Fri. Dec. 9: Acceleration

Friday, December 9, 2011
Day before the Full Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked hard yesterday, dealt with some student issues and lots of errands. Still no baking. But I got a ton of stuff done, and yoga was great.

I was wiped out by the evening, but managed to learn how to use Savvy Authors’ Webinar software — thanks to a tutorial given by the wonderful tech maven. That’s going to help me develop the interactive seminars I’m going to try early next year.

Excellent session on the book this morning. I might still move some of these early chapters back into Book 1 — I have to see how the entire piece shapes. But at least I’m moving forward.

I’ve got some gifts to wrap and mail today, baking to start. The garage bins are full, so it’s time to go to the dump to get rid of garbage, recycling, and leaves.

The weekend is busy — my own writing, reading a friend’s manuscript, the Holly Walk, the Santa Lucia celebration, and the town stroll. They take their holiday strolling very seriously here; I didn’t stroll last year, but this year, since I”m involved in one of the organizations that’s town-related, I am REQUIRED to stroll. Eek.

Better get a move on!

Devon

Today’s word count (Book 2) 1729
Total word count (Book 2): 8,821

Published in: on December 9, 2011 at 9:39 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Dec. 8: Spiky Rain

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, windy, rainy, and cold

Meant to get so much done yesterday. Wrote and worked with my students, and the next thing I knew, it was nearly 3 PM. I think I went out to run one errand, somewhere or other, but that was it. The weather was vile. We didn’t get the predicted snow, but the rain was cold and spiky.

Didn’t get the baking done, but got ribbons up around the door frames (and now we want them around the windows), and some more decorations up.

Worked on the book, then did another pass on “Catch Your Breath”, the contemporary short story I did for class, which I’ll get out on submission in early January, along with everyone else. It’s in pretty decent shape, and I really like it. I think it’s one of the strongest pieces I’ve written lately — funny, hits home, uses irony.

Also wrote about 1200 words of another short story, “Nine-Tenths” — using the same eavesdropped parking lot inspiration that set off “Catch Your Breath”. It’s in a very different voice, a very different premise, and keeps surprising me, in a good way. And I want to get back to “Professional Mourner” soon — I don’t want to lose its atmosphere.

I’m off to yoga now. When I get back, there will be errands and then baking. Also have to wrap some packages that need to be mailed tomorrow. The weekend will be busy, but I’m determined to get out the overseas cards.

Devon

Today’s word count (Book 2): 1065
Total word count (Book 2): 7,092

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 7:03 am  Comments (5)  
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Wed. Dec. 7: Holiday Juggling Act

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Worked with students in the morning. Took the car to Plymouth for its annual inspection; while there, finished my holiday shopping. It’s just wrapping and mailing and picking up a few more things for my mom. Went grocery shopping — have the ingredients for most of the baking, which will start today. I’m in good shape, but it still feels like there’s an awful lot to do for the holidays, and it’s always a juggling act.

Most of the tree is decorated, and the rest of the house is evolving, too. Slowly, but surely, we’re getting there.

Watched the holiday episodes of EUREKA and WAREHOUSE 13 last night. EUREKA, in particular, was over-the-top weirdly funny.

Overslept this morning, so I feel like I’m behind the beat. Tough first writing session this morning; the book is reshaping itself somewhat. I need to trust the drives of the characters. But I definitely have to be well into the third book of the trilogy before I can edit the first one in spring.

Lots of rain today, so I’ll work with my students, finish the revision on the short story, and, hopefully, make a really good dent in the rest of the decorating — along with getting multiple loads of laundry done.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1493
Total word count: 6027

Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 9:46 am  Comments (15)  

Tues. Dec. 6: Trilogy Back on Track

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

Turns out we’re only in three retrogrades, not five. It’s so bizarre — I use astrological wall and desk calendars by the same publisher, but the information doesn’t match. Very frustrating.

Anyway, worked hard yesterday, then had to do some running around, worked some more. Got some more yard work done, thank goodness. Raked out beds, bagged leaves. Still have the meadow to do, but the front and the terraced back are in good shape. Didn’t get a chance to write until the afternoon, which doesn’t usually work for me, but I was so tired I got out of my own way and learned interesting things about my characters. Book 2 is getting back on track.

Realized in the middle of the night that I had to make an adjustment in two scenes in Book 1 that were wonking up the logic. Did that this morning, and it feels like a huge weight was lifted off. Still have to make some procedural notes. Even though the book is urban fantasy and not police procedure, I have to base the procedure in reality, so the relevant bits I pull make sense within the context. Part of the theme is the contrast between legal justice and karmic justice, so I need to get the details right in order for the imagination-driven sections to soar.

Have to get the car’s yearly inspection done this morning, so I’m headed out. Then, I’ll spend time with students, work on the short stories some more, and maybe, maybe get a few more decorations up. At some point, I have to get to the grocery store, too.

But I’m glad the trilogy is back on track.

Devon

Published in: on December 6, 2011 at 9:34 am  Comments (4)  
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Mon. Dec. 5: Bad Day Out, Good Days In

Monday, December 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool
St. Nicholas Eve

Friday simply sucked, six ways from Sunday, as they say. A piece I was sure I’d uploaded before I left for Thanksgiving was supposed to go live on Writers Vineyard on Thursday. I didn’t get a chance to check it until Friday, and nothing. Not in the queue mis-dated, nothing. Somehow, I managed to lose it. I apologized to the blog coordinator. It was MY responsibility to check the night before and make sure it was ready to go live. And I didn’t. I feel badly about it, and promised to be more careful moving forward. Then, I got shortchanged at the bank, but, because I didn’t realize it until I was home, setting up the cashbox for the press fair, I was SOL. It wasn’t much money, but I’m still kicking myself around the block for not paying closer attention. Again, that was on ME. And then a bunch of other things that were out of my control, typical Mercury Retrograde stuff.

The good thing about a bad day is that, once it’s over, you never have to live it exactly the same way again.

And I have a piece up called “Rhythm” on the Savvy Author’s Den, about finding and keeping a rhythm when writing your book.

Up early Saturday. Tried to write; didn’t get much done. Loaded up the car, made a pit stop at Michael’s for a few things and headed for Plymouth. I was sure I’d be late, but I was there on time. We arrived, picked our tables in the conference room, and set up. The Indie Press Book Fair was an interesting experience. Not a lot of traffic and not a lot of sales. But I’m glad I brought flyers about workshops and postcards for everything — most of those went. The people who did come by, stayed, even though they didn’t buy. And talked. Not necessarily about writing. It was interesting. People tend to be more conversation-oriented here than elsewhere anyway, but it was interesting that they’d wander in and talk about things that have nothing to do with one’s books. It was a little odd, but it was also nice to put away the marketing sound bytes one always memorizes for public appearances, and really LISTEN to them, and respond to what they were saying, rather than angling everything towards a sale. Someone better at marketing than I am could have done both, simultaneously, but my purpose was to see what something like this was all about from the other side of the table — not as someone who wanders a fair, but as someone with something to sell. It was interesting.

I got lots of compliments about my table — I’ll post photos later this week. As I joked, “I may not know what I’m doing here, but at least it’ll look pretty.”

Got to chat with other writers, which was fun, and swap books with a few. Always great to enlarge one’s circle of writers. My “table neighbor” and I spent a lot of the down time chatting about life, the universe, and everything, which was fun. Definitely someone with whom I want to keep in touch, and she’ll probably be a guest on A Biblio Paradise at some point.

Came home, exhausted. Unpacked. I’ve got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1, so I’ll get to work on that.

Yesterday, my internet was down. So all the intentions I had of working with student went out the window. Comcast messing with me — again. We need more internet options on the Cape.

No internet, and giving myself a day off writing, I decorated. And the house still isn’t done! It used to take me eight hours to decorate the apartment. Now it takes days to do the house. But, what’s getting done looks really good! This year, the mantel holds the Santas instead of the Nutcrackers, with the deer (a whole herd of ‘em) grazing on the hearth below. The Nutcrackers are still lined up across the front, until I figure out where to put them. Polished a lot of silver so everything gleams. Got the lights on the tree inside AND on the two small trees outside. And that took the whole day. I’ve got all the bits and bobs to put together the cookie platters, too — the plates, the bags, the organza ribbon I like to use on them. Baking will start later this week, or early next. The overseas cards and packages have to go out this week, and I want to get a solid start on all the cards. I want everything out by the end of next week. My list has changed a bit, because of the people I’ve met and activities in which I’ve participated this year, so I have to make sure it’s updated.

Today, it’s back to the page and back to the students. I’ve got to catch up on being away from them, and put together the details of a webinar I’m doing in the middle of January. I’ve also got some errands to run. I have a sneaking suspicion the first few chapters in what I’m working on now as Book 2 of the trilogy will wind up back in Book 1. They feel wrong here. It will mean more cutting and rearranging in Book 1, but that needs to be done anyway.

Tonight is St. Nicholas Eve — always celebrated in our house. We put out a shoe, and tomorrow morning it will be filled with treats — provided the kitten doesn’t empty it first and start playing with them!

Have a lovely start to your week!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2011 at 7:45 am  Comments (3)  
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Fri. Dec. 2: Draft finished, prepping for indie book fair

Friday, December 2, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Tired!

Finished the first draft of HEART SNATCHER yesterday afternoon. Then threw out the last chapter and reworked it this morning, and started Book 2 (still untitled) of the trilogy this morning.

Did some procedural research for the NYPD section of the book until after midnight. Realized that I have to sit down with the draft and figure out logistics for each case mentioned — personnel, paperwork, scheduling, procedure — and then, when I hit the revisions in spring, I have it all and can integrate what it necessary for it to be both realistic and keep the plot moving forward.

Finished commenting on the short stories for the class yesterday. I’m proud of them! They FINISHED something. And so far, one student and I have finished our first drafts of the first novel for the class.

Today has to be all about prepping for the indie press fair tomorrow. And find the damn cash box. I know I have one — it’s just a case of figuring out where it’s stashed.

And I’m out of eggs and wine (don’t ask), so I’ll have to make a store run at some point.

Onward!

Devon

Heart Snatcher Total word count (first draft): 103,208
Book 2 word count: 1444

Published in: on December 2, 2011 at 10:47 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Dec. 1: Um, it’s December Already?

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked a lot with my students. Ran a ton of errands. Have what I need for the cookie platters — all I have to do is bake the cookies. Found a few more decorations that will look nice.

In the apartment, everything only fit one way, and new stuff just had to be squished in. There was something comforting about that. But it’s kind of fun to be able to decorate differently every year, like we can in the house. This year, also, since I’m not completely exhausted from the move, I can really think about placement and enjoy it.

In all my (cough, cough) spare time.

Wound up not going to the Writers’ Association gig last night due to an upset stomach. I was fine this morning, and went to yoga. The class was great; getting to and from was ridiculous, with all the road work. Mercury Retrograde — travel delays.

Got up early to get my first writing of the day done before yoga. I have one more chapter, and I’m done with this draft. Then, it’s immediately on to Book 2 of the trilogy (as yet untitled), while I finish another book for my publisher.

Lots to do, but I’m enjoying it. And I think the majority of the writing students who are left are finding their grooves. It takes courage and tenacity to complete a book, not just talent. And you never HAVE the time, so you have to find a way to make it work.

Feline breakthrough yesterday– Violet and Tessa snuggled together. No fighting, hissing, or anything else. Iris more than made up for it later, but — it’s still progress!

Back to the page.

Devon

Today’s word count: 2314
Total word count: 99,685

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 10:54 am  Comments (3)  
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