Wed. June 7, 2017: A Day in the Life of A Writer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

My brain was tired yesterday from all the script work. However, I pushed through and sent off a few more article pitches. One of them was accepted within 20 minutes. I’ve written most of the article in my head; I’ll set it to paper later today. I’m hoping I can get a quote from a source in time, but the turnaround is so tight, I don’t know if that’s possible.

Another article pitch that I sent off a few weeks ago was rejected, so I’m re-slanting it and sending it to a different market, and crafting a new pitch for the first market, which is a place I’m determined to crack.

Decided not to pitch to two markets, because they expect you to sign up and participate in the “community” in order to land a paid assignment. Sorry, as a professional, I am hired to write on my ability to deliver the particular assignment, not on spending hours of unpaid time toadying. Next!

Pitched to another gig that is in my wheelhouse and that I would like a lot provided the pay is right and they’re willing to work bi-coastally.

I wrote twenty more script pages on PARALLEL-O-GAME. Definitely a limited run series (which used to be called a mini-series). I’m writing the first draft as one long piece; in subsequent drafts, I will break it down into the correct act structure for each segment. However, while I’m writing, I’m also keeping the act structure — both for each segment, and for the overall piece, in the back of my head, so that most of it will already be inherent in the pace. That’s something that only comes from experience. I’ve outlined a good portion of the next section, and scratched some notes down, although not anywhere near as detailed as for what’s already written.

I managed to write 13 pages this morning, which brings me roughly to the end of Part One.

Still haven’t heard about the edits on the assignment from the other publication. The lag time they have between everything is irritating. I have serious doubts that we’ll have a long association. I want to give it a chance, see if it’s just a case of getting used to their rhythm, but I have my doubts.

Was asked to submit a play to a new works festival north of Boston; on the fence about it, since they didn’t take the last one I submitted. Not sure I want to simply submit so their numbers look good for funding. Their numbers this year must be low, or they wouldn’t have emailed me to ask me to submit.

The radio play was acknowledged; they make their decisions in early September.

I have a short story to finish that’s dragging; I need to get it done and out the door, once the article is done, because the market for that story, should I crack it, would be another solid source of steady work. Even though it’s fiction.

This morning, I’m headed over to Cotuit Center for the Arts for a coffee chat, a new program of theirs. Several people I know will be there, and the set and costume designers will be talking — always fun to talk to colleagues.

Friday morning, I have a meeting for a potential new project that would be a lot of fun. And local. Fingers crossed it goes well. I pitched to them yesterday morning and the interview was nailed down by the afternoon, which is always a good sign.
I hope this creative rhythm continues!

Tues. June 6, 2017: Writing Hangover

Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I’d hoped to have the article up on A Biblio Paradise re: The Tempest, but writing about Shakespeare always takes longer than I expect. I hope to have it ready tomorrow or Thursday.

I did one thing yesterday: I worked on the new teleplay I’d outlined the night before. From 7:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon, I wrote 84 pages.

I don’t think I’ve ever written that much in one day in my life.

So, the radio play went out today, instead of yesterday, along with some more pitches. I got paid last night for an article I wrote last week, which will run shortly. I like that market, and I hope we can work together again.

The past two days, I’ve watched THE GAME, a British mini-series, starring Tom Hughes, set in 1970s Britain. Eerily reflective of today. Strong writing, excellent acting.

Absolutely in despair about the state of the country. Saddened that there was another attack in London; furious and embarrassed by the Narcissistic Sociopath’s inappropriate response.

However, I did not get caught up in the Ariana Grande spin on the benefit concert in Manchester. Yes, it’s good that she did it. However, immediately after the attack, she ran back home and talked about how “devastated” she was, making it about her instead of about the incident, instead of standing tall and being a leader IN THAT MOMENT. Coming back with a publicity stunt a couple of weeks later doesn’t cancel that out. Glad people enjoyed themselves, but she’s off my list.

Back to the teleplay today — a steady six pages/day will seem like a let-down after yesterday. I anticipate it as four hours, in two chunks. I’m going to write without worrying about page count/running time in the first draft, then cut and shape in subsequent drafts.

I’m working on the next section of THE FIX IT GIRL revision — soon, I’ll be able to use all those books about Hearst Castle, as Mavis and Troy spend some quality time there.

I have an enormous stack to return to the library today, both books and DVDs. But most of today will be about writing, pitching, creating content and finding professional-rate markets for it.

Onward, bad weather and all.

Mon. June 5, 2017: Productive Writing Weekend

Monday, June 5, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I finished the short radio play “Axe to Grind” and it goes out today. It always feels so good to finish something and get it out the door!

I read Patricia V. Davis’s COOKING FOR GHOSTS on the Kindle. I liked most of it. Liked the characters, the plot, the social justice issues woven into the narrative. The only thing that didn’t work for me, that kept me from giving it an all-out rave was the shifting POV. Head-hopping and POV shifts within scenes don’t work for me and take away, in my opinion, the focus. It dilutes the piece for me. If she’d kept consistent POVs in each scene, and moved the POV when the scene moved, this would make one of my favorite recent reads. But I’d read more of her work, and I’d like to read the next books in the trilogy.

Sent off the first assignment for my new editor. Expect I’ll have to do some revisions this week, since I am new to the publication, and I need to learn their system and their voice. Heard from a pitch to another publication — they will “eventually” get around to assigning me something. Well, sweetie, when you “get around to it”, I might be otherwise booked! You’re one of the lower-paying publications, and THIS was where I have the time in the schedule.

Revised three more chapters on FIX IT GIRL. These needed some major restructuring and plot changes, which is one reason it’s taken me a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days to revise them. But I’m happy with the result. The POV is more focused, it goes deeper, it’s more interesting, and the sloppy writing’s cut out. In other words, the point of the revision. I’m a little over 38K into the revision. I’d say I’m about half way through, maybe a little past it.

I went over the whole second half of the book, making restructuring notes, that will help as I work chapter-by-chapter. Also created the query template. When the revision is done and polished, I can pop in the word count, do the synopsis, and off it goes.

Got an idea last night for a new screenplay. Actually, I think it will be a four-hour mini-series. Odd fantasy piece, interesting for the portfolio. I outlined almost half, and I know where the end will be. I wrote the first 30 pages this morning.

I want to stay home and write, but there are errands to run and work to do. Better get to it. So I can come back and write.

Have a great week!

I can’t believe it’s June, and it’s so darn cold. Haven’t been able to sit on the deck much; it’s usually in the 40s and 50s. Still, better cool than hot.

Fri. June 2, 2017: Reading, Writing, Recalibrating

Friday, June 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got quite a bit done, including mowing the terraced back part of the yard yesterday, although the mower fought me the whole time. Today, I’m going to do the side yard and another part of the back near the deck; tomorrow, I’ll start on the meadow.

Didn’t get much writing done, which was frustrating. I’m trying to outline the piece inspired by the abandoned town, because I’m at a point where I need to set some plot markers, not just make it up as I go along. I’m having trouble answering some of the questions that are vital to structuring the rest of the plot. Until I can answer them, I’m moving forward blind, if I keep writing.

Play proposal was acknowledged by the organization. Now, it’s a waiting game. It’s either what they’re looking for, or it’s not.

Got a thoughtful, kind response from a novelist who I’d contacted for some information. It wasn’t writing-related, but something about which he has strong knowledge. We’d only met once, so it was a reach to contact him, and he was kind enough to respond. It was much appreciated.

Re-slanting a pitch for a different market.

I have to go and buy cat food today, because, well, cat food is necessary for everyone’s well-being! Have a few more errands to do, too, and want to do one more pass on the assignment for the new editor before I send it off.

Still searching for the right cover images for PLAYING THE ANGLES. So much cover art is so poorly done; if I’m going to do this, do these re-releases properly, I’m going to take my time and make sure all the elements for the re-release work. The editing, the cover art, the media kit, the marketing campaign.

Roughed out the outline for the Devon Ellington media kit. I’m not sure in what order to put it. Right now, I have the non-fiction, then the series/novels, then the shorts, then the anthologies, then retired info/”other”. Really, the only way I’ll know if it works is to put it together and read it for flow.

I’ve got the basic design for the Topic Workbook bookmark, and what I want to do for the blog bookmark, the DE work bookmark, and the Fearless Ink workbook; but I’m having trouble finding the right template.

It was warm enough and pleasant enough to have both lunch and dinner out on the deck yesterday; a nice change from the cold, wet weather.

I’m reading MISS TREADWAY AND THE FIELD OF STARS by Miranda Emmerson. I enjoy it. It’s literary fiction with mystery elements. Can’t tip all the way into mystery novel, because of the forays into many different characters that keep it from having the pace of a mystery or suspense novel. The third person omniscient narration, which moves from character to character within scenes doesn’t always work for me, but I like most of the characters, the plot, and the story.

This weekend, I want to work on the FIX IT GIRL revisions, the short radio play, and a short story. Also will prep some more article pitches to send out next week.

Never a dull moment. Which is a good thing!

June’s To Do List is up on the GDR site here.

So the Narcissistic Sociopath is pulling us out of the Paris Climate Accord. Playing to the stupid and ignorant, while making personal profit. Yet again. He’s supposed to be a public servant, yet he’s never done anything to serve anyone but himself. The fact that anyone is stupid enough to believe him is appalling. What a loathsome individual, and what an embarrassment to represent the country on a world stage. People keep saying, “this is not who we are.” Obviously, it’s what we’re becoming, or someone would DO something to remove the corrupt and the stupid. Yet no one is. The whole situation is revolting.

Have a great weekend!

Thurs. June 1, 2017: Adventures in Lowell

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I forgot to post on Tuesday, so that post is below today’s. I was so under the gun on various things that it flew out of my mind.

Check out the article on using Claire Cook’s and Jeff Vandermeer’s books for my recalibration here.

Check out the wrap up for May on the GDR site; I’ll have the To Do list for June up soon.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep, so by the time the alarm went off at 4:30, I was already up. I left by 5:30 and drove up to Lowell, where I had a meeting with an organization for whom I’d like to work. I liked them; we’ll see if I’m what they need right now. The logistics of working there would need some maneuvering.

But I liked the city better than I expected. I like the fact that, unlike here on Cape, they recognize that the arts are a viable profession.

Hit torrential rain coming back, and it was a bad drive. It was also frustrating, because so many people refused to put their headlights on in the rain and fog, even though it’s the law, if the windshield wipers are on, the headlights MUST be on. It was very hard to see other cars when I could barely see the end of my own, and they couldn’t be bothered to turn on their lights.

But I made it home, and I was in bed by 7 PM, and slept 12 hours. I feel better this morning, although I had a passel of errands, including two dump runs (one for garbage, one for cut grass and recycling), a Trader Joe’s run, and a run to CVS to get my mom’s medication. Now, I have to get some work done at the library, and then do yard work and then write and then . . .you get the idea.

Let’s hope June is a wonderful month!

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. May 30, 2017: Hamster on the Wheel

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

It was kind of a lousy weekend here on Cape, weather-wise. That didn’t stop it from having a back-up trying to get off Cape yesterday from Orleans (the elbow of the Cape) all the way to the Sagamore Bridge. Three hours for a trip that should take about 45 minutes.

It’s going to be a challenging season.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise, so you can see how I’m using books by Claire Cook and Jeff Vandermeer on this Recalibration journey.

With the mower now working again, I got some work done on the yard before the weather changed. I got the front and the side front yard mowed. I’d hoped to get the terraced back area done, so I could start on the meadow today, but no such luck. I’m hoping it will clear up a bit this afternoon, so I can start that.

I did my first assignment from my new editor. I don’t know how long my association will be with this publication. I have some issues with contract and payment terms. Either we’ll work them out, or we won’t, and I’ll leave. I’m no longer accepting situations that don’t work for me. Especially when there’s an unacceptable time iag in payment.

Heard back last night from another pitch I sent last week — the editor wants to buy the article. So I have to get that off to her as quickly as possibly (while writing something good).

I also need to do some follow up on other pitches.

Last night, I got an idea for two flash fiction stories, on the light-hearted side. I’d like to draft them, so I don’t lose the energy.

I worked on the story inspired by the photos of the abandoned Connecticut town I came across online. I got 49 pages written, in longhand, getting all the way into chapter four. So I think the idea is viable. I like working in longhand on this particular piece. I’m at a point where I need to stop and type up the first three chapters, and also where I need to stop and write my Writer’s Rough outline.

Trying to get back into the rhythm of NOT BY THE BOOK, and trying to sort out some things for the next section of FIX IT GIRL.

Worked my way through some research books. I have a big stack to take back to the library today. Hopefully, I can get done everything I need to get done in an hour or so, and then get back to the page.

I thought I had two deadlines today for radio scripts, but it turns out that one is actually the end of next month, and the other is in a window — I have a feeling I’ll get the latter (which is further along) out the door later this week. Here, I thought I’d have to drop one possibility, and push hard for the other one. Glad I don’t.

The most important thing this morning is to dig down and get the article done, then polish the piece for the other editor and send it off.

I won’t be posting here tomorrow — I’m off on an adventure. But I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say when I come back on Thursday!

Fri. May 26, 2017: Cold But Hopefully Creative Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 26, 2017
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Not a good weekend for vacationers. It’s going to be cold and rainy the entire time. Imagine — Memorial Day weekend and it’s still in the 40s. Brrr!

Ran some errands, got some work done. It feels good to have the play proposal out; now I have to polish the short radio play, so that can go out on Tuesday. Prepping for Wednesday’s meeting. Two pitches went out yesterday.

I’m not going to send anything out today, since it’s the day the long weekend starts. That would be silly.

Working on the assignment for the new editor. Planning to have it ready to turn in by Tuesday as well.

Research for the between-the-wars piece.

Came across, by accident, information on some abandoned towns for sale in New England. There are some all over the country, but the ones in New England especially interested me. I did some research, and then wrote a few pages, to see if the idea was viable. I’m up to page eight, so I’d guess it is.

I’m hoping to clear off the “have-tos” out of the house earlier rather than later this morning, and then be able to write and/or revise for the rest of the day. Heck, for the rest of the weekend.

I plan to finish the assignment for my new editor, and craft several other pitches to go out early next week. I want to prep for my mid-week meeting, and to get a good chunk of work done on FIX IT GIRL.

I have to decide if I’m going to do any work on POWER OF WORDS (which, really, is a project I work on in between other projects, since it’s not a viable, sale-able project, just something I work on to blow off steam), or return those research books and take them out when I need to work on the project again. At the same time, it seems silly not to finish the 20 or 30 pages when I have the material here. I will have to see how I can marshal my time in the next few days. It would be better to buckle down, get it out, and send the books back once and for all. Or, at least until I revise the sections!

I should do some work on the next Topic Workbook, and I also have to plan the campaign for “Personal Revolution”, which I plan to promote the second half of June, since the action takes place on Fourth of July weekend.

Never a dull moment!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you on the other side of it!

Published in: on May 26, 2017 at 8:54 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 26, 2017: Cold But Hopefully Creative Holiday Weekend  

Thurs. May 25, 2017: Fixing and Creating

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

So, yesterday, I fixed the mower by my damn self, with help from my neighbor. So much for the warranty on this chunk of garbage, and so much for the people who kept promising to show up to fix it. I bought a new spark plug for $3 at the hardware store, and my neighbor had the spark socket, and we did it. I don’t even have to wrestle with it anymore — it starts right up. I got about half the front mowed. It’s raining this morning, but as soon as it lets up, I’m going to finish the front and start the side. It’ll take me a few days to catch up on everything, but I’ll get there.

Received my first assignment from my new editor, and started on it. Sent off an article pitch; a different editor passed on a pitch I’d sent, so I sent off a new one today, and that one, slightly slanted, so someone else.

Wrestled the sample script pages. Cut them back, layered them some more, and they read much more subtly. I still have room in the page count, so I worked on a second scene. Then, I put all the pieces together, and the proposal went off this morning. Either it’s what this particular producer wants, or it’s not. Not much I can do about it now.

I shot off an email to an author I met once at the conference here on Cape to ask him to supply some emotional geography for the city in which I’ll have my meeting next week. Sounds wacky, but I’d rather get some insight from someone who knows the community than what’s up on a website somewhere. He may not have the time or inclination to answer, but nothing asked, nothing answered.

Worked on the short story; I’ve lost momentum and have to find it. I want to finish it, polish it this weekend, and send it out early next week. I also have to do a fresh read on WINNER TAKE ALL and get going on the next draft. I want to get the next draft of the screenplay done in the next couple of weeks; if it then passes muster, off it goes.

Having trouble finding the right images for the new cover for PLAYING THE ANGLES. I know I have a photograph that I took that would work for it, but darned if I can find it right now. I’m looking through the proof sheets for my camera disks. There’s a potential image I like, of stage lights on a bare stage, but I’m not sure. A bare stage with dramatic lighting doesn’t really communicate the story.

The new cover for CREATIVE STIMULUS went up, and works. Now that is in alignment with the other Topic Workbooks.

I’m working on the personal media kit that spans the different things I write, and it’s difficult. It’s much easier to write copy about the books and about other people than about myself. Believe it or not, I think I have to do a rough outline of the kit, so I can figure out the bits and pieces I want to include. Then I’ll work on each piece, trying to keep the same objective distance as when I put one together for someone else, and then arrange them until it has a good flow.

I should be able to start putting the changes into the next section of FIX IT GIRL today or tomorrow, too, and then move on the next section.

Prepping for my meeting next week; instead of worrying about anything beyond the actual meeting, I’m focusing on the meeting, and taking it from there.

Read Felicia Day’s memoir, which reads like a conversation with someone with whom one connects.

I got bitten by something working in the yard yesterday, right at the top of my tailbone. Not only is it an awkward place to treat, it hurts like hell. Not just discomfort, but actual pain.

It’s supposed to be a rainy weekend, so I hope that means it’ll be a productive one for writing!

Published in: on May 25, 2017 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 25, 2017: Fixing and Creating  
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Wed. May 24, 2017: Trying to Keep Going On

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Struggled a lot with the sample pages for the play proposal. They’re speaking the subtext, and I need to cover it with text that’s clever enough to communicate the subtext, but not be as ham-handed as it currently is.

Got a new cover for “Creative Stimulus”, so it now matches the other Topic Workbooks. I want to go over the text again, maybe do some updates.

Looked at some images for the new Fearless Ink logo, but didn’t find what I wanted. I may have to shoot it myself and then layer in the text. I’m looking into rights for a Charles Dana Gibson image that I like for something else. It’s supposedly in public domain, but I want to be sure.

Talked to a designer about a new cover for the re-release of PLAYING THE ANGLES. I need to do another copy editing pass on it, and then also put in the first chapter of SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and then make sure I can get SPIRIT out on time. We need to talk release dates soon.

More mower issues — turns out I have to buy special tools in addition to the special parts. Take it from me — don’t buy a Poulan Pro. They run poorly and the company has no interest in honoring warranties. Really, really not okay.

I have a meeting next week north of Boston for a project I’d really like to do. The logistics would be a nightmare, but first we have to see if we’re compatible.

Struggling to show up at the page every day and get anything done. Feeling sick and exhausted all the time doesn’t help. But any time I put off the work on the page, I feel worse.

Managed to create a pitch on the fly for an opportunity that landed unexpectedly. Fingers crossed.

Just have to keep going on, don’t I. That’s the only option.

Published in: on May 24, 2017 at 9:34 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 24, 2017: Trying to Keep Going On  
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Tues. May 23, 2017: Personal Scale, Grand Scale

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy/sunny/cool

Yesterday was a day. The stress is getting to me. I’m getting tired of the platitudes people offer. This isn’t about attitude, this is about situation, trying to change the situation, and setting fresh boundaries. I realize people mouth platitudes because it makes THEM feel better (and has little to do with the person to whom it’s being offered), but, really, if you can’t offer useful action, just back off, please.

There have been times, over the last few weeks, where I’ve felt as though I was on the brink of collapse. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of that type of indulgence, so I have to carry on, no matter when I’m feeling.

Frustrated with the pages for the play proposal. They’re not doing what I want/need them to do. I’m running out of time, so I have to figure out how to make them work.

Played with some other ideas. One mixes two genres, fantasy and mystery. We’ll see. The other is a contemporary piece, set in, of all places, Washington DC. The focus of it won’t be political, although one can’t set something in DC without politics affecting it.

Read an early novel of a writer whose work I’ve read quite a bit of. I see the seeds of how far she’s come, but boy, that book needed an editor. Copy editing mistakes up the ying yang, inconsistencies, and so many exclamation points the characters all sound breathless. But the characters, dialogue, and plotting are all solid, and I can see how that one-off book set the foundation for her other books. It’s also wonderful to see how much she’s grown.

The attack in Manchester is awful. Words fail. I have to say, I’m not impressed with the reaction so far from Ariana Grande’s camp. Yes, it’s a shock, and yes, it’s devastating. But for the reports to merely say she’s “inconsolable” and she’s cancelled concerts because she “can’t perform” — honey, this isn’t about YOU. This is about the people who died or were injured, and their families. Of course upcoming concerts had to be cancelled, out of respect. On top of that, come out swinging. A strongly-worded statement against this type of attack, and providing actual HELP to the injured and families of the dead. Not platitudes. Not acting like this is about you. Not hiding in one’s room crying and being “inconsolable”. It’s time to show public strength and class, and be devastated in private. As an artist whose venue/work was chosen as the site of the attack, it’s necessary to be a warrior in response, not pose as another victim.

Errands to do today. I wish I could get the damn mower fixed so that the yard wouldn’t look like a vacant lot. Hopefully, by tomorrow. I’d like to get the yard handled over the upcoming holiday weekend.

Finally heard from the editor who supposedly hired me several weeks ago. Looks like I’ll be getting my first assignment in the next few days. I’m ready to dig in.

Doing research and getting price quotes on several fronts in order to implement the writing plan worked on last week. I have to keep reminding myself to break things down into manageable steps. Having some interesting discussions with distributors, and also with swag providers.

In the next few months, I’d like to do some general swag for Ink in My Coffee, the Devon Ellington site, and the Fearless Ink site. There’s also some generalized swag I can do for the Topic Workbooks. Then, I can do book-specific swags for releases.

I’m also in the process of doing a general Devon Ellington media kit, along with the media kits that are project-specific. I should probably do one for the Topic Workbooks as well.

It’s hard to keep everything balanced, since the marketing uses different parts of the brain than the writing or editing.

All I’m craving lately are fruits and vegetables. I can’t seem to get enough cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, peppers, and the like. Well, if I’m going to stress eat, better a cucumber than a doughnut, right? 😉

Getting some pages done on several projects in the exploratory stage, so that I can see which will catch fire and should be pursued. Researching the next part of the FIX IT GIRL, so I can get the changes into the next chapters on the revision. Working on the short story I’d like to get out the door sooner rather than later.

Feel like I need to sleep for about a week, but not an option.

Onward!

Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 9:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 23, 2017: Personal Scale, Grand Scale  
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Mon. May 22, 2017: Getting Back into Gear

Monday, May 22, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Not the productive weekend I’d hoped for, unfortunately.

The stress of the personal issues I’m dealing with hit like a hammer, and it was difficult for me to get anything else done. I managed a little yard work, but not like the marathon hours that my neighbors did. Their lawns are pristine; my mower still isn’t working. I’m hoping the replacement of a simple part or two will do the trick.

I got a little work done on the play proposal, and some plotting work done on the radio play. I need to gear up and get those out the door this week.

On the upside, I re-read Arlene Kay’s Boston Uncommons mysteries, and enjoyed them. I drafted up some reviews I’ll leave for them. I also read a couple of her earlier books, one-offs, which were also fun.

STILL waiting for my first assignment from that editor who, weeks ago, said I was hired. I could have done THREE assignments (and been paid) in this time frame. I’m irritated. Perhaps it’s time to move on and take other work instead. IF I’m ever contacted, I’ll see what my schedule is, or I’ll bow out. If you’re “constantly” adding people to the team and promising “steady” work, it doesn’t take three weeks to make the first assignment.

Drafting a short article and an article pitch that need to go out today. Also want to tackle the short story — I’d like to get that out by the end of this week. I need to do some reformatting on the Topic Workbooks for an additional release venue, and get back to work on the next Topic Workbook. I’m going to try to release one every three months.

I re-read TIE CUTTER, which needs to get back into the writing mix in the next few months, and also did some more research for the next section of FIX IT GIRL revisions. The revision process on this novel is different than my usual, but it’s working for the particular novel, so I’m going with it.

Managed to get in a bit of yard work this morning before the rain started, although I was bitten several times. I hate ants. I’m in full out war with the ants. I know, I should appreciate them and all they stand for, but they’re not keeping their part of the bargain.

I have errands to run this morning, some things to do at the library, and then, hopefully, I can get back to the page. This week will be very stressful, on multiple fronts, and I’m trying to prepare myself, both mentally and physically.

Published in: on May 22, 2017 at 9:02 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 22, 2017: Getting Back into Gear  
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Fri. May 19, 2017: Trying to Put It Into Play

Friday, May 19, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Took my mom to her medical appointment. Found more evidence on the CVS issue, and will turn everything over to the State’s Attorney General.

Finished reading a book by an author whose work I usually like, but this one had sloppy writing in it. Good plot, but one could tell that it was written fast. Sets up a new web of characters for more interconnected books, though.

Started implementing some of the things that were discussed on Wednesday. I have to make sure I break down the lists into do-able pieces, or I’ll get overwhelmed and won’t do anything.

Started working on some formatting changes for another outlet for the Topic Workbooks. The problem with those is that I can only work on them for a couple of hours at a stretch. It takes longer than I’d like to get the material done.

Re-read Arlene Kay’s SWANN DIVE. It’s the first of her Boston Uncommons Mysteries. Every time I re-read her books, I enjoy them more.

Still waiting for my first assignment from this supposed new gig.

Started going over some old short stories, both published and unpublished, to see if there are enough on any given theme for a collection. A collection of short stories is less important than getting on the novel carousel again, but it would be nice to get them out there. Some of them are more relevant now than when they were written.

Wrestling in the FIX IT GIRL revisions. There are a couple of B plot lines and red herrings I feel I should weave in to enrich the story; at the same time, I like the leanness and the pace. So I’m struggling with that. Can I keep a lean, fast pace, while just adding in a few tidbits here and there without it either slowing the piece down or it feeling like I’ve thrown things in there with no follow-up?

Getting some yard work done, but it’s difficult without a working mower.

Hopefully, I can have a solid writing weekend, and figure some more stuff out on my recalibration plan. I want to start implementing a few things, and then step back and look at it all again, make some decisions based on the new implementation, and so on and so forth.

Part of that is that, in the next few months, I want to get some general swag done for the constants: Ink in My Coffee, the Devon Ellington website, the Fearless Ink website, and maybe even the Topic Workbooks. Then, as more projects launch, I can add project-specific swag and mix and match for giveaways.

I also need to get rights back on a book where I suspect the contract expired ages ago. The publisher’s done diddly, in fact, new management wanted its authors to pay a monthly fee for promotion. I’d assumed they’d dropped me, but I found the book still on the website; never gotten any reports from them for years. So I have to dig up the contract, get the rights back, do some rewrites, and get it out in a better format.

I also have to figure out why I’m struggling to get back to NOT BY THE BOOK. It’s a good, tight story with fun characters.

Managed to handwrite a couple of pages on something this morning, but I’m still looking for those sample pages for the play proposal. I guess it won’t get out until early next week. I’ve got the proposal section done and the resume done, and I have the completed play done, but I have to find — and then type and polish — the sample pages to finish it.

Published in: on May 19, 2017 at 9:24 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 19, 2017: Trying to Put It Into Play  
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Thurs. May 18, 2017: Recalibration Begins

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday was long and challenging. We didn’t get through all the material. But we made a good start, on the writing, the chosen outlets, and the marketing fronts. Pages and pages of notes, lists of actionable steps that now need to be put into use.

It’s a challenge, but it’s restructuring my writing life so it suits ME, not based on the convenience of others who aren’t paying enough.

This is what you want from me? This is what it costs.

Otherwise, I might as well follow my own path and control my own destiny.

We went over the Amazon KDP contract in detail, and none of us liked it. Yes, Amazon is the Behemoth, but that contract is restrictive. I can’t see that it pays out in proportion to what it keeps, in the majority of cases. When they contract as a distributor for a publisher, it’s a better deal. But directly with authors? They want too much from the author, giving too little in return.

I have to take my mom to a medical appointment midmorning, so I hope to get some writing in before that, and then, after, it’s about start implementation of what was decided yesterday.

I finished marking up the 165 pages of the next draft of ANGEL HUNT that I found. I like it, it has good bones, it’s funnier than I remembered, but in a way that works. It needs to go back into the queue somewhere, after FIX IT GIRL revisions are done.

Got a bit of yard work done. Now, I’m turning my attention to the draft pages for the play proposal, and then to a short article I want to get out in the next day or so. I went to type the draft script pages and polish them, and the pages are missing from the rest of the proposal. That I found the second part of the sample, but I can’t find the first part. So I have to methodically go through all the different project files to see if I mis-filed it, which is a pain in the butt.

I’m getting frustrated in that the new gig that supposedly hired me is now dragging its heels with the first assignment. I’m ready and eager to begin, so let’s begin, damn it.

Still trying to fix the mower. The yard is looking like a vacant lot. Not good.

I’m glad there’s a special prosecutor, but I’m tired of everyone dragging their feet, instead of ousting the corrupt morons. This is what happens when you defund education for over 30 years. The problems we’re dealing with right now were seeded during the Reagan years.

Onward.

Published in: on May 19, 2017 at 9:21 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 18, 2017: Recalibration Begins