Fri. June 29, 2012: The Kind of Work I Love


These roses planted themselves

Friday, June 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s been a long time since I drank tequila. More on that later.

Busy day yesterday, but tons of fun. Between prepping production for the PSA and IM’ing to live follow the Supreme Court Decision with the people with whom I’d worked so hard to get a decent version of health care passed, I had my hands full, once I got back from yoga.

Yoga was great– it kicked my ass. I came in with nothing in the tank and was wiped out when I left, but it really upped my energy for the rest of the day.

I was thrilled and delighted by the Supreme Court Decision. Surprised — I fully expected it to go the other way — and felt like all that work I did with my elected senators and representatives and their staffs hadn’t been thrown out just because the other side could afford to pay for more lies. It’s good to know that the highest court in the land doesn’t think I don’t deserve access to health care simply because I’m not rich, which is the right’s position on it. Even though I don’t agree with the mandate, there are many, many elements of the health care law that are important, especially for women. The provisions that insurance companies can’t charge women more than men simply because they’re women, and that they can’t turn away someone for a pre-existing condition are important. And, let me remind you, if the Republicans hadn’t forced those 168 stupid amendments, the insurance companies wouldn’t have been able to raise premiums the way they have. That was NOT part of the original legislation — that was ADDED by the GOP politicians owned by the insurance companies. If you don’t believe me, go to the government website, read the original legislation, and the read the GOP-forced amendments. There’s a lot more to be done until health care is fair for all. Erin Gloria Ryan has an hilarious and frighteningly on-the-mark response to what this decision means for women here.

But the happy dance had to pause, because I had a video shoot to deal with! Loaded up the car, got there on time. It took awhile to get set up, and there was a lot of noise all around on the early takes (because it’s not like we were shooting in a studio and had control of the environment). And we changed the background a few times, and tried takes with different wardrobe choices, and I was glad I brought some clip lights, because I needed to add some fill in to offset the overhead florescent. Obviously, it’s not studio production quality, but it’s something that’s simple and clean and clear and usable for what we need. It was fun for a day, and I realized that I miss some elements of the work — but if I had to do it every day again, it would quickly get old.

After the shoot, we had a good meeting, and then a couple of us went over to Captain Al’s, on the water to just go hang out. It was a ton of fun. I had a couple of margaritas — first time in a long time I had tequila. Fortunately, I’d brought dinner along to the shoot and the meeting (I made an Asian-style chicken salad), so we’d eaten before we went! It was nice to just hang out.

Today, I’ve got to edit the PSA and send it off. I’ve got to work on a couple of articles and get out some interview requests. It looks like another article assignment from a “slick” (print magazine on glossy paper) may have landed in my lap — I have to find out the deadline and word count. I start the ghostwriting gig — the check arrived and they emailed me the materials I need to get started. I have to turn around an assignment for Confidential Job #1. I’ve been invited to a press jaunt in Newport next week — if I can arrange it, I’d like to go. That’s very iffy at this point.

Edits, then errands — and I’m going to try to mow a bit before the rain starts.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!
And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Advertisements

Thurs. June 28, 2012: Challenging Day


Tessa and Violet enjoy the sun

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Glad I got in two solid writing sessions in the morning, because the rest of the day was a challenge.

I got the front mowed yesterday, working on articles and sources, worked with students. Got yelled at by someone who asked me for a quote to write press releases — they wanted to pay me 1/10 of the rate. And NOT pay, but have me distribute the releases using my own contact list rather than theirs. So, basically, I’m working for close to free, but they’re not a non-profit or with a mission I’m particularly passionate about, yet I’m supposed to be grateful? I don’t think so. And don’t yell at me if you’ve asked me what my rate is, because you don’t like it. Also, my contact list is not part of the deal. I write the releases — the company distributes them, or they pay me an hourly rate to use THEIR list. You could have said, “I pay this for releases” and I wouldn’t have pitched in the first place. My response was, “A, don’t speak to me like that, it’s completely inappropriate and B, don’t hire me if I don’t fit into your budget. I’m not working for 1/10th of my normal rate, especially when you behave like this.” Buh-bye.

Did a cover letter for another client, and will pick it up when I go over to do the video shoot this afternoon. At least THAT client was happy! Got an offer from a client for more work next year, but am not sure the terms are going to work. If we can come to an agreement on that, I’ll do it; otherwise — it can’t cost me to work. I have to be able to pay my bills and make a profit, even if it’s a small one. The fact that what I do is “creative” doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be fairly compensated.

The check on the other project still isn’t here. According to the contract, the schedule starts when the deposit check clears. Therefore, I am not working on the project yet, nor am I going to scramble to finish it in a shorter amount of time because the check is late.

Off to yoga this morning, then have to pick up a few things, scramble to get some work done, and maybe more mowing (if the weather holds), and then it’s a video shoot. At least I get to hang out with friends tonight after my shoot and meeting. I could use the break! 😉

Already got an article out this morning.

My thoughts and prayers are with those in Colorado, in such fire danger.

Have a great day!

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!

And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Wed. June 27, 2012: Busy

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus DIRECT
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Wrote 3 PSA scripts, two press releases, outlined two articles, sent out interview requests, distributed a press release, pitched a series of articles, and worked on the ebook. Assisted in setting up a shoot for Thursday for one of the PSAs I wrote. Found out that the check that’s two weeks late probably hasn’t even been mailed yet. Frustrated with one organization — they have an exclusivity clause, so I don’t teach the same class for X months on either side of my commitment to them anywhere else. Totally understandable. Yet, they are booking instructors with classes similar to each other (and mine) very closely together — and there are even people using the titles that I originated. Without paying for the class, I don’t know how similar the material is to mine — I’m sure all our teaching styles are very different. And yes, all my materials and handouts are copyrighted. In the classes I’ve taken there, there’s not much writing involved. In the classes I teach, I demand that they write every day. But I’m not happy abut the whole situation. It’s not good for any of the teachers — it dilutes all of our classes. Offer one of each type of class per quarter, not a half a dozen of the same type of class. Saw somebody listed to teach a class on juggling writing and life — who couldn’t keep up in one of my classes and dropped out. The fact that someone who couldn’t successfully juggle is teaching a class on the topic just floors me. Not fulfilling one’s commitment does not equate with successfully juggling, in my eyes. But, that’s the way it goes. You gotta shrug and move on, or it’ll drive you crazy.

Reading a trilogy by another writer and the inconsistencies are driving me batty! Even if the writer didn’t catch all the logistical errors, where were the editors? Someone needs my Series Bible class! 😉

Revised three chapters of HEART SNATCHER. This is a quick revision for reshaping — I’ll go back in August and do another one in more detail. This revision makes it more of a paranormal mystery, a tighter-paced, tighter-focused read, and I have to decide if that’s what I want for the trilogy, or if I want to go back to the bigger canvas of social and political issues. It’ll be interesting to read the two drafts side-by-side and see which is the stronger book.

We had some cracking good thunderstorms here yesterday afternoon. The cats weren’t too happy, and some of the smaller plants needed to be rescued, but, overall, I love being inside with a good Cape Cod storm outside!

My computer was a little unhappy — making noise and getting hot — so I shut it down for the duration of the thunderstorm. Gotta keep the Macbook happy!

Poked around in Scrivener. Basically, it’s iPages on steroids with spiffier graphics. In other words, I don’t need it. And there’s no reason why material done in Scrivener can’t be posted in Standard Manuscript Format — you can set up the template to work in it. Yet again, more excuses without foundation from students (not in the year-long, though, they’ve all got the finish line in sight and are doing a great job at this point).

Meeting last night was good — lots done in an hour, just the way I like it. Came home and watched NEWSROOM again. Still loved it, although I caught a couple of continuity errors this time around and the music swelling under some of the speeches didn’t work for me. But I still can’t wait to see the next episode. And I don’t often say that about something on TV!

Up early this morning. Wrote a few pages in longhand on the magical realism piece (with Tessa on the deck) and then wrote a little over 2000 words on a contemporary piece. I like the contemporary — I find it both exciting and restful to work on. Am about to tackle three more chapters on HEART SNATCHER revisions, and then go back to the articles, pull some stuff together for tomorrow’s video shoot, and draft a cover letter for a client. Before looking around to see if there’s anything else worth pitching towards. I’m tempted to throw my hat in the ring for an editing job, but not sure I have the patience to work in the genre they need. Depends on the money — they meet my rate, I’ll give it a go. They try to lowball me and I refuse.

Back to the page!

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!

And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Tues. June 26, 2012: Weary


View from Fort Hill

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. Everything took longer than I wanted, and I’m trying to get a jump on next week’s deadlines, because, with the holiday falling midweek, there’s no way I can talk with sources for the next articles. All the requests for quotes went out, and I’m finishing up this week’s article. So I’ve got to do it all this week. And the check that was promised two weeks ago for the other project, of course, still isn’t here, so I’m not starting it.

Working on the revisions, working on a couple of short stories, working on some short scripts for a client, and a couple of press releases. Trying to get some press out for the upcoming workshops. Updated the workshop page here on the blog, and, provided I can get into the page on my website, will update that, too. Worked on a short ebook that needs to be ready to go later this week. Feeling a bit discouraged.

Worked with students — happy to see the progress they’re making. Everyone is very tired — hey, we’ve been writing for 41 weeks. But the sooner they learn that it’s not just about writing for two weeks here and there, or a month, the more likely they are to succeed. Some of them are in very good shape to tackle a real career at this.

Had a good morning’s writing session on the deck. Tessa just loves our mornings outside. We took a walk around the garden (I was carrying her), and discovered that the lavender I planted last year is blooming. The Stella D’oro lilies are in full bloom,and the Tiger lilies are starting.

A lot on my plate today, including a meeting tonight. When I get home, I’ll watch an encore of NEWSROOM and remind myself why I’m in this business again.

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!

Mon. June 25, 2012: “Town Crier” finally live — and free!

Monday, June 25, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Lots of catching up to do!

First, I have to say that the premiere of NEWSROOM on HBO was one of the best-written television episodes I’ve ever seen. The opening alone is brilliant, and it just got better from there. I was thrilled to see John Gallagher, Jr. in one of the best roles –we worked together on Broadway in SPRING AWAKENING. He’s terrific, both on and off stage, and I’m so happy to see him in such a great show. Loved the show, thought it was great, thought the writing and the casting were terrific, and can’t wait to see more.

Second, 1and1 finally fixed the website bug, and “Town Crier” is now available for a free download until July 9. You can read an excerpt and then download the story here. I had a totally cool cover that I had to crop and change because the file upload couldn’t support it, so I’m bummed, but the story’s fun. And it ties in to both HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, although it takes place ten years before the events of HEX BREAKER.

Friday’s Breakfast with the Authors was terrific. All three — Joseph Doolin, Terri Arthur, and Randall Peffer — have books I can’t wait to read. I’ve read some of Peffer’s previous work, and look forward to the newest of his mysteries. We sat together at breakfast and had a great conversation.

Went home, worked flat out all the rest of the day. The next two assignments have arrived for Confidential Job #1, and look good. I did some more pitches, and started working on upcoming articles. I managed to get an absolutely fantastic source for the one due this week — someone whose work I’ve admired since I’ve moved to the Cape, so I’m very excited. Pitched for a few other jobs — fingers crossed.

Worked with students, got a good bit of work done on a rewrite of a small writing book I want to release in the coming weeks.

Sunday’s class was cancelled. The director told me that people were interested, but didn’t want to commit ahead of time. Well, honey, I’m not going to sit around and see if people show up. She also mentioned that people want “light creative writing classes.” That’s just insulting. “Creative writing” is what you as an eighth grade elective or as therapy. It’s not what I do. I work with people who are serious about and committed to writing. That venue is simply not the right match for me. I have one more thing scheduled in mid-July with them, but I’m not holding my breath.

The “Scene Meat” and “Series Bible” classes are filling up nicely, and those should be great fun. I’m really looking forward to them.

Worked on the revisions for HEART SNATCHER. For this draft, I’m cutting all the chapters from secondary characters’ POVs, and focusing on those in the POV of Valerie, Max, and Carey. I’ll sprinkle in necessary information from those cut chapters through other POVs. I’m also putting Max’s first chapter right after the prologue, where it was in the original draft (I’d moved it in the second draft to chapter two, moving Valerie’s first chapter, originally chapter 5, as chapter 1). I’ll give Max one, maybe two chapters, then do Valerie’s, cut Grace’s, and then have Carey’s. It makes it more of an urban fantasy mystery/suspense than the wider ranging fantasy, but it might serve the book better. The changes are based on both the actual notes from the critique swap and new ideas inspired by those notes.

However, changing the first book in the trilogy is making it harder to write the first draft of the second book.

I wrote out on the deck this morning, some work on a magical realism piece. I’m going to work on a couple of articles today, a couple of press releases, get out two more pitches, and get started on the short story due July 6 and start the Billy Root story that has to go live on July 13. Hopefully, the deposit check I keep getting promised for the ghost writing assignment will arrive today, so I can get that in, too.

It was supposed to rain this morning, so I overslept instead of going to yoga. I need to mow the front before the rain starts (it hasn’t yet) — we’re starting to suffer from vacant lot syndrome again, even though it wasn’t that long since I mowed.

Dreamed about an adventure story — movie, really, with Henry Ian Cusick playing the male lead. I mean, he wasn’t himself, he was a character, so I assume I dreamed a script. I have no reason for him to turn up in a dream, and I wasn’t in it anywhere, so I was dreaming a story. Jotted some notes to see if it’s something I can work with in the future.

Back to the page. And the lawn mower.

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!

Fri. June 22, 2012: Articles & Acceptances

Friday, June 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

HOT day yesterday. 1and1 still hasn’t fixed the problem– so the site’s been unable to be updated for a week, as of today. I’m interviewing other webhosts. I’d liked the package from Fat Cow, but there are so many billing complaints filed against them that I’m rethinking that choice. IPages and Webhosting Hub look pretty good so far, but I’m still in early stages. It has to be a site I can handle myself at a price I can manage.

My article about the Mermaid Ball is live on Cape Cod Women Online here. Enjoy!

The house didn’t get too bad in the heat. We had fans going, and it was okay inside. The upstairs was too hot — but of course, that’s where the cats hung out, until about mid-afternoon,when they wised up and came down to the fans. Tessa is afraid of the fans, but the other two remembered them.

Sent off my first article for the series of six I’m doing for one publication; pitched about a half a dozen articles to another publication, and, after some to-ing and fro-ing, they were accepted. Heard from the person on the ghostwriting project that the check was mailed; once it arrives, I can get going on that.

Tried to work on the second book of the trilogy, but didn’t get very far. Ripped apart the next three chapters of the first book for the next revision. A group of us are putting together an anthology, which will be fun. The stories are REALLY cool. It’s the first appearance for my sci-fi character, Fiona Steele, and I’m looking forward to it. She doesn’t bother to take names — she just kicks ass! 😉

Got up very early this morning to water everything, then sat on the deck and wrote my first 1K of the day on one project (there are two projects I’m shifting between in the morning). I’ve got a writer’s breakfast this morning with the Cape Cod Writers Center over in Osterville, then I’ve got to get started on the next articles, write two press releases, and a PSA script. Busy day — but I’m looking forward to it.

Devon

Thurs. June 21, 2012: Heat, Humidity, Hosting Issues

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Yesterday was another nearly-lost day, thanks to fighting with 1and1.com. Finally — again at night — I went over the incompetent control freak who was refusing to help, lying to me, and blaming me for the web problem. I got someone who actually bothered to check into the problem — and it’s a bug on THEIR end. Of course, they have no idea when it’ll be fixed. But I got an apology from management for the lousy employee.

Again — another lost day of work, needless aggravation, and the problem isn’t solved.

I apologize to those waiting for “Town Crier” — the story will be available, and available longer, as soon as the host fixes their problem.

Worked on the revision of the WIP, got some other writing done, went to the Annual Meeting at the National Marine Life Center — which was lovely. I feel so lucky to be part of that organization.

Went to Plymouth to my regular guy to get the light fixed on the car — charged me all of $10. Was worth the trip. They take such good care of me!

Yesterday was hot — not unbearable, but hot. I’m off to yoga now, and then I have some errands to run, and an article to polish and send off. I also have a PSA script to write, and some other writing to do. Still waiting the contract and the check for the ghostwriting gig — not starting it until all the details are in place.

The Solstice celebration was fun, but we had to move it inside after the first few minutes — too buggy outside. It was Tessa’s first Summer Solstice Celebration, and she enjoyed herself.

Better get going. A lot to get done today.

Devon

Wed. June 20, 2012: Going to have a Good Solstice in spite of a lousy Webhost! And my new writing hero!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Waxing Moon (yesterday was the new moon)
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and warm
Summer Solstice

It’s supposed to get into the 90s today. I hope not. Heck, I was still shivering in fleece sweats yesterday!

So sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I fought with my webhost (1and1.com) ALL FRIGGING DAY. I’m trying to update the Jain Lazarus site and add the story that was promised last Friday. I kept getting a “publishing error — try later” message. Um, no. I pay them to publish when I need to update my sites, not when they happen to feel like it. Accepting money for a service means one has to provide the damn service. “Support” ignored my messages until I pitched a fit on Twitter, when someone from 1and1 said they were going to see it got attention. Instead, the situation got worse — I couldn’t access my sites at all — and the interaction with customer non-support didn’t actually have anything to do with the issue. Then, after dinner, I get an email saying there’s a “bug” in the system, they’re aware of it, and they have no idea when it will be fixed. Why didn’t they tell me that the FIRST time I contacted them, so I could have gone off and done other stuff during the day? Because they’re incompetent and don’t care about their customers, that’s why.

This morning, I get an email saying the problem is fixed.

Of course, it’s not.

And THEN I get a message from them about an ‘upgrade’ they’re doing to the system from July 9-13 (a week I’m teaching and at the start of Mercury Retrograde), which , if I understand it correctly, means I am, pardon the language, fucked forevermore on their host.

Meanwhile, they’re still holding all my webfiles hostage, which is why I didn’t dump them months ago and move to another host.

Checking the state’s telecommunications laws, they are in violation, so that means filing more paperwork with the state’s Attorney General against them, in addition to invoicing them for wasted time. I’ve been putting aside money to hire someone to help me rescue my files to move hosts, but I don’t have it yet, and I’m not in a position to do so yet.

Well, the upside to all of this is that I’ll be forced to move hosts, whether I’m ready or not. Let’s hope I don’t lose too much in the process. I print out my contracts, but there’s plenty of correspondence in those files that I can’t print out, but I can’t download it to save it. Short of going in and hand-forwarding each piece, I don’t know what else to do.

The FTP they claim is on the site — and which I pay for– but won’t explain to me doesn’t seem to exist, or this wouldn’t be an issue.

I am so frustrated. They are costing me money, but charging me for it. That’s fraud, as far as I can see, and a breach of contract on their part. Not only are they not providing the services for which they are contracted and paid, they lie about it. And the absolute refusal to work with me to fix the problem, the absolute REFUSAL to provide customer service is part of what is so appalling.

I don’t need much — I don’t have a lot of bells and whistles on my site. I should be able to go in, update, publish said updates, and download and upload files as needed. I’m not asking for a whole lot, and I pay for far more than I’m using, but 1nad1.com refuses to provide me with even the basics.

In happier news, I have a new hero. Cathy Lamb. Read what she has to say about writing here.

Gotta go and get my light fixed, have a lot of work that couldn’t get done yesterday because of effing 1and1, have an event to attend for a client tonight, and then it’s the Summer Solstice ceremony.

Devon

Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 7:37 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Mon. June 18, 2012: Busy Weekend Leads into Busy Week

Penniman House, Eastham, MA (taken Memorial Day Weekend)

Monday, June 18, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Dark Moon

Okay, so where’d the weekend go, again?

Granted, there were technical difficulties, so I hit the ground running behind a bit this morning, but the weekend itself was busy.

Going all the way back to Thursday, yoga was great. I got home, turned on the computer, and found out I was included in a meeting starting in 20 minutes. Warned them I was showing up in yoga clothes and headed out. It was a good meeting, longer than I expected (got home in the early afternoon), and only had an hour or so before I had to head out to friends to pick up a butterfly bush and share some laughs and wine.

Friday, the technical difficulties started, and I wasn’t able to get “Town Crier” up — I hope to get those sorted out by today. I managed to get out the manuscript critique swaps, take care of some other business, but that was kind of it.

Put the butterfly bush in, and moved a few hostas. They now line the driveway, which means I have no room for error getting in and out of the garage! 😉

Saturday’s class was cancelled (long story). We headed out and bought plants instead — a hanging basket of dark purple petunias, some more marigolds, some pink and white impatiens, red and white geraniums (pelagorums), red salvia, yellow petunias, and some herbs for the round bed (since nothing I planted from seed has come up). Put all that in the various beds. Tried to fix the technical difficulties, without luck.

What was funny was that, on Saturday, I had on my Rabbit shirt (I drive a VW Rabbit) and I go into the garden, and there are a pair of bunnies! You know if there are two rabbits now, there are bound to be more by the end of the summer. Too cute! I should be worried about the garden more, but I’m not. There’s plenty for them to eat. This morning, one of them was exploring the front yard, too! The cats are fascinated.

The right daytime running light has gone out (I just had the left one replaced a couple of months ago). Very depressing. Which means I have to drive to Plymouth at some point in the next few days to get that fixed. Another unexpected expense, although I know these guys will offer me a fair price.

Read an Archer Mayor novel and a Ruth Rendell novel. Always terrific to learn from the best. Now, let’s hope I can effectively apply what I’ve learned!

Sunday was my day off anyway, and it was a lazy one. Reading, writing (worked on both House Magic and the first Bellini Girls story). Tried to get geared up for the coming next few weeks, which will be very busy.

This morning, managed to get back on line, so far. Got the critiques from my swap partners — I’m very excited; their comments are SO helpful, and now I can clarify where I confused myself. Back to work on that today, along with a bunch of other stuff.

I’ve landed a six-week contract for a few articles, one due per week, for a site, so I’ll tackle that, too, and there’s promo that needs to be done for HEX BREAKER. And things, like. oh, getting back to finish CRAVE THE HUNT.

And it’s time to put the flea/tick medicine on the cats again. THAT’ll be an adventure.

Better get going, it’ll be a long week.

Devon

Thurs. June 14: Still Raining, Happy Plants, Still Writing

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked like crazy all day, but still didn’t get enough done. Story of my life right now. It gets discouraging sometimes, but that’s the way it is.

One of the fun things in my current life, however, is over on The Writers Vineyard blog, where, in my Annabel persona, I talk about this summer’s schedule realignment. And, if you didn’t get a chance to read the LASR interview yesterday, hop over and check it out here.

Finished reading the manuscripts for the critiques due Friday — two readings of three manuscripts. Will polish my notes today. Waiting for two contracts and one deposit to come through (because without them, the writing on those projects isn’t going to happen). Polished material for Saturday’s tarot workshop, got some reading in. I’m now officially addicted to Sarah Addison Allen’s work. I read four of her novels in the past week. Worked for another client — have to finish the work on that project when I get back from yoga.

I want to do one more polish on “Town Crier” and then I have to do all the formatting crap so that it’s ready for download tomorrow. And then I start on Billy Root’s story, which has to be ready by June 29!

I had a slow go yesterday on HEART BINDER — just over 600 words. The world of the book is expanding, and I’m wondering if that’s a good thing. It FEELS right, but it also feels like maybe this isn’t a trilogy, but a quartet. Take the overage from HEART SNATCHER and the new track this book has taken, end it at the end of my current chapter, and I’ve got enough for a volume of the book. It wouldn’t be HEART BINDER — I’d come up with another title — thought of one as I was falling asleep the other day, but didn’t write it down. I’ll see, once I’ve got everything written that I planned for the three original books. The right choice may be to do massive cuts. If I worry about business decisions in the draft process, I’ll never get the books done. And I want these particular books done before I start selling any of them. In the ideal world, I’d like them to release very quickly after each other, so readers can gobble them all up together.

Speaking of gobbling up books, I’ve got things sorted out with Payloadz, and some new little writing books will be appearing over the summer.

Off to yoga, have a long day ahead of me, and, in this case, if I don’t finish what I need to on time, a very long night.

To yoga!

Devon

Taste of the Tarot is for artists in all media to learn how to use the tarot for both inspiration and to break through blocks. Saturday, June 16, 2-5 PM at Three Fish and a Ram Community Art Center. Info here.

Interviewed on Long & Short Romance!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

First and foremost, hop on over to LASR to read an interview with me — it was a ton of fun — I just love working with them.

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT will be available at the bookstore in the Cape Cod Writers Center Conference — woo hoo! If HEX BREAKER isn’t in print yet, they told me to go ahead and leave promotional materials in the store. Talk about a much better arrangement than at Write Angles last year, which segregated authors, lied to me about carrying me in the store, and then, the night before the conference dumped the whole problem into my lap. This was easy-peasy — I emailed the guy running the bookstore, he sent me the form, and we’re good to go. No drama, no “you’re not with a big enough publisher and not important enough for our store”, none of that. Which is one reason this conference is one of the most respected in the country.

Yesterday, I worked a lot, but didn’t get enough done. Sound familiar? But I got some ideas to one of my new editors, got some work in for another client, mowed the terraced back area, took all the clippings to the dump, In the afternoon, I managed to write 1857 words (a whole chapter) on HEART BINDER, and I read 70 pages of a manuscript for critique. And baked a cake.

I went to the client meeting at 6:30 last night, and didn’t get home until after 11. It was fun, and nice to do focused work in company, but I was beat by the time I got in. Overslept this morning, and then did some more work for that client before I even got a chance to blog.

Tessa was mad at me — our routine this summer has been that I take her out with me in the morning and put her in her cage on the deck. She watches me water, and then is out with me while I have my first cup of coffee, percolate ideas, and write the first 1K of the day in longhand. Later, at the end of the day, she comes out with me again, while I have a glass of wine on the deck and either read or write some more.

Well, yesterday afternoon, I was behind in the work, and couldn’t take her out before I left. And this morning, it was rainy. She was one sulky girl. I took her out this morning in my arms and she got rained on — which, of course, in her feline mind, is all my fault.

Anyway, I’ve got a LOT on my plate today — better get to it.

I’m so happy with the LASR interview!

Devon

Don’t forget — Taste of Tarot workshop for artists in all media, this Saturday afternoon, June 16, at Three Fish and a Ram Community Art Center in Mashpee. More info here.

Tues. June 12: Gotta love the new Opportunities!


Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a flat-out work day of negotiations, reading material, and pitching jobs. I’ve changed my early morning routine a bit — I’m writing outside on the deck, now, after I feed the cats. I take Tessa out, along with a notebook, pen, and coffee, and we spend the first one thousand words of the day outside. I’m not spending enough time actually WRITING, and that has to change.

Another trip to the libraries around here– returning books, taking out more books. I’m trying to refill the creative well. I feel like I’m spinning, and writing by rote instead of serving the stories well. It’s the time/deadline/money pressure.

Got the front mowed, and I hope to get the terraced back mowed today, squeaking in just after the rain. I’ve got a client meeting tonight, and two blog posts to write before the, along with a slew of short stories to read, and a short story deadline of my own to meet.

Billy Root’s got some news about HEX BREAKER, and the upcoming appearance schedule is over on A Biblio Paradise.

It looks like the ghostwriting gig will happen — although I’m not counting on anything until there’s a signed contract and a deposit. And an editor made an offer for me to do a paid blog gig. We’re sorting out the final details. My price fits her budget, and she likes my samples. So far, so good.

Excited about the potential new gigs, but don’t want to count my chickens before they’re hatched. And I’ve got fiction deadlines looming — have to reconfigure my day a bit to keep the balance with both.

Had a great session on the second book yesterday — just over 1300 words in the sprint.

I’ve been taking some garden photos — will have to upload them to the computer, so I can share them. The daylilies are exceptionally beautiful this year.

Devon

Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 8:28 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Mon. June 11, 2012: Busy Start to the Week

Monday, June 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy, busy, busy weekend. Worked hard all day Friday, trying to stay on top of things, get out all the promo stuff, etc., etc. Working in the garden. It took most of the weekend to get the meadow mowed. We’re still having trouble with trespassers. I’ve got to get out there and confront them and tell them that next time, I’m calling the cops. The lack of respect by these particular neighbors is appalling. But what do you expect from people who tie a sex doll dressed in a bikini to a tree and leave it there for months?

Got a stack of books out of Sturgis Library — what a great place. We are so lucky with our libraries around here.

Anyway, the scratch of I’ll Have Another in the Belmont caused all kinds of chaos. Something about that whole situation feels off to me. On top of that, they had the horse lead the post parade for the race, which was so incredibly unfair to the horse — he didn’t understand why he wasn’t being warmed up and sent to the gate, the way he’s used to. Badly handled all the way around, in my opinion. Union Rags finally had a good day, and paid off for his loyal fans, though.

Stanley Cup game at night — NJ Devils vs. LA Kings. NJ staved off elimination. Let’s see what happens next.

Last night was the Tony Award Presentation. Reminds me of why I went into the business in the first place, and, just a little, made me miss it. There’s nothing like working at or attending the Tony Awards. It’s the most fun of any of them, because it’s truly a community, not just a bunch of strangers preening in front of each other. I watched a lot of people I’ve worked with over the years, and texted with friends on the show. Fun. After the Awards, of course, we all did the party circuit, winding up eating breakfast in a 24-hour diner as the sun came up, still in our fancy clothes. Tons of fun.

Wrote a bunch, read a lot this weekend, but most of the weekend was just for ME. I needed that. I’m gearing up for the Tarot Workshop this weekend – hope it goes well. Haven’t done one of those in person in a long time. Tessa was outside with me a lot yesterday, in her crate, enjoying the sun, the fresh air, and the company. Read some disappointing books (those always make you think, “how the hell did they ever find an agent or a publisher?”) and read some good ones, including an interesting book by Nancy Thayer and two unique, charming books by Sarah Addison Allen.

I’ve got a ghost writing quote to get off today, some more PR for a client, and two blog posts to write. Plus, hopefully some of the places to which I’ve pitched will respond positively, and I’ll have to get out some more pitches.

Billy Root’s blog comes up later today, and I’m putting the finishing touches on “Town Crier” for release later this week. Better hop to it!

Devon

Taste of the Tarot is for artists in all media interested in the art and archetype of the cards. Learn how to do basic readings and use the cards for inspiration and to push through blocks. Sat. June 16, 2-5 PM, $60, Three Fish and a Ram Community Art Center, Mashpee. More information here.