Life in progress


One-Liner Wednesday – A Cool Million

Only 51 more words to go to hit a cool million. Will I make it?

Photo: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) site screenshot of my profile, where it shows how many words I’ve written since I signed up in 2004. (They made a major change to the site in 2010, so it says I’ve only been there since then, but they lie!) My word count so far is 999,949.

If you would like to participate in this prompt, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a pingback from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Badge by Laura @

The Magician’s Curse (2.99) on Amazon US and everywhere else (Amazon worldwide, Kobo, etc.)
The Magician’s Blood (3.99) on Amazon US and everywhere else
The Magician’s Soul (3.99) on Amazon US and everywhere else
“The Great Dagmaru” Complete Series (6.99) on Amazon US and everywhere else
The Magician’s Sire (free with sign-up) here.


Party Crasher Pav

Greetings from Pavorisms.

Starting in a few days, your regularly scheduled operator will be unavailable for a couple of weeks, and she wanted to leave some of her regular features in capable hands to make sure you felt warm and snuggly knowing that your regular Stream of Consciousness Saturday posts would go uninterrupted.

But we all make mistakes in life, and she picked me as one of the stand-ins. You’ll be getting a prompt from me in a couple of weeks, and if things really go sideways, you may end up seeing some of my regular content here as well. If that happens, I recommend you just keep your head down. I can’t guarantee that there won’t be baby bodily fluids involved. I, uh… I brought a tarp. I left it somewhere around here. Just huddle up and make a friend, okay?

Am I qualified to stand in at a writing blog with a readership far beyond my normal, tiny circle? Here’s the skinny: When I was in high school I wrote prolifically. Awful short stories, horrible poetry, a really ill-advised novel, and a play that was maybe not so terrible. Then I stopped. I don’t know why. I think I knew my writing was about as appealing as a pile of badger droppings and decided I’d do the world a favor and stop dropping those little nuggets.

Then, in college, I picked it up again. This time, I stuck to plays, and I wrote a pretty good one and a handful of not-so-bad ones. A couple of them saw production at high schools and community theaters, and though I never made a dime off any of them, they convinced me that maybe I wasn’t entirely devoid of talent. But then I stopped again. Probably that badger droppings feel again, possibly the disillusionment with my chosen field of study, likely a total lack of confidence.

A few years have passed, now, and something inspired me to pick up the pen again. Starting in March of this year, I began the transcontinental trek of adapting my pretty good play into a full length novel, and peppered that with an (almost) weekly short story and a heck of a lot of reflection about writing and parenting and running, all of which I do with dogged regularity. Something clicked, and now I can’t stop. As a result, I’ve got a manuscript of about 96,000 words (yeah, I get a little obsessed with word-count) that I’m waist-deep in editing, and, oh, probably about 150,000 words of drivel not unlike what you’re currently reading over at my blog, Pavorisms. (If you’re curious about what I tongue-in-cheekly refer to as my capital “W” Writing, you can find my collection of short stories there as well.) In short, it’s been a productive year. (Whether or not any of what I’ve “produced” qualifies as readable, entertaining, or fit to print on toilet paper remains to be seen. I mean, badgers “produce” poop, as we’ve already established.)

So, uh, am I qualified to be here standing in for Linda? Meh, maybe not, but as Jules said in Pulp Fiction, “I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.” I don’t know what herding sheep has to do with the current situation, but it’s Samuel L. Jackson speaking there, and we all know you don’t fargo with that motherfargoer.

At any rate, I’ll be providing you with a prompt at next week’s end and maybe a few tidbits besides. In the meantime, if you felt like heading my way and giving me a read, that’d be super, too.

And, of course, my thanks to Linda for handing me the keys to the car while you’re out. I promise that I will kick it into reverse when I’m done with it and run all the miles back off before you get home. Don’t worry about the dents in the chrome, those will buff right out. Also, I don’t know anything about the scratches on the side panels, the crack in the windshield, or the bits of gore in the grille.

In fact, let’s just pretend I was never here.


What the heck, Word Press?

I just typed three words into a new post. I saved it. It counted two words. This post counts twenty eight. There are actually twenty nine. Check it out.


Word Press Views and What I’ve Discovered

It’s been a week since I posted Getting Views is Like Pulling Teeth in which I complained that since the reader went all to hell my view count has gone down, so I thought I’d post a follow-up on the conclusions I’ve come to.

As Chris McMullen ( pointed out, the new pop-up window in the reader does seem to provide us with what counts as a view. I know this because I’m now getting as many views as I am ‘likes.’ This is something they’ve fixed recently, obviously, because last week when I posted, I wasn’t. I’d be happy to know if anyone else is finding the same result.

But at the same time I’m finding my views per visitor as dropped substantially and I think this is really where the problem lies. While it’s great to have lots of views for the post we just published, the pop-up window still discourages people from visiting our sites, from following, and from seeing what else we have to offer. It’s especially damaging for those of us who are selling something on our websites, particularly if we’ve paid for the site in order to do just that.

I encourage everyone who has a problem with this to complain.  Here is the link to the forum which discusses it:

They have already addressed the issue of my initial complaint, (not to me personally) which was to please put the word count back in the reader for each post. If you click on the word count, now that it’s back, you bypass the pop-up window and go straight to the original site. If you click on the title of the post, you get the pop-up window. However, if the post is short and doesn’t have any more words than fit in the reader preview, it’s obviously not an option – you just get the pop-up.

I did change my reader view to “Read full post…” and I believe that has helped my view count at least. You can do this by going here, and I quote: “In your dashboard go to Settings/Reading and then scroll down to “For each article in a feed, show”. Select either Full Text or Summary.” Thanks to mewhoami ( for this tip.

Anyone who is still following this thread and is still interested in this topic, I’d love to know if you’ve made or seen any changes in the past week and have come to the same conclusions, or if you plan to write and mention your dissatisfaction with this awful ‘improvement’, in the forums. I think the more we talk about this issue with Word Press, the more we’re likely to have something done about it.

Thanks very much for being on board with me on this. 🙂


Reading and Writing – is it ‘Rithmatic?

It all started with my romance writing course. The course was a requisite to acquiring the college certificate I’m after and I thought it would be fun to do anyway. Just to get a feel for the genre I went in search of novels to read that would cost me little or no money. Enter the freebies on my e-reader. Out of the ten or so I downloaded, two were well written – the rest, not so much. But I read them anyway. It was the general feeling I was going after, not the quality of writing.

At the same time I was finishing up the rough draft of my novel. That done, I started the editing process. In the meantime, the romance course finished and I went back to reading what I normally read. Well. I tell you.

After reading Stephen King (who, no matter whether you enjoy his stories or not, you must admit is a master of the craft of writing) I realised that my novel was right on par with the free romance crap I had been reading! Granted, I’m taking a grammar course now, so I’m finding mistakes I didn’t know were mistakes. But I still want to rewrite my entire manuscript.

I was amazed at how much influence what I read had on what I wrote. The time I spent describing things in minute detail instead of simply relating how my characters were reacting to things; the extra word count that came from blathering on about things that don’t matter is astounding.

I still have to cut down my word count by about 40,000 words in order for it to fit into even the most generous publisher’s limits, but I’m hoping with Stephen King’s influence I’ll be able to accomplish that. And from now on I must remember to keep away from authors I’m not interested in emulating whilst I write.