Writing in Public: Month 11, Day 5

Month 11, Day 5 of this Writing in Public challenge.

I’m up later than normal tonight because at the WMG offices the power was off from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.  No problem there, we were warned and ready for it, but the cable company is in the same area and its power was down as well, so it’s now 6 a.m. and the internet just came up.

Luckily power wasn’t out here at home. (grin) Just internet and phone and television.

Day started as I rolled out at 12:30 p.m. to make it to a meeting at 1:30 p.m.  Then another meeting at 3 p.m. and another meeting at 4 p.m.

By 6 p.m. Kris and I were walking to dinner, getting exercise and talking about all the cool stuff that is going on.

Back to WMG offices by 8 p.m. Kris went home and I stayed.

I recorded one of my stories with Jane in the audio department, then went down to my office and worked until 10:30 p.m. on workshop stuff.

At home I checked my e-mail before the internet went out, then went downstairs to watch some television.

Back upstairs at midnight. I started off doing about 300 words on a new Killing the Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing. Then I switched over to reading Kris’s new Retrieval Artist novel in the living room. This is the second Retrieval Artist new book in two weeks, since she’s writing these out of order and putting them together. Wow, are they good. They are going to be part of a large Retrieval Artist saga starting in the fall and having books come out one per month for a time. Watch her web site for updates.

So read for an hour or so, then headed into my writing computer (not hooked up to the internet) and started to work on getting stories ready for Smith’s Monthly #10 that has to be in to WMG on Monday. It will have the Heaven Painted as a Poker Chip novel in it as well that I just finished.

I got two stories ready that I had, then went looking for another one. I found one I had written who knows when. I couldn’t even remember it, but I knew it had to be at least 25 years ago. It was from such an old computer file, it had spaces between paragraphs and everywhere after I managed to convert it. So I started through it cleaning it up (I realized I had not yet learned how to paragraph to content when I wrote it.) Then I got to a spot and the story stopped. Now I understand why I had never sold it. I had gotten stopped and never really finished it.

Oh, oh.  So off I went just adding the next sentence and trying to figure out where the story was heading. Wow, talk about writing into the dark with a twenty-five year gap between one sentence and the other.

So after about 1,200 new words, I had it done and I like it a lot.

Then I found another fun little short-short and another fun story, none of which have ever been published because of my problem with Heinlein’s Rule #4. So there will be five stories in Smith’s Monthly #10.

So got the stories ready for #10 by 4 a.m.  Then, since the internet was not on yet, I went out into the living room and spent the next two hours reading Kris’s new novel. Still a ways from the end, but it’s still great.

Then at 6 a.m. I checked the connection and it came back up as I was glancing at it.

So now writing this and then heading to bed. A good day. Lots of meetings, recorded a story, did a bunch of workshop stuff, wrote on a Sacred Cow and finished an unfinished story, got the stories ready for #10 and got about halfway through reading a great book. All good.


Totals For Month 11, Day 5

– Daily Fiction: 1,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 13,100 words

– Nonfiction: 300 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 600 words

– Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,450 words

– E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 300 new words. E-mails month-to date: 151 e-mails. Approx. 3,600 words

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

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

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

Stories and Projects Finished This Month So Far

In order of production with the most recent at the top.

— Finished the short story “Skiing the Graveyard of Souls.”  It will appear in July Smith’s Monthly and then in a stand-alone form at some point after that.

— Finished the novel Heaven Painted as a Poker Chip: A Ghost of a Chance novel. It will appear in July Smith’s Monthly and then in a stand-alone form in October.

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5 Responses to Writing in Public: Month 11, Day 5

  1. Horace says:

    Here’s kind of a random question for you about this whole writing biz…

    Health insurance. What is a full-time writer to do about health insurance? In a few months, I’ll be in a position to quit my job and write fiction full-time, which is great. However, with a wife and two kids (and another on the way), health insurance is one of the things I haven’t been able to figure out. As a self-employed writer, this will be new territory. There’s no company to offer me benefits, and using the government’s new program, while a possibility, seems difficult, since I’ll be subsisting off of royalties and won’t technically have a “stable” income. Royalties are bound to rise and fall, sometimes greatly, from month-to-month…

    You and Kris have been professional writers for a long time now, so do you guys have any insights on how or where new professional writers should seek out health insurance? I feel like this is one of the last pieces of the puzzle for me in turning this into a career!

    • dwsmith says:


      Health insurance for decades was always a topic of discussion among professional writers. Always. And never a fun one. Kris and I, for decades had full health insurance with a huge deductible and mostly only major medical. And that costs us a ton of money every month, but it was always the first bill we paid.

      Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are scary lucky. We have wonderful insurance now that has a low deductible, has dental insurance, and even co-pays that are tiny. Stunning, and it’s costing us less than our old bad insurance cost us. (We make far too much money to get the government help, it’s just that the insurance is better and cheaper. Kris and I both feel like we have hit it lucky with that.

      I know of five professional writers who quit days jobs in just the last six months because they could get cheap insurance. They were keeping their day jobs just because of insurance.

      The key is get an insurance broker to help you. They are paid by the state or the insurance companies, so it won’t cost you anything, and they can look at your situation and give you options based on your income. And it’s yearly tax income they look at, not gross income if you have deductions and what writer doesn’t have deductions. (grin)

      It’s a wonderful new world for writers for insurance.

      • Horace says:

        Awesome! Thanks so much! :D

      • Wendy Rathbone says:

        As a self-employed person my good (and cheap) insurance plan was axed when my company went through a million changes due to the ACA. I got put on a different plan that cost more and gives less benefits. I do not qualify for any subsidy. I did a lot of work to find a better, cheaper plan…to no avail. Maybe I need to find a broker!

        • dwsmith says:

          Yes, just find a broker and they will do the legwork for you for no cost. Stunning what the wonderful broker here in Oregon did for us. Just stunning.

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