Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Cold, rainy day yesterday.

Worked on the adaptation. In this section, I can stay close to the original screenplay; however, I have to add quite a bit later on for it all to make sense and really hold together as a novel. There are quick explanations that one can get away with in a screenplay that simply won’t hold up in the novel. For it to have the emotional impact I want, I have to deepen it, layer it, work out some of the kinks. I’m also deepening the relationship between Zenda and Sam earlier. While, if this was visual and I had three-dimensional actors working the material, a great deal could be left unsaid. Their bodies would do the “speaking” instead of the words. In the novelization, a great deal remains unspoken between them, but it still needs to be on the page. Even if it’s done through action and gesture and behavior rather than narration, it still needs to be there.

Worked on Yuri’s Tale. Actually, I stopped working to make some continuity notes and do some world-building. The problem with that is that I wind up staring at the page. Unlike Earth Bride, where I could do dozens of pages of world-building as I created the outline and THEN write, the participants in Yuri’s Tale want to reveal it to me as it goes along. So I’m doing more note-taking than world-building and letting the characters reveal the world to be in this draft. A little frustrating, but. . .that’s the way it is. Also, I realized I need to start the book with Esmé, not Yuri (yet another reason the title needs to change). At first I thought it could be a prologue, but the more I mull it over, the more I realize no, it needs to be a chapter focused on Esmé before they arrive in Solmer and Yuri’s taven. I’ll set part of it on the ship The Sea Trotter, and part of it . . .well, you’ll just have to read it to find out!

This is the kind of situation where a writer who insists on total control over everything from the get-go would just stop. But, if you trust your characters (i.e., your subconscious) to get you through even the disjointed bits, you’ll push through and have something better at the end than if you tried to control it all so tightly before you set a word on paper. Rewrites are good places to impose structure and logic. First drafts are to trust your characters and your imagination.

Did an extra yoga session yesterday afternoon and it made a big difference.

Commute sucked both ways, and too many SFT’s in the city. Brandy and Melissa, you wouldn’t behave like an SFT, because you naturally think about others. It’s your nature. I don’t mind the tourists who come here and are amazed by all the wonderful things in New York; I mind the ones who are rude, thoughtless (it’s not New Yorkers who are rude, it’s the tourists), and treat those of us who live here as though we’re their personal maids.

Show was fine. I had to tell one of my Dear Hearts this was our last week working together on this show; he’s off to do another show (he’ll be wonderful in it) and I’m covering the Preakness during his last weekend on this show. So we are going to savor every performance together this week! Seriously, working with these actors is always good for me – they’re loving and joyful as well as being talented, and working with them opens my heart a little every time. Which is good, considering how closed and ready for battle I always have to be in my own home.

I have to go and pitch a fit at the credit union this morning. It seems anyone can walk up to any ATM and wipe out my checking and savings, as they did in January, but I can’t get to my own money, and I’m sick of it.

Taped a show last night on which I thought an acquaintance was guest-starring (because he told me so). He’d teased me that he’d call at midnight to see how I liked it (I got home at 11). So I watch the whole darned thing – and he’s not on it! He called, I mentioned it, and he said, “Yeah, that kind of sucks, doesn’t it?” I’m not sure if the episodes got shuffled around or he’s in an upcoming one or what. And it’s not a show I’d watch if he hadn’t told me he had a guest spot! He so owes me! 😉

Very short writing day today; I have two shows and I have to take a train shortly after 10:30. I want to get more writing done before that, so this is a short post.

Devon

Adaptation: 23,460 words out of est. 90,000

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

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:

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

So the scumbags in the building shut off our water yesterday. No notice, nothing. Just, at 10 AM – no water. Not acceptable. I called to complain, and was told, “well, I don’t know what it is, but maybe it’s an emergency repair.” Guess what, dumb ass? You still have to post signs IMMEDIATELY. And it wasn’t an emergency repair. The unsupervised construction guys who don’t know what they’re doing messed up something. I found out that’s exactly what happened – they weren’t paying attention when they worked on a wall and cut through a water pipe. How much do you bet if I hadn’t pitched a fit, we would have been without water all day?

Not to mention the fact that it’s raining and in the 40s, but they don’t give us heat – although by law, they are required so to do until the 15th of MAY.

Urgh.

Didn’t get much writing done, because I was dealing with all this building crap. Again.

Got a few submissions out. I have to find a second way of tracking manuscripts. The Submission Log is great for keeping track of what’s out there, but I need to go back to a card file with each title on a card and the submission history of that title. Because trying to track through multiple years (which happens, when pieces are held for 4-6 months) is driving me nuts.

Pitched for a few jobs. The job boards really are posting to the lowest common amateur lately. Very frustrating.

Finished Dark Moon Defender. Still don’t feel that Ellynor is good enough for Justin. But I have to trust in the author’s overall vision of the series. And now I have to wait until September for Cammon’s book! Oh, well, at least I’m deeply engaged in the story and characters, right?

Spent time with my friend; we spent most of the day together, actually, in spite of everything else going on, and had a nice dinner out.

Got some work done on both the adaptation and Yuri’s Tale. Got the notes for the revision of the essay from my editor, so I’ll tackle that soon, too, and talked to an actress friend about a monologue I’m writing for her.

Short writing day today because I’ve got a show tonight, and I have to leave early enough to get there on time. I do not commute well. I have some errands to run today, too, that need to be done out here, not in the city.

My friend leaves tonight, so we’ll spend some time together today, in and around everything else that’s going on.

Not a whole lot to say – this week is about writing and the shows.

Devon

Adaptation: 22,310 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
22 / 90
(24.4%)

Yuri’s Tale: 6,878 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6 / 100
(6.0%)

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 April 29, 2008 at 8:54 am  Comments (3)  

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

The new issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is out, which means my latest installment of “The Literary Athlete” is up. It’s called “In Between” and gives suggestions what to do while your manuscript makes the rounds. You can find it here.

The Pre-Derby article is off, and should be up in a couple of days. The monologue went off, the actor read it via web-cam, I did a rewrite, sent it off, we worked via webcam, I tweaked. I think it’s in good shape. I sent him one final tweak when I got home last night; if he’s comfortable, he can memorize it (his audition is tomorrow).

I didn’t get the script doctoring job. They decided to go with someone else (who has no published credits and has never written in play or screenplay format) who was willing to do it for the “experience” rather than pay. Now, they asked me for a quote when they approached me about the job, presented it as a paying job, and told me the scope of the project and the overall budget. I gave them a fair price, and, as far as I knew, this was a paying job, or I would have refused outright. Suddenly, they gave me the “option” of “we really want you to do this, but we decided we’re not paying anyone to punch up dialogue.” I don’t think so. You guys have no track record, I have no personal reason to work with you other than the actor who recommended me, you wouldn’t let me read the whole script, you’d only send me the few scenes you wanted punched up if I took the job (even after I explained why reading the whole script would be useful in punching up the dialogue of the specific scenes), and have been through six (count ‘em) writers so far. Usually, at least the courtesy of a deferred payment agreement is offered. Or, if you really don’t/can’t pay, you pull in favors from people you know really well, not strangers who have no reason to do anything for you. Their parting volley was amusing: “I’d bet you’d do this for free for a friend” to which I responded, “Probably. For a friend.” Whatever, it’s not my film, I’m not invested in any way. I feel badly for the actor who suggested me for the gig, who’s very unhappy with the scripts thus far. He only agreed to do it because he knew the first writer on the film – who was subsequently “replaced.” Honestly, it sounds like a nightmare-in-embryo to me.

The timing’s good, because I really don’t see how I could have taken it on this week while I’m in shows and doing a three hour daily commute and still have done my best work. I would have, but not landing it takes pressure off me, and that’s always welcome. I’m also enough of an optimist to believe it simply means some other opportunity to which I am better suited will come down the pike.

Besides, I have a Kentucky Derby for which to prep! After all, I’m in shows through Friday night and the Derby is on Saturday! I’m cutting it a little close this year.

Worked on the adaptation some more. I think I can add in one of the scenes I was sad to cut out of the screenplay due to time and space issues – it could be lots of fun here, and shore up the relationships among the secondary characters.

The trip to and from the city sucked, and there were far too many SFT’s to climb over (no, it’s not a venereal disease, it’s “stupid fucking tourists” and I don’t care what anyone says, THEY do not pay MY bills, so I can call them as I see them).

Show was fine, went smoothly, we had lots of fun. Once I’m in the building, it’s fine, but it’s getting to and from the theatre that makes it such a hassle.

Caught up with a colleague I hadn’t seen in ages, who’s very excited that Dreamworks is starting to produce on Broadway. He thinks they’ll be really good producers. They trust that the people they hire know what they’re doing and are honest with them, they let them do their jobs, and they don’t nickel and dime them to death. They’re willing to spend the money; in return, they want honest quotes, honest work, and that things are delivered on time, which seems perfectly fair to me. They seem to be thinking ahead so that there will be a minimum of scrambling at the last minute. That’s the kind of producers we need on Broadway, and there’s been a dearth of them with the corporate bean counters taking over instead of actual producers. So, let’s see if they come through as well as they’re starting, and, if so, it’ll be great for Broadway, and theatre in general.

Caught up with another colleague who I just think is one of our most exciting emerging artists; she’s getting ready to spend time in Europe again this summer, at an artists’ colony in Germany, working on a project. I’m delighted for her.

I have a friend visiting for a couple of days; he arrived yesterday and will be here until tomorrow. He’s been working in Canada and is on his way back home to Europe for the summer; it’ll be great to spend a few days together. He’s had a rough year, and he’s certainly been a life raft in stormy seas for me enough times, so I’m happy to return the favor.

Off to get some writing done. I want to finish at least one, maybe two short stories today so I can give them a polish tomorrow and get them out. And there was a very funny little incident on the train coming home last night that’s the seed of another story. I don’t want to relate it here, because it will dilute it – you’ll have to wait and read the story. I’m going to take what actually happened and then push its boundaries.

It’s a rainy, gloomy day, but we need the water after 13 days with no rain; as long as it’s steady and not so hard the brook breaks its banks, I’ll be happy.

Getting ready for a busy week at the show, and trying to balance it with the writing.

Devon

Adaptation: 20,808 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 90
(22.2%)

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:



Sunday, April 27, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was somewhat of a lost writing day.

Drove to Manhattan to the storage units. Pretty intimidating – boy, are they packed to the gills. But I filled up a carload of stuff, including clothes and some other things I wanted to get up here, and came back out. The only way I can consolidate the units is by renting a truck and hiring a couple of guys to help me – there’s just too much. And it doesn’t make sense to pay for that (which would run just under a grand around here) for the short term when it’s all going to get hauled to the house in a few months anyway.

Sorted things out, repacked things for the storage unit up here, washed the clothes. Most of them are in really good shape, but many of them are just from another phase of my life, and I’ll either put them up on eBay or give them away once they’re washed and ironed. Some will get freshened and put into my costume stock because they’re unique and might come in handy “some day”. (And here I was, planning to dump all my costume stock just two weeks ago; I’ve rethought that. But it needs re-labeling and I’ll need to set up proper storage in the house – muslin garment bags on rolling racks). Some were just such left-over 1980s hideousness that I couldn’t even keep them for costume stock and they were tossed. The gold and black Anne Klein Lurex jacket? I bought it for a reading of a piece, but we never used it because it was too hideous, even for a piece set in the 80’s, but I hadn’t gotten rid of it. There was enough dry rot in the fabric (because there was nothing natural in there) so I could toss it with a clear conscience. There are some very nice linen skirts and things, though, that are fine, but a little too corporate for my current life and not really the colors I now wear, so they will go. I’ll prep them, photograph them and get rid of them over the next few weeks. I have to re-block some lapels on a few jackets I want to keep, change some buttons, do a few alterations on things.

Brought back some furniture pieces (bookcases), so I scrubbed them down and found them places here. Repacked some stuff and took it to the unit up here.

Stopped a new café on the way back – really nice atmosphere, tucked in an industrial section one town over; might be a good place if I need to switch locations while I’m writing to clear my head.

But rearranging the apartment and working on the clothes pretty much took all day. And I’m very sore today from all the lifting, moving stuff around in the unit to get what I needed, hauling boxes hither and yon.

Got a little bit of work done on the adaptation this morning. I had computer problems yesterday, but finally got my little Script Frenzy icon and certificate. Considering I lost my original 98 page draft and re-created the whole thing from scratch, I figured I earned it, and I’m keeping the icon up for a few days!

I’ve got to give the pre-Derby article a polish, then write the monologue for the actor friend down (I’ve been spinning it in my head). He’s got a web cam, so we’re going to try what is basically a virtual rehearsal.

I’ve got to leave for the show at 3, because heaven forbid the trains run so there’s a convenient time for me to get into the city. I’m only working the second show of a two-show day, but it means I won’t get home until late tonight.

Yesterday was practical rather than creative, so I’ve got to be both today.

Devon

Adaptation: 19,586 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19 / 90
(21.1%)
Published in: on April 27, 2008 at 9:31 am  Comments (3)  

Saturday, April 26,2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I had plenty of chocolate. There’s no reason to be cranky.

Except . . .I actually answered my phone yesterday and Iris typed her own version of the short story on which I was working. On deadline. Yes, Iris the Russian Blue cat. That’s what I get for answering the phone. I never answer the phone. I LOATHE the phone. But it was from an actor to whom I am loyal, and I hadn’t heard from in a long time, so I answered. Great conversation, great catch-up, as though we’d been out of touch for ten minutes instead of something like 5 years. Of course, he wants something – he needs to impress someone (come on, he’s got the credentials not to need to audition anymore), so I’m tossing off a monologue for him this weekend. Yay for email. I know his cadence almost as well as my own, and any time he’s used my material, he’s nailed the audition. I capture his endearing weirdness very well.

But when I got back to the computer, a particular little gray cat who’s getting a bit on the roly-poly side had been pounding those paws on the keyboard and I had three pages of gibberish to delete. Believe me, if it had made any sense, I’d have kept it. I’m not happy with the tone of the piece: It needs to be lighter, more sarcastic, snarkier.

Thank goodness for all the info on the WGA site. Someone asked me what I would charge to do some script doctoring – not a full rewrite, my name won’t be on it, just punch up some of the dialogue and make it sparkle for a flat for-hire fee. So I looked through the rates to get an idea and set a quote that wasn’t out of reach, but also didn’t make me feel like I was short-changing myself. I may still have priced myself too high, but if that’s the case, so be it. The bid is a fair rate for the work involved and the craft needed, and it’s fair within the production’s budget. We’ll see if they think so.

Hauled a load of stuff to storage and bought some stuff back. In one of the returned bags, I found my London A-Z – thank heavens! It’s much easier to write about London with the map sitting beside me, and it’s certainly easier to BE in London with the A-Z, since most Londoners give horrible directions. New Yorkers are fabulous at giving directions – in fact, ask in a subway car, and the entire car will erupt in a dozen ways to get somewhere, each person convinced his way is the best way. In London, they don’t know where they are or how to get anywhere else. Or they ignore you. In Scotland, they’ll invite you to the local pub and regale you with stories about the neighborhood before personally escorting you where you want to go, but London . . .take the A-Z along or you’ll be perpetually lost.

Pet Peeve: The quickest way to make sure I’ll click away from your site and probably won’t return is to be talking happily about whatever you’re promoting or like and add the phrase “everybody’s doing it.”

Buh-bye.

I’m not everyone, and I don’t care what “everyone” does.

In fact, that was one of the few rules while I was growing up: If you want something or you want to do something, you make that clear, but you do NOT make that decision because “everyone” is doing/wanting/being that. If “everyone” is doing it – it was an immediate “no” at home. I was expected to do my research and make my OWN decision. And that’s stayed with me.

Hung out with friends last night and had a good time. Made up a new recipe for tuna/olive tapenade based on a couple of recipes I’ve read, but decided to change. Better write it down before I forget what I did, because it worked. And I’m not terribly fond of olive anything except olive oil, so that’s saying something. Well, okay, olives in a martini, but that’s an entirely different conversation . . . I also cut wedges of organic tomatoes, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled some coarse sea salt on them. Yum, yum!

Off to my storage units in the city – yes, I’m driving into Manhattan, I must be out of my mind. I need to dig out some stuff I can either use out here or should be closer. Not looking forward to this little jaunt AT ALL.

But it needs to be done.

Will get some writing done when I get back.

Devon

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 5:20 am  Comments (6)  

Friday, April 25,2008

Friday, April 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

So, pretty much everything is happening next week. We’re leading up to the Derby; I’m doing five shows; The PEN World Voices Festival, which was an absolutely life-changing experience last year, is on and I can’t go to anything; and the Tribeca Film Festival is on, and it looks like nothing I really want to see is on at a time I can actually go to see it. So that’s a bit frustrating, but, well, that’s what happens when you’re in a city with a gazillion things happening all the time.

I did some work on the adaptation, and I’m figuring out Yuri’s Tale as I go. I have to sit down and do some free writing on it. The ideas feel like they’re just beyond wherever I am, so I have to catch up to them.

I found some interesting submission calls; there are one or two I’d like to try. A story of which I’m rather fond, but hasn’t yet found a home came back from a Trusted Reader who said, “You tried to mash a 75K novel into 2500 words; good ideas; poor execution.” Of course, the Reader is correct – the guidelines said 2500 words, and the story is beyond that, so there was lots of stuffing, so I have to re-think the whole thing. I just really want to get some shorter pieces out there to have a feeling that I’ve accomplished something. The whole novel – and even novella – process is very long.

Worked on a bit of a short story for one of the submission calls – and this definitely IS a short story. Could be kind of fun, but I have to refresh my memory on some Atlantic City geography.

I’m frustrated with a two of the books I’m reading. One is by an author whose work I adore, the series is one I adore, and this character is one I adore; unfortunately, the partner for this particular character’s story leaves me cold. I don’t think she’s good enough for him. And then I feel guilty, because it’s not MY vision, it’s the author’s, and I really have no right to say anything, but I feel proprietary and protective of this character. However, I have to also trust the writer’s overall vision for the series and see where it goes. But I’m struggling now, with this particular book. I want to be as in love with it as I am with the others in the series, and I’m just not.

The other book is by a new-to-me author, although someone with quite a track record. I like the premise, the research, the pace, the inventiveness, and yet something about it leaves me cold. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Maybe I should switch to some non-fiction for awhile, but I am simply not in the mood for astrobiology right now. I took out Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare and began re-reading that, taking notes because it’s relevant to several upcoming projects. It’s one of the best biographies I’ve ever read, so I’m excited to get back into it.

I finally got my hair cut yesterday. I couldn’t stand it anymore. It’s still a little longer than I’ve kept it for the past few years, but it’s kind of like a windblown pageboy. Since I always look windblown anyway, I might as well get it styled that way.

Busy day – storage, grocery shopping, measurements, writing, finishing the pre-Derby article. Maybe watch some of the video I need to watch to formulate questions for another interview. There’s so much background material for this particular one that it will take over my life if I let it. And I won’t.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Devon

Adaptation: 18,522 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
18 / 90
(20.0%)

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 April 25, 2008 at 7:31 am  Comments (7)  

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Scroll down to the post below this for the photos I took while playing hooky at Playland, the Art Deco amusement park in my town.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of days and keep forgetting, so here it is:

Hop on over to this post:

http://www.bizchicksrule.com/what-i-want-to-be/

Leave a comment, and support Lori Widmer, who is one of the best and most supportive fellow freelancers around!

Okay, I have to be really organized in the next few days. I accepted a stint of 6 shows (performances) starting with Sunday night, covering while my friend is out of town on family business. So I have to get into “show head” and stay there for nearly a week.

I used to write during the day and a switch in my head would turn off at 4 PM (on non-matinee days) and 11 AM (on matinee days) and I’d be there. In “show head”, where whatever show I worked on at the time was all that existed on the planet.

Now . . .it doesn’t happen. The writing never leaves, which means there are times when the characters in my head are talking more loudly than the characters on stage, and I have to be extra careful not to Screw Up.

I rarely miss a cue, unless it’s in tech week and, as usual, they don’t have enough dressers and I’m madly dashing from cue to cue learning the hard way that I can’t be in six different wing spaces changing people at the same time. Usually, if I miss a cue, it means I’m broken, bleeding, and injured somewhere on the way to the cue. Or I’m trying to fix something that went wrong/broke/etc. and it’s starting to domino (because there’s a time when things go wrong when you have to lose that cue and move on not to lose the next one).

Fortunately, this show is set up sanely so it doesn’t have that type of cues. I worked on a show once where a crew member used to stand at one set of steps and yell, “Clear” into the basement as I shot from a cue on one side of the stage under the stage as the actress crossed above to meet her on the other side for the next change. And everyone simply flattened against the nearest wall as I zoomed by or risked being run right over. Doesn’t exactly fit into the safety regulations, and I’m finally old enough and wise enough to refuse such a situation if I was put into it again.

I’ve landed many a job based on my speed, strength, and manual dexterity rather than my stitching skills.

Got three loads of laundry done, answered a ton of email, and got an important (to me) set of interview questions out to a potential interviewee.

Had to remind a client with whom I broke up several months ago that yes, we were still broken up and the reason there aren’t any articles for next month is because I wasn’t contracted to write them, and no, I wasn’t coming back so to do. (This is the high-maintenance, low-paying client that I finally had to dump and whose clips I can’t even use in my clip files because of the butchering).

Finished chapter 5 on the adaptation and wrote chapter 6. A lot of chapter 6 sticks pretty closely to the screenplay, because it’s one of the strongest sequences in the whole thing. I’m narrowly focusing for a few chapters here before I open out again.

Skipped going to storage again, which means I have to haul a damned lot of boxes to and fro today and tomorrow!

Did some work on Yuri’s Tale, just feeling my way into it.

My grandmother is holding her own, about the best that can be said. I hope to get up there soon after the Derby.

Devon

Screenplay Adaptation – 16,808 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16 / 90
(17.8%)

Yuri’s Tale – 5,220 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5 / 100
(5.0%)

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 April 24, 2008 at 7:57 am  Comments (4)  

I played Hookey!

It was a beautiful day, so I played hookey!

This is the boardwalk at Playland, the Art Deco amusement park in my hometown.  I love to sit here and read or write.

This is the back of the Monster Mouse roller coaster, looking towards the Ferris Wheel.  The park’s not open yet; they’re preparing it for the summer.

This is the back of the infamous Dragon Coaster, one of the original rides from the late 1920’s.

The view from the boardwalk to the beach.  I love the architecture — and the fact that the dogs can still play on the beach and in the water until the park opens!

It was beautiful and in the 70’s here today — there was no way I was going to sit inside!

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 3:51 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Turbulent day yesterday.

More building crap, which I don’t even want to get into.

On top of that, a close friend had a death in the family, which is painful and difficult for her. About five minutes after I found out about that, I discovered that my uncle, a well-known artist in Europe, also died in the past few days. Unfortunately, we were not close, having a rather tempestuous relationship, but he was brilliant and difficult and reminded me a lot of my dad (who died when I was 10). He’s also been sick for a long time, but that never makes it easier, does it?

Had trouble concentrating and found the job boards unbelievably depressing.

Of course, ten minutes before I had to leave to catch the train, the writing started going well! Isn’t that always the way?

Lovely Metro North not only raised the fares (so that 25% of a day’s show salary now goes to train fare), but they changed the schedule, so now I can either get in to the city far too early (cutting my writing time) or I can be late. Typical Metro North – charge more, provide less.

Of course the train was late and it was packed. Not only that, but I spent the whole trip to the theatre crawling over stupid tourists. Why is it that they lose any modicum of common sense the minute they set foot in NYC? Ack!

The show was fine, went well, caught the train home, got home by 11, puttered around for a bit before going to bed.

Overslept, was woken by the construction noise in the hallway. Not the way I prefer to wake up.

I have a lot of writing to do today, which includes working on the pre-Kentucky Derby article. AND, I have errands, and need to swap out another load from storage. Next week could be a busy week, schedule-wise, so I need to front-load as much as I can into this week and not worry.

I have to grab several spiral-bound notebooks and start making notations as to character and worlds – I’m in the midst of several projects where I built the worlds, and I need to keep the details straight. They’re all very different, and I want to make sure they don’t get mixed and murky. Each book’s world needs to be distinct and memorable.

Christine Amsden’s and Karina Fabian’s world-building workshops at last year’s Muse Online conference really set a foundation for the work I’m doing now. I will be grateful to them for a long time to come.

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 April 23, 2008 at 7:40 am  Comments (7)  

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant
Earth Day

Well, yesterday was a lost day as far as writing goes. I did some research, I plowed through (and even answered) nearly 1000 emails, got out a few submissions, worked on negotiating a few projects. I don’t mind being a little flexible with my rates in certain cases, but it can’t cost me to work. That’s where I draw the line. And the minute someone says “sure thing”, the warning bells go off in my head and I know it’s time to ask for more. Those who believe they have a “sure thing” are usually those who can’t get it very far off the ground; those who are excited by the actual project for itself usually wind up with something that’s worth the flexibility.

So, for these two “sure things” I’ve been promised – show me some cash and a decent contract, and we’ll work from there. Without those – I’m not the right one for either of these projects. So, we’ll see.

The air conditioners are GONE – can you believe it? I don’t even want to go into it, because there’s some weirdness going on with someone with whom I’ve been at loggerheads suddenly showing up three, four times making nice and doing little kind things for me and then trying to play suave and (literally) falling over his feet. Hey, I behaved. I didn’t laugh. But it sent up red flags. I do NOT trust this person. I can be cordial, but I’m not going to let down my guard.

My elbow’s giving me trouble, and so is the good knee, for some reason, which meant I was limited in how much weight training I could do. Now that I’m not hauling 85 boxes a day, I’ll do the actual training. But the elbow and knee are limiting what I can do. I want to try a new sequence for a few weeks to see if that gets me off this plateau, but the body parts actually have to be in working order for me to so do.

I’m hoping for a productive writing morning today; I have to truncate it and leave for the city by 3:30 to make my show call.

I re-read Anna Quindlan’s Imagined London, which is a lovely book for anyone who loves London or English literature (Lara, I immediately thought of you).

Outlined a darkly funny piece that will go under the Ava Dunne name or maybe one of the new names that’s launching some new material – I’ve got about the first half of it figured out, and the vague idea of the ending, so I’ll let it percolate for a bit.

But that’s kind of it. Too much dealing with building crap that just sucked the creative life right out of me. I’m weary and feeling very stuck on the whole home front.

Off to try and get some writing done, so that today isn’t a write-off, writing-wise, too.

I managed just over 1500 words on the adaptation this morning. It’s taking some interesting twists and turns away from the script, and I’m letting each piece live its own life in its own medium. This is definitely a good learning experience.

I should probably say something pithy for Earth Day, but I can’t think of anything, so just . . .tread lightly, okay?

Devon

Adaptation: 12,901 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 90
(13.3%)

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 April 22, 2008 at 9:05 am  Comments (5)  

Breaking News!

New Myths accepted “The Merry’s Dalliance” (the fantasy pirate story) for their September issue and are so enthusiastic they want to see more with these characters.

I’m THRILLED since I love this crew of characters and want to send them out on more adventures!

WOO_HOO!!!!!

Regular post below!

Published in: on April 21, 2008 at 7:18 am  Comments (10)  

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

First order of business: If you haven’t, go buy/rent/watch the movie A Dog’s Breakfast. RIGHT NOW. Cut out of work early, drop what you’re doing. Watch it. The writing, acting, direction, production values – excellent. I have not laughed that much with pure enjoyment for a long, long time. It’s the type of humor I love, and is just witty and silly and fun and somewhat dark and twisted and lovely and charming all at once. It’s a delightful film in the truest sense of the word.

Going into it in detail gives too much away. GO WATCH IT. NOW.

And yes, although I found the copy I own (and will watch until it falls to pieces) in Philly, I did order another copy, which I gave to the local video store so they could rent it out. In fact, I handed it to the dumbass who gave me a hard time about wanting to BUY a copy and told him to put it into circulation, and yes, I would be back to check on him, and no, he really didn’t want to piss me off any more than he already had.

Because I am just THAT much of a bitch. 😉

Wrote two more chapters on the adaptation. Passed 11K. I figure this draft will run around 90K. Someday, it’ll even have a title. But it works well as a novel, and it makes me think that adapting the thriller from script to novel will be an excellent choice, too. The flow’s there, the structure’s there, but I can open it out and fill in what I wouldn’t insult a potential director by writing numerous stage directions in a script! I’d planned to give myself a change of pace by writing a comic/erotic mystery, but we’ll roll with this first and let everything else fall into place as it does. I’ve got the notes on the comic/erotic mystery, it’s not going anywhere, the characters will just continue to um, enjoy and experiment until I get around to putting it on paper!

Red Wings are going to the next round of the playoffs! Woo-hoo! The Rangers are, too, for the first time in I don’t remember how long. Looks like there’s going to be some good hockey in the next few weeks, and I am pleased.

Even enjoying a great movie couldn’t assuage all the worry about my grandmother, though. I found out more details – she actually fell down an ENTIRE FLIGHT of stairs (she’s in her nineties and has Parkinson’s). Fortunately, she didn’t break anything, but she’s very shaken. She’s back from the hospital, and the therapist is coming a few times a week. We’ll see how that goes for a few days before we figure out when we’re going up to Maine to see her. We’ll go up as soon as she’s strong enough, and then I can see for myself what’s going on and what needs to be done.

Skipped going to storage yesterday because I just didn’t feel like it. Ate warm chocolate pudding with fresh strawberries instead.

Today, I guess I’ll have to pitch a massive fit to get those air conditioners out. I mean, come on, I’ve been calling for over a week and we pay building maintenance because . . .? I may hire Rent-a-Husband to move the air conditioners first and then give them a little extra to kick management’s ass. If I could even roll the air conditioner, I’d roll it through the apartment and send it down the stairs, but I can’t even budge it. And I’m used to lifting in the 40-50 pound range, and I can usually life up to 100 pounds. That gives you an idea of how unwieldy and heavy this retro window refrigerator is.

I’m working two shows this week (same production, two performances), so I’ll have to figure everything else around it. Fortunately, Monday is dark.

Oh, and one of my other Derby picks, War Pass, is out with an injury. So I’ve lost Georgie Boy and War Pass. I’m left with Pyro and Big Brown, and I want to pick a really wacky longshot and also a medium shot. There’s a Coal-something or other who’s a beaut – I’ll read up on the numbers and look at the pedigree and see if he should be one of “mine”. And I have to get that article done this week in order for it to be up in the issue before Derby Day. Then, I’ll do what I always do here, handicap the entire card as “Racing Ink” either Friday night or early Saturday morning and we’ll see how I do!

There’s a variety of writing that needs my attention today, so I better get to it.

Have a great start to a great week. And go watch A Dog’s Breakfast! You’ll be glad you did.

Devon

Adaptation: 11,386 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 90
(12.2%)

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:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday, April 20. 2008
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Foggy and cool

Got a carload of stuff back from storage yesterday – mostly my cookbooks. Amazing how insecure I feel without the shelves of cookbooks. 80% of the time I cook making it up as I go along, but I like having them THERE.

Re-packed enough stuff to take another carload back to storage.

Wrote another 2600 words on the screenplay adaptation. Now, beginning the next chapter, I’m really opening out – spending time with characters that couldn’t get that kind of attention in the screenplay, because I had to keep a tight focus. I like this. I can explore the relationships in more detail and go down secondary roads for which there wasn’t room in the screenplay. There are several plot lines that interweave in this, and now I can fully explore each one and make a tapestry rather than just the linear piece it needed to be in the screenplay, with the focus just on Sam, Zenda, and Sam’s team. I can really take time with the other two teams and the challenges they face in their missions, too, even though it all circles back eventually and is intertwined.

Also did some work on Yuri’s Tale, rewriting some of it, because I realized I had to set up something in that first confrontation that would be important later on. Not exactly sure where I’m going from here, but the characters will lead me forward.

My grandmother had another fall and is in the hospital. It makes more sense for me to go up there when she’s out of the hospital and I can take care of her, than for me to be hanging around up there when she’s under full care. But I’m worried. I think I’ll go up between the Derby and the Preakness – that seems to make the most sense.

Not much to say today – I’m having computer problems – again – system errors, blue screens of death, the CHKDSK setting itself off a few times – so I’m backing stuff up and backing stuff up and backing stuff up. I CANNOT afford a system failure right now. Not financially OR emotionally.

Hey, Brandy, this IS me taking it easy! 😉

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 April 20, 2008 at 9:31 am  Comments (4)