Audio Lectures, Books, and Other News

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Audio Lectures and Books
* Publisher Penguin Random House
* Spoiled Brats Are Like Flies
* Of Interest

Quotes of the Day

“Artificial intelligence will reach human levels by around 2029. Follow that out further to, say, 2045, we will have multiplied the intelligence, the human biological machine intelligence of our civilization a billion-fold.” Ray Kurzweil

Story ideas, anyone?

“PG says for once, cancel culture gets slapped across the wrist. It’s nice to see some adults in the room for a change.” The Passive Voice

Audio Lectures and Books

I got all motivated yesterday. I got a nice email from a young woman who’s eager to write more fiction and build her inventory. She even ordered my audio lectures on Writing Off Into the Dark, a 9-session series.

And that reminded me the lectures are over there. (grin) To see them for yourself along with the course description, just click the new tab in the menu above.

So I checked in on them, dusted them off a bit, double-checked the prices (they’re cheap, dirt cheap, at only $5 per session) and thought I’d remind all of you they’re over there too.

There are corresponding books for most of the lectures. The books cost less and contain roughly the same information. The links will take you to the book page on Amazon.

Writing Realistic Dialogue (

Creating Realistic Characters (

Writing Dialect (

Narrative in Fiction (

The Seven Writerly Sins (tongue-in-cheek humor) (

Writing Flash Fiction (an art form all its own) (

Poetry Techniques for the Fictionist (

There are also audio lectures on

Writing Poetry (no book available but The Craft of Poetry: Structure and Sound is available at

Writing Off Into the Dark (no book available)

Writing Great Beginnings (no book available)

Point of View (no book available)

Of course, all of the above is conscious, critical mind learning stuff. Listen and/or read, allow yourself to understand and absorb it, and then forget about it while you’re writing. The knowledge will be there even though you aren’t consciously thinking about it.

Here are a few books I highly recommend too, and not just because I wrote them:

Quiet the Critical Voice (and Write Fiction) (

Writing the Character-Driven Story (

Punctuation for Writers, 2nd edition (

Publisher Penguin Random House

will not be allowed to absorb publisher Simon & Schuster. If you’re one who needs a 20- or 30-something slush pile reader you’ve never met to validate your work, this will be good news.

If you are self-actualized enough to eagerly anticipate letting readers decide for themselves whether they like your stories, then this is ho-hum, good-for-them, yawn, stretch, business as usual.

Spoiled Brats Are Like Flies

especially when they’re old enough to know better but persist in their disgusting, fly-like annoyances. What exactly is it that keeps them from simply leaving others (the hell) alone? Are they really that insecure? Or is it just a spite thing: because they’re unable to create anything themselves they want to tear down what others have created?

Once again, some spoiled-brat bullies have put out a call to “cancel” a book (see “Of Interest”). Fortunately, Pen America had the good sense to reject that call. Let’s hope the spine they developed in this instance will remain a part of the organization’s anatomy.

Yes, the book was written by a big name, but that shouldn’t matter. Nobody has a right to demand a writer change so much as a word of his or her text, much less his or her thoughts, thought process, or opinions.

As a retired Marine, it annoys me to no end that these snot-nosed brats are trying to destroy the very Constitution from which they derive their power. Apparently nobody ever taught them that one person’s rights stop where the next person’s rights begin. Besides, are they really stupid enough to believe the censorship they unleash will stop short of them?

As an aside, note that during riots they wear masks (the NARFA rule: Never Accept Responsibility For Anything) and when they harrass people from behind computer screens they typically do so via aliases (same NARFA rule).

Why? Because they’re cowards. If they were proud of what they’re doing, they would put their name on it. Since they obviously aren’t, maybe they should consider doing something they wouldn’t mind Mom knowing about.

I agree wholeheartedly with PG’s comment at the end of the post. And frankly, I believe anyone who doesn’t should put himself or herself in Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s place. Because yes, it can happen to you.

That any writer would agree to anyone else’s “demands” with regard to what s/he writes in a story or in a nonfiction opinion piece is riduculous to the point of being inane.

Now, I’m going to see whether I can spend some quality time with my novel today. Maybe I’ll even insert something that goes against the PC grain. Just Because I Can.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “‘Science fiction worries’: Baby born from 1996 frozen sperm sparks debate” at Story ideas abound.

See “Judge blocks Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster merger” at

See “The Dénouement: Tying Up The Yarn Strands Of Your Story” at

See “Pen America Rejects Calls to Cancel New Book…” at

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 880 words

Writing of The Stirchians (novel, tentative title)

Day 10… 1330 words. Total words to date…… 28459
Day 11… 2337 words. Total words to date…… 30836
Day 12… 2115 words. Total words to date…… 32951

Total fiction words for November……… 0
Total fiction words for the year………… 161525
Total nonfiction words for November… 880
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 176510
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 338035

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2022 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2022 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 68
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this Journal I promote Writing Into the Dark, a Zen-like letting go and trusting yourself and your characters. I have never said (and never will) that WITD is the “only” way to write, but it greatly increases both your productivity and the amount of practice you get as a writer, and it provides a rapid ascension along the learning curve of Craft. This is not opinion. It is all numbers and facts.