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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 5

Sunday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 5 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 5 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY FIVE…

Got out real early. I went to bed around 7 a.m. and got out of bed at 11 a.m., four hours later. That’s not something I am fond of doing.

I made it out to our store by noon and guarded the store until 5 p.m. I had great fun, talking with people about collectables and working with collectables. We have the coolest store and a bunch of people who came in today told me that.

Home around five and a two hour nap happened. Then dinner and some news and I finally made it into this office around 8:30 p.m. to work on e-mail, then workshop assignments.

I got all that done around 1o:30 p.m. and went to work putting in the few corrections Kris found in my “Library of Atlantis” short story. Then I did a blurb for it and got it off to WMG Publishing. That was the story I wrote on June 30th and is not a part of this challenge. A warm-up story, so to speak.

Then I turned my attention to writing the introduction to Smith’s Monthly #21. Got it done at 600 words and to Kris, who liked it.

Then I went to work keying in the corrections Kris found in the novel Melody Ridge. The book was scary clean, but it still took me about an hour to go through it. (Yes, that was my second draft.)

So finally, around 2 a.m. I turned my attention to the short story challenge.

I went to my half-title sheets and from a Galaxy Magazine in the 1960s I noticed the half title “Slow Tuesday.”

So scanning the sheets, I came across a half title “Best Eaten” from the early 2,000s of Ellery Queen Magazine. So that gave me the title “Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday.”

And off I went typing.

One of my really strange little stories started to appear. Took me until 3 a.m. to do 900 words, then until 4 a.m. to do another 1,000 words with a short break between the sessions.

Took another break and by 4:50a.m. I had finished the 3,000 words story.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris thought yesterday’s story worked great.

Again, I thought it had failed completely. I got to stop even passing any judgement on my work. I try to teach others to not do that, yet for the last two days I was thinking the story sucked and they did not.

I think I’ll just write them.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: The Power of a Challenge: Part Two

Not a chance again tonight that without this challenge I would have finished or even started a new short story.

Never would have happened. Not ever. I had a ton of work to do, was tired from lack of sleep, had worked at the store for five hours, and done four workshops full of assignments. The last thing I wanted tonight was to start a new story at 2 a.m.

What I really wanted was to go climb in bed.

But I gave the challenge power.

Story done. Again. Two nights in a row the challenge was the only reason a story got done.

Go figure.

———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words

———-

Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 5

— Daily Fiction: 3,000 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 18,750 words  

— Nonfiction: 600 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 600 words

— Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 3,500 words

— E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 1,500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 95 e-mails. Approx. 3,600 words

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

——–

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 12, Day 4

Saturday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 4 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 4 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY FOUR…

Rolled out around 1 p.m. because of people blowing off explosives and it rattling our bedroom window.

Got out of the house around 2:30 and managed to fight through traffic to get out to our store. The beach and part of town where the major fireworks are held was between me and our store, and at 2:30 in the afternoon, the beach already had ten thousand people on it and cars were parked along every road for a mile, and traffic was jammed.

Not at all sure how people survived on that cold Oregon beach for nine or ten hours until the sun went down.

After the store, I managed to get back to WMG Publishing offices by taking back roads only locals know about. I worked there on workshop stuff and also did the two covers below for the stories.

The covers are just quick ones to represent the stories. More than likely they will be changed later before I put all this together in one big book.

Then Kris arrived and we headed home for dinner. I cooked.

Then at 8:30 p.m., as more explosions were going off, we walked up to our local theater and saw a movie. A loud movie.

When we came out at 11 p.m., the air was completely full of smoke, everything smelled of gunpowder, and the highway was mostly a parking lot as people tried to get away from the one little part of our town.

We walked home and I spent time on e-mail and trying to calm down the cats and watching some news. One hour after we got home, the highway was still a parking lot. It didn’t clear for almost 90 minutes after the fireworks stopped.

By the time all was said and done, and I had the cats calmed down and had taken a short nap and everything, it was 2 a.m. I had yet to gave writing a short story even a thought.

So off to my trusty half-title sheets to see if something struck my tired brain.

From a 1940s Ellery Queen half title I saw “The Problem of…”

So I flipped to the 1980s F&SF half titles and saw the phrase “Grapevine Springs.”

So I typed the title at the top of the page, “The Problem of Grapevine Springs” and started typing.

I instantly realized my mind, starting a story at 2 a.m. with that title, wanted to do a story in my most complicated series. Thunder Mountain.

I was doomed, but I kept going, telling the story from Duster Kendal’s point of view.

900 words by 3 a.m., took a short break. One thing I knew from earlier on in my writing career is that if you are going to pull a long and late night, you need to keep iced tea and food at the ready. So I had both, starting on the first break with a breakfast bar.

Another 1,100 words by 3:45 a.m. and another break, this time more tea and a spoonful of peanut butter.

Another 1,200 words by 4:45 a.m. and a short break with no tea, but another bar.

Another 1,350 words by 6 a.m. to finish the story.

4,550 words.

I have to be up at 11 a.m. to get out to the store by noon. This will be ugly. (grin).

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris thought it was powerful. And that it worked.

I thought it had failed completely. Thankfully, I am the author and don’t know shit about my own work.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: The Power of a Challenge

Not a chance on any planet, anywhere, would I have come in here at 2 a.m. tonight and started a short story, let alone finish one, without the pressure of this challenge. I was exhausted and flat didn’t much care. I was annoyed at all the explosions going off and the people who think that blowing things up is a way to celebrate a holiday.

But because of the challenge, I managed to stagger in here and do a 4,500 plus word short story.

If you give a challenge power, or a streak power, you will be surprised at what you get done.

It is 6:45 in the morning right now and I need to be back up in four hours. Tomorrow will be tough, but I have naps so I will be fine.

But I gave the challenge power. Story done.

———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words

———-

Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 4

— Daily Fiction: 4,550 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 15,750 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,900 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 64 e-mails. Approx. 2,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 2. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

——–

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 12, Day 3

Friday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 3 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 3 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY THREE…

Rolled out around 2 p.m. once again. Got out of the house around 3:30 p.m. and made it to the snail mail and then to the WMG offices through all the traffic. Major tourist weekend here.

I worked there on workshop stuff until around 7 p.m. when Kris arrived from her run and we headed home. Nap and dinner and I got in here around 9:30 p.m. to work on e-mail.

Finally thought about writing around 10:30 and went to come up with a title from my half-title sheets. First time all day I had given writing a second thought.

First half title that caught my eye was from a 1940s Ellery Queen.  “They Were Divided…”

Then in a 1980s F&SF I had written down a half title “Cold Debt.”

So I typed in the title “They Were Divided by Cold Debt” and started writing.

About a hundred words into the story, it became clear it was about a guy in a subdivision and that meant it fit in my Bryant Street world.

I tend to write stories of the horrors of subdivisions. I have a morbid fear of them and get lost in them and could never live in one if my life depended on it. Yeah, I know, strange. My subdivision street is called Bryant Street.

So I added “A Bryant Street Story” as a subtitle and by 12:15 I had 800 words done.

Took a break to go watch some television, then a short rest in my reading chair, then back to the story around 2:15 a.m.

I wrote in the next fifty minutes 1,100 words, took a short break, then wrote 1,200 words by 4 a.m.

Then one more short break and I finished the last 350 words of the thing.

Total word count is 3,450 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris thought it was fun. And that it worked.

I did not have time to do a cover for it yet.

And yes, I will tell you if Kris doesn’t like a story.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Holiday Writing

I was asked twice today in e-mails what I will do on the 4th of July as far as writing. 

I will have a regular day. Kris wears a t-shirt at times with the saying on it… “What’s a Weekend.” It could just as easily say… “What’s a Holiday?” for me.

And this particular United States holiday is horrid where we live. For some reason, tourists who pour over here to escape the heat, bring tons, and I do mean tons, of explosives with them. And when they get here, they don’t think that people actually live here.

Over this holiday our town turns into a war zone of explosions day and night. And our cats are constantly hiding for days.

So Kris and I have our ways of dealing with all this that I will explain tomorrow night. It has worked for us for about fifteen years now. I just hope that not too many people get hurt and not too many fires are set. But sadly, with drunk tourists and explosives, both happen a great deal every year.

So off to day four. No holiday.

I hope all you and your families are safe who live here in the States.

———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words

———-

Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 3

— Daily Fiction: 3,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 11,200 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,200 words

— E-mail: 27 e-mails. Approx. 800 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 50 e-mails. Approx. 1,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

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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July Workshops Starting Up

I wanted to put this here instead of in the blogs that will go into the book with the stories.

All writers who are signed up for the July workshops, you should have gotten the first letter from me tonight. Workshops start on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If you are signed up and did not get the letter, e-mail me directly.

Still lots of room in all nine workshops this month. Jump in if you want to keep learning in July.

And also remember you can sign up for the Classic Workshops at any time. They are like very, very long lectures.

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 2

Thursday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 2 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 2 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY TWO…

Rolled out around 2 p.m. and did a little e-mail and worked with Kris on some stuff before heading out around 3:30 p.m. to get up to WMG Publishing office. From there I went walking with two other professional writers to get in some exercise.

Snail mail, grabbed some lunch, and back to WMG Publishing to work on workshops at 5 p.m. Around 6 p.m. I got some polish, wood cleaner, and so on and set to work on the vintage poker table I bought, getting it and the chairs with it all looking sharp. Plus making sure it had no smoke smell left from the previous owners.

Kris got there around 7 p.m. from her run and we headed home. I got in a short nap with the new cat, Sir Duke, then after dinner and dishes I got in here to do e-mail around 9 p.m.

By 10 p.m. I was at my writing desk looking for a title from my lists of half titles. That was the first time all day I had thought about the writing.

A half-title from the 1940s Ellery Queen Magazine caught my attention. “Human Interest.” Then from a 1950s group of Astounding, I saw another half-title that also caught my interest. “The Bad Patch.

So I slammed the two half-titles together and got the title “The Bad Patch of Human Interest.”

I started typing with a character whose name I pulled from a phone book, first name from one part of the book, last from another, then realized after about 400 words that the character and setting would be in my Seeder’s Universe, in the post-apocolyptic parts.

So I went back and changed the title to “A Bad Patch of Humanity.”

I got about 800 words done, took a break, did another 1,000 words, then went to watch television for an hour or so. By the time I got back into the writing office, it was 1:30 a.m.

I did another 1,000 words by 2:30 a.m., took a short break for some dried fruit and more iced tea, then came back and finished the last 1,250 words by just before 4 a.m.

Total word count is 4,050 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris loved it, said I should send it to Ellery Queen. I said no, I wanted it to remain in this challenge and in this book I am putting together. So a good start to the collection. I do not expect them all to go that well. (grin)

I also did a quick cover this afternoon for yesterday’s story. It is below beside the story count and word count. I will try to do covers for all of them because in the collection I want to have covers for each story. I will do them all but the Poker Boy covers (if I write any), since Allyson at WMG is rebranding all of the Poker Boy stories.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Fun

I have had some wonderful comments in the first day or so, mostly privately, but a few on the blog, about this challenge. One writer wrote and asked how I could even think of doing this. Wouldn’t the story quality suffer?

I suppose that’s a valid question if you believe that stories are “important” and the only way they can be good is for you to struggle over them and make them an “important” thing.

But I like writing. To me, actually sitting down and writing is great fun, great escape, and I go to the computer to entertain myself. I do the best job I can do with every story. The best job my skill level today will allow me to do.

But do I make short stories or novels important? Nope. If I did, they wouldn’t be fun to write.

Making your writing important is something English teachers have trained into millions of poor, unsuspecting kids. I was one of them, so much so that by the time I reached high school, I HATED WRITING. To those teachers, everything I did had to be important, had to be a struggle. I am not one to struggle over something that silly.

So it took me a lot of years to get past that “My Writing is Important” trap that will grind any writer down to a nub like a pencil stuck in a sharpener until it hits the eraser. (For you young kids, go look up pencil.)

So I am doing the best I can on all these stories. I am writing along at my normal typing speed. I am making up stories as I go, without planning (called Writing into the Dark) because doing anything else would bore me to tears.

So I hope when I am done with this, you pick up this book and enjoy the stories. You won’t like them all, but I hope on many of them I entertain you.

After all, I am an entertainer. And I have fun entertaining myself, and I hope readers.

———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3…

———-

Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 2

— Daily Fiction: 4,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 7,750 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 1,600 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 23 e-mails. Approx. 800 words

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

——–

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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 1

Wednesday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 1 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 1 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

As I warned, this is the first post of a change in structure because of this short story challenge. I am just going to go through the day, talking about the day as it concerns writing and the challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY ONE…

The day started around 1 p.m. and by 2:30 I had done some e-mail and some planning with Kris and was headed out to run errands. Snail mail, then the WMG Publishing store where I got help to load a poker table I had bought this last Saturday at the auction.

Amazing table. Then back to WMG offices to make a place for it and by 5:30 the table was in its new home.

At this point it had not occurred to me to even think about writing yet.

I got some lunch, then at 6:30 p.m. I went to work getting my title sheets together. First I had thought of writing all day. I will explain below in the topic section what title sheets are and how I generate them. I like starting stories from titles.

Home for a nap, dinner, then back at 9 p.m. to the WMG offices where I worked on some workshop stuff and also sorting collectables.

Home by 11 p.m. when I actually thought of doing some writing, but didn’t get started because I got into a planning session with Kris until 12:30 a.m.

So at this point I had been up for almost 12 hours and really hadn’t given writing a story for the challenge much more than a few thoughts. Day one… oh, oh…

When I finally made it into my writing office, I sat down and stared at my title sheets I had done up (I need to make more) and came up with “Dead Lady” that was half of a title of a story in Galaxy Magazine in the 1960s. I kept staring at other halves of titles, but nothing stuck with “Dead Lady” until I heard myself think “Dead Lady Blues.”

I instantly knew it was a story with my strange private eye named Pilgrim Hugh. I have written about three or four stories with him, so I needed more for a collection. A perfect way to start I figured.

So I typed in the title:

The Case of the Dead Lady Blues: A Pilgrim Hugh Incident and started typing.

I managed 500 words by 1:30 a.m. before going to watch some television. By 2:30 a.m. I was back writing.

From 2:30 a.m. until 3:15 I did just over 1,000 words.

Short break, back writing at 3:20 until 4:10 a.m. for another 1,100 words.

Short break, back at 4:15 a.m. and by 5 a.m. I had finished the story at 3,700 words.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Title Generator

Some of you know that I have a massive digest magazine collection. I am pretty certain that I have every science fiction, fantasy, and mystery digest from the start of digests in the 1930s until the turn of the century. Full runs of everything up until 2000.

And I have a ton of duplicates that at some point I will be selling.

So I take ten copies of a run of digests from some random decade and start looking at titles.

If a title strikes me, or a phrase in a title strikes me, I write down half the title. Never the full title, unless it is a single word I think is cool.

Then I take ten issues of another magazine from a different decade and do the same thing down another column. This afternoon I did that with a few issues of Ellery Queen from the 1940s, Galaxy from the 1960s, Original Science Fiction from the 1950s, and F&SF from the 1980s. Got two sheets of half titles.

So that’s what I will be using when I say I smashed two half titles together from my title generator. Chances are I will make more pages of half-titles before this challenge is done.

———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… 
Story #3… July 3…

———-

Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 1 (month totals start over)

— Daily Fiction: 3,700 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 3,700 words  

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

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

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 12 e-mails. Approx. 400 words

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

——–

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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 11, Day 30

Tuesday… Year 2, Month 11, Day 30 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Got the novel done, wrote a short story today.

WORKSHOPS

I worked on workshops all afternoon at WMG Publishing offices, then later tonight I also did workshop assignments.

THE DAY

The day was standard Tuesday, with some differences. Got out of the house by 2 p.m. but instead of going to a meeting, I ran errands all over the place, including banks, snail mail, and out to the WMG store.

Then lunch with Kris, then back to WMG to work on workshop stuff.

Home by 6:30 to cook dinner, then in here to finish up the e-mail. Instead of going right to work on the workshop stuff, I wrote for four hours (see below) then did the workshop assignments.

THE WRITING

Yesterday I managed to get 800 words done on a short story called “The Library of Atlantis: A Poker Boy Story.” When I came back to it today, I tossed most of that out and just fired again. I know better than to write that exhausted.

I did four sessions of about 45 minutes each and managed almost exactly 4,000 word story. I started at 9 and ended a little before 1 a.m.

Watched some television, then came back and printed it up for Kris to read, then did the workshop stuff.

So 4,000 words done on the last night of the month. And one short story done that won’t count in the short story per day starting tomorrow. But just for kicks, I’m going to list it as an unofficial start to the challenge.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Change in This Bog

To do this challenge, I’m going back to an earlier format for these daily posts. Instead of talking in general about stuff in sections, I’m going to just go back to running straight through each day and noting how many words on the story is done by what time of the day, and how the story got started and all that.

I am doing that with the eye toward each of these post during July being in the big book with each story, so I’m going to get not only into writing mode, but teaching a little in these blogs as things pop up.

And remember, if you are a Patreon supporter at a certain level, you will get this book sent to you free in August, when it is all put together.

This could be interesting.

And today I wrote a 4,000 word story just to get warmed up. Of course, I had a deadline for it and needed to get it done and out of the way, but for fun, let’s just call it a warm up (grin).

THE MONTH TOTALS

Not a great month for me. Just sort of puttered along.

56,600 words in fiction and nonfiction combined.

45,800 words in e-mails and blogs (I do not count comments.)

Total word count for the month is 102,400.

Now let me see what I can do in July. 

———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… 
Story #2… July 2… 
Story #3… July 3…

———-

Totals For Year 2, Month 11, Day 30

— Daily Fiction: 4,000 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 54,400 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,200 words

— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,600 words

— E-mail: 21 e-mails. Approx. 1,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 607 e-mails. Approx. 28,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 11, Day 29

Monday… Year 2, Month 11, Day 29 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Getting things out of the way for the short story challenge start in a day.

WORKSHOPS

I worked on workshops this evening doing assignments. 

And a reminder!!  July workshops start in one week. Room in all nine offered workshops at this point.

THE DAY

Made it out of here late in the afternoon, since I stayed up so late last night finishing Melody Ridge.  Kris read it tonight and loved it. I’ll try to get in the corrections she found tomorrow night.

Thanks Kris, for reading it so fast. And wow am I relieved you liked it. (grin)

I went for a walk with another writer friend, then back to WMG Publishing after running errands to work on stuff there for a while. Then home for dinner and after dinner I worked on workshops until around 11:30 p.m. Then took a long nap.

Then finally made it in here to write very late after watching some television.

THE WRITING

I discovered as I sat down to write a short story for an anthology that I need to do my title generator again. So I will do that tomorrow at the office. I’ll explain how I do that in another blog, maybe tomorrow night.

So I actually didn’t type in a new word until 2:45. Way too late to be starting. But I started anyway.

I finally gave up on my title generator and typed in the title “The Atlantis Library” and off I went on a new Poker Boy story. Didn’t get that far, though, only about 800 words before being so tired just derailed me.

So tomorrow, to get ready for starting up the short story challenge, I need to get this story done, get the typos Kris found corrected in Melody Ridge, and with some luck, put the entire issue of Smith’s Monthly together as well. But the priority is getting the short story done.

And by the way, I will keep a running log here in July of the stories finished and their word count and title, like I do with page counts on novels.

And for those of you who are subscribers to Smith’s Monthly, don’t worry, it will have a full novel in it, even though I am not writing one in July.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:

Talking with another writer friend today about how tomorrow was the last day in the first half of the year. And how it was a good time for writers to reset. We were both resetting our personal challenges and goals for the second part of the year.

Now I understand that this other pro and I are not most writers. (We are long term professional writers.) Most writers are lost in the time of great forgetting and other summer fun. But for me, I tend to get more productive with writing going into this period.

In fact, my best months for writing have always been the last half of the year.

Now one of my goals this year was to write a million words. I am counting both fiction and nonfiction. Words that will make me money. These blog posts, even though I count them, and I count e-mail, don’t make me money. So my goal was to do a million words of fiction and nonfiction, published.

As some of you might have noticed, I did not have a great start toward that Pulp Speed One goal.

In fact, in the first six months of this year I wrote about 320,000 words. Oh, oh, that’s 680,000 words short.

Don’t you just love July 1st reset? (grin)

But I am not giving up yet on the yearly goal of a million words.

So divide the amount I would like to write by six months and that comes in at around 114,000 words average per month. Now I have written close to that much per month a couple months last fall. So very possible.

MATH TIME

114,000 words per month is about 3,800 words per day on a 30 day month. Hmmm, that’s not that much, is it?

The key is that needs to be the average over every day in the next six months.

So look at my July challenge. Say I managed to hit all 31 short stories in July. And the stories averaged 4,000 words each. That would be over the total needed for the month in just fiction.

So the point of all this is that July 1st is a powerful date for helping challenges and resetting if you are paying attention.

If you do reset on July 1st and get refocused just as you do in the dead of winter on January 1st, you will be amazed at how much better your entire year will look when you get to the end of the year.

Now one more point.

Often with challenges, the point is to push yourself, do things you would not have done before. (Such as a blog every day for almost two years. (grin))

So look at the amount of words I wrote during the first half of this year. I wanted to write 500,000 words. That was the goal.

So I failed and wrote 320,000 words in those six months.

Flip that thinking. I succeeded in writing 320,000 words.

In other words, I failed to success.

320,000 words in six months isn’t what I wanted, but I pushed myself enough that even in failure, I had a very successful first six months.

Fail to success. It really is a key to challenges. And resetting on July 1st is a very powerful tool you should be using if your focus is at all on writing.

———–

Totals For Year 2, Month 11, Day 29

— Daily Fiction: 800 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 50,400 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,200 words

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,100 words

— E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 1,600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 586 e-mails. Approx. 27,000 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

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 11, Day 28

Sunday… Year 2, Month 11, Day 28 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Finished Melody Ridge.

WORKSHOPS

I worked on workshops this evening doing assignments. 

THE DAY

Off to the writer lunch at 2 p.m. as normal for a Sunday. Then back to WMG Publishing offices to work on workshop stuff.

I did that and also unpacked the second half of the cookie jar collection I just bought.

Understand, I don’t collect cookie jars. WMG sells them at the store. The inventory of cookie jars out there has to be around 100 and now this 58 jumps into the mix. Considering how much room vintage cookie jars take up, that’s a lot of room.

Then I came home to cook dinner while Kris stayed and worked on stuff in her office at WMG, then she went back while I went to work on workshop assignments. I got that done around midnight and went to writing.

THE WRITING

I managed around 1,200 words before stopping to watch some television. Then when I came back, I wasn’t happy with what I thought was going to be my ending, so I cycled back to the opening to see if the ending was there. As normal, it was. 

So I wrote another 1,100 words, then took a short break, wrote another 1,700 words in a rush to the end. By then it was 5:30 a.m.

So printed it up for Kris to read, finished up my laundry, and am now doing this.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:

Too late for anything tonight after finishing the novel at 5:30 a.m.

———–

Totals For Year 2, Month 11, Day 28

— Daily Fiction: 4,000 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 49,600 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,200 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 16,200 words

— E-mail: 39 e-mails. Approx. 1,700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 555 e-mails. Approx. 25,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

——–

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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 11, Day 27

Friday… Year 2, Month 11, Day 27 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Fun collecting, some workshop stuff, and a lot of writing.

WORKSHOPS

I worked on workshops for about two hours this evening. 

THE DAY

The day started with me fighting my way through traffic to get to the other end of town where I needed to pack up a collection of cookie jars I had bought.

Why so much traffic? The valley around Portland and the rest of the West is baking under a heat wave at the moment. So everyone needed to come to the coast because our high temperature here today was around 60 degrees F.

Not kidding.

And it was the annual Kite Festival here, so some of the largest kites you will ever see were flying, because the wind was enough to allow them to. And where they fly the monster kites is on the ocean beach square in the heart of town without a backroad to go around it.

Almost big city traffic. Anyhow, got there and got the cookie jars packed up. 58 vintage cookie jars is a ton of packing, let me tell you. Filled every inch of my van. Front seat beside me and everything. Then back to the WMG office to unload them.

THE PICTURE IS OF EXACTLY HALF THE COLLECTION.

Cookie Jars

Then home for dinner and back up to WMG around 9 p.m. to work on workshop stuff.

And while I was loading workshop videos, I unpacked exactly half of the collection. A lot of McCoy and other very rare jars in pretty good shape.

Home by 11 p.m. and I went to work writing.

THE WRITING

I was sure I would finish the book tonight, but nope. I deleted two chapters and wrote two brand new chapters to take the deleted chapters place. (Very complex time travel and I had those two chapters out of whack.)  That was 1,800 new words.

Then onward after a break and got another 1,450 words done. Another break around 2:30 a.m. and then did another 1,350 words before seeing the time and realizing I still had another four or five chapters left.

But now I have the ending clearly in sight. I just need to write it tomorrow night.

So 4,600 words.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Getting ready for a challenge.

For the last week, I have been hearing myself say, “I need to get that done before the 1st.” The challenge is taking some set-up, such as getting this novel done, getting another short story done and out of the way that has a due date of the 1st and can’t be in the big July Story book.

And getting the last week of the Advanced Depth workshop recorded and done. And so on and so on.

Challenges like this take time to set up. I’ve done them in the past (not this one, but others) and I know that.

Now understand, I have no expectation that the world, life, and events will leave me alone. None at all, and I’m fine with that as well. I will just roll with the events and see what happens by the end of the month. That’s all I can do.

So I prepare, try to clear what I can clear. And go from there.

I will be teaching workshops in July and working with writers in those, so that’s going to be fun and won’t distract at all from the writing. And I have a couple of short trips planned, so I will be writing on the road and talking about that at times as well.

All standard stuff.

So those of you thinking of a challenge in some coming months, just prepare yourself as best you can, but most of the preparation needs to be in your head.

Attitude is everything.

Expect to have some bumpy days and roll with them. Expect to miss and just climb back on the challenge and keep going without catching up.

Expect life to have its fun with you. But if your attitude is level and expecting interruptions, you will be surprised at how they come, which they will, and you mostly just write through them.

Prepare the small stuff where you can.

And focus on getting your attitude in shape. That is really the key.

 ———–

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
Day 3… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 3,600 words
Day 4… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 6,350 words
Day 5…    950 words… Total so far on the book… 7,250 words
Day 6… 3,200 words… Total so far on the book… 10,450 words
Day 7… 3,100 words… Total so far on the book… 13,550 words
Day 8… 4,000 words… Total so far on the book… 17,550 words
Day 9… 5,100 words… Total so far on the book… 22,650 words
Day 10..5,200 words… Total so far on the book… 27,850 words
Day 11..3,700 words… Total so far on the book… 31,550 words
Day 12..1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 32,650 words
Day 13..3,900 words… Total so far on the book… 36,550 words
Day 14..4,100 words… Total so far on the book… 40,650 words
Day 15..1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 41,750 words
Day 16..1,850 words… Total so far on the book… 43,600 words
Day 17..2,450 words… Total so far on the book… 46,050 words
Day 18..2,400 words… Total so far on the book… 48,450 words
Day 19..2,250 words… Total so far on the book… 50,700 words
Day 19..3,750 words… Total so far on the book… 54,450 words
Day 20..4,100 words… Total so far on the book… 58,550 words
Day 21..4,600 words… Total so far on the book… 63,150 words

———–

Totals For Year 2, Month 11, Day 27

— Daily Fiction: 4,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 45,600 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,200 words

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,900 words

— E-mail: 29 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 516 e-mails. Approx. 23,700 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers

 

——–

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

 

Free Short Story of the Week

Starting the second Sunday in July and every Sunday night after that (very late), I will post a free short story.

Find the link each week here.

Stay tuned every Monday morning.

Shortcuts to Posts

Smith’s Monthly Subscriptions

Smith's Monthly, an original fiction magazine featuring every month a full novel, short fiction, serial adventures, and nonfiction now available for subscriptions.

And twenty of them now exist... Amazing, huh? And hard to hold. Here I am holding the first five...

$6.99 electronic and $12.99 trade paper editions are available at your local bookseller. All paper subscription copies are signed. For more information, just click on the cover.

TWO NEWEST ISSUES

ISSUES IN ORDER

Online Workshop Schedule

These are the starting dates of upcoming online workshops. Limited to twelve writers. All have openings unless I say closed below. For sign-up and more information about each workshop, click the Online Workshop tab at the top of the page.

Class #1… July 6th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #2… July 6th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #3… July 6th … How to Write Science Fiction
Class #4… July 6th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #5… July 7th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #6… July 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #7… July 7th … (To be Announced)
Class #8… July 8th … Cliffhangers
Class #9… July 8th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #10… July 8th … Advanced Depth

Class #11… Aug 3rd … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Aug 3rd … Character Voice
Class #13… Aug 3rd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #14… Aug 3rd … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Aug 4th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #16… Aug 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Aug 4th …(To Be Announced)
Class #18… Aug 5th … Designing Covers
Class #19… Aug 5th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Aug 5th … How to Write Science Fiction

Class #21… Sept 7th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #22… Sept 7th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #23… Sept 7th … How to Write Science Fiction
Class #24… Sept 7th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #25… Sept 8th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #26… Sept 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Sept 8th … (To Be Announced)
Class #28… Sept 9th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Sept 9th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30… Sept 9th … Advanced Depth
Sign-up and more information under Online Workshops tab at the top of the page.

Classic Workshops

You can sign up for these and start at any point. They are the regular workshops, only you don't send in the homework and you can take them as fast or as slow as you would like.

They are half the price of a regular six week workshop.

Classic Workshops offered.

Making a Living... Classic
Productivity... Classic
Discoverability... Classic
Writing in Series... Classic
Genre Structure... Classic

Lecture Series

More information on these lectures under the Lecture Series Tab above.

#1... Heinlein's Rules... Dean Wesley Smith 15 videos... $75.00

#2... Read Like a Writer... Kristine Kathryn Rusch... 8 videos... $50.00

#3... How to Write a Short Story: The Basics... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 7 videos... $50.00

#4... Writer's Block and Procrastination... Dean Wesley Smith... 8 videos... $50.00

#5... Carving Time Out for Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#6... How to Research for Fiction Writers... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 14 videos... $75.00

#7... Pen Names: Help With the Decision... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#8... Motivation: Starting Easier and Writing More... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#9... Practice: The Attitude and Methods of Practice in Fiction... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#10... Master Plot Formula: How and Why It Works Today... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#11... Prolific Lecture: How to Become a Prolific Fiction Writer... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#12... The Stages of a Fiction Writer: How to Know Where You Are In Learning and How To Move Upward... Dean Wesley Smith.... 11 videos... $50.00

#13... Starting Writing. Or Restarting Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#14... Endings: How to Write Them and Understand What Makes a Good Ending... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#15... Audio Narration Lecture... Jane Kennedy.... 9 audio lectures... $50.00

#16... Your Writing as an Investment Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#17... How to Get Your Books into Bookstores Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#18... How to Think Like a Science Fiction Writer Lecture... Kristine Kathryn Rusch....11 videos... $50.00

#19... Why Some Books Sell More Than Other Books... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#20... How to Write a Page Turning Novel or Story: Basics and Tricks ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#21... The Basics of Designing Science Fiction Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#22... The Basics of Designing Mystery, Cozy, or Thriller Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#23... Paying the Price: A Working Writer's Mindset ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#24... Writing into the Dark: The Tricks and Methods of Writing Without an Outline... Dean Wesley Smith... 12 videos... $50.00

#25... Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#26... Organization... Allyson Longueira... 8 videos... $50.00

#27... Confidence... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

My Publisher

WMG Publishing Inc. is now my major publisher of all my coming novels, collections, and short stories.

Support This Blog On Patreon

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Just click on the image to go to my new Patreon page.