Fri. Sept. 26, 2014: Rearranging

Friday, September 26, 2014
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cool

Busy day at the library yesterday. Got a good chunk of paperwork done in the morning; then the new shelving arrived, delivered and installed by a group of inmates. The shelves are from Eastham library – they’re building a new one and are moving into trailers for the next three years (stressful much?). They’re getting rid of all their shelves, etc., because they won’t fit in the new building. So we inherited long units of shelving, paperback racks, the whole shebag. It’s awesome.

The inmates were a good bunch of guys. Whatever mistakes landed them where they are, they were skilled, helpful, polite, and had good hearts. Really makes you question the system that these guys are behind bars and the CEOS of banks and corporations who regularly destroy tens of thousands of lives for their own profit are rewarded with money and politicians who do whatever they say.

Once they were gone, we moved the Large Print books to one set of new shelves – now they’re in a light, cheerful area where the people who like LP can actually get at them. We’re in the process of moving audio books, CDs, romance, and science fiction/fantasy. It looks so wonderful. It makes us all happy.

Exhausted by the time I got home. The books I’m waiting for still haven’t arrived. Did some work on INITIATE and read a disappointing book. Worked on a student manuscript – I’d started it, but hadn’t had a chance to do as much work on it as I’d like.

Up early; work on INITIATE and notes for some other pieces in that world. To the library – I have so much catching up to do today, because I lost so much time the past two days in meetings and moving things around.

We have poet Charles Coe here tomorrow – I’m very excited. And then I have two full days off to write. Tuesday is packed to the gills with “have-tos”, including coming in to work for a few hours (which I don’t mind). So I need to be very, very focused between now and Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on September 26, 2014 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Sept. 25, 2014: Precarious Balance

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cool

Busy day at the library. Hit the ground running. Frustrating meetings, but it also gave me necessary information. That goes into the long-and-short-term bin on several fronts.

Got a bunch of DVDs processed, labelled, and onto the shelf (or into the bin). Hopefully, I can create some new records for a few things today. Did some work on programming and getting this sorted out for the event this Saturday.

A writer friend who booked me to do an event with him on October 30 is also interested in having me join him in an event in Boston on October 23. So I’ll find someone to cover me and do that – that’s during Boston Book Festival, and an opportunity I cannot pass up.

The books I’m eagerly waiting for at home have not arrived yet, so I did some more work when I got home on my own stuff, and got some reading done. Was exhausted (and disappointed, due to several incidents), so went to bed early.

Wound up oversleeping this morning. Didn’t get as much done on INITIATE as I wanted, but roughed out the final scene in more detail. I’m breaking the rules – I’m going to end INITIATE on a cliffhanger. But it’s the right thing to do for this particular book, and I have to trust that.

We’re getting some new shelving at the library today, so I came in and moved a bunch of stuff around. I’m hoping to get some focused work done today, and then get back to INITIATE tonight.

Just trying to get through the next few days of work, because Sunday and Monday are days away, where I will focus on writing and some other things that need to get done. Tuesday, I’m coming in for a few hours in the late afternoon, but that’s fine. I have about another 75 pages in this central section of the book, and then comes the final third. I expect it will run over 100K, but one can get away with that in this genre.

Devon

Published in: on September 25, 2014 at 8:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. September 24, 2014: Wrenched back into the present

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
New Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. Can I even remember back to Friday? I remember it was busy at the library, and I was completely exhausted by the time I got home.

Saturday was my first day off from the library and other things in quite awhile. I spent most of the day writing INITIATE. I would be perfectly happy to spend the next twenty years writing in that world.

I wrote a bit out of order, because a scene that happens in another section of the book came to me solidly formed, and it informs quite a bit of what leads up to it. It’s an intense and beautiful scene. It’s a first draft, so of course it needs work, but it feels right.

Sunday, I wrote in the early morning, then headed into Hyannis to help out at the Barnstable 375 Town Picnic as part of the seven participating village libraries. We were running the old-fashioned games, and the kids had fun. I’m glad they had fun, but it’s not something I enjoy doing or am good at or what I agreed to do for the event. It was okay, I survived, they had fun, I did my duty, but that was the extent of it. I’m getting really tired of being shoved into situations to which I have not agreed, and, which, in fact, I have said I don’t want to do because people say “it’s for the good of the organization.” It is NOT good for the organization if I am forced into doing something I don’t want or like, and I’m giving up writing time so to do. It is not good for me, either, and I am not going to do it. Period. Further, another organization tried to dump on me something I already said I wouldn’t do, but they figured, what the hey, I’ll step up and clean up the mess AGAIN.

Um, no.

The writing comes FIRST. If you try to cut into my writing time, especially when I told you I’m not going to do something, I AM NOT GOING TO FUCKING DO IT. Because the writing comes FIRST. That is the difference between a professional writer and a hobbyist. I am NOT a hobbyist, and this attitude in this area that anything to do with the arts is supposed to come second to anything else anyone wants is not acceptable. I won’t do it, I won’t tolerate it, too many people are trying to ignore boundaries, and I am no longer going to be polite.

THE WRITING COMES FIRST.

Came home, read and wrote some more, but was tired and frustrated.

Up early on Monday, worked on INITIATE. Also baked for the program at the library. Had to stop in the late morning to do some stuff at the library for the program, then came home, wrote a bit, prepped some more, and headed back to the library to set up the program.

This was the Freedom to Read/Rights and Responsibilities Roundtable. We had a small, but very lively group. We laughed a lot and learned a lot. People who missed it missed a lot, and missed important information.

Home, read a bit. It was the Equinox, so I was busy with that. Up early on Tuesday. Ran some errands. Worked on INITIATE. Broke the 300 page mark on the book. Juggling a lot of plot and character threads – this definitely fits into high fantasy/epic category. But I adore these characters and I’m exploring themes that interest me..

After lunch, headed to the library for an aromatherapy program. It was interesting and fun. I knew some of the information, but also learned more, which is always a good thing.

Went back, sat on the deck for awhile with Tessa, reading and writing. Did some more work on INITIATE at night. Stayed up late reading.

Up early this morning, working on INITIATE. I got in my day’s quota, and I’ll be able to go back to work on it tonight. I considered reading at Cotuit tonight, but I haven’t had time to prepare.

I have a lot of work to do at the library, and sorting through some changes made to the shared computer that frustrate me.

I’m dearly looking forward to the Historical Writers Retreat in a little over a week. This week, I’m at the library six out of seven days, which is a lot. Next week, things should be settling in more normally, and then I have the retreat to look forward to. I need the break.

I also have to figure out who to work on both INITIATE and BALTHAZAAR together, so I can get the latter back on track for my publisher. Since TRACKING MEDUSA is received so well, they want BALTHAZAAR as soon as I can get it done. But it’s hard to move between the worlds of INITIATE and BALTHAZAAR.

The two other books from the Melusine series should arrive this week – I can’t wait. I will dive back into those when I get them. They are luxurious, beautiful, powerful writing.

It’s always a shock to go back to work on a Wednesday morning and takes me awhile to settle in. I also have a program meeting to prepare for in less than a half hour. I worked ahead, mostly, but still . . .things are still fluid, to a certain extent here, and I need more of a routine established – with fewer interruptions.

I hated being wrenched out of the world of INITIATE this morning.

Devon

Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 9:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Sept. 19, 2014: The Longing to Write

Friday, September 19, 2014
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I was discouraged about a variety of things when I got back home on Wednesday afternoon, along with just being damn tired. Did some work on INITIATE, read VIRTU. Went to bed early.

Up early yesterday, wrote a bit on INITIATE. Headed to work. Busy day. Got 40 books processed; the woman who covers them was in, so we got them either onto the shelves or out to fulfill holds. I still have a stack of DVDs to process. Wrote a proposal for the small library conference at the end of October. Did some promotion for our upcoming programs, including the Rights Roundtable on Monday night that kicks off Banned Books Week.

Yup, Banned Books week is next week, and this year’s focus is graphic novels. So grab a banned graphic novel and dig in! ;)

Updated the library website, contacted some people about programs. Busy day.

My editor wants another book as soon as I can write it. I still have some research for BALTHAZAAR before I can get back into it, and, of course, am consumed by INITIATE. But I have to give them something soon.

I also found out that I have a 5-cup Review of TRACKING MEDUSA over on Coffee Time Romance, and a 5-star review of the same book on Amazon. I loved and believed in the book for a long time before I found the right publisher, so I’m glad others are enjoying it, too. “Lake Justice” got a 3.5 out of 5, which is good, with the main criticism being it was too short – which is helpful! ;) Maybe the next Bronwyn adventure will be longer. Maybe I should cough up a Bronwyn adventure soon while I’m working on the other books for my editor!

Home, very tired, glass of wine on the deck, then grocery and cat food shopping. Dinner, some work on INITIATE, then finished VIRTU. I’ve ordered the two remaining books in the quartet and should have them by next week. Can’t wait to dive into them. I just love this series. It’s very unique, lots of gorgeous writing. At times, I wonder why one choice or another was made, but then it all ties together. The world-building is spectacular. Not only am I enjoying them, I am learning from them.

Up early today. Worked on INITIATE. Tomorrow will be my first full day off in quite awhile, and I’m going to focus on INITIATE and on the garden. I’m supposed to read to kids at the Town Picnic on Sunday, but all I know is the time. I have no idea where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to read. I’m half tempted to make something the hell up.

I have a proposal and a couple of reports to write today, along with everything else. Better get going. I’ll check in next week – there should be lots to tell from Banned Books Week!

And, of course, the Equinox is on Monday, so I’m in preparations for that.

A student who booked an editing intensive sent the materials in some weird format (I only accept .doc) and not in Standard Manuscript Format, and then wanted me to explain what that is. No. Don’t call yourself a writer if you don’t know SMF. Go look it the fuck up. I was very, VERY clear when we discussed the possibility of taking her on this semester that I ONLY accept SMF in .doc file format and anything else would remain unread. This has been an ongoing problem with this particular individual. I will not work on something that is not correctly formatted. Period. And if you’ve been in ANY of my classes, there is NO excuse not to know what SMF is, or to show the initiative to go look it up your damn self.

Devon

Published in: on September 19, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments (3)  
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Wed. Sept. 17, 2014: Between Many Book Worlds

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Waning Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Very intense few days on the trip. It was great, but it was all very intense.

Saturday was the first meeting of the cozy book club. Small turnout, but enthusiastic. We are moving it to a different day and time for next month, hoping it will work for more people. I was very tired – I’d been up for several days preparing the materials, washing the china, making the food, packing everything. Load in and load out weren’t bad, but it still took time.

I was exhausted by the time I got home. Read Sharon Shinn’s ROYAL AIRS on the deck. I’m a huge fan of her books anyway, and this is in the same series as TROUBLED WATERS. I read the library copy, but I’ll be buying my own.

Packed what I needed for my trip to New York. Decided I was going to try to travel as light as possible.

To bed early. Up early on Sunday. Wrote 1000 words on INITIATE. Packed the car, ate a good breakfast. Hit the road about a half hour later than I wanted – mostly because I wanted to finish the sequence I was writing on INITIATE.

Traffic wasn’t bad, and it was a beautiful day to drive. I listened to MacTalla Mor on the way down. Stopped in Niantic at the Book Barn. Sold some duplicate books I’d accumulated over the years, and some books my mom wanted to get rid of. And then bought books. And books. And books. It was wonderful. I gorged myself on various titles and authors I’d been looking for, and on some I wanted to try.

Stopped in Old Saybrook. Found some silver flatware – some in my pattern and some in a complimentary pattern – and a small painted stool I will varnish to protect the paint and use for plants.

Hit Greenwich Library around 3 PM. Because, of course, if I’m going somewhere, where is my first refuge? The library. Texted my friend to let her know I arrived. Settled in with Sarah Monette’s MELUSINE – and was captivated from the first page.

I was supposed to be writing.

My friend contacted me and wanted me to come out to the small island sanctuary where her family has had a house for generations. So I drove to Rye and parked at the dock and waited for her. Had to jump into the small boat – not sure if it’s a skiff or what. Whatever it was, it was small and low to the water. And I can’t swim. To say I was terrified is an understatement. But I kept my cool outwardly and didn’t moan.

We went out to the island, which is beautiful, and there was a lively group there of people who like to have actual conversation, not just griping or gossip. So that was fun. And one had worked for the Sound Tigers the same year I trotted around with them doing research, yet our paths hadn’t crossed. So it was fun to share stories about our favorite hockey boys. I can’t believe it’s been a dozen years since I spent time with them. They’re all men now, most of them are out of hockey and with families of their own. It feels like months, not years.

We came back later than expected ,on the tiny boat, in the dark. I was scared, but didn’t outwardly panic, even when we hit a piece of driftwood and I was sure we were going to trip over. I was actually more worried about the longhand chapter of INITIATE in my bag than anything else. But it was all good.

It was odd driving around in Rye. I felt absolutely nothing. I spent many years in the town – from first grade through high school. So many experiences that shaped me happened there. And I felt . ..nothing. Not even the basic curiosity I usually feel in a new town. Not anger or resentment or nostalgia or . . . anything. It was like entering a void. Which was weird. I felt like I should feel something, even if it was negative or uncomfortable.

Didn’t sleep well, lots of odd dreams, but was up early and on a train to the city just after 8. Rye is only 25 miles from New York, a much shorter distance than Kingston is from Boston – yet the round trip train ticket is more expensive.

Hit the city early. Walked around. Spent some time writing in Bryant Park, by the main branch of the New York Public Library (see a pattern with my first choice of refuge?). I had, after all, to write my 1K on INITIATE, or I’d be out of sorts all day.

Then, it was to the Morgan Library (patterns much?) for my 10:30 appointment. The Department Head/Curator who took time to speak with me was amazing. Again, it was invigorating to have a real conversation, and it ranged along a wide spectrum of topics. I learned A LOT, and he also gave me confidence that many of my initial instincts in dealing with what I’m dealing with are correct (even if I’m not always toeing the usual library line on some things). We’ve both done a lot of different things in life that brought us to working in libraries and we share a passion for books and learning and information and how we like to handle/acquire/live with books that is often similar. It was a wonderful experience. He’s someone with whom I want to keep in touch, and someone for whom I hope I can be a resource for the weird information I tend to accumulate. His kindness and generosity of spirit towards someone who’s basically making it up as she goes along in this whole library adventure was deeply appreciated.

It was later than I expected when I got out of there (I expected he might have 15 or 20 minutes to spare, and we talked for nearly two hours – I felt like I was a time hog). I wanted to see what had changed. New York is still vibrant, and it was nice to be around its diversity. The pace felt slower, which was odd. I felt like I was at my old NYC pace, but people around me weren’t. Maybe I was simply in areas with tourists.

I swung by Christie’s, just for the heck of it, and was lucky enough that they were having a viewing of Asian Art. I got to talk to people (more real conversations) about textiles and ceramics. They couldn’t answer all of my questions, so now I have to do some research on my own. Which is just fine, because I didn’t really have the language to ask properly what I wanted to know. But Christie’s has always treated me well and going in there is always a pleasure. I learn a lot and get visual stimulation and the impact of actual valued and valuable art works that one can’t get in many other places. The emotional impact is very different between a photograph of something from the 1700s and the actual object.

Then, of course, I was close to running late. I grabbed some watermelon for lunch on the move as I headed up through Hell’s Kitchen (name it something gentrified all you want, it will ALWAYS be Hell’s Kitchen) to Lincoln Center. Hit the Library for the Performing Arts and had my meeting with the curators from the Billy Rose Theatre Collection.

Again, very generous with time and resources and cautions. They gave me a good baseline for how things are usually done. I saw the archives – so much wonderful history is in there, some of which is history I studied that influenced me; some of which is my personal history, people who actually shaped my career and my vision of a career in theatre. I asked a lot of questions, got a lot of information.

By the time I left, I was on overload. I was going to make another stop, almost made it to the building, and just couldn’t. Spread me with butter and serve me on a plate, because I was toast. I did, however, run into a store and buy a new tote bag for all the information I’d accumulated.

I headed to Sosa Borella (a favorite hangout from my days on WICKED and where I had my first book launch party), had something to eat (because I was ready to pass out) and a glass of wine. Listened to the first world problems of some yuppies nearby, thinking, “wow, if I told you some of my stories, you’d run screaming”, but kept my mouth shut. Costume Imp was the first to join me, and then two other friends. We had a great dinner and catch up, and even caught a train back at a reasonable time.

Caught up with the friend with whom I stayed, made sure I was properly packed. Up early on Tuesday morning, wrote 1K on INITIATE. In the car a little after 8 to head for the Asian grocery store in White Plains – which didn’t open until 10 that day. The traffic was backed up, so I took backroads until I got ahead of the problem, then hit the Merritt and headed back. I was working on potential plot threads for INITIATE, following the threads, deciding which to keep, which to develop, which to toss.

Stopped in Mystic on the way home, at Mystical Elements. I needed to stock up on aquamarines and bloodstones – neither of which they had. But they had some moonstones and a Botswana Agate I needed, so I got those, and some candles. And I got some hematite rings for the thumbs. Then headed over to Silk Road, for a bagua mirror (found a GORGEOUS one), and picked up a necklace and a moonstone ring to replace a ring I’d lost when packing the car at home on Sunday morning. I’ve worn eight rings on my fingers for years – now I have the full ten. Also got a nice pendant.

Back in the car, home around 3. Unpacked, settled in, read the rest of MELUSINE. Obsessed with the book, the gorgeous writing, the world-building. Finished it (all 496 pages) and started in on VIRTU, the next book.

To bed early – exhausted – in spite of all the reading and the plotting and the this and the that.

Up early this morning – 1K on INITIATE, starting a new section, layering in some other stuff I need to put in to widen the world.

To Barnstable Law Library for a meeting of the Reference Committee. It was terrific, great resource, and I applied for a card for our library, so we can access resources. Had some terrific conversations with some of my fellow librarians.

Stopped at Nirvana to treat myself to a Café Mocha and headed to work, where things were a bit in turmoil, and my desk was stacked to the rafters – which is fine, since it’s boxes of books. A couple of things that were promised to be handled while I was gone hadn’t been, which caused a slight case of the crankies on my part, but they’re now handled and nobody died, so it’s really not that big a deal. An annoyance, not a catastrophe. We also had a meeting for a proposal for a project in conjunction with Heritage Garden that I really, really want to do, and the Youth Services Librarian created a beautiful design. I also have to write a proposal for my boss’s presentation for a small libraries’ conference in Sturbridge at the end of October. Plus unpack all the boxes, and go through the books withdrawn via weeding.

It’s almost the end of the work day, so I’ll do what I can do, then descend into VIRTU – although I do need to write more on INITIATE tonight. I didn’t have three eight hour days to devote to it this week, and my characters are annoyed with me, which causes internal stress. I ordered the other two books in the series – there are four and I’d only found two in Niantic, not knowing there were four or realizing how hard I’d fall for these two. I am going to be very protective and possessive of my copies, because I will keep going back to this series for both enjoyment and because, structurally, they are so well done.

I also have to prepare for tomorrow morning’s Marine Life Center Board Meeting and set up for Short Story Group here before I go, since I will be late coming in.

It will take a few days to settle in again. I kind of feel like I’m floating between worlds right now. I’m surprised how easily I slipped back into New York mode, and I’m glad I could genuinely enjoy New York City, without feeling like I was missing anything, and still being convinced that leaving when I did was the right thing to do.

I am, however, being faced with other decisions and more change in the coming months. I’d like to sit and plan, but every time I do that, it backfires, so I will just have to trust my instincts.

Devon

Fri. Sept. 12, 2014: Still Sad, but Busy

Friday, September 12, 2014
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy morning at the library. Finished cleaning up from the event the night before and getting as much work done as possible before we had to head to Woods Hole. We had a small library roundtable meeting in Woods Hole in the afternoon – it was a lot of fun. The library there is really nice, and we had a lively meeting to discuss ideas and what we’ve found worked and does not work. Great group of people.

Stopped at Pie in the Sky for coffee and a snack on our way home, and then at Mhoney’s to pick up some stuff for the building.

I still couldn’t shake being sad – it was the thirteen anniversary of a very tough day. Each year is different. I was just . . .sad, and trying not to inflict it on anyone else, while at the same time honoring how I felt and not trying to deny it.

Came back to the library and got some work done after hours, and then I was just spent. I’d hit my coping capacity for the day.

Went home, had dinner, went grocery shopping for Saturday’s book club. Came home and washed teapots and did the laundry from Wednesday night’s event.

To bed late. Up early. Got some good work done on INITIATE. Washed cups and saucers fro tomorrow. Should have done the platters first, since they’ll have to be packed first.

Will do the cooking tonight, and finalize my notes. I still haven’t packed for the trip to New York, and I leave on Sunday morning.

Today will be a stressful day; tomorrow will be busy, and then I’m in New York for a few days. Wednesday morning I have a meeting before I head in to work and a full-on day.

Expect the first post next week (which will be mid-week) to be loooong, about the adventures from the trip.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on September 12, 2014 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Sept. 11, 2013: Living Through Another September 11

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday, but I got books processed and ready to go on shelves, once they get covered. That’s always a good thing. Prepping for the book group on Saturday.

The library closed early so we could set up for the party the Board gave for library donors. It was a lovely event – people enjoyed themselves, there was good food and drink, and people got to have actual conversations instead of feeling like they were being hit up for something. It was a “thank you” rather than a “we need”, which was nice for everyone involved.

However, it was after eight by the time I got home and had dinner, and then I did some work before going to bed.

Up early this morning. Had a great morning’s work on INITIATE. Really happy with the scenes I wrote. I love living in this book. It fills my heart and soul during the day and then when I write, it flows well, but then it’s hard to separate and go back to the day.

Today is, of course, a sad day. I wondered why my heart hurt as of yesterday, and then I realized . . .today is 9/11. Every year, the process of getting through it is different, and we all have different ways to survive. Having tried many different ways over the years, I find the best way for me is to be quiet, get through the day, not judge how anyone else does, and then do a memorial candle at night.

Busy day this morning at the library, and then a round table at Woods Hole. I’ll have to come back and finish some more work, then run to the grocery store.

Devon

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. Sept. 10, 2014: Trying to Get Back into the Juggling Act

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Definitely autumn. You can smell it and feel it.

Busy, intense weekend. Busy day at the library Friday. Wrote in the morning on Saturday, had a Mermaid Ball debrief in the afternoon. Read a bit at night and worked on some other stuff.

Combined writing and reading on Sunday, along with prep for Muffins, Mittens, and Murder. Also re-watched ALICE, the Syfy remake of ALICE IN WONDERLAND that I always enjoy. Also spent the afternoon working Village Day at the library. We had a book sale, we had good conversations with patrons – it was nice. I enjoyed it far more than expected. I also got an idea for a new story from a brother and sister. Should be interesting.

Most of Monday was about writing. I created a complex double tarot reading for the scene. One thread of the reading drove the immediate plot; the other is foreshadowing of what’s coming up in the next section. I love working on this book, in spite of all the challenges. Every minute I’m away from it is painful. The 1K/day is fine, it keeps me in it somewhat, but the more intense writing days are the ones that are really satisfying – but it’s also difficult to re-enter the real world after spending such intense time in this one.

Tuesday, again, was mostly about writing, but also about mundane things like laundry. And trying to prep for the week, and for going to New York at the beginning of next week for training.

Today has been busy at the library, and tonight we have a donor event. I got a bunch of books processed. Once they’re covered, they’ll be on the shelves and ready for patrons.

Never a dull moment. Which is good. But I still haven’t found just the right balance. On the days I’m not at the library, I have to be even more protective of my time. Being offline three to four days a week is a HUGE help.

Devon

Published in: on September 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm  Comments (3)  

Fri. September 5, 2014: Busy

Friday, September 5, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day at the library yesterday, but good. Got a lot done, and a lot of it was calendar entries of events in newspapers, etc. – time consuming stuff. I helped locate some paper work we need, worked on a big book order for next week, etc.

Came home, sat on the deck with a martini, cooked dinner, read a bit, and went to bed early. Actually got some sleep.

I’m all registered for the Historical Writers Retreat in CT at the beginning of October. I’m very excited!

Up early this morning to work on INITIATE. Hard to pull myself away in order to get to work.

It will be busy here today – I have to create records for books that are not yet in the system, which is something that must be done meticulously and I’m not yet used to doing it enough to be fast at it. In other words, NO ONE can interrupt me when I’m doing it. So I’ve made arrangements with my co-workers to have some interrupted work time.

The weekend will be busy, too – I’m spending as much time as possible working on INITIATE and working my way through a stack of research books and prepping for next week’s Cozy Mystery Group. Saturday, we have a Mermaid Ball debrief and Sunday is Village Day and the famous (or is it infamous?) Chicken BBQ over at Liberty Hall.

Busy times. But I’m happy that it’s autumn.

I will be offline until next Wed. Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on September 5, 2014 at 8:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Sept. 4, 2014: Exhaustion on Many Levels

Thursday, September 04, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day at the library yesterday, but good. I got books on shelves; I ordered some cool DVDs; I did a display on Peter Capaldi-Benedict Cumberbatch-Dr.Who-Sherlock. Caught up on emails. Got through some paperwork. Spent some time on the Circ desk. Made sure that the next month’s choice of book is ready for the Muffins, Mittens, and Murder Cozy Mystery Club. Helped do some cleaning and rearranging in the office. Worked on some program stuff.

So many changes have been going on over the past few months, and so many more are coming up in the next months that I’m exhausted – as much mentally and spiritually as physically. I need some time off, and I need to build some time off into my days away from the library. Part of it has to do with the writing schedule – the days I’m working out of the house, I need to maintain the 1K-in-the-morning pace, but the days I’m working at home, I need to spend between 5 and 8 hours or more writing.

The best way to do that is to be offline from Saturday through Tuesday, with the occasional peak at email on some Saturdays, or, if I’m traveling or have meetings on those days. But, for the most part, for the next couple of months, I will be offline Saturday through Tuesday. And don’t call me, because I don’t answer the phone anyway! ;) I need that time and space to be protected in order to create, so that on the days I have to interact with others in a work environment, I can do so happily.

That means I may not blog often on Mondays and Tuesdays for the next few months. Sometimes I will; sometimes I won’t. Eventually, I’ll get back to the five-day-a-week blog schedule, but right now, I need to unravel a few things, make some decisions that can only be made if I have the mental space and quiet to do them. I also need to ferociously protect my writing time.

In the late afternoon, the CCWC Executive Board met, and, after that, the full Board, debriefing from the Conference, setting dates for next year, and moving forward on some other issues. It was after 8 by the time we were done.

Home. Read a bit. Tumbled into bed. Had a fretful night. So did the coyotes. Didn’t get much done on INITIATE this morning. I’m moving into a complex sequence and have to create a back-and-forth of conflicting tarot reading spreads for it. That will need time and planning.

I expect a busy day here at the library today, and already look forward to going home and going to bed!

Devon

Published in: on September 4, 2014 at 8:21 am  Comments (1)  

Wed. Sept. 3, 2014: Stepping into Autumn

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy times here. Worked on Saturday. It was a surprisingly busy day for a holiday weekend (considering that often, libraries would take off the entire weekend).

I’m getting caught up on all the stuff that couldn’t get done when I was without a computer for two months and floated from machine to machine. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get everything done this week, but I should be able to make another solid dent.

Don’t even remember what I did Saturday afternoon — maybe I read, or worked on prep for the Cozy Mystery Book Club. Honestly, it seems like it was a long time ago.

Sunday, we were up early. Drove to Providence to put Costume Imp on the bus back to New York, getting ahead of the traffic. On the way back, we hit Target — I hadn’t shopped there in nearly a year. Picked up a few things we needed; headed home.

I wrote for the rest of the day, working on INITIATE. Some of the plot threads I’m doing now, in this middle section, need to be set up earlier in the book, so I went back and did some more inserted scenes. I also started typing what I have. This becomes problematic because it winds up being another draft, and I prefer to finish a draft completely before doing the next one. However, in this particular case, I need to track plot lines and character arcs and how I develop this next draft, along with the inserts, inform how the rest of the middle and the final section of the book will go.

If I remain locked into what I consider “my process”, I sabotage the book. I have to listen to the unique rhythm of this particular book, and do what needs to be done for it to be the best it can be.

Worked on INITIATE all day on Monday, too. Realized that, if I had a month of uninterrupted work time, where I could work all day every day, I could finish the first draft. However, that’s not what I have, so I have to be ferociously protective of the three days per week I can devote entirely to the book, and keep on with my 1K every morning. For this book, 1K/day is not enough. As I go back and read, I can see which sections were only 1K days because they are much choppier than the full days I could spend on the book.

Monday night, I watched IN THE LOOP. Since Peter Capaldi is the new Dr. Who, I ordered some of his previous work for the library, and then checked it out once it was processed (and I was sure there were no holds from other patrons). IN THE LOOP is clever, although you have to pay attention to the huge amounts of dialogue packed into somewhat choppily edited scenes. The acting is superb, thought. Capaldi, in particular, is hilarious and his work has a scalpel-like precision.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day on INITIATE. The book feels good, and feels right. I did some work on the new material, typed up some of the earlier chapters and did some reshaping in ways that affect the second half of the book. I’m into deep world-building here.

Yes, one is supposed to sort all that out BEFORE starting a draft. But I wasn’t sure how different the world needed to be when I started the draft. Now I know, so I’m building, building, building, creating systems and language and money and political and religious structure and traditions and entertainments. The world-building classes I took from Christine Amsden and Karina Fabian continue to come in handy.

Headed to Scusset Beach in the evening for an NMLC seal release. Belmont, the first of the three babies we got in April, went home. Although he needed some coaxing — he came out of the crate, inched out a few dozen feet, looked around, and scuttled back in. It took awhile to convince him the ocean was where he wanted to be. Hopefully, he’ll be okay out there. He’s just a baby after all — although now, he’s a healthy, chubby, seventy-pound one!

Home, watched THE FIFTH ESTATE — again, Peter Capaldi, although Benedict Cumberbatch is the lead. The whole Julian Assange/Wikileaks thing. David Thewlis, another of my favorite actors, is also in it, and Laura Linney, who I dressed in SIGHT UNSEEN off-Broadway years ago. There was a lot I liked about the movie, but it relied too much on Cumberbatch’s detailed, mannered performance. It tried to hard to present information rather than a point of view, so the passion of the characters didn’t quite transcend what was set out as a plotline, but really felt more like a timeline.

I am very cynical about “organizations” such as Wikileaks and Anonymous. If they are actually out for social justice and comprised of these brilliant computer hackers, you know what would gain my respect? Hacking into the banks and credit companies, but NOT to harm the customers (which is what most hackers do). Instead, set everyone’s credit card balance to zero, as paid off, and mark all the illegally-finagled mortgages that got the banks huge profits as paid off, too. That WOULD actually harm the banks and moneylenders and executives who make huge, obscene personal profits from hurting others. That WOULD make those hackers warriors for social and economic justice. But they don’t DO anything that actually helps citizens. In fact, from the acts they commit, I get the impression they have a lot of contempt for the typical citizen. Can’t say I blame them — I’m not fond of “the public” as an entity, either. But they don’t fit my definition as warriors for equality and social justice.

Off to work. I expect a busy day, and then I have both an executive board meeting and a regular board meeting for the Writers Center. I’m sure there will be plenty of email to catch up on, since I was offline for several days. I LIKE being offline for days at a time. I need it for my writing, and that is what I will do, moving forward. I’m not THAT important that anything will crash and burn if I’m out of touch for a few days.

Enjoy September!

Devon

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, August 29, 2014: Moving into the Holiday — and Autumn

Friday, August 29, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day at the library yesterday. Most of it good busy, some of it not so much. It’s wonderful to have a working computer again and to be able to do my work AT MY DESK, instead of floating from pillar to post trying to get things done and make things compatible, etc. I managed to catalog over 50 books, the ones that needed covering were covered, and most of them already are out to patrons. That’s always a good feeling – getting patrons the books they want and enjoy. That’s my favorite part of the job – helping people find the books they want, and introducing them to authors they enjoy that they might not otherwise find.

Costume Imp arrived early (he had the car) and hung out in the library reading until it was time to go home. My mom had cooked dinner for us, and then we just sat around and read until it was time to go to bed.

Up early this morning. Didn’t get the full 1000 words done on INITIATE – only about 500, which was annoying, but I need to work out some stuff in my head about this scene before I can write it. When I start typing this draft, I’ll have to start the tracking sheets right away, because it’s got that High Fantasy Epic thing going on, which means there are lots of threads and arcs to keep straight, and places where things need to be woven or unwoven so that the overall plot drives properly.

At the library today, and will pick up dinner at Osterville Fish Market, and then, hopefully, a quiet evening to slide into the holiday weekend. Saturday is my day “on” at the library, and then it’s off to the Marine Life Center. Sunday, Costume Imp goes off early in the morning, and I’m scrubbing down the fridge and kitchen to start fall cleaning (since I didn’t get a chance to do a thorough spring cleaning this year).

Monday, I’m taking OFF – since I won’t be able to take Sunday as my disconnect day completely, it will be Monday. So you won’t hear from me until Tuesday or maybe even Wednesday.

Have a great holiday weekend. I’m so happy that we’re moving into fall!

Devon

Published in: on August 29, 2014 at 8:41 am  Comments (1)  

Thurs. Aug. 28, 2014: Jamaican Night

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day at the library yesterday. Good day, mostly, too. The new computer is in, and the IT guy came and loaded in everything I need and things are configured to the right printers and seem to work. After two months of bouncing from pillar to post, I can actually sit at my desk and do my work. I have two months’ worth of cataloging to catch up on, not to mention the 500+ CDs that were donated earlier that I couldn’t even get started on, but now I can actually dig down and DO IT.

Big relief.

After work, I buzzed on over to Falmouth to Connemessett Farm for Jamaican night. Met a group of friends there and we had a GOOD time. The food was outstanding, and so was the company. And it was great to do something because we WANTED to, not because we needed to.

Came home, read a little, went to sleep.

Up early this morning, worked on INITIATE. I’ve got a couple more “episodic” sequences to write before I get back into the main plot that will drive us to the climax of the book.

Some interesting decisions will have to be made in the next few months on a lot of different fronts in preparation for next year. I have to decide what I really want and where I see the next few years going, and then work from that.

Meanwhile, Silly Season is almost over!

Devon

Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 8:32 am  Comments (1)  
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