Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Good news! The Blessed Garden liked my article so much, it’ll be used in September’s issue, not October’s, and they’ve asked me to write two columns each in October, November, and December. Yes, paid. Woo-hoo! I’ll give you links and details as soon as I get them. I’m pretty happy about it. These columns are going under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name.

More good news! I finished the first draft of Good Names at about 8:20 this morning! I started it on July 22. That’s not too bad – about six weeks for a first draft. And it’s short enough, a good skeleton, so I have about 25,000 words to play with, as far as adding red herrings and period detail. I had a 9 page outline for this piece, a roadmap so I could sit down and write almost every day, and it helped a lot.

I went to Michael’s, to pick up something . . .didn’t find it . . .bought yarn instead. There will be a post on The Tactile Muse next week all about it. And Elsa tried to run away with the yarn I was using. . .a busy time of it. The blue cotton in the current project comes in 50g balls – just the right size for her to pick up and carry around. Although she tried to drag the larger skeins of alpaca around, too!

I cleaned like crazy: Washed the floors, first with Murphy’s Oil Soap, then with a combination of rosemary, cedarwood, and pine oils. Vacuumed, once I’d ground lavender, angelica, and chamomile into the carpets. Washed all the throw rugs. Used baking soda and vinegar and later baking soda and lime juice down all the drains. The place looks, feels, and smells much better. This building has gotten so negative that chasing those energies out can be a full-time job!

And it was QUIET for most of the day, which was heaven. Now, the only singing I hear is that of the crickets – love that!

While waiting for things like floors to dry, I treated myself to Annette Blair’s newest release, Sex and the Psychic Witch. It’s a nice romp, witty, clever, and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We got acquainted via MySpace, so I guess that space is good for something, right?

Devon’s Random Newsletter goes out on Wednesday. My choice was finish the first draft of Good Names or get the newsletter out. I chose to finish the draft.. If you’re not signed up, you can do so here, but make sure you put “Subscribe” in the subject line, or else it’ll get sucked into the spam abyss.

Off on the next gig – will be offline for a few days. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and have a good start to the work week. Can you believe it’s September already?

Great core workout last night, good yoga session this morning –even with Elsa playing with the drawstring on my pants as I did things like forward bends and downward dog!

Devon

Good Names — 73,007 words out of 73,007

Zokutou word meter
73 / 73
(100.0%)
Published in: on September 2, 2007 at 7:33 am  Comments (12)  

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sticky, disgusting

I cannot wait to cover the Central New York Scottish Games this weekend. In addition to covering the actual sporting events (trust me, there are a few people I’d like to whack with a caber right now), I’m excited because I bet I’ll be exposed to some new (to me) music. I feel like I’ve hit a musical rut lately.

Some of that rut’s been helped by finding bands on My Space (I know, I know, how could I not know?), but nothing beats live performance.

I hate working all day and feeling as though I got nothing done.

I had problems with the email accounts all day, and felt that the tech support asked for inappropriate information. Sorry, bubbelah, not giving you the passwords. I am paying this host enough to actually get the service for which I pay; I shouldn’t have to spend an entire day arguing with them about a SERVER error. What can I say? 1 and 1 sucks. Unfortunately, it took me over a year to get my sites up and running once I switched over from Yahoo Small Business Hosting (which sucked even worse), and, at this moment, I can’t face switching everything again. However, within the next year or so, I expect I’ll redesign everything and then leap.

I managed to polish a press release and get it to the person who had to distribute it. I got some pitches out. I plowed through paperwork and email, but my inboxes are still filled to bursting, and the piles of paper don’t look any smaller.

Hate that!

Off to the theatre today; hopefully, I don’t have to stay for the show. I’ve got articles to get out this week before I leave; second requests to put out for some interview material, and writing to get done. And I’d kind of like to leave my desk looking a bit better than as though a shredder threw up all over it.

I wish I could train the cats to file. I mean, they’re sitting around all day sleeping. Why can’t they alphabetize? When I presented this to Iris, her look of disdain said it all, “We’re cats. We don’t have to work for a living. We just have to be – be adored.”

They certainly do that part well.

Several days ago, I watched a series of episodes back-to-back for a limited production. I won’t give details, because what I have to say is uncomplimentary, and I don’t want to be cruel to the people who put a lot of time and effort into it. It had religious overtones, to say the least, but the presentation was one of the best parts of it – it made sense, and wasn’t shoved down the viewers’ throats. Even though my point of view on the issues is quite different, I could appreciate the point of view presented. The themes were interesting, the writing was uneven – and it contained some of the WORST acting I’ve seen in a long time. Just dreadful. There was one actor, a second lead, who managed to pull off most of it because he relied on physical tricks. But then the writers gave him a character inconsistency near the end and he broke character because the writing gave him nowhere to go. Everyone else in the piece was unremittingly AWFUL. And I know some of these people’s work – some of them are decent at their craft. It was a terrific lesson in writing and production – I just felt bad for those involved that the outcome was so below par. (No, it’s not SAVING GRACE – I’ve mentioned in detail how much I flat out loathe that show and why).

Decent night’s weight training; good yoga session this morning.

I did some logo design work and some page design work for a gift I’m putting together for registerees for The Muse Online Conference.

Good morning’s work on Good Names. I’m having fun with the racetrack sequence.

Good morning’s work on “Revenge Tangents”. Although I’ve had to accept the fact that this is not going to be a typical short, and I’ve bumped up the estimated word count. Sigh. But it’s the introduction to a bigger project, and I have to get it right.

Now, if I could only make this next chapter of Tracking Medusa work . . .

Off to Manhattan, in this disgusting weather. Metro North better have the air conditioning on for once, instead of the heat, the way they usually do in summer. I had to turn the air on by 7:30 this morning. Ick.

Devon

Good Names – 55,382 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 100
(55.0%)

“Revenge Tangents” – 5,125 words out of est. 7,500

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5 / 7
(71.4%)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

That bridge collapse in Minneapolis is horrifying. My thoughts are with everyone there – and I hope all my readers from that area are safe. Pandora, Andrea – I’m trying to reach you. And I’m trying to reach my editors from that area.

My computer’s being crabby again. Sigh.

My article on the Empire State Games is here – along with my photographs. The top photo is of the archer in her 70s who won the Gold Medal in the Masters’ Division.

I hope you downloaded your free copy of Full Circle. And I’d love to know if you’d like to see more of my characters from “Pauvre Bob”. Should I write more stories about them?

Got out some more interview questions. Caught up on emails. Got out the FULL CIRCLE bulletin to MySpace. Worked on Devon’s Random Newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for it, you can do so here.

Worked on some article stuff. Checked the job boards; saw one thing for myself and a couple of things I sent off to friends.

I was in serious need of some retail therapy. Usually, unless it’s a bookstore, I don’t find shopping relaxing. If I go shopping, I have a purpose – it’s something for an event. I was in the mood for shoes, though, and I buzzed through some clothing stores while I was at it.

The fabrics, patterns, and cuts of most of it were awful. What is with this resurgence of polyester? And not even the modern blends, but the 70s faux disco kind? And that so-called “vintage” pattern? Looks like kitchen curtains from the 1970s, and they weren’t cute then! I shake my head – they paste beads and rhinestones onto things and call it “embellishment” when what it looks is cheap! There’s a way to do detailing and use trim, embroidery, even glittery stuff – but not when there are blobs of glue showing!

And these were at stores which consider themselves upscale.

I managed to buy one pair of shoes – peep toe, gray plaid ballet with slight wedge – very comfortable, cute, will go with pants, skirt, or dress. And I bought a blue and darker blue striped Henley shirt (love henleys), and a shirt for someone else.

But I can make better stuff . . .and I will.

Put together my sewing/studio bag because I have a chance to get some sewing done at a friend’s studio this week, and I want to grab it. There’s just no room to spread out here, but I can do so at my friend’s place, so that’s where I’ll head.

Worked on a new short story – it’ll be somewhere between 10-25 pages, interesting characters, as part of a bigger overall project. I struggled at the beginning; then I switched to first person, and it’s flowing. Amazing what a tweak will do.

Did a lot of planning on Tracking Medusa – tweaking the current outline, working on the outlines for the next two, seeing how that affects this book – although I’m completely committed to making all three stand-alones. Characters will grow through the three books, but they won’t have unfinished story arcs and can be read in any order. Mik, I’m warning you – the end of Book 2’s gonna break your heart.

My injured shoulder’s bothering me, so I had to be careful with the weight training, but I didn’t want to bag it completely. We’ll see how it feels today. It rotates forward in the socket and gets all out of whack. Hate it.

Good yoga session this morning, decent but not great session on Good Names. I need to push hard this morning so I can work in the studio this afternoon with a clear conscience.

Devon

Good Names — 52,382 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
52 / 100
(52.0%)

“Revenge Tangents” – 1,000 words out of est. 5,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 5
(20.0%)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August 1, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot
Lammas

Lammas is always an important day for me, so here’s to the holiday!

Today is the launch of FULL CIRCLE, the anthology by the Ars Concordia Writers’ Group, of which I am a member. I have a short story in it, one of my favorites, a horse story called “Pauvre Bob”. You can download the entire anthology for free here.


[image]

Later today, my weekly (hiccup) entry on the Scruffy Dog Review Blog about crafting your literary life will be here.

Worked on the clip file. Got through a couple of hundred emails. Hoped to get some schedule stuff nailed down, but that didn’t happen. Except to discover at the show that, although I was told I was needed to cover for someone, they put a different swing into the spot. Whether it’s conscious or not, it’s “punishment” because I wasn’t available last week. Guess what? I’m not available next weekend either, and they’re just gonna have to deal. And, I found out from the person who was booked, not from the scheduling person, which always pisses me off.

Train was late (as usual), semi-ventilated, and some stupid chick was talking loudly on her cell phone the entire time. Why is it always the ones with the most boring lives who are most determined to “share” it with the rest of us?

Theatre was fine; caught up with people; did the call; got out before they could decide to keep me. Caught an earlier train home.

For some reason, I was just beat – I think the heat’s a big part of it, and moving from hot to cold to hot to cold.

Did core work (ow).

Regarding My Space – I’m not thrilled with the whole thing, but I set up an address specifically for that account, and I’m determined to use its networking capabilities to my advantage, not let it run me. One cool thing is I’m getting introduced to lots of new (to me) music. I’m not interested in “hanging out” on it. It’s a networking tool, and it will help my writing reach a wider audience than it might otherwise do.

Decided to change Justin’s last name to “Yates” in Tracking Medusa. His last name is currently “Bartholomew”, which can be used as a first name (and I’m infamous for making jokes about guys with two first names, especially in pieces like Women With an Edge), plus there’s a character hovering around the fringes who may be crucial to the rest of this book and to the next two who insists his first name is “Bartholomew” – so I changed Justin’s last name. He likes “Yates” better too, and it goes well with Gwen Finnegan’s name, so it’s all good.

Now, if I could just get back to writing the story . . .

I want to be productive today so I can give myself a day off at some point this week. Just to play, and just because.

Good morning’s yoga session.

Decent morning on Good Names.

Devon

Good Names – 51,632 out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

51 / 100
(51.0%)

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 7:54 am  Comments (2)  

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Finishing the ESG article took forever yesterday, mostly because the ESG site was running so badly it was next to impossible to fact check. In all my years of dealing with media centers/pr divisions, this is the poorest excuse for one I’ve ever run into. I can see why there was so little coverage amongst the network news and major papers – the pr people simply were incapable of supplying necessary information, especially to journalists on tight deadlines, which means they shouldn’t have been in those positions in the first place.

Sent off the article, after five additional hours on it, with photos. Cut and polished, it’s still 3266 words. I’m ready to bang my head on the desk.

Mark your calendars!

I’m presenting my Dialogue Workshop at The Muse Online Writer’s Conference from October 8-14. Information here:

Information on my specific workshop, which runs all week longis here:

and my real-time on-line chat will be on Sunday, October 14 at 4 PM, EST. I hope you’ll be there!

This conference is free, so I hope you all sign up and experience it – there are some great presenters.

AND . . . I’ve joined the 21st century, and I put up a page on My Space:

While there will be links back and forth, I also want to put content on it now and again that’s unique to the page. If you’ve got a My Space page, please “friend” me – I’m going through in search of people with the same interests to build my network, and I plan to use it primarily as a promotional tool for my work.

So that’s what yesterday was about!

Good weight-training session last night, and good yoga session this morning.

Good Names was a bit of a slog this morning, but I got my 4 pages done. I’ve now hit the half way point in the word count. Fortunately, I’m a bit over half way in the story, which means the second draft – the expansion draft – won’t end up being so overly long I have to take a machete to it – just a carving knife. It’s plugging along.

I can’t believe I have to go to the theatre tonight – it almost feels foreign!

I realized I switched two articles and sent off the one I was supposed to do this week last week, and the one I should have sent last week, I’m working on now to send this week.

Oops.

And here I thought I was so organized.

More pitches out, more interview stuff done, it’s all good. Now, if some of that invoiced money would hurry up and arrive so that I can pay August’s bills, I’d feel a lot more secure!

Devon

Good Names – 50,632 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
50 / 100
(50.0%)