The Journal, Tuesday, 4/25

Hey Folks,

A few days ago I mentioned that I had an idea for an 11th novel in the Wes Crowley saga. A few of you cheered. Thanks for that.

Part of my reasoning was that the last novel (and the saga) didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Several other readers also noted it didn’t end the way it would have if they were the protagonist.

So I was all set to pull a Hollywood cheat. I was thinking maybe Wes had dreamed (nightmared, more specifically) book 10. I was going to have him wake up at the beginning of book 11 and go on with the story from there after shaking off the dregs of the nightmare.

But in preparation for writing that novel, I read over part of book 10, The Right Cut, this morning.

know what? The saga is finished. Just as I thought it was when I finished writing book 10 in June of last year.

And the ending was completely satisfying.

It still didn’t end the way it would have ended if I (or others, apparently) had been the protagonist.

But I wasn’t. Nor were others. The protaginist was Wes. Writing this particular book 11 would have turned Wes into someone he’s never been.

So no, I won’t do that.

More than anyone else I’ve ever known, Wes always lived up to the ideal that being upright is not a matter of degree.

As it is, the series explores Wes’ life from the time he was 15 years old until he was nearing 60. And that’s enough.

Oh, someday I might put together a collection of Crowley stories that he’s telling his grandchildren or something like that. Of course, they would be stories that are not contained in the saga. We’ll see.

But the saga, the main story of Wes Crowley, is finished.

For those of you who read only paper editions (no ebooks), I can tell you The Right Cut will be out in paper in a week or so. (grin)

As for me, well, beginning today, it’s a whole new world. Time to write something new.

Para ahora, adios, Wes Crowley, mi amigo.


I’m still planning another challenge. Soon. But it’s something for which I’ll need to take Dean’s advice and “clear the decks,” meaning prepare the way for fewer distractions.

At the moment, I’m in the midst of a life roll, so it’ll be awhile yet before I announce the new challenge.

I can tell you it will have a great deal to do with actually writing in public. Beyond that, frankly, I haven’t figured it out yet.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out right at 3. I spent most of the morning in a haze of general confusion. Mostly that means my brain was so full of thoughts it was difficult to grasp one, or even tail one to any kind of logical conclusion.

I messed around most of the day, looking at old story starts, old ideas. Nothing caught my interest.

I looked at a file of character names I have.

I looked through about 700 stock photos.

I looked at some old titles I have lying around.


Around 2:30, finally, my gaze lit on a file name in my Writing folder in my Dropbox.

I opened it, and there I found a quote that I liked so much I’d written it down and saved it.

The quote was from a friend and writing colleague. If I remember correctly, it was originally a caption that accompanied a photo of a wild flower. He posted it on Facebook.

The quote? “No matter how hard the ground, beauty finds a way out.” (Thanks, Dan.)


I wrote “How Hard the Ground” across the top of a clean screen. Then I started writing.

About 500 words in, I realized it’s gonna be another mystery thing. Short or long, I don’t know yet. But a lot of rather morose fun.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “The Magic Bakery: Chapter Six” at

“Story Twenty-four” is at

Some fun in the comments on Dean’s post from yesterday at

This just in: I strongly recommend you read the comments under “Robert Prisig Dies at 88” at Specifically, the comment by Tom Simon. Really great stuff.

Fiction Words: 1807
Nonfiction Words: 690 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2497

Writing of How Hard the Ground (story or novel)

Day 1…… 1807 words. Total words to date…… 1807

Total fiction words for the month……… 32454
Total fiction words for the year………… 241010
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 71740

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 312750

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………… 517 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (16 novels)… 5 novels
Total novels to date (since Oct 19, 2014)… 27 (includes 3 novellas)