The Journal, Saturday, 12/12

Hi Folks,

This was mostly a non-writing day. I wasn’t really planning it to be a day off, but that’s how it turned out. So about 2:30 p.m., I called it.

Suffice it to say I really need to start getting two to three hours of writing done while the world is quiet in the early morning hours. Then no matter what happens the rest of the day, at least I got something done.

The Day

Woke up around 1 to rain pounding on the roof. Dozed off and on until I finally crawled out a little before 3.

The rain had stopped so I let the little girl out to play. Got my coffee, checked email, kicked around on Facebook. All of that was about a half-hour. In all that time I never checked the weather site.

Then I heard something that sounded like a train. I thought it was raining again, hard, but it didn’t sound quite like that. Worried about the baby, so I got my ball cap and sandals and flashlight and went out looking. HUGE wind and sleet/snow. Found her, got her in, then started to publish the story I wrote yesterday.

Well, I read over it first since I was dead tired when I wrote it. It wasn’t bad, but I added almost 500 words and adjusted the character’s voice to one of my favorite “attitude” accents. So I updated it below. I had hoped to write a lot more today. Uhhh, no. But that’s all right. Writing is a game of averages.

Also updated a page on the publisher site with buy links and did some other little stuff there. Then I came here.

With the little girl in and wanting out, I type a little (nonfiction stuff, website stuff), and a cat passes between me and the keyboard. I type a little more, and a cat passes between me and the keyboard. It’s a cycle, like the tides. (grin)

So that was the first couple hours.

Makilak 180Okay, I created a promo document and a cover for the new story. I like the cover, so I’m putting it over there on the left again. Got the thing published to my current three distributors.

Then I sent an email to Smashwords asking them to please update the Channel Manager on their site so it has a bulk option. I have over 180 titles on their site. Every time they add a new market that I’m already selling to through a different distributor, I have to go line by line through four pages of entries, stop at each title, scroll to the side, then click a radio button that says Opt Out. (The other distributors all have options to opt in or out in bulk.) So we’ll see how that goes.

Got the story and cover published also to the Short Story page on my website and pre-posted as the free short story of the week for February 22. 🙂 For the short story page, that makes 119 short stories. Who knew 119 would not be a prime number? But it’s 17 rows of 7 pics. Go figure.

I ate a quick breakfast at my desk around 6:30, then started skimming pictures. A few days ago I was tasked with going through some of my landscape photos to select several to have printed and send to the kids for Christmas gifts.

My photos are not organized. Which is like saying at 2 p.m. on any August day in Yuma it will be a little warm. In my Photos folder I have 140 subfolders, each with anywhere from 100 to 800 or more pics inside.

I started picking pics at 7 a.m. and by 7:30 I had a few picked out, with a few more to find. Then the best-laid plans of a man (me) were overruled by the best laid plans of a mouse (I call him Jonas). I hadda go capture Jonas, transport him outside and drop him over the fence. Amazing how agile those little things are.

I wound up moving a dining room table, a treadmill, an antique wash stand, a gun case we inherited from Indiana, and various and sundry other smaller items. All this time I was packin’ heat in the form of a 3w x5l x3d thin-cardboard box, a stiff front cover from an old small Marine Corps logbook (to cover the box once the mouse was trapped inside) and a small but bright flashlight (to find the mouse by the glare of his beady little eyes). All of that in two hands. Oh, it was a great deal of fun.

So the Jonas Games started right at 7:30 and ended right at 8:30 with me depositing him over the back fence. He scurried off with never so much as a by your leave or adios or anything else.

Then I went back to selecting photos. It was a pretty quick and much less selective process from there on out. But it still took until 9 a.m. to be done with it.

That was over five hours ago. Ugh. I don’t hover well, folks. I hover sort’a like a rock. Let me explain.

Please understand, I realize I’m probably wrong from the outset on this— I’m a guy, after all— but I tend to make up my mind about what I’m going to do, and then I get up and do it. Or I make up my mind that I’m NOT going to do something, and then I move on. It’s a simple, easy, stress-free, hover-free way to live.

I’m not good with hovering. I am not the guy who would ever put together a committee to study the feasibility of meeting to determine whether we should meet to consider locking the doors and turning out the lights when the meeting is over. No sir. I’m more the kind of guy that people like me would hire to stroll past that meeting room and toss in a live beehive just to add a little color to those poor souls’ drab existence. Or a CS (teargas) grenade. Whatever.

To slap you with a clichĂ©, life’s too short to spend it hovering. Do or don’t do. And for goodness’ sake, if you ever DO want to hover, go hover someplace where there’s a pool table and some friends with beer money and call me. Well, I guess that wouldn’t really be hovering, would it? That’s a decision. And a pretty good one.

Okay, so for the last five hours I’ve been caught up in a vacuum. So I’ve been doing things that require concentration but not unbroken suspension of the beta state of consciousness. So no fiction writing.

I worked on the slides for the neat little slide show on the home page of the publisher site. I created each slide myself a couple weeks ago. I re-created five of them today, saved them, resized them, uploaded them, deleted the old ones they were replacing, then put them in place in the slider. Then I experimented with various transition effects and settled on a boring but effective fade thing.

Finally I put a “quick, let’s just get to it already” menu at the top of that home page as well. I don’t like having to go on a quest to find my way off a splash page, so I figure nobody else does either. So now, in addtion to the four photos and three other “picture” links on the home page, there’s also a quick menu at the top.

Okay, interspersed with all the stuff I documented above, I kept coming back here in 10- and 15-minute spurts to add to this post.

Around 12:45 I had a quick bite of lunch. As happens on days that I actually get some writing done, at 1 p.m. I thought about putting my fingers on the keyboard and writing whatever comes. But some days fingers just naturally want to curl into the fetal position. Or maybe that’s the jugular-clutching position. So no fiction writing today, other than the little bit you see below.

Today’s Writing

Added not quite 500 words to the story I mostly wrote yesterday, then did all the stuff you see above, then came here to add this at about 3. I’m gonna post this, then go sit on the couch and sulk while I watch what’s left of the Army-Navy game.

Okay, so at least I got the 483 words, albeit almost inadvertently. Still, better than rolling a zero.

Fiction Words: 483
Nonfiction Words: 1386

Writing of “Makilak Crismazizzle” (short story)

Day 1…… 2913 words. Total words to date…… 2913 words
Day 2…… 0483 words. Total words to date…… 3396 words (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 29994
Total fiction words for the year………… 633985

Total nonfiction words for the month… 9191
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 51293 (since September 1)