The Fascinating and Wonderful Linda Rettstatt!

The fascinating and wonderful Linda Rettstatt is a guest on the blog today. And I’m over on her blog, One Woman’s Write. Please give Linda a warm welcome!

Annabel Aidan: As a fellow theatre professional, I immediately gravitated to the information you used to review plays. I remember how nerve-wracking it is to open a play on Broadway and know how much those critics decide if you still have a job tomorrow or not. And how heartbreaking it could be when a reviewer with a personal axe to grind went after someone on the creative team or the cast. But there were also a lot of reviewers who loved the art and craft, and who had terrific insights that were helpful to both us and the audience. What was the most exciting part about being a reviewer, and what was the hardest?

Linda Rettstatt: Well, to put this in context, I grew up in a very small town in southwestern Pennsylvania. Everyone knew everyone else. And on a good day, the local paper was twelve pages. The community theater group was comprised of all local folks. So, obviously, I had to tread lightly. I loved stepping back and critically observing the performances. The hardest part was writing an objective review without slighting anyone and finding a way to be honest without hurting feelings. (After all, I had to pass these folks on the street the next day.)

AA: Again, in your information, I’m drawn to the fact that you write with both humor and hope. Why do you think those two elements are so important?

LR: My career background is in clinical social work, and I worked as psychotherapist for a number of years. I discovered (though I’m sure I’m not the first to know this ☺) that a number of people who presented themselves with symptoms of depression were lacking a few things in their lives—a creative element, humor, and hope. I think we all need to be able to laugh at ourselves and we definitely need to feel hopeful about the future. I can find humor in the most dire situations—something that can get me into trouble when I laugh inappropriately when others are somber.

AA: In AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE and in THE YEAR I LOST MY MIND, your heroines are in their fifties. As someone approaching fifty myself, I’m delighted to see heroines with some life experience out there. Did you meet any resistance when you shopped the book? Were you ever encouraged to make your heroines younger? Or do you think the tide is turning for the majority of heroines having to be young and inexperienced?

LR: When I began to write, I started with what I knew. And I knew about being a woman of fifty-something. In many ways, And The Truth Will Set You Free is a fantasy biography, if you will. Kate’s story is as I had once imagined my own story and the dream to relocate to New England and write. Also, I’ve done a lot of work with women dealing with mid-life issues. So it seemed natural for me, when writing women’s fiction to address those issues in my books. I received a wonderful response to those books and the characters. I have, however, written stories of younger characters such as Claire in Pieces (thirties) and Lily in Renting to Own who is a 23-year-old single mother.

AA: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

LR: The rush that comes with that initial idea for a story and then meeting the character in my head. The newness of a story is like falling in love, and I will typically spend two or three days working for ten to twelve hours straight at that point. Sometimes I forget to eat (but then I make up for it!)

AA: What do you do on the days when it’s hard to put butt in chair and get it done?

LR: I don’t have many of those days. But when I feel stuck, I will sometimes take a drive and have a heart-to-heart chat with my characters. They will usually lead me out of that blind alley. If anything, I have to sometimes force myself to shut down the laptop and socialize with friends for a while. I can become a bit of a hermit when I’m writing.

AA: What do you feel is the most joyful part of your writing life as a whole?

LR: Seeing my books in print, of course, is one (both electronically and in paperback). But I love to chat with readers and hear from women about how my stories impact their lives. I’ve had women write and say, “Kate’s story in And the Truth Will Set You Free is my story. I didn’t feel so alone after reading the book.” And I had a woman who had been a single mother tell me that I nailed her experience in telling Lily’s story in Renting to Own. I want my stories to give women strength, love, humor, and hope.

Bio:
Linda Rettstatt is the author of nine women’s fiction and mainstream romance novels. Her work is published with Champagne Books, Class Act Books, and Wings ePress. She is a Pennsylvania Yankee currently residing in Northwest Mississippi, not far from Memphis, where she has yet to report an Elvis sighting. Her books have finaled three times for EPIC e-Book Awards, and she was named 2010 Author of the Year by Champagne Books. You can find Linda on the web at www.lindarettstatt.com and at www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com

Published in: on September 17, 2011 at 7:51 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is now available in a print edition! I’m pretty thrilled. It also means that I can pursue some of the bookstore opportunities locally. I’M IN PRINT! Had a great conversation with my publisher, and it fuels the need to get THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY to them quickly. I’m so far behind on that, it’s not even funny.

I’m on site and things are fine. I’d just rather be home, because now I have a nice home in which to live! And it’s noisy here — landscapers and tree cutters and all the other “busy work”.

Yesterday was busy here, but I also managed to get the next assignment done for Confidential Job #1. It was really good. Today, I’m here all day, working from this site, polishing a couple of articles and getting them out the door.

I found my notes for the book I want to write along with my students during the year-long intensive, and I’m very excited. I was worried that I’d lost them. I knew I’d found them in the move, but then I put them in a “safe place” and couldn’t find them again. But I managed, and I can look over everything in time for the class. I’m also prepping my other fall classes this weekend — once I’ve gotten my articles out the door!

That’s the scoop — just trying to get some steady work done over the next few days.

Back to the page.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 8:04 am  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s really starting to feel and smell like fall in the early mornings and the evenings, even when the day time hours are summery.

Yoga was great yesterday — smaller class in the cloudy weather, but lots of fun. So many seals were on the sandbanks watching the humans do silly things! And then the sharks turned up, and all the beaches were closed, as far as getting in the water.

Came home, did some more grocery shopping, got to work, got as much done as I could, headed to Buzzards Bay, took the photographs, we had the meeting, did some more work when I got home.

Today, I’m off on a difficult assignment. I should have internet access while I’m there for the next few weeks, but, especially today and tomorrow, it will be challenging. I hate leaving my house and the yard and the cats, but that’s the reality. I’ve still got a couple of articles to finish this week, too, and more work for the Mermaid Ball. I’ve got my project bin packed, so that I can polish the fall courses.

Thank you, yesterday, for all your support when I was feeling so blue. I can’t wallow, because I have other assignments which need my focus, and I have to see what I can learn to do things better moving forward. I’m feeling creatively exhausted, along with physically, and, although August was supposed to be “vacation”, that’s not how it turned out. I’m about to go into an insanely busy autumn, and I have to dig deeper and find the inner resources for it. I’m trying to find pockets of time where I can renew myself, but the reality of what I want/need and what needs to get done aren’t in harmony right now. Hopefully, I can move them closer together over the next few weeks.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


The lake at Heritage Museum and Gardens

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Got some work done yesterday before I had to take my mother to the doctor, only to find her appointment had been cancelled. They said they called and left a message; of course, they hadn’t. Typical.

Headed over to the National Marine Life Center to send out invitations. A thirty-five minute drive took TWO HOURS. Traffic here is worse than New York! It took me an hour to go one exit. So I hopped off 6, took 6A to the Sagamore Bridge, where there was a backup, and then there was another accident at the rotary. Meanwhile, I’m running out of gas, because my favorite gas station (20 cents cheaper a gallon than most places on the Cape, 50 cents a gallon cheaper than the station at the bottom of the road) is on the way. I chugged in there just in time. Usually, I never fall below half a tank, but I figured, since I was going to Buzzards Bay, I’d be fine.

A little stressful, but we made it!

The chairman of the Ball and I got out all the invitations, and had a good time doing it. I’d baked brownies, so we had some sustenance, too!

Fortunately, the drive back was smooth. I had some more ideas for potential sponsors, so I got to work on that once I got home.

Because I’d been up early, I went to bed early. And I’m up early today to get to yoga. Then, it will be, hopefully, a good day at the page, with work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and some stuff for the Ball, before heading back over for a meeting early this evening — let’s hope the traffic’s a little smoother. I also have to complete the materials for Confidential Job #1, which is due tomorrow.

The class is off to a good start. I think I’ve got a small group this time, but they are enthusiastic and lively. We’re having some good discussions.

Now — off to yoga!

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon
Kindle.

Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Monday, July 4, 2011


A cork tree, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Monday, July 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and humid
American Independence Day

As you can see, I’ve tweaked the sidebar. The small writing booklets are gone — Payloadz is more trouble than its worth; in addition to poor or no customer service, they wound up keeping 80% or more of each booklet. Not an acceptable arrangement. I’m combining the booklets into a new book and adding some additional material. I plan to have it ready for purchase, probably via Amazon Kindle, in the fall, and am researching the cost of spiral-bound copies to bring to conferences and classes. I’ll keep you posted.

I cleaned up some of the blog links — got rid of ones where people have stopped posting, stopped by and said hello on a bunch I hadn’t visited in awhile. Nice to catch up. I added The Writers Vineyard, where I now post monthly, and I hope that will be one of your regular stops.

I’ve also taken down the Nina Bell story. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with the Nina Bell stories — she’s got a lot to say, but how best to get the stories out there? And do I want to write FINDING JAKE, setting it fifteen or twenty years after TAPESTRY? I have to think about it.

I wound up not going to the Powwow, unfortunately– I’ll put it on my “must do” list for next year. 30,000 other people managed to get there, so I doubt they missed me! I ran some errands on Saturday, including getting another cubic foot of potting soil and picking up a pie. Got more gas for the mower, and mowed the front. Costume Imp’s right — it runs much easier without the death grip on it, but it’s still difficult to maneuver on the uneven ground. I did a lot of deadheading and weeding, all around the house, and cut back stuff that’s popped and faded. Planted zinnias and, because I think Bessie’s brood ate the flowers on the pumpkins and zucchini, planted some more pumpkins — this time in a pot. Put the teeny, tiny tomato plants in the big pots outside with the basil and the marigolds. We’ll see what happens.

I did a bunch of research and worked on the lectures for the upcoming classes. I finished the July newsletter and got that out on Sunday morning.

The line at Dunkin’ Donuts on Sunday was right out the door. Yeah, it’s summer on the Cape.

There are all kinds of fireworks going off, some legit, some morons who don’t know their asses from their elbows and may lose both if they’re not careful. Having trained in pyrotechnics during my time in theatre, I have only contempt for people who act like setting off a firecracker is the same as lighting a candle. If you don’t have the knowledge, and, more important, the RESPECT for the piece, it will take no prisoners.

Violet is absolutely turning herself inside out with terror from the noise and the vibrations. Iris just puts her paws over her ears and goes back to sleep. The Hounds of the Baskervilles are very upset — it hurts their sensitive ears.

We got to eat the first strawberries from our hanging baskets — the Seascape variety, no less! They are delicious, so full of flavor. I don’t think we’ll get 25-50 quarts this summer, but we will enjoy whatever ones we have!

Got out a couple of short stories on submission, and got some other work done. Got some decent work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and simply don’t understand why the progress is so slow. It’s not a bad book, the pace is decent, and I’m struggling to sit down every morning and get my minimum done on it. But it needs to get out the door, so butt goes in seat, until it gets done.

Did some work on the outline of the new book, and then realized that I have to rename the character, because she doesn’t like her first name, and her last name is the same as a character in a book that will go out on submission in fall. Since the books are both set on the Cape, unless I plan to have them related to each other, this isn’t going to work. I want this book to have a rather wry, light tone, with a hint of brittle humor without breaking, but it seems to want to go in another direction. I hope I can set up character and situation so humor emerges organically; if I try to “write funny”, it will be leaden and awful. I planned out how I want the bitchy manger to meet her untimely end, and why, and tied it to a murder at the same location in the 1950’s, in the earlier history of the same complex, so we’ve got the whole generational thing going on. I’ll have to work with some timeline stuff, but it gives me the chance to play with summer stock on the Cape in the 1950’s. Originally, I’d wanted to do a series about a summer stock theatre, starting it in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s, bringing it forward to contemporary times. But this way, I get to put that and the contemporary times side-by-side. I think the contrasts and compliments will be interesting, instead of breaking each thing into its own book. Bitchy Manager actually gets a nicer end than what I originally envisioned, but it serves the book better and hey, she’s still dead! ;) I think I’ll actually title the chapters with when they take place, so that I can write scenes set in the 1950’s as well as in contemporary times. I know I’ve got books about the straw hat circuit that I haven’t unpacked yet, and I have two whole shelves in the storage room just waiting for them . . .

Yes, I’m writing about theatre again. What can I say? Backstage is ripe for stories, and writing them is easier than going back and keeping those hours! ;)

Had a breakthrough on the adaptation of GLAMOROUS HEARTS, which is back on the schedule. I think it can do very well as darkly comic novel. I’ll need to do research, but I’ve got most of the research on the 1920’s New York part, and I’m close enough to Newport, with enough resources, to be able to fill that in. WHEN that will get done, I’m not quite sure — maybe allow myself to do a scene at a time as a reward whenever I get a good, solid chunk done of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Today, I have quite a bit to do, writing-wise, and I want to make sure I complete the material for Confidential Job #1. I get to go back to yoga tomorrow morning — I’m absolutely hungry for it.

But today, holiday or not, I have to put my head down and get some work done.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Detail of lobelia planter, Rosecliff

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Day before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and humid

I dashed outside yesterday before my first cup of coffee because the Squirrel was digging in my vegetable bed. Excuse me, I did not give you permission to harvest the radishes! Actually, he was burying something, not digging it up, but I chased him anyway. By the time I’d finished the watering, I’d been bitten in three places on my legs — large welts. These aren’t spider bites, so they’re only itchy and uncomfortable and swollen, not making me sick. I poulticed the worst one, but again, it didn’t need a venom draw, even though it felt better. I think I have to adjust the formula slightly for mosquitos. I’m poulticing them all this afternoon, just to make sure.

Phone interview went well, in person interview went well. On the latter, my application has to be signed off by “The Man”, and I can’t see that happening, not with my history of activism, so we’ll see. Either it happens or it doesn’t. I have an in-person follow-up to the phone interview next week for the other job, and I think that will work out.

Stopped at the Sandwich Library to switch out some books — hard to find a parking space. But I used Ye Olde Parking Karma and got one anyway. So hard that one woman handed me books in the parking lot, asking if I’d take them in because she couldn’t park! Since they weren’t overdue, I said sure.

Spent the afternoon on paperwork and research.

Up early this morning. It was raining, so I didn’t have to water. It’s the little things in life, y’know? ;) Took my mom to a medical appointment, and then we did all the week’s errands on the way back, which took most of the morning, so I’m late getting online. Got more paperwork to do, and I’ve started the next assignment for Confidential Job #1.

I need to do some plotting on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, because I re-arranged a few things, and then I want to spend some time with that.

I’ll be late getting online tomorrow, too, because I’m going out early for a yoga on the beach session. Then, in addition to the writing, etc., I’m going to have to get gas for the mower, mow at least the front, and maybe start painting the bureau.

I’m trying to keep it a quiet weekend for the holiday — doing stuff around the house, writing, maybe attending the Wampanoag Pow Wow on Sunday. I need to get some “home front” stuff done before my next class starts on Tuesday.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Bench detail, Rosecliff

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

There was a saying on my mother’s side of the family, the ones who farmed and gardened to supply their restaurant — that the weather on the 27th indicates the weather for the next seven weeks. If that’s true, we’re in for a treat, because yesterday was lovely.

For the most part, I gave myself the day off from writing. I did some admin work, and follow-up on a few things. I read in the afternoon, some research, some for pleasure. I finished LESS THAN KIND by Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis, a fantasy novel tied to Tudor England. It’s the last book in the series, and I never read the others, but, for the most part, it stood alone. I also finished THE BARN AT THE END OF THE WORLD: THE APPRENTICESHIP OF A QUAKER, BUDDHIST SHEPHERD, which was very interesting, especially when she talks about her struggle not to respond to irritating situations with anger.

Wrote to the Preservation Society of Newport, praising the flower show, mentioning the parking problem, and offering some possible solutions (all of which were more positive than my first reaction). Got a very nice response almost immediately.

Deadheaded the roses which faded, some of the pansies (can’t believe they’re still there), the petunias, and weeded. I’m going to have to get more gas for the lawn mower this week, and mow later in the week, and soon get some oil for it, too.

That’s pretty much it — a much-needed, quiet day. I’m back to the page today, have an interview with a potential client, and found some messages on my phone from another potential client. So we’ll see. September is so over-booked, I’m getting alarmed, and I’m having some growing pains in the career. I’m glad I’m in demand for a particular type of job, but I’m trying to shed that kind, not get more clients in, because it doesn’t fit in with my overall vision. So I’m trying to balance the need to keep the short-term, quick-pay jobs along with the longer-lead-time jobs. It’s getting more and more difficult for me to accept site jobs, because not all of them have internet or wireless access, and, at this point, because of the teaching, I have to have internet access. I put a lot of emotional pressure on myself with these jobs, which needs to stop, because I have to remember that I can always say no if the dates or conditions don’t work. Saturn Retrograde Growing Pains — what can I say?

Anyway, I’m going to try to spend some time on the page, return the phone calls, and then mentally prepare myself for the meeting.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Summer Solstice
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was a dedicated work day. I got a lot of writing and business done; it’s never enough, but it helps. I got a good chunk done on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, got out a couple of proposals, made a manuscript submission, and worked on the backlog of short stories that needed to go out.

In the late morning, Costume Imp and I drove to Hyannis to check out Tim’s Books, right on Main Street. We both found some great stuff. And found parking about two doors down from the store! Imp went on to meet a friend of his he’d recently learned moved to the Cape, and I went on to run errands, get some work done in the garden, and go back to do more work.

We had a craving for Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner and gave in to it. Sometimes, you just need the fast food!

The evening was about reading (SACRED GROUND by Mercedes Lackey for me, very good), and then watching the repeat of the GAME OF THRONES finale. It was well done, and hopefully, the way they’ve left it means there will be a lot more of Peter Dinklage’s character in Season Two next year. His work is always good, but he’s outstanding here. And the scene between Jamie and Caitlyn was great. I’m debating whether or not to read the books in the interim.

Someone’s coming to fix the downstairs toilet this morning, my students have their next exercise due, and then we’re hitting a couple of farmers’ markets and natural food places. I’ve got a meeting tonight, and then we’ll do our Solstice ceremony.

In the meantime, I better get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and do my quota for the day! ;) I hated to stop yesterday, but there were other things that had to get done. I’m hoping over the weekend, I can block off five or six hours just to work on the book.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHTavailable from <a href="http://www.champagnebooks.com” target=”_blank”>Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, June 10, 2011


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHTavailable from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, June 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The delightful Shirley Wells is hosting me over on her blog on how “Dressing is Not for the Faint of Heart.” Since Morag, one of the two main protagonists of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, is a Broadway dresser, yes, it ties in to the release!

Yesterday was busy. Ran around a lot, doing errands, which somehow always takes longer than I expect. Managed to get more cat food in (huge priority), get a small table to match my Adirondack chairs for the deck, some other small plant tables, Juliet’s new book HEXES AND HEMLINES, and some other stuff. Also stopped by Country Gardens to get the petunias for the planter (where the lobelia failed to come up) and some other stuff, including something so I could treat the lawn for ants. The guy said I should do it ASAP, since we’re supposed to have rain that night, and rain is better than the hose for getting the stuff into the ground.

Spent some time in the basement dealing with boxes, doing some unpacking, getting things ready for today’s inspection.

Came home, treated the lawn, watered it in, and, of course, it was the day every dog in the neighborhood came by to play, so I had to chase them off and warn the owners to wash their feet! The water makes the stuff BUBBLE, which is a little disconcerting.

I hated the thought of using this stuff (even though it’s EPA approved), but, according to the garden center, there’s no fully organic way to get rid of ants. Ants are very persistent. I can divert them from the house with the mint and the tansy and the red pepper, but to get them off the lawn, I have to treat it.

Dashed off to Buzzards Bay for a really good meeting on the Mermaid Ball. I really like the people at the National Marine Life Center, and I’m glad I can do some work with them. I’m also doing some “recommended reading” — I don’t have a background in marine biology or oceanography, so I’m playing catch-up. I should probably take a course of two at the local junior college.

Drove back in a bad storm. It was both gorgeous and frightening to cross the metal Sagamore Bridge with lightening streaking down on both sides. Rt. 6 had some very deep water-pits along the way. It drains off quickly, but until it drains — it was up to the running board in some spots.

But I got home safely, ate, didn’t go online, and started Juliet’s book instead. I really enjoy the Lily Ivory series, so I was glad to get my hands on the newest book!

When I pulled into the driveway, the lawn, where I put down the ant treatment was absolutely frothing! It’s not supposed to hurt birds or pets or people after a few hours — I hope that’s true!

Up early this morning. Didn’t have to water because of the rain. The crows haven’t managed to pry the crystals out of the vegetable bed (the crystals are too big and heavy).

I don’t feel like I can start much until the inspection is done, and then the owner is going to come over and help me prep the house for summer, so today’s pretty much a wash. I’ve got a few things to do for the Mermaid Ball, and I’d like to get some writing done, but the primary focus today is on the house. Which is a good thing.

The Belmont Stakes are tomorrow, and my next class, the Write in Company, starts on Monday, so busy, busy. But it’s good busy, and there’s a bunch of stuff coming up that I really want to do with the local wellness community, and Costume Imp is coming in next week, and the garden stakes are in and . . .

You get the idea! ;)

Devon

Thursday, June 9, 2011


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Late start this morning. I overslept. Well, I woke up at 4:30 and said to myself, “No way in hell am I getting up at 4:30”, rolled over and overslept. The cats were not amused.

Yesterday was busy, first in CT, and then heading home. I wrote a couple of pieces, including the Lit Athlete column, and got it out for the next issue. We managed to get on the road a full hour earlier than expected, which was a huge help. Traffic to New Haven was still a nightmare, but then it was smooth sailing to Mystic, where I stopped to pick up a garden stake I’ve had my eye on for nearly a year and some crystals for the vegetable bed. And some of my favorite sauces from the Franklin General Store. I tossed a few gallons of gas into the tank in Rhode Island, and then stopped in Wareham to get buckets and spray paint, etc., so I can finish the furniture that needs repainting. Black gloss is just easier to deal with in spray paint. It’s a shame I have to redo the bureau anyway, but when I taped the drawers shut for the move, it ripped off all the paint I’d put on thirteen years or so ago when I hauled the bureau in a cart from the Salvation Army to my Times Square apartment, stripped it down, and repainted it! So, I’m just going to sand it and repaint it in black gloss again. The pseudo-Asian lines of the piece look better in the black gloss rather than a more natural looking stain. And, of course, I needed more buckets! ;)

Got home a little after 8 PM, opened all the windows, checked the garden, cooked dinner, unpacked, etc.

We have an eggplant! Yes, on the Big King eggplant, the blossom turned into an actual eggplant! It’s tiny — I’ll post the photo on Saturday’s garden journal entry — but it’s an eggplant. So excited!

Bruins won Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final last night against Vancouver. After the hit on Nathan Horton by a Vancouver player in Game 3 that’s knocked him out for the rest of the series, it was about time Boston got their act together. Horton’s one of “my” boys — I was there when he was drafted and have been following/writing about his career ever since. So I was furious about that hit, which to me, did not seem like a legit check, but a deliberate attempt to neutralize one of Boston’s best players. There are ways to combine the two, but, from a viewer standpoint, this wasn’t one of them. The League’s not too happy with the Vancouver player, either, so we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, got a late start, but caught up on the garden, the the plants were perfectly happy not to be fussed at for a day. As a friend of mine put it, “Plants have been growing on their own for thousands of years. You can back the fuck off sometimes.”

Point taken! But tell that to my neighbor! ;)

I’ve got a lot to do in a finite amount of time today, because I’ve got a meeting for the Mermaid Ball this evening. I wanted to bake for it, but it’s too sticky, so I’ll get some cookies or something.

It’s a full 20 degrees cooler here than it was in CT, thank goodness. We’re supposed to have thunderstorms tonight, but it looks and feels like they’ll happen at any moment. I’ve got a lot of running around to do today, in terms of cat food and going to the dump, and prepping for the fire department inspection tomorrow, but it should all be good.

Onward, and must spend some time on the page!

Devon

Wednesday, July 8, 2011

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books now.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and HOT!

When you’re done here, hop on over to Diane Parkin’s blog. She’s got me (as Annabel) with a guest post on mixing what you know and what you don’t in your writing, and how that contributed to the creation of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.

Hit the ground running yesterday. Since I have to get the early morning watering/garden stuff done BEFORE I sit down at the desk for my first 1K (or I’d have to do my 1K at 4 AM), I now need two hours before hitting the desk instead of one for the yoga/meditation, and that means getting up earlier so that I can still be at my desk early enough in the morning to tap into my best productivity. If I wait to water the garden too late, it cooks, so it needs to be done early. I like to be very present when I’m working in the garden, not just thinking about what I should be writing (except when I’m deadheading the rhodies), so it’s kind of thrown off my process a bit. I’ll get used to it, it just takes some adjustment.

Did some work on various projects, not enough on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, dumped the next round of grass clippings at the dump, came back, loaded up the car, and drove to CT. It was an hour later than I’d hoped to start. It was a lovely day, though,

However, I wondered why the heck I was so grumpy, since it was such a lovely and sunny day. Then, I realized that I’d forgotten to eat breakfast and it was now past lunchtime. Since I am an army who moves on my stomach, I stopped near the MA-RI border at a McDonald’s, gobbled down a quick meal, and was in a much better mood by the time I got back on the road.

It was an okay ride — sunshine, I had music playing, I could hear myself think. Lots of traffic around Providence, as usual, and then from Madison on down was pretty intense.

But I got here just fine, in the late afternoon, got to work, and it was all good. Had a relaxing evening. It’s so much warmer down here — high 80s, low 90s.

Up very early this morning, yoga, meditation, and writing. I’m going to spend some more time on the page with SPIRIT REPOSITORY this morning, hopefully get some work done on Confidential Job #1, make a Costco run, do the work I’m here to do, and then head back. I need to wrestle this chapter of REPOSITORY onto the page, so that I can move on. I don’t want to write the Bonnie chapter first again and then go back to the Rufus chapter — I need to write chronologically for awhile, and I need to pick up the pace so we don’t hit “middle sag.”

Gas is 32 cents a gallon cheaper up where I am than down here, so I’m glad I can get back without having to fill the tank here!

I’m going to make the rounds now, and then get back to the page. There’s another book to get out.

I want to shout out to Juliet Blackwell — her third Lily Ivory mystery, HEXES AND HEMLINES, released yesterday. I look forward to reading it!

Devon Ellington

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Assumption of Right is available from Champagne Books.
Annabel’s website is here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warmer

When you’re finished here, hop on over to Lori Widmer’s Words on the Page, where I’ve got an article up about how writing fiction helps me land business writing contracts. Yes, it is part of the ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT launch week!

And thank you so much for all the good wishes and wonderful support, making my release day truly special!

Busy, busy weekend. Friends came over on Friday morning for breakfast. We had a lovely visit, and then I raced around trying to get everything done. Can’t remember if I mowed the terraced back last Thursday or Friday — it’s all one long mow for me! ;)

Took stuff to the dump, got some writing done, but as usual, never enough. The next assignment for Confidential Job #1 arrived. So I guess, even with the transition, they’re keeping me for awhile! ;)

Saturday, I got out a press release in the morning, did some promo for the book, and then headed up to Wellfleet for lunch with my friends. It was beautiful. I hadn’t actually been to Wellfleet in years — usually I was up in the winter, when everything was closed. The Wellfleet Preservation Hall has re-opened and the renovation is gorgeous. Really lovely. They have a wonderful schedule of events, so I think I’ll go up and participate in some of them. I also found the Wellfleet Mass Audubon Sanctuary, which I’ve yet to visit — will have to get up there so to do at some point. We wandered the stores, I bought a lovely piece of batik (I’m like a crow and shiny jewelry when it comes to batik), and we walked over Uncle Tim’s Bridge and looked around. There were lady slippers growing wild, which I’d never seen before. Exciting!

We had lunch at a place called the Beachcomber, which lived up to its name by being tucked in the sand dunes. The food was fantastic — I had fish tacos with a black bean and corn salsa that were just terrific. We walked down to the beach and enjoyed the windy day.

I headed back to find my retired neighbor who spends ten hours a day in his garden over in my yard, hacking at things with the edger! I’d like to think it was out of kindness, but, knowing him, it’s more out of a sense that I’m not getting things done fast enough to suit him. Well, hon bun, I don’t have ten hours a day to spend in the garden. I have two, if I’m lucky. And, while I admire your formal beds that you dig up every six weeks and completely replant, I want something more organic in MY yard. I don’t care if it’s a weed if it’s blooming and pretty! Besides, some of the plants you consider weeds, I consider invaluable in my stillroom!

I’m going to work in MY yard on MY schedule. It’s bad enough I get dirty looks if I’m sitting on my deck reading a book while those neighbors are gardening. Not their business what happens on this side of the fence, as long as it’s not harmful or illegal.

I worked very hard not to let it sour my day.

Slept very well Saturday night, was up early Sunday, getting the papers, etc. Came outside early because a neighbor’s kid (I’d say he’s about ten) got his new kite stuck in one of my trees, so brought out a sturdy chair and climbed up to untangle it. I really need to invest in a ladder!

Read the papers, and went out into the garden to try to do some deadheading. Pruned what I could reach of the big lilac, deadheaded the Stewartstonian Azalea in the back and the white fluffy one that popped and faded in the front. Got to work deadheading the rhodie in the back nearest the porch. Got about half of it done when my friend from Martha’s Vineyard called, asking if she could stop by on her way back to New York. Of course, I said yes!

Then I ran around getting cleaned up and setting out lunch things.

We had a lovely visit. She’s excited about the house, and thinks the yard is lovely. She agrees that it’s an awful lot of yard for me to handle on my own, mowing-wise, especially the way it undulates.

Went back to the page for awhile once she left, and also back to reading. I read two books over the weekend. One of them was COMMITTED by Elizabeth Gilbert (from the library), which I liked much more than I expected. I’m going to write a piece about it on the other blog in the next few weeks. The other was KNIT ONE, KILL TWO by Maggie Sefton. Usually, I get very impatient with what I call “gimmick mysteries”, but this one was very well done, and I’d love to read more of her work.

Watched GAME OF THRONES. Jane Espenson’s episode was definitely the best of the season. I’m getting a little tired of the unrelenting brutality, and I keep getting ahead of the story and waiting for it to catch up. The production values are absolutely gorgeous, but the piece takes itself a little to seriously ALL the time for my taste.

Monday was release day, and a very nice one it was, too! I flitted around from site to site in promotions. Hopefully, people will buy the book, and, even more hopefully, people will LIKE the book.

It definitely inspires me to keep going on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY!

Also, yesterday, did three loads of laundry, mowed the meadow, took the clippings to the dump, got more potting soil, mowed the front (which couldn’t wait until the end of the week), worked on a couple of articles that were a challenge because I don’t have the scientific background for them, and I kept having to stop and look things up. It will definitely need someone on staff to fact-check. I contacted the owner about my “list” of things to ready the property for summer, and, hopefully, we can set up a time late this week or early next week, and he can teach me how to do stuff.

Read some last night, did some yoga, but was so tired from the mowing, etc., that I went to bed early. Woke up early, too. Spent about an hour in the yard, watering thoroughly, weeding, etc. Then I showered and dressed (I put on gardening clothes for the morning garden routine — don’t worry, I’m not running around out there in my PJs! ) ;). Had my coffee out on the deck, which is lovely, and then came back to hit the page.

I need to get my daily quota done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY — this chapter is giving me agita — and then tackle the articles again. I’ve got appointments out of office for most of the day, so these early hours have to be very organized. As I leave for my appointments, going to swing by the dump to drop off yesterday’s grass clippings. Gotta love an integrated life!

Devon

Monday, June 6, 2011 — Release Day for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT

Monday, June 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and Cool

RELEASE DAY FOR ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT!

Yes, it’s finally here! My paranormal romantic suspense novel ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, launching the Annabel Aidan pseudonym releases digitally from Champagne Books today. I’m very excited about it, and I’m delighted that my good friend Michelle Miles also hosts me for the release over on her blog, Ye Olde Inkwell, where I talk about Challenging Yourself as a Writer and the way this particular book evolved.

About the book:
Witchcraft, politics, and theatre collide and combine as Morag D’Anneville and Secret Service agent Simon Keane fight to protect the Vice President of the United States — or is it Morag who needs Simon’s protection more than the VP?

Witch and theatre professional Morag D’Anneville is annoyed when she’s assigned to dress the conservative Vice President as he makes a surprise appearance in his favorite Broadway show. Even more irritating, she has to teach Agent Simon Keane, part of the security detail, the backstage ropes in preparation. A strong attraction flares between them which they both recognize is doomed, and Simon must also fight his superior’s prejudice that Morag’s beliefs make her a threat to the Vice President. When Morag is attacked, Simon’s loyalties are torn between protecting the man he’s sworn to protect, and protecting the woman he loves.

About Annabel:
Annabel Aidan  writes romantic suspense with a hint of magic. She 
publishes under a half a dozen names in both fiction and nonfiction. She 
spent over twenty years working behind the scenes on Broadway, in film and 
television, mostly working wardrobe. Her plays are produced in New York, 
London, Edinburgh, and Australia. If you run towards her undoing buttons, 
she will tear off your clothes and flip you into something else — and then 
read your tarot cards. Visit Annabel here.

Direct buy link here.

Enjoy!

Devon
AKA Annabel

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