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!

Devon

Thurs. Oct. 4: Exciting Times and Time to Go Home!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Worked with my students yesterday, got some good work done on a few other projects. Got an apology from the slow-paying client with a promise to “pay next week”. We’ll see if that happens. Watched several of my Sustainability video lectures, and several of the World History lectures, and took the quizzes. This week’s lectures are useful in terms of my flood/drought project. I also did an email interview promoting both the Jain Lazarus books and ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT that will go up in late November.

Tessa is sulky and upset. She got out of the house and was difficult to catch yesterday, poor little thing. Hopefully, she will be glad to see me when I get home, and not act like Violet. Violet always does “talk to the tail” for three days before she forgives me.

I’m over at the Writers Vineyard today in my Annabel Aidan persona, giving thanks for this year’s Writing Harvest.

It’s more stressful here than it needs to be; I will be glad to go home. Although “home” will be chaotic for the next few weeks — the owner decided the outside of the house needs to be painted and a new roof put on.

I had a lovely meeting with an agent last night, and we had a good chat that ranged over many topics. We brainstormed some ideas, and now it’s up to me to see if I can come up with proposals that fulfill what we discussed. Excited about it.

I want to get the revisions on the article done before I head back today, and will try to get as much schoolwork done as possible. Well, I’d LIKE to curl up and read a good book, but that is not going to be an option until about Sunday! And that book will be something I’m reviewing!

Quick reminder — I’m over at the Muse Online Conference next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, teaching my Supporting Characters workshop. Hope to see you there!

Off we go — I hope the drive back won’t be bad this afternoon. I’m tired of driving in bad weather and dense traffic.

Devon

Wed. Sept. 19, 2012: New Article Up & Television Musings

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and warm

In spite of the migraine, I had a very good day of edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I’m starting to feel good about the book and how it sets up the rest of the series, as well as standing on its own.

Also did some notes to shut up a character who’s been yapping at me the past few days, in a built world. I’ll be writing from a male POV, I think, this time,which will be fun.

Got work done on the opening of the marine life mystery.

Re-sent some invoices — I want to wind up completely with one client and be done, buh-bye, and the other wants more work from me, but the payments have to be on time, or it simply won’t happen.

My article on “The Renaissance Writer” is up on WOW-Women on Writing here. It was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Didn’t get enough housecleaning done yesterday, so I’ll have to make up for it today.

Planning on staying in today, writing, writing, writing.

Forgot to mention that I watched the pilot of REVOLUTION on Monday. I hadn’t particularly liked the promos –to me, they came across as jumping on THE HUNGER GAMES bandwagon. But Billy Burke has one of the leads, and I like his work (although I had no idea he was involved in the TWILIGHT franchise, because I haven’t bothered with the movies). I also wanted to see Giancarlo Esposito’s work — I liked him a lot in both BREAKING BAD and ONCE UPON A TIME.

I was pleasantly surprised. I LOVE the production design — sets, costumes, et al. The attention to detail is great. Again, though, I’m glad not to be doing wardrobe on it, because they’re outside a lot! Continuity with dirt is not easy! It uses archetypes from the Hero’s Journey nicely, although I hope they deal with the fact that one of the lead characters is a young woman. The heroine’s journey is, by nature, different. The writing was much better than I expected, and I thought the actors committed fully in a really wonderful way. One of the reasons I like Billy Burke’s work so much is that he is such an active listener. He is unafraid of stillness, and he listens completely and responds to what is actually said and done in the moment. He does that in interviews, too — there’s never a sense that he’s skipping ahead, thinking about what HE will say next. He’s very much a partner in whatever scene he’s in, not trying to take all the focus with the underlying, “Look at ME!” that so many actors (especially in leading TV roles) insist on. I’m interested in seeing how the show evolves.
However, if it starts messing with the audience just to mess with them, the way I felt LOST often did — I’m outta there.

Going back to the active listening and partnership in a scene, I’m already struggling to continue watching a different show that an acquaintance of mine is on. I like HIS work a lot, and he’s good at the give-and-take, but he’s a second lead and the two lead actors are very much in the “I’m the show’s star” mode in a way I feel hurts the overall show. Sometimes it’s the number of close-ups; sometimes it’s screen time; sometimes it’s not letting one of the other actors have a moment that makes more logical and organic sense. I continue to watch because my acquaintance and I dissect every episode after, in terms of writing and character development, and I’m loyal to him; but I’m finding it more and more difficult to watch.

Okay, I need to get back to the page and get a bunch of other things done today, too. We had a bad storm last night — we didn’t have too much damage, other than overwhelmed plants.

Back to work!

Devon

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool
Veterans’ Day

Already have one load in the dryer and one in the washer of the four loads that need to get done today. I have to vacuum. I have to tidy up the living room and my office. I need to get some housework done today. I’ve been working so hard that it’s fallen by the wayside.

Yoga was great yesterday morning. Big class — nearly double the size as usual, but lots of fun. The teacher helped me with a problem I’ve been having with my left hip — which is usually the good hip. It’s much better and I’m going to keep doing those poses daily to keep it that way!

Pretty much just flat out worked yesterday. Just a couple more days on the Harry Potter workshop, and I’m done with deconstructions. I’m ready. They’re starting to interact on this one, and at least they really KNOW the material, but the ratio of prep time to payment just doesn’t make sense.

Knocked out an article due for Savvy Authors and have to change the date for a live chat, because it conflicts with something I’m doing with Cape Cod Writers’ Association.
I need to do some edits in a book before I send it out — I’ve decided that the prologue isn’t really a prologue, it’s the first chapter, so that means re-jiggling everything. Time-consuming, but necessary for it to go out. I’ve also got to get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which is the big plan for next week.

Everything had to stop mid-afternoon, because I did a test run of the lasagna I need to take to Maine in two weeks. There are usually about 60 people for Thanksgiving dinner, and everyone helps out. I always make a desert for the main dinner, but the last few years, it’s become my job to make the dinner for 6-12 people on Wednesday night. They’re the ones most involved in the planning and set-up of the space, and it takes some of the pressure off them. The request, this year, was for lasagna. I’ve only made it once before, about six years ago, and it was a disaster.

I tried it again, this time from a recipe in NEW BASICS. It was awesome! Truly, a wonderful recipe. So, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I’ll cook all day — I’ve got two cakes to make (lemon for the Thanksgiving dinner, a pound cake for the Wednesday night dinner) and the lasagna. The latter is time intensive and labor intensive, but it’s worth it. I’ll prepare the elements for a salad and bring them up with me in separate bags, and mix the salad just before dinner.

This morning, I make an apple spice cake (different from the bread I often make). It turned out really well, but it would be too heavy paired with the lasagna.

If the weather dries up and I can get the lawnmower to cooperate, I need to get started on the back. The front is full of leaves again (they rained down more heavily than yesterday’s rain), but the front has had its last mow of the season, so it’s only raking from here on in.

The book is going well. A sequence I thought might be a tangent is turning out to be essential to the book. However, that means I have to end the first book of the trilogy earlier than I planned, or cut a few subplots that have become very important to the main plot.

I probably need to write the first draft of all three books and then see where it makes sense to end each one. I’m just over 70K, so I’m running out of words for book 1. For once, I’m happy with the job I did in complex plotting, but I still have to keep a reasonable word count.

Onward.

And don’t forget to take a few moments to give thanks to our Veterans.

Devon

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Quick check-in before I head off to yoga. Spent the day working yesterday. Got the interview questions out for the NMLC article. Paced and muttered a lot as I worked on the article, and on other stuff for the ball. Spent too much time on Twitter, but some of it was legitimate promotion!

Did some tidying up, because a friend from NY will be here tomorrow. Not ready for ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, but oh well.

My new yoga blanket and foam roller arrived, so I could roll out my hip and the tension in my neck, to help ease the migraine. Now on Day #3. It’s a little better, but it still sucks. I was doing better on migraines there for awhile. I have a feeling this is client-triggered.

Kitties are working things out. Tessa is jumping on the others now, wanting to play, and they don’t like it very much. I’m trying to pet them when they’re all together so they associate Tessa with positive attention. I didn’t play with her enough yesterday, so she was quite the little monkey!

Imp Dog came dancing down the street yesterday morning, and the Big Black Maine Coon from across the street shot forward like a furry black cannonball, chased off Imp Dog, and then sauntered down the lawn, tail held high, to the rosebush.

Of course, yesterday, I get an email from the person who was supposed to get back to me on Saturday, saying they couldn’t find the blog post and could I send it again. What part of I am not available this month is not clear? I should have just ignored it and let it go — I sent it in TWO WEEKS ahead of time and it was acknowledged. If this was the first time it happened, I could let it go, things happen, but it’s EVERY time. I re-sent it, but who knows when the hell it will go up? Or if they’ll reschedule and then, two minutes before it’s supposed to go live, they’ve “lost it” again? I can’t sit by the computer every time something’s supposed to go up, waiting for them not to have something that was sent and acknowledged. It’s too frustrating, and blogging for them needs to go off my roster.

Speaking of blogging, though, I’m over on The Writers Vineyard, with my monthly post, this time about People and their work. Drop a comment, let me know you came by!

Off to yoga, and then back to the page for the day. I may have to run to the Marine Life Center to take some photographs from the article, but haven’t heard back, and I’m not going unless I know they’ll be there.

Can’t wait for this Mercury Retrograde to be DONE. It’s a rough one.

Devon

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 5:17 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing

It’s snowing. Again. ‘Nuff said.

My article “Making the Leap: The Transition into Full Time Writing” is on WOW- Women on Writing, here. I’ve got some great experts weighing in on how to make the leap. I”m very grateful to them for taking the time to share their expertise (and am getting thank yous and links out to them).

Yesterday morning was spent in a flurry, getting blurbs for the deconstruction workshops out for fall (WATCHMEN the movie, HOGFATHER the novel, the Anita Blake Series, and the Harry Potter series both books and films), and setting dates for workshops as far as April of 2012 — an Advanced version of the Dialogue workshop in the fall, 5-in-10 from January through March, Sensory Perceptions in March, and One Story Many Voices in April. This is all 2012, mind you. I may be picking up another deconstruction workshop this May, along with teaching the Setting as Character Workshop. So dates, contracts, and the like all had to be sorted.

Everything I had for March 2011 is now cancelled, so I have to replace it.

Got the write up done for Confidential Job #1, out the door, and invoiced. Got out some correspondence. Started prepping interview questions for something that might or might not happen, but at least I’ll have the questions.

I’m trying to come up with a fun and unique “bonus” something-something for each of the deconstruction workshops. It’s not going to be advertised ahead of time; it will be different for each workshop; but I want to give the participants something unique. I figured out what I’d like it to be for one of them, and have started putting it into motion (it still might not happen), but now I need to figure out what to do with the others.

Some calls for submission crossed my desk. I matched one to something I had queued up to go out — in fact, they’ve published me before and indicated they wanted more work from me. Another, I haven’t found the right match — they seem more obsessed with word count than content, but that’s probably for the pages they have to fill. The third, I tossed. Not only do they pay a pittance, they expect me to reformat the piece in a way that isn’t useful to me in any other venue. In other words, the publisher – -whose job it is to put the magazine into production — expects the writer to do production work, but without pay. Sorry. I do my job. I’m not doing yours as well. NEXT.

It was a full ten and a half hours at the desk, flat out, still not getting everything done that I needed to. But it was a good day’s work, and I’m making progress.

Today: talk to HealthConnect about getting my own insurance sorted out before the cut-off; work on the essay; work on the short story; work on the book; write another review; mess around with matching the backlog of short stories to potential markets; get the link to my experts for the article, do the PDF of the article, etc.

Pancakes first, and then back to the page. At some point, I need to get to the post office to mail some bills, buy coffee (ack, I’m nearly out), and pack.

Devon

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 8:42 am  Comments (6)  
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