Fri. June 28, 2013: House Hostess & Townsend Goes Home!


Friday, June 28, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Never managed to blog yesterday. Wednesday, I worked flat out in the morning. In the afternoon, I was one of the “hostesses” on the House Tour, benefitting a local library. THAT was quite the experience, let me tell you!

The house was gorgeous, no doubt about it. Absolutely beautifully designed and situated — view of the ocean from one side of windows, view of the river from the other. Everything perfectly chosen and staged — which was exactly that — it felt like a stage set. Or a film set. A beautiful one, but a set. I loved looking at it, I enjoyed the choices, but I didn’t want it — this house wouldn’t be conducive to the way I live my life. But I still appreciated its beauty — I simply did not covet it.

What was fascinating was the wide array of people who tromped through it, and the questions they asked. I did have to scold one woman, who started going through drawers and closets. The owners (or whoever staged the place for them) were smart and had removed everything from drawers and closets, and removed any little knick-knacks someone could have pocketed. But still–you’re not being shown through the place by a realtor with an eye to buying it. You’ve been invited to look at the exquisite design of someone’s home. At least PRETEND to have a little class and/or decorum!

Another guy got very agitated about who supplied the orchids in the house. We weren’t given ANY information about the place at all (which made it difficult to answer questions), so I certainly had no idea if the orchids belonged to the owner, the landscaper, the stager, or had been provided by the organization sponsoring the house tour. This gentleman was very adamant about whose job it was to provide them. They were THERE, so I didn’t see what the big deal was, and suggested that he ask the organizers.

People wanted to know things that made sense, like when the house was built (which, of course, we hadn’t been told) and things that didn’t, like which of the six bedrooms the family used as the master. Some came in and criticized everything. Yes, the decor might not be to everyone’s taste, but don’t deride it until you’re down the street! Especially when you come in wearing shorts and flip-flops from Walmart.

I got a LOT of material for future books and short stories, and I will gleefully skewer some of these people.

I’m glad I did it, I learned a lot (on many different levels), I enjoyed my fellow hostesses, and I was glad I wore comfortable shoes! 😉

Thursday, I managed to write 1000 words on a short story before yoga, went to yoga. Difficult class. Glad to be challenged, but I was struggling. Came back, got a few things done with students, editing clients, pitches, talk with my agent.

Iris wasn’t doing well yesterday, and my mom was very upset. She seems a little better today, but we’re still worried. Iris is my mother’s favorite, so she worries about her a lot. I figure if something’s really wrong, Violet or Tessa will let me know, because they’re good at that. She’s better today and has a good appetite, so let’s hope it was just another of her “episodes.”

In the afternoon, I headed over to the National Marine Life Center. It was time to release Townsend, our first seal, after 8 1/2 months of rehabilitation. Townsend was our poster boy, and the inspiration for Sammy in MURDER ‘SEALS’ THE DEAL. We will miss him a lot. He was so good when he got his satellite tag put on — he’s used to being handled by those specific individuals, so he trusts them.

Mike and Ike

I also got to meet our two new little ragamuffins, Mike and Ike, who are just as cute as little buttons, and say hi to Lucky, who’s flipper is healing nicely and is in the big tank on his own.

We got Townsend loaded up and headed over to Scusset Beach, where a big crowd gathered to send him off. He bopped right down to the water, and once the crowd cheered him, spent time swimming back and forth nearby, showing off. He’s always been a hambone, and this was the biggest audience he ever had! He made the most of it, before taking off. It was great to see him having fun in the surf — may he have a long and happy seal life in the ocean!


Home, dinner, Tessa flushed Iris out of her hiding place, to bed pretty early. Up early this morning, dealing with storm stuff, and lots of writing and editing to do today and throughout the weekend. Thunderstorms mean I should go offline for awhile — time to write in longhand!

Two submissions out already; would like to get at least one more out today, and then have some new short stories to finish, prep, and get out before Sunday.

Have a great one, people!


Wed. June 26, 2013: Elections and Possibilities

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Yup, folks, Mercury goes retrograde today, until July 18. Unfortunately, I can’t put off signing the contracts coming in after that, so I will have to hold my nose, read extra carefully, and go for it.

Since it never felt like my Mercury went completely direct after the last go-round, I’m hoping to use this one to sort things out. Instead of being RE-active (I feel all I do on most Mercury retrogrades is duck and cover), I want to spend most of it being still and listening.

We’ll see how that works! 😉

Busy day yesterday, although it didn’t feel like I got a lot done. The afternoon meeting was cancelled, I voted, I switched out some books at Sandwich Library, I accidentally signed up with an agency (when I thought I was pitching for a job), and have already had a bite, so we’ll see. They liked my material and my credentials, so maybe we’d be compatible, if my samples match their tone.

It was hot and humid, hard to get much done, although the house stayed fairly comfortable. The rhythm of my life is much more affected by the weather here than it was in NY, where all we do is fight the weather.

Figured out the basic plot of three short stories and three essays.

Got irritated with a book I read — the author got a year-long, generously-stipended stay in Rome to write and took six months to write a 9000 word short story. Must be nice to be so indulged! 9000 words is 9 days’ work for me — it has to be, or I can’t pay the bills. And this guy WHINED the whole frigging time. He’s in ROME. Enjoy ROME. Stop effing whining and WRITE, damn it! A year in Rome? Paid for? When I think of what I could accomplish, with a provided apartment and a stipend in a city filled with art and history — the essays, the articles, the short stories, at least one novel, maybe more! On top of it, I’d actually ENJOY myself in the process! Not that I’m silly enough to think every moment would be perfect, but it would be a wonderful adventure.

Voted, which always makes me feel like I actually accomplished something, and was happy that my candidate won. We are blessed here in MA, with the quality of our current Senators and Representatives.

It cooled down last night, so all the doors and windows were opened to enjoy the breeze.

Supposedly, the temperature is lower today, but the humidity makes it worse.

Took my mom for her blood test this morning — Mercury is retrograde, so everything took longer than expected. I just sat in the corner and read a book! 😉

Now, I’m trying to get some work done before noon — I have an “adventure” this afternoon — will fill you in tomorrow.

Have a great day, people!


Published in: on June 26, 2013 at 9:08 am  Comments (2)  

Tues. June 25, 2013: Typing Along


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow. Ick. I better clear a lot off my desk today! 😉

Yesterday was all about the work — working with students, getting an article out, getting a new editing client set up, working on a new web page, getting some invoices out, taking a copyediting test for a potential new gig, and creating what I call the “Back Pocket Document” for my agent.

What’s a “Back Pocket Document?” That contains the loglines of the additional projects you’re ready to pitch when the agent or editor you’re pitching to says, “That’s not really what I’m looking for right now. What else have you got?”

Instead of looking like a fool and stuttering, you’re ready to go with other possibilities. Because agents and editors are looking for long-term investments, not one shot wonders, unless you’re a wonder along the lines of Harper Lee.

Dropped off some books at Centerville Library and picked up what they had for me; dropped off and picked up some books at Sturgis Library, wishing I’d brought work with me. It was nice and quiet, and I would have loved to tuck myself into a corner to work.

Today, I have to figure out why a mailing that I thought went through a few days ago didn’t, and make sure it gets out, order some stuff from Amazon, work with my new editing client, work on some stories, and start the next couple of articles. It looks like this afternoon’s meeting has been cancelled, which is great news.

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK is going into print sooner than expected, so I have to give the PDF another last look and make sure everything’s all good to go with that one.

I got a rejection on a novelette (which I was rather expecting — this market was a long shot), so I’m trying to figure out what to do with the piece. I love the piece, but it’s an odd length and a bit of slipstream, genre-wise. Unfortunately, it’s at the right length for this particular piece. Must figure out if I want to try to put it out on my own, or keep submitting.


Mon. June 24, 2013: Preparing for a Busy Week


Monday, June 24, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Foggy, muggy, cool

Friday was spent catching up on work, getting material out to my new editor, working with students, and trying to get everything done. Because I’d worked at the library and in longhand while the computer was down, I wasn’t as far behind as I might have been otherwise. I also had to mow — running theme in my life lately, it seems! Also landed a new editing client, whose work I start today, as soon as the deposit and the manuscript come through.

It was also the Summer Solstice, which meant the Summer Solstice Ceremony, which was lovely, especially coming up to this year’s Super Moon.

Saturday was spent working in the garden, doing my classwork, and attending two gallery openings. I’m having a great time in Archaeology class, but frustrated in the Climate Literacy class.

The first gallery opening was at Tao Water Gallery, in W. Barnstable. It was a show about Cape Cod, featuring Cape Cod artists. It was wonderful. Much better than a similarly-themed show the Cape Cod Museum of Art put on last year, both in content and in curation. The place was packed, and people were excited.

After that show, I hopped in the car, fought my way across the bridge, and drove to New Bedford for the Gallery X opening. The National Marine Life Center has an exhibit in the downstairs gallery, and I wanted to be there to support them.

It was very well done and lots of fun. It was also gratifying to see photographs and the progression of all the great work the organization has done in the last few years. Townsend, the seal who was the inspiration for Sammy in my play, MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL, will be released this Thursday at 6 PM at Scusset Beach — if you can get there, I hope you’ll join us.

Home and tired.

Sunday was mostly taking it slow, and working on the Dickensian Steampunk. I thought I’d done more work on it than I had — guess most of it was in my head! 😉

Read the wonderful Gaslamp Fantasy anthology QUEEN VICTORIA’S BOOK OF SPELLS, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Great stuff, and plenty of new-to-me authors that I’ll check out further.

I’ve accumulated several Amazon gift cards (including winning one on the Solstice) — so it’s time to place my order!

Wrote and submitted my paper for Climate Literacy yesterday — it feels a bit disjointed. I think I tried to cover too much ground in the space allowed. Oh, well. Everything is notated and I included photographs.

An editing test for a company landed on my desk this morning — I’d sent them a pitch a couple of months ago. They want it turned around in a day. We’ll see –first I have to do the rest of the contracted work! Also got interview questions I need to turn around, need to polish an article and get it out, work with the private students, and wrap up the class for RWA. AND, I need to make a library run, to both Centerville and Sturgis libraries later.

I better get moving.


Fri. June 21, 2013: Computer Recovery

Friday, June 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant
Summer Solstice

Sorry for the blog silence, but on Monday night, my computer died. Hard drive went — in the middle of a submission, no less. I was devastated. I can’t earn a living without a computer, since I telecommute, and have to use the computer to earn the money to buy a new one, which I counted on not having to do until fall.

Didn’t get much sleep on Monday night. Up early on Tuesday, and had to pull myself together for the Climate Change workshop to which I’d committed. Parked in Hyannis, near Town Hall, and walked down to the Steamship Authority terminal.

I was the only non-town employee in the workshop, which was a little strange. Everyone else had some job with the town. It was fun, everyone was interesting, but I was definitely the odd one out. Which I used to my advantage. We were doing a role-playing game, each playing the representative from a different faction of a fictional town, trying to put together a proposal for the mayor on flooding and land use management. I was the Town Planner. It was fun, it was interesting, but I’m not really clear on the purpose of this in the bigger picture.

After the workshop, I came home, packed up MacGeorge and took him in to CapeMac. They soothed me, and promised to find a way to get the computer working again, at least long enough for me to earn the money to buy the new one I’ll have to get in fall anyway, because this one can’t be upgraded anymore, and Apple will stop supporting all its systems in fall. They even managed to retrieve all my files.

So . . .I worked at the library, to keep up with all things email and my students — although I couldn’t work on any attached files on library computers. I was able to get online from my iPod, and could at least check email and respond to things that didn’t need attached documents from home.

I had a meeting Tuesday night, which went well. I wrote in longhand Tuesday and Wednesday, in preparation for getting the computer back. Just because your computer goes down doesn’t mean you “can’t” write — no such thing. Work in longhand!

Caught up on yard work — amazing how much one can get done around the house when not chained to the computer all day! 😉

Wednesday night was our last Writers Night Out until fall. I was on a panel with fellow authors Arlene Kay and Kevin Symmons, and we coached people on giving pitches. Seven people were brave enough to come up and pitch, and we gave them suggestions to make the pitches stronger. I think it was good for everyone involved. The three of us made a good team, building our comments on each others’.

Yesterday, I wasn’t able to get to yoga in time, but I was able to retrieve MacGeorge. Everything’s there, just rearranged a bit, so I had to re-orient myself to it a bit. No worries, I was just delighted not to have lost everything.

I made the revisions in a press release for the NMLC and distributed it, turned around a job for an editing client, caught up with students. Also completed and sent out the submission I was in the middle of when the computer crashed, and

Today, I’ve got to finish an article and write up a review, in addition to working with students. And get out a mailing for an upcoming event.

Relieved to have my computer back, and ready to get back on track with things! I’m looking forward to Summer Solstice celebrations today and a very, very, VERY hectic weekend.


Published in: on June 21, 2013 at 7:48 am  Comments (2)  

Mon. June 17, 2013: More on the Cape Coastal Conference & a Day Unplugged


Monday, June 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and chilly

Interesting weekend, in a good way.

Friday was the second half day of the Cape Coastal Conference. Nice to see that so many people stayed for the whole conference, and that many of the presenters didn’t just come for their own presentations, but stayed for other people’s presentations.

The Universe had a good laugh at my expense — although I found it highly amusing, too. The two individuals who inspired characters I plan to kill off in one of the Sustainability mysteries both wound up in the climate change session with me! I figured maybe I’d given them a bum rap, but they were even more annoying and desperate for attention (in the wrong way) in a smaller session than they had in the larger session. One of the things I found interesting was that physically they were very similar, and energetically, they were very similar. In the book, I’m going to make them sisters! I think that will be in the second book in the series.

Apart from that, the climate change seminar was pretty interesting. I think I have enough information to write several of the semester’s papers for the Climate Literacy class, between that and the information my friend provided. Great information and interesting people. The woman sitting in front of me was from the Town of Barnstable, and knew about me coming to tomorrow’s meeting on the climate change project. And I was surprised by how many people knew about the play I’d written for NMLC or had seen it or knew someone who’d seen it.

Back into plenary session. I took umbrage from a few things the head of the Cape Cod Commission said, in relation to writers — if you want your message spread effectively, don’t condescendingly tell us we should work for “exposure” when the special interest side is willing to pay us more than a living wage — and then whine that you’re not getting your message out. Value the people who can get the message out and pay them appropriately. You’re talking about the grants and funding you have for the coming year — if some of that doesn’t go to skilled people ABLE to communicate the message effectively, the project will fail. Period. You can be sure I’m going to speak up! 😉

Came home, caught up on a few things, but was utterly exhausted.

Saturday wound up being an unexpected day of internet disconnection. It wasn’t intentional — when I came out for my morning coffee, I decided I couldn’t live with the deck the way it was one more minute. Last year, we created an enchanted garden on the deck — so far, this year, it’s been a hodgepodge. We keep having to move stuff because of bad weather.

So, I got to work rearranging the deck and cleaning stuff and tidying and arranging. Then, I noticed the terraced area was in Vacant-lot syndrome, so I had to mow that (although the meadow’s getting a little scary, too). No Man’s Land was looking like No Man Will Ever Walk Here Again Land, so I had to mow that. Then, the bags were disintegrating — the biodegradable lawn waste bags were biodegrading — so I had to line the car in tarp and haul everything to the dump.

I sat down to take a rest, make some notes on a project, and read a bit — and suddenly the day was done.

I needed it, and Tessa had a blast being outside with me for most of the day, but I was also a bit worried falling even further behind.

Sunday, I caught up with private students and the RWA students — really happy with the growth the students are showing in the Supporting Characters workshop. Caught up on my own classwork. The Archaeology stuff was exciting — caught up on work, some of which is helping me with the BLOOD AND BONE adaptation, did well on the quiz, evaluated other students’ papers, etc. The Climate Literacy class is frustrating. Plus, I’ve been really good about staying on top of deadlines and they claim I never took the third week’s quiz — um, yes, and I did decently on it, I have the note of my score — and wont’ let me retake it. I also don’t find that the quizzes are reflecting the material we’re going over, which is an additional frustration.

Had a good breakthrough on an upcoming project, though, and started putting together a list of potential sponsors for the Mermaid Ball.

Up early this morning, walking the property. Found I left my notepad with my upcoming projects out on the deck — it was a little damp, but not ruined. I HAVE to get some mowing done today. One of the cats from across the street, a sweet tabby, keeps coming over, but she’s very shy and runs away every time I try to approach her. She’s welcome, as long as she doesn’t have kittens under the rosebush or something.

Note to self: when researching material from library books, notate from which library it came, in case you need to get it out again.

I have articles to get out today, tomorrow morning’s meeting to prep for, tomorrow night’s meeting to prep for, material for the Wed. meeting I can’t attend to prep for, and my presentation on the panel I’m going to be on Wed. night to prep for. Plus teaching and the other stuff.

Better get to it.


Fri. June 14, 2013: Cape Coastal Conference — Awesome is an Understatement

Friday, June 14, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and stormy (nor’easter)

Up early yesterday, worked with students, got a few things done (yeah, I got up at 5 AM).

By 7:30, I was headed to the conference. It was truly wonderful, the first annual Cape Coastal Conference. This year’s theme was The Changing Shores: Linking Science with Solutions and Local Decision Making. It was full — all 200 slots were taken. And so well run. I can’t compliment the organizers highly enough. 198 of the 200 people were friendly and fun to talk to, the presenters were terrific, questions were interesting. There was a lot of information for someone like me, who’s coming to the environmental science party late, but I took 18 pages of notes, made lists of questions I’ll pose to the presenters in the coming weeks (they included their contact information in the packets for the purpose of follow-up), things I want to look up, and notes to which I can refer in the future.

Those other two people? I’m killing “them” in a book. And that’s all the space and attention they’re getting. As actual humans, they are excommunicated from my universe — not worth my energy.

I also have to thank the staff at the Doubletree in Hyannis, where the conference was held — their work was impeccable, and they were so friendly, and not in a fake way.

There’s enough information here and from my friend to do my climate literacy paper this weekend.

In spite of the sometimes alarming science, the presenters were upbeat about the things we can do, and how we can move forward towards solutions that make the whole Cape a better place on multiple levels.

Breaks were good, and there were exhibitor booths with even more terrific information.

My seat mate was a delightful, intelligent, humorous gentleman who works for my town — which means I’ll be working with him on several upcoming projects! Lunch was fun — I sat with someone from Sandwich, someone from Brewster, and someone from Chatham, and we had a lively discussion about local politics, Town Hall meetings, etc.

Afternoon session was good, too, focused more on climate change — using some of the same sources that my Sustainability and Climate Literacy classes used. Good reinforcement. Afternoon break was even better — cookies! Cookies in the middle of the afternoon solve many problems.

I hadn’t realized how where we are in the natural geological cycles (that happen over tens of thousands of years) are adding in so much to the additional damage of the raised temperatures and raised ocean acidity. If we were just dealing with the natural change, we’d be okay. The climate-change damage on its own would still be worse, but we’d have more time for solutions. But together? Clock’s ticking, and not in our favor.

It was also interesting to see how much from my astronomy class fed into the science we discussed here. How all these different science arena weave together is very interesting.

Last few sessions were harder to focus on, because we were getting tired and running a bit over. At the end, one of the scientists from Falmouth ran up with his laptop — while we’d been in session, there’d been unusual wave activity in Falmouth (he called it a “mini-tsunami”), and his fellow scientists had sent him video, which he then played for us. It was pretty cool. It was the only place that water activity was happening in the area, although there was some funky air pressure something-something happening over Nantucket.

I was tempted to stay for drinks, but the nor’easter was starting to hit us just as session ended, so I opted to get home quickly instead. Couldn’t do much online because of the storm (didn’t want the laptop to go kerplooey), and was tired anyway, so called it an early night, after making some notes on an upcoming project.

Headed back to the conference today for the next session — very excited to see what I’ll learn.

It means working through the weekend with students and getting some other things done that have come in while I was gone, but it will be worth it!


Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 5:52 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. June 13, 2013: Good Workday and Eager for Conference

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I was productive yesterday. Got out my review (last for this editor, whaaa — but I’m excited for his new opportunities). Wrote a press release and a blurb for the previous day’s committee meeting, per what I promised and am waiting for feedback. Worked with private students and the Supporting Characters students. Wrote an article. Roughed out a second article. Did some research on Venetian painting (I could have spent all day on that — delightful). Realized I had to return books, so I pulled one of them (that I can’t renew any more) and took the notes I needed before making the trip.

You know you spend a lot of time in local libraries when the librarian greets you by name as you walk in and brings over the next stack of books put aside! Cape Cod has some of the best libraries and best librarians ever. I am truly blessed.

Watched lectures for both my Climate Literacy class and the Archaeology class. Interesting how some of the issues intersect.

Worked up general notes for a new series and started outlining the opening of the first book. This is in an historical context, which means I get to do a whole lot of fun things with it!

Prepped for the conference I’m attending today and tomorrow. It’s about Cape Cod’s changing coast — feeds directly into the climate literacy class, and I expect that information here and from my friend at NMLC will give me the background I need for my first climate literacy paper.

I’m going to try to work with some students now, before I leave for the conference (yes, it’s just after 6 AM — the beauty of an online course).

I’m in my Annabel Aidan persona over on the Writers Vineyard, talking about trusting your creative subconscious here.

Looking forward to the day — in spite of the nor’easter heading our way!


Wed. June 12, 2103: Knocking Items off the List

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Got a decent amount of work done, but not as much as I wanted to. I have to more than make up for it today, since I’ll be at an environmental conference for the next two days.

Just as I prepared to leave for a meeting, I found out that one of my favorite editors is leaving a publication for whom I work regularly — tomorrow. He’s leaving for something wonderful, and I’m delighted for him, but I’m still having separation anxiety, working with a new editor. This is my fourth editor with them in six years.

The meeting went well. We are a solid, focused group and work efficiently together.

I’m feeling very burnt out, and can’t take off time until the weekend. There’s just too much that needs immediate attention and feeds into paying the bills right now. When the bills are paid, I can relax for a day or so. Until then, I have to push.

Worked with students, both the private students and the ones in the RWA workshop.

Got some reading done, mostly because I was out of steam to do much else. Am waiting impatiently on news from the proposals, which is silly, because one can’t expect instant response. Have a new editing client whose work I need to get started on today.

Also today: A review, a press release, two articles, working with students, prepping for the environmental conference, winding up admin paperwork on another project, and getting started on the week’s classwork.

So I better get going, hadn’t I?


Published in: on June 12, 2013 at 8:28 am  Comments (2)  

Tues. June 11, 2013: Slowly Recovering

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

By noon yesterday, I got my proposal and sample chapter polished enough so I could send it to my agent. She was impressed, said it didn’t need any changes, and forwarded it on to the editor who requested it. So we’ll see from there what happens.

I was wiped out by the end of it.

Worked with students, posted materials for the Supporting Characters workshop at RWA.

Read Mercedes Lackey’s STEADFAST. Liked it a lot, although the ending was a bit abrupt, in my opinion.

Prepped for this afternoon’s meeting. Signed up for an environmental conference that will run Thursday and Friday.

Went to bed early and wasn’t up half the night coughing. Didn’t even need to get up in the night to take medicine. Hoping I’ve turned the corner.

Need to get back on track with a few things today, but I’m exhausted. Working up a book proposal and sample chapter to specific guidelines in three days took more out of me than I expected. But it’s a great opportunity for something I’d like to try, so it was worth it.

Back to the page.


Published in: on June 11, 2013 at 8:33 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. June 10, 2013: Head Down, Working

Monday, June 10, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

This cough is annoying me. It’s stuck in my throat (I’m grateful it hasn’t moved into my lungs), but my whole body is sore from coughing. I’m taking medicine, it only works sporadically.

It definitely affected my productivity this weekend, which was bad, because I had to dig down and work on the proposal my agent needs today.

I also finished some material for Confidential Job #1, which I have to write up today, completed my classwork for the Archaeology class and the Climate Literacy Class, took quizzes in both classes, and wrote and turned in my first paper for the Archaeology class.

I read Joelle Charbonneau’s newest release, the YA (or maybe it’s now called “New Adult”) dystopian novel, THE TESTING. In spite of it being written in present tense (which drives me nuts), I couldn’t put it down. She did an outstanding job with it, and I’m looking forward to the other two books in the trilogy.

I managed to get the front lawn mowed before the rain started on Friday. Did a few loads of laundry over the weekend, and yesterday, when it was sunny, I weeded the terraced bed and then hand washed the big living room drapes and hung them out to dry in the sun.

Tried fighting my cough, and fought to keep enough energy going to keep working. I felt like absolute, exhausted crap. But a deadline is a deadline, an opportunity is an opportunity, and I can’t have a shot at a contract if I don’t meet the challenges and opportunities offered.

The Belmont Stakes was on Saturday. Palace Malice, ridden by my pal Mike Smith (I’ve known him since I started covering racing) won, and I was thrilled for them. It was a great race.

The Tony Awards were last night, and the show was terrific. Neil Patrick Harris is a terrific host — his wit is razor-sharp. I was delighted to celebrate the success of many with whom I worked over the years, and it made me proud to be an alum of that community. I worked the Tonys once and attended two other times — not once did I make it home from the parties before dawn! Always great fun.

This morning, I’m polishing up my proposal and getting it onto my agent’s desk. My “Supporting Characters” workshop starts at RWA — I managed to log into the board, but haven’t been able to post anything yet. Also have a review and an article to write, and then it’s back to my writing schedule.
To the page!


Published in: on June 10, 2013 at 8:37 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 10, 2013: Head Down, Working  
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Fri. June 7, 2013: Coughing Zombie With Lawnmower

Violet with the “special” dice

Friday, June 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I can’t believe I’ve had to put the big winter quilts back on the bed the last two days. It’s downright chilly!

Yesterday, I went to yoga, and then, had I been an art installation, my title would have been “Coughing Zombie with Lawnmower”. I had to mow the front before this weekend’s rains hit (courtesy of Tropical Storm Andrea), but I felt like utter crap. I got it done, but that was about it for me; managed to work with students and deal with some business stuff, but not much. Nothing in the tank.

Had to cancel out of the evening’s meeting — I knew I wasn’t on my game, nor was I feeling well enough to drive over the bridge and back.

Material for Confidential Job #1 is a slog.

Worked with students. Need to implement a new policy — too many people are booking slots and then flaking out, which wastes my time AND costs me money. So, a nonrefundable deposit will now be due upon the booking. If you flake, you don’t get it back, and I’m not totally financially screwed for the time I put aside that you can’t bother to keep your commitment; if you act like a professional and do what you say you’re going to do, the deposit is credited towards the final payment. I’m done with the irresponsible bullshit from wanna-bes.

That’s one of the things my college mentor and I discussed in NY — I asked him how he can keep up his excitement and joy in the teaching. I’m lucky in my current crop of private students, because they step up, but so often, in the bigger classes, the students just suck the life out of the class, because they can’t be bothered to do the work. My mentor can still find it exciting because of the stringent vetting process NYU has before letting people in to programs — they have to PROVE they DESERVE to be there, not that they just think it might be kinda cool to take that type of class. Plus, because it’s so expensive, they have to really WANT to be there in order to shell out the dough.

Speaking of classes, I’m teaching at RWA for the next two weeks, my “Supporting Characters” class, starting Monday. Here’s the link. If you have problems registering, I CAN’T FIX IT. I AM NOT THE ADMINISTRATOR. Contact them directly.

Had a great conversation with my agent yesterday. Something landed on her desk that she thought I would be perfect for. It’s something I would LOVE to do, so I’m putting together a proposal this weekend, and she’s going to look at it Monday, we’ll make what tweaks are needed, and off it goes to the requesting editor.

Today, I’ve got some correspondence to do, an article to finish, another one to send off, the partial to get to that other requesting editor, a review to write, and schoolwork to finish.

I wrote my archaeology paper in my head yesterday and will get it on paper today. I started the material for the Climate Literacy paper due next week. I also have to get to a couple of libraries to pick up materials on hold for me.

Better get going — the storm is supposed to hit this afternoon and be bad all weekend. I hope the Belmont Stakes isn’t a washout tomorrow, and then the Tony Awards are on Sunday!


Wed. June 5, 2013: Howland Goes Home!

Howland heads for the water

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

This sore throat just won’t let me go. And I’m feeling lethargic and achy, too. Very frustrating.

I did about 35 pages on the screenplay revision and proofed 184 pages of a novel, whose partial I have to get out to an editor in the next few days. Not a total loss of a day.

Re-read another piece that I’m itching to work on again, even though it’s going to be a difficult sell.

All I really want to do is stay in bed for a day or two, but that’s not an option right now.

I should have mowed the front. But did I? No!

I did, however, manage to make it to the National Marine Life Center for Howland’s release on Scusset Beach. He had a good rehab — we only got him in early April, and here it is, in June, and he gets to go home. Always exhilarating to have that kind of a success story.

Lots to do today, and then a board meeting for the Writers Center tonight. Must get moving.


Howland is home

Published in: on June 5, 2013 at 7:50 am  Comments (1)  
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