Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Just a quick check-in. We are at the apartment to pack some more, finish packing up storage, and do last-minute stuff.

Packing the car yesterday morning was a challenge, but we got a lot in and had a smooth ride up to the house. Unloaded, ran some errands, which included getting a new safety deposit box. The bank down the street doesn’t have a vault, so we had to go one town over, but they are very nice, we got a bigger box, and we’ll share it. It’s in TD Bank, my mom’s bank — I’m starting to think I made a mistake going to Citizen’s Bank — so far, I’m not happy with their service and hoop jumping. Well, if I hate them in a few months, I’ll switch banks. In MA, you can actually do without signing away your first born and making a deal with the Devil, like you have to in order to get an account in NY.

Stopped at the 1875 (76?) Country Store on the way back to town, on Lori’s recommendation. Lori, it’s still cute as a button with some amazing stuff in it. I’m definitely going back to do some of my holiday shopping there. As it was, I bought a stone bracelet designed by a local artist. No, I didn’t need it; but it was lovely and one-of-a-kind, so I bought it! Turns out the woman behind the counter used to create haute couture for rock star girlfriends in NY, and we shopped at all the same fabric places in the garment district — most of which are gone now. She’s getting the backstage bug, so I said she should try hiring in as a stitcher at a theatre she likes — they always need stitchers on staff. If she hates it, she never has to do it again; if she likes it, she can take it from there. Anyway, another NY theatre person to hang out with — I can’t believe how many I’ve found. Seeds of my own company (obliterate that thought). But it’s interesting how we’re all finding each other.

Drove to Hyannis to do some errands (including stocking up on cat food in the house), then stopped at Cooke’s for lunch — buttered scrod, very good. There are fish often-used on the Cape that I need to learn how to cook. It’s not like scrod is all that exotic — I simply don’t use it much here.

Back to the house — raked for a couple of hours. Got most of the front done. Met the neighbors on both sides — very nice, very helpful, said if we ever needed anything, to let them know. The dogs across the street watched and barked. There was some sort of Major Yard Work going on at the green house on the corner with the amazing yard — it better not be empty, because I wanted to be friends with them! Waved at another neighbor and big dog who drove by. Saw one of the Hounds of the Baskervilles — I think he’s a mastiff. Elsa would have been delighted. He was very confused and stopped in mid-bark when I told him what a handsome boy he was!

The yard turns out to be about double the size I thought it was — makes the raking and fall prep work a bit more of a challenge. By the time I’m done, I figure 60-70 of those 30-gallon leaf bags. I’m up for it — I just have to do it in increments, and get a smaller tool to get in around the bushes. Turns out there’s a wagon wheel at the side of the house, so that’s where I’ll grow morning glories and moonflowers in the spring, let them vine right up it. And the vegetable bed is on my property, so I’ll have to decide what to plant there. The tomato/basil containers will be on the deck, as will the rosemary and most herbs, so I think I’ll grow lettuce, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins, and maybe eggplants and peppers. I’ll do flowers in containers.

I don’t have quite the feel of the yard yet, but I’m sure as I work in it the coming weeks, I will. 10 bags of leaves just for the front of the house!

Chatted with the mailman, too. Such fun to get mail in a mail slot in the front door!

Read the papers, put up signs to tell the movers where to put stuff, just sort of hung out. To bed early again.

Up later than usual — it was nearly 6 AM, imagine that! I’ve been waking up at 4 the past month. Yoga, meditation, putting the last few things together to bring back to NY and making sure the house is prepped.

Drive up wasn’t much fun — too much traffic, especially around Providence. Cats were happy to see us, landlords are being asshats (and this is new and different/). Only one neighbor has responded to my leaving announcement, my next-door neighbor, who was very supportive and gracious.

Headed to storage to pack up the last few stray items there, then I will stay up tonight packing as long as I can stand upright. Lara, thanks for the Aleve tip — I forgot I had it. Found four capsules — I’ll take two Thursday and save two for Friday. Advil and Excedrin Extra Strength aren’t cutting it any more, and I can’t function (much less drive) if I take the Canadian pain pills, so I haven’t. Reconfirmed with the movers.

Still have heard NOTHING from Sleepy’s. So — I’ll have a frame and a mattress on Friday, but no boxspring. I’m tempted to cancel the order, but I bet you they wouldn’t give me my money back. Definitely not doing business with them again, and will write to their CEO to let them know exactly why. I’ve bought plenty of beds in my time, and I have NEVER had this much unnecessary hassle. “Mattress professionals”? I think not!

I get to watch my guilty pleasure NCIS LA and get my Eric Christian Olsen fix tonight, but miss the premiere of the new HUMAN TARGET season tomorrow, so no Jackie Earle Haley fix until after I move. Somehow, I think I’ll survive. Honestly, I haven’t missed being without television most of the time. HUMAN TARGET has a new showrunner and has been extensively re-tooled. From the promos, I’m really on the fence about it, but I’ll give it a chance.

I can’t wait to get back into a regular writing routine. The stories and characters are getting impatient and want attention. I’m sure part of it is that the Nano energy is so strong, with so many people writing, but also — I need the daily writing sessions in order to successfully function.

And soon I’ll have them — in my very own brightly lit, comfortable writing room.

Two days until the big move.

Two.

Devon

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got everything on my list done yesterday, although I wish I’d actually gotten more boxes packed. Still, it was a relatively good, although busy day, and, by the end of it, I felt pretty good about it all. Of course, this morning, I woke up worrying I’ll never get it all done in the next five days.

One week from today, I will wake up in my new home. The only things I’ll have to worry about is figuring out my new yoga/meditation/morning coffee/feed the cats/first 1K of the day pattern and if the cable installer will show up. The unpacking process will start, and so will a new life that actually has a quality of life, something that’s been too often lacking here in the last four years.

Six days from today, I will wake up in my new home and prepare for the movers to arrive and unload, and try to get the cats somewhat settled before I shut them in the upstairs bathroom so they won’t get lost.

Five days from today, I probably won’t have gone to sleep, doing the last minute prep for the load-out. It will be a long damn day, loading everything from the apartment down three flights of stairs, through the courtyard and onto the two trucks, going to the storage unit in the next town and loading all that, heading back to the apartment to make sure it’s clean enough, return the keys, get the cats in the car, and drive four hours and change up in the dark. I don’t like driving in the dark, and I don’t like driving when tired, but there’s no choice this time. We have to be up there that night. So, I’ll just be overly cautious.

Closed my bank account with Chase, much less drama than I’d been led to believe, thank goodness. I am done with them, and it is a relief. Chase and Citibank are the reasons I fought so hard for the new banking legislation, which isn’t perfect — Congress allowed too many loopholes that I had suggested provisions to close — but it’s better than what we had.

Spent a couple of hours working in storage, catching and packing stuff that’s wandered over the past year and change. The unit’s in pretty good shape. I need to bring in some more boxes and pack some of the small stuff and the bagged stuff, and then, all they have to do is load. I’m not sure WHEN I’ll get to do it — probably on Tuesday afternoon. But it has to get done. The paperwork is all settled with the storage unit — they are sad to see us go, but happy we’re going somewhere lovely.

Took everything out of the safe deposit box and “surrendered” it; stashed it close and will take it up Monday, open a new box on the Cape, and all good.

Drove my mom to CT, where she’s working for the weekend. She needs the break. Sorted everything out with my editor. Spent an hour pulling stuff off the old computer, filing, doing paperwork. I have three more boxes of floppies to convert and put on sticks, and then the PC is tossed, and I’ve got another old PC in storage I’m also getting rid of. I’m pulling the hard drives out first. I will have so much more room on my desk with just the MacBook!

Packed a few boxes, had dinner with a friend at a local hangout, caught up on everything, had some fun. Drove her home — okay, we were talking, so I nearly got on the highway headed to the house, because that’s now what the car automatically does. But I eventually got her home. Went to bed very early.

Got up early today, will pack a few boxes, spend another hour pulling crap from the PC. I have to be at a site job at 10, where I can do laundry and get some writing done, then I’ll come back here in the afternoon for a few hours to pack, then go back to the site overnight. I hope to finish the assignment for Confidential Job #1 and get a few other things done. Tomorrow morning, I plan to come here for a couple of hours to pack, go back to the job to wind it up once and for all (my last time there, I’m sad), come back here and pack like a crazy woman well into the night, and spend another hour pulling stuff from the PC. The PC will only run for an hour at a time. How did I ever get anything done on it? Appalling.

I have a LOT of paperwork to complete this weekend, because the printer will be packed either late Sunday night or early Monday morning. And it all has to get done.

It will. I’m approaching it the way I approached load-ins and load-outs of shows on the road. You have a finite amount of time and it all has to get done. There are no excuses. You simply adjust your work pace to complete the job in the allotted time. Looking at it in that light also keeps me from getting emotional about anything — no matter how negative things have gotten here, this is the place in which I grew up, and there will always be some kind of tie. I’ve always had a complicated, tumultuous relationship with this place, and, while I’m glad to be gone for good, there’s still the long, shared history here. Dwelling on that will slow me down, and I don’t have the time right now. Treating it as a professional load-out gets it done on time, and then I will deal with the psychological implications — in a novel! Because that’s what writers do.

My friend’s very sick cat had emergency surgery last night. She seems to have come through it okay, and should be home on Monday. Phew! My friend’s been through hell the last few days.

Cablevision gets slower and slower — it’s now worse than the Verizon DSL was at its worst. That will be added to the next invoice, especially since it is in retaliation for the complaint against them to the BBB. Completely unacceptable.And to think how wonderful they were for about a year. Sad, how far they’ve fallen.

Onward and boxward.

Devon

Published in: on November 13, 2010 at 7:04 am  Comments (3)  
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I finished “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, the Jain Lazarus short story, which isn’t anywhere near as short as I hoped. I wanted it to be 1500 words; it’s over 6000. But I promised you a free download in time for Halloween, and so you shall have it. I hope to have it designed and uploaded within the next few days. It’s a ghost story, it’s got Jain and Wyatt. There are also some new smart women in the piece, including medical examiner Diane Baker, who’s got her eye on Wyatt, and fellow detective Patty Brayne. I like surrounding Wyatt with strong women – he can hold his own!

My guest blog post will be up on Wild on Books on October 29, next Wednesday. I hope you’ll hop over and visit. They’re doing a month-long promotion.

Chase Bank gets yet another Middle Finger Award. Remember last week, when they pulled me out of line for all that personal attention and hand-carried my deposit to the teller, etc.? They never credited it to the account. I had to go into my local branch and request a trace. I had the receipt – but it was never posted. Not only do the majority of people who work in the NYC offices as “executives” spew misinformation every time they open their mouths, the tellers are sloppy. Hate them, hate them, hate them!

Worked on a story yesterday, but the Jain Lazarus piece wore me out. I’m also doing some website design (don’t faint now) for a new project which should launch in early November, amidst all the Nano insanity.

Got a press release out yesterday; have a few more to do. Got to get those e-books moving!

Not a word from the bums in the freelancer group who didn’t show up for the event, or from the office so eager to know how it went. One would think someone somewhere would at least send an apology or pretend to have an explanation. I’m well rid of them, that’s for sure.

I’ve got a couple of articles to write, some business correspondence to get out, and a lot of writing/editing/design work to handle today – AND I have a show tonight.

Better get to it.

Devon

The Big Project – 20,006 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 75
(26.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


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


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

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


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

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 7:41 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Well, I have a migraine, so not a great start to the day. Get through, it right? There’s way too much that needs to get done.

Chase Bank bites. Yesterday, I got pulled out of line by an Account Exec who made all these promises about these great changes in my account to reduce fees. Yeah, but they haven’t cleared my payroll check – which, I might add, is from another Chase account and has always cleared from Friday to Saturday – because I deposited several checks together, so they hold them ALL. I swear, they charge you every time you breathe, and every promise they make is a bait-and-switch to more fees they “forgot” to tell you about.

Chase Bank gets the Middle Finger Award for the week.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to move banks right now, because if you’re not throwing a ton of cash at them to open the account, they don’t want you.

The chat went really well last night. Lots of people, a lot of good questions.

Caught up on commenting on everyone’s exercises this morning. I’m way behind on my exercises for other workshops, so I want to get that done, and I have an idea for a couple more ebooks. Now, I just have to figure out when to slot them in!

Most of the conference has been great. Two of the instructors annoy me, because I get the feeling that they “don’t want to give it away for free.” In one, the exercises have been frustrating, but I figured I could learn something, that whole “work past your resistance/try something new”. However, the instructor doesn’t give individual feedback on how to APPLY what we do in the exercises, or why something works or doesn’t work. Just makes it clear she is available for private hire. The other instructor claims she didn’t know she was signed up to give a week long workshop – which is bullpucky, because we were sent emails over a course of many weeks with links to check our information, our virtual room, etc. and instructions on what to do if something was wrong or listed in the wrong spot or whatever. We had WEEKS to make sure it was accurate. There is no way this chick could “not know” unless she didn’t bother to check her information, and that is HER fault, no one else’s. In addition, she says she’s “too busy” to interact (which is a real slap in the face to conference goers, in my opinion), but again, available for private hire.

I tried the old “oh, there are different ways of teaching” philosophy. It doesn’t wash in this case, in my opinion. I’m sorry, but WHY would I spend money on either of those two when I’ve gotten NOTHING from them in their workshops but the hand out? And neither handout gave me any new or intriguing information? I can spend my money better elsewhere, on instructors who actually step up to the plate and to their jobs. Oh, and when you download the handout, you automatically are signed up for their email blasts. Guess who’s going to opt out first thing Monday morning?

And then there are the great workshops, like the short story one and the cozy workshop, and a couple of others where I just wandered in off the virtual street, so to speak, and ended up staying. Where the instructors interact, share information, encourage, point out where things could be stronger, are open to discussion and new ideas, ask interesting questions, and, in general, actually TEACH A WORKSHOP. I’ve developed material for two very different collections of short stories in the short story workshop. I’m developing material for the first book of what could be a series in the cozy workshop. I’ve gotten fresh ideas about website media rooms from another workshop, and gotten into interesting discussions about writing groups in yet another workshop.

And I’m so proud of many of my own students, who show progress over the course of the week. Several of them have ended up with a near-complete short story in the scene building optional exercises, and there have been some fascinating scenes posted in the daily exercises which I hope they take farther.

So there’s a lot of diversity here, which is part of what I think makes it such a good conference, and, in spite of some of the frustrating elements, a great overall experience.

I have so much writing to catch up on today, so I have to push past the headache and get to it. I have a feeling I will sleep in on Monday morning.

I lost hours of potential work time again yesterday due to computer kerflamma. And then, my Firefox decided to dump all my Favorites. Colin told me where to look for them, so, hopefully, I can restore them. Both Dell and Microsoft also receive Middle Finger Awards this week, although I’ve run out of hands and need to borrow someone else’s! 😉

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


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


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

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


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