Fri. May 9, 2014: Library, Scripts, Contest Entries, and Edits

Friday, May 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy day at the library. A lot of it was spent coaxing our machines to do what they’re supposed to do — what should have been a fairly straightforward project took much longer than it should have. A solid reminder of why I loathe Microsoft and how much happier I am with my Mac. However, I also got some other work done, on outreach for the theatre collection and to writers, encouraging them to use our library as a resource and even write their books on site, polish my report for the board next week, etc. There were also all those things that come up during the day, to help patrons find something they want, and to deal with the dozens of issues that come up during the day that need attention to keep the collection running so patrons can get what they need when they need it.

Today, I’ll be finishing up the big project from yesterday and printing a lot of book spine labels, along with everything else. A few things came up yesterday that I need the Circulation Director to teach me how to do properly, too! Always something new to learn, which keeps things fun.

Before I’d gone to work, I’d polished and sent the second episode of The Big Script Project. I’d integrated notes from the first episode that affect the second episode, and tried a few things that are easy fixes if they want a different direction. Later today, I’ll get started on Episodes 3 & 4, which need to be delivered next week, along with the revisions of Episode 1.

The next round of edits for TRACKING MEDUSA arrived yesterday morning (I think I mentioned that in yesterday’s blog post), so I’ll turn those around this weekend, finalize the Series Bible for it, and do the “Odd Word Sheet” for “Severance”, which is the next Amber Quill release coming down the pike for me.

Stopped at the store and the liquor store on the way home from the library. Had a glass of wine on the deck — Tessa was pouting and wouldn’t come out. Cooked dinner, and then got to work on contest entries. I have one stack to finish up over the weekend, and I’m supposed to meet with a colleague after work to go over entries on another contest.

Donna Leon’s newest release, BY ITS COVER, is out (and I got it, I’d put it on hold). It’s set against a Venetian library. I’m in heaven! Now, I just have to make sure I carve out some time over the weekend to read it.

At some point, I also have to get gas for the mower, fire it up, and start mowing my lawn, before it looks like a jungle!

Have a great weekend, all, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Devon

Hey, if you want a fun read for the weekend, pick up a copy of my ghost story, “Lake Justice”, released by Amber Quill Press here.

Published in: on May 9, 2014 at 5:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 9, 2014: Library, Scripts, Contest Entries, and Edits  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thurs. May 8, 2014: And The Show Wraps Up . . .

Thursday, May 8, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Temperatures are low this morning, but they’re supposed to soar. And it’s sunny. My grass is growing so high it’s starting to look like a savannah, but I’ll get gas for the mower and Saturday is the earliest I can deal with it.

Worked nearly a full day at the library — busy day, but lots of fun. Working on putting new books and magazines into circulation, utilizing shelf space to the best of all our abilities, programming and outreach ideas, and reports for next week’s BOT meeting.

Scooted out at 4, raced over to the Marine Life Center. The traffic was awful, backed up in both directions at the Bourne Bridge (but would have been even worse on the Sagamore). Got there, got things set up, and discovered that the lights had somehow blown a fuse. I knew what the problem was, but not where to fix it. Fortunately, the light/sound designer was on his way. He dealt with that while I had the actors do a line-through.

The show went well. The understudy stepped up, and the regular cast members were right there to support her. We had a full house, which was great, a mix of all ages, which is exactly what the play was geared to.

There were definitely frustrations and worries. The lights flickered a few times, and it felt like the sheer willpower of the designer and I focusing on keeping them on kept us from plunging into the dark. One idiot audience member wandered in and out from the theatre area to the refreshment area like she was in her living room. After the show, some stranger I’ve never met and have no intention of dealing with again gave me “notes”. You’re not part of the production, you didn’t pay for the production or pay me — you don’t get to give notes. I’ve never met you, I don’t know — or care — who you are, and you are not connected to the production. I take notes from the experts who are kind enough to read and correct the scientific content, and from producers or investors. Not some random person with nothing invested in the project who wants to feel important. There’s also a positive way to make suggestions and giving feedback to which I would have been totally open — but marching up to me while I’m trying to take care of post-show business, interrupting what’s going on, and telling me what I “have” to change isn’t one of them. Especially when you have zero credentials and I have the credentials I have. There’s a standard of basic courtesy and professional/personal respect that anyone with common sense would follow — since this person didn’t, AND is not a financier of this or any other theatrical project — no reason to pay attention.

But it’s done, all I have to do is get final numbers and file reports with the Arts Council, and then prep the script for publication.

I helped the lighting/sound designer pull most of the equipment and load it up. We’ll come back and take down the grid some other day.

Came home and collapsed.

Got revision notes on Episode 1 of the Big Script Project and working on Episode 2 polish to submit today. Also got back the next round of my edits for TRACKING MEDUSA.

This is my first “normal” day at the library. I’ll be working on the Big Script Project, the TRACKING MEDUSA edits, and the rest of the contest entries when I get home tonight, but at least I won’t be working by moonlight.

I could sleep for a month.

But there’s no open month for that to happen!

Published in: on May 8, 2014 at 7:00 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 8, 2014: And The Show Wraps Up . . .  
Tags: , , , , ,

Wed. May 7, 2014: From One Job to the Other

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Worked flat out yesterday, on client projects, on the Big Script Project, and on contest entries. Delivered three versions of the first episode, which was due yesterday. When they pick the direction, I’ll be able to tweak the second episode (due tomorrow) and work from there.

Did laundry, packed the car for today’s final performance of SEAL TIDES.

Read a book that’s getting a lot of buzz that infuriated me — such a narrow view of the topic, and, of course, making excuses. I will have to write an essay about it.

I have to get gas for the mower this weekend and start mowing. The lawn looks good, but it’s getting kind of long. And, of course — the ants are back. I have to try yet something else so they don’t destroy the yard.

Built a prop this morning for the show — last time I have to build this particular one!

Off to the library this morning for a full day, and then, leaving two hours early to get to the show. Final performance tonight at the Annual Meeting. I still have to file the final reports with the Arts Councils, but then, I’m done!

I’m taking contest entries with me to read on my lunch hour.

Devon

Published in: on May 7, 2014 at 6:03 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 7, 2014: From One Job to the Other  
Tags: , , ,

Tues. May 6, 2014: Light at the End of the Long Workday Tunnel

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hop on over to Biblio Paradise to see the interview about “Lake Justice.”

Busy day yesterday. Worked on client projects, the Big Script Project, and wasted far too much time on administrative material with corporate assholes. The corporate structure in this country must be dismantled and rebuilt. Individuals cannot be allowed to mistreat and abuse customers and ignore laws and regulations due to “company policy”. If “company policy” is in conflict with a regulation or a law, the regulation or law takes precedence. The company and THE INDIVIDUAL who refuses to obey the regulation or law must be held accountable. If an individual doesn’t have the balls to stand up to illegal company practices, that individual deserves to be either fired or held liable for damages.

We had the put-in for the understudy for tomorrow night’s performance. Some of it was quite good; some of it needs work. It was a little distracting, because there was a volunteer orientation happening in the next room, but we all survived.

Tomorrow is the performance, then I file the final reports on SEAL TIDES, and we’re done. Big relief. I need to be able to settle into my new work schedule a bit, and figure out how to get the writing on my primary projects done in and around the library work, the script work, and the remaining client projects.

I also have a heck of a lot of yard work to get done.

Came home and worked on a script polish on the episode that I have to deliver today, and some work on the episode to be delivered on Thursday. I also have to get back to work on contest entries.

There will be more dealing with corporate assholes today, but at least I’m getting a lot of paperwork done, and I want to get these issues resolved.

I’m also working to get the TRACKING MEDUSA details into the Series Bible, so that I can dig into BALTHAZAAR TREASURE again, starting this weekend. July 1 is coming up quickly, and I need to get a submission-ready draft done by then — which means several rounds of edits.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on May 6, 2014 at 7:25 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 6, 2014: Light at the End of the Long Workday Tunnel  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Mon. May 5, 2014: Conference Wrap-up and Hotel Choices

Monday, May 5, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and mild

Intense, busy, rather wonderful weekend. I had a late start getting out of here on Friday — I had to get some stuff done before I could leave. Thank goodness that I had packed and prepared earlier, or I would have been scrambling.

When I finally got on the road, I had to run some errands in Falmouth before even getting over the bridge. Traffic coming on-Cape was already backed up — looks like we’ll have a prosperous summer!

The drive to Burlington, MA was awful. Traffic was terrible, too many crazy drivers, too many texting while driving. What should have been a quick run up there took nearly three hours. Checked in to the Marriott (I’d prepaid). My rooms was on the second floor, in the back — quieter than some of the other locations, and for that, I was grateful.

I had really mixed feelings about the Marriott, and it’s unlikely that I would choose to stay at a Marriott again. This should actually matter to them, as my business travel is going to ramp up over the next couple of years. The staff was lovely — something very important in my book. Well-trained, polite, friendly. I had no problem with the room, although it looked like an 80’s bachelor pad, with all the dark wood and mirrors. The king-sized bed was fun (although a bit soft). The towels were about the size and consistency of dinner napkins, which was annoying. I expect small, thin, scratchy towels at a budget hotel, not a Marriott. There’s no fan in the bathroom, which means it steams up and stays damp all day. I liked that my particular room was oriented towards the East — I got beautiful sunrises and could do yoga in front of the enormous windows, screened by the trees and the sheer drapes. The in-room coffee was dreadful, and the coffee downstairs was overpriced and not any better, and there was no way I was going to pay $6 for room service coffee.

But, for me, the deal breaker was charging $12.95/day for internet access in the room. Um, no. The last dozen budget hotels I stayed at had free wi-fi in the room. When I’m paying scale at a supposedly “prestigious” hotel, I expect free damn wi-fi in the room. Supposedly, one could get it for free in the lobby or the bar, but I couldn’t get the laptop to connect, and why should I have to haul my laptop into the bar? There was a public computer in the business center, and I hopped on there for a hot minute on Saturday evening, but still . . .Further, it should be clearly stated on the site BEFORE one books that wi-fi in the room is both a separate charge and the detail of the charge. According to fellow conference go-ers, every Marriott charges differently. So? Put it on the individual sites anyway.

Marriott is off my list for go-to hotels. If I’m invited back to the conference next year, there’s another “name” hotel a couple of miles down the road that offers a better room rate, breakfast, AND free in-room wi-fi.

It’s pretty amazing that budget hotels not only charge less for the rooms themselves, but offer more amenities.

There were no phone books in the room, and I couldn’t use the wi-fi without paying the ridiculous rates, AND there was no information about nearby restaurants or anything else — again, something that most other hotels I stay in offer. Most hotels have a folder in the room with nearby sights, restaurants, etc. This one had a guide about what’s going on in Boston, but nothing about local businesses, not even sights in Concord and Lexington, which is only a few miles away.

Which meant I was trapped at the hotel for my meals. Fortunately, the food was good, although the prices were more New York than not-New York.

Friday night, I went down to the bar and had a burger and a glass of wine. They had a bunch of fancy burgers on the menu, but I just wanted something simple, typical pub burger, and they were kind enough to accommodate me. I started reading Neil Gaiman’s THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, which is a beautiful book. I also got an idea for a short story, which I hope to draft later this week, once I’ve got some deadlined work out of the way.

Went back up to the room, did some work on contest entries (I took a bunch of them with me for this second contest I’m working on), and re-watched THOR on TV. Liked it better this time around. Ran through my notes for the next day’s presentation. Toyed with the idea of putting together a Power Point for it, but was too darned tired.

Up early the next morning (love that Eastern-facing room). Bad coffee, yoga, meditation. The shower was decent, although the supposedly organic bath products provided by the hotel made me itch. No matter, I bring my own tried-and-true.

Dressed and in full make-up in time to go to the 7:30 buffet breakfast provided by the Conference. That was excellent, and I met some lovely people, including a writer who has experience similar to mine in marketing writer AND who is a costumer. We had a LOT to talk about.

I went back to the room, picked up my Bin O’Stuff, and headed back to Salon G, where my workshop would be held, and where the morning session I wanted to attend was held. It was great fun, about voice. Powerpoint, which made me wonder if I was doing a disservice by not have a Powerpoint presentation, but it was too late by then!

We had fun doing the turnover between the two workshops — the previous presenters were lovely and very aware of time and space. Last year, that was a problem. Last year’s presenter before me in the same space ran over by fifteen minutes and then stayed and chatted with people in the room while I was trying to set up because, “oh, I don’t pay attention to the clock.” Fortunately, this year’s predecessors were much more mutually supportive and respectful.

I even had a moderator to keep me on track with time, and some people were there who’d taken other workshops of mine. The handouts were a hit — there were a LOT of them. We got through all the relevant material, had time for questions, and even had time to discuss aspects of craft that weren’t strictly serials. So it was tons of fun.

We moved additional questions out into the hallway, so that my successor could set up for HER workshop, and then I took my bin back to the room and managed to catch the end of another workshop.

Lunch was fun — another buffet lunch provided by the Conference, which was really, really good. Along with fun conversation at the table, and a terrific speaker, a writer named Cara McKenna, who was a lot of fun.

I went to an afternoon session, which gave me devleopment ideas for the mystery series set at a marine life hospital. At lunch, an announcement was made asking for help to set up for the literacy signing, so that’s what I did — helped haul in books and set up tables, which is always fun. And then I bought some books at the literacy signing — four of my mom’s favorite authors put together a book, and I had all four of them sign a copy to her.

Dropped off the books in my room, went back down to help clean up, but the signing ran over. Had to head back to the room because the Kentucky Derby was on. Even though I’m not technically covering it this year (since, hey, I’m at a writers’ conference and not sitting in a press box at a race track), I didn’t want to miss it.

My pick, California Chrome, won! This is a horse whose sire cost $2500 and whose dam cost only $8000. He beat all the million dollar babies with both finesse and heart. For a three-year-old, he was remarkably together. Trusted his jockey completely, didn’t use himself up too early in the race, and, when the turn for home came, he poured it on and won by something like five lengths. He knew he won, too — he danced happily around after he crossed the finish line. Great personality, along with great skill. I was delighted. A truly great race. Usually, I don’t bet the favorite, but I loved this horse, and I’m glad he won. It wasn’t a money-making race for me, but it was a heart-warming race.

Had dinner in the room (overpriced Asian fusion — good, but small portion). There was supposedly a post-conference party for those of us still around, but a location hadn’t been set mid-afternoon and I was told, “oh, just come down, you’ll see us.”

I did some work on the edits for TRACKING MEDUSA, and went downstairs a little after 8:30 to look for the party, but didn’t find it. So I went back to the room and worked on edits until 11, when I was too tired to do anything more.

Up early on Sunday. Beautiful sunrise. Yoga, meditation, shower. Bad hotel room coffee. I was not about to pay $13 for a continental breakfast or $15.50 for Eggs Benedict (although I wanted the latter). I stayed in the room and finished the edits on TRACKING MEDUSA until an hour before checkout time, then loaded the car and checked out. Since I’d paid in advance and paid cash for room service and the meals, I had no extra charges on my card. Yet, this morning, I see they still put through a $50 charge. When I complained, I was told that it would be reversed “in a few days”. It should have been reversed up on check-out, when there were no charges on the room. Another strike against the Marriott.

Drive home was fine. It was raining in Burlington, but lovely on the Cape. Since I hadn’t eaten before I left, I was ready to chew the steering wheel by the time I got home, and I took my mother out to lunch at her favorite place, Cook’s.

Sent the completed edits to my editor and did some reading on the deck in the afternoon. I was too tired to do much else. Tessa got into trouble because she chased a chipmunk into a bush, instead of staying on the deck, so she’s losing her out-of-the-enclosure deck privileges and has to stay in the enclosure.

Watched some TV last night — as good as GAME OF THRONES is in so many ways, I find the unrelenting cruelty exhausting, and I’m kind of going off that show.

I’ve got two script episodes to write this week, work on the series bible for TRACKING MEDUSA, the short story I want to draft, and contest entries to work on. I also have to do things like laundry and library work and put in the understudy this evening for Wednesday’s final performance, and finish the reports for the Arts Councils. I also have some correspondence to deal with.

Onward!

tnLakeJustice

If you haven’t bought “Lake Justice” yet, I hope you do. It’s a fun read, and it’s only a dollar here.

Fri. May 2, 2014: Headed for the Conference!

Friday, May 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Yesterday was a long day, but fun. Welcome Spring at the library was a big success! Some of the books I ordered from the mystery grant monies arrived, along with other books ordered by my predecessor, and some DVDs. Everything got processed; some is ready to go on the shelves. The books that don’t release until next Tuesday will go on the shelf on Tuesday. I also did some research and put together information for a long review memo I’m sending out next week. We set up for the event, and it ran smoothly. I even won the item on which I bid — a lovely pottery ginger jar.

Came home, collapsed, packed a few more things for the conference.

Finished packing this morning. I have to pick up a few things at the store for the cats before I go, and then I’m headed out to teach at NECRWA this weekend.

I cannot wait for the hotel room with the king-sized bed and some peace and quiet. I’m also taking contest entries, my edits, and the material for the scripts I have to start delivering next week with me.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

tnLakeJustice
“Lake Justice” available as a digital release from Amber Quill Press here.

Published in: on May 2, 2014 at 6:44 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Thurs. May 1, 2014: Welcome Spring! (in Torrential Rain)

Thursday, May 1, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Torrential Rain
Beltane

What a way to start May! Torrential rain!

Busy, but good day at the library yesterday. I met the new Director, and we hit it off. We have a similar sense of humor and are both energetic. I got some book orders done, and I received a bunch of things I ordered, including some great DVDs to build our collection, so it encompasses both classics and the hottest new releases. I’m excited about the books I’ve ordered to fill a mystery grant, and also have enough left in this year’s budget to keep up with some terrific new releases. Everything that came in has been entered, given its Dewey call number, bar code, and is either on the shelf or on the cart to get a cover and will be on the shelf shortly. I’m still a little slow with all of this, because I want to make sure I do it right! There’s a lot of administrative work involved with getting the books people want and need onto the shelves, and making sure people have access to them!

I left early and headed over to the college. One of the acting classes spent the semester working on my play. The instructor wasn’t there, so it was just me and the actors — and I put them through their paces, the same way I would in professional rehearsal. We talked about reasons certain things were structured or phrased, when certain beats had to be hit, and when there was a little wiggle room. I made them to back when they messed up and run it a few times to get the feel of it. I had them do a speed-through of the lines on the act they haven’t yet learned. Overall, I’m happy with their work — they have a solid understanding of the piece and of the emotional beats of the character. Now, they have to be confident in the lines, because if they drop the pace, the comedy won’t work. I enjoyed working with them,and all the work they put in.

Today is all about our Welcome Spring event, the library’s big fundraising gala. Last night, I frosted the three dozen cupcakes I baked the previous day, and packed them all up, ready to go. I can load them into the car in the garage, but getting them from the car to the library will be a challenge.

I started packing clothes for the conference — I don’t want to put in my dress until the last minute before I leave. Everything else is ready — all my handouts, notes on the class, etc.

Should be fun. When I came off the road, I thought I never wanted to see another hotel room for years. Well, years have passed, and I’m looking forward to being in one, and having some peace and quiet. I’m taking contest entries and my edits with me, to work on when I’m not doing conference stuff or hanging out with soon-to-be-new friends.

Devon

tnLakeJustice
“Lake Justice” available from Amber Quill Press here!

Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 6:51 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,