The Journal: A Free Short Story

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* A new free short story
* Please continue to spread the word
* Sigh… the lies continue
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

From The Passive Voice, “No publisher should ever express an opinion on the value of what he publishes*. That is a matter entirely for the literary critic to decide. I can quite understand how any ordinary critic would be strongly prejudiced against a work that was accompanied by a premature and unnecessary panegyric from the publisher. A publisher is simply a useful middle-man. It is not for him to anticipate the verdict of criticism.” Oscar Wilde

*This is especially true of Indie publishers, folks. Your opinion of your work is only one opinion, and it is not necessarily the reader’s opinion.

A new free short story — I started the day by cycling through “A Very Short Story” this morning. I added 309 words. That’s reflected in today’s totals. I also changed the title to “White Ring Quilt.”

(For you writers out there, really I changed the title to give critics who look for “deeper meaning” and “theme” and “symbolism” and all that something to latch onto and think about.)

This story is a divulgence from the usual from me. Even the style is vastly different. The story is filled with very long sentences, sentence fragments, and maybe even a run-on sentence or two. Intentionally. For how it will affect the reader.

Style often goes to genre, and the genre categories for this one are Literary > War > Romance.

The tagline is “a literary, very short story of war and love and all things eternal.” I personally think it’s very Hemingway-esque.

Those few who believe they can learn something about writing from my fiction should definitely read it. It was written completely from the creative subconscious, yet every word occurred intentionally. Yes, you can do that. You only have to practice.

I’ve sent it to my patrons. If any of you would like a free copy, please email me at

Please continue to spread the word about the Cave Creek Kickstarter. Writer goals kick in at the second stretch goal, and everyone who donates any amount from the beginning gets the stretch goals. Just sayin’.

Here’s the link to share:

Sigh… the lies continue, and it’s been a rough day.

This morning, in another blog, I was accused of harassing people who choose not to try writing into the dark. I was also accused of attacking them because of how they choose to write.

Nothing could be more ridiculous (or slanderous) or further from the truth. As most of you know, I strive only to help other writers.

If people are going to accuse me, they should at least base the accusation on something I actually say, not on something they made up or on what they assume I “meant.” I meant exactly what I said, word for word. No condescension, no hidden meanings. I am responsible for my intent, not for others’ perceptions.

Recently a couple of people were spreading misinformation about WITD (and misquoting me), and they were doing it on one of my own websites. To me, that’s the equivalent of walking into my house and spitting on the floor.

(Wow, was Dean Wesley Smith ever right when he advised me 6 years ago to NOT discuss my writing process with anyone else ever. Wow, was he ever right.)

Anyway, I called them on it and corrected them. And the crapstorm started. Whatever.

I honestly, really don’t care how anyone else writes, or even whether they do. Others’ process is none of my business.

I only ask that others don’t come into MY house and spread misinformation. There are plenty of other websites out there where they can do that and feel welcome.

Either way, misleading others is wrong in my opinion, and I won’t allow it on my websites.

Ah, and shock of shocks, two detractors who tried to comment just before I posted today’s Journal were writing from fake email addresses. I emailed them and the “mailer-daemon” bounced both emails. Go figure.

Today I spent the first few hours as I indicated in the first paragraph above, then created a cover and published “White Ring Quilt,” then found items for “Of Interest” (note that some are labeled FWIW).

Frankly, I’ve spent much of the rest of the morning and early afernoon fending off people who for some reason seem to want to keep the crapstorm alive. Why? If you want to write a different way, go do it. What do I care?

It’s raining today, steadily and hard. I don’t feel like working on the novel, even after having cycled through some of it.

I can’t get back into the novel when I’m in a mood like this. I thought about writing another short story (one for this coming Saturday) but I don’t feel like doing that either.

So I guess I’ll just take the day off.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Publishing Platforms” at

See “This Week in the Blogs” at FWIW.

See “Scene Writing is Where the Fun Happens” at More drubbing of “pantsing” by a “plodder.” FWIW.

Not about writing, but if you’d like to learn a LOT of valid information about the current coronavirus (COVID-19) see “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-11” at

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… XXXX
Nonfiction words today…………… 900 (Journal)

Writing of The Othgygnrkthers (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 3863 words. Total words to date…… 3863
Day 2…… 2408 words. Total words to date…… 6261
Day 3…… 3116 words. Total words to date…… 9377
Day 4…… 3051 words. Total words to date…… 12428
Day 5…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 18368
Total fiction words for the year………… 155063
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10220
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 64700
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 219763

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 6
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 48
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 202
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

6 thoughts on “The Journal: A Free Short Story”

  1. Don’t let them get you down. 😉
    I read White Ring Quilt this morning. I enjoyed it. It did have a completely different feel from your other work I’ve read. Very fitting for the time period & subject, I think.
    I’m so thankful that we writers have the freedom to try new things and put those out for readers to try too! Good times.

    • Thanks, Karen. I edited your comment slightly. Like I said in a post earlier, I talk too much. Glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. That nastiness was why I stopped talking about it to other writers years ago. All I ever said was that I didn’t write with an outline. It simply became not worth the effort even talking about it. But it’s also the audience. The newbies inhabit blogs and message boards. They only want to get their novel done and published and don’t want to spend time learning how to do it (even if they say they do; another area I fell prey to). They want to hear that writing will be like checking things off an a list, and an outline is something that works well for that. Writing without an outline doesn’t fit anywhere in that.

    • Great points about why so many newbies want to use outlines and succumb to the myths, Linda. I can see how it would seem like ticking things off a list: outline, revise, run it past critique groups, apply their input during X number of rewrites, and you’re all but certain to land an agent. And sure, some agents take advantage, but surely that won’t happen to me. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

      I often wish I’d kept my mouth shut re my process too. It would be a lot less stressful, that’s for sure. I’m as bulletproof as Dean is (he because he’s already mega-successful, and I because I really don’t care) so I figured I’d try to pay it forward. Despite Dean’s admonition 6 years ago to keep it to myself. Maybe someday I’ll learn to listen.

  3. I am most grateful Harvey, for people like you and Dean.
    Thanks to you and PWW and others talking about their process I finally managed to finish stories. Short stories and novels alike. Before I found you I tried outlining. Never finished anything, because I already knew the ending and was too bored to be bothered writing the story for the outline.

    Thank you for making your process public.

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