Resetting my Ohio #2 deadline… Because “holidays and weekends” are a real thing. And so’s math.

By Holly Lisle

I had to redo my schedule. I forgot about holidays, about taking time off — and I also forgot to figure weekends — and the fact that I don’t write on them — into my schedule.

To hit my deadline date, I would have ended up trying to hit 2500 words a day, and I’m not there yet.

The image below, with 2113 words due today, is what I saw when I opened up Scrivener this morning.

This was my start goal this morning

And again, that didn’t figure in taking weekends off, so that I would be working toward an ever-increasing daily wordcount to hit the existing deadline.

So first I looked at the deadline. It was too soon. 

Ohio 2 original deadline 2021 01 04 38 13 AM

I went into Scrivener and changed the software so it no longer figured weekends as writing days. They’re not — they’re regeneration, relaxation, re-filling-the-well days.Ohio2 session settings part1 2021 01 04 AM

Then I set the software to give me as close to 1250 words per day, and discovered that it would require me to reset my deadline to Feb. 18, 2021.

REVISED ohio2 daily wordcount goal 2021 01 04 at 9 40 42 AM

So I did that.

And then I got 1260 words today, in spite of the fact that I’d had a bunch of days of and a hard time getting started.

I’ve discovered that if I can hit my wordcount even when things aren’t going well, the wordcount is pretty close to right.

And I like what I got today. Which also helps.



Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Conflict With the Neighbors!

By Holly Lisle

Things are getting dangerous in my little fictional town — and the neighbors who have been supportive until now are having big, anxious second thoughts.

The scene didn’t go quite the way I expected… and I had a moment in the middle where I didn’t know how it was going to work out.

And then it did… and now I get to bring back an incident that happened in the first book.

Very, very happy with today’s writing.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Origin of the phrase WILD HAIR UP HIS ASS: a true story

By Holly Lisle

I ended up looking up the origin of the phrase “wild hair up his ass” this morning, and discovered there is shit-all about it on the internet.

This in itself is astonishing — it’s the INTERNET, you know? It knows everything. But apparently not.

The best I could find, well, the only thing I could find, was “does something completely unexpected.”

ORIGIN, folks. “This is what a phrase means” is not the same thing “where the fuck did this phrase come from?”

But now, my friend, I have discovered the origin of this phrase I’ve been hearing folks say my entire life.

I was in the bathroom this morning getting ready for work.

My cat was in the bathroom using his litter box.

And all of a sudden, he leaps out of the box, runs in tight circles in an absolute panic (which in a bathroom that small is a good trick), and comes to a skidding stop in front of my feet, at which point he crouches, body rigid, eyes black, ears locked back, tail whipping back and forth like we are both about to be devoured by aliens only he can see.

I look around to see what scared him.


I bend over, rest a hand on his shoulders, assure him that everything is okay, that he is all right, that nothing is going to get him…

And he relaxes, rolls on his side…

Which is when I spot about an inch of cat turd hanging from his butt, suspended as if by magic.

Probably NOT magic, I think, and grab a piece of toilet paper, and give the turd a gentle tug…

And slowly remove what’s holding it there, which is about six inches of one human hair.

Mine. Matt shaves his head, Joe keeps his hair short.

Guess who had a wild hair up his butt?

So now he’s calm, happy, purring. I pet his little fat head and kick him out of the bathroom, and get my shower.

Which is when I look up, and see the lizard hanging on the drywall above the tiles, eyeing me.

I just keep taking my shower — I spent time as a kid in both Costa Rica and Guatemala, and I have shared showers with scarier critters than that.

At least until this one dropped of the wall to the floor of the tub, and I did my own version of a “wild hair” dance.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Why I chose Ko-Fi to replace Patreon

By Holly Lisle

Today is the last day of my How to Write a Novel launch, so I’m pulling this post from an email that just went out. I apologize for duplicating, but this needs to go to all my folks, and this is….

Efficient. Today, I need that.

Quick catch-up if you missed it.

I left Patreon.

When I left, I had no plan. I only knew that I could NOT stay on Patreon.

Within minutes of that first email going out, though, folks from my email list were sending me recommendations, and I checked out every single one of them.

Thank you very, very much.

One of them fit me — what I’m doing, the way I prefer to work.

Which is as follows:

  • I pay for the service. Me. JUST me.
  • The money folks pay to support me comes to me. Just me.

Here’s why that matters: 

When the person receiving the benefits of the service is also the person paying for the service, the service provider is on the hook to be honest, ethical, and competent, or lose the customer. This is the way Ko-Fi works.  I am Ko-Fi’s customer, it is my Service Provider. The relationship is very simple.

When the person receiving the benefits of the service is the bait that draws in people who pay for the service, and all the company has to do to keep money coming in is hold on to its bait, the people lured in to help the bait are not customers. They are sheep to be sheared by the company, which keeps its bait dependent on its services (such as they are) and maintains the bait’s captive audience, misusing them in any way it chooses for as long as the bait needs the funding… until someone spots the flaw. This is Patreon’s model, and I was Patreon’s bait.

A good number of folks supporting me on Patreon were only there because I was there, and they did NOT like the fees Patreon charged them to support me. I didn’t like them either, but that was the only way I knew. Now I have something better.

If you’re here as my reader and you would like to fund me, you can do that here:

So what else is good about Ko-Fi besides the fact that it will not charge the folks who support you?

  • The free account is really free. I started with the free account, but there were already folks asking for ways to create a monthly subscription. You have to have the paid account for that, so I upgraded almost immediately.

The paid account creates a direct connection between you as the creator and Ko-Fi. You pay them, and they make not a single dime off your patrons — so their board of directors, if they ever decide to have one, CANNOT look at the folks supporting your work as sheep to be fleeced (Patreon’s business model). The Gold benefits are much nicer than anything Patreon offered.

Gold allows me to offer a base support level (in my case, the suggested one-time payment of $3) but ALSO lets folks decide if they want to make that monthly, if they want to pay with a credit card instead of Paypal, and they can increase the amount to whatever they want (in multiples of your baseline cup of coffee) using the little plus and minus buttons. Every single person who comes in to fund you gets to exactly personalize their level of support. Which is just freaking awesome.You can create rewards. I’m still struggling trying to figure out what those might be. I don’t want to go with raw first draft fiction this time. So… Ideas? If you’ve got one, just reply to this email and let me know.

  • If you go Gold, you get a “magic link.” (An affiliate link, but someone over there likes the word ‘magic.’)

My Ko-Fi “Magic Link” – If you are a content creator and you “go gold” using this link, you’ll save 10% permanently. This is an AFFILIATE link, which means Ko-Fi will pay me $3 for each person who signs up using that link. I offer the link because if you decide Ko-Fi is a good fit for you as a creator, the 10% discount will help you, and the three bucks will help me.

But I know there are folks opposed to affiliate links, so if you want to sign up without using the link above, just go to my plain link:

You can create a free account from there, and see what I’ve done with my page so far.  I’m still figuring out my rewards — there aren’t any yet, but there will be.

This is not a condemnation of any of the services recommended to me that I did not choose. This is only me letting you know the direction I did choose, and why Ko-Fi stood out as something that fits my needs and my preferences.

To all of the folks who leapt in with “take a look at this,” THANK YOU. You are amazing, and wonderful, and I’m deeply grateful.


P.S. I’m hoping someone will have a great idea for a simple, inexpensive, not-massively-time-consuming idea I could offer as a reward for folks funding me.  If you have such an idea, please reply below.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Why I shut down my Patreon fundraiser

By Holly Lisle

I’d intended to send a Questions & Answers email to my How to Write a Novel launch list, but that’s going to have to wait.Instead, I did THIS.

Closed my “Move out of Florida while writing fiction” fundraiser.

Here’s why — it’s this clause in the Patreon Legal Agreement

By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content.

Understand that I read that clause and all the rest of them before signing up.

BUT… I’m not a lawyer, and I understood that clause to mean that Patreon was claiming the right to use my Patreon-created content (in other words, my POSTS) to promote the site.

I DID NOT think that they were claiming the right to use and abuse the content I was giving my patrons. In this case, three monthly chapters of the raw first draft of one of my current novels in progress, Dead Man’s Party.

A friend emailed me with a link to this post, however:

Turns out, I was wrong. Patreon is claiming rights to my novel.

So I’m out. I sent the first copy of this email to my patrons using a private Patreon post, and then I shut down my Patreon fundraiser, and am now trying to figure out how to actually close my account.

I’m not letting this kill my dream of moving us out of Florida…
…(hopefully before the next hurricane, if not the start of the hurricane season).

How you can help, if you want to —

I have created original classes ranging from under ten dollars to way over a hundred. If one of the classes I offer could help you, then you buying it would help me.


*** How to Write a Novel ***

(IN LAUNCH: On sale ONLY through Tuesday APRIL 8 — Final Discount Launch)

How to Revise Your Novel:

How to Write a Series:

How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers:

WRITING CRAFT SERIES (Each class is under $10)

Create a Character Clinic:

Create A Plot Clinic:

How to Write Page-Turning Scenes:

WORLDBUILDING SERIES (Each class is under $10)

Create A Language Clinic:

Create a Culture Clinic:

Create a World Clinic:


How to Write Short Stories:

How to Write Villains:

How to Write Dialogue with Subtext:

Title Cover Copy Marketing Basics:

How to Find Your Writing Discipline:

How to Find Your Writing Voice:

How to Motivate Yourself:

Beat Writer’s Block:


How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck



You can help out by buying some of my indie-published fiction.


Light Through Fog:


Strange Arrivals:


Fire in the Mist:

Bones of the Past:

Mind of the Magic:



Both of the Cadence Drake novels Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Warpaint, are off sale while I come up with new titles and new cover art for them, and new key words, descriptions, and other marketing that allows me to correctly put them in front of the audience that likes a few vampires and a bit of horror with its spaceships.

The Longview Chronicles (complete Series) is in the same universe — still dark, but without the vampires:

Or you can get the individual stories:

Born from Fire:

Suzee Delight:

Philosopher Gambit:

Gunslinger Moon:

Vipers’ Nest:

The Owner’s Tale:


Minerva Wakes:


Author Page:

Midnight Rain:

Last Girl Dancing:

I See You:

I have much more fiction that’s commercially published, or which is out of print and has reverted to me, but which I have not yet republished.

I’m not linking to ANY of that fiction, because your purchase of used books or books where publishers haven’t paid royalties in years will not help me.

So there we are.

I want to thank all my patrons again, and I am so sorry that I had to do this, but there is no way I can permit this:

Excerpted from Patreon Legal Terms

You keep full ownership of all content that you post on Patreon, but to operate we need licenses from you.

By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content. 

No. Just NO.

P.S. I have had one of my Patreon patrons already ask me how she could continue to support me on a monthly basis.

Here’s the answer I gave her:

“I’ll look into what’s available. Right now, I’m crushed to discover the rights Patreon actually claimed, and worried about getting involved with any other site. So I’m in limbo. You’ll find my blog at I’ll be keeping my folks there up to date on how I deal with this. It sucks.

Hugs, and thank you for asking.”

Why is EVERYBODY on my blog, my mailing list, and in my forums getting this?

Because if you know me, you’re probably either a reader or a writer. If you’re a writer, you may be considering using Patreon, and you need to know. If you’re a reader considering funding someone on Patreon, THEY need to know.

And this is the ugliest, broadest rights-grab I have personally ever seen. Or sadly, been caught up in.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Fung Fasting Report #5: The Breakthrough Month

By Holly Lisle

This was the month in which I broke through my 3-days fasting block.

Went four days easily and comfortably on just water, coffee, and a daily multivitamin, and I think I could have done five, but we had a roast that needed to be cooked and eaten before it went bad.

I fasted yesterday just because I felt like it, and the jury is still out on whether or not I’ll want to eat today. I probably will, but we’ll see. I don’t want my body to get complacent, or to have a regular schedule it can count on.

This was a month in which I dealt with massive stresses, both financial and technical, as we completed all but the clean-up part of getting the site out of beta.

It was the month in which — if I were ever going to revert to the secret stress eating that, along with a one-time diet of gummy bears and Diet Coke, pushed me over (probably way over) 220 lbs — I would have.

It was a rough damn month from start to late middle. But it finished pretty well, and so did I.

Waist just prior to adopting keto and fasting: 42” (106.7 cm)

Waist today: 31” (78.7 cm) — 13” (33 cm)

But that’s just a number.

I look in the mirror and for the first time in years, my face is the “right” face — I see the person I was at 25, before my life took that first careening left turn into Bad Shitville.

I don’t look twenty-five, of course.

If you’re fifty-seven and you do, you’ve either made a deal with the devil or a plastic surgeon, and I’m not sure which would be more detrimental to you in the long run.

But I know this face. It has the right angles, the right plains, the right jaw. I have laugh lines around my eyes, but I’d already decided when I was a teenager that I’d rather have laugh lines than frown lines.

And from the point where I decided that, I’ve lived my life with that in mind, always looking for humor even in the middle of darkness and ugliness.

And while I have a lot of laugh lines, I don’t have any frown lines.

I know this body. It runs up stairs, and lopes across the parking lot. It launches me out of bed with a quick rolling snap, from lying down to standing with nothing in between. It picks up socks and underwear with its toes, flips them into my hand with a deft little move we practiced after seeing Matt do it when we first got together, and thinking that was really cool.

It moves the way I remember it moving — fast and smooth and without pain.

I know this brain. It wakes up in the morning ready to go, full of ideas and conversations, full of focus. Full of smart-ass commentary on everydamnthing.

I am more focused, quicker to accomplish tasks. I fall asleep easier. I wake up easier.

I’m fifty-seven, and I felt like THIS when I was twenty-five.

On food…

Feasting is nice on occasion, and we had our little 4th of July feast with Matt’s family, in which I ate vegan cookies with sugar in them without regret. (They were delicious.)

Cookies without guilt or regret. Imagine that.

I’m eating straight keto with fewer than 20 carbs per day on a 23:1 intermittent fasting schedule.

So one day of eating outside of keto in a month when I eat one healthy meal and NO snacks every day… except for the days when I fast is not a sin, or a cause for guilt.

It is a little moment of celebration in a life where celebration comes at the end of hard work, and focus, and dedication.

I’m still hanging in with my old clothes, because I HATE shopping, and the tucks I’ve done work — but everything is baggy, and even the smaller old clothes I had shoved into the back of the closet with that wistful “I used to be this size” stigma radiating off of them are now back in use, and are too loose.

I’ll eventually have to stop being a miser and go buy some damn clothes.

But not today. Probably not next month, either.

There is something wonderful about being both healthy and energetic AND too small for your skinny clothes, and besides…

I still have scissors and thread, and I know how to use ‘em.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved