The Daily Journal, Sunday, April 7

In today’s Journal

▪ I regret to report
▪ Day 3 of my days off
▪ Topic: Who a Story Is About
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

I regret to report a massive sadness.

This morning, my wife told me she saw on Facebook that my dear friend and mentor Jim Glaser passed away last night. Jim and I occasionally talked about both music and writing. I will miss his insights, and him, a great deal.

For those of you who knew his music or the harmonies of Tompall and the Glaser Brothers (Tompall, Chuck and Jim), this is a sad occasion.

Jim and his brothers had a long career that started with them being “discovered” on their Nebraska farm by Marty Robbins. They accompanied him for many years, mostly singing background harmonies in live concerts and on many of his albums.

Later, the brothers went off on their own, for which the elder brother, Tompall, was the catalyst.

Later still, Jim forged a staggeringly successful independent career highlighted by such successful singles as “The Man in the Mirror” and “Lights of Albuquerque. He also wrote the smash single “Woman, Woman” as recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap.

If you were never treated to Jim’s beautiful voice, you missed something incredible. You can see and hear him singing “Woman, Woman” at

Today is Day 3 of my days off. In a little while, we’ll have breakfast at my house (I’m cooking) and then spend the day visiting and touring whatever my friends want to see. Tomorrow I’ll be back in full form.

Topic: Who (Never “What”) A Story Is About

To subscribe to Reedsy’s weekly writing prompts newsletter, visit and poke around a little. You’ll find it. (grin)

In yesterday’s writing prompts newsletter, Ariel listed five writing prompts:

1. Write a story about an abandoned home.

2. Write a story about an abandoned amusement park.

3. Write a story about an abandoned school.

4. Write a story about an abandoned corner store.

5. Write a story about an abandoned town.

I believe these are interesting prompts, in part because they’re intriguing. There’s an inherent mystery (or conflict) in each of them: What caused the home, park, school, store or town to be abandoned in the first place?

From there, you can branch off into your (or your characters’) chosen genre:

▪ Did alien invaders cause it to be abandoned? (SF)

▪ Do you not know what caused whatever was abandoned to be abandoned? (Mystery)

▪ Were the effects or aftermath of war so bad that everyone left? (War/Action-Adventure)

▪ Did illness or a similar fear-inducing occurrence cause the abandonment and/or are there ghosts about? (Horror/Suspense/Psychological Suspense)

▪ In the midst of the rubble (if there’s rubble) does the protagonist find something that bears international intrigue (biological or chemical attack, a rare wristwatch, a bit of recorded data)? (Thriller)

▪ Do two people meet there as they search for answers? (Romance)

And so on. What other genres could a story about an abandoned town (for example) lead to? Pick your poison.

But once you pick it, regardless of genre, realize the story isn’t “about” the abandoned whatever.

The story is about the characters’ REACTION to the abandonment (the situation) and the setting (what’s left, what is found, etc.)

Have fun!

No real diary today. Just the stuff above.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Pro Writers on Writing” at

See “Challenge Still Open” at I still say this is a great offer.

See “Can You Write Better Than a Robot?” at

Story ideas, anyone? See “The Machines That Will Read Your Mind” at

Get your free copy of “The Paid Publishing Guidebook — 2nd Edition (2019 Edition)” by clicking Couldn’t hurt, right? But yes, bring along a shaker of salt.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 640 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 640

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 10038
Total fiction words for the year………… 227839
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7880
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 84950
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 312789

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 42
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 193
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Sunday, April 7”

  1. So sorry to hear about Jim Glaser passing. Woman, woman is a fabulous song. I remember the Gary Puckett version. I didn’t know Jim Glaser wrote it. Great performance by him and wow! What a who’s who in the audience. That indicates his standing with some mighty impressive artists. What better way to mark your time here than by leaving art…

    • Thanks, Karen. It was a bittersweet day for us. My USMC friend and I shared a wonderful last day of visiting but Jim passed. Good and bad, life and a transition. Sometimes it’s all like a roller coaster.

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