Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

Tired.

The poor lost cat screams all night, but I can’t yet catch it. Poor little thing. It’s heartbreaking.

The drive to Maine was arduous. We were stuck in traffic near Hartford for two and a half hours. There was a multi-vehicle accident that shut down I-91 COMPLETELY, so they had to detour all the rush hour traffic – several cars, trucks, and a tractor trailer were, literally, in pieces all over the road. There had to be fatalities.

Maine was difficult. My grandmother’s in bad shape; but she’s in a good facility. Everyone is very kind and she does as well as can be expected under constant care. But it’s still difficult.

I did some more wrestling with the storage units. Fortunately, it will all be resolved somehow by the end of next weekend. I’m getting a little tired of hauling all this crap around. Then I’ll have to start sorting and tossing, but first, I have to get it consolidated. Yes, I know it would make more sense the other way around, but the unit has to be empty by the end of next week, and I need more time than that to sort.

At least I’ve retrieved my wok. I missed it.

I wish I had something exciting to say; I have an article due today, so I have to get to work on completing that. I’m working on HOSTAGE, and struggling with it. The revisions still aren’t complete on the plays. And I have a show tonight.

I’m simply weary, and that’s why I can’t get much done. Early drafts come from emotion and character, with structure layered in during revisions. And, emotionally, I’m just tapped out right now. Also, it’s been hot and humid, and I don’t do well in those conditions. I’m a snow and ice girl, not a tropical one.

So, back to the page. I don’t have the luxury of only writing when I feel like it or when there’s “time”.

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 June 30, 2008 at 6:58 am  Comments (8)  
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

The Hex Breaker site is live – no cover art yet, but an excerpt, and it’s here.

Yes, the photo is one of mine.

Worked partially on a bunch of stuff yesterday, which means nothing feels accomplished. I had to go to my storage unit out here to do a little dance – and was looking for a box of scripts that I can’t find, although I know I have it around here somewhere, so I swore a lot.

Picked up some CDs my grandmother wants to listen to in her hospital room, and on the way back into the building I saw the most beautiful gray and white tuxedo cat. We just stared at each other for a minute. And then I realized the cat held a dead rat in its mouth and I screamed. Cat ran away, keeping firm hold on the rat. I heard a cat crying outside in the night and went looking for it, but couldn’t find it. I assumed it was the same one.

The cat started crying again around 4 this morning, so I went out to hunt for it. It’s a different cat – about a six month old, longhaired kitten. I couldn’t get near it, but I put out some food. It was very hungry. I think it’s lost. It keeps crying, but I can’t catch it (so far), and my cats sit in the window, worrying because it’s out there crying. And I kind of relate to how the cat feels right now.

I worked on all three plays yesterday: BEHIND THE MAN, MATILDA MURDERS, and HOSTAGE. The first two need to be finished and sent to my producer before I leave for Maine in the morning. I’m struggling with THE MATILDA MURDERS. I need to put more humor in it, but it’s not working.

The Doubt Demons have attacked again, and I’m really too tired to deal with them. Part of me feels really good about the writing; part of me is terrified that maybe the competence and creativity are all an illusion. I’m in that place of despair where the work isn’t going well and I’m feeling overwhelmed by other events in my life. It’ll all be fine; it’s just going to be a rough few days.

I’ll be off-line for a few days, dealing with family stuff.

I’ll check in with everyone next week!

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 June 26, 2008 at 6:31 am  Comments (8)  
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

I’m exhausted. I feel like I’m really out of inner resources right now. But I have to make like a hockey player and dig deeper.

I just realized I have a deadline coming up at the end of the weekend – a major one. Eeek! For some reason, I thought I was done with that piece, but I’m not. And I’ll be away for most of the weekend, so, instead of going into town today to deal with storage, I’m staying out here to write.

Devon’s Random Newsletter went out yesterday. Yes, there actually was a new issue! It’s been far too long, and I have to get back on track with it. If you didn’t get your copy or you haven’t signed up, you can do so here.

Started setting up the HEX BREAKER subdomain. Worked on the hockey article. Worked on the new ebook. Did six loads of laundry, which meant I brought back a total of 15 loads of laundry from the storage unit in the last couple of weeks. Truly frightening. It’s all clean now, but I’m sorting what has to get repacked to go into storage up here and what’s being given away.

I worked on BEHIND THE MAN and THE MATILDA MURDERS, but they’re not done yet.

I’m being bugged by a client with whom I parted ways several months ago, who wants me back, but is not willing to make it worth my while. It would be pointless for me to say yes, and, believe it or not, I do usually recognize insincere flattery when I receive it. I know that they’re having trouble finding writers, and I know why – because the aggravation is not worth the low pay. When I say no, I mean it.

I’m reading Julie Czerneda’s Trade Pact Universe series, and, in book two, there’s an hilarious sequence where Sira experiences her first hockey game. The timing is just perfect.

I’m also working on a new play, not one of the mystery plays, but a different one — a very intense one-act drama. It’s too early to really discuss it, but it’s spinning out quickly, which, for me, is the best way for a first draft to happen.

Show was fine last night. I truly enjoy these people and cherish the time spent with them. We have a lot of fun backstage.

I’m going to ground today and writing, writing, writing, until my head is empty. Then I’ll nap, get up, and write some more. There’s a lot to be done, and no time for excuses.

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 June 25, 2008 at 7:21 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: ,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hazy and warm

Tired. Got home after midnight; woke up at 5 AM anyway.

Yesterday was a lost day as far as writing went – I had to deal with practicalities of building crap, storage rearrangement, etc. I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now, and there’s no end in sight for several weeks.

I’m working on the NHL draft article; I’ve been sent the transcript of an interview I did last weekend to check quotes; I’m working on the marketing campaign for HEX BREAKER. I have some stories to work on (my actor sparked yet another idea for a story), I have to revise the plays, etc., etc., etc.

I did five loads of laundry yesterday, and I’ve got about the same to do today, but I’m hoping to have a serious, steady writing cay.

It was a relief to be on the show last night, back with the actors, and in the rhythm.

Not much to say; simply a lot to do.

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 June 24, 2008 at 7:17 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT (as of the 19th – Huzzah!)
Hot, humid, sticky

My goodness, there’s a lot to catch up!

Spent far too much time on Thursday rearranging my storage unit up here in preparation for this weekend’s consolidation.

Worked on the revision of THE MATILDA MURDERS. I needed to do a lot of restructuring, and I was having trouble adding comedy. This is a more thoughtful piece than The Play Formerly Known as Sidekick. I want to give the producer the humor she wants while still staying true to the concept of the show. I’m really struggling with it, and I have to figure out how to unlock it. I know there’s a way; I just haven’t found it yet. Actually, the new name for The Play Formerly Known as Sidekick is Behind the Man. Thank you, Danny! That title captures the era and the themes very well.

Worked on the next adventure for the crew of the Merry – thanks to my actor friend who unlocked the idea with a single comment! The Merry is sailing again, and her crew is getting into some interesting stuff!

I’m letting the monologue sit for a few days before I go back to it.

Got a check from Confidential Job #1 – my last one before the rate cut goes into effect.

Decided on the “stuff” for the HEX BREAKER promo – once I get the cover art, I can see what can use the cover art, and what just needs something simpler with the URL on it. Some of it should be pretty funny. Worked on the webpage for the series, where I can put up excerpts, etc, for the piece.

I had meeting with various “people” about various projects. I was polite, I listened, I had a few things to say, but I truly can’t see anything tangible coming out of it, at least not right now. Which is fine. But none of them were people I’m wild to work with. It was all very “I’m listening, but you’re really not impressing me and I don’t need to do this, so I’m not taking it seriously until there’s money on the table” for me. Sometimes you meet people and there’s instant connection; you know that even if this project doesn’t work out, something down the line will. I didn’t get that feeling here. Still, it never hurts to listen politely.

Was horrified by a TV show that pretends to be about something I know a lot about, but is, in reality, the worst piece of crap in every aspect of the show, that I have ever seen in my life. I won’t even name it, because I don’t want to draw attention to it. Watching the pilot made me ill. I had to leave the room 4 times in the first 20 minutes. And it just kept getting worse. It’s an insult to the world it purports to be about; it is an insult to the actors working on the show. I can honestly say I’ve never watched anything that bad in my entire life, and I hope it vanishes quickly.

Did interviews, was interviewed, ended up being a designated driver for a minivan full of under-aged, over-excited teenaged boys when the (adult) driver got too drunk to drive(swear to God, it was like dealing with bear cubs on sugar), did a reading of an unpublished piece by special request, ate steak for about the first time in a year, did preliminary negotiations for several possible working trips in the course of the upcoming season, caught up with a bunch of people I know, met a whole bunch of new ones, sat up and laughed far into the night about a horrible show we all watched together, and pretty much tried to pack three months’ worth of stuff into 27 hours.

I have a lot of information on the NHL draft, and now it’s about getting into an article or articles, and setting up interviews for training camp time later in the summer. I also have to do articles, over the next few months, on some of my picks from the past years, kind of a look-at-what-they’ve-done thing.

Was tracked down by a friend I haven’t seen in 12-15 years who is now living in Boston, which is really cool, because it means we can hang out occasionally (I hope) after I move.

Tracked down an old friend I haven’t seen since Miss Saigon closed, and am hoping we can get together soon.

Nearly killed myself consolidating storage units and I’m nowhere near done. Four round trips to and from the storage unit in the city to the storage unit up here, in a minivan rented for the occasion. And there is no way in hell what’s left in the one unit will fit into this unit AND the unit I’m keeping in the city. I don’t have time to go through boxes and throw stuff out – it all has to be solved before July 10 and I go back to full-time on The Big Broadway on July 7. I’m going to have to go back in to the city this week and try to repack at least part of the remaining unit, see how many boxes I can fit, and then maybe rent a smaller, auxiliary unit out here, then rent a cargo van and get it out here in a single trip. Also, this week, I’m going to spend an hour a day in the early part of the week going through some of the boxes I moved out here and repacking them and (hopefully) tossing stuff, which means I can fit more boxes in the one out here. I just can’t afford to maintain two units in the city anymore and I can’t afford to hire movers to get everything out here, so I’m Pre-Pitching what I can before the move. The timing sucks, but doesn’t it always?

So I’m unloading the minivan, piling boxes onto the dolly at my storage unit out here. This guy’s pacing in the parking lot, talking too loudly into his cell phone – total cliché, too many gold chains, “F-this and F-that” every other word, tank top with the chest hair fighting its way out (guess I notice now because of the cover art question), real New Yawk accent, it wouldn’t hurt him to hit the gym occasionally. I’ve got the last box on the trolley and I’m locking the van when he says, “You need a hand?”

Typical. Wait until the heavy lifting’s over. “No, I’m fine, thank you.”

“You really oughtta have a guy helping you.”

Not that it’s any of his business and not that one of my guys wasn’t a huge help up until this last load. “I’m fine.”

“You need someone ta take cara you. I’m open for the job.”

“Yeah, like I’ve been so impressed with your behaviour thus far.” And I pushed the trolley into the building.

WTF?

At least I learned I can drive a passenger van AND a minivan, if necessary. Actually, towards the end of the weekend, I was getting pretty used to the Nissan Quest. And I like the way people get the hell out of the way when you come roaring down the highway in a big car.

Of course, when I’m in a little car, I just give them the finger, but hey, that’s me . . .

Got a check for an article I wrote over a year ago – about time they published it and paid up! At least they weren’t being deadbeat – and they are the reason I have an extra clause in pay-on-publication contracts limiting how long they can hold the article before publishing, or rights revert back to me. In other words, no more holding it for a year. If I write it within the two assigned weeks, you can damn well publish it earlier than a year down the road AND PAY ME, or momma doesn’t write for your publication any more. Live and learn.

Going through stuff from the storage unit is disconcerting. Some of it – well, it’s like Christmas. There are items with deep meaning, history, and specific stories attached, and it’s delightful to reconnect, even if I have to repack. Some of it – I look at it and wonder who was the woman who packed these things seven years ago? Of course, at the time, I expected to have things in storage for three months, but life took some unexpected turns. But it’s a strange sensation. .

And, scrubbing down in the shower after everything, I felt like I was never going to get the dirt, dust, and grit off. Ick.

I have a kazillion errands to do this morning before I can get back to writing, and a truncated writing day, because the show schedule’s switched, and we now play on Mondays.

I will go up to Maine towards the latter part of the week to see my grandmother. She’s holding on, but that’s about it. I want to make sure I see her.

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 June 23, 2008 at 6:07 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 19, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Most of the day was spent preparing stuff for HEX BREAKER: Information sheets, cover art discussions, marketing plans, blurbs, loglines, three different excerpts for various venues, acknowledgements, dedication, author’s note, etc. Phew. I couldn’t believe that I was asked whether or not the male cover model should have chest hair. Huh? I don’t really care one way or the other; I’m used to big, hairy hockey players. But don’t wax the poor guy! 😉

Hey, I’ve got to keep a sense of humor about it all, right?

Worked on the monologue for my friend. It’s darker than I expected, but in a good way. The character is a social worker who tried to warn her superiors that a child was in danger, and the system failed resulting in the child’s murder.

The disrespectful, arrogant superintendent has been replaced. Let’s hope the new one is better.

Managed to get a few pages done on the political scene for the adaptation. It’s getting there, even though I have to feel my way through it slowly. I’m also itching to get back to the thriller, and am looking forward to working on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE in July. I miss Gwen and Justin!

We’re close to a new title for SIDEKICK (thanks Danny and Lara), and I’m going back into it to do some tweaks and finish the rewrite of THE MATILDA MURDERS. I’m also tackling OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. And maybe taking another look at ELUSIVE PRAYERS, the novella that had such a short life with KIC.

I’m offline for a few days, covering the NHL draft and consolidating my storage units in the city. I’m sure I’ll have more adventures to share next week.

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 June 19, 2008 at 6:54 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Hey, this is really cool:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/06/17/super.earths.ap/index.html

Especially since I basically used this theory in the adaptation last week! Synchronicity. Gotta love it.

Got my Literary Athlete column done and out yesterday.

Wrote another draft of “Yuri’s Tale”. No way this can stand alone. It’s the first chapter of a novel, and I just have to effing deal. Darn it.

Did some more research for the hockey draft.

Responded to the wonderful emails from people who enjoyed the radio show.

Started the press releases for HEX BREAKER.

Worked on things like bios, acknowledgements, all that sort of paperwork for HEX BREAKER.

Spent too much time wandering around the ‘net.

Rearranged books to stave off anxiety.

Rented the mini-van so I can consolidate my storage units once I’m done covering the NHL draft.

Re-read HEX BREAKER, since I’m going to spend a lot of time in that world over the next few months. Good thing I did, because the next time I checked my email, all the author info forms, cover forms, promo forms, etc. had arrived, and I have to turn those around today. Still a little bit in love with both Wyatt and Billy, which is as it should be; I still like Jain – good, since it’s her series! And I think Niall’s going to strike a lot of chords in people. The pace is pretty decent and the friends who are in theatre and film with me who read it are going to get a kick out of a lot of it.

Fretted too much about things out of my control.

Worried that I’ll screw up the opportunities coming my way. I’ve earned them; now I’ve got to be smart in handling them.

Tried to work on the adaptation this morning. Got stuck after a few paragraphs. This chapter is extraordinarily political, and I have to sit down and figure out the mechanics of it before I can write it.

The next few weeks will be uniquely stressful, so I just have to keep my head together, keep the people who love me close, keep the b.s. detector on high, and not get caught up in any of it. It’s an exciting time, but the choices I make now are going to have an impact down the line. Now we’ll see how much I’ve learned from the people around me over the years!

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 June 18, 2008 at 7:05 am  Comments (5)  

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

Well, THAT was an adventure! I got a call around 6 PM last night from my publisher, inviting me to be on her radio show, Dragon’s Den – in two hours! Of course I said yes. Jumped in with both feet. Hopefully I didn’t sound like too much of an idiot – at least there were three of us there. I love doing radio, so I had a good time.

You can hear the whole one hour broadcast yourself here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FDWP

It would be the broadcast with last night’s date on it. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s up yet, or if it will be uploaded later.

They wanted to know something no one knows about me. Um, isn’t there a reason why NO ONE KNOWS IT? 😉 Seriously, though, I said that I was 35 before I gave up my dream of being an astronaut. Which is true.

And then someone made a comment about reaching the stars, and I said, “No, I dress them.”

Which, for those of you who know I work on Broadway, makes sense. For the rest, not so much.

But for any of you who found this blog thanks to last night’s radio show: Hi and welcome. And thanks for all the wonderful emails coming in about the show!

Oh, and I was told my release date for HEX BREAKER: August 1.

Again, those of you who know me well know what an important date August 1 is to me.

There will be an audio version of the book, and I may even teach some online workshops for the company.

I’ll post cover art as soon as I have it, and, as soon as I have it, I can start ordering the “stuff” that you’ll be able to win!

Had a great meeting with my producer regarding SIDEKICK. The title will be changed, and there are a few tweaks that need to happen, but we’re all set and going to contract. The play will open the theatre’s season in January 2009.

I’ve got some other play news percolating – if we go to contract on anything, I will make sure to let everyone know.

Got my contract for the date book articles. I can get started on them this week.

Thanks for all the good wishes for my grandmother’s recovery. The sad truth is that she won’t recover; she may rally for awhile, but she’s been so ill for so long, that it’s simply more of a slow fade out. And it’s heartbreaking.

I didn’t get much writing done yesterday; I was too frazzled between my grandmother’s illness, the arrangements that need to be made, and building crap. Yes, there’s more building crap.

So I need to get my head together today and get to work. Now that I have more deadlines piling up, there’s no luxury for having slow writing days. I need to get my contracted articles out of the way, I need to get to work on the next story with the crew of The Merry’s Dalliance, tentatively entitled “The Poison Gold”. Many thanks to one of my actors on the show – something he said to me the other night gave me the idea for the story, thank goodness, because I had no idea what adventure to take my characters on next! And now I do!

I need to finish OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK asap and get started on revisions, so that can go to my publisher, and get started on the story told through Billy Root’s eyes (we first meet Billy in HEX BREAKER as well). I think I’ll call Billy’s story LESSONS IN PRACTICALITY. I need to do the revisions on SIDEKICK and THE MATILDA MURDERS. I need to do a revision on “Yuri’s Tale” and get that out.

In other words, no more lazy days or excuses – there’s writing to be done!

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 June 17, 2008 at 6:16 am  Comments (7)  
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy, humid, warm

The roller coaster just continues. Word came yesterday that my grandmother’s worse again, and back in the hospital. She’s very weak, and we’re in waiting mode to see when we need to head back up there. I’m so sad . . .she’s been so ill for so long, and at the same time I can’t bear the thought of losing her. So I have no idea what the coming weeks will demand. I can just go day by day and try to do what she needs.

Didn’t get any writing done yesterday. I simply couldn’t focus.

Drove into the city; got a carload of stuff, mostly books, up to the storage unit up here. Pulled a few of them that I needed for current projects, but most of it went directly in.

Managed to go to the Tony party and enjoy myself. The awards themselves were well done this year, although I felt that the spoof done by my show was cut unfairly short and stuck in a poor spot in the show. Let me be clear: The show on which I’m currently working was not eligible for any awards; it won quite a few last year, when it opened. The only year a show can win a Tony is the season (not calendar year) in which it opens. But the Tonys are now also showing a few seconds here and there on shows still running during the broadcast in order to boost ticket sales.

I was surprised by how many of the people I’d worked with over the years were involved – and pleased, too, especially when they won! I’m really pleased that IN THE HEIGHTS did so well. I think it’s an extraordinarily unique piece. The orchestrations were done by someone with whom I’d worked on the previous show to the one on which I currently work, and I remember how excited he was by the development process. I’m so pleased he won, and I’ll have to drop him a note. I’ll drop notes to several of the other winners, too, people with whom I’ve worked in the past, and I’m delighted their commitment and their talent is recognized.

That was basically it for me. I’m preparing for my meeting with my producer. I’ve got some articles to work on, and the monologue. I’d like to get back to the adaptation and the revision of THE MATILDA MURDERS. And the ebook is so far behind – it needs to be done this week.

There’s plenty to do; it’s a case of being able to focus between m worry about my grandmother and the escalating chaos in the building.

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 June 16, 2008 at 7:49 am  Comments (10)  
Tags:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Happy Father’s Day! I hope all the fathers have a wonderful, wonderful day with family and friends.

Not much to say – yesterday was all about the shows. Both were fine. The trap was late opening towards the end of the show in the matinee, and when it did, the staircase my actor’s supposed to climb to appear in the mist to the audience (and the other actor) was RAPIDLY shot into place and he was more catapulted than climbed. But he can cope with anything, so the audience never knew something was wrong. And that’s the magic of theatre.

The rain was so hard it was like a monsoon out there – a friend and I went to dinner and only made it as far as the diner across Eighth Avenue, for, unfortunately, a mediocre meal. There was a brief moment of sun walking back and I almost got hit by a car crossing the street because I was looking for rainbows. Advice: Don’t stop in the middle of Eighth Avenue in Manhattan to look for rainbows. The cabs think they get points if they hit you.

I’m working on the monologue for my other friend – it’s percolating, it’s almost where I can write it, but it’s just out of reach still. I can feel it, but it hasn’t yet manifested.

Today, I’ll head back to storage in the city to bring out another load to storage out here. There’s a Tony Awards party tonight, which will be fun, but I hope to squeeze in a little writing between returning from storage and going to the party. However, I’m not going to push the writing today; I’ll take it a little easy.

Because I have to be very, very organized and productive in the coming weeks, any day that I’m not at the show. It’s a little easier to balance writing with this show than with the last show I worked on, because it’s not as physically or mentally demanding. But I still have to focus, and it still takes creative energy, albeit in a different form than the creative energy used for writing. So pacing is important.

I’m looking forward to talking to my producer tomorrow. It’s an exciting time.

Devon

Published in: on June 15, 2008 at 6:31 am  Comments (4)  
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, humid, sticky
Bastille day

The producer loves SIDEKICK. We’re going to talk on the phone on Monday and take it from there. Now, that’s one of the fastest sales I’ve ever made! Once contracts are signed, I’ll let you know the production details.

If you haven’t read my review of Yasmine Galenorn’s Dragon Wytch, hop on over to A Biblio Paradise.

If you want to read my wrap-up of the Belmont Stakes, check it out on FemmeFan.

By noon yesterday, I was beat. I’d been up until 2 AM writing SIDEKICK, gotten up at 6 AM, and had an edit of the play and almost a complete re-write of Act III done by a little after 9 AM. That went off to the producer. I got the review up on Biblio Paradise. I dealt with building crap. I picked up a few groceries. I landed the project from my editor – eight short holiday articles for the publication’s date book. I’ve written for their calendars and almanacs before, but never the date book. And their date book is the one I use. So, I’m delighted. I thought my other article for the calendar was due on Sunday, but it’s due in July. However, since I thought it was due on Sunday, I’ve been working on it and I might as well finish it and send it off next week, rather than sitting on it. These are for 2010, mind you. We have to write ahead.

Tried to nap, so I wouldn’t be a basket case by show time, but the construction noise made it impossible.

Train in to the city was okay; not great, not horrible. It was there and it got me into town in a reasonable amount of time. Grand Central was so packed that I had trouble getting out – whatever happened to summer hours? I thought everyone left by one p.m.! What were they still doing there by 5:30?

Anyway, crawled over them and through them. Stopped at the bookstore to pick up Book #1 of Julie Czerneda’s Trade Pact Universe series, A THOUSAND WORDS FOR STRANGE. Started reading it last night . . .wow. It’s fascinating and complex and imaginative and . . .wow.

Had trouble getting back into “show head”, but everyone was glad to see me, and that helped. I confided in one of the actors whom I trust the most about the project from which I walked away and was upset about – and he told me there was a billboard on Broadway a block from the show advertising it. On my way back to the train, I walked past it. Horrifying. The cheapest, most classless billboard I’ve seen in a long time. I wasn’t sure how I’d react, but the actor was correct – I had to laugh. It was like watching a bad accident. All I can do is be grateful I left when I did. For me to have worked in that concept after spending so much time with the people I did would have been a deep betrayal of them.

My series will come out when it’s ready, and it will do right by the people who shared so much with me. I think all of us sitting around watching it next week will give me a sense of closure. I hope so, anyway.

Back to the theatre for two shows today – I hope I don’t get so lost in Julie’s book that I miss any cues!

I’m worried about all those in the Midwest facing those floods – having lived through it last year, my heart hurts for them. And I’m saddened by Tim Russert’s death. He was one of the few sane political commentators we had left, and goodness knows, we needed him this year. My condolences to his family.

Devon

Published in: on June 14, 2008 at 8:00 am  Comments (5)  
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

So it’s Friday, the 13th! One of the best days on the whole calendar. Around noon, hop on over to A Biblio Paradise – by then, I’ll have posted my review of Yasmine Galenorn’s next installment of her Sisters of the Moon series, DRAGON WYTCH.

This will be a short post; things in the building are so crazy and change so fast I’ve been rewriting my letter every day and it’s still not right. Today, they plan to shut off the water for a few hours. Yes, they gave us notice, but how much do you want to bet that they “forget” to turn it back on before they wander off for the weekend? So I boiled water, filled bottles and buckets, and the bathtub, and I’m hoping for the best.

One of my editors has approached me about an intriguing project. I said yes, but won’t reveal details until things are finalized. It’s a company for whom I’ve written for a dozen years, almost unheard of in freelancing, and it’s my first opportunity to tackle this particular assignment. If it works out, I’ll be thrilled.

Most of yesterday was about SIDEKICK. In fact, I was up until nearly 2 AM working on it. I’m about to give it another pass and then send it off to my producers.

Then I need to finish and post the DRAGON WYTCH review, work on my column, and get back to the revisions on THE MATILDA MURDERS. And I have a show tonight.

Oh, and I was invited to attend a race at Lake Geneva. As in Switzerland. This weekend. If they wanted me there on Saturday, wouldn’t you think they’d have told me earlier than Thursday? If I had the ready cash and no commitments, I’d hop on a plane and do it. As it is, I’m booked on the show and I don’t have the dough for a weekender in Europe, so I’ll sent a polite note of regrets. Maybe I’ll get to do something similar some other time.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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 June 13, 2008 at 6:25 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , ,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It’s so sad that the tornado hit a Boy Scout camp in Iowa, killing four of the boys. Really, a horrible tragedy. I was pretty annoyed, though, the one of the morning news shows put on a traumatized 14-year-old boy with haunted eyes. His parents stood next to him and THEY were in full Scout regalia, including medals, grinning, simpering, and making it all about THEM and how much THEY loved the organization. I wanted to slap them silly. One would think they’d be grateful their son wasn’t killed, and they’d be taking care of HIS needs, not going on national television trying to make it about them and their own feelings for the Scouts.

I’m in the process of sorting out the details of my workshop and my online chat for The Muse Online Writers’ Conference this fall. I taught and participated in it last year and LOVED it. I developed EARTH BRIDE there, which ended up being my Nano, and may develop this year’s Nano in it as well. Once I have everything finalized, I will let you know and post relevant links.

I’m considering skipping Nano this year. I’m doing J-WAT in July, where I hope to get a good start on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, the second Gwen/Justin book. It might make sense to write the first draft of the third one, SANDOVAL’S SECRET, during Nano, but I’m not sure. If I do it, this year I’m going to limit my mentoring to 4 or 5. It nearly hit 30 last year, and, while it was fun, it’s a little too much right now.

On the downside, I’m dealing with one of those life lessons in the land of television. About six years ago, I spent a large chunk of time with a group of people researching what was supposed to be material for a cable series. The producers and I parted company because I wanted to show an inside view of that entire world, the good, the bad, the wonderful, the heart-breaking, whereas the producers wanted to focus on the sex lives of three characters. I retained the rights to my research and characters; they retained the rights to develop their view of the concept. No problem. I simply felt that, if I followed what they wanted to do, I was betraying the trust and openness that those people showed me over an extended period of time, and that I wasn’t doing right by any of them. I felt I was compromising my integrity to stay on the project. It was a perfectly amiable split, and my material became the basis for several novels, one which was making the rounds, but which I pulled out of circulation a couple of years ago because it is a difficult sell, and I wanted to get some more credits and clout to insure I could stay true to my vision and the people who’d been so kind to me.

Well, now the show is about to launch. I saw the promo and I felt like I had to take shower after it. Truly, truly awful. Horrifyingly scumbag television.

And yet, I’m upset. I’m glad I left the project; I’m not sorry I gave up the money or the credit. And yet, I’m very unsettled and very upset, as though I’m tainted simply because I’m involved in the same industry. It’s not logical; it’s emotional. I’m not personally responsible for representing all writers everywhere (thank goodness, or we’d all be in trouble). I just wanted to do something to show how incredible these people are, and now someone’s taken a similar concept and turned it into trash TV. It has nothing to do with me, there’s no logical reason for me to be upset . . .but I am.

My friends who helped me with the research think it’s funny and think we should watch it as a group. “It’ll be just like watching SHOWGIRLS,” one of them said. I’m glad they can laugh about it, and hope that, one day soon, so can I.

That day’s not quite here yet, though.

One of the people who’d been kind and helpful, and with whom I’ve stayed in touch asked why, exactly, I was so upset. It took me awhile to pinpoint it, but then I said, “Because I feel as though I’ve failed everyone who took so much time with me and showed me so much kindness by not getting my project out first.” He helped me realize that no one else (as far as he knows) feels like I’ve failed them, and they’re all confident that when my project DOES get out there, it will do them all proud.

Again, like I said, I’m having an emotional response, not a logical one.

Finished the first act of SIDEKICK and need to get the other two done. Did a detailed pitch/proposal for what could become a long-running gig with a lot of potential that also sounds like fun.

A friend and I went out last night – first to a new-ish local restaurant called Eurasian, which was fantastic. I had sushi – yellowtail with scallion, eel with avocado, and, something I never had before, spicy crunchy scallops. It was exquisite.

After that, we went to see INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Warning: spoilers! I had so much fun! I truly enjoyed it. It’s not quite as good as the first one, but leagues better than the second (it would take a lot to be worse than the second) and better than the third. There were similarities in story line between this one and NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS, but where NT2 failed, this one succeeded. And, for me, it was keeping my trust early in the film (yes, in spite of the whole nuclear explosion thing — a much more overtly political comment than I expected) because of the way it laid the foundation for the research (i.e., when Indy is figuring out the riddle Ox left) in a way that made sense (unlike NT2, which insulted the audience’s intelligence by using the wrong Mesoamerican language and thinking no one would notice). So, because the foundation was laid before it went into the absurd and fantastical, I was willing to go along with them on that journey into the absurd and the fantastical. I thought it was pretty funny that they both dealt with extinct Mesoamerican languages, but one did it in a way that made sense, and one did it in a way that was simply sloppy. Loved Karen Allen (always do). Thought Cate Blanchett was pretty good, even though there were too many too-wide-open-eye shots. I wanted to see real SCENES between Allen and Blanchett – that would have been fun, rather than that one quick bit in the chase scene. I’d heard a lot of negatives about Shia Labeouf, but I thought he was pretty good, and certainly far better than a lot of other choices for the role. He had a great scene where he realizes what’s happened to Ox, good chemistry with Ford and Allen, did the chase scenes well, and the fight scene with Blanchett was good. His entrance, the homage to James Dean, was in the same vein as Ford’s first entrance in RAIDERS, which was nod to Bogart in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (if you’ve never seen that, rent it). The whloe ant thing was too long. Didn’t buy Hawaii as a stand-in for Peru, but thought the scenery was gorgeous enough so I didn’t really care after the initial, “That is so NOT Peru.” I also thought it was interesting how George Lucas took the old CHARIOTS OF THE GODS theory and worked it into the storyline. When I was approaching adolescence, and Lucas must have been in his late teens/early twenties, that was a big deal, with the ground carvings that could only be seen from the sky, and the theory that aliens landed to teach people agriculture, architecture, astronomy, etc. There was a lot of buzz about that in the 1970’s. And I’d pretty much forgotten about it until I saw it woven in here.

I had a great time, I’m glad I saw it on the big screen, I’ll get the DVD when it comes out, and it was an uplifting night out.

I really need to borrow a small child so I can legitimately go see KUNG FU PANDA. And HANCOCK looks like it’s going to be twisted in the best possible way. The movie I was most excited about this summer, INKHEART, had its release pushed back to January 2009, which is disappointing.

Did some decent work on the adaptation; still playing with titles.

The migraine lifted for a few hours yesterday, but is in full force today. The best description is dwarves tap-dancing in cleats waving pick-axes inside my skull.

Back to the page.

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:

Adaptation: 51,954 words out of est. 90,000