Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018: Samhain

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Image Miriams-Fotos courtesy of pixabay.com

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Published in: on October 31, 2018 at 5:22 am  Comments (1)  

Tues. Oct. 30, 2018: Stress Builders

Relics 4

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Release day for RELCIS & REQUIEM. Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read an interview about the book, an excerpt, and find Buy Links.

Quite the weekend.

Friday, I worked on some promo for Relics, then it was about getting stuff in from the deck and battening down the hatches ahead of Saturday’s big storm.

The storm wasn’t as big as they said; however, the power was flickering, so I didn’t feel comfortable working on the computer.

I read Robert Galbraith’s (JK Rowling’s) LETHAL WHITE, and really liked it. I liked the first one a lot, and was a little disappointed with the next two, but this one comes roaring back.

I woke up on Saturday morning with the shape of a new novel, a one-off, in my head, and jotted down that outline before I forgot it. As the day wore on, I got the idea for another one-off thriller, and wrote that outline. And did some work on the gun violence play.

So I got a lot done, but I was beating myself up anyway about not getting enough done.

Sunday, I managed to get the outdoor decorations done.

Planned to spend the rest of the day writing.

And then my mother, who turned 94 on Monday, started having pain in her arm and heart acceleration. She didn’t want me to call 9-1-1, but I called the non-emergency number of the firehouse down the street, and they sent some of our lovely firefighters, who always take such good care of us. They checked her vitals and talked to her; the EKG and blood pressure, etc. were in good shape, but they still wanted her to go to the hospital. Which she refused to do, because she was feeling better.

But I called her doctor and left a message stating I wanted to bring her in yesterday.

Not the way she wanted to spend her birthday, but too bad.

Took her in, darting around the tornado warnings we had around here; they’re not sure if it’s cardiac or a mild stroke. But, again, all the tests came back clean. So that’s a little stressful.

On top of that, driving home, we were trying to outrace the tornado warning, in the worst of the weather, and the Orange ShitGibbon sends out another “emergency alert test” message. I’m in the middle of an actual emergency, and there’s a fake alert demanding a response. No. Just no.

I managed to get in some good work on DAVY JONES DHARMA. Sticking to the writing schedule, even in stressful times, helps.

Do the best I can, that’s all I can do.

In any case, I’m excited about RELICS, and I hope you like it, too!

There won’t be a proper blog post up again until Friday, most likely. Tomorrow is Samhain — I have work and prep for a big event, and on Thursday, I’m helping my client for 12 hours with said event.

Onward.

 

Published in: on October 30, 2018 at 5:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Mon. Oct. 29, 2018: Final Thoughts on Tolerance #UpbeatAuthors

Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Decide how you can apply it in your life.

Meet every individual with basic human dignity.

Walk your talk.

Peace.

Published in: on October 29, 2018 at 5:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Oct. 26, 2018: Upcoming Release and Errands

Relics 4

Relics & Requiem, Coventina Circle Romantic Suspense #3
Releases Oct. 30, 2018
Universal Buy Link

Friday, October 26, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

RELICS & REQUIEM releases on Tuesday. I’m excited about this book. I’m very fond of Amanda and Phineas, and their relationship. You can read excerpts and more here on the Relics page of the Coventina Circle Website.

Worked at home yesterday; didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but that’s the theme right now. I’m still struggling with the disappointment I received earlier in the week and trying not to spiral down into a discouragement that won’t help.

Did some yard work; we’ve gotten a good portion of the plants that need to overwinter inside. There’s still other stuff to cut back, clean out, and put away, not to mention one final mow of the season, but that can wait until after tomorrow’s storm.

Watched the second season of the Australian drama JANET KING. Outstanding. Really, really good. I like the complexity of the drama coming out of Australia and New Zealand. It’s not dumbed down and oversimplified.

Had to go to the RMV early this morning to renew the car registration, In and out of there in 5 minutes (and they’re so nice). Stuck in traffic on Rt. 28 for an hour.

It’s off season, and the traffic is just as bad all the time, as it was in summer. I’m sick of it.

Grocery shopping, and a few other errands. Most of today will be spent writing, I hope, but some of it will be prepping for the storm. I don’t plan to do much tomorrow except hunker down, write, and read.

Next week will be a challenging one, with a big event for one particular client. Fingers crossed it goes well. I will be exhausted by the end of it.

And I can’t get any farther behind on my writing than I am.

My mother’s 94th birthday is on Monday. I’m lucky to have her still around.

Back to the page.

Published in: on October 26, 2018 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. Oct. 25, 2018: Sometimes, You Just Have the Blues

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Yesterday sucked on a lot of levels, for several reasons. I got some disappointing personal news; I’m not feeling well; I’m dealing with a difficult client.

I’m getting back into the groove of DHARMA, thank goodness, and we finally have the upload for RELICS & REQUIEM cleanly copyedited and ready to go. It will actually release on time.

I’ve been updating both the Coventina Circle and the Devon Ellington web site. As soon as the buy links go live, I’ll add them.

I had a bad case of the blues, and felt like there was nothing of value I could really add to any conversation.

I did manage to submit a short story – a quick deadline for a flash fiction piece hit my desk and I happened to have something I could fit.

The problems with the Submittable account have been fixed, so that helps.

I have to take my mom to a medical appointment this morning, and then I’m supposed to go to a spa open house this afternoon, but I’m not sure I feel up to it.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

I’ll be online late, because I have to go to the RMV and renew the car registration.

I’m so tired, on so many levels right now.

Published in: on October 25, 2018 at 3:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. Oct. 24, 2018: It Keeps Going

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Day after Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cold and gray

Busy/crazy few days.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for a post on techniques I learned during Nano that apply well to freelance work.

Challenging days with the client.

There was some controversy over one of my published pieces. I am grateful that my editor backed me.

Finished yet another round of copyedits on RELICS. This better be it. The damn book is close to release. I’m getting a little fed up with the way Word changes text from draft to draft, auto-correcting even when I don’t want it to. There’s got to be a way to turn it off. I don’t like a computer program rewriting my text.

This has all put me far behind on DHARMA, which is causing even more stress.

On top of that, there were water spouts only a few miles away at the canal last night, and we were under tornado warnings. The cats were upset. But it turned out okay.

This weekend, the primary focus is on the DHARMA draft, and on yard work and finally getting up the decorations for next week.

On top of that, there are two short stories that are bothering me. I know if I don’t get some work on them, they will distract me from everything else.

And Jake’s book, in the Coventina Circle series, is taking form. That’s book #8. So I’m making notes. Morag’s is the first, Bonnie’s the second, Amanda’s the third, Lesley’s the fourth, Sylvie’s the fifth, Diana’s the sixth, Hartley Crain’s the seventh, Jake’s the eighth. I’ll either do another Morag as number nine, or a final book with everyone. That’s the plan so far. Who knows how it will actually shake out? .

From there, I can build the paranormal historicals and the side books that are seeded in the main books.

But for the next couple of years, I can only write one Coventina a year, not two. That’s just too much, juggling that and the Gwen Finnegan Mysteries and the Nautical Namaste mysteries and Jain Lazarus coming back and Justice by Harpy and the Gambit Colony books

Plus, there are other ideas I have that have nothing to do with the current series!

Oh, and I have to buy another bag of candy, because I ate one!

Rescheduled some coffee dates that got bumped.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on October 24, 2018 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. Oct. 20, 2018: The Wrong Tired Early in the Week

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Day Before Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Busy, busy weekend.

The Global Human Rights conference was intense. Fortunately, I can catch up on sessions I missed over the next couple of weeks. So much material on so many levels. A lot that I can use as jumping off points for creative work.

By Saturday, I was worn out. I gave myself the second half of the day off. I went grocery shopping, did laundry, made parsnip-carrot-leek soup, roasted a chicken.

Read more than I wrote: LARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING by Donna Andrews, which had me laughing out loud. It’s nice to see how Andrews developed the community, and how the time and energy Meg has put into it is now being returned.

Also read SHELTER IN PLACE by Nora Roberts. This is one of her better books, in my opinion. Relevant and sad, dealing with the aftermath of a mass shooting, and how the survivors’ lives evolved. Not all of her books work for me, but this one did, on multiple levels. Well done.

Read a nonfiction book that came highly recommended, from other people and in reviews. Found it very disappointing. The narrator meandered around, being ungrateful for her opportunities and blowing them, and the “memoir” had very little point, other than making me not like or respect her very much. The constant tense shifts and second person gave me a headache. The framework of the piece made sense, but too much of the internal structure within that framework didn’t support the narrative, in my opinion.

Author Lauren Dane turned me on to the poetry of Warsan Shire. Wow. Just wow, on so many levels. One of the most powerful poets I’ve read in a long time.

I needed to take in work this weekend, rather than spewing it out.

But by Sunday, I was back on track with DAVY JONES DHARMA, and that draft is humming along nicely.

I also did another round of copyedits on RELICS. STILL finding errors that I know I changed. Still finding things that, when I changed, the “auto correct” on the machine changed back, and then I changed them again, and so forth and so on. It also angers me that the latest version of Word’s Grammar/Spellcheck doesn’t recognize “it’s” and always wants to change it to “its.”

I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A POSSESSIVE AND A CONTRACTION. STOP TRYING TO CHANGE IT TO THE ONE I DON’T WANT.

Yes, I am screaming.

Worked on site with a client, which had its challenges. This week and next will be difficult, with this particular client.

I have another round of copyedits to do on RELICS. This damn well better be the last one; we’re getting way too close to the release date, and it’s hurting the pre-orders.

But once this releases, I can get back into splitting my writing work between the latest draft of DAVY JONES DHARMA and the latest draft of THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Although, because I’m so deep in RELICS right now, I want to slide right into GRAVE REACH.

Prepping for the next revision on HEART SNATCHER, which I will do during the Women Write Change project.

Gathering research for both the anti-gun violence play and the multi-media performance piece.

In despair about the corruption of the US government right now. Voters better turn out.

Trying to schedule a bunch of appointments, and it’s all chaos.

Tired, tired, tired.

 

Mon. Oct. 22, 2018: Tolerance Boundaries #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, October 22, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

 

I spent the past few days participating in a Global Human Rights Conference. It was inspiring and passionate. The participants are far more hopeful about the future than I am.

If you haven’t read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, do so.

Did you know that Jimmy Carter signed it in 1977, but the US has yet to ratify it and is the only industrialized nation who has not?

Read it again.

See how many violations this country performs on a daily basis?

Where are your boundaries? What are you willing to tolerate that causes harm?

 

Fri. Oct. 19, 2018: Conference Lessons

Friday, October 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. Spent most of it in session at the Global Human Rights Conference. Took pages and pages and pages of notes, and gathered contact information. There’s so much information, and it’s relevant on so many different levels.

There’s also a realization that the US has been a disappointment on the world stage. Not just since 2016, although it’s gotten exponentially worse since then. But, as I’ve said for years, it’s devolved since Reagan. The lack of commitment and will to enhance, support, and expand universal human rights because it’s inconvenient for dictatorships and, especially, for multi-national corporations is appalling.

So is this current regime’s willingness to accept money to shrug off the murder and dismemberment of a journalist. I’m not surprised at this administration at all, but it’s revolting. This is the test balloon, to see how much killing they can get away with. They’ll do it overtly, and also by gutting healthcare, taking away earned benefits like Social Security, and the rest, with the intent that those who can’t afford to bribe them will die.

Women Write Change is going well; I’m enjoying the discussions, and I can feel new ideas percolating.

Got another round of copyedits/galleys done on RELICS, and hope the final round will be done this weekend.

Have to step up the work on DHARMA. This draft is behind, which then puts me behind on BALTHAZAAR.

Dithering about whether or not to submit a proposal to a conference that has a small chance of conflicting with another proposal I’m waiting to hear back on, at a different event. Not sure if submitting means I’m hedging my bets, or if it means I assume I won’t get the first, and have given up.

I gave my speech early this morning, video-conferencing in. Nothing like having to be camera-ready at 4:30 AM, due to time zones. It went well. We’ll see what the reaction is. I was definitely intimidated by the scope of the other contributors. I’m worried that mine was too simplistic: Basic human decency leading into holding individuals accountable AS individuals who commit human rights violations leading into the power and necessity of art to both bear witness and provoke change.

I’m glad it’s over, and immediately changed into fuzzy, comfort clothes when I was done. Since I won’t be on camera for sessions today, I can wear what I want!

Writing and edits and yard work and the last of the conference are on the agenda for today. I HAVE to get back on track for DHARMA.

And I have to get groceries into the house, or I will be very unhappy.

The car feels fantastic after the oil change. What a relief. I still have to get the hatch fixed, but one thing at a time.

Have a great weekend.

 

Thurs. Oct. 18, 2018: Human Rights Conference, Domain Issues (Again)

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Frustrating couple of days. A client overstepped bounds, in a way that left me in physical pain as well as being damn angry. Only spent two hours with the client on Wednesday and left.

Took care of myself, and then attended the opening of the Global Human Rights Conference. Which was amazing. Pages and pages of notes, intense discussions, new contacts.

Lots of relevance for several writing projects.

Looking forward to a full day today, and then participating in the Idea Bazaar on Friday, and the rest on Saturday.

The level of discussion, intellect, passion, and engagement is inspiring.

I also did not know that President Jimmy Carter signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1977, but the US has yet to ratify it, and is the only industrialized nation in the world not to do so.

Fascinating discussion about Linguistic Genocide. I did not know there were five facets of the definition of genocide and physical killing is only one. Also discussion about the myth of English as a “global language.”

Very few Americans involved in this conference, and fascinating to talk to the international community about the way America is currently viewed.

I’ve been saying that unless we take back our democracy in November, we are on the road to another World War, only this time the US will be the enemy in the way the Nazis were in World War II.

What I’ve heard today reinforces that.

1&1 is fucking with my domains again. Got a notice that the Devon Ellington Work site was set to renew. Great, it does that every year. Only no charge appears. I contact them — they tell me it’s fine until April next year. Which makes no sense. The extortion plan to hold the registrations renews in April, but the domains should renew when they renew.

I ask about the other two domains, for which I’ve also received notices. No information on Fearless Ink. But Cerridwen’s Cottage won’t renew unless I “toggle” something in the account — which I no longer have access to, because when I moved hosts and they extorted me into a “new plan” to hold the registrations, I lost access to everything.

After hours of fighting yesterday, it seems to be fixed. I still think there’s a good chance I’ll lost all my domains and will have to create new ones and build from scratch all seven sites.

It will be a nightmare.

But it will be better than the years of EXTORTION they’ve put me through.

I’ve come up with alternate domain names for everything except Fearless Ink. Would hate to lose that. But, if I have to, I will. I am who I am; I can rebuild the brands if I need to; tweak the names and the sites. I will not be held hostage by a company like 1&1.

Got an oil change this morning, am headed in for more conference sessions. Will use my lunch break for a yoga class, then more sessions.

Hopefully, will also get the next set of proofs of RELICS turned around by Friday. Or at least, Saturday.

Women Write Change is going great. We have some wonderfully creative people there. I’m so glad I set up the forum. It’s exactly what I need right now.

Back to the Global Human Rights Conference.

 

Wed. Oct. 17, 2018: Challenges

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Working steadily on the galleys for RELICS. Had hoped to turn around the first set yesterday, but couldn’t. So that’s on the agenda for today.

I’m behind on DHARMA because I misplaced the notes with all the treasure hunt clues. So I have to recreate them to fit the outline and drive the plot. I’ll do that the next few days and then dig in to write more than the daily quota on DHARMA this weekend.

That’s what I get for not having a typed copy, a backup copy, AND my handwritten notes.

Having fun with the Women Write Change forum. I think we’ll get some good work done.

In discussion with my publisher and cover designer about the designs for the Justice By Harpy Trilogy. It will have a very stark, distinct look.

Preparing for Friday. The conference officially starts today; I’ll spend some time on it tomorrow, but Friday is my big day.

Have to remind a client that the job parameters don’t get to change in the moment. They have to be discussed, and then compensated. It may be time to wind things up with this particular client in the next few months.

Hopefully, the weather will be good enough this weekend so I can do yard work, start putting the yard to bed for the winter, and put up the decorations.

Still trying to get the car appointments sorted out, and the rental inspection, and a few other things.

Back to the page.

I have to get an oil change first thing in the morning, so I’ll be late blogging.

Tues. Oct. 16, 2018: Creating and Other Busy Times

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Sorry I didn’t blog on Friday. I never even made it out of the house. We had bad storms, so I wasn’t online, and cancelled out of my appointments. I’m lucky I didn’t have to be out in that weather.

I stayed in and worked on the RELICS revision, and re-worked the first chapter of Coventina Circle #4, GRAVE REACH, which is Lesley’s story. It took 14 hours, but it was good work, and, when I finally could get online, it went out to my editor.

Now we’re in galleys. It’s a very tight turnaround, since the book releases this month, but the revision cycles we did for this make me feel good about the book. If we worked in print, it wouldn’t be possible to stay on this schedule.

Finished, polished, and sent the review I was working on. Worked on Friday’s speech.

Worked on the Women Write Change forum. We have a few new members. It’s going to take awhile to spread the word. And that’s okay. The point is to have a contained creative space with like-minded women, giving participating artists freedom to create.

One of my main email addresses on the fearlessink site was hacked, with the same threats. So now it’s about filing the paperwork, temporarily suspending the address, etc. I’m working with Submittable to merge my account under that address with my main personal email address, which is simpler.

This is on 1&1. They are punishing me for moving hosts by lowering security. They dragged their feet so I couldn’t move the domain registrations before they renewed, and now, until I can move over to Name Silo, I’m going to have these problems. They’re just awful. I will be glad when I’m disentangled them for good.

The weather was dreadful all weekend, except for Sunday, when I couldn’t work in the yard, so I didn’t get the yard work done. I’m trying to find a place to get a decent oil change around here. When did it become such a big deal to get a basic oil change? This area has really devolved in the past few years.

Client work yesterday was challenging, and I’m sure it will be today and tomorrow.

All I really want to do is finish the galleys, start the promotion for RELICS, and prep for Friday’s speech.

DAVY JONES DHARMA and THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE are chugging along. I think DAVY JONES, in particular, will be lots of fun. BALTHAZAAR has a few surprises in store that will shake readers.

I keep making notes for GRAVE REACH, which is percolating nicely, too. I have a very basic outline for it, done when I outlined the series. It won’t come out until next October; two books a year from this series is too tight a schedule right now. I’m happy with the first chapter, though. It hits some good points.

Developing some ideas that I want to work on for Women Write Change, in addition to the revision on HEART SNATCHER and researching the anti-gun violence play. I’m not sure if it will be a series of short pieces, or feed into something bigger. They’re mostly to blow off steam and frustration, but, after that initial cathartic draft, maybe I’ll have something that can be shaped into a viable piece.

I’m also playing with what I hope will be a flash fiction about solitary confinement.

I’m reading a wonderful book by Mary Gabriel called NINTH STREET WOMEN, about five women painters whose work changed the art landscape. It’s relevant to Women Write Change.

Back to the page.

Mon. Oct. 15, 2018: When Tolerance Is Used as a Weapon #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, October 15, 2018
Waxing Moon
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I could go on at length about this topic. There are plenty of facets to it.

The bottom line is simple: You are not required to tolerate someone who wants to harm you.

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On a side note, for those of you who are enraged by the current situation and want to channel that rage into developing art (in any discipline), I’ve started an invitation-only group for progressive artists identifying as female called Women Write Change. I created the sanctuary I need right now. The guidelines are here. If you want to participate, the email to send a request is at the bottom of the guidelines.

Take care of yourself.

Published in: on October 15, 2018 at 4:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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