Mon. Dec. 31, 2012: New Year’s Eve & Pens are Hopping!

IMG_0784
Iris investigates the centerpiece, a gift from Lori! Thanks!

Monday, December 31, 2012
Waning Moon
New Year’s Eve

I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s!

Better hurry and download the free Jain Lazarus tale, “First Feet” — it’s only available until January 2!

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, wrote a lot on Friday. Worked up the rough of my wacky proposal for the agent. I love it. I let it rest over the weekend, and will tweak it over the next few days to send to her later this week. Ran errands on Saturday, and did a little raking, since the storm was coming. Worked on getting out party invites all weekend.

We got about 4 inches of snow on Saturday night — not bad, considering. Did some party planning, did some cleaning up and re-arranging. Was highly irritated at the snow plow guy. As usual, he shoved snow INTO everyone’s driveways. To a point, that’s understandable, but he left a boulder-sized snowball in the elderly neighbor’s driveway. There’s no reason he couldn’t have pushed it another foot out of the way, except this guy was either inexperienced, incompetent, a dickhead, or a combination. I went over to help the neighbor.

Got my own driveway and walkway shovelled — it wasn’t too bad, except for the stuff shoved into the driveway by the plow. AND the fact that the plow destroyed the whole bottom of the front yard — again, it’s marked, there’s no reason he couldn’t have paid attention and stayed in the road. If the boulders hadn’t been there protecting the rest of the yard, he would have torn it up halfway to the house. Unacceptable. Yes, I took photos, and yes, I will be making noise to the town!

It looks really pretty, though, except for the damaged area.

Found Rosemary Edghill’s SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER, the first Bast mystery, and re-read it. Now I have the whole set to lend to Costume Imp when he comes up in spring. I have the materials prepped for tonight’s ritual, for tomorrow morning’s ritual, have to pick up a few things for the NYDay breakfast. I’m doing laundry (because I have this thing about going into the New Year with clean clothes), and will vaccuum and mop this afternoon. Changed all the beds this morning.

We lit a fire in the fireplace last night, the first successful attempt since we moved it. It was wonderful! So much fun, worked so well. We’ll be doing that a lot more all winter.

I’m still having fun with the Twelfth Night stories, although I’m a bit behind. The story on the Five Gold Rings was more complicated than I expected. Not longer – just more complicated.

I realized the idea I’ve been playing with for a few days is actually an Ivy de le Livre piece (she’s my horse-playng tarot reader character) that is BEFORE the pieces I’ve been working on. That opens all kinds of exciting possibilities.

Bill Moyers interviewed a fascinating writer named Junot Diaz — now I’m eager to read his books. What a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent man.

The president of the Writers’ Center shot me a few ideas, and I shot back a response this morning. This year will be exciting!

I’m very excited that ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is circulating in the CLAMS library network! So, if you’re on Cape Cod — you can check it out of the library. What fun!

Lots to do to prep for the New Year. Have a safe and joyful holiday!

Stop by Biblio Paradise tomorrow — we’re starting the year with Shirley Wells’s latest! AND, stop by Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions tomorrow, where we start working on our New Year’s goals!

Devon

Advertisements

Fri. Dec. 28, 2012: New Ideas & Proposals

IMG_0715
I know I posted this picture of Tessa, the computer, and the Dragons bumper sticker, but it cracks me up, so I’m using it again!

Friday, December 28, 2012
Full Moon
Sunny and cold

We’re supposed to get snow tonight. I’d like a little white, but not too much!

I’m also really, really, REALLY excited because ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, by Annabel Aidan, is in circulation in the CLAMS network library system!

I was FINALLY able to reset my Facebook password and get back into my Devon Ellington page. The address for the page is here.

With in that Devon Ellington faction, I set up a Jain Lazarus Adventures page. Check it out here.

I still have all kinds of issues with Facebook, but it’s a promotional tool I need to learn how to utilize properly.

So, come on, sign up for those two workshops in January, “When Words Align” and “Sensory Perceptions”. Get your manuscript back on track. Learn how to layer in sensory detail. Come play with us!

So, last night’s dreams are for March. It’s the third night, AKA third month, although today is the fourth DAY. I had two sets of dreams. One, I was reading a post-apocalyptic novel (which is better than being IN one, I guess), and the other dream fled as soon as Violet woke me up by hurling a fur ball.

Smallest cat, biggest furballs.

Yesterday, we picked up some ornaments on sale — mostly cardinals, which we wanted for the tree, and put them on. Also bought another Christmas cactus and a Cyclamen plant.

I wrote my three French hens story, and this morning, I started on the four calling birds one. I’m having a blast with these tales. I’m pretty sure they’re in the Ava Dunne voice.

I’m juggling three very different projects right now, with three distinct protagonists — all in first person. I tried third person for all of them, and it didn’t work for any of them, so, first person it is.

I’ve got to get out the party invites and the thank you notes today, and start uploading class materials. I’m still tweaking stuff for the When Words Align class, and I’ll be tweaking exercises all the way along, as it’s so much about individual projects. I also have to finish prepping stuff for the private students starting.

I sent out two LOIs and resumes yesterday to two very different organizations, both of which I’m panting to work with. I’m trying to create my own position within each — I’ve found a way to meet their current needs AND my wish to remain a freelancer, so let’s hope one or both of them take a chance on me.

Also working on the wacky proposal for my agent.

Lots to do and limited time, so I better get moving!

Devon

Two Nina Bell holiday shorts and a romantic/comedy/fantasy twist in Yuletide myths. Don’t miss them!

And get your FREE copy of the Jain Lazarus tie-in, “First Feet”, only available until January 2!

Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 28, 2012: New Ideas & Proposals  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thurs. Dec. 27, 2012: Storms and Oversleeping

IMG_0758

Thursday, December 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Third Day of Christmas

I talk about “Constant Improvement” over on The Writers Vineyard. Stop by and leave a comment!

What did you dream about last night? That will be February.

The storm woke me up at 4 AM. I fell asleep, overslept, and missed yoga! Felt like an idiot.

Yesterday was good. I got some work done, but not enough. Had a good time working on the Second Day of Christmas story, “Cooing”, and am working on the Third Day of Christmas story, “The Fleur De Lys Bakery”. Yes, the third day is about three French hens, and no, they don’t wind up in pastry! 😉

I’m pleasantly surprised by how funny these stories are! I’m having such fun writing them. Hopefully, next year, you’ll all have fun reading them!

Worked on materials for the upcoming classes and my private students. Finished MISTBORN and started the next book, THE WELL OF ASCENSION. Learning a lot from how Sanderson structures. His imagination is great, but so is his structure. Very helpful.

Came up with a totally wacky idea that I will meld into proposal form and pitch to my agent. If she doesn’t want it, I have a few ideas on where to send it.

HEX BREAKER’S only 99 cents as Solstice Publishing right now, so if you haven’t bought your copy — go get it!

And don’t forget the free download of the New Year’s tie-in story, “First Feet”. It’s only available until January 2. Excerpt and download here.

I’ve got to run some errands today, get the invitations out for the party, and the thank-yous written. Plus, work on student material and hustle a few more jobs for the first week of the New Year. I want to make a good dent in the proposal — if it sells, it’ll be a ton of fun to do.

I’m trying to take it a bit easy this week, because I know I have to hit the ground running with classes, private students, and articles. My brain needs a bit of a rest and time to recharge, which is why I’m doing uncontracted writing and only reading what I feel like reading for a few days!

Devon

Don’t forget to sign up for “When Words Align” to get your manuscript back on track (Jan. 2-9) and “Sensory Perceptions” to work on layering sensory detail into your work (Jan. 2 – Feb. 3). Registration closes Dec. 30!

Two short Nina Bell comic mysteries for the holidays, along with “Just Jump in and Fly”, a romantic/comic/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths.

Wed. December 26, 2012: Holiday Writing Blitz

IMG_0757

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Boxing Day
Second Day of Christmas

So what did you dream last night? That’s what January will be about!

My dreams were very confusing, between watching DR. WHO and reading most of Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN yesterday. Hopefully, the dream itself denotes creativity, not chaos!

I had a quiet Christmas Eve and Day. I’d offered to be on call for the Marine Life Center in case someone couldn’t come in, but didn’t hear from them, so I’m assuming they were covered.

I did some work on the Eve, wrapped packages, and wrote about 2700 words on the Dickensian Steampunk. This gives me the shape of it. Some of the characters are surprising me, in a good way. Now I can figure out where I want to go with it, and do a rough outline. I’m not yet sure where it fits in to the schedule, but I like what I’m doing with it, and where I’m going.

Worked on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. Didn’t realize, until I worked on them, how angry I am about a few things that happened last year. Full out fury and resentment. I’m glad I wrote what I did, but I’ll post something a lot more diplomatic! 😉 It helped to purge it and figure out what I can do differently and more positively next year, and made me realize I was right to cut ties with someone who’d been a major client last year, but whose business model and payment arrangements caused me a great deal of stress and pain. The client is not worth it. I am done. Although I prefer to transition between clients, easing out one as I take in new assignments, in practice, I find that I must take a leap and clear out the old in order to make room for the new, even when I don’t always know what that new is.

Dug out some of my old cookbooks that I hadn’t unpacked and re-acquainted myself with a lot of great stuff. Also, found some recipes I used to be very fond of and thought, “how could I have ever served THAT?”

Worked on the list and the menu for the Twelfth Night party. I have to design and start sending out invitations today.

Christmas Eve dinner was roast pork with a spice marinade, green beans in hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and corn. All good.

We open our presents on Christmas Eve — a wealth of books made me happy. The cats LOVE opening presents — they help! I was up with the burning bayberry candle until after 2 AM (it has to burn all the way out on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve — can’t be extinguished and re-lit). Fortunately, I had the new Juliet Blackwell to keep me entertained — and the cats.

Up early on the Day for stockings and pancakes. Spent most of the rainy day reading, playing with the cats, and cooking the turkey. Yup, roast turkey, cranberry dressing, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn for dinner. We were too full to eat the plum pudding.

Costume Imp gave me a Brandon Sanderson trilogy for Yule, and I read most of MISTBORN yesterday. Love how he creates magical systems, and the detail in his world-building. I can learn a lot from him.

Wrote the first of the Twelve Days stories, which will need to be retitled, but uses the partridge in a pear tree theme. It was supposed to be four pages, and wound up being eleven. But it’s fun. I’ve got about half way through the second story this morning, writing four pages, and I think it will be eight. Will go back to that, once I’ve posted here and prepped tomorrow’s post for Writers Vineyard.

Will see how much I can get done on my list, but only planning to work a half day today. I want to finish that book and get some more writing done!

Have the self-clean function on for the oven — it was time. But it makes the house smell AWFUL.

I’m clearing up my desk, prepping folders for 2013, and, generally, trying to catch up on admin work over the last few days. I let the admin slide terribly last year, and now I have to make up for it.

Don’t forget to sign up before December 30 for “When Words Align” to get your WIP or revision back on track, and “Sensory Perceptions”, for a month of learning how to layer sensory detail into your work, taking it to the next level.

Devon

“First Feet”, the Jain Lazarus New Year’s tie-in is available as a free download here until Jan. 2.

Two holiday Nina Bell tales available via Payloadz! Read excerpts and find buy links here.

Even though Christmas is past, you can still enjoy “Just Jump in and Fly”, a comic/romantic/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths here.

Monday, December 24, 2012: Christmas Eve & Plenty of Stirring (Bowls, Pots, etc.)

IMG_0738

Monday, December 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Christmas Eve
Sunny and cold

Merry Christmas! It’s a frosty morning here, but beautiful.

Billy Root’s got some info on the free Jain Lazarus holiday story now available — for a limited time. Go visit him here.

Busy, busy weekend. Lots of food and fun. Caught up with schoolwork on Saturday, finishing off my World History course. Jeremy Adelman, the professor, truly opened my eyes and got me looking at the world and how and why patterns appear and continue in new ways, and I’m grateful to him for that. This class will stay with me, support, and influence my work for years.

I’m behind in the Astronomy course, but will catch up this week. Since I’m auditing it, rather than going for certification, I’m not under the same kind of deadline pressure.

Decorating is done, food shopping is done, cards are done. There are a few e-cards that have to go out today, but the rest is done. I also have to wrap presents.

MURDER’S INTOLERANCE is coming along well. I have the new manuscript deadline for CRAVE THE HUNT, which means that goes back into the roster as of January 1. I’m prepping the classes and the private student segments for the beginning of the year, and working on the new brochure. I’m working on my questions for Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions — and getting some surprising answers.

The Twelve Days of Christmas stories are coming along — they are pretty funny. Kurt and Daisy, my two protagonists, are pretty wacky. I am, however, glad I didn’t put the pressure on myself to write, revise, and upload them for THIS year — I think that would have taken the fun out of it. As it is, I can WRITE them over this year, then put them away, look at them over the summer, and offer them next year — which should be a ton of fun.

Got an idea for a pseudo-Dickensian steampunk — I’m making notes for it, so I can figure out how and when to add it to the queue.

I’m easing up on hustling work for the next couple of days, but by Thursday, I need to get back into the swing of it. I need substantially more dollars coming in for January than are currently booked. Part of that is extricating myself from some slow-paying and low-paying clients (a recurring theme for this year).

I have some articles to write over the next ten days — looking forward to that.

I’d offered to be the on-call backup for the Marine Life Center these next few days, but haven’t heard, so I’m assuming they’re covered.

The Solstice ceremony itself was lovely. I added in a remembrance for those in Newtown, CT.

I had to cut a whole section out of the post, because it overlapped too much with material from an upcoming article.

In any case, I intend to read a lot, write a lot, and cook a lot over the next few days.

I wish you a lovely, peaceful, and safe holiday!

Devon

Two Nina Bell comic mysteries available for the holidays! Excerpts and buy links here.

A romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths by Ava Dunne here!

Fri. Dec. 21, 2012: Yule

IMG_0742

Friday, December 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Yule — Winter Solstice
Rainy and cold

Happy Solstice! Longest night, shortest day of the year. I’m looking forward to this evening’s ceremony, but there’s a lot to do before hand.

Yesterday, I took the last two platters over the bridge. First stop — the National Marine Life Center. I got to take a peek at the two seal patients — they’re now in the same tank. Townsend is as curious as ever. And Major Margaret — who was so badly injured that we weren’t sure she was going to make it — is now lively and feisty. Popped right up when we came in, leapt up onto the platform to wiggle over, dived into the tank to get as close as possible, clearly stating, “Where’s my herring?!” When you think how she used to just lie in her dry holding pen for hours and not move, seeing her playful and curious and dancing around is just delightful. It made my week! If you’re interested in learning more about both of them, go over to the NMLC site — they even have a webcam for the duo!

I also met the group of Kemp’s Ridley turtles in the other big tank. They were cold-stunned, and are now recuperating in the hospital.

After that little sojourn, it was off to Plymouth, to get the car inspected, and deliver the cookie platter to them. They were pleased (prepping for their holiday party later that night). They’re always so good to us.

On the way back, it was a quick stop at the bookstore to pick up the last few gifts.

Paula, if I know someone has dietary restrictions (like gluten-free) or allergies, I’ll either make something different for them, or not give them food. I always have a cheat sheet or a tag that lets them know if anything has nuts in it, for instance. This year, nothing did, so no worries, but sometimes a cookie will use almond extract, or, last year, I did the chocolate chip banana walnut cookies, and I made sure people knew there were walnuts in there. However, I have no time or patience for the self-righteous who pretend to be on a regimen, declaring loudly during the holidays they are carb or sugar-free or whatever. They’re doing that to make themselves feel superior and people around them feel badly. On top of it, they’re going to make the choice not to stay strictly on it, or, if they do, they make a lot of noise so everyone knows what a martyr they are. If they’re serious about it, they do it well before the holidays, and people know and can adjust; if, for some reason, someone doesn’t know and hands them something they don’t eat right now, the gracious response is, “Thank you! Have a great holiday!” and then passing it on to someone who enjoys it, or serving it when people who aren’t on a fake diet show up at the house. There’s a way to handle it so no one feels hurt or insulted, and far too many choose not to do that. It’s more of an issue in places like New York and LA, where people do this kind of thing as a way to get attention rather than an actual lifestyle choice; here, even if people adjust their diets, they usually give themselves leeway a bit during the holidays and/or are gracious if someone doesn’t know. I mean, I’m gracious when I go to people’s houses and there’s stuff I can’t eat, like shrimp. I just avoid it. I don’t make big drama out of it so the hostess feels bad. I’m making a couple of gluten-free and/or full vegan things for the party in January, just to make sure there’s something for everyone.

Speaking of which, I started planning the party. The invites are going out on Monday, even though that’s Christmas Eve. Or maybe Sunday. I kept thinking Christmas Eve was Tuesday — obviously, I’m having a problem tracking my days!

Decent writing session this morning. That book is set right before Samhain, and I’m having a bit of trouble switching back and forth between the holidays. Also, this weekend, I want to work on my Twelve Days of Christmas stories — I know what I’m doing for the partridge in the pear tree, and for the ten lords a leaping — it’s the other ten pieces I have to figure out!

And I’m working on my goals, dreams, and resolutions to post on January 1.

Today, I have to get out the companion handbook for Flash 7 and get “First Feet” ready for the free download. I want to finish the cards (I’m up to “s”) and get them out, and tidy up a bit — do things like laundry. Tonight is the Solstice Ceremony, and this weekend, I want to focus on writing and catching up with schoolwork.

Have a lovely weekend!

Devon

Two holiday Nina Bell treats — comic mysteries for the holidays! And a romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths.

Join “When Words Align” from Jan. 2-9 to get your WIP or revision back on track.

“Sensory Perceptions” will give you tools to layer sensory detail into your work, raising it to a more engaging level, as you create six flash fiction pieces and one longer piece. Jan. 2-Feb. 3.

Thurs. Dec. 20: I Impersonate the Cookie Elf and Other Tales

IMG_0734
Advent Table

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was about packing and delivering more cookie platters. Yup, that was pretty much the entire day. Several libraries, the business center, the vet, the fire department, the dump, Country Gardens, The Writers Center, Long Pasture, etc. — all the places I spend a lot of time and where they’re always good to me. Everyone seemed really pleased.

Yes, the platters take time and energy, but it’s also a way of letting these people I deal with all year know that they matter.

Check out this article by Frank Mulligan on the National Marine Life Center — not only is it a good piece to get more attention to the Center, but it’s exceptionally well-written!

I spoke with my friend over at Long Pasture about partnering with the Marine Life Center on a few things in the coming year — he’s open to it. I think it would be tons of fun, and that way, all of us could utilize our membership lists and expand coverage.

Still haven’t finished the holiday cards!

The plan was to get the cards done today and take the last platters Over the Bridge tomorrow — however, the weather today is great, and tomorrow is supposed to be disgusting, so I got up early, baked the last batch of red velvet cupcakes, and will do it this afternoon. I did get some more of the decorating done yesterday, and am starting to clear away the boxes.

Yoga was great this morning. And I stopped at the beach on the way home.

Tomorrow’s Yule — the Winter Solstice. I’m excited — I’m looking forward to the ceremony.

Devon

Enjoy some Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays — two Nina Bell comic mysteries, and an Ava Dunne-penned romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide Myths. All under $2!

“When Words Align” — get your WIP or revision back on track in this week-long intensive, Jan. 2-9, 2013. Information and registration here.

“Sensory Perceptions” — take your writing to the next level, layering in sensory description, creating six flash fiction and one longer story from Jan. 2-Feb. 3, 2013. Information and Registration here.

Wed. December 19, 2012: Cookie platter deliveries

IMG_0732

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was about writing cards (I’m still not done), baking, and delivering cookie platters in the neighborhood. I tweaked the recipe for the lemon cookies, and now, it is AWESOME. It is still, however, a pain in the butt, because of the lemon-zesting. I found my oversize cheese grater is the best device to zest a large amount of lemons. And, although I’ve been desensitizing myself to my citrus allergy (for instance, I can now eat lemon cookies and have lemon dressing on my salad), handling large quantities of fresh lemons made my hands look like I’d dipped them in acid. Well, I had — citric acid!
Soothed them with a chamomile soak.

Frosted the red velvet cupcakes. This frosting recipe is a little too sweet, and I HATE using pastry bags. Especially when they decide to spring a leak in the center.

But it got done, and the neighborhood platters went out last night. Today, I’m prepping the larger circle of platters, and then, on Thursday and Friday, I’m taking the ones that go (oh, horrors) Over The Bridge.

Packages started coming in yesterday — including a lovely fresh wreath from LL Bean that friends in Kentucky sent. I hadn’t had a chance to get one since the work was done on the house (didn’t want to do any external decorating until that was done), so the timing was perfect. It is lovely.

We also took a night drive around the light sculptures in Sandwich, along Rt. 6A and through the middle of town. They are so lovely! My favorite is the guy with the book in front of the library, the pizza, and the huge sand dollar. Lovely!

Okay writing session this morning. I’m worried that I have too much narrative in this section. I need to write it, but may cut it and integrate it into dialogue in the revisions. However, it has to be written before it can be revised.

I also wished I had thought of it sooner — offering a free short story every day for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas — a comic something related to the holiday. Now, the First Day of Christmas is a week from today — but I don’t see how I can get it together fast enough. What I may do is WRITE the relevant tale on each of these twelve days, and offer them next year — that gives me time to revise them, do decent design work for the covers, and do a good job making them available next year. Each one will only be available for 24 hours. Maybe, the following year, I’ll sell them as a collection.

I already jotted a few notes on the first one, and have the opening lines!

Have to finish up the PDF for the Flash 7 class to get that out. I am seriously behind in my schoolwork — good thing I’m not going for certification in either of these classes!

Onward!

Devon

Enjoy the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays! Two holiday-themed Nina Bell comic mysteries, and a fantasy/comic/romantic twist on Yuletide myths!

“When Words Align” — Jan. 2-9. Get your WIP or revision back on track with focused, individualized exercises and critiques. More info and registration here.

“Sensory Perceptions” — this popular workshop is back ONCE in 2013, and it’s happening from January 2-February 3. Learn how to use the senses to boost your fiction to its highest level, creating six sense-driven short pieces, while layering sensory detail into a longer piece. More info and registration here.

Tuesday, Dec. 18: Baking Exhaustion & Sugar Overload

IMG_0726
All three can finally share the same chair

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Yup, I thought yesterday was December 15 -hence the mistake in the Blog Post title. I truly thought it was the 15th, not the 17th, which meant I missed a live video chat last night I wanted to attend. Fortunately, I wasn’t the presenter!

Yesterday I buckled down to holiday cards. My disorganization from last year bit me in the butt, because I spent more time hunting down changes of address than I spent on cards, and only made it through the J’s. That’s for domestic — all the overseas went out last week, thank goodness.

I also baked the molasses spice cookies I’d prepped on Sunday — three batches of them. They came out very well. I baked one batch of the lemon sugar cookies. They taste great, but the batch doesn’t make as many as I hoped, and I discovered it takes two lemons to create 1/3 of a cup of zest. So I’ll be buying more lemons today. The cookies are good, but they are a pain to prep, so this will probably be the only year I do them. Instead of two more batches of those, I have to do three.

This morning, I baked two batches of red velvet cupcakes. I’ll have to do at least one batch more. I also designed and printed the tags for the cookie platters. I don’t know what happened to the gift tags I’ve made in other years — disappeared into the Gift Tag Vortex, I guess. I combined what’s on the platter onto the tag, so I don’t have to prep the sheets of photographs.

The batter for red velvet cupcakes looks like blood — they’d be good for a Halloween party!

My hip flexors are giving me a lot of problems. I took valerian last night, to relax it enough to get some sleep, but I’m groggy this morning — which I shouldn’t be, from valerian. Too much raw cookie dough, probably — sugar crash.

Lousy first morning writing session, but I’ve got to get all this other stuff done, and I want to start moving the cookie platters out either later today or tomorrow. Anything with red velvet in it can’t sit around. I realized I need to yank some of the subplots from this book and save them for one further in the series. I can plant the seeds for those arcs now, but otherwise, too much gets too sprawly too fast.

I started planning the food for the Twelfth Night party — that’s not too far away, and I have to start thinking about invites, etc. But first, I need to get the cards and cookies out!

I’d love an extended nap, but that’s not on the agenda right now!

Pat, to answer your question about swapping out a revised piece for a contest entry — no, that’s not usually allowed. I’m trading on the relationship I have with this particular production company IF this draft is strong enough to land me a slot. What you send is what you’re judged on — if you get in, then, there is often a revision process. Before something is published, it’s going to get an edit (one hopes). But once it’s in the pipeline, you don’t get to swap it out. That’s where careful copy editing and proof-reading is so important. If a mistake hits someone in the pipeline on a bad day and that individual finds it particularly grating, you’re out. My revision for this play — should I land the slot — is more than just typos. I want to do a structural change, and hope that the seven pages it takes me to accomplish that will be allowed. I won’t know until mid-January, but I want to have the next draft in good shape, and then, if this draft gets me in, I’ll request the swap. If the draft doesn’t get me in, if I blew it, that’s on me, but at least I tried. I’ll still have a rewritten draft to submit elsewhere.

Back to baking. I may have to take a nap for an hour or so this afternoon.

Devon

Nibble on the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays! Two Nina Bell shorts (read excerpts here) and an Ava Dunne romantic comedy/fantasy twist on traditional Yuletide myths (read excerpt here).

When Words Align is a one-week intensive to get you back on track with either your WIP or your revision, January 2-9.

Sensory Perceptions teaches you, story-by-story to focus on each of the senses, while layering them into a longer piece. January 2-February 3.

Mon. Dec. 15, 2012: Holiday Prep

IMG_0715
Tessa helps

Monday, December 15, 2012
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

It’s snowing up in Maine, but all we have here is rain.

What can one say about those shootings in CT? Well, plenty, but it’s going in an article, so I won’t spout off here. It’s horrible, and my heart goes out to all those families.

I read the anthology AN APPLE FOR THE CREATURE over the weekend, and, eerily enough, Charlaine Harris’s opening story had to do with a school shooting. One of my students in the Flash 7 class also wrote a powerful piece about it.

Roofers finished on Saturday, before the bad weather hit. They did a wonderful job, and we’re all snug for winter. The dumpster removal guy is here now, so the dumpster will be gone shortly, which is great.I spent a lot of time in holiday preparations, baking, etc. There’s still a lot more to do, but the holiday cards are out, I’ve made a start on the domestic cards, which I hope to finish today.

Finished my play Saturday night and got it out just under the deadline. Not happy with it, but I had to try. I’m letting it sit for a few days, and, next weekend, will do a revision. If it gets into the festival, I’ll swap out the revised version for the one they have. But at least I met the deadline.

Flash 7 class wound up. I was pleased at the quality of the work. Emotionally, the students went for the jugular in the best possible way. I’m revising my own pieces from the class and getting them out this week. I want to get as much off my desk as possible before the holidays. I’ll be writing over the holidays, but I want it to be what I want to write, not what I have to write. I also have to finish getting the short holiday pieces up on Smashwords, and prep “First Feet” for its free download on the Solstice. Plus get out some more pitches and hustle a few gigs for the first of the year.

I’ve got two classes starting on January 2 — a week-long “When Words Align” to help those who are stuck in their manuscripts or revisions, and a full month of “Sensory Perceptions”. I’ve got a full quota of private students, for the first portion of the year, but have a few slots for project-specific students. I’m also pursuing some higher-paying regular gigs.

I need to restructure so I can get the novels stacked up completed and out the door — if they’re not ready to go out and earn their keep, they’re not doing any of us any good, and I’ve spent too much time for too little money on other people’s work this year.

Later in the week, I hope to finish my new brochure, and then do a big mailing, so people will take a look at it and book me after the holidays.

Onward!

Devon

Fri. Dec. 14: Roofers Still Here and Frost on the Ground

Friday, December 14, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Ended up spending most of the day out doing errands, which was productive, but left a lot of work to do here at home. Roofers still here. I’m hoping they will be done either today or Monday.

Wrote my overseas cards. Need two addresses, but the others will go out today, and then I’ll tackle the domestic ones — I want everything out this weekend. I have a couple of things I still want to get for my mom and the stocking stuffers, but, for the most part, the holiday shopping is done. I’ve got most of the food for Christmas Eve dinner, and have to get the turkey for the Day closer to it, because there’s no room for it in the fridge.

I’m going to get started on the baking today, too. I think I’ll do the toll house cookies today, the molasses spice tomorrow, the lemon Sunday, the cupcakes Monday, and then I can do/deliver the plates starting Monday afternoon or Tuesday.

Good morning’s writing session on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. It was hard to stop. I want to clear a few things off my desk and then spend some long days on it over the holidays.

Got a few things that must get done today, in addition to holiday preparations, and must catch up on the schoolwork. Also, want to spend some quality time with my students.

I’m feeling on a fairly even keel — I just wish I had more holiday spirit! Nothing’s wrong, but I’m not in the holiday mood I’m usually in at this point.

I am, however, looking forward to tomorrow’s Holly Walk at the Audubon Sanctuary. It’s one of my favorite events all year.

Devon

Don’t miss the Delectable Digital Delights — holiday shorts for your busy season! Two Nina Bell tales and one romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths!

Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 8:15 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Thurs. Dec. 13, 2012: Working along in the New Moon

Thursday, December 13, 2012
New Moon
Uranus Direct
Sunny and cold
y

Yesterday was a decent workday. Went to the post office to get stamps for the cards; got a few small gifts that still need to be mailed, made a library run for some of books I’d ordered. Made the certificates for the people who successfully completed the tarot workshop. Spent time with my students.

Writers Night Out was a lot of fun last night. We were at Uno’s, in Hyannis, the usual place. Food’s not fancy, but fine – in fact, the pizza was very good. We had a lively, laughing table (many of us the new board members), and ten people read from their work, which was good.

Home at a fairly early hour, unwound reading in bed.

Up early this morning to move the car, meditate, get my first 1K of the day in on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. I’m starting chapter five now, which means I need to sit down and do the outline for the whole book, or I’ll get derailed.

Helped my mom pack gifts for Germany. Sorted out the pumpkin seeds that have been drying from Samhain. One set from each pumpkin will be put away and planted in spring. I put aside some others to make pumpkin runes out of them — will have to get a nice Sharpie and some lacquer spray to do those.

Yoga was great this morning. Stopped at Craigville Beach on the way back — on Thursday mornings, coming back, it’s now my routine to take the road by the shore and stop for a few minutes at either Covell or Craigville Beach. I live on the Cape to be near the water — I plan to enjoy it whenever possible.

Must work with students and finish the play today, along with doing this week’s coursework and following up on some pitches. Also have to get the cards done and out. Roofers still here — they’re doing good work. Cats aren’t happy with the noise, but compared to the morons who worked on the building in NY, destroying more than they fixed, these guys are angels. They’re conscientious, know what they’re doing, give a damn, pleasant to be around, do quality work, and clean up after themselves.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t miss the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays — small stories with big laughs and ideas — two Nina Bell tales and a twist on Yuletide myths.

Wed. Dec. 12, 2012: Magic Day Starts with Frustration

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Dark Moon
Sunny and cool

12-12-12. Once in a lifetime, good day. Since the numbers add up to 9, the number of fulfillment, even better! 😉

But wordpress is working my LAST nerve today — hard to get into.

Yesterday was just a lost day. Total chaos. Not bad at all — I actually was in a pretty good mood for the day. Just couldn’t get much done. Got a little bit done with my students, got out a resume, some work done on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. Interacted with people who responded to the guest blog post, and did some marketing. Got some more decorating done. Worked on short stories.

When it was clear that I hit the point where I was a waste of food, I stopped. Rather than get frustrated, I figured I’d just roll with it.

I re-read two of Rosemary Edghill’s Bast mysteries, BOOK OF MOONS and THE BOWL OF NIGHT. I have SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER somewhere and have to find it and re-read that one, too. Loved these books now even more than when I originally read them. They speak so much to my life in New York City during those years (the years when the Nina Bell mysteries are set, actually). Yet, because I understand more and have more life experience, I enjoy both the memories and get a lot of the deeper references. I wish there were more books in the series, although I completely respect any writer’s decision to “be done” with a series or characters.

Today, the noise from the roofers is bothering me more than usual — probably because it’s right outside my office. I think I will take today to run errands. I have to get my overseas holiday cards written – they have to go out the door tomorrow. I got my online ordering done yesterday — not bad at all.

I’m going to spend some time with my students, and then get out of the house, while I still have at least one nerve intact! 😉

Devon Ellington

Check out the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays, featuring Nina Bell and, under the Ava Dunne name, Samantha Wright, in a romantic comedy/fantasy twist on familiar Yuletide myths.