The Journal, Sunday, 12/4

Hey Folks,

Another slow start this morning. But different. More relaxed. I could easily make this a day off, but I’d really like to resolve my current story. Either to finish it or ride along as it takes off in an exciting new direction that will turn it into a budding novel.

I’m such a dork. Remember all that crying and whimpering I did here a few days ago? I wrote that I had recorded my nonfiction books in a spreadsheet, then promptly lost it. For awhile, I thought maybe I hadn’t created that spreadsheet at all, that I’d merely thought about doing it.

Well, this morning I found it. I was doing a little research for the topic below when I found my nonfiction titles, all of them, listed among my fiction titles (by publication date) in the same spreadsheet. Sigh.

Well, at least I found it.

Topic: Goals Revisited

Seems everybody likes to set goals on January 1. That’s a great idea.

Setting a goal anytime is a great idea as long as it’s something you really want to do. Something you’re serious about. And most of us prefer to set goals on a “turning point” day. A day that feels like a new beginning. Hence the popularity of January 1.

I won’t get into common sense philosophy here: that every day (trite as it sounds) is the first day of the rest of your life. Or even that every day is the first day of a new calendar year.

Instead, I want to talk again about recurring goals, those that automatically re-set. Those that automatically and regularly give you a First to work with:

The first hour of the new day.
The first day of the new week or month.
The first day of a new year.

That’s how I look at goals when I’m establishing what I want to accomplish. When I finally go off-planet (or into the planet, depending on your point of view), I want to leave a massive body of literary work. Relative, of course, to the time I had to write.

Of course, that’s an open-ended proposition. We don’t know when we’ll be making that trip. Consequently, we need to do what we can Now.

Recurring goals help with that. They provide us with the Firsts we need:

If I set a goal to write a certain number of words per day, that goal resets in the first hour of every morning.

If I set a goal to write a short story every week, that goal resets on the first day of that week.

If I set a goal to write a novel every thirty days, that goal resets on the day after I finish the latest novel.

I don’t always attain my goals, but I always get close. I always achieve more than I would have if I hadn’t set a goal to begin with. In other words, I “fail to success.”

So when you set your goals, consider making some of them recurring.

As a related aside, this year on January 1, one of my recurring goals was to write one novel per month, so 12 during the year. (I later revised that, upping it to 15 for the year.) I won’t hit that goal. I missed too many months. However, thus far, even with the bad months, I’ve written 8 novels. I’ll take it.

But again, a “calendar year” can begin anytime. I started my first novel on October 19, 2014. So October 19 is the first day of my literary new year. From here on out, that will serve as my annual goal-setting date.

Of course, I’m a little behind in that endeavor. But that’s all right. Toward the end of this topic I’ll set my own new annual goals, here in public for everyone to see.

As I was writing this, I became curious. Just for grins, I glanced back over my Fiction spreadsheet this morning and isolated what I’d written from October 19, 2014 forward.

I was surprised to find that within my first calendar year as a professional fiction writer, I wrote 10 novels and a novella.

In the next calendar year (Oct 19 2015 – Oct 1 2016) I wrote 8 novels.

And in the current (for me) calendar year that began on October 19, 2016, thus far I’ve written one novel. Not a bad start on a new set of goals. (grin)

So my goals for the year, retroactive to October 19, 2016, are

to write a novel every thirty days. (This shifts my goal-reset from a fixed date to the first day after I finish a novel.)

to write at least one short story per week. (I’m already behind in this one, having written only 4 short stories since Oct 19, the past 6 weeks. But that’s all right. I’ll get back on track starting with my midnight Friday deadline this week.)

to write at least 3000 words of new publishable fiction every day. I’ve done this easily before. Probably I could push it to 4,000 words per day, but the lower number is still attainable when I take necessary days off.

Just an additional note on writing at least one short story every week. The purpose of that goal isn’t so much to write more short stories as it is to practice writing openings.

The more openings I write, the more will become short stories and the more will turn into novels. So writing at least one short story per week will help feed my goal of writing a novel every thirty days too. (grin)

Of Interest

Over at Dean’s, 22 comments now (good ones) on his An Interesting Assumption (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/an-interesting-assumption/#comments)

Today’s Writing

Other than all the nonfiction above, I didn’t get started writing until almost 10 a.m. I seem to be relaxing my way through the day today. Things were very intermittent after that.

I added a little to the story (not quite 500 words) but I’m not going to count this as a writing day. I’ll look at the story tomorrow with fresh eyes.

Interestingly, I’ve never had one quite like this before. If it’s a novelette, it’s finished. But just as I was about to write The End (figuratively), a notion flitted through my mind that these two characters want to continue, and they want me to go with them.

Thus far, it’s still about One Event. So maybe the characters have other events in mind? It’s becoming a boy-meets-girl thing, albeit in an apocalyptic setting.

And don’t get me wrong. All characters continue. But the invitation to continue running with them through the story doesn’t always come. This time, maybe, it did.

I’ll know tomorrow. Then I’ll either publish this as-is (a novelette) or I’ll climb back down into the story with them.

See you then.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1070 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1070

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810
Day 3…… 1934 words. Total words to date…… 7744
Day 4…… 1587 words. Total words to date…… 9331
Day 5…… 2158 words. Total words to date…… 11489
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 5679
Total fiction words for the year………… 685373
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 260950

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 946323

The Journal, Saturday, 12/3

Hey Folks,

Not a lot to report today. I rolled out around 3:30. As soon as I got my coffee, I started in on my WIP. There was no email to speak of and little on Facebook this morning.

I generally accept Saturday and Sunday as days off from writing. I prefer to write, but I allow distractions more easily on those days because those are the only days when my wife and I can do things together.

I added over 2000 words to the story today in two average sessions. In between, we went to the store and the post office.

I also downloaded ten more cover pics for book covers and then dallied at CanStock for a while to select more for my Favorites folder. The actual downloading process goes much more quickly if I already have a selection of photos from which I can choose.

Of Interest

Nothing that I could find. Just a placeholder post at Dean’s place.

Today’s Writing

Today I did some cycling back, mostly to expand scenes a bit and add depth. I also wrote two new scenes.

This is an odd little work in progress. I’m all but certain now it’s only a long short story (novelette) or novella. Primarily because it’s about One Event.

Initially, I thought it was going to blow wide open. It still might, but it’s looking more and more like the characters want to remain focused (tightly) on that One Event.

And that’s the real difference between short fiction and long fiction. Short fiction is always about one person and one event. A novel is still about one person, but it’s about several related events.

So a couple of good sessions today. I’m going to come back to the WIP tomorrow morning early, but if the characters don’t lead me someplace I’m not expecting, well, novelette or novella, here we come.

We’ll see.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 2158
Nonfiction Words: 320 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2478

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810
Day 3…… 1934 words. Total words to date…… 7744
Day 4…… 1587 words. Total words to date…… 9331
Day 5…… 2158 words. Total words to date…… 11489

Total fiction words for the month……… 5679
Total fiction words for the year………… 685373
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1980
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 259880

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 945253

The Journal, Friday, 12/2

Hey Folks,

Well, the morning started off weird. I was up at 2:30. Then the coffeemaker didn’t work. Then my small heater in my office didn’t work. One of those days when everything’s a little off.

In case I didn’t mention it the other day, and in case you’re interested, I now have a list of all the books (novels, collections and nonfiction) available in the Christmas sale. To download it, Click Here(http://stonethreadpublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/StoneThread-Publishing-Available-Titles.pdf).

By the way, if you want any of the print books signed, be sure to order them sooner rather than later. I have only one or two copies of some of them.

Got a bunch of little necessary chores done by 9:40. Among the little chores, I downloaded 10 new cover images from CanStock Photo. My subscription resets around 11 a.m., so I’ll have to take a break for that (so I don’t forget). But otherwise it should be a day of Just Writing.

10 a.m., I need to see what I can get done today on the novel. I think this is the first time I’ve called a one-off a “novel” when it wasn’t even to 10,000 words yet. As of yesterday, this one’s just barely out of the short story range.

* * *

Well, a bit of a slow start. I sat down at my outside desk, keyed in about ten words and realized I hadn’t seen my kitten for awhile. She has a penchant for escaping over the fence. It’s a game we play. Unfortunately the coyotes like to play too.

So up I went, cigar in hand, to find her. First I checked the house. That took only about five minutes. Then I checked the neighbor’s chicken coop area. About four months ago, I found her there looking longingly at the laying hens. But she wasn’t there today.

Then I circled the perimeter of my vast holdings (all told, maybe an acre) and ended up bush-whacking about thirty feet outside the back (south) fence and around the perimeter again. No cat.

Finally I came back through the barbed wire (for ya’ll in Texas, that’s “bob war”) outer fence and circled out behind the Adobe Hovel (my other outer office) and the corral. But the horses (they’re the neighbors’) weren’t spooked so I didn’t think she was out there.

Then I checked the room where they keep hay. The door’s always swinging open with the wind. No cat. Then I headed back for my fenced-in yard.

Where of course, she was sitting patiently just inside the gate waiting for me. The look on her face said, “Dad, why you wanderin’ around out there?”

She patiently led me into the house and my office, arching her back about every third step, and I gave her a treat for being such a good girl and putting up with me. Then I went back to my writing. Almost an hour later. Sigh.

I said earlier it was that kind of day, didn’t I?

* * *

I’m supposed to be camping with my buddy this weekend, but the fact is, I’m a weenie. Despite (or maybe because of) enduring Cold Weather Training in a haven called Pickle Meadows in the High Sierras above Reno several years ago (57° below Zero in a snow cave) I don’t do cold weather well.

It isn’t bad, but when my cigar’s finished I prefer to get in out of the icicle-strewn wind. So there. And yes, if you didn’t know, it gets extremely cold in the desert in the winter. No moisture to hold in the heat of the day. It all heads out for Jupiter or somewhere and we desert rats hybernate.

Of Interest

A new resource for you at English Language & Stack Exchange (http://english.stackexchange.com/). I found it this morning while researching what they call that sheet-thing the barber drapes over you while you’re in his chair. (It’s called a barber’s cape.) Very useful.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (http://vlaa.org/get-help/other-vlas/) has a comprehensive listing of state VLA organizations.

There are some good comments on Dean’s “An Interesting Assumption” (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/an-interesting-assumption/#comments)

Finally, you’ll find an extremely worthwhile effort to save Red Wolves at http://bit.ly/2eY2r74. I hope you’ll visit and sign the letter. That’s all they ask.

And in case you’re interested, here’s an excellent article on General James “Mad Dog” Mattis. He probably will become the new SecDef: http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/02/served-james-mattis-heres-learned/.

Today’s Writing

A rocky start at about 400 words, but a good start on a new chapter that’ll probably end up earlier in the book than where I’m writing it.

Well, I didn’t get nearly as many words done today as I wanted to, but the story is moving along fine. No excuses. I just didn’t spend the time in the chair.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 1587
Nonfiction Words: 690 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2277

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810
Day 3…… 1934 words. Total words to date…… 7744
Day 4…… 1587 words. Total words to date…… 9331

Total fiction words for the month……… 3521
Total fiction words for the year………… 683215
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1660 (wrong number yesterday)
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 259560

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 942275

The Man with the Finger and the Rank

the-man-with-the-finger-and-the-rank-180Phase One. Strategic.

A man with a finger and the rank to use it sat on a cushioned chair at a console.

He looked about.

The others, at their own lesser consoles, were not paying attention. Their reports were filed. Their disbelief that the time had finally come was set aside. Barely. Anticipation filled their every pore, the space between their anxious eyes, the dead air at the entrance to their ears.

All eyes were on him.

He nodded magnanimously, as if granting a prayer. He raised his finger above his shoulder and crooked it into an arch, like a missile bound for Earth.

A banging came on the thick steel door.

He paid no mind. The door was locked and barred.

There came faint yelling, his name repeated angrily.

There came epithets, more banging. Then pleas.

The finger held the same arc as it descended, then hovered over a plain red button.

History. This would make history.

The finger traversed the final space.

He pressed the button.

And outside the building the placid, pastoral sky came to life. It jumped, seethed and sizzled. Vapor and debris exploded angrily and rumbled away across multiple launch sites.

Deer and cattle came to attention and stampeded away.

Small animals scurried into burrows or ducked into briars.

Birds veered sharply or tumbled before the shock waves.

Outside the bunker door the pounding stopped.

The pleas whimpered away to disbelief.

2

Across the ocean, thin clouds streaked into being.

Dozens at once and dozens more, as if by some horrible magic. They stretched, straining east to west, then flung themselves away to the north, the south and every half-direction. Tentacles pinpointing the paths of missiles.

Seemingly dazed onlookers stared and pointed.

How were so many planes in the air at once?

Were they planes?

There were no flashing lights.

No but look at the contrails. They must be way up there.

But why so many? And why all at once?

They expressed their wonder aloud in a murmur that linked blocks, neighborhoods, towns, cities, states. Eyes, fingers and smiles followed the long, thin clouds.

Until the sky began to empty.

Around military installations, the smiles turned to disbelief, the disbelief to screams.

The Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton.

Marine Corps Air Stations Yuma and Cherry Point.

The Army’s forts—Benning, Ord, Bliss and the rest. Redstone Arsenal.

All the strategic Air Force bases.

All the Naval Air Stations.

Pearl Harbor. Again.

The docks and ships at San Francisco, San Diego.

Any “defensive capability,” anything carefully counted and inventoried. All were laid to waste.

Hangars, flight lines, supply depots. Armories, food stores, equipment staging areas.

Barracks.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines.

Husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.

All carefully counted, trained, and inventoried.

Expendables all.

3

The man with the finger leaned back, crossed his arms. He watched screens, scrutinized scopes. Someone brought coffee. He lit a cigarette. Waited.

One hour. More coffee, another cigarette, sweat beads.

Two hours. More coffee, a cigarette. Hope against hope.

Three hours. Fingers crossed. Tightly.

“Coffee?”

“No. I’m jittery enough.”

He returned his attention to the screens, to the scopes.

The simulations all said retaliation would come, if it were able, within three hours. The simulations all said so.

Three hours and twenty minutes.

Three hours and forty.

Four hours.

Nothing.

Nothing incoming. Nothing in the sky.

Relief.

He tapped his watch, looked again.

It read the same. He grinned. “All right then. Coffee. And sweeten it, would you? Perhaps a touch of Jameson’s.”

Smiles crept out, burst into laughter. Back slaps all around.

4

Not everyone was vaporized, nor everyone killed.

Here a father, his left foot, leg, torso, arm, neck and face blistered into boils, his eyes wide in disbelief, limped through the house. Past the huddled mass in the corner that used to be his wife. Through the stench of his own charred body into the nursery. His daughter, still in the crib, smiling a baby smile and reaching for the unreachable mobile dangling above her.

There a mother, her long hair burned to tight, curly, powdering wisps, her eyes gone manic, hugged her son’s charcoal body close. She rocked him, rocked him, humming her favorite song, her eyes closed tightly. She didn’t notice when his arm dropped off. A shower filled her mind. A cool shower would make them both better.

Here a grandson, so happy his grandfather had made time to fly in from Nebraska for a visit, searched for him, yelling. Found him. Turned away screaming from the old man’s flat form, pressed beyond his bones, melded to the exterior adobe wall.

There a child alone, the muscles of her burned back exposed beneath a wide flap of skin, raced down the street, her arms raised for someone, anyone, to pick her up.

The same scenes, dozens of times, hundreds of times, played in select locations across the nation.

News reports filtered into the population centers without military installations.

A military strike, they said. Nothing to worry about. Only a military strike. It was surgical, or practically so. Give to your local Red Cross. Send canned goods, clothing, toothbrushes.

For God’s sake, please send canned goods.

5

Phase Two. Punishment. (What else could it be called?)

The cushion on the chair at the console breathed a sigh of regret as the man with the finger and the rank resumed his seat.

He looked about at his still-smiling colleagues.

Ignored the banging on the door. It was only in his mind. They were all in hidey holes by now.

He held up the finger for his audience. Caused it to arch again like a missile. Directed its descent again to a plain red button. The finger alit. He pressed the button.

A sky gone silent with apprehension breathed fire again.

And Pittsburg, Philadelphia, New York collapsed.

Washington, Atlanta, Miami crumpled.

Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis shuddered.

Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Dallas-Fort Worth trembled and fell.

Omaha died. New Orleans convulsed alongside her shattered dikes.

Minneapolis, Phoenix, Tucson, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles. All gone.

Toronto, Quebec for good measure. Cleaning up would keep them busy.

6

Three hours passed, each more loudly, more jovially, than the hour before.

Stage One was over. Phases One and Two delivered. Completed. Unanswered.

Retaliation would not be forthcoming. All that remained was the battle on the ground.

It would be protracted, no doubt. An unwillingness to launch retaliatory strikes was one thing. Foreign boots treading across the homeland would be something else altogether. There would be fierce resistance, but it would be worth the cost.

Insurgents would be sought out, found, delivered to their heavenly reward.

A reunion of souls with the Great Unconsciousness.

Whatever. It all smelled of weakness.

The man with the finger and the rank turned on his chair. “The planes are loaded? The men settled aboard?”

“Ha!” a gentleman responded, as had been drilled into him.

What a stupid retort. That will never do. “A simple yes is fine.”

“Then yes. And anxious to carry out your will, Commander.”

The man with the finger and the rank nodded. “See to it.”

The other man gave the order, and planes lifted into the sky. But gracefully, with none of the drama of four and eight hours earlier. Sleek silver angels aloft to spread the growing news.

Gentle taps came on the thick steel doors.

A quarter. Had someone found a quarter in a hidey hole? Only a quarter could make a sound like that, at once so sharp and so quiet.

No matter.

The man with the finger and the rank—the commander—turned away. To no one in particular he said, “The cameras are all attached?”

Someone said, “To planes and personnel.”

“Bring them up.” He tuned a dial on his monitor, and the inside of a transport plane came into view. The faces of men in full battle gear, seated on cargo nets slung along the side opposite of the camera he’d picked up.

He tuned the dial again and the view switched to the other side of the aircraft. As that soldier turned his head to speak to the one next to him, across the way a soldier displayed a knowing smile and waved. The one whose view he’d seen a moment ago.

How had the soldier known he was looking through his camera?

No matter. Details.

“I wish to see only the view of the commander in each aircraft.”

A man rushed to his side. Quietly, he said, “Press the 1, Commander, remember?”

The man with the finger and the rank pressed the small button marked 1 on the base of the monitor.

The other man reached past his shoulder. More loudly, he said, “Yes, sir. I do remember the instruction you gave me.” It would make the others believe he was receiving instruction rather than providing it.

He pointed. “I remember, sir, this dial is to select the aircraft. We move from one to the other with each click. A 360 degree dial with the numbers halved. We can select all 720 aircraft with that one dial.

“The number 1 button is the commander’s view of the aircraft. The number 2 button switches to the nose camera of the plane. The 3 is the belly, the 4 the tail. And this other dial, as you already have illustrated, moves from one personnel camera to another within the same aircraft.”

The man with the finger and the rank nodded slightly. “That is correct.” More quietly, he said, “Thank you.”

It was a complex system. After the attack, when the world had calmed and accepted him as Supreme Commander, he would undertake to have a simpler system designed.

For now he pressed the number 2 button, switched to the nose camera. From there he clicked the dial. The nose camera displayed on another plane, and another, and another.

Seven hundred and twenty planes in forty-eight flights of fifteen planes each. The men in the first four flights would deploy by parachute at the military installations first for mop-up. When the military was demolished, the rest would deploy to establish martial law and set up a provisional government.

The world was his.

7

A gentle tapping came at the thick steel door behind him. “Mr. Kristen?”

What do they want? What can they possibly want? Don’t they see what I’ve given them?

To nobody he said, “Tell the nuisances to go away.”

“Yes, Commander.”

He reached for the dials on the monitor, but frowned.

Which was used to select planes? Which cameras do the buttons control? These things are important.

Important. These things are so very important.

They can’t vary from one time to the next. They can’t vary like that.

The tapping came again. “Mr. Kristen, let us in.”

He stared at the monitor again, reached for it, but it wavered, faded, became the blue dial on a clock radio.

No! He had to get it back.

The gentle tapping came on the door again. Then a slightly louder knock. It was accompanied by a quiet murmuring.

What? Something about administration. No, about administering. Something.

He closed his eyes tightly. No. Not now. Don’t bother me now.

He concentrated.

The noise abated.

There. He had it back.

Before him was a console. There were 48 buttons on the console, each numbered consecutively. One per flight.

No, the red button has to come first.

The red button.

Before him was a console. On it was a lone red button. With a cage around it. A cage for safety. That’s what it needed.

There was a soft click behind him and the door opened slightly. But it squealed, albeit quietly, on the hinges.

The man with the finger and the rank turned slightly, looked in the direction of the door. “There you are at last,” he said and turned quickly back. He reached past his side and crooked a finger to a trusted colleague.

A woman wafted up to his side. “Yes, I’m here. I’m here.”

The man with the finger and the rank gestured timidly, close to his chest, with the finger. Quietly, he said, “These others here, they are aware?”

“Oh,” she said. “Uh, no sir. None are aware, but they want to be.”

He nodded. “They are loyal?”

“They yearn for the chance. Roll up your sleeve please.”

He reached for the cuff of his pajama top, pushed it high up on his arm. “They can be trusted?”

“On my life, Master.”

“Master? Didn’t we settle on this? Am I not the commander?”

“Oh that’s right. Commander.”

From her pocket she took a syringe.

The man with the finger and the rank looked about. The others were gathered in a semicircle around him. Behind him.

He looked at the woman, crooked his finger close to his chest.

She leaned closer. “Yes, Commander.”

He whispered, “The others. Why are they not at their stations? We must act now.”

“You called to them, Commander. You called to them to gather around.” As gently as she could, she inserted the tip of the needle, depressed the syringe.

The men behind him watched closely.

“Ah.” He wavered. “Yes, yes. The Americans, they are weak. Perhaps today—” He paused. “Please lock and bar the door. The time has come.”

“Yes, Commander. But first perhaps you should rest.”

“Rest?” He leaned back in his chair. It was soft and he floated into it. It became a bed. “Yes. Perhaps some rest. Perhaps a little rest.”

The man with a finger and the rank to use it brought the red button away from the console with him. No, the whole console. The whole console. He held tight to the console.

Held tight.

But it faded. It all faded.

* * * * * * *

The Journal, Thursday, 12/1

Hey Folks,

A brand new month! Yay!

I received an exciting email yesterday from Claudia Benitez Garcia. Claudia is the editor of the Cultural section of a beautiful Mexican magazine called Este País (http://www.estepais.com/).

Two or three years ago, I received another email from a gentleman named Pedro Poitevin. He asked my permission to translate my triolet (poem) “God?”. Permission? Are you kidding? Of course, I was honored and told him so.

Then in yesterday’s email, Claudia wrote, “[W]e are going to publish a Spanish translation of your poem “God?”, done by Pedro Poitevin. By the way, we really like your work and for us it is an honor to publish it.” She added that they would send me a few copies of the magazine.

Well, I was thrilled. I’ve always loved the Spanish language (especially Latino Spanish) and welcome the opportunity to immerse myself in the magazine.

She also asked whether I would be willing to submit any new, unpublished short stories to the magazine. Yes, yes I would. Although right now I have no unpublished stories. Of course, I can remedy that in a few hours.

This is better than money, folks (not that there won’t be money involved). As I’ve written here before and as I preach constantly, if you write what you are passionate about, readers will come.

To satisfy any curiosity that might be out there, here’s the poem:

God?

If you are there, bequeath a gentle snow
to blanket grass and hills and trees and us,
the weary ones who really need to know
if you are there. Bequeath a gentle snow,
and let it drift to comfort us below
these endless marble rows, victorious.
If you are there, bequeath a gentle snow
to blanket grass and hills and trees and us.

* * *

A Brief Topic: And / Then

A while back I read an article or note somewhere in which the author advised writers to never use “then” as a conjunction. To always use “and” instead.

Of course, as I do with most blanket policies, I disagree.

Yesterday in the topic I wrote that all words in the language serve a purpose. That’s especially true when writing in English, in which the entire meaning of a sentence can hinge on a nuance.

In my WIP, I just wrote a sentence that provides a very good example of this concept:

She nodded and shivered as if cold.

This sentence means nodding is a sign of being cold. It isn’t at all what I wanted to convey.

Now it reads

She nodded, then shivered as if cold.

Using “then” in this way establishes a sequence: first this, then that. It also identifies only “shivered” as a function of being cold.

Purists (especially those who adhere to the notion of keeping “then” out of their writing) might point out that the addition of a comma before “and” would have created the same effect.

Almost, but not quite.

The coordinating conjunction “and” still connects (coordinates) the two verbs. So using “and” and a comma would necessitate the insertion of the same subject again (she).

Note again, this is a nuance. The connotation is only slightly different, but it is different.

Is this something you should consciously look for in your writing?

No. Absolutely not.

Do you have to “decide” on a case-by-case basis whether to put a period at the end of a declarative sentence or a question mark after an interrogative?

Of course not. But you learned those things long ago and they seeped into your subconscious. So now they come out automatically when you write.

So it is with this “and / then” conundrum, and so it is with all other words that one person or another advises you to omit from your writing.

Trust your subconscious as you write. Let your characters tell the story they want to tell.

When you aren’t actively writing and you’re in the mood to be a student, consider (or reconsider) and learn new things.

Those that are useful to you will seep into your subconscious and come out “automatically” as necessary when you write. And those that don’t, won’t.

* * *

Today in addition to my usual email, Facebook etc. I did a couple loads of laundry, etc.

Laundry creates custom-made breaks in writing to fold stuff, put it away, etc. But mostly today I’m dedicating to writing. I want and need a good start for the month.

I’ll try not to get too sidetracked with Other Things today. We’ll see how that goes.

Later today during a break I’ll also endeavor to find and break out my Pimsleur System Spanish language lessons. Mona and I are really looking forward to beginning our study of that beautiful language again, though I can’t be sure her Hoosier tongue will ever get the pronunciations quite right. (grin)

Of Interest

If you wanna see something really cool from a NaNo participant (who’s also a professional fiction writer), check out Dawn’s Final NaNo Report (http://hstanbrough.org/final-nano-report/).

Dean’s post Fiction River Volume #20 Now Out (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/fiction-river-volume-20-now-out/) is interesting. Plus kind of a neat short video in Dean’s 11/30/16 Daily. To find that, just scroll down on the Home page.

Today’s Writing

After messing around the first few hours of the morning, I started writing again on my WIP at around 9. Took a brief break around 9:45 to fold and put away a load of laundry.

Not as good a day as I’d liked, but I’ll take it. The story is coming along well, but I cycled back a few times to add some things when what I thought was going to be secondary characters took center stage.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 1934
Nonfiction Words: 970 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2904

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810
Day 3…… 1934 words. Total words to date…… 7744

Total fiction words for the month……… 1934
Total fiction words for the year………… 681628
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1934
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 258870

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 940498

The Journal, Wednesday, 11/30

Hey Folks,

Yesterday was so hectic, I actually forgot to view and listen to the Week 5 videos of the DWS workshop I’m taking right now. So I spent the first couple of hours this morning doing that.

Well, summer in southeast Arizona is officially over. Shortly after the sun came up this morning (pilot light was on, blower wasn’t working yet) it was 21° outside. Ugh. No moisture in the air to hold in the heat of the day. It Is Eye-Cee.

Topic: Horrible Advice

By “horrible advice,” I mean advice from people who recommend you do exactly the same garbage you’ve been hearing your whole life and THAT DOESN’T WORK.

This topic was keyed by an article at BookBub: “Self-Publishing Your NaNoWriMo Book? Don’t Miss These Steps” (http://insights.bookbub.com/self-publishing-nanowrimo-book-steps/). I provide the link NOT because I recommend the article (I Don’t), but so you can see first-hand what bad advice looks like. I intend to defrag (or maybe frag) their advice a bit later in this topic.

Okay, first, as everyone who follows my Journal knows, I don’t like NaNoWriMo. It’s wonderful to get a person started writing. But in every other way it’s terrible. Now, I know some of you like it, and that’s fine.

Most notably, it is actively based on the premise that you should give yourself permission to write a bad “first draft” and then fix it later, and it prods you to involve others in your work (critique, content edits, etc.). There are other bad things about it, but those are the big two.

So with that as the basis, back to the BookBub article.

First, their introductory premise: “Your NaNoWriMo book is most likely not ready for readers today.”

No, if you wrote it in accordance with NaNoWriMo guidelines, it probably isn’t because you INTENDED for it to be bad.

Writing something intentionally bad the first time is like filling a wheelbarrow with dirt a shovelful at a time. Then moving it halfway to where you want it. Then dumping it. Then loading it all back up again and moving it the rest of the way. So metaphorically speaking, how many times you “revise” or “rewrite” or “polish” is the number of times you’re dumping and reloading the wheelbarrow.

But if you wrote the cleanest “first draft” you could at your current skill level, do this:

1. run your contextual spell checker,
2. have someone proof it for spelling errors (yes, even after you ran the spell checker) and wrong-word usages, and
3. publish it and start writing the next one.

IF YOU TOOK NANOWRIMO’S ADVICE and intentionally wrote a “bad” first draft, I advise you to go back through it ONCE, reading for pleasure but with your fingers on the keyboard, and allow yourself to touch it. When you finish, it should be as good as you can make it at your current skill level. This is not rewriting because it’s done with your creative subconscious in control.

Okay, now to the ten points BookBub says you shouldn’t miss (and why you should ignore them):

1. Revise the book (and they say “several times”).

Umm, no. Not even once. I’m a writer. I’m being paid to write. I’m not being paid to rewrite, revise, or polish. IF YOU DO REVISE, REWRITE OR POLISH, YOU WILL POLISH YOUR ORIGINAL VOICE RIGHT OUT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT.

2. Get critique partners.

Umm, No! I strive not to allow my own conscious, critical mind into my writing. Why would I allow someone else’s? Also, why in the world would I accept advice from someone who isn’t a LOT farther along the road as a writer than I am?

3. Do line edits. (Wow. Under this one, they list “43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately.”)

Again, no. This is your proofreader’s or first reader’s or copy editor’s job. And please PLEASE don’t cut ANY words from your writing “automatically.” Words are there to be used. Use them as necessary.

4. Hire an editor.

Okay, yes, a copy editor. But a “developmental editor?” Seriously? How can ANYone else POSSIBLY know more about your characters and your story than you do?

5. Understand your target audience.

Blah blah blah. Everyone knows this is smart. In the real world, it means “Be aware that there’s a reader on the other side of the book.” That’s all. Don’t worry about it. Besides, If you write what you love, readers will come. (Do I need to repeat that?)

6. Choose a great title.

Umm, yeah. Duh. But most often the story itself will give you the title. Again, don’t worry about it.

7. Hire a cover designer.

Okay, but I recommend you learn to do it yourself. I design all my own covers. Most of them take about five minutes if I have already selected the cover photo. This isn’t difficult if you follow a few basic common-sense guidelines.

8. Format your book correctly.

Again, duh. But I wonder why they didn’t say “Hire a formatter?” Anyway, this is also something you can learn, FREE OF CHARGE, by downloading The Essentials of Digital Publishing from my Free Stuff page at my website.

9. Choose retailers and/or distributors.

Yeah, this is kind of misleading. (Like if you stand in the path of a tidal wave you might get “kind of” wet.) As long as you aren’t insane enough to go exclusive with Amazon or anyone else, you’ll do fine on this score. And if you DO go exclusive, well, then you don’t have to worry about stores and distribution, do you?

Here: Upload ebooks to Amazon and Smashwords and let the latter worry about distribution. For print, upload to CreateSpace and then select “Extended Distribution” and you’re done. This advice is gratis from yer Uncle Harv.

10. Create a marketing plan.

Uhh, no. Write the next book. The most effective marketing you can do is to write the next book. And the next one. And the next one. Do that, take my advice on other matters (like #9 above) and understand that writing is about the long term and marketing will take care of itself.

But if you’re stuck on the notion of marketing, I recommend Kris Rusch’s book, Discoverability.

Of Interest

At Dean’s place, An Interesting Assumption (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/an-interesting-assumption/). He flat nailed it. Pretty good daily post below that too.

Today’s Writing

Started on Ray Acuna around 9:45 after writing everything above, checking Dean’s site, etc.

Got about 900 words done in a good first session, then went in and tried to try on my old field jacket from the Marine Corps (17 years ago).

Uhh, No. Seems there’s a three-inch gap down the front that didn’t used to be there. Funny how clothing shrinks over time. Off to the thrift store it goes. Back to the novel at 11:30.

Guess I’m finally back on track with writing. Pretty good day today. Oh, and I’m pleased to announce this feels like it’s gonna be a novel. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 3752
Nonfiction Words: 1130 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4882

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810

Total fiction words for the month……… 24539
Total fiction words for the year………… 679694
Total nonfiction words for the month… 19060
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 257900

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 937594

The Journal, Tuesday, 11/29

Hey Folks,

Whew! Rolled out a little after 4 this morning, and had an email requesting a list of my books. When I tried to reply, the email bounced. Uh oh.

So I set to work trying to figure out why I couldn’t reply from “orders@stonethreadpublishing.com.”

Finally, almost three hours later, I figured out how to correct the problem. Narrowly avoided a disaster there. But I did avoid it and I learned something in the process. So that would be a win.

After that I finished fine-tuning the list of available titles from StoneThread Publishing (Nick Porter, Gervasio Arrancado, Ray Sevareid, Eric Stringer and me) and emailed it to interested parties. If you’d like a copy of the list, Click Here. It was fascinating to think I wrote most of that stuff in the past two years.

Then I created a new Christmas Sale page on both HarveyStanbrough.com and StoneThreadPublishing.com and posted the whole thing to Facebook. I did some other little things while all of that was going on. Now I’m gonna take a break (9:30-ish) and then turn my hand to my real job: writing something.

Well, as I read through some of the original Snubbing the Gods, I realized it wasn’t two separate stories: it’s three. This is gonna be fun once I get it sorted out. Three short stories minimum, three novels, or some combination of the two.

Let me ‘splain.

Sometimes (this is only the second time for me) a character who starts out as a secondary character suddenly grows a skin and hair and a personality. He becomes another protagonist, or antagonist.

That’s what happened here. So I think I’m off and writing again, although I don’t have even a clue what to call this particular story. So for now, it’s tentatively titled Ray Acuna after the protagonist.

I took the segment of Snubbing the Gods that introduced Ray Acuna (about 400 words). I read over those first few paragraphs. Then I tossed the whole thing and started over.

So Snubbing the Gods is officially shelved. DOA. Gone. Kaput.

Ray Acuna is shown below. It feels good to be back on track.

Of Interest

Not much over at Dean’s place today. Nothing else that I saw.

This came in late. Over at Kris’s site, Some Holiday Fun (http://kriswrites.com/2016/11/29/some-holiday-fun/).

Today’s Writing

Not a lot, but a lot more than lately. After I read a little about Ray Acuna and got solidly in the character’s head, I put my fingers on the keyboard and wrote what came. Learning all sorts of new things about him and people he knows. Way cool.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 2058
Nonfiction Words: 430 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2488

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058

Total fiction words for the month……… 20787
Total fiction words for the year………… 675942
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17930
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 256770

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 932712

Top Three Tips for Emarketing

Hi Folks,

Awhile back, a lady sent me a request. “Harvey, would you go to my Facebook page, These Three Words, and ‘friend’ the page?” (This is not the actual name of the page, of course.)

In her friendly but business-like email, she then explained a bit of what the page is about, how often she posts to it, and so on. It was generally a good email. But she didn’t include a clickable link.

I emailed her back a quick note asking her to send me a link. I could have stopped there, but always striving to teach, I explained that I was running too hard to take the extra time at the moment to copy/paste the title of her page into a search engine, browse through the responses, find it, go there, and click Like. (Of course, I did take the extra time to explain all that. Wordy, I am.)

She did respond with a link, which I clicked. Then I clicked Like and was done.

But in the brief email that accompanied the link, she also expressed that she wasn’t sure what I meant by “running too hard.” She added, “Perhaps if you slow down a bit you will enjoy your visit to my page.”

Problem is (and this is a problem for which I am grateful), at the time I almost always had several manuscripts awaiting editing or proofreading. I also (at the time) usually had one or more writing seminars to prepare for and new ones to develop and write.

I also had, and still have, blog posts of my own to write and schedule, and free advice to hand out via email when folks ask (and when I know what I’m talking about). Oh, and of course my own writing takes precedence over everything else.

So I had to wonder. If hers was one of those edits in the queue, would she still want me to slow down? But I digress….

Remember, when you ask someone to do something for you, it’s always more important to you than it is to them.

Here, then, are my top three tips for emarketing via email:

1. If you send an email asking the recipients to visit your website or your Facebook or other social networking page, make it easy by providing a link. If they have to go digging to find it, they probably won’t.

2. Include a direct link to your website (Facebook page, etc.) in a “signature block” at the end of every email you send out. Most email programs provide a way for you to set this up so it will appear automatically.

3. Include a brief description along with any direct link (in your email body or signature block or on a website) unless the link itself is self-explanatory.

Visitors have literally thousands of choices when it comes to which websites they will visit and whether they will subscribe or bookmark those sites. Remember that it’s always more important to you that the visitor remains on or subscribes to your site or newsletter or blog post than it is to them. Making it worth their while is never a waste of your time.

‘Til next time, happy writing!

Harvey

I am a professional fiction writer as well as a copyeditor. For details, or just to learn what comprises a good copy edit, please visit Copyediting.

My Daily Journal now appears on my main website at HarveyStanbrough.com. To sign up and receive an email notifications, go to the website and click The Daily Journal in the header.

 

The Journal, Monday, 11/28

Hey Folks,

Rolled out a little late at 3:30. Checked email and Facebook stuff. Then I went to work on a huge Christmas Sale for StoneThread Publishing. We’re practically giving them away (grin).

This sale went “live” on Facebook this morning (Monday, 11/28). But we wanted to give you guys a little better pricing.

Note that all prices are valid only through StoneThread Publishing. Even if we decide to run a sale through various vendors, those prices will not be this low.

Shameless Promotion

From now through December 24, ALL ebook novels, 10-story collections, 5-story collections and poetry collections, are on sale for $2.50 each. The complete Wes Crowley Saga (10 novels in one massive book) is only $13.

All ebooks are DRM-free. Share with your whole family! And No Shipping! 🙂

Of course, these prices are valid only through StoneThread Publishing. To order or for more information, please email orders@stonethreadpublishing.com.

Print Addict?

Additionally, from now through December 21, ALL PRINT BOOKS are on sale for $7.50 each. Free standard shipping! These are not stocking stuffers. These are quality trade paperbacks.

Many print titles are available signed by the author. That would be moi. (grin) For a complete list or to order, email orders@StoneThreadPublishing.com.

* * *

Finished up all of that and the topic below around 6:30, then realized I hadn’t added my latest novel, The Consensus, to my website yet. Doh! So I raced over and did that.

Then my wife mentioned it might be a good idea to prepare a flyer for her to pass out where she works. So I did that.

* * *

I started on the novel again, then remembered I have to download 10 pics from CanStock. sigh. First I have to select them.

Every now and then I sign up for a subscription to a stock photo agency so I can download pics on the cheap to use for covers.

My current subscription allows me to download up to 10 pics per day for a week. All that for $30. So around $0.42 per picture, as opposed to around $7 per picture if I bought them one at a time. It’s a great deal if you use a lot of cover pics and know what you’re looking for generally.

But that ate up a couple hours.

Topic: Selling Books to Writers

I’m talking about fiction books and fiction writers here.

If you’ve written a really good book FOR writers (for example, Punctuation for Writers or Writing Realistic Dialogue & Flash Fiction or Writing the Character-Driven Story), knock yourself out.

But leave your novels and short stories at home.

When I was presenting regularly at writers’ conferences around the nation, I saw a host of fiction writers trying to sell their books to attendees. For a very short while, I was one of them. Generally, this is a bad idea.

Why? Because those who attend writers’ conferences are writers. They don’t want to buy your books. They want You to buy Their books. (grin)

Even “name” authors (think Stephen King) have a difficult time selling fiction to other fiction writers.

So why am I making an exception to this general rule?

Because I DO buy novels and stories written by Stephen King. I also buy (some) novels and stories from Dean Wesley Smith, Isabel Allende, Lawrence Block and others who meet three requirements:

they are farther along the road than I as writers;
something about their work blows me out of my socks; and
I aspire to learn from them.

When I see myself as a student of another writer, what better way to learn from them than to read their work for pleasure, and then go back and study the passages that blew me away?

And that’s why I’m making an exception in Shameless Promotion above. As I told another writer recently, if you think maybe the stuff I’m teaching you is good, I appreciate that. But years of (sometimes repeated) lessons have taught me that we generally get what we INspect, not what we EXpect.

So in the promo above, I’m offering you an opportunity to see first-hand whether I know what I’m doing. (grin) Naturally, I hope you will take advantage of it.

Of Interest

A new topic over at Dean’s place in Courage in a World of Artistic Freedom (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/courage-in-a-world-of-artistic-freedom/). This is a really great post. I hope you will read it.

There should also be a new story of the week over at Kristine Kathyrn Rush’s site for her Free Fiction Monday thing. (http://kriswrites.com/2016/11/28/free-fiction-monday-fate-2/)

Today’s Writing

Finally, I moved to the novel at 9:30. Wrote for about a half-hour and realized I’m writing two novels at one time. How can I tell? Maybe the story’s just getting convoluted. They do that sometimes.

But this one isn’t just taking odd twists. It took a hard turn and wandered off into a whole new story. And the two main stories are far too divergent to ever get back together. Even the main character is different. Same name, same guy, but he acts different and even talks different than he did in the “other” story.

That happened to me once before, though I don’t recall which novel (or novels) came out of it. Anyway, I didn’t get enough writing done to record it, so I’ll count this as a nonwriting day.

For any new subscribers out there, don’t worry about it (if you were). When I started this Journal I made a pact with myself to record the bad as well as the good, the rough times as well as the smooth. This is one of the rough times. (grin)

I’ll spend the balance of the day finding where these stories are conjoined. Then I’ll do a little surgery. I suspect I’m gonna have to chunk a few thousand words and start fresh a ways back.

Anyway, see you tomorrow.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 930 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 930

Writing of Snubbing the Gods (tentative title)

Day 10… 2829 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 11… 2493 words. Total words to date…… 24757
Day 12… 2099 words. Total words to date…… 26856
Day 13… 0670 words. Total words to date…… 27526
Day 14… 1061 words. Total words to date…… 28587
Day 15… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 18729
Total fiction words for the year………… 673884
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17500
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 256340

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 930224

The Journal, Sunday, 11/27

Hey Folks,

I’m so spoiled. First, I have the best job in the world. Think about it. Day in, day out, I sit alone in a room making stuff up. It doesn’t get any better than that.

And second, I live in southeast Arizona. So on my rising this morning it was almost 50° outside. I enjoyed a good cigar as I began the day with emails and Facebook and a few games of Spider solitaire to wake up.

Of course, it’ll be getting cooler all day as a mass of cold air settles in, but still.

Topic: Being Unstuck in Time—A Bit More on Cycling

If you haven’t read the post on cycling (http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-tuesday-524/), I recommend reading that either before or after you read this topic. It will help. Even if I repeat information, chances are you’ll “get it” one way even if you don’t get it the other.

When a reader buys and reads a novel, she reads it as a linear story. She begins with Chapter 1 and reads straight through to the end. If you’ve written it well, she won’t even put it down until she’s reached and read the resolution.

So it’s safe to say most readers assume the novel was written that way too.

When little niggling details of the plot and subplot seem come together as the scene or story resolves, you, the writer, appear to be a genius. It’s almost magical to the reader.

Maybe in a scene in Chapter 2, the reader sees Aunt Marge surreptitiously slip a .32 caliber Owl revolver into the pocket of her housecoat.

Maybe in a scene in Chapter 19, Aunt Marge answers an insistent knock on her door late at night. Maybe a guy forces his way inside, and just as he begins to attack her, she pulls her revolver and enables him to assume room temperature before the EMTs arrive.

Then the reader remembers, possibly with a slap on her own forehead, the minuscule reference to the revolver that she almost skipped over back in Chapter 2 because it seemed just another part of the scene.

Bam! Just like that, the writer has achieved genius status and is rewarded with a reader-for-life.

Of course, the reader assumes you worked painstakingly from an outline. As part of that outline, in Chapter 2 Aunt Marge got a gun because she was going to use it in Chapter 19, although she couldn’t possibly have known what was going to transpire that far in advance.

Yeah. The thing is, neither did the writer. Well, neither did the writer who was smart enough to allow his subconscious to tell the story. He was unstuck in time, just enjoying the story the characters were living for him.

That’s where cycling comes into play.

You, the writer, are not working from an outline because

1. You’re writing to entertain yourself first, and
2. How boring would it be to write a story when you already know how everything’s going to turn out? That’s a lot like watching a sporting event or a movie after some moron tells you how the whole thing ends.

In entertaining yourself, you sit down, put your fingers on the keyboard, and write. Period. Write whatever comes. Then write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence.

You aren’t being the Almighty Writer On High with all that heady responsibility.

You’re down in the story, running through the scenes with your characters. Having Fun. Enjoying Yourself. You’re writing down what the characters say and do, and you’re thankful every day they allowed you to come along.

Then, late in the novel, Aunt Marge, who eschews violence in any form and firearms in particular, pulls a revolver and shoots a bad guy just before he would have done her grievous harm.

And you sit back from the keyboard as if she shot you instead. And you think, What? Where in the world did she get that gun?

We don’t know, but she DID get it. The evidence is bleeding on her living room floor.

So you check your reverse outline (see http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-friday-41/ and http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-wednesday-720/).

Then you cycle back to that scene in Chapter 2. You read over the scene (still in creative voice, giving your subconscious its head), and there it is.

There’s the point where Johnny turned away for a second as he and Lilly were taking their leave. And you put your fingers on the keyboard and record Marge slipping the revolver into the pocket of her housecoat.

And just like that, the world is all better.

Then you flash forward again to that point in Chapter 19 with the perp lying on the floor. You read over the last few sentences, then put your fingers on the keyboard and write the next sentence.

You’re probably writing faster at that point becuase the ending has revealed itself to you, or you know it will soon. So you’re bored, and you just want to finish this thing and put it out there for your readers.

Because you love your readers?

Well, okay. Maybe. But mostly because you want to start the next story. (grin)

But back to this cycling thing for a moment, and to being unstuck in time. The truth is, it’s next to impossible to hold a whole novel in your head, and who would want to? Where’s the fun in that?

Writing off into the dark (no outline) and cycling give you the best of both worlds. To the reader it looks as if you knew all along that Aunt Marge was going to shoot that intruder. But in reality, you were unstuck in time, entertaining yourself first. Writing for You.

But for your readers, to ensure a seamless reading experience, you also had the ability to move back and forth at will, adding what the characters told you to add.

And that’s fine. As Hemingway once wrote, “Never tell ’em you had to learn to write. Let ’em think you were born with it.”

Of Interest

Dean’s writing again, but no topic today. Just a regular day in his 11/26/16 Daily (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/112616-daily/). More to report in a few days, maybe. In the meantime, you at least have my silly topics to look over.

Today’s Writing

A little before 6 a.m. I wrote the topic above. Then I got a shower, changed out of my sweats, and started cycling through the novel again (from where I left off yesterday), playing catch up and stitching things together, erasing any seams.

1 p.m., just back from the store, lunch and putting things away. Back to the novel. I halfway expected to be finished with the cycling before we left here around 11:30, but that’s not the case. Still, it won’t get done until I do it.

Ahh, that’s better! Not a lot of new words added today, but I finished splicing and cycling. Tomorrow the novel should start moving along at a much faster pace. Woohoo!

See you then.

Fiction Words: 1061
Nonfiction Words: 1100 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2161

Writing of Snubbing the Gods (tentative title)

Day 10… 2829 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 11… 2493 words. Total words to date…… 24757
Day 12… 2099 words. Total words to date…… 26856
Day 13… 0670 words. Total words to date…… 27526
Day 14… 1061 words. Total words to date…… 28587

Total fiction words for the month……… 18729
Total fiction words for the year………… 673884
Total nonfiction words for the month… 16570
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 255410

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 929294