The Journal, Thursday, 9/10: Life Happens

Checked email first thing this morning per usual. I received a request to write a foreword for an anthology being published by Creative Writing Institute. I’ve told them I’ll do it.

Rolled out a little after 2, and by 3 a.m. I was writing. Woohoo! The retraining is in progress.

I wrote awhile with a couple breaks, then went to walk a local arroyo about 6. Again left my camera in the pickup and just walked. Finished with 5.8 miles and got back here around 9.

Then I remembered a drab but beautiful little flower that appeared in the background of a pic I took a few days ago. So on the spur of the moment, I decided to drive out that road, find the flowering plant, find that flower and capture it. Got it and was back within another hour. It’s a road I walk on a lot out here so I know it pretty well. I pinpointed the flowering plant I wanted by looking at the pic I took before that one and the pic I took after it. (grin)

When I got back I had a stack of emails waiting, many from the folks for whom I will write the foreword, so I responded to those, spent a little time on Facebook posting pics, then got a shower. Now it’s noon (where does the time go?) and I’m turning to my writing ‘puter.

Hey, life happens. When it does, you roll with it, then start writing. No matter what happens, if you’re a writer, you write.

Right now in my retraining, I’m focusing on writing first thing in the morning. Got that done this morning, so success there. Tomorrow I’ll do the same thing. When that becomes habit, I’ll begin expanding the hours and calming down the rest of the day.

But for today, good enough.

Topic of the Post: No topic tonight beyond the above.

My Current Challenge and Goal

Before October 1, I will write at least 30 new short stories, one for each day in September. To satisfy the challenge, these have to be actual short stories, meaning they have to be over 2,000 words. If I write anything shorter than that, it will count on my numbers but not toward the challenge. Stay tuned. 

Today’s Writing

Usually, when I write a short story it all comes flooding out in a few to several hours in one day. Maybe two or three times in my life have I taken longer than one day to write a short story. And then I took two days to write “Finding Harold Harshbarger.” And now, apparently, I’m going to take two days to write my current WIP, a short story about a mob accountant who turned state’s witness and is in witness protection.

That’s okay. Even though I’m not officially throwing in the towel on the challenge for this month, I’m not suffering under any illusions that I’ll actually pull it off at this point. I’ll leave it in place as a personal incentive, but probably I’ll use the rest of this month to retrain myself and get my writing pump going again.

As I wrote above, for today, good enough. At least my daily word count is climbing back up to respectable levels.

Fiction Words: 2327

Writing of “Untitled about mob accountant” (short story)
Day 1…… 2327 words. Total words to date….. 2327 words
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXX words (done)

One thing about these stories — I just have to write them. I don’t have to rush to slap a cover on them and publish them. All of that’s going to come later, although I will pick one each week to be the story for that week. At the end of the month if I’m successful in my challenge I should have 40 publications: 30 individual stories, six 5-story collections, three 10-story collections, and maybe one book titled The Stories of September.

Total challenge stories for the month…… 1 (Goal is 30)
Total challenge words for the month…… 4810
Total fiction words for the month………… 6400 (1590 on Wes)
Total fiction words for the year…………… 471441