The Journal, Tuesday, 7/18

Hey Folks,

If you aren’t distributing through Draft2Digital.com (D2D) yet, here’s another reason to do so.

I received an email this morning saying D2D has partnered with Findaway Voices to provide audio books starting, actually, today.

To read about this innovation, visit https://draft2digital.com/blog/d2d-partners-with-findaway-voices-to-provide-an-alternative-to-acx-starting-7182017/.

Of special note, if you use Findaway Voices via D2D, the former even waives their normal $49 admin fee. Worth checking out. Best of all, it gives readers one more way to find your work, and it gives you one more trickling stream of income.

Today, and Writing

I did little or nothing but reading and researching the stuff in “of Interest” below during the first few hours of the day.

I did get a pretty decent photo of the thumbnail moon early this morning and post it to Facebook. You can see that on my page at https://www.facebook.com/harvey.stanbrough/. Worth the effort if you like pictures of Miss Luna.

Went to the grocery at around 7. Then back to check Facebook, email, etc. Mowed part of the yard (the tall part) and didn’t get to the Hovel until after noon.

Man, this story is teaching me what Dean means when he says a novel is “twisted.” Whew!

A pretty good day of writing, though I didn’t hit my daily goal. Just got started too late. But I’ll take it.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “Neo: A Word Processor for Authors” at http://www.hughhowey.com/neo-a-word-processor-for-authors/. Even though Neo is a dream for now, there are some gems in the article and in the comments.

If you’re looking for a distraction-free text editor, check out “7 Distraction-Free Writing Environments for Authors” at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/07/7-distraction-free-writing-environments-for-authors/.

For those of you with WordPress websites, also via The Digital Reader, see “Four things I learned at WordCamp DC” at http://valiantchickendigital.com/blog/four-things-learned-wordcamp-dc/.

See Dean’s “Novel Three: Day One” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-three-day-one/.

I haven’t fully understood it yet, but take a look at “Digital marketing scales…” from Mike Shatzkin via The Passive Voice at http://www.idealog.com/blog/digital-marketing-scales-create-new-opportunities-capable-publishers/.

Fiction Words: 2675
Nonfiction Words: 320 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2995

Writing of Graham’s Road (tentative title, novel or novella)

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082
Day 2…… 2675 words. Total words to date…… 6757

Total fiction words for the month……… 10575
Total fiction words for the year………… 348532
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7530
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 115360
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 463892

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 600 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, Monday, 7/17

Hey Folks,

For those of you following the saga of Bryan, I finally heard from him. He posted on Facebook yesterday.

That worried me initially because I know he isn’t allowed a computer at Job Corps. So I immediately wondered whether he was still there, etc.

I commented on his post “Bryan! You’re online? How’re you doing?”

And this morning he responded with “Yeah, I’m online. My roommate gave me one of his old phones so that’s how I’ve been online. As far as job corps it’s been going great. I love it here.”

Whew! (grin) So there you have it.

***

My friend Christopher Ridge commented on yesterday’s post. I also received a few comments via email, all helpful. Thanks, everyone.

The conscious mind definitely has something to do with my current slump, as it seems it always does. I’ll shake it off soon.

When I’m writing, I get excited about passing along what I know. So until I’m writing again, chances are these Journal entries will be a bit sparse, but I plan to keep posting anyway. Maybe a tidbit here or there will help someone else in some way.

Topic: Story Starters Revisited

All you need to begin a story is a character with a problem in a setting. That’s it. Everybody knows that by now.

Most often when I start a story, I start with a stark opening sentence. I like to grab the reader’s attention from the first word.

Then, to ground the reader — to pull the reader down into the story — I describe the setting through the character’s physical senses and opinions of that setting.

Then I just keep typing.

I’m not writing the story. I’m only recording it. The character is writing it. I feel fortunate that the characters allow me to run along with them.

That mindset enables me to be down in the story with the characters, experiencing it with them, rather than on a pedestal somewhere directing them.

My problem at the moment is trying to come up with that good, stark opening sentence I mentioned above. Usually they just occur to me. But did you read the first sentence of this paragraph? Lately I’ve been “trying” to come up with one.

As I’ve mentioned to others, any time you’re “trying” to do something, you’re invoking the conscious mind. When you’re “trying,” you’re thinking.

And thinking, where the act of writing is concerned, is never a good thing.

So for now I’m just gonna fuggiddaboudit.

Today, and Writing

Okay, I moved out to the Hovel at around 11.

After pecking about for awhile, I started working with Graham’s Road, an opening I wrote back on the 10th.

With a couple of trips up to the house to get more water for the portable cooler and more tea for myself, I had a fairly good day. At least I’m writing again.

No idea where this story’s going. At present it has TWO major conflicts. One is a dead body on a beach and the other is a return to life (I think) of the police chief’s dead wife. And no, her body isn’t the one on the beach. (grin)

Of Interest

Just because the guy’s amazing, see Dean’s “Novel Two: Day Nine: Finished” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-two-day-nine-finished/.

From BizzaroWorld, “Photographer Broke Due to Copyright Lawsuit by Monkey” via The Passive Guy at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/07/learn-a-language-but-not-a-human-one/. (He gives you a link to the rest of the article, but his take is priceless.)

Fiction Words: 3012
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3592

Writing of Graham’s Road (tentative title, novel or novella)

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082

Total fiction words for the month……… 7900
Total fiction words for the year………… 345857
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7210
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 115040
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 460897

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 599 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, Monday, 7/10

Hey Folks,

This is important, so it goes up front.

Just in case you happen across “How To Easily Proofread And Edit Your Own eBook” (by The Digital Reader), IMHO there’s only one piece of valid advice in the whole article: Read Your Work Aloud.

Everything else there either lets someone else into your work or won’t work.

Topic: What a Writer Needs, Post-Story

You need a good first reader. By “good” I mean someone who enjoys your work, but someone who will also point out four things: misspellings, wrong words, inconsistencies, and any place where he or she feels “kicked out” of the story or otherwise confused.

A good first reader also is very seldom a writer. You don’t want opinions on “what I would have done.” From a first reader, you want only what I listed above. Nothing else.

If you read your work aloud (and allow yourself to touch the mss here and there as you do so) you’re being your own first reader.

After that, trust yourself and publish it.

If something’s still twingeing that little voice in your head about the story, you might also send it to a good copyeditor. In this case, by “good” I mean knowledgeable but non-intrusive. (Using a copyeditor is an especially good idea if you don’t have a good first reader.)

But avoid “story” editors and “developmental” editors and “critique groups” etc. literally like you would avoid the plague. Seriously. Don’t let anyone (especially other writers) into your work.

Strictly FYI (this is not an advertisement), I am also a copyeditor. You can see what I do at http://harveystanbrough.com/copyediting/. If I can help, email me.

* * *

Well, I have edits coming in. I just sent one out a couple days ago. I received one this morning, I have a promise for another, and I’m kind of assuming a third.

That’s okay. In fact, it’s good. It’s helping me refine my schedule. Or maybe start a schedule again.

One, I need to climb back up on Heinlein’s Rules. I put myself out there as an HR “adherent” but I haven’t been adhering lately even to Rule 1: You Must Write. My plan is for that to change today, with or without the “in public” part. Actually, I’ve been writing a bit. More on that below.

When I have an edit, I’ll work on that from the time I get up until my wife heads off to work. Then a transition break, then writing fiction.

When I finish anything during the day, I’ll create a cover, promo doc etc. and publish it. Then, if there’s time left in the day, I’ll return to the edit.

Today, and Writing

This morning I did the usual email and Facebook stuff. That will change in coming days too when I have an edit in the in-box. Then I’ll do the email/FB stuff during breaks.

So starting an edit way late at 6 a.m., then on to writing at around 9 a.m.

I started writing at 10. Wrote what I thought was a good opening, but it fizzled.

That’s happened a couple of times in the past couple of days. I get through the opening and at some point the story just doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore.

Don’t be concerned. I’m just whining. I’ll get over it.

I really need to figure this out.

Anyway, I wrote the words in those openings, so I’m counting them. I’ve gone through and revised the numbers on the last two posts to reflect those openings and numbers.

I’ll keep plugging. Maybe something will take soon.

See you then.

Of Interest

If you’re bent that way, check out The Somnium Project at https://somniumproject.wordpress.com/. “Somnium” has been called the first-ever science fiction story.

If you’re a verbivore, check out “More Than 600 New Words, Phrases, and Senses…” at http://www.infodocket.com/2017/06/30/600-new-words-phrases-and-senses-added-to-oxford-english-dictionary-june-2017-update/. Scroll down on that page for the New Words List and other interesting links.

Fiction Words: 1070
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1720

Writing of OPENING for “Graham’s Road” (yes, Linda Maye, from your sign)

Day 1…… 1070 words. Total words to date…… 1070 (fizzled)

(All of the numbers below are revised to reflect totals from 8, 9, and 10 July.)

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 112880
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 455725

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 592 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, 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, Friday, 6/30

Hey Folks,

Yay! The last day of what turned out to be a major transition month for me. At least as far as life and websites go.

This morning I realized there’s a glitch in my challenge plans.

The challenge is to write a short story every day “in public,” meaning I’ll post it scene by scene over at hstanbrough.com.

But sometimes a story grows into a novel. I usually recognize a budding novel at around the two-thirds point of a story. Last month, in only 8 stories, two also wanted to be novels.

That made me wonder, for a short time, whether maybe I should delay the postings. Maybe wait to begin posting a scene at a time until I’m sure the story will wrap as a short story.

Then I realized that’s my conscious mind again, coming through a side door to try to shut down the process. Silly.

I still wrote 8 short stories last month. I was able to wrap them as stories, so there was no interruption in the process.

So I’ll go with scene by scene in real time and let the chips plop where they wanna.

I’ll also have to work out a schedule, a routine, as I go. The Hovel is out for now. Too hot. So we’ll see what happens in that regard. That’s another major change for me.

Today, and Writing

I rose late, did Facebook and email, wrote the stuff above and started the water on the yard.

I cast about for awhile for story ideas, but nothing came to me. I was still searching old files and my brain when noon rolled around.

I guess the calendar matters more to me than I thought it did. Shrug. So I’ll start the challenge tomorrow.

It’s kind of funny, really. I wrote a book called Writing Great Beginnings, but I’m having trouble coming up with a beginning (an opening line). Go figure.

Anyway, I’ll use the balance of today exercising my idea muscle, getting back into the routine of allowing story ideas to come to me.

Actually, I wrote fiction only 15 days this month and still exceeded 45,000 words of fiction for the month. Somehow I’m okay with that. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

A great post if you’re interested in how to plan for a challenge. See “Just Getting Ready For July” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/just-getting-ready-for-july/.

If you’re interested in Orwellian horror/sf come to life, check out “Netherlands Considers Euthanasia…” at http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/30/netherlands-considers-euthanasia-healthy/.

For yet another eye-opener re Amazon, see “Amazon Has a Fake Book Problem” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/amazon-has-a-fake-book-problem/. (Thanks, Alison.)

Alison also introduced me to David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital website. Just remember to take any advice with a grain of salt: https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/start-here/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 430 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 430

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… 17850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107830
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 445787

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 582 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