Thurs. Aug. 18, 2022: This & That

image courtesy of Dzoko Stach via

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter Retrograde

Cloudy and cooler

Garden post on Gratitude and Growth.

Because I had so little sleep Tuesday going into Wednesday, it was hard to get my act together. But I sort of did. I got everything done at the laundromat (and got in some work on LEGERDEMAIN).

When I came home and got the laundry put away and the couch cushions wrestled back on, I finished the next set of episodes for LEGERDEMAIN, at least the multi-colored draft, so now I can get started on those ten episodes and get them polished, uploaded, and scheduled over the next few days.

The last set of episodes in this arc are going to need some serious revision. But that’s okay, because it makes them work better.

Once that was done, we headed to Norad Mill, where the Spin-off Yarn Shop had a clearance sale. They are closing their physical store this week, so our first visit was, sadly, also our last. We’ll have to drive to Lenox or Bennington for a yarn shop now. I got some beautiful alpaca wool blend. Most of it is in a heathery rose. There were just a few skeins of teal and one of purple, so I grabbed those, too, and I’ll make something different from them. I asked my mom to do something with the rose for me. Since she doesn’t use patterns, I just sort of say, “I want it to do this” and she creates it.

A friend of mine was part of a yarn-bomb installation in Garrison the past few days. She posted photos and it looks like it was lots of fun.

Got off a grant application. I have a very small chance of this one, but if I don’t at least try, I have no chance. So I might as well give it a shot. Nothing tried, nothing gained.

Turned around two scripts in the afternoon. Read a book in the evening that had come recommended, but I found it flat, dull, the pace was off, and it didn’t adhere to the internal logic of the fictional world.

No meditation group this morning; the leader is on vacation until after Labor Day, I’ve been bad about my daily yoga and meditation practices, and have to get back on top of them.

Wrestling with a few things, and then realized, of course it’s coming up now with Saturn (the planets of life lessons) and Chiron (the wounded healer) both retrograde.

Went to bed early. Slept fairly well, but woke up with a terrible headache. Working on LEGERDEMAIN and script coverage and whatever else comes up today. I need to work on the Shakespeare horror story, and get back to work on the next radio play, too.

Have a good one.

Published in: on August 18, 2022 at 7:29 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 18, 2022: This & That  
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Tues. Nov. 2, 2021: Here We Go, Nano!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

image courtesy of StartUp Stock Photos via

Day Before Dark Moon

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Sunny/cloudy and a little cold

The weekend was a lot of fun.

I prepped some more food, and we cleaned the house on Friday morning, then drove up to Bennington, VT to meet my friend’s bus. It was a lovely, crisp autumn day. It was a nice drive back to the house.

We unloaded and had snacks and wine. The chili was in the crock pot; I’d made cornbread in the morning, and there was my mom’s birthday cheesecake for dessert. We took a walk around the neighborhood between cocktail hour and dinner, enjoying the architecture, and random people just stopped to talk to us and tell us about the buildings, which was pretty cool. And we met a woman who was walking her dog who lives around the corner from me and works for Hearst Magazines. She used to be an actress, so we had a lot to talk about!

We were up talking and catching up.

MassMOCA now has a proof of vaccination policy and timed entries. I tried to get us a slot for Saturday. No one answered the phone; the message said they’d call back. They never called back; they never emailed. I tried to book a slot online. I had a library pass, and there as no option for it. So no MassMOCA for us. Disappointing, but certainly not a tragedy.

Tessa let us sleep until 6 on Saturday.

I made raw apple muffins for breakfast. Instead of going to MassMOCA, we walked back up to the library. Met some more random people with some more information about houses. I showed off the library (which is beautiful), and we had good conversations with the librarians. It was raining when we came back, so we took the car and went to Cinnamon Girl (even though it was close enough to walk). I bought my friend her first tarot deck, and we got sundry other goodies. We headed to Whitney’s Farm and got a pumpkin and cider, then kept going (in the rain) down to Pittsfield, to Re-Store. My friend had heard about Re-store, but never seen one. So we visited the land that is Re-Store, and I found a pair of tapestry footstools that hinge open. So those came home with us. We continued down to Lenox to the joy that is Chocolate Springs Café.

Even though it was rainy, it was still pretty, and we were chatting all the way.

More snacks when we came home, and then it was trout poached in a wine-leek sauce with couscous, and lemon mousse for dessert.

Chatting, chatting, chatting, playing with the cats.

Tessa let us sleep in on Sunday, too. I made Eggs Benedict for breakfast (with prosecco, of course). Lazy morning, then headed to Bear and Bee Bookshop, where we found a bunch of great stuff.

From there, we went to Berkshire Cider Project, which is in the renovated Greylock Works Center. That place is amazing! We bought a bunch of cider and got Halloween treats. The woman working there recently moved from California. She and her husband are working on starting a restaurant; we exchanged information in case they need to hire someone for marketing.

We went to The Spruces and walked around and talked about the history of the place. My friend let me start spinning out ideas for an historical mystery series set there when it was a residential community in the 1950’s and 60’s. We had some great conversations with people walking their dogs.

After that, we found an alpaca farm/store in Williamstown, Colonial Alpacas.. The guy is part of a fiber co-op. He has a lovely bulldog, who showed us around. We bought some alpaca goods, and went to meet the alpacas, although they were not interested in coming out of their sheds and getting their feet muddy.

But it was a delightful afternoon full of interesting people who were doing things. Everyone followed safety protocols without fussing. People were friendly, interesting, and interested.

Home, unloaded, my friend carved her pumpkin. We put on the lights and were ready for Trick or Treaters. There were a few, but not many.

Hunter’s pasta for dinner, and then the Samhain Ancestor rituals, which were satisfying, although we were up pretty late.

Up at 5 on Monday. Managed 2100 words on CAST IRON MURDER before breakfast and driving my friend back to Bennington to catch her bus. On the way back, errands at the market, the pharmacy, the post office, the library.

Came home, and started working my way through all the email which had piled up in my box since Thursday night. Did the Sundance Collab session, and wrote 7 pages/the next scene of “A Rare Medium.” I think I can wrap it up in one more scene.

Willa and Tessa looked for my friend for a bit, then Tessa decided to settle on the porch. Charlotte was on my bed until the Sundance Zoom – as far as Charlotte is concerned, Zoom exists so people all over the world can see her and tell her she’s pretty.

The cold warnings went out for the area. Although we won’t descend into frost yet, it was cold enough to pull in our plants from the back balcony, and bring in most of the furniture. The big bench and the bistro chairs will stay out, but everything else came in. Most plants can be on the front porch, until that, too, is too cold.

Made sausage and Brussels sprouts for dinner. Read two scripts and some source material for a new play in the evening.

Went to bed ridiculously early, after doing my Tending the Dead ritual for the night.

Tessa let me sleep until nearly 6:30 this morning. I was writing in longhand on a project, and just taking my time. Didn’t even sit down to write on CAST IRON MURDER until 9 AM. Took me two hours to write 2364 words, but I’m even happy with some of them. Yesterday’s work was more hit-and-miss. But I’m starting to hear and feel the rhythm of this book.

Now, it’s time to take down most of the Samhain decorations, although I still have a few more Tending the Dead rituals. You can read more information about that here.

I have two script coverages to write up. I’d hoped to finish “A Rare Medium” today, but I have a feeling that’s not going to happen. I hate to lose the momentum, though. I have at least one script to read tonight, but I’m hoping to grab a second at some point this afternoon.

There will be leftovers tonight, as there will be most of the week. And, hopefully, a lot of writing!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Waxing Moon
Sunny and mild

I survived yesterday, although it seemed a bit touch and go there for awhile. I got steadily worse throughout the day (you know it’s bad when I can’t even read). There was some talk in the evening of going to the emergency room, but since I am one of this country’s 47 million uninsured, in spite of being a union member (thank you, George W. Bush), I don’t go in unless I’m three quarters dead, and I wasn’t there yet.

By about three in the morning, I started to feel better. I went back to sleep (I’ve slept almost all of the past two days), and woke up at my usual 6 AM to feed the cats. Did a few gentle yoga poses, but couldn’t do very much. Still, it was better than yesterday.

Only got a couple of pages done on the mystery. I’ve lost my rhythm with it, and have to find my way back into it – again. Frustrating. But if I leave it undone, it will drag down everything else. That’s an ongoing problem with Nano – one puts so much intensity in getting the 50K done in 30 days, and has such a sense of accomplishment, that continuing on to FINISH the project often becomes a struggle.

Did about a thousand words on the Maine project. I’ll have to do some research on artisan yarn, since my protag is taking over some of the family business of alpaca, a few llamas in there for protection, and some sheep. Llamas can be nasty, but they’re good guardians. Alpaca are too darned sweet for their own good. Near where the family is up in Maine are many wonderful individual artisan yarn producers – I’ll have to do some research on them, and maybe schedule some visits on my next trip. I can read up on it all I want, but it adds an entirely different and more sensual dynamic to experience it. I’ve never been a huge fan of sheep – the sheep on the Isle of Skye were particularly annoying – I had to keep stopping the car to shoo them off the road – they liked to lie on the warm asphalt. They were pretty cute on Lindisfarne, the way they ran and jumped – I finally understood the meaning of the word “gambol”. My mom thinks sheep are adorable. I like them over there – most of them just aren’t very bright and work my last nerve. Although, when we stayed on the estate in Norfolk in 2000 during lambing season and bottle-fed and cuddled some of those lambs, they were awfully cute. And I still can’t eat lamb after that, even though I’m sure most of those little guys ended up as lamb chops on someone else’s table. It’s not that I think anyone should or shouldn’t eat lamb – I just can’t. Which is a shame, because I used to love it.

I’ve got to get the assignment done for Confidential Job #1, and then I’ll see what else I can do. I’d hoped to have most of the hand-made gifts done by today, but that didn’t happen. At least I have all the bits – it’s just a case of making the prototype, taking my time with it to make sure I’ve done it right, and then setting it up so I can put them together efficiently. And I need to get started on the overseas cards – they should get out by the end of the week.

Holiday cards are always a priority to me – I cut back on many things, especially this year, because of deadbeat clients, but cards matter.

Lori Widmer had a great post yesterday on Word on the Page about thinking ahead to one’s freelancing goals for next year. I made a leap in my type of client this year, and I’ve certainly done better fiction-wise than in previous years, but it’s now time to make another leap in the client-base. I don’t think I’m suited to the majority of corporate clients – I lack the patience and diplomacy to deal with their b.s. – but I think it’s time to work on a new brochure and get out a fresh mailing early in the year, targeted towards specific companies whose policies I like and agree with, and convince them they can’t live without me. That’s where I’ve always landed my best jobs in the past. I’ve been lazy this year – that’s the only word for it – relying on job listing sites whose client listings got progressively skeezier as the year wore on. Nothing like a site claiming to support freelancers who then lists jobs that are detrimental to them! Because I always had theatre work as my fall-back position, I allowed myself to be lazy. But the show’s closing in mid-January. Quite a few shows are closing in January, and several shows that were supposed to come in for the spring have cancelled. So, I need to get my act together and now take the NEXT freelancing step up, while still keeping on track with the fiction. Which means being even more aware of time management and honing those skills. I’m decent with time management, but I can be a lot better.

And, still, I have to be able to build in percolation time, because without percolation time, that time where you just sit and stare at the wall and it looks like you’re not doing anything, the creativity doesn’t happen.

I know how much I want and need to earn each month next year. So, this month, I need to clean up the unpaid contracts and implement the procedures that will get me where I want and need to be next year. In many ways, it’s a great time to be a freelancer – because so many companies have downsized, they have to bring in people on a per-project basis. And I’d much rather work that way.

But I’m still not going to write 20 articles/week for $1 each or go on one of those skeezy bidding sites where you pay for listings and the client’s only interested in the lowest bid, not the best writer!

I may still be too sick to do much physically today, but the brain is sort of working again, so I can start to plan so that next year builds on this year and builds on it well. With a new administration coming into power that actually gives a damn about the citizens of this country, I think we’ve got a chance. But the door can’t hit Paulson’s butt fast enough for my taste. Handing the money to corporate institutions that then sit on it and/or hand it out to shareholders or use it to pay their fat cat execs instead of putting it back into the company to generate more jobs is not acceptable, and that guy should have been kicked to the curb months ago. And guess what? I don’t want to “own” part of AIG or any of those companies, thanks to my tax payer dollars – unless I get a say in how they’re run, and part of that say is to fire the people who got the companies into these messes in the first place!

Anyway, I’m going to take it slowly today and see how much I can get done. Hopefully, I’ll feel more like myself tomorrow. I’m better, but I’m not great.

I missed two important marketing opportunities yesterday, and I could just kick myself, but that’s the way it goes. I’ve got some more coming up next week – I just have to be ready for them.

The computer’s done some weird update all on its own, so everything I lost and imported last time has to be re-imported. Sigh. At least I know how to do it this time (thanks, Colin).

Hopefully, I’ll catch the holiday spirit the way I caught this flu. Until then, I’m going to make a concerted effort not to dampen anyone else’s holiday spirit, but enjoy the fact they’ve got it! I’m going to try to pay special attention to anyone or anything that shows positive holiday spirit and write about it, so we can all enjoy it.


Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here

Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

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 December 2, 2008 at 8:48 am  Comments (9)  
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