Thurs. March 26, 2015: Buried in Busy

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and milder

Yesterday was busy. Worked on ComCat practice with my colleague, caught up on the stuff that accumulated on my desk on my days away, followed up on an order for another colleague, got some things into the newspaper calendar, etc. Did some work for tomorrow’s World Theatre Day.

My student wants to keep working, even though she knows there’s a lot of work still to be done on the manuscript. She’s willing to stick to it and learn, which is the best possible situation. Another student wants me to edit a college essay for him in a couple of weeks.

Left at 5 to head for Buzzards Bay. Things were STILL mess around the Bourne Rotary — don’t even get me started. They’re going to be working for A WEEK.

But I got to the meeting (late). We had decent attendance. We celebrated Kathy’s ten years as Executive Director, the slate of officers was nominated and voted in (I’m Clerk again). We bounced around some ideas for programs and fundraising. One of the new board members understands 100% the need for a press kit (which, last year, died a terrible death because everyone just stared at me like I was nuts). So that’s back on the table, thank goodness, and I have someone in my corner to help me get it done. We tossed around some fun ideas, and I need to write up proposals while it’s still fresh.

Home, dinner, watched PRIMARY COLORS. I remember loving it when it first came out, and it left me a little disappointed this time around. The pace felt off. I like the cast a lot, but the pace wasn’t quite there for me.

I have to finish my insurance renewal paperwork and get some other paperwork done this morning, which I will send off certified mail on my way to my morning meeting. I have a Pub Serv meeting this morning in Hyannis, then it’s back to the library, then dash home, eat, and Tango tonight.

Looking forward to some quality time with the microfilm machine this weekend. The weather people are saying more snow on Saturday. ;(.

Devon

Published in: on March 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. March 25, 2015: Coming Off a Good Writing Weekend

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and a little warmer

Busy times. I went flat out on Friday, working on ComCat practice in the morning, and writing press releases and PSAs all afternoon. I had a raging migraine by the time I got home.

Saturday was my Saturday “off” from work. I tried to get the headache under control, and I worked on contest entries. There was some good stuff in there.

On Sunday, I finished the student manuscript that’s taken me so long. It’s a relief to get it off my desk, and now the student needs to understand and apply the edits.

I didn’t mean to, but got caught up in the serial novel, what used to be THE POWER OF WORDS. I wrote a new opening for the first book, INSPIRED INCUBATION (yeah, that title’s got to go, even though it’s better than the original title). I like it better.

The advice is to start as far in to the story as possible. I actually backed up a couple of scenes from where I started the book originally, BUT (and the “but” is important), even though it’s chronologically earlier, it’s a more active point in the story, on both physical and emotional levels. That lets me slide into the material that was the original opening (with some cuts) in a way that makes more sense.

I started working on the rewrites for what used to be the second section of the first book, but is now the second book, COLLABORATIVE BIRTH. I still kind of like that title — it fits what the book is about. There are some pretty extensive rewrites, as there were in the first book, but it pulls together much better.

All of Monday was about COLLABORATIVE BIRTH, except for a quick trip to send off the student’s manuscript, turn down a job that was flattering, but I knew in my gut was not the right choice for me, and take the recycling to the dump. Yes, I lead a glamorous life! ;)

I finished the section set on Cape Cod, which only needed some minor tweaking, and then started the section set in Prague — which needed to be ripped apart and rebuilt.

Yesterday, I did a little bit of work on COLLABORATIVE BIRTH, then turned on the Dukane (which is the microfilm machine), and started on the Pinkerton Detective reels borrowed from the University of Indiana for the historical play. Wow. Just wow.

It took me six hours to read one reel, and I got 16 pages’ worth of notes out of it. Some are relevant to the historical play. Some will go into the novel that will cover more than the play possibly could.

It’s also awesome to have the machine at home, and be able to take my time with it, instead of worrying that I’ll overrun whatever time I booked in someone else’s facility.

I also finished rewriting the Prague section of the book, which means I’ve done a serious 165 pages of revisions in the past few days.

I also baked for Thursday’s Pub Serve meeting. Feeding representatives from all the libraries, so it better be good! ;)

Watched NOW YOU SEE ME last night. I’ve watched it probably a dozen times before, and I always find something new to enjoy. It’s a clever, well-done, smart movie with a great cast. I don’t think people really knew what to do with it when it first came out, but I love it.

I’m in at work a little early today, because I have to leave at 5 instead of 6 to head to the National Marine Life Center for their annual meeting. A gasoline truck crashed at the Bourne Rotary this morning, dumping 12,000 gallons into the road, some of which got into the canal. Hopefully, the Bourne Bridge will be accessible by evening. Right now it’s closed for the clean-up. Hopefully, the ecological impact can be somewhat contained.

Tomorrow is PubServe in the morning, then I’m at work in the afternoon, and have Tango at night. Friday and Saturday are at work; probably busy.

The snow packs are shrinking. I’d like to start cleaning up the yard. Although there are big, melted patches out there, there are still snow banks that prevent me from getting from the house to the sections of the yard that need cleaning up.

But the four o’clocks are starting to come up inside. I have to do some more planting early next week, or nothing will come up until Christmas.

Have a great week!

Devon

Friday, March 20, 2015: Spring? Not Really!

Friday, March 20, 2015
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold
Spring Equinox

Yesterday was flat out busy. I got some work done at home in the early, early morning. Then, a colleague picked me up and we went to the training session on the new Commonwealth Catalog. By the time we got back to the library, a colleague was sick and needed to go home, a volunteer wasn’t coming in, and a third wasn’t coming in because she was sick. Fortunately, the person covering for me in the morning could stay with me through the afternoon.

Afternoon was busy, although I managed to get some serials checked in and some other work done.

Tango was tons of fun last night. We had a milonga, and I wound up dancing for most of the two hours. Came home and soaked my feet! But it was fun, and I learned a lot. The experienced dancers are very kind and gracious with those of us just learning, and make sure that we feel included! I learned tango waltz steps and the quicker milonga steps, too. It was fun, but I was sore by the end!

I HAVE to get press done today. I’m so backed up from everything that went awry this week, if it doesn’t get done and out, we’re screwed.

We worked on Comcat practice most of the morning, and now I have to get everything else done, because I’m not back in the office until Wednesday.

This weekend and into early next week, I have to finish a student manuscript, work in the microfilm research, do another pass on the radio play (so I can register it and send it off soon), work on some other writing, and start my taxes. And work on the books I’m judging in the contest.

Busy much? Grateful to have such a full life, but this week has been a bit much. Also, because another storm is coming in, I have a mother of a headache.

Stay well and safe in the storm. Yeah, right, it’s spring. Not.

Devon

Published in: on March 20, 2015 at 10:14 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. March 19, 2015: Getting on the Busy . . .

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busier than planned. Morning was caught up with Reference Committee meeting for the library (libraries send representatives). We were trained on Novelist, and discussed some other issues, including what does and doesn’t work with the Commonwealth ebook Catalog (heavy emphasis on what’s not working).

After the meeting, I got back to the library to find out that my boss and colleague had a medical emergency and wasn’t in that day. I ran out to the store to get the food for upcoming programs, and then stepped in to run the Masterpiece Book and Film Group that met, which was fun (I participate in it anyway, so it was just leading the discussion, rather than simply talking).

By the time that was done, it was time to set up for the evening program. One of the other staff members, who works mornings, came back to help with that program. We got all set up, and the program was terrific. Dr. Jack Creilson, of the American Meteorological Society, was our speaker. He talked about weather patterns on Cape Cod, the winter we had, historic winters, and the effects of climate change. It was a GREAT program. I’m so grateful he was able to come and talk to us. Originally, the program was scheduled for the day after the blizzard.

I checked email on a couple of work-related things, and answered some questions for the Writers Center and landed some stuff for the swag bags for the conference, and answered some stuff for NMLC. But that was pretty much it.

Came home, exhausted, around 7:30. Ate, got a little bit of work done at home, fell into bed early. After baking cupcakes for the milonga tonight.

Woke up this morning when a neighbor put his dog out in the cold and the poor thing howled. Not sure which neighbor, or I would say something.

Iris threw up her breakfast in the bed, so I had laundry in before 7 AM.

Doing some work on a student manuscript early this morning, before a work colleague picks me up for a training session on the new Commonwealth Catalog that goes live this week. We’re short staffed at the office this afternoon, and I have to set up the milonga, then run home, bolt some food, change, pick up the cupcakes, and go back to the milonga.

Tomorrow, I hope I can catch up on stuff in the actual office. We’re supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow night. At first, they were saying, “not much”. This morning, they’re saying 3-5 inches, but it could be double. Nooooooo! Enough already.

Hope you’re having a great week.

Can I just say that Saturn Retrograde sucks?

Devon

Wed. March 18, 2015: Such a Busy Week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Hilaria Day
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. It was Pie for Pi Day at the library on Saturday, and lots of people stopped by for pie. We also had a storyteller, so it was a busy day, and there was putting together and getting out information on some upcoming events.

Ran errands on Saturday morning, before going to work, because the weather on Sunday was supposed to be vile. By the time I got to work, it felt like I’d put in a full day.

The weather degenerated during the day, so we had a nice fire in the fireplace and settled in for the afternoon and evening.

William Goldman’s THE SEASON is a mean-spirited book. I realize Broadway in the late 1960s is, in many ways, different from Broadway today. But he’s approaching theatre as a film person, with a film person’s perspective on each position (even though he had two shows on Broadway). Even though he did a lot of interviews, interviewing someone about a show is very different than being backstage on that show, and he can’t capture the true experience of Broadway without being backstage night after night on a production. I think he’s an amazing novelist and screenwriter, and I’ve learned a lot about the politics of screenwriting from him, but I LIVED Broadway for many years, and he missed the magic of it completely. I feel sorry for him, because, even on its most frustrating day, Broadway is exhilerating, in a way that I’ve certainly never experienced in film or television.

Starting to work my way through the books for the contest. The quality has a much wider range this year than in previous years. What’s good is very good, and what’s bad is pretty darn awful. Some of these books — did anyone even run it through spell check? I’ve noticed that the books weakest in story and character are also the ones with the worst proofreading/copyediting. The good ones, though — it’ll be hard to narrow them down. I’m reading everything, and then I’ll go back and re-read my top choices. It will come down to liveliness and elegance of the writing and the immediacy of the characters in the end.

Finished watching WEST WING. I’d forgotten how much I loved that show. Re=watching it, I also learned a lot about how structure supports good characters and story telling.

Planted sweet peas and four o’clocks — inside, of course.

Monday, up early. Got work done, and then got in the car to head north of Boston. The traffic, was, of course, a nightmare. But we reached Georgetown right on time. The microfiche machine was much larger (and heavier) than I expected. The microfilm machine was pretty much was I thought it would be. Loaded them into the car. Went to Ipswich for lunch — 5 Corners Deli — very good. What a lively town!

Very different vibe north of Boston than south of it.

I laughed when I saw how close to Maine we were — 40 miles from Kittery!

I had a bad feeling about 93 coming back down, so we went 128 instead. Good call, because 93 was a mess. 128 wasn’t bad, although it took a little longer. Less stressful, though.

I’d gripped the steering wheel so tightly that my tendons hurt. When I relaxed, I wondered why the steering wheel was wet and sticky. Turns out I’d cut my fingers moving the microfiche machine, hadn’t realized it, and had gripped the steering wheel so tightly it was the “pressure on the wound.” Every try getting blood off a steering wheel? Not fun.

However, when we got back, the table I’d put aside for the microfiche reader wasn’t strong enough to hold the machine’s weight. So I had to go out and buy another table. Which meant I had to rearrange the office. Which meant I was also moving some stuff around in the back bedroom. Which didn’t work, and meant I had to put everything back together.

And then I looked up and it was 7:30, and I was supposed to go to a panel a friend was doing from 6-8 PM. I didn’t make it, and I felt badly about it.

But the machines are all set up properly in the office.

Watched SAVING MR. BANKS, which I found disappointing. Emma Thompson was very good. Bradley Whitford was underused, and I thought his character was underwritten. I was irritated by the tone of the piece. A wonderful biography of P.L. Travers came out a few years ago (it’s in a box somewhere). She was definitely protective of her work (with good reason), but I certainly didn’t get, from the biography, that she was the miserable, neurotic, mean-spirited mess that this script portrays. Of course, it is a movie by Disney about a Disney project. The tone is bound to be: Disney — good; anyone who questions Disney – crazy and wrong.

Yesterday, I was up at 5:30 AM and out the door by 7. Marine Life Center Board Meeting at 8. Went pretty well. Our new board members are lively and enthusiastic, they have good ideas. I need to get some writing done for them this week.

Since I was on that side of the bridge anyway, I went to Target. The weather was dreadful, the blender I want is twice what I want to pay for it, but I found some other stuff I needed. I was going to go to Lowe’s, too, but it was pouring and the thought of getting soaked going to and from the car was no attractive, so I came home.

Unloaded, worked on the contest, worked on student manuscripts.

Put together some talking points for the other contest, ran off the minutes, headed to Cotuit Library for the Cape Cod Writers Center meetings — executive committee first, then Board. We got a lot done. I need to get some material up on Google Docs for them later this week.

We were sitting in the meeting room, with big windows, and, suddenly, the storm comes exploding around us. As one of the members said, it was like the end of the world.

Missing WEST WING a lot. We watched seven years’ worth since the blizzard in January.

This was not a good writing weekend, and that frustrates me. I look at my notes for the next radio play and for the screenplay that has to get done and feel completely disconnected. I look at the notes for the next novel, and am not happy with what I’ve written so far. I still have the thread of the hour-long TV pilot, but I have to finish my research on-site in Maine for that in May. I’m looking forward to diving into the microfilm research for the historical play. But my writing is not at the pace or the level it needs to be at right now, and I’m unhappy about it. I haven’t quite figured out how to fix it yet, but I have to do it soon.

I have a Reference Committee meeting this morning in Hyannis, then play catch-up at the library, and then we have a program on the weather this evening. Long day. I’ve got a training session tomorrow (also in Hyannis, also for the library), then afternoon at the library, then milonga in the evening. Friday, I’m just at the library all day — I’m hoping that will be a good catch-up day.

Hope you all had a good St. Patrick’s Day — so nice NOT to be in New York, dealing with the drunks. And hope you’re having a great week.

Today is Hilaria Day, so — laugh a lot!

Devon

Friday, March 13, 2015: This N That

Friday, March 13, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busy, trying to get posters done and all kinds of other stuff out.

We had a wonderful genealogy program in the afternoon – small turnout, but wow. Hopefully, it will be scheduled again for a larger audience.

Rushed home, bolted some food, changed for tango. Good lesson. I’m always so sore by the end of the class – I need to get in better shape! Also found a lovely gift from a friend.

Up early, paid bills, wrote thank yous, did paperwork. I’ve sent off the deposit for the hotel for vacation.

Already have a migraine.

Will be a busy day here today, but that’s okay.

But that’s okay, because it’s Friday – which means Osterville Fish Market on the way home!

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” and there’s a program. I also have to run some errands, because, yippy skippy, there’s more snow coming in on Sunday.

Frustrating, since today is the first day my street has been driveable since late January.

Monday, I’m headed north of Boston to pick up the microfilm and microfiche machines. Tuesday, I have two board meetings, and will have to do serious work on the microfilm reels.

Around all of that, I have to work on a screenplay, on Balthazaar, and get the next radio play percolating. And do some promotion for KILLER QUINTET. AND finish a review of a friend’s book (which I loved) and a student manuscript.

I better get busy.

Reading William Goldman’s THE SEASON about a season on Broadway in the late 1960s. I don’t know if the industry’s changed that much, or if, as an outsider writing about it, his experience was so different than mine living it, but his experience and the conclusions he draws are very different than my experience living Broadway. I guess that’s always the difference between watching and doing, and something I have to be aware of when I research my books on subjects about which I know nothing.

Got an idea for a play that won’t work, and another idea for a play that might work if I get cooperation from an organization that is highly unlikely to cooperate.

Off to the trenches.

Devon

Thurs. March 12, 2015: Post-Birthday Adjustments

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and mild
Will

Busy few days, but good ones. I had Saturday off, so we ran errands. Those included going to Country Gardens and buying a primrose, a hyacinth, and a new aloe plant. And a yoga frog.

The books arrived for judging. I’m judging three categories: mystery, sci-fi/fantasy, and novella. Most of them came in print, but nearly a dozen of them, this year, came as digital files. I sorted them, double checked them against the submission sheet, and have questions on the whereabouts of a few. I got started on them.

Here are a few tips: If your title runs 17 words, it’s a blurb, not a title. They serve very different functions. No one’s going to remember an overly long title, and you won’t be able to hold their attention long enough to care.

Get a professional to edit, or, at the very least, proofread. When there are a dozen typos in the first five pages and the sentence structure makes no sense, you’re putting up a barrier between the reader and the story.

I realize we all have pieces we’d like to do “in our vision” based on someone else’s world, but if you’re going to do that, at least make it original enough so it doesn’t scream “fan fiction”. Changing names is not enough.

Start at the beginning of what’s interesting to the reader, not where you had to write your way in. You needed to write it. Your readers don’t need it. Learn about structure, so that when you deviate, it’s clear that it’s a choice that strengthens your work, not just ignorance or laziness.

Read William Goldman’s WHICH LIE DID I TELL? and ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE, both of as much or more value than attending film school. He talks about the realities of screenwriting. Although the industry is changing, many of the caveats are the same. And a well-written screenplay still requires the same structure and commitment. Film is a visual medium. Yes, you drive it with dialogue and character, but the visuals are important. That doesn’t mean a ton of description and camera angles — you don’t do the director’s and DP’s jobs for them. But it means thinking in terms of action as well as dialogue.

The more I work across formats, the more I realize the importance of understanding the format in which you’re telling your story. Prose is vitally different from stage play which is different from screenplay which is different from hour-long TV format which is different from half hour. Each has different needs. If you can’t meet those needs as a writer, you don’t get hired (or at least hired often).

Had lunch with a friend at the Dolphin in Barnstable on Monday, which was a lot of fun. We always have plenty to talk about. Ran into someone with whom I work at the library.

Finished watching Season 6 of WEST WING and started SEASON 7. Watched AUSTENLAND, which was a lot of fun, and PAGE EIGHT, the first Johnny Worricker (David Hare wrote and directed the whole trilogy), which I think is my favorite of the three.

Did the second and third drafts of the radio play, LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES. I still have to cut a page and a half. My instinct is to cut it out of the dance lesson scene and lose a beat where he talks about church. It worked the way I had the scene before, but with the beats I cut from the scene, I feel it weighs the scene down.

It goes off to readers today and sits for two weeks, then I do another pass, register it with the Guild, and send it off. It’s in BBC format, which takes up more room on the page than any of the US formats, hence the extra cuts, since the place to which I’m sending has strict page requirements.

I have to finish a student manuscript this weekend and tackle both the screenplay and BALTHAZAAR. I pick up the microfilm and microfiche machines on Monday, and then I’ll spend a good portion of next week with the Pinkerton case file films, researching the history play.

I have two Board meetings next week, library meetings, and a training session. It will be busy.

The snow is shrinking, which is better than melting into a big puddle of goop. The skylights on the deck are clear, and the street is almost down to asphalt. The town finally sent a truck to do some scraping on the ice ruts yesterday.

Yesterday was my birthday. I had the day off and was very self-indulgent, although the cats woke me early. I read a lot and ate too much. We had lunch at Siena, one of my favorite places, and then steak dinner. And, of course, chocolate mousse birthday cake. I’m in a much better place this year than I was last year, and I’m grateful. But there’s still a lot to do.

I have to get back into library mode for the rest of the week. Lots to do, and programs to promote, and the like.

It’s been warm enough to sit on the deck and read in the afternoons, which I love. We’re supposed to get another cold snap next week, but then, I hope we’re done with winter.

Devon

Fri. March 6, 2015: Recovering from Yet Another Foot of Snow

Friday, March 6, 2015
Last Day of Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Went home Wednesday night, tired, but looking forward to more WEST WING and dreading the snow.

Woke up to quite a bit of snow on Thursday morning. The library was closed, thank goodness, and Tango cancelled. It snowed all day long. We got another foot.

On the one hand, we’re all so sick of snow, we could hardly stand it.

On the positive side, it meant I could work on the book. I did 178 pages of serious revisions, and finished the first book of the serial, behind-the-scenes novel. 366 pages total on this draft, with Book 1 now being called INSPIRED INCUBATION (yeah, that title will probably be changed).

Overnight, Wednesday into Thursday, I’d come up with ideas for the revision, and I was grateful to be able to implement them. I hadn’t planned on completing the draft of the whole book, but I was on a roll. I kept saying, “Oh, just one more chapter” and then I was out of chapters.

The arcs are stronger, the anecdotes funnier. There are times when the POV is close, and times when it’s a little farther, where it feels as though the camera is filming the process. I tried to stay away from head-hopping, just, in some scenes, keep the focus tighter, and some broader. Hopefully, it works.

Since the novels in this series don’t really stand alone, I want to finish them and then submit them all at once. I still have to position myself and get a few more credits under my belt so that I can fulfill my vision of these books. Revising them along traditional lines won’t work, nor would letting a lot of time elapse in between books. They need to be read as a piece. Basically, it’s one long novel, broken down into manageable bits. Few publishers would be willing to take the risk. When all the novels are prepped, we’ll see where I am and what my options are.

More WEST WING Season 6 last night.

Up early this morning. Shoveled. The library is opening at noon, which gives everyone a chance to dig out and catch breaths. The snow piles at the end of my driveway are as tall as I am, and the level of the snow tunnels along the driveway are chest high.

I need to update my tracking sheets for the serial novel, to make sure I’m all caught up. I’m going to let this draft rest, and work on both the radio play LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES this weekend and BALTHAZAAR.

I hope to get some work done on the microfilm reels this coming week. I have both Saturday and Sunday off, so I want to write a lot, and then research Monday and run errands, get myself together for the week on Tuesday.

Hope you are all safe and warm.

If I could figure out a way to melt the snow and store it, I wouldn’t have to use the garden hose all summer.

The ebooks I’m judging for the Indie Next Generation Contest are starting to come in. The print copies will arrive when the UPS truck can actually drive up my street, poor things. I’m also supposed to get an Amazon delivery today, but I’d be very surprised if they could get through.

Devon

Published in: on March 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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Wed. March 4, 2015: And We Keep Getting Pounded By The Weather (So I Write)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Busy weekend. Saturday was my Saturday “on” at work — had to go in there early for a meeting, we had a program, it was busy.

Ran as many errands as possible on Saturday, since another storm was expected on Sunday. Came back home, exhausted.

Sunday, ran a couple of final errands, and then got to work on revisions for INSPIRED INVENTION, the renamed first book of the behind-the-scenes series I’ve been working on sporadically for the past few years.

Also made beef stroganoff for dinner — played with the recipe and liked it.

It snowed again, Sunday night, about three more inches. I was up early Monday shoveling. Then, I attended a reception at the Barnstable Law Library for the 200th anniversary of signing legislation for the law libraries. It was lovely. I met the new head librarian, and re-acquainted myself with the other librarian. People don’t realize how important these law libraries are — not just for lawyers and paralegals doing research on cases, but for regular people to research aspects of the law, and for writers to do background work for pieces. They’re vital to our information accessibility.

Home and more revisions on INSPIRED INVENTION. Managed to get 145 pages total, revised.

Tuesday, made it as far as the post office. The side roads still suck. Came back, worked on revisions, and read through the 500+ pages I have for the series, which has to be broken down into manageable, book-length parts.

Revised up to page 188 of INSPIRED INVENTION. I’m also working on the tracking sheets, to keep things consistent. These chapters, that talk about casting discussion and the casting shuffles, are going to be the most difficult to track. This series is not for people who only like four characters in their stories — this has a huge ensemble and it’s a show-within-a-show, so the actors are also themselves and the character they play. These books break a lot of rules, and I have to stick to my guns about my vision for them. Which is why I haven’t yet submitted them — not just because I believe they need more work to be as entertaining as possible, but because it’s going to take a unique publisher to position them, and I need to make sure I’m positioned in a way to call the shots. There’s no rush; it will happen when it’s the right time.

Watching WEST WING episodes through all of this. Finished Season 5 and started Season 6.

More snow last night — when I went to bed, I was depressed, because about three more inches had fallen. But it turned to rain overnight, so the driveway and the path are fine. Some of the snowbanks in the yard are shrinking a bit.

Some more work on INSPIRED INVENTION. I need to get back to the second draft of the radio play, too, because once that’s done, I’ll have to let it sit for a few weeks, so I can make the necessary cuts with an unjaded eye.

Long day today, and then I have to bake tonight for tomorrow morning’s meeting. Read some books over the weekend — some about the business, getting me back into the right frame of reference for INSPIRED INVENTION, and others, novels, were just disappointing. Not even worth mentioning. I’ve had a run of reading disappointing novels lately; hope that shifts soon. I want to read something very good.

Off to work and back into programming head rather than writing head for a few days. I’m quite weather-weary, and it’s hard to stay optimistic when we keep getting pounded by storms. I keep telling myself that it could be a lot worse, and at least it started in late January, rather than last October. Be grateful for the good portions, right? But everyone is tired, and nerves are frayed.

Hope you’re having a great week.

Devon

Published in: on March 4, 2015 at 10:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend

Friday, February 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a fantastic meeting with the historical society yesterday about our next display. When we’re ready to reveal it, I’ll post a picture here. We all got very excited about it.

Spent far too much time hunting down contact information from magazine mastheads that should be readily available. Getting a little tired of these “media groups” that aren’t publishing actual articles and stories in their magazines, just glorified ads, and the only people you can contact are those in the advertising department.

When it started snowing again in the afternoon, I was just ready to put my head down on the desk and cry. I usually LIKE snow, but this is just too much. Mostly because I have to drive around in it, and the roads continue to be total crap. Even Old Stage Road, which is usually in good shape, has been under par.

Worked on a new order list, did a lot of research, started pondering a full marketing plan.

Raced home, quick dinner, and then back for Tango. It was a really good lesson. It’s an entirely different way of not just listening to music, but to your partner’s body. Talk about having to deal with trust issues! ;) But it was fun. I was worried that what we worked on was too complicated, especially since I’d missed a lesson, but I picked it up. Whether or not I can retain it is something else.

Had a snack when I came home, watched a few episodes of WEST WING Season 5, fell into bed.

Had weird dreams. Even though the dreams were realistic, they must be representational, because the literal terms don’t make sense in my life.

My vacation dates for May are confirmed – my first vacation since Costume Imp and I went to Prague. Something to which to look forward.

The Pinkerton Case Files arrived – from Indiana! Totally looking forward to spending the research time on them.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library – and I have to come in early for a meeting. Then, I have to go and pick up my mother’s medication, and then head to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the opening for an exhibit in which a friend is featured.

Sunday will be about errands and writing; Monday, there’s a reception in the morning at the Law Library, and the rest of the day is about writing. Tuesday – not sure if I can snag a machine to read the case files, or if I’ll just stay home and write. Wednesday it all starts up again.

I’d like to finish the second draft of LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES so it can sit for a couple of weeks before I do the third draft, register it with WGA, and send it off.

I have also got to get some organizing done in the house. Things are stacked up all over the place; I need to purge a bunch of stuff, and put a bunch of other stuff away.

I can’t believe we’re nearly in March!

Devon

Thurs. February 26, 2015: KILLER QUINTET released and First Draft of radio play done!

med_KillerQuintet

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

KILLER QUINTET released in digital format. You can purchase it from Amber Quill Press here.

Most of last weekend, I was immersed in the writing cave. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to finally have a Saturday off.

I finished the first draft of the first of the radio plays by Tuesday morning. I’d almost finished it on Monday night, but wrote myself out and just had no more creativity left. So, Tuesday morning, I attacked it and finished it. What a great feeling!

I started typing it that afternoon – which basically means starting the second draft. Looking at the difference in formatting between the various U.S. Radio Formats and BBC Radio Format, they didn’t look very different – but when I was actually keying it in, it makes a huge difference. This company is very specific about wanting to hit the number of pages in BBC Radio Format, and I’m worried that LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES will run long. So be it; then I’ll cut in the third draft. It’s got at least those two drafts to get through before I send it off. Plus, I have to register it with WGA East.

Did some percolating on the second radio play (found a title for that, a quote out of PERICLES, of all things). Did some percolation on the hour-long pilot, too.

More snow over the weekend, which meant more shoveling, and more snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, which meant I was out there at 6:15 AM shoveling again. Of course, not a plow in sight. Eight inches of rutted ice on the street, so even though our driveway and path is fine, the road gets more treacherous every day. Why does Bureaucracy have to wait until somebody dies before they take anything seriously? The Town Council has certainly failed the residents, sending a message that’s loud and clear – “You don’t matter, only the businesses do.” Well, bubbelah, if we can’t get out of our houses to patronize the businesses, they’re fucked, too. Unacceptable. I also don’t like the fact that none of the Councilors are actually out there on the streets finding out what needs to be done. Or is it only in my precinct? One thing about Rye, for all its faults – the city councilors and the mayor were out and about every single time there was a problem, finding out what needed to be done, and then finding solutions. If I find out my precinct representative is wintering in Florida while we’re all up here struggling, I’m going to be really upset.

Luau
Yesterday, we cancelled the author who was scheduled to speak, because the roads were so bad, no one could come. We had our Luau – which was fun, we decorated the place to beat the band. We didn’t have a lot of people – again, it’s so hard to get from the residential roads onto the main roads, people are afraid to go out. But the ones we had really liked it. And we had fun.

Came home, exhausted. Watching WEST WING SEASON 5.

Today is busy, and I’ve got Tango tonight. It was supposed to snow again last night and it didn’t, but it looks like it will start again any minute.

On a happier note, a friend sent me horse racing books – she’s cleaning out. So pleased!

I’m suffering from some serious snow fatigue. And it’s snowing again.

Devon

Published in: on February 26, 2015 at 11:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Fri. Feb. 20, 2015: Last Day Before the (Stormy) Weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and very cold

My renewed driver’s license arrived yesterday – took just over a week to get it, after renewing online. Pretty slick! ;)

Work was busy. Good busy, but busy. Did a lot of research on a couple of things, and some press and programming stuff, and hopped on and off the desk as needed.

Home for a snack and to change, and then to tango. This was “milonga night”, so we newcomers could learn the milonga etiquette. It’s more for the experienced dancers than beginners, although two experienced dancers kindly took me on the floor to practice. Had an interesting conversation with many people, including another newcomer, a few people who’ve been coming on and off for years, the sister of someone I knew well from the library, a friend who works at another library, and a professional musician who’s part of a group and we might brainstorm on a collaboration.

Home, a couple of episodes of WEST WING, a late dinner.

Last night gave me some great ideas for the radio play.

Up early this morning; some work on the radio play and the hour-long pilot. I have to get out some press releases today and do a submission, in and around the work here at the library. We’re planning some really fun stuff for next week, in and around the book sale – author Kevin Parham will be here next Wednesday, talking about his book THE VINEYARD WE KNEW (weather-permitting, of course). And we’re doing something fun all day Wednesday, too – which I’ll reveal closer to the date! ;)

I’m looking forward to having a whole weekend off. I’ll be writing – and buying cat food before the next storm hits – but it’ll be nice to have the whole weekend on MY schedule. We’re supposed to get more snow on Saturday night into Sunday, rain all day Sunday, hard freeze on Monday, and more snow Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hopefully, that will mean a solid weekend of reading, writing, research, and student work.

Stay safe and warm!

Devon

Published in: on February 20, 2015 at 9:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Feb. 19, 2015: Trudging On

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, but lots of laughter. I had to register the pilot with WGA before sending it out (because I’m not an idiot, and I make sure I have all the protections in place before I submit).

Got several press releases done for the library, and a new poster, and a few other programming things. Did some planning for events, and brainstorming.

Tired when I got home – the snow is just wearying.

A bunch of research books came in, but still not the microfiche.

Watched the third Worricker – SALTING THE BATTLEFIELD – which was interesting, and a few WEST WING episodes.

Percolated the screenplay for a bit.

More snow overnight. I had to go out early to go grocery shopping – the roads were awful. My road is so bad I need to start braking a good 500 yards before the intersection, and forget more than one car on the road at a time. Even Old Stage Road was a total mess this morning.

My debit card was declined at Stop N Shop, which was weird, because I know I have money in the account. When I called the credit union, turns out someone’s been trying to make charges in Minnesota and Texas, so they shut down the card. We got the fraud paperwork done, and they’re issuing me a new card. I’m grateful the credit union caught it and is fixing it without a fuss (the big banks I’ve dealt with always acted like I was the one trying to con them out of something, instead of being the one whose account was violated).

Busy day at work, and then tango tonight. I’m looking forward to a hopefully quiet weekend. Got some stuff out for the writers center that needed to be done today for feedback, so I can send out the information tomorrow.

Didn’t get in the writing time I needed this morning, which has thrown off my rhythm for the day. Was too busy navigating unplowed roads.

Tomorrow should be busy, too, and then I’ll have the first Saturday off in, I think, about five weeks. I want to get in cat food, write, and sleep. Because, y’know, there’s another storm expected on Saturday night.

Devon

Published in: on February 19, 2015 at 11:16 am  Comments (1)  
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