This week was chaos. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it was the weather. Everyone just started gulping down crazy pills like they were chocolate.

But it might have had a lot to do with a decluttering I did over the three-day weekend. I mostly threw junk out. I grew up in the era where you used everything until it fell apart or you donated it. But with thrift shops being a lot more more picky, I’ve been tossing things instead.


Broken Notes – 825. And it was a slog to get through. Always slow in the early part of the book. I don’t know the characters yet and it takes a bit of time to warm up.

I also refreshed Crying Planet and Last Stand in preparation for the release of Space Dutchman. I update the covers and added the next book’s sample chapter to the end. For Last Stand, this was Space Dutchman, so I was stoked.\


Major cycling on the Time Management book.

Broken Notes -804. It hit me that I was stalling on my prologue because critical voice kept saying that I needed to learn more about summary chapters first. So I decided that I could review the material later and cycle as needed and wrote the prologue.

Also, I’m doing an alternating viewpoint like Dean Wesley Smith’s Cold Poker Gang. It’s a romantic viewpoint, between the female lead and the male lead. I’m surprised at how challenging it is for me. It might be one of the reasons I fell off the book originally.

I like to park in a single viewpoint and then bring in another one when the story needs a change of pace. So this is quite different from that.

I also took some of a POV workshop, which defined a prologue (an event that sets up the novel), and also mentioned summary chapters. Since both are great options for a mystery, I was planning on using them. Little did I realize, critical voice had wormed into that.


Time Management – 862

Broken Notes – 901. Here I set the timer for 30 minutes and put it on the table so I couldn’t look at it. Until the timer went off, I couldn’t look at word count. 348 the first 30 minutes. Second round was the rest.


I was mistaken that the 60% in the office started today. It actually starts in January. But I did have to go on Tuesday anyway. So it was dry run of what it might be like. There’s a surprising amount of stress getting out the door. I even put out my clothes the night before and had everything in front of the door. But once I added the emotional part of getting to work on time, it ramped up the stress.

Time Management – 826

Broken Notes – 1200. That was a direct result of the timer.


This became an admin day due to a scheduling issue later in the evening. I took a class on Art Crimes from Smithsonian Associates. It was done via Zoom call and very professional compared to other calls. It started on time and had only a few technical issues.

A retired FBI agent talked about four of his antiquities art cases. I only recorded two notes:

  1. He grew up with an antique background. His father ran an antique store. So he had some knowledge. When he went undercover as a buyer, he would stop by a local museum first. They’d take him in the back and show him the kinds of items he was “buying.” He’d get enough information that he could come off as an expert during the sting.
  2. Did he worry about criminals coming after him? Nope. Art criminals view going to jail as part of doing business

I’m sure I’ll use that in a story somewhere! My next one is Dining on the Rails: A Moveable Feast.

If you find these lectures interesting, bear this in mind: They do not do replays. So if you miss it, you miss it.


More work chaos. I’m glad it’s an admin day.

I finalize the refresh for a GALCOM boxed set called GALCOM Books 1-3 (formerly GALCOM Log One). This was a book where I had to think about what was going to be easiest for me. Putting the three books in? Easy.

The cover? Problem.

Boxed sets often feature several of the covers of the books inside. Well, if I did that, it created a version control problem. If I updated the other covers, I’d have to remember to do it on this book as well. I also didn’t like how it looked. So a new image:

After that, my writing meeting that evening. We talked a lot about the Smithsonian Associates lecture I took.


Optimistically, I thought since I had an admin day on Wednesday, I could write today. Nope. The week at work calmed down by Friday. But I felt like I needed the time to wind down.

So I did something rather mindless on the Time Management for Writers book. I pulled all the chapters back into Scrivener, and I started playing with the order of the chapters. I was actually looking for gaps.

Instead, I discovered what my creative voice has been telling me: The book is pretty much done. I need to do general housekeeping:

  • Microsoft Word pass
  • Grammarly pass
  • ProWriting Aid pass
  • A final big cycle for clarity and typos and flesh out more details.
  • Run PerfectIt
  • Write the closing chapter

So I will have a book done in October!

Meanwhile, critical voice says, “You didn’t write enough this week!”

So it goes.