The Journal, Monday, 8/21

Hey Folks, Had a great visit on Saturday night with a dear friend. Cigars puffed, movies discussed, philosophy slathered. Then a good session on Sunday morning on how to use the very intuitive Serif PagePlus to create book covers. *** If your books are offered for sale on Amazon, please read “Amazon Author Central: A Primer” at I read it and there was a lot there that I didn’t know. For one thing, Amazon doesn’t automatically update your author page with new books when you publish more work. On my author page, only 33 books were listed. That was … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, 8/20

Hey Folks, Well, I had to smile at Dean’s post. See A few days ago he was annoyed, expecting a deluge of tourists in his little town to see the eclipse: From “A Fun First Day” on August 16, “Now if we can just survive this stupid eclipse, we will be fine. Shadow goes right smack over the top of us as it makes landfall. The actual center is about two miles from the new store. No telling what will happen here with that many people trying to cram into a 60 mile wide area. We just don’t have … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, 8/19

Hey Folks, I have a couple of nonfiction projects to knock out this morning and then a friend coming for a visit this afternoon and evening. So not sure how much writing I’ll get done today, if any. The story I was working on, I love the concept, but I might have to restart it yet again. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just read back and find what went sour. My goal of writing a novel this month is fading fast. (grin) Then again, that’s what goals are for. And I’m in some sort of weird transition phase right now. Weird … Read more

The Journal, Friday, 8/18

Hey Folks, Much of what follows is me thinking aloud. If you get something of value from it, good. But mostly it’s me using you as a sounding board. Sorry about that. Wow. I’ve been at this literary stuff a very long time. And the marketing stuff. Both in-person, glad-handing bookstore managers and sitting for hours at book signings and all that, and the much less costly and smarter electronic marketing. In fact, after I did some basic math I finally gave up (by and large) on book signings, etc. unless I happened to be speaking at a conference at … Read more

The Journal, Thursday, 8/17

Hey Folks, Do Yourself a Favor and please read “Voyage to the Otherworld: A New Eulogy for Ray Bradbury” (via The Passive Voice) at *** The workshop yesterday was SUCH a blast! Everybody was on time, attentive, and hungry to learn. What can be better than that? I’ll definitely do this one again in a month or two, but on a Saturday. Mostly so some of those who wanted to attend this time but couldn’t can do so. I think of this as a “master’s level” workshop. It was a lot of things I’ve learned and made my own … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, 8/16

Hey Folks, I’ll be off to teach my workshop this morning at around 9, so I’ll post this early. Looking very forward to seeing some old friends again, and making one new friend. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the workshop goes. (grin) UPDATE: Well, I forgot to post it early. The workshop went even better than I expected. I’m psyched. (grin) As a reminder, in the workshop, I’ll cover Hooks, Openings, Grounding the Reader in the Story, Physical and Emotional Cliffhangers, Pacing and Endings. At the end of the workshop, I’ll also talk a bit about Process. There … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, 8/15

Hey Folks, Via The Digital Reader, The Huffington Post (whom I would never and am not now promoting) published an article titled “The 4 Great Myths of Book Publishing.” You can read the full article at, but I’ll save you the trouble. There are actually a lot more myths about traditional publishing than four, but we’ll go with the ones they list. According to the article, the myths are that a traditional publisher will aggressively promote your book to the widest possible readership, ensure your book gets on the shelves of all the nation’s bookstores, print your book’s text … Read more

The Journal, Monday, 8/14

Hey Folks, I know at least one writer who still does extensive research before writing. That said, most of us use the hunt-and-peck method. In the midst of a story (sometimes a sentence) we pop online for a moment, do some quick research on the type of tree the hero is leaning against, which months a particular river flows, etc. Then we pop back into the story, add what we learned and move on. Most often, that search is accomplish on Google or Bing or one of the other popular search engines. For us, now there are a lot more … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, 8/13

Hey Folks, Wow. I’ve done absolutely nothing today re writing. Not even on the handout for the upcoming seminar. Nada. Went to the grocery, then out to lunch, then back to the house to try to watch a ball game. But I have DirecTV so it’s blacked out when a game is being played within 10,000 miles of my house. So I watched a few episodes of Forensic Files instead. Then I came in here to post this. So nothing today, just a placeholder. Back at it tomorrow. Of Interest See Dean’s site. He’s talking about online workshops again. Fiction … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, 8/12

Hey Folks, Well, I know at least part of today will include a trip to Sierra Vista. I hope part of the trip will include lunch. (grin) This morning after my routine, I designed two covers, created two promo docs, then published two short stories to D2D and Amazon, then uploaded them to BundleRabbit. Finally I added the covers and universal buy links to the Short Fiction page on my website. I took a moment to do some multiplication. Goodness. I have 181 short stories now. Went to SV around 10 and got back a little after 1. I’ll work … Read more