Tues. Oct. 11, 2106: The Satisfaction of A Solid Writing Weekend

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend, even though it was a holiday weekend. The traffic was insane.

I managed to get a lot of writing done, on the two projects on which I’m switching off. Since I started them last Thursday (this is Day 6), I’ve written just over 10K on one of them, and I’ll pass 10K today on the other. My goal is to write a minimum of 1K on each of them every day. So far, I’ve managed to go beyond that on both, although yesterday, it wasn’t much beyond both, because I wasn’t in the mood to write.

But I showed up at the page, and did it anyway, because that is what writers do. Once I got started, it was okay, although it didn’t flow as well as it had the previous days. Today, I felt like I was back in the groove.

I also worked on the revisions of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I have to put some changes into chapters, and rewrite the next batch of chapters. I also managed to come up with the logline and paragraph description, although I will have to make some tweaks. But I want it to be ready to go out after one more pass.

I’ve also been tweaking PLAYING THE ANGLES, which is the new title of what was once ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I’m also thinking about putting it out under the Devon Ellington name instead of the Annabel Aidan name. When I’m done with this revision, I’ll have to see which voice resonates, and then I’ll know which name to use as the byline.

I should be doing promotion for “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, but with all this political chaos, I feel it’s shallow to go around hawking my writing. Yet that’s how I pay the bills and keep a roof over my head. So it’s a dilemma — how to do it in a way where I don’t go against what I feel is right and important. If I don’t walk my talk, I’m just as bad as the politicians.

Did some work on the Victorian mystery as well. The first draft is slow, because I’m researching as I write. I’m wondering if I should just blurt out the first draft, focusing on plot and character, and then go back and add in the period detail. Yet, so far, I’ve found the detail affects both plot and character a good deal, which is why I’m researching and writing simultaneously.

I’m behind on the plays, of course, which is worrisome, since I’m running out of time on those. Somehow, I’ll have to get them in.

I need more hours in the day, more hours where I can focus. There’s a certain point where my brain just gets tired, and I’m written out.

I’m also under pressure from this other annoying situation. Nothing like people actively working to sabotage you because they are both incompetent and nasty. It will get resolved; it’s just a shame that it has to be such an unpleasant process. But I am not going to back down and give up what I earned.

I’m also under pressure because a family friend is trying to manipulate me into taking on a job for someone who already stiffed me once, and with whom I said I wouldn’t work again. I told this family friend I would not put myself in that position again, yet he told the person I was waiting to hear from them. Then I get an incoherent email full of demands, but no actual proposal or payment offer. That would be a no, on many levels. I’m angry at this so-called “friend” for putting me in this position when I was very clear I wouldn’t do it.

So the writing is going well, but there are other pressures. Aren’t there always?

I have a lot of work ahead of me to put the garden to bed, and I’m tackling it a bit at a time.

Have a great week!


Fri. Oct. 7, 2016: Going with the Writing Flow

Friday, October 7, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Here’s hoping Hurricane Matthew isn’t hitting the SE United States as badly as predicted.

Got a good bit of research done yesterday afternoon, and I’m ready, later today, to do some more work on the Victorian mystery.

I also did a fresh pass on “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, the Jain Lazarus short that’s set in this season, and added in some excerpts from some of the other Digital Delights. I will post it as a free download toward the end of the month. I have to check some links, to make sure I’ve got them right. Next week, I’ll get the marketing started for that.

This morning, I wrote just over 1900 words on one project and 1599 on a second project — the two projects I can’t yet talk about, but am working steadily on.

I also got the terraced area mowed, which is a big relief.

On my way to do some errands, then it’s back to the page. Lots to do, and deadlines looming.

I could have done either of these two new projects as Nano pieces, but they’re catching fire now. I may write “along with” Nano in November, using the creative energy of so many people working at once to fuel them, but I don’t think I’ll start a new project in less than a month. I have too many pieces competing for my attention that need completion.

Hope to get some work done on the Victorian mystery this afternoon, and a few more chapters of revision on CHOLERIC.

This is a holiday weekend, so I hope I can get some uninterrupted work time both on the page and in the garden.

Have a great one!


Thurs. Oct. 6, 2016: Creativity Flow & Opportunity

Thursday, October 6, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday. Lots of research, some admin work.

Had an interesting meeting in the early afternoon that could open some new doors for me, which needs some thought. Is that the direction in which I want to go? Will it build skills that will serve me beyond the projects themselves?

Also had to deal with some frustrating stuff, some obstacles that were created by someone either because that individual is incompetent or that individual is being nasty. The reason could be either of those two, or a combination.

After my meeting, headed up to Sturgis Library. I’d been trying to find particular research books, and I was pretty sure they were in the library system, but they weren’t coming up in the search engine. So I went into the building itself, and there they were. Got the stack out and got a good section of research done in the afternoon and evening, too.

Several characters came to me with demands to tell their stories. I took some notes.

I’m developing a couple of projects that could be good for me. They’re in that delicate stage where if I talk about them too much, they won’t get done. But I got 1798 words done on one this morning, and the energy’s good and lively there, and 1207 words done on another, and that’s got a great vibe, too. So we’ll see. I don’t know how much I can juggle, but I will do my best.

I didn’t get any yard work done yesterday, which wound up being okay, because it rained in the afternoon anyway. But, in spite of a late start today, I hope to make up for it.

Finished a manuscript evaluation for a contest yesterday. Another disappointing one. So far, nothing I’ve evaluated for this contest has been publication ready. And yet, they’re published. The problems have been all the same — supposed to be suspense, but there’s no tension, unresearched situations and locations, pages and pages of info dump narration, undeveloped characters.

Creatively, I’m happy right now, but I need to get a few other things aligned before I can feel secure.


Wed. Oct. 5, 2016: Revising The Way I Run My Writing Career

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

I managed to find my mowing Zen, going into my seventh year in this place. I got the front and side yards mowed in twenty minutes yesterday, without feeling like it nearly killed me. There’s still an enormous amount of yard work to do, but at least I’ve got a decent start. I’m not putting up the outdoor decorations until I’m sure Hurricane Matthew has passed. Right now, it doesn’t look as though we’re going to be badly hit, but it’s a storm, so who knows?

Working on the Victorian mystery, fixing the bits that need adjustment due to research. Also doing some procedural research for the states of Massachusetts and Vermont — jeez, the way things are done so differently from state to state!😉 That’s for two different contemporary projects.

I’m having trouble getting back into the plays. I’m not quite in the right headspace for any of the three of them that need work. That will have to change this weekend. I need to dig in and get working on them, whether or not I feel like it.

I have to take a look at PLAYING THE ANGLES this weekend, too. I want to get that out on submission next week. I have some solid possibilities.

I need to figure out a marketing push for the Digital Delights, and it’s time to give the Jain Lazarus short story set around this time another push. I’ll have to figure out a good day to have it available as a free download and then do a big PR push for it.

I’m reading Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Newport mysteries and loving them. I was worried that my Victorian mystery would be too similar, because it’s set in Newport just a few years after her first mystery. But it’s very, very different, thank goodness. Plus, for this particular series, I’m only setting the first book in Newport. The second will be in Saratoga, the third in NYC. If the series continues beyond that, I plan to do one on an ocean liner, one in England, one in Florence, and so on and so forth. If the series takes off, it will be fun. But, as I said yesterday, these books require a very different writing process than I usually use, and can’t be written quickly. In other words, not a good candidate for a Nano!

If I was going to get sucked into doing Nano this year, it would be either the book that follows DEATH OF A CHOLERIC (using my friend Lori’s suggestion to call it MURDER OF A MELACHOLIC), or the next Sophie Batchelder. However, I am probably NOT going to do Nano this year, so the point is moot. I have three plays to get back on track, and I need to get back to SONGBOUND SISTERS. Nano would be a distraction, and it would be my ego wanting it, instead of it actually being useful.

Since a great deal of last year and this year have been about thinking about how I want to proceed in my writing career and changing a good many things about it, I need to concentrate on those decisions, those actions, and that follow-through, rather than getting distracted by new and shiny. I am also tired of other people telling me how I “have to” do things in my writing career, and trying to push me into boxes and formulas that don’t suit me or don’t interest me. I spent many years developing my voice, and I don’t want it diluted by “formula”. Which means I have to look at options that give me more flexibility. I also don’t like the way we are “supposed” to market. Bland or aggressive marketing turns me off as a consumer, and that’s not what I want to put out there to promote my work.

Yet, the siren call of Nano is always tempting.

I have a meeting this afternoon that could also wind up opening some lovely doors for me, and I’ve got a boatload of research to do (some of it is even about boats). So I better get going!


Tues. Oct. 4, 2016: Fictional Actions & Consequences

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

Errands, research, writing yesterday. Didn’t get much done on the revisions. I was working on other stuff. Each of the projects on which I’m currently working requires such a different approach. It’s interesting to stretch my creativity in this way. “Process” has to grow and change along with the work. If everything is done the same way every time, it stunts growth.

Plus, I’m exploring a variety of characters and situations that interest me. Digging into the motivations and the possibilities.

The interesting thing about fiction is that, in order for it to work, characters have to be active. Too many people, in real life, are passive all the time, especially now that all they do is view the world through their electronic devices instead of actually living lives. It’s fun to push characters’ buttons and provoke them into action, and then explore the consequences of those actions.

Cleared out a bunch of research books and took them back to the library yesterday afternoon, and have another stack to take back today. I have a map of Vermont spread out in one spot, dealing with one project, and a map of Newport in another spot.

I have to reconfigure part of Chapter Three in the Victorian mystery, because where I have a catalytic event taking place doesn’t make sense in the actual geography of the place. I had misremembered distances and proportions. I’m glad I was in Newport a few weeks ago to jog my memory, or I would have really been in a mess. But figuring out WHERE to place this event so it can still happen and have the impact it needs to have in order to set in motion the next chain of events, which results in the first body drop, is an interesting challenge.

The Victorian mystery is not something that can be written fast, and I feel as though I’m working on multiple drafts at once. Instead of pushing all the way through the first draft as fast as possible, which I usually do, I write a section of dialogue and action, then figure out what I have to research to make it work, then research, then rewrite it with the proper period detail. It’s almost as though each scene or sequence has to be created as a short story in itself. Very different from the way I usually work, but interesting.

Many people would have done ALL the research first and then just written. I’ve done a good bit of research on the period, and on the particular months in which the piece take place, but I don’t really know what I need in detail until I figure out the plot points and character interactions, and they are growing and changing as the piece changes. My heroine breaks a lot of rules — and there’s a social and economic price to pay for that, which is what interests me in this particular set of stories and characters.

On top of that, the rain has finally stopped, which means I need to get to work putting the yard to bed for the winter.

I reworked one of my comic noir mysteries this morning; I need to send it off in the next few days. I’m very fond of this particular piece, and hope it finds a happy home.

I missed a grant deadline by one day — for some reason, I had it down as the 15th of October, and when I went to send off the materials today, it said the 3rd of October. Yesterday. I hate it when I do something stupid like that.

Oh, well, have to trust that I can find another, better opportunity. But I’m still kicking myself around the block.

Have a great week!


Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. Oct. 3, 2016: Preparing for Planning

Monday, October 03, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and warm

We’ve gotten some much-needed rain in the past few days. Of course, that means I have a lot of yard work ahead of me in order to put the yard to bed for the winter!

I’ve done a lot of writing the past week. The revisions on CHOLERIC are coming along well, although more slowly than I would like. But that’s okay; it’s not on contract, so I can do it well instead of just doing it fast. I like what’s happening with it. By taking it out of the realm of “cozy”, which is where it started, I have a much more interesting, complex, and relevant piece. I figure it will need at least one or two more passes, once I finish this draft, before it’s ready to submit.

I’m behind on the plays, and need to get back on track with those.

I’m also playing with a few ideas, that are inspired by things I’ve read, conversations I’ve had lately, and I want to explore them to see if they’re worth a big project. So far, they all are; I will have to pick and choose and figure out how to work them into the schedule. So I’m giving myself quotas for each thing I need to get done, and spreading out my time.

It’s so interesting, because a couple of these projects were inspired by nostalgic musings, but I’m exploring how things have changed for people in that realm.

Heard from someone with whom I worked at The Other Place, which was a surprise. It’s someone I liked, so I was glad to hear from her, but I thought it was interesting that, all this time later, I hear from someone.

No one I’ve run into from that time has addressed the elephant in the room. Everyone’s acted like nothing ever happened. Eye-rollingly unhealthy.

But, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have time to fret. I can acknowledge how ridiculous everything is, but my energy is better spent elsewhere. Like on my work.

All of this is material.

I’m figuring out a series of promotions to launch, for the Jain Lazarus books, for the Digital Delights, and for the Topic Workbooks. I’ll let everyone know when I figure out what it is I’m doing!

Cooking, decorating for Samhain, laundry, writing. A good, busy week. I’ve signed the lease on the house for another year, so the home front is at least stable until next fall.

After the holidays, I will start making the decisions about where I go for my next adventure.


Published in: on October 3, 2016 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. Sept. 27, 2016: Threads of Words

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy times, and difficult to keep up here. Much of my focus right now is on the revisions for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. In the notes I made over the weekend, there are plans to cut quite a few characters and several secondary plot lines. I’m going to weave them into the series later on. I’ve revised about nine chapters over the past few days.

However, in order for certain procedural things to make sense, I also have to add two or three characters and fix a few things. I also want to go darker with this draft. When I started writing the first draft last year, I was thinking in terms of cozy. The more I wrote, the more I realized I don’t want to go in that direction, or be limited by that formula. I want a darker, more political, realistic mystery.

There’s a large ensemble cast because that’s what I like, as both a writer and a reader. Be it agent, editor, or reader, if someone does not like large casts, “can’t keep track” of more than six people — well, we are not a good match!😉 Move along, nothing to read here!

I’ve also been working on the full-length version of CONFIDENCE CONFIDANT. I’m not particularly happy with the work there. Especially in one scene, between Amelia and Nathan while Nathan’s in jail. I’ve written as text what needs to be subtext. I’m glad I wrote it, but now I need to rip it all out, and figure out the words that they CAN say to cover the unsaid. Otherwise, it’s just melodramatic and blatant. I’ve got time constraints on this, so I have to figure it out sooner, rather than later.

I’m having the annual Nano dilemma — do I do it this year, or not? Last year, I did it, because That Place where I worked was hosting write-ins. I felt I should participate, and I was in a writing rut. I did the Tandem Nano — working on a piece already in progress and starting the first draft of CHOLERIC. Last year, that worked. This year, I’m preparing CHOLERIC for submission and have other deadlines and other distractions. I’m worried that my ego will get in the way of both practicality and good work.

I already know I can write 50K in 30 days. I proved it over and over again. I don’t need to prove anything. What I need to do is focus on style and language to go with the stories, to polish and hone and make my work sparkle in my unique voice. At this point in my development, I don’t think Nano helps with it. It’s great to encourage words on paper every day, but I already do that. So should I use Nano to write book 2 in either the Sophie Batchelder series or the Picaroon Island series? It’s tempting, but again, it throws my schedule off even more — and my writing is way off schedule with what happened this summer. While I realize the necessity of flexible scheduling to make the most of unexpected opportunities, I also don’t want to put aside work that’s in a groove to start something on an arbitrary date (unless I’m being paid a sweet amount of money so to do).

I’ve been catching up on the second season of GOTHAM. I’m disappointed. The production design is stunning, but I find the whole thing overwrought.

The debate last night ridiculous. The possibility that the raving, lunatic, oversized toddler could get anywhere near the nuclear codes is terrifying. Yet, people will continue to vote for him. Because you can’t fix stupid, and two generations of the GOP defunding education worked.

Gave me some good ideas for the series in which CHOLERIC is the first book, though. There’s a lot of politics in the mystery — on purpose — and it’s not something I’m willing to dilute.

We’re getting some much needed rain, and I had to put on the heat yesterday. We’re finally into autumn, my favorite season. I have a lot of work to do in order to put the yard to bed for the winter. I have a lot of work to do on many fronts, and I’m tired of dealing with idiots and assholes.

But at least I get to HobNob tonight! I haven’t seen those friends and colleagues all summer, and I’ve missed them.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week.


Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. Sept. 21, 2016: The Shock of a Loss

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Feeling better, which is a good thing. Got some decent work done, both on the new projects, and on starting the next round of edits on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. Still dithering about turning CONFIDENCE CONFIDANT into a full-length – I think I know what I want to do, so hopefully, this weekend, I’ll just sit down and o it.

Started re-reading some of my favorite books – the Bast series by Rosemary Edghill and the Diana Tregarde series by Mercedes Lackey. That got me thinking about how the Craft has changed since our idealistic, hopeful days in the 90’s (although we thought we were terribly cynical. In reality, we were naïve). That gave me the idea for another project, which I’m playing with.

That also got me thinking about some close friends at the time, with whom I’ve lost touch. I started hunting them down on the internet – and found out that one of the closest friends from that time period died of cancer over a year ago. It’s a shock and a loss. I was friendly with her husband, too – I want to send him a condolence card, but will that reopen the wounds? Yet I feel that I need to acknowledge that I just found out and that I hurt for us both. In fact, I planned to dedicate this new project to them, whether or not I’d manage to reconnect.

So I will.

I have to sit with the loss and mourn. But that what this time of year is about.

Decent writing session yesterday, and this morning. Yesterday afternoon, I did some prep for my next road trip. I’ll have to load up the car tonight. Details Friday.

I also have to prepare a proposal packet that will go out on Friday. I thought I had the pieces with me here and now, but I don’t. I was too shaken when I discovered my friend’s death and didn’t take with me what I needed. To say I can’t believe she’s gone is an understatement. She was one of the most vital, vibrant people I ever met.

I need to run some errands and get back to the page. The page is the best way to create a worthy tribute to my friend.

In sorrow,


Mon. Sept. 19, 2016: Getting Back to a Writing Rhythm

Monday, September 19, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and humid

We finally have some much-needed rain!

Saturday, we were up and out very early, headed to Providence. We dropped our friend off, then headed down to Newport. It was a gorgeous day.

The International Boat Show was in Newport. The place was packed! And I happened to walk into a store, and there was my fellow Sister-in-Crime, Alyssa Maxwell, doing a book signing for her Gilded Age mystery series set in Newport! I knew her work, of course, but we’d never met before. It was great to have a chat, meet, and I bought and she signed the book I didn’t have!😉

We met friends for lunch at the Red Parrot (lots of choices, but a bit disappointing). I did some geographical research for the Victorian mystery.

Exhausted by the time we got home, and the cold came back full force. To bed early.

Sunday, I gave myself the day off, mostly reading and doing a few errands.

Today, it’s back to the page, once I’ve done some errands. I need to start opening out CONFIDENCE CONFIDANT (I need to submit the full length within the next few weeks), and work on the other projects I’m juggling. I’m also starting the next round of edits on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, and preparing for another trip later in the week.

Busy, busy, but good busy.

I think I know what’s coming next for the characters in “Lake Justice” – so I’ll have to get that going soon. I want to pair three shorts for the “Lake Justice” characters – one set in a ski resort, and the other set on an island in Maine. That will make a good set of stories to put together with the re-released “Lake Justice.”

I also want to do another Twinkle Tavern series mystery – probably a novella.

Somehow, I have to figure out how to fit them in with the projects I’m juggling, including the plays and CHOLERIC and SONGBOUND.

But it’s a good dilemma to have!

I will be very relieved when Mercury goes direct in a few days – and the Equinox is coming up!


Fri. Sept. 16, 2016: Creative Road Trips

Friday, September 16, 2016
Full Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

The days go by so quickly, I can barely remember what’s going on!

Got some good work done on the piece set in the dunes yesterday. I needed some research books about the area – I knew I owned them, but I rearranged things and couldn’t find them. So I had to get them out of the library! That’s the way it goes.

Helped some artists write grants over the week, and helped one of my writing students who stays in touch occasionally.

I plan to dig in and get a lot of writing done today. Our guest takes us out to dinner tonight, and then, we leave early, early in the morning, so he can catch the bus back to New York. After that, we head to Newport, for a combination research trip for the Victorian mystery and meeting other friends for lunch.

Sunday is supposed to be rainy and cool, so I will probably sleep and read a lot. The cold has come back, and I’m fighting a losing battle with it. A few days in bed, resting, is probably a good idea. I can read my research books and write longhand.

Next week, I go back on the road again for work. Not a bad thing at all.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be a lovely, creative September!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Published in: on September 16, 2016 at 9:14 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 16, 2016: Creative Road Trips  

Thurs. Sept. 15, 2016: Another Solid Creative Wave

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy days. Got in some good writing on one of the fantasy projects, and also a contemporary piece that was inspired by the trip to the dunes on Monday. So that was all good.

Lots of cooking, talking, and running around. Plenty to see, which is good.

I have to do some work on the expanded version of the Kate Warne play, CONFIDENCE CONFIDANT, next week. There are two possible venues for it once it’s a full-length, and I want to give a shot at both. I’m also excited to keep working on the projects I’m juggling, and to get back to the revisions of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC.

I’m also spinning some ideas for another Twinkle Tavern mystery, and a couple of other pieces with the characters from “Lake Justice.” The latter will be packaged as a trio of stories with “Lake Justice” for re-release through Smashwords.

I’m putting together a new marketing campaign for the Delectable Digital Delights pieces.

So that’s all good. Lots of creative stuff happening. It’s a relief, after feeling for so long that I was fighting to get any words done per day.

I’m looking forward to Mercury going direct next week, too!


Published in: on September 15, 2016 at 9:11 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 15, 2016: Another Solid Creative Wave  
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Wed. Sept. 14, 2016: Creative Fuel

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy few days! I’ve been trying to balance work along with having company.

Company arrived Saturday, from NY via Megabus, although they changed the Megabus stop, so at first I was at the wrong place. Typical Mercury Retrograde!

But we found each other and got home. I’ve been cooking a lot for the company – good, homecooked, American food. We’ve gone out a few times—we spent Monday going all along the National Seashore, Eastham, Light houses, all the way down to Provincetown, where we had a wonderful lunch at Patio. The food there just gets better and better, and the service is great, too.

I’ve managed to get some writing done, one on a piece I’m calling UNBOUND, at least for now, and the other on an untitled short story that I have a feeling is going to turn into a novella.

The time in Provincetown on Monday gave me some ideas; I’m trying to decide if I want to write a contemporary suspense novel, or if I want to develop some of these ideas into one of the series on which I’m working. I have a feeling a one-off suspense novel will make more sense. So we’ll see. I’m playing with ideas.

Although time is short, the ideas are churning, which is always a good thing.

I helped some visual artists write grants this week, which is always fulfilling. I hope they get what they seek!

Next week, when the company is gone, I will go back into the next round of edits for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’d like to get it submission-ready this fall, and have it start making the rounds.

Saturday, when we take our friend back to the bus in Providence, we will then drive to Newport, where I will do some research for the Victorian mystery, and also meet some other friends en route from Boston to Philadelphia for lunch.

I’m also developing my essays. Essays take me longer than long fiction!

Busy times, but good ones.

Hope you are all well and happy!


Published in: on September 14, 2016 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 14, 2016: Creative Fuel  
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Fri. Sept. 9, 2016: The Importance of the Individual Voice

Friday, September 09, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and hot

Still exhausted, getting over the cold. By mid-day Wednesday, I found social media irritating to the point of no return, so I logged out for a few days, and feel much better.

I’m busy doing internal work, so externals, no matter how well meant, don’t work for me right now.

I did vote yesterday, in the primaries. Did my civic duty.😉

I’ve been working on material, re-evaluating how and where I want my writing career to go, and trying to get well. I’m also working on ideas for a couple of essays. I have to develop them and then do a few rough drafts before I see if I have anything worth pitching. Essays are the hardest for me. Fiction is much easier.

I also need to go through the backlog of material. Some of the rights-reversed stuff is ready to go out again, so I have to do my research and get going on that. If it’s submittable, it needs to be out in the world earning its keep!

Been helping some people put together collaborative projects this week, too, which is always fun. I love to see other artists who put in the work succeed! I don’t believe we are in competition with each other. I believe we are in this together, and when we support each other, that’s when the best work happens.

I’m looking at my own roster of projects. I have to adjust my schedule. I got way off-schedule with what my agent needed for what used to be CHARISMA KILLINGS, and I need to get back on schedule for everything else.

Company’s in next week, which will be fun, but means I have to adjust my writing schedule, and I have work to deal with, too. Lots of juggling – makes me wish I’d gone to circus school!😉

One of the things I’m doing a lot of thinking about is “voice.” I worked many years, first to both find my voice and then to hone it through craft. So when someone tries to change that voice into THEIR voice, to water it down to make it sound bland and like a different tone – especially if it’s not a work for hire where that’s the deal – I balk. Making a piece the best it can be is different than diluting the voice. I’m always eager to make a piece better; I am not willing to lose my voice in my original work. Then it’s not mine and not what I want out in the world. If you’re paying me a good deal of money to sound like someone else or an imaginary figure who supposedly wrote the piece, that’s one thing, but when It’s MY work, going out under one of MY names, it needs to sound like me.

Isn’t that what so many women and people of color have fought to do for centuries? Have THEIR voices heard?

It’s one of the reasons I dumped the bulk of my magazine subscriptions. Everything is a sound bite and sounds exactly the same. Every magazine article in every magazine could have been written by the same machine. Sorry. Not interested. I’m interested, both as a writer and a reader, in individual voices.

I was lucky enough to spend some time last night with a good friend who now lives in Europe. She’s happy there – I think she and her husband will stay. It’s been a bit of a shock for her to come here, where mindset gets narrower and narrower. She completely understands my dilemma about whether to stay or go in the next year.

Have a great weekend!


Published in: on September 9, 2016 at 9:24 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 9, 2016: The Importance of the Individual Voice  
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