The Journal, Tuesday, 6/27

Hey Folks,

Wow, there sure are a lot of blank spaces on my spreadsheet where there should be fiction numbers.

I don’t imagine that bothers you a lot since they’re my goose eggs and not yours. But just in case, I can promise you they’re going to change pretty soon. (grin)

Probably in a big way.

What follows is a bit of personal rambling, which is why it isn’t preceded by the word “topic.”

I might have mentioned here before an old Marine Corps acquaintance of mine. I won’t mention his name here. It wouldn’t mean anything to you, and with any luck at all he’s changed.

The guy was a corporal when I was a young PFC. He was my first NCO, and about the first one I met outside of boot camp.

But the guy was a head. (That’s what we called them back then.) He smoked dope. A lot.

That’s the only thing the guy ever introduced me to by the way of leadership. I looked up to him, and that’s what he offered me. Literally.

And yeah, I took him up on it. Until I realized I couldn’t function as well as I did otherwise while my head was melting. I like having a clear mind. Fortunately, I was smart enough to say No Thanks after the first couple of times.

I only mention that because I got back in touch with him around 3 years ago. About the time I was launching all this writing stuff seriously.

Excited, I told him all about Heinlein’s Rules and writing off into the dark. I told him eventually I hoped to write a novel in six months or less, and to turn out two or more every year thereafter. Along with the occasional short story when a tale didn’t want to stretch into a novel.

In short, he said it was impossible. That I’d burn out. That even trying it would destroy me.

I wonder what might have happened if I’d come away from my early Marine Corps experience actually trusting the guidance of that guy? What might I have been today if I had learned early on that it was better to listen to him than not?


Anyway, I didn’t. And this year, if I weren’t messing about with challenges and the like, I’d have a novel a month made in the shade. I might even get close to two a month if I wanted to.

Still, I’m glad he and I met all those years ago. After all, who knows where I might be and what I might have accomplished if I hadn’t learned from him, inadvertently, to think and decide for myself?

And I actually like to think he’s one of the reasons I get so annoyed at “writing instructors” who pass along really bad advice. Not just the clichéd stuff, but maybe especially the clichéd stuff.

Maybe he’s one of the reasons, too, that I’m so stubborn about sharing what I’ve learned and know to be true. Especially the stuff that goes against conventional “wisdom” but actually works.

Odd thing, this Life Trip. Sure glad I get to tag along with the likes of you.

Today, and Writing

Yesterday, I wound up formatting everything, then created nine covers. I still need pics for three short stories, but everything else is done.

Today I’ll upload what I did yesterday to my distributors and BundleRabbit, then work to find a few more cover pics. Of course, all of that is after I get back from delivering Bryan to Tucson.

Around 5, getting Bryan up and ready to go. We’ll leave about 6 for Tucson.

I got back about 8:30 and turned-to, updating my main website. (Swing by and let me know what you think.)

I’ll also be tweaking it to implement some of Nate Hoffelder’s recommendations over the next week or so, but it’s mostly finished now.

Then I walked down the lane, clippers in hand, trimming overhanging mesquite tree limbs back. By the time I got back I thought sure it was 110 out there. It was only 96. I’ve gotten to where anything over 90 is rough on me I guess. Sigh.

Anyway, it’s almost 12:30 now. I’m gonna distribute the stories I completed covers for yesterday and then see what the rest of the day holds.

Well, publishing is a thoroughly disgusting process. I started around 1:30, uploading to D2D. Less than a half-hour later I was done with that part.

Then I went to Amazon. One book loaded cleanly. All the others encountered an “error,” asked me to try again later, then let me refresh the page, which took me back to the previous page. There they processed my upload again, etc. Sigh. Truly annoying.

When I do the challenge, I might well just not publish the stories that result. I love writing, but I’m really close to giving up on the idea of publishing them anyplace but my websites.

Anyway, I’m gonna post this, then go back to trudge through Amazon some more. Oh, and then BundleRabbit.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

If I may slip back into the personal for a moment, this film clip (about 25 minutes) should be mandatory viewing for any who call themselves Americans: I especially believe it should be part of every college orientation session.

I recommend “Bookselling in the Age of Amazon” along with Passive Guy’s take on it. See

If you write, typos are a continual and unavoidable nuisance. Check out these typos from famous authors’ works: (Thanks, Gary.)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 920 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 920

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15630
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 105610
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 443567

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 579 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 176

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Tuesday, 6/27”

  1. Quite a few years ago (now more than 7–that’s hard to believe!) I was working with a cowriter. I’d signed up for the wrong reasons–problems with my writing that I couldn’t figure out. But when we were starting to submit, I told him that we needed to learn how to write faster because the publishers had these year long deadlines–and we’d taken longer than that on the one book. He poo-pooed me, telling me everything was negotiable. I was horrified. We were in submission to agents, and I had this vision of trying to meet a deadline on my own, and still with the writing problems I was having. It was scary! If I stayed with him, I’d still be producing one book every once in a while and not making the progress I have made.

    • Yes, I think I’ve heard about that before. What a mess. Sure glad you were able to extricate yourself.

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