Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Writing Day

I am still working on trying to get more words on my WIP each day.

Seems I have settled into a routine when I write only around 500 words a day. Weekends are the worst because we have lots of things we like to do and some we don’t want on weekends. Weekends have often been zero word days, now I am trying to write some on both Saturday and Sunday, even if it only amounts to a page of 250-300 words.

Yesterday for the first time in quite a while I got close to 2,000 words – wish I could do that every day.

I am also trying to take more breaks,  get up and walk around more often as I write, might keep me fresh.

I am approaching 50,000 words on my WIP (work in progress, for my new readers) this book will end under 60,000, which means I am getting close. But then ugg, editing. 

Along with my writing, I have been able to get out for a few hours with my camera. Photos were all taken this week and within a few minutes of our house.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Richard S. Wheeler RIP

Sad day today, as I heard of the death of one of my favorite writers, Richard S. Wheeler. 

Wheeler, who spent most of his adult life in Montana wrote the terrific "Barnaby Skye," series and was an award-winning western author. His work was more real than Hollywood's made up wild west, often with no shoot outs or barroom brawls
Wheeler was the author of one of my all-time favorite books about the writing life, his - Accidental Novelist - Literary Memoir should be a must-read for all writers or aspiring writers.  

Friday, February 22, 2019


I have always been a goal setter, but not much of a New Year’s Resolution writer. When I did try to set a resolution or two, they were often so general that even if I reached them, I would not know. Things like, exercise more, get in shape, or lose weight, really are not goals. This year I decided on one, and it is a writing goal. This year I will write at least 250,000 words.

How Many? - I follow one writer that consistently writes one million words a year. For me, that is unrealistic, I am much too lazy to work that hard. For three or four years, I wrote 200,000 to 250,000 words each year. Lately, that has slipped to 100,000. This year I am recording when and how much I write each day. In this case, when is what days, not the time of day. I am an afternoon and evening writer, not sure why other than when I worked full time that was when I wrote.

So Far - Through yesterday, I have written 41 of 52 days, mathematically about 80% of the time. Writing, on average, four out of every five days is not bad for me.  Total words this year, so far – 37,030 words. That puts me on pace for more than my goal of a quarter million words this year.

Keeping On – I know it might be tough to keep writing at this pace, especially when I get to the editing phase of books and stories I am working on. I also am an avid amateur photographer, taking upwards of 10,000 photos each year. Most of my photos I take with fixed lens cameras with good telephoto range. I use these because I take most photos while we are hiking, or from my pickup as we travel backroads and explore new places. My favorite camera is wearing out after 25 or 30 thousand shots. Looks like I will be ordering another soon.

Looking Ahead - Now we head into March, and at last, we have snow covering the ground. I have already started some of my seeds that will be nice plants by mid-May. Spring cannot be far away.

Photos – on this post, I took this week, and with my dying cameras, still works if I am patient enough. I do have a couple others, so am not camera destitute.

Have a great week, get outside, and enjoy the end of winter.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Never Too Old To Write

It’s Never Too Late – After retiring this man decided to write a book. In his lifetime, he had published two works and a couple of essays. One of his books looked at early poetry, and another was about reading maps, both thirty years before his retirement in the early 1970s. He finished the book in a couple of years and, of course, no one wanted to publish it. At 240 pages it was, too short for some publishers and one rejected it saying, “It has trees in it.” Finally, at age 75 the University of Chicago Press, as a favor to one of their old professors, agreed to publish it for him. This book would be the first ever fiction published by their famous press. How did it do? Well, Norman Maclean’s, A River Runs through It and Other Stories, did okay. Well, that is, if fabulous sales, a major motion picture, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination are okay.
There you have it – it truly is – Never Too Late

Writing by the Numbers Another nice week, I have settled into a routine where I am writing three to five thousand words each week. For the year, I have written a bit over 31,000 words, through yesterday, and have written 33 of the 44 days this year. I am on pace to reach my goal of a quarter million words in 2019.

Reviews – I Can’t Make This Stuff Up To my dismay, the sample pages only contain the Foreward and Acknowledgement chapters, leaving me in the dark about the story.”   
The above was part of a one-star review I read about a very famous book. I wish this type of review could be taken off, as it has nothing, at all to do with the book.  (Note – I left the foreward, as I was using a direct quote – odd how so many misspell - foreword.
I once received a bad review for my misspelling of or misuse of a couple of words. The review stated they would go on to finish reading the book. This was at a time when I could not yet, afford an editor, still often my case. Did it really deserve a one-star if it was compelling enough to read on, and finish the book? Not in my mind, if I finish a book I will commonly rate it four or five stars. I rate on the story, not on a handful of errors I might catch. I finished a New York Times bestseller recently that I noticed a – the - where it should have been they. It happens!
From the Old West The man who apologizes when there ain’t no need knows something you don’t.  

Photo of the Week

Follow me on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
Have a wonderful rest of February.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Writing and Selling Fiction - My Week

Feeling Better – It seemed to take too long – seven weeks, but at last, I am feeling better. So much better that my wife and I have got in a couple of nice hikes in the park. Now, come on spring.

Writing Week A good one for me, this week a bit over 3,000 words. Three thousand might not be a lot for some writers, but for me, that is not a bad week. I saw a tweet this morning where someone's goal for the day was 5,000 words – wow.

Book Sales January was okay, not great, but not bad. I did not sell as many books or eBooks, but my KDP pages read was up. Up for me means above 10,000 pages, about $50.00 worth. Some books sell, and others do not do so well seems to be a fact that everyone selling books has to face. My historical western mystery- Commitment – has been a consistent and reliable seller. If all my books sold as well as Commitment, I would be making thousands, not a hundred or two each month. As one of my kids used to say, “Oh well!”

My nonfiction gardening, humor and mystery book - Beginning Gardening & Other Entertaining Lies: Including - 4 Garden Murder Mysteries, is, at this time my slowest seller. Going to try a new cover and maybe with spring coming, some advertising to see if it picks up a bit. The gardening book I really like, and thought it was a unique idea with the chapters of garden tips broken up with short, murder in the garden mysteries, but, alas, it never caught on. Maybe someday.

It is still too early yet to tell how my newest and fourth in the series of kids chapter books, Howling at the Moon, is going to do. It will be the second to the last book in the series, and I have been told it has a great cover – hope that helps.

Writing Goals I seem to be on track for my goal of a quarter million words this year, and that’s good.
From the Old West – Do not tamper with the natural ignorance of a Greenhorn.

Photo of the Week

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy

Keep on Reading and keep on Writing
Have a wonderful February.