The Journal, Sunday, April 1

Hey Folks,

Long post today.

Hope you had or are having a happy and uneventful April Fools Day and Easter. I’m finding if I can avoid the Smashwords blog on this day, I come through pretty much unscathed.

Mark Coker got me (and a great many others) two or three years ago when he used the Smashwords blog to announce that Amazon was doing something very harmful to writers.

They would soon announce they’d come up with an intelligent program that churned out novels, thereby negating the need for writers. Something like that. And yeah, I bought it.

I emailed him a few days later, ostensibly from my hospital bed, and explained I didn’t appreciate his sense of so-called “humor.” I explained that I had a heart condition, and his blog post had caused a traumatic event for me (that part was true) that resulted in a days-long stay in the hospital and several expensive tests (that part was a lie).

He emailed me back, apologizing profusely.

I wrote back, “Yeah, well, I lied. I’m a writer. It’s what I do. April Fools.” (grin)


A reader of this Journal sent me a very good question as a comment on the 30 March Journal. I responded there, but I’ll expand my response as a topic here in a day or two.

Anytime any of you have questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me either in the comments section or via email.


On Dean Wesley Smith

Some folks probably wonder why I tend to hawk Dean Wesley Smith’s writing workshops and lectures. There are two main reasons:

First, even though I knew quite a lot going in, I’ve never failed to learn something valuable from the workshops and lectures I’ve taken from him. To date, that’s 11 workshops and 13 lectures.

The most valuable lecture was Lecture 1: Heinlein’s Rules. I absolutely recommend it for all writers.

I won’t talk about which workshops were more valuable for me because much depends on what you already know. Not what you think you know but what you actually know. If you’d like my opinion on one you’re considering taking, email me privately.

The second reason requires a little explanation.

I have a workshop credit with him. I pledged and paid $250 for his recent Kickstarter campaign to expand North by Northwest Books.

For that $250, I received a workshop credit (worth $300) plus a subscription to the electronic edition of Pulphouse Magazine.

There were two workshops I was interested in taking. I know quite a bit about both of them, but not everything. And as I said, I’ve never failed to learn from Dean’s workshops.

So I emailed him early this morning and asked whether either of those workshops were going to be switched over to Classic (half-price at $150) anytime soon. I figured if one were switched to Classic, I’d use the credit for the other one, then take the Classic workshop later.

Dean responded quickly, and with great news. He wrote, “Both will be switched to Classic later in the month after the March workshops are done. So by the end of the month.” Then he added, “If you have a workshop credit, you can take two Classic workshops. (grin)”

Holy crap! I no longer have a choice to make. I can take both workshops for the single $250 credit.

To be clear, I’ll be getting $600 worth of workshops (as they are currently listed) for $250.

The thing is, the guy didn’t have to tell me that. He could have let me use the credit for one workshop or the other, and then I’d have paid another $150 for the other one sometime down the line.

So the guy’s not only extremely knowledgeable and willing to share his knowledge, but he’s honest to a fault. In this day, in our profession, having a knowledgeable mentor who’s willing to share and honest is like hitting a golden trifecta.

And that’s why I support him in every way possible.


Good writing day for me today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Getting Ready To Start The Challenge” at Some interesting process stuff, “triggers” you might not have thought about.

See “Pack More Punch in Your Prose” at I’m updating this entry a bit. I’m so used to Mr. Bell’s advice being spot-on that I didn’t read this before I recommended it. If you begin focusing on things like Mr. Bell recommends here, you will do so strictly with your conscious, critical mind. I do NOT personally recommend you follow the advice in this particular article. Read it, take what you can from it, but don’t begin dissecting your work looking for particular words or sentence structures. Please.

See Linda Maye Adams’ “Easter Eggs in Books” at Fun stuff.

Fiction Words: 2959
Nonfiction Words: 720 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3679

Writing of Stern Talbot, PI—The Early Years: The Case of the Missing Body

Day 1…… 2790 words. Total words to date…… 2790
Day 2…… 2959 words. Total words to date…… 5749

Total fiction words for the month……… 2959
Total fiction words for the year………… 116500
Total nonfiction words for the month… 720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 34480
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 158280

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 3
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 29
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Sunday, April 1”

  1. Hello Harvey.

    That’s how I found your blog: Thank’s to your comments on Dean’s blog. I love his workshops and am still learning from them.

    Looking forward to your extended response and thank’s to your answer back in the comments.

Comments are closed.