Fri. Nov. 21, 2014: Prepping for Parties & Freelance Flow

Friday, November 21, 2014
Dark Moon
Sunny and cold

BUSY day at the library yesterday. Good busy, but busy, between patrons and short story group and programming and grant ideas and all of that.

Also, suddenly, I’m getting a lot of requests for my scripting and editing services. I need to make sure I don’t overbook. I wasn’t going to take on ANYTHING new between now and the end of the year, just finish what I’ve got and concentrate on my own writing, but some of these gigs are awfully tempting. And I’d like to bank a bit against both a rainy day and some of the things I need/want to do next year. But I also don’t want to overbook and not be able to give each piece the attention and skill it deserves. So I said yes to a few things, and asked for more information on other things. I’m grateful for a feast cycle, but I also don’t want to sabotage myself by taking on too much.

Grocery store after work, to get some additional things for Saturday’s party. I decided to make a few additional things.

Home, dinner, research. Exhausted and to bed early, which meant I woke up at 1 AM. Managed to get to sleep again.

Up early, writing, worked on student manuscripts. To work, for a busy day of promotion, programming, getting out information. Must run to the store again for a couple of last-minute things. I’ll be baking tonight and preparing what can be prepared ahead. Tomorrow, I’ll make three dozen devilled eggs, do the stuffed celery, and the chocolate bruschetta. I also have to run over to West Barnstable to visit the Woodturners’ event – they are always so good to us, I want to support them.

The book launch for CREED is tomorrow, late afternoon, here at the library. Sunday is going to be an intense writing and yard work day, as are Monday and Tuesday.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!

Have a happy one!

Devon

Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 9:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Nov. 20, 2014: Preparing for New Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Day before Dark Moon
Windy and cold

Very busy the last few days, but what isn’t, coming in to the holidays?

Last Saturday, a colleague needed to switch with me for the Saturday “on” at the library, so I worked. Which was fine, except I was in terrible pain again. Fortunately, I think I’ve figured out the root cause; now I just have to work to solve it.

We dashed out to Yarmouth to a couple of stores and got the holiday cards we wanted. We’re going to write the overseas cards the weekend after Thanksgiving and get them out December 1. In NY, we mailed overseas cards on the 12th and domestic by the 15th, and they’d get there. But here, the overseas cards take much longer, for whatever reason (even though the rates have gone WAAAAY up). So we’ll get them out by the first, and, if we’re lucky, maybe they’ll hit by Valentine’s Day.

Baked the lemon cakes for Taste of the Mills that night. Up early on Sunday. Worked my way through a lot of research books. Wrote. Ran some errands.

Worked Taste of the Mills. Community suppers aren’t really my thing, but, to my surprise, I enjoyed myself. I got to talk to a lot of people; I helped set up and clean up, and I floated during the event, making sure the servers had what they needed for the eaters. There were plenty of pleasantries-in-passing, but I also managed a couple of in-depth conversations with some interesting people. So it was all good.

Monday, I was seriously under the weather. I read and wrote, but didn’t get much else done, and had to pull out of a commitment that evening. Tuesday, I was up early, early, and off to the ferry. Made the 8:15 ferry. Wrote on the ferry – I have to say, I LOVE writing on the ferry.

My friend picked me up at Vineyard Haven, and we spent the day touring all six of the Martha’s Vineyard libraries. They are fantastic! Each one has a unique, wonderful personality. The staffs are terrific. Their ideas are wonderful. Their commitment is wonderful. The energy, everything, was just great. It was a beautiful autumn day – it was a truly happy, happy day on many levels. I do want to do more over there – whether it’s partnering with libraries on programs or expanding the Writers’ Center Reach out there or sometimes just taking the ferry over and finding a place to write for awhile.

It gets me thinking and re-thinking. I’m getting ready to post the questions for the upcoming cycle of Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. I have a lot to think about for the coming cycle, and decisions to make in the next year. I am entering my fifth year here on the Cape, and I have to make some long-term decisions about where I want my writing life to go in the next one, three, and five years, and where I want the rest of my life to go. I have to ask myself some difficult questions and come up with honest answers. It’s a positive, not a negative thing, and the experiences I’ve had since I moved here are part of what motivates these questions and these decisions. I have to see where my fantasy of living on the Cape and the reality merge and where they diverge. I have to decide how that fits into what I want and need in my life, and start working from there. I have to make sure things are moving forward in a balanced way – it’ll never be ALWAYS balanced, but I have to make sure that there’s a certain amount of stability and continuity in order for the writing to thrive.

Tuesday night, I read and wrote. I’ve been watching THE MURDOCH MYSTERIES, which I like, but I expected to love, and didn’t. I also did my homework for the Masterpiece Book and Film Club – Evelyn Waugh’s A HANDFUL OF DUST. I liked SCOOP and THE LOVED ONES, but, as effective and disturbing as this book was, I can’t say I LIKED it.

Wednesday, I went in early, got a bit done, then headed off to Sturgis Library for a reference committee meeting. I LOVE their genealogy room and their maritime collection room. When I go back to researching the whaling mysteries, I want to do a good deal of research and writing IN the space.

My mom and I switched off on the car – -she had something to do, and I was back at the library. Book and Film club in the afternoon, and processing some more books. Working on programming and ideas/information to help with the grants we want to land so that we CAN expand the programming. Following up on conversations had on the Vineyard.

Dashed home in the evening, microwaved something quick to eat, then headed BACK to Sturgis, because my friend Trisha Leaver was part of a YA panel, along with four other writers. The writers were all really good and it was an interesting discussion. I hope we can do some events with them here at our library, too. Trisha’s book launch is on Saturday, so we’re also finalizing details.

After the event, three of us went to Amari for drinks and snacks and discussion. Again, I’m starting to articulate the issues I need to resolve in the coming months. I thought I’d be all settled, but there’s another wave of growth and change coming. Guess I should be grateful – at least I’m not dead!

Early to the library this morning; called in to an NMLC Board meeting, and short story group’s going on. It will be another busy day, and I have to hit the grocery store on the way home – I’m preparing some of the food for Trisha’s book launch on Saturday, and I want to make sure I’m not scrambling at the last minute.

I hope you’re having a wonderful week, and going in to the holidays isn’t too stressful!

My story “Loyalty Strata” is in the NEW LEGENDS: MERCENARIES, ENGINEERS, and CAPTAINS anthology that drop this weekend at the Miami International Book Fair. It’s my first published steampunk.

Enjoy!

Devon

Published in: on November 20, 2014 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Sat. Nov. 15: Beautiful Autumn

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

I love autumn, in spite of the early darkness. There’s something wonderful about it.

Busy few days – the post I’d scheduled to go up yesterday didn’t, so I’m posting something today.

I watched season two of SLINGS AND ARROWS, and have now started season three. It makes me laugh, and remember my days in rep theatre. It’s a well-done show. Most of my favorite work, lately, is coming out of Canada.

Research, research, research on the books/stories on deadlines and for the grants I’m helping out with for some former professors. I’ve also written some press releases for the library, and some ideas on grants and programming, and gotten out the information for BREAKFAST WITH SANTA, the NMLC fundraiser. Student work and information, and my own work. It means late nights and early mornings to get it all done, but that’s the gig. I’m deep in the plans for my friend’s book launch next week, and preparing for the December programs, and looking ahead to programs well into next spring.

I need to sit down with my 2015 calendar and list of projects/deadlines for my own work, and slot things in. There will be more script work next year, and I have to make sure I stay on top of it all. I’m near the end of the five year plan I had when I left New York, so I have to assess what’s happened, where I am now, and my vision for the next few years. What I’ve experienced since moving here have influenced what I want to do and where I want to go in the next few years, and I have to figure some things out and make some plans.

I’m getting Thanksgiving, the Yuletide season and all the stuff that needs to happen with that, and thinking ahead to what needs to be planned on a personal level in January.

It’ll be a busy weekend – I was supposed to be “off” from the library this Saturday, but switched with a colleague who has to take care of something, and there’s a program, and then I have to run some errands (ran some at 7 AM, too) and bake for tomorrow’s TASTE OF THE MILLS. Monday, I’m in the writing cave most of the day, but I have a Canal Chamber meeting in the evening over the bridge, and Tuesday, I’m on the Vineyard.

Onward! Lots of fun stuff.

Have a great weekend! It is GORGEOUS here!

Devon

Published in: on November 15, 2014 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Nov. 13, 2014: Working in All Directions

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Waning Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Busy few days. Can I even remember back that far?

Been busy at work, been busy at home. Doing a lot of research; working on RED WIDOW. Also went back to a couple of other projects that are in various stages, went over the material, and I’m re-sorting those priorities. Not getting enough yard work done. Getting paperwork done, especially on the home front, contracts, and the like, and preparing submissions.

Got another small royalty check and the payment for the anthology that’s about to release. I’m excited – my first steampunk story in print! That will drop at the end of next week.

Doing my wreck diving homework for the background on BALTHAZAAR – behind where I’d like to be, but it’s getting done, and a lot of it is creative work, sitting on the floor with a large piece of paper, trying to visualize things. Putting together lots of questions.

A project in DC I thought was dead due to the change in Congress is still on the burner – it may be another six months to a year before it’s up and running, but there’s grant writing and proposal writing to be done in the meantime, interviews to be conducted, etc. If it happens (and there are so many “ifs” involved), it will mean going to DC on some of the days I’m not scheduled to work elsewhere. Not that I mind, especially if someone else is making the arrangements and paying for it! It’s a project I really want to be involved with, although I’m a way out of the box choice – which is exactly why the person heading the project, a former professor of mine, is bound and determined that I remain a part of it.

Got a request for a play of mine – a company in Florida is interested in it. That might be kind of fun, adding it to the resume. I’d just license it, not go down and work on it.

Went to see a facility here on the Cape in connection with another project, earlier this week. I was disappointed. I expected more from the location. I’m still glad I saw it, and it made the creative wheels turn, but I don’t see how we can work out the practicalities in the near future.

Yesterday, Talin Bookbindery did a program at the library. It was magnificent, one of the best programs I’ve attended anywhere. I was even more enchanted with the bookbinding process by the end of it than at the beginning. And the process of making marbled papers! A true art. Wonderful.

Spending lots of time on student work. Hopefully, the students are getting something positive out of it. It was the right route to go for the past few months, only working with private students, and teaching groups in one-shot deals, not long-term classes. I’m under too much deadline pressure right now for anything else.

Even though I was “on” last Saturday here, I switched with a colleague for this weekend, who has a commitment. Not a problem at all. And I have to participate in “Taste of the Mills” this weekend, and write up some proposals for new programs. Monday, I’m in the writing cave; Tuesday, I’m spending the day on Martha’s Vineyard. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate!

The webs in RED WIDOW and the novellas connected to it intrigue me. I’m wondering just how far I can push certain elements in this series. Guess I’ll find out soon, huh?

Devon

Fri. Nov. 7, 2014: Re-energized

Friday, November 07, 2014
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy couple of days, and my apologies for not blogging. Busy at work. Busy at home. A lot going on that has to be juggled.

We had a good Writers’ Center Board meeting on Wednesday night. The new board members bring fresh enthusiasm and Ideas – I hope we can implement some of them.

I’m not where I want to be on RED WIDOW, but the arcs for the entire series are becoming clearer, and I’m understanding what needs to be set up in this novella in order for them to make sense. I need to do a final pass over two novel manuscripts of other projects this weekend in order to submit them early next week.

Yesterday was another busy day at work. After, the magnificent Trisha Leaver taught a workshop on the craft of the short story. It was a small, but enthusiastic group, and we all got a lot out of it. It clarified a few points in some of my current work where I’m having trouble, and reminded me what to look for moving forward.

I’m doing the prep work for next Wednesday’s book club (Kate Carlisle’s HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER). I’m doing research on Colette (for INITIATE – which sounds weird, but there’s a method to this madness) and doing my wreck diving homework.

Last night, I finally gave up and took valerian root before bed. I don’t take it often, but I finally slept through the night for the first time in weeks and woke up without being in excruciating pain – this week has been very difficult. There’s still some echo pain, but, overall, I feel better. I was able to have a good yoga session this morning, and I hope to do some intense practice over the weekend, in and around the writing.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” here at the library, and Sunday morning, I’m going to catch the end of a conference located an hour or so upstate, connected to an organization I re-joined this month. Monday and Tuesday, I plan to be offline in the writing cave, writing and working on students’ manuscripts.

My calendars for next year are supposed to arrive soon – the dates are stacking up. I’ll be a guest blogger on C.L. Lawrence’s blog in late January – I’m already playing with ideas. I have to sit down with the manuscripts and contracts and make sure everything’s entered properly, and they’ve been reshuffled to fit the commitments. I also need to finish putting the garden to bed.

Have a wonderful weekend, all, and I’ll check back in next week!

It’s so nice to be almost pain-free. Even if it’s only for a few days, it makes a big difference.

Devon

Wed. Nov. 5, 2014: This and That and a Good Review

Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days. It was nice to actually have some time off this weekend. I desparately needed it. I had to excommunicate someone from my universe, but that’s the way it goes, sometimes. Toxic people need to go.

I got a lot done around the house this weekend, read a lot, wrote quite a bit, but never enough. It never IS enough, no matter how much is written. Worked on student work. Made some plans. Put away the Samhain decorations, curtains, etc., and put up the winter curtains.

On Saturday, we went grocery shopping. When we came back, the house was cold and smelled of gas. I called the heating people, and they sent someone out. The ignitor switch failed and had to be replaced; he had the new part in his truck, thank goodness. So we had heat before the snowstorm hit.

Yup, on Sunday, there was snow. Tucked in and read and wrote all day. Needed the break.

Monday, I was up at 4:30 in the morning and on the road by 6. Headed to Worcester, for the annual meeting for the state library system. It was a good day. Great people, good program. Glad I went. It’s wonderful to meet and talk with colleagues – see how everyone handles challenges, the unique challenges each library faces, etc. Definitely time well spent.

Came home, worked. Yesterday, worked all day on various projects, ran errands, trying to get out some submissions. There’s some unpleasant stuff going on that has to be dealt with. It makes me unhappy, but, even beyond that, it makes me sad. I don’t like people who are two-faced and hypocritical. When someone pretends to be one thing and reveals the true self – always better to know sooner than later, but still . . .but, that’s life. Know a lot of people. Have a few friends.

Got a nice review of “Lake Justice”. Both reviews have marked on the shortness of the piece. That WAS the point – that these are short pieces. They’re clearly marked as shorts, so I’m not sure where the confusion comes in. I am, however, gratified that people want more.

Lots of writing to do this week and weekend. Onward!

Devon

Published in: on November 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm  Comments (2)  

Fri. Oct. 31, 2014: Event, Unexpected Night Chaos, Lead into Samhain

Friday, October 31, 2014
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cool
Samhain

Yesterday was busy. Steady busy, good busy, but busy. And, of course, the computer system crashed 15 minutes before closing, with patrons who needed to check out books.

Got a lot done, especially on the PR end. Started checking the weeding piles when the system crashed.

Ran down to Saga Fusion for a snack late afternoon – very good restaurant, and they’re very nice. Definitely will get more business from me.

Realized, when I left the library, that I had no change, so I went to the bank to get change. Decided to price all the books for the event at an even $10. Easier all around.

The event itself went well and was fun – I’ll get to that in a bit. I was disappointed in the venue’s attitude. They decided that they weren’t pleased with the number of people who signed up, and washed their hands of it. They refused to set up the room we were in; they didn’t even have anyone on hand to greet us; there were no refreshments. That’s not how you host an event. That’s not how you introduced strangers who don’t know your venue to you. They were not gracious hosts. As someone who’d never been to their center before, it did not leave a good impression; as a potential homebuyer, that particular development is out of the question. They lost a potential customer, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend them to anyone else.

The people who attended were lovely. It was a small group, but they were interested in what we had to say, asked thoughtful questions, and bought books. So it was fine. I enjoyed them, and I feel it was an evening well spent.

Came home, unwound, read for a bit. Had to do some prep for tonight’s ritual.

At 2:22, I was awakened by a huge crash. Tessa had knocked over the table with my crystals and runes, etc. It took an hour to put it all back together. Then I couldn’t sleep. When I finally got to sleep, I dreamed about a group of people in Dickensian costumes. We weren’t back in the time of Dickens, they were just dressed that way. No idea what THAT means. By the time the alarm went off at 6, I was exhausted.

Up, morning routine, but out of the house early. Dropped off the easels we’d used in Sturbridge back at the Writers’ Center, headed in to the library. We’re dressed up and having an event for kids to come and trick or treat this afternoon. Should be fun. I’m wearing my “You Can’t Scare Me, I’m a Librarian” tee shirt from Tee Spring.

Have to go grocery shopping, write a stack of press releases for the Marine Life Center, and finish the draft of THE RED WIDOW this weekend.

Have a great one, all!

Devon

Published in: on October 31, 2014 at 8:11 am  Comments (1)  

Thurs. Oct. 30, 2014: Busy Times, Interesting Times

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Beautiful autumn day.

Last few days were busy. Got some good writing done, especially on THE RED WIDOW. I need to have the draft of that finished in a week or so. Designed a dirigible for it – very different than the one designed for the short story that will appear in an upcoming anthology. Wonder if I can go ahead and put “dirigible designer” on the resume?

Finished up my materials for the conference and for Thursday night’s author appearance. Packed everything so I wouldn’t have to scramble at the last minute.

Lost half of Monday’s writing day untangling a mess someone deliberately created. But it got sorted. Did laundry, washed a tablecloth from the library. Tuesday night, I went to a Canal Chamber Event at Mezza Luna for the Marine Life Center. Lots of fun, good food, good contacts.

Up at 4:30 on Wed. morning. Picked up by my colleague at 6:30, and we drove to the Small Libraries Forum in Sturbridge. It was a lot of fun. We lucked out on traffic in both directions, and had smooth rides. Learned a lot, met a lot of people, and our display was well-received. Considering it was a team effort to put together all the pieces, I’d say it went well.

Home. My mother’s birthday dinner – she turned 90. I think she had a good day. I’m lucky to have her.

Today, I’m at the library, and then I’m doing “The Art of the Scream” event with author Kevin Symmons at the Stonebridge Club, Pine Hills. Hope to see many of you there.

Devon

Published in: on October 30, 2014 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014: The Good Busy

Friday, October 24, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy, busy times. Wednesday was a busy day at the library, and then I scooched out at 5 to go down to the Conference Center for the CCWC Annual Meeting. We had a great turkey dinner, took care of business. Some good conversations, but far too many people come to these dinners and spend their time making excuses for not writing. I don’t care why you’re not writing, and I’m not interested in the whining. There’s no such thing as “no time to write”. There’s not managing your time and CHOOSING not to write. I want and need to be around people who are actually writing.

Home in a bad storm. My 90 year old mother was already pulling furniture and plants in off the deck. We finished doing that, and then I had to bake. The inside of the house looks like a conservatory at this point.

Then, of course, the damn storm wasn’t anywhere near as bad as predicted.

Up early on Thursday, packed the muffins, in the car and out the door by 7 AM. To Buzzards Bay for a board meeting at NMLC, which was pretty good, and then hurried to the library.

Busy day at the library – finished processing books, got about 60 or 70 out on the shelves and/or out to patrons. Helped a patron find a book he wanted, and introduced him to one of my favorite authors. Introduced another patron to the same author, when she expressed interest in the genre. Helped a college student find materials for a project she had due (the next day, of course) on etymology.

Off to Michael’s to look for foam core, but they no longer have it, so went to Staples and found it instead.

Picked up Chinese food for dinner, and then watched RUBY IN THE SMOKE, my “homework” for Masterpiece Theatre Book and Film Group. Matt Smith – who was the Dr. Who before this one – was in it, and was terrific.

I’m reading a biography of Thackeray that’s very entertaining. Published in 1947, the tone is as arch as some of Thackeray’s work is oddly amusing.

Not enough writing getting done, especially not on THE RED WIDOW. I will make up for it this weekend. I’m behind where I want to be on the diving homework, but I’ll catch up.

Next week will be flat out – Chamber meeting Tuesday evening, all-day conference in Sturbridge on Wednesday, an author event with the charismatic Kevin Symmons at the Stonebridge Club, Pinehills, Plymouth, on Thursday, and Samhain on Friday.

Saturday evening, all day Sunday, all day Monday, and most of Tuesday will be writing days. Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library, and then I have a fundraising workshop in the afternoon.

Busy, busy, fun, fun.

Check in next week! Have a great one, all!

Devon

Wed. Oct. 22, 2014: Writing Immersion and Diving Class

Wednesday, October 22, 2104
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Raining

Busy, busy time.

Friday morning, I was up at 4:30 AM and out the door around 5:45 AM, heading for Woods Hole. I couldn’t quite remember how to get to the Palmer Ave. lot for ferry parking, and, of course, Google Maps, Mapquest, AND GPS on the phone were wrong. Gee, there’s a surprise.

I found it anyway, but sort of remembering where to go when I got there, and made the 7 AM ferry. It was cold and wet outside, so I rode inside, and was able to do my 1K on INITIATE.

I had time, when I reached Vineyard Haven, to have a quick snack – coffee and chocolate croissant at Nat’s Nook, on Main Street. Very good, and it seems like a fun place to hang out. That’s one thing I miss about the area where I live now on Cape – a lack of coffee shops where I can hang out.

Arrived at the library. The workshop was GREAT. We had such fun, and it was very relevant to what I’m doing. I love spending time with the Vineyard Librarians, and I love that Martha’s Vineyard has SIX very distinct libraries, all on one island. I keep threatening to make a day trip and visit all of them!

Lunch at the Black Dog, near the water, burger and a beer. Caught an earlier ferry back than I expected, and it was so beautiful I rode outside the whole way. What a gorgeous day. Hard to come back.

Returned to the library/office for the last couple of hours of the day and tried to catch up. Some books came in that I knew had holds on them, so I went back on Saturday (my Saturday “off”) for about an hour to do processing, etc.

Watched PENNY DREADFUL all weekend. Had really mixed feelings about it. There may be spoilers in here, so read on at your own risk. Loved the production design. Would have been nice if they’d use an occasional key light here and there so we could actually see it. There’s dim lighting for mood effect and then there are scenes that are so poorly lit you can’t tell what’s going on, and this series has too much of the latter. And I started in lighting, and have lit theatre, film, and television, so yes, I know of what I speak. I had problems with the final confrontation with the vampires taking place in a theatre where a different storyline focused. It didn’t make sense, and felt like they’d run out of money for locations. If the vampires had nested in the theatre, the Creature (being not entirely human himself) would have known. And the vampires would have attacked the actors and the audience AND the Creature, so the logic set up in the world didn’t make sense. My biggest problem was, yet again, another male creator depicts negative female sexuality. The lead females were a consumptive whore and a woman possessed when she enjoys sex. Yes, those are common tropes of the era; however, when you’re going to take a genre to new heights, explore it in new ways – I expect better. By the time we got to the madhouse episode, I was irritated – yeah, let’s have an hour-long episode JUST about torturing the lead female character and call it “backstory” and “motivation”. And then the possession episode – right, because if a woman appears strong and in control and then loses control in a passionate encounter and wants/likes sex, she MUST be possessed by a demon. I was outright angry by the end of it. I thought there was a lot of depth and humanity in the other storyline, about Frankenstein and the Creature, but suddenly they have Victor as a morphine addict, several episodes in, without giving us an indication of it before? He wouldn’t be able to think, be as precise or as creative if he was an addict addled by drugs. I thought Harry Treadawell, Rory Kinnear, and Josh Hartnett were all very good. I’m interested in seeing what they do with the next season, but if they continue this negative portrayal of female sexuality (no matter how they pretend to justify it), I’ll stop watching. This is an outdated, overworn cliché that, if you’re going to break new ground with the genre, you have to go beyond “women who enjoy sex are possessed”. I realize that there are plenty of religious fundamentalists who still believe that, but the rest of us have moved beyond it.

The rest of the weekend was about writing INITIATE. Wrote a LOT. Typed up several earlier chapters, because I had to make fixes in a few things that needed to be set up in order for the chapters I’m doing now to work. Didn’t do enough work on RED WIDOW – will have to make up for that this week. I was as surprised as my character when he got unexpectedly seduced by a minor character.

Sent of the writers’ center board minutes on Monday. Spent most of Monday and Tuesday writing. Well, Sunday, too. In fact, I was up until midnight on Monday writing. Tuesday afternoon I had diving class in Onset – learning a lot that will help in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have homework, which I’m sure will spur more questions. I put on some of the equipment. It’s damn heavy. Good to get my hands on things.

To the library early this morning; have the annual meeting for the Writers Center, and then I have to bake, because tomorrow morning, I have a board meeting at the Marine Life Center.

Never a dull moment, and that’s a good thing.

Devon

Published in: on October 22, 2014 at 9:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Oct. 16, 2014: Project Juggles and Other Obstacles

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Stormy and hot

Feels very tropical today. I think it will be a pretty bad storm.

Friday was busy at the library, as was Saturday. Just exhausting. Came home, got some reading done, got some writing done.

Sunday, I did eight loads of laundry (turning over the furniture covers and curtains for fall), did some decorating, and read. I needed a break from writing. Monday, I ran errands and wrote. Tuesday, I finished decorating and wrote.

I’m moving back and forth between working on INITIATE and working on the novella THE RED WIDOW. Two different genres, very different ensembles, both on tight deadlines. Wrote 32 pages of THE RED WIDOW over the weekend, and probably about 20 of INITIATE.

I’m having a bit of trouble with the logic post fight sequence – I have to figure out a bit more.

Watched the Welsh detective series HINTERLAND. Liked most of it, love that they shot it in both English and Welsh. A little too many scenes at night, a little too mannered sometimes as far as being a little heavy-handed with the foreshadowing and some of the symbolism. But, overall, I really liked it, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes the next season.

Read a stack of cozies. Some were fun. Unfortunately, one of the best written had so many typos in it that I got frustrated. When you spell the same name three different ways on the same page, and the writer, the editor, and the copyeditor should have all caught it, there’s a problem. Some of the cozies were so poorly written and the characters so unlikeable that I didn’t even bother to finish them.

I was up early on Wednesday, to get my writing done –worked on INITIATE in the morning. The library was closed for carpet cleaning, so we had a staff development day. We drove to Provincetown, and took a dune tour. I hadn’t done that since the 1970s. The shacks remind me a lot of the conditions out at my friend’s island. It’s great that these retreats still exist. The whole no running water/outhouse thing isn’t really my preferred enjoyment, but I think it’s important to preserve the shacks. It’s a part of the local history and of artistic history, in general, that’s important.

We had lunch at the Lobster Pot, which was wonderful (lobster taco) and a staff meeting, to coordinate who does what when and to whom a little better. Definitely a working lunch, but good food and good company made it productive.

Got some stuff at Tim’s Books for some current and upcoming projects. We stopped at Atlantic Spice on the way back and I stocked up mon some stuff, including some pretty amazing oils.

Home. Dinner. Wrote seven pages on THE RED WIDOW. To bed early.

Sad news from a dear friend that one of his cats passed yesterday. She was a darling, and will be terribly missed.

Woke up at 2:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Fretting over several things. Finally got up a little after five. Wrote INITIATE. Got ready for the day.

Went in early to get a jump on all the processing that couldn’t get done yesterday, so that we could actually help patrons once we opened. Short story group met at the library today – always interesting conversation and laughter.

Four boxes of books showed up from Ingram, so I spent a lot of time processing and getting books out on shelves. Helped a patron with the Kindle, have more books to process. There are still a few things that need ironing out, so we’ll see.

I’m at a workshop on Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow. I expect to be back to the library in the late afternoon to finish a few things, but it all depends. I’ll have to get up at 4:30 in order to get out the door in time and make the ferry.

I intend to do some serious writing and research this weekend, mostly offline. I need to make some serious progress on both INITIATE and RED WIDOW, and next week, I get back into the swing with BALTHAZAAR.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Fri. Oct. 10, 2014: Character Juggles

Friday, October 10, 2014
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cold

Yesterday was busy. Got in early, processed all the check-ins that couldn’t be handled the previous day due to the computer being down; got the holds and other books processed; hand-entered the manual checkouts into the system. Thank goodness we had volunteers at the desk to handle the patrons coming in and out that day needing check-ins and check-outs, so that I could catch up on the previous afternoon’s system work.

It all got done, and that’s what counts.

Home, tired. Dinner, some reading, worked on a student manuscript.

Watched STILL LIFE, the film version of Louise Penny’s book. Nathaniel Parker played Gamache; Kate Hewlett (whose work I really enjoy) was Clara. One of the biggest delights was Anthony Lemke as Jean-Guy. I knew his work from LOST GIRL – he was terrific in this. I like the character of Jean-Guy in the books, but this was definitely a case of the actor raising it to an even better, deeper level. I hope they film more of the books in the series. I can’t wait to see what he does with Jean-Guy’s journey. I was disappointed that they pushed the character of Myrna aside, and they didn’t start the development of the wonderful relationship between Jean-Guy and Ruth. To me, the odd affection between those two is one of the best cornerstones in the series, and I hope it develops in future films.

Bad dreams last night. Truly disturbing, and when I woke from them, I remembered that they’ve been progressive. I have to stop them before they progress any farther, or I will be in trouble, so that’s on my agenda for tonight.

I have two books and a novella screaming for writing time. I managed to untangle a problem in INITIATE that prevented me from moving forward in the fight sequence. Something that happens post-sequence needs to be set up properly here, and because I’d tried to force one of the characters in a wrong direction, it wasn’t working. But we’re back on track, so that sequence should start flowing. I have to do the opening of RED WIDOW (the novella), because the characters are getting very impatient, and BALTHAZAAR is starting to percolate properly again.

I was going to submit a couple of pieces, and then realized it’s Mercury Retrograde, so there’s no damned point. I will prep them, and then send them when everything goes direct.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, and then I can write all day on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Wednesday, we have a staff day out in P-town, so, after tomorrow, I won’t be back on line until Thursday, which is great. I LOVE being offline at least half the week. The improvement to my work is tremendous.

I also have to do some yard work any time it’s not raining. Time to put the garden to bed for the winter.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Thurs. Oct. 9, 2014: Running (0n empty) on Multiple Rails

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cold

Busy day at the library, but a good one. I got some new records created, and new books on the shelves, which is always good. And some new DVDs, which had quite a few holds on them.

The afternoon was about the Cozy Mystery Book Group. We’d read Juliet Blackwell’s SECONDHAND SPIRITS, and all really liked it. Juliet was kind enough to write an essay just for the group, and we were all delighted with it. I’ll have to email her and thank her today. And we had cupcakes (the cupcakes I made the previous day). Because everything is more fun with a cupcake.

Home, dinner, read THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HARLOW, a cozy mystery by Kylie Logan that I bought for the library. It was fun – I think our patrons will enjoy it.

Started reading an arc of a romance novel I considered buying for the library – but it was pretty clear within ten pages that no way would I spend my own or anyone else’s money on it. She set the story in Scotland. It’s obvious she never set foot in Scotland or talked to anyone Scottish, and her only research was in other romance novels by authors who never set foot in Scotland. Besides, her characters sound like they’re from Brooklyn, not Scotland. There’s nothing wrong with sounding like you’re from Brooklyn if you are or want to pretend you are. But if you’re supposedly in the 1880s in the highlands of Scotland and not a time traveler . . .I just can’t respect someone who can’t be bothered to research. It was obvious that the flaws in the book were laziness, this idea that “it’s fiction, I can do whatever I want.” Yes, YOU can, but if you don’t have the least respect for me as a reader (not to mention that I’ve spent a lot of time in Scotland and love it dearly), I am not going to spend money on it.

The new piece is percolating. It took me awhile to settle on names for the characters, but they have now told me (in no uncertain terms) what their names are. Naming a character is such an intimate experience, and the name has so much meaning. I’m always shocked when I read on social media people wanting other people to choose character names in a story. If I’m the writer, I need to be the one choosing the name (or at least, my subconscious in the form the characters telling me what they are). It’s one thing to name a character inspired by a particular individual – it’s quite another to let random strangers choose character names. To me, that’s an invasion of something sacred between writer and character. The first sequence is almost ready to be written, and the title announced itself as well (which affected which notebook I’m using).

Having trouble choreographing the fight sequence for INITIATE. Didn’t get very far today – Aidan, my protagonist, had an epiphany, which took up the paragraphs I’d originally meant to start the fight. It will work, it adds a layer, but I need to get into the nitty gritty of the fight. And, of course, one of the characters on the other side of the fight has a more complicated agenda than I wanted.

Came in to work early (a little after 8), so that I could catch up on all the books that couldn’t be checked in with the system down yesterday, get the paging list done, and the books out to where patrons want and need them. The volunteers came in, as scheduled, at 9, and we got everything done before opening at 10. I still have to hand-enter the checkouts that were done yesterday, but at least we’re caught up, and everything is backdated so no one gets fined.

Still psychically exhausted from the weekend, although I ate pretzels last night (bread and salt), which helped somewhat.

Need to finish some student work tonight and get a good start on the fight sequence in INITIATE.

Devon

Published in: on October 9, 2014 at 9:30 am  Comments (2)  
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