Sat. Sept. 12, 2015: Preparing for Vacation

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The weight of yesterday was obvious, but it was also helpful to share it. That Budweiser commercial, the one only shown once after the event, gets me every time.

Work was fine. I got a lot done, in preparation for being gone for a week. Everything is set, as far as I can tell, so I’m not leaving anyone holding the bag.

I’m also missing two Board meetings — one would be my last as Secretary of the Writers Center Board, and the other is the Marine Life Center Board. First meeting I missed in my term for both of them, so I refuse to feel guilty. Especially since I prepared notes/did homework/voiced opinions in anticipation of agenda items.

I got frustrated with Amazon yesterday — I’m supposed to be able to use the Coursera app on the Kindle Fire, but it won’t download (it tells me there’s a geographic problem, although the US has designated permissions), and support/customer service was polite, but unhelpful. They’ve just gotten so big, they are no longer interested in solving customer service issues. I’ve got the app on my phone, but it would be easier to work on the Kindle.

“Unethical Decision Making in Organizations” starts next week, out of the University of Lausanne. Looking forward to it.

Dashed home — we had guests up from CT on their way to a wedding. They had to leave just a few minutes after I got back from work. It was lovely to see them again, and the cats had kept everyone busy. Now that Violet is feeling better, she is being demanding! It was funny, though.

After dinner, Part 2 of the 9/11 remembrances, and we could feel some of the grief lifting. We’ll never get over it, but we’re learning to live with it, and perhaps being together really does help.

It will also inform the writing.

I’m watching the second season of SIX FEET UNDER and thoroughly enjoying it. I’d forgotten how much fun that show is.

Packing and prepping for the trip. I’m working until mid-afternoon today, and I want to make sure my desk is CLEAR before I go. I miss Village Day tomorrow, but I worked it last year. Again, I refuse to feel guilty. I’ve earned this time, and I’m using it, free and clear.

In preparation for Kripalu, I upped the yoga practice, doing a full hour now in the morning and at night. I don’t want to be completely out of shape when I get there — although I should probably have started doing this about a month ago! 😉

I’m packing a handful of writing projects, so I can go with whatever moves me the most in the moment — and hope I don’t get too many new inspirations. Or, if I do, that they are for short stories and not novels!

I’ve got a book proposal to send off before I leave, and maybe get out a short story.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be online next week — I’m tempted to blog “from the road”, but I’m also tempted to be completely disconnected.

Have a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful week!

Devon

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Wed. Feb. 18, 2015: Sneaking Between Storms

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy, snowy, cold
Snow Fatigue

I don’t see how we’ll get the snow melted and gone until sometime in July.

Saturday was fine. It was my Saturday “on” at the library. It wasn’t as hectic as I expected, although it was busy enough for me to spend the bulk of my time on the desk.

Read a couple of books, which were a disappointment, including one highly regarded one which I put down by page 2, because it’s written in the present tense, and I felt like the author kept yelling, “Look at ME! Look at ME!” instead of telling me the story.

Started snowing in the evening, so I tucked in and watched more of STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP. So much I like about that show, but it did dip and get uneven there for awhile.

Had stopped snowing on Sunday when I woke up at 5:30, and it was that lovely quiet. By 6:30, it started again.

Read Norman Lear’s autobiography, which was interesting. I worked with his daughter Maggie at MCC in the late 80s/early 90s, and we had a retreat up at the place in Vermont. I have very fond memories of it. I was disturbed by the fact that 9/11 was not mentioned in the book at all. He lived through it; he’s a social activist. How could it not even get a mention? Especially when it affected us so deeply?

I finished the galleys for KILLER QUINTET and reformatted the pilot of THE BROWNSTONE to the specific guidelines to which I’m submitting.

Started shovelling; got about 3/4 of the driveway done. Got the rest done on Monday morning — about 8 more inches, total, had fallen over the weekend. Of course, as soon as I jumped in the shower, the plow came by and blocked the bottom of my cleared driveway again. At least the plows showed up this time, and they’ve scraped the ruts down in the street, so it’s about 5 inches of pure ice, with just a little bit of ruttage, and easier to get traction.

Headed to the library. Although we were closed for President’s Day, some of us came in to set up for the book sale. I could only stay for about two hours, because I had a meeting on a potential project. THAT was a total waste of time — the person I met with basically likes to hear himself talk, and it won’t go anywhere. I repeated several times that when there’s money on the table and a contract, we can get into specifics, but this is my business, not my hobby, and I’m not working for free, especially not on something that doesn’t have the pieces in place. I’ve learned the hard way from blowhards like this — you get the pieces in play and THEN I will write something beyond a one-page synopsis.

Ron Perlman’s memoir was a lot of fun. I’ve always liked his work. Tried to read a novel, and it was awful, so I put it down.

Got an idea for an hour-long pilot. Wrote a few opening scenes, and I like it. I have to do some research for it, but I think it will make a solid sample.

Not happy with where I am in the radio play. I have to rethink some of it. I might over-write and then cut — usually that works better than under-writing and then padding.

Watching Season 4 of WEST WING.

Had hoped I could do some errands on Tuesday morning before the snow started, but it started at 8 AM and everything I needed to reach didn’t open until 9, so I stayed home. Did some more tweaking to THE BROWNSTONE pilot — there was one character I’d sorely underwritten, and I added a quick scene that makes it more balanced. Now I have to stop fiddling with it, or I’ll hit the point of diminishing return.

Wrote up the minutes from the last Writers’ Center board meeting, and a press release and a set of guidelines I promised them. I’m missing some information, and the press release has to go out this week, so if the person who is supposed to supply to me doesn’t, we don’t get the information into the magazines. Deadlines are deadlines. It’s very tough to do what I’m assigned to do on time, and then not get the rest. But my term is up in October.

Read a couple of mediocre novels and was disappointed. Got an idea for a screenplay — I’ve been playing with the premise for awhile, but suddenly the missing piece clicked into place. so I can write a synopsis, and then do the script — after I finish the radio plays for Ireland and Paris. The one I want to do for Paris is percolating.

Had a false start on a chapter for BALTHAZAAR. Need to get back to that. I have to get that done and out before doing another pass on CLEAR THE SLOT and getting THAT done and out.

Nice fire in the fireplace last night, and a good glass of wine. Of course, it was wine o’clock by 2:30 — either that or sob into the ice melt.

Today will be a long day at the library, but, hopefully a good one. I’ve got a couple of press releases to write, and some finagling to do on March programs. I’ve got more research books coming in.

The microfiche/film that I thought I was getting from Harvard that was shipped on January 21 and still hasn’t shown up — turns out Harvard didn’t send it after all. They wanted to charge a lot of money — not that money ever came up into the multiple emails going back and forth when I asked if they’d do an interlibrary loan in the first place. Turns out it’s coming in from the University of Indiana — bless ’em! They sent it to the distribution center in Quincy, rather than directly to our library, so it’s in snowbank somewhere. But they’re cool about it, and will give me a month with it once it arrives.

So here’s Harvard only, about 70 miles away, and they’re less cooperative with a fellow citizen of the Commonwealth than both the Library of Congress and a midwestern university. Go figure. Seriously, it would have taken less time and been less frustrating to go to DC for a week.

Hop on over to the GDR site, and see my updates for mid-February. Stay safe and warm — we’re supposed to get more snow today.

Devon

Fri. Nov. 7, 2014: Re-energized

Friday, November 07, 2014
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy couple of days, and my apologies for not blogging. Busy at work. Busy at home. A lot going on that has to be juggled.

We had a good Writers’ Center Board meeting on Wednesday night. The new board members bring fresh enthusiasm and Ideas – I hope we can implement some of them.

I’m not where I want to be on RED WIDOW, but the arcs for the entire series are becoming clearer, and I’m understanding what needs to be set up in this novella in order for them to make sense. I need to do a final pass over two novel manuscripts of other projects this weekend in order to submit them early next week.

Yesterday was another busy day at work. After, the magnificent Trisha Leaver taught a workshop on the craft of the short story. It was a small, but enthusiastic group, and we all got a lot out of it. It clarified a few points in some of my current work where I’m having trouble, and reminded me what to look for moving forward.

I’m doing the prep work for next Wednesday’s book club (Kate Carlisle’s HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER). I’m doing research on Colette (for INITIATE – which sounds weird, but there’s a method to this madness) and doing my wreck diving homework.

Last night, I finally gave up and took valerian root before bed. I don’t take it often, but I finally slept through the night for the first time in weeks and woke up without being in excruciating pain – this week has been very difficult. There’s still some echo pain, but, overall, I feel better. I was able to have a good yoga session this morning, and I hope to do some intense practice over the weekend, in and around the writing.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” here at the library, and Sunday morning, I’m going to catch the end of a conference located an hour or so upstate, connected to an organization I re-joined this month. Monday and Tuesday, I plan to be offline in the writing cave, writing and working on students’ manuscripts.

My calendars for next year are supposed to arrive soon – the dates are stacking up. I’ll be a guest blogger on C.L. Lawrence’s blog in late January – I’m already playing with ideas. I have to sit down with the manuscripts and contracts and make sure everything’s entered properly, and they’ve been reshuffled to fit the commitments. I also need to finish putting the garden to bed.

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

It’s so nice to be almost pain-free. Even if it’s only for a few days, it makes a big difference.

Devon

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014: The Good Busy

Friday, October 24, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy, busy times. Wednesday was a busy day at the library, and then I scooched out at 5 to go down to the Conference Center for the CCWC Annual Meeting. We had a great turkey dinner, took care of business. Some good conversations, but far too many people come to these dinners and spend their time making excuses for not writing. I don’t care why you’re not writing, and I’m not interested in the whining. There’s no such thing as “no time to write”. There’s not managing your time and CHOOSING not to write. I want and need to be around people who are actually writing.

Home in a bad storm. My 90 year old mother was already pulling furniture and plants in off the deck. We finished doing that, and then I had to bake. The inside of the house looks like a conservatory at this point.

Then, of course, the damn storm wasn’t anywhere near as bad as predicted.

Up early on Thursday, packed the muffins, in the car and out the door by 7 AM. To Buzzards Bay for a board meeting at NMLC, which was pretty good, and then hurried to the library.

Busy day at the library – finished processing books, got about 60 or 70 out on the shelves and/or out to patrons. Helped a patron find a book he wanted, and introduced him to one of my favorite authors. Introduced another patron to the same author, when she expressed interest in the genre. Helped a college student find materials for a project she had due (the next day, of course) on etymology.

Off to Michael’s to look for foam core, but they no longer have it, so went to Staples and found it instead.

Picked up Chinese food for dinner, and then watched RUBY IN THE SMOKE, my “homework” for Masterpiece Theatre Book and Film Group. Matt Smith – who was the Dr. Who before this one – was in it, and was terrific.

I’m reading a biography of Thackeray that’s very entertaining. Published in 1947, the tone is as arch as some of Thackeray’s work is oddly amusing.

Not enough writing getting done, especially not on THE RED WIDOW. I will make up for it this weekend. I’m behind where I want to be on the diving homework, but I’ll catch up.

Next week will be flat out – Chamber meeting Tuesday evening, all-day conference in Sturbridge on Wednesday, an author event with the charismatic Kevin Symmons at the Stonebridge Club, Pinehills, Plymouth, on Thursday, and Samhain on Friday.

Saturday evening, all day Sunday, all day Monday, and most of Tuesday will be writing days. Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library, and then I have a fundraising workshop in the afternoon.

Busy, busy, fun, fun.

Check in next week! Have a great one, all!

Devon

Mon. Aug. 11, 2014: Excited by The Wonderful Conference!

Monday, August 11, 2014
Last Day of Full Moon
Sunny and cool

Wow. The last few days have been intense.

Thursday, I worked at the library until 2 PM. It was busy — I wanted to make sure I got everything done (since I’m not back “in the office” until this Wed.) and not leave anyone holding the bag or cleaning up a mess I left. So I worked ahead on anything that I could think of being needed, such as the report for tonight’s Board meeting. I also processed a big stack of books that arrived from Ingram. Another box from Ingram arrived as soon as I was done, but I pretended it wasn’t there — and it might not have been mine, anyway. I also processed some videos that arrived from Amazon. I wanted to make sure as much as possible could get on the shelves while I was gone.

I left at 2 PM and headed for the Conference center. I checked in and found out that a fellow board member had a family emergency, so I agreed to cover the things he was supposed to take care of. I unloaded the car, got the library exhibit table set up, then got my own books checked in to the bookshop, then helped out at the cocktail reception.

As usual, we started at a table with two people and kept expanding. My rule of thumb is, “pull up a chair, join us; there’s always room for one more.” That way, no one feels left out, excluded, and people who are there for the first time and don’t know anyone get to meet people, and people who know other people get to meet new people. So that was fun.

My boss from the library joined us for the introduction ceremony upstairs. I announced the writing contest winners (one of them was even there, which was great), and all the instructors were introduced. We ran into someone with whom we’re going to put together a great panel for the library, and a group of us headed downstairs to the bar to catch up. It was fun and noisy, and we got out of there late.

Up early on Friday. Wrote a bit of 1000 words on INITIATE. Cooked for the incoming guests. Finished cleaning up. Ran to the store for the last few things.

Did a roundtable with my friend, Kevin Symmons, at the conference on inspiration –we had a good time with it, and the participants seemed to enjoy it, too. Then came the class I was taking, a screenwriting class. Since it covered the basics, I was worried that I might not be pushed hard enough. But the teacher was good (Chantalle Aimee Osman — if you ever get a chance to study with her, jump at it) and I found points where, because I move from format to format, I’ve gotten sloppy. There are certain areas where I need to sharpen what I do when I’m in screenplay format, in order to take it to the next level.

I’m also going to have to bite the bullet and invest in either Final Draft or Movie Magic, once I have the new Macbook. I’m very anti-formatting software, because I think it makes people rely on the software instead of learning the craft, but it is now the industry standard, and if I want to work in the industry, I need to suck up and deal.

Ran home after class to deal with a few things and get my company settled. Part of the company is a very old yellow lab that my Mom has taken care of since he was a puppy. He’s sweet, but not very bright.

The cats are horrified.

Raced back to the conference. Had rehearsal with the executive director for a skit I stepped into. Had a drink in the bar with some fellow panelists and the terrific novelist Gary Braver. I was on a panel moderated by Arlene Kay, along with Kevin Symmons and David Litwack. What a pleasure! We were talking about our journeys and how we keep writing on tough days, and things like that. It was a lot of fun. We then kicked off the reading sessions.

I knew about two paragraphs in that I picked the wrong scene — you can feel the energy in the room. But I was stuck by then, so I pushed through. Live and learn, right? Should have stuck to the scenes in the media kit! The readings were good — quite varied, and a better quality, overall, than some of the other years.

Went back down to the bar, had a drink with friends and colleagues, got in a bit after midnight. Chatted with the company. Fell into bed, trying to learn lines. Got a text from an actor for whom I just wrote a monologue — he’s on set for a new film and was in between set-ups.

Actor: What are you doing?
Me: Learning lines for Gutenberg.
Actor: Who’s Gutenberg?
Me: Use Google.
Few minutes silence, then another text.
Actor: How are you going to play a guy from the 1400s?
Me: I have no fucking idea.

Up early on Saturday. Wrote about 1100 words on INITIATE. Tessa is still furious with me because there’s a DOG in the house. Got the company safely off to the Nantucket ferry — although the dog stays with us. Tessa puffed up so big that she couldn’t dive under the bed, and had to deflate before she could fit. The cats were just starting to calm down, and then my neighbor decided to cut down a tree next door. Of course, that was my fault, too, as far as the cats were concerned. A DOG and all that NOISE. I’m unhappy, because I don’t think perfectly healthy trees should be cut down, but it’s not on my property, so I have no say in the matter.

Called the joke shop, talked to Chris –sounded like they had what I needed. Drove in to Hyannis, Chris got me all set up with the beard.

Back to the conference. Picked up my costume. Another excellent screenwriting session. Home. Tried on the costume, complete with beard. Cats took one look and dived under the bed. Ran lines a few times. Got out of costume. Took a nap.

Woke up, showered, dressed in a killer blue silk sheath dress, fishnets, and heels, pinning up my hair. If I’m going to play I bearded guy from the fifteenth century in an academic robe, I am going to look HOT for the banquet!

Got caught in Craigville beach traffic on the way back to the conference. Had my window down, had the music on. This shirtless surfer dude leans into the open window, sees the fishnets and says, “So, what’re you doin’ tonight?”

Me: Playing Gutenberg.
Dude: Huh?
Me: What, you don’t get into a little role playing sometime?

He had no idea how to respond to that!

The keynote was a roundtable with author Rishi Reddi and Alicia Anstead, who’s the editor of THE WRITER magazine. We all read Rishi’s story “Karma” and it was a discussion, led by Alicia. It was interesting, and a lot of fun. At times, I worried that over-analyzing it might take away some of the power and emotional beauty of the story, but Alicia is very good at what she does and knew how to keep it from getting pretentious or ponderous. Rishi’s writing is just gorgeous. The piece was the “One Story” that was read last year by the entire city of Boston as part of the Boston Book Festival.

Then, we paraded into dinner. I was lucky enough to be at the table with Rishi, Alicia, Michelle Hoover, and Karen Day (two more wonderful authors), along with others. We had a lively, fun discussion that ran the gamut of topics. I can’t wait for the new novels by Rishi, Michelle, and Karen.

Between the main course and dessert, I disappeared, and, with the help of Matthew, one of our scholarship students (whose work I really liked, and who already knew, from the previous days, that I am completely out of my mind), got into costume. Nancy and I did the skit. I couldn’t let my dislike of performance inhibit me. Nancy wrote an arrogant, self-assured character, and I had to go with it and over it — so I went for it, over the top, high camp. The audience loved it. I still wish Jim had been able to do it — he’s such a good actor, he would have brought a lot to the role. But I managed to get away with it. However, it was a prime example of why I spent my life BACKstage, instead of ONstage.

Scrambled out of costume, let my hair down (literally this time, not just figuratively), and had dessert. Stopped at the beach on the way home because it was such a beautiful night, hung out with some people playing music and dancing. Got home about one.

From silk sheath to panda pajamas in a matter of minutes.

Up early on Sunday, wrote about 1100 words on INITIATE. At the conference a little before 10 AM to help at the desk. At noon, I broke down the library exhibit table, loaded the car. As classes ended, I loaded the easels into the car, since we will use them for Mermaid Ball. Got the unsold books back from the bookstore — I sold some, and people kept asking me to sign copies, which was nice. Had a rash from the fake beard around my nose and my upper lip, though.

Took my final screenwriting session. We wrote tag lines and log lines. I created a tagline and used the logline from STALEMATE DEATH. Fortunately, the teacher liked both, although she thought I should put back a line I’d cut from the logline, so I did. If I hadn’t been able to walk my talk, in the experiences I’d shared in class, it would have been bad!

Bolted down a tuna melt in the bar, and came back to help break down the rest of the conference and load it into the truck. They had enough people to unload, so I got to go straight home. Drinks on the deck, dinner. Repacked the books that will go to Books by the Sea today, read a bit, but was too tired to concentrate, so I went to bed early.

Up early this morning. Wrote 1000 words on INITIATE. Tessa is getting braver, and even coming downstairs to be with me when I write, but she is still not happy there’s a dog in the house. Violet just stares at the dog, and he stares back, totally intimidated. Iris sidles by him. It’s funny.

Long day today — have to go in to the library to settle some dates; have to drop stuff off at Cotuit Library. Have to get my books to Books By the Sea. Have an appointment in Hyannis with a new student (we’re meeting at Uncommon Ground). Have a Mermaid Ball meeting tonight. Need to do follow-up on the conference (already had to do some business this morning). Need to finish two book reviews, and prep the cozy mystery group and do more research for BALTHAZAAR.

Busy day much?

All I want to do is sleep! No chance for that, not until tonight.

It was a great week. I’m glad I stuck to my guns and wrote every day, or I’d be feeling lousy today.

I hope the momentum carries the students into new work. Too often, the members are all excited during the conference, and by the time the Writers Night Out sessions start again, most of them sit around the table making excuses about why they’re not writing.

Which just drives me nuts. Which, I realize, is often a very short drive.

Back to the book reviews, and then I’m on the road for pretty much the rest of the day. I’ve already drunk a whole pot of coffee. It’s not helping.

But it was a great conference. In spite of the exhaustion, I want to use the energy and the momentum positively into the coming months, on a writing level, on a Board-Member-of-the-Center level, and on a programming level for the library.

After today, however, full focus MUST shift to the Mermaid Ball, which is at the end of next week.

Devon

Fri. May 30, 2014: Good Busy and Day of Seshat

Friday, May 30, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Day of Seshat

It was 38 degrees around here this morning! The kitchen looks like a jungle, because we brought in the plants.

Today is the Day of Seshat. She’s the Egyptian goddess of books and writing implements. Perfect for a library — and a writer!

Yesterday was busy at the library. Good busy, but busy. Did work on next week’s workshop, worked on the poster/flyer for Ron MacLean’s appearance, my boss landed Joe Finder for an appearance in late July, I did an Amazon order, I prepped an Ingram order, I set up for the evening’s Tango program, I helped out at the desk when necessary, I got some new books into the system and ready to go out onto the shelves, and worked on my new page on the library’s website, where I get to talk about the books, videos, CDs, and programs. I hope you’ll get into the habit of checking out the page here, especially if you live in the area.

Also did some coordinating work with the Writers Center for a program we want to collaborate on in September.

My boss is off to New York today, to BEA. We’ve all given her lists of what we want her to bring back! It was everything I could do to refrain from asking her to go to Chinatown and come back with supplies, too!

So tired when I came home — relaxed with a glass of wine, cooked dinner. Started reading Rebecca Mead’s wonderful new memoir, MY LIFE IN MIDDLEMARCH. One of my favorite lines is on p. 7: “Life happened at the library.” So true!

I’m going to get some writing done this morning before I head back to the library. There’s another busy day there. Then home, more writing and reading — I’ve got another book to finish for review for my editor — and I’ve got to invoice it.

Errands tomorrow, and I have to get some yard work done. Will also get going on the next two episodes of the script, and finish the revisions that have been piling up. I need to get out some press releases and media kits for “Lake Justice” and TRACKING MEDUSA, prep a draft for a press conference NMLC, and get some work done on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. The edits for “Severance” will come in any day now, too.

It’ll be another busy weekend, but the right kind of busy!

Devon

Thurs. May 22, 2014: The Good Busy

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was busy, but in the right way. Up early, the usual yoga/meditation/writing.
Even managed to do a little yard work, at way too early in the morning.

Managed to get a review out to my editor.

Off to the library, to get things set up, like the paging list, etc. A huge stack of boxes on my desk — incoming orders! Love that!

Dashed out after a half hour to drive to Hyannis to the CLAMS central office for a Reference Committee meeting. Got to meet a bunch of colleagues at other libraries, and we had an impromptu training session on the new Interlibrary loan system that goes into effect in a couple of weeks. I’m not the person who handles that at our library, so I took copious notes and will type it up and go over it with her.

Meeting ran until lunch time — ran back, bolted down my lunch, covered the desk for a bit, got some work done until the staff meeting. Staff meeting was fun — lots of laughter, which is as it should be.

Dashed out a little after five and drove BACK to Hyannis, to Uno’s, for the Cape Cod Writers Center Writers’ Night Out, where I was one of the speakers. Poet Charles Coe was also with us — in addition to his own creative work, he also works with Massachusetts Cultural Council, and was there to talk with us about the Council, and get a sense of what we do. Dinner was good, and I got to catch up with some colleagues on their exciting projects. Then, four of us were on the panel to discuss Writer’s Block. None of us are particularly sympathetic. It was a fun, lively panel.

Home, unwound, worked on the Big Script Project. My beaded tunic, purchased from the Rainforest Site, arrived. It’s even prettier than the photo! So happy.

Up early, the usual routine. Was upset to see that my lilacs are infested with some weird bug. I’m going to have to spray them. The smaller bushes I did, leaf-by-leaf by hand (pretty disgusting), but I can’t do the big bush, and I don’t want to lose it.

I was invited to a networking breakfast this morning, but I would have meant getting up at 4:30 instead of 5:30 to get everything done before I left, and I just couldn’t. I finished the polish on the script and sent it off.

I have to get a lot done at the library today, including getting out a mailing and working on press releases, calendars, stuff for the newsletter, etc. Somehow, it will all get done.

Tonight — more writing!

Devon

Fri. May 16, 2014: Busy Times — But Good Busy!

Friday, May 16, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and muggy

The lilacs are in bloom. They are so pretty! I’ll post photos soon.

Yesterday morning was such chaos, I don’t even want to get into it. But the script episode went out, I made it to the Marine Life Center Board Meeting (late, but I got there), and found out I was elected Clerk. So now, I hold offices on two boards!

Dashed to work, even found the Marstons Mills Post Office on my way — which was in a completely different place than I expected! Too funny!

Busy day at the library — I ordered some cozy mysteries and some science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal to expand our collection, some new CDs, and I’ve got my eye on some graphic novels. I landed a speaker I really, really wanted for June (he wrote a book I think is terrific), and I was asked to present a workshop at the library in early June. I’m also working on my presentation (and the infamous Tip Sheets) next week at the Cape Cod Writers Center Writers Night Out on Writer’s Block.

Dashed to the store for a bunch of stuff I forgot when I did the Big Grocery Shop the day before, came home, had a glass of wine on the deck, cooked dinner, read something I wanted to read just for me, but collapsed into bed pretty early — I’d gotten up at 4 AM that day!

Up early this morning (darn cats). Tessa and I went out, I’m taking care of a few things, and then I’m headed back to the library for another busy day.

The weekend will be busy, too — tomorrow, some of us from the Mermaid Ball Committee are heading up to Plymouth to look at the venue, and then, in the afternoon, is the Preakness. Sunday, I will probably just collapse — although I have to mow!

I also have to finish revisions on the first two episodes, revise episode three and get the final galleys turned around for TRACKING MEDUSA — AND finish the next book I’m reviewing for my editor.

Maybe sleep somewhere in there, too?

Devon

Thurs. Jan. 9, 2014: Meetings and Writings

Thursday, January 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. Worked with students, accepted contract offer, revised a half hour teleplay, pitched for some jobs, wrote/polished/submitted a review. Had some interesting interactions with some potential new clients.

Early dinner, and then off to Sandwich Library. I left early enough to give me a chance to pick up some books before my meeting, and then there was a lively Board meeting for the Writers Center. We are lucky to have such an energetic board.

Not feeling well this morning — my stomach’s upset again. Not sure why. Probably connected to the migraine. Busy day ahead of me, including an interview, and trying to reconfigure the schedule to get the new writing and editing commitments into it, while still staying on top of the scriptwriting materials that have to go out in mid-February.

If I can, I may take a nap later this afternoon, and I have to run down to Centerville Library to pick up some books they’re holding from me, AND type up the minutes from last night’s meeting.

Onward!

Devon

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 8:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Dec. 31, 2012: New Year’s Eve & Pens are Hopping!

IMG_0784
Iris investigates the centerpiece, a gift from Lori! Thanks!

Monday, December 31, 2012
Waning Moon
New Year’s Eve

I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s!

Better hurry and download the free Jain Lazarus tale, “First Feet” — it’s only available until January 2!

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, wrote a lot on Friday. Worked up the rough of my wacky proposal for the agent. I love it. I let it rest over the weekend, and will tweak it over the next few days to send to her later this week. Ran errands on Saturday, and did a little raking, since the storm was coming. Worked on getting out party invites all weekend.

We got about 4 inches of snow on Saturday night — not bad, considering. Did some party planning, did some cleaning up and re-arranging. Was highly irritated at the snow plow guy. As usual, he shoved snow INTO everyone’s driveways. To a point, that’s understandable, but he left a boulder-sized snowball in the elderly neighbor’s driveway. There’s no reason he couldn’t have pushed it another foot out of the way, except this guy was either inexperienced, incompetent, a dickhead, or a combination. I went over to help the neighbor.

Got my own driveway and walkway shovelled — it wasn’t too bad, except for the stuff shoved into the driveway by the plow. AND the fact that the plow destroyed the whole bottom of the front yard — again, it’s marked, there’s no reason he couldn’t have paid attention and stayed in the road. If the boulders hadn’t been there protecting the rest of the yard, he would have torn it up halfway to the house. Unacceptable. Yes, I took photos, and yes, I will be making noise to the town!

It looks really pretty, though, except for the damaged area.

Found Rosemary Edghill’s SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER, the first Bast mystery, and re-read it. Now I have the whole set to lend to Costume Imp when he comes up in spring. I have the materials prepped for tonight’s ritual, for tomorrow morning’s ritual, have to pick up a few things for the NYDay breakfast. I’m doing laundry (because I have this thing about going into the New Year with clean clothes), and will vaccuum and mop this afternoon. Changed all the beds this morning.

We lit a fire in the fireplace last night, the first successful attempt since we moved it. It was wonderful! So much fun, worked so well. We’ll be doing that a lot more all winter.

I’m still having fun with the Twelfth Night stories, although I’m a bit behind. The story on the Five Gold Rings was more complicated than I expected. Not longer – just more complicated.

I realized the idea I’ve been playing with for a few days is actually an Ivy de le Livre piece (she’s my horse-playng tarot reader character) that is BEFORE the pieces I’ve been working on. That opens all kinds of exciting possibilities.

Bill Moyers interviewed a fascinating writer named Junot Diaz — now I’m eager to read his books. What a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent man.

The president of the Writers’ Center shot me a few ideas, and I shot back a response this morning. This year will be exciting!

I’m very excited that ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is circulating in the CLAMS library network! So, if you’re on Cape Cod — you can check it out of the library. What fun!

Lots to do to prep for the New Year. Have a safe and joyful holiday!

Stop by Biblio Paradise tomorrow — we’re starting the year with Shirley Wells’s latest! AND, stop by Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions tomorrow, where we start working on our New Year’s goals!

Devon

Wed. Dec. 5, 2012: Home and into the Fray

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Waning Moon
Rainy and cool

I am back!

It was quite the trip. I am exhausted and stumbling around, and will be for another day or two. The roofers are starting tomorrow, so that should be, um, interesting. The guy heading it up is really nice, so, other than my usual horror of noise, I doubt it’ll be a problem.

Sunday, I managed to get the newsletter out (It will be up on the Devon Ellington site later today). Then, off we went to Providence to pick up the Megabus. The streets we needed were closed due to some sort of road race, but I got out and walked the few blocks to the bus stop, and off I went.

Bus ride was smooth, no problems. They let us out in front of FIT, and I hauled my luggage over to Penn Station for the subway kerflamma. Yes, I realize I should be grateful there’s even subway service to Brooklyn post-Sandy, but it was a lot of unnecessary chaos.

I got on the C train. Suddenly, we were told that the C line wasn’t running, so we’d have to take an F train, that would run on the local C stops in Brooklyn — only not the stop I needed. I was instructed to get off at W. 4th Street and take the B. I get off at W. 4th, haul the luggage down to the level where the B train is — only to find that the B does not run on weekends. The sign on the platform said take the D to Atlantic Avenue and pick up the Q. I had multiple sets of directions to the house, but the D didn’t figure in any of them. However, I jumped on the D train. When it stopped at DeKalb, I thought, “well, DeKalb is on my list of stops for the B or the Q. I’ll get off the platform and if I see a B or Q sign, I’ll know I’m in the right place; if I don’t, I’ll find a cop and ask him how to get to where I’m going.”

I got off, it was the right stop, all good. I hauled everything up too many flights of stairs, and walked down DeKalb until I hit my friends’ street, and there was the brownstone on the corner. I got in, hauled my luggage up to the third floor, and played with Costume Imp’s cats until he got back from work.

We went to a local diner for diner, really good food, and all got to know each other, friends and family from different phases in his life. Late to bed, up early, did my yoga, read a bit while I waited for everyone else to get up.

Monday, we set up for the party, cleaning and decorating, and all the rest. The party itself ran from about 1 PM to 8 PM (technically), although it was closer to 10 by the time everyone cleared out. It was a great celebration of Costume Imp, and old and new friends met and melded well. The food was amazing. We cleaned up and got to bed a bit after midnight. The house’s owner (also a friend) has a very old husky who’s blind and not very well. I think the party overstimulated her, because she paced and was upset all night. Since I slept downstairs in the parlor on an air mattress, I was up with the dog all night. I finally got her settled around 4:30, but I had to be up at 6, so it wasn’t really worth going to sleep. Poor baby. The other husky is a young male, lively and friendly, and there was also a little, lively dog, and another cat. Busy household. But it’s a household filled with love and laughter, the very best kind.

And I met an actor-musician at the party with whom I had an interesting conversation that got a dormant idea for a play percolating again. So that’s all good.

Out the door by 9:30, couldn’t find the subway I was supposed to take, found a different one, got directions from the very nice woman in the booth, switched trains one stop in and got an express to Penn. Exited Penn Station and headed all the way to the Hudson on 34th St. The Megabus now leaves from 34th St. between 11th and 12th Avenues. I got there waaaay too early and had to stand for over an hour, but finally the bus bothered to show up and we could get on it.

We left on time, and it was a smooth ride, although I couldn’t get comfortable, and wanted to doze, but couldn’t. Got in the driver’s seat of the car in Providence, drove back to the Cape, stopped for gas, unloaded the car, greeted the cats, popped something in the microwave, scarfed it down, and headed back to the Sandwich Library for the Cape Cod Writers Center Board meeting.

The businesses on Rt. 6A have a series of glorious, over-sized light sculptures up along the route. So beautiful! What a treat to drive it, tired as I was.

Meeting was good. Interesting. Learning the people and learning the dynamics. I was practically falling over with exhaustion by then, so limited myself to asking questions. I have to understand the foundation of what we HAVE before I can make useful suggestions of how to build on it.

Home, showered, fell into bed. Staggering around this morning. Already had to deal with the roofers, and have to call the plumber, because I can’t get the front spigot for the hose to shut off. All I want to do is go back to bed!

But there’s a ton of email waiting to be dealt with, and I have to hustle some quick turnaround, quick pay jobs in the next few days.

To the page.

Devon

Last two days to sign up for Flash 7 — write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Dec 7-16. Sign up here.

Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 10:05 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. Dec. 4, 2012: Heading back to the Cape

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Waning Moon

I’m on my way back to the Cape today, and headed right into a Cape Cod Writers Center Board Meeting.

Catch up with you tomorrow!

Devon

Only three days left to sign up for Flash 7: Write, Revise, Submit 7 Flash Fiction pieces in 10 Days. Dec. 7-16. Info and registration here.

Published in: on December 4, 2012 at 6:46 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 4, 2012: Heading back to the Cape  
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Wed. Nov. 14, 2012: Follow Day at the NMLC

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune direct (as of Sunday)
Uranus retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and chilly

BUSY few days. First of all, hop onto the FF&P blog for my post, “For Love of Things That Go Bump in the Night” — and leave a comment, so I know you stopped by!

Monday — barely remember it, other than it was busy! I think I got a lot of writing done, and I know I read the latest material from Confidential Job #1. Have to do the write-up today. Also, baked two batches of brownies.

I got great news — HEX BREAKER is coming out into print. I have the galleys to check, one last time. I also have to turn around the final galleys of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK this week. Lots of time in the Jain Lazarus world! Especially if I squeeze in the work on CRAVE THE HUNT.

Yesterday, I was out the door by 8 AM, zipped past the post office, put gas in the car, and was at the National Marine Life Center by 9. It was my “follow” day — the day when I follow to learn what a typical day is like, for the articles and other projects I’m doing for and with them. Of course, there’s no such thing as a typical day in a marine life hospital, but I got a taste of some of it. I spent time scrubbing out the seal tank and feeding our lovely seal patient, and disinfecting everything to the nth degree. I’m going back later today to do a follow on the turtles, because there was so much to do just in connection with seal protocol. I did my best imitation of the Gorton Fisherman in those bright yellow coveralls and the wellies, and I got a first-hand look at how much physical work is involved. And, like running horse barn at the track, it’s seven days a week, 365 days a year. Animals need to be fed. The enclosures cleaned. Medications, if necessary, administered. The place has such a small staff, it’s amazing how they get it all done. And, because it’s a hospital, and one does run into life-or-death situations, the training needs to be thorough, and the protocols followed exactly.

One of the things that surprised (and delighted me) is how steep and quick the seal’s learning and response curve is. He is one smart pup! Of course, one has to be careful — since he’s being rehabilitated so he can be released back in the wild, the protocol is not to get him too accustomed to humans. When he’s released, he needs to go be a wild seal, not seek out human company all the time — all he needs is to approach the wrong human, and it could be fatal to him. It’s a different situation than if he was going to remain in captivity and be an interactive teaching tool in an aquarium or zoo setting. The point is to get him healthy enough to be independent back in the wild.

It’s a huge help for the articles, and it’s a huge help for the book. That level of detail is going to make the difference between a puff piece and something with depth.

Directly from the Marine Life Center, I went to Cotuit Library, for my orientation meeting as a member of the Cape Cod Writers Center Board of Directors. It was a ton of fun. The new members are great, lively, full of ideas, and I’m looking forward to us being integrated with the ongoing members. What I love about this group is that everybody is interested in helping each other. We share a philosophy that’s very important to me: We’re all in this together.

A few of us went out afterwards, and by the time I got home, I was exhausted. Funnily enough, though, in spite of the physical labor yesterday, I’m less stiff and sore than after a day at the desk.

I must be very productive this morning, because I go back to the Marine Life Center today to do a “turtle follow”, and then, tomorrow, I go back in the afternoon for a formal “seal training” session, so I really learn the right way to handle seals.

Lots of trips over the bridge this week!

Devon