The Journal, Sunday, 4/16

Hey Folks,

A few days ago I mentioned here that all the coyotes and other predators seem to have left the area.

A day after I wrote that, the owls were back and I had a scare. This morning, the coyotes are back.

Well now, isn’t that the way it always works? (grin)

From around 4 a.m. I was serenaded for almost an hour straight by song dogs. No owls as yet, but I’m sure they’re lurking out there somewhere.

But it’s Easter, a day that always reminds me of the incredible gifts I receive pretty much every hour of every day. I only need to be aware of them.

For example, unlike human predators, the 4-legs and feathered in the rest of nature always seem to give warning when they’re in the vicinity. That’s a gift.

And those warnings get my blood pumping with regard to keeping my little girl safe. Another gift.

Whatever significance Easter holds for you, I hope today was a good day in your world.

* * *

The plan for today was to write and read. We’ll see how that turns out. It’s Sunday and it’s Easter, so probably a family day.

Guess maybe I’ll get some reading done later today or tonight. No writing. Been kind of keeping myself available in case anyone wants to do anything.

I’m gonna post this, then go back to taking more pictures or something.

I guarantee you, barring a plane landing on my house tonight, I’ll be back to full speed tomorrow.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out around 2:20, a little earlier than my preferred norm. (The baby slept-in until 4.)

Mona and I went to the store early (around 8), then home to put things away. Then the day just kind of unfolded. Very lazily. Took a lot of pics, put them on FB, but did very little else.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice “Six novelists reveal how to self-publish successfully” at

At Dean’s today, “Story Fifteen… Halfway Through the Challenge”

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 330 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 330

Writing of “Beats All” (probably a short story)

Day 1…… 1743 words. Total words to date…… 1743
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Writing of The Platinum Blond Perturbance

Day 1…… 1381 words. Total words to date…… 1381
Day 2…… 1864 words. Total words to date…… 3245
Day 3…… 2136 words. Total words to date…… 5381
Day 4…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 14313
Total fiction words for the year………… 222869
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8010
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 65350

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 288219

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………… 509 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)… 4 novels

The Journal, Monday, 4/10

Hey Folks,

I meant to say thank you yesterday to those of you who emailed me privately with ideas for publishing a paper edition of two novels in one book like they did with some of the old pulp novels. I appreciate all the input.

Still not sure it’s worth all the effort just to produce a novelty that only I would appreciate. (grin) But if I take that path, I’ll keep you posted.

* * *

Okay, today I’m gonna try something new. I’m mentioning it here just in case it might apply to you as well.

Some of you will remember that awhile back (probably a year ago) I didn’t have Internet on my writing computer.

Then I moved to the Hovel. My WiFi doesn’t reach out there. (My cable-guy son told me buying a booster would actually weaken the signal.)

I reasoned that I needed at least the ability to get on the Internet in case I had to research something quickly (like yesterday, police 10-codes).

So I use my smart phone hot spot. I have to carry my phone out there anyway in case of emergencies.

The problem is, it’s all too easy to jump from quick online research to email, Facebook etc. You know, “as long as I’m online anyway.”

But sometimes email is upsetting. Sometimes Facebook is engaging. And I’m not writing.

So I’ll make notes on this Journal in the morning before I head for the Hovel. After that, I’ll be online only when I come up to the house for a break.

Then at the end of the writing day, I’ll save everything to my flash drive and hand-carry it to the house and the Internet.

This is a test so I’ll try it all week. If it works out and I can make it a habit, good. If not, well, I haven’t lost anything.

* * *

I’m hoping today is a good writing day.

Yesterday was crap, frankly, and I’m still a little emotionally hung over from that. And the day before was very short.

What I probably ought’a do is get the lawnmower out (yep, already) and get it ready for mowing. And maybe I’ll do that too, but I’ll try to write a bit.

Tomorrow I have to take my grandson in for a Job Corps interview, and there’s no telling how long that will take. Either way, that’s gonna be another crap day.

So I need a good day today to lead me into another good day on Wednesday.

* * *

Some of the better responses I’ve received on this Journal have been for those in which I talked about the coyotes and owls and hawks and protecting my little girl from them.

I haven’t mentioned them in a good while. Mostly, that’s because they’ve all but disappeared.

I haven’t seen or heard a song dog in at least a few months. Or an owl or a hawk, at least not in hunting mode.

Anyway, I’m starting to tire of writing this silliness every day, the streak (503 days) notwithstanding.

I’m not shutting it down at this moment. Just saying that time might not be far off.

From my perspective, the Journal has served its dual purpose.

For me personally, it was a public display meant to spur me to write. It’s served that purpose well.

Now I’m writing pretty much every day for the sheer joy of it. Half the time I’m so excited about writing the next story that I forget to publish the one I recently wrote.

For other writers, my intention with the Journal was also twofold. I wanted to illustrate what a person can do if he or she “wants to be” a writer. I did that by posting my own naked numbers.

I also wanted to publish helpful topics and resources. By my approximation, I’ve published dozens of both. Of course, whether they’re helpful is up to the individual writer.

So we’ll see. I might shut it down soon. I might keep it going through December 31 to get another book out of it.

Just don’t be surprised if one day I wander off the deep end and don’t resurface. (grin)

* * *

I hope to announce in a few days when I’ll teach the Depth intensive. I’ll announce the date and time here first, then over on the other blog.

If I have enough responses to make teaching it worth my time, I’ll announce the venue a few days later.

If I don’t, maybe I’ll work toward turning it into an online thing.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out right at 3. From then until around 6 I was checking out different sites online (see “Of Interest”).

After that, routine stuff and breakfast. No walk this morning. Finally to the Hovel around 7:40.

I messed around with the story for about an hour. Despite my “hoping for a good day” I can’t muster up the strength to really care either way. No big deal. Just one of those days.

On top of everything else this week, my brain tried to tell me “whodunit” and how this one’s going to end. And I’m barely 4,000 words in.

That’s not good. I got so bored I almost threw in the towel to start something new in a day or two.

So I dragged the lawn mower up to the house, cleaned the spark plug, checked the oil, etc.

It fired right up. So since I already had the mower up there, I mowed what needed to be mowed in the yard so far. That took about an hour.

Then I sat awhile, just not feeling like doing much of anything. Put out a fresh jar of sun tea, checked a few things online.

Finally back to the Hovel and a great cigar a little after 12. I wrote more of this stuff, then turned to the novel around 12:20.

I decided to forget all that stuff my brain was telling me and just write the next sentence. Let the characters lead me through.

If what my brain thought was gonna happen comes true, I’ll be amazed. And bored. I hope the characters will surprise me as they usually do.

Well, I pulled off a little over 2000 words on the day. Not a good day by a long shot, but I’ll take it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Not sure why I haven’t mentioned The Passive Voice before, but this is a great website. Check it out at If you look in the right sidebar at Post Categories, you’ll find a wealth of information, from posts on particular topics to posts from particular professional writers to Writing Advice. Strongly recommended.

If you don’t know how to use Find & Replace or the Paragraph Formatting Tool or some of Microsoft Word’s other excellent features, check out the free instruction at

At Dean’s place, in case you’re interested, “Questions About The Great Bundle Workshop” at

Fiction Words: 2136
Nonfiction Words: 1170 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3306

Writing of The Platinum Blond Perturbance

Day 1…… 1381 words. Total words to date…… 1381
Day 2…… 1864 words. Total words to date…… 3245
Day 3…… 2136 words. Total words to date…… 5381

Total fiction words for the month……… 12570
Total fiction words for the year………… 221126
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5610
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 62950

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 284076