The Daily Journal, Friday, February 22

In today’s Journal

▪ MurderCon registration opening soon
▪ Daily diary and general rambling
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Registration for MurderCon, presented by Writers’ Police Academy, opens this coming Sunday. For information, see

Up at a little after 3 to a rainy, drizzly morning. And the rain’s supposed to turn to snow later. According to those who profess to know, we’re supposed to get 6″ before it’s all done.

Not something we’re used to here, but it’s only weather. It will be 70 degrees here by the middle of next week. Of course, today many of the desert denizens will be on their knees, praying to the sun god, asking what they’ve done wrong (grin).

I suspect the snowbirds who flooded in at the beginning of winter will be annoyed, but again, it’s only weather.

When you’re out and about here in southeast Arizona at this time of year, you can readily recognize snowbirds by their plumage.

Most of them are wearing t-shirts or untucked Hawai’ian shirts and shorts, white socks, black shoes. Meanwhile, if the temp drops much below 70, locals are wrapped in heavy winter coats. (grin)

I spent the first couple of hours browsing for items of interest, and for the first time in a long time, I found too much to read. You’ll see what I mean below. I’ll revisit some of those sites later.

To the novel at 5:45. To get back into the story after a very disruptive day yesterday, I read through the whole thing, cycling as I went.

I was a little surprised, but pleasantly so, that I added only about a hundred words. That isn’t much (for me) when the whole thing, at that point, was almost 4600 words. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good day.

After that long cycling session, I took an extended break at around 7:30.

By around 8 a.m. the rain was switching over to snow, and my wife’s boss called to say not to come in today. So a three-day weekend for her. (grin)

On the other hand, my commute is only about 200 feet, so I headed back out to the Hovel a little before 9 a.m. I am a lucky, lucky guy. (grin)

I started on the novel again at around 9, though with a gentle snow falling, I feel like I should be writing a Robert Frost-ian poem. “White Mesquites on a Snowy Morning” — something like that.

I wrote for an hour, then took a few-minute break (walking back and forth in the Hovel), then wrote for another hour.

The novel was racing along. In that two hours, I wrote just under 3000 words, probably my best output ever. (Don’t get excited. That’s still only 25 words per hour. grin)

Now, of course, the book will slow down again a little as my protagonist is flying off to an exotic location on an assignment. So I have to get her to the airport, through security and to the location. Then she has to figure out what’s what and do her job. (grin)

And it isn’t like I can just skip getting her to the airport (for example) because there’s no telling what might happen along the way.

A break at 11:15 to take the small heater from here up to the house. My wife said the heater’s out up there. To which I replied, “Well of course it is.” (grin)

Back to the novel at 11:30.

I wrote another short session, but decided since my wife’s off today I ought to spend the afternoon with her. Well, that and setting up my new 24″ monitor. (grin)

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Reading With A Focus” at

See “Writing Commercial Fiction – Superstars Recap 3” at Worth the time to read this one. Note: I disagree (vehemently) with Deaver’s advice to outline. Why? Because I don’t like to bore myself. I also disagree that it’s easier to write a story if you know where it’s going. It might be easier to write YOUR story, but it’s all but impossible to write the CHARACTERS’ story.

See “Disguises: Evasion and Impersonation” at

Browse “Story Empire Blog” at Spend a little time. A lot to see there. A blog by six bestselling writers. This is very similar to what I hope to do with Pro Writers Writing.

See “Found: The Biggest Bee in the World” at Okay, there’s a great prompt for SF, Horror, etc. (grin) Go for it.

See “Use All Five Senses To Enrich Your Writing” at And take a look at the links below the article. It’s always learning time, folks.

As a reminder, if you enjoy writing stories from prompts, visit and sign up for their (free) weekly Writing Prompts Newsletter.

Fiction Words: 3353
Nonfiction Words: 820 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4173

Writing of Blackwell Ops 4: Melanie Stone (novel)

Day 1…… 2363 words. Total words to date…… 2363
Day 2…… 2233 words. Total words to date…… 4596
Day 3…… 3353 words. Total words to date…… 7949

Total fiction words for the month……… 58159
Total fiction words for the year………… 141562
Total nonfiction words for the month… 20240
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 45650
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 187212

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date………………………… 3
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date……… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 40
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Friday, February 22”

  1. I think we got a piece of that same weather system early Sat morning here in SE Colorado. Woke up to 3-4 inches of the fluffy white.

    Any chance for a pic of the hovel? It’s always interesting to see an artist’s creative space.

    Outlining is the surest way I’ve found to kill my desire to finish (or even begin) writing a story.

    • You probably did. It was running east-northeast out of here. In Flagstaff (a few hours north and a lot higher elevation) my son got around 3 feet.

      The Hovel… I’m not sure I want pictures of it out there. (grin) It’s a 1960s rammed-earth building about 200 feet from my house. I’ll write up a description of it and maybe add a photo or two in a couple of days.

  2. “I wrote just under 3000 words, probably my best output ever. (Don’t get excited. That’s still only 25 words per hour. grin)”

    Either my math isn’t very good or it’s 25 words per minute? (grin) If 25 words per hour was your best output ever, you would probably not be very prolific, even if you spent a lot of time on the chair…

    And I would second Gai’s comment about a pic of the hovel. I’ve read about it for a long time on your blog now, but for me it’s still rather difficult to picture what it might look like. Especially with so many very different pictures coming up on a google search (kind of reminds me of the “barn” example Dean quotes when he’s talking about fake details – readers from different locations in the world will have a very different mental image of a barn).

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