Mon. June 17, 2013: More on the Cape Coastal Conference & a Day Unplugged

IMG_1300

Monday, June 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and chilly

Interesting weekend, in a good way.

Friday was the second half day of the Cape Coastal Conference. Nice to see that so many people stayed for the whole conference, and that many of the presenters didn’t just come for their own presentations, but stayed for other people’s presentations.

The Universe had a good laugh at my expense — although I found it highly amusing, too. The two individuals who inspired characters I plan to kill off in one of the Sustainability mysteries both wound up in the climate change session with me! I figured maybe I’d given them a bum rap, but they were even more annoying and desperate for attention (in the wrong way) in a smaller session than they had in the larger session. One of the things I found interesting was that physically they were very similar, and energetically, they were very similar. In the book, I’m going to make them sisters! I think that will be in the second book in the series.

Apart from that, the climate change seminar was pretty interesting. I think I have enough information to write several of the semester’s papers for the Climate Literacy class, between that and the information my friend provided. Great information and interesting people. The woman sitting in front of me was from the Town of Barnstable, and knew about me coming to tomorrow’s meeting on the climate change project. And I was surprised by how many people knew about the play I’d written for NMLC or had seen it or knew someone who’d seen it.

Back into plenary session. I took umbrage from a few things the head of the Cape Cod Commission said, in relation to writers — if you want your message spread effectively, don’t condescendingly tell us we should work for “exposure” when the special interest side is willing to pay us more than a living wage — and then whine that you’re not getting your message out. Value the people who can get the message out and pay them appropriately. You’re talking about the grants and funding you have for the coming year — if some of that doesn’t go to skilled people ABLE to communicate the message effectively, the project will fail. Period. You can be sure I’m going to speak up! ;)

Came home, caught up on a few things, but was utterly exhausted.

Saturday wound up being an unexpected day of internet disconnection. It wasn’t intentional — when I came out for my morning coffee, I decided I couldn’t live with the deck the way it was one more minute. Last year, we created an enchanted garden on the deck — so far, this year, it’s been a hodgepodge. We keep having to move stuff because of bad weather.

So, I got to work rearranging the deck and cleaning stuff and tidying and arranging. Then, I noticed the terraced area was in Vacant-lot syndrome, so I had to mow that (although the meadow’s getting a little scary, too). No Man’s Land was looking like No Man Will Ever Walk Here Again Land, so I had to mow that. Then, the bags were disintegrating — the biodegradable lawn waste bags were biodegrading — so I had to line the car in tarp and haul everything to the dump.

I sat down to take a rest, make some notes on a project, and read a bit — and suddenly the day was done.

I needed it, and Tessa had a blast being outside with me for most of the day, but I was also a bit worried falling even further behind.

Sunday, I caught up with private students and the RWA students — really happy with the growth the students are showing in the Supporting Characters workshop. Caught up on my own classwork. The Archaeology stuff was exciting — caught up on work, some of which is helping me with the BLOOD AND BONE adaptation, did well on the quiz, evaluated other students’ papers, etc. The Climate Literacy class is frustrating. Plus, I’ve been really good about staying on top of deadlines and they claim I never took the third week’s quiz — um, yes, and I did decently on it, I have the note of my score — and wont’ let me retake it. I also don’t find that the quizzes are reflecting the material we’re going over, which is an additional frustration.

Had a good breakthrough on an upcoming project, though, and started putting together a list of potential sponsors for the Mermaid Ball.

Up early this morning, walking the property. Found I left my notepad with my upcoming projects out on the deck — it was a little damp, but not ruined. I HAVE to get some mowing done today. One of the cats from across the street, a sweet tabby, keeps coming over, but she’s very shy and runs away every time I try to approach her. She’s welcome, as long as she doesn’t have kittens under the rosebush or something.

Note to self: when researching material from library books, notate from which library it came, in case you need to get it out again.

I have articles to get out today, tomorrow morning’s meeting to prep for, tomorrow night’s meeting to prep for, material for the Wed. meeting I can’t attend to prep for, and my presentation on the panel I’m going to be on Wed. night to prep for. Plus teaching and the other stuff.

Better get to it.

Devon

Tues. July 3, 2012: Extrarodinary . . .


Squash blossoms

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a lot of work done on freelance assignments, but as always, it’s never enough. Plugging away on the ghost writing gig, polishing the lectures for next week’s classes, working on my articles, got out the write up for Confidential Job #1. Did some promo for HEX BREAKER and booked a few slots. Worked with students. Worked on HEART SNATCHER revisions. Worked on the short stories.

Went over to Mother’s Park. Deadheaded and weeded. The beds were in good shape. Cleaned up a lot of broken vodka bottles –someone had a party there and left a mess. Pigs. Wait, no, that’s insulting to pigs, who are perfectly lovely. When we first moved to this house, some people around the corner would drive by and throw empty beer cans and cigarette packs on our lawn. I waited one day, caught them mid-air, tossed them back in the effing jerks’ faces and told them, very calmly that, next time, I’d break their fingers. It did not happen again. You do not mess with someone who lived on the Deuce.

Planted the black-eyed Susans in the front yard, and did some other work on the yard at home. I have to mow the meadow this week.

Got some errands to run,and then I want to put in a good day’s work, because tomorrow is a holiday, and I”m going to enjoy it. Decided not to do the press jaunt in Newport on Thursday. They take us by boat to NY — but don’t give us a way back. Um, no, thanks.

I’ve gorged myself on Susan Wittig Albert’s lovely book, AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR OF ORDINARY DAYS. I write about it in-depth here.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!
And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Mon. June 11, 2012: Busy Start to the Week

Monday, June 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy, busy, busy weekend. Worked hard all day Friday, trying to stay on top of things, get out all the promo stuff, etc., etc. Working in the garden. It took most of the weekend to get the meadow mowed. We’re still having trouble with trespassers. I’ve got to get out there and confront them and tell them that next time, I’m calling the cops. The lack of respect by these particular neighbors is appalling. But what do you expect from people who tie a sex doll dressed in a bikini to a tree and leave it there for months?

Got a stack of books out of Sturgis Library — what a great place. We are so lucky with our libraries around here.

Anyway, the scratch of I’ll Have Another in the Belmont caused all kinds of chaos. Something about that whole situation feels off to me. On top of that, they had the horse lead the post parade for the race, which was so incredibly unfair to the horse — he didn’t understand why he wasn’t being warmed up and sent to the gate, the way he’s used to. Badly handled all the way around, in my opinion. Union Rags finally had a good day, and paid off for his loyal fans, though.

Stanley Cup game at night — NJ Devils vs. LA Kings. NJ staved off elimination. Let’s see what happens next.

Last night was the Tony Award Presentation. Reminds me of why I went into the business in the first place, and, just a little, made me miss it. There’s nothing like working at or attending the Tony Awards. It’s the most fun of any of them, because it’s truly a community, not just a bunch of strangers preening in front of each other. I watched a lot of people I’ve worked with over the years, and texted with friends on the show. Fun. After the Awards, of course, we all did the party circuit, winding up eating breakfast in a 24-hour diner as the sun came up, still in our fancy clothes. Tons of fun.

Wrote a bunch, read a lot this weekend, but most of the weekend was just for ME. I needed that. I’m gearing up for the Tarot Workshop this weekend – hope it goes well. Haven’t done one of those in person in a long time. Tessa was outside with me a lot yesterday, in her crate, enjoying the sun, the fresh air, and the company. Read some disappointing books (those always make you think, “how the hell did they ever find an agent or a publisher?”) and read some good ones, including an interesting book by Nancy Thayer and two unique, charming books by Sarah Addison Allen.

I’ve got a ghost writing quote to get off today, some more PR for a client, and two blog posts to write. Plus, hopefully some of the places to which I’ve pitched will respond positively, and I’ll have to get out some more pitches.

Billy Root’s blog comes up later today, and I’m putting the finishing touches on “Town Crier” for release later this week. Better hop to it!

Devon

Taste of the Tarot is for artists in all media interested in the art and archetype of the cards. Learn how to do basic readings and use the cards for inspiration and to push through blocks. Sat. June 16, 2-5 PM, $60, Three Fish and a Ram Community Art Center, Mashpee. More information here.

Tues. May 15, 2012: Intoxicating Lilacs

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Got a lot done, yesterday, which is good. Weeded the vegetable bed. Planted peas, spinach, bok choy, and radishes. Started creating a new, round bed in a rather desolate patch (someone used to have a woodpile there) where I will grow herbs. I need to get a few more stones for the edge, and then I can put loam in it and start planting. Got the morning glories and the moonflowers into the ground — the morning glories are starting to bloom, and they’re lovely. The lilacs are absolutely intoxicating this year, and I often just stop whatever I’m doing and inhale.

Revised six chapters of HEART SNATCHER, wrote about 840 words on HEART BINDER, and then went back and tightened things some more in the revisions. I worked on my article, caught up with my students, etc.

Finalized some dates — I’ll be teaching locally for Three Fish & a Ram Community Art Center in June and July — a tarot workshop, a writer/performer workshop, and a writing workshop. The first two are detailed up on the Workshop page here on the blog (I’ll have to update my website later today). And I’ve got some more Fast & Fun topics coming up.

I went to meditation this morning, but no one was there. I hope everything’s okay. So I stopped at Nirvana, got my usual Tuesday morning treat, and came home to enjoy the morning on the deck. I’ve got a lot of work to do today, plus things like grocery shopping, finish my article, and finish the write ups for Confidential Job #1.

I have a meeting tonight about another possible teaching gig in Falmouth — looking forward to it.

Hop on over to Lori Widmer’s Words on the Page for Writers Worth Week — today’s article is by Susan Johnston about the per word rate.

Onward!

Devon

Mon. April 23, 2012: Energizing Writing Weekend

Monday, April 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

A terrific writing weekend — now, if it can only spill over into the week!

First of all, I’ve got an essay up on Cape Cod Women Online, “The Leap Over the Canal” about moving to the Cape. It’s got both book covers in it, and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. The two book covers look really nice together — I may do that for a mailing.

Second, Billy Root blogs about what it feels like to be an actor — a nice little behind-the-scenes taste. I hope you’ll stop by — and maybe even drop a comment. I’m very happy with the way this piece turned out.

I can’t remember all the way back to Friday, but I know it was busy. I know that I did about 1700 words in the sprint with the students, and I picked up violets and holly cuttings from a friend (we couldn’t dig up the whole tree–the root system’s too deep). It was a gorgeous day, and we drove around for a bit, exploring new-to-us back roads that will make life easier when the tourists clutter the main roads in the summer.

Got the proposal that was due out on time; now the waiting begins. Set up a meeting for tomorrow on the theatre projects.

Worked with my students in the evening.

Saturday, I rewrote a half a dozen short stories (some of them massively) and sent them out. Slowly, but surely, I’m catching up on the backlog. I worked with my students.

Sunday, I decided to leisurely start something I thought was due mid-May (a first chapter and an outline), so I wouldn’t have to rush. I re-read the submission materials request and realized — it’s due TODAY. Mid-May is if you make it past the initial round.

Okaaay. Butt in chair, kick the brain into gear. I’d played with the idea, so I had a good sense of where I wanted to go with it. As I worked it, however, I realized that I’d focused on the wrong character as the primary male protagonist. So I tweaked it, and suddenly the whole book opened out. The chapter worked better than it had initially (I’d worked on it a few weeks ago, before I even got the request). The synopsis, which I’d loosely sorted in my head, came together beautifully. I’ve got a solid piece now, and I’m happy with it. Revised the chapter a few times, tightened the synopsis, and out it went. I feel good about it. Even if this particular place decides not to take it, I’ve got something solid I can work on and sell elsewhere.

Started percolating on some non-fiction proposals I want to get out in the next few weeks. I re-read Michael Larsen’s book on proposals. I kind of do most of that anyway when I put together a proposal package, but re-reading it made me more aware of the steps, and the order.

I skipped the Green Drinks event — the weather was vile, and I was in that fragile state of percolation/creation that can be derailed at the slightest wrong prod. So I stayed home and worked. And seeded the lawn right before the rain.

Read Sonia Singh’s novel GHOST, INTERRUPTED, which was really fun, and started Jane Haddam’s WANTING SHEILA DEAD, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

Long day ahead of me at the desk. I hope I can use some of that positive momentum I achieved this weekend to propel me through the week. It was heaven to spend the bulk of the day on my own writing.

However, I’ve also got some business and PR stuff to attend to today.

Better hop to it!

Devon

Don’t forget the next two one-day seminars! Amazing Antagonists on May 12 and Setting Up Your Submission System on June 2.

Tues. March 27: Frost and Flowers

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Slow start this morning, and busy day yesterday. I got three trees and the bushes planted yesterday. I still have to find those plastic nursery tubs to put some of the other baby trees into temporarily, because they arrived unmarked, and until they leaf for me and I can figure out what they are, I can’t decide how much room they need and where to put them. Urgh. And, while everywhere sells their stuff in those plastic pots, none of them actually sell the damn pots.

Working on the final galleys of HEX BREAKER, terrified I’m going to miss something huge. This is where trusting my editor comes in — if there was a huge problem, she would have fixed it by now! ;)

Dealt with student work, got some of my own work done, worked on some other business stuff. Picked up a research book the library tracked down for me. Got the interview questions out for an article.

It was below freezing last night, but none of the plants seem upset by it, thank goodness. Overslept this morning, and just didn’t want to get out of bed.

Have a big day ahead, lots of work to do with students, on my own, marketing, proposals, getting out press releases for a client, a meeting tonight. I’m not where I want to be in my own writing, and I have to find a way to get that balance back. Have to go to Sandwich Library to drop off books and pick up a book THEY managed to track down for me. I need to focus, but I really want some percolation time.

Well, the sooner I clear off the have-tos, the sooner I can create space for percolation.

So I better get to it!

Don’t forget the Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions One-Day Seminar on April 14!

Devon

Tues. March 13, 2012: Spring weather means Yardwork!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a beautiful Cape Cod day. The weather was gorgeous.

I got a big, elaborate envelope from White Flower Farms — a gift certificate from Lori! Thank you so much — I’ve got my eye on a amethyst wisteria . . .

And I opened the computer to good wishes, some from people from whom I hadn’t heard in ages, and lovely cards in the mail from other friends. It was nice to be remembered and wished well! I’m excited about the possibilities ahead.

I made my mom rest, and she felt much better by the afternoon. I worked on cleaning the house and doing laundry and getting work done. The client is still dragging feet on payment, ignoring my requests, AND, now, not even doing the administrative work that is part of the deal — I’m getting all the questions that they’re supposed to be handling. I’m kind of surprised at how quickly and severely the situation is souring. Part of it could well be growing pains in both directions, and they are different directions.

I’ve got meditation this morning, then more housecleaning, and work with students, then driving to Providence to pick up Costume Imp. I’ve got two proposals to get out, the HEX BREAKER media kit to finish, and I have to figure out how to juggle the bills that have to be paid tomorrow with monies that are owed to me and not here.

I’ve got another project I need to put together and launch this week, and an assignment to finish for Confidential Job #1. It’s intense, a little intense for me right now, but it’s also very interesting, so it’s just a case of buckling down and doing it.

It was so nice yesterday afternoon that I did some work in the yard, and then pulled out a couple of chairs so we could sit outside for a bit and just be. I want to do a little bit of work every nice day, so that I’m not suddenly overwhelmed in early May, the way I was last year. I took Tessa out with me — she loves being outside, and is very good about just sitting in my arms, taking it all in. I think I’ll put her in the puppy training cage this summer, so she can be outside with us, but still safe (and always under supervision).

At one point, I was working (inside) and smelled smoke. I was absolutely convinced the dryer caught fire. It hadn’t — a neighbor was burning something in the yard. But it was a little worrying at the out set!

On the fence about a new short story. It features my horse-playing tarot reader; I’m just worried it’s a bit too much on the sweet side.

I’m excited to go to the Boston Horticulture Show on Thursday. When I think how much I’ve learned in the past year, it’s even more exciting!

Devon

Published in: on March 13, 2012 at 6:15 am  Comments (3)  
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Mon. Feb. 13, 2012: Pedal to the Metal in the Flurries

Monday, February 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold, snow flurries

Busy, busy weekend! My goodness, me!

On Friday, I drove to CT and back. We left at 6 AM, and I was back in the late afternoon, which was great, because I didn’t expect to get back until the evening. And I even managed to stop at the Book Barn in Niantic and in Mystic to pick up a few things!

The Thursday night live chat with my year-long students, brainstorming about the round robin novella we’re doing, was fun. We got to be silly and throw out all manner of ideas, but out of that came some solid elements we can use as our foundation.

Saturday, it was pedal to the metal all day long, working with my students and starting the HEX BREAKER revisions. Driving back on Friday, I came up with some interesting marketing ideas — there’s Jain’s fan base, and that needs to expand. I know more people, and, with the deepening of her character that’s happening in these revisions, she’ll also appeal to a wider audience, without coming across as diluted to her loyal fans. Billy’s been a fan favorite since Day 1, so it will also be Billy-centric. I also worked on the revised outline for HEART-BINDER, did some work on HEART-BINDER, and I’m working on scenario ideas for a few other pieces for this other opportunity. I’ve got a start on one of them — if I can keep up a steady pace with that while not dropping any of the other balls, I should be able to hit a June deadline.

Sunday was my Day of Rest. I needed it. I was wiped out. Okay, so I did a bit of work on HEX BREAKER, and I read the assignment for Confidential Job #1, but I stayed offline! I also wrote about 2500 words on a piece that’s been gnawing at me for awhile, and the character said, “Either give me some attention, or I’m outta here.” So I gave her some attention. I’m hoping it will be a story in the 10-12K range, but we’ll see.

Read a delightful book called SHELF LIFE by Suzanne Strempek Shea, about a writer who takes a job in a bookshop. It’s an MA author talking about an MA bookshop — which, of course, now I want to visit! So well done, and it makes me want to read her novels, too.

Made banana pudding (still needs tweaking) and cooked a nice chicken-and-sage pasta. Sighed over gardening catalogues.

I’ve got a lot of admin work and bill paying to get done, and then it’s time to go get some cat food! Those little darlings have a low provisions in the cupboard, and they’re not happy about it.

All three cats are being very, very clingy lately.
Devon

Mon. Feb. 6: I Still Prefer the Puppy Bowl

Monday, February 6, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Still dark out

Quick check-in, because I’m on my way to get my car serviced this morning. Busy, busy, busy weekend. I never made it to the yoga open house — I got caught up in work and went flat out all day. Friday was a busy day, too. Didn’t sleep well either Friday or last night, so I’m kind of dragging.

I stayed true to not getting online yesterday. I need to do that, at least one day a week. I re-read THE AGE OF INNOCENTS, which I needed to do in connection with the current project for Confidential Job #1. Liked it better this time — with twenty years’ more life experience through which to view it!

Once I get back from the mechanic, I hit the ground running — students have deadlines — more than half of the 5 in 10 are late with their last story — not only did they have a whole week to do it, it was their ONLY assignment all week — so tired of the lack of commitment bullshit. There’s no such thing as “no time to write.” There’s only “choose NOT to write.” And, if you choose not to write, you’re not a writer, because writers write. Period. No excuses, sometimes whining.

I’ve got to get the write-up out to Confidential Job #1, spend time with students, do some more work on a client project, get out some interview questions, get out some pitches, and get some of my own writing done. I’m taking some of it with me to the mechanic, and hope I can get some work done in the waiting room, , but it’s small and usually crowded, so I don’t know how useful that will be.

I was disappointed that the Patriots lost to the Giants. It’s not that big deal to me, since I’m not invested in football, particularly, but it was the home team, and it is one of the few games I watch all year. It was more important to me that the Patriots crushed Colorado a few weeks back, proving that skill triumphs over gimmick.

I was pleased that Madonna went there for her finale in the half-time show, although I bet a lot of people didn’t get it. A little disappointed that she slowed down the tempo on some of the pieces, such as “Vogue”, but hey, I couldn’t do what she does, so what the hell do I know?

Watched a bit of the Puppy Bowl, but, for the most part, had a quiet night. Tessa was fascinated by the Puppy Bowl and by the football game. I wonder if she’ll take the watching hockey, the way Violet does?

Repotted a bunch of stuff that needed attention. If it’s nice enough this week, maybe I can spend some time cleaning up the yard. Might as well make use of the mild winter.

Off to get the car serviced.

Devon

Monday, November 14, 2011


The tree in Mother’s Park before the storm

Monday, November 14, 2011
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I think my Mercury went retrograde a week and a half early! ;)

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, had a good day at the page. On an impulse, went to the yarn store and bought yarn for two projects. I want to crochet a chakra blanket (the chakra colors in order) for meditation. Found cotton yarn for that, so I can use it year-round. Also found a lovely blue alpaca yarn for a sweater my mom will knit for me. Started the blanket.

Saturday was busy – writing, then going to help clean up Mother’s Park. It was a lot of fun. We had a great group of people. Sadly, the enormous white pine that will be 100 years old had a section sheared off in the last storm — more than 20 feel lying on the ground. Heartbreaking.

One of the women I worked with is in a book group, so I gave her information, in case the group is interested in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT and having me come and speak.

I took lots of pictures of the day to document it, since that’s now my job as Secretary of the organization. When I went home to upload them, I found out that there’s a CCD problem with my camera, and it won’t take pictures in daylight anymore. With low light and no flash, I can kinda sorta get some pictures, but the quality is rapidly deteriorating.

We headed off to the stores in Wareham. Found some additional alpaca in the same dye lot and also some yarn for another project I’d like to do. I looked at other cameras in Staples and Best Buy. Honestly, between the camera and the printer, I’m wondering if I should re-think my twenty plus years of loyalty to Canon. The Nikons are very tempting. I can’t spend much, and I don’t need anything too fancy. But I need to carry a camera around with me all the time. That’s part of the gig.

I was frustrated, so I bought the shoes: a lovely pair of Anne Klein navy pumps. They’re gorgeous and go with just about everything.

Swung by the park on the way home. The angle of the sun had changed and I was able to get photos that, with enhancement, are somewhat usable, although not great. You can see the poor tree’s plight. As you see, the photo’s not great, even with enhancement, but it’s better than nothing, and at least it’s not all white light space.


injured tree after storm

Worked with the students, did some more work on the blanket. Even though I’m going all the way to the end and chaining up, I’m decreasing. I don’t understand why. Emailed Canon to find out my options.

Sunday, woke up early, got the papers, gave myself the day off writing. Wound up the Harry Potter class, did some work around the house. Canon got back to me — they gave me one trouble-shooting option I can try (but the light sensors are probably shot, so it may not work). My other options are to send it in for a refurbished one “at a customer loyalty discount” or get it repaired, which will cost more than a new one. Since soon I won’t be able to get the memory cards for this camera anyway, I think I should probably get a new one. While their camera customer service is definitely better than the printer customer service, I’m still on the fence about staying with them. Asked advice and was told that both Sony and Kodak are unreliable, so that narrows it down to saying with Canon or switching to Nikon. I usually avoid anything with a celebrity spokesperson on principle, but I played with some Nikons on Sunday and kind of liked them. We’ll see.

I’m going to see if there’s such a thing as a “disposable digital” — remember those disposable cameras a few years ago? — to tide me over. I have an older Canon digital that I had to stop using because the film sets couldn’t use the memory cards, which is why I bought this one for my kit in the first place. It’s still packed — somewhere. If I can find it and it works, maybe it will tide me over. I probably will wait until Mercury goes direct in mid-December. Even though it doesn’t turn retrograde until Thanksgiving Day (lucky me, on the road all day — yes, that was sarcasm), I’m already having so many technical difficulties that I want to be cautious. All I need is to buy something during the retrograde and have it implode as soon as Mercury goes direct. I’m doing an extra Time Machine backup on the computer later today, just to be sure.

Then, this morning, my mother’s bed frame collapsed — we’ve had problems since the movers put it together — they did a lousy job. So we took apart the frame and her bed is now on the floor like a college student’s. And the cable TV crapped out — AGAIN. Called Comcast, they “fixed” it — and twenty minutes later, it was out again. I am so sick of them, and so sick of them being the only option on the Cape. Their customer service people are perfectly pleasant, which is a point in their favor, but the company does not resolve problems. They use band-aids on amputations. One thousand points detracted.

I have SO much to get done today AND I have to clean the house top to toe because we have company coming tomorrow (at least they called first — and we really want to see them) for lunch, so I have to figure out what to serve.

I still have to put the garden to bed, but it’s been so windy, I haven’t had the chance to go out and do much.

Back to the page.

Devon

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The days are flying by so fast! Part of that is because the writing is going really well, which is a good thing. I still have to rearrange my schedule to bring in some more short turn-around paying projects, but I don’t want to tip the strong writing rhythm that I’ve got right now.

Someone else dropped out of the year-long, and I had to hear about it third hand, which annoyed me more than the actual quitting. Acting with professionalism and grace costs nothing. Slinking away like a coward does not serve anyone. The expectations were set out at the beginning of class, and even earlier, during the application process. If anything, I scaled back some of the requirements and there are STILL people who thought it was too much work? What did they think writing a novel in a year-long INTENSIVE is? A vacation? A fluffy-bunny-white-light-kumbaya?

Well, that’s life. People never stop surprising you, and it keeps things interesting, right?

I’m glad I went to the meditation workshop on Friday night, although it was very different from the way I prefer to practice. It’s good to try new techniques, because until you try it, you can’t know whether or not it works. It was a little too much “guided” and not enough “mediation” for me. It’s hard to be “one with the silence” when you’re being yapped at all the time. And the leader had us OPEN our chakras, but not CLOSE them again, which I find dangerous. I closed mine, as is my practice when I do chakra cleansings or balancings, but it should have been part of the guidance. It’s unhealthy to walk around with totally open chakras. You’ll get whomped.

Wrote a lot, spent time with students, worked on the Harry Potter lectures. The class starts today and runs for the week. It should be really, really fun. I bet most of the people who signed up even read the books! It’s my last deconstruction class for the foreseeable future, and I think it’s a good one to wind things up with.

Put together the hard copies of media kits that have to go out in the coming weeks. I’m sending out some today, and dropping off several at local places that have interest in my work later today. I’m researching local book groups and putting together a proposal for them, too.

It’s supposed to be warmer today, which means I’ll get to work in the yard. I want to get most of the front mowed and tidied up. If everything work out, this will be the last mowing I need to do until spring. It will take me four or five sessions to get it all done, especially if the mower continues its wonkiness, But then, I’ll just need to keep up with the raking.

Re-read the ENCHANTMENT PLACE anthology edited by Denise Little. It’s a lot of fun. I was laughing out loud as I read some of the stories.

Put together another bookcase that will live in my room and hold urban fantasy, etc. There’s just enough room for it. Now, I think I’ve run out of space for bookcases in that room, as big as it is!

We’re still getting tomatoes and eggplants and strawberries from the plants under the grow lights, so all is good.

Should be a busy hearth-and-home week this week. I’ve also got to try a couple of lasagna recipes. I’m always responsible for the meal for the family in Maine on the night before Thanksgiving, and this year they’ve requested lasagna. Which I’ve never made before. So I want to do a couple of test runs!

I turned down a book contract this morning. I’ve been worrying over it for awhile now. It’s simply not the right fit. There were some red flags, and I ran it past my lawyer, who flat out said, “No way.” I’d done research on the company before I submitted, but once I looked at the paperwork they sent me, the warning bells sounded, and my gut told me it wasn’t the right fit. Better to bow out now gracefully than to get frustrated and miserable during the process. It’s always a risk to say no, but in this case, I think it serves everyone — including that publisher — the best. Scary, risky, but I want to re-think the approach on this series and try something else.

Devon

Today’s word count: 2985
Total word count: 64,684

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days, and didn’t realize most of the morning was gone.

The weekend was all about getting the plants in and settled, getting up the grow light, enjoying the eggplants and the strawberries which are still coming fast and furiously, and trying to save the tomatoes. The patio furniture is in, but I still have to put teak oil on it before it’s completely done for the winter. The rest of the plants are adjusting to being inside.

The azalea, heather, mums, lilac, holly trees, and little oak are staying out, although the lilac will go into the garage soon to go dormant for winter.

I went out on Saturday to pick up wine before the storm hit. Seems like everyone else had the same idea — grocery stores weren’t too busy, but everyone’s cars were filled with rock salt and cases of liquor! Too funny.

The storm didn’t hit the Cape too badly — lots of rain and wind, but that’s it. My mom had a great birthday, I cooked her a good dinner, she’s enjoying the books. We lost power for a few minutes in the middle of the night, but that was all. The rest of the state was hammered — some places got 30 inches of snow. We were lucky

Sunday was a quiet day, for me, mostly catching up on stuff and winding up the Scaling the Wall class. I was afraid it hadn’t gone well, but the students who didn’t quit the first week were really happy with the new perspectives on their novels, and most of them have signed up for the short story class in January. So that’s all good.

I have a feeling a few more will drop out of the year-long shortly. On the one hand, it annoys me that everyone in the class has been investing time and energy in each other, and some of them can’t cut it. I don’t care what they claim as the reason — either you keep a commitment or you don’t. Books don’t write themselves, especially not 200 words once every six weeks. If you want to be a writer, you write. Period. If you don’t want to do the work and make the commitment, go do something else. On the other hand, I have to trust that this group will wind up being what it needs to be to do its best work.

Some people say things like, “oh, when you give this again, I’ll take it.” Um, first of all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if I did this again, the group dynamic would be different. Second, it’s highly unlikely I will do it again, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because of the amount of time and energy it takes in proportion to the rest of my work. I definitely wouldn’t offer it for several years. Third, why would they think they’d be accepted again, if they already proved they weren’t able to fulfill the commitment now? “De Nile” may be more than a river in Egypt, so what does that make “De Lusion”?

Whatever. I have my own writing to focus on.

I finally cracked the bar scene (thanks to the feedback from the class). It’s not perfect, but it works and makes sense, and I could move forward.

I also had batches of ideas for the short story segment. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do an adult contemporary for my first short story. If I can work in some of the other stories around my other work, I will also do that. But that’s the way it is — ideas come in batches.

Yesterday, I jumped at the opportunity to go on a cemetery tour in Marstons Mills. It wasn’t about ghosts or hooky-spookies. It was about the town founders and interesting graves in a cemetery whose early graves are pre-Revolutionary war and I even saw a grave as recent as 2008. Lots of great stories. And an absolutely gorgeous horse-drawn hearse from the 1880’s, originally made in New Bedford. It had a space for ice to keep the body cool, adjustable pegs for coffin length, velvet curtains, and beautiful finials on the top. The maker stopped building hearses to build unicycles, which were a big business as indoor racing — because the outdoor roads were too bad to race on!

Anyway, I got a few great ideas, and some of them I can combine into a single fantasy tale.

The grow light fell apart — the glass separated from the filament — so I have to take it back.

We had a good turnout of Trick or Treaters last night, in full costume. I had Tessa in her harness and leash, and she came to the door with me. She was a the Belle of Halloween! She was really good about it, too. She enjoyed the attention, unlike the twins, who hid the whole time.

Samhain ceremonies went well. Today is Day of the Dead, and the next few nights are the Tending the Dead ceremonies. Tomorrow, the Samhain decor is packed, and the Thanksgiving goes up. The tween girls last night were funny — they were excited to meet the person who lived in “the house with all the cool decorations.” And a group of my adult neighbors went around in costume, just saying hi — hilarious! Good times, all the way around.

And so, the wheel turns again, and I’m looking forward to the coming winter.

Devon

PS Best wishes to those of you doing Nano this year. Go forth and write!

Today’s word count: 1205
Total word count: 45,834

Published in: on November 1, 2011 at 9:35 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, Octoer 29, 2011


The tree in Mother’s Park that’s nearly 100 years old

Saturday, October 29, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We’re battening down for our first Nor’easter of the season. I’m glad we’re safely tucked in here, and not in the process of moving, like we were at this time last year!

Today is my mother’s 87th birthday! Happy birthday! She had a BAG of books waiting for her on the table this morning. Yup — I went to the bookstore yesterday, bought a bag, and filled it with books! That and the cheesecake she requested are her favorite birthday treats.

In honor of her birthday, today’s essay on A BIBLIO PARADISE celebrates Sharon Shinn, one of our favorite authors. And, if you haven’t left a comment to welcome Mary Abshire, I hope you’ll do so, scrolling down to the previous day’s post.

Yesterday was busy, and this morning was busy. I keep rewriting the pivotal scene in the harpy book. Just going to keep hacking at it until I get it right. I’m closer, I’m almost close enough where I’ll have enough sorted out so I can move on without seriously tripping myself up further down the line. I wrote between 3-4,000 words. And tossed them all out. All of them, including “and” and “the.”

We went to Falmouth yesterday — got some of the ornaments I’m donating to a charity tree, bought new pillows for my bed, got some long-sleeved shirts for winter yoga! Set up the grow light and the tomatoes, et al, are happy. The Big King eggplant is practically spitting a harvest of eggplants at us. I’m not complaining.

This morning, since we’re supposed to have horribly strong storm winds, I hosed down the patio furniture (instead of the thorough scrubbing I planned to do next week), took in the rest of the pots I’d washed and the iron plant stand, pulled back the potted plants that will stay out all winter (the hollies, the tiny oak, the witch hazel, the lilac which will stay through the first big frost and then get moved to the garage to go dormant. As soon as the furniture dries, I’ll take it in, rub it with teak oil, and put it where it’s going for the winter. The bench is going at the end of my mom’s bed, the tables will hold flowers, and the chairs will be folded up and stored in the garage. I’d hoped to do part of the Samhain celebration on the deck, but I don’t think that’s going to work this year.

Baked banana bread. Will spend time with my students. I have a class to wrap up this weekend.

Am getting a little restless with an organization with whom I have a fairly good and long-term relationship. I feel that, for the percentage of the fee they keep to administrate, they should be problem-solving, not expecting ME to problem solve for them. I”m there to show up and do my job, NOT administrate. I was moaning to a friend who said, “You’re outgrowing them, that’s all. They run things the way they run them, and you keep evolving, as you should.”

That was a good perspective and a good articulation to hear. It fits in with the restlessness I feel, only I hadn’t looked at it from that perspective –a perspective that will help me make decisions without getting frustrated.

My buddy Costume Imp had to cancel his trip to London this week and pack up and move his stuff and his cats quickly because of an ongoing mold problem in the apartment that his scumbag landlords simply ignored. Poor thing! But he’s in a better situation, and I’m sure he will have a great holiday season now.

Because, yeah, the “Holiday Season” has begun — from now through Twelfth Night, we’re all going full out!

Devon

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