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

3 thoughts on “The Journal, Monday, 4/10”

  1. I don’t comment every time you tell me (us) who read the journal each time I find something useful. Most recently the take on “pacing” white space moving the reader forward, controlling to some degree how the reader reacts to the page…more white space more excitement. I’m not saying this well…but what a marvelous bit of insight which I put immediately to use as I was coming to the point of some very exciting and tension filled dialogue and events. Harvey, you explain things so succinctly and really are helping me to become a better writer all the time. I can’t tell you how much I will miss the journal. It’s not your output that inspires me so much as your comments, articles almost, that help me SEE things. I get tied up with rules sometimes, and you so much help alleviate that situation, keep me aware that my instincts don’t have to fit pre-determined rules about spacing and paragraphing, but need to reflect the urgency of the story being told. Well you say it better than I do…for some unexplainable reason, at least to me it is unexplainable, you touch the creative side with facts that incorporate so easily because they make Sense!!! to the writer and reinforce good instincts that I have (and others too, I am sure) So stop doing this if you must, but I for one will miss the inspiration and the “ah ha moments” and the ability to disregard the “You have to do it this way” that is a hangover from every writing class and college lit course etc. In case I don’t get to say it again. Thank you eternally Harvey…you opened up a whole new lie for me and I love every moment and now with four novels under my belt, with each one better than the last in form and in substance, I feel strongly none of this would have ever happened without your ability to simplify, inspire etc etc etc. Let me know if you ever do another seminar around these parts, pahdnah.

    • Thanks Bonnie. Even if the Journal goes away, the “big blog” will still be there with the writing tips. I’ll be announcing an upcoming seminar/intensive on Adding Depth to Your Writing soon.

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