Wed. July 8, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 51 — A Little More Upbeat

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hazy and cool

It’s Wednesday, which means Remote Chat later on. Very excited.

There’s also a new post on Ink-Dipped Advice, about red flags in job ads.

Yesterday seems like a very long time ago. I was up early (nothing new there). Did some writing, did some client work.

I had the best time recording the podcast with Ari Meghlen and Rachel Poli for The Merry Writer Podcast. We had so much fun. We talked for nearly an hour, which means they have plenty to edit down to the 20 minutes!

After that, I had to dash out to Trader Joe’s, because we were getting low on some basics. Everyone was masked, although ignoring the flow of traffic inside the store. The line was short. The entire plaza is now open for business, and there were plenty of Sliding Mask Skanks sashaying around, touching things, wearing masks down around their necks and being tourist assholes. The TJ staff was great about telling them to either mask up or move farther away from the line.

Anyway, I was in and out in 20 minutes, almost like the old days.

Full disinfectant protocols when I got home, played with some client work (I’m working on a new ad for this one).

I got an email from Titcomb’s Bookshop that my books arrived. It was a nice day, and my mom hasn’t been out of the house since March, except to drive me to the hospital. So we both masked up, and drove over to Sandwich for me to do the curbside pickup. Titcomb’s has everything set up for both customer convenience and the safety of everyone. It’s great.

We drove back, I stopped to put gas in the car, and we drove home past the beach.

Packed. Tourists everywhere. There are some masks, but very few. Most of the tourists don’t even pretend to care. They saunter around, with that air of entitlement. They don’t care if we’re infected.

Hey, I’m avoiding as many tourist areas as possible. I hope every weekend is stormy and they have to sit inside the short term rentals they shouldn’t be in anyway, because they’re not following masking or quarantine protocols.

Oh, and the illegal fireworks are still going on every night.

Anyway, then I had my Zoom call with my primary care physician. I’d been dreading it. It didn’t help that I received 27 reminders in the past week, including a phone call EVERY TEN MINUTES for the hour before the appointment.

I am an adult with a datebook. Stop treating me like I’m too stupid to keep an appointment.

But it was good to talk to her. She is optimistic about the surgery results, and we worked on a path forward for the next six months until the next procedure to check to make sure I’m clear.

I am so excited to read the Vivien Chien noodle shop mysteries – but I have to finish the new Deanna Raybourn book that I’m reading.

No more books to review right now, but I did land an article from the pitch I sent late last week. Will get that done by the end of this week, and get going on the Llewellyn article.

Client work onsite this morning. Then disinfectant protocols, and landing at my own desk for Remote Chat, and then some other work.

The last week and change have been rough on multiple levels, but I’m hoping things start to ease up a bit. I don’t want to tempt the Universe otherwise, but at least I’m starting to feel more like myself.

Have a great Wednesday.

Fri. July 3, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 46 — Finally, Productivity

Friday, July 3, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

We’re going into the long holiday weekend, and I just feel like the clock is running out for me on way too many fronts.

Yesterday was actually a fairly productive day. I popped into my client’s to launch an ad – the financial information was at the office. That didn’t take long, and the client is pleased. Let’s hope it converts into actual sales. I’ve got some SEO tweaking to do on the client’s website next week, which should also help.

Swung by the bodega (ahem, convenience store) on the way back to pick up eggs. It just wasn’t worth standing in line to get into a grocery store for eggs. The only people wearing masks around here yesterday were the locals going into the post office and the convenience store.

Clumps of tourists are clomping around, not wearing masks, not social distancing. The bridges were backed up for hours.

We’re going to lose all the progress we made against the virus, and it’s disheartening.

Got home, full disinfectant protocols, and made it to the first session of the Freelance Writing  Success Summit. Attended all three virtual sessions. Got some good information. Some of the sessions are for people earlier in their careers than I am, but they’ll get a lot out of it.

It turns out a lot of best practices for SEO writing were what I do instinctively. That’s good to know. It helps me frame SEO conversations moving forward, especially because I am committed to quality content over SEO word salad. Since Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing anyway, it gives me a stronger position when the companies push back about using keywords that aren’t supported by content.

Got out some LOIs. Refused some reach outs from “recruiters” who want me to do work in which I’m not interested nor is my focus, for lower than my regular rate because I should be “happy someone wants to hire you in these hard economic times.” A) I’m working; B) What you offer is not in my area of expertise OR interest, so find someone in that field; C) I’m not 20 begging for my first job. I’m a seasoned professional and I’m worth my rate.

Freelance Chat was a lot of fun.

Finished reading a book of essays by someone who is a good writer, but her brand of crazy is too much for me right now. And yes, in her case, it’s definitely part of her “brand.” My emotional energy needs to be elsewhere right now, because there’s not a whole lot of it.

My doctor sent me a survey on how I’m feeling, emotionally. Um, I’d be a bit of a sociopath if it was all flowers and rainbows in the middle of a pandemic. No, I’m not sleeping well, I worry a lot, and I have post-anesthesia brain fog. I just had two surgeries in 4 months during a pandemic, for goodness’ sake!

I’m a little fed up with all the forms and the surveys and the tests. I’m tired and I’m worried and I can’t heal if I’m filling out forms all the time.

Got some work done on the promotional TRINITY OF TEASERS package, but exporting text from system to system and having it actually do what I want is frustrating. But I don’t want to rekey over 100 pages of text, either. I need to get back to work on the new editions of the Topic Workbooks, too. I thought I’d be farther along by now.

I thought I’d be farther along on a lot of things.

Didn’t get the reading done for my language class, so I’ll have to get that done today.

Did do some work on Book 4 of the Gambit Colony series, because I craved it. Really shouldn’t be working on it now, but it calms me and soothes me and gives me creative fuel for other projects.

The dickheads with their illegal fireworks were in full force last night. These are the same idiots who won’t wear masks because “fweedom” asLilith St. Crow put it the other day in her blog. Their freedom to terrorize the neighborhood exists, but ours not to be infected by their stupidity does not. We obviously know for whom they voted and where they get their news. About 20-30 minutes, at least 300-400 fireworks (I trained in pyro when I worked rock and roll, I know these things). I was on the floor, beside Tessa, who was terrified, putting my body between the direction of the noise and poor Tessa. Willa and Charlotte ignore the noise, but it absolutely terrifies Tessa.

At least I had a good night’s sleep, for once.

Working on THE BARD’S LAMENT this morning – hoping I can finish fixing that huge plot problem. I can’t believe I was that stupid.

Dashing down to the library for a curbside pickup this morning. Excited to return books and get some new ones. Will also read the book for review this weekend.

20200630_193503

Sent out a bunch of cards to people yesterday, and have some more that need to go out in the next few days. I ordered a bunch of new notecards from Peter Pauper Press (one of my favorite suppliers), so it’s time to use them!

I’m actually almost looking forward to the weekend. I have to battle the bindweed, weather permitting, but I’d like to read and write and not deal with any human beings outside the household.

I don’t feel there’s a lot to celebrate this year, but I am looking forward to some downtime.

Have a great holiday weekend, friends!

Fri. Jan. 24, 2020: Gearing Up for A Busy Weekend

Friday, January 24, 2020
New Moon
Sunny and mild

There’s a new post on Affairs of the Pen, under the Ava Dunne name, about how we’re all kids eager to look for lost treasure.

Yesterday really felt like a lost day, work-wise. It was frustrating.

I got a little bit of writing done before the rental inspection. The inspection itself takes only a few minutes, especially since everything’s okay and we have an ethical landlord. But the timing of it means I couldn’t really start anything until it was over.

I managed to get to the library and get a few things done, but I was under time constraints. Couldn’t get anywhere near done what I needed to.

Dashed back, bolted down a quick lunch, and then took my mother to the doctor. Where we waited for an hour and a half for a five-minute appointment. So, basically, the afternoon was lost, too.

I got in some reading, and finished the book for review, and started reading a fascinating book on the literary world in 1922, where this author believes everything changed.

Had planned to take a walk on the beach, but by the time we got out of the doctor’s office, it had clouded up and gotten too windy.

Leftovers for dinner, and reading. I’m still working my way through my re-reads of Donna Leon’s Brunetti series.

I have to do some research on Chicago in 1856 to get the correct names of a few things for “A Woman for the Job.”

Started “A Rare Medium” — the next Kate Warne play, about a case of hers where she posed as a medium. I have to dig up my notes on names, but it’s percolating along nicely.

Working on revisions for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Some of it is sticky work, but once I fix the first half, where I got off track (again), the rest should fall into place pretty nicely.

Unpacked and purged a few boxes, and sorted out some clothes. Figuring out what to donate, what to get rid of, what to pack away as stock, and what to keep in the closet.

Yesterday was the first day of full peaceful co-existence for all three cats since Willa and Charlotte came to live here. Even Tessa and Charlotte ignored each other, while being in the same room, which is huge progress.

If Charlotte had ended up in a shelter, she would have been marked unadoptable. Fortunately, MA has only no-kill shelters, or she would have ended up on death row. She can’t stand confinement or closed doors or chaos and doesn’t do well with strangers. I’m glad she’s here and I figured out how to work with her to make her feel safe. The sunnier, sweeter side of her personality is starting to come out.

Willa just kind of does her own thing. She likes company, but refuses to engage when Charlotte has a tantrum. She’s very, very smart, and keeps at something until she figures it out. And friendly. She’s a friendly, easy-going cat most of the time.

Tessa is getting used to them. She doesn’t assert herself enough with them, but there’s peaceful co-existence. As my vet in NY said, it’s healthier for them to be together in the same room and ignore each other than be alone. After all, we took in these cats because Tessa hates being an only cat.

We’re getting there. I hope we’ve turned a corner. There will be some regression here and there, I’m sure, but consistency, boundaries, and lots and lots of affection have brought them a long way.

I had a meeting with a potential client late in the morning, which is why this is posting so late. The conversation was fine, but we are not what each other needs right now.

Now, I’m off to the grocery store, and then back to write the review and start the next book for review.

The weather’s supposed to be bad this weekend, so I’ll stay in to write, read, and purge boxes from the basement. Maybe run the leaves to the dump tomorrow morning, if the weather’s okay.

With a new moon, Burns Night, Virginia Woolf’s birthday, and Chinese Lunar New Year all hitting this weekend, I will be exhausted.

Received the second invitation to work without pay this week, this time a speaking engagement. I gracefully declined. What gets me about both invitations was that it comes from people who are paid and who don’t work without pay — yet they want me so to do.

Put in my share of that.

I looked over my clips and what I use where. I realized that my unpaid clips for “exposure” only resulted in requests for more unpaid work. Clips from paid gigs led to more paid gigs. That’s important information. I will sit down and figure out the exact stats, but it was an important realization.

How did I do with my intent to listen this week? I definitely listened. I definitely did not like a lot of what I heard. The Senate Trial is enraging and disheartening. The Republican Senators are a disgrace.

I listened to a lot of incidental conversations around me. As a writer, I do periodic eavesdropping anyway, as part of my process to catch cadence. But I was discouraged by the amount of intentional stupidity going around.

So, yes, I achieved my “intent” for the week, but the consequences were not what I foresaw. I still have a couple of days to go on the week, but I think I will focus on listening to music!

 

Fri. July 12, 2019: Soggy Friday

Friday, July 12, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot, humid, bucketing down with rain

Yesterday seems like so long ago.

It wasn’t a particularly good writing day, although some ideas are twirling around.

I drove my mother to her doctor’s appointment in Yarmouth — the traffic was hateful and it took about double the usual time, but not as long as I expected. On the way home, we picked up Chinese takeout at our favorite restaurant.

Turned down a request for a meeting. I’m not clearing a day again to make a 5-hour round trip for a 20 minute “informational” meeting that won’t lead to anything. The company mis-represented itself. It’s a recruiter for other companies, not hiring itself, and I’m not interested.

Received another request for samples from a gig that sounds like it would be cool (and the pay’s good), but I’m not sure I have the right samples for it.

Shot out a bunch of LOIs.

I need to do some more article pitches, blog pitches, and submit my backlog of stories I’ve worked on.

I read Roselle Lim’s absolutely beautiful NATALIE TAN’S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE. There’s been so much fuss about it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it, although I knew I had to read it, to stay up with what’s going on in the industry. But I was delighted by the book. It is beautiful. The writing is gorgeous, the characters and heart are wonderful.

It also brought back many happy memories of when I lived in San Francisco (A Very Long Time Ago), only two blocks from Chinatown. Many of my happiest memories of my two years in that city are connected to Chinatown. Even as a lone white girl exploring alleys and side streets, I was always treated with friendliness and kindness.

It’s pouring with rain today, so I guess the lawn guy won’t be here!

Excellent first writing session of the day on ELLA. Slower, but promising session on GRAVE REACH.

Doing some client work this morning, then going to a Lights4Liberty event locally. The inhumane policies and high level corruption have to be stopped.

I’m planning to spend the afternoon writing, hopefully on GRAVE REACH.

Have a terrific weekend.

 

Published in: on July 12, 2019 at 8:42 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 12, 2019: Soggy Friday  
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Wed. Nov. 22, 2017: In Prep for the Holiday

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Yesterday was busy. I managed to get some writing done in the morning, then worked on-site with a client for the bulk of the day, prepping samples for her 2018 collection (she’s a designer, and I’m learning the collection so that I can write about it).

Not much writing done on either day on SERENE AND DETERMINED, although I think I’ve got the rest of it plotted out in my head. But when I put it on paper, the characters keep surprising me in the best ways possible.

A bit of work done on the aging novel.

More questions to my webhost to see if we can resolve our issues; also wrote up a list of what I want and need that I’m sending to the web hosts I’m “auditioning.”

Got some work done for another client, that was sent off in the afternoon.

No raking — now there’s a surprise! If the weather holds, I’ll have to do it over the weekend.

This morning, my mom has a doctor’s appointment, so I’m taking her over. After I bring her back, I’m working onsite with a client for a few hours, and then I’m off for the weekend.

Not that I won’t be working! In and around the holiday, I have a book to read and review, the edits on TRACKING MEDUSA to finish, work on SERENE AND DETERMINED, and some client work for a Monday afternoon meeting. Plus, the polish on “Miss Winston Apologizes.” Which also means I have to write the teaser for the next Cornelia True and Roman Gray piece. Which is as yet untitled, although I’ve got a decent idea of the plot. It will be the last story for the moment set in this era. At the end of it, they leap into the future — and miss. Roman thinks they’re going to his time period — but they don’t quite get there.

I’m hoping to get TRACKING MEDUSA to my editor by mid-week next week.

I’m keeping track of the sales that are coming in tied to the promotion for SAVASANA last week. It’s interesting. All this tracking information helps me make decisions on future promotions. By not running multiple promotions at once, I can see how each one pays off in tangible terms, and then make the choice to use or not use them again. The spin of “we can’t guarantee sales, but your name gets out there” — um, sorry, if I’m paying you, I expect you to promote to people who actually buy books. I expect that to manifest in sales. If the promotion doesn’t pay for itself and a little extra — moving on. An unpopular stance to take, but there are too many companies soaking authors without aren’t getting results.

Charles Manson is finally dead. For those of us alive during that awful era of the murders and their aftermath, it is an enormous relief. There was always the fear he’d con the parole board into getting out, and then the atrocities would start again.

I’ve heard mixed stories about David Cassidy’s death or just that he’s near it. Either one makes me sad. And makes me feel old. I was never a particular fan of his music or had posters of him up or anything, but he was a part of my growing up years. And, later on, he was active in helping a horse racing charity in which I was involved.

I’m looking forward to this holiday weekend, and then we descend into the holiday madness. I’m determined to pace myself. I want this to be a happy and peaceful holiday, because next year presents a lot of challenges and transitions for me.

Have a great weekend! I’ll catch up with you again next week.

Published in: on November 22, 2017 at 3:26 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 22, 2017: In Prep for the Holiday  
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Fri. March 4, 2017: Trying to Make Up For Lost Writing Time

Friday, March 3, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

We’re expected to have more snow today. Right now it looks bright and cheerful, albeit cold. So, we’ll see.

I lost all my writing time yesterday. I had to take my mom to her new doctor, which took the entire morning. The good news is that he took a lot of time with her, and she likes him. The bad news is that he’s furious with her previous doctor and feels she misdiagnosed a bunch of stuff, so we’ve got tests and other appointments coming up, not to mention medication changes.

We were exhausted by the time we came home. I spent the afternoon finishing up a critique of a colleague’s screenplay. I’m sure she’ll think I was harsh, but the critique was much more thorough and positive than if I’d done traditional script coverage on it.

For World Book Day, I re-read Agatha Christie’s DESTINATION UNKNOWN, which was different and clever (not with one of her traditional detectives). The last few chapters and the ending were a bit abrupt, though; I would have rather seen the action, then just what led up to it and the resolution. But the premise and results were clever.

Everything feels exhausting and overwhelming right now. But, I plan to write a lot this weekend. Next week will be tough, because it leads in to my birthday, and that’s always difficult for me.

But I’m participating in the Day Without Women on the 8th, International Women’s Day, so that should be a good experience. In any case, a positive one.

Jeff Sessions has to go. He lied under oath to Congress — it’s on tape. He did not “mis-speak” or “misunderstand” the question. The question was very clear, and the man lied. Add that to his record of racial discrimination, and he is not qualified to be this country’s Attorney General. He has to go. Recusing himself from a single investigation isn’t enough. Ryan and McConnell standing around smirking and refusing to uphold their sworn oaths to the Constitution doesn’t help. The level of corruption is unconscionable.

Anyway, I have some errands to run this morning, and to find out when my mom’s next medical appointment is. Then, it will be back to the page until Monday.

Let me add how much I HATE BookFunnel. I know a lot of authors love it; but every time, as a reader, I try to use it, they make me jump through 16 hoops and then tell me the link is broken and I can’t download. If I’m going to get a book from a link, I want to do ONE click and have the damn thing download. Period. Not have to click , then click again, then enter my email, then wait until I hear back, then have another link, then have another link, then be told it’s broken. No. Just no.

I want to support my fellow authors, but if it’s via BookFunnel, just no.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on March 3, 2017 at 10:45 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 4, 2017: Trying to Make Up For Lost Writing Time  
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Took my mom to the doctor yesterday morning and got that sorted out. Took all morning, but at least everything seems to be okay. Which means, of course, they have no idea what’s going on, but at least they took the time to fit her in and she feels better. Re-stocked cat food on the way home. Caught up with my students in the afternoon.

Reading a mystery where many of the elements in it are wonderful — plot, setting, inventive ways to deal with things we’ve seen before. However, the protagonist keeps making the same STUPID mistakes and having the same conversations about them. She’s not learning. This is the second book in the series, and keeps referring back to the first, where, it’s obvious, she made the same stupid mistakes and hasn’t learned from them.

Not someone I want to continue to spend time with.

I want to see growth in characters, and, more importantly, intelligence. It’s not cute and endearing when a female character acts like an idiot, nearly gets killed, and does the same thing again and again. It’s offensive.

Even shows I usually enjoy seemed banal last night, which is unfortunate.

Up early for yoga on the beach. It looks like it wants to rain, but I hope it holds off until we’re done. I need this morning’s class! 😉

Will spend a few hours with my students, and, hopefully, on my own writing, when I get back. I’ve got to work on site this afternoon, and I have a meeting (that I’m not looking forward to) this evening. I need to have my guard up for that. Living the principles I work on on the mat and in meditation group does not mean allowing poor treatment.

Prepared for battle or not, I’ll be glad when this day is over.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 5:03 am  Comments (5)  
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