The Journal: The Long Road Back

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* The Long Road Back
* A dear friend
* By the way
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“Some days things don’t line up quite right. That’s why they make tomorrows.” Wes Crowley

The Long Road Back

Other writers routinely take off a month or two or more. For me, having averaged almost 3000 words of publishable fiction per day every day for several years, this time of not being productive has been excruciating. So in that way, it’s been a long road back.

But I also hope it will be a long road forward.
I was telling a recent email correspondent how much I envy him being at the beginning of his journey as a novelist. (He’s about to finish his second novel.) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could wipe my memory, go back to the beginning and write (and experience) the Wes Crowley saga again.

Anyway, yes, for me it’s been a long road, but I believe I’m back.

The first day, August 18, I wrote about 1100 words for the opening of a new Blackwell Ops novel (number 8), then took a break to fight back a craving. I initially set up the Hovel so I could enjoy cigars while I was writing. But eventually I let it go too far and began smoking while I wrote, strictly out of habit instead of necessity. (There’s a huge difference.) As a result, I OD’d. That overdose was the big problem that prompted me to quit altogether.

So now, as I’m writing, if I get a craving for a cigar I stop writing until the craving passes. Basically I’m retraining myself to write in the Hovel (my office away from home) without continually smoking cigars.

And that, I hope, will be the last I say about my stupid personal problems. Thanks for bearing with me through the disruption.

Now to continue with the “I’m back” update: When I came back to the Hovel for the second session of the day, I wrote fewer words. That’s solely because I had to check some factual things within the series (the look of the fictional VaporStream device, how it works, etc.). So I wrote only another 600 words or so, then called it a day.

Anyway, I’m excited about the coming storyline though I’m writing into the dark and have absolutely no clue what will happen. Well, certainly killings will ensue — it’s Blackwell Ops, after all — but otherwise I have no clue.

How it all started — Before I headed out to the Hovel, my wife asked me how to spell a particular word, and that word led me to the future victim’s name, which in turn led to the working title of the novel. Somewhere in the midst of all that, the protagonist’s name popped into my head. And that was the beginning.

I won’t reveal the working title or either of the names (I don’t want to jinx the story), but I think they’re both really cool. They’re the kind of names that when you hear them, you’d go “Who’d name a kid that?” but at the same time you know you probably would if you’d thought of it first. (grin)

Anyway, the title of this segment is melodramatic at best. It was, for me, a long road back, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters (on this end) is that I’m having fun again, the novel corona virus and greedy politicians and society’s herd mentality be damned. I’m down inside a story again, running through it with the characters, trying to keep up and enjoying every second of it. And for me personally, nothing else matters. Yep, I’m that selfish, and happily so.

I’m writing in a tested, time-proven series. BUT the protagonist and his victims are all brand new, so I’m excited that I get to learn all about these new characters and situations. And in the first 1100 words the protagonist mentioned his three previous hits, so I suspect he’ll want to tell me and Blackwell Ops readers all about those. How they’ll tie-in to the current story should be really interesting. Woohoo!

And who knows? Maybe someday I’ll write Book 12 in the Wes Crowley saga too. But that will be a kind of sadness for me, and for now my focus is on having fun.

A dear friend emailed to say she was reluctant lately to read the Journal because she’s afraid it (well, I) will say goodbye. Let me put that fear to rest: I have no intention of stopping the Journal altogether or of saying goodbye anytime within the foreseeable future.

That being said, anytime you want to talk with me or ask a question, this really isn’t our only venue. Please feel free to email me. If you don’t have the address, it’s

By the way, since I’ll be posting the Journal every few to several days instead of every day from now on, I’ll report fiction totals only in the “Writing of” section below (in case you want to follow along) instead of in a “Fiction words today” listing.

If or when I write another nonfiction book, I’ll show those totals under a specific title too. The first entry under “The Numbers” will show the number of words in the Journal entry down to “The Numbers.”

Now back to the story. Talk with you again when I can.

Of Interest

See “Shark Mystery” at Very interesting.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 920 words

Writing of Blackwell Ops 8 (novel)

Day 1…… 1653 words. Total words to date…… 1653
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 309655
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3730
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 134890
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 444545

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 12
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 50
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 208
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

8 thoughts on “The Journal: The Long Road Back”

  1. Good to see you writing again. I have missed the reports. Don’t forget to share your wisdom. 😉 😛

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