Mon. June 12, 2017: Rev Up for a Creative Week

Monday, June 12, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

It took me awhile on Friday, to recover from the disappointment of the meeting. I spent the weekend composing my letter withdrawing from consideration. The more I worked on it, the angrier I got. I haven’t worked my way into a strong union, as a labor negotiator, and an advocate for fair pay for work to be told I wouldn’t be paid for hours worked, but only on the whim of the people with whom I dealt. That’s not a job; it’s a scam. I don’t care how they try to wrap it in legitimacy. It was my understanding, as of last December, it was also illegal.

On the upside, the finished, polished article I submitted, was accepted and paid within two hours.

I read a thriller which was, unfortunately, not thrilling. I was 20 chapters ahead of the protagonists by Chapter three.

Saturday was a combination of house-keeping: changing the beds, mowing the meadow, doing laundry, et al — and writing.

I wrote 20 more script pages, and a short story which will go out either today or tomorrow, depending on how much polishing it needs. I also did some outlining on a new script idea — I have a great group of characters, but I haven’t settled on a solid plot/story for them yet.

Tapwrit won the Belmont Stakes, with Irish War Cry second. They were a boxed exacta for me, so good for me. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to bet on the race. I didn’t realize until I moved here how important OTB was to my life — and my income.

Sunday, I gave myself off from writing. I worked on the next book I have to review, and I read some research books that will cover several projects.

I also obtained an exercise bicycle, off of Craigslist. It’s wonderful, and MCA Sport, with a timer and everything. It’s my mom’s favorite form of exercise, but we’re both going to do a session every morning and every night. I’ve lost some weight the last few weeks, but I’m still out of shape, even with a daily yoga practice. I hope adding in the cycling will help.

It was nice enough to eat lunch on the deck all weekend, and also take some of my work out there and work outside, in the nice weather.

Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the Stanley Cup! Second year in a row. Good for them!

And the Tony Awards were last night. Always a great night for the theatre. The producers and the network regard is as one big commercial to draw in ticket sales, but to the rest of us in the business, it’s far more than that.

Upped my meditation practice, too, adding in a night meditation session. I can already feel the difference, after just a few days. So, I will continue.

This morning, I’m drafting some pitches to go out later in the day, paying some bills, working on a couple more articles. I already mowed the lawn.

I hope I can get the “have-tos” done in a reasonable amount of time and switch back to the more creative “want-tos.”

Hope your week’s off to a great start!

Published in: on June 12, 2017 at 10:12 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 12, 2017: Rev Up for a Creative Week  
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Fri. June 9, 2017: Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out

Friday, June 9, 2017
Full Moon
Jupiter Direct
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I pitched five script jobs and an editing job yesterday morning, back-to-back, and was exhausted. Wasn’t able to do much in the afternoon; it felt like I ran out of words, although I got all the background research I needed for my article.

Managed to revise and put in the changes for the next three chapters of FIX IT GIRL. In the upcoming chapter, I have to add The First Big Love Scene of the book, which wasn’t in the original draft, so I’m turning over, in my mind, how to do that in a way that’s appropriate to the context and time period.

This morning, I put some fixes into a few scenes in the first part of PARALLEL-O-GAME, where I’d rushed things near the end. I also started Part II. I’d say I wrote close to ten pages.

Had my meeting. Love the project, the people, the organization. We can’t make the money work. I’m a little heartbroken. But, as is typical in this area, they don’t want to pay for hours worked or work done. So, no matter how much I like them, I’m not doing it.

Came home and cried.

Pulled myself together and got back to work on the article. I need to get it out today, and then figure out some more to pitch. Then, it’s back to FIX IT GIRL, and to the next assignment from my new editor.

I’m feeling about as creative as wilted lettuce right now, and the last thing I’m up for is crafting a romantic love scene, but too bad for me.

I hope you have a good weekend. I will be working.

Published in: on June 9, 2017 at 10:57 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 9, 2017: Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out  
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Thurs. June 8, 2017: When You Just Want to Slap the Bitch

Thursday, June 8, 2017
First Day of Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Well, yesterday was . . .challenging.

Wrote 13 pages on the teleplay, finishing the first part.

Managed to arrive at the arts center on time for the social hour. The exhibit currently up is terrific; the interpretations are engaging and unique. About forty or fifty people turned out, which, for a Cape event, is great. A friend of mine was in charge of it, one of the most positive people I know, so that was all good.

Ran into someone with whom I’d been involved in an organization for months, and even been to her home on numerous occasions. She had no idea who I was. Or chose to pretend that. Okay, fine.

We went down to the costume shop and met the designer of an upcoming show. Talk about familiar surroundings! The costume shop could have been in NYC or San Francisco or Edinburgh. Too funny.

However, one of the other attendees waxed on and on about how the people who work in the theatre “love what they do so much, just do it for the love of it, work so hard, and then get up and go to work the next morning.”

I wanted to slap that bitch.

Theatre is a viable profession. That ignorant dolt’s attitude reflects the attitude around here, that theatre isn’t a “real job” and something to be done “on the side.” Sorry, it’s not. It’s a profession.

I think they were hoping to get volunteers for the organization from the coffee. Good for them, but I am paid for my work. This is my PROFESSION, not my hobby.

I was pretty upset when I left. That anecdote reflects what’s a big part of my weighing whether or not I should leave this area. I worked too hard all my life, all the way up to Broadway, to have my profession insulted like that. It’s the same as telling a neurosurgeon he’s got a “cute little hobby, cutting open skulls and poking around.”

This misplaced notion in this area that the only “real” work is to take minimum wage jobs and never get ahead and only work on art “on the side” is everything I’ve rejected all my life. As someone who’s made my living in the arts since I was eighteen, it’s frustrating.

Came home, worked on a couple more pages of the teleplay, but I have to work out the opening scene to Part Two in my head a bit more.

Worked on my next article; I need to do some research today to finish it off and fact check some links.

Was told my next assignment on the new, supposedly long-term gig is on its way.

Found a batch of script jobs to which I want to pitch; I will do that today.

Revised the next three chapters of FIX IT GIRL, which was just over 6K, bringing my total revisions so far to just over 44K.

The weather’s better, so I’m going to start mowing the meadow today, then run some errands, then do the necessary research for the article, finish it, pitch to the script gigs, work on a couple of other pitches, and do my quota of pages on both the teleplay and the revisions of FIX IT GIRL. Then, I have to prep for tomorrow morning’s meeting.

I slept in until 7 this morning, so I feel like I’m a bit behind, time-wise. Still, since I’m making my own schedule, I’ll simply work until it’s all done.

I can’t believe we’re in June and it’s still so damn cold.

Published in: on June 8, 2017 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 8, 2017: When You Just Want to Slap the Bitch  
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Wed. June 7, 2017: A Day in the Life of A Writer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

My brain was tired yesterday from all the script work. However, I pushed through and sent off a few more article pitches. One of them was accepted within 20 minutes. I’ve written most of the article in my head; I’ll set it to paper later today. I’m hoping I can get a quote from a source in time, but the turnaround is so tight, I don’t know if that’s possible.

Another article pitch that I sent off a few weeks ago was rejected, so I’m re-slanting it and sending it to a different market, and crafting a new pitch for the first market, which is a place I’m determined to crack.

Decided not to pitch to two markets, because they expect you to sign up and participate in the “community” in order to land a paid assignment. Sorry, as a professional, I am hired to write on my ability to deliver the particular assignment, not on spending hours of unpaid time toadying. Next!

Pitched to another gig that is in my wheelhouse and that I would like a lot provided the pay is right and they’re willing to work bi-coastally.

I wrote twenty more script pages on PARALLEL-O-GAME. Definitely a limited run series (which used to be called a mini-series). I’m writing the first draft as one long piece; in subsequent drafts, I will break it down into the correct act structure for each segment. However, while I’m writing, I’m also keeping the act structure — both for each segment, and for the overall piece, in the back of my head, so that most of it will already be inherent in the pace. That’s something that only comes from experience. I’ve outlined a good portion of the next section, and scratched some notes down, although not anywhere near as detailed as for what’s already written.

I managed to write 13 pages this morning, which brings me roughly to the end of Part One.

Still haven’t heard about the edits on the assignment from the other publication. The lag time they have between everything is irritating. I have serious doubts that we’ll have a long association. I want to give it a chance, see if it’s just a case of getting used to their rhythm, but I have my doubts.

Was asked to submit a play to a new works festival north of Boston; on the fence about it, since they didn’t take the last one I submitted. Not sure I want to simply submit so their numbers look good for funding. Their numbers this year must be low, or they wouldn’t have emailed me to ask me to submit.

The radio play was acknowledged; they make their decisions in early September.

I have a short story to finish that’s dragging; I need to get it done and out the door, once the article is done, because the market for that story, should I crack it, would be another solid source of steady work. Even though it’s fiction.

This morning, I’m headed over to Cotuit Center for the Arts for a coffee chat, a new program of theirs. Several people I know will be there, and the set and costume designers will be talking — always fun to talk to colleagues.

Friday morning, I have a meeting for a potential new project that would be a lot of fun. And local. Fingers crossed it goes well. I pitched to them yesterday morning and the interview was nailed down by the afternoon, which is always a good sign.
I hope this creative rhythm continues!

Tues. June 6, 2017: Writing Hangover

Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I’d hoped to have the article up on A Biblio Paradise re: The Tempest, but writing about Shakespeare always takes longer than I expect. I hope to have it ready tomorrow or Thursday.

I did one thing yesterday: I worked on the new teleplay I’d outlined the night before. From 7:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon, I wrote 84 pages.

I don’t think I’ve ever written that much in one day in my life.

So, the radio play went out today, instead of yesterday, along with some more pitches. I got paid last night for an article I wrote last week, which will run shortly. I like that market, and I hope we can work together again.

The past two days, I’ve watched THE GAME, a British mini-series, starring Tom Hughes, set in 1970s Britain. Eerily reflective of today. Strong writing, excellent acting.

Absolutely in despair about the state of the country. Saddened that there was another attack in London; furious and embarrassed by the Narcissistic Sociopath’s inappropriate response.

However, I did not get caught up in the Ariana Grande spin on the benefit concert in Manchester. Yes, it’s good that she did it. However, immediately after the attack, she ran back home and talked about how “devastated” she was, making it about her instead of about the incident, instead of standing tall and being a leader IN THAT MOMENT. Coming back with a publicity stunt a couple of weeks later doesn’t cancel that out. Glad people enjoyed themselves, but she’s off my list.

Back to the teleplay today — a steady six pages/day will seem like a let-down after yesterday. I anticipate it as four hours, in two chunks. I’m going to write without worrying about page count/running time in the first draft, then cut and shape in subsequent drafts.

I’m working on the next section of THE FIX IT GIRL revision — soon, I’ll be able to use all those books about Hearst Castle, as Mavis and Troy spend some quality time there.

I have an enormous stack to return to the library today, both books and DVDs. But most of today will be about writing, pitching, creating content and finding professional-rate markets for it.

Onward, bad weather and all.

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 9:24 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 6, 2017: Writing Hangover  
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Mon. June 5, 2017: Productive Writing Weekend

Monday, June 5, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I finished the short radio play “Axe to Grind” and it goes out today. It always feels so good to finish something and get it out the door!

I read Patricia V. Davis’s COOKING FOR GHOSTS on the Kindle. I liked most of it. Liked the characters, the plot, the social justice issues woven into the narrative. The only thing that didn’t work for me, that kept me from giving it an all-out rave was the shifting POV. Head-hopping and POV shifts within scenes don’t work for me and take away, in my opinion, the focus. It dilutes the piece for me. If she’d kept consistent POVs in each scene, and moved the POV when the scene moved, this would make one of my favorite recent reads. But I’d read more of her work, and I’d like to read the next books in the trilogy.

Sent off the first assignment for my new editor. Expect I’ll have to do some revisions this week, since I am new to the publication, and I need to learn their system and their voice. Heard from a pitch to another publication — they will “eventually” get around to assigning me something. Well, sweetie, when you “get around to it”, I might be otherwise booked! You’re one of the lower-paying publications, and THIS was where I have the time in the schedule.

Revised three more chapters on FIX IT GIRL. These needed some major restructuring and plot changes, which is one reason it’s taken me a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days to revise them. But I’m happy with the result. The POV is more focused, it goes deeper, it’s more interesting, and the sloppy writing’s cut out. In other words, the point of the revision. I’m a little over 38K into the revision. I’d say I’m about half way through, maybe a little past it.

I went over the whole second half of the book, making restructuring notes, that will help as I work chapter-by-chapter. Also created the query template. When the revision is done and polished, I can pop in the word count, do the synopsis, and off it goes.

Got an idea last night for a new screenplay. Actually, I think it will be a four-hour mini-series. Odd fantasy piece, interesting for the portfolio. I outlined almost half, and I know where the end will be. I wrote the first 30 pages this morning.

I want to stay home and write, but there are errands to run and work to do. Better get to it. So I can come back and write.

Have a great week!

I can’t believe it’s June, and it’s so darn cold. Haven’t been able to sit on the deck much; it’s usually in the 40s and 50s. Still, better cool than hot.

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 5, 2017: Productive Writing Weekend  
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Fri. June 2, 2017: Reading, Writing, Recalibrating

Friday, June 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got quite a bit done, including mowing the terraced back part of the yard yesterday, although the mower fought me the whole time. Today, I’m going to do the side yard and another part of the back near the deck; tomorrow, I’ll start on the meadow.

Didn’t get much writing done, which was frustrating. I’m trying to outline the piece inspired by the abandoned town, because I’m at a point where I need to set some plot markers, not just make it up as I go along. I’m having trouble answering some of the questions that are vital to structuring the rest of the plot. Until I can answer them, I’m moving forward blind, if I keep writing.

Play proposal was acknowledged by the organization. Now, it’s a waiting game. It’s either what they’re looking for, or it’s not.

Got a thoughtful, kind response from a novelist who I’d contacted for some information. It wasn’t writing-related, but something about which he has strong knowledge. We’d only met once, so it was a reach to contact him, and he was kind enough to respond. It was much appreciated.

Re-slanting a pitch for a different market.

I have to go and buy cat food today, because, well, cat food is necessary for everyone’s well-being! Have a few more errands to do, too, and want to do one more pass on the assignment for the new editor before I send it off.

Still searching for the right cover images for PLAYING THE ANGLES. So much cover art is so poorly done; if I’m going to do this, do these re-releases properly, I’m going to take my time and make sure all the elements for the re-release work. The editing, the cover art, the media kit, the marketing campaign.

Roughed out the outline for the Devon Ellington media kit. I’m not sure in what order to put it. Right now, I have the non-fiction, then the series/novels, then the shorts, then the anthologies, then retired info/”other”. Really, the only way I’ll know if it works is to put it together and read it for flow.

I’ve got the basic design for the Topic Workbook bookmark, and what I want to do for the blog bookmark, the DE work bookmark, and the Fearless Ink workbook; but I’m having trouble finding the right template.

It was warm enough and pleasant enough to have both lunch and dinner out on the deck yesterday; a nice change from the cold, wet weather.

I’m reading MISS TREADWAY AND THE FIELD OF STARS by Miranda Emmerson. I enjoy it. It’s literary fiction with mystery elements. Can’t tip all the way into mystery novel, because of the forays into many different characters that keep it from having the pace of a mystery or suspense novel. The third person omniscient narration, which moves from character to character within scenes doesn’t always work for me, but I like most of the characters, the plot, and the story.

This weekend, I want to work on the FIX IT GIRL revisions, the short radio play, and a short story. Also will prep some more article pitches to send out next week.

Never a dull moment. Which is a good thing!

June’s To Do List is up on the GDR site here.

So the Narcissistic Sociopath is pulling us out of the Paris Climate Accord. Playing to the stupid and ignorant, while making personal profit. Yet again. He’s supposed to be a public servant, yet he’s never done anything to serve anyone but himself. The fact that anyone is stupid enough to believe him is appalling. What a loathsome individual, and what an embarrassment to represent the country on a world stage. People keep saying, “this is not who we are.” Obviously, it’s what we’re becoming, or someone would DO something to remove the corrupt and the stupid. Yet no one is. The whole situation is revolting.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 9:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 2, 2017: Reading, Writing, Recalibrating  
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Thurs. June 1, 2017: Adventures in Lowell

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I forgot to post on Tuesday, so that post is below today’s. I was so under the gun on various things that it flew out of my mind.

Check out the article on using Claire Cook’s and Jeff Vandermeer’s books for my recalibration here.

Check out the wrap up for May on the GDR site; I’ll have the To Do list for June up soon.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep, so by the time the alarm went off at 4:30, I was already up. I left by 5:30 and drove up to Lowell, where I had a meeting with an organization for whom I’d like to work. I liked them; we’ll see if I’m what they need right now. The logistics of working there would need some maneuvering.

But I liked the city better than I expected. I like the fact that, unlike here on Cape, they recognize that the arts are a viable profession.

Hit torrential rain coming back, and it was a bad drive. It was also frustrating, because so many people refused to put their headlights on in the rain and fog, even though it’s the law, if the windshield wipers are on, the headlights MUST be on. It was very hard to see other cars when I could barely see the end of my own, and they couldn’t be bothered to turn on their lights.

But I made it home, and I was in bed by 7 PM, and slept 12 hours. I feel better this morning, although I had a passel of errands, including two dump runs (one for garbage, one for cut grass and recycling), a Trader Joe’s run, and a run to CVS to get my mom’s medication. Now, I have to get some work done at the library, and then do yard work and then write and then . . .you get the idea.

Let’s hope June is a wonderful month!

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 10:51 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 1, 2017: Adventures in Lowell  
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Tues. May 30, 2017: Hamster on the Wheel

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

It was kind of a lousy weekend here on Cape, weather-wise. That didn’t stop it from having a back-up trying to get off Cape yesterday from Orleans (the elbow of the Cape) all the way to the Sagamore Bridge. Three hours for a trip that should take about 45 minutes.

It’s going to be a challenging season.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise, so you can see how I’m using books by Claire Cook and Jeff Vandermeer on this Recalibration journey.

With the mower now working again, I got some work done on the yard before the weather changed. I got the front and the side front yard mowed. I’d hoped to get the terraced back area done, so I could start on the meadow today, but no such luck. I’m hoping it will clear up a bit this afternoon, so I can start that.

I did my first assignment from my new editor. I don’t know how long my association will be with this publication. I have some issues with contract and payment terms. Either we’ll work them out, or we won’t, and I’ll leave. I’m no longer accepting situations that don’t work for me. Especially when there’s an unacceptable time iag in payment.

Heard back last night from another pitch I sent last week — the editor wants to buy the article. So I have to get that off to her as quickly as possibly (while writing something good).

I also need to do some follow up on other pitches.

Last night, I got an idea for two flash fiction stories, on the light-hearted side. I’d like to draft them, so I don’t lose the energy.

I worked on the story inspired by the photos of the abandoned Connecticut town I came across online. I got 49 pages written, in longhand, getting all the way into chapter four. So I think the idea is viable. I like working in longhand on this particular piece. I’m at a point where I need to stop and type up the first three chapters, and also where I need to stop and write my Writer’s Rough outline.

Trying to get back into the rhythm of NOT BY THE BOOK, and trying to sort out some things for the next section of FIX IT GIRL.

Worked my way through some research books. I have a big stack to take back to the library today. Hopefully, I can get done everything I need to get done in an hour or so, and then get back to the page.

I thought I had two deadlines today for radio scripts, but it turns out that one is actually the end of next month, and the other is in a window — I have a feeling I’ll get the latter (which is further along) out the door later this week. Here, I thought I’d have to drop one possibility, and push hard for the other one. Glad I don’t.

The most important thing this morning is to dig down and get the article done, then polish the piece for the other editor and send it off.

I won’t be posting here tomorrow — I’m off on an adventure. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say when I come back on Thursday!

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 10:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 30, 2017: Hamster on the Wheel  
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