Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I've changed the title of the blog to reflect who I am, and my love of writing. I think it's time to stand up and be counted on the side of the prolific writers. I've seen far too many people judging the work of others by a time factor, rather than by anything they've actually written. I think this is the most egotistical bigotry that a writer can foist off on another.

I am both a fast writer and a prolific one. I've written well over 80 novels and hundreds of short stories. Are they all good? Of course not. They represent about thirty years of writing, much of which was done without a clue.

However, I don't regret having written a single one of those manuscripts. They are the children of my imagination, and I love each of them for what they are. Some, over the years, have even grown and matured with rewrites and retelling. I learned one fact about writing: No story is ruined just because I happen to have told it before my skills were up to the tale. They are, if nothing else, placeholders and very detailed outlines for the next time I try.

I write the stories I want to tell, and I've never regretted telling any of them.

There has been a marked increase in the quality of my work over the last few years, and the improvement continues. It does this because I keep writing, fixing, rewriting, and learning -- and because I am serious about writing.

I learn best by doing -- and by not being afraid to 'waste my time' writing something that might not quite work the way I first imagined. I take chances, in my own way. I'm not afraid of the blank page, or of the written one.

Being a prolific writer is neither a requirement nor a road block to publication. How fast you can get the initial story from your head to a written format has nothing to do with how well you write it, and completely ignores the idea of editing and rewrites.

Some writers put that determination for 'getting it right' into the first draft -- but that doesn't work for every writer. In fact, I've known far more writers of this type who never finish their stories because that press for perfection overcomes the joy of the storytelling, and they get bored or frustrated with the story. On the other side, I know writers who rush out story after story and never take the time to learn from their previous work, or to rewrite and edit any of it. So there can be bad sides to both.

However, if you happen to write quickly and you happen to be prolific (the first is not always a guarantee of the second), don't let anyone tell you that you are writing crap based only on how fast you work. But don't let being a fast writer blind you to the need to make the story right, either.

I'm going to be talking more about writing in this blog again. There will still be pictures, of course, and there will be bits about my home life as well. However, I intend to focus back on the one thing in my life that directs much else that I do.

If you think writing 3k a day, or writing more than a novel a year is a horrible, travesty of great literature, this is just not the blog for you. I don't get angsty over writing, though I do occasionally get frustrated by it.

Most of the time, however, you are going to read about how much fun it is to write for the sheer joy of it. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Just working away....

I've finished one story at just over 50k and two short stories at just over 4k. I'm now working on the rewrite-from-scratch of an older novel. I had a hard time with the opening to this one -- The Medusan Mutation -- but it's finally falling into place at about ten pages in. I'll be reworking the opening again later, after I get a better feel for the story again.

So, it's been a productive three weeks. I've also managed to write a steady 3k a day. This, I think, is keeping me a bit sane. And busy.

I am also doing a great deal of work in graphic programs. This has an affect much like reading the Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedias (and I'm half way through volume 7) -- it gives me something new to learn. Right now I'm trying to learn the basics of a modeling system to see if that kind of work appeals to me. I am getting better at some of the other graphic programs, and I love playing with them. I think this has, in an odd way, spurred me to devote myself more intently to the writing. I used to spend all day writing a bit here, a bit there, sometimes reworking things. And between those spurts of writing, I would spend my time going through FM or one of the other sites and doing work there. Now, however, I start out my day with 1000 words before I even open the email. Then I do what work I can, and get back to writing. Sometimes it takes hours before I can get the last 2k done for the day. I don't allow myself to play with the graphic programs until I've done most of the work, though.

I am also working on some new boards for FM that should help people with problems related to the site. This is a long, hard process, but it's finally coming together.

We have snow, by the way. This is more snow than I've seen in years. It's nice, really, because it's warmed up, too. I've got a cold, but with the improved weather, I think I'll start feeling better soon. Improved weather, by the way, means it is all the way up to 27f.

Okay, back to work. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Grateful for small things

We have a working car again.

We have cat food.

We have a broken water pipe, which could have been far worse if it had broken in the middle of the night, rather than during the one hour of dinner. It only flooded the kitchen and part of the living room of the other house (which has no heat, except for an electric radiator Russ uses in his office). It's a mess, but if it had broken during the night it likely would have ruined a good many things.

So, there. Grateful that it was not worse.

We are waiting on checks... but then, that seems to define our lives these days. And as soon as some come in, they'll be heading right back out to pay off all the bills that are impatiently waiting. However, as long as we keep our heads above water (and the cats in food) we'll be fine. In fact, it's oddly peaceful at the moment, at that kind of inbetween stage where we're just waiting for one thing or another to happen.

Russ has applied for a number of jobs in Omaha. We have our hopes there.

I finished the story at just over 50k, and now I'm working on a short story. I don't know what I'll do next.

It seems, really, a symbol of this year so far. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow, snow, snow... cold

We have a good amount of snow on the ground again, and some incredibly cold weather. I am so glad I moved to my office because the front part of the house is frigid. Even sitting to dinner is far too cold sometimes!

We ran out of cat food -- something we will have to correct very quickly! -- and the check we keep hoping for did not show up again today.

The car died. Again.

My father was in the hospital again for last week, so we were up there a bit. Lucky for us the car survived for most of that, at least. We couldn't get there the day he was released, so he took a taxi home.

Now, on the other hand, I'm writing a steady 3k a day. It's been an experiment that's worked very well so far. I start out with 1k before I even open my email, and that usually goes very quickly. The next 1k comes during the day while I work on other things -- a break here and there from FM, DTF or Vision. The story -- still not titled -- is nearly done at about 47k. Not a good lenght, but a good story to write. I really enjoyed it. So much so, that I seem to be dragging the ending out too far. (grin)

I'm doing odd things in editing this year. Instead of trying to do at least five pages a day, I'm doing it in large chunks that average at least 5 pages a day, but isn't done every day. It seems to be working well, but we'll see. It's always good to try something new each year, and the editing part hasn't been working as well as I would like in the past.

I just looked outside and the car is running! Yay! A step in the right direction, at least! Now if we can just keep it going for a few days. (laughs) Just so long as Russ gets down and picks up cat food, all is well in the world. You don't want to live in this house without cat food handy.

And I am going back to writing and working now. I'm going to have to start thinking about my next story, too. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Work and Work

Let me ask you a question:

If you knew someone who only wrote 100 words a day -- and perhaps didn't work every day -- and who took five years to write a novel, would you automatically assume the person wrote a good book?


Then why would you assume that someone who writes 1000 words a day, and who writes more than one book a year, automatically writes badly?

Doesn't it actually depend on a number of things which has nothing to do with how fast the person can type or how much time he might have to devote to the work? I think the quality of the work has nothing at all to do with how quickly someone can get words down on a screen or paper. There are some very good slow writers, but there are a lot of really bad slow ones as well. There are some horrendous fast writers, and there are some very fast good writers -- Rex Stout is one of my favorites, and he was incredibly fast and prolific. So was Isaac Asimov.

There are good and bad writers in both camps. Ability to write well is not based on speed. There are a number of factors, including ability to edit, ability to imagine a coherent story, and the ability to write good prose.I think judging people's writing without ever seeing it, and based only on how fast they write, is a really egotistical prejudice.

I'm a fast writer, but I'm not a particularly good one. I'm working on my abilities, though. And I have learned that the more I write, the more I learn about the craft. Others learn in different ways.

I might never make it past the small press publications I already have. Or I may have a breakthrough and step up to the big leagues. I can guarantee, if that happens, it will be based on ability, and not how long it took me to write the book.

(This brought to you, of course, based on a post in Miss Snark's blog, where I have also posted this response.) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 06, 2007

First week, not too bad

I have a new story, which might be a new novel -- it's already over 16,000 words. I've been doing 3k a day without too much effort. That will, of course, come to an end now that I've mentioned how well it's going.

The book is not titled, but I'm getting an idea for it, at least.

A plot might be nice, too... but it's been fun to write without an outline. I haven't done that in a long time.

I just posted the two 2YN classes for this week. I still have some things on my list -- I have to update the simplfied lobby page! -- but I'm going to take a bit of a break from the computer and have some fun. Yes, I'm allowed to do that now and then.

Well, it's either that or go clean the bedroom.

Maybe I'll just stay here and work on the new book after all.... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Getting Work Done & Request for Editors

First up, Deron Douglas of Double Dragon Publishing is looking for copyeditors. This is a good opportunity for someone who thinks they might like to try the work, but wouldn't have a chance getting hired most places without any experience. Copyeditors are paid a percentage of the book sales, so there's no money up front, but if you do enough books over the year, there's a possiblity of some nice side income. It might also help to have some credits to your name if you want to look at some other publishing company later.

You can check out the site here:

And contact Deron Douglas (his email address will be somewhere on the pages!) if you're interested.


I'm working along on my new, still-no-title-for-it book, and having fun with it. I'm over 7k now. I not only have no title, I have no clue where it's going. My two main characters are finally in the same place, and things can start happening now... but I don't know what those things will be.

I haven't written a 'with a net (outline)' book in quite a while. It's oddly less stressful right now, but that may be a reaction to geting past last year. Anything would be less stressful after 2006.

I have nearly everything ready for the new 2YN class. I'll start adding the people in tomorrow, I think.I also have to update the Simplified Lobby page again. Maybe I should try to get someone else to take that one over, since I am forever forgetting to change things on it!

Oh, and need to work through the forums and see which ones need to be taken out of the listing -- most of last year's challenges, for instance.

(Jots these things down on list.)

I have about 120 people signed up for this year's 2YN class. Quite a few will quickly realize it isn't what they want to do and drop out (this is the forth group, so I know how it works), and a few more will drop out around world-building time, which too many perceieve as something only sf and fantasy people need to do. That's not true. Even if you are writing a book set in your own neighborhood, you need to look at a lot of really basic things that you might take for granted, but which can add a considerable amount of depth to your story.

But, anyway, I'm getting it all done and we'll soon be starting the actual class material. I'm looking forward to it. Since I really do have everything written this year, and I don't have any huge nonfiction projects hanging over my head, I'm going to try and do a book of my own. In fact, I started to do it last year, but got too caught up in other things to really get beyond the basic idea steps.

So, there are my plans so far.

I think it's going well. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome to 2007

Yes, I'm already a bit behind, but I'm actually doing better than I'd hoped at this point. I will have Vision up in a few minutes! Yay! And that's about the last of the really tough things on my list. Tomorrow I'll update the DTF site and a few other odds and ends.

I'm starting out the year with a new story, as I always do. I've written about 3k today, which really pleases me since I hadn't outlined the story or anything. I'm just flying with this one, and doing it on purpose to get a little change into my writing routine again. I don't have a title for the novel, but I'm enjoying the work so far.

I've updated the Storybook site with the next part of the Sangre story. I hope you enjoy it.

I've also started a photography experiment that I may not keep up. I want to do a picture a day, and I've begun a blog for that reason. It's quite plain right now. I haven't done anything but create the blog and put the first post up:

I've worked all day on one thing or another.

Let's hope for a good writing year! Posted by Picasa