Fri. Feb. 2,2018: Getting Back on Track Writing (I hope)

Friday, February 2, 2018
Waning Moon
Snowy and cold
Imbolc

Posting late again today. This morning’s snow slowed me down.

Yesterday, I did some work on contest entries, not enough writing, figuring out stuff for the website, and had a conversation with a potential client.

I actually did most of my Imbolc celebration yesterday, although I’m doing some today. That including planting snapdragons. I’m planting sweet peas today. Inside, of course.

Today will be mostly caught up with admin and website building, along with working on both SPIRIT REPOSITORY and MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I’m writing my way into the latter a bit, and then focusing on my editor’s notes and how to best apply them. The deadline pressure means I have to compress my process instead of letting it be entirely organic. But that’s the way it goes.

Read Deanna Rayburn’s third Veronica Speedwell mystery, A TREACHEROUS CURSE, and enjoyed it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Published in: on February 2, 2018 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Feb. 1, 2018: New Month, Fresh Start, Full Moon

Thursday, February 01, 2018
Last Day of Full Moon
Sunny and cold

I’ve got the February To Do List up over on the GDR site.

I signed with A2 Webhosting yesterday, and I’m making the final email arrangements to make sure I can sign into everything I need to sign in. I have a few questions for A2, and then I start rebuilding the Devon Ellington Work site.

When that moves hosts, the site and the email addresses associated with it will go dark for the days it takes to move.

So will the sites for The Coventina Circle Mysteries, the Nautical Namaste Mysteries, The Gwen Finnegan Mysteries, and the Jain Lazarus Adventures.

Initially, there will be a “Series Page” on the main Devon Ellington site that will list the different series. I may leave it there, even when I rebuild the subdomains.

Hopefully, I will have a better experience with A2 than I had with Green Geeks. And 1and1.com continues to be a nightmare. I have to cough up another quarter’s cash to them, but the sooner I am gone, the happier I will be.

We had some running around this morning, including picking up some lovely African violets and primroses for tonight’s ritual. There’s a storm expected tonight; fingers crossed it won’t keep me from doing what I need to do tomorrow.

I’m behind where I want to be on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so I have to dig in this weekend. I also have to start MYTH AND INTERPRETATION. My editor agreed that I should write my way in about four chapters or so, and then we’re going to revisit the outline and streamline the plot a bit. I have some research to do on the types of myths I want to interpret in the story.

Plus, I’m doing additional research for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. PLUS, I’m playing with the section where I’m stuck on the FIX-IT GIRL revision.

The day after I turn in SPIRIT REPOSITORY to my editor, mid-month this month, I start the third book in the series, RELICS & REQUIEM, which focuses on Amanda and Phineas. I’ve got it outlined, and notes on many of their scenes. I’m looking forward to it.

For some reason, the re-release of PLAYING THE ANGLES and TRACKING MEDUSA on the Amazon platform has been delayed. I’m trying to get that sorted, too.

Never a dull moment.

But I could use some rest!

 

Published in: on February 1, 2018 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. Jan. 31, 2018: All Kinds of Super Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse Transitions

Wednesday,January 31, 2018
Full Blue Super Moon with Lunar Eclipse
Snowy and cold

Sorry this is late; it’s hard for me to get things scheduled to post early on Tuesdays and sometimes Wednesdays.

The last few days have been rough. We heard about a death in the extended family; now there’s conflict about the funeral arrangements. It’s destructive to the memory of a nice, good-humored woman and causes unnecessary pain. It’s nearly a week; we still have no answers as to cause of death or when there will be a funeral.

Client work is going well, although busy.

I’ve made a decision on a new webhost. Let’s see if this works any better than the last one. I will still be stuck with my current host for a few more weeks, which means another payment; but hopefully, once everything is built and moved, the stress of the months involved in getting things up and running will be worth it.

The Devon Ellington Work site will be the first to move. That means the site, and all the sites attached to it representing the various series, will go dark while they are rebuilt. I will post updates here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. I will most likely put a “Series” page up on the DE Work site as a “holding” page until the series sites are back up and running.

I’d hoped to hire a consultant to help me, but things didn’t work out.

I’m working steadily on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY to meet my mid-February deadline for this draft. I’m behind where I want to be, but there are only about 28K left, which I think (I hope) is do-able, provided I don’t keep falling behind on the daily word count. I was 300 words short yesterday; let’s hope I can make it up later in the week. Client-heavy days often mean I can’t do more than 1500 or so words on the fiction.

My editor is a little concerned about a few things in the MYTH & INTERPRETATION outline I submitted. She’s worried it’s grown too much for a “between-the-books” novella, and it’s too far into urban fantasy rather than paranormal mystery. So I’m going to take another look at it this week and see how I can adjust it. I need to finalize some myths.

I’m delving back into early New Amsterdam history again for SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which is fun, although time-consuming. But there are some details I need to figure out in order to pull the threads together.

Snow today, but we just keep plugging along. Wasn’t enough for an official snow day yesterday and I’m just trying to keep up.

Full Super Blue Moon, complete with an eclipse. Should be intense and wonderful.

The illiterates in the government couldn’t even spell “Union” right on the State of the Union tickets. Could we please get the smart people back in charge?

Onward.

Published in: on January 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mon. Jan. 29, 2018: #Upbeat Authors — Gratitude

I changed the post I had planned for today, due to the unexpected death in my extended family.

It only takes a moment to be grateful.

It only takes a moment to tell someone that you are grateful to have them in your life.

That’s one reason holiday cards are so important to me — when I sit down to write a card, my actions prove that I believe the recipient is worth the time. Worth the time it takes to choose a card, to write a card, to mail a card.

It’s so important to let people know they matter to you. Let them know you are grateful they are in your life.

Published in: on January 29, 2018 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Jan. 26, 2018: When You Least Expect It

Friday, January 26, 2018
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Lots going on, too much. Dealing with the stress of web host moves; dealing with staying on top of client work and getting back on track with THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Then, last night, we get a call from Maine. A member of our extended family died unexpectedly and with no explanation.

We’d talked to her on Monday, and she was cheerful and full of plans.

Now, she’s dead.

Just goes to show that you never know.

Waiting for details on the cause of death and the funeral.

Have a loving weekend, people. Because you never know.

Published in: on January 26, 2018 at 11:40 am  Comments (2)  

Thurs. Jan. 25, 2018: The Attempt to Keep on Track

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Waxing Moon
Sunny and Cold
Virginia Woolf’s Birthday
Burns Night

I admit, I’m a bit tired and dispirited. By several things. But all I can do is reassess and move on. That’s the way it goes.

I’m behind where I want to be on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, although I feel good about the work that’s actually getting done. However, in order to meet my editor’s deadline, I have to write a minimum of 1900 words/day for the next 19 days. Doesn’t give me much wiggle room.

Got the recycling and some grocery shopping done this morning. I have a morning meeting off-Cape tomorrow, and will be late blogging. I have some more client work to do in preparation for Monday’s meeting.

Reading THE EX by Alafair Burke, and enjoying it very much.

I don’t have much of interest to say right now; I’m either exhausted and discouraged, or I’m digging deeper to get the writing done. Neither is particularly interesting for an audience.

I may go out and do some yard work later on, too. There’s stuff that needs to be done before spring.

I’m amazed by how much RELICS & REQUIEM is forming in my head as I’m writing SPIRIT REPOSITORY. But I’m jotting notes and forming arcs, and that will be ready to dive into as soon as REPOSITORY goes off.

Along with the fact that I need to get going on MYTH AND INTERPRETATION and on DAVY JONES DHARMA.

Never dull, that’s for sure, and that’s a good thing.

I’ll try to get over myself and cheer up by tomorrow!

Published in: on January 25, 2018 at 11:36 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 25, 2018: The Attempt to Keep on Track  
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Wed. Jan. 24, 2018: Web Host Hell

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and colder

Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday or earlier today.

I’ve been in Web Host Hell.

I wrote about it, 5K worth, that I will either turn into an article or a series of posts here, once everything is settled.

The short version is that Green Geeks reneged on the promises made in writing that were a condition of signing with them. After spending TWENTY SIX HOURS of hell with them over the weekend, getting contradictory information and information that didn’t work, I stopped the domain transfer of the Fearless Ink site (which had failed the first time anyway) and cancelled my account with them. The kicker was getting an email from tech support stating it “wasn’t their job” to give me tech support. WTF??? When I vented on social media, their social media person told me to DM them, but of course, their account is not set up to receive DMs. Social media massage so they look like they’re providing the service they refused to provide. I was with them for twelve days, well within the 30-day-money-back-guarantee period. But they’re not giving me a full refund. They’re keeping part of it as a “set-up” fee. Supposedly, the balance will be returned by tomorrow or Friday. I have my doubts. How much do you want to bet I’ll have to contact the Attorney General’s office to get my money back?

Going with them would have been going from an already bad situation to a worse one, and not being able to get out. I dug deeper and found bad reviews that hadn’t turned up in my initial research. More bad than good, especially when it came to tech support or to moving off them when they proved untrustworthy.

In a bout of Stockholm Syndrome, I asked my current host about switching to their WP platform. I figured hey, stay with them another quarter, build on WP, do more research, and THEN move. At first, hey, sure, here are the directions and so forth and so on. Then, I get another email stating that the Microsoft Platform to which they moved me from the Linux platform WITHOUT MY PERMISSION doesn’t support Word Press, and I have to move back to the Linux Platform (with its fee), and will lose ALL SEVEN SITES AT ONCE. I can’t build and move, build and move. Everything goes dark. I can’t build fast enough to make the downtime make sense. I don’t have the skills. On top of that, they started trying to make unauthorized payment pulls from my account, even though my invoice for the next quarter isn’t due for another two weeks.

I’ll have to cough up another quarter’s fees, but I can’t stay with them long term.

Before I cancelled with GreenGeeks, I backed up the new material I’d created for the Fearless Ink site. Although I can’t post any images or downloadable content, at least I updated the services and moved a few things around. I can’t add the new logo.

I’ve been in talks with a couple of other hosts. Host Gator has come recommended, but they don’t respond to my requests for information, so how can I trust them? Dream Host seems decent enough, but, if I interpret the answers to my questions, they won’t help me set up the WP for multiple domains. They have the capacity to run them, but won’t tell me how to set it up. A2 has been helpful in our discussions, and has asked thoughtful questions in return. So I don’t know what to do.

I contacted a colleague who is tech savvy and builds sites to see if I can hire her for a consult.

Every day I stay on my current host, I lose the ability to market my books, which means losing readers and losing income. At the same time, if I make a decision out of panic, I’ll end up worse off than I am now.

In the meantime, I’ve tried to stay on track with THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, whose deadline is coming up fast. I’ve kept up with client work. I’ve kept up with my reviewing duties. I’m reading contest entries. I’ve been sick as can be, and having trouble getting well, because of the stress with the Web Host situation. I’ve been purging boxes and unnecessary stuff from the basement — slowly, but it’s happening.

I haven’t sent out many LOIs this month, which is bad. That’s going to bite me in the butt down the line. There are other opportunities I wanted to take advantage of that I’m also missing.

All because Web Hosts lie.

Published in: on January 24, 2018 at 3:35 pm  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 24, 2018: Web Host Hell  
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Mon. Jan. 22, 2018: Revisiting a Favorite Childhood Book #UpbeatAuthors

Secret in the Old Attic

 

 Oh, boy, just one? Not sure that’s possible!

I knew my alphabet by the time I was eighteen months old. We lived in Chicago at that time, and my mother tells me stories about how I would sit on the bus and read out letters on the signs, much to the delight of fellow passengers.

I remember learning to read when I was little (my mom says I was just over two years old). The first book I could read all by myself was Dr. Seuss’s GREEN EGGS AND HAM, which is still a favorite.

I read constantly. All the childhood classics, all of WINNIE THE POOH, all of Frances Hodgson Burnett.

I read The Childhood of Famous Americans Series — all the girls. I saved money and bought biographies of Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe — which I still own. They inspired me to become a writer.

But the biggest reading experience that began in childhood and continues is Nancy Drew. I started buying/reading them in the 1970s. The hardcovers with the yellow spines. My first one — and still my favorite — was The Secret in the Old Attic.

To this day, I love books with attics and secret passages.

My connection to the Nancy Drew Books (in spite of their flaws) led me to read Beverly Gray, Judy Bolton, Vicki Barr, Sue Barton, Ruth Fielding, and more. I started collecting early twentieth century juvenile mysteries.

Read them now, and yes, they are flawed. Their portrayal of non-whites is offensive. The way they expect women to be “good girls” is offensive.

Yet, in some respects, the earliest Nancy Drew books (the ones written by Mildred Wirt Benson), allow the young woman more freedom. She won by breaking rules and being independent. The books were softened by Harriet Adams in the 1960s. If you read Midred’s Penny Parker books, under her own name, well, Penny was quite the little brat! And funny, too.

One of my favorite non-fiction books continues to be Girl Sleuth, by Melanie Rehak, about the women who created Nancy Drew.

My favorites were the Beverly Gray books – in spite of ethnic and racial problems. Beverly went through school and became an investigative journalist, while traveling the world with a group of friends that included an actress, and having adventures. One of the books actually dealt with the problems between Japan and China in the late 1930s and early 1940s – when I first read the book, borrowed from a friend in my teens – I didn’t even know the conflict existed. All we learned in Social Studies was Pearl Harbor.

Also, with the racial and national insults inherent in the books – you get a snapshot of society in the moment. The bad, not just the airbrushed. It’s important to remember how badly those considered “other” were treated – including Irish, Catholics, Italians, African-Americans, Jews, Native Americans, Asians, Mexicans — the list goes on and on.

When you’re taught to question what you read, you can read books like this, and other books of their time and see them in context. Not make excuses for them, but get an idea of how things were, how mainstream society wanted them to be, and what progress we’ve made and lost since.

One of my current frustrations with some of the current cozy mystery series is that they are getting more intolerant, dumbing down the protagonists, continue to make environmental concerns and inclusiveness considered silly – and demand that the protagonist conform to be accepted. In the 90s, most of my favorite cozies had the protagonist as a misfit who, because of her resourcefulness, intelligence, and care for others, was accepted into the community AS SHE WAS. Now, more and more, the protagonists are forced to conform to the small towns to which they flee from big cities.

A snapshot of our current society and its issues.

I still collect the mysteries. I still love reading them, even when there are huge elements with which I disagree. But, reading them as I grew up, they helped me feel less alone as I refused to conform.

Published in: on January 22, 2018 at 1:39 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 22, 2018: Revisiting a Favorite Childhood Book #UpbeatAuthors  
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Fri. Jan. 19, 2018: Frustration and Illness

Friday, January 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was long and frustrating. I spent most of the morning working on the websites, and upset because the person who was working with me kept telling me I couldn’t do what I need to do — even though I was specific in asking if that was possible before I ever signed with this host and was told that it was. I’m hoping we can sort it all out today.

After four hours, I was so sick and so disgusted that I stopped. But the Fearless Ink site is in decent enough shape so that I can take care of a few things on my old host this morning, and then start the transfer. Even once it goes live, I’ll have to go in and customize the perma-links and then change some other linking. But it looks good, although it’s simple and clean, and it does what I need it to do. I just wish the links could be a different color!

Fortunately, I had rewritten and submitted my review and also done some other client work before I started the website work.

Came home and felt awful, so settled in to rest. Which, of course, meant I read. I read one book for pleasure — just came out by an author whose work I often read. It was not taxing at all — perfect for being sick and wrapped up in blankets on the couch. Everything was a little too easy for the characters, but it also meant I didn’t have to work too hard, which was good since I wasn’t up to it.

Then, I got serious and read the next novel for review. This one was very good, although too long (over 500 pages). Well-done and heart-breaking. The review goes out today.

I started another book, a cozy mystery where the protagonist is supposedly Wiccan. I disagree with the portrayal and the way this person practices. Neo-pagan, maybe. But Wicca has structures and redes, and this chick doesn’t follow them; in fact, she deliberately casts manipulative spells. Which, in traditional Wiccan practice, is breaking the Oath one takes at initiation. Perhaps the point is that they backlash with consequences, but so far, I don’t see it. There are certain things I like in the book, but I don’t trust the author. I’m not sure if she merely did surface research and doesn’t know, or if she’s deliberately trying to cast a negative light on Wiccan practice. There are many ways to practice on the path, but what I’m reading makes me distrust the author and her motives. Perhaps that will change as I read more (I’m only about a quarter of a way into the book). But that’s my initial, gut response. Still, I’m willing to read it all the way through to see where she’s going with it. At least her protag has a brain and a heart, although I find her lacking in courage. But perhaps gaining courage is part of her journey.

Had trouble getting to sleep, but once I did, I slept through the night, which I haven’t done for quite awhile.

Woke up still feeling awful.

Unfortunately, I have a review and client work to get out today, pull the final material from the old host so I can start the Fearless Ink host transfer, and get to work on the other sites. I’m feeling the pressure of getting everything done by the 31st.

I also have errands to run, medication to pick up for my mom, bills to pay, and cat food and litter to buy.

When all I really want to do is stay in bed.

All I can do is the best I can do. Have a great weekend!

 

Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Jan. 18, 2018: Pushing Through Illness

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Still sick. I feel a little better (although I sound worse). My friend Jenn Mattern suggested oil of oregano and tart cherry juice, and that made a big difference. But it still lingers and slows me down. I’m too sick to go to yoga today, which makes me sad (although I keep up my practice at home).

It’s also slowed me down on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I know what I’m going to write, but it’s harder getting the words on the page.

It was busy on-site with the client, but I got a lot done. My colleagues were worried I’d be upset about a thoughtless gesture; I decided not to be. It’s not that big a deal, although it’s telling in the bigger picture, and is reflective of how much more self-involved people are here than they are in the arts in New York. It amazes me how city dwellers are always portrayed as being selfish and isolated, when it’s really much worse away from cities.

I also have to rework my review. A few weeks ago, I got an email from my editor, citing new guidelines and rates. Okay, fine, I implemented them, I tried to upload my review, and it wouldn’t take. So I emailed her to ask why, and was told that those guidelines aren’t for the division for which I write. So why send them to writers for whom it doesn’t apply? Makes no sense to me. And annoys me, because I’d followed the new guidelines perfectly. Whatever. Back to the page on that one.

The Fearless Ink redesign is nearly done. I’m happy with it. I need to tweak some text, and then we move. I have just over a week to build the other six sites, which scares me, since it took me nearly two weeks to build this one. I’m hoping I get faster as I get more fluent and confident in the web language.

I also have to remember that these sites are living entities. They’ll grow and change all the time, because the content will grow and change. So, while I want to feel good about each site BEFORE it goes live, there are still tweaks I need to do to each one as it does.

I’m terrified of the move of the Devon Ellington Work domain and all the subdomains connected to the different series. I’m probably making it a much bigger deal than it is, but after years of lies and misinformation from my previous web host, I’m finding it difficult to fully trust the new one. In spite of the fact that they’ve been so clear in explanations, so helpful, and completely reliable in this first re-design and move. I need to get out of my own way and just do it.

I’m in talks to go to contract to write again for a series of publications for whom I wrote for many years. I’d stopped because I felt I’d said all I had to say; now I have more to say, and they’re delighted I want to come back. We’re going to talk contract specifics in early April. This is for 2020 — we work two years ahead. But I’m pleased to be back with them.

A writer friend just landed a contract with a great traditional publishing house! As soon as she makes it official, I’ll share. I am so happy for her! She deserves it — she’s an excellent writer, puts in the work, and it’s finally paying off! As I said, when she makes the formal announcement, I’ll celebrate her here with more details. She shot me an email about it last night. Happy dance for her!

Reading contest entries. They run the gamut. The top choices are going to be very competitive. There are some other entries where the author’s message is important and relevant, but the execution is so poor that they’re knocked out of contention. You don’t get a prize just for showing up or because you’re writing about an important issue — you also have to have the craft to communicate it with power.

I started reading a WONDERFUL book last night, in between all the other stuff I have to read. This is something I WANT to read, and I came across its existence reading about it in another book. It’s called POET’S PUB by Eric Linklater, and was one of the original ten books that launched the Penguin line. It’s a delight. I borrowed it through the Commonwealth Catalog from another library off Cape; I’m going to have to hunt down my own copy. I must own this book.

Taking my mom to get her blood pressure checked, sending off the revised review, working on the web redesigns for a couple of hours. Then home to rest and recover, do some client work, and dig back in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I also have another book review due next week, so I’ll dig into that either tonight or tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I need to buy cat food, or there will be consequences!

Onward.

Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Stormy and cold

We had some light snow on Monday, during the day. Just a couple of inches, but enough to make the drive home unpleasant. And, heaven forbid, DPW even come through with sand or salt on our little street. I can understand not plowing, because it was so little accumulation. But the tire tracks in the snow, which then freeze, cause a risk. But, you know, that would mean we actually get services for our taxes. I guess I’ll have to ride the new Town Councilor for this district — the one I didn’t vote for — to see if he lives up to his “promises.”

I went directly home after working with my client on site, curled up in the big chair with hot tea, honey, and lemon, and read while I rested. I felt awful. I was in bed just after eight.

At least I’d written a full chapter on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY that morning!

Tuesday, I was up early. Still felt bad. Wrote another chapter on SPIRIT REPOSITORY before heading out to work with my client.

Also had to write and polish my review, which will go out today. I have another review due early next week, so I’ll get to work on that book either today or tomorrow.

Did some work for another client.

Worked on the Fearless Ink Website Re-design. We’re just about ready to move. There will definitely be some tweaking once it’s live, but until it is live, I can’t do much more.

I’m terribly disappointed that I won’t be able to keep the look for www.cerridwenscottage.com. I love that interior page design look. But my new web host doesn’t have a template that can replicate it, and I haven’t been able to find another template that does. I’m disappointed.

I’ve found a pleasant enough template that will do — very simple, and in keeping with the theme of the site. I will set it up on that, along with the new logo/header, and then keep searching for The Template of My Dreams. The site doesn’t generate enough income for me to hire in a custom design, nor is it meant so to do. So I can’t justify the expense.

The Devon Ellington Work site is the design/move that concerns me the most, because of all the subdomains. I have a feeling I will have to lose all the subdomains connected to the site when I move the main site, and then have to rebuild them/send them live. I don’t see how I can get it all done before the end of the month.

So, I’m going to try to get the three main sites rebuilt and moved by the end of the month, cancel my contract with my former, awful webhost, and then build and go live with the sites for each series as best as I can do it and still do it right.

I can do it fast and sloppy, or I can build something that’s worthwhile, that will actually be a viable tool for my work. I’d rather do the latter.

I’m learning a lot with the Fearless Ink build, but it IS learning a foreign language, and learning a language I don’t particularly enjoy.

But, every profession grows and changes. You can learn the new tools and figure out how to make them uniquely yours, or you can get left behind.

Being sick while being under such deadline pressure doesn’t help.

This morning, I worked on SPIRIT REPOSITORY again (manuscript deadlines are not suggestions, especially when they are contracted). I’ll be working onsite with a client, and doing additional work for another client, before going back to working on my own websites. Hopefully, Fearless Ink will move either tomorrow, or on Friday.

One of these days, I’ll get healthy and can focus for more than a few minutes.

 

 

Published in: on January 17, 2018 at 2:23 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On  
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Tues. Jan. 16, 2018: Steady Writing Gets There

 

Tracking Medusa Cover 1

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
New Moon

Busy few days.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my article over on Write Naked, about being an “Anti-Niche Writer,” you can visit it here. And leave a comment!

TRACKING MEDUSA (above) has re-released digitally. New buy links here and on the Books page of this blog.

There’s also a piece about the re-release over on A BIBLIO PARADISE here.

Because of issues with my old webhost, I can’t upload either the new cover or the new media kit to the website for the Gwen Finnegan mysteries or on the main Devon Ellington Work site (although the buy links will go up); when the webhost move is complete, a newly designed site with all the relevant information will go up. I thank you in advance, for your patience.

PLAYING THE ANGLES has moved distributors, and the new buy links are here. The information is up on the Books page of this blog; I’m updating the links on the Devon Ellington and the Coventina Circle site. Again, because of the webhost issues, the cover and the media kit will not be available until the host move is complete.

SAVASANA AT SEA will complete its distribution move and be available here as of today. Again, I will update the links on the Books page and on the Nautical Namaste website, but the cover and the media kit will not be available for download until the host move is complete at the end of the month.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

I will be boosting posts for all of the above on FB once the website moves are complete, because I want to send readers to the websites, which have all kinds of fun stuff and cool information — which will actually be accessible, once the web host move is complete and the new websites are built and go live.

So, this month is frustrating, but will ultimately be worthwhile.

Re-building the Fearless Ink site is going well, albeit more slowly than I would like. I like the new logo a lot. It’s clean and simple. The site will be much the same. No need for a lot of bells and whistles. The words are what matters.

I was feeling miserable on Friday; well enough to whine, so I obviously wasn’t THAT sick. After working on the website building for a few hours, and posting the details about the TRACKING MEDUSA re-release, I went home. Scratchy throat, achy, headache, tired.

I read; some for my own research/pleasure. The first batch of books arrived for contest judging, so I’ve also started on them.

One of Janet Malcolm’s pieces in FORTY-ONE FALSE STARTS: ESSAYS ON ARTISTS AND WRITERS inspired a new piece, set in the 1990s in the New York City arts culture, with the protagonists a painter and a choreographer. I don’t know when I’ll get time to WRITE the damn thing, but I made notes for the outline.

Friday night, the storm came in. It was unnaturally warm for the season, but the rain pounded and the wind howled. More naturally, the power went out, so we went to bed early.

It was restored pretty quickly, but the weather was still vile on Saturday. I put a pot roast in the crock pot and settled in to work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I’m behind where I want to be on it, and wanted to catch up.

Saturday, I was sick and miserable. However, I managed to run some errands, and then wrote two chapters on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. That felt good, being back in the world.

In the evening, I had a glass of wine by the fire and read. I’d made pot roast in the crackpot, which was good.

I’ve started reading the books submitted for the contest. They are good. This year will be fierce competition. Which is great. But it also means, when I go back over the books I think are the best, it’s going to be the details that decide which book is chosen.

Sunday, I was truly sick and miserable. I got the laundry done, but the rest of the day, I was huddled in bed, reading. Which is not a bad way to spend the day, but not the way I wanted/needed to spend it.

One of the books was one for review; big disappointment. The entire book was “telling” narration without active scenes. It was impossible, as a reader, to engage or care about the characters. It read like the outline for the novel, not the novel itself.

Yesterday, although it was technically a holiday, I was onsite with a client (even though I felt awful).

Got some more work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, though, early in the morning, so I don’t lose that momentum. I have a draft due on February 15, and I can’t drop the ball.

This will be a busy week, including the weekend, with two big events coming up.

All I really want to do is curl into a ball and sleep!

Not an option. Not right now.

Onward.

Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 1:14 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 16, 2018: Steady Writing Gets There  
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Mon. Jan. 15, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Balance

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
Dark Moon

The Mid-Month check-in is over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

This Monday is an #Upbeat Authors post (thank you, Trish Milburn), and it’s about Tips for Balancing Your Life

My best tip: Learn to say no.

Say “no” to anyone and anything that harms your creativity.

Say “no” to anyone who tries to extort or guilt you into doing something you know, in your gut, is the wrong choice for you.

Say “no” to those who expect you to give everything for nothing and who also reciprocate nothing.

The second most important tip is: Put your own creativity first.

That means, you don’t wait until you “have time” for your own writing. You do your own writing BEFORE you do anything for anyone else. Get up earlier; go to bed later.

There will never BE time. You have to make it, steal it, demand it.

We all have twenty-four hours in every day. It’s how we choose to use them that define us.

Third tip: Remove toxic people from your life

Even if you’re related, you owe them nothing. Where appropriate, be honest about attitude and behavioral changes you need for the relationship continue. If they refuse to give you basic respect and human decency, cut them out.

Fourth tip: The time you carve out for yoga and meditation will pay off in productivity and joy elsewhere

Make the time for a regular yoga and/or meditation practice. Taking that time for yourself, for the silence, pays off positively in every area of your life.

Given the chance, most people will take advantage, even if they don’t consciously mean to. You have to set boundaries, hold boundaries, and retain a bit of ruthlessness in order to stay balanced and creative. You don’t have to be cruel to others to stay balanced yourself.

At the beginning, be prepared for people to push back. They’re used to having you at their convenience. You have to train them otherwise.

Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 9:41 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 15, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Balance  
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