A Little Bit Every Day
I started writing the fifth book in the Allison Coil Mystery Series on Jan. 1, 2014. (Yeah, New Year’s Day. Just Because.) I finished the draft on Monday, March 28. I wrote 500 words a day. That’s 453 days, which would have been 165,433 words if I made forward progress every day. But I needed to back up a few times, re-work a few things. I took a break to write a short story. And another. I finished Draft 1 with 112,000 words, still too many. Lots of cutting to come. What’s my point? 500 words a day isn’t much. It adds up. Do the math.
There’s A Feeling I Get
This excellent column by Bob Lefsetz is all about rock and roll. But I thought about writing the whole time. Led Zeppelin went their own way with “Stairway to Heaven.” Their previous album was a dud.
Here’s Lefsetz: “What Led Zeppelin said back in ’71 is that you’re best doing it your way, by yourself, with your peeps, than hiring outside hands to meddle with your vision … That we react to and love most that which is personal and human.”
I’ve had some excellent podcast guests lately, but check out the one with Eleanor Brown. She had a huge hit with The Weird Sisters. Huge! She was on the road doing promotion for 18 months! And then she wrote three more books that all went pffffft before finding the groove for the one that comes later this year, The Light in Paris.
Much like Led Zeppelin, she listened to her heart. (I guess Tom Petty sang that, too.) Humility, folks. It’s a tough business. Listen.
Her workshop is Saturday, April 30 at Columbine Library in Littleton.
Read his stuff if you don’t know his work—gritty, singular, raw, honest. I looked up an old review I wrote of his three-novella collection, The Woman Lit By Fireflies.
Anyway, at the bottom of the review I came across a funny exchange with my late pal Gary Reilly and I shook my head (yet again) at Gary’s dry humor. I miss that guy. (Click on the picture to read the exchange.)
I managed to get advance blurbs from some amazing writers—Stewart O’Nan, Ron Carlson, John Mort, Fred Haefele.
Carlson compared The Detachment to Catch 22 and that’s a guy who teaches fiction in an elite program out in California. O’Nan (pals with Stephen King and one prolific writer himself) called it a ‘classic.’
Speaking of length, The Detachment is 534 pages. It’s a powerful, heavy book based on Gary’s experiences in Vietnam as a military policeman.
That’s three finalist nominations out of that seven-book series.
The other two were Ticket to Hollywood in 2013 and Doctor Lovebeads in 2014.
The Detachment is the ninth title we’ve published of Gary’s—after seven books in The Asphalt Warrior series and The Enlisted Men’s Club, the first book in his series about Vietnam following Private Palmer.
And Running Meter Press still has about 15 books to go.
Gary wrote more than 500 words a day.
Tethered by Letters
There’s bound to be one out there to suit your needs.
Here’s a new one I came across last year. Tethered by Letters.
Yes, based here but with connections all over the world, really. One reason I mention them is because they do a great job—web site, online interactions, classes and a literary magazine called F(r)iction.
The other reason to mention them is because they offer pretty good money for flash fiction, short stories, poetry and more. Check ‘em out!