Year 4 starts now

Three years ago today, I posted a little fantasy about how the telescreens of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four came true in the form of the personal devices that we spend so much time staring at. For a title I used the words of an astonished Winston Smith when he encountered a telescreen that actually had an on/off switch: “You can turn it off!”

I had a hidden agenda that day, one I didn’t talk about for a few weeks because I have a habit of announcing grandiose plans and having them fizzle: I resolved to blog every day from August through October, a total of 92 consecutive days, more than I had ever mustered in my years of blogging since 2006.

I made it to 92 and kept on blogging; today marks the beginning of my fourth year as an honest-to-goodness daily blogger. Monday was the (365 times 3 equals) 1,095th consecutive day that I have posted something here at

Lesson learned — no grandiose announcements, just quietly do your thing, right? Wrong. Not long afterward I announced I was writing a new novel about a character named Jeep Thompson and I’d be publishing it in 2021. I did publish the first third of the novel — on May 15, 2023 — and have high hopes of getting the rest of it on the market in time to be under your Christmas tree this year. 

I’ve been doing some thinking about goals for the rest of the year, and I’m itching to share them, but I’ve seen time and time again what happens when I share my big plans.

Lately I’ve been thinking that part of my problem is a lack of focus — when you have six novels in various stages of incompletion, a daily blog and a day job, it’s easy to get in a state where your eyes glaze over when it’s time to write. And so I decided to pick three projects and only three for the rest of the year.

One is the afore-mentioned Jeep novel, which got a boost when the people who have read the first third (What? You haven’t read it? Rectify that by clicking here) not only didn’t hate it but had nice things to say about it.

The second is a short novella or novelette that I have managed never to mention in public. Before now. Oh, I’ve jinxed it now. Make believe I didn’t say anything about a sequel to a beloved Christmas classic.

And the third is the project I mentioned the other day. I’m hoping to generate a little excitement about this project by dropping hints every few days, like this one.

Oh, and I’m still planning to keep blogging every day, so I guess that’s four projects, and I still have the day job, which technically is a fifth center of focus, and — see how this stuff gets away from me?

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