New York Readers, please check in!

There’s been a steam explosion at 41st and Lexington Avenue, at the time of this writing — just after 7 PM EST.

I know that Grand Central Station’s been evacuated and the 4,5, & 6 trains have been re-routed.

Fortunately, I did not have to travel into Manhattan today — if you did, or if you are one of my readers in the vicinity (like Dru and Georgie) — please let me know you’re okay!

Devon

Published in: on July 18, 2007 at 6:04 pm  Comments (6)  

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good Names –– 35,757 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35 / 100
(35.0%)
Published in: on July 18, 2007 at 10:51 am  Comments Off on Wednesday, July 18, 2007  

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

My head’s going to explode.

Got two short articles done and out. Sent out more pitches. Got a response from a publication which would like some articles, so I have to think of something.

Did some research for upcoming articles.

Worked on an ebook that I hope to have available in the early fall. I even have a design for it – let’s hope I can pull it off.

Did some project planning, which feeds into the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions.

Logo design comes next.

Caught up on blogs and some other emails.

Rewrote the end of Chapter 10 of Tracking Medusa and I’m much happier with it. I still have to tweak it a bit to make it believable that that section of Candlemaker Row would be empty enough at night for the attack – even though there are times at night during Festival when it has a lull and it could happen. It just seems odd that it would. And, I got to put in a short comic relief scene after the attack.

So, they’re off to Edinburgh Castle and to dig around in the libraries in the next few chapters. I want to get them done this week. It’s such a fun piece.

Nice morning’s work on Good Names. They’re waiting for the police and trying to get the children off so as not to be exposed to the murder, but of course, the children want to know what’s going on!

Off to the theatre today. No idea if I have to stay for the show, or if I get to come home.

The basement is closed until mid-September for asbestos clean-up. Good thing I can do my laundry elsewhere. Ick. And does this mean our windows need to stay closed until then? Would be nice if they actually gave us some information.

Devon

Good Names –– 34,507 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
34 / 100
(34.0%)

Tracking Medusa – 25,901 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
25 / 90
(27.8%)
Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 7:09 am  Comments (2)  

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and coole
r

It was an intense few days. Most of it was great; some of it was sad. My grandmother and great-uncle are quite ill, and it’s painful to watch them fade. All we can do is as much as we can do.

Off to an early start last Thursday. I love to leave early in the morning, because the roads are clear, for the most part, and one can make good time. The drive all the way up to Kittery was pretty smooth. We stopped and did some shopping in the outlets – Lindt chocolates is a favorite. Then, it was on to Stonewall Kitchen, to stock up. Yes, their products are distributed down here, but I love shopping at the Company Store in York. Especially since they sell the anthology in which I’m included, Simple Pleasures of the Kitchen. While we were there, they invited us to a charity pancake breakfast on Saturday, which sounded terrific.

We wound up through into Ogonquit, where we stopped for lunch at The Egg &I. That has become one of my favorite restaurants, and I’m so excited to write an article about them. The food is great, the atmosphere is great, it’s just one of the best eating experiences in the northeast.

We headed back to the highway at Kennebunk and hopped off again at the exit to my grandmother’s. We stopped first at a few places and did a bit more shopping, and went over near Lake Sebago to Standish, where Korner Knitters is located. If you like knitting, it’s one of the best places – and they do mail order. Never fear, I’ll do an entry all about them for The Tactile Muse. Bought some yarn, and then headed to my grandmother’s.

She needed some errands run for her, so as soon as I got the car unpacked, I headed out again, list in hand. Ran the errands, got in some food, and we all had a lobster and clam dinner together. Her Parkinson’s is quite severe now, and she’s uncomfortable going out to eat. She’s always trying to get us to eat out and then she’ll eat by herself, but we’d rather get take-out and all be together.

The next morning, after breakfast, we left bright and early for Boothbay Harbor. What a lovely drive! That section of Maine is so gorgeous – I’ll have to post photos. We stopped at one of my favorite second hand bookshops up there – the bookshop connected to the library. It’s in a frame house in the center of town. They have all sorts of books inside, but outside, they have shelves of paperbacks for only ten cents, and you can just drop your dimes in a small box fastened to the door. It’s terrific. I wrote about the place for The Crafty Traveler a few years ago.

We walked around the town for a bit, including Sherman’s Bookstore, which is a wonderful, huge independent store that has a terrific selection of Maine-based authors as well as everything else. They also have an old-fashioned stationery department, which is one of my favorite things.

We had lunch at the place my friends own, The Townsend Avenue Coffee House and Wine Bar. Another place I’ve written about for The Crafty Traveler. It’s owned by two friends of mine who chucked their lives on Broadway a few years ago to live in Maine and run this place. It’s wonderful – the décor is lovely, the vibe is perfect, the food and drink are delicious. And it was great to visit with my friend and catch up. It made me realize how much I miss him! Turns out, they’ve started to do events with Sherman’s Books! How perfect.

Ran back to Sherman’s to pick up an anthology of Maine authors, called Harbor Journal, Volume I.

We got back in the car (even the parking attendants are nice in Boothbay Harbor) and started back. We stopped in Edgecombe, at the Edgecome Potters Galleries and saw some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen in my life. I bought two small pieces – I could have easily spent tens of thousands of dollars there. The work is stunning, and each piece is unique. The glazes are magnificent, and the kinetic sculptures – let’s just say that, once I have my house, the cats will have plenty on the walls they can watch!

Our next stop was at Winters Gone Farm in Wiscasset. It’s an alpaca farm. I was interested in going there because I know very little about Alpacas, although I do love the yarn. I fell in love. Those animals are so sweet, so funny, and have such personality. I mean, I fell in love with the breed. And the people who run the place, Skip and Judi Taylor are so warm and so friendly – no wonder the Alpacas are so happy there!

Came back, made dinner for my grandmother and great-uncle, and we had a visit. Unfortunately, they’d been too ill to come along on the day trip – anything more than twenty or thirty minutes is too much for them to handle at this point.

There’s an event in early September that I’d like to attend in Boothbay Harbor – I’m going to see if I can swing it. I’d also like to take a trip on one of the schooners, to see what that’s like. What can I say? I’m getting addicted to the whole sailing thing.

Saturday, we left early and headed back to Stonewall Kitchen in York for the charity pancake breakfast. It was only $3 per person, and you waddled out of there – pancakes or waffles heaped with fruit (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and whipped cream, coffee, and juice. We ended up sitting with people from Rye, NH! Which was funny. It was a great event, and the co-founders of Stonewall, who put it all together (and stood there making the waffles all morning) are just terrific.

We took a detour into New Hampshire for a couple of hours in order to take a look at a piece of property. The house and property are great – the location’s not what we want. Which is a shame. Also, having that much land, while it would be great, would mean a bit of a change in life direction from what we expected – not necessarily a bad thing, but it requires some thought and planning.

The rest of the ride home was arduous. So much traffic and so many accidents. We passed at least three fatalities. Cell phones MUST be banned in cars, because people behave like idiots when they drive and talk on the phone – or, I should say, even more like idiots. A $100 fine isn’t enough – suspend the license. Too many people are dying because of distracted drivers. Accidents caused by cell phone distractions have now surpassed DUIs. For crying out loud, most people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time – they certainly can’t drive and talk on the phone.

So tired when I got home, but boy, were the cats happy to see me. I’d bought them lobster-flavored treats in Boothbay Harbor, which they enjoy. Got right back to work on Confidential Job #1, some more pitches, and some more work on the various articles I’m juggling. Caught up on some correspondence. Tweaked the DE website to update the “news” a bit.

This week could be busy and distracting – I got a call from the theatre while I was in Maine – someone’s gotten injured, and I may have to go in and do shows this week as well as juggling the articles. I also have a couple of newsletters to work on, and a few press releases. It’s good to be busy, though, so I’m not (really) complaining.

They’ve found asbestos in this building (gee, there’s a surprise –not), so they’re sealing off the basement to do the removal. I’m looking forward to getting the heck out of this Dodge.

I’m going to work on articles, press releases, Craigslist ads, and newsletters today, and then I want to re-write the end of Chapter ten of Tracking Medusa and, hopefully, move on.

My desk will need to be excavated soon, too. Things are stacking up again so badly I can barely see the screen.

But I’d rather be busy.

A copy of Mark Chisnell’s novel The Delivery arrived – I’m looking forward to reading it.

Oh, and before I forget: “Pauvre Bob”, one of my horse racing stories, will be in the Full Circle anthology, available on August 1. Stay tuned for more information.

Devon

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, humid, cloudy

My article on the Alinghi victory in the America’s Cup is here.

My articles on some of the summer racing, including my questions about the use of cobra venom is here.

I’ve been terribly unproductive this morning, and I have to fix that before I leave for acupuncture. I have a lot that needs to get done before I head out, a lot that needs to get once I get back.

I’ll be offline for the next few days while I head to Maine. I’m purposely staying disconnected while I’m there. And I hope to get some work done.

Day work was okay yesterday. At least the theatre was air conditioned. They had a put-in for a new cast member, so things were a little busier than on a usual Tuesday.

I finished reading The Girl Next Door. It was fun, for the most part. The whole catching-the-stalker thing happened off-stage, told in a couple of paragraphs in narration, which didn’t work for me, especially since I never felt the protagonist was in any actual danger. And the whys of the stalking were never addressed. The actual stalker never had any scenes with anyone or any dialogue, so he didn’t seem real, and, as a reader, I neither believed in him nor cared. So that was unsatisfying. But the bulk of the book was lots of fun, and I liked the characters a lot.

Other than that, nothing interesting to say: working on the deadlined articles; pitching so I’ll have enough money coming in for the rest of the summer; working in the fiction here and there.

Annoyed by two potential clients, who have definitely been bumped off the list. One of them is “hiring” someone to review products and websites. They want a signed contract from me in order to consider me for the job – I think not. Plus, my “pay” is 70% of the final bid of any price of a product I review that I decide to sell on eBay or Amazon.

No.

The other place said they’d review my samples and credentials, but, in the meantime, urged me to BUY a publication that appears to be their guidelines that “was a great help to their contributors”. Uh, no. YOU pay ME. You want me to conform to guidelines, you send them to me. You don’t expect me to buy them.

Another no.

The sad thing is, there will be people dumb enough to agree to the conditions both these so-called “employers” set.

Got to get going. Clock’s ticking away, and I have deadlines to meet, before I head out.

I have a chance to work on what could be an exciting project, but I have to weigh the pros and cons. It could take awhile to get off the ground, and I’m not sure that “while” fits in with my schedule right now. But it would be fun, and very different from anything I currently do. I’ll think about it this weekend.

Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

Devon

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sticky

The Summer issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is up, and yours truly’s column, The Literary Athlete, continues with “Now What? Tips for Thorough and Sensible Revision, Without Losing Your Sanity”, here.

So here’s my idea for campaign finance reform – since the millions of dollars wasted on campaigns can be better spent on services like health care and rebuilding New Orleans:

Each candidate gets one million dollars, total, with which to campaign. That includes dinners and events thrown/financed by others “for” the candidate, etc. They have to do it all with a single million. If people particularly support a candidate, they are allowed to make a campaign contribution, in any amount allowed by law, to honor the candidate, to the nonprofit service organization of their choice (such as cancer funding, ASPCA, educational programs, programs that send city kids to camps, programs that send anyone who earns good grades to college, etc.).

Because if a candidate can’t be fiscally responsible enough and creative enough to run a campaign on one million dollars, why should we trust that person with our nation’s treasury?

The country should not be run by those with the biggest “war chests”, but those who demonstrate the most creativity and compassion.

Many thanks to all of you who’ve let me know how much you enjoy my essay in Perfectly Plum. It was fun and sometimes challenging to work on, and I’m glad the result is good.

Made it to Staples, got my supplies, and another crate. I’ll crate all the sailing tomes I’m accumulating, since I’ll be writing about the Cup up to and through the next Challenge – whenever they decide to decide when to hold it. I’ll clean out my Evanovich crate (put together during the work for the essay for Perfectly Plum) and put in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York and Chicago books for Good Names.

Found nine books for my grandmother – that should keep her busy for a few weeks!

Heard from the restaurant owner – so I could finish the article. I’ll give it a polish before I leave for the theatre this morning and send it off.

I’ve been thinking, and I’m interested in your responses. Those of you who are familiar with my popular character Nina Bell (Tapestry, Tumble, But Is She a Betting Man? and the forthcoming Finding Jake) – instead of writing all her stories chronologically, I’m thinking of jumping ahead to modern day (the early stories are set from 1994 on) and doing a piece with her now. Thoughts? Ideas? I’ll go back and do some of the stuff in between, but I was just thinking . . .

Mark Chisnell, who wrote the wonderful blog Tack by Tack during the Cup, mentioned to me that, in the past three months while covering the races, he’s written approximately a quarter of a million words – that’s the equivalent of two very large novels! I wish I was that productive! 😉 Seriously, he’s earned a bit of a rest before tackling his next novel.

I decided I needed a break from all the “have-to’s”, so I’m reading a fun book by Roberta Gayle called The Girl Next Door. Even though it deals with reality television (a form I loathe), it handles it in a clever and funny way (unlike several of the other books who jumped on the chick-lit/reality television bandwagon by simply copying what’s on the little box). I don’t know whether Gayle has actual production experience or simply did her research thoroughly, but she captures backstage pretty accurately – which is unusual. Most writers without production experience seem to take their backstage material from watching movies or television shows which portray it inaccurately, thereby continuing the incorrect stereotypes. Or, they spend a single day on a set somewhere, and everyone’s on good behaviour.

Having trouble concentrating on Good Names. I need to get some more article stuff done and out today and tomorrow. I’m already packed for the trip to Maine on Thursday, and I have to see what writing I’ll take with me. I have three or four ideas dancing around in my head – I want to find out if they’re all separate, or if I can link them somehow.

Off to the theatre. We’ve been lucky so far – it’s not been as hot as they warned. I’m just hoping the power stays on so that I can get back home tonight.

I hope none of you are wearing polyester or poly-blends in this weather. Stick to 100% cotton and/or linen – you’ll feel much better!

Devon

Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT (woo-hoo!)
Venus Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

Short story polished and out. Racing articles (horse and yacht) polished and out. Headache back – I think I need to go to the eye doctor and get my prescription changed.

I still have to muck through 25 pages of protocol for the NEXT America’s Cup Challenge. I skimmed it for the article – now I need to read it and understand it.

Tweaked the Fearless Ink website a bit to make the article markets list easier to read.

Finally put aside the dully written journal of a mediocre writer that I’ve attempted to read over the past few weeks. I’m not being paid to read it; I don’t enjoy reading it; so why bother?

Now I can get back to Hermione Lee’s excellent biography of Edith Wharton.

Speaking of paid to read, the material for Confidential Job #1 is a bit of uphill work this time around. I’m surprised – it seemed so promising at the beginning of it. But I’m having trouble getting through more than 50 pages at a time, and I have the deadline looming . . .

I have to rewrite the end of Chapter 10 of Tracking Medusa. I have it happen too quickly, and the action has too much impact on both characters to be simply glossed over. But I gave myself the night off last night. I’ll attack it all today.

Today’s agenda is to finish the restaurant article (I’ll contact the owner one last time – he doesn’t get back to me today, I’m not quoting him. I can’t blow the deadline because he “doesn’t have time” to respond to questions). I want to give a final polish to three short-short pieces and get them off, and then possibly get out a flash fiction submission – I think I’ve found a market for it, and it should take about ten minutes to prepare the submission, in spite of the hoops the publication wants contributors to jump through.

That’s one of the things I started doing: If the ad makes my eyes cross or gets on my last nerve, I skip it. Tell me what you want, where to send it, the word count, and the pay. And that’s it. Don’t have three pages of instructions. Because I can’t be bothered. There are plenty of other markets that pay more than you do who are concise, precise – and pay on time.

I have to go to Staples (I forgot on Saturday), put gas in the car, and also stop at the library to see if they have any Large Print mysteries on the sale shelves that I can take to my grandmother later this week. Yesterday wasn’t as beastly hot as they predicted, but who knows what today will bring?

Pretty soon the back-to-school supplies sales starts. And you know what that means! Packets of notebooks for pennies! I can hardly wait!

I also need to start another short story that’s due at the end of the month.

And I guess I should look at my contracts and see when those calendar pieces are due.

I’m writing some ads to put up on Craigslist – but I won’t post them until I get back from Maine next week. There’s no point in not being around to respond to responses, is there?

There seems to be a lack of common sense in our government regarding the wildfires and the flooding (gee, you think?). In areas where there’s flooding, use tanker trucks and flatbeds with large drums (not cute little rain barrels, but drums). Set them out, seal them as they fill, and send them to drought-stricken areas. You’d need several hundred trucks and drivers, and, eventually, special designs, but you’re creating jobs and helping mitigate floods – if the water’s going into drums, it’s not overfilling rivers and streets, and not flooding. Preferably hybrid trucks, but those probably still have to be designed. Meanwhile, in addition to using rainwater (not floodwater – you’re catching it before it’s down) on the fires burning, for crying out loud, douse dry tinder areas instead of sitting there with your thumb up your ass talking about “drought”. We live in the twenty-first century, people, not the eighteenth! USE technology and modern machinery. You can use bomb-sniffing dogs on the trucks to make sure no one brings through explosives masquerading as tanker trucks, and you’re taking the overflow from one area and bringing it to the areas that need it. It’s a simple solution and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There doesn’t have to be a lot of paperwork involved either – you just need someone with intelligence running the program.

Some more interview requests also need to go out today, and then I should be on top of my deadlines. . .for the moment.

Not as much work as I’d like on Good Names this morning, but Mrs. Frasier is turning out to be quite a feisty character. She was supposed to be walk-through annoyance – but she’s much more than that.

Devon

Good Names – 33,632 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
34 / 100
(33.6%)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, sticky, yukky

An example of typical, American hypocrisy: Giant Stadium parking lot was filled with SUVs, the vehicle of choice for those who attended the Live Earth Concert.

Yeah. Sure, they got the message and are acting on it!

Right. In Al Gore’s dreams.

Unfortunately.

My errands only took an hour and a half yesterday. It only seemed like six hours, due mostly to the migraine. I reached the point several times where I wanted to chop off my head just so I’d feel better. The migraine’s gone today, thank goodness.

Came back, tried to get answers for my two articles by deadline; didn’t, so I’ll have to go without. Watched some stakes races.

Came across a job listing for a piece that’s due, well, today, so I sat down and wrote nearly 2500 words, then shot it to a Trusted Reader to vet while I kept working on it. Will do another polish, send it off today, and hope for the best. I like the premise; even if this market doesn’t want it, I’ve got other places I can send it. The characters are fun and a little goofy; I’d like to do more with them.

Wrote chapters 9 & 10 of Tracking Medusa. It felt good to get back in the mix with Gwen and Justin. Plus, they’re in Edinburgh, one of my favorite cities in the world, so I’m having fun with this section.

Nice morning’s work on Good Names. The murder finally happened!

On today’s agenda: polish the two sports articles and send them off; polish the short story and send it off; work on the restaurant article. Work on a trilogy of short articles for another publication; work on Confidential Job #1; try not to melt in the heat.

Devon

Good Names – 33,007 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33 / 100
(33.0%)

Tracking Medusa – 23,170 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 90
(25.6%)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Saturday, July 7, 2007
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny, hazy, hot

Enough retrogrades for you? Venus went Retrograde on Thursday. At least Mercury turns direct on Monday.

Lots of catching up to do.

The article for races 3-6 of the America’s Cup is here.

So Scooter Libby’s getting off. Once again, this administration shows that if you’re an FOC (Friend of Cheney) you can do anything you want without consequence. The absolute lack of consequences for anyone in the administration has got to stop. These people are our EMPLOYEES, not our kings. We pay their salaries. We (usually) get to elect them – although the “election” that put this Bush in office originally wasn’t a genuine election – when the Supreme Court orders the vote count to stop and hands the election to a candidate, it’s screwed up.

What happens at the top trickles down, and one reason there’s so much more person-to-person violence (such as spousal killings, child murder, etc.) is because the people at the top of the food chain make it clear that there are no consequences to their actions.

On another infuriating note: On Staten Island, a tiny Yorkie terrier was shot because he stood on his porch and barked. This was a family member, not a piece of property. I think the shooter should have his throat slit and be hung upside down to bleed out from the nearest tree. Read the studies – someone who murders/tortures an animal often moves up to doing the same to a child, and then moves up to killing adults. There have to be strong consequences for people who come in and commit murder, whether the victim has two legs or four. Especially when it’s an animal or a child, who can’t defend itself.

Day work was okay on Tuesday, although I started feeling a bit unwell towards the end of it. Managed to get home and prepare to leave for the trip, although I was not looking forward to driving while feeling ill. On top of all that, many places started having fireworks displays on Tuesday, rather than Wednesday, so there were time when I felt I drove through combat zones. Not my idea of a good time.

But, since I didn’t have to worry about watching any more races immediately, part of these past days have been a self-imposed writer’s retreat, and that’s always a good thing.

I managed to get some work done on Good Names. The process is so interesting – Good Names is an historical mystery, set in a slower time (1903). The pace of the book is slower, unfolding gently, with building urgency. And I find that about 1000 words/day is good for that. Tracking Medusa, which is more of an action/adventure/mystery with some romance tossed in, is contemporary, much more quickly paced – and I find myself writing chunks anywhere from 1500-2500 words at a time. The project directs the pace, and each project has its own pace. I have to remind myself that this book’s slower pace doesn’t necessarily mean I’m disconnecting from it. Although I need to do some character charts – the intricacies of the web of connections is getting difficult to store in my head. I’m looking forward to getting back to Tracking Medusa later today.

The 32nd America’s Cup Challenge is barely over, and the preparations are starting for the 33rd. The challenger stepped up almost as soon as Alinghi got off the boat, but now Alinghi’s dragging its heels regarding dates, venues, etc. I asked the questions to find out the “whys” although I suspect it all boils down to money, and trying to get as much as possible for the Defenders. I think the process is fascinating, and it will be wonderful to watch the process from the beginning. I have a lot to learn about the sport – and at least I KNOW I have a lot to learn about the sport, and I’m looking forward to having my readers grow in the sport with me. And maybe attract some new readers, as I learn more and more about the sport. I was sorry to read that the BMW Oracle Racing Blog will stop as of July 11 – it’s such a terrifically written site, and I’ve learned so much from it (and by bugging the writer/editor with questions). I’d hoped it would stay up so we could get a view of the process of putting together the next American team.

The party on the 4th was lovely. Huge – about 475 people, great food, good wines. It was moved into tents, because the weather was a bit wonky. With a group that big, you get some people who are interesting and terrific, and some who are not. I don’t care how much is in your bank account, you moron, I care how you live your life. Plus, we’re in the 21st Century, for crying out loud, and there are still far too many girls (because WOMEN have more sense) whose entire mission in life is to find a rich husband, so the only work they have to do is in the bedroom. As we used to say in the 80’s, “gag me with a spoon”. Trading sex for money is still prostitution, even if there’s a gold band involved.

However, there were also plenty of intelligent, interesting people there from all walks of life. Some of them travel quite a bit – and they’re the kind of people who are interested in things that are different, rather than just trying to re-create their comfort zone wherever they are. Several of them travel regularly to Chile, and it sounds intriguing.

Big screens were up so we saw the fireworks in DC, New York, and Boston. Boston’s was great – I mean, they had Craig Ferguson as the host and Mellancamp performing – plus, instead of trying to do something all serious and holy, they were just having fun.

I wrote the first article of the nine accepted by a particular publication, polished it, and sent it off. I sent some questions to the New York Yacht Club for my wrap-up of Challenge 32/Lead-in of Challenge 33. I started my restaurant article and shot off a few questions to the owner. I’d prefer to get answers from him, but, if I have to, I’ve got enough to do the piece without his input.

I’m getting addicted to working on the go. I think I’ll have to invest in a wi-fi laptop shortly, instead of just borrowing one. And the little printer – a mobile office is a beautiful thing. Although there are still plenty of times when I simply turn off the phone and am “unavailable”.

Thank goodness I could work on the run, though, this week. I’m working on multiple articles simultaneously; there are rumors and all sorts of potential stories flying about, and I want to get as many facts and confirmations, clarifications or denials as possible before I have to turn in my work at deadline.

Such as a horse trainer under investigation because cobra venom was found in his barn’s refrigerator at the track. In addition to being a banned substance, for freak’s sake, it’s COBRA VENOM. But, before I completely fly off the handle about it, I need to do more research. Especially since none of the vets I contacted would discuss it, even off the record.

Worked on another horse racing article, due tomorrow, after today’s stakes races go off. Worked on the final 32nd America’s Cup race article, also due today (it still needs a polish).

I started to catch up with my clip file – managed to get copies of all the FemmeFan articles which have appeared so far this year.

So much for those fantasies of sitting in the sun overlooking the water, reading an Edith Wharton novel!

Coming home sank me into a deep case of the blues. I’m not happy here, it’s not conducive to my work or my life, but pulling off the move is more obstacle-filled than I anticipated. I need to employ patience, but that’s never been a virtue of mine. I like to jump in with both feet and DO it.

A kazillion errands to do today, all over the map. Better hop to it. Unfortunately, I have a migraine, which will slow me down.

Also had to give Kristen King (InkThinker) the update for my participation in the InkThinker 2007 Query Challenge. Thus far, I’ve sent 63 queries. 29 were acceptances, and 13 have been published to date. Not a bad average. My pitching has grown smoother and more precise over the past few months. I’m sure there’s an article in that!

I’m supposed to attend a Live Earth party tonight. From yachts to grass roots activism, all in the course of a couple of days. I don’t know if I’m up for another evening in a large group of people I don’t know. But . . .

I LOVE being a freelance writer!

Devon

Good Names – 31,737 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
31 / 100
(31.0%)

Alinghi Won!

Just in case you’re wondering, the Swiss team Alinghi successfully defended the America’s Cup, crossing the finish line ONE SECOND before Emirates Team New Zealand.

It was a fascinating race — but you’ll have to wait for the article! 😉

Off I go, to write, party, and who knows what — I’ll check back in after a few days, with quite a few stories!

Published in: on July 3, 2007 at 6:45 pm  Comments (4)  

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Quick, quick, quick post because I’m watching the race on a split screen. Very exciting race – windiest day yet.

I owe an apology to author Archer Mayor, who writes the terrific Joe Gunther series set in Vermont – I’ve referred to him as “Archie” – inexcusable on my part. Not that I think he reads my blog on a daily basis or anything, but it was rude on my part not to get it right, and I apologize.

Julia named me “Rocking Girl Blogger” — thank you! When I return, I’ll both post the icon and pay it forward.

I received the next assignment from Confidential Job #1 – it looks great.

I’m taking writing with me tonight over tomorrow and however long – I’ll have a few nice pockets of time during the various days to concentrate on work. And it’s become much easier to write away from the home office because of all the chaos around here.

Have a fabulous 4th and I’ll check back in at some point later in the week.

Devon

Published in: on July 3, 2007 at 8:11 am  Comments (6)  

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Sorry this is up so late.

I was so exhausted after the matinee yesterday that I practically crawled home from the city. I did a rough of the America’s Cup article, and then went to bed.

I had to polish it this morning (plus I’d hoped some answers would come in to some questions before deadline). No such luck. I polished, sent, and that was that for this week. If I get the information I wanted in time for next week’s deadline, I’ll include it. Otherwise, I’ll write around it.

Yesterday’s race was postponed due to lack of wind, so tomorrow morning’s race could decide the Cup. Or not. I’m hoping not, because I’d like to see a couple more races.

I then had errands to run, and I had to have lunch at the restaurant I’m reviewing this week (which was excellent, by the way). Got out a couple more pitches, and now I’m buckling down to two other articles I want to get out this week. I also need to get a few more interview requests out.

Since I haven’t heard back from my multiple requests in May and June to one particular potential interviewee, I’m assuming he’s too busy and/or not interested, and dumping him from my list. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out, and I’ve got far too much work coming in right now (thank goodness) to get my ego in a twist about it. Stuff happens, and one can’t say yes to everything (although I’d rather have someone just tell me “no” than not respond at all). Everyone’s busy, and sometimes things fall through the cracks. I’m just as guilty of that as anyone else – suddenly seeing something in the “in box” going “How long was THIS here? Oh, f***!”

Short post today; probably short post tomorrow; then I’ll be off-line for a day or two, as I’m going to a lovely party on the 4th out of town. Will check in again when I can.

Devon

Published in: on July 2, 2007 at 2:47 pm  Comments (6)  

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007
Last Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I can’t believe it’s July.

Thanks for the dream interpretations. However, I noticed something interesting in them: I was very specific to say it was a COLLEAGUE and all of you jumped to the conclusion it was a FRIEND. The person in the dream was most definitely not a friend (although some of the machinations are done under the pretense of friendship) – in fact, it’s someone with whom I’ve been very exasperated lately. I thought the fact that that particular person was involved in the dream was interesting.

Both shows yesterday were fine. Nothing exciting to report – we came in, flipped people in and out of clothes all day, went home. The usual petty annoyances, but nothing worth holding on to for more than a minute.

Between shows, we went to Luxia, on W. 48th St. It’s under new management, but the menu is still interesting, and the food excellent. We sat in the protected garden out back – always nice to find places like that tucked away in the city. It helps relax on a long day.

Did some work on the article – will have to spend a lot of time on it when I get back from the theatre tonight, since I have to get it out before I go to bed.

Did some research on another client project – not enjoying it at all. The people involved are snobs – without the talent, skill, or the intelligence to back it up. Fortunately, it’s a “once and done”, and I never have to deal with them again. Or, let me put it another way – if I ever do, my price will go up in proportion to the aggravation.

It was absolutely pouring with rain when I got off the train at midnight. Of course, none of the meteorologists had predicted it. But I always carry my umbrella in my kit bag, so it was all good. I still think they should only get paid when they’re right.

Alinghi won yesterday’s race; if they win today, it’s all over and they’ve successfully defended the America’s Cup. Of course, since I want it to go the full nine races, I’m slightly favoring New Zealand today. For the most part, though, I’m simply enjoying watching the most highly skilled participants in this sport compete against each other.

I have to jump in the shower and then watch the next race. I’m glad this is my last show today – the rest of them have a show tomorrow instead of the usual Monday dark day, a show Tuesday, and get Wednesday off, then a double on Thursday and back to the regular show schedule. Tomorrow, I’ll be having a lovely lunch at a restaurant about which I’m writing, and I have a big writing week ahead of me. And a big party on the Fourth.

Devon