Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Congratulations to Viggo Mortensen for the Oscar nomination for his work in Eastern Promises, and to Tilda Swinton for her work in Michael Clayton. Both of them are performers whose work is detailed, exquisite, and fascinating. They can lift up a mediocre piece of work and take an excellent piece of work to new heights. About damn time their work is noticed in a way that can open even more doors for them. The Art Direction category is one of the most interesting this year, with American Gangster, Atonement, The Golden Compass, Sweeney Todd, and There Will Be Blood in the running, each of which creates an extraordinary visual world. My pick for best editing is Bourne Ultamatum, whose editing I thought was astonishingly good.

On the flip side of that, I was shocked and saddened by Heath Ledgar’s death yesterday, here in NY. I never worked with him, so there’s that degree of separation from it, but he was on the list of people I hoped to work with someday. It’s a huge loss to the creative community, in addition to the sorrow it brings his family. I know that building in Soho well – I’ve been to parties there over the years. The situation is just . . .sad.

I forgot to mention that the new issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is out, which means a new installment of “The Literary Athlete” is included. It’s still in the “To Market, To Market” series, but this time, it talks about the importance of researching your markets BEFORE you send them. You can find the article here:

I spent far too much time on the computer yesterday, floating around, and off the computer, dithering. It’s one thing to need percolation time; it’s another to dither. And I was dithering.

I did manage to start the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, though. Sooner I do it, sooner I can send the invoice!

I’m also tracking down some other owed money. Problem Client still hasn’t paid (gee, what a surprise), and two other publications owe me money for material, one from last October and one from last AUGUST. I’ve already put in requests; time to put in a less diplomatic one. If a publications’s in financial difficulty and they need to work something out, it’s fine. We’ll discuss it and work it out. But to publish the work and then ignore the invoices and follow-ups – uh, no. Not cool at all. And typical of the life of a freelancer. While most business writing does pay a portion upfront, most magazines that take articles do not. They pay according to their contract (which is usually on acceptance or on publication) and/or a kill fee.

Worked on chapters 12, 13 & 14 of Tracking Medusa. Cut the references to The Thistle Chapel in St. Giles Cathedral – it’s not relevant to the story and bogged it down. Re-structured the scene inside The Oxford Bar. Did some work on the confrontation with Karl outside the Oxford Bar, but I’m not satisfied with it. Re-worked it some more, and it’s better. Cut repetitive references to previous conversations stuck in because there was a time lapse in the writing of the draft and I forgot I already said it. The hardest was re-structuring the information they discover at the Scottish War Memorial, why it’s such a shock to Gwen, and the chronology of information. I have to remind myself we’re not in the 1980s, so I need an extra familial generation for the physicality of what happens where and who does what to whom to make sense. I had to do math, for crying out loud – how old was this one or that one in which year, and what could he have physically done? I also have to go back and tweak something in the Lindisfarne section that affects this section.

It’s an interesting contrast here, how Justin handles a situation according to his conscience and integrity, balancing what he knows is right with what he wants, compared to how he’ll deal with a similar situation in Book 3, with a very different result.

Hopefully, the creation and explanation of the amulets section doesn’t sound like “Gems and Crystals 101.” It’s very interactive, there’s humor, and also Justin’s growing concern that Gwen’s lost it.

And, of course, the warring voices saying, “You can’t fix this; it’s a mess” to “Just go ahead and fix it already!”, “Who do you think you are, trying to write?” to “I’m a writer, dammit, I’m writing.”

All you can do is keep at it, right?

But I felt like I was banging my head on the desk to no avail yesterday.

Hey, guess what? I had to put in a new ink tank. Are you surprised? Not!

Off to work on Wyatt, and then I have errands to run and practical stuff to handle. I also have to sit down and sort through some offers to figure out which make the best sense, both financially and creatively. Of course, the ones I find most attractive are the ones it makes the least business sense to accept, so I’m trying to find a balance.


Tracking Medusa revision – 42,014 words out of est. 90,000 (46.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on January 23, 2008 at 9:01 am  Comments (8)  


  1. I am sad, because all four ink tanks in my Laser printer are out at once. And they’re $80 apiece to replace. OUCH.

    Serves me right for printing up all the web pages I find during my research. I have to have HARD COPIES, so I can FILE them… 😉

    I hope the warring voices quit warring soon!

  2. I think when anyone dies suddenly at 28, or any age, it comes as a real shock.

    We don’t even get kill fees over here. If they decide not to use it, they send it back. End of. Even if you do have a contract.

    I’m currently waiting for ink too. I’ve been illegally printing at work …

    You mentioned Lindisfarne and Northumberland in yesterday’s post. I loved both when I visited, but I’ve only been once. I did like the peace and tranquility of Holy Island, though.

  3. I was shocked to hear of Heath Ledger’s death, too. SO SO sad.

    And yes – You just have to keep at it!

  4. I love Viggo Mortensen. He is just brilliant.

    And I’m so saddened by Heath Ledger’s death. I loved him in 10 Things I Hate About You. It will be eery to watch him in the next Batman installment.

  5. E-book idea: The Ink Tank Chronicles. Could be a long-term series? 😉

  6. I know – I was completely shocked that he died. I hate these young, tragic deaths! Oh geez – my heart sank when I heard about it. (My mom is on those same drugs!! Scares the crap out of me!!) I felt like hopping a bus and heading over there. Just wanted to see the building, just kinda be there. Don’t know why. Can’t believe you’ve been in the building he lived in. Wow.

    And about your writing. . . keep plugging away. It’ll be worth it!

  7. I hate that the world has lost such promising talent, but most of all that Heath won’t see his daughter grow up.
    You must print ALOT of material. We just had to replace an ink cartridge and it only cost us $10. You just keep reminding me that I really, really like our printer.
    Good luck with your decisions on work and sending good thoughts your way because you sound as though you need them.

  8. Yay about the Oscar nom for Viggo and Tilda – two actors I admire, as well. I’m also thrilled about the Oscar noms for Sarah Polley’s first feature. And for Halifax actress Ellen Page. Woo!

    And talk about crushed at the news of Heath Ledger. Really – my heart jabbed painfully as I registered the words and images on the news last night. He’s always been a huge fave of mine. I’m really, really down about it.

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