Wed. June 24, 2020: Isolation to Quarantine (Pre-Op)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid/storms expected

Up and down day yesterday. Didn’t feel very productive.

Got out two LOIs. One is a very long shot, but it’s interesting, so I thought I’d give it a shot, and hope they read my cover letter.

Got the first pair of A/B ads done for a client. Will work on the second pair today, along with a stand-alone ad.

Looking for another survey platform. I have two or three I’m interested in trying. I’ll let you know if any of them actually work.

Got my call in the early afternoon yesterday. My COVID test this morning is at 10 AM. If it comes back negative, I will get the time for tomorrow’s surgery and get started on the pre-op prep (that’s different from the isolation/quarantine). I already know the medication I have to take for several hours will make me seriously nauseated. Not looking forward to it.

As soon as I’ve taken the test, I’m quarantined away from anyone else in the house. I’ll spend the rest of the day in my office, sleep in the living room, have exclusive use of the downstairs bathroom (which I’ve scrubbed down this morning).

Cleaned the house yesterday, so that everything is in good shape for the next few days.

Put in the Chewy order yesterday. They were out of a few things I needed, but I adjusted. The order already shipped. They have been the best company to deal with throughout this whole pandemic. When they needed to slow things down, they did, they communicated clearly, and they fulfilled what they said they would do. I wrote them a couple of times to thank them.

The Comcast bill arrived yesterday. Payment has to clear by next Tuesday or else. So payment goes out today. I can’t believe how much I had to fight with them to get a damn bill. They want you to pay, but won’t tell you how much. Because they want you to go on AutoPay, so they can take whatever amount of money they feel like out of the account. They are an awful company.

Finished the book for review, wrote the review, sent it off. There will hopefully be another assignment in the next few days.

Reading C.E. Murphy’s MAGIC AND MANNERS, which is an interesting re-imagining inspired by PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

For the record, the Aunt Jemima bottle was never allowed in our house growing up because it was racist. Even in the 60’s and 70’s, my parents felt that way.

I want it to be Friday. The next 48 hours will be difficult.

One step at a time. That’s the best I can do. Hopefully, I can get in some decent writing, although I feel as inspired as wilted lettuce.

I can smell the storm coming in. Hopefully, it won’t hit full force until after I get back from the COVID test.

See you on the other side.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

It rained almost all day and night yesterday — which means the lawn needs mowing again! Isn’t that always the way? 😉

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to get introduced to another of my favorite characters, CE Murphy’s Joanne Walker.

Rested as much as I could, once I caught up on student work and dealt with the rest of it. Scaling the Wall puzzles me. It’s a small class, but instead of taking advantage of that, making use of the fact I can give each individual more attention, the majority of the students don’t do one iota more than the minimum requested. A lot of the work is good, but when there’s an opportunity for additional feedback and exercises and the rest, one would think that people serious about their writing would take advantage of it. I made it very clear at the beginning that the more work one is willing to put in, the more one gets out. It always amazes me when people think books write themselves.

It’s very simple. You sit down and you write. No excuses. You get the words down on paper, you look at the story from every possible angle, you rearrange them so they are strong and pretty, and you submit them. Not brain surgery. Dedication and craft. Which are sorely lacking in about 80% of the people who claim they want to write.

Have to finish packing and do a final polish on the presentation for the weekend. It will be fun to be around other writers this weekend, and also have some time away from the normal routine.

Couldn’t go to yoga this morning, because I didn’t want to share the germs, but I’m feeling well enough to be cranky, so I must be on the mend! 😉

Good morning’s work on the book. Happy with the chapter, but some additional work made me realize I need to layer in a clue.

Furious at what happened at the wild animal sanctuary in Ohio. They “didn’t have a choice” in slaughtering those animals. BULLSHIT. There is always a choice. I bet that incompetent boob of a sheriff (who probably landed his job as a political favor) has a dick about a centimeter long and felt like a Great White Hunter, oh, so important, giving the order for the slaughter. There were plenty of other options, and if I know what they are, certainly so-called professionals could have come up with them. It is unacceptable, irresponsible, and immoral. And may forces of Justice much higher than any legal court take karmic action on these assholes very, very soon. May it be both poetic and painful for them.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1584
Total word count: 36,048

Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 9:23 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — 6 days to release from Champagne Books!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The Bruins are going to the Stanley Cup Final. The irises are starting to bloom. I have a book to finish and articles to write. It’s feeling like home.

I took the whole weekend off from work (except for wrapping up the Millennium Trilogy workshop). I actually had a holiday weekend. It felt good! It’s the first time I’ve done that in years.

Granted, I did a lot around the house. I did about eight loads of laundry, as I continue to unpack boxes. I switched the slipcovers from winter covers to summer ones. I unpacked more kitchen boxes, yarn boxes, etc., and I’m slowly sorting through stuff and figuring out where I want it to live, so I’m not rearranging it fifty times. I’m setting up the boxes for the flannel sheets and other winter stuff, so, as it’s clean, I can pack it and stack it where it needs to go, and I can actually get at it in the fall.

I worked in the garden — a lot. Kept deadheading the rhodies — can’t keep up with them. Finished digging out the vegetable bed (I’m out of buckets again). Put in the vegetables. Now I have my fingers crossed they survive and thrive! Fought the anthills that are all over the front lawn — the owner is going to have to call in a professional. Painted the small bookcase I got for free, and almost finished painting the bookcase that will go in my bedroom (once I’m sure it’s really, REALLY dry).

Did a lot of yoga, did a lot of meditation. Played with the cats.

Picked up the metal plant stand a few towns down the Cape. It was definitely worth the trip. Looks great on the deck. The sellers turned out to be nice; eccentric, but nice. But then, pretty much everyone who lives year-round on the Cape is a bit eccentric, in the right way. Drove to a farm one town over and picked up a sage green velvet-covered ottoman for $10. Violet has claimed it.

Washed the pollen off the patio furniture. If anyone told me I’d have to dust the deck, I’d have thought they were nuts!

Did some party planning.

Sorted out the details for my trip to the Vineyard later this week. It’s been a long time since I was on a boat. I hope I don’t get sea-sick on the ferry. I have those bracelet things just in case.

The traffic is awful. I’m sure it will be like this all summer. You can tell the off-Capers are here, because they drive the expensive cars and treat everyone like crap. Since I’m not in the service industry, I can be rude right back! 😉

Mowed the meadow. The lawn mower and I negotiated a deal. For every 20 minutes or one full bag of grass clippings, whichever comes first, we have a 20 minute cool-down. It seems fair, and, frankly, after 20 minutes, I’m ready for a break. Granted, a new mower shouldn’t be getting that hot in just 20 minutes. But, if during that 20 minutes, I stop the mower for any reason, I have to wait 20 minutes before it will start again. I can live with it for the next couple of years, providing it keeps up its end of the bargain. When I buy a place, I’ll see what kind of mower I need, and then buy a new one of a different brand. Anyway, it took several hours to mow the meadow, but it looks great, and I have many bags of grass clippings to take to the dump. The slope was difficult to negotiate with the mower — it looks like it rolls gently when you stare at it, but it’s quite a different story when you’re mowing it!

Changed all the beds (well, I do every week, but there’s something very satisfying about clean sheets). Vacuumed thoroughly. With the central vac, a quick vacuum of the whole house takes about 90 minutes, and a more diligent one a little over 2 hours, including using the attachments on the windows — which, now that they’re open most of the time, the sills need attention. Pollen everywhere. I give thanks every day that I don’t suffer those types of allergies.

I’ve been using herbs freshly cut from the garden in my cooking. It makes a big difference. It smells good, it tastes good, and there’s a wonderful satisfaction from knowing it came from my own little patch of earth.

Read a lot. I finished CE Murphy’s NEGOTIATOR series. I read THE RED LEATHER DIARY, a fascinating non-fiction book written by a woman who found a diary in the dumpster of her building and tracked down the owner, who lived quite a fabulous life in the NY of the early twentieth century. It’s as much a social history as anything else. Read Jim Butcher’s first Dresden Files book — STORM FRONT. I liked it. There was one section that felt forced to me, but I see why it was necessary for plot purposes. Caught up on magazines that have been stacking up.

I have two weeks off from teaching, so now I can focus on my own writing, get out some proposals, do a few articles, get out some more PR for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, get the newsletter out, etc. I sent out several requests for interviews in connection with the book.

Hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions to read my May Wrap-Up. I talk about trying to deal with career changes in a positive, rather than a negative way.

I’m excited to dive back into THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I’ve discovered that, in order to get the watering and weeding done properly in the garden, I’ll have to get up an hour earlier and do that before my first 1K of the day. However, I use the time as a combination of garden appreciation (be here now and appreciate it) and plotting what I’ll write next.

Carlos the Woodpecker is very busy. I don’t know why I call him Carlos — he seems like a Carlos. I hear him, and say, “Hey, Carlos, watcha doin’?”

He flies to a nearby branch and stares at me for a few minutes, and then gets back to his task. It’s become part of our morning and evening ritual. Woodpeckers are funny.

To the page. I’ve got to get grass clippings & recycling to the dump, pick up some stuff from the store, try to deadhead some more rhodies and yes, mow the front lawn. Dang, that grass grows fast! 😉

Devon

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Lady’s Mantle in a vase

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was just flat out busy. I’m grateful for it, but looking forward to August! 😉 Not that I want to wish my life away or anything.

Got my work out for Confidential Job #1. Got my welcome and first lecture up in the new workshop. And, of course, students are already making excuses as to why they hadn’t read the material. Um, the course description has been up for several months now. One student even stated that nothing in course description mentioned needing to read the books ahead of time.

Of course, the description says this:
“Participants must read the entire trilogy BEFORE the class, since we are not discussing the books chronologically.”

How can that be interpreted as anything except “Read the damn books before we start”?

Whatever. I’m putting up the information. They’ve paid to be there. They’ll either respond or not, and I better not hear one word about spoilers! 😉

Actually had a decent day’s work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. And I had a good start this morning. We’re getting there. As long as I don’t let the whole list of things overwhelm me, and do one thing at a time, I’m fine. If I actually wrote a daily list, I’d cry and never get anything done.

Today is another busy day. I’ve got to get everything done before 11 AM, because I’ve got other stuff booked all afternoon into the evening.

Finished HOUSE OF CARDS last night. What I’m missing in this trilogy is the sense of emotional geography of New York City. CE Murphy did her research, the geography is correct, but the sense of the writer having walked the streets and knowing the city and having an emotional response to it (positive, negative, or mixed) is missing, and that leaves a gap in the series for me. It’s not that anything’s wrong, it’s just a lot of it is vague, and New York is a very changeable city with specifics. Those specifics create distinct responses in the people who experience them, even if they rush past them every day. I’m sure I’m more sensitive to this right now because I just taught a workshop on setting, but I’m really noticing it. Also, because I know New York City so intimately, from having lived there for many years, and I have strong emotional responses to a lot of places in the city, some positive, some negative. The Walker Papers series has a much stronger sense of emotional geography (and I have no idea if Murphy spent time there or it was again research), but, more importantly, I get a sense of how Joanne feels about her area, and I never get that from Margrit. I miss it.

Okay, I have a lot to get done this morning, and the clock is ticking, so off I go.

I wish there was more I could do to help those in Joplin and the area that was hit so hard. Donations from a distance seem so remote, somehow.

Devon

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 6:33 am  Comments (6)  
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Whew! I am so glad to be back home, and the cats were glad to see me. Even Violet didn’t punish me for going away. Granted, it was nearly 11 PM by the time I got here, but, what’s important is that I’m here.

Over the weekend, I read two Susan Wittig Albert books, INDIGO DYING and SPANISH DAGGER. I like a lot about her mysteries, but the talking to the audience in the present tense at the beginning of the book doesn’t quite work for me sometimes. However, a lot of her regular readers love it, so more power to her. I’m also almost done with CE Murphy’s HEART OF STONE, which I absolutely love. I love her Joanne Walker series, and this one is pretty amazing, too.

Got some writing done, but not enough; caught up on my classes; worked on my lectures for next week.

You know who finally got back to me about the bird? My friend who runs the sanctuary up here. He said it was a male (gee, there’s a surprise) defending his territory from his reflection, which he thinks is another bird. He’s seeing his reflection in the outer storm window, so once it’s warm enough to take that off, he’ll stop. In the meantime, it needs to be covered. Well, it’s not my house, so I couldn’t do whatever I wanted. But it rained enough so that it was too dark to see himself and he stopped. It’s supposed to rain all week, so maybe he’ll forget about it. He’d tidied himself up in the meantime, and looked better.

My departure from CT was delayed by about three hours, and then it was bumper-to-bumper traffic (for no reason) at 20 mph all the way to New Haven. I made up some time further along, but since the CT DOT is run by imbecilic incompetents, they had, of course, made the road as dangerous as possible to drive at night through their many construction zones. No lane delineations, no reflectors, etc. The lights that are supposed to have arrows that show where the lanes are were just flat lines, overly bright, so you couldn’t actually see anything but glare. Impossible to see where the road was in the rain and fog. At least here, they set up cones with reflectors and put temporary paint down on the lanes when they’re doing work, so you can see where you’re going.

Made my usual stop for gas in RI, and then realized that one reason there were so many drivers on the road is that a lot of colleges finished up yesterday, and kids are driving home — with packed cars, looking exhausted, hung over, and scared.

Driving on 6, along the canal to the Sagamore Bridge, I was nearly pushed off the road into the canal by a red pickup truck. For no reason, other than the driver was a jerk and thought it was funny. As I was fighting for my bit of road, lights and sirens came on, and a cop pulled him over 500 feet ahead of me. Good timing!

I was glad to be home. And then, of course, I had to unpack and have something to eat and play with the cats and putter around . . . it was late by the time I got to bed!

Slept in a bit this morning, and am up and trying to get through what’s accumulated on the desk. I may have to do a major excavation this week. I’ve got writing, PR, classes, work for Confidential Job #1, and grocery shopping on the agenda today. I have a lot of cooking to do this week — my mom is going out of town on a job for two weeks next week, and I’m making dinners for her and freezing them, so all she has to do is pop them in the microwave.

Laundry’s already going, and I’m getting to work on all the things that need to get done today. It’s too wet to mow (awwww, altogether now), but the plants have grown enormously just over the weekend!

Devon

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 7:41 am  Comments (5)  
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Monday, August 9, 2010


First little three-legged pinch pot I made in May’s workshop

Monday, August 9, 2010
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, cloudy

No “workmen” skulking around all weekend — since they are hired to torment long-term tenants, not the new, higher-paying ones. It’s amazing how much I can get done when those phony workmen aren’t around sucking the life out of me.

Went to my friend’s place on Saturday and got six loads of laundry done — woo hoo, clean clothes and sheets.

Also finished CE Murphy’s WALKING DEAD, which I really liked.

Up early Sunday morning, usual yoga routine, feeding the cats, first 1K of the day. Then, I washed the windows, flushed out the drains with lemon and baking soda, soaked and sterilized a bunch of bottles for essential oils, cooked ratatouille, chicken/sausage/basil, chicken w/mushrooms, rosemary, and mint, and a big pot of mint-infused rice. All by 10:30 AM. Yeah, I was feeling pretty smug! 😉

Spent the afternoon working on some craft projects — takes too long to try to explain, so, for our purposes, let’s call them “craft projects”. Also read CE Murphy’s DEMON HUNT.

Cooked spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner, using the last of the fresh basil from my friend’s garden. and did some research in the evening.

Elsa was soooo much better this weekend — just amazing. She was “helping” and underfoot the whole time, which is the way she behaved before she was sick. One of the craft projects has a bloodstone on it, very similar to the bloodstone I bought for her, and she keeps trying to dis-attach it, thinking it’s hers, even though I showed her that her very own bloodstone and jasper are in her favorite sleeping spot, just the way they should be. Her appetite is almost back to normal. She can’t eat a lot at once, due to the acid reflux (which is better, but not gone), but, over the course of the day, she’s eating her normal amount. Hopefully, she’ll continue to make progress. I think the combination of the Nalpoxtrene and the Reiki are helping her a lot. She really loves the tummy massage during Reiki! She’s still got the mucus and sinus problems, which is what we’ll start tackling in today’s Reiki session, but her purring is almost back to normal, without that wetness to it. And she’s behaving more like her old self. I hope she’s really on the road to recovery, and it’s not just a temporary blip.

I have some errands to run, bills to pay, correspondence to deal with, Elsa’s Reiki session, and finishing the marketing work on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Hopefully, I can also get out the newsletter, either today or tomorrow.

The “workmen” are back to make our lives hell — at 7:18 in the morning. We won a minor victory with the landlords this weekend, so I have no doubt they will try to hit us with some fresh hell shortly.

Yesterday’s writing session was great; today’s, not so much. I’m going to try to get another one in before the “workmen” get too loud. I already feel a migraine coming on. Oh, for a big old thunder and lightening storm that would send them off their scaffolding!

First irritation of the day — an admin for the classes I’m teaching just claims I never sent in the promotional materials for the classes — although they were sent on July 12 and confirmed. Re-doing work and being treated like I missed deadlines when I was ahead of schedule REALLY pisses me off.

Devon

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 6:47 am  Comments (11)  
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010
Day before dark moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

The humidity finally broke overnight, and it feels a little better today.

Although yesterday and today are supposed to be the worst astrological days (and we don’t see this configuration again for 500 years or so, hoorah), it felt as though the knots loosened a bit yesterday, so perhaps, in my individual transits, it hit a few days earlier. Let’s hope — I’ll still be cautious.

The “workmen” were more careful, but they’re definitely targeting the apartments of the long-term tenants, to make it as unpleasant as possible. The clouds of brick dust floating around were rather disgusting. I closed the windows early on. But it was still gross in the heat and humidity not to be able to run the air conditioner. There were times when I did anyway, because the dust seemed a better choice — until I started coughing so badly I had to turn it off.

I stayed quiet yesterday, mostly reading. I finished Juliet Blackwell’s A CAST-OFF COVEN, which was tremendous fun, and I’m reading CE Murphy’s WALKING DEAD, which is excellent, too.

I forgot to mention that, on Thursday, I came up with a new herbal mixture for cleaning. Well, I can use the herbs for several things, but I also steeped them in boiling water, cooled the mixture, strained it, and put it in a big jug to use as the rinse after I wash with Murphy’s Oil soap. It’s strong enough to clean, but since I used the herbs steeped rather than oils, it doesn’t strip away finishes. It’s got enough antiseptic herbs, etc., to not only get rid of dirt, but get rid of germs or anything else icky that may tiptoe its way inside. I’m pretty happy with it, but I’ve also been careful to mark the containers as “do not ingest” — it looks a bit like iced tea, but a few of the herbs in there do not agree with the digestive system, let’s just say. I’m going to use some of it on the windows, as well. I’m fortunate, too, in that it smells great, although that wasn’t the most important element. The cleansing was the most important, and the good smell is just an added bonus. I notated as I worked, and copied the recipe in a safe place, so I can make more as necessary. A gallon of the stuff should last about 3 months, even with washing the floors a few times a week.

Elsa has made slow, but steady improvement over the past week. I wrote a polite email to the vet, asking for a refill on the Nalpoxtrene (you would have all been so proud of me), and he responded with 3 refills. I’m going to call the pharmacy today to make sure they’ve sent it out, and we should be in decent shape for the next few months. Elsa is eating mcuh better, and the Reiki helps a lot with the acid reflux, making it possible for her to eat. I’ve stripped away almost all the other medications — I’m alternating the Vitamin B and the olive leaf, and weaning her off the steroid. In about a week and a half, she’ll only be on the Vitaman B/olive leaf cycle, the Nalpoxtrene, and the Reiki. She especially likes the tummy massage in the Reiki, and that seems to help the most. She helped me clean out cabinets the other day and “supervised” the workmen yesterday, sitting in the window, so one can tell she’s feeling better. When she didn’t like what they were doing, she would tap on the window and meow at them, scolding them until they changed their behavior. It was pretty funny to see burly workmen being bossed around by an eight-pound cat.

Hauled stuff to storage. Tried to get a walking cast and the clerk at the local drugstore told me, in a completely condescending tone, that “people get them from their doctors; there’s no need to carry them” — his attitude that, if you don’t have insurance, you don’t deserve one. Bite me.

I’ll head to the family-run private pharmacy across town in the next few days — the place that helped Elsa so much when the vet ignored us. They have all kinds of stuff, and, if it’s not in stock, they’ll get it for me. Since I’ve been staying quiet and resting it, and wrapping it in herb-soaked cloths, it’s dong better.

I’m spending most of the day at a friend’s, working over there, catching up on laundry, etc. I think it’s going to be quiet around here today, so it’s safe to go somewhere else for a few hours.

Tomorrow, I’ll work at home — it should be quiet and reasonably temperate. I want to finish the notes on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, make decisions about the excerpts, and notes on the new book. I also want to finish typing/sorting my notes on the lectures for the books, get out a newsletter (finally), and start deconstructing the film. And then we’ll see what next week brings.

Didn’t have a good writing session this morning, but it happens sometimes. Will bring the work with me to my friend’s place and see if I can get more done there.

Have a good weekend.

Devon

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Sunny and warm

Woke up at four, but that was too early to get up. Went back to sleep, slept through the alarm, and was late going for the run. It was so light, and I felt so exposed. But I did my double circuit anyway. I prefer to go just as dawn breaks, experiencing the changeover from dark to morning. And there are fewer people and cars out, too. Although the guy running with his golden retriever on my last circuit was pretty funny. The dog. The guy was fine, but the dog, in typical golden retriever fashion, came over and was all, “You wanna run, right, right, right? Play? Play? Pet me, pet me, pet me? ‘Cause you wanna play, right, right, right?”

One of the struggles I have with POWER OF WORDS is that, no matter how strongly its story wants to be told, I don’t see where it will slot once it’s completed and polished. It’s going to be a damned hard sell, and I worry about spending time on it when there are other projects in the queue that are more likely to sell. Since this is how I make my living, I don’t just get to write whatever I feel like writing. I have to balance it with what brings in the money in a timely fashion. It’s finding a way to juggle the multiple projects without anything getting dropped that’s always the challenge, charting out the individual day to get it all in, and make sure there are enough short turn-around, quick-pay projects to keep the bills paid. If I try to ignore the project that’s calling loudest in order to work on something that’s ahead of it in line, the creativity freezes, the muse turns her back, and that’s it. NOTHING gets done. But unfinished projects drain creative energy, so putting something aside to work on something else is also counter-productive. They have to be worked on in tandem, and that becomes a challenge. Someday, I hope to get advances large enough to cover a few months’ bills and royalties coming in that are large enough and regular enough so I don’t have to worry about short-turn-around, quick-pay projects. If I want to take on something like that, I can. Frankly, working on a short story in the middle of a novel gives me energy, because I’ve got the momentum of completion on my side and I can funnel that back into the novel.

So I hear Matt Smith is awesome as the new Dr. Who. I loved David Tennant’s work — but then, I love most of his work. When we get the new DW episodes over here, I look forward to seeing what they do with it. Those of you in the UK, what do you think?

All kinds of technical difficulties on the workshop forum made the weekend particularly frustrating.

I need to take a breath this week and really think about whether or not I want to teach another workshop for this group again. I truly appreciate the students. I pushed them very hard, didn’t cut slack, and most of them rose to the challenge; but, overall, it has not been a positive experience, and cost me far too much in time, lost income, and creativity. Because the lost income influences the other two enormously, that’s been the biggest issue. What I was paid was out of proportion to the amount of time and energy necessary to make the workshop valuable. I’m not going to punish the students because of the situation and give them less than they signed up for because I made a mistake in the negotiation. Live and learn, right? Honestly, at this point, I’m ready to say I’m done with teaching ANYWHERE, but that’s not a rational decision, it’s coming out of a huge place of frustration and anger, much of which is my own fault. So, I’ll take a breath, try to negotiate some more safeguards, and make choices from there.

This past week in general was a test on several fronts. On two occasions, I chose to be gracious instead of confrontational. Not because I wanted to be a hypocrite, but because I felt erring on the side of politeness would get us all farther in the long run. I nearly bit my tongue bloody, but I got through it. Hopefully, the gamble will pay off.

I am just tired, tired, tired. It doesn’t matter how many hours I sleep, I’m still exhausted, because it’s about so much more than actual sleep.

I read Book 3 of CE Murphy’s Walker Papers series, COYOTE DREAMS. Again, I really liked it. Normally, the amount of narration she uses would drive me away from the books and make me cross my eyes and put it down. But she uses narration actively and specifically, even when there’s a lot of it. And, let’s face it, it’s the best way to communicate the shamanic journeys. She’s chosen the best and clearest way to tell her very interesting stories, and it works. I’m learning as much about craft as I am enjoying the books just to enjoy them. I also recommended them to the class. I want to track down books 2 & 4 now, and her other series.

The writing has not gone well these past two weeks, and that has to change. I’ve got deadlines coming up, and if the work I submit is crap, it won’t matter that I met the deadline. If I miss the deadline, I miss my shot. So, not only do I have to hit the deadline, it has to be GOOD.

On an up note, I got a request for a partial from an agent. I’m pleased, and I’d like to find a partner in the business aspect of all of this, but agents have to be so specialized nowadays that I despair on finding someone who will represent the whole package of the writing, not just a piece of it. I’m simply not going to stop writing in different genres. I’ll write in whatever genre serves a particular set of characters best. Nor do I want to stop writing plays — I love them too much. The theatre is my home, on many levels. I don’t want multiple agents — I want one person who believes in my work and my worth. That’s why, to this point, I’ve only worked with a lawyer. But I’ve got too much going on to deal with every nut and bolt myself — I need someone used to kicking in the doors and doing the negotiations so that I can get my work done.

Can I just say this is all way too much like dating until you find The One?

Because, really, I’d rather not be a Literary Polygamist (which is what I call having multiple agents). And, as in dating, there are plenty of agents with whom I interact regularly whom I really like and respect, and yet who I know are not the right match.

This week, I’ve got to deal with the scumbag landlords.

AND, my new play opens this week, which I kind of keep forgetting, because of everything else that comes up. I know, how could I possibly forget something like that? Just shows how much is going on. I hear it’s going well, although they had to cancel a preview because they “weren’t ready”, which concerns me. Yes, that’s common in production, to push back a preview, but it still always worries me.

Elsa felt well enough to play with the Easter eggs I brought back from Prague (those intricately decorated ones), so that’s a good sign. Of course, then I had to dig Easter eggs out from under all the furniture. But, if she’s getting better, it’s all worth it.

A batch of ideas hit me all at once, and I scribbled some notes. A few of them are, I think, short projects, and I can get them out relatively quickly. One of them is longer, and I’ve started a notebook for the research and the situations and the details I need to figure out before I can even start a Writer’s Rough, much less any pages. Gotta love Strand Books — they get something in that ties in with a current project, they get it out to me. I love them madly, and they are the Bookstore O’ My Dreams. I’m so lucky that I can spend time there, or, at the very least, order from them when I can’t get there in person!

Finished the material for Confidential Job #1. Will send off the notes today.

I am so looking forward to having tomorrow and Wednesday off!

I had a GREAT writing session this morning, set in Jain Lazarus’s world, but with a different set of characters (not Hillary, from the story that moved from San Antonio to Bath, ME, but really wants to be set in San Antonio). Obviously, I’m missing Jain’s world, but this book, although there’s a loose tie to the same organization, definitely stands on its own. The entire story came to me yesterday, after I overheard a remark spoken in an interview by an actor whose work I admire. I was going to write an article in response, supporting the information in the interview and going further, but It got me thinking. Instead of treating it in its original realm of non-fiction, why not push the possibilities into fiction? I did some research, Edwina started kicking my ass and telling me I damn well better pay attention, and the whole structure of the piece revealed itself. I made a lot of notes, and the first 1600 or so words flowed easily this morning.

I’ll go back to finish the work for Confidential Job #1 and then do some work on the novella. I’ve also got to finish prepping an interview that goes up on BIBLIO PARADISE tomorrow. And wind up the workshop.

It’s the first really good day of writing I’ve had in far too long. If I get everything done that I need to (which includes some errands), I’ll treat myself with another session on the Edwina piece.

Back to the page.

Devon

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Sunny and warm

Got up at 5:30 to run. The moon was out — it was lovely. And so much lighter than just a week ago at this time — not just because of the moon, either. I don’t feel like I’m progressing quickly enough, but I’m trying to be patient. I did a double circuit, combo of running and walking. I had to stop at one point when the street cleaning vehicle went by and I wound up with a lungful of dirt. Oh joy, oh rapture, right?

Got a little bit of writing done, but not enough. I’m in the home stretch of the workshop now, and, as good as a lot of the work is, I’m ready for it to be over. It’s taking too much time and energy away from my own work, and the compensation isn’t high enough to make up for it. And next time, I’ll take a closer look at the calendar and not have it fall over a week that contains two major holidays such as Easter and Passover! In general, I have to put more safeguards in place when I teach. I’m glad the students are getting a lot out of it, but my own work must always come first.

Grocery shopping, bill paying, all that fun stuff. I have to figure out how to work some legal kerflamma with the scumbag landlords for next week, deal withe some other business, and get Elsa to the vet. She is not doing well.

I’ve got writing deadlines coming up, so I have to pull it together and focus. I’ve made good progress on the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and I want to finish it off early this weekend and get it out. I’ve also got to get laundry done, somehow. I shouldn’t complain — hauling it up and down four flights of stairs is still better than having to go to a laundromat. But when I do haul it down and can’t get a machine, I get cranky.

I’m reading a fantastic book: URBAN SHAMAN by C.E. Murphy. I read about half of it yesterday and hope to finish it today. If I continue to like it, I’ll go get the other two in the trilogy over the weekend. It always cheers me up enormously to read good writing. I don’t understand wanna-be writers who say that reading good writers “depresses” them.

I have to give the place a good spring cleaning. The dust from the apartment renovation on the floor below us is disgusting.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Devon

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