June Online Workshops Taking Sign-ups

TAKING SIGN-UPS FOR THE JUNE ONLINE WORKSHOPS

All of the JUNE Online Workshops have openings. Click the workshop button for description and sign-up. There is still time.

Each workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do.

More information and how to sign up for a workshop is under the green button or under Online Workshops tab above. Workshop #51 will be new and announced shortly.

All workshops have openings at the moment.

Class #51… June 1st … Advanced Depth (New!)
Class #52… June 1st … How to Write Series Novels
Class #53… June 1st … Discoverability
Class #54… June 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #55… June 2nd … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #56… June 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #57… June 2nd … Productivity
Class #58… June 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #59… June 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… June 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction


JULY, AUGUST, AND SEPTEMBER WORKSHOPS SIGN-UP UNDER THE GREEN TAB.

ALL WORKSHOPS START ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY.

 

Posted in On Writing, publishing, workshops | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 23

Year 2, Month 10, Day 23 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Just not a good day today. Didn’t get much done.

WORKSHOPS

Nothing today.

THE DAY

Left the house around 11 a.m. to deal with some things. Made it back after lunch, then headed out to the store to work for a while.

Then I took a nap and had dinner, then went up to WMG to work. Got a little done on Smith’s Monthly, came home to do research on a new project I came up with tonight.

Television, then this, and after this sleep. Lots of sleep.

THE WRITING

Nothing tonight. But a nifty picture of Walter White Kitty.

Walter

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Great Audio Plugs.

Dan Sawyer put together some really nifty audio promos for the new Story Bundle at Storybundle.com. All are amazing, but Dan’s is great for a point I tend to try to make a lot. No passive voice in sales.

Dan Audio Promo.

Now understand, Dan knows sales and audio. Might not hurt some of you to listen to this to understand sales language.

The books in this one bundle flat amaze me. Plus the discount on Jutoh. Impossible to go wrong on this one.

I always talk about learning here. This bundle illustrates one way. Even if you only get a few details out of each book (you’ll get a lot more, I promise), the price of this seems scary cheap in education terms. Don’t let this one pass you by.

Storybundle.com/writing

All Covers Jutoh Large

 

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 23

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 16,950 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 6,850 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 8,700 words

— E-mail: 9 e-mails. Approx. 200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 480 e-mails. Approx. 23,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 22

Year 2, Month 10, Day 22 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Worked on Smith’s Monthly formatting and web sites all day and night.

WORKSHOPS

Nothing today.

THE DAY

Left the house around 2 p.m. Snail mail to mail a bunch of tubs full of subscription copies, then after going to the store for lunch, I spent the afternoon working on Smith’s Monthly.

Home to cook dinner, then back to WMG Publishing to work on Smith’s Monthly formatting.

THE WRITING

Nothing tonight because by the time I got to my writing computer around 2:30 a.m. I had lost my brain, so did web site creation instead.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Nothing tonight after last night and the night before chapter.

———–

Writing of the novel Melody Ridge

Day 1… 1,000 words… Total so far on the book… 1,000 words
Day 2… 1,500 words… Total so far on the book… 2,500 words

——————-

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 21

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 16,950 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 6,850 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 8,400 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 471 e-mails. Approx. 23,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 21

Year 2, Month 10, Day 21 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Another wild and productive day today on a bunch of fronts.

WORKSHOPS

Not much today. Just some questions, which I don’t mind answering at all.

THE DAY

Left the house around 2 p.m. Snail mail, then up to WMG Publishing to help on a bunch of stuff concerning subscriptions. I actually was just there to learn it. I would only do the actual work if the world ended or something that bad and I was the only person left standing at WMG. So only there for my own information to understand systems.

And I helped pack up the new Fiction River to ship to subscribers and authors. I actually like doing that for an hour or so. Makes me feel useful.

Then off to exercise, then back to WMG to help finish up and learn more.

Lunch was again not a possibility. Just too much going on.

And after dinner I went back to WMG to do the cover below and work on web site stuff.

THE WRITING

Well, the novel I am starting again changed titles. Started off as Echo Rock, then went to Echo Song, then at one point today was Song Rock, finally, thanks to Allyson, it went to Melody Rock and then I changed it to Melody Ridge.

I like Melody Ridge a lot and Allyson and I picked out some art we both loved (I do the covers for Smith’s Monthly and she does the cover for the novel a couple months after Smith’s Monthly comes out.) And when I saw that art I went, “Perfect. I could put that scene in the book.”

I have no idea where this book is going, but at some point along the way the scene on the cover will be in the book.

The title also fits both the jukebox story aspect of this and stays with the branding titles of Thunder Mountain series, which this book will be.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Looking Back at Old Work.

I got a question today from a writer who is really working to improve and clearly is improving. But the question was about what to do with the early stories. Should the writer go back and fix them.

Now understand, every writer I have ever met has asked this question more than once. I am no exception.

The flat answer to the question is no. 

Now let me try to explain why that is the only answer possible.

The art of storytelling is a continuous learning process that never stops. Ever. And if a writer does stop learning, their career is soon over. Never seen it not work that way, sadly.

So let me use some math to explain the flaw in the question and why no writer should ever go back to fix anything, besides the obvious reasons that if you are turning around and going back into the past, you are not writing new work.

Math:

Assume you are a writer who produces ten short stories per year and two novels. And that takes most of your writing time. You have no time to rewrite old stories at that pace.

So in five years of learning and writing, you will have fifty short stories and ten novels. And your skills will be much, much better if you are learning and just producing more and more stories. It’s called practice and applied learning.

If you think your first two years of stories and novels are no longer good enough, you go back to fix the old stuff and lose an entire year of forward progress.

For every hour you spend on an old story you are losing an hour on a new story.

And now all your stories are in the 3-5 year learning area. But you have lost a lot of new stories and some novels in the process. Just because of your critical voice thinking your work will make you ashamed that you were once an early writer. We all were. Duh.

Now say you get back on track and write for five more years. Now you have a hundred old stories and twenty novels.

And you have kept learning and your craft and skill is better. But do you want to spend the year plus trying to get your older stories and novels up to the ten year point in skill?

Or the fifteen year level of skill when that comes along?

Or the twenty year level of skill?

At some point, if you keep going backwards in time rewriting, all forward momentum will be gone and you will only be drifting around, learning nothing by rewriting old stories. Your career will be over.

So at what point in your writing learning do you want to spend the time to anchor old stories?????

A writer is a person who writes. An author is a person who has written.

Now imagine my position. My first two stories I ever wrote are in print from 1974. Yikes. I should spend a few years finding those few remaining copies and burning them, right?

Uhhhh….no…. They are what they are and show some promise of a writer to come with learning.

I have a short story still in print in Writers of the Future Volume #1. Again, it shows a writer with some promise. And it still holds up after thirty years people tell me.

Would I write it differently now? Sure. I would hit the return key a ton more I’m sure, even though I have not ever gone back and reread that story. Pacing is a stage four level skill and some of my old stories when I see them make me shudder now for just pacing alone. (grin)

But they sold, they made me money, they are who I was, writing at my best skill at that point in time. And honestly, I’m proud of them. The stories and novels I wrote in the past are windows into my past, windows into my growth as a writer and storyteller.

They are the path I walked and I’m pretty damn proud of that path.

And thankfully, the stories I write now show that growth compared to older stories. And I hope the stories I write in five years will show growth from the stories I am writing now.

It never ends.

So folks, don’t turn around.

I am starting to think I stumbled onto the best rule of writing ever a long time ago. I wanted to always be moving forward.

A simple rule: Don’t ever look back.

Rewriting is going backward, not to the next story. So I don’t rewrite or even reread old stories.

And fixing old stories to new skill levels is going backwards.

I march forward. I don’t look back.

And maybe that’s why I have written so much.

You think?

———–

Writing of the novel Melody Ridge

Day 1… 1,000 words… Total so far on the book… 1,000 words
Day 2… 1,500 words… Total so far on the book… 2,500 words

——————-

 

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 21

— Daily Fiction: 1,500 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 16,950 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 6,850 words

— Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 8,100 words

— E-mail: 13 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 460 e-mails. Approx. 22,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Stages of a Fiction Writer: Chapter Five

(Every day or so, sometimes longer, I will put another chapter here of this book. Patreon supporters, you will get the full book sent to you when it is all done. Please note: This is advanced reader copy. This has not been proofed. That will be taken care of when I turn in the final book to WMG Publishing.)


STAGES OF A FICTION WRITER

Chapter Five

Starting into stage four, the top stage.

I got a question after the last chapter when I put that chapter on my blog. “How many writers are in stage four?”

Think of stage four as a decent-sized town.

Selling stage three writers could fill a couple large cities. As I said earlier, most stage three writers never get past those first sales. To reach stage four, it takes an intense desire to keep learning and studying the art of storytelling.

And it flat takes years and years and millions and millions of words. Sorry, just can’t jump there. Not even slightly possible.

So What Is a Stage Four Writer?

— A writer in complete control of the art of storytelling.

— A writer who is still learning.

— A writer who is using techniques, often without knowing, that are advanced.

— A writer that is balanced in skills.

— A writer that has no giant weak areas in their storytelling.

— A writer who can handle any kind of storytelling technique a story demands.

— A writer who is a bestseller and has been for many, many years, if not decades.

— A writer who knows when a reader needs something before a reader knows they need it.

 

So what is the difference between stage three and stage four writers?

Often not much for advanced stage three writers. But still there are critical differences.

Stage three writers are often bestsellers, but fairly new at it. Stage three writers often have huge areas of their writing they are weak at and fear some types of storytelling.

Often a stage three writer will be very good at one area and will be using that all the time to keep selling without adding in the balancing skills.

And most importantly, a stage three writer is not always in control of a story. Not from a critical place, but from a skill place.

More importantly, stage three writers have very, very little awareness of readers on the other side of the story. They may think of readers in marketing, but never in telling their own stories.

 

How to Explain This

To make this clear, I need to go back to the poker analogy. (And please, any professional poker player out there, give me some slack. I am being general here in a hope to help writers, not other poker players.)

As I said earlier, stage three poker players have expanded their awareness from the two cards in their hands out over the entire poker table to the other players and the five cards on the board.

Stage three poker players can often understand how other players are going to play, can often know what two cards another poker player has and so on.

Stage three poker players often make nice money.

Stage four poker players can do all that as well.

And so much more.

A stage four poker player is an expert at reading people in general. They know the types of players, they know the cards, and they will often know how a person will play before they sit down. Not kidding.

There is a scene in the movie Rounders where Matt Damon (playing stage four poker player Mike McDermott) walks into a home poker game with some of his law professors. They ask him to join them and he declines (as he should and as I always do with friends). He stands there and watches them play a hand, then gives his professor advice.

They ask him how he knows to make that play and he explains clearly what every other player at the table is playing.

That scene was a brilliant and quick scene to understand the level of stage four poker players. It looked almost like a magic trick, but it was not, it was a great representation of some skills of stage four poker players. I will explain how Damon knowing all the cards relates to storytelling in a minute.

Stage four poker players play details, play motions, betting, and everything. And folks, there are only 52 cards in a deck, so simply seeing a reaction and a few cards can give a stage four poker player a clear read on another player.

But those players you watch in the top events on television play very strange cards in their hands that are not good “starting hands” by any book written for beginners. Why?

Because the stage four players often don’t care about the two cards in their own hand. (I have played more hands of poker blind than I ever want to think about, meaning I never looked at my two cards, even though I often pretended I did.)

Unless it comes to a showdown, meaning all betting is done and everyone turns over their cards, a stage four poker player won’t much care about his own two cards.

A stage four poker player only cares what the other stage four poker player sitting across from him thinks he has.

Now understand, stage four and late stage three players often get into trouble with stage two players because those stage two players don’t have the awareness to be convinced of something one way or another. Stage two and early stage three poker players just don’t even understand the game they often watch on television.

 

A Real Life Example

I had bought into a $1,500 no-limit tournament at the World Series of Poker a bunch of years back. I found myself sitting across from Eric Seidel and on the left of David Pham, the Card Player Magazine player of the year the previous year.

Two top stage four players.

I did not know anyone else at the table and no one knew me.

There were over 80 tables. And as players got knocked out of the tournament, they had a list on a big board as to which tables would break to fill in the empty spots at other tables. Our table would not break until eight or nine hours into the tournament, if that.

So I was there on the same table with two of the top players in the world for at least eight hours if I could survive. They did not know me. I was like the other players to them, but they clearly knew each other.

So I just sat back, made a clear point of looking at my cards each time, and then tossed them away. I didn’t even care what they were.

I had no intention of playing for at least the first hour of the tournament. Not because I was afraid, but because I wanted to set something up for the two top players and watch how they played as well.

Seidel basically only played a few hands in the first hour and everyone folded to him.

On my right, Pham was raising almost every hand and pulling most of the small pots, only getting into a few fights at all with anyone at the table. And when Seidel was in a hand, Pham laid down his cards.

So finally, after one hour, Seidel and Pham clearly thought they had a clear read on me. They clearly thought EXACTLY what I wanted them to think.

I hadn’t said a word, just folded every hand. They figured I was a tight player who was playing scared. I would have thought the same thing in their positions.

So after the first hour, on one hand, I glanced down and had a pair of kings. Pham raised, I re-raised him and everyone else on the table folded around to him. He nodded and without looking at his cards folded.

That one hand repaid all the blinds I had lost in the first hour. (grin)

What Pham was thinking was that I was a very tight player, an early stage player with a lot of patience, and would only play top hands, and Pham didn’t want to fight with a top hand, especially so early in the tournament. (That was why I went with a pair of kings to start making my move, to make sure that if I did get called down to a showdown, I would have the powerful hand I wanted him to think I only played.)

I had made him believe he knew what cards I was going to play. And I noticed that when Pham folded, Seidel nodded. Seidel clearly had the same thought.

Two hands later, Pham raised again and I re-raised him again. This time I had two low garbage cards. But I knew he was a stage four player and all I cared about was what he thought I had, not what I actually had.

He folded again.

So for the next two hours, Pham took money from other players and I took money from him at times when he raised.

Not once did I get in a showdown with anyone in those first hours. Not one person ever saw my cards.

At that point in my life, I also had great peripheral vision and I raised Pham a couple of times when I noticed he hadn’t even looked at his cards. I hadn’t looked at mine, either, but that’s beside the point. I was just playing with his mind.

In essence, we were playing cards without caring what our own cards were. Impossible to even imagine to a stage one or two poker player.

Players kept getting knocked out and leaving our table and leaving their chips behind with the three of us. At the lunch break, Seidel and Pham and I had the three large stacks.

After lunch, Pham changed his play from raising almost every hand and went to playing more like Seidel and I knew they had changed their read on me, so I changed to regular play, and the three of us took turns taking money from the others.

And never after lunch did I raise Pham or Seidel and they never raised me either. In other words, their read on me had gotten a little closer to my actual skill level and in the early hours of the tournament there was no reason to mix it up.

They knew exactly what I had done to them. I had led them to believe I was one type of player when I was actually another.

Mind control.

After nine hours, the tournament broke our table to send us to empty chairs at the twenty remaining tables. We walked together upstairs talking. (This was in Binions and I went back to writing shortly after that tournament and have never had the pleasure to sit at a poker table with either of them again.)

So the key to stage four poker players, when playing other stage four players or good stage three players, is to make the other player think they understand and know what you have.

 

How Does This Apply to Stage Four Writers?

Simple and exactly the same.

Stage one writers only worry about the typing. The words.

Stage two writers are starting to worry about story, but still focus on typing and the words.

Stage three writers have expanded out to be aware of story and characters and they notice pacing and so much more. (Remember, stage three is a huge area that takes years to get through and most never do.)

Stage four writers could not much care about the words. Words are in the complete control of stage four writers and are only part of the tools the writer uses.

What is important to a stage four writer is what the reader is experiencing at any give moment in the story.

In other words, stage four writers awareness has expanded outside the words, outside the story, outside of characterization, and to what the reader will be thinking and feeling at any moment in the story.

Stage four writers understand what will hold a reader in a story, understand when a question needs to be answered and answer it a fraction of a second before the reader thinks it.

Stage four writers will not allow the reader out of the story, and so much more.

Just as I controlled Pham and Seidel’s thoughts on that table for a few hours, stage four writers control reader’s minds from word one of a story to the final word.

And often beyond.

 

(More on stage four in the next chapter)

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 20

Year 2, Month 10, Day 20 of this Writing in Public challenge.

A wild and productive day today on a bunch of fronts.

WORKSHOPS

Actually finalized a major new addition to the workshop structure at WMG Publishing. Over the next few weeks we will be working it all out. It’s going to be great for many people interested in taking workshops. (No worry, the workshop schedule that is posted will remain just fine.)

THE DAY

Left the house around 2 p.m. Hell and gone today running errands. Banks, post office, the WMG office with more boxes of things than I ever wanted to carry.

Then off to walk for exercise, then out to Pop Culture Collectables, the WMG store to work there for a short time, then back to WMG, and then finally home at 6:30 p.m.

Yeah, that was nuts. Lunch was not a possibility.

THE WRITING

Finished up the first chapter on stage four of Stages of a Fiction Writer. It is posted above. Then I spent some time getting going on the next novel.

I was going to fire into a Thunder Mountain novel that I was calling Echo Rock, but then changed the name to Echo Song.

Then for a time, after watching this amazing image of Andromeda Galaxy taken by the Hubble, I thought I should write another Seeders Universe novel.

Finally, after watching some television and taking a nap, I went back to going next after the Thunder Mountain novel Echo Song. It will finally be the origin story of the jukebox in all my jukebox stories. Not at all sure how, and I have no outline at all, of course, but the goal is that by the time the book is over, fans of the jukebox stories will know the origin. That’s the hope, anyway.

We shall see how that hope works out. (grin)

Anyhow, got started and managed about 1,000 words, which after all the dithering, felt pretty good.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Stages of a Fiction Writer (Chapter Five above).

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 20

— Daily Fiction: 1,000 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 15,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 1,500 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 6,850 words

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 6,900 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 447 e-mails. Approx. 22,500 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 19

Year 2, Month 10, Day 19 of this Writing in Public challenge.

WORKSHOPS

Answered a bunch of letters with questions about the last assignment in the Strengths workshop, but otherwise nothing on workshops.

THE DAY

Meeting for WMG Publishing, then some errands, then back to WMG Publishing to work on WMG business stuff. Then back up there after dinner to work for another three hours on formatting Smith’s Monthly.

I also had to redo the cover I did yesterday for a Poker Boy story called “The Atlantis Fifty.” It’s below.

THE WRITING

Getting closer to getting fired up. Maybe tomorrow. Should have another chapter of the Stages of a Fiction Writer tomorrow as well.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Too tired at this point to even come up with something, so a dull night tonight. I think I’ll go spend some time working on a new design for this web site. Gaining on it. But wow does it take time.

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 19

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 5,350 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 6,500 words

— E-mail: 18 e-mails. Approx. 1,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 433 e-mails. Approx. 21,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 18

Year 2, Month 10, Day 18 of this Writing in Public challenge.

WORKSHOPS

That’s pretty much what I did all evening and tonight was workshops. But all done for the week, so with luck I can get back to writing tomorrow.

THE DAY

Ran all over the place doing Monday errands, from banks to mail to our store and then walking with friends. Finally settled around five p.m. back at WMG working on formatting of Smith’s Monthly.

Designed a nifty cover for a Poker Boy short story. It will be redone in July, however, when we rebrand all Poker Boy stories.

THE WRITING

Nope. Maybe tomorrow.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Too many hours at this computer. But I did notice something on the Voice tonight when the judges sang with their finalists. Both Adam and Blake had professionals up there with them, longer term professionals who had been in the business for 15 to 20 years. Pharrell had two kids.

And that difference was clear in their duets with the superstars. It’s clear that one of the kids, Sawyer, is going to win the thing, but wow those two pros sure showed the value of long-term work.

Just an interesting observation.

Picture below is one John Helfers took of me goofing around at my book signing at Rediscovered Books in Boise, Idaho. That table had started off stacked with books, including five copies of Thunder Mountain. So I was happy at the signing. I sold a bunch of Smith’s Monthly issues. And a bunch of those remaining books sold later at the conference.

Dean Sign John Helfers photo

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 18

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 5,350 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 6,200 words

— E-mail: 47 e-mails. Approx. 2,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 415 e-mails. Approx. 20,700 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 17

Year 2, Month 10, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge.

I’m back. And I have once again full internet and e-mail.

And yes, Kris and I were out of town, but our house sitter has asked us to not tell the entire planet we are gone until we get back. And if I had had a working computer, this would have looked pretty much the same here. Ahh, well.

So where have I been over the last four days? Actually, in Boise, Idaho, at the Idaho Writers Rendezvous. And it was a blast. In a ton of ways.

Writers invited in were Katherine Neville, Jen Mann, Robin O’Bryant, AK Turner, and Kris and me, among others. And they had editors and agents as well. Standard writer conference in that way. But one of the editors was writer John Helfers, who is great fun to hang around with and who is one of the editors at the Anthology workshop every year here.

I had a signing for two hours at a wonderful bookstore in downtown Boise called Rediscovered Books. Sold a lot of books, saw some old friends (I was born and raised in Boise), and had great fun. John sat with me for the two hours and we just had a blast talking with people and other writers. A fantastic bookstore.

And I met some wonderful people as well at the conference. I did one hour long class on how I got from Boise to media writing in Hollywood. And another hour long class on how to be a long-term professional writer. (I might have been my standard blunt self in that one. Oh, oh…)

Anyway, I want to give a huge shout-out of thanks right here to Doug and Joanne and Bruce and everyone who worked at the conference or helped put it on. It was wonderful.

And next May, you folks will want to go. It’s one of those small conferences that are great fun. And if you haven’t been in downtown Boise in the last 10 or so years, you are in for a wonderful surprise. One of the nicest downtowns I have had the pleasure to spend time in.

Did you know that Boise has an entire old historical cabin that is just a writer’s organization that works to help kids and adults get writing. Never seen anything like it. It’s called The Cabin.

And for god’s sake, eat dinner at The Fork, which is in an old bank building. Stunning food, and right across the street from Rediscovered Books.

And part of the Saturday Market stretches through six or so blocks of the downtown area.

My internet problems stemmed from my iPad, which I thought would be enough, flat didn’t work for some of the e-mail addresses people have, and doing this blog was almost impossible. In fact, a couple nights, I almost forgot it entirely. Did those placeholders to just keep the streak going a little longer. So if I was slow responding to anyone, I am very sorry. And if you sent me something and I still haven’t responded, try again.

WORKSHOPS

I spent hours working on the e-mail this evening after we got home, then watched some television and managed to get the workshop assignments done and out.

THE DAY

Got up this morning in Pendleton, Oregon, and we made it home around 8 p.m.

THE WRITING

Nope. Travel and workshop stuff. Sure hope all of you know about the StoryBundle.com bundle of writing books. There are some amazing books in there. Including one of mine and one of Kris’s books.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Travel and Research.

Idanha Hotel

On the way out of Boise yesterday, Kris and I did a little drive around parts of historic Boise where I am setting much of the Thunder Mountain Books. I even found the mansion out on Warm Springs Avenue I patterned the Institute after. I wrote it all from memory of always seeing that great old home when I was growing up, and it seems I was darned close, which surprised me.

I have one novel in the Thunder Mountain series called Warm Springs. Another called The Edwards Mansion after another mansion down Warm Springs Avenue. And yet another novel called Avalanche Creek which is a room name in the old Idanha Hotel, which is still there. Kris and John and I managed to get into part of it for fun. The picture is one I took of the old hotel from across the street. Avalanche Creek is the fifth floor corner room on the right of the picture. The rooms with the rounded windows.

Mansion

And we went out to the old site of the original Edwards Mansion, which was back in my family and torn down in the 1960s. The picture above is one I took of the mansion I remembered out on Warm Springs Avenue and used to pattern the fictional Institute after. Until we drove past it, I didn’t even realize how close I had gotten to the building sitting there.

Here’s a picture of me in one of my classes taken by Heather Dyer.

Heather Dyer picture

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 17

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 5,350 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 5,900 words

— E-mail: 65 e-mails. Approx. 3,600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 368 e-mails. Approx. 18,500 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 16

One last placeholder post to keep this streak going for the moment. Sunday night I’ll be back doing regular posts and then get another chapter of Stages of a Fiction Writer up on Monday or Tuesday.

Fun times these last four days. I’ll explained tomorrow and why the computer problems.

 

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 15

Almost forgot to even put up a placeholder post tonight.

Again, those of you using hotmail or maqmail or something like that, I will respond to your emails on Sunday. Can’t do it at the moment since my main e-mail address is bounced by those.

I’ll explain what’s been going on Sunday evening. Until then, keep writing and having fun.

Night.

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