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, 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, 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

The Journal, Saturday, 5/13

Hey Folks,

Wow, am I ever aware that half the month’s almost gone. (grin) Kind’a adds to that challenge of writing at least one novel per month, doesn’t it? But I’ll do it or my name isn’t Delbert McCrory. Or something.

And wow again, I almost forgot to post to the Journal today. Huh. It’s almost 10:30 as I write this, and I’m only now posting to it.

Anyway, taking time out for family stuff yesterday, today and maybe tomorrow. Hope all of you are honored with and/or enjoy and/or participate in a great Mother’s Day.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3. Routine stuff the first couple hours, then got busy with home and office things. Then the camera, off and on, and posting pics to Facebook.

Things are gonna get busy around here pretty soon, so I’m gonna post this early so I don’t forget.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Not much around that I could find.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 160 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 160

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… 7080
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 81770

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 344778

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 535 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, 5/12

Hey Folks,

Well, probably this will be another nonwriting day, and maybe a nonwriting weekend.

It’s early (7 a.m.) but I have to change oil in a car, pick up things in town, clean out the same car, then wash it and do a bunch of other stuff. All of this is to prepare for a visit from some of my children and grandchildren tomorrow morning. So life things.

Still, I won’t post this until this afternoon. So we’ll see.

***

I saw a thing in a newsletter this morning that is straight out of a horror novel… only it’s real life. For me as a human being who was raised when human life had real value, it was all but unbelievable.

For me as a writer of fiction, it was disheartening. Never has the old saw “Truth is stranger than fiction” been more clearly illustrated or had a greater impact on me. Wow.

Then again, there are several great story ideas in the article. (I guess that’s me speaking as a mercenary.)

In case you want to see the story I’m talking about, I’ve included the link in the second spot in “Of Interest” below. If you’d rather pass, just don’t click it.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3:30 and started the day.

At 7 to Walmart to pick up an order, then to drop my wife off to get some labs. While she did that I waited and read.

Around 8:20, dropped her at work, dropped the car off to get an oil change, took a walk.

Around 9:15, found out the guy who changed the oil is a soon-to-retire Master Chief in the Navy, so he and I had a good chat.

It was good to share some common experience and language. Maybe I gave him a head start on some of the retirement stuff.

Back to the house to put stuff away, take care of email and FB, then to work on cleaning out the car, washing it, etc.

1:30, most of the stuff is done. Just have to ArmorAll the car and I’ll be done. (grin)

Also took and posted some new pics on Facebook.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Over at Dean’s place, “A Catch-Up Day” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-catch-up-day/.

And a story you might not want to read, but here it is nonetheless: “Couples Are Turning Their Unwanted Embryos Into Jewelry” http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/12/couples-turning-unwanted-embryos-jewelry/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 380 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 380

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… 6920
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 81610

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 344618

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 534 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, 5/11

Hey Folks,

Wow. A lot in today’s Journal and no fiction writing. Go figure.

As I write this, I just looked out my north-facing window and caught sight of a purple mountain peak. It’s about 20 miles distant (+/-) and currently lined here and there with pink from the sunrise.

Another beginning to another beautiful day.

I’ll accompany my bride at around 7:30 to a doctor appointment this morning, then to walmart for some things, then back here to begin the first day of the rest of my writing life.

Topic: On Specificity and Clarity in Writing

I was going to write a whole post on this topic, but really, that isn’t necessary. It’s a personal pet-peeve kind of thing. And far be it from me to foist my “beliefs” on anyone else.

What pet peeve?

Well, people who write things and then postulate—not even apologetically, but more apathetically and with a wag of the hand—that “The reader will know what I mean.”

Yeah. Those folks get on my nerves. Deep and hard.

But I have come to understand that such things don’t matter, by and large, to many people, writers and readers alike. Or at least it seems so to me.

For example, despite published writings that are replete with inappropriate instances of absolutes (all, never, always, everyone, nobody, etc.), apparently no writers actually write like that. Ever.

If you don’t believe me, ask them.

And despite published writings that are chock full of eyes wandering out of heads and doing things on their own (her eyes flew across the room and came to rest on a barrel of metal shavings), again, no writer put those words on a page. Again, ever.

And the same goes for other body parts: “her legs raced along the sidewalk” or “his nose smelled something strange” or “her ears listened closely” or “his finger dialed the telephone” or “his hand crept into his pocket to retrieve his revolver.”

No writers that I’ve been able to find write like that either. Ever.

But based on the hard evidence contained between the covers of some books, some do. Or maybe the publishers are sneaking that stuff in.

Anyway, if you mention those faux pas to the writers, they grin the grin of a thousand braying jackasses, wag that hand in the air as if you and they are old buddies and say something like, “Aah, you know, the readers know I didn’t mean it like that.”

And most often I smile and say something noncommittal, like “Hey, when you’re right, you’re right” or just “Ah.”

But the truth lurks in my mind: No, Sparky, they don’t.

Readers read for either or both of two purposes: entertainment and-or information. If you write “never,” they read “never.” They don’t automatically substitute “seldom” or “sometimes” or some other less-inclusive, less blanket-clad word.

If you write that “her legs raced down the road,” the reader sees disembodied legs racing down the road.

If you write that “her eyes came to rest on a barrel of metal shavings,” the reader will wince. Because face it, that had to hurt.

And it isn’t the reader’s fault that they take you at your word(s). It’s your fault.

After all, the reader has no choice but to accept what you put on the page, whether it’s in your novel, in your Essay On Some Topic Of Major Importance or on your Facebook page.

I’ve never known a reader who was hungry for a verbal repast to go looking for a soup sandwich. But that’s often what they get.

It is up to the purveyor of the repast to determine whether he or she is going to serve a nutrituous, delicately balanced meal or something that’s half-baked and barely slopped together.

Am I being nitpicky?

Yes. But only where my own sensibilities are concerned.

Hey, if you want to continue slopping grey, watery soup over stale bread in a bowl, go ahead. If you want to hit it with a dash of sea salt, proclaim it prime rib and hand it out to weary, gaunt-eyed travelers who are starved for sustenance, that’s your business.

I’m only giving you notice that I will not partake. Nor will I sidle up alongside you in the soup kitchen, grab a ladle and begin flinging greasy dumplings at the wall in the hope they will stick and “be something good.”

So anyway, I was gonna devote a whole post to this notion that writers, not readers, are responsible for the clarity or lack thereof in writing.

But it’s a personal thing, so I won’t.

I’ll just pass along a wish that your characters’ eyes will remain in their head. Unless it’s a horror novel and they get whacked really, really hard.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3. Took Mona for her doc visit at 8, then walmart for stuff, then home. Put stuff away, did some watering in the yard, and somehow it’s already 11.

Still, time for some writing today maybe.

So much for the plans of mice and guys like me. TONS of family stuff going on in seemingly cascading sheets. Some of it’s great, some is frightening, some is in between.

I won’t bore you with a lot of details, but three big things are going on today.

First the in-between. That was M’s doc appointment. It was for cause, but nothing too alarming and it’s all gonna work out fine. As a side deal, I picked up a new primary care person myself.

(Okay, that needs a little explanation. My PC doc recently left for a mission for his church and to work out some personal things in his life. He shifted me to a nurse practitioner. I went with M this morning to her appointment, hit it off with her NP, and switched before we left.)

Second, the frightening. I found out later in the day that I have a daughter in the hospital after she ODd on her regular meds. Everything is under control there. Awaiting updates, of course.

Third, the great thing. I’m working a back-door deal with two of my wonderful kids to get my wife a new-ish car. (She knows, so I’m not really giving anything away here. But she only knows it’s happening. She doesn’t know what she’s gonna get or any of that.)

So all of that’s taking up a lot of time and using a little of my stress quota.

On the good side, I’m also cooking two big pots of beans, blackeyed peas and taters (mixed…it’s a long story that involves me alone with the pantry) along with red onion, green chiles, tomatoes, etc. Gonna be good. I’m tempted to toss a little ground beef and cumin in one pot to make chili, but probably not on this go-around.

I did finally think about writing at around 2 p.m. But with only a couple hours left in the day, I decided to pass and pulled out my camera instead.

I’ll write tomorrow, given no earthquakes, lightning strikes or planes landing on my house.

But hey, at least you got a topic out of it, amaright?

See you then.

Of Interest

Just a little daily update at Dean’s, “Movie and Dinner” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/movie-and-dinner/.

An interesting insight for anyone who’s locked into Amazon exclusively from The Passive Voice: “Amazon’s Latest Move: Far From Profitability” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/05/amazons-latest-move-far-from-profitability/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1180 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1180

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 15414
Total fiction words for the year………… 263008
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6540
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 81230

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 344238

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 533 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, 5/9

Hey Folks,

Today should be the last day of settling into my office. I think the more difficult task will be getting used to writing in here. I almost look forward to winter, short as it is, so I can move my writing back to the Hovel. I put a lot of stuff through my writing ‘puter out there.

Speaking of the writing ‘puter, it’s back. (grin) I had nothing to lose so I plugged in an AC power (chosen at random from among three) and set it aside yesterday.

A little while ago, strictly out of curiosity I opened it and turned it on and voila! It’s back.

Topic: Epiphanies and Stuff

I set myself a personal challenge. For the month of June, I want to write a new short story every day. That’s tough enough.

But in addition to that, I want to write those stories truly “in public.” I want the public to be able to watch virtually as the stories grow, scene to scene.

To that end, in the original challenge, I was going to paste each scene to a Facebook page I set up just for that purpose.

Then a couple days ago, my conscious mind wheedled its way in and I lost control. I decided maybe it would be better to post the whole story (albeit still once a day) to the Facebook page.

I reasoned that (1) apparently there weren’t many folks all that interested and (2) those who were interested would still see the end product each day, follow my progress on the challenge, etc.

But then Robert J. Sadler, a dear friend in Texas, pointed out to me in an email that, frankly, I was chickening out. (grin)

And he was right. (Friends respect each other enough to tell each other the truth. In my world, that’s the main qualifier to earn the title.)

In part of his note to me, he wrote

“…I can understand if the prospect of no story-starved pedestrians standing outside the window seems a reasonable reason for not implementing your challenge.

“That said, you made a point that this was your challenge and not issued to anyone other than yourself. So with that perspective in mind, whether the tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it, the tree still falls. …

“So … if you wanna write-in-public, as you suggest, then knock yourself out… even if there is no public to witness it.”

Or as Yoda put it, “There is no try. Do or do not.”

And the epiphany?

Writing scenes has always been easy for me. Scenes pop into my head all the time, complete with characters, setting, dialogue and so on. So I can write scenes all day.

But with my conscious mind creeping in as I thought about the challenge, I allowed myself to “hope” the scenes would connect well and the characters would lead me through to the end.

And that’s what I was doing wrong without realizing it. That whole “hope” thing.

Once I replaced “hope” with “trust” (thanks to my friend’s email), everything else fell into place.

So the challenge is back on, in its original form.

Beginning on June 1, I will write one short story per day for the month. Each time I finish a scene, I’ll paste it “live” to Facebook so whoever wants to can see it.

But my friend was right. It’s my challenge. I’m not challenging others to do something similar, though if they do, it’s all right by me. I’m not even challenging others to watch. I’m challenging myself to give others something to watch.

If they watch and enjoy, wonderful. If they don’t, it will still be one hell of an experience. (grin)

If you want to follow along on that madness, visit https://www.facebook.com/HarveyStanbroughWritingInPublic/. Some preliminary stuff is already there. The challenge begins on 1 June.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out a little before 4 a.m. Did little the first few hours. Went to the grocery early, around 8, to get that out of the way.

Back here I did some household chores and basically wasted the morning. Along the way I wrote this stuff and cross-posted a version of the topic to the big blog. It will post there next Tuesday.

I also read over most of The Storm and touched it a bit here and there, but I’m not counting today as a writing day.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you enjoy great photography and great fiction, stop by Robert J. Sadler’s website at http://robertjsadler.com/ and browse. You won’t be disappointed.

See “The Elements of Style: ’50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice'” at http://boingboing.net/2017/05/08/the-elements-of-style-50-ye.html.

See “How to determine your price point when self-publishing” at http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2017/04/how-to-determine-your-price-point-when.html.

At Dean’s place, “No Writing Tonight” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/no-writing-tonight/. Not particularly helpful, except to me at the moment after the last few days. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 790 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 790

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 13679
Total fiction words for the year………… 261273
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5000
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 79690

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 340963

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 531 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, 5/8

Hey Folks,

Well, nobody has perfect days all the time. This has been a rough weekend. And apparently, it continues. I’m out of sorts this morning and a bit frustrated.

I don’t like starting the day this way, but I’ll work through it. After all the moving stuff and then breaking an axle on my Tacoma and paying to have that fixed, last night my writing ‘puter flashed a message:

Battery almost depleted. Plug in soon.

The thing is, it WAS plugged in.

So I tried two other AC converters, but it wouldn’t charge. So now it’s down for awhile. All I can figure is either the battery is shot or the power supply is kaput.

So on top of everything else, now my newer computer has to serve also as my writing computer. Which means I have to get used to the slightly different keyboard. Which, honestly, is the main reason I had a separate writing computer in the first place.

But yes, I can hear my own voice. I’m very much aware that all of that stuff — a computer, much less two computers — is luxury. And it’ll all work out.

In fact, something like this could happen as easily in June during my short story challenge. What would I do then? Simply give up and stop the challenge?

Uhh, no. I’d find a way to make it all work.

So part of today will be devoted to getting used to this new keyboard (so writing) and part to making a few major tweaks to my office. I’m okay with this keyboard when I’m editing, etc. but writing is a different flow. You know what I mean.

I was thinking of reading over The Storm today to try to see why/where it’s trying to commit suicide. But I think I’ll wait another day or two for that. I need to write.

Oh, and when Bryan called Job Corps this morning, they said to call back in two weeks. Seriously? That’s the third “call back in two weeks” he’s gotten.

That’s frustrating too, for all of us. The kid’s life is on hold, two weeks at a time, until some unelected bureaucrat decides it’s time to get off his coffee break and start work.

Update on the Challenge

I’ve been over this thing until my brain is beginning to bleed, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to post a scene at a time.

Why?

Other than the break it will cost me to stop writing and post the scene to Facebook, I honestly don’t think many folks are gonna be all that interested.

I mean would even Harlan Ellison keep standing up and taping pages to the storefront window if the only witness was an empty sidewalk?

So we’ll see (as with all things recently), but I might just post the new short stories there once a day as I finish them.

Or maybe I’ll post them on that website I was thinking of building and then pointing people to it from Facebook. Shrug. Something.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 3:30 and didn’t do a lot other than email, Facebook, and working around the office for the first few hours.

Now it’s late in the day. I wrote a little bit, just playing around, but I’m not even gonna count it. I worked (hard) in my office all day, straightening it up, arranging desk, table, bookshelves, etc.

I might still have a little to do tonight and tomorrow, but I should be back to writing tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you’re all having great writing days.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Visit Dean’s site today at http://deanwesleysmith.com. Two posts there, one general and one about his new lecture series and an offer to save money with a subscription.

I recommend subscribing to the newsletter from The Digital Reader at https://the-digital-reader.com/.

From Mad Genius Club (via The Digital Reader), “The ergonomics of writing” at https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/05/07/the-ergonomics-of-writing/. And there were other things.

If any of you write with Google Docs (I don’t), see “Fourteen Amazing Google Docs Hacks” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/05/05/fourteen-amazing-google-docs-hacks-make-writing-next-novel-easier/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 630 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 630

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 13679
Total fiction words for the year………… 261273
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4210
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 78900

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 340173

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 530 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, 5/7

Hey Folks,

The rebuild of my life continues with three major updates.

First, my new office is all but finished. It has a much cleaner, more modern look with a drafting table sloped to 27″ to serve as my business area. It holds my business/Internet computer.

The office also has a 27″ high matching typing table (and my writing ‘puter) to serve as my writing area. (Yay!)

My outside desk remains where it was beneath my window so I can work on business or writing if I want to while enjoying a good cigar.

This morning we’ll begin rebuilding my wife’s office. Much of the day will be spent in that endeavor.

Second, my mechanic called last night around 6. I figured he was calling to give me a quote. Well, he did, but he also said he’d just finished working on the Tacoma. (grin) We’ll drive over and pick it up today around noon.

Third, my greatest excitement came in the form of a story idea while I was in the shower.

The idea is strong, one that will involve my love of noir detective/mobster stuff but will not limit itself to that genre. It’s also strong enough to carry me through several short stories and novels.

No doubt we’ll begin seeing those shortly, into June, and beyond. I’m stoked. (grin)

If you enjoy my writing, photography, or instruction, consider visiting my page at https://www.facebook.com/HarveyStanbroughWritingInPublic/. While you’re there, please Like and Follow. And let your friends know.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 2:40 and started helping the little girl get used to the new office. She isn’t wild about it, but she seems to be warming to the idea.

Wrote the stuff above, and a little after sunrise I got the mower out of the shed and mowed the yard.

8 a.m., I was going to head back to The Storm to take another shot at it, but I got busy with something else. No writing today. A lot of family stuff going on.

I should be back up to speed tomorrow. Bryan calls Job Corps tomorrow, though, so we’ll see what happens with that.

The last few days has been kind of a lesson for me, that it’s all right to let go a little when there’s a lot of other stuff going on.

However, that’s also another way my “numbers” help me with my attitude. I know what I’ve done, so I’m aware of what I can do.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

At Dean’s, see “Fun Auction Tonight” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/fun-auction-tonight/.

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

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 13679
Total fiction words for the year………… 261273
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 78270

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 339543