The Journal, Friday, July 20

Hey Folks,

Gird your loins and prepare for an onslaught of words. You know how I get. (grin)

Before I begin, my apology to anyone who’s subscribed to the RSS feed for the big site. During construction this morning I inadvertently created two or three new “posts” that should have been pages. So if you got those, just delete them. No worries. Posts from over there go out once a week, on Tuesday.

All right, I’ve revised my Writer Resources page. Pretty dramatically, actually.

Basically, I replaced the gaggle of individual links that were there with an ungaggle of links to several new pages on my website.

On each new page is also a particular writer resouce category. And now each new page holds a series of links to resources in that category.

My hope is that this will make your search for resources a little less mind-numbing and quicker.

(If you look it over and are interested in specifically how I did it, to include the free plugin I used, email me and I’ll fill you in.)

For example, on the Conversion Tools page, there are links to conversion engines or calculators for fifteen different problems.

On the Dictionaries page, there are links to ten different dictionary or translation sites.

The “catchall” page is Other Helpful Topical Websites, those that don’t fit specifically into any of the other pages.

Enjoy. As you browse, let me know if you think of anything else that should be there or if you know of a resourse that isn’t listed.


Thanks to the few who wrote to say they found watching my numbers grow encouraging rather than discouraging. I appreciate that.

I also appreciate that some of you noticed I was being as up front and honest about “failures” as about successes. Unfortunately, setbacks are part of writing as they are with life in general.

I’d love nothing better than to have (and sustain) the mindset of Ray Bradbury. (See the second item in “Of Interest” today.)

When I’m in the midst of a novel or in a short-story writing frenzy, that’s pretty much how I feel. Every morning is a new opportunity to run playing with my fictional friends. A new opportunity to allow them to entertain me.

But there are other days when other things have crowded in and built up until they must be addressed. And then there are days when other humans (at least that’s what they tell me) horn in and flop their problems on my lap.

At times like either of those, writing slips to my second priority while I deal with whatever “crisis” has arisen.

Sometimes I deal with those “crowd-in and build-up” issues with direct and decisive action.

Over the past few days, for example, I repaired three different problems that occurred coincindentally but separately with our rooftop swamp cooler — a blown fuse, a busted pump, and a shattered spider — and paid a wholly separate visit to my primary care guy. This morning I polished off the doctor problem with a visit to the lab to finally end that annual bother. Simply saying, “Yes, I’m fine. In fact I’m healthier than your average horse” is no longer sufficient.

In case you’re interested, that went about as well it usually goes. The doc recommended various invasive “tests,” which I declined. Then I patiently explained that at my age and with my overriding physical issues, I would probably die “with” anything they found during the tests rather than “of” it, so I’d really rather not be bothered with the tests and the resulting knowledge.

After all, I have things to do, places to go, people to see.

On the up side, I did manage to keep my muttered “So there” to myself until I was safely back inside my 4Runner and on the way to the house.

I know. It ought’a be a short story, huh?

But at other times, strictly and solely because the civilian authorities frown on certain types of direct and decisive action, especially if it involves the word “terminate” and the phrase “with extreme prejudice” (I’m still very good with open-sight firearms up to around 300 yards), I deal with other issues with My Words.

And of course, that pretty much always becomes something it shouldn’t sometime during the return volley, especially when my opponent hasn’t lived quite long enough yet to have developed a blood type, much less to have gained my respect and my implied consent to give me direction.

Then I get “blocked” from various forms of social media and other communication which, you know, Breaks My Heart yada yada but is also a minuscule price to pay to ensure I won’t walk into anymore cleverly disguised ambushes for awhile.

As one of my sons added on his Facebook page earlier today (along with a smiley face that will largely be ignored), “Offended: It’s what’s for breakfast.” (grin) Yes. And it’s also an excellent opportunity to enjoy yet another fine cigar and an hour or so in quiet contemplation. Especially as regards why we’re not allowed to shoot annoyances.

So it’s all good. If I’ve learned one simple fact since I left the USMC, it’s that some folks can recognize a joke for what it is and some simply prefer drama.


I’m still writing. I wrote quite a bit in an ongoing story yesterday (a few thousand words) and might write more on it today. Or I might write something else for awhile. Or I might not write at all. Depends.

But I want to get this out early while I’m still clinging to (and getting used to) this new format. So here you go.

Of Interest

Just for grins, see “Top 100 Kindle Best Sellers” at Interesting.

See “Reader Friday: Good Morning!” at

See you again soon.