The Journal, Monday, December 17

Hey Folks,

I rolled out a little before 2 this morning and was in the Hovel by 2 to start my day.

I haven’t explained for awhile why I run such “odd” hours, and we’ve had several new folks join us in following this Journal.

For me, my hours aren’t odd at all. It’s a matter of balancing writing time with family time, chores, etc.

We all have 24 hours in each day, and we all have physical bodies. So the first basic division of our time is between Sleep and Living.

I don’t personally care for sleep, and I don’t like that I have to sleep. Being inert is not living. The sleeping human has no more impact on the world than does a rock or a twig fallen from a tree.

So for me, sleep is the least important aspect of life, but after food, water and shelter, it’s also the only true requirement. I have to sleep (grudgingly) so I can function adequately while I’m awake and living.

But regardless of others’ expectations, when I sleep and what I do with my waking (living) hours is up to me.

So I prioritize.

Back when I started this schedule, we had cable TV. There were literally hundreds of channels, yet far fewer well-written, intelligent shows than we had when there were only three channels.

So I decided to put myself into the Little Death (sleep) earlier and give myself more quiet, possibly productive time while the rest of the world was asleep.

And here I am at (now) 3:15 a.m., having found items for the “Of Interest” section and having written this much of the Journal.

Now I’m headed to the house for a brief break.

At 3:25, I’m back in the Hovel and headed to the novel. Sometimes the story doesn’t come as smoothly. Sometimes I have to wait for it. On those days (like today) I cycle back through to get myself back into the story. I read and I piddle, adding this and that.

It would be easy, on days like this, to just not write. But as long as I’m in the chair and engaging with the story, most of the time it comes.

That’s what I’m doing this morning. At a little after 5 (including another short break up to the house) I’ve added only about 300 words to the manuscript.

This one is a little different than my usual novel, too. The subtitle is “Chapters from the Life of a Fixer,” and each chapter is a self-contained short story ranging from 1200 words to (so far) 5000 words. I’m pretty sure I said once before I wouldn’t do this again, yet here I am.

This one is also an “origin” novel, setting up what I hope might be a series. The series will be told from the points of view of various “operatives” from an organization called Blackwell Ops.

Aaaargggh! Well, the writing finally broke free. Then, with a little over 2000 words done, I went up to the house at about 8 to change clothes and get some breakfast. I’d started a load of laundry a little earlier.

I should have known better. I came back to the Hovel and wrote a little more, then went back to the house to put the first load of laundry in the dryer and the second load in the washer.

Only on my way into the kitchen to make another cup of coffee, I looked up and realized I needed to take out the recycling. The cardboard stuff was overflowing.

But while my coffee was brewing and before I took care of the recycling, I made a quick visit to the bathroom. Which reminded me I needed to repair the part in the tank that drops to seal the tank so it can fill. Otherwise it just keeps running.

So I jury-rigged that (took almost an hour) and completely blanked the recycling and my coffee. I was headed out the door when the dryer shut off. The first load of laundry was dry.

Well, I was standing right there, so I folded the first load and put it away, then put the second load in the dryer. Then I remembered the recycling.

So I took that out, tore down the cardboard so it would lay flat in the drums, and took the recycling box back in.

While I was there, I cleaned the lint trap, then reset the dryer. (The second load was heavy stuff. It takes two cycles to dry.) I remembered the coffee, but by then it was cold, so I dumped it and opted for water instead.

And finally, I went back to the Hovel. It’s now 11 a.m. Sigh. One of those days. (grin)

All the “stuff” that happened today made me determined to reach my goal. So overall, a good day.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “New Pop-Up Available” at “Remaining Focused” — All about setting goals and challenges. This should be a good one.

See “The Measures That Matter” at For my money, the safest course is to STAY AWAY from any publisher to whom you have to pay money to publish your work. Paying an up front fee for SERVICES (editing, covers, etc.) is legitimate as long as they know what they’re doing and don’t require you to share your royalties with them. Period.

See “Pay-to-Play Publishing” at

See “Free Fiction Monday: The Last Christmas Letter” at

See “A gender-neutral Santa with tattoos? Survey gauges how to rebrand St. Nick” at Sigh. I have officially lived too long.

See “Dictionaries chose 3 different words of the year for 2018” at I personally suspect if all men were masculine and all women were feminine, there would not be a “discourse over masculinity.”

Fiction Words: 4191
Nonfiction Words: 980 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 5171

Writing of “Cazadores” (novel, tentative title)

Day 1…… 4917 words. Total words to date…… 4917
Day 2…… 1873 words. Total words to date…… 6790
Day 3…… 3453 words. Total words to date…… 10243
Day 4…… 4191 words. Total words to date…… 14434

Total fiction words for the month……… 38944
Total fiction words for the year………… 497627
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10180
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 181866
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 679243

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 10
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 36
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31