Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  Topic of the Night,  Writing in Public

Clearing the Decks

Clearing the Decks

When you have a big challenge starting, the last thing you want to do is have stuff hanging over you. That’s a self-inflicted wound. So see below how I am doing the clearing and what I can’t and don’t want to clear.


The Day

Ended up behind because of having to run errands, so was late to the walking with the writers. Still got in some.

Then back to WMG offices to work on workshop stuff until around 7 p.m. Home for a nap, then dinner, then I got in here and did workshop assignments.

Got that all done and went to watch some television, then back in here to work on clearing the decks of projects. See below.


New Workshops Announced

In August, Writing Mystery and Reader Expectations workshops will start. Taking sign-ups now. Got a hunch both of them might fill.

All July workshops have room and will start next week. All are limited to five writers max. Some of the July workshops, because of the time of great forgetting, only have one person in them and a few of them have no one signed up yet.

I am putting up here the August workshop schedule as well since those seem to be fitting people’s schedules better and we are taking sign-ups for them. Two new workshops are bolded.

All details at

Class #1… July 5th … Author Voice
Class #2… July 5th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #3… July 5th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #4… July 5th … Plotting With Depth
Class #5… July 5th … Character Development
Class #6… July 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #7… July 6th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #8… July 6th … Cliffhangers
Class #9… July 6th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #10… July 6th … Teams in Fiction

Class #11… Aug 2nd … The Business of Writing
Class #12… Aug 2nd … Expectations (Writing on the Rails)
Class #13… Aug 2nd … Writing Mysteries
Class #14… Aug 2nd … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Aug 2nd … Teams in Fiction
Class #16… Aug 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Aug 3rd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Aug 3rd … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #19… Aug 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Aug 3rd … Advanced Depth

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.


Topic of the Night: CLEARING THE DECKS

I am starting the challenge on July 1st of a Year of Short Fiction, and I am also starting a repeat of the July challenge of trying to write 32 short stories in July to match last year.

Okay, but any standards, the July part is a tough challenge. I made it last year, but felt really lucky the world left me alone to do so.

And I have no doubt that somewhere over the next month the world will say, “Nope.” But even if I miss, I’ll get a lot of stories done.

Being prepared to miss yet working to not miss is part of the attitude I mentioned last night.

A second part of the attitude is to make sure I don’t set up anything to cause a problem. I need to clear the decks.

So Monday night I wrapped together two issues of Smith’s Monthly and got them to WMG Publishing. And then tonight, Kris finished reading my new Thunder Mountain novel (said she really liked it and it was a fast read. Yeah!).

It took me about one hour to look over the suggested corrections she had on the novel and put them in. Then I started putting together the June issue of Smith’s Monthly. #33. Almost caught up.

I need to do an introduction tomorrow night, and then get the issue turned in. And I have a couple other small nonfiction tasks to do as well. And a little more workshop stuff to do before Friday start of the challenge.

But that is all I can clear.

What I can’t clear is my job and my teaching. Both of which I love and have no intention to cut back on.

So as I go through these weeks, at the end of each week, I’ll let you know how many hours I worked outside of the writing as well as how many hours I worked on the short stories. That always seems to be eye-opening to some people. (grin)

So if you are going to do a challenge with your writing, look around and clear what can be cleared.

And then accept as part of the schedule in the writing what can’t be cleared.

Again, this is more of the attitude I talked about last night. If I went into this angry I had to work all month, I would be doomed. But I love what I work at and will enjoy that as well as have fun with writing short stories.

And one other preparation I did for the challenge. I spent about an hour just pulling half titles from old digest magazines, from Mike Shayne Magazine to Analog and Amazing. I just use half titles and make lists and lists of half titles.

So when I sit down to start writing on Friday, I’ll just pick a half title, smash it against another half title, and off I will go. I’ll explain how that works on Friday night.

Stay tuned.


Totals For Year 3, Month 11, Day 28

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,014

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 66,600 words  

— Nonfiction: 000 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,400 words 

— Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 19,000 words

— E-mail: 17 e-mails. Approx. 1,900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 459 e-mails. Approx. 31,200 words

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


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