The Daily Journal, Saturday, February 2

Hey Folks,

First, Welcome Aboard to my newest subscriber, whom I know (at the moment) only as Super Primitive. (grin)

In today’s Journal

▪ Ramblings about setting up Hal 2
▪ On the challenge
▪ The daily diary (more ramblings)
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Well, I got my new 11″ computer in yesterday. It’s a refurbished, solid-state drive HP (so no noise or overheating) and it cost me a cool $109.00. (That isn’t a typo and the decimal is in the right place.)

So instead of casting about for the next novel idea I spent most of the afternoon and into the evening getting it set up as my new writing ‘puter, Hal 2.

Part of that setup involved loading Microsoft Office 10 (my favorite version) and getting used to Edge as my temporary browser since I haven’t installed Firefox on this one yet.

Fortunately, I have Dropbox, so transferring files and folders was a snap, though I still have to position many of them. I’ll do that as I need them.

Naturally, the keyboard is a little different too, but only a little. It’s easier to use because I don’t have to reach as far with my fingers, but I’ll get used to that pretty quickly. I’d literally worn the letters off several keys on Hal.

I also have my large monitor (I think it’s 22″) attached to it. And when the screen is open on this laptop it’s below the big screen, not covering part of the bottom the way Hal did.

Here’s hoping I can put as many (or more) novels through Hal 2 as I put through Hal. (grin) Cheers!

So as I write this, I’m not sure what the day will hold. But I’m very glad I have those three days in the bank on the challenge.

The first thing I noticed this morning was the slight tug of an urge to take the day off.

But why? What would I be taking a day off from? It’s only typing. It’s only attempting to keep up with my characters as I record what they say and do. And besides, I take a break roughly every hour when I’m writing anyway.

Silly, isn’t it? If it were work — by definition, “something I don’t want to do” — it would be easy to take a day off. Or several. Or forever.

So the plan is to spend a little time this morning off and on continuing to set up some things. Then later I’ll write down any first lines that occur to me. If one sticks, I’ll write an opening. If it takes off, I’ll be on the way to my 3rd novel of the challenge and my 40th novel overall. (grin)

On the challenge, it’s not just about writing. It’s also about publishing and getting the novels up for pre-publication sale.

I had planned to release Blackwell Ops 2: Charles Claymore Task on March 15, but I might have to put it off until later.

As it stands at present, I’ll have to first-read it myself, which means reading it aloud as my fingers rest on the keyboard. That’s too time-consuming when I’m in the middle of a challenge.

But it’s also no big deal. I’ll have another novel finished in about two weeks, so I’ll plug that one into the March 15 slot, then the next into April 1 (or maybe 2 would be better), then April 15 and so on.

Yesterday I did the second draft (spell check) on Bl. Ops 2 but forgot to send it off to my first reader. So I did that this morning. But due to the subject matter and the fright she received from the first one, she decided to pass on this one.

So I’m still taking “applications” for first readers, for this one and in general.

Here’s the scoop:

I write war/action-adventure, black-ops stuff, crime stuff, detective stuff, SFF (science fiction/fantasy) and a few other genres. including magic realism and period westerns.

Though my novels often contain a romance element, they are not in the Romance genre, either contemporary or bosom-heaving Regency. And I also don’t write anything I would call Young Adult or Chick Lit.

My novels tend always to contain some psychological suspense.

So that’s what I write. If you would like to apply as a first reader, let me know which genres you enjoy, and I’ll let you know what I require from a first reader. (It isn’t much. Possibly a topic on that tomorrow.)

The benefits to you are these:

▪ you get to read the book second only to me reading it as I write it
▪ you are mentioned in the credits (along with your website if you have one), and
▪ you get a clean copy of the book plus any other already-published book of your choice.

So let me know.

Rolled out at 2:30 this morning and made my way to the Hovel shortly thereafter. I sat down and wrote much of the stuff above.

Not long after sunrise, Mona and I decided a trip to Sierra Vista was in order. And I decided I would spend the balance of the day setting things up on my new writing ‘puter.

We were gone all morning, so no fiction writing today.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Three Writing Rules to Disregard” at

Some great comments on “Making a Challenge Sane (Sort of)” at

See “Day Two: Meet Your 2019 MurderCon Instructors!” at MAN I hope I can manage to go to this.

Fiction Words: XXXX (sigh)
Nonfiction Words: 930 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 930

Writing of (novel)

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 3122
Total fiction words for the year………… 86526
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2060
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 27470
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 113995

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date………………………… 2
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date……… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 39
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31