Writing Wednesday: Back to Thinking About This Old Dog

Last week’s goals:

I made my weekly quota of blog posts, as well as reciprocal likes and comments (actually, there are no reciprocal comments – I leave them for others, but I just don’t seem to be inspiring comments from others.

The ePublication of “A Tail of Two Species” has been attended to (it’s currently in preorder – see below for details.) My old photo-editing software is working fine on the new PC, and so the sudden loss of my day-job only wound up delaying my preappointed schedule by two weeks.

I had a story return from market just in time to brush it up and submit it to the Writers of the Future contest before the Q3 deadline. I won’t mention the name since the contest relies on anonymity of the contestants for the sake of fairness (as though the contest judges would actually be READING my blog; just another likely unnecessary restriction I put on myself. I don’t just live this stuff – I WRITE fantasy, too…)

I’m still reading James Islington’s The Shadow of What was Lost. It hasn’t disappointed yet, and it looks like I may forgo my rule about NOT reading through a series this year; the tone should be very good reinforcing the voice in Swordsmaster’s Sequel. (I was wrong when I said that this is the only completed book in the series – there are two others.)

I wrote on all seven days last week, on “Crypto” (working title of the story I worked on for the Writers of the Future online class, which now sits close to 3,000 words) and “Cat’s Paw” (Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #10, at 10,800), and produced a total of 5,081 words of fiction.


I’ve pretty much finished the Writers of the Future online course (the only thing I have left to do is finish the story I started for the class – then I can print my certificate and be OFFICIALLY done…)

I don’t do well in FORCED writing – I find the notion that I have to write to someone else’s demand and on their deadline intimidating – I have enough trouble fulfilling my own self-appointed schedule. This is one of the reasons that I haven’t signed up for writing classes or workshops. Maybe I need to change that.

Since I’ve been jettisoned from my day-job, I’ve been trying to take advantage of my free time to ramp up my writing. One of the crazier thoughts I’ve had was that, instead of looking for another job, maybe I could JUST write to bring in money. The idea is appealing (who doesn’t want to ONLY do something they enjoy for a living) but mostly unrealistic. Let’s face it: even with my pension to supplement my income, Pension + my massive (not) sales is pretty much just my pension – I am not in danger of becoming a truly PROFESSIONAL writer (meaning making enough to pay taxes) anytime soon.

So anyway, the class gave me some thoughts to chew on. Mostly, it caused me to spend some time self-analyzing (which I regularly advocate for, but it helps to have an outside reminder.)

I have strengths as a writer. Dialogue is easy (maybe because of my time in theatre?), as is plotting (not because of my coding background, but some of the same ability with laying out program logic translates into navigating a story from point A to Z; at least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I also have weaknesses. Strictly from the writing perspective, I already knew I wasn’t very good (I should say ruthless) in my rewriting and revising, and I’m not much when it comes to description. A glaring weakness that the class helped me see is I don’t work suspense very well, either, so I’m going to pay extra close attention to that. Interestingly, the proper building of suspense involves knowing which LEVEL of detail to include, so pushing myself on suspense should also improve my details.

I’ve also stagnated (mostly through lack of free time) and haven’t been learning and exploring as much as I should be, so I can encourage the birth of fresh ideas, and (again) better details to help flesh out my stories. In this age of Covid-quarantines and in-the-box-living, I can’t do a lot of world exploring outside, but I can take advantage of my extra time to see more of it through YouTube, Google, Bing, and various video streaming services available to me.

Something very important about the class is it also emphasized the BUSINESS of writing – the need for not just WRITING, but SELLING and MARKETING as well. I have never been any good at either of those things, but if I really want to earn at least half a living from this, then I need to push myself to become competent at them. And I might have to expand what I’m creating – give myself more genres, more markets. Maybe learn how to monetize my blog? Get creative with my creativity? This old dog would appreciate any pointers (or bones) you could throw my way. Just saying…


CollectionNext3CoverI’m participating in the Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale. The sale lasts for the entire month of July (which is summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere, in case you were wondering WHY it’s called the Summer/Winter sale.)

All of my story collections AND Swordsmaster will be 50% off on Smashwords. You can find my books on Smashwords here:




“A Tail of Two Species”, my ninth Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire tale, is all set up for ATailOfTwoSpeciesrelease:

The Lynx hasn’t returned from his mission, so it’s up to disfavored Champion of the Empire Herc Tom to discover what’s happened to him, and what the deceitful feline Isabella and the diabolical canine Lord Phylo are up to in this tale of two species.

“A Tail of Two Species” is a fantasy novelette. The release date is this Friday, but it’s available now for preorders at a reduced promotional price at several retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1029941

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BY4JG6B


Swordsmaster is ready for your enjoyment, so give it a read, won’t you?

Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.Swordsmaster4

The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?

Swordsmaster is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords (at 50%-off for the Summr/Winter sale): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM


William Mangieri’s writing, including “Purr Mission” (one of his Writers of the Future honorable mentions, which is also FREE on Smashwords as the first of the Herc Tom, PurrMissionCoverSeriesChampion of the Empire series), as well as another 80-some-odd (well, mostly odd) short stories (plus his collections) can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

He also has a story (“A Background Poorly Written”) on Daily Science Fiction, here:


• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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