Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Can you say “brain ache”? ‘Cause that’s what I have! Not to mention eye strain.

I wrote three stories for the short story workshop yesterday, to catch up. I’m holding off on the final exercise, because I feel like there will be more than seven stories in this particular collection which is a cross between literary urban fantasy and magical realism. I think thirteen would be a good number, don’t you?

The third I wrote shows some fatigue, and worry that it grew too long, so I’ll go back and work on it in a few days.

Sent out a couple more submissions.

Worked on the cozy’s plot, which needs to percolate. A nice, catchy title would be good, too. I’m trying to follow the exercises and shake up my process, but I tend to need to write my way in a bit before I know what the gosh-darned plot it. I have the beginning and the ending – I just have to figure out how to get from one to the other. Oy! But it’s helpful. I know the who, where, why. I have to figure out the steps of the “how”. I know how the murder victim was murdered, but I need the nuts and bolts of getting from the murder to the Big Reveal. And I’ve got B lines figured out that, if I do my job properly, feed into the A lines while still strengthening the overall arc of the series, if this is to become a series. I’ve got a bunch of red herrings prepped, and I better figure out where to put them before they start to smell. Because, trust me, rotting herring can reek! I’m getting more of a sense of the characters and a sense of the character of the setting, which is helpful. But I need to figure out more plot details.

One of the instructors who “didn’t have time” for the students (unless privately hired) actually had the cojones to email me to ask for a testimonial! I am going to take the high road in this case, and not respond. Because if I open my mouth . . .

I need to do research on the Carthinogens (doesn’t that sound like something you get from smoking?) I mooched two books on ancient history over on BookMooch, so I’m hoping that will give me what I need. It’s a short story, so I need enough sensory details to make it work, but I don’t need to go into the extended scenic description splattered in a novel.

The N3 email went out yesterday.

I’ll miss the conference, but 9-11 hours/day, most of it responding to exercises, was a bit much. I’m grateful that I had such an active room (one of the busiest in the conference, she says with pride), but it was exhausting. Exhilarating and worthwhile, I’m not complaining – I just don’t think I could keep up this type of pace with this many students indefinitely. Which is why real-time workshops have registration limits, I’m sure! 😉 I’m glad I was off from the show all week. I couldn’t have done it otherwise.

Worked on “The Possession of Nattie Filmore” this morning, the Jain Lazarus ghost story. I plan to get it up this week.

Back to the final day of the conference . . .



  1. Hey Devon! Just wanted to pop in and tell you I am linking to this blog from mine, (both of them!) and hope we can continue to be online friends. I am so excited about your book and looks like you will be a cozy on the keep shelf one day 🙂 which thrills me too!

    Glad we met!

  2. Get a good night’s sleep! Helps me with brain ache every time!

  3. At some point, get some sleep, ‘kay?

  4. Wow, sounds like a very productive conference. Enjoy. 🙂

  5. Devon, although there are references which use the alternate “Carthinogens”, it might help your research to know that they are more usually (always in the translations of period accounts which I’ve read) known as the “Carthaginians”. You will get far more hits on Google using this term, also. (And, if you really want accurate background, skip Google and try Intute:

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