Thurs. Feb. 7, 2013: Projects, Escalating Stress, & Snow

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

So we’re prepping for this big storm and are all in a tizzy. I hope it won’t be anywhere near as bad as they’re saying.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day editing and working with students. I have an awful lot to get done today, because I have to get things cleared off before the storm and potential power outages and meetings and auditions coming up, etc. I’m feeling stressed out and overwhelmed out of proportion to what is actually going on.

Last night was a board meeting for the Writers’ Center, and I have follow-up and additional information to work on there, too.

I managed to fall in love all over again with one of my projects, which is always a good thing, but it’s a tricky one to pull off and I’m feeling so much pressure from so many different factions right now that I’m not sure what to do with the piece.

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, which runs next Mon.-Fri. Information here.

I have a new workshop, the only one I’m teaching in March, running March 4-8, called “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”. Information here.

HEX BREAKER just came out in print — woo-hoo!

Auditions for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL start next Monday — if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come by. Details here.

Have a safe weekend!

Devon

Wed. Feb. 6, 2013: Snow and Writing

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Got quite a bit of work done yesterday. I think SEVEN OF SWORDS is in decent shape, finally. I’m going to give it one more read this morning, and then send it off. Worked with students. I’m polishing the “Journal into Fiction” lectures and exercises — I had to cut some of the material out, because there was too much for a week-long class.

Had to turn something around quickly for one of my other editors, and sent out a few LOIs. Some paperwork came in for another confidential gig that the editor on Confidential Job #1 recommended me for, so that’s all good. The lunch meeting was good, although Beech Tree Cantina, where we wanted to meet, turned out to be closed. Um, it couldn’t have been on the landing page of the website? Especially with all the advertising they’ve been doing? There were a bunch of us, standing outside the door in the snow, totally confused.

We wound up at Rendezvous, the new crepe place. It was really good, with a nice atmosphere. Definitely a place to which I’d go back.

Roasted a chicken for dinner, did some reading, watched my friend’s show — some of the writing was a little heavy-handed, but he had some good scenes, and we dissected the episode, as we usually do after it airs.

Started re-reading POWER OF WORDS, which has been pulling at me lately. It’s such a sprawl — I think it’s really a serial novel about the making of a series. There’s no way I can stay true to its characters and themes and turn it into something that’s a more traditional novel. It’s going to be four novels’ worth of material just to get them through shooting the first season. But I think the dynamics of the individuals, and the creative nuts-and-bolts will be interesting to readers. Well, I need to write it at least through the first season’s shoot, and maybe partially into the second, and then decide what I want to do with it. I also re-read MODERN CREATION MYTHS the other day, and it holds together much better than I expected. I wrote the first draft material in script form (knowing it couldn’t stay a script), and I can see how to open it back out into prose. I think I will complete the draft as a script, though, because that’s giving me the dynamic. When I adapt it into prose, I’ll have to go much deeper into POV.

Did some of my fantasy/sci fi schoolwork yesterday (lectures). Really interesting insights into the Grimm tales.

I need to clear a lot off my desk today, because tomorrow is a busy day, most of it out of the house.

Devon

You can still sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, Feb. 11-14, learning how to transform journal entries into viable fiction. Information and registration here.

Cape Cod/South Shore Actors: Come audition for MURDER ‘SEALS’ THE DEAL, Feb 11 & 13, callbacks Feb. 15. Information and breakdown here.

Tues. Feb. 5, 2013: The Minimum Doesn’t Cut It

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Marian Lanouette is my guest over on A Biblio Paradise, interviewed about her Jake Carrington series. Stop on by and drop a comment!

The February To-Do List is up on the GDR site. Short month, a lot to do.

I’m frustrated with a few people today, but venting isn’t going to do any good. Let’s just say I hate it when they waste my time, and I’m going to have to make changes to make sure that they don’t in the future.

Worked with students, finished an editing job, got out some pitches, ran errands, went grocery shopping, worked on SEVEN OF SWORDS. I’m almost there, I’ve almost unlocked what I want to fix in it. I’m hoping to get it finished and out the door this morning before my lunch meeting.

Finished Louise Penny’s BURY YOUR DEAD yesterday, and it was so well done and so tragic (in the large sense), that I was in tears by the end of it. The way she had characters re-live a traumatic event, through flashbacks throughout, is not something most people could pull off. But she did it effectively. Part of that is because she is a master of her craft. She understands structure, and therefore, when she goes against the expectations, she has the craft behind her to pull it off. Writers earlier in their careers, who can’t be bothered to learn structure, try this same type of maneuver, and most of them fail miserably. And it’s because they can’t be bothered to learn structure. It’s blatantly obvious when a skilled writer deviates from tradition and pulls it off, and an unskilled writer can’t be bothered.

It always amazes me when people say they want to learn how to do something– be it writing or anything else — and then can’t be bothered to learn the skills required for it. And then they’re surprised when they don’t succeed. If all you ever put in to something is the minimum, you won’t get more out of it.

Better get back to work — I need to clear a lot off my desk before I leave.

Devon

You can still sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, from Feb. 11-15. Transform journal entries into viable fiction. Registration and information here.

If you’re based on the Cape and/or South Shore, come try out of MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL, Feb. 11 & 13, with callbacks the 15th. Detailed information here.

Mon. Feb. 4, 2013: Workshops and Rewrites

Monday, February 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

We had snow both Saturday and last night. Not bad, just a dusting. It’s pretty.

Imbolc was good on Saturday, and I’m looking forward to spring.

The January Wrap-Up is up over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. I still have to post February’s To-Do List. The webhost’s server was down yesterday, which was very frustrating.

Gorged myself on Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series over the weekend. I really like the books, and I’m eager for her next release in August. She is the only contemporary author I can think of who can effectively use third person omniscient and it doesn’t feel jarring.

Caught up on classwork. I decided to give the Astrobiology quiz a shot (I planned to audit, not take it for credit), but I got 9.50 out of a possible 10.00, so I just might give it a shot. It’s interesting to see how the Astrobiology course echoes material learned in Sustainability, Philosophy, and the two other astronomy courses. Did the reading for the SF/Fantasy class — Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the Lucy Chase 1882 version. Interesting to re-read them with an adult perspective, and also, realize how many of them have been filtered and changed through others’ visions and how little I remembered of the actual tales. The Philosophy class is interesting, and I’m curious to see what direction it goes it. It does prove why the Right wants to cut education funding — because education encourages independent thought, and that means questioning special interests and fundamentalists.

Finished the article for my editor and sent it off. I have to get some press out for the play today and putting us in the events calendars. I’ve been working on the revision of the other play, SEVEN OF SWORDS, which I have to finish today. The first 2/3 hold together better than I expected, but the last third needs focus. I’ve been playing with different possibilities, so now I have to sit down and apply them. Writing one of the other short stories in my head, and have to sit down and finish another story today. Plus, some scenes from a different piece are bugging me; I want to note them so I don’t lose them, and then schedule them in the queue.

I need to finish up work for an editing client, and “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” starts today. I also have to put finishing touches on the handbook for “Sensory Perceptions.”

You can still sign up for “Journal into Fiction” next week, here. And, also next week, if you’re an actor based on Cape Cod/South Shore, the audition details for the play are here.

Better get going – today’s busy!

Devon

Fri., Feb. 1, 2013: Plays and Short Stories

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Friday, February 1, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Yes, it’s already February! Later today, I will have the January wrap-up over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site, and also my February To-Do list by Monday.

Last chance to sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects”, which runs Feb. 4-6 online. Breathe new life into abandoned projects, or learn ways to set them to rest without draining creative energy from current work. Details here.

If you’re a Cape Cod/South Shore based actor, I hope you’ll consider auditioning for my play, MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL, which will go up on April 7 in Buzzards Bay as a benefit for the National Marine Life Center. Details here.

Those for whom I wrote the play are pleased with the draft I sent them yesterday. I need to not look at it for a few days, and then do another draft. I want at least one more draft before we start rehearsals. The audition notice was up in the local arts newsletter, and out to the papers. Fingers crossed we get some good people in.

Worked with students. Ran some errands. It was so gorgeous out that I stopped at Craigville Beach and took a walk. The tide was high, the surf was rough, it was wild and wonderful. Loved it. The wind and water are part of the reason I live in this area, and I try to make use of it whenever possible.

I have two short stories to tackle, and the revision on the other play. I have to take my mom to the doctor today, but, other than that, I plan to focus on the writing.

Tomorrow is Imbolc — I’m looking forward to the ceremony, and to doing some indoor planting. The cats are starting to shed their heavy winter coats, and the Phoebes are outside singing, so I’m hoping we’ll have an early and long spring. We’re still supposed to get snow this weekend, but I’m hoping that February will ease out. Says I, on the day it’s barely arrived!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Devon