The Journal, Friday, 8/18

Hey Folks,

Much of what follows is me thinking aloud. If you get something of value from it, good. But mostly it’s me using you as a sounding board. Sorry about that.

Wow. I’ve been at this literary stuff a very long time. And the marketing stuff. Both in-person, glad-handing bookstore managers and sitting for hours at book signings and all that, and the much less costly and smarter electronic marketing.

In fact, after I did some basic math I finally gave up (by and large) on book signings, etc. unless I happened to be speaking at a conference at the same time. From then through now, it’s all been electronic marketing.

The cornerstone of electronic marketing is a personal website. Even Kris Rusch’s book on Discoverability tells you so (see https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NCJL9AG/).

I’ve had a personal website since websites were first a thing, around 1991. I’ve done and continue to do everything else in her book. Yet I’m not a million-seller. You know, yet. (grin)

In a moment of epiphany yesterday, I finally realized what I’m doing wrong.

In the early days, I was a successful (meaning well-nominated) poet and an instructor and an editor. I scribbled a little fiction now and then, but I didn’t become a fiction writer until April 2014 and a novelist until October 2014.

Today I’m still an instructor, a little, and a copyeditor, sometimes, but mostly I’m a fiction writer.

Yet as a holdover from the old days, I’m still devoting my website mostly to other writers. Not readers. Writers. And that’s what I’m doing wrong.

If there’s one truism that stands the test of time, it’s that (with very few exceptions) Writers don’t want to buy your fiction. They want you to buy THEIR fiction.

I’ve said as much to several writers over the years, yet I managed somehow to miss the point myself. Sigh.

If I toted 10 copies of every novel and nonfiction book I’ve written to the next meeting of the regional writers’ group, chances are I’d leave with a small stack of cash, zero nonfiction books, and 260 novels.

Okay, so how do I change my main website from one that’s geared primarily to sell my nonfiction books on writing and my back-burner services as a copy editor to one that actively engages readers who might want to buy my fiction?

I mean, almost all of my fiction is displayed on the main site, but what do I blog about? Nonfiction, how-to-write stuff.

That’s where the epiphany came in. A Writer doesn’t blog about writing techniques. A Writer blogs about his writing. His stories. His novels. His characters.

He also engages the readers.

Maybe he writes a short story every day for a month. Maybe he offers to let them write alternative endings. Maybe he asks them what crime/puzzle/mystery the characters should solve next.

Maybe he starts his own electronic magazine with one original novel and several short stories in each issue. (I know, it’s been done. But so what?)

So I have to give this some thought (he said, just as if he needed something else to do).

First and foremost, it only makes sense that I turn harveystanbrough.com into an author’s website. So that’s a given. After all, that’s the name I write under most of the time. The only question is how.

I also have hstanbrough.com and hestanbrough.com. And I need new covers for most of my nonfiction books (on writing). So maybe as part of the rebranding of that series, I’ll change the nonfiction author’s name to H. Stanbrough.

Then maybe I’ll switch all the “instructor” stuff over to hstanbrough.com. (Yeah, that was gonna be the writing-in-public site but if I do that, it would be better to post it over on the main site.)

The only question re that site would be whether to move this Journal over there too. I like that it’s running every day. I like the streak. But streaks have to break eventually, and really, I don’t post writing-specific advice all that often, do I?

Maybe I’ll just move it over to the main site and revamp it to appeal more to R-E-A-D-E-R-S than writers. I dunno. (shrug)

But back to the main site for a moment: what exactly do readers want from an author’s website?

Any ideas out there? Especially from those of you who have writer-websites? Do you blog about your stories and characters?

One thing I know for sure. It won’t be a site where the only blog post is to announce a new release.

Got a little bit of writing done today. Not much. Now that I’m in the same room with my business computer though, I took the internet off my writing ‘puter again. Maybe that’ll help.

Sure be glad when this funk breaks loose. Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Seven Ways to Bring Characters Together” at https://mythcreants.com/blog/seven-ways-to-bring-characters-together/.

Via Linda Maye Adams, see Joanna Penn and Jerry Jenkins on “Writing Christian Fiction and Success Over a Long Career” at https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/08/14/writing-christian-fiction-long-career-jerry-b-jenkins/.

Fiction Words: 1205
Nonfiction Words: 840 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2045

Writing of “Untitled PI Story” ()

Day 1…… 1205 words. Total words to date…… 1205

Total fiction words for the month……… 14786
Total fiction words for the year………… 377764
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9610
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 128720
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 506484

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 630 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, Friday, 8/11

Hey Folks,

I did pretty much nothing writing related today other than working on the handout for the upcoming intensive. Did a lot of stuff outside and around the office.

Man, I’d forgotten how difficult it is to put on one of these things and prepare for it. (grin) But it’s all good.

For one thing, I decided to scrap the nonfiction book idea for now. That will come after the seminar(s) is over, if at all. Right now I just wanna teach a good class.

Today I did a lot of back-and-forth stuff, going from the handout I’m preparing to various stories and novels for examples, and so on. Time-consuming stuff.

Of Interest

See Linda Maye Adams’ “Adventures around the web August 5-9, 2017” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/08/11/adventures-around-the-web-august-5-9-2017/. Lot of good stuff there. Take the article on Legal Myths with a grain of salt. I commented on that one in the Journal a few days ago.

For fun, via The Digital Reader, check out “I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe…” at https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/im-a-google-manufacturing-robot-and-i-believe-humans-are-biologically-unfit-to-have-jobs-in-tech/. Pretty funny.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: XXXX (170, Journal; 1000, Handout)
So total words for the day: 1170

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… 6850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 125960
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 502519

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 623 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)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Sunday, 7/30

Hey Folks,

Cool. I woke this morning to a request to include yet another of my books, Rise of a Warrior, in a bundle at BundleRabbit. Not only is it a good stand-alone novel, but it’s also the first book in the Wes Crowley series. Uh, yeah. I’ll do that. (grin)

If you don’t have your work listed with BundleRabbit yet, why not? Check it out at http://bundlerabbit.com. The account is free, and every time your story or book is bundled, you gain access to new readers.

And yes, you can upload short stories and collections as well as novellas and novels. Just do it already.

***

Still a few slots open for the writing intensive. As a reminder, it’s on Wednesday, 16 August, here in beautiful downtown St. David.

***

I actually sacked out early last night and rose early this morning. Feels good to be back on track. I spent the first couple of hours playing, looking at parlor-sized (3/4 sized) guitars online.

But I don’t think I’m gonna buy one just yet. I still have stories to tell, and I really don’t have time for more than one passionate pursuit.

Today, and Writing

To the novel at 6. I’m getting anxious to have this one over and done. That string of three-digit word counts is bugging me.

Ran into another problem with the situation. I know the end is close, but I also don’t have a clue where it is. Exciting but frustrating too.

I’m pretty sure now I won’t wrap this one until tomorrow. I won’t rush the ending either, but I don’t think I’ll need to anyway. As I said, it feels like I’m in the proximity.

Worked on it off and on during the day, mostly in 15 and 20 minute bits. Around noon I took a couple hours off to watch the Cubs play the Brewers. Then around 2:20 I headed out to the Hovel (first time since I’ve been back) to put in at least one solid session today.

Little girl’s been really needy today, following me around and so on. Right now she’s under the bed (thunder in the area) so I went to the Hovel.

I have to find a way to get to the Hovel more often. All day in those short bits, I wrote about 1700 words. In one hour and a half session in the Hovel, I wrote the rest. Wow. That’s the power of having a place where your subconscious is trained to write.

I think I could have written more too, but I worked myself into a corner and ran out of time. I might need to rethink what time I post the Journal. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via Linda Adams on her Facebook page, you’re cheating yourself of a great time if you don’t read “Self Publishing Destroys the Universe at https://medium.com/@kevintumlinson/self-publishing-destroys-the-universe-9b4cb0276518/. It’s a little long, but a ton of fun.

See Dean’s “Novel Four: Day Four” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-four-day-four/. Incredible. Here I am struggling to finish a single novel of only around 30,000 words (maybe) and he’s about to finish his fourth 40,000+ word novel of the month.

I don’t compare myself to Dean, but I do use him for inspiration and to realize what’s possible. (grin)

Fiction Words: 3725
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4275

Writing of Graham’s Road (short novel)

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082
Day 2…… 2675 words. Total words to date…… 6757
Day 3…… 2181 words. Total words to date…… 8938
Day 4…… 4913 words. Total words to date…… 13851
Day 5…… 2543 words. Total words to date…… 16394
Day 6…… 1207 words. Total words to date…… 17601
Day 7…… 0816 words. Total words to date…… 18417
Day 8…… 0869 words. Total words to date…… 19286
Day 9…… 0503 words. Total words to date…… 19789
Day 10… 0761 words. Total words to date…… 20550
Day 11… 0653 words. Total words to date…… 21203
Day 12… 3725 words. Total words to date…… 24928

Total fiction words for the month……… 25021
Total fiction words for the year………… 362978
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11280
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 119110
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 482008

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 612 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)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Friday, 7/14

Hey Folks,

Probably another full day of editing in my camp today. Then that will be behind me and I’ll turn my hand back to fiction.

Topic: POV—It Belongs to the Character, Not the Writer

This is massively important.

Summed into one sentence, Everything in every setting in your story or novel must be described through the POV character’s senses and flavored with the POV character’s opinions of the various aspects of that setting.

The POV character’s description of a setting enables the reader to see (hear, smell, taste, feel) it. The POV character’s OPINION of that setting brings it to life.

Combined, the POV character’s description of the setting and his opinions of that setting ground the reader in your story.

When the writer intrudes, inserting something himself rather than filtering it through the POV character, the passage often feels external to the story.

That’s because it is. It’s boring, uninteresting, and most often called an info dump. Most often, writers make such insertions to educate the reader, bring in back story, etc.

And every time they do, it’s unnecessary. Every time, that passage can be deleted without adversely affecting the story.

This is a master’s level difference in narration that took a long while (and a few hundred thousand words of fiction writing) to sink in for me, especially that “opinion” part.

I still practice it, and the most-often heard comment I get on my stories is, “I felt like I was there with the character.”

To make it easier, here are a couple of examples. The setting in both is a private library in a mansion in which the owner occasionally smokes a pipe. In an actual story, there would be more to it, but I think these will suffice as basic examples.

POV Character 1

The door squealed on its hinges as it opened. A couch and two wingback chairs came into view, both upholstered in a dank, forbidding, dark-brown leather. A bear skin rug glared menacingly up at me. Dark wooden shelves covered every wall from floor to ceiling. They were tight, and crammed full of books.

The dim, recessed lighting coupled with the stench of tobacco smoke only enhanced my impending sense of doom. The poor sap probably died just to escape the necessity of ever again entering this room.

POV Character 2

The door swung open easily, the hinges announcing me as if to invite me in. A couch and two wingback chairs came into view, both upholstered in a warm, chocolate brown. The shelves beyond were impressive, and economically spaced to house a voluminous collection of books.

The room was subtly, quietly lit with recessed lighting and aromatic, sweetly scented with a hint of black cherry pipe smoke. This must have been the decedent’s favorite room in the house.

Both POV characters provide the same description of the setting, but each has a very different opinion of the aspects of that setting.

I hope this helps.

Today, and Writing

I knew going in there would be no writing today unless a story insisted. I won’t finish the edit today either, but I’ll finish it tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice and from the Better Novel Project, see “How to Write a Fight Scene (in 11 Steps)” at http://www.betternovelproject.com/blog/fight-scene/. I was happy to see that apparently I’ve been doing it right for awhile now. (grin)

From Linda Maye Adams, several interesting items in her Around the Web post at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/07/14/this-week-around-the-web-july-9-14-2017/, including one on an attractive looking course for writers. It costs less than many books, so I spent the $22. I’ll report later. UPDATE: I checked it out. It seems term-ridden. Not really of much use to me, but I encourage you to at least check out the courses. Maybe they’ll be right for you.

Via The Digital Reader, Bookbaby just published the results of a survey on self-publishing. You have to give them your contact information to download it at https://www.bookbaby.com/free-guide/official-self-publishing-survey-results/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 650

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6290
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 114120
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 456965

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 596 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)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Friday, 7/7

Hey Folks,

Long post today. Sorry about that. But I think you’ll like most of it.

I’ve been a bit remiss in not mentioning another bundle that contains one of DWS’ SF books. The Sci-Fi July Fever Fun bundle is on sale at https://bundlerabbit.com/b/sci-fi-july/. I’m not in this one, but if you enjoy great SF, it’s bound to please.

Topic: “Real” Books vs. Ebooks

On my Facebook pages, I recently announced the BundleRabbit bundle (Guns of the West) that includes two of my books, two of DWS’ books, and one each by five other writers. (You can see it at https://bundlerabbit.com/b/guns-west/.)

I’ve had a great response thus far, and I know at least 20 people have bought the bundle as a result of my letting them know it was available.

I hope the old “80-20” rule holds true in this case. (grin) And if you’re one of those who has already plopped down $2.99 (no tax) of your hard-earned cash for the bundle, thank you.

But this morning, I checked Facebook to find this question and comment:

“Can’t I buy the actual books? I don’t like reading on line. I like to hold the real books in my hand.”

This question/comment is flawed on at least three levels, which I find amazing in our current age of technology.

This is like saying you’d rather watch a “real” film in a theater for $15 a pop instead of buying it on DVD for $5 or $6.

“But the movie is the same on DVD or in the theater,” detractors say.

Yes. It is.

And the ebook is the same as the paper book. Every word.

Okay, so here is my response to the three flaws in the question/comment:

One, ebooks ARE “actual books.” Every word of every story or novel is included in both ebook and paper editions. The assertion that a paper edition is “real” intimates that the ebook edition is not, and that’s an insult to the author.

Additionally, the ebook edition often contains little extras that are not available in paper editions (just as the DVD of a film often does). In my ebooks, I include those extras as a special Thank You for not insulting me and for being wise with your money.

Two, you don’t have to read ebooks “on line.” To continue the analogy with film, this is like saying “I don’t like to watch movies on my TV.”

You can read ebooks on your phone unless it’s the kind that’s permanently tethered to the wall. You can also read them in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (Apple, B&N and others), or .pdf formats on dedicated e-readers or tablets made by numerous manufacturers.

If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a dedicated e-reader (I don’t blame you), you can download a free app for your phone or your tablet or your computer and read them on that. You can find links to a few free e-readers on my website under the Readers’ Resources tab in the left sidebar.

But with current novel prices at around $16 and up for paper books and $5 for ebooks, a dedicated e-reader pays for itself pretty quickly.

Three, it really isn’t that difficult to find out whether a title is available in both paper and ebook. Simply key a title or author that interests you into any search engine (or Amazon or Barnes & Noble) and see what pops up in paper and ebook editions.

Identical titles are most often displayed alongside each other, which I particularly like as a writer and as a proponent of ebooks because it gives the reader an immediate price comparison.

If you key in “Harvey Stanbrough The Right Cut” for example, the first four entries are Amazon Kindle, Amazon paper edition, Smashwords (ebook only but with a link to the paper edition) and a single entry for Barnes & Noble.

Then the listings continue with Amazon UK, Amazon Japan, etc.

At B&N, you DO have to click one more time (See All Formats and Editions) to learn that the book is available in both ebook ($6.99) and paper ($15.99).

And that’s just for The Right Cut, the last book in the Wes Crowley Series.

You can also buy the entire 10-novel series in paper for around $150, or you can buy all 10 novels in one big volume (but still with all 10 covers plus the cover for the compilation) in ebook for $20.

As an added bonus, if you’re going on vacation and you don’t want to limit your reading choices, you can carry an extra bag with several of your wanna-read-someday paperbacks, or you can simply slip your e-reader (or phone) into your bag and carry them all that way. I prefer less weight.

Finally, Support Your Favorite Authors.

Strictly as an example, if you buy the ebook version of The Right Cut, I’ll earn 70% of the purchase price. You’ll spend $5.99, and I’ll get $4.19.

But if you buy the paper version for $16.99, I’ll earn about $2 per sale. Yes, that’s two dollars. It’s also very bad math from a standpoint of personal economics.

(Yes, writers who are dedicated to publishing only paper editions, I can earn more per sale if I want to order a stack of them myself, then schlep them around in the bed of my pickup or sell them at book signings, etc. But I’d really rather be writing, wouldn’t you?)

So the upshot is, the reader spends a lot more per book for the paper edition, and the author gets a lot less. As Yakov Smirnov used to say, What a country, eh?

Ebooks are here, folks. They aren’t going away. And they’re a boon to readers, not something we writers do to annoy you.

Chances are you already have the ability to read ebooks in your smart phone or on the tablet you carry with you pretty much everywhere you go. The app is free and the SAME STORIES cost a lot less. What in the world is the downside here?

Please, dive on into the 21st century and let’s get back to things that actually matter, like writing more stories.

Oh, and if any of you writers out there are not publishing your works as ebooks yet, feel free to ask me anything you want. I’ll be happy to help.

Today, and Writing

Today I didn’t write. I know. Massive shock. But I did delve deeper into my own private stock of maladies and figure out what’s wrong.

If my writing had a physical body, it would have started shutting down back when I moved my big desk out to storage and switched everything around. Only I didn’t recognize the symptoms.

Ever since then, confusion has piled on confusion. In addition to my “writer self” dying, I had the thing with Bryan and I’m worried about a couple of uncles in NM (my only remaining links to my dad), and and and. Life stuff.

As a result, I’ve been so overwhelmed that I haven’t been able even to clearly see the problem until this morning. I mean the personal writing problem, aside from all the life stuff. (Can’t do anything about the life stuff but ride it to a standstill.)

Basically, I’ve been in a kind of mourning for the routine I used to have. I think I’ve been sort of hoping something would happen to enable a new routine. But that isn’t what I really wanted, so it didn’t happen. Duh.

Epiphany: What I wanted was the old routine back.

I had (and have) a writing ‘puter. But I also had a writing PLACE. The Hovel. Almost everything I’ve written for the past year or so has gone through my fingers in the Hovel. Then I switched everything around and my previously well-oiled machine ground to a rusty, whining, shuddering, grinched-up halt.

So today I worked hard for about three hours in 100+ degree weather to set things right. Now the massive (too tall to write on) desk that was in the Hovel is in the open storage bay next door. My small writing desk is back in the Hovel. And I will be too, tomorrow morning. (grin)

On top of that, I just ordered a portable evaporative cooler to cool the Hovel. It’ll be here on July 12.

So finally, once I gave the problem the time and focus it needed, everything is back on track.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Linda Maye Adams has become a resource similar to The Passive Voice, The Digital Reader, et al. See her “Adventures Around the Web…” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/07/07/this-week-around-the-web-july-2-8-2017/. Some good stuff there.

See “10 Viral Strategies” at http://www.toddbrison.com/10ViralStrategies/. Some good stuff there too. Of course, you’ll have to translate some of it to your purpose, but….

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1410 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1410

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… 4140
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 111970
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 449927

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 589 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)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Wednesday, 7/5

Hey Folks,

If you like good westerns, two of my books are currently in the Guns of the West Bundle. Dean Wesley Smith also has two books in this bundle, plus there are books by 5 other writers.

This is an excellent opportunity to get 9 amazing tales of the wild west for one low price. Visit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/guns-west/.

Okay, I’ve mentioned a time or two a couple of other writers who currently have ongoing “writing in public” challenges.

To watch their challenges unfold and support their efforts, visit these websites:

Linda Maye Adams at http://lindamayeadams.com/.

Christopher Ridge at https://creaturecritter.blogspot.com/.

Topic: The Value of Openings

For a long time I’ve preached DWS’ statement that to write a story opening all you need is a character with a problem in a setting. And the problem doesn’t have to be “the” problem of the story. Just something to get you started writing.

That holds true.

More often than not, the opening takes off. And the next thing you know, you’re in the midst of a story. The subconscious is at play and all is right in the world.

My own lack of production recently emanates from the fact that I hadn’t (until today) written any openings. I allowed other priorities to creep in.

Like everyone, sometimes I need a jump start. A few days ago I found one.

Sometimes the significance of something isn’t in what’s said, but in how it’s said.

This excerpt from James Scott Bell’s “The Opening as Part of the Closing…” struck me hard:

INSET[T]he opening page and, indeed, the opening paragraph (and even further, if you can do it, the opening line) should be about a disturbance to that character’s ordinary world. Why? Because the reader doesn’t know who the character is yet. So what’s the quickest way to get them interested? Trouble.

INSET(Note that a disturbance doesn’t have to be “big” like a car chase, ghost, or awakening in a hospital room. Just something that causes at least a ripple of portent in the character’s life.)

Mr. Bell, an accomplished thriller writer, echoed DWS’ take. He just said it in a different way.

So just in case you haven’t read it, here’s an encore chance. Read the entire post at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/03/the-opening-as-part-of-the-closing-of-the-deal.html.

As I often recommend, I also suggest reading the comments that follow the post.

Today, and Writing

No writing today. Just editing. It’s coming, though.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Just as a matter of interest, you might check out https://www.toddbrison.com/. There’s free stuff for joining his newsletter. I found one gem in about ten minutes of reading.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 440 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 440

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… 2280
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 110110
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 448067

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 587 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)……………………………… 179

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