The Journal, Tuesday, 5/23

Hey Folks,

Happy birthday to my dad. He would have been 89 years old today. He’s been gone just under 30 years, having left far too soon just to show everyone he could.

Today my youngest son comes in from Indiana, so I’m not sure what I’ll get done today. Also my wife is home ill today, so. But we’ll see.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out way late at 4:30 after a “late” night getting to sleep around 10.

Just stuff for the first few hours and visiting with my neighbor.

8:30 to the novel.

Around 9 I interrupted myself. Remembered I need to check the pump on the evap cooler on the roof. It wasn’t working yesterday.

Hard to sit down and just play. A lot on my mind, and a visit coming up, plus I have some other things to do, not the least of which is open my newer ‘puter and blow it out with compressed air, etc.

I think I wrote maybe a couple hundred words before I was sidetracked again. Think I’ll just cut my losses and call it a nonwriting day.

But I won’t post this until late this afternoon to leave today’s ProWriters post in place for awhile. If anything changes, I’ll report it here and in the numbers below.

Roy got here fine. He, Bryan and I are sitting around a picnic table in the shade and a cool breeze, enjoying Negra Modelos, cigars and some great music. It doesn’t get much better than that.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Some good comments on “A Response Letter” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-response-letter/#comments/.

Interesting watching his progress on “Running, Workshops, and Writing” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/running-workshops-and-writing/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 280 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 280

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698
Day 4…… 2612 words. Total words to date…… 11310
Day 5…… 2205 words. Total words to date…… 13515
Day 6…… 3739 words. Total words to date…… 17254
Day 7…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 32668
Total fiction words for the year………… 280262
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11520
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 86210

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 366472

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 545 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Monday, 5/22

Hey Folks,

During my morning reading, I hit upon an article titled “A Publisher Tries Podcasts As A Gateway To Audiobooks.”

I’d be interested in knowing what you think of this.

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a podcast, perhaps as an extension of the June challenge. Maybe in July I’d read the short stories I wrote for the challenge in June. Something like that.

So whaddya think? Interesting? Something you’d listen to? Something you might want to try yourself? Something you already do?

The link to the article is in Of Interest.

***

Finished all the major moving and rearranging in my office yesterday. I’ve drastically downsized, but it’s a lot more comfortable. I don’t feel quite so much like I’m packed into my office when I’m in here now.

Remains the task of retraining my mind to my new writing space.

I put a lot of words very quickly, almost automatically, through my computer when I worked in the Hovel. That was mostly because my mind was trained for it.

My subconscious knew that when I went to the Hovel, it was time to play. Now that I’ve switched back up here, I have to create a new mindset to go along with the new space.

At the house, too, there are more distractions. So I have to create workarounds for those too.

I’m not complaining. Exploration and new discovery is fun or I wouldn’t be doing it. And at any time, I can always grab my writing ‘puter and head for the Hovel for awhile if I have to.

But being at the house alleviates other problems too, like the little girl isn’t as tempted to get out of the yard when I’m at the house. So I’m motivated to make the transition.

***

Well, my grandson Bryan called Job Corps this morning (his third “call in two weeks” phone call). Now they say Phoenix is still looking over his paperwork and they’ll call him.

If they can hold him off until his 23rd birthday, he’ll be ineligible because of his age. I’m beginning to think that’s what’s going on.

I told him to apply for a few jobs around. Thing is, unless he gets mega-lucky and staggers into a guy who’s willing to be patient and teach him a trade, his whole life is going to be working at fast food, Walmart, stuff like that.

It’s SO damned aggravating. I have a grandson who might be able to live an adequately self-sufficient life only if he gets very lucky. I can only hope the current situation with Job Corps isn’t the result of discrimination.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3:30 and per usual spent the first couple hours just messing around, waking up. Took a few pics and posted them to FB.

Then I spent about an hour grouping and arranging pics in a folder on my desktop.

I wrote off and on through the morning. I wrote at my outside desk under an umbrella, but couldn’t see the screen very well. The umbrella is not transparent, but light does get through.

I wrote at my inside desk, and that was fine, but new, so something I have to get used to.

And I wrote at a picnic table under a shade tree in a breeze. That was nice, but there’s no back support and the angle is wrong for computer work. So I could only do that for a little while.

Finally, a good day of writing. Crossed into novella territory today. Still in the middle of the book and no clue where it’s going, but man is it going. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “A Publisher Tries Podcasts As A Gateway To Audiobooks” at http://www.npr.org/2017/05/17/528730680/a-publisher-tries-podcasts-as-a-gateway-to-audiobooks.

From the Dumb Advice section of the PC vault, “Spy author Anthony Horowitz ‘warned off’ creating black character” at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39988992/.

At Dean’s place, see “A Response Letter…” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-response-letter/. A great little gem of a post.

Fiction Words: 3739
Nonfiction Words: 660 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4399

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698
Day 4…… 2612 words. Total words to date…… 11310
Day 5…… 2205 words. Total words to date…… 13515
Day 6…… 3739 words. Total words to date…… 17254

Total fiction words for the month……… 32668
Total fiction words for the year………… 280262
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11240
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 85930

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 366192

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 544 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Sunday, 5/21

Hey Folks,

Well, I decided early this isn’t going to be a writing day today either. I have to get my office situation settled out. Worked on that the better part of the day and think it’s finally there.

Tomorrow I’ll dive back into the novel. It’s been going great. No problems at all, and my favorite dictum, “just write the next sentence,” is easy on this one.

So I’ll probably blow through a bunch of it tomorrow. One proviso: tomorrow the kid calls Job Corps again, and if they say come on down, well, that’ll take priority. But otherwise it’s writing all the way.

Topic: Ask Me Stuff

If you need help with your writing, and if you think I can help, please feel free to ask. You can ask as a comment or in a private email. Either way is fine.

As I wrote to a friend earlier today, I’ve long believed the Question is the most important grouping of words.

Not only (or even) because questions lead to answers, but because they evoke thought. In both the questioner and the respondent.

When I’m asked a question about writing, I try to provide the best response I’m able to give at the time (at my current level of skill).

But to do that, I have to think. It’s impossible to know anyone else’s situation, of course, regarding their writing process or otherwise.

So I tell them what has worked (or is working) for me, to include anything new I’ve learned since we last talked.

But during that process, I also reinforce within myself the things I’m doing and/or remind myself of things I should be doing.

I’m pretty sure that’s why “they” say the easiest way to learn something is to teach it. I don’t know whether it’s the easiest way, but it’s definitely the best way.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3. Didn’t really want to, but it felt like it was time (if that makes sense) so I did.

Screwed off the first couple of hours, then got busy on my office. That’s one of the reasons for all the slow starts recently. Too distracted by the desire to fix the office.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Kind of interesting what Dean’s doing with his running. If you’re interested in running. Or you might be able to adapt it to your writing. See http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/started-running-finally/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 400 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 400

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698
Day 4…… 2612 words. Total words to date…… 11310
Day 5…… 2205 words. Total words to date…… 13515
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 28929
Total fiction words for the year………… 276523
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 85270

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 361793

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 543 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Saturday, 5/20

Hey Folks,

Well, I fully intended to write today, and I did, but only a little. I’ll call today a nonwriting day and pick it up again in the morning.

Because Bryan might be heading out for Job Corps this week, we decided to take him down to the San Pedro River. We spent a couple of hours down there, and we got a ton of pictures. I posted a lot on Facebook.

But when I first got back, I stepped out for a cigar. Very difficult for me to sit and do nothing, so while I was enjoying my cigar, I also watered our small east yard. Too small for the sprinklers, and it gives me something to do.

But I stayed in the heat too long. Several years ago (in the USMC) I was nailed with heat stroke. No sweating, red skin, nausea, the works.

The trouble is, that makes a guy hyper-sensitive to heat thereafter.

And today it got me. So I came inside, sat under a fan, downed a few glasses of Gatorade, etc. My BP was racing.

I’m all right now, but as I write this it’s after 2:30, so I’m just gonna call it a day. (grin) I needed a day off anyway.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3 and spent the next almost two hours just waking up. A bit later I had breakfast and did some things around the house and yard.

I wrote a little while, and then around 9:30 I asked Mona if she wanted to maybe go to the river. The rest is above.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Check Dean’s site. Not much today, but some great comments over the past few days and the past two chapters of The Magic Bakery.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 300 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 300

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698
Day 4…… 2612 words. Total words to date…… 11310
Day 5…… 2205 words. Total words to date…… 13515
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 28929
Total fiction words for the year………… 276523
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10180
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 84870

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 3613093

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 542 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Friday, 5/19

Hey Folks,

Well, I was relieved when yesterday’s Journal posted to my inbox shortly after 7 p.m. Remember you can always read the current or back issues of the Journal at http://harveystanbrough.com/category/daily-journal/.

Really looking forward to today, and the month is finally moving too fast. Hard to believe today is already Friday.

I have other life-roll things coming up, but thankfully they’re all in this month (so far, knock on wood). So June’s still a Go for the scene-by-scene short-story-per-day challenge.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3:30. Spent the first couple of hours with email and Facebook and reading on my computer.

Ate breakfast and otherwise just killed time for awhile.

Turned to the novel around 10, wrote for about an hour. It’s moving along fine.

Then I looked around and decided to make some more changes (minor ones) in my office. Good thing I’ve labeled this an “adjustment” month. (grin)

Then I went out for a cigar (left the ‘puter inside) and stepped into my backyard shed to get out of the wind so I could light up more easily.

I could barely get in there. Looked around. Excess garden tools, chunks of wood, etc. So I decided to clear out some things I very seldom use.

Two wagon-load trips to the Hovel (it’s also a large, long storage shed) and now the backyard shed is a lot neater.

1:30, back to the novel.

3:30, the novel’s still running well but I kind’a ran out of steam today.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to check out https://the-digital-reader.com/. I signed up awhile back for his daily newsletter. It isn’t always pertinent to me personally, but it’s always very informative.

See “The Magic Bakery: Chapter Nine” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-magic-bakery-chapter-nine/.

Fiction Words: 2205
Nonfiction Words: 300 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2505

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698
Day 4…… 2612 words. Total words to date…… 11310
Day 5…… 2205 words. Total words to date…… 13515

Total fiction words for the month……… 28929
Total fiction words for the year………… 276523
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9880
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 84570

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 361093

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 541 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Thursday, 5/18

Hey Folks,

Huh. Not sure why MailChimp didn’t send last night’s post. Still, any hard-core followers went to the main site to check it out. The post was there.

I put it up at around 5:15. And it was tagged appropriately (Daily Journal category) so MailChimp should have sent it out at 7. Here’s hoping it’ll go out today. I’m posting this at 4:41.

There was no topic in yesterday’s post. The only matter of any real importance (probably) was my admonition to read the comments on Dean’s “The Magic Bakery: Chapter Eight.”

Some great comments. You can find that at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-magic-bakery-chapter-eight/#comments/.

I have to hit the grocery this morning. Probably I’ll do that early. When I get back and get things put away, I should be able to write as much as I want.

Had an interesting thing happen yesterday with the novel. Right in the middle of it (well, short of that at around 8000 words), I wrote a chapter/scene that would also make an excellent beginning for a short story. Hmmm.

Topic: Bad Writing Habits Come in Degrees

In the email update from The Digital Reader, Nate points to “Bad Writing Habits and How to Break Them” (http://writerunboxed.com/2017/05/04/bad-writing-habits-and-how-to-break-them/.)

I didn’t put this in Of Interest because, frankly, it’s sideways advice.

It isn’t really good advice, except on the largest possible scale: Yes, it’s better to avoid bad writing habits.

But when it comes to specifics, it’s misleading at best and can be downright harmful, as evidenced by how rapidly the comments on that post deteriorated into counting repeated words, etc.

The main “bad writing habit” the author (Anna Elliott) cites is “how many times my characters nodded in agreement to something.”

She goes on to say “probably 90 percent of those nods were entirely unnecessary [so] I cut them.”

Okay, so be on the lookout for bad habits. Good advice on the surface.

But I was annoyed by that “nodded in agreement” thing. If everytime a character nodded in her book she followed “nodded” with a prepositional phrase (in agreement, in acceptance, etc.) THAT might have been what was boring the audio guy to tears.

“He nodded” or “she nodded” or “character-name nodded” is a ton less intrusive than “he nodded in agreement.”

Folks, every time ANYONE nods, it’s “in agreement.”

I’ve seen writers write “he nodded yes” and “he shook his head no.” But the fact is, every time anyone nods, it means yes. Every time they shake their head, it means no.

I’ve also seen them write “he shrugged his shoulders” (what else is he gonna shrug?).

I’ve seen them write all sorts of other bodily motions and then double-down with an in-sentence explanation of why the character made that motion.

Silliness. “If you want to stop a bad writing habit, how about cutting out the unnecessary explanation?” he said, with a voice that sounded as if exasperation were dripping off his tongue because he was so annoyed with the question.

And in the course of the comments following the article, I foresee a whole group of writers “experimenting” with cutting out ALL instances of “nodded” and “shrugged.” And if those are gone, can “gestured” or “smiled” or “grinned” or “laughed” or “chuckled” be far behind?

The answer to all of this is simple, of course. If your character nods (shrugs, smiles, grins, giggles, gestures, etc.) in response to another character saying something, write “He (or John or she) nodded.” Then continue with his/her verbal response if there is one.

“He nodded” is a short, quick narrative that enables the reader to see an action from the character. And it isn’t “unnecessary” if, at that place in the scene, the character nodded.

Not to even mention it’s over in a blink. 99% of readers don’t even notice it.

“He nodded in agreement,” on the other hand, is plodding, ugly and repetitive. It needs major surgery, as in cutting away half of it.

But once you slash away the truly “unnecessary” part, your reader won’t be nodding off. (See what I did there?)

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3:30.

Around 6 I headed for the store. When I got back, my wife met me outside. Seems my kitten had brought in a baby bird. It was a nestling, but with feathers and barely able to fly.

It was unharmed. I cuddled the little thing in my palm, took it to the back fence, gave it a good scolding and opened my hand. It just looked up at me.

I petted it with my index finger and said quietly, “Go on.” It flew to the ground about ten feet away. So a happy ending.

After all that I put away the stuff I bought, then visited Facebook while I ate a quick breakfast. Then I came here to write all this stuff.

Wow. Slow day so far. I sat down at the novel at around 10:30 but I just didn’t feel comfortable. Know what I mean? Uneasy for some reason.

I wrote a little, put the water on the yard and later moved it. Wrote some more, then did some other little stuff. Moved out to the Hovel with a cigar at around noon. I’m more comfortable out there. Kept pecking at the novel.

A little cycling but nothing major in that regard. Writing mostly brand new stuff, but at 1:30 (three hours after I started) only one new scene and a few touch-ups. A little over 1000 words.

Well, a good couple of hours, but I seem unable to break over a 3,000 word day. (grin) That’s okay. Novel’s coming along.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

For those of you who, like me, either missed or chose not to attend the Branding online workshop, see Business Musings: How To Build A Brand: The Early Stages at http://kriswrites.com/2017/05/17/business-musings-how-to-build-a-brand-the-early-stages-brandingdiscoverability/. I guess she’s going to do a series of these.

To catch up and read Kris’ first blog on branding, see http://kriswrites.com/2017/05/10/business-musings-types-of-brands-brandingdiscoverability/.

While we’re on the topic, check out Raoul Davis’ “7 Keys to Building a Successful Brand” at https://businesscollective.com/7-keys-to-building-a-successful-brand/.

And at Dean’s place, see “Too Much Other Stuff” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/too-much-other-stuff/.

Fiction Words: 2612
Nonfiction Words: 1020 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3632

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698
Day 4…… 2612 words. Total words to date…… 11310

Total fiction words for the month……… 26724
Total fiction words for the year………… 274318
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 84270

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 358588

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 540 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Wednesday, 5/17

Hey Folks,

Well, May is more than half-gone. I almost added “already,” but around here that isn’t really the case. The month thus far has seemed to drag by.

I was dawdling much of the morning. Still not happy with my office, so I adjusted the furniture again and ended up putting it all back.

What I need is a desk that’s around 4 feet wide and around 2 feet deep. (My old one was 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep.)

I’m very happy with my writing table. But the table I’ve been using for a desk is an odd shape. It’s fat in a deep-but-not-wide kind of way, so it’s awkward in my office.

But it’ll all work out.

Started the water on the yard and started a load of laundry. Richard came back with the glued door and we hung that.

Now the rest of the day is mine, minus time out to work on the laundry and other stuff now and then.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out a little after 4. Just didn’t want to get up. For me, that’s weird and kind of a bad start to the day. We’ll see what I can do to smooth out the rest of it.

Did all of the stuff above up until around 9, then played on Facebook awhile to catch up.

9:30, to the novel, wrote off and on. I wrote, I folded clothes, put them away. Put in another load.

Wrote, filled the hummingbird feeders.

Wrote, put the clothes in the dryer. Set up bags and water for a gallon of sun tea. Moved the water in the yard.

Wrote, folded clothes, put them away. Developed a headache along the way somewhere. Now it’s 1:20 and I just moved to the outside desk with a cigar and the novel.

Not a good day of writing, but not bad.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Please see the comments on “The Magic Bakery: Chapter Eight.” Absolutely mind-boggling. http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-magic-bakery-chapter-eight/#comments.

Fiction Words: 2961
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3301

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737
Day 3…… 2961 words. Total words to date…… 8698

Total fiction words for the month……… 24112
Total fiction words for the year………… 271706
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8560
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 83250

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 354956

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 539 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Tuesday, 5/16

Hey Folks,

Well, kind of a mixed bag today. I did a lot of non-writing stuff and still managed to knock out almost 3000 words. Details below.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out a little before 4. Still catching up on my sleep, I think.

By 5:30 I’d had my coffee and read everything I recommended to you below in “Of Interest” plus some other stuff.

Around 7 I went to the grocery and was back by 8. Around 9 I went to the poor, doorless Hovel and wrote for a little while. Back to the house after a cigar.

Wrote a little more while I was up here. At 10, back to the Hovel.

Wrote for a couple of hours, then spent time off and on with my friend (and landlord) Richard as he worked to get the swamp cooler on the roof running. Did it myself in years past, but my back doesn’t allow me up ladders anymore.

Around 3, back to writing for awhile.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Book Bundling for Authors” at http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/05/15/ebook-bundling/.

See “The Magic Bakery: Chapter Eight” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-magic-bakery-chapter-eight/.

More interesting stuff below that at “Again A Busy Day” (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/again-a-busy-day/).

Fiction Words: 2986
Nonfiction Words: 190 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3176

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737

Total fiction words for the month……… 21151
Total fiction words for the year………… 268745
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8220
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 82910

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 351655

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 538 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Monday, 5/15

Hey Folks,

Back to writing sometime today. Maybe a short story, maybe a novel start (or both).

I also have in mind two good series characters. Each has a great name and a strong personality. One is male and one female. Not because I want to keep things equal, but because that’s who they are.

I also have some other pressing things to do, not the least of which is extending the roof of the carport to provide additional shade for my wife’s new car.

You can’t live in southeast Arizona and avoid exposure to a severe sun, but you can mitigate the effects. Or you can try.

Confidential to Robert: Thanks for the encouragment. It’s all good. (grin)

***

I realized this morning I no longer have a writing routine. The past two weeks has been more disruptive than I initially thought it would, beginning with re-doing my office and followed by a lot of little life rolls.

There was the office rebuild, then the broken axle, then Mona’s medical thing, then the new car search and the visit from the kids.

Routine is important to me. It’s how I do things. Not a schedule so much, but a routine. So I need to reestablish that. I’ll start working on that today.

I need to make writing a priority again. Not make “the writing” important, but make writing important.

***

Okay, to the list of stuff above beginning with the office rebuild, we can now add putting a new door on the Adobe Hovel. (grin)

Around 2:45 I stepped out of the Hovel to head up to the house for another break and the door of the Hovel was laying about ten feet away. Wind got it. I guess I was so deep in the current story I didn’t notice.

I had the door blocked open, so the air currents didn’t change when the door headed for Deming. Anyway, thus began the search for another door for the Hovel.

The landlord had a lot of 30″ doors, but they were all interior doors. So he’s going to try to glue the old one back together. (As if he didn’t have enough on his plate.)

In the meantime, I’ve been wanting to get reaccustomed to writing up at the house anyway with summer coming on. So maybe this will be a blessing in disguise.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 4. I caught up on my sleep a bit last night after what was a very tiring and trying 10 days or so.

Around 10 I finished up the carport stuff I was doing, and around 11:30 I headed out to the Hovel to write.

12:30 a break up at the house to update this stuff and grab some lunch.

Another break around 1:30, then the final break of the day at 2:45. See above.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

At Dean’s, “One Time Branding Workshop” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/one-time-branding-workshop/.

Here’s to writing off into the dark. See “Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/05/your-brain-can-only-take-so-much-focus/.

And good ol’ California strikes again. See “California threatens to shut down book signings and therefore small booksellers” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/05/california-threatens-to-shut-down-book-signings-and-therefore-small-booksellers/.

Fiction Words: 2751
Nonfiction Words: 500 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3251

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751

Total fiction words for the month……… 18165
Total fiction words for the year………… 265759
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8030
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 82720

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 348479

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 537 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Sunday, 5/14

Hey Folks,

Yeah, this is pretty much another placeholder post to keep this Journal streak going.

I spent much of the early morning wrangling babies, shifting 4-legs from one room to another. Although the other two (cat and chihuahua) are fine around other 2-legs, my little girl gets hyper nervous.

That made for an interesting night and early morning. That baby has taught me more about patience in the past few years than I’ve learned from all sources (including experience) during the rest of my life.

Maybe that’s why I can write novels now. (grin) And maybe that’s why I can wait to write when I have to.

Mothers Day

Of course, today is Mothers Day. Yeah, it’s a commercial thing, but it’s much more than that.

For me this is a day to focus and reflect on moms and other women who have been or are significant to me.

I think of my wonderful wife who is a blessing to me. She’s human and I’m human, with all the attendant ups and downs. But at the end of the day we’re always there for each other, and I love seeing her laugh and smile.

I remember Mom, my stepmother, who passed five years ago and who gave me the kitten I talk about here so much, the one I call my youngest daughter.

I think of my estranged mother, the woman who gave me birth, and hope she is happy, by her own definition of that word, in her life.

I have two daughters who are moms in their own right. I have four “adopted” daughters — two married to two of my sons, one who is significant to my other son, and one who has left the family but whom I still consider a daughter and whose little girls I still count among my grandchildren. (Parents’ foibles are never the fault of the child.)

And my sisters and sister in law, aunts, cousins, and friends. I’m so very grateful for all of them.

This is a special day, in much the same way Veterans Day or Memorial Day or Independence Day or Thanksgiving are special days. An opportunity to reflect on other important (to me) people and events.

I hope it is as special for you, and for all the women in your life.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3 again. My favorite time to get up.

Wrote the stuff above by around 6, and I’m posting it early so I won’t forget and so it will be there most of the day today.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

At Dean’s place, “Open Driveway and Other Distractions” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/open-driveway-and-other-distractions/. Nothing spectacular, but he knocked out 1900 words on his novel yesterday and another 2100 last night. The guy continues to amaze me.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 450 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 450

Writing of

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

Writing of The Storm (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 3227 words. Total words to date…… 3227
Day 2…… 3366 words. Total words to date…… 6593
Day 3…… 2893 words. Total words to date…… 9486
Day 4…… 3172 words. Total words to date…… 12658
Day 5…… 1021 words. Total words to date…… 13679
Day 6…… 1735 words. Total words to date…… 15414 (stalled)
Day 7…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 15414
Total fiction words for the year………… 263008
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7530
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 82220

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 345228

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 536 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167