Tues. Dec. 18, 2018: Trying to Get it Done by . . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde

It was a busy weekend.

Ran around Friday, trying to get everything done earlier rather than later. Did not get enough writing done. I’m frustrated with myself.

Had a lovely grown-up evening in Boston with a friend — dinner out, concert at Symphony Hall, champagne bar, after-concert brandies at a cool, nearby bar. It was nice to dress up and go out, although it was odd to have tables and dining in a symphony hall, as far as I was concerned. A little too dinner theatre for me. We weren’t at a table; we were up in a box, which was much more to my liking.

Saturday morning, I made stollen from scratch. Stollen is a big deal tradition in our family. One used to get really good ones from Karl Ehmer, on the upper East side of NYC. Then, they went out of business, and it was a scramble, but one could usually find a decent kind.

Not lately. I swear, they’re made in February and left to get stale. They’re overpriced, undersized, and taste like cardboard dusted with powdered sugar.

So I decided to make the traditional Dresden stollen from scratch.

It took 8 hours. I started a little before 8 AM, and it was a little after 4 PM when it was done. It’s a long, involved, arduous process. But, I wound up with three stollen about three pounds each, and they’re really, really good. Wouldn’t do it more than once a year, though.

Also made beef stew, which turned out really well.

I’m thinking about reviving the cooking blog next year, but worried it’s too big a commitment.

Got a couple of thousand words written on THE LINGERIE TRAIL in and around the baking.

Sunday, I was wiped out. I had a hard time getting anything done. Got a little writing done. Had my phone off for most of the day, which was a relief.

Got up most of the interior lights. Still have to do the ones in my writing room. Put up the small tree in the writing room, with the blue and silver ornaments and the pearl garland. Got some of the other garlands up, and the nutcrackers out, and the boxes put away.

When I unpacked the little holiday stuffed animals, we discovered that someone had burrowed into the box through the handle and hidden acorns there over the summer and fall. Not sure if it was a squirrel or a chipmunk. They didn’t hurt the stuffed animals at all, just hid the acorns in the bottom of the box.

So everything had to be cleaned, and the box tossed. I put the acorns back outside. I felt guilty, but how did they get into the Christmas closet in the first place?

Monday was onsite with a client (the next few months will be, shall we say, challenging, to be nice about it). Then wrote up a cheat sheet to help a Twitter pal set up a blog on WP.

Then, a friend delivered a rug we’re inheriting. Not that I can put it anywhere until the holiday decorations come down.

Then, it was about running around delivering more cooking platters.

Tired much?

Today is about being onsite with one client, then doing some other work at a different location, and then delivering more platters.

I will be glad when it’s 4 PM on Wednesday. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed this week.

 

Published in: on December 18, 2018 at 6:16 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 18, 2018: Trying to Get it Done by . . .  
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Monday, Dec. 10, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Holiday Decor With Personal History

Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde

I admit it. I’m addicted to Victoria magazine, especially the holiday issue.

But when I do my own decorating, I need it to be more personal. Creating the environment I want doesn’t have to cost a lot.

But it does need patience.

I have an entire closet of Yuletide ornaments, collected over the years. Every year, I buy one or two pieces (often during the year at a thrift shop or yard sale). Or people give me ornaments as gifts. Every ornament has a story.

As we decorate each year, we tell and re-tell the stories. We relive and remember our family (meaning friends that are chosen family) history.

Nothing is there because a decorator told us to put it there. It’s there because we want it there.

When I lived in a NYC apartment, everything only fit one way. Now that I live in a house on Cape Cod, I rearrange things as I wish.

I have accumulated collections of nutcrackers, Santas, angels, snowmen, carolers, reindeer. They move around, rarely in the same place two years in a row.

Here are some other thrifty ideas that give us lots of pleasure.

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Fabric
I’ve picked up an assortment of fabric in an assortment of lengths throughout the year. Novelty holiday prints; velvets; solid colors, glittery fabric. I mix and match them, and I use them to cover tables, end tables, coffee tables, and any other surface that needs brightening up. Organza or silk or glittery strips can be used to swag around curtains or the tops of windows or door. I change out the fabric for all the holidays; it’s amazing how much difference it makes.

Most fabric I’ve picked up on sale or as remnants.

christmas-2999745_1920

Ribbon
Ribbon goes on sale throughout the year, and I grab it whenever I see it. We hang lengths of red velveteen ribbon along the sides of our doors and windows, topped with ornaments or found pine cones we attach to the top with florist twine.

Along the door ribbons, we tape our cards. We can look up and enjoy the holiday cards all season.

We also put holiday ribbon on any stuffed animals that are sitting around, or any of our carved or ceramic animals.

christmas-balls-1891598_1920
Natural objects
You don’t have to go to the store to buy cones and shells. I gather cones in the card, or get shells, sand dollars, etc. on the beach. I clean everything, of course. Some of it, I keep in its natural state (or maybe spray with clear varnish). Some I spray with gold or silver or copper or bronze paint, so they sparkle.

wreath-1081973_1920
Rather than buying a wreath made by someone else, I’ll buy a plain wreath or different greens at the garden center or the library’s green sale or on the Audubon Society’s holly walk and make my own. That way, each year’s is unique and personal.

Of course, you CAN spend a lot of money on any or all of this. But the items I tend to gravitate toward are usually the vintage, the ones I find at odd little sales, or from individual crafters. Or I find bits and pieces and put it together on my own.

To me, the process of decorating is part of the magic of the season. It makes me happy. It fulfills something in my spirit.

Whether it was the year I bought a 50 cent garland of musical instruments at Woolworth’s to hang up in my college dorm room (which I still have and use every year) or the Angel Tree Advent calendar I bought at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it all has personal meaning. And that makes it magical for me.

Published in: on December 10, 2018 at 6:33 am  Comments Off on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Holiday Decor With Personal History  
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Tues. Dec. 4, 2018: Writing and Annoyances

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend.

Saturday morning, I met friends at the Cahoon Museum’s open house. We wanted to see the fiber art exhibit again, and revisit some of our favorite paintings. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning, and it also allowed me to plot a scene for a piece I’m playing with.

Ran some errands on the way back. Got a new carbon monoxide detector to replace the one that gave up the ghost in the basement. Had to go to multiple stores to find the red and green candles I need for the Advent table, because heaven forbid a store had them in stock. And DON’T tell me to “order online” when I’ve made the effort to support your brick-and-mortar store. That really annoys me.

Home, wrote a few pages of another project, read a bit, more decorating.

I also finalized the recipe for the Stained Glass Cupcakes. They are really, really good. I’m glad I could get them right. It took a few months, but it was worth it.

Finished reading the second book in a series. I’d loved, loved, loved the first book (it makes me “favorites” for the year). I loved the beginning of the second, but the further the story went, the angrier I got. The craft was great, but the plot — it reinforced anti-female clichés that I found personally insulting, and I found the female characters’ revenge justified, not that they were villains. There was also too much unnecessary animal murder in it. I nearly decided not to read the third book in the series — although it takes place backstage at a theatre.

Slept in on Sunday, which was nice, and then got to work. Managed 6 1/2 chapters of BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, which puts me in a good position. Wrote about 4 pages of another project, and plotted out some more of the erotic adventure story in space with which I’m playing.

I have to finish the short for the newsletter; I want to get the newsletter out next week.

More decorating; finally starting to get some of the boxes put away. But it takes awhile. My office and the back room are still in chaos, and need to be sorted out; I still have no idea where I’ll display the angels, the nutcrackers, and some other ceramic figures. And the tree topper’s not working, so I have to come up with something else.

It will all work out. It always does.

Finished a book I had to review, and wrote the review yesterday. I wanted to like it more than I actually liked it. It has serious logistical problems.

The first Bush president died over the weekend. The photo of his service dog lying in front of the coffin is heartbreaking. But now everyone acts like he’s a saint. He wasn’t. He was part of the GOP long game that brought us Trump. He did it more for country than self, and I wish his family peace, but I worked as a military case worker volunteer for the Red Cross during Desert Storm. I was furious about the way he handled it, and how it led to 9/11. Not to mention all the other typically-Republican positions he took. Just because he was a better human being than the Narcissistic Sociopath (and that bar is pretty low) doesn’t make him a shining light.

Monday morning’s first writing session was derailed by idiots with leafblowers who started at 7:30 in the morning—even though everything was soaked from the storm the night before. I am so sick of them. Two hours later, when I left to work with my client, they were still there.

Worked with a client yesterday. Exhausting. Today and tomorrow will be more of the same. Some changes are going on with this client that will make life difficult for the first few months of next year.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on December 4, 2018 at 6:15 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 4, 2018: Writing and Annoyances  
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Tues. Nov. 27, 2018: Busy Season is Here

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune DIRECT (as of Saturday)
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week.

We drove to Maine, leaving early on Wednesday. We managed to thread the needle through the Big Dig tunnel, avoiding the bulk of the traffic, and getting through it only moments before a breakdown in the tunnel caused problems.

Our preferred hotel in Ogunquit was closed for the holiday, so we found another one, in Wells. It was fine. It had a kitchenette, which always helps, but the space was cramped, and the shower only had hot water for three minutes.

Hit my favorite thrift shop in York, and got some adorable decorations to add to the decoration family.

We got our favorite pizza from our favorite pizza joint in the area, Da Napoli. On the way back, I ran into a snow squall. From clear to whiteout in seconds. It was like someone poured a giant vat of sugar over the road.

Got some writing done, on a couple of different projects. Tried to watch TV, but it was dreadful. The news has a single sound byte and then a half a dozen commercials. There isn’t any actual reporting going on. The shows don’t even have scenes any more, just moments. But at least Comcast doesn’t run everything up in Maine.

Thursday was the coldest in years, although clear. 8 degrees, but it felt like in the minus numbers. We drove up to Gray. We always rent out the American Legion Hall. This year, we had 63 for dinner. I mashed, I believe it was, 108 pounds of white potatoes, and 40 pounds of sweet potatoes. Lots of people I hadn’t seen in years were there, and it was fun to catch up.

I felt bad for my mom. This year, she was the oldest one at the dinner (at 94). All her contemporaries have died. It was difficult for her.

We ate, we cleaned up (everyone helps with everything), we went back to the motel to recover. It was fun, but exhausting. For an introvert, that’s a lot of people.

Friday morning, we hit the road early. Stopped at Stonewall Kitchen in York to stock up on our favorite things, and then headed home. There was a lot of traffic, but it was moving. We made another stop at Market Basket when we came over the bridge, to stock up, and were home a little after noon.

The cats were glad to see us, but they’d coped just fine while we were gone.

Unpacked, and switched out the harvest fabric to the holiday fabric on various surfaces. I felt like I was coming down with something, and hoped I was wrong.

Saturday, I had a sore throat, but pushed ahead. We took 300 gallons of leaves to the dump, then raked up another 330 gallons. We got the tree in the stand, and the lights on it. I hate putting on the lights, but when we took them off last year, I took the time to pack them differently and mark them, and that made all the difference this year.

While raking, sorted out the scenes for the holiday story I want to include in the newsletter this year. It will be short — 3, maybe 4 scenes, inspired by the fireplace at the rest area on the border between New Hampshire and Maine on I-95.

Cleared off one of the bureaus, to set up the Santa collection, and wound up polishing the whole piece. It looks wonderful, so it was worth it. But the Santas didn’t look right there, so they’re back on the behemoth. For now, the carolers are on the bureau and the herd of deer are on the mantel, but it might all move around.

By Sunday, I was sick, sick, sick. Curled up and read all day. Made chicken soup from scratch. Read a wonderful book called THE STRINGS OF MURDER by Oscar de Muriel, set in Victorian Edinburgh.

Yesterday, I was too sick to work onsite with my client. I probably could have pushed through, but didn’t want to sneeze and cough all over my client and colleagues. Dropping off library books and picking stuff up at CVS was about all I could handle.

Today, I’ll be onsite with my client, prepping for her holiday sales. Busy weeks coming up, with the holidays, and all. I need to get the overseas cards written.

I am disgusted by the administration’s policy firing on asylum seekers and threatening to close the border — all while Russia is making a move in the Crimea. I am sick and tired of no one DOING anything about the corruption in this administration.

I need to get back to the page. BALTHAZAAR is going along well, and I need to make sure that stays on schedule. In the meantime, I need to tear apart DAVY JONES DHARMA and fix it, so that it stay on its new release date schedule.

And I have a review to write.

I watched a documentary about Canaletto, one of my favorite painters, and got an idea to write a play about his sisters. Not sure if that will be pitched to 365 Women or elsewhere. But I think that will be the play after the anti-gun violence play is done.

In the meantime, trying to really get well. I’m better, but still get tired quickly.

Onward, and back to the page.

Published in: on November 27, 2018 at 6:49 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 27, 2018: Busy Season is Here  
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Tues. Dec. 19, 2017: Holiday Hamster Wheel

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend, but not as productive, writing-wise, as I wanted.

I wasn’t able to get the rest of the cookie platter deliveries done on Friday, due to weather. I knew most people wouldn’t be around over the weekend, so they’ve been bumped to this week.

I was exhausted by the car repairs Friday, even though it went well. I find it stressful. But the car purrs like a tiger, and is happy.

I turned around the proofs for TRACKING MEDUSA, and have the next set to proof. Hopefully, we’ve caught everything. I should have done them this weekend, but I wanted to come back to the text with fresh eyes. Yeah, right. I needed a break and procrastinated!

Continued decorating Friday, Saturday, and it was Sunday by the time the decorations were all up and the boxes put away. Took me a month to decorate the house, but it looks great! It feels good, too, and that’s so important. For all I love to travel, I’m very much hearth and home.

Friday afternoon, I finished the gifts that had to be mailed and got them to the post office. We are so lucky — the people who work at Centerville Post Office are amazing!

Saturday, I sat my butt in the chair and wrote the holiday cards. Once I actually sit down, I enjoy the process. I love to reconnect with people; while I send cards to many of those with whom I interact regularly, there are also those where we only connect that once a year.

I realized I should do a direct mail piece, once the two novels move distributors and the new websites are up, about my books to this targeted list. They know I write, but I haven’t given them enough information.

Because my webhost, 1and1.com, is so slimy — I mean, have you ever heard of a webhost that won’t allow simple jpgs to go up on a site without additional charge? Anyway, it’s put the kybosh on the holiday promotions I’d planned. I lost the holiday market this year, because I couldn’t properly promote. Because of the distribution move, I need to be able to have the information, along with the covers and media kits, ON MY WEBSITES. And my host won’t allow it. The repeal of net neutrality early for their customers, I guess.

I didn’t expect to make a gazillion dollars on holiday sales, but I usually make a reasonable amount that helps push me through January and February. Not this year.

I’m going to demand my money back for this final quarter. They did not deliver the services promised in the contract.

Anyway, once everything is moved, I’m going to do a direct mail promotion to my holiday list, and then I’m also working on some other cool promotions winter going into spring, with a nice big one for the Coventina titles while THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY releases, joining PLAYING THE ANGLES on the shelf.

I ran out of stamps on Saturday — I’d miscalculated. Well, math has never been my best subject. The post office was open an extra hour and I ran down to re-stock. Well, the line was out both doors into the parking lot! I couldn’t believe how many people were mailing stacks and stacks of packages! Most people mailed at least five; many mailed at least ten! Everyone was in a good mood, though, and we were laughing and joking and talking about how great our post office is, and how we love supporting them.

Came back, finished the cards. One mail carrier took the first batch when he dropped off a package; our regular guy arrived just a few minutes after I finished the last card. All good!

Did some work on the aging novel. I’m going to add menopause into that. Too often, it’s depicted as cute and funny when, in reality, it’s miserable and interferes with life.

Sunday, we finished decorating and put things away –which took nearly all damn day.

In and around that, I wrote the first chapter and a half of a piece I’m playing with — it could be a valid novel in its own right, but it also serves a more personal purpose, as in trying to figure a few things out.

Yes, I SHOULD have worked on other things, but I needed the break.

Monday, was back to work on SERENE AND DETERMINED — I’ve figured out at least part of the second act, and where I want to go with it, but I need a good ending. I have to trust that, as I write, I’ll get there. This play has been quite a challenge. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s amazing how every play, every script, every novel, takes on its own life and demands its own process. If I tried to force everything into the same process (which I have tried — and it’s failed), it takes the life out of the work.

I needed an infusion of Janet Malcolm’s writing. I like her work. Over the weekend, I re-read THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER, and am reading THE SILENT WOMAN. Both fascinating, and both bring up issues about journalist and subject that are more relevant today than ever.

I’m about two issues behind on my NEW YORKERS, but I’m hoping to catch up next weekend! (When I’ll be three issues behind).

One client meeting was cancelled yesterday, so I was on site with another client, and then has some other meetings.

I’m working on a proposal for a workshop — they might have their full roster, but just in case, I’m going to pitch to this organization.

This is a busy week, especially with the Solstice on Thursday, and Christmas next weekend into early next week!

 

Mon. Dec. 5, 2016: Resting the Foot & Writing the Play

Monday, December 5, 2016
Waxing Moon
Rainy/Snowy/cold

I had to rest my foot most of the weekend. I paid for the vanity of four-inch heels on Thursday night. But it was worth it.

I’m binge-reading Vicky Delany’s Constable Molly Smith books and really like them. So well written! They’re set in British Columbia, and I like the sense of place I get from them, as much as I enjoy the characters.

Playing with ideas, seeing what works and doesn’t. Finishing the play about the 14th Century pirate, and trying to find a better title.

Reading PISTOLS AND PETTICOATS, a research book that I decided I needed to own, and therefore ordered, I got an idea for a pilot script/series that I will then adapt to books. I wrote the first thirteen pages, and like it a lot. If I can keep the novels nice and lean, but inspired by a lot of the real detail, I think I’ll have something worthwhile.

Did some work on the TAPESTRY revisions. It needs a big re-envisioning, not just tweaking, before it’s ready to go out. I hope I can get it done by mid-January.

The focus right now, however, needs to be on the two plays that need to go out, and on the short story that’s due at the end of the month. I have another invitation to submit to an anthology, but that’s not due for a few months. It’s up my alley, so I’m percolating ideas.

I should be decorating, but I don’t feel like it. I ‘m lacking holiday spirit this year. But it may well be the last holiday in this house, so I want to make the most of it. I’m just so weary, and I have so little hope for the future in this country.

The weather is lousy today. I want to focus on writing and decorating.

Tomorrow is my shift at Spectacle of Trees, representing the Marine Life Center. So I’ll write in the morning, and spend the afternoon there. Saturday is the big drawing, Sunday is the clean-up, Monday the ticket count.

Somewhere in all of this, I need to write holiday cards and do my baking!

Somehow, it will all get done. Although I’d rather stay in bed until about 2020. Although I doubt we’ll have a country left by then.

On a positive, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been successfully blocked through Native lands, at least for the moment. I hope this isn’t a ploy to get everyone to clear out and then they start up again. At least there’s one victory to give us hope.

Back to the page. Tomorrow morning, I have to run errands before my shift at Spectacle starts, and I have to write. Wednesday morning, the first play has to go out.

Tonight is St. Nicholas night — put out your shoe!

Onward!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2016 at 10:03 am  Comments Off on Mon. Dec. 5, 2016: Resting the Foot & Writing the Play  
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Mon. Oct. 3, 2016: Preparing for Planning

Monday, October 03, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and warm

We’ve gotten some much-needed rain in the past few days. Of course, that means I have a lot of yard work ahead of me in order to put the yard to bed for the winter!

I’ve done a lot of writing the past week. The revisions on CHOLERIC are coming along well, although more slowly than I would like. But that’s okay; it’s not on contract, so I can do it well instead of just doing it fast. I like what’s happening with it. By taking it out of the realm of “cozy”, which is where it started, I have a much more interesting, complex, and relevant piece. I figure it will need at least one or two more passes, once I finish this draft, before it’s ready to submit.

I’m behind on the plays, and need to get back on track with those.

I’m also playing with a few ideas, that are inspired by things I’ve read, conversations I’ve had lately, and I want to explore them to see if they’re worth a big project. So far, they all are; I will have to pick and choose and figure out how to work them into the schedule. So I’m giving myself quotas for each thing I need to get done, and spreading out my time.

It’s so interesting, because a couple of these projects were inspired by nostalgic musings, but I’m exploring how things have changed for people in that realm.

Heard from someone with whom I worked at The Other Place, which was a surprise. It’s someone I liked, so I was glad to hear from her, but I thought it was interesting that, all this time later, I hear from someone.

No one I’ve run into from that time has addressed the elephant in the room. Everyone’s acted like nothing ever happened. Eye-rollingly unhealthy.

But, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have time to fret. I can acknowledge how ridiculous everything is, but my energy is better spent elsewhere. Like on my work.

All of this is material.

I’m figuring out a series of promotions to launch, for the Jain Lazarus books, for the Digital Delights, and for the Topic Workbooks. I’ll let everyone know when I figure out what it is I’m doing!

Cooking, decorating for Samhain, laundry, writing. A good, busy week. I’ve signed the lease on the house for another year, so the home front is at least stable until next fall.

After the holidays, I will start making the decisions about where I go for my next adventure.

Devon

Published in: on October 3, 2016 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Mon. Oct. 3, 2016: Preparing for Planning  
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Wed. Oct. 14, 2015: Decorating and Cleaning and Writing

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend! I was exhausted by the time I got off work on Saturday, and chilled out. I scored a terrific chair on a curb alert that is almost a Captain’s Chair – it needs some TLC, but will be gorgeous when it’s done.

Sunday was about running around and doing errands. Picked up some stuff at K-mart, went to Home Goods and found new covers for the daybeds in the back bedroom. They look gorgeous! Got some stuff at Christmas Tree shops – my mom found some adorable bowls she fell in love with, so we got them!

More decorating done. I did a couple of coats of stain on the new chair Sunday and Monday. From being a rather non-descript brown, I’ve stained it with “ebony” — it’s not black, but it’s a lovely, very dark brown. It’ll be gorgeous when it’s done.

I worked on prototypes of ornaments for the Marine Life Center Tree. I liked what I came up with – hopefully my colleagues will, too!

I also had one of those lightning bolts of an idea and took some notes. A contemporary piece, and could be a lot of fun, if I can pull it off. Tempting to use that as my Nano piece and DO Nano instead of writing along WITH Nano. But I’m seriously worried about overextending myself, especially when TIE-CUTTER is chugging along so well, and I still have to f inish the historical play.

The landlord came over on Monday and we did some heavy-duty pruning. The Tree Frogs will come by soon and take down the big broken limb of the maple that’s too high for us to reach.

My mom and I did a quick once-over all the photos and documents from my late uncle. Fascinating stuff, and there will be a lot to research.

Got in some good writing on Saturday and Sunday. I chose to take Monday off from writing, although I percolated plenty. Tuesday, it was all about vacuuming and washing floors and cleaning the carpets in preparation for the inspection.

It was pouring down with rain, and he got caught in the weather, so he was late, but once he got here, it was quick and smooth. I even made it to the Spectacle of Trees meeting on time. It was a good, busy meeting.

Home, got a chicken into the oven, relaxed on the deck for a bit. There aren’t that many days we can still sit out!

Watching the final season of SIX FEET UNDER. It’s so interesting to see how the series grew.

Up early to bake spice cupcakes for tomorrow’s program. Had a good writing morning. It will be a long day at work today, but that’s okay.

Enjoy!

Devon

Published in: on October 14, 2015 at 9:31 am  Comments Off on Wed. Oct. 14, 2015: Decorating and Cleaning and Writing  
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Fri. Dec. 12, 2014: Preparing for the Weekend

Friday, December 12, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a solid work day, although I wasn’t feeling well. Managed to land some good people for our upcoming programs. I was up at 5 AM, making deviled eggs, but that’s fine.

Raced home when the library closed, picked up the eggs, platter, and gift for the grab bag, and headed over the bridge to Buzzards Bay. Very little traffic, and the weather cleared up, so I made good time.

Fun seeing everyone and catching up. The food was great. The eggs were gone in about three minutes – it was like the locusts descended! 😉 But in a good way. The gift-giving was “Yankee Swap Style” – something I’d never done before. I wound up with an adorable ceramic turtle tea light, and the gift I contributed also found a good home.

Went home, watched more of DOWNTON ABBEY – I have to say, Season 4 is a disappointment so far.

Tumbled into bed, absolutely exhausted. Had weird dreams – not anxiety dreams, just odd. Overslept by a half hour, but got everything done this morning, including a trip to the post office and a swing by Stop N Shop to get more cups for the library.

I’ll have another busy day here, and then I can GO HOME. I’m exhausted, and fighting something – I suspect it’s a cold, so I’ll dose myself all weekend with my herbal concoctions and get as much rest as possible. I’ve got student work to finish up, my own work to do, and cards to write. Decorating to finish. Baking to begin.

I’m simplifying the baking this year. I just can’t make six different things. I’ll make two, and balance them nicely, present them well, and, hopefully, everyone will be happy.

I do rather feel run over by a bus, so sleeping in for a couple of days, or taking the time to nap in the afternoons is probably all I need to get back on track. Next week will be flat out all week, as will most of the days leading up to Christmas itself. I AM looking forward to the Solstice – got a nice celebration planned.

Have a lovely weekend, all, and I’ll check back next week!

Devon

Published in: on December 12, 2014 at 9:51 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 12, 2014: Preparing for the Weekend  
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Fri. Nov. 30, 2012: Rich Writing & Trip Prep

IMG_0659

Friday, November 30, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Worked flat out yesterday. One press release was approved,and out it went The second press release was tweaked and I had to wait for photos, but those arrived last night and it will go out this morning. That will clear off the desk before I leave.

Polishing the Flash 7 Workshop that starts a week from today. The exercises are REALLY fun — I may well write along with the class, even if I don’t post the pieces. There’s still time to sign up here — it’ll be a great class, writing, revising, and submitting 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 days, and they’ll all be out the door before the holiday insanity starts! 😉

I started working on the Smashwords formatting — I think, once I get the hang of it, it will be pretty smooth, but the first one is always the hardest. I doubt I can get them up before I go to NY.

Caught up on my World History class. Next week is the last week of lectures, but we have until the end of the month to finish our final paper and wrap up.

Good writing sessions yesterday morning and this morning. There’s a richness in these characters’ lives that I enjoy writing, and something I find missing from a lot of the books I’ve read lately. Unfortunately, about the last dozen or so books I’ve read (from the library) have been awful. Very disappointing. I’m trying to pick the books for the trip carefully, so that I’m not disappointed.

Managed to get a few decorations up on the tree this morning, but it’s slow going. However, I am packed for my trip (except for the books). I need to finish Costume Imp’s birthday present today, and get a few other things done, and I’m good to go.

Devon

Published in: on November 30, 2012 at 9:33 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 30, 2012: Rich Writing & Trip Prep  
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Monday, Nov. 26, 2012: Back in the Writing Swing


The pumpkin I grew — so happy that it came up, even if it’s small!

Monday, November 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury goes direct this evening (thank goodness)
Cloudy and cold

First of all, check out my 200-word flash fiction piece “Love in a Wok” over on Daily Love. Drop a comment, so I know you were there!

Busy week. Wednesday morning, we were on the road by 6 AM. Even with traffic around Boston, we hit Maine a little after 9. Stores were barely open. We made a few stops; bought very little. Part of it was the budget, but there was really very little we couldn’t live without. My favorite thrift shops were a disappointment — Mercury was retrograde, there should have been all kinds of wonderful buys. Tante Tchotke abandoned me this time around! 😉

Had lunch at the Stone Dog in Windham, which is very good, and got settled in to the house. My great uncle will be 96 on Christmas Day. He’s doing pretty well for himself.

I brought the dinner for those doing the set-up, and we had a pasta with sausage-pancetta-cream sauce and some lovely Portuguese bread. Visited, read a bit, had an early night.

Up early the next day. Wrote nine pages (longhand, since I didn’t take the computer) — this piece is coming along nicely. The first four pages were challenging, hard to focus, but then I got into the rhythm of it. Made some notes on a few other things.

The dinner itself was fun — 53 people in the hall. Lots of laughter and catching up, and, as always, the four-foot potato masher and plenty of dishes! This time, we were among the last to leave. Good food, good company, no drama. We’ve been attending this gathering now for 38 years.

Tired in the evening, but read a bit. The books I’d taken with me were all a disappointment — not well-written at all.

Up early on Friday, and back on the road by 6. The fog was intense. It’s so interesting to me how different Maine fog is from Cape Cod fog. Maine fog is somehow more ominous, as though the fog itself has substance. Cape Cod fog is more ethereal, as though it reveals spirits, rather than BEING spirits.

At the last minute, we took a detour to Salem. I hadn’t been there in several years. Because we made such great time — nothing was damn open. You’d think on Black Friday, the stores would open a little earlier, even the small businesses. Nope. So we hung around until 11, when things started to come to life. The architecture is gorgeous there. I hope to take Costume Imp up in the spring.

We got home a little after 1, thoroughly exhausted. Unpacked. The cats had figured out how to pry open the basement door, took their toys downstairs, and that’s where I think they spent most of their time. Got some writing done.

Up very early on Saturday, delighted to be home again. Started getting down the Yule-tide decorations. Spent 4 1/2 hours ironing seasonal fabric, and got the tree in the stand. This year, I managed to get the hardware to work so the tree is steady. Not that it has anything to do with the directions, but it works. That, and three loads of laundry took up the entire day.

Yesterday, I wrote. Pretty much all day. I tweaked the Fearless Ink website — it needs a complete overhaul, but it looks a bit better. I got started on my new brochure, but I’m having graphics issues, getting the graphic sized properly to fit the space. I revised a novella, which will be released later this week, and started tweaking some short stories, which will also release shortly. I worked with my tarot students, caught up on my Greek/Roman Mythology class, took the quiz, and wrote a paper for that class on justice. Ties in with the Harpy trilogy nicely.

Up early again today, and lots to do — have to get back to the decorating — everything’s a mess. Have to get the novella released, run errands, deal with admin crap. Too much to do and not enough hours in the day! But I’m feeling cheerful, even if I don’t feel fully prepared to deal with the season.

Devon

Reminder: Flash 7 Workshop from Dec. 7-16 — write, revise, submit 7 Flash Fiction pieces in 10 days! Details here!

Mon. Dec. 19: Time Flies When You’re Decorating

Monday, December 19, 2011
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a lovely dusting of snow yesterday. Things look lovely. But it’s cold.

Friday was busy. Finally got things to the dump — two trips, one for garbage and recycling, one for bags of leaves. Still have a couple of bags in the garage, but, for the most part — done. Still have some leaves to tidy up in the meadow, but can’t do it if they’re under snow.

Working on the domestic cards. Plan to get them out today.

The job I pitched for on Tuesday asked for more info by Wednesday, and I worked it up and sent it on Friday. Either they hire me, or they don’t. I’d love to add them to my roster as a regular gig, but I can’t tie myself in knots about it. They have a specific tone — either I managed to mimic it, or I didn’t. But the quick response was good for my morale!

The yoga party on Friday was fun. The yoga part was hard, much more challenging than I’m used to, but I’m glad I did it.

Saturday was about running errands and getting the rest of the house decorated. I didn’t even turn on the computer, and it was nice to be away from it for a day.

Yesterday was about newspapers, catching up with students, writing cards, and going to a neighbor’s party, which was fun. Tonight, I have a meeting on a possible theatre collaboration.

Violet is a little under the weather today. I’m hoping she just feels the need for a day off, too. I’m keeping an eye on her; hopefully, she’ll be fine and we won’t have to take a trip to the vet later this week.

I’m finally back on track with Book 2 of the trilogy. I’ve written and discarded about 6K over the past few days, but today’s words can stay (in this draft, anyway).

Devon

Today’s word count: 1789
Total word count: 14,162

Published in: on December 19, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (5)  
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Thurs. Dec. 8: Spiky Rain

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, windy, rainy, and cold

Meant to get so much done yesterday. Wrote and worked with my students, and the next thing I knew, it was nearly 3 PM. I think I went out to run one errand, somewhere or other, but that was it. The weather was vile. We didn’t get the predicted snow, but the rain was cold and spiky.

Didn’t get the baking done, but got ribbons up around the door frames (and now we want them around the windows), and some more decorations up.

Worked on the book, then did another pass on “Catch Your Breath”, the contemporary short story I did for class, which I’ll get out on submission in early January, along with everyone else. It’s in pretty decent shape, and I really like it. I think it’s one of the strongest pieces I’ve written lately — funny, hits home, uses irony.

Also wrote about 1200 words of another short story, “Nine-Tenths” — using the same eavesdropped parking lot inspiration that set off “Catch Your Breath”. It’s in a very different voice, a very different premise, and keeps surprising me, in a good way. And I want to get back to “Professional Mourner” soon — I don’t want to lose its atmosphere.

I’m off to yoga now. When I get back, there will be errands and then baking. Also have to wrap some packages that need to be mailed tomorrow. The weekend will be busy, but I’m determined to get out the overseas cards.

Devon

Today’s word count (Book 2): 1065
Total word count (Book 2): 7,092

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 7:03 am  Comments (5)  
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