Thurs. Aug. 25, 2016: Old and New

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy few days at the theatre. I was so exhausted that I slept until nearly 10 AM today. Another week and a half, and I move on to the next adventure.

Haven’t been able to get enough writing in, which is very frustrating and throws me off my game on everything else. I plan to spend a good chunk of hours today writing – when I’m not catching up on laundry!

I only have one day off this week – Sunday – and next week I work straight through, but closing night is the 3rd. I can’t believe September is next week!

Getting in lots of research materials for the Victorian-era mystery set in Newport. I figured out the first three books of the series: Book 1 is in Newport, Book 2 in Saratoga, and Book 3 in New York City over the Christmas holidays.

I’ve also got to get back into the next cycle of edits for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC and get back to SONGBOUND SISTERS, but the latter won’t happen until the show is done, because I need to be able to focus without interruption.

And, of course, I need to get back to the plays.

People from That Other Place keep turning up at the theatre, either as ushers or patrons. I am very cheerful and polite.😉 The fact that none of my former colleagues has bothered to keep in touch just shows that I merely shared space with them for two years. Well, I’m on to other things, and it is all good.

Back to research, writing, and marshalling resources for tonight!

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on August 25, 2016 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Tues. Aug. 23, 2016: Juggling

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

We finally have some cooler weather, and yesterday, we even had a bit of rain. What a relief!

Last week was challenging, to say the least, at the theatre, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I attended a reading of a new play by the guest artistic director, who I’ve gotten to know a bit over the weeks, and it was very good. I hope it goes further, because it hits some important points about humanity (and lack thereof).

I’ve hit a difficult section in INITIATE, where I’m having to write broadly at first to set out all the puzzle pieces, and then rewrite, focusing down. Eventually, it will work, but it’s a different way of working.

I’ve started developing another piece — the characters are very strongly in my mind, and the setting, but I’m still figuring out the plot. It deals with a touring theatre company.

And I’m working on yet a third piece, where the characters would not shut up, so I’ve written the first few chapters to see where I am with it. It’s an historical mystery, this particular one set in Newport (the second one will be set in Saratoga). My female protagonist’s marriage is falling apart, and she has to decide whether to put up with it because society wants her to, or flout convention and follow her own happiness, with the punishment that women faced at that time. I’ll have to research some of the legalities of the time, to make sure my premise is set up properly.

This week will again be challenging, but, hopefully not as much as last week. Dig in and deal, right? What else can one do?

After next week, I have to rework things on the GDR site and get things in motion for next year. My writing schedule has been thrown off.

After some discussion (not all pleasant), the agent has the correct changes in the manuscript and synopsis and it’s going out to the publisher who wanted rewrites on spec, which is something I disagree with. I do not believe there will be a contract offer; if there was genuine interest, the offer would have been on the table without demanding prior rewrites. We’ll see who is correct in this situation. I made it clear that I am not rewriting on spec to every set of notes that comes in.

I didn’t get much writing done last week; I hope to fix that this week. Not writing enough threw me off my form in every other way as well.

Have a good week!

Devon

Published in: on August 23, 2016 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Aug. 11, 2016: Stability to Support Change

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

I’ve been lax in blogging, not because I don’t care about you all, but because there’s not much to publicly say. I’m in show schedule, and the next three weeks will be particularly intense.

My agent has one book out on submission, I’m deep into the draft of INITIATE, which will take years to prepare properly for submission, and I need to get back on track with the plays, DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, and SONGBOUND SISTERS.

I will be able to sign another year’s lease in the house in which I currently live, which is great. I love the house.

That will give me the breathing room to decide if I’ll stay on the Cape or leave. There are many things I love about living here, such as the beauty of the place. But there have been a lot of disappointments and frustrations. I am not willing to capitulate in certain ways that I am expected to, or fit other people’s conveniences and boxes.

But it gives me a year to see how things align, and what my next chapter is. I have a LOT to do in this coming year, especially in regard to my writing, and we’ll see what the rest brings.

Right now, I’m trying to mentally and physically prepare myself for the next three weeks, especially since my last week at the theatre, Mercury goes retrograde!

It’s hot and humid, tough going for the next few days. The cats are already growing their winter fur, so they are miserable.

We have company coming in tomorrow, which will be fun. And then – I’ll check in when I can over the next three weeks, but it will be intermittent.

Have a brilliantly wonderful August!

Devon

Published in: on August 11, 2016 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. Aug. 3, 2016: Wasp Attack

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The days are getting shorter. One can tell we’ve had the first harvest.

Tired. Show was fine last night, except I was attacked by wasps. I didn’t have an allergic reaction, fortunately, but the pain is out of proportion to the injury.

Some good writing done yesterday, and a few errands, but mostly, I’m in “show head” and will be there until early September.

Ran into someone I knew from That Other Place who had no idea my job had been eliminated. Guess they’re just acting like I never existed. Oh, well. Some of my colleagues also heard of places that are hiring for September and passed on those leads, which I will follow up on today.

Most of my words are saved for the page, which leaves little for anything else. I promise to be a better conversationalist in the fall!😉

The Cape Cod Writers Conference starts tomorrow; I can’t participate this year. The Mermaid Ball is next week; can’t be part of that, either. Changes, all over the place.

Devon

Published in: on August 3, 2016 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Tues. Aug. 2, 2016: Juggling Schedules

Tuesday, August 02, 2016
New Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a pretty darn good day. I celebrated an important personal day for myself, and also got a lot of writing done. I was fighting a bit of a stomach bug, still, which is worrisome, especially with this week’s theatre schedule.

I was invited to read at the Cape Cod Writers Conference, and had to say no. I’m on show schedule – nights and weekends, baby, I don’t get to take time off. Next week, I’ll also miss the Mermaid Ball for the first time since I moved to the Cape.

I’m getting contradictory information from different people in my agent’s office, which is throwing the schedule into a bit of chaos. All I can do is the best I can do – I was told to take “what time I need” and let them know I’m in shows, and that slows me down.

Other than that, the writing is going well. I got the link for my radio play, but I haven’t yet had a chance to download/listen to it. Once I do, I’ll let you know.

Back into the writing cave for a few hours, until I have to head out to the show.

Onward!

Devon

Published in: on August 2, 2016 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Mon. Aug. 1, 2016: Important Personal Day

August 1, 2016
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

Today is one of the most important days in my personal calendar. I am honoring it.

Things have been busy at the theatre, and busy with the writing. The writing is at a point where I have to focus on the doing, and talking about it would dilute the work. I also have to do some work on the opening chapters of the other book for my agent.

The next few days will be stressful at the theatre, but that’s life. Hopefully, I can get into a good rhythm.

Meanwhile, the focus is today, this important day. And the writing. Tomorrow is another day, with new opportunities.

I’m looking forward to the opportunities. I feel like vistas are opening!

Hope you’re having a wonderful first harvest!

Devon

Published in: on August 1, 2016 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. July 29, 2016: Readjusting the Schedule

Friday, July 29, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and hot

Busy few days. I’m trying to adjust on the schedule of getting home from work after midnight, getting to bed by 2, and then writing all day until I have to go to the theatre again. And, you know, do basic survival stuff on the house.

I’ve been discussing a few things with my agent, and have to go back to do some work on the book that’s generated interest. I made it clear I’m not willing to get into a cycle of rewriting to every editor’s comments when there’s no contract in place. That way lies the way to madness.

I love working on INITIATE. It’s so unusual for me to hold the scope of an entire series as I write each section, but that’s the process on this one. I also am writing some scenes out of order, which is unusual for me, although it means more work writing the bridges when I put them all together.

August will be frantically busy, as usual, although no Mermaid Ball for me this year and no Writers Conference. I’ll be in shows!

And I’m looking for work beyond September 3.

Have a great weekend!

Monday is one of the most important days on my personal calendar. I’m looking forward to it.

Devon

Published in: on July 29, 2016 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Tues. July 26, 2016: Day Disorientation

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy day yesterday, but when are they not? Errands, Career Center stuff, and then writing. Also got information from my agent on where the manuscript is submitted and who asked for fulls. Fingers crossed.

Somehow, I fell asleep yesterday afternoon, and when I woke up, I thought it was Tuesday morning, not Monday evening! Made the coffee and everything. I was so disoriented! It was a weird feeling, but also kind of funny. Good thing I wasn’t late for a show!

Also found out that I was stabbed in the back by someone I’d helped when that individual was in distress. I’m sure it was months in the making. The ironic thing is that she did to me what someone else did to her. I don’t think that’s what they mean by “pay it forward”.

I was very hurt for a bit, but the reality and the perspective is that the situation and the people involved are not a part of my life any longer and it doesn’t really matter. The situation hurts and is still wrong, but in the bigger picture – yes, it was time that could have been spent more positively. But I learned things I can use moving forward.

I also trust the universe to put things back in balance more creatively than I ever could. I’d rather use my energy to move forward instead of wallowing in the hurt of the past.

Some errands early morning, then lots of writing, then a show. Getting home so late means I’m doing another writing session late at night, but waking up later in the morning.

The writing is going well. The story and characters keep surprising me, for the right reasons. When I’ve got these drafts down, I’m going to figure out good places to break up the story into separate books. I’m not going to have a 1400 page book. I’d rather break it down and let readers breathe at appropriate moments. But I love this story and these characters – their capacity for love astonishes me.

All good.

Devon

Published in: on July 26, 2016 at 8:57 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 26, 2016: Day Disorientation  
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Mon. July 25, 2016: Writing and Theatre

Monday, July 25, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy times. Theatre work is going well, although I need to get used to the schedule.

My agent sent me the list of submissions for the book, and I’m working on the next round of material to send her. Updated the synopsis, but, later this week, I have to get back to the revisions of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC and see if that works for her.

Most of my life is revolving around drafting INITIATE, though. I am so in love with this series. Probably too in love with it, but I’ve written what I want to read, a story that resonates in my heart.

Too hot to do much or think much, except for the writing. It will be busy until early September. But I’m still searching for something more permanent.

Published in: on July 25, 2016 at 8:32 am  Comments Off on Mon. July 25, 2016: Writing and Theatre  

Thurs. July 21, 2016: So Much To Do!

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Last Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Who knew being unemployed/partially employed could be so busy?

Hey, anyone who does 8 shows/week.

The confidentiality agreement prevents me from talking about the theatre job, but all is good, and it’s only until September 3 anyway.

The writing is going well – I had some additional changes to make on the book, and my new agent is sending it out.

I’m deep at work on scripts, and, especially, INITIATE, which burns my soul lately. I love these characters so much, I can’t stand to be separated from them.

Three new stories/sets of characters are burning within, too. I hope they are for novellas, not novels, or I’m in trouble!

And, of course, dealing with the intricacies of trying to get the unemployment benefits I earned, but they don’t want to pay. Because, hey, all they want to do is have people jump through hoops and take jobs in anything to get them off the rolls, not actually help people find jobs to better their lives.

I resigned from the Board of the National Marine Life Center, which broke my heart, but was necessary. I can’t give them what they need right now, not without sending myself over the edge. They asked me to move to the Advisory Board, and I’ve agreed to that.

We went to the Glasgow Lowlands Scottish Festival in central MA last Saturday. It was so much fun! Everyone was delightful, and we had a wonderful time, in spite of the heat. I was able to help a young man with his kilt emergency, thanks to still carrying safety pins. Of course, help one guy with his kilt, and suddenly they all want a hand!  But it was all in good fun. Caber toss always cracks me up. I got some great ideas I can incorporate to stories, though. It was a delightful day.

It was hard to get back over the bridge, but we managed.

I get to see an old friend today – we were tight in NY, and I haven’t seen her for at least 10 years She’s down for a few days doing a reading, and I can’t wait to see her.

If I don’t get back on wordpress tomorrow, have a great weekend! I am, of course, in shows.

Devon

Published in: on July 21, 2016 at 10:05 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 21, 2016: So Much To Do!  
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Fri. July 15, 2016: Writing, Eye-Rolling, and Upcoming Adventure

Friday, July 15, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot!

Yesterday was kind of a mixed day. It was a relief from the suckage that was Wednesday, and I got in some good writing on INITIATE. I got some errands done.

At 1 PM, I went to the seminar that’s required of everyone who files for unemployment and is looking for work. It was a waste of time and an insult to my intelligence. I sure as heck wouldn’t hire any of the people in the room with me. I haven’t heard that much ignorant blather in one room in a long time.

But I got all the paperwork I need to keep current, and I’m going to do it. I learned one important thing about “salary range” boxes that I can use, but the rest – none of these people do what I do, and few of the sites had any relevance to me.

Came home and wrote more. Wasn’t in the mood to watch anything.

I’m writing today and running some errands. Tonight, I start the theatre job (under a confidentiality agreement, not much to say, sorry). Since it’s part time/seasonal, I have the blessings of the UA office to do it – even though it’s not considered a “real job” around here. I just have to fill out all the weekly paperwork honestly, which I will.

Tomorrow I have an adventure – I’ll share as soon as I am able! I’m looking forward to a good writing weekend – I just hope it won’t be too hot.

Sunday is my dark day at the theatre. This should be fun!

I love the way the characters are growing and maturing in INITIATE. I’m very pleased with this project. There are other things I need to do, too, and get out the door next week, but I’m passionate about this one.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Devon

Published in: on July 15, 2016 at 9:45 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 15, 2016: Writing, Eye-Rolling, and Upcoming Adventure  

Thurs. July 14, 2016: Had Enough of the B.S.

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Bastille Day
Sunny and hot

July 14 has always been a rather personal independence day for me, since about the mid-1980s. So I celebrate, in my own way.

Yesterday sucked.

After Tuesday, when, probably for the first time since I moved to the area, I felt my work was valued, on Wednesday, I had to deal with the small-minded, anti-artist attitude that is prevalent on Cape.

The morning was a total nightmare, especially at the “Career Center”, where we had to redo paperwork for the unemployment claim, and then they started telling me what websites I can and can’t search for work on. I’m sorry, but your website that holds jobs for dishwashers and landscapers is not going to have the work that I want and do. I will look for work WHERE I want, in the MY OWN FIELD.

Instead of being pleased that I found work – on my own – that starts tomorrow, even for a short period of weeks – I was berated for not finding a “real job.” Excuse me, theatre IS my real job, and has been my real career since I was 18 years old. Fuck off.

I am done accepting less than I am worth, and taking shit jobs because it fits someone else’s agenda.

I am also fed up with working my ass off, giving, giving, giving, and, instead of it being appreciated, always being asked for more.

Enough.

Buh-bye.

I’m burned out on several fronts, and I cannot and will not constantly put my writing and my own needs to one side because others want things from me. They’re not getting them. For months, now, I’ve sent out warnings and spoken up. A deaf ear has been turned, and demands ratcheted up.

Buh-bye.

On the positive front, I updated the pitch materials with the latest round of title and series changes and got them to my agent, so she can shop everything at the conference this week. I’m not announcing anything until we actually decide we’re keeping the titles!😉

I managed to get home in the early afternoon with a blistering migraine, writing deadlines, and hating the world. Well, not the world, but “people” in general. I like individuals, even if I don’t always agree with them, get angry with them, but I don’t like “people.”

Read and wrote myself back to sanity during the afternoon and evening.

Still didn’t sleep well.

Had a good writing session this morning and got some mowing done. Have to run a few errors and then it’s over to the “Career Center” where I’m required by the state to sit in on a seminar which, I have no doubt, will be an utter waste of time. They were nice when I came in shattered the day I was laid off, but they don’t understand what I do, and they can’t be helpful. Yet I am forced to spend several days a week in there until I get permanent FULL TIME work.

My life does not fit into other people’s forms, and I am not willing to conform to accommodate them.

At least today has started out better!😉

I intend for at least one more fruitful writing session before I have to go to the seminar, and then finish up some paperwork and write tonight.

Tomorrow I start the new job. Wish me luck!

Devon

Published in: on July 14, 2016 at 9:14 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 14, 2016: Had Enough of the B.S.  

Wed. July 11, 2016: The Difference With Feeling Valued

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Wrote in the morning yesterday, and then realized that I had to throw it all out. It took me on a tangent in the book that is unsustainable.

Back-and-forth discussions with the agent on book title, series title, etc.

Got on the Plymouth-Brockton bus in the afternoon to head to Boston. The psychological distance is more than the physical distance, and the physical distance wouldn’t be so bad if the traffic wasn’t so awful. But the bus was good.

I wrote about 1K on the way in to Boston. Found my way to the venue, was there way too early, so hung out in the Boston Garden. Too many mosquitoes, so I found a Starbucks and wrote some more.

The ArtWeek Boston event at Liquid Art was spectacular. I met great people, and there is potential for lots of good projects, especially with one of the theatre companies. The drinks were expensive, and the only food they put out was a single dish of blue cheese cubes, cheddar cheese cubes, some sort of chutney, and a little cut up bread (for the entire group). That was disappointing – and by that, I mean I’m disappointed in the venue, not the organizers. If I’d been enticed by appetizers, I would have changed my schedule and stayed for dinner. And made plans to return. Being stingy at such an event gives me pause.

But I had a blast, other than that. Treated myself to a cab back to the station, made the bus back with one minute to spare. I was starving by the time I got back on Cape, and had a burger at 9 PM, which was not my best option. Paid for that one all night.

But it was the first time, probably since I moved to this area, where I felt as though my work was valued. I realized how much I missed it.

I was offered a theatre job for the next six weeks – part-time at first, full time for the last three. I accepted. It gives me some breathing room, and theatre is a familiar – and safe – environment for me. I start on Friday.

That means I have to finish the radio plays before Friday.

Had to go to the “Career Center” today – and have to go again, tomorrow. There was a problem with the claim, I had to redo paperwork, suddenly they’re telling me what sites I can and can’t search for jobs on? I don’t think so. Their so-called “Job Site” doesn’t carry what I do.

I don’t feel well, I’m frustrated, out of sorts, and have way too much to do. But, that’s the way it goes. I still have a lot for which to be grateful, and I have every intention of finding a great opportunity to slide into after this short-term theatre gig winds up in early September.

And not drop the ball on any of the books, either.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on July 13, 2016 at 9:55 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 11, 2016: The Difference With Feeling Valued  
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