Thurs. Jan. 31, 2013: Finally, A Decent Draft!

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Direct
Rainy and stormy

Jupiter actually went direct yesterday morning, thank goodness.

Worked on getting out audition notices for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL and revising the press release. My partner in press for the Marine Life Center has designed a gorgeous poster — as soon as everything’s finalized, I’ll reveal it.

Now, the play as to live up to the poster! 😉

Worked with an editing client, finished off the work for her. Had to run some errands, and then grabbed Yasmine Galenorn’s newest release, HAUNTED MOON. The fog was incredible — could barely see past the hood of the car.

Did some of my schoolwork (the Astrobiology, Philosophy, and Science Fiction courses all started this week).

Tore apart the second and third acts of the play, and, by late last night, had something I can live with, at least through auditions. What a relief!

My treat was then to stay up too late reading Yasmine’s new book!

I have to rewrite the other play in the next couple of days, one story has to go out today, and another has to be ready for release on Saturday. So I’ve got some long days ahead of me. And my agent and I are doing some brainstorming.

Christian, I do stop and smell the roses, and I grab moments of joy throughout the day. But when deadlines and opportunities loom, I’ve got to do what it takes to deliver. That was the key to surviving on Broadway: Step up or go home. And it’s no different in writing.

Devon

Are you an actor, based near Cape Cod? Come audition for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL. Dates and info here.

Last change to sign up for The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects”, Feb. 4-6. Breathe new life into old projects, or learn how to lay them to rest for good. Info here.

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Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 9:18 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Jan. 30, 2013: Moving Past Frustrations

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter direct
Cloudy and cold

Well, yesterday was a frustrating day, full of cleaning up messes that shouldn’t have been mine, interrupted writing time, and getting a knife in the back up to the hilt. Fortunately, I have a long reach, have removed the instrument of destruction, salved the wound, cleaned the weapon, and now I’m biding my time.

On a happier note, my editor suggested me for a gig. I contacted the person hiring, who’d filled all the slots, I made a flippant comment about keeping me in mind WHEN someone flaked, and he immediately responded that I was right, I should consider myself in as an alternate and part of the loop from Day 1! Getting hired because I’m a brat — I love it.

Also, back-and-forth with my wonderful agent on a couple of things, and more people signing up for the upcoming classes, and some possible new editing clients.

Unfortunately, I also got hit with a migraine in the middle of the day; however, stuff had to get done, so other than lying down for about 20 minutes, I had to push through. Nothing like feeling someone’s repeatedly driving a pickaxe through your skull to sour the day.

I wrote a review this morning, and I have to clear a few things off my desk. I have to take my mom to the clinic later — it’s a regular appointment, but she fell yesterday, and I want to make sure she’s checked out for that, too, when she goes to the doctor on Friday.

Audition notices go out today — if you’re in the area, come on by! As far as writing goes, you can still sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” on Feb. 4-6 and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14 here.

Onward to meet the day!

Devon

Tues. Jan. 29, 2013: Breaking Down and Rebuilding

Tuesday, January 28, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

My guest over on A Biblio Paradise today is Margaret Fieland, talking about character development. She worked on this book and these characters in class a few years back — I’m happy it found a good home.

Brandy, to answer your question, I write in several places. I use the more ritualistic elements sometimes if I’m having trouble getting started. Most days, I just sit at the desk, power up the computer, and write. Or, if I’d rather start with a project I’m doing in longhand, I’ll write in longhand. I like my current office and my desk — in a corner, where I can look out the window at a pretty front yard. Sometimes, I write at the dining table or in a big chair in the living room. When the weather is nice, I like to write outside on the covered deck. I used to light a candle at the start of a writing session and extinguish it when I was done, but now, that I spend most of the day writing, and I’m switching between projects, that no longer serves me. I have objects around me that are meaningful and/or whimsical, so I can look up and feel good.

And, by the way, you ARE very creative. Creativity manifests in different ways. You’re creative in the way you live your life, create such a loving home for your family and the cats, the compassion you give to the world. Not a lot of people can do that.

Had to do a lot of admin work yesterday, and also do things like go grocery shopping, load in cat food, pick up books from the library. My library card always makes me feel rich — as long as I can use the library, borrow from the library, I feel an abundance in my life.

Some more good news: My play, “Seven of Swords”, has been accepted for the spring series of PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD, and will be given a staged reading on March 1. It’s much darker than the piece I’m writing for the Marine Life Center –and needs a rewrite done this week.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by my deadlines. I have a story that has to go out by Thursday, one that has to release on Friday (or Saturday — I just realized Imbolc is Saturday, not Friday), the Marine Life play finished today, and the other play revised by the weekend. At the same time, I’m grateful for the feast of opportunities.

Two more assignments arrived from Confidential Job #1 yesterday, and they look AWESOME. I can’t wait to dig into them. And one of my editors picked this week (of course) to send me an extra assignment that needs to be turned around in the next few days. I love that he pitches me extra work whenever he can, it’s again — part of the feast.

This is where the challenge comes in. When you’re presented with opportunities in your chosen profession, you have to step up or lose them. Those who step up advance; those who don’t — don’t. It’s not supposed to be easy.

Got the second act of MURDER SEALS THE DEAL in a much better place, which meant ripping apart the third act, and then realizing that, while I’d put in some good red herrings for the audience, I’d never given them the clue to the real murderer. That’s not fair — the audience has to have a fair shot at figuring out who did it and why. I’ve dropped enough clues about the “why”, but the who isn’t hidden in plain sight enough. No matter how witty it is, unless it’s structurally satisfying and fair to the audience, the piece will fail. So, that’s my main focus for the day.

Better get back to it.

Devon

You can still sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6 here.
Bring in up to 5 projects you’ve put aside, and we’ll figure out which ones are viable, and which ones need to be laid to rest permanently in a way to let you move forward with your work. Registration closes on February 2.

Mon. Jan. 28, 2013: Gearing Up for A Busy Week

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Iris enjoys a winter nap

Monday, January 28, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. Have to put the finishing touches on this draft of the play today.

Allowed myself to bask in the praise from a magazine editor who liked a submission (although she didn’t take this one, too many paranormal elements), but loved the writing, the pacing, the characters, etc., and asked to see whatever I do next in the genre. So I’m doing it! 😉 Also allowed myself to bask in the praise from a Major NY agent, who saw an article I wrote (the one for WOW) and shot me an email to tell me it was a well-written piece. Baby steps in the right direction!

I felt very burned out, so took a lot of time this weekend to refill the creative well, in this case, by reading.

Read Louise Penny’s STILL LIFE, her first Armand Gamache mystery. She is the only contemporary writer I can think of who can pull off third person omniscient, because she glides from head to head, giving you time in the neutral space between the characters, instead of head-hopping. There are plenty of writers — many in chick lit, romance, and cozy mystery — who try to do this and fail miserably. But Penny is such a beautifully nuanced writer that she can pull it off. Once I read STILL LIFE, I went back and re-read A TRICK OF THE LIGHT, the first of hers I read, released in 2011, and still one of my favorite books. Just beautifully done.

I also read THE BOOKMAN’S WAKE, by John Dunning, and liked it a lot. As someone who teeters on the edge of bibliophilia and could easily tip into bibliomania, the details about the book business in his series fascinates me.

I read a book I promised to review for a blog tour — liked it, will write it up today, and started re-reading both Julia Cameron’s THE SOUND OF PAPER and Starhawk’s THE SPIRAL DANCE. I have a lot of problems with many of Julia Cameron’s tenets, although I think her book THE RIGHT TO WRITE is her best. I agree with her Artist Dates — I think they’re vital. I disagree with the Morning Pages — for me, my first writing needs to be on my Primary Project, not whatever’s on my mind, because that is when my creative time is most fertile. If I do Morning Pages, I’ve used that time for something akin to journal-keeping, and lost my best creative time. But they work for a lot of people, and more power to them. And I’m glad she emphasizes the need to show up at the page every day, whether one feels like it or not.

It will be interesting to re-read Starhawk’s work from this perspective, rather than when I first read her books in the mid-1990s. I’m looking forward to it.

Worked with students. Finished up work with one editing client and have the rest who took advantage of the editing special to do this week. The special is over, and rates are back to normal. Doing some more prep work on the February classes. “Sensory Perceptions” finishes this week. I’ve got a couple of articles I want to pitch, two short stories to prep — one for release on February 1 (the next Samantha Wright piece) and one to send to a submission call.

I want to do some more work on the play before I send it to the actors already cast, and we have to set up auditions for the three remaining roles.

Lots to do, so I better get to work!

Devon

Don’t forget to breathe new life into old projects during “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” Feb. 4-6, and transform journal entries into viable fiction in “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14. Information and registration here.

Fri. Jan. 25, 2013: Venues & Meetings & Article, Now Writing

Friday, January 25, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busy, but good. Headed over the bridge, had a great meeting at the play’s venue. Details should be hammered out later today, and then, off we go!

We had lunch at the venue, after, which was wonderful, and then back to the Center for a meeting, which also went well. Got home by dinner time, exhausted.

I’d worked a bit with students in the morning, and on my own writing, but that was kind of it for the day!

Am feeling a little under the weather this morning, but hopefully, I will rally.

“Impressing the Gatekeepers” is up over on WOW-Women on Writing, so check it out. The article came out well, and I’ve sent thank-yous and links to those interviewed in it. It also means some money is coming in, which is a nice way to end the week!

Today is the last day of the Reduced-Rate Editing Special. Tomorrow, the rates go back up to normal. Information here.

And don’t forget the upcoming workshops, “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects”, Feb. 4-6, and “Journal into Fiction”, Feb. 11-14. Information and registration here.

I have to finish up work for an editing client today and fix the second act of the play. So I better get moving!

Devon

Published in: on January 25, 2013 at 8:17 am  Comments (7)  

Thurs. Jan. 24, 2013: The Brain Outstrips the Fingers

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Final two days for the Reduced Rate Editing Special. Details here. Sign up before the 25th — because if you email me on Sunday about it, I’m already back to my regular rates!

And don’t forget to sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” to breathe fresh life into old projects, or set them to rest in a way that does not siphon creative energy from new projects, and/or “Journal into Fiction”, where you learn how to transform journal entries into viable fiction. Information and registration here.

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard today, talking about “Other Art as Inspiration”, where I go into detail about the 3K I wrote on a short story yesterday, inspired by Edward Hopper’s painting, “New York Movie”. I wanted to push through last night and finish it, but I was written out and couldn’t even speak a coherent sentence, much less write one by evening. I hope to get some more work done on it this morning.

I think I’ve figured out how to fix the second act of the play, too. I was ending it at the wrong point. And I figured out how to drop some more clues to make it more fun for the audience.

Worked with students, went over material for the upcoming Topic Workbooks still to release. For a couple of them, I have to get permission for some quotes, or I’ll have to change the material used within — which is fine, either way. I just want to make sure everyone is properly credited, and all the permissions are in order.

I’ve got to focus this morning, because I have a meeting at the possible venue for the play over the bridge at noon, and then a development meeting at NMLC at 2. So I’ll be tied up most of the day. But it’ll be good for me to get out of the house for a bit!

Baked gingerbread for the meeting.

Have a great day, everyone!

Devon

Wed. Jan. 23, 2013: Difference Between “Aspiring” & “Professional” — Getting It DONE!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and c-c-c-old!

Yesterday wound up being a pretty decent writing day, thank goodness!

I’m still struggling with the play — it feels like I’m trying too hard. Probably because I am. I need to step back and let it be what it is, and trust that then I can tweak it where it needs to go.

Also got a review out to an editor, and an additional assignment from him. He always tosses me a good extra assignment when he can.

Got a terrific, personal letter from an editor at a major publication into which I’ve tried to break in for awhile. She loved the writing on the current piece, and, although she ultimately rejected it more for genre elements than anything else, wants to see the next one. So now I have to WRITE the next one with an eye to that particular pub! 😉 I’ve submitted there for several years — this is the first non-form letter I’ve gotten, so I’m in the right direction.

To answer a question about my definition of a creative energy vampire — it’s someone who intentionally creates conflict in order to siphon off creative energy for his/her own project/life by draining someone else’s energy, creating and maintaining a constant atmosphere of tension. I’d cut off most of them from my life, but every once in awhile, someone circles around, or slides in and then attaches like a leech and has to be removed.

Got some great work done on the Dickensian steampunk. Read over notes from a project I’d spun out for a bit, then decided to put aside in favor of another one, and now this one wants attention. There’s potential there, but I don’t see how it can be slotted in right now. Talked about two projects with my agent; tweaked the sample chapters on one and sent it out to her. She’s taking around one of the projects already, and we’ll decide the best route for the other. I’m also working on a third for her (non-fiction), but I need to have the manuscript complete before I can write the proposal in this particular case, so again, it has to be worked around the stuff that’s immediately paying the bills.

I need to do some more work on the piece that needs to release in Imbolc. Which is next week. The plot is shaping up nicely, but the tone is still a bit off.

After being ready to shriek with frustration at several aspiring writers who are whining about “not having time” to do an outline for a book (some whining that two weeks isn’t enough, others that a month isn’t enough), look at this example: A writer whose work I like and respect A LOT finished copy edits on his latest book and sent them off on Sunday night. Yesterday morning, when we all got on line to yap, he started the outline for his next book. By the end of the day, he was done (and celebrating with a nice, 15-year-old whiskey). This morning, he opens a new file and starts the damn book. THAT is a committed, professional writer.

Waiting to find out if there’s a meeting today to look at the venue for the play. In the meantime, I need to get back to the play itself.

You can still enter to win the giveaway of Cynthia Woolf’s book on A BIBLIO PARADISE here.

Devon

Only three more days until the Special Editing offer expires — get your first 30 pages (in Standard Manuscript Format only) line edited for only $75. Expires on January 25. Information here.

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 8:38 am  Comments (5)  
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Tues. Jan. 22, 2013: Shoveling Out from the White Stuff!

IMG_0799

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

My guest today on A Biblio Paradise is author Cynthia Woolf. Come join us, and drop a comment, entering to win a copy of her book!

We got about mid-range of the predicted snow overnight, about 4”. Not looking forward to shoveling later! I’m going to try using the “electric snow shovel” — something that’s halfway between a snowblower and a shovel, and usually just tosses it all into my face. Glad the morning’s meeting was canceled. The snow’s really pretty, though.

Didn’t get as much done as I would have liked yesterday. Not happy with the play — have to rip it apart and do some restructuring. Worked with students.

Most of the day was caught up in the Inauguration. I thought things ran smoothly, although it must have been a tough day for the Secret Service. The President’s speech was the one I wanted for the first term — so let’s see how much we can get done this term.

I need to disengage from someone who’s trying to be a creative energy vampire. I can’t have my creative energy siphoned off via frustration to fuel someone else’s work. Not acceptable.

Read the material for Confidential Job #1 yesterday — loved it. Will write it up and send it to my editor today. Most of my meetings were canceled, but I have one later tonight, and I have to prepare for that.

Only four more days left to book a reduced-rate editing slot — first 30 pages (Standard Manuscript Format ONLY) edited for $75. Go here for more information — offer ends on the 25th of January.

Don’t forget The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects Workshop from Feb. 4-6 and the Journal into Fiction Workshop from Feb. 11-14. Information on both here.

Happy Snow Day!

Devon

Mon. Jan. 21, 2013: Strong Opening Chapters; Presentation Dilemma

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Violet wraps up against the cold

Monday, January 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Day

Only 5 more days to sign up for a reduced-rate editing slot for your first 30 pages– ends January 25! Go here to get the details.

Don’t forget “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6, and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14. Both are great sources of both practicality and inspiration. Information and registration here.

Slots for A Biblio Paradise are booked through the end of April, so you all have some exciting reading coming up! A really interesting mix of writers.

Friday had its share of frustrations, especially with the Canon printer. An empty ink tank shouldn’t keep it from scanning something to go to the computer and/or reading a memory card, as long as I’m not asking it to print. Yet, it balked. This MX-860 worked beautifully the first day I got it, and has been trouble ever since. The shoddy plastic paper tray at the bottom causes all kinds of problems and the feeder rolls don’t work properly. The camera I bought a year or so ago to replace the the one that broke is a piece of crap. Auto-focus that doesn’t focus. Canon used to have top-of-the-line products, and now they’re just shoddy. Even worse, their customer service, which used to be great, is practically non-existent, and they don’t give a damn about their long-term customers. I’ve been rabidly pro-Canon for over twenty years. No more. I’m not interested in disposable products. I want something that WORKS, and works for more than a day or a week. I need value for money, reliability, and customer service. If Canon is no longer able to meet that need, I will find someone else who does. It won’t be HP, with whom I’ve also had frequent issues.

Finished the media kit for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and also did one for the Jain Lazarus series as a whole. Some of the material overlaps, but now I can choose which one to send where. I need to do an overall Devon Ellington kit, too. Media kits are crucial to landing good exposure. Mine are simple, but effective, and I’m learning how to get faster at developing them!

Worked on the play, but it needs more work — not satisfied with what I have. That will be my primary focus today.

However, I finished the sample chapters for the proposal and they sing! They are exactly what I was going for. You know how I unlocked it? I changed my protag’s last name. Who would have thought something so simple had so much impact? The original name I gave her made me feel like I was trying to hard, and the first few pages reflected that. I changed the name and everything else fell into place. I wrote and edited over 3K in two sittings. I sent the chapters off to Trusted Readers and they were over the moon about them. What a great response to early-draft chapters. Now, I’m worried that the market I’m aiming for in the proposal will want to dilute the verve in them. I’m going to run the whole thing past my agent and see what she says — she’s got the business acumen and understands the creative position, and, best of all, she tells me the truth.

I’ve got business/admin stuff to do today, more LOIs, work with students, work with an editing client, and my own school work.

I’m going to pause in whatever I’m doing to watch the inauguration — the poet, Richard Blanco, is someone I met at PEN events in New York several years ago. I’m a big fan of his work!

Devon

Fri. Jan. 18, 2013: Brainstorming & Writing

Friday, January 18, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

Woke up this morning thinking I’d left the exterior lights on — but it was snow! We had snow last night. That means I have to shovel! 😉

Busy day yesterday. I added a Topic Workbook page to the blog, and added in the new February workshops (The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects & Journal into Fiction). You can click on the links in the right-hand column of the blog page. I decided to offer a one-week special for editing services — I’ll line edit the first 30 pages of your manuscript for only $75 (closer to critique rate than line edit rate), but you have to book before the 25th of January. Please spread the word! I’ve got a limited number of slots, and they’re already starting to fill. Email fearlessinkworkshops at gmail dot com to request a slot, and there’s more information here. I am NOT going to accept manuscripts that are not in Standard Manuscript Format. No single spacing!

Worked with students, and created the individualized exercises through the month of February for the private students.

I wrote an absolutely blistering piece yesterday that was originally was supposed to be a guest blog article, but I realized was something else. It certainly didn’t fit in with my host’s site; I’m going to save the article for something else (and try to sell it), and write a happier, more upbeat post suited to the host’s blog.

I received the Anne Truitt journal DAYBOOK a few days ago. Now, I own copies of all three of the artist’s journals. Her writing feeds my soul. If you haven’t read her ruminations on life, art, and their connection, I highly recommend all three: DAYBOOK, TURN, and PROSPECT.

Sat down and wrote two thirds of the first act of MURDER SEALS THE DEAL, the new play. We read it out loud at the brainstorming/pre-production meeting, and my colleagues really enjoyed it. We brainstormed the rest of it — so now I can sit down and write it this weekend. We’re waiting on pins and needles for the production date –we can’t really do much more without it.

It was a really fun meeting — lots of lively conversation that helps me with both the play and the mystery series.

Busy, crazy day today, so I better get going!

Devon

Join us at the “Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6, with up to 5 projects, to decide into which you can breathe new life, and which need to be laid to rest, and from Feb. 11-15 for “Journal into Fiction”, where we explore ways to transform journal entries into viable fiction and learn journal-keeping techniques. More information and registration here.

Published in: on January 18, 2013 at 7:44 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Jan. 17, 2013: Real-Time Webinar Kerflamma & Excellent Student Writing

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Still feeling a little under the weather, although better than yesterday.

Yesterday was rather frustrating. I was supposed to attend a live webinar at 11 AM, so I focused and got a lot done earlier. Then, the GoToMeeting software wouldn’t let me in — even though I had it downloaded, was registered, had the ID and password. It kept saying, “error, try again later.” Um, isn’t the point of GoToMeeting to be there in REAL time? “Later” doesn’t cut it. The LIVE meeting was NOW. Support was no help, and someone on Twitter contacted me to supposedly help, but vanished after two Tweets that proved the company was “responsive”, although they resolved NOTHING.

I’ve never found GoToMeeting to be reliable, and I’m done with them. I just won’t sign up for anything anymore that’s presented on them. It was time wasted that could have been spent earning a living.

The conference materials had been sent out ahead of time, so I went through those. Some good information I can use as a jumping off point. However, there were too many ads for services BEFORE materials, and every few pages was another ad hawking services I became more and more convinced I didn’t want. Also, I felt some of the contributors/speakers were saying one thing, but doing another.

Regarding the questions on the SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSIONS SYSTEM ebook, I plan to have it up as long as it sells and earns its keep! Yes, please, spread the word to writing groups and more! I’m honored!

Did some work on a non-fiction book in the afternoon and some admin stuff; got out a few LOIs. Worked with students. Was blown away by the depth, beauty, and quality of the pieces in the Sensory Perceptions workshop. Writing like that is what makes teaching a class exciting. These students are starting to come into their own as powerful and unique writers, and I’m proud of them.

Most of today needs to focus on the new play — we have a brainstorming/pre-production meeting tonight. I also want to get some work done on that other proposal for my agent, and the non-fiction book. I need to write a letter to the neighbor of a family member overseas, who wrote to let us know we hadn’t heard from the family member because he’d died back in September. We didn’t even know he was ill — we only ever heard from him at the holidays. It was very kind of the neighbor to take the time to get in touch.

Onward.

Devon

“The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” — bring up to 5 projects you’ve put aside; see which ones are viable and breathe new life into them, and which ones need to be permanently retired. Feb. 4-6.

“Journal into Fiction” – learn how to transform journal entries into viable fiction, how to let characters evolve from the original inspiration, and how to keep a travel diary that will provide material for years’ worth of projects. Feb. 11-14.

More information here:
http://www.devonellingtonwork.com/fastandfun.html

Wed. Jan. 16, 2013: Rain and webinars and work

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Yes, Jupiter’s been retrograde for a good, long while now, but I’d hoped if I ignored it . . .didn’t work! 😉

I like the rain, though — I like being all warm and cozy inside and hearing it patter out there. I LIKE variations in weather! 😉

Got some decent work done yesterday, got out a few pitches, worked with students, got out the next of the Topic Workbooks up on Smashwords:

The Series Bible: Creation and Maintenance

It’s a great little book with ways to set up a series bible to track details, arcs, setting, clothing, furniture, quirks in the series, so that if there’s a deviation, it’s a choice rather than a mistake. I hope you enjoy it!

I also added one more workshop for February, again a short one, running Feb. 11-14: “Journal into Fiction”. It deals with different types of journals, and how to transform entries into viable fiction. It also has tips on keeping a travel diary with an eye to mining it for stories, articles, and essays in the future. Details and registration here, under the information for the Graveyard of Abandoned Projects.

Both February workshops are at the beginning of the month, because I’m going into rehearsal for the new play and that will be my life for most of February and into March. I’m waiting to find out the date the venue is booked, because that’s what I will work backwards from.

Dropped off some books at the Centerville Library, and picked up some books at the Osterville Library. Read Sheila Bender’s KEEPING A JOURNAL YOU LOVE, which was interesting, and some of the writers quoted make me want to read them! Now reading Nancy Slonim Aronie’s WRITING FROM THE HEART — good info and encouragement for those in the early stages of their creative exploration, although she advocates writing in the present tense, and there’s nothing that gets me to put down a book faster than an author using the present tense. To me, it’s not a sign of immediacy in the work — it’s the author calling attention to himself, a twee “look at ME!” rather than letting me enter the character’s skin. I can take it in non-fiction and essay, but in fiction — just makes me want to throw the book across the room. I agree with a lot of Aronie’s suggestions, but this is one where I respectfully disagree!

I’m always reading new-to-me books about writing, to see what’s useful to add to the list for students.

I’ve got to get some work done on the play this morning, and work with students this afternoon. At 11 AM, I’m attending a webinar that sounds pretty interesting, about marketing strategies. So I need to clear everything possible off my desk before that.

Spent some time with both my Cosmology and Astronomy homework — amazing how much the greenhouse effect comes up in Astronomy class!

I’m coughing and have a scratchy throat — will use one of my herbal remedies, but I’ve been feeling so run down the last couple of weeks, I hope I’m not tipping into full sick.

Devon

Tues. Jan. 15, 2013: Herding WordCats (Real Cats are Easier)

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Violet likes the cleared-off table — the one she’s not supposed to be on!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Temperatures are going down today. It will be chilly!

Stop by the mid-month check in on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions, and let’s see how we’re doing this month.

I’ve got the laundry going — amazing how fast it piles up.

Yesterday felt a bit like herding cats, so today I have to remove myself from much of that and buckle down to a lot of writing. I spent a lot of hours working, I did a lot, but felt like nothing was really accomplished by the end of the day.

The NMLC got some great coverage of the seal release in several papers, which was exciting. In fact, when I went to my afternoon meeting at another organization, they’d seen it and were all excited, too. Which is great, because no matter what field we’re in, we’re all in this together, right?

“Too Much Mistletoe” was just approved for the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which is exciting. Now, I have to make the other edits and see if I can get the other pieces in there, too.

My list of things that has to get done today is LOOONG and it won’t do itself (darn it, wish I could teach those words to type themselves).

Have a great day, everyone!

Devon

Come join us at “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” workshop Feb. 4-6. Take a look at projects you’ve put aside. Learn how to get promising ones back into your schedule, and how to lay to rest the ones of which you need to let go. Information and registration here.