The Journal, Friday, 12/4

Hi Folks,

Received a comment via email yesterday. Just in case I confused anyone else, I wanted to share it. Here’s the essence of the question followed by my response. I’ve added a little to the response, but the writer will see it here. If you have a comment, whenever possible please post it in the Comments section below.

Q: Harvey, Are you saying that sometimes the subconscious (writing into the dark) misleads us?

A: Not at all. The subconscious mind never misleads us. On the other hand, the conscious, critical mind constantly puts up barriers in an attempt to save us from ourselves. (If we don’t finish writing we can’t publish, and if we don’t publish we can’t be harmed by rejection.)

One of those barriers is the conscious, critical mind trying to convince us that the subconscious is misleading us. How’s that for coming full circle? (grin)

The conscious, critical mind will continue to try to take over. We just have to keep watching for it.

Also, yesterday I whipped off a few names of writers whose work has heavily influenced my own. By that I mean I studied their work with the intention of learning how they accomplished dragging me down into their writing. Another major influence (slip him in between Hemingway and Bradbury) was/is James Lee Burke. Others were Kate Chopin, Shirley Jackson, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Isabel Allende and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (Haven’t studied hers a lot yet but her writing blows me away.) By the way, she posts a free short story every week at her website too. 🙂 Well worth a visit.

And I misspelled a name in yesterday’s post. Travels with Me and Another is by Martha Gellhorn.

Be careful with facts that matter. It’s fiction, right? So it’s okay to make stuff up. But in my WIP, much of which takes place in the Mexican state of Guerrero, I got all four directions completely wrong. We (well, I) think of the Pacific coastline as running generally north and south. And in some places it does.

But in Guerrero, most of it runs from west to east. So the relatively narrow “northern border” of Guerrero is actually the western border. I just spent close to an hour replacing north with west, east with north, south with east and west with south. Selectively, of course. Otherwise in the scenes in Amarillo and Abilene I’d have had the sun setting in the south, and that hardly ever happens. I fully expect some readers to call me on having the Pacific Ocean south of Guerrero, but I don’t mind. Because that’s where it is.

The Day

Rolled out at 3 this morning. Finally warm enough to let the babies out so I wasn’t under cattack for the first two hours of the day. So straight to the writing.

No walk today.

Haven’t delved into Working Days yet. I’ll read a bit tonight, then more tomorrow.

Did a little more cycling back today, but nothing like yesterday.

Today’s Writing

I have a feeling it’s going to be a sprint to the end of the novel now. I mean it’ll probably be a series of sprints over a few days, but I feel like the end is coming. In a way I’m sorry, but in a way I’m happy because I have some other writing (a novel and two different short story series) that I will write under a pen name (not a persona) in a different genre.

Looking forward to that.

Good writing day today, though not excellent.

Fiction Words: 3315

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…… 21646 words
Day 7…… 1471 words. Total words to date…… 23117 words
Day 8…… 2843 words. Total words to date…… 25960 words
Day 9…… 1782 words. Total words to date…… 27742 words
Day 10… 3315 words. Total words to date…… 31057 words

Total fiction words for the month……… 10004
Total fiction words for the year………… 613995