Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Story Twenty-four


Started off the day working at WMG Publishing and doing all the banking stuff and things like that which is my job as CFO. I also managed to do two covers for the stories of the last two days.

Then home to take a nap, cook dinner, and get to the workshops assignments.

Got that done around 1 a.m. and headed to watch a little television.

Then around 2:30 a.m. I got to my writing computer.

I grabbed my half-title sheets and one of the first half titles I saw was “A Lady…” which I am sure came from a mystery magazine. So I kept flipping through titles until I saw the half-title “…in heat.”

Slammed the two together “A Lady in Heat” and instantly knew it was that new character I have been writing, the ghost/superhero named Marble Grant.

And off I went. By 3:30 a.m. I had 1,100 words done and took a break.

By 4:30 a.m. I finished the story at 2,400 words. Silly fun once again. That is the sixth story with that character this challenge.

Story #24 done. Amazing how just dinging along at this every day adds up.

Then I went to finish the chapter of the Magic Bakery which is above this.


STORY CHALLENGE… Get Me to Read 30 Short Stories

The story challenge that I talked about where I will be a first reader has a few brave souls signed up on it. Yes, there are a few people as nuts as I am.

It’s going to be fun for me to read the stories. It will be a wonderful break every evening from writing on the novels I will be doing.

Information on the challenge is a few posts back. And keep in mind, if you can hit 30 stories in thirty days, WMG will give you credit for two online workshops and if you hit 30 stories in 60 days, you get credit for one online workshop. A fun challenge that will keep your feet to the fire. (grin)

And you will have days like I had today, when life just wants you to lay down and take a nap and you don’t feel like writing. Those are the days you sit down and write anyway. This is not a challenge for the muse, this is a challenge for a writer.

A writer is a person who writes, in case you have forgotten. (grin)

You can start either May 2nd or June 1st. See the post a few days back for details. As I said, I only have three. I feel comfortable reading a few more than that per night.

ONE ADDED NOTE: If you pay for the challenge and start the challenge, but can’t get me 5 stories in ten days, you can bail at that point and the money will go for two online workshops.

The reason for this escape ramp is how difficult this challenge is. (I’ve done it twice now, I know.) I’m not doing this challenge to take your money and you fail and get nothing. I want everyone who signs up to win in one way or another. So if you sign up and pay for this challenge and say start on May 2nd and ten days later you don’t have five stories to me, we call it (If you want to, your choice) and WMG gives you two online workshop credits.

You have five stories turned in to me, you are past the no-return spot. (grin)



Once again tonight I want to point out that Kris has put together one of the most amazing bundles to help writers I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.  And AbleGamers is the charity on this bundle, which is one of the best causes I have ever seen.

Authors in this are Mary Buckham, Tonya D. Price, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Lawrence Block, me, Maggie McVay Lynch, Leah Cutter, Chuck Heintzelman, and Joanna Penn. Plus a $50 lecture from WMG, a discount to get Jutoh, and a discount to all the stuff at a Writer’s Cafe.

You can get it all for $15.00. If you are serious about learning your craft and business of writing, this is about as cheap as it comes.

The Write Stuff Bundle 2017


Here are the Covers and Stories for the April challenge. 

Story #1… April 1… Not Easy to Kill the Light Next Door… 1,700 words 
Story #2… April 2… A Reason to Play a Hunch… 3,200 words 
Story #3… April 3… A Deal at the End of Time… 3,000 words
Story #4… April 4… A Nice Place for Murder… 3,400 words
Story #5… April 5… The Five Roads Tavern and Eatery …3,200 words
Story #6… April 6… The Last Short Putt of a Fearful Man …2,200 words
Story #7… April 7… The Wait …1,200 words
Story #8… April 8… Through the For Sale Sign …2,500 words
Story #9… April 9… Blind Date …4,100 words
Story #10… April 10… Keep Hoping for a New Tomorrow …1,700 words
Story #11… April 11… That Old Tingling …3,200 words
Story #12… April 12… The Last Man …2,500 words
Story #13… April 13… Smile …2,700 words
Story #14… April 14… Always a Way …4,000 words
Story #15… April 15… A No-Win Hand …1,800 words
Story #16… April 16… Habit …2,000 words
Story #17… April 17… A Thief of Regrets …4,600 words
Story #18… April 18… In the Dream of Many Bodies …1,400 words
Story #19… April 19… Wings Out …2,200 words
Story #20… April 20… Delightfully Dizzy …1,700 words
Story #21… April 21… An Immortality of Sorts …2,300 words
Story #22… April 22… Tombstone Canyon …2,600 words
Story #23… April 23… Hidden Canyon …4,300 words
Story #24… April 24… A Lady in Heat …2,400 words

(Plus six novel starts so far…)


May ONLINE Workshops 

All May online workshops are available and have openings.

ALSO, the workshop schedule through August is now posted. You can sign up ahead for any workshop you want through August.

So for information on how to sign up, go to…

Any questions at all, feel free to write me. And if you are confused as to which workshop to take first, we have a full curriculum posted on its own page.

Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42…  May 2nd … Business
Class #43…  May 2nd … Endings
Class #44…  May 2nd … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #45…  May 2nd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #46…  May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 3rd … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 3rd … How To Edit Your Own Work (new)
Class #50… May 3rd … Plotting with Depth



Tracking Running… April 24th, 2017
3 miles. No running.
Weight 194. (Goal 170)
Month to date distance: 82 miles

Tracking Word Counts… April 24th, 2017
Totals For Year 4, Month 9, Day 24 (Year started August)
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,313

— Daily Fiction: 2,400 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 59,000 words  
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words 
— Blog Posts: 2,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 20,100 words
— E-mail: 34 e-mails. Approx. 2,700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 637 e-mails. Approx. 40,600 words
— Short Fiction Goal: 120 stories (July 1st to June 30th). Stories to date: 32 stories.
— Novel Goal: 12 Novels. Novels finished to date: 5 novels.


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  • John D. Payne

    If someone wants to do the 30 Stories Challenge, when do they have to let you know? For the May start date, I would assume ASAP. But what about if we want to start in June? Also, when would the money be due?

    I’m thinking more and more about doing this. The only hangup I have so far is that my stories tend to run long. A lot of yours seem to be in the 2-3,000 word range. Myself, I have a hard time writing a story under 5,000 words. But this might help me learn. And if not… Well, fail to succeed, right?

    • dwsmith

      John, no hurry unless I start getting close to five in June, then it will be first come, first in. I want to limit this to reading five which would be fun for me as well. However, I do have two signed up for June, so doubt it will reach the five point. (grin) May on the other hand needs to happen by the time May 2nd rolls around. There are two signed up for the craziness in May.

      I plan on not only reading these stories, but helping the writers through the ups and downs along the way of the month. I had forgotten a few of the ups and downs of July two years ago. So this April is surprising me and this will be soon enough after I am finished for me to remember and help other writers through it.