Tues. July 31, 2012: It’s Cooling Off . . .and not Even August

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s gosh-darned chilly here at night and in the mornings!

Yesterday, I got some work done, but not enough (familiar refrain lately). I’m finishing up an article today, and knocking out a couple of blog posts. I had a chat with the client for whom I’m ghostwriting, and the client is thrilled with the work we’re doing, which is nice.

Finished chapter-by-chapter outline for first book of trilogy and it vanished into the ether somewhere. That’ll teach me to skip printing out a day’s work!

Making plans with the students who are coming in for the conference, getting my materials together, finishing up what I have to do for the auction on the civic activity I’ll be missing, cutting back the faded blooms on the hostas, cutting back other things that are already dying back early.

Tessa is obsessed with Twitter now, because new tweets make noise and pop up!

Costume Imp got home safely. I picked up a new shower curtain liner and some more DampRid for the basement (because mine is all used up).

I’ve got two books to critique this week, so I need to get going, and am distracted by a fascinating novel called THE DEATH INSTINCT by Jed Rubenfeld, set against a terrorist attack/bombing on Wall Street in 1920.

It’s cooler, so the cats are all Very Busy.

My yoga article is up here. Check it out.

There are still a few openings in the three month intensive Tarot for Writers. Well, I was going to promote it, but I can’t get the link on the Savvy site. Sigh.

Back to work — at least I have more energy today and feel there’s a chance of some genuine creativity!

Devon

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Published in: on July 31, 2012 at 9:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. July 30, 2012: Suddenly Quiet . . .


Mutant primrose in my office

Monday, July 30, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s starting to feel like autumn, and it’s not even August. My orange chrysanthemums are blooming, the air smells sharp in the morning and evening, in the way it does during the turn of the seasons. The cats are shedding like crazy and growing their winter fur — it’s thick.

Busy weekend. Costume Imp’s friends from the west coast were east, and they came over on Friday for cocktails, dinner, and we watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics. My reaction to most of it was “WTF?” I liked the Rowan Atkinson bit and the Queen Elizabeth/James Bond skit. Those were clever and worked. The history of the Industrial Revolution just didn’t, for me. It felt pompous and heavy-handed, and far too much a celebration of colonialism (which caused a lot of suffering that wasn’t even touched on). The parade of athletes is always interesting. Not having the flame publicly visible is, I’m sure, irritating to many.

Saturday we ran some errands and mostly watched the Olympics and recovered. We attempted to go to the Lavender Farm and Great Cape Herbs. The traffic was so awful that we only made it to the latter. Took way too long to get around. Now, I’m happy and grateful that everyone’s having a good summer season — I just don’t want to be out in it! 😉

Got a lot of research done for the aviation story. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a better handle on it. More work on the revisions for the first book in the trilogy, while trying to balance writing the second book.

Sunday was just a quiet day at home. Much needed. Read a mystery that head-hopped so much it worked my last nerve and I found it hard to connect with any of the characters. Read a terrific fantasy by NK Jemisin called THE KILLING MOON. She is a superb world builder. I have to put that book on reading lists for class. Now I’m reading Alice Hoffman’s THE PROBABLE FUTURE. I love Alice Hoffman’s writing, so I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Somehow, in the fray of all this company these past weeks, the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom cracked. So I replaced that yesterday and also put in a Waterpik 5-speed shower head in the downstairs bathroom. The original one is bagged and labelled, so, when we move, I can switch them back. I felt like such a competent handy woman after all that! 😉

This morning, we were all up extra early, because Costume Imp had to make a 7:30 bus back to NY.

I’ve got errands to run this morning, and then a short story to finish, an article to draft, and a book to start for critique. I’d love to just go back to bed, but — not an option!

I’ll have to mow the lawn this week — it’s been growing slowly, acting like it’s already October, but it’s now grown enough it needs some attention. The hosta blooms are all faded, and bees have all they want from them, so I’ll cut those back, too.

Devon

Fri. July 27, 2012: Just a Social Butterfly

Friday, July 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Put my head down and got work done yesterday, a big push, and sent things off on time. Draining, although the projects themselves were fun, but they’re out on time, and now, on one, I have to wait for a response, to make sure we’re going on the same/right direction.

Didn’t get a reading slot at the conference; at first I was upset, but, really, the world is not going to come to an end because I don’t get to read for 5 minutes at 10 PM on a Tuesday night. This takes ALL the pressure off me, and now I can just enjoy myself and play at the conference, which is exactly what I need to do right now.

I signed up with Coursera for a Sustainability class, a world history, a Greek & Roman Mythology (as mentioned yesterday) and an intro to Astronomy. I want to take the Cosmology class, but I don’t have the background — the professor was very clear he wants strong astronomy backgrounds in the class not “Astro 101 for Poets”, and one needs strong calculus skills, which I don’t have. So that’s out for me, disappointing, but that’s the way it goes. I’m not interested in calculus; I’m interested in why and how the comos form and un-form, but not the math that made it happen. I expect students coming into my classes to respect the prerequisites I set (not that most of them do), and I will give other teachers the same respect.

We had dinner with friends up the street last night, which was great fun. Barbecue, Appletinis, good company, good conversation. Today, I’m doing some work, I’ve got some errands, and then some friends of Costume Imp’s who are in for a few days will come visit.

And tonight, the Olympics start. Woo-hoo!

Devon

Thurs. July 26, 2012: Becoming a Student Again

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and about to storm

Nothing in the tank and trouble focusing. Doing the best I can. Something very specific triggered this problem, and the person who triggered it did so with the intent to harm. Not acceptable.

Yesterday, I managed to get some work done (not enough), work with students a bit. We went to Daily Paper for breakfast, which is always fun. On the way back, we stopped to visit the beautiful cat. He’s still there, still looking for a home. Gorgeous boy.

Got some more work done in the afternoon, and some research.

Then, we went up to Sandwich, to Hemisphere, a really lovely restaurant right on the water. We met up with friends, and had a great time. After, we walked on the beach a bit — the water was just the right degree of cold.

From there, we went to Craigville Beach — where the water was a good 10+ degrees warmer! I always thought the ocean side (Craigville Beach) would always be colder than the bay side!

Overslept this morning. Made it to yoga. Good class.

Trying to get some work done this afternoon, because we’re going out to have dinner with friends tonight.

Trying to put my head down and get things done. Some more errands to do this afternoon.

Signed up for three courses for the fall at Coursera — a class on sustainability, a class on world history, and a class on Greek & Roman Mythology. It piles more work on me in the fall, but I need to challenge myself in that way, and all three courses support my work. I’m looking forward to being a student again!

Devon

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 11:17 am  Comments (3)  
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Wed. July 24, 2012: Market Basket as good as reputed

Wednesday, July 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

The Executive office of Verizon Wireless is just as stupid and deliberately vicious as the Customer Dis-service Representatives. Figures — the top always trickles down. It explains a lot. It’s still not acceptable.

On a happier note, went to Market Basket for the first time yesterday. It is an amazing grocery store. Huge, good quality, great prices. It’s quite a drive, but well worth it. I restocked quite a bit. Wow. Just wow. I was ready to set up a cot and move in.

Got a different type of cat litter at PetSmart — hopefully this will solve our kitty litter dilemma. Now, don’t get me wrong, the CATS have handled this all well. But the Feline Pine hasn’t been clumping well lately, and the Arm & Hammer we tried is just awful. I get disgusted looks and vocal complaints from the cats, but they’re still using the box. Hopefully, this other type of pine clumping litter will work and they’ll be happier.

Also fell in LOVE with an eight year old male brown tabby. The lease only allows three cats here, and we have three, but I’m talking him up, hoping someone I know will adopt him. He’s a unique cat and deserves a good home.

Got some work done yesterday, but not enough (it’s never enough lately), and I’m slowly, but surely working through the galleys for the anthology. Still struggling with the introduction, trying to get the right tone.

At least the research for the aviation project is going well.

I’m ripping apart the harpy book again and attacking it from a different perspective. This last revision was necessary to narrow the focus; however, I felt I took it too far into an urban fantasy procedural direction, and I’m losing the bigger social justice scope that’s the real heart of the book. POWER OF WORDS is pulling at me, too, and demanding some attention. I’m feeling creatively flat at the moment, too many “shoulds”, not enough “want tos”. I need a few days to let the creativity soar. I’m hoping the writer’s conference in two weeks will give me a good shot at that.

Need to get a lot of work done, and, hopefully, get to go out with friends tonight. Taking Costume Imp to breakfast at Daily Paper this morning — always fun.

Devon

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 7:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. July 24, 2012: Head Down Working

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and muggy

Working away on an empty tank, trying to stay on top of everything. I feel like I’m failing miserably. I’m really not doing that badly, but it feels like it. Worked in the morning and the afternoon, with a quick break to drive to Yarmouth and Dennis for errands.

Head down working, trying to do another big push on the ghostwriting, two other articles dangling, must also finish the next round of edits for the anthology and design three types of auction sheets for tonight’s meeting.

And have a ton of errands to run during the day, so I must get to it!

Got some good research done on the aviation project.

Devon

Published in: on July 24, 2012 at 7:54 am  Comments (2)  

July 23, 2012: Reading on the Deck

Monday, July 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and humid

Lost most of Friday fighting with Verizon Wireless. Thoroughly sick of them. They broke up Ma Bell for being too big, and that was actually a good company. They need to rip apart the major carriers now, too, both phone and internet. Because they’re so big, they just don’t care.

Saturday, ran around cleaning and doing laundry and getting ready for Costume Imp’s arrival. The bus driver took a wrong turn, and they ended up in the wrong town, so they were late. Typical Mercury Retrograde. We settled in with mojitos on the porch.

Yesterday, I was just wiped out. Coffee and papers on the deck. We visited the Greek Festival — were through it in five minutes. Literally. We took a drive up to the Tabernacle and then over to Armstrong-Kelley Park, and then just read. Over the weekend, I read MAGIC STUDY and FIRE STUDY, so now I’ve read the whole trilogy starting with POISON STUDY. Structurally, it gave me ideas on what I’d like to do, and also what I’d like to avoid, in the harpy trilogy (in addition to reading it because I enjoy it).

Got research done on both the whaling book and the aviation book. Worked with students.

Would like to curl up in a little ball until Mercury Retrograde is over; unfortunately, that’s not an option.

Got to work on the ghostwriting project, a couple of articles, and a couple of short stories today — plus be a gracious hostess! I better get going!

Devon Ellington

Fri. July 20, 2012: Steampunk & Retrogrades

Friday, July 20, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’m having a bad Mercury Retrograde time. I’m not going to whine about it (well, not too much), just state it. Sorry I haven’t been around much. I set things up so the next six or so weeks would be organized and relatively stress-free, and it all blew up in my face. And not because of me, but because of entities which should not have any right to make decisions that affect me AT ALL. So I’m having to deal with that.

On a happier note, I’m working on my business plan for the coming year, preparing for Costume Imp’s arrival, and working on research for a quartet of very different projects that all have a lot of promise. I’m also working on some small writing guidebooks, both generalist, and a series of “Topic Workbooks” that I think people will enjoy. They’ll be affordable, but still chock-full of resources and links. The ghost writing project is going well.

I managed to fit in Juliet Blackwell’s latest Lily Ivory mystery, IN A WITCH’S WARDROBE, which I really liked, and I’m sneaking off for fifteen minutes here and there to read a few pages of SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second in Deborah Harkness’s trilogy that started with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The workload’s been heavy, so I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like. Now, if some of these people would cough up the cash on time for work done, all would be good.

THE STEAMPUNK TAROT arrived, by Barbara Moore, with art by Ally Fell. Wow. Just magnificent. The interpretations are layered and inspired, and the art work is spectacular. Not only is it gorgeous, it reads superbly. I’m going to use it for the three-month tarot intensive I’m teaching in the fall, and it’s already one of my favorite decks.

I’m determined to have a good weekend, and have some time for fun (with Costume Imp here, how could I not?).

Have a great time, people. It was a tough week, but the great thing is that I never have to live it exactly the same way again.

See you on the other side!

Devon

Having a Rough Mercury Retrograde

. . . will be back soon!

Sorry for the blog silence!

Published in: on July 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm  Comments (1)  

Tues. July 17, 2012: Planting at 6 AM

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Day Before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Sorry I wasn’t online yesterday. I had a Mercury Retrograde-typical day, and there were things offline that needed my attention. Then, this morning, I was out there at 6 AM, planting before the big heat.

I’ve had to accept that the heather, which turned bright orange after the hailstorm, is dead. I dug it out of the barrel and put in a small star juniper, edged with yellow and orange marigolds. Took the unhappy pansies out of the urn — it’s got three kinds of petunias, a purple salvia, and more marigolds. Put some more annuals in the bed, and rearranged the back deck so it looks like an enchanted garden.

The workshops over the weekend went well. I keep adding resources to the companion handbooks and have to stop already and get them out. I love putting together lists of books and resources I’ve found helpful.

Today is a big push on the ghostwriting project, and I want to get the Billy Root short story out to the people who came to the Virtual Zombie Disco Party last night. Got some grocery shopping, too, and need to do as much as possible while it’s still cool out.

The writing is swirling — research from one project leads to ideas for another. I’m enjoying this creative buffet, but, eventually, I’ll have to focus back down!

Devon

Published in: on July 17, 2012 at 7:49 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. July 13, 2012: Linky, Linky, Zombie Disco Party

Friday, July 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Happy Friday the 13th! Always one of my favorite days on the calendar.

Have I got links for you! 😉

First of all, I hope you’ll come join me today in a virtual Disco Zombie Party to celebrate the release of HEX BREAKER, over on Author Roast and Toast, later today, going well into the night. Attendees have the chance to get the new Billy Root story before it goes live!

Second, my article on “Smart Gardening” is up on Fifty is the New Fifty. I’m doing six articles for them (I sent off my fourth last night).

Third, I’ve got a piece up on the Writers Vineyard (as Annabel Aidan) about the pleasures of discovering a short story is the seed for something bigger.

Before I could even post this, I conducted an interview for another client. It went very well — I really, really like her and think we can work well together.

Yesterday was crazy busy. I kept thinking, “I can blog in the next hour” and then I couldn’t. My apologies.

Yoga was fantastic. I had to do some errands, including a stop at Country Gardens to pick up some petunias (the pansies in the urn are fading), and get more bamboo hoops, this time for the wisteria. I worked with students, worked on articles and short stories, and considered how to rework my resume geared to a specific Boston facility.

I’ve got a lot of writing and teaching to do today, along with errands, so I better get going. Tessa is grumpy this morning, because she can’t be outside as much as she’d like. She learned pouting and sulking from her big sister, Iris. Can’t the twins teach her any GOOD habits? 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone! It’s supposed to get hotter over the next few days — we’ve been so lucky, weather-wise.

Devon

Registration closes tonight for the Series Bible Seminar, tomorrow! If your story encompasses more than one book, this online seminar will help you keep it all organized! More information and registration here.

Wed. July 12, 2012: Jazz & Bug Bites

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and more humid

Busy day yesterday. The Scene Meat workshop is going well — I really enjoy the students, and the work is terrific.

Worked on articles, short stories, ghostwriting project. Edited another story for the anthology, and I’m working on the introduction, which is harder to write than I expected. Worked on edits for HEART SNATCHER. I should finish this draft today. It’s a mess, it needs at least two more drafts, possibly three, but I needed to make this mess to make more sense in the subsequent drafts. Right now, the book readers expect in the genre, the book I actually wrote, and the book I envisioned are far apart from each other. I want to find a way to merge them.

The jazz concert last night was fun. One of my favorite things about it (in addition to the location) is that people are so happy and smiling when they leave, because it’s such fun. There are always lots of little kids running around and dancing on the lawn around the Tabernacle (it takes place in the old Tabernacle above Craigville Beach). Last night, a young woman also taught her father the dance they’re going to do at her wedding. It was lovely.

In spite of bug spray, I was bitten to pieces, and my right shoulder is completely swollen. (long sleeves next year). When I came home, I showered with rosemary and juniper, which helped a lot, and put an anti-sting cream on that had eucalyptus.

I’ve got to take my mom to the doctor this morning, and then we have a farewell luncheon for the past president of the Beautification Committee, who’s about to move to Minnesota.

Lots of writing to do today, but it’ll have to be later in the day.

Devon

Don’t forget — if you’ve got a series, you need to keep the details consistent. Learn how to create and maintain a Series Bible in Saturday’s online seminar. Information and registration here.

Published in: on July 11, 2012 at 7:17 am  Comments (4)  
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Tues. July 10, 2012: Typing My Fingers Off

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

The weather has been gorgeous the last few days. May all of summer be this lovely!

Productive day yesterday: invoiced a client, edited three short stories for an anthology, sent off a contract, worked on three articles, worked on the ghostwriting project, worked on two short stories, started teaching the Scene Meat workshop, pitched for an editing job, worked on edits for HEART SNATCHER, finished reading the material for the latest assignment from Confidential Job #1. Ran an errand, swapping a donation a pro bono client is giving to a local auction, picking up the one they’re donating to my client’s auction, and picked up three gallons of water for tonight’s jazz concert.

I ordered some library books on women and aviation in the 40s for further research into the short story with potential for a novel. For the purposes of the piece due at the end of this week, I will take the first scene and turn it into a stand-alone short story, test-driving some of my ideas. I’m working on a writer’s rough outline for the novel. I need a better title for the whole darned thing, but that will come as my themes become clearer.

I’m reading Jeff Vandemeer’s BOOKLIFE — very clear-sighted breakdown of setting goals and separating out the private and public elements of the writing life.

“Town Crier” is no longer available, but don’t fret — a new Jain Lazarus story featuring Billy Root will be going live soon! “Town Crier” will be included in the collection of Jain Lazarus shorts released next year, that will also feature two brand-new novellas especially for the collection.

If you haven’t signed up for the Series Bible seminar on Saturday, you can still do that here. It is the only time the class will be offered this year.

I’ve got the ghostwriting to work on, more short stories to edit for the anthology, the introduction to work on, the classes to teach, and two more short stories to get out by this week, along with a new post up on Writers Vineyard for Thursday.

It’s a good busy, though, and that’s the way I like it!

Devon