Sat. Sept. 12, 2015: Preparing for Vacation

Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The weight of yesterday was obvious, but it was also helpful to share it. That Budweiser commercial, the one only shown once after the event, gets me every time.

Work was fine. I got a lot done, in preparation for being gone for a week. Everything is set, as far as I can tell, so I’m not leaving anyone holding the bag.

I’m also missing two Board meetings — one would be my last as Secretary of the Writers Center Board, and the other is the Marine Life Center Board. First meeting I missed in my term for both of them, so I refuse to feel guilty. Especially since I prepared notes/did homework/voiced opinions in anticipation of agenda items.

I got frustrated with Amazon yesterday — I’m supposed to be able to use the Coursera app on the Kindle Fire, but it won’t download (it tells me there’s a geographic problem, although the US has designated permissions), and support/customer service was polite, but unhelpful. They’ve just gotten so big, they are no longer interested in solving customer service issues. I’ve got the app on my phone, but it would be easier to work on the Kindle.

“Unethical Decision Making in Organizations” starts next week, out of the University of Lausanne. Looking forward to it.

Dashed home — we had guests up from CT on their way to a wedding. They had to leave just a few minutes after I got back from work. It was lovely to see them again, and the cats had kept everyone busy. Now that Violet is feeling better, she is being demanding! It was funny, though.

After dinner, Part 2 of the 9/11 remembrances, and we could feel some of the grief lifting. We’ll never get over it, but we’re learning to live with it, and perhaps being together really does help.

It will also inform the writing.

I’m watching the second season of SIX FEET UNDER and thoroughly enjoying it. I’d forgotten how much fun that show is.

Packing and prepping for the trip. I’m working until mid-afternoon today, and I want to make sure my desk is CLEAR before I go. I miss Village Day tomorrow, but I worked it last year. Again, I refuse to feel guilty. I’ve earned this time, and I’m using it, free and clear.

In preparation for Kripalu, I upped the yoga practice, doing a full hour now in the morning and at night. I don’t want to be completely out of shape when I get there — although I should probably have started doing this about a month ago! 😉

I’m packing a handful of writing projects, so I can go with whatever moves me the most in the moment — and hope I don’t get too many new inspirations. Or, if I do, that they are for short stories and not novels!

I’ve got a book proposal to send off before I leave, and maybe get out a short story.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be online next week — I’m tempted to blog “from the road”, but I’m also tempted to be completely disconnected.

Have a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful week!

Devon

Published in: on September 12, 2015 at 9:44 am  Comments Off on Sat. Sept. 12, 2015: Preparing for Vacation  
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Tues. Aug. 27, 2013: Workday

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Waning Moon
Rainy and warm

I had a good workday yesterday. I got a lot of admin done, did a wrap-up document for the Mermaid Ball, got permission to post the Casting Notice for NMLC productions, got out two conference proposals for next spring, resigned from the Centerville Beautification Committee, and un-enrolled from two Coursera courses. They’re good courses, but I’m not putting in the time to do well and enjoy them, so they had to go. It’s not fair to anyone to sit in a class and not fully participate. I don’t allow it in my classes; I won’t disrespect someone else’s class by doing the same thing.

I got some character work done on the book-specific characters for the next book in the mystery series, and some plot and character work done on another piece, while also working out some plot details for the comic ghost story.

Worked with students. I’ve accepted a new year-long student starting in January — I’m excited about her potential. After all the rejections I’ve sent out in the past few weeks, and the arguments from students who don’t want to do the work and can’t be bothered to follow application instructions, it’s great to find someone with whom I’m excited to be working.

Worked on grant proposal stuff for the next NMLC play. I’m putting together those figures at the same time I’m getting the re-casting sorted out for the re-mounting of the play, because grant and play all happen the same week, and I want the grant out the door before things get too crazy with rehearsals.

Read in the afternoon a bit, both for fun and for Confidential Job #1.

Unwrapped the chair decorations from the Mermaid Ball. I have to iron all the navy blue satin sashes today and roll them, but I want to bring everything back tomorrow.

Up at 4 AM because Violet was howling; it was raining, so I put out the buckets to catch rainwater for the garden.

I want to get some work done on articles due next week, and clear off some work for Confidential Job #1 this week, so I can invoice by the end of the week.

Need to do some work on the fantasy novel and the shorter pieces.

To work!

Devon

Fri. Jan. 11, 2013: Murder Mystery Play a Go!

Friday, January 11, 2013
New Moon
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was busy, but in a good way. Except Verizon is being a pain in the butt, as usual, but that will be handled, never fear!

Christian, to answer your questions — I’ve accumulated a lot of decorations through the years — frequently at thrift shops and yard sales, vintage stuff, interesting stuff, etc. When I worked on Broadway, I always decorated my actor’s dressing room, and my area, so I had boxes of that stuff that stayed either at the theatre or in storage. I decorated my apartment a lot, too (in fact, my tree was so big I had to move it every time I wanted to sit down on my couch). Add that to all the decorations accumulated while growing up, and the ones I add every year, and now that there’s a house and outdoor space and — I have a Christmas closet.

The space over the garage is a storage area with four closets and the rest bookshelves. I keep the Christmas decorations in one closet, the Halloween decorations in another closet, the rest-of-year decorations in the third closet, and the fourth is kind of a catch all. The bookcases have books (of course) and my yarn and fabric stashes.

I started taking courses via Coursera last fall, because I wanted a chance to catch up on things that interest me, but that I haven’t formally studied, especially in connection to the different types of writing I do. I was certified in Sustainability (which will make me more valuable as a local hire) and in Greek/Roman Mythology (so much of my writing is myth-based that, if I hadn’t earned the certificate, I would have been embarrassed). I successfully completed the World History Since 1300 course, but that wasn’t for certification, and I’m currently auditing Intro to Astronomy and Galaxies & Cosmology. It adds quite a few hours to the work week, but it’s worth it. The classes are taught by top professors at top universities from all over the world.

Yesterday, I struggled with the proposal for my agent. The proposal itself is solid, but the writing sample doesn’t yet sing. It feels a little “falsely cheerful” to me — I haven’t found the key to the protagonist yet. I’ll get there. I kind of have to — by today.

I also have to get another proposal out for an appearance in early June.

I’m all locked in for NERWA’s April conference, “Let Your Imagination Take Flight”. The conference is April 26-27 in Burlington, MA. I’m teaching my “Setting as Character” workshop on the 27th, but I plan to be there both days.

Most of yesterday, for me, was about prepping my idea packets for the National Marine Life Center meeting and then attending the meeting. It was a great, lively meeting with lots of great ideas and interesting discussions. There are some new-to-me people getting involved, with great ideas and enthusiasm.

The mystery play is a go — we brainstormed ideas, and I started writing the opening scene and fleshing out the plot and some of the tech stuff in my head driving home. I’m going to send out another brainstorming email in a few hours, when I’ve written my way into it a bit and figured out a few more things, and I got another performance piece idea (that’s less involved) for later in the year this morning while I made coffee.

I have to work fast, because it goes up mid-March!

Most of the snow melted, and now I can see how badly the plow guy hurt my lawn. Not happy about it. Will contact the landlord and then the town.

One of our seals is well enough to be released on Sunday — how exciting!

Busy day starts a busy weekend, so I better get moving.

I’ll have information on February’s workshop, The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects, up either later today or on Monday.

Have an awesome weekend, everybody!

Devon

Mon. Nov. 5, 2012: Getting Organized

Monday, November 5, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend. On Friday, Costume Imp made a run for home, and got there. The trip down was smooth, and he “only” had to wait an hour for a bus to get over to Brooklyn. He’s relieved to be home.

We got home in one piece, changed the beds, did loads of laundry, took down the Samhain decorations, and put everything away. For some reason, it always takes longer to put things away than get them out, doesn’t it?

I was glad to hear the NYC Marathon was cancelled this weekend, and even more heartened by the many kindnesses marathoners showed to the city, volunteering in badly-stricken areas. One-to-one humanism always works better than organizations full of red tape.

I did the schoolwork for my Greek & Roman Mythology class, and I started work on the paper for the World History class, but had nothing in the tank for it. Fortunately, the deadline’s been extended until tomorrow at 6 PM — I’ll finish it and submit it today.

I worked with tarot students, I taught the “Dissecting Submission Guidelines” class. It was very quiet. No one said peep all day. Hopefully, they still got something out of it.

Sunday, I got the last of the bulbs into the ground — hyacinth, daffodil, tulip, crocus, glory-of-the-snow. Also got most of the front lawn put to bed. I can’t complete the side yard because the damn “landscaper” who was supposed to move the forsythias (and still hasn’t) and clear away the brush LEFT any brush under 3 feet. That whole side yard is a mess. I stacked as much of the debris he couldn’t be bothered with under the forsythia bushes, so if and when he ever bothers to show up to move them, he’ll have to deal with the brush first. How much you want to bet he just tosses it on the lawn and leaves it?

Also used the stinky fish fertilizer on the front beds — phew! But it’s supposed to be great, and last year’s tulips needed re-fertilizing.

I went to a rally last night to hear Elizabeth Warren speak. She helped me several years ago in a difficult situation, helped me navigate the complexities and fight the dickheads trying to take advantage of my elderly mother (we won). I’d forgotten how funny and witty she is in person, in addition to being incredibly intelligent and committed to justice.
The space the rally was held was too small, in my opinion, and people kept coming and coming and coming — which is great — but I stayed on the fringes, not wanting to get stuck in the middle of a crowd. I got the best of both worlds — good view, could hear everything, and also not get claustrophobic.

I finished the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and got them back to my editor. I go back to work on the next book in the series, CRAVE THE HUNT, today. I need to finish a couple of short stories this week, too. Everything I sent one of my other editors last week bounced back (due to the Hurricane), so I’m waiting to hear back from him before I send my next review. However, I have to get interview questions out to someone he assigned me, or that article will be late.

I downloaded the MIT Opencourseware class on Medieval Women Writers I wanted to start today, but it makes no sense. There’s a calendar of assignments and a reading list, but no lectures. Coursera makes much more sense.

I got out a press release for the extended deadline for the application for the Playwriting Intensive. More information here. I got quite a few requests from people who meant to get it in just under the wire on the 1st, but couldn’t because of Sandy.

I had an idea for a book I can put together and pitch to the agent (once I’m sure she’s got her power back). I basically have all the material, it’s just a case of organizing it. I’ll organize it for the proposal, and then, basically, it will be done. I also have another idea that’s been swirling around. I took some notes on it, but it has to wait its turn. There are too many deadlined projects stacked up in front of it.

I need to do some yard work later today — the terraced back area, and part of the meadow. I need to hack back the dead hostas, too. Tomorrow will be busy — I’m out of the house doing research all day, after I vote — so Wednesday morning, I’ll have to finish the yard work, ahead of the expected snow.

Snow! Christmas! Not ready to deal with any of it.

Devon

Mon. Oct. 8, 2012: Computer Hospital & Busy Weekend

Monday, October 8, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Getting Cool!
Columbus Day

By the time you read this, MacGeorge will be in computer hospital, getting a system upgrade.

Busy weekend. I submitted the rough draft first chapter of the marine life mystery as my Sustainability Project. I was going to also submit the rough draft of the flood/drought rebalance project, only to discover I can only submit ONE. I asked about this two weeks ago and never received a response, which is frustrating, because I would have only focused on ONE. But, now that the final is due at the end of THIS week (not next), it’s probably for the best.

Watched lectures, took notes, took quizzes. Wrote my sustainability paper for the week, on the potential for sterile, genetically modified seeds being used as a tool of war used for intentional population starvation. Wrote a paper for the World History class, arguing that the seeds of the Modern Labor Movement started in the 14th century, after the Black Death, when a smaller population for large amounts of work gave workers more power. I don’t think I quite got the academic tone down, but the foundation of the piece is something I can build on for future articles.

The classes are challenging and wonderful, although three classes take A LOT of work — each requires about 7-12 hours per week. But the way certain elements intersect and how they support and contrast each other is fascinating. It’s making me think in a way I nearly forgot how to do.

Gave my moderator the handouts for the Supporting Characters workshop that starts on Tuesday, and uploaded the first lectures and assignment.

Spent time with my tarot students.

Worked in the yard. Got yard waste to the dump. The house will be painted and a new roof put in, but first, a landscaper has to come and move some plants — and he better show up soon, because it either has to be done by Oct. 30 or they have to take a break until Nov. 1. I can’t have chaos here Oct. 30 & 31. Not an option.

Planted some tulips in pots, pulled out some plants that died back, brought some of the more fragile plants inside. I’m waiting for some other bulbs to arrive from the Arbor Day Foundation — hope they get here before the first frost.

So what will I do today, while MacGeorge is in computer hospital? Work on a complicated reading project, taking massive notes, and also starting a draft of a non-fiction proposal I need to get out the door sooner rather than later. If weather allows, I will also do some more yard work.

Enjoy the holiday!

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 13, 2012: Searching For Flow in My Own Work

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Day before Dark of the Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday just got away from me. I started taking care of stuff on the internet before blogging, and we all know where that leads! Worked with students. Took down the previous individual workshop pages. The info for the Falmouth workshops starting next week are here.

I’ll have some other pages up soon, talking about the upcoming Fast & Fun workshops, and I’m almost ready to upload the information for the playwrighting workshop and get the application uploaded. That’s going to be a highly competitive class to get into, and mix reading and writing. Should be a ton of fun for those who get in, though.

Went in to Cape Mac to find out how to upgrade my operating system. Brandy, you’re right — I can’t get all the way up to Mountain Lion. My trackpad won’t support it. But the guy is going to upgrade me to Snow Leopard and give MacGeorge a good, thorough scour so I can still use it for about another year, when Snow Leopard will no longer be supported. That gives me a year to put aside money, a bit at a time, to buy a new computer. I’m not happy about this — I wanted to keep this one for three or four more years, and I don’t like that I’m being FORCED to purchase a new one, because I won’t be able to get online and do my work if I don’t. But the fact that they can work it so I have a year instead of say, a week, to get together the money for a new system is a relief.

So, in the next week or two, I’ll be offline for a day or two while I get all that done. So this weekend, I have to push very hard on deadlines.

Still chasing down $$$ and getting sick of it. I’m trying to let go of the anger of the job that broke down to $8 per week — hey, I said no, move on already — but after working for several years for this company, they should be offering me more money, not less. Another editor asked for more article pitches — honey, when you pay me the outstanding money you owe me, I’ll be happy to, but I’m not writing one more word for your publication until you cough up what’s past due. And waiting for another check on a project that was invoiced several weeks ago — I put in a second request.

Working on my wrap-up/suggestion package for this afternoon’s Mermaid Ball meeting. Didn’t get enough of my own writing or editing done, so have to address that over the next few days.

Helping someone I barely know out by reading an overflow of submissions and remember why I don’t do this anymore, and why I charge a good bit of money to critique. The lack of quality on these submissions is appalling. Makes me even prouder of my graduated students, though — no wonder they’re placing their work, it’s good!

The Sustainability Course is depressing this week — we’re discussing the Tragedy of the Commons, where one’s individual actions might not seem to make a big change, but collectively, they mean we’re screwed. The poor professor — not easy to deal with 26,000 disheartened students! 😉 I’m sure we’re not all blue about this week’s information, but those of us who are are being vocal about it. Have to finish the outlines today for both my projects for that class.

Gearing up for the World History Class that starts next week (70,000 strong) and the Greek/Roman Mythology course that starts the week after. No idea how many people are in the latter, but the instructor’s welcome was very funny, and we’ll be reading THE ODYSSEY as our first book. Haven’t read that since high school — should be interesting to revisit it.

Off to yoga, and then I’ve got to hunker down and really get a lot of work done today. I haven’t felt well the past few days, but too bad for me — time to get things done!

Devon

Mon. Sept. 3, 2012: Sustainability Writing and Other Writing

Monday, September 3, 2012
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Labor Day

Busy weekend! For the Sustainability course, I finished the reading materials, interacted with other students, took three quizzes (I got 100% on my first one, but think I blew the other two — will know in a few days), wrote my short paper on “Sustainability vs. Human Greed” and started developing a my course project about getting the flood/drought imbalance back into balance. Although, now I’ve got an idea to develop a fiction series based on what we’re learning and tied in to the National Marine Life Center, and I’m wondering if I should work on that, either in addition or instead of!

The year-long students are off now, in their own writing group. Good for them! Tomorrow, the three-month tarot intensive starts. I spent some time over the weekend working with the student who has to have a proposal ready for an agent meeting later this week — it’s in good shape. I put together an interview with Sharon Buchbinder, which will be up tomorrow morning. I have another article to write and schedule to post for Writers Vineyard today. I also had to get together some proposal materials and get them out for a project, and I have to pitch a proposal later today for next spring. Did some work on the DEATH SPARKLES anthology – -have to get it to the publisher later this week.

My editor loved OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK (Jain Lazarus #2) and is eager to get going on it — and I have to really dig down to finish CRAVE THE HUNT (#3) in the next couple of weeks, too.

Took a good long walk this morning, which was fun, and a lovely silver tabby streaked through the yard when Tessa and I were out this morning. On the one hand, Tessa wanted to make friends; on the other, I think she’s afraid I’ll trade her in. I’d never do that — I adore her!

Already have my second load of laundry in (I have to do four today) and am returning my gown later today to the lovely person who lent it to me for the Mermaid Ball. Because I’m working away from home a lot this week, anything that has to be done from home has to happen today!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Devon

Thurs. July 26, 2012: Becoming a Student Again

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and about to storm

Nothing in the tank and trouble focusing. Doing the best I can. Something very specific triggered this problem, and the person who triggered it did so with the intent to harm. Not acceptable.

Yesterday, I managed to get some work done (not enough), work with students a bit. We went to Daily Paper for breakfast, which is always fun. On the way back, we stopped to visit the beautiful cat. He’s still there, still looking for a home. Gorgeous boy.

Got some more work done in the afternoon, and some research.

Then, we went up to Sandwich, to Hemisphere, a really lovely restaurant right on the water. We met up with friends, and had a great time. After, we walked on the beach a bit — the water was just the right degree of cold.

From there, we went to Craigville Beach — where the water was a good 10+ degrees warmer! I always thought the ocean side (Craigville Beach) would always be colder than the bay side!

Overslept this morning. Made it to yoga. Good class.

Trying to get some work done this afternoon, because we’re going out to have dinner with friends tonight.

Trying to put my head down and get things done. Some more errands to do this afternoon.

Signed up for three courses for the fall at Coursera — a class on sustainability, a class on world history, and a class on Greek & Roman Mythology. It piles more work on me in the fall, but I need to challenge myself in that way, and all three courses support my work. I’m looking forward to being a student again!

Devon

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 11:17 am  Comments (3)  
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