The Journal, Sunday, 1/29

Hey Folks,

Well, Sunday. Sunday mornin’ comin’ down. And I got a late start, thanks to waking up with mind twisted up and wrapped around a ball of crap.

The “Today and Writing” segment is still below, but I won’t belabor you with an hourly accounting today. Or probably any day in the future unless something important happens that I think might be of interest.

Just know that I’m now firmly trained to write while I’m in the chair and to take a break roughly every hour. And I recommend both.

Topic: In My World (somewhat political)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch posted something political on Facebook yesterday. That plus some supplicant’s comment on her post hit me so hard that it actually visited me in a dream last night.

If I were a lesser person, I suppose I would say I was assaulted during my somnolent phase with a micro-aggression. Or was it macro? Anyway, it bothered me so much that I woke up with this crap on my mind.

Of course, I take full responsibility. I had checked Get Notifications on Kris’ FB page, mostly so I could see when new stories or new Business Musings blogs popped up, partly for myself and partly so I could pass them on to others, including you.

I truly admire Kris’ writing ability, I’m happy for her that she’s made a b’jillion dollars doing what she loves, and I only wish I had even a little of her business sense.

But my admiration for her talents no longer outweighs what I personally see as her one-sided, myopic view of the world. So I can’t follow her anymore. It’s too much like risking walking into an ambush. And I won’t promote her or her work anymore.

You all know her website or can find it easily enough, and you can befriend her on Facebook or whatever if you haven’t already. I even recommend it if you can stand it or if you sympathize with her point of view. But I can’t and I don’t.

Many years ago, I wrote in some longer writing that “The one thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance.” Honestly, at the time, it was probably a tongue-in-cheek play on words. But the fact is, it’s true.

In my world, everything goes to intent. If your intention is to twist and mislead, stay away from me. Please. Likewise if you’re ignorant of facts, intentionally or otherwise.

Politically, I’m a conservative. In my world, that means I am the most tolerant of people. That’s born of my habit of checking character by comparing words to actions.

I DON’T CARE what color you are or your nationality or your religion. I don’t care about your gender, your lifestyle or your sexual preference.

Nor do I care either way about your political leanings, geo- or otherwise. I don’t care how you feel about global warming. I don’t care whether you agree with me or disagree with me on anything. And I mean AN-NEE-THING. But have enough respect to disagree with what I actually say, not what maybe your perception hears.

Furthermore, you have the right to “self-identify” in any way you wish. You can self-identify as a male with a vagina, a female with a penis, or a Coke bottle cap with a serrated edge for all I care.

Seriously, I flat don’t care about any of that. If I were running a business and you were my employee, I would care only that you show up on time and do your job. Period.

Personally, I would much prefer that all human adults also take responsibility for themselves and their own actions. But really, I don’t even care about that. ‘Cause in my world, that’s where I’m going to place responsibility, firmly.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3 and promptly wasted three-plus hours dealing with political crap, writing and rewriting stuff (intent, remember?) that ended up being the topic above. Ironically, most of the crap was intolerance, primarily from people who preach tolerance. Sigh.

7:10, finally to the novel.

Well, several small breaks and then a long one around lunch time and a trip to dinner and the grocery with my wife. Now my belly’s full so I don’t wanna play anymore for awhile. (grin)

Calling it early at 3 with a little less than my desired word count.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

I recommend checking the few comments on Questions and Lecture Announcements at

And then, of course, Some Fun Stuff at

Fiction Words: 3383
Nonfiction Words: 730 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4113

Writing of Will Perkins (novel, working title… I think this is going to end up being called The 13 Month Turn, but no relation to The Three Year Turn)

Day 1…… 4219 words. Total words to date…… 4219
Day 2…… 4003 words. Total words to date…… 8222
Day 3…… 3383 words. Total words to date…… 11605

Total fiction words for the month……… 86113
Total fiction words for the year………… 86113
Total nonfiction words for the month… 18930
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 18930

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 105043

Stigma Dis, Stigma Dat… Whatever

Note: This post was originally scheduled for October 2014. It didn’t post to MailChimp, so I’m posting it again now. I’ve revised the original post so it’s up to date.

Hey Folks,

Received yet another note today from a friend about the “stigma” of self-publishing. What a bunch of crap. There, I said it.

Not only is it a bunch of crap that there’s a “stigma” in the first place, but it’s an even bigger, smellier bunch of crap that anyone who calls himself or herself a writer cares either way. Writers write.

Self-publishing (indie publishing, not going through a subsidy publisher) is just another way to get your work to readers, period. That’s all it is. And if you tell a good story, someone out there will want to read it, period.

Look, if you’re a fiction writer, either professional or aspirant—you know, a person who actually puts new words on the page—and you’re serious about your writing, do yourself a HUGE favor and swing by the website of my unintentional mentor, Dean Wesley Smith. You’ll find it at

While you’re there, please be sure to click the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing tab and read some of the ridiculous myths we’ve all bought into over all these years.

Now just so you know, Dean is no slouch. The guy has had over 100 novels published with “traditional” publishers since the late 1980s. He goes almost strictly indie now.

One other thing—if you truly are serious about your writing, check out the Lecture Series tab on Dean’s website as well. His video series on Heinlein’s Rules is absolutely essential. It’s $75 and easily, EASILY worth several times more that. Think of it as an investment in your future. Seriously.

Dean’s wife is Kristine Kathryn Rusch. You can find her website at

Kris is the only person in history to win a Hugo award both as an editor and a writer. She’s had hundreds of novels published through traditional publishing, and now does tons of stuff in indie publishing. You want to see a work that literally defines the definition of accomplishment? Check out her Retrieval Artist Series.

Those of you who still feel there’s a “stigma” attached to self-published books, listen up:

Self-publishing doesn’t make a book bad anymore than traditional publishing makes one good. It’s the writing, nothing else.

And because I’m in a good mood, I’ll tell you something else: YOU are literally the worst judge of your own writing. When you’re editing and polishing and rewriting because you think it’s boring or bad or needs to be “punched up,” that’s because it’s in YOUR voice.

You are with your voice 24/7, so OF COURSE it sounds boring or bland or bad to you. But to other readers, it will sound unique— Well, if you don’t polish all the good off of it before you finally submit it or put it up for sale.

A little factoid for you—did you know before WWII there were NO traditional publishers?

That’s right. Only self-publishers and the pulps. There were no trade paperbacks until the late 1940s, but people (even writers, who are getting severely, I mean SEVERELY screwed by the big publishers) seem to think traditional publishing predates the printing press and is the most wonderful thing since that same old clichéd sliced bread. Ugh.

Oh, Dean is also the first person in history to create a monthly magazine (Smith’s Monthly) that contains a complete novel and several short stories and all of the work is his own. Quite an accomplishment.

Stop by and take a look. Maybe it’ll clear away some of that “stigma” for you. Seriously.

‘Til next time,


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. It costs less than you think.

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


The Journal, Monday, 1/2

Hey Folks,

Ugh. Not doing too well on the retraining thing. But I have excuses. (grin)

Excuse 1. Rolled out late at 3:45 because I stayed up and watched the Green Bay/Detroit football game.

I planned on a quick, abbreviated wake-up period of no more than a half-hour, but…

Excuse 2. I allowed an email from a writers’ group to sidetrack me.

The email mentioned that a pulp writer, Van Allen Plexico (, would be speaking at an upcoming meeting. The title of his talk will be “Pulp Fiction Isn’t Just a Tarantino Movie.” Great title.

So I did a Google search and found the guy. When he says “pulp” apparently he means a genre, not production or way of writing. He’s written 17 novels thus far, and he’s been writing for several years.
(In an interview, he mentioned turning out a new book in one series once a year.) I thought I had stumbled across a gold mine. Turns out (for me), not so much.

BUT I also listened to a YouTube interview ( and mined a nugget or two.

I also picked up one of his books from Amazon (free, a short story, I think). If I like it, I plan to buy one of his novels. Maybe.

Okay, so what I’m saying is I totally blew it on the early writing retraining I was supposed to start this morning. Which means I’ll have to piece together writing time through the day today. While other people are awake.

But it’s all right. Missing goals and learning new ways to adjust is all right. Quitting, not striving toward those goals or adjustments, is not an option. Well, it’s an option, but not a good one. (grin)

Also, from Dean, I learned of Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey, a major pulp writer back in the day. By “major” I mean he “wrote 25,000 to 30,000 word books, ONE PER WEEK for two decades.” I want desperately to be able to tell stories like that. Will I find and read (study) some of his books? Yes. Oh yes.

Okay. Today is a complete no-writing day. Just too many other things going on, so no reason to try to force it. Or who knows. Maybe I just need to whine for awhile. Or maybe (shudder) I’ve used up my allotment of fiction words. (grin)

Anyway, instead of writing I did some other things, including updating my website.

Also, from now on when I write a post that contains a topic, I’m going to tag that post with a keyword that points to the topic. That should make it easier to find things.

Now I’m gonna post this, then blow off the rest of the day.

Of Interest

One of Dean’s goals for the year is to learn one new thing about writing/publishing every day. His first installment is at 1/1/17 Daily… Some Learning… ( It includes hints about the very prolific pulp writer Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey (Nick Carter).

At Kris Rusch’s site, Free Fiction Monday (

Interesting comments on Dean’s “Got Your Goals?” (

For anyone interested in more about Pulp Magazines, I recommend

Marking the passing of Richard Adams, author of Watership Down:

Today, and Writing

Nada. I read the sentence I wrote yesterday to continue the Jonah story and I just didn’t feel it. So that one’s going out the door.

See you tomorrow.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 580

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 1628
Total fiction words for the year………… 1628
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 1620

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 3248

The Journal, Monday, 12/19

Hey Folks,

Rolled out right at 3:30, wide awake, then honestly did nothing for almost the first two hours. Babies to take care of and all that, so I got nothing accomplished.

I took care of some small things around the house, then turned my attention to the edit from around 8 until noon. In that time I got 36 pages done, so I increased the bank by one. Now to fiction for the balance of the day.

This will be a really short post as it turns out. I finished my first magic realism story in years. This one won’t go out to donors as I’ve sent it to Mexico for possible publication in a magazine there. If they turn it down, or when I get rights reverted after it’s published, I’ll send it to you then.

Of Interest

Nothing at Dean’s place today (still fighting a cache problem on his website).

Be sure to check Kris Rusch’s site for her Free Ficiton Monday at

Today’s Writing

See below. Very pleased with this story. And I think Ila might have more to say.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 2279
Nonfiction Words: 180 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2459

Writing of “Ila and the Train” (magic realism short short)

Day 1…… 2279 words. Total words to date…… 2279 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 21254
Total fiction words for the year………… 700948
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10750
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 268650

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 969598

Edit Totals

Day 1…… 51 pages. Total to date…… 51 (+16 in the bank)
Day 2…… 26 pages. Total to date…… 77 (+7)
Day 3…… 41 pages. Total to date…… 118(+13)
Day 4…… 38 pages. Total to date…… 156 (+16)
Day 5…… 73 pages. Total to date…… 229 (+54)
Day 6…… 40 pages. Total to date…… 269 (+59)
Day 7…… 36 pages. Total to date…… 305 (+60)

The Journal, Friday, 12/16

Hey Folks,

Today, as it turned out, is another nonwriting day. But read on. There are good things in this edition of the Journal.

Windy here. Big wind. Strong stinkin’ wind. Even the cats don’t want to go out. Windy in New Mexico too. Two large trees hit my son and daughter’s house in Roswell. Damaged the roof and cut the electricity. Sigh.

While visiting Amazon yesterday to place my short story and novella in their store, I found they have a completely new publishing interface. It’s much cleaner and it seems a little faster.

They did make it a bit more clunky with regard to adding search tags. Before, you could copy/paste up to seven search tags and insert them in one fell swoop. Now you have to insert each tag individually, ala Smashwords. Annoying. But overall I like Amazon’s improvements.

Okay, so I decided to do a topic on distributors today. Here’s the way I see it:

Topic: Distributors

Draft2Digital remains my favorite distributor. They pay royalties monthly, and they send you a monthly statement from each venue that includes the amount (in dollars) of your royalties from that venue. Very up front and easy.

The conversion engine at D2D turns out higher-quality .mobi (Kindle) and .epub (Nook/Apple) files than the one at Smashwords turns out. D2D also provides a universal link where a prospective reader can click one time to find your book at the the reader’s favorite venue (B&N, Apple, Amazon, etc. even Smashwords).

They also have a slick, clean interface. The only downside to D2D is that they distribute only to Apple, B&N, and Kobo, as well as the smaller Scribd, Inkterra (formerly PageFoundry), Tolino and 24Symbols. Still, at least they hit the big ones, less Amazon.

Amazon is just Amazon, but it’s a major sales venue and they sell in around 60 countries. (Most of the other larger sales venues do too.) And they don’t accept distribution from anyone else (yet) so I continue to distribute to them individually.

Even with improvements on their interface, for speed and efficiency, they’re still somewhere between the very quick, slick interface at D2D and the dragging-boots-through-mud interface at Smashwords.

Amazon pays royalties monthly, but they remain two to three months behind, and they make it difficult to find how much you’ve been paid and by whom. (You have to log into Amazon, go to your account, wade through reports, etc.)

Smashwords is the grandpappy. They distribute to the same ones D2D distributes to (except 24Symbols) plus eleven others, including the massive Gardners in the UK.
They also maintain their own store, with really good royalties if the customer buys directly from them.

I still distribute to Smashwords primarily because of their in-house store and their coupons. And since I’m there anyway, I allow them to distribute to all those others that D2D doesn’t reach.

However, I don’t think I’ve made enough money from those other venues (the extra ones D2D doesn’t handle) to buy a burger and fries yet. I’ve done pretty well selling through their store.

To reward D2D for the benefit of working with them, I distribute through them to every venue they support.

Then I go back to Smashwords’ “(Distribution) Channel Manager” and click “Opt Out” for Apple, B&N, Kobo, et al that D2D is handling for me. That, too, is a very clunky, flint-chisel-on-a-stone-tablet kind of process, and it serves to remind me why I prefer D2D.

So whatever else you do, get a D2D account. If I was going to distribute through only two distributors, I would pick D2D and Amazon. That covers all the biggies in one bag.

Pronoun—I mentioned this new distributor awhile back, so I suppose I should mention them again now. Okay, I still don’t use them. Their interface was designed by someone for whom condescension apparently is a lifestyle. They DO distribute to Amazon, so that’s one thing in their favor. But frankly, I’d rather put up with Amazon’s interface than Pronoun’s silliness.

* * *

Well, my friend and I were going to talk marketing today over a pizza and a couple good cigars. Neither of us know anything about marketing, so it would have been the blind leading the blind, but we both like pizza and cigars. So. However, he was unable to make it due to illness. Any marketing geniuses out there? Wanna do a guest post? Please?

* * *

Did some more editing. I’m jonesing to write fiction, but nothing again today. However, today I decided to reprise (revive?) my Adobe Hovel office and my old computer. I think I need to do what I did before, namely, dedicate a space to writing fiction, especially while I’m stuck in this dual role. More on that tomorrow probably. For now, another nonwriting day today and back to the edit for awhile longer.

Of Interest

Over at Dean’s site 12/15/16 Daily ( He posted very late today (after noon) so if you check on your own, there y’go.

By the way, visit Kris Rusch’s site ( and sign up for her newsletter. She’s giving away the first novel in her Diving series. Trust me, this is a great deal.

Today’s Writing

Yeah, no.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 820 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 820

Writing of “”

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 18975
Total fiction words for the year………… 698669
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9300
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 267200

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 965869

Edit Totals

Day 1…… 51 pages. Total to date…… 51 (+16 in the bank)
Day 2…… 26 pages. Total to date…… 77 (+7)
Day 3…… 41 pages. Total to date…… 118(+13)
Day 4…… 38 pages. Total to date…… 156 (+16)

And this is on a memoir. I copyedit much faster on fiction.

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

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

* * *

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 ( 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. (

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, Saturday, 11/26

Hey Folks,

Well, the transition from to with the Journal seems to have been flawless. No problems reported as yet.

I rolled out around 3:30 this morning but did very little for the first 4+ hours other than email, Facebook and games.

* * *

The floor of our house, with the exception of the bedroom and the two offices, is Saltillo tiles. The house itself is rammed earth. Think adobe, but without bricks.

The external walls are close to three feet thick. But the ceiling is a normal ceiling with a steel roof above it. It’s insulated, but not as much as it would be if the roof were of the same construction as the walls.

So when it’s hot, the walls absorb the heat, then radiate it through the night. In the summer time, the floor tiles offer a cool respite on the feet.

But in the winter, the walls absorb and radiate the cold, and the floor does the same. So this morning we pulled all the winter rugs from beneath the bed and unrolled them in strategic locations through the kitchen, living room and bathroom.

For all of that and my silly waste of the first few hours of the day, I didn’t get to my writing until 9 a.m. Later today, during breaks, I intend to work a bit on my 1987 Toyota 4-Runner and maybe a bit on yet another outside office.

Of Interest

Not much of interest today that I’m aware of, other than a new Recommended Reading List over at Kris Rusch’s site (

Basically, the world is returning to semi-normal after Thanksgiving Day. Tempered, of course, by the oncoming rush of Christmas.

Today’s Writing

As anyone following this mess knows, yesterday I restarted a novel I allowed to stall about a month and a half ago. I don’t usually do that, but with over 22000 words into a good story, I decided to have a go at it this time.

A couple of days ago, on Day 11 of writing this one, I cycled back a bit to add necessary sensory details, but I also wrote a new scene. Then yesterday I did some more cycling (for a description of Cycling (hint: this is NOT the same as rewriting and it has nothing to do with bicycles), please see and scroll down a few lines to Cycling.

Today, as I’m able with all the other little life stuff going on, I’m cycling again as well as writing new stuff. Today’s effort also requires some copy/pasting and stitching together a few scenes. I’ll be very glad when this process is finished and I can just move forward with the novel.

Very few new words today, but that’s all right. Part of the process with this novel. Probably I’ll have one more day like this before the novel takes off.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 670
Nonfiction Words: 500 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1170

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 17668
Total fiction words for the year………… 672823
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15470
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 254310

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 927133

Of Importance to Writers

Hi Folks,

Tomorrow the Story of the Week will post. And then on Wednesday, Feb 24, Appendix A of Writing the Character-Driven Story will post.

Today I thought I’d sneak in a few notes from my latest Daily Journal blog that are of interest to all writers, or certainly should be. I urge you to check out these links. Doing so will be to your benefit.

If you’re a writer and you want to read something great, do yourself a major favor and read Dean Wesley Smith’s post on Day-Job Thinking vs. Long-Term Thinking.

Great Topic of the Night over at Dean’s place on The Renewal of the Audience. Important and informative especially if you’re an indie publisher.

I recommend visiting Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s site and checking out the table of contents for her Business Musings and Business Rusch Publishing articles unless you’ve already gotten through all of them.

Finally, I recommend visiting Neil Gaiman’s website and read his post on how to give your copyright (real property) to your heirs when it’s time. This is important.

If you haven’t read one of my better stories— “Old Suits” —you can see it at

Of course, I do a lot more in the Daily Journal than redirect readers to other websites. (grin)

Thus far in 2016 I have covered the following Topics of the Day over at the Daily Journal:

  • Numbers
  • The Power of Ideas
  • Character Names
  • Reading Your Work Aloud
  • Practicing
  • Novel Length and Freedom
  • Trusting Your Characters
  • Nostalgia
  • Life Happens: Keep Coming Back
  • Making Writing Important
  • Starting and Fear
  • Writing “Fast”
  • Quick Online Learning
  • Another Note on Heinlein’s Rules and WITD
  • Why I’m a Cat Guy
  • Inspiration
  • The Magic Mantra

Wow. That’s seventeen separate topics since the first of the year. If you’re a writer, most of these are very good things to know. If you’re a reader or student and are interested in my work, they will give you insight into me as a writer.

But if you aren’t subscribed, chances are you’re missing them.

To visit The Daily Journal and poke around for yourself click

To subscribe (again, it’s free) Please Click Here or put into your address block on your browser.

Next up, the short story of the week and then Appendix A from Writing the Character-Driven Story.

Until then, happy writing.


The sign in the antique shop read, “This ain’t no museum. All this junk is for sale.” Same here.

I am a professional writer. This is my living. If you enjoy or learn from my work, consider dropping a tip into my Tip Jar on your way out. Or if you want, click the Subscribe to My Work tab above. (It isn’t the same as subscribing to this blog.)

If you’ve already contributed, thanks so much. And if you can’t make a monetary donation, please consider forwarding this post to a friend or several. (grin) Again, thank you.

What’s Goin’ on Here?

Hi Folks,

As you can tell by the date, this post is not part of the regular rotation of posts on writing (and writing-related matters) that come out on the 1st, 11th, and 21st of each month. But it will be important to at least some of you.

1. I’m posting to my Daily Journal again. As the name implies, that Journal comes out pretty much every day. Mostly it is a diary. In it, I keep a day-by-day account of my work in progress. I also reveal the difficulties and joys, successes and failures of being a professional writer.

Can you really turn out 3,000 or 4,000 or more words of publishable fiction per day? How does a writer go about setting goals? Setting priorities? Where do ideas come from? Is it true that every book writes differently? What does it mean to fail to success?

To follow along Click Here to Sign Up Now or Email Me and request that I add you to the mailing list.

2. I’m still publishing my Free Short Story of the Week. As the name implies, those who sign up will receive a freshly minted short story every week (Monday) in their email. Click Here to Sign Up for the Free Story. Or you can pay $2.99 at your favorite ebook retailer. Or not, but I’d rather not think about that. (grin)

3. Finally, over at StoneThread Publishing, Garland Hargrove is putting together a mailing list of those who would like to receive contest news as well as updates on sales, promotions and new releases. Those emails will come only a few times per year. Sign Up for the Publisher’s Note.

Just as a thank you for having read this far, I recommend this Bundle of Writing Books. Most notably, you can get Writing to the Point by Algis Budrys and Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rush and Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman as well as three other classic writing books for around $15. If you pay a little more, you can get a lot of other books, including some from Dean Wesley Smith.

I also recommend this Smashwords Blog on How to Reach More Readers. It came out a few days ago.

Finally, for ongoing enlightenment and a great place to purloin quotes, I recommend signing up for Dr. Mardy’s Quotes of the Week. It’s free.

For dozens more writers’ resources, visit my website and take a look at the left sidebar.

That’s it for this time. Thanks for listening. I’ll see you again on December 11 with “Finding the Right Web Browser.”

‘Til then, keep writing!



The Journal, Friday, 12/4

Hi Folks,

Received a comment via email yesterday. Just in case I confused anyone else, I wanted to share it. Here’s the essence of the question followed by my response. I’ve added a little to the response, but the writer will see it here. If you have a comment, whenever possible please post it in the Comments section below.

Q: Harvey, Are you saying that sometimes the subconscious (writing into the dark) misleads us?

A: Not at all. The subconscious mind never misleads us. On the other hand, the conscious, critical mind constantly puts up barriers in an attempt to save us from ourselves. (If we don’t finish writing we can’t publish, and if we don’t publish we can’t be harmed by rejection.)

One of those barriers is the conscious, critical mind trying to convince us that the subconscious is misleading us. How’s that for coming full circle? (grin)

The conscious, critical mind will continue to try to take over. We just have to keep watching for it.

Also, yesterday I whipped off a few names of writers whose work has heavily influenced my own. By that I mean I studied their work with the intention of learning how they accomplished dragging me down into their writing. Another major influence (slip him in between Hemingway and Bradbury) was/is James Lee Burke. Others were Kate Chopin, Shirley Jackson, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Isabel Allende and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (Haven’t studied hers a lot yet but her writing blows me away.) By the way, she posts a free short story every week at her website too. 🙂 Well worth a visit.

And I misspelled a name in yesterday’s post. Travels with Me and Another is by Martha Gellhorn.

Be careful with facts that matter. It’s fiction, right? So it’s okay to make stuff up. But in my WIP, much of which takes place in the Mexican state of Guerrero, I got all four directions completely wrong. We (well, I) think of the Pacific coastline as running generally north and south. And in some places it does.

But in Guerrero, most of it runs from west to east. So the relatively narrow “northern border” of Guerrero is actually the western border. I just spent close to an hour replacing north with west, east with north, south with east and west with south. Selectively, of course. Otherwise in the scenes in Amarillo and Abilene I’d have had the sun setting in the south, and that hardly ever happens. I fully expect some readers to call me on having the Pacific Ocean south of Guerrero, but I don’t mind. Because that’s where it is.

The Day

Rolled out at 3 this morning. Finally warm enough to let the babies out so I wasn’t under cattack for the first two hours of the day. So straight to the writing.

No walk today.

Haven’t delved into Working Days yet. I’ll read a bit tonight, then more tomorrow.

Did a little more cycling back today, but nothing like yesterday.

Today’s Writing

I have a feeling it’s going to be a sprint to the end of the novel now. I mean it’ll probably be a series of sprints over a few days, but I feel like the end is coming. In a way I’m sorry, but in a way I’m happy because I have some other writing (a novel and two different short story series) that I will write under a pen name (not a persona) in a different genre.

Looking forward to that.

Good writing day today, though not excellent.

Fiction Words: 3315

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

Day 1…… 3887 words. Total words to date…… 3887 words
Day 2…… 3092 words. Total words to date…… 6979 words
Day 3…… 3365 words. Total words to date…… 10344 words
Day 4…… 3077 words. Total words to date…… 13421 words
Day 5…… 4486 words. Total words to date…… 17907 words
Day 6…… 3739 words. Total words to date…… 21646 words
Day 7…… 1471 words. Total words to date…… 23117 words
Day 8…… 2843 words. Total words to date…… 25960 words
Day 9…… 1782 words. Total words to date…… 27742 words
Day 10… 3315 words. Total words to date…… 31057 words

Total fiction words for the month……… 10004
Total fiction words for the year………… 613995