The Journal, Monday, November 26

Hey Folks,

I thought I’d found a new writers resource in an “author and writing teacher” named Marilynn Byerly.

So I went to her blog. No books were listed, so I did a search for her name on Amazon. I found only 6 novels listed. That kind of put a damper on things.

I returned to her blog and read a few articles. Frankly, I was hoping lightning would strike and that I would find it a valuable resource.

Umm, nope. Just regurgitation of the same old stuff I’ve heard for years in public school, stale writers’ groups, etc. Nor was there a way to contact Ms. Byerly to ask about her publications, etc. In other words, I was denied due diligence.

So I can’t personally recommend Ms. Byerly. The best I can do for her is list her name in this post so you can look up her website for yourself just in case you might find something of value.

Topic: Be Accessible

If you don’t have a writer website, put one up. I can help if you like.

If you’d rather not put up a website, at least reach out to your prospective readers through your D2D, Amazon, Smashwords, and Facebook (and probably other) Author Pages.

If you DO have a writer website, be accessible, as follows:

1. List your books. (Duh.)

And do your best to make it an alluring presentation, including the cover, a synopsis, and at least one buy link. Update the information regularly and quickly.

There’s an excellent free WordPress plugin that will help you create a “book table.” See This wasn’t yet available when I created my various genre and individual book pages, so I didn’t use it. But I wish it had been available.

2. If you don’t want to do all of that, at least make the cover a buy link to a place off your site where readers can read about your book, “look inside,” etc. And fix it so the buy link opens on a new tab or page. (So your website is still there after they click the link.)

3. Some writers want to sell directly from their own site. That’s fine. But don’t cut out the major Etailers. I get maybe 60 or so visitors per day to my writer website. Amazon (et al) get millions. Just sayin’.

4. In your website menu, put tabs to your writing up first.

If you offer other writerly services, those menu tabs should come after the tabs that lead readers to your books.

5. Be Accessible.

Put your contact information (email address) everywhere so potential readers (and who knows? publishers, film makers, et al) can reach you. While I’m on the subject, it’s also a great idea to have your name in your email address. For example, Make it easy for people to reach you.

My own email address appears regularly in my blog posts and on many pages of my website. I also include it on any author pages and in my Facebook profile.

Even with that, I occasionally receive requests for my email addy through Facebook or FB Messenger. Go figure. But I don’t get snippy. I welcome every opportunity to talk about writing, and especially about my own writing.

6. Be accessible elsewhere.

If you’re fortunate enough to be invited to speak to professional groups (Lions, et al), writers groups, critique groups, or at writer conferences or conventions, Plaster Your Contact Information Everywhere (handouts, bookmarks, whatever).

If you speak at a conference or convention, don’t disappear into your room after your session. Hang out afterward for awhile, and toward the end of your talk, make sure the audience knows you’ll be available in the lobby or lounge afterward. You can sleep when the conference is over.

Do these things (and anything else you can think of to promote your work and yourself) and you will be successful.

To the Hovel around 4:30. Typical routine, then up to the house at 6 for a brief break.

Frankly, after the long weekend, I fully expected to get a lot of writing done today. Maybe even four or five thousand words. But it didn’t work out that way.

A Bit of Humor: It’s “Cyber Monday”

My cell phone (Motorola Razor) is old. It’s gotten to the point that the battery drains overnight even when I haven’t used the phone. It’s been doing that for awhile now, and my wife and I both have been saying for a few months that I need to upgrade.

So this morning I saw an add from my cell service vendor announcing their Cyber Monday sale.

Okay, so I took a look. I found a whale of a deal on exactly what I was looking for. Another Motorola, this one a Moto Z3. All of which means nothing to me.

But what did matter is that this one has a large screen (a little over 6″ tall by 3″ wide), the battery lasts up to 28 hours, and it was inexpensive. Yes!

But the sale was valid only today and only online.

When I start something, I like to finish it. I wish I could say that’s because I’m steadfast or something, but it’s because of my mental faculty. If I don’t do it “right now,” chances are I’ll forget.

I’ve always been that way. To be gracious to myself, I say I have an overactive sense of urgency. (grin) That sounds so much better than “I’m anal” or “I’m simple-minded and too stupid to focus on more than one thing at one time.” Whatever.

So I jumped through the various hoops and ordered the thing. It all started out just fine. The vendor even waived the activation fee because I was buying it “online” and “today”.

Then I got to the checkout page and hit a wall.

They couldn’t ship my new phone to my PO Box so they asked me to update my shipping address. Only there wasn’t a way to do that. And oh yes, I looked. I read everything on the page, twice. (See the “I’m anal” reference above.)

So I clicked “Deliver to Store.” That worked, I thought, until they told me the store I’d selected (10 miles away) wasn’t available to accept and deliver that particular phone. I guess my chosen store is on phone-delivery probation or something.

I spent the next hour getting them to understand I wanted to select another store (30 miles away). Finally, finally, I got my point through. They accepted the choice of a store.

Then I tried to pay for my phone.

They said the credit card I added wasn’t valid. I added it three more times, double-checking every number, but they kept insisting it wasn’t valid.

So I clicked the PayPal button. And eventually got the message, “Something happened. Please try again later.”

Nope. Later’s no good. If I go off and do something else for awhile, I won’t remember to come back and do this.

I thought maybe the problem was the (possibly) intermittent internet connection in the Hovel. So I went to the house, logged in on my other computer, and started the process over again.

Only the page I finally got to was different. They weren’t waiving the activation fee, and other fees applied besides. At least the phone was still at the same Cyber Monday sale price.

So I restarted that computer (that’ll teach it!) then stomped back out to the Hovel. I went through the process for what I thought would be a final time. (It’s the Homer Simpson Syndrome: the thought that something that has never worked will work this time.)

Unfortunately, I got the same “Please try later” message.

So I very calmly (yeah right) unplugged by big monitor, slammed gently closed my writing ‘puter, picked it up and headed to the house with the order page still open.

And finally, FINALLY, after over 3 hours of this nonsense, I was able to click the right buttons, have the thing shipped to the store of my (second) choice, and make my payment.

Which flashed blatantly on the screen as “Nothing due today.” Sigh.

Now it’s after 1 p.m., and historically I don’t write much in the afternoon unless I’ve gotten a good syphoning action going in the morning. I was able to write a little before all of this started, so those few words are reflected below.

Tomorrow I’ll write in the morning, then drive to Sierra Vista around noon or so to pick up my phone and some other stuff.

I just hope some grim, nasty little over achiever with a mischievious look in his eye isn’t busy in a back room somewhere planning a Cyber Tuesday.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “I Wrote Romance” at

See “Former Inmate #12345-678…” at

See “Free Fiction Monday: The Space Between Hope and Dreams” at

Fiction Words: 1057
Nonfiction Words: 1280 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2337

Writing of Dread (novel, tentative title)

Day 1…… 3706 words. Total words to date…… 3706
Day 2…… 3023 words. Total words to date…… 6729
Day 3…… 4479 words. Total words to date…… 11208
Day 4…… 5909 words. Total words to date…… 17117
Day 5…… 3396 words. Total words to date…… 20513
Day 6…… 3363 words. Total words to date…… 23876
Day 7…… 2427 words. Total words to date…… 26303
Day 8…… 0587 words. Total words to date…… 26890
Day 9…… 1057 words. Total words to date…… 27947

Total fiction words for the month……… 74563
Total fiction words for the year………… 453093
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15940
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 167046
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 619889

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 35
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

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1 thought on “The Journal, Monday, November 26”

  1. Oh, I know that feeling all too well. If I don’t do it now, it won’t get done.

    Oh, and authors with terrible websites. I almost feel there should be a link to bad author sites, but they don’t deserve the traffic.

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