Fri. Aug. 28, 2015: Casino Night is Here!

Friday, August 28, 2015
Day before Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was crazy busy, finalizing stuff for tonight, processing books, arranging for glassware, etc. Party Cape Cod was able to come through for us at the last minute, so I drove over there this morning to pick up the racks of glasses.

Very tired yesterday, but tried to chill out a bit at night, work on some more preparatory stuff, and also watched the pilot of ENDEAVOR, which was interesting. Also did some more work on COLLABORATIVE BIRTH revisions.

To bed early, but didn’t sleep well. At least Violet’s made steady improvement the last few days.

Up early, not much writing done, and not happy with what I got done.

Fed up with a narcissist who tries to make everything about her and get out of doing anything she doesn’t feel like doing, consistently. And gets away with it, consistently.

Well, the Death card has come up every single day this week in the tarot, so a-change is a-coming, as one sings, and I hope it’s a good one.

Today will be a VERY long day into the night, with work going directly into Casino Night. It’s my Saturday “on” tomorrow, so even though I’ll be here late, I’ll also be here early. But that’s okay.

After much mulling of what to wear, I decided to go for funky and comfortable, in the red and black of a roulette wheel.

Monday, I drop off the glasses back at Party Cape Cod on my way over the bridge. Got some stuff to do on the mainland, and then I have to write the rest of the day. Tuesday, I have strategic planning, and then I have to write for the rest of the day, because next Wednesday, it all starts again.

I’m working on some travel negotiations for a few projects – always interesting. And getting the ducks in a row for my vacation in a couple of weeks. I desperately need it.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. Aug. 27, 2015: Don’t Waffle Around Me

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was crazy busy. We’re trying to put the finishing touches on tomorrow night’s Casino Night, which is our big fundraiser. In addition, there were books to process; there was a 3000 piece mailing to be stuffed, folded, counted, and taken to the post office on time; and Cape Cod Organic Moms did a program, featuring the owner of the eco-boutique SHIFT (which was a terrific program, by the way).

On top of that, people are acting like this October event is brain surgery. I have no time for waffling bullshit. Commit and do it, or pull the plug and get out of my way — I have other things that need my attention. And stop wasting my time demanding “phone this” and “phone that.” I don’t do business on the phone – give it to me in writing.

It was not a good writing day, but even a little bit is more progress than nothing. I managed some more revision work on COLLABORATIVE BIRTH.

Also finished up my work on the strategic plan for next week’s session.

Today and tomorrow will be long damn days. I am NEVER allowing another August like this one — and I rarely say “Never.” Next year, ONE organization gets my time and attention in the month, and that will be the one that is central to MY well-being, not everyone else’s.

The upcoming time at Kripalu can’t come fast enough.

Devon

Published in: on August 27, 2015 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. Aug. 26, 2015: Holding to the Writing, In Spite of Chaos

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and hot

Busy, busy, busy. I cannot have an August that’s this intense again. It’s too much.

Saturday was okay at work, although three minutes before closing, someone called and wanted us to wait until they arrived to pick up their materials. Um, no. Come back on Monday, when we’re open. When I first started working there, I waited ONCE, when someone said they would be “right there”, and they came 40 minutes later, after running other errands and didn’t even apologize. So, no. I am NOT staying open and waiting until you deign to show up. Plan your time and get there during open hours, just like ANY OTHER BUSINESS. Then, the person said that I should “just leave the side door open” and she’d come in and get the stuff herself. Again, no. I’m not leaving the building unlocked and in danger of theft because you can’t manage your time.

Home, got a few things done, then back to the building in the evening to help the ghost hunters get set up. I didn’t stay for the whole thing, just checked in with them. Looking forward to their findings.

Home, to bed early. Sunday was my weekly Disconnect Day, which was fabulous. I was exhausted, and rested up, puttered around the house. Did some plotting done on a few pieces.

Monday morning, I got the new toner cartridge in the laser printer and got that all set up. I’m supposed to get 2100 pages on the cartridge — heaven. That’s now my manuscript printer.

I wrote the first two chapters of SONGBOUND SISTERS, the book I started at the conference whose opening pages got such a great response. It was about 4500 words, just enough for the day.

I did another read of INSPIRED INCUBATION. The new material holds up well, and it’s on the right track. I still don’t know where I’ll pitch it yet, but it’s a real valentine to my years working in theatre, film, and television production.

Watched the movie MUST LOVE DOGS, which was a lot of fun. Very different from the book, but a lot of fun.

Up early on Tuesday. A meeting was moved earlier, which meant everything else had to be rearranged. Got my post-Mermaid Ball notes out. I wrote another chapter of SONGBOUND SISTERS. I printed out the entire CHARISMA KILLINGS manuscript, so I can take another look at it. The laser printer is so good that I printed out nearly 300 manuscript pages in the time it took to make a cup of tea.

I started another read-through/red pen of COLLABORATIVE BIRTH (the next book after INSPIRED INCUBATION in that series), but had to stop to do a freelance gig to make sure that was all handled before I jumped in the car and headed to Dennis Port for my meeting.

It was in Dennis, where we’re supposed to do an event in October. Nice place. The event space is a little smaller than I expected, but I think we can make it work, as long as we keep it simple. My colleague was a little alarmed by where they are in the construction process, but if they’re not worried at the venue, I’m not worried, and I’ll swing by in mid-September to check on it.

I had some time in between events, so I went over to the Dennis Port Library (which is beautiful) and read for a bit. Nice, light, relaxing space.

I had trouble finding the HobNob event, but, once I got there, it was well worth it. The house was built in 1804, and restored by the current owners, and sits on an acre and a half of land a short walk from the beach. They kept the house’s characters and restored it with love and warmth. Their dogs are pretty adorable, too. The artist who invited us is a ceramic artist who does quite a bit of mask work. It was a small enough group so that everyone got to really TALK to everyone else, and we sat at the beach well after moonrise.

Came back late and fell into bed.

Thunder and lightening upset the cats in the night, so I was up with them a good bit, but still up early and writing before I have to go in to work.

Casino Night is this Friday night, a benefit for the library. I’m hoping for a strong turnout, because it should be a ton of fun.

This will be a long week, work-wise, but, hopefully, by the time I hit my Disconnect Day on Sunday, I’ll be able to rest and regroup.

The writing is getting on a more even keel, too, which makes everything better.

Devon

Published in: on August 27, 2015 at 8:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Aug. 21, 2015: This & That & Enough Already

Friday, August 21, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Rough couple of days. Dealing with the recent deaths makes me even less patient than usual with meaningless bullshit. The fact that I haven’t punched several people’s lights out is a testament to my self-restraint.

On the positive side, the library is repainted and looks nice, and now the work of getting everything back on the shelves is ongoing. I managed to process a LOT of books on Wednesday during the painting (once we got the books OFF the shelves), and almost all of them went out on holds. In other words, I made the right choices in ordering! ;)

Collapsed Wednesday night. Watched KINGSMAN, which was clever and fun, although I would have trimmed about 20 minutes total, making a few internal cuts here and there. Colin Firth, as usual, was sublime.

Thursday was another painting day and also trying to get things back on the shelves as they dried. Managed to get PR out for the photography contest, which had to go out yesterday or wouldn’t make deadline. By mid-afternoon, I had a screaming migraine, which only got worse as the evening progressed. Managed to watched some of the final season of SPORTS NIGHT, but that was about it.

The migraine woke me up at 2 AM, and I was not amused with people texting and calling me by 8 AM asking if everything was back on the shelves. Sorry, bubbelah, I am NOT pulling all-nighters by myself watching paint dry and then reshelving. No.

The Meet-and-Greet for NYU Cape/South Shore Alumni is all set for the 28th of September at Mezza Luna in Buzzards Bay. I’m checking out the location for the wine event next week, and I also have the HobNob Event. If I can just get rid of this migraine, it’s all good.

I work tomorrow, and then the ghost hunters are coming back in the evening to do the overnight. Sunday and Monday are writing days.

I’m also investigating new phones and new phone plans. T-Mobile sucks and my phone is already “out of memory” – which is ridiculous, because I have hardly anything on it. Good thing I’m NOT on a contract – I can find something better.

I can’t believe it’s nearly September! Looking forward to the autumn. We’ll be staying in the house for another year, so that’s all settled. I’m cleaning out a lot of stuff and getting rid of a lot of stuff.

Looks like we’re losing almost all our tomatoes to Blossom Rot, which is discouraging. Live and learn. The hollyhocks, cucumbers, lettuce, morning glories, moonflowers, four o’clocks, rose of Sharon, and hydrangeas are all doing very well, though.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Wed. Aug. 19, 2015: Mermaid Ball, Death in the Family, Sick Cat, Frustrations

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It feels like I’ve lived a lifetime in the past few days. Some good; some not so great.

First and foremost, the Mermaid Ball: the evening was lovely, in spite of the usual issues with Waverly Oaks. The space is wonderful, everyone looked great, we made some decent money, I think. Unfortunately, the food was less than stellar, especially for the price, and there were, again, issues of us paying for space, but it being used by others.

I was also delighted by the fact that a photographer from the Boston Globe showed up. I’ve been trying to get one there for five years! The pictures were great, too, and he was delightful to have around.

The costumes were delightful and creative, and everyone looked beautiful. I was especially

We had a lot of help getting everything down, which meant we left around midnight instead of 2 AM.

The cats got me up early. Poor little Violet was very sick, so I tried to find something that worked to make her feel better.

Then, we got the news that a family member in Maine died. He was 98 and had been ill for a very, very long time, but it’s still always a loss. I moved Monday’s meeting, reminded people of Tuesday’s deadlines, warned them at work.

We wanted to leave Saturday, but Violet was too sick. I was up with her all day Saturday. Sunday, we couldn’t get off Cape because of the traffic – 18 mile backup by 8 AM, and it didn’t get better all day. I spent most of the day lying on the floor next to Violet, feeding her Pedialyte and being with her while she slept. She seemed better in the evening, so we continued to pack. I had about 2 hours of sleep again, up on and off with Violet, although she continued to improve.

We left at 5:30 on Monday morning. Even then, traffic in Boston was a nightmare, but once we got through Boston, we were okay. We got there in time for the funeral, which was a graveside service. There were only 12 chairs and about 70 people, so that was a little difficult, but the celebrant was terrific, and the military component of the funeral, complete with flag folding and presentation, was very, very moving. I really want to write about these guys.

The post-funeral reception was at Cole’s Farms, with a big buffet. There was a display of photographs, which brought back lots of laughter and good memories.

We cleared up, went to the store to grab something for later, and then, pretty much collapsed. We did some more visiting in the evening, but had an early night. I spent a lot of time walking around the house and grounds – a place of sanctuary for me for over 40 years. The end of an era.

It makes me sad. I know life goes on and all that, but I’m still sad. I will miss him, and I will miss the security that he and this place in Maine represent.

Up early on Tuesday morning. Got some writing done, which at least put me in a more focused frame of mind. We said our goodbyes, knowing nothing will be the same, and off we drove.

Traffic sucked again around Boston, but we were lucky enough to miss a big accident by about ten minutes.

Violet is a little better – not cured, but a little better. I sat on the back deck at night and just let myself be sad. Grief and the shifting dynamics around death are a process, and we don’t have a workable structure for it. We have a funeral/memorial/reception, and then we’re just supposed to act like nothing happened. The Victorians went a little too far with mourning, sometimes, but at least there was a ritual-filled process to it.

Seriously, I feel like I’m hitting my second Saturn return early. I hit the first one early, so it makes sense the next go-round would be early, too.

Still not a great night’s sleep last night. Up early, got a little bit of writing done, but not happy with it. Headed in to work. Technically, we’re closed today, for painting, but heaven forbid anyone should respect the “closed” sign. The lack of boundaries – which indicates the lack of respect for our work – just infuriates me.

I’m also really unhappy because a deadline for the wine event that was yesterday was missed, putting it in jeopardy. I’m so sick and tired of people acting like deadlines don’t mean anything.

Hoping I’ll be able to get some work done tonight. I’m also getting really sick and tired of always being the one expected to change MY schedule because writing isn’t “real work.”

Devon

Published in: on August 19, 2015 at 10:23 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Aug. 14, 2015: Night of the Mermaids!

Friday, August 14, 2015
New Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was busy. At least I made a bit of a dent in getting some of the more complicated new items catalogued. But I need a good chunk of uninterrupted work time, or it won’t happen.

The mask for tonight is done; last minute things are getting done.

Got a bit of writing done. The feedback on what readers want from the holiday tale is very funny, and I’ve come up with my main pair of protagonists and a cat. Now, I need the premise and the antagonist. But, we’re getting there. I also know which familiar characters will have walk-ons, to tie it in with other work of mine.

My eyes really hurt today, and my shoulder’s sore, so I hope it won’t have too much effect on tonight.

Because, yes, TONIGHT is the Mermaid Ball. I’m leaving work at 1, and will be at the venue by 4, and probably get home around 2 AM tomorrow morning. But it’s our Big Deal, and it will be an enchanting night.

You know what that means, don’t you? Next week’s blog will have STORIES. ;)

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Aug. 13, 2015: Project Percolation

Thursday, August 13, 2015
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

Yesterday was busy, on many levels, juggling many things. I’m holding the progress made at the Conference close, and not letting it get destroyed.

Got some reading and writing done last night; got some writing done this morning, and finished the mask for the ball, along with the first coat of fixative. Will do the inside tonight. Polish on hands and feet tomorrow, and I’m all set.

The short story is almost written in my head, so getting it on paper this weekend should be lots of fun. For some reason, I’m finding it easier to write short pieces in my head first and then practically “dictate them to myself”.

Also threw out some questions on FB & Twitter to my followers – I’m going to do a fun holiday download piece and asked what they wanted – mystery? Comedy? Fantasy? Romance? Mix? Old characters? New characters? The answers were surprising and fun, and give me lots with which to run. And run I will.

Instead of the usual, wait until the last minute, I’m going to build this piece slowly, starting next week (with the new moon). That will give me time to edit, revise, format, and have a truly fun gift for my readers.

Which advice have I used? You’ll have to read the piece to find out! ;)

Also doing some work on revising the Goals Dreams Resolution site and my various websites.

Have a great day!

TOMORROW is the Mermaid Masquerade Ball. Will I see YOU there? Will we recognize each other if we’re both there? Stay tuned! ;)

Devon

Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and damp

I had contradictory information about the retrogrades, but I think I’ve got it sorted. Saturn is direct, thank goodness, because I don’t think I can take any more life lessons for awhile. Venus is still retrograde, which explains several things!

So the Cape Cod Writers Conference ran the past few days. It was the happiest I’ve been in months. What a great conference!

I spent most of Friday trying to get the wine tasting ball rolling for our next NMLC special event. I’m supposed to be “helping”, but it’s pretty much all been dumped into my lap. Therefore, I am assigning tasks and expecting them done. Because I CANNOT and WILL NOT do an entire event on my own. Been there, done that, not doing it again.

Raced to the conference in the evening, got situated, caught up with some people. Marge Piercy was the keynote speaker. I love that she won’t compromise her beliefs for fear of “annoying” potential readers. Everyone is told to be so careful and apolitical on social media — no, we have to stand for what we believe in it, work for it, and actually make change! So, I totally admire that about her. Her keynote was rich, almost too rich. There were so many sections, without transition, that one or two sections would have given us plenty to think about, and also given us a foundation to change our lives. Five sections was a little much. I felt like I missed a lot I could have otherwise absorbed and benefitted from, because I was trying to keep up.

Sat with poet Charles Coe, whom I adore, both as a poet and person. We had a good time. And, because I was going to the prose reading instead of the poetry reading, he recited the poem he planned to open with, just for me. What an honor, especially to hear something so beautiful.

After, there were readings. I had a friend reading in the prose section, which was run by another friend, so that’s where I ducked in. This year’s batch of readings were very, very good, and everyone had the chance to comment on them. It was a good evening.

Several of us repaired to the bar after, for a couple of drinks and a good chat. I was the only woman in the group (not planned), and we all had very different backgrounds, so it was an interesting and long-ranging conversation. It was also interesting that the men wanted harsher criticism. I think you can offer constructive criticism without being hurtful in a personal way.

We were there until after midnight, and, on my way home, I stopped at Covell’s beach to do my homework for the settings class.

Saturday morning, I was up early. I wanted to bring something in to the fantasy workshop. However, INITIATE is in a delicate stage where only someone with whom I’ve built trust can help, and the THREE ROADS is structured tightly in a way that didn’t just let me pull a couple of pages out of context.

So I sat down and wrote something new. It was like the piece was forming for me out of the mist. A pair of sisters is central, as is the idea that art is a threat to the throne. Wrote four pages, rushing a couple of scenes a bit because I wanted to get the twist into the page count. But it felt right — that tuning fork of resonance hit the note. So I printed up copies, and there we were.

Worked the registration desk from 10-1, talking to people, helping them find things, etc. At 1, I had the fantasy workshop, with Carol Buggé, who, in addition to being one of my favorite people in the world, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the luck to study with. The class was great — a small, but lively group, supportive and interested in each other without getting cloying. People distributed their pieces, we learned a lot, and it was over far too quickly.

Chantelle Osman was also there — I took her wonderful screenwriting class last year, and was sorry I couldn’t take her class this year, but at least we got to chat here and there for a few minutes over the course of the weekend.

I ran into Indira Ganesan at the cabana window, and we sat together “just being” (quiet) for awhile. She’s a good one to be with in companionable silence.

She had a 3 PM appointment, and I stayed outside in the beautiful weather a little longer to write, then went in a bought books by both Indira and Claire Cook, the night’s keynote. Claire arrived, and got settled, and then I went in to Indira’s setting class — about a dozen people. We rearranged the room to be more of a circle, and wrote in class, then each read our scenes. There was a lot of good writing in the class, and I was also delighted that my scene, which was both painful and funny, hit home and got a lot of laughs.

That made me realize how much confidence I’ve lost in my work over the past few months, and made me start thinking about where I need to go from here, and what decisions to make.

Immediately over to the ballroom to hear Claire Cook — what a nice person, and what a terrific inspiration. She’s learned how to make the best of everything, and how to enjoy the journey. I can learn a lot from her.

If I ever reach the point where I think I can’t learn from others, I hope someone wallops me upside the head with a cast iron skillet!

Didn’t go to the banquet, because I had a previous commitment. Took care of that, then settled in to do my homework for class, commenting on my fellow students’ work for the fantasy class. I like the fact, this year, so many people are working on things that are different, not just mimicking already published work.

Up early on Sunday, baked cinnamon rolls, tried to relax before going in. We got some sad news about a family member with a long-term illness — hospice is in there now, so it’s a matter of days. That will change many things for a lot of us.

Worked the registration desk again in the morning. I’m happy that the entire Board stepped up for the conference and was a presence, much more so than last year. It makes a huge difference in the energy and morale of the conference.

Carol’s workshop was, of course, fabulous, and the four pages I’d written in an hour went over very well. The feedback was VERY helpful (which isn’t always the case in workshops), and people are eager to read more. So, more there will be. The piece goes into the queue.

Helped clean up post-conference, loaded all the easels into the car for Mermaid Ball, and the big posters for the conference — they wouldn’t fit in Sara’s car and people just stood around like the office was in Puerto Rico instead of Osterville. Puh-leeze. Stick ’em in my car and I’ll get ’em back.

Collapsed at home — no voice, absolutely exhausted. Read a bit and early to bed.

Sad news on Monday morning — my mom’s best friend died unexpectedly over the weekend. They were both in their 90s, and had been best friends since they were 14. It’s tough on my mom. I wish I could do more for her.

Had to go on vocal rest on Monday because of the voice problems. Could feel the bleeding, and it was painful. Carrying around a pad to write everything down, trying not to act like a bad Central Park Mime. Did some work on the wine event, dropped off a note for Mezza Luna to get the ball rolling on our NYU Alumni Event, dropped off the easels at NMLC, put gas in the car, came home and rested.

Let the fantasy piece I worked on in the workshop percolate. I know my anchoring protagonists and have a working title. I know how I’d like to expand the pages I wrote for class into a legitimate opening chapter.

Watched the last two episodes of season 1 of LINE OF DUTY on Monday night. It’s so well done, and, ultimately, so depressing!

Wanted to sleep in on Tuesday, but the cats weren’t having it. Managed to get the posters back to the writers’ center office before the rain started, then came back home to write and sleep.

It amazes me how much I’ve lost in the past months, especially when it comes to my work. The best way I can put it as that my writing has been out of tune, and when the writing isn’t working, nothing else works, either. I know WHY and I have a good idea of WHAT changes need to be made, but the details of the changes are something else altogether. The weekend gave me confidence and perspective, and it’s the first time I’ve been happy in months. Decisions need to be made from there.

Rested a lot, trying to get my feet back under me for a busy week at work, and then the Mermaid Ball. Worked on the world-building for the writing, enriching the environment, because that’s such a huge part of the characters and their conflicts — and their secrets.

Violet, my oldest and smallest cat, was sick yesterday afternoon, so I went out in the monsoon to get her organic baby food. That seems to have settled her stomach, and she’s much better today, thank goodness. I think it was a reaction to the flea and tick medicine.

Started watching the first season of PIE IN THE SKY, which is charming. Thoroughly enjoying it. Lots of gentle wit in the dialogue, yet it’s still a cop show. The structure is amazing.

Also enjoying Claire Cook’s NEVER TOO LATE, her non-fiction book on reinvention. To cheer up my mom during this difficult time, I’ve gotten her a stack of Claire Cook’s novels and a stack of Barbara Delinsky’s novels. There’s a warmth to both of their writing that’s necessary right now.

Mezza Luna is excited to have the NYU Alumni do their meet-and-greet., so that will get sorted, and there’s more work to do on the wine event.

This morning, the family in Maine said our relative wasn’t supposed to last the night, but sat up and asked for breakfast this morning! ;)

Some writing this morning (back on track with my first 1K of the day), then a long day at work. It’s too hard to have the conference and the Ball so close together. If it’s scheduled that way again next year, I’ll have to only do one. Today is always my lowest energy day of the month anyway (being the day before the dark moon), but now, all I REALLY want to do is sleep.

Also working on the questions for the GOALS, DREAMS AND RESOLUTIONS site for 2016. I want to post them in September, or, latest, October, so that we all have time to think about them. I think I might tweak the site a bit, too, with more suggestions and resources instead of everyone just working so much alone.

I need to update my websites, too.

I had a great idea for a short story, a comic science fiction that anyone who knows me well will get a good laugh out of! I’m figuring 1500 words or less, comic, with the last beat being a little disturbing. Got several of the characters and the setting, so it should flow pretty quickly.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying summer, and that this week is even better!

Devon

Fri. Aug. 7, 2015: Full Conference Mode

Friday, August 07, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It smells like autumn in the mornings now. It warms up to summer during the day, but you can really feel the wheel of the year turning in the early mornings. About 3 AM – since that’s the time I’ve been waking up lately! ;)

Yesterday was busy – worked on conference stuff, casino night stuff, Mermaid Ball stuff, wine tasting evening stuff, photography contest stuff, cataloging stuff.

Left early to get down to the Conference Center and get my books into the bookstore before the 6 PM deadline. Even though I got there a little after 4:30, it was already closed and locked. So, I got my hands on the key (no, I did NOT pick the lock, that would have been rude, hush, you!) and left them with the paperwork.

Went to the cocktail reception, saw some old friends, made some new ones, introduced people to each other, welcomed newcomers to the conference, tried to get people chatting to each other and integrated. In other words, taking my job seriously as a Board member. Faculty Introductions went fine, we then repaired to the bar. To my regular table, where, when people came in looking lost and unsure, we waved them over, “Pull up a chair! Come join us!”

Because inclusion, along with inspiration, is what this conference is all about.

My friend and fellow (wonderful) author Arlene Kay made a comment that was 10% joke, 90% concern that triggered an epiphany about my unhappiness with both my writing quality and my writing productivity over the past few months.

I’ve unfortunately moved from steady, daily productive work (not that every day’s quality is good, but at least there’s something to work on) to more binge writing because of the extra hours I’m putting in between all the events that are booked for August. So I get frustrated because I’m writing less on some of the frantic days and frantic and pushing too hard to binge write on days I set aside for writing. It’s making things choppy instead of letting it flow. Even when something is one fire and I write a lot in a given day, I’m still happier and it’s better quality when I do a lower word count (1 to 2K/day), but a steady one.

Knowing I have to make changes this coming autumn on many fronts, that was an important realization. Thank you, Arlene! I can always count on her to cut through the crap!

In full conference mode for the next three days – tonight is our first keynote speaker, and then there are readings. And then, of course, the bar. Tomorrow, I’m working the desk in the morning, sitting in on one friend’s class in the afternoon, doing whatever needs to be done in the later afternoon, sitting in on a new friend’s class. The banquet is tomorrow night, but I have another commitment on another front in the evening, but will probably head back to the conference later. Sunday, I’m working the desk, sitting in on a class, and then helping load everything out.

In and around all that will be writing for said classes on which I’m sitting in, talking to people, making sure everyone feels happy and included and inspired, and listening. A lot, a lot, of LISTENING.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Thurs. Aug. 6, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference, NYU Alumni, National Marine Life Center

Thursday, August 06, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

On two hours’ sleep, not doing so well today.

Yesterday was steady busy at work, a decent day, just busy. I had a Development Committee meeting (don’t ask).

Home, I agreed to help coordinate an event for NMLC that will happen in early October, which means we go right into trench mode two days after the Mermaid Ball next week.

I also agreed to help organize some events for NYU Alum – had great email conversations with the Boston coordinators.

Was woken up two hours after I fell asleep and couldn’t get back to sleep, which totally sucks. Dozed a bit around 4:30, but up by 5:30, dressed, ready to go.

Dealing with quotes on party rentals, updating notes, and, most importantly, for the next four days, the Writers Conference, here in Hyannis. I will be pulling long damn days from now until Columbus Day weekend.

With other stresses pushing down on me, and deadlines.

Don’t get me wrong – this weekend will be awesome, although I know I’ll have to deal with some people for whom I feel, shall we say, less than affection. But those I genuinely like and respect outnumber those I don’t, and I will focus on them.

And I get to sit in on a class taught by one of my favorite people on Saturday and Sunday!

There will be STORIES next week!

Have a great one.

Devon

Published in: on August 6, 2015 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. Aug. 5, 2015: Gearing Up for Major Events

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Direct (as of Monday)
Sunny and pleasant

We had a few HOT days, but we got through them. I worked Saturday, then came home to celebrate Lammas.

Sunday, ran errands and went grocery shopping. Wrote a bit, but wasn’t happy about it .

Finished both SMOKE AND SHADOWS and SMOKE AND ASHES. Liked them both.

Monday, up and out the door first thing to go to Plymouth to get the car serviced. That was done, and less complicated than I feared. Then, drove all the way out to Eastham to pick up a few things for a Mermaid Ball package, and back running some other errands, including looking at fabric for my Mermaid Ball gown. There is only one fabric store in the area that goes beyond quilting fabrics — and everything it had was so awful that: A) I wouldn’t put it next to my skin and B) the patterns were so ugly, I wouldn’t wear it.

Again, everything I wrote was useless, and will have to be thrown out.

Tuesday, headed over to the Marine Life Center to drop off various auction item packages, then went on a hunt for my Mermaid Ball dress. Found it at the first stop — a lovely, heather blue satin, very simple, but nice. Then headed to Wareham Crossing to run some errands at Target, Lowe’s, etc., and also found the perfect shoes at DSW (sparkly heels that make my legs look awesome), and the makings of my mask.

I started work on the mask yesterday — I have one “trial” and then, when part of it works on the trial mask, I do it on the real one.

Bad writing weekend — NOTHING I wrote can be kept, which is a shame. Yes, I needed to write it to get where I need to go, but with my deadlines and the conference, the ball, and casino night all coming up, I’m frantic.

Today will be a long day, but, hopefully a good one. It will be long, busy week, but hopefully a productive one.

Devon

Published in: on August 5, 2015 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Sat. Aug. 1, 2015: Lammas & Creative Energy

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Day After Full/Blue Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Lammas
Sunny and warm

Blessed Lammas to all!

Yesterday was busy at work, but good, which is always nice.

I can’t believe the Cape Cod Writers’ Conference is THIS WEEK! And the Mermaid Ball is NEXT WEEK!!! And Casino Night is on Aug. 28!!!!!!

And then August will be over. And I’ll be ready for a straitjacket! ;)

Overslept this morning and then ran errands before work – it’s my Saturday “on.”

Finished Tanya Huff’s SMOKE AND SHADOWS – set behind the scenes on a Vancouver television set. Very well done and lots of fun. Started SMOKE AND MIRRORS – equally well done, although if the wardrobe crew had behaved the way their wardrobe assistant does, she would have been fired in a heartbeat! ;) Even on some of the more dysfunctional sets, one couldn’t get away with her behavior, and wardrobe, in general, is much more the heartbeat of the set than on this particular production. Maybe it’s different on the West Coast and/or in Vancouver than out here in the East! ;)

I’m also chomping at the bit to finish the contemporary play and get back to work on both BALTHAZAAR and the fantasy novel on which I wrote so much earlier in the week. I will have to change the title of the latter – I LOVE the title, it’s one of the better ones I came up with – but, as the book develops, it’s no longer relevant. And the title needs to be relevant.

Have a great weekend – I’m sure I will have stories, next week, from the Writers’ Conference!

Devon

Fri. July 31, 2015: End of Another Month; Gearing up for Busy August

Friday, January 31, 2015
Full Moon/Blue Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday turned out to be a good day – productive in the morning. I took the Naproxin later than usual, but, unfortunately, once it kicked in, my shoulder felt better, but my brain stopped working. But at least I got a lot done in the morning.

No tango last night, so I got to go home and relax a bit, and work on stuff for the Mermaid Ball. Watched the rest of the first season of SPORTS NIGHT. Such good writing.

Made an appointment to get the car serviced on Monday in Plymouth – nervous about that; afraid it will need a lot of work.

I have a lot to say on several fronts, but I’m saving it for fiction right now.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, even though August 1 is one of the most important days in my personal calendar; but I have plans early on and in the evening. Weather permitting, there will be yard work in my weekend, a trip to the dump, and, no matter what the weather, lots of writing.

August is going to be a nutty month, with three huge events on which I’m working, each for a different organization. I’m looking forward to it, but I will definitely need some time off in September.

And my deadlines must be met before.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on July 31, 2015 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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