April 16, 2012: Lovely weather for Patriot’s Day!

Monday, April 16, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy weekend, and I’m exhausted. Had to work hard, and now I’m feeling like I’m coming down with something, so I’m being a bit careful.

Friday was a busy day, prepping for the seminar. But I took the promised break in the middle of the day — I’d been invited to go with friends to Heritage Museums and Gardens for an author talk about Eudora Welty and the garden. I went with two friends, and we had a great time. After the lecture, we got to walk the grounds — it didn’t open for the season until the next day. The landscaping is stunning there, and everyone we met was enjoying the final preparations and the day. It was so beautiful out — sunny and not too hot.

We stopped in Sandwich at a shop called The Spotted Cod, which has some really nice stuff, and then went to the Beehive Tavern for a little snack. We were brainstorming/half-joking about a mystery series called “The Bellini Girls” about a trio of Bellini-swigging women (who loved Nancy Drew growing up) who wind up solving mysteries on Cape Cod. In other words, comic cozies. I think it would be fun to play with that idea. I’m sure, by the time I finish, it will have grown away from our original joking around, but it seems like something fun.

First, though, I have to get my contracted deadlines out of the way! 😉

Was up working on smoothing out the last minute technical stuff for the seminar until nearly midnight on Friday. Add to that the frustration of not being able to access the Savvy Authors forum at all to comment on student work — kept getting “attack page” warnings. Poor things, they’re working hard to fix the problem, and it’s been dragging on now for a couple of months. Makes it hard for all of us to meet our deadlines, but, as I said to them, we just do the best we can, give each other a bit of room. There are quite a few regulars, and I know that they’re conscientious, and I don’t want them to feel bad for something that’s not their fault.

Managed to catch up on the student work from both classes on Saturday in and around being online non-stop for the seminar hours. It was good group, although some of them were a little shy. Some of them are new students, and we’re learning our rhythms with each other.

Saturday night, I had to go to bed early (raging migraine). Read the papers Sunday, wound up the final seminar questions, finished the PDF of the companion handbook to the seminar — had to drop in the cover, add the indicia page, and add the resources. I put together a reading list of books that I think cover what we discussed, plus some of my favorite writing books, plus a pretty extensive list of volumes of diaries and letters that are helpful in attaining the cadences of an historical time period. Since I collect volumes of diaries and letters, I had to pick and choose, or the list would have run close to 30 pages! I think the final one is about three! Had to proofread it, too, and wowza! Missed some doozies of typos in the lectures, but they’re fixed in the handbook, so it’s all good. The handbook went out last night, so everyone’s got a long term reference guide.

The next one-day seminar is on Antagonists, and it’s May 12, and then, on June 2, I have a one-day seminar on Setting Up Your Submission System. The registration for both of those will open later this week. They’re the same deal — in real time on Saturday, where participants can read lectures, post relevant snippets, ask questions, get individual feedback, final questions on Sunday, and then a PDF of the lectures, exercises, and additional resources.

It’s Monday, which means Billy Root’s blogging, so go on over and check it out. Good news!

This week will be crazy-busy, but in a different, hopefully less stressful way than last week. This afternoon (even though it’s a holiday here), I’ve got a client meeting. I’m looking forward to it — hopefully, we’re a good fit and can start a mutually beneficial relationship over the next few months.

And I’ve GOT to get back to the page. I’ve done only the minimum the past few days, and that’s not enough.

Got to do some yard work today, and will do it early, before it gets too hot. Sometimes, Mother Nature’s deadlines are more pressing than anyone else’s!

Devon

Tues. April 10, 2012: Good News to Share!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, worked flat out all day. Worked with my students on the revision process, got out a requested partial, got out a couple of short stories, worked on some marketing and proposal stuff. Someone who wanted a manuscript by June 1 now wants to take a look at the opening chapters earlier, so I need to figure out how to fit that in. Got some good work done on HEART BINDER in the sprint with students. Did my work in the Steampunk class and started One Story, Many Voices.

Went to use the library’s computer to put in a “tweet this” button on my website for the workshops, but the website won’t hold the code. Typical. Next week, I need to meet with the Mac people and set up time to learn how to pull the materials the web host is holding hostage, so I can get the website move DONE. I should probably wait until some of the Fast & Funs are done, but I think my current host is interfering so much with my ability to earn a living that I should risk the move sooner rather than later.

The great news is that OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus book, was accepted by Solstice. I’ll send back the contract today, and off we go. I need to have the third book, CRAVE THE HUNT, done and out to them early in June.

Family’s coming down in May, and I had to get my Fast & Fun dates sorted for May and June. Looks like those are going to work out, so the pages and registration information will go up soon.

Overslept this morning, but still managed to get to meditation on time. We had a good session and an interesting discussion. Stopped at Nirvana on the way back for coffee and chocolate croissants. A couple very impressed with their own importance was in the place, talking to make sure they were overheard. Nothing they had to say was worth hearing. Geez, the only way I could use characters inspired by them is in a dark comedy, where a boulder falls on them or something after a snippet of their vapid exchange.

I’ve got a busy day stretching in front of me, and a migraine with which to contend. I better get to it — got to take back a stack of books to the Sandwich Library and see what else they’ve got waiting for me! And I’ve got an article to finish up. Plus all the writing.

Fingers crossed that submitted material just keeps hitting the target!

Devon

Don’t forget — Dialogue Dilemmas & Solutions, a one-day online seminar to help you create unique and sparkling dialogue. This is the only time I’ll be teaching a dialogue workshop online this year. Information and sign-up here.

Fri. March 30, 2012: A busy techie bee

Friday, March 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I was a busy little technical bee yesterday. As you can see from the sidebar, I’ve added pages for the Workshops and the Books — to help keep you up to date! I’ve got some great stuff going on in the coming months, and some of them are one day seminars (such as “Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions” and “Amazing Antagonists”) or two days (“Scene Meat”), which mix lectures and techniques with the chance to post snippets you’re having trouble with and get guidance. It’s great for those who can’t commit to a full month’s workshop, but still want a fresh approach to creating sparkling dialogue or struggle to create a fully complex antagonist or waste so many words in unneeded transitions that the important aspects of a scene are diluted.

I also rearranged the sidebar here for the books. I think it looks and flows better. I did a bunch of work for the HEX BREAKER launch (more details to follow), tried a smoked salmon deviled egg recipe for the client meeting, and had the client meeting. Bourne Bridge wasn’t bad (since the Sagamore’s under construction. Now that I understand the way to go, it makes sense, and it lets me off right near the facility.

Followed up on some pieces in last year’s submission log, just crossing t’s and dotting i’s. I hadn’t heard back on several pieces, so I want to close them out (sent a polite letter with the dates of submission, stating that, since I never heard back, I assume the piece did not meet their needs and I will, therefore, submit elsewhere). Found a rejection I’d been waiting for (because, after I sent it, I found a market I think is better-suited, and now I can submit it to this other market). Tweaking a short story that has to go out this weekend. It’s still not where I want it.

Caught up on student work. “Sensory Perceptions” winds up this weekend, and then I’m taking a steampunk class starting Monday, but “One Story, Many Voices” doesn’t start until April 9. That means I can really focus on my year-long students next week, since we’re setting up systems that will serve us well in the revisions. The setting-up bit is kind of a pain in the butt, but the results will be worth it, because it will save them huge amounts of time hunting stuff down as they revise.

I’ve got some press releases to get out today, more student work, but most of the day, I spend to put my head down and get to work on a novel I want to finish this weekend.

I hope the weather’s nice enough (even though cold) so I can get some yard work done, too.

Devon

Thurs. March 29, 2012: Final galleys out!

Thursday, March 28, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, cool, rainy

We need the rain, so I’m not complaining!

Busy day yesterday, which included hitting the final “send” on the final galleys of HEX BREAKER (and, as usual, wanting to throw up, because I’m sure I missed something major). But that’s that. Worked on the media kit and the short story. Worked with students. Ran errands, etc.

Got to yoga this morning — it feels like ages since I’ve been in the Thursday morning class. It was good.

Now, I need to get some writing done, deal with students, put together notes for tonight’s meeting, make the recipe I’m bringing, and slide back into the world of one of my other books. I want to spend a lot of time on this weekend, do a big push, and get it out the door by early next week. I’ve got another story that’s almost ready to to out the door, too, for an April 3 deadline.

And don’t forget the Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions seminar on April 14. If you want to work on dialogue, but only have a day instead of a month to spend time on it, this will give you a solid foundation.

Back to the page.

Devon