National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts tomorrow.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Writer.

Man writing

Writing.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

NaNoWriMo is a way to grow as an author.

The National Novel Writing Month is a mixture of competition and un-competition. During this month aspiring authors attempt to write an entire novel, a novel of at least 50,000 words, during the 30 days of November. That works out to 1667 words per day average. Each participant is competing with themselves to see if they can take an idea and turn it into a finished novel in 30 days. In the spirit of un-competition, anyone who completes their novel is considered a “winner.”

My experiences with NaNoWriMo.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo about 2010. The following year, 2011, I made my first attempt. That ill-fated attempt stalled somewhere around 5000 words. The remnants of that manuscript still reside in the ancient recesses of my computer’s hard drive. While that particular story has not yet emerged into the light of day, the lessons learned put me on the path towards becoming a better writer.

For the next few years, life happened. Then in 2016, I took another try at completing a novel in the 30-day time span. This time I was able to complete the project. That book, initially with the working title “thrift store” took two more years to revise and edit before it was published in late 2017. That manuscript spurred by NaNoWriMo grew from the original 50,000 words to over 80,000 and the title shifted to Casino Robbery, my first published novel.

Because of that accomplishment, I pulled out another one of my partially finished novels and earlier this year that manuscript now revised, edited, and retitled, ended up being published as my second novel “Sasquatch.”

In November of 2017 during NaNoWriMo, I started and finished a novel with the working title “Family Secrets.” Over the next year “Family Secrets” has been revised and edited several times. In 2019, I published that novel using the title Dark Family Secrets:

How did I go about writing 50,000 words in one month?

One of the lessons NaNoWriMo has taught me was the importance of setting deadlines. I have many incomplete books, both fiction and nonfiction, stored away on the hard drive still not finished, some going back 20 years. None of them were ever completed because there was always a busy life and the next shining project getting in the way.

Once I learned to make meeting the deadline my highest priority, at least for that limited period, things started happening. This process has worked for me in writing the first draft, revising, and finally pushing the publish button. I could have drawn each of these tasks out over more time but having a deadline on my calendar forced me to finish a project so that I could check that one off my list, and I would be ready to start on another project next month.

October is my time for preparation for NaNoWriMo.

I didn’t want to cheat myself out of the full experience of writing a novel in 30 days. Not that anyone else would’ve known if I had jumped the gun and started writing early, but I would’ve known. So, I don’t begin to write until November 1. What I do allow myself to do before that date is preparation.

The three books that were finished during NaNoWriMo had some similar features. I thought about the general idea, started making some notes, and selected a working title knowing that title might change. I try to prepare an outline, though it is never in any fine detail. As ideas come for events, scenes if you will, I digitally jot them down. As the scene list grows, I rearrange the order.

When I start to write its very likely new ideas will occur to me, and they will get inserted in my list of events wherever they fit. I’m also likely to find that some of the things I initially thought would be separate scenes all get used in a single chapter.

Another thing I try to have planned before November first is a list of the characters, their names, and a brief description of them. If I’m using a specific location, I may do a little research and write some notes on that location. None of this advanced preparation is firm. Once November 1 arrives, everything is subject to change.

What happened in 2018?

The 2018 NaNoWriMo novel had the working title “Planning Accidents.” It was the second adventure for Arthur Mitchell, the protagonist from my first novel Casino Robbery. For the first time that year, I created a cover that I could use for the e-book edition of the book that ended up being “Planned Accidents” Since then I have completed two other novels.

So, what am I planning to write for NaNoWriMo this year?

I have two possibilities that I am outlining at the moment. I decided not to give you the working titles since I now know that the title will likely change in the process.

If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel, then NaNoWriMo this November, might be just the encouragement you need to get that first draft written. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments about writing. If you have questions for me, please send them along. I’ll get back to everyone just as quickly as possible, though as you can see for the next month, I am likely to be extremely busy.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Happy Halloween!

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Happy Halloween.
Artwork courtesy of Canva.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy Halloween.

Tomorrow starts the very busy month of November. While I don’t want to neglect my readers over the next month this blog will be largely on autopilot. November is the NaNoWriMo contest in which writers attempt to write a 50,000 word first draft of their novel during the 30 days of November. Several of my published novels began as NaNoWriMo contest entries.

Most of the posts for the month of November are already written and scheduled. So, these new posts will continue to appear throughout the month of November. As in the past, the blog posts will first appear at 2 AM Pacific Standard Time and the YouTube videos will become available at 1 AM Pacific Standard Time. For those of you in other time zones, you’re going to need to do the conversion math.

Periodically through the month, I will check back with all of you readers, so that I can answer questions as they come in. When December reaches us I will get back to you and let you know how the new novel is progressing.

Here’s hoping you have happy holidays and lots of other happy moments as we move through the fall season and into winter.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today October 2, 2020 – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today October 1 2020 – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today September 30th – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today September 29th – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Today’s not Monday, is it?

Man writing

Writing.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any busier.

For some of you who have been reading this blog over the preceding years, you’ve noticed that I rarely miss publishing a post on Mondays. But in the frantic activity of the last week, Monday of this week was overlooked. I decided to take this opportunity to tell you why Monday didn’t get its appropriate respect this week.

The usual schedule for the counselorssoapbox blog has been a post every Sunday about a feeling related word. I try to include a picture that illustrates the idea along with some quotations featuring the word of the week. Some of these quotations are humorous, and some are insightful.

Monday has typically been reserved for a post on mental health, substance abuse, or having a happy life. I suppose skipping this week’s Monday post was my way of doing a little personal self-care.

Sometimes Wednesday features a Writing Wednesday post about my fiction and nonfiction books and my writing process. And when possible, the other days of the week might feature anything else; I’ve managed to write. I just never know what these will be until I get them finished.

There are new things in the works.

Starting next week, I will be teaching another class about drugs, alcohol, and substance use disorders, The topic, and the material are very similar to the way I’ve taught this class in the classroom in the past. But the content has been redesigned. Over the summer, I took a course on how to teach online and my class on The Effects Of Drugs And Alcohol On The Body and The Brain, also known as the Physical and Psychological Effects of Drugs, and sometimes called Chemical Dependency Counseling has been completely redesigned. If you’d like to look at the videos for this class, you will find them on my counselorssoapbox YouTube channel on the playlist SUD-CD. To get academic credit for the course, you would need to be enrolled through Fresno City College.

Two new novels are due to be published shortly.

I spent the first seven months of this year working on several new novels. Two of these novels are currently in the revision and proofreading stages. Since sometimes, the details change when I go to publish them. I will tell you more about them as we get closer to the publication date.

Both are in new genres. Having started my novel writing efforts so late in life, I’ve approached novel writing the same way most people approach relationships as a teenager. I tried to date as many genres as possible without getting married to anyone genre category.

Throughout my life, I’ve read widely, and I can’t say there’s any single category of book, either fiction or nonfiction, which doesn’t interest me. So, I must at least spend some time with some new genres in my writing.

One of the novels I plan to publish before the year is out will be a dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel about a country that takes over the control of social media to control the way people think. This novel is not necessarily connected to the recent COVID-19 pandemic or current political events. As a teenager, I thoroughly enjoyed reading both Utopian and dystopian novels. Brave New World and 1984 were two of my favorite books. The working title for this book is Story Bureau.

The second novel features a reporter exploring the paranormal phenomena. This book will include both a ghost story and a mystery, and the current working title for this book is Oaktree Hotel Hauntings. For those of you who read and liked my time travel adventure titled Sasquatch Attacks, this novel features the return of reporter Nancy Nusbaum who is now working for the Paranormal News.

The Counselorssoapbox YouTube channel continues to grow.

I’ve added several new videos to the Counselorssoapbox YouTube channel. Some of these are shorter videos on substance use disorders. I’m also working on some new mental health videos. While I enjoy all the things I’m doing, I still need to take some time out to eat and sleep.

The mental health field continues to change.

Both my private practice clients and the supervision I do have moved online. Staying mentally healthy in the coronavirus era has been a challenge for both clients and counselors. As humans, we all need some social connection, but we also need to be careful to minimize our contacts and the spread of the virus. My self-care plan also includes an emphasis on devoting some time out of my schedule to stay in touch with those people in my support system who I currently can’t see is much as I would like.

So that’s an update on my life both personally and professionally. How are you all taking care of yourself these days? Please feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment box below or use the contact me form.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Free Kindle books – no fooling.

Free Kindle books – no fooling.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

During these troubling times, I think everyone needs to find something to take their mind off what’s going on. For the next 5 days, April 1 through April 5, I am making the Kindle edition of all of my books free. You don’t have to read them all in those 5 days, but you do have to order and download them.

I hope those of you who read these books and enjoy them. I know I enjoyed writing them. If you do read one or more of the books and enjoy it, please leave a book review on Amazon. Book reviews do not need to be long, just a few short words to let people know you enjoyed the book or to tell them who you think might enjoy reading this book. Let me know if you download the books. The full list with links to Amazon is below.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Free Kindle books – no fooling.

Free Kindle books – no fooling.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

During these troubling times, I think everyone needs to find something to take their mind off what’s going on. For the next 5 days, April 1 through April 5, I am making the Kindle edition of all of my books free. You don’t have to read them all in those 5 days, but you do have to order and download them.

I hope those of you who read these books and enjoy them. I know I enjoyed writing them. If you do read one or more of the books and enjoy it, please leave a book review on Amazon. Book reviews do not need to be long, just a few short words to let people know you enjoyed the book or to tell them who you think might enjoy reading this book. Let me know if you download the books. The full list with links to Amazon is below.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Free Kindle books – no fooling.

Free Kindle books – no fooling.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

During these troubling times, I think everyone needs to find something to take their mind off what’s going on. For the next 5 days, April 1 through April 5, I am making the Kindle edition of all of my books free. You don’t have to read them all in those 5 days, but you do have to order and download them.

I hope those of you who read these books and enjoy them. I know I enjoyed writing them. If you do read one or more of the books and enjoy it, please leave a book review on Amazon. Book reviews do not need to be long, just a few short words to let people know you enjoyed the book or to tell them who you think might enjoy reading this book. Let me know if you download the books. The full list with links to Amazon is below.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel