Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Stormy and cold

We had some light snow on Monday, during the day. Just a couple of inches, but enough to make the drive home unpleasant. And, heaven forbid, DPW even come through with sand or salt on our little street. I can understand not plowing, because it was so little accumulation. But the tire tracks in the snow, which then freeze, cause a risk. But, you know, that would mean we actually get services for our taxes. I guess I’ll have to ride the new Town Councilor for this district — the one I didn’t vote for — to see if he lives up to his “promises.”

I went directly home after working with my client on site, curled up in the big chair with hot tea, honey, and lemon, and read while I rested. I felt awful. I was in bed just after eight.

At least I’d written a full chapter on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY that morning!

Tuesday, I was up early. Still felt bad. Wrote another chapter on SPIRIT REPOSITORY before heading out to work with my client.

Also had to write and polish my review, which will go out today. I have another review due early next week, so I’ll get to work on that book either today or tomorrow.

Did some work for another client.

Worked on the Fearless Ink Website Re-design. We’re just about ready to move. There will definitely be some tweaking once it’s live, but until it is live, I can’t do much more.

I’m terribly disappointed that I won’t be able to keep the look for www.cerridwenscottage.com. I love that interior page design look. But my new web host doesn’t have a template that can replicate it, and I haven’t been able to find another template that does. I’m disappointed.

I’ve found a pleasant enough template that will do — very simple, and in keeping with the theme of the site. I will set it up on that, along with the new logo/header, and then keep searching for The Template of My Dreams. The site doesn’t generate enough income for me to hire in a custom design, nor is it meant so to do. So I can’t justify the expense.

The Devon Ellington Work site is the design/move that concerns me the most, because of all the subdomains. I have a feeling I will have to lose all the subdomains connected to the site when I move the main site, and then have to rebuild them/send them live. I don’t see how I can get it all done before the end of the month.

So, I’m going to try to get the three main sites rebuilt and moved by the end of the month, cancel my contract with my former, awful webhost, and then build and go live with the sites for each series as best as I can do it and still do it right.

I can do it fast and sloppy, or I can build something that’s worthwhile, that will actually be a viable tool for my work. I’d rather do the latter.

I’m learning a lot with the Fearless Ink build, but it IS learning a foreign language, and learning a language I don’t particularly enjoy.

But, every profession grows and changes. You can learn the new tools and figure out how to make them uniquely yours, or you can get left behind.

Being sick while being under such deadline pressure doesn’t help.

This morning, I worked on SPIRIT REPOSITORY again (manuscript deadlines are not suggestions, especially when they are contracted). I’ll be working onsite with a client, and doing additional work for another client, before going back to working on my own websites. Hopefully, Fearless Ink will move either tomorrow, or on Friday.

One of these days, I’ll get healthy and can focus for more than a few minutes.

 

 

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Published in: on January 17, 2018 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. Jan. 16, 2018: Steady Writing Gets There

 

Tracking Medusa Cover 1

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
New Moon

Busy few days.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my article over on Write Naked, about being an “Anti-Niche Writer,” you can visit it here. And leave a comment!

TRACKING MEDUSA (above) has re-released digitally. New buy links here and on the Books page of this blog.

There’s also a piece about the re-release over on A BIBLIO PARADISE here.

Because of issues with my old webhost, I can’t upload either the new cover or the new media kit to the website for the Gwen Finnegan mysteries or on the main Devon Ellington Work site (although the buy links will go up); when the webhost move is complete, a newly designed site with all the relevant information will go up. I thank you in advance, for your patience.

PLAYING THE ANGLES has moved distributors, and the new buy links are here. The information is up on the Books page of this blog; I’m updating the links on the Devon Ellington and the Coventina Circle site. Again, because of the webhost issues, the cover and the media kit will not be available until the host move is complete.

SAVASANA AT SEA will complete its distribution move and be available here as of today. Again, I will update the links on the Books page and on the Nautical Namaste website, but the cover and the media kit will not be available for download until the host move is complete at the end of the month.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

I will be boosting posts for all of the above on FB once the website moves are complete, because I want to send readers to the websites, which have all kinds of fun stuff and cool information — which will actually be accessible, once the web host move is complete and the new websites are built and go live.

So, this month is frustrating, but will ultimately be worthwhile.

Re-building the Fearless Ink site is going well, albeit more slowly than I would like. I like the new logo a lot. It’s clean and simple. The site will be much the same. No need for a lot of bells and whistles. The words are what matters.

I was feeling miserable on Friday; well enough to whine, so I obviously wasn’t THAT sick. After working on the website building for a few hours, and posting the details about the TRACKING MEDUSA re-release, I went home. Scratchy throat, achy, headache, tired.

I read; some for my own research/pleasure. The first batch of books arrived for contest judging, so I’ve also started on them.

One of Janet Malcolm’s pieces in FORTY-ONE FALSE STARTS: ESSAYS ON ARTISTS AND WRITERS inspired a new piece, set in the 1990s in the New York City arts culture, with the protagonists a painter and a choreographer. I don’t know when I’ll get time to WRITE the damn thing, but I made notes for the outline.

Friday night, the storm came in. It was unnaturally warm for the season, but the rain pounded and the wind howled. More naturally, the power went out, so we went to bed early.

It was restored pretty quickly, but the weather was still vile on Saturday. I put a pot roast in the crock pot and settled in to work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I’m behind where I want to be on it, and wanted to catch up.

Saturday, I was sick and miserable. However, I managed to run some errands, and then wrote two chapters on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. That felt good, being back in the world.

In the evening, I had a glass of wine by the fire and read. I’d made pot roast in the crackpot, which was good.

I’ve started reading the books submitted for the contest. They are good. This year will be fierce competition. Which is great. But it also means, when I go back over the books I think are the best, it’s going to be the details that decide which book is chosen.

Sunday, I was truly sick and miserable. I got the laundry done, but the rest of the day, I was huddled in bed, reading. Which is not a bad way to spend the day, but not the way I wanted/needed to spend it.

One of the books was one for review; big disappointment. The entire book was “telling” narration without active scenes. It was impossible, as a reader, to engage or care about the characters. It read like the outline for the novel, not the novel itself.

Yesterday, although it was technically a holiday, I was onsite with a client (even though I felt awful).

Got some more work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, though, early in the morning, so I don’t lose that momentum. I have a draft due on February 15, and I can’t drop the ball.

This will be a busy week, including the weekend, with two big events coming up.

All I really want to do is curl into a ball and sleep!

Not an option. Not right now.

Onward.

Mon. Jan. 15, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Balance

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
Dark Moon

The Mid-Month check-in is over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

This Monday is an #Upbeat Authors post (thank you, Trish Milburn), and it’s about Tips for Balancing Your Life

My best tip: Learn to say no.

Say “no” to anyone and anything that harms your creativity.

Say “no” to anyone who tries to extort or guilt you into doing something you know, in your gut, is the wrong choice for you.

Say “no” to those who expect you to give everything for nothing and who also reciprocate nothing.

The second most important tip is: Put your own creativity first.

That means, you don’t wait until you “have time” for your own writing. You do your own writing BEFORE you do anything for anyone else. Get up earlier; go to bed later.

There will never BE time. You have to make it, steal it, demand it.

We all have twenty-four hours in every day. It’s how we choose to use them that define us.

Third tip: Remove toxic people from your life

Even if you’re related, you owe them nothing. Where appropriate, be honest about attitude and behavioral changes you need for the relationship continue. If they refuse to give you basic respect and human decency, cut them out.

Fourth tip: The time you carve out for yoga and meditation will pay off in productivity and joy elsewhere

Make the time for a regular yoga and/or meditation practice. Taking that time for yourself, for the silence, pays off positively in every area of your life.

Given the chance, most people will take advantage, even if they don’t consciously mean to. You have to set boundaries, hold boundaries, and retain a bit of ruthlessness in order to stay balanced and creative. You don’t have to be cruel to others to stay balanced yourself.

At the beginning, be prepared for people to push back. They’re used to having you at their convenience. You have to train them otherwise.

Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 9:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. Jan. 12, 2018: Re-Release TRACKING MEDUSA!

Tracking Medusa Cover 1

Tracking Medusa is available through multiple digital formats here.

Blurb:

Archaeologist Dr. Gwen Finnegan is on the hunt for her lover’s killer.  Historical researcher Justin Yates bumps into her, literally, on the steps of the New York Public Library, and comes to her aid when she’s attacked, sparking an attraction between them in spite of their age difference.  After avoiding a cadre of pursuers at the Met Museum, Gwen impulsively invites Justin to hop a plane with her to the UK.  The shy historian, frustrated with his failing relationship, jumps at the chance to join her on a real adventure.  That adventure takes them through Europe, pursued by factions including Gwen’s ex-lover and nemesis, Karl, as they try to unspool fact from fiction in a multi-generational obsession with a statue of the goddess Medusa.

Friday, January 12, 2018
Waning Moon
Rainy and mild; turning colder

Well, I’m sick, which totally sucks, because I have so much to do.

On the positive – it’s re-release day for TRACKING MEDUSA! Not that I can post covers or media kits on anything on the Gwen Finnegan website – because, hey, that would mean 1and1.com actually gave me the services for which I’m paying! But no, unless I bow to their extortion of additional payments every month for every site ON TOP OF what I regularly pay – I don’t get to have photos on my sites.

Which is, of course, why I signed with a new webhost and why I’m in the process of moving everything.

But TRACKING MEDUSA is a re-release – and will be featured on A BIBLO PARADISE on Tuesday. If you have the original release, either digital or print – the text is the same (albeit with some stylistic changes to the new “house style”), and it contains the beginning of MYTH & INTERPRETATION and the beginning of THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Other than that, there are no major changes.

I’m also over on Write Naked! with the article “The Anti-Niche Writer.” Check it out here. Doing this article was a joy from pitch to release.

In spite of being sick, I’m trying to update the release links for TRACKING MEDUSA, promote its release, and do some more work on the new Fearless Ink website. I want it to go live next week. Because then I have the Cerridwen’s Cottage website to build and move, and the Devon Ellington Work website with all its subdomains – including the Gwen Finnegan mysteries, where TRACKING MEDUSA belongs.

I have a book to read and review this weekend, and I want to start reading the books sent for the contest.

I also have set a high goal of word count on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY because I’m behind where I want to be (although still within the wheelhouse of the deadline).

Somewhere in there, I need to rest with hot tea and brandy, so I don’t get sicker!

We are expecting two days of heavy rain, resulting in flooding, and then turning to ice. Keep your fingers crossed we don’t lose power.

Have a great weekend!

Thurs. Jan. 11, 2018: Stress For A Cause

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold (but milder than the past few weeks)

The past few days have been stressful.

Signing with a new webhost and getting oriented has been tough. But I believe, in the long run, it will work better.

The Fearless Ink website is the first one undergoing the overhaul and move; I’m hoping, as I learn my way around, each site will get easier. And I’ll get faster at putting things together.

Fearless Ink is also getting a new logo.

Because I’m under a time crunch (everything has to move by the end of the month), I’m worried it won’t be as good as it can be. But I need to get something up and moved, and THEN I can tweak and hone. So it might be awhile before I do a big reveal on any site, although it may go live sooner.

Tomorrow is the re-release of TRACKING MEDUSA. As soon as I’ve verified the new buy links, they will go up. I also have to tweak the media kit.

PLAYING THE ANGLES is moving through its new distribution channels, and as soon as I have the buy links, I will make the appropriate changes, on the websites, here on the Book page of the blog, and in the media kits.

SAVASANA AT SEA goes off to the new distributor today, and will follow the same process.

1and1.com’s extortion (telling me the only way I can have book covers and downloadable content on the websites is to pay an extra $140/month on top of my plan) and my refusal to cave in to them has hurt my sales — I lost ALL my holiday sales, and, since I can’t put the new media kits up or the new covers up — I won’t see decent results until the website/webhost moves are complete. Because the Devon Ellington site is the most complicated, with all the subdomains, that will be the hardest. I have a feeling that once the main DE domain moves, the subdomains will all disappear, so I’m trying to get them as streamlined as possible before.

It’s overwhelming if I look at all of it, so I’m looking at it one piece at a time.

Lots of client work this week, and trying to support a colleague who’s going through a challenging time. I feel a little guilty, because the situation has inspired a piece of writing. I don’t know when I’ll actually get to write it, but I’m working on the outline. I’m going to change enough to make it stand apart from the personal information, but it’s also one of the dangers of knowing a writer. Everything is material.

Managed to go out yesterday afternoon and spend time with a friend I hadn’t seen for awhile, and catch up on life, the world, and everything. That was fun. We went to the Dolphin, in Barnstable, which was the perfect place for our chat.

Had to try to explain creative process to someone who didn’t understand why people won’t just “create” in front of him. Because it’s intimate and comes from a private place. Otherwise, you’re just taking down dictation. Too many people around here claim they want a marketing professional when what they really want is a secretary.

I’m supposed to go out tonight, too, but I woke up with a scratchy throat, so I’m going to have to see how the day goes. I’ve been feeling off most of the week, trying not to get sick. I might have to take some time to rest.

The first shipment of books has arrived for judging in the contest. I’m very excited. I’m reading three categories again this year. I also have three books to review in the next three weeks, so I better get to it!

Trying to get back in the groove of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY along with everything else.

If I can get some rest this weekend and not get sick? That would be a good thing.

It’s supposed to be a miserable day tomorrow, so I’m trying to stack all my errands in today, and not have to dash around in the bad weather tomorrow.

Onward!

Tues. Jan. 9, 2018: Working

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Waning Moon
Sunny and mild

Yesterday was busy, and I was flat out with clients. Good work done.

This morning, I got some work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY before heading back to work onsite with one of my clients. I’ll have to have another serious session on it when I get home; I’m behind where I need to be. I’m hoping the manuscript will come in at only 82K, so I’m in decent shape, but I still need to catch up.

I heard from the editor for whom I did an article that goes live on Friday — she’s pleased with it, which is always a good thing! It was such a joy to work with her.

Did some work for another client before I went on site. I have to check a few things, and then I can send it off.

I signed with my new web host this morning. So I’m waiting for things to verify, and then I can build the first of the new sites and get things moved.

I did a read-through of the PLAYING THE ANGLES proof before it goes up on the new distributor and found a few things to tweak. I’ll do it this afternoon and then it goes through publication. That means changing the cover image (which I can’t on the old website; has to wait for the new one) and putting in the new buy links everywhere. Tedious, but it will be worth it, because the digital editions should stay put for the next few years.

A lot to get through in the next three weeks. Somehow, it will all be done.

Can’t drop the ball on sending out LOIs to potential new clients, either.

It’s a good life! 😉

I won’t be blogging tomorrow. I should be back on Thursday.

Published in: on January 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Jan. 4, 2018: Blizzard, Perhaps?

We are expecting a blizzard — so I’m putting up this post just in case I can’t post on the actual Thursday. If you see this, I’m snowed in!

Taking a snow day, reading proofs for SAVASANA AT SEA’s move and PLAYING THE ANGLE’S move to the new distributor.

And writing and reading other people’s books and drinking wine and snuggling and . . .it’ll be a good day!

Stay safe and warm!

Published in: on January 4, 2018 at 4:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. Jan. 3, 2018: Hitting the Ground Writing

Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Direct (as of yesterday)

Can you believe it’s 2018? Let’s build a better year together.

Yesterday, my answers to the 2018 Questions went up on the GDR site. Today, the To-Do list for January went up. It’s shorter than my opening shots for the year usually are, but this month has complicated work.

I took a lot of time off over the holiday weekend, to read, to meditate, to do yoga. To think. To be. I’m not building enough percolation time into my life, and that needs to change. I need to percolate in order to create.

I read A LOT — hop over onto A Biblio Paradise to see some notes about it.

Also, hop on over to Cerridwen’s Cottage for the full moon meditation. Thanks to my current lousy webhost, it didn’t go live before the weekend the way it was supposed to. Apologies.

It was a beautiful full moon, albeit cold.

One of the things that struck me during my time off was how much more productive, better rested, and less stressed I was because I turned my phone OFF. Not just put it aside and told myself not to look at it. I turned it off.

I checked mail and spent a few minutes on social media each day, especially on New Year’s Eve. But I spent a lot of time with the phone off.

I planned to add social media packages to the services offered on Fearless Ink, and this makes me re-think it. If I do, I have to set strong boundaries, because I want to spend more time this year disconnected.

Of course, with the repeal of net neutrality, that might be forced, rather than a choice.

I have to think about it some more.

PLAYING THE ANGLES and SAVASANA AT SEA came off the Pronoun distribution channels yesterday. It will be a few days before they are re-settled on D2D. The buy links will change, but the price and the text remains the same (although I’ve shorted some of the teasers for the other books at the back).

This should not change anything about the copies already purchased. You own those copies; they are YOURS.

I lose my reviews and have to contact the people who received review and guest hosting information. But that’s the way it goes. I pulled and have saved the reviews for the media room and kits and information sheets.

I spent some time this weekend prepping the manuscripts for both (since the requirements are a little different for this distributor than for the previous distributor). It will take a couple of extra days to get the books on Amazon.

TRACKING MEDUSA is still set to re-release on January 12th, through this new distributor. It has a new cover, but the rest of it is the same, except for some minor house style changes. So, if you have a print or digital copy from its time with Amber Quill, you’re not missing anything except the opening chapter of the novella MYTH AND INTERPRETAION and the opening of THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

You know me, constantly cooking. Dinner on New Year’s Eve was lemon-cumin glazed salmon, sweet potatoes, and steamed green beans with Hollandaise. On the Day it was pork roast with red cabbage, small yellow potatoes, and peas. And, of course, Eggs Benedict and Prosecco for brunch.

I did some work on the outline for a new idea. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to fit it into the schedule, but I promised myself to build in time to work on ideas, not feel trapped by deadlines and then procrastinate and meander. I need to balance ideas and deadlines, so they feed off each other and expand creativity, not contract it.

I did five loads of laundry, got the garbage and recycling out, vacuumed, mopped, and cleaned off both desks before the new year. Of course, I have to go through everything I swept off the desks, but it was nice to start clean.

One of my favorite New Year’s rituals (along with burning the bayberry candle) is to open the back door just before midnight to let out the old year, and after the midnight toast, open the front door to let in the new year.

This year, it was more like giving the old year a boot about twenty minutes early! 😉

Yesterday was spent on site with a client, as most of today will be spent.

I’m back to work on both THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and NOT BY THE BOOK. I need to re-find my groove with each of them. I was delighted with my progress on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY yesterday — an entire chapter, 2576 words. Not a bad way to get back into it.

If the bad storm we’re supposed to get tonight arrives, I won’t be blogging until Friday. So maybe we’ll connect tomorrow, and maybe not until Friday.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

nye-6

Published in: on December 31, 2017 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Dec. 29: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Today was all about getting the play polished and out the door. So there! It’s done!

Now, I’m going to have a yoga/retreat weekend to see in the New Year.

Jump over to the GDR site for the Year-end Wrap, and, on the 2nd, for the answers to the 2018 questions.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I’m looking forward to our next year’s journey together!

Devon

Published in: on December 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Dec. 28, 2017: Holidayish Reading (How Very Icelandic of Us)

Thursday, December 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Bitterly cold

This week is gosh darn cold!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I’ve been up and down emotionally since the Solstice, for no discernable reason. Just hit with the blues and the blahs, and then manage to pull myself out of it.

Saturday, I gave myself a much-needed break. I needed time off. I read a lot. I’m keeping a notebook of my reading. Not to boast about it or make people who read differently feel bad, but because I’m interested in how I read and how what I read leads me to other books. Some of the entries in the notebook will be developed into “Conversations with a Book”, a new section for A Biblio Paradise.

I read several books over the weekend, some good, some mediocre. One was just awful. The protagonist was nasty and not very bright. The book was anti-environment, anti-gay, pro-church-style conformity, anti-city, pro-stupidity. A pet cat was needlessly murdered — and the protag called the cat “stupid.” A dog was shot without cause or any believable repercussions. And I’m supposed to like this protagonist? Root for her? I kept hoping she’d be the next murder victim. This particular writer has a long-running series; I’ve read some of the books and thought “meh.” This book has turned me off her completely. Kill the pets and don’t heavily punish the perpetrators and you lose me for life.

Read some interesting books, including some fiction and non-fiction. It’s because I found myself “arguing” with one of the books and taking notes that I came up with the idea of “Conversations with a Book” for A Biblio Paradise. With all the webhost shifting and email address shifting coming up, it will probably debut in February.

Christmas Eve was fun. Quiet. The roast beef turned out well, but next year, I’m making plum pudding instead of buying one. This one didn’t cut it. We always open our gifts on the Eve, so that was fun — since there were more books, and, in Icelandic tradition, we read well into the night and ate chocolate!

I wrote. Quite a bit. But not on SERENE AND DETERMINED, whose deadline is coming up this week.

The Day was nice, although started out stormy. We have the stockings on the Day. I made scrambled eggs to go with the pannettone. I made the devilled eggs for the dinner party, and we went out to dinner with friends up the street, who’d also invited other friends, a philosophy professor and his wife, a special ed teacher. Good conversation, good food, good times.

Tired, though, coming back.

Tuesday, I ran errands (including picking up pieces of Winterberry china on sale, a pattern I’ve loved for years) and did some revisions.

Wednesday, I was onsite for most of the day with a client, as I will be today. Late Wednesday, the December newsletter went out, including a holiday story that’s just for subscribers. It’s much longer than I planned, and gentler, but I like the characters, and think it might, somewhere down the line, grow into something else.

Working on finishing and polishing SERENE AND DETERMINED, which should go out tomorrow, but, in a pinch, could go out on Saturday.

I’m tired with “end of year exhaustion”, but must keep going. There’s stuff that needs to be finished, and things that need to be sorted for 2018 on many fronts.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the Year-End Wrap of the Goals-Dreams-Resolutions. On Tuesday, the new ones for 2018 will post, and Wednesday, the To Do List for January goes up.

I have to sort out my schedule so I stay on track, but build in enough room for creative percolation time and to play with new ideas.

Hope you’re having a great week!

 

Published in: on December 28, 2017 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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What I’m Doing on Boxing Day

domestic-life-2364990_960_720

I’ll be blogging again on Thursday!

Hope you’re having a good one.

Published in: on December 26, 2017 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment