Fri. Jan. 31, 2014: The Year of the Horse Comes Roaring In

Friday, January 31, 2014
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Chinese Lunar New Year — Year of the Horse
Cloudy and cold

Could you feel the shift from Snake to Horse? So ready for it!

Busy day yesterday, working on various projects and catching up on Environmental Law class. I have a paper due today, and then I’m all caught up. That class is amazing.

Today is my last day with one of my students — she successfully completed the year-long mentorship program, is ready to submit her first novel, is almost done with the draft of the second novel, and wrote/submitted four short stories. So proud of her and will miss her so much!

Had an aha! moment on the play.

Got another idea for a piece and will have to jot it down and figure out where it fits in the queue.

Check out the January Wrap-Up over on the GDR site. I have to say, I’m shocked at the lack of courteous, professional responses from job listings on the Media Bistro site. I’d always thought they were the Go-To listings place, but my experience this year has taught me that it’s not. There are a couple of other sites where the potential client response as been much higher with a better tier of client. Good to know.

Running around preparing for Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations today and Imbolc tomorrow — getting the decorations finalized, etc. I miss the community of Chinese actors who always included me in their celebrations in New York. It was always one of the highlights of my year.

Lots to do today, including errands, my paper, and catching up on the computational neuroscience class — me and my cat brain!

To the page!

Devon

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Published in: on January 31, 2014 at 9:53 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 31, 2014: The Year of the Horse Comes Roaring In  
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Thurs. Jan. 30, 2014: A Typical Writer’s Day

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I worked hard yesterday, but don’t feel like I got much done. Those days are frustrating.

I reworked a novella, prepping it for submission, and wrote the synopsis. I have another novella to rework and write a synopsis, and then I’m submitting both. Hopefully, I can get that squared away.

Working on the play, but it hasn’t quite gelled yet. Doubt it will be ready by tomorrow, which is when I wanted it ready.

Working on another screenplay, and did a revision on a teleplay — which means, yes, boys and girls, gotta write yet ANOTHER synopsis. I am caught in the Synopsis Forest.

Caught up with students, pitched jobs, caught up on email. Got two very nice responses from arts organizations with whom I’m interested in working, and hopefully, we can build solid working relationships over the next few months.

Heard back from the place where I did the test article (for pay — sign of a genuinely professional group). It will run on Feb. 2 — yes, I’ll remind everyone!

Read a well-written crime novel, CITY OF WOE by Christopher Ryan. Very well done AND unusual.

Need to catch up on schoolwork today, along with getting A LOT of writing done. I also want to finish the rough of the media kit I’m working on for the Marine Life Center.

Onward!

Published in: on January 30, 2014 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 30, 2014: A Typical Writer’s Day  
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Wed. Jan. 29, 2014: Snowing and Writing

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Day Before Dark Moon
Snowy and cold

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to see what’s new in the garden.

Snowing! We’re really getting hammered here on the Cape this year.

Yesterday was a good day, albeit a busy one. Out the door by 8 AM, over to the Marine LIfe Center. I followed on rounds, taking all kinds of notes — you never know what weird little detail is going to be just the thing in the play. Figured out the murder weapon, too — an interesting instrument.

Spent the rest of the day working from the office, researching and putting together the information I need for the organization’s media kit. I have a very rough draft put together. I need to get scans of some articles to pop in, and then I can send it off for comments.

Caught up on email, pitched for a few jobs, played with the plot for the play.

Home by dinner time, a little tired, but happy with a good day’s work. Finished a book I was reading, did some research.

I’m reading Sharon Olds’s poems, THE UNSWEPT ROOM. I’ve always loved her work — the intensity of image, the succinct language.

To the page.

Devon

Published in: on January 29, 2014 at 7:38 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. Jan. 28, 2014: Percolating Play

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

The car is very, very happy with its oil change.

Worked at Sturgis yesterday, catching up on things. It’s a good place to work. Came back, and did some research/reading in the afternoon, and worked on ideas for the play and for BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Decided not to head back out to a library in the afternoon. There was (and is) plenty to do off-line.

This morning, I was up early and out the door by 8 AM, heading to the Marine Life Center. I’m working from there today — already followed rounds and asked a lot of questions. The play percolates.

Published in: on January 28, 2014 at 10:26 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 28, 2014: Percolating Play  
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Mon. Jan. 27, 2014: Cocktail Parties and Oil Changes — Contrasts!

Monday, January 27, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. Got some good work done on TRUE HOME and on SEAL TIDES. Got some research done, and read John Lithgow’s memoir — interesting, because we’ve worked with a lot of the same people, although we’ve never worked with each other.

Friday night, I was disappointed to learn I did not get a job I’d hoped to land, especially since what they claim they wanted is absolutely in my wheelhouse, and I’ve done similar projects on a much larger and more public scale. I was also disappointed that, after having me in for more than a half a day to jump through interview hoops, they send a form letter email from someone with whom I had no dealings. That seems a little declasse to me. A friend, familiar with the organization, thinks I dodged a bullet, and I just have to trust it all happened for a reason.

On Sunday, I went to a cocktail party one of the Board members threw to introduced the Marine Life Center to her neighbors. Cocktails, appetizers, conversation, quick presentations. It was a lovely evening, and I was happy to participate.

Home, out of the dressy clothes, into PJs and made a stir-fry!

This morning, I was out the door early to get an oil change in the car. It needed it, and now runs like a dream. I’m working at Sturgis Library this morning, hoping I get enough done so I don’t have to head out again at the end of the day.

This will be a BUSY week, but in a good way!

Devon

Published in: on January 27, 2014 at 10:42 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Jan. 24, 2014: Shuffling the Projects

Friday, January 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked at Sturgis Library yesterday morning — caught up on email, got some press releases out for approval, others just plain out. Pitched for some jobs, caught up with students, did some research for TRUE HOME, gathered quotes for my article.

Headed home for lunch. Cleaned out a set of drawers and moved it up beside my desk, so I’ve got more room for stuff I need to keep handy. Cleaned out and updated a project bin.

I’m cleaning/purging/rearranging my office, and it’s at the stage where it looks like a tornado hit it before it looks neat and clean. A necessary part of the process, but somewhat overwhelming.

Yesterday, I had a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona) over at Writer’s Vineyard. Check it out.

Afternoon session at Sturgis — got a lot done. Was there until the last possible minute, when they locked the doors! Got some good information.

One of the research books for the Eliot-Stowe-Bronte project was printed in 1898, and some of the pages had never been cut! When I returned it to the library today, they made a note, so a trained professional can handle it! It was rather thrilling.

Working on a proposal package for a publisher (unexpected opportunity), and getting back into the right headspace for BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so I can re-construct the outline I can’t find (and make it better), and then get back to work on it. Frustrating, because I know I outlined the three remaining books in the cycle, and I put them in a Very Safe Place — which, since the move, has escaped me. I also still have scripts to write and polish for the March submission package.

Found some good opportunities regarding the Marine Life Center, and have to get to work on developing those.

It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep up with my schoolwork with the Comcast issues. I will be very upset if I lose the opportunity to certify in areas that make me more hire-able, because Comcast repeatedly breaks state and Federal Laws, believing they are above the law.

All I can do is what I can do, and trust that the Attorney General and the Director of Telecommunications will handle it.

I’m using the Tibetan Singing Bowl app on my iPod a LOT lately — having a great time with it. I’m not very skilled with holding a Singing Bowl in my lap, but I’m really good with the app! 😉 I don’t use many apps, so it’s pretty funny.

I’m working from Wheldon Library this morning, and not sure which library I’ll haunt at the end of the day.

I need to buckle down and work on the play, get a couple of script synopses written, and get BALTHAZAAR outlined. I found the part of the manuscript I wrote — it’s far fewer pages than I remembered.

I also found some interesting projects I’d drafted, then put aside. I want to find a way to rotate them back into the queue, too.

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 10:04 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Jan. 23, 2014: Post-Storm Writing

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. Comcast is back to their old, extortionist tricks. They truly believe they are above the law. They are not.

In any case, on Monday, I got some good writing done, including a nice section at night on TRUE HOME. Tuesday, I wrote more on TRUE HOME before discovering that Comcast fucked me. Again.

Then, it was off to Centerville Library, to deal with what I had to deal with online — checking email, working with students, sorting out answers to interview questions for the test article that this new market and I are working on together. I’m actually pretty efficient with limited online time.

I knew that the storm would start early, no matter what the weather folk said. By the time I left the library, a little after noon, it was already snowing (they said it would start around seven p.m.). I picked up more batteries, and headed home.

In the afternoon, I worked on the big editing project for my client, and read some more of the Ben Franklin biography. I think I would have liked him. He was interested in just about everything, which made him interesting.

Also worked adapting some prose to script format.

Wrote more on TRUE HOME, finishing up Chapter Six, from Garrett’s point of view, and starting Chapter Seven, from Jem’s. I love writing from Jem’s point of view. I feel very connected to him.

I also unpacked a box from the many boxes still waiting to be unpacked in the basement and found a lot of really cool and useful stuff. I also found things I could purge. The purging feels good.

We had a blizzard all night, and it continued well into Wednesday. I already knew the libraries would be closed, and I’d be cut off, so I could prepare. I wrote ten pages in longhand on TRUE HOME, first thing in the morning, finishing Jem’s chapter, and getting ready to start Chapter Eight, from Antoinette’s point of view.

Still trying to decide how to get THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE back into the queue, and if I should buckle down and write the whole book, or if I should dig out the outline, polish it up, and submit the outline and the first few chapters. I could also ask the publisher — he said he wanted to see more from me. The question is, would I be able to make the deadlines set if I sold it on outline, with the new play coming up, the screenplay packets prepped, and the edits on both books coming out this spring? I need to think about it for a few days.

Wednesday, I completed the big editing project for my client, wrote four press releases, finished Jem’s Chapter Seven of TRUE HOME and made solid progress on the next Antoinette chapter, Chapter Eight.

I hunted for my outline notes for BALTHAZAAR and can’t find them, so I’ll have to re-read the fifty or so pages I wrote on the book and go from there. However, I found a lot of other useful material. Now, I have to decide what to do with it — it needs to get out into the world and earn its keep.

Took about two hours to dig out from the storm. Not as much as the storm early in the year — about 12 inches instead of two feet. It was fluffy, so easy to shovel.

I used the electric snowblower, which is a major pain in the ass and doesn’t work well. I bought it to be more eco-friendly than using a gas-powered one. If “they” want us to be eco-minded and give up fossil-fuel-powered tools, then design alternate energy tools that both work and are affordable. Without both of those factors, people cannot and will not change.

This morning, I polished up some exercises for my students and roughed out an article. I’m at the library, catching up. I also had to shovel out the driveway again, since the plow for the street just shoved all the snow back into the driveway.

And then, it’s back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 10:52 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 23, 2014: Post-Storm Writing  
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Tues. Jan. 21: Comcast Fuckovers

Comcast is fucking with me again, and there’s a blizzard coming in.

Got some good writing done, but the rest is a mess. Will come into contact again in a few days.

Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 11:04 am  Comments (2)  

Mon. Jan. 20, 2014: Opportunities — Some Grabbed, Some Not

Monday, January 20, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Martin Luther King Day

Busy weekend. Friday, I dug in and did a lot of work for my new editing client, prepped for my new article gig (we’re trying each other out on a paid assignment), finished the revisions on the second teleplay, worked with students, and roughed out a couple of press releases. I also did some work on the novella, falling in love with it again.

A potential new client who’d been at me about a big “emergency” project that I HAD to start immediately has been dragging his feet about a deposit and a contract. I stood firm in refusing to do the work until both were in place, in spite of the continuous whine of “but it’s an emergency!” If it’s so important, put the deposit in my Paypal account, sign the contract, scan it, email it back, and I’ll get started. But I am NOT doing the work for someone I know nothing about and have no reason to trust without all that in place. Back and forth all day. Finally, I told them to talk to someone else; I have too much on my plate right now to play this game. I told you repeatedly what needed to happen for the work to get done within the time frame you claim to need it; if you’re not willing to do that, I am not the person for the assignment.

I have no doubt they were hoping to get me to do the work, and then find a reason not to pay me. I didn’t just fall of the turnip truck. Professionals work with deposits and contracts, and professional clients understand and respect that. Buh-bye.

Disorganization on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. Especially when you haven’t shown any inclination to pay me to fix the emergency.

There’s a new post up on Gratitude and Growth about the too-early planting I’m doing, which I hope won’t come back around and bite me in the butt.

I read two very well-written books over the weekend, DELIA’S SHADOW by Jaime Lee Moyer, and THE BONES OF PARIS by Laurie R. King.

Saturday, I was out of words. I was tired and unable to really focus. I did some work in the morning, but then gave myself the rest of the day off. I did things like grocery shop. I managed to do some research for the Eliot-Stowe-Bronte project.

Sunday was better. Got the changes into the teleplay, worked on the novella a bit, did some more work for the editing client. A company I’d pitched to about a month ago contacted me in a frenzy, wanting 10 press releases by this morning. TEN. Of course they balked at the rate, the deposit, and the rush fee. Sweetie, if you need TEN press releases by Monday, why are you waiting to contact someone on Sunday and then expect the releases to cost no more that $15 each? Without deposit or rush fee? Oh, right, you must be used to working with content-mill-level writers. Sorry, not me. You want my time and level of experience, you pay my rates.

Roasted a chicken for dinner, then cooked down the bones to make soup. Yum! Labor-intensive, but yum!

I’ve got the article to prep, work to do for my editing client, work with students, press releases (for a regular client and on some of my own upcoming events) to draft. I signed some exciting contracts this morning and am sending them back — will be able to make an official announcement soon!

Had to turn down a theatre opportunity because it conflicts with the new play, the NECRWA conference, and the two projects whose contracts I signed this morning. Maybe some other year I’ll be under consideration again and can go for it.

Two screenplay ideas are swirling in my head (loglines already done; they’re for the packet going out March 4), and I’ve got a LOT to get done today, along with picking up a few things before tomorrow’s snowstorm hits — we’re supposed to get eight inches.

To the page!

Devon

Published in: on January 20, 2014 at 8:33 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Jan. 17, 2014: Mead and Muse

Friday, January 17, 2014
Last Day of the Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and foggy

According to the book 365 GODDESSES, today is Gunnleod’s day, the day of mead and muse. I kind of like that.

It’s also Ben Franklin’s birthday (I’m reading his biography).

Yesterday’s meeting wound up taking all morning, between meeting and presentations and peeking into the hospital to see how the turtles are doing. It was a good meeting, though. I did a bunch of pacing and muttering pertaining to the new play. The characters are forming, and I have the germ of the situation, but it’s still formulating.

Worked with students in the afternoon, got things set up for the new editing client and started on that project, and landed a try-out gig (paid) with another potential client — if we like each other, it will be a long-standing, regular gig. The negotiation process was a pleasure, so hopefully, that’s a good omen. Heard from another potential client that they can’t use me right now, but want to in the future, insisting they weren’t just blowing me off. So, we’ll see.

To bed early last night, very tired. Violet’s howling in the night and Iris having episodes wears me out.

Working on the novella this morning, before I get going on the book edit, the article, and a few press releases that need drafting. I also have a script synopsis to write, and the third television pilot comes up in the editing queue today.

Never a dull moment!

Devon

Published in: on January 17, 2014 at 8:36 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 17, 2014: Mead and Muse  
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Thurs. Jan. 16, 2014: The Exciting New Client Parade

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Still dark out

Yesterday didn’t feel very productive, although I worked all day, through a migraine. I pitched some jobs, worked with students, wrote, polished and submitted two articles, ran errands.

The very late payer finally paid — so that’s done, thank goodness. And those two articles to the other client wind up our contract, so as soon as I’m paid for them next month, we’re done. That will lift a lot of stress from my life.

Someone else wanted to book an editing slot, then quailed at the thought of actually having to submit the work on a designated date and put down a deposit, so, buh-bye. However, another client signed for a bigger project, and the deposit is in place, and I start on the project as part of today’s slate.

Another potential client wants a quick-turnaround project and had me look at the project to give a quote. I did, and if management signs off on it and puts down the deposit, that’s something else to add into today’s queue.

A third potential new client was very excited about my samples, and we’re going back into negotiation later today, for a standing 1-4 article/month contract at a decent pay rate.

After a wave of unreliable, slow-paying, no-paying, disappearing clients, this is a huge relief. Cleaning house of the lowest, slowest-paying tier of client is making room for much more.

I have to leave the house by 7 AM this morning for an NMLC Board meeting in Buzzards Bay, and then come back to see what other client communications came in and get started on today’s project slate.

Before I leave for the meeting, I need to get in my first 1K of fiction for the day, so I better get going!

Devon

Published in: on January 16, 2014 at 6:14 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. Jan. 15, 2014: Brain Work

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Mid-month check-in over on the GDR site, and an update on the garden site.

Busy day yesterday. Lots of it was admin work and prep work for meetings. Worked with students. Pitched for some jobs.

My computational neuroscience class started. Turns out my neurons fire differently than most people’s. I kind of knew that, but the professor finds it interesting. My fellow students, however, do not. There’s resentment that even though I don’t have the math background, I’m capable of figuring out the equations in my own, off-the-wall way. I don’t believe algebra exists, I don’t do calculus, and, to me, “probability” is how I pick a winning horse. Oh, and my brain responds receptively the same way as a cat’s.

My question to that is: is that BECAUSE I live with cats, or do I live with cats BECAUSE of the way my brain works?

It’s all very interesting.

The Environmental Law & Policy class has also started; I need to get up to speed on that. That should be quite fascinating.

Driving to the meeting last night was a nightmare in the storm. I didn’t think I was going to make it. Hydroplaning all over the place.

Meeting was lively, with some surprises.

Client STILL hasn’t paid me. Client will shortly be ex-client.

I have to finish up the last set of articles for the other slow-paying client today (the one who actually paid, albeit late) and that finishes out our contract.

I have some admin to do and some errands to run. I’m supposed to be in four different places tonight; I’m not going to be in any of them. I need some rest. I’ve got a migraine again, and it’s not going to get any better.

One of the interesting things about these neuroscience classes is that I’m starting to understand the physical components underlying the psychological components of how the brain works, and how that is tied to an individual’s value systems. What we remember and what we forget isn’t just about the amount of information we have — it’s tied to what and who we value and how we assign those values in relation to our own agendas. It’s easy to say “I forgot” or “that was careless”, but there is an underlying reason that works on both mechanical AND psychological levels on what we forget and why. As people around me make decisions that, ultimately, affect me, having this additional layer of information is useful as I make decisions on my responses, and can separate the platitudes spoken to ass-cover from the scientific reality of how the brain works.

Haven’t been in much of a writing groove this week — need to get back into it.

Devon

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 15, 2014: Brain Work  
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Tues. Jan. 14, 2014: The Project Stack

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

There’s a piece on Strand Books, one of my favorite bookstores, over on A Biblio Paradise.

Yesterday was a busy day, but a fun one. Up early, the usual yoga/meditation every morning. Some admin work, got a pitch out.

Then, into the car and drove to Brockton to meet with a potential new client. I was worried about the drive, but it was completely pleasant, and, along Rt. 106, even had some good memories — my grandmother, mother and I used to use 106 when driving between Foxboro and Plymouth. I thoroughly enjoyed myself during the meeting itself. The project is exciting, and I think I’d be an excellent person to help it reach its full potential. It’s a project where I not only have the ability to help bring it to fruition, but, because I’m genuinely excited about it. I’d also have the passion for it. Even more important, I could see myself working happily in the environment and with the people who would be my colleagues. It wouldn’t be just getting through it — it would be looking forward to going to work every day.

At this point, it’s out of my hands — either they think I’m the right person both for the job and the situation, or they don’t. There’s no way of knowing that until they either make me an offer or tell me they’re going with someone else. I just keep on doing what I do, and hope for the best. It would be an adjustment to work on site a few days a week, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile — doing more on-site work.

Home, back to work, catching up on everything I missed while I was out. One of my late-paying clients ponied up, so I’ll finish off the last couple of articles, and when I get paid for those next month, I’m done with that publication.

Did the revision on the TALENT pilot script — will put the changes in today, and then I’ll have to write the synopsis for that one, too. My script package date was pushed back to March 4, at my request — I’m certainly not going to send it out during the Mercury Retrograde, and the original date fell smack in the midst of that. It also gives me a couple of extra weeks to make sure the material is polished to gleaming.

Today, I have a lot of prep work for tonight’s meeting, writing, and working with students. Hopefully, the other slow-paying client will cough up, as promised, and we can wrap things up.

To the page!

Devon

Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 8:34 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 14, 2014: The Project Stack  
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