Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am wiped out. I don’t know how I’m going to do a full Broadway week.

I did some grocery shopping yesterday, read the paper, caught up on the exercises. I was so tired, and I’m not really sure why I’m tired, except that decision-making is exhausting!

I commented on the work in my workshop, I did some of the other work, and some more outlining. I feel like I want a few days just of silence (didn’t I just have that?) so I can hear the storylines speak in my head for a bit. Then I’ll know which ones to follow.

My real-time chat for the Muse Conference was so much fun! We had a great turn out, Karina Fabian stepped in as moderator (thank goodness, because she kept it organized, so I could actually pay attention to the questions and answer them). Good questions help make a good chat. It’s been such a great experience, all the way around. I’m already looking forward to next year!

Spent some time with my N3s (in case you’re new, those are my Nano Newbies for November). I’ve got to get the Nano ebook finished so I can post it by November 1.

I need to redesign part of the living room. I love the old sofa with which I grew up, but I think it’s passed the point of no more repair, and I can use the space for shelving, ottomans with storage space in them, and my work. I wanted to take the couch with me and try to fix it, but I don’t know if it’s fixable. But it’s been in the family longer than I have, so I hate to give it up. I’m not sure what to do – it’s not like there’s storage near by where I can stash it until I move, and it’s too big to fit into the Rabbit and haul down to storage in the city.

I have to finish the assignment for Confidential Job #1. I’ve done the work – it’s getting my thoughts in order and properly on paper that’s the challenge. Right now, my brain is mush.

Stopped in at the Virtual Party, which was fun, but went to bed pretty early.

So, according to Joyce Carol Oates’s journal, a day on which she didn’t get much done is one where she graded papers, worked on a new short story and wrote three poems! I feel like a sloth compared to her! 😉

Had a good night’s sleep and a good morning yoga session. Now, it’s off to work on outlines, finish the work for Confidential Job #1, and tweak a synopsis. I want to write some thank-yous regarding the conference. Then, I can print out the work I did in the city on Tracking Medusa, and, hopefully, move forward.

I’m trying to gear myself up for a demanding week, both physically and emotionally. But a few things are a bit clearer, and heading towards the small steps to the bigger goals helps.

I’m working on the GDR questions for 2008, and hope to post them by the end of the month.

Devon

Published in: on October 15, 2007 at 7:52 am  Comments (3)  

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m off to look over exercises – last day of the conference today, and then I do a real-time chat in the afternoon. I’m already booked to teach at next year’s conference. I’m going to do my best to completely clear the week next time – even with only a few shows scattered throughout the week, it was too much to try to balance. Even though I don’t plan on doing shows at this point next year, I also have to make sure any deadlines are cleared before going into the conference.

The shows were fine yesterday. The cast is young, enthusiastic, and talented. Everyone is very nice and enjoys each other’s company. And, physically, it’s not as demanding as some of the other stuff out there. It’s always hard to be the new kid on the block, even when everyone is nice, but the vibe’s very good.

I have no cues in the first act, so I can spend the time writing. I worked on the outline for one of the pieces I might do for Nano.

In between shows, several of us went out to Pigalle, a French restaurant; I had crab cakes and their incredible mashed potatoes.

I got the Samhain decorations up on Friday, and roasted a chicken with lime and cilantro. Today, I’ll cook pork chops and baked potatoes – warm up the place. Since it’s the 14th and they’re not required to give us heat until the 15th, it’s a bit chilly in here!

The upcoming week will be rough – full week’s worth of shows. But the following week, in and around jury duty, I hope I can start baking bread again.

I’m going to focus on the conference today, and then tomorrow, go back to outlining, revising a synopsis and an outline for some material that’s due, work on the pre-Breeders’ Cup article (the race day is in two weeks), and get back to Tracking Medusa. It would be best if I could get the first draft finished before Nano, so I can start revisions in December, while I’m writing the paranormal novella that’s due in January. And I have to finish the work for Confidential Job #1 and get that off.

So it’s busy, but it’s the right kind of busy.

Devon

Published in: on October 14, 2007 at 10:39 am  Comments (3)  

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It looks like I’ll get the money from the publication per our original agreement. I’ll believe it when the check clears, but, in theory, we’ve sorted it out.

I was pretty much a waste of food yesterday, worn out from the b.s. on Thursday. But I finished up the work for one workshop, and I’ll try to finish the work for the other today or early tomorrow morning. I spent a good portion of the day on the virtual conference. And I spent far too much time on the Nano boards, but that’s part of the fun of it.

I’ve got my group of N3s, and I’m excited to work with them. I need to finish the ebook of tips from last year, so it’s available by the first of November. I’m still doing the daily emails this year, but some of the information will be a bit different, because the process evolves.

I did some work on Confidential Job #1. The assignment is due on Tuesday, but I’d rather get it off tomorrow or, latest, by Monday.

I commented on the homework in my workshop, posted today’s exercise (those who ignored the instructions in yesterday’s exercise will have written themselves into a corner, because the last few exercises build on each other).

For my own Nano this year, I’ll either write Effie (the comic mystery) or one of the two world-building novels I’ve been working on in the Muse workshops. If you’re thinking about doing Nano next year, I highly recommend attending the Muse Online Workshop in October as preparation. Anyway, instead of stressing about what I’m going to do, I’m going to work on all three outlines. Whichever one seems to be the most together and pulls the hardest is the one I’ll do. And if the decision isn’t made until Nov. 1 at 12:01 AM – well, I won’t get to start it until 3 AM – at midnight on Halloween, I’m kind of busy 😉 – so be it.

I’d like to go back to Tracking Medusa this week. I simply haven’t been able to because of the conference. I’d like to get the first draft finished before Nano, so I can start revisions immediately after. Also, on Dec. 1, I have to get to work on a paranormal novella that needs to be done, edited and out in early January.

And somewhere in all of this, I have to move.

Two shows on The Other Show today – off to catch my train.

Devon

Published in: on October 13, 2007 at 8:09 am  Comments (2)  

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Waning Moon
Hot and humid

No fun getting from the apartment to Grand Central, but I did it and got home by late morning. I hated leaving Costume Imp’s cats, but was thrilled to see my own (who are both happy to see me and determined to punish me).

Caught up on emails from the account I couldn’t access, including a revision from an editor. I thought the edits presented diluted one of the important points in the piece, so I reworked it, and, hopefully, the editor will accept it.

Read and commented on the homework that was posted on the workshop. There’s a wide range of writers, and a lot of excellent work. There’s also some good work up there that has very little to do with the assigned exercises. It’s obvious who is just posting from WIP, willy-nilly, without paying much attention to the instructions in the homework, and who doesn’t understand what’s being asked. One student asked to post an idea that deviated from the exercise, and I encouraged the student to follow the inspiration – but only post what’s relevant to the exercise! These aren’t free writing sessions, people! There’s a point to these exercises. And then there’s stuff that just blows you out of the water, and leaves you going, “More, more, more , which is great. I’m trying to encourage, make suggestions where things need some more work, and also keep people on the track of the exercise. But I’m excited by the high quality of the work – even when it’s off-track!

Prepared and posted the homework for both of the world-building workshops I’m taking. They’re run by two very different writers, and I felt I couldn’t use the same material in both, so I came up with two different ideas. I’m getting a lot of positive feedback, great questions to help me explore the material more deeply, and now I’m getting excited about both these projects. Eventually, they’ll grow into themselves, and these workshops are giving me a firm foundation for them.

Since I spent time on the workshop forums, I see several authors are using the same material in various workshops, using them as a way to explore different angles in the same piece. I’m glad I’m using different material – it would be too confusing otherwise. It would also be too confusing for me to use material already written – I need to learn from freshly-created work, and then apply it to previously written work.

Found my first “mooched” book waiting for me when I got home. Very excited! And I have a request for another of mine, so that will go off first thing on Wednesday.

Crazy Fishwife was making noise downstairs again – she comes to visit Grumpy Old Man and His Grumpy Old Cat, but she never actually enters the building. She stands outside his window (he’s on the ground floor) and brays in a high-pitched, nasal whine. Pretty sad when the noise on 9th Avenue is less intrusive than that of suburbia!

Frustrated because I feel like I’m not getting anywhere, like I’m just a hamster on a treadmill. Of course, the tarot card coming up is The Hanged Man. You think? Duu-uuh!

Off to the theatre, to my regular Tuesday day gig, then to a new-to-me show to learn a track tonight that I’ll do on my own, later in the week.

Devon

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 7:15 am  Comments (3)  

Monday, October 8, 20007

Monday, October 8, 2007
Waning Moon
Cloudy, hot, humid

Costume Imp comes back from London today, and I head back out to the suburbs.

I worked on Tracking Medusa. Justin and Gwen finally consummated their relationship. I realize The Big Sex Scene is now expected in almost any book – but this is more of a love scene then a sex scene, and a bit different than the formula. I like the way it played out – different than anything I’ve seen done. Less explicit, yet more intimate. And then I worked on the following chapter, where Justin keeps expecting “The relationship conversation” – only it never occurs to Gwen to have it! Chapter twenty is a sketch of what it should be, but I needed to get them from one place to another to get the next section of the book going, so I’ll expand it in the rewrite. Just over 4500 words today.

Spent the afternoon and evening watching some of my favorite movies. One of the best parts was to see a movie that was so important to me when it was released in the 1970s – and then I got to work, a few years ago, with one of the actors in it, on a Broadway show, and he’s even better, as an actor and a human being, than one could have hoped. It makes me enjoy the movie even more, and he’s one of the few actors who could call me and say, “Hey, I’m doing this little bitty project in Tiny City, USA, wanna come?” and I’d say sure, without needing any further information. There are only three people for whom I’d do that. He’s also someone who, when I first felt the pull to try to make the transition to full-time writing, encouraged me absolutely, and demonstrated complete belief in me. Someday, I’ll dedicate a book – or a series – to him!

I put up the first exercise for the workshop, and, once I post this, I’ll hop on the forum to respond to questions and samples posted in response. I’ll do a bit more work on Tracking Medusa. Then, I’ll straighten up one last time, haul my luggage to Grand Central (climbing over the Columbus Day Parade) and go home.

Joyce Carol Oates’s journal got a so-so review in the NYT Book Review. I disagree with it. It comes across as though, because she doesn’t dish or get nasty about people in her diary, the reviewer feels it’s not memorable. But passage after passage that dissect her process and the creative work are extremely memorable – yet the reviewer doesn’t get it. And, supposedly, he’s a writer with published work.

I’m a little disappointed in myself this past week. I thought I’d come up with answers to several things in my life. Instead, I’m still formulating the questions.

Sigh.

Devon

Tracking Medusa – 49,235 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
49 / 90
(54.4%)
Published in: on October 8, 2007 at 7:46 am  Comments (4)  

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007
Waxing Moon
Sunny and warm

Around 9 AM yesterday, I started the final work on the Dialogue Workshop materials for The Muse Online Conference. The coordinator asked me to prepare a welcome message and send any materials to the list of participants – which has now grown to about 80.

Next thing I knew, it was 1:30.

I got all the materials out and I ran tests of the exercises. Because this workshop is virtual rather than dimensional (in person), I had to adjust some of the exercises. And I had to cut the Eavesdropping exercise entirely – at least the way we do it in class.

Then, I had to rush out to the store and do a few other things. Before I knew it, it was 3 PM, and I still had way too much to do – and no creative juices left with which to do more.

That’s the way it goes sometimes, but at least I’m ready to go for the Conference. I think I want to switch out some of the examples, but, other than that, we’re ready with the daily exercises and the bonus exercises. I just have to post every night for the next day, and check in four or five times a day to comment on the homework, answer questions, and discussions.

I also signed up for several of the other workshops. There was so much fascinating stuff from which to choose! As it was, I picked seven workshops – and that was limiting myself!

And I’ve got my participant lists and sent out all the information, so it’s all good.

I worked on an e-book project for awhile, but spent most of the evening resting and reading. I read a wonderful book, over the last few days, about a woman who grew up in Chicago around the turn of the century. The author bought a box of her diaries in a second-hand bookshop one day, tracked the descendants, researched the family and the era, etc., etc. It’s fabulous. Strand sent it to me as one of the batches of books for the Good Names research. I’ve also been back at the Edith Wharton biography. It’s enormous and has so much information, and needs to be savored slowly.

Crazy Downstairs Neighbor woke me up last night again, when he came in drunk and banged around. And this morning, as soon as I sat down to work, all the leaf blowers revved up. It’s a plot, I’m telling you! 😉

Back’s a bit better, but still very sore. I could do most of my core workout last night – all but two exercises, although I did them more slowly. And I did most of the usual yoga sequence. I’m getting there, slowly, but surely. The transitions from sitting to standing and the reverse are still difficult, but most of the time I’m simply sore instead of being in severe pain, which is a step up.

I have to be organized this morning, because I’m out for most of the day – I need to run a few errands, pay some bills, and go to a friend’s to do laundry.

Still waiting for the material from Confidential Job #1 to show up – DHL never attempted delivery yesterday, and I was home almost all day AND left a note for them.

Sigh.

Devon

Revenge Tangents – 21,875 words out of est. 25,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
21 / 25
(84.0%)
Published in: on September 21, 2007 at 8:12 am  Comments (4)  

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

Another quick visit to feed the cats and check the computer, then back to the CT gig.

Dug in and focused on the work in the short time I was here yesterday. Caught up on some email. Scoured the job boards. Prepared and sent 5 pitches. Meant to take 3 more with me because they need more thought and planning. Left them on the kitchen table. Baked brownies. Switched over clothes – it’s been cold the past few days, but now it’s supposed to get hot, and I had to have the appropriate clothes.

Went back to CT. Worked on the material for the Dialogue Workshop for the Muse Online Conference. The exercises and material online needs to be handled a bit differently than an in-person class. Worked on a couple of articles that I need to get out before I go out of town next week.

Caught up on email this morning. Will check the job boards and see if there’s anything worth pitching, pick up the laundry, do some bills, go to the post office, and head back to CT.

I’m so happy to see that hats and gloves are the fall fashion rage. Of course, my boxes of both are tucked into storage where I can’t get at them. (Sigh).

I got a good start on the next Lit Athlete Column – several sets of interview questions have already been returned. That’s the way I like to work. Meanwhile, some of the profiles I’m doing for THE SAVVY GAL and FEMMEFAN – it’s like pulling teeth. You know, we’re all busy, but when someone’s trying to shine a positive light on your hard work, at least show them the respect of responding within a reasonable length of time. Some of these sports that are underwritten about are ignored because the participants and administrators can’t be bothered to communicate. If no one knows what you’re doing, they’re not going to give you their money, so grow up and learn to communicate. It doesn’t take any more time to be gracious than it does to be rude. And you’ll get better results.

Some good work on Good Names and “Revenge Tangents”. Pushed back the word count for the latter – again. Well, it is what it is.

Have to do the rest of the paperwork and then back to CT. I can’t tell you what an enormous difference it makes to work someplace where it’s quiet – no braying women or screaming construction workers under the window; no repetitive machine noise; no arguments from the apartment next door, or loud music at 2 AM from the apartment below. I’m actually getting creative work done. And I don’t even mind the lack of television – I’m reading, writing, and working out more. Heaven!

My cats are really mad at me, though!

Travers tomorrow: My picks for the Big Race are Street Sense and Sightseeing. Hard Spun is my choice in the King’s Bishop. I haven’t studied the rest of the card yet, so I can’t say how I’m going to bet.

Back to work!

Devon

Good Names — 66,632 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
66 / 100
(66.0%)

“Revenge Tangents” — 12,375 words out of est. 15,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 15
(80.0%)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Did you miss me?

It’s been quite a week! Good, in many ways, but exhausting. 656 miles on the car in four days.

Let’s start with getting the heck out of Dodge last Friday. My crazy downstairs neighbor came home again roaring drunk at 2 AM, this time singing at the top of his lungs and playing on his furniture with drumsticks for hours. It’s completely out of control. So, not only did I barely get any sleep, but the weather was dreadful. As usual, the meteorologists were wrong – they’d downgraded from predicting storms as bad as the ones that spurred the tornado two days previously to “light rain”.

Now, I don’t consider rain pouring down in curtains so that I can’t even see the end of the hood of the car “light”. It was awful all the way across the Tappan Zee Bridge the entire trip to Albany. It finally lightened up about 20-30 miles west of Albany, and the rest of the trip wasn’t bad.

I still made it from home to Syracuse in just over 5 hours, which isn’t too shabby. It was too early to check into the hotel, so I went to the Denny’s next door. I hadn’t been in a Denny’s since I lived on the west coast in the mid 1980’s. I forgot how big the portions are and how much salt they dump on everything. No wonder I was the only person in there who was under 300 pounds!

Drove around for a bit afterwards – found a Michael’s, looked at yarn, etc., but was too tired to buy anything.

Finally got into the room. It was fine, simple – wallpaper peeling a bit, the toilet tank took its time refilling. But it was clean, had large windows, got a lot of light, and was safe. I took a nap, tried to get some writing done, did about an hour of yoga, and went back to get take-out from Denny’s for dinner. Couldn’t finish it all – too big a portion and too salty.

Watched some bad television, did a core workout and went to bed early. There were dogs and kids in this hotel. The dogs behaved beautifully. The kids were a nightmare. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you’re too stupid and lazy to teach your kids to behave like decent human beings in public, leave them at home. Don’t inflict them on the rest of us. They’re not cute; they’re horrid.

Woke up early on Saturday. Did an hour of yoga, and got a bit of writing done. The complimentary breakfast was fine, although the coffee was awful. I met a lovely Great Dane named Princess Leia, who wanted my doughnut badly, but was far too well-behaved to just snatch it from my hand.

Got into the car and headed over to Liverpool for the Central New York Scottish Games. Got there just as they were gearing up, and got a parking spot only two rows from the gate, which was a good thing, considering how often I went back and forth to the car over the course of the day.

The Games were fantastic. I didn’t want to leave. It’s amazing that you can have over 1000 people, 200+ dogs, wandering around in the sun all day long, and nobody’s an asshole. Yes, there were plenty of kids dashing around and being rambunctious – but none of them were horrid. There was NO LITTER. Over 1000 people, no one designated to clean up, and no litter. Everyone picked up after themselves. There were trash barrels, recycling barrels, etc., etc., and everyone took personal responsibility. There was a little kid recycling a bottle that was almost bigger than he was. Everyone was nice and friendly and genuine. There was no snobbery, no exclusion, no nastiness. Everyone was there having a good time and interacting.

Music, music everywhere. There were dozens of pipe bands, plus other musical acts in the entertainment tent. And a hut full of harpists.

I admit that, after the first two hours of listening to pipers warming up, I’d kind of had it. I enjoy piping, but . . .however, after a handful of Excedrin and a Tennant’s, I felt much better.

There was a beer truck. As in a massive truck with taps on the side, with Guinness, Harp, Tennant’s, and some others. I hadn’t had a Tennant’s since the last time I sat in The Last Drop in Edinburgh, and that was far too long ago. (Here at the St. Andrew’s Pub, the only Scottish bar in Manhattan, I usually order a Bellhaven).

I played and played and played with dogs – Alfred, the “aggressive” Westie who rolled over to get his tummy rubbed every time he saw me; the German Shepard puppy with the huge paws who crawled into my lap and fell asleep, sucking my thumb; and many, many more. I met a woman who runs a Scottie rescue – Scotties aren’t good with cats, but she has a friend who does Westie rescue and often comes across puppies. If I raised a Westie from puppyhood with cats, he/she would be fine, and I’d rather have a rescued dog than go to a breeder.

For details on the actual games, you’ll just have to read the article in next week’s FemmeFan, but they were fun: the shotput, the weights, tossing the caber, tossing the sheaf, etc., etc. I got some good pictures to go with the articles. The pipe bands also had competition, which was just as fervored at the athletic competitions.

It was great to spend a day with people who were genuinely nice. And how often do you spend time at an event where no one is rude or annoying? I’d definitely go back. There was plenty of playing and flirting, but everything was in good fun. There was no hassle or sleaziness or annoyance involved. It was all upbeat and low key.

And, even better, that night, we got to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower!

I did not want the night to end.

Did core work when I got in Saturday night, and an hour of yoga Sunday morning. Skipped the hotel breakfast and got mine from the Dunkin Donuts across the street. Got on the road around 9:30. Made it to Saratoga by noon.

Unfortunately, it took an hour to drive from the exit to my friend’s place – a drive which usually takes 10 minutes! It was beach chair giveaway day, and people were insane – getting five or six vouchers, going back again and again and again. They gave away over 72,000 chairs! The track was packed, it was hot and humid and not a great race card. Kind of a disappointment. I did get to see my friend’s horse run in the feature race, and I met the horse named Dave.

Dave.

If you follow racing, you know that most horses have complicated names. But Dave is simply “Dave”. He’s the closest thing to a hippie horse I’ve ever seen – totally mellow. Nothing phases him. He’s friendly and curious, with this attitude of, “Hey, I’m Dave. Cool.” As he walked from the paddock to the track, people yelled, “Hi, Dave!” and he’d turn in their direction and nod his head as though he was saying, “Hey.” He’s a pretty good runner when he gets on the track, too – pays attention to his jockey, tries hard. He came in fourth for this race, which means he got some money, even if the bettors didn’t. He’s got a very distinct and engaging personality.

After the meet, we went back to the house to change, and then headed over the few blocks to Union Avenue, where someone was giving a reception with food, drinks, and music. I have no idea what it was for – never saw the invite. Met some interesting people – a man who used to be in the airline business, a woman who runs a site for women in racing, a woman who does feng shui consults. And, of course, it’s interesting to watch the whole band-for-hire culture at work, especially when they try to hit on the trophy wives. The older, wealthy men with the dumbass, shallow arm candy get real old real fast. But at least if they’ve got each other, they’re not inflicted on the rest of us, right? And we can go off and have fun with people of substance.

Speaking of which, several of us then went out to dinner at Leon’s, a Mexican restaurant owned by an ex-jockey. The food was okay, but one of our group found a piece of metal in the food, which is just not good. Needless to say, he didn’t have to pay for his meal.

We were all tired and had too much sun, so we made it a relatively early night.

I was up early the next morning, did my yoga. We went over to my friend’s barn during the workouts to visit with the horses and see my friend. She was outriding today, and they were working out on the Oklahoma track rather than the main track. We went back to the house for breakfast, which was fun – a lively, wide-ranging group. Another friend of my friends stopped by and wanted to go to the Horseshoe Inn for another breakfast. I decided to decline and get on the road early. I stopped by Mrs. London’s, the wonderful bakery, to grab something for later, and headed home.

The traffic was dreadful, and there were some real crazy people on the road, like the guy in the Mercedes who forced me into the median just because he felt like it. He had plenty of room to safely pass me and then get in front of me in my lane, but he wanted to occupy my space at the same time I was. It wasn’t that he couldn’t see me – he was looking right at me as he forced me off the road. Fortunately, a state trooper saw it and went after him. If there’s been a barrier instead of just grass in between, I would have had a serious accident. But I got home in one piece, albeit exhausted, unloaded the car, had dinner at a friend’s, caught up on a few things.

I plunged back into shows Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m not going to say much about it. Too much crap going on and I have other things that need my attention. Managed a good dinner with friends between shows yesterday, but the rest of it – it’s time for me to totally disengage.

Came home from the theatre at midnight to find that my crazy downstairs neighbor had his television blasting again and my crazy next door neighbors were in the midst of yet another domestic dispute. I’m going to start calling the cops on them, because talking to them politely isn’t fixing the problem. And I’m sick of disruption every single night, in violation of our leases.

I got some nice work done on both Good Names and “Revenge Tangents” during the time away. I’ve now pushed the word count for the latter up to 12K. I’m also working on a giveaway for people who signed up for the Muse Online Writer’s Conference in October, and a couple of other projects. I have a half a dozen article deadlines coming up, and the material for Confidential Job #1 is due tomorrow.

Busy, busy. Better get to work.

Devon

Good Names – 59,632 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
59 / 100
(59.0%)

“Revenge Tangents” – 8,375 words out of est. 12,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8 / 12
(66.7%)

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%)

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%)