Mon. Aug. 13, 2012: Awesome Week & Happy Tired

Monday, August 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and humid

What a spectacular week! Just what I needed to kick me out of feeling so creatively fallow. Loved the classes — our mystery/thriller group is keeping in touch, which is terrific, since I’m so excited about what everyone’s working on. They also gave me great feedback on the aviation piece, helping me form and shape it from an amoeba to a workable idea. I’m carving time into each work day to keep going on it, so I don’t lose momentum by making it take its place in the queue.

Met a wide array of fantastic, interesting people. Talked a lot (I have no voice left, and I’m out of words). There are several opportunities I need to follow up on.

I met two of the students in my year-long program. They are as talented, funny, and creative in person as they are on the page. Both read, both pitched, and did very well. One landed an agent! I’m a proud tiger mom! 😉

I was out most nights pretty late, up early, and very glad I’d cleared deadlines off my desk before the conference. It was all-consuming. It was also extremely well-organized and the quality of workshops and instructors are among the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere. A great way to light or relight creative fires.

Had to cut out early on Friday in order to drive to CT. The weather was awful — torrential rain, especially in CT. Had to drive slowly, with the hazards on. Finally made it to Niantic, where I bought way too many books, but they were relevant to three current projects, so it’s all good. One, in particular, is a very difficult book to find that I needed for my aviation piece. The other is a book I’ve been searching for for at least a dozen years, and I finally found it.

A trip that should have taken 4 1/2 hours took 7. Collapsed into bed. Up early Saturday, not a bad trip back, collapsed onto the couch, woke up on Sunday. Didn’t do much on Sunday except veg out and doze.

Rather than over-burdening myself today (I’m already ready to go back to bed and it’s barely 9 AM), I’m using today as a follow-up day from the conference, and to catch up on all the emails and freelance-related stuff from last week. I have a block of time set aside for the aviation project, but I’m really going back to the writing whole hog tomorrow, juggling CRAVE THE HUNT, the harpy revisions, and the aviation project, along with a couple of short stories that have to get out the door this week. I’ve got some errands to run today, too.

The week filled up unexpectedly with activities –all good, but I’m also going to try to sign up for a one-day meditation retreat on Sunday. I think I could use the silence! 😉

Now, breakfast, and then, to work . . .my third load of laundry is already in. And the yard needs some serious attention.

Devon

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Aug. 10: Fond Farewells & Creative Boosts

Friday, August 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Muggy and cloudy

Conference ends today. I’m exhausted, but a happy exhaustion. I’ve got enthusiasm for a new project, and built enthusiasm for what’s out there. I’ve met amazing people, forming new relationships and deepening those I had. I learned a lot, soaking up as much as I could like a sponge, and I laughed a lot.

Best of all, I feel like I’ve catapulted out of my creative rut. I feel a better balance between current commitments and the path I want to try next.

Terrific times.

Will have more coherent posts again next week, when I’ve caught up on sleep!

Have a fantastic weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 7:41 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Aug. 9, 2012: LOVE this Conference!

First of all, the Cape Cod Writers Conference is awesome. I’m learning so much and having so much fun!

Second, I’m over on Book Boost talking about “Weeds in the Writing Garden” here, and “When Does Your Year Start?” (as Annabel Aidan) over on The Writers Vineyard here.

Published in: on August 9, 2012 at 11:50 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. Aug. 7, 2012: Conference Day 1

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

It’s only Tuesday? So much has gone on, I feel like I’m living a week in every day.

The Conference is great. I got some work done yesterday morning before I left, work with students, etc. My first conference session was with C.E. Lawrence, for mystery/thriller. Great, great session. Plus, we both love Edinburgh, we both have theatre backgrounds, we both have long histories in New York. The class gave me a series of “aha” moments that will help me in my work. Today, I’m going to read the opening of the aviation piece, to see if what bugs me about it is what the others pick up on.

Met up with friends and had lunch at the cabana by the pool. The back of my chair got hit with a golf ball, so I stomped over to the links, waving it, demanding to know who nearly clocked me. No one would take responsibility, so I said, “Fine, you’re not getting it back.” I stuck it in my bag, brought it home, washed it, and the cats are playing with it.

Afternoon session was with Peter Drummey, of the MA Historical Society (I always get his title wrong, I keep calling him “director”, but I think it’s something else), on historical research. I’m like a kid in a candy store. I can get a Boston Public Library card, even though I live on the Cape. As a “citizen of Massachusetts” (that makes me feel so Revolutionary), I can access libraries and collections all over the state. I’m beside myself with excitement. Now, if I could send these selves to some of the collections simultaneously, imagine how much I could get done. Great session, and gives me so many ideas for my research for the aviation, whaling, astronomy, and mill girls projects.

Had to shoot out of that session like a bat out of hell, because it ran over, and we had to be at a reading in Sandwich at 3. We were only a few minutes late — Randall Peffer was reading from his new Civil War novel, SEAHAWK BURNING at Titcomb’s Books. Since one of my friends/students is studying with him, and I know him from both his work and writers’ center events, off we went. It was great fun, and we wound up sitting around chatting for a full hour past the time of the actual event.

I sent my friends off to the Beehive for dinner, while I raced back home. I had to grovel to the cats (who were mad at me for being gone all day), get some work done, and marinate the chicken for Wednesday’s dinner party.

Back to the conference center, for a talk by Joe Finder. He was engaging and hilarious — he really knows how to uplift his audience. I’m familiar with his name, but hadn’t yet read any of his work. I bought VANISHED. He signed it, and I had nothing of value to say at the signing table, so I simply said, “thank you.”

Met Gina Barreca on my way out, and didn’t realize until later that she wrote THEY USED TO CALL ME SNOW WHITE . . .BUT I DRIFTED, which is one of the books that got me through the 90s, along with KISS MY TIARA by Susan Jane Gilman, and were very important when I wrote my show WOMEN WITH AN EDGE. Which makes laughing and talking with her even more special.

Home, worked on the synopsis for HEART SNATCHER, could not get online to my students. Prepared my bag for today, and fell into bed.

Got up around 5:30. Tweaked the piece I’m going to read in the mystery class — moved around some description, cut some qualifiers, made a couple of things more specific. Hate reading work this raw, but if I’m going to find the right direction and learn the expectations in this genre, I need to take what I have and learn how to make it better. If I’m not willing to be bad, I can’t learn to be good.

I have to say, I love just being a student for this, and running around laughing, talking, and listening as much as possible. No pressure, just learning.

I have two cakes to bake before I leave, and I want to see if I can get into the forum to spend time with students. I better get moving!

Devon

Mon. Aug. 6, 2012: The Conference Begins!

Monday, August 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and humid

I just lost Friday — I was running around trying to get everything done –after going to yoga on the beach in Yarmouth (which was tons of fun). But it was a busy, busy day. Saturday was all about preparing conference materials. Sunday was about clearing off deadlines in the morning.

In the afternoon, I headed over to the Conference Center. Dropped off my books — so much less stressful than at that conference last October! Checked in, yapped with the organizers — and then, two of my students showed up! One had come in from Vancouver, the other from LA. It was such fun! They got settled in their rooms, we had a drink to celebrate meeting after being online together for over a year. We joined the reception, meeting up with old and new faces, and our conversation group kept growing and including more and more — which is how it should be — inclusive. That’s what I love about this writers’ organization.

The President of the organization pulled me aside to talk about something that, if it goes through, would be exciting and an honor. I also met a library director who just moved libraries (she’d done a presentation last year I found helpful and we’d talked about doing something together) — and I may do an event or two with her, which would be such fun! We moved upstairs for the reception, which was lively and fun, and the President of the State Senate gave the opening address, emphasizing the importance of the arts to both the economy and humanity. We’re really lucky in our elected officials around here. They give a damn.

After the reception, my students and I headed out for dinner. We wanted to go to the Black Cat, but it was full; we headed to Siena — 40 minute wait. We wound up at Bobby Byrne’s in Mashpee, which was fine, and we had an awesome waitress — a real firecracker, tons of fun! More good food and great conversation. The three of us have a lot in common and never run out of things to say! Terrific women, and I feel lucky to have them in my life. And they brought me terrific gifts, which was just so sweet!

We stopped at the grocery store on the way back (they have refrigerators in their rooms), so they could stock up.

Home and to bed at a reasonable hour. The cats woke up up just after 4 because it was raining, the windows were open, and they were getting wet. I ran around closing windows and moving plants, and then couldn’t get back to sleep. Wrote thank you notes and followed up on yesterday’s conversations. I’ve got to finish an article and get it out, and also do another pass on my two-page synopsis for the harpy book before I go out the door for the conference.

I’m looking forward to a fun and busy week.

Devon

Thurs. Aug. 2, 2012: Humidity

I’m moving slowly today with the humidity, but working away, and yoga was GREAT.

More tomorrow . . .

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 2, 2012: Humidity  

Wed. Aug. 1, 2012: Lammas

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and humid
Lammas

Big day in my personal calender today, and I’m having fun with it.

Good, busy day yesterday, starting to feel more creative again, worked with students, worked on article (have to give one a good polish before sending it off today), got some creative work done.

Just happen to be reading a bio of astronomer Maria Mitchell — who was born on Nantucket on August 1! Love it when that happens.

A local business where I spend a lot of money is about to lose my business because they’ve been jerking me around unnecessarily for the past two weeks. If you don’t respect me when my wallet’s closed, why should I open it at your business? There are others who treat me better. And so it goes.

I rarely comment on celebrity gossip, but this is annoying me so much I have to speak up. Why is Kristen Stewart getting crucified about her alleged affair with her director, Rupert Sanders, while he gets a free pass? He’s twice her age, he’s her DIRECTOR ( a power-over situation, since the Director’s word is LAW on set), he’s the one who’s married, and it was his RESPONSIBILITY as the older adult in a position of power to not let anything happen. Yet she’s being castigated, while he gets a few winks and is called “solid” and “upstanding”. Both bear responsibility (she is of legal age, after all), but he was in a position of authority and responsibility that made it imperative for him to make sure nothing happened. Of course, chances are, he was the aggressor in this situation anyway. Having worked backstage and on set for years, I see that a lot, and the woman is always, always blamed while the man is celebrated. Two people were involved — both share responsibility. And then there’s Charlize Theron, who was going on and on and on about how much she adored Kristen Stewart during the filming, and now, supposedly, she’s “furious” with her for having an affair with the director, instead of stepping up to the plate and actually being her friend, pointing out the double standard. There are no secrets on set. There just aren’t. If something’s going on, everybody knows about it. There are never any secrets from wardrobe (for obvious reasons), but there simply aren’t secrets on set. You’re in too close a proximity for too many hours a day for too many months in a row — you can’t help but learn things about the people around you, and a lot of it you’d rather not know. That’s the reality of the business. If something actually was going on, the entire company knew about it, except maybe a couple of day players. But they were respectful enough to keep out of someone else’s business, as long as it didn’t interfere with filming. And you know these hypocritical bitches who are criticizing her while giving him a free pass are the same ones touting FIFTY SHADES OF GREY — a book about an older, powerful man sexually exploiting a young woman — as a wonderful book. There’s plenty of well-written erotica that doesn’t denigrate women — this book isn’t one of them. I’m not a particular fan of Kristen Stewart, but she’s being treated unfairly, and a lot of that is because she’s the woman in this situation. It’s ridiculous. It’s about time men were expected to shoulder their share of the responsibility when they screw up by screwing around.

On that note, I’ve got to get back to work!

Devon

Published in: on August 1, 2012 at 8:30 am  Comments (1)  
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