What Matters, Picture Manager, and Publishing

In today’s Journal

* Does It Matter?
* Microsoft Office Picture Manager
* Publishing
* Of Interest

Does It Matter? You Decide for You

After I posted the link in the last item in “Of Interest,” I wrote “See PG’s take.” You might also want to see my comment.

I can forgive PG his minor lack of grammar knowledge (since he is not a professional writer) but I wonder whether I should be asking him (and errant English teachers around the world) to forgive me for knowing something they don’t know?

What PG called “run-on” sentences were not run-on sentences at all. None of them. I corrected him, not to show him up or even to convince him, but only in case other writers were looking in.

I didn’t want them going away believing that the number of words that are strung together in a row is a factor in determinging whether that group of words is a “run-on” sentence. Because it isn’t. (But I’m willing to bet many will disagree with me and cite Grammarly as their source.)

To me, it matters that writers study and learn grammar and syntax and the nuances of the language. After all, the language is their currency. I believe companies like Grammarly should be held legally and financially liable for spreading misinformation through ignorance in implyng (as they did in an ad that I saw) that a run-on sentence is just a really long sentence.

But does it matter, really?

Sometimes I think we’ve entered an era during which purveyors of the soup sandwich will rule. Not that sloppiness will no longer matter officially, but that the definition of sloppy will be changed to suit those who mutter things like “Oh well, the reader will know what I mean.”

When I see a person of PG’s obvious intelligence labeling very long sentences “run-ons,” my mind leaps ahead in human time to the era so aptly illustrated by the film Idiocracy.

Not that everyday citizens should necessarily know what a run-on sentence or a comma splice is, but surely professional writers should.

Shouldn’t they?

As I noted earlier, my memory is already plagued with would-be professional fiction writers, to my disbelieving shock, dismissing my advice to tend to the nuances of the language with a wag of the hand and “Oh, the reader will know what I mean.”

The fact is, the reader might well know what they mean. The reader might also snort, toss the book into the Donate to the Friends of the Library pile and find something else to read.

As is the case with so many issues today, I suppose it all boils down to pride in one’s self as a craftsperson. Being professional, to me, means knowing the tools of your trade intimately. Knowing things about them and ways to use them that those who are not involved in the craft do not know.

After all, the only job of those who are not directly involved in the craft is to like something or not. They aren’t required to know why. Why they like something is the magic wielded by the craftsperson.

Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Remember this nifty little tool? After Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft stopped including it in the Offie package. I’ve often had two different versions of Office on my computer just so I could access this invaluable tool.

Well, I’ve found a way to install it as a stand-alone app. If you have Office 2013 or 365 or anything newer and you miss Picture Manager, click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5NV79nNbkc for instructions on how to download and install it. I suggest listening to the entire video once before starting, but the video is less than 4 minutes long.


Wow. As I was about to turn my chair around to face my writing desk yesterday (about 7:20 a.m.) I noticed the PDF file my first reader had sent me with his feedback on my novel, Carmen Morales, the fifth novel in the Wes Crowley Gap series.

I hadn’t applied his notes, created a cover or a promo doc, or published Carmen Morales yet. It just completely slipped my mind.

So I did that. Creating the cover took all of 10 minutes, if that long. Creating the promo doc took considerably longer since that was a complicated book with a lot of stories, twists and turns. And then trying to remember how to publish it took almost as long. (I really, really, really screwed up when I stopped smoking cigars.)

Finally, an hour and a half later, I’d published the book to both Draft2Digital and Amazon.

Of course, Amazon’s made some of those MBA changes since I last used it. You know what I mean, right? Completely senseless changes made by newly hired MBAs?

The changes don’t enhance the user experience At All and tend only to confuse things really, but they do at least justify the MBA’s employment. Or at least that seems to be what the new MBAs, and apparently their supervisors, believe.

It’s kind of the same as how brand new baby Walmart managers change the location of items in the store every week or so to keep in practice, or to keep customers on their toes, or whatever. But I digress.

The point is, it took me an hour and a half to publish that little novel, and that was just to D2D and Amazon. Then I remembered I needed to add it to my publisher site at StoneThreadPublishing.com. That was a whole other rabbit hole. Being a one-man show isn’t nearly as glamorous as it probably seems. (Yes, I’m joking.)

I created a new page for the book then added the book in the right sequence to the Westerns and the Wes Crowley Saga page. That took almost two more hours.

I didn’t publish the novel to Smashwords, and I might not. The interface is far too clunky and time-consuming, and the sales venues, though there are a dozen or so, don’t add up to more than a few sales per year for me, if that. Not enough to justify the hassle of dealing with the clunky interface.

Anyway, my point is, I pretty much have to publish The Stirchians: Rose’s Story once I get it back from Russ. (There are folks waiting for it.) But after that I might just put a hiatus on publishing anything else until I get in the mood to publish a lot of them at once, if at all.

I’ve always been bad at staying on Heinlein’s Rule 4. I really just want to write and tell as many stories as I can. Then, if my heirs want to make any money on my labors, they can figure out how to publish what’s left and market the rest.

From what I keep hearing, marketing books and licensing intellectual property really isn’t that difficult if you have the right mindset (business). And I don’t mind them making the big bucks. I’ve had the joy of being the very first person ever to hear the stories. For me at least, it doesn’t get any better than that.

After all of that, for some reason I schlepped over to the new website at harveystanbroughwrites.com and started working on the Reading Order for Novels page. Whew! That’s gonna take awhile. Anyway, all I could think of was all the new words I could be putting on the page.

Then as I ate lunch, I came back over here and wrote this. I finally got to the novel at noon.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “The World’s Most Beautiful—and Cheapest—Beach Towns for Expats” at https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/cheapest-beach-cities-to-live-in-world. If I were a younger man, I’d be gone in a heartbeat.

See “Amazing Power” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/amazing-power/.

See “A Case for the Midlist” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/a-case-for-the-midlist/. See PG’s take.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1290 words

Writing of Santa Fe (novel, tentative title)

Day 1…… 3877 words. Total words to date…… 3877
Day 2…… 3460 words. Total words to date…… 7337
Day 3…… 2011 words. Total words to date…… 9348

Total fiction words for November……… 46225
Total fiction words for the year………… 207750
Total nonfiction words for November… 20500
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 196130
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 403880

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2022 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2022 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 68
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this blog I share my experiences, good and bad, as a prolific professional fiction writer. Because It Makes Sense, I trust my characters to tell the story that they, not I, are living. This greatly increases my productivity and provides the fastest possible ascension along the learning curve of Craft because I get a great deal more practice at actually writing.

4 thoughts on “What Matters, Picture Manager, and Publishing”

  1. In my experience, the only way to truly tell whether a sentence is run-on or not is to diagram it. (Wait – did I just date myself? GRIN) Sure, those of us who understand grammar can probably gut-feel it…but at least in my case, that understanding didn’t come without diagramming a bunch of sentences. Others’ mileage may vary…

    And if you’re one of those who blinked and said, “Um – diagramming sentences? What’s that?” you might want to check out…I think it’s in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “These Happy Golden Years” that Laura diagrams a sentence as part of her examination to become a teacher, and it’s recorded, complete with an actual diagram.

    • I used to love diagramming sentences. I saw them as a puzzle to be solved. But the simplest way to determine whether a sentence is run-on is what I wrote in my comment on PG’s take: two or more independent clauses joined without either a semicolon or a coordinating conjunction is a run-on. My point was that length had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Always good to meet another linguaphile.

  2. If I couldn’t do long sentences (and one-word sentences), I’d be out of a job!

    If you write a lot, you eventually develop a sense of the rhythm and pace of your work almost as if you were designing it to be read out loud. Sentence length variation is a key tool to manage pace, as word length can affect how a sentence parses.

    I can’t be the only person who has chosen a synonym for a word or phrase because of a need for a different number of syllables so it would ‘sound’ right.

    • I’ve done that too (chosen a word for number of syllables, or for alliteration or consonance) in writing nonfiction and certainly in writing poetry. In fiction, I rely on the characters to tell the story since they’re the ones who are living it. In fiction, if I choose, I lose. (If I start making decisions with my conscious, critical mind, the story suffers or dies.)

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