Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a busy day. The DIXIE DUST RUMORS publisher asked for the front and back matter for the book, so she can send me the final proofs. I spent a good part of the day transferring stuff like acknowledgments, book blurb, creating the Jenny Storm bio, etc., so that I can send it to her. I decided that I didn’t like the material I shot for the Jenny Storm icon. There’s another photo I want to use, one I shot, but I have to find out if there’s a rights issue involved. I don’t think there is, but I want to do some checking.

Polished the two articles. One will go out today, another in a couple of days. I’ve got two more to write. Plus, tomorrow, I’ve got to handicap the race card for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Proofed about five chapters of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I’ve got three more to go and it’s done, complete, ready for submission. I need to get that book out the door. It’s in pretty decent shape. I just hope I’m targeting properly, so it’s contracted sooner rather than later.

I set up the MySpace account for the Jenny Storm work, but I haven’t had a chance to design it yet. The next few days are about getting the cover and excerpt up on the website and the page. I may also redesign the Jain Lazarus My Space page. I have to take a look at everything. After that, it’s about designing postcards and promotional materials. I’m going to focus on DIXIE DUST RUMORS, since that release seems as though it will overtake the release of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

And then I have to see what else goes out under Jenny Storm. If my publisher likes DDR, I’ve got a hockey-based book to finish for the same age group that I’d like to submit to her when submissions re-open in the fall.

The cats are fascinated by the new computer. They keep trying to mark it, making it “theirs”, and I keep wiping it off. The Mac is MINE! 😉

Got some errands done yesterday; have a few more to do today. Found the wonton wrappers at the Asian market in White Plains — bought two pounds worth for about $3! But most of the time will be spent writing. I have to get back to the plays. I wanted both FEMME FATALE and BLOOD SOUP ready to submit by tomorrow, but that’s just not going to happen. I’m hoping the end of next week will work for that.

Good morning’s writing session. Now, to catch up with practicalities. The April Wrap-Up will go up on The GDR site later today or tomorrow.

Devon

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Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 6:51 am  Comments (2)  
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Dixie Dust Rumors Cover

storm-rumors-cover

Because the cover is a similar color to the background of this page, it’s hard to see the edges. Will upload it to my sites soon.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 8:48 am  Comments (1)  
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Partly sunny and cooler

I didn’t get online until after 2 PM yesterday, so it was kind of pointless to blog. Considering I’d been up since 5:30 AM — well, I was ready for a nap!

I had to get up extra early in order to get the yoga/meditation/morning 1K writing/shower/breakfast and still get out of the house by 7:15 to take my car in for servicing. I’d missed the 15K checkup and am now past 17K, so we went ahead and did the 20K. It took nearly three hours, and, since I couldn’t walk around (more on that later), I brought some work with me and finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1 while I waited. I didn’t bring the Macbook with me, although I could have. But I knew I’d run errands after the car was done, and I didn’t want to leave it in the back of the car in the heat. So I left it home.

Finished up the assignment faster than I expected, so I read a lot of magazines I never normally buy, but that were in the magazine rack at the dealer!

But the car’s all set and ready for a road trip.

Diane, yeah, the Mac is more expensive than the PC. I’ve been eyeing it for over a year, and finally had the resources to invest upfront. I figured that the PC cost me between $17-25K in lost income over the years I’ve owned it, because Dell sold me a lemon and refused to honor the service contract or do anything about it, despite numerous complaints. If I can keep up the pace I’ve started with this Mac, which saves me nearly four hours per day on the simple fact that it runs properly, I figure it will pay for itself in about four months. That’s outside of the income just to pay bills. It was hard to put together the necessary upfront investment, but it will pay off in the long run. I had to give up some other things in order to do this. But it will be worth it.

After the car was serviced, I stopped at Costco to pick up a couple of things I forgot last week –and yes, I ONLY picked up those two items, I was good — and then went grocery shopping. Tuesday and Wednesday have the best prices and freshest items, so that’s when I try to shop.

Came home, typed up the assignment for Confidential Job #1, caught up on some email and Twitter, shot off some questions to people, and got back to work.

Monday was extremely productive — in addition to the usual business stuff and errands I had to do, including a massive trip to the post office — I wrote two articles, typed up a couple of chapters, and did a couple of job pitches. I’m starting from scratch on the Fearless Ink brochure, too – designing new logos, the works. All in about the third of the time it took me on the PC.

The cats are fascinated when I take the laptop to the kitchen and work on the table. Iris and Violet sit like little grey bookends on each side and watch the words march across the screen.

Managed to get some more work done on the final proof of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Going slowly, I’m catching far more. I don’t know why that’s such a revelation. It’s perfectly logical.

On the negative side, the scumbag landlords are cutting down perfectly healthy, beautiful trees on the property — even though they promised the tenants they wouldn’t. Not only is it upsetting on many levels, it’s also the opposite of eco-friendly. We should be planting more trees, not cutting down trees that are providing shelter and oxygen and beauty. I talked to them and was reassured that only one more tree will be cut. Of course, they think I’m looking to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, too.

Further on the negative side, as we prepared dinner Monday night, a Pyrex bowl fell out of the cupboard, hit the back of my leg and shattered. I have a heck of a bruise, but it didn’t break the skin. And it was hell to clean up all the broken glass. We have to be especially conscientious about it because of the cats. In spite of the care we took, I forgot that night, wandered into the kitchen to make tea while barefoot — and wound up with a shard of glass in the bottom of my foot. I got it out, re-washed the kitchen floor two more times to make sure NOTHING was left behind, sterilized and wrapped the foot. It’s okay, I can walk on it. I just can’t walk a lot on it.

I’m having trouble finding wonton wrappers in order to make the various kinds of ravioli I plan to prepare this week. I don’t have the counter space to roll out dough, or I’d consider making my own. I have a feeling I’ll head back to the large Asian market in White Plains — they MUST have the wrappers in bulk. Even phyllo dough only comes in packages of 8 around here, and that’s just not enough. Yeah, I checked Costco — no luck there, either.

Last night, I fixed mac and cheese with crabmeat –a suggestion from GOURMET magazine. It was pretty darned good.

Okay, is it my imagination or are the wanna-bes’ questions getting stupider? I mean, go ahead and ask questions, that’s how one learns, but for crying out loud, show a little initiative and do a little research first. It’s the laziness that sets my teeth on edge. Two examples in one day gets my goat. First, on a colleague’s site, there was a question she answered nicely that I would have told chicklet to go to the library and do her homework, THEN ask me. Second, I answered someone’s question on a board and the person emailed me asking me to write “an example.” I TOLD you the steps to create it – I am NOT writing the letter for you. Use your brain, you lazy ass! Because that’s what it was – a roundabout way of getting me to do this person’s work. Uh, no. I get PAID to write business letters. I ANSWERED your questions. Now, it’s up to you to apply the information.

I got six chapters proofed on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT in the time it would have taken me to proof one on the other computer. I caught some big errors. Always good to catch that before it goes out!

I had three choices of covers for DIXIE DUST RUMORS and made my choice. It’s kind of cool. It has a lot to do with the book while not screaming YA, which was unexpected. I kind of wonder if it should be more YA, but I’ll trust the publisher. I’m getting more excited about the book every day. As soon as the cover is finalized, you better believe I’ll post it.

And, someday, my other publisher will let me know the new release date for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. As soon as I’ve got one, I’m going to create a postcard for it – on the Mac, something I couldn’t do on the PC.

Apple has the most awesome customer service. I’ve used them twice so far, because I couldn’t figure out how to do stuff. I got a real person without being put on hold both times, the reps were REALLY nice, and they taught me how to do what I needed in less than 5 minutes. The Apple Experience rocks!

Decent morning’s writing session so far. Lots to do today.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 5:51 am  Comments (5)  
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Yesterday was another busy day. I had a few hours’ worth of frustration on the PC, but the ease on the Mac helped with the rest of the day. Basically, I have no more excuses — no reason not to be thoroughly productive, because the computer runs beautifully.

I messed around with moving WIPS to the Mac. What’s started in Word will stay in Word, because it’s easier. What I start new will go in iPages and then get converted to whatever it needs to be converted into.

Sorted through some email. I’ve been invited to guest blog in a couple of places, so I got started on that. Did an email interview for a colleague’s book.

Paid a ton of bills that piled up — once they’re all gone, I will fee much freer. Pitched for a couple of jobs. Caught up on some email and some other stuff. I have a handful of books to finish this week for review, and some other client work that I will do today.

Ran some errands. Picked up the stuff for the cats’ teeth — I call it “Scope for Cats”. That way, they won’t need to have the procedure where they’re put under to get their teeth cleaned.

Bought a pair of shoes — they were on sale for $10, cute navy canvas flats with white circles. Comfy, go with everything Couldn’t resist. I’ve been so budget-conscious for the past few months. Work’s picking up, so I felt I could afford a $10 indulgence.

Started typing up the first few chapters of the book I’ve been writing in longhand. i love being able to take the Mac anywhere I want to work. It’s a huge help. I love to work at the kitchen table, near the window, in natural light. Once I can get rid of the PC, I’m going to reconfigure the desk area to be lighter and a more creative space. It’ll probably take me a couple of months to load the floppies onto flash drives, especially with the way the PC is running. But it will be worth it in the end.

It was definitely an afternoon for ice cream! It should cool down a bit later this week, thank goodness.

The cats got me up early today. By 6 AM, I already did yoga, my meditation, fed the cats, made coffee, and was writing. I fed them “Spot’s Stew” brand food today. It looks like baby vomit, but they really like it.

Back to work on the plays today, too. I want to finish BLOOD SOUP this week, give it and FEMME FATALE a revision, and get them to my producer by the end of the week.

Off to the post office today to send the bills, and some stuff for Bookmooch. I’ve got some HEX BREAKER giveaways to pack and send this week, too, and I have to get the car serviced, and finish the assignment for confidential job #1. It’ll be a busy week.

But, thanks to the Mac, a great one. I’m still having trouble adjusting to the lack of a mouse, but I’ll get there. I’m also redesigning my logos, business cards, brochures, flyers, etc., and will redesign the covers on all the ebooks.

Devon

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 6:35 am  Comments (7)  
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and HOT!

It’s supposed to be 90 degrees today. Ick!

So, yesterday I had the best day because I only worked on the Mac. Today, I had to turn on the PC, and it was a nightmare. Two hours to boot up, three computer crashes and two keyboard failures all before 9 AM. I can’t wait until I’ve pulled everything I need off that hunk of junk and only work on the Mac.

Yesterday morning, what usually takes me two hours to accomplish took a mere 40 minutes — because I’m on a computer that actually works. Today, I’m back in nightmare land (I’m typing this on the Mac on my lap while waiting for the PC to pretend to boot up for the fourth time now).

I went back to the Apple store to invest in Office. I have to be able to work in Word, both on some of my own stuff and on material that’s sent for editing. It was worth the price. I also got questions answered about some stuff I need the programs to do, and I knew the computer has the ability, but don’t know how to ask it to do it. Some of the questions the techs didn’t know, either, so at one point, I had three techs with me and we figured it out. It was like going on a technological treasure hunt together. It was fun.

Popped over to Target to pick up a few things. Headed to Costco. Got a card and brought back my first haul. It was all stuff we use all the time. I sat down and compared expenses. I want to make sure it’s actually worth the price, and I also want to make sure I don’t buy stuff just because it’s there. So far, on my first day, I saved $117, including the price of the card. Not bad.

My only indulgence as a case of Izze water (I love Izze water and it’s hard to find around here) and an enormous lemon blueberry coffee cake.

Today, I have to catch up on practicalities, run a few more errands, and get some writing done. I had a great writing session this morning though.

It will be a nightmare, pulling everything off the old computer and moving all the floppy files to flash drives. In the end, it will be worth it, but every time I have to turn on the old computer, I should probably take a tranquilizer.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 8:05 am  Comments (2)  
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograd
e
Sunny and warm

I did it. I have a MacBook. I didn’t even swear while setting it up. It’s going to take awhile for me to learn how to use everything properly, but I think I can do it. And it works, which is the best part.

I went to the Apple store and they took good care of me. They answered my questions. They even downloaded Firefox to the store computer so we could access/download/work on my websites to make sure I wouldn’t lose everything when making the switch.

Supposedly, with iWork, I have the compatibility to move back and forth between documents done in Word and whatever the Mac uses, but I still wonder if I have to buy the office-compatible software in order to open, edit, and work on documents I previously saved in word. They swear I don’t, but I’m still terrified.

So, not only do I have the world’s best computer (although I’ll be switching back and forth for a few more weeks until I get everything figured out), I got a new printer. You get a printer with the Mac, and I managed to upgrade to the new, state of the art Canon Pixma MX860, which i several generations up from the printer I was going to get to replace the Multipass. It looks like a spaceship, and parts move on their own (like document drawers opening and closing on their own). It’s a little freaky, but it’s cool. Best of all, with the deals and rebates, it cost less than half of the printer I wanted, but is three generations newer.

So, that was my day yesterday. Go to the Apple store. Come home with a computer. Set it up and try to figure it out. Yeah, it took all day. It’ll take several weeks. I think I’ll have to invest in the Word-compatible software, since I have to be able to track changes, etc. in Word both on my own manuscripts when I work with publishers and when I work on client projects. But, in general, I’m thrilled with it and looking forward to learning how to use everything.

But I have a computer that works, and I no longer have to deal with McAfee. Woohoo!

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 25, 2009 at 7:13 am  Comments (9)  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I have a lot to say today. For your convenience, I use subheadings.

My Response to the insulting segment which ran on Wednesday’s edition of CBS The Early Show.

Daniel Sieberg did a short segment on selling expertise online and making extra money in this economy. He interviewed a “freelance writer” for a portion, only Twinkie was no writer – she boasted about writing by the pool for $1-20/article and said she’s written 2200 articles. “Experts” don’t charge $1/article. They charge a sustainable fee because they’re experts and they’ve earned that right. She’s no pro and wanna-bes like her hurt us all. She’s never get out of the $1/article hole because SHE’S NOT WORTH IT. It has nothing to do with the economy. You get what you pay for. You pay Twinkie $1 – that’s all her work is worth, and it won’t grow your business. Unfortunately, potential employers see it on THE EARLY SHOW and figure it’s now the going rate.

It was disgustingly irresponsible of THE EARLY SHOW to use that as an example of a freelance writer. It was a slap in the face to all of us who’ve worked hard at our art and our craft and whose skills are worth the money. You’ve got thousands of writers who make a decent living – such as Peter Bowerman, Lori Widmer, et al. Why couldn’t Daniel Sieberg be bothered to track down and find someone legitimate?

Lori Widmer wrote about this yesterday. Her anger is directed at Twinkie for not demanding a living wage for work. Yeah, Twinkie’s an idiot. And she’s probably not worth more than $1/article. She can’t use those pieces as legitimate clips to vault into higher paying work. If she was serious about her work, she’d find a nonprofit about which she’s passionate, do some pro bono work for them, and gain a portfolio to launch her into Living Wage Land. But she’d rather churn out a high volume of articles for substandard pay, which means she’ll never get on top of her bills or work her way into a well-paid slot. She’s designated herself as “cheap labor”. She allows employers to undervalue a writer’s skill, talent, and time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You get what you pay for.

Unfortunately, because Daniel Sieberg and THE EARLY SHOW featured her, they are telling potential employers that this is the going rate, which means we have to face that whenever we –legitimate freelancers – negotiate contracts. “But THE EARLY SHOW featured a writer who works for $1/article.” Go hire her, Cheapskate. See how much business she’ll generate for you. Nada. Because if she was any good, she’d charge market rate. You, Potential Client, will realize that the work is worthless, and come back to me to fix it. At my rate. My anger is more at Sieberg and his producer than at Twinkie, because they know better. Especially Daniel Sieberg, who’s not only interviewed Lori Widmer before, but was someone whose reporting I’d previously respected, and thought of as ‘one of us.”. This program legitimizes paying skilled writers below minimum wage, and I think it is Sieberg and THE EARLY SHOW who should be taken to task. By choosing someone like Twinkie to legitimize instead of taking the time to interview an actual EXPERT in the field, they’ve hurt us more than Twinkie ever could.

I attempted to contact Sieberg to discuss the segment with him. The only contact information I found was via Twitter, and, as of this morning, I have not received a response. I doubt I will.

Richard Price at BAM
Last night was quite a wonderful experience, with several parts to it. I left for the city around 2, and had one of those “New Yorkers are wonderful” experiences on train.

A man got on the train, and, once the train left the station, got very upset and agitated. He was mentally challenged and had trouble making himself understood, but we finally discerned he’d gotten on the wrong train. The conductor was lovely to him (there’s a surprise) and several people who were getting off at the next stop sorted out how to get him on a train headed back, who would wait with him until the train arrived, etc., etc. It was really terrific how invested half a car full of people became in this man’s welfare.

Got to the city, Had to climb over the set up of the film THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE, which was scheduled to do a night shoot around Grand Central. It looked like they planned to seal off several blocks, once the shoot got underway.

Walked across 44th St. to the Algonquin Hotel. Met my friend in the lobby, and we were soon joined by another friend I’d met on Twitter only two weeks ago. We sat and talked and downed traditional cocktails – Sidecars for my friend and I, a Hemingway for our new friend. It was great to meet her (a fellow writer). She was headed off to see EXIT THE KING, and we were headed to BAM.

We took the subway down to BAM – always an adventure to ride the subway at rush hour. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as it usually is – I wonder if it’s due to the high unemployment rate. We got seats almost immediately, which was a shock.

Once at BAM (which is a gorgeous and gorgeously restored building, the way), we picked up our tickets to the evening’s “Eat Drink and Be Literary Event” and stood in line. They rolled a little wine cart down the line and gave us a drink, which is a nice way to keep people happy when they’re waiting in line!

We were ushered up to the café, which was set up for dinner, and seated. A classical guitarist, originally from Sweden but currently studying at Julliard, played for us during dinner. He was very good. The food was wonderful: Garlic bread, delicate salad, antipasto, grilled vegetables, two kinds of pasta, fruit, and desert. We had a carafe of red wine AND a carafe of white wine on the table. After dinner, we had coffee. All wonderful, great staff, etc., etc. And my friend and I got the chance to catch up. We hadn’t actually seen each other since October.

Richard Price read from his novel LUSH LIFE, had a conversation with Aoibheann Sweeney, and then there was a Q&A. Price read well, and, in conversation, he’s both funny and passionate without being self-aggrandizing. What I like about his work is the moment-to-moment vividness of each paragraph. There’s an immediacy about it, a sense of being within it, rather than reading it on the page (or, in last night’s case, being read to). I also like that he’s serious and committed to his work, without taking himself too seriously.

I will think about his comments on how he approaches his work for a long time. It was a lovely evening.

Someone had spilled wine in the lobby, and I slipped as we left. Mostly, I felt like an idiot. It wasn’t until later I realized I wrenched my back. Yoga seems to have gotten most of the kinks out this morning, so we’ll see. We took a cab back to Manhattan. My friend dropped me off as the Astor Place subway station while she continued in the cab to the West Village. Because of the filming, I wanted to approach Grand Central from underground, rather than trying to figure out how to get around the film crew.

I was home at a reasonable hour and puttered for awhile, too wound up to go to bed. This morning, I’m sore and I’m hoarse. I’m not used to talking so much, and I’m not used to wearing shoes! 😉 Even at a lot of these on-site gigs I’ve been doing in CT lately, I can get away without wearing shoes!

Don’t get me wrong, I love cute shoes. I just like to actually BE barefoot.

The computer’s running poorly today so far. Fortunately, I have errands to run most of the day, so I can give it a rest. I’m going to finish up some deadlined work over the weekend, including the assignment for Confidential Job #1, I have some client work for next week, more errands/appointments, and I also plan to have some fun in the good weather.

I wrote about a third of ACT I of a new play yesterday, tentatively titled BLOOD SOUP. It’s flowing much more easily than FEMME FATALE. I may do another pass at FEMME FATALE this weekend as well.

Violet is angry with me for leaving yesterday. She didn’t speak to me when I got home last night and holds the grudge this morning. Cats! The other two don’t remember that I was gone, but Violet holds a grudge.

Back to the page.

Devon

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I contacted the reporter who ran the insulting segment because I’d rather talk to him before I go into full rant mode. Haven’t heard back, but one has to give the guy a chance, right?

Anyway, yesterday wasn’t particularly productive. I worked on the novel, off and on (I know, at this point, it’s more of which novel, since I’m juggling several untitled projects).

Food is an ongoing leitmotif – the meals the characters have reflect their emotions and their geography to an unusual extent. So I’d write a section, jump up and play in the kitchen, write a section, and so forth.

Meanwhile, the next play was percolating.

Wrong day to skip lunch. But I made a great dinner – marinated chicken and zucchini in a combination of onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and white wine. Yummy! Especially with mashed potatoes. But then, many things are better with mashed potatoes.

This morning’s breakfast was cream cheese/chive omlette (with chives freshly cut from the pot in the window) and fresh strawberries.

Had a good 1250 words this morning on the novel. Came up with the logline, so the title shouldn’t be too far away.

I had TweetDeck open all day, not the best choice, but since I was working in small bits anyway, it was okay. And I managed to coordinate today, so it was all good.

Short writing day. I’m going in to NYC this afternoon to meet a Twitter-buddy (Tweeple?) and another friend at the Algonquin for a drink, and then my friend and I head to BAM to hear Reynolds Price.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 7:44 am  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Day Before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yet another gray day. Ick.

A segment on yesterday’s CBS THE EARLY SHOW enraged me. They interviewed a Twinkie writing “by the pool” for $1/article and calling herself a “freelance writer”. Unfortunately, I can’t find the clip on the site and I want to review it and fact check before I go into full rant mode. I can say it was irresponsible on their part and a slap in the face to all of us who stand firm on earning a living wage BECAUSE WE ARE WORTH IT.

In spite of a migraine and the wonky space bar AND McAfee doing everything in its power to ruin my day, I managed to finish the first draft of FEMME FATALE. It’s much darker than I expected. I’m going to let it marinate for a bit while I work on the next play, and then go back and revise it.

Got an idea for a 3-character farce during the day. Jotted down some notes and it takes its place in the queue.

Splattered anchovies all over myself while cooking dinner. Cats didn’t mind; I did.

Hung out with friends; tried to finalize the plans for tomorrow.

Basically, it was a quiet, productive day. Much needed.

DAUGHTER OF BOSTON arrived. Of course, I should finish the book I’m being paid to review first, but I couldn’t resist dipping into it just a little.

Anxiety dream last night: I dreamed I couldn’t find Elsa, and had to leave, but wouldn’t leave until I found her, and, in the dream, got more and more frantic. She woke me up and was, of course, fine and right there. And then figured, since I was awake anyway, I should get up and feed her. It was 5:37 in the morning. Sigh. She’s very persistent.

Decent morning’s writing, still in longhand. My hand is sore from yesterday’s typing.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 7:08 am  Comments (6)  
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

If you looked up “waste of food” in the dictionary, my icon would have appeared yesterday. I was useless. Using a thimble on the space bar key still hurts. But I am not investing one penny more in this pile of Dell crap. I want my new computer! And it damned well won’t be a Dell!

On the productive side: Signed and returned the contract for “The Retriever”, wrote about 1500 words on a novel (longhand), and started negotiations for a possible new serial.

Spent far too much time on Twitter. Had a blast, but it doesn’t really count as work.

Spent time with Verizon’s Customer Disserve Department. Just useless.

Read a bit. Elsa and Iris nibbled on a plant they shouldn’t and both had tummy trouble in the afternoon, so I was the cat nurse. They’re both fine; they just whined a lot. I know the feeling. By 3 PM, I was kind of there myself.

I’m waiting for confirmation on a couple of things, and I can’t concentrate on anything until I get the final answer.

Trouble with the cable last night, but I called and they fixed it from their end. I’m always surprised when a company actually gives me the service for which I pay.

Decent morning’s work –in longhand. Nice, steady pace. Computer’s running poorly, and the space bar gets on my last nerve.

Hope to get back to work on the play, proof some more of the novel, and finish revising a short story today.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 7:30 am  Comments (4)  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Oooh, Dell, Microsoft, McAfee, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

The McAfee causes upwards of 5 computer crashes per day. It is out of control and it hates TweetDeck. McAfee cost me over $3K in lost work time during March. Unbelievable. And I can’t remove it from the computer. And now this piece of Dell crap – the space bar flew off the keyboard. I put it back on, but it’s wonky and I have to pound the bar to create spaces. My thumb is bruised, and I can only type for a few minutes at a time. I’m NOT buying a new keyboard when I plan to get a new computer.

It’s appalling that these companies are allowed to get away with the crap they pull.

And, I’m having flash drive problems, probably connected to the Microsoft/McAfee problems.

Before yet more computer problems, I managed to get some proofreading done on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, submit a short story, and get out a query on a project. So it wasn’t an entirely lost day.

Now, it looks like Iris might have to go to the vet, poor thing. Not exactly sure what’s wrong with her, but something’s not right. Will watch her closely for the next few days. She seems okay this morning – hopefully it’s all resolved.

I had a good morning’s writing session in longhand. I will try typing wearing a thimble on my thumb, because otherwise I can’t type. Middle Finger Award to Dell for both substandard merchandise and their refusal to honor the service contract.

Now, for the great news: The submission I made yesterday was accepted. BOOKS FOR MONSTERS bought “The Retriever”. Woo-hoo! Got the contract this morning; already sent it back.

Devon

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 7:02 am  Comments (10)  
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. I had fun in CT, although it wasn’t as peaceful as I wanted, due to construction noise in the area. Ick.

But I got some writing done, I started the project for Confidential Job #1, and I read Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridson’s novel Silence of the Grave, which was both sad and fascinating. Yes, I’m aware the “d” in his name should be crossed like a “t”, but I can’t make this computer do it. I like his work, a lot, and I’m glad it’s available in English. Because I can read road signs in Icelandic and figure them out, but that’s pretty much it.

I also got the chance to do a meditation sit outside in the warm sunshine (while the construction people were on their lunch hour and it was relatively quiet).

Got some writing done this morning. Need to catch up from playing hooky and get some business correspondence out and sort out the coming week. I also need to get out some submissions today.

The morning glory vines are tall enough to need a trellis; the moonflower is still tiny (and, so far, only one came up); the tomato plants are doing pretty well; the spearmint still hasn’t come up, and I’m starting to think it won’t.

Nothing earth shattering to report. There are some glimmers of interesting opportunities on the horizon, but until they are more solid, I don’t want to jinx them by mentioning them too early.

Devon

Published in: on April 19, 2009 at 7:45 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm!

I played hooky yesterday. I didn’t mean to; it just sort of happened, and then I figured what the hey, if you’re going to do this, make it a choice and DO it.

I ran errands in the morning, paid bills, went to the grocery store, etc. I did my hair and my nails and then felt I could take on the world.

It was far too pretty a day to be stuck inside, and the computer was being wonky. McAfee hates TweetDeck, so we’re having even more problems than usual with McAfee. And, since I can’t uninstall it to get rid of it or turn it off, I’m stuck.

After lunch, a friend and I drove over to the local beach/park near the Art Deco amusement park. BIG was shot there, and I set “That Man in Tights” and sections of the stories that comprise Dogs on Beach there. We walked up and down the road that sits between the beach and the park, roamed the boardwalk, sat on a bench in the sun. We played with other people’s dogs. There was a gorgeous, caramel colored Otterhound – just stunningly beautiful and so friendly. She chases squirrels, but never caught them, and then came over to get a cuddle from us.

On the way back, we stopped at the Nature Center, several acres of woodland that used to be part of a private home that burned down in the 1940’s. The ruin of the house is still there, and I used the location for the cover photo of the Jain Lazarus story “The Possession of Nattie Filmore” (even though the story is set in Western Mass.). There was more walking & talking, and I wound up plotting a book. The Otterhound we met at the beach will be a character in the book.

Home to a nice dinner. Elsa sat on a jam doughnut. It was my fault; I juggled too many things and placed the plate on the floor to reshuffle everything. Elsa wandered into the room, not paying attention, and sat on the doughnut. Have you ever tried to wash jam off a cat? It’s not easy.

Spent the evening hanging out with friends watching the hockey playoffs—we flipped between games, but watches most of Philly vs. Pittsburgh – most interesting game and had the most players I’ve watched since they were drafted! I’ll probably do a hockey article this weekend.

Today is gorgeous. I’m off to a gig in CT, where I can be outside most of the day, if I choose. It’ll be the first time this year I get to wear a cute dress & cute shoes. I’m taking some writing with me, the newest assignment from Confidential Job #1, and a dark Icelandic novel, which will be quite a contrast to this bright, sunny day.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 6:19 am  Comments (2)