Tues. Aug. 13, 2019: Keep on Keeping On

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter DIRECT (As of Sunday)
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Busy few days.

Got some stuff done at the library Friday morning, then went to the yoga studio. Class was packed (I usually can’t take that session). In fact, there was someone I hadn’t seen in about three years there.

I was a little too relaxed when I got out of yoga class. I still had a lot to do that day, and all I wanted to do was nap!

Friday afternoon was about housework and cooking. The downstairs is quite tidy now.

Saturday, I finished up some more food. We had company in the morning, from Greenwich, and a nice catch-up. I drove them to the ferry — they’re on their way to Nantucket. After years of summer rentals, they actually hope to buy something.

Read in the afternoon and evening, and percolated a bit on some stories that want to be told.

Heard about the Jeffrey Epstein “suicide.” Yeah, right. Just way too convenient, especially for the Narcissistic Sociopath. And Barr in charge of the investigation? What a joke. The whole thing is disgusting.

Finished reading a thriller trilogy. I absolutely loved the first book. I got ahead of the story a bit on the second book. It happened even more in the third book, and I anticipated the ending I hoped wouldn’t wind up the way it did. I was disappointed. I feel the author cheated his trio of protagonists (and his readers) from the ending they earned. While the first book was fantastic, the trilogy as a whole left me depressed and unsatisfied. It was a very male ending, meaning that it was what I expected from a male writer, and disappointed when it happened. It was what all those middle-aged male writers trying to be hip do to punish their characters (especially their female characters) and act like they’re creating great fiction. Would a female writer have made the same choices with that plot? Possibly, but most of the women writers in the genre I admire would have done it differently, I believe, and in a more satisfying way.

Also read a book by an author about whose work I have mixed feelings. I’ve read several of her books, and every one leaves me with mixed feelings. They’re a little too cutesy-wootsy for my taste. Her protagonists rely on being rescued by men too much, instead of saving themselves or the partners working together to survive . She’s a writer, but with such a limited vocabulary that she misuses words like “witch” — if you use “witch” to mean a nasty woman instead of a spell-caster, you’re knocked off my reading list. It’s insulting and careless. It’s bad writing. Also, in this particular book, she had characters who were supposedly involved in theatre. She might have gone to one community theatre production in her life, but she sure as hell didn’t do any research. She knows nothing about how theatre works and nothing about actors or tech people. Her tone in writing about them was condescending — along with not having done her research. I have one more book ordered via Commonwealth Catalog that I can’t cancel. I’ll try a few pages before I send it back. But I am DONE with her.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but Saturday night into Sunday, I had a nightmare about a mass shooting. I’m not going to detail the dream here, but it unnerved me for the rest of the weekend. in my personal journal, I wrote about it in detail, and I intend to use bits of it in a new piece I’m developing. But I would have rather never had the dream in the first place. It was too vivid. Too many sensory details.

Worked on the article for Llewellyn. That will go out in a couple of days. Worked on GRAVE REACH. Worked on ELLA. It’s slowed down, and I have to figure out a few things to make this last third of the book work. Played with some ideas for DEATH OF A BROKEN MAN, which has a very broken (female) protagonist who relates to the dead body she trips over a little too much.

Getting some good work done on GRAVE REACH. I need to get this draft done this week and off to the editor, so we can go into galleys.

Playing with the first chapter of THE BARD’S LAMENT, which has to go into the back of GRAVE REACH.

Worked on the book I’m reviewing. I’m also reading the book for the #ReaderExpansionChallenge.

Need to spend more time on Ello this week.

Working on a couple more article pitches. They’re not quite where I want them in order to go out. But I hope to get them out this week.

I can’t seem to shake this lethargy and exhaustion. All I want to do is sleep, but I don’t feel refreshed when I wake up.

I had terrible allergy problems on Sunday with the ragweed and goldenrod coming into bloom. Constant sneezing, runny eyes. I finally broke down and took a Benedryl, which knocked me out and I slept for 11 hours. Felt a little better on Monday. Even non-drowsy anti-histamines knock me out.

Monday was fine onsite with a client, and I expect today and tomorrow will be challenging.

Monday afternoon’s meditation group was much-needed.

Back to the page.

 

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:

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)  

Monday, April 7, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devon

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

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:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
St. Patrick’s Day
Sunny and mild

Quick post, as I’m running out the door.

Happy Birthday Barbara and Fran!

Hop on over to Mystic Lit to read the first of my three guest blogs on research in writing. They’ll run for three consecutive Mondays. And drop a comment by, so I know you’ve visited!

Weekend was good. Unproductive, but good. Gave myself time off from writing, for the most part. Managed to polish the query letter and I’m finally happy with it.

Worked out like crazy – it felt wonderful, but I’m sore.

Was feeling better about life, the universe, and everything until I came back to the apartment, saw everything that needs to be done, and the battles still to fight and got soul-crushingly depressed.

An extra-long yoga session this morning helped.

The crane accident in NYC is very upsetting. Not only did 4 people die, over a dozen injured, and three are missing, but an entire brownstone was crushed and those people lost everything. For the Mayor of NYC to shrug and say 13 open violation is “usual” for a project of this size is unacceptable. A three-strikes-you’re-out policy must be implemented against these greedy developers. Three strikes and you forfeit the right to develop the property. Period. Let’s face it – none of these people are in it to “better” a neighborhood. They’re in it to make obscene amounts of money off the backs of others. Developers need to start “paying for their sins” because that’s pretty much all they do – hurt people and neighborhoods for personal profit.

Working on-site today instead of from home. Hopefully, I’ll be in a better mood tomorrow.

I’m pretty sure I passed 50K over the weekend for the March Literary Challenge, but I won’t have actual numbers until tomorrow.

Devon

b>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 17, 2008 at 6:48 am  Comments (6)  

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday started out well and ended horribly.

I had a fairly quiet morning; even got some work done. I went to Greenwich to have lunch with a friend. We walked around a bit, window shopping, and I got to use gift card at a book store, picking up a mystery in a series I enjoy and a fantasy from a writer new-to-me. I can’t stand reading any more paranormal/vampire/werewolf right now. There’s just too much out there, and it’s overkill (no pun intended). We had a lovely time, walking in the sunshine and catching up. It was, literally, a breath of fresh air.

Came back to a very upsetting notice from the scumbag landlords which I can’t get into here, but things are getting much, much worse. Plus, they were scraping around my door all afternoon (which they did last week – why don’t these dumb asses actually FINISH anything?). There’s so much dust it’s hard to breathe. The cats and I are choking. So I have to lose most of the day filing more paperwork with the state.

I can’t leave to go house hunting because I have to be here to prevent illegal entry and possibly harm to the cats. I can’t move without being able to house hunt. So, for the moment, I am ROYALLY SCREWED.

Regarding Spitzer’s hooker chick being offered all this cash for interviews: she better be prosecuted. Living in a $5,000/month apartment is not being a victim. Someone who’s brought over via human trafficking and never sees the money from the use of her body is a victim. A chick making two grand an hour is not a victim. If she was really serious about her music AND ANY GOOD AT IT, she’d do what thousands of other struggling musicians in this town do – live in a reasonably (for New York) priced apartment with roommates, work a bunch of legitimate part time jobs, and pay her dues in the industry. She is not a victim. She is a high-level professional sex worker in an area of the industry that is still illegal. No one’s forcing her to live this life. She chose it. So now it’s time for her to pay the consequences, not make an even bigger profit from it. Our culture really needs to stop glorifying prostitution. It’s not a sweet, pretty profession full of good girls gone astray. There are just as many predators among prostitutes as there are victims. It’s about power over/power under and money. And, in this country, it’s illegal. If the $10/trick hooker outside of the convention center gets busted and tossed into jail, so should this girl. The only difference between them is the price. And the fact this one charges more per hour shouldn’t put her above the law.

I’m working out of town all weekend – swinging by to check on the place and feed the cats each day. No internet access, but that’s probably a good thing for a few days. I am toast.

Rough night, too. I woke up around 3:30 this morning, no idea why. Elsa and Violet were asleep on the bed. Suddenly, Iris, in the living room, starts growling and screaming. I don’t know if she thought someone was trying to break in or she had a nightmare of what – she was beside herself with fear. It took me an hour to calm her down, and then another hour to get back to sleep myself. I should have just gotten up and had a few hours of writing before the chaos all began again. And then this morning, a friend of mine calls me and says his dog freaked out at about the same time. So I wonder what was going on. He’s in a different town. The two cats that were with me were fine; the one in another room, freaked. His dog was on a separate floor and freaked. I wonder if there was something going on in the night sky that went wonky.

Didn’t get a lot of work done on the thriller, but I’m happy with what I have. I hope to get a chunk of work done on the sci-fi horror western – I might even have a name by the end of the day. And then, it’s gathering up the clothes, the writing bag, the yoga bag, the food bag, and heading out the door – using all my safety locks behind me.

On a positive note, although I’m not working out every single night, I’m back to my twice weekly weight workouts. Although I drag my feet starting them, once I do them, it feels great. I’m trying to add the core workouts back in slowly, and I’m good about the morning yoga. In fact, when I look back to how I struggled with the sun salutations six months ago and how easily they flowed this morning, I feel like I’m making real progress. The place I’m working this weekend has a good fitness room, so I’ll be able to take advantage of that. And I can finally use my new jump rope!

What can I say? You gotta find the good in all this chaos somewhere. Right?

I hope to break 50K before I leave this afternoon.

Devon

March Writing Challenge: 46,300 words out of 50,000 (92.6%)

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:

Published in: on March 14, 2008 at 8:04 am  Comments (9)  

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008
Waxing Moon
Mercury DIRECT
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and warm
President’s Day

Mercury goes direct tonight, so expect the day to be wonky. Just stay patient and keep a sense of humor.

The weekend was good. I didn’t do a lot of writing as in word count, but I did a lot of outlining on several projects and sorted out directions and plots, etc. Once I prioritize them, I can figure out which to focus the bulk of my attention on, and then I should be able to cough out the first drafts reasonably efficiently.

I read my friend’s novel and loved it, except for one scene, which I will talk to her about. I have very few comments overall, which I will get to her this morning.

I did a lot of yoga. Not as much as I planned to, but a lot.

It was QUIET there and it was nice to be able to hear myself think for a bit.

I did a lot of research for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I need to re-think a lot of the mechanics. The basic plot and character arcs still work, but how and why they get where they get – the logistical details – need to be amended. I’m also not sure if I want to keep it in the Caribbean (the release of FOOL’S GOLD makes me want to set it elsewhere, even though the two pieces aren’t remotely similar, or even in the same genre). I’m worried that setting it off Cape Cod makes it too similar to my research materials, but at least I could get there and look around. Plus, I’ve been fascinated by shipwrecks off Cape Cod since I started going there when I was a little girl. I won’t be able to fly to the Bahamas any time soon. Or maybe move it farther up the coast, near Nova Scotia? Any of those three shipping routes make it possible – I just have to figure out which is the best for the story. Since I don’t need any of my characters wafting around in bikinis to sell movie tickets, but will actually have them in the right gear for the job, it gives me the freedom to set it where I wish. I also have to expand the time frame – I’m having them try to do too much in a single dive season. Of course, if I have it in warmer waters, such as the Caribbean, the dive season is longer. So there’s lots to consider. Jim – watch out! I’ll be emailing you some questions in the next few weeks!

The research materials also inspired me for at least two other stories (that have nothing to do with Gwen and Justin).

I’ve tracked down all the Anita Blake books that I need for the essay, and I should have everything within the next two weeks. I’m going to read them and take notes as they come in, as close to in order as possible. If my notes are clear enough, I should be able to understand the character arcs, and maybe I’ll write sections of the essay every few books, and then tweak as I go. This one will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to rising to it.

I’m giving myself the day off from “work”, since it’s President’s Day. Plus, I have acupuncture (yay). If I feel like writing, I will. Otherwise, I’ll read or do whatever I wish. It’s a holiday, after all, and part of freelancing is to be able to call one’s holidays one’s own.

Oh, yeah, and I’m ordering ink again. Now there’s a surprise. Lori, my good printer that needs fixing is a Canon MP730 all-in-one. When it works, it does everything except cut my meat for me, and I can get nearly 700 pages per tiny ink tank. The “Manuscript Printer” that I bought JUST to print manuscripts that is supposed to be this great thing is an HP Deskjet D1455. The quality’s not as good as the Canon and it’s an ink hog. I get 100-150 pages out of each tank – and the tanks are larger than the Canon’s. I wish Canon still made Baby Bubbles – you could run over it with a tractor and it would still print perfectly. I’m very glad I didn’t buy an HP all-in-one to replace the Canon. I’m getting my Canon fixed! The fact that, after six weeks, HP’s Customer Non-Service couldn’t be bothered to answer my questions doesn’t sit well with me, either. Canon answers in 48 hours. I don’t always LIKE the answer, but at least I get one!

Devon

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 9:50 am  Comments (5)  

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Whew! Busy day yesterday. I polished and sent off three guest blog posts; did a fact sheet for a client; did some internet research; negotiated with a few publications; trolled the job sites and actually found a few potential clients; worked on the synopsis and outline; started reading my friend’s novel; enjoyed a Valentine’s afternoon distraction; went in to work a show on a track I’ve never run or followed.

I am on my last ink tank. Again! I’ve already spent more on ink for the new printer than it would have cost to fix the old one.

My shoulder hurt like hell and was a major problem. Not quite sure why.

Saw a call for submissions, for an anthology for charity. Every once in awhile, I do one of these, especially if it’s a cause in which I believe. I liked this one’s purpose. However, a condition of SUBMISSION (not acceptance, submission) was to promote the anthology and buy a copy. Um, no. When I’m willing to do an in-kind donation that’s worth several hundred dollars, you don’t expect me to do your marketing and be one of your customers, charity or not. Next!

The show was fine. I dressed the men and one of the principal men; they’re all very sweet. I enjoy them both as actors and people, which is always fun. The notes were clear, a friend who’s done the track was there to answer questions, so it was all good.

Came home, had a snack, checked my email, and was exhausted, so I went to bed around 1 AM.

I have to go to the bank this morning and then finish packing my writing bag. I’m working out of town this weekend – what’s great is that there’s no cell service, no internet access, nothing – in and around what I need to do for the job, I have nearly three days to write, read, do yoga, and meditate.

I plan to finish Old-Fashioned Detective Work, get a big chunk of work done on the sci-fi horror novella, work on the next ebook, sort out some other projects, and finish reading my friend’s novel (which I love). Before I go, I have to write the fix for the logic lapse in Medusa and get that out. And I’d like to get out a couple of other pitches and submissions.

Not much to say — part of me’s already left!

“Talk” when I get back – have a good holiday weekend, everyone!

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 February 15, 2008 at 9:14 am  Comments (8)  

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

The errands turned out to be Fool’s Errands – I’m trying to track down some material for a project, but no luck yet. I haven’t exhausted all my resources yet, so it’s no big deal, and it was good to be out and around.

I had a relaxing afternoon at my friend’s place in CT, reading, doing laundry, etc.

Returned home to more building crap. This is halfway civilized building crap, which will take place on Monday – when Mercury turns retrograde, with Mars and Saturn still retrograde – just shoot me now, okay? ‘Cause if the gun’s still loaded by Monday, I might just use it on someone else. Metaphorically speaking.

The whole thing flattened me with a migraine of the jabbing-the-icepick-through-my-eye variety.

Forgot to mention yesterday that I watched both episodes of Chuck the other and thought, for the most part, they were clever. They made me laugh a bunch of times, and that’s always a good thing.

I have to finish the material for Confidential Job #1 today – I forgot that it’s due on Monday. I wrote about 2K this morning on a fun little project that’s just for me, to blow off some steam, and now I’m ready to get back to Tracking Medusa. I’ve come up with a possible log line — in the shower, where some of my best material emerges. Either there or in Corpse Position after yoga. Because if I try to turn my brain into a void, it fills with stories.

The comment from the guy who says I watch too much TV made me laugh. I spent over twenty years on an eight show/week schedule and maybe got to watch 1-2 hours of television a week. So now, I actually watched about fifteen or twenty hours in the past month — and for once, I’m just flipping around channels instead of trying to catch up frantically on my own or my colleagues’ work — and some stranger’s telling me I watch too much TV! Too funny. (Eye roll).

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 January 26, 2008 at 10:27 am  Comments (3)  

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
VERY cold

Yesterday turned out quite differently than expected. For one, I was under the weather. It felt sort of like an almost-stomach bug but not quite. I wonder if our water’s contaminated again, the way it was after the floods last spring. I’m going to look for a locally-based lab and find out how much it would cost to test some samples. I’m better today, but I’m double-boiling all the water I use, even to brush my teeth.

Of course the CATS get purified water, so they’re fine. I’ve been careless and used tap water for far too much lately.

It’s also a shame, because I had an excellent weight training session on Friday night, and finally felt like I was getting back on track. And yesterday, I didn’t feel well enough to do more than an abbreviated core workout, because my core wasn’t having it.

I need a jump rope, and I’m kind of horrified at how difficult it is to track down a jump rope in this county. Why can’t I just walk into a store and get one? If it’s a piece of equipment that costs 5 grand, you can get it at the corner store, but if it’s a jump rope, you have to drive 50 miles. No common sense around here at all.

I decided that I’m going to do something on my OWN for Yoga Day USA – just because none of the studios around here are participating, it doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate, right? Haven’t figured out what, yet. Maybe try a different type of yoga via live stream video or something.

Went to my friend’s place and spent the day (in between loads of laundry, because they still haven’t replaced the machines in the building since the floods) working on outlines. I feel a little stuck on Balthazaar, and, while part of it is about research, part of it is that it’s not outlined. I outlined Medusa, and, even when I deviated, I had a jumping off point. So I sat down to do some work on the Balthazaar outline. I found out where I went off-track all the way in Chapter One, for crying out loud – this book starts too soft. The Prologue works really well, because it leaves you with a feeling of dread as in, “What has Justin messed up here?” but then it gets into the story too quietly. I need to jump into the middle of a melee with them, and then go back to them trying to figure out their lives and juggling careers and the illness in Justin’s family and all of those distractions before they head for the Carribbean and the treasure.

I also realized I have to outline the third book before I can figure out the second book, even though each of the three books stands alone. That sounds like it’s a conflict, but it’s not. The characters grow from book to book, but the plots stand alone. There are references to the other books, but done (I hope) in such a way that anyone can pick up any book and not feel like they’ve missed anything, while those who stuck with it from the beginning won’t feel like there’s too much explanation.

I’ve got a good chunk of the third book outlined, and, my goodness, Justin is in a really dark place for a good portion of it. And I’m not sure he’s going to make it out. I knew there was going to be conflict, especially for him, beginning midway through book 2 and the consequences (but not the plot) running into book 3, but I was always optimistic about the outcome. Now, I’m not so sure. The first portion of the book, Gwen and Justin’s stories are running on separate tracks, and then, it should be a third of the way through the book, but it’s eight pages into the outline, they’re in the same space at the same time.

The evolution of Karl really surprised me. Originally, I visualized him as the villain/antagonist. As I wrote Medusa, it turned out he was an antagonist, but with a long history with Gwen, and the more I wrote, the more I realized he wasn’t a villain at all, just that there were issues (to say the least) that he and Gwen couldn’t get past, which kept them on opposite sides of a job very often. Karl’s journey in the second book is quite scary and sad, but it definitely makes Gwen re-think a lot of things, and drives Justin up the wall. And in the third book, at least early on, he’s the one person you don’t want to smack upside the head.

I spent about ten hours on the outline, but don’t have a whole lot of tangible pages to show for it. I needed the thinking time. And, all of a sudden, it was midnight, and I hadn’t finished the outline for Balthazaar or for the Sci-Fi Horror Western!

I do have a good idea how I need to restructure the beginning of Balthazaar, though. The Prologue is still Justin leaving for Rome on his own, but Chapter One becomes a very interesting, action-filled flashback in Paris.

I’ve also decided that, if some disorganized client expects me to give up my weekend to do business writing simply because I am a freelancer, I’m charging time and a half. You want me to give up my weekends (which, I’ve decided, I want to be fiction-centric)? It’s gonna cost you big time.

I’m also getting really sick of the bitching and moaning of freelancers who pay sites for the “opportunity” to bid on piddly-ass jobs and then complain. If you’re going to agree to the ridiculous terms these sites set up, what do you expect? Professionalism? We are professionals. People pay US to work, not the other way around. The only way I’d pay either a fee or a percentage to a site is if an individual from the site/company brokered a deal the way an agent would, and the job paid at least 10 Grand. That’s right, $10,000. Anything less than that, I can get my own damn work without paying a “bidding site”. My hourly is more than most of those sites offer per job.

In fact, I’ve stopped visiting some of the job listing sites, even the free ones, because of the abundance of jobs that pay crap and the dearth of jobs that pay at a professional level. I do better creating my own job niches for companies that interest me. Yes, it takes more work upfront, but the payoff – in every sense of the word – is better.

It reminds me, when I read the police logs in the paper of the dumbasses who leave their purses, briefcases, computers, cell phones, etc. in open view in their cars (often unlocked) and then are surprised when they’re stolen. We live in an era of predators. Since the corporate predators don’t have to take responsibility or answer to anyone, thanks to the Pretender in the White House, the street predators are getting bolder, too. If you make it easy for someone to steal from you, they’ll do it. Is it wrong? Of course it is. But pretending it isn’t reality is simply going to turn you into a victim. There are going to be times when you’re going to get nailed no matter how careful you are; there are times you’re going to be tired or distracted or have a lapse of judgment. But let those be the exceptions; don’t make it easy, like the idiot in the white BMW convertible down the street who jumps out of his car every morning LEAVING THE ENGINE RUNNING while he goes into the store to pick up his bagel and coffee. Not only is he causing needless air pollution, he’s inviting the car to be stolen. Even I’ve been tempted to give it a spin around the block. I haven’t – not because of the possible consequences, but because, in spite of my annoyance at the guy’s arrogance and ego, it would just be mean in a way that’s unacceptable to me. But someday, someone’s going to jump in and take it – farther than around the block.

Off to work on Wyatt, read a manuscript, do some outlining on the Gwen/Justin books, and also get back to work on the cheat sheet for Earth Bride. I need to get that draft done, and I can’t move any farther forward until I do the cheat sheet.

I read an article that stated most American have sex an average of 57 minutes per week, which is under the European average. Per WEEK? Are they KIDDING? If that’s all the sex I had PER WEEK, I’d be even crankier than I am now!

It’s COLD today. I’m making pillow and quilt nests for the cats in their favorite spots and nestling hot water bottles in them.

Devon

Published in: on January 20, 2008 at 8:48 am  Comments (3)  

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

May I just say I am enormously impressed with Staples Customer Service? In spite of how badly the actual store is run up the street from me? Not only did they answer an email question in less than 24 hours, the ink, etc. order I put in around noon on Thursday was delivered just before noon on Friday. And everything that was supposed to be in the box was in the box, the first time. Wow.

I tried to sign up for Yoga Day USA on January 26th – only there aren’t any events in my area. It’s so typical of Westchester County – if they can’t make a buck, they won’t participate. And there’s not one event listed in the ENTIRE state of Connecticut! And nothing in Manhattan, either! I’ll be very glad to leave this area.

I got the edits done for chapters 3, 4, and 5 of Tracking Medusa. I worked on Chapters 6-8, but didn’t get a chance to enter them. I rushed through some things in those chapters, like the description of Berwick-on-Tweed and some of the details of Lindisfarne Abbey, so I have to go back and fill them in now. That will take some time, so I expect to have a pretty slow pace on those chapters. I rushed through a bunch of stuff in the first draft to fix later. Well, now it’s “later” and there’s no getting around it.

I got very little done on Balthazaar this morning, not enough to add to the word count. I have to stop and do some research on underwater archaeology. I got out some emails to appropriate sources this morning. I also found out that the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Management has a Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, so I’m going to get on their mailing list and ask them questions. I may also approach the guy who owns the Salvage Company who was responsible for finding/excavation of a site and who wrote a book about it that I read in ARC a few years back. . All of that takes time, and I can’t go much farther without the information. Good thing I’m moving to Massachusetts, since so many of their resources are there!

Fantastic morning’s work on Wyatt. Got a start on the Sci-Fi Horror Novella, but I think I have to do some outlining before I can go much further. In the first five pages, I was already creating plot inconsistencies, and I don’t have time for them. The deadline’s too close.

Off to a friend’s place, ironically in CT, to play for the day. Looking forward to it. I’m going to bring a manuscript I have to read, and the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, but it will be read in between doing other types of fun stuff.

Devon

Wyatt – 6,544 words out of est. 20,000 (32.7%)

Sci-Fi Horror Western – 1,186 words out of 15,000 (7.9%)

Tracking Medusa revision – 17,480 words out of 90,000 (19.4%)

Published in: on January 19, 2008 at 10:59 am  Comments (1)  

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrogrde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and mild
Philadelphia

I’m finally in Philly, after the trip from hell on the demon bus. There were a few times when I was doubtful I’d ever make it here in one piece.

First, the 8:30 bus out of NY blew its starter. I mean, I knew that was the problem, I’ve had that happen in a car, but they kept trying to make it catch and flooded the motor. It was raining by then, but they let me stay on the dark, cold bus until the 9:30 bus showed up. It was still better than standing in the street in the rain.

The 9:30 bus shows up, there are actually about a half a dozen people for it (I was the only passenger for the 8:30). We get on it. And the door won’t shut. I told them to tie it shut and just GO!

They finally jammed the door shut — and I made sure I was sitting at an emergency exit window, just in case. Then, by Newark airport, the door comes open, and the driver stops IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY to futz with it. We have 18 wheelers thundering by on both sides, the bus is rocking like it’s going to tip over at any minute — not fun. He did that one more time, about half-way through Jersey. The ventilation system stopped working, so by the time we hit Philly, it was about 90 degrees in the bus and we were getting groggy — probably from carbon monoxide. By the time we started driving through the city, the dashboard was flashing and the buzzers were going — I was happy to get off the bus!

Then there was the Danish college student trying to pick up the women on the bus. I wasn’t having him, but he had better luck with a Twinkie a few rows back who giggled a lot and said, “I can’t understand your accent; are you Canadian?” (He spoke perfect English), and who thought Greece was part of Asia.

I have to kill off a character based on her in a story because she was so damned annoying.

After this round trip (because they do not give refunds for ANY reason), I’m sticking to Greyhound!

I walked to the place I’m staying, saw my friends off, got some unpacking done. Then, I walked back to Trader Joe’s, got in some food, and settled in for an afternoon’s work. I’d done some of the research I needed to finish on the bus before the oxygen ran out, so I tried to do some more. Couldn’t get it done. I was too tired, after getting up at 5 AM yesterday and the rigors of the trip. I got some of it done, and cross-checked some information and wrote down some questions, but I’m not anywhere near where I need to be to get started this morning.

I managed to write notes on few ideas last night, but I didn’t get too much creative work done because that part of my brain was dazed. And I have a horrible headache this morning, so I’m pretty sure it’s due to carbon monoxide on the bus. I’m going to walk to everything today instead of take public transportation so I get the air back in my system.

Work last night was fine; I slept well; had a cherry danish from my favorite pastry place down the street. I’m pulling myself together to get going, although all I feel like doing is sleeping. But I need to get moving and get these toxins out. The yoga helped this morning; walking will help, and I’ll work out tonight. Maybe eat something with spinach in it for lunch, to get the balance back.

I’m having a dilemma about what project to work on next: I’m editing TRACKING MEDUSA, I’m going to finish the ever-expanding EARTH BRIDE as soon as I get the cheat sheet done (because I can’t write the wedding sequence without the cheat sheet — too much of what happens there affects the next section of the book). I’ve had an invitaiton from an editor to sumbit something that would be a pretty sure sell. I haven’t written in that genre for a long time; I’m not sure if I want to; but the lure of the credit and the money is surely strong. I’d dust off a pseudonym that hasn’t been out and about in years. I’ve got a lot of other things to do, and I want to keep it all balanced, but the market for this type of work has exploded in the past few years. It’s just not my favorite thing to write. Really, what I want is a contract before I commit, so that’s the direction in which I should negotiate. How badly do they want me?

And that will have to wait until I get back to NY.

In the meantime, I’ve got to pack up and stop on the way to buy pencils.

Oh — a group here in Philly dubbed “The History Boys” are trying to prevent a casino from building over a Revolutionary Fort before they can excavate it. Great, I’m all for it, and we need the British side of the American Revolution story as much as the legends with which we all grew up, but . . .where are the women? Are there any “History Girls” involved in this? And if not, why?

I can ask them in person, because we’ll be in the same facility this week.

Hop on to Biblio Paradise for the interview with Hazel Statham. I must have entered it weirdly, because it posted early, but I’m glad it’s up!

Devon

Published in: on January 10, 2008 at 9:37 am  Comments (5)