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Mar. 26th, 2017

Daily life: Wordage galore! | #writerslife #wordcount

"In April 1870, a twenty-eight-year-old [William] James made a cautionary note to himself in his diary. 'Recollect,' he wrote, 'that only when habits of order are formed can we advance to really interesting fields of action - and consequently accumulate grain on grain of wilful choice like a very miser - never forgetting how one link dropped undoes an indefinite number.' The importance of forming such 'habits of order' later became one of James's great subjects as a psychologist. In one of the lectures he delivered to teachers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1892 - and eventually incorporated into his book Psychology: A Briefer Course - James argued that the 'great thing' in education is to 'make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.'

The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.


"James was writing from personal experience - the hypothetical sufferer is, in fact, a thinly disguised description of himself. For James kept no regular schedule, was chronically indecisive, and lived a disorderly, unsettled life. As Robert D. Richardson wrote in his 2006 biography, 'James on habit, then, is not the smug advice of some martinet, but the too-late-learned too-little-self-knowing, pathetically earnest, hard-won crumbs of practical advice offered by a man who really had no habits - or who lacked the habits he most needed, having only the habit of having no habits - and whose life was itself a "buzzing blooming confusion" that was never really under control.'"

--Mason Currey: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work. (Alternative subtitle: How Artists Work.]


Writing )
Everything else )
Reading )
Finances )

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 )

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. 9th, 2016

Daily life: A day in my life | #writerslife #amreading #amresearching #amwriting

"I used to take vacations from writing. You know, it's healthy to take breaks, to breathe different air, to gain a new perspective. I'd finish a novella and not write for three months. Really! I'd do that deliberately and not because of the dreaded Writer's Block. (I feel really uncomfortable even typing that. Nice muse. Good muse. The Muse is My Friend.) Now, the thought of three months without trying to write makes me shudder. I. Wouldn't. Know. What. To. Do. With. Myself."

--Intervention Needed?, a post by Jenna Hilary Sinclair on writing addiction.


The day )

Sep. 18th, 2016

Daily life: Jo/e is fine! Plus writing, reading, homemaking, & web addiction | #internetaddiction

"Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more."

--Jon Kabat-Zin: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.


Writing )
Reading )
Mentoring (i.e. Jo/e's surgery) )
Homemaking )
Web addiction )

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.

Apr. 11th, 2016

Daily life: Writing productivity! Publishing productivity! (Tons of work.) | #amwriting #writerslife

"If quitting Twitter and ditching the iPhone was relatively easy, Facebook made it as hard as possible, tugging on all the virtual heartstrings they could dredge up from their data. Having selected 'deactivate account' from my settings, I was faced with a gallery of family and friends who I was told would miss me. Fortunately, as someone had tagged the contents of a barbecue grill with my friends' names, this was less of an emotional strain than was intended ('Andrew will miss you,' pleaded a photo of a forlorn and slightly singed chicken drumstick)."

--Mark Hooper: Back to reality: giving up the Internet.



My professional work last month )
Thoughts on the state of my writing and publishing )

Mar. 22nd, 2016

Daily life: Trying to get back into the writing habit

"There was an odd kind of mood lift that came with privation. . . . It was something seen during long, long nights of corporate projects where no one slept and where eating was done from half cold takeaways while you worked. Sometimes the cheer was called 'punch drunk', but it was as if people began to concentrate on anything that in a seriously uncomfortable situation gave them any kind of comfort, particularly the most primal things. The intense sensory pleasure of hot coffee and the sweetness of donuts, which on an ordinary day you'd eat without noticing. A kind of pride and celebration that said this was a hell of a night, but we got through it. Dale knew the feeling too from his experience of being what Flynn and the others called grounded. When your day was severely simplified and restricted, you began to notice and take real pleasure from anything good, from the smallest of privileges that usually you'd barely notice. The human spirit, in circumstances of hardship fought back, and a little rough living cleared both your head and your senses."

--Rolf and Ranger: Silver Bullet - Ranch.


My professional work last month )
Teasers from e-books I've published during the past week )
A writing day in my life )

Daily life: Trying to get back into the writing habit

"There was an odd kind of mood lift that came with privation. . . . It was something seen during long, long nights of corporate projects where no one slept and where eating was done from half cold takeaways while you worked. Sometimes the cheer was called 'punch drunk', but it was as if people began to concentrate on anything that in a seriously uncomfortable situation gave them any kind of comfort, particularly the most primal things. The intense sensory pleasure of hot coffee and the sweetness of donuts, which on an ordinary day you'd eat without noticing. A kind of pride and celebration that said this was a hell of a night, but we got through it. Dale knew the feeling too from his experience of being what Flynn and the others called grounded. When your day was severely simplified and restricted, you began to notice and take real pleasure from anything good, from the smallest of privileges that usually you'd barely notice. The human spirit, in circumstances of hardship fought back, and a little rough living cleared both your head and your senses."

--Rolf and Ranger: Silver Bullet - Ranch.


My professional work last month )

Feb. 1st, 2016

Daily life: Venturing into YA fiction; parental control restrictions

"This is where someone in the back of the room grouses about how when he was a young reader they didn't have young adult books and he read whatever he could get his hands on, by gum and by golly — he read the Bible and Tolkien and Stephen King and Henry Miller and Penthouse and he did it backwards, in the snow, besieged by ice tigers. 'In my day we didn't need teenage books! We took what books we had and liked it! I once read a soup can for days!'"

--Chuck Wending.

(As a teenager, I was once stuck in a country cottage in England that had no books. For days, I read the telephone directory.)


My professional work last month )
I'm going to publish my young adult fiction )
Little snippets, professional and personal )
Progress with my Internet addiction, or yay parental control restrictions )

Daily life: Venturing into YA fiction; parental control restrictions

"This is where someone in the back of the room grouses about how when he was a young reader they didn't have young adult books and he read whatever he could get his hands on, by gum and by golly — he read the Bible and Tolkien and Stephen King and Henry Miller and Penthouse and he did it backwards, in the snow, besieged by ice tigers. 'In my day we didn't need teenage books! We took what books we had and liked it! I once read a soup can for days!'"

--Chuck Wending.

(As a teenager, I was once stuck in a country cottage in England that had no books. For days, I read the telephone directory.)


My professional work last month )
I'm going to publish my young adult fiction )
Little snippets, professional and personal )
Progress with my Internet addiction, or yay parental restrictions )

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 )

Nov. 3rd, 2015

Daily life: Waterman series order, character ages, subgenre labels, Cecil County MD, & decluttering

"Day after day, do your work as if you were in business. Handle the customers that come in with dispatch and courtesy. Then think up some work for yourself to do. And do it.

"The [works] you write are your inventory. . . . Back in my fledgling days, I compared myself to a man who had opened a new five-and-ten-cent store. I thought of what he must keep in mind, as he put his inventory on the shelf and waited for customers. No matter how few customers came in to buy, at first, each one was a prospect, each one could buy something, if the commodity was right, if the price was right, and if the need was right. . . .

"Every time I was disappointed [by sales], I thought of the young fellow who opened the five-and-dime store, and how disappointed he must have been whenever people walked through, looked over his inventory, and then ambled on, not even trying to shoplift any of it! . . .

"Fortunately, worrying about theft of material is not a frequent part of the writer's management task. The important, and essential, part of his management job is to keep himself writing."

--Larston D. Farrar: How to Make $18,000 a Year Free-lance Writing (1957).


My professional work last month )
Timelines and characters' ages )
Publishing decisions: subgenre labels and publication frequency )
A visit to North East, Maryland, in Cecil County )
Scheduling decluttering )

Daily life: Waterman series order, character ages, subgenre labels, Cecil County MD, & decluttering

"Day after day, do your work as if you were in business. Handle the customers that come in with dispatch and courtesy. Then think up some work for yourself to do. And do it.

"The [works] you write are your inventory. . . . Back in my fledgling days, I compared myself to a man who had opened a new five-and-ten-cent store. I thought of what he must keep in mind, as he put his inventory on the shelf and waited for customers. No matter how few customers came in to buy, at first, each one was a prospect, each one could buy something, if the commodity was right, if the price was right, and if the need was right. . . .

"Every time I was disappointed [by sales], I thought of the young fellow who opened the five-and-dime store, and how disappointed he must have been whenever people walked through, looked over his inventory, and then ambled on, not even trying to shoplift any of it! . . .

"Fortunately, worrying about theft of material is not a frequent part of the writer's management task. The important, and essential, part of his management job is to keep himself writing."

--Larston D. Farrar: How to Make $18,000 a Year Free-lance Writing (1957).


My professional work last month )
Timelines and characters' ages )
Publishing decisions: subgenre labels and publication frequency )
A visit to North East, Maryland, in Cecil County )
Scheduling decluttering )

Oct. 14th, 2015

Daily life: Series bible, trivets, ebook covers, decluttering books, & a book recommendation

"So, yeah, I'm thinking fanfic is a younger person's game - it's for people who can scan their Twitter, scroll through their Tumblr, bash out a Facebook status without looking, take a quick gander at their RSS feed, do an LJ update crossposted to their Dreamjournal, edit a fanvid and watch the next ep/installment of fill-in-the-blank before it airs anywhere, while doing whatever they do for a living and having a life. All at the same time."

--Heartofslash.


My professional work last month )
Series bible )
Covers and props; or, The Trouble with Trivets )
The final total after three months of decluttering books )
A book that passed my test for 'Gosh, I Must Buy This *Now*' )

Daily life: Series bible, trivets, ebook covers, decluttering books, & a book recommendation

"So, yeah, I'm thinking fanfic is a younger person's game - it's for people who can scan their Twitter, scroll through their Tumblr, bash out a Facebook status without looking, take a quick gander at their RSS feed, do an LJ update crossposted to their Dreamjournal, edit a fanvid and watch the next ep/installment of fill-in-the-blank before it airs anywhere, while doing whatever they do for a living and having a life. All at the same time."

--Heartofslash.


My professional work last month )
Series bible )
Covers and props; or, The Trouble with Trivets )
The final totals after three months of decluttering books )
A book that passed my test for 'Gosh, I Must Buy This *Now*' )

Sep. 1st, 2015

Daily life: Ebook publishing, online fiction posting, antique shops, book decluttering, & story recs

"The thing about reading fanfic (and original slash fic) is that you get used to that particular writing/reading culture after a while. You get used to the frank discussions of sexuality and kink, the close attention to diversity and social justice issues in the text, the unrestrained creativity when it comes to plot. The most amazing, creative, engaging stories I've ever read have almost all been fanfiction, and I think part of that is because there’s no limitations placed on the authors. They’re writing purely out of joy and love for the world and its characters, with no concerns about selling the finished product. The only limit is their imagination.

"Next to that, most mainstream fiction starts tasting like Wonder Bread, you know?"

--Cordelia Kingsbridge.


My professional work last month )
A few factoids about my latest Eternal Dungeon novel, 'Checkmate' )
Posting online fic again! Man, that feels good )
Prop-shopping at antique stores )
My decluttering of books last month )
My web addiction last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
A banner month for good reading )

Aug. 19th, 2015

Daily life: Sorting, researching stories, and a chronology for the Toughs stories

"This morning four boxes containing not quite all of my worldly possessions arrived at my doorstep. Less than two months via cargo ship is not too bad. The funny thing is that I'd almost forgotten what was in them. There were some things that I was very happy to see (my Icelandic novels, a sweatshirt, a pair of light pyjama bottoms, the tin containing my spare buttons) and other things that only made me think 'huh, why did I ship that across the Atlantic?' There's a strong argument for donating anything that you're not thrilled to see after two months living out of a suitcase."

--Naraht.


My professional work last month )
On foreshadows in stories )
Researching African-American slavery; or, How I get ideas for historical stories )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Replies to Musicman and Twicet )
Chronological order of the Toughs stories (slightly corrected), along with some dates of birth for my characters )

Daily life: Sorting, researching stories, and a chronology for the Toughs stories

"This morning four boxes containing not quite all of my worldly possessions arrived at my doorstep. Less than two months via cargo ship is not too bad. The funny thing is that I'd almost forgotten what was in them. There were some things that I was very happy to see (my Icelandic novels, a sweatshirt, a pair of light pyjama bottoms, the tin containing my spare buttons) and other things that only made me think 'huh, why did I ship that across the Atlantic?' There's a strong argument for donating anything that you're not thrilled to see after two months living out of a suitcase."

--Naraht.


My professional work last month )
On foreshadows in stories )
Researching African-American slavery; or, How I get ideas for historical stories )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Replies to Musicman and Twicet )
Reply to Twicet:

Thanks for the reminder that I need to update the Toughs timeline to include chronological links to all the Toughs stories. I also have to correct the dating of the earliest stories; I managed to make a mistake in my dating cheat sheet that placed all of those stories five years off their actual dates.

Not to mention getting Merrick's name wrong through the entire second part of "Rain." (*Sigh.*)

In the meantime, I've put the Toughs chronology at the end of this post. The series page for The Three Lands has those stories listed in chronological order.


Chronological order of the Toughs stories (slightly corrected), along with some dates of birth for my characters )

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