Category Archives: On Writing

Another Sleepless Night

I went to bed at around eleven last night, but barely slept an hour. At around 4:30 AM, I was tired of lying awake in bed. So, I got up and went right to work.

I got five more pages into the short story. I’m on page 36 now and the total wordcount is 7,821. Seeing how it’s 6:25 AM right now, It only took me about two hours to get those five pages down. That’s pretty good. I’d like to be able to do that more often. Usually it takes me about an hour to get one page, so five pages usually takes closer to five hours to get down.

I’m going to rest for a bit, and then I’ll go at the novel.

Another Novel Submitted

I couldn’t sleep. So, at 5:30 AM, I rolled out of bed and found a publisher that might like the 60,000-word crime thriller I wrapped up a while back. I threw together a submission package and sent it off.

This is not the international conspiracy thriller that has been at another publishing company since December 16, 2016. That one is 91,000 words. I still haven’t heard anything on that one. But that’s okay. I’ve done work for publishers and I know why it can take a long time for editors to respond to submissions. It’s nothing personal.

So, now I have two novels on the market. Let’s see what happens.

How Are My Resolutions Holding Up?

On December 31, New Year’s Eve, I blogged about five resolutions that would go into effect January 1, 2017. It’s February 17, 2017 now. Let’s see how my resolutions are holding up.

RESOLUTION #1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Miserably. I practically broke the damn thing off. As with all the adjustments I’d made ever since I’ve been using a daily checklist, it works great for a while and then it becomes difficult to complete all the tasks. Eventually things aren’t getting done. My workload and chores start piling up and I start feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

So, I decided to make adjustments as I need to and forget about sticking to one plan through the entire year.

RESOLUTION #2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Solid. I have not purchased a single beer or pizza since the new year began. Never mind that I’m very thirsty and my pizza craving grows stronger every day. Beer and pizza will be awesome rewards when I get this novel wrapped up. I’m already fantasizing about it.

When I finish this novel, I’m going to buy five different six packs, each one a different beer. One six pack will be Corona, another will be one of Samuel Adam’s blends, and probably one will be Budweiser (just because.). I don’t yet know what the other two will be.

Also, when the novel is finished, I’m going to order the biggest pizza I can get from Elba Corners, along with breadsticks and whatever else goes well with Pizza. When the pizza and beer is all gone, I’ll begin the next novel.

Although I have not bought beer or pizza myself, there were a couple times when I was at my mom and dad’s house and they wanted to get pizza. And once when my brother was over here, he wanted to get beer and pizza. So, I have had some beer and pizza since the new year started, but that falls under “I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.”

RESOLUTION #3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Feebly. I haven’t bought any guns, but there are times when I feel like I’m going to cave, contact my FFL dealer and have him order one for me. I’ve been eyeing a Mossberg pump shotgun that has a 20-inch barrel and an 8-round tube, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 carbine, a Ruger 1911, a Savage Arms bolt -action .308, an SCCY and a number of black powder pistols that are copies of those that were used in the Civil War. Lord, help me.

It’s still possible to have my credit card paid off before the end of the year, as long as I refrain from buying guns.

RESOLUTION #4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Still going strong. Haven’t had a cigarette since I quit in June.

RESOLUTION #5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Deer hunting season is still eight months away, but yes, I’m going to get a buck this year. I know exactly where I’m going to hang my first rack. It’ll go in the living room, above the arched threshold that you walk through to get to the kitchen.

Your Song

(Edited because it just occurred to me that I shouldn’t post any portion of someone else’s song lyrics.)

Oh, sorry. I always get caught up in that song. Anyway, the train went off the track again, but it’s back up and running now. I pulled graveyard shift tonight to get both projects leveled off, which means getting through the next fifth page on the short story and the next tenth page on the novel. I don’t stop until I’m on the 6th and 11th page.

So, the short story is now 6,748 words and 31 pages. It’s getting pretty long and might end up reaching novelette length. The writing is going well and the words are coming easy. I had some ideas on how the story would go, but it has taken an entirely different direction. At the moment I don’t know where the story is going or how it will end. I’ll just keep plugging in the words until it gets there.

Now, the novel. It’s now 14,656 words and 71 pages. I just wrapped up Chapter One and got a start on Chapter Two. The writing is going well, but I have to constantly look back to make sure everything is on the right track. I guess that’s how it is when you’re writing a novel that has multiple Point of View characters.

Okay, it’s 6 AM. Night.

Jeremy spoke in class today

Okay, it’s 12:30 AM. Although I keep telling myself I’ll stay up all night if I have to, and although I did do that a few times recently, I don’t really want my wake and sleep times getting shifted. I get depressed if I’m waking up at 2 or 3 in the afternoon because I stayed up till 5 or 6 in the morning. Besides, I’m burned out. So, I’m calling it a night.

I did get work into both projects. Got another five pages into the short story. The short story is now 16 pages and 3,323 words. I’ve been good about getting five pages into a short story. Been pulling it off almost daily.

The novel. Again, I didn’t get what I aimed for, but I got in a few more pages. So, I’m on page 67 in the novel now and the total wordcount is 13,923.

My brain feels like mush. I’m just going to watch a movie, and then go to bed.

Research for the Novel

Since I got the five pages into the short story, I’m working on the novel now. Just watched this video for research. Russia is one of the settings in this series.

I’m still not comfortable giving out the titles of the books or the series, but Book One is still under consideration at one of the big publishing companies. It might be a long time before I hear anything.

I’m 63 pages and 13,020 words into Book Two right now. I want to get to page 71 before I call it a night, but don’t know if I’ll make it.

 

Same Old Situation

Writing a brand new short story. Two pages in so far,. I want five pages before I stop on the short story for the day, and then I’ll want ten pages on the novel. Want to get it all done by midnight. Let’s see if I can.
Of course, I got music blaring. Music helps the words flow from my mind to my fingers, which are hammering away on the keyboard.
ETA
Got one more page to go on the short story. Think I’ll just finish it and go to bed. Tomorrow I’ll try to start earlier.

My Minute Bio

The magazine I just submitted to required a publication-ready bio be included in the submission, so I threw this together. Hope it does the trick.

BIO:
Rob Darnell lives in a nice neighborhood. His office window looks out on a lake. He has a cat named Buddy and a dog named Luci. He loves the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, Pistons and the Michigan Wolverines. An avid deer hunter, he spends much time in a tiny shack from the beginning of October until the end of December. His website is robdarnell.com.

Forgotten Story

I found an 8,800-word story that I don’t remember writing. I can’t say for sure what it’s about, but a quick skim reveals that it is a crime story.

Think I’ll go ahead and submit it without reading it and see what happens. If it’s published, maybe someday people will come up to me and talk about this character or that and the things they did, and I’ll have to ask them, “Which story is that?”