Mon. Aug. 13, 2012: Awesome Week & Happy Tired

Monday, August 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and humid

What a spectacular week! Just what I needed to kick me out of feeling so creatively fallow. Loved the classes — our mystery/thriller group is keeping in touch, which is terrific, since I’m so excited about what everyone’s working on. They also gave me great feedback on the aviation piece, helping me form and shape it from an amoeba to a workable idea. I’m carving time into each work day to keep going on it, so I don’t lose momentum by making it take its place in the queue.

Met a wide array of fantastic, interesting people. Talked a lot (I have no voice left, and I’m out of words). There are several opportunities I need to follow up on.

I met two of the students in my year-long program. They are as talented, funny, and creative in person as they are on the page. Both read, both pitched, and did very well. One landed an agent! I’m a proud tiger mom! 😉

I was out most nights pretty late, up early, and very glad I’d cleared deadlines off my desk before the conference. It was all-consuming. It was also extremely well-organized and the quality of workshops and instructors are among the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere. A great way to light or relight creative fires.

Had to cut out early on Friday in order to drive to CT. The weather was awful — torrential rain, especially in CT. Had to drive slowly, with the hazards on. Finally made it to Niantic, where I bought way too many books, but they were relevant to three current projects, so it’s all good. One, in particular, is a very difficult book to find that I needed for my aviation piece. The other is a book I’ve been searching for for at least a dozen years, and I finally found it.

A trip that should have taken 4 1/2 hours took 7. Collapsed into bed. Up early Saturday, not a bad trip back, collapsed onto the couch, woke up on Sunday. Didn’t do much on Sunday except veg out and doze.

Rather than over-burdening myself today (I’m already ready to go back to bed and it’s barely 9 AM), I’m using today as a follow-up day from the conference, and to catch up on all the emails and freelance-related stuff from last week. I have a block of time set aside for the aviation project, but I’m really going back to the writing whole hog tomorrow, juggling CRAVE THE HUNT, the harpy revisions, and the aviation project, along with a couple of short stories that have to get out the door this week. I’ve got some errands to run today, too.

The week filled up unexpectedly with activities –all good, but I’m also going to try to sign up for a one-day meditation retreat on Sunday. I think I could use the silence! 😉

Now, breakfast, and then, to work . . .my third load of laundry is already in. And the yard needs some serious attention.

Devon

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Violet supervises sorting and packing

Saturday, September 18, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Tired. I’ve got a bunch of paperwork to fill out, get notarized, and file today, and may have to head into the city first thing on Monday to take care of some other business. It will all be worth it by the end of the year. Not happy at the latest twist, I’m risking a chunk of my future by doing something that needs to be done in order to make the move happen on time, but it feels like the right thing to do and I’m going to trust it will work out. I can’t hesitate or things will go off schedule.

Colin, why would you think I’d support a bunch of moronic, lying, ignorant, treasonous nut jobs wearing foil hats?

On a happier note, an agent asked for a full manuscript on one of my projects, so that’s a good thing. We’ll see. I got it out as soon as it was requested, got a lovely acknowledgement, so it is what it is. Either it’s what they like, or it’s not. I have too many things to worry about to obsess over it.

Got some stuff done yesterday morning, and treated myself to a chocolate croissant from the French bakery. Spent the afternoon at my friend’s, doing the laundry and talking through this, that, and the other scenario for the move.

Finished the material for Confidential Job #1, sent if off, sent off the invoice. That always feels good.

A producer I worked with has started a company doing old-time radio shows. So I’ve got to pull something together in order to make a pitch.

I’ve also got to work on some short scripts this weekend, and polish the lectures for next week’s deconstruction workshop. i need to get in some more cat food and cat litter, to see the little darlings through when I’m gone next week, and finish packing. Yeah, I don’t leave until Thursday, but I pack early. This time last year, I was in Prague!

I’m going to go by storage and pick up some of the empty boxes I saved from the sorting I did earlier this year. My friend never dropped off the other boxes, and I don’t want to get behind.

Great writing session this morning — about 1800 words. I’m glad that I’m sticking to the morning sessions, even on the tough days. Even on days when I wind up only doing little bits, it’s slowly adding up to a whole, and I’m not losing the rhythm of the piece by putting it aside and working piecemeal.

Lots to do this weekend — I better get to it.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, longhand): 53,250 words out of est 100,00 (53.25%)

Published in: on September 18, 2010 at 7:57 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Sunny and warm

Woke up at four, but that was too early to get up. Went back to sleep, slept through the alarm, and was late going for the run. It was so light, and I felt so exposed. But I did my double circuit anyway. I prefer to go just as dawn breaks, experiencing the changeover from dark to morning. And there are fewer people and cars out, too. Although the guy running with his golden retriever on my last circuit was pretty funny. The dog. The guy was fine, but the dog, in typical golden retriever fashion, came over and was all, “You wanna run, right, right, right? Play? Play? Pet me, pet me, pet me? ‘Cause you wanna play, right, right, right?”

One of the struggles I have with POWER OF WORDS is that, no matter how strongly its story wants to be told, I don’t see where it will slot once it’s completed and polished. It’s going to be a damned hard sell, and I worry about spending time on it when there are other projects in the queue that are more likely to sell. Since this is how I make my living, I don’t just get to write whatever I feel like writing. I have to balance it with what brings in the money in a timely fashion. It’s finding a way to juggle the multiple projects without anything getting dropped that’s always the challenge, charting out the individual day to get it all in, and make sure there are enough short turn-around, quick-pay projects to keep the bills paid. If I try to ignore the project that’s calling loudest in order to work on something that’s ahead of it in line, the creativity freezes, the muse turns her back, and that’s it. NOTHING gets done. But unfinished projects drain creative energy, so putting something aside to work on something else is also counter-productive. They have to be worked on in tandem, and that becomes a challenge. Someday, I hope to get advances large enough to cover a few months’ bills and royalties coming in that are large enough and regular enough so I don’t have to worry about short-turn-around, quick-pay projects. If I want to take on something like that, I can. Frankly, working on a short story in the middle of a novel gives me energy, because I’ve got the momentum of completion on my side and I can funnel that back into the novel.

So I hear Matt Smith is awesome as the new Dr. Who. I loved David Tennant’s work — but then, I love most of his work. When we get the new DW episodes over here, I look forward to seeing what they do with it. Those of you in the UK, what do you think?

All kinds of technical difficulties on the workshop forum made the weekend particularly frustrating.

I need to take a breath this week and really think about whether or not I want to teach another workshop for this group again. I truly appreciate the students. I pushed them very hard, didn’t cut slack, and most of them rose to the challenge; but, overall, it has not been a positive experience, and cost me far too much in time, lost income, and creativity. Because the lost income influences the other two enormously, that’s been the biggest issue. What I was paid was out of proportion to the amount of time and energy necessary to make the workshop valuable. I’m not going to punish the students because of the situation and give them less than they signed up for because I made a mistake in the negotiation. Live and learn, right? Honestly, at this point, I’m ready to say I’m done with teaching ANYWHERE, but that’s not a rational decision, it’s coming out of a huge place of frustration and anger, much of which is my own fault. So, I’ll take a breath, try to negotiate some more safeguards, and make choices from there.

This past week in general was a test on several fronts. On two occasions, I chose to be gracious instead of confrontational. Not because I wanted to be a hypocrite, but because I felt erring on the side of politeness would get us all farther in the long run. I nearly bit my tongue bloody, but I got through it. Hopefully, the gamble will pay off.

I am just tired, tired, tired. It doesn’t matter how many hours I sleep, I’m still exhausted, because it’s about so much more than actual sleep.

I read Book 3 of CE Murphy’s Walker Papers series, COYOTE DREAMS. Again, I really liked it. Normally, the amount of narration she uses would drive me away from the books and make me cross my eyes and put it down. But she uses narration actively and specifically, even when there’s a lot of it. And, let’s face it, it’s the best way to communicate the shamanic journeys. She’s chosen the best and clearest way to tell her very interesting stories, and it works. I’m learning as much about craft as I am enjoying the books just to enjoy them. I also recommended them to the class. I want to track down books 2 & 4 now, and her other series.

The writing has not gone well these past two weeks, and that has to change. I’ve got deadlines coming up, and if the work I submit is crap, it won’t matter that I met the deadline. If I miss the deadline, I miss my shot. So, not only do I have to hit the deadline, it has to be GOOD.

On an up note, I got a request for a partial from an agent. I’m pleased, and I’d like to find a partner in the business aspect of all of this, but agents have to be so specialized nowadays that I despair on finding someone who will represent the whole package of the writing, not just a piece of it. I’m simply not going to stop writing in different genres. I’ll write in whatever genre serves a particular set of characters best. Nor do I want to stop writing plays — I love them too much. The theatre is my home, on many levels. I don’t want multiple agents — I want one person who believes in my work and my worth. That’s why, to this point, I’ve only worked with a lawyer. But I’ve got too much going on to deal with every nut and bolt myself — I need someone used to kicking in the doors and doing the negotiations so that I can get my work done.

Can I just say this is all way too much like dating until you find The One?

Because, really, I’d rather not be a Literary Polygamist (which is what I call having multiple agents). And, as in dating, there are plenty of agents with whom I interact regularly whom I really like and respect, and yet who I know are not the right match.

This week, I’ve got to deal with the scumbag landlords.

AND, my new play opens this week, which I kind of keep forgetting, because of everything else that comes up. I know, how could I possibly forget something like that? Just shows how much is going on. I hear it’s going well, although they had to cancel a preview because they “weren’t ready”, which concerns me. Yes, that’s common in production, to push back a preview, but it still always worries me.

Elsa felt well enough to play with the Easter eggs I brought back from Prague (those intricately decorated ones), so that’s a good sign. Of course, then I had to dig Easter eggs out from under all the furniture. But, if she’s getting better, it’s all worth it.

A batch of ideas hit me all at once, and I scribbled some notes. A few of them are, I think, short projects, and I can get them out relatively quickly. One of them is longer, and I’ve started a notebook for the research and the situations and the details I need to figure out before I can even start a Writer’s Rough, much less any pages. Gotta love Strand Books — they get something in that ties in with a current project, they get it out to me. I love them madly, and they are the Bookstore O’ My Dreams. I’m so lucky that I can spend time there, or, at the very least, order from them when I can’t get there in person!

Finished the material for Confidential Job #1. Will send off the notes today.

I am so looking forward to having tomorrow and Wednesday off!

I had a GREAT writing session this morning, set in Jain Lazarus’s world, but with a different set of characters (not Hillary, from the story that moved from San Antonio to Bath, ME, but really wants to be set in San Antonio). Obviously, I’m missing Jain’s world, but this book, although there’s a loose tie to the same organization, definitely stands on its own. The entire story came to me yesterday, after I overheard a remark spoken in an interview by an actor whose work I admire. I was going to write an article in response, supporting the information in the interview and going further, but It got me thinking. Instead of treating it in its original realm of non-fiction, why not push the possibilities into fiction? I did some research, Edwina started kicking my ass and telling me I damn well better pay attention, and the whole structure of the piece revealed itself. I made a lot of notes, and the first 1600 or so words flowed easily this morning.

I’ll go back to finish the work for Confidential Job #1 and then do some work on the novella. I’ve also got to finish prepping an interview that goes up on BIBLIO PARADISE tomorrow. And wind up the workshop.

It’s the first really good day of writing I’ve had in far too long. If I get everything done that I need to (which includes some errands), I’ll treat myself with another session on the Edwina piece.

Back to the page.

Devon