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Feb. 26th, 2017

Daily life: Health, writing, Internet addiction, & my day job | #writerslife #amwriting

"Until the Web came around, I'd successfully avoided the addiction gauntlet. I'd steered clear of any trouble with gambling, booze, drugs, and porn. To be blindsided by the Internet (my helpful and wonderful friend!) doesn't seem fair."

--James Sturm: Life Without the Web.

Health )
Writing & publishing )
Day job & web addiction )
Homemaking & decluttering )

Jan. 15th, 2017

Life-or-Death Frugality | #frugal #frugality @frugalwoods

Inspired by Frugalwoods and desiring some accountability, I've decided to post my monthly budget this year. I'm calling this feature "Life-or-Death Frugality" because that's what it is for me.

Background )Budget )Totals )

Feedback, folks? Do you think my budget is appropriately frugal for my circumstances? (This isn't a rhetorical question; I'd really like to know.) Feel free to share your own budgets if you like.

Next month: We see whether I can stick to my budget.

Nov. 25th, 2016

Surgery update

My foot surgery went fine, but there've been a couple of minor complications since then that have delayed my recovery. Except for meals and bathroom breaks, I've been spending my days in bed, with my legs propped up, ice on my foot, and my smartphone in hand. Digital technology makes even lengthy convalescence bearable.

I'd like to report that I've taken this opportunity to write lots of stories with the aid of my Bluetooth keyboard, but the combination of the World Series (I'm a Cubs fan, having been born near Chicago), the presidential election, and the increasingly pressing need to launch my new business soon have all kept me distracted. Also, Twitter. I did write a couple of short stories, though.

I hope the rest of you are having a more fruitful NaNoWriMo. Any tales to share of your writing life?

Oct. 18th, 2016

Taking a short break

I'm scheduled to have bunion surgery on the afternoon of Friday, October 21st. (On Friday, Jo/e will tweet at his Twitter account how the surgery goes.) I should be back in shape to work within a month, possibly well before then. But till I'm over the worst of the pain, I'll be taking a break from posting stories and from responding to e-mail and comments.

Sep. 11th, 2016

Daily life: Jo/e's surgery, a library booksale, and a change in my writing lifestyle | #writerslife

Thanks to my new job, I'm going to be online more often, so I'm switching to weekly, more bite-sized Daily Life entries.

What I wrote this past week )
What I read this past week )
What I did this past week )

Jul. 19th, 2016

Daily life: My summer so far

The full messiness )

Since somebody (I suspect it's my body, in conspiracy with my online laptop) has decided I'm not going to issue any stories this summer, I'm spending this summer writing stories instead. (Yes, despite the cubital tunnel syndrome.) Expect to see my next update in the fall. It'll be a good one, I promise.

Dec. 14th, 2015

Daily life: E-book publishing plans for next year; decluttering galore, plus bangs on the head

"The other advice [for how to be a successful indie author] isn't anywhere near as sexy. It's also the most obvious. Write. And then write some more. You know what's easier than selling 10,000 books? Selling 5,000 copies of two books. And far easier than that is to sell 3,500 copies of three books."

--David Dalglish.

My professional work last month )
My professional goals for 2016 )
A small sample of what my November was like )

Jul. 3rd, 2015

Daily life: Wow, busy. Eternal Dungeon, submissions, web addiction, trips, introversion, & clutter.

"She will still talk to people, but it will be in a withdrawn way."

--A priest discussing a new Scottish hermit, as quoted by The Press and Journal.

My professional work last month )
On 'The Eternal Dungeon' )
Writing in the fresh outdoors, research trips, and a rant about heavy furniture) )
Professional trips (mainly Waterman research) and personal trips last month )
Getting a handle on my introversion )
The inauspicious anniversary of my web addiction )


As some of you will have noticed, I've been a little backed up in responding to comments to this blog. Unfortunately, I lost all my e-mails prior to April 2014 (yes, that's how backed up I am), but here's my replies to the rest. I hope I didn't miss anyone - if I did, let me know.

Reply to Catana on e-book covers and productivity )
Reply to Dianna Kay on my e-books and the m/m readership )
Reply to Musicman on narratives )
Reply to Angie Fiedler Sutton on Scribe Mozell )

Apr. 22nd, 2015

Daily life: Writing breakthroughs, Waterman research, & web addiction progress. It was a good month.

"I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

"I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real. . . .

"When I write again, it will be for you, I hope – just in a different form. I need to decompress and get healthy for a while; but I won’t disappear as a writer."

--Andrew Sullivan.

I had some big changes in March in how I write stories, so that's what most of this entry is about.

New ways of writing fiction )
Waterman research )
My professional work last month )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction and other health matters last month )

Feb. 6th, 2015

Daily life: My personal life, 2014 and 2015

"If thoughts are chaos and rush and feeling are chaos and rush, then person will see chaos, hear chaos, spread chaos and call chaos in to them. With music in ears and phones and computers not the time to see. Not the time to feel, or be."

--A Sherpa in Rolf and Ranger's Silver Bullet Everest.

The goals I did and didn't accomplish in 2014 )
My 2015 goals )

Dec. 22nd, 2014

Daily Life: NaNoWriMo, Part 2; plus, ebook covers

"The fiction writers who earn a living are those who consistently and steadily produce quality stories. Granted, if you're prolific enough, and you're working in a hot market, you can compensate for quality with quantity. That's how you know there is no God."

-- Josh Lanyon: Man, Oh Man! Writing Quality M/M Fiction.


My writing desk.

Unpacking marathon )
Going offline and reading slowly )
About those book covers )
Covers and NaNo )
Some things I learned during NaNoWriMo )
Wrapping up NaNo )
Rainbow Awards and Thanksgiving )
Ebook covers; plus, holiday events )
A pause for the headlines )
New cover sales results; plus, Christmas preparations, or lack thereof )

Nov. 19th, 2014

Daily life: NaNoWriMo 2014, part one - NaNo and my Internet addiction duke it out

"Probably it does not matter much where one begins [a story], so long as one begins somewhere - and some time. The beginning is almost always, again so far as we are concerned, made by an effort of will: a 'come-next-Monday-we-start-a-new-one' decision. A mystery writer who waits patiently for a mood to encompass him, for an idea to strike, may find starvation, or other employment, striking first."

--Richard Lockridge: "The Craft of Crime." In The Writer's Handbook (1950), edited by Helen Hull.

"Every morning between 9 and 12 I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper. Many times, I just sit for three hours with no ideas coming to me. But I know one thing. If an idea does come between 9 and 12 I am there ready for it."

--Flannery O'Connor.'

"There's a life outside the Internet. It's true. I heard it online."

--Johnny B. Truant in Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant's Write. Publish. Repeat.

NaNo Eve preparations )
First day of NaNo )
Where my new stories are going )
Stupid internet addiction )
Getting myself back in gear )
The three-hour example )
How I write )
Still struggling )
And the saga continues )
Wrapping up the first half of the month )

Nov. 2nd, 2014

Daily life: Writing lots, except when I'm strangled by my Internet addiction

"The writing process is notoriously cyclical - and dangerous if one is prone to either mania or depression or both. There is the 'up' of an inspired bout of writing and the 'down' of seemingly fruitless labor and revisions, and times when one is incapable of writing at all. When I was a very young writer, I hungered for more, always more. But deep down, I had so little faith in myself, let alone in my vocation as a writer, that I saw each poem as potentially my last. Having invested my psychic and emotional energies in a romantic notion of 'inspiration,' I would panic whenever the ability to write seemed to leave me. Now, rather than succumb to despair during my dry spells, I generally employ a prairie metaphor and think of it as a lifesaver, a dying down to the roots during a drought. Although the grasses look dead, they are merely dormant, and the slightest bit of moisture will occasion a change."

--Kathleen Norris: The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work".

Writing success )
Internet addiction fail )
Internet addiction fail, part two; plus, m/m covers )

Sep. 15th, 2014

Daily life: Marketing, Draft2Digital, Internet addiction, and health crisis

sometimes im like "Eternal Dungeon police AU"

but them im like

oh wait that happened and Layle broke the computers


okay but

futurepunk layle and elsdon



can you imagine though

"layle/elsdon highschool au, M/M, hxc, M rating for later chapters"


Eternal dungeon au where layle and elsdon are summer camp counselors


an eternal dungeon au where my heart isnt broken every fucking chapter


Eternal Dungeon/Sonic The Hedgehog crossover:

au, darkfic, mcd, abuse, dubcon

"Sonic the Hedgehog made no reply. His eyes were searching the Seeker's belt, looking for a rope or a chain or any other sign of what was to take place here. His gaze jerked up, though, as the Seeker said, 'Mr. Hedgehog, do you enjoy pain?'"

109 chapters. 7959690403020000034 words. incomplete.


--From the Dusk-Peterson-tagged Tumblr posts of Albert (aka valtiels and a zillion other masks), which keep me perpetually entertained.

Before I get to the Daily Life stuff, some of you may be interested in this list:

Original Slash Creators.

The Slash Pile is asking writers and artists of original lgbtq works to add their names to the list. You don't have to be a slasher. Here's the sign-up sheet to be listed.

In which I struggle with the issue of how to balance my work life and my health )

Aug. 6th, 2014

Daily life: The Olympics training that is called self-publishing

"Follow our instructions. Seriously, I'm not kidding. I don't care if you are a publishing expert with 20 years experience, follow the damn instructions. There is one exception. For those who want to fail, spend 300% more time on the formatting, and have no fear of being driven terminally insane, and are generally narcissistic bastards, you may do as you please. For the rest of you, follow the instructions. Repeat after me, 'I will follow the instructions in the style guide or have a pox upon my house.' Now say it 37 times, turn around and hop on one leg."

--Brian Meeks, parodying Mark Coker putting "the fear of god" in self-publishers in The Smashwords Style Guide.

Just to alert you folks that I'm switching over to a once-a-month update schedule for my website and blog. I'm much more productive if I stay off the web to work on a batch of books that I release all at once. So you'll see me again in about a month's time.

Work, work, work )

It does eventually get easier than this, right?

Nov. 18th, 2013

Daily life: Getting old

"The old man . . . looked smaller and more shriveled . . . 'Getting old,' the engineer muttered. 'Can't take it. Sorry I conked out on you, kid.'"

--Philip St. John (aka Lester del Rey): Rocket Jockey (1952), the first science fiction novel I ever fell in love with, at age ten. Not until last week's reread did it penetrate my consciousness that the "old man" was in his fifties.

"Looking back, I think a lot of the time I was thinking, 'Yeah, this is great, but the next one'll be better. This is all a road upwards, and one day we'll get to that plateau.' But there isn't any plateau, folks. Happiness is the journey."

--Brian May, quoted in the September 1993 issue of RIP. From my late mother's enormous collection of metal music clippings.

Philosophical meanderings, plus prison songs )

Oct. 2nd, 2013

Daily life: Politics and what I'm up to

"Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

--Roger Ebert: Life Itself, quoted here.

I'm panicking at the moment because I've just received word that my health insurance is under threat from the U.S. federal shutdown - not till November, but I have surgery coming up on the 21st. I really don't want to be without health insurance during a post-surgery period.

Of course, I'm only one of millions who are affected by this shutdown; probably some of you are as well. Darn those politicians. Last night I ran across a 2005 quotation by Washington Post columnist William Raspberry that seems applicable for this situation: "We've come to think that producing winners and losers is the essence not just of politics but also of life. It isn't. Making this country work for everybody is."

I'm also in a panic this week because I have (*checks calendar*) three days in which to entirely declutter the most cluttered room in the house. Saturday a new tenant arrives, and he's going to be in a room that's never been rented before - the room where I've been tossing everything that I needed to sort through. Ouch.

My new writing regime continues to go well. I'm not managing to write every day (I devoted much of September to marketing), but I wrote 21,700 words in September; it's been a year and a half since I wrote over 20,000 words in a month's time. I'm one scene away from finishing a Waterman novella. Not the next one in the series, alas; my Muse has a habit of bouncing around chronologically. But the novella is in the next volume of the series, which is close enough.

Other than that, I've been working on updating my upublished-stories-and-story-summaries folder (the one that my literary executors will put on my website if I should suddenly croak, so that you guys won't be screaming, "No-o-o-o! What happens next?"). And I've been putting a little work into e-books, though that's mostly on hold till after my surgery.

Jun. 6th, 2013

Daily life: Health and finances - squeaking by

"Ebooks are forever. Very few other careers allow you to keep earning money on time you already spent. You put in 40 hours a week at your day job, get paid for that week, and then you need to work the next week to make more money. A writer can put in 40 hours, write a story, and it will someday be earning money for his grandchildren."

--J. A. Konrath.

I was in the midst of writing a Daily Life entry last month when Things Went Down. This is the updated version. It's too long an entry to post in whole, so I'm going to start by talking about the two topics preoccupying my mind most: health and finances. Hope I don't put you to sleep. Next week I'll talk about fun stuff.

HEALTH: The latest news )
FINANCES: Crunch time )

May. 21st, 2013

Daily life: Post-concussion, Day 4

I take a pause from my financial crisis and house maintenance crisis to visit doctors.

Neurologist: "I had another look at your books. They're very interesting."

Me (to Noakes afterwards): "I think he told me I had a seizure because he read my books."

There's no joy in Mudville tonight )
Replies to you guys )

May. 19th, 2013

Daily life: Life grows weird again

Scene: A hospital room )

So yeah, Life decided that things were a bit boring for me, so it decided to give me another ride to the emergency room.

How things went down, literally )

Medical lessons )

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