Jobs Like That: A Novella

Hey Folks, I’ll get to the novella Jobs Like That in a moment. But first, like all fiction writers everywhere, I Need Reviews. So I’m creating a Smashwords coupon for each of my major works of fiction. One for each novel, novella and short story collection. In addition to being a major distributor, Smashwords is also an online bookstore. But unlike the other online bookstores, once you purchase a book at Smashwords you can download it … Read more

The Original Heinlein’s Rules

Hey Folks, In recent years, say about the last 40 or 50, many would-be writers have gotten away from writing. They set out to write, but then allow themselves to be trapped in a vicious circle. Some don’t even actually write. Instead, they meet with writers and other would-be writers in groups and rehash all the same old advice that hasn’t worked for them thus far. They attend conferences and conventions. They strive to meet writers … Read more

An Old Concept Made Fresh and New, Sort Of

Hi Folks, An interesting article titled “Micro-Progress Your Novel” caught my attention back in late February. I had to share it because it’s so… well, not new. Despite the high-falutin’ title, the article is all about eating an elephant one bite at a time. That’s all. Instead of trying to “write a novel,” which the author of the post calls a “daunting prospect,” the idea is to set a series of smaller goals, like writing for … Read more

Taking the Necessary Break

Hey Folks, Breaks are a necessary part of life. For the professional fiction writer, they might be even more necessary. I suppose it all depends on how you define “break.” I have more than enough days when I don’t write any fiction. There are days when life intervenes with chores that have stacked up or shopping trips to the next town over or minor emergencies. You know, like coating the roof of the camping trailer because … Read more

Fear of Rejection

Hey Folks, Wow. I am depressed. Well, not really. But had I not finally understood awhile back that I can only advise, and that I can’t afford mentally or emotionally to tie my advice to a given outcome, wow would I be depressed. I edited a novel for a client in February 2006. Then I edited a rewrite of a couple chapters in April 2006 for the same novel. This morning (as I write this), TWELVE … Read more

About Publishing and Publishers

Hi Folks, As I write this (back in early February), a young writer got in touch with me earlier today to ask my recommendation on publishing. She mentioned that she was “talking to a publishing company that is a subsidiary of Hay House.” I didn’t look up the company, but a little bell went off in my mind. I believe Hay House is one of the companies that charges writers an up-front fee to publish their … Read more

Yeah, About that Writer’s Block Thing…

Note: Recently, as I tried to have MailChimp add the specific post title to my email, instead it added only the code: RSSFEED:SUBJECT. Understandably, this looked suspicious to some readers. I understand. From this point forward, the posts will have a generic subject line. Thanks for your patience. H Hi Folks, Know what? Writer’s block doesn’t exist. Wait. Way too haughty. Let me try again: Writer’s block doesn’t exist unless you experience it. Okay, that’s a … Read more


Hi Folks, Note: I first wrote this back on May 12, 2015. I think it might help some of you, so I posted it here for the first time today. To put the following in perspective, the entire Wes Crowley saga now spans 10 novels and several short stories. Heinlein’s first rule is “You must write.” The second rule is “You must finish what you write.” As you can see, this has nothing specific to do … Read more

Please, Don’t Be Ignorant

Or at least don’t put your ignorance on display. Hi Folks, Ignorance is not a “bad” quality. It just means a lack of knowledge. But if you choose to be a writer, shouldn’t you at least try to learn everything you can about the language and word usage? It seems to me we’ve entered an age in which many of us would rather sound cool than illustrate that we aren’t ignorant. I’m talking about creating nouns … Read more

The Use of Italics, Revisited

Hi Folks, For a very long time, I used italics to indicate unspoken thought and anything that was being read (still unspoken thought) like signs, short notes, etc. (Note: what I accurately call  “uspoken thought” is what others refer to as “internal monologue.”) One day I sent an assignment in to the instructor in a workshop I was taking online. He enjoyed the story, with one caveat. Each time he encountered italics, he said, it jerked … Read more