Fri. Aug. 1, 2014: Lammas, Power, Creativity

Friday, August 1, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day at the library yesterday. My boss had to leave early on a family issue, but we had enough staff to make it all work. The computers and printers are all cattywumpus again, and the new computers aren’t yet in, so I’m still floating around from terminal to terminal to get things done. But they’re getting done, and that’s what counts in the long run.

One of the doors in the library wasn’t properly shut on lock up and the alarm went off. I coded in and called the alarm company, who told me I’d caught it before any damage had been done, but, had the alarm made it all the way to the center, I would need to give a specific word in order for them not to call the police! Of course, I couldn’t remember the word or where to find it, but she said it was fine (since the alarm was stopped by an authorized code before it made it to the call center), and now I knew for next time! Glad the cops didn’t have to come out on a nothing call, and I’ve since hunted down and memorized the proper word. In other words, I didn’t have to call anyone to get bailed out! 😉

Headed to Stop N Shop for some groceries, dropped them off home, off to PetSmart to get cat food and cat litter. Swung by Cape Cod Beer one minute before closing — told them I totally understood if it was too late to get a refill, but they were gracious and lovely, filling my growler with Cape Cod Blonde. I love Cape Cod Beer – they’re so supportive of local organizations like the library and the Marine Life Center. So whenever I can spend some money there or bring people to the place to have them spend money, I do. Then off to Cape Cod Package store, to pick up another bottle of raspberry vodka, and some wine. Cape Cod Package Store is also very supportive of the community.

Home, drinks on the deck, cooked dinner. Updated the websites (Devon Ellington, Hex Breaker, Gwen Finnegan Mysteries, Delectable Digital Delights page on Facebook). That was it. Could not get anything else done. Was completely wiped out. In bed before 9.

Overslept this morning, which meant I didn’t get to bake the traditional cornbread I always do on Lammas morning. Did the morning ritual. The cards that came up are all about fire, creativity, long-term commitments, etc., which is interesting.

Only got 750 words done on INITIATE, which made me cranky. I think this is still part of Chapter one, and these chapters will be closer to 20 pages each than 10. I really want to spend some quality time on this manuscript this weekend, along with knocking out a few more chapters of THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have a lead on someone who can help me with the wreck diving info, which is very exciting.

Came into work to some annoyances, but, ultimately, they’re not my problem or decision, so I just do what I do and stay out of it, trying not to get too frustrated. I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the Writers Conference next week — it’s going to be difficult to get into such a public frame of mind when all I want to do is delve down into the books. Somehow, I’ll figure out a way to navigate it.

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hey, I’m a guest over on Ye Olde Inkwell, Michelle’s blog, and there’s a giveaway! Hop on over and check it out!

I managed to get a good chunk of work done on CHANNELLING JIM MORRISON yesterday, which was a great feeling. It’s darker than I expected, but I think it works for the overall piece.

Sherrie, to answer your question about outlines: Often, I’ll do what I call a “Writer’s Rough” outline before I start a piece, or as I’m wrestling it and figuring it out. That way, I’ve got a blueprint, and I never just sit there and stare at the page. I sit down and go to work.

Once I’m in revisions, or after I’ve got a draft I think is solid, I’ll do the outline from which I pull the synopsis, et al, that will actually go out on submission. Because my books change a lot during the writing process, and the Writer’s Rough is free-form, stream-of-consciousness, it’s not something that’s usable as part of the submission package. That would be too much pressure! 😉

To answer PJ’s question – I’m not in the city, I’m in the ‘burbs, so no, there were no parks with free hot chocolate out here. I missed out! And it’s not like Metro North ran well enough for me to hop a train into the city for some sled time! 😉

Had some clarification to do for one of my assignments for Confidential Job #1, which was rather an oxymoron, since the point of the assignment was to be obtuse! That’s sort of what I pointed out. Hopefully, that’s helpful to my editor.

Got some business responses that were positive, and will let up some of the pressure in the coming months, which is great. Did some work on client projects in the afternoon.

Roasted a chicken. Having a chicken roasting in the oven always makes me feel secure for some reason. I can tell Elsa’s feeling better because she tried to “help” in every facet of the chicken preparation and I had to shoo her out of the kitchen, while making sure she wasn’t tag-teaming with the twins to get the chicken away. Yeah, I’m outnumbered.

Lots of computer problems yesterday and this morning, so I’m a little behind where I’d like to be, and I didn’t get any work done on the Billy Root story. I need to type up the outline notes I wrote a few weeks ago, and get it all clear in my head again. I have a feeling it will be longer than planned – but, once I have a draft, I can always cut.

Elsa had a good day yesterday, but got worse again at night. She seems a little better this morning. Minute by minute, right?

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 8:01 am  Comments (6)  
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

holiday-wish-list

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Day before the Dark Moon
Christmas Eve
Rainy and mild

Yes, it’s here and it’s ready – my holiday gift to you, a new Congress Corners story called “Holiday Wish List”. It’s a free download on the Ava Dunne page of the Devon Ellington website. It will only be available until Twelfth Night, so enjoy it while you can! There’s an excerpt at the bottom of this page.

I’m warning you, it’s a mushy Christmas tale, so if you’re not into that kind of piece, skip it.

Hey, you can always buy TOO MUCH MISTLETOE, if you haven’t yet, and get something a little more comic and edgy, right? You can get TOO MUCH MISTLETOE here.

I had a pretty good writing day, although massive computer problems meant I didn’t actually finish “Holiday Wish List” until after midnight. Yeah, it was supposed to be 1500 words and it’s about 8500 – so you’re getting a long short story!

I cannot wait to get rid of this crappy computer and get my Mac in February. If I can just coax this one along for a few more months . . .

Couldn’t get my car out, so that’s on the agenda for today. It’s thawed quite a bit and it’s raining, so I ought to be able to manage it.

Hopefully, it won’t now flood! I’ll traipse down every few hours to keep an eye on the brook!

I’ve got to get to the grocery store for just a few more things. I’m serving a pork roast tonight, with red cabbage, baked potatoes, and green beans in hollandaise sauce. And we’re having plum pudding for dessert.

Have a lovely holiday!

Devon

Excerpt from “Holiday Wish List” ©2008 Ava Dunne:

Why, oh why did Cassio have to go and ruin a perfectly wonderful, romantic Christmas with an engagement ring?

But maybe it wasn’t an engagement ring. Maybe it was just . . .a ring.

Believe that and I’ve got a bridge you can get cheap in Brooklyn, she said to herself.

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to interfere, but are you all right?”

Doris blinked away tears and looked up into a pair of kind, very dark blue eyes. “Uh, yes, I’m sorry, I’m being silly.” She took a good look at the man. He was tall, lean, handsome in an untraditional way. His thick, fair hair had a bit of a wave to it, almost touching his collar, and his eyes were a blue so deep they were almost purple. He wore a well-tailored charcoal gray coat with black gloves and a deeper gray scarf. By the lines around his eyes, she figured him to be in his late thirties or maybe early forties. If she was looking, she’d be looking at him, he had such an air of self-possession and intelligence about him.

“The holidays can get stressful. American?” He sat on the bench beside her.

“Originally.” Doris was naturally cautious.

“Me, too, although I like to think of the world as my home.” He gave a rueful smile. “Never could stay in one place for long. Though I admit, sometimes around the holidays, it makes me feel . . .” he paused, searching for the words, “nostalgic.”

“For the type of old-home, picture perfect Christmases that never happened?” Doris couldn’t resist asking.

You can download the full story from the Ava Dunne page here.

Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 9:08 am  Comments (7)  
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

2stacys-christmas-blogfest-087

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Yesterday’s weather was vile, and today’s promises to be even worse, so I plan to get all of my running around done early and then stay safely tucked away at home.

Pop over to A Biblio Paradise for today’s featured author, Cornelia Amiri. She writes fascinating, well-researched Celtic Romance. Come on by!

Yesterday was a decent writing day. I didn’t get any stitching done on the gifts – too dark. I’m hoping the weekend will have enough natural light so I can finish them up. Have I started on the cards yet? No. That’s on the list (again) for today.

I’m considering a few job opportunities. My gut is telling me to stay away from one in particular – I don’t think we’re well suited, so I will gracefully decline. Always trust your gut, right? It sounds like steady money, but there are too many red flags for me to trust it.

The Maine project is going well, and, after I finish the revisions on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, I want to get back to the mystery. The Maine project is more complex than I expected, but I think that makes it richer. OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK is at that delicate state of revision where I can’t talk about it in detail, because it has to all be saved to go into the work. Also working on the materials for Confidential Job #2, and Confidential Job #1 paid me, which is always a good thing.

I’m having all kinds of computer problems. Very annoying.

A stack of business correspondence to get through today, along with the writing. And don’t forget – at 8 PM EST, I will be interviewed by the League of Extraordinary Paranormal Women on blogtalk radio:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/League_of_Extraoridinary_Paranormal_Women

Back to the page.

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

too-much-mistletoe-cover-thumbnail6
NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

ramsey-chase-cover-thumbnail5
NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here

hex-breaker-cover-thumbnail4

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.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
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.


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 December 11, 2008 at 8:54 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2stacys-christmas-blogfest-086

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

You have GOT to hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and read all about Terry Spear’s work. She writes both Scottish Medieval Romance AND urban fantasy – she totally rocks.

Thanks for the reminder about Vitamin B, Lara – I took some and it helped.

Had a reasonably productive day yesterday – good writing and revisions in the morning. Spent the afternoon working on the prototype for the Yuletide gifts. Even though the muslin mock-up worked, when I got to the actual materials I need to use for the project – did not work AT ALL. Which meant I had to re-think and FAST. I figured out something else which looks a lot better, but isn’t at all what I originally envisioned. I can’t make as many, but the ones I make will be better, and that’s what counts, right? I’ll make up the rest with festive baking.

The cats were very busy this morning. Elsa chased her tail until she got dizzy and fell over, then played with her shadow (she thinks her shadow is her friend). Violet rolled around over my writing, then pulled all the holiday covers off the chairs and rearranged them, little decorator. Iris played with a stuffed reindeer. Never a dull moment.

Back to the page, and then to start the assignment for Confidential Job #2, get some errands done, and get some more work done on the gifts. I haven’t started cards yet, so that’s a must. Cards are late this year, but they’ll get there.

Amy, I totally agree with you about the fact that people shouldn’t buy substandard products. Unfortunately, too many people believe that the short-term of buying something cheap because they ‘have no choice” justifies the long-term of all of us being hurt. There is ALWAYS a choice. I sure wouldn’t buy from Dell again, and I can’t wait to dump this piece of Dell/Microsoft piece of crap when I get my Mac. I’m tired of putting a band aid on an amputation, which is what I’ve done in years past by replacing my failing computers with another Dell. It always happened in the middle of a deadline, and I panicked. In addition to lousy quality, they have zero customer service and they don’t honor the purchased home-service warranties – to the point where the AG’s office around here is investigating them. Why condone this behavior by continuing to give them money? No, thanks. If I was forced to continue with PC, I’d buy a non-Dell product, but, if I can just keep this lump o’junk limping along for a few more months, I can get the Mac of My Dreams, and I won’t lose half my working day almost every day, which is what has happened for the past few months. Also, I don’t like doing business with companies that outsource, especially when the unemployment rate in this country is so high, so the sooner I can sever ties with Dell completely, the happier I will be. I’ve dumped the rest of the companies I’ve done business in the past that outsource. Dell is next on the list.

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

too-much-mistletoe-cover-thumbnail5
NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

ramsey-chase-cover-thumbnail4
NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here

hex-breaker-cover-thumbnail3

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.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
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.


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 December 10, 2008 at 9:07 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: , , , ,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was one of those days you have when you’re dealing with an illness where you have to feel worse before you get better. Oh, well, but ick. I’m feeling better today, thank goodness, but the early part of yesterday was not fun.

I got some errands done. More building crap – gee, what else is new?

I’ve got most of my ducks in a row for the trip to Cape Cod in just over a week, so that’s a good thing. I’d pack – you know me, I like to pack at least a week before I leave – but, if the weather’s nice, I’m only wearing dresses, and I don’t want them squashed in the bag for a week, so I guess I’m just going to have to pack (oh, horrors) the night before.

I’ll make sure the writing bag is ready early, though.

Colin Galbraith posted an interesting dilemma on his blog, stating his decision to put aside a WIP because he didn’t feel the story had anything to say. I feel like that every time I go to a PEN event – here are all these Serious Literary Writers who are changing the world, and what the heck am I doing?

Telling stories. My characters want their stories told. I have to tell them, or I don’t get any peace, they’re yammering so much in my head; and I often don’t know what the themes are in the work, “what I’m saying”, until after the first draft is done. What I think I’m writing about and what is actually underneath the actions are often two different things.

So I try not to worry, at least in early drafts, and see what I have, what the characters have to say, what growth arcs are happening, before I try to impose the rest of it.

The adaptation shocked me the other day, because I realized that, while I thought it was “about” one thing, it’s really about something entirely different, and, although it’s set in a different world, many of the same decisions/situations/dilemmas face the characters as we are now facing. That wasn’t my intent when I started – in fact, had I begun Script Frenzy with that intent, I would have scared myself off and never gotten more than a page or two into it.

I lost almost my entire writing day because I had to back up files – including system files – in case my hard drive decides to die. Yes, Melissa, it’s time to go Mac, I am desperate to go Mac, but the outlay of cash is more than I can handle right now.

I like all the bits of my computer, so, in spite of the fact that Dell’s response to my question is, “We don’t have that information; you have to buy a new system” – again, more coercion – when I tried to get information about replacing just the hard drive – I’m talking to other people, and that may be what I do. Why not replace the hard drive and reload all my programs/systems for $150 or so rather than spending $600-800 on another crappy PC system that will only work well for the first month? I’m perfectly happy with the monitor and speakers and keyboard and all the rest. Why not just replace what’s bad and keep this system limping along until I can afford to do the total replacement that I want?

So, I’m annoyed that I’m losing days when I’m on such tight deadlines, but I’ve got to make sure these systems are backed up (time to by more CDs) before it gives up the ghost for good, and I’m asking around as to what kind of hard drive I can buy to put in here and then I’ll pay someone who knows what they’re doing to put it in. And I can reload the programs myself – I’m going through all my disks to make sure I have them, and anything I’m not sure about, I’m backing up again.

Frustrating.

Traveling in and out of the city was annoying, as usual. Too many people in too small a space, and the trains, as usual, running badly. I had quite the encounter with a SFT. She was crossing the street in the opposite direction, with plenty of room, but tried to shove me and said, “ExCUSE me. You need to move.”

Yeah, I’ve got the bumper of a yellow cab at my hip and you’ve got all of W.49th Street, bitch. But I said, “I’m the resident; you’re the Stupid Fucking Tourist; you move.”

“I pay your salary!” she screeched.

“YOU pay me shit,” I replied. “You’re here because I wrote something so fascinating that coming to NYC was suddenly the most important thing in your life.”

I meant as a copywriter, but she was too stupid to understand. Her eyes got very round. “Ooooh, are you FAMOUS?” she asked.

“You’ll never know, will you?” I retorted, and walked off, leaving her in the middle of the street making fish faces.

Maybe that’s the way most B’way workers get through the day, saying oh, well, the tourists are paying my salary, I’ll deal with their rudeness. But the SFT’s do NOT pay mine.

Grabbed an iced coffee at Thalia (which I promptly spilled down my shirt because the lid wasn’t on properly – oh, well, dark colored shirt, easily washed). Show was fun. I’m dressing the men, and they’re lots of fun. Caught up on all the backstage stories from the other shows, including the stories about the Major Television Personality who was recently brought into a show to boost ticket sales, and not only hasn’t that happened, he’s stupid AND clueless. At least if you’re clueless, be nice. Well, that’s what the producers get when they go for name instead of talent. I feel for the people working on the show every day, but I don’t have much sympathy for those producers.

Whatever.

Got home around midnight, puttered around. Got up at my usual 6:30 this morning, coaxed the computer up, did some work on the adaptation. I have to really push on the script today. Another short writing day, because I have a show tonight, and then the weekend has to be all about writing.

Keep your fingers crossed that this hard drive can last another week so I can back everything up, meet my deadlines, get a new hard drive, and then drop it off to be fixed before I leave on my trip.

Devon

Adaptation: 41,322 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41 / 90
(45.6%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


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 May 23, 2008 at 7:24 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , ,