Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Leap Year Day!

The scumbags backed off yesterday, but are back today in force. So, I guess today they learn what “no negotiation” means when someone isn’t bluffing.

Admin work, some writing, some sorting out the tangled story strands in my head. It will be almost impossible to work at home for the next few weeks, yet I have to be here in order to keep the scumbags in check. Not fun at all. So I’m getting up ridiculously early in the morning to get in a couple of hours of writing before the chaos starts. I’m hoping with headphones, I’ll be able to edit in the afternoons, or, at least, read.

Day by day, people. Day by day.

Really annoyed with the last few books I’ve read for the essay – content I can take notes on and use in the essay. But the carelessness in the presentation – don’t they bother to edit this person’s books? Or, at the very least, copyedit? I understand typos in ARCS. But to have the amount of typos in a hardcover book by a bestseller author from a major publisher is simply a slap in the face to the readers. I’m not blaming the author – I’m blaming the publishing house. It comes across as they know people will buy it, so they don’t have to bother keeping up their end of the deal and putting out a clean book.

Good morning’s work on Old-Fashioned Detective Work. Decent morning’s work on the scif-fi horror novella. I get to present my vision of what all these morons injecting poison into themselves for cosmetic reasons will look like in twenty years – the consequences. It’s also a section where I need to tell part of the story rather than show it, because it could be its own story, and that derails the entire piece. It’s a flashback, because the event that happened in the past is the catalyst for this piece. But I don’t want to dwell on it. Enough sensory detail so one experiences it, but not so much time spent on it you forget the purpose of the novella. Challenging, but worth it.

My life will be full of Medusa all weekend – have to finish the revision and also make the synopsis and outline sparkle, so that everything is ready and it’s ready to travel out in the world – no matter what the person with the partial decides.

Colin kindly pointed out I had a typo in my email yesterday. If you want the printer, contact me at devon at devonellingtonwork.com.

Pardon me while I deal with some scumbags.

Devon

Old-Fashioned Detective Work
– 20, 141 words out of est. 25,000

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 February 29, 2008 at 8:59 am  Comments (7)  

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I was supposed to work onsite in CT today, but that was postponed again, so I get to work at home, in the middle of building chaos. Oh, goody. Yes, that’s a note of sarcasm in my voice.

I’m not even angry about the building crap anymore. I am simply done negotiating. And I do not bluff. That’s one of the reasons I no longer play poker.

Yesterday was more about paperwork and admin work than anything else. I’m slowly excavating my desk. I found a contract that I hadn’t wanted to sign during Mercury retrograde and signed it. Much to my surprise, I received a check from a publication I’d written for last summer – I didn’t think I was ever going to chase down a penny from them. Their definition of prompt payment is different than mine, but at least I got paid, and I can cross them off the list. That means there’s only one outstanding unpaid client at this point, unusual for this line of work.

Still reading the books for the essay. It’s a challenge to read 15 books back to back in a short space of time. My eyes are tired. And, I’m starting to catch inconsistencies and errors that I might not have had I read each as they came out, one per year. It makes me realize how meticulous my own notes need to be when I work on books where the same characters travel through several stories.

I have to move my bagua mirror from the front door at some point in the next few weeks for a few days and had to figure out what to do with it, because it can’t come inside the house and it can’t sit in the car. Of course, none of the sites have my particular situation, so I hunted down some friends and colleagues who are better versed in feng shui than I am to get a solution. I don’t like having it off the front door for even a few minutes, but too bad for me. I’ll have to make alternate arrangements.

Found the printer driver for the Desk Jet. So, if you know anyone who wants an almost new HP DeskJet 1455, it’s a great little machine in perfect condition, as long as you don’t need to print 100 pages a day, as I often do. It’s not even two months old yet – I bought it on January 5. I’m selling it for less than I paid for it. Contact me for details at devon at devonellngtonwork.com. I hadn’t yet registered it, so there won’t be any registration transfer kerflamma to deal with. The black ink cartridge is almost out, but the color still has quite a bit, and I have another unopened color cartridge to include. If you’re close enough for a hand-off, there’s not even a shipping cost involved. I have the power cable, but not a USB cable for it – I kept the one from the Multipass and used it for the Pixma, and, when the Multipass is fixed, I’ll keep switching it between the two.

I’ve been getting up later because I’m going to bed late, but got up early this morning to get a start on the day before the building chaos kicked in. And I’m much more productive. I’m productive early in the morning, that’s the way it is. So I need to get back to the early morning routine.

Great morning’s work on Old-Fashioned Detective Work. It’ll run longer than I originally planned, but that’s okay. Decent progress on the sci-fi horror western novella. I have a sense of its overall scope; now it’s putting it together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Today’s agenda includes work on Tracking Medusa’s revision and honing the outline/synopsis a bit more. I’m still not thrilled with it. It’s workman-like and it has to be enchanting. I need to get some submissions out that are hanging around, not so patiently waiting, do more reading for the essay (I’m finding the author’s world claustrophobic, and the books are getting longer, so I spend less time reading them each day)., start the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, and who knows what else.

Devon

Old Fashioned Detective Work
– 19,232 words out of est. 25,000 (76%)

Sci-fi Horror Western – 1352 words out of est. 15,000 (9%)

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 February 28, 2008 at 9:00 am  Comments (5)  

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

The situation at the building will only get uglier over the next few weeks.

Like I said: I’m done negotiating.

Devon

Published in: on February 27, 2008 at 9:55 am  Comments (6)  

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

“Don’t make me come up there!”

Usually, that’s said to kids who are misbehaving. In fact, especially when I say it quietly, without lifting my eyes from the page, ALL of my ten godchildren quake. Even the ones who have children of their own.

See, I’m the “cool” godmother, the one who lived on 42nd St. in NYC for 13 years over a strip club, works (worked?) in theatre, television, and film, writes for a living, hangs out with horse racing and ice hockey people and travels all over the world whenever I want just because I want.

And I’m MUCH stricter with my godkids than their actual parents are sometimes. There are some cases where my rules are different, but the Main Rule when they stay with me, is “You follow the House Rules – or you go home.” I don’t negotiate with the underage. Period.

And, when I negotiate with the “of age” but young – hell, I’m a union negotiator. I play hardball. I don’t back down.

So I don’t have a lot of trouble with any of them, even the ones who’ve landed on the doorstep and stayed for months at a time because of problems at home.

Too bad it doesn’t work on cats.

I put up with way more from my cats than I do from humans.

It’s true: Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.

Fortunately, I’m bigger than the cats, so when push comes to shove, literally, I can pick them up and place them where I want them. And get that look of disdain that only a feline can throw, before turning around and stalking out with nose and tail in the air.

Building problems that needed to be dealt with immediately this morning. If things aren’t better by the end of the week, it’s time to bring in the Feds. Not the state people, who’ve been a big help. The Feds. That’s how bad it’s gotten. And my patience has expired.

I’m not negotiating.

This is the way it is.

I have a confrontation to handle right now, and then, hopefully, I can get some writing done. Read another book for the essay yesterday, and stayed up way to late to finish it.

The last box of books arrived, with the last books I need for the essay and some stuff from Strand for BALTHAZAAR research. Strand Books is so good to me!

Devon

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 February 26, 2008 at 10:21 am  Comments (9)  

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Go visit A Biblio Paradise and read the interview with novelist Sandra Worth, whose book Lady of the Roses is definitely on my Top 10 for this year, no matter how many books I read!

I was going to take a reading break yesterday, but, after doing some writing, I read another book for the essay. It helps a lot to read them in order and see how the series has grown. I’m learning as much writing-wise and process-wise as I am gaining material for the essay, which is a good thing.

The writing’s going slowly. I feel as though the various stories are tangled up like a bag of yarn skeins that unraveled, and I have to sit down and pick them apart slowly, and rewind each color to its appropriate skein.

Attended the usual Oscar-watching party last night, the one to which I’ve gone for years. I wasn’t in the mood to socialize, but I made the effort, and it was fine. I was thrilled Tilda Swinton won. I was disappointed Viggo Mortensen did not. Of all the nominated performances, I felt his was the most seamless and chilling. However, the voters went for something more . . .theatrical is the only word I can use. Day-Lewis’s work WAS wonderful, but . . .I could see him work. Mortensen’s portrayal looked effortless (although he put an enormous amount of detailed work into it) and was one of the scariest things I’ve experienced in a long time — which was the point.

Off to do some errands and pay some bills. This is going to be an odd week. I have to get another draft of Tracking Medusa done this week, because it has to be ready to go. And I’ve got to pitch for some freelance jobs. The job boards have completely sucked lately, so it’s time to get more inventive. But focusing on anything exterior right now is very difficult.

Devon

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 February 25, 2008 at 9:32 am  Comments (7)  

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read the review of Sandra Worth’s Lady of the Roses, which is one of the most gorgeous historical novels I’ve read in a long time. Tomorrow, hop back on over to read the interview with her.

Still don’t have a lot to say. I read two more books for the essay yesterday and took lots of notes. I did quite a bit of writing, but I’m not at a stage where I can talk about it. I got all warm and fuzzy from another royalty statement, although the numbers aren’t enormous. But royalty statements are still wonderful things, in my opinion.

It’s very strange to have to much internal work going on and not be able to talk about it. I’m not doing it to be secretive; I’m doing it because it’s still at a delicate stage, where talking ABOUT it instead of WORKING on it is counter-productive. It’s like going on an expedition when you don’t know for what it is you’re searching.

I’m going to try to take a break from reading today and concentrate on writing, especially since I’m breaking in the new Canon! And I’ve got to hunt down that HP driver so I can put that up for sale. I remember thinking I’d put it in a very safe place, which of course means I have no idea where it is.

I need to get back to work on the next MEDUSA draft, because it has to be ready to go this week. And I want to get back into BALTHAZAAR. And EARTH BRIDE is bugging me – those characters gave me a few weeks off to concentrate on MEDUSA, but now they want my attention again.

It’s like I’ve said a million times – unfinished work drains one’s creative energy. So finish, already!

Devon

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:

February 23, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Icy and cold

We had about 10 inches of snow yesterday, which then turned to freezing rain. I went out in the afternoon and shoveled out the car so the freezing rain wouldn’t make it impossible. The workouts must be working — I shovelled for an hour and wasn’t even breathing hard. Now THERE’S a change!

My new Canon Pixma arrived, and I installed it, uninstalled and packed up the HP. Once I find the driver for the HP, I will put it up for sale. Cheap. So, if anyone knows anyone who might want it, let me know. It’s fine if you don’t print 100+ pages nearly every day. And it’s not even two months old. The Pixma was $20 cheaper than the HP, and the print quality is 10X better. Go figure. It’s gorgeous – and the cats leave it alone! I feel like I should keep a special cloth in the drawer next to it and wipe it clean like a car every day, so it keeps gleaming. It doesn’t have a catch tray for the pages coming out, so I’ll make one out of a box lid. The HP had a catch tray and it still spit the pages all over the living room.

Did a bit of writing, noodling around. I have to do some research before I can go any farther on one particular piece.

Read another book for the essay. I probably could have read two, had I pushed, but I needed to spend some time away from the dark world for awhile. When you read one book per year there, it’s one thing; when you’re reading 16 back-to-back . . .it’s a little much.

It’s nasty out there again today, but I don’t have to go out until this evening, so this morning I’ll do some things like, oh, I don’t know, maybe vacuum? Since the cats are shedding their winter coats and we have tumbleweeds of hair flying around.

Again, I’m operating on so much internal work that I really have nothing interesting to say right now. There are plenty of job practicalities I should be dealing with, but, right now, I’m refilling the creative well a bit.

Devon

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

Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 9:18 am  Comments (2)  

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing like crazy!

Short post. We’ve had six inches of snow so far and will probably get another six. It’s supposed to change to freezing rain later, so I’ll probably have to go and shovel out the car before it does so, and then move it if it rains. The brook’s already high, and if it rains AND the snow melts – well, better safe than sorry.

Other than that, I have no plans to go out today.

Got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1.

DHL tried to deliver the printer yesterday, but couldn’t, because the new buzzer system in the building doesn’t work (what a surprise – NOT), so I called them and told them to call my cell when they were at the door and I’d run down and sign for it. I hope they’re not out in this weather; really, I can wait until Monday. It’s nor worth someone getting hurt.

Ran a bunch of errands yesterday, including buying a jump rope (Nike speedrope, more than I wanted to spend, but it’s REALLY cool and feels perfect in my hands), and took a walk on the really cold beach, because it was so beautiful and sunny. It was just me and the crows. I like crows, so I didn’t mind, and they had a lot to say – let’s just hope I interpreted them correctly! 😉

Read two more books for the essay yesterday, and took notes. Patterns are emerging, some that support the argument, some that work against it.

Read some material sent by friends. Got off one set of comments; will get out the other today.

Getting some writing done, but don’t really know what any of it is; too early to discuss it. It’s still in that fragile state of creation.

Not much to say, but a lot of creative wheels turning.

And I love the snow, as long as I’m inside and don’t have to go anywhere. I’m not going anywhere today – I’ll refuse if I’m called in to the city. In spite of what’s being said on the traffic reports, I haven’t heard a train run in hours (the train station is right across the street), so it’s not like I could get in anyway.

Not much to say – I’m at a stage right now where it’s mostly internal work, not external.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Costume Imp’s supposed to fly to London this weekend, but the airports are closed – my thoughts are with you, I hope you’re safe, warm, and dry, wherever you are!

Devon

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 February 22, 2008 at 9:31 am  Comments (6)  

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Went outside to look at the lunar eclipse last night. It was fascinating. The cats were freaking out, being moon creatures. And I was pretty restless myself. I do not like being cut off from the moon!

The 1and1 server is down. Again. I can’t access my mail. I can’t update my websites. Every month, I lose approximately 2 weeks’ worth of service, scattered in and around the different days. This is NOT acceptable.

I need to back everything up on Fearless Ink and move that site first, then back up everything on the other sites and move them, too. BEFORE the next frigging invoice comes from 1and1. They are quick to take my money; but they don’t provide either service OR customer assistance.

I found a way to pull mail through another server, but why should I have to when I’m paying 1and1?

Quiet day yesterday. Some writing, lots of reading. I read two of the books for the essay and took lots of notes. I didn’t get too far on the desk, so I have to tackle that again today.

I was supposed to work onsite today, but that got moved to next week, so I’m working from home today, which is great. Tomorrow’s supposed to be quite a snow and ice storm, so I’m going to run my errands today, and hopefully, tomorrow, have a quiet day at home.

I’ve got some work friends sent me to read today, then back to my own writing, and the reading for the essay. If I can read a book a day, I can get through everything in about two weeks, and then start putting together the essay. This one is a challenge, because my personal views are so different from both the view the author presents and the topic about which I’m writing. I can’t brainstorm publicly, because it will come back to bite me in the butt, but there will be a lot of filtering and approaching material from different angles in order to make this one work. It’s a good exercise – writing a piece developing an argument with backup on a point of view that is not necessarily my personal one. Definitely not as straightforward as the last one – although that one had its challenges, too!

Linda, I’m not sure about the follow-up capacity on WordPress. I couldn’t find one yesterday, but maybe I just don’t know how to do it. Maybe it’s called something else. When I get a minute, I’ll see about asking Support.

Not much to say today. I’m staying quiet and just trying to get a lot done.

And that’s the way it should be.

Devon

Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 9:15 am  Comments (7)  

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop on over to The Scruffy Dog Review blog and check out my piece on “The Non-Writing Sabbatical.”

I’m going to stay home and quiet and work from home today; not be online much, just stay quiet. I don’t do well during lunar eclipses!

Yesterday was rather a lost day, which was frustrating. I did four loads of laundry at my friend’s place, which was great; however, he’s having renovations done. Although the guys were both exceptionally nice and very good at what they did with a minimum of repetitive machine noise, it was still too distracting to get much done. I got a little bit of research done for BALTHAZAAR, but that’s it.

Came home to find a stack of books for the essay arrived – so now I can start reading the first few in order, taking lots of notes. I figure I’ll spend 2-3 hours each day reading for the essay. It’s totally different from pleasure reading or review reading, because everything is through the prism of the essay topic.

I ordered my Canon Pixma. It should be here in a few days. There’s nothing wrong with the HP – it’s nearly new and I’m going to sell it at nearly half price to some lucky sod. It is simply the wrong printer for ME. It will make someone else very happy, and yay. And the Canon will make me happy, so everyone will be happy, and I won’t be hemorrhaging money on ink every week. Supposedly the printer’s shipped, so I should receive it any day now.

I’m playing with some ideas; not sure where any of them will lead. That’s part of playing, right? Got a bit of work done on Old-Fashioned Detective Work this morning, and will go back to it. There’s a stack of projects on my desk that require attention, so I will work my way through as much as possible.

I’m having trouble commenting on Blogger again – yesterday it took 8-12 minutes per comment, multiple tries, and it often didn’t publish the whole comment. I’m sick of it. I love my friends who use Blogger, but I can’t lose two hours a day with the commenting, which is what I’m averaging lately. I’ll keep reading the blogs, but if the comment doesn’t take the first time, that’s life, and I’m moving on to the next blog. I’m not going to keep working at it when the problem is with Blogger and not with my signature or typing in verification. Blogger wants to force non-Blogger users to switch, and therefore tries to make life hell for them; all they’re doing is diminishing the traffic for their users.

Now, to tackle the desk, which looks like an archaeological dig gone haywire . . .

Devon

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 February 20, 2008 at 9:22 am  Comments (8)  

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Doesn’t it feel good to have Mercury direct? But boy, were there a lot of car accidents on the road yesterday!

So, the HP Deskjet isn’t working for me. It’s not a lemon or anything, I simply made the wrong printer choice. I’m trying to fix it, now that Mercury is direct and I won’t shoot myself in the foot by purchasing electronic equipment. I found another Canon that seems more in line with what I want – and prints more than double the pages per ink tank. And Canon actually answers my questions. I’ll still get my big Canon all-in-one fixed – but I’ll have the little one as a backup. It’s not a Baby Bubble, but it seems to be the next generation of that type of printer.

I tried HP; we’re not a good match. I’m glad I didn’t panic-convert everything to HP, or I’d be REALLY unhappy now, instead of simply resigned to figuring out another choice.

The fact that their customer service sucks also plays into it.

I had questions for Canon and they answered me within two hours, giving me information, walking me through things I didn’t know how to do to check system compatibility. Turns out their Pixma ip1800 IS the new version of my beloved Baby Bubble, so I’m ordering it today.

Staples refuses to let me return the HP, and HP can’t be bothered to answer any questions. So . . ..as soon as my Pixma is hooked up, I will offer my almost-new, in perfect working condition ink hog HP for sale at a discount. For someone who doesn’t print non-stop, it’s a great printer. For me – I’m changing ink tanks at least every other day, sometimes every day. It simply doesn’t make sense.

And, next week, I’m taking the Multi-pass in for repair.

Canon, I’m back, and I’m sorry I strayed! 🙂

Got one of the sets of notes back from a Trusted Reader on MEDUSA yesterday. Her notes are great. She caught my bad habits – overuse of certain words, etc. She was annoyed at the places I hoped she’d be annoyed – there are times when Justin is an annoying little shit, acting much younger than his chronological age; I wanted it to grate, and it does. There are also places where I need to adjust some of Gwen’s behaviour. The reader needs to know why she’s shutting him out, even if he doesn’t yet, and we don’t get enough into her head to know why. I don’t want to get into big interior monologues – most of it can be adjusted with a sentence or a gesture here and there. What’s also great is that there are places where I felt I wanted to take more time but couldn’t, and she wants more time there – so my instincts were correct, and I can go back and rework some scenes. In spite of the manuscript being over 400 pages, it only runs about 93K because it’s dialogue-heavy, which means I have a few thousand words to work with; and, as I go through it, I’m sure I’ll make some more internal cuts, especially in dialogue, to tighten the flow. She was pleasantly surprised by a surprise I had near the end – AND she didn’t catch the thing I was afraid would send up a red flag, but I want to get away with. And if SHE didn’t catch it, my first reader didn’t catch it, and if (there’s a big if) the other reader who’s still working on the book doesn’t catch it – I’m home free with it. It’s a detail that I really, really, really want to keep because to me, it sets up a character arc for the three books.

What mortified me was the amount of typos she caught. I really thought I’d gone over it with a fine-tooth comb and caught everything. Boy, was I wrong. And, she caught a few places where I made cuts and hadn’t smoothed out bridges. I went back and checked, and, in one place, it’s on the page I printed, but not in the saved document. Did I not hit “save” when I edited, but printed first?

I try to keep in a rhythm when I edit: Work on a hard copy in red; put the changes into the document; read it through and add/cut more; save; proof; save; print; check the word count; save the back-up; close; move on to the next chapter. Overly paranoid, but I’ve lost too much work not to be that cautious.

I’m excited to get back to it.

The notes and outline for BALTHAZAAR TREASURE are coming along very well, too. I’m excited to put the tweaks into MEDUSA this weekend and to revise the pages I’ve done so far on BALTHAZAAR. I’m starting to understand the dynamics of this kind of expedition, which are very different than the dynamics in MEDUSA and very different than the land-based dig in Scotland for SANDOVAL

Acupuncture was great, although getting to and from Long Island was a nightmare. In spite of the holiday, the traffic was worse than ever, and accidents all the way there and back. I guess, because it was 65 degrees F, everyone wanted to get out. It’s colder again today, and tomorrow we get snow.

Finally got to watch THEY CALL HIM SASQUATCH last night. Mixed feelings, and I see why it went straight to DVD. Most of the cast is great. It was wonderful to see Neal McDonough in a comedy, and doing something where he doesn’t get killed, his ass kicked, or mutilated. He was very funny, especially in the beginning. The early scene in the car is worth the whole movie, in my opinion. He nailed that scene – especially if you’ve worked in the business, he had so many nuances layered under the obvious – I nearly fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard. Later in the movie, I would have given his character a slightly different track, but that’s me rewriting the movie. There’s some clever stuff, the cast, for the most part, is good, there’s good scene work, but the story line veers off from unusual cleverness into comedy sketch and then further into frat boy stupid humor, which is not my thing AT ALL. And the way the female characters were written were downright insulting. The wife character who believed she had a psychic connection to Bigfoot was good, mostly because the actress rose above the material, and the guy who played her husband had such a great rapport with her. The woman who played the teenaged daughter – she wasn’t given anything to do and there was no reason for her to be there. And the sex-starved bimbo – made me froth at the mouth. Every bad cliché you can imagine. Now, I worked on musical the year I lived in Seattle written by the woman who wrote ANGRY HOUSEWIVES. The number that brought down the house every night was “Bigfoot’s Love Slave” which was a CLEVER, NON-CLICHED treatment of a similar idea as presented in this movie. The male characters were all allowed to turn their clichés inside out; the female characters (except for the wife, who refused to be boxed) were trapped in them. And that pissed me off. It’s one of those things were you go, “Yeah, written by a man (or men) with no understanding of how women are wired and couldn’t care less to find out.”

It looks like it was a fun set on which to work, but the result . . .yeah, straight to video. I laughed at some parts of it, but, again, a movie that could be good and misses is more frustrating than one that’s just awful. And this could have been really good and really clever and really broken ground with a little more humanity in the script instead of solely relying on the actors to bring it to the table. The production design was terrific – the details were just astonishing, especially since I suspect the budget was pretty tight. And I felt there were quite a few misplaced sound effects that worked against the film instead of shoring it up. You know you’re in trouble when you start noticing the sound effects. There were also logic and continuity lapses that bugged me, mostly with characters in the background of a first part of a scene and then not in the rest – it could have been the logistics of scheduling – but I kept going, “He was in the last shot; why isn’t he here? They didn’t walk anywhere, yet suddenly they’re away from everyone else” – stuff like that.

That’s the problem — when you’ve stood on a set and had to watch for continuity errors, someone else’s scream out! It’s like editing – it’s easier to spot someone else’s mistakes than your own.

Still, I’m glad I saw it, and I thank whoever sent it to me.

I’m off to pack the laundry bag. My hamper’s exploding, and I’m going to pack some work and do laundry all day at my friend’s house.

But first – I’m going to order my new printer!

Devon

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 February 19, 2008 at 9:25 am  Comments (6)  

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008
Waxing Moon
Mercury DIRECT
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and warm
President’s Day

Mercury goes direct tonight, so expect the day to be wonky. Just stay patient and keep a sense of humor.

The weekend was good. I didn’t do a lot of writing as in word count, but I did a lot of outlining on several projects and sorted out directions and plots, etc. Once I prioritize them, I can figure out which to focus the bulk of my attention on, and then I should be able to cough out the first drafts reasonably efficiently.

I read my friend’s novel and loved it, except for one scene, which I will talk to her about. I have very few comments overall, which I will get to her this morning.

I did a lot of yoga. Not as much as I planned to, but a lot.

It was QUIET there and it was nice to be able to hear myself think for a bit.

I did a lot of research for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I need to re-think a lot of the mechanics. The basic plot and character arcs still work, but how and why they get where they get – the logistical details – need to be amended. I’m also not sure if I want to keep it in the Caribbean (the release of FOOL’S GOLD makes me want to set it elsewhere, even though the two pieces aren’t remotely similar, or even in the same genre). I’m worried that setting it off Cape Cod makes it too similar to my research materials, but at least I could get there and look around. Plus, I’ve been fascinated by shipwrecks off Cape Cod since I started going there when I was a little girl. I won’t be able to fly to the Bahamas any time soon. Or maybe move it farther up the coast, near Nova Scotia? Any of those three shipping routes make it possible – I just have to figure out which is the best for the story. Since I don’t need any of my characters wafting around in bikinis to sell movie tickets, but will actually have them in the right gear for the job, it gives me the freedom to set it where I wish. I also have to expand the time frame – I’m having them try to do too much in a single dive season. Of course, if I have it in warmer waters, such as the Caribbean, the dive season is longer. So there’s lots to consider. Jim – watch out! I’ll be emailing you some questions in the next few weeks!

The research materials also inspired me for at least two other stories (that have nothing to do with Gwen and Justin).

I’ve tracked down all the Anita Blake books that I need for the essay, and I should have everything within the next two weeks. I’m going to read them and take notes as they come in, as close to in order as possible. If my notes are clear enough, I should be able to understand the character arcs, and maybe I’ll write sections of the essay every few books, and then tweak as I go. This one will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to rising to it.

I’m giving myself the day off from “work”, since it’s President’s Day. Plus, I have acupuncture (yay). If I feel like writing, I will. Otherwise, I’ll read or do whatever I wish. It’s a holiday, after all, and part of freelancing is to be able to call one’s holidays one’s own.

Oh, yeah, and I’m ordering ink again. Now there’s a surprise. Lori, my good printer that needs fixing is a Canon MP730 all-in-one. When it works, it does everything except cut my meat for me, and I can get nearly 700 pages per tiny ink tank. The “Manuscript Printer” that I bought JUST to print manuscripts that is supposed to be this great thing is an HP Deskjet D1455. The quality’s not as good as the Canon and it’s an ink hog. I get 100-150 pages out of each tank – and the tanks are larger than the Canon’s. I wish Canon still made Baby Bubbles – you could run over it with a tractor and it would still print perfectly. I’m very glad I didn’t buy an HP all-in-one to replace the Canon. I’m getting my Canon fixed! The fact that, after six weeks, HP’s Customer Non-Service couldn’t be bothered to answer my questions doesn’t sit well with me, either. Canon answers in 48 hours. I don’t always LIKE the answer, but at least I get one!

Devon

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 9:50 am  Comments (5)  

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Whew! Busy day yesterday. I polished and sent off three guest blog posts; did a fact sheet for a client; did some internet research; negotiated with a few publications; trolled the job sites and actually found a few potential clients; worked on the synopsis and outline; started reading my friend’s novel; enjoyed a Valentine’s afternoon distraction; went in to work a show on a track I’ve never run or followed.

I am on my last ink tank. Again! I’ve already spent more on ink for the new printer than it would have cost to fix the old one.

My shoulder hurt like hell and was a major problem. Not quite sure why.

Saw a call for submissions, for an anthology for charity. Every once in awhile, I do one of these, especially if it’s a cause in which I believe. I liked this one’s purpose. However, a condition of SUBMISSION (not acceptance, submission) was to promote the anthology and buy a copy. Um, no. When I’m willing to do an in-kind donation that’s worth several hundred dollars, you don’t expect me to do your marketing and be one of your customers, charity or not. Next!

The show was fine. I dressed the men and one of the principal men; they’re all very sweet. I enjoy them both as actors and people, which is always fun. The notes were clear, a friend who’s done the track was there to answer questions, so it was all good.

Came home, had a snack, checked my email, and was exhausted, so I went to bed around 1 AM.

I have to go to the bank this morning and then finish packing my writing bag. I’m working out of town this weekend – what’s great is that there’s no cell service, no internet access, nothing – in and around what I need to do for the job, I have nearly three days to write, read, do yoga, and meditate.

I plan to finish Old-Fashioned Detective Work, get a big chunk of work done on the sci-fi horror novella, work on the next ebook, sort out some other projects, and finish reading my friend’s novel (which I love). Before I go, I have to write the fix for the logic lapse in Medusa and get that out. And I’d like to get out a couple of other pitches and submissions.

Not much to say — part of me’s already left!

“Talk” when I get back – have a good holiday weekend, everyone!

Devon

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 February 15, 2008 at 9:14 am  Comments (8)