Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  Writing in Public

New Door and Other Adventures

The Battle of the Door

Well, somehow, on a slightly rainy, somewhat windy, late afternoon a good hour from home, in the parking lot of a large chain home-supply store, Kris and I managed to wage a great battle to put in an entire framed interior door into my old van.

And get the back door closed.

Now, when I said we’d pick up a door while over in the bigger city, I just assumed it would fit in my trusty old van.

Everything fit in my trusty old van.

Not so much a framed interior door 36 inches wide by 84 inches tall. Suited for closing off a back room from the new store.

We must have looked pretty silly because we got two nice people and a panhandler stop to ask if they could help. The panhandler was an injured vet and I gave him twenty bucks for gas to get home since the VA has left him stranded without gas money. He was a nice guy.

But we managed to get the door into the van without anyone’s help, but it might take me a week to return my old van to its normal mess status. And Kris rode home with her chin far too close to the dashboard for comfort.

An adventure, but we got a nice meal afterwards, talked publishing and writing, and we had a nice drive home after I took a thirty minute nap in a Target parking lot while Kris went for a walk to get her steps for the day.

A successful trip. Everything does fit in my old van.

The door, for its part in all this, will hold a place of honor in the new store starting tomorrow.

Patreon Supporters and Smith’s Monthly Subscribers

As planned, I got a recent issue of Smith’s Monthly out to subscribers and up on Patreon. The next issue should be out to subscribers and up on Patreon on Friday, and then with luck, the third issue in this run will be on Monday.


Topic of the Night: Nope

Far too beat up after the battle of the door to talk about anything of value tonight. Tomorrow.


Online Workshops

June online workshops all have openings, including the new Teams in Fiction workshop. We are halfway though the month. The list in June is a good one and so is the list in July. And note the July workshops don’t start until well after the 4th.

Interesting to me that the new Teams in Fiction isn’t getting more interest. I thought it would, since almost no one writes teams in their fiction, yet it is a main key to keeping readers engaged with stories. Time of great forgetting at fault, more than likely.


Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 18

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 973

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

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

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 9,500 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 405 e-mails. Approx. 27,200 words

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


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    • dwsmith

      More than welcome, Gretchen. Going to be doing more on YouTube as soon as this store gets opened and I have a few moments. Have fun.

  • Ellen

    A new door in a new store that features sci fi, comics, and other iconic items – that sounds like a great opportunity for a short story. Exactly what will be on the other side of that door? Who or what will walk through? Will there be a wild game of marbles played by old spirits? There must be lots of old energy stored up in some of those antiques and collectibles you will be selling. Will it be released in the new environment with new people coming through? Can’t wait to see what happens next. 🙂

    • dwsmith

      Getting stronger, but still not out of the woods yet. She will be in surgery next week. We have to take the risk on her if the vet thinks it is worth the chance. So more next week, but otherwise, she is a love.

  • Kristi N.

    Some of us are still dithering about which workshop to take first this summer…it\’s like deciding between the raspberry cheesecake and the chocolate-glazed torte. (sigh) I have a feeling it will come down to a coin toss. So many delectable things to learn, and nary a space-time continuum to allow us apprentices to cram more of them into a short summer.

    • dwsmith

      Kristi, With all of our workshops, start with the Depth if you haven’t done that one yet. It helps in amazing ways.

      • Kristi N

        I\’ve done the Depth and the Character Voice and Setting, and am working my way through the Practice lecture so I can make steady progress towards mastering these new skills. I had thought to take Idea into Stories to shift focus to the larger story structure, but Teams in Fiction is really, really tempting. (Like sprinkles on a glazed donut. REALLY tempting.)

        • dwsmith

          Yeah, either one would be great after the first two. Maybe stick with the really tempting sprinkle. (grin)

  • Kristi N.

    Dean, does the Teams in Fiction cover how to fix a team structure in an already existing series or how to integrate new team members into an established structure? I\’m looking back at two series that I\’ve already written the first 3 books and would prefer to fix going forward than go back and rewrite, and a future series will span a team, its disintegration and re-forming. Even though the techniques are probably beyond my ability at this time, the theory would be good to know.

    • dwsmith

      Kristi, actually, it will do a bunch on how to bring in new team members and develop them because, honestly, it’s just almost impossible to introduce four or five characters quickly and make it clear to the readers. So slow introduction is the way to do it. If the first three books aren’t out yet, it would be possible to go back and drop in hints that other team members might be out there, a line here or there. But past that, any introduction of a new character would change the book completely and not be worth rewriting. You are spot on when stay fixed on going forward. And that works great with teams.

      Everyone see the power of losing a major team member in NCIS this last week? And a former team member? That was some fantastic writing. And perfect for the character.

      • Linda Maye Adams

        Comparing here, Criminal Minds had one of the worst character departures I’ve seen, ever. My first reaction was either that the actor announced a very abrupt departure, or some bad blood happened behind the scenes. The episode that started the arc of the departure was ultra violent in ways where you don’t want that to happen to a character you like (the kind where I’d put down a book). He got rescued, and proposed to his girlfriend, but the viewers didn’t get any answers to why the character was kidnapped in the first place. Bad guys weren’t caught. So it was unresolved and very unsatisfying.

        And for the departure episode, the character was so out of character that it just left me feeling like they fit him into a story so they could get rid of him, rather giving the viewers a warm send off. I thought at least they would resolve the issues from the previous episode, and it just wasn’t there. Very disappointing.