Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

It was 39 degrees when I woke up this morning! And we’re supposed to have frost tonight.

Needless to say, the cats climbed under the blankets. They’re no fools!

I researched and wrote four articles yesterday. I’m going to give them a read and a polish today, and one final polish tomorrow morning, and off they go. And then I start the ones due for November and December, that are deadlined at the end of this month.

I visited blogs, caught up on message boards, did work on my Dialogue Workshop for the Muse Online Conference – hey, October’s getting pretty close. I cleaned out some more email. I ran some updates. I played with the cats (most important part of THEIR day, that’s for sure).

50 people have signed up for my workshop so far, which is pretty sweet!

I updated the Cerridwen’s Cottage website, and decided to join the 21st century and start a MySpace page for that name, too, with the relevant information. I still have some more updates to do, but at least I’m attempting to stay on top of the networking thing.

I did some additional research on someone I’m going to try and interview – mostly because I think he’s funny as hell and want to learn how his mind works. I need to call some LA contacts and find out which of the myriad addresses I have for him is correct – if any. I want to do it through his agent, but there seems to be some murkiness there, and I want to make sure I have the right information.

Okay morning’s work on Untitled Literary Fiction; not enough done on Revenge Tangents to update the word bar.

I’m glad I’m getting acupuncture tomorrow – the lower back and my neck and head are now in constant pain. The yoga helps, but I need to find the source and handle it there.

Part of it, I’m sure, is the frustration and depression because the house hunt is not going as quickly as I want it to go.

Off to the train – I’ve got a matinee to work, and then I’m going out with friends.


Untitled Literary Fiction -3,750 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3 / 100
Published in: on September 16, 2007 at 8:01 am  Comments (2)  

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cool

Did mostly business writing yesterday, working on articles. Waited and waited and waited for information for one article that has been promised and promised for over a week – and, of course, it never arrived. One learns, doing this, who one wants to work with again and who doesn’t.

So, I’m going without the info for the article.

Ran some errands in the afternoon. Finally got to watch Men in Black II last night – I enjoy those movies, they’re such fun. And the chemistry between the actors is great.

Good morning’s work on the Untitled Literary Fiction and also on Revenge Tangents. On RT, since part of the plot revolves around restoring an old house, I find I have to track the renovations, so I don’t have them painting a room before they’ve primed it, etc. Those are the kinds of continuity details that drive me up a wall when I read a book.

Did some reading for fun – one book that was okay brain candy; another that I can’t stand and will put down without finishing it. One learns a lot about agents one might want to work with by what other books they represent. This one is definitely off my list – that’s three books agented by this particular person that I can’t finish because I think the writing is sloppy; the lack of research is appalling (they were all set against professions I know well and it’s obvious that none of the writers did more than about 15 minutes’ worth of research on the internet, and they got just about everything wrong); and reliance on clichés is so huge that I can’t bear it.

Typed some more of Good Names. I’m making notes as I go to track characters (there are a lot when servants are included in the household) and making notations as I go in red about places that need more attention to detail. This one will need a very long revision process.

Back to knock out a few more articles today and get back on track. I’m at the show tomorrow, so I lose almost an entire writing day.

Good weight session last night and good yoga session this morning, but my back is still killing me, which is unusual. The show tomorrow should be, well, interesting.


Revenge Tangents – 18,500 words out of est. 25,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
18 / 25

Untitled Literary Fiction – 3,125 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3 / 100

Good Names – Typed Draft 1A: 4,630 words out of est. 73,000 words

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4 / 73
Published in: on September 15, 2007 at 9:53 am  Comments (4)  

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007
Waning Moon
Sunny and cool

Rough start to the day: Crazy Downstairs Neighbor came roaring in at 3 AM, drunk and “singing”. Yeah. And by 8:30 AM, there were four leaf blowers, three mowers, and who knows how many chain saws going, drills, hammers, table saws, etc., etc.

I need to get out of here. Stat.

Pet Peeves: Women who can’t be without a boyfriend for more than two minutes and move from relationship to relationship, wondering why they all fail (uh, try learning to stand on your own, chickie, so you don’t keep making the same mistakes, yes you do have “kick me” scrawled on your forehead), and women who dump their female friends the minute they start dating, then wonder why the friends are busy with their own lives and their REAL friends when the relationships crash and burn. Yes, a new relationship needs to be nurtured, but if a romantic relationship has no room for anyone else outside of it, the seeds of abuse are already being sown.

This is the 21st Century, people, you should have evolved by now!!!

Worked on excavating my desk. Typed a bit of Good Names. Managed to deal with ONE THOUSAND emails. Did some on-line house-hunting. Worked on my articles. Picked up some material at Greenwich Library. Sat out in the sun for a couple of hours, reading a book, in the town park near the beach. Typically, the park was full of well-behaved dogs and badly behaved kids. Rural kids and urban kids are forced into common sense and independence because of location; suburban kids are unbelievably spoiled and indulged for the most part. Their parents need to spend less time on material things and more time on parenting.

There was a dachshund puppy that was hilarious – half the size of my smallest cat. And a Yorkie who was tied to the leg of a beach chair and determined to dig her way free!

I’m glad I have acupuncture on Monday – the headache won’t go away and the lower back pain is getting worse. I have to work the show Sunday and Tuesday – not quite sure how that’s going to happen with the back in the state it’s in. Skipped last night’s workout, but did this morning’s yoga – slowly, with longer stretches than usual, but it helped.

Too much to do, not enough time, feeling stressed about the living situation, which sends everything else into a spiral. And not being able to get a full night’s sleep for weeks on end doesn’t help, either.

RSVP’d “yes” to two parties in the upcoming weeks. Normally, I’d make excuses not to go, because of the shyness factor and not being good in group situations with strangers. But it’s time I move out of my comfort zone, so I’m gonna do it.

Good morning’s work on the Untitled Literary Fiction. More frustrating on Revenge Tangents because, by then, all the machines were on full blast, and, even with the MP3 player on as loud as possible without ruining my ear drums, the machine noise still permeated.



Revenge Tangents – 17,250 words out of est. 25,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
17 / 25

Untitled Literary Fiction – 2,500 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2 / 100

Good Names – typed draft 1A – 3,752 words out of est. 73,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3 / 73
Published in: on September 14, 2007 at 9:07 am  Comments (6)  

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

I was going to drive back up to New England this morning, but I’m just too tired and have too much worked stacked up. No reason to wrap my car around a tree because I’m too tired to drive properly. So I’m going to work from home, but at a slower pace than usual, and see what I can get done without stressing myself out.

Got some work done yesterday, mostly catching up on emails, sending out job pitches, research, etc. Went over to a friend’s in the afternoon to do four loads of laundry, exercise the dog, and do some research for the garden articles.

I’m so tired that I really have nothing interesting to say.

Lara brought up an interesting point that had crossed my mind, but I haven’t really dealt with – that my home could well be making me sick. I’d figured it was all mental – the stress, etc., — but it could also very well be physical. I feel like crap when I’m home or at the show; I’m fine everywhere else. That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

My grandmother is home and sounds pretty cheerful. I just hope she doesn’t backslide – she simply won’t change her routine at home, and she doesn’t get enough stimulation. IF she was in a constant care situation, she’d thrive until she reached 100. But no one up there will admit it and deal with it, least of all her.

My MP3 player jammed, but I fixed it all by myself. I was pretty proud, neo-luddite, technologically challenged person that I am!

Decent morning’s work on the Untitled Literary Fiction, and not enough work on Revenge Tangents. I still have a massive headache today, and it’s slowing me down.

I am going to try to do some straightening up on the desk, etc., today. It’s gotten stacked too high again.


Revenge Tangents
– 16,500 words out of est. 25,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16 / 25

Untitled Literary Fiction – 1,750 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 100
Published in: on September 13, 2007 at 6:52 am  Comments (7)  

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

Latest installment of “Crafting Your Writing Life” is up on The Scruffy Dog Review Blog. This week’s article is called “Your Writing Muscles.”

Yesterday was a difficult day. I decided to try to sit with the sadness, without interpreting it, running from it, or wallowing in it. Just sit with it. The train was unusually silent going in to the city. People weren’t even jabbering on their cell phones. It was quite somber. And even the tourists wandering around were respectful, for the most part.

There were ceremonies all over the place, but, more and more, families of people who live outside the city itself are attending the local remembrances. Many of those who died commuted in to the city from the boroughs or suburbs. Most of those areas have created their own memorials and hold services there. And, of course, there are ceremonies in the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 went down, at the Pentagon, where 184 people died, and in Boston, where some of the planes took off.

In developer-speak, “moving on” means ignoring the day, hurrying construction and guaranteeing profit. For the most part, I believe the families simply want to ensure continued remembrance. I think the reading of the names is a very important part of the day and believe that should continue. It gives individual remembrance to each person who died, and the length of the list and the time it takes to read it makes people stop and think about the impact of the event in human terms. That’s important – these were people, individuals who were doing the best they could to get through the day, and they were murdered for simply existing.

If an individual harms another individual and a murder results – I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I understand it. But to murder someone without knowing anything about them as an individual, just because they fall under an assumed label – that’s the type of ignorance and insanity we have to eliminate in this world.

Got through the day work; couldn’t wait to get home. My knee started bothering me again, about ten minutes after I arrived. Must be a combination of the concrete and how I’m standing on it. Found a revision from Confidential Job #1 – depressed me, which it shouldn’t have, because there was nothing wrong with it, but I felt like what I’d turned in initially wasn’t good enough, even though I’d felt I’d gotten it right. It was simply long.

Blessed Garden wants even more articles than originally requested, which is a good thing, but I need to get going on them. I’m also waiting for one more piece of information for my lit athlete column – if it doesn’t come in the next day or so, I’ll have to do without.

My grandmother sounded very good last night, and may be coming home today. That will be good – I just hope she doesn’t backslide once she’s not under constant care.

Have a bad headache this morning, but too much to do, so I can’t just lie down until it goes away.

Decent morning’s work on the Untitled Literary Fiction – will have to do some research. And good morning’s work on Revenge Tangents.

I may have the chance for a week’s worth of writing and research in early October – that would be heaven.


Revenge Tangents – 15,750 words out of est. 20,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
15 / 20

Untitled Literary Fiction – 1,125 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 100
Published in: on September 12, 2007 at 8:32 am  Comments (3)  

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday, September 11
New Moon
Rainy and warm
6th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

This is always a difficult day if you’re a New Yorker, or if you lost someone on that day. The wounds are still raw and emotions run deep, in spite of much of the country getting bored by the ongoing grief. Someone from Bumfuck who watched it all on television doesn’t have the right to tell a person who lost a loved one in the attack how, when, and how long they can grieve. And, of course, the developers are mounting a campaign calling it “moving on” when it’s really all about profit for them.

On a positive side, there are remembrance concerts and organizations setting up volunteer days on this day and all manner of positive forces coming out of the tragedy.

On the negative side, there are the developers. In my opinion, the entire site should be turned into a memorial, similar to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The developers screech about the value of the property. So what? The lives lost are worth far more. If one does need to redevelop at least part of the site, it should all be headquarters for non-profits and social services. If any of them ever expressed condolences or sympathy or desire to work with the community to come to a mutually acceptable compromise, it would be one thing. But the ONLY chorus they’ve sung since September 12, 2001 and keep singing is about rebuilding FOR THEIR PROFIT. Considering that, each week, human remains are STILL found on the site, I think it’s inappropriate. The developers screech that no one still commemorates Pearl Harbor or the Oklahoma City bombing or the first WTC bombing and, in a few years, no one will “remember” what Katrina did to the Gulf.

I beg to differ.

I commemorate all those anniversaries, even if I don’t do so publicly. Which means thousands, probably tens of thousands do the same for various anniversaries. And I don’t think a bunch of developers or people who didn’t lose anyone in the attacks or whose lives weren’t affected the way those who lived here were have the right to put a time limit on grief or decide how people should grieve. Grief is a process, without an expiration date. The mourning is already evolving, and most people are looking for ways to keep the loved ones remembered for good done during their lives and continuing good done in their names rather than making it an “oh, poor me” occasion. Unfortunately, the press helps the developers by usually focusing on the latter instead of the former.

Has everyone who was personally affected in the attacks always acted beautifully? Of course not. Do I believe that every individual who died was a hero or a saint? Of course not. Let’s face it, the only one likely to be beatified and become a candidate for sainthood, literally, is Father Mychal Judge. People are people. Human beings are going to do the best they can, and some of it is not going to be pretty, and sometimes they’re not going to make the best choice or the most selfless choice. But they have the right to make a choice, and their right to grieve is more important than some outside moneybags’ right to profit.

I have to go in to the city today, to the show, the first time I’ve been in the city on the actual anniversary since before the attacks. I’m not looking forward to it. In addition to the mourning, alerts have risen again and it’s likely that someone’s going to try something, so everyone’s on edge. I’m glad it rainy instead of sunny. This is the first time the anniversary has fallen on a Tuesday, and if the conditions mimicked the clear, beautiful weather on that day, it would have been too much.

Not feeling well still doesn’t help, but you just push through and do the best you can, right? At least I have acupuncture next week. And, hopefully, some additional yoga and a good core workout tonight will alleviate the blues. I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and fatigued by the events of the past week, and all the travel last month (even though it was positive) is catching up. Plus the lack of sleep thanks to Crazy Downstairs Neighbor. I need a few days’ worth of quiet time.

I had a good weight session last night and a good yoga session this morning, which helped.

On a happier note, Elsa is delighted that I’m back home with my yoga mat, so she can have her after-breakfast nap during my asanas. I have to come up with some pretty interesting ways to work around her!

I started the new novel this morning. I’ve been playing with the idea since early June. It’s still untitled, a literary fiction, and the themes are new territory for me, which is both wonderful and terrifying. No title yet, and I’d be surprised if I can do much more than 500 words/day. It’s not the type of thing where the first draft just flows out. It needs to be more considered.

Good morning’s work on Revenge Tangents as well. I will have to move up the word count again, but I like looking at an almost-full word bar today, so I’m going to indulge myself.

Off to the city, however reluctantly. There’s so much that needs to be done at home.


Revenge Tangents
– 14,625 words out of est. 15,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14 / 15

Untitled Literary Fiction – 625 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meter
0 / 100
Published in: on September 11, 2007 at 8:09 am  Comments (5)  

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007
Dark of the Moon
Pluto and Venus have both gone DIRECT
Hot, humid, rainy

My grandmother is very ill.

She woke us up around 5 AM on Saturday morning, saying she couldn’t breathe. I called 911 and her primary caretaker. The Rescue and the ambulance seemed to take forever to arrive – it’s much quicker here in the NY area than up there, let me tell you. But they were really terrific and got her on oxygen and calmed down and loaded her gently into the ambulance.

We got dressed, loaded the car up and found our way to the hospital in Portland, where they took us right in to the emergency room to be with her. For awhile, they were afraid it was a heart attack and they’d have to do emergency surgery. The test results showed it was not necessary, and other options were explored. The same questions were asked over and over and over again – it’s in the computer, why not print out multiple copies? Come on, people!!!

However, I have to say that every single person we encountered at the hospital had a terrific bedside manner. She (and the family) were never made to feel like they didn’t matter or rushed or neglected.

By 11, she was settled in a room, with two nurses to take care of her, and there was nothing else we could do, so we headed back as planned. Although we cancelled the property appointments – we just weren’t up to it. Instead, we made a stop at Earth Spirits in Sturbridge to stock up on some herbs and oils.

The final diagnosis is congestive heart failure. Her heart is simply wearing out. They drained the fluid accumulating in her lungs out for now, but . . .even with the pacemaker, we’re on borrowed time.

Which is difficult to come to grips with.

She’s vastly improved under constant care and might even be home in the next day or so – but we’re on borrowed time.

The weekend up to that point had been quite fun. Crazy Downstairs Neighbor, of course, kept me up most of the night with his noise (always, always, ALWAYS on a night when I have to be up exceptionally early). But we got out of the house by 6 AM. We looked at properties in several areas of Massachusetts. Two of the areas were okay, but not really the vibe we’re looking for. One of them was in an area that’s too industrial and too in-your-face churchy. Anyone can practice their religion as they wish, as long as they don’t interfere with my practice or try to foist their beliefs on me, and this was very much “walk-in-OUR-way-of-Christ” which just makes me want to behave disrespectfully and flip them off. Not the type of place I’d choose to live.

A little further up, though, is absolutely gorgeous. It isn’t an area I’d considered before, but I’d heard of a spread and wanted to take a look. It’s too big for me to handle, but I really like the area. If I can find something a bit smaller, I’d consider it.

I also saw some places in York, Maine that I liked – but the square footage and acreage was too small with the price too high. But I like York a lot – it’s still a vital artists’ community, and that’s important to me.

We had a great lunch at the café at one of my favorite Maine spots, although there was a bit of an incident. A woman was in the store with her husband, some other female relative, a toddler, and a smaller kid in a very large stroller. She kept ramming the stroller into people saying, “Can’t you see I have a stroller?” –even though there was plenty of room to go around them. When they reached the café, she parked the stroller next to my chair and said, “You have to watch the baby” and started to walk away.

“No,” I said, “I don’t.”

“Of course you do. You owe me.”

“I’ve never seen you before in my life.”

“Haven’t you heard it takes a village to raise a child?”

“Sorry, lady, I chose to live in a different zip code.”

Several of the staff intervened at that point. Now, there were two other adults in the group perfectly capable of watching the kid. In this day and age, not only is it stupid to try to dump the kid on a stranger, it’s dangerous. I was one cell phone button from calling child services on her.

Then, when her family group got all their stuff, she walked up to the table and said, “I want this table.” There were plenty of empty tables throughout the room.

“Too bad,” I said, and began eating veeeeeerrry slowly.

The staff was smart enough to escort that little grouping away. She did not have a New England accent or Midwestern accent. I’m figuring she was from somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic states – that misplaced sense of entitlement which is so common around here. Good thing the staff up there is so savvy.

Got to my grandmother’s, ran some errands, brought in dinner, and we made it an early night.

The next morning, we all had breakfast together. I went out and bought her a new toaster (her old one caught fire), and did the grocery shopping. Then we headed up to Freeport, Maine and paid LL Bean a visit in person. I buy a lot of stuff from them – their quality and their customer service are exceptional. The store was great, too. Busy, but everyone’s friendly, it’s kept neat and clean, and the temperature is comfortable.

We had a fabulous lunch a few doors down at a place called Azure. I had calamari and some of the best steamed mussels I’ve ever had in my life. Absolutely perfect.

I didn’t shop much – not in the mood to shop. Did a lot of looking, though. And had to walk out of a bath and beauty shop I used to like because I realized they used synthetic fragrance, not essential, and it was starting to make me sick.

Went to a favorite yarn store near Sebago Lake and found another ball of yarn for my current project IN THE SAME DYE LOT!!! Yarn enthusiasts will know how unlikely that is!

Made dinner for the family when I got home, did some catching up with people, and had a pretty early night, until my grandmother woke me up because she was ill, poor thing.

So exhausted when I got home Saturday night that I didn’t get much done. Did grocery shopping and errands Sunday morning, then took most of the day to read The New York Times (usually it takes me about an hour and a half). Cathleen Schine’s new serial in the Magazine section is set at an artists’ colony in Maine and is pretty funny.

I took in the car this morning for its 5000 mile check up (although I had nearly an extra 600 miles on it, thanks to the Maine trip). It’s much happier now. It was having hissy fits very much like the cats.

Last week, at the theatre, I somehow managed to hurt my back, so the additional stress hasn’t helped it. Thank goodness I have acupuncture next week.

Since everything is in limbo for now, I’m doing a big fall cleaning, and that way, I can leave at the drop of a hat without worrying that it’s all in chaos. I have some articles to finish up and a critique to do, but I’m in decent shape.

Found out the mothers of two friends of mine are very ill, and yet another friend is in the hospital with a staph infection. Everyone’s having a rough time right now, I guess.

Onward and mopward – the kitchen floors call.


Published in: on September 10, 2007 at 11:59 am  Comments (8)  

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Just a quick check-in – home only long enough to refill cat feeders, unpack and repack, take care of some business, run some errands, and off I go again.

The first article for Blessed Gardens is here:

And the 2008 Llewellyn Annuals are out! I have work in The Magical Almanac, The Spell-A-Day, The Tarot Reader, and the Herbal Almanac.

I’m thinking about the next novel. I wanted to wait awhile, but this particular tale has been forming for a few weeks now, and, since Good Names is now in typing stage instead of creation stage . . .I have to do some more percolating, and I’ll probably actually start it when the moon turns to new next week. Plus, I sat down and figured out what projects are in what stages, so I can get through the backlog and start getting projects out. There’s no point in doing all this writing if it just piles up. Finishing, revisions, and submissions are important.

The past few days, I’ve been in the city working with a small dog. He was taken off death row in one of the shelters by an acquaintance of mine who felt sorry for him. The shelter workers hated him; no one wanted him; he was deemed unadoptable, aggressive, and sentenced to death.

Those people were either crazy or lazy.

This is one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met. He’s young, affectionate, and intelligent. He’s also frightened and insecure, and when he panics, it blocks his intelligence. Yes, he was a basket case when I walked in the door. But, when I left yesterday to go to the theatre, he was calm, affectionate, obeyed basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “go find” and “no”. All he needed was structure and love, and he got both. He’s fine. He’s a delight. He’s still unsure of strange people, but he’s really good with other dogs. When I sat at the table, writing, he’d curl up by my feet. When I read the paper in the morning, he’d sit in my lap. He snuggled when we watched television at night, or later on in bed. He’s a delight. If his human keeps up the structures I’ve started, there’s nothing he can’t learn, except maybe to do things that require opposable thumbs.

How many other dogs are being killed every day, simply because they’re smart and the people around them were either stupid or lazy? It breaks my heart.

And I miss him terribly. Talk about instant bonding.

My untrainable cats are happy that I’m home and I’ve lavished plenty of affection on them last night and this morning. They all “helped” me crochet last night – which means I spent quite a bit of time retrieving yarn from under the bed, behind the bookcase, etc., etc.

Diane – to answer your question, new owners are unlikely to improve our conditions. What they are likely to do is try to toss us all out on our asses again, despite the ETPA protections. Which is yet another reason I’m stepping up the house hunt. I’m sick of the bullshit.

Brandy – to answer your question: most people find knitting very easy. I have a terrible time casting on, although Anita at “Snapshots of a Life in Pictures and Words” is a great knitter and gave me some good tips. Once I’m actually knitting, I’m okay, although I’m slow. But the casting on . . . I’m pretty useless. And without casting on, you can’t knit. I’m still more comfortable with crocheting, so that’s what I’m focusing on now. My mom is a superb knitter, but won’t use a pattern. I buy the yarn, sketch out what I want, and she does it.

Day work was okay yesterday, but my focus is so far from theatrical work right now that I really had to pay attention. I can’t slack off and expect other people to clean up after me because I’m busy with other things. Plus, the call is getting more and more stuff heaped on it all the time, so I just prioritize each time I’m in there, and do the most important things first, and then however much else I can fit into the call and there it is. Some of the stuff has been put in because the dressers don’t feel like doing it; some of it is simply because different people are in different tracks and different things happen.

The construction guys are using the power tools that drive me crazy (yes, I know, short drive) right under my window. So much for getting creative work done this morning.

I managed to get some decent work done on “Revenge Tangents”, which I’ve finally accepted is actually Revenge Tangents and will be a novella.

Off to deal with the unpleasant b.s,, run some errands, do some prep work, and off to the next gig. “See” you all in a few days.


Revenge Tangents – 13,635 words out of est. 15,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
13 / 15
Published in: on September 5, 2007 at 7:58 am  Comments (11)  

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Good news! The Blessed Garden liked my article so much, it’ll be used in September’s issue, not October’s, and they’ve asked me to write two columns each in October, November, and December. Yes, paid. Woo-hoo! I’ll give you links and details as soon as I get them. I’m pretty happy about it. These columns are going under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name.

More good news! I finished the first draft of Good Names at about 8:20 this morning! I started it on July 22. That’s not too bad – about six weeks for a first draft. And it’s short enough, a good skeleton, so I have about 25,000 words to play with, as far as adding red herrings and period detail. I had a 9 page outline for this piece, a roadmap so I could sit down and write almost every day, and it helped a lot.

I went to Michael’s, to pick up something . . .didn’t find it . . .bought yarn instead. There will be a post on The Tactile Muse next week all about it. And Elsa tried to run away with the yarn I was using. . .a busy time of it. The blue cotton in the current project comes in 50g balls – just the right size for her to pick up and carry around. Although she tried to drag the larger skeins of alpaca around, too!

I cleaned like crazy: Washed the floors, first with Murphy’s Oil Soap, then with a combination of rosemary, cedarwood, and pine oils. Vacuumed, once I’d ground lavender, angelica, and chamomile into the carpets. Washed all the throw rugs. Used baking soda and vinegar and later baking soda and lime juice down all the drains. The place looks, feels, and smells much better. This building has gotten so negative that chasing those energies out can be a full-time job!

And it was QUIET for most of the day, which was heaven. Now, the only singing I hear is that of the crickets – love that!

While waiting for things like floors to dry, I treated myself to Annette Blair’s newest release, Sex and the Psychic Witch. It’s a nice romp, witty, clever, and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We got acquainted via MySpace, so I guess that space is good for something, right?

Devon’s Random Newsletter goes out on Wednesday. My choice was finish the first draft of Good Names or get the newsletter out. I chose to finish the draft.. If you’re not signed up, you can do so here, but make sure you put “Subscribe” in the subject line, or else it’ll get sucked into the spam abyss.

Off on the next gig – will be offline for a few days. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and have a good start to the work week. Can you believe it’s September already?

Great core workout last night, good yoga session this morning –even with Elsa playing with the drawstring on my pants as I did things like forward bends and downward dog!


Good Names — 73,007 words out of 73,007

Zokutou word meter
73 / 73
Published in: on September 2, 2007 at 7:33 am  Comments (12)  

Saturday, September 1, 2007

September 1, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cool


So the new owners are supposed to close on the building next week, and the Tenants’ Organization (from which I resigned several months ago) has become such a joke they didn’t even let us know the building was under contract again! Bet you a dozen doughnuts they didn’t know.

I was so resistant to finishing my articles yesterday. Totally unprofessional, especially since I know the topics inside out. I think I’m burned out with one publication and don’t have enough background on the other to know if it’s worth it, and that’s where the resistance comes in.

However, the long article really rocks, if I do say so myself. I’m much more pleased with it than I thought I’d be. The short one’s kind of fun, too. Let’s hope the various editors like them!

Pitched a bunch of jobs – my total for the year stands at 144 in Kristen King’s InkThinker Query Challenge. I am pretty damned proud of myself. The goal was 120 during the course of the year. I’d have to go back to tote up how many were successful, but the number steadily climbs over the months.

Ran my errands, paid some bills, got in some more cat food for the timed feeders. And Murphy’s Oil Soap – I have to scrub down the place again before I leave for my next round of gigs.

I’m working on my Craigslist ads, so I can post them on September 10. I’m trying to decide if I only want 3 that are more general, or if I want to craft a half a dozen or so very specific (since I can’t cross post), offering a single service in each ad. I can do a mix and match and track stats to see what’s working and what’s not (love Excel).

My crazy downstairs neighbor started blasting his television again, from early evening on. And I still had work to do.

So I opened all the windows, turned on the fan, started burning Nag Champa incense, and put Loreena McKennit in the CD player. At first, he tried to play “My woofers are bigger than yours”, but guess what? They’re not!!!

Besides, it’s waning moon. You REALLY don’t want to get on my last nerve now.

Amazing how certain music just drives away the nutjobs. Fascinating. Within 45 minutes of Loreena McKennit and Karen Matheson’s beautiful voices wafting out, the building had settled into an almost reverent calm. Music soothes the savage . . .apartment building? That’s a new one on me!

Tori, regarding shoes: I didn’t get hit by the Shoe Muse until I was in my thirties. Pretty much lived in sneakers or boots before that. Now – love shoes. Because of the nature of my work and the damned commute, I can’t always wear the shoes I’d like, but I’ve invested in some good Timberland boots and Timberland sneakers that look good, wear well, and are comfortable. They’re also one of the more eco-friendly companies, with great customer service, so I like dealing with them. I buy almost all my shoes on sale – my criteria is if the shoes cost the same as a plane ticket to a place I want to go – I’m buying the plane ticket! However, a good pair of shoes is very comfortable and will last for years, so certain shoes are worth the price. I’ve always said that, on my next trip to Italy, I’ll spend the money on a pair or two of custom-made shoes. Hey, that’s a plane ticket AND a pair of shoes! 😉

It was 11 PM before I could even start my weight workout last night, but it was well worth it. And I had an extra long yoga session this morning – in the quiet!

My downstairs neighbor went out last night and never came home, so I actually had a peaceful night’s sleep. Bliss! The cats ran around like a herd of buffalo this morning, and Elsa played catch with her stuffed watermelon.

Nice morning’s work on Good Names. I’m in the wind-up chapters now. I hate it when books have the climax and then just end. I like at least one chapter of aftermath. I can see the end of the manuscript, though I doubt I can finish it before I leave tomorrow.

The short article I sent off has already been accepted and will publish in October, and the editor would like to see more. So, it seems it is a good, legit gig, and maybe I can get some regular work out of it!

Errands to run, column to finish, and I want to finish commenting on a colleague’s outline that I’ve taken far too long with. I packed last night, so today can be taken at a slower pace (although I still have to wash floors and vacuum). So tomorrow should be a nice, pleasant slide into the next gig.

Devon’s Random Newsletter will probably go out late tonight or early tomorrow. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so here. Make sure you put “subscribe” in the subject line, or it might end up as spam.


Good Names — 71,757 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
71 / 75
Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 8:43 am  Comments (6)