Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Well, I was having a good writing day until the latest missive from the scumbag landlords came sailing under the door. More construction, in the lobbies, over the next FIVE WEEKS, where we will have “limited access.” ‘Scuse me, Mr. Scumbag, but if I need to get in and out of this building during the day, and that includes bringing stuff to and from storage, I am going to do it and YOU are going to have to work around ME. Especially since you tell me Friday night that this chaos begins on Monday. Pfft to you! (I could say worse things, but this morning, I’m feeling like a lady, and I’m watching my language. We’ll see if that lasts longer than ten minutes)!

I’d like to drop my immensely old, heavy, clunky air conditioners on their . . .well, use your imaginations! 😉

So, the first 11 pages of the screenplay translated into the prologue and first chapter of the novel (3028 words). Yes, that’s how much room there is to open it out. It’s really kind of exciting.

I don’t think that I mentioned I finished reading Sharon Shinn’s The Thirteenth House. Her writing is lovely, and I’m so invested in the characters of this series. All I can say about this book without giving too much away is that it’s a very brave book. Mystic and Rider was mostly Senneth’s and Tayse’s story, The Thirteenth House was Kirra’s, and Dark Moon Defender is Justin’s. I’m looking forward to reading the latter this weekend, and I hope there are more books coming out in the series. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Cammon gets into when it’s his turn to center a book! Justin’s really grown on me over the course of the books, though. I wasn’t sure I liked him at first, but now I adore that character. The way the character growth and the bonds are handled between the group is so wonderful.

“Yuri’s Tale” is far more complex than I originally hoped, but it is what it is. I jotted a few notes for things that are formulating in my brain. I’ve written 14 pages so far, and barely scratched the surface of the set-up. This book unfolds instead of drives. It also needs a new title, but that’s an entirely different ball of yarn! What I’ve been working on is really more “Yuri’s Chapter” of the tale than his entire tale. I have to trust this bunch of characters – they’re an odd lot. One that was supposed to be minor is pushing forward, and one of the major characters hasn’t yet pushed back. So we’ll see where that goes. It’s so interesting – it’s as though someone popped up a shade in a window to this world, and I’m watching the story unfold. It’s THERE and I have to capture it HERE.

I’ve got to flip some stuff out of storage, bring it here, and then put some other stuff in storage at some point. I need to figure out what I want back so that when I start consolidating the units in the city, I have an idea of how much room I have in the unit up here and how much I need to squash into the unit I’m going to keep in the city. Lots of work ahead.

But not all of it has to be done today. Today I get to live in Yuri’s world, in the world of the adaptation, in Wyatt’s world.

And maybe, maybe I have enough energy to go back and watch the video I need to watch for the interviews!

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 19, 2008 at 7:31 am  Comments (3)  

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I finished the Script Frenzy screenplay about mid-afternoon yesterday. It comes in at 155 pages. In spite of the fact that there’s a lot of rapid-fire dialogue and I use triple spaces between character speeches instead of double, there’s still room to cut. I’ll hone it and have it as a portfolio sample, but I think I’m going to adapt it into a novel. As I look back at it, I see how I can open it up and it’s very exciting.

This morning, I wrote 1900 words on a new piece, working title “Yuri’s Tale”. I’d hoped it would be the first of a set of linked short stories, but I don’t know if that’s going to be the case. The rhythm of the piece is quite different than what I usually do, a calmer pace, yet still building tension, and I want to see where it goes. The idea started percolating last night, and I dreamed about it, so now I’m sitting down to write it. The atmosphere is a character, if that makes any sense. There’s action, adventure, a little mystery, a little western in it, but the sensory elements are in the forefront. So it’s intriguing to work on, and I have to see where it leads me. I have no outline, I’m just writing my way into it.

As I often say, one needs to slightly re-invent the wheel with each piece, and let it be true to itself. If you get stuck in what you call “your process” – unless you’ve got the craft down so smoothly that you can plug in, write it, and sell it immediately – you need to trust the work. Trusting the work is trusting yourself, because it’s all happening on various subconscious levels within.

The response to my piece on InkThinker has been interesting, and pretty much split between those who write for a living, and those who write on the side. Those who write for a living totally get it and agree. Those who write on the side think I should be “grateful” that someone wants me to write for them. Um, why should I be “grateful” to be taken advantage of? You don’t ask the plumber to fix your pipes and then take a percentage of a fee at some unforeseeable time in the future, do you? This is my business, not my hobby. If they were serious about hiring me, it would be an entirely different conversation. But there’s a lack of respect for the quality of my work and of the importance of my time and my craft that infuriates me. And there’s no reason I should work for someone whom I don’t respect and who doesn’t respect me unless there’s A LOT of money involved.

Oh, and to respond to Brian, who said I must be “independently wealthy” to spend so much time on my blog: Uh, no, I’m not. I’m just very good at what I do. Which is write.

If ignorance is bliss, please keep the blissful away from me for awhile, okay?

Really, not much else to say. The air conditioners are still here, and I can’t do anything else, apartment-wise until they’re gone. They’re huge and take up the room I need to put furniture. Brandy, to answer your question, the window guys have to be very strict about not moving stuff or the clients would be lazy and not do anything. The window guys would end up being movers instead of window replacers. It was the building’s responsibility to get the air conditioners out for us – especially since the building put one of them in – and they never showed up. The fact that the window crew was kind enough to remove it was a big favor. Now, I have to hassle our scumbag management to get rid of them. They’re big, bulky, and environmentally unfriendly.

I cancelled all my “shoulds” this weekend, instead filling it with “want-to’s.” A lot of that will be reading, writing, and, if the weather holds, walking on the beach.

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 18, 2008 at 9:04 am  Comments (5)  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I have a Guest Rant up on Kristen King’s InkThinker blog on “Dealing with ‘You Should Write . . .’”, a topic that particular drives me ‘round the bend. Yeah, I know, it’s a real short drive, but come check it out here:

Well, yesterday was, um, interesting. On the positive side, I got my assignment off to Confidential Job #1, and an editor with whom I’ve worked on and off for several years has asked me for ideas for a 2010 calendar. Which, of course, will be due this June, because annuals are written two years ahead.

I spent the afternoon rearranging the living room, and I’m not sure I like it – some of the proportions seem off to me, re-mixing the furniture, so I may have to keep tweaking it. The twins, however, are very pleased and racing around. They like having chairs in front of the window, because now they can sit along the backs and look out over the plants. I’ll take cat happiness over correct proportions any day. Plus, it gives me more space to do my yoga. My back and neck are killing me, though, and, of course, building maintenance STILL hasn’t shown up to remove those air conditioners, and I can’t do any more shifting around until they are out, especially in the bedroom. If I have to hire a bunch of big, brawny guys from Rent-A-Husband, I’m charging it to the building. I’d entice some big, brawny hockey players with the promise of a home-cooked meal, but the guys I know nearest to me are in the playoffs right now, and I will NOT risk them getting hurt moving damn air conditioners from the 1970s during the most crucial weeks of the season.

I put together a sample package of monologues I promised a colleague, and updated my overall script samples package, pulling out some old ones and substituting some of the newer scenes. Those went off. I’ve turned them into PDFs, which should make life easier for all of us. Several of my older disks are missing, and I had a heck of time converting documents, because heaven forbid Microsoft can open their own programs if they’re a few years old. I had to do document recovery on most of them and then reformat.

Paperless office. Yeah, right.

I sent a query to a new-to-me publisher and, within two hours, received a request for a full. Now THAT’S the way I like to work. Keep your fingers crossed! Got a whole bunch of queries and submissions to get out this week and next. Too much stuff backing up.

A trio of characters appeared and started yapping late last night. I need them to shut up, so maybe I’ll make a few notes to appease them while I concentrate on other things.

Going back to the Frenzy screenplay today – I think I can finish it in a day or two.

Devon

PS I rearranged the living furniture again. The proportions drove me nuts. It’s better now, and the cats aren’t complaining, so it stays.

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 17, 2008 at 8:26 am  Comments (9)  

Slowly Returning to the World of the Living

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I survived. I feel like hell, battling the second day of a migraine, but I survived.

On Monday morning, I was up at 3 AM. I did a good hour and a half of yoga, fed the cats, and did the last minute stuff to prepare for the window crew. By 6:30, I was totally ready for them and just sitting around. I managed to capture and crate the cats by 7:30 (took the opportunity when I could), and took them to a neighbor’s shortly thereafter.

The felines were NOT amused. Iris screamed in her crate for THREE HOURS without stopping. I had someone sit with the crate on the lap, trying to keep her quiet. No go. That cat is a drama queen. Elsa complained once or twice, but she was pretty calm. Violet was angry. She didn’t scream, but she was determined to find a way out. There was a point where she was upside down in the crate, trying to chew her way through the bars. She managed to work part of the door out of its fastening, but I found out and tied it shut.

The window crew arrived at 8:30. The windows were all out in the blink of an eye. It took 3 guys to get out the air conditioner that had been put in in 1973, and it’s still in the middle of the bedroom, because the building can’t be bothered to send anyone to get it out, and I can’t even slide it anywhere. It’s that heavy. The new windows went in fairly quickly, but this apartment is an anomaly – each window is a different size, but only by between ¼ and ¾ of an inch. Just enough to really screw everyone up. Especially since the team was told that all the windows on this side of the building are the same size, and heaven forbid our management company should set up appropriate measuring appointments. And there was some rotted wood around some of the frames. So they had to build some new somethings or others in order to have something on which to fasten the new window frames. I was the only one who actually cleared back the requested five feet of workspace, so they had the room to work.

In spite of it all, they were completely finished within only two hours. Three weeks of prep work and schlepping for two damn hours. But the crew was terrific – fast, efficient, and really, really nice. The windows let in a lot more light (hey, they’re clean for one thing, and, again, it’s not like management ever cleaned the windows, and we couldn’t clean them from the outside.) These we can.

I spent the afternoon sanding the sills. The window crew hadn’t damaged them; they’d been damaged in the bad weather around the flooding this time last year, because the old windows weren’t securely sealed. So I sanded, primed and did two coats of paint (I still had the Snowy Egret left over from when I painted the place in ’06). We put back a few things, but until these old air conditioners are out of here, we’re at a stopping point. Kind of frustrating.

The cats ran around and screamed a lot. Violet was completely over-stimulated and wouldn’t sleep. She was hissing and fretting all evening. Elsa and Iris settled down as soon as they saw their bowls were back in the kitchen.

Yesterday, I woke up with a migraine. I managed to drag myself out of bed. I worked on the screenplay – up to p. 113, past the re-creation of lost material and on to new material. I also turned around a piece for Confidential Job #2, and worked on the assignment for Confidential Job #1, which is due today, so as soon as I post this, I’m back to working on that.

They turned off the heat on Monday at 9 AM and it wasn’t back on until 6:30 this morning, in spite of the fact that Monday night and last night it was in the 30s here. And, because we were without windows for a couple of hours, the apartment got really cold on Monday. If you want to learn how to spell scumbag, just look up our landlords. Totally illegal and they totally don’t care.

I’ll have a couple of new articles appearing soon, one in a magazine for writers called Vision. I’ll put up the link when it runs.

The next few days will be spent putting together writing samples promised to a few people, drafting a monologue for a friend, working on the screenplay, hustling for work, and, of course, trying to figure out what to bring back from storage and what to leave in. I am NOT bringing it all back. I’ll have to figure out when I can head to Maine to see my grandmother – maybe by midweek next week. I also have to watch a bunch of video as research for some interviews I’m doing. It’s impossible to concentrate with a pounding head. Excedrin Migraine takes off the edge, but that’s all.

I need to get the pre-Derby article done as well. The Derby is a-coming – and my first choice horse is out, due to injury, and my next two choices haven’t done well in the past few weeks. So I have to look over the entire field again and re-shuffle my Derby deck.

And the hockey playoffs are happening, so I have to pay attention.

I’m hoping, in a few days, as I slowly put the apartment back to rights, it will be easier to concentrate. I’m re-arranging stuff, too. Just because I don’t plan to be here much longer doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look good while I’m here.

I bought pansies yesterday – they’re such a cheerful flower, and now that the apartment is so much lighter, they’ll be able to thrive.

I did my taxes on Sunday. I had all my receipts done and collected throughout the year, so it was a case of sitting down with the folders and adding up the numbers. It took about an hour. This is the first time I had to file a Schedule E because of royalties – pain in the butt to fill it out, but a good feeling that I finally have to declare royalties on my taxes!

Back to work. Someday my head will stop pounding and I’ll feel human again.

Devon

Script Frenzy – 113 pages out of 100 pages (113%).

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 16, 2008 at 8:26 am  Comments (8)  

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

So tired I’m crawling. But everything’s stacked, covered in sheets, I took a big load to storage yesterday, and I might have a small load today.

Tomorrow is the Window Tango, so I might be offline for a couple of days. I think we’re going to be ready. Crated Kitties are resting in a neighbor’s apartment, things are clear from the windows. I have to stack things in the kitchen tomorrow morning.

Realized I have to go back in and add the scene I cut in the re-created screenplay, because it sets up some important relationships amongst the secondary characters. Which means I need to kill more trees and re-paginate and re-print. So much for a “paperless office”.

Unfortunately, once I wrote the scene, it no longer works in the place where it sat originally. The script has changed enough so I have to create another place in it to set up these relationships. And it needs to happen soon, because it’s integral to what happens farther down the line.

I think, a few more drafts down the road, this will make a good screenplay sample for the portfolio, but I also think I’m going to wind up converting it back to novel form, because I also think it’ll sell well as a book. With the potential for more stories set in this world, that the screenplay doesn’t. IE, the screenplay is not a pilot – it’s a stand-alone. But I think more can be said about this world in novel format.

I’ve also been thinking of The Annym Rooseteyr’s Return a lot. I feel as though I truncated a lot of the story to fit within the specified word count. I’m thinking of re-visiting the piece and expanding it. Personally, I think it’s an 85K story, not a 15K story, but I had no way of knowing that when I first created it. Some writers are really good at being able to tailor their pieces to word count – I still tend to have to find my way through it in early drafts and then figure it out. Not good when you’re juggling deadlines.

Yesterday my life was writing, and packing. Confidential Job #2 wants me for a new assignment – yippee! They’re always a pleasure. And I have an assignment for Confidential Job #1 that’s due on Tuesday. I’ve started it, so it won’t be a huge push at the end; I’m just tired. It’s pretty interesting, though.

Today is writing, packing . . .and taxes. I have a feeling there won’t be much writing.

Tomorrow is Window and Recovery.

We’ll see what the rest of the week holds.

My grandmother didn’t sound good when I spoke to her today, so I want to get up there by the middle of next week.

I almost forgot – woke up at 3 AM because I heard a cat yowling outside. My cats were in the window, not too happy. I was worried it was sick or hurt, so I got dressed, took a big flashlight and went looking for it, but couldn’t find it. I was terribly worried, and not sure what to do. I’d hate to think it was injured or hungry.

Devon

Published in: on April 13, 2008 at 8:37 am  Comments (6)  

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Sometimes these people are just so smoking crack.

I get an email from someone who sent me a screenplay, demanding I turn around a read and critique in 24 hours and if he “likes” it, he’ll pay me $10.

I don’t think so.

My critique rates are clearly posted on the website. Why would I agree to “maybe” be paid $10 — from a stranger, no less — that’s only the first 5 pages in MY professional life! Plus, I have a rush fee for 24-hour turnarounds!

I actually responded diplomatically (for me) and deleted the piece.

Obviously delusional and living in an alternate universe that I have no wish to visit.

Got some writing done yesterday and this morning. Up to p. 91 on the re-created screenplay. I’m not only backing up, but printing as I go. I cut a whole sequence that was fun, but was slowing the piece down. The new scene in the Underworld isn’t as funny and flippant as the first one, but it makes more sense, dramatically, in context.

Packed in the afternoon; got another load to storage. Went out to dinner with my friend who got her windows done yesterday, and her friend, and we had a good time. But it was so loud in the restaurant that, this morning, I am hoarse.

I need to do some more packing now, and then I have to cover a horse race in the late afternoon (Derby prep).

I’m in pretty good shape for the Window Tango on Monday. I’ll be relieved when it’s over.

Someday, I won’t be perpetually exhausted.

But not for awhile.

Devon

Published in: on April 12, 2008 at 9:40 am  Comments (3)  

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

I’m trying really hard not to live in the Land of I Don’t Fucking Care, but when six things annoy you before 9 AM, it’s difficult. All building-related crap, and I said, more than once to the Annoyers, “I don’t fucking care. This is not my problem, and I am within my legal rights to refuse.”

What? They think I never looked up these laws in the law library of the State Supreme Court? They must think I’m a fool. I am many things, many of them not nice, but I do my homework.

I’m also angry because I haven’t felt able to really hustle for work for the past six or so weeks. I’m leery about committing myself to many deadlines because I can never tell, from day to day, what new fresh hell I’ll have to deal with on the home front. And that has to stop, because this is the way I make my living, and if these scumbags prevent me from doing it – I need to make sure it comes out of their hides.

I’m trying to adjust my focus in the knowledge that the next few days will be complete, unmitigated hell, and then I’m giving myself a few days to recover, before getting back on the bandwagon again. I’ve got submissions backing up, I’ve got to get all this admin work done, I’ve got a few writing deadlines, ones I felt comfortable accepting, I’ve got to hustle for more work because the bills just keep coming, I’ve got to get up to Maine to check on my grandmother, and I’ve got to house hunt. I need 38 hours in every day, not 24, but the scumbags aren’t allowed to have more time.

Up to page 61 on the re-creation of the screenplay. I have a clearer sense of the world I built and the conflicts, but I feel like I’ve lost some of the dialogue I really liked. Without having the original draft for comparison, I’ll never really know, but it’s gone and, as Jill Shalvis pointed out, there is a period of mourning.

Took a one o’clock train to the city yesterday – for once a fairly quiet ride. Met Theatrdiva at Thalia, along with another friend of hers, and we had a wonderful time. We could have easily sat there talking until midnight. It was great to be around creative people again, and talk both business and creative. That’s why one comes to NY – to be in an environment with lots of other creative people and generate good work. With the way corporations have turned this town into a theme park over the past decade or so, it’s harder to survive as an artist (cost of living is ridiculous). And people burn out. But there’s still lots of creativity going on, and when you can balance the Projects of Your Heart with the Projects That Pay Good Money – and, better yet, when some of those projects are one and the same, you remember why you live here in the first place.

I think we’re getting ready for another artistic renaissance like we had in the 1920’s and 1930’s, the days of the original Provincetown Players and Washington Square Players and all of that, because of ballooning costs. For awhile, it looked like indie film would go that route, but even so-called “indie films” have gotten overblown. Let’s face it, a true indie film is one where all your friends pitch in with their parents’ summer houses, borrowed cars, pots of spaghetti and extra rolls of duct tape, and you max out your credit cards. A true indie film doesn’t start by being studio-funded. I think small theatre companies, small, personalized film companies and small, independent publishers are going to start up again, because they’re sick of the corporate culture, and corporate culture is death to the arts. I have a really bad attitude when it comes to corporate money: “You liked my work enough to hire me. Now sign the checks and shut up.”

I gave them a backstage tour of the show on which I used to work. It’s always fun to show people around, because there’s so much wonderful stuff involved. I caught up with people I haven’t seen since October, when I left. I grabbed a quick dinner and went over to the show I was scheduled to work. Everyone was happy to see me. Caught up and what’s going on, all the changes that are happening in their various lives. Told the one actor my instinctive reaction when his character was shot on the TV show: “How dare you shoot one of my actors!” and he was delighted. He said now he would always feel protected, no matter where he worked or what he did.

Show was fine – it sped by really fast tonight, for some reason. Fought my way through the crowds to the train, got home far later than I expected (switch problems). Couldn’t sleep, so I had a late start this morning.

I’m doing some writing this morning, then packing and taking another carload to storage, and helping my friend, whose windows are being done this afternoon. She was up until 3:30 trying to prep the apartment, and at the end of her rope.

It will be a. . .challenging weekend. But the creative conversation yesterday was refreshing and has the wheels turning in some new ways. Theatrdiva is a very inspiring person, in the best possible way.

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 11, 2008 at 8:26 am  Comments (5)  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 208
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Cloudy and warm

I have no idea if this re-creation of the lost script is any better. It’s definitely different, although I’m following the original outline. I’m listening to the characters, and I’m not stressing over whether or not it’s exactly what it was. I’m letting it be what it is.

I’m having trouble seeing the bright side, much as I appreciate the attempts. But wallowing isn’t going to solve anything, so, heart sore or not, I just keep working.

Managed to get up to p. 42 yesterday. Should be able to get back to where I was by next week. Because now I am a Stubborn Bitch on a Mission, and I’m not just giving up! I’m going to make like a hockey player and dig deeper (do NOT go there, because I already did). 😉

PRINTED the pages as well as backed them up three different places and sent additional backups to three different email accounts. Paranoid much? Uh, yeah.

My friends tried having a pro do a data recovery on their computer – it’s not there. It’s not on my flash drive. It’s not even in hidden files. The manuscript has completely vanished, as though it never existed. We’re all scratching our heads. I know I didn’t hallucinate eight days of work.

So tired I fell asleep right after lunch. After about 20 minutes, I heard glass crashing and shot out of bed, ready for battle (it happens when you’ve lived on the Deuce for 13 years – note to any of you who haven’t met me yet – don’t ever come up behind me and startle me “in fun” – you’ll get knocked down). All it was were the workmen breaking the old windows in the dumpster, but it shocked me out of sleep.

Packed and got another carload to storage. It still doesn’t look any damned emptier. And the unit’s almost full!

Was supposed to watch some video in preparation for interviews/articles – and I fell asleep. No reflection on the quality of the work – I’m just too damned exhausted, and it will have to wait until the Window Tango is complete. Oh, yeah, and I probably should start my taxes before April 15.

Short writing day – I’m going in to the city to meet Theatrdiva! And working a show. So . . .it’s all good.

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 10, 2008 at 7:17 am  Comments (5)  

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and warm – but the birds are singing!

Quill pens and parchment : Just sayin’.

Carrier pigeons to deliver manuscripts.

Much less frustrating.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions and the support yesterday. They really helped. Well, the one person who emailed me and said this was a good time to practice detachment – let’s say I was less gracious than I should have been! Because I am not detached from my work, especially not in the creation stage. I don’t think artists should be or can be.

I did everything I could without screwing up someone else’s computer – I would have been a lot more adventurous on my own. Heck, I probably would have hacked it apart with an axe looking for the thing, but one must be more restrained with someone else’s property.

It never ceases to amaze me – astrobiology and physics and all of that make perfect sense, but a computer – not so much. Because, frankly, whenever I do delve into the workings, I don’t find it based on a logic that makes any sense to me, where even chaos in the universe has a decent logic. I find computer “stuff” is created by people with too much time on their hands who take joy in making it as difficult and inefficient as possible. But then, my brain is wired differently, and things that other people believe have no sense or logic are absolutely transparent to me. It’s all in the perception.

So I started re-creating the piece. I still have my notes – thank goodness those didn’t go, even though that file was open. I’d updated them as changes happened, for the most part, and I’d even emailed them to myself. In fact, when I lost the document, that’s what the save was for – saved so then I could back it up and email it to myself. It was the ONLY document on the whole drive not yet sent to my backup account, and the ONLY document not printed – which is why, of course, it failed. Five more minutes, and there wouldn’t have been a problem. And it doesn’t make sense – when Word fails, it always saves something with a ~ so you can restore the document. Nothing. And it usually only dumps the version you’re working on, not every version previously saved. If I’d lost those 30 pages, I’d have been sad, but could have immediately recreated them. To lose 98 pages – when the Script Frenzy count is 100 – very frustrating. I searched every drive, checked every file to see what it mutated into – it’s as though the file never existed. Talked to several computer-savvy friends and spent an hour on the phone with a tech guy I actually trust. They agreed this can’t happen – it has to be in there somewhere.

Maybe the guys who own the computer can find it. I asked them to look and then email it to me if it turned up.

And Yasmine let me have a good cyber-weep on her shoulder. Thank you very much. It’s deeply appreciated.

So I’m going back to my extreme state of computer paranoia.

Dealing with computers makes me think of the Nine of Wands in the tarot – you’ve always got to be ready and keep those defenses up, no matter how much work you’ve put in to date.

Feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to solve anything. I’d done everything I could physically do in terms of data recovery (or, in my case, non-data recovery). It was time to buckle down and get back to work.

In any case, I recreated the first 11 pages. Some of it’s better, like the opening sequence, because now I know Jack Danou’s coming back as ghost, and he’s not just some guy that Zenda has to kill because he and his men were hired to slaughter a village. Some of the scenes are stronger, because having written so far into it, I actually know who these characters are, and I can set them up. Some of the scenes, like the breakup scene between Carole and Sam are weaker. But hey, it’s technically draft 1 ½ , so whatever. As the character Sam said to me (the writer), “Look, it’s not as though we haven’t been around for six years or something. It’s been a couple of hours. Just drop back in and listen to us.”

I also have an idea of a technique I learned for another area of my life, and I’m wondering if I can apply it here. I don’t want to discuss it too much ahead of time, but it would be awfully intriguing if it works.

I was on the 7 PM bus out of Philly. What a horrid group of nut jobs traveled! Really, half of them should have been put off the bus – truly energy-sucking vampires and disruptive to everyone else. I just cocooned myself in my music, set up the psychic barriers (which one of the nut jobs could actually see and commented on – but he couldn’t pass it), and stayed in the world of Sharon Shinn’s THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE for the trip.

Trundled across town from Port Authority to Grand Central with my luggage, mowing down tourists and climbing over something or other that filmed near Bryant Park. Don’t know what it was, but the Craft Services guy remembered me from . . .something . . .and pressed a much-needed cup of coffee into my hand for the rest of my trip home.

Got home around 10:30, couldn’t sleep, was up unpacking and puttering far too late. Elsa and Iris were glad to see me; Violet was furious with me for leaving in the first place and wouldn’t even look at me. However, this morning, she is Velcro Kitty.

I’m going to write this morning and then I have to pack this afternoon and get another load of stuff to storage.

This time next week, the Window Tango should be complete and maybe we’ll have a little bit of peace before the scumbags come up with their next element of torture.

I’m going to combine the next trip to Maine to check on my grandmother with some serious house hunting.

Does anyone know where I can purchase binders in bulk? I keep my manuscripts in binders, and it’s ridiculously expensive. Staples just looks at me like I’ve grown extra heads when I ask about bulk binder purchase. So I need to find some other, more reasonably priced outlet. Novellas usually go in 1” or 11/2” binders, but I usually need 2 ½-3” binders for novel-length.

Because let’s face it, I’m going to print out EVERYTHING after this latest fiasco. I know, I know: Tree Murderer!

At least I’m using recycled paper, and I recycle every scrap of paper I toss.

Got a disappointing rejection this morning for a piece I was sure was a good fit for that particular venue. Guess I was wrong. So off it goes to the next one on the list.

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 9, 2008 at 10:26 am  Comments (10)  

Reality Check

The scheme of the universe will not be altered because I lost a manuscript.

Nobody died.

It still sucks.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm  Comments (4)  

ALL DESTROYED!

I was two pages from finishing the screenplay. I hit SAVE — it says there was a problem and the ENTIRE FILE DISAPPEARED from my flashdrive and everything else — including everything I saved previously.

ALL GONE. DESTROYED. UNABLE TO BE RETRIEVED. AT SOMEONE ELSE’S COMPUTER.

I’m in tears.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 10:15 am  Comments (16)  

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

The weather’s about twenty degrees cooler here than predicted, so I’ve been pretty chilly this entire trip. Drinking lots of hot tea.

Yesterday was fun. Got some writing done in the morning, met my friend for lunch at El Vez,where we had a good catch up session. She’s always fun to spend time with, just the best. We’re going to have to schedule a day where I come down and we just go shoe shopping (she had on the CUTEST shoes ever — even the waitress loved them).

She had to get back home, but I stopped at Robin’s books and picked up some magazines. One, I think I’m going to work up some pitches; it’s right up my alley. One of the others seemed as though it would be, but the writing in it was so bad and so un-edited that it’s just not worth it.

Stopped at Remedy, the tea bar on Sansom — wow, what a great place! Got a large cup to go, because if I’d stayed in that mellow atmosphere, I would have just put my head on the table and gone back to sleep.

Did some reading and writing in the afternoon. Wyatt got some love, and, although I haven’t finished Old-Fashioned Detective Work, at least he doesn’t feel neglected.

Came up with some other ideas, too, and am hoping I can combine some of them. Came up with an idea for a fun female buddy road movie (I love those). The last thing I need is to write another script, but doing first drafts as scripts and then adapting them to prose seems to be working right now, so we’ll see.

I’ve often found, though, that scripts come in batches. I won’t write any for a few years, and then I’ll write a stack, and then I won’t write any for a few years, etc. Cyclical.

I’ve almost finished my Script Frenzy screenplay. I’m on p. 88. I expect it to run 145 pages, about 2:25 running time. One character who was supposed to be in a single scene surprised me and has an important element to add further down the line. But the character that really surprised me is the mercenary killed in the third scene by my protag who has now come back as a ghost. He was denied access to the underworld and told she holds the key to his redemption. I’m just as puzzled as she is, but I’m going with it. And it’s pretty weirdly funny when she scolds him to put his head back on (she cut it off after she killed him — a bit of Celtic lore thrown in there) before she’ll talk to him.

I could probably cough up the female buddy road movie within Script Frenzy, too, if I really tried.

I’m doing the laundry here and packing. I leave tonight to head back to NY. Don’t want to. I’d rather stay here in this Sanctuary. But I have to deal with the Window Tango, and then get up to Maine, because my grandmother had a fall last week, and she’s upset. So, once the window stuff is done next week, I need to get up there and sort things out.

Pitched for a couple of jobs, but I can’t take anything on with a deadline with all this crap going on. So it’s going to be a lean month. Happens sometimes.

Had breakfast with two lovely guys I’ve known since they were drafted into the pros. They’ve always been talented, but they’ve grown into such good men, good human beings: Talented, kind, intelligent, loyal, dedicated, funny, compassionate, strong. And handsome! If there are still human beings like these two around, maybe we’re not entirely doomed after all.

For those who asked, of course there are rules about when construction can start. But, because the penalties are so slight, no one pays attention. What needs to happen is:

First time– warning
Second time — six figure fine
Third time — the developer forfeits his right to the property. It goes to the city under eminent domain (if the Supreme Court’s going to screw us by putting it into effect, it should be used for good) and the ONLY ways it can then be developed are either affordable housing or non-profit headquarters.

So sayeth me.

Back to my headless ghost.

Devon

Script Frenzy screenplay — 88 pages out of 100 (Frenzy)

88 pages out of 145 (total)

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 9:00 am  Comments (3)  
Tags:

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was gray and gloomy. I never left the apartment. I wrote, read, did some yoga, and slept all day. Emphasis on the sleeping. I’m just worn out. I’m both bone weary and soul weary.

I’m reading Sharon Shinn’s THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE and really enjoying it.

Got some writing done, but not as much as I wanted. Felt very disconnected from everything, including my characters.

Interesting article in the NYT about how some bloggers are basically blogging themselves to death trying to post continually and get scoops.

I rarely pitch for blogging jobs. I was in negotiations for one a few years ago that I was excited about, but it didn’t pan out, and, looking back, I’m now glad. One, I don’t want to be that tied down — I travel too much, and I have too much on my plate to only sit home and scan the internet and blog. I actually have a life in the real world. Second, I’m not going to blog for $10/post. I’d have to have the guarantee of a couple of hundred dollars per week and then, MAYBE revenue share on top of it. Otherwise, my time is better spent on articles, business writing, and fiction. There are people who make a great living at it, and good for them. But that life is not for me.

Tried to watch PSYCH last night because I sort of half-remembered that someone emailed me about doing a guest spot, only I couldn’t remember who or when and didn’t recognize anyone, so THAT was a waste of an hour. Sigh.

Had a restless night filled with odd dreams, mostly rehashing past events I want to put behind me. Maybe it’s part of the whole letting go thing.

You know when I was woken up by freaking construction noise? Six thirty in the morning! Totally unacceptable. I’m complaining to the tourism board, which is patting itself on the back for all its national and international campaigns. I have a list of things that tourists should know before coming here that the board is shoving under the rug and I, as a travel writer, will NOT.

Did my yoga, went to the patissereie, worked on the screenplay. I’m going to do some more writing this morning, and then meet a friend for lunch. Can’t wait.

Back to the page. I want to get back to Old-Fashioned Detective Work soon. Wyatt wants some attention, and I think I’m ready to respond.

Devon

Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 8:10 am  Comments (7)