The Journal, Monday, January 1

Hey Folks,

Streaks really do have immense power. When one’s been going for awhile, it’s actually a struggle to break it. I broke this one after 714 days. It took on a life of its own, and there were many days when the only thing I wrote was this Journal.

That seems a good thing on the surface — as in, at least I was writing — but there were times when posting the Journal to avoid breaking the streak took precedence over writing fiction. And that is not a good thing.

For that reason, I plan not to post this Journal every day like I did before. I don’t want to risk creating a streak with it. In fact, I’m posting today mostly to tell you that. Well, and to show you I got off to a good start with my writing. I hope you did as well.

I have three big stories I want to tell. I mentioned the first two before:

▪ one that will be an off-to-the-side spin-off of the short story “Going Back,” and
▪ one that will continue (probably as-is) the short story “Beats All,” albeit with a different title.

But the one I’m working on today is something I’ve wanted to do for years. The characters in this story are not new to me. They tie into and continue from a series of short stories I wrote way back in the 1990s.

Suffice it to say it’s special and odd, a mixture of two genres that I have never seen mixed before. And I’m very excited because I think this will be the “origin” novel that introduces a new, very unique series.

I haven’t thought much about this story for the past few months, yet I woke up this morning with it on my mind. Still, as I prepared my first cup of coffee, I wasn’t sure what I’d write today.

But when I sat down in the Hovel over a second cup and opened my writing ‘puter for the first time in a long time, the characters of this particular story surged through my fingers. Just under 1200 new words flowed onto the page, literally without me thinking about it. That’s a good start.

Then I took a break, moved back up to the house, and came here to write this.

Anyway, I will definitely post a new edition of the Journal each time I make significant progress or finish a new work, whether a short story, a poem, or a novella or novel. I’ll also post when I see something important that I want to pass along. I hope it continues to help.

I might post on every writing day, but don’t hold me to that. The fiction has to take precedence. Either way, I won’t be keeping track of any sort of streak with the Journal this time.


Very strange. I just realized, because I’m working from a series of short stories from roughly a hundred years ago, most of my new words today will be words I add while I’m cycling through the stories.

For anyone new to the term, “cycle” means to read through something that’s already written, but with your fingers on the keyboard. This is very different from a revision or a rewrite or an edit because the conscious mind is not involved.

How do you tell the difference? The conscious, critical mind is always negative. That sentence isn’t the right structure. That’s the wrong word or the wrong spelling. That paragraph is too long (or too short). All negative things that you want to “fix.”

When you cycle through, you aren’t actively “looking” for anything. You’re just reading, allowing the characters to live their story. From time to time, one will show you a new or different part of a scene or say something new or even introduce a new character.

The storyline might even take off in a whole new direction. All of that comes through your subconscious creative mind. But if your subconscious urges you to add something to the story, you do so.

I’m reading through six stories today, not always in order. As I read, I allow myself to touch them here and there. During my second writing session of the morning, as I was cycling, I stopped, then skipped ahead and started a new chapter because the character wouldn’t wait.

What wonderful fun!

I barely made my daily count today. Spending some time with my wife since it’s a day off. Still, I didn’t want to just toss the whole day since it’s the first day.

I’m very happy with today’s word count, considering most of it was written while cycling. Much slower going than writing without having to make things fit.

Back soon.

Of Interest

See the “Smashwords 2017 Year in Review and 2018 Preview” at

Fiction Words: 2689
Nonfiction Words: 830 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3519

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347

Total fiction words for the month……… 2689
Total fiction words for the year………… 2689
Total nonfiction words for the month… 830
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 830
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 3519

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182