Wed. Oct. 10, 2012: Happy NMLC News!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

First, the good news — I’m a guest on Penny Estelle’s blog as part of Christmas in October, with HEX BREAKER. You can also win a PDF of a story that will be one of the Copper Wishes Creek Tales released next year.

Lost most of my morning workday due to problems with the webhost, 1and1.com. Suddenly, it won’t let me put ANY buttons on my site. It used to be just Twitter and Facebook buttons, but I could drive to a computer with IE on it and put in the “Buy Now” buttons on my site. No more. They basically want to double what they’re charging me and say “that’s how it’s always been”. Then why have I had those buttons on my site previously? Plus, of course, the usual problems with changing font size not taking, and wonky links. Why would I pay double what I’m paying now, when they don’t even give me the service for which I pay now? I lost at least three hours of work time, for which I will invoice them.

So, anyone who takes the upcoming Fast & Fun workshops just has to make direct PayPal payment, without the buttons, which looks unprofessional. I will be billing them for lost income.

And then their dumbass “customer service” people argue with me.

As soon as I can free the files they continue to hold hostage, I’m outta there.

We got our first seal at the National Marine Life Center. You can see pictures of Townsend here. Isn’t that the cutest little face ever? We are so excited! He’s a lively little guy, a harbor seal. His arrival was exciting!

Then, the chairperson of the Mermaid Ball and I visited a couple of locations for next year’s Mermaid Ball. Both locations were good; each had positives and negatives that need to be weighed in terms of the choice. We’re going to look at two more today.

Checked on Townsend before we headed home (little cutie, getting settled in his tank).

Worked with the students in the Supporting Characters workshop — some excellent work. They’re taking it seriously.

Couldn’t get into Savvy Authors at all to work with my tarot students — I tried in three different browsers, but MacGeorge says, no honey, it’s got malware, we’re not going there. This has been an ongoing issue for the better part of a year. I feel for them, but it’s also putting all of us behind a lot.

Didn’t get a chance to do any schoolwork yesterday, so I’ll have to make up for it today, working on my final project for Sustainability, and watching lectures for this week in all three classes.

I know it’s coming up quickly, but the “Dissecting Guidelines” workshop is this Saturday, October 13, and the “The First Three Pages: Dynamic Openings” is on October 20. This is the only time they will be offered this year, and they’re very reasonably priced. More information here.

Got to get a lot of work done this morning, before I head out again to look at venues!

Devon

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Grey and gloomy

The headache is back, gosh darn it. And I can’t even take a hot shower or bath, because there’s no hot water. The scumbag landlords turned off the water again yesterday, without proper notice, claiming an “emergency” and saying it would be down from 9 AM – 1PM. It didn’t come back on until well after 6. And this morning, the water coming out of the hot water tap is colder than the water coming out of the cold water tap. Yes, they know it’s illegal. They don’t care. And I don’t buy that every time they’re doing renovations, it’s an “emergency”. It’s bad planning and poor workmanship.

Still can’t get into my webhost so I can take down the auto responder. 1and1 gets worse every day. But I can’t dump them until I can pull off my materials, contracts, etc., and they’re holding them hostage.

Ran errands in White Plains yesterday. Didn’t find everything I wanted, but it was a pleasant time anyway. Found lots of things I liked, but can’t use right now, so that was that!

Did conference work, worked on Confidential Job #1. Struggled with the play, but will have to get back to that today.

I’ve been very strict, this conference, that each exercise must fit all the criteria set out or I won’t accept it, and that they must create new material for each day’s work, not pull something from a WIP and slap it up in their post. Yesterday’s exercise had to fit a list of points, and contain two characters. So what does someone do? Posts an exercise with four characters and said she hoped it was okay. It wasn’t, and, if you have to ask, it means you know it doesn’t fit the criteria, so don’t waste all our time by putting it there! It also makes me suspect that the student’s been posting scenes from previously written material instead of creating fresh scenes every day.

As I stated at the top of the week to the class,, part of getting published means following guidelines. And following guidelines in an exercise is good practice for following submission guidelines.

For the most part, the students have been pretty conscientious, other than that and then the person who submitted the same piece in both workshops. It’s been good to have smaller class sizes and be able to spend more time on each exercise. The group in the One Story, Many Voices Workshop is small, but they’ve done some terrific work, and the way they let themselves go as they move from genre to genre is really great.

I need a dose of inspiration to get back on track with my own work, so I think I will re-read Terry Brooks’s SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS.

Today’s about wrapping up the conference and finishing up some deadlined work. I’ll be out of town for part of next week, and can’t have any of it hanging over my head — I’ll just be working on the plays while I’m gone. I wanted to do laundry today, but with the water situation, it’s doubtful I can. Sigh.

Now that Violet’s forgiven me for going to Philly, she’s Velcro-Kitty. She’ll be mad at me again next week for the next voyage!

The weekend’s supposed to be nice – -hope I can get out and walk on the beach a bit. Have a good one.

Devon

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and COLD!

JD Salinger died. I liked FRANNY AND ZOOEY and his short stories. I was never a fan of CATCHER IN THE RYE on more than a stylistic level. Holden Caulfield was a whiner who worked my last nerve. But Salinger made a huge contribution, beyond Caulfield, to writing, and he played by his own rules, not getting involved in the uber-marketing crap.

More trouble with 1and1 yesterday. I decided that the newsletter should cover January and February, and reworked it, since I hadn’t been able to get out January’s due to the host problems. It was a nightmare, but I finally got it out, in spite of the site freezing, the address book disappearing (which meant there were times I couldn’t even hand-enter the addresses, because I couldn’t read them), etc., etc. I told tech non-support to stop arguing with me and actually work with me to give me solutions, and, if they couldn’t, to switch me back to the older version of the webmail, which they won’t do. And I’m sick of seeing the little watch every time I want to do something. The watch is supposed to be like the hourglass Windows uses, but what it really means is not that something’s loading, but that it won’t work.

And, of course, 1and1’s instructions on moving the files to the FTP client have NOTHING to do with what’s actually on the screen. I tried to move stuff and couldn’t.

I didn’t get enough writing done and got even more frustrated. It was more of a craft day than an art day anyway — I didn’t feel like writing, so I had to rely on craft.

On the upside, my publisher wants me to write a piece for the relaunched blog for the house, and also to write a short story tie-in for DIXIE DUST. So that will be fun. I’m feeling about as creative as wilted lettuce, but I’ll think of something.

I was worried that I missed the series finale of DOLLHOUSE, but it’s tonight. Phew! There were definitely some episodes I preferred to others, but, overall, I found the series fascinating and disturbing and thought-provoking, which is why I liked most of it. And the writing and casting were pretty strong. Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Fran Kranz, and Alan Tudyk were the standouts for me in the show.

Another upside — the page for the ARDEUR essay anthology is up at SmartPop books. Hop on over here to read about it and find out more information about my essay.

Decent writing session this morning on the WIP. I’m over 100 pages in longhand now, especially since I had to go back and insert scenes. As I’m moving forward, I’m finding stuff that needs to be seeded earlier for logistical purposes, so I’m adding those scenes. That way, I can go back around to them later when I need to. When I get to the point of revisions, it will also help me see where I can make cuts.

Back to the page for awhile, and then I’m off to spend the afternoon withe a friend. I’m hoping I’ll get inspired for the YA short story, and hope that tomorrow I have the focus and energy to tackle trying to pull my webmail files to the FTP. Since 1and1 won’t/can’t help me, I have to figure it out on my own. I’m worried about the incoming mail that can’t be sorted — I may have to forward everything to another address, at least for the moment.

Sigh.

Once this difficult web host transition is done, I hope my new host is less stressful, and I can get back to a steady working system. I don’t even feel that I can adequately pitch and follow up because I can’t trust that anything will get through. Why am I paying these people? They’re holding me cyberly hostage to keep getting paid for services they don’t provide. I need to break free.

Devon

Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 9:11 am  Comments (1)  
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