The Journal, Monday, 8/31 (Yay!)

The end of a month. A horrible month. Whew. Glad to see this one end.

The Day
Rolled out a little before 3. I was up late (for me) last night working with web browsers. I’ll tell you the rest in the Topic below.

A personal note — I’ve received a few emails recently from some of you expressing concern for what’s going on. Really, nothing. Just life. (grin) But I’m doing a mostly daily journal here, and I’m trying to be as transparent as I can in revealing my own life as a professional writer. That’s mostly to let you see what’s possible, but also that normal (or abnormal) everyday life continues to happen.

To that end, I want to let you see the rough days as well as the smooth ones, the days when I struggle to put together a sentence as well as the days when everything’s flowing and I hit 1200 words in an hour.
So I do appreciate the concern, but really, everything’s fine. If you know me, you know I slip into grouch mode pretty easily, and when I’m in grouch mode, my two year old inner child isn’t far behind. (grin)

Administrative note — I could have finished the short story I started yesterday in time to start a streak. I could have finished it this morning and created a cover and posted it before 9 a.m. when MailChimp sends out the story of the week to all the subscribers. (I had the story of the week covered with an older one that I reworked a bit but I still set the deadline for my challenge week at 9 a.m. on Monday morning.)

One of the reasons I didn’t bother was because I’ve been sending this daily journal post. It includes my daily numbers and it goes out at 5 p.m. every day. I couldn’t finish the story before that deadline.

So I need to work out my deadlines so they coincide. I’ll do that before I start my story-a-week challenge again. Since my workday begins at 2 or so in the morning and ends at 5 in the early evening, probably I’ll shift the story-a-week deadline to 6 p.m. on Monday instead of 9 a.m. on Monday.

We’ll see. Anyway, it’s now 6:30 a.m. I have a new browser I’m happy with thus far (see the Topic below) and am ready to start the rest of my day. No fiction writing today. The month is over. Today I’ll take care of some more administrative stuff, like adding a couple blog posts over on the other blog to get a little bit ahead.

Now it’s almost noon. I’ve added four articles to the other blog post so I’m caught up through October 1.

Topic of the Morning: Internet Browsers

I’ve used Firefox for years. The problem is, I’m a complete two year old when it comes to putting up with things that annoy me and that probably have a solution. The keyword here is probably.

I will spend hours, even days, searching for a solution to an annoyance when I know the solution “probably” exists.

The problem with Firefox was this: When I tried to view a video or even open a website that has photos or videos on it (for example, news feeds or weather radar) in Firefox, my computer would slow to a crawl. It also sounded like a fighter jet warming up on the runway.

You know the sound. When the pilot is increasing the engine speed while keeping his foot firmly planted on the brake until the engines are spinning fast enough to punch him into the sky. Well, something like that. You know.

Anyway, Firefox invoked Adobe Flash, which ran as a separate process and ate up tons of memory, thereby taxing the processor and slowing the computer to roughly the speed of an abacus in the hands of an untrained chimp.

As all humans do in all human endeavors in which Conflict is trump, I finally sought change only when the aggravation of putting up with my current browser finally outweighed the inconvenience of finding a new one, moving all my bookmarks, reinserting all my saved passwords, and all that stuff.

And of course, the need to switch browsers brought up another problem. Which browser?

Now fixing this problem should be as easy as looking at browser comparisons or reading reviews. But it isn’t. Not unless you look at several comparisons from various sources and look for common notes among them.

Ditto for reviews. You have to compare several reviews and study them to discern the kernels of unbiased truth hidden in the bought-and-paid-for-and-therefore-biased text.

And finally, you have to download the new browser, transfer all your stuff (or at least find out how difficult it is to transfer all your stuff) and then use it and wait to see what happens.

Relatively speaking, I got lucky.

Yesterday (?) or the day before, I compared notes (per my griping above) and settled on Opera. I downloaded it, transferred everything (to Opera’s credit, the transfer was easy) and began using it.

I liked the user interface and enjoyed the ease with which I was able to get around in the browser. Everything was fine for a few hours.

Then it crashed.

The browser was still there, and open. My windows (email, and a couple others) were still on the screen. But in each window, the content — ALL of the content — was replaced with black.

I closed Opera and restarted it, and everything was fine. My tabs all came back. No problem. Probably just a glitch, so no worries.

Then it crashed. Same thing, a half-hour later. Okay, so not just a glitch. Sigh. Well minor-league-curseword-that-begins-with-D.

So I started reading again, comparing notes.

Just in case you’re doing this search yourself, here are the two best comparison sites I found: and

I found a few programs that seemed like good candidates to become my next browser. I downloaded and installed Internet Explorer 11 and was immediately IMMEDIATELY sorry. It’s far too bossy for my tastes, and it isn’t NEARLY as fast as the two comparison sites above claim it is. Plus it uses a ton of memory, again, as opposed to what a lot of reviews and the two comparison sites above say.

I quickly grew tired of the “big” browsers. I had tried IE twice and hated it both times. Firefox was out, and Google Chrome seemed overly flippant in their lack of desire to allow the end user (me) to set things up for my own convenience. And Opera… well, I liked Opera a lot except that it apparently is a crash machine.

So I read in-depth reviews about three other browsers: Pale Moon (based on the Firefox engine but sleeker and faster), Torch (based on the Chromium engine, like Google Chrome, it allows for a LOT more personalization and is not as high-handed) and Sea Monkey (based on the Firefox engine but just as fast as Firefox while allegedly using a LOT less memory).

I finally installed Pale Moon, but the first time I visited a news site that had a few pictures on it and links to videos (not even videos, just LINKS to videos), it acted like Firefox. Someone turned the ignition key in an F-16 cockpit and the computer slowed to a crawl. Now I have to admit the crawl was considerably faster than the Firefox crawl, but a crawl is a crawl.

Thing is, I can’t abide a crawling browser. Let me explain.

In my world, I don’t really notice 1/60th of a minute as it ticks past, but I can get a lot done in, say, 15 seconds. So in my world, a minute has four 15-second segments that I’m intuitively aware of. In my world, an hour has 240 of those. It doesn’t just have 60 minutes, but 240 quarter-minutes. That’s a lot of quarter-minutes. And during that time, I can accomplish a lot IF my browser isn’t crawling along, sapping my strength and my patience.

So the search continued.

This morning, fresh out of bed, I grabbed a cuppa coffee, turned on Pale Moon, opened a new tab and began comparing browsers.

I swear, I thought I heard my computer say in a soft, almost menacing voice, “What are you doing, Harvey?” (see 2001: A Space Odyssey)

And yes, I responded. Aloud. I said, “Nothing. Nothing, ProBook 6460b. Everything’s fine.”

Then I downloaded the installation files for Sea Monkey ( and Torch (

Torch downloaded first, so I installed it first. TADA! It’s working great.

If it continues to work well, that will be the end of my search. If it doesn’t, well, I still have the installation files for Sea Monkey set aside, so we’ll see.

If you have any questions about any of this, please ask in the comments section below.

Also, be aware I’m also gonna make this one of my upcoming posts over on the bigger blog. So if you’re signed up over there too, you’ll see this again before too long. Probably late September.


Today’s Writing

Well, I just don’t have any writing in me today. Well, fiction writing anyway. I probably hit around 3,000 words today of nonfiction and silliness. In fact, there are almost 1700 words in this post alone.

Okay, but I just noticed I didn’t add my total from yesterday (1056) to the daily total. I added it to the monthly and annual, but not to the daily, so I’m correcting that today.

Fiction Words: XXXX

Writing of Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 3213 words. Total words to date….. 3213 words
Day 2…… 1046 words. Total words to date….. 4259 words
Day 3…… 1858 words. Total words to date….. 6117 words
Day 4…… 1023 words. Total words to date….. 7140 words
Day 5…… 1587 words. Total words to date….. 8327 words
Day 6…… X943 words. Total words to date….. 9270 words
Day 7…… 1084 words. Total words to date….. 10354 words
Day 8…… 1056 words. Total words to date….. 11410 words
Day 9…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXXX words

Total fiction words for the month…………… 22641
Total fiction words for the year……………… 465041