Mon. Jan. 13, 2014: Writing, Clients, Research, Award Shows

Monday, January 13, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Busy weekend. Still annoyed with two clients. One is now three weeks late in paying me — and this is our first project together. It may well be our last. Being “on vacation” and “out of town on business” is not an excuse. The payment date was not a surprise. It was in our written agreement. Make arrangements for the check to be mailed while you’re gone, or pay me electronically. I fulfilled my part of the contract — now you fulfill yours. The other client, the perpetual random payer — is now over a week late. I’m not delivering the final two articles on the contract until I’m paid, and, once I’m paid for those — I’m done. There’s a reason both these clients have a high writer turnover — they’re unreliable. You want to keep good people? Show them respect, and part of that is paying on time per the contract.

On a happier note, I finished the airship steampunk, revised it, and sent it out. I had enough material for a novel and had to strip/throw out a lot of ideas. I kept notes, in case I ever want to expand it. Hopefully the story doesn’t read as compressed. I’m worried that there’s not enough conflict in the climax, although I invented some interesting gear used in it.

Totally cooked by Friday night — I wrote synopses for three different scripts. And another teleplay comes up in the editing/revision queue today. Gotta get that packet ready for February!

Had a meeting with a fellow writer and friend –we’re going to encourage each other along writing our novels. She’s outlined what she wants to work on — I have to decide which of three possibilities I want to work on with her.

I also have to get back to work on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, which I hope my new publisher will like. I have to find the full writer’s rough I did a few years ago.

I have some admin work to do today, and I also have a client meeting about an hour off-Cape. My materials are all together for that; I just have to give myself enough time to find the place and feel settled before the meeting starts.

Read a supposed thriller over the weekend which did not thrill me. Started another novel, whose premise excited me, but the author was one of those pretentious ones who uses dashes instead of quotation marks for dialogue AND writes in present tense. I lasted for ten pages and had to put it down. The structure did not support the novel. Since I wasn’t being paid to read it, I didn’t have to fight my way through it.

Found the letters from George Eliot to Harriet Beecher Stowe that I looked for in reference to the Charlotte Bronte conversation in a collection of Eliot’s letters. Copied out the relevant passages. Now, I want to read Harriet’s letters to see her side of it. So that project is developing.

Worked with students — I’m lucky to have a dedicated, committed batch this semester. They want it, and they’re willing to work for it, rather than making excuses.

Watched the Golden Globes last night, both for fun, and as background for a couple of projects that use award show scenes. Glad AMERICAN HUSTLE did well, but I feel that Jeremy Renner’s work is being unfairly overlooked. He went in a completely new direction for him, and I don’t feel the work is being properly appreciated.

Really pleased by the positive response to my short story “Catch Your Breath”. It encourages me to play more with contemporary literary fiction.

Off to get some writing done and then to the meeting.

Devon

Jan. 10: Short Story Addendum: “Catch Your Breath”

My contemporary literary fiction short story, “Catch Your Breath” is up at PAGE AND SPINE here. I don’t write much in this genre, so it was fun!

Published in: on January 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm  Comments Off on Jan. 10: Short Story Addendum: “Catch Your Breath”  
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Fri. Jan. 10, 2014: More Meetings and Snow

Friday, January 10, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowing!

It’s supposed to be “flurries”, but it’s coming down pretty steadily.

I was under the weather yesterday, migraine and stomach problems. Pulled myself together for a fun meeting with a potential client in the morning. If that comes through, it will be an intriguing gig that would last for about a year or so, with highly, highly intelligent people, so that would be fun. We’ll see — either I fit what they want or I don’t. It depends if they can accept someone who is versatile, or if they want someone who only does what they do.

Tried to read a book with an interesting premise and wickedly manipulative protagonist, but it was written in the present tense, and was too frustrating. If I’m not paid to read it, I put down books written in the present tense, because I just LOATHE them. No, I am NOT there in the moment, and the use of present tense reminds me, verb by verb, that I am outside the story, not inside it. Where the fuck are the editors on these books? Why aren’t editors editing for structure that supports story anymore? Especially with debut novelists?

Read a different book instead, AN UNEXPECTED GUEST by Anne Korkeakivi, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My stomach felt better as the day progressed, but the migraine did not let up and then I got sniffly. I don’t have time to be sick.

Another client meeting for Monday, this time with a potential client in Brockton, so I have to make the hour drive there and back. Good for me to go over the bridge occasionally!

Busy day and busy weekend — because I have meetings EVERY day next week, and I have a lot to get done. I have to write the synopses for four scripts this weekend, and finish a longish short story.

Back to the page. Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on January 10, 2014 at 8:10 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Jan. 9, 2014: Meetings and Writings

Thursday, January 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. Worked with students, accepted contract offer, revised a half hour teleplay, pitched for some jobs, wrote/polished/submitted a review. Had some interesting interactions with some potential new clients.

Early dinner, and then off to Sandwich Library. I left early enough to give me a chance to pick up some books before my meeting, and then there was a lively Board meeting for the Writers Center. We are lucky to have such an energetic board.

Not feeling well this morning — my stomach’s upset again. Not sure why. Probably connected to the migraine. Busy day ahead of me, including an interview, and trying to reconfigure the schedule to get the new writing and editing commitments into it, while still staying on top of the scriptwriting materials that have to go out in mid-February.

If I can, I may take a nap later this afternoon, and I have to run down to Centerville Library to pick up some books they’re holding from me, AND type up the minutes from last night’s meeting.

Onward!

Devon

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 8:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014: Yes on the Offers

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked with students, did some admin, pitched for jobs, finished the next book I have to review, and had yet more trouble with Comcast believing that both federal and state telecommunications laws don’t apply to them. A trying day.

However, on the positive side, I’ve been offered two contracts by a publishing company — it’s a company I’ve wanted to join for awhile, and they LOVE my work, and they agreed to the two small changes I asked for on the contract. Once everything is signed, sealed, and delivered, I will make the formal announcement. But they’ve already assigned me an editor and release dates for both projects.

A grant and two prose contracts — nice way to start the new year!

It also means the second book in the four-book cycle needs to go back into the writing rotation — I need to get it to them soon.

I’ve got a lot of writing to get done today, to make up for the writing I didn’t get done yesterday, and then I have a Board meeting tonight.

I’m excited!

Devon

Published in: on January 8, 2014 at 7:45 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. Jan. 7, 2014: Working and Offers

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and c-c-cold

I’ve got an essay on choosing the first and last books of the year over on A Biblio Paradise. Check it out!

Yesterday, I worked flat out. I caught up on admin, pitched for some jobs, worked with students, wrote a book review, polished a feature article pitch and queried it, did some background for the new play, and for a feature article. Also mailed a package, did a library run, got in some cat food, and baked a cake for the neighbor who dug me out in the snowstorm last week.

This morning, I found an interesting offer in my inbox, and have started negotiations. If we can work out a few details, I’ll have some good news soon. If not, I’ll be disappointed, but move on.

I need to work on the airship steampunk story today, and get going on the revisions for the half hour teleplay, work with students, etc.

Hopefully, I won’t have to go out — it’s bitterly cold, and I’d rather stay safe inside.

Devon

Published in: on January 7, 2014 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 7, 2014: Working and Offers  
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Mon. Jan. 6, 2014: Back To It

Monday, January 6, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy, foggy, milder

It’s a little warmer today, before it dips back down to zero tomorrow, so it gives me the chance to finish clearing the snow off the deck and get some cat food into the house.

Busy weekend. Finished a teleplay, revised two screenplays, wrote three essays, did some invoicing. There’s a new post up at Gratitude and Growth about tomatoes.

Finished a book I have to review, read another book that I thought was overly simplistic and a little silly, and started re-reading Phyllis Theroux’s memoir THE JOURNAL KEEPER, which I really enjoy.

Yesterday, we spent the day taking down the holiday decorations (although we’re leaving the red ribbons up around doorways and windows until Valentine’s Day), changing out the fabric on tables, etc., doing laundry, putting everything away.

Normally, I’d have my Twelfth Night party tonight, but between not feeling well for weeks before the holidays and the bad weather, I’m better off doing one in spring instead.

The Editing Intensive starts today, I have a lot of admin work to do, I have to write a review, start two articles, and figure out an article pitch for a piece I want to write, and then figure out where to query it. Plus, trips to the post office, library, grocery store, and gas station.

Busy day!

Somewhere in there, I need to get back to the airship steampunk story, which is due soon, start revisions on the 30 minute teleplay, and start the play for which I got the grant!

Devon

Fri. Jan. 3, 2014: Blizzard

Tuesday, January 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Blizzard

We’ve got about two feet of snow so far, and it’s still coming down (I should have some cool photos eventually). Can’t open any of the doors — hopefully can get out through the garage to shovel.

Yesterday, did some pitches, caught up with students, typed up Chapter Five of TRUE HOME, did some work on a teleplay, and did some work on a script revision. Still reading CUCKOO’S CALLING.

Today, as soon as the snow stops, I’ll be shovelling! Hopefully, I can get in a lot of writing first.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on January 3, 2014 at 8:17 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 3, 2014: Blizzard  
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Jan. 2, 2014: Hit the Ground Writing!

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cold, snowstorm, preparing for blizzard

Yup, we’re supposed to have a blizzard over the next 30 hours. Batten down the hatches!

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog to see the To-Do List for January. Quite a bit on my plate, but I’m optimistic.

It was nice to sign off early on New Year’s Eve and do a mini yoga/meditation retreat. I also got to read Val McDermid’s book CROSS AND BURN — excellent.

Salmon pasta with broccoli for dinner, and then a quiet New Year’s Eve, welcoming in 2014. I’m ready for a fresh start!

Up early on the Day, yoga, meditation, and some other rituals that make the start of the new year fun.

Polished and uploaded the first two weeks’ worth of assignments for the Editing Intensive, which starts on Monday, watched the Tournament of Roses Parade, started the JK Rowling book under her pseudonym, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING. It’s quite good. I didn’t like CASUAL VACANCY, her other adult novel. It was well-written, but I didn’t like or respect any of the characters. This book is both well-written, and there are characters to whom I can connect. Makes all the difference.

Started reading George Eliot’s ADAM BEDE. I’m reading the Estes and Lautier edition, published in 1887 (that is not a typo, that’s the edition). I’m turning pages very carefully and feel almost as though I should wear white gloves when I read.

Also did a nice chunk of work on TRUE HOME, about ten pages’ worth, finishing chapter five (from Ella’s POV) and starting chapter six (from Garrett’s).

I have some interesting offers in my inbox. I have to mull over the pros and cons and check some dates. I’ll have to say no to several of them, but I want to make sure I pick the opportunities that are most in alignment with what I want long-term and truest to myself.

Lots to do today, before the storm hits, so I better hop to it!

Happy New Year, all!

Devon

Jan. 1, 2014: New Year, New Moon, New Beginnings!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde

I plan to be offline, focusing on yoga and meditation today.

But I hope you’ll hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog to see the answers to my GDR questions for 2014, and then over to Gratitude and Growth, the gardening blog, where I talk about plans for 2014.

Have a wonderful start to your new year!

Devon

Published in: on January 1, 2014 at 10:55 am  Comments Off on Jan. 1, 2014: New Year, New Moon, New Beginnings!