Sunday, February 22, 2015

Writing in Public - Year 1, Month 3, Days 16-22

Michael Salsbury
My adoption of Dean Wesley Smith's Writing in Public challenge continues.

On Monday, I listened to most of a recording of Christopher Vogler's Using Myth to Power Your Story.  Although I've heard that material before, something about it sunk in more this time around.  I was even inspired to write an intro that kicks off a story I've been brainstorming (1,923 words).  Wrote in the journal, too (754 words).

Tuesday I finished listening to Chris Vogler's workshop.  During my lunch hour, late in the day, I tried putting the ASL story (tentatively called "The Ark") into the Hero's Journey structure (1605 words).  As it turns out, the words I wrote the day before actually cover the first four stages of that model (Ordinary World, Call to Adventure, Refusing the Call, and Crossing the Threshold).  That evening I also commented on a post on Joanna Penn's blog that I found interesting (227 words).  Did a journal entry (543 words) as well.

Wednesday, I wrote a journal entry (761 words), posted a comment on Chuck Wendig's blog on a post that had helped me (396 words), and rewrote that comment as a blog post on How to Write Fiction (273 words).

Thursday evening I journaled (395 words) and wrote 3 opening lines, one of which grew to a paragraph (142 words).

Friday I only managed a small amount of journaling (232 words).

Saturday, I wrote a post about the Storybase brainstorming software for writers (1,495 words).  It will appear in late April on my How To Write Fiction blog.  I wrote three beer reviews for Columbus Beer Scene (576 words total).  I wrote an article on homebrew labeling for Begin Brewing (604 words).  I also created ten posts for the Application Repackaging blog (3,365 total words).  A short journal entry was also written (189 words).

Sunday I wrote a post about the QBrew brewing software (1,213 words) for Begin Brewing, which will not appear on the site for a while.  I wrote a lengthy journal entry (1,477 words).

Here are my notes from this week:
  • Things I Accomplished This Week That I'm Proud of:
    • Survived another on-call week at work with minimal damage (2 nights of lost sleep)
  • Major Lessons Learned This Week: 
    • Microsoft has added some great features in Windows 10.  The built-in Hyper-V feature will allow many people to replace VMware Workstation and other VM software, the Task View feature gives Windows virtual desktop space, which will be great on devices with a single small monitor, and some of the other features look good too.
  • Meaningful Quotes: 
    • "Life is short; shorter than you think. Don’t do hack work. If a studio wants to give you an assignment to write something, do it only if it rings spiritual, psychic or sexual bells inside you." - Joe Eszterhas
  • Inspirations:
    • Listening to Christopher Vogler's Hero's Journey material (audio version) inspired me to write the first chapter of the ASL book I've been brainstorming
    • They Might Be Giants - Their music has been running almost non-stop through my head this week, causing me to listen and re-listen to a lot of it. It's just really fun music.
  • People I'd Love to Meet: 
    • Steve Martin - He's a writer, a musician, a comedian, an actor... is there anything that guy can't do - and do well?  Gotta wonder.  Seems like the sort of person who would make a good friend if you got to know him.
    • Phil Collins - When you see him in the more candid interviews and backstage footage, he always seems like a really fun, down to earth guy.  He's another I'd like to know, and not because he's a star, but just because I think he'd be a good person to spend time with.
  • Inspiring People I Did Meet: 
    • Didn't meet anyone new this week.
  • What Didn't Happen and What I Can Improve for Next Week:
    • ASL Plot - This didn't happen because I didn't put the time into it.
    • Opening Lines - I had trouble coming up with these, but I also didn't sit down often enough and try.
  • Biggest Outcomes I Wanted for This Week:
    • Finish the basic plot for the ASL story with the working title "The Ark" - Not Done
    • Write at least two posts for Application Repackaging - Achieved (+8)
    • Write at least two posts for the ASL blog - Not Done
    • Write at least two beer reviews for Columbus Beer Scene - Achieved (+1)
    • Write at least one post for Begin Brewing - Achieved (+1)
    • Journal at least 5 of the 7 days during the period - Achieved (+2)
    • Create at least 10 opening lines, 1 opening paragraph - Partially Done (5/10)
  • Biggest Outcomes I Want for NEXT Week:
    • Create character sketches for the boarding party members for The Ark, including the alien AI, and whoever's left in charge of the Prospect while the captain's away
    • Finish the basic plot for the ASL story with the working title "The Ark"
    • Create at least 10 opening lines, 1 opening paragraph, and 1 opening page
    • At least 1 content post for this blog not related to Writing in Public
    • At least 1 post for Begin Brewing
    • At least 2 posts for Columbus Beer Scene
    • At least 2 posts for the ASL Series Blog
    • At least 1 post for Windows Desktop Administration Site
Below is how all the above activity turned into word count.


  • Journal: 4,351 words
  • Begin Brewing: 1,817 words
  • Columbus Beer Scene: 576 words
  • How To Write Fiction:  1,768 words
  • This Blog: 1,108 words
  • ASL Story - The Ark: 3,528 words
  • Application Repackaging Blog:  3,365 words
  • Opening Lines Written:  5 lines, 1 paragraphs, 161 words
  • Comments on Other Blogs:  623 words
TOTAL WORDS FOR THIS PERIOD: 17,297 words (avg. 2,471 per day)



  • Fully Invested: 0 words (notes and backstory)
  • The Alliance (series): 0 words
  • ASL - The Ark: 3528 words
  • Alien Love Story: 0 words
  • Driven To Kill: 0 words
  • Local Gods: 0 words
  • The Black Eagles: 0 words
  • The Old Hotel: 0 words
  • Thief of Police: 0 words
Short Stories:
  • The Mimas Object (a story in the Alliance universe): 0 words
  • Introduction to Application Repackaging: 0 words
  • Troubleshooting Windows Applications: 0 words
  • Amazon Product Reviews:  0 words
  • Alliance for Sentient Lifeforms (ASL): 3,993 words
  • Begin Brewing: 6,209 words
  • Columbus Beer Scene:  2,172 words
  • How to Write Fiction: 6,183 words
  • Introduction to Application Repackaging: 3,899 words
  • Windows Desktop Administration: 0 words
  • This Blog: 3,323 words
  • Guest Posts for Other Blogs: 0 words
  • Comments on Other Blogs: 623 words
  • Journaling:  8,118 words
Opening Lines, Paragraphs, Pages:
  • Opening Lines Written: 18 lines (636 words)
  • Opening Paragraphs Written: 11
  • Opening Pages Written: 0

FEBRUARY 2015 - MONTH TO DATE WORDS: 38,684 (avg. 1,758.4 per day)

  • Month 1 (December 2014): 20,754 words (669/day)
  • Month 2 (January 2015): 16,018 words (517/day)
  • Month 3 (February 2015): 38,684 words (1,758.4/day)
  • TOTAL WORDS WRITTEN: 75,456 words (898/day)

About the Author

Michael Salsbury / Author & Editor

In his day job, Michael Salsbury helps administer over 1,800 Windows desktop computers for a Central Ohio non-profit. When he's not working, he's writing, blogging, podcasting, home brewing, or playing "warm furniture" to his two Bengal cats.


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