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 place.” George Bernard Shaw

“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” Mark Twain

Memorial Day

Wishing you and yours a thoughtful and considerate day of remembrance on this Memorial Day.

Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting

You can still join in the challenge at any time. There’s no cost, and it’s a great way to both have some fun and jump start your writing.

  • Balázs Jámbor “Game over” 3700 words SF
  • Balázs Jámbor “Something has happened” 2400 words, Urban Fantasy
  • Loyd Jenkins, “Book Delivery” 1780 words Weird Western
  • George Kordonis “Missing Moonlight” 3452 words Horror
  • Chynna Pace “The Witch Chaser” 3919 words Fantasy
  • Christopher Ridge “Johnny has a Gun” 2100 words Dark crime
  • Karen Riggs “Iron Bones” 1414 words Magical Realism
  • Bill Sinclair “Dog One” 2973 words General Fiction

New Schedule for the Journal

I’m going to try something. Beginning today, I intend to drop the publication schedule of the Journal back to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Those will be “my days” to post.

I will post articles from regular contributors (if any) on whatever other day of the week or weekend they choose (so Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday).

I will post any guest articles in place of my own if I choose to do so, or on a different day, or “co-post” with the guest as I did with Peggy Kurilla and her article “A Penny Per Word” a few days ago.

Knowing me, from time to time I will probably miss posting on my days completely because I seldom know (or care) specifically what day it is. Except Monday. I remember Monday because I committed to posting info about the Bradbury Challenge on Mondays.

Otherwise, all days are pretty much the same to me—the sun comes up, the sun goes down—especially when I’m writing fiction. That’s one reason for this schedule change: to get back to writing fiction.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, writing for the Journal (along with a couple of other things) has all but taken over my life. And frankly, despite what I’ve accomplished in the past, continuing to teach writing when I’m not writing fiction at least most days myself feels a little hypocritical.

Also, I’ve been aware for awhile that very few readers actually read the Journal every day. Of those who don’t, some won’t see this announcement until they catch up with it later while binging on a week or so of Journal entries.

Others, like the one former-student and excellent writer who casually mentioned she only drops in to read the Journal now and then, probably won’t see it at all. And that’s fine. I’ve always said the Journal is only worth what you pay for it.

Anyway, I actually enjoy the ‘sound’ of my own written voice (if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be a writer), but I feel more than a little foolish talking to an empty room.

And finally, since most of my posts speak to refusing to bow to unreasoning fear by

  • writing into the dark,
  • adhering to Heinlein’s Rules,
  • letting the characters convey the story that they, not the writer, are living,
  • writing the story that’s actually unfolding around you and your characters instead of consciously constructing something and forcing it into some preconceived mold,
  • and other matters that really are only common sense,

I doubt that I’ll lose any effectiveness by posting only three times per week instead of every day.

Of course, this might or might not work out. For those of you who are fairly new to the Journal and still excited (if that’s the right term) about seeing it almost every day, you can always download the free archives and search them for topics that interest you. And I encourage you to do so. No other archive like mine exists anywhere on Earth.

Also, I’m still open at any time to any questions anyone may haveabout writing fiction. I love writing fiction, and I love sharing what I know about writing fiction. If you don’t take advantage of that and my experience, that’s on you.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “May is Screaming Past” at

See “Free Engineering Careers Webinar” at If I had it to do over again I would have studied a field of engineering in college.

See “Miscommunication” at

See “Keep Writing Until They Are Forced to Say Yes” at Actually you can skip the article but see PG’s take. If you do read the article, notice that the author had “never … taken a writing class” yet somehow plowed through all the myths. That’s how deeply embedded they are in our society.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 870

Total fiction words for May……… 14404
Total fiction words for 2023………… 97868
Total nonfiction words for May… 22140
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103830
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 201698

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

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

4 thoughts on “Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting”

  1. As a somewhat bemused, non-writer outside observer, upon reading PG’s take on “Keep Writing Until They Are Forced to Say Yes” 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. Methinks they would be better served to observe the immortal words of Jedi Master Yoda: “No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

    • “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.”

      Absolutely spot on, Russ. And worthy of a place in Quotes of the Day.

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