Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Nifty Cover

The Cover for the Book About This Challenge.

Allyson did it without me asking her. Thanks, Allyson. I love it. I like being able to visualize a cover of a book I am working on. So far this book is only six chapters of thirty long, and six stories of the thirty.

But I’m off to a good start, so fingers crossed I get to use this cover.

The Day

Got up around 11 a.m. again. Then did a little email, packed some boxes, fed Toughie, the feral cat outside who wanted to be toweled down even though it was a beautiful day. He was a little stressed because the neighbors had put up a new fence.  So good start with Toughie.

Then I headed to WMG offices after some interesting business stuff along the way at the stores.

I worked there until I got tired around 7 p.m. and came home to take a nap. The first of two. Did email, cooked myself dinner, watched news, then got to writing around 11 p.m.

Now I am working to get this blog done as a major storm is about to hit the coast and chances are I will be without power. Oh, joy.

Story #6…

Tonight I  picked up a story that was sitting on my desk, a story I did last year that has yet to be in Smith’s Monthly. It was a Marble Grant story and my thought was, “It would be fun to write a Marble Grant story again.”

So since I had been talking earlier on email with two friends about losing weight, I typed in the title “Ghost Diet… A Marble Grant Story” and started typing.

I did 900 words by a little before midnight and was again tired, so went to sit down and ended up taking another short ten-minute nap. Then talked with Kris for a few minutes, then went and watched the news about the coming storm.

Then came back up here and sat down at my writing computer at 12:45 and finished the story at slightly before 2 a.m. at 2,700 words.

And Kris said my little thousand word story last night worked and was powerful. Go figure.


Day One… Scared Money… 2,700 words…. Total April words… 2,700 words.
Day Two… Rainbow Peak… 4,900 words…. Total April words… 7,600 words.
Day Three… A Beautiful History… 2,300 words…. Total April words… 9,900 words.
Day Four… A Song For The Old Memory… 2,050 words…. Total April words… 11,950 words.
Day Five… A Brush with Intent… 1,000 words…. Total April words… 12,950 words.
Day Six… Ghost Diet… 2,7000 words…. Total April words… 15,650 words.




You want to see all the cool Poker Boy covers that are done so far of the 39 or so stories, go to:

Poker Boy


INSIDER’S GUIDE Workshops Start Sunday!!!!!!!

— Insider’s Guide to Selling Short Fiction in 2018/2019 (Starts April 8th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Successful Space Opera (Starts April 8th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Serial Fiction (2,000 word parts of a novel) (Starts May 6th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Detective Fiction. (Starts May 6th)

$300 each, limited to ten writers plus lifetime subscribers. One time workshops. They will not be regular. Sorry. These will fill so don’t wait for the last minute on these. And yes, you can use your credits.




Sign up directly through Teachable or if you have a credit, write me. Everyone who wrote me and signed up through me, I have sent out the letter with the code to get into each workshop. If you are using a credit for an April workshop and did not get a letter from me, write me.

Otherwise, you can sign up on Teachable.

And clearly the Time of Great Forgetting is kicking in. Many of these workshops have no one signed up yet.

Class #37… Apr 3rd … Think Like a Publisher
Class #38… Apr 3rd … Endings
Class #39… Apr 3rd … Point of View
Class #40… Apr 3rd … Writing Mysteries
Class #41… Apr 3rd … Speed
Class #42… Apr 3rd … Teams in Fiction
Class #43… Apr 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #44… Apr 4th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #45… Apr 4th … Character Development
Class #46… Apr 4th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #47… Apr 4th … Advanced Depth
Class #48… Apr 4th … Novel Structure



  • Vera Soroka

    I know you don’t have time right now as you and Kris are in the middle of a big move but I would love to hear both your opinions on newsletters. I’ve been listening to too many gurus lately. They all say it is essential to your business and without one you don’t have a career. I would love to see a post in the future and what others think. Thanks.

    • dwsmith

      I think newsletters have a value. I have a mailing list and have sent out exactly two in over a year. Kris is more regular, keeping her fans updated on her different series. I think that is better.

      But newsletters, to be of value at all, in my OPINION, need to be grown organically with people who are actually interested in your work. All the hype about going out and getting a thousand names on your newsletter is head-shaking to me. But again, my OPINION. Your milage may vary.

  • Topaz

    The cover Allyson did is great. And I love the covers for the short stories too.

    I wish you a lot of fun continue writing.

  • John D. Payne

    You helped me last night. A friend of mine is editing an anthology (the one I told you about, Dean) and last night was when I had promised him my story. I knew I had a couple of hours left at least, so I wanted to get an early start. But by the time the kids were in bed and all the chores were done, etc., it was nearly 11. That’s about an hour past my bedtime, and it had been a long day. Two things kept me from going to bed. First, your post from several weeks ago about how life rolls never made you miss a deadline. Second, your post from a couple days ago about getting your story for the day done even though you were exhausted. If Dean can do it, I can do it. So I did it. No need to come whining to a friend with an excuse. Just delivered a story, as promised. Feels nice. Thanks, Dean.

    • dwsmith

      John, way to go. Not easy, but feels great when you hit it and makes sleeping a lot better as well. (grin) Way to go!

  • Thom

    Hi Dean, I hope you did ok in the storm. Here in PDX it wasn’t much if anything.
    Good luck with your move. I’d be very interested in hearing your reasons for leaving, if you feel like sharing them We are a similar age and my wife and I are certainly questioning whether staying in Oregon under the new tax laws makes sense. We hadn’t considered LV, but one can write (and paint) from anywhere, and i believe Nevada is a tax friendly state. At any rate, good luck to you!

    • dwsmith


      We are staying here with all of our business and publishing and stuff and we will be in and out of town here on the coast regularly. Read Kris’s blog. She is talking about the reasons for moving a lot the last few weeks and will again on Thursday (or Monday for her Paetron supporters). But the short answer is her health. The coast and the town here was killing her completely. Allergies to chemical perfumes with thick air and no air movement in any building here caused her not to be able to go to anyplace much in town, and her milk allergy didn’t allow her to eat in any restaurant here because of their sloppiness with cross contamination. Vegas has extreme air movement in all modern buildings and no humidity and she has 18 restaurants so far she can safely eat at within walking distance of our condo. And for the first time in ten years last month, she was able to eat pizza.

      So all health. Plus after 23 years in a small town, it was time for us to get back to a city and start pouring in material into the writing machine.

      • Kris Rusch

        Thom, Vegas also has a lot of big city amenities that Portland doesn’t have. On the entertainment scene, it’s a lot closer to New York.

        And on healthcare, it doesn’t even compare to the coast. There was nothing at the coast, which was beginning to worry me given my health.

        At the moment I’m enjoying the weather. Talk to me in July.