Fri. Sept. 4, 2020: Weekend Plans

image courtesy of CandiceP via

The photo captures my plans for the weekend. Have a good one!

Published in: on September 4, 2020 at 5:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Tues. Sept. 1, 2020: Die for Tourist Dollars Day 104 – Can I Regain Any Balance?

image courtesy of

Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pleasant and cool

Primary elections, here in MA. My replacement ballot (carefully coded, to prevent voter fraud) finally turned up in Friday afternoon’s mail. I filled it out immediately and ran it down to the secure ballot box on Saturday morning.

Everyone in this house has voted, and the ballots delivered.

I’m glad the situation was resolved; but so much stress would have been removed from my life if someone in the office had taken 30 seconds to shoot me an email to let me know it was being dealt with rather than ignoring my multiple contacts. This is not a major city.

Rough weekend, which is all I’m going to say about it.

Bad time with allergies, exhausted, achy, mentally exhausted, too.

I’m finding affirmations/quotes that are supposed to make me feel better are annoying me. They’re unrealistic and privileged. Some of us don’t have the luxury that fulfilling these quotes requires. We’re down here fighting for our survival and don’t want to be placated. We want tools. We want justice. We want suggestions on actions that WORK.

Pleased to see that Main St. Hyannis is enforcing and people are respecting it as a masked zone. Disheartened when I ran to Star Market early Sunday (we were low on white cranberry-peach juice). Except for the store, NOT ONE person I passed in the miles to and from the store was masked.

And our numbers are climbing.

Designing a garden for a project – yes, I eschewed the software that wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do, and I’ve been drawing it with pen and paper. Playing, too, with the idea of the idea inspired by the auction of Green Mountain College in Vermont, and having fun with that.

The series I was reading, where I was up and down with it depending on the book – down with it again. The protag has turned into a doormat, and she doesn’t grow from book to book, she gets weaker and dumber. So disappointed. But there are only three more books at this point, so I’m going to read them and learn. See how the structure of those dozen or so books did NOT satisfy me, even if they supposedly met the tropes of the genre. I read another book in a different series by the same author, and it was delightful.

So I’m learning.

Ink arrived for the big printer (I was getting low on black – this tank will give me 3K pages). Did a bunch of research. Read Louise Penny’s A FATAL GRACE, which was sadder than I remembered. The two other bread/soup cookbooks that I need for a project arrived, and they make me happy.

Reworked my article completely. Read the book for review, working on the review.

Switched out some of the summery fabric to fall tones; switched the front door décor this morning; have some transitional decorations over the fireplace. September is transition month. October is when the spiderweb curtains go up and the real decorating starts.

Wondering if we’ll have trick-or-treating this year. I figure I’ll plan as though we do – get treat bags and prepare to set up tables with bags full of treats instead of individual rummaging, and set it in the yard or at the bottom of the driveway. If it’s cancelled because of the re-emergence of the virus, then so be it, but at least I’ll be prepared.

Already deciding what changes I need to make for the winter holiday baking gifts I always do – instead of platters, have everything in tins, with each kind of cookie wrapped separately. No platters; no centerpiece cakes/cupcakes that will get bad quickly. Everything something that can survive quarantine and still be fresh. I’ll mask up when I bake.

In the next month or so, I want to experiment with a chocolate crackle cookie and a maple cookie, to see if either can replace the centerpiece cakes.

Forgot the cream for the mousses I plan to make this week when I went to the store on Sunday, so I had to get it on my way back from my client’s yesterday. Also did a curbside pickup at the library.

I was on my own in the client’s office, which is as it should be, and got a lot done. I managed to time it to miss a negative colleague, and that lightened the stress on my day.

Some slimy people are trying to DM me on Instagram. No. I don’t know you, and your profile picture indicates you’re not contacting me for anything worthwhile.

One of the curbside pickup books was the latest by Donna Andrews, THE FALCON ALWAYS WINGS TWICE. It was delightful and smart and wonderful. I laughed out loud reading page after page. The way the series—and the characters – have grown in book after book is wonderful. This is one of the best, smartest, and most fun series out there.

Compare this series to the series where I have mixed feelings about the protagonist’s growth – or lack thereof. Huge, huge, huge difference.

Had the cats out on the deck in their playpens while I read. They love watching the bunnies eat the dandelions. I haven’t seen Che Guevara Chipmunk in awhile again. I hope he’s okay.

The tree cutting and the chemicals neighbors use on their lawns have hurt the bee, butterfly, and hummingbird populations. They are much smaller this year.

Today, I’m going to make another attempt at an oil change. Hopefully, they are masked this time, and I can get it done. Then it’s client work and more writing. I’m trying to get an ad campaign nailed down for a client, and not happy with what I’ve come up with so far. It doesn’t sparkle in the way I want.

Had hoped to put together a proposal to join a team on an exciting project in an area that interests me; however, the person heading the project is a Republican, so it’s a no-go for me.
I like a lot of what this guy has done, but if he’s supporting the sociopath, we’re not a fit.

Let’s hope this is a fairly calm week, going into Labor Day Weekend, because I am just Not In The Mood.

Decent writing sessions yesterday and today, but they need to carry over and inspire the rest of the days’ work.

I’m hoping to take both Friday and Monday off for a long holiday weekend of reading and rest, but I have no idea what the week will bring.

Hope your week’s off to a good start.

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Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 22, 2020
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a bunch of work done yesterday, client work, LOIs, etc.

Putting together some relevant clips from some fairly old material got me started on a project I’d been putting off for ages. I’m going through all the old Llewellyn material, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name, and seeing what I can do with it. The pieces that haven’t been scanned for the clip file are being put into PDFs. I’m re-reading everything, taking notes on where I want to expand, how to organize, etc. The rights have all reverted back to me, so I can use the material however I want. In eBooks, on the website, etc. There’s a good article about Coventina that I will use on the Coventina Circle website.

My local library will start curbside pickup by appointment next week, and we can start leaving things in the book drop again. I took down two bags of books and a bag of DVDs, and it’s only about half of what I had out when everything shut down, so I will take down another load today and be done. They can only fill orders from their own shelves; most of what I have on order is from other libraries in the network. But I HAVE books from that library, and other people might want or need them, so I want to get everything back as soon as possible. I’m masked, I go down early in the morning when no one is around. Although a whole group of people was hanging out in the parking lot when I got there before 7:30 in the morning. At least they were masked, and keeping somewhat of a distance from each other.

Recycling opens at the dump next week. Maybe by the end of the week, I can take in at least the first carload. Supposedly, everyone must be masked. How will they enforce it?

Two of the local businesses I’d done my best to support during shutdown are now open to customers and have stopped curbside pickup. Well, I’m not going in there. Even if I trust the staff, I don’t trust the other customers. Everyone’s dancing around in groups without masks like it’s all over and nothing ever happened. We will be one of the nation’s hotspots in a few weeks, all because of greed for tourist dollars.

It’s too early to reopen. People didn’t follow protocols during Stay at Home, and they’re sure as hell not doing so now.

Planted some flower seeds. Let’s hope they come up.

Good first writing session of the day this morning (unlike yesterday). I’m gearing up to drop off more books, then have the day off. Yes, I’m going to write, but only what I feel like writing. And maybe the review for the book I read the other day, so I can send it to my editor first thing on Tuesday.

I hope the idiots with their power tools shut the hell up this weekend so I can actually enjoy my deck and my yard. I’d like to do some work on the beds, clean them out a bit more, and write and read outside as much as possible.

Last night, someone in the neighborhood had a fire pit going. I don’t think it was the usual neighbor, because his wood smells lovely and doesn’t give off much smoke. This time, the smoke billowed, and it smelled chemical, so I bet they were burning random painted wood. The smoke filled my bedroom and set off the smoke alarm in the house. Now, the houses aren’t that far from each other here, but they’re not that close, either.

So this morning, my throat is scratchy, and I can’t wait to jump in the shower and get the smoke smell out of my hair.

Have a great holiday weekend. Peace.

Published in: on May 22, 2020 at 5:59 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend  
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Thurs. Dec. 26: Boxing Day = Reading Day

image courtesy of Sibusky via

Today is Boxing Day in the UK, an extra day of rest and recovery after the Christmas festivities.

I am taking off the day, too, to read and write.


Published in: on December 26, 2019 at 9:24 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 26: Boxing Day = Reading Day  
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Tues. Nov. 19, 2019: Weekend of Work

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise for the #ReaderExpansionChallenge on a family-oriented novel.

And a happy, happy birthday to my Twitter pal Jake! Have a beautiful day!

Friday afternoon, once I got back from errands and the library, it was about yard work. I hacked back the overgrown roses on the side of the house, took out the invasive oak and bindweed. It took a good portion of the afternoon, and I came away scratched and bleeding. I prefer the Sleeping Beauty look, and it discourages cutting through the property. But my landlord complained, and, knowing these damn men who will put in the new furnace, I guarantee they will insist on going down that side of the house, with the narrow path, rather than the side of the house with the driveway and the flat area to get to the bulkhead to load in the furnace. Because it’s “shorter.”

Only in your dreams, buddy.

But it’s done.

I didn’t write enough on Friday, and it threw off the rhythm of my day. The editing session was good, though.

I started reading my friend’s book, which is fun. I finally feel I’ve done enough work to earn that treat.

I moved Tessa up to my room to take some of the pressure off her with Willa and Charlotte. We got them to be company for her, but their issues are causing problems. I’m giving Tessa a break of a week, and then we’ll start re-integration under supervision again.

What’s funny is that Willa, who bothered Tessa the most, ran around the house looking for her and howling once I brought Tess upstairs, and now spends a good portion of the day sitting outside my bedroom door. Maybe they’ll make friends through the door.

Charlotte ran and hid when I picked up Tessa to take her upstairs; she thought she would be next, and she would be moved again.

I’ve had weird dreams the last couple of weeks. Positive, for the most part, but still weird.

Saturday, got up a little after 6 (late for me). Adjusted the morning routine so Tessa still got fed on time. Charlotte thought she could now eat in the kitchen in Tessa’s spot — no, honey, Tessa will be back there soon. You still eat in your spot.

Yoga, meditation, the first load of laundry in before 7.

Then, to writing. I finished editing a draft of a book late in the morning. I started doing the final proof, so I can send it to my editor for final galleys.

In the afternoon, tried to rake, but it was too windy. Scrubbed the railings and the deck. The landlord said it had mold — no, it was dirt. No mold. Some of the paint is coming off, because the last time it was painted was when we moved in in 2010.

Monday was supposed to be pouring with rain, so I don’t see how they’ll muck about and figure out what needs to be done. But that’s up to them, not me.

My back was killing me.

Spent some time with Tessa and studying runes. Read. Finished reading a memoir where the writer tries to present herself as the heroine, when in reality, she’s a manipulator who was caught out. Worked my last nerve.

Sunday, worked on a new recipe for muffins. They came out pretty well, although I’m going to add vanilla next time around.

Wrote all the posts for December for #UpbeatAuthors. Feel a sense of relief and completion.

Pulled the last bits in from the deck, and worked in the basement on Sunday.

Also made orange marmalade oatmeal bread. It was a lot of work, and I don’t like the result. It’s too dense and heavy. If I do it again, I will try it with just oats, not cooked oatmeal. I was very disappointed.

Scrubbed the basement floor.

Read some more in my friend’s book. Kept getting interrupted.

Did a good chunk of proofreading.

Overslept on Monday morning. I didn’t want to get up when the alarm went off (I’m usually up a half hour to an hour before it goes off). The storm wasn’t as bad as predicted, or at least it seemed so when I woke up.

Morning routine, and then to editing. Went in to my client’s a little early, because I had to leave early because the landlord had the builder coming to look at the deck and the back of the house.

I’m scheduling this to post, so I don’t know what the workday/builder, etc. actually brought yet. I know I plan to be up early on Tuesday, finish the proofs, and get them to my editor.

I haven’t written any new material in a few days, and it’s throwing me off my game. But I need to get these edits done.

I did, yesterday, indulge myself in a few pages of THE BARD’S LAMENT. That helped.



Fri. Jan. 18, 2019: Writing, Reading, Resting, Repeat

Friday, January 18, 2019
Waxing Moon
Snowy and cold

Although I managed to get a few things done yesterday morning, it wore me out and I had to rest in the afternoon. Coughing up a lung the entire time.

Just worn out.

I did finish the book for review and wrote the review. That is off today, along with the invoice for the last batch of reviews.

I plan to do more writing, in and around resting. Write a chapter, rest for an hour, write a chapter, rest for an hour, and so forth and so on.

We’re supposed to get another big storm tomorrow night, through Sunday and into Monday, so that will be interesting. We have wood for the fireplace and groceries and wine, so I think we’ll be okay.

I’ll be writing, reading, resting. Repeat.

Have a lovely weekend.

Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 10:30 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 18, 2019: Writing, Reading, Resting, Repeat  
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Sunday, December 7, 2008


Sunday, December 7, 2008
Waxing Moon
Snowy and cold

First announcement: A Cabaret Benefit
Cast members from the Broadway musical SPRING AWAKENING present a special cabaret entitled WANT THE CHANGE down at IRT, 154 Christopher Street, #3b in NYC. It’s on Monday, December 8, and shows are at 7 & 10 PM. It’s going to be an amazing night of performance. Tickets are $35, and can be purchase by calling 212-352-3101 or going to TheatreMania. If you’re in town tomorrow night, stop by. It’s going to be wonderful, and is yet another example of how this extraordinary group of performers continues to tirelessly work for others.

Second announcement: Infinite Worlds of Fantasy Author Week Begins tomorrow!
Starting tomorrow, for about a week and a half, I’m featuring a different author on A BIBLIO PARADISE. You’ll discover some wonderful writers who are passionate about their art and their craft, and I think you’ll really enjoy the whole series.

Back to life:
Yes, we have snow and it’s beautiful! It’s not a lot, just enough to crunch around in and enjoy, and it makes everything look beautiful, as though dusted with powdered sugar. I also love how differently everything sounds when there’s a blanket of snow over it – the muted, gentle sounds. It makes me happy!

Never got the chance to blog yesterday. I did some writing in the morning, then went to the grocery store (since it was supposed to snow), and had just walked in the door at 10:30 when I got a call from the show – someone was sick and they needed me. So I scrambled to get ready and did two shows. Considering how sick I’ve been this past week, I was a little leery of it, but, although I’m fatigued in the my-limbs-weigh-at-least-1000-pounds-each, I’m okay. I rested during the dinner break and just paced myself and stayed quiet. Plus, it was cheery to walk back to the train station through the snow.

Getting TO the theatre was anything BUT cheery, though. We may be in a recession, but people still pack the streets of Manhattan. Which is fine, if they’d show a little consideration and stop acting like they’re the only people on the street. But there’s a lot to see that’s free in NYC, and the city knows how to dress itself up for the holidays. There’s plenty of enjoyment on a budget. Just because you’re not going to buy diamonds from Cartier doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their display! The trees at Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and up near Lincoln Center are all lovely, and, as always, if you’re in the neighborhood of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, go up and see the Angel Tree. I love it so much I’ve set a whole scene in front of the tree in Too Much Mistletoe, and you better believe it will appear in other stories, too. A few years ago, one of my fans sent me the book on the Angel Tree, and I re-read it a few times every year.

I’m going to try to get some writing done before I head back to the theatre for two more shows today. One of the worst things about being sick for an extended period of time is feeling weak. Yesterday was the first day since I got sick where I could do an entire yoga sequence in the morning, and I did it again today. Slowly, I’m getting there.

I think the holidays are reasonably sorted out – I’m on a miniscule budget, but I’m being creative, and I think I can show at least small tokens of appreciation (and, of course, CARDS, because cards are so important to me) to the bulk of the list, between the hand-made gifts, which will all happen this week, the cards (again this week), and the baking (next week).

I’ve got to finish a couple of (paid) samples for a potential job – problem is, there’s so much to write about, it’ll be hard to pick! But this week’s priorities are the revisions on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the holiday cards, and the handmade gifts.

Back to the train.


Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

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:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

I’m back. I lived a lifetime in a few days, and had my hands full with my elderly relatives and their primary care person, who was also under the weather. Unfortunately, I can’t go into details without invading their privacy, much as I would like your opinions on some of the events. Let’s just say it was – and is – complicated.

We had some beautiful days, though. I managed to stop for awhile at one of the Ongonquit beaches. On another day, I drove up to Naples and around Long Lake and Sebago Lake. Just gorgeous.

I stopped at three great restaurants: Amore Breakfast in Ongonquit, The Stone Dog Café in North Windham, and my old favorite, The Egg and I, in Ogonquit. Of course, we stopped at The Stonewall Kitchen to stock up. They have a new Roasted Apple grilling sauce that’s wonderful, and a Mango Lime Salsa. Plus, I needed the Garlic Teriyaki and the Wasabi Ginger sauces.

I continued reading Will in the World, and taking notes for the various projects it feeds. It truly is one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. The author, Shakespearean scholar Stephan Greenblatt, has a play he co-wrote, Cardenio, opening at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge. I’d like to get up there to see it. It’s only running until June 8, and I’m not sure I can get up there within the time frame, but I’d like to.

I was disappointed in two other books I took up with me. Both were by authors I don’t know personally, but whose work I’ve read before, and who I understand from others are lovely people. Both sell very well, and I respect what they’ve achieved in the business. One author’s work I’d read before and liked; the other’s work I’d read before and it exasperated me, due to the lack of research and believability. The attitude that came across to me was, “well, I’m writing fiction, so who cares? I’m supposed to make it up.” I thought maybe I’d been unfair and should give Author #2 another chance with my money and time. Won’t make that mistake again. The ideas were fun, but poorly executed. The work took place overseas, and it was obviously she got her info from the tourist board and something like Wikipedia. There was no sense of anything unique about it – it was advertorial travel babble, not a true sense of place. And, while I thought some of the ideas were clever, the execution was poor. I know this author sells A LOT, but, although some of the ideas are clever and fun, I find the writing sloppy and all the protagonists and antagonists always sound exactly the same, no matter from which country they supposedly originate. There’s no cadence, there’s no individuality in either people or place. And it drives me nuts.

At least there weren’t any typos. That author has a good copyeditor!

The other book, by the author whose work I previously liked, was an even bigger disappointment. Again, some interesting ideas. But I loathed the female protagonist. There was absolutely no reason for me to give a damn whether or not she survived, much less succeeded in her quest. I hated her and wished she’d be killed off. She was weak, stupid, and selfish, and, when she had shown zero growth by the midpoint of the book and zero potential for it, I put the book down.

But no typos. 😉

I did read the last chapter to see if I should go back and read the second half of the book – couldn’t be bothered. Ick. Which is a shame, because I’ve really enjoyed other work by this author. It doesn’t put me off the author, unless the next few books alienate me as well. I think writers should write whatever they want to explore, and not every book is going to please every reader. It is the writer’s right to follow the vision. Once I’ve decided I like a writer, it usually takes several books to alienate me.

I got more writing done than I expected, which is good. Of course, none of it was on what I planned to work. It was an idea I had while in Maine, and Maine is practically a character in it. It means doing some research on the natural history of Maine, but that will be fun.

I also got some ideas for a new Fearless Ink brochure, which I will sketch out and work on this week. I found some places for whom I’d really like to write on this trip, but I need a new brochure, and I think I’m out of business cards.

The mail tampering in this building has gotten out of control. It’s time to bring in the US Postal Inspectors. I had someone stop by to pick up the mail every day I was gone after work – and by the time the person got here, the mail that didn’t fit into the boxes had been tossed. I’ve talked to management over and over and OVER about this, and we have an eyewitness to the perpetrator, who was spoken to about the fact that removing someone’s mail is a felony. His response was to shrug, walk away, and keep doing it. Time to bring in the feds. I put up a poster provided by the post office with the consequences of mail tampering and it was ripped off the wall during the day. Gee, wonder who’s doing it? Three guesses, bet you’ll get it in one. I’m going to keep printing them and keep putting them up. It is my right, as it is my right to have un-tampered mail. I should not have to pay for a post office box because building employees are thieves. I warned building management what the consequences would be of ignoring this situation; now it’s time to show them I’m serious.

Yesterday was a raw, rainy, cold day, so of course I was running around like crazy and got soaked to the skin. I’d had to cancel out of a few things because of complications in Maine and here at the building. But I was still running around enough to be soaked to the skin.

On the up side, I stopped in a bookstore because I wanted something different. I wanted new-to-me authors and something I wasn’t being paid to read.

I picked up two books. One, Summers at Castle Auburn, is by one of my favorite authors, Sharon Shinn. The other is an anthology called Misspelled, edited by a new-to-me author (with an amazing track record) named Julie E. Czerneda. I started reading it on the train, and all I have to say is:


What a great, witty, charming, intelligent, inventive collection of stories! I can’t wait to go to the bookstore and get more by these authors. I sat down and read the whole anthology late last night and into this morning, cover to cover. I liked every single story in it, but my favorites were “Trippingly off the Tongue” by Lesley Livingston, “8 rms, full bsmt” by Kristine Smith, “Chafing the Bogyman” by Kristen Britain,, “A Perfect Circle” by Kent Pollard, and “Crosscut” by S.W. Mayse (every writer should read this one). It was actually hard to pick these, because I liked all the stories so much. The first two mentioned particularly enchanted me. Livingston either just had a novel come out, or one is coming out this summer, and I’ll definitely buy it. I don’t want to tell authors what to write (hating it so much myself), but I hope Kristine Smith does more with her story’s characters. I can’t stand golf and Kristen Britain’s story still captured me. I don’t game or know anything about gaming, but Pollard’s story was so well written it hooked and carried me. All of the stories are worth reading – the inventiveness, the quality of writing, the flashes of humor!

Bookstore, here I come!

What a great way to end the week!

Tons of errands to run this morning, and bills to pay. And then I have to buckle down and have a very productive writing weekend. Deadlines are looming, some new contracts came in, and next month’s bills will be here before I want them.

A new idea sprang fully formed into my head. I’ll make some notes on it, and put it in the queue.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was gray and gloomy. I never left the apartment. I wrote, read, did some yoga, and slept all day. Emphasis on the sleeping. I’m just worn out. I’m both bone weary and soul weary.

I’m reading Sharon Shinn’s THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE and really enjoying it.

Got some writing done, but not as much as I wanted. Felt very disconnected from everything, including my characters.

Interesting article in the NYT about how some bloggers are basically blogging themselves to death trying to post continually and get scoops.

I rarely pitch for blogging jobs. I was in negotiations for one a few years ago that I was excited about, but it didn’t pan out, and, looking back, I’m now glad. One, I don’t want to be that tied down — I travel too much, and I have too much on my plate to only sit home and scan the internet and blog. I actually have a life in the real world. Second, I’m not going to blog for $10/post. I’d have to have the guarantee of a couple of hundred dollars per week and then, MAYBE revenue share on top of it. Otherwise, my time is better spent on articles, business writing, and fiction. There are people who make a great living at it, and good for them. But that life is not for me.

Tried to watch PSYCH last night because I sort of half-remembered that someone emailed me about doing a guest spot, only I couldn’t remember who or when and didn’t recognize anyone, so THAT was a waste of an hour. Sigh.

Had a restless night filled with odd dreams, mostly rehashing past events I want to put behind me. Maybe it’s part of the whole letting go thing.

You know when I was woken up by freaking construction noise? Six thirty in the morning! Totally unacceptable. I’m complaining to the tourism board, which is patting itself on the back for all its national and international campaigns. I have a list of things that tourists should know before coming here that the board is shoving under the rug and I, as a travel writer, will NOT.

Did my yoga, went to the patissereie, worked on the screenplay. I’m going to do some more writing this morning, and then meet a friend for lunch. Can’t wait.

Back to the page. I want to get back to Old-Fashioned Detective Work soon. Wyatt wants some attention, and I think I’m ready to respond.


Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 8:10 am  Comments (7)  

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Couldn’t comment on anyone’s Blogger blogs yesterday. According to them, neither my WordPress nor my Live Journal ID were valid. You know where they can shove that!

The drilling right outside my door all day nearly drove me over the edge. Not to mention the poor cats nearly turned themselves inside out. If I could have given them tiny earplugs, I would have! I worked on Tracking Medusa in the kitchen, with the MP3 player turned unhealthily up, but that was the only way I could shut out enough to get ANY work done. I can’t work at the computer because it’s too close to where the work happens.

The scumbags are not giving us appropriate notice, they are not making appointments, and I bet you they actually think if they force a physical confrontation, I will back down. Silly scumbags.

Tori brought up a good point about New Amsterdam. The Native Americans that lived in this area of New York did not live in tipis (yes, that is the correct spelling). The Lenape (also known as Delaware), some of whom lived on the island of Manhattan, built bark longhouses or oval houses. If I remember the Montauk & Shinnecock correctly (they were in the area and onto Long Island), they didn’t use tipis, either. I’d have to check with National Museum of the American Indian to be sure, and I don’t know that I want to take the time, since this is not my project – but I’d guess maybe they DON’T have an historical consultant on the show after all! I liked last night’s episode, for the most part. It was a moving depiction of race relations in New York in the 1940s, and the family revelations were interesting. Very European to reveal them this early in the series and not wait 8 or 9 episodes. The meaning of all the names, first and last, in the piece, is something I also like, although it is a bit heavy-handed at times. But because they broke my trust in the first episode, I wondered how well they’d researched the hospital situation where Lily had her baby. The art decoration on John’s office in the Chrysler Building was gorgeous, though. I’m not sure it was accurate, but it was gorgeous. It’s now obvious that they mystery/detective/job elements of his life are the B storyline are, but they still need to be plotted more clearly and tightly, and we need to have a little bit of actual mystery in it. One could tell that the killer was the killer the first time the killer came onscreen. Too easy and too obvious. So, I still have mixed feelings about the show, although I’m willing to watch a few more episodes before making a final decision. The conceit of the show falls along some of the same lines I believe – we all have one true soul mate, but there are several people with whom we can be content or even happy. But what I wonder is if this doctor chick is “The” one, and John ages and dies – that’s a pretty lousy thing to do to the person you love and who loves you. If you love someone that much, you don’t want to lose the person, and John ignores that part of the equation so far. Since he has loved and been loved in the past, you’d think he would have a clue after 400 years. His learning curve is good in every other area; I’m assuming the reasoning is that he’s obsessed and can’t see straight in this particular area of his life.

Another show I started watching on and off is Stargate Atlantis (thanks, Imp!) I caught a few bits here and there and actually saw part of a repeat of the series premiere. The show makes me laugh. I think the ensemble’s very good and it balances action, humor, and humanity pretty well, in the bits I’ve seen. And Joe Flanigan, who plays Sheppard, just makes me laugh. Talk about perfect casting. When you find the absolute right actor for the role, everything else falls into place. He knows when to be goofy, when to be serious, when Sheppard is on the job he exudes capability, yet thinks out of the box, he’s very focused, and just nails the character. I sure wouldn’t want to date Col. Sheppard (too high maintenance for me), but I’d like him at my side or at my back in a bad situation. Flanigan’s light touch makes you give a damn, and he’s another one of those actors where you don’t seem him work at it — he simply IS. It’s one of the best gifts an actor can give an audience (or a writer)!

After a day of writing and editing my own work, it’s fun to break down other people’s writing in shows. Also, because I’ve worked on sets, I can sort out the different hands in the pot a good deal of the time, especially since I know some of the directors’ styles now, etc. I couldn’t imagine being a show runner on something like Stargate or even Lost – the amount of information one has to keep track of is stunning, and it keeps morphing, so you have to keep up, and you have to keep adjusting scripts as new information about the worlds and characters is filled in. Inconsistencies jump out more readily in alternate universes. Many people think they’re easier to hide in “made up worlds”, but they’re not. Because you’re teaching the audience (or, in a book, the readership) the world, inconsistencies hit in a much more tangible way. It’s interesting.

I better try to grab a few minutes on the computer before the chaos begins again. We’re getting another storm and are on flood watch again through tomorrow afternoon. The car’s still safe over in the next town, so I have less to worry about, but with the building chaos and constant flood concerns – I’m a little tired.


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:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and mild

The brook’s holding; barely. We’re supposed to get one more major rain storm through here in the next few hours. If it doesn’t flood from that, we should be okay, until the next storm comes through on Friday.

Finished the assignment for Confidential Job #1 yesterday; have to write up the report and get it out by noon. Worked on the Tracking Medusa revision. Still waiting to hear about whether or not I have to send the full. Still not happy with the outline, although the synopsis is better, so I think I’ll be able to send out a batch of queries early next week. Worked on a few more things, and the sci-fi horror western, although it’s not anywhere near clipping along quickly enough. It’s out of my genre, and my comfort zone, and there are a few topics in there that push my buttons. All good, but difficult while trying to make it work on a deadline.

I feel like I’m losing days and days and not getting enough done; most of that is dealing with building problems, but at least I’m getting something done every day, unlike the last go-round, where I couldn’t get anything done for months.

Good morning’s work on Old-Fashioned Detective Work. We’re very close to the climax of the story, and then the resolution. I’d hoped it would come in at 20K; I had to push it back to 25K; most likely, it will be between 29-30K like Hex Breaker. That seems to be what each of the stories in this particular world needs. Billy’s story comes next, and then another one with Jain and Wyatt the main focus, and then a longer piece where they’re all back together.

I watched the pilot of New Amsterdam last night. It was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, whose work I respect a lot. I like the actor in the lead, for the most part. He inhabits the character well most of the time, but we still see him work too hard in some of the angsty moments. If he pulls back just a touch, it’ll be perfect. I was intrigued, though not yet sure. I’m willing to watch a few more episodes before I make the decision. It feels like the writing focused on the lead’s lines instead of developing everyone, and the mystery plot that he, as a detective, is supposed to solve, felt more like the B storyline instead of the A storyline, but was developed more like a C or D storyline. It’s fine to switch what’s usually A and B storylines – have the A storyline be his life and the B storyline his work – but they both have to be cleanly plotted, even if there are mis-steps and red herrings. And the plotting was weak in the pilot, which worries me. A lot of the exteriors are pretty good, but I don’t have a sense of where Amsterdam actually lives. It’s a huge space, looks like a warehouse space. The indications are that it should be way downtown, in what was the original area, but there’s nothing that big. AND, there really wasn’t back then, in the early days. Everything was small and close together. In other words, I’m being asked to suspend disbelief in a way that, as a New Yorker, I can’t really do. Some of the historical art direction is pretty good, though, especially the way Amsterdam keeps photographing Times Square and putting the pictures upon his board. I wonder if someone from the NY Historical Society is a consultant. There’s a part of me that says, “ooh, if they order more episodes, get on the show” and there’s a part of me that says, “Why? You don’t do this anymore. Sit back and enjoy being the audience.” Working in theatre, film, and television is like a drug. It’s very hard to go cold turkey.

They’re banging around outside. Sigh. I’ve got to get that review written and out, and then I HAVE to focus on the sci-fi horror western. And try to ignore the chaos.


Old Fashioned Detective Work
– 23,255 words out of est. 25,000

March writing challenge — 7695 words out of 50,000 (15%)

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 March 5, 2008 at 9:32 am  Comments (3)  

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

On March 2nd was the one year anniversary of the massive flood here in which I lost my old car. There’s a flood watch out tonight – my newish car is already on top of a hill in another town so that I don’t have to think about it. I’m waiting for the storm to start—I have my pre-storm headache. We’ve been lucky over the past few weeks – the flood watches have been more washes than actual floods, and I hope this one is, too.

And it’s still too quiet. The scumbags are plotting something. I can’t live on the edge of adrenalin all the time; I just have to be ready and assume it’s going to be nasty. I really hate living like this, and hope I can go back to the house hunt soon.

Someone who read my praise of Viggo Mortensen’s performance in Eastern Promises and who knows that I’m involved in equine charity work sent me a You Tube link, (which, of course, I can’t get to link, so you have to cut and paste it) to a public service announcement for the preservation of the American Mustang. Seems that corporate interests are making sure they get slaughtered, and, if they’re not protected, they will expire, permanently:

The PSA led me to this site.

where I signed the petition to try to help protect them. Please take a look at it. Usually, I run like hell from celebrity-promoted causes, but he’s not doing this to draw attention to himself. He’s a genuine horseman, owner, and rider, and it’s one of the best-handled PSAs I’ve seen in a long time. I encourage you, if you give a damn about keeping an American breed alive, to visit the site and, if you feel strongly enough, sign the petition.

I will talk to my editor at FemmeFan and see if perhaps I can do an article on the organization.

Lori (Words on the Page) talked about yet another fake memoir that’s been recalled by Penguin – how the woman wrote a “memoir” about all the bad things she did in her life, turned out it was false, and she was found out. In my comment on the blog, I said that, had I seen the book marketed as memoir – which is as it was – I wouldn’t have bought it, but I would have considered it as a novel. I am sick and tired of people being rewarded for being their worst selves – publishing contracts, reality television, etc. How about rewarding the people who do positive things in this world? And ignore the self-serving bastards?

Got my laundry done yesterday; worked on the assignment from Confidential Job #1, which is due tomorrow.

Had a good morning’s work on Old-Fashioned Detective Work this morning. I have to switch over to the sci-fi horror novella now, because I’ve got to break 5K on that today, or I’ll never get it out by deadline. Found some new-to-me, interesting markets, and maybe I’ll send out some submissions. Also, I’ve got to work on another ebook.

I’m untangling the story yarn in my head. This is a time where I wish I was positioned so I could sell on a synopsis and a few sample chapters for fiction, because I have a half a dozen strong ideas that could develop into saleable pieces, and I’m not sure which to pursue. I’m interested in all of them, as well, but I don’t know how to prioritize them. The pull of them is even. I have no idea in which direction to go.

Better get to work and enjoy the moments of silence before the scumbags descend again. It’s like fighting cockroaches – you think you’ve got them all, and then another crawls out of the wall somewhere, and you have to start again.


Old-Fashioned Detective Work –22,205 words out of est. 25,000

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:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

I took it easy this weekend. I took Saturday off. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was from dealing with building crap last week. I managed to finish reading the books for the essay on Saturday. My eyes are tired, but now I have to think about everything for a bit before embarking on it.

Sunday, I had a leisurely morning reading the newspaper and playing with the cats. Then, I did some work on the assignment for Confidential Job #1 – it’s due in a few days and I hadn’t even started.

But most of the day was spent on Tracking Medusa. I got the last set of comments back from the last reader. Extremely helpful. I’m delighted that the small paragraphs I hoped to get away with were not mentioned by any of the three readers, so that means I got away with it! It was also helpful to see which character choices pushed buttons for people – there’s a wide enough range so that everything I wanted to hit in a specific way has hit one of the three, which is what I wanted. And all the readers are interested in and protective of the protagonists, which means I’ve done something right.

AND they caught my bad habits and typos. I’m still horrified by how many typos I missed. As I work back through the manuscript, I’ve picked up a few minor inconsistencies that I’m fixing, and I’m clarifying a couple of things that needed to be crisper. I’m doing some internal cuts, adding a few lines here and there, but it’s mostly tweaking, not major revisions. I’m still not happy with the outline and the synopsis, but I’ll just keep working on it. Once I have a version that doesn’t make me want to puke, I may send it to a few people for comments. I do not post my outlines or synopsis for critiques on writing boards because the way it’s done in open critique doesn’t work for me. I’ve been very specific in the past saying, “tell me what doesn’t work, Do NOT rewrite it.” And what do they do? Rewrite the piece in their voice, which doesn’t serve MY work. Rewriting someone else’s synopsis or outline REALLY doesn’t work unless you’ve read the manuscript and know it almost as well as the writer. So I send it to people I trust, people who will tell me what doesn’t work and why without rewriting it into something that has nothing to do with the actual novel.

It’s quiet here this morning. Too quiet. That means the scumbags are up to something.

However, I’m off to CT to do laundry, so too bad for them.

I’m sort of participating in the March Writing Challenge, where one can write 50K in the month on numerous projects. I’m not counting my edits in that, just fresh work.

Had a good morning’s work on both Old-Fashioned Detective Work and the sci-fi horror western. The latter is going too slowly and really needs a title. Hopefully, I can do some more work on it tonight. I need 15K on it by next week, and then I’ve got to edit before I can send it off.


Old-Fashioned Detective Work
– 21,135 words out of est. 25,000 (84%)

Sci-fi horror western – 2,484 words out of 15,000 (16%)

March Writing Challenge – 2,695 words out of 50,000 (5.3%)

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 March 3, 2008 at 9:50 am  Comments (5)