Wed. Dec. 31, 2014: Out with the Old Year, in With the New

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I took the last few days OFF, really off, just doing what I wanted to, and not worrying about “have to”. I worked Saturday, then came home and relaxed. Read a lot. Percolated on a few things, but it was because I wanted to, not because I had to. Had nothing left in the tank, and felt like I had to replenish a bit, especially before the turn of the year.

Did some work on POWER OF WORDS (which will be retitled before it ventures out into the world). It holds up better than I expected, and there’s some really good stuff in it. I’d like to finish it and get it out there (under a better title).

Yesterday, I got the car inspected for 2015, and then ran errands: CVS, Petsmart, Stop N Shop, then over to Wareham. Got a new globe for the little red lamp — finally found one that fits it. I was looking for some dress pants and dress skirts, for work. Hated everything — the drape and measurements don’t work for me, I don’t like most of the fabrics and patterns. I have a feeling that I’ll wind up making a muslin mock-up of my “perfect” pants, and then use it as the master pattern to make a few pairs of my own — once I find a store from where I can get good fabric. Let’s face it, JoAnn’s doesn’t cut it (no pun intended). I’ve got several good skirt patterns and some nice fabric for those, so I’ll get to it on those soon. If I don’t rush, and really take time with the workmanship and the details, I’ll be able to concoct some classic pieces that will work for years.

I did find two dresses I really liked, and two sweaters. They look good on me, were on sale, and I bought them. I haven’t bought any clothes in ages, so I didn’t feel guilty.

The restaurants in Wareham all smelled of grilling hamburgers; stopped on the way home at Market Basket to pick up a few outstanding items, and also grabbed a couple of hamburger patties. Had a late lunch/early dinner. My cooking is better than a lot of restaurants (except some of the really fancy ones), so it made more sense to just get the ingredients and eat at home.

Finished watching the second season of HOUSE OF CARDS. The production is brilliantly done, but it’s still a depressing look at politics. Yes, it’s fiction, but there’s a lot of emotional truth in it.

Got everything prepared for tonight. Beds changed, food in, will do laundry as soon as I get back from work, bayberry candle for tonight, jasmine candle for tomorrow at dawn. Quiet night at home, lots of yoga, meditation, planning for the New Year, and good food. 2014 was definitely better than 2013, but it had more than its share of ups and downs. I want 2015 to be more focused and productive, on many levels.

I wish you a joyful start to the New Year, and I’ll see you in the next cycle!

Blessings,

Devon

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Published in: on December 31, 2014 at 9:08 am  Comments (3)  
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Fri. Dec. 26, 2014: Preparing to Clean, to Make Room for the New

Friday, December 26, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day
First Day of Christmas

I hope you all had a joyful holiday. Ours was about cooking, eating, being with family, books, cats. The good stuff.

Read a lot, including devouring two of Joanne Dobson’s Karen Pelletier mysteries. They are excellent. I’m surprised she’s a new-to-me author. It was great to read them, because a stack of books I read over the past few days were deeply disappointing.

I have to sit down this coming week and outline the first few novellas with the RED WIDOW characters. Without the outline, it’s not going to work. The stories feature a different set of connected protagonists in each, but I need an idea of the overall shape before any of them will work properly. I also need to dive back into BALTHAZAAR, and INITIATE needs attention.

I’m working on the Burns/Woolf piece, and percolating ideas for a radio drama for an overseas production company with whom I’m in negotiation.

I hopped on and off social media occasionally during the holiday, and, honestly, was rather frustrated with all the desperate self-promotion. I understand our books and goods make good holiday gifts, but, please! Some of the pushing put me completely off those authors.

Working on my Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions questions and my new five-year-plan. Need to get back behind the wheel and steer where I want and need to be, and aim for something specific on the horizon.

Work today and tomorrow, then off until Wednesday morning. Still have a lot to get done before the end of the year, but at least I can clear off a bunch of stuff and get going on the new year. One of the things I want to do is purge a bunch of stuff from the basement – -things I don’t want or need, that are holding me back. It’ll be a cycle of “cutting deadwood” over the next few months, something deeply necessary. Cut away the old to make room for the new, keeping only what has genuine meaning.

Have a wonderful time moving out of the old year and into the new!

Devon

Published in: on December 26, 2014 at 10:29 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Dec. 19, 2014: Flat Out Busy

Friday, December 19, 2014
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day at the library yesterday, including working on a 3000 piece mailing that has to go out. Worked on programming; we were short staffed, so I spent a lot of time on the desk. It was Patron Appreciation Day, so we had a nice spread. One patron came in to thank me for teaching him how to use the Kindle — he absolutely loves it. Another came in — he wasn’t sure I’d remember him — I turned him on to my favorite Icelandic mystery writer, and he’s thoroughly enjoying him. We also had an author come flying in, berating us for not having her author table set up for her signing, and why did she have to carry in her books by herself? Turned out she was at the wrong library. At first, she was sure WE were the ones who screwed up, but I told her that if she was booked at this library, I was the one who would book her, and I hadn’t. She was embarrassed and then frantic, because she had no idea where she was supposed to be and hadn’t written the name of the library in her date book. So, I did a search of Cape Cod events online and discovered where she was supposed to be, calmed her down, and off she went. A day in the life, right?

Came home, exhausted. Cooked dinner. Baked three batches of oatmeal lace cookies with currants, and one batch of cupcakes. Collapsed into bed. Still suffering from the Cape Cod Crud we all have, although I’m not contagious any more (stayed home while I was). But it’s irritating and just lingers.

Up early today, finishing up some work, and then I have another training session in Hyannis. We’re going to try to get as much of the mailing done as possible today, so that tomorrow is mainly counting and sending. I have a party to attend off-Cape — I have to get directions.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library, and our holiday staff/volunteer party. Then, I’m not back in the library until Boxing Day. I’m looking forward to the break.

Sunday is the Solstice — looking forward to the celebration. The moon will have just turned to new (new beginnings) and Saturn (life lessons) will have gone direct. This Saturn retrograde SUCKED. I keep thinking I’ve sorted out what I was supposed to learn from the previous retrograde, and then get smacked with something new.

I do hope I can sleep in on Sunday. I need to finish baking, and then I’m doing deliveries on Sunday and Monday of my cookie platters. I also have to take my mother to a specialist on Monday. AND write my cards this weekend.

Somehow, it will all get done.

I want to get the bulk of the Burns/Woolf tribute script written this coming week, so I can start thinking about who I want to ask to read.

I’ve also been in contact with a company in Ireland — I might write a drama for Irish radio after the first of the year, which would be fun.

Have a wonderful time, everyone! The questions for GDR are up over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site — hope you find them useful.

Blessed Solstice, Happy Hannukah, and Merry Christmas!

Devon

Published in: on December 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 19, 2014: Flat Out Busy  

Thurs. Dec. 18, 2014: Fun, Busy Day

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy day yesterday. My boss texted me just as I was leaving, suggesting I attend a workshop in her stead that morning. It was one I really wanted to take, so I was delighted. I was in a workshop with some great people all morning, and people with whom I want to spend more time. So that’s always a delight.

Came back to work in the early afternoon, helped find a few things, got some programming solidified, got some other work done, ordered a bunch of DVDs. We had Masterpiece Book and Film Club in the afternoon, which was fun. Updated the book clubs page.

This morning is the short story workshop — I hope I can sit in on it. This month’s stories are F. Scott Fitzgerald’s — there’s a reason we still read that man. Every word pulls its weight.

In the evening, we had a workshop to design an ugly holiday sweater and make ornaments. I made five ornaments — four swirling paint and one with a split ornament, putting stuff in it — I put in a penguin and some snowflakes. They turned out well. I also made some pipe cleaner ornaments — mostly with bells on them, to serve as cat toys (the cats love them). We had some kids in the workshop, including a little girl who came in with her father to pick up some books — and she talked him into staying. Poor guy.

We also built a tree out of books, to serve as our holiday tree. It was a lot of fun, and it’s cute. But that meant we stayed later than planned.

I’m still not 100%, so I was exhausted by the time I got home and had dinner (around 9:30). Then, even though I was tired, I had trouble getting to sleep.

Up early this morning. I have to be in early to the library and I’ll probably be on the desk most of the day — we’re short staffed, and the volunteers who are in today are needed to get out a mailing.

When I get home tonight, I have to bake two more batches of cookies, and maybe get one of the batches of cupcakes done. Never a dull moment — and I’m still behind on my cards!

Worked through some plot ideas on a couple of pieces. Hopefully, they’ll stay in my head until I can get them down on paper.

Hope your week is going well!

Devon

Published in: on December 18, 2014 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 18, 2014: Fun, Busy Day  

Wed. Dec. 17, 2014: Recovering

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Hannukah

Well, I got sick on Friday, and wound up going home two hours early. There was plenty of coverage at work, so it wasn’t a problem. My head felt heavy, I alternated hot and cold chills, and was just miserable. So, I went home and went to bed.

Stayed quiet over the weekend, although I managed to get some student work done. Read a stack of books, most of which were disappointing. Finished watching the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY, which ended better than it began, I felt.

Did administrative work on several fronts. Got caught up on some stuff for the Writers Center. Had to go to the DMV — well, it’s called the RMV here — to sort out something on Monday. I expected it to take all day, but I was in and out in five minutes. Love that. Plus, they were very nice.

Grocery shopping, so now I can start baking. But I’m still not 100%, so by the time I got home, I was wrecked. Took it easy on Monday night.

Up early Tuesday, got some writing done. Took my mother to the doctor for her follow-up, and she left feeling worse than when she went in. Now, she has to go to a specialist.

Got started on the baking. I tried a sour cream cookie recipe that sounded good, but turned out rather bland. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have the zing I want for something I give as gifts. The lacy oatmeal cookie with currants, however, was wonderful. I’ll use those. And I made two batches of tollhouse cookies, always a favorite. The kitchen was like an operating theatre, everything was so darn sterilized, including me. Since I’m getting over this whatever-it-is, I wanted to make sure everything was sterile.

Again, exhausted, and can’t seem to get my energy back. Went to bed early.

Up early this morning. Today will be a long day at work. Normally, I’m in early and out early on the third Wednesday of the month, but today I’m in early and then there’s a program tonight, so I’ll just stay through. Tomorrow night, I need to finish the cookies; Friday night I’m going to a party off-Cape. Saturday is my Saturday “on” and then a party at work; Sunday is the Solstice. So it’s a busy time. I’m behind on my cards, too. My mom, of course, has all of hers out! 😉

Last night was the first night of Hannukah — best wishes to all who celebrate!

I think I’ve made decent progress untangling problems in the RED WIDOW; I’ve paid off the immediate threats I set up and set up some more. I need to untangle the beginning of this chapter, and then I think I can progress properly. It was supposed to be something I could dash off quickly, a fun, easy piece, but the characters have different ideas, and have more layers to them than I originally imagined. Which is good, but means that everything has to be planned a little more carefully.

INITIATE is getting impatient, because I’m not giving it enough attention, although I think about it all the time. I just feel so heavy and exhausted that it’s difficult to juggle everything, especially multiple writing projects. But, it must be done. The writing is the priority.

Read the anthology in which I’m included: NEW LEGENDS: MERCENARIES, ENGINEERS, CAPTAINS. It’s a lot of fun. My own story, “Loyalty Strata”, holds up better than expected. I was frustrated because, as I worked on it, I had ideas on how to open it as a novel, but I needed to keep it a short story within word count for the anthology. If I ever do open it up, the plot line will be quite different as it unfolds, but at least this was a good way to explore the characters, and I like these people.

Working on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions questions. I hope to have them up soon.

Have a great week, sliding into the holidays!

Devon

Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Dec. 12, 2014: Preparing for the Weekend

Friday, December 12, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a solid work day, although I wasn’t feeling well. Managed to land some good people for our upcoming programs. I was up at 5 AM, making deviled eggs, but that’s fine.

Raced home when the library closed, picked up the eggs, platter, and gift for the grab bag, and headed over the bridge to Buzzards Bay. Very little traffic, and the weather cleared up, so I made good time.

Fun seeing everyone and catching up. The food was great. The eggs were gone in about three minutes – it was like the locusts descended! 😉 But in a good way. The gift-giving was “Yankee Swap Style” – something I’d never done before. I wound up with an adorable ceramic turtle tea light, and the gift I contributed also found a good home.

Went home, watched more of DOWNTON ABBEY – I have to say, Season 4 is a disappointment so far.

Tumbled into bed, absolutely exhausted. Had weird dreams – not anxiety dreams, just odd. Overslept by a half hour, but got everything done this morning, including a trip to the post office and a swing by Stop N Shop to get more cups for the library.

I’ll have another busy day here, and then I can GO HOME. I’m exhausted, and fighting something – I suspect it’s a cold, so I’ll dose myself all weekend with my herbal concoctions and get as much rest as possible. I’ve got student work to finish up, my own work to do, and cards to write. Decorating to finish. Baking to begin.

I’m simplifying the baking this year. I just can’t make six different things. I’ll make two, and balance them nicely, present them well, and, hopefully, everyone will be happy.

I do rather feel run over by a bus, so sleeping in for a couple of days, or taking the time to nap in the afternoons is probably all I need to get back on track. Next week will be flat out all week, as will most of the days leading up to Christmas itself. I AM looking forward to the Solstice – got a nice celebration planned.

Have a lovely weekend, all, and I’ll check back next week!

Devon

Published in: on December 12, 2014 at 9:51 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 12, 2014: Preparing for the Weekend  
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Thurs. Dec. 11, 2014: Getting Holidays Organized

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Waning Moon

Saturn Retrograde

Jupiter Retrograde

Rainy and cold

 

Busy day at work yesterday. I’m trying to get the programming finalized for the next three months. If it all works out, there will be a good variety.

Worked on student manuscripts, did some research, had a lousy time on my own work. Decided to simplify the holiday baking – instead of doing six different things, I’m only doing two.

Stopped at the store to pick up a few things for tonight, but was too tired and feeling like I’m coming down with something to get it done last night. Instead, I was up at 5 this morning, making deviled eggs and wrapping presents.

Tonight is a holiday party at the Marine Life Center. I’m working tomorrow, and then I’m using the weekend for student work and my own work. Maybe I can finish the decorating and the holiday cards.

Monday, I have an appointment which will probably take all day, unfortunately, but that’s life.

Hope your December is going well!

Devon

Published in: on December 11, 2014 at 8:35 am  Comments (1)  

Wed. Dec. 10, 2014: Living In Interesting Times

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Stormy and cold and foggy

Busy few days. I’m a little under the weather — nothing contagious, as far as I can tell, but run down and trying to prevent myself from getting sick. I should do a yoga sequence to boost immunity — maybe I’ll incorporate that into the routine over the next few days. I’d hoped to leave work an hour or so early on Friday because I wasn’t feeling well, but that wasn’t possible, and by the time 4 PM rolled around, I might as well stay until 5. Saturday was busy, especially since the computers were kicking in and out, we had 35 people in for a meeting first thing, and someone made arrangements for proctoring a test without the information getting to where it needed to go. But it all got sorted out and was fine. But, by the end of it, I was worn out. However, I had to restock the cat food cabinet, or I would have had angry kitties.

Got some reading, writing, research, and student work done on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Sunday morning, up early and headed to Newport for Christmas at the mansions. Ride wasn’t bad, but the directions from Google maps were wrong. Gee, there’s a surprise. Our ticket gave us access to three mansions: The Breakers, Marble House, and the Elms. They were all beautiful, and beautifully decorated. My mom felt that they didn’t decorate enough in the houses for the scale of the house. The scales WERE quite grand — I can’t imagine actually living amongst all that gilt. However, it’s lovely to look at, and great research for several upcoming projects. Elm House was my favorite –the smallest and least ostentatious. I believe they’re still researching a good deal of it. I bought a lovely beaded ornament, which looks beautiful on our tree.

The decorations in all these houses were beautiful (especially the poinsettia tree at the Breakers), but it was all impersonal. What I love about the decorations at home is that every piece has a story, so when we decorate each year, we revisit our history. Every item is very personal. That’s what makes it special. But then, we decorate for our own happiness, not to impress anyone, and these big houses were all about showing off.

Home by mid-afternoon. Rested. Enjoyed the Second of Advent. Planned the menu for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Still not sure about New Year’s Day.

Monday morning, my mother woke up ill. She rarely goes to the doctor, so when she says she needs a doctor, I pay attention. I cancelled out of the training session to which I was supposed to attend and tried to reach her doctor. The doctor’s answering service needs to learn about compassion — they have none. I remembered one of my colleagues at work spoke highly of an urgent care center in Sandwich, so I called my colleague, got the information, called them, and brought her in. They were very kind and helpful, and my mom is much better. We finally got back around 2:30 in the afternoon, and then I had a meeting for the Writers’ Center at 3:30, which went well.

Came home, exhausted, cooked dinner. We’ve been watching DOWNTON ABBEY episodes every night. There’s a lot I like about it, and one can see the difference in having ONE writer write all the scripts instead of a “writing room” doing the scripts. The flow and character details/consistency is much stronger. However, it does get a bit soap-opery for me sometimes.

Yesterday, we had a terrible storm with heavy rain. I had to cancel out of my appointments because the roads were flooded. We managed to get down to the post office to get most of the overseas cards out. I still have a few to write.

Writing-wise, I’m playing with a few different things, in addition to BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and trying to get the problems in RED WIDOW fixed so I can move forward on it. The next piece with the characters from “Lake Justice” is almost set in my mind. I’ve got the characters and basic premise of a strange pseudo-thriller — I have to decide on some details, because it won’t work if it’s “pseudo” — it either needs to be a thriller, or it needs to be something else. Otherwise it’ll be half-assed and won’t work. I’ve got a Christmas-themed piece where I’m exploring some interesting tension between overlaying loneliness with acts that seems joyful during the season, but it’s not quite where I want it. There’s another piece where I have the characters and I know what I want to explore character-wise, but I haven’t figured out the plot that will support it. Also, I didn’t form the opening scene well enough, and that’s causing problems moving forward. I have to redo that and have a strong opening, and then I can write my way in and figure it out before I outline.

I’ve got a short piece to knock out for the Marine Life Center, and more student work to take care of in the next few days. I’m feeling really run down and exhausted, and there’s still a lot to do.

Last night, the lovely Arlene Kay came to the library to do a presentation on “Creating Compelling Characters in Mystery Fiction”. It was a small turnout, but still fun. I’m sure the weather was to blame, but I also think it’s hard to get people out during the holidays, unless it’s some sort of program that ties in with their holiday preparations.

I’m writing a piece to be presented in January — will share the details when it’s settled. I have the materials for it, but it means a good deal of research and filtering. Figuring what to use, etc.

My author copy of the NEW LEGENDS anthology arrived. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to reading the contributions by my fellow authors.

Have a wonderful week, everyone! I can’t believe nearly another year is gone!

Devon

Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 10, 2014: Living In Interesting Times  

Fri. Dec. 5, 2014: Glitch in the Holiday Road

Friday, December 5, 2014
Almost Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So Saturn’s Retrograde (and actually will go direct in the next few weeks). That explains a lot.

Wednesday and Thursday were busy at work. Thursday morning, I had a training session in Hyannis.

Signed a contract with Amber Quill for my KILLER QUINTET, which is fun, and gives readers something to enjoy while I finish BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Worked on student manuscripts. I have a stack of editing projects to finish next week. I want to go into the holidays clear, and then I’m not taking on any other editing or student work until after the holidays are over. I have some possible script work coming up this winter – we’ll see if we can come to terms.

Last night was the cocktail party for Spectacle of the Trees over at the JFK Museum in Hyannis. It was beautiful. It’s always such a joy to see the creativity from all the different organizations. I’ve got a couple of short pieces to write for the Marine Life Center this weekend.

Came home, exhausted. Had some soup and watched a few episodes of Season Two of DOWNTON ABBEY. Slept like the dead and woke up feeling odd.

I’m hoping for a quiet day at work, since I’m not feeling well and someone else is already out. We’ll see how that goes. I’d thought maybe I could leave an hour early if I continued to feel worse, but we’re too short staffed. I’m not contagious or anything, so I’m not putting anyone else at risk. I just feel off and have been getting dizzy.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” (so I’m not going to the Victorian Ball I’d hoped to attend) and Sunday I’m hoping to go out of town, if I feel up to it. Next week, I’m full out all week. There is just no time to be sick. Hopefully, a couple of good nights’ sleep and I’ll be okay.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2014 at 9:49 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 5, 2014: Glitch in the Holiday Road  

Wed. Dec. 3, 2014: Hitting the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So the do-nothing obstructionist Republicans in Congress are threatening another government shut down if they don’t get their way? They continue to act like spoiled children, holding their breaths? If they do shut the government down again, the American people should file a class action suit — not against the amorphous “Congress”, but against the INDIVIDUALS who vote to shut it down. Don’t let them hide behind the office. Make them personally accountable. It’s a matter of record who votes for what, available on the government web site.

Busy few days. Friday was hectic at the library — the server was down, which mean everything was done on manual circulation. Time consuming, and we couldn’t process the books from delivery. I spent the entire day on the circulation desk, although I managed to get some memos written and materials done for this morning’s programming meeting. The server came back up at 3 PM, and the volunteer on duty and I processed the entire day’s work AND I entered all the manual circulation, all by the time we closed at 5. I was exhausted. I’m glad we got it all done, but I was exhausted. Especially since the Circulation Director was out sick.

Saturday, I got some writing done, we did errands like grocery shopping, and got the tree into the stand and the lights on, and the Advent table set up. Sunday was the First of Advent, and most of the day was spent decorating, although I got some reading and writing done. And some laundry done.

Monday, more decorating, more writing. In the afternoon, I helped decorate the National Marine Life Center Tree for Spectacle of the Trees at the JFK Museum, which opens later this week. Our tree’s theme is “Joy to the Whales”. It’s part of a big fundraiser in the area, with fourteen local non-profits participating. People buy “tree bucks” and put them in a box at the tree or trees of their choice. 100% of the donations go directly to each charity, and one person wins each tree, all its decorations, and the gifts under the tree (usually around $10K worth of stuff). The creativity that goes into the trees is wonderful.

Monday night I had a Harry Potter dream, which is new for me. Never dreamed anything from the books or movies. I was riding a train and it was attacked by Dementors. I recognized one of them — someone I know who has been actively sabotaging me. Pretty damn straightforward dream, if you ask me. It didn’t offer a solution, but it set out the situation very, very clearly.

Tuesday was supposed to be another decorating day at the museum, but things went awry, so I was basically on hold all day for no good reason. Which was fine, because I wasn’t feeling well anyway. On the other hand, it was a shame, because I’d originally planned to go to Newport, and then cancelled in order to help with the tree. Well, these days happen, and it’s certainly not going to change the course of the universe. Had extension cord kerflamma for the outdoor trees, but finally got it sorted out, and got the blue lights I’m using this year for the outdoor trees and everything all set up. They look pretty. But something that should have taken a half hour took nearly three.

Read JANE AUSTEN AND THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, which I enjoyed. Did a bunch of research that serves both RED WIDOW and the Sparkle & Tarnish series. Got an offer for one of the submissions I sent out last week, and accepted. Will reveal details when the contract is signed.

Tried watching AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. I knew most of the music, but had only seen bits of the movie, never the whole thing at once. I was disappointed. There’s no plot to speak of, and the characters are rude and unlikable. I only saw about half — the DVD not only got stuck, it nearly broke my player. Not happy about that at all. Managed to fix the player.

Which was a good thing, because my mom and I then watched the first season of DOWNTON ABBEY. I’d seen bits and pieces of it through the years, but never paid too much attention, mostly because there was so much fuss over it. I was surprised by how much we both enjoyed it. I like Julian Fellowes’s writing anyway, so it was nice to see the growth of the characters and the plot over an entire season. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

Had a computer glitch with some student work and lost the notes on it — this is the second time it’s happened on this particular piece, which is irritating. And I’ve got other pieces booked, one this week and two next week, so I have to get caught up.

Started reading a mystery set in Greenwich Village in the late 1950s and saw that an old friend of mine from off Broadway days was thanked in the acknowledgements. What fun!

Up early this morning. Got some writing done, but not enough. Frustrated with the slow progress. I’m not getting enough uninterrupted quiet time to percolate. I’m not getting enough uninterrupted time to do ANY of my work, which is frustrating. But, somehow, I will sort it all out.

Didn’t get the overseas cards done this weekend, which puts me behind. They have to go out ASAP, and I have to get started on the baking.

Got a lovely post-Thanksgiving day card signed by the family in Maine who was at the dinner we usually go to and couldn’t this year, because of weather and scheduling. We were missed (which is nice), and they realized just how much work I do on the event when I AM there (which is also nice). I’m usually delirious with exhaustion by the end of it. It was good to have some rest and quiet this year, much as I enjoy seeing everyone and being up in Maine.

The next four days will be very busy for me at work, plus my own writing, student work, and getting ready for the holidays. Fingers crossed.

Have a good week!

Devon