The Journal, Tuesday, November 14

Hey Folks,

Well, again today I’m not going to publish my upcoming challenge. Frankly, I’m not certain yet what form it will take.

For the new folks who’ve recently joined us here on the Journal, welcome. To bring you up to speed, I’ve been a very prolific writer (by most standards) but have experienced something of a slump off and on for the past few months.

This morning, like a jolt of electricity, I realized the reason for the slump. More on that in a bit.

The last story I finished was a novel titled Loose Ends. That was in September. I published it on October 12, after my first reader had a go at it. But I have to tell you, it seems as if it were a year ago.

At times like this, I look back at numbers. They don’t always show what I’d like to see, but they don’t lie. And my spreadsheet tells me I’ve had a far less-than-productive year.

My fiction production started out well with a 92,000-word January. That fell off to a still somewhat respectable 59,000 words in February and 56,000 in March.

It dropped to 39,000 in April, and enjoyed a slight resurgence to 45,000 in both May and June.

But from there it took a nosedive to 25,000 words in July (that’s also when my seeming slump started), then to 16,000 in August before surging back up to 54,000 in September. Much of that was the novel Loose Ends.

But in October my engine stalled again and my production dropped to 15,000 words of fiction. Thus far in November, I’ve written hardly any fiction.

Somehow, in the midst all of that, I managed to eke out 7 novels, 2 novellas and several short stories in over 451,000 words.

Still, I feel like a slacker. Ugh. And worst of all, I haven’t been able to figure out what’s going on. Well, as I mentioned earlier, until now.

This morning, while searching for a particular blog post for a friend over on my main website, I came across a post titled “Epiphany.”

I took a moment to read it and realized exactly what went wrong: I fell off Heinlein’s Rules. Or more to the point, I allowed conscious-mind garbage to shove me off Heinlein’s Rules.

It happened in the midst of a story I was writing back in July. I’ve been struggling ever since.

Now I’ve long considered myself an “adherent” of Heinlein’s Rules. They really are simple, but incredibly difficult to follow.

The first rule is, “You must write.” The second is, “You must finish what you write.” See? Simple to say. Not so easy to do.

If there were a Rule 6 to Heinlein’s Rules, I suspect it would be “If you attempt to follow these Rules, you WILL occasionally fall off.” What’s worse, when you do fall off, it takes awhile to realize it. In the meantime, a kind of mental paralysis sets in.

If you don’t have a copy of Heinlein’s Rules, you can get an annotated copy free at http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Heinleins-Business-Habits-Annotated.pdf.

I’m not coming back just yet. I have some other things to do. But now that I know what’s going on, I’ll be back to fiction writing soon. And I’m able to breathe again.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

PLEASE read “Important. And Pass It On” at http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2006/10/important-and-pass-it-on.html.

If you like, see “Epiphany” over at http://harveystanbrough.com/pro-writers/epiphany/.

See “Story Four a Slight Miracle” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/story-four-a-slight-miracle/. Interesting.

Well, here you go. In a continuation of yesterday’s topic (and via The Digital Reader), see “Author Blogging 103: Guest Blogging, or How to Write for Exposure” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/11/13/author-blogging-103-guest-blogging-write-exposure/.

Note: For some reason Nate added, “You can find links to several good posts in the comments of this blog,” but I saw only two comments on that particular post and neither of them contained a link. So I’m not sure what he was talking about there.

Anyway, for those of you who pursue “writing for exposure,” best of luck. Frankly, beyond what I already do, I’d rather just spend the time writing fiction.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 690 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 690

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 2238
Total fiction words for the year………… 451680
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6120
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 174183
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 625863

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 716 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, November 3

Hey Folks,

Yesterday after I posted the Journal, I noticed it looked as if it read “Thursday, One and One-Half.” So I’ll try to remember to spell out the month from now on.

More on writing…

In my ongoing mental-morphosis, I’m coming to understand more of what’s going on.

Nothing. Nothing’s going on. (grin) Well, nothing sinister. Maybe.

I got so used to a daily word count and then other goals that it feels odd not to be writing constantly. That’s all.

I’ve become comfortable with storytelling, and comfortable with knowing stories will come. At least that’s what I think has happened.

I can’t take the coming of stories for granted, but neither do I want to worry them into existence.

Somehow I feel like all of this is still tied up with me kicking cigars, a process that’s ongoing.

But what I wrote above about being tied to productivity and challenges and goals — that seems like something I don’t need anymore. Yet on the fringes of my mind, something about not having a set goal nags me.

Could I have met my novel-a-month goal in October and kept it going?

I think so.

But do I need that?

Maybe.

I talk about S. King and others, but I don’t know what goals they set for themselves, if any. And I don’t have to emulate anyone else, but it’s a luxury to know what’s possible.

Ah well, the battle continues.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Linda Maye Adams’ “Writing Around the Web” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/11/03/adventures-around-the-web-oct-28-nov-3-2017/. Very good post. At least the first two thirds of it.

If you read the articles she lists, read the third article (8 Things…Fight Scenes) with a HUGE grain of salt, or not at all. It’s filled with so many generalities and, in places, outright inaccuracies that I actually shudder to think how many young writers will take it to heart.

Via The Digital Reader, see “‘Carat’ vs. ‘Karat’ (vs. ‘Caret’)” at https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/usage-carat-vs-karat.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 340

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 1105
Total fiction words for the year………… 450547
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 169783
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 620330

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 705 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 11/2

Hey Folks,

Hmm… a meandering, personal-thought journey in today’s Journal….

I’ve still been thinking about challenges, but I think that’s almost over.

I thought about a challenge in which I would write at least one opening per day during the month of November.

If the opening took off, I’d write it. If not but if it piqued my interest, it would go into my Openings file. Either way, I’d still have to write a new opening every day.

But something didn’t feel quite right about that. Mostly it felt too contrived, probably because it was.

The main thing, I think, is that I don’t feel like I need to push or be pushed. I feel like when it’s time, I’ll write again. In short, I don’t want to force it.

That’s kind of an epiphany. So I’ll think about this challenge a little more.

No. I’m certain I won’t do the challenge, at least not as I first conceived of it.

Maybe I’ll make a few adjustments and then do it. Like if an opening takes off, I won’t write anymore openings until I’ve finished the story that took off. That might be all right.

But again, if I don’t want to force the issue, what’s the real purpose?

Maybe I’ll just forget the whole challenge silliness and trust that when I’m ready, the words will be there. (grin) We’ll see.

Okay, I called it “challenge silliness.” But back when I was first starting out, especially with writing novels, challenges were a very important part of that.

The various challenges I took-on drove me to the keyboard and kept me writing. Without them I probably never would have written a whole novel, much less 27 of them.

But today I don’t really need to be driven to the keyboard. Today when I get an idea that feels good, I just sit down and write. I break about once an hour, but otherwise I just write until I’m through the scene or chapter. Or too tired to keep going.

I stop with a jagged edge, then come back to it the next day, write my way out of the jagged edge and continue on. So maybe I’m beyond needing challenges. Is that possible? I do know that when the challenge is only about numbers, it no longer interests me because I’ve been there and done that.

And I have the kind of personality that rebels against being artificially psyched up or motivated.

Even back in high school when we were required to put our hands in the center of a circle, count one-two-three and yell “Team!” I was almost embarrassed. I just wanted to go play football already. I mean, does that sort of nonsense really help anyone?

It’s prevalent enough even in professional sports that I suppose it does, but it never did anything but annoy me. For me, it’s right up there with someone saying (with all good intentions) “I know you can do it.”

The truth is, the person “knows” no such thing. Again, artificial encouragement.
***

I was reading more of Stephen King’s take on writing in story introductions here and there.

SK writes into the dark, and he writes very fast, usually holding himself to four clean pages (around 2,000 words) per day When He’s Writing.

He also engages in cycling, going back over what he’s written each day, though I think I read somewhere that he’s more of a “taker-outer” than a “putter-inner.” (I’m definitely a putter-inner.)

Anyway, when SK isn’t writing, he’s mulling, observing, listening, reading and waiting. And when it’s time to write again, he writes.

A couple of days ago, I put up a quote of his here: ““Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.”

The thing is, when he has something to write, he gets up and goes to work. When he doesn’t, he doesn’t.

It isn’t that he’s “taking time off” between books. It’s that he doesn’t have anything to write.

That’s kind of how I’m feeling recently. And more and more, I think that’s probably all right.

You’ll note, maybe, that I’ve removed the accounting for Pulp Novel 5 from the Journal. It’s officially stalled at something over 13,000 words. Should it revive at some point, I’ll put it back. I promise.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Wow. Via The Digital Reader, see “Interactive Ebooks? Almost…” at JA Konrath’s blog at http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2017/11/interactive-ebooks-almost.html.

Also via The Digital Reader, see “8 Tips on Pricing Kindle Ebooks” at https://selfpublishingadvice.org/how-to-price-an-ebook/. Note: I offer this only as additional information. Her tips look pretty good to me but nothing really new.

See “Lifelike ‘Sophia’ Robot Granted Citizenship to Saudi Arabia” at https://www.livescience.com/60815-saudi-arabia-citizen-robot.html. Yeah. This is not a joke.

Today I refer you to The Passive Voice website for a lot of interesting things. Visit http://www.thepassivevoice.com/. Enjoy.

Finally see Dean’s “False Start on Challenge” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/false-start-on-challenge/.

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……… 1105
Total fiction words for the year………… 450547
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 169443
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 619990

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 704 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, 10/31

Hey Folks,

Happy Hallowe’en.

I’d planned to return to my WIP novel today, but didn’t. Other things took priority, but it was still a good day. No more pushing it. I’ll write when it’s time.

In the meantime, a brand new bundle launched today. The Trouble Comes Calling bundle contains my mystery novel, The Platinum Blond Perturbance. You can see the ad for the bundle at the top of the left sidebar on my website. The photo will take you to the bundle page.
***

“I’m not really that knowledgeable about police work. The real story is in the psychology of the characters.” ~ James Lee Burke

Worked on my website a little more this morning. I’m always trying to tweak it closer to being a writer’s website. I think it’s pretty much there. Take a look and let me know what you think.

The changes today were pretty big, so I thought I’d outline them for you here.

The main blog is still there, of course, but under the Home tab. As a related aside, I’ve thought about publishing a post occasionally on a Friday about my characters or my WIP or whatever. Then again, this Journal kind of covers the bases for that.

I got rid-of or reconfigured pretty much every tab. The new tabs for the long fiction are The Wes Crowley Saga with a drop-down menu, then Mystery/Action/SF with a drop-down menu.

It was kind of neat, grouping the non-Wes Crowley books. I found out I have 8 mystery novels, 6 Action-Adventure novels or novellas, and 7 Science Fantasy novels. Weird. I don’t remember having written that much. (grin)

After that is the Short Fiction tab with a drop-down menu. Then come the Writing Books, then For Writers with a drop-down menu, then my bio and personas.

Under the For Writers tab are Copyediting, Audio Lectures, Writer Resources, and Free Stuff.

Like I said, the change (or rearrangement) was pretty extensive.
***

I’ve come to understand that I’m motivated by the novels of Stephen King and James Lee Burke. I mention those two specifically because I know they write in much the same way I do. They just write off into the dark.

When asked by an interviewer, “How do you approach writing a new novel?” James Lee Burke replied, “I never know where a book is going. I have no plan. They just evolve and I incrementally discover the story.”

And King has said publicly he tries to make a habit of turning out four good pages per day (about 2,000 words). When he writes, he does nothing else.

So why am I motivated specifically by these two? Because even as I’m lost in the story, on some subsurface level I’m aware that they’re allowing the characters to shine through. They’re putting their fingers on the keyboard and trusting what comes. And what comes is amazing.

Soon, fingers crossed, I’ll get back to doing the same thing. But for today, no fiction writing. I’m going to read.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you read “A Story About Piracy” via The Passive Voice, you will be glad you did. See it at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/a-story-about-piracy/.

For an interview with James Lee Burke, see http://www.januarymagazine.com/profiles/jlburke.html.

To get JA Konrath’s The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing in PDF, visit http://harveystanbrough.com/downloads/ and click The Newbie’s Guide To Publishing.

Via The Digital Reader, see “Create an Ebook Cover with Spark and Canva: Which is Better?” at https://publishdrive.com/ebook-cover-with-spark. I mention this one mostly for the links in the article. Well worth the time to read and play.

Check out Dean’s “Catching Up And Pulphouse Fun” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/catching-up-and-pulphouse-fun/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 610 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 610

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… 2834 words. Total words to date…… 13071

Total fiction words for the month……… 15296
Total fiction words for the year………… 449442
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 168063
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 617505

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 702 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 10/30

Hey Folks,

This morning, in a piece I was reading online, I saw this: “In my opinion, less is more, just as it is when you’re writing, period.”

Oh dear god. I can almost see him primping.

Every time I hear a writer say “Oh, in writing, less is more,” I want to suggest they write nothing at all then. Based on their reasoning, their canon of work should expand exponentially.

But I can’t bring myself to do it. The vacant-eyed, slack-jawed stare that would ensue as the moron wondered whatever in the world I was talking about might be just enough to send me over the edge.

Hey, carpe jugulum.

And either the author of the article (James Ledbetter) or one of the bon vivants featured in the article tossed in a “try and weed out” where he or she meant to say “try TO weed out.”

The preposition “to” followed by a verb forms what is called an infinitive. Now, class, what do we call the conjunction “and” followed by a verb?

Yes, that’s right. A blatant illustration of ignorance.

Yeah, I know. Picky. But these things matter. You’re either a professional or you aren’t.

And the truth is, you don’t have to write a word of fiction to prove yourself a pretentious, condescending snob, uttering ridiculous platitudes that have zero meaning beyond the rhythm of the syllables themselves.

Hey, anything to add emphasis to that pinkie raised alongside the teacup or wine glass, eh?

Then again, the article was in the New Yorker, so maybe pretentious and condescending fits.

At any rate, I’ll ‘try and’ ignore my desire to hold the writer responsible for what he puts on the page. Instead I’ll ‘try and’ understand that he knew what he meant to say and so should I. After all, if the reader misunderstands, that’s the reader’s fault, right? Right? (Umm, no.)

Oh, the name of the article is “When British Authors Write American Dialogue, or Try To.” Perhaps it should have been titled “When American Essayists Write in the American Language, or Try To: Illustration of a Failure.”

Maybe before the New Yorker continues paying Mr. Ledbetter the big bucks, they should require him to ‘try and’ learn how to use the language.
***

I actually wrote fiction today. I’m not sure why. I thought I’d look back at the novel I started, read over it and see where it goes.

It went pretty well, actually, within itself. But I still don’t get a feeling that it wants to run to a full story.

Since today is the 30th and I have one more day in this month, I’ll give that one more day to this same story and see what happens. If it doesn’t take off, maybe I’ll shelve it and begin something new.

I really enjoy writing the two major characters currently in the WIP but I don’t know that they enjoy being written. Know what I mean? Maybe I’m intruding and they aren’t ready to tell this story yet.

Who knows… maybe my subconscious, realizing it’s under the gun, will cough up some good stuff. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Some interesting stuff in Dean’s “Some Clutter Gone” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-clutter-gone/. For my money (at the risk of the pot calling the kettle seared), he fiddled around with his website as an excuse—albeit a worthwhile one—to put off writing until his challenges begin.

Via The Digital Reader, see “Checklist: Eight Items to Include in an Author’s Book Listing” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/29/checklist-eight-items-include-authors-book-listing/.

Also via The Digital Reader, see the rant-starting “When British Authors Write American Dialogue, or Try To” at https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/when-british-authors-write-american-dialogue-or-try-to/.

Fiction Words: 2834
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3384

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… 2834 words. Total words to date…… 13071

Total fiction words for the month……… 15296
Total fiction words for the year………… 449442
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 167453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 616895

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 701 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 10/25

Hey Folks,

Well, trying to use the camping trailer as a writing hovel just isn’t going to work. It’s constantly too cold or too hot and there are myriad other problems I won’t go into here.

I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and do my writing in my office. I’ll have to let the separate small desk and the separate, dedicated writing computer constitute my “space,” and that will have to be enough.

I think I’ll also add a different, dedicated chair. Sitting in the same chair to write fiction that I use when I’m browsing the Internet can’t be a good idea. I know it seems only a very minor difference, but what seems minor in the conscious world can be huge trigger to the subconscious.

Went to bed early last night and got up late this morning to make up for it. In all, I slept, mostly, for 10 hours. I don’t remember the last time I did that.

I’ve written quite a lot over the past few days. But none of it interested me after the initial scene. Still, it feels as if the break in the dam is getting closer.

There have also been a few times when a strong idea popped into my head when I was in the middle of doing something else. Each time the idea left before I sat down to write it.

I’m not worried. I’ll do what I do when it’s time to do it. Until then, I’ll do other things. Like read.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

All of the following are via The Passive Voice:
See “California Rescinds Autograph Mandate for Booksellers” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/california-rescinds-autograph-mandate-for-booksellers/.

See “First, forget inspiration” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/first-forget-inspiration/. Short, but oh so sweet.

See “John Grisham reveals his biggest money mistake” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/john-grisham-reveals-his-biggest-money-mistake/. I would still be pursuing that agent.

Via The Passive Voice but at The Digital Reader, see “Seven WordPress Plugins for Author Bookshelves” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/25/review-roundup-seven-wordpress-plugins-author-bookshelves/. Wish I’d seen this a few years ago. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 340

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 165643
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 612251

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 696 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 10/23

Hey Folks,

I was going to talk about Dean’s age-based challenge frenzy, but you can see it for yourself in “Of Interest” and draw your own conclusions.

I’ll turn 65 in a few weeks. I tried to set up an interesting goal that has something to do with the numeric designation of my age, but I kept coming back to “Why?”

I mean, if setting such a goal increased my actual productivity and made writing fun again, that could be something.

The closest real challenge I could come up with was to write 52 short stories (one per week) during the year. Add 13 novels to that and I would have 65 publications.

But that goal has serious flaws. For example, I could as easily fulfill the “65” requirement by writing 13 additional short stories.

Okay, so the most salable length for short fiction according to most sources is 3,000 words. If I wrote 65 3,000-word stories, that would still be only 195,000 words (that’s 535 words per day). No real challenge there, eh?

But what if I wrote only the 52 short stories and then compiled 5 10-story collections and 10 5-story collections? That would bring my number of publications for the year to 67.

I could even toss in an omnibus collection of all 52 stories and make it 68.

But including the collections would feel a little like cheating just to beef up my numbers.

Besides, I’m not into writing short stories right now. The only reason to write all of those would be to reach that arbitrary number, and that just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe because in my story-a-week streak, I reached 72 stories before I broke it.

Now 65 novels in a year, that would be really something.
***

I rolled out late, a little before 4, did a lot of online reading, then wrote a lot of this.

After my wife went to work I started setting up the camping trailer as a writing office. The Internet out there is iffy at best, but I’ll carry a flash drive with me back and forth just in case.

(When the Internet’s working, I just save things to my Dropbox and they’re uploaded on my office computer by the time I get inside.)

Anyway, not surprisingly I ran into some problems, so that will be the rest of the day. When I was writing at a kitchen table out there, the Internet was fine. When I moved my little writing stand in there—it’s two inches lowerat 27″—the Internet became iffy.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

From The Digital Reader, see “From eBooks to cBooks…” at http://www.talkingnewmedia.com/2017/10/20/ebooks-cbooks-new-ebook-format-combining-best-book-film-exciting-new-story-platform/. Reminiscent, in an odd way, of silent films back when “movies” first started.

Also from The Digital Reader, see “199+ Plot, Name, Story, and Other Generators” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/22/199-plot-name-story-generators/.

From DWS, see “My Two New Challenges” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/my-two-new-challenges/. Personally, I’m more interested in following the 30 stories in 30 days November challenge.

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

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 164453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 611061

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 693 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 10/20

Hey Folks,

I love finding new resources, and I was handed one yesterday. A guy who represents another guy sent me a link to the second guy’s work and asked me to look it over.

There are so many scams in this world, at first I thought this was just another one. It wasn’t.

I looked it over briefly yesterday, then added two links to my website, one on Character Development under Writers’ Resources and one pointing to Jerry Jenkins’ website. That one’s under both Writers’ Resources and Quick Links.

Then this morning I spent a couple of hours reading different things on his website. It was time well spent.

When you have time to browse for awhile, check out the website of NYT bestselling author Jerry Jenkins.

Check out his Courses while you’re there, and maybe even his Writers Guild. But whatever you do, be sure to check his Resources tab. Some great stuff there.

His website is https://www.jerryjenkins.com/.
***

Not even thinking much about fiction today. I’m just gonna allow myself the time I need to drift through this major change. I have to admit, I didn’t think it would be this disruptive.

But regardless of expectations, what happens happens and it goes the way it goes and we deal with it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “A Book Ban Like No Other” at http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2017/10/book-ban-like-no/. The utter idiocy of some people is simply unbelievable.

Visit Linda Maye Adams’ blog for some great items of interest at http://lindamayeadams.com/2017/10/20/adventures-around-the-web-october-14-20-2017/.

If you’re interested in the upcoming “Orionid Meteor Shower 2017” see https://www.space.com/34373-orionid-meteor-shower-guide.html.

Almost forgot to check Dean’s site. He says he’s coming “Back To Regular Programming” (soon) at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/back-to-regular-programming/.

Via The Passive Voice, see “An Exemplary Mouse” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/an-exemplary-mouse/. I still have the very first wireless mouse I ever bought. I’ll stick with that one for now.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 310 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 310

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 163083
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 609691

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 690 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 10/18

Hey Folks,

Not sure what the day will hold. I’ve been a bit depressed lately, mostly because I’m allowing myself some remembrances of a camaraderie I’ll never know again. Sigh. I miss it like air.

I mentioned this to an acquaintance a few days ago and he said, “Well, at least you have the memories. Not everyone has them.”

Well duh.

Of course, what he said is true, but it didn’t help. Not that it was intended to, I suppose.

When he said that it reminded me of the scene in Men in Black in which Agent J caught Agent K looking at a Google Earth image of his wife in her garden.

Agent K quickly closed the scene, and Agent J began with, “Well it’s better to have loved and lost than—”

And Agent K turns on him with some simple but profound advice. “Try it.”
***

The coyotes were yowling out around the home place this morning. My little girl stayed close. Good girl.

Well, it’s late morning and thus far all I’ve accomplished is messing with my Android phone (an old Motorola Razr). It’s already been degraded so a lot of stuff won’t work on it, but because I use it primarily as a TELEPHONE I don’t mind.

I’d almost talked myself into getting a new phone soon and being “connected” all the time, but why? I don’t want to be connected all the time.

The other day I went to the store (about 10 miles away in the next town) and forgot my cell phone at home. When I realized I didn’t have it with me I actually felt FREE.
***

Weird. I haven’t even looked at the WIP for the past several days. Haven’t even opened it to look at it.

I guess I will when the time comes. Until then, I’m not going to worry about it.

Of course, the novel-per-month thing is in the back of my head. But that doesn’t really bother me either.

I think maybe it’s kind of a been-there-done-that sort of thing. I know it’s possible to write a good novel-length story in less than a month (even two, if I pushed) because I already have.

So there’s nothing there to entice me other than simply writing the story. And that can be done in any length of time.

Possibly part of my current fugue is due to my cigar cessation endeavor. Mixed in with the other stuff, of course. Not a big deal. Just indulging in a little self-psychoanalysis. (A buddy in Dallas and another one in Tucson, having read that previous sentence, thought “emphasis on ‘psycho’,” I’ll bet.) (grin)

Anyway, back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “The delusions continue” at https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/10/17/the-delusions-continue/. Excellent article.

Also see, for a bit of SF history and even instruction, “When Science Fiction Grew Up” at http://conceptualfiction.com/whenscifigrewup.html. There is also a series of essay links vertically along the right side of this article.

Still wondering how to publish an ebook on Amazon’s KDP platform? Honestly, there’s nothing difficult about it, but if you need to, see “KDP Jumpstart Guides Authors…” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/17/kdp-jumpstart-guides-authors-steps-publishing-book/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 530 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 530

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 162263
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 608871

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 688 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 10/12

Hey Folks,

First, welcome to “fan2orcas,” the most recent subscriber to this Journal. Glad to have you aboard. I’m going through a personal transition at the moment, so not a lot of substance here for a few days. But hang in there. It will pick up again soon. (grin)
***

Woke up to good news this morning. I have another book, The Platinum Blond Perturbance (novella), in an upcoming bundle from BundleRabbit. I’ll post details on the website as they become available.

The request for that book caused me to look at my other similar books. I realized I have two series characters going. City police detective Lou Galecki and the PI Stern Richards. Hmmm. Wonder how they’d work together?

Actually, the last novel I finished, the one I recently got back from my first reader, has Stern Richards and a police detective, but it isn’t Galecki. Maybe I ought to change the name of the detective before I publish that one.

And that reminds me I haven’t published that one yet. I need to do a cover and get that thing outta here. I’ll do that today.

More notes on quitting smoking…

Feeling a little better this morning. Intellectually I know it takes three days to flush out the poison, but that’s not much more than an annoying little factoid when you’re actually going through it. (grin)

Wow. I started creating the cover at around 5:30. That and uploading the book to D2D, Amazon and BundleRabbit has taken 3 hours. The entire process usually takes an hour or less. Still operating through a haze.

I remember, before I took up cigars, there was a certain extra-clarity in everything: thoughts, vision, hearing, all of it. It isn’t that way again yet, but because I remember I know it will be. Clinging to that knowledge keeps me on task.

I was telling a friend this morning that I’ve discovered quitting cigars is considerably different than quitting cigarettes.

Actually, I expected it to be different, but I assumed it would be easier, maybe because I didn’t inhale smoke from cigars, there weren’t as many, etc.

But I’m finding the resurgent cravings are just as frequent but a LOT stronger. There are times when all I can do is sit and focus on taking the next breath.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I won’t give in. That simply isn’t an option. But it’s interesting (to me) to note these things as I’m going through them. It’s a kind of research, I suppose.

Interestingly, today (Day 3) seems as rough as Days 1 & 2, so I’m also wondering whether it might take longer than three days to flush the poison out of my system this time. I guess I’ll know more tomorrow. (grin)

Hope you don’t mind me sharing this stuff as well as the writing stuff. If my experience helps someone else, it’s all good. And I guess if you DO mind, you can just skip over the parts you don’t like. (grin)

I’m just looking forward to getting back to writing. A few days from now I’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. I hope.

I’m feeling… different. I’m going to take one more day off. I have a feeling I’ll be fully back tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “The great writers forgotten by history” at http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20171010-the-great-writers-forgotten-by-history. (I was disappointed when I tried to order the ebook and found it was available only to customers in the UK.)

From Linda Maye Adams on Dean’s site, an article on how the mega corporations get writers to write free at http://authorkristenlamb.com/2017/10/welcome-to-the-matrix-you-work-for-free-there-is-no-payday/. Though I must admit, I got lost after awhile. My be my mental cloud or it might be the article going on and on or maybe both, but I still don’t know a) how to unplug or b) from whom or what to unplug. Sigh. I was so looking forward to being unplugged.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 630 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 630

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7000
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 159683
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 606291

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 683 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182