2017 Disperser Retrospective – Writing

Occasionally, I write fiction. On that basis, I call myself a “writer” . . . and then quickly qualify the statement by saying I like to write. 

And, write I do. A lot. 

But, in 2017, not much of it was fiction. I’ll get to what little I wrote, but first, let me give you a quick summary of the past few weeks . . . 

To be sure, Grammarly is not all that reliable because whenever you open a document you’re working on, it counts the words already written and previously checked as new words. But, since I’ve not written any fiction in the past few weeks and since I’ve not edited any previously written stuff, the only double-counting comes from a few re-edits of my Christmas/New Year letter and the multiple calendar posts I’ve been doing. I estimate the 48K words is high by about 8-15K words. Call it 18K and that still leaves 30,000 words written in two weeks.  

Believe it or not, that’s probably a pretty good estimate. Those 30K words include all the unique blog posts in the last few weeks, my interactions with people who comment on my blog posts, and my commenting on blogs I read. Sometimes, those comments get into discussions. Oh, yes, I’ve also been known to write e-mail responses, some quite long. Well, long for other people; to me, they barely scratch the surface of proper communication. 

One quick word about accuracy; I like ellipses and Grammarly doesn’t. We also occasionally disagree on comma usage and, lately, it’s been flagging words I want to use and asking me if I meant something else. But, yes, I make errors. I’m a pretty fast typer but not a touch typer. I look at the keyboard and use two (and occasionally, up to four) fingers to type. One of the problems I’m having with my current keyboard is the transposing of the letters. That’s a recent problem and I think some of the keys are hit near-simultaneously and the key response is off. Or, I’m losing digital dexterity. Take your pick. Another problem is some of the keystrokes don’t register unless I make a deliberate and pronounced stroke on the key, something I don’t always do as my fingers glide over said keys like speed demons on crack. 

Anyway, despite all them words on digital paper, I’ve only had something like eighteen posts about writing. Of those, there are only three pieces of fiction, although I’m quite proud of one of them. 

. . . er . . . scratch that; one of them has grown on me to the point that I think it’s pretty good. BUT . . . it could also be like tapioca; it doesn’t really taste good, but if that’s the only thing you got to eat, you might eventually grow fond of it. 

So, why so little fiction writing, you ask? I won’t lie . . . Trump. 

Look, I’m not really for one party or another. Heck, I think they are all crooks. But — briefly — I like this country. I like the ideals it strives for. I’ve watched those ideals get kicked around and battered during the past five administrations but this is a step beyond. I honestly don’t think we can walk this one back. Especially since — despite all their vociferous complaining — Democrats are chomping at the bit for their turn at running the country without the facade of caring for the people. As bad as Trump is, the next administration will only build on what he sowed. It’s what every administration does, and if you doubt me, look back at Obama promising transparency, protection for whistle-blowers, limiting lobbyists, etc. etc.  . . . how did that turn out?

Say what you will about Trump, and there’s a lot to say, but he wears his contempt for the rule of law and for the people on his sleeve for all to see. Heck, occasionally, just to make sure we see it, he hoists it up on a pole and waves it around on Twitter. Watching one’s country go to heck can be difficult . . . is difficult. 

And that’s all I’m going to say about this. It’s been a tough year for writing and current affairs contribute to the load but most of the criticism is on me. Were I a “real” writer (one who had to write to put food on the table), I would have written.  

That’s not to say I didn’t submit stuff. I have 46 rejections to date. The average turnaround time was 33 days with the longest being 441 days and the shortest 1 day. That’s since 2015. This year I submitted 13 stories and those — on average — were rejected within 25 days of being submitted. Most were rejected in two to five days.  

If I include fiction and post about writing, the number of blog posts about writing is . . . drumroll . . . 18, or about one out of every ten blog posts. Of those, only four were new fiction. 

In fact, I didn’t even mention writing until the beginning of March and then it was the end of March when I wrote about some ideas I was (and still am) pondering. That post had a quick and difficult-to-read flash piece that I meant to clean up and expand but never did. 

In April, I answered a writing prompt and wrote Coming Home. I like the piece but the ending is not as clean as I would like and probably a little sappy. What can I say; I’m a sappy kind of guy. 

But, you know what? I do like that story. I like the emotional punch even when I know it’s coming.

The next post was in support of a writer, Paige Adams, and her self-published book,  Tales of Ejoma (Dual Realms Book 1). If you like paranormal romance (magic and romance), it’s a pretty good read. 

Self-publishing is an option I hold on reserve for when I exhaust other options. Why? Well, mostly because it’s a lot of work.  THIS post covers a bit of what’s involved. By the way, that post is also a pretty good reference for my previous writings about writing. Brilliant stuff, if I say so myself. And, I have to — say so myself — because no one else will. 

Keep in mind that that was written in April of this year and the plans I mentioned in the post have not been implemented. Why not, you ask? Well, I tell you . . . say, look over there! Isn’t that a speckled yellow beak cyclopean heron? Sorry, my mistake.

Anyway, as I was saying, THIS other post covers some of the monetary hurdles associated with self-publishing, and they are not inconsequential. Hey, if becoming a published author was easy, everybody would be doing it. 

I rounded out the self-publishing series with a post (HERE) that holds what I — if I ever get traditionally published — will strongly suggest be my author’s bio. In my opinion, it’s the kind of bio that people want to read about authors they like. Also, even if they don’t like the author, they will perhaps admire the style and humor of it. 

My next contribution to the would-be writer/author is a post titled A Tiny Glimmer of Talent. Once again, I pull no punches in trying to dissuade competition . . . er . . . I mean, in trying to inform would-be authors of the difficult road to publication and a potential of being moderately successful. Hint . . . lots of work, a willingness to learn,  and some lucky breaks.

In early August, I posted (HERE, password-protected) my second Michelle Maul, P. I., short story. I admit that at first, I found it a tad skimpy but that it has since grown on me for its subtle layering of drama, action, mystery, and suspense. In case anyone is interested, the first Michelle Maul Murder Mystery story is HERE. No password on that one. 

Oh, OK . . . it was easier letting it grow on me than going back and editing it. Still, I do like it. As soon as I find places that publish those kinds of stories, I’m sending it in. 

I have a lot of new subscribers (mid-1,200s) and even though most are people trying to sell stuff, there may be some who want to read this future classic of the P.I. genre. I think most people who wanted to read it have already done so, but if not, leave a comment below and I’ll send you the password. Don’t leave your e-mail address; it comes through with the comment. 

The next post was my own critique of the story along with a nifty effort at a cover. 

August saw me pen a short (1,500 words) piece I also consider submitting. Heck, you know what? I’m going to polish that up a bit and send it out before the end of the year. A last minute push to get published in 2017, as it were.  Anyway, “I Should Have Left Well Enough Alone” is also password protected. If you want to read it, comment below. 

Also in August, I penned an opinion piece about reading (and, by association, writing). Things don’t look good, if you ask me. But, don’t ask me . . . read THIS.

Late August provided a blow to what I thought was a new-found enthusiasm about writing . . . 

September was a travel month and it’s not until October that I penned an opinion about dark and light writing. 

At the end of October, I pushed myself to write a sequel to last year’s Halloween story. Not a Super-Solid effort, but it wasn’t a total suck-fest. You can read it HERE, but I would recommending reading last year’s story before reading this year’s Halloween offering.

And that, dear readers, is the sum total of my efforts relating to writing for 2017. Not much, really, but I hope to do better in 2018 . . . starting with now editing that August story and sending it out.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Fiction, flash fiction, Opinions and Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 2017 Disperser Retrospective – Writing

  1. So you used 98% more unique words than other “writers” which confirms what I’ve believed all along…………………..


    • disperser says:

      That I am loquacious? Verbose? Grandiquolent? Garrulous? Pleonastic? Magniloquent?

      Oh, wait . . . you mean eloquent! Why didn’t you just say so?

      But, yes . . . I already knew that.


  2. I think you put a lot of good effort into your writing in 2017, Emilio! I enjoyed reading everything you shared on your blog!
    It’s nice to be able to write out a summary of your writing-year. See what you’ve accomplished, what you’d like to submit, what your stats are, etc.
    You already know this…but just a reminder…many now-famous books (written by now-famous authors) were rejected MANY time before they were finally published. (For example, JK Rowlings first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 different publishers before it got published and made her a bazillionaire.)
    Keep writing! Keep submitting!
    May 2018 be your best writing year!!!
    My 2017 was better and brighter because of you, your blog (writing and photographs), and your comments on my blog! Thank you!
    HUGS to you and Melisa!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Yes, I know . . . in fact, I am looking for those 12 publishers so I can get through them and be discovered and become a multibazillionaire. I suppose I could just cut to the chase and go directly to the 13th publisher, but I believe in earning my way into multibazillionaireship.

      Also, thank you for your kind words regarding the impact of my efforts. It’s very nice of you to say.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I second this opinion. Keep writing and you’ll get there. You can also consider self-publishing. You know all about it.
      So, be proud of your accomplishments and don’t stop writing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Thanks, Lucile, and rest assured, I’m my biggest fan. Well, not in mass; I’m relatively small as people go, especially these days. 175 pounds or so, on a bad day.

      As for publishing, I can’t really be discouraged because I’ve not put in the effort. Sure, I submit a few things, but I don’t work at it.

      Pieces like this one are mostly for me to have an easy way to find stuff I’ve written and not meant to be taken as me complaining or being discouraged.

      That said, thanks again for your comment.


  3. AnnMarie says:

    I agree with Grammarly . . . about something I’ve known all my life . . . and that is that you are “productive”, “accurate” and “unique”!


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