Kudos, a New Story, and More

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Dr. Mardy Groethe
* Welcome
* Don’t Be Bullied
* A New Story
* The Writing
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“No sense in dwelling on missed targets. We press on.” Frank Theodat on missing a daily goal

“The importance of a great opening goes beyond its ability to keep the reader just turning the pages. A great opening is a book’s soul in miniature.” P.J. Parrish as reported by Dr. Mardy Groethe

Dr. Mardy Groethe

in addition to many other things, is among the world’s great quote gatherers, and is often quotable himself.

He just added the opening paragraph from my Confessions of a Professional Psychopath to his Great Opening Lines website. How cool is that?

I also strongly recommend his newsletter, Dr. Mardy’s Quotes of the Week. Both free and paid subscribers get the same great content. You’ll find story ideas, insights, and some really great thoughts all around.

See more from Dr. Mardy in Of Interest.

Thanks, Mardy. Quite a kudo for me.


Welcome to Auraist (https://substack.com/@auraist), Logic Zombie (https://substack.com/@logiczombie) and any other new readers or subscribers of the Journal. I hope you will find it useful.

Get the Archives and other free downloads at the Journal website. Just click the links and a PDF will download in a new page.

If you download the Journal Archives, I suggest downloading and reading the most recent one first. Then, if you’re bored enough to want to see how I personally progressed as a fiction writer, you can go back and download the others. It has been an interesting journey.

When I compile the archive for 2023 in early January, I will add it to the Archives page. I will also announce it and make it available in a post in the Journal.

I also recommend reading the posts “I Believe in You” and “Fear”. Can’t hurt, and it might help.

Oh, and check out this half-hour video where bestselling author Vin Zandri and I are chatting about writing on The Writer’s Life.

Don’t Be Bullied

Any negative thoughts or ANY thoughts that delay or stop you from writing are directly from your critical mind. And the critical mind is a bully of the first order.

If you get really nervous or break out in a cold sweat when you think about trying WITD or setting a daily word count goal or anything else writing related, take a deep breath and take a chance.

  • set the goal anyway and strive to achieve it, and
  • try to trust yourself and your characters and write into the dark

You will fail at first, maybe even several times, but so what? Put it behind you and try again. Remind yourself the daily goal resets to zero every day.

There are no real-world consequences. Create a new, better and more confident you. It really doesn’t take long.

And learn to recognize that critical voice.

A New Story

“Eufemia and José,” the first in an interconnected series of ten magic realism stories, went live yesterday on my Stanbrough Writes Substack. If you enjoy magic realism or Mexico, you probably don’t want to miss this series of stories

To subscribe, click the link above and then the Subscribe button at the end of the story. You’ll receive a new short story every Friday, and it’s free.

Below the Subscribe button, there are other short stories you can read in most genres. Enjoy!

The Writing

The novel is racing along. I love it when that happens.

My new friend Dr. Mardy mention in correstpondence that he didn’t realize I was so “prolific.”

I guess I am, but honestly, I’ve never understood the distinction. Millions of people get up and go to work every day. And that’s all I do. I get up and go to work every day. And while I’m there, I actually do my job, again, like millions of others. I just happen to be very fortunate in that I love what I do.

I also added around 700 more words to the short story yesterday.

Interesting. I’ve never written a short story in quite this way before. Since the story is an offshoot of the current novel, it grows only when something happens in the novel that I don’t want to include in the novel.

This particular POV character is wonderfully willful. She’s so strong that she actually overpowers the guy with the computer. I HAVE to write what she gives me (I WITD), but what actually makes it into the published novel is for conscious-mind Publisher Guy to decide.

So if I decide not to include it in the novel, it has to go somewhere else. Hence the story.

It’s a very cool feeling.

Of Interest

Twenty-Three of the Best Opening Lines of 2023

The 84 Sentences That Explain 2023 In case something stirs a story idea for you.

Lord of the Rings fan fiction writer sued for publishing own sequel Actually, the moron got sued because s/he tried to sue Amazon for ripping off his/her work, which s/he had ripped off from JRR Tolkein. Incredible. Amazon did air a prequel to Lord of the Rings, but of course they purchased a license to do so.

Specificity matters in opening pages too

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 830

Writing of Tarea-Garcia 1

Day 1…… 4968 words. To date…… 4968
Day 2…… 3677 words. To date…… 8645
Day 3…… 3307 words. To date…… 11952
Day 4…… 4467 words. To date…… 16419
Day 5…… 4193 words. To date…… 20612
Day 6…… 2061 words. To date…… 22673
Day 7…… 3250 words. To date…… 25923
Day 8…… 2036 words. To date…… 27959
Day 9…… 3789 words. To date…… 31748
Day 10…. 4093 words. To date…… 35841

Writing of “The Love of Soleada”

Day 1…… 1079 words. To date…… 1079
Day 2…… 1444 words. To date…… 2523
Day 3…… 0225 words. To date…… 2748
Day 4…… 0747 words. To date…… 3495

Fiction for December…………………… 90048
Fiction for 2023…………………………. 490822
Fiction since August 1………………… 375258
Nonfiction for December……………… 17890
Nonfiction for the year……………… 273470
Annual consumable words………… 760845

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 10
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 81
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 236
Short story collections…………………… 31

Note: If you find this Journal of value and want to make a one time or recurring donation, please do not pledge through Substack. I don’t use Stripe. Instead click this link. If you can’t donate, please consider sharing this post with friends.

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.

6 thoughts on “Kudos, a New Story, and More”

  1. I heard of that fanfiction writer before and honestly it makes me so mad. I know the topic of fanfiction itself is controversial among writers (understandably so) but most fanfiction writers don’t try to make a profit, they just write stories in their favorite worlds for fun and post them for others to enjoy for free, and gives them a bad name.
    Not saying its right or wrong, that’s an individual decision to make in my opinion (for me, I like it but I understand why others don’t/are against it) but this guy definitely brought the wrong kind of attention to fanfiction, not to mention made himself look like a dolt for suing Amazon even though he was trying to profit off of something he didn’t own in the first place.
    It takes a special kind of someone to do that.

    • I’ve never had a problem with fannfic myself, as long as the writers aren’t representing the work/world/etc. as their own. I’m not a fanfic writer, but fanfic is still writing, and therefore excellent practice.

      • I agree completely. I write fanfiction alongside my original work so perhaps I’m a tad biased haha, but it is good practice, and a nice hobby. I know it helped me improve my writing for my original stuff and gave me hours of enjoyment as well.
        I notice I left an error in my original comment. I meant to say that the author trying to sue Amazon gave fanfiction writers a bad name. I typed to fast I guess.

        • When I was in college, I read a story by a well-known author for which I thought the ending was completely unsatisfactory. So I retyped the entire story and, when I came to the original ending, ignored it and wrote my own. It was wonderful practice for learing a new or different voice and I liked the story much more with the new ending. 🙂 But I never showed it to anyone but the professor. She liked my ending better too, or so she said. But the thought of publishing it never entered my mind.

          • I like to share my fanfiction on a website called AO3 (Archive of Our Own) which is non profit and its made clear that we don’t own the worlds or characters. The community, both writers and readers, is wonderful, encouraging and passionate, which is (for me) one of the biggest draws.

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