Wed. Nov. 30, 2022: A. Day. And then Another. Day

Charlotte and her banana. Photo by Devon Ellington

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Stormy and cold

Here’s a picture of Charlotte and her banana, because someone should have a good day.

Well, yesterday was A Day.

Sorry this is late, but today is shaping up to be A Day Again.

The transit chart warned me this would be a week of chaos and conflict influenced by the heavens, and drawing the Nine of Swords as my Advice Card for the day was another warning.

On the positive side, we talk about The Right Form For the Story over on the Process Muse.

I also posted a Holiday Mindfulness Oracle Reading over on Ko-fi.

You back? Good.

The worst thing that happened yesterday was that my giant Brother Color Laser Printer, which was expensive and so heavy it needs two men to life it, died. It turned itself off in the morning, and the power won’t go back on. You can tell Twitter is dying, because I posted a request for troubleshooting suggestions there and it was silent. Normally, I’d have a mix of actual help and mansplaining. CounterSocial and Mastodon offered suggestions, but most of it was what I tried, and both that and the stuff I hadn’t tried but then did, did not work. But I appreciated that people saw the post and genuinely tried to help. That’s always appreciated, and I made sure to thank and acknowledge them.

I will be heartbroken if a printer that was that expensive and under warranty at only two years old is dead for good.

Now, of course, I have to fight to get them to honor the warranty.

It’s not like I can load it up into the car and take it for repair. The tech has to come here.

So, no printer yesterday, and research for a small interim printer until we figure out what to do with the laser printer. I was going to buy a small printer anyway, that I could take with me on residencies. I just didn’t expect to get it right now, and lose the big laser printer, which is a necessity for my work.

I had A LOT of stuff I needed to scan this week, along with the regular printing, so it’s an issue.

I did the rounds to promote Legerdemain, and check in and interact here and there. Making the rounds of all the sites takes from 1 ½-2 hours, which I now need to build into the workday. Whether or not I “have” time doesn’t matter. It’s a necessary part of the job. People running around saying they “don’t have time” or “the spoons” to learn these new platforms are speaking from a place of privilege I do not have.

Twitter is mostly screaming right now, anyway. It makes me sad.

I turned around two script coverages in the afternoon. We got an issue with a misplaced synopsis sorted out, which I will deal with today. I have to sit through another “evaluation” soon. My numbers have gone up in the last months, I have a 100% on time rate, and I’m requested 5% more often than the average for readers, so what is there to talk about? Leave me alone to do my work or give me a raise.

I found out that library holds expired yesterday. I contacted the library to ask them to hold them over until I could pick them up this morning, but didn’t hear back. With the library closed for four days over the holidays, we should get a little extra time. All the same, my world will not stop if I don’t get a library book I ordered. I can order it again.

Centerville Library’s staff would just check them out and send me a note telling me they were ready whenever I wanted to pick them up, but then, I built relationships with those librarians over ten years. The turnover at this library is much higher, and while all the librarians know me, sort of, by this point, they don’t really know me. It’s whatever. I will cope.

A colleague asked for recommendations on something, and, having dealt with her requests before, she wants me to do initial introductions and labor on it, which I won’t do. I’ll give her the information. Someone else is nagging me to review her book, which I just received – give me a minute, would you? Paid work comes first.

I’m behind on getting out some other admin stuff that needs to be done this week, and I don’t want to let it slide.

It took me 45 minutes to upload my profile picture on Hive, between my tablet being slow and the site running slow. Hopefully, everything will even out soon.

On a happier note, I received a tax refund from the state. In this state, when there is a surplus of taxes collected, they don’t sit on it. They are required, by law, to return it to the taxpayers. So I got an unexpected refund check. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to cover the little interim printer I have my eye on. That little thing made me feel cared for by the Universe.

As far as writing went, I chose not to work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH yesterday, because I was working on the holiday story instead. However, as I passed the 2K mark and realized how much story there still was, this is not appropriate for the newsletter subscribers. So I have to come up with something else that can be a flash (I already have the idea) and switch over to writing the flash for the Ko-fi page in the next couple of days (that idea is a little weird, but fun. Ko-fi is where I do weird and fun).

This morning, I only did 1151 words on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, but they’re decent. I have to come up with a few more pages tomorrow morning to round out this chapter, and then we are where we need to be for the chapter I wrote last Friday, and that sends us careening toward the climactic sequence and resolution. It will come in short, on word count, for this draft, but as I revise it next spring, I will layer in the necessary period detail so it will hit the count organically (hopefully without info dumping).

I’m finishing NaNo at 59,736 (part of me says, come on, write another 300 words before midnight and hit 60K), but we’ll see.

I did not sleep well, between worrying about things and the cats being impossible.

Up a little after 5. Tessa is doing a Houdini act. I heard rummaging, and found her in a closed bureau drawer (that has not been opened for months). How did she get in there when there are no holes in the back of the bureau? It’s a mystery, but I’m glad I was home to get her out.

My back was spasming when I woke up, but a longish yoga session (under Tessa’s supervision) helped.

I dashed out early when the store opened that carried the printer I wanted. In and out in a few minutes with the printer, a 2-year warranty, and a hole puncher (I can’t find my other one, and Staples sent me the wrong case of paper).

Wolfed down breakfast and headed out again, just as the storm started. Hit up the library – they’d held my books for me, knowing I’d show up when I said I would. I am very grateful. Liquor store (gotta stock for a storm). Bank, to put in the refund check I’d just spent on the printer.

All the errands done in 20 minutes and home. Car safely slotted. Back to work. The winds are supposed to pick up seriously over the next few hours and be high until tomorrow night. The temperatures are in the 40s now, but will drop into the 20s tonight, so the rain might switch over to snow. They are positioning plows and utility trucks around the city.

Lots to do, so off I go. Have a good one.

And hey, all you who busted your ass for NaNo – good work! Cheers to you!

Tues. Nov. 29, 2022: Juggling the Decorating

Front door wreath. Photo by Devon Ellington

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly sunny/cloudy and cold

I hope you had a great holiday weekend, if it was a holiday, or a great weekend no matter what.

Curl up and let’s have a catch-up.

If you missed my post on creating an Oasis on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolution site, you can read it now.

Friday was mostly about switching out fabric: taking the autumn fabric off various surfaces, deciding what Yuletide fabric would go on them, ironing as needed, washing what came off.

Basically, if it doesn’t move, it gets covered with fabric and décor, so the cats keep moving when the boxes come out.

Saturday morning, I realized that the chapter I wrote on Friday needs to be about two or three chapters further into the book, since it sets off the climactic sequence. I renumbered that chapter and went to create the interim chapters. I only got 709 words written, before we really had to get going on our day.

It was Small Business Saturday, so that’s what we did – we small businessed.

First, it was down to Cheshire to Whitney’s Farm to get the wreath. On the way back, we stopped at Adams Fresh Market for a few things. We dropped everything off, then headed up to Bennington, where we parked off Main Street and visited the local small shops and got our holiday shopping done, except for one thing I got in Williamstown on the way back.

All small business/individual artist stuff.

When I got home, the few things I’d ordered (from yet another small business) arrived.

So everything is ready to be packed and shipped this week.

Whew!

We also visited a favorite thrift store up in Bennington. I found some adorable vintage ornaments, including a pair of glittery  airstream trailers that totally fit in with THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. I found a wooden hot air balloon ornament, and a few other things, including a piece of a Christmas village.

vuntage trailer ornaments. Photo by Devon Ellington

I’ve always wanted a Christmas village, but haven’t found what I want within my budget. This year, I decided who needs matchy-matchy? I can create it just by picking up thrift store pieces I enjoy and build something unique.

Because you know I’ll wind up creating stories set in it.

When we got back, I got a few more decorations packed up into the closet in Tessa’s room, and got out the small tree for the porch. It’s together, but without lights and ornaments.

Sunday, I chose not to write. I made a mad dash to a store I dislike, in the hopes they would have some taper candles, and I got the last box of white tapers in the place.

We cleaned off the mantel, put up better hooks, and put some of the decorations we want up there. I also packed away a bunch of stuff that had been there.

In previous years, in fact, since I have a memory of these holidays, we always displayed our holiday cards on red ribbons hung beside the doorframes. It looked good in Chicago, in Westchester, on Cape Cod. I did it when I lived in Florida, San Francisco, Seattle, and Manhattan.

But here, it doesn’t look right. The doorways are tall, and even re-cutting ribbon for the full length looks spindly. These doorways need grand garlands. Which is not happening this year.

So I bought a cork bulletin board. I covered it in holly fabric, with burgundy and gold ribbon around the edges, and we will pin our cards to the board and keep in on the fireplace mantel. It looks nice, and we will build the rest of what we put on the mantel around that.

We got the carolers up on their little table. And the gold bells on the living room door. We worked on the big staircase from the front door up to the actual apartment. The nutcrackers march down one side of it, the tallest at the top, the smallest at the bottom. On the other side, we have the deer going up, the largest deer at the bottom, the smallest on top. We still have to do the garland and the lights, but at least these pieces are in place.

And that’s all that got done. No tree in the stand or decorated yet.

I started to berate myself for not getting it all done in one day (I used to get it all done in one, eight-hour day). Then I remembered how much I’ve accumulated since then, and that we are still trying to figure out what looks best where. Last year we just kind of slapped it up wherever. This year, we are putting more thought into it. If it takes time, it takes time.

I found Charlotte’s banana in all of this, which has been lost for weeks, and all is now right with her world.

I was tired and my back hurt by Sunday night. I went to bed early. In the morning, I had answered some questions that came back after one of the coverages, going into more detail and offering some resources to the writer.

Up early on Monday. Tessa supervised my morning yoga, making sure I didn’t slack off.

I did, however, have a hard time getting it together.

I managed to finish the chapter on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. One more interim chapter, and we’ll be where we need to for Friday’s chapter to happen, and then hurtle forward.

I got the promotions uploaded and scheduled for “Just Jump in and Fly” which always gets a push at this time of year. Since it’s one of my favorite pieces, I like promoting it. I had to do a new graphic for “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” because the ad just didn’t work. But I got it done, uploaded and scheduled. Then, I got the Topic Workbook promotions uploaded and scheduled through the end of the year.

I’m allowing all the promotions, of the above, and of Legerdemain, to run through the end of the year. Then, we’ll see what Yegads Muskrat is up to. If the platform continues its rightwing extremist skew, my audience isn’t on it anyway, and I’ll lock down my account and see where else makes sense. I don’t want to give up the account, but I’ll lock it down. I can’t even do anything with the Fearless Ink account, because if I sign out of the DE account to go to the FI account, I can’t sign back into the DE account. Maybe I’ll sign into the FI account from the library.

I bit the bullet and signed up for Post’s waitlist. We’ll see.

The tablet is running slowly and I’m having trouble doing anything on Hive. I wish they had a desktop app. So many writers and readers are there that it makes sense to be there. But if I can’t do anything on it, it’s just a frustrating waste of time.

There are people running around screaming and bullying about this site and that site, pretending they actually know what they’re talking about and their “deep dives” into the sites are anything but self-serving. The sites all screw with our info, that’s part of the deal. You take precautions, and leave when you don’t like it. And the truth is, no one knows which platform works for what, because it will depend on who winds up where. Twitter was unique in its time and place. That it survived as long as it did is amazing. Now, it’s time to try new things. The whole adapt-or-die thing.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Was too tired to try any more decorating/unpacking. Read a little bit for pleasure. Went to bed pretty early.

Up around five this morning, which was good. I got my morning routine done early enough to get to other things quickly. I could really enjoy the morning yoga, which was nice. And, yes, Tessa was right there to make sure I didn’t try any shortcuts!

The big thing I started this morning was one of the two holiday stories that have to go out this month. I should have written them in August, but, hey. I’ve been thinking about this one since about October. I drafted about 2K this morning; it will need some work, and it will be longer than I’d hoped, but that’s the way it goes. This is the one that will go with the December newsletter. I’d written sections of the story in my head for a few weeks now, so it wasn’t just trying to figure it all out. I’m also writing in my head the flash fiction that will go up on Ko-fi. As soon as I draft this story, I’ll switch over to that one.

Which means this is probably a day off writing THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. Which is okay, because I hit the 50K I needed for Nano. And now I can flow between projects as needed, rather than stressing over hitting 50K.

I have to contact an interview source for the article recently contracted, and get that scheduled. I need to ask my friend when he wants the notes on his manuscript. I need to get to the post office today to mail the last overseas cards and the one overseas package, because I didn’t do it yesterday in the rain. I have to research the artist whose pieces I bought as gifts on Saturday, so I can make a little slip of paper to enclose with the gift (the store didn’t have the info, and not even all the pieces have her name). Note to creatives: At the very least, have a removable sticker with your name and website on the pieces you sell.

I have two scripts to turn around this afternoon. Hopefully, I can do it fast enough so that I have time to work on the decorations. Tonight, I need to start a book I promised I’d comment on for another friend, and I also want to start the domestic cards. My original idea is to write a few every night, but it might be a stronger choice to block off, say, tomorrow night or Thursday night and see how many I can get done.

The Artists Working Group is supposed to meet late this afternoon. A few days after Thanksgiving sounds like a COVID spreading opportunity to me, and I don’t trust that they will mask without being asked.

So I will skip it.

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a good one.

Mon. Nov. 28, 2022: Intent for the Week — Organized

image courtesy of John Perrett via pixabay.com

This week’s intent is to stay organized.

There’s a lot that has to get done this week, in order to prepare for the lot that has to get done next week, so things can be clear going into the holidays and the end of the year.

Instead of getting overwhelmed, I have to look at both the big picture and the smaller bits, and get it done.

As I’ve often mentioned, To-Do lists don’t work for me. “Got Done” lists are much better. My calendar shows me what needs to happen when; the rest, I can arrange to fit the energy, the day, the work.

What is your intent for this week?

Published in: on November 28, 2022 at 7:53 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. Nov. 25, 2022: Leftovers and Decorating Begins

image courtesy of Monika via pixabay.com

Friday, November 25, 2022

Waxing Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Rainy and mild

I hope you had a lovely day yesterday, whether you celebrated American Thanksgiving or not.

I slept in, until nearly 7. Tessa was beside herself. I fed everybody, made the stuffing, and wrestled the bird into the oven a little after 8:30.

I put good wishes on the various social media platforms, rather than do any serious interaction.

Then, I did my day’s work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, which wound up being 1929 words that, overall, I’m happy with (at least for this draft).

Wednesday, I got the book review out, the invoice in, was paid, and did a script coverage.

I’d finished my work by 2 PM on Wednesday, and lounged around reading, and feeling strange in the afternoon. I realized that was because I no longer know how to relax. I know how to work, and how to collapse onto the couch or the bed to recover from work, but I’ve forgotten how to relax.

That goes on the schedule for next year, weird as it sounds.

Follow-up questions came in for a script I covered a couple of days ago, and I was irritated that the answers are due on Monday morning. But I’ll probably turn them around today, and get it over with.

I could not face any more Cleaning Out the Fridge leftovers, so I made scrambled eggs for dinner instead.

Hopping back to yesterday:

For once I timed the turkey and all the sides to be done on time, and I’d set out all the necessary platters and dishes, etc. It was your typical turkey with gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (mashed with melted butter, orange juice, and brown sugar), peas, corn, and rolls. With apple pie for dessert.

We like our holiday meals around mid-day, so we can clean up and spend the rest of the day half asleep.

We cleaned up. Because I have a lot of vintage china that can’t go in the dishwasher, there are always plenty of dishes that have to be done by hand. But we also had a full dishwasher, and put that on.

I made stock from the carcass, and it’s so glorious I think I will use some of the leftovers to make a turkey soup.

Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lounging on the couch, reading and playing with the cats.

Checked in on Twitter a few times, but it was mostly people screaming about this and that and saying that anyone who enjoys the holiday isn’t accommodating those with toxic families. Yeah, when you’re wearing a mask when you’re out and about and actually taking care of others, you get to say something about accommodations.

And if I have a family I appreciate and we enjoy each other, we’re going to have a good holiday without guilt.

Up around 6:30 this morning. Tessa is annoyed that not only was her breakfast late, but it’s not sunny. She’s somehow decided that I am in charge of making sure the sun shines, so she has multiple sun spots in which to nap during the day, and she is not pleased that I am slacking off.

I did the next chapter of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, which came in at 1941 words, so I’ve broken 56K. Without the pressure to hit a certain wordcount by a certain day, it’s flowing better. Or maybe I’m just in the book’s natural rhythm now.

Most of the weekend is about decorating  for Yule. I stopped Black Friday shopping about 20 years ago, so I don’t have to worry about anything, although I do have to pick up a few things at the grocery store and Wild Oats. Tomorrow, I may do some Small Business Saturday shopping, and I’ll head to Whitney’s Farm to get the wreath. Sunday is the First of Advent, so even if I don’t have everything done, I’ll have the Advent Table up.

So why am I online today? Because, my friends, I am being mercenary.  Writing is how I keep a roof over my head, so I must promote my work. The next episode of Legerdemain dropped yesterday. Some scheduled promotions went live, but for the rest, I have to make the rounds today.

Have a good weekend, and I’ll catch you next week.

Thurs. Nov. 24, 2022: Happy Thanksgiving!

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you a day of love, laughter, friendship, good food, and joy.

I wish that for you even if you don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving!

Published in: on November 24, 2022 at 8:55 am  Comments (4)  

Wed. Nov. 23, 2022: Almost Feast Time!

image courtesy of Lubos Houska via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

New Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Jupiter DIRECT as of tonight

Sunny and cold

Hello! This is a much shorter post today. Less ranting, more celebrating, some sorrow.

If you didn’t see my weird little micro fiction “That Darn Dog” over on Ko-fi yesterday afternoon, you can find it here.

This morning’s post on The Process Muse is about astrology.

So, yesterday I hit 50K on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH and hit the Nano goal. I felt huge relief. Last year, I felt genuinely victorious with CAST IRON MURDER, since last year I was worried I’d never have it in me to write another novel again. Yesterday, I just felt tired. I’m worried that Nano has become, for me, too much about ego, rather than the work. It needs to be about the work first.

This morning, I wrote 2020 words on the book. Just because I hit 50K doesn’t mean I’m stopping. I have a book to finish. I just don’t have to be under the same pressures, and each day’s words can be more organic (although, as always, the goal is a minimum of 1K/day).

I’m definitely ready for the new moon, and even more ready (readier?) for Jupiter to go direct tonight. Since it’s the planet of expansion and material things, this is a good time for it to go direct, especially with my sales taking a hit because of Twitter’s death throes.

I’m looking forward to the weekend. I actually like cooking Thanksgiving dinner. For those of you who just recently joined the daily reading, for over 40 years, we used to go to Maine for Thanksgiving. The extended family rented the VFW Hall, and we usually had around 60 people for dinner. When it first started, everyone made an agreement that, for the day, it was about thanks and being together. No arguments, no drama. For the first few years, I made a box for the front hall with a sign saying, “Drop your egos here. You can pick them up on the way out.” After the first couple of years, we didn’t need it.

We’d cook in the giant, industrial kitchen. My job was the mashed potatoes. The potatoes were cooked in huge pots, and the masher was 4 feet long. I had to stand on a stool to get high enough over the pot to mash.

Large tables were set up in a U shape in the main room, with two buffets off to the side. One had the meal; the other was the dessert table.

As the years went on, I started taking responsibility for Wednesday’s meal, for those who set up the hall. I’d cook a gigantic casserole of something on Tuesday. We’d drive up on Wednesday, and I’d heat it up, and everyone who set up would come over for dinner. I also would bake something for the dessert table.

Even when I was working on Broadway, I made arrangements to take off at least Wednesday and Thursday (I made it back for Friday night’s show). And then I’d work Christmas, so someone else could have off.

We’d leave very early in the morning on the Wednesday, about 5 or 6 AM, and hit the Maine border around 9 or 10. We’d meander up slowly, visiting our favorite stores and places along the way. Once my grandmother died and my great uncle went into a nursing home, which meant the house changed hands, we started staying at a motel in Ogunquit, and getting in pizza from one of our favorite pizza places, rather than going up all the way and bringing the Wednesday dinner. The next morning, we’d drive the rest of the way up, help with the meal, help with the dishes, drive back to the motel,  and drive home early on Black Friday.

We stopped shopping on Black Friday about 20 years ago.

The pandemic, of course, made it impossible to have the dinner the past couple of years. And, by this point, there’s enough death and exhaustion that it’s too much to pull it off. So the extended family now has smaller family dinners. Last year we did a ZOOM dessert, but I think this year, everyone just wants to rest.

Things change. We had a great four decades of large gatherings. I will always be grateful for them. At the same time, something smaller works for me now at this point in my life.

Yesterday, I worked through a ton of email. I’m still behind in my Substack reading, which I will catch up on this weekend. I finally got Hive working on my tablet, although it’s very slow. I managed an intro post, and that’s about it. I have to figure out how I can upload graphics to the tablet and then into Hive. I want to run them off my flashdrive, but the tablet doesn’t always acknowledge the flashdrive.

The coffeemaker arrived. From snowy Buffalo! Isn’t it pretty? So shiny! So much bigger than I expected. And no instruction booklet (the box wasn’t even taped shut). The coffeemaker is complicated enough that I’m baffled, and want to read the instructions before I try anything. So I’m on the hunt on the Cuisinart site for it. I have to get different filters, too.

I turned around two script coverages yesterday, and have one today. I have to finish up a book review this morning, and send it off with the invoice. Clear the desk before the holiday weekend, right?

I intentionally did not discuss the shooting at Club Q in yesterday’s post because I was worried it would get lost in the noise, and it deserves more. It’s not at all surprising that the shooter is the grandson of a Republican politician who supported the insurrection. That is what happens when there are no consequences. No one has the right to go into a club and shoot people up because they make different choices. And when someone does an act of terrorism like this, there have to be serious consequences. Not the shooter and Rittenhouse becoming besties and poster boys for the GOP, which is the next step.

Those murdered and their loved ones deserve better. People deserve to live their lives without interference, and with love and joy.

Then, of course, this morning was news of another shooting, this time in a Virginia Walmart. I mean, that’s slightly more understandable that someone would snap at Walmart, but still not acceptable.

The only reason to have an AR-15 is to kill humans. That means anyone who owns one is premeditating murder, even if the target is yet to be chosen. And they must be so prosecuted.

Not the happiest note to end on before the holiday, so let me add this: may you have a joyful, delicious weekend without family drama.

Peace, friends. Catch you on the other side.

Tues. Nov. 22, 2022: Of NaNo Wins, Social Media Platforms, and Holiday Prep

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Dark Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and a little warmer

Curl up with your favorite beverage, because we have a long catch-up this morning, over a wide variety of topics.

If you missed my post on the GDR site about the reminder that holidays are supposed to be fun, you can read it now.

Everything took longer on Friday than I wanted. It was frustrating. But I got my words in, and then we headed out to errands.

I had quite the stack of books waiting for me at the library. Of course, as soon as I got home, I got the notice that there were more. Because that’s how it works. We headed off to the local Toy and Candy shop in Norad Mill, to get ideas for holiday shopping. It’s very cute, and I ended up buying one of my mom’s gifts there, but it didn’t solve this year’s gift-giving challenges.

Then, it was off to Wild Oats. A local coffee company had a tasting, and the guy running it was really nice, enthusiastic, and a fellow French Press enthusiast. So we had a good conversation, and then I got the rest of what I needed.

Hit Stop & Shop on the way back for a few things, and it was disgusting. Hardly everyone masked, and everyone sneezing and coughing all over everything. I stayed about 10 feet away and got out as fast as I could. Ick.

If I end up getting sick, I’ll know where it happened.

Negotiated a contract for a new-to-me publication. It’s still not the fee I wanted, but I really want to do the article, the timeline works, and, while it may be a one-and-done for me, it will also be a good opportunity to get my byline in front of a different audience.

Struggled with the script coverage in the afternoon. I’ve gotten used to the shorter write-ups, so doing a longer one was a challenge. I only got one done, not two, which meant I had to do another one over the weekend.

Gathering contact info and saying goodbye on Twitter is sad. Maybe it will course correct, who knows, but it will never be what it was. Not that it was perfect. There were plenty of times it was a toxic hell site. But it was an important marketing outlet, and a place for people to find each other, and come across fun, weird little pockets of interest. While the positive is that it gives one a chance to build something new, it’s still sad. Recognizing the grief and allowing ourselves to mourn is vital.

The people who are screaming how it negatively affects their income are going to have to buck up and learn other platforms, or lose that income permanently. People can moan that Twitter is similar to a public utility all they want, but the fact is that it is owned by an individual who takes glee in destroying it for his own ego. Either you put in the time to learn other platforms, and see what serves your business best, or you lose your income.

I’m as frustrated as anyone else. The Topic Workbooks were steadily paying the electric bill. Other sales were growing, and filling in other expenses. Legerdemain was gaining traction. A solid section of that audience came via Twitter. Since Yegads Muskrat started destroying the company, my sales took a 75% hit.

I have to absorb that and recalibrate over the next few months, until I figure out which platforms do what the best and can aim my marketing appropriately.

If all I do is scream that I’ve lost sales, I won’t learn what I need to learn, and can’t regain them. So it’s been a case of rolling up the sleeves and getting to work.

Do I “have” time? Of course not. But if I want to sustain and grow my writing business, it’s necessary. It means working even longer hours right now, and too bad for me.

The platform doesn’t “owe” it to me to stay the same because I’ve gotten used to marketing a certain way and making use of it.

There’s a learning curve with these other platforms. I’ll make mistakes, and will pay the price in lost sales. But I have to put in the work and learn.

Even if another company tries to put together a replacement platform, it will be different. This was something unique in its space and time, for all its flaws. We mourn, and we rebuild.

Things don’t stay the same in life. That’s reality. I mean, I was on the platform for 13 years. That’s centuries in tech terms.

Whining doesn’t change it.

I’m sad. I’m angry at Yegads Muskrat for taking glee in destroying something that was important to thousands or tens of thousands of people. I also think the Board shouldn’t be let off the hook. They didn’t HAVE to sell to him. They CHOSE to, out of their own greed. I want their names, and I don’t think any of them should be allowed to ever be in a position of authority over something like this again. Let them live off their spoils of this. Don’t allow them another penny again.

How does that affect my signing up as a beta for Bluesky? Because I don’t trust Jack Dorsey farther than I can throw him, even though he left the company in 2021, and the BOD earlier this year. I want to see what he’s built, and make my decisions from there, knowing that it’s likely he will throw everyone under the bus again. Will it be free? I heard rumors it will be tied to crypto. No, thanks. Will it be a useful marketing tool? Who knows? Once it goes live, I’ll try it out, weigh the pros and cons, and all of it against my opinion of Dorsey, his ethics, and what we know he’s capable of doing.

But Twitter’s demise changes the marketing game for all kinds of companies and creators. Anyone who’s positioning themselves as a transition guru is lying.

Enough about that. In the evening, I read for pleasure, and played with the cats. I finally unpacked the tote bag of toys we brought up from storage. Charlotte doesn’t understand how to play.

Didn’t have a good night Friday into Saturday. Weird dreams, and Charlotte kept waking me up. Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny, cold day, and it would have been perfect to drive down to Great Barrington. But I couldn’t get it together to get it done. I was absolutely exhausted. So we decided not to go.

The words for THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH were a struggle. Not to mention there weren’t a lot of them. 1672, so I hit the day’s necessity with a handful over, but not my personal goal.

I stitched the fleece curtain for the back door. It’s amazing what a difference it makes, between the door curtain and the heavy drapes from the 1950s we put on the windows. It keeps the place warmer by several degrees, which means the heat doesn’t have to work as hard.

I did some stuff around the house. We can’t find what we hoped to find to send out as gifts this season, so we have to figure something else out. We think we have another option; hopefully, I can make it work.

The poor coffeemaker I ordered is shipping out of Buffalo – who had 5 FEET of snow. So that’s not showing up anytime soon. Those poor delivery people. This is why I ordered early. I don’t need it for another month. It’ll get here when it gets here; if it’s late, that’s the way it goes.

There were so many things I should have done, and just didn’t.

I did read IRON AND VELVET by Alexis Hall, which was a lot of fun. How have I missed this series?

I checked into Twitter a few times, but it just made me sad.

I helped a friend set up on Mastodon. I don’t find it the be-all and end-all some do, but the instance on which my friend and I signed up is primarily screenwriters, so we can talk projects together. It’s harder to come across random cool people with different interests, but I am blocking whiners and screamers and bullies much faster on this platform.

I still like CounterSocial for in-depth conversation. There are Twitgees trying to scream and bully. When they scream, they are ignored. When they bully, they are removed. But I’m also quick to block there.

I’m not a muter. I’m a blocker. I’m either all in with someone’s different facets, or all out.

But I spent very little time on SM. I want to try to cut back severely on weekends.

Up early on Sunday, mostly because Charlotte was impossible. I made the cinnamon honey coffeecake with orange marmalade filling from one of the Moosewood Cookbooks. I didn’t have wheat flour, so I substituted rye, which made it a little too dense. I should have stuck with all white flour. But it’s still good.

The day’s words went better with THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. 1928 words. Still under what I hoped for my own personal goal, but I’m on track. I doubt I’ll hit 50K before Thanksgiving, but I will by the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

It snowed on and off, mostly off, although we kept getting Winter Advisory Alerts. All around us, it was much worse, but in this little bowl in the mountains, we were protected.

Did some hearth and home stuff. Turned around a script coverage (the one I hadn’t done on Friday). We sat down and wrote the overseas cards. There aren’t a lot anymore; so many people have died. I’m still waiting for a couple of requested addresses, but if they don’t arrive, I’ll just let it go. I have way too much to do over the next few weeks to chase people around begging for addresses; if they don’t want to hear from me, that’s fine.

Checked in with Twitter again. It’s glitching like crazy. People are screaming about how “ethical” creators and companies have to pull their ads. Boo, if you’re running around to conferences unmasked and on airplanes (whether masked or unmasked) and eating indoors unmasked, STFU, you ableist hypocrite. You’re in no position to talk ethics with anyone.

I tried to get on in the evening to join ScriptChat, but the glitches were too much.

Death throes.

As far as my own strategy, I’m holding course with the promotions planned/scheduled through the end of the year, and then reassessing. There isn’t a platform that promotes the way Twitter did to the audience Twitter did, so I have a feeling, at least for the first few months, promotions will be piecemeal and staggered across platforms. As I learn what works where, I will re-align as needed. Most of my audience has fled Twitter, but there are still some stalwarts, and they might find something they missed in the noise of a busier platform.

If someone whines it’s not behind a content warning, I’ll just block them.

The whiners tend to fall into two groups: those who have a huge, well-paid marketing machine behind them, and those who can’t get published because they never finish anything, but keep talking about “someday.”

Dianne Dotson suggested Hive as a good platform. They look like fun, and if she’s comfortable there, it means it’s a good place to promote work (she’s excellent at promoting her work). It doesn’t look like I can do them from the desktop, which would knock them out of contention. I don’t have the capacity OR the desire to do all of this from my phone.

I resent having to have a phone in the first place.

I looked at POST, but basically, they want people to create content for them without pay. Which is part of what social media is, but they want long and short form articles on the site itself, not links driving traffic back to one’s work on other sites. I think I’ll pass.

Started reading the next book for review.

Also read MURDER BY THE BRUSH, S.E. Babin’s first Psychic Cleaner Mystery, which was a lot of fun. It’s a novella, not a novel, but I liked the energy and the characters and the plot and the heart of it. I liked it so much I went and bought the second novella in the series, MAID FOR MAYHAM, and read that. Like I said, novellas. Quick reads. The climactic sequences tend to be a little rushed, but other than that, they are a lot of fun. I’d read more in the series, when they release.

It’s interesting that there are so few category mysteries anymore, in the 50-60K range. Most of them are 80K+.

These novellas ran around 135 pages, which brought them in around 33K. So, while I read for fun, I was also learning.

More snow overnight, but nowhere near as much as predicted.

Monday, I overslept because Charlotte kept waking me up. It was the day before dark moon, which is my lowest energy day of the month anyway. I had weird dreams about working on a project with David Tennant (which would be great, I’ve always wanted to work with him) and discovering what an intense listener he is. I mean, that’s obvious from his work, but being on the receiving end of it in the dream was interesting.

Had trouble getting going, but once I got myself to the page, the next chapter of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH trundled along decently at 1951 words. I broke 48K, so if I keep going the next few days, I can hit 50K and then drop back to whatever the natural pace is for this book, which I think is around 1200 or 1300 words/day. As I said, I’m figuring the sweet spot is around 82K, but this draft might have fewer words, and give me room to layer in details in full drafts.

I’m kicking myself for leaving the box of costume books in storage over winter. I only have a couple up here. Although I took out a bunch of relevant fashion books from the library, I’ll have to get them out again when I do revisions.

Bibliographic notes are a must.

After breakfast and blogging, I headed out for errands. Library first, to drop off and pick up. The one day I’m in a time crunch, they have a line of people who want the librarians to look things up for them, instead of going to a terminal and doing it their damn selves.

But it was fine. I got my stuff and got out of there in longer than usual, but not too bad an amount of time. It was a bright, sunny day. Although it was cold, people were in a pretty good mood.

Big Y next, for Thanksgiving shopping. I was happy to see that almost everyone was masked. It took a lot of stress out of shopping.

Post Office, where I bought more overseas stamps, mailed the cards we’d written, and got stamps for the domestic cards. (The Elves, in case you’re curious).

Liquor store, and then home. Hauled everything up the stairs. Put it all away, made lunch, did the SM rounds. Being on Twitter made me sad.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Another one, that had a problem with additional materials, was cleaned up, and that will be my one for tomorrow. I have two for today, so I’m okay. I have three days in the pay period next week, after the holiday, so as long as there are scripts to grab, I’ll be okay.

Soup class with Jeremy Rock Smith last night. Tons of fun, as always. I learned a lot, and got a lead on where to get my knives sharpened around here.

Got the wonky tablet up and running, because I should be able to run Hive off the tablet, since I don’t want it on my phone. I downloaded the app and established an account, but have to figure out how to get the photos I want on it. I was too tired to do much more than establish an account. And I have no idea how to find anyone. I’ll learn. Enough writers are migrating there that it sounds like it’s viable, if I make the time to figure it out. I still wish it had a desktop option.

I have to charge the tablet through my phone cord, because the charger that came with it no longer works.

Up early, although out the door later than usual to the laundromat, just in case they haven’t yet adjusted to the time change. They had. The washing machines were fine, but the dryers not only ate up double the money, but didn’t dry properly. So we have laundry draped all over everything.

Tessa disapproves. She likes things tidy.

I managed to get a good chunk of edits done on the next section of Legerdemain, which as to be uploaded and scheduled this weekend (or, at the latest, early next week).

It was later than usual when I sat down to work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, but it went pretty well, the chapter coming in at 2287 words. That brought me over 50K, which means I’m an official NaNo22 Winner, a nice boost to my ego. And a relief, because I can do the remaining 30K at a slower pace. And I hit my personal goal of hitting 50K before Thanksgiving.

So this is up late. There will be a whacky little piece of Thanksgiving flash fiction up later this afternoon on Ko-fi.

Don’t forget, the latest episode of Legerdemain drops today. Enjoy!

Mon. Nov. 21, 2022: Intent for the Week — Quiet Enjoyment

image courtesy of Igor Schubin via pixabay.com

My intent for the week is “quiet enjoyment.”

Here in the US, this is Thanksgiving week. A time where we are grateful for those we love, our family, friends, lives, and celebrate through food.

We acknowledge the origin of the holiday, and the cruelties on which it was founded, and turn it into something good, as we work toward building a better world for eveyrone.

For many, this is the start of the winter holiday stress and busy-ness.

I have a lot to do, workwise, before Thursday.

I have a lot to do, cooking-wise, on Thursday.

I have a lot to do, decorating-wise, all weekend.

But I want to enjoy it.

If it takes longer than I perceive it should, so be it. I want to enjoy the process.

What is your intent for this week?

Published in: on November 21, 2022 at 9:54 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. Nov. 18, 2022: Words, Grief, and Mars Retrograde Influences

image courtesy of Enrique Meseguer via pixabay.com

Friday, November 18, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and cold

Yesterday was just kind of weird and all over the place. Meditation was good, and Charlotte was thrilled and sat on my lap the whole time. Between meditation on Thursdays and soup class on Mondays, she feels very well adored. Because, of course, Zoom is all about her.

I was late getting my Nano words in on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, but managed 2051, with an interesting twist to the story. I’m veering farther from the outline, which is why an outline is a roadmap, not a prison. I’m not thrilled with that day’s work, but it opens up some interesting arcs. I will have to decide if they all need to be wrapped up in this book, or some of them go a few books into the series. I’m leaning toward the latter.

Over 40K now, so the finish line is in sight. About halfway through the book’s sweet spot for the genre.

Did the social media rounds to promote Legerdemain, and to interact. Because they both go hand in hand.

Put in the Chewy order. Ordered the new coffeemaker in a pre-Black-Friday sale.

One of the things I don’t miss about Twitter that I liked about other platforms is that we are more responsible for curating our own feeds. I was so sick of the “if I haven’t followed you back, give me a shout” or “prove you’re not a bot”. No, bitch, I’m not your administrator. Fix your own timeline. I’ve got enough work handling mine. I’m not doing unpaid labor on your accounts.

Of course, the bullies and the trolls are trying to invade the other platforms, demanding what others can and can’t post about and how. Counter Social handles it well. Mastodon, because it’s so many different servers, and each has different protocols, is harder to navigate.

However, one thing I am firm about is not putting “content warning” on something because it’s a project I’m talking about or promoting. While I am more than my work, being on social media is about the work. If you don’t like it, we’ll just do a mutual block and not come up on each other’s timelines.

One traditionally published author was ranting about how writers “have to” put content warnings on anything that might sound like promotion (which is, basically, any time a writer talks about their own work), because she “didn’t want a timeline full of promotions like on Twitter.” Then curate your timeline, you dumbass. Again, don’t expect other people to do your work for you. You don’t want to read promos? Filter, block, mute, or hey, JUST SCROLL BY. Don’t bully others who are trying to keep a roof over their heads because you have a traditional publishing PR machine behind you.

Blocked. Noted the name so I NEVER buy or take one of her books out of the library. I rarely say never, but in this case? Never.

I completely forgot it was Freelance Chat day on Twitter and missed it.

In the afternoon I saw a post asking if anyone knows a video editor to “chop up” a large block of video into chunks.

Bitch, that’s not what video editing is.

How insulting to anyone who is an actual editor. Video editing is about nuance and precision timing, and restructuring the smaller blocks so they stand alone while feeding the whole arc.

Mars Retrograde much?

The Mars Retrograde definitely influences me wanting to punch so many people in the throat right now. And I have to watch myself.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon, not three. One has a problem, which I hope will be fixed. Grabbed a couple more for early next week. I have two very long coverages to do today, but I’ll do what I need to do.

Got the next two books for review.

Twitter is in its death throes. A lot of us were on there last night, saying goodbye. Some people I’m okay with letting go. I figure the ones with whom I’m really tight, we are already connecting through other means.

There’s talk about creating “another Twitter” but I don’t think that can be done. It was unique. For all its flaws, it did a lot for connection and communication. I’ve been on there since March of 2009, for goodness’ sake. That’s 13 years, which is a long time.

Other platforms are different and serve different purposes. Sarah Kendzior pointed out how this is different than other platforms fading away because this is intentional destruction. I’m sad I couldn’t save my Fearless Ink archive (I have my DE archive). But if I sign out of the DE account, I won’t be able to sign back in, and I won’t be able to sign into the FI account anyway.

I’m sad. It’s definitely meant my sales take a hit, as far as the Topic Workbooks, the Delectable Digital Delights, and the serial. But I will figure out other marketing paths and regain lost ground.

There are things I won’t miss, but there’s a lot that I will. But this is what happens when it’s owned by someone else, and why it’s so vital to have one’s own website and space, apart from social media.

With all the grieving, I also look forward to trying to create something different elsewhere. I will probably try and leave several platforms, or have to use different platforms for different things. But the work will continue.

Former clients are contacting me in a panic, wanting consults on what to do next. I’m telling them to hold tight, because entire marketing strategies will have to be re-devised, and we’re all making it up.

This morning, the cats let me sleep until a quarter to six, which was nice. The work on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH took longer than I would have liked, but came in at 2831 words. It’s a complicated ensemble chapter, but sets up some necessary dynamics, and I’m pleased with the bones of it.

I was supposed to be part of a state legislative session on the arts this morning, but they didn’t send me the link, and I’m not chasing it down, so there’s that.

I need to pick up a lot of books at the library, and head out to Wild Oats to pick up a few things. Script coverage this afternoon. It’s snowing and not every few minutes, so hopefully the weather won’t be too bad for errands.

I hope tomorrow’s weather is good enough for the jaunt down to Great Barrington. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week.

Have a good weekend, friends, and I’ll catch you on the other side.

Thurs. Nov. 17, 2022: And More Snow

image courtesy of Michael Gaida via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Snowy and cold

Between the time I wrote the garden post a few minutes ago and the time I wrote this, it started snowing again. I wonder how much we’ll get today? Guess I’m not going to the library to pick up all those books that came in!

Yesterday was a busy day. I got a “yes” from a new-to-me editor for an article I pitched. I have to go over the contract terms. The pay is much lower than I expected, which is already a red flag, but I would like to have something in this particular publication, so it may be a one-and-done for me.

Heard back from a place I pitched to write audio content, probably about six to eight months ago. They want me to take an unpaid test, which means they never read my cover letter or looked at my samples. Bite me, assholes. And yes, they go on The List.

After I got my words in for THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH yesterday, I wrote a post of Ink-Dipped Advice about the myth of work-life balance, and how it’s all one life. You can read it here.

I did the social media rounds. I notice I’m avoiding Cohost, which is a pretty good indicator that I need to delete my account.

In the afternoon, I turned around three scripts, got some more to round out the rest of the week (too many, but I will deal), and got the book review out. I was paid for the last two weeks of coverage, and that went into the bank.

I started fighting with Charlotte and Tessa at 2:30 this morning, so I didn’t get much sleep between that, and when I finally got up a little after 6. I didn’t do my Nano words first thing today; I will do those after meditation and  breakfast, which pushes back the whole day a few hours.

Meditation was good. Between meditation and soup class on Zoom, Charlotte is in heaven.

I either have to turn around three scripts today and two tomorrow, or two today and three tomorrow. I’d rather do more today and less tomorrow, and get my weekend going.

Off to meditation now. The next episode of Legerdemain goes live today! Enjoy!

Published in: on November 17, 2022 at 8:56 am  Comments (2)  

Wed. Nov. 16, 2022: Snow to Icy Rain

image courtesy of Andreas via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Icy rain and cold

I talk in detail about my process for the Writer’s Rough Outline over on The Process Muse. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m always grateful having control of my schedule, and yesterday was another day for it.

I got my Nano words in first thing. I started to do the social media rounds, promoting Legerdemain and doing all the rest. The snowstorm wasn’t set to hit until late at night. But the pre-storm headache got more intense, and the clouds got thicker.

So I stopped what I was doing, and made the store run to get a tarp and some bungie cords a few hours early.  On a whim, I stopped at the thrift store and found three more cute Santas and some more adorable Christmas mice for my collections. Because I love them.

When I came back, we brought in the rest of the plants and decorations and shelves and stuff from the back balcony. I’ll go into that in more detail in tomorrow’s garden post over on Gratitude and Growth. We tarped down the big bench and the bistro chairs folded on it which will stay out all winter. And rearranged what we had to in here.

I got out all the garbage before the snow started. And then started the social media rounds. Mastodon was down most of the day, which is no big deal. They’re doing the best they can. CounterSocial has a lot of Twitgees coming over, trying to cause drama, and nobody’s giving it to them.  Some are flouncing back off to Twitter; others are getting blocked or banned. I’m pretty sure I’m going to dump Cohost before the end of the year. I’m not enjoying it, and the focus/interests of most of those I’ve encountered are very different from what I want and need from a platform.

Turned around two scripts. I’d almost finished with the book for review, and got an extension. I will get that out today. I also have three script to turn around today, so it’s a good thing I’m home all day. I did well for the pay period that ended yesterday, a little higher than my goal. Hopefully, there will be enough in the queue over the coming weeks to make my nut AND take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off.

Angry that the Narcissistic Sociopath gets to make another run for President. Merrick Garland has failed the country. He had the chance to defend it, and he chose not to. I’m disappointed in him as a professional, and as a human, and enraged that these traitors keep getting away with it.

This whole “oopsie, Russia hit Poland by mistake” is ridiculous. Russia is testing NATO. And these new reports it was a Ukrainian missile gone astray? I don’t buy it.

The snow was lovely. I spent a chunk of time sitting at the window, watching it. But during the night, it turned to an icy rain. Tessa woke me up around 4 so I could put a bucket under the leak on the front porch. Then, Charlotte didn’t want me to go back to sleep. We battled until I finally got up a little after 6. Miss Thing is, of course, fast asleep on the bed again.

I’ve been playing with the idea I had in a dream a few nights ago that would make a good novel or novella. The premise is strong, the characters work, but I’m not sure how to make the plot work. Something to play with, probably in longhand, after Nano.

This morning’s Nano went well. Chapter 17 of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, coming in at 2461 words. I was worried the chapter was a tangent, but I found a way to make the subplot echo certain elements of the plot and tie together. That was a relief.

If the temperatures hadn’t risen and it changed over to rain, we’d be in a serious snow day by now. But it’s hovering around freezing, so it’s yucky, but not snowdrifts.

Back to the page.

Tues. Nov. 15, 2022: Incoming Snow

image courtesy of Tomasz Proszek via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Waning Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and cold. Snowstorm on the way.

Time for our regular Tuesday catch-up.

It was a steady weekend.

Friday, I got my words done on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, and then did a run to the pharmacy, the grocery store, the post office (mailed stuff, even though it was closed), and the liquor store.

A new contact on Mastodon, who is also over on Ravelry, shared a pattern with me that might work for that very thin alpaca yarn. I’m also working up one of my own designs, and will see which makes the most sense. Or maybe try to combine them, if I can pull it off. By accident, I cam across another yarn on sale that I want, and I have to remind myself that I have an ENTIRE TRUNK (a vintage trunk from the late 1800s) full of yarn that needs to be worked up, plus several bins of yarn still in storage. I do not need more yarn.

Yeah, like that’s gonna stop me.

Rested in the afternoon, because I am weary on multiple levels. Part of it is grieving for Twitter. Its destruction is a financial blow to my work. But there’s also the community element. I’m building different experiences on other platforms, but the platforms are different and the experiences will be different. And I’m enjoying some of the platforms, and getting ready to remove myself from others in a few weeks, when I reassess where my time and energy is best placed, on both professional and personal levels. Which isn’t a bad thing, but those of us who were hooked into top level Twitter usage, for business and personal reasons, need time and space to grieve. The fact that Yegads Muskrat is destroying it intentionally for his own ego makes it even worse.

My writing is very much a part of who I am, and how I make sense of the world. Any platform that gets squiffy about me talking about my work is the wrong place for me.

But I also read for pleasure. A brain candy book, instead of what I “should” have read, but I needed the break.

The rains at the outer edges of Tropical Storm Nicole came in the evening. It’s such a different experience here in the mountains than it was at the coast. Still, the leaks on the porch were bad, and we had to empty buckets and bowls a couple of times, and also get up overnight and do it. I wish they’d hurry up and fix the porch roof.

It was bucketing down in the morning, which meant our plans to head to Great Barrington were scuttled. Next time I head down that way, I want to visit Karen Allen’s Fiber Arts store and see what’s there. It sounds like an amazing store.

1827 words on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, and they were a struggle.

Read a book that’s getting a lot of buzz and everyone thinks is wonderful. I was not impressed, and annoyed that I wasted several hours with these characters.

Finished taking notes on my friend’s manuscript. He’s been traveling, so I’ll type them up and see when he’s ready for them. Started reading another friend’s book that came out recently.

Finished switching out fabric from Samhain into November, including the kitchen table. Finally took down the pumpkin lights. Getting that all washed and put away. Soon it will be time to put out the Solstice fabric.

Baked potatoes for dinner, with bacon and Moosewood’s cheese sauce. Been a long time since I had a layered baked potato.

The Dems held the Senate at 50. Let’s get in Warnock in the runoff and make it 51.

Weird dreams on Saturday into Sunday, closer to the stress dreams from before the move and when we first moved here than the better dreams I’ve had lately.

Baked biscuits.

2078 words on THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, including an insert in the previous chapter. The first few hundred words were difficult, and then it started flowing again. I managed to beat the little voice saying, “You’re ahead. You can take time off.” I’ll take time off when I hit 50K. I’m a little over 31K now, breaking 30K two days before I needed to, for my own schedule.

Did some stuff around the house. We finally got the bulbs planted (which I will go into in more detail on Thursday’s garden post). I was annoyed that Scheeper’s shorted me a half a dozen bulbs. The bulb packets I bought were supposed to have 12 each in them, and had only 10. Which meant, over the three packages, I was shorted a half a dozen bulbs.

Definitely going back to Color Blends next year.

Started reading the next book for review, and also read for pleasure. Just felt tired all the time. There were plenty of things I “should” have worked on, but I needed rest more. Why is it so difficult for us to allow ourselves to rest, so that we can do better work after? Not just better work, but better life?

Tessa woke me up at 3:30 on Monday morning, because it was windy, and the porch door banged. I got it fastened, and then she tried to convince me to feed her. Nope. She and Charlotte bothered me until I finally got up a little after 6.

I had resistance to sitting down to write, but once I did, I got Chapter 15 drafted of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH at 2073 words. I’m a little over 33K, and broke 30K early. 17K left to go for Nano; I suspect the draft will run 70-80K. 82 is the sweet spot for this, once it’s edited.

If you didn’t see the Mid-month check in over on the GDR site yesterday, you can hop on over ad check it out here. Did the social media rounds. Kind of skipped Cohost; pretty sure I’m going to ditch that account without waiting until January. It’s more geared to a gaming and fanfic demographic than what I do.

Had 11 books to drop off at the library, and a bunch of local history to pick up, which I will make notes on and use in TREES, and can also use some of the information for CAST IRON MURDER. Picked up a few things at the grocery store. Only one person wasn’t masked while I was out and about, which made me feel better about things.

It started cold, and then warmed up enough to open the porch and bring the tomatoes back out. I have a feeling I’ll be hauling plants back and forth a lot on sunny days.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon, got some reading for pleasure in. Had a great soup class online with Jeremy Rock Smith. It’s always such fun to participate in his classes. Lots of laughter, while building skills.

Dreamscape was good last night, and I might have the basis for a new novel or novella. I have to make some notes on what I remember, and, when I have a little more breathing room, see if it’s viable.

Slept in until 6:30 this morning, but felt rested when I got up, which has been rare lately. Did the next chapter of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH. It came in at 2226, and now I’ve broken 35K. Character development, b-line stories, red herrings. Typical middle stuff.

Once I do a quick social media round, I have to head for the store and get a tarp. We need to get the rest of the plants and furniture in from the back balcony today, since tonight we’re supposed to get our first snowstorm, and it could be up to 5 inches. I planned to go to the laundromat tomorrow, but I’ll put it off.

I have two more scripts to turn around this afternoon, and that’s it for this pay period. I’m happy with what I hit. I also have to write a book review later this afternoon and submit it, so I can be assigned the next one.

Tomorrow, since I’ll be home all day in the snow, I hope to do some catching up on Legerdemain. The last few episodes of the year are in decent shape, and can go up soon, but I need to finish the rest of the second arc.

I’ve been working on a media kit for it, too.

Speaking of which, the next episode of Legerdemain goes live today. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a good one, friends, and stay warm!

Mon. Nov. 14, 2022: Intent for the Week — Aim for the Horizon

image courtesy of Dorothe via pixabay.com

Monday, November 14, 2022

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly Sunny and cold

Nano trucks along steadily. I broke 30K over the weekend, and had a good writing session this morning.

With Thanksgiving happening next week, there’s a lot that needs to get done this week. Instead of getting overwhelmed, I am keeping my eye on the horizon and aiming for it.

I want to plot along, steadily, and get things done.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on November 14, 2022 at 9:33 am  Comments (2)