The Six Ghosts of Fear, and Readers and Myths

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * The Six Ghosts of Fear * A New Short Story * Readers and the Myths * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “Before you can put any portion of my seventeen principles into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. The preparation is not difficult. It begins with study, analysis, and understanding of three enemies you have to clear out. These are indecision, doubt, and fear. Members of this unholy trio are closely related; where one is found, the other two are close at hand.” Napoleon Hill in … Read more

Workshop Sale, and About the Journal

In today’s Journal * Dean’s Special WMG Workshop Sale * About the Journal * Of Interest Dean’s Special WMG Workshop Sale I’m posting today primarily to make you aware of this: Dean Wesley Smith is offering everything on Teachable at 50% off but only for three days in honor of Memorial Day Weekend. The sale runs until Monday night at midnight west-coast time. For details and the code, See “Paying Attention Sale” at But as long as I’m here anyway… About the Journal Writer friend Loyd J in a comment wrote, “I don’t blame you for limiting your Journal … Read more

Different Strokes

In today’s Journal * Different Strokes * Memorial Day Weekend * Of Interest Different Strokes If you’d like to see how pervasive the myths can be, you might want to read the comments at Folks, if you have a different process for writing fiction than I do, that’s fine. If you believe “thinking” your way through a story is the best way to write it, knock yourself out. It seriously doesn’t matter to me. You may even choose to edit (a critical-mind process) and then call it “cycling.” That’s fine too. Different strokes and all that. But please make … Read more

On the Value of the Bradbury Challenge

In today’s Journal * On the Value of the Bradbury Challenge (guest post) * Of Interest On the Value of the Bradbury Challenge This is a guest post by Chynna Pace. See Chynna’s bio below. Up until about four years ago, when I first heard about indie publishing and realized I could put my stories out there and begin the writing career I always dreamed of, I always wrote freely, without any fear or anxiety. I wrote the stories I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, and I didn’t care one iota how the stories turned out, or whether … Read more

“We’ll Fix It in Post(-Production)”

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * “We’ll Fix It in Post(-Production)” * Trust the Story to Unfold as it Should * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “As a somewhat bemused, non-writer outside observer … it occurs to me that there must be quite a number of misguided, myth-believing individuals for whom it’s more important to be able to say ‘Oh, how I’ve suffered for my art!’ than actually to have produced any. Go figure.” Russ Jones “The best way to improve your craft is to trust the characters and record their story as they live it. … Read more

Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Memorial Day * Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting * New Schedule for the Journal * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “About the last of April, the attention is drawn to other things besides writing and by now (end of May) writing has mostly been forgotten, or something to be done later.” Dean Wesley Smith Umm, taking part in the Bradbury Challenge can help alleviate this. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. Just sayin’. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken … Read more

About Anthony Trollope

In today’s Journal * About Anthony Trollope * Of Interest About Anthony Trollope This is a bit I originally wrote and posted in the Journal way back in mid-2021. I came across it a few days ago. Yesterday, I inadvertently wrote that Trollope was a pulp writer. He wasn’t. Born in 1817, he lived roughly 100 years before the pulp era. We’ve recently discussed the tendency of all those self-thought brilliant amateur writers and would-be writers out there to believe that writing “fast”—which actually means having a work ethic and believing in yourself—equals writing garbage. It doesn’t. But then, that’s … Read more

Story Starters

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Story Starters * The Writing * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.” Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian “Successful negotiation is not about getting to ‘yes’; it’s about mastering ‘no’ and understanding what the path to an agreement is.” Christopher Voss I suspect it’s a lot easier to say No to a six-figure deal when saying Yes wouldn’t change your life dramatically. Story Starters Two days ago Garry Rodgers posted “Mindset, Motivation, and Tchotchkes” on the Kill Zone blog. In … Read more

A Penny Per Word

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * A Penny Per Word * A few notes on pulp writers * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “I realize that I wrote it, but it’s hard to take credit for the writing because it came from out of the blue. It came through me,” Townes Van Zandt on writing the song “Pancho and Lefty” “I read an essay by sci-fi author Robert Silverberg discussing his pseudonymous smut writing career back in the day. He was paid handsomely per finished novel, so he wrote one 50,000 word novel per week. He … Read more

The Most Effective Goal

In today’s Journal * The Road to Amarillo * The Most Effective Goal * Of Interest The Road to Amarillo Well, The Road to Amarillo is published at Draft2Digital and at Amazon. To see the cover, and to read about the book and a little about the Wes Crowley Gap series itself, please visit Also, the Wes Crowley covers on the page at are actually in chronological sequence, so the correct reading order. For a limited time, I’m giving away Book 1 of the series, The Rise of a Warrior. To take advantage of this giveaway, either visit … Read more