Mon. July 9, 2012: Guest-Free & Geared For Insanity


Violet & Tessa get the bed back, once company leaves

Monday, July 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

All the guest are gone, which is good, since this week will be beyond insane. But that’s okay, I’m just going to deal with everything one piece at a time, and, somehow, it will all get done. It was great to have friends and family here, although having them converge unexpectedly at the same time, and both groups bring extra people I wasn’t expecting and didn’t know was a bit much. Everyone was nice and fairly easy-going, it was just a lot.

Friday was busy. Saturday, I just hated everybody. For no good reason, just everyone and everything worked my last nerve. Overtired, and tired of people who are lazy and incompetent making unreasonable demands. I don’t have time or tolerance, and I’m not going to waste my valuable time with them.

On the plus side, the weather is quite lovely, the garden is growing well (see the latest post on Gratitude and Growth), and I’m figuring out what I want to do next and what direction I want to take, career-wise. I’m getting rid of what no longer works, even if it’s scary to get rid of the known devil, and going after what I want.

I got the notebooks for the writers’ conference next month — yeah, it’s early, but fellow writers will nod and smile at the excitement of finding the right notebook for the job. Next month’s conference will be fun, and it will be nice to go hang out and not be responsible for anything except showing up and being a good student! 😉

The short story due last Friday, about a woman aviator in 1947, really wants to be a at least a novella, or maybe even a novel. I’m excited about the feedback on what I tried (even though it didn’t work as it stands), and looking forward to finding a way to slot it in and do more work on it.

Today is the last day “Town Crier” is available for download. Billy Root has a few things to say about it, and the upcoming story featuring him, “The Occasional Ghost”.

The Scene Meat workshop starts today — looking forward to it. But you can still sign up for the Series Bible seminar that runs on Saturday, and, if you’re on the Cape this weekend, for the Character and Situation Workshop over at Three Fish and A Ram.

Today, I’ve got to make arrangements for the yearly house inspection from the town, work on three articles, the ghostwriting project, deal with Nightmare Client, prepare for tomorrow’s jazz concert, do three chapters of revisions, deal with students, work on the edits for an anthology I’m collaborating on, polish “The Occasional Ghost”, deal with some more HEX BREAKER PR, and work on the deadlined novels.

NEWSROOM just gets better and better and better. How terrific that there’s a show on the air geared for intelligent people, instead of the reality-pay-them-for-being-their-worst-selves that dominates network television right now.

So, I better get going!

Have a great week, people!

Devon

Fri. July 6, 2012: Hamster on a Treadmill (does this mean I’ll lose weight)?

Friday, July 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

That’s what I feel like — running in place, not getting anywhere. One of many reasons I don’t run on a treadmill — I want to make progress when I work hard! Frustrating day yesterday. Didn’t get enough done. Worked on revisions, the ghostwriting project, got my article out, worked with students. Sent out the email blast for the organization with whom I’m working and, although the test emails were perfect, some people couldn’t open it. I can’t sit there and send out individual emails to people in 15 different formats. I re-created the email early this morning, tried again in both HTML and text-only formats, again, per the technical support instructions, and it damn well better have gone through. I used the site’s format, so it has nothing to do with being on Mac rather than PC. Of course, if the previous person who handled all this had had the courtesy to give me the correct information instead of just up and leaving, none of this would be a problem.

Read a mediocre mystery the other day, and I’m reading one that’s just plain bad right now. This is someone with over a dozen books to the author’s credit. But the writing is sloppy, the logistics are off, when the author switches from first person POV to third, the third person is all telling, not showing, and the heroine is a bit of a moron. Discouraging.

My yoga teacher is giving a class on the beach today, so I’m headed out there this morning, and then I have an event at the Art Museum, and THEN I have to buckle down and work this afternoon, working on a couple of articles,working on the ghostwriting, working with students, and polishing a short story So much for mowing! But I got the daylilies deadheaded yesterday. And I got in a good weight training session. I’ve been lax about the weigh training lately.

A pair of guests left yesterday, another group leaves this afternoon, and the last leave on Sunday. Costume Imp arrives in two weeks for ten days — that will be fun.

Next week will be insane — teaching four classes, meetings almost every day or night, article deadlines, writing, and some other personal paperwork that has to be finished. I hope to make a dent in it this weekend. Probably not taking my preferred Sunday off!

Oh! One of the bunnies just scooted across the lawn. Fortunately, the marigolds in the front are too close to the house to be part of his buffet — but he and his partner ate all of the ones in the back! Better the marigolds than the veggies, though.

Onward.

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.

Thurs. July 5, 2012: Over the Holiday Hump

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy times! Hope you had a great holiday! I was off line earlier than I expected as of Wednesday, with this and that going on, and a houseful of people and all that. Lots of cooking, eating, conversation. Some thunderstorms, too — in Boston, they had to evacuate the Esplanade before the fireworks for awhile. But everyone was safe, and the show continued.

Wound up working mostly on the deck on Tuesday — took my work outside. It was a lovely day, with storms moving in later, but by then I was running around getting ready for company, and Wednesday, when there were quite a few storms, I just stayed offline.

House full of people for a few days — Tessa thinks it’s wonderful. A neighbor invited us over yesterday, but we never managed to get over to the party he was having, which was a shame, but that’s the way it goes. Everyone sort of goes their own way, and then converges for food and conversation, so there’s no pressure, and I’m getting some work done.

Of course, today there’s a ton to do, since I was offline, and I’ll put in some extra hours tonight. Article due, have to get some bookings into the calendar so I don’t blow them, catch up with students, get out the newsletter, get out a mailing for an organization of which I’m the secretary, work on the ghostwriting project. It will all get done, I just have to look at each piece and deal with it, not get overwhelmed by the entire list. Also, HAVE to get cat food in — Tessa’s at the bottom of her bag. Everyone fills the bowl when they walk past and see it empty, so she’s feasting. Fortunately, she’s still growing and allowed for the next few months!

I’m starting to notice weak editing when I read. Read a fantasy novel that didn’t deliver on its promise, but a lot of the problems could have been fixed by an editor with a sharper eye. The grammar, spelling, etc. was all great (always a relief), but there were some logistical elements that I could see the writing missing, but the editor should have caught.

Also re-read Susan Wittig Albert’s wonderful memoir, TOGETHER, ALONE. Beautiful book. And I’m re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s WRITING DOWN THE BONES. THUNDER & LIGHTENING is my favorite of hers, but WDB is good to re-read. I remembered it being much more self-indulgent — it’s really not, and it talks about first draft freedom. Unfortunately, too many of the book’s disciples use it to mean you don’t have to EVER worry about things like grammar, spelling, structure, whereas she’s saying don’t let it trip you up in the first draft. Use the freedom to explore, and then work and massage the material so it makes sense –which is what all good writing teachers say. She advocates showing up at the page every day, writing specifics, showing instead of telling. Too many writers think the first draft is THE draft. It’s THE draft once it’s published — before that, everything’s up for change! 😉

I’m off to yoga, and then a busy 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.

Tues. July 3, 2012: Extrarodinary . . .


Squash blossoms

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a lot of work done on freelance assignments, but as always, it’s never enough. Plugging away on the ghost writing gig, polishing the lectures for next week’s classes, working on my articles, got out the write up for Confidential Job #1. Did some promo for HEX BREAKER and booked a few slots. Worked with students. Worked on HEART SNATCHER revisions. Worked on the short stories.

Went over to Mother’s Park. Deadheaded and weeded. The beds were in good shape. Cleaned up a lot of broken vodka bottles –someone had a party there and left a mess. Pigs. Wait, no, that’s insulting to pigs, who are perfectly lovely. When we first moved to this house, some people around the corner would drive by and throw empty beer cans and cigarette packs on our lawn. I waited one day, caught them mid-air, tossed them back in the effing jerks’ faces and told them, very calmly that, next time, I’d break their fingers. It did not happen again. You do not mess with someone who lived on the Deuce.

Planted the black-eyed Susans in the front yard, and did some other work on the yard at home. I have to mow the meadow this week.

Got some errands to run,and then I want to put in a good day’s work, because tomorrow is a holiday, and I”m going to enjoy it. Decided not to do the press jaunt in Newport on Thursday. They take us by boat to NY — but don’t give us a way back. Um, no, thanks.

I’ve gorged myself on Susan Wittig Albert’s lovely book, AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR OF ORDINARY DAYS. I write about it in-depth here.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

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.

Mon. July 2, 2012: Starting July at a Quick Pace

Monday, July 2, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy weekend. Spent most of Friday editing the PSA. I think we did very well with the limited time and resources we had, but I’m also thinking ahead to how we can do something a little slicker next year. Anyway, it was out on time, so hopefully WBZ will start running it between now and the ball in August.

Worked with students, put together the anthology agreement and the editing schedule for the book — the pieces in it are really good, and we’ll have something tangible of which we can all be proud.

Worked in the garden — the front and the terraced back areas are mowed. I’ll have to tackle the meadow this week. I’ll have more to say about the garden on Gratitude and Growth on Wednesday!

Finished the materials for Confidential Job #1, now I have to write it up. Started the ghostwriting project, worked on my articles, got out some interview requests for upcoming articles.

This week, I’ve got articles to write, the ghostwriting project to work on, and it’s my week to take care of Mother’s Park, up the street. I’m going this morning, and, probably, back on Friday. I’ve been invited to participate in a parade and go out on a boat for a press jaunt — I’ll have to see if I can make all the scheduling work out. The July newsletter has to go out either today or tomorrow, because there’s a gosh-darned lot going on in July, and I’ve got a couple of non-fiction ebooks to work on, and the proposal for the “Topic Workbooks”.

Edits on HEART SNATCHER are coming along. I came up with a new idea for one of the characters that I think will make a huge difference. I’m cutting a lot in this draft, but there’s always the possibility I’ll have to expand, if I go back into the direction of a larger socio-political canvas than just a typical paranormal procedural. After all, the tagline for the series is, “Who defines justice?”

Working on two short stories — the Billy Root-centric piece that has to be ready for the July 13 roast-n-toast (don’t worry, you’re all invited — check out what he’s got to say here), and a short story due on Friday. The latter, which has to be a stretch in a genre I haven’t yet worked in this year, is kind of like herding cats. I’ve worked on several ideas, but they either are too much story for the parameters, or they turn into something mystery or paranormal, along the lines of what I’ve been working in. After those two, I need to take another look at “The Possession of Nattie Fillmore” to get it up and out again, and write a paranormal short story under the Annabel Aidan name. While keeping up with the novel deadlines, and the freelance work. Juggling cats, that’s what it is!

Mahoney’s had a sale — got a cilantro plant, some more geraniums, and a black-eyed Susan I’m putting in the front. I’ve got to get some pages done now, and then go over to Mother’s Park, before I get started on the rest of my freelance day.

The weather’s beautiful, and I’m enjoying re-reading Susan Wittig Albert’s magnificent AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR OF ORDINARY DAYS. What a beautiful book!

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.

“Town Crier” still available this week

"Town Crier" still available this week.

Published in: on July 2, 2012 at 7:29 am  Comments Off on “Town Crier” still available this week