, I’m more the curious observer, watching my own progress on my WIP and marveling that the new (to me) process I’ve come up with apparently is going to enable me to finish a novel in what many would see as record time.

And for now, for me, that’s good enough. I’m happy with it. Writing is fun again.

But if you’re a seasoned writer and you find yourself stuck in the doldrums, or if you’re just starting out and feeling a bit overwhelmed (or even just whelmed) and not sure what to do first, try giving yourself a challenge.

I almost wrote “a realistic challenge,” but if it’s too “realistic” it won’t be a challenge, will it?

***

Yesterday, I guess, I mentioned in passing that when I started writing I was “stuck.” A few folks wrote me about that. Thanks.

But I didn’t really mean “stuck” in a bad way. I remember one novel I wrote that was like pulling teeth with a pocket knife pretty much all the way through. Fortunately, most of mine aren’t like that.

Most of mine flow straight from get-go to been-there-done-that.

In this particular WIP, I’ve been “stuck” two times that were big enough to mention. One of those was yesterday.

But notice too, being “stuck” lasted only until I’d stared at it long enough. I wasn’t stuck so much as mired. There were a lot of “little” bits of the scene I wanted to form and fashion and sequence just right.

You could say I rewrote that segment several times, but I wouldn’t call it that. I did make several passes until it was “just right.”

But each pass was in the creative mind and each pass made the scene (it turned out to be a chapter) a little better. A little fuller. Once I waded around in the muck and found a few rocks, I came straight on out and moved ahead.

So that’s all that was about.

Went to the grocery around 8, spent half a boatload of money and got everything put away around 9:45.

After that I did some other small things, including playing online for awhile. Finally around 11 I started to cycle back over the last couple of chapters.

When I finished cycling, I went right on writing instead of taking a break. Including what I added in cycling, I hit around 1800 words by 12:30. Then I took a break. (grin)

Flying along on the novel again for a bit, then took a break to chat with a friend via email. For a long while, I’ve told folks if you need cover or layout design check out CovertoUpload.com.

Kat Magee, the owner, changed it. She’s rebuilding the site and the new name is Daring Creative Designs. And she’s very good. Check it out at https://daringcreativedesigns.com/.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “Business Musings: Rethinking A Title” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/09/13/business-musings-rethinking-a-title/. Hint: This is only peripherally about retitling a book. It’s more about Kris’ process, and in that way it’s both rare and very insightful.

Via The Digital Reader, see “You Are Already Living Inside a Computer” at https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/09/you-are-already-living-inside-a-computer/539193/. It’s very long, very thought provoking, and chock full of story ideas.

Check the comments on “The Attitude of a Challenge” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-attitude-of-a-challenge/#comments/.

Fiction Words: 3614
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4494

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861

Total fiction words for the month……… 32942
Total fiction words for the year………… 412562
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8200
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 144600
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 557162

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 657 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 8/20

Hey Folks,

Well, I had to smile at Dean’s post. See http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-non-event/.

A few days ago he was annoyed, expecting a deluge of tourists in his little town to see the eclipse:

From “A Fun First Day” on August 16, “Now if we can just survive this stupid eclipse, we will be fine. Shadow goes right smack over the top of us as it makes landfall. The actual center is about two miles from the new store. No telling what will happen here with that many people trying to cram into a 60 mile wide area. We just don’t have the roads for it.”

I understand the annoyance. He and others had just rushed around for a few days getting his three stores ready for the deluge of tourists. But it’s still funny. (grin)

***

Today I’ll be working with my friend, showing him how to create book covers with the Serif PagePlus program. Probably no writing today.

Nope, no fiction writing. Back tomorrow.

Quite often I find myself wanting to respond with a Raymond Chandler to some people. This Raymond Chandler quote: “I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.”

Of Interest

See Kris Rusch’s “Business Musings: My Day in Negotiation” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/08/16/business-musings-my-day-in-negotiation/. This is a great post, and I didn’t fall asleep because of business-apnea even one time. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 230 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 230

Writing of “Untitled” ()

Day 1…… 1205 words. Total words to date…… 1205
Day 2…… 1856 words. Total words to date…… 3061
Day 3…… 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… 10620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 129730
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 509350

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 632 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

The Journal, Monday, 8/14

Hey Folks,

I know at least one writer who still does extensive research before writing.

That said, most of us use the hunt-and-peck method.

In the midst of a story (sometimes a sentence) we pop online for a moment, do some quick research on the type of tree the hero is leaning against, which months a particular river flows, etc. Then we pop back into the story, add what we learned and move on.

Most often, that search is accomplish on Google or Bing or one of the other popular search engines.

For us, now there are a lot more resources. Check out “Of Interest” below.

***

If you know me at all, you know I’m dead-set against exclusivity in book selling — specifically, distributing only through Amazon.

For yet another take on why, see “The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/the-only-rule-amazon-truly-cares-about/ (via The Digital Reader and David Gaughran).

***

I spent some time going back over the first session of the workshop I’m taking with Dean. Didn’t find what I was looking for.

Also read the first few pages of the James Patterson novel Private. I hoped to be impressed. My intention was to be impressed so I’d want to go back through it later and learn from him.

But I wasn’t impressed. A few years ago I said I thought he wasn’t a very good writer but he’s a masterful marketer. I thought I’d give his work another shot, but my experience today only bolstered that negative opinion.

On the upside, it was unimpressive enough that it made me think more highly of my own work. So there’s that. (grin)

Finished the handout for Wednesday’s seminar. Also got some laundry done, used the string trimmer on some unruly grass alongside the carport, etc.

Of Interest

For those of you who like reading about other writers’ process, see “Business Musings: The Third 2017 Process Blog” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/08/02/business-musings-the-third-2017-process-blog/.

Via The Passive Voice, see “The state of ebooks: Anti-DRM sentiments…” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/08/the-state-of-ebooks-anti-drm-sentiments-at-worldcon-75/.

Via The Digital Reader and Paul Biba, check out “Ten search engines for researchers that go beyond Google” at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/ten-search-engines-for-researchers-that-go-beyond-google-11-jul-2013/.

Additionally, be sure to see these “more well-known search engines and databases” at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/ten-search-engines-for-researchers-that-go-beyond-google-11-jul-2013#/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 370 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 370

Writing of “” ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 13581
Total fiction words for the year………… 376559
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7500
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 126610
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 503169

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 626 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