Scam of the Day, and I Got Nothin’

In today’s Journal

* Re the Contest
* If Anyone Else
* Scam of the Day
* I Got Nothin’
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Re the Contest

Got a good question. The word limits for the contest are per my definition of a short story, so 2000 minimum to 7999 maximum. (Under 2000 is a short-short and over 7999 is a novelette.)

But yes, you can send a story that’s too short or too long for the contest. I’ll still read it, but it will be disqualified from the prizes. I’ll still consider it as a submssion for the anthology (if there is one) that results from the contest.

Hint: If you tell your characters (aloud, if you want to) that the story needs to be shorter or longer and then cycle back over it, they’ll usually roll up their sleeves and give you what you need. (This is excellent practice for cycling, by the way, and staying out of the critical mind.)

I do the same thing often, and I’ve done it many, MANY times. Most recently yesterday morning as I cycled over three chapters of the novel that just wrapped.

If Anyone Else

is wondering why I recommended getting in on the ground floor of AuthorsZen, (sign up for testing the Beta version), I recommended it because of some things Troy Lambert said during this interview with Vin Zandri. I posted the link a few days ago, but I think that was the wrong link. This one is correct.

Scam of the Day

I actually received an email that read, in part, thusly:

“Get 5 authentic book reviews from real readers for just $449, with no additional cost of books to you! That’s right—we will cover the cost of books for your reviewers.”

I could see the guy standing on my doorstep saying that to me after knocking on the my door and interrupting my most recent novel.

I like to think after I heard his spiel, a huge grin would spread across my face and my eyes would grow wide and I would say something like this:

“Oh Wow! FIVE reviews? For only EIGHTY-NINE DOLLARS AND EIGHTY CENTS per review? And from a ‘real reader’? Are you KIDDING ME? Wait right here, okay? Don’t move, now! I’m gonna run into the back room to get my credit card.”

And with any luck, he would wait.

Because I lied. I wouldn’t come back out with my credit card. I think Charlie Task would come out. Or Soleada Garcia. Or Buck Jackson. Or any of my other Blackwell Ops operatives. Or maybe even Joey “Bones” Salerno, y’know?

Of course, we’ve all heard of deals that are too good to be true. But that one stank so badly when it was getting into its car in Baltimore that I smelled it all the way out here in southeast Arizona.

My take on the whole review thing is this: If you enjoy my fiction or nonfiction books, please consider leaving a good review. And if you don’t have time or whatever, well, maybe next time, eh? Y muchas gracias.

Yeah, I Got Nothin’ Today

Okay, so other than the first two very short bits, I got nothin’ today.

But I think I know what the next novel’s going to be and I’m also playing with an idea for a short story in the Blackwell Ops world. I could’ve written that yesterday, but I didn’t.

I wrote all this stuff yesterday. I’d sent my novel off to my first reader, designed the cover, promo doc, etc. and published it tor pre-order (the release date is May 17).

Then I went out and did hard labor for a few hours, cleaning out the two big bays just north of the Hovel. Got 99% of the trash and good stuff out, swept up about two decades of other-critter leavings (nests etc.), and generally arranged/rearranged some things.

I even went up a ladder (gasl! without getting yelled at even once!) about ten feet into a storage area and cleaned that out. Funny the way people label some normal activities “dangerous” after a guy reaches a certain age. I’ve been a Marine, a cop, and a bull rider in RCA (before PRCA) sanctioned rodeos. It’s not easy for me to see a solid ladder as “dangerous.” (grin)

Yeah, I know I might break something, but I could also get hit by a bus, so… just sayin’. Besides, even old guys still like to show off. Life is for the living. I can be “safe” when my feet are pointing east more or less permanently.

Anyway, one of the bays will become Mona’s workshop (she’s pretty much like a general contractor), and the two-foot thick adobe walls will keep all those sounds out of my writing here in the Hovel. (grin)

So like I said, I got nothin’ for you. Just an old man whinin’ for your entertainment. Speakin’ of whinin’, enjoy that coffee. Someday somebody’ll tell you how much you’re allowed to drink.

My advice in all cases? Do what you want. You’re only here for a blink.

But first, write some fiction. Or some poetry. Or write your mom. Be a writer. Now if that isn’t solid advice, I don’t know what is.

See? I told you the Journal is a blog about writing. (grin)

Oh, and I stole the image above from InstaGram or somewhere. Enjoy.

Talk with you again soon. Maybe with something good.

Of Interest

Rebecca Robert J. Sadler mentions your truly, but he also talks about a really great read.

Really Amazing Classes in the Sale

The Numbers

The Journal………………………………910

Writing of (tentative title)

Day 1…… XXXX words. To date…… XXXXX

Fiction for May…………………….….… XXXXX
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 303785
Fiction since October 1………………… 606841
Nonfiction for May……………………… 910
Nonfiction for 2024……………………… 155250
2024 consumable words……………… 458125

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 7
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)……………… 89
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……… 239
Short story collections…………………… 29

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 are lies, and they will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

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