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.

Tues., June 4, 2013: Trying to Get Back into the Groove

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hard to get back into the swing of things yesterday, especially with a sore throat. I think it’s bus fumes, not getting sick, although I feel logy and over tired.

Yesterday was about catching up with what I’d missed, working with students, trying to get back on top of things. Torrential rain, which made it hard to get anything done outside the house. Plenty of rain water gathered for the week’s watering, though! 😉

Pitched a couple of jobs. Was insulted that a couple of jobs to which I pitched, which sounded legitimate, were actually paying content mill rates of $5 and $10 per article. Considering another place offered me $150 for the same word count — guess where I’ll be working? An article was turned down and immediately picked up by a better publication.

I did some work on Confidential Job #1’s material, and made some notes for an upcoming project.

Finally managed to settle down and fixed about 20 pages on the BLOOD AND BONE script, then adapted it into 15 pages of prose. Working on the script and the novel in tandem is an interesting exercise, especially when it comes to point of view, and in whose POV any particular scene or chapter needs to be in. Once the novel draft is done, I’ll have to let it sit for a bit, and then flesh it out with some more sensory detail, although I’m doing a bit of that now.

Have to get out the June newsletter. Should have prepped it before New York, but I ran out of time.

Reading Eleanor Coppola’s NOTES ON A LIFE. Gives me ideas on enriching some of the atmosphere POWER OF WORDS (which will shortly be renamed).

We have a seal release this afternoon over at NMLC, so I have t make sure everything is handled and I can go out there and photograph it.

Better get to work. Wish I felt better.

Devon

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 7:40 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. April 22, 2013: Earth Day, Mansuscript Prep, and Writing

IMG_1014
All nice and loamy in the front! 😉

Monday, April 22, 2103
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Earth Day

What a weekend!

Friday was mostly about the Boston area being locked down in order to find the terrorist. The news coverage was continuous. I don’t know how it was in other areas of the country, but we couldn’t access the national news, they just keep yapping about nothing for an almost twenty-four hour cycle. The coverage was lousy and irritating. I think the media is over-simplifying things and using slogans and sound bytes instead of giving real information. There’s way too much we still don’t know about it all, and, while I’m relieved that the perpetrators of last Monday’s attack seem to be caught, I’m not yet assured that this wasn’t the tip of a bigger iceberg. I’m as disturbed by the questions that aren’t being asked as by the circus aspect to all of this.

Got some work in the yard done, got some reading done, but it was difficult to concentrate with all the sirens (even down here — suspicious packages, the Sagamore bridge closed for awhile, etc.) and the chaos was not conducive to getting much done. I managed to get a nice chunk of the non-fiction book done, which was a relief. Got a mailing out for an Arbor Day event next week. Sat outside for awhile in the afternoon, just trying to get settled a bit. At least I’m back to my daily yoga practice.

Saturday was a rainy, gray day. I spent most of it writing. Not necessarily on the book I’m supposed to be working on, but that’s what it is. I did about 1500 words in longhand on something that’s been tugging at me. I worked on the non-fiction book. I worked with students. An old screenplay of mine that’s been haunting me lately got dug up. I read it and it holds together. While there’s not much I can do with it as a screenplay, I started adapting it to a romantic suspense/adventure novel. In the prose, I have to adjust some things to deepen POVs, but the story itself and the dialogue holds together. The ending needs a boost, but I now have the plotting skills to do that. It’s an old file, so I’m converting sections of the old screenplay that got wonked in the save, and then adapting each section into prose.

I also submitted a backlog of stories — and one of them was accepted within hours of submission. That’s what I call a good day’s work! It will publish in the fall, and is one of my favorite contemporary pieces.

Finished reading material for Confidential Job #1, and started the next assignment. Polished materials for the conference presentation next week, and now have to start printing stuff out. I need information as to how many to expect — I don’t want to print 200 copies of everything if only 60 people are there, but I don’t want to be caught short, either.

Yesterday, I was exhausted. Read the papers. Worked out in the yard for a bit. Came up with a cool event/promotion for May which I will detail a little further into the post, wrote up the promotional aspect, and also all the content for the three weeks’ worth of material. Wrote another chapter in the book I’m supposed to be writing. Took a walk on the beach. Aren’t these piles of shells fascinating? It was cold and windy, but it was a great day to be outside.

IMG_1025

May is Manuscript Preparation Month

With all the calls for submission and conferences coming up, May is a great month to prepare manuscripts. If you’re doing a consultation during a conference, you need to get your materials polished and in; if you want to take advantage of a submission call, you need to do the same. With events like BEA coming up at the beginning of June, where lots of deals are made, there’s a need to get going on prepping.

For the month of May, I’m emailing a free manuscript preparation tip every weekday from May 1-May 24 (ending at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend). Yup, a free tip to help you prepare your manuscript.

To sign up, send an email to manuscriptprep-at-fearlessink-dot-com with “Tip” in the subject line.

In addition to the free tip, you get a coupon for a 10% discount on a critique of 30 pages, which must be used between now and the end of the year, and you are automatically signed up for the newsletter.

I only posted the information yesterday afternoon, and I’m thrilled and delighted by how many people have already signed up. I hope you’ll join the group!

Now, I’ve got many pages to write today, so I better get back to it!

Devon

Wednesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, sunny, sticky

The humidity wasn’t a problem yesterday until later in the day, although the heat soared. Today, I doubt we’ll be that lucky. Now they’re saying we’ll break 100. That’s pretty rare around here.

I wanted to put studio time in, but the website wasn’t updated, and no one answered the phone, so it was a pretty good bet they were closed.

I got out a couple of queries for the plays. I finished the draft changing BEHIND THE MAN from a three-act interactive piece to a two-act proscenium piece. I expanded it a bit in Act I and have to add some more in Act II — it’s still a little short. And I need to work on the new material. It’s not yet seamlessly integrated with the other material.

I started the same transformation on THE MATILDA MURDERS. My dilemma there is that one of the jokes in the interactive version is that all the characters interact/acknowledge the audience except Nate, and he starts to wonder if he’s crazy or if they’re crazy. I’ve been trying to make that work in the two-act structure, but it doesn’t. I may have to lose that whole element. That makes the gap between the three-act and two-act versions wider, which is a good thing, but means I have to come up with extra business to replace the business I’m cutting, and, again, make the play longer.

It’s a fascinating process.

Finished Susan Turnbull’s ALMOST FRENCH. In many ways, it works better for me than Elizabeth Gilbert’s overpraised EAT, PRAY, LOVE. Don’t get me wrong — I think Gilbert’s writing is beautiful. But, to me, she went on this incredible journey and ended up in the same place she started. The man was a different individual and the location was different, but she hadn’t really made progress. The entire focus of her existence was still on a man. Yes, she spent time on her own, but one never got a sense that she developed as an individual. It was always in how she related to the men on her journey. And then, the second book of hers that came out a few months ago, is a justification as to why she agreed to marry this new guy after swearing she’d never get married again. Don’t plan to read it. It’s none of my business. It’s her life, not mine. I don’t care what she does, and if she wants to change her mind, that’s up to her. But she’s doing it publicly, and in my opinion, she’s being well-paid to be a hypocrite. It doesn’t matter on a personal level because we are not a part of each other’s lives. I think it’s great she’s a success, good for her, it’s hard to make a living in this business. So, she found out her “ethics” on the matter of remarriage weren’t all that strong when push came to shove and she’d have to make actual compromises for her supposed “principles.” I don’t need to spend my hard-earned money reading her justification. Turnbull, on the other hand, although she comes to Paris because she’s fallen in love with a guy, actually builds a life AND a partnership, and, for all the growth and change she manages during the six years before her marriage, she also stays true to an essential core of herself, even when she makes mistakes, even when it’s not always pretty, even if she’s not always right. And I really like and respect that about both her and her book. She doesn’t make excuses or justifications. She simply IS. She’s doing the best she can, she’s learning along the way, and she’s taking joy in the journey. For a memoir, there’s not a whole lot of naval-gazing going on, and yet she has a wonderful journey of self-discovery.

Roughed out two comedy sketches, one political, one more universal, about scumbag landlords. They still need work — the political one needs more zap leading to the end, and it’s very vicious. I may need to dial down the viciousness, yet still be witty enough to get my point across. But they were fun to write. I want to write two more, polish them, and that will be my first bunch sent to the comedy group.

Started reading Adriana Trigani’s LUCIA, LUCIA, which is a lovely novel. I’m throughly enjoying it. Although most of it is set in the Greenwich Village of the 1950’s, enough of it remained when I went to NYU in the 80’s to enjoy the landmarks. Some of them are still there, but NYU is rapidly buying up all the lovely historical buildings, ripping them down, and building soulless dormitories. I’m sometimes embarrassed to be an NYU alum; it used to mean something, one could take pride in it, but now — they’ve been such poor stewards of the grace and history of the Village for the past twenty years that it’s disgusting.

Will try to get some writing done and read at least a bit of the play sent over by my acquaintance before it gets too hot to work and I have to shut off the computer. We have to “conserve power” — either the air can be on or the TV or the computer. Let’s see, now, Con Ed raises our fees by 17% every year, but can’t provide the power we need. Something’s not only twisted about that, but fraudulent. Their JOB, their reason for existence, is to provide the power we need because we’re paying for it. Fingers crossed they don’t screw us like they usually do — there’s no place I can take the cats to cool down if the power goes out.

No studio time for me today. It’s not even 7:30 in the morning, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I do not do well in heat and humidity. I am a Winter Girl all the way!

Elsa is hanging in there. She’s not making huge progress, but she’s eating better and interacting more and making decisions. She’s not backsliding, although the heat and humidity are tough on her, too. Still waiting to hear back from the vet about her new medication. Getting a little tired of having to wait at least a week every time I make contact.

Stay cool, stay hydrated.

I’m going back to the page.

Devon

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2208
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I didn’t blog yesterday. Oops. Well, there was plenty of read from the blog the day before to keep you occupied, right?

I didn’t get as much done as I needed to on Tuesday (familiar refrain) and I was pushed to get my deadlined work done Wednesday morning before I left for acupuncture. I managed to get out some job pitches as well, but I’d say about 80% of the listings now are just plain insulting. I’m not going to write a press release for 1/10 of my regular rate. It’s not worth my time, and it’s certainly not worth the ink.

Which is good incentive to get the new brochure done and start creating a place for myself with companies for whom I want to work.

It was a rainy, miserable day; I was sore and achy, so I wasn’t my most productive self.

Plus, I’m thoroughly pissed at both Cablevision and UPS. Cablevision forced me to change my service package, because they planned to strip the channels I watch from the one I have. I have to get a box now. I was given a guaranteed arrival by Monday, via UPS. It’s now Thursday. No box. I expect it from UPS, because they’re completely incompetent. I expect Cablevision to honor their contract.

And, of course, more building crap. The new super seems to only be rude to women. Imagine that. Imagine how far that goes with me. I won’t tolerate it, and I made it clear to the management company that I won’t. I have no doubt there will be reprisals from this guy.

Drive to Long Island was good. It’s pretty sad when finding a station selling gas for $4.09/gallon is cause for celebration. Acupuncture was good, in that it made me feel better, but my acupuncturist found something wrong that’s been triggered by stress (gee, you think?) that we need to take care of right away to keep it from turning into something serious. So, I’m putting together some herbal concoctions and adding certain foods to my diet to counterbalance – it’s interesting, because it’s exactly the foods for which I’ve had unusual cravings over the past few days.

I’m working on my deadlined material, and I’m behind. It’s taking longer to get it out of my brain and onto the page than I would like, but it’s getting there.

Had cocktails and snacks with a friend last night to catch up. We’re going away on alternate weeks, so this was our time to catch up, switch keys, etc. She’s going to a house party on Martha’s Vineyard this week for the coming week – so I lent her a yoga book and A DOG’S BREAKFAST DVD for them all to watch. It’s the type of witty, charming movie they’d all enjoy.

I’m putting my head down and working as hard as I can this morning, because I have to go in to the city and work a show tonight.

Got some good work done on the adaptation these past few days. In the next draft, I’m going to have to go back and rework some of the fight sequences – I’m not happy with them. For now, they’re more placeholders than legitimate scenes. I know they have to be there, but I don’t feel like choreographing them, so I’m setting in a few paragraphs so I know they’re there, and then, in the second draft – which is my draft to over-write anyway – I’ll figure them out in detail.

Then, last night, I was trying to work when the computer completely freaked out and I got a message saying there was no hard drive. Huh? I’m looking at it. Turned the machine on and off five or six times. It swore there was no hard drive in existence.

Unplugged everything, took it apart, took apart what was inside what I took apart, put it back together (yeah, like I understood ANYTHING of what I was doing, but I figured I couldn’t make it much worse), plugged everything back in, and it’s limping along. It’s not running well, but it’s running.

Sigh.

Let me repeat: Microsoft sucks and it’s built to fail. Hate that.

Got to get a lot of work done this morning.

Devon

Adaptation: 40,411 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40 / 90
(44.4%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on May 22, 2008 at 7:40 am  Comments (5)  
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