Ten a day

Ho hum, I guess this blog has been pretty sleepy lately! I should get more serious about this.

I’m going to start by setting myself a couple of modest goals: ten a day, and one a day.

Each business day, I will attempt to write at least one article (one a day) and earn at least ten dollars (ten a day). The idea is that after writing my one article, I’ll at least submit it to some market which will pay me at least ten dollars for it. I’m not going to count averages–if I manage to sell an article for $100, that’s not going to count as ten days where I made ten dollars. That’s one day where I made “at least ten dollars.”

Wish me luck.

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Published in: on October 31, 2006 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Writing prompt 1

I haven’t posted here in a while (vacation up at the lake, etc…), so I thought I’d use some of the writing prompts at the Absolute Write Water Cooler (great forum, btw) as a means of priming the pump and getting a bit of online writing done.

Here is prompt #1:

“Think before you speak” is a piece of advice often spoken. Can you think of a time when this advice paid off? Think about it. Now, write about it.

I can think of a time when it would have paid off, had I followed it. I was in the Army, and was at one point made company clerk for our 4 platoons (i.e. one US Army “company,” one third of our battalion, etc). It was an interesting experience, but not one I did very well at. Part of the problem was my low opinion of our First Sargeant. He had a habit of ordering us to do things that struck me as being odd and/or dumb (like I was so smart at that age!).

One day I was chatting with some folks in the company office in the barracks, and I was complaining about how the First Sargeant was running the thing, and made some snide, mocking remark. You can guess what happened next. I had my back to the door, and I saw the look on my friends’ faces as I completed my little impersonation.

Busted.

I should have known that the First Sargeant would likely come walking in that door at any time. But more than that, I should have known better than to natter on about my boss behind his back, regardless of the provocation. I had a very bad attitude towards the army at that point, and very little maturity to counterbalance it. In retrospect, he treated me extremely well–he took me into his office and shut the door and asked me if I had any complaints about how he was running the company, and I said No, First Sargeant, and he dismissed me. End of story.

I’d like to say that I learned my lesson, and that was the last time I let my mouth run off and get me in trouble, but it wasn’t. I’ve repeated the experience too many times (well, once is too many), and now I know the value of the dictum.

Think before you speak.

Published in: on August 7, 2006 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

ISP nukes watchdog site at scammer’s request.

As so many other sites are reporting, Barbara Bauer called up the ISP hosting the Absolute Write web site and complained because AW lists her as number 3 on the list of the 20 Worst Agents, in terms of taking people's money and not selling their work (or "selling" only to vanity publishers that also take people's money). Not too surprising, I suppose, but what is surprising and even shocking is that the ISP chose to respond by pulling the plug on AW with only one hour's notice!

Complete details are here if you're interested. Hopefully, the online writing community will make their voices heard, as outlined here, and new writers will be spared the experience of tossing their work and their cash into Barbara Bauer's lap.

Published in: on May 27, 2006 at 8:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

First Milestone

I should have posted this earlier, but I’m celebrating oh-so-slightly here: This morning at about 9:20 am, after nearly nine months exactly, I finished writing the first draft of my first complete novel. Uh, eight-and-a-half (by eleven) inches, and I’m not sure how many pounds (of paper).

😀

I’m also in a cheerful mood because I used my Most Productive Critter award to get my short story sent out to the critique group this week, and the 5 critiques I’ve gotten back are all very positive, with a fair number of helpful suggestions. One critter even said I should have no trouble selling it. Cool!

Published in: on May 12, 2006 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Winner!

Woohoo!  I got the Most Productive Critter award this week. I've got a story almost ready to submit to the critique group, so maybe I can polish it up and get it submitted today. If I do, I should be able to get it moved to the front of the line, and it should go out with next Wednesday's manuscripts.

 The story is called "Mokochan" and is my first attempt at writing horror, so we'll see how it goes…

Published in: on May 4, 2006 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

I can’t believe I crittered the whole thing…

Whew!  I finally finished all my critiques.  I turned in a critique for just about every short story that was posted this week.  Not all of them met the "300 added words" minimum standards, but hopefully enough of them did that I'll be eligible for a MPC (most productive critter) award, or at least an "instant winner" for having 10 or more eligible critiques.

 My mind is whirling right now though from doing so many crits in such a short time.  There were some really well-done tales in this batch, and also some that needed some work.  But lots of really interesting ideas and images.  It was well worth the effort, whether or not I get an MPC.

I used my CritFlogger app to download the stories, read them, and write my crits.  It's working pretty well now, but I still have a few improvements I'd like to make before I consider it done.  It's at least usable at this point, though.

 Now to finish my story and upload it–see what life is like on the other side of the crit. 🙂

Published in: on May 1, 2006 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yeah, I’m a critter

I joined the critiques group at http://www.critters.org/ a while back. The idea is that you submit your stories to the queue, and other "critters" will volunteer to send you a written critique of your story. To be eligible to submit a critique, though, you have to be in "good standing," meaning the ratio of "critiques I've submitted" to "weeks I've been a member" has to be 75% or higher.

As a special incentive, each week the "critter" with the most critiques gets an award which entitles him/her to bump their story submission to the head of the line. It so happens I now have a story ready to submit, so I've been a crittin' fool today. I got about 10 critiques done, of which 7 or so are long enough to qualify for the competition. Past winners have had about 14 critiques or so, which means I'm about halfway there. I've got till next Tuesday, or thereabouts, so I'm optimistic. As a runner-up prize, people with 10 qualifying crits (or more) also get a "most productive critter" award, so I think I've got a good chance of seeing my crits soon.

First I need to revise that story and submit it, though.

Published in: on April 27, 2006 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s in…

My letter to the editor, that is.  The local paper published it today.  Pretty much the way I wrote it, except for some punctuation changes.  Oh well, I guess that's the way it goes in the newspaper biz.  One of the changes I wasn't too happy about, but I guess I can live with it.

Published in: on April 26, 2006 at 2:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

LTE time

I’m going to be published in the local newspaper sometime soon. Just a letter to the editor, but I’ve had good luck getting my letters published.

We’ve got a problem here in PA with this stupid “Marriage Protection” amendment, which does absolutely nothing about divorce, debt, adultery, abuse, or any other significant cause of divorce. Why can’t they be honest and call it “The Marriage Denial Amendment”? The whole point is to say that, in Pennsylvania, you can’t marry the person you love unless the government approves of your choice. Great law for the home of the Liberty Bell, eh?

Published in: on April 24, 2006 at 5:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

WIP–New article for RBLibrary

Time to make some money again, and put the programming on the back burner. I was doing pretty well with my program, until I decided to follow User Interface guidelines and save my preferences in the Windows registry. That meant (a) writing a preferences class that could save to a prefs file on the Mac and to the registry on Windows, and (b) learning how to use the registry.  That's enough to stall me, and since we're getting to the last half of the month, I need to generate some income. So back on the back burner it goes.

 My new article is going to be about programming (again), specifically about programming hierarchical listboxes. This means I first have to write a working program that demonstrates the concepts I'll be writing about .

I've got it about half finished, so it's going well. Should be able to get a few bucks by the end of the month.  🙂

Published in: on April 18, 2006 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment