The Daily Journal, Tuesday, January 29

Hey Folks,

A rather troubling topic today, one of those things for which, before you pick it up, you should pull on a pair of latex gloves. And so much in “Of Interest” that I almost want to apologize.

A thought struck me last night. Things are looking good so far for the challenge. I’m almost certain to finish this one before February 4, putting me ahead of schedule once again and keeping spare days in the safe.

Topic: Crap, This Is All About Racism and (Other Forms of) Prejudice

Racism, bias and prejudice, whether intentional or subconscious, run in several directions. It isn’t all black and white (absolutely no pun intended).

Here’s my advice: If it doesn’t directly affect the storyline, strive to keep it out of your writing.

Prejudice is not a problem that is unique to the United States. We all have our biases and prejudices, but it’s important not to let those sway our judgement as writers.

Obvious prejudice (including obvious so-called “reverse” prejudice) can directly affect sales of your work.

Of course, you should also keep your personal biases at bay when you’re seated on a jury.

In a post on the Kill Zone blog, which I follow regularly, the blogger mentioned her jury duty over the years and outlined a few cases.

In one case, “a cop” (the blogger didn’t mention the cop’s race) accused “a black teenager” of assault after a “routine traffic stop.” The blogger offered zero details but wrote that “the cop’s case didn’t hold water” and the jury decided the teenager didn’t do it.

If I were sitting in judgement of that particular jury (which any reader of that post is invited to do by implication), I would like to have seen a few details, especially given that the blogger included details of other cases she mentioned.

I’d like to know whether the cop and the teenager had a history.

I’d like to know whether there were witnesses, and if so, I’d like to know what the witnesses said in their statements.

I’d like to know whether the cop’s cruiser had a camera, or whether the cop him/herself wore a shoulder cam.

And if so, I’d like to know why either camera wasn’t running or, if it was, why it hadn’t been allowed into evidence. (If it had been, the case would be open and shut either way.)

And because the blogger brought up the race of the teenager, I’d like to know definitively (not presumptively) the race of the cop. Prejudice isn’t all one-direction. If the teenager’s race matters, so does the cop’s.

Had the blogger either accounted for the race of both parties (or of neither party) EQUITABLY, I’d still want to know about the camera, witness statements, etc., but race would carry no weight, as it shouldn’t. After all, isn’t the big argument in society about racial equity?

And finally, since as a reader I’m sitting in judgement of the jury that decided the cop’s case “didn’t hold water,” I’d ask one question of the those jurors:

What did the cop have to gain by falsely accusing a teenager of assault during a “routine traffic stop?” (I have no way of knowing whether any jurors in the original case asked that question, but I strongly suspect they didn’t. After all, they deliberated for only “about an hour.”)

And at the end, after asking and receiving answers to those questions, either way I’d feel a lot cleaner in rendering my decision.

For illustrative purposes only, I’ve included the original post as the last item in “Of Interest” below.

Because I like to believe the best of people in general (yes, regardless of race, gender, etc.), I don’t believe for a second the blogger intentionally mentioned the race of the teenager and intentionally failed to mention the race of the cop.

But there it is.

Wow. I got an email from D2D this morning saying “Amazon now requires that we keep a Confirmation of Copyright letter on file for authors [distributing] to their site.” And so on.

This email came in the nick of time. I had planned to switch all distribution of all my books to D2D, to include distribution to Amazon. I won’t do that now.

I’ll continue to distribute my own files directly to Amazon, and allow D2D and Smashwords to distribute to all the other vendors.

Here’s my response to D2D’s email:

Well, I know this wasn’t D2D’s idea of a good time, and it’s just silly.

After all, both D2D and Amazon both already require assurances that the writer verify s/he holds the copyright to his or her own work.

I’ve always distributed my books to Amazon myself, with one exception. I published one novel (Keeper of the Promise) to Amazon via D2D as an experiment. I was happy with the results, but (thankfully) forgot to add distribution to Amazon on the eleven novels that followed.

Rather than jump through this additional hoop, I visited my dashboard at D2D today and removed Keeper of the Promise from distribution to Amazon. I’ll wait a week or so, then upload the file to Amazon myself in the usual way. Sigh.

Thank you for all you do. Sorry the bully in the business is being such a taskmaster, and unnessecarily so.

I rolled out very late this morning after becoming involved in watching the first half of a lengthy live cop show. I didn’t get to the Hovel until 5 a.m.

I finished all of the above by 7. Now a break to get myself back on my regular schedule.

After the break, I updated my author website, removing the Copyediting menu tab and adding it to the Professional Writer Resources page. I also renamed a few menu items. I think it’s better. See what you think.

I also added a link to Writer Resources (duh) to the Daily Journal menu.

Then I got a few emails and added a few items to “Of Interest,” so I remain behind in the fiction-writing curve this morning. I’d like to say days like this are built into the challenge, but they aren’t. Still, I believe I’ll finish ahead of time.

Finally to the novel for the first time today at 10:15 a.m. (See? It isn’t all peaches and roses for me either. Is that a thing? Peaches and roses? Either way, it sounds good.)

With about 1000 words done, out for a short walk at 11. Back at noon and did some other things. Finally back to the novel at 2. It’s definitely going to be a short day of writing.

Tomorrow might be short too. I’m at a place in the novel where it will slow again as I bounce back and forth between writing and researching to add verisimilitude (one of my favorite words). (grin)

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

In case you missed it back in August in the Journal, see “How to Write Like I Do” at

See “Growth Mindset and Goals” at

See “JUDGMENT: Five Questions with Joseph Finder” at

See “Tim Dorsey and the Wild Crime Fiction of Florida” at

See “Free Fiction Monday: Love and Justice” at

See “Respecting the Readers” at

By the way, Linda Adams’ “Digital Minimalism: Reduce Clutter on Your Computer Now” is available now at I don’t always announce other authors’ new releases, but this one seems like something we could all use.

See “Pop Culture’s Black Dahlia Obsession” at I have it on good authority this crime was actually solved in 2003, though the article says otherwise.

See “Greenlight Bookstore Responds to Paid Vacation Legislation” at I’ll just leave this right here without comment.

Finally, see “Our Flawed But Fab Jury System…” at

Fiction Words: 1660
Nonfiction Words: 1310 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2960

Writing of Blackwell Ops: Charles Claymore Task (novel)

Day 10… 3860 words. Total words to date…… 29117
Day 11… 4218 words. Total words to date…… 33335
Day 12… 1660 words. Total words to date…… 34995

Total fiction words for the month……… 72982
Total fiction words for the year………… 72982
Total nonfiction words for the month… 24060
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 24060
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 97042

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