One of those things . . .(an anecdote)

I was teased yesterday for being “overly polite” on the road as I ran errands — letting cars turn in front of me, etc.

I figure, just because I’m grumpy and not yet feeling the spirit of the season doesn’t mean I should take it out on everyone else. I mean, it’s not the little old man trying to make a left turn in front of me’s fault that I’m experiencing the hazards of freelancing, and, in general, feeling out of sorts with the world. All he’s trying to do is buy cat food.

I subscribe to the theory that, if everyone lets one car in front of them during traffic congestion, we all get there in time. It’s when you try to let one car in and that big SUV decides to muscle past too that I am, shall we say, less than polite! 😉

But yesterday was a polite day.

And today, I’m staying home!

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Published in: on November 30, 2008 at 10:45 am  Comments (4)  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Waxing Moon
Cold and snowing!

It’s snowing! I love snow! And I don’t have to go out in it, so I like it even more.

Nano is done. Congrats to everyone who did it. To those of you who hit 50K, double congrats, and keep writing until you’re done. To those who didn’t hit 50K, just keep at it – the important thing was that you stuck it out for the entire month, and, hopefully, learned some techniques that will help your writing in the future. Unfinished manuscripts drain your creativity. Even if you wind up keeping it in a drawer for years, at least finish the draft so you can move cleanly on to the next thing.

I never think I’ll do Nano again by November 30. I may or may not do it next year; shouldn’t have done it this year, it was more frustrating than usual. But I hit my goal and need to keep on, because I think it’s a viable piece, with some work. Next year, though, I might see what it’s like to do a year without mentoring. The majority of my mentees were fabulous, and I’m pleased with myself for cutting loose the dead weight earlier rather than later; however, the dead weight took a toll on me, even though I managed to buffer the toll from the group.

I’ll make my decision next year on October 31st!

Start of response to responses to my comments yesterday (skip if you wish):
To all of those who got defensive about shopping at Wal-Mart, I re-iterate: When you spend money at a store, any store, even the local newsagent, by spending your money there, you condone their policies. I actually set foot in three Wal-Marts in the last week (not black Friday, thank goodness, or I’d probably be in the hospital), in three different states, because I wanted to see first-hand if maybe I’d been too harsh over the past years.

I found the stores FILTHY. I’m talking they were all disgustingly dirty. The floors were so dirty that I had to clean my shoes with disinfectant when I got home – all three times. Merchandise was torn and strewn over the floor. The staff was rude, the other customers were hateful and pushy, and not only did they not have what I needed, what they had was MORE EXPENSIVE than other stores in the area, especially when it came to food. Comparing the food prices at the nearest Wal-mart to the store at which I usually shop, which is less than a mile away, there was about a 40 cent price difference on almost every item except junk food, with Wal-Mart being the higher priced. 40 cents per item adds up quickly.

I believe the death-by-trampling could happen anywhere in the country. If any of us researched our particular area, we’d find instances in history where mob mentality resulted in fatality. It’s not limited to Long Island and New Jersey. Yeah, I make a lot of jokes about both, and the escalating race tensions/hate crimes on Long Island are worrisome, but it can happen ANYWHERE the conditions are created. Wal-Mart CREATED the conditions for this to occur, fed the beast, whipped up the frenzy. They must be held partially accountable, while those who actually committed the murder must be hunted down and removed from the population, because they are a danger. The local police really dropped the ball, in my opinion.

One reason I haven’t run out to buy a Costco membership yet is because I haven’t yet had a chance to research the store’s background. If I disagree with their policies, I’ll forego the deep discounts.

I know all about living on a budget. Thanks to that unsigned check, NONE of December’s bills can be paid. The classy thing for them to do would be to express mail a replacement check, but we all know that won’t happen. I’ll have to wait two more weeks for them to cut a check, which will then be held by my bank for a week because it’s an out-of-state check. Am I stressed? Hugely. Things would have been tight, but possible, had I actually been able to deposit the check on Saturday morning. But that’s the way it is, and everyone is just going to have to deal. It’s one of the hazards of freelancing, especially when all these “financial institutions” that are getting billions in bailout money then turn around and triple one’s interest rates, even when one (me) regularly pays twice the minimum or more. I’ll get through it; I always do. I can pay rent. That’s it. None of my other contracts come due until the end of the year. So don’t talk to me about living on a budget. I’ve lived on a very tight budget AND taken care of my family all my life – just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean that I don’t have family members dependent on me – and done it IN THE ARTS (apart from temp jobs here and there), not as a cubicle slave or working a job I hate, and shopping my conscience. I started earning my own way when I was eleven. I put myself through NYU film school, and I’ve never had the luxury of a spouse’s income.

Don’t get me wrong — I think it’s great when one parent can stay home with the kids in this day and age, and I wish we lived in a society set up so that parents COULD either switch off with one at home, one at work for months at a time, or whatever. And I applaud anyone who home schools. Believe me, seeing how so many schools have declined over the past years, if I had kids, I’d home school. And even during my years in school, most of the stuff I learned was in independent study or stuff my parents took me to see when we traveled. There were specific years I learned quite a bit — fourth grade, fifth grade, a bit in high school — but, for the most part, I’m unhappy with the way things were taught in school.

At a show on which I worked a few years ago, a whole group of us discovered that a favorite store had particular discriminatory policies, so we wrote a group letter, signed by everyone, and everyone has stopped shopping there. Do we miss the merchandise? Of course. And we sigh and moan about it sometimes. Do we miss the price breaks? Of course. But it’s better than condoning policies we find unacceptable. It’s not only low price points, either. I don’t shop at a well-known store in London, because I have problems with certain policies, and I find the behavior encouraged during their sales revolting. I’ll take a walk through the store as a tourist; but I’ll spend my money elsewhere. Not that it matters to them; but it matters to me.

There are stores with prices comparable or cheaper than Wal-Mart. They’re all up and down the north east, from New Jersey to Maine, and I can’t believe that Wal-Mart is the only store with good prices anywhere else in the country. I’ve traveled and toured extensively all over the country. Stores exist.

Do I think they are totally evil? No. There are two points where I think they made a huge, positive difference. One is in the $4 prescription program, which is especially important for senior citizens and people on fixed incomes. The other was during Katrina, when they were among the first to get trucks of fresh, clean water down to the devastated areas. The fact that Bush’s stupid people stopped them and wouldn’t let them through is an entirely separate issue – the company proved that they can step up in an emergency. They wouldn’t lose a lot by treating their employees better. In fact, they’d gain a lot.

And then maybe someone would wash the floors occasionally.

Management always blames labor for high costs, and, 90% of the time, it’s not true. In my industry, labor costs are approximately 11% of a production’s budget (not counting star salaries, which is a choice on the part of the producers, not a necessity, in my opinion). And yet, we, the ones who make it possible for producers to make a profit, are blamed for high costs like ticket prices, which keep away audiences. Fortunately, even though the unions have been severely weakened during the last eight years, our unions have maintained particulars are far as working conditions so it doesn’t literally kill us (most of the time) to work on a production. There was a serious injury on a major production last year which is litigation, so I can’t go into details, except to say that it is highly unlikely the injured person will ever be able to work again. Fortunately, it’s a company for whom I’ve managed to avoid working. But for the most part, working conditions in my industry are decent, although intense, and there’s always something to bitch and moan about, but the results are good productions. The fact that our work hours and conditions are regulated lets us do our jobs better and give more to the audience.

I worked for over a hundred companies as a temp during college and when I just started out, in and around shows, many, many times for honchos near the top. That’s where the waste and greed and high costs are incurred: Amongst the executives who spend the day playing putt-putt golf in their corner offices, take three hour lunches and come back drunk, then pass out in their offices for the afternoon, while the administrative assistants, earning maybe 1/20th of what these guys do, actually keep the company running. Yet these people, who spend most of their time on non-company matters during company time, have the power and use it to consistently make decisions that hurt the company and most of its employees. And let me tell you, the above scenario was the norm. Occasionally I landed a temp job for an exec who actually did the work, but most of his colleagues did nothing, yet were paid ridiculous salaries. It’s one of the reasons we’re all in such a big mess right now.

We all have to make our personal choices. And we all have to accept the consequences of those choices.
End of response.

Got a lot done yesterday, but not as much as I wanted, because I’m feeling lousy (most of it is emotional backlash from the past couple of weeks that’s physicalizing, I’m sure, but that doesn’t make it any more fun). Ran the necessary errands, but spent most of the day putting up the decorations. I have more decorations than space to put them, so not everything can be used. I always feel guilty about the decorations that sit unused for a year or so (I try to rotate). I feel like I’m not “allowing” them to come out and play.

The cats “helped”, especially with the ironing. Don’t worry, I made sure they didn’t get near the hot iron. I’ll post pictures in a few days.

But it looks nice. I still lack holiday spirit – in fact, I’m a cat’s whisker from turning into an atheist at this point, I’m so disgusted with everything, and yes, I am aware of the irony of that response during the holiday season. There’s still a lot of clutter to get rid of, stuff to purge, and figure out how to straighten it all out. The problem with juggling multiple projects is that you can’t really put anything away (if it’s “away” then, in my psyche, it’s “finished”) and there’s no room to keep it all out. But, somehow, you deal. That’s all you can do.

Got to get the final email out to my N3x, and then it’s back to the page. I’ll finish the assignment for Confidential Job #1 today, so I can get it out tomorrow (and invoice them – they actually pay on time). Got to get back to the mystery, the Maine project, the Mick Feeney story, the Jain Lazarus revisions, some material for the upcoming A BIBLIO PARADISE week hosting IWOFA

So it’s going to be a long day.

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


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 November 30, 2008 at 8:56 am  Comments (2)  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008
Waxing moon
Cloudy and cold

I’m exhausted, both physically and mentally. It was a busy, bittersweet roller coaster of a couple of days, and I feel like I could sleep for about a week.

The trip up on Wednesday was as smooth as could be – no traffic until we hit the Maine border. Couldn’t believe it. In fact, we got to Maine so early we couldn’t stop and eat lunch at our chosen spot in York because it was too early!

We ran some errands, did a bit of grocery shopping, grabbed a snack, and arrived at my great-uncles’s (my grandmother’s brother, don’t know the correct term, so I call him my great-uncle) early. We had a good visit, with them and with some other family.

I’d packed the dinner I cooked, heated it up, we set the table nicely, and planned a festive dinner. Unfortunately, my great-uncle wasn’t feeling well. We were pretty worried about him.

Yoga the next morning – I brought my mat, and, throughout the few days, I was grateful I’d done so. I kept going back to the mat time and time again to stay centered and focused.

My great-uncle was too ill to eat breakfast, so we tucked him in on the sofa so he could rest.

I got some writing done – a bit of work done on the first Mick Feeney story, and about a thousand words on something else, that, if it works, will be something people enjoy. I’d plotted it out in my head in the car, made some notes, and got going. I’m going to set it in a fictional town in Maine, stretching geography to stuff it in around York.

My great-uncle was too ill to attend the dinner, and we were worried about leaving him home alone, but he insisted we go on.

As usual, the dinner was wonderful. Sixty-three people attended this year. A big hall is rented, with long tables decorated and set up. Down one side of the room, the food tables are set up, buffet-style. Along the other side of the room, this year, there were two tables of desserts. And I’m talking the long trestle-tables, not some dainty end table! The kitchen is enormous (I often joke that’s the size kitchen I want), with a huge stove and plenty of counter space to prepare big meals. My job is always to mash the potatoes. Which means standing on a step stool and wielding a four foot long potato masher because the pots are so big!

Almost everyone pitches in to do something, and everyone brings food, so it’s a case of what needs to be prepared at the hall (the potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, gravy, etc.) and what comes in ready and needs to be set out (the turkey, the creamed onions, etc.). We catch up as we do it. I really need to sit down and make up a map (family tree) because I can never figure out who’s related to whom and how, and, especially with the kids, they change so much from year to year that some of them seem like complete strangers every year. Also, I’m kind of shy and sometimes being around so many people is overwhelming, so staying busy in the kitchen is a good way for me to get talking to people and also contribute something to the overall dinner.

We had a real Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon moment (if you don’t know what that means – look it up). One of the family members, now going to college at NYU (my alma mater), was in class with someone from the Broadway show on which I work occasionally. Too funny! The guy in the show was part of the original Broadway company, and had left before I arrived, but I know OF him, and it’s one of those random events that shows just how small the world really is.

The food was great, the company was great, everyone’s considerate enough to keep the drama out of it and get along. Clean-up was quick, because there are so many people to help, and you just sort of catch up on a year’s worth of life.

What surprised and touched both my mother and I was that they are all adamant we keep joining them for Thanksgiving (we’ve gone up every year since 1972, when my father died). The family up there is my grandmother’s extended family, and she included us after my father died, so it wouldn’t just be my mother and I on Thanksgiving. I missed three years in the mid-1980’s when I lived on the West Coast, and two years in the early 2000’s, when I had shows, but, other than that, we’ve got every year since the 1970s. And we did wonder if this would be our last Thanksgiving together. But, over and over again, various members came and asked us to promise to keep coming up. I’d really like to.

I’m sure they wonder why I never bring up a boyfriend, but Maine is really my sanctuary, and I’d have to be pretty convinced that anyone I brought up there was going to stick around for awhile. Also, with the men currently in my life, they were all working this year, plus, from the outside, I’m sure the relationships seem far more complex than they actually are. Too much explaining involved.

Part of the loss of my grandmother equates to feeling like my safety net is gone.

My great-uncle was a little better when we got home, but still couldn’t eat or drink anything, which concerned us. He was livelier than he’d been earlier, though, and we sat up and all had a good visit, swapping travel stories and trying to figure out how some people were related to each other. I’m telling you, I need a map!

We picked out the artwork created by my grandmother for the next day’s memorial breakfast, and I cleaned it so we could set it up in the restaurant. Went to bed pretty early, because I was tired; had hoped to get both more reading and writing done, but was just too worn out. We also figured out which of her friends still needed to be notified of the death, and we’ll help with some of that this weekend.

Up early the next morning. My great-uncle still didn’t feel well, but wanted to come to the breakfast in memory of his sister, so another relative drove him over closer to the start time, while my mom and I packed the car with our stuff and the artwork and headed over early to help set up. A cousin of my grandmother’s also came with more artwork. It turns out that many people attending didn’t even know my grandmother was an artist.

She was very talented. She could paint, draw, work in pastel, pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, etching, silkscreen, and even do some metal art. She was a wonderful portraitist She was of the age where, as a woman, family and duty were always put before pursuing dreams, and that was always a bone of contention between us, because I’ve refused to get married and take care of a man rather than create a life in the arts. I’ve been lucky to have some great men in my life; I’ve also had some not-so-great men in my life; none of them have been worth giving up the writing. Writing is breathing to me, and I’ve been ruthless in not letting anyone keep me from the page. I also take care of an elderly mother, have taken care of several friends during terminal illness, and, when my grandmother was so sick in the last years, driven back and forth as often as possible to do whatever I could do help (although it never felt like enough, especially in these last years when she needed constant care). I haven’t met someone that I felt was an equal partner on this journey on a daily basis, and I’m not willing to settle for less. I’m willing to compromise, but not capitulate. I see far too much capitulation in far too many relationships around me, and, for the most part, it’s still the woman who’s expected to give everything up to “support” the man, instead of each supporting the other. It created huge tensions between us at times, but I made the right decision for me. I believe she could have been a working artist – she was a working art teacher for years – but there was always the excuse of needing to “do” for someone else. That was her choice, and I hope it was the right one for her, although one can’t help but wonder about her untapped potential.

In any case, the breakfast was lovely. It was good to see people again and chat a bit without waving a four-foot potato masher! People got up and shared stories, and letters from others who couldn’t be there were read. So it was a happy, joyful gathering, the kind that would have made her happy. She made everything fun, like baking and gardening and canning. She taught me how to ride a bicycle. She tried to teach me how to swim, but I still can’t swim – that’s my fault, not hers. She was interested in everything.

Driving away from Maine this time, the reality that she’s no longer with us really started to hit home.

The first half of the drive was in vile weather, pouring rain. The second half of the drive was in vile traffic, especially around the malls.

We called to check on my great-uncle when we got home, and he’s feeling much better. He’s still going to the doctor this week, but at least he didn’t have to be rushed to the ER.

So: at three Wal-Marts in the area, people were seriously injured. At one Wal-Mart, an employee was trampled to death. As most of you know, I loathe Wal-Mart, and I’ll drive 150 miles out of my way rather than shop at one, because their policies disgust me so much. The disgusting type of customer they attract, the type that would trample an employee to death, is a prime example of why I loathe the store and have such a low opinion of those who shop there. I don’t care how low their prices are – where you shop, where you spend your hard-earned cash, indicates what your morals and values are – whether it’s there or anywhere else. The type of shopper Wal-Mart attracts is the type of person who tramples an employee to death and shoves rescue workers out of the way when they try to resuscitate him. In my opinion, the cops need to take the time to dissect the surveillance video, identify these bastards (run it on television if need be, someone will recognize these people), and put them away because they are a danger to society. They are murderers, and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I bet the majority of these murderers go to church every Sunday, too, and consider themselves “good Christians.” Religious hypocrisy at work, yet again.

A weak economy is not a viable excuse to murder a store employee by trampling him to death. This cannot be shrugged off.

Yet it will be, because that’s how the Bush administration’s policies have filtered down over the past eight years and all we’ve seen from the top down is that it’s okay behave with greed and avarice, no matter who gets hurt. The Bush administration led by example, encouraging people to be their worst selves.

Cats weren’t too destructive while we were gone, although a few things were knocked over, and they were happy we were back, behaving like Velcro kitties.

I got a shock when I opened the extremely late check from one of my editors – it’s unsigned. Which means I can’t deposit it. To say I am livid is an understatement. I don’t believe for one second that it was a mistake. It was a complete “fuck you” from this place. I sent a polite (barely) but terse email to her. I do not want to have to wait another two weeks for this check. I want it replaced on Monday and sent overnight. It won’t be, but hey, this will be the last time I work for them anyway. A bridge worth burning, in my opinion, especially since, financially, I am now totally screwed for the coming week. What a different experience from the last anthology on which I worked with them, where they paid promptly and pleasantly. If they’re in financial difficulty, they need to be upfront with us. Screwing us in this way is simply not acceptable.

I have to have a discussion with another editor on Monday. I’m supposed to receive royalty statements and royalties by the 20th of every month. The last royalty statement I received was in September and I’ve yet to see a penny of royalties. I know the book is selling, and I want the monies due.

I’m tired of these people jerking around writers. This is why all writers and all writing should be unionized – so payments must be made on time or else there are strong consequences.

Nothing like coming back from a few difficult emotional days to complete and utter unprofessional bullshit, right?

Busy day today. I haven’t worked on the mystery; too much on my mind. I need to get a lot done in order to hit the ground running this week and figure out a way to make up instantly the shortfall from the unsigned check.

Mark your calendar – I’m on the radio show hosted by the League of Extraordinary Paranormal Women on December 11 at 8 PM EST. It’s on blogtalk radio, so I’ll post the link, and if you can’t listen to it live, you can listen to it some other time.

Back to dealing with life.

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


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 November 29, 2008 at 8:09 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Rainy and cold

The whole coping thing is getting me down. Because I’m exhausted, and I’d like to have a few days where I don’t cope, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. I knew I hit a rough patch when I got weepy in the grocery store around all the Thanksgiving fixings.

Busy day. Hauled a bunch of stuff out of storage, purged, repacked, consolidated. I have several boxes to take back today. Found some books I was looking for, including the letters between Edith Wharton and Henry James; I’m reading Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton bio. Then, one of my Bookmooch books arrived – about Henry James! Perfect! I can wallow in that whole literary era.

Stopped by the mechanic and had him teach me all about changing the oil, checking the air pressure in the tires, and adjusting it. It’s stuff I need to know, not rely on others to always do for me, and I never learned how to do it on this car. Now I know. Now I can cope.

Cooked an enormous beef stew, enough to feed a slew of relatives in Maine later this week, because, with all the death stuff and the Thanksgiving planning, let’s face it, everyone’s exhausted. Baked three batches of brownies – the quick ones, not the cappuccino ones that take three hours to make! One batch is for the neighbor hosting a dinner tonight which I can’t attend; one is for the big dinner in Maine on Thursday, and the other is for us, because there was too much batter and not enough pans, so I used a wonky pan and it’s a sad-looking little batch, but it sure tastes good.

Found a bunch of yarn in one of the purged boxes; untangled that and re-rolled it, with help from the cats. Found a bunch of material, some of it a half-finished, really pretty skirt, so all that’s been washed.

Dealt with a bunch of business stuff.

Worked on the assignment from Confidential Job #1.

Got some more of the materials I need for the massive Holiday Gift making extravaganza that will begin this weekend. I just need one more thing, that I will pick up in Maine on Wednesday, and I’m good to go. Got the materials for my cousin’s present that I have to put together before I leave for Maine. Found a great deal on some holiday cards and bought enough so I don’t have to stress, and can get the overseas cards out this coming weekend. Christmas is happening this year, I am just being extremely creative about giving people cool, unusual stuff while keeping to a miniscule budget.

Still no check from that editor. I’m a fit to be tied, to use an old-fashioned expression.

Trying to figure out which of the blossoming story ideas are short forms, and which are novels.

Trying to figure out where I’ll hustle for work when I get back from Maine, because I have to make up the shortfall caused by the deadbeat clients.

Got a couple more press releases to get out.

It’s a lot.

Good morning’s work on the mystery. I uploaded the whole file, verified it, and got my winner’s certificate. I can’t download the badges for some reason – hopefully, it reproduced properly here. Because I’d kind of like to gloat for a few days. Okay, it didn’t work. I’ll just have to get over it, won’t I?

You won’t hear from me until Saturday morning, because I’m headed up to Maine for the big dinner/tribute.

Have a great holiday.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 58,180 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
58 / 50
(116.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 58,180 words out of 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
58 / 75
(77.3%)
Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 7:39 am  Comments (13)  
Tags: , , , ,

Monday, November 24, 2008

too-much-mistletoe-cover1

Monday, November 24, 2008
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

There’s a press release making the rounds about TOO MUCH MISTLETOE:

Of course, I hope you all want to read the actual piece, too and not just the press release! 😉

Yesterday was a DAY, let me tell you.

Had to get out a stack of unpleasant business-related correspondence – icky, but necessary, and, of course, took longer than I wished.

Wandered up to the CVS in walking distance to pick up a few things. They’re so darned rude I can barely stand shopping there, and try to avoid it unless I have no other choice. They didn’t have everything I needed, so I got what I could and then walked across town to a local mom-and-pop shop which I hoped would have the rest. They did, and they’re always fun to talk to, so it was all good.

Wandered back through the main street of my town, which was closed off for some sort of holiday fair, with lots of inflatable slides and games for kids, some vendors, stilt walkers, carolers, and people dressed in snowman and reindeer costumes, poor things. It was cute; I just wasn’t in the mood.

Came back, took care of a few things, was startled by the phone and accidentally dripped nail polish remover in my eye. Don’t ask, it’s a situation that doesn’t even make sense to me. If you’ve never done it, I suggest keeping it that way. Hurts like hell and doesn’t wash out easily. Kept putting drops in my eyes to soothe them every half hour or so for the rest of the day.

Made the cappuccino brownies. The recipe is a pain in the ass. It’s not hard, but it has a lot of steps, and not all the steps are explained correctly. I wound up doing a good deal of notating, so I’ll do it right the first time on the next go-round. But it’s one of the best recipes I’ve ever made – almost as good as the brownie recipe I developed myself – so I guess spending nearly three hours making brownies occasionally is worth it. I may use the whipped cappuccino topping on other things as well, because it’s REALLY good.

Lots of stories and characters are clamoring for attention in my head, so I have to get things sorted out. Got a rejection on a piece that was disappointing, but oh, well. If it’s not the right fit, it’s not the right fit, right? On to the next name on the list. Actually, I think I’m going to wait until the New Year to resubmit – I thought of a couple of things I want to tweak, with more of a big picture view.

Re-reading Alexandra Johnson’s LEAVING A TRACE, an excellent book for writers. Although it’s primarily about journal-keeping techniques, she also talks about using the journal material to craft fiction, and many of her techniques are great for things like silencing the censor. My ways of using the journal for fiction are a little different (as anyone who’s taken my workshop JOURNAL INTO FICTION knows), but I find her suggestions fascinating and useful beyond the journal-into-fiction process.

If you haven’t checked out the new releases I have, the Nina Bell holiday mystery “Too Much Mistletoe” and the first Penny’s Dreadfuls release, “The Ramsey Chase”, scroll on down to the posts from the past weekend for the details.

Slow morning on the mystery. I was distracted, and wound up writing under 1000 words. However, I hit a good stopping point, a cliff hanger, so I stopped. It gives me a good place at which to pick it up tomorrow.

Lots of hearth-and-home errands to do today, getting stuff out of storage, going to several stores, baking for the holidays (yes, more baking, but this time it’s for other people), and cooking a stew I’m bringing up for my great-uncle.

And then, it’s back to the page, and finishing the assignment for Confidential Job #1. I want to get it out and invoiced today. I also have to get the deadlines for December sorted – there are a lot of them.

Spent a lot of time last night musing about The Big Project, to which I will return after Nano. Because that really needs to get done.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,995 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 50
(110.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,995 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 75
(73.3%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

too-much-mistletoe-cover

Sunday, November 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Nina Bell is back! Yes, all of you who’ve loved her and missed her, she’s just as much of an impulsive mess as ever as she tries to figure out what happened to a college friend, while juggling an ever-complicated love life, and trying to make a living in NYC’s theatre world of 1993. The novella Too Much Mistletoe, just over 20,000 words is available for only $2.99. You can read an excerpt of it here and purchase it here.

That took up most of yesterday, dealing with Nina and her proclivities. I also managed to go to my friend’s place and give the dog a good workout. I wanted to make cappuccino brownies, but realized I have no powdered sugar, so I have to take care of that today.

Emotionally, it was an up and down day, as I’m sure each day will be for the next few weeks. Thank you so much for your continued support. It means a lot to me.

And the cats were absolute Velcro kitties – stuck to me all day long. They also managed to knock my phone down somewhere, and I can’t find it, so, at a reasonable hour when it won’t disturb the neighbors, I’ll have to call myself from the landline to track it down.

Sigh.

Got tons of stuff to do today – it’s really cold, in the thirties, so I’m all bundled up. Making brownies this afternoon will help, although (knock wood), they’ve actually given us some heat these last few days.

Also need to get Confidential Job #1’s next assignment done.

And, of course, the check I was promised over a week ago from that one particular editor who got that “s— or get off the pot” email from me and promised me a check, has yet to arrive.

Guess I won’t be working for them again.

Decent morning’s work on the mystery. I’m back down to a saner pace, and now I can fill in some of the other pieces that also need to get done. I achieved part of what I set out to do – hit the 50K in November, tried a new-to-me genre. I still have to finish the draft, then put it away and figure out what to do with it, but I’m turning my attention to the myriad of December deadlines looming before me, figuring out how to balance them with all the holiday stuff that must be done.

To answer Diane’s quilting question from a few days ago, primarily I will machine quilt the pieces of quilt top I found. I may do some hand quilting in the actual quilting stage, but we’ll have to see where I am at that point. I’m piecing it all by machine. If I do hand quilt, I’ll get one of the oval quilt frames. When I hand quilt on my own, I find the oval frames easier to deal with, while if I hand quilt in a group, the rectangular frames work better, because it’s easier to range people around the frame.

I’m very excited, though, about both “The Ramsey Chase” and “Too Much Mistletoe”. The first Mick Feeney story is also taking a nice shape, so I think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

The latest issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter went out yesterday. If you didn’t get your copy, or you ‘d like to sign up, go here.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,055 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 50
(110.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,0ff words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 75
(73.3%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


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:

Sautrday, November 22, 2008

ramsey-chase-cover1

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

It’s here! “The Ramsey Chase” is up and ready for purchase! It’s a retro-futuristic piece with touches of comedy and mystery, and the potential for a very interesting relationship to develop between Mr. Roman Gray and Miss Cornelia True in the eccentric town of Bodwin’s Ferry. If the villain, Dexter Ramsey, had a mustache, he’d twirl it. It’s just under 10K, and only $1.49 USD, and it’s the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release, so I hope you all enjoy it!

You can read an excerpt of it here, and there’s a purchase link below the excerpt.

There will be more adventures for Cornelia and Roman – they’re such fun. And there are plenty of directions for them to travel, both literally and emotionally!

The cover looks better than it’s reproducing – I look forward to investing, after the first of the year, in Page Plus, and then redesigning all my covers. Every time I have to deal with NitroPDF, I am less pleased with it. Actually, if I didn’t feel the sales team lied to me, I probably wouldn’t be so angry.

Yesterday was a rough day, emotionally, so I just cut myself a lot of slack.

I dashed into the city and back, which was fine, but the day quickly deteriorated from there. I was called to turn around and go back for the show, but I already had a commitment and couldn’t, which is okay, because I wasn’t emotionally ready to deal with everyone, as lovely and supportive as they all are.

Tons of errands to do today, preparing for the trip to Maine, getting the Nina Bell Christmas story up, and starting the first Mick Feeney adventure.

Good morning’s work on the mystery. I think I’ll dedicate it to my grandmother – she always loved a good mystery. Let’s hope this one is good.

We’re moving into the last week of Nano, the home stretch. Had to cut loose another of the N3s, who isn’t writing or communicating and broke the agreement. I’ve given her several chances to explain, but there’s just no contact and no writing, and that’s unacceptable. Don’t waste my time, especially not right now. Buh-bye.

Thanks again, for all your continued support during this difficult time.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 53,208 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meter
53 / 50
(106.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 53,208 out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
53 / 75
(70.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


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:

Friday, November 21,2008

Friday, November 21, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

It snowed yesterday, which cheered me up, especially since I didn’t have to go out in it! It was just flurries, but it was fun.

Yesterday was tough. The shock of the death wore off, and the reality set in. It comes in waves – I’m okay for awhile, until I’m not. Spoke with the family up in Maine; they’re looking forward to having us come up next week. We’re all relieved that my grandmother is no longer suffering, but it’s a big hole in all our lives.

You know it’s not a good day when I get into a cleaning frenzy! 😉

I got the next assignment from Confidential Job #1, which I plan to do this weekend, so I can invoice them before the holidays!

I spent most of the day revising and designing both “The Ramsey Chase” and the Nina Bell Christmas Story, which is now entitled “Too Much Mistletoe”. “The Ramsey Chase” is within a whisker of going up – I hope to get it up today or tomorrow – the first official Penny’s Dreadful release! I’m excited. The cover photo is something I took in Cornwall when I visited a few years back, and I think it fits the mood well. It’s a fun piece, and I hope everyone enjoys it.

Which means I have to start the first Mick Feeney adventure today or tomorrow! 😉

I had a good morning’s work on the mystery today, cracking 50K. The temptation is to stop, but that’s just going to drag everything else down. What I can do is now push less, drop back to a saner 1500 words/day instead of pushing for the 2500. But now I’m in the rhythm of the piece, so maybe I’ll keep it up. I have to play it all by ear. I’ve got so many deadlines coming up in December and January that I have to stay on track. I’m not complaining; I just want to find a sane way to get it all done.

Off to the city for some errands this morning, then back to deal with some business correspondence and back to the page.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery –50,179 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meter
50 / 50
(100.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 50,179 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
50 / 75
(66.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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 November 21, 2008 at 8:21 am  Comments (13)  
Tags: , ,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

As you see, I am semi-back online today, although it will be sporadic for the next week.

Yesterday morning, I got a phone call stating that my grandmother, to whom I am very close, and who has been ill for a long time, had taken a turn for the worse. We ran around preparing to leave – putting up messages where necessary, packing, etc., but before we could get on the road, we received the call that she passed.

After a lot of discussion, we decided that, rather than driving up immediately and sitting around staring at each other, we would go up as planned next week for the big (60 person) Thanksgiving dinner, which would be a tribute to her.

On top of that, I managed to sprain my wrist (still not sure how I did that) and the cold I’ve been fighting for the past few weeks is winning.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much done yesterday, although I swapped some boxes out of storage and reacquainted myself with some items including m blender and a quilt project I started years ago, that I think I will work on through the winter. I need to redesign it a bit, and take some of the borders out, replacing them with other fabric, but it will be a good piece when it’s done, and a good project for a cold winter.

I’m right-handed, and it’s my right wrist sprained, so it’s slowing me down. I can’t do any more storage swap, because I can’t even lift a teacup at this point.

I managed to drop back into the mystery today, and it flowed well. I hope to hit 50K this weekend, if I can keep my focus.

I also plan to edit “The Ramsey Chase” today, which didn’t get done yesterday, and maybe do some work on the Nina Bell Christmas story.

Ultimately, I’m just living the next few days moment-to-moment. Your kind comments mean a lot to me at this difficult time. Thank you.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 47,436 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
47 / 50
(94.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 47,436 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
47 / 75
(62.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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 November 20, 2008 at 8:20 am  Comments (17)  
Tags: ,

Off Line

A family emergency came up, and I’ll be offline for a few days.

Will catch up as soon as I can.

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 9:25 am  Comments (9)  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I finished “The Ramsey Chase” yesterday, so today is about editing and design.

Still waiting for some promised checks, and getting annoyed.

Repacked a bunch of stuff yesterday afternoon that will go back into storage. I’m going to haul that in today, get a few more boxes out of storage, and do some purging and repacking. I’m hoping to consolidate a lot of stuff in the units, and maybe even get rid of the second, smaller one.

Drove up to Mohegan Lake and found the supplies I needed for the Big Holiday Project. Will get the rest of what I need up in Maine next week.

Tough start this morning on the mystery, in spite of thinking about it a lot yesterday. Eventually got back into the flow, but I’ll need an awful lot of revision on this chapter.

Not much to say – just trying to juggle too many deadlines, and frustrated by slow payment. I don’t even want to pitch anything in the next few days, because I’m not getting myself into a situation where I get a client who’s disorganized and then expects me to work during the time I’m up in Maine next week.

Urgh.

Oh, and these automobile CEOs who are begging for OUR money so they don’t go under? They’re flying to DC to beg in PRIVATE JETS, and when called on the carpet for it by Congress, said that was not negotiable. Hey, dumb ass, if you’re asking ME (meaning all of the taxpayers) for money, EVERYTHING is negotiable, and we can decide to let your frigging company go under if you won’t give up your private jet.

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again, publicly: Paulson and Bernecke must be removed NOW, or there won’t be an economy left to save come January. The solution is NOT to keep pouring money into the pockets of the executives who created the crisis in the first place, but to ease the pressure on the consumers – when the consumers actually get their money on time at reasonable interest rates so they can pay their bills, they’ll be ABLE to put money into the economy. Handing it to institutions who then hoard it and/or give it to their executives is the same thing that got us into this mess in the first place. One of the caveats that any company who receives OUR money must fulfill is that they remove the top executives who caused the problems in the first place. Purge the CEOs who caused this mess and rebuild all the institutions with people from within who actually do the work in the companies, and then there will be progress.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 44,878 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
44 / 50
(88.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 44,878 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
44 / 75
(58.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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 November 19, 2008 at 8:48 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy, cold, snow flurries

Yes, we’re set to have our first snow of the season today!

Sandy Lender’s making a stop on A Biblio Paradise on her blog tour. Stop by, check it out, leave a comment!

A short story of mine was rejected yesterday, which was disappointing. Even more disappointing is that I didn’t do my due diligence before I started submissions, so I haven’t yet created a list for it. I won’t have time to do anything about it until the end of the month. I hate just having a story sit around, but it’s my own damned fault. I thought it would be a good fit for this particular publication, hurried to meet the deadline, and then moved on to something else, instead of my tried-and-true list-making method.

I also have some other stories sitting around, and I have in mind several markets for them, but haven’t actually gotten around to submitting them; that will need to happen this week.

But then again, many things need to happen this week!

Got good news from the producer – she wants my next two plays. So we have to figure out deadlines for them.

Catching up with the research for the IOWFA interviews – I’m hosting a week’s worth of authors early in December from this particular group over on A Biblio Paradise.

Drove to White Plains on errands – some of them turned out to be fool’s errands; couldn’t find what I needed; will drive to Mohegan Lake later today to see if they have it.

Did a massive grocery shop. Realized that, due to what I saved by shopping at Costco last week, not only did I save $50 on the Costco stuff, but it cut my grocery bill by $13-$15 today. It’s nice when the numbers actually make sense.

Cooked a turkey chili for dinner – first time in my life I ever made chili. It was good!

I miss the linked, slightly magical, fantastical stories I worked on in October, and hope I can get back to them in December.

Decided to shelve the western novella for the moment – it wasn’t a solid contract, so, although there was a deadline to it, without a contract in place, I don’t feel bound by it. Withdrew gracefully, and will complete it when it’s appropriate – and probably submit it elsewhere. Part of the struggle was that I don’t particularly have warm and fuzzy feelings towards this particular house – there have been too many false promises out of them, and, unless there’s a solid contract in place, it’s silly for me to put me in a position to be jerked around when I have other, more solid contracts in place. However, not too many houses at this point do westerns, and it’s a genre of which I’m rather fond.

But I have more pressing and more solid, contracted, definitely paying deadlines to worry about, so something had to give. And it was the project with the least solid promise from the other side of the table.

How much do you want to bet that, now that I’ve decide to shelve it, the characters will have a different idea? Besides, Josiah and Amanda are too good to push back for long!

But Nina’s awfully persistent, and she’s determined to get her Christmas story out in a timely fashion, and Cornelia and Roman are quite irritated that I am STILL working on their tale . . .but we’re working up to The Big Reveal, which will be followed by The Big Finale, and then The Big Dilemma.

And there’s another project, still in too early stages to discuss in detail, that needs to be prepped (as in figured out and WRITTEN) for an early January launch.

And Aunt Doris and Cassio still want THEIR Christmas story written – they keep promising me it will be SHORT.

And Jain’s got a New Year’s story that’s clamoring to get out . . .

Sigh.

Good morning’s work on the mystery. In spite of all I need to fill in, I feel as though I’ve got a solid skeleton on which to build a book.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 42,556 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
42 / 50
(84.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 42,556 words out of 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
42 / 75
(56.0%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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 November 18, 2008 at 7:57 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I have a new article up on WOMEN ON WRITING about Outlining Vs Blank Page process. You can check it out here.

The interview with me on Long and Short Reviews will be up in May 2009 (don’t worry, I’ll remind you) and my day on Stacy Dawn’s special Christmas blog-a-thon is December 13 (yeah, I’ll remind you about that one, too).

Except for the mystery, I didn’t write much yesterday. I went to storage. I got out the Christmas decorations. Some of them, I hadn’t seen since I packed them in 2001. They’re already up. I’m not putting up the others until the first of Advent, but I’d unpacked them to look at them, and it seemed silly to repack them for two weeks.

I also rescued some of my favorite china and did some rearranging so I can keep it in the apartment and use it. I’m repacking some boxes of stuff I don’t need, and that will go back to storage. I’m going through all those boxes marked “misc.”, repacking and reorganizing and maybe even doing some purging.

I got work done on the Nina Bell Christmas story, and on “The Ramsey Chase.”

The interview with Kim Smith was so much fun. It was so nice to actually talk to her, after all the emailing back and forth. I can’t wait for her book to come out in January, so I can host her!

Good morning’s work on the mystery. I cracked 40K today, so I’m in my own home stretch. Hopefully, these upcoming 10K will be easier than the last 10K!

I’ve got a lot of business correspondence to deal with, and, now that the computer is semi-running properly, more interview stuff to get out for the IWOFA week I’m hosting in December. Plus errands, grocery shopping, etc.

Poor Iris had ear trouble. I thought she and Elsa might have ear mites, so I gave them ear mite medicine, but, in Iris’s case, it seemed to make it worse. So I washed everything out yesterday with simple soap and water (can you imagine how much she hated that?), but today the ears seem clean and clear and are back to their normal color. And she’s stopped scratching. Whew.

I figured out what I want to make for holiday presents for people – something from the heart, but not too complicated, but still cool enough and fun enough so that each one is totally unique. If I can get everything in the next day or two, I’ll do a few prototypes and then get to work. If what I envision works, I’ve just solved the bulk of my gift-giving for the season in a way that’s both completely unique AND something I can afford in this economy.

I was a little worried.

Back to the page.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 40,018 out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40 / 50
(80.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 40,018 out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40 / 75
(53.3%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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: