Wed. April 30, 2014: Conference & Lecture Prep

tnLakeJustice
“Lake Justice” available here from Amber Quill Press for only a dollar!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
New Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and raw
Beltane Eve

I can’t believe tomorrow is May and I’ve still got flannel sheets on the bed and am wearing winter clothes!

Yesterday was busy. All my materials are prepped and packed for the conference. I had to run to Staples (again) in the middle of it for more ink. I’d just changed over the ink tanks yesterday, and I wasn’t printing THAT much! Something’s up with the Canon ink tanks for this printer. I used to be able to get 400 or more pages out of one ink tank. Yesterday, I BARELY got 200 pages. Also, the first time it beeps and says the ink is running out, I could override it and get an additional 50 pages out. Now, it’s only 10. It’s the same printer, the same paper — Canon downgraded the ink tanks. I do not appreciate that. I guess I’m doing printer research again. Plus, I want to get a new toner cartridge for my laser printer. Although it only prints B&W, it’s great for manuscripts.

Just shot a question over to the Cultural Council — although we have one more performance of SEAL TIDES, I’m prepping the reports for the Council and need to know if they want a copy of the final script.

Did laundry, baked the several dozen cupcakes for Welcome Spring, finished a draft of a client project and sent it out (took much longer than expected, but at least it’s out for notes), and worked on TRACKING MEDUSA edits. I’ve had a special place in my heart for this book since I wrote it, and I’m falling in love with the characters all over again — in spite of finding several places that need some serious work! 😉 I’m lucky to have such a good editor.

Prepped for today’s guest lecture. I have almost a full workday, and then I head off to the college. Then it’s time to frost cupcakes, work on edits, and pack clothes for the conference — I have all my materials, but I still have to wear something when I teach!

Having serious problems with my right hand and arm — tendon problems. Ouch! Will have to get a session with the acupuncturist.

Devon

Published in: on April 30, 2014 at 6:43 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 30, 2014: Conference & Lecture Prep  
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Tues. April 29, 2014: Trying to Get My Feet Under Me

tnLakeJustice

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
New Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Have you bought your copy of “Lake Justice” yet? I hope you do — it’s only a buck! It’s a fun read, and if there’s enough interest, I’ll have more adventures with Bronwyn. I appreciate your support. I’m very fond of this piece, and glad it found a home with Amber Quill Press. You can buy the digital download here.

Yesterday was tougher than it needed to be, because of corporate bullshit and greed. That’s all I’m going to say about it. It took up time that needed to be used for other things.

Managed to get about 60+ pages of TRACKING MEDUSA edited, and nearly finished a draft of a client project that will finally go out today, if everything continues to work.

Today, I want to get that client project out, do more work on the edits, and finish up the materials I’m taking to the conference. I’m also preparing the guest lecture I’m doing tomorrow at the Community College. I’m so tired that all I want to do is curl up and sleep, but that’s not until next week. I also have to bake three dozen cupcakes for Welcome Spring, which is on Thursday — I want to have enough time to bake and frost them.

There is plenty to be grateful for, and I’m trying to focus on that.

Devon

Published in: on April 29, 2014 at 7:42 am  Comments (3)  
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Wed. April 23, 2014: Opening Day for SEAL TIDES

SEAL TIDES flyer - 2nd version-1

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy, foggy, cool

Today is the opening day for SEAL TIDES at the National Marine Life Center. We’re running through Sunday in Buzzards Bay. It’s a family-friendly comic mystery that wraps education in entertainment!

Yesterday, I worked on client projects and materials for the workshop I’m teaching at the conference. I booked my hotel — landed a better room than I expected, so I’m pleased. It’s all paid for, and I have the confirmation, so all I have to do next Friday is show up. That’s the way I like it.

Finished building the prop for the show — it came out delightfully disgusting. Finished the program.

Went to the Marine Life Center in the early afternoon — the program was proofed, a few mistakes fixed, and then printed. I ran off copies for the run, folded them, and stuffed them with the stranding information, rack cards for NMLC, wish list, and Seafood Watch List. They get a lot of information when they come to the show! The stuffed programs were then counted out per show, rubber-banded, and put in the container, so we can just pull as we need them for every performance.

Got an apology from a client who was trying to renege on an agreement. It looks like we’ll be able to work things out. If we do, that means I’m booked through June. All my slots are full through May 8, but this project would take me through June, which would be nice.

Set up the costume area, the lighting/sound designer went over the board (since I have to run the board, too), and we had our final dress/tech. It had its ups and downs, but it was solid enough that I feel good about the opening.

Packed up, put away the props (I’m leaving everything at the Center instead of hauling it around with me), locked up, came home. The next set of books to review were waiting for me from my editor. I also have the next contest entries to start.

Since the prop worked in practical terms, I built enough of them to get us through the run. Unpacked and repacked the show bag; checked over the library bag so that I’m all set for today.

I’m going to do some client work for another hour or so, then head to the library for a few hours, then head for the Marine Life Center to do the show, then do some more client work when I get home tonight. Tomorrow and Friday and Saturday are pretty much the same schedule, plus I need to do the cooking late in the week to feed the actors between shows on Sunday.

Somehow, it will all work.

I have to admit, I’m looking forward to spending the first weekend of May in a hotel room. Whenever I’m not busy at the conference, I will be asleep in a king-sized bed!

Devon

Published in: on April 23, 2014 at 5:59 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 23, 2014: Opening Day for SEAL TIDES  
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Tues. April 22, 2014: Earth Day and Perspectives

SEAL TIDES flyer - 2nd version-1

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Take some time to honor the our Big Blue Marble today, and find ways to care for and sustain our planet.

Worked flat out all day yesterday. I’m trying to wind up client projects, finalize the contract on the new project (because I am NOT working and delivering work without a contract and a deposit, so if they want to stick to the schedule discussed, they better stop dragging their heels and trying to backpedal on the agreed-upon terms), finish up the details for tomorrow’s opening of the show, prep next week’s workshop, etc. I wound up one of the contests — sending off the hard copies of the judging sheets, invoicing, packing up the entries to either keep or donate.

Had to run over to Falmouth to take care of something, and, on the way back, picked up most of the groceries I need to feed the actors between shows on Sunday (yes, I’m doing the cooking). Rehearsal with the understudy who will take over one of the roles in the show. It would have been a nice day for yard work, but there weren’t enough hours in the day.

Wrote two essays, one of which is up on A Biblio Paradise, as part of the new column “From the Stacks at Marstons Mills”, which will run on the fourth Tuesday of the month. As I’m learning the collection, I’m pulling and reading random titles that catch my eye and writing personal essays related to them. Researched the two articles on deadline. Worked on other client projects — one until nearly 11 PM — the graphics aren’t behaving; something in my program isn’t speaking to the jpg properly. It’s working with jpgs from other projects, just not these particular jpgs, so I’m not sure what the issue is.

Have a lot of work to do this morning on this front, before heading over to the Marine Life Center for our final dress/tech. Tomorrow, SEAL TIDES opens. Think comedy thoughts for us — faster, louder, funnier! 😉

Yesterday was an intense day all around the Boston area. Fortunately, the Marathon went smoothly, which I think is a huge step toward dealing with last year’s bombing. Joy and healing can begin to temper the pain and loss of the day.

The lives lost in the ferry accident in South Korea is tragic. Those poor parents. There are so many events that actually have meaning in the larger fabric that it’s harder to tolerate the petty crap so prevalent.

Hopefully, today will be a day that’s both productive and joyful.

Devon

tnLakeJustice
“Lake Justice” releasing from Amber Quill Press soon!

Published in: on April 22, 2014 at 6:49 am  Comments (2)  
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Tues. April 15, 2014: The Life of 5:30 AM – Midnight

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Tax day and the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Rain is appropriate.

Busy day. It was hard not to hustle for jobs — that’s become such a reflexive part of my day. But I really can’t take anything new on until late June, so anything that’s quick turnaround just can’t fit in.

Caught up on some stuff for the library, worked on client projects, wrote a review, wrote an article going live later this week, got the contest entries for the next contest, checked them in, read the series bible for the scripting job, took notes, had a meeting on that job, interviewed potential stage managers, worked on a prop I need to be able to put onto another prop and remove after each show. Still not where I want it. Took care of some correspondence. Hunted down a couple of stories I have to read for Thursday’s short story group. Got my instructions for Thursday, when I’m in charge — a little intimidating, but I plan to step up.

Today, I need to finish a draft of a client project, run some errands in Falmouth and Sandwich (preferably before the torrential rain begins), get some groceries and cat food into the house, continue the search for a stage manager, research my two articles due at the end of the month, finish another book for review, read two short stories for an event at the library on Thursday, and work on the storyboard for the scriptwriting job.

In other words — I better get going!

If you can’t come and see Seal Tides in person, I hope you’ll support it by donating to our indiegogo campaign here. Even $10 makes a huge difference (and you get a program mention, a signed program, etc.).

Devon

Thurs. April 10, 2014: Prepping for a New Chapter (Physically and Metaphorically)

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Work was very stop-and-go yesterday. I’m back to trying to find a new SM to replace the fired one. Worked on some client projects. It was the first day in probably six months where I didn’t send out any client pitches or LOIs.

I’d been up the night before far past the point of diminishing return working on some client projects. One is done and out slightly before deadline. I feel good about it. They were excited to receive it and have already cut the check. It has to travel across the country to reach me, but this experience has been wonderful. Another project — let’s just say it has an interesting set of unnecessary challenges when it should be very straightforward and leave it at that.

Worked on contest entries. I’m in good shape on the first one, and ready to handle the entries on the other two contests as soon as they arrive.

The weather was lovely, so Tessa and I went outside with the script and spent some quality time preparing for rehearsal.

I edited the Powerpoint presentation we’re using in the play — suddenly, PowerPoint makes sense.

Early dinner and a Writers Center Executive Committee Meeting, then dashed home for rehearsal at the house. We focused on lines and beats and motivations and had a good giggle session.

I drank coffee during rehearsal, so I was wired.

I prepped for today, which opens a new chapter in my life — will fill you in tomorrow. I woke up at 5, because I’m so excited. Yoga, meditation, a little writing, but I’m unfocused on the writing, and focusing my energy on today.

I still have to finish my taxes this weekend. I want to get them out the door late Monday or early Tuesday and not have to think about them.

Lots to catch up on tomorrow, I am sure.

Devon

Published in: on April 10, 2014 at 6:23 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. April 4, 2014: Work and Plays

Friday, April 4, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Please toss a few bucks to the indiegogo campaign for SEAL TIDES, a comic mystery play educating the public on local marine life. Even a small contribution makes a huge difference.

Worked on client projects and pitches all day. Did some work on the script, but not enough, so that’s first on the agenda this morning.

Tessa was a happy cat because we went out three times yesterday — morning coffee, lunch, and evening glass of wine/reading next book for my editor.

The book I’m reviewing is another very good one — I’m pleased.

Worked on promotion and admin for the play. One of our props should be here today, so I hope it arrives before I have to leave for NMLC.

Working my way through some frustrations. Saturn is seriously kicking my ass and making me reassess certain choices. Because last year had so much reassessment in it, I hoped I was done, but no such luck.

Editing intensive winds up today. They put in an intense three months. Let’s hope they have taken enough tools from it to apply moving forward. I think so — this batch is more motivated than some other classes I’ve taught. I’ve noticed, over the past couple of years, in classes, students only look at the note in the sentence itself, not in the context of their work, and one winds up giving the same notes over and over, because they look at it, fix it in the moment, and forget. That’s not learning. That’s expecting free editing.
The point of working on your pieces in a class or workshop situation is to learn beyond those specific words on that specific page and apply what you learn moving forward.

Took the recycling and leaves to the dump, and did some yard work, mostly on the front. Raked out beds, made room for what’s coming up. Will try to get in another hour or so today before the rain starts.

Busy weekend, including rehearsals, loading in lights and sound, and, hopefully, finalizing our SM/understudy.

To work.

Devon

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 7:57 am  Comments Off on Fri. April 4, 2014: Work and Plays  
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Wed. April 2, 2014: Cover Reveal and a Busy Month

tnLakeJustice

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and milder

You know what that is, above? My cover for the ghost story, “Lake Justice”, which will be released soon from Amber Quill Press. Isn’t it cool? The cover artist totally got what the story’s about. I’m a happy camper.

Well, yesterday was a challenge. Lots of good, hard work. Not a lot of pitches. Worked on client projects, am in negotiations for a big project that would be both fun and lucrative. Shook my head in dismay when someone wanted to hire me for a gig “immediately”, demanded an hourly (rather than a per-page) rate, and when I gave it, said it was too high (it was already under market rate for the technical type of work demanded). When I said sorry it didn’t work out and wished him well, I got an email screaming at me for not lowering the rate. Um, no. My rate is my rate, and I am not obligated to work for less because someone has a complicated project and doesn’t want to pay. If you don’t want to pay someone else fairly to do it for you, for their skills, then do it your damn self and shut the fuck up. Don’t yell at someone for not lowering their rate to suit you.

Did the media kit for “Lake Justice”, added it to my website, to the blog page “The Stories”, and created a new Facebook page for short fiction. I’m waiting for the edits and the release date, and then I can get going on promotion.

Worked on the media kit for my client; will do more of that today. The information I asked for is coming in, and I’m doing a rough layout, so I can then pop in the material.

Worked on contest entries; got the information on another contest I’m judging; heard from my editor about the next batch of books on the way; one of the props I need for the show shipped and I’m hoping it arrives before Friday’s rehearsal.

Will have a post up on the garden journal later today, and have to get to work on the gardening articles due by the end of the month, and the next post for the wine blog. Also, need to get some of my own writing done.

The editing intensive winds up this week, and I’m glad. April is a crazy busy month!

Devon

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 8:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

I didn’t blog yesterday. Oh, well. I only had the computer on for a few minutes in the evening to shoot out a client project. Since I’m working out of town tomorrow and Wednesday, I wanted to make sure everything was off my desk before I left.

Of course, more came in last night, but that has to wait until Thursday or Friday. I am fully booked today.

Most of yesterday was spent in the car, dashing around. We went to Target, in search of more bins. They’re sold out of the ones I like, but I got one of the faux leather totes to stick in the corner by my desk for important stuff, and a few small, flat bins for small items that will fit under the bookcase. The cats are not amused — they consider the tote their new cat lounging area, and the newly cleaned up area under the bookcase a hidey-hole. They keep pushing/pulling the bins out. I wanted to get some fabric bins to set in a row in front of the bookcase, with different projects in different bins. That way, everything is all together, and when I’m done with a project and it goes to press, I can file the bin and use it for something new. But everything Target had was fuschia, and that’s not really me. The faux leather milk crate-types are okay, but too expensive. I’m also worried that any of these bins aren’t sturdy enough to hold the amount of research books I use for different projects. The plastic crates are sturdy enough, but, design-wise, don’t look good. The steel mesh crates are great, but only for files, not for books. I can’t just keep stacking stuff all over the floor, and there’s not room for hollow ottomans — which would be a good design choice, but I can’t spend that kind of money to have an ottoman for every project I’m juggling, nor do I have the room!

So I’ll keep looking.

We also looked at a couch that looked good in the photos, but in person, there are design elements you don’t see which make it too unwieldy and take up too much room in the space available.

I re-measured the front door. With the new frame, it’s now FOUR INCHES narrower than before, so pretty much any furniture can’t go through it any more. Very frustrating. Even if you take off the door, there’s a narrow metal inset — at least one of the dimensions on a piece has to be less than 30 inches in order to wrestle it through.

We also went to Barnes & Noble, where I got the travel mat I wanted — sticky on one side, soft on the other, folds up small enough to fit into my carry-on. Because if the Merc Ret hits us full force and we are stuck somewhere for more hours than we’re supposed to, I am rolling out the yoga mat in the airport lounge. Don’t think I won’t! And Costume Imp can hide in the bar, pretending he doesn’t know me!

Also picked up a journal book for the Prague trip.

Got some groceries, came back, messed around with rearranging stuff. Got frustrared, so got back in the car, and we headed back to White Plains, to a plaza to which we’d never been. There’s a Home Goods there. I’ve never been to Home Goods — the commercials are so tacky, I avoided the place. Yet the actual merchandise isn’t bad, and the prices are pretty good. I got some ideas for future stuff — yeah, it might not be there then, but I’ll deal. They didn’t have what I needed/wanted today. They had some nice bins, but not enough of the same pattern for me to invest. But I got some ideas.

We visited a huge outlet shoe store — some cute stuff, but nothing I couldn’t live without right now, although I’ll definitely go back. And another B&N, where I got Karen Marie Moning’s DARKFEVER as the third of my plane books. It came highly recommended by people I trust. I wanted more of a mix of genres, but everything I’ve got so far is dark/urban fantasy. Maybe I can pick up something at the airport that’s different. I’ll definitely grab stuff at Heathrow in either direction that I can’t get in the US.

Went to K-Mart to see if they had any decent bins. I rarely shop at K-Mart, although the one in Hyannis is huge, neat, clean,and friendly. This one was not, and I won’t go back. Plus, they didn’t have anything I wanted or needed, and everyone was in a bad mood, with far too many screaming/badly behaved children. Uh, no.

Stopped in at Pier 1. They have some gorgeous reading chairs, but until I do the furniture swap and have the room, I can’t buy anything. I also really like their painted cabinets, but the truth is that I can pick up something at a thrift shop, strip it down, and, using stencils, paint it myself, and then it will truly be one-of-a-kind.

In other words, not a good shopping day!

Came back, got started on the assignment for Confidential Job #1 — which is awesome, this time around, and finished up some client work to send off.

It was so ookey and rainy and awful. But it didn’t flood, thank goodness. Today seems a little better, and since I’m headed to Saratoga tomorrow, it should be beautiful.

I had a GREAT morning’s work on AMENDS, and can’t wait to get back to do some more later in the day. I’ve got to get to Trader Joe’s to restock the cat food and a few other things, get in some more of Elsa’s special food so she can be properly fed while I’m away (the change in diet would horrify many “experts”, but she has improved enormously in just a few days and a real old-school vet thinks I’m doing absolutely the right thing).

I still have to pack for Saratoga — I can’t believe that I’m waiting until the day before! Instead of getting caught up in the whole changing-clothes-six-times-a-day, I’m bringng a single small duffle, my mat bag, and some writing.

I’m wearing the clothes in which to help set up, I have a dress and cute shoes that will have to take me through dinner and whatever we wind up doing after. I’m taking something in which to sleep, and then, the next day’s clothes have to work for the morning works at the track (at 5:30 AM!), set-up , and the other couple of things I have to do before I head back downstate. I keep debating if I should toss in a few more pairs of cute shoes, but really, I think my Timberland sneakers for running around (they look good as well as being comfortable) and the one pair of cute turquoise shoes to go with the turquoise dress are just going to have to do.

I hope to take some notes for DEAD MAN’S STALL. I also used bits of Saratoga to inspire the setting for SHALLID. I’ll probably run around a bit and take some more photographs.

If I can steal some time between events to write a page here and there, at a cafe, or on the grounds of the Gideon Putnam between setting up for the gala and dinner, I will do so. So I’m taking a small writing bag with my notebook, my journal, and AMENDS.

I’m not taking the computer because, until I get things sorted with Apple, I don’t know if I can trust it; plus, there’ll be no time to hook up. I’m better off with notebook and pen. I AM taking the iPod, so if I can tweet along the journey, I will. I’ll probably tuck in a book, just in case.

Off to Trader Joe’s, and then back to spend some more time on the assignment for Confidential Job #1, and AMENDS. The death row animal shelter scene was hard to write, but important for the overall course of the story, and tells us a lot about the main character.

Devon

Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 7:53 am  Comments (3)  
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Quick post because there’s too much going on and not enough hours in the day.

Got a good batch of work done yesterday a.m., plus getting to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food. Then, I was called in to another site job for an emergency during the late afternoon and evening, and I’ll have to go back today after my Genius Bar appointment. They’ve been really good to me, so I don’t mind helping them out, but I also got in some client work I wasn’t expecting until the middle of next week, and I’m going to have to do it piecemeal in and around the site job next week. There was no way I could turn around that amount of material in a couple of hours and give it the attention it needs, even if it was the only project on my desk (which it wasn’t).

AND meet the deadlines for my own work.

I got some work done on “Plot Bunnies” and finished the second mystery this morning. I need a new title. However, it’s different enough in tone and style that it does fit under the “Devon” name rather than the “Ava” name under which “Plot Bunnies” will submit. And, with the latter, I think I only have to cut about 60 words — not 1500, like in the first.

I have my work “cut out” for me — pun intended!

I have to pack up and move three sets of bookcases and files from in front of the phone jack before the Optimum guy shows up next week. Got started on that and will stop at Target after the Genius Bar appointment to pick up, you guessed it more bins. I’ll do a little bit each day when I dash back for the hour or so to feed the cats.

Sending the Verizon marketing materials back unopened and marked “Refused.”

Ran out of ink on the big printer, so I have to deal with that in the next couple of days, since I’ve got to print out postcards and sent them to a friend who offered to distribute them for me. Also have to do a little research on a reasonable quote for a big project. The guy wants a for-hire on something that is usually done by royalties — he swears there won’t be any; I think he’s full of it. For-hire is a way higher price than royalties, in my book, so I’m sure I’ll price myself out of his budget.

The cats and I were all settled down to sleep late last night when the familiar heaving noise all cat owners know and hate so well filled the room. I turned on the light to find that Violet, the littlest cat, heaved up the biggest fur ball I’ve ever seen. We all just stared at it. I said, “How can something that big come out of something so little?” Not fun to clean up, but at least she’s feeling better and we know the Petromalt does its job!

I’ve got to clean out the litter boxes, get to the bank and post office, and get over to the Genius Bar. I hope we can get this issue resolved once and for all.

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 9:15 am  Comments (1)  
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