(EXCERPTED FROM THE MOST RECENT C. DENNIS MOORE NEWSLETTER, WHICH YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO HERE!)
Since I’ve done literally nothing productive for the past month except make new covers and re-publish old stories I took down years ago—a worthwhile endeavor, for sure, but it’s not writing new words, and since I fancy myself a WRITER, writing is kind of an important part of that—I decided I had to do something, anything, to get back in the swing.
So I do what I always do and I made a plan. This plan took the form of a specific daily writing schedule:
Sunday: Newsletter day
Monday: Update day. This week I fixed the cover for THE NIGHTMARE CORRIDOR (I never liked how close the THE was to the NIGHTMARE, so I moved it up just a bit), updated the bio information and republished it.
Tuesday: CDM SSW day. This week, after having taken another look at THE NIGHTMARE CORRIDOR and remembering just how much I like that story, I sent it out to the C. Dennis Moore Short Story Webring subscribers.
Wednesday: Invasion Agents day. I’m still waiting on Sweetpea to do the cover. She’s only one week into her new house and spent the week putting her office together, so, fingers crossed. Meanwhile, I got started on Issue 14. It was only 305 words Wednesday after work, but it’s 305 words I didn’t have before and, if I’d had more time, I could easily have kept going with another few hundred. It was a rough start at first, but once I got going and knew where I was headed, I fell into it pretty easily.
Thursday: Writing day (new). This is the day I’ll work on new words for whatever the, technically, next project will be, in this case, after “President’s Day” and “Invasion Agents #13”, THE THIRD FLOOR 2. I did 800 words that day, with the effects of the second shot just starting to set in. I could have done more, I think, but vacation days are a busy thing these days.
My vacation day schedules usually look like this:
8:00 Kara goes to work.
9:00 I take sweetpea to work (this week was 8:30, then I went to the courthouse to pay the taxes on my car)
10:00 I pick up Frankie (the part of Clementine will now be played by Frankie) from work.
12:00 I pick up Sweetpea from work and we have lunch together (this week after lunch, I bought Kara a birthday present), then I come home and write until Kara gets home. So most of those vacation days off, I’m working in 90-minute intervals, and this week I only managed 800 words, but it was 800 words on a book I haven’t touched in about 2 years, so I’m not complaining too much.
Friday: Writing day (old). This is the day I take something that’s already written but for some reason just not ready, or something I have on my “you’ve done so much work on this, you really need to finish it” list. This week it was reading through “The Organ Grinder”, which used to be this not really very good X-Files script I wrote back in 1996, longhand, in the back of a car as I rode to work each night when I worked in Kansas City with some other St. Joe guys I knew. A few years ago, I started rewriting it as an Angel Hill story about a team of paranormal investigators, but I never could quite grasp the story. Having read it again Friday, after not looking at it for almost as long as it’s been since I touched THE THIRD FLOOR 2, I think it’s pretty good. The writing itself, the narrative, is in some places at a level I didn’t know I could write at, and as far as I can tell, I only need to find a name for the monster, make a tweak here and there, and I think it’ll be ready to go out into the world. And that was while feeling like complete shit. Seriously, if you haven’t got the second shot yet, clear your schedule for at least 2 days afterward.
Saturday: “Admin” day. This is the day I’ll take care of the “boring” side of the writing business, the non-writing part, where I organize files, work on marketing and getting reviews, etc. This week, I took everything down. I unpublished everything from Smashwords (with the exception of “PINK JELLYBUG MINK”, a collection of 5 or 6 poems in the “Pink Jellybug Mink” series of poems, and CUNT, a short story that is only available on Smashwords), Draft2Digital, Nook, and Kobo.
So for now, Amazon is the only place to get all of my titles. Why? A few reasons, the first being it’s just going to make tax time less of a pain in the ass, and that is a good thing for me. Honestly, I was making so little from D2D and Smashwords that it didn’t make it worth my time to even file the taxes from those places. We’re talking $11.66 from Barnes and Noble (Nook) last year, and I think maybe like $38 or so from Smashwords. I didn’t make a TON from Amazon last year, but if I’m going to have my stuff anywhere it’s going to be the most popular and the one I made the most from, that one will be worth my time to mess with the taxes each year.
Another reason is I want to put this stuff back on KDP Select, which will make Prime members able to borrow the books for free, but, if they read them, I still get paid.
Also, being in Select allows you 5 “Free” days every 90 days. So for 5 days of your choosing, they don’t even have to be in a row; you could do Monday one week, Tuesday the next and so on for 5 weeks, or however you want, but you get to make your title free for 5 days.
Currently, I think only “Carlotta Valdez” and “In the Presence of Loneliness” are in Select. Speaking of which, starting tomorrow, Monday the 9th, “Carlotta Valdez” will be free all week, Monday through Friday. If you don’t have it, this will be the time to get it. Obviously, all I ask is that you leave a review, because I cannot stress enough how important reviews are to authors. It’s not an ego things, it’s an Amazon thing. The more and better your reviews, the more likely your book is to turn up in those Amazon sales emails we all get, recommending books we might like. My novel THE THIRD FLOOR showed up in one of those one night while I was at work, when I still had a second part-time job at night, and by the time I got home, I had sold 600 copies just in those few hours.
So, seriously guys, reviews. If you read it and it’s on Amazon, PLEASE leave a review. They don’t have to be the 1000-word reviews I often write, just a few lines will do, and you’ll be my new favorite person. Hell, I have a few readers, David Taylor and Roger Fauble, who’ve left so many reviews so consistently, I don’t know if they’ll ever have to pay for another C. Dennis Moore book, because I know by giving them a review copy, they will definitely leave a review. Thanks, guys, you two are fucking awesome.
Also on Saturday, I finally got “President’s Day” up on ACX so I can get the audiobook version in production. I really wanted a female reader since the main character is a woman, but of the few I’ve worked with in the past, two of them I wasn’t thrilled with what they did, one I loved, but she never replied to my offer, and I want to avoid putting it up for random auditions; the turnout for those is so little sometimes, and I love this story so much, I really don’t want to have to settle for whatever I can get. So instead, I offered it to another reader David Bain and I have worked with in the past, someone whose work I’ve admired, Quintin Allen. He replied last night that he’s recovering from surgery and has another job or two in line first, but if I can wait a few months, he’d love to do it. That’s a relief. Obviously since the book came out months ago and I’m just now getting around to worrying about the audiobook, I’m not in THAT big a rush, so I think I can give him whatever time he needs.
So that is my current writing schedule:
Tuesday: CDM SSW
Wednesday: Invasion Agents
Thursday: Writing (new)
Friday: Writing (old)
It won’t stay like this forever, obviously. Only working on a novel one day a week is not going to get it written, but I definitely needed some sort of structure to get me back into the habit of WRITING, but also allowed me time and space to get some of this other stuff worked on, too. I still have, according to my list, 40 titles that need to be updated with the new bio, 9 of which are still unpublished and need new covers (actually, several of them NEED new covers, but only 9 of them aren’t currently available).
So a schedule is good and for this week it felt great to be doing something besides just updating old stuff from 9 years ago. I will absolutely have to work on my word counts, though. 300 words? I applaud the effort, but holy fuck is that weak.
Oh, shit, I almost forgot, while we were out Thursday, I also finally got Kara’s ring size and ordered her engagement ring.