Fri. May 11, 2012: Lilacs and Car Repairs


White lilac with moon in background

Friday, May 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Registration closes this evening for the Amazing Antagonists workshop tomorrow. So sign up NOW — or you miss out!

I have to mow, no way around it! The rain was terrific, but boy, does it make more mowing!

Yesterday was a mixed bag. Went to Plymouth to the mechanic to get the car serviced — and found out I had to get the back brakes replaced. Not an expense for which I was prepared, but it had to be done. Took awhile (although they were quicker than estimated), so we had lunch at a place called T-Bones. I didn’t expect much, and was pleasantly surprised. But the bill was a shock, and it means hustling more work in the next few weeks to make up for it — especially since all three cats go to the vet next week.

Came home, got final approval on materials from my pro bono client and sent them out to the media.

The National Marine Life Center is a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Program. That means we could win a Highlander, which would allow reliable transportation for injured marine life, and then to release point after rehabilitation, and to continue the educational outreach. Please put May 26 in your calendar and vote for us on Facebook at www.100carsforgood.com between 10 AM and Midnight. Don’t worry — I’ll remind you! If we get enough votes — we win the car.

Couldn’t get into the Savvy Authors board at all to work with students, which was frustrating. I feel badly for them; however, if I only have time between hour X and hour Y and can’t get in, I can’t do my work.

My neighbor is already out mowing — guess I’ll have to get into my gardening clothes and go join him! 😉

Lots to do today, to make up for the hours lost yesterday, plus hustling new work. I’m looking forward to that break over Memorial Day Weekend!

Devon

Thurs. May 10, 2012: Watching the Grass Grow


Compass at the Province Lands Center

Thursday, May 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and mild

Still raining, but we need it.

Yoga was good yesterday — different teacher, and it’s always interesting to mix it up. But I got stuck in construction traffic on the way home, which meant I didn’t get home until nearly lunchtime.

Worked flat out all afternoon, though. Revised 5 chapters of HEART-SNATCHER — fixed (I hope) a logistics error and then moved forward. Worked with the students. The growth in the year-long is terrific, and the Settings as Character people are coming up with some really rich, unique detail in the exercises. That makes it a lot of fun.

Polishing the lectures for the Antagonist workshop this Saturday. Polishing up the presentation for the workshop I’m teaching at the high school on May 19. Still waiting for dates to be confirmed with an organization that promised to solidify things at the beginning of the week.

Getting the next round of visitors sorted out — great thing about living on the Cape, people come see us. And there are tons of events and fun things coming up — so I’m trying to figure out what I can do, and what I have to pass. The thing about events around here is they’re once-and-done — they don’t keep repeating stuff. So, if you see something you want to do, better jump on it. And stuff tends to be scheduled for the same day, so it’s really about prioritizing. Which is hard, when there are so many great things to do!

Getting the car serviced this morning, and then it’s back to work. The good thing about rainy days is I can’t mow, so I have more time to work. The bad thing — I’m literally watching the grass grow! You can see the difference in just a couple of hours. I know what I’ll be doing every spare moment this weekend!

To the page before I have to drive to the mechanic.

Devon

Don’t forget to sign up for Amazing Antagonists on May 12. Registration closes tomorrow!

Published in: on May 10, 2012 at 6:43 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. May 9, 2012: Rain, Project Shifts, and New Circles


The tulip tree at my great uncle’s in Maine

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Saturday’s the Amazing Antagonists Workshop, a day of creating fascinating, complex characters to be good obstacles for your protagonist. Sign up now — registration closes Friday night, so you can’t suddenly wake up Saturday morning and decide you want in!
Information and registration here.

Worked flat out all day yesterday, trying to get it all done, get the grocery shopping, bill paying, all that other stuff done along with the actual work so I can pay the bills! 😉 It was too wet to mow (aw), but hopefully, it will help both the grass seed and the anti-ant stuff I had to put down (yet again). And I’m doing the laundry rather piece-meal — a few loads here, a few loads there.

Designed and printed a new Fearless Ink business card. I really want to redesign the website, too. It’s a little too simple, and I think I’ll upload the portfolio, so there are samples.

Spent some time with students, sent back a bunch of assignments where I asked for two scenes and they submitted four or five. Two scenes means TWO scenes. And, when I’ve provided a tip sheet on what a scene IS and you ignore it — no, the assignment goes back. When I say you can’t use something from a current WIP, and I recognize the characters and the location from another class — it’s going back. There’s a reason the assignments are structured in a certain way and build in a certain way. I’m trying to get them to look at structure in a way that supports their overall work, so they’re very aware of the weight and balance of each scene and the importance of each scene in relation to the scenes around it, and don’t dilute their stories with needless wandering. Learn how to read and apply guidelines. It’ll help a lot of submissions being deleted unread when you submit!

Didn’t get as much of my own writing done as I would have liked, but I’ll make up for it today.

Drafted a PSA and a press release for my pro bono client; am waiting for the green light to get it out. Contacted an editor to find out when I’ll get the specs for an article they asked me to write — they forgot to send them or thought someone else was sending them or something. In any case, I never got them, and the deadline was last Monday. But they are holding the spot for me, and I’ll do it this week.

Two new assignments from Confidential Job #1, both of which look terrific, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.

Made the appointments to get the car serviced (tomorrow) and the cats to the vet next week. Yup. All three at once. Get it over with. Whew! That’ll be a chunk of change!

Attended an open house for the American Business Women’s Association over in Hyannis. I had a good time and met some interesting people. I’ve been to a couple of these type of events elsewhere, and it’s all corporate types gossiping about things that aren’t any of their business (well, that’s what gossip is, isn’t it?) This event was completely different. The participants were lively and interesting, representing a wide array of professions, and they could talk about a vast array of topics. One could have a conversation, not just blah, blah, blah, buy this, blah, blah, blah. I’m glad I went, and I’m interested in spending more time with them to find out what they’re about. I don’t know how much I can do that this summer — which is already booked to the gills between teaching and visitors and the Cape Cod Writers Conference and yoga and my own book deadlines. But it’s nice to know it’s there, and I may get more involved in the fall.

A potential client who talked big of course did not come through. Not at all surprising, and I’m relieved to be out of that one! If you’re trying to present yourself as progressive and ethically responsible, you better be able to back it up, and this one can’t. Doesn’t have the balls.

The positive result is that the project that this individual had blown a lot of hot air about how fabulous it was, how important participating in it was, and then backed out of because the individual can’t walk the talk, is taking a new direction that’s both more economically viable and will get us a broader, international audience. So it all worked out for the best.

A colleague of mine had a great episode central to his character on his TV show last night. He did an awesome job. So happy for him.

I’m going to yoga this morning, since I have to take in the car tomorrow to Plymouth. It always rains when I go to yoga!

Going to try to get a little bit of time on the page before yoga.

Devon

Tues. May 8, 2012: Work, work, work!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Don’t forget the one-day Amazing Antagonists Seminar on May 12. It’s going to be awesome! More info and registration here.

Flat out all day yesterday and still didn’t get it all done. Got the front lawn mowed, though, and no man’s land off to the side. My lovely neighbor came over with his edger and trimmed things up for me, too. Ran some errands, worked with students, worked on the workshop lectures, worked, worked, worked, worked worked!

And got cat food in, which, as we all know, is the most important thing one can do.

Have even more on the agenda today!

But I managed to get to meditation, which was a good thing. And now, I’m out on more errands. And I have to pull it together to attend an event tonight — I really need to design and print new business cards for the freelancing.

I’d hoped to get some more mowing done today, but it’s too wet.

Got some writing done yesterday, and edited three chapters — managed to cut one completely and combine two more, with even more internal cuts. I think I want to keep the “interlude” scenes all under 1000 words. Try that bit of artificial construct and see how it goes.

Devon

Published in: on May 8, 2012 at 10:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. May 7, 2012: Intense Family Weekend


Mist over the dunes at the Province Lands Center, Provincetown

Monday, May 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Intense few days. Went to yoga on Thursday morning, came back, packed the car, and we were on the road a little after 11. Trip to Maine wasn’t bad, not much traffic, we made good time. We settled in, spent some time with my great uncle, I cooked dinner.

We were up early the next day, breakfast, picked up one cousin who lives down the street and one in Portland, and hit the road. The drive down wasn’t bad, either — we timed it well.

We hit Foxboro around 10:30 in the morning. I was born in Norwood, and Foxboro is where my grandmother lived for many years. I haven’t been back since the mid-90s.

We found the cemetery without any problem, and found my grandparent’s grave. The cemetery is beautiful — extremely well-cared for, and people are allowed to individually landscape each of the graves, which is great (unlike so many cemeteries, now, where everything is supposed to be identical and plain, and everyone is a number, not a memory of an individual). We also visited the nearby grave of another family friend. We spoke a few words by the site, and handed over the ashes to the caretaker, who will bury them today.

We drove past the house where my grandparents used to live, and where I have many happy memories. It looks lovely — the current owners take loving care of it, have landscaped it nicely, put on a new roof, etc. And the property next door (formerly belonging to the person whose other grave we visited) is also lovely. She had magnificent formal gardens, and the current owners have kept them up.

It was strange to see those childhood places through adult eyes.

Something is starting to tickle in the back of my head, an idea; I’m not sure where it

We continued around to the Cape and home. After getting the cousins settled in, we headed up to Cobb Hill — the cemetery where the first arrivals are buried. They came over from Kent, England, and one branch of the family went up to Maine. It was cold and rainy, so we didn’t spend as much time in the cemetery as we might have otherwise.

We went over to Sturgis Library and spent a few hours in their genealogy collection. They have a lot of information on the family — the branch that started here and wound up to Maine, another branch that wound up in West Virginia. It was fascinating.

I cooked dinner, and we all visited and played with the cats. I spent a bit of time with students.

To bed early, but also up early on Saturday. I baked apple spice bread for breakfast. Then, we headed out to Provincetown. Unfortunately, it was another cold, drizzly day. But we got to walk around town a bit (already quite busy) and had a nice lunch. We went up to the Province Lands Observation near Race Point, always one of my favorite places, and I got some interesting misty pictures.

We came home, and someone from Sturgis called — I’d left something important at the library the day before! Someone from the library was coming to my library for an event; I met her there, feeling both stupid and grateful. She is definitely getting a thank you note.

Cooked dinner, uploaded photos, made prints for them, copied the information from the library — by the time I tried to get online to deal with students, it was 9:30 at night and I was incoherent.

Up early on Sunday, made eggs benedict, and we were on the road a little after 9. Not a bad ride up to Maine, in spite of an accident on 93 and one inside the Big Dig tunnel. Dropped off the cousins and turned right around to go back.

I admit, I was getting a little tired.

But it was great to have the family from Maine here, to have them see where we live, and that this move was the right choice for us. They also have been working very hard, and I wanted to give them a happy, relaxing time.

We meant to stop for lunch, but didn’t find what we wanted, so wound up driving all the way back. Instead of going back through the Big Dig, we hooked around again on 128 so we could take the Bourne Bridge. The Sagamore had a two hour delay getting off-Cape, and that usually causes a tangle getting on the Cape, too. We shot over the Bourne Bridge and found off-Cape traffic backed up all the way to our little town, too. But we got home in a reasonable amount of time.

Heated up some dinner and went to bed. That was all I could take.

A LOT to do today, both online and off. The rain last week stimulated the grass — I’ve got to mow. And hit the bank. And put gas in the car. And do some work with my students. And help out a pro bono client. And polish my lectures for Saturday’s workshop.

Billy Root’s blog will go up later today.

Better get to it! I’m tired, but more optimistic this week. I’ve still got some stuff to figure out, but I’m getting there.

Devon

Don’t forget the Amazing Antagonists workshop on Saturday, May 12! You can turn your antagonists from ciphers to complex, fascinating individuals with these tips. More info and registration here.

Wed. May 2, 2012: Egg on Face Moment

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Worked as much as I could; couldn’t get as much done as I needed because of the ongoing dispute with Verizon, and their refusal to actually provide individualized customer service or comply with Federal Law. So, now it’s up to the authorities.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and have to do the write up today. Thought I had a meeting in Buzzards Bay, cancelled out — found out it’s actually tomorrow (I wrote it down wrong). I still can’t go — I’ll be dealing with my grandmother’s ashes — but it was truly an “egg on face” moment.

Revised five chapters of HEART SNATCHER and wrote just under 2K on HEART BINDER. I feel better about both projects. The students in the year-long are doing very well, and I’m proud of them. It’s an intense revision process, quite different from the way most people teach revisions, because we look at individual trees AND the forest together. It’s less about doing X on page X than putting together a cracking good story that hangs together in each individual situation.

Still feel like crap, but oh, well. Eventually I’ll feel better, right? 🙂

Busy day of writing, proposals, reports, and taking my mom to get her eyes checked. Also preparing for bringing my grandmother’s ashes home later in the week. I’m surprised at the feelings that is bringing up. It’s a good thing, a necessary thing, but it’s still emotional.

Tessa is taking full advantage of being a birthday girl! She’s so funny.

Devon

Don’t forget the Amazing Antagonists workshop on May 12! Create complex, fascinating individuals that are a good match for your beloved protagonists!

Published in: on May 2, 2012 at 6:52 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. May 1: Tessa Turns One!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Beltane

Tessa turns one this month! Not sure exactly when, but she’s a Birthday Girl!

The weather’s definitely a contrast to Beltane energy! It’s in the forties and raining. And I’m sick again, with fever and chills. Ick.

Did as much work as I could yesterday; so tired of feeling behind all the time. Got a rough to my collaborator and a proposal out to another arts organization. Fought some more with Verizon. I’m turning the paperwork over to the appropriate legal authorities. I’m done trying to reason with douchebags who think they are above the law.

Getting the house ready for the family visit from Maine over the weekend. In addition to it being the first time they’re visiting on the Cape, we’re finally bringing my grandmother’s ashes back to Foxboro, where she lived for so many years with my grandfather.

Lots of work to do today. I have a meeting this evening, but if I don’t feel better by noon, I’ll have to cancel and send in the report instead.

Students in Setting as Character seem excited by the class, which is a good thing.

Hope I can get my energy back up. I’ve got a newsletter to get out!

Devon