“The Effie Effect” — Great Experience at Tilden Arts Center

Just got home from the reading of my new play, the comic noir mystery, “The Effie Effect.” I was pleased.

I still wish I’d been a part of rehearsal — I could have cleaned up a few things prior to the public performance that would have clarified a few things and made it easier for the actors. But, overall, I was pleased with actors and direction.

I heard a few things I want to change, and the audience feedback supported the gut instincts I had on a few things, so that all worked.

The audience was enthusiastic — and some friends from the National Marine Life Center turned out to support me, which was awesome, thank you sooo much!

I got a chance to have a nice chat with the director and the cast, and chatted with the reporter covering the evening for the campus paper.

I have some ideas on how to make it better, and I think I may expand it by about eight or twelve pages to clean up a few things, change a line that I left in (and the actor played brilliantly) knowing it couldn’t stay in the final version but I wanted to hear it (because it suggests necrophilia, which distracts from the plot), etc.

A good night all the way around. A huge “thank you” to the director, the cast, and the Tilden Arts Center.

The tarot card for the day was correct — the 10 of Cups.

But then, the tarot never lies.

Published in: on September 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm  Comments Off on “The Effie Effect” — Great Experience at Tilden Arts Center  
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Fri. Sept. 28, 2012: Organization and Freelance Roller Coaster

Friday, September 28, 2012
Waxing Moon (nearly full)
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Managed to get some good work done yesterday afternoon, but, alas, not enough. I’ve really got to focus today to get a lot cleared off before I leave tomorrow. At least I had a good start to the day — I have a spice cake in the oven and the first load of laundry in, and it’s not even 8 AM!

Also, found out that a grant deadline is Monday. Turns out there are two separate grant councils in the area — one has a deadline of Monday, the other the 15th. I thought they were one and the same. I’m going to pull together a proposal because I’ll regret it if I don’t at least give it a shot. Plus, you usually have to go through several proposal cycles before you’ve actually got a shot at landing a grant. Meanwhile, while I’m out of town next week, I’ll put together the proposal for the other grant. The last time I applied for a grant in NY, I was one of over 690,000 people applying. I think the application pool is probably a little smaller here. It also means putting together a new version of the resume for the grant.

I am teaching a three-day Supporting Characters workshop at the Muse Online Conference Oct. 9, 10 & 11. There’s more information here. (You have to scroll down pretty far to get to it). The Muse Conference, in general, is a great experience. I’ve developed several novels and had the chance to test drive some fun classes there.

I need to finish an article and schedule a blog post for next week while I’m gone. I got an idea for a new article that I’ll pitch to a publication, and I owe another publication (who, thankfully, finally got around to paying me) another batch of ideas. I’ve still got one outstanding client payment — the final ghostwriting payment, which is not at all a surprise, but a disappointment. Another client is being dithery, and I just don’t have time for it — will be easing away from that one. I’ve said, bluntly, that the dithering has to stop, especially at the distance that separates us. If i have to travel several hundred miles, the dates have to be set and fixed. Got out another project early, that I wanted to clear off before I left, and will finish that client’s batch of work today. Pitched yesterday for a job way out of my wheelhouse, but I’m just different from the people who’d apply for it to be the right choice. One of my editors has also asked me to do an interview with someone (as the interviewer), which will be fun, although her publicist is about 12 and needs to learn how to check her facts.

The reading of my play is tonight. I’m interested to see how it goes. My notebook is ready.

I’m packed for tomorrow’s trip, except for the stuff that’s still in the laundry, and the food that has to go in the cooler in the morning. This time tomorrow, I will be on the road.

Lots to do between now and then!

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 27, 2012: Juggling Courses and Deadlines


Still a few hibiscus in the garden

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a few projects off my desk, but not enough — familiar refrain. Had to control a case of the crankies when someone for whom I’m doing a favor nagged me about it — even though I’m well ahead of schedule on it, Miss Thing knows she’s going to get it over a week ahead of deadline and is still bitching about it, and it’s usually something for which I’d be charging a good chunk of change. Live and learn, won’t make that mistake again. The important thing is not to take it out on the material.

Worked with students, struggled with CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to attack this particular sequence (set in Iceland) from a different angle, because what I’m doing right now isn’t working, and I’m out of time. This book needs to be done and on the publisher’s desk. I’ve got other deadlines looming, and can’t drag my feet anymore. What I’ve got thus far is good, where it’s going works, so I don’t know what my darn problem is.

Got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1 — it’s massive and fascinating, and I gave my editor the heads-up that I’d submit two versions of the usual write-up — the regular short, within word count, and a longer one, and he can then choose which he wants. He thinks that’s a great idea.

Put together the samples for the gig I hope to land — at this point, either my voice fits what they’re looking for or it doesn’t, so I can’t tie myself in knots about it. I’ve got a couple more pitches to get out before I leave this weekend — I want to pitch to a couple of places in Boston.

Set up a meeting with an agent for next week, which will be fun.

Watched a little over half the video lectures for the Sustainability Course last night. Interesting information, but a little depressing. Plan to do some work today on this week’s paper, and also either on the flood/drought rebalance, or try to knock out five or six pages of the mystery for that class.

Watched half the lectures for the Greek and Roman Mythology course — I like the instructor a lot, and it’s giving me a chance to go even deeper in the revisions for the Harpy trilogy, new ideas, an even stronger mythical foundation for those books. Very excited. We only have two short papers to write for that class — wish it was more.

Yoga was great this morning, and then I had the chance to go home and change before a committee vetting interview. I had a good time talking with them, but either they feel I’m a good fit with them or they don’t. It’s really out of my control, and all I can do is be exactly who I am, not what I think they want.

I need to go through some more submissions today, I want to work on the next article for WOW — it’s not due until Monday, but I want to send it out tomorrow. Still have no idea what’s going on with the play tomorrow night, so I’m going to show up, notebook in hand, and take notes. I want to knock off one set of lectures for the World History Class, and then either finish the Sustainability lectures or the Myth lectures.

I’ve blocked out most of the weekend, out of town, to really focus on CRAVE THE HUNT. Hopefully, I’ll have a lot of uninterrupted writing time – things don’t really get busy down there until Monday.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on September 27, 2012 at 11:14 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 27, 2012: Juggling Courses and Deadlines  
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Wed. Sept. 26, 2012: Tough Love & New Opportunities


Hard to pack and unpack when Violet’s sleeping on the bag. Tessa, nearby, enjoying the sun.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mild and showers

Yesterday didn’t turn out to be as productive as I wished; I was a bit under the weather. However, I made like a squirrel and did a major grocery shop at Market Basket (filling two grocery carts), so I’m in pretty well-stocked with staple food for the next few months.

I made a pot roast for dinner, something I haven’t done in about a year.

The paradoxal life of a writer: create a sword fight scene with multiple casualties and then go make pot roast.

Got some writing done, got some work done on my classes.

One of my students just sold a short story she worked on in class — I’m thrilled for her! It will be published next spring, and I’ll make sure to post more information when it releases. She’s an excellent writer, and this story, in particular, was riveting.

Regarding the whole NFL ref debacle: I have NO sympathy. The NFL locked out the refs. The players and the coaches should have refused to play, and the fans should stop spending money on the teams until this is resolved. The fact that no other entity in the game supported the refs and now they’re all whining — you brought this on yourselves, you greedy dumbasses.

Regarding the NHL issues: I am firmly on the side of the players. They already took a 24% pay cut. I sure as hell couldn’t afford that, could YOU? It’s not about the actual dollar figures, it’s about percentage ratios to what owners and the people who actually make the sport happen.

Brandy, you’re right, there are several things about REVOLUTION that bother me, in the fact that they are asking me to suspend disbelief in logic. The power’s been off for 15 years. Where are the windmills? Windmills existed before electricity. Where are the water wheels? They existed before electricity. There is “power” outside of electrical power, and so far, that’s not being dealt with. Someone brought up that you could build a battery out of a potato — why isn’t anyone doing that. They are asking us to suspend a lot of logic — I hope they are building into those issues. I’m still willing to take the journey, because of the things I do like about the show, but I’m aware of these unexplained lapses. At this point, I’m trusting them to deliver on the “whys”.

My acquaintance’s show was on last night, season premiere. Writing was stale, plot convoluted. I hope it finds its feet soon. It feels tired.

A newspaper to whom I pitched wants samples — very cool, I’d like to land an ongoing gig with them.

I’m putting stuff together for next week, when I’m working in CT — getting the stuff together I need for them, and also the extra stuff I need to bring with me for my own work.

Off I go, back to the page!

Devon

Published in: on September 26, 2012 at 7:43 am  Comments (4)  
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Tues. Sept. 25, 2012: Writing, Dissection, and Process

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy work day yesterday. Some library this-n-that done, I’m almost caught up with the tarot students, I started on this week’s work in the Sustainability Course, the World History Course, and the Greek/Roman Mythology course. The dynamics in each class are fascinating to me — the tone set by the professors, the way students interact, the types of people drawn to each class with their stories — but then, I’m a writer. I’m going to go beyond the surface of the course and get into both the interpersonal dynamics of the material and of the people around me. That’s what I do.

Very dangerous, knowing a writer. Everything is material. But that’s part of why it’s so great to BE a writer! 😉

Speaking of writers, I hope you’ll hop on over to A BIBLIO PARADISE today and drop a comment for my colleague and fellow Cape Cod author, Steven Marini. He’s a guest on the blog.

Got through some more submissions, some of which were much better. I’ve got two more stacks to get through this week. Got out my material for Confidential Job #1. Pitched for a job that I don’t think will be a good fit, not in content, but in time frame, and I don’t think it will work out. Of course, I realized that after I hit send.

I also had an absolutely mortifying egg-on-face few moments — I’m a guest on a bunch of different blogs to promote both ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT and HEX BREAKER (and, then, soon, I’ll be appearing to promote DEATH SPARKLES and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK). I keep track of what’s due when and where, and I wrote several of them in the last few days. Well, I thought I was late on one, scrambled, and hit send — to realize I’d sent it to the wrong person! Mortified. Absolutely mortified. I pulled it back, apologized profusely (I’d sent her everything she needed for my appearance) and then sent it off to the right person (who is very happy with it). Everything worked out, and everyone was cool about it, but I was still upset with myself. There’s a reason I’ve set up systems and organized things, and that’s so I can stay on top of multiple projects. When I make a careless mistake, I’m angry at myself.

My own work suffered yesterday, so today, I have to make up for it. I also have to do a major grocery shop over at Market Basket in Sandwich, which just makes me happy.

The furnace guy was here yesterday, cleaned the furnace and the ductwork, everything is great. Considering that it was 39 degrees this morning, and the heat’s kicked in for the past few weeks, I’m glad.

Watched REVOLUTION last night. (Spoiler alert). They came out with a bang, and now we’re getting into the episodes that both reveal and set up the future complexities. I had some frustrations — I need to watch again the scene after Charlie killed two men and she’s trying to wrap her head around it. I feel like there was a missed opportunity — Miles could have made it clear that you hope you never “get used” to killing (it’s obvious that, although he kills when he has to, he doesn’t enjoy it); he could have dismissed her concerns; he could have pretended to dismiss her concerns as a combination of not really knowing how to deal with her and also as a bit of misplaced “tough love” because he knows she’ll have to do a lot more killing before this is done (besides, she killed someone or several someones in the first episode when she and her friends came to help him in the Big Fight Scene in Episode 1. It’s not her first kill, although it’s the first of this type of kill). Instead, it didn’t really commit to any of the above. The actors had to work too hard in that scene — the problem, I felt, was in the material and in the direction. It wasn’t layered; it was messy. That meant the actors had to work harder to try to pull it off, and the work showed, instead of it being organic. That’s not a failure on the actors’ parts — they did what they could with the material, and the writing needed to be both crisper and more layered, and the direction needed to be more specific in that scene.

Why does this moment bother me? Because it could have been a pivotal point of connection and understanding in the relationship between Charlie and Miles. The actors reached for it, but the material, in this case, didn’t give them the support it should have. You’ve got to hand it to Billy Burke — when he’s in a scene with someone, he’s totally there. A lesser actor would have hung his scene partner out to dry in order to look better, and he did not. Those are the actors you want on your project, the ones who give and receive in a scene, rather than take. Giancarlo Esposito had a lot of wonderful small moments in his scenes, too — a more insecure, self-involved actor would have used some of those moments to chew scenery or wipe the floor with his fellow actors. He doesn’t need to, and he’s far more effective doing what he’s doing. I can’t wait until Esposito and Burke have scenes together. As a writer, while it’s frustrating to see that flawed material in something that’s on network (but not a surprise), it’s also interesting to break it down and figure out what could have made the material stronger, and yet still fit into the constraints of the production (the need for scenes to be truncated for commercial breaks). As someone who worked so closely with actors for so many years, watching performances grow and change night-to-night, show-to-show, sometimes on a daily basis, I feel for the actors, and I’m always fascinated by the development of material.

So, why am I going on and on about beats and scenes in a television series that, truly, has nothing to do with me? That whole dissection experience made me a little resentful that I’m not even included in a rehearsal for my play’s reading on Friday, and that the director hasn’t even spoken to me about the material. If I was in the rehearsal room and heard the actors speak the words, I could make tweaks for it to flow more naturally before the performance, which is going to make everyone look better. I don’t believe every word is gold simply because it drips from my pen. I believe in making the words better. Part of that is being in the rehearsal process. Because I will not be pleased if the director or actors take it on themselves to change lines without discussing it with me first (there’s a reason Dramatists Guild contracts don’t allow that). There’s a difference between riffing and improvising off material and just paraphrasing or changing it. The first two, in the right hands, can take the material to the next level. The third and fourth, almost all the time, takes all the air out of material. That would be a sign of both huge ego and huge disrespect on their parts, none of which are unusual in this business. What will really kill the material if the actors take a lot of self-involved pauses you could drive trucks through. It’s written to a very specific rhythm, the rapid-fire 1940s noir patter. Friday will be interesting. It could be amazing, or it could be a disaster. Either way, I know I’ll be taking a lot of notes, and subjecting myself and the pages to the same type of dissection that I do above.

On a happier note, I was thrilled that Damian Lewis won the Emmy for HOMELAND. In my opinion, he’s one of the top actors out there, again, with a lot of quiet, detailed work, and it’s about time he got recognition.

Alright, enough musing — time to get back to the pages and get my own creative work done. I’ve got a book to finish.

Devon

Mon. Sept. 24: The Autumnal Roll!

Monday, September 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy, busy, busy weekend. I was on the road, supposed to have internet, but THAT didn’t work out! I felt guilty about my tarot students, but, for the rest of my work, it was fine. I’d cleared a lot of work off my desk before I headed out.

The most important thing was that I finished the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and got them back to my editor a couple of days early. The cover (again by the amazing PJ Friel) is set to be ready on October 5, and once it’s approved by the publisher, I’ll post it. The latest word I have on the DEATH SPARKLES anthology (in which you’ll meet one of my favorite new characters, Fiona Steele), is that it will release in October.

I’m working away on CRAVE THE HUNT, and the new book (which is still in too delicate a state to really discuss) is flying out of my fingers. I’m ready to do my first chapters for the mystery I’m using as one of my sustainability projects, and ready to do the opening on the aviation book. I’m putting together the article due Oct. 1 (I need to get it out by Friday, before I hit the road again on Saturday), and this morning, I have a write-up to do for Confidential Job #1.

On Friday morning, I had to get out the door early and drive to CT. The traffic was dreadful — for some reason, we were stuck around Fall River for nearly an hour, and then it was bad again around Stratford. Got there, exhausted. Since I didn’t have an internet connection, I concentrated on writing and on the materials for Confidential Job #1 (which were really good). To bed early, up early, more writing, back on the road later that day, and home.

Saturday was the Equinox, and I managed to get back in time to do my sunset ceremony.

Sunday, couldn’t get in to the forum where I’m teaching for some reason, which meant I couldn’t catch up with the tarot students — must to that today. However, I managed to watch the last lectures for both classes and take the quizzes and do my short weekly paper (whew). Also went to Country Gardens to pick up a few things so I can put the garden to bed for the winter.

The Sustainability Course is half-way through (we start Week 5 this week), those of the original 26,000 who are still there. Of the 70,000 in the World History class, we seem to be hanging in there. The Greek and Roman Mythology class, taught by Dr. Peter Struck of the University of Pennsylvania, starts today, and there are 50,000 of us in the class!

I have a LOT of writing to do this week. Tomorrow night’s meeting was cancelled, thank goodness, but I have a meeting on Thursday directly after yoga — I’ll have to make sure I bolt a quick snack between yoga and the meeting. Friday night, my one-act is going to be read at the Play With Your Food Festival at Tilden Arts Center, and Saturday, I hit the road again — I’m working in CT next week. Busy, busy, and keeping on top of the articles and the writing deadlines and the coursework, and I still have some manuscripts to read for that acquaintance’s submission overflow (I rarely say “never”, but in this case, I’ll say “not again without major payment”).

Costume Imp is coming down late in October, I’ve got to settle a few days for Fast & Fun Workshops and finalize the information for the Playwrighting Class, so that the application can go up.

One word at a time – -that’s how it all gets done!

The guy’s here to clean the furnace this morning, and then I have to pick up/drop off some books at a couple of the local libraries. Other than that, it’s a day of being chained to the desk (but loving it).

Did you have a good Autumnal Equinox? I’m so grateful for the many good things in my life!

Devon

Fri. Sept. 21, 2012: Creative Roll

Friday, September 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I had such a good writing day — which is good, because the next couple of days are busy/crazy/all over the place.

Finished this round of edits for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and sent them to my editor. I’m feeling much better about the book, overall.

Then, wrote nearly 5K on another piece that had been bugging me so much that my yoga teacher noticed how quiet I was in class! The piece would not let me go, and I’m very excited about it. Far too soon to talk about it — it’s at that really delicate stage, and I don’t want to derail it by discussing it too soon. But it feels REALLY good. More humor than I expected, and lots of adventure.

Lots of writing to do this weekend, especially on CRAVE THE HUNT, and finishing up what needs to be finished for my classes.

Have a great weekend, all, and a great Autumnal Equinox tomorrow. I love being on a creative roll!

Devon

Published in: on September 21, 2012 at 8:04 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Sept. 20, 2012: Shhh. . .Writing . . .

I’m at that really delicate stage where the words are burning from the brain to the page and interruptions are not acceptable . . .

Published in: on September 20, 2012 at 10:11 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. Sept. 19, 2012: New Article Up & Television Musings

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and warm

In spite of the migraine, I had a very good day of edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I’m starting to feel good about the book and how it sets up the rest of the series, as well as standing on its own.

Also did some notes to shut up a character who’s been yapping at me the past few days, in a built world. I’ll be writing from a male POV, I think, this time,which will be fun.

Got work done on the opening of the marine life mystery.

Re-sent some invoices — I want to wind up completely with one client and be done, buh-bye, and the other wants more work from me, but the payments have to be on time, or it simply won’t happen.

My article on “The Renaissance Writer” is up on WOW-Women on Writing here. It was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Didn’t get enough housecleaning done yesterday, so I’ll have to make up for it today.

Planning on staying in today, writing, writing, writing.

Forgot to mention that I watched the pilot of REVOLUTION on Monday. I hadn’t particularly liked the promos –to me, they came across as jumping on THE HUNGER GAMES bandwagon. But Billy Burke has one of the leads, and I like his work (although I had no idea he was involved in the TWILIGHT franchise, because I haven’t bothered with the movies). I also wanted to see Giancarlo Esposito’s work — I liked him a lot in both BREAKING BAD and ONCE UPON A TIME.

I was pleasantly surprised. I LOVE the production design — sets, costumes, et al. The attention to detail is great. Again, though, I’m glad not to be doing wardrobe on it, because they’re outside a lot! Continuity with dirt is not easy! It uses archetypes from the Hero’s Journey nicely, although I hope they deal with the fact that one of the lead characters is a young woman. The heroine’s journey is, by nature, different. The writing was much better than I expected, and I thought the actors committed fully in a really wonderful way. One of the reasons I like Billy Burke’s work so much is that he is such an active listener. He is unafraid of stillness, and he listens completely and responds to what is actually said and done in the moment. He does that in interviews, too — there’s never a sense that he’s skipping ahead, thinking about what HE will say next. He’s very much a partner in whatever scene he’s in, not trying to take all the focus with the underlying, “Look at ME!” that so many actors (especially in leading TV roles) insist on. I’m interested in seeing how the show evolves.
However, if it starts messing with the audience just to mess with them, the way I felt LOST often did — I’m outta there.

Going back to the active listening and partnership in a scene, I’m already struggling to continue watching a different show that an acquaintance of mine is on. I like HIS work a lot, and he’s good at the give-and-take, but he’s a second lead and the two lead actors are very much in the “I’m the show’s star” mode in a way I feel hurts the overall show. Sometimes it’s the number of close-ups; sometimes it’s screen time; sometimes it’s not letting one of the other actors have a moment that makes more logical and organic sense. I continue to watch because my acquaintance and I dissect every episode after, in terms of writing and character development, and I’m loyal to him; but I’m finding it more and more difficult to watch.

Okay, I need to get back to the page and get a bunch of other things done today, too. We had a bad storm last night — we didn’t have too much damage, other than overwhelmed plants.

Back to work!

Devon

Tues. Sept. 18, 2012: Day 2 of the Migraine & No Time To Rest

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto DIRECT
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Day 2 of the Migraine. Not loving it.

Good day yesterday, especially on the edits for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I’m finding my groove, and, if I can keep it up, I can get them done on time. Spun the Marine Life mystery a bit; I feel I’ll be able to write my way into it pretty soon. Worked with tarot students. Watched the first two lectures for the Sustainability Course. Climate change — another depressing week! Watched the first hour of lectures from the History of the World Since 1300 and took the quiz at the end of each segment — too bad we’re not getting certified in that one, because I’m getting them all right! 😉 We’re going to have papers due once every two weeks in that class, and only 750 words, but they’re argumentative essays, so that will be an interesting challenge.

Went to the library; returned books, got out some more. Reading David McCullough’s THE GREATER JOURNEY: AMERICANS IN PARIS, which is wonderful.

Worked out. Needed it.

We’re going to have quite a storm today, so I’m going to go to the store early and be tucked back in before it starts. We still have lots of green tomatoes, but the stalks aren’t doing well. The Silvery Fir tomatoes had beautiful foliage, but the tomatoes themselves aren’t doing as well as the Principa Borghese tomatoes

Better get a move on things — lots to do, and limited time (so what else is new?)

And STILL waiting for payment from those clients!

Devon

Mon. Sept. 17: Classes, Writing, Cleaning

Monday, September 17, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. I didn’t get as far in either the writing or the editing as I hoped, so I have to buckle down this week, because OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK has to go back to my editor by the end of the week. I haven’t fully let myself drop back into that world, which is slowing down these edits and the work on CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to get my act together on both of those NOW. I don’t have time to wait for the Muse to show up — I’m on deadline. Thank goodness for outlines, or I’d really be lost.

Lost far too much of Friday dealing with official paperwork that had to go out on Friday, but it had to be done; it just took longer than I would have liked. Finished washing and rehanging the living room drapes, washed and switched out the summer chair covers for winter ones, started on the fall decorating. This week, I have to spend some time in the basement every day, moving boxes so that the furnace guy can get to all the duct work when he shows up next Monday.

Worked with my students. Prepped for upcoming classes. Worked on some of the small workbooks that will be released later this fall. A friend told about a job she heard about at one of the local papers — I shot off a resume and cover letter.

I took my quizzes in the Sustainability Course, wrote my Tragedy of the Commons short paper for the week on beachgoers at Craigville being pigs and not cleaning up after themselves (actually, that’s an insult to pigs). I did the outline for the Flood/Drought rebalance and worked on the fiction project for the class.

The book needs more percolation time, so I didn’t do a traditional outline for it. I did more of a teaser that gives elements of plot, character, and machination, but it’s definitely more of an elongated blurb to get people interested than an outline. I’ll go back and do the Writer’s Rough once I’ve drafted the first three chapters.

I’m also realizing how much I don’t know about the daily routine at the Marine Life Center, and how many questions I’ll have to ask. But I need to write my way in for a bit, so I know what I need to ask. I think I’ll see if I can just shadow them all for a day at the Center to really get the details of what everybody does. That will help in the articles I write for them AND the book.

My fictional marine life center is very different from the real one, but I need to use the foundation of their day as a jumping off point.

The History of the World Since 1300 class, taught by Jeremy Adelman of Princeton University, starts today. We’ve been yapping in the discussion forums, and I think it will be a fun course. The writing assignments seem to be all about argumentative essays — that’ll be a stretch (although I seem to be naturally argumentative in some cases).

Ducked out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon to join a friend listening to some jazz up in Hyannis. I love the mix of people of all ages that show up to play there, from teenagers to those who have been playing for decades. The musicians are all quite good. The singers are often hit-and-miss. It’s one thing to use something like this to work on your pieces (as the musicians do). It’s another to get up there for your own ego, do the same pieces, and not even attempt to improve from session to session or learn from what wasn’t working (as some of the singers do). There are singers who are good, who understand tones and sharps and flats and breath, and who you can hear grow. Some of them, though . . .But then, I’m spoiled – I worked on Broadway musicals. I expect not only a high level of quality to reach my ears, I expect the people singing to always strive to be better.

Already getting the interview quotes I need for the next article — looking forward to getting that done and out ahead of time.

I have to go “remind” a couple of clients they still owe me money, and I need to get back to the edits. Juggling two classes with all the other stuff this week should be interesting — there’s no room for me to slack off!

I still have to upload the promised photos from Martha’s Vineyard — will have to get that done this week, too!

Devon

Fri. Sept. 14, 2012: Writing, Washing, and 7 Things

Friday, September 14, 2012
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I got out a slew of interview requests out for my next article, and I’m also getting responses from authors I’m interviewing for BIBLIO PARADISE over the next few weeks. I pitched for a job that sounds like a lot of fun, although they want someone onsite and I need to telecommute. So, we’ll see. Heard from a dear friend in the UK — hoping she can visit this fall.

Yoga was great yesterday. Helped enormously, on many levels. I wish I could work my schedule (and my finances) so I could take class three times a week, instead of one. Even daily practice as home isn’t as helpful as being in class.

I’m starting the fall cleaning. I’m doing the heavy velour drapes in the living room. They can’t go into the washing machine, because it’s a top load, and the agitator would chew them to pieces. So I wash and rinse them in the bathtub and then set them out on the deck to dry in the sun, with a quick fluff in the dryer. They’re so big and bulky, I can only do one per day. I did one yesterday, doing one today, will do one tomorrow. Washed the yoga mat yesterday, too, and had it dry in the sun. Always smells so nice when I do that!

Also, this morning, I’ve got blankets and chair covers to wash — again, from the living room. I’m working room by room. Switching out the summer covers, washing them, pulling out the cozy fleece covers.

Mermaid Ball wrap-up meeting was good last night, and then we went out to dinner at Lindsay’s, which was a lot of fun.

I’ve got errands to run later, including the most important — getting in cat food. We’re very low in that respect.

Most of the weekend will be focused on writing. I have a lot to get done, and the only way to do it is to keep the butt in the chair and DO it. And finish up the week’s work for the Sustainability Course — the Tragedy of the Commons theory is quite discouraging. Personally, I think Mars was once similar to Earth (with adjustments for being closer to the sun and all), and they overused the resources and that’s why it’s in the state it’s in. We’re probably going down the same path. I love watching what little Curiosity Rover is up to, dashing around up there and taking photographs.

My pal Debra over on Pendrifter gave me the “Seven Things About Me” Award. Thank you!

So here they are:

1. I can’t swim (and I live on Cape Cod)!

2. I will probably never find my Mowing Zen.

3. I do yoga every day.

4. I work with tarot cards.

5. I used to work on Broadway and on set in wardrobe (I’m a recovering wardrobian).

6. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be part of the National Marine Life Center.

7. Moving to Cape Cod was one of the best choices of my life.

Rules:
Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
List 7 Things about yourself. Can be anything you want.
Nominate 7 other people.
Enjoy!

I nominate:
Lori Widmer, Words on the Page
Diane Parkin, Tales from Baggins Bottom
Lara, Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom
Chad, Soundtrack of a Life
Nina Benneton, Romance With a Dose of Humor
KT Wagner, Northern Lights Gothic
Suzanne Purvis, Passions and Pursuits

Enjoy!

Back to the page and the washing machines for me!

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 13, 2012: Searching For Flow in My Own Work

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Day before Dark of the Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday just got away from me. I started taking care of stuff on the internet before blogging, and we all know where that leads! Worked with students. Took down the previous individual workshop pages. The info for the Falmouth workshops starting next week are here.

I’ll have some other pages up soon, talking about the upcoming Fast & Fun workshops, and I’m almost ready to upload the information for the playwrighting workshop and get the application uploaded. That’s going to be a highly competitive class to get into, and mix reading and writing. Should be a ton of fun for those who get in, though.

Went in to Cape Mac to find out how to upgrade my operating system. Brandy, you’re right — I can’t get all the way up to Mountain Lion. My trackpad won’t support it. But the guy is going to upgrade me to Snow Leopard and give MacGeorge a good, thorough scour so I can still use it for about another year, when Snow Leopard will no longer be supported. That gives me a year to put aside money, a bit at a time, to buy a new computer. I’m not happy about this — I wanted to keep this one for three or four more years, and I don’t like that I’m being FORCED to purchase a new one, because I won’t be able to get online and do my work if I don’t. But the fact that they can work it so I have a year instead of say, a week, to get together the money for a new system is a relief.

So, in the next week or two, I’ll be offline for a day or two while I get all that done. So this weekend, I have to push very hard on deadlines.

Still chasing down $$$ and getting sick of it. I’m trying to let go of the anger of the job that broke down to $8 per week — hey, I said no, move on already — but after working for several years for this company, they should be offering me more money, not less. Another editor asked for more article pitches — honey, when you pay me the outstanding money you owe me, I’ll be happy to, but I’m not writing one more word for your publication until you cough up what’s past due. And waiting for another check on a project that was invoiced several weeks ago — I put in a second request.

Working on my wrap-up/suggestion package for this afternoon’s Mermaid Ball meeting. Didn’t get enough of my own writing or editing done, so have to address that over the next few days.

Helping someone I barely know out by reading an overflow of submissions and remember why I don’t do this anymore, and why I charge a good bit of money to critique. The lack of quality on these submissions is appalling. Makes me even prouder of my graduated students, though — no wonder they’re placing their work, it’s good!

The Sustainability Course is depressing this week — we’re discussing the Tragedy of the Commons, where one’s individual actions might not seem to make a big change, but collectively, they mean we’re screwed. The poor professor — not easy to deal with 26,000 disheartened students! 😉 I’m sure we’re not all blue about this week’s information, but those of us who are are being vocal about it. Have to finish the outlines today for both my projects for that class.

Gearing up for the World History Class that starts next week (70,000 strong) and the Greek/Roman Mythology course that starts the week after. No idea how many people are in the latter, but the instructor’s welcome was very funny, and we’ll be reading THE ODYSSEY as our first book. Haven’t read that since high school — should be interesting to revisit it.

Off to yoga, and then I’ve got to hunker down and really get a lot of work done today. I haven’t felt well the past few days, but too bad for me — time to get things done!

Devon