The Daily Journal, Sunday, January 20

Hey Folks,

My apologies if you went looking for Mark Alpert’s post on “The Ultimate Taboo: Killing The President” at the Kill Zone blog yesterday. I went back this morning to see whether he replied to my comment, and apparently he’d taken the post down. It wasn’t there.

That was not my intention.

Free speech is perhaps the most important freedom guaranteed by our Consititution, and I value it even when I disagree with the speaker. That’s why I passed along the link to Mr. Alpert’s post in the first place.

If you didn’t get to read it, in the post, he talked about a stage play in New York and the backlash it received after depicting Julius Caesar as a President Trump look alike, complete with the blonde coiffure. (Frankly, in the current political climate, I’m amazed it received any backlash at all.)

Mr. Alpert defended the play, saying it wasn’t about killing President Trump. He said (I’m paraphrasing) it was an allusion to the political turmoil that ensued in the Roman Empire after the original Julius Caesar was slain. According to Mr. Alpert, the play was only a warning that the same kind of turmoil might occur after the slaying of any prominent leader.

Just so you know, in my comment I only wondered whether his assessment of the play would have been the same had the Julius Caesar on stage had been depicted as a caricature of President Obama (as I added in a note in yesterday’s Journal after I posted the link).

But as I said earlier, apparently he took the post down. And as I said, that was not my intention. At all.

My job for many years was to support and defend the Constitution, including the rights guaranteed therein. I would never do anything knowingly or intentionally to impinge those rights.

I know that not everybody, even among regular readers of The Daily Journal, agrees with my political views, and that’s fine. I am fortunate to have friends and acquaintances on both sides of the political divide. Telling others what to believe is not in my bailiwick (though like many others, for a time I thought it was).

To me, it’s vastly more important to pass along my own knowledge about writing and lessons-learned to other writers and aspiring writers than to try to convince others to vote the way I vote.

Mr. Alpert was speaking his truth. I’m sorry he bowed to criticism and (apparently) to unintentional censorship, and I’ve sent him an email to tell him so.

Generally, though I hit a snag this morning, I think I’ve almost mastered spending less time on other pursuits in the morning and more time writing. So I’ll keep practicing that, but I also have a new task:

With having recently finished the first novel of my challenge, I was tempted — sorely tempted — to start looking for cover art, doing the promo doc, etc.

I also have a good friend who’s going to design paper covers for me so I can take my books to paper as well as ebook. At least until I learn to do it myself. (Maybe more on that at another time, but briefly I decided to do this for my legacy and to save my heirs having to do it.)

But I don’t want anything else to take up my writing time, so I’ve decided to try to stick to writing in the morning, then turn to the other things in the afternoon.

My personal afternoon begins anywhere from about 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I figure two or three hours a day of that stuff should be plenty. If I’m a writer, I should spend most of my productive time writing. Duh.

A Very Brief Topic on DRM (Digital Rights Management)

First, understand the following, like all of my topics, is only my opinion.

DRM, everybody thought, was a great idea.

It isn’t. Period.

The advent of DRM was meant to stop piracy.

It didn’t. If bad guys want to steal your work and make pirated copies, they will. Look at it on the bright side: you’ll gain new readers who will then go and buy other works of yours.

All DRM does is tell legitimate readers you don’t trust them. And that is never a good idea.

Yer Uncle Harv

I rolled out shortly after 2 a.m. and was in the Hovel before 2:30. I’d hoped to spend an hour or so waking up, and have my first thousand words written before 4:30 or so.

But I was derailed a bit. Some things are more important than writing, and when I found Mark Alpert’s post missing, that took priority.

So at 5 a.m., finally, to the novel. Probably this will be another short day. It’s Sunday after all.

Some spot research was required as my character decided to travel to Montreal and I haven’t been there. So in the first session I wrote only about 700 words, then took a breakfast break.

At 8:30, I was headed back to the novel when I got sidetracked. I wrote the brief topic above, and then I wrote one on Daily Word Counts and one on Writing Description (as in, how much is too much). There are some widespread misconceptions out there on both topics. So you’ll see those over the next couple of days.

Full disclosure, though, I’ll post the number of nonfiction words for those other two topics when I post them, not today. (grin)

Now, finally, at 10 a.m., back to the novel. And I’ll be watching the NFC Championship game at 1 my time so….

Fairly good day today. Game starts in 15 minutes or I’d write another thousand or two thousand words. The story’s moving along great now. I expect big days from here on out.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Unsnagging Your Plot” at James Scott Bell makes some valid points, especially if you’re a plotter. When my story gets “snagged,” I personally just write the next sentence.

Fiction Words: 3016
Nonfiction Words: 1020 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4036

Writing of Blackwell Ops: Charles Claymore Task (novel)

Day 1…… 2405 words. Total words to date…… 2405
Day 2…… 2695 words. Total words to date…… 5100
Day 3…… 3016 words. Total words to date…… 8116

Total fiction words for the month……… 46103
Total fiction words for the year………… 46103
Total nonfiction words for the month… 16960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 16960
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 63063

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2019 Novellas to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date……… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 38
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Sunday, January 20”

  1. “All DRM does is tell legitimate readers you don’t trust them. And that is never a good idea.”

    Thank you Harvey for your discussion on DRM.
    Besides of telling readers you don’t trust them, DRM often is a pain for said readers as well. One is forced to use a dedicated software to even be able to read the DRMed file. The only other options are a) not reading the book at all or b) learn the tools of the trade and crack the, legally bought file, to be able to read it.

    I usually take option a) and don’t buy the book with the DRM. If there is DRM to a book it has to be something I really, really, really want to read to accept that. And even then, I often shrug my shoulders and walk away.

    Just my two cent as a buyer and reader …

    • Thanks, Topaz. I appreciate the additional information. I’ve never used DRM, so I never delved that deeply into what readers might do when they encountered it.

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