Tues. Dec. 12, 2017: The Aftermath of the #HolidayBakingFrenzy

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend, but, at this time of year, when is it not?

Another 270 gallons of leaves raked on Friday, and two trips to the dump to get everything out. The front is done. I still have the side yards, the terraced back, and the meadow, which will be done piecemeal as weather allows.

I put up the exterior decorations. Two strands of NEW lights — as in I bought them last year — aren’t working. So, when I went to replace them — of course, the place I bought them is sold out.

Also did important things like re-stock the cat food and cat litter.

Had great discussions with several webhosts. One, in particular, looks like it has everything I need, is reliable, and has good customer service, at a price I can afford. In fact, I’ll save quite a bit if I use them. Not only that, but I’ll be able to post my book covers and media kits and, you know, the things that make it possible for me to earn a living.

Another host was helpful, but I’m not tech-savvy enough to use their services.

Several other hosts haven’t bothered to answer the questions I sent. Which knocks them right out of consideration. This was, after all, an audition.

And my current host is just useless. On social media, insisting they are eager to make things right. But when I actually interact with them, they are cruel, condescending, and useless.

The holly walk at Ashumet was cancelled on Saturday, due to weather. So the weekend turned into a baking marathon. On Saturday, I prepped the rolled sugar cookies and the molasses spice cookies, which had to be chilled overnight. Then, I prepped and baking 15 dozen tollhouse cookies, 12 dozen oatmeal-currant cookies, and 13 dozen orange cranberry cookies. Baked, cooled, packed.

Every year, I swear I’ll buy chef’s clogs for the baking marathon, because standing and working causes excruciating pain in my lower back, hips, knees, and feet. Every year, I put it off and regret it. This year is no different. Hopefully, I’ve learned from my mistakes!

I was exhausted and in a lot of pain Saturday night. Yet, at the same time, I enjoyed the process of the day. I truly enjoyed the baking.

I also used some of the time (when I wasn’t intentionally being mindful — how’s that for being redundant?) to work out plot points on several pieces on which I’m working.

Sunday, up early, and an extra long yoga session, which helped stretch out the kinks. Then, it was back to baking.

Rolled sugar cookies first. Nightmare. I simply cannot do the volume necessary with this type of cookie in the time frame I have. This is the last year I’ll do them for the platters. I’ll do them for us in the coming years, but not for the platters.

Molasses spice next, which was fine. Takes time, rolling them and flattening them, but they’re fine.

12 dozen sugar cookies, 14 dozen molasses spice.

Because the mint chocolate brownie recipes didn’t work, I went back to the raspberry chocolate chip recipe, only as a cupcake, not a cake. I did the first 3 dozen cupcakes. They’re messy, but good.

Once the sugar cookies cooled, had to decorate them, then pack up everything. And put them in the coolers so they stay fresh and cold.

Yesterday, the cookie platters started moving out. I need to get them out in the next
few days.

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Published in: on December 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 12, 2017: The Aftermath of the #HolidayBakingFrenzy  
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Tues. Nov. 28, 2017: Getting Back on Track

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde

Quite the busy holiday weekend. And yet, it feels like I got very little done.

We didn’t go to Maine for the holiday, like we usually do. Usually, the first few days of Thanksgiving week, I’m finishing my Nano word count, cooking up a storm of desserts and other things. Then, we usually drive up on Wednesday, making our favorite stops. I bring up the dinner and dessert for twelve I prepared at home, and that’s what I serve those who set up the Hall that’s always rented for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night. Thursday, I can usually get a bit of writing done in the morning, then help with the food prep at the hall (mashing vats of potatoes is my speciality), help with the clean-up, and preparing the snack for Thursday night. Because we have anywhere from 37 to 64 in the hall for the actual meal. And Friday, we head back while everyone else runs around shopping.

Not this year, because there’s too much post-op care after my mom’s surgery, and she still can’t fit into a shoe.

My mom had her doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning. He’s worried about her accelerated heart rate and is changing her medication. I took her home, got her settled, and spent a few hours on site with a client.

Then, home, and ready to dig in for the weekend.

Thursday morning, I was up early. The turkey was stuffed and in the oven by 7:30 in the morning. I read, and got some reading done, checking on the turkey and preparing the other dishes. We ate around 3. Maple-cranberry glazed turkey, my own stuffing recipe, mashed potatoes, my own carrot-parsnip in mushroom gravy, peas. Apple pie for dessert.

My mother wasn’t feeling well, with bouts of dizziness from her medication. So, all of the cooking, the set-up, and the clean-up was on me. I put away the leftovers, took apart the turkey. I’d gotten a bit overzealous with the turkey — over 22 pounds, and just for the two of us. We’ve got a good bit of leftovers. I then boiled down the bones to make stock. Once the stock was done, I added onion, celery, carrots, herbs, garlic, etc. and some turkey meat and made turkey soup. Once that cooled, I put everything in jars and labelled it.

Basically, I was in the kitchen for about 13 hours.

But it was an outstanding meal.

Friday, I was up early. I got a few things done around the house, and I emptied the Christmas closet and stacked the boxes by category in the back room.

I had to take my mom to get her blood pressure checked at the firehouse, and then we dumped a stack of books in the book drop at the library, and picked up her new medication. Then, we headed to Country Gardens, where I got the wreath I’ll decorate for the door, a small tree for the barrel in the front yard, and a cyclamen.

Home, and got the laundry going. Then, I ironed all the holiday fabric, took off the Thanksgiving fabric from all the surfaces that were covered, and replaced them with the Christmas/Yule fabric. Stripped the mantel and the hearth, wrapped the iron candle stands in gold ribbon, set up the Advent Table. Put up the musical fabric over the fireplace, set up the garland, the gold bells, and the caroler collection on the top, and the herd of deer on the bottom. Got some of the Advent table done.

That took all damn day.

Watched a rather pointless documentary on Stonehenge and did some reading.

Saturday morning, up early, outlined the next section of the Lavinia Fontana play. Changed the beds, vaccuumed, moved things. Hauled the big tree down. Got it into the stand (worst stand ever). Put the tree together. Got the lights on. Even though I tested them before I put them on, once they were on, half the strand at the top didn’t work. Took them off. Tested them again. They worked. Put them on. Now they didn’t. Went to the store to get a replacement strand. Got them home. Tested them. Three quarters of the strand worked; one quarter didn’t. Went back to the store. Swapped them out. This strand worked. Got them on the tree, and it all worked.

Lost two hours on the damn lights.

Unpacked a lot of the ornaments. Got some of the windows decorated. Finished the Advent Table (since Sunday was the First of Advent). But didn’t get the tree done. Didn’t even get the ornaments on it.

We’re rearranging things this year, and a lot of it is trying something, deciding that’s not what we want and changing it.

Honestly, it was easier in the small apartment where everything only fit one way!

But I do enjoy the decorating process.

I was tired that night, though. Too tired to do much. I did get the Norfolk pine planted in the barrel. But the neighbors are doing yard work and I am not. I am doing the inside first.

I couldn’t find the recipe I wanted, so I invented on. Hello, chocolate espresso spice cake. It turned out well, but I think I want to tweak some of the proportions and make it better.

We had power fluctuations on Saturday. Power kept going on and off in the evening and all night. Good thing it happened AFTER the cake was done!

Sunday, I gave myself the morning off to read and play with the cats.

Then, I had to do some work for one of my clients. I was behind, and we were meeting yesterday to finalize some photos for the rough of the media kit and the brochure.

We also did a photo shoot in the cemetery for the cover of “Miss Winston Apologizes”, since everything we’ve come up with so far isn’t quite right. Hopefully, what we came up with will now work.

Didn’t sleep well Sunday night into Monday. I’m dreading when Mercury goes retrograde next week.

Managed to get some good work done yesterday morning on SERENE AND DETERMINED.

Had to help my client untangle computer issues most of the day yesterday. How much do you want to bet there will be more today? Scary when I’m the most IT-savvy person in any room! 😉

Busy week – I feel like I’m falling behind, so I’ll have to add in extra writing sessions, probably late at night.

And so it goes . . .

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 2:32 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 28, 2017: Getting Back on Track  
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Fri. Nov. 3,2017: Settling into New Schedules

Savasana at Sea Cover Choice 1

Savasana at Sea available for advance purchase.

Friday, November 3, 2017
First Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Foggy and mild

I managed to get 1K written on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN yesterday morning.

I also updated 30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS, the Nano cheerleading workbook. I tried to upload it to the Devon Ellington site, but Microsoft won’t let it then download when someone tries to click on it, calling it a “double escape” and citing “security” issues. Which is, of course, complete and utter crap. So it’s available on 30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS.3rdEd. It is free — I hope it helps encourage those who are doing Nano.

Got some other work done as well, and then had yoga, which was bliss. I hadn’t realized how tight everything had gotten over these past two weeks. I also signed up for a crystal sound bowl meditation class on November 12 with the same teacher.

Took down the Samhain decorations, which included switching out the curtains from the black lace spiderweb curtains to the winter velour curtains.

My poor mother has another week of complicated dressing changes to go through before she gets her stitches out.

Somehow, I managed to injure my foot — blood everywhere, but I can’t find a cut. However, the toe in question is badly bruised and it’s difficult to put weight on it. Fun and games all around.

Today, I have work to do early on at one site, then three hours on site with a client, then possibly back to the first site.

My article on “Conference Follow-Up” is live at Authors Publish. I also have to prepare the clip and send it to those who allowed me to quote them in the article.

I have more client work to do this afternoon, plus finish a book for review (I want to get it out tomorrow). I have to set a couple of posts up on various blogs, and type up some material for a client.

In addition, I have to do one more pass on SAVASANA and get some other writing of my own done.

There’s a full moon meditation up on Cerridwen’s Cottage in honor of the full moon, and tomorrow, a new post will go up on Kemmyrk, that ties in.

Tomorrow, I’m going to Plymouth to support one of my clients who has a speaking engagement, and I also have to get in a lot of writing. If the weather cooperates, some yard work has to happen, too.
Never a dull moment, but that’s the way I like it.

Don’t forget! SAVASANA AT SEA is available for pre-release orders and PLAYING THE ANGLES is available for purchase.

Have a great weekend. I won’t be able to post on Monday — a post will go live on Tuesday, talking about the weekend and Monday.

Playing the Angles available now.

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Published in: on November 3, 2017 at 9:00 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 3,2017: Settling into New Schedules  
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Mon. Jan. 6, 2014: Back To It

Monday, January 6, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy, foggy, milder

It’s a little warmer today, before it dips back down to zero tomorrow, so it gives me the chance to finish clearing the snow off the deck and get some cat food into the house.

Busy weekend. Finished a teleplay, revised two screenplays, wrote three essays, did some invoicing. There’s a new post up at Gratitude and Growth about tomatoes.

Finished a book I have to review, read another book that I thought was overly simplistic and a little silly, and started re-reading Phyllis Theroux’s memoir THE JOURNAL KEEPER, which I really enjoy.

Yesterday, we spent the day taking down the holiday decorations (although we’re leaving the red ribbons up around doorways and windows until Valentine’s Day), changing out the fabric on tables, etc., doing laundry, putting everything away.

Normally, I’d have my Twelfth Night party tonight, but between not feeling well for weeks before the holidays and the bad weather, I’m better off doing one in spring instead.

The Editing Intensive starts today, I have a lot of admin work to do, I have to write a review, start two articles, and figure out an article pitch for a piece I want to write, and then figure out where to query it. Plus, trips to the post office, library, grocery store, and gas station.

Busy day!

Somewhere in there, I need to get back to the airship steampunk story, which is due soon, start revisions on the 30 minute teleplay, and start the play for which I got the grant!

Devon

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

Friday, January 11, 2013
New Moon
Cloudy and cold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome weekend, everybody!

Devon

Tues. Jan. 8, 2013: Trying to Get It All Done

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Hopefully, I’m not getting sick. I feel a little run down and achy. I may take a nap this afternoon, if I can. I can’t afford to get sick, on any level.

Yesterday, I worked with students, but the rest of the day was about taking down the decorations. The house looks so big with them down! Some of the ribbons still need to be dealt with, but, for the most part, things are packed away and the Christmas closet is full again. We’re leaving the red ribbons around the windows and doorways until Valentine’s Day, because they’re pretty.

Reconfigured the space in my office a bit, so I have more breathing/working space. I’d reconfigured it to have the high buffet table (built of boxes of books, covered in fabric) for the party, but it purposely cut off the desk space, and I needed to switch it around again.

The Galaxies and Cosmology class started yesterday — I’m auditing it, too, rather than going for certification. I’m still trying to catch up in the Astronomy class.

Worked on “That Man in Tights” yesterday, prepping it for the Smashwords release, and realized that it needs some major work. Did a lot of work on it yesterday, but I think it will probably be the end of this week or early next week before it’s truly ready for release. I’d rather make it the best it can be than release something with more holes in it than Swiss cheese. I need to expand it a bit, flesh it out. I don’t want to lose the somewhat slapstick comic element, but it needs to go deeper, and I have to trust that the comedy will come organically out of the situation.

Got a lot of work to do this morning, so I better get to it!

Devon

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 8:48 am  Comments (3)  
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Mon. Jan. 7, 2013: Plough Monday means Ploughing Back into Life!

Monday, January 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Plough Monday
Sunny and cold

The whole weekend was about the Twelfth Night party. I baked/cooked/cleaned all day Saturday, did the last minute prep set-up on Sunday morning. Costume Imp was in Aruba, so he couldn’t co-host with me, but we had his picture at the cruise ship posted and people could toast him.

The party itself was a fun, eclectic group of friends and neighbors, mixing Marine Life Center people and Writers Center People and garden people and neighbors. Everyone got along and had lively conversations, which was terrific –people from different walks of life, interesting and interested, getting to know each other.

People loved the way the house was decorated, and the regulars always find it interesting how different it is every year. Which, for me, is kind of the fun of having a house. In the apartment, everything fit only one way — here, I can design something different every year. And they get a kick out of the fact that I set up a rolling rack for coats. Well, I’m a wardrobe person — I live by rolling rack! 😉

Tessa was a little bit sociable, and, when she had enough, she went back upstairs. Iris and Violet were gray blurs every once in awhile, streaking through the rooms to remind people they exist, but not social enough

The officially ended at 6, but some of us stayed and hung out for awhile, which was fun. Got the clean-up going, including starting to take down some of the decorations. Today is the big push to take down the decorations, once I’ve worked some more with my students.

I’d like to sleep for about three days, now that the holiday season is done — but no much luck!

I gave myself the weekend off from writing, and I knew I was going to do that, so I could work ahead and take off time with a clear conscience.

Onward,

Devon

Published in: on January 7, 2013 at 8:02 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Nov. 29, 2012: Writing, Decorating, Coursework


Tessa and Violet enjoy the sun

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

I’m over at The Writers Vineyard in my Annabel Aidan persona, talking about “Always Learning.”

Busy day yesterday. Writing, errands, libraries. Got the lights on the tree (my least favorite part of decorating). Got the lights up around the windows. I don’t want to start decorating outside until I know when the roofers are coming — and going. Got some of the ribbons up around the windows and doorways. I don’t understand why the decorating is taking so darned long this year. Usually, it took a day. Although decorating a house takes longer than an apartment.

Tessa helps.

I swear, that cat could pass the SATs. She understands every word I say.

I’ve got to get out a couple of press releases today, and set up the accounts at Smashwords, so I can upload my stories there. I still want to re-do the cover for “Mistletoe”, but didn’t manage to get my hands on any real mistletoe yesterday (and it was rainy and awful out, so ick).

I’m almost packed for the trip to NY. I’m working on a little something special for Costume Imp, and that has to be finished today.

Almost done with the Greek/Roman Mythology Course — finished the lectures and the quiz. Today, I have to evaluate five student papers, and, then — done! Started the Astronomy class — it looks wonderful, but I’m auditing, not going for certification. The math required is beyond me. But today, I’ll tackle the history course.

And, hopefully, get some more decorating done, and some more work on prepping “That Man in Tights” for upload.

Good writing session this morning, but missed yoga. 😦

Devon

Don’t forget to sign up for Flash 7 Workshop, running from Dec. 7-16. Write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Info and registration here.

Mon. Nov. 5, 2012: Getting Organized

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devon

Tues. Jan. 10, 2012: Recovering from the Party

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Last Day of Full Moon
Cloudy and cold

I’m back! Good to be home! I’m fighting a cold, but, that’s the way it goes.

Got a lot of work done on Friday, and then it was party prep.

Friday night’s party was a ton of fun. Eighteen people in the little house, lots of food, drink, and laughter. Everyone talked to everyone, and got along. The food was good, the decorations looked good, we’d set up the buffet tables to work with the natural flow of the house — one could basically graze one’s way through the house. Turns out one of my colleagues at the Marine Life Center is the niece of the owner of the house!

Tessa Houdini slipped her harness twenty minutes in, but was much happier roaming and playing extra hostess. She never tried to dash out the door as people came and went. She had a blast, because everyone adored her. The other two hid.

We cleaned up after it was over and pulled down the boxes for the holiday decorations before going to bed.

I woke up feeling like I could sleep for a week. But we started taking down the decorations. It took all day, but they’re packed and put away. And a trip to the dump to get all the party debris out.

Then it was packing for the trip and leftovers, which was all we had the energy to heat up.

Up early Sunday morning, loaded the car, on the road a little after eight. Stopped in Niantic for some books (always a treat) and in Old Saybrook, where I found a few little things, then on to Greenwich. Dropped Costume Imp off at the train and my mom at her site.

Found out I the site has now locked wireless access, so I couldn’t use my own computer. I HAD to get online, so I borrowed a computer and caught up with students. Some of them are pushing boundaries — I am not on call 24/7, nor am I required to explain where I am, AND I’m allowed to take off a day here and there, just like anyone else. At the same time, I appreciate that they want to make sure I’m not lying in a ditch somewhere. One of the students, however, pulled an absolutely unacceptable manipulation move. To say I hit the roof is an understatement. The passive aggression and constant turmoil this individual causes must stop NOW. Line crossed. Unacceptable.

I thought I was shaking because I was so angry — turns out I was also running a fever and had chills. Broke it with good, ole-fashioned aspirin.

Up early on Sunday, back in the car. Drove straight through to the Cape — well, I had to stop for gas, but that’s it. The cats were glad I was home — it looks so bare without all the decorations! I have to do laundry and convert the big buffet table in my office back into the low workspace table and get back to the routine.

I was congested and feeling icky. Broke down and took a Sudafed, which has always been my go-to. Nothing but an upset stomach from it. So, when its term was done, I fired up the oil burner and mixed eucalyptus, tangerine, and pine oils, letting it burn for a few hours. I could breathe all night without distress.

My throat is a little scratchy, but, other than that, I seem in decent shape. Will hit the page for a few hours. I’ve also got to finish a review and type up the minutes for tonight’s meeting. Then, it’s checking in with the students in both classes. The Year-Longs are soldiering along (5 out of 12 have completed the first draft that has to be done by the end of the month). The 5-in 10-ers have their first flash fiction piece due today. Of the four pieces I’ve read so far, all four are excellent. They took the found inspiration and ran with it, kept their unique voices, and kept within the word count limits. The stories are lively and pack a punch. Good stuff! My new private student’s doing really, really well, too. I’ve got some polishing to do for tomorrow’s Webinar — I hope some of you will join me. It’ll be fun.

I’ve got a busy week ahead of me. It’ll be fun, but demanding. I’m also looking forward to next week, which I’m trying to keep very quiet.

Devon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Primrose

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Snowing

With the snow coming down, it feels much warmer than it did yesterday — well, it IS much warmer than it was yesterday. It’s not much — sort of like a giant is sifting powdered sugar over us. Very pretty.

I had a good writing day yesterday on the manuscript due at the end of February. A couple more weeks of that every day, and I’ll be there. The manuscript has to be mailed to Scotland, so I have to send it a little early. I caught up on the workshop — can’t believe this is the last week! A lot of really good work has been created. Several students have several different pieces each they could submit, which is how it should be.

The rest of the day was spent packing the rest of the Yuletide decorations and arranging what I’ve designated as “The Christmas Closet”. It almost all fit — four boxes had to go into a different one, but once I do some rearranging in the spring, they’ll fit. It took almost the whole day, but it’s done. And I had to rearrange some furniture, because it looks very bare where the tree stood.

Finished PD James’s TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION. It’s interesting. It makes me want to go re-read Wilkie Collins’s THE MOONSTONE, and revisit some of the old-time mystery authors I haven’t read for about twenty years or so. I’m making a list to take to the library!

Somehow hurt my knee (the “Broadway knee”) — iced it, took ibuprofen, kept it warm last night. It’s better, but still aches. I’m looking forward to acupuncture towards the end of next month, with my regular acupuncturist back in NY. She’s going to have to use a chisel!

Today, I’ve got writing to do, the final exercise to post for my students, exercises on which to comment, and a plant identification seminar up at the Green Briar Jam Kitchen in Sandwich. I want to dash to my local library, too, to take back some books, get my mom set up with her library card, and take out some of the books on the list I’m making, if they’re available.

As usual, I’m very busy! 😉

Saturn goes retrograde tomorrow — ick. If I haven’t learned a lot from the last retrograde and applied it, I will get my ass kicked. So I better proceed with caution.

Devon

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and COLD!

I’ve got this lovely white rag doll angel that I keep wrapped up all year round in acid-free paper to keep her clean and safe. I put her out for the holidays, and Elsa and Violet INSIST on sleeping on top of her.

Sigh.

I polished the Apocalypse story and sent it off, so, fingers crossed. I think I hit the right balance of fun/creepy/fractured fairy tale at which I aimed. I worked on the other story, due tomorrow. We’ll see what happens with that. I completed the assignment for Confidential Job #1, but lost internet access, so I had to send it from the home office this morning.

I’ve got a piece up on Kemmyrk about the Blue Moon, which is tomorrow night, if you’re interested.

Ideas come in batches, and I’ve been scrambling to scribble down the batch that burst through my brain the past few days. When I’ll actually get to write them completely, who knows, but at least I’m capturing the essence. Change of place is always good to get the creative juices going again.

Must dash — I have to pick up a few things at the various stores for tomorrow and New Year’s Day — both for the food and for the rituals (full/blue moon tomorrow night and the traditional New Year’s Day dawn ritual). I’ve also got to run a few errands for my mom.

Then, it’s back to the page and the other story.

Later!

Devon

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 8:41 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Waiting to see what fresh hell the landlords have in store for us. It’s no way to live — every footfall, every passing car, every time something is dropped at the door, you wonder what new aggression is performed against your home.

We were sealed in yesterday, and I don’t give a damn what they’re doing today, I have stuff to do, and if it means breaking the seal and walking through the cordoned off area, that’s what I’m going to do.

I didn’t get much work done yesterday — most administrative. I did, however, put out the Samhain decorations, and the place already feels better. And the decorations freak out the workmen, which is an added bonus.

The books on Mozart and Haydn arrived, the ones that interested me after the Prague trip. It’s amazing to me that the postman can’t get into the sealed building — but Strand gets the delivery here. You gotta love Strand Books! They always come through for me.

Yesterday was also the second day in a row I got non-stop “server errors” in the websites. Since I can only send out the newsletter via the webmail program, I couldn’t get out the newsletter. I pulled mail through some of the other accounts via mail2web, and managed to get out a couple of queries, but that’s it. I’m over 1and1. This is well over a year that we have the same conversation every day. Every day, there’ a problem between 11 AM and 3 PM. I thought maybe if I did the site resdesign, I could live with the webmail problems, but I can’t. So, on the few random days I can actually get into the accounts, I have to copy/backup the mail I need and pull it off, get the sites redesigned and move hosts. I can’t run a business and earn a living with an unreliable web host. And I MUST be able to access the webmail — puling it through something like Outlook doesn’t work for me — I need to be able to access it from ANYWHERE, not just the home computer. And the fact that their customer disservice keeps asking for my password to “fix” problems they never actually fix is beyond inappropriate. I have to grit my teeth and deal while I put everything in place for the transition, but it’s completely ridiculous.

I managed to get back to AMENDS this morning for a bit, before the latest round of chaos began here in the building. It felt good to get back to it.

i visited some forums yesterday I hadn’t visited in awhile — same sh**, different posters. I’m tired of the same questions posted by wanna-bes who are too damned lazy to look in the archives, and I’m not taking the time to answer the same questions I’ve answered a couple of dozen times. Do some research, prove you have a commitment to your craft, and stop expecting others to do the work for you.

It’s probably a good thing I’m skipping Nano this year, and not just because of my own deadlines. My patience with beginners right now is nil. It’s not necessarily fair –we all have to start somewhere, and asking questions is important. So I guess it’s not really the “beginner” part I have trouble with — it’s the “lazy” part. Do some background research and then ask questions that prove you’ve actually done some groundwork.

The cats are having fun with the decorations. They used to be afraid of them — no more.

Going to try to get some writing done, my errands done, and then get back to work on m mother’s new cover. After all, it’s getting colder, and the scumbag landlords don’t give us heat during the day in winter. If they did, they might actually be complying with the law, and they can’t have that!

Devon