The Journal, Monday, 10/9

Hey Folks,

Well, we had a good visit with our youngest son and our oldest grandson. Also very much enjoyed watching the baseball games yesterday, especially Cleveland at New York. Even though Cleveland chose to put off sending New York home until today or until they make them travel back to Cleveland first. (grin)

Today it’s back to writing. For anyone who cares about nominal personal nonsense, today is also my last day as a cigar smoker.

I have three left, including the 1/3 that’s currently clenched between my teeth. I figured it’s only fair to my wife that I do the Nicotine Withdrawal Shuffle while she’s at work tomorrow through Friday.

I realize I should be curled into a fetal position in a shadowy doorway in a seedy neighborhood in major metropolitan area, but where I am will have to do. The whole thing wasn’t properly staged.

And now, as promised and just as if it matters to anyone but me, here’s…

My Updated Fiction Length and Price List for 2017/2018

First, a few explanatory notes —

1. In everything below, I’m talking about indie publishers, like you and me. All signs indicate the traditional publishing model (the agency model) is dead or dying across the board.

I’m also talking here about ebooks. If you want to deal with print, see my excerpt from Dean’s post at http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-friday-106/. And remember that DWS’ pricing guidelines are for trade paperbacks, not mass-market paperbacks.

2. As DWS mentioned a few days ago, in short fiction, Length, not Genre, matters in pricing.

In long fiction, however, Genre, not Length, rules in matters of pricing. This is a major change for me and one I had a little difficulty getting my head around.

To mitigate that “lost at sea” feeling, it helped me to remember that most well-selling genres have general length guidelines (e.g., Westerns are most often around 40,000-50,000 words).

It also helps to remember that dedicated readers of a particular genre have come to expect certain price points (e.g., most Romance readers are used to paying around $3.99 regardless of the length of the novel).

3. DWS also mentioned, in response to a comment, that the terms “novelette” (long short story) and “novella” (between a novelette and a short novel) have no meaning for readers. I agree. However, to add two more price levels that pertain to Length in short fiction, I use the designations for myself as a publisher.

All of that comes into play in what follows:

For short fiction, Length, not Genre, matters:

To 2999 (Short-short Story)………………………………1.49
3000 to 6999 (Short Story)………………………………..1.99
7000 to 14999 (Novelette or Long Short Story)…2.99
15000 to 24999 (Novella)………………………………….3.49

For long fiction, Genre, not Length, matters:

Romance……………………..3.99
Western……………………….3.99 – 4.99
SF/F……………………………..3.99 – 4.99
Mystery, Suspense……….4.99 – 5.99
Thriller (big book)…………5.99 – 6.99

The pricing variations above (for me) afford room to take into account pricing for Length. For example, Cozy Mysteries generally are short novels or novels. Mysteries and those that crossover into Suspense generally are novels or long novels.

So the second tier below illustrates my own divisions for length. I suspect this is a kind of security blanket for me:

25000 to 44999 (Short Novel)
45000 to 69999 (Novel)
over 70,000 (Long Novel)

Will these change? Possibly. And of course you should feel free to use this (or not) as only a guideline.

Hope this helps.
***

Rolled out late, mostly intentionally, mostly as a time-management technique because I have only three cigars left. (grin)

I browsed the Internet, added the “Of Interest” stuff, then wrote most of this Journal entry.

Spent a couple of hours while it was still cool outside pre-cleaning a car I just got. Now it’s almost 10 and I’m headed to the novel for awhile.

Well, I keep ekeing out these little writing days. The novel is moving along fine, a spurt here, a spurt there. I’m not worried about it. This one just isn’t writing in 3,000 – 5000 word chunks.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Author Pen Names: 5 Reasons they’re a Bad Idea in the Digital Age” at http://annerallen.com/2017/10/author-pen-names-digital-age/. Great article.

Strictly for fun, see “10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications To Another Level” at https://www.boredpanda.com/creative-book-dedications/. There are actually 57 dedications.

Fiction Words: 1180
Nonfiction Words: 670 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1850

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6020
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 158703
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 605311

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 680 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, Saturday, 9/30

Hey Folks,

Rolled out slightly after 3 this morning and went straight to email and then Facebook.

As a result of one article in one of the several e-newsletters I receive each morning, I found a topic.

My reading and then writing the topic below formed the start for the day.

We have a trip planned to Sierra Vista a little later this morning. Between now and then, I hope to write a bit of fiction.

Topic: Try And vs. Try To

First, a disclaimer — When people are speaking in real life (or characters in dialogue in a fiction) and they use the “try and” structure as a colloquialism, it doesn’t bother me.

In fact, I usually don’t even notice. If I do notice, I assume the structure is necessary to that person’s (or character’s) manner of speech.

In a real life conversation, the usage is unintentional.

In fiction, the usage is usually intentional as it speaks subliminally to the character’s level of education and/or ignorance.

But when the structure appears in a nonfiction article or book, it slaps me right out of the topic. Most of the time I stop reading.

That happened this morning.

I was reading “Astronauts Are Roasting B.o.B’s Flat Earth Satellite And It’s Amazing” by Jacinta Bowler. Here’s the offensive passage:

“[B.o.B] … is currently crowdfunding to TRY AND get a satellite out to space….” (emphasis added)

How much credibility does the author really have if she doesn’t know the difference?

The article didn’t allow comments. If it had, I would have left one.

My comment might have been a snarky “Try and? Really?”

Or perhaps the more specific and illustrative “Your ‘try and’ grabbed me and tossed me right out of your article. I hope you’ll ‘try to’ do better next time.”

I like to think I’d have left the second comment instead of the first. Maybe it would help this hapless writer.

Am I being nitpicky? Not really. It wasn’t like I was looking for a fight. Shrug. I just wanted to read the article.

The author’s use of the phrase was her choice. It was a result of her ignorance, not my reading. It affected me so strongly I was unable to continue reading the article.

Fortunately, there was an article on the same topic by a different author in a different newsletter. I read it all the way through and never noticed what sort of grammar or syntax the author was using.

There’s a lesson here for fiction writers.

Readers don’t read critically. They don’t read for words or phrases or sentence structure. They read for Story. They read to be entertained.

We all have our little writing quirks. When you’re fortunate enough to have one pointed out, consider it and learn from it.

If readers are often suddenly shoved out of your story by boredom or an awkward construction, it’s your fault, not theirs.

Again, readers only want to read and be entertained.

Whether they read YOUR work is important only to you. So the question you have to answer is this: How important is it?
***

I didn’t get enough done to cause a ripple in a pond before we left. We were gone longer than we expected, and when I got back, I worked on my website. Basically, I changed the home page. Check it out at HarveyStanbrough.com.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Mars Colonization in Five Years? See https://www.livescience.com/60560-elon-musk-spacex-fly-people-to-mars-2024.html.

Here’s one on Musk’s vision for both the moon and Mars: https://www.space.com/38310-elon-musk-moon-base-mars-city-images.html.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 590 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 590

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 54526
Total fiction words for the year………… 434146
Total nonfiction words for the month… 16283
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 152683
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 586829

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 671 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, 9/15

Hey Folks,

Welp, I started the day closer to my usual time. I read a lot (see “Of Interest”) and then checked Dean’s site.

Much of his post for today is a rehash of the previous couple of days, so it didn’t make “Of Interest,” but parts of it keyed something in me.

So I wrote the topic for today. Actually, I also wrote the topic for tomorrow (I won’t count those words until tomorrow).

I had so much fun with the latter, I decided to cross post that one to the main blog where it will appear on September 19.

You, lucky readers, get to see it tomorrow. I almost titled it “How Warped Was My Rainbow,” but decided finally on “On Challenges, Part 2.”

In the meantime, here’s the first part.

TOPIC: On Challenges

In today’s post, DWS writes “challenges … are a way to prioritize writing time. … [That is o]ne of the many values of a challenge and why I do them regularly for myself. I get far more writing done when I have challenged myself…” (see http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/time-is-everything-these-days/ if you want).

Yeah, what Dean said. I’ve noticed that too.

Back in June when I challenged myself to write a short story every day, I failed miserably. But I still wrote 8 or 9 short stories in a row. I was hyper-productive because of the challenge.

Engaging in a personal challenge is a kind of partnership between the conscious mind and the subconscious creative mind.

The conscious mind says, “Ha! Bet you can’t do this!” and the subconscious responds with “Yeah? Hold my beer and watch this!”

Obviously, this works better if you happen to have an inborn stubborn streak, and the stronger the streak the better.

I do. And it is.

Now I’m not on the verge of announcing a new personal challenge. I’m not in that place at the moment. At the moment, I’m just getting back to writing every day.

At the moment, I’m more the curious observer, watching my own progress on my WIP and marveling that the new (to me) process I’ve come up with apparently is going to enable me to finish a novel in what many would see as record time.

And for now, for me, that’s good enough. I’m happy with it. Writing is fun again.

But if you’re a seasoned writer and you find yourself stuck in the doldrums, or if you’re just starting out and feeling a bit overwhelmed (or even just whelmed) and not sure what to do first, try giving yourself a challenge.

I almost wrote “a realistic challenge,” but if it’s too “realistic” it won’t be a challenge, will it?

***

Yesterday, I guess, I mentioned in passing that when I started writing I was “stuck.” A few folks wrote me about that. Thanks.

But I didn’t really mean “stuck” in a bad way. I remember one novel I wrote that was like pulling teeth with a pocket knife pretty much all the way through. Fortunately, most of mine aren’t like that.

Most of mine flow straight from get-go to been-there-done-that.

In this particular WIP, I’ve been “stuck” two times that were big enough to mention. One of those was yesterday.

But notice too, being “stuck” lasted only until I’d stared at it long enough. I wasn’t stuck so much as mired. There were a lot of “little” bits of the scene I wanted to form and fashion and sequence just right.

You could say I rewrote that segment several times, but I wouldn’t call it that. I did make several passes until it was “just right.”

But each pass was in the creative mind and each pass made the scene (it turned out to be a chapter) a little better. A little fuller. Once I waded around in the muck and found a few rocks, I came straight on out and moved ahead.

So that’s all that was about.

Went to the grocery around 8, spent half a boatload of money and got everything put away around 9:45.

After that I did some other small things, including playing online for awhile. Finally around 11 I started to cycle back over the last couple of chapters.

When I finished cycling, I went right on writing instead of taking a break. Including what I added in cycling, I hit around 1800 words by 12:30. Then I took a break. (grin)

Flying along on the novel again for a bit, then took a break to chat with a friend via email. For a long while, I’ve told folks if you need cover or layout design check out CovertoUpload.com.

Kat Magee, the owner, changed it. She’s rebuilding the site and the new name is Daring Creative Designs. And she’s very good. Check it out at https://daringcreativedesigns.com/.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “Business Musings: Rethinking A Title” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/09/13/business-musings-rethinking-a-title/. Hint: This is only peripherally about retitling a book. It’s more about Kris’ process, and in that way it’s both rare and very insightful.

Via The Digital Reader, see “You Are Already Living Inside a Computer” at https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/09/you-are-already-living-inside-a-computer/539193/. It’s very long, very thought provoking, and chock full of story ideas.

Check the comments on “The Attitude of a Challenge” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-attitude-of-a-challenge/#comments/.

Fiction Words: 3614
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4494

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861

Total fiction words for the month……… 32942
Total fiction words for the year………… 412562
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8200
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 144600
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 557162

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 657 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 8/7

Hey Folks,

A little under the weather today. Nothing serious, just blah. Not sure how much writing I’ll get done, if any. Feels like a day of doing zip.

I added my most recent novel, a whodunit mystery, to the website. You can see it at http://harveystanbrough.com/the-implications/.

Topic: Ebook Editors (actually, formatting programs)

This stuff was going to go into “Of Interest” but it’s too important. Especially for those who are new to ebook publishing or thinking about ebook publishing.

If you fit either of those categories, or if you are frustrated with your current formatting process or software, here are a few articles I strongly recommend you read.

One: “How to Use Reedsy’s Book Editor to Format Ebooks and Print for Free” at https://selfpublishingadvice.org/how-to-use-reedsys-book-editor-to-format-ebooks-and-print/.

I’m not wild about the “‘for’ free” appelation, but the article itself is pretty good. I won’t be using Reedsy myself because

1. It’s browser based. There’s no program to download and I’m more of a want-it-on-my-computer kind of guy.

2. I’m happy with MS Word for my formatting. But I’ve been at it a long while so it’s easy-peasy.

Two: In light of my second note above, here’s a link to my free “The Essentials of Digital Publishing,” which explains in detail how to format your Word .doc for submission to Draft2Digital, Smashwords, et al (who then convert your .doc to .epub, .mobi and .pdf): http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DPubV2X.pdf/. I sold a bunch of copies for $10, and this is free. Just sayin’.

Three: For another article on using MS Word as a formatting platform, see “Book Production Advice: How to Format an Ebook using Microsoft Word” at https://selfpublishingadvice.org/book-production-advice-how-to-format-an-ebook-using-microsoft-word/. I’ve read it. It’s pretty good, but only for formatting ebooks.

Four: If you’re a Mac user, I recommend Vellum as I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. It’s not available for PCs, but you can read “Production: Vellum as a Formatting Tool for Print” at https://selfpublishingadvice.org/vellum-for-print/.

Five: Finally, if you’d like a simple but thorough guide into the ins and outs of Microsoft Word, check out my free blog series “Microsoft Word for Writers” at http://harveystanbrough.com/microsoft-word-for-writers/. Nothing I hate worse than receiving a manuscript for editing and seeing that the writer still used the Tab bar or the space bar to indent the first line of paragraphs. Ugh.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out way early again. Not sure why, and I didn’t feel well. I thought I might start another story, but if I wrote something today it would be just to put words on a page. So calling today a non-writing day.

Went to the grocery and the post office, did a load of laundry, read a little, watched some TV. Stuff like that.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See the stuff in the Topic above.

Via The Passive Voice, see “Note to All Creatives: Marketing is Your Job” at https://medium.com/the-mission/note-to-all-creatives-marketing-is-your-job-6c4adecc38bf/.

Also, an article about one part of the decline of humanity (in my opinion). Like cursive writing, doing math without calculators, and dictionaries beginning to insist that “imply” and “infer” are interchangeable, there inevitably comes a time when it’s easier to change the technology than to teach skills to those who use it. See “The End of Typing: The Internet’s Next Billion Users Want Video and Voice” at https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-end-of-typing-the-internets-next-billion-users-will-use-video-and-voice-1502116070/.

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

Writing of “” ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 13581
Total fiction words for the year………… 376559
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 122160
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 498719

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 620 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Sunday, 7/23

Hey Folks,

Well, my kitten is all right. I won’t go into details, but my wife and I considered putting off our trip (with nonrefundable hotel stays already paid for) to stay here with her. Thanks to my bride for considering doing that. (She brought the subject up.)

I’m always torn when I (or we) leave. It’s better for Bit and the other two babies to stay here in familiar surroundings. But it’s always difficult on me, being away from her for any length of time. I’ve never been quite selfish enough to take her with me, but I’ve been on the verge pretty much every time. (grin)

So anyway, we’re on the road sometime tomorrow morning.

Because you never know what the Internet will do in a strange place, and because my schedule will be all over the place time-wise, I’ll spend part of today pre-posting a few Journal entries as placeholders.

Then if I’m able and if I have anything relevant to say, I’ll update each of those pre-posts each day before it posts.

One of the two major plot points in the WIP novel is resolved, mostly, as far as I know, but I have no idea where the end is in this book. So I also plan to write two or three hours per day while we’re gone.

I don’t want to take for granted that I “might” be able to finish it in only the few days after we get back. (grin)

Topic: A Little More on Cycling

Or maybe on different versions of cycling.

I’ve mentioned that before I start writing for the day, I usually go back about 1000 words and start reading, allowing myself to touch the manuscript as I go.

I do this with the subconscious, reading strictly for pleasure, but with my fingers on the keyboard. When something needs to be added, I add it.

A few times recently, I’ve talked with other writers about cycling. They outlined what they do and how, and so on. It’s usually something similar.

In the introduction to the library edition of A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway wrote that before he began each day’s writing, he read through the entire novel up to that point, allowing himself to touch it as he did so.

So even he was cycling, if he kept his conscious mind still during those sessions and allowed only his subconscious to touch the work. Except he cycled through the entire thing each day until it was finished.

I just thought that was interesting.

Today, and Writing

Moved out to the Hovel around 8 after all the stuff above and preparing and pre-posting the Journal for the next few days.

I decided for this one I’d try Hemingway’s method, at least for today.

So I started reading at the beginning, allowing myself to touch the manuscript as I read through it.

By noon, including four or five interruptions as I moved from Hovel to house to outside desk and back in, I’d completed the read-through of the first 16,100 words.

That brought me up to the beginning of the last chapter I wrote day before yesterday. In that time, I added around 600 words.

I was glad I conducted this little experiment, but I won’t repeat it for this book. (That is, I won’t read from the beginning again.) From here on out, I’ll begin the writing day by reading over what I wrote the day before, then go from there.

So for now, a quick lunch. Then I’ll begin reading at Chapter 19. At the end of that, I’ll begin writing new stuff again.

Well, I got through the next chapter, then ran out of steam. (grin)

I hope to add more tomorrow but that will depend on how tired I am from the trip.

Anyway, back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Check Dean’s “Novel Three: Day Six” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-three-day-six/. An excerpt: “When you don’t know where the story is going, have the characters talk about how they don’t know what to do next.”

Fiction Words: 1207
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1857

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

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082
Day 2…… 2675 words. Total words to date…… 6757
Day 3…… 2181 words. Total words to date…… 8938
Day 4…… 4913 words. Total words to date…… 13851
Day 5…… 2543 words. Total words to date…… 16394
Day 6…… 1207 words. Total words to date…… 17601

Total fiction words for the month……… 21419
Total fiction words for the year………… 359376
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9360
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 117190
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 476566

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 605 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, 6/29

Hey Folks,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topic: The Purpose of Punctuation

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

What? How is that possibly a good thing?

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

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

Words and punctuation are tools, nothing more.

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

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

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

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

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

Today, and Writing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you then.

Of Interest

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

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

Writing of

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

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

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 581 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176

The Journal, 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