The Journal, Thursday, 7/6

Hey Folks, Topic: On Original Thought Know what? Anyone who wants to be a writer should strive, every day, to have at least one original thought. On politics, religion, social hot buttons, or whatever. To become a successful writer — by which I mean a writer who turns out work regularly and that work is regularly sold and read — the writer should strive ALL day every day to have original thoughts. If you’re mimicking the sound bites that pass for news and social repartéé — well, good for you. But chances are, you won’t be successful, or not as … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, 7/5

Hey Folks, If you like good westerns, two of my books are currently in the Guns of the West Bundle. Dean Wesley Smith also has two books in this bundle, plus there are books by 5 other writers. This is an excellent opportunity to get 9 amazing tales of the wild west for one low price. Visit Okay, I’ve mentioned a time or two a couple of other writers who currently have ongoing “writing in public” challenges. To watch their challenges unfold and support their efforts, visit these websites: Linda Maye Adams at Christopher Ridge at Topic: … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, 7/4

Hey Folks, In addition to being Independence Day, today is the birth date of the most important person in the world to me. My wife, Mona Gay Griffith Stanbrough (who much prefers to remain anonymous), was born on this date roughly 39 years ago. (grin) Happy birthday, sweetheart. Wow. Yesterday, not five minutes after I posted this Journal, I ran across this quote from The Passive Voice: “Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists … Read more

The Journal, Monday, 7/3

Hey Folks, Happy July 4th tomorrow. More importantly, happy Independence Day. Well, I’m officially in a slump right now. (I know. Duh!) I wrote four openings today, and I wasn’t excited about any of them from the first word to the last. Every one of them dwindled and died, and what’s worse, I didn’t care. I’m not counting the words. I know better than to think I don’t want to write anymore or I don’t have anymore stories to tell or any silliness like that. But I am definitely in a slump. Maybe this is the “writer’s crash” Dean talks … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, 7/2

Hey Folks, I always hate registering a zero for fiction writing for the first day of the month. But it is what it is. I didn’t clear the decks quite well enough to approach my much-touted WIP challenge in July. My wife’s birthday and vacation are both this month, and my son recently moved to Arizona, so visits will ensue. I’ll get back to the challenge sometime in the future. No rush. For now I’m going to not think about challenges other than the ongoing novel-a-month thing and just get back to writing. Yesterday, ideas were lining up outside my … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, 7/1

Hey Folks, Okay. The roller coaster continues. Maybe I’ll start the challenge today, and maybe I won’t. I’ll know by the end of the day. Or maybe I need to adjust the challenge. I don’t know. Again, I hope I’ll know by the end of the day Enjoying a visit with my youngest son, his wife, and three grandsons this morning. Today, and Writing No writing today. See you tomorrow. Of Interest Via the Passive Guy, see “The Opening as Part of the Closing … of the Deal” at This is a really great article. You might also bookmark … Read more

The Journal, Friday, 6/30

Hey Folks, Yay! The last day of what turned out to be a major transition month for me. At least as far as life and websites go. This morning I realized there’s a glitch in my challenge plans. The challenge is to write a short story every day “in public,” meaning I’ll post it scene by scene over at But sometimes a story grows into a novel. I usually recognize a budding novel at around the two-thirds point of a story. Last month, in only 8 stories, two also wanted to be novels. That made me wonder, for a … Read more

The Journal, Thursday, 6/29

Hey Folks, I love to enter a room to find most common sense has fled. The absence makes me feel superior. Yeah, I need to stay away from Facebook more. (grin) Hey, both Christopher Ridge ( and Linda Maye Adams ( are taking on a major writing challenge at the moment. Visit their websites to follow along and support their efforts. I’ve also added a link to their pages on my main website under Readers’ Resources. Last night my brain was full and I thought I was finished with website stuff. Then I sat down and hovered my cursor over … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, 6/28

Hey Folks, Well, frankly I was too tired to keep going yesterday. I didn’t upload stuff to BundleRabbit, and I didn’t update my novel-novella page and my short fiction page on my website. So probably one more nonwriting day today. I’m getting a lot of “writing related” stuff done, but I’m not writing. Writing is putting new (fiction) words on paper. Ah well. Either way it should be a banner July. Guess we’ll see. *** Had a guy unsubscribe today from the big blog. I wouldn’t mention it but he listed the reason as “Did not sign up for list.” … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, 6/27

Hey Folks, Wow, there sure are a lot of blank spaces on my spreadsheet where there should be fiction numbers. I don’t imagine that bothers you a lot since they’re my goose eggs and not yours. But just in case, I can promise you they’re going to change pretty soon. (grin) Probably in a big way. What follows is a bit of personal rambling, which is why it isn’t preceded by the word “topic.” I might have mentioned here before an old Marine Corps acquaintance of mine. I won’t mention his name here. It wouldn’t mean anything to you, and … Read more