Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend, but what else is new? Up early on Saturday. Out to the park, for a lovely, fun ceremony burying the time capsule.

Headed out to Staples, where I spent enough money on three cases of paper and a lot of ink tanks to make me want to throw up. But the rest of the weekend was spent finishing the 150 packets (at 22 pages each, mostly double-sided) of handouts for the conference. I still have to print more postcards, but I’m out of ink and patience.

I also need to polish my presentation.

I’m packing everything in crates as it’s done, so I can just load the car on Friday afternoon.

Cleaned up a couple of email accounts while I was printing, which was a good thing. Of course, the “improvements” to the web accounts via 1and1 (AKA Scum of the Earth Web Host) means I can’t create new folders and file my mail. And I can’t download off the web to file it, either. I’ve got to get to the computer guy so he can release my web-files and I can move hosts.

It was too wet to put the bulbs in, but I managed to deadhead the mums. I’m sad that the orange ones, which glowed so beautifully, are already almost all faded.

Got three loads of laundry done. And fixed the hot water heater all by my damn self, so I finally had a hot shower for the first time in over a week.

My treat was to read Sharon Shinn’s newest release, TROUBLED WATERS. It was fantastic. I read it straight through. The level of detail and joy she puts into her world-building is magnificent. I loved it.

Hop on over to A BIBLIO PARADISE. Juliet Blackwell’s Lily Ivory was celebrated yesterday, and Ann Aguiree’s Corine Solomon his honored today.

I need to spend time with my students today, and get everything possible cleared off my desk, so I don’t have to worry this coming weekend, when I’m at the conference.

The book is plugging along well, and I’m happy where it’s headed.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1559
Total wordcount (including the weekend’s additions): 31,266

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Tessa

Saturday, October 15, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
The weather better be good!

Check out the launch of Midnight Enchantments over on A BIBLIO PARADISE — sixteen days of magical celebrations leading up to Halloween! Colin Galbraith kicks it off.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit my roast yesterday, stop by now — it was hilarious fun.

I scheduled this to post, because I have to write this morning, and then attend the Burying-The-Time-Capsule Ceremony at the park — well, and help set up and clean up. Ah, the joys of holding office! 😉

Then I’m off to a pottery sale and to Staples and to rip Verizon a new one because they are just dreadful liars, cheats, and thieves when it comes to my cell bill.

Spent time with students, and printed the first 45 packets for the conference. 45 down, 105 to print! Ran out of ink, nearly ran out of paper. Will have to make purchases at Staples tomorrow whose total will make me ill again. Still cheaper than sending it out!

All I want to do is write my book, because I’m in its groove.

And there are tulip bulbs that need planting, weather permitting . . .

Devon

Roasted!

Makes sense, since this is Ink in My COFFEE, right?

Anyway, this is one of the most fun events I’ve done to promote ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT:

Author Roast

Visit and leave a comment, so they invite me back for my next release!

Published in: on October 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm  Comments Off on Roasted!  
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yoga was awesome yesterday, but it kicked my ass! Small class, lots of individual attention, different style than the yoga on the beach, but I learned a lot and was challenged in a good way. Definitely going back. I’m sore, but in a good way.

Spent most of the day with my students. Got the next assignment from Confidential Job #1, which looks good. Went grocery shopping.

Basic, simple stuff.

Good morning’s work on the book today. I’m in the flow, but I have too much story for one book, so I’m going to break it down into a trilogy, most likely. The way I broke my outline into thirds serves to make each third a book, with some minor modifications so there is some satisfaction at the end of each of the first two books, while still leaving the reader to want more. Otherwise, I have to strip 2/3 of my plot and turn into a typical genre piece, instead of the book I want to read. One of the reasons I’m writing this is because I’ve been looking for something like this in the urban fantasy genre and haven’t yet found it. So I’m writing it, and I hope others will want to read it, too.

At the same time, I have to keep an eye on the realities of the business. I’d rather have a trilogy that makes business sense than an unwieldy book no one will take a chance on, or a piece so stripped to fit word count that it’s no longer the story I want to explore.

Can I tell it in 55-90K? I could tell the bones of it. Once the whole thing is written, I can probably strip 10-30K with just internal cuts and more specific language choices, but will that be enough? It’s too early to know yet.

Lots to do today, and, as usual, only 24 hours in which to do it. Tomorrow morning, I have my first public ceremony as an officer of the local garden association, the time capsule honoring mothers in a local park.

Midnight Enchantments will also start tomorrow, over on A BIBLIO PARADISE, a mix of essays, interviews, etc. on authors and characters who use magic.

Devon

Today’s word count: 2198
Total word count: 25,960

Published in: on October 14, 2011 at 8:14 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Didn’t get the bulbs in yesterday. They will have to wait until Saturday. The yoga blankets arrived, though — festive, fun cotton Mexican blankets that will probably be used for everything but yoga.

Spent the bulk of the day working with students. Didn’t even get out of the house. The Scaling the Wall class is small, but it allows me to get very detailed with them.

My publisher is awesome. They are rushing me enough books for the conference. I’ll have them in a few days. Saving my ass when the conference bookstore screws up! I’m sure they’re used to it. Let’s hope I sell through.

I got up at 5:30 AM, so I could write before heading to try a new yoga studio. It’s not too far, Yarmouth, but I haven’t been there, and want to give myself enough time, especially in bad weather.

Most of the day will be spent at the desk again, today, but that’s okay. I need to get up the first set of essays for Midnight Enchantments, which launches on Saturday and runs through the end of the month, and catch up on some other admin.

The new book is going well. I just have to pull the deadlined book out of limbo and get that done, too. And I roughed out the outline for a new suspense novel. I have to rearrange my time frame so I keep on top of everything, but don’t drop the balls on these projects, either.

Off to yoga!

Devon

Today’s total: 1,202
Total word count: 23,762

Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 5:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Partly cloudy and cool

We went to Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, which was great. The picture above is from June’s trip, because I haven’t downloaded the photos from my camera yet.

Up at 5:30, out the door before 7, we arrived at the ferry early. Instead of waiting for the Tourist Ferry, they let us on the “Real People ferry” with early morning trucks and commuters. No fancy seats or coffee shop — just laminate benches over metal lockers on either side of the flat, open area for the cars and trucks. This ferry takes only a half hour, not 45 minutes. Loved it, in spite of the noise and the smell of oil. Felt much more connected to the water.

We disembarked in Vineyard Haven. It was just after 8 in the morning, so not much was open. We had coffee and a muffin at Beetlebung’s, which was great. Really nice place.

Stopped at the Chamber of Commerce for some information, and hopped onto the tour that was leaving. We had about an hour in Oak Bluffs, waiting for the next ferry boat to come in, and then the bus filled up and off we were.

It hit all the towns, which my friend took me through when I visited in June, but in a different order. The history was great, but our tourguide talked really fast and mumbled, so I only got about 1/3 of it. However, I remembered a lot of what my friend told me and what I’d read in the interim, so it worked out.

I was amazed by how different Aquinah looked in the different season. I’ll have to post the photos beside each other — the coloration is quite different. It was much quieter, too, which was nice.

We wound up in Oak Bluffs again, and went to have a late lunch at Offshore Ale, where I’d eaten with my friend in June. I made sure to order something different this time — I have the habit of having a “favorite thing” at a restaurant and always ordering it. So I made sure to try something else. And it was really good!

The ferry back was full of busloads of tourists — it was the big tourist ferry out of Oak Bluffs, last day for the ferries out of OB. The bus pulls into the car port and burps out the passengers upstairs. We got a good seat by the window, though, so it was fine. Just seemed to take forever after the other ferry in the morning! Lots of traffic coming home, and then had to deal with the stuff that happened while we were gone.

The tulip bulbs arrived, and I want to get them into the ground today before the storm, if possible. I’m way behind on everything. And yet, by Monday night, I was caught up. Yesterday was my first day off in a month, maybe two. I thought I was really organized and caught up, but I feel ridiculously far behind today and discouraged. I need to reconfigure things so I work smarter. I have the right to take off a day here and there, and I have to find a better way so it doesn’t all stack up in such an out of control way when I’m gone.

Another teacher advised me to stop investing so much in my students, that “it” isn’t worth it. Well, I happen to think most of them are worth it. I just have to come up with a smarter way to work, so I’m not pulling 16-20 hour days/7 days a week without relief. Financially and energetically, it doesn’t work out. So I have to find a better way to work, and I have to hold firm when students make demands beyond what I can meet. Even though Saturn isn’t retrograde right now, its position in my chart is STILL kicking my ass! 😉

Fortunately, I have a new Sharon Shinn novel waiting for me as a reward when I do catch up.

And I had a great morning’s work on the book.

Devon

Today’s word count: 2362
Total word count: 21,704

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 9:13 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian pals!

This weekend was just an exercise in frustration. And possibly futility.

Saturday morning, the second energy assessment was done on the house. It was supposed to take an hour and a half and be much simpler than the one done the previous Monday. Of course, it didn’t and it wasn’t, and there went the morning. Not only that, my perfect, beloved hot water heater was messed with, and I haven’t had hot water since — which really gets my goat. I put in a message to the owner, but haven’t heard back. He might be out of town — he’s really good about stuff like this. It’s not an emergency, the way the broken washer hose in the basement was. It’s just irritating.

Worked with my students, tried to push through on the assignment for Confidential Job #1.

Had a slow start Sunday morning, and read the papers before I sat down for my morning writing session, which got everything out of whack, and I had trouble getting back on track. Slogged on the assignment for Confidential Job #1 — even with the extension, it’s due today, and I’m having a problem getting through it. Paid a bunch of bills.

Had to go back to Staples for more supplies. The Canon printer is just not working well. It hasn’t worked well since I got it, I am NOT shelling out for yet another printer, and I’m sick of it destroying a good percentage of anything I have to print. So I’m saving the wrecked pages, mailing them to Canon’s exec office, and billing them for the materials. I have complained about the problems with this printer for the last several years, and they can’t even be bothered to answer. This from a company whose products used to be top of the line, and whose customer service was impeccable. How the mighty have fallen! HP printers can’t do the volume I need, so I have to start seeing what my other options are.

In spite of the Canon not working well, I got about half the postcards for the book done, all of the new Ink in My Coffee cards printed up, and designed and printed most of the new Devon Ellington business cards.

I also found out that the conference bookstore, for whatever reason, didn’t order my book. So I’ve been asked to bring copies. Not only do I have to find out if the publisher can get them shipped to me in time, I have to shell out the money for them up front. I am NOT happy about this. I’ve also got to start printing the 150 packets of conference handouts, get the hard copies of the ASSUMPTION press kit done, and I realized I should probably have a more general Devon Ellington kit ready to go. And I’ve got a press release to get out for the conference.

With no hot water, so I can’t even take a hot shower to get my head clear.

And I made the mistake of reading the horoscope for the month, which just makes me wonder why I even bother to get out of bed until October 27! However, it’s information that should help me navigate obstacles, not something that should paralyze me and allow me to make excuses.

I’m a bit of a Grumpy Gus today! 😉

The cable guy’s already come and gone — imagine, he called to ask if he could show up EARLY. Has that ever happened? Of course, Comcast was supposed to send someone to fix the problem back in February, so, in the bigger picture, he was kinda late! 😉

Technically, it’s a holiday, but no holiday for me. However, tomorrow I plan to be out of town and offline for the day, so that should be big help in regaining perspective and positivity!

Yesterday sucked. Today will be better, no matter what. And, although the preparation for tomorrow is exhausting, once I actually sink into the day, it will be a ton of fun. I need to take a page out of the kitten’s book — that everything is new and fascinating.

Onward.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1035
Total word count: 19,342

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy, busy, busy, but in a good way. Lots of errands yesterday, which wound up with me buying more yoga pants, more bamboo pants that can go from yoga to real life, and a pair of Michael Kors black stovepipe pants that look like they were personally fitted. A spangly shirt and some cute heels, and I’m set for the holidays. And I have plenty of festive shirts and sweaters and nice heels.

Went to Staples, hoping they could undercut the printing prices. Nope. Nearly $500 to print the packets for the conference. And that’s not even bound. I can do it at home for less than $100, not counting time. As it was, my grand total for the purchases made me want to throw up. But it was necessary for my work.

Grabbed a nice lunch on the go from a place in Hyannis, ate, and continued the errands. Didn’t find everything I needed, but found plenty I wasn’t looking for. Isn’t that always the way?

Spent time with students. Tomorrow I wind up one of the workshops, which will be good. The people who had something to say were lively and articulate. It was fun, I appreciated their contributions and points of view. I suspect there were lurkers who, as usual, hadn’t bothered to read the material and therefore didn’t say a word. Whatever. The Harry Potter, next month, is my final deconstruction workshop for the forseeable future. It should be fun and I expect people well-versed in Potter to show up. And then I don’t have to fight with those who take these workshops, but can’t be bothered to read the material ahead of time. It’s in the blurb, so why do they act surprised when we dive right in? The amount of time I put in versus the amount of money are out of balance, so I’m glad to be done with them for awhile.

I’m really proud of the group in Scaling the Wall — they embraced the exercise, even though it was both short and difficult, and came up with creative solutions.

The Year-Long is chugging away. Most of them are in good shape. A few are falling behind a little, and I’m worried that if they start falling behind so early, they will never catch up.

I’m feeling pretty good about the Harpy book, although I may wind up with too much book and it may need to be split in two. The plot is pretty tight, but the threads that feed into it cover a lot of ground. I’ll write the whole thing and then see what I have to do with it. I can’t worry about final word count this early in the process. The characters and situations are rich. I need to layer in some more setting and sensory detail in the rewrite, but that’s part of why we have revisions.

The second round of Energy Assessment happens in a few minutes, so that will tear a chunk out of the day. Pet Smart has cat toys on sale, so I might go over and get the girls some new toys (like they don’t have 847 toys already) to keep them busy.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1321
Total word count: 17,148

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 7:36 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked a lot with my students yesterday. Got dates, etc. sorted for the in-person class I’m teaching in January and into February a couple of towns over. Got an extension over the holiday weekend for the assignment for Confidential Job #1.

Took off two hours in the afternoon to put up the Samhain decorations — made a big difference to the space and my morale. That was my “Artist Date” for the week. As part of the year-long intensive, everyone is required to do something fun just because they want to at least once a week. Decorating the house was mine. It looks really cute! I still want to do some more outside.

This morning’s session on the book was tough. 200 words into it, Violet knocked a full cup of coffee onto my current files, my datebook, the floor, the lovely carpet. I had to stop everything to clean it up, and it was hard to drop back down into the world of the book.

I am saddened by Steve Jobs’s death. His devices make it possible for me to write full time and actually pay my bills. I am grateful to him for building systems that aren’t rigged to fail the day after the warranty runs out.

I’ve got errands to do today, as well as dealing with my classes, so it will be another busy day. But I adore autumn — I love these crisp days and the turning colors and the sense of the wheel turning.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1841
Total word count: 15,827

Published in: on October 7, 2011 at 8:04 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard, talking about falling in love with your work. Stop by and drop a comment.

We had to turn on the heat. Yup, it’s that cold.

Worked with my students yesterday, and will have to work most of the day today with them. Working on the assignment for Confidential Job #1 — those 600+ pages are killing me, because 90% is telling, not showing. I will ask my editor for an extension over the holiday weekend. Worked on it most of the afternoon and barely made any progress.

Had a break-through on the Harpy book for one of my protagonists and one of my antagonists that, if I’m able to pull it off, will be heart-breaking, because it shows how much they cared for each other, and how their mutual betrayals hurt both of them, and the consequences. Those chapters are a bit down the road, but I’m counting on sense memory and notes.

Speaking of sense memory, I wondered why I’m so stressed out — aside from taking on too much work this month and all that. It feels as though my body remembers where we were last year at this time — negotiating the lease, preparing for the move, fighting the scumbag landlords — it’s almost like I’m having muscular flashbacks. They’re not visual, but my body feels the way it did last year at this time. Even more important for me to find a good yoga class for the winter and get back to meditation group.

Like I need this right now!

I can’t believe the morning is almost gone. Good day at the page, and then time spent with my students.

I’m a little frustrated, because I feel some of them are fighting the writing process, instead of enjoying having a reason to sit down at the page every day. Kinda makes me wonder why they’re there. It well may just be a phase for them, a part of the settling-in process. Books don’t write themselves. You have to MAKE the time to sit down and commit regularly and put words on paper.

And so it goes . . .

Devon

Today’s word count: 3448
Total word count: 13,896

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 10:08 am  Comments (5)  
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

We’re on frost warning for tonight, so I’ll have to bring in some plants.

Busy day yesterday, working on classes. The in-person class that was supposed to run this month is being moved to January, thank goodness. It makes more sense to do it when things are a little quieter than in the midst of autumn insanity.

I have family coming down later in the month — which means I have to drive up to Maine, fetch ‘em, and return ‘em. Don’t mind, love ‘em, can’t wait to show them around, but it’s hours on the road instead of on the computer, so I will have to be very organized.

Grocery shopping, and, after lunch, the migraine was so bad I had to lie down. I fell asleep, which helped a lot, and I woke up feeling almost human again.

Continuing to work on the classes today, get some other freelance work cleared off the desk, and to prep the materials for my conference appearance later in the month. I’d like to get bookmarks made up, but I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get to a printer, and I can’t do them on my own computer. I’ve also got to finish an assignment for Confidential Job #1, and it’s a slog.

Excellent day on the Harpy book this morning, got Chapter 5 under my belt. So that’s good. I’m itching to keep going on it — I might do a few more scenes before turning my attention to everything else.

Devon

Today’s word count: 3074
Total word count: 10,538

Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 8:04 am  Comments (6)  
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was a challenge, and I wasn’t sure I was entirely up to it. Managed to handle all three of my classes, wind up the fourth, and stay on top of that. It was a challenge and having a migraine didn’t help, but it’s done.

Nothing on Biblio Paradise today — I’m prepping for Midnight Enchantments.

The people came to do the Energy Assessment on the house, which took longer than I hoped. It was fascinating, but also a case of running around getting all the storm windows down so they could do the “blow test” — sticking a pressure fan in the door and simulating storm conditions to find leaks — running around getting some of the storm windows back up because we still want fresh air. Testing the furnace, the oven, the hot water heater, the dryer, the vents. Exploring the attic — I didn’t know we had one! It’s not usable, but still. Keeping Tessa from dashing out. The twins hid.

Tessa learned how to open the pocket door in the upstairs bathroom. She wiggled and wiggled and wiggled it until there was an opening into which she could slide her paw. Then she put weight behind it and got the door open enough to escape.

They arrived at 11 and left around 2:30 and I was wrecked. And then had to go back to classes!

When I finally got to bed, well after 11 PM, I thought of something else in regard to a student scene, and went back online.

I woke up feeling like crap and unrested, but it’s another busy day. I do have to go grocery shopping at some point, but I should have time to catch up properly on everything and maybe even rest a bit. I have to finish the prep for the class that starts tomorrow.

It’s a bit of a busy month. It will stretch me in new ways, I am sure, and teach me a little about more sane scheduling in the future, I hope! 😉

Good morning’s work on the Harpy book, which makes up for a lot. My first chapter with one of the antagonists. He’s more interesting than I expected, which is a good thing.

Onward.

Devon

Daily word count: 2025
Total word count: 7464

Published in: on October 4, 2011 at 8:02 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Can you say “overbooked much”? I have one class winding up today, the intensive continuing, two classes starting today (one of which I had in my calendar as starting next month), and an in-person class starting on Wednesday.

I’m looking forward to November.

The migraine’s not helping, either.

I have to take my dialogue packets to a copy place instead of trying to do them here. It’s just too much.

AND the energy assessment happens today, so I had to run around trying to prep the house and pretending we are more unpacked than we really are.

I’m keeping up with the new book, though, writing along with my class. I got a little bit of Halloween decorating done, and that will just have to be a work in progress over the next few weeks. This week is intense, with four classes going. One only runs a week, so it will be a little better next week, but this week will simply be 18-20 hour days. No way around it, since I’ve got freelance work to do along with the four classes. I’m really not sure how I could have gotten off by a month, but I managed it.

And taking lots of Excedrin!

Devon

Harpy book daily word count: 1232
Total word count: 5439

Published in: on October 3, 2011 at 7:01 am  Comments (3)  
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