Fri. Feb. 28, 2014: Contest Judging and Mercury Direct

Friday, February 28, 2014
Dark Moon
Mercury Direct as of 9 AM EST (but can still wonk things until tomorrow)
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Decent work day yesterday. I’m very close on the play, which is a relief. I think I finally found the key to making it work.

Stop by Adventures in Vineland to see what I’ve been drinking, and what did and did not get done in February on the GDR site.

Ran some errands, dropped off books, picked up books, did some research, got some more work done on TRUE HOME and adapting the second episode of TALENT.

Wrote a kick-ass LOI that will go out with the script packets next week.

Did a bunch of pitches and LOIs; got some good responses immediately. Looking back at my pitch log, February’s responses were much higher than January’s, and the places to which I sent LOIs because I was interested had a much higher rate of positive response than any job postings. On the downside, as usual, there were still too many “writers” looking for “editors” who expect professional level work done for free. No. This is my business, not my hobby.

Happy that I have two more acceptances from my publisher; now that Mercury is going direct, I can actually sign the contracts.

Wrote, edited, polished, and submitted a review for a book I really enjoyed. My editor’s already shipped out my next batch.

Also, the books arrived via UPS for the first of the three contests I’m judging this spring. He had to use the dolly to get them to the house. One box was 50 lbs, the other 32 lbs. So exciting to open them!

The cover designs ALL look good this year. Really nice work.

Once the boxes were opened, I sorted the books into categories (I’m judging three categories for this contest). Then, I took the packing list to cross check what I’m supposed to have with what was actually in the box. Some of the missing ones are still to ship; some will be submitted electronically. I wrote up the list and sent it to Contest Central, to make sure our lists matched. Contest Central sent me the ebooks last night, and we matched lists again. The other books will be shipped shortly, and then we’ll finalize lists. The books are boxed in categories, with their judging sheets, ready to read.

I started in on the reading last night. Every time I pick up an entrant’s book, I want to fall in love with it. It doesn’t always happen, but I always start filled with optimism. I WANT these writers to succeed.

As I finish each book, I put it in one of three piles for its category: The Yes Pile, The No Pile, The Maybe Pile. If it’s submitted electronically, I put my notes for that book in the particular pile, so it gets the same amount of attention as the print books. Once I’ve completed the category, I go through each pile again, re-reading the notes, seeing how I still feel about each book, now that I’ve read everything in that category. As I read them, each book must stand or fall on its own. Once they’ve all been read, I have to weigh them against each other. Sometimes it means re-reading sections. Then, I go through The Maybe Pile yet again, making a final decision as to whether a book in it goes into Yes or No. The Maybe Pile is now empty.

Then, I go through The Yes Pile as many times as I need to, deciding which I think is the strongest book in the category, and which I feel are the four runners-up. That’s the list I submit.

I do this for each category. The writers poured their hearts and souls into their books, and I want every book to have a fair shot.

Busy weekend, lots of writing to get done, so I better get moving. We are going to be slammed with another major storm Sunday/Monday. Enough already!

Have a great weekend!

Devon

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Published in: on February 28, 2014 at 9:25 am  Comments Off on Fri. Feb. 28, 2014: Contest Judging and Mercury Direct  
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Thurs. Feb. 27, 2014: More Satisfying Writing

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Day before Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Wound up having a decent writing day yesterday. Got some good work done on both the play and TRUE HOME. Did a few pitches, had some nice feedback, so we’ll see.

Read the other book sent for review and loved it. This batch was terrific. Wrote, edited, polished the review and sent it off to my editor this morning.

The shipment for one of the contests I’m judging should arrive today. I’m very excited.

I have a lot of writing to do over the next few days, but at least I’m starting to feel like I’m getting back into the groove with it. We go into rehearsal for the play soon, and I’ll be dealing with that. And the upcoming releases, AND working on a couple of novels in tandem AND finishing up the screenplay packet that has to go out next week.

I have to be very, very organized for the next couple of months.

Back to work!

Published in: on February 27, 2014 at 8:27 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. Feb. 26, 2014: Ready for Mercury Retrograde to Be Over!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We’re supposed to get another storm today, but instead of 12 inches, it’s only supposed to be about 2.

New post up on Gratitude and Growth, about what’s surviving and what isn’t.

Worked yesterday, but wasn’t happy with the result, although I finished, reviewed, and sent off the review of the book I liked a lot to my editor.

Pitched for a part-time job that sounded like a ton of fun, but they are unwilling to have ANY flexibility in days or hours EVER, which simply doesn’t work for me. Oh, well. I can’t imagine that, as months and years go by, there’s never a day when something happens and someone can’t come in. That’s what they claim they need, though, so therefore, we are not a good match.

Mermaid Ball Meeting last night, and sorted things out for the play. I hope to get it finished today.

Excited to do some work on both the ferry girl novel and BALTHAZAAR TREASURE in the next few days.

Some of the stress may have lifted for the week, but I’m still trying to chase down payments, the typical dirge of a freelancer’s life. It just astonishes me how many people think writers and editors should be grateful to work on material for free or substandard fees, when they’d never expect a doctor, lawyer, or plumber to work that way. And, of course, those who are the most strident about not wanting to pay and the most paranoid that someone will “steal” their ideas are the ones with the weakest and most derivative material.

I am glad that Mercury goes direct on Friday. This has been a rough one.

Back to the page.

Devon

Tues. Feb. 25, 2014: Rowling Earned Her Success

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

A firestorm is going on over the internet, started by a little chickie who wrote an opinion piece on how JK Rowling should stop writing to “make room” for other authors. I haven’t bothered to remember chickie’s name — she did the piece to gain attention.

Now, she’s got the right to think and write anything she wants, but if she’s going to do so publicly, of course there are consequences. I suspect she belongs to the “no publicity is bad publicity” school. Whatever.

I disagree with her essay on oh, so many levels. If she doesn’t like Rowling’s work, fine. No one likes everyone else’s work. I also find it interesting that she chooses Rowling, who doesn’t even publish one book a year, and not other best-selling authors such as Nora Roberts or James Patterson, who publish multiple books a year.

Rowling worked hard to land her publishing contract. The Potter books touched a chord with many people. She earned the right to try other things. It’s important for a writer to grow and stretch and try new things, not doing the same thing over and over again (although repetition works well for some best-selling authors, and some of their books read like all they did was use “global replace” on settings and character names — but that’s an entirely different issue). CASUAL VACANCY didn’t work for me. I didn’t like any of the characters, and life’s too short to spend with characters or people in real life that I don’t care for. CUCKOO’S CALLING worked for me. I enjoyed it. And I’m glad Rowling tried two very different things, once she finished with Potter. She earned the right.

When you build an audience, you need to keep feeding them with stories. To demand that an author stop writing to make room for other writers is just silly, ludicrous, and inappropriate. Writers write. When they’ve broken through, they have the right to keep getting paid for their work.

If you don’t enjoy a writer’s work, don’t read it, don’t buy it. But to demand that a writer stop writing — that’s a form of oppression and censorship, and something that this author, certainly, has not earned the right to demand. A wanna-be artist doesn’t have the right to demand that an established artist stop creating. NO ONE has the right to demand that someone else stop creating, no matter what their position in the world.

Rowling earned everything she has through hard work. She’s put in the time and the sweat equity, and she deserves every good thing she’s gained. She hasn’t prevented anyone else from breaking through; in fact, I’m sure she’s opened the door for plenty of other authors who might not have gotten a break, as agents and editors ran around, frantically trying to find “the next Harry Potter”. She’s also done a great deal of good through her philanthropic work, never forgetting she once struggled to keep a roof over her head.

Chickie also denigrates Rowling’s readers. Since when does one person have the right to make reading choices for millions of people she’s never met? People have the right to read whatever they choose — that’s why we have events like Banned Books Week, to remind readers they have a choice. Writers explore characters, situations, and issues that matter to them, and then the readers have a choice to read it or not to read it. The government doesn’t have the right to restrict reading (supposedly), religion doesn’t have the right to restrict reading (although it often does), and an individual does not have the right to restrict reading, especially not to peers. Chickie lives in the Town of Entitlement on Planet Delusion.

But Chickie got what she wanted, which was attention. I, for one, disagree with her, although I respect that she has a right to her opinion. And now, I can’t be bothered with her going forward, unless she continues to try to legislate other people’s reading.

***End of comments, back to my real life***

Yesterday was frustrating. Didn’t get enough work done during the day, writing-wise. Pitched a bunch of jobs. Followed up on some other stuff. Ran errands.

Started reading the new book sent for review and it’s wonderful. Looking forward to writing the review.

Feeling run down and discouraged, but have to dig in and keep going. The stresses of the week will only get worse.

I hope to have some joy in the next few days of working on both BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and the ferry girl novel.

Devon

Published in: on February 25, 2014 at 9:09 am  Comments (4)  
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Mon. Feb. 24, 2014: A Writing and Researching Weekend

Monday, February 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Good news! My western novella, ELUSIVE PRAYERS, has been accepted by Amber Quill Press. This is a tie-in novella to my previous WIDOW’S CHAMBER serial. It had been accepted by the WC publisher, who went out of business on release day. I’ve rewritten it substantially in the interim, and it will now come out in late July. Re-working it, I liked the characters, situation, and depth of research, so I’m excited.

I have four releases coming out between the end of March and the end of July. So I’m pretty excited. It means I’ll be gearing up for some serious PR soon — watch out! 😉

Busy weekend. Friday was frustrating, but I got through it. Saturday, I worked on the novel I’m going to write in tandem with a friend who’s also working on a novel. We’re brainstorming and exchanging chapters, which is fun. I’ve read her outline and the first three chapters; she’s now got my initial fragment, my character notes, and the ideas for some major turning point scenes that I have to flesh out into my Writer’s Rough. In two weeks, I’m going to give her the first chapter. That’s longer than I usually take to write a chapter (I usually have to cough up one or nearly one a day), but this is a different kind of book and is not on a contract schedule.

I also wound up my course work for the Environmental Law and Policy Class. Got 100% on my final quiz, and 100% on my research exercise. I love, love, loved this class, and definitely want to get more involved in this type of work. It also made me understand some of the policies in place at the National Marine Life Center more completely.

I did some reading over the weekend. My next two books for review arrived, and I’m excited to dig into them. I started a couple of novels from the library, was frustrated with them, returned them. I read one novel I really enjoyed, THE TWISTED THREAD, by Charlotte Bacon. I wanted to shoot her an email to let her know how much I enjoyed it, but couldn’t find contact information online, and realized how spoiled we’ve all become at being able to locate anyone we want instantly! Good for her for not playing the always-available game!

Did a lot of research for the Sparkle & Tarnish series on Victorian dining. Since food plays a big part in the books, I want to make sure I get it right. I found THE SECRET GARDEN COOKBOOK filled with lovely historical tidbits, and I’m reading FANNIE’S LAST SUPPER, about a chef researching and recreating a meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 cookbook.

The current Garrett POV chapter I’m working on in TRUE HOME is set in Boston in 1886, so I’ve also been doing extensive research on geography, et al, of the time in order to properly write the chapter. Now, I have to cross-check some information, because I’d like to use some food info that is in books about Boston at the time, only I want to use them in NY chapters, but have to find out if similar places were in existence in NY at the time.

I see a trip to the Massachusetts Historical Society in the not-so-distant future for a day’s research.

Saturday night, I stayed up way too late watching NOW YOU SEE ME. The movie got lukewarm reviews, so I wasn’t expecting much, and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it a lot. I figured out the big twist, but then, that’s what I do. I understand structure, and that choice made the most sense within the structure and the clues dropped in. I watched it again on Sunday, to pick up some details I’d missed.

Sunday, I researched, wrote, and scheduled articles for the wine blog all the way into mid-March. Took a break for more research, and then spent the afternoon at the Osterville Library, at a talk by author Paul Kemprecos, who writes a detective series set in this area, and also wrote several books with Clive Cussler. A colleague from the Writers Center was there, and they had a nice spread of wine, cheese, etc. It was a fun, lively afternoon.

Watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics — pretty, but I didn’t have the context for much of the symbolism. Although I appreciated the tribute to writers, the performance didn’t make much sense, and where were the women writers?

This will be a very stressful week for me, not to mention that I have to finish the revisions of the play.

Got an intriguing job offer that I need to investigate more closely. I think it would be fascinating, if we can work out the time/money part of it.

The expected overnight storm missed us, and now they’ve downgraded Wednesday’s storm from a foot of snow to only four inches. Phew!

Back to the page.

Devon

Fri. Feb. 21, 2014: Trying to Stay Steady

Friday, February 21, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Ran some errands in the morning, got back before snow. Pitched for some jobs — there are two that I really want. I can only accept one of them, so we’ll see which one comes through. Whichever one comes through will be the “right” one.

Was unhappy with my writing.

Finished a book for review; wrote and polished the review. Sent it off this morning, along with the invoice.

I have a post up on Adventures in Vineland, if you’re interested.

Worked with students, and have to adjust some upcoming exercises.

Need to dig down into some writing today, and write, flat out, all weekend.

That’s pretty much it. We keep getting hit with storm after storm after storm, as everyone is, and trying to make the best of it.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on February 21, 2014 at 8:56 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Feb. 20, 2014: Striving for Craft

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and milder

Got some errands done in the morning yesterday, and also got the garbage to the dump — nice, clean bins now!

Came back and found out I landed a gig for mid-April to mid-May that I really wanted. So I have two upcoming gigs that I wanted and liked, and I’m looking forward to both.

Wrote a couple of articles for the wine blog. One is already up, and the other goes live on Friday. I’m going to finish up a few more and schedule them to post, so that I’m ahead of the game.

I’ve got a piece up, in my Annabel Aidan persona, over on Writers Vineyard, about “Inner Listening.”

Did some research for a couple of other things. Wasn’t happy with any of the fiction I wrote. Made some notes on characters that started yapping, trying to get them to be quiet.

Read some chapters of a friend’s WIP, which are very good. I had some suggestions, but I’m excited about this book.

I don’t understand it when someone (especially someone who claims to be a writer) says reading a good book is “depressing.” I find reading a good book thrilling. Why would I be depressed because a colleague does something brilliantly? It’s exciting and inspiring. It makes me want to hone my craft and let my imagination soar. I don’t want to write “like” anyone else. I want to write like me. But good writing always inspire me to set the bar higher for myself.

There’s no such thing as too many good writers. Human beings have an insatiable need for stories. What we, as writers, need to do, is keep working to be better with each piece, on both art and craft levels.

Back to the page for me. Lots to take care of today.

Devon

Published in: on February 20, 2014 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Feb. 19: Errands and Storms and Low-Quality Writing

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold with yet another storm coming

I realized I didn’t blog yesterday. Oops. Not much worth saying, so neither one of us missed much.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for seedling progress and the February Mid-Month Check-in for other progress, if you’re interested.

I had to run some errands before yesterday’s storm hit. The roads were awful. But I got in and out safely and then tucked in for the storm – plenty of snow, then switching over to rain, and we’re supposed to get another storm later today. I’m storm-weary at this point.

I lost all of Monday having to work on a particular document, but it’s done and out and let’s hope for the best.

Tuesday, I worked with students, got some pitches done, did some rewrites. I’m not happy with the quantity or the quality of my writing these past few weeks, and that’s very frustrating. I could live with a lower quantity if I was happy with the quality.

Did a bit of work on TRUE HOME and had to order a bunch of research books through the library to find out yet more stuff before I can write the current chapter. That’s why I usually prefer to research BEFORE I draft, but this is an entirely different process. Don’t get me wrong, though, I do love the research process.

Had errands to run this morning, as well. The driveway froze over and was a sheet of ice, in spite of shoveling, sanding, salting. Seriously, we could have run a few competitive events.

But I drive a VW, and the car handled it well. I ran my errands and then took the garbage to the dump. I only have to go every few months with household garbage. We recycle about 80% of what we create, so while we take recycling and yard waste about every ten days, the household garbage bins in the garage take a long time to fill and we don’t need many of those trips. Still, it always feels good to get it out of the house.

So, I’m late getting to the desk and getting the day underway.

I want to take my yoga practice deeper and more challenging. In these winter months, I tend to sleep in, but I’m going to start getting up earlier so that I can spend a longer time in my morning yoga and meditation practice.

My knee is healing well, but my back is still in bad shape, unfortunately. I hope the yoga can help with that, too.

Read a very disappointing novel. Great premise, but when your protag is an editor, the book damn well better be edited properly, and not full of structural, grammatical, and punctuation errors. Plus, the central love relationship had an undercurrent of nastiness to it (that was supposed to be humor) that made me uncomfortable. Add the lack of logic and plausibility, and not having the protagonist participate in the climax, and it was a disappointment.

Now, time to focus and get something worthwhile on the page. I’m feeling discouraged, and the only way to get out of the downward spiral is to do some good work.

Devon

Published in: on February 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Feb. 17, 2014: Digging Out

Monday, February 17, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and Cold
Presidents’ Day

I’m never sure whether or not this is actually a holiday here. I know it was in New York — most services and mail shut down, but things open to shop. But I’m not sure about here. Doesn’t matter — I’m not going out in 2 feet of snow anyway.

Busy weekend. Got a lot of admin stuff done on Friday, and errands. Was delightfully surprised by someone with whom I’m doing some writing work on the Coast — flowers, chocolate, wine delivered. Totally unexpected. Very much enjoyed.

Saturday, ran some errands (including a couple of library runs) and got home just as the snow started — hours earlier than predicted, by the way. Tucked in with books, chocolate, and wine while the blizzard took off. It was a good one.

We were lucky — only without power for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. I woke up right away because suddenly, it’s so QUIET. You don’t realize how much noise power lines and cable lines cause until they’re off. I considered getting up to start a fire in the fireplace, move us all downstairs where it was warmer, etc., but I had all three cats on the bed and we were cozy, so I decided to wait. Power came back on a couple of hours later, so it wasn’t necessary.

Our lovely neighbors helped us dig out. About 18” of snow, and it was the wet, heavy kind. The trees were bending over. The dogwood was arched all the way down into the driveway. I got as much as I could off as high as I could, so the tree could start straightening up, and did the same with the bushes I could reach. Neighbors helped us with the driveway and the path, and then I scraped down to pavement so it wouldn’t freeze over and get worse. Our roof is slanted, so the snow slides off quite well. We also shoveled the back deck and stairs (so nothing would collapse).

The writing has not been going well, and I hope that changes soon. I’m very frustrated, on several levels.

But, I need to dig in and get a lot done this week. So I better get going. I have articles to write for various blogs and a job I really want to pursue. Along with getting back on track with the writing.

Back to the page.

Published in: on February 17, 2014 at 9:28 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. Feb. 14, 2014: And Yet More Storms . . .

Friday, February 14, 2014
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I want you to know that I appreciate you. Valentine’s Day is great to celebrate with those you love, but it also gives an opportunity to appreciate those who support you and step up in unexpected ways and come through. Each of you is special and valued for your uniqueness.

Up and down workday yesterday, mostly because of the weather, and there were times when I had to shut down. “Miscommunication” seems to be the biggest theme for this Mercury Retrograde. I’m trying to stay as quiet as possible. It’s not always possible, and I’ve definitely taken some hits, but that’s the way it goes. I’ve also not just stood there and allowed myself to be bashed. When a line is crossed, I’m making it clear that it’s crossed, and it’s not okay.

I’m not happy with the quality of my writing over the past few days, which is also frustrating. It happens — sometimes it goes well, and then it doesn’t for awhile. It will even out.

We’re supposed to get slammed again, tomorrow, with another 4-8 inches of snow. Getting a little tired of it!

But have a wonderful, loving weekend — stay warm and cozy!

Published in: on February 14, 2014 at 8:59 am  Comments (2)  

Thurs. Feb. 13, 2014: Thoughts on Reviews and Literary Criticism

Thursday, February 13, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Stormy

We’re getting slammed by another storm, so I’m just going to tuck inside today.

Decent workday yesterday. I kind of felt like I dithered a bit, but got more done than I expected. I’m doing some research on history of police procedure, so that the Sparkle and Tarnish books have a jumping off point with what was typical and what was fresh, rooted in the reality of the time. Also compiling lists of popular authors and best sellers of the day, since literacy is such an important theme in the books.

Wrote a review, polished it, and sent it off to my editor. Had mixed feelings about the book, and tried to make the review fair, praising what I felt worked, but also pointing out where I felt it went off track — but in a diplomatic way. I don’t like reading snarky reviews (even if I agree with the technical elements), and I try not to write them. If I truly despise an author’s work, I suggest that it be assigned to someone else, who will give them a fair reading. Every writer pours a lot into a book, and every book deserves a fair shot at a balanced review.

There are some authors whose work I can’t stand. There are authors I don’t like personally, but like their work — again, the review has to be based on the work, not any personal bias. There are authors I like personally, but I don’t care for their work. In the best of all possible worlds, I truly enjoy the writing, and then meet the author and discover the author is as delightful as the writing. But, if at any point I’m assigned a book to review and don’t feel I can be fair, I ask the editor to reassign it. In twenty plus years of reviewing, I think that’s only happened twice.

I am always grateful when someone enjoys one of my books and leaves a comment. When something doesn’t work, I am interested to know that, too, and why, provided it is presented well. If it’s just an attack, without form or substance leading back to the elements of the writing itself, it is meaningless. It’s still unpleasant, but one has to shrug and move on. Not everyone is going to like everything. Authors need room to try new things that don’t always work. If something doesn’t work, it’s helpful to get comments on what didn’t work and why. I can take useful comments and apply them to other work (provided they align with my vision or convince me to look at something in a new way), and make the next books better. It is not helpful to get attacks. There’s a huge difference, and social media doesn’t always discern between a genuine review or criticism and an attack.

The people who run around attacking the books of authors they don’t like — why? If you don’t like an author or an author’s work, why are you reading it, much less reviewing it? There are thousands of books that will give you pleasure, so why read something that makes you unhappy or angry? Yes, you have to read a book thoroughly in order to be qualified to comment on it. But if one or two don’t work for you — move on. There are certain authors out there, with long, best-selling track records that attract some readers who slam a book and say, “I’ll never read anything by so-and-so again because she did THIS” and, six books later, they’ve said the same thing on every book. If you know you don’t like the author and the series, don’t read any more! Read something you LIKE! It’s unhealthy to lock oneself in a dance of negativity like that.

With the lack of credential filtering on many review sites, any “reviewer” with a personal axe to grind can do so publicly and hurt the author. That’s just wrong. Also, if a review is badly written and filled with errors, I discount it. Reviewing is a particular skill. Criticism — genuine, literary criticism (which is different from “critique”) — is an art form that, sadly, is going by the wayside. Well-written literary criticism can open up a book in a whole new way, both in light of the book itself and in the context in the cannon — within the author’s body of work, within the genre, within literature as a whole. Well-written literary criticism is wonderful. Yes, some of it is nasty, which I don’t always like. But the genuine criticism, well-done, opens new vistas into a work.

Okay, enough about that. Time to get a bunch of WRITING done.

Published in: on February 13, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments (3)  
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Wed. Feb. 12, 2014: Unwarrented Snark & Snowboarding Physics

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

New post over on Gratitude and Growth about how I’m trying to save my citrus plants.

Frustrating day yesterday. I felt like I was going around in circles, not getting much done. Did work with a delightful client back and forth on a project, which was fun, but the rest of it. Days like yesterday are frustrating, and I’m fighting the sense that today will be similar.

I have two books to recommend: BRISTOL HOUSE by Beverley Swerling and THE RIVER OF NO RETURN by Bee Ridgway. Both of them are excellent novels. Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed them. I hope the latter is the first of a series, because I want more with these characters.

I hurt for Shaun White yesterday. He had a rough day, and the snarkiness of both the media and some of his colleagues was disheartening. This is a guy who got the sport in the spotlight. Snowboarding takes strength AND intelligence — there’s a lot of physics involved, which most people don’t understand. You have to be able to calculate distance, velocity, wind speed, ground conditions, air conditions, and make split second decisions while you’re moving. Maybe some of these guys couldn’t write out the equations on a blackboard, but they feel it in their bodies. A lot of people think snowboarders aren’t smart because they speak unconventionally and dress unconventionally and work off by themselves doing stuff most people don’t understand and don’t buy into a lot of crap you’re “supposed” to buy into. The good ones have to be exceptionally smart, or they’d wind up dead. Shaun White’s done more good just by being himself, focused on his talent and creativity, connected to his core integrity, than most people do at double his age. He had a rough day in bad conditions, but it doesn’t negate all the wonderful stuff he’s done, both on and off snowboarding and skateboarding turfs, as a whole.

Now, I need to get back to my own core integrity, dig down, and get some good work done today!

Devon

Tues. Feb. 11, 2014: Example of a Positive Workday

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a very good workday. I worked on the novella in draft, I finished an editing pass on the other novella (and will do one more, layering in more sensory detail). My publisher and I agreed on the title for the sci-fi horror western. I worked on the play.

I also landed two new clients on two short projects. One is completely turned around (and paid). The other, I did my first pass and sent it back to the client for response, and it will go back and forth over the next couple of days (deposit paid). Both clients were a pleasure to deal with and had high quality work. Helped make the workday joyful.

Finished one of the books sent for review. The first half was great and it took a turn about midway through that was disappointing. Will write and send the review later today.

Started reading a book just because I want to, and I really like it. If I continue to like it, I will mention it as “Recommended Reading”.

I started on the week’s work for the Environmental Law and Policy class. Love it. We’re getting assigned a research project, which I’m eager to start.

Watched the Olympics, of course. Speed skating and skiing events.

My knee is healing nicely; my back is slower. But it’s healing, and yesterday’s snowfall wasn’t much, so the shoveling didn’t kill me. But we’re supposed to get slammed again all day Thursday. The very thought of it just makes me tired.

Devon

Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 11, 2014: Example of a Positive Workday  
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