Posts tagged challenge

Writer’s Conference Day Two

I’m in Logan, Utah. And actually, today was only the first day of the conference, but it was my second day here in town.

Got checked in just fine and met everyone and then got directions to a local antique mall since I had a few hours open. Found a couple of nifty things and some great marbles.

Then did a two hour class on productivity and then had a wonderful couple hour conversation with some professional writers who were here. Then another panel.

Then out to dinner with four really nice professional writers for a great four hour dinner and conversation.

Now back in the room, stuffed with great food and tired, which is good since I have to be up tomorrow pretty close to the time I normally go to bed.

I think I have made the switch smartly by arriving early and so on, but tomorrow will be the test. (grin)

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: New World

Nothing tonight because I’ve talked enough today.

So a cat picture Kris sent me of one of the two new cats. This guy I am calling, for the moment Duece.

IMG_1014

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Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 28

Writing in Public blog streak Day 758

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,750 words 

— Blog Posts: 200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,000 words

— E-mail: 8 e-mails. Approx. 100 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 648 e-mails. Approx. 23,200 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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Writer’s Conference

I’m in Logan, Utah.

Yeah, I said that. (grin)  Logan, Utah, for a writer’s conference.

The League of Utah Writers 2015 Conference. Nice hotel, looks like a nice conference center, and so far things have been great. Easy trip, great conversation with friends in Boise.

So far, so good.

Now many of you might be asking why I would do this. Actually, I asked at first why anyone at a writer’s conference would invite me to give a keynote speech. (I actually asked them if they knew who I was. Not kidding.)

So tomorrow I give a two hour talk on productivity and quality. (Yeah, that will be fun.) And I am on a panel on publishing contracts. (Even more fun.)

Then on Saturday I do a two hour talk on Making a Living with Fiction (double the fun) and then another panel and then the keynote speech that night, if they haven’t chased me out of the building yet. (I promised them I will keep the speech short.)

E-mail and everything on workshops just goes on as normal since I have both a computer and my iPad here. And I will be home before the new week starts, so no issue on anything on assignments.

So anyone who can make it to this beautiful city of Logan, Utah, do come by the conference. I am sure it will be a few days many will not forget. (grin)

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: New World

Here I am at a mainstream writer’s conference and I am known for being critical about a lot of different publishing things. Heck, just a couple nights ago I did a ten stupid things about the publishing business post.

But honestly, I am not critical or do I blame traditional publishers for having horrid contracts or not promoting or agents for taking advantage of writers. I don’t blame them in the slightest. This is a business, after all.

Who I blame, and always blame and try to educate, are the writers who sign the bad contracts, writers who go with agents without knowing them, writers who give away all rights for the life of a copyright, and so on and so on.

Without poorly educated writers, traditional publishers would fail or change. Without poorly educated writers, agents would mostly no longer exist and the few that remained would be working with only old-timers for different reasons. Without poorly educated writers, scam vanity publishers would vanish overnight.

So I am here to try to help educate a few writers who are willing to listen. There will be many I will just make angry. (Yup, I know… Shock!)

But a few writers here will listen to a few things and maybe, just maybe, go on to have a writing career.

And for those few, I have made the drive.

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Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 27

Writing in Public blog streak Day 757

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,750 words 

— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,800 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 640 e-mails. Approx. 23,100 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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New Bundle Just Went Live

I have my science fiction novel THE HIGH EDGE in a brand new bundle that just started a few hours ago at www.storybundle.com/disasters

The High Edge ebook cover rebrand 2015 web

This full novel is set in my Seeders Universe. And there is a reason it is in the “disasters” bundle because I tend to have a pretty high body count in this one. (grin) All disaster related, of course. No character kills anyone. (spoiler not)

So you can get my book to test out the Seeders Universe and you can get books by Bob Meyer, Brian Herbert and Bruce Taylor, David Sakmyster, Bill Ransom, Alan Rogers, Laura Ann Gilman, Brian Herbert and Jan Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason, Chris Mandeville, and an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey with 22 stories in it.

That’s right, 11 books which include a bunch of short fiction. If you pay at least $15 or more, you get all eleven books. And you can donate a little to the Challenger Center in the process.

www.storybundle.com/disasters

And the women in science fiction bundle still has a few hours to go, but not many. You will be bummed you missed that one.

Not much to report other than the bundle tonight. Another very busy day with a lot of business talk.

And for some reason tonight I watched a couple episodes of The Shark Tank while eating some dinner. (Never watched it before.) I just kept laughing imagining writers standing up there in front of those people and trying to give a business plan. The thought just kept making me giggle. There are a few writers who could do it, but darned few.

I could just hear the question from one of the sharks…

Shark: Are you telling me that you are giving an untrained person you haven’t vetted 15% of all your money for a few hours work? And you are selling property for a few thousand dollars for the life of the property? What does this person do and how do you make a living or a profit?

Writer:  Uhh, I don’t make a living or a profit and the person takes care of me.

Shark: You are telling me that in your own business you have hired a person who you did not vet and are giving them 15% forever of all your property just to be a body man for you?

Writer: Uhh, they don’t do that kind of job.

Shark: What exactly does this person do then?

Writer: Make a few phone calls, read my manuscript, negotiate a contract for me.

Shark: So this person is an attorney?

Writer: Uh, no…

Sharks fall out of their chairs laughing.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: New World

One again I flat didn’t have time to get to finishing the first chapter on the new book. Might need to wait until the middle of next week now to get started.

You all might have noticed that Kris has two books in a Storybundle that is just ending and I have one in a bundle that is just starting up.

www.storybundle.com

When Kris put together the Women in Science Fiction Bundle and when Kevin J. Anderson put together the Disasters Bundle, they both had to ignore all writers who were only traditionally published. The traditional publishing contracts would not allow the writers to participate in this wonderful way to get books to readers.

Nope: Traditional publishers want their writers to be exclusive with the book or novel. Just like Amazon does in its Kindle Unlimited program.

If your book is in the Kindle Unlimited Program, it can’t be in the bundle either.

But bundles really help readers find writers they were not familiar with.

One of the top ten things I said in that business post last night was a poke at how writers think exclusivity is a good thing.

Now I meant that toward all the people who swear by the religion of Kindle Unlimited.

However, in this modern world, writers do exactly the same stupidity as only having books in one bookstore by only having books in traditional publishing.

The indie world is here to stay and it is golden. And in a ton of blogs all over the place, people have gone back and forth on the benefits of either traditional and indie, or being a hybrid writer, which means doing both.

(But no book under contract to a big five or in Kindle Unlimited can be in a bundle.)

 

These bundles are an amazing way for readers to get a lot of quality books cheaply and find new professional writers in the process. That’s why I push them all the time.

Bundles in this fashion, with multi-authors in the bundles for a short time, is a totally new world. It did not and could not exist seven years ago.

But writers continue to shoot themselves in the foot by being exclusive, one way or the other. Just makes no sense to me to cut out supply to readers purposefully.

But Kindle Unlimited authors have their reasons and so do traditional-only authors. And they preach the reasons to anyone who will listen.

Neither make a lick of sense to me in this new world.

————

Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 26

Writing in Public blog streak Day 756

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,750 words 

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,300 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 626 e-mails. Approx. 22,500 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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Cats but no chapter yet.

Kris got a number of great pictures of the two new cats. The one sitting up is the girl, the one behind her is the guy.

I think considering that they have only been in the house for a week, we might be making some progress.

We shall see over the next few months, but one of them stayed out of hiding and watched Kris work on her computer, so that’s pretty good.

And yes, they are red point Bermans just as my old buddy Walter was.

IMG_1017

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Business Conversation

I ended up getting busy today with some fantastic conversations on business, so ended up not getting as much done as I thought I might on Heinlein’s Rules book. But I did get the introduction and first chapter mostly done and part of the second chapter. Once I get two or three chapters ahead in the writing, I’ll start posting them.

One of the nice things about being an indie writer is that I am writing to my own deadline. I want to get projects done, but things are not critical and can change at a moment’s notice if needed.

So I’m not going to count the pages I did write today until I post them in the next day or so.

Note that this month doesn’t have a lot of words attached so far. About 66 thousand words counting everything, way under my normal total. Not bothered at all because next month will be large again. And July was large.

I’m looking at doing two novels in September. Stay tuned to see how that goes. (grin)

I want to mention the fantastic conversation I had today with a great friend. He’s been a major business attorney for forty years, and it was wonderful to talk with him in a sane manner, not at all like talking to writers who think giving away property for almost nothing is the thing to do.

We talked corporation structures, cash streams (and flows) in business, how growing businesses make the transition from early stages to successful and stable businesses. And so much more that is critical.

I am around writers so much, I love the sanity of regular business people. It’s like I have been drinking thick, muddy water and suddenly get a glass of clear, fresh water. Writers, for some reason beyond me, think that real world business practices do not apply to writing.

So just for fun, and because I had the sanity of real business conversations today, I have listed ten things off the top of my head that are really, really stupid business practices in publishing that would never be done in real world business.

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Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 25

Writing in Public blog streak Day 755

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,750 words 

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,500 words

— E-mail: 18 e-mails. Approx. 900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 615 e-mails. Approx. 22,100 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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Just Taxes

Just Taxes

Just taxes. Three corporation’s taxes need to go to the accountant on Monday.

Brain dead with numbers.

2 a.m. I was still at WMG offices doing taxes. Now that’s just silly, but they will be done easily tomorrow. Now.

WORKSHOP REMINDER… still openings in all the September Online workshops.

(Just writing that took too much brain power. (grin))

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: A Story Bundle

Folks, figured since I am brain dead tonight, I could at least remind you all about the Women in Science Fiction Bundle that is about to vanish this week.

You won’t want to miss this one. Some fantastic reading. And yes, I have a short story in Stars edited by the wonderful singer Janis Ian. But that’s minor compared to all the great reading in this bundle.

So don’t delay.

http://www.storybundle.com/scifi

Women in SF ad

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Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 22

Writing in Public blog streak Day 752

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 19,750 words

— Blog Posts: 200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,200 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 541 e-mails. Approx. 18,600 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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Some Plans Are Forming

More Stuff and Some Plans Today

Just all sorts of things today. But very little writing.

I worked all afternoon on workshop stuff, then went back to WMG offices after dinner around 9 p.m. to do more workshop stuff. My modem in my office seemed to have a melt down, but luckily I could hop on the wifi from WMG Publishing upstairs to get what I needed done.

I could have also set up a hot spot from my iPhone. I love having options.

Home around 11 p.m. and did some different things, including Kris and I checked on the new cats. She is in the room off and on all day and it’s a huge room, but the new cats mostly stay hidden under the recliner when anyone is around.

They are moving around and eating fine when no one is around. And it has only been a few days, so nothing unusual.

So every night now we go up and tip up the recliner and let them scamper around looking for another hiding spot. Then we sit and talk with them for a while before putting their hiding spot back and leaving.

Eventually they will calm down. Going to take some time. Very damaged cats.

After watching some television, I came in here and put in corrections that Kris found in my short novel or novella. She liked it. That took me about an hour, then I started putting together Smith’s Monthly #23 together and had that turned into WMG Publishing to go to copyediting by 4 a.m. There are 6 short stories in the issue to make up for the shorter novel.

I ended up doing some writing on the novella, about 400 words is all. And I also wrote about 300 words on the serial novel chapters I needed to put into the issue. Part 6 of 8.

So 700 words for the day.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Planning Ahead

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to work out my writing schedule for the rest of this year and through 2016.

I want something that will challenge me, keep me interested, and get me up to the next level of writing and productivity I want to get to.

And I want to keep Smith’s Monthly going along fine.

And I want to do a series of collections.

So trying to figure out challenges and goals that will aim toward those hopes and wants.

I have some ideas. For example, I am pretty sure that starting on September 1st I’m going to write two novels a month for the rest of the year, with the exception of October. That will be fun and accomplish the goals above.

So far this year I have had 15 major books come out. I would like to get that number past 30 if possible. So I have a couple more nonfiction books I want to write as well, including Heinlein’s Rules.

So going to do a bunch of other stuff in this last part of August and really fire up on the writing in September.

Stay tuned for that.

By the way, that’s normal for me. I write a lot, then take breaks, then write a lot. So the low total this month means nothing to me. Just standard for me after a larger month and I expected it.

But got Smith’s Monthly turned in tonight. So I’m happy.

Now to finish up the corporation taxes and all will be nifty.

————

Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 21

Writing in Public blog streak Day 751

— Daily Fiction: 700 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 19,750 words

— Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,000 words

— E-mail: 13 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 530 e-mails. Approx. 18,400 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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So Many Things

So Many Things

Different cat made headway today. The two new ones we blocked out of one of their hiding places, so they had to stay out, huddling together while we sat with them for a short time. Going to be a very slow process. They are still terrified.

But the other cat we rescued two months ago, Sir Duke, is making fantastic progress. He’s slowly emerging from his room and getting to know the rest of the house. He is the largest, but most gentle and sweetest cat we have ever had.

So today Kris has been resting from her accident and she was in one of her reading chairs with ice on her neck and shoulder when Sir Duke jumped up on her lap and laid down. Stunning progress.

So of our three rescued cats in the last two months, Sir Duke is doing great. Way too early to even make a judgement on the other two.

And as you can tell, both cat and Kris are doing well.

Kris and Sir Duke

THE DAY IN GENERAL

Off to the snail mail, then to WMG Publishing offices for a time. Fun conversations with a couple of other professional writers and Allyson, then off to the bank, then out to our store, then back to WMG Publishing.

I had a meeting with Allyson, then headed to my office to work on workshop stuff. Out to dinner later, then back to work at WMG offices and stayed there until around 11 a.m.  All workshop and tax stuff.

Then home to spend a little time with the new cats, then I went to take a nap with Sir Duke, then some television, then up here to finish up e-mail and do tax work. Corporation taxes need to be to the accountant this weekend.

I worked on that up until 4 a.m., then did a few other things to try to advance projects due instantly, including looking for more Poker Boy stories. The total is now up to 37. I just found another one that was in a DAW anthology. I have a hunch there are a few more.

So no writing, just all workshop and tax and great fun talks and meetings.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Start Early and Keep Track

Over the last week, Allyson at WMG Publishing and I have been trying to round up all the Poker Boy stories and get them in an order, since the new covers have numbers on them. We want the numbers to be the reading order.

If I had kept track of all the stories I wrote, this would be an easy task. But unlike my wife, who kept track of everything right from the start, I did not.

I claim my not spending the small amount of time to keep track has something to do with losing everything in the fire. But that’s bunk. It’s flat laziness on my part.

So now, all these years later, with a series of stories I only started about ten years ago, I find myself not being sure if I have all the stories I wrote.

I thought we had them all yesterday at 35 stories.

Then Allyson found one that had been published in Fiction River. And tonight I found one in a DAW Anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg. So now I am pretty sure at 37 stories.

So the topic of the night is to start early in your career and keep a running bibliography of everything you write and where and when it was published and so on.

Do as I say, not as I did. Trust me, in forty years, you don’t want to be wondering.

A second thing. Seems silly, but you will be surprised at how not silly it might end up being.

Keep a rough count of how many copies of each book has sold. Total it over the years.

For those new to publishing, that is called “In Print.”

As of about three years ago, I had 17 million copies of the books I had written in print. (Of the ones I count. I never got royalty reports on any of the ghost books, so the actual number is a ton higher.)

I have no idea how long it will take me to reach 18 million now with the older books in traditional slowing down and my indie books growing in numbers. In a year or so, if I can find the time, I’ll count them again to get that new number.

It will mean nothing to anyone else at first.

But when the day comes you realize you have one million copies of your books in print, you’ll feel amazingly good.

And it sure sounds good in letters to have 17 million of my books in print. (grin)

So keep track of your work. And as things start to sell, just once a year or so add that up and mark it down somewhere where you can find it.

————

Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 20

Writing in Public blog streak Day 750

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 19,800 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 19,750 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,400 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 517 e-mails. Approx. 18,000 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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Scrambling On Projects

Scrambling to Get Projects Done

No cats appeared today while we were in the room, but they are eating, moving around, while we are not there. All standard for two such damaged rescue cats.

Today was a day on projects. Many projects made headway.

THE DAY IN GENERAL

Off to the snail mail, then to lunch, then out to our store, then back to WMG Publishing offices. At the office I worked from 5 until 7 p.m. on workshop stuff.

Then home to cook dinner, watch some news, and so on.

Then in here to do e-mail, then over to my writing computer. I’ll talk about what happened there in the topic of the night, but I managed 900 new words and finished what is now a short novel or novella.

Then I took a long nap, watched some television, and got back in here to finish up the e-mail, then I wrote the introduction to the August issue of Smith’s Monthly. Almost caught up from the problems from last December. It’s still going to take another month, but almost there.

Then I went to work trying to figure out the order and make sure I have all the Poker Boy stories in order and haven’t missed any. Turns out I have written 35 Poker Boy stories and novels that I can find.

Allyson is rebranding all the Poker Boy stories with nifty new covers and I’m doing a web site for the series and we are putting the numbers on each one. It’s going to take a little more time but as we get just a tab bit more down the line, I’ll start announcing the finished new covers and such as they happen.

And yes, I know the free story has been up for over a week. I’ll change it out in the next day or so, so if you haven’t read it, don’t delay much longer if you want to read it.

So 900 words of fiction done, finished the story, and 650 words of nonfiction.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: A Story Length

As I said last night, I headed back to writing tonight after some time away. And the Heaven Painted as a Cop Car novel turned out to be a novella.

Story just finished up. Now I have hopes to write more stories or novels with these two characters, but this was the story of the two characters meeting and the ghost/superhero team getting set.

I had three of the short stories from July that I reworked into the novel, changing them up and adding in the second viewpoint. And then I had bogged down because I didn’t want to pad out this book. But I had it set in my mind it would be a full novel length.

Well, I was wrong. The story took about 20,000 words to tell and that’s all.

Back in my days in traditional publishing, I would sign a contract that said I needed to turn in an 80,000 word novel or so and that’s what I would do, no matter how long or short the story wanted to naturally be. Most of the time, the extra was padding, or what I call “looping” in more plot.

Think of it this way. A story line is a freeway, from page one to the last page. But if that freeway is only 50,000 words long and you have a contract that says 80,000 words, at some point along the way you have to have the characters take an off-ramp from the original story and go wonder in the woods for a while, returning in 30,000 words.

Or worse, have them do that for three 10,000 word off-ramps.

So this feeling of wanting a story to be longer, but the story didn’t want to be longer brought up some really old nightmares about traditional publishing. I swore I would never do that padding or looping again just for word count.

So the anchor story in the August issue of Smith’s Monthly will be only 20,000 words long.

More than enough.

Not too much.

Just the right amount. As it should be.

———-

Writing of Heaven Painted as a Cop Car

Day 1… 2,100 words… Total Words to date… 2,100 words.
Day 2… 2,300 words… Total Words to date… 4,400 words.
Day 3… 0,000 words… Total Words to date… 4,400 words.
Day 4… 2,400 words… Total Words to date… 6,800 words.
Day 5… 2,100 words… Total Words to date… 8,900 words.
Day 6… 1,100 words… Total Words to date… 10,000 words.
Day 7… 2,400 words… Total Words to date… 12,400 words.
Day 8… 1,900 words… Total Words to date… 14,300 words.
Day 9… 1,100 words… Total Words to date… 15,400 words.
Day 10…3,500 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 11…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 12…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 13…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 14…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 15…900 words… Total Words to date… 19,800 words.

All done…

————

Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 19

Writing in Public blog streak Day 749

— Daily Fiction: 900 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 19,800 words  

— Nonfiction: 650 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 19,750 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 10,600 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 506 e-mails. Approx. 17,600 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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A Day of Cats and Other Stuff

Cats and Other Stuff

Cats made it through the vet and are healthy except for some teeth issues we’ll deal with in a month or two.

Here is the first picture of the cats. It will get better. But this is all we see of them at the moment. Both are hiding under the reading chair. The paper on the chair says, “Don’t sit!”

When they start coming out, I’ll snap some pictures.

And yes, behind the chair on the right is a full run of F&SF magazines from 1949 until present.  This is one corner of Kris’s internet office which is a floor-and-a-half above her writing office.

Cat PIcture #1

 

THE DAY IN GENERAL

Just sort of a crazy day filled with all sorts of stuff. But no writing, so we’ll leave it at that.

And I did some assignments for the workshops. And watched some television and took a nap. And cats to the vet and Kris to the emergency room and things like that.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Getting Back to Writing after a Break

Tomorrow.

Not kidding. To get back into writing after a break, you just need to set a time and then start. It really is that simple.

Part of the problem I have witnessed in other writers is that they build up the importance of writing when not writing. And the more importance you give to your writing, the more difficult it will be to start.

And heaven forbid you think you have to write art when you go back. That will kill you instantly.

Other killers to going back easily is making writing work, saying things like “I got to get back to work.”

That’s damn silly in so many ways I have trouble counting them. But the biggest of the problems with this approach is that you drag all the years of jobs you hated to go to and slap them onto your writing. Not sure why you would do that, but by saying you “Have to go to work” does exactly that.

So the key, in a very simple way, is to say you are going to make time tomorrow to play. To put some new words on your new novel or whatever, to tell a story.

Play.

Start setting it up as something you are looking forward to doing. And you are going to have fun with it. And just play.

(I am not saying to write sloppy or anything like that.)

What I am saying is to change your attitude about your writing as you go back after some time off. It’s fun, it’s play, it’s something you want to do and will make time to do.

It really is that simple.

And you will be surprised that if you make writing fun and play, the fear of going back and the overwhelming sense of being behind and lost will just vanish.

Just trust the process, go have fun.

Tomorrow.

———-

Writing of Heaven Painted as a Cop Car

Day 1… 2,100 words… Total Words to date… 2,100 words.
Day 2… 2,300 words… Total Words to date… 4,400 words.
Day 3… 0,000 words… Total Words to date… 4,400 words.
Day 4… 2,400 words… Total Words to date… 6,800 words.
Day 5… 2,100 words… Total Words to date… 8,900 words.
Day 6… 1,100 words… Total Words to date… 10,000 words.
Day 7… 2,400 words… Total Words to date… 12,400 words.
Day 8… 1,900 words… Total Words to date… 14,300 words.
Day 9… 1,100 words… Total Words to date… 15,400 words.
Day 10…3,500 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 11…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 12…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 13…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 14…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.

————

Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 18

Writing in Public blog streak Day 748

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 18,900 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 13,250 words

— Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 9,800 words

— E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 494 e-mails. Approx. 17,200 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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I’m Back


I’m Back

I took off on Sunday after working our store until late in the afternoon and headed south into the horrid waterless conditions of California.

I managed to get to Redding, California by 2 a.m., got six hours of sleep and this morning I headed farther into the drought conditions to Chico to get two cats that had been brought out from Wisconsin.

These are adoptions, both cats are adults and it has been in the works since last spring when I found them through a rescue site. They are stressed, to say the least, since they came out from Madison, Wisconsin. And then spent ten hours in the car today.

They are the reason I’m not heading to Worldcon. Kris is heading out and will be there later in the week, but I’m going to stay with the new kids.

I’ll have pictures of them as soon as they get out from under a chair where they are cowering. I don’t blame them in the slightest.

But wow does it feel good to be back in the land of green here on the coast. And cool. They make you pump your own gas in California and it said on a sign in Redding as I was pumping gas 104 degrees. Excuse me?

I really understand now why I live here. 65 degrees for the high and people pump my gas for me. And there was sales tax to boot. Yow! In Oregon when something is $1.00 it is $1.00. Not $1.14 or some such silliness.

No doubt a bunch of people from Oregon are going to be mad at me for saying this and letting the word out about Oregon, but I was stunned. Stunned I say.

THE DAY IN GENERAL

As I said I drove for 11 hours. 1 plus hours from Redding south to Chico and then ten hours back here.

Then I had dinner with Kris and did the homework and now I am doing this and going to bed.

Or maybe go crawl under the chair with the new cats and try to forget that one match could send most of California into flame.

Folks, I know the news is talking about this “record” drought in California, but until you see it, you really can’t understand. I couldn’t imagine living there. Sorry, Californians. Just can’t and I did live in California in the past for years.

As I went over “Lake” Shasta on the way back today I glanced down and there is grass growing in the bottom of the lake. About the only green grass I saw.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Taking a Break

 

Taking a break from writing.

Sometimes life events (such as spending two days to help transport two cats in need of a new home) just get in the way of writing.

The key is how you deal with it. If you torture yourself because you are not writing, that does you no good and also puts the wrong message into your head about writing. Writing needs to be where you go to have fun and be creative.

So sometimes you need to give yourself a break as I did the last few days.

However, too many breaks means you have other issues.

Those of you following me here know that I seldom take breaks, write seven days a week, or at least do publishing stuff seven days per week. Why? Because I love what I do and have fun doing it.

I didn’t take a day away from writing in all of July. But even with the challenge, if the cats had made it out west in July, I would have.

And I had been planning on going to Worldcon for the week and I have a membership and everything. But priorities win. I don’t need to go to Worldcon, but I do want the new cats to have a gentle transition into the house.

Also, I still have a ton of stuff due under deadline. So win/win/lose.

I win with the cats, win with the deadlines, lose the fun of Worldcon and seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

But time away from writing is something we all need to do at times. Just don’t put some silly failure mode on it when you do. Torturing yourself to write is never a wise idea, no matter what your English teacher taught you.

———-

Writing of Heaven Painted as a Cop Car

Day 1… 2,100 words… Total Words to date… 2,100 words.
Day 2… 2,300 words… Total Words to date… 4,400 words.
Day 3… 0,000 words… Total Words to date… 4,400 words.
Day 4… 2,400 words… Total Words to date… 6,800 words.
Day 5… 2,100 words… Total Words to date… 8,900 words.
Day 6… 1,100 words… Total Words to date… 10,000 words.
Day 7… 2,400 words… Total Words to date… 12,400 words.
Day 8… 1,900 words… Total Words to date… 14,300 words.
Day 9… 1,100 words… Total Words to date… 15,400 words.
Day 10…3,500 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 11…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 12…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.
Day 13…00 words… Total Words to date… 18,900 words.

————

Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 17

Writing in Public blog streak Day 747

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 18,900 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 13,250 words

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 9,200 words

— E-mail: 36 e-mails. Approx. 1,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 463 e-mails. Approx. 16,100 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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Smith’s Monthly Subscriptions

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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.

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 #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 … Character Development
Class #26… Sept 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Sept 8th … Making a Career
Class #28… Sept 9th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Sept 9th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30… Sept 9th … Advanced Depth

Class #31… Oct 5th … Advanced Depth
Class #32… Oct 5th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #33… Oct 5th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #34… Oct 5th … Ideas into Stories
Class #35… Oct 6th … Character Development
Class #36… Oct 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #37… Oct 6th … Making a Career
Class #38… Oct 7th … Designing Covers
Class #39… Oct 7th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #40… Oct 7th … How to Write Science Fiction

Class #41… Nov 2nd … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #42… Nov 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… Nov 2nd … How to Write Science Fiction
Class #44… Nov 2nd … Character Voice/Setting
Class #45… Nov 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… Nov 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… Nov 3rd … Making a Career
Class #48… Nov 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… Nov 4th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #50… Nov 4th … Advanced Depth

Class #51… Dec 7th … Advanced Depth
Class #52… Dec 7th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #53… Dec 7th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #54… Dec 7th … Ideas into Stories
Class #55… Dec 8th … Character Development
Class #56… Dec 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #57… Dec 8th … Making a Career
Class #58… Dec 9th … Designing Covers
Class #59… Dec 9th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… Dec 9th … How to Write Science Fiction
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

#28... Stories to Novels... Dean Wesley Smith... 9 videos... $50.00

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