Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It feels as though my soul is sick. That’s the only way I can describe it, because this is far more than just physical exhaustion. It feels as though the whole weight of the last three years, which started with my mom’s accident and the Evil Developers trying to drive everyone into the street just hit me with a wallop.

However, people tend to be kind if you allow it, and I’m certainly allowing people to be kind right now. All of you are lovely, and several clients and potential clients understand that I will be out of touch most of this week, dealing with family matters.

The coward in me doesn’t want to go to Maine to face the inevitable, but I know I would always regret it if I didn’t go.

I slept most of the day yesterday, but was, basically, non-functional. I packed, and my writing bag is almost packed. I hope that the pleasure I always take in the journey will give me strength so I can take care of my grandmother and everyone else who needs to be taken care of once I get up there.

Wrote and got out my post-Derby article, with a few choice words for those who want to ban the sport. Because, as usual, those who screech the loudest have no suggestions for the care of the tens of thousands of horses who would be left homeless by such a ban. If you’re going to pretend to be an activist, take an active part in coming up with solutions, not just standing on a soap box making proclamations.

Celayne, I understand your disagreement. But, like the rest, you did not offer a solution. Have you ever spent any time around thoroughbred barns? Have you ever seen the interaction between the horse and the trainer, the horse and its jockey, and, especially, the horse and the groom? At least 10,000 thoroughbreds are foaled per year. Horses live between 20-30 years, and it takes a couple of thousand dollars per week to feed and house them. If an immediate ban were put on the sport, the majority would be sent to slaughterhouses and turned into dog food, because there’s no one to feed them and care for them. You have dogs, Celeyne. Chances are good that if you feed them purchased food instead of preparing your own that you’re feeding them race horses that have been sent to the slaughterhouse once they stopped earning their keep. Most dog food has horsemeat in it. It doesn’t say so on the can, but do a little research on your particular brand. Even some of the so-called “natural” foods use horse meat as their main source. Where do you think that comes from? Not from horses that died natural deaths. What solution do you propose? What, personally, do you intend to do to manifest change? How many of those horses are you personally willing to take on? How many ex-racehorses have you adopted? Now, I don’t have one sitting in the parking lot, but horse charities are where the majority of my donations go. In other words, although I don’t keep one in the courtyard, I do pay money every month towards keeping rescued and retired racehorses fed and alive. If I had a farm and the income, I’d have a facility for rescued/injured/retired thoroughbreds. That’s one of my dreams. Along with a financial plan to make sure they aren’t sold to slaughter once I die. But to simply ban the sport without having a plan IN PLACE to care for these thousands of animals is a larger act of cruelty than to try to fix the sport from the inside.

I’m about to take the car in for its 10K check-up. Barely a year old, and already 10K! Gas is now between $4.29 and $4.69 a gallon up here. Bush just keeps letting his friends economically rape us, and he just sits back and giggles. If I can come up with at least a dozen viable solutions to ease the pain at the pump, the government should be able to come up and implement twice as many. But Bush will never see his buddies make less than a double billion figure profit, no matter how much of this country descends into poverty and recession. Because it doesn’t affect him personally, he has the ability to ignore any reality he doesn’t like, and he simply does not care, as long as he gets to play President and do as he darn well pleases, getting stroked by big business.

I’m off line most of this week, up in Maine, taking care of my grandmother. I will check in when I get back.

Devon

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 May 5, 2008 at 6:27 am  Comments (8)  

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Nothing like waking up on Derby Day with a migraine. And I mean the Anytime-you-want-to-stop-jabbing-that-icepick-in-my-eye-
would-be-great migraine.

Skipping out was not an option.

To backtrack a bit: The show was fine Friday night. I said my farewells to the actor who’s leaving the show (while I’m covering the Preakness). I was surprised he remembered that it was our last show together, but he did. Hopefully, our paths will cross again – he’s one of the good ones, both on and off stage. I’ll probably send something over to his opening night this summer.

Finished The Summoner. It follows high fantasy quest tradition, and it does so well. There’s some wonderfully imaginative and inventive stuff in there. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. There were a few lapses of logic I found difficult to roll with, but perhaps they were set deliberately in order to set up something in a future book. And the copy editor should be fired. It is inexcusable that a book on the store shelves should mix up “where” and “were” AND have such a high rate of typos. I was furious, especially on behalf of the author, who I am sure pointed all of these out in the galleys. Obviously, the manuscript was only run through spell check and a copy editor didn’t actually sit there and read it. The amount of mistakes in books lately is truly, truly appalling. When I pay full price for a book, I expect all the steps in the production process to be taken, and I expect the book to be free of typos.

Yesterday morning, I had to go grocery shopping before the race card began because I needed cat food and had to make the stuff for the party.

I had trouble getting going, though. I was overtired, which meant I couldn’t retain body heat, so I was freezing and shivering. Rethought my clothing and opted for something warmer, but still spent most of the day wrapped in a horse’s blanket (don’t ask, really, my on-site colleagues are going to be teasing me about it until I’m ninety).

I got some potentially positive responses to some ads I recently answered, so that’s sorted. Llewellyn’s hired me for a 2010 calendar piece. That’s sorted. I may be working for a travel site. I’m up for a script job. All good.

I was late getting to the races because I received bad news from a friend that another close friend’s father died last night. So I wanted to see what I could do.

The races were quite interesting, for the most part, and, prediction-wise, I did pretty well.

Although I had Big Brown in my picks as a safety, I honestly didn’t think he’d keep his head together enough to win. The fact that he did indicates he could very well be one of the “freak” horses.

The tragedy of the day was the death of Eight Belles. As the day progressed, I fell more and more in love with her: Her beauty, her poise, her intelligence. She was radiant. I went from thinking she’d finish ninth or tenth in the Derby to believing she could be in the top three.

She came in second – then fell, breaking both front ankles, and had to be euthanized on the track. Completely heartbreaking. But, it’s about time the general public see the dark side of horse racing, with both Barbaro’s accident two years ago and this one. Positive change will not come in this sport, and certainly not quickly enough, unless tens of thousands of people realize what’s going on.

Banning horse racing is not, in my opinion, the answer. Banning the sport would result in tens of thousands of horses going to the slaughterhouse, which is certainly worse than what’s happening now. The price of dog food would go down, but it would be an equine holocaust.

But changes need to be made over a period of months, not decades, which is how long it’s been taking. The well-being of both horses and jockeys needs to be taken more seriously by the industry as a whole. Individual trainers and owners are doing what they can do, but until the rules change – and they haven’t, for the most part, since the 1800’s – the mortality rate will continue to rise.

Unfortunately, it’s corporations making the profits in the sport, not the individual owners, trainers, and jockeys who actually take the risk. And, as in the rest of our society, the corporate executives don’t care as long as they can make obscene amounts of money to pay off their wives and sustain their mistresses.

Until the corporate culture is destroyed, our society, as a whole, is going down the road of Rome. And we all see how well that turned out.

Only our ruins won’t last for centuries.

I was not in the mood for a party after the races. I came home and was in bed by 8:30. I stayed in bed for nearly twelve hours. Not always asleep – I was plagued by bad dreams. But exhausted. And I don’t feel much better today.

I’m sad: sad for Eight Belles; sad for the deaths of my friends’ parents over the last few weeks; sad because my grandmother is getting worse.

I have an article and a review to write. And then I have to finish packing for Maine. The next few weeks are going to be busy, some good, some difficult.

On a positive side, as I was driving to and from the grocery store yesterday, I got an aha! moment as far as Yuri’s Tale: Gunslinger Cole Larkin’s backstory was revealed to me, and I’m starting to figure out the structure. This book is certainly a challenge. Not in a bad way, but a challenge.

All I want to go is to go back to bed, but I’ve got work to do before I leave for Maine.

Devon

Racing Ink

My regular daily “Ink in My Coffee” post is below. Scroll down if that’s what you’re looking for.

However, if you want to read my race picks, stay here.

Today, Friday, there are two races at Churchill Downs on which I’ll bet. In the first race, I like Fancy Fusaichi and Tactical Warning (both across the board). In the 10th, the Kentucky Oaks, if both Proud Spell and Eight Belles run, I’ll bet them both across the board and in a boxed exacta. Eight Belles is also scheduled to run in tomorrow’s Derby. If she scratches from the Oaks, I’ll pick another horse in the post parade, but keep Proud Spell across the board.

Saturday’s Race Card at Churchill Downs:

Race 1:
Biker Boy is scheduled to run on Friday, but if he doesn’t, I’ll bet him here. I also like Bullet Rain and Sale Pending. I’ll probably bet all three across the board. Communicated will be a post parade decision – it’s a John Velazquez/Todd Pletcher partnership and I don’t want to dismiss it without one last look at the horse.

Race 2:
Most of my bets today will be across the board. I’m doing it again in this race with Sly Storm, Loving Vindication, and BR’s Girl. My longshot show bet here is Belle Roja. I like Stealing Kisses, but not sure she can triumph in this field. I’ll make the final decision on her in the post.

Race 3:
Spin Master across the board. Forty Grams to place or show if he looks amazing.

Race 4:
I’ll probably sit this one out. I’ll look at Cherokee Artist and Chris Got Even, but they will have to really impress me for me to spend money on them rather than a cocktail.


Race 5: Churchill Downs Stakes:

Looks like it’s time for another cocktail. I’ll look at the long shot Island Warrior and 5/1 shot Elite Squadron (because JV’s on him) in the paddock, but probably sit this one out, too.

Race 6: La Troienne Grade 3 Stakes:

Game Face across the board – that’s what she has, and it’s JV/Pletcher.
Secret Gypsy to place and show.
I want to look at Informed Decision because Jonathan Sheppard is the trainer. I want to look at Keep the Peace because Edgar Prado’s the jockey. If they were teamed, this would not be a decision, but they’re not, so I want to see the horses first.
My long shot pick for this race is Tiz To Dream at 30-1 for a show bet.

Race7: Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Grade 3:
Dreaming of Anna is the favorite here; if the jockey was different, I’d be more inclined to favor her. I’ll look at her in the paddock. If she’s in a good mood and looks sharp, I’ll bet her. If she frets, I may skip her.
I like Sharp Susan and Danzon (JV/Pletcher) across the board. I’m going to take a look at Bayou Lassie (Dale Romans trainer, Edgar Prado up) for a place or show spot. Ventura looks like a pretty safe bet to get in the top four somewhere, but my longshot will be VIP Princess at 50-1 for a show spot, unless she fusses in a bad way in the paddock.

Race 8: Humana Distaff Grade 1:
Sugar Swirl has low odds, but I’m not familiar with her racing style, so I’ll have to wait and see how she looks. Hystericalady, Miss Macy Sue, and Miraculous Miss are all old favorites. I’ll probably go across the board with those three and maybe toss them into a few boxed exactas or a boxed trifecta. Change It Up will probably be my longshot show bet at 15-1. I’m surprised that Baroness Thatcher’s odds are 10-1 – I would have expected them to be shorter. She disappointed me the last time I bet her, so she will have to really impress me to win me back.

Race 9: Woodford Reserve Turf Grade 1:
War Monger across the board. Einstein to place and show. Duveen and Artiste Royal to show. I want to look at the Irish horse Golden Balls, who’s the current favorite. He should like the turf, so he’s worth some money unless he has a very bad day.


Race 10: The Kentucky Derby Grade 1:

Big Brown is the favorite. He’s also got the outside post. He’s going to have to be a Freak horse to keep his poise, not wear himself out early, and win. If he was in the middle post position, I’d throw him out, because I think he’d freak the minute he got squished. I think the outside post helps him, but he’s going to have to move that big butt of his awfully fast AND not run out of steam to win this. Will Kent tuck him to the rail, if he can? Will that make BB feel more confident, or will the pressure of 19 horses to his right upset him too much? Will he lather in the post, like he did in his previous race – because, while it worked last time out, one needs a heck of a lot more stamina in this one. I will probably bet him across the board as a safety bet, but I have my doubts. But then, I was wrong about Street Sense last year, so . . .
Pyro and Gayego are still my favorites, and will get bet across the board. If Eight Belles winds up running here instead of in Friday’s Oaks, I will place a show bet on her, even though I believe she will come in ninth or tenth. Because I’ll support the filly. Tale of Ekati and Cowboy Cal are my longshots, with at least show money going towards them. I think Big Truck will try very hard (he’s a wonderful horse), but I don’t think this is his race. If it rains, Visionaire gets into my picks; and I’ll probably box him with Gayego. If it’s dry, I’m on the fence about him. To my surprise, Smooth Air is running, in spite of being sick last week. I’ll pass. Colonel John’s gotten a lot of good press, but I’m on the fence about him, too. Court Vision is growing on me – we’ll see how he looks. Behindatthebar didn’t make it in. Maybe we’ll get to see him in the Preakness. I’m staying away from exotics in this race because I think the field is too inconsistent.

Race 11:
Sonoma Cat across the board. Tiz Now Tiz Then for place and show. MapMaker to show and Lemon Custard to show.

Race 12:
Maiara and Pious Ashley across the board. I think Quiet Mover and Syrup both have the potential to be upset horses here, so they’ll get at least show money.

Tune in to FemmeFan (www.femmefan.com) next week for the Derby wrap-up, with commentary on hits and misses. If you want to tips on how to bet a horse, I have an article up on my website:
www.devonellingtonwork.com/betahorse.html

Have a great Derby day!

Published in: on May 2, 2008 at 11:23 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: ,

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn DIRECT
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

My pre-Derby article is finally up on FemmeFan here:

Thank goodness Saturn turns direct tonight. This retrograde really kicked my ass, in spite of the fact I thought I’d dealt with quite a few life lessons since the last one. I’m really over the learning and growing right now. I’d just like to have some peace and quiet for a bit.

Sing out, now: “I’m a waste of food today, I’m a waste of food . ..”

Actually, I was pretty much a waste of food yesterday. Got a couple of pitches out, got the rate quote done; am toying with an idea of a pitch to a company that’s looking for a full-time writer, but there is NO WAY one full-time writer can take on everything in that job description, unless they plan to hire someone who never eats, sleeps, or goes to the bathroom. So I may create a pitch to make myself the “occasional additional”.

Got a book out for a Book Mooch person. Returned some clothes I ordered. Now, they are the same make, size, and style as something I really love, so I ordered extras in a variety of colors. Only one of them fits, and even that is a good two inches smaller in the waist than the one I have. What’s up with that? The other three weren’t even close – they must have been mis-marked in the sizing. Even the way different color dyes react to fabric couldn’t make the differences that drastic. So I returned them.

Looked for dresses for the upcoming Triple Crown races. Way too much this season looks like Aunt Mathilda’s vintage curtains. Don’t get me wrong – I’m fond of Aunt Mathilda and there’s nothing wrong with her curtains. I just don’t want to wear them.

I’ll have to shop in my closet. I’m sure there’s something in there, if I dig far enough. I have a dress for Saturday. Lovely green number, very flattering. I tried it with a red belt and red shoes. I looked like a renegade Christmas tree. I tried it with a brown belt and brown shoes. I just looked like a damned tree. I’m going to use a watercolor silk scarf in shades of blues and greens (including the green of the dress) as a belt, and probably navy blue pumps, also picked up in the scarf.

So, I’ve been dared to write a sci-fi surfer beach movie. Yeah, I don’t get it, either. I said I was capable of doing it (yes, talking out of my ass, what else is new), as long as it could be funny. Whether I’ll do it or not is something else.

The anthology story is starting to take form in my head. I know my protagonist is Calpurnia the Crone; I know her foil is a scholarly warrior – as yet unnamed. And the beginning of it is beginning to unfurl in my brain. It can be up to 15K, but the deadline is the end of this month, so I’d prefer it to be around 5-7K. I hope to get started on it post-Derby.

Show was fine. I’m having a good time, but I’m ready not to be there every night.

Got a late start because I overslept, so I hope that doesn’t mean I’m behind the beat all day. I’ve got a lot to get done before I go back to the theatre.

It doesn’t help that this Microsoft piece of crap that masquerades as a computer isn’t running properly at all. It’s inexcusable that PCs are built to self-destruct.

Devon

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 May 2, 2008 at 8:26 am  Comments (8)  

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Cold, rainy day yesterday.

Worked on the adaptation. In this section, I can stay close to the original screenplay; however, I have to add quite a bit later on for it all to make sense and really hold together as a novel. There are quick explanations that one can get away with in a screenplay that simply won’t hold up in the novel. For it to have the emotional impact I want, I have to deepen it, layer it, work out some of the kinks. I’m also deepening the relationship between Zenda and Sam earlier. While, if this was visual and I had three-dimensional actors working the material, a great deal could be left unsaid. Their bodies would do the “speaking” instead of the words. In the novelization, a great deal remains unspoken between them, but it still needs to be on the page. Even if it’s done through action and gesture and behavior rather than narration, it still needs to be there.

Worked on Yuri’s Tale. Actually, I stopped working to make some continuity notes and do some world-building. The problem with that is that I wind up staring at the page. Unlike Earth Bride, where I could do dozens of pages of world-building as I created the outline and THEN write, the participants in Yuri’s Tale want to reveal it to me as it goes along. So I’m doing more note-taking than world-building and letting the characters reveal the world to be in this draft. A little frustrating, but. . .that’s the way it is. Also, I realized I need to start the book with Esmé, not Yuri (yet another reason the title needs to change). At first I thought it could be a prologue, but the more I mull it over, the more I realize no, it needs to be a chapter focused on Esmé before they arrive in Solmer and Yuri’s taven. I’ll set part of it on the ship The Sea Trotter, and part of it . . .well, you’ll just have to read it to find out!

This is the kind of situation where a writer who insists on total control over everything from the get-go would just stop. But, if you trust your characters (i.e., your subconscious) to get you through even the disjointed bits, you’ll push through and have something better at the end than if you tried to control it all so tightly before you set a word on paper. Rewrites are good places to impose structure and logic. First drafts are to trust your characters and your imagination.

Did an extra yoga session yesterday afternoon and it made a big difference.

Commute sucked both ways, and too many SFT’s in the city. Brandy and Melissa, you wouldn’t behave like an SFT, because you naturally think about others. It’s your nature. I don’t mind the tourists who come here and are amazed by all the wonderful things in New York; I mind the ones who are rude, thoughtless (it’s not New Yorkers who are rude, it’s the tourists), and treat those of us who live here as though we’re their personal maids.

Show was fine. I had to tell one of my Dear Hearts this was our last week working together on this show; he’s off to do another show (he’ll be wonderful in it) and I’m covering the Preakness during his last weekend on this show. So we are going to savor every performance together this week! Seriously, working with these actors is always good for me – they’re loving and joyful as well as being talented, and working with them opens my heart a little every time. Which is good, considering how closed and ready for battle I always have to be in my own home.

I have to go and pitch a fit at the credit union this morning. It seems anyone can walk up to any ATM and wipe out my checking and savings, as they did in January, but I can’t get to my own money, and I’m sick of it.

Taped a show last night on which I thought an acquaintance was guest-starring (because he told me so). He’d teased me that he’d call at midnight to see how I liked it (I got home at 11). So I watch the whole darned thing – and he’s not on it! He called, I mentioned it, and he said, “Yeah, that kind of sucks, doesn’t it?” I’m not sure if the episodes got shuffled around or he’s in an upcoming one or what. And it’s not a show I’d watch if he hadn’t told me he had a guest spot! He so owes me! 😉

Very short writing day today; I have two shows and I have to take a train shortly after 10:30. I want to get more writing done before that, so this is a short post.

Devon

Adaptation: 23,460 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 90
(25.6%)

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:

Friday, April 25,2008

Friday, April 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

So, pretty much everything is happening next week. We’re leading up to the Derby; I’m doing five shows; The PEN World Voices Festival, which was an absolutely life-changing experience last year, is on and I can’t go to anything; and the Tribeca Film Festival is on, and it looks like nothing I really want to see is on at a time I can actually go to see it. So that’s a bit frustrating, but, well, that’s what happens when you’re in a city with a gazillion things happening all the time.

I did some work on the adaptation, and I’m figuring out Yuri’s Tale as I go. I have to sit down and do some free writing on it. The ideas feel like they’re just beyond wherever I am, so I have to catch up to them.

I found some interesting submission calls; there are one or two I’d like to try. A story of which I’m rather fond, but hasn’t yet found a home came back from a Trusted Reader who said, “You tried to mash a 75K novel into 2500 words; good ideas; poor execution.” Of course, the Reader is correct – the guidelines said 2500 words, and the story is beyond that, so there was lots of stuffing, so I have to re-think the whole thing. I just really want to get some shorter pieces out there to have a feeling that I’ve accomplished something. The whole novel – and even novella – process is very long.

Worked on a bit of a short story for one of the submission calls – and this definitely IS a short story. Could be kind of fun, but I have to refresh my memory on some Atlantic City geography.

I’m frustrated with a two of the books I’m reading. One is by an author whose work I adore, the series is one I adore, and this character is one I adore; unfortunately, the partner for this particular character’s story leaves me cold. I don’t think she’s good enough for him. And then I feel guilty, because it’s not MY vision, it’s the author’s, and I really have no right to say anything, but I feel proprietary and protective of this character. However, I have to also trust the writer’s overall vision for the series and see where it goes. But I’m struggling now, with this particular book. I want to be as in love with it as I am with the others in the series, and I’m just not.

The other book is by a new-to-me author, although someone with quite a track record. I like the premise, the research, the pace, the inventiveness, and yet something about it leaves me cold. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Maybe I should switch to some non-fiction for awhile, but I am simply not in the mood for astrobiology right now. I took out Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare and began re-reading that, taking notes because it’s relevant to several upcoming projects. It’s one of the best biographies I’ve ever read, so I’m excited to get back into it.

I finally got my hair cut yesterday. I couldn’t stand it anymore. It’s still a little longer than I’ve kept it for the past few years, but it’s kind of like a windblown pageboy. Since I always look windblown anyway, I might as well get it styled that way.

Busy day – storage, grocery shopping, measurements, writing, finishing the pre-Derby article. Maybe watch some of the video I need to watch to formulate questions for another interview. There’s so much background material for this particular one that it will take over my life if I let it. And I won’t.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Devon

Adaptation: 18,522 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
18 / 90
(20.0%)

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 April 25, 2008 at 7:31 am  Comments (7)  

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Turbulent day yesterday.

More building crap, which I don’t even want to get into.

On top of that, a close friend had a death in the family, which is painful and difficult for her. About five minutes after I found out about that, I discovered that my uncle, a well-known artist in Europe, also died in the past few days. Unfortunately, we were not close, having a rather tempestuous relationship, but he was brilliant and difficult and reminded me a lot of my dad (who died when I was 10). He’s also been sick for a long time, but that never makes it easier, does it?

Had trouble concentrating and found the job boards unbelievably depressing.

Of course, ten minutes before I had to leave to catch the train, the writing started going well! Isn’t that always the way?

Lovely Metro North not only raised the fares (so that 25% of a day’s show salary now goes to train fare), but they changed the schedule, so now I can either get in to the city far too early (cutting my writing time) or I can be late. Typical Metro North – charge more, provide less.

Of course the train was late and it was packed. Not only that, but I spent the whole trip to the theatre crawling over stupid tourists. Why is it that they lose any modicum of common sense the minute they set foot in NYC? Ack!

The show was fine, went well, caught the train home, got home by 11, puttered around for a bit before going to bed.

Overslept, was woken by the construction noise in the hallway. Not the way I prefer to wake up.

I have a lot of writing to do today, which includes working on the pre-Kentucky Derby article. AND, I have errands, and need to swap out another load from storage. Next week could be a busy week, schedule-wise, so I need to front-load as much as I can into this week and not worry.

I have to grab several spiral-bound notebooks and start making notations as to character and worlds – I’m in the midst of several projects where I built the worlds, and I need to keep the details straight. They’re all very different, and I want to make sure they don’t get mixed and murky. Each book’s world needs to be distinct and memorable.

Christine Amsden’s and Karina Fabian’s world-building workshops at last year’s Muse Online conference really set a foundation for the work I’m doing now. I will be grateful to them for a long time to come.

Devon

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 April 23, 2008 at 7:40 am  Comments (7)  

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

First order of business: If you haven’t, go buy/rent/watch the movie A Dog’s Breakfast. RIGHT NOW. Cut out of work early, drop what you’re doing. Watch it. The writing, acting, direction, production values – excellent. I have not laughed that much with pure enjoyment for a long, long time. It’s the type of humor I love, and is just witty and silly and fun and somewhat dark and twisted and lovely and charming all at once. It’s a delightful film in the truest sense of the word.

Going into it in detail gives too much away. GO WATCH IT. NOW.

And yes, although I found the copy I own (and will watch until it falls to pieces) in Philly, I did order another copy, which I gave to the local video store so they could rent it out. In fact, I handed it to the dumbass who gave me a hard time about wanting to BUY a copy and told him to put it into circulation, and yes, I would be back to check on him, and no, he really didn’t want to piss me off any more than he already had.

Because I am just THAT much of a bitch. 😉

Wrote two more chapters on the adaptation. Passed 11K. I figure this draft will run around 90K. Someday, it’ll even have a title. But it works well as a novel, and it makes me think that adapting the thriller from script to novel will be an excellent choice, too. The flow’s there, the structure’s there, but I can open it out and fill in what I wouldn’t insult a potential director by writing numerous stage directions in a script! I’d planned to give myself a change of pace by writing a comic/erotic mystery, but we’ll roll with this first and let everything else fall into place as it does. I’ve got the notes on the comic/erotic mystery, it’s not going anywhere, the characters will just continue to um, enjoy and experiment until I get around to putting it on paper!

Red Wings are going to the next round of the playoffs! Woo-hoo! The Rangers are, too, for the first time in I don’t remember how long. Looks like there’s going to be some good hockey in the next few weeks, and I am pleased.

Even enjoying a great movie couldn’t assuage all the worry about my grandmother, though. I found out more details – she actually fell down an ENTIRE FLIGHT of stairs (she’s in her nineties and has Parkinson’s). Fortunately, she didn’t break anything, but she’s very shaken. She’s back from the hospital, and the therapist is coming a few times a week. We’ll see how that goes for a few days before we figure out when we’re going up to Maine to see her. We’ll go up as soon as she’s strong enough, and then I can see for myself what’s going on and what needs to be done.

Skipped going to storage yesterday because I just didn’t feel like it. Ate warm chocolate pudding with fresh strawberries instead.

Today, I guess I’ll have to pitch a massive fit to get those air conditioners out. I mean, come on, I’ve been calling for over a week and we pay building maintenance because . . .? I may hire Rent-a-Husband to move the air conditioners first and then give them a little extra to kick management’s ass. If I could even roll the air conditioner, I’d roll it through the apartment and send it down the stairs, but I can’t even budge it. And I’m used to lifting in the 40-50 pound range, and I can usually life up to 100 pounds. That gives you an idea of how unwieldy and heavy this retro window refrigerator is.

I’m working two shows this week (same production, two performances), so I’ll have to figure everything else around it. Fortunately, Monday is dark.

Oh, and one of my other Derby picks, War Pass, is out with an injury. So I’ve lost Georgie Boy and War Pass. I’m left with Pyro and Big Brown, and I want to pick a really wacky longshot and also a medium shot. There’s a Coal-something or other who’s a beaut – I’ll read up on the numbers and look at the pedigree and see if he should be one of “mine”. And I have to get that article done this week in order for it to be up in the issue before Derby Day. Then, I’ll do what I always do here, handicap the entire card as “Racing Ink” either Friday night or early Saturday morning and we’ll see how I do!

There’s a variety of writing that needs my attention today, so I better get to it.

Have a great start to a great week. And go watch A Dog’s Breakfast! You’ll be glad you did.

Devon

Adaptation: 11,386 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 90
(12.2%)

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:

Slowly Returning to the World of the Living

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I survived. I feel like hell, battling the second day of a migraine, but I survived.

On Monday morning, I was up at 3 AM. I did a good hour and a half of yoga, fed the cats, and did the last minute stuff to prepare for the window crew. By 6:30, I was totally ready for them and just sitting around. I managed to capture and crate the cats by 7:30 (took the opportunity when I could), and took them to a neighbor’s shortly thereafter.

The felines were NOT amused. Iris screamed in her crate for THREE HOURS without stopping. I had someone sit with the crate on the lap, trying to keep her quiet. No go. That cat is a drama queen. Elsa complained once or twice, but she was pretty calm. Violet was angry. She didn’t scream, but she was determined to find a way out. There was a point where she was upside down in the crate, trying to chew her way through the bars. She managed to work part of the door out of its fastening, but I found out and tied it shut.

The window crew arrived at 8:30. The windows were all out in the blink of an eye. It took 3 guys to get out the air conditioner that had been put in in 1973, and it’s still in the middle of the bedroom, because the building can’t be bothered to send anyone to get it out, and I can’t even slide it anywhere. It’s that heavy. The new windows went in fairly quickly, but this apartment is an anomaly – each window is a different size, but only by between ¼ and ¾ of an inch. Just enough to really screw everyone up. Especially since the team was told that all the windows on this side of the building are the same size, and heaven forbid our management company should set up appropriate measuring appointments. And there was some rotted wood around some of the frames. So they had to build some new somethings or others in order to have something on which to fasten the new window frames. I was the only one who actually cleared back the requested five feet of workspace, so they had the room to work.

In spite of it all, they were completely finished within only two hours. Three weeks of prep work and schlepping for two damn hours. But the crew was terrific – fast, efficient, and really, really nice. The windows let in a lot more light (hey, they’re clean for one thing, and, again, it’s not like management ever cleaned the windows, and we couldn’t clean them from the outside.) These we can.

I spent the afternoon sanding the sills. The window crew hadn’t damaged them; they’d been damaged in the bad weather around the flooding this time last year, because the old windows weren’t securely sealed. So I sanded, primed and did two coats of paint (I still had the Snowy Egret left over from when I painted the place in ’06). We put back a few things, but until these old air conditioners are out of here, we’re at a stopping point. Kind of frustrating.

The cats ran around and screamed a lot. Violet was completely over-stimulated and wouldn’t sleep. She was hissing and fretting all evening. Elsa and Iris settled down as soon as they saw their bowls were back in the kitchen.

Yesterday, I woke up with a migraine. I managed to drag myself out of bed. I worked on the screenplay – up to p. 113, past the re-creation of lost material and on to new material. I also turned around a piece for Confidential Job #2, and worked on the assignment for Confidential Job #1, which is due today, so as soon as I post this, I’m back to working on that.

They turned off the heat on Monday at 9 AM and it wasn’t back on until 6:30 this morning, in spite of the fact that Monday night and last night it was in the 30s here. And, because we were without windows for a couple of hours, the apartment got really cold on Monday. If you want to learn how to spell scumbag, just look up our landlords. Totally illegal and they totally don’t care.

I’ll have a couple of new articles appearing soon, one in a magazine for writers called Vision. I’ll put up the link when it runs.

The next few days will be spent putting together writing samples promised to a few people, drafting a monologue for a friend, working on the screenplay, hustling for work, and, of course, trying to figure out what to bring back from storage and what to leave in. I am NOT bringing it all back. I’ll have to figure out when I can head to Maine to see my grandmother – maybe by midweek next week. I also have to watch a bunch of video as research for some interviews I’m doing. It’s impossible to concentrate with a pounding head. Excedrin Migraine takes off the edge, but that’s all.

I need to get the pre-Derby article done as well. The Derby is a-coming – and my first choice horse is out, due to injury, and my next two choices haven’t done well in the past few weeks. So I have to look over the entire field again and re-shuffle my Derby deck.

And the hockey playoffs are happening, so I have to pay attention.

I’m hoping, in a few days, as I slowly put the apartment back to rights, it will be easier to concentrate. I’m re-arranging stuff, too. Just because I don’t plan to be here much longer doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look good while I’m here.

I bought pansies yesterday – they’re such a cheerful flower, and now that the apartment is so much lighter, they’ll be able to thrive.

I did my taxes on Sunday. I had all my receipts done and collected throughout the year, so it was a case of sitting down with the folders and adding up the numbers. It took about an hour. This is the first time I had to file a Schedule E because of royalties – pain in the butt to fill it out, but a good feeling that I finally have to declare royalties on my taxes!

Back to work. Someday my head will stop pounding and I’ll feel human again.

Devon

Script Frenzy – 113 pages out of 100 pages (113%).

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 April 16, 2008 at 8:26 am  Comments (8)  

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

“Racing Ink”, the results of yesterday’s picks, is towards the end of this post.

Not much on the writing front today; mostly home-and-hearth kerflamma. A few writing bits sprinkled in, but if you’re here to read about writing process – not much was processing today. Sorry.

My apartment looks like a bookstore after an earthquake. I mean it. I even got three carloads of stuff into storage yesterday, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of headway here. Other than putting books into stacks so that when I get my hands on more book boxes, I can pack by project and actually get at them.

The kitchen altar and main altar area packed, the crystals and prayer flags and all that stuff are packed. That makes me feel very exposed. Oh, horrors, I have to count on my own energy and not external symbols, imagine that. I can hear my friend Gayle right now, “Buck up, bunny!” Okay, okay, I’m bucking up. Plus, it’s not going into storage, jut stacked on top of bookcases away from the windows so I can put it all back as soon as the new windows are in.

So, I’m looking for this DVD of a movie called A Dog’s Breakfast I figured I’d have to order it, but hoped maybe it would be at one of the video stores around here, so on my return trips from the forays to storage, I investigated places in Westchester where one can purchase DVDs. Not such a good selection. At one place, the guy was arguing with me that he’d order it for me if I agreed to purchase a membership and rent it. I said, no, I need to BUY it. He wanted to know why I’d buy a DVD. Not that it was any of his business but: A) I want to support someone whose work I like and respect, so dammit, I’m buying the effing DVD (sort of like buying my friends’ books as they come out in hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback), and B) I know I’m going to have to watch it multiple times for research. A return date is not going to work. I reminded this guy, hello, I’m the CUSTOMER, you’re supposed to SERVE me, not ARGUE with me.

Struggled to get some writing done in the evening; kept getting distracted by research. And pleased because this time next week, I am working onsite, out of town, for a few days, and I can’t wait to get away from the stress for even a short time. I’m putting as many safety mechanisms in place before I go as possible. I’m seriously thinking about using the time to go to ground and just write, read, do yoga, do the work that’s paying me to go out of town and onsite, and not deal with human beings any more than absolutely necessary.

I visited a friend, kind of sprawling on the couch for awhile, and he’s giving me a hard time – in fun, but still a hard time – about something, and I finally said, “If I had the energy, I’d get up and kick your ass”, to which he responded, “Why do you think I picked now to bust your chops about this?” And he wonders why I won’t date him! 😉

I felt I made progress in a different situation with a different person today, when, instead of reacting to something that provoked me, I realized, hey, that’s not this person’s problem, it’s MY problem, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal if I don’t let it. Not only that, if I wasn’t under so much house-and-home stress, it’s not something that would normally bother me. So I let it go, and avoided what could have blown into unnecessary drama. Pick the battle, know when to hold the line or give ground, don’t be a doormat, but don’t look for trouble, either. Because there are just times it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut. This was one of them.

I got a bit of work done on the erotic fairy tale – not easy when I, personally, feel about as sexy as wilted lettuce, and I’m at a point of fatigue where it’s hard to throw the switch into the genre part of my writing brain. I’m sure there are many erotic possibilities in wilted lettuce, but right now, I really don’t want to hear about them. Good thing the men in my life are out of town this week – I’m not a fun date!

I had a few moments of panic when I realized the research books I need for the next two Gwen/Justin adventures (The Balthazaar Treasure and Sandoval’s Secret) went to storage, but they’re in the box marked “priority books”, so they’ll come back the day after the windows go in. I kept telling myself, it’s only for a few weeks, and if I need them THAT badly before, I can open the box and bring them back early. It’s not like the storage units in the city, where I can’t actually GET at anything. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t talked about Tracking Medusa lately, that’s because it’s out in the world, and once I have a signed contract, there will be something to say.

Oh, someone asked what the price was for the new windows – our sanity, of course! What we NEED is flood mitigation. What the scumbags are doing is putting in a few cosmetic touches (and handling them in a way to guarantee the most disruption in our lives as possible) – so that they can flip the building. They have no intention of being around long enough to pay up when the wheels of justice roll in our favor (and they will).

I hope I can resume the house hunting soon. Brandy’s right: I am frustrated; I am angry; I’ve been living under siege for three years, and I’m sick of it. What they want is for us to be scared; I won’t give them that. I’m angry, and I’ll use that anger as a weapon. If it was as simple as renting a truck, packing up and taking off, that’s what I’d do. Unfortunately, this time around, it’s more complicated.

Today’s agenda: more packing and hauling stuff to storage; work on the essay and on the erotic fairy tale. Maybe, just maybe, finish the outline for the piece that has to be started April 1.

My grandmother’s worse again, so somewhere in all of this, I have to figure out a time to get to Maine.

Here’s some Racing Ink:
Eva Maria let me down in Race 2—she came in 5th. But that was nowhere near as disappointing as Moon Catcher in the 5th race, who came in last. Made me glad I tossed some money at Baroness Thatcher just because of Johnny V—they came in 2nd, that’s what I wanted, good for us.

Highest Class came in third and Backseat Rhythm came in fourth in the Bonnie Miss S, so that was also a disappointment.

However, I more than made up for all of it in the Florida Derby. In the post parade, I reshuffled my deck. I liked BB Frank, didn’t think he had it in him today – out. I was on the fence with Face the Cat, in spite of Johnny, so – out. I tossed Fierce Wind, much to the dismay of several colleagues. I liked Elysium Fields and wanted to see Majestic Warrior do well, so I waved some show money at them. That didn’t work so well – Elysium Fields came in second to last, which makes me thinks there’s an injury, and Majestic Warrior was a disappointing sixth.

BUT – Big Brown looked great in the paddock, so I tossed money at him. I got worried in the post parade, because I was afraid he used himself up, but wow! With a great break from the gate, he took control of the race, and never let go. I feared he’d wear down, especially since he did the first quarter in 22 seconds and change, but no – this big brown boy won by 4 ½ lengths. Very impressive.

He’s not yet my top pick for the Derby – he tends towards foot problems, and Churchill’s track is less forgiving than Gulfstream’s. (But then, Point Given also had foot problems, and he was a fantastic horse). War Pass, Pyro, and Georgie Boy still top my list. But he’s worth another look. We’ll see how he comes out of this – and he is 3 for 3.

Arkansas Derby is April 12 – it’ll be interesting to see which, if any horses in that have an impact on the Derby.

I caught up pretty well today for someone who hasn’t been paying attention since November! 😉

Devon

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:

Florida Derby — woo-hoo!

I DID fall in love with Big Brown in the post-parade; I did bet on him at the last minute — and WOW — what a awin!

I still have War Pass, Pyro, and Georgie Boy up there as horses to watch for the Derby, but Big Brown’s now in there, too!

Yee-hah!

Kent — great job on that horse!!!

Published in: on March 29, 2008 at 4:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I am a member of the tribe called Fucking Deal. That’s why I was able to sustain a solid career in production for all those years – a problem comes up backstage or on set, I deal. There’s more of a hierarchy on set (which is why I ended up as production manager/line producer on some indies – because I solve problems), whereas backstage, you have to be able to think on your feet or the show grinds to a halt, and that’s no good. It’s much better when the audience has no CLUE as to what just happened and how close they were to having to exchange tickets for another performance. I loathe people who don’t cope because I’m jealous and angry that they just get to throw up their hands and someone else has to clean up the mess – and I usually end up being one of the cleaners. But, the unfortunate truth is that that’s the way I’m wired. Which is why, in spite of the physical and psychological torture we’ve undergone in this three year siege, I’m still dug in and still standing. Someday, all of the material experienced and gathered during this will turn up in the fiction; right now, I’m simply trying to live through it and come out the other side reasonably intact.

Brenda, thanks for the tip on St. Anthony. I hadn’t thought about saint-aid, although probably St. Jude (patron saint of lost causes) might be worth a nod! My favorite, though, is the New Orleanian patron, St. Expedite, the patron saint of needing something to happen fast!

Two carloads of stuff to storage yesterday (had to pack ‘em before I could haul ‘em).

Did another revision on the sci-fi horror western – it’s under 15K now, and it reads well. I’m happy with it.

Cleaned up a treatment for a friend who’s trying to sell a teleplay. If the agent sells the story idea and the person actually gets to write the first pass, I may go on as co-writer, or at least brush up the dialogue, since I know the characters’ cadences pretty well and I’m better at keeping them consistent. We’ll see. If it sells, I’m happy to come in, do some work, collect the check and see what happens. I don’t really care if my name is on it or not, as long as the price is right. If it doesn’t sell, I got to exercise those muscles again and will just move on to the next thing.

(Yes, Imp, I see you from here, making the smoke-ring gesture)! I really am getting that blasé about some of the aspects of the biz. It’s not real until the contract’s signed and the first check clears.

Polished and sent the assignment to Confidential Job #1. Not happy with my work this time around, but, at an assignment every two weeks, I’m not always going to be brilliant. As long as my editor’s happy, I will deal.

Three different types of drilling going on all around me yesterday. Absolutely horrible. 14 trips up and down the stairs hauling boxes was almost a relief, to get away from the noise. But I’m sore. I’m not doing any weight training on top of all the box lifting.

Worked on some research for upcoming interviews. Found a lead on an interview I hadn’t thought of until I came across this piece of information, but if I could land it – it would be one of the most interesting to do, and I think it would be a great one for the readers. It means a lot of research done quickly, but I should be able to pull it off in the next few weeks, and come up with some questions that I hope are as interesting for the interviewee as for the reader.

Did a final polish on the sci-fi horror western – found a few typos, some of which I know I corrected at least three previous times, and they did not hold in the document, which gets on my last nerve. But it’s done, polished until it gleams, has a good cover letter, and it’s out. Oh, yeah, and it has a title: The Annym Roosteyr’s Return. “Annym Roosteyr” is my mangled Manx version of a soul dispatcher, who sends the souls to judgment after death. Eidolinn Sheekagh is my Annym Roosteyr, Riker Cain my detective, and their world is full of Freak Pretties, skin eaters, and crooked politicians. This draft feels right. I could tweak forever, but it’s good enough to send. And it comes in at 14,908 words – just under the limit.

So tired, I was ready to fall over by 10:30. So I did.

Today’s agenda: Work on the erotic fairy tale that’s due Monday, work on the essay due Tuesday, and get two more carloads of stuff into storage.

I’m eager to get back to the thriller, polish the teleplay, and finish Old-Fashioned Detective Work, but the contracted, deadlined work must come first.

I know I’ve gone over 75K for the March 50K word challenge, but I don’t have a complete word count. Oh, well. The fact that I could count combined projects put me over the top (and writing a one hour teleplay, working on the thriller, which I didn’t expect to do, and finishing the sci-fi horror western – yeah, that had something to do with it).

Off to load the car for the first trip to storage. I packed more boxes last night before I went to bed. The sad thing is that I’ve barely made a dent. Sigh.

And I so have to catch up on the prep races for the Kentucky Derby. The race isn’t that far away, I haven’t been paying attention since Breeders’ Cup, and, of course, I’m covering the Triple Crown again. This will be my eighth consecutive year.

Devon

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 29, 2008 at 7:38 am  Comments (1)  

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Very tired. I started yesterday tired because Downstairs Neighbor came home drunk Friday into Saturday and “sang” for three or four hours. So I barely had any sleep, and I never quite caught up. Plus, we were worried about flooding – the brook held, for the most part – some basements got a bit of water, and some yards became more of a duck sanctuary than usual, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.

This morning was a little better, since, for the first time in weeks, it was actually quiet and I got a full night’s sleep.

Finished typing the notes for Earth Bride. I’m ready to start. Also copied and pasted the notes I did in the various workshops and the transcript from my live chat, so I have them.

I typed a rant about the Nano parasites/energy vampires/those who come on the playground and expect everyone to modify the parameters to suit THEM, but . . . they’re not worth the keystrokes. I can choose not to engage, and focus on my work and my N3s.

Did some editing and design work on one e-book; finished the draft and design of the second. I need to proof them and add a table of contents on one of them. Then I should be ready to convert and upload.

Cooked pot roast.

Covered the Breeders’ Cup. The British horse George Washington broke down in the Classic and had to be euthanized on the track. Every year, at least one horse has a major accident at the BC. It’s heart breaking.

Wrote my article. Will give it a final proof and send it off this morning.

Got some work done on Tracking Medusa. Finished chapter twenty one and started chapter twenty two. I don’t see how I can finish it by Thursday, so the first couple of weeks of Nano, I will have to keep up with my word count while finishing the first draft of this. I’m working on a hard deadline with it now, not a soft one, and I can’t risk blowing it. My own fault – if I’d stuck to the plan of writing a chapter every day last week and this week, it would be done. But I didn’t push through the fatigue, and now I’ve put myself into a difficult position.

Off to the city. Two shows today, on the Other Show. It seems like foreign territory, going back into a theatre after spending so much time either writing or in the courtroom. It hasn’t been that long, but it’s been a big psychological shift.

Cheated on the yoga yesterday – as in didn’t do it, because I immediately got dressed and moved the car to higher ground and never got back to it. Am paying the price today. This morning’s session was good, but when you miss a session, it’s like missing sleep – you can never quite make it up.

Devon

Tracking Medusa
– 52,878 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
52 / 90
(57.8%)
Published in: on October 28, 2007 at 6:34 am  Comments (6)