Tues. Oct. 10, 2017: Not Enough Weekend, Too Many Responsibilities

 

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Finally, some sun, after a string of rainy, humid, icky days. Remnants of Hurricane Nate yesterday. Again, I’m grateful it was just a few hours of heavy rain and wind, and not worse.

Read through the SAVASANA galleys. I made notes — six pages’ worth of notes of copy editing errors that I caught. Now, I pull up the document (I proofread on the Kindle, I catch more), and I compare my notes to my copy editor’s notes. And then I make the fixes. I’d hoped to have it done by today, but it was just too much.

Picked up my next two reviewing assignments, but haven’t had a chance to start them yet. Hope to fix that today.

Managed to work my way through about twenty research books, pulling what I need, noting citations, etc. I have stacks of books and videos to return today.

Did some work on the outline of DAVY JONES DHARMA.

Most of my writing was on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN, although that was not the original intent for the weekend. But it was flowing, and I didn’t want to get in the way. I wrote about 10K on it. I’m already well in to the second notebook, and nearly finished with Willow’s first section This book is going to take at least three years before it’s submittable, maybe longer. But then, literary fiction often takes longer than genre fiction because it’s a different type of storytelling. It needs a different type of structure. The story and characters definitely affect me, differently than most of my other work. Hopefully, it will have the same effect on the reader.

Lots of cooking all weekend, making up some new recipes, plus old favorites like the raw apple muffins from THE BREAKFAST BOOK, and moussaka from THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL COOKBOOK. I’m baking my favorite chocolate walnut butter bread later today, and tonight is stuffed eggplant from a Moosewood recipe.

I have so much to do today and this week that I’m overwhelmed. All I can do is break it down and do one bit at a time. I’m waiting to hear if and when I have a project meeting tomorrow, I have to follow up on a few things, and I have some pitches to get out.

I didn’t work on the short stories or the essay this weekend, so I have to spread them over the next few days, in and around everything else, and get them done. Same with the next section of FIX IT GIRL.

My mom had one of her pre-op appointments this morning, so there’s that to juggle, too.

Somehow, it will all work out. I’m not sure how, yet, but somehow, I have to figure it out and MAKE it work.

Being off social media more than on it helped. I miss being on Twitter, especially, but I don’t miss the added stress.

I’m percolating a couple of pieces that are getting ready to be written, and I have to fact-check some names and dates in order to write the opening scene of the Lavinia Fontana play.

I couldn’t do any yard work this weekend, in the lousy weather, so that’s stacking up, too.

Onward, and back to the page.

 

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Mon. Nov. 14, 2016: No Holiday Weekend For Me! Writing!

Monday, November 14, 2016
Full Moon
Sunny and cold

I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. It sure wasn’t a holiday for me.

On Thursday, I started the fifth draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I finished it on Saturday. It’s still got a higher word count than I hoped, but under the absolute “no way in hell” count it had before.

But I’m happy with it. I wrote the book I wanted to read and couldn’t find.

I have a few sentences to tweak, but it’s ready for submission. I wrote the blurb, the query template, and the synopsis. I didn’t even mind writing the synopsis this time, and liked the outcome. I must still be feverish. 😉

But doing all that means I didn’t get JUST A DROP done. Actually, the play about the female pirate (due the same day as JUST A DROP) is pulling me fairly hard. So I might do that one first — I think that will be a one act, and JUST A DROP is definitely full length.

However, the opening of a new play — not connected to any of my deadlines — came to me and I hurried to scribble it down. The working title is IDEAS AND IDENTITY. While that reflect the theme of the play, I think I have to come up with a better title! The rest of the play is percolating — I hope I can keep up!

I got some yard work done — although not enough. Never enough, is it? I painted some more planters and two more tables. The problem with painting is that one thing looks great, and everything else looks dingy, so you keep going.

Most of the pots are put away; most of the outdoor furniture is oiled and put away. I have a few more bits and bobs to do this week, and one more shelf to paint, and then, other than mowing and raking, we are set for the winter.

I have every intention of enjoying the last holiday before the Apocalypse!

Today, I start the mowing, do some more painting, work on MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC (it takes place over Christmas, and I always write better about a season when I’m in it), work on the fantasy novel that came in a dream, and the plays. Plus, I have more edits to do on PLAYING THE ANGLES, so that, too can go out this week.

I made cranberry walnut bread first thing this morning. Hopefully, that’s a positive, productive omen for the coming week. And there’s an amazing full moon tonight. I intend to take advantage of it!

I went back to keeping the phone/social media/email, etc. turned off on Sunday, and it was great. I’d cheated the last few weeks. But the quiet time was wonderful. I want to hold a day of silence each week as long as I can. It lets me refill the creative well, and tap into creativity that gets tamped down by the constant noise.

Have a wonderful week.

Devon

Published in: on November 14, 2016 at 9:53 am  Comments Off on Mon. Nov. 14, 2016: No Holiday Weekend For Me! Writing!  
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Fri. May 13, 2016: Preparing for Guests

Friday, May 13, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Yesterday was busy. As soon as I finished cataloging/processing one batch, another box arrived! But we’ve got some great stuff going out, so it’s all good.

Baked spice cupcakes for Saturday’s program, lemon cupcakes for our guests, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for Saturday’s program, and made potato salad for the guests. Finished straightening up my room this morning, changed the beds, rearranged some things on the deck, frosted all the cupcakes.

I have to stop at the liquor store on the way home, and then it’s entertaining all weekend, plus the program here at the library tomorrow. I didn’t get a chance to work on any writing or revisions this morning, which has put me off my game a bit. I’m eager to get back to the revisions on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, finish them next week, and then let it sit for another couple of weeks, before doing the third round of revisions and getting the submission packets ready.

SONGBOUND SISTERS has been woefully neglected the past few weeks, so I have to dig back into that, and I have to finish “Just a Drop.” I need isolation to work on the play. I have most of it figured out in my head, but now I have to translate it onto the page. It’s turning out to be a bigger play than I expected, but I think it will pack a punch, if I handle it properly.

I’m in for a busy weekend, but I’m looking forward to it. And looking forward to getting some sleep next week!

Have a wonderful time!

Devon

Published in: on May 13, 2016 at 8:22 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. April 20, 2016: Writing Intensifies – So Does the Garden

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Two retrogrades, and Mercury goes retrograde next week. Can I please just stay in bed until everything goes direct?

The past few days were good, although flat out busy. Saturday, I had lots of errands, but managed to get to the NMLC Seal Pup Shower, which kicks off April vacation week. We got a lot of donations of basic necessities — Pedialite, laundry soap, etc. First thing that morning, I’d done a major run to Country Gardens. Got the fertilizer for the lawn, lettuce plants, basil plants, etc. We’ve planted pansies in hanging baskets for the front and the deck — they’re happy in this cool weather. The lettuce is repotted, and so is the basil.

We’d bought a small table at Restore, and I repainted it an apple red, and repainted one of our metal plant stands green. I painted a few planters. I still have two more tables and a shelf unit. We put some of the furniture on the deck — we tend to rearrange every year — and some of the hardier plants.

I worked on the HEART SNATCHER rewrites. I have Max’s first chapter where I want it, so I think the Prologue and first three chapters are in good shape. I worked on the following six chapters. I’m still not happy with Carey’s introductory chapter. It needs more work. But the chapters where Max and Valerie keep running into each other are working. I’m doing quite a bit of tightening, better use of language, more sensory detail. I’m also about to cut a chapter.

I started re-reading DEATH OF A CHOLERIC with an eye to its revisions. I think it will need two more revisions, not just one. I’ve had to do a major shift in some of the relationships so it makes more sense, and I need to put those in and then read it through again, and THEN do another draft before that’s ready to go out.

Did a nice chunk of work on Nonfiction #1.

Received the radio contest entries, read them, made notes. I found it disturbing that not a single entry is in correct radio format. One of them is a screenplay; another is a stage play. Some of them tried, but don’t understand the use of sound in radio.

Worked on the pages for the MOBY DICK marathon reading in which I’m participating next weekend.

Did some yard work, although not enough. Somehow, it’s never enough, is it?

Read a couple of delightful mysteries: KILLER TAKEOUT by Lucy Burdette, and, especially, THE CRACKED SPINE by Paige Shelton, which is set in Edinburgh. Enjoyed them both.

Got some submission materials completed for a major script entry I have coming up.

Baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and almond cookies, and made a non-alcoholic syllabub for tonight’s Tribute to Shakespeare. I’d done the programs last week. I tried to put together the Globe Theatre model, but it was a disaster. No instructions, it makes no sense, and it doesn’t work to watch a You Tube Video. I want step-by-step, well-written instructions. Will never deal with THAT company again!

Up early this morning. Worked on Nonfiction #1, and also did a bit of yard work. Today will be a ten hour day for me at work — the full day, and then the Tribute to Shakespeare tonight. It will be a very long week. So will next week, especially since I’ll be flat out every day I’m not at the library, but then, I have a much-needed vacation.

I’m so wiped out when I get home at night that I can’t get anything done in the yard, so I’m going out on nice days in the early, early morning. Even twenty, thirty minutes here and there will eventually add up.

Onward.

Published in: on April 20, 2016 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 20, 2016: Writing Intensifies – So Does the Garden  
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Wed. Dec. 9, 2015: Fun All Around

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Waning Moon
Cloudy and mild

I’m grateful we don’t have snow yet, but I’m a little worried that we’re supposed to hit 60 this weekend. A little too warm for this time of year!

I’ve been going flat out all week. Friday and Saturday I zombie’d through work – barely made it through, but I did. I had plenty to do at home around work. Sunday I baked, and then attended the Marstons Mills Stroll.

The Stroll was fun – it was simple – start at the Community Church, pick up the brown bag with the list of places participating, and follow it around town. It was just enough, not too much, and I didn’t know several of the businesses before – but I will certainly go back to them and shop!

The Church rang their bell, we gathered around the tree for the lighting and to sing carols. It was nice. Simple in the right way, and a lot of fun.

After, I took my mom for a drive along 6A, so that we could enjoy the large light sculptures that various businesses have commissioned. They were beautiful. In previous years, they’d only used white lights – now there are a combination, and it is wonderful!

Home, some more baking, and even a bit of writing.

Monday, I was up at 4:30, so I could get my yoga and meditation practice done before I had to leave for the NMLC Board Meeting. Had the Board meeting, came back, and headed over to Titcomb’s Bookshop for the Ann Hood event. She’s promoting her newest book, KNITTING PEARLS. Several knitting groups attended – there were about 60 people there! I brought my mom along, and both of us knitted along. Yes, even I knitted – my mystery project – -and it was fun.

I was wearing one of the sweaters my mom knitted, and she got many compliments –and an invitation to join the Titcomb Bookshop knitters! It’s good for her to get out and do stuff like that.

Ann’s presentation was lovely and fun, and I got a chance to chat with her for a bit at the signing.

We came home, and I started baking again. I didn’t finish baking until after 11 at night – but – the holiday baking is done – at least, for the cookie platters.

Yesterday morning, we took a carload of leaves to the dump – and gave the guys their cookie platter – and delivered some of the other cookie platters, to the firehouse, etc. Home, early lunch, and then over to the JFK Museum, because it was my NMLC shift for Spectacle of Trees. The trees are all so beautiful and unique. It was a joy to spend time with them. We had more people come through in the first hour than in my entire shift last year. People were nice, they were excited, and, importantly, they bought Tree Bucks and put them in boxes. Which is great, because each organization gets 100% of their Tree Bucks.

So tired when I got home that I barely made it through dinner and couldn’t even read.

Up early this morning to do some more cookie platter deliveries. Long day at work, and then I have to do the platters for the neighbors.

I’m at a conference tomorrow (local, but still a conference), then working Friday, then doing Spectacle on Saturday, and Saturday night is the drawing.

Sunday, I may help with the trees, and I have to spend most of the day writing. Monday and Tuesday are errands and writing, because my play needs to go out on Thursday – so next week is shaping up to be busy.

And Solstice and Christmas are in, what, two weeks? Hannukah is already happening.

I want to keep the holidays simple – of course, I still have to write my cards! I’d rather it was about food and friends than stuff.

I haven’t put many words on paper, but I’m doing a lot of “writing in my head” as I run around, which, when I actually do sit down, makes it flow more smoothly.

Devon

Published in: on December 9, 2015 at 11:16 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 9, 2015: Fun All Around  
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Tues. Nov. 3, 2015: Grief & Writing

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Waning Moon
Sunny and mild

Friday was a very sad day for us. Violet died in the afternoon. At least she died at home, where she was loved, and she wasn’t in pain. But we are all heartbroken. We took her body to an emergency care facility in Dennis, where they will take care of the remains.

She was a small, quiet cat, but the house feels empty without her. Iris and Tessa are looking for her. They miss her, too.

There was a lot of cleaning and scrubbing and disinfecting to do, of course. We were already exhausted from the last few days, and there was just nothing left in the tank.

Samhain was sad. It was difficult to pull it together, and I kept the ritual very simple.

On the plus side, the costumes the Trick-or-Treaters wore were delightful. Brought us some joy for a sad time.

Turned back the clocks to standard time. The cats, however, were still on their time, so I was up early anyway.

Sunday was the first day of Nano. I seriously considered quitting before it began. I wasn’t sure I have the heart to do it this month. I’m also tired of Nano and death being so closely associated, year after year. I’m going to be sad for awhile, and I don’t know how I can dig deep enough to work on the books.

But I did it, and felt better for it. I started DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, the cozy mystery set on a fictional island off the coast of Cape Cod. Yup, I stuck in another island near Martha’s Vineyard. Gave the steamship authority a couple of extra routes, too. I wrote the whole first chapter, 2833 words, and felt better.

I then did some work on TIE-CUTTER, getting ready to close out the section set in Hollywood. So my day’s total was 4269. Not a bad start.

The rest of the day was about taking down the Samhain decorations, but leaving up the Day of the Dead items. Again, I kept the ceremonies simple, because I’m just wiped out.

I also baked for the week: cranberry muffins for Monday’s meeting, double chocolate chunk for Tuesday’s Come Write In! session, and oatmeal cookies for Thursday’s session.

I’ve been reading Ted Hughes’s WINTER POLLEN. I know very little of his work. I’m of the generation that fetishized Sylvia Plath, put her on a pedestal, and demonized Ted Hughes. Unfair, but that’s how it was presented — he destroyed her genius, forcing her to have children and subsume her poetry to his, while he catted around. Reality was, of course, far more complicated. The older I got, the less patience I had with Sylvia. But I’d still read very little of Ted’s work.

His essays on Shakespeare are wonderful. I’m not sure I agree with his theories, but they’re interesting, and they certainly give me additional perspectives, next time I go back to the plays. It makes me eager to re-read the plays. I grow wary when I read his writing on Sylvia Plath’s work. He was in an impossible situation. Who knew her work better? Yet who had more reason to protect himself, and, supposedly, the rest of her family? Destroying her final journal — under that same guise of “protection”– is something I don’t think the world will ever forgive. I agree with that. Even if she lashed out at her children and he didn’t want them to read those moments of anger — and it would make sense to resent her children in the moment and write about it in her journal, using that to cure her — that anger or depression or whatever she poured into those final journals is vital to understanding her work. At the same time, I understand the desire to protect self and family (I don’t agree with it, but I understand it), and he’s got a point, that, at the time, she wasn’t the iconic figure she grew into. The sad part is, no matter how good her poetry was, or how much she was likely to improve as an artist, she probably wouldn’t have become the icon she is without her suicide. It’s an impossible, complex situation.

I think I would trust his writing about her work more if it wasn’t in the third person; if he didn’t refer to “her husband” when he meant himself. Again, I can understand the choice in the moment — to keep it sounding more objective. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come across that way. It comes across as cold, and as though the writer has something to hide.

The only one who knows the truth is Sylvia herself, and she only knows her own truth. His truth is different. The children’s truths are different. The rest of her family’s truths are different. They are all parts of the puzzle, and some of those parts are irrevocably missing.

From the outside, though, it remains fascinating. Disturbing, but fascinating.

Yesterday morning, I was up at five. I wrote Chapter Two of CHOLERIC, 2554 words. Difficult words, but words.

I left a little before eight to go to Buzzards Bay for a strategic planning meeting at the Marine Life Center. There’s too much “committee” and “subcommittee’ and yakking in my opinion. Work is not done in meetings; work is done in the space between meetings. I feel like we’re going around in circles, instead of moving forward.

Home, another stint on TIE-CUTTER. Brought my day’s total to 3990 and my full total to 8259, which is decent for two days’ work.

Took down the spider web curtains, put up the winter curtains, did four loads of laundry. Another simple ceremony (these are the days of the ceremonies for the dead). The sadness weighs me down and I can’t shake it. But I also have to give myself time.

We will adopt another cat, but not right away. We all have to adjust to life without Violet. After Thanksgiving, or maybe even after Christmas.

Of course, people keep offering cats now. 😉

Watching the DCI BANKS series. Very well done, although sometimes the second half of each episode feels rushed.

Up early this morning. Wrote Chapter Three of CHOLERIC, 3322 words. I was raring to continue into Chapter Four, but afraid I’d push too far. There’s a COME WRITE IN session at the library this morning, and I want to work on TIE CUTTER there, and have something left in the tank for CHOLERIC tomorrow. We’re getting to a big confrontation scene.

Once CWI is over, we’re doing a test run of the tree for Spectacle at the Library. So, yes, once again I’m going in on what’s supposed to be my day off. 😉

Busy day today. Tomorrow and the rest of the week will be long days, and I imagine that my word count will drop drastically. That’s why I’ve been pushing so hard up front.

Devon

Published in: on November 3, 2015 at 10:53 am  Comments (4)  
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Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and damp

I had contradictory information about the retrogrades, but I think I’ve got it sorted. Saturn is direct, thank goodness, because I don’t think I can take any more life lessons for awhile. Venus is still retrograde, which explains several things!

So the Cape Cod Writers Conference ran the past few days. It was the happiest I’ve been in months. What a great conference!

I spent most of Friday trying to get the wine tasting ball rolling for our next NMLC special event. I’m supposed to be “helping”, but it’s pretty much all been dumped into my lap. Therefore, I am assigning tasks and expecting them done. Because I CANNOT and WILL NOT do an entire event on my own. Been there, done that, not doing it again.

Raced to the conference in the evening, got situated, caught up with some people. Marge Piercy was the keynote speaker. I love that she won’t compromise her beliefs for fear of “annoying” potential readers. Everyone is told to be so careful and apolitical on social media — no, we have to stand for what we believe in it, work for it, and actually make change! So, I totally admire that about her. Her keynote was rich, almost too rich. There were so many sections, without transition, that one or two sections would have given us plenty to think about, and also given us a foundation to change our lives. Five sections was a little much. I felt like I missed a lot I could have otherwise absorbed and benefitted from, because I was trying to keep up.

Sat with poet Charles Coe, whom I adore, both as a poet and person. We had a good time. And, because I was going to the prose reading instead of the poetry reading, he recited the poem he planned to open with, just for me. What an honor, especially to hear something so beautiful.

After, there were readings. I had a friend reading in the prose section, which was run by another friend, so that’s where I ducked in. This year’s batch of readings were very, very good, and everyone had the chance to comment on them. It was a good evening.

Several of us repaired to the bar after, for a couple of drinks and a good chat. I was the only woman in the group (not planned), and we all had very different backgrounds, so it was an interesting and long-ranging conversation. It was also interesting that the men wanted harsher criticism. I think you can offer constructive criticism without being hurtful in a personal way.

We were there until after midnight, and, on my way home, I stopped at Covell’s beach to do my homework for the settings class.

Saturday morning, I was up early. I wanted to bring something in to the fantasy workshop. However, INITIATE is in a delicate stage where only someone with whom I’ve built trust can help, and the THREE ROADS is structured tightly in a way that didn’t just let me pull a couple of pages out of context.

So I sat down and wrote something new. It was like the piece was forming for me out of the mist. A pair of sisters is central, as is the idea that art is a threat to the throne. Wrote four pages, rushing a couple of scenes a bit because I wanted to get the twist into the page count. But it felt right — that tuning fork of resonance hit the note. So I printed up copies, and there we were.

Worked the registration desk from 10-1, talking to people, helping them find things, etc. At 1, I had the fantasy workshop, with Carol Buggé, who, in addition to being one of my favorite people in the world, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the luck to study with. The class was great — a small, but lively group, supportive and interested in each other without getting cloying. People distributed their pieces, we learned a lot, and it was over far too quickly.

Chantelle Osman was also there — I took her wonderful screenwriting class last year, and was sorry I couldn’t take her class this year, but at least we got to chat here and there for a few minutes over the course of the weekend.

I ran into Indira Ganesan at the cabana window, and we sat together “just being” (quiet) for awhile. She’s a good one to be with in companionable silence.

She had a 3 PM appointment, and I stayed outside in the beautiful weather a little longer to write, then went in a bought books by both Indira and Claire Cook, the night’s keynote. Claire arrived, and got settled, and then I went in to Indira’s setting class — about a dozen people. We rearranged the room to be more of a circle, and wrote in class, then each read our scenes. There was a lot of good writing in the class, and I was also delighted that my scene, which was both painful and funny, hit home and got a lot of laughs.

That made me realize how much confidence I’ve lost in my work over the past few months, and made me start thinking about where I need to go from here, and what decisions to make.

Immediately over to the ballroom to hear Claire Cook — what a nice person, and what a terrific inspiration. She’s learned how to make the best of everything, and how to enjoy the journey. I can learn a lot from her.

If I ever reach the point where I think I can’t learn from others, I hope someone wallops me upside the head with a cast iron skillet!

Didn’t go to the banquet, because I had a previous commitment. Took care of that, then settled in to do my homework for class, commenting on my fellow students’ work for the fantasy class. I like the fact, this year, so many people are working on things that are different, not just mimicking already published work.

Up early on Sunday, baked cinnamon rolls, tried to relax before going in. We got some sad news about a family member with a long-term illness — hospice is in there now, so it’s a matter of days. That will change many things for a lot of us.

Worked the registration desk again in the morning. I’m happy that the entire Board stepped up for the conference and was a presence, much more so than last year. It makes a huge difference in the energy and morale of the conference.

Carol’s workshop was, of course, fabulous, and the four pages I’d written in an hour went over very well. The feedback was VERY helpful (which isn’t always the case in workshops), and people are eager to read more. So, more there will be. The piece goes into the queue.

Helped clean up post-conference, loaded all the easels into the car for Mermaid Ball, and the big posters for the conference — they wouldn’t fit in Sara’s car and people just stood around like the office was in Puerto Rico instead of Osterville. Puh-leeze. Stick ’em in my car and I’ll get ’em back.

Collapsed at home — no voice, absolutely exhausted. Read a bit and early to bed.

Sad news on Monday morning — my mom’s best friend died unexpectedly over the weekend. They were both in their 90s, and had been best friends since they were 14. It’s tough on my mom. I wish I could do more for her.

Had to go on vocal rest on Monday because of the voice problems. Could feel the bleeding, and it was painful. Carrying around a pad to write everything down, trying not to act like a bad Central Park Mime. Did some work on the wine event, dropped off a note for Mezza Luna to get the ball rolling on our NYU Alumni Event, dropped off the easels at NMLC, put gas in the car, came home and rested.

Let the fantasy piece I worked on in the workshop percolate. I know my anchoring protagonists and have a working title. I know how I’d like to expand the pages I wrote for class into a legitimate opening chapter.

Watched the last two episodes of season 1 of LINE OF DUTY on Monday night. It’s so well done, and, ultimately, so depressing!

Wanted to sleep in on Tuesday, but the cats weren’t having it. Managed to get the posters back to the writers’ center office before the rain started, then came back home to write and sleep.

It amazes me how much I’ve lost in the past months, especially when it comes to my work. The best way I can put it as that my writing has been out of tune, and when the writing isn’t working, nothing else works, either. I know WHY and I have a good idea of WHAT changes need to be made, but the details of the changes are something else altogether. The weekend gave me confidence and perspective, and it’s the first time I’ve been happy in months. Decisions need to be made from there.

Rested a lot, trying to get my feet back under me for a busy week at work, and then the Mermaid Ball. Worked on the world-building for the writing, enriching the environment, because that’s such a huge part of the characters and their conflicts — and their secrets.

Violet, my oldest and smallest cat, was sick yesterday afternoon, so I went out in the monsoon to get her organic baby food. That seems to have settled her stomach, and she’s much better today, thank goodness. I think it was a reaction to the flea and tick medicine.

Started watching the first season of PIE IN THE SKY, which is charming. Thoroughly enjoying it. Lots of gentle wit in the dialogue, yet it’s still a cop show. The structure is amazing.

Also enjoying Claire Cook’s NEVER TOO LATE, her non-fiction book on reinvention. To cheer up my mom during this difficult time, I’ve gotten her a stack of Claire Cook’s novels and a stack of Barbara Delinsky’s novels. There’s a warmth to both of their writing that’s necessary right now.

Mezza Luna is excited to have the NYU Alumni do their meet-and-greet., so that will get sorted, and there’s more work to do on the wine event.

This morning, the family in Maine said our relative wasn’t supposed to last the night, but sat up and asked for breakfast this morning! 😉

Some writing this morning (back on track with my first 1K of the day), then a long day at work. It’s too hard to have the conference and the Ball so close together. If it’s scheduled that way again next year, I’ll have to only do one. Today is always my lowest energy day of the month anyway (being the day before the dark moon), but now, all I REALLY want to do is sleep.

Also working on the questions for the GOALS, DREAMS AND RESOLUTIONS site for 2016. I want to post them in September, or, latest, October, so that we all have time to think about them. I think I might tweak the site a bit, too, with more suggestions and resources instead of everyone just working so much alone.

I need to update my websites, too.

I had a great idea for a short story, a comic science fiction that anyone who knows me well will get a good laugh out of! I’m figuring 1500 words or less, comic, with the last beat being a little disturbing. Got several of the characters and the setting, so it should flow pretty quickly.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying summer, and that this week is even better!

Devon

Published in: on August 12, 2015 at 9:15 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff  
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Wed. June 17, 2015: Dance and Mystery!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy few days, but good ones.

So, DARK MATTER started on SYFY. Anthony Lemke’s in it, and I like his work, so that was my draw. He plays a character very different from the other work of his I’ve seen (which is always fun). It would have been easy to make the character a real unlikeable jerk. The fun part, when you follow a particular actor’s work, like I do with Lemke, is that I trust him, as an actor, to take me on an interesting journey and show me layers, and it doesn’t have to all happen in the first hour. So, I’m completely confident there’s more going on with the character than I’m seeing, and I look forward to the journey. I did get ahead of the plot a few times, but that’s okay. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Saturday was very busy at the library, but we got out on time. Headed home for a quick snack, changed, and headed to Wellfleet for Tango.

It was so much fun! We had a great group, and learned a lot. Drive home was smooth, and I was on the deck, with my feet soaking in Epsom salts, and a cocktail within 45 minutes of leaving.

Sunday, I was only a little sore. Went to a garden wholesaler and got some cool stuff, including sea holly. Headed back to Wellfleet for another great tango session, and drove the instructor back to Barnstable to catch the bus to Boston.

Yeah, by Sunday night, I was sore.

Monday was a rainy, icky day full of errands – had to take my mom to the doctor, get cat food, go grocery shopping, pay bills. Wiped out by the end of it.

Watched DANIEL DERONDA (homework for Masterpiece). It was well done, but I found all the leads annoying (not the actors, the characters). I didn’t believe for a minute that Daniel was actually in love with Mira – to me, it seemed he was in love with the IDEA of her, with what she represented. She was still a better choice than Gwendolyn.

Also, Monday, prepared the food for Tuesday.

Tuesday, I baked the cupcakes for today, and packed the food for the strategic planning session for NMLC, which happened in Wareham. We had a good session, and then some of us went out for Mexican food.

Didn’t have the weird progressive dream that I had Sunday and Monday.

Busy at work today, and then the wonderful Archer Mayor does a program for us tonight! Can’t wait!

I took a few days off from the book to research – got some interesting stuff to weave in.

This is probably one of the busier weeks of the summer, but it seems every week gets busier than the previous one.

Devon

Published in: on June 17, 2015 at 10:32 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 17, 2015: Dance and Mystery!  
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Wed. April 15, 2015: Tax Day Taxing Not Just For Taxes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

Hectic and difficult few days. Lots of good stuff going on, but it’s been rough. I’d swear more than Saturn was retrograde. I’m overworked, overtired, and my patience is non-existent.

As tempted as I am to go into detail, it would not be wise. Let’s just call it a clusterfuck and leave it at that. I do find it totally unacceptable that everyone vanished after one of the programs and my 90 year old mother was hauling chairs around so we could get out of there at a reasonable hour.

I would like to thank both TAPS and Moments in Time Vintage Dance for their wonderful, beautiful, fascinating presentations.

I was sick on Sunday, so I wasn’t very productive. Read a little bit, but couldn’t really function on any of the things I was supposed to get done.

Monday I got some yard work done and finished the last two microfilm reels for the historical play. I got some relevant information. It’s interesting how much contradictory information there is, but the incident I want to use for the play is starting to form in my head.

Tuesday, I still felt lousy, but was looking forward to most of a day off. I got my taxes done and mailed. I mailed back the microfilm. I found out that I had to cover a meeting for work – which turned out to be fine; I’m glad I went. But I couldn’t help resenting giving up yet another day off.

Came home, packed the baked goods, had a quick bite, headed back for an evening program. It was lovely. We also all worked together to set up the space for today’s large program.

Got home, baked more cupcakes and more muffins. Fell into bed. Slept badly, nearly overslept, but was up at 5:30 to bake scones and frost the cupcakes.

Was going to wash and pack extra china for today’s program, but, honestly, I don’t trust these people not to break it, and it’s not like I’d even get an apology. I’m not risking pieces that each have a personal story attached and can’t be replaced.

We’re short staffed today and it’s busy, but we’re getting by.

I’m very, very, very tired, and looking forward to getting some rest this weekend. I also have deadlines looming and need to get to work on them. But I’m practically incoherent with exhaustion, so it has to wait a few days.

Published in: on April 15, 2015 at 10:43 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. April 1, 2015: Where Fools Leap

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
April Fool’s Day

At least it didn’t snow last night, as threatened.

I’m not a fan of the way April Fool’s Day has evolved. My understanding of its original purpose is to show the ridiculousness in “establishment” and authority. Unfortunately, too many of the so-called pranks pulled on this day aren’t funny; they’re mean. There’s an undercurrent of hostility.

Busy few days off. I was immersed in COLLABORATIVE BIRTH. Rewrote nearly 300 pages. That included tearing apart and rewriting the Prague section AGAIN — but hey, keep at it until it’s right. Running a draft through spell check or auto crit is not an edit OR a revision — it’s running words through a tool. Both editing and revision are far more complex than that.

Rewrote the New Mexico section, which needs more re-structuring because of what I did in the Prague section. A couple of characters stepped forward more strongly than I expected, but, for the moment, I’m going with it.

The world of the novel(s) goes from fairly simple and protected to wider and wider as their work gets more noticed and more attention. It’s got a large cast of characters, which won’t work for some readers, but is necessary in order for the piece to make sense. I’ve read plenty of books that pretend to be behind-the-scenes looks at theatre or film or television, with a character of six or ten, and it’s simply not the way it works. No matter what you do on a production, you deal with a large number of different, determined people every single day.

Did a ridiculous amount of grocery shopping, but hopefully that means all I’ll have to buy over the next couple of weeks is milk, bread, eggs. Got some new summer clothes — I seem to be drawn to varying shades of blue and aqua this year.

The snow is melting, which means yard work can start this weekend (if it doesn’t rain). I managed to drag the downed tree limbs out of the front yard and stash them in the back. The crocuses are up, and some tulips, hyacinth, and glory-of-the-snow are fighting the good fight to emerge. Pretty soon, I can rake the beds and get things started for planting.

I have a LOT of work to do in the back yard, since I didn’t prepare it properly in the fall. So I’m paying the price now.

Went to Country Gardens. Bought a six-pack each of Boston, Salad Bowl, and Bibb Lettuces, and a six pack of Brussels sprouts. That gives me a head start on those. I don’t really like Brussels sprouts, but the plants are pretty, so if they form properly, I’ll eat them. Bought tomato seeds, but haven’t started them yet (yes, I know it’s late), and morning glory and moonflower seeds that I will start on the next planting day.

Baked lemon cupcakes for tomorrow night’s Tango session. I’ll frost them tonight.

Finished watching the first season of MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES, out of Australia. The production design is gorgeous, and the writing and acting are superb. I hope to watch the second season this week.

Also re-watched GAME CHANGE, which is a well-done film.

Dithering about the final cuts on the radio play LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES, but those have to be done in the next few days, and it has to go out as soon as I can get it finalized and registered. Then, I have to do the American version, and also get started on the radio play that’s going to the Parisian company.

Reading THE WRITERS by Miranda J. Banks, about the formation of the Writers Guild. Very inspiring.

I haven’t written about the plane crash in the French Alps, because I’ve been listening, in horror, as everyone else has. It’s important that people aren’t stigmatized by something like depression. However, being ill does NOT give an individual the right to murder 149 other people. Or any person, other than himself. Period.

The next three days at the library will be busy, and then I have a lot of writing, research, and gardening to do over next weekend.

I’m almost afraid to hope that it’s actually spring.

Devon

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 9:09 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 1, 2015: Where Fools Leap  
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Fri. Feb. 6, 2015: Dancing in the Snow

Friday, February 6, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

A little tired and a little sore this morning, but last night I took my first Tango class and it was fun! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Investing in the shoes was worth it. I’m still thinking too much, and I was focused more on trying to figure out what my partner was doing (although some partners I clicked with very quickly) rather than really connecting to the music. Hopefully, I can meld the two over the coming weeks. There are steps and music and etiquette. Everyone’s really friendly and from very different backgrounds, so it’s nice to meet a whole different group of people than I’ve met since I’ve moved here.

A friend of mine from all the way down in P-town drives up for Tango on Thursdays, and she’d like me to come and speak about my work to a group down there, which will be fun.

A poet walked into the library yesterday, and I wound up booking her for two programs. I like her work, and she’s seems like she’ll be a lot of fun to work with.

It was a busy day yesterday, but a good one, with lots of laughter, which is always good.

So, Harper Lee is going to release the book she wrote BEFORE she wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I love her writing, I’m interested to read it, but I hope people don’t try to hurt her, either because it’s actually the first novel, or because they’re upset she hasn’t released anything in 55 years. I hope the book is allowed to stand on its merits, but I doubt that will be the case.

The Metro North crash in Valhalla a few days ago was horrible. I’m so grateful none of my friends were on the train. I saw some photos – the front of the train was melted from the fire. Truly awful.

Watching the third season of WEST WING. I loved that show, and re-watching it all together just reminds me how good it was.

Some of the scenes in the radio play will be set against a tango background – last night gave me lots of ideas. I have all kinds of ideas for another piece, too, but it has to wait its turn.

Tomorrow, there’s a “Courtship Tea” at the library. Tomorrow night is the Ham and Bean supper at Liberty Hall (thanks to the Village Association). I promised to bake, so I’ll be making batches of lemon cupcakes and batches of fudge brownies tonight. I’m also supplying some of the china for the tea tomorrow. I have to take my mom over to Mashpee for some medical tests in the morning, get in some cat food and wine, and a couple of Argentine Tango CDs – and then I’m in for the next few snowy days.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Wed. Dec. 17, 2014: Recovering

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Hannukah

Well, I got sick on Friday, and wound up going home two hours early. There was plenty of coverage at work, so it wasn’t a problem. My head felt heavy, I alternated hot and cold chills, and was just miserable. So, I went home and went to bed.

Stayed quiet over the weekend, although I managed to get some student work done. Read a stack of books, most of which were disappointing. Finished watching the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY, which ended better than it began, I felt.

Did administrative work on several fronts. Got caught up on some stuff for the Writers Center. Had to go to the DMV — well, it’s called the RMV here — to sort out something on Monday. I expected it to take all day, but I was in and out in five minutes. Love that. Plus, they were very nice.

Grocery shopping, so now I can start baking. But I’m still not 100%, so by the time I got home, I was wrecked. Took it easy on Monday night.

Up early Tuesday, got some writing done. Took my mother to the doctor for her follow-up, and she left feeling worse than when she went in. Now, she has to go to a specialist.

Got started on the baking. I tried a sour cream cookie recipe that sounded good, but turned out rather bland. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have the zing I want for something I give as gifts. The lacy oatmeal cookie with currants, however, was wonderful. I’ll use those. And I made two batches of tollhouse cookies, always a favorite. The kitchen was like an operating theatre, everything was so darn sterilized, including me. Since I’m getting over this whatever-it-is, I wanted to make sure everything was sterile.

Again, exhausted, and can’t seem to get my energy back. Went to bed early.

Up early this morning. Today will be a long day at work. Normally, I’m in early and out early on the third Wednesday of the month, but today I’m in early and then there’s a program tonight, so I’ll just stay through. Tomorrow night, I need to finish the cookies; Friday night I’m going to a party off-Cape. Saturday is my Saturday “on” and then a party at work; Sunday is the Solstice. So it’s a busy time. I’m behind on my cards, too. My mom, of course, has all of hers out! 😉

Last night was the first night of Hannukah — best wishes to all who celebrate!

I think I’ve made decent progress untangling problems in the RED WIDOW; I’ve paid off the immediate threats I set up and set up some more. I need to untangle the beginning of this chapter, and then I think I can progress properly. It was supposed to be something I could dash off quickly, a fun, easy piece, but the characters have different ideas, and have more layers to them than I originally imagined. Which is good, but means that everything has to be planned a little more carefully.

INITIATE is getting impatient, because I’m not giving it enough attention, although I think about it all the time. I just feel so heavy and exhausted that it’s difficult to juggle everything, especially multiple writing projects. But, it must be done. The writing is the priority.

Read the anthology in which I’m included: NEW LEGENDS: MERCENARIES, ENGINEERS, CAPTAINS. It’s a lot of fun. My own story, “Loyalty Strata”, holds up better than expected. I was frustrated because, as I worked on it, I had ideas on how to open it as a novel, but I needed to keep it a short story within word count for the anthology. If I ever do open it up, the plot line will be quite different as it unfolds, but at least this was a good way to explore the characters, and I like these people.

Working on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions questions. I hope to have them up soon.

Have a great week, sliding into the holidays!

Devon

Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Dec. 12, 2014: Preparing for the Weekend

Friday, December 12, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a solid work day, although I wasn’t feeling well. Managed to land some good people for our upcoming programs. I was up at 5 AM, making deviled eggs, but that’s fine.

Raced home when the library closed, picked up the eggs, platter, and gift for the grab bag, and headed over the bridge to Buzzards Bay. Very little traffic, and the weather cleared up, so I made good time.

Fun seeing everyone and catching up. The food was great. The eggs were gone in about three minutes – it was like the locusts descended! 😉 But in a good way. The gift-giving was “Yankee Swap Style” – something I’d never done before. I wound up with an adorable ceramic turtle tea light, and the gift I contributed also found a good home.

Went home, watched more of DOWNTON ABBEY – I have to say, Season 4 is a disappointment so far.

Tumbled into bed, absolutely exhausted. Had weird dreams – not anxiety dreams, just odd. Overslept by a half hour, but got everything done this morning, including a trip to the post office and a swing by Stop N Shop to get more cups for the library.

I’ll have another busy day here, and then I can GO HOME. I’m exhausted, and fighting something – I suspect it’s a cold, so I’ll dose myself all weekend with my herbal concoctions and get as much rest as possible. I’ve got student work to finish up, my own work to do, and cards to write. Decorating to finish. Baking to begin.

I’m simplifying the baking this year. I just can’t make six different things. I’ll make two, and balance them nicely, present them well, and, hopefully, everyone will be happy.

I do rather feel run over by a bus, so sleeping in for a couple of days, or taking the time to nap in the afternoons is probably all I need to get back on track. Next week will be flat out all week, as will most of the days leading up to Christmas itself. I AM looking forward to the Solstice – got a nice celebration planned.

Have a lovely weekend, all, and I’ll check back next week!

Devon

Published in: on December 12, 2014 at 9:51 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 12, 2014: Preparing for the Weekend  
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