Archive for the ‘ Journal ’ Category

Writer’s Log 01.15.2019 – 2311

Just a short post today. Actually posted a piece of flash fiction earlier. I continued to write the novella and wrote 1340 words on the project, and you can add around 500 for the Flash.
That is a good day, no matter what you think
I am I am hitting my stride. The antidepressant I take–I am not ashamed–has allowed me to get my mind functioning. It is the fourth I have tried. The other three, over the years, had terrible side effects.
I am having an amazing period of creativity, flash fiction, short stories, a Novella. I need to get back to editing “The Jungian Gate” and plan a novella sequel to Shift.

Goal: I am thinking I will edit and tighten up all my short stories and put them together into a book.

Well, I think this is it. It is about time to hit the sack. My late start this morning happened because I stayed up to one in the morning.

Writer’s Log 01.14.2019 – 1208

Started my morning with a visit to the Doctor. (You don’t really need to know.) It all came out fine, anyway, blood pressure 112/80, which is really good. I seem to have that in shape.
I started by setting a couple of goals, came up with more ideas about promoting work, and wrote a piece of Flash Fiction, “An Unintentionally Embarrassing Morning.” (584 words)
So, not bad at all. I wrote something, but I have not written on my main project, my next published work. So I am going to take this moment to say, “Get the Lead Out!”

Writer’s Log – Supplemental – 1217: Just a note.
(1) I am going to start a blog to promote my Novella Series. It will be written by the main character.
(2) I intend to do the same thing for Shift.

Writer’s Log Supplemental – 2304: Yea! Two days, with this new system, and I have finished a second scene and a total of 2418 words. Add those to the Flash Fiction Piece mentioned above. Even though I have the novel sort of planned out, I created a species of alien, The Tau Tepe, A species with three separate brains and three semi independent consciousnesses.
I had not planned for that, and now I like the character’s idiosyncrasies. Not sure how it will influence changes in the rest of the novella and the series, but they will.

Writer’s Log 01.13.2019-1414

So the new system begins. I have begun writing Starjack, and complete 1067 words. It has shifted form my original vision. Captain Suri Oza is suffering form memory problems due to the use of a long sleep drug that drastically slows his metabolism, usually used with deep sleep tubes. Those on his ship were destroyed. He crawled in a body bag with the body of a friend and injected the drug as a beg middle finger to fate after his ship was damaged.
His memories will dribble back to him over time. The person who shot him will be the last memory he will recover, somewhere near the end of the novella.

I have completed a one-sentence summary of all three Novellas, assigned working titles, and know how each novella ends. I have three main characters, and plan to make each character the POV character of one Novella.

Writer’s Log 01.11.2019-1524

Been one of those days, know what I mean? I stepped on a water hose and fell and twisted my left ankle. It doesn’t hurt bad, but with my Achilles Tendon being a bit calcified, it means that it can take months to heal up. I don’t think it is that bad, you know, but I probably won’t know for sure until tomorrow.
And now, Grammarly ( a great program by the by) is telling me “know what I mean” (written as a tongue in cheek salute to my childhood in Oklahoma where that phrase appeared multiple times in any conversation, know what I mean) wants me to change it for “uncertainty.”
Why in holy hell would I want to do that?

Writer’s Log – Supplemental; Off to a late start today, so don’t “twizzen” judge.
A question came up in the Novella I am working on, how do I handle profanity. I do, indeed, want my characters to speak, and at least one of them is as profane a man as you might ever find, especially when he wakes up in a body bag. He is surrounded by people who are less profane only in that they do not have as much dialog. I am going to come up with my own choice words.
Twizzen – Galac Basic word for extinct American English slang “fucking.”
Galac Basic – The common language spoken in the region of space where the story takes place. Galac Basic varies from star to star.
I will add other choice words, and post them separately as a page, perhaps.
Working on Space Opera novella.

Writer’s Log – Supplemental-2019: Some days you write the bear, and some days it runs off with your mind and shit’s it away in the wood. I’ve written some on the Space Opera Novella. Interesting work.

Writer’s Log 01.10.2019-0807

Sometimes, a writer must take the seat of their (gender neutral pronoun) pants firmly in hand and lift themselves by their belt loops. Yea, the metaphor could be improved, but this is about pantsing, writing from the seat of their pants, not the game where jocks (I was never one) jerk the pants of nerds (that’s me) down around their ankles. Lot’s of fun for observers, bullies, and jocks, loads of humiliation for nerds. Besides, I am not complete pantser. I know how this story ends and begins. I know the main characters, just a little hazy about everything in between.
Read my Novel “Shift.”

Slipped off that subject, I suppose. Well, for the morning I am working on my upcoming Novella, writing the first draft of a scene titled, “A Body Bag With a View.” More on the flip.

Writer’s Log – Supplemental 0839: Trying to decide in this Science Fiction Novella if I should just let the profanity rip, or if I should create a profane lingo.
Think I will go with my gut and create a lingo or jargon for profanity. Beta readers and editors can change my mind if they want to try.

Writer’s Log – Supplemental 0947: Wrote 357 words. Not bad, but not good either. I need to go do a load of laundry. Latter.

Writer’s Log – Supplemental 1153: After a load of laundry, I edited Chapter Eight Scene 1 of “The Jungian Gate.” The work continues.

Writer’s Log – Supplemental 1510: More editing on Jungian Gate, continued with the sequel.

Writer’s Log – Supplemental 1529: Finished Chapter 1 Scene 1 of the TJG’s sequel.


Grief consumes me. I sit to write, and the faces of the lost appear as my reflection in the screen. My grandfather, grandmother, all their generation long gone and buried. My mother and the men and women who raised and guided me, none survive. My father-in-law and mother-in-law, their siblings, gone to the grave too soon.

The heroes of my youth, the actors, the musicians, dying one by one, diminished by age to death.

And my youth dead and its memory hazy and fading. Soon, I fear, only the discomforts of old age will remain to treasure. Better that than the void of death.

For all these and more, I grieve, not because I want to, but because they parade across my monitor, within my mirror, and through my memory.

I want to speak with them once more, with all that passion, energy, and ignorance of youth. I need their wisdom at my age. They walked my path. I recall their dignity, their joy. They must have some advice, some explanation, some comfort. But I can’t hear them.

M. Frank Darbe


Doldrums are defined as, “Equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and unpredictable light winds”—thank you Webster’s. But there is more to that, I think, in human doldrums characterized by inactivity, stagnation, depression. That’s me, a human doldrum, tired of the calms seeking a sudden storm and light and unpredictable anything.

Yes, a little wind of the soul would do me, but I don’t expect it. It is one of those times when the words in my soul run stagnant and sour. Smiles and frowns are few, where the dominant expression is a strait lipped nothing.

M. Frank Darbe

Well, Here I am Again

Back to work, wishing for consistency but recognizing my stepdad’s old saying, “Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one gets full first.”

I’d rather start again and again instead of living with shit in my hands.

Edited Shift, Chapter 4, Scene 6.

Informal Journal – Keep Pinging Away

Today, I wrote a first draft of “D’Artagnan Never Slept Here,” a science fiction flash story. Posting in Writer’s World elicited excellent responses that will go to the rewrite. I think it has the germ of a good Flash, but it does need some work. Keeping it under 1000 words will be no easy task.

Rewrote Dystopia Happens. I think of it as Science Fiction, and, its background strongly implies the breakdown of society with youth and an elderly man eking out an existence. I intend to submit it to That means, tomorrow I have to rewrite “D’Artagnan Never Slept Here.” I want to submit a full slate of stories because I have a better chance of selling one of them.>

Suggested changes to Chapter 2 of Shift were returned. I need to break them open tomorrow. I suspect I will accept them. I trust my editor.

Flash Fiction Resources

An Extremely Helpful, Incredibly Comprehensive Guide to Flash Fiction Submissions

Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction

Informal Journal – Submit or Perish – I have been a member forever, though I go through extended periods of time when I ignore its existence. Completing a piece of flash fiction, led me to the decision to submit. You know, when you submit you must have a market. Searching for “Flash Fiction Markets” in Google was not satisfactory. Then, I thought I lost my password, but I found it. Now, I am back. Long story edited for length, I will submit “Annotated Shopping List” to “Copper Nickel.”

Annotated Shopping List – Story is ready to submit, but you can submit up to three Flash Fiction Pieces, so I am considering writing two more. Decisions, Decisions!

The Traffic Stop, a second Flash Fiction, is adapted from the opening scene of a novel sitting on my hard drive. I cut it and stripped out plot items for the longer story. It works as flash fiction, if a bit longer than my previous story. Once edited, it will be the second story in a submission package of three to Copper Nickel.
I can’t help but wonder, where is number three.

Snitch was the last of the three, and they have been submitted. I suspect this is the first of many submissions for these stories, but it is necessary to start, somewhere.