Tues. Aug. 6, 2019: Life And . . .

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot and humid

It’s been nearly a week since I blogged about daily life. I needed the break.

Today is Lucy’s first anniversary since she came to live with us. She’s grown from being a shy, terrified cat into a friendly, inquisitive lovebug. She makes every day better.

Late last week, I struggled with stress and motivation. My client kept telling me the check was mailed; it kept not arriving. It finally got here yesterday, just as I was getting ready to send a second invoice with a late fee. I’ve already cut this client too many breaks: didn’t require a deposit due to past work together; didn’t charge when one of the venues to which I uploaded the information changed and did it on my own time; gave 5 extra days past the 30 days before sending the invoice with the late fee. Needles to say, I won’t be cutting the client ANY breaks in the future. Deposit up front, late fee on the day it’s late. I no longer trust this client. That it’s typical of local clients doesn’t change the fact that it is unacceptable.

Work on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH was shaky. Had an idea that combined other ideas with which I’ve played for several years. Made some notes, but it’s the type of piece that won’t be done much faster than a page or two a day. I’m trying to combine themes from several other projects that haven’t quite worked. It’s percolating, but not really ready to be written yet, which is fine, since there’s plenty that HAS to be written at this point.

I’m having a lot of fun with the Upbeat Authors posts this month about inspiration. I’m playing with the #31Prompts posts, and it will probably take me a couple of years to write the projects inspired by them all. Having fun with the serial parable I’m doing on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Did house and hearth stuff. Have some worries on the home front, but we’ll see what happens.

Had a good meeting with a potential new client. I definitely have the skills and versatility they need, but it depends if they want versatility and skill, or merely a drone.

Went to a sound bath at the yoga studio on Friday night, which was good, although my back was giving me trouble.

Got my hair cut, finally, on Saturday. A totally different style than I’ve ever had, and it looks good. Fun, flirty, professional, a little retro. It goes with the way my hair naturally waves at this point (considering it used to be stick straight). It feels much, much better. Make-up updated, wardrobe freshened, new hair. Getting the changes started.

My hairdresser was an artist-turned-hair-art guy, and his boyfriend is an aspiring YA writer, studying for his MA. I reeled off a bunch of local writing resources. I always prefer to talk about my stylist than myself when getting my hair done. I’m not one to gossip about myself in the chair.

Read Soniah Kamal’s UNMARRIAGEABLE. Wow, is that a good book! Absolutely loved it. Will shelve it with the set of Jane Austen from my grandmother, and re-read it often. Soniah asked for a photograph of the shelf. Once I dust and light it properly so it photographs well, I’ll do it!

Started the book I’m reading for review. Started the next radio play, tentatively called “A Pier-less Crime.” It’s the next Frieda/Lazarus comedy.

Delved into art books for both the month of Upbeat Author posts on inspiration and the Canaletto play. Started re-Feng Shui-ing some of the house. Did more research on Caribbean recipes to incorporate into my writing. On the flip side of that, also made some more smoked trout pate, because it’s a good cool dish to eat on a hot day. And we had tiramisu, although I bought that. I’m not confidant enough to try making it — YET.

Read a couple of cozies (from two different series) by an author who always leaves me with mixed feelings about her work. There’s a lot of charm and warm detail. But her protagonists are too dependent on the men in their lives, cry too much, repeatedly get “tired” as a plot device to miss important information, and are always rescued by men during the climactic sequence instead of participating in their own survival.

Focused mostly on writing and reading on Sunday. I’m reading a mystery by a Spanish writer. Again, so different from the way US/British/Australian mysteries are structured. So interesting. With an unusual pair of detectives. I also read THE ABOMINATION by Jonathan Holt, set in contemporary Venice, dealing with the war crimes, especially against women, when Yugoslavia was split up. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a huge book, and I read it in one day.

Worked on my Llewellyn article, the play, GRAVE REACH.

Angry and heartbroken over the shootings in El Paso and Ohio. The Narcissistic Sociopath dances with glee that he can incite such violence, and his Russian handlers are delighted. The corruption in this administration is astonishing, although it’s been building since the Reagan years. None of this is a surprise. The lack of will to change it is disgusting.

Yesterday, had to go into my client’s early, so someone would be there to receive a shipment. Challenging day.

Meditation was much-needed.

But Sunday and Monday were good writing days, and this morning was, too. Onsite with a client for most of the day, before other appointments. Getting out some article pitches this week that I hope will hit their marks and create some additional income.

Back to the page.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Yesterday was the full moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
No idea re: weather — I’m scheduling this to post the night before

Yeah, I never managed to blog yesterday. Oops.

And I’m headed off at the crack of — to get my car serviced, so I actually scheduled this to post on Monday night.

I’m trying to remember if I have a good book depicting Edward Hopper’s paintings in storage, or if I need to go and buy one. I know I have a big biography and books ABOUT him, but I don’t think I’ve got a book of plates of the paintings. And I need it for a project. Guess I’ll be haunting the Bargain Books section of the major bookstores soon (like I don’t anyway?).

Re-reading THE JOURNALS OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT. Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe are still my heroes, and they’ve been that since I was about eight.

Gave myself Sunday off from writing because my brain was exhausted. Two proposals, a 5K story and a 9K story all out within 48 hours was a bit much, even though I’d been working on everything over a period of time. I’ve got a 2500 word story that needs to be done in the next couple of days, the Christmas story, and another anthology story that need to happen in the next couple of weeks.

I had a BLAAAAST talking to those middle schoolers yesterday. I brought in my wardrobe kit and showed them how a bunch of stuff worked, talked about quick changes, talked about the differences in wardrobe needs between theatre and film, and how that feeds into the writing. They asked very insightful questions. They seemed interested and engaged. Almost all of them had seen WICKED, and, since I swung on that show for 3 1/2 years (gee, I bet you had NO IDEA that’s where I worked with all the flying monkey talk, huh? 😉 ) I used a lot of examples and anecdotes from that show. It was a lot of fun, the time flew, and the seemed pretty engaged. I was totally honest with them, especially about where I’m a royal pain in the ass and where I break the rules, why, and both how I’ve made it work and where it’s made things harder.

Came home and was pretty much a waste of food all afternoon. I booked the tickets for DC and am having hotel trauma. I thought I’d found this GREAT hotel at a GREAT price, but it turns out the neighborhood is too skeevy even for someone who used to live a block off Times Square, so I’m looking for something else that’s not totally out of my price range, but close to where I need to be. Not fun.

Anyway, I’m off getting the car serviced for its regular check up. Then, I have to go vote for friends who are running for re-election locally (and doing a damned good job). More errands after that AND some writing AND finishing up Confidential Job #1.

Then, it’s off to the meditation group, taking a change of clothes with me so I can hit the election party on the way back.

It would be really, really, really a good idea to get some writing done today, too.

Since, well, tomorrow’s another adventure!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
No idea; writing this Mon. night

By the time you read this, I should be on the road to Saratoga.

While I’m gone, if you like this blog, how about nominating me as one of the Best 25 Blogs for writers here?

Or, of course, nominate any writing blog you think is really good!

Busy Monday. Trader Joe’s, Staples — they STILL didn’t restock the glossy postcard paper near me, so I had to drive well into CT for crying out loud, and they didn’t have glossy paper either, so I settled for matte. Whatever. They’re postcards. They also don’t sell the refills for my great Pentel pens — although they sell the pens. What’s up with that? Not a happy camper.

Did paperwork. Packed. Ironed. Put everything together for the trip. Missed the call from Apple — I was only away from the phone for 10 minutes.

Did some mapping, so I have a clue where I’m going. Finalized some arrangements. Busy day, but good busy. Didn’t get a chance to get back to AMENDS, and it’s eating at me, so I hope to sneak in a few pages here and there between events.

Will return soon


PS Threw an extra pair of shoes into my bag. Just in case.

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 1:36 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , ,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Well, the migraine won and I lost yesterday, so yesterday was a “lost” day. It happens. I managed to get my errands done, but that was it for the day.

Light doesn’t bother me with these migraines, but I’m even more hypersensitive to sound than usual, and very aware of scent. The sound of the maintenance people taking out the garbage (three stories below) nearly killed me. Low-toned piano music usually helps, and I had some incense burning, which also helps. Yeah, they’re in direct contradiction to most headache remedies, but they work for me. That and some rosemary oil on the temples.

I managed to read a bit, off and on. Unfortunately, it was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. I won’t detail the title, the author, or even the genre – I’ve never read this person’s work before, have no knowledge of this person via internet or anything else – and will avoid all future work by this person. It was supposed to be funny – well, that’s what the book blurbs stated. Okay, I LOATHE book blurbs, the fact that the blurbs told me what to think should have tipped me off. It wasn’t funny. It was stupid, poorly plotted, unmemorable supporting characters, clichés all over the place instead of actual human beings, bad jokes about sexual choices that barely masked homophobia (while pretending to be “tolerant” about it), and the protagonist was an idiot who didn’t learn from her mistakes, jumped to stupid conclusions, and was mean to the people around her. Why would I root for this person? I kept turning the pages hoping the protag would meet her demise – even though it wouldn’t have made sense, since the book was in the first person. Ick, ick, ick, ick. Thank goodness I picked this up at a book sale and it only cost me about twelve cents – or I would have asked for my money back! I want those two hours of my life back! (Preferably without the migraine).

I rarely dislike a book as intensely as I disliked this one. Usually, I can cut some slack and say, “Well, it’s not to my taste, but there’s a market for it” – I can’t imagine anyone with a quarter of a brain who’d think this was worth the time.

Fortunately, I then slipped into Peter Dickinson’s The Yellow Room Conspiracy. I didn’t get very far because my head hurt too much, but what I read is beautiful. Every word in every sentence is perfectly placed, and the way the sentences flow into each other to create paragraphs that enhance mood and character and plot – in addition to being just a damned good story, the construction is gorgeous.

The problem with lying prone fighting a headache is that one’s head starts to fill up with stories again. I made some notes. There were some characters and situations that floated around my head for a few weeks that are now coming together, so I’m jotting notes in order not to lose them.

Remember that dream I had last week about a (well-known) actor, and I interpreted not as being about that particular actor, but about work on Broadway? I got a call to work a show last night. It’s from someone with whom I haven’t worked with before, and she’s rightly cautious to find out more about me instead of just saying, “Come play with us.” I’m going to update my theatre resume and I’ll email it over today. If it works, great, it’ll be some quick cash; if not, that’s fine too, because I’ve got plenty of writing on my plate, and I don’t miss the theatre as much as I expected. I’ll just roll with whatever opportunities come my way and not worry too much about it.

I’ve got residual migraine soreness, which I hope dissipates over the course of the day. I have to catch up on what didn’t get done yesterday. And, of course, the landlord is shutting off the water for a good portion of the day, so I have to fill up everything and hope that he remembers /bothers to turn it back on. At least we got written notice, even though it wasn’t technically 24 hours ahead of time, which, by law, it’s supposed to be.

There’s a new neighbor in the apartment across the alley. Elsa disconcerted him by sitting in the living room window and staring at him while he hung his new blinds. It was really funny. And, as soon as he was done, he pulled them down. She was very disappointed. She hoped he had a large screen television she could watch from the window. The guy in the apartment next door to the new guy, whose large-screen television she used to watch from the kitchen window, rearranged his living room and now she can’t see it. Yeah, when I move, I have to get a bigger television for the cat.

To answer Piter’s question, from a comment he left on the March 13th post, I consider this blog part of my job. I’m a full-time writer; it’s how I earn my living, and I consider this blog part of that. It’s also a joy. But it’s definitely not a “hobby.” And I’m glad so many of you agree with me that the whole blogger-as-royalty-commentor-as-peasant model is crap. You know, if people want to classify themselves like that, they can. WE don’t!

Decent morning’s writing so far. Let’s hope the rest of the day remains productive, and the migraine doesn’t flare up again. I really don’t need a multi-day migraine.


Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 7:06 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , ,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

We’re supposed to have a big nor’eastern today – of course, I have to traipse around in the city this evening – but I’m taking my air conditioner out of the window this afternoon. It barely hangs in there anyway – no reason to tempt fate.

Someone asked me what the first question is I ask someone if I’m asked out on a date. My first question to anyone with whom I might get involved is, “Are you allergic to animals?” Because I won’t date someone who is. Period.
My second question is, “Do you like animals?” Far too often, people play the allergy card, when in reality, they just don’t like animals. Animals are a huge part of my life, so if you can’t deal, you can’t participate. I’ll have coffee with you, maybe even dinner, we can work together, but that’s as far as that will go.

Productive day yesterday, finally. Got the guest blog post written, finished the work for Confidential Job #1, got that off and the invoice, did more work on The Big Project, got a bunch of questions off to the Coordinating Editor, and finished another chapter of ANGEL HUNT.

This morning, the editor already had answers to all but one question, and she’s hunting down the answer to that one! Wow! I’m pretty excited.

I have to chase down a payment for something today, which is irritating. It’s even more irritating when a publication doesn’t follow their own guidelines. The publication was highly recommended, so I’m a bit disappointed.

Have to deal with some building paperwork. There’s going to be some major unpleasantness over the next few weeks, which I really don’t want to deal with, but I don’t have a choice.

Better get as much done as possible before the storm, since I already know I’ll have to trudge around in it again. And probably have to move the car in case it floods tonight.


Angel Hunt — 103,068 words out of est. 125,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
103 / 125

Devon’s Bookstore:

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

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on September 25, 2008 at 7:49 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: , ,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I’ve never been good at waiting. Patience is not one of my virtues. I can be patient with a rescued animal, trying to gain its trust; I can be patient getting to know a horse. But people? Not so much.

The contract requests are in to the publisher. They’re small tweaks, but very important to me, and we’ll see if they’re accepted. They both deal with contexts of my work beyond any single piece, which is why I keep them consistent from contract to contract, no matter which publisher is involved.

Still waiting to hear back from the producer – which is fine. For crying out loud, it takes more than a day to make a decision. But I don’t want to work on FEMME FATALE or SIDEKICK until I know I’m going in the right direction with tone, style, content, etc. with MATILDA MURDERS.

Still trying to figure out how to structure the next sequence of scenes on the adaptation, and didn’t get anywhere near enough work done on the anthology story. Yesterday wound up being more about admin work than creative work, which is a little frustrating, but it was necessary.

I’m out of the house today by ten a.m. and not home until midnight. I got called in for another photo call for the show, and then, well, there’s the show!

I started the pre-Belmont article, which I’ll finish tomorrow and get out.

The listings on the job boards have been frustrating: either the pay is insulting or the topics are out of my range of . . . let’s say, willingness to work. I wouldn’t be good writing about real estate because I have such a low opinion of most of the people I’ve met in the real estate and development business. So I stay away from those listings. And listings that are vague or don’t list payment – usually they’re by those site owners who want a slew of articles per week for a pittance – again, not worth my time.

I better get cracking on those brochures. I’ve been putting together a list of prospective clients, and a new brochure and another print run of snappy business cards will be a step in the right direction.

I’m out the door – have a good one.


Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on May 29, 2008 at 6:08 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,