Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Seventh Day of Hannukah
Fifth Day of Christmas
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa
Sunny and cold

I’ve had my head down to finish JUST A DROP. From commission to submission-ready draft, the play has taken me a year. There’s a lot I love about it, and it’s amazing how relevant the political scheming in 17th century Rome is to today.

Of course, there’s plenty of room for further development, through workshopping and rehearsal. But, for now, it makes its deadline, and heads down to 365 Women in New York City.

I can’t believe all the recent deaths. Why aren’t any of the Horrid being taken?

Usually, I’m wonderfully optimistic about the coming year, but I’m not this year. 2016 has been tough; I would like 2017 to be better, but I’m discouraged.

At least the writing’s been going well.

If I choose, I can take a break from writing until Monday. I understand that civilians call this a “weekend” and have them quite regularly. As a writer and theatre person, that is rarely an option for me.

Tomorrow, my wrap up for the year will be on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site here. I am taking Sunday to contemplate what I want from 2017, and on Monday, I will post my answers to the questions on the same site. And start the work for 2017. Even if I don’t have much hope for it, I’m going to dig down and do the work, which is an action I can take, and see what else happens. It’s either that or give up and never get out of bed again, and that’s not what I do.

I was thrown off track this year by many things, and that is just something that happens. I’ve survived, and I want to put things into place in the coming months so that I can thrive.

Happy, happy New Year to you all. I wish you joy and abundance in all that is good.

Devon

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Published in: on December 30, 2016 at 10:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!  
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Wed. Dec. 28, 2016: Dark Moon & Playwrighting

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Third Day of Christmas
Third Day of Kwanzaa
Fifth Day of Hannukah
Cloudy and mild

Tired, but all good. Working hard on JUST A DROP. Behind where I need to be in order for it to go out on Friday, so I’m digging down.

I loathe having Mercury Retrograde over the new year. Hard to do any positive work for it.

In spite of the pace of JUST A DROP (the creation, not the internal) being slower than I need, I love the way the play is shaping up. It is better than I hoped, which means, once it goes through the collaborative rehearsal process, it will really be something special.

It feels good.

I’m ready for a new moon and a new beginning.

Best wishes,

Devon

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 28, 2016: Dark Moon & Playwrighting  
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Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Day before Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Second Day of Christmas
Second Day of Kwanzaa
Fourth Day of Hannukah
Stormy, windy, rainy, mild

It was a nice holiday weekend. Quiet on our part. Lots of reading, some planning, lots of eating. We spent Christmas Day with friends. It was nice.

Yesterday was a serious writing day. 26 pages on JUST A DROP. I love the shape the play is taking. It’s very naturally flowing into something that plays well. I’m excited to see where it takes me today. It goes out on Friday, so I have to dig in these last few days.

For the twelve days of Christmas, I can’t remember my dreams on either of the first two, so I hope that means January and February will be relatively quiet months.

I’ve been working on my GDR Wrap Up, which will post on Saturday, and on my GDRs and writing schedule for next year. We don’t even know if we have a future, so it sort of feels like I’m hedging my bets. But I intend to proceed, as long as I can, as though I do have a future, and sort out a writing schedule. I need to get a lot done. I’m giving myself more time for first drafts, which is probably a good thing. I just hope I can juggle as many projects as need juggling.

I’ve got some other stuff I’m working on, stuff I can’t yet talk about publicly. Don’t you hate it when someone posts like that? I certainly do. But it’s exciting, and while the initial planning may not pan out in the way it’s intended at the start, I think it opens some doors that may be worthwhile over the coming few years.

Along with that, I’m starting to think in terms of where I want to be in a year, in three years, in five years — even thought the Sociopathic Narcissist will probably cause a nuclear disaster by April. Still, I’d rather my final thoughts be, “damn, I didn’t get a chance to do that” rather than not having anything planned in the first place.

Planning the menu for New Year’s. We will have a quiet one at home. I hate going out for that holiday. Too much desperation for a good time. I’ve had too many miserable New Years in company. I’m much happier doing yoga and meditating.

Back to the page. I’m focusing only on the play this week. Next week, it’s back to NOT BY THE BOOK, figuring out the rest of THE FIX-IT GIRL, and drafting the short stories that are due at the end of January.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on December 27, 2016 at 10:46 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans  
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Sun. Dec. 25, 2016: Merry Christmas Day!

victorian-christmas-morning

Published in: on December 25, 2016 at 9:57 am  Comments Off on Sun. Dec. 25, 2016: Merry Christmas Day!  

Sat. Dec. 24, 2016: Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah!

swedish-santaMerry Christmas to those who celebrate!  Happy Chanukah (image below) to those who celebrate!chanukah-menorah-300x259

Published in: on December 24, 2016 at 9:55 am  Comments Off on Sat. Dec. 24, 2016: Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah!  

Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016: Lovely Solstice, Looking Forward to the Year’s End and More

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Don’t forget, “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” is free here with Coupon Code QB74U until December 26, and “Just Jump in and Fly” is free here with Coupon Code LW63D until the same date.

Lovely Solstice celebration yesterday. Cheered me up considerably, which is part of the point of the ritual.

I have questions for the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions for 2017 up here. Please take some time and use them, if you connect with them. You are welcome to comment publicly on the site, or read along and work on your own. Some of the questions are from last year’s. There are also some new questions, and places where we build on the work done last year. You can access the questions here.

I’m working on the year-end wrap-up of Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. I will schedule it to post on December 31 at the GDR site.

I will not post my answers to my questions until January 2, because I intend to spend most of the 1st in deep contemplation. I am playing with ideas for a “dream” that will take several years to come to fruition, but, if I can pull it off, will be worth it. Or maybe it will stay a dream, but give me something about which to dream. We will see.

Today, I focus on writing JUST A DROP and the short story. After lunch, I deliver the last of the cookie platters to the neighbors. I’m almost finished decorating (finally). Tomorrow will be a major writing/cleaning day.

And then it’s Christmas! AND Chanukah! They both start on the same day this year.

Don’t forget to track your dreams on the Twelve Days of Christmas — they are portents of the coming year! I’m hoping to have positive ones. 2016 was a tough year, and I need a year of kindness to make up for it. With the incoming administration, it is unlikely to happen, but there’s still hope.

Devon

Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016: Lovely Solstice, Looking Forward to the Year’s End and More  
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Wed. Dec. 21, 2016: Solstice!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Winter Solstice

Happy Solstice, everyone! May the coming year bring peace, joy, and the abundance of all that is good.

Yesterday was about running more errands and baking. I’d run out of cookies, and I still have to put together the cookie platters for the neighbors. So that’s what that was about.

Didn’t get any writing done, which is bad, since I have two projects due the end of next week. I will have to make up for it today and tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s Solstice celebration, complete with fire in the fireplace and drumming.

Don’t forget, “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” is free for download here with coupon code QB74U until December 26th. “Just Jump in and Fly” is also a free download here, with coupon code LW63D.

I hope you enjoy both.

Have a wonderful Yule!

Devon

Published in: on December 21, 2016 at 10:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 21, 2016: Solstice!  

Tues. Dec. 20, 2016: Giveaway & Trying to Keep it Together

lockesley-hall-cover

“The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” —

When a dark, mysterious stranger arrives on Edwina’s snowy doorstep on Christmas Eve, is he the answer to saving her beloved family home, or another threat?

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Mercury Retrograde. Sigh.

So, the Electoral College failed in their duties to the American people yesterday and went ahead and verified the incompetent, corrupt individual who will have possession of the nuclear codes. Disgusting. Not a surprise at all. They had the opportunity to prove they had courage and integrity, and, most importantly, a purpose, and did not. The Electoral College is no longer relevant and needs to be abolished. The MA electors showed both integrity and common sense, but too few of those in other states did.

On top of that, at the debriefing of Spectacle of Trees, which is supposed to be about mutual support and inclusion, another participant told me that my religion wasn’t “real” because it’s not Christianity. Cape Cod is getting smaller minded by the moment.

Had to put down a book because not only was the protagonist so annoying I kept hoping she would be the next murder victim, the author put the historical sites mentioned in the book IN THE WRONG STATE. This was a traditionally published book. It would have been nice if someone had done a little fact checking.

On a happier note, I participated in the Holiday Jingle on Saturday. It went well. I gave away coupons for free downloads of both “Just Jump in and Fly” and a new, historical holiday mystery/romance called “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall”. I’ve posted the cover of the latter. If you want to download it, the coupon code is QB74U, good until Boxing Day.

You can get it here.

I wrote about 70 cards yesterday, and got them all out. I have some more baking to do, and a few other things. Then, I have to push hard on finishing JUST A DROP, and on the short story, “A Place at the Table”, since both are due next week.

Feeling a little overwhelmed, and very unhappy at the state of the country. We are about to have the most incompetent and corrupt administration in this country’s history. The fact that ANYONE believes a word out of that shyster carnival barker’s mouth shows how far we have fallen.

Hard to enjoy the holiday when you know that your country is on the verge of destruction.

At least tomorrow is Winter Solstice. Hopefully, that will bring some peace, at least for a single night.

Devon

Published in: on December 20, 2016 at 11:16 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 20, 2016: Giveaway & Trying to Keep it Together  

Thurs. Dec. 15, 2016: Writing, Baking, and Get Your Jingle On!

Thursday, December 15, 2016
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. Ever so much of the week has been taken up by the holiday baking. But now, the baking for other people is done, and deliveries have started.

This is the last year I do the Lemon Sugar Cookies. They are too much of a pain in the butt. The recipe needs modification, and I haven’t had the time to tweak it.

I’m behind on JUST A DROP, because I’m working on a story that has an earlier deadline. I’ve got a really cool cover for it. Now the story just has to live up to it! But I’m not where I want to be on that one. Go figure. Somehow, it will all happen, although I’ll be exhausted.

And, I’m behind in my cards. Oh, well.

I helped count tickets for Spectacle on Monday, which took most of the day. Sunday was baking. Tuesday, I had appointments all over the state, and then there was more baking. Yesterday was decorating and baking.

This morning, we were up early to take the car to Plymouth for inspection – and give the auto body shop their holiday treats! They were thrilled. Also dropped off platters at NMLC and at the fire station in Falmouth where I always stop for directions. They were delighted. Gave my hometown firemen their platter, and the library.

I’m putting together the neighbor platters and delivering them this afternoon, and then, the last few, tomorrow. I want to get everything done before Mercury goes retrograde on Monday!

So, on Saturday – please come and participate in Get Your Holiday Jingle On, a Facebook party. The party itself runs from Friday night through Sunday. My slot is on Saturday the 17th at 1 PM for a half hour.

Everyone who attends will get a coupon for a holiday short story. One person will win a set of signed Jain Lazarus books. I have a fun game that will end in a participatory project. And, if I can get my act together, there will also be another surprise. So, please come! Facebook event link is here.

I can’t believe Christmas is just over a week away.

As of today, it’s legal in MA to have pot for home/recreational use and grow it, but not buy or sell it. Yeah, figure that one out! 😉

I’m not ready! Usually I’m disgustingly filled with holiday spirit, but I’m having to work at it this year.

Be well.
Devon

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 11:55 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 15, 2016: Writing, Baking, and Get Your Jingle On!  
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Fri. Dec. 9, 2016: On to the Next Project

Friday, December 9, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday, errands took longer than they should have. But “Courting the Lioness” went out, and now it’s back to JUST A DROP and the short stories. Plus, I want to get a good chunk of MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC drafted, since it happens just before Christmas, and I always write better about a holiday in the midst of said holiday.

And fighting with the health insurance company, who is staffed by people with the intellectual and emotional intelligence that would make amoeba cringe.

On the up side, decorating continues. I love decorating our trees because each ornament has a story, and decorating keeps me connected to the stories and the joyful memories.

Which is important, as the President Elect continues to put together one of the most corrupt and incompetent cabinets in this nation’s history, while continuing his conflict of interest. He has now been given permission to use the entire country as his own personal piggy bank and will bankrupt us all.

Tomorrow is the drawing for Spectacle of Trees. I hope the organizations made lots of money. There will be 17 very happy people tomorrow night, whose names were drawn to win the trees and the gifts under them. And 17 grateful organizations.

We’re supposed to get snow on Sunday and Monday. Hopefully that means I can finish the writing, get the decorations finished, and most of the baking done! Not to mention CARDS. I love cards, but some times it’s hard to get my act together to sit down and write them.

Especially when my head is full of characters and stories demanding attention.

Devon

Published in: on December 9, 2016 at 11:12 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 9, 2016: On to the Next Project  
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Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016: The Lioness of Brittany — out!

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

The new play is done, registered, and out the door. It’s called “Courting the Lioness” and its central character is Jeanne de Clisson, a pirate in 14th Century France. That went off to 365 Women in NYC this morning. Phew!

I’ve been fighting with that last scene, between Jeanne and Walter, for a couple of weeks, now, to get the balance of tension and conflict with the other elements I need in it.

It’s a one-act — runs just under an hour — but padding it to two hours would be just that — padding. I’ve presented what I wanted in an hour. So be it.

Now, the attention goes to JUST A DROP, and to the story that’s due at the end of the month.

Still trying to get the tree and house decorated, the baking and the cards done.

All I really want to do is curl up with a good book. I’m loving Vicki Delany’s Constable Molly Smith books.

Other than what’s deadlined this month, I’m not submitting anything else until after the new year. It’s not fair to stack stuff on editor and agent desks this close to the holiday. I’ll keep working on my revisions and polishes, et al, on projects outside of the two still due this month, but I’m going to hold them until after the new year.

Back to the page, the tree, the card, and the kitchen!

Devon

Published in: on December 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016: The Lioness of Brittany — out!  
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Dec. 7, 2016: Stories from Spectacle

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Waxing Moon
Anniversary of Pearl Harbor
Rain/sleet/cold

Somber day, and important to remember what happened. Also important that many people within the US suffered from the consequences of things like internment camps, and that must not happen again.

On a happier note, yesterday was my shift at Spectacle of Trees. It was so much fun. It was wonderful to be reminded that there still is kindness in the world, in spite of Paul Lyin’ Ryan and what he plans to do to destroy people who aren’t rich.

The trees make people happy, and ticket money goes to the great causes of each tree, which is a wonderful thing. That, and the fact that they’re beautiful. 100% of each ticket purchase goes to the organization in whose box it is placed. When so many organizations talk about their donations “buy this ornament for $5 and $1 goes to charity” or “buy this magazine subscription for $10 and $1 goes to charity”, when you buy a $10 ticket and the whole $10 goes to the charity, that’s something to celebrate.

There was a couple from Texas there, a tiny town outside Austin. They loved the trees; this was their first time on Cape. They didn’t want to actually win a tree, but they bought tickets in order to make a donation.

Other people put a ticket into every single box, along with multiple tickets for “their” organization.

One of the things we politely ask is that people don’t touch anything (too easy for something to tip over or to walk away). That’s always tough with little kids. One year, they had a train running on a track around the bottom of the tree, and that was nearly impossible to keep kids off.

Anyway, this year, a guy came up to the library tree. Adult, who should know better. He grabbed a beautiful edition of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that was with the tree and started flipping through it. I asked him to please not touch anything. He then spun me a line about that he was “only checking to see if it was signed by the author.” Now, it’s a gorgeous edition, but it’s pretty obvious it is NOT one that was printed in Dickens’ lifetime. Ergo, he could not have signed it.

My response, with a perfectly straight face, was, “We didn’t have time to set up a séance this year and get him to sign it.”

“Oh, maybe next year, then?” He asked hopefully.

People. I tell you. Either he really was that out there, or he was trying to play me so he could walk off with the book. He struck me as someone who’s used to getting away with things because he’s good looking and knows how to charm.

That’s where working in theatre comes in handy–I’m used to recognizing actors. Not as celebrities (if I haven’t worked with someone, I don’t recognized them), but I can recognize when someone’s wearing a false face, at least a good portion of the time.

There was another woman who was so fascinated with the library tree that she photographed every ornament separately.

A little old Irish lady who’s a big Kennedy clan fan came in (the event is in the JFK Museum), and we had a long chat about the Kennedys.

A couple of people came through who only put tickets in the boxes that had the most “stuff” that went along with the tree.

One woman wanted information about one of the organizations. I couldn’t remember exactly what she needed, so I hunted down the information and gave it to her. She then asked what organization I was with, and when I told her, put eight additional tickets in our box!

Anyway, the shift was very interesting — lots of material for future tales.

Grabbed a pizza on the way home. Didn’t get a chance to work on the play, so must do the final polish on it so it can go out, and then turn my attention back to JUST A DROP. Also, have to finish our own trees here. And write cards! I’m behind on the cards. And the baking!

Lots to do, but the writing can’t suffer for it. I have another play to finish and a short story to write by the end of the year.

I’m also researching some towns in New Brunswick as the setting for a possible project.

I hope it clears up in the next few days. The front is raked and ready for winter, but I still have to do the sides, the terrace, and the meadow.

Devon

Published in: on December 7, 2016 at 10:27 am  Comments Off on Dec. 7, 2016: Stories from Spectacle  
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Mon. Dec. 5, 2016: Resting the Foot & Writing the Play

Monday, December 5, 2016
Waxing Moon
Rainy/Snowy/cold

I had to rest my foot most of the weekend. I paid for the vanity of four-inch heels on Thursday night. But it was worth it.

I’m binge-reading Vicky Delany’s Constable Molly Smith books and really like them. So well written! They’re set in British Columbia, and I like the sense of place I get from them, as much as I enjoy the characters.

Playing with ideas, seeing what works and doesn’t. Finishing the play about the 14th Century pirate, and trying to find a better title.

Reading PISTOLS AND PETTICOATS, a research book that I decided I needed to own, and therefore ordered, I got an idea for a pilot script/series that I will then adapt to books. I wrote the first thirteen pages, and like it a lot. If I can keep the novels nice and lean, but inspired by a lot of the real detail, I think I’ll have something worthwhile.

Did some work on the TAPESTRY revisions. It needs a big re-envisioning, not just tweaking, before it’s ready to go out. I hope I can get it done by mid-January.

The focus right now, however, needs to be on the two plays that need to go out, and on the short story that’s due at the end of the month. I have another invitation to submit to an anthology, but that’s not due for a few months. It’s up my alley, so I’m percolating ideas.

I should be decorating, but I don’t feel like it. I ‘m lacking holiday spirit this year. But it may well be the last holiday in this house, so I want to make the most of it. I’m just so weary, and I have so little hope for the future in this country.

The weather is lousy today. I want to focus on writing and decorating.

Tomorrow is my shift at Spectacle of Trees, representing the Marine Life Center. So I’ll write in the morning, and spend the afternoon there. Saturday is the big drawing, Sunday is the clean-up, Monday the ticket count.

Somewhere in all of this, I need to write holiday cards and do my baking!

Somehow, it will all get done. Although I’d rather stay in bed until about 2020. Although I doubt we’ll have a country left by then.

On a positive, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been successfully blocked through Native lands, at least for the moment. I hope this isn’t a ploy to get everyone to clear out and then they start up again. At least there’s one victory to give us hope.

Back to the page. Tomorrow morning, I have to run errands before my shift at Spectacle starts, and I have to write. Wednesday morning, the first play has to go out.

Tonight is St. Nicholas night — put out your shoe!

Onward!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2016 at 10:03 am  Comments Off on Mon. Dec. 5, 2016: Resting the Foot & Writing the Play  
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