The Journal, Monday, 11/30

Hi Folks,

Last day of the month. I’m hoping for a really good day to close this one out and give me some momentum going into the last month of the year. But it’ll be what it’ll be, and I’m not overly worried about it. The novel’s moving along smoothly and that’s all that matters.

I’m also going to work walking back into my schedule. I always get lax when the weather turns colder, and I use “Oh, I’m in maintenance mode” to justify walking shorter distances and walking much less often. But it’s a cop out.

Okay, so out the door for a walk finally around 11. Back by 12 with just under two miles. Not pleasant. Up and back in a large (about 50 yards wide) arroyo that I used to walk a lot. Floods from the recent monsoons have rocks strewn everywhere, and that’s all right.

But also apparently a group of Lummoxes moved through, accompanied by Chretins and the ever popular trous de cul. (If you don’t have French, Click Here. If it isn’t already there, type in trous de cul, then translate from French to English).

The evidence? Old TVs and computer monitors used for target practice and left, along with the brass, spent shotshells, and ammo cartons. Creeps. Wish I knew where they exist so I could dump all their crap back in their yard. Then again, probably nobody could tell because of all the other shattered TVs, computer monitors, etc. lying around. I’d bet money right now there are dirty diapers out in the yard too. And some of ’em probably belonged to children.

The Day

Stayed up late last night to watch the Broncos beat the previously undefeated Patriots. Great game that came down to overtime, which the Patriots almost always win. Anyway, totally worth the lost sleep. So this morning I rolled out at 3:30. (grin)

The wake-up period took a little longer again as I expected it would. Too cold to let the ladies (cats) out this morning early, although they think I very obviously am simply being mean. They also can’t understand why I allowed it to get so cold on the other side of the door.

Still, it’s Arizona cold (around 27), not COLD cold, like Indiana or Dallas in an ice storm or 4 or something. But I don’t care. I’m keeping them inside. They’re cats. They’ll bug me only so long, and then they’ll curl up for a nap and I can write.

Still looking forward to writing more on this novel every day. I think there’s no better feeling in the world.

Oh, by the way, I found something you might find useful. Called “the BBC of the book world,” Publishing Perspectives is a trade journal for international publishing news and opinion. (If you’ve published an ebook, unless you published it only to PDF and sent it only to your friends, you are published internationally.) They have a free email edition to “bring the latest need-to-know information directly to your inbox, Monday through Friday.” To check it out, Click Here.

For any of you who don’t read comments on these things, Gary Vineyard mentioned in a comment yesterday that he enjoys reading about the real life stuff that surrounds the writing. He mentioned Working Days: The Journals of the Grapes of Wrath. I ordered a copy from Amazon. (Paperback. A Steinbeck book in electronic format just ain’t right.) And I’m gonna try to work in more of what I actually do around here. You know, on days when I actually do stuff. Thanks Gary.

Today’s Writing

Started later than I had hoped. Had other things to deal with. Then I was hungry so I made a couple eggs and some hash browns and toast. Then to writing, finally. I hope to get a couple of good sessions before the walk, partly to let the breakfast settle, and I did.

Okay, I got a few more sessions than I’d hoped for, but they also were shorter than I’d hoped for. So all in all it kind of evened out, but I didn’t have as good a day as I’d hoped for overall. Still, I’ll take it.

Ended up with 30,118 for the month, which isn’t bad given that I actually wrote only 8 days this month. Of course, that was my own stupid fault. Man I hope I never do that again. Ugh.

So anyway, I’ve said here before that averages are what matters when it comes to productivity. My average (mean) daily production for this month is just over 1000 words per day. But divided only by the number of days I wrote, the mean is over 3600 words per day. Either way, I’ll take it.

By the way, I’m not tied to the numbers themselves either. The numbers are merely a concrete tool I can use to set and achieve goals without fudging. I mean, “story” and “novel” are not set values. Four thousand words per day is a set value, and I either hit it or I miss it. Either way, it resets to zero the next morning.

So I need set values in order to drive myself. And I’ve pretty well proven that if I don’t drive myself, I pretty much kick myself out of the Writers’ Club. The numbers also enable me to watch for trends in my writing, which appeals to both my sense of stubborness (I only wrote HOW MUCH last December? Well hold my beer and watch this!) and my sense of Getting Stuff Done.

Fiction Words: 3739

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…… 17907 words

Total fiction words for the month……… 30118
Total fiction words for the year………… 603991