The Journal, Tuesday, July 24

Hey Folks, Not a lot to talk about this morning. I didn’t write much fiction today. Worked on a website for a new writer. I still have a lot to do on it but I’m waiting for more input. I find that more and more often I have to re-learn to separate Advice from Outcome. Specifically, to not look back and rate my recommendations in light of what various writers do with them. For example… 1. I can talk ’til I’m blue in the face about the pitfalls of traditional publishing (I’ve been there), but writers still choose to chase … Read more

The Journal, Monday, July 23

Hey Folks, A Brief Memoir with a Point When my dad passed away around 30 years ago, I was thrilled to find some of his writings in an old suitcase. It wasn’t a suitcase full of manuscripts or anything like that. The suitcase was an old two-tone brown pressboard affair. It had a kind of fishnet container stretched across the inside of the lid. Inisde were old New Mexico State Police shoulder patches, an old pair of glasses and other things. And inside that fishnet area were a few poems typed on an old manual Remington. Dad never talked about … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, July 22

Hey Folks, Not much to write about yesterday, so I skipped the Journal, though I did add a few items to “Of Interest.” Yesterday Mona and I did yard work, then cooled down and went to Sierra Vista for a few hours. It was a nice diversion. Not sure yet what today will hold. But I’ll post this so I can get the “Of Interest” items out to you. A few have asked what I mean by “character-driven fiction”; a few others have wondered why I pay such close attention to settings. Here’s the short answer: Maybe 10% of a … Read more

The Journal, Friday, July 20

Hey Folks, Gird your loins and prepare for an onslaught of words. You know how I get. (grin) Before I begin, my apology to anyone who’s subscribed to the RSS feed for the big site. During construction this morning I inadvertently created two or three new “posts” that should have been pages. So if you got those, just delete them. No worries. Posts from over there go out once a week, on Tuesday. All right, I’ve revised my Writer Resources page. Pretty dramatically, actually. Basically, I replaced the gaggle of individual links that were there with an ungaggle of links … Read more

The Journal, Thursday, July 19

Hey Folks, Another long post, but I think a good one. I’m going to try an experiment. I started this Journal almost 4 years ago to keep track of my own writing, both fiction and nonfiction. I also did that in part to let others see what is possible if they can only get themselves to the keyboard. But sometimes (even often, at times) it backfired. Instead of motivating others, sometimes seeing my numbers actually depressed them. They looked at my numbers as if I was daring them to do the same, or to surpass me. That was never the … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, July 18

Hey Folks, Today’s post is long. It’s all about professional resources… I went through my links yesterday, deleted any authors’ websites that are about nothing but the author, new releases, etc. I’m keeping only those that offer some insight for other writers. And I’ll be rearranging those today to make them easier to find. One person responded to my call for resources yesterday. (Thanks, Gnondpom.) The ones that were already listed in my Writers Resources or that I’ve added are preceded below by an asterisk (to let you know you can find them on my site later). The others are … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, July 17

Hey Folks, Oops. Well, I didn’t get this out yesterday. Not used to the new time yet, I guess. So I wrote most of what’s below yesterday, but I’ll count it today. A request — if anyone knows of any writer’s blogs (or group blogs, like Kill Zone, or organizational blogs) where professionals hand out anything of value to other writers (regardless of genre), please let me know. You can comment below or email me privately at Kill Zone still has a few authors who post valid posts now and then, but it seems to be devolving. Of course, … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, July 15

Hey Folks, From a DWS response to a comment on his “Pulp Speed Time Again” post (, “[Writing] gets so much easier as you keep going. We call it ‘ground [e]ffect’ after that affect that planes have as they near the ground. The air between the plane and the ground makes it easier to stay aloft. When you get writing, it is easier to just keep writing. Starting is always the hard part.” He also offers a lecture titled “Starting and Restarting Your Writing” that’s well worth the $50. Finally, Dean also wrote two posts for today, both about a … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, July 14

Hey Folks, No writing yesterday, of course, and I started a new copyedit. This one will take only a few days at the most. Today I have more for you in the “Of Interest” section, so I’ll post this. Dean has a great post today on Pulp Speed. He talks at length about pulp writers. I recommend you read the post through at least twice. Chances are you’ll find new valuable nuggets on each read-through. The post is so valuable, I’ve linked to it on in the Writers Resources tab. Some folks look at pulp as if it’s a … Read more

The Journal, Thursday, July 12

Hey Folks, Just a reminder that I’m still handing out free books to anyone who would like to read and write a review. To see what’s available, visit and select from among the novel tabs. Then email me at If you prefer short fiction, you may also choose from among the 5- or 10-story collections under the Short Fiction tab. Another day of editing today, and then probably on through the weekend. Then I should have two more edits coming in before too long. It’s that time of year. But I hope to get back to my own … Read more