We are okay

We’re digging out from the blizzard, but we are okay.

Long post to update the last few weeks coming soon!

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Published in: on January 30, 2015 at 10:20 am  Comments (1)  

Fri. Jan. 16, 2016: Gearing up for a Busy Week AND Mercury Retrograde

Friday, January 16, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day at work yesterday, juggling lots of different tasks, writing press releases, booking people, helping with patrons, etc. It was one of those cases where each patron needed a lot of individual time. Which is fine, it just put everything else back.

The weather worsened as the day wore on. Several libraries closed early, due to black ice. As I drove home, the water hit the windshield and froze. I drove home with the heat blasting, but my window rolled down and my head hanging out of the window like a puppy. Not fun.

Watching the British version of HOUSE OF CARDS. Interesting to see the different interpretations. You’d think, though, these women would learn that they won’t be the one who’s different, the one that won’t wind up dead.

Going through a stack of research books I needed to return, I discovered that a book I’d checked out for another project had a chapter relevant to the research on the historical play. Love how that works.

I have both readers for the Burns/Woolf tribute. We do a read-through on Monday afternoon, and we do it next Saturday. I got out the press for the program on weather by the ex-NASA meteorologist that’s happening in two weeks, and today I’ll write the press release for the Valentine’s Day tea. I ordered the DVDs of the Oscar-nominated movies and sorted out some stuff for the book clubs. Helped a patron fill his Kindle for an upcoming vacation, helped another patron learn how to use the copier, helped another patron find several new-to-him authors. Dealt with correspondence and emails, and questions at the front desk. Set up for Tango.

Going back and forth with the Harvard Library. They have copies of the research papers I need (the originals are in the Library of Congress), and they’re available for interlibrary loan, but I have to fill out the right paperwork. They told me to talk to my local library. I pointed out that I AM my local library, and I just needed to know which paperwork they wanted me to fill out. I’ll probably wind up booking a “research appointment” up there at some point, but if I can get those initial reels, that will give me an idea where else to look in the files.

Did some work on the edits for KILLER QUINTET last night. Hope to finish them tonight and get them to my editor tomorrow. Also have to fill out the PR sheet.

Threw a pork roast and some sauce in the slow cooker before I left this morning, so dinner will be just about ready when I get home tonight.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, and then it’s a cat food run and back to writing. Sunday is all about writing; Monday is about writing and rehearsal. Tuesday, I have a board meeting over the bridge, a program at the library, and another board meeting in Hyannis.

Next week will be hugely busy, AND Mercury goes retrograde. I’m already nervous about it. Fingers crossed.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on January 16, 2015 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Jan. 15, 2014: Digging Down to Busy

med_KillerQuintet

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Cover reveal for KILLER QUINTET. I’m happy about it. Now, I have to finish the edits!

Yesterday was a very busy day. Unexpected things are happening in people’s lives and we’re doing what we can to support each other. I made a bunch of posters for upcoming programs, and I have some press releases and other programming stuff to get done today.

It snowed, off and on, all day.

Last night, I looked through some catalog information I have for the historical play, and I found the microfiche/film reels I need. I’m hoping I can get them through interlibrary loan, but, if I can’t, I’ll be doing some travelling. Once I’ve gone through those files, I’ll have a better idea of which other ones I need to access. I’ve also got place of birth and parents’ names, so I can do some genealogical research.

Started watching the British version of HOUSE OF CARDS. Enjoyed it.

Up early this morning; ran several errands for the library before going in to work. Today is bound to be busy, which is fine, but I want to make sure I get everything done. Tonight, it’ll be back to the KILLER QUINTET edits.

Devon

Published in: on January 15, 2015 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 15, 2014: Digging Down to Busy  

Wed. Jan. 14, 2015: The Joy of the Process

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days. Most of it was spent writing. I wrote nearly three chapters and did a rough outline of a book so the characters would stop yapping at me; now, that book has to find a place in the queue. There are other books which take precedence.

Most of the weekend was spent on the Burns/Woolf tribute. I tore it apart and re-structured it, and I’m finally content with it. There are piles of books with bookmarks and papers in them, marking quotes I wanted to use, and pages of notes scattered around. It was very satisfying. I love to research and find connections and put things together. Finding the connection from Burns to Emerson and then from Emerson to Woolf delighted me.

I had to cut a lot of material — it simply can’t all fit into a single, short presentation. It’s structured like a conversation; hopefully, I’ve now gotten the flow right.

I got cranky on Friday because someone nagged me. I’m writing a piece — for free — for the site. I was booked months ago. I’m working on the piece. It’s due next week. No problem. Getting an email whining that you haven’t heard from me and you need the materials is not going to get them to you faster. Instead, it puts you at the bottom of the list. I have the deadline. You’ll have the material by the deadline. I’d planned to get it in a few days earlier, but guess what? Not happening now, because you treated me like an incompetent flake. I’m a professional and a grown up. (Even though digging in my heels is an adolescent response — yes, I’m aware of the irony). I don’t need babysitting. Don’t call it “follow up” when it’s nagging. If you wanted it before the deadline, you should have given me an earlier deadline. BACK OFF. Especially since I’m not being paid. Last time I’ll be dealing with those people.

It snowed yesterday. The forecast was for flurries. It flurried all day. I had to rush out to Sturgis library to pick up two Virginia Woolf books. I know I’ve got them packed away somewhere, but couldn’t easily put my hands on them. I figured Sturgis was the most likely to have them on the shelf, and they did, exactly where I needed them. In and out in a few minutes. Love that!

In spite of not having those two particular books, I managed to use quite a few books I’ve picked up over the years — the ones that people always say, “Why did you buy those? You’ll never use them!” Well, I used 17 of them. So there! The fact that I didn’t need them for a dozen years is beside the point.

The whole concept of “if you haven’t used it in a year, throw it out” is a bullshit promotion advertisers and “life coaches” use to get people to get rid of things so that they have to buy more. Yes, you should clean out clutter, stuff that’s broken, that you’re SURE you’ll never use again. But when you’re a writer and you accumulate a lot of books — especially non-fiction — almost every nonfiction book I’ve ever bought has served more than one project. It may be years between those projects — and no, you CAN’T find “everything” on the internet or even in libraries. My personal library is worthwhile.

I have to go back and finish the edits on KILLER QUINTET today and tomorrow and get that back to my editor. I have to rewrite a few passages, and I’ve been percolating on them as I do things like dishes and laundry.

Then, I start the radio drama, while I’m researching the historical play and getting back into the groove on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

I’ve started the research on the historical. I read what I could about my main character — not much information. I found out she’s buried in her former employer’s family plot near Chicago, and that the base of operations for the company was in Chicago. The email I sent to the cemetery bounced back, so I’ll have to try again. Maybe I’ll do an old-fashioned letter!

But, I found out that the company’s papers were donated to the Library of Congress. So I dug around on the Library’s website, and found the catalog of what I need. I contacted the reference librarian to see if I could get permission to come down and access the files on site. I can (which means a trip down there in the near future); however, some of what I need can be accessed through Interlibrary Loan and some of the micofiche has copies at Harvard Library. I don’t know if any of the Cape libraries even HAVE microfiche readers any more, but if they do, I can get the materials through ILL and use them here. That will make my time in the actual Library of Congress more efficient.

Additionally, I found some books that might be helpful, and the Circulation Director and I are using them to test out the state’s updated interlibrary loan system. AND I found some books on the subject at my beloved Strand Bookstore, ordered them, and they’ve shipped. I’ m very excited!!!

I’ll detail the experience of discovering and gathering the information and how I’m using it in the play over the next few months. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m looking forward to it.

Devon

Fri. Jan. 9, 2015: Preparing for a Busy Writing Weekend

Friday, January 09, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and warmer

Yesterday was busy at the library, but we laughed a lot, which makes the day go faster. We rearranged some stuff and got quite a bit done. The Pub Serve meeting was interesting; lots of information I have to type up and distribute.

Setting up for Tango (which is one of our programs running next door on Thursday nights), I had an epiphany about the Irish radio drama. I know the characters and the premise. Have to massage the plot, and I’m good to go – -once I finish the Burns/Woolf tribute. In the meantime, I’m starting on the research for the historical play.

Tired last night. Worked on the script, did some research. Slept well, though.

Tessa is still looking for her Santas. I’m going to have to make her a cloth doll Santa to keep her happy during the year.

The internet was down at the library this morning, but it gave us a chance to finish a mailing (my mom came along to help out – good for her to get out of the house and hang out with fun people).

I have reports to write and programming to work on and some other stuff, so it should be a pretty busy day. But a good one, I hope!

This weekend is about a student manuscript, finishing Burns/Woolf, and turning around my edits for KILLER QUINTET. And doing laundry!

Have a great weekend, all.

Devon

Published in: on January 9, 2015 at 10:43 am  Comments (2)  

Thurs. Jan. 8: Meetings and Other Goings-On

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and frigid

It was one degree Fahrenheit when I woke up this morning. One degree! Jeez! So cold!

Yesterday went pretty well. Busy, but also a lot of laughter.

Worked on the script when I got home. Also found out, later that night, that I’ve been chosen to join the 365 Women project, and I’ll be writing a play about the first female Pinkerton. Very excited. Need to buckle down and do the research.

Reading YOGA BITCH, which is hilarious.

I have a PubServe meeting this morning, and then I’ll be at the library all afternoon. Before I go, in a few minutes, I have to finesse the draft of a press release for the contest, and I have to find the photos to go with the Art Information Form for KILLER QUINTET.

Let’s hope it’s a good day!

Devon

Published in: on January 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 8: Meetings and Other Goings-On  

Wed. Jan. 7, 2015: Tales from the Hurting Lower Back

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Terribly cold and cloudy

Winter has hit; although we haven’t had a lot of snow yet, thank goodness, the temperatures are plummeting.

Yesterday, I got out a couple of press releases and did some admin work. Then, it was all about taking down the tree, the decorations, putting everything away, working on the Burns/Woolf script. It’s still not where I want it. I’m just going to keep at it for a few more days and get it right.

The edits for KILLER QUINTET arrived — that was fast! I’ll turn those around this weekend.

My back went out last night — so not fun. I’m going to have to adjust my fitness routine — already adjusted for this year to include weight training — to include work that will strengthen my lower back. I’m not willing to be in this kind of pain or loss of movement.

Watched GOSFORD PARK last night. I remember what a huge impact it had on me when I saw it in the theatre originally. It had a different impact on me last night — I spent more time on character nuances.

Today will be a long day at the library. And I have a lot to do when I get home tonight, including finishing up a press release. I also have to send out a pitch today to what could be an interesting project, but I’m not sure if I’m the right person for it.

The radio drama is percolating, and I have to come up with a three minute piece to read at the end of the month. I’m under deadline pressure, and I wish I felt more creative.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on January 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 7, 2015: Tales from the Hurting Lower Back  
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Tues. Jan. 6, 2015: Twelfth Night, New Year!

Tuesday, January 6 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Twelfth Day of Christmas/Epiphany/Three Kings Day
Frosty and cold

Busy few days. Buried in the work of Robert Burns and Virginia Woolf for the tribute script. It’s coming along, but it’s not quite where I want it. I can either slap together something mediocre or actually take a few days and turn out something good. I’d prefer the latter.

Gorged myself on the rest of Joanne Dobson’s Karen Pelletier series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m going to have to track them down and buy them. They are books I will go back to and re-read over the years. This series and Rosemary Edghill’s Bast series make me miss the 1990s, where I did some of my best work, and was simultaneously optimistic and in despair all the time. Makes me wonder if I should recommit to the Nina Bell series, just to recapture some of that energy I had at that time.

Read MORIARTY, which is getting a lot of buzz. It’s well-crafted, but I got ahead of it and figured it out. Also read THE SECRET ROOMS by Catherine Bailey, which gave me some information that I can use in RED WIDOW.

Read a couple of other things on the Kindle, which were good, but not great. In other words, I enjoyed them, but would have been annoyed if I spent full price on the print version.

We had a little bit of snow on Sunday night, which quickly changed over to rain.

Re-watched Season 1 of NEWSROOM. I loved that show, in spite of its flaws. There was a lot of good writing and acting in it.

Reading SPEAKING OF JOURNALS by Paula Graham. There are some wonderful quotes in it: “Keeping a journal is living a wide-awake life.” (Graham)

“I have gone through life taking notes” (Sara Holbook).

“In my own, we don’t invade each other’s privacy” (Richard Ammon).

Today is Twelfth Night. No party this year — I’m just not up to it. But all the holiday decorations get packed away, the tree is taken down, etc. Tessa will miss the lights, and, especially, her Santas. Tessa adored the Santa collection under the tree this year. She will be a pouty, grumpy cat for a couple of days.

We’re leaving the red ribbons up around the windows again until Valentine’s Day, just to keep the place cheerful and from being too bare. I have to finish the “winter wreath” I’m making for the front door, because the holiday one comes down today.

And, of course, writing. Always writing.

Hope you’re having a great start to the first full week of the New Year!

Devon

Published in: on January 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 6, 2015: Twelfth Night, New Year!  
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Fri. Jan. 2, 2015: Starting the New Year

Friday, January 2, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Can you believe it’s 2015? It better be a damn good year, that’s all I have to say!

Wednesday was busy at work, with a special flurry towards the end as we were trying to lock up. Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.

Tired in the afternoon, trying to get everything sorted out for the turn of the year, including three loads of laundry. Can’t go into the new year with dirty clothes!

Salmon for dinner — didn’t think it was as good a piece as it could have been. Read and wrote a little, listened to music. Couldn’t get the live stream for the ball drop to work properly — first time I’ve missed it in my life that I remember. Read a lot — I’m reading and re-reading one author in particular right now, focusing on her structure so I can learn from it. Finished re-reading Thomas Mallon’s A BOOK OF ONE’S OWN, which I try to re-read every few years, just to get back into its rhythm. I always find something new in it.

But it was a nice, quiet way to see in the New Year, complete with a bayberry candle for prosperity.

Up early New Year’s morning, the fire/ice ritual, plenty of yoga and meditation. The answers to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Questions are here. They got me thinking in some interesting directions.

Eggs Benedict for breakfast (one of my favorites and I make it well. Roasted a ham for dinner, and am boiling the bone down for soup (with white beans and kale).

Wrote about 30 pages on POWER OF WORDS — not the piece I thought I was going to work on, but there you go. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. Fortunately, my notes for it are very organized.

Did some organizing and some research. A full day at the library today, and then I focus on the Burns/Woolf script over the weekend. I’ve got some press releases to write for the library, and then one, over the weekend, for the writing contest.

Playing with a new series title that RED WIDOW will launch. It’s moving in the right direction, but I still haven’t hit just the right one yet. Not to mention that I need to re-title POWER OF WORDS, which is actually a serial novel — technically, I’m writing either book 2 or book 3 (depending on if I put the rehearsal process in with shooting the mini-series). The first season will be Book 4 and the second season Book 5. Once I’ve gotten through all of that, we’ll see where we are, but all of that needs to be contracted together and released quite close together. It’s a challenging project, and it will be interesting to see where it lands. I toyed with some ideas for titles — some of them work, some of them still need work.

When I stay in a steady writing groove, everything else in life feels better and makes sense.

Devon

Published in: on January 2, 2015 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Happy New Year!

May the year start with joy that only grows as the year does!

Published in: on January 1, 2015 at 6:00 am  Comments Off on Happy New Year!