Thurs. Jan. 19, 2023: Incoming Snow

image courtesy of Pexels, via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Day Before Dark Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Incoming storm

I don’t understand why I’m so slow this week. Everything is taking much longer than it should.

Post on Gratitude and Growth about the garden.

Post on Ink-Dipped Advice about why I like using Direct Mail.

I did the social media rounds promoting the Process Muse post and Ink-Dipped Advice. I’m enjoying Post more and more, although they are moving to a system of “trust metrics” which just sounds like another version of a popularity contest. So we’ll see. There’s not much interaction there, but there’s a lot of good reading material, and I enjoy my time there. CounterSocial and Mastodon, so far, are the best for genuine interaction.

I drafted a new episode of LEGERDEMAIN, which was a lot of fun. I have to work on the graphics for the episodes for the next two weeks, which are already uploaded and scheduled. I thought I wrote the loglines, and am puzzled that I can’t find them.

I turned around five script coverages. I’m glad I have four in today’s queue because, you guessed it, the rest is blank. I may have to read over the weekend, which I do not want to do. Motivation to get the new Fearless Ink postcard out, and the new brochure designed.

I figured out a way to make this first section of the Heist Romance script more logical, more creative, and funnier for the audience. Even though I SHOULD NOT DO IT, I am going back and rewriting, so that I can move on a few days down the line. Because, over there? In that other corner? The LUCKY NUMBERS script Is Not Happy.

Caught up with some correspondence with friends yesterday, too, which was nice. Did a little reading for pleasure (when I should have been reading for review). But it will all get done, and I need to give my brain rest from critical reading with pleasure reading, or I get burned out.

We’re supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow today. Originally, the storm was supposed to come in tonight and into tomorrow. Now, they’re saying it will start at 11 AM this morning and continue through Saturday morning. Sunrise this morning was a sky on fire. I have the pre-storm headache. And when I stepped outside, I could feel the storm coming in.

Because I pulled myself together when the alert came in, and went to the grocery store at 7 AM, when they opened, to pick up potatoes, orange juice, and toilet paper. Because, you know, priorities.

I’m going to make the stuffed eggplant tonight for dinner, which uses a lot of potatoes. I thought we had potatoes when I went grocery shopping earlier in the week, only to discover that we had ONE potato. But now we have enough for the recipe.

Online meditation this morning, and then, after breakfast, it’s back to the page!

Have a good one, and enjoy Episode 52 of Legerdemain, which drops today.

Wed. Jan. 18, 2023: Trying to Move Past the Lethargy

image courtesy of David Mark via pixabay.com of a painting by Franz Winterhalter

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Mercury goes Direct today

Rainy and cold

The week’s post is up on The Process Muse, and it’s about building the ensemble. It was hard to write, and it still wasn’t where I wanted it when I ran out of time. But it’s there. I have to finish the Ink-Dipped Advice post and get that up this morning.

Because it was sunny, once I got The Process Muse post up, I pulled myself together and did the errands: library drop-off/pickup, pharmacy, grocery store, liquor store. People were cheerful for a brief respite of sun in between storms, and soon after I got home, the sky darkened, and it began to rain again. I bought two small pots of primroses, which made me happy.

Home, got everything unpacked, realized I forgot to get potatoes and orange juice, so I guess I’ll be going out later this week again. Finished the book I’d been reading the previous day. It’s pleasing the writer’s fanbase, but it’s a little too formula for me, in spite of being a page turner. I respect what she’s done, but some of her other books have had a much stronger impact, both for pleasure and in engaging my emotions.

Turned around two scripts and some scoring. One is missing materials, so I can’t finish the coverage and submit until I get the missing material, or am told not to worry about it.

Did the social media rounds to promote Episode 51 of Legerdemain.

I’m spending less and less time on Twitter, because it just makes me sad. The feeds are all screwed up. I’m tired of people whining about the feeds being screwed up and demanding everyone else provide free administrative labor on their timelines. Do your own damn work. If you have “too many followers” to be able to deal with it, maybe you haven’t earned them. I have my hands full adminisrating my own feed. I’m not working on other people’s because they think they’re so important. There are also too many right-wing trolls. My time is better spent elsewhere.

I’m skipping spending time on Cohost until February, when I’ll put up, daily, the #28Prompt posts. And then I’ll probably stop spending any time there. Tried navigating Hive on my poor old tablet (which now has a cracked face) and it’s just so frustrating.

I did not work on any of the scripts, because everything else took too long. Nor did I draft on Legerdemain or adapt any of ANGEL HUNT. Which is frustrating. I was logy and frustrated all day.

Started the next book for review. The premise is interesting, but so far, I’m less than thrilled with the execution. Put it aside to read a book for fun, the second in a series by an author I like, and it’s fine, but I couldn’t concentrate at that point, because I was too tired.

Fell into bed, tired. Slept decently, but was busy in the Dreamscape, everything from attending a writer’s conference to redecorating a house, so I woke up tired. Well, Tessa and Charlotte woke me up, once the coffee started burbling.

Wrote a couple of pages in longhand on a project, and then came up with a working title for the piece whose outline I started (eleven pages’ worth) on Saturday. Went down a fun research rabbit hole about women writing speculative and science fiction in the so-called “golden age.”

We’re under all kinds of weather alerts today, it will switch between snow and rain, although we don’t get much accumulation until tomorrow, where 3-6 inches are predicted. I’m hoping I can sneak out between the switch tomorrow morning to get potatoes and orange juice.

Today, I have to shake off the lethargy and focus. I have a lot on the agenda, both for myself, and script coverages.

I’m glad Mercury is going direct today, but the transition day is always a slog for me. Plus, tomorrow is the day before dark moon, always a low energy day. Still, needs must, and I needs must get my act together and get to work.

Have a good one!

Tues. Jan. 17, 2022: When A Project Takes Control

image courtesy of M. H. via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus and Mars Retrograde

Sunny and cold

Time for our usual Tuesday morning catch up. The mid-month check-in is not yet up on the GDR site, but I hope to get that done later today.

Friday was pretty much a lost day. I did some blog work in the morning, made the social media rounds, and then headed out for the usual errands: post office, library, grocery store.

I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I was out and about.

Got things done, came home, unpacked, tidied up the living room (which involved rearranging stacks of books for various projects, and I wound up with a book fort).

I decided to give myself the day off and stayed in the book fort.

I noodled a little in long hand on an idea that started percolating a couple of days ago, and wrote a few outline notes.

I wrote up the two reviews, turned them in, and received my next books for review.

I finished reading THE READING LIST, which I really liked, and I’m looking forward to discussing it in book group.

Started reading another book that was recommended to me, but it was in present tense and lost me at the end of page one, so back to the library it goes, unread.

We were well enough to eat a decent dinner, and relax in the evening, reading and listening to Chantal Chamberland.

Slept reasonably well Friday into Saturday, although I had weird dreams. It was snowing again on Saturday morning (this after the weather reports said Saturday would be a “bright” day and the best of the weekend). Did the usual household chores.

Wrote about 12 pages on the outline I started the previous day. I know what has to happen for the last bit, but I’m not sure how to get there, so that will back burner percolate for a bit.

Roughed out ideas for two future “seasons” of ANGEL HUNT, if this one goes well, although the plot will be tighter and less sprawling. The seeds for both are set in ANGEL HUNT, although that was not my original intention. But we’ll see if it’s worth getting them past “idea” stage.

The damn new little printer wasn’t working properly, and I was ready to drop kick it out the window. I know better than to buy anything Canon anymore, be it a camera or a printer. They used to be a good company, but haven’t been for at least ten years now.

I want my big printer to work again.

Okay, whine over.

I set up the folders for the judging sheets in the three categories I’m judging, and put the correct sheets in the correct folders. I use paper sheets as I read, and then as I finish each book or a few books, I enter the data. It saves work rather than trying to enter all the scoring at the end. This way, I can finish the Batch 1 print in each category, then Batch 1 digital in each category, hopefully before Batch 2 gets there, and then I just have the final decisions to make, once I’ve read and entered Batch 2. I keep the Yes and Maybe piles on the worktable in my office for final decisions, and keep winnowing them down as I go. If it’s digital, I keep the physical sheet in the pile, so I can refer back to it when it’s time to make decisions.

I turned around a script, and started work on contest entries.

Sunday, I was up early, enjoying coffee, cats, and writing in longhand. Made biscuits. Had some sad news from a friend that a friend of hers, with whom I worked, has died of COVID. An online acquaintance is going through a rough time; I’m trying to be supportive, but also wondering if we’re being manipulated. That’s always the risk, when you only know someone online. Still, kindness from afar costs nothing, and can make a big difference.

Had to write a new Episode 56 for Legerdemain, because I needed to plant a character in a specific location to set up a plot intersection, and it needs to happen here. So the next set of episodes is misnumbered in the 1st draft now, and I’ll have to be careful drafting and editing forward. But I fixed a plot hole I knew was coming up, and set up a good intersection, even though it won’t happen for a few episodes. Polished and uploaded the episodes, which gets me into the beginning of February. Writing ahead on the first draft while polishing the second to upload requires intense concentration and specificity. I am grateful for my Tracking Sheets, Style Sheets, and the Series Bible, and I am diligent about adding in new information as soon as it’s created, and then changing it if it changes in the edits.

That process is different than with a series of novels, where I have tracking sheets as I write, but I don’t update the Series Bible until the final galleys are done on the book.

Had to put in more ink in the little printer, because, of course I did.

Turned around some script scoring. The pay for that is insulting, but that’s all that was in the queue, and the pay period ended on Sunday, so there we are.

Yeah, I’m getting on top of the LOIs and the direct mail as soon as Mercury goes direct this week.

Finished reading SILHOUETTE IN SCARLET, the Vicky Bliss mystery, and loved it. It got me thinking about some tropes I want to turn inside out. I ended up staying up until 11:30 writing 11 pages of a script outline in longhand.

Yesterday morning, I wrote another 9 pages, and then typed it up. Basically, the whole day was on this outline, which is really more of a treatment. I think it will be a limited series script, not a single screenplay. And there’s research to be done, and some beats to be fleshed out, even beyond the 10K of this outline. But it’s fun. And because each section needs a different type of research, it will be worked on piecemeal around other projects. I’ll reward myself for finishing work on other projects by doing a section of this piece here and there.

I have scripts in my queue for the next few days, too, so although I’m worried about the small amount of money from the pay period ending on Sunday, I’m hoping this pay period will be better. And I have to get off my duff and pitch for some new gigs.

I turned around two coverages. I was too tired for soup class. I wrote the opening 6 pages of the script on the treatment I’d written. It’s doing what I want it to, at least for this draft, although there will be a lot of cutting and layering in future drafts. I don’t yet have a title for it. For myself, I’m referring to it as the “Heist Romance” script.

It was very difficult to pull myself out of that fictional world (even though some of the settings are places I know very well). I felt disoriented and out of place.

I should have started the next book for review or worked on contract entries. Instead, I started reading a book by an author who’s work I’ve read for years. Her new book is the first of a new series. It’s still a little too predictable, formula-wise (but that’s what her readers want) and I keep getting too far ahead, but I like the central pair of protagonists, so it was worth staying up until 11:30 reading (I hope to finish it today).

I overslept this morning, and Tessa Was Not Amused. I fed everyone and settled down to write in longhand for a bit. Still felt disoriented, and a bit addled. My brain is already rewriting those initial six pages, and I took the red pen and marked up what I printed out.

The priority this morning needs to be the post for tomorrow’s Process Muse. I started it a few days ago, and then got distracted, so I have to get back to it. I need to draft another episode of Legerdemain, adapt another chapter of ANGEL HUNT, and maybe upload the next month’s worth of episodes. I have to create the graphics for the four episodes of Legerdemain I uploaded on Sunday, and draft tomorrow’s Ink-Dipped Advice post. The two posts for tomorrow were supposed to be on yesterday’s work schedule, but the Heist Romance pushed everything else to the side. I don’t regret spending the whole day on it at all, but it means reshuffling the rest of the week’s work. And the other script, that I started a couple of weeks ago, with the working title LUCKY NUMBERS, is standing there, tapping its inky foot, demanding attention. Since I figured out how to get out of the corner into which I’d written myself, I can do so. The question is when? I don’t want to lose its rhythm, or get its rhythm diluted by the Heist Romance.

I have errands I planned to do on Thursday, but we’re supposed to get the 3-6 inches of snow on Thursday that everyone else got the past couple of days. Today is bright and sunny. The SMART move would be to do all the errands today, and then hunker in the rest of the week, and push off some of today’s work to tomorrow. If I do that, I’ll wind up only working on the two blog posts (and the GDR post) and turning around the two scripts in my queue for today.

I like the flexibility of my schedule, but it also calls for prioritizing and rearranging tasks and making decisions, and today, my brain is filled with mashed potatoes, so that is not an easy task. Perhaps the errands will help clear it.

I’m talking in circles now. I’m going to stop yammering and get to work.

Episode 51 of Legerdemain drops today. Hope you enjoy it.

Have a good one.

Mon. Jan. 16, 2023: Intent for the Week — Create

image courtesy Rudy and Peter Skitterians via pixabay.com

The weekend was a little scattered, full of all kinds of weather, but also creative.

I hope to ride that wave of creative energy through the week, doing deep work on my own projects, and building up some ore client work.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on January 16, 2023 at 9:30 am  Comments (3)  

Fri. Jan. 13, 2022: A Slow, Rainy Start

image courtesy of ini kvaratskhelia via pixabay.com

Friday, January 13, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus and Mercury Retrograde

Chilly rain

I love Friday the 13th, so I’m looking forward to the day.

And my friend Paula’s play is being read tonight by a theatre company down in Florida. Woo-hoo! It’s a terrific play, and I’m delighted for her.

Yesterday wound up being more of a practical day than a creative day. I got some blogging done. I attended the online meditation group. I did some tidying up on the desk. I worked drafting some future blog posts.

I did the rounds promoting Episode 50 of LEGERDEMAIN, and uploading/scheduling the graphics for next week’s episodes. The teasers for ANGEL HUNT are also starting to drop, so I dealt with those, too. I cleaned up the additional pages on this blog, did some cleanup on the Legerdemain website, and polished the #28Prompts, which will run in February.

I also did a media kit for LEGERDEMAIN, and I’m happy with the way it came out. I got to use some of my favorite general graphics along with a set of thumbnails from episode-specific graphics, and present the information about the series. I kept the bio very simple and might beef that up a bit. I did not put in an excerpt from the first episode, because the first three episodes are free and available to everyone. I’m wondering if I should at least put in the opening paragraphs, which carry the hook.

I made some notes on an idea. It needs to percolate more. I have the characters and the basic situation, but that’s not enough. That’s been pushed into another section of the brain to work on a low boil.

A box came from a friend, with knitted lovelies, a citrine, tea, lip balm, and chocolate truffles. The perfect care package for a snowy winter day.

I finished reading a colleague’s book, and I finished reading the book for review. I have two reviews to get out later today, and tell my editor I’m ready for the next assignment.

I started reading THE READING LIST by Sara Nisha Adams, for the NYU Alumni Book Club. It’s quite wonderful. It’s even more fun, because it lets me revisit books I’ve read and enjoyed (I’ve read all the books mentioned in the novel).

Both of us were up sick most of the night. Not ordering takeout from THAT place again anytime soon, are we? The cats were good little nurses. I feel rather hollow and tired this morning.

Another idea started bubbling up. I’m making some notes, but there are some obstacles to the story, so once I make the notes, they need to go to an even further back burner.

I have a script in today’s queue, which I will read this afternoon. I hope some more will come in over the weekend; even though I try not to do script coverage on weekends, there’s been so little coming in lately that if it shows up, I’ll read it. I also have to start on the contest entries. I don’t want to get behind. I know I have a stack of blank scoring sheets left over from last year. Somewhere.

I need to get to the library. A stack of books has finally come in. Some of them are research books that will serve two projects on the boil. I also have to mail some bills, and get in a few groceries. We’ll do some easy things this weekend, until we get back on our feet. I’m hoping I can find a decent chicken, and do a gentle roast chicken.

The weather is supposed to be nasty, on and off, next week, so I’m glad I work at home. I’m going to try to get some writing in on LEGERDEMAIN and ANGEL HUNT today, but I have a feeling I might put it off until tomorrow. By the end of the weekend or first thing Monday, I’ll be able to upload and schedule another two weeks’ worth of LEGERDEMAIN and another month’s worth of ANGEL HUNT.

 The next section of LEGERDEMAIN going up is in decent shape, it’s mostly cleaning up sloppy writing. But the logic and the narraive drive of the story are there. The following section is a more intimate and sadder one that I want to take another look at before I upload it. The piece I’m working on now is driving the main arc forward, and I need to get way ahead on that before I can go back to polish and upload it, because there are things later on I might need to plant in episodes coming up soon.

This next section of ANGEL HUNT needs a good bit of revision, but I figured it out, tossing and turning in discomfort last night. But I have to be on my game to actually write it. Knowing what needs to be done is a good half the battle.

It’s already late, and I need to head out soon. I’m just going to take it slow today, and listen to what my body needs.

Have a good weekend, my friends, and I’ll catch up with you on the other side of it.

Thurs. Jan. 12, 2023: Unexpected Snow Day

image courtesy of  Kati via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus and Mercury Retrograde

Mars Direct (but still in Gemini)

Snowy and cold

Huh. We were supposed to get a storm coming through with rain tonight. Instead, I woke up to snow. Oh, well. Life in the Northeastern Mountains, right?

Garden post is up over on Gratitude and Growth.

Decent writing day yesterday. Although I only got 500 or so words on the novel in longhand, I drafted the next episode of LEGERDEMAIN and adapted the next chapter of ANGEL HUNT into five serial episodes.

I did the rounds on social media, promoting the latest Process Muse post, and spending time on the sites designated for that day. There are two sites I’m pretty sure I’m going to drop soon. I spent some time on Bookbub. Since they don’t allow us to list our serials in our booklist, I put the serials in my bio.

A book arrived for review, and it’s lovely, so lovely. Such beautiful design elements. I’m excited to get into the text. Read half of another book for review. It’s perfectly serviceable for the genre, but lacks sparkle.

Switched to reading some books for pleasure. One of them (I’m not sure how I ended up with it) is just awful. Everything in it is so completely disconnected from each other and a flat trope that I suspect it was run through AI. If I’d paid for the book, I would be angry, but I seem to remember it was sent to me free.

Read most of another book by an author whose work I know well over years. It was trying to fit a market niche, but she’s too much herself to be niche-restricted, and I could see where she was fighting the expectations. I mean, I enjoy it, but other books, where she can just let it rip, work better for me. And for her, since she doesn’t plan on continuing with the series.

Slept well, for once, although woke up after some weird dreams. But I woke up to coffee and snow, so it’s all good. I’ll put off my errands until tomorrow. There’s nothing urgent for today.

In my morning noodling session, suddenly and idea I’d played with off and on since last summer started coming into focus. I took a few notes. It will be a bit down the schedule before I can actually work on it. The idea was prompted by a submission call. I couldn’t make it work within the guidelines within the time frame, but I liked the idea, and hoped I could figure out what to do with it. I think I have, in a format with which I want to play more anyway. I’m playing with some character and plot notes, and then I’ll have to see how it fits into the structure and adjust.

I missed working on the other piece on which I usually work in longhand in the morning, so I may sneak in a few pages later today, between other bits and bobs.

Meditation this morning, then more LEGERDEMAIN, more ANGEL HUNT, making the rounds to promote today’s new episode of LEGERDEMAIN, the start of promotion for ANGEL HUNT, work on the article, finishing up books for review. Still no scripts in the queue, which is a worry, so I’ll also get out some LOIs.

I need to work on the direct marketing post card this weekend and get it to the printer (since my big printer is out of commission, and it would look awful on the inkjet).

I love watching the snow come down. I love even more that it gives me an excuse not to go out!

Have a good one, my friends!

Published in: on January 12, 2023 at 8:08 am  Comments (4)  
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Wed. Jan. 11, 2023: Steady Progress

image courtesy of Piyapong Saydaung via pixabay.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Over on The Process Muse today, I talk about “Getting Back on Track” with my writing.

With Mars stationary, preparing to go direct tomorrow, it’s like wading through molasses while furious. Not fun, and I constantly remind myself that reacting rather taking a breath and a step back is an unwise choice right now.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I did about 1K in longhand while at the laundromat. After breakfast/putting everything away, I drafted another episode of LEGERDEMAIN. A character who was supposed to be rather one-dimensional and start as a comic red herring is turning into someone more complicated. I guess that’s a good thing, fully developed characters are always a better choice, but I have to make sure this character still works, in the plot, the way I need him to.

I adapted another chapter of ANGEL HUNT into four episodes. I then “created” the story on Kindle Vella, uploaded the series logo and the blurb, and polished, uploaded, and scheduled the first 16 episodes, which gets me through St. Patrick’s Day in March. I updated the Episode Tracking Sheets as I went, to make sure I know what’s going out when. I wrote the episode log lines.

But the more I think about it, the stronger the instinct NOT to do episode-specific graphics. LEGERDEMAIN episodes drop on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with episode-specific graphics. ANGEL HUNT episodes will drop Wednesdays and Fridays. The series logo is striking. I’m worried that too many different graphics will get confusing to potential readers. The episodes are short, by intent. Few are over 1K words. The narrative drive of this piece is narrower, without the sprawl that makes all those LEGERDEMAIN graphics both necessary and fun.  Individual graphics don’t make sense, unless I was good enough to draw original art, or rich enough to commission an artist. The style of graphic that’s been working for LEGERDEMAIN won’t work for ANGEL HUNT, and, frankly, along with not having it in the budget to fairly pay an artist, I’ve left it too late to commission. I would like to get ahead on promotion, but Kindle Vella doesn’t give me the link until the story goes live on launch day. They really sabotage their authors, between not allowing gift cards used as tokens, or allowing authors to put tokens in giveaway packages, or allow authors to put the serials on their author pages. I don’t think BookBub allows the serials on their author pages either, which is annoying. I know it’s because Amazon wants authors to buy ads on the Amazon platform, but I mean, come on, give us some support over here.

At least for the first few months, I’m going to continue with episode-specific graphics for LEGERDEMAIN (along with increasing the general graphics, as I expand the website), but use a consistent graphic for ANGEL HUNT. It’ll give me a chance to compare promotional styles, although the two serials are a bit of apples and oranges.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted, with a blasting headache from it all.

I didn’t work on the script, although I was trying to figure out how to write myself out of this corner. Then, I realized, that I really don’t need to. This is a first draft, and I plan to cut the scene anyway in the next draft. I can make a note to that effect in the “Action” line and just move on. Duh.

I finished reading a book by a new-to-me author, recommended to me by an author colleague I like and respect. The book understands the genre and puts interesting twists on it, although I did manage to get ahead of the plot a few times, and had to wait for the characters to catch up. I like the writing. But then, a minor character used the term “witch” as a derogatory against other women, and I felt slapped in the face. This author, particularly, knows better. I was also a little thrown because the flap copy has incorrect character names. In other words, I’m on the fence about whether or not to read any other books by this particular author. I may try the first book of one of the other series, and see if I encounter the same type of issues.

No scripts in the queue, which has me worried, but I have books to review and will get on the stick about that. Plus contest entries, which I need to start. And I’m behind in reading the book for NYU’s virtual book club.

I did the social media rounds to promote the episode of LEGERDEMAIN that went live yesterday. I’m definitely seeing where I want to scale back on some of the platforms over the coming weeks.

An “offer” landed in my inbox to ghostwrite. $15 for 1500 words, minimum requirement 10 chapters per week (meaning 15,000 words). Yeah, no. Not worth it to work on someone else’s ideas for so little money. If I’m going to write 3K a day for someone else, it’s not going to be for a penny a word.

Slept reasonably well, woke up to coffee. Only got about 500 words done in longhand. I’d lost the thread of that particular story, getting wound up in the other stories on which I worked yesterday. By the time I got back into it, the time I had to work on it was up.

The morning plan is to take some Excedrin for my headache, draft another episode of Legerdemain, adapt another chapter of ANGEL HUNT to serial (it’s so weird, going from serial to chapter back to serial format), promote the new post on The Process Muse, work on my article, hopefully get some scripts in my queue, work on the next book for review, start contest entries. I’d like to work a little ahead on Process Muse and Ink-Dipped Advice, too, but that may get pushed off until the weekend.

Next week, I have to look at the short stories that do not have a home and the plays, and decide where to submit. I need everything out the door by early March (I will wait to start submissions until Mercury goes direct). I looked at my submission and pitch logs for 2022, and I was lax. Time to make up for it this year. If it’s not out there, it can’t find the right match.

What’s on your agenda today?

Tues. Jan. 10, 2023: Good Start to the Writing Week

image courtesy of  Peter H via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Waning Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Time for us to curl up with a favorite beverage and have our Tuesday catch-up natter.

The GDR post this week is about “More Me” rather than the mantra thrown at us every year about a “new me.”

Busy weekend. As you saw from reading Friday’s post,  I was not in a good mood on Friday.

I scuttled the idea of getting anything done, and, instead, spent most of the day taking down and packing the holiday decorations. I didn’t get it all done on Friday; there was still about 1/3 of the tree left, and few other things scattered around. But I got most of it done.

I was tired and sore by the end of the afternoon. I made bouillabaisse for dinner, in the new Dutch oven, and it was delicious. I read for pleasure in the evening.

Didn’t sleep well.

Saturday morning, I wrote about 1K on a project with which I’m noodling in longhand, and wrote in my head on the screenplay.

I spent most of the day finishing getting the ornaments packed and reorganizing where to stash all these various boxes of ornaments, getting the tree taken apart, and the new stand apart (took 2 minutes to get this stand back in the box, yay), and everything put away. I broke one glass ornament, from 1982, which makes me sad, but when I took it off the tree, the top metal part that was attached to the hanger detached from the glass ball and that was that. Got it all cleaned up, so that the cats wouldn’t step on any shards.

Started switching out all the different fabrics from the holiday to more general January/winter fabrics – kitchen table, the Kitchen Island Cart from Hell, other tables, etc. Didn’t get them all done, but made good progress.

The heat stopped working around midday. I put in a call, got no response, but it started working again in the late afternoon, so who knows. As long as it works.

Made Moosewood’s mac & cheese for dinner, which was good. Was too tired to read much in the evening, although I’m enjoying another of Elizabeth Peters’s Vicky Bliss series. Went to bed early because I was tired and sore.

Up early on Sunday and, for the first time since about Christmas, we had real sunshine. What a big difference! That made me feel better, too.

I wrote about 2K on the project in longhand, which wound up being all of Chapter 4. I’m starting to realize what this book is, how it’s shaped, what the narrative drive needs to be, which is very different than what I thought it was about. I think (hope) it will be a standalone. I have a lot of placeholders (which I don’t usually do), and I’m at the point where I have to type up these pages to really get an idea of what’s what. I SHOULD outline, but I don’t think I will, this time around, even though it will necessitate more rounds of revision. I started typing up the pages written (because otherwise it’s too overwhelming at the end). I am doing a lot of rewrites as I go, on this draft I’m calling “1A” that goes beyond adding in the information from placeholders and going to some restructuring as I’m learning the shape.

I wrote ten more pages on the screenplay. There are already all kinds of notes in the margins of what I’ve printed out, where I need to fix things in the next draft. And this draft will be too long, so cuts will have to be made, and some structural work done. But I’m telling the story I want to tell. I need to tell this version to completion, before I can make it fit the format better.

At the same time, part of me suspects I will eventually adapt it into a novel, because that is more likely to go somewhere. But the ideas are coming in as a screenplay, and I’m learning from it, so whatever it winds up being, I will have gained from starting in this format.

Made turkey meatloaf for dinner. Added a bit of Worcestershire sauce and tabasco to the mix, and that made a big, positive difference.

Read in the evening, but went to bed early, because I was tired. Tessa tried to get me out of bed at 3, but I told her no breakfast until the coffee starts. So the minute the coffeemaker started at its designated time, she was in full voice.

It’s amazing how something as small as having a coffeemaker one can program to start before one gets up makes such a big difference in starting the day.

Wrote about 1K on the longhand project. Drafted a Legerdemain episode. Got next week’s episodes uploaded, and created graphics. I wrote the loglines in the evening.

Mailed bills, dropped off and picked up books at the library, went to the grocery store I don’t like much to pick up a few things I couldn’t get at the other place. Sang the grumpy pants song to myself to get myself out of my worsening mood. It’s a silly little jingle I made up to sing to the cats when they were grumpy, and now I use it on myself at times, to get over myself and get back on track. Because it’s silly, and it’s hard to stay grumpy singing it.

After lunch, I did some scoring for the script coverage place – quick but low paid, and I’m a little worried about having enough work for this week.

In the meantime, I polished the first 16 episodes of ANGEL HUNT, created the Episode Tracking Sheet, the Style Sheet, and the Series Bible. I polished the blurb. I can start uploading those first two months’ worth of episodes today. Then, I’ll have to write the log lines and do the episode-specific graphics. I’m only using the series logo as a general graphic (unlike LEGERDEMAIN, where I have a plethora of general graphics to support the ongoing worldbuilding).

I wrote two pages on the script, which will have to be cut. I’m pretty sure I’ll need to cut this whole subplot. It’s too much of a tangent. I have a bit of a subplot in there already that is stronger for the piece.

I made some notes of general ad graphics for LEGERDEMAIN. I have a slew of general ads along with the episode-specific graphics, but I need to do some more, as more weird little shops and places work into the story.

Soup class with Chef Jeremy was fun, although his Zoom cut out partway through. But everyone just hung out and chatted until he got the tech on his end up and running. I’ve learned a lot in that class, and it’s fun to apply it.

My mom hasn’t been feeling well the past few days, which, since she is 98, is a concern. She’s a little better this morning, so hopefully, taking it easy for a few days will help.

Up early, before coffee, and had to coax the coffeemaker along. Tessa was thrilled she didn’t have to start howling to get breakfast. Got my act together to leave for the laundromat early, and was the only one there. It was wonderful.

While the laundry was going through, I got 1K written in longhand on the one book, and then read a bit, as the laundry finished in the dryer.

Home, hauled it up the stairs, got it folded and put away.

The plan for today is to draft another episode of LEGERDEMAIN, adapt the next chapter of ANGEL HUNT to serial episodes, and get those first 16 episodes uploaded and scheduled. I’ll write the loglines, and maybe start the episode graphics, but we’ll see how long all that takes. I also want to do some work on the LEGERDEMAIN website. I also have to do the promotional rounds for the episode going live today.

I want to get out some LOIs today; I’ve been lax on that, and am paying for it, now that the script coverage has slowed down so much. They keep telling us they want more commitment as far as hours per week – well, then pay us better and have enough scripts ready for us.

I have a book to review, and can start on contest entries, if nothing comes in, script-wise, and I have some work to do on an article, too.

Episode 49 of LEGERDEMAIN goes live today – I hope you enjoy it.

Have a good one, my friends! I’m headed back to the page.

Mon. Jan. 9, 2023: Intent for the Week — Re-balance

image courtesy of Enrique via pixabay.com

Last week started well, headed upward into inspiraton, then downard into multiple frustrations.

I took the weekend to write, clean, and get centered again, and my intent for this week is to re-balance. Handle the frustrations better, and be more thoughtful in my reactions.

Mars turns direct on Thursday, lifting an obstacle to forward movement, but the last few days of a retrograde intensify the influences. Pair that with Mercury Retrograde (and Uranus still in retrograde) and the week will have challenges.

I just want to meet them better than I did last week.

What is your intent for this week?

Published in: on January 9, 2023 at 8:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Jan. 6, 2023: Deep in That Mars Retrograde Energy

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Friday, January 6, 2023

Full Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Rainy with temperatures dropping

Yesterday was kind of all over the place.

Meditation was canceled. I mailed some bills, did a big grocery shop, picked up books at the library, got more ink for the inkjet printer.

Came home, unpacked everything, wrote my reviews, submitted the reviews and the invoice, and was paid within ten minutes (love that). I even got a holiday bonus! Was assigned my next two books for review.

Makes me feel better about the lack of script coverages in my queue lately.

Did the social media rounds to promote Episode 48 of Legerdemain.

Was annoyed by an email with the subject line saying: “Set New Year’s Resolutions If You Want to Fail.”

My response to that is “fuck you.”

Resolutions work for me. If they don’t work for others, fine. But don’t tell people that it makes failure the only option.

This is from an organization (not local) from whom I took a few online courses when I first moved here, but they have a very cliquish system, where unless you pay to be part of their group and agree to work within their system, you’re excluded.

No, thanks. I believe I will unsubscribe to their mailings and constant invites to buy in. I got a few good things out the work with them that set me off some interesting paths, but this “do it OUR way, it’s the RIGHT way” is pretty fucked up.

Buh-bye.

I unsubscribed from a boatload of nonprofit mailing lists at the end of the year, and continue to do so as I wade through the ridiculous amount of email that comes in every day. When the day before New Year’s, I opened my email to find almost all of it demands for money, I just hit unsubscribe, over and over again. I have told every nonprofit to whom I give money that they get ONE ask per year. Segment your fucking mailing lists (it’s not hard, I did it for clients for years) or lose any future support.

Done.

I rarely unsubscribe from author newsletters unless the work no longer works for me (such as the author starting to use “witch” as a derogatory term toward women, or the work moving toward right-wing values). Even if I don’t get to read the newsletter for a few weeks, the metrics and numbers matter, so I try to open it, even if I have to read it later. In fact, I tend to increase sign-ups to author newsletters, because it’s a way to support them.

Read something online that made me angry. Someone made a series of dumbass decisions that ended in a tragedy, and then came online wanting to be told she did the right thing (when she did not). Of course, people told her she did. And yes, she knew better. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knew better. The choices were made out of selfishness (which is different than self-care or self-preservation) and now she pretends to be surprised and heartbroken at the outcome, and wants reassurance that she did “the best she could” (when she did not). The universe offered her a beautiful gift; she spit in its face and destroyed it. And now feigns surprise that her actions had fatal consequences. I have zero sympathy for her. Mostly disgust. Trying to find compassion, but so far haven’t succeeded.

I was definitely deep in the Mars retrograde energy yesterday.

I set up ornament hospital in the afternoon and fixed a bunch of stuff, since it has to start getting boxed up for the year again.

Willa helped.

Hot glue and a helpful cat. You can imagine.

She’s smart enough and I’m careful enough that there was no hot glue on the cat. But it meant everything took longer than it might have otherwise.

The 365 Women a Year Playwriting Project is no more, which is both frustrating and saddening, after writing ten plays with them, and then being in limbo last year. I need to remember the good work that project launched, instead of being frustrated with the now of it.

I gave myself the afternoon off yesterday. I worked out, in my head, the next couple of sections of the screenplay (I’ve come almost to the end of my notes).

I had the sudden urge to visit a particular thrift store in the afternoon. The storm hadn’t started yet, so I nipped out and over. I found a small leather trunk with a curved top, lined inside with burgundy fabric.  It’s delightful. I’m so happy I found it. No idea what I will put in it yet, or where I’ll put it, but I’m glad I found it. One of the few bright spots in an otherwise frustrating day.

I finished reading a Kindle book where the premise was good, but the execution/structure/worldbuilding were weak and inconsistent. I think I need to make a list of the digital books that don’t work for me, so I can delete them from the Kindle, but not risk buying them again. I don’t return digital books; that’s a lousy thing to do to an author. I bought it; if I don’t like it, it’s on me.

We enjoyed the last night of the Yuletide decorations. Today, we start taking them down (although it will probably take the whole weekend).

Didn’t sleep well last night, and it wasn’t Charlotte’s fault (for once). I woke up around 1:30 and just couldn’t get back to sleep. To say I am at less than my best today is an understatement.

I started trying to figure out how to channel my anger about consequences for the needless suffering the dumbass caused, transformed into fiction. I came up with the premise and the catalyst, but everything I came up with as a way for the protagonist to make it right is either trite or too easy. This morning, I came up with an idea to up the protagonist’s stakes and pain. It will take a few weeks to figure it out so I can write it, and it may not ever be something that can go out into the world, but it will channel the anger, and maybe turn it into something that has some sort of meaning, at least for me. Better than letting it fester.

Looking at the situation around the Speaker of the House votes is both frustrating and somewhat ironically funny. The wanna-be had lost the 11th vote by the time I went to bed. First of all, he and a good portion of the other GOP members sitting there are insurrectionists and belong in prison, not Congress. Second, I would love it if the Dems held firm throughout, and I’m pleased that they have so far, but I’m not hopeful.

This has been rather a downer of a post, hasn’t it? Not the best way to end the holiday season and the week.

Let’s look at some good stuff, shall we, and end the week and the post on a better note?

Packing up the decorations will take time and care. The place will look bare, but I’m kind of looking forward to it as a rest period before spring starts things up again. I need to start ordering seeds soon, and I put in a Chewy order yesterday, because those little furballs need to be fed properly.

I’m going to take breaks in the packing up with writing over the weekend, working on Legerdemain, ANGEL HUNT, and the screenplay. I want/need to start uploading and scheduling the ANGEL HUNT episodes next week, and get that promotional campaign going.

Tonight, I will make bouillabaisse in the Dutch oven. Tomorrow, I’m making the Moosewood Mac & Cheese again, and on Sunday, I will make turkey meatloaf. We are still up to our eyeballs in rum cake and stollen.

I will also carve out some extra time to sit in meditation and shake off the anger and frustration that have built up lately. I will get back to the stillness and start over, in order to create a better week next week.

So much for the intent of easing into the year with grace, huh? I managed at the beginning of the week, but then things deteriorated. I will work to do better next week.

Have a good weekend, my friends.

Thurs. Jan. 5, 2023: Crafting My Own Schedule

image courtesy of  StartupStockPhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 5, 2023

First Day of the Full Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Rainy and cold

There’s a new post over on Gratitude and Growth about the garden.

If you’re interested in the first part of my experiments in social media, I have a post about that up over on Ink-Dipped Advice.

I spent the bulk of yesterday working on the new screenplay, and wrote an additional 24 pages. So, in less than 24 hours, I wrote 36 pages, almost to the end of where I’d outlined. It definitely needs work, but I like the flow, and I’m telling the story I want to tell. Making it work for the chosen format will come in the later drafts.

I love working in the Drama Queen software, though. I really, really like it. Whereas every line indicator was a fight with Trelby, Drama Queen does as I ask the first time.

As I progressed on my day, I wondered WHY I was berating myself for working on this. I’m on top of my deadlines. I’m not as far ahead with Legerdemain as I’d like, but I’m also not behind. So, what’s the problem?

There isn’t one, except for an outdated concept of what I “should” be doing.

I have the gift of (mostly) creating my day as I see fit. Why not go with the flow?

One frustrating thing was that I’m almost out of ink on the new printer THREE DAYS after I set it up. Yet another reason to get the laser printer fixed. I can’t buy new ink every three days. I can’t afford it. I’m going to track the ink in my calendar.

The cartridges on the laser printer lasted usually around 6 months.

I did the social media rounds. I printed out the contest sheets (they didn’t send me an inventory) from the judging dashboard. I turned around a couple of scripts.

I read the next book for review. I will write up both reviews this morning and invoice this batch. I’ll start the contest entries this weekend.

Episode 48 of Legerdemain drops today, and I hope you enjoy it.

I have meditation this morning, and then I’m off to the grocery store, before the bad weather moves in. Once I get back, I’ll do promotion for the new episode of Legerdemain, work on the screenplay some more, and, hopefully, write another episode of Legerdemain. Or I might to the Legerdemain episode first. We’ll see where the energy flow is, and work with that.

Tonight is the last night to put on the tree and all the lights. Tomorrow, they start coming down. I have a feeling it will take us all weekend to take everything down and put it away.

Have a good one, my friends!

Published in: on January 5, 2023 at 8:09 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 5, 2023: Crafting My Own Schedule  
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When Inspiration Strikes

image courtesy of fancycrave1 via pixabay.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Waxing Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Rainy and getting colder

It was difficult to get going again, in some ways. I feel like I need a genuine sabbatical.

But I did it; I got the blogs up, I created the ad graphics for next week’s Legerdemain episodes and uploaded/scheduled them to post. I did the social media rounds to promote the episode that dropped yesterday. I spent a little more time on a couple of the social media sites that I haven’t spent much time on yet, to get to know them better, establish my presence more interactively, and see if I should stay. There are two sites that I’m leaning toward dropping; I’ll give it a little longer and see.

The newest post is up on The Process Muse, about “Computer Recovery and Writing in Longhand.”

I wrote the next episode of Legerdemain, and it went well. This section, of a handful of episodes, leans more into the drama/relationship aspects of the serial, and deals with a difficult situation. Hopefully, I got the balance right, with all the other elements that need attention. I need to show up steadily on Legerdemain for the next few weeks, to get ahead, balancing it with the work I need to do on ANGEL HUNT.

I was late going to the library, and the freezing rain intensified while I was out.

I used the leftover kale to make kale and bean soup, using the techniques learned in soup class, and tossing in a little Canadian bacon. It’s very good.

In the afternoon, I turned around a script. I only have one more in my queue for this week, which should worry me more than it does.

In the evening, I was going to start the next book for review, but An Idea popped into my head, starting with characters and going “what if?” and it just took off. I wrote about 5 pages of handwritten notes, and then, around 8 PM, went back to the computer, and wrote the first 12 pages.

Thank goodness I’d re-loaded the Drama Queen software. It helped everything flow.

I can’t wait to get back to it today.

The last thing I need is a new project right now, especially a screenplay. But the characters and story are there, demanding attention. So, I’ll go with it, but try not to drop the ball on anything else.

Astrologically, I shouldn’t be starting a new project. The new moon pushing to full moon energy encourages it, as does Jupiter in Aries. But the retrogrades? Uranus, Mars, especially Mercury? Those influences push against new work and encourage finishing other work.

But these characters and this story wants attention, so I’ll go with it. WHILE keeping up with my obligations, not instead of them. I’ll see how far I can get with it. I wrote the rough outline/notes until I got stuck. Either writing the piece itself will unstick, or I’ll have to take some time to pace and mutter. I already see where it needs some tightening and structural work, but I need to get out a full draft before I can deal with that.

I had weird dreams all night, and was up this morning to the wonderful smell of coffee. I didn’t get my act together as early as I would have liked to get to the laundromat, but I got there and got the laundry through, while writing my way in to another project with which I’ve been noodling. I’m getting to the point where I need to type up these chapters, see what I have, and make a decision.

Back to the page. I don’t have to be anywhere today, which is a relief. I have things like grocery shopping, et al, tomorrow, but today I can stay in and work.

Have a good one, my friends.

Published in: on January 4, 2023 at 9:32 am  Comments Off on When Inspiration Strikes  
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Tues. Jan. 3, 2023: Getting Started For the New Year

image courtesy of Engin Akyurt via pixabay.com

Tues. Jan. 3, 2023

Waxing Moon

Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Foggy and freezing rain

I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend, and that you took off yesterday as part of it, too.

I’ve spent so many New Year’s Eves being unhappy that a quiet one was just what I wanted. I did some noodling on two projects as I try to find out if they are viable. I uploaded what I feel comfortable sharing with my 2023 Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions over on that site.

I cleaned the house, vacuumed, changed the beds, did the dishes, mopped the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, granite counters (with its special cleaner) and stainless steel (with those special wipes). I like going into the New Year with a clean house.

I made devilled eggs and small rum cakes with rum glaze. I was worried I’d put in too much rum (I tweaked the recipe), but it came out just right. I put the rum IN the mix and the glaze, rather than soaking the cakes later. I like it better the way I did it.

I’ve been asked, over the years, why I bother putting up a lot of decorations and doing big meals and cleaning for the holidays when I don’t have lots of people over. I do it for us. I do it because the years I haven’t done it, I was unhappy. Making the places festive for various holidays makes me happy, so why not do it? Why must everything always be for someone else?

I made the salmon with cumin glaze, and we had sweet potatoes with it, for the Eve meal. We stayed up, watched the ball come down in Times Square (to think, I used to be able to watch from my apartment window, I lived so close; glad not to be in that madness now). It was very discouraging to see all those people crammed in there unmasked.

I stayed up until a little after one. Tessa was delighted. Charlotte and Willa were confused. It is lovely to live somewhere that locals aren’t setting off illegal fireworks in the streets and putting us in danger.

Up early on the Day. Did the fire and ice ritual. Noodled a bit on the two projects with which I’m playing.

I made traditional Eggs Benedict for breakfast, which was good.

I set up the new, small inkjet printer. Finally. It took 3 damn hours. It should have taken 20 minutes, but the printer drivers wouldn’t load properly, and the laptop wouldn’t recognize the printer, even though it was connected by USB. What a nightmare. It’s such a lightweight piece of lousy plastic, I’ll be lucky if it lasts a week. But the scanner works well, and it’s better than not having a printer at all.

I printed out the last three chapters of THE TREES WHISPERED DEATH, so at least that’s all in the binder, and I can put it aside to rest for two months, while I work on other things.

I had to rearrange my office space to fit the second printer (the big laser printer is sitting there like a lump until I can get someone over to fix it). At first, I hated the rearrangement, but now I kind of like it. I still have to find a convenient place to put the file folders I need regularly, but I can make this configuration work.

Started reading a book that I hoped would be wonderful, by a Very Prominent Author. The premise sounded great, and it started off well. Then, a few chapters in, for no discernable reason, it switched into present tense and stayed there. I hated it, so I stopped reading.

So much for the first book of the year holding deep meaning. I thought I’d chosen so well!

Started reading one of the books I received as a holiday gift, and that was fun. Read the next book for review, which was interesting, but completely shifted genres for the last third of the book, and structurally couldn’t support the shift.

I have a few scripts in my queue to start the week, but not enough, so I hope more will come in.

Slept in a bit on Monday. Technically, it’s a holiday, but I needed to get some work done.

Many of the businesses and organizations around here close for the first two weeks of January, and I fully support that. Everyone is tired. It’s winter. We need rest.

I did some work in longhand on two projects: one I’m writing the actual story, and the other, I’m making outline notes. The second is pulling to start “writing into” so that I can finish the outline, but I want to do the other one first.

Posted the “Intent for the Week” here. Polished the Ink-Dipped Advice post that goes live tomorrow, and the Process Muse post that does the same, and wrote the Process Muse post for next week. It’s up and scheduled.

Did a quick round of the social media sites.

Revised, polished, uploaded, and scheduled Episodes 49 & 50 of Legerdemain, which go live next week. They needed a good bit of work, as, I believe, the next episode will.

Swung by the post office to mail a few things, and then the liquor store to stock up. In the afternoon, I turned around a script. In the evening, we had the online soup class with Chef Jeremy. Good thing it’s online, with the number of attendees who “got COVID for Christmas.”

Class was fun, and there are techniques I can and will use when I make the bouillabaisse later this week.

Did not sleep well, because Charlotte woke me up every two hours (including throwing up in the bed at 2:30). So that was a lot of cleanup and comforting her. I tried shutting her out of the bedroom, but she had a panic attack.

I had a series of weird dreams – in one, I was lost in a large school in which I’ve had dreams before; another was about writing a rent check to a person I know only from online, because I was subletting from him; the third was kind of a mess; a fourth had to do with an important scene for the outline I’ve been working on in longhand (which I wrote up this morning).

Which meant I overslept, and am getting a late start this morning.

The plan is to work ahead on Legerdemain today, first. On the social media rounds, I will post links to the regular Tuesday material, including the episode of Legerdemain that drops today, and one of the Topic Workbooks. I also have to work on some interview questions that need to go out this week for an article, create the episode graphics for the episodes that uploaded yesterday, and turn around two scripts. I hope I’ll get out a few LOIs, too. I have to swing by the library, but it’s just a quick drop off/pick up, nothing major.

I need to buckle down and focus today. Which is difficult, because I’m sleep-deprived. But we keep on keeping on, right?

Have a good one.