Tues. Nov. 12, 2019: Yes, the Weather is Changing

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend, but not as productive, writing-wise, as I hoped. Mostly because I was exhausted. Hop on to Kemmyrk, for some thoughts about a full moon in Mercury Retrograde.

We got everything in from the deck, except the big round table that overwinters there. The plants that need to overwinter are in the garage; the other pots have had the annuals pulled out and been put away. The furniture was oiled, dried, and put away — some in the basement, some used in the house during the winter. I have a couple more things to put away that are still on the table, and decide when to bring in the chimes.

The landlord is having someone coming to look at the back of the house to see what needs to be fixed. A few boards on the deck need it, but I bet they take the whole thing out. I don’t want to lose the covered part of the deck. It’s wonderful. But who knows what the landlord will decide?

Anyway, all of that took much longer than I hoped, but it’s done. It needed to be done in decent weather. I did a little of the pruning, but I have a lot more to do. Plus, we have all the leaves. So, every dry day, we’ll be doing some raking. It’s supposed to be miserable today, rain switching over to snow.

Ran some errands. Did laundry.

Wrote and sent off the speech I was asked to do. I’m pleased with it. It was carefully structured to fit the event.

Did a lot of work with the cats. They are getting better. Tessa’s spending more time out, but there’s still suspicion between Tessa and the others, especially with Willa, whose the noisiest of the three. Charlotte is settling in the best. Considering she had the most, noisiest tantrums when she came in, that’s interesting. Yesterday morning, we had major progress — all three sitting with me in my office while I wrote. Napping. Peaceful co-existence.

Re-read THE TIE-CUTTER. Every time I look back at it, I love it more. I have to find a way to get back to work on it, when these next deadlines are cleared.

I’m re-reading Donna Leon’s mysteries set in Venice. Re-read DEATH AT LA FENICE. It was excellent. Read a biography of Maggie Smith, which was interesting, but a little too fawning.

Got some ideas for a couple of sequences in GAMBIT COLONY.

Worked on edits. Gave myself a break from THE BARD’S LAMENT.

Did three loads of laundry.

I got fed up on social media (for a lot of reasons). Specifically, there’s an unpublished author working on a piece that’s so long it should be broken up into a series, and she’s telling published authors who earn their living at it how to write. Fuck off, kiddo. Try listening and learning something.

Went in, yesterday, to my client’s, although it was, technically, a holiday. It was not as productive a day as I wanted.

Worked on “Pier-less Crime” and the edits, mostly. That’s what I did this morning, too. I hate to break the rhythm I’m building with THE BARD’S LAMENT, but I need to get these two pieces done first. Excellent editing session on Monday morning, though, which set a good tone for the week.

I also need to take a look at the stage plays I’ve written and decided which ones to submit where. I’m thinking of putting together the short Kate Warne play and the short Jeanne de Clisson play with a third play about a strong woman as an evening. Or maybe do another Kate Warne? I was originally going to do three short Kate Warne plays, about three of her cases. Not sure. But I have a stockpile of scripts from the past few years, and they need to go out and earn their keep.

Worked on the GDR questions.

Mostly, I’m exhausted. I need a break. I need a real vacation, where I can rest and restore. Not just a day off here and there, but genuine time off, where I can rest and not worry about money. Which isn’t going to happen any time soon.

 

Published in: on November 12, 2019 at 6:16 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 12, 2019: Yes, the Weather is Changing  
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Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I mis-read the calendar yesterday and said it was the New Moon; it was actually the new moon on the 9th. Sorry!

Late start today!

I didn’t get much done yesterday afternoon – more plotting work on Hex Breaker, a nap, and then I couldn’t get going again.

Hop on over to Kemmyrk for an article on “Sacred Baking.”

Speaking of baking, I have bread rising in the kitchen. It’s too cold and icy to go out, in spite of the sunshine. Instead of worrying about running out of bread, I’m baking some.

When I finally checked messages last night, I discovered that the show I quit had called to ask me to come in, at the last minute, because they were having (another) emergency. Now, why would I make a three hour round trip in an ice storm to work at a place I’ve quit? What part of “I quit” didn’t get through?

Overslept this morning, which is why everything is running so far behind. But I needed it – I think I caught a bit of a cold from one of the badly behaved sticky children on the train. Ick.

I had a good morning’s work on Earth Bride. Niki has no idea as to The Poet’s real identity, but he certainly helped her, in this scene, sort out her muddled emotions. Niki’s fun to write because she’s so different from previous protags I’ve written, and different from protags I’ve encountered in other stories.

I’d hoped to break 12.5K on Hex Breaker yesterday, but I was so darned tired I couldn’t coherently string words together. So I’m going to do some more work on it now, and then, yes, this afternoon, I’m tackling the holiday cards!

As a friend says, “Hey, if they arrive by Valentine’s Day, it’s a good year.”

Devon

Earth Bride – 109,763 words out of est. 120,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

109 / 120
(90.8%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on December 17, 2007 at 11:39 am  Comments (5)  

February 26, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy

Every once in awhile, patience is rewarded. I really want a set of L.M. Montgomery’s Journals; ordering them from Canada costs over $100, including shipping. Trying to get them in the states runs even higher.

I won volumes 1 and 2 on eBay yesterday – cost for both, with shipping, just under $20. So, by being patient (I’ve wanted them for nearly two years), I’ve got my hands, nearly, on two out of the five volumes. I’m going to remain patient and come up with the other three volumes.

Disengaged from yet another wanna-be who expects working writers to do her work for her and open doors for her when she hasn’t earned it. This is yet another person who can’t be bothered to learn the basics of the craft. Can’t be bothered; not worth my time. Someone else who wants everything for nothing, and believes that she doesn’t have to learn how to construct a sentence, how to spell, the difference between similar-sounding words, how to research, or how to do anything else. Everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s nothing wrong with starting at zero. But one has to be willing to learn and do one’s own work.

Coincidentally (I don’t believe in coincidence), the March issue of More magazine has an article on mentoring and how to deal with parasites.

Most of the day was spent cooking – working on a recipe for The Project, cooking for the party, etc., etc. Not a bad way to spend a day with a snowstorm threatening.

The Oscar party was fine. I thought the ceremony itself was rather dull and filled with unnecessary filler – if they want to it to move at a good pace, get rid of the crap. Focus on the awards and stop scripting silly banter that the actors don’t even bother to try to deliver with finesse.

Many of us ended up making it a sleepover, due to the weather. I’m going to head home in a bit, once the plows have come through again. So Circadian, Kemmryk, etc. will be late today. Oh, well. There’s plenty to do once I get home, to prepare for the next three weeks, when I somehow have to figure out how six hours of work each day has to fit into two.

Got some work done on Changeling this morning. Yes, I almost always have my writing bag with me, even if it’s living in the trunk of the car at a party!

Devon

Chasing the Changeling — 27,467 words out of est. 45,000

Published in: on February 26, 2007 at 9:27 am  Comments (6)  

February 19, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and BRRRR cold!

A slightly belated Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who celebrate it!

Sylvia C’s poem ‘inviting my muse” is over on Circadian.

There will be a new post later today over on Kemmyrk.

This will be a rather short post. I overslept (I needed it) and I’ve got a ton to get done today. It was supposed to be a day off, but because I fell so far behind in everything when I was sick, I’ve got to make it all up today.

AND I have a phone meeting with a potential new writing client in the early afternoon.

Matinee was fine yesterday; we celebrated a few birthdays and the fact that it was Sunday, and we could look forward to a day off. The Project is starting to take shape, and I have a few ideas to toss over to my editor this week. I’m going to try to write a month ahead, and keep to that schedule, so in the best of all possible worlds, I’m very organized, and when life gets in the way, at least I can keep up my commitment.

After the matinee, Barbara and I went over to The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station for a couple of drinks. The Campbell Apartment is a very ornately, richly decorated space that used to be leased by a rich businessman in the station. Thick carpets, deep chairs, an enormous fireplace with a safe in it, high ceilings with wooden painted beams, and only old-fashioned cocktails. We had a couple of Rob Roys and chatted.

It was supposed to be a meeting about her photography page on the DE site – which I think will work better if we do it as a subdomain.

But we never got to discussing the web page because there was so much other stuff about which to chat!

I got home around 9:30, ate a little, caught up on the mail. And I gave myself the luxury of getting to bed by 11, something I haven’t done in over two weeks. Ah, the joy of a matinee day, where you only have one show (unlike Wed. and Sat.) AND get home before 1 AM!

I have a ton of laundry to do, not to mention getting out a newsletter this week, working on my column, getting back to Changeling, working more on The Project, getting out some more short stories, and starting on the Assumption of Right edit. At work, we were also talking about The Fix-It Girl, and my colleagues are getting me excited about that piece again.

I feel a tad dry creatively, because the past couple of weeks have not allowed me any percolation time. This week, I will need to schedule in a few large patches of that – time where the creative process can just chug along. It’s easier to balance the business writing and the non-fiction work with the show schedule; but for fiction, I need more stretches of silence and solitude than I can get on an eight-show week. I’d never really figured that out before. So, while I’m doing shows, I can push the practical side of the work, but in the patches in between – that’s when I can let the creation process flower.

Re-reading Journal of a Solitude and reading the Martha Gellhorn bio helped me articulate that discovery.

And now, to the page (before heading to the laundry – the hamper is starting to regurgitate).

Devon

February 8, 2007

Thursday, February 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

My eulogy for Barbaro is on Femmefan here:

New post on Kemmyrk about the herbal studies.

Hop on over to Siobahn’s blog, and read her post about Jack M. Bickham’s view on writing excuses. I completely agree with it. Although I think there are thousands of “writers” who’d rather write a page of excuses than sit down and write their books!

Tammy – in answer to your question about keeping characters straight – sometimes I keep charts if I’m doing a series as to physical movement, etc. Characters themselves are very real to me, and they stay sorted in my psyche. It’s how they get from Point A to Point B, or town names or place names that I sometimes mix up from project to project, and those I need to track. If I work on projects in tandem, I try to make sure they’re in different genres, and that helps keep them sorted.

Diane – thanks for letting me know about the linkage thing. That was just WEIRD. I’m not sure how it happened. Hopefully, it’s fixed.

I did about twelve pages on the Tumble revision before heading out for the matinee. The editor wants me to deepen our insight into Nina. I need to do that in a way that doesn’t take her out of character. She’s a pretty closed person, and, since the story is told in first person, I have to keep the inner battle and the outer battle clear. It’s challenging.

Part of it is that Tumble is a part of the world of Nina, but needs to be strong enough to stand alone. I need to revise it out of context, not looking at it as part of a bigger piece, yet, at the same time, keeping it true to its overall fabric. It has to be a stand-alone and part of a series all at once. It makes me wonder if I should have revised and submitted Tapestry first. I also don’t want to lose the minutiae of the backstage world, because it’s so central to Nina’s world and character.

A hovering migraine doesn’t help, either. I’m sure it’s triggered because I’m trying to keep my cool while working with someone who’s passive/aggressive and manipulative.

Yes, in response to several comments, I’m stressed. However, it’s not like an office job, where you get to take time when you need it. The days I’m scheduled on the show or on set, it’s the gig – I have to be there and I have to be 100%. When you work with people who know and care what they’re doing, it’s busy, stressful to a point, and you always have to be at the top of your game, but it’s fine; when you’re working with someone who expects to be carried, it’s that much more difficult. This is why tens of thousands dream of a career in this business and only 1% can cut it. I’ve had a great 20+ years living like this all the time, but hey, I’m in transition out of it. And while I’ll miss the adrenalin rush sometimes, there’s plenty I won’t miss!

On a happier note, I had a great dinner with a friend who’s on a show around the corner. She loves the show on which she’s working. It’s a shorter show, with lighter costumes. And now she has time for her creative work. She’s a wonderful fiber artist. I’m delighted to see her so happy.

I’m off to Chinatown today, to run a few errands and visit some interesting places I rarely get to see. I was going to go tomorrow, but I’m meeting another friend for an early dinner, so I’d rather go today, when my schedule is a little looser.

Not much writing done this morning – I was still scattered from yesterday’s two shows, and had phone calls to deal with, etc. Will try to get some work done this afternoon. After all, I don’t want to have to write up a page of the excuses for not writing!

Devon

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 9:45 am  Comments (13)  

February 5, 2007

Monday, February 5, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and brutally cold

Ben Schwartz’s poem “Airport Waiting Room” is today’s Circadian Poem.

I answer some tarot questions on Kemmyrk. I got a batch of interesting questions; some of my answers are bound to piss off some people. Oh, well, it’s my opinion, my belief, and I stand by it.

Can I just say that I think the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet is much more fun than the Super Bowl? I’m bummed that the Colts won, as much as I can be about two teams that mean little to me.

But Prince’s half-time show was wonderful – even in that rain, he gave it everything. There are many things about Prince that make me roll my eyes, but as far as musician-ship – he is a genius. And genius is not a word I use lightly.

Worked on the copyedits for the Plum essay. The way the changes were tracked was a little confusing; I hope I got everything the way my editor needs it. I was loathe to lose a couple of the things that were cut, but my editor was right – they open a Pandora’s box that the scope of this particular essay in this particular collection can’t hope to address. I feel that one of the points that was the most important to me has been watered down to the point of almost non-existence, which is frustrating. And then, there are other changes that I think are great, and I’m so grateful that my editor caught me out in a bad habit, one of using too many dashes. I thought I’d edited them out of the draft I sent, but there they were, highlighted. So I’ve learned an area where I need to be more careful in submissions.

And, of course, being a typical writer (much as I like to think of myself as unique), when I’m hardly edited, I fret because I worry that maybe a stronger editing hand can help get me to a higher level; when I’m heavily edited, I fret that it’s too much change to my voice and meaning. It’s always about taking a breath, stepping back, and looking at the piece as though someone else wrote it. It’s about knowing when to step up and fight for something that’s truly important, and when to accept that the editor has the big picture in view, while the writer has the writer’s piece of the puzzle in view. And that’s only learned through experience.

No one told me I had to be better at balancing that a high wire walker! 😉

I get tired of “balance” – I’m even getting sick of the word. Sometimes, I want to be un-balanced. I want to sit in a sunny corner and read a book ALL DAY and to hell with everything. I want to take off my shoes and dance around the park, singing at the top of my lungs. I want to live from emotion rather than reason.

Doing all of it every day would be like eating too much ice cream; eventually, you’d throw up. But this constant mantra to which we’ve all become enslaved lately – “balance” – sometimes I just get sick of it.

Yes, it’s necessary. Yes, balance equates to better health. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it every minute of every day.

I had to repack everything. Because it’s winter, and this week promises to be the coldest week we’ve seen in the region in two years, I’m taking lots of layers, and more clothes than I normally would for a simple week. However, they’re winter clothes and bulky. So, instead of taking a variety of little bags, I put it all into one BIG suitcase (on wheels) – a suitcase big enough so I can put my yoga mat into it. I’m treading dangerous ground here, not even one dress-up piece, but I figure, any place I go is going to be directly after work and I wouldn’t go back to the apartment to change anyway, so everyone is just going to have to deal.

I’m taking A LOT of writing work with me. Probably more than I should. But I’ve got those extra three hours a day that would be used to commute, and I plan to use them to write.

We had a feline visitor for awhile yesterday. A neighbor knocked on the door – an orange and white cat was wandering in the halls. When I opened my door to see what was going on, the cat slunk into the apartment – and promptly took it over, intimidating the twins. Elsa was under the sofa, sleeping, and missed it all. The cat investigated the place and began to stake out territory, while my neighbors went door to door trying to figure out where she belonged. Turns out she belongs to someone who just moved in on the first floor – and she scratched him badly when he came to get her. She was in a MOOD, growling and yowling. It might have made more sense to just ignore her for awhile and let her settle down and then take her back, but her human wanted her home then and there; he lunged at a growling critter and snatched her up and then wondered why she drew blood. Poor thing. But she got home safely, and that’s what counts. And while there were hissy spitties between her and the twins, no blood was shed there.

Every cat that slips out of its home ends up here, what can I say? Just call me the Hotel Caterwaul.

Rhian – I’m always here to listen.

Tim – I also make incenses, bath salts, poultices, etc., so I try to keep a variety of herbs and spices on hand at all times.

I have to do a few things for my mom to make sure she’s all set while I’m away – fill up her car with gas, etc,, etc.

Trying to clear some more off my desk before I head in this afternoon – missives the rest of the week will be from the Big Apple.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 22,842 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
22 / 45
(48.9%)

February 1, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

There will be about Imbolc over on Kemmyrk later this afternoon.

There’s a bit of poetry news over on Circadian also later this afternoon.

I was furious with my web host yesterday – server problems kept me from accessing my site or my mail, which meant a document sent late the previous night which I needed to turn around that morning for a job was stuck in limbo. I finally pulled it through another site, but it was frustrating. When I finally got someone on the phone, the response was, “Yeah, I guess we’re having issues. They’re working on it. Try again in a few hours.”

Remind me why I’m paying them again?

I understand that every site has problems once in awhile. But this is just too often. I thought Yahoo was a bad site host, but . . .

However, I doubt I’ll ever find another template as perfect as the one for Cerridwen’s Cottage, so there’s that, too.

A new issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter goes out today. I know, I know, two months in a row, don’t faint. If you didn’t get yours or haven’t signed up, send me an email asking to subscribe here.

Worked on the Barbaro article; started the next column for SDR. Didn’t get through enough of the piles on my desk.

Some errands today, but I need to focus on getting it all done before I leave town on Monday.

What can I say? Yesterday, I just didn’t wanna!

This morning, the whole routine was thrown into a tizzy because of the meteorologists saying a snow storm was on the way to dump four inches of snow, starting at 2 PM. So, my choices were: Be stubborn, write first and drive around in bad weather OR get over my damn self and get the errands done and then come back to write.

For once in my life, I decided to be an adult. I shot out the door before 9 AM, went to the bank, drove to White Plains, hit up Target. Target, of course, didn’t have what I drove all the way to White Plains to get and God forbid someone being paid to work there should actually be bothered to stop conversing with another employee and check in the back, and God forbid that I should go to customer dis-service and they could be bothered to do anything but tell me they can’t look up anything without an Item Number. Which I happen to know is complete and utter bullshit, because every other Target in the country can do so.

However, I filled my cart with a whole bunch of stuff on which I hadn’t planned, but definitely needed, so I checked out, then ordered online what I needed – which, since they offered free shipping, ended up being cheaper than if I’d bought it in the store – some tax thing.

So it was all good, in spite of the crappy customer service. Which was a surprise, because usually Target’s pretty good – except in the White Plains store, where you might as well not ask where anything is because not only do none of the employees know, most of them could care less and just give you wrong information anyway.

Off to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food, so my mom has plenty to feed them while I’m gone – and stocked up on other stuff, so I can cook in advance for my mom and all she has to do is heat it up. Off to the other grocery store to get the rest of the stuff, the wine shop, etc.

Came home and the meteorologists were now saying the storm won’t start until 4 in the morning. I think they’re wrong – my head’s about to explode with the pre-storm headache (I seem to be a human barometer).

Yes, Dru Ann, the Merry will go out somewhere else – or I might work on the novel length version – I have two possible publishers for that.

Tammy – the list is part of the Goals, Dreams and Resolutions a group of us work on every year – I’d be happy to email the questions to you if you’d like, and the to-do and wrap-up lists are born from that.

I found an exciting anthology and sent a pitch last night and got more info this morning – I only have until March 30 to come up with 10-25K, but I think I can do it, especially since the topic excites me. So, off to do some more research for that, send them more info to see if it’s along the lines of what they need, and then – clean off more desk stuff and get down to work! AND, the anthology editor sent me guidelines for a new imprint she thought would be a good fit with me. All good!

Back to the desk, and then to the page.

Devon

February 2007 To-Do List

13-in-Play

Kristen King’s 2007 Query Challenge – 3-5 pitches per week

Biblio Paradise Newsletter Out

Finish next “Literary Athlete” column

Work on revisions for Assumption of Right

Circadian Poems

Kemmyrk

Work on Real

Work on Fix-It Girl

Work on typing Shallid

Finish typing Token and Affections

Finish Chasing the Changeling

Catch up/restructure 13 Traveling Journals

2 full weeks on the show

Get Dixie Dust Rumors queries out

Finish Tumble revision

Work on the “Illuminated Nude”

Work on “The Man on the Yoga Mat”

4 Dog Blogs

January 31, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and snowy

I can’t believe January is over. I need another two weeks, please. Not quite ready for February.

“Blue” by Brenda Braene is up on Circadian.

A new essay on supporting living writers is up on the Dog Blog.

The train was late, big surprise, but frustrating because I had three errands that HAD to be run on the way to the theatre. First two, knocked right off. Third was all the way across on the West Side, almost to the river, and, of course, took longer than I wanted, but I still made it to the theatre just a hair late. Amazing how quickly you can walk if you have to.

Work was fine. Not too many sewing repairs, but I had to re-glue some bits of the tin man that were peeling away from the frame.

I heard some of the music from the new musical version of Legally Blonde, which is coming to Broadway sometime soon. It’s REALLY good. I was pleasantly surprised. The kind of music that sticks with you and that you can walk out of the theatre still humming.

I’m writing an article on Barbaro that needs to go out the end of this week, and I need to clear off my desk some more. I don’t know why I’m so sore – I’m going to try to work out some kinks later today with an extra yoga session.

So many of the performers have dashed to Target to get those humidifiers meant for kids in the shape of animals. They’re all over the place. They’re so damn cute, I might have to get one for my apartment.

My first check arrived for the anthology – woo-hoo! It’s always nice when someone pays on time.

The computer decided to upload the newest version of IE (don’t I get a say in these things?) and I had a bit of a fit when everything was rearranged. I found where it hid most of the stuff and put it back where I want it, but I’m not sure.

And this new Microsoft Vista? For which some people paid over $600? That only runs on computers less than two years old, only they don’t bother to tell you BEFORE you plunk down the money?

Typical effing Microsoft.

Chaz’s package returned from the UK, with all sorts of paperwork. Nothing seems too major – maybe I’ll rewrap the toys with bells so they won’t ring and upset postal workers – and then I’m going to try sending it again. At least it wasn’t stolen.

People need to back off from the jawing about Daniel Radcliffe doing Equus. Especially since most of these idiotic gossipy bastards haven’t bothered to learn about the play.

Equus is a modern classic, written by the astounding good playwright, Peter Shaffer. It’s extremely disturbing. However, the young man is not the main character —the psychiatrist treating him is. I saw the play on Broadway years ago, when it first became a phenomenon. It’s dark. It’s disturbing. You leave the theatre viewing the world differently than you viewed it when you entered it, which is what a good play is supposed to do. Although the kid was shirtless for a good portion of it, I only remember one full frontal scene. It was completely organic to the piece and necessary, brief, and not a big deal at all. It didn’t feel shocking or out of place. Plus, you’re in a big darned theatre, so, except for the voyeurs with the opera glasses, you’re not seeing a whole lot.

And believe me, there are plenty of plays that put nudity on stage just to sell tickets. I attended a production at a well-known off-Broadway company a few years back. Can’t remember if I knew one of the actors or one of the crew or why the heck I went. Maybe we just got on the list for one of the previews or something. At any rate, it was a tiny theatre. I was in the third row, and if I’d stretched, I could have touched the bed on the stage.

In the second act, one of the actors is completely naked, sprawled backwards, doing a monologue as part of a 12 minute scene. There was no organic reason in the text for him to be nude in that scene. He had the body, and the company knew it would sell tickets. Good thing he HAD the body, because he sure couldn’t act.

That was exploitation. And, believe me, I know what they pay off-Broadway, and he should have demanded a much higher salary.

Equus is different. The publicity photos that are being blasted around the world are pushing the nudity angle to sell tickets, which annoys me. There’s a shot of Radcliffe and the actress nude together. Now, I don’t remember, in the production I saw, the actress ever actually getting naked with the boy, but maybe that’s something they decided to do for this production. And the house staff will have its hands full taking away cameras.

Photographs are not allowed in ANY professional theatre – it’s a violation of the performers’ right to their image. You purchase a ticket, which is the right to see the live performance IN THE MOMENT, something that can never be exactly replicated again – not to photograph it and sell it or show it to others. Also, using a flash can disorient the actor and cause serious injury onstage. Especially if the actor is trying to maneuver on or off stage, is disoriented by a flash and is run over by a two ton piece of scenery. By being a selfish bastard and taking a photograph, you could maim or kill someone involved with the production. And let’s face it, people are going to try to sell photos of Radcliffe’s genitalia on eBay. I used to work front of house and remove film from cameras – it’s in the program, on the ticket, announced before the show, so if you’re going to violate it, you deserve to get your camera taken away. Personally, I think there should be a list, and if someone violates the no-photograph rule in one theatre, they should be banned for three years or more from all of them.

Regarding Radcliffe and Equus, I’m curious as to how a 17-year-old young man can handle this role. Working on it is bound to change his view of the world not just as an actor, but as a person. It’s an awfully young age to work on the material.

With the whole Harry Potter thing – look, Radcliffe is an actor. His job and responsibility to the audience is to show up on the HP set when he’s contracted and do a terrific job. Which he does. When he’s not on contract, it’s his job to make me believe in any character he plays. That’s what he’s trying to do.

I’d much rather see him doing Equus than go around drinking and doing drugs because the pressure of being HP has become uncomfortable.

I came to the HP movies as a fan of the books. When Rowling writes other books, I plan to read her work, because she’s a damn good writer. With the movies, I was a fan of the body of work of several actors whose work I’d known for years (Rickman, Thewlis, Smith, Shaw, etc.). And I’m interested to see what Radcliffe, Watson, Grint, et al do away from the HP movies.

I’m much more interested in a body of work than seeing someone do the same thing over and over and over again. Part of that is because theatre/film/television is my profession in tandem with the writing. But part of it is because I’m not an ignoramus. There’s enough information on the inner workings of the industry now that only a moron isn’t going to allow growth and change in the performers of which they claim to be “fans”.

As I said in the Dog Blog essay about writers, which makes sense in this situation, too: Decide if you’re a fan of the actor or of the character; own it, and take responsibility for it. If you’re a fan of Harry and only Harry – don’t go see anything else. If you’re a fan of Radcliffe, go with an open mind and give him a chance.

He’s 17. With any luck, he’ll be around for a long time, with a large body of work. Look over Johnny Depp’s body of work. He started young, had early success with Jump Street, made his own way in unusual (to say the least) work, and now he’s got the over-the-top success as Jack Sparrow. Why can’t Daniel Radcliffe find his way, too?

Okay, here’s the January wrap-up for the GDRS:

January 2007 Wrap-Up

Done:
Devon’s Random Newsletter
Finished 1st draft of Token and Affection
Plum essay revisions completed and essay accepted for anthology
Started Chasing the Changeling
Quarterly Newsletter
Occasional (but more frequent than last year) entries on Biblio Paradise and Wordish Wanderings.
Circadian Poems
SDR blog every Wednesday
Kemmyrk Mondays and Thursdays
Devon Ellington temporary site up

In Progress:
Typing Token and Affections
Working to finish 1st draft of Real
Pitches
13-in-Play
Reading research books for the Assumption of Right rewrite
Requested revision for Tumble
3 short stories – I’m going for quality over speed

Postponed/Dropped:
Work on Fix-It Girl
Dixie Dust Rumors queries out
Typing Shallid
Next SDR column begun

Additional:
Unknown Journey outlined
Knockabout Kingdom outlined
Marching Band stories outlined
“New Year’s Resolutions for Sports Fans” article (pub. By Femme Fan)
“Submission Log and Pitch Tracker” article written and submitted
Two interlinked paranormal comedy stories outlined
“Ink in My Coffee” moved to WordPress
“A Biblio Paradise” moved to WordPress
“Kemmyrk” moved to WordPress
“13 Traveling Journals” moved to WordPress
“Place and Space” moved to WordPress
Joined Kristen King’s Query Challenge 2007
Novel idea: Turn of 20th Century
Novel idea: Contemporary action/psychological
Designed and put up Fearless Ink site
Designed and put up Cerridwen’s Cottage site
Joined a blog chain
Devon’s Random Newsletter for February

Disappointments:
Rejection of The Merry’s Dalliance
The death of Barbaro

Successes:
First article of the year published on Jan. 4 (by FemmeFan)
Plum essay accepted
Token and Affections first draft done
Negotiations for possible regular writing gig (not signed, sealed and delivered, but I’m hopeful)

Reading:
Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. Very good; lots of fun.
Death by Station Wagon by Jon Katz. Excellent. (Actually, I read this in December and forgot to list it).
Hell’s Belles by Jackie Kessler. Wonderful! Excellent!
Dorothy and Agatha by Gaylord Larsen. Liked the plot; struggled with characterizations. Okay.
Diaries by Lavinia Riker Davis. Lovely.
The Ragman’s Memory by Archie Mayor. Excellent.
Off Season by Philip R. Craig. Very good.
Death on a Vineyard Beach by Philip R. Craig. Very good.
Seeing Red by Jill Shalvis. Very good.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling — 20,842 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 45
(44.4%)

January 29, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hop over to Circadian to see  “flashback to summer”, Sylvia C’s poem.

Click over to Kemmyrk for the latest on The Celtic Oracle.

And zip on over to A Biblio Paradise to see my picks for my favorite books of all the reading I did over the past few months.

Oh, joy! The virtuoso biographer Claire Tomalin has another book out! This one is about Thomas Hardy, one of my least favorite authors. Yes, I know his craft is superb. However, I loathe Tess of the D’Urbervilles – yet another male writer punishing a woman for being sexual. However, if Tomalin writes it, I’ll read it. Her biography of Pepys is one of the best books I’ve ever read, period, and her other biographies are excellent.

And Thomas Mallon, one of my other favorite authors, wrote the review in The New York Times Book Review.

Train was late – gee, there’s a surprise! – but I got to the theatre in plenty of time. All sorts of buzzing going on, as usual. Because of the lessons learned during this (and the last) Saturn Retrograde, I can somewhat disengage and not get caught up in the bullshit, which is nice. Do my job, be pleasant to everyone, and move on. I genuinely like about 90% of the people with whom I work, but there are always going to be the shit-stirrers, who make trouble just because they can.

And one can choose not to engage, and let them spin their silly little selves into their own knots.

There’s something very freeing about choosing not to engage, and it certainly cuts down on the stress!

After the matinee, my friend B. and I went to one of our premiere hangouts in the neighborhood, Sosa Borella, for a few glasses of wine, some appetizers, and a good chat. We were shortly joined by an actress friend of ours, who got royally fucked (pardon the language, please, but believe me, in discussing the situations of these last few paragraphs, the four-letter words truly are the BEST descriptions in the English language) by a producer she’s known and regarded as a friend for twenty years regarding a series job. Fortunately, she’s got a fascinating play to do instead, and the series is most likely going down the tubes anyway, so the Karma Dogs are taking their bites now rather than later, always good to see.

What can I say? This is a brutal business, as well as being cyclical. Right now the cycle is at the point where all the clichés ring true. Most of the time, things run along, and there are the daily frustrations, and oh, well; but every once in awhile, one is confronted by the ugly side of the entertainment business, and the truth that those who make the decisions and hold the purse strings are usually the least creative, the most manipulative, and genuinely believe that the people who make it possible for them to earn these obscene incomes should pay to work, not the other way around.

Came home and puttered for a bit. The cats alternated between being glad to see me and mad that I left in the first place.

Because I got such a late start this morning, I haven’t done my pages yet. I have to get a lot done today, including a lot of admin done this whole week, so I can be in the city full-time next week without worrying about anything on my desk out here. I have to get a great deal of both creative work and practical work done, and must manage my time carefully.

And, now that it’s been two full months since I finished the first draft of Assumption of Right, I’m allowed to go back and start the edits. I think doing so while I’m working in the theatre full-time is a good choice – I’ll have that energy flowing along with the revision (since it’s mostly set backstage).

If you have tarot questions, please send them here by Friday; I’ll answer some of them on Kemmyrk next Monday.

Another issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter will actually go out by the end of the week (can you believe it?). If you haven’t signed up for it, you can sign up here.

Off to get organized, always a monumental task after a few days on the show.

Devon

January 25, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Burns Night
Virginia Woolf’s birthday
Snowing

Have a laugh at my attempts at herbal studies over on Kemmyrk.

Check out the poetry news on Circadian.

Sometimes, you lose.

I lost yesterday, to the migraine. I managed to get some admin work done, but I thought my head was going to explode. It was the type that also creates nausea, so all was unhappy.

I wonder if the stuff the exterminator used triggered it.

It’s not supposed to affect humans or pets adversely, but I somehow doubt it.

However, the cats were fine (thank goodness), but I was not.

I tried everything – lying down, gel pack, passive traction with the rubber balls at the base of the skull.

Nothing.

So I caved by 2:30 and took a Canadian pain pill. It took the edge off, and made it difficult to focus. After awhile, I was able to read for short periods of time, but not any of my research material.

I managed to finish Archie Mayor’s The Ragman’s Memory. What a wonderful, thoughtful, clever, enticing book. I definitely want to read the entire series.

In response to the responses to yesterday’s second entry, “How to be a Full-Time Writer” (if you haven’t read it, scroll down): I forgot how many of you recently joined me on this journey. I’m in the midst of TRANSITIONING from two full-time careers into the full-time writing. I lost eight months of the transition fighting the developers last year, who were trying to drive out the 100+ families in this building. So I’m a little behind schedule, but, for once in my life, I’m TRANSITIONING instead of LEAPING. I’ve already cut way back on the theatre and increased the writing. That steady progress has to continue. In this case, a break as opposed to a flow is the wrong choice.

It was a choice I SHOULD have made back when it was pointed out to me over a dozen years ago. But I didn’t. In some ways I’m glad I didn’t, but in some ways, I know it makes the hill all that much steeper to climb now. It points out consequences of a road not taken. As glad as I am to have had 20+ years in the theatre, it took a toll on my writing and the overall flow of the writing career.

And I certainly wouldn’t cut and run when I made a commitment to the show until the beginning of March. Once I make a commitment, I do everything I can to keep it.

To bed early last night, because I could not get rid of the migraine. It’s a combination of the physical factors of the demands of the show and the mental demands of trying to balance the writing and the theatre work.

The migraine woke me up at 5:30, so I got up to start the day. A long session of yoga and plenty of coffee (in spite of the warnings about caffeine with migraines, it helps mine), helped. And, once the snow began, the pre-storm pressure lifted, leaving just the migraine.

Because I’m a swing, and I cover when others are out, calling in sick is not an option. So I’ll take some Excedrin migraine and work through it.

Managed to get some decent work done on Changeling. Working on it alleviated some of the migraine pain – probably because it released the tension built up by not writing. Although I have a loose outline, I find each chapter creates itself and its world, and the process of discovery is exciting. I feel as though I have the best of both worlds – the world of pre-planning, and the world of blank-paging. Let’s hope it all holds together for a coherent story.

Since “Illuminated Nude” is far more complex than I originally expected, I need to work on the other two stories due by the end of the month first and make sure they get out. “Illuminated Nude” would be great to include, but I’m not going to rush through it and hurt the story – especially since it’s not a deadline with a signed contract.

I have a lot to clear off my desk before I start doing full weeks on the show again. Next week will have to be very long days of practical work rather than creative work.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 17,217 words out of est. 45,000

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

January 22, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Whew! Busy, busy, busy!

Check out today’s Circadian Poem: “Anticipation” by Kristina Logue.

Pop over here to see how I’m doing on the work with The Celtic Oracle.

Rhian – I fixed the link, and I’ve put your ideas for The Mag in the folder. The best retreats I’ve ever been on had a variety of artists working in different types – painters, performers, writers, sculptors, dancers, etc. – and we’d sit around at dinner and into the evening, influencing each others’ work. It was great. I agree – magazines don’t do enough of that, nor do they spotlight emerging artists enough. Even if the artists are great about sending out press releases, most mags are going for the big score to interest bigger advertisers. Good to keep in mind.

Michelle – The question is what do you feel magazines – whatever magazines you like – are missing? With all this specialization, you’d think there’s be a magazine for the likes of me – and my friends in various art forms – and I don’t feel there is one. There are magazines that cover facets, but not that look at the whole artist as a whole person. As much of a magazine junkie as I am, I sometimes look at the pile and feel absolutely fractured.

Tim – I’m honored!

Tori – there was a crate of clementines next to me, and believe me, aiming for Lexus Bitch’s head was awfully tempting!

Sue – got your ideas; put them in The Mag file.

Four loads of laundry done yesterday, including all the new fabric. More research for the article pitch – I’m still only halfway through all the material, but think I have enough to write the pitch.

And cooking, my favorite thing. Minute steaks marinated in red wine vinegar, soy sauce, onion, and garlic, served over rice and sweet peas. I’m marinating a honey-soy-mustard chicken for tonight.

Came home to a long email from my boss at the show, asking to book me for quite a few days (and several full weeks) between now and mid-March. I can do a lot of them, and I’m going to say yes – they’re broken up enough so I don’t think it’ll make me too wacky, and I can pay off some bills. But it means I have to be VERY organized on the writing and house-hunting fronts – I’ve got quite a few additional balls in the air and I can’t afford (physically, emotionally, or spiritually) to drop any of them, even if I’m doing 8 shows/week and pulling 14 hour days. Somehow, I will figure it out.

Expect additional bitching and moaning from me here. And also the occasional amusing anecdote, provided it doesn’t embarrass or hurt anyone in the show. Ooh, I wrote “antidote” three times in a row instead of “anecdote” – is my Freudian slip showing? 😉

Saw the premiere of The Dresden Files last night. There were a couple of places where I flinched because something didn’t quite hold together – and, from my own experience working on set, my sense is that it was more a case of running out of time and cutting a few scenes or shots to stay on schedule than an overall problem. Although I’m wary of a few points they set up and I’m . . .leery . . .of how they’ll explain them. I liked most of it a lot, and if I happen to be home when it’s on, I’ll watch it. I’m interested to see where the character goes. They’ve set up the antagonism between Harry and his uncle (even though Harry killed him? But he was in the last scene? I know, I know, magic, immortality, and all that, but it has to be logical within the context of its world). The focus seems to be ceremonial magic and the contrast between the ceremonial and illusionism. I’d have to capture a screen-save to actually look at the symbols tossed around to see if they’re accurate.

And tonight – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip comes back – some of the best writing and acting on television!

Got to get that newsletter out today – January’s fading quickly!

Devon
Chasing the Changeling – 15,592 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
15 / 45
(33.3%)

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%)

January 15, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Martin Luther King Day
Rainy and warm

Let’s take Dr. King’s message to heart and each day perform at least one act of kindness/and or tolerance, creating a ripple effect.

Rev up, people, there are links to click:

Today’s Circadian Poem: “Rainy Morn” by Joan Spoon.

A new post on preparing for herbal studies over on Kemmyrk.

An explanation of Hope Clark’s 13-in-Play and information on Kristen King’s Query Challenge 2007 over on Wordish Wanderings.

How’s that for a start?

On the Blogger version of Ink, it’s countdown time. I will only be double-posting for three more days. As of Thursday, when the moon turns, it will all be at Word Press.

On Word Press, I’m trying to fix some typos in links, and I have to talk to them today about some silly preview window they’re giving me when I want to click one of my links, that prevents me from actually getting to my link. I DON’T WANT IT. So, we’ll be having a bit of a chat today.

Yesterday – five loads of laundry at my friend’s place in CT, in trade for cooking dinner. Plus, he had some books relevant to a pitch I’m writing, so I used the afternoon to research.

Lots of correspondence to catch up on, getting started on the next couple of FemmeFan articles, my next SDR column, and getting those pitches out! And, I have to get started on the revision of Tumble, because the month is moving ahead, but my revision is not.

Typed/revised two chapters on Token last night. They’ll need more work, but I need to do some searching on the history of Greenwich Village to do them properly. I sort of know the old stories, but I want to double check them – choose one or two accurate anecdotes about real characters; make up one or two about imaginary people that are in the style of the day and the Greenwich Village myth. That’ll be draft 3.

Rejection on a short story yesterday – expected, but not wanted. There’s another market I think is a better fit (that I found AFTER I sent it out to the first one), but I have something on submission there and have to hear back from the first one before I can send this one.

Sigh.

Ideas for two new novels while I was putting around my friend’s place, reading newspapers and researching. One is historical – turn of the 20th Century. The other is contemporary, an action/psychological piece. Both need very different types of research, and both were triggered from situation rather than character, so I have to wait until the characters evolve before I can decide where to put them in the queue.

Devon

Token and Affections , 2nd Draft – 9,872 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

9 / 45
(20.0%)

Chasing the Changeling – 5,925 words out of est. 45,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

5 / 45
(11.1%)

Published in: on January 15, 2007 at 10:57 am  Comments (4)