Wed. Sept. 16, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 119 — Scattered and Frustrated

image courtesy of HeungSoon via

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Dark Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was just all over the place.

Decent morning, got some work done, prepped for a phone appointment. The phone appointment had to be moved, which is fine – the other person was good about getting in touch.

Signed up for a NetZero online climate conference at the end of October. It has an interesting agenda.

I managed to get in a few hours’ of writing, which was great. The tone of the piece I was working on is lighter and funnier than I expected. Which means it may have to go under a different byline. I was going to put it under the Annabel Aidan moniker, but right now, it’s not dark enough.

I had the phone meeting. 15 minutes of my life, and pleasant, but this gig isn’t going to work out. Third party recruiter again and is not approaching the client in a way that makes me comfortable. AND made the bulk of the conversation about her, instead of about the job. I don’t want to work with third party recruiters. They need to be upfront about it and not wait until I’ve submitted requested materials to tell me they’re a third party. Every single recruiter I’ve dealt with in the past ten years has been a waste of space. It lowers the value of the companies who hire them, too.

Logged into the SBA Women in Business online conference taking place in Western MA. First we had a guy mansplaining how an online conference is run. Not THIS conference, but how ANY conference is run. Since when does he know how every conference is run? Then, the first speaker was a (male) Trump appointee lying about the economy. Both of them inferred that they (men) were giving us “permission” to have this conference. Um, no. I don’t need a man’s permission to have a business or attend a conference.  I “left meeting.” I will NOT sit there and be a party to that partisan crap. That is NOT why I signed up to participate in the Women in Business conference. Why are condescending white men talking at a Women in Business conference?

Every SBA event I’ve tried during the pandemic has been an unorganized, mismanaged, patronizing nightmare. Done with SBA.

Twitter kicked me off – I can’t sign in on any of my accounts or the accounts I run for clients due to “unusual log in activity.” When I finally got back in – now I have to change the passwords EVERY TIME I log in. Which I can’t do on client accounts, it’s not my purview. They’ll let liars and trolls and bots and murderers do and say whatever they want, but I can’t get into my little accounts – or those I run for clients because of “unusual” activity? They can fuck right off. I finally got back into the Devon Ellington account. I’ve sent them several messages – their responses make it clear that they’re not paying the least bit of attention to anything I say.

Losing both Twitter and FB will hurt the social media management part of my business, but, oh well. If that’s what happens, that’s what happens. I survived for decades before they existed; I can find a way to do so now.

I am so done with so much right now.

Deeply disappointed with a second series by an author whose other series I’m enjoying. She used the “witch” slur again as acceptable and normal. So I put down the book, cancelled the other books I ordered, and I’m done with this series. Nor will I recommend it.

I will, however, set up and call out similar situations in my own work.

The book for review arrived, and I look forward to starting it today.

The store from which I ordered the stuff that Fed Ex is sending all over the country and everywhere but here can’t be bothered to respond. Fine. Won’t do business with them again. I can put my money elsewhere. I have a feeling I’m going to wind up sending everything back anyway and asking for a refund. Fed Ex, of course, doesn’t care. Because their quarterly earnings were off the charts.

Theatre Scripts

I read over both JUST A DROP and SERENE & DETERMINED to see if either of those plays are appropriate for a 9-month script incubator project in Brooklyn. I’m sure there are a lot of submissions, but I still want to at least try. Only I’m not sure either of these plays (both of which could use that long development process) are naturalistic enough for the company. They are both set in Italy. The former is set in Rome, around the 17th century poisoner Giulia Tofana and her circle, and borders (intentionally) on melodrama. The second is built around Lavinia Fontana, the painter in Bologna who competed successfully with men for commissions thanks to the circle of noblewomen who adored her work, and the fact that her husband ran the household. Lavinia is on stage for then entire play, flowing from scene to scene. Again, unashamedly theatrical.

They both need work, but I don’t’ want them stripped of theatricality and made more naturalistic. I’m not sure this theatre is the right fit for them. I have to do more research on the company.

But if neither of them is right to submit, then I don’t have anything to submit.  However, it doesn’t make sense to submit just to submit.

My friend Paula is going to read both plays (her notes are amazing) and let me know what she thinks. Both plays need work, but both were structured with deliberate stylistic choices that I don’t want just thrown out. I want those choices strengthened instead of destroyed. Or, as I mentioned to Paula, maybe they’re just bad and I can’t see it. Although they were written for and accepted by the 365 Women Project.

Knowledge Unicorns

We’re still playing with times to find the best one. I have a feeling we’ll be playing with times for the entirety of this project!

More schools are shutting back down as kids and teachers get infected. The school administrations continue to ignore the needs of teachers, kids, and parents. Not surprising when you look at who’s the head of Education in this country – a selfish grifter who doesn’t give a damn.

But we had fun, helping each other with assignments. We came across misinformation in one of the social studies books – whitened and Christianed up. We did some research on the publisher, who is one of those right-wing nut job houses in Texas. They shouldn’t get to rewrite and (literally) whitewash history and then have it taught in school as fact. We found some other sources that have more breadth, depth, and, you know, actual information.

We had our stretch breaks and our dance breaks. We looked through the octopus slideshow on the National Geographic Kids website and learned more cool things.

Looking Ahead

Today is going to be a long, complicated day. I have to go onsite for a few hours. I’m frustrated because Hootsuite’s been down for nearly two weeks, and I’m not sure if I can get into the client’s Twitter, although maybe I can from their computer.

I’m supposed to participate in Remote Chat, but if I can’t log in, that’s not happening.

I have an online meditation session this afternoon with NYU-LA alumni, which should be interesting, and then my friend’s sister’s book launch tonight via Zoom.

Along with the writing and the client work and the LOIs I have to get out.

So it will be a busy day, but I’m hoping it will be good busy instead of frustrating busy.

Peace, friends.

Tues. Oct. 11, 2106: The Satisfaction of A Solid Writing Weekend

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend, even though it was a holiday weekend. The traffic was insane.

I managed to get a lot of writing done, on the two projects on which I’m switching off. Since I started them last Thursday (this is Day 6), I’ve written just over 10K on one of them, and I’ll pass 10K today on the other. My goal is to write a minimum of 1K on each of them every day. So far, I’ve managed to go beyond that on both, although yesterday, it wasn’t much beyond both, because I wasn’t in the mood to write.

But I showed up at the page, and did it anyway, because that is what writers do. Once I got started, it was okay, although it didn’t flow as well as it had the previous days. Today, I felt like I was back in the groove.

I also worked on the revisions of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I have to put some changes into chapters, and rewrite the next batch of chapters. I also managed to come up with the logline and paragraph description, although I will have to make some tweaks. But I want it to be ready to go out after one more pass.

I’ve also been tweaking PLAYING THE ANGLES, which is the new title of what was once ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I’m also thinking about putting it out under the Devon Ellington name instead of the Annabel Aidan name. When I’m done with this revision, I’ll have to see which voice resonates, and then I’ll know which name to use as the byline.

I should be doing promotion for “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, but with all this political chaos, I feel it’s shallow to go around hawking my writing. Yet that’s how I pay the bills and keep a roof over my head. So it’s a dilemma — how to do it in a way where I don’t go against what I feel is right and important. If I don’t walk my talk, I’m just as bad as the politicians.

Did some work on the Victorian mystery as well. The first draft is slow, because I’m researching as I write. I’m wondering if I should just blurt out the first draft, focusing on plot and character, and then go back and add in the period detail. Yet, so far, I’ve found the detail affects both plot and character a good deal, which is why I’m researching and writing simultaneously.

I’m behind on the plays, of course, which is worrisome, since I’m running out of time on those. Somehow, I’ll have to get them in.

I need more hours in the day, more hours where I can focus. There’s a certain point where my brain just gets tired, and I’m written out.

I’m also under pressure from this other annoying situation. Nothing like people actively working to sabotage you because they are both incompetent and nasty. It will get resolved; it’s just a shame that it has to be such an unpleasant process. But I am not going to back down and give up what I earned.

I’m also under pressure because a family friend is trying to manipulate me into taking on a job for someone who already stiffed me once, and with whom I said I wouldn’t work again. I told this family friend I would not put myself in that position again, yet he told the person I was waiting to hear from them. Then I get an incoherent email full of demands, but no actual proposal or payment offer. That would be a no, on many levels. I’m angry at this so-called “friend” for putting me in this position when I was very clear I wouldn’t do it.

So the writing is going well, but there are other pressures. Aren’t there always?

I have a lot of work ahead of me to put the garden to bed, and I’m tackling it a bit at a time.

Have a great week!


Thurs. Feb. 20, 2014: Striving for Craft

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and milder

Got some errands done in the morning yesterday, and also got the garbage to the dump — nice, clean bins now!

Came back and found out I landed a gig for mid-April to mid-May that I really wanted. So I have two upcoming gigs that I wanted and liked, and I’m looking forward to both.

Wrote a couple of articles for the wine blog. One is already up, and the other goes live on Friday. I’m going to finish up a few more and schedule them to post, so that I’m ahead of the game.

I’ve got a piece up, in my Annabel Aidan persona, over on Writers Vineyard, about “Inner Listening.”

Did some research for a couple of other things. Wasn’t happy with any of the fiction I wrote. Made some notes on characters that started yapping, trying to get them to be quiet.

Read some chapters of a friend’s WIP, which are very good. I had some suggestions, but I’m excited about this book.

I don’t understand it when someone (especially someone who claims to be a writer) says reading a good book is “depressing.” I find reading a good book thrilling. Why would I be depressed because a colleague does something brilliantly? It’s exciting and inspiring. It makes me want to hone my craft and let my imagination soar. I don’t want to write “like” anyone else. I want to write like me. But good writing always inspire me to set the bar higher for myself.

There’s no such thing as too many good writers. Human beings have an insatiable need for stories. What we, as writers, need to do, is keep working to be better with each piece, on both art and craft levels.

Back to the page for me. Lots to take care of today.


Published in: on February 20, 2014 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Jan. 24, 2014: Shuffling the Projects

Friday, January 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked at Sturgis Library yesterday morning — caught up on email, got some press releases out for approval, others just plain out. Pitched for some jobs, caught up with students, did some research for TRUE HOME, gathered quotes for my article.

Headed home for lunch. Cleaned out a set of drawers and moved it up beside my desk, so I’ve got more room for stuff I need to keep handy. Cleaned out and updated a project bin.

I’m cleaning/purging/rearranging my office, and it’s at the stage where it looks like a tornado hit it before it looks neat and clean. A necessary part of the process, but somewhat overwhelming.

Yesterday, I had a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona) over at Writer’s Vineyard. Check it out.

Afternoon session at Sturgis — got a lot done. Was there until the last possible minute, when they locked the doors! Got some good information.

One of the research books for the Eliot-Stowe-Bronte project was printed in 1898, and some of the pages had never been cut! When I returned it to the library today, they made a note, so a trained professional can handle it! It was rather thrilling.

Working on a proposal package for a publisher (unexpected opportunity), and getting back into the right headspace for BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so I can re-construct the outline I can’t find (and make it better), and then get back to work on it. Frustrating, because I know I outlined the three remaining books in the cycle, and I put them in a Very Safe Place — which, since the move, has escaped me. I also still have scripts to write and polish for the March submission package.

Found some good opportunities regarding the Marine Life Center, and have to get to work on developing those.

It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep up with my schoolwork with the Comcast issues. I will be very upset if I lose the opportunity to certify in areas that make me more hire-able, because Comcast repeatedly breaks state and Federal Laws, believing they are above the law.

All I can do is what I can do, and trust that the Attorney General and the Director of Telecommunications will handle it.

I’m using the Tibetan Singing Bowl app on my iPod a LOT lately — having a great time with it. I’m not very skilled with holding a Singing Bowl in my lap, but I’m really good with the app! 😉 I don’t use many apps, so it’s pretty funny.

I’m working from Wheldon Library this morning, and not sure which library I’ll haunt at the end of the day.

I need to buckle down and work on the play, get a couple of script synopses written, and get BALTHAZAAR outlined. I found the part of the manuscript I wrote — it’s far fewer pages than I remembered.

I also found some interesting projects I’d drafted, then put aside. I want to find a way to rotate them back into the queue, too.

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 10:04 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. June 13, 2013: Good Workday and Eager for Conference

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I was productive yesterday. Got out my review (last for this editor, whaaa — but I’m excited for his new opportunities). Wrote a press release and a blurb for the previous day’s committee meeting, per what I promised and am waiting for feedback. Worked with private students and the Supporting Characters students. Wrote an article. Roughed out a second article. Did some research on Venetian painting (I could have spent all day on that — delightful). Realized I had to return books, so I pulled one of them (that I can’t renew any more) and took the notes I needed before making the trip.

You know you spend a lot of time in local libraries when the librarian greets you by name as you walk in and brings over the next stack of books put aside! Cape Cod has some of the best libraries and best librarians ever. I am truly blessed.

Watched lectures for both my Climate Literacy class and the Archaeology class. Interesting how some of the issues intersect.

Worked up general notes for a new series and started outlining the opening of the first book. This is in an historical context, which means I get to do a whole lot of fun things with it!

Prepped for the conference I’m attending today and tomorrow. It’s about Cape Cod’s changing coast — feeds directly into the climate literacy class, and I expect that information here and from my friend at NMLC will give me the background I need for my first climate literacy paper.

I’m going to try to work with some students now, before I leave for the conference (yes, it’s just after 6 AM — the beauty of an online course).

I’m in my Annabel Aidan persona over on the Writers Vineyard, talking about trusting your creative subconscious here.

Looking forward to the day — in spite of the nor’easter heading our way!


Thurs. March 19, 2013: Head Down Working

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Frost on the ground this morning, so a good thing my Ostara planting was inside yesterday! I talk about it in the entry on Gratitude and Growth.

I also have a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona), entitled “Are You Happy?” on The Writers Vineyard.

We’re coming up on your last chance to join Saturday’s Query Clinic — line-by-line support on you query letters, and ways to make them stronger moving forward! Information here.

Finished Chapter Six and wrote Chapter Seven of the new book yesterday, which was a pretty decent day’s work. Sent out some pitches, and landed an assignment, so I will tackle that today. Worked with students — I’m really proud of them right now. Worked on the contest entries I’m judging.

Feel very burned out. I’ve got some difficult correspondence to tackle today, plus the writing, and I’m trying to rev up for it. Even though it’s cold, and we’re supposed to get another storm, maybe I’ll do some work in the yard, and that will help.


Thurs. Nov. 29, 2012: Writing, Decorating, Coursework

Tessa and Violet enjoy the sun

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

I’m over at The Writers Vineyard in my Annabel Aidan persona, talking about “Always Learning.”

Busy day yesterday. Writing, errands, libraries. Got the lights on the tree (my least favorite part of decorating). Got the lights up around the windows. I don’t want to start decorating outside until I know when the roofers are coming — and going. Got some of the ribbons up around the windows and doorways. I don’t understand why the decorating is taking so darned long this year. Usually, it took a day. Although decorating a house takes longer than an apartment.

Tessa helps.

I swear, that cat could pass the SATs. She understands every word I say.

I’ve got to get out a couple of press releases today, and set up the accounts at Smashwords, so I can upload my stories there. I still want to re-do the cover for “Mistletoe”, but didn’t manage to get my hands on any real mistletoe yesterday (and it was rainy and awful out, so ick).

I’m almost packed for the trip to NY. I’m working on a little something special for Costume Imp, and that has to be finished today.

Almost done with the Greek/Roman Mythology Course — finished the lectures and the quiz. Today, I have to evaluate five student papers, and, then — done! Started the Astronomy class — it looks wonderful, but I’m auditing, not going for certification. The math required is beyond me. But today, I’ll tackle the history course.

And, hopefully, get some more decorating done, and some more work on prepping “That Man in Tights” for upload.

Good writing session this morning, but missed yoga. 😦


Don’t forget to sign up for Flash 7 Workshop, running from Dec. 7-16. Write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Info and registration here.

Mon. March 26, 2012: Home to Trees and Updates and Facebook

Monday, March 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I am home!

So glad!

First of all, I updated my Workshop page, so it actually has relevant information on upcoming workshops. I’d like you to pay special attention to a one-day online seminar I’m doing, called “Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions”. If you’re just stepping your toe into dialogue, or you want some fresh perspectives, I hope you’ll join us — it’s a bargain at $20 AND you get an ebook of the lectures after. There’s more information here.

For all the complaining I’ve done about 1and1 over the years, I actually landed a couple of techs this time that gave me the help I needed to sort out kinks. It was much appreciated.

The Hex Breaker site has also been updated — check it out when you get a chance. I’ve put the books on a separate page from the short stories, and I think it’s cleaner.

I even (take a deep breath) put up a Facebook page for Annabel Aidan.

Still not sure how it works — I’m having trouble responding to people’s comments and going back to their pages and finding the “like” button or any button that lets me interact and thank them for stopping by. Obviously, I’ve got some learning to do. I will probably put up a page for the Jain Lazarus Adventures, too, at some point.

Worked on HEX BREAKER press stuff, worked on the short story that needs to be ready to go with the relaunch, dealt with student work, did some reading, did the work I was actually paid to do on the site, worked on the novel(s), worked on the new business plan — it was quite the weekend.

Today, I have to interview someone for an article, talk to an editor about another article, get out three proposals, finish a critique for a private student — oh, and 11 trees and 6 bushes showed up while I was away, so girl’s got some plantin’ to do! 😉

My eyes are really bothering me from all the computer work, but, oh well. This is the last week of Sensory Perceptions, and then I have a week before One Story, Many Voices starts, which is good, because the first week of April is where we set up the revision systems for the year-long intensive, and that’s going to be a damn intense week over there. I also start (as a student) a steampunk workshop on the 2nd.

Billy Root’s blog starts on April 1 — which should be a ton of fun, but also some work. I do love writing in his voice, though, so I think that will be a fun way to spread the work about HEX BREAKER.

I’ve also got a handful of short stories to polish and get out the door this week. Busy, busy!

But it’s a good busy.

I’m so happy to be home. I enjoyed my time in CT, but I missed the house, the cats, the yard. The magenta azalea is in bloom, the witch hazel is almost done (and therefore ready to repot), the lilacs are starting to get leaves and buds. The heather is just gorgeous, and soon it will be pansy time!

Meanwhile, I have 11 trees and 6 bushes that need some dirt . . .


Mon. Dec. 26: Yuletide Ghosts/Jupiter Direct

Monday, December 26, 2011
Waxing Moon
NO Retrogrades!
Rainy and mild

I’ve got a piece on “Yuletide Ghosts” (as Annabel Aidan) over on the Stuff Your Stockings Blogfest on Long & Short Romance. If you leave a comment, you can win a copy of my holiday romantic comedy “Just Jump in and Fly” (under the Ava Dunne name).

Jupiter went direct yesterday — could you feel it pop? We are now retrograde-free for awhile. Feels a little weird, but god.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend. I ran around a bit on Saturday, getting a few last minute things, like real greenery to go inside. Went to a friend’s party for a bit on Saturday night, then came home, cooked the Christmas Eve dinner for the family and we enjoyed it.

A bit different this year — filet mignon instead of the usual pork roast. Very tasty.

We sat around opening gifts, reading, talking — it was well after midnight before we went to bed.

Up early the next day to enjoy the stockings, eat a big breakfast, and get the turkey into the oven. Great turkey meal with all the trimmings, again lots of reading and writing and chatting with family and friends. The cats had a stocking of their own, filled with treats and toys and catnip. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Got a lot of writing done — not on anything I was SUPPOSED to work on, but something I wanted to work on, just because I wanted to. Did a lot of reading, too.

Today I’m mostly taking off — doing some writing, getting thank you notes and party invites out. I’m trying to take it a little easy this week, mostly prepping the lesson plans for the first quarter of next year, get up my new lesson forum for private students (separate from Savvy Authors classes), work on my new business plan, etc. I plan to really buckle down on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, too. I want to get that out the door just after the first of the year, then run my eye over OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK before I send that out, per publisher’s request, just after the first of the year.

It’s busy, but good busy. I have to keep on track and not get overwhelmed, or derailed by students who continue to procrastinate. I hope we don’t lose any more of the year-long students but they MUST finish their first drafts by January 31, or they will be cut from the class. And several of them are still procrastinating. Come on, people, it’s been five months. The only obstacle to your success at this point is you.

A thousand words a day — four pages — is next to nothing. It takes just over an hour. It means you can write a draft a novel in about four months. If you’re gonna do this for a living, you’re gonna have to write a damn bit more than that, regularly, and stay on track. An hour a day does not a career make.

I have to get my office sorted out. It looks like a tornado hit it. Well, it was a kitten, but same result. And it’s not JUST the kitten’s fault – -I’ve been stacking and searching and not being as neat as I should be. I want to go into the new year with a tidy office — not just because of company and the party, but for my own well-being.

I’m excited about 2012.


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Saturday, October 15, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
The weather better be good!

Check out the launch of Midnight Enchantments over on A BIBLIO PARADISE — sixteen days of magical celebrations leading up to Halloween! Colin Galbraith kicks it off.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit my roast yesterday, stop by now — it was hilarious fun.

I scheduled this to post, because I have to write this morning, and then attend the Burying-The-Time-Capsule Ceremony at the park — well, and help set up and clean up. Ah, the joys of holding office! 😉

Then I’m off to a pottery sale and to Staples and to rip Verizon a new one because they are just dreadful liars, cheats, and thieves when it comes to my cell bill.

Spent time with students, and printed the first 45 packets for the conference. 45 down, 105 to print! Ran out of ink, nearly ran out of paper. Will have to make purchases at Staples tomorrow whose total will make me ill again. Still cheaper than sending it out!

All I want to do is write my book, because I’m in its groove.

And there are tulip bulbs that need planting, weather permitting . . .


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunshine-kissed kitty

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

More retrogrades, people! And, technically, the summer vacation-that-wasn’t for me is over, and this gig is nearly over. I needed to write 15K in these past two weeks, here on site. I got 500 done, due to interruptions and the amount of stuff piled onto me that had nothing to do with my job. I can’t write a single sentence without a massive interruption, and I cannot be in that situation. Even if I tried to stay up all night, after I was drained of every ounce of life force from this place, I’m interrupted constantly. Just not acceptable, and I can’t put myself in this situation again. The daily micromanaging has abated, slightly, but now I find out the client’s given out my cell phone number to this one and that one without permission — and I am extremely fierce about who gets that number. Again, not acceptable. Well, Friday, I’m gone.

I got the following sent to me about my former building in NY. Read the article here.

If I still lived there, I’d be in a hotel somewhere — and what would have happened to the cats? I moved at the right time. My heart breaks for my former neighbors. I talked to a couple of them yesterday — they are in shock, dazed, and angry. One expects something like this from the scumbag landlords, but the City is also liable, morally if not legally, for continuing to allow those basement apartments to be rented when they are regularly flooded out and the residents lose everything. WHEN someone dies — and, eventually, someone will — these scumbags will still feel nothing. Because both the landlords and the current City Council there don’t consider the tenants are worthwhile citizens. The landlords consider them an ATM machine, and the City Council doesn’t think they are “good enough” to live in that pretentious Westchester town because they’re renters instead of owners, so the Council doesn’t care

Yesterday was practically productive, if not creatively productive. I got out some questions for a press release I’m working on, to wrap up the Mermaid Ball, four sets of interview questions, and got the last details worked out for the Year-Long Intensive, which starts tomorrow. I got in two good sessions of yoga, and a good meditation sit, which helped a lot.

I thought about what book I want to start working on tomorrow (while I finish SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I simply can’t work on here, because I can’t get enough time in to write more than a line at a time without interruption, and then I lose my train of creativity). I circled back to the yoga mystery, reconnected a bit with it, and wondered if, maybe, that’s what I should work on. I’d be challenging myself within the formula, but not setting up so huge a challenge that I can’t meet it. In other words, it’s a pretty safe choice, which means I’m not sure I should do it. I’m trying to decide if I should do one of the two urban fantasy ideas I was playing with. Both are unique, stories I haven’t seen before, and I’m writing them because they are something I’d like to read. One rotates through three POVs — initially, it only rotated through two, but a character who was supposed to just be in a couple of scenes stepped up and said, “Hey, I’m important to this process!” The other one has a strong base in mythology and an intense central relationship, but never quite handled in this particular way. Then, of course, there’s the urban fantasy comic noir, which I originally envisioned as a series of linked short stories or novellas, but I could turn into a novel. And I need to make a decision — soon.

Today, I have to write the press release, work on the newsletter, and see if maybe I can possibly get any writing done. There will be a cleaning crew in here on site, so, again — constant interruptions.

Two more days. I just have to keep it together for two more days.

I feel very, very lucky and have enormous gratitude for the fact that I am HERE and not where I used to live, and that we had little storm damage and kept the power on. So many are so much worse off than I am, that, in perspective, these irritants are just that — irritants. They are something that I can,ultimately, not let happen again. But you can’t control a hurricane.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunflowers on my deck. Wish I was there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Temperatures are going down, and it’s lovely outside. Too bad I’m someplace where I can’t even crack a window!

There’s a lively interview with me over on Long and Short Romance — some interesting questions. Stop on by! And I’ll be on their chat loop all day tomorrow, answering questions.

Got some work done yesterday. I’m struggling with a difficult chapter on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Yesterday, the chapter won. Today, I need to take back the authorial edge. That particular scene needs to be there in the book because it’s a turning point in the plot; it doesn’t work anywhere else, and it’s the key to hurtling us towards the last third of the book.

Got a bunch of promo work done for ASSUMPTION, and some for the Mermaid Ball. It’s at the end of the week! I’m looking forward to having a break from this site gig, which is more stressful than it needs to be. Today, I get to have a confrontation with yet someone else the client sent to check up on me — and the client lied to both of us about our positions on the project, which is part of the problem. I’m really tired of the lying, the manipulation, and the distrust. Unfortunately, I can’t walk away until I fulfill the contract. I should have trusted my very first instinct when I came to discuss the job — the instinct was, “This won’t work. Stay away.” It should have been a straight-forward, simple, stress-free job. And it’s not. The money’s good, but it’s still not worth it.

Well, I have a lot to look forward to in September, and for the rest of the year. I just have to keep going. This is temporary; I can’t let it define the other aspects of my life. I have too much to do, and too many wonderful possibilities opening up. This gig was a step backwards, and, while there may be planets in retrograde, I need to move my life forward.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Good, steady workday yesterday. I got my assignment off to Confidential Job #1, and the invoice; they’ve already sent the next one. I should receive it on Tuesday or so. Worked on articles, did promo for the Mermaid Ball, did some work on the next PR push for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, and, of course, worked here on site. I miss my garden, I miss the cats, but that’s life. The money for this was good, and I couldn’t turn it down.

Did an hour’s worth of errands, which included swinging by home to referee the cats a bit and pay some bills. I’m doing yoga morning and evening here — the bed is softer than I’m used to, and,with all the sitting I’m doing at the computer, my hip is bothering me again. In three weeks, I get to see my acupuncturist, so it will all be fine. In the interim, I’m using a foam roller.

Today is more article work, and then I’m going to a cocktail party for a couple of hours just over the bridge. I’m not very good at parties, but this one is thrown by someone I really like, so I plan to enjoy myself. The bulk of the weekend will be spent on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, though.

I also managed to submit a manuscript. I’ve been waffling as to whether or not to send it to this particular publisher, but it needs to find a home, it fits the guidelines, and off it went. I would rather send it to my current publisher, but I need to submit THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY first.

I started re-reading ELUSIVE PRAYERS again, with an eye to another rewrite. That was the tie-in to THE WIDOW’S CHAMBER serial, spinning off Brother Joseph, the supposed monk that Nora suspects is a con artist. Initially, in ELUSIVE PRAYERS, the entire action took place in one small western town Brother Joseph stopped in on his way to taking care of “unfinished business” from his past before permanently returning to his order in Vermont. Originally, it was a novella, dealing with just the situation he found himself in the middle of in this town, and setting the seeds for the relationships between the widowed Eliza Grief and Mick Kane, and between Melody, the minister’s daughter, and the cynical “Doc” of the town. Those could then be explored in their own novellas. Now, I’m wondering if perhaps I need to make it a novel, and either have some of the characters intersect with Joseph on his quest, or bring the object of his quest to the town and finish it there. Without the context of THE WIDOW’S CHAMBER, it doesn’t really make sense as a novella — it feels truncated and unfinished. The characters are strong enough to carry a book, but I’m not delving deeply enough into the situation for it to be satisfying. The style is very lean, but I still think I need more sensory detail. I have to re-think it — frustrating, because here I thought I had something nearly ready to go. I tried making the piece more about Eliza, but this is Brother Joseph’s story, and I have too much fun exploring him.

I need to think about it. Figure out the best way to tell the satisfying story. Then, of course, I have to worry about where to send it – it’s not a romance, technically, although two couples in the book fall in love. It is a Western, but I’m worried that, because my protagonist is a flawed monk, people will try to put it into a religious line, when that’s not the point of the piece.

But, first and foremost, I need to tell the best story possible, and figure out which structure works best for it.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.