Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need to update my websites, too.

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

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

Devon

Published in: on August 12, 2015 at 9:15 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff  
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Fri. Aug. 7, 2015: Full Conference Mode

Friday, August 07, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It smells like autumn in the mornings now. It warms up to summer during the day, but you can really feel the wheel of the year turning in the early mornings. About 3 AM – since that’s the time I’ve been waking up lately! 😉

Yesterday was busy – worked on conference stuff, casino night stuff, Mermaid Ball stuff, wine tasting evening stuff, photography contest stuff, cataloging stuff.

Left early to get down to the Conference Center and get my books into the bookstore before the 6 PM deadline. Even though I got there a little after 4:30, it was already closed and locked. So, I got my hands on the key (no, I did NOT pick the lock, that would have been rude, hush, you!) and left them with the paperwork.

Went to the cocktail reception, saw some old friends, made some new ones, introduced people to each other, welcomed newcomers to the conference, tried to get people chatting to each other and integrated. In other words, taking my job seriously as a Board member. Faculty Introductions went fine, we then repaired to the bar. To my regular table, where, when people came in looking lost and unsure, we waved them over, “Pull up a chair! Come join us!”

Because inclusion, along with inspiration, is what this conference is all about.

My friend and fellow (wonderful) author Arlene Kay made a comment that was 10% joke, 90% concern that triggered an epiphany about my unhappiness with both my writing quality and my writing productivity over the past few months.

I’ve unfortunately moved from steady, daily productive work (not that every day’s quality is good, but at least there’s something to work on) to more binge writing because of the extra hours I’m putting in between all the events that are booked for August. So I get frustrated because I’m writing less on some of the frantic days and frantic and pushing too hard to binge write on days I set aside for writing. It’s making things choppy instead of letting it flow. Even when something is one fire and I write a lot in a given day, I’m still happier and it’s better quality when I do a lower word count (1 to 2K/day), but a steady one.

Knowing I have to make changes this coming autumn on many fronts, that was an important realization. Thank you, Arlene! I can always count on her to cut through the crap!

In full conference mode for the next three days – tonight is our first keynote speaker, and then there are readings. And then, of course, the bar. Tomorrow, I’m working the desk in the morning, sitting in on one friend’s class in the afternoon, doing whatever needs to be done in the later afternoon, sitting in on a new friend’s class. The banquet is tomorrow night, but I have another commitment on another front in the evening, but will probably head back to the conference later. Sunday, I’m working the desk, sitting in on a class, and then helping load everything out.

In and around all that will be writing for said classes on which I’m sitting in, talking to people, making sure everyone feels happy and included and inspired, and listening. A lot, a lot, of LISTENING.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Sat. Aug. 1, 2015: Lammas & Creative Energy

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Day After Full/Blue Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Lammas
Sunny and warm

Blessed Lammas to all!

Yesterday was busy at work, but good, which is always nice.

I can’t believe the Cape Cod Writers’ Conference is THIS WEEK! And the Mermaid Ball is NEXT WEEK!!! And Casino Night is on Aug. 28!!!!!!

And then August will be over. And I’ll be ready for a straitjacket! 😉

Overslept this morning and then ran errands before work – it’s my Saturday “on.”

Finished Tanya Huff’s SMOKE AND SHADOWS – set behind the scenes on a Vancouver television set. Very well done and lots of fun. Started SMOKE AND MIRRORS – equally well done, although if the wardrobe crew had behaved the way their wardrobe assistant does, she would have been fired in a heartbeat! 😉 Even on some of the more dysfunctional sets, one couldn’t get away with her behavior, and wardrobe, in general, is much more the heartbeat of the set than on this particular production. Maybe it’s different on the West Coast and/or in Vancouver than out here in the East! 😉

I’m also chomping at the bit to finish the contemporary play and get back to work on both BALTHAZAAR and the fantasy novel on which I wrote so much earlier in the week. I will have to change the title of the latter – I LOVE the title, it’s one of the better ones I came up with – but, as the book develops, it’s no longer relevant. And the title needs to be relevant.

Have a great weekend – I’m sure I will have stories, next week, from the Writers’ Conference!

Devon

Published in: on August 1, 2015 at 9:30 am  Comments Off on Sat. Aug. 1, 2015: Lammas & Creative Energy  
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Wed. Aug. 7, 2013: Conference Flow

Wednesday, August 6, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

I had the first of my tomatoes yesterday!!! Very exciting. They are delicious. Nothing like eating from one’s own garden to brighten the day.

The day was pretty bright anyway — got some work done in the morning (basically it was scrambling to catch up on stuff non-conference-related) and got the recycling to the dump.

Headed over to the conference to work the desk. We had a good group and it was fun — got to catch up with some people, welcome some new faces, all that. There are always a few who are determined to be unpleasant out of a misguided sense of entitlement, but we’re lucky at this conference that they are few and far between. The majority of those there are wonderful.

This week is, however, giving me ideas for several articles which I will pitch to the writing magazines. Always a good thing.

I had a bit of a break in the afternoon and sat out by the pool doing some work on a new piece. I’ve written nearly 20 pages and it’s turning into something I didn’t expect — something that needs a very strong structure in order to work. Therefore, it’s time to sit down and answer all the layers of questions and secrets, because it’s not something I can discover in the drafting. I need to be able to aim for those points as I draft in order for the piece to work.

I got about eight pages of notes done, and jotted down ideas and possibilities. I can’t really write any more on the piece itself until I answer those questions, but at least I now know the questions.

I was the reader for “Conference Idol” with three agents (including mine). People put the first page of their piece into a box, I pulled one out and read it. Their hands went up when the piece hit the point where they would stop reading, had this been a traditional submission, and then they spoke about what worked and what didn’t. Everyone was a very good sport, and I was even asked to speak when someone submitted a screenplay and none of them felt comfortable commenting on a screenplay, but my agent knew I have extensive screenplay experience. So, that was fun. Everyone thought I read well, and I worked hard to make each piece sound as good as positive, as clear as possible, without going over the top.

Dashed home for a quick dinner and then back to hear Jaimy Gordon give another keynote. She has a very unique perspective and way of communicating it, and her love of working the backstretch at race tracks is something to which I can relate.

After, my agent, one of the other agents, and I all went to listen to the prose reading session. Always interesting to hear what the other people in the community are doing.

Came home, exhausted, but had to give the cats some quality time.

Up early, had to switch mattresses (don’t ask), catching up with email and other stuff that needs to be done. I have to pick up some stuff for the Mermaid Ball on my way in to the conference today, but I also have to prep some paperwork for something that came up tomorrow that can’t be moved.

I’ll have to catch up with my Modern/Post-Modern class on Saturday.

Off to it!

Devon

Published in: on August 7, 2013 at 7:21 am  Comments (3)  
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Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013: Conference Rhythms

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
New Moon
Sunny and cool

It’s Old Home Week in Centerville, and we have our annual auction tonight here.

Yesterday at the Cape Cod Writers Conference was so much fun! I actually enjoyed working the desk (me, who isn’t good with people). But the conference attendees are so happy to be there, and it’s fun to talk with them. Each attendee and presenter is very interesting in his or her own unique way. It’s also fun to spend time with fellow Writers Center Members and get to know them better.

I agreed to be the reader for the presentation, today and tomorrow, of “Conference Idol.” A panel of three agents (including mine) listens to someone (me) read the first page of an entrant’s manuscript — when the judges have had enough, they ring a bell and explain WHY they would or would not read more. I’ll rely on my theatre training to give each piece the best possible reading, since I don’t get to look at the material ahead of time.

Had to dash home for a bit in the afternoon, because the owner came by to take some measurements so we can get the new washer and dryer in next week. Yes, we’re getting a new SET! As an ex-wardrobe person, the mere thought of a NEW washer and dryer makes me drool.

Early in the morning, I mowed the front, and then moved a forsythia bush that planted itself in front of the bulkhead (where they will need to load in the washer and dryer) to a new spot. Hopefully, it will like it there. That gosh darned shrub nearly defeated me, but eventually, I won. Those roots are complicated! I was singing “Me and My Shovel” rather than “Me and My Shadow” — sounds like the opening to a mystery novel.

I also found two old friends with whom I’d lost touch — via Facebook! We have been looking for each other (and in the wrong places, obviously) and found each other through a mutual friend’s page. Yeehah!

I’d been invited to join a group for dinner back at Bogie’s, the restaurant in the Conference Center. There were nine of us for dinner, and it was such fun. I sat between Brian Feinblum, the keynote speaker for the night, and Jeff Herman — yes, THAT Jeff Herman, who puts together the wonderful guide for writers. It was a lively, fun dinner. Really good conversation, and not all shop talk.

Upstairs to listen to Brian speak (got me thinking in some new directions, always good), and then headed home. Nope, I’m not closing the bar every night this year. Too much to stay on top of outside the conference this year. I had to comment on a student’s short story, take care of some emails, and get some other work done.

This morning, I’m doing some stuff for the Mermaid Ball, taking the recycling to the dump, writing a bit, and prepping for the day. I’m working the desk again for a few hours, then a quick break (I’m going to stay at the facility, find a quiet corner,and write), then Conference Idol and tonight’s keynote speaker. I was going to stay for some of the readings, but not sure I can. Will play that by ear.

What I love about this conference is how it refreshes the creative spirit.

Devon

PS It was so cold this morning I had to wear socks for my morning writing/thinking session on the deck!

PSS The cats (especially Tessa) are unhappy that I am not home much this week. They alternate between being sulky and being needy. I will have to make sure I give them quality play time at night when I get home.

Mon. Aug. 13, 2012: Awesome Week & Happy Tired

Monday, August 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and humid

What a spectacular week! Just what I needed to kick me out of feeling so creatively fallow. Loved the classes — our mystery/thriller group is keeping in touch, which is terrific, since I’m so excited about what everyone’s working on. They also gave me great feedback on the aviation piece, helping me form and shape it from an amoeba to a workable idea. I’m carving time into each work day to keep going on it, so I don’t lose momentum by making it take its place in the queue.

Met a wide array of fantastic, interesting people. Talked a lot (I have no voice left, and I’m out of words). There are several opportunities I need to follow up on.

I met two of the students in my year-long program. They are as talented, funny, and creative in person as they are on the page. Both read, both pitched, and did very well. One landed an agent! I’m a proud tiger mom! 😉

I was out most nights pretty late, up early, and very glad I’d cleared deadlines off my desk before the conference. It was all-consuming. It was also extremely well-organized and the quality of workshops and instructors are among the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere. A great way to light or relight creative fires.

Had to cut out early on Friday in order to drive to CT. The weather was awful — torrential rain, especially in CT. Had to drive slowly, with the hazards on. Finally made it to Niantic, where I bought way too many books, but they were relevant to three current projects, so it’s all good. One, in particular, is a very difficult book to find that I needed for my aviation piece. The other is a book I’ve been searching for for at least a dozen years, and I finally found it.

A trip that should have taken 4 1/2 hours took 7. Collapsed into bed. Up early Saturday, not a bad trip back, collapsed onto the couch, woke up on Sunday. Didn’t do much on Sunday except veg out and doze.

Rather than over-burdening myself today (I’m already ready to go back to bed and it’s barely 9 AM), I’m using today as a follow-up day from the conference, and to catch up on all the emails and freelance-related stuff from last week. I have a block of time set aside for the aviation project, but I’m really going back to the writing whole hog tomorrow, juggling CRAVE THE HUNT, the harpy revisions, and the aviation project, along with a couple of short stories that have to get out the door this week. I’ve got some errands to run today, too.

The week filled up unexpectedly with activities –all good, but I’m also going to try to sign up for a one-day meditation retreat on Sunday. I think I could use the silence! 😉

Now, breakfast, and then, to work . . .my third load of laundry is already in. And the yard needs some serious attention.

Devon

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Aug. 10: Fond Farewells & Creative Boosts

Friday, August 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Muggy and cloudy

Conference ends today. I’m exhausted, but a happy exhaustion. I’ve got enthusiasm for a new project, and built enthusiasm for what’s out there. I’ve met amazing people, forming new relationships and deepening those I had. I learned a lot, soaking up as much as I could like a sponge, and I laughed a lot.

Best of all, I feel like I’ve catapulted out of my creative rut. I feel a better balance between current commitments and the path I want to try next.

Terrific times.

Will have more coherent posts again next week, when I’ve caught up on sleep!

Have a fantastic weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 7:41 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Aug. 9, 2012: LOVE this Conference!

First of all, the Cape Cod Writers Conference is awesome. I’m learning so much and having so much fun!

Second, I’m over on Book Boost talking about “Weeds in the Writing Garden” here, and “When Does Your Year Start?” (as Annabel Aidan) over on The Writers Vineyard here.

Published in: on August 9, 2012 at 11:50 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. Aug. 7, 2012: Conference Day 1

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

It’s only Tuesday? So much has gone on, I feel like I’m living a week in every day.

The Conference is great. I got some work done yesterday morning before I left, work with students, etc. My first conference session was with C.E. Lawrence, for mystery/thriller. Great, great session. Plus, we both love Edinburgh, we both have theatre backgrounds, we both have long histories in New York. The class gave me a series of “aha” moments that will help me in my work. Today, I’m going to read the opening of the aviation piece, to see if what bugs me about it is what the others pick up on.

Met up with friends and had lunch at the cabana by the pool. The back of my chair got hit with a golf ball, so I stomped over to the links, waving it, demanding to know who nearly clocked me. No one would take responsibility, so I said, “Fine, you’re not getting it back.” I stuck it in my bag, brought it home, washed it, and the cats are playing with it.

Afternoon session was with Peter Drummey, of the MA Historical Society (I always get his title wrong, I keep calling him “director”, but I think it’s something else), on historical research. I’m like a kid in a candy store. I can get a Boston Public Library card, even though I live on the Cape. As a “citizen of Massachusetts” (that makes me feel so Revolutionary), I can access libraries and collections all over the state. I’m beside myself with excitement. Now, if I could send these selves to some of the collections simultaneously, imagine how much I could get done. Great session, and gives me so many ideas for my research for the aviation, whaling, astronomy, and mill girls projects.

Had to shoot out of that session like a bat out of hell, because it ran over, and we had to be at a reading in Sandwich at 3. We were only a few minutes late — Randall Peffer was reading from his new Civil War novel, SEAHAWK BURNING at Titcomb’s Books. Since one of my friends/students is studying with him, and I know him from both his work and writers’ center events, off we went. It was great fun, and we wound up sitting around chatting for a full hour past the time of the actual event.

I sent my friends off to the Beehive for dinner, while I raced back home. I had to grovel to the cats (who were mad at me for being gone all day), get some work done, and marinate the chicken for Wednesday’s dinner party.

Back to the conference center, for a talk by Joe Finder. He was engaging and hilarious — he really knows how to uplift his audience. I’m familiar with his name, but hadn’t yet read any of his work. I bought VANISHED. He signed it, and I had nothing of value to say at the signing table, so I simply said, “thank you.”

Met Gina Barreca on my way out, and didn’t realize until later that she wrote THEY USED TO CALL ME SNOW WHITE . . .BUT I DRIFTED, which is one of the books that got me through the 90s, along with KISS MY TIARA by Susan Jane Gilman, and were very important when I wrote my show WOMEN WITH AN EDGE. Which makes laughing and talking with her even more special.

Home, worked on the synopsis for HEART SNATCHER, could not get online to my students. Prepared my bag for today, and fell into bed.

Got up around 5:30. Tweaked the piece I’m going to read in the mystery class — moved around some description, cut some qualifiers, made a couple of things more specific. Hate reading work this raw, but if I’m going to find the right direction and learn the expectations in this genre, I need to take what I have and learn how to make it better. If I’m not willing to be bad, I can’t learn to be good.

I have to say, I love just being a student for this, and running around laughing, talking, and listening as much as possible. No pressure, just learning.

I have two cakes to bake before I leave, and I want to see if I can get into the forum to spend time with students. I better get moving!

Devon

Mon. Aug. 6, 2012: The Conference Begins!

Monday, August 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and humid

I just lost Friday — I was running around trying to get everything done –after going to yoga on the beach in Yarmouth (which was tons of fun). But it was a busy, busy day. Saturday was all about preparing conference materials. Sunday was about clearing off deadlines in the morning.

In the afternoon, I headed over to the Conference Center. Dropped off my books — so much less stressful than at that conference last October! Checked in, yapped with the organizers — and then, two of my students showed up! One had come in from Vancouver, the other from LA. It was such fun! They got settled in their rooms, we had a drink to celebrate meeting after being online together for over a year. We joined the reception, meeting up with old and new faces, and our conversation group kept growing and including more and more — which is how it should be — inclusive. That’s what I love about this writers’ organization.

The President of the organization pulled me aside to talk about something that, if it goes through, would be exciting and an honor. I also met a library director who just moved libraries (she’d done a presentation last year I found helpful and we’d talked about doing something together) — and I may do an event or two with her, which would be such fun! We moved upstairs for the reception, which was lively and fun, and the President of the State Senate gave the opening address, emphasizing the importance of the arts to both the economy and humanity. We’re really lucky in our elected officials around here. They give a damn.

After the reception, my students and I headed out for dinner. We wanted to go to the Black Cat, but it was full; we headed to Siena — 40 minute wait. We wound up at Bobby Byrne’s in Mashpee, which was fine, and we had an awesome waitress — a real firecracker, tons of fun! More good food and great conversation. The three of us have a lot in common and never run out of things to say! Terrific women, and I feel lucky to have them in my life. And they brought me terrific gifts, which was just so sweet!

We stopped at the grocery store on the way back (they have refrigerators in their rooms), so they could stock up.

Home and to bed at a reasonable hour. The cats woke up up just after 4 because it was raining, the windows were open, and they were getting wet. I ran around closing windows and moving plants, and then couldn’t get back to sleep. Wrote thank you notes and followed up on yesterday’s conversations. I’ve got to finish an article and get it out, and also do another pass on my two-page synopsis for the harpy book before I go out the door for the conference.

I’m looking forward to a fun and busy week.

Devon