The Journal, Sunday, 7/9

Hey Folks,

Doing very little thus far this morning but relaxing my way into the day.

And did very little the rest of the day so far too. Puttered around outside, a little yard work, a little more on the Hovel, some automotive stuff.

The highlight was a trip to the store for tea and locking gas caps. (Hey. There’s a title for you. “Tea and Locking Gas Caps.)

Today, and Writing

Nothing today. Unless a plane lands on my house tonight and I’m in it (plane or house) I’ll be writing fiction tomorrow. Probably all day.

See you then.

Of Interest

From yesterday, see Dean’s “Novel One: Day Seven…Finished” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-one-day-seven-finished/. Go on and read today’s post too. (grin)

Via The Passive Voice, see Kris Rusch’s “Business Musings: Define Your Target Audience: The Intermediate Stages” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/07/05/business-musings-define-your-target-audience-the-intermediate-stages-brandingdiscoverability/.

Fiction Words: 1512
Nonfiction Words: 140 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1652

Writing of OPENING for “Marshal Garrett”

Day 1…… 1512 words. Total words to date…… 1512 (fizzled)

Total fiction words for the month……… 3818
Total fiction words for the year………… 341775
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 112230
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 454005

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 591 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, Saturday, 7/8

Hey Folks,

Basically just a placeholder post today.

The Hovel’s back in shape. I’ll be moving out there to write pretty soon, though probably not today. It’s Saturday, so….

Maybe I’ll do some cleaning out there, get it ready.

Be glad when this dam breaks.

In the meantime, I have a couple other personal adjustments to make too. I won’t bore you with details on those. Just habits to break and habits to assume.

Oh, about yesterday’s topic. Hey, if you prefer reading books in the paper edition, good. Enjoy. I was only trying to dispel some longstanding misconceptions.

Today, and Writing

Nada today beyond this little bit of stuff. I’m gonna go ahead and file this.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Nada.

Fiction Words: 2306
Nonfiction Words: 120 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2426

Writing of OPENING for “If There Was Ever A Better Time”

Day 1…… 2306 words. Total words to date…… 2306 (fizzled)

Total fiction words for the month……… 2306
Total fiction words for the year………… 340263
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4260
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 112090
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 452493

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 590 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, Thursday, 7/6

Hey Folks,

Topic: On Original Thought

Know what? Anyone who wants to be a writer should strive, every day, to have at least one original thought. On politics, religion, social hot buttons, or whatever.

To become a successful writer — by which I mean a writer who turns out work regularly and that work is regularly sold and read — the writer should strive ALL day every day to have original thoughts.

If you’re mimicking the sound bites that pass for news and social repartéé — well, good for you. But chances are, you won’t be successful, or not as successful as you could be.

So strive to have original thoughts. Then put them in your writing.

Don’t utter them aloud unless you’re among like-minded friends. Or maybe even then.

Really, there are no “like-minded” friends. If the collective of humanity had to be described by only one phrase, it would be “herd mentality.” If by one word, it would be “cliché.”

The cliché — well, you all know what a cliché is. And the herd mentality is an ugly, puke-grey-green-with-yellow-streaks-and-blotchy-pink-splotches communicable and highly contagious disease. It issues forth into the collective from an individual desire for acceptance.

See? Now that’s an original thought. It’s somewhat repulsive, but it’s also enticing. But I’ll bet you’re still reading.

Probably you’re thinking ‘Welp, Harvey’s off on another rant.’ To accompany that, you’re either grinning and wondering whether I’m about to write something with which you’ll agree.

Or you’re frowning a little and wondering whether what I’m about to write will be worth a counter argument on your part.

So you’re either about to have a little party in your mind or you’re girding your loins, so to speak, for battle.

But you’re wrong. That isn’t what this is about at all.

I actually have zero interest in causing you to think a certain way, to abide by a certain philosophy.

My only interest is that you be successful. That you experience for yourself a series of one-off thoughts that nobody else who has ever lived on this planet has experienced.

And who knows? Maybe that’s an even better definition of success in general than the one I offered earlier.

Today, and Writing

Probably no writing today. Striving to finish a copyedit of a novel today.

I actually wrote a little today, but just another opening that didn’t work. So I’m not counting it. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

From Digital Book World via The Passive Voice, see “8 Top Publishing Lessons Authors Need To Know” at http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2017/8-top-publishing-lessons-authors-need-to-know/. (Be careful not to swallow this article whole.)

DWS continues to impress with his current challenge. http://deanwesleysmith.com.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 450 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 450

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… 2730
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 110560
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 448517

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 588 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

The Journal, Monday, 7/3

Hey Folks,

Happy July 4th tomorrow. More importantly, happy Independence Day.

Well, I’m officially in a slump right now. (I know. Duh!)

I wrote four openings today, and I wasn’t excited about any of them from the first word to the last. Every one of them dwindled and died, and what’s worse, I didn’t care. I’m not counting the words.

I know better than to think I don’t want to write anymore or I don’t have anymore stories to tell or any silliness like that.

But I am definitely in a slump. Maybe this is the “writer’s crash” Dean talks about now and then. Maybe I’ll email and ask him. (grin)

I suppose there’s a chance some of it is due to my miserable attempt at a challenge last month. But I’d like to think it isn’t.

I suspect partly it’s all the changes in the past six months. That’s when they started, with me going to pick up my grandson on Christmas Eve.

But in the past couple of months the difficulties have snowballed, stacking one atop the other, and there have been a lot of them.

Not that I’m complaining or making excuses. After all, I either implemented or was the direct catalyst for them:

  • the onset of really hot weather, which keeps me from writing outside most of the time;
  • swapping out the desk and writing surfaces in my office;
  • losing (temporarily) my writing space in the Hovel (GAWD I put a lot of words through the ‘puter out there);
  • all the stuff going on with my vehicles;
  • and then major changes like having Bryan with me for 6 months and him being gone to Job Corps now;
  • my youngest son starting over again up in Flagstaff;
  • some family turmoil in New Mexico; and so on.

Just a lot of life stuff stacked up on my mind and time.

So the upshot is this: I’ll write fiction again when I’m ready to write fiction again. At the moment, I’m just not.

My subconscious has its stupid little arms crossed over its chest. A few minutes ago it did that thing where it pinched its forefinger and its thumb together, drew them across its tightly sealed lips, and made like it was tossing away the key.

In the interim, I’ll keep this Journal going and I’ll keep coming up with Topics that I hope will help in your own writing. I’ll also continue copyediting at a special rate for anyone who’s reading this.

First readers are wonderful, and everyone should have a good one. But the first reader’s job is to look for consistency issues, places where they’re confused, wrong words and misspellings. That’s it.

A good copyeditor does all that plus addresses punctuation, tense shifts, pacing and paragraphing issues, story flow, etc. All without changing your authorial voice or the story itself.

If anyone’s interested, check the Copyediting tab on my main website. Your price will be lower than the price stated on the website.

Topic: 750 Words

Anyone who’s interested in writing challenges or productivity might look into the website http://750words.com.

If you’re interested in learning what really goes on time-wise when you sit down to write, it will be good for that too.

You all know I’m a big believer in keeping track of numbers because it helps in my productivity. This innovative little site measures all sorts of stuff. It even keeps track of all the time you are NOT writing when you think you’re writing. (grin)

But I mentioned writing challenges specifically because this site encourages you to write 750 words.

That’s important for several reasons. That number of words is about three pages, about an hour of work and — in some fast-paced genres — about one scene (or chapter). How cool is that?

Especially if you’re considering writing short stories or novels “in public” and posting a scene per day or per week or per hour, this might be a real boon. They have a 30-day free trial. After that, if I remember right, it costs you $5 per month to subscribe.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3 after a LOT of sleep. Apparently catching up.

As I mentioned above, I’m in a slump. At a time when most writers are coming out of a summertime slump, I seem to have entered into one.

I’ll be back, maybe in a big way. For now, perhaps I’m in chrysallis stage or something. Not that I wanna be a butterfly. I don’t. Unless I’m a butterfly with, like, a machinegun and a few grenades. I’m lining up targets as we speak.

Anyway, I might snap out of it tomorrow, or it might be a week from now, or a month. Shrug. I dunno. But I will snap out of it.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Not a lot around the web today.

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……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 109210
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 447167

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 585 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

The Journal, Sunday, 7/2

Hey Folks,

I always hate registering a zero for fiction writing for the first day of the month. But it is what it is.

I didn’t clear the decks quite well enough to approach my much-touted WIP challenge in July. My wife’s birthday and vacation are both this month, and my son recently moved to Arizona, so visits will ensue. I’ll get back to the challenge sometime in the future. No rush.

For now I’m going to not think about challenges other than the ongoing novel-a-month thing and just get back to writing.

Yesterday, ideas were lining up outside my mental door and flinging themselves at it. I expect more of the same today.

I’ve also recognized something new about myself. I enjoy writing short stories, but I enjoy writing novels a lot more.

Even when I was writing short stories early last month, some small part of my subconscious was watching and hoping a novel would emerge.

I’m not sure what that means yet, but I suspect it will bode well for me. Stay tuned.

Topic: Writing Prompts

I’m not sure this is really big enough for a whole topic. But the notion of it is big enough that it deserves the tag.

As I looked through some of the writing-prompt sites this morning (see “Of Interest”), a thought occurred.

Poets and Writers’ weekly column “The Time Is Now” offers three prompts per week. They emphasize that one prompt is for poetry, one for fiction, and one for creative nonfiction.

I visited the site. As I scrolled down and read over some of the prompts, I got a great deal more inspiration as I read the paragraph beneath each prompt. So that’s one thing. And I actually got more than one idea from most of the paragraphs.

I also got some great, impactful story titles from some of their titles and derived from the paragraphs under the titles.

But another, much bigger relization is that ANY of the prompts can be used for fiction. Or poetry or creative nonfiction, I suppose. And that makes complete sense.

I’ve written several short stories that were based on poems I wrote years ago. I’ve written at least two novels based on poems I wrote earlier as well.

You can check out “The Time Is Now” at https://www.pw.org/writing-prompts-exercises/.

As you browse the list of other websites in the article in “Of Interest,” you’ll find more neat stuff.

Today, and Writing

Nothing again today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Self-Publishing Does Not Have to Cost You Anything at http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2017/06/26/it-self-publishing-does-not-have-to-cost-you-anything/. Amen.

Also via The Passive Voice, see “6 Websites with Great Writing Prompts” at https://medium.com/personal-growth/6-websites-with-great-writing-prompts-1c35288ef91a/. There’s actually more than writing prompt sites. Check out this one.

Have I said lately how much DWS amazes me? Check out “Novel One: Day One” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-one-day-one/.

If you have books available through Smashwords, visit https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos to enroll your books in their annual July Summer/Winter Sale. You know. If you want to.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 490 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 490

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… 600
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 446387

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 584 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

The Journal, Saturday, 7/1

Hey Folks,

Okay. The roller coaster continues.

Maybe I’ll start the challenge today, and maybe I won’t. I’ll know by the end of the day.

Or maybe I need to adjust the challenge. I don’t know. Again, I hope I’ll know by the end of the day

Enjoying a visit with my youngest son, his wife, and three grandsons this morning.

Today, and Writing

No writing today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via the Passive Guy, see “The Opening as Part of the Closing … of the Deal” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/03/the-opening-as-part-of-the-closing-of-the-deal.html. This is a really great article. You might also bookmark The Killzone Blog. I did.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 110 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 110

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… 110
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 445897

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 583 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

The Journal, Thursday, 6/29

Hey Folks,

I love to enter a room to find most common sense has fled. The absence makes me feel superior.

Yeah, I need to stay away from Facebook more. (grin)

Hey, both Christopher Ridge (http://creaturecritter.blogspot.com/) and Linda Maye Adams (http://lindamayeadams.com) are taking on a major writing challenge at the moment. Visit their websites to follow along and support their efforts.

I’ve also added a link to their pages on my main website under Readers’ Resources.

Last night my brain was full and I thought I was finished with website stuff. Then I sat down and hovered my cursor over a book cover on my Wes Crowley Series page (under Books) and found the URL still pointed to StoneThread Publishing.

So I revised the page, uploaded the covers and redirected them to the appropriate book pages on the main site. NOW I think I’m finished. You know. Mostly.

While I was browsing this morning, I came across a comment on the article in “Of Interest.” It prompted a comment of my own and the topic for today.

Topic: The Purpose of Punctuation

First, punctuation is not meant to be noticed. Its sole purpose is to direct, subliminally, the reading of the work. In the comment I mentioned above, the guy wrote that if punctuation draws attention from the text that’s a good thing.

What? How is that possibly a good thing?

Reader thought and any ensuing water-cooler conversation should be about the story, not the punctuation (or capitalization or odd spellings or the lack of or inclusion of quotation marks, etc.).

Readers noticing and commenting on punctuation is like casual observers standing around a beautiful mansion and commenting on the type of nails the carpenter used.

Words and punctuation are tools, nothing more.

As to punctuation, the comma forces a short pause, the semicolon and em-dash force a medium-length pause, and the colon and other end punctuation force a long pause.

And yes, I mean they “force” pauses. Ever try to read through a mark of punctuation? And that pause thing is why the em-dash follows a list that introduces a sentence but the colon follows a sentence that introduces a list.

The em dash (a medium pause) enables the reader to more quickly get to the reason for the list. In the other construction, the colon is fulfilling its role as end (long pause) punctuation. The longer pause builds drama.

Any gratuitous, unnecessary use of em dashes or any other punctuation, and any odd combination of marks (other than the interrobang) is distracting and annoying to most readers.

They’ll put the book aside and find something more enjoyable to do, like poking their eyes with a stick. And most of them won’t even know why they’re annoyed.

Today, and Writing

I started the day with a very brief sojourn on Facebook. And email.

I did have one request for the folder/promo file I put together for each publication.

Then I remembered I covered that in The Essentials of Digital Publishing. But that part needed to be updated anyway.

So I wrote “A Fact Sheet Toward Efficiency in Epublishing” and posted it on the Free Stuff page. (You can get it free at http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/A-Fact-Sheet-Toward-Efficiency-in-Epublishing.pdf.)

It’s 6:30, time for a break. Then I’ll see whether I have anymore deck clearing to do or maybe start writing.

Well, still some to do on the website. Behind the scenes stuff. I save the .txt version of all pages in a folder. In case of a crash, I have everything I need to rebuild. So I’m doing that now.

Got finished with all of that finally, then went to the store.

Gearing up to writing. It’s really cool, feeling the urge to write build in me.

I’m going to work on a friend’s website for the rest of today, then begin my new challenge tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

If you’re bored and a wordophile, you might check out Nate Hoffelder’s “On Standard eBooks’ ‘Light Modernization'” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/06/28/standard-ebooks-light-modernization/. The guy at Standard Ebooks commented to set some things straight.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1220 (670 Journal) + 550 Fact Sheet
So total words for the day: 1220

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17410
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107390
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 445347

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 581 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

The Journal, Wednesday, 6/28

Hey Folks,

Well, frankly I was too tired to keep going yesterday. I didn’t upload stuff to BundleRabbit, and I didn’t update my novel-novella page and my short fiction page on my website.

So probably one more nonwriting day today. I’m getting a lot of “writing related” stuff done, but I’m not writing. Writing is putting new (fiction) words on paper.

Ah well. Either way it should be a banner July. Guess we’ll see.

***

Had a guy unsubscribe today from the big blog. I wouldn’t mention it but he listed the reason as “Did not sign up for list.” Only thing is, he subscribed way back on July 10, 2014. I have to wonder how he’s been receiving it for almost three years but never signed up. (grin)

Topic: BundleRabbit

I can’t sing the praises of this outfit enough.

If you don’t have an account, and if you’re a writer or a reader, get one. You can do so at https://bundlerabbit.com/.

A few days ago, I was invited to have two of my titles — the novel No Kind’a Time and the short story “A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen” — in the forthcoming Guns of the West bundle.

And yesterday, I received another request to have my novella, A Rough New World, in the forthcoming Dystopia bundle.

I’ve had work in two previous bundles: SF and Chills, Thrills and Spills. (Both are off-sale now, though the books are still available.)

If you’re a reader, bundles present an excellent opportunity to taste the writings of different authors in a single, low-priced grouping.

If you’re a writer, bundles afford you the opportunity to increase your readership. And even while in the bundle, your books are still available wherever you have them distributed.

Finally, if you have your ducks in a row (a folder for each book with an .epub from D2D, a cover, and a promo doc) it takes about two minutes per title to upload to BundleRabbit.

(If you’d like to know how to put together a folder like this or a promo doc, email me.)

This is a good deal, folks. Don’t miss out.

Today, and Writing

Around 4:30 I started uploading nine new titles to BundleRabbit. I was finished a little before 5. Two to three minutes per title.

Filled the hummmingbird feeders (this is a major undertaking) and will soon begin uploading book and story covers to my main website.

Okay, by 9 I added three new book pages and nine new covers. Also updated the Novels and Short Fiction pages. Now I’m gonna take a break, then go through all the pictures in my media library to delete the ones I don’t need.

Then I’ll find cover pics for the remaining three stories and get those out and up.

Finally got the last three covers done and got the last three stories uploaded to D2D, Amazon and BundleRabbit. It’s 3 p.m. (grin)

I’m sure looking forward to being this exhausted from a day of writing instead of all this necessary stuff.

Tomorrow, I’ll see whether there’s anything else I need to do to clear the decks. If there’s little or nothing, I’ll get back to writing.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

A great little post titled “Some Movie Stuff” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-movie-stuff/. Both gave me a laugh and captured my interest.

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……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 16190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 106170
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 444127

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 580 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