Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I light this candle every morning when I start my first writing session of the day. I love it — I find it very soothing. It was originally a pyramid shape. I don’t remember where I got it, but I hope to find a similar one soon, because I like using this type as my writing candle. I found it in a “Misc.” box as I cleaned out storage.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dark of the Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

It’s September, and A Biblio Paradise is gearing up again, for Tuesday posts featuring books, authors, and other writing stuff. Our first post of the new season is an interview with Michelle Miles, whose book SEX. LUST & MARTINIS recently released. Hop on over here to check it out, and leave a comment, so we’ll know you were there!

So, I was thinking yesterday — hey, you, over there. Stop laughing! Anyway, I was thinking, after yesterday’s post, why SHOULDN’T the Hundred Dollar Bill Fairy come visit and leave hundred dollar bills under my pillow?

I just have to figure out an offering! 😉

I’m waiting for the workmen to come back today, making my life hell. I just don’t get why they have to use MY fire escape when they’re working on the other side of the building with fire escapes more convenient to their “work”. Oh, yeah, because they were instructed to make things as miserable as possible for the tenants that the landlord wants to drive out.

Triumphed over the Scary Monster Closet yesterday. It wasn’t as scary as I feared, but it could have been better. But it was scrubbed, purged, organized and packed. At this point, all the closets in the apartment are ready to load. I don’t yet have a place in which to UNLOAD them, but at least I’m getting the energy moving in the right direction.

Hey, any time the Hundred Dollar Bill Fairy wants to send a few my way . . .

Worked on the lectures. I’m doing some restructuring on them, so that will take awhile. I hope you’ll join me. We’re deconstructing my favorite fantasy romance novel from September 13-19 and a steampunk film from September 20-27. You can sign up by clicking on the name of each type of deconstruction. It should be a lot of fun and very useful for both readers and writers.

Took Elsa to the park yesterday. I wanted her to get more sun, so I took her to the baseball diamond, but she felt too exposed. She always eats better when she gets back, though, and she’s eating so little at this point, that any improvement is worth it.

I have a business appointment this morning, and then I’m going to take a carload of stuff to storage and do an inventory of what’s there. I’ll do some more work on the lectures and the scripts this afternoon, and also try to go back to pulling material off the PC floppies and getting them onto flashdrives. I want to dump all the PC behemoth equipment before I leave. I also want to excavate my desk again — my paper reproduces as I sleep, and it needs to refrain from doing so for the next few months. I’ve set up files and envelopes for the important transition stuff that has to be carted back and forth, and I’m packed for the Philly gig this coming weekend. Bills are all written, and marked to be mailed on the appropriate days.

Optimum doesn’t cover the area in which I plan to relocate, which is awful, since now I’ve finally found a decent company. My choices are Comcast (who suck), RCN (who suck even worse) and Time Warner (no idea if they’re any good). There’s also FIOS, but, uh, no, not an option for me. The only thing I want to keep with Verizon is my cell phone.

Well, I don’t need to make that decision quite yet.

I had a decent, but not brilliant first writing session this morning. At least every word I manage to get down is one more than I had before. I may have slowed down, but any steady routine during the chaos is helpful. And little bits add up to big bits. I’m not on a deadline for this – although I am for SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I hope to get back to in a few days.

Onward.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove Novel (first draft, handwritten): 43,000 words out of est. 100,000 (43%)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Violet keeps an eye on things

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Free Muse Online Writers’ Conference registration closes tomorrow, so if you want to participate, or take either my Dialogue Workshop or my Story-Building Workshop, register before tomorrow. The Dialogue Workshop has a limited amount of spots available, and once they’re full, that’s it. I simply can’t correct 50-70 exercises per day and give each student my full attention — especially when students are late turning in exercises, don’t follow the instructions, etc. So, the Dialogue has a limited amount of participants. The Story-Building does not this time, because it’s my first time teaching it at Muse.

Dialogue Workshop Taught by Devon Ellington
Learn how to craft character-cohesive dialogue that moves along the story. Explore methods of cutting, crafting, and creating conversation that sparkles on the page and in the ear, and works in the context of the overall piece. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop, with daily assignments. Participants are expected to have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, proofreading, and structure, and the ability to process comments, apply them moving forward, and keep up with assignments rather than doing them in a batch. Daily assignments will build on each other. Newly created work is required in the class; please do not use something from a WIP or that is used for another class. It will trip you up as we build from assignment to assignment. Anyone is welcome to read and follow along on the assignments, but daily participation is limited to 30 students. If you sign up, please meet the commitment, or give up your slot within the first day so another interested participant can take it.

Story Building Workshop
Spend the week with Devon Ellington building your story scene-by-scene — but not in the way you’d expect! Learn to integrate the elements of plot, story, and character with dialogue, description, and action to create a complete draft of a short story over the course of the week. There will be intense, daily assignments with specific guidelines to delve into the day’s purpose. Please do not use previously written material in the class.

Registration for the Muse Online Conference is HERE. You may have to send a separate email once you’re registered to the “contact” address in order to sign up for the Dialogue Workshop. Sorry it’s so late going up, but there was a glitch on their end and my information wasn’t up until I mentioned it yesterday.

Even if you don’t sign up for my workshops, there are a lot of great workshops happening. I particularly recommend Karina Fabian’s World-building Workshop.

Now, onto Savvy Authors. The links are up for the deconstruction workshops. If you want to join the workshop to deconstruct a fantasy romance and learn how to apply it to your own writing, you can sign up here, and if you want to deconstruct a steampunk film and learn to apply the techniques to your own writing, you can sign up here. The fees are very reasonable for both members and non-members. And there’s no homework in the deconstruction workshops! You just have to read the book or watch the film before it starts.

Now, on to other stuff:

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Great writing session in the morning on the Willowspring Grove novel. I’m thinking about it a lot in between writing sessions, which is good. I’m averaging between 1500-2000 words per session, and I’m 86 pages in so far. i have to start putting them into the computer, or I’ll get too far behind.

I got out some of the backlog of short stories, and got out a stack of queries, all good. Decided not to submit to one particular publication — the way they wanted me to reformat out of standard manuscript format to their house format would have taken me so long that, even if they accepted the story, they didn’t pay enough to cover the time. There’s a reason it’s called ‘standard manuscript format” — the writer formats it once, professionally, and it should be acceptable to any professional publication. I can understand stipulating .doc or .rtf or even .pdf, but to expect writers to spend hours reformatting from market to market is a waste of time, except, maybe, for the desperate-to-be-published. it’s hoop-jumping, power-playing, and I’ve noticed that the markets that pay the least expect the most amount of hoop jumping.

NEXT!

Spent a few hours in storage. Consolidated 20 boxes into 8, bagged a bunch of stuff I’ll drop off as donations, tossed a lot of stuff that needed to be tossed. It feels good.

Plotting the next Annabel Aidan, whose working title is THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Will start the actual writing on Monday. The central character will be Bonnie, who we meet briefly in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Amanda and Phineas will have important secondary roles, and then they will be the focus of the third book. It’s not really a series, as each book stands alone with its own set of protagonists, but they are in the same paranormal, romantically suspenseful version of Manhattan, and they wander in and out of each other’s books.

Dinner with friends last night, which was fun. And, I managed to see just a tiny bit of the meteor shower last night — one quick sprint across the sky. Very exciting. I’d been so disappointed the previous night because I couldn’t see anything due to cloud cover.

Today, I’m writing in the morning, trying to get some organizational stuff done, then off to a friend’s in the afternoon. Tomorrow should be all about the writing. Because come Monday, my daily output has to either double or triple amongst the different projects, and I have to stay on top of everything else. The next few weeks/month will be very busy, not the least of which is getting the house-and-home situation sorted.

Devon