The Daily Journal, Tuesday, March 26

In today’s Journal

▪ Yesterday I read
▪ Update on my challenge
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of reading the first few pages of a story from a relatively new writer. Hey, we all start somewhere.

The writing was good, though the writer is currently too wrapped around the wheel of the myths he was taught in school. Again, we’ve all been there.

But this writer is different than many. He wants to improve his craft. He was honest enough to post specific questions (which pointed to his being wrapped around the wheels of those myths) and take my responses on board.

He’s thinking of taking me on as his tutor, which is wonderful. But whether or not we end up in the tutor/writer relationship, in the meantime, he took the initiative to request a free critique of his first 1000 words.

I applaud him for that. I would have killed for this opportunity when I was starting out. (Figuratively speaking, of course. Probably.)

If you would like to also take advantage of this free first-1000 words critique offer, email me at

Especially if you have fewer than say a million new words of fiction under your writing belt.

Which reminds me, sometime I need to sit down and figure out how many words of fiction I’ve written. (grin)

For those who don’t know, my challenge is to write 10 novels in 150 calendar days. Not actual writing days. That would be too easy. (grin)

Calendar days are the sequential dates that appear on the calendar. Writing days are days that I actually put new words on the page.

Although the numbers below show that today is my 11th writing day on this novel, today is also the 13th calendar day. In other words, I’ve frittered away a couple.

But again, this is an “average” challenge, so as I go along, the average is what matters. To keep track of my progress, I’ve set each 15th calendar date as a kind of mini-goal.

If I finish a novel in fewer than 15 days, the extra days go into the bank. If I go over, I have to “borrow” days from the next novel.

Currently, to stay on track, I have to finish my first novel of this new challenge (Blackwell Ops 5) on or before March 28.

At the moment, it looks as if I’m going to go over, an event that will leave me fewer days to write the next book. What I need is a string of days like the day I had yesterday.

I know my characters want to go on at least two more major operations in this book (in order to set up my next series), which means I’m currently somewhere just past the middle.

I guess we’ll see what happens. (grin) I’m so glad you’re along for the ride.

Rolled out late this morning at 4. If I could manage it (and remain coherent) I would never sleep. For me, sleep is hours out of my life that I’ll never get back. Ugh.

Using yesterday’s writing as a reference point, I’m going to try something sort of new starting today: I’ll get to the novel when I get to it, then I’ll keep coming back. The trick, I think, is to not succumb to disractions when I’m ready to get to the novel.

Over the first couple of hours, I relaxed my way into the day, mostly with the stuff above. To the house at 6:30 for a break.

Back to the Hovel and the novel at 7:40. By 10:30 (with breaks) I managed to cycle through the three new chapters I wrote yesterday and added around 1300 words.

Another break, then back to the novel at 11.

Well, back to looking for where they’re going on their next assignment. Sometimes that takes some time. This time it took a couple of hours. (sigh)

The good news is that once I know where they’re going, other than some quick research, they go, do their thing and return. And that part’s ridiculously easy to write.

Well, I didn’t get the day I would like to have gotten, but it just is what it is.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “World Building (Part IV)” at Linda also occasionally puts things in her newsletter that would make good (shareable) posts. I recommend it. You can sign up at her website.

As coincidence would have it, see “Our World vs. Your World” at

See “A Short Ride In A Fast Machine” at

See “Cueva de los Tayos” at Possibly an excellent story starter.

See “9 best video analytics tools” at

See “Jacqueline Winspear Wants Us To Respect The Dead” at Chock full of gems.

For those of you still bent in that direction, see “How to Write a Novel in only 15 steps” at For my money, there are only three steps. 1. Write a sentence. 2. Write another one. 3. Repeat step 2.

Fiction Words: 2948
Nonfiction Words: 860 (Journal)
FTotal words for the day: 3808

Writing of Blackwell Ops 5: Georgette Tilden (novel)

Day 10… 4416 words. Total words to date…… 24564
Day 11… 2948 words. Total words to date…… 27512

Total fiction words for the month……… 50592
Total fiction words for the year………… 209650
Total nonfiction words for the month… 21190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 72410
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 282060

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 4
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 41
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 193
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31