Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  Writing in Public

Some of My History

Some of My History

Today, while working on a new project for this web site (see the topic of the night below), I came across a video of what it was like when I was skiing.

Now, I was never as good as the guys they are showing here, but I skied with some of them regularly. And a number of others who were in the early days of the hotdogging, as we called it.

I was into snow skiing and the fun of the early days of hotdogging from 1969 to the spring of 1972. Crazy fun.

In person, I can tell you some wild stories.

But watching this video will tell you why I have such bad knees and a bad back, especially combined with thirty years of playing golf far more than I skied.

And yes, I miss it.

Do I ski anymore? Nope. I walked away in 1972 when the season ended and except for two one-day exceptions, managed to stay away. Skiing was a drug to me I had to kick to move forward with my life, I love it that much.


Anyone who is signed for a May online workshop should have gotten a letter from me. If you did not, write me.

For May, there are three workshops that either have no one signed up or only one person. The three workshops are #42…Thrillers, #45…Suspense, and #45… Character Development. If you want to jump into one of those workshops this month, you’ll be basically getting private lessons from me.

Workshops start Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday


Topic of the Night: Starting Something New

At the writer lunch today, we got talking about YouTube and the value of it. And I mentioned that WMG Publishing has retired completely 12 online workshops since we started them.

That’s right. Twelve. Not taken back to classic, but completely retired. So a bunch of us figured it would be a good idea to get some of those retired workshops up on YouTube.

And I agreed.

I will be also recording a bunch of videos on Topic of the Nights, not to replace the writing here, but to just give another video take on it.

So this afternoon I managed to learn a bunch of things about YouTube and got the first week of the Originality Workshop up in a list, plus the first assignment.

I was surprised, actually, that we had retired the workshop. We recorded it two years ago and it still is a good one, at least the first week. Not sure why it got retired. Maybe just got missed on a new schedule and then forgotten.

So every night I will put a link to one of the YouTube videos here. Eventually, over the next two weeks or so, I’ll have the entire Originality workshop up.

It should be a way to see what the online workshops are like for those of you who have never taken one. And I hope to help your writing and publishing in some ways.

Watch the videos in order. They are labeled clearly.

And please, whatever you do, don’t send me the assignments. I only read assignments from those of you on the main workshops each month. (grin)


Totals For Year 3, Month 10, Day 1 (Totals started over.)

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 956

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

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

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 400 words

— E-mail: 32 e-mails. Approx. 2,300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 32 e-mails. Approx. 2,300 words

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


You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

If you would like to leave a tip just hit (Goes to WMG Publishing account, but I’ll get it just fine.)



  • Chong Go

    There’s a great skiing movie out, called “Days of My Youth.” Lots and lots of fun, and does a nice bit of story telling with one of the icons of the day and voice over narration. (A big deal in the ’70s,but I can’t remember his name.) I rented it from Google play, but I think Amazon has it as well.

  • Kate Pavelle

    That skiing video was pretty amazing! Thank you for sharing, and also thank you for sharing the retired workshops on YouTube. This will hep some of us stingy people advance between paid-for workshops. Just a bit of insight can go a long way.

    Speaking of insight, I’d like to share a book rec: Steve Hamilton’s “Lock Artist.” My husband and I listen to Hamilton only on long drives. I did type in some of his openings from library books afterward in case of other books. “Lock Artist” is an amazing tour de force of everything I’ve learned in the workshops, plus a lot I haven’t seen before. He has three openings: the intro, plus two interweaving timelines. The plot is stunning. The premise is intriguing. The first-person MC doesn’t come across as an unreliable narrator, but still… his reality and perspective are so shaped by his history, it’s obvious he isn’t your standard Joe down the street. But he and his motivations sound so sensible. The climax zigs and zags like the best-ever roller-coaster, and despite the harsh and graphic nature of some things that have occurred, the ending left me with a smile on my face. I haven’t ever recommended a book here, but this one deserves a closer look. (How the hell did he do that?)

  • David Anthony Brown

    Dean, I thought I’d be busy enough with the business workshop. Now I get to watch another class? Twist my arm to keep me learning more. Just kidding, I look forward to studying this one..

    Thanks for putting it on YouTube. I shared this post with my local writer friends.

  • Marsha

    Wow, Dean. What a great gift. Thank you for the videos.
    As for the ski video, my knees hurt just watching it. 🙂

  • Linda Maye Adams

    My father always jokes that he “skis on threes” (feet and backside). There are things some people shouldn’t do, and skiing is one of those things in my family. Golf, too.

    I think posting the retired workshops on YouTube is a really good promotion idea, especially for anyone who wants to get a feel for the workshop. I remember when I took the first workshop. I’d come from taking a lot of other writer courses that turned out to be unhelpful. There’s a lot of them out there, and they’re taught by people who don’t know what they’re doing. One of the biggest issues I had was that I had to jump into it blind–I could ask questions, but unfortunately the instructors weren’t always honest. I don’t outline, so I’d ask “Is this pantser friendly?” and the instructor would say, “Sure! We teach pantsers and outliners,” which meant they assumed I would start outlining to learn the material and almost meant very unhappy student. Until I got here, every course I took assumed outlining and taught it that way, so it made me wary. I wanted to see samples, so I did one of the lectures first.

    Placed honorable mention in the Writer’s of the Future contest, by the way.

    • dwsmith

      Congrats, Linda. Well done. And thanks for the kind words on the workshops. I was honestly surprised we had retired so many. So might as well let others see them. And I sure don’t think Originality dates too badly. (grin)

  • Kim Iverson

    Oh yay! Super excited you’ll be uploading the retired workshops to YouTube. That’s a great way to recycle those videos. For someone like me, I really appreciate it because I don’t have excess funds to take your workshops yet. I plan to, but even the lowest is out of my price range right now. That’s why I am determined to read every single blog of yours. I always learn SOMETHING. Or I consider something I hadn’t before. I also find it inspires me when I come by and read. So thank you for making those available!

  • Ken

    Hey Dean! I think you are nuts to have done all that on skis. That’s crazy and very, very cool. Also, glad you kicked the habit, haha. Know what that’s like with stuff myself.

    Also, good on you for putting up some of your workshop content on YT. It’s not just great for those looking to preview the courses, but really clever as a promotion tool for them as well (aka. people can find you through YT and Google more easily). Only thing I can help by adding is that Google spiders the descriptions of YT videos – it’s how it knows what it’s about (the middle sentence was all you added about the content?). Add some more if you want. It helps. Also, hey-hey, please ask us to subscribe (add in a end clip or something?). YT understands subscribes and likes after viewing as well as viewing time as This Is Gooddddd! I watched half (super busy), liked and subscribed. I’ll come back and watch the other half later and maybe comment (that helps too).

    (Hey, people reading this. Help Dean out: Subscribe, like and comment and watch it all once! 🙂

    Awesome stuff! Can’t wait to see what’s on the agenda next.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Ken. Appreciate the suggestions, since I am very, very new at loading up videos there. But learning quickly.

      What is next? Well, once I get all six weeks of videos on the Originality workshop up, I’m going to start doing some Topics of the Night, just sort of adding in some extra on some topics I talked about in nightly topics. I will put those in their own channel as well.

      Add in an end clip I can do when I am doing the new Topic of the Night videos, but honestly I don’t want to spend the time on these workshop videos. Way, way too much work. (grin) Unless I can just add it after it is uploaded to youtube. Can I do that? Hmmm… More to explore. (grin) Thanks!

      • Ken

        Hey Dean. Thanks for the reply.

        I’ll be looking forward to watching those Topics Of The Night when they come out. Probably really interesting stuff.

        Easiest way is to add an annotation (it’s under ‘video manager’)…

        “With annotations you can layer text, links, and hotspots over your video. They help you enrich the video experience by adding information, interactivity and engagement.”


        … something like “don’t forget to subscribe, like and comment if you enjoyed this video” in the last 30 seconds. It’s about as easy as selecting a time period, clicking add annotation, write in the text you want to add and you are done. The end clip idea probably is exactly how you are seeing it – unneeded extra work.

        Try it on the next one. You can add annotations after the video is uploaded. If you like the idea and it’s easy then maybe consider adding it in to the others if you have time.

        • dwsmith

          Thanks, Ken. Yeah found that now, on this computer. The computer I was loading them up from has a browser that is too old. But I downloaded Chrome on this computer and suddenly I could see those annotations. (grin) Thanks, might take a little time next week and add some of that in.