Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

How I Did In January… My Challenge

I Learned and Did Fine…

In my opinion. Here is what I said I wanted to do in 2021 on January 1st. (You remember, before the insurrection.)

“So my challenge for 2021 is to write a story per day for the year, plus write a novel per month, plus publish over 70 major books.”

Well, so far, so interesting.

I managed 6 short stories in January, right up to January 6th, then got distracted for a few days.

Then as I went back to it, I realized that my tracking systems for short stories sucked beyond words and I couldn’t even remember much about the six I wrote a few days before, let alone those over the last years. And I knew without a doubt that if I kept up one a day, I would be toast and it would kill the fun of the writing. I had to fix the tracking first.

Plus I wanted to get Smith’s Monthly up and running and this first one (#45) had a sharp learning curve with it.  So I focused on the learning curve first and now Smith’s Monthly #45 is published in January, on time. (Paper copies still going out.) I have also got together #46 and #47 which are February and March issues.

I also wanted to get the Shared World Class up and going and then in February the Collaboration Class. All Covid delays. So on the novel front I stopped on the Cold Poker Gang novel I was working on and switched over to finish the Cave Creek novel and I got it done and in and it will be ready to go to the writers signed up in Shared Worlds in the next few days.

Now back solidly on the Cold Poker Gang novel.

In the process, I have sorted out about fifty of my short stories, tried to find them on my computer (a really nasty time-wasting task), and got things together. I still have more to go, but spreadsheets are helping. And also getting stories lined up in Smith’s Monthly is helping as well. Those three issues swallowed 14 stories.

I also got an issue of Pulphouse Magazine together and turned in and ready to go for April. I am working on the June issue now. And also working on the introductions for the last three cat collections in the Year of the Cat.

Plus putting together the Colliding Worlds collection has turned into much more work than I thought it would, but should have those turned in after a few days. No memory at all of any of those 60 stories so have to look up and glance at every story. This is a collections class on steroids. (Hoping it will be sixty if we hit the last stretch reward. Putting the book together just in case.)

So a wild month of a lot of things done, not counting launching and doing a Kickstarter that I really love.

So here is my summary update after one month.

— As far as the publishing 70 things, I’m behind at only six things published, but right where I expected to be after these two months. I should easily be able to hit 70 with the publishing schedule ahead.

— As far as writing/finishing a novel per month, on target there.

— Short stories I am 25 behind on. Starting back up tomorrow on one a day, see how February goes. Might schedule a day to write more than one. I think my tracking system will now hold, I hope. (grin)

And yes, I think I can catch up 25 stories by the end of the year… We shall see.  Either way, I’m going to write a lot of short stories. And tonight, while going through some of my short stories, I found an entire new series I started as yet another branch off of Poker Boy in his world. It is called “An Interesting Thing Story” and I actually reread it and want to write more in that world with that character right now.

Poker Boy universe series offshoots at this point…

— Ghost of a Chance series. Five or six novels and a bunch of short stories.

— Marble Grant… Sexy ghost… Maybe a dozen or more short stories. Some just recently published stand-alone.

— Sky Tate… Superhero detective… First was published in Writers of the Future #35 written for the Bob Eggleton cover and I have written maybe a dozen more. She often works with Marble Grant.

— Pahket Jones… Superhero in the world of cats. A bunch are publishing now in the Year of the Cat collections.

— An Interesting Thing series… Basically following a god tasked with taking care of bits and pieces of things that survived the destruction of Atlantis. Only one story written so far.

Expect me to write a lot more in all those these series doing a story per day. And Poker Boy stories as well. All are great fun.


  • Karen F.

    Hi, Dean,
    Yay for progress in the land of Covid and Insurrections! Congratulations. And GO, YOU for the rest of the year!

    Just a quick question… are you still keeping paper copies of your stories? Before they are published, not just the bound copies. Or will the cloud/memory sticks be your go-to documentation?

    Thanks, Karen