The Journal, Sunday, 1/15

Hey Folks,

REALLY slow start today. Not with the story. It’s fine. I just stayed up too late and then had a bout of insomnia. So a lot of waking-up, dawdling time this morning.

Drizzling rain here this morning. When I’d been up about an hour, I, a good cigar and my second mugga coffee headed outdoors with my laptop to play Spider, read some stuff (see “Of Interest”), etc.

Of course, halway through the cigar (about a half-hour) it started sprinkling. I set up an umbrella, but the stuff was just heavy enough that it was still splattering and leaving minuscule droplets on my computer. Sigh.

So inside with the computer (cigar under the umbrella) then back outside to commune with nature for awhile. Huddled under an umbrella. On a cloth office chair. Crap.

Inside to put the chair in the house, then back under the umbrella, this time with just me, the cigar and the coffee. Good stuff.

I was wearing my medium-weight jacket (it’s about 45° outside with a light breeze) and the collar wraps around. That put me in mind of an old detective-type trench coat.

And suddenly I was a guy standing under an umbrella in the pre-dawn darkness at an outdoor café in a new town with which I am not familiar. (Character with a problem [rain] in a setting.) Not sure how I got there (or why) except there’s a crime to be solved. Don’t know what that is yet either.

Maybe my next novel will tell me.

I’ve been jonesing to write a series with a recurring main character but with different storylines for each novel (instead of one long, ongoing story). Maybe this is it. We’ll see.

Or I’ll write another psychological/sociological SF. I love writing those.

Quick Quiz

1. What differentiates SF from other genres?
Answer: Setting. (Really. That’s it. Nothing else.)

2. What one genre trumps all others?
Answer: Science Fiction/Fantasy. If a story has even one element of SF in it, it’s an SF story.

You can write Horror, Psychological Suspense, Western, Romance, Thriller, etc. If you place the story in an SF setting, it’s SF.

From the Wow Department

The philosopher Seneca in his letters to his cousin Lucilius, wrote, “Who knows what a day is worth? Who understands that he is dying every day? Our mistake, you see, is in looking ahead to death. A good deal of death has already passed. The years which have so far gone by are in the hands of death. So, do what you claim to be doing, and embrace every hour. In that way you’ll be less dependent on tomorrow if you set your hand to today. Life flits by while things get put off.”

Of Interest

See Dean’s Chapter Six: Writing a Novel in Five Days While Traveling ( Great stuff. Be sure to read to the end. A gem on focus and making choices.

From a comment on Dean’s post from Chapter 5, “Here’s an older article from Scientific America article that discusses major flooding in the past. It’s a current topic and you might find it useful in your time travel stories.”
California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe (

And a family in Russia lived so deeply inside Siberia that they weren’t aware of World War II (

Today, and Writing

Rolled out at 2:30, but did very little until around 5, when I finally came here to write this stuff. I’ll start on the novel shortly.

Finally to the Hovel during a break in the rain, around 7. By 7:30 I had 600 more words, cycling, filling out a scene.

Oof. Hard to stay motivated today. Took an extended break from around 8 to 9:30. Conscious mind keeps saying it wouldn’t kill me to take a day off (an unreasoning fear). But I’m still more afraid of missing my word count than anything else.

Well, I made it. Not by much, but I made it. And I’ll take it. Off early today.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 3133
Nonfiction Words: 670 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3803

Writing of The Claim (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 4391 words. Total words to date…… 4391
Day 2…… 3632 words. Total words to date…… 8023
Day 3…… 1416 words. Total words to date…… 9439
Day 4…… 2673 words. Total words to date…… 12112
Day 5…… 4284 words. Total words to date…… 16396
Day 6…… 3159 words. Total words to date…… 19555
Day 7…… 3834 words. Total words to date…… 23389
Day 8…… 4953 words. Total words to date…… 28342
Day 9…… 4982 words. Total words to date…… 33324
Day 10… 3618 words. Total words to date…… 36942
Day 11… 3133 words. Total words to date…… 40075

Total fiction words for the month……… 41703
Total fiction words for the year………… 41703
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9590
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 9590

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 51293

4 thoughts on “The Journal, Sunday, 1/15”

  1. Interesting reading, Harvey. I just may give that Sci Fi thing a go. Be fun to see what I come up with. Never thought about it that way

  2. In view of your prompt, let me throw this Lieutenant Colombo quote into the mix:

    “Let us start with the little things. Let’s finish our coffee.”

    From the episode guest starring Ricardo Montalban.

    And yes, it’s in my stash.

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