Mon. July 8, 2019: Commitment To Your Writing #UpbeatAuthors

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Image by Stocksnap via Pixabay

Monday, July 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Enough retrogrades for you? Buckle up, buttercups, it’s a rocky month. But the retrogrades will also help clear out a lot of the deadwood and make way for new growth.

We are Upbeat Authors. We want to make the world better through our writing. That doesn’t mean denying that bad things happen. It means exploring and sharing ways that we can work through the bad and build something better.

It means nothing if we can’t finish anything. If we perpetually start things and let put them aside when the next Shiny Idea floats in front of us.

Those of us who write full-time know that we have to juggle multiple projects and meet our commitments to keep a roof over our head and food on the table. Part-time writers and hobbyist writers face different challenges to also keep sheltered and fed.

Finishing projects is vital.

It’s great to play with ideas. Some of them will work. Some of them will not. You don’t want to hang on to a project that’s not going anywhere and drains energy.

But unfinished projects drain creative energy, and if we let too many unfinished projects hang around, it’s like drowning in quicksand.

I actually teach a course on this, and have a Topic Workbook called THE GRAVEYARD OF ABANDONED PROJECTS.

Also, some ideas formulate before they are ready to bloom into full projects. I have pieces where the idea arrived years before I actually write the project, and I’ve often had several false starts along the way.

There’s a big difference between DECIDING to put a project aside and just LETTING it slide.

Contracted projects on deadlines always get first attention. They have to. That’s the deal of being a professional writer. Earliest deadline/highest pay = first attention.

But there are always other projects begging for time that need to be slotted in around it. You need to be a time management whiz without feeling like you’re trapped and never have a minute to do anything fun with friends or family or just hang out and do nothing. All of that is important.

Ideas tend to come in batches. Some ideas demand to be spun out a bit. Some won’t work.

How do you handle it all?

I’m offering some suggestions that work for me, and there are specific exercises in the workbook.

When I get an idea, I jot it down as soon as possible. I try to keep a “Fragment” or “Whatevers” notebook with me at all times.

I DATE each entry. Like a journal. Because sometimes, when I go back to the idea, the context of WHEN it hit me winds up being important.

Contracted projects, like the Coventina Circle, Gwen Finnegan, and Nautical Namaste series, are outlined in advance. I need to be able to drop right down into them the moment I work on them, and not have to wonder about what happens next.

However, I consider outlines roadmaps rather than prisons. I deviate often. I follow where the story leads. Sometimes it leads back to the outline, sometimes not. Sometimes the tangents are cut, although I learn something important from writing them.

Remember, as a writer, nothing is ever wasted.

Uncontracted projects that have to work around the contracted ones, have a different process. Sometimes I’ll outline the whole piece. Other times, I’ll make notes, and then write my way into the book for about four chapters to see if it’s viable.

If it is, I find a way to work it into the schedule.

If it’s not, I write a temporary ending scene, wherever it stops. I either retire it or put it in stasis, and turn my attention back to the viable projects.

Every few months, I review the projects in stasis. Is there a project in there that’s calling? Has it reached its time? If so, I read through it, make notes, and fit it back into the schedule. If not, I leave it in stasis. Because it has a temporary ending, it’s not an unfinished project that’s draining energy through lack of attention.

Every couple of years, I review retired projects. Often, they stay retired. I needed to work on them to learn something — readers don’t need them.

But, every once in awhile, a project from the retired pile shows promise, and comes back out. Dusted off, freshened up, maybe a new perspective, and becomes viable again.

My minimum goal for my own fiction, plays, etc., (separate from marketing writing, articles assignments, reviews, etc.) is 1K/day. I generally do that first thing in the morning, and the pages add up. I up my game as I need to when under deadline pressure.

Right now, I’m working on contracted fiction and play projects at 1-2.5K/day and another 750-1000 words longhand on an uncontracted projected. This is around the other paid writing assignments. I will have to adjust upwards on the contracted fiction a bit, but the uncontracted — there’s no pressure, no deadline, so as long as I do a little every day, no guilt, only pleasure.

There are days I don’t write. Most of those are planned days off, and then I try to write more in the days BEFORE planned time off (because if you wait until after, you never catch up). I lost a few days a couple of weeks ago, when I was unexpectedly sick and couldn’t even think or sit up, much less write. It happens.

But, for the most part, I keep a steady pace. It keeps the momentum going, the pages adding up. I keep my commitment to the work, the deadlines, but most important of all — I keep my commitment to myself.

If you don’t respect yourself and your writing, no one else has any reason to, either.

How do you keep your commitment to your work?

Tues. April 2, 2019: Regaining Equilibrium & Grabbing Opportunities

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Waning Moon

I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Mine was all over the place. The drama surrounding what should have been something simple intensified, and I’m fed up. In addition to being hurt and frustrated because I said if these particular actions were taken, these would be the results, and I would be the one who had to pay for it both financially and emotionally. That was ignored, I was hit with consequences for something that was not an action of MINE, and now I’m supposed to jump through more hoops to fix it, instead of the person who caused the issue in the first place. No. Just no.

Human beings make mistakes. It happens.

When I make a mistake, I apologize, first and foremost. Then I take actions to correct the mistake. Then I work to rebuild any trust that was broken because of the mistake. Especially the latter takes time, and isn’t always successful. But I make the effort.

Yet in this situation, when the other party made a mistake that affected me in more than one area of my life — I had to fight to get an acknowledgement and then a half-hearted apology. And then I was told the hoops I had to jump through to get it fixed with a third party– again, this was NOT my mistake — which I had told the person who made the mistake wouldn’t work in the first place, because I actually have worked in this field and know the manipulations. As I predicted, it did not work, I was badly treated, shamed, and mansplained to. The situation is still not resolved. We are now in Day 5 of something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and could have been fixed in FIVE MINUTES.

Even if it is, any future interactions will be tainted. What used to be in the life balance column is now in the life stressor column.

I don’t need that, especially not this month, when things are stretched to the max anyway.

In addition to the whole situation making me angry, I am so, so hurt. This was someone I trusted.

But now I know better.

And I’ve lost a sanctuary I deeply value. Which is painful.

So, basically, most of the weekend was spent in emotional pain management, trying to heal, and, every time I took a step to try to resolve the situation, getting another metaphorical slap in the face.

I didn’t get a lot of writing done, although I got some plotting, and I’m back working on GRAVE REACH this week. At least I can relate to Lesley’s pain and sense of betrayal. I’ll find a way to funnel it into the work.

I read my friend Arlene Kay’s DEATH BY DOG SHOW, which was really fun. Made me laugh a lot.

I worked on the books for review. I worked on contest entries. I got quite a bit done on the contest entries.

I started working in the yard. Saturday was so beautiful. I got the terraced area in the back raked out. I didn’t get as far as the border bed on the terraced area, but I got the rest of the beds raked out, did some pruning and cutting back. Got rid of a lot of bindweed that’s been creeping around. And some of the roses are taking over, so I’m going to have to do some serious hacking back in the next few weeks.

Worked on the proofs for the almanac. They went out yesterday morning.

Was with a client on Monday, and will be so today. Wednesday, Thursday, and maybe into Friday, I have an adventure. I’ll be able to share some of the details next week. And then I go into another intense weekend of writing and, next Saturday, going to see my radio play performed live in Boston.

My entire intent on Monday was to keep my head down. I don’t like April Fool’s Day. I don’t like that people feel liberated to be cruel — although, since the 2016 election, they feel that every day, and, especially around here, regularly act on it.

Onward.

 

Published in: on April 2, 2019 at 5:26 am  Comments Off on Tues. April 2, 2019: Regaining Equilibrium & Grabbing Opportunities  
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Thurs. Jan. 17, 2019: Ideas Come Even While Sick

Thursday, January 17, 2019
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

I’m still sick. Which means I’m behind on everything.

I had to cancel client work yesterday. There was no way I could go on site, without a voice, and hacking up a lung every few minutes.

I stayed in bed, reading, all morning. Reading for pleasure, and nothing that required too much concentration. In between dozing off now and again.

In the afternoon, I went over the radio script revision one last time. The original director wanted a minor character cut, so that’s what I did; the new director (the one I get on well with) liked him, so I put him back in and I also added him into the last scene.

Smoothed things over, did a few proofreads, and then, the pain-in-the-ass bit — added the line numbers.

You can’t format Word (or Pages) to put in the line numbers the way they’re needed. I don’t have Final Draft software for my old Mac, but I hear you can’t format that for radio scripts, either.

Which means adding the lines by hand on each line, and changing the spacing.

When I’m forced to work in line-numbered scripts for radio, I put the lines in last, because any revisions screw up the lines. You can’t just change one thing and have it adjust. It has to happen manually.

It’s a major pain in the ass, not to mention a time drain. Usually, it falls to the production manager to finalize the format on the production script (having held that role in multiple productions, yes, it fell to me). But smaller companies make the writer do it.

So I did it, and the script goes off today. I also did some dramaturgy.

And when I proofed it, right before sending, there were major line mistakes, so I had to do it all over again. I HATE NUMBERED SCRIPTS.

It makes me eager to get back to reworking the stage play into a full-length, rather than a one-act. There were so many layers in this particular undercover operation.

I wound up not sending a proposal to a particular summer conference because I was too sick to word it properly, and because it interfered with another conference I want to attend in DC a few days earlier. Rather than split my time and lose four days out of a week travelling to try to get a couple of days at each conference, I’m only going to one.

I’ve been asked to speak at the Writers Night Out in May; I will send my acceptance today. It was nice of them to think of me. I’ll have to make sure my handouts are up to date.

Did a little bit of noodling with a new idea. Not quite new — I’ve been working on variations of this for years. Sort of gothic, but with a twist and some comedy. It might never go anywhere, but lying in bed feeling miserable made me remember all those gothic-style books about invalids and governesses and brooding fathers and cliff top mansions.

I need to get some groceries in before tonight’s storm, but I’m not really well enough to do much of anything else. I have to finish a book for review. I need to get started on the contest entries. I have galleys to work on.

I’ll be glad when all the galleys are done and the books are ready to go, and I can work on the next Coventina Circle novel. It’s GRAVE REACH, Lesley’s book, and we already have the cover!

I didn’t do my weight training this morning because just picking up the weights exhausted me. Hopefully, I’ll feel up to it later in the day. I don’t want to start skipping. I did my morning yoga and meditation. Although I stuck to my meditation practice yesterday, I didn’t do yoga.

But I do get tired quickly. Pushing hard on the radio play yesterday took a lot out of me physically, although it was good for me mentally. I have to take it easy, or I’ll get sicker again. My whole body aches from coughing.

It will be nice when I’m not coughing all the time, too. So much for Robitussin’s 12 hour cough relief. I’m lucky if it works for 2. It’s not like I take it often, either. Maybe once a year. When they charge $16 for a small bottle, it damn well should work.

I miss Contact Cold Medicine and their “tiny time pills.” That always worked the best for me.

I have to get ahead on some blog posts, and then it’s back to the page for me.

 

Published in: on January 17, 2019 at 11:05 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 17, 2019: Ideas Come Even While Sick  
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Fri. Oct. 26, 2018: Upcoming Release and Errands

Relics 4

Relics & Requiem, Coventina Circle Romantic Suspense #3
Releases Oct. 30, 2018
Universal Buy Link

Friday, October 26, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

RELICS & REQUIEM releases on Tuesday. I’m excited about this book. I’m very fond of Amanda and Phineas, and their relationship. You can read excerpts and more here on the Relics page of the Coventina Circle Website.

Worked at home yesterday; didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but that’s the theme right now. I’m still struggling with the disappointment I received earlier in the week and trying not to spiral down into a discouragement that won’t help.

Did some yard work; we’ve gotten a good portion of the plants that need to overwinter inside. There’s still other stuff to cut back, clean out, and put away, not to mention one final mow of the season, but that can wait until after tomorrow’s storm.

Watched the second season of the Australian drama JANET KING. Outstanding. Really, really good. I like the complexity of the drama coming out of Australia and New Zealand. It’s not dumbed down and oversimplified.

Had to go to the RMV early this morning to renew the car registration, In and out of there in 5 minutes (and they’re so nice). Stuck in traffic on Rt. 28 for an hour.

It’s off season, and the traffic is just as bad all the time, as it was in summer. I’m sick of it.

Grocery shopping, and a few other errands. Most of today will be spent writing, I hope, but some of it will be prepping for the storm. I don’t plan to do much tomorrow except hunker down, write, and read.

Next week will be a challenging one, with a big event for one particular client. Fingers crossed it goes well. I will be exhausted by the end of it.

And I can’t get any farther behind on my writing than I am.

My mother’s 94th birthday is on Monday. I’m lucky to have her still around.

Back to the page.

Published in: on October 26, 2018 at 9:56 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 26, 2018: Upcoming Release and Errands  
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Thursday, May 31: Multi-Level Creativity

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Foggy and muggy and full of pollen

Sorry this is up late. I had to get the weed whacker fixed.

Hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions to see the May Wrap-Up. I didn’t post a To-Do list for May, because I had those extra projects come up, and any list would have been tossed out the window. But I’m happy with what got done.

Yesterday’s work with the client was tiring. I came home and read on the deck for a bit. I was also disappointed, at that particular site, about several ignorant comments from people who should know better.

I was going to skip going to Green Drinks, but I have to make an effort to get out and participate more. I put on make-up, I made an effort, and hauled myself out the door. I’m glad I did.

The space was beautiful, and focused on the Love Live Local businesses in Hyannis. Little Beach Gallery, Shift Eco Boutique, and DeVinto Designs. I really like what they do, what they create themselves, and the artwork featured. I met a host of interesting people, including a cadre of New Yorkers who also live and work here. Almost everyone I met is involved in textile or fiber arts, which was also interesting. As an ex-wardrobe person, I’m still fascinated by anything to do with textiles or fiber. I also met the new owner of Salt Yarn Studio, in Dennis. What used to be Yarn Hound, and, before that, Ladybug. I planned to go there tomorrow anyway to check it out; we had a great talk and I’m more eager than ever to go over there.

I’m glad I forced myself out of my introvert hut. The individuals I met were all interesting, all had good stories and unique passions. I’m not a fan of “people” in the general sense, but I find that, when you take the time to talk to an individual, they’re usually pretty interesting.

Little Beach Gallery had some great organic soaps, so I bought a bunch of them.

I feel good about the work on MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I’m deeply grateful that I could send the outline for the novella to my editor before I’d written much (back when we decided that the section that’s grown into MYTH didn’t fit in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE). We decided to break that section out into its own novella, because it was a tangent from BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, but the readers needed to know how the relationship between Gwen and Justin evolved between TRACKING MEDUSA and THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

So, I wrote an outline and sent it to my editor. She read it through and sent it back with comments, and ideas on how to keep it from sprawling into too much. She had suggestions on how to pare down the ideas to get to the essence of the piece, which keeps the focus of the series, and also shows how Gwen and Justin navigate their new status as a couple, while trying to juggle their lives. Each of them had a life before the other; their relationship changed their lives, but didn’t negate them. Gwen is older than Justin both emotionally and chronologically — he’s starting to come into his own and grow up.

The short conclusion to all this is that listening to my editor worked. Even from the outline, I’m paring a few things down, rearranging them, streamlining them, and the piece works better in pace and content. I’m going to do a big push on it this weekend.

I’m a little behind where I want to be on RELICS & REQUIEM, so I’m also going to do a push on that this weekend. And I’m nearly at the point where I can put the opening of the anti-gun violence play down on paper.

My reward for this is, once I finish my quota each day, working on THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS. I picked up the oversized sketchbook yesterday, so I can work on the maps I need for the project. I’m using the smaller sketchbook for floor plans and buildings, and the large one for sections of the city and the city itself. Eventually, I’ll be able to scan in the large maps and I hope to put them into a program to animate them when I’m ready to do the website to go with this project. That’s months down the road, maybe a year or two, but I’m looking into software that’s similar to gaming software for it.

Auditing the class on International Tribunals in the Hague is fascinating. I’m glad I’m auditing and not taking it for credit, because it’s in French. While I can understand enough to get a lot out of the class (as long as I don’t try to translate every word as I hear it), my French isn’t strong enough to write the papers or take the exams. But I get a lot out of auditing.

Hopefully, there will be some good weather this weekend, so I can get yard work done.

If you haven’t read “My Deal with the Muse” over on Ink-Dipped Advice, go on over.

Today is the final day that PLAYING THE ANGLES, the first Coventina Circle book (set backstage on a Broadway show) is 99 cents. You can buy it here. Tomorrow, it goes back up to its normal price of $3.99.

Still hearing good things in response to LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES, the radio play that was broadcast last week. HEX BREAKER also got some good compliments. I’m glad people enjoy the work.

Back to the page.

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Witchcraft, politics, and theatre collide as Morag D’Anneville and Secret Service agent Simon Keane fight to protect the Vice President of the United States — or is it Morag who needs Simon’s protection more than the VP? Buy it for only 99 cents here (through May 31).

 

Thurs. May 24, 2018: And It’s In Before Deadline!

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny/cloudy/mild

I did it. I finished the partial and the synopsis of NOT BY THE BOOK, and it’s going out to the requesting editor today!

That means I can enjoy my weekend!

Check out the new books I’ve put up on the Recommended Reading page for the Coventina Circle mysteries. I used them for the research on Klaus Hendrik’s backstory in THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Klaus is the ghost of the young soldier who died shortly after the Battle of Fort Washington during the American Revolution.

Finished two big projects for a client yesterday. Should have mowed and didn’t. I am fighting with wasps on the deck, but haven’t found the nest yet. I will win.

I wrote until nearly 1 AM this morning. I have errands and some other stuff to do, but then I am taking the rest of the day off. Heck, I’m taking the holiday weekend off.

Yeah, of course I’ll be writing, but only what I want to write!

Enjoy!

Published in: on May 24, 2018 at 8:49 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 24, 2018: And It’s In Before Deadline!  
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Wed. May 23, 2018: Juggling Deadlines Again

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

It’s official. I still hate mowing. Yes, I like the new reel mower better than the other one. But it still has issues — it sticks, it doesn’t cut down certain types of grass. Really, I’m not asking for much. I’m asking that the damn wheels turn in the direction I push, and that the damn blade cuts GRASS. Which is, supposedly, what a lawn mower does. Why is that so difficult?

Big project for the client is stressful. It’ll get done, but the client doesn’t understand that it doesn’t happen by magically pushing a button on the computer.

Sent out a couple of LOIs. The media kit for the Coventina Circle series is done and up in that site’s Media Room. There’s a media kit for each book, and then there’s the media kit for the entire series, which will be updated with each release.

I’m behind on getting the judging sheets done, because of the mowing.

Working steadily on NOT BY THE BOOK, but struggling. The partial has to go out tomorrow, and I’m worried. The voice is strong, but I’m having the same struggle I’ve had in these past months trying to get it back on the roster — it’s not flowing.

Plus, both the serial and THE POWER OF WORDS are pulling at me, and I’m under the gun for MYTH & INTERPRETATION.

I want to get NOT BY THE BOOK out the door and then give myself breathing room, resting room for the long holiday weekend. I’m sure I will write, but I won’t pressure myself as to what.

I want to play with the ideas my actress friend and I discussed. I’ve come up with a couple of working titles. I’m still not sure if it will be one piece, or a pair of one acts hooked together on a common theme to make an evening.

But I need breathing room, thinking room, daydreaming room. I’m just so exhausted. Our country is being dismantled by grifters and criminals, and it’s difficult to create. But I must, or I truly will die.

I have to finish a couple of things for a client today. And then, I need to write and polish. It’s hard for me to write at the end of the day; my best working time is in the morning. But, when I’m under deadline pressure, I have to.

I’m so sick and tired of writers who say you don’t have to write every day. “Writing every day” doesn’t mean you never take a day off or a vacation. It means you choose when and how to take time off, and the rest of the time, you show up like a professional. Writing is a “real job.” Writers deserve to be paid well for what they do, and not derided because they love what they do. Professionals in all fields show up at the job and do the work. You have a major agent who can negotiate with a major publisher so you can take as long as you want to write something? Good for you. You make enough at the day job so you can only write if you “feel like it?” Good for you. You have a spouse or partner who takes care of the bills so you can write when the mood strikes? Good for you. But I — and most of my working peers — need to show up every day and do the work, whether we feel like it or not. It doesn’t make us love it any less. Getting paid doesn’t mean our work is “less than” someone who “writes for love.” We love it, too. We also value our work and demand a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Earning a living at it means it’s our profession. So we act like professionals.

On a happier note, I re-read the first four of Kate Parker’s Victorian Bookshop mysteries. I really like that series. I want to read her two series, too.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on May 23, 2018 at 2:34 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 23, 2018: Juggling Deadlines Again  
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Tues. May 15, 2018: Creativity Inspires Creativity

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and meet Emily Montgomery, a writer early in her career who jumped in when the post supposed to go live today ran into trouble.

Busy, busy weekend. But a good one. I finished the contest entries late last week, made my final decisions, and sent off the winning choice in each category and the finalists. Now, I have to count up the books so I can invoice, and do the digital entry on the judging sheets. I did everything in hard copy, because it was easier to keep the categories organized.

Got some excellent work done on HEART THEFT. I’m hoping that will be ready to go out the end of this week.

Also did some excellent work on the serial – which I shouldn’t be working on, but it pulled so hard I had to or else.

Early to work yesterday with a client who’s going out of the country for a few weeks. She just designed the next season’s line, and I have to get her design information to the people who make up the samples. It was fascinating, and so different than designing costumes for theatre.

Over the weekend, I watched THE POST and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. They were both terrific. THE POST made me mourn the way the NEW YORK TIMES has turned into a right-wing propaganda paper for the current administration. The former editors must be spinning in their graves. I looked up to the TIMES so much growing up – trained in their journalism style, admired their work. And, of course, their cafeteria was one of the best in the city! A friend of mine worked there, and I used to visit her and we’d have lunch or dinner there. Even after the whole Jayson Blair problem, they got back on track. Although they were never, in my lifetime, a “liberal” paper. They’ve always been The Gray Lady, slightly right of center. Now, they’re just a propaganda machine for the corrupt and the stupid. I read the WASHINGTON POST far more than the TIMES. I trust them more. And, of course, I remember both the Pentagon Papers and Watergate – when Congress actually pretended to have ethics and wouldn’t just let the White House run roughshod over everything like a banana republic. Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and all the supporting cast – all terrific. If you haven’t seen it yet, do it.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN took my breath away. It’s completely unique. It’s a period film that’s not constrained by period, and goes beyond. Yes, the music is contemporary rather than period, and so it the dance style. But, somehow, it all works. And Hugh Jackman owns it. He lights up the screen, more so than in anything else I’ve seen him in. I even liked Zac Efron’s work – for the first time. The bar scene between Jackman and Efron is going down as one of my favorite film scenes ever. The joy, the cleverness, the precision – stunning. Michelle Williams pulled it off; not a big fan of her work, but she did a decent job here. I think I’m going to buy the DVD – it’s definitely a film I’ll go back to time and time again.

Back to the page now – I have two manuscripts to work on that need to go out by the end of the month AND get back on track with MYTH & INTERPRETATION and RELICS & REQUIEM.

I do love the process of writing, though, and especially after seeing two great movies, I’m fired up about creating again – even though what I’m working on has nothing to do with what I watched. But excellence in creativity inspires. Always.

Allow yourself to be inspired.

Then go for it.

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Just a reminder: PLAYING THE ANGLES, the first Coventina Circle book, is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents. THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, the second book in the series, is available for $3.99.

I hope you read them both and like them!

Back to the page.

The Spirit Repository.6

Fri. May 11, 2018: Uncreative Start, but A Beautiful Day

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Friday, May 11, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

A bad night’s sleep makes for a slow, cranky, uncreative start.

Yesterday, I got a few things done. There’s a special promotion going on for the Coventina Circle Series. THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which just released, is available on multiple digital channels for $3.99. But many people prefer to start a series with the first book. So, PLAYING THE ANGLES is available, for a limited time, for 99 cents here.

I did a Facebook ad for the promotion, and I’m not happy with either Canva or Facebook. The ad was made on Canva. In order for the links to work, it had to be downloaded as a PDF. Only Facebook does not allow a PDF to be uploaded and used as an ad. I was forced to SHARE the PDF version of the ad from the Canva site — and Facebook didn’t allow me to boost the post. So I paid for an ad where you can’t click through the links, because they wouldn’t let me boost the one that worked properly. I am NOT a happy camper.

I added the promo info to the landing page of the Coventina Circle site and the News page on Devon Ellington Work. But I seriously doubt the ad will earn its keep. Last time I listen to Canva.

Worked on HEART THEFT.

Worked on the contest entries. I will be done with two of my three genres later today and send off the winners and finalists tomorrow. The final category, which is huge, will need Sunday and Monday to be finished properly, and I’ll send out that information on Monday.

Next week, I’ll buy my basic push mower and do the grass. It’s growing quickly — which is a good thing, but hey, it’s growing quickly.

This morning, I’m headed to Market Basket — haven’t been there in awhile. Then, I’ll work at the library for a bit, work on HEART THEFT, finish the two categories of contest entries — and dig out all the poison ivy that’s taken up residence in the yard.

I’m glad there’s never a dull moment, but I’m tired, and it’s definitely hurting my creativity.

I’ve been watching the Ken Burns documentary JAZZ and loving it.

Have a great weekend, and happy Mother’s Day!

Published in: on May 11, 2018 at 9:16 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 11, 2018: Uncreative Start, but A Beautiful Day  
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Thurs. March 29, 2018: Writing & Yard Work

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

Yesterday was a decent day, as far as client work. Got a lot done.

I made excellent progress on the serial outline, and on an outline for another project. Didn’t do much on MYTH.

I have to finish up the newsletter today and dig back into the TRACKING MEDUSA media kit, to recreate what I lost earlier in the week. I want to get that back up, so I can re-work the kits for HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. also need to rework the Hex Breaker website.

I get back my notes for SPIRIT REPOSITORY today and then get back to that. I’m doing a cover reveal in the newsletter, and then, in a couple of weeks, will do the public cover reveal. I will be glad to get this book out there.

Of course, that also means putting up additional material related to the book up on the Coventina Circle website and get to work on both the SPIRIT REPOSITORY media kit and the more general Coventina Circle kit, which will be regularly updated as each book releases.

Never a dull moment, right? Which is a good thing.

I got some LOIs out this week. I got some yard work done. If the weather holds, I’ll do more yard work this afternoon, along with work on MYTH, RELICS, and NOT BY THE BOOK.

I’m also working on contest entries.

I feel lucky and blessed today, in my creative life.

 

Published in: on March 29, 2018 at 9:01 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 29, 2018: Writing & Yard Work  
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Wed. March 7, 2018: Techno Milestone and Yet Another Storm

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Waning Moon

I moved the Cerridwen’s Cottage website all by myself. I’m so darned proud. For me, a non-IT person, it was a big deal. It’s a big personal milestone for me.

Yesterday, I started building it live. I’m hoping to move the Fearless Ink site late this week, and then maybe get to build it early next week. And then I’ll be done with 1&1 as far as hosting go. They still hold my registrations for the moment.

I also finally understand why I’m having the problem on the Welcome page of the Devon Ellington Work site. Even better, I understand how to fix it!

Now, I still have to learn how to do a drop-down menu . . .

There’s a storm coming in, so I might not get to post tomorrow, although I hope to do so on Friday. I hope it won’t be as bad as they say; I’m getting a little weary of the storms. As long as the power holds . . .

Working steadily on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Playing with ideas to finish POWER OF WORDS. Got re-ignited for NOT BY THE BOOK — there are good bones there. If I can pull it off, it will be a worthwhile book. Working on FIX-IT GIRL revisions.

It’s a good busy.

A potential client liked my pitch, but wanted me to do a proofreading test before talking any further. I did. It was a timed test, full of the errors that set my teeth on edge. So, we’ll see. The money would be great, but I need to know more about the parameters.

My flash drive is full, so I started a new, 32GB drive. I moved over pertinent files from the old drive and sorted them properly. Let’s hope I can keep this drive organized.

I’m reworking the media kits for TRACKING MEDUSA and the Jain Lazarus Adventures, and looking for some fun, additional material to add to the Jain Lazarus site.

I need to put together some more material for the Coventina Circle site, and put together the pieces for the SAVASANA AT SEA giveaway I want to do in a couple of months. I’m also working on some ads for the different books and stories. I want to see if they make a difference. Friends of mine tend to have good luck with Facebook ads, and they’re usually reasonably priced, so we’ll see.

I’ve had a terrible headache for the past few days. I hope it lets up when the storm moves in.

Published in: on March 7, 2018 at 2:47 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 7, 2018: Techno Milestone and Yet Another Storm  
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Tues. Feb. 27, 2018: Writing, Webbing, and Working With Clients

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Waxing Moon

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to check out Marian Lanouette’s latest release!

Busy weekend. But then, they usually aren’t, aren’t they?

The Devon Ellington Work site is live. Take a look around and enjoy. There will still be tweaks, since it’s an organic element of my writing life, and the new host and construction means I can actually do what I want and need to do with the site.

The Coventina Circle site is live. Again, go take a look around and enjoy. I have a few more pieces to upload, but the information about the series and the books is there.

The Nautical Namaste site is live. Go hang out! It’s got some fun background information on the crew and the passengers of the Charisma.

I’m working on the Gwen Finnegan Mysteries site. I hope that will go live in a few days. Because I’m digging up a lot of location photos for the sites, that may take awhile. Plus, I need to rewrite the Media Kit. Simply updating the old one doesn’t work.

I’m also working on the Jain Lazarus Adventures site, which will go up, I hope, by the end of the week. The information needs a lot of updating.

I hope to start building the new Cerridwen’s Cottage site at the end of this week, and then move it sometime next week; the Fearless Ink site build/move will happen shortly after that.

I see a light at the end of the tunnel with the website building/moving!

Unfortunately, this website stress has hurt my writing.

This is the first time I can remember, ever, in my writing career, where I don’t look forward to facing the page every day.

My editor has given me another extension, for this week. I HAVE TO GET IT DONE. What also worries me is that it’s putting me behind on the other books.

Saturday, I pushed hard on the book, while also cleaning out my closet — which meant 8 loads of laundry. The closet is in much better shape, and I found a bunch of stuff I forgot I owned. I also found a bunch of stuff into which I can still fit. So it’s a good thing I don’t listen to “if you haven’t worn it in a year, throw it out.”

I had high hopes for writing on Sunday, but my brain just couldn’t function. The weather was vile, so I gave myself the day off to recharge. I read, instead, which is one way I love to refuel.

I read both Frances Brody’s DEATH OF AN AVID READER and Louisa Morgan’s A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES. The Brody is my favorite in the Kate Shackleton series so far. SECRET HISTORY was beautifully written, both sad and fulfilling.

Also, the entire author bio reads “Louisa Morgan is a pseudonym.” So I don’t want to hear anything from anyone about “why do you write under different names?” and “what are you hiding?” Granted, I’ve only ever encountered that inability to understand a pseudonym where I live now.

There’s a lot of internal work going on, in preparation for upcoming decisions and changes. Nothing happens as quickly as I’d like, constant obstacles are up. The current political situation doesn’t help. The constant need to fight to keep my government from trying to kill me while they’re grifting and helping their friends grift is exhausting. In my opinion, we are living THE WALKING DEAD, with the Narcissistic Sociopath’s cult as the zombies, determined to kill us all and turn us into the mindless shufflers they are.

This morning, I’m back to the book, determined to make it work. Well, determined to finish it and get it on my editor’s desk, so she can help me make it work!

Yesterday, I had a good day onsite with a client. Lots of social media work. Today, I’m back with that client, creating an ad campaign. The photos we got back from the photo shoot look great, and will inspire the text.

Then, it’ll be back to work on the Gwen Finnegan site.

 

Thurs. Feb. 22, 2018: Stresses and Deadlines

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Wacky weather.

Check out the latest post on Gratitude and Growth here. I’m trying to revive that blog, along with everything else.

I’m weary. There’s some stuff I can’t discuss publicly that has to be thought through and decisions made. It’s been a rough week. Especially since the bulk of the unpleasant chaos was unnecessary and caused by someone who is manipulative and a nasty piece of work.

On a happier note, the Devon Ellington Work site is coming along nicely. I’m pleased with the design; no muss, no fuss, easy to read. There are still a few glitches, some more material to add. But the host moved happened, and it’s just about ready to announce — once I figure out why the pages I trashed show up published under the home page!

I’m working my way through the emails, getting all the necessary accounts re-set, too.

The Coventina Circle site is also coming along well. It’s about halfway there, and should be ready for its live announcement in a few days. I’m building all the subdomains live, which is risky, but necessary.

Nautical Namaste, Gwen Finnegan, and Jain Lazarus all have temporary landing pages. I hope to have them finished next week, and then I’ll start on Cerridwen’s Cottage, get that moved, and then, last but not least, do Fearless Ink.

On a writing front, I’m frustrated with myself. I haven’t been pitching enough articles; I haven’t been sending enough LOIs; I am pushing to get THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY done on deadline, but I’m struggling.

Between the web host stress and difficulties on another front, I am worn out, physically and emotionally. But deadlines aren’t suggestions; they’re deadlines. So I’m pushing through. Once I get this book off my desk and to my editor, I’ll feel better.

Of course, then I’ll be focusing on MYTH & INTERPRETATION, and starting RELICS & REQUIEM. And finishing FIX-IT GIRL so it can go out on submission and getting back to NOT BY THE BOOK. But REPOSITORY must get the bulk of my writing attention now. I’m in the last few chapters. It’s just making them work, and picking up the pace.

We have some more cover discussion for SPIRIT, too, coming up.

Once the websites are live, then we can start putting our marketing ideas into play and get some promotion done on these books.

I found the photos for the special page on the Gwen Finnegan site, where I got inspirations for TRACKING MEDUSA. I’m excited, when I get to the point where I’m building that site, to put those up and share them.

Working steadily on the books submitted for the contest. I finished the first batch of mysteries, and I’m working on the fantasy genre now. I’m glad that the entries are so strong this year.

I’m looking forward to a productive few days, and then, maybe, maybe, just focusing on hearth and home issues this weekend!

Published in: on February 22, 2018 at 9:45 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 22, 2018: Stresses and Deadlines  
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