The Journal, Friday, 12/2

Hey Folks,

Well, the morning started off weird. I was up at 2:30. Then the coffeemaker didn’t work. Then my small heater in my office didn’t work. One of those days when everything’s a little off.

In case I didn’t mention it the other day, and in case you’re interested, I now have a list of all the books (novels, collections and nonfiction) available in the Christmas sale. To download it, Click Here(

By the way, if you want any of the print books signed, be sure to order them sooner rather than later. I have only one or two copies of some of them.

Got a bunch of little necessary chores done by 9:40. Among the little chores, I downloaded 10 new cover images from CanStock Photo. My subscription resets around 11 a.m., so I’ll have to take a break for that (so I don’t forget). But otherwise it should be a day of Just Writing.

10 a.m., I need to see what I can get done today on the novel. I think this is the first time I’ve called a one-off a “novel” when it wasn’t even to 10,000 words yet. As of yesterday, this one’s just barely out of the short story range.

* * *

Well, a bit of a slow start. I sat down at my outside desk, keyed in about ten words and realized I hadn’t seen my kitten for awhile. She has a penchant for escaping over the fence. It’s a game we play. Unfortunately the coyotes like to play too.

So up I went, cigar in hand, to find her. First I checked the house. That took only about five minutes. Then I checked the neighbor’s chicken coop area. About four months ago, I found her there looking longingly at the laying hens. But she wasn’t there today.

Then I circled the perimeter of my vast holdings (all told, maybe an acre) and ended up bush-whacking about thirty feet outside the back (south) fence and around the perimeter again. No cat.

Finally I came back through the barbed wire (for ya’ll in Texas, that’s “bob war”) outer fence and circled out behind the Adobe Hovel (my other outer office) and the corral. But the horses (they’re the neighbors’) weren’t spooked so I didn’t think she was out there.

Then I checked the room where they keep hay. The door’s always swinging open with the wind. No cat. Then I headed back for my fenced-in yard.

Where of course, she was sitting patiently just inside the gate waiting for me. The look on her face said, “Dad, why you wanderin’ around out there?”

She patiently led me into the house and my office, arching her back about every third step, and I gave her a treat for being such a good girl and putting up with me. Then I went back to my writing. Almost an hour later. Sigh.

I said earlier it was that kind of day, didn’t I?

* * *

I’m supposed to be camping with my buddy this weekend, but the fact is, I’m a weenie. Despite (or maybe because of) enduring Cold Weather Training in a haven called Pickle Meadows in the High Sierras above Reno several years ago (57° below Zero in a snow cave) I don’t do cold weather well.

It isn’t bad, but when my cigar’s finished I prefer to get in out of the icicle-strewn wind. So there. And yes, if you didn’t know, it gets extremely cold in the desert in the winter. No moisture to hold in the heat of the day. It all heads out for Jupiter or somewhere and we desert rats hybernate.

Of Interest

A new resource for you at English Language & Stack Exchange ( I found it this morning while researching what they call that sheet-thing the barber drapes over you while you’re in his chair. (It’s called a barber’s cape.) Very useful.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts ( has a comprehensive listing of state VLA organizations.

There are some good comments on Dean’s “An Interesting Assumption” (

Finally, you’ll find an extremely worthwhile effort to save Red Wolves at I hope you’ll visit and sign the letter. That’s all they ask.

And in case you’re interested, here’s an excellent article on General James “Mad Dog” Mattis. He probably will become the new SecDef:

Today’s Writing

A rocky start at about 400 words, but a good start on a new chapter that’ll probably end up earlier in the book than where I’m writing it.

Well, I didn’t get nearly as many words done today as I wanted to, but the story is moving along fine. No excuses. I just didn’t spend the time in the chair.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 1587
Nonfiction Words: 690 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2277

Writing of Ray Acuna (tentative title)

Day 1…… 2058 words. Total words to date…… 2058
Day 2…… 3752 words. Total words to date…… 5810
Day 3…… 1934 words. Total words to date…… 7744
Day 4…… 1587 words. Total words to date…… 9331

Total fiction words for the month……… 3521
Total fiction words for the year………… 683215
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1660 (wrong number yesterday)
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 259560

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 942275