Fri. Jan. 24, 2020: Gearing Up for A Busy Weekend

Friday, January 24, 2020
New Moon
Sunny and mild

There’s a new post on Affairs of the Pen, under the Ava Dunne name, about how we’re all kids eager to look for lost treasure.

Yesterday really felt like a lost day, work-wise. It was frustrating.

I got a little bit of writing done before the rental inspection. The inspection itself takes only a few minutes, especially since everything’s okay and we have an ethical landlord. But the timing of it means I couldn’t really start anything until it was over.

I managed to get to the library and get a few things done, but I was under time constraints. Couldn’t get anywhere near done what I needed to.

Dashed back, bolted down a quick lunch, and then took my mother to the doctor. Where we waited for an hour and a half for a five-minute appointment. So, basically, the afternoon was lost, too.

I got in some reading, and finished the book for review, and started reading a fascinating book on the literary world in 1922, where this author believes everything changed.

Had planned to take a walk on the beach, but by the time we got out of the doctor’s office, it had clouded up and gotten too windy.

Leftovers for dinner, and reading. I’m still working my way through my re-reads of Donna Leon’s Brunetti series.

I have to do some research on Chicago in 1856 to get the correct names of a few things for “A Woman for the Job.”

Started “A Rare Medium” — the next Kate Warne play, about a case of hers where she posed as a medium. I have to dig up my notes on names, but it’s percolating along nicely.

Working on revisions for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Some of it is sticky work, but once I fix the first half, where I got off track (again), the rest should fall into place pretty nicely.

Unpacked and purged a few boxes, and sorted out some clothes. Figuring out what to donate, what to get rid of, what to pack away as stock, and what to keep in the closet.

Yesterday was the first day of full peaceful co-existence for all three cats since Willa and Charlotte came to live here. Even Tessa and Charlotte ignored each other, while being in the same room, which is huge progress.

If Charlotte had ended up in a shelter, she would have been marked unadoptable. Fortunately, MA has only no-kill shelters, or she would have ended up on death row. She can’t stand confinement or closed doors or chaos and doesn’t do well with strangers. I’m glad she’s here and I figured out how to work with her to make her feel safe. The sunnier, sweeter side of her personality is starting to come out.

Willa just kind of does her own thing. She likes company, but refuses to engage when Charlotte has a tantrum. She’s very, very smart, and keeps at something until she figures it out. And friendly. She’s a friendly, easy-going cat most of the time.

Tessa is getting used to them. She doesn’t assert herself enough with them, but there’s peaceful co-existence. As my vet in NY said, it’s healthier for them to be together in the same room and ignore each other than be alone. After all, we took in these cats because Tessa hates being an only cat.

We’re getting there. I hope we’ve turned a corner. There will be some regression here and there, I’m sure, but consistency, boundaries, and lots and lots of affection have brought them a long way.

I had a meeting with a potential client late in the morning, which is why this is posting so late. The conversation was fine, but we are not what each other needs right now.

Now, I’m off to the grocery store, and then back to write the review and start the next book for review.

The weather’s supposed to be bad this weekend, so I’ll stay in to write, read, and purge boxes from the basement. Maybe run the leaves to the dump tomorrow morning, if the weather’s okay.

With a new moon, Burns Night, Virginia Woolf’s birthday, and Chinese Lunar New Year all hitting this weekend, I will be exhausted.

Received the second invitation to work without pay this week, this time a speaking engagement. I gracefully declined. What gets me about both invitations was that it comes from people who are paid and who don’t work without pay — yet they want me so to do.

Put in my share of that.

I looked over my clips and what I use where. I realized that my unpaid clips for “exposure” only resulted in requests for more unpaid work. Clips from paid gigs led to more paid gigs. That’s important information. I will sit down and figure out the exact stats, but it was an important realization.

How did I do with my intent to listen this week? I definitely listened. I definitely did not like a lot of what I heard. The Senate Trial is enraging and disheartening. The Republican Senators are a disgrace.

I listened to a lot of incidental conversations around me. As a writer, I do periodic eavesdropping anyway, as part of my process to catch cadence. But I was discouraged by the amount of intentional stupidity going around.

So, yes, I achieved my “intent” for the week, but the consequences were not what I foresaw. I still have a couple of days to go on the week, but I think I will focus on listening to music!

 

Fri. Sept. 6, 2013: The Evolving Novel

Friday, September 6, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

It’s definitely autumn. The heat would kick on if I’d let it.

I struggled yesterday. It took me all day to write one chapter, just over 5200 words. Not a good thing. It shouldn’t have taken that long.

I managed a trip to the library to drop off some books and then took a walk on the beach. The beaches are ours again, now that it’s past Labor Day. I’ve missed being on the beach regularly. I need the sound of the waves.

Wrote some letters, got some admin work done. When I finish today’s fiction quota, I’ve got some articles to knock out.

An actor friend wants me to write a caper script. Amazing, how when a civilian says, “You should write”, I just want to smack him, but an actor I like working with mentions something, and off I trot to the desk. Occupational hazard, I guess. Made some notes on the caper script and on another piece that I thought would be prose, but might start as a script and then I’ll adapt it.

I hope this will be a quiet, writing-centric weekend.

The book on which I’ve been writing a chapter a day started as a potential category piece, but is evolving into more of a contemporary exploration of loyalty and fame. I’m just going to let it be what it is, and then take it from there.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. April 22, 2013: Earth Day, Mansuscript Prep, and Writing

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All nice and loamy in the front! 😉

Monday, April 22, 2103
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Earth Day

What a weekend!

Friday was mostly about the Boston area being locked down in order to find the terrorist. The news coverage was continuous. I don’t know how it was in other areas of the country, but we couldn’t access the national news, they just keep yapping about nothing for an almost twenty-four hour cycle. The coverage was lousy and irritating. I think the media is over-simplifying things and using slogans and sound bytes instead of giving real information. There’s way too much we still don’t know about it all, and, while I’m relieved that the perpetrators of last Monday’s attack seem to be caught, I’m not yet assured that this wasn’t the tip of a bigger iceberg. I’m as disturbed by the questions that aren’t being asked as by the circus aspect to all of this.

Got some work in the yard done, got some reading done, but it was difficult to concentrate with all the sirens (even down here — suspicious packages, the Sagamore bridge closed for awhile, etc.) and the chaos was not conducive to getting much done. I managed to get a nice chunk of the non-fiction book done, which was a relief. Got a mailing out for an Arbor Day event next week. Sat outside for awhile in the afternoon, just trying to get settled a bit. At least I’m back to my daily yoga practice.

Saturday was a rainy, gray day. I spent most of it writing. Not necessarily on the book I’m supposed to be working on, but that’s what it is. I did about 1500 words in longhand on something that’s been tugging at me. I worked on the non-fiction book. I worked with students. An old screenplay of mine that’s been haunting me lately got dug up. I read it and it holds together. While there’s not much I can do with it as a screenplay, I started adapting it to a romantic suspense/adventure novel. In the prose, I have to adjust some things to deepen POVs, but the story itself and the dialogue holds together. The ending needs a boost, but I now have the plotting skills to do that. It’s an old file, so I’m converting sections of the old screenplay that got wonked in the save, and then adapting each section into prose.

I also submitted a backlog of stories — and one of them was accepted within hours of submission. That’s what I call a good day’s work! It will publish in the fall, and is one of my favorite contemporary pieces.

Finished reading material for Confidential Job #1, and started the next assignment. Polished materials for the conference presentation next week, and now have to start printing stuff out. I need information as to how many to expect — I don’t want to print 200 copies of everything if only 60 people are there, but I don’t want to be caught short, either.

Yesterday, I was exhausted. Read the papers. Worked out in the yard for a bit. Came up with a cool event/promotion for May which I will detail a little further into the post, wrote up the promotional aspect, and also all the content for the three weeks’ worth of material. Wrote another chapter in the book I’m supposed to be writing. Took a walk on the beach. Aren’t these piles of shells fascinating? It was cold and windy, but it was a great day to be outside.

IMG_1025

May is Manuscript Preparation Month

With all the calls for submission and conferences coming up, May is a great month to prepare manuscripts. If you’re doing a consultation during a conference, you need to get your materials polished and in; if you want to take advantage of a submission call, you need to do the same. With events like BEA coming up at the beginning of June, where lots of deals are made, there’s a need to get going on prepping.

For the month of May, I’m emailing a free manuscript preparation tip every weekday from May 1-May 24 (ending at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend). Yup, a free tip to help you prepare your manuscript.

To sign up, send an email to manuscriptprep-at-fearlessink-dot-com with “Tip” in the subject line.

In addition to the free tip, you get a coupon for a 10% discount on a critique of 30 pages, which must be used between now and the end of the year, and you are automatically signed up for the newsletter.

I only posted the information yesterday afternoon, and I’m thrilled and delighted by how many people have already signed up. I hope you’ll join the group!

Now, I’ve got many pages to write today, so I better get back to it!

Devon