The Daily Journal, Sunday, June 30

In today’s Journal * Recap * Topic: On Building Suspense and Creating Tension * The midpoint of the year * Daily diary * Of Interest * The numbers Yesterday I remembered I hadn’t updated my writer website at So I added In the Cantina at Noon and Change of Plans to the Westerns page, then created new book pages for each of those. Then I added Quiet the Critical Voice to the nonfiction books page. Sometime soon I probably should create a separate book page for each of those, but for the time being prospective readers can see the … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, January 6

Hey Folks, Well, I’ve decided I’m going to write another Blackwell Ops story. Not because I’m not interested in Nick and Marie anymore, or in Stern Talbot, or in the other ideas I listed yesterday. I want to start the challenge with another Blackwell Ops book because I don’t want to take the time to read over the last Nick Spalding book to refresh my memory about the main characters. (grin) I’m just that lazy. And if I start with another Stern Talbot book, I’ll have to include a new technique I re-learned recently. I’m not sure I want to … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, December 16

Hey Folks, Quote of the day (to consider, on distractions): “…email [is] an infinite hamster wheel powered by other people’s priorities.” — Jake Knapp on Medium (see “Of Interest”) And another: “…write excellent books. That’s the only ironclad, long-tail secret to a career.” — James Scott Bell (see “Of Interest”) And one more: “Don’t let being a writer interfere with actually writing.” — John Gilstrap (see “Of Interest”) *** Just in case seeing my own reckoning with this “test” of December might help you, I’ll lay it out here each day in detail (when the detail matters). I rolled out … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, November 25

Hey Folks, I was in touch with Dean. He assured me he’s dealing with a problem he’s never encountered before as he attempts his challenge to write 10 novels in 100 days while coming off a major life roll and tries to get into shape. I’m not ashamed to admit I was probably wrong in my musings yesterday about his dilemma. It isn’t difficult to be humble in the presence of greatness. He and Kris are working through the problem. I have no doubt they’ll succeed in discovering and overcoming whatever it is. He also assured me he’ll keep us … Read more

The Journal, Monday, November 5

Hey Folks, Yesterday evening, I saw a great little post in one of the blogs I subscribe to, and it led me to write the topic below. You can read the original post. It’s in “Of Interest” today. *** Food for thought: “The first page sells this book. The last page sells your next book.” ~ Mickey Spillane Topic: NaNoWriMo: Just Stop Already. Or Go Do It. I Don’t Care. Sounds callous, doesn’t it? Sorry. I only say I don’t care because I’ll be too busy writing instead of and seeking or checking with online partners and concentrating on doing … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, November 4

Hey Folks, What sites about writing do you follow regularly other than mine or the ones I regularly mention in “Of Interest”? If any of you know of any good websites from other writers who are serious about the craft or from writer-enablers that I don’t mention here at least occasionally, please share those URLs with me. I went through my list of “followed” sites this morning and found I had to delete roughly half of them. Most I deleted because the writers who were posting on them previously had faded into the “whatever happened to” domain. They hadn’t posted … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, October 28

Hey Folks, Not a lot going on today. I’ll write some fiction, and probably I’ll spend time watching a little NFL football (haven’t watched for about three years) and then of course Game 5 of the World Series. In baseball, I always watch as many division series as I can, and then both league championship series. I enjoy watching professionals in any discipline perform at such a high level. But this year, as I watched the NLCS, I told my wife I thought either team (whichever won) was going to be awed at the buzzsaw that is this year’s Boston … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, October 21

Hey Folks, Well, given the time and a little attention to the WIP, the story will end today. I’m not looking forward to it. In my endeavor to write fiction every day (and it always has to be “honest” fiction, meaning I intend to publish it), I already have a vague story idea for a short story or novella. A wise guy on a camping trip.Eh? Eh? Or something like that. How would a guy born and raised into a very different lifestyle in Brooklyn react to wide-open spaces, and overnight no less? If you’ve ever been way out in … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, October 14

Hey Folks, I hope I’ll be writing fiction again soon. Maybe not today. Possibly tomorrow. Almost certainly during the upcoming week. The Passive Guy today wrote a post (in “Of Interest”) regarding politics. It is compelling. It has little if anything to do with writing or politics, but it has a great deal to do with writers and with the political polarization that began almost twelve years ago and is currently ongoing in this nation. His post also keyed me to write a long post of my own. On reflection, I removed most of it to another, more appropriate venue. … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, October 7

Hey Folks, Nothing to report. Absolutely nothing. The healing continues. Despite somewhat forced and mostly continual practice, I’m not getting any better at Doing Nothing. But I guess I’ll keep practicing for awhile yet. On the up side, my bath robe fits a little better every day. I’m also binge-watching episodes of The Sopranos and getting back in touch with some of my earlier characters. So sayeth the grouch. And if this brings a chuckle to your visage, Hey, good f’you. Talk with you again soon. Of Interest See James Scott Bell’s “Mastering the Four Modes of Fiction” at … Read more