I've been running Windows 7 for years. Windows 7 isn't okay for self-publishing. I had to upgrade to Windows 10. I don't like it. But I got most of the way done, saved as a draft, and I wanted to take another look at the manuscript I submitted to Gnome on Pig for the digital version. I have it in my email folders. Unfortunately, when I set up my email after the upgrade, it's a different set-up. And all my email folders, over a hundred of them (I just counted—I didn't think I had near that many.)disappeared. I knew they were in there somewhere, but where?
I called Microsoft and after talking to two tech helpers and getting passed from one to the other, the third guy found them for me. Windows live Mail. Then he gave me the bad news. Windows Live Mail eventually dies. So I'm using the new set-up, but I need to use time to figure out how to move some of those folder entries to my other email. Apparently the only way to do that will be to forward each entry to myself. Which means literally hours of examining and deciding. Don't have that much time. So I'm starting new folders to keep what I need that's new and hoping the old folders will stay where they are, and be accessible even if incoming and outgoing mail stop working.
In the last month my submission "Weatherman" was declined by Craft. Shucks. I've submitted Saving Atlantis to The Story Plant publishing house. Also, Fractured Lit has a contest for short stories of 400 words or less. The fee is $20 and covers the submission of up to three stories. I submitted three: "The Best Laid Plans"(a recent historical fiction that is 97% dialog), "Disguise"(a rural legend/fantasy), and "Grandma"(a humor piece originally part of the Just Lucky books, but cut before submission for publication). None of these stories were 400 words when I selected them. The closest was "The Best Laid Plans," which was 600+. "Grandma" was over 1,000 words.
All three took multiple cuts to get under the 400-word limit. That's the way to do it if you're trying to cut a longer work to a specific length. The first cuts should be obvious. The second will be tougher. Sometimes you'll have to reword a sentence or several sentences. For example, that previous sentence could read "Sentences may have to be re-worded." That cut four words. From there you might go to "Re-word sentences." Four more cut, so a ten-word sentence has been cut to two, and those two words might be incorporated into another sentence that can lose a few words. It's a process, not a once-through.
On the reading front, after I finished King's On Writing I read James Patterson's I, Alex Cross. I recommend it. There are a few more books about Alex Cross and I'll get one if I happen on the opportunity. It is a quick read, an a good one. He does one thing a little unusual—something most writing texts will advise against, especially for beginning writers. Most of the book is in first person, but there are multiple chapters in third person. He tells us what's happening that's out of sight of Alex Cross, at the same time giving us Cross's reactions and thoughts. He's elected to have a personal crisis going on for Cross at the same time and that part is clearly more effective told in first person.
I'm currently reading an anthology of horror stories, Black Veins, by The Great Void publishing. Although I've read horror stories before, I'm not a big fan. I'm a fan of Stephen King, but not necessarily horror in general. I'm reading this anthology because my horror story, "Switch" is in it.
It's my one and only horror story, but this is the second time it's been published. The first time was in the anthology Dark Light 3, which has been available on Amazon for a few years. This anthology looks to have a slightly higher production value. There are twenty-one total stories. Won't say mine's the best...but I won't say it isn't, either. Those of you who like this genre should buy it and decide for yourself. I haven't finished it yet, I'm only about half-way through, so there might be some real shockers in there.
One last thing: The election is approaching. I urge you all, for the good of the future of America, do not take for granted what one side says about the other. Don't believe what Biden or the Dems say about Trump, see what Trump says and what his family and friends say about Trump. And for God's sake, don't believe what Trump and the Republicans say about Biden. See what Biden and his family and friends say about Biden. Look at their actual records. Try to employ logic and critical thinking. Read the online information from Politifact, FactCheck, Snopes, or a few others. Those three are the top and most respected. Politifact has won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting. Here's the link to a website that gives links to fact checking websites: https://beebom.com/best-fact-checking-websites/
Please vote with your brain and your conscience for the long-term good of the country rather than for the short-term result that will feel good for you.
Thank you, and keep reading.