Admin Stuff, Spanish Names, and More on Vella

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Shameless Self-Promotion
* An Administrative Note
* A Quick Lesson on Spanish Name Pronunciation
* No Joy
* More Info on Vella
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“Nothing will stop you from being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.” John Cleese (Thanks to Russ J for reminding me of this.)

Take note, fiction writers. Once again, all things “bad” about creativity boil down to fear. And every fear you ever have is a function of the conscious, critical mind.

Shameless Self-Promotion (and Vella)

I took a few moments yesterday to spell-check and upload episodes (chapters) 9 through 16 to Vella.

Episode 8 (uploaded earlier) will be available on Sep 18, and Episode 9 will go live on Sep 20. After that, a new will go live every day until I finish the novel. (grin)

If anyone out there wants to read this brand-new novel, the first three episodes are free. You can find them at

See much more about Vella below.

An Administrative Note

For those of you who regularly click through to items in “Of Interest,” I’ve changed the format a little. From now on, the title of the article itself will serve as the link. This will be a huge time saver for me.

If you want the specific URL of an article, click the link and then copy it from the address bar in your browser.

Note: When copying (or pasting) URLs, you can make them “clean” by stopping after the last forward slash ( / ) or just before the question mark.

For example, you can chop off everything after the ASIN and the forward slash in any Amazon URL.

If you hover over the link, the URL should also appear in the bottom left of your browser screen. This will save me a LOT of time.

A Quick Lesson on Spanish Name Pronunciation

If you’re unsure of how to write the pronunciation of Spanish names, see the comments by Rikki M and my responses on “Practice Exercise, Keep Coming Back, and Thank You”.

Imagine a Russian citizen and an American westerner talking a little Spanish back and forth. (grin) There y’go.

No Joy

There were only two responses to my open request yesterday for what you would like to see in the Journal.

One writer commented on the substack, basically saying I should just keep doing what I’m doing. Another said the same thing, but in a comment directly on the Journal.

The second guy is not a subscriber but visits the site almost every day to view that day’s post. If everyone did that, I would discontinue the substack.

I’ve done the same thing since early 2014 with Dean Wesley Smith’s website. It isn’t that difficult.

That’s something I might consider anyway. It would certainly thin the herd. Only those who were really interested would visit at all. And it would save me about an hour a day. Hmm.

I’m not worried about the lack of responses. Eventually I will probably tire of passing along what I know via the Journal anyway and focus all my time on my own work.

Just know that as long as the Journal is running, you can always comment or email me to express what you would like to see.

Use it while you can.

More Info on Using Vella

If you upload several episodes to Vella like I did this morning, be careful to fill in the release date near the bottom of the form (below all the “reader poll” stuff).

I think I filled-in all of the release dates correctly. As I wrote above, my intent was to release one episode (chapter) per day beginning on September 20. I uploaded 8 new episodes yesterday morning.

Episodes 9 – 14 and 16 were approved. But when I went to the Vella site to see what was going on, Episode 15 was marked “Publishing.”

Publishing? I was frantic. Did I manage to mess up the scheduled release date? I’m old. I’m tired. Take pity on me. Waaa. (grin)

But no. A kind Vella rep told me “Publishing” actually means “In Review.”

I told her I hoped so, and maybe she could pass the word up the chain so that episodes that are being reviewed are marked “In Review” rather than “Publishing.”

Or maybe I’m just putting too much effort into my hope that whatever college grad set up that page understands that “in review” and “publishing” do not mean the same thing to most people.

You shouldn’t have to interpret instructions and status cues. They sould simply say what they mean.

But maybe that’s just me.

Just so you know, everything turned out all right. The episodes will go live in the proper sequence every day beginning on September 20.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Hemingway!”

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 790

Writing of Blackwell Ops 10: Jeremy Stiles
The Way Things Go

Day 11…. 3025 words. To date…… 29255

Fiction for September…………………… 41237
Fiction for 2023………………………… 193546
Fiction since August 1………………… 103559
Nonfiction for September……………… 13650
Nonfiction for the year……………… 188120
Annual consumable words………… 381666

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 3
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 74
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)… 232
Short story collections…………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

2 thoughts on “Admin Stuff, Spanish Names, and More on Vella”

  1. I read every post, but I don’t visit every day, so I’m not subscribed.

    Being blunt, and without meaning to be rude, I wouldn’t read it if I didn’t like what you’re already doing. I’m also not certain that “improving” this blog is necessarily the best use of your time – but it’s your blog, and do as you will. GRIN

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • Thanks, Peggy. And don’t worry about pre-emptive apolgies. I can take it. (grin) Glad you’re getting something out of it. If there’s ever a topic you’d like to see covered, don’t hesitate to let me know either in a comment or via email.

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