Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

1/7/16 Daily

For the Second Day I Hope Everyone Stays Safe…

As I write this both coasts and a bunch of the middle part of the US is getting pounded by some nasty storms. Really nasty stuff. Hang in there, this winter will pass eventually.

Run from This Guy At a Poker Table

Not kidding. Remember I played poker professionally for a few years between my traditional days and my indie days, meaning I made my living at it. (grin)

What I Learned Today (Streak Day 7)

I learned that some people have far too much time on their hands. Some guy wrote me all angry that I had a typo here on my blog and how that ruins everything for him. Didn’t say where or in which blog. Just ranted.

My response: Delete.

Folks, if you hate typos and that’s all you can see, please just leave. And don’t let the door of stupidity hit you on the way out.

Typos are part of writing of all sorts. Blogs, letters, fiction. That’s why in fiction we have copyeditors to help clean those out.

And we all do the best we can.

I write these blogs after long days. I don’t need feedback on the typing, just discussion on the topics. I don’t mind disagreement because we all learn from discussion. But if all you can see is a typo, you are lost and not worth any of our time.

Maybe that’s cheating on what I learned. More like I was reminded. I really love giving folks the benefit of the doubt. Until proven otherwise, so I just forget some folks are idiots.

So what did I learn today? I learned I have more valuable stuff than I thought I had. Back in the warehouse at WMG Publishing, Josh is moving boxes and shelves to give us room for yet another office.

And as we were playing around with the boxes, looking in some of them, we found entire Staples filing boxes full of non-sports chase cards. And some signed by the artists.

You have any idea how many cards a filing box can hold? Thousands. All worth from $5 to $200 each.

Yeah, a nice thing to learn. I had no idea they were there. I just loaded the boxes from my friend’s Bill’s garage after he died and haven’t looked in some of them in five years.

Now that was fun. More than having some idiot yell at me for a typo. (grin)



Any questions at all, feel free to write me. And if you are confused as to which workshop to take first, we have a full curriculum posted on its own page.

Class #11… Feb 7th … Endings
Class #12… Feb 7th … Point of View
Class #13… Feb 7th … Writing Mysteries
Class #14… Feb 7th … Speed
Class #15… Feb 7th … Teams in Fiction
Class #16… Feb 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 8th … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 8th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #19… Feb 8th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #20… Feb 8th … Advanced Depth


The Writing of HEAVEN PAINTED AS A SUNSET: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

(To be continued after a coming writing challenge…)


Tracking Running… January 7, 2017
3 miles. No running.
Weight 189 19 more to 170 goal.
Month to date distance: 27 miles

6 Days until the first half-marathon…
Note about the exercise day: This half marathon will be painful, at best.

Tracking Word Counts… January 7, 2017
Totals For Year 4, Month 6, Day 7 (Year started August)
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,206

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,500 words  
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. (from last night) Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words 
— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,800 words
— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 144 e-mails. Approx. 9,700 words
— Short Fiction Goal: 120 stories (July 1st to June 30th). Stories to date: 8 stories.
— Novel Goal: 12 Novels. Novels finished to date: 3 novels.

Comments About the Writing of the Day: Focused forward to a new challenge.


You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Thanks for your support.


  • Rob Cornell

    Love the pics, Dean. However, I noticed the books on that shelf aren’t all in alphabetical order. So I will never look at another picture you’ve taken. You should be ashamed. 😉

  • Linda Maye Adams

    Cool pictures, Dean!

    And you hit on one of my pet peeves. I know I’m not a fantastic speller or typist. I check over everything pretty carefully, but I usually miss something. And, over the years, I’ve had people have major meltdowns over typos. Just a complete overreaction. I had a guy post a lengthy comment on my blog, lecturing me on the “numerous typos” I had on that blog post. My head immediately immediately imagined eight typos, so I checked. The numerous typos were exactly one, a missed word.

    I used to have a laborious process of checking for them, because I didn’t want people at work having meltdowns all over me about typos. A mess with a typo that wasn’t even mine ended up getting the union involved. It wasn’t just my typo, but I got mad and had it out with the boss (I almost never get mad) because he called me a liar. Like I deliberately ignored it and let it go through to embarrass him. Said typo had been on a slide that had been presented for almost six months with that typo. All I’d done was ask for an updated slide and insert it into the presentation. It hadn’t occurred to me in June that I should check to see if anyone had forgotten to change the year.

    I stopped my laborious process after I saw so many of the lecturers fussing at an admin assistant called “Comma Mama.” We had to get the paperwork through her to get it approved. In my opinion, I thought she was too picky, but she made the rules so I followed them. She told me on several occasions that I had far fewer errors than everyone else who submitted to her. And these were the same people having meltdowns over my typos!

    What is about some people that think finding a single type makes them feel so superior? Really? Don’t they have anything better to do?

  • Marsha

    Take no prisoners. Lethal. Slink away. And yet . . . fascinating. My interest is piqued and that is the guy I would want to watch play. Great pics of you Dean. I bet you put the scare into more than a few players. How cool is that? 🙂

    Typo guy. Does he pull his hair out or perform hari-kari if he finds a mis-spelling in his own work? Some folks are just wound too tight. Best to avoid them in case they spring loose.

    • dwsmith

      I’m too nice in most cases to scare anyone, so people aren’t afraid of me and don’t mind giving me their money because they had a good time.

  • James

    Would you say that is a “fedora-like hat”? I stay away from the poker tables for the same reason I’m not a competitive jockey or a Michelin-star chef: physiologically inferior when it comes to the needs of the activity. (I have the opposite of a poker face, and I know it.)

    With writing, at least, I know it’s a skill I can develop to professional level. What it takes is time and practice and focus on getting better.
    Ooh, look, a shiny penny.
    Right. Time, practice, focus on getting better. I’ve *just* started AJ Budrys’ book “Writing to the Point.” I’ve only owned it for 15 months, along with other books about writing from the *2015* NaNoWriMo bundle, but BUYING the books is not the same as READING them or LEARNING from them.

    Time, practice, focus on getting better. I’m working on it. Thank you for your posts, typos included.

  • Jo

    When writing out some legal info for someone I made a typo. They complained, saying the typo, “Ruined the whole thing.”

    Fine. I took the paper back and kicked them out of my office. Never allowed back. The person was trying to play battle of wits, trying to be right or smarter or funnier or whatever. You can’t help people like that. Well, you can help them, but it’s a nightmare every second while they second guess and try to one up you. They are intimidated by your expertise and position and respond in a very insecure way.

    I did not give that a guy a refund either. Charged full consultation price for my time, which he wasted.

    This was years ago and I still get miffed just thinking about it. 🙂

  • Dave Raines

    Actually, I think it would be an interesting experience to play poker with you, even though I’m terrible and would be wiped out. Only thing is, I can’t afford the ante, let alone the stakes. So yeah, I’ll pass.

    • dwsmith

      Rule in any game is never play with money you can’t afford to lose. Critical rule. So very smart on your part. (grin)

      • ed ryan

        Rule #2 is don’t drink too much while you play…

        I had quite the embarrassing night playing poker at a bachelor party one night. Not super high stakes – Texas Holdem with a $25 buy in. About 100 guys. I am no where near pro level by a long shot, play mostly for fun and very very rarely did I ever play for money (and after this I never will again!)

        Anyway, I was one of the last 5 or six guys and checked my cards real quick and had 10 &Jack of clubs. The flop was 2 clubs and another card I can;t remember. I stayed in, placed a bet and the turn was another club. Great – had a flush.

        About this time I should mention I had put away by share of scotch.

        By the time the river hit, I was one of three left and went all in. Of the three of us left, one guy folded and the other guy called with his 3 queens. With a triumphant yell, I turned over my cards – a Jack of Clubs and a 10….. of Spades.

        Apparently I should have taken a closer look at my cards, drank less or both.

        Never played for money again…

  • Jamie Brook Thompson

    Dean, you’re awesome!
    The pics made me smile. The world needs more smiles!
    I’m wondering if you can direct me somewhere that you might’ve talked about indie authors going with promotion companies and if they work. I figured out how to write a book in a day and a half, and go through my team so I can get it out in about a week because of workshop I took from you. My goal is at least 12 books published this year if not 26. You said that 20 is the magic number so I’m shooting for that. 12 just sounds like a realistic number.
    So what I’m looking for now is getting prepared to start working with a promoting company as soon as I get a few more titles out.

  • Kristy K. James

    Great advice, great picture … and no worries on me ever playing poker with anyone. I totally suck at gambling and would be better off burning any money I might spend in that pursuit. At least I’d get a little heat out of it – and in Michigan right now, that’s not all bad. 😀

    Love your attitude about typos. It makes me shake my head every time I see someone tear into others about typos … and especially homophones. Especially other authors. All I can think is wow. We know more about words than ‘normal’ people do because it’s our job to know. These spelling Nazis probably couldn’t perform brain surgery or change the oil in their cars to save their lives – and they shouldn’t be made to feel stupid because they can’t. Yet they’re okay with shaming others for their lack of spelling skills?

    The worst thing is, they may be offending potential readers. Who wants to buy anything from a person who thinks they’re superior to you? I wouldn’t.

  • Harvey

    Makes me feel kind’a like trusted family that you’re willing to share your knowledge, quirks etc. with all of us without running every post through a copyeditor. Hang in and keep on. Most of us appreciate you more than you know.

  • Colleen

    LOVE the pics, Dean – the weight loss is really evident. I don’t think you could have managed such a mean poker face a year ago!

    As for the typo guy… Well, you know I’m a typo freak. I was trained that way pretty much from birth as both my mother and grandmother were English teachers. Yet I know there is no perfect book. Any typo will jolt me out of the story, but a few are still understandable. I don’t know what level triggers my OMG reflex, but when I do get disgusted, it’s at the editor who isn’t doing their job. Informal writing is a whole ‘nuther thing. My own emails and personal notes are full of errors and finding one in my own or someone else’s blog/note/email is cause for a laugh or a shrug or occasionally an eye-roll, but that guy was obviously already an angry guy. Too bad he embarrassed himself in public that way.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Awesome photos, Dean! Also, enjoy your immense power. If you can “ruin the whole thing” for that guy with a typo, you could probably torque him something fierce with just a bit of effort! Letter-switching, homonyms…

  • Kate Rooney

    Poor little typo man. There’s only one way not to make a mistake and that’s to not make anything at all. The fact that he put so much effort into whining at you over something he’s getting for free makes me cringe at the thought of the reviews he must leave on Amazon et. al. I’m sure they’re all one-stars.

    Great photos. Great hat. You’re looking lean and mean, so the exercise is clearly working. Go, you!