The Journal, Sunday, 1/8

Hey Folks,

Today is going to be a great day. I hope it’s a great day for writing too.

As I write this, I’m at my outside desk. My hands are stiff from the very light breeze, but I’m enjoying a good cigar and your company.

As a bonus, I paused for a moment and looked up. The Big Dipper is almost directly overhead.

As it turned out, it WAS a great day for writing, but it was a great day for other stuff too. So no writing today. Back at it tomorrow.

Goals Revised

I’m calling an end to my goal of writing at least one short story per week.

Why? Because although I enjoy writing short fiction and it increases my body of work and name recognition, it adds unnecessary pressure.

So I’ll continue to write them, but not in pursuit of any particular goal.

I still expect to write at least 1,000,000 words of published fiction this year. To that end, I will stick to my goal of writing at least 3000 words per day. It’s easy enough to do when I just sit down and write. And even when I miss, the average usually holds up.

As it stands, I have some catching up to do. But I’ll get there.

Topic: Rambling

I came sideways into a conversation on Facebook. In that conversation, an acquaintance mentioned that he isn’t sure how much longer he’ll be here. (He was diagnosed awhile back with a nasty cancer.)

Being an intruder in the conversation, I commented that I was glad he and I had met and that I hoped to see him again.

What I didn’t say (my first thought) was that NONE of us know how much longer we’ll be here. My acquaintance just has a more focused ETOE (estimated time of exiting) than most of us do.

If that sounds cold or uncaring, I don’t mean for it to. I personally like the guy. I wish we could have hung out when we were younger.

Occasionally I hear people say what they would do (within their ability) if they knew in advance when they were going to go off-planet.

Every time, my unspoken reaction is that somehow they’re missing the point. We all know we’re GOING to go off-planet, although none of us know when. So why not do those things NOW? Why wait for a diagnosis that maybe renders us less able to do those things (or causes us to believe we’re less able)?

I’ve actually asked that on a few occasions.

The response always has to do with money, time, or responsibilities. Which is to say it always has to do with excuses.

Usually I just nod, smile and say something like, “Ahh, I understand.” After all, there’s no reason to argue the point.

Yet here I am. Arguing the point.

If you’re one of those who needs an approximate date of ETOE, check your family history for life spans, factor-in the state of your overall health and any “bad” habits you might have that could limit your natural life expectancy, then slap an approximate month and year down for your ETOE.

But if your ETOE is distant, don’t use that as an excuse to put off what you want to accomplish or do. After all, you can’t factor-in getting hit by a bus or some drunk jerk coming the wrong way on the freeway.

Whenever I think about this stuff, I’m reminded of the penultimate and final lines in the movie, Secondhand Lions:

“These men really lived?”

“Yeah. They really LIVED.”

Of Interest

I recommend Dean’s 1/7/16 Daily ( because it’s fun.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out a little after 3. Checked email and Facebook, then outside for a cigar and to write most of the stuff above this.

I decided fairly early to make this a non-writing day. Cleaned out a storage shed (that doubles as my Adobe Hovel) complete with rearranging shelf units, etc. That took a few hours. I’m going to take the rest of the day to do nada.

Back tomorrow.

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

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…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 13740
Total fiction words for the year………… 13740
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5020
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 5020

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 18760