ON WRITING 3

One of the first things I did when I got fairly interested in writing at 38 or so, I read all the books on writing I could find. I read TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT (which I liked) and ON WRITING (which i thought was a stupid book that did nothing for me) and a whole lot more. I went to seminars, subscribed to WRITER’S DIGEST (which was a moderately helpful). I even went out and bought the bible of writing, the name of which I cannot remember but it was full of nothing but sources that would buy, or at least publish, my writing. Most librarys have all these books for loan or at least reading in the quiet sanctity of a library.

So, what did all that reading do or me? It told me that writing was fickled. What works for one writer, will probably not work for the next. How one person broke into the business, rarely worked for me. No one writes of writing and selling that hasn’t found their own path to the one agent that loved their stuff enough to fight for it with the publishers.

At the point I started looking for a publisher, KDP and createspace and all those other print on demand orgs that are available today just were not around. Everything I had read was allowing and encouraging me to send direct to the publishers and get an agent after you have an interested publisher.

I finished my first book after selling two articals to a magazine I liked to read. The first of which I wrote in thirty minutes ,while sitting on a clift with my feet hanging over the edge, with a pencil and flip pad left over from college. Within three weeks I sold it to my favorite magazine, got the check, and a copy of the magazine with my story in it. I WAS A WRITER.

The second piece I sold and never saw published but I got paid $50 for it.

The first book length story, BLOOD ON THE ZUNI, was a western with a young man starting a ranch, a blue eyed redhead and her brother, and some bad guys. ZUNI was a masterpiece of standard western pocket novels. I went to the WRITER’S BIBLE, (that’s what it was called, I think) and started sending off quaries to publishers. I started with Bantom because they published all of Louis L’Amour’s books. REJECTION – DOES NOT MEET OUR NEEDS AT THIS TIME. PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

I was in hog heaven, Bantom like my book so much they wanted me to try again.

I sent the book out 47 times to different publishers. One asked for the entire manuscript. I sent it. $8 postage in 1983. It was returned with this note. I DON’T DO WESTERNS. BUT, I LIKE THIS ONE. PLEASE KEEP TRYING WITH PUBLISHING HOUSES THAT DO WESTERNS, LIKE BANTOM.

47 rejections and I was almost done with my second book.

In that year of rejections, I wrote and sold a dozen articles, a published a short story, and a banner story for ARIZONA magazine. I wrote a couple dozen crossword puzzles (all rejected), some greating cards (all rejected), and sold a short article that sold on the ROMANCE OF CANDLELIGHT. I slowed my pace to an almost dead halt due to going back to work teaching in a middle school and driving the school bus on the longest route in the state, 70 miles one way. Somehow writing just didn’t matter to me, but encouraging students to use their gifts in mighty ways was more exciting than selling my writing or even writing. I wrote a couple dozen poems in six years.

Somehow the bug of writing got back in my fingers when I retired for the fourth time and was sitting at home doing nothing but looking at my beautiful wife who was still working. I was 67. By that time we had sold the cows, the horse had died, I had a hip replace, and all the kids were off on their own. I was bored. I went back to writing, fast and furious.

SELF PUBLISHING FOR A RESONABLE PRICE HAD COME INTO THE WORLD!

About Writing #2

After I bombed outta college, I wrote nothing except the blathering the USN made me write. Evaluations of men and equipment. Equipment evals were easy. They either worked as advertised or not. Most of those writing were ugly negative.

The evals for my troops were a totally different thing. One mistake and a man’s career was ruined. I learned that in a very personal way.

I had 11 years in and found out I made Chief. A big jump in the Navy. A friend made First class at the same time. I called the wife and told her I’d be a bit late. She knew that meant I was on the town. The second place we stopped one of the bouncers didn’t like submarine sailors. He was an Airedale moonlighting.

On the second draft beer, he bumped me and spilled my beer. He said a few derogatory words that used to be un printable. We walked out after I said a few words he had never heard before. He screemed and knocked over the remains of my beer, what was left after I returned the beer using aerodynamics. In other words I tossed it in his face.

We went across the street to a place I really liked, where I shared the good news with the owner, Paul. I realized I was a bit handicapped and called my bride of a year to come join us for dinner at Paul’s or just pick us up.

She got there just in time to see me shoved into a Shore Patrol buggy. Long story shortend, come eval time my Boss marked me down two ticks in military behavior. Can you imagine that?

A eval period is half a year, 180 days. I asked him why the down tick. He referred me to the night I was encamped in the brig for being unkind to the bouncer.

I just naturally pointed out that one nights mistake was only 1 outta 180 for the eval period and asked if he really wanted to slap me so hard. He in turn marked it up a tick from the 2 down making me only say thank you.

The next day I found out that two ticks would have killed my chances for any further advancement in the Navy. I kissed the lieutenant and accepted the friendly slap back. I only kissed him on the cheek like a Frenchman would have done.

Be careful with your words. It might be fiction, but if you use my name I’m coming after you, next.

WRITE

WS

On Writing #1

Sit down in a chair in front of a pad of paper or a word processor. Don’t worry about the quality of the chair or pad of paper. The word processor is another story.

My first word processor was a portable typewriter I was given by my parents in my junior year in high school. It was a Remington. It was fantastic. Red and black ribbon. Paper up to 12″ wide. I wrote the tripe my teachers had to have on it. My teachers didn’t encourage my writing at all. It wasn’t until college at 24 freshman English that I got some encouragement. A- on all my papers except the first one. My prof, who was younger than I, really took me under her wing and showed me how to organize and transition. Those writings were done on the old portable.

From there it was all technical writing of various procedures and/or failures. Only when I was writing annual evaluations on the men in my gang for the Navy, did I get much into creative writing. Some of those were cold fiction.

More next time.

Write

WS

More And More

More and more theories, explanations, and just plain erroneous information rolling around these days. Sick friends and panic don’t make for a fun time. The worst part is all the worst in people coming out. The best part is the best of people coming out.

A couple in their 90’s. He gets to feeling a bit off. Goes to ER. Triage gives him a quick fix, does the covid 19 test, and sends him home. Final instructions were they would call with the results. A week later he is sicker. Off to ER where the triage doc wants him tested again. Friend tells doc he had one a week before. Doc checks. Positive results completed 6 days ago. He has the bug and so does his wife. They are both in the hospital in separate rooms.

Another friend goes in for a migraine. Attack the migrain, knock it down, test, and send home. 4 days later she calls for the results. Positive. She asks why she wasn’t called. Got the answer. We were busy.

A friend and his wife, who is on O2, had been helping the old couple get their daily chores done. They are at home behind closed doors awaiting the results of tests done when the old folks were admitted. No call yet 4 days.

If you have felt the need to be tested, don’t wait for the call. Bug them.

50000 words into my book and go back to add some clue and find i have created cloning. Two people are in two places a hundred miles apart at the same time. One of the places is pivotal for the story and the other is a serious clue. 4 days of reading, writing, and struggle followed. Found that I had done it twice. Turned one simple mistake into a destroyed story. Rewrite took four days and added a character and 4000 words.

Sometimes the simplest mistakes can bring great results, sometimes not so much.

Are you using the pandemic as a part of your story? Tell me about it.

WRITE!

WS

Water

Water is necessary.

This blog is not.

But I have fun presenting whatever tickles my fancy. My fancy isn’t necessarily either.

Today I wrote 7 pages for my latest STATE OF book. I live in the state of Arizona just south of the covid19 explosion on the Navajo res and just west of the Zuni res explosion.  And just north of the Apache rez explosion.  There are a bazillion reasons for these explosions. The best one is “I don’t know.”

The people in these three tribes struggle against the same things everybody else does. Right now it’s convincing their people to protect themselves.

Us of no tribe are praying for them. Many are our friends.

WRITE whats on your mind.

WS

The Buttocks

Not a pleasant topic even though most folks have them. You’d think that with all that padding one could sit on them in a well padded chair without discomfort.

I cannot.

1100 miles in 2 days did the number on my posterior by compacting all my flesh in that area into a very thin system on top of the stiffer padding in a pickup truck.

I am too old for these trips.

I think i shall write instead of travel.

But, WAIT. I have to sit to write. It puts pressure on my brain to stimulate the process. Three books in progress should keep me from feeling a thing. The smoke from the overload might be somewhat bothersome, though.

WRITE

WS

NO RANT

Just writing. That’s the rest of my day. Went to farmer’s market and took in $15 for two books. Four hours. That’s $3.75 per hour. Cool.

Don’t forget the time it took to write, correct, proof a few times, and getting the printing and advertising knocked out. Final pay check at minimum wage is around $.03 per hour.

Never think your are gonna get rich by being. Your odds are worse than making a slot on any of this year’s MLB, AFL, NFL, or A PRO HOCKEY TEAMS.

7 years and 22 books have netted me, drum roll please, minus $6,000. I know I’m a lousy marketer and I don’t work on that part of the process very hard. All my reviews have been 5 star except for one 4 star and one 1 star by someone who never read the book.

Stay poor, WRITE.

WS

THE SENIOR

My grandson has worked hard for these past 13 years. He has overcome many adversities and made it to be a SENIOR ready to graduate. He has missed the Prom, the Senior trip, weeks of school, and a time to really celebrate his achievement. Oh, yeah, there was a grand senior party planned for a free shindig to remember all his friends and their accomplishments.

All because some lab worker spilled the virus.

Politicians got carried away with their power and are still slinging the bull manure in everyone’s face.

Our freedom has been curtailed. Or, at the least, inconvenienced.

Life is standing and say “NO” from the rooftops.

Not a single lock down or go home order has be constitutional. Curfews might be legal with just cause in some states. Our police are quitting. Our ambulances have no protection. Our fire crews are fighting fires caused by people who refuse to go camping without a fire, so now the places in the woods where the camping was fun are all turned into black dust and thousands of lives are on the line.

Let’s tell the village to curtain, confine, and correct their village idiots. Actually, I think we have way to many VILLAGE IDIOTS sitting in city hall, state governments, and federal governments. The knowledgeable inhabitants of those places are such a minority as to not be heard by a deaf populace to the point that the idiots are running the asylum.

YOU, I, ALL, must turn our faces toward the problem and overcome it with wisdom, not panic; love and not hate; living not just existing; standing rather than cowering like whupped puppy dogs.

STAND against the enemies of our nation. Tell the crybabies to wipe the tears from their eyes and use their brain instead or their emotions to conquer FREEDOM again. There is no need for violence. Gandhi proved that years ago.

Tell the spoiled children to go home and grow up, take responsibility for their actions, and learn peace, not rage.

Nihilism is a losing proposition.

Build, do not destroy.

To kill a thousand others, will never bring back one. To make your point in peace, will save a thousand lives.

I want all my grandchildren to enjoy this nation, not live under the fear. I want them to have the excitement of accomplishment rather then the fear of rage. Frankly, I am ashamed to admit I gave 20 years of my life defending this country so idiots can rule.

I want peace. I believe that the only true peace is in Christ Jesus and a total surrender to the creator of the universe.

Go Write, even if it isn’t fiction.

WS

Here we go again

All helll is breaking loose. The test swabs are abundant, tests are frequent, and everybody needs to go home and watch the new lies, which are really old lies, and be no safer than before. When oh when will this battle for control end?

Pelosi has a knot in her panties and everyone has to jump and land groveling. Trump can’t get good information and advise. The quacks cannot make up their overstuffed heads about masks, today they are a bust – no wait, we need them – oops here’s someone that says they are no good.

And me, I’m in the tub again.

Oh, what to do?

I think I’ll have breakfast with the boys and go fishing.

I’ll take my new novel in the making with me.

Go write. We all gonna die sometime and your books bring on more sales when you are dead.

WS

RIOT!

RANT – Oh the things that burn man’s soul. Somebody done somebody wrong so let’s go kill, maim, and destroy. WHOOPPPEEEEEEEEEE!

Some folks are just plain stupid and others are ignorant. There are a few that have wisdom. No, I don’t count me in any of these categories even though I can fall into one from time to time.

The difference between stupid and ignorant is when you are stupid you don’t know and don’t care to know/find out. When you are ignorant, you don’t know and are willing to find out or be taught.

Wisdom – Biblical definition is to know God, acknowledge that He is God, and Live like God. Worldly definition is to have knowledge and use it in the best possible way. .

A person may have 60 doctoral degrees, 70 years of experience, and still be stupid. Mr. Gump defines stupid is as stupid does. No amount of learning can overcome stupid. Only admitting that your are ignorant and wish to be informed and then use it in the best possible way for mankind, or womankind if you’re hung up on that, then you will be wise and valuable to society.

I am terribly sorry I wasn’t there to stop the murder, any one of them. I’m afraid if I had been there, I would have intervened. If I had intervened, someone would have hurt me. Unless I had lots of friends that would RIOT for me. So, if you want to be a big name in this world, stay stupid, get killed, and make sure all your friends know that you are dead for stupid reasons of your own that they now have to fight the law for.

Oh yeah. Let’s take law out of the picture and let the biggest, baddest, best armed, babbling idiots to fight, maim, kill, and destroy in memory of a time when education meant something, hearts knew love from birth, family promised something, and the world was not in the hands of stupid idiots.

BOTTOM LINE – let’s put a fence around DC, project pictures of the outside world on the inside of the fence, and let the blood sucking insects carry on without us.

END RANT

Rants are stupid. I will now take my ignorant self and gain more knowledge to help rather than hinder the world around me. Maybe, just maybe, something good will come out of it.

WRITE

WS

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