Rebuilding, and an Exciting Announcement

Hey Folks,

I’m sending this to all subscribers to the Pro Writers blog and the Free Story of the Week posts.

The Pro Writers posts will resume on Tuesday, June 27. This is a special post to notify you of updates and some exciting news. The Free Story of the Week will be supplanted with the challenge I outline below.

Basically, I’m decluttering and revamping my websites, and I’m prepping to begin a new long-term writing challenge that many of you might find interesting.

First, re the websites….

StoneThread Publishing — I’m giving up on StoneThread Publishing as a separate entity.

StoneThread was designed to give discounts to booksellers and private readers. Thus far (after almost two years) not one bookseller and few, if any, readers have taken advantage of it.

I’ll retain the name as my publisher, of course, unless I get a really good offer.

HEStanbrough.com — This is the once and future home of The Daily Journal.

I’m sending the Journal back down to the minor leagues beginning today. (grin) Those who are subscribed shouldn’t notice a difference.

I moved the Journal to the main site almost exactly two years ago in hopes of garnering new subscribers. But that hasn’t happened, so away it goes. This move will help declutter the main website. From now on, only the Pro Writers blog posts will appear on the main site.

Also, as more Topics from The Daily Journal become Pro-Writers blog posts, there will be less overlap on the main site. So you folks who subscribe only to Pro Writers will get the best of the topics without having to subscribe to The Daily Journal.

If you’d like to subscribe to the Journal anyway, just click the link in the header on the main website.

HarveyStanbrough.com — This is my main website. First, I’m simplifying the menu (I started that yesterday). If you have a moment, take a look and let me know in the comments what you think.

I’m also transfering everything from StoneThread Publishing (individual book pages, etc.) over to this main site. Then I’ll link the StoneThread URL to the main site. I should be finished with this process in a few days.

Now to one more website and the challenge I mentioned above:

HStanbrough.com — This is the new Writing in Public site. This is my modern-day effort to recreate what Harlan Ellison did in a storefront display window several decades ago.

Harlan set up a table and a typewriter in that display area. Then he wrote short stories, one after another, as people watched from the sidewalk. As he finished each page, he taped it to the window so the gathered folks could read the story as it progressed.

I will do the same thing, except I’m posting them online one scene or chapter at a time. No rewriting, no editing, no sleight of hand. I’ll try to remember to spell check them, but that’s it.

Only those who subscribe to HStanbrough.com will witness my efforts to write short stories (and maybe novellas and novels) “in public,” posted one scene or one chapter at a time.

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, if you’ve ever wondered how a story grows from idea through the finished product — or, bless your heart, if you’ve ever wondered how I do that with my stories — this is an excellent opportunity to watch the process unfold.

Everybody who watches NASCAR or Indy car racing watch for one of two reasons: To see whether their favorite driver will prevail or to witness the wrecks first hand.

Wanna see me succeed and watch as I’m building stories? Subscribe. Wanna see me crash and burn? Subscribe. (grin)

Either way, I’ll be glad to have you along.

But don’t dawdle. The new Writing in Public challenge will begin on July 1 at the latest. But knowing me, there’s a good chance it will begin sooner than that.

Note: My efforts at writing in public will replace the Free Story of the Week. But I can’t transfer subscriptions.

If you want to watch me create new stories, you will have to visit Writing in Public at http://hstanbrough.com to subscribe. That subscription goes through a different service so subscribers will get an email update each time I post a new scene or chapter (instead of once per day via MailChimp).

I hope to see you there.

Thanks for your patience, and for being here in the first place. Now back to the work in progress on the websites.

‘Til next time, happy writing!

Harvey

The Journal, Friday, 3/10

Hey Folks,

Well, like the man said, Another day, another two dolla’s an’ fo’ty cent.

I’ve learned a great deal about the craft of writing over the past couple of years.

In that time, I stopped teaching seminars in order to focus more tightly on my own writing.

Also in that time, I’ve written 22 novels, 2 novellas, and over 160 short stories.

I’m currently working on my 23rd novel, and before this month is out, I hope to have finished my 24th.

Now, I’m thinking about firing up a brand new combination of at least one interactive seminar and at least one two-day workshop.

Some Thoughts

When I say “seminar” I mean an interactive lecture, a time during which I teach various aspects of the craft of writing and build on questions and comments from those in attendance.

Probably the seminar will be a one-day shot in person. Probably one in Phoenix and one in Tucson (metro areas). Maybe one or two in rural Cochise County (southeast Arizona).

When I say “workshop,” I mean a mixture of instruction (from me) and writing (from attendees).

Almost certainly the workshop will be in person at first. Attendees invariably get more out of the immersion among writers that happens in live workshops.

I’m thinking one two-day workshop in Phoenix and one two-day workshop in Tucson. And maybe one two-day workshop in Cochise County. And probably an online workshop afterward.

I’ll plan both the seminar and the workshop well in advance so I can get maximum exposure for both. In all likelihood, these will not be repeated.

What I Know Right Now

These will be on Craft (so not business, not mechanics).

They will suit everyone from beginning to advanced writers.

They will cross genre lines.

They will suit writers of novels, novellas and short fiction.

I haven’t set attendance fees yet, but as always, I will keep fees as low as possible to help offset attendees’ costs.

If you’re in the region, these will definitely be worth your time to drive in, by which I mean you will learn a great deal.

If you’re not in the region, these might well be worth the time and expense to drive or fly in.

I will emphasize Heinlein’s Rules, excepting Rule 3. (Your writing process is your business.) I won’t emphasize my own writing process, though I will mention it and then respond to questions if there are any.

I’ll announce complete details here and over in the big blog later.

I invite and welcome comments and questions.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out late at almost 4:30 after a pretty exhausting day yesterday. I capped that off by going to pick up my grandson around 8:30 last night.

I managed to wake up, get all the animals settled in, put together a third cup of coffee and head for the Hovel around 7:30. I stopped at a good place (jagged edge) yesterday. So it should be fairly easy to get back into the novel this morning.

Turns out I still had some admin stuff to do this morning. So after I got to the Hovel, I wrote everything above.

8:45, finally to the novel. Cycling in the first session. Got about 500 words. At 9:50, a break.

10:05, breakfast and iced tea in hand, back to the novel. Took a short break around 11:20, that turned into a longer break.

12:15, back to the novel after rearranging my office a bit to keep the dog out of the cat bowl. Sigh. Both girls have to take medicine, and with him eating their food I don’t know what they’re getting or what he’s getting. If he keeps it up, he’s gonna wind up in a chihuahua burrito.

Took the grandson to work at 3:30, then back here to finish up. A little short today, but no biggie.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Well, it’s here. See “Strengths Workshop Starting Up!” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/strengths-workshop-starting-up/. Yes, I’m signed up. I suspect this will be the most valuable workshop I’ve ever taken.

If you already know you’re interested, you can find the details on the Regular Craft workshop at http://wmg-publishing-workshops-and-lectures.teachable.com/p/strength-workshop-regular-craft. (The link Dean included in the post is flawed.)

Fiction Words: 3985
Nonfiction Words: 710 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4695

Writing of Novel One (tentative title, natch)

Day 1…… 3442 words. Total words to date…… 3442
Day 2…… 2089 words. Total words to date…… 5531
Day 3…… 3018 words. Total words to date…… 8549
Day 4…… 2882 words. Total words to date…… 11431
Day 5…… 5117 words. Total words to date…… 16548
Day 6…… 3985 words. Total words to date…… 20,533

Total fiction words for the month……… 20533
Total fiction words for the year………… 172399
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4940
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 41530

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 213929

A Phoenix

Hi Folks,

This morning as I conducted some routine maintenance on my website, I got curious. I checked the “Uncategorized” posts.

Those marked Uncategorized were not sent to any list by MailChimp. Not even the Pro Writers blog, for which I wrote them.

I found forty-three such posts, all of which should have gone to the Pro Writers list.

So I’m beginning the arduous process of perusing, updating and rescheduling those posts. Those that are still valid as-is, I will schedule to post. Those that are dated, I will either not post or add a note to the beginning, then post.

These posts will pop into your email in box every Tuesday at 8 a.m. (Arizona time).

I am a professional fiction writer. If you’d like to get writing tips several times each week, pop over to my Daily Journal and sign up. In the alternative, you can also click the Pro Writer’s Journal tab on the main website at HarveyStanbrough.com.

The Daily Journal is free, and you’ll get a great deal more valid information out of that than anything else you can find around the Internet. Plus you get an inside view on the life of a professional fiction writer.

‘Til next week, keep writing.

Harvey

Interim Post

Hi Folks,

Well, I just posted a complete how-to book—in chapters and appendices—free on this site over the past several weeks. If you haven’t read it and you would like to, you can click Writing the Character-Driven Story to find the links to every chapter.

I’ll be taking it down soon, so if you haven’t read it and you’d like to, please do so soon. If you would rather buy your own copy, you can find it at Smashwords, Amazon and all other major ebook retailers. The cost is $9.99. Sorry. It isn’t available yet in print.

Finally, you can always also order your own copy (Kindle, Nook/Apple or PDF) directly from me for only $8.50 by emailing me at HarveyStanbrough@gmail.com.

One person posted on Facebook that she “love’s Bradbury’s rules for writers but Stanbrough’s rules are just common sense.” (grin) I was kind of flattered.

Forgetting for a moment that what’s common to some obviously is a luxury to others, NOWHERE in Writing the Character-Driven Story did I post anything remotely resembling Stanbrough’s Rules. To my knowledge, they don’t exist.

I can only imagine she meant the rules that I annotated (Heinlein’s Rules). You can get a free copy by visiting the Free Downloads page on my website. Then scroll down and click Heinlein’s Rules.

Anyway, if that’s what she meant, yes, she’s absolutely right. They are common sense, or should be for writers. Unfortunately, most aspiring writers never learn or follow them.

In fact, Heinlein first posted his “business habits” almost as an afterthought to an obscure essay. He himself said they were extremely simple; yet they are also “amazingly hard to follow—which is why there are so few professional writers and so many aspirants, and which is why I am not afraid to give away the racket.”

If you would like to read his essay first hand, you can find it in Of Worlds Beyond, ed. Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, 1947. The title of the essay is misleading: “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.” Anyone with the aforementioned common sense can read his business habits and tell that they would apply to all writing, speculative or otherwise.

But I digress.

This interim post and probably the next two or three are to give me time to develop the next nonfiction book I’m going to post here.

As before, I’ll post it a chapter at a time. As before, you will be able to read it free of charge and even download it and save it to a file on your own computer. You may even print it if you wish. Please just remember it is copyrighted material and respect my copyright.

Until I begin posting the next nonfiction book, this blog will go back to appearing every ten days, albeit on the sixes instead of the ones. This one will post on 6 April. The next two will post on the 16th and the 26th. I might keep to that schedule in the future.

If you’d like to really see what it’s like to follow Heinlein’s Rules, I recommend you sign up for my other blog, my secret blog, the one to which I post daily, over at The Daily Journal (HEStanbrough.com). I think you won’t be sorry.

The next post on this blog (on the 16th) actually is derived from a recent post on the other one.

Whatever you choose to do, happy writing.

Harvey

I am a professional writer. This is my living. If you enjoy or learn from my work, click the Subscribe to My Work tab above. (It isn’t the same as subscribing to this blog.) As an alternative, consider dropping a tip into my Tip Jar on your way out. If you’ve already contributed, thanks so much.

If you can’t make a monetary donation, please consider forwarding this post to a friend or several. (grin) Again, thank you.

Announcing a New Subscription Service

Hi Folks,

This is a revised post from earlier.

First, if you’ve ever felt you’re starting too late in life as a writer, please visit Dean Wesley Smith’s post on the topic. You’ll be glad you did.

Second, the next post in Pro Writers, probably around the end of this week, will be the Introduction and maybe the first chapter of my new nonfiction title, Writing the Character-Driven Story.

I will post successive chapters here, free, on my blog until the whole thing is finished and ready to be compiled and published. Until then and for a short time longer, you’ll be able to access it at the self-named tab on my website.

Afterward it will be available in ebook and probably print over at StoneThread Publishing and through your favorite vendor. So stay tuned for that. It will also be available through my new subscription service. (grin)

I make part of my living as a professional fiction writer and part as a nonfiction writer. In this Pro Writers blog and in The Daily Journal over on HEStanbrough.com, I do my best to pass along what I know and what I learn about writing as I go along.

I enjoy sharing that knowledge, and both blogs will be forever free of charge for as long as I keep writing them. However, for those who want more, today I’m announcing a new subscription service.

To see the subscription levels, please visit Subscribe to My Work. Clicking this link will open a new page.

If you have any questions about this new subscription service, please ask in the comments section below.

Otherwise I’ll be back in a few days with the first installment of Writing the Character-Driven Story.

‘Til then, happy writing.

Harvey

Something New

Hi Folks,

I’m about to try something I’ve never tried before.

One of my goals this year is to write at least six nonfiction books on writing or publishing.

To help me achieve that goal, I’m going to publish them right here first, on this blog, one chapter at a time and free of charge.

I will announce each book here when I start it. Then, each time I finish a chapter of the book, I’ll post it here, free, for everyone to see.

I welcome your comments on each chapter.

I also welcome you to copy and paste each chapter and the comments if you want, into a document for your own use. However, please remember that all content on this blog is ©Harvey Stanbrough 2016. I ask that you do not share what you copy from here with anyone except perhaps your significant other. And of course, if you quote from any of this material, please be sure to attribute authorship to me and to HarveyStanbrough.com.

When I’ve posted all the chapters and get the book back from my copyeditor, I’ll take those posts down. After that you’ll be able to buy the ebook and the print book at all the usual outlets.

But again, you can read it all free before that. All you have to do is show up. (grin) And of course, if you want to drop something in the kitty on your way out the door, donations are always welcome.

(Actually, I’ll have a pretty exciting announcement regarding donations soon as well. Stay tuned.)

The first nonfiction book in my lineup this year is Writing the Character-Driven Story.

I presented a whirlwind one-hour session on this in Green Valley sometime last year. Of course, I couldn’t begin to cover everything I wanted to cover or everything the attendees needed to hear.

Well, now I’m going to correct that oversight.

I’ll begin posting the chapters for Writing the Character-Driven Story right here sometime in the next few days. I suggest you watch for them. (grin)

While I’m posting the chapters of this book, I will not be posting my normal posts on the 1st, 11th, and 21st. But I suspect you won’t miss them once you start reading the chapters.

Hey listen, if you have friends who are not yet subscribers to this blog, NOW would be a great time for them to sign up. Lots of good free stuff coming your way. (grin)

That’s it for this time.

See you next time with the Introduction and maybe Chapter 1.

Happy writing,

Harvey

Note: If you find something of value in these posts or on this website, consider dropping a tip into Harvey’s Tip Jar on your way out or just click paypal.me/harveystanbrough. If you’ve already contributed, thanks so much. If you can’t make a monetary donation, please consider forwarding this post to a friend or several. (grin) Again, thank you.

My appreciation to Dean Wesley Smith, from whom I flat stole the idea of putting up chapters of my nonfiction books here as I write them. Thanks, Dean.

A Very Brief Post

Hi Folks,

A very brief post today.

First, I wish you a happy Christmas Eve, a Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year, and an overall happy holiday season.

I also invite you to check out my Journal for today. Anytime today, please visit This Link. I’ll be updating the post until around 3 p.m.

To make it more valuable to writers and the curious, from this day forward the Journal will contain

  • an introduction in which I will name the Topic of the Day so you’ll know up  front what’s coming
  • an Of Interest section that will contain links to other sources that I have already vetted
  • the Topic of the Day itself
  • a section called The Day in which I will detail my own writing process for that day, what worked and what didn’t. Some writers will find this section of value and some won’t. This is my laundry as a writer, clean and dirty mixed, drying on tight lines strung between T posts in my virtual back yard for all the world to see.

If you haven’t tried the Daily Journal yet, or if you tried it and didn’t care for it, I hope you’ll visit today’s post and see what you think. Then, if you would like to subscribe, simply click The Daily Journal link either here or in the header of either website. As always, it is free of charge.

All best,

Harvey

Fun with Aphorisms

Hi Folks,

Taking a little break today for a short post and some fun. At least I hope you’ll find it fun.

“Aphorism” is defined by dictionary.com as “a short pithy saying expressing a general truth.” My aphorisms sometimes come out as definitions (ala Ambrose Bierce) and are most often satirical. Here are a dozen of mine. Remember, these are tongue in cheek:

  • apology, n. A device intended to soothe wounds and thereby put a victim off his guard; a precursor to the next offense.
  • arrogance, n. ignorance advertised.
  • common sense, n. A myth. What’s common to some is obviously a luxury to most.
  • human, n. 1. The most conceited animal on earth, unjustifiably so.
  • intellectual, n. 1. One who will drive a Hummer six blocks to a Save the Ozone rally. 2. A closet tuna-eater.
  • intolerance, n. Proof of an atrophied mind and a lazy disposition.
  • kindness, n. An imagined effect created by hopeful expectation. The act itself never issues forth from one whose lips the word has crossed, except to convey superiority.
  • opinion, n. Offered as it is from a single point of view, a meaningless group of words to anyone but the author.
  • patience, n. A pliable substance that wears thin when it’s most needed.
  • protestor, n. 1. One who exercises the right to dissent, provided him by a patriot, against whom he most often dissents. 2. One who, lacking a cause, will create a posterboard sign decrying the lack of causes and picket the nearest conservative.
  • question, n. Because it stirs thought, the only truly important grouping of words in any language.
  • victim, n. In our society, the person held responsible for the crime perpetuated against him.

And a few straight aphorisms:

  • Failure is only practice for success.
  • The right to free speech does not include the right to an audience.
  • The one thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance.

How about you? Do you write aphorisms? It’s a fun exercise and a great way to keep the brain pan lubricated.

‘Til next time, happy writing.

Harvey

Note: If you find something of value in these posts or on this website, consider dropping a tip into Harvey’s Tip Jar on your way out or just click paypal.me/harveystanbrough. If you’ve already contributed, thanks so much. If you can’t make a monetary donation, please consider forwarding this post to a friend or several. (grin) Again, thank you.

The Journal, Wednesday, 11/25

Well, I’m back. Finally. And I won’t leave again unless it’s feet first. I promise.

Listen, if you’d rather not receive this, please don’t just unsubscribe. Please email me at HarveyStanbrough@gmail.com and I’ll remove your name from this list myself. It makes a difference over at MailChimp. Thanks.

When I wrote here last, I was writing fiction pretty much every day, in addition to writing this (daily) blog as well as my main Pro Writers blog, creating the publisher website, creating book covers, promo docs, and everything else.

Then I decided to cut this Journal to save some time. But in so doing, I cut my accountability. And apparently that’s something I still need.

I thought recording my numbers on a spreadsheet would suffice. In fact, I recorded my numbers on that spreadsheet from the first day of September straight through until November 23.

But the numbers were dismal. Not surprisingly (in hindsight), I fell off Heinlein’s Rules, specifically Rules 1 and 2. Not good for a guy who boasts he is an adherent to those rules.

In September, I wrote 65,135 words, a decent month, though nothing to brag about. In October, I wrote pretty regularly right up until I cleared the 750,000 word mark that began on October 19, 2014. Then, no longer having a “place to report” (this Journal), I stopped.

For October, up until I hit 750,466 words for that one-year period, I wrote 35,073 words. For the rest of October (from Oct 15 through Oct 31) I wrote on only two days for a total of 8624 words. (For comparison, had I met my daily goal of 3,000 per day, that would have been 51,000 words.)

And the self-imposed slump wasn’t over. During the month of November, I wrote fiction only on the 2nd (3330 words) and the 23rd (5142 words) for a monthly total thus far of 8472 words. Ugh.

So since October 14th, when I reached the 750,466 word mark, I have written a grand total of 17,096 words. And yes, that’s better than nothing. But the potential during those 41 days (at my goal of 3,000 per day) was 123,000 words.

Okay, so the point of all this is that I need the public accountability. So The Journal is back.

Probably I won’t write as many “topic” things here as I did before. Probably I’ll just record the daily round, any changes in goals, and my numbers.

Goals

  • My daily goal is to write 4,000 new publishable words of fiction per day. (On the few days that I did write during my self-imposed slump, the totals were well over 4,000 words on four of the five days.)
  • The weekly goal is to write one new short story per week. However, I’m no longer posting the newest story live every week. When I finish a new one, it goes into the queue to be posted.
  • My goal for 2015 is to hit 148,000 words in the next 37 days (taking off December 25). If I hit that it will bring me to 721873 words for the year. That’s considerably less than I wrote from October 19, 2014 through October 18, 2015, but I’ll take it.
  • My goal for 2016 is to hit one million words of original fiction. That’s easily doable even if I miss my goal of writing 4,000 words per day every day. So we’ll see.

Okay, onward and upward.

The Day

So today I rolled out at 3, messed around for a half-hour or so with email and Spider solitaire (the devil’s own temptation, that game).

Then I added 10 photos from my Saved file at Bigstock into my cart for downloading when my download day resets at about 11 a.m. (I’m currently in a subscription plan in which I can download ten images per day for a month. Not easy to keep up with it, but doing so means my cover images cost only 33 cents each.) Only two days left on that.

Then, between trips to let cats in or out, I did a little website work on the two websites and then came here to write this. It’s currently 7 a.m.

Going now to restart this “campaign” at MailChimp, so this will go out at 6 p.m. Arizona time.

Today’s Writing

Well, I set out to write a short story based on Wes’ travels in Mexico. About 1200 words in, I realized it didn’t want to be a short story. It was the new opening for the ninth novel in the Wes Crowley saga. So first, as painful as it was, I found my old files regarding the ninth book and deleted them. Period.

Ugh. Then I went back to the opening and wrote a couple more sessions, ending up with the word count that you see below for today. I didn’t get quite as many new words done today as I wanted to, but I did get reinvigorated. To be sure I’m firing on all cylinders from the start tomorrow morning, I cut off the writing and read back through a few of the other novels in the saga to get some names and a timeline right.

This is going to be a painful book to write (emotional, not difficult) but I know it’s right. So part of me dreads it and part of me can’t wait. Okay, that’s more than I expected to write on this post, so I’ll put up the numbers and talk with you again tomorrow.

By the way, thanks for being there.

Fiction Words: 3887

Writing of The Scent of Acacia (Book 9 in the Wes Crowley saga)

Day 1…… 3887 words. Total words to date…… 3887 words

Total fiction words for the month……… 12359
Total fiction words for the year………… 586232

 

It’s Novel Promotion Time

Hi Folks,

Okay, for the first time ever, I’m doing a promotion with my novel series.

For the next three weeks, from right now through December 5, the first title of the Wes Crowley saga—The Rise of a Warrior—is priced at FREE at Smashwords.

Also for the next three weeks, the second title in that series—Comanche Fire—is priced at 99 cents, also at Smashwords.

Notice, you don’t need a coupon to purchase these books at these prices. Simply click the link above and go get your book.

Why Smashwords?

Because at Smashwords you can purchase any book in any ebook format: .mobi for Kindle; .epub for Nook or iPhone; and .PDF for reading on your computer.

Likewise, the prices of those two books will be lowered at Apple, B&N, Kobo and elsewhere but that might take a couple of days. (Amazon doesn’t allow pricing at Free, but I will lower the price of both books there to 99 cents. Again, you can buy the .mobi format for Kindle free at Smashwords.)

The Wes Crowley Saga is a western, but it’s also a great deal more. Most notably, it contains heavy threads of action/adventure, romance, and psychological suspense. I strongly recommend you pick up your copies of The Rise of a Warrior and Comanche Fire today.

‘Til next time, happy writing and reading.

Harvey