Fri. Dec. 9, 2016: On to the Next Project

Friday, December 9, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday, errands took longer than they should have. But “Courting the Lioness” went out, and now it’s back to JUST A DROP and the short stories. Plus, I want to get a good chunk of MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC drafted, since it happens just before Christmas, and I always write better about a holiday in the midst of said holiday.

And fighting with the health insurance company, who is staffed by people with the intellectual and emotional intelligence that would make amoeba cringe.

On the up side, decorating continues. I love decorating our trees because each ornament has a story, and decorating keeps me connected to the stories and the joyful memories.

Which is important, as the President Elect continues to put together one of the most corrupt and incompetent cabinets in this nation’s history, while continuing his conflict of interest. He has now been given permission to use the entire country as his own personal piggy bank and will bankrupt us all.

Tomorrow is the drawing for Spectacle of Trees. I hope the organizations made lots of money. There will be 17 very happy people tomorrow night, whose names were drawn to win the trees and the gifts under them. And 17 grateful organizations.

We’re supposed to get snow on Sunday and Monday. Hopefully that means I can finish the writing, get the decorations finished, and most of the baking done! Not to mention CARDS. I love cards, but some times it’s hard to get my act together to sit down and write them.

Especially when my head is full of characters and stories demanding attention.

Devon

Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016: The Lioness of Brittany — out!

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

The new play is done, registered, and out the door. It’s called “Courting the Lioness” and its central character is Jeanne de Clisson, a pirate in 14th Century France. That went off to 365 Women in NYC this morning. Phew!

I’ve been fighting with that last scene, between Jeanne and Walter, for a couple of weeks, now, to get the balance of tension and conflict with the other elements I need in it.

It’s a one-act — runs just under an hour — but padding it to two hours would be just that — padding. I’ve presented what I wanted in an hour. So be it.

Now, the attention goes to JUST A DROP, and to the story that’s due at the end of the month.

Still trying to get the tree and house decorated, the baking and the cards done.

All I really want to do is curl up with a good book. I’m loving Vicki Delany’s Constable Molly Smith books.

Other than what’s deadlined this month, I’m not submitting anything else until after the new year. It’s not fair to stack stuff on editor and agent desks this close to the holiday. I’ll keep working on my revisions and polishes, et al, on projects outside of the two still due this month, but I’m going to hold them until after the new year.

Back to the page, the tree, the card, and the kitchen!

Devon

Published in: on December 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dec. 7, 2016: Stories from Spectacle

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Waxing Moon
Anniversary of Pearl Harbor
Rain/sleet/cold

Somber day, and important to remember what happened. Also important that many people within the US suffered from the consequences of things like internment camps, and that must not happen again.

On a happier note, yesterday was my shift at Spectacle of Trees. It was so much fun. It was wonderful to be reminded that there still is kindness in the world, in spite of Paul Lyin’ Ryan and what he plans to do to destroy people who aren’t rich.

The trees make people happy, and ticket money goes to the great causes of each tree, which is a wonderful thing. That, and the fact that they’re beautiful. 100% of each ticket purchase goes to the organization in whose box it is placed. When so many organizations talk about their donations “buy this ornament for $5 and $1 goes to charity” or “buy this magazine subscription for $10 and $1 goes to charity”, when you buy a $10 ticket and the whole $10 goes to the charity, that’s something to celebrate.

There was a couple from Texas there, a tiny town outside Austin. They loved the trees; this was their first time on Cape. They didn’t want to actually win a tree, but they bought tickets in order to make a donation.

Other people put a ticket into every single box, along with multiple tickets for “their” organization.

One of the things we politely ask is that people don’t touch anything (too easy for something to tip over or to walk away). That’s always tough with little kids. One year, they had a train running on a track around the bottom of the tree, and that was nearly impossible to keep kids off.

Anyway, this year, a guy came up to the library tree. Adult, who should know better. He grabbed a beautiful edition of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that was with the tree and started flipping through it. I asked him to please not touch anything. He then spun me a line about that he was “only checking to see if it was signed by the author.” Now, it’s a gorgeous edition, but it’s pretty obvious it is NOT one that was printed in Dickens’ lifetime. Ergo, he could not have signed it.

My response, with a perfectly straight face, was, “We didn’t have time to set up a séance this year and get him to sign it.”

“Oh, maybe next year, then?” He asked hopefully.

People. I tell you. Either he really was that out there, or he was trying to play me so he could walk off with the book. He struck me as someone who’s used to getting away with things because he’s good looking and knows how to charm.

That’s where working in theatre comes in handy–I’m used to recognizing actors. Not as celebrities (if I haven’t worked with someone, I don’t recognized them), but I can recognize when someone’s wearing a false face, at least a good portion of the time.

There was another woman who was so fascinated with the library tree that she photographed every ornament separately.

A little old Irish lady who’s a big Kennedy clan fan came in (the event is in the JFK Museum), and we had a long chat about the Kennedys.

A couple of people came through who only put tickets in the boxes that had the most “stuff” that went along with the tree.

One woman wanted information about one of the organizations. I couldn’t remember exactly what she needed, so I hunted down the information and gave it to her. She then asked what organization I was with, and when I told her, put eight additional tickets in our box!

Anyway, the shift was very interesting — lots of material for future tales.

Grabbed a pizza on the way home. Didn’t get a chance to work on the play, so must do the final polish on it so it can go out, and then turn my attention back to JUST A DROP. Also, have to finish our own trees here. And write cards! I’m behind on the cards. And the baking!

Lots to do, but the writing can’t suffer for it. I have another play to finish and a short story to write by the end of the year.

I’m also researching some towns in New Brunswick as the setting for a possible project.

I hope it clears up in the next few days. The front is raked and ready for winter, but I still have to do the sides, the terrace, and the meadow.

Devon

Published in: on December 7, 2016 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. Dec. 5, 2016: Resting the Foot & Writing the Play

Monday, December 5, 2016
Waxing Moon
Rainy/Snowy/cold

I had to rest my foot most of the weekend. I paid for the vanity of four-inch heels on Thursday night. But it was worth it.

I’m binge-reading Vicky Delany’s Constable Molly Smith books and really like them. So well written! They’re set in British Columbia, and I like the sense of place I get from them, as much as I enjoy the characters.

Playing with ideas, seeing what works and doesn’t. Finishing the play about the 14th Century pirate, and trying to find a better title.

Reading PISTOLS AND PETTICOATS, a research book that I decided I needed to own, and therefore ordered, I got an idea for a pilot script/series that I will then adapt to books. I wrote the first thirteen pages, and like it a lot. If I can keep the novels nice and lean, but inspired by a lot of the real detail, I think I’ll have something worthwhile.

Did some work on the TAPESTRY revisions. It needs a big re-envisioning, not just tweaking, before it’s ready to go out. I hope I can get it done by mid-January.

The focus right now, however, needs to be on the two plays that need to go out, and on the short story that’s due at the end of the month. I have another invitation to submit to an anthology, but that’s not due for a few months. It’s up my alley, so I’m percolating ideas.

I should be decorating, but I don’t feel like it. I ‘m lacking holiday spirit this year. But it may well be the last holiday in this house, so I want to make the most of it. I’m just so weary, and I have so little hope for the future in this country.

The weather is lousy today. I want to focus on writing and decorating.

Tomorrow is my shift at Spectacle of Trees, representing the Marine Life Center. So I’ll write in the morning, and spend the afternoon there. Saturday is the big drawing, Sunday is the clean-up, Monday the ticket count.

Somewhere in all of this, I need to write holiday cards and do my baking!

Somehow, it will all get done. Although I’d rather stay in bed until about 2020. Although I doubt we’ll have a country left by then.

On a positive, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been successfully blocked through Native lands, at least for the moment. I hope this isn’t a ploy to get everyone to clear out and then they start up again. At least there’s one victory to give us hope.

Back to the page. Tomorrow morning, I have to run errands before my shift at Spectacle starts, and I have to write. Wednesday morning, the first play has to go out.

Tonight is St. Nicholas night — put out your shoe!

Onward!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2016 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. Dec. 2, 2016: Redefining How I Want to Handle My Writing Career

Friday, December 2, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday, I got some errands done and then started on the rewrite of TAPESTRY, which needs to be done in mid-January. I had forgotten how much fun that book is; definitely quirky and breaks formula a lot. Some of it I can make work; some will have to be rewritten, because there are logistical problems. I’ve tweaked the frame of the piece a bit, which I think works better, but kept the action in the mid-1990s.

I’m also starting a binge read of the books by Vicki Delany. I read her Constable Molly Smith novel NEGATIVE IMAGE and really liked it, so I’ve ordered everything else I can find by her from the library. And then, yes, I’ll be BUYING her work, because I believe in supporting living authors with my dollars. Dead ones, not so much. It’s not my job to support their descendants. Living authors — we all need to support each other to make sure we can continue writing.

It took awhile to get gussied up for the Spectacle of Trees party, but it was worth it. Used every Broadway wardrobe trick in the book on myself, and it worked. The party was a lot of fun, the wreaths went for good sums of money. I helped clean up, got home, and got right into my jammies. We needed something sparkly and joyful after the month we’ve lived through. And I got the sweetest thank you from the event organizers this morning for all my extra help.

The last of the books I need to finish the play arrived, so I can dig into that either later today or tomorrow. I want the play (with a new title, I hope), out the door by next Tuesday. Then, the attention goes back to JUST A DROP, and also to the short story I have to submit for inclusion in the anthology.

Yet my mind is churning with creative ideas; I want to keep WIPs on track, so that there’s material ready to launch as other pieces fall into place, especially where the various series are concerned; I want to revise, polish, and get out some of the projects I put aside out of frustration, but which have potential.

It’s about finding the right people to partner with, not just trying to change material to please them. If I’m going to do the latter, it’ll be a for-hire contract with a big paycheck up front; if it’s going to be MY vision, then I need to be true to it and not compromise on elements that dilute the work. The work needs to be as strong and unique as possible, and that’s what will enchant the reader.

If all I do is try to conform to formula, it will dilute my unique, quirky characters and stories, go against the themes I’m trying to explore, and not engage the readers I want to engage. Readers who only enjoy tight formulas and want the comfort of knowing the ending when they start the book aren’t the readers who will respond to the themes, characters, and situations I write anyway. Rather than trying to please them, it’s far more important to please myself (within the context of always improving my craft).

Every book or story I write needs to be better than the previous one, on a craft level and every other level. If I don’t like the other books an agent represents, it’s probably not the right agent for me; same thing with a publisher.

I’ve been truly lucky in most of my editors with my published work. They’ve understood what I was trying to achieve and guided me to make the material stronger without losing what makes it unique. I am so grateful to my editors.

I want the security of a traditional publisher with a recognizable name, only that security doesn’t exist any more. I watch the authors I like reading best dropped from their Big Five contracts, and authors whose work I don’t like (because they’re bland, lack craft, and, in some cases, the protagonists are bigoted, racist fools, and not because the author is trying to communicate that’s a negative) being heavily promoted.

The books I enjoy are, for the most part, coming out of small presses and, in some cases, independently published. Indie publishing is always hit and miss, because so many of those books are so published because the author lacks the craft to land an agent or a traditional contract. Yet, more and more ARE well-crafted, and have more interesting characters and situations and a broader context than that coming out of traditional houses.

Small presses are great because they are small, and they’re willing to take chances on the unusual. If you find the right small press with which to click, everything is possible. Of course, because they are small, even if you, as an individual, do your part, if every other author in the stable isn’t holding up their end, the publisher can burn out.

There’s a difference between incorporating notes/feedback into a manuscript to make it the best it can be, and changing it to fit someone else’s formula. If all they like and all they can sell is X, and I’d rather do Y, then I have to have enough savvy to realize that when they want it to conform to X, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s to make it better. It’s to make it fit. I don’t have to fit, if I’m willing to put in the thought, time, and effort, to do something else. It means not signing with them, but so what? The advances have gone down considerably in most cases, and few traditional houses are putting effort into promoting anything that doesn’t have to do with manipulating the so-called “best seller ” lists.

It wasn’t until I worked in a library that I realized just how much manipulation goes into those lists, and how little has to do with the actual worth of a book.

All of that has to be taken into consideration as I make my decisions in the coming months. I also want to redefine how I promote my work. I don’t WANT to do the same thing everyone else does — there’s a saturation of desperate promotion that works for very few. Instead, I want to craft campaigns that are as unique and quirky as the material I’m promoting.

The next couple of years should be interesting, craft-and-career-wise.

In the meantime — I have a play to finish!

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on December 2, 2016 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. Dec. 1, 2016: Keeping on Top of Writing Deadlines

Thursday, December 01, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Most of this week is spent at the JFK Museum for Spectacle of Trees. As usual, it’s a lot of fun, and a great community-building experience. The party is tonight – I’m wearing the Calvin Klein dress I bought earlier this week.

Writing-wise, there are now four novels out on submission, so I’m getting caught up on that. I have to finish the last scene of the 14th century pirate play, do another pass, and that goes out next week. I’d hoped to get it out this week, but that’s not happening. It’s not due until the end of the month, so I’m fine.

Then, I immediately switch back to the play JUST A DROP, to finish that, and get it out by the end of the month.

I’m juggling MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC and will shortly add THE FIX-IT GIRL to the WIP queue. I have to get back to SONGBOUND SISTERS, but I’m not sure when. I’ve misplaced the notes, and I’d been pretty specific about where I wanted to go with it, so I don’t want to start over.

I’m working on the short story for the anthology that’s due at the end of the month. I’m worried it’s going to be too dark for the collection, but I won’t know until I’m further in to it.

Anything that doesn’t go out on submission by December 12 can’t go out until the new year, (except for the pieces with the December 31st deadline). I think I’m in decent shape for all of it.

It’s good to be so deep in the writing, but skipping National Novel Writing Month was the correct choice. Quality was key for November – if I couldn’t focus on the quality, no matter how long it took, rather than a set word count each day, I would be up the creek, no paddle.

There’s no point In submitting something that’s not ready for submission.

I still managed 1K or more almost every day, so I’m happy with that, but some projects I’d hoped to be further along on fell by the wayside due to contracted projects. I will pick those back up as soon as the plays and the short story go out.

FIX-IT GIRL only needs another 100 pages or so to be a complete draft, and then I can figure out how I want to change it and if I want to go even more noir with it. That’s my instinct.

The world may be falling apart, but at least I’m getting some creative work done. Eventually, I’ll figure out how to encompass the anger and despair at the country’s situation into art; right now, I need to focus on what pulls most strongly – and what has the earliest deadline!

If I don’t get a chance to check in tomorrow, have a great weekend!

Don’t forget, I’m doing the Get Your Jingle On Party on December 17th at 1 PM, over on Facebook. I’m giving away a signed set of HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the first two Jain Lazarus novels, to one lucky winner. I’ll also have a coupon for a holiday story digital download for anyone who comes to the event. It’s a Facebook Event, and I’ll post a link closer to the day.

Devon

Tues. Nov. 29, 2016: Figuring the Juggling

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
New Moon
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was busy. I wrote in the morning, and finished proofing TRACKING MEDUSA, getting it ready for re-release. It goes out today. Fingers crossed it lands with a good publisher soon.

I figured out where I went wrong on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so once MEDUSA is all set, I can get back to work on that. I cut the first 203 pages, because I figued out the story really starts on page 204. I need to work in flashback with Alec’s introduction, since he provides plenty of conflict with Justin, but, other than that, the story really starts much farther into it than I originally thought.

The afternoon was spent helping set up the Marine Life Center’s tree in Hyannis for Spectacle of Trees. I’m picking up a few things for it today, but we got a lot done on it.

I’m sorting through the last of the research, so I can finish this last scene on the play, then work on another pass and get it out the door by the end of the week. I still have to find a better title. The working title just doesn’t . . .work. I HAD a title, earlier this year, but I can’t remember it.

Better get going — I want to get some writing done this afternoon, and tonight is HobNob!

Devon

Published in: on November 29, 2016 at 10:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. Nov. 28, 2016: Writing Progress

Monday, November 28, 2016
Dark Moon
Sunny and cold

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Week.

I concentrated on letting the broken foot heal and on writing. The play about the 14th century pirate is nearly done and will go out at the end of the week. The proof of TRACKING MEDUSA will be done later today, and it will go out on resubmission tomorrow. Plus, I got some work done on a couple of other projects, including MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC.

I need to do a couple of tweaks to the end of CHOLERIC, and then another batch of queries go out on that, too. Although I think that series will be a challenge for any thing that smacks of corporate structure, since the series breaks so many rules. But I wrote the book (and am developing the series) that I want to read, but can’t find anywhere.

I’ve studied structure, and I have craft, although I intend to keep honing the craft my entire career. When I break rules now, it’s by choice. Unless I’m being paid a VERY high for-hire fee, I’m going to write what I want and stand by it. I’m going to run my career the way I want to, not the way others tell me I “should.”

Participated in the Not Bannon postcard avalanche. It may not do any good, but it’s better than doing nothing.

This week is the set-up for Spectacle of Trees in Hyannis. I’m going to help decorate this afternoon, and we’ll see what the next few days holds for that.

Once the current play is out, I go back to JUST A DROP, because that’s due in a few weeks, and still needs a lot of work.

Tomorrow starts a new moon. Wouldn’t it be nice if, during that time, the Electoral College showed some guts and integrity? They won’t, however. They’re cowards, just like everyone else who is supposed to stand up for us.

Onward.

Devon

Happy Thanksgiving

May you enjoy good food, good conversation, and great company with people you love — or at least like! 😉

Have a wonderful holiday.

Published in: on November 24, 2016 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Mon. Nov. 21, 2016: Writing Retreat

Monday, November 21, 2016
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

They say we’ll have some snow flurries today. So much for yard work! The weather was so damp and windy the past few days I didn’t get much done.

This will probably be the only time I blog this week, except for a holiday greeting on Thursday. This week is about the writing. I want to dive into it, and stay off most media for the bulk of the week. Check in just enough to make sure the Apocalypse hasn’t started early.

On top of everything else, I broke some bones in my foot on Saturday. The poor toe that keeps getting broken got it again; and also a bone lower down on the side of my foot. I didn’t even break it doing anything interesting. I was merely careless. Can’t even get a good story out of it!

Most of the weekend was spent working on the play about the 14th century female pirate. That’s been pulling at me harder than the 17th century poisoning ring in Italy. So I’m focusing on this one first, then going back to JUST A DROP. I hate the working title I have for this play, and have to come up with a better one. But I’m having fun with the characters, and letting them lead me, in the context, into some interesting places.

This will be only the fifth time in 44 years we have not gone to Maine for Thanksgiving: three years when I lived on the west coast, one year when I was working on Broadway and couldn’t get coverage (I usually had Thanksgiving off and worked Christmas), and this year. We’ve been too sick for too long to feel up to the trip, and with a broken right foot, I can’t go anyway.

Relieved that both DEATH OF A CHOLERIC and PLAYING THE ANGLES are out. I’m prepping TRACKING MEDUSA for resubmission.

I also want to get back to work on THE FIX-IT GIRL, finish the draft, then start revisions. I think it might need less work than some of my other pieces, although I have to decide how explicit I want the love scenes to be.

Mark December 17th on your calendar. I’m doing a holiday jingle party on Facebook with Angela Aarons and Tracy Kincaid. My slot is from 1 to 1:30 PM, EST. There will be giveaways and games, and all kinds of fun stuff.

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you!

Have a lovely holiday week, and I’ll check back in next week!

Devon

Fri. Nov. 18, 2016: Rolling the Writing Ball

Friday, Nov. 18, 2016
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cool

I forgot to post yesterday. I apologize. So this post combines both day’s thoughts.

Busy few days. Got some painting done, some yard work done (but I can’t stay ahead of the leaves).

DEATH OF A CHOLERIC was ready to go out on submission yesterday, but I had file compatibility problems, so it has to go out today instead. However, the completed revisions of PLAYING THE ANGLES went out, and will hopefully be picked up and re-issued soon. I’m going over TRACKING MEDUSA in a few days, and then that will go out the door in search of re-issue, too. HEART-SNATCHER is almost through revisions and will be ready to go on submission either before the end of the year, or just after the first of the year.

I love PLAYING THE ANGLES (what used to be ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT). It’s still one of my favorite books that I’ve written.

I think I’m going to do the Nina Bell books myself; they’re too quirky to make business sense for a traditional publisher. I need to do a new cover in the next few weeks for one of the shorts, and then work on the first Nina and the beginning of the second Nina so that I can release the first one in spring. It makes me laugh (uncomfortably) that a range of time I lived through could now be called “period”.

I found an older novel of mine, that needs about 100 more pages to complete, which I loved, but put away. It’s called THE FIX-IT GIRL, and is set in 1930s Hollywood. I read it yesterday. There’s a lot of good stuff there. I made notes on revisions, and I’ve got an idea of what to do with the last 100 pages. I think I can whip it into shape to be ready for submission by late winter or early spring.

I want to make sure I get through the backlog, and that everything out there is earning its keep!

Did some work on MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC, and also on the sci-fi/fantasy/mystery. and the contemporary play. I need to get back to the contemporary intrigue/romance, and the two historical plays.

I have to stop eating red meat for awhile again; that seems to be what’s been making me sick lately. That happened a few years ago — I had to stop eating red meat for about six months. I’ve eaten too much of it since our company came in September (they were big fans of red meat), and now I’m paying the price. So, back to a lighter diet.

I’ve got to finish up some research on Gilded Age Newport in the next few days and get those books back to the library. I think I need to focus on plot and character for this draft, and then layer in historical detail in the next. I’ve got a decent idea of time and place, but the research is interfering with the story at this point. I need to write the story to see what I have, and then see what needs to change for it to make sense within its historical context, and where my character chooses to break the social norms. That’s one of the themes of the series — that she chooses to break convention, and then has to pay the price.

I’m hoping it clears up a bit in the coming hours, so I can get more yard work done. I mowed the front day before yesterday. It looked good for about five minutes until it filled with leaves again. I still need to do no-man’s land, the terrace, and the meadow, and then start raking the front.

However, I need to take the yard waste and recycling in as soon as the weather clears. It rained off and on yesterday. It’s miserable trying to unload the car and get it all the bins and on the yard waste piles in bad weather. But the garage is about to pop.

I think I’m done painting until spring, unless I paint some of the shells I’ve collected, with an eye to the holidays.

Onward.

Devon

Mon. Nov. 14, 2016: No Holiday Weekend For Me! Writing!

Monday, November 14, 2016
Full Moon
Sunny and cold

I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. It sure wasn’t a holiday for me.

On Thursday, I started the fifth draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I finished it on Saturday. It’s still got a higher word count than I hoped, but under the absolute “no way in hell” count it had before.

But I’m happy with it. I wrote the book I wanted to read and couldn’t find.

I have a few sentences to tweak, but it’s ready for submission. I wrote the blurb, the query template, and the synopsis. I didn’t even mind writing the synopsis this time, and liked the outcome. I must still be feverish. 😉

But doing all that means I didn’t get JUST A DROP done. Actually, the play about the female pirate (due the same day as JUST A DROP) is pulling me fairly hard. So I might do that one first — I think that will be a one act, and JUST A DROP is definitely full length.

However, the opening of a new play — not connected to any of my deadlines — came to me and I hurried to scribble it down. The working title is IDEAS AND IDENTITY. While that reflect the theme of the play, I think I have to come up with a better title! The rest of the play is percolating — I hope I can keep up!

I got some yard work done — although not enough. Never enough, is it? I painted some more planters and two more tables. The problem with painting is that one thing looks great, and everything else looks dingy, so you keep going.

Most of the pots are put away; most of the outdoor furniture is oiled and put away. I have a few more bits and bobs to do this week, and one more shelf to paint, and then, other than mowing and raking, we are set for the winter.

I have every intention of enjoying the last holiday before the Apocalypse!

Today, I start the mowing, do some more painting, work on MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC (it takes place over Christmas, and I always write better about a season when I’m in it), work on the fantasy novel that came in a dream, and the plays. Plus, I have more edits to do on PLAYING THE ANGLES, so that, too can go out this week.

I made cranberry walnut bread first thing this morning. Hopefully, that’s a positive, productive omen for the coming week. And there’s an amazing full moon tonight. I intend to take advantage of it!

I went back to keeping the phone/social media/email, etc. turned off on Sunday, and it was great. I’d cheated the last few weeks. But the quiet time was wonderful. I want to hold a day of silence each week as long as I can. It lets me refill the creative well, and tap into creativity that gets tamped down by the constant noise.

Have a wonderful week.

Devon

Thurs. Nov. 10, 2016: Appropriate Venue, Plans, and Projects

Thursday, November 10, 2016
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

I’ve written a piece about my disgust at the election results, and how it could have been prevented. I’ve been predicting this outcome (due to smugness and apathy) for months and been laughed off as a Cassandra. It’s a case where I hate being proven right.

It’s not appropriate for the blog, and it’s one of the best pieces I’ve written in a long time, so it will find a home elsewhere, and I will concentrate here on writing and life. And now that MA has legalized marijuana, I can stay stoned while we die of radiation poisoning in the upcoming nuclear holocaust. Well, those of us who haven’t been slaughtered by the marauding bands of hate mongers who’ve been given permission to do whatever they want, or those of us dying because all the social services created to support us have been destroyed, or those of us left after being poisoned by the corporations who will have no restraints once the EPA is dismantled. Not that we’ll have any food left, because those same corporation will have killed all the bees. We are about to live a dystopian novel, but there will be no happy ending. Oh, but I said I wasn’t going to talk about it here, didn’t I?

On top of all this, I have the stomach flu, not fun, and slowing me down.

I think I’ll have the fourth draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC done today. I have some tweaking to do on the three final chapters. It’s still too damn long. I can either strip it of what makes it unique and interesting to me in order to fit genre, or I can accept the fact it goes beyond genre, target those markets,  and try to figure out the comparisons I need for the query letter, et al. The mystery element will appeal to those who like Philip R. Craig and Steven Axelrod and Ann Cleeves. The other elements — I have to figure out what they’re like. Although this book is different, because I wrote the book I wanted to read and it wasn’t out there.

I have to get back to the revisions on PLAYING THE ANGLES, too, because I want to send that out early next week. I hope to get a first draft of JUST A DROP done this weekend. It’s a long weekend, and if I’m not spending all of it in the yard, I have no excuses.

I’m juggling several other projects, too, right now: a contemporary action/romance, and two fantasy novels, one of which came to me in a dream. Literally, I dreamed the first few chapters, and I’ve rushed to write them down. I was going to have it happen from three different points of view, but one of the POVS bogs it down, so I’m whittling it back to the POVs of the main male and female protagonists.

Somewhere in all this, I have to get back to SONGBOUND SISTERS. And, as soon as JUST A DROP is finished, I have to work on the pirate play. I also have a radio play to send to Ireland and one to Paris. I want to get as much as possible off my desk before the holidays, plus I have other projects and opportunities to explore that will decide on how I spend the coming months and years. And where.

Tomorrow is Veterans’ Day, and I will do my share to honor veterans. I try to do that every day, in various ways.

Enjoy the long weekend. Hopefully, I can shake off the flu in the next few days.

Devon

Published in: on November 10, 2016 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment