Thurs. Dec. 15: Admitting mistakes and forgiveness

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Still dark out

Made the cheat sheets, made the tags, put the platters together, ran around delivering most of them. People like a little remembrance, and I like to take a moment to let them know they matter to me.

The Writers’ Association dinner was last night, at a lovely Italian restaurant. It was fun — good company, great food. I was talking about my negative experience at a local organization — the place that scheduled, then cancelled, then rescheduled, then didn’t bother to put me in the brochure. I’m not the only one who’s had a bad experience. A cooking teacher sat beside me. She was scheduled to teach there. She and the students arrived, to find the kitchen in the process of demolition. The place decided they didn’t need one, not paying any attention that they’d booked classes in there, and, of course, never bothered to contact the instructor or the students ahead of time.

Good place to stay away from!

Arranged to have a drink on Monday night with someone with whom I may collaborate on a theatre piece. That’s exciting.

And I have leads on two more possible workshop venues. I need to follow them up this week.

One of the places I pitched to the previous day is interested in me. I’m doing a similar gig for someone else — but these guys pay double what the others do. If we can work out the details, it would be both fun and the money worth the time.

Came home to relax, only to discover I’d made a mortifying mistake. Had to admit to it and then try to fix it. I’d like to beg exhaustion as the excuse, but really, there is no excuse. I seem to be the only one really upset about it, so that’s a relief. Now, I have to forgive myself — always the hardest part of any such process.

Hopefully, yoga this morning will help.

It’ll be funny down the line, when I have some distance. Maybe. But I’m really angry with myself now.

I worked with a producer in NY. If someone made a mistake and felt awful about it, she’d say, “Did anybody die?” When you said no, she’d say, “Then it’s not so bad. Nobody died. Let’s go fix it.”

The writing did not go well yesterday. I have to go back and do some untangling. One has days like that. You push through and keep going. If you use that as an excuse not to write, you lose momentum and the book doesn’t get finished.

I’m going to write a bit this morning before heading off to yoga. Have some errands to run, more discussion with the potential client, then must spend time with students, and also get out the domestic cards.

Onward (albeit a little down on myself today).

Devon

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Thursday, November 17, 2011: Writers’ Night Out = Awesome!

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Probably still raining

I’ve scheduled this to post, because I’ll hit the page at 5:30 this morning to get my 1000 words in on the book before heading to yoga at 7:30.

Writers’ Night Out was so much fun last night! Great food, great company. Some good networking — caught up with people I’d met a few weeks ago, met some new ones. I have A LOT of follow up to do today when I get back from yoga, but it will be worth it. Some great opportunities. AND . . .I’ll get to host some great authors on A BIBLIO PARADISE as their books come out. So you guys benefit, too! 😉

What I love about this group is that they are enthusiastic and supportive. They work on the principle I fully believe in — as writers, we are all in this together, not in competition. Whenever one of us succeeds, it helps all of us. And when we help each other succeed, it’s even better!

My students are working hard; I’m proud of them, even as I crack the whip.

It’s official: I’m only allowed adult sippy cups (AKA travel mugs) when I write. I spilled coffee over 92 manuscript pages of the Harpy book yesterday in a moment of stupidity. They are set out all over the house on towels, and the cats are rearranging them. Hey, they might have some editing tips, and it’s better than getting it over the computer, right?

When I get home, I’ll do follow-up from last night, get some media kits out to book groups, and work on one of the short stories (I’ve got four queued up to be written this weekend, in addition to the work on the novel), before heading out to an event in Falmouth.

Gotta love it!

Devon

Word count as of yesterday: Just over 79K

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, October 27, 2011


Violet
Room in the basket

Iris
No room in the basket

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
When this posts, it’ll still be dark out!

I’m scheduling this to post early, because I’m up at 5-ish to work on the harpy book before I head off to yoga and then head back home to get my mom to her eye doctor appointment and then circle back to work with my students and . . .you get the idea.

In addition to student work, I busted my ass the past two days getting the garden settled and the plants settled in the house. Looks like a fricking greenhouse in here! Some of them will die back soon (I’ve got grow lights on the tomatoes, because I am NOT losing more than a dozen tomatoes. Even though the guy at the hardware store told me I could only get a grow light bulb from a “young friend growing marijuana” I found one at a garden center. Besides, my eggplants and strawberries think it’s June). Some of them are still outside — for instance, the lilac needs a nip of frost to know it’s time to sleep. The hollies stay out all winter. I’m hoping to keep the herbs alive inside, because now I’m spoiled and like fresh herbs when I cook.

Yup, took two damn days.

Last night was totally fun — a dinner with the Cape Cod Writers’ Association. Met great people, including a local columnist whose work I read, the owner of a local boosktore, a mystery writer, and a woman just starting out who was actually open to opinions and possibilities, instead of thinking she had all the answers! I met a bunch of other people, too, and caught up with some old pals, and will be part of a table at a book fair in Plymouth in December (where I hope to sell more books). So it’s all good. I was tired, but happy when I got home. The kitten was delighted to see me and danced around my ankles.

Speaking of delight, yesterday’s Midnight Enchantments essay is about a first reading of Tim Powers’s LAST CALL and today’s deals with Jeri Ready-Smith’s unique series about vampire deejays. I hope you’ll check them out.

It’s supposed to snow in Western Mass today, and maybe other areas this weekend. Hmm, guess I should have mowed the lawn this week, too!

Oh, well, all I can do is the best I can do.

And the writing MUST come first! I’m a third of the way through the new book, and don’t want to lose momentum.

Devon

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The eggplant is growing!

Saturday, June 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warmer

Yesterday was a Busy Day. Got some work done early, headed off to the breakfast. Overshot the Hyannis Yacht Club, but found a friendly local cop, parked behind his car, walked up and say, “Hey! Good morning! I’m lost!” He was very helpful. He recognized me as the one who always waved and said thank you to the cops guiding traffic around construction. The local cops seem to find me as entertaining as the guys at the dump do.

Got to the breakfast on time, shared a table with three very interesting women, and the speakers were great — one being Carol McCleary, who writes the Nelly Bly mysteries. It was so good to see her again! We talked for a hot minute before I had to dash to get home, change clothes, and do the make-up for TV.

I overshot the studio, too, but turned around and found it without police assistance this time! They were running behind a bit, which was fine, because we all just sat around and talked. Of course, I got lipstick on my shirt just as I was sitting on the set chair! Urgh!!!! The wardrobe girl in me was going nuts!!!

My interviewer was a lovely man, who’d actually taken the time to read the first third of the book — he doesn’t have an e-reader, so he printed out as much as he could before the ink ran out! He asked some really good questions, including one on belief that I answered honestly, when I should have probably been more circumspect, so let’s hope no one shows up on the lawn with torches and pitchforks! 😉 I’d hate to have traded the safety I feel here for a moment on television. But the crew actually came out of their various booths to chat after the interview, so at least they found it interesting. Of course, I’m fretting about some things I wish I’d phrased differently, but that always happens, even in the best interviews. You don’t get to edit when it’s live! 😉

The content of my talk was good, but my body position was tense, and I kept doing the death-grip on the arms of the chair, so I don’t think it LOOKS good –a downside for TV. I so prefer radio, because I can rely just on the voice and the content. But overall, it was a positive experience, and the show’s producer is also an actress and knows actresses who need monologues, so I may be doing some playwrighting again in the future!

I got home in time for supper, completely wrung out.

Managed to spend some quality time with my students. The next book and the students are my priority today. The interviewer got me talking about THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so I damn well better finish it soon! 😉

To bed early, tried to sleep in, but the cats weren’t having it. Have to do some bill-paying and running around today, but the bulk of the day will be spent on SPIRIT REPOSITORY and winding up the class.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was busy. Worked in the morning. Realized that some of my student comments vanished and I have to go back and re-read and re-comment on some of the work.

Costume Imp had to leave, and didn’t want to, and we didn’t want him to, so there was much foot-dragging going on. But we finally packed the car and got him to the bus. I headed back to pick up a few things. It wound up taking NINE HOURS for him to get back to New York, which is just completely ridiculous. It’s supposed to be five and a half.

I got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, and it looks really cool. I prepared the deviled eggs. I stripped the beds, did two loads of laundry, and vacuumed.

Just as I left for the meeting, the skies opened up, with thunder and lightening and rain as though someone tipped over a large bucket onto the Cape. It took me an hour to drive what usually takes about 35 minutes. But I got there, the meeting went really well, and we feel good about what we’re doing. The event’s going to be a lot of fun, and, with strong support, we’ll get this marine hospital done!

I returned one of the books I’d been lent as my “Recommended Reading” to get my science up to speed so I can be more useful. I’m keeping the other one, because I’m still working on it.

Came back and did the postcards, which was an exercise in frustration. I’ve been a loyal Canon customer for years, but the MX860’s plastic parts in the bottom tray suck. It doesn’t grab the paper properly; it says there’s no paper; it eats the paper; it won’t grab from the top tray. I’ve complained about it to them since I got the printer, and all I get are bullshit “there theres” instead of solutions. I am fed up. I have an all-in-one so I can run my business. By selling inferior products and not coming up with solutions, Canon is actively interfering in my ability to earn a living. And that is not acceptable.

Out of 48 post cards printed, only 22 are usable. The rest were chewed or smeared, and that’s once I actually got them to run through the printer. Not acceptable. I can’t afford to lose more than half of every batch I print. That’s ink and paper and time, which adds up to a lot of money.

I’d get my old one fixed, the Multipass I loved, which would print if you ran over it with a dump truck with barely a pause, but it’s not compatible with Mac. They phased it out without having the Mac software for it. And replaced it with a cheap piece of crap. I shouldn’t have to buy a new printer because the one they sold me sucks so badly bits of the plastic tray come apart in my hands, especially when I’ve complained about the same issues since the DAY I got it. Needless to say, Canon is getting a letter, cc’d to the BBB and other consumer organizations. With any other issue I had on any other product, they found a good solution immediately. The fact they won’t with this one and give me a song-and-dance about it means they KNOW it sucks and won’t take responsibility and fix the problem properly.

Anyway, I’m off to the Cape Cod Writers’ Association breakfast, and then I’m back to change and do the make up for the TV appearance, and then, this afternoon must be dedicated to my students.

It will be a busy day, and a social one. I’m a writer, used to being on my own with my characters. I’m not used to dealing with PEOPLE! 😉

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.