The Journal, Friday, 7/7

Hey Folks,

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

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

Topic: “Real” Books vs. Ebooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. It is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, Support Your Favorite Authors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today, and Writing

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

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

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

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

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

Epiphany: What I wanted was the old routine back.

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

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

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

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

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4140
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 111970
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 449927

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 589 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Thursday, 7/6

Hey Folks,

Topic: On Original Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today, and Writing

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

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

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

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

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

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

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2730
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 110560
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 448517

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 588 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179

The Journal, 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, 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

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

The Journal, Monday, 6/26

Hey Folks,

Wow. I could post this right now and chances are you’d find value in it. Just check out today’s “Of Interest” to see what I mean. There’s a lot there.

***

By the way, I requested and received a “free website critique” of my main website from Nate Hoffelder.

In a word, the guy’s legit. He’s also super helpful. My website doesn’t suck, but (to continue the analogy) he pointed out a few places where vacuum leaks exist or are forming. So I’ll take care of those over the next week or so.

So once again I encourage you to visit The Digital Reader at https://the-digital-reader.com/. Not only for his usually useful notes on the publishing industry, but for his services.

***

For those following the Saga of Grandson Bryan, he’s safely ensconsed at my house again. I’ll drive him to Tucson early on Tuesday morning and he’ll begin his training with Job Corps and then his new life. The older I get (seemingly day by day) the more I envy the excitement of young people experiencing new discoveries.

But new discoveries are neither limited to the young, nor are we more-mature folks banned from them. With this chapter of his and my life closing, two new doors also are opening.

Bryan will set off in wide-eyed wonder on his life’s journey, and I’ll begin the new challenge I’ve been hawking here for awhile.

Topic: Goals, Life Rolls and Establishing Routines

Stealing a bit of thunder from the “Today, and Writing” section, there’s something to be said for the interaction of goals, life rolls and establishing routines.

For example, now that my current life roll has almost come to a close, I’m clearing the decks to prep for the upcoming challenge.

If I can finish that prep work today, the current plan is to begin the challenge tomorrow. If this effort carries through Tuesday, I’ll begin the challenge on Wednesday.

But the disruption of this life roll has also brought a new insight. Why not use the current challenge not only to reach a desired goal, but to establish a new routine?

So no matter when I begin the challenge, I’ve decided not to limit it to a set timeframe.

I still have to write a novel for July, but I also want to write a complete short story every day through at least July 31. No matter when I start.

I once logged a 26-hour workday in the oilfields of New Mexico in a single 24-hour day. So why can’t I expand “Stories from July” to span June 27 or 28 through July 31?

And by July 31, if I have a routine down, I see no reason to voluntarily stop at that point, to voluntarily end the streak.

Think about it: It’s all well and good to write 31 stories in 31 calendar days from July 1 through July 31 and then publish Stories from July.

But why not continue through August 31? Or September 30? You see where I’m going.

And I’ve come to realize that’s the real purpose behind this goal and this challenge: to continue in my training (or retraining) as a writer by establishing a routine.

Certainly the short stories and collections and novels will be a pleasing by-product (to some readers) of that training, but nothing more than that.

Carving out time to write is important. Writing is important. But the stories themselves are not important in the slightest. They’re something to enjoy and let go.

So what’s the importance of establishing a routine?

The best, most deeply imbedded routines are those that can be interrupted by life rolls but to which you return automatically when the life roll ends. You know, instead of erratically “starting over” each time.

If I can do that, maybe I’ll emerge feeling like a “real” writer. We’ll see. (grin)

Today, and Writing

Today, and probably the balance of tomorrow, I’m continuing to clear the decks for my challenge. The websites are done, all but minor tweaks. So I’ll finally design the covers and other promo materials for my 10 unpublished short stories, a novel and a novella.

Then I’ll publish them, then upload covers to the website, create new pages on the website for the novel and novella, etc.

UPDATE: As of 11:30, I finished formatting the documents and writing promo documents for them. Now I only have to find the cover pics, create the covers, and distribute them. Piece’a cake, amIright? (grin)

By 1:30, I identified pics for the novel, novella, and 7 of the short stories. I have a feeling the last three will have to wait awhile.

It’s almost 3 so I’m gonna post this. I have 4 covers done. I’ll do at least one more today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Check out “Why Indie Authors’ Websites Need to Evolve Over Time” at http://selfpublishingadvice.org/is-it-time-to-evolve-your-author-website/.

More importantly, see “US Copyright Office recommends sweeping, welcome changes to America’s DRM laws” at http://boingboing.net/2017/06/23/us-copyright-office-recommends.html/. (I personally NEVER use DRM and recommend strongly against it.)

And see “Hoopla Digital and HarperCollins Disrupt Library E-Lending” at https://copyrightandtechnology.com/2017/06/25/hoopla-digital-and-harpercollins-disrupt-library-e-lending/.

From Linda Adams via email, if you’re a veteran and you’d like to start your own business (publishing, anyone?) check out “VetToCEO – Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Program” at http://www.vettoceo.org/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 880

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… 14710
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 104690
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 442647

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 578 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176

The Journal, Sunday, 6/25

Hey Folks,

Well, the best laid plans, etc.

An unexpected trip popped up for tomorrow morning. We’ll leave here around 6 for a 10-hour turnaround to Flagstaff to pick up Bryan.

Job Corps finally decided they have a slot for him. They called a few days ago (did I tell you that?) while I was in New Mexico.

Originally, Mona was going to drive to Casa Grande (about 3 hours) to meet Roy and drive Bryan back here.

But due to circumstances, Roy can’t do that now, so we’ll drive to Flagstaff to get him. Then on Tuesday, I’ll drive him into Tucson to his new digs at Job Corps.

Today, and Writing

So no writing today. In fact, I’m posting this a little early to keep the posting streak alive. I’ll try to punch in the “Of Interest” section before we leave.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Dean offers some thoughts on challenges. This is very good. See “Challenge Thinking” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/challenge-thinking/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 160 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 160

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… 13830
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103810
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441767

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 577 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, 6/24

Hey Folks,

Not a lot to report today. It’s Saturday and I’m still clearing decks to prep for the upcoming challenge.

This morning so far I made more tweaks on the main website. Then I moved over and made a few tweaks on the Writing in Public website.

After that, I worked on this website, The Daily Journal, to include creating a new header. I also narrowed it a bit and revised some of the colors. Finally I made some major revisions on the MailChimp side of things.

Now I’ve been to the store (with Mona) and am about to go back over to mess with the Writing in Public website again.

Speaking of Writing in Public, Linda Maye Adams is about to embark on a similar challenge at her website. Check out her site at http://lindamayeadams.com/.

Hey, thanks to Alison for mentioning that moving the tag cloud on the main site wouldn’t be a bad idea. And to Gary for mentioning that when he swipes stuff off a blog post, he’d prefer it would have a white background rather than yellow. (grin)

Keep ’em coming. If any of you have any recommendations regarding any of the three main websites (HarveyStanbrough.com, HEStanbrough.com or HStanbrough.com) please let me know.

Today, and Writing

Yeah, no writing today. Still doing prep work with regard to the sites. And with regard to my subconscious, I think.

A few days ago, I had a story idea. The next day, three or four occurred to me. Yesterday and today they’ve been almost nonstop.

It’s a little like being nagged by a two year old, but I’ll take it. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Mark Coker of Smashwords says in this year’s survey he found a lot of gold. See the survey at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/06/smashwords-survey-2017.html/. Note: This is a slideshow. The actual survey begins on page 25 of 111. The summary of key takeaways begins on page 101.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 330 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 330

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… 13670
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103650
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 441607

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 576 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