Fri. Feb. 24, 2017: Differing Realities

Friday, February 24, 2017
Day Before Dark Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Good writing day yesterday. It’s been good to get so deep into the work. The problem is that the world of the book feels more real than what’s happening when I look up from the page, and the transition between the two is difficult. But I’ve been so lucky to be able to spend such solid workdays. I’m grateful.

Ran around and did errands yesterday, back to the page, then to a friend’s going away party. She got a terrific job in Baltimore, so she and her family are moving down there. I think they’ll love it — Baltimore’s a unique and terrific city. But she will be missed.

It was fun to see people I hadn’t seen in ages. Part of me dreaded going — I wanted to say goodbye, and let my friend know how much she was valued — but just the daily running errands and being around people made my skin hurt lately, so I wasn’t sure how well I would deal with the party. But, you know? Last night wasn’t about me, so I was determined to deal.

And I had fun.

Came home and puttered. Had a dream that I was busy doing all kinds of work, so when I woke up this morning, I was puzzled to find myself in bed.

Errands and meetings this morning, then back to the page. I want to dig into the book some more. I might even do yard work — it’s unseasonably warm right now, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.

This weekend, I have to finish reading and critiquing my colleague’s script, and also work on contest entries. Reading-wise, nothing has satisfied me lately, and I haven’t wanted to impose that on the contest entries, so I put them aside for awhile. But I need to finish them, because the next batch arrives at the end of next week.

Have a great weekend! We are supposed to have gorgeous weather, and I intend to take full advantage.

Published in: on February 24, 2017 at 11:01 am  Comments Off on Fri. Feb. 24, 2017: Differing Realities  
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Fri. June 12, 2015: Planning A Writing, Dancing Weekend

Friday, June 12, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and humid

The meeting yesterday morning went well. Issues were dealt with and progress made, always a good thing.

Stopped at home to pick up the food for the author event, went in to work. Got very little done, other than setting up for the book launch (and setting up tango, next door).

The book launch went well. It was a pleasant evening.

I was tired by the end of it. Finished Donald Hall’s memoir when I got home.

Had weird dreams in the night about the person who was the inspiration for Justin Yates in the Gwen Finnegan mysteries. Makes sense, since I’m writing BALTHAZAAR.

Contract issues seem to be worked out for the extension for HEX BREAKER — fingers crossed. And Mercury is direct, so off it goes.

Looking forward to a straight eight hours at work, and then home. Hopefully, it will be nice enough to sit on the deck with a glass of wine.

Work tomorrow, then tango in Wellfleet. I hope to get some writing done in the morning. I’ll write most of the day on Sunday, and then go to Wellfleet for another tango session. Monday, my mom has a doctor’s appointment and I have errands, plus I need to do the cooking for the strategic planning session on Tuesday, and finish up my “homework”. Tuesday, I’ll be in strategic planning all afternoon, but I’ll write in the morning.

Next Wednesday, we are honored to have the fabulous Archer Mayor do a program at the library. I can’t wait! I love his series, and I’ve been eager to meet him for a long time.

I can’t believe we’re half way through June already, and that the solstice is next weekend! Too fast.

Need to mow the second part of the meadow this weekend — and soon the front will need attention again! Getting gas for the mower needs to be added to the list of errands.

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on June 12, 2015 at 8:14 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 12, 2015: Planning A Writing, Dancing Weekend  
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Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend

Friday, February 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a fantastic meeting with the historical society yesterday about our next display. When we’re ready to reveal it, I’ll post a picture here. We all got very excited about it.

Spent far too much time hunting down contact information from magazine mastheads that should be readily available. Getting a little tired of these “media groups” that aren’t publishing actual articles and stories in their magazines, just glorified ads, and the only people you can contact are those in the advertising department.

When it started snowing again in the afternoon, I was just ready to put my head down on the desk and cry. I usually LIKE snow, but this is just too much. Mostly because I have to drive around in it, and the roads continue to be total crap. Even Old Stage Road, which is usually in good shape, has been under par.

Worked on a new order list, did a lot of research, started pondering a full marketing plan.

Raced home, quick dinner, and then back for Tango. It was a really good lesson. It’s an entirely different way of not just listening to music, but to your partner’s body. Talk about having to deal with trust issues! 😉 But it was fun. I was worried that what we worked on was too complicated, especially since I’d missed a lesson, but I picked it up. Whether or not I can retain it is something else.

Had a snack when I came home, watched a few episodes of WEST WING Season 5, fell into bed.

Had weird dreams. Even though the dreams were realistic, they must be representational, because the literal terms don’t make sense in my life.

My vacation dates for May are confirmed – my first vacation since Costume Imp and I went to Prague. Something to which to look forward.

The Pinkerton Case Files arrived – from Indiana! Totally looking forward to spending the research time on them.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library – and I have to come in early for a meeting. Then, I have to go and pick up my mother’s medication, and then head to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the opening for an exhibit in which a friend is featured.

Sunday will be about errands and writing; Monday, there’s a reception in the morning at the Law Library, and the rest of the day is about writing. Tuesday – not sure if I can snag a machine to read the case files, or if I’ll just stay home and write. Wednesday it all starts up again.

I’d like to finish the second draft of LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES so it can sit for a couple of weeks before I do the third draft, register it with WGA, and send it off.

I have also got to get some organizing done in the house. Things are stacked up all over the place; I need to purge a bunch of stuff, and put a bunch of other stuff away.

I can’t believe we’re nearly in March!

Devon

Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 9:29 am  Comments Off on Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend  
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Fri. Jan. 2, 2015: Starting the New Year

Friday, January 2, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Can you believe it’s 2015? It better be a damn good year, that’s all I have to say!

Wednesday was busy at work, with a special flurry towards the end as we were trying to lock up. Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.

Tired in the afternoon, trying to get everything sorted out for the turn of the year, including three loads of laundry. Can’t go into the new year with dirty clothes!

Salmon for dinner — didn’t think it was as good a piece as it could have been. Read and wrote a little, listened to music. Couldn’t get the live stream for the ball drop to work properly — first time I’ve missed it in my life that I remember. Read a lot — I’m reading and re-reading one author in particular right now, focusing on her structure so I can learn from it. Finished re-reading Thomas Mallon’s A BOOK OF ONE’S OWN, which I try to re-read every few years, just to get back into its rhythm. I always find something new in it.

But it was a nice, quiet way to see in the New Year, complete with a bayberry candle for prosperity.

Up early New Year’s morning, the fire/ice ritual, plenty of yoga and meditation. The answers to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Questions are here. They got me thinking in some interesting directions.

Eggs Benedict for breakfast (one of my favorites and I make it well. Roasted a ham for dinner, and am boiling the bone down for soup (with white beans and kale).

Wrote about 30 pages on POWER OF WORDS — not the piece I thought I was going to work on, but there you go. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. Fortunately, my notes for it are very organized.

Did some organizing and some research. A full day at the library today, and then I focus on the Burns/Woolf script over the weekend. I’ve got some press releases to write for the library, and then one, over the weekend, for the writing contest.

Playing with a new series title that RED WIDOW will launch. It’s moving in the right direction, but I still haven’t hit just the right one yet. Not to mention that I need to re-title POWER OF WORDS, which is actually a serial novel — technically, I’m writing either book 2 or book 3 (depending on if I put the rehearsal process in with shooting the mini-series). The first season will be Book 4 and the second season Book 5. Once I’ve gotten through all of that, we’ll see where we are, but all of that needs to be contracted together and released quite close together. It’s a challenging project, and it will be interesting to see where it lands. I toyed with some ideas for titles — some of them work, some of them still need work.

When I stay in a steady writing groove, everything else in life feels better and makes sense.

Devon

Published in: on January 2, 2015 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Dec. 3, 2014: Hitting the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So the do-nothing obstructionist Republicans in Congress are threatening another government shut down if they don’t get their way? They continue to act like spoiled children, holding their breaths? If they do shut the government down again, the American people should file a class action suit — not against the amorphous “Congress”, but against the INDIVIDUALS who vote to shut it down. Don’t let them hide behind the office. Make them personally accountable. It’s a matter of record who votes for what, available on the government web site.

Busy few days. Friday was hectic at the library — the server was down, which mean everything was done on manual circulation. Time consuming, and we couldn’t process the books from delivery. I spent the entire day on the circulation desk, although I managed to get some memos written and materials done for this morning’s programming meeting. The server came back up at 3 PM, and the volunteer on duty and I processed the entire day’s work AND I entered all the manual circulation, all by the time we closed at 5. I was exhausted. I’m glad we got it all done, but I was exhausted. Especially since the Circulation Director was out sick.

Saturday, I got some writing done, we did errands like grocery shopping, and got the tree into the stand and the lights on, and the Advent table set up. Sunday was the First of Advent, and most of the day was spent decorating, although I got some reading and writing done. And some laundry done.

Monday, more decorating, more writing. In the afternoon, I helped decorate the National Marine Life Center Tree for Spectacle of the Trees at the JFK Museum, which opens later this week. Our tree’s theme is “Joy to the Whales”. It’s part of a big fundraiser in the area, with fourteen local non-profits participating. People buy “tree bucks” and put them in a box at the tree or trees of their choice. 100% of the donations go directly to each charity, and one person wins each tree, all its decorations, and the gifts under the tree (usually around $10K worth of stuff). The creativity that goes into the trees is wonderful.

Monday night I had a Harry Potter dream, which is new for me. Never dreamed anything from the books or movies. I was riding a train and it was attacked by Dementors. I recognized one of them — someone I know who has been actively sabotaging me. Pretty damn straightforward dream, if you ask me. It didn’t offer a solution, but it set out the situation very, very clearly.

Tuesday was supposed to be another decorating day at the museum, but things went awry, so I was basically on hold all day for no good reason. Which was fine, because I wasn’t feeling well anyway. On the other hand, it was a shame, because I’d originally planned to go to Newport, and then cancelled in order to help with the tree. Well, these days happen, and it’s certainly not going to change the course of the universe. Had extension cord kerflamma for the outdoor trees, but finally got it sorted out, and got the blue lights I’m using this year for the outdoor trees and everything all set up. They look pretty. But something that should have taken a half hour took nearly three.

Read JANE AUSTEN AND THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, which I enjoyed. Did a bunch of research that serves both RED WIDOW and the Sparkle & Tarnish series. Got an offer for one of the submissions I sent out last week, and accepted. Will reveal details when the contract is signed.

Tried watching AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. I knew most of the music, but had only seen bits of the movie, never the whole thing at once. I was disappointed. There’s no plot to speak of, and the characters are rude and unlikable. I only saw about half — the DVD not only got stuck, it nearly broke my player. Not happy about that at all. Managed to fix the player.

Which was a good thing, because my mom and I then watched the first season of DOWNTON ABBEY. I’d seen bits and pieces of it through the years, but never paid too much attention, mostly because there was so much fuss over it. I was surprised by how much we both enjoyed it. I like Julian Fellowes’s writing anyway, so it was nice to see the growth of the characters and the plot over an entire season. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

Had a computer glitch with some student work and lost the notes on it — this is the second time it’s happened on this particular piece, which is irritating. And I’ve got other pieces booked, one this week and two next week, so I have to get caught up.

Started reading a mystery set in Greenwich Village in the late 1950s and saw that an old friend of mine from off Broadway days was thanked in the acknowledgements. What fun!

Up early this morning. Got some writing done, but not enough. Frustrated with the slow progress. I’m not getting enough uninterrupted quiet time to percolate. I’m not getting enough uninterrupted time to do ANY of my work, which is frustrating. But, somehow, I will sort it all out.

Didn’t get the overseas cards done this weekend, which puts me behind. They have to go out ASAP, and I have to get started on the baking.

Got a lovely post-Thanksgiving day card signed by the family in Maine who was at the dinner we usually go to and couldn’t this year, because of weather and scheduling. We were missed (which is nice), and they realized just how much work I do on the event when I AM there (which is also nice). I’m usually delirious with exhaustion by the end of it. It was good to have some rest and quiet this year, much as I enjoy seeing everyone and being up in Maine.

The next four days will be very busy for me at work, plus my own writing, student work, and getting ready for the holidays. Fingers crossed.

Have a good week!

Devon

Mon. April 9, 2012: Dialogue and Tulips and Taxes

Monday, April 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Billy Root’s blogging over on his site about auditions and how he wound up on the film that’s the backdrop for HEX BREAKER. Check it out here, and drop a comment so I know you visited!

Things are going well for the Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions Seminar on Saturday, April 14. At this point, it looks like it’s the only dialogue workshop I’ll be teaching all year online. So if you missed the others, or if you want some new information, make sure to sign up here.

The dates for the next Fast and Fun workshops will be finalized in the next couple of days, and then pages will go up with the registration information. Unfortunately, 1and1, yet again, won’t let me put buttons on my site via Mac, so I’m going to go to the library and use a PC every time I need to put in a button. Definitely time to move hosts, once I get the webmail they’re holding hostage away from them. I was lucky last time, because I was working somewhere where I had access to a PC. The webhost shouldn’t dictate what type of computer I can use. I can’t even put in a “tweet this” button!

My “One Story, Many Voices” class starts today, and I continue as a student in the steampunk class.

I don’t know if I remember all the way back to Friday — I know I didn’t feel well, and that I did a lot around the house in preparation for the weekend’s company — tidying, washing floors, vacuuming, rearranging, that kind of thing. The house looked great, but I still want to do more with the front yard. However, it has to be inexpensive, whatever I do.

Had a good writing sprint with the students — it’s working better, on this book, to write in company.

Saturday was fun — long-time friends from CT came by for a visit and lunch. I hadn’t seen them in years, so it was good to catch up. I actually fell asleep in the late afternoon for awhile, while doing some research for a project.

Sunday, I slept in, then spent most of the day catching up on the computer with what I hadn’t gotten done on Saturday. I like Sunday to be my day offline, but, oh, well. The work has to get done, and I wasn’t up to it on Saturday after company left. I worked with students, did some research for some proposals that will go out this week, got out some interview questions for a piece, and did some promo work. I had a weird dream about an old friend on Saturday night into Sunday, and woke up with an idea for a tweak on a piece I’m getting ready to send out.

I’m glad Mercury went direct, and I’ll be glad when Mars goes direct at the end of the week. However, Pluto goes retrograde tomorrow. THAT always brings some interesting revelations!

Lots to do today, both writing and administrative, so I better get to work. This will be a busy week – but then, lately, every week is busy. Fortunately, it’s “good busy”. But I’ve got to deal with the taxes this week — ick. Not so bad because I do quarterlies, but still, gathering all the paperwork (I was bad about keeping up all year) is a pain in the butt, and I just don’t feel like it. Too bad for me! 😉

Some of my tulips are already blooming — isn’t it a bit early?

Devon

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Tidal Flats, Provincetown, MA

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Worked a lot in the morning; didn’t get everything done. Spent the afternoon running around, taking care of some business for my mom, and also dropping off press kits and information to some of my favorite stores so they can start carrying ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. One place in particular is very excited. I’m also researching reading groups and circles, and going to send them information.

Also picked up some books at the library — two biographies and two novels, so that should be fun.

I didn’t manage to get any mowing done, but it’s supposed to be nice and warm today, so I hope to do it in the late morning or early afternoon. If I can get everything tidied and put to bed, garden-wise this week, it will be a good thing. I’ve also got to rearrange the garage, so I’ve got a specific place for gardening stuff — storing pots and tools, storing the potted plants that need to go dormant, etc. Right now, they’re in pockets wherever they’ll fit.

Harry Potter class seems fine. Slow start to discussions, which sometimes happens, or maybe people are just reading and not saying anything. Whatever. I learned a lot from writing the lectures, especially making connections to the body of enduring literature that precedes these books.

Dreamed I was working on a benefit, and we had to keep driving an SUV up and down a mountain between its two locations. Woke up feeling like I’d been working all night!

First writing session of the day was rough. I need to remove the internal editor, who’s yapping at me that I have to cut at least 20K from the manuscript. Yeah, fine, but let me write the whole thing out so I can pick the RIGHT 20K! Sheesh!

Gotta go grocery shopping and take bags of leaves to the dump. Chop wood, carry water, right? Keeps one grounded.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1,091
Total word count: 65,775

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 9:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday September 10, 2011
Waxing moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
It’s still dark out — hoping it’s nice today

Yesterday was busy. Ran errands, spent time with students, got stuff done around the house. I meant to just do a little deadheading of the plants and wound up doing a lot — mostly because one of the kalachoe inside had gotten some weird brown sticky disease. I had to get rid of it, cut back the other kalachoe that caught some of it, wash that plant and another one, remove the contaminated soil and bag it separately, sterilize the pot and the trellis, etc., sterilize the pruning shears, scrub myself down, etc.

There’s a lot to do, garden-wise, and I need to get going this weekend, if it’s dry enough.

Violet was Very Bossy yesterday, Iris is confused, and Tessa’s just doing what she does in her job as a kitten, which is running around getting into everything.

I was pleased with the quality of work in the Advanced Dialogue, and things are going well in the Year-Long, too. I managed to get through all the posts yesterday — it wasn’t quite 30 posts, so it wasn’t the 22.5K all in one day, thank goodness. Some of them, again, didn’t fulfill all the exercise requirements and the stuff had to be sent back, but it was more of getting caught up in their storylines than not respecting the guidelines set out.

Company is supposed to be here this weekend. I left a message asking if they’re coming today and tomorrow. No answer. If they show up today, they’re getting what they’re getting — I need advance notice. I’ve got stuff in to prepare food for them, but i need a little lead time! I’d like to vacuum and tidy up before they get there, but I want to do it just before they come. I started tidying, but still . . . I’m assuming they’re coming tomorrow — which gives me time to work on the yard a bit today and start the fall tidying process. I also want to get some mums in and plant them in the front and in the urn, now that the petunias are fading.

Believe it or not, a few of the little pansies are still soldiering on!

It was nice to spend even a little bit of time on the deck yesterday.

And yes, gotta mow!

I’m waiting for word whether yoga on the beach is on or not. I’m hoping it is, for these last two scheduled classes. I really need it! Fingers crossed.

The almost full moon was gorgeous shining into the bedroom last night.

When I woke up this morning (with the alarm), I was jolted out of a dream where I was mailing boxes of books somewhere. I’d weighed and paid for six so far when the alarm went off . . .

Devon

Published in: on September 10, 2011 at 5:10 am  Comments (1)  
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Friday, April 1, 2011


Looking forward to better weather so I can walk in Ashumet Holly Sanctuary again

Friday, April 1, 2011
Day before dark moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy
April Fool’s Day

I worked so concentratedly yesterday morning, when we got back from the dump and grocery shopping, that when I stopped for lunch, I thought it was dinner time! Oops!

Went to the dump early, got rid of the garbage and recycling that stacked up. Felt good to get all those bins empty. We really only go about every 6-8 weeks, and usually only have one bag of garbage — the rest of the car is stuffed with recycling.

Went grocery shopping, worked on updating the Annabel Aidan web page, popping the cover art in wherever I could, and I’m almost finished with the media kit. Now, at some point before the book launches, I better join RWA!

Caught up on student work, dealt with piles of correspondence, tidied things up post-webinar, backed up some files. I need to do a Time Machine back-up today.

I need to decide what kind of swag to do for the book — something appropriate to the content, but also fun. I’m going to do the postcards at home, because I’ve got the set-up, but I’ll job out the bookmarks — there are, supposedly, some really good printers in the area. Time to get to know them!

Did my quarterly taxes, easy peasey, will write the checks in a few days. Still have the mountains of tax returns to sort out (amazing how many schedules you have to attach when you freelance, get royalties, and move), and figure out how much I overpaid in quarterlies last year, compared to what went out on all the other stuff! My first quarter earnings this year are way above last year’s, so I can already see how much better the move has been for my work.

I’m outlining THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY — I want to take it in a slightly different direction than originally planned. I also want to take what I’ve learned from ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — and the other books I’ve written in the interim — and apply it to SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Someone asked me if the knowledge that locals and students are reading my blog is going to make me self-censor. No. I’m not saying here anything I wouldn’t say to their faces, and, in fact, if they read something here, we’ve probably already discussed it, so I don’t see this is a source of Big Drama.

UPS, Fed Ex, and the mailman all arrived together — plant delivery, next assignment from Confidential Job #1, and the mail. Guess they wanted to get everything done before the storm, which hit several hours earlier than predicted.

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day, because so many of the “pranks” are mean-spirited, so I’m glad I don’t have to go and deal with anyone today.

We were lucky — we’re getting a lot of rain, but no snow. The rest of the state looks pretty slammed.

My back is still sore, but I’m slowly making progress. Mixing the slippery elm with echinecea and honey seems to be doing more than anything else.

The March wrap-up and April To -do list are up over on the GDR site .

Back to the page for awhile, and then some queries based on discussions we had in The Confident Freelancer.

Devon

Monday, January 17, 2011


View over Plymouth Harbor

Monday, January 17, 2011
Waxing Moon
Martin Luther King Day

This is scheduled to post, because I had to get my butt out of bed and get on the road far too early in order to get the car to Plymouth for its spa day. Hopefully it means that, by the time most of you read this, I’ll be back. My car gets a spa day and I get to freeze my ass off in Plymouth before any of the stores open. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Plymouth, but here’s hoping I find a nice, warm coffee joint and can do some writing!

I have a dilemma with the Samantha LIght piece. I originally wanted it to be speculative fiction in either a created world or a parallel world. But I keep making familiar references. I don’t know if that means I should set it in a somewhat futuristic NY/Scotland/Paris or just use those references in the first draft, and then change them substantially into a created/imagined version of similar cities in revisions. Stopping to world build right now will make me lose the dynamic between the characters. But, in the ultimate piece, the setting will be very, very important.

Regarding my protag, Samantha, I’m not having trouble with her. I thought it would be a challenge, because, on the surface, she seems like the kind of woman I can’t stand, and yet, she’s very much her own person without being the sort of cliche we see of this type of woman on tv, in the tabloids, or in fiction. So, I’m having fun with her.

Costume Imp moves today, leaving Queens to go up to Washington Heights. New situation, new roommates, the whole thing. He brought his delightful beasts up on Friday night — yowling all the way. They can give Iris a run for the money when it comes to feline opera performances.

I certainly learned how far some students will go to bend the rules in class. In the historical/western assignment, we had more than one person have a character “tell a story” about an historical time to another character. I had to let it go since I hadn’t expressly forbidden it, but now I know, and I’ve tweaked the exercise for future classes. When I say “set your characters in an historical or western piece”, having them tell each other a story about someone else doesn’t cut it. Even when it’s cleverly done and good as a piece in its own right. But again, I guess I have to expressly forbid just about any place they have wiggle room.


Can you find the hawk hidden in the tree?

The raptor release at Long Pasture Sanctuary was magnificent. First of all, the place is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to spend more time walking around there when the weather is a little warmer. I learned a bit about identifying hawks — I’ll have to practice a lot more before I can actually do it. Two hawks were released — both females. The first one, who recovered from a broken wing, was still a little overweight. She flew to a nearby tree and stayed. Hey, I don’t blame her — she was used to room service! Two other hawks circled near by, wanting to know what was going on. The second hawk, also a female, nearly tore the carrier apart. When the door opened, she backed to the rear, took a few steps, and soared out. She paused on top of a nearby tree to get her bearings, and then she was outta there! Absolutely gorgeous.

Again, the kids who attended the event were bright, engaged, enthusiastic, asked some of the best questions and made some of the best comments. No crying or whining.

I like how the parents here actually engage in conversation with their kids when they’re off doing something, whether it’s at an event or going to the grocery store. They talk to them like actual human beings, unlike in the suburbs of NY, where parents are on the cell phone all the time talking about stupid gossip and just pause long enough to yell at the kid. Here, when parents take their kids grocery shopping, one kid has the list, and another kid scouts the aisle, and they learn how to tell if a piece of fruit or a vegetable is a good choice, etc., etc. Just a much healthier dynamic, and you can see the difference in the kids. They’re not as brittle and wounded and desperate for attention and filled with the sense of entitlement they see from their parents as suburban NY children.

The director took us on a short walk on the sanctuary — he showed us how to recognize rabbit tracks and otter tracks and we saw the pond where the otters like to come and fish. The otters were to smart enough not to let us see them, but it was fun to see where they played and slid.

It was just a great couple of hours, even though I’d lost all feeling in my toes before the end of it! I need to start dressing for these things like I did on the days I spent outside on location for television shows. And, Diane, I couldn’t find my silk thermals. I was not happy. I also need to find my fleece-lined jeans for the next event, and slip some toe warmers into my boots and hand warmers into my gloves. I will also pre-heat by drinking ginger tea before I go (learned from the Great Cape Herbs seminar last week).

I drank quite a bit of ginger tea when I got home, and that helped a lot.

‘Cause there’s no reason to attend these events if I don’t apply what I learn, right? 😉

The mail brought a box of books containing the second volume of Gail Godwin’s journal and Antonia Frasier’s memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, so I was a happy camper. Wrapped myself in a blanket, put on some jazz, and started the Godwin memoir.

I read a lot of her books in the late 80’s, early -mid 90’s and really enjoyed her writing. I haven’t read her lately, and I’m interested, once I unpack them, to re-read some of the books I read and see if my perceptions have changed. The writing on the page remains the same, it is fixed once it’s published, but do I respond to it differently?

I remembered getting impatient with the first volume of journals, but couldn’t remember why. I’m not very far into this volume of journals, and I get impatient again. Yes, it was the early 1960’s, and women had a different frame of reference. But if she spent even an eighth of the energy she wastes on pursuing toxic relationships with men on her writing, she would have gotten a whole lot further a whole lot faster.

The diary can help you see patterns and break them. I look at my diaries from my twenties and self-indulgent thirties and cringe. But writing it all down and looking back also helped me break negative patterns and realize how I was getting in my own way, both personally and professionally. That person helped form who I am now, but I wish she’d gotten her act together earlier. Maybe that’s why I get impatient with Godwin’s journals — I see too much similarity. The qualities I didn’t like in myself at that age, I see in those journals.

When she details observations on the world around her, and how her writing process evolves, it’s very interesting.

Also got a lovely CD mixed by a good friend that is a joy to play. I was just casting around for some new music, and it appeared in the post! Thanks, Colin!

Went to bed pretty early. Got up on Sunday pretty early, having dreamed I was working on location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and I was as tired as if I’d actually spent the night doing just that. These “busy dreams” take it out of me! 😉

Morning routine, out to get the papers, read the papers. The papers here are better written, have fewer typos, and are more balanced that most other papers I’ve read across the country. They poke at multiple sides of an issue, so you get a broad spectrum of both information and opinion — each of which is clearly defined, so that biased opinion isn’t presented as journalism. It makes it easier to get a more complete picture of an issue to figure out one’s own stand on it. I read more than one paper, and each paper contains multiple points of view on different issues, so one really gets a good cross-section of information.

Decided that Sunday was going to be my day off from writing this week. I kind of feel that all of my life since I’ve moved is a bit of refilling the creative well, which I desperately need. I’m trying a lot of new things and trying to open myself up to a lot of new experiences I didn’t/couldn’t in NY, and seeing what I learn.

Read a lot. Caught up on some emails. Caught up on filing and receipts. Played with the cats.

Got frustrated with the workshop because so many people seem to think that the date an assignment due is a suggestion. Far too many of them post their assignment days late, the day before or the day the next assignment is due. Some people are skipping exercises, which they were told UP FRONT they can’t do. I had to resort to keeping a tracking sheet so I can track, as I jump back and forth between the assignments, who’s keeping up and who isn’t. It’s just so disrespectful. We all have life stuff. If you expect to have a career in anything, you learn how to deal with life and your career. You can’t wait until you’re earning a paycheck to behave that way or you’ll never earn a paycheck.

Enough. I had to get up at five frigging a.m. in the freezing cold to get in the yoga, meditation, and my first 1K of the day before I left for the garage. So I don’t want to hear about anyone’s conflicts when they have a half a week to get a 1300 word assignment done. In four days, I have to do AT LEAST 4000 words. Usually a heck of a lot more. AND run my life.

Devon

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Headache’s better, and I’m vaguely coherent again, thank goodness. You’re absolutely right, Diane, I’m sure it’s connected to the back problem. I look forward to my acupuncture appointment next week.

Yesterday was focused on conference work and work for Confidential Job #1. I also got some other reading done, and I booked into the clay workshop for May. Several conference participants got a late start,which means they’re rushing through the exercises, and it’s a big dump of work on me at the end of the week. But tomorrow’s the last day of the conference, so it’s all good. And I’m still working on three assignments to submit to a workshop, so I’m not one to fuss! 😉

Got some work done on THE POWER OF WORDS. I’m at a very technical section right now. I think I actually need to type what’s written so far, because it’s too hard to go through a hundred plus pages of handwritten material when I need to cross-reference something to keep it consistent. I’ll also have to start some typed notes and charts to keep bits of the story and logic sorted.

Errands later today, more conference work, and then back to the play (probably MRS. TELLER), and finishing up Confidential Job #1.

I have to work on the newsletter this weekend. I dread trying to get it out through my useless host. Hope I can pull things off the host in the coming few weeks and finally do that host move I resent being held hostage by my hosting company.

I dreamed about architecture the past few nights, as in building historical-style buildings. And then, last night, I dreamed that a freight train derailed in front of me and crates of dogs were on it. (Yes, I took them home. I couldn’t leave them scattered in broken crates, could I?). What does all that mean?

Devon

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 8:42 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, December 21, 2009


Detail of living room garland

Monday, December 21, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Yule — The Winter Solstice
Sunny and cold

I have to take a minute to rant about yet again about how much 1and1 WebHosting sucks. They forced a mail upgrade RIGHT BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS, a busy, stressful enough time as it is, with no instructions, and I can’t do anything. I had the newsletter all set to go == finally — and can’t add in any of the addresses. I am sick and tired of them taking my money and NOT GIVING ME SERVICE.

I wound up hand-entering every address for the newsletter. Of course, the site boots me off it every 3 minutes, so I couldn’t even get a decent amount of addresses in at any given time — because it won’t let me copy and paste or click and add or anything that it is supposed to do. Tech support’s instructions have nothing to do with what is actually on the screen.

I have GOT to take another iWeb design class as soon as possible to answer my last few questions, get the sites redesigned, and then get them the hell off that host. Right now, FAT COW and GREEN GEEKS are my top contenders.

It also means sorting through all the mail and pulling the files, which is a huge job( since I have to get and file approximately 500 emails per day pertaining to various projects), and something I haven’t had the time to complete, which is why it’s taken me so long to dump this awful web host.

Other than that, it was a decent day. I dug out the car — the snow was light and powdery, so it was no big deal. I took it easy, because I’m tired — a little writing, a little reading.

I must be dreaming about Christmas at night, because for the past three mornings, I woke up thinking it was Christmas Day. And, on Sunday morning, I woke up at 2 AM, absolutely convinced I forgot to put the turkey into the oven. I dashed into the kitchen with Elsa faithfully following behind me (Violet glanced up and said, “You’re kidding, right? I’m not getting up at 2 AM”). When I saw there was no turkey in the fridge to go into the oven, I realized I must have been dreaming!

I have a contract to sign and get back in the mail. The rights on the PERFECTLY PLUM anthology are expanding to include digital, so they sent me an addendum — seems perfectly fair, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a go.

I’ve got to run to the store today to get some more heavy cream for the trifle, and a few other things, but, for the most part, I want to concentrate on getting back into the writing groove today and work on the stories due in (gulp) less than two weeks.

As I look over the projects and deadlines and ideas for 2010, I realize that, not only do I have to up my quality, I have to seriously up my quantity. That’s always a tricky tightrope — the bulk of the writers who swear they can write four articles in an hour for mill content sites (thereby selling work for $15/article, (when if they put in a few more minutes, they could sell it for 10X that much in legitimate publications AND retain reprint rights) focus on quantity. They have to — they can’t earn anything if they’re not turning out bulk content. And they’ll burn out pretty damn fast — no one can retain that kind of pace for long and keep up a high quality. In fact, of the writing I’ve read by some of the loudest defenders of the content mills — bluntly, their quality is non-existent, and there’s a reason they’re not hired by higher paying publications. I see why some of my clients have come to me begging me to clean up mess created by mill content writers. I do it, but the price is high. By “clean up”, I don’t mean revise — I mean I throw it all out, start from scratch, and create a piece of solid writing that draws in customers for my clients. The “clean up” part comes because the previous writer not only turned in poor quality, but turned it in late, which means I’m working on a truncated deadline. And there’s a price on that.

Quality is always the most important, but, in order to both achieve what I want to achieve and earn the money I need to earn to make a living at this, I have to up the ante in every possible way. I have to find a way to up the quantity, retain (and improve) the quality (because if you don’t at least strive to make every piece you do better than the last, you are doing a disservice to yourself AND the writing), and not burn out. I have to be much more focused and disciplined with my time than I’ve been the past couple of months. This year, in general, I’ve gotten way behind on a couple of things, and there is simply no excuse. Either I want it enough to do what needs to be done, or I shouldn’t be in the business. Period. We all have twenty four hours in every day. It’s how we choose to use them that defines us. Since I choose to define myself as “writer”, I damn well have to make some changes in how I structure my day.

I leave for a site job the day after Christmas Day, so I have to be packed and organized for that, too, by Christmas. AND friends are coming into town just for a few hours that day, so I’m trying to coordinate at quick visit. I’ve also got to get New Year’s sorted — New Year’s Eve will be stressful because I have to be on the road at night (hopefully I can get going early enough to avoid the bulk of the drunks), but New Year’s Day should be a pretty wonderful start to the year.

I’m ready to start a new decade. This one’s certainly been a challenge! Lots of wonderful things in it, too, but I’m ready to attack the next decade with vigor!

Back to the page.

Devon