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, Tuesday, 6/27

Hey Folks,

Wow, there sure are a lot of blank spaces on my spreadsheet where there should be fiction numbers.

I don’t imagine that bothers you a lot since they’re my goose eggs and not yours. But just in case, I can promise you they’re going to change pretty soon. (grin)

Probably in a big way.

What follows is a bit of personal rambling, which is why it isn’t preceded by the word “topic.”

I might have mentioned here before an old Marine Corps acquaintance of mine. I won’t mention his name here. It wouldn’t mean anything to you, and with any luck at all he’s changed.

The guy was a corporal when I was a young PFC. He was my first NCO, and about the first one I met outside of boot camp.

But the guy was a head. (That’s what we called them back then.) He smoked dope. A lot.

That’s the only thing the guy ever introduced me to by the way of leadership. I looked up to him, and that’s what he offered me. Literally.

And yeah, I took him up on it. Until I realized I couldn’t function as well as I did otherwise while my head was melting. I like having a clear mind. Fortunately, I was smart enough to say No Thanks after the first couple of times.

I only mention that because I got back in touch with him around 3 years ago. About the time I was launching all this writing stuff seriously.

Excited, I told him all about Heinlein’s Rules and writing off into the dark. I told him eventually I hoped to write a novel in six months or less, and to turn out two or more every year thereafter. Along with the occasional short story when a tale didn’t want to stretch into a novel.

In short, he said it was impossible. That I’d burn out. That even trying it would destroy me.

I wonder what might have happened if I’d come away from my early Marine Corps experience actually trusting the guidance of that guy? What might I have been today if I had learned early on that it was better to listen to him than not?

Wow.

Anyway, I didn’t. And this year, if I weren’t messing about with challenges and the like, I’d have a novel a month made in the shade. I might even get close to two a month if I wanted to.

Still, I’m glad he and I met all those years ago. After all, who knows where I might be and what I might have accomplished if I hadn’t learned from him, inadvertently, to think and decide for myself?

And I actually like to think he’s one of the reasons I get so annoyed at “writing instructors” who pass along really bad advice. Not just the clichéd stuff, but maybe especially the clichéd stuff.

Maybe he’s one of the reasons, too, that I’m so stubborn about sharing what I’ve learned and know to be true. Especially the stuff that goes against conventional “wisdom” but actually works.

Odd thing, this Life Trip. Sure glad I get to tag along with the likes of you.

Today, and Writing

Yesterday, I wound up formatting everything, then created nine covers. I still need pics for three short stories, but everything else is done.

Today I’ll upload what I did yesterday to my distributors and BundleRabbit, then work to find a few more cover pics. Of course, all of that is after I get back from delivering Bryan to Tucson.

Around 5, getting Bryan up and ready to go. We’ll leave about 6 for Tucson.

I got back about 8:30 and turned-to, updating my main website. (Swing by and let me know what you think.)

I’ll also be tweaking it to implement some of Nate Hoffelder’s recommendations over the next week or so, but it’s mostly finished now.

Then I walked down the lane, clippers in hand, trimming overhanging mesquite tree limbs back. By the time I got back I thought sure it was 110 out there. It was only 96. I’ve gotten to where anything over 90 is rough on me I guess. Sigh.

Anyway, it’s almost 12:30 now. I’m gonna distribute the stories I completed covers for yesterday and then see what the rest of the day holds.

Well, publishing is a thoroughly disgusting process. I started around 1:30, uploading to D2D. Less than a half-hour later I was done with that part.

Then I went to Amazon. One book loaded cleanly. All the others encountered an “error,” asked me to try again later, then let me refresh the page, which took me back to the previous page. There they processed my upload again, etc. Sigh. Truly annoying.

When I do the challenge, I might well just not publish the stories that result. I love writing, but I’m really close to giving up on the idea of publishing them anyplace but my websites.

Anyway, I’m gonna post this, then go back to trudge through Amazon some more. Oh, and then BundleRabbit.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

If I may slip back into the personal for a moment, this film clip (about 25 minutes) should be mandatory viewing for any who call themselves Americans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oUtJxE4sjs. I especially believe it should be part of every college orientation session.

I recommend “Bookselling in the Age of Amazon” along with Passive Guy’s take on it. See http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/06/bookselling-in-the-age-of-amazon/.

If you write, typos are a continual and unavoidable nuisance. Check out these typos from famous authors’ works: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/jun/16/misprint-the-legends-famous-typos-from-james-joyce-to-jk-rowling/. (Thanks, Gary.)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 920 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 920

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… 15630
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 105610
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 443567

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 579 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