Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I really hate being this exhausted. I hope I can rest up this weekend. Plus, I started getting a migraine on the train home last night – by the time I got off at my stop, it felt like someone was stabbing me through the eyes with an ice pick.

The post-Preakness article is getting a HUGE amount of hits – I’m thrilled.

There’s a chance I’ll get to write about the America’s Cup Race coming up in June. Not that I know ANYTHING about sailing – I can’t even swim – but I’ve always been fascinated by them, and when I met some of the former boats in Newport a few years ago (because in Newport, these boats are not considered inanimate objects, but members of the community), I was even more fascinated. So, if my editor agrees – I’ve got some studying to do! Good thing I’ve got a strong learning curve!

Yesterday was busy, but mostly about other people’s work. I caught up on admin work, scoured job boards (now I have to send out pitches), critiqued three chapters of my friend’s new manuscript (it’s good), sent script samples to another friend (and fell in love with one of my plays that needs revision all over again), and just generally played catch up until I couldn’t even see straight anymore. And that was all by one p.m.! I have to set up the links list for Script Frenzy – I’m going to have a specific set of links for that project, much the way I do during Nano. It’ll probably start as a long list, then shorten as people either drop out of Script Frenzy or don’t bother to do the agreed-upon link swap! “Cause if I’m taking the time to visit and it’s not reciprocal . . .I’m going to stop. Got some other work done, gave myself a reading break, cooked dinner, and was on a 4 PM train to get to the city.

Show was fine; it was a lot of fun, actually. And I thought I had the weekend off, but I’m booked for the Sunday matinee. And then B. and I are going out.

But it gives me two solid writing days, which will be nice; I can get Circadian Poems set up for June, and maybe into July 4, when it goes into summer break; I can read and comment the rest of my friend’s chapters (she’s got assignments due today and I gave her an assignment for the weekend. Can you hear that whip crack); I can get a good chunk of work done on the script outline for Script Frenzy (and maybe even come up with a title); I can work on GOOD NAMES; I can get some pitches out; I can finish the assignment for Confidential Job #1, get that off and invoice it; and I can get off two hefty submissions that need to go out by Monday.

I also want to re-read ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, last year’s Nano, this weekend, and get going on the revisions. As I mentioned, since the chapters alternate points of view, I’m going to do all the chapters from one point of view first, and then all the chapters from the other point of view.

Two pieces I’m in the midst of reading use multiple POVs and, while there’s some good writing, there are too many POVs and the voices aren’t distinct enough. So I want to make sure I keep Simon and Morag’s cadences very clear.

I re-read DIXIE DUST RUMORS, I’m going to revise the query a final time, and then, at the top of the week, I’m going to start batching queries on that one. It’s where I want it to be – the kind of book I would have loved to read as a middle grade reader. Let’s hope someone else agrees. It’ll go out under a pseudonym specific to the genre, which I’ll share as soon as I’ve got something contracted under it!

Circadian Poems will be updated later today.

Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton biography is fantastic, and I’m carving out reading time for it this weekend. I want several uninterrupted hours to sink into it and enjoy it. It also inspires me to read her work straight through. I’ve read some of it, and, while the writing is beautiful, my memory of the work is that her protagonists frustrate me. I am not one who believes that, because a character is a woman, she is “trapped by society”. That’s a choice, in my opinion. The only way progress has ever been made in this world is when people have flaunted society and followed their passion. Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, Jane Addams, Julia Ward Howe, heck our own Founding Fathers . . .the list goes on and on. You don’t get anything done by being complacent and conformist. I don’t sympathize with characters who are; I get impatient with them.

But Wharton wrote much more than the few pieces I’ve read, and it sounds like her work is much farther-reaching. I also want to re-read and read more of Henry James.

Off to Trader Joe’s. I opened the last cat of cat food this morning (it’s been tested and is safe). When I opened the cupboard a box of graham crackers fell on Elsa’s head and broke open. She didn’t mind; she would have eaten them, given the option (I took them away). She is a dog living in a cat’s body.

And I’m ordering new ear buds for my MP3 player. I’m tired of them either falling out all the time or hurting. Why have a player if I can’t listen to it?

Off to get things done and defeat the migraine. I refuse to lose an entire day of writing. Brandy, I answered your question in the post below this one.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Devon

April 7, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

For crying out loud, it SNOWED yesterday! Not much, but . . .I mean, really!

I can not believe how much time all the paperwork takes in reference to the three regular gigs. I’m not talking about the actual assignments – I’m talking about tracking the assignments, incoming and outgoing deadlines, invoices, and payments, and the various instructions that fly back and forth. But I figure if I take the time now, at the beginning, to set up solid systems, I can just plug in the rest as I go, and keep track. It’s quite different than the one-offs, where you just pitch, negotiate, contract, do it, send it, and get paid, and move on to the next thing.

Thank goodness for Excel!

Worked on the Writer’s Outline for Good Names yesterday morning. Found a few holes to plug, a few character bits to strengthen. In general, it’s coming along well. It feels different than anything else, but it feels right.

Spent the afternoon at the local library, researching turn of the century architecture, etc. in Chicago and New York. I found lots of good information – and two books that I have to hunt down and purchase. There’s one book in particular, on the Mississippi, that not only serves Good Names, but will be a big help in the restructuring of The Widow’s Chamber.

I had to leave the reference room because it was so frigging loud – this is a LIBRARY, people! Shut the fuck up! And, if someone is on the cell phone – they should be excommunicated from the sacred space of the library!!! I long for the days of stern librarians!

I moved upstairs to “the quiet room” and we were all quiet – although, I swear, I ended up on the squeakiest chair known to man and was mortified. And then I got distracted by a biography of Daphne du Maurier (which I now want to own, too) and ended up spending far more time there than I should. On the sale shelf, I found an almost-new copy of Patricia Wells’s Bistro Cooking. It’s one of my favorites, my copy is in storage, this one was only $2 – it is now mine. I can always use it as a contest prize when I get my own copy out of storage, or put it up on BookMooch or something.

On my way home, I stopped at Patisserie Salzburg and treated myself to a chocolate éclair. Not just any chocolate éclair – this one had chocolate filling, not custard! Yum!

Came home and those idiots with their leaf blowers started up as soon as I walked in the door. They had an entire afternoon to be annoying – why did they wait until I got home? Personally, I think leaf blowers should be banned – they’re bad for our ears and nerves, and lousy for the environment, the way they belch exhaust. Use a rake, people!

Did some online research about Chicago – still don’t have the information I need about neighborhoods, but I have some on hotels, restaurants, stores, etc., that I can use. I might pop off an email to the Chicago Historical Society over the weekend for some specifics. I also found some books at Strand – but I have to restrain myself for the moment.

The first chapter of Good Names is starting to bubble up, but I want to have the details of place IN PLACE, in my mind at least, before I start. Place is an additional character in this book.

I’m off to a friend’s for a few hours today, to do laundry and maybe get some work done. And then I need to come home and do more on The Project.

Confidential Job #2 keeps adding more and more things to the confidentiality agreement, which makes me think they are a little paranoid beyond a reasonable scope. I’m a bit skeptical about this gig. We’ll see.

I still don’t have my energy back from this bout of flu. I took most of the evening off yesterday and actually watched television (you know I’m not feeling like myself when that happens).

Oh, and down the street – they’ve started with the effing leaf blowers – already! Um, it’s spring, the leaves aren’t even out yet.

Harmony tagged me – I’ll post the results tomorrow.

Devon

January 27, 2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

But at least the heat is working again.

I gave myself a day off from writing, because there was a lot to do, not much time, and there was no point in driving myself crazy, or it wouldn’t all get done. I ran most of my errands, cut the ones that could be put off without disruption to anyone else’s schedule.

I went over to help my mom with the dog. He’s much better – the problem was that he literally made himself sick with terror and worry. My mom is very good with animals (which is why she’s a professional pet sitter), and, between us, we reassured him, and he was much, much better by the end of the day. He was back on his paws enough in an hour or two so he didn’t need to go to the vet, after all. My mom winds up the job she’s currently on today and will be with him full-time until his people return – although we have no idea when that will be. He’s a very sweet dog, but doesn’t know many words, and that lack of comprehension makes him even more scared of what’s going on. He’s never been left before, or around strangers, so the past month of being shuffled from pillar to post without his main human has been devastating for him. At least my mom can provide some stability for him over the next week or so. He already adores her, and he even brought me his favorite stuffed toy as soon as I walked in the door.

I spent most of the day with the dog next to me, reading Philip R. Craig’s Off Season. Craig’s series is set on Martha’s Vineyard, and it’s well done. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in it.

One of the things I like best about “discovering” a previously unknown-to-me author who has a lot of books to his (or her) name is the lovely anticipation of having a whole list of books to work my way down. I have that now, with both Philip Craig and Archie Mayor, and it means lots to which to look forward.

Rearranging parts of “The Man on the Yoga Mat” and it works better this way.

Did some work on Changeling this morning. Had trouble getting back into it. I’m in a complicated section that needs a large swath of uninterrupted time, which I don’t have, so it’s a mere skeleton with lots of squiggles here and there as I remember bits and pieces necessary to the puzzle.

Off to shower and then to the theatre for 2 shows/14 hour day. On a train just after ten; will return around one a.m., grab a few hours’ sleep and then go back for the matinee. It’ll be the last time for awhile I do this particular track (the heavy coat track) because the new permanent person starts on Tuesday, and hopefully, the actors will have some stability for a bit. As stable as anything can be in the transient world of theatre.

Monday, I have to be very, very focused to get out a whole bunch of paperwork stuff that MUST go out before the end of the month.

So I won’t have recovery time. But, then, this entire week will have to be about supreme organization of time, with no excuses.

Oh, yeah, and in The Sequel: Building’s under contract, so who knows what fresh hells await?

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 17,967 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
17 / 45
(37.8%)

January 18, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Well, here we are, settled in the new home. It’s odd that I feel a wrench, leaving Blogger, even though I know the move is a positive one. The emotional fallout from change and all that stuff.

Oh, well.

Check out the new moon/new studies post over on Kemmyrk.

And there’s poetry news over on Circadian.

AND . . .drumroll . . .

Fearless Ink, the business writing site, is FINALLY up, while I try to figure out the DE site.

Check it out here:

www.fearlessink.com.

Yes, another of my photos as the header. And yes, it was deliberate to use a relaxing image rather than a hard-edged business image for the site. The clients I’ve tended to attract thus far aren’t the hard-edged corporate types. And even some corporate types might appreciate a beach.

If not . . .oh, well.

It should have taken about an hour to upload it (I had most of the text already), but the site froze every five minutes, so I had to log out, relog in, see what was saved (just because you hit “save” doesn’t mean it obeyed) and build from there. Very frustrating. But it’s up and . . .sigh.

AND . . .YES, THERE’S MORE . . .

I put up the Cerridwen’s Cottage site:

www.cerridwenscottage.com.

I had all the text for that one, too, but it took me HOURS because the frigging site “didn’t’ feel like” saving the web pages or the edits on the pages or honoring any of my formatting – things like line breaks, paragraphs, etc., etc. Two of the pages had to be redone FIFTEEN TIMES each.

And in all the frenzy . . . I forgot the “writing” page. That will go up shortly.

1and1 sucks. They’ve fixed the problems with the email accounts, but their lack of customer service is appalling. If the thought of moving hosts didn’t make me want to projectile vomit, I’d move everything again. But, frankly, I can’t face it, so I’m going to sic the BBB on them instead. And perhaps, once the sites are up and running, it won’t be so bad. I may need to purchase more space, though – although my package had plenty when I originally signed up, they’ve changed their whatevers and soon I won’t. I have to double my payment for every three months in order to get unlimited space (which I need, with the slew of upcoming projects), so I have to ponder all of those factors before making a decision. I don’t want to make a decision just because I’m mad at the host.

Twelve hours on website work that, at the most, should have taken four.

But I think both sites look REALLY cool. 😉

I MIGHT have a positive query story to share with Kristen King’s Query Challenge – we are still working out details, but I’ll post one way or the other, as soon as there are signed contracts involved.

Elsa keeps trying to run off with Pickles’s toy. Fortunately, it’s too big for her to drag very far before I catch her. I had to box it up so I can mail it today (too big for a padded envelope).

The aftermath of anger, for me, tends to be depression, and that was the demon with which I had to wrestle yesterday. What originally sparked my anger yesterday is, pretty much, rooted out and laid to rest. I’ve made the right decision for my life as a whole, even though it’s something that doesn’t feed my ego, especially in the short run. So the ego will just have to damn get over it. The long-term effects are more important that a short-term rush.

The anger in regard to The Situation: The Sequel continues to work at a slow burn, but I’m trying to keep it from interfering with my writing life too much. I feel, to an extent, that I am being manipulated and used for someone else’s agenda rather than the collective tenant good. I need to dig up evidence to prove or disprove that, and then act accordingly, in a way that is best for ME. These scumbags have devastated enough of my life. I’m going to let the Karma Dogs deal with the double and triple crossers involved.

Got an idea for a new short story while I did my yoga yesterday – a funny one, I hope. And a short one – I hope. Some of these tales have a life of their own, and the characters don’t want to leave.

I’m reading a draft of my friend’s play . . .sigh . . .I love to sink into his writing. It’s heaven!

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 10,092 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 45
(22.2%)