The Journal, Tuesday, November 20

Hey Folks, I apologize in advance for the long post today. I hope you get something out of it. I hadn’t planned to write a topic today either, but then I wandered across PJ Parrish’s post “When Should A Story End?” (“Of Interest”) and came across this doozy: “…writers should strive to make each plot point arise organically from character.” Later, she talks about a character living an “unauthentic” life. I don’t wonder. Topic: Let Your Characters Live Their Own Lives I’ve seen too many Nationwide Insurance commercials lately. My first thought as I read the excerpt above was “Tiny … Read more

The Journal, Monday, November 19

Hey Folks, Feeling fine this morning. Also, the second book in the Nick Spalding series launched this morning. You can see the cover and read the description at The universal link for all retailers is The next two books in the series will launch, respectively, on December 15 and January 15. If you (or someone you know) enjoy rich settings in action-adventure romantic-suspense novels and being immersed in the characters, you will enjoy this series. *** To the Hovel at 3 and spent the first hour+ dinging around the Internet and updating my publisher website. (Much more to … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, November 18

Hey Folks, Glad I wrote early yesterday. Much of the rest of the day was filled with a shopping trip (an estate sale and then groceries) to Sierra Vista and then relaxing. For that reason, and because I already know the balance of the day will be filled with a major chore, I walked into the Hovel at a little after 2 this morning. Wheee! I learned from a Tatum NM (population 811 in the 2017 census) high school classmate on Facebook yesterday that our alma mater’s 8-man football team will play for the NM state championship on Saturday, November … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, November 17

Hey Folks, Got to the Hovel at 3, then decided to republish Dean’s post from yesterday as a guest post (with permission) over on the main site. So I did that. Then I created another post on the big site (the “Advice” I posted here on 11/15). I also decided to work on the site a bit. For one thing, I removed the Become A Patron page from my website. There, I offered a lot of bonuses for patrons, but nobody took me up on it. (I do have a list of a few regular donors, for whom I am … Read more

The Journal, Friday, November 16

Hey Folks, Well, another tidbit on traditional publishing. In the fourth item in “Of Interest” today, two crime novelists are chatting (like a mutual interview). Early in that exchange, one says, “Both of us started writing our books after the 2016 election. This fall is really the first season when novels written after the election will be released….” Wow. Two years. From November 2016 through the present they were each writing one novel and waiting for it to come out. In that same amount of time, I wrote and published 16 novels, 4 novellas, and 23 short stories. The last … Read more

The Journal, Thursday, November 15

Hey Folks, My new all-time favorite quote: “The faster I write, the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” ~ Raymond Chandler Hey, even if you don’t believe me or Dean, you have to believe Raymond Chandler, don’t you? The above is not because Raymond Chandler was an experienced fictionist who knew all the “tricks.” (There are none.) It’s because he learned to trust his subconscious and allow the characters to tell the story. After all, they’re the ones who are living it. (grin) To … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, November 14

Hey Folks, Welcome to a new subcriber from Germany. I hope you’ll find something of value here. My characters will definitely wrap up the story in my 35th novel today. Somehow, 35 seems like a milestone to me. I’m not sure why. My new short-term goal now is to write at least 50 novels. We’ll see. *** I mentioned this a long while back, but if you haven’t subscribed to the newsletter from, you’re missing a bet. The focus at CrimeReads is recommending books on crime (duh), but they regularly interview writers about their process, about various genre touchstones, … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, November 13

Hey Folks, I have no expectation that the story in this novel will end today. But barring any unforeseen omplications in my own life, it will end tomorrow. I have to go to the doc in Tucson at mid-morning for a routine check on my new pacer-defibrillator (read “make sure I didn’t screw up the doc’s work”). I guess that was in my mind as I slept. I rolled out at 1:30 and was in the Hovel before 2. I used up the first hour with nonsense, as I am wont to do, and turned to the novel a little … Read more

The Journal, Monday, November 12

Hey Folks, Not a great deal to talk about today. I’m annoyed because my Internet was out for about 4 hours. That happens a lot. Funny, they still charge us for that time. Makes me glad I’m a writer. I can escape to a world where you actually get the service you pay for, people take responsibility for their own actions, and politicians who lose concede gracefully instead of stamping their feet, holding their breath ’til they turn blue, and bring in dozens of lawyers to find “misplaced” ballots. Sigh. Topic: To Create A New Text-Only Hyperlink Recently a friend … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, November 11

Hey Folks, Happy Veterans’ Day. Or as we in the Corps used to call it, Marine Corps Hangover Day. (grin) In truth, this is also (and was first) Armistice Day. It commemorates the end of the war to end all wars. Which later became known as World War I. The Armistice was signed officially at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Maybe that’s one reason Ambrose Bierce, in his The Devil’s Dictionary, defines November as “the eleventh twelfth of a weariness.” *** As a personal aside — and I’m speaking here only for myself, not … Read more