Tues. Nov. 19, 2019: Weekend of Work

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise for the #ReaderExpansionChallenge on a family-oriented novel.

And a happy, happy birthday to my Twitter pal Jake! Have a beautiful day!

Friday afternoon, once I got back from errands and the library, it was about yard work. I hacked back the overgrown roses on the side of the house, took out the invasive oak and bindweed. It took a good portion of the afternoon, and I came away scratched and bleeding. I prefer the Sleeping Beauty look, and it discourages cutting through the property. But my landlord complained, and, knowing these damn men who will put in the new furnace, I guarantee they will insist on going down that side of the house, with the narrow path, rather than the side of the house with the driveway and the flat area to get to the bulkhead to load in the furnace. Because it’s “shorter.”

Only in your dreams, buddy.

But it’s done.

I didn’t write enough on Friday, and it threw off the rhythm of my day. The editing session was good, though.

I started reading my friend’s book, which is fun. I finally feel I’ve done enough work to earn that treat.

I moved Tessa up to my room to take some of the pressure off her with Willa and Charlotte. We got them to be company for her, but their issues are causing problems. I’m giving Tessa a break of a week, and then we’ll start re-integration under supervision again.

What’s funny is that Willa, who bothered Tessa the most, ran around the house looking for her and howling once I brought Tess upstairs, and now spends a good portion of the day sitting outside my bedroom door. Maybe they’ll make friends through the door.

Charlotte ran and hid when I picked up Tessa to take her upstairs; she thought she would be next, and she would be moved again.

I’ve had weird dreams the last couple of weeks. Positive, for the most part, but still weird.

Saturday, got up a little after 6 (late for me). Adjusted the morning routine so Tessa still got fed on time. Charlotte thought she could now eat in the kitchen in Tessa’s spot — no, honey, Tessa will be back there soon. You still eat in your spot.

Yoga, meditation, the first load of laundry in before 7.

Then, to writing. I finished editing a draft of a book late in the morning. I started doing the final proof, so I can send it to my editor for final galleys.

In the afternoon, tried to rake, but it was too windy. Scrubbed the railings and the deck. The landlord said it had mold — no, it was dirt. No mold. Some of the paint is coming off, because the last time it was painted was when we moved in in 2010.

Monday was supposed to be pouring with rain, so I don’t see how they’ll muck about and figure out what needs to be done. But that’s up to them, not me.

My back was killing me.

Spent some time with Tessa and studying runes. Read. Finished reading a memoir where the writer tries to present herself as the heroine, when in reality, she’s a manipulator who was caught out. Worked my last nerve.

Sunday, worked on a new recipe for muffins. They came out pretty well, although I’m going to add vanilla next time around.

Wrote all the posts for December for #UpbeatAuthors. Feel a sense of relief and completion.

Pulled the last bits in from the deck, and worked in the basement on Sunday.

Also made orange marmalade oatmeal bread. It was a lot of work, and I don’t like the result. It’s too dense and heavy. If I do it again, I will try it with just oats, not cooked oatmeal. I was very disappointed.

Scrubbed the basement floor.

Read some more in my friend’s book. Kept getting interrupted.

Did a good chunk of proofreading.

Overslept on Monday morning. I didn’t want to get up when the alarm went off (I’m usually up a half hour to an hour before it goes off). The storm wasn’t as bad as predicted, or at least it seemed so when I woke up.

Morning routine, and then to editing. Went in to my client’s a little early, because I had to leave early because the landlord had the builder coming to look at the deck and the back of the house.

I’m scheduling this to post, so I don’t know what the workday/builder, etc. actually brought yet. I know I plan to be up early on Tuesday, finish the proofs, and get them to my editor.

I haven’t written any new material in a few days, and it’s throwing me off my game. But I need to get these edits done.

I did, yesterday, indulge myself in a few pages of THE BARD’S LAMENT. That helped.

Onward.

 

Fri. Nov. 15, 2019: Trying to Balance the Demands

Friday, November 15, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and warmer

Hop on over to Affairs of the Pen. Instead of talking about the Nautical Namaste Mysteries, this week, I’m talking about the Twinkle Tavern Mysteries, which are part of Delectable Digital Delights.

Took down the contact form on the Fearless Ink site, because it just won’t work. I have no idea why. Whatever they did to make the recaptcha work in the comments on Ink-Dipped Advice screwed up the contact form. It should work on both, but doesn’t, and not even the contact form works any more. So people just have to contact me directly. I typed out the email address, hopefully in a way the bots can’t get it.

Spent the afternoon clearing out a section of the basement. Water had leaked in under the door to the bulkhead in one of the storm. I lost several boxes of books to that, including the books written by my ex. I had mixed feelings about that — talk about a way to let go completely. I’m sad that I also lost a box of books on Cape Cod history, some books on France, and the Norse sagas I brought back form Iceland in 2007.

I also sorted and tossed a lot of old papers. I found some important stuff, such as old contact sheets and an article I’d forgotten I wrote — which is pretty darn good, and will go up on my Clients & Publications page.

My back was killing me by the end of it. But if I keep at it, the basement will be purged over the winter. In the spring, I’ll call one of the junk removal companies to make a dump run with all the stuff I don’t put into household garbage, recycling, or give away.

I still have to do a lot of pruning this weekend.

My back hurt so badly that I broke down and took a Tylenol PM. It kept me awake until after midnight. I finally dropped off and felt dopey when I woke up after oversleeping.

Frustrating early editing session, mostly because I overslept and felt time pressure. Errands, dropped off stuff at the dump and at the post office.

I’m moving Tessa up to my room and keeping her there, away from Willa and Charlotte for a couple of weeks, and then working on socializing them together upstairs, under supervision. It’s not happening organically, so I have to make it work otherwise. The diffuser has not helped at all, and was a waste of money.

Some time at the library. This afternoon, I’m back in the basement, cleaning and purging. There’s a clear path now, when they have to put in the new furnace whenever that is. They’re coming to “talk about it” and take a look next Thursday. The construction guy is coming to “take a look” at what the landlord wants done to the deck. Which means a bunch of old white men will stand around moaning and shaking their heads and wasting my time.

At least they’re not trying to replace it while Mercury is still retrograde.

I’m having a cranky start to the weekend, but I hope it will get better.

Have a great one!

 

Published in: on November 15, 2019 at 11:18 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 15, 2019: Trying to Balance the Demands  
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Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019: Writing, Changes, Planning

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Partly cloudy and cold

We have a bit of snow Tuesday night. Just a dusting. Charlotte was fascinated by the snowflakes. Willa ran away. Tessa was unimpressed.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth, to see the latest in the garden.

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site, where I’ve put up the questions for 2020. The approach is a little different this year. I hope you enjoy them, and that they are helpful as you figure out how to start the New Year — and the new decade. They will also live permanently on this page.

Impeachment hearings started yesterday. About damn time.

Had a good editing session in the morning yesterday. Then went on-site with a client. Remote Chat was fun, as it always is.

I’m trying to be smarter about using LinkedIn, but every time I sign in, I remember why I hate it so much. It wants to limit me.

I resent being forced to be on both LinkedIn and GoodReads. They don’t serve me. They get in my way.

I’m frustrated with A2 because they won’t fix a problem on the Fearless Ink site. Or do anything about the hacking and the threats I’ve been receiving. I need to move hosts. Which probably means rebuilding everything from scratch when I do so. SiteGround, so far, is the top contender. They’re pricier than A2, but it looks like they actually offer support when something goes wrong. And security. A2 used to offer both. Now, they just don’t give a damn.

Stopped at the store on my way home. Wednesday night has evolved into pizza night here, so that was fun.

Charlotte and Willa race to greet me when I come home. It’s so cute. Tessa was out and about a bit, but there’s still a lot of tension between her and the other two. We need to do some more work. I don’t believe that Feliway Diffuser has done a damn thing. Glad I got it on sale.

The landlord arranged for the septic tank to be pumped on Tuesday. Later in the week, he’s coming over with he heating guy to see about replacing the furnace. That means, this weekend, I have to do a serious purge of the basement around the bulkhead doors, because that’s how the new furnace will have to come in, and the old one will have to go out. That throws a monkey wrench in my weekend, but I’m grateful that he’s willing to replace it when the furnace people suggest it, rather than waiting until it breaks down in the middle of a blizzard.

Writing and editing sessions this morning, then off to the library for a bit. Back home for more writing, some raking, some basement purging. Writing session was okay; editing session was excellent.

I finished the book for review, and sent off the review to the editor. Told her I’m ready for the next one.

I plan to read my friend’s book this weekend, too. I finally feel I earned it!

 

Published in: on November 14, 2019 at 10:20 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019: Writing, Changes, Planning  
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Fri. Nov. 4, 2016: Friday Already?

Friday, November 4, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and mild

I was such a waste of food yesterday, it wasn’t even funny. I did not get much done. A little work on revisions, some procedural research, some Newport research, switching out the spiderweb curtains to the winter curtains, making chocolate walnut butter bread. Not much to show for the day, although the bread is very good!

Just felt out of sorts, and not particularly creative. Realized I have to go back a few chapters in CHOLERIC and fix something else. Again, every time I get frustrated, I remind myself better to catch it now than have it go out with those mistakes. I should have caught some of them in earlier drafts, though.

Put together pitches on a couple of projects, so we’ll see where that goes. Unfortunately, several projects in which I’m involved will be affected by who wins the election next week, so I’m in a holding pattern on a few things, and I’m putting together alternate plans, just in case.

Had a lovely online conversation with author Paige Shelton yesterday. I’m looking forward to her story “A Christmas Tartan” that I downloaded a few days ago, but haven’t yet read. I like her work.

I read Eric R. Asher’s DAYS GONE BAD last night, on the Kindle. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is lively and fun, I liked the characters, and Asher made good choices about where to play within the formula and where to break it. I’ll definitely read more of his work.

Some errands to run, and hopefully, it’s warm enough to paint those pieces I need to paint before putting them away for the winter. I’m going to try to oil some of the teak furniture, too, so it has time to dry before I put it away.

And get back to the edits. I have two pieces I need to finish editing and get out on submission before the holiday madness starts, so it doesn’t give me much time. But I need to make sure they’re in the best shape possible BEFORE submission, instead of rushing it just to get it out. That tender balance is always tough.

I can’t believe it’s Friday! If the weather is decent, the weekend means lots of yard work for me; otherwise it’s all edits, all the time.

Have a great one!

Devon

Published in: on November 4, 2016 at 9:46 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 4, 2016: Friday Already?  
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Wed. May 11, 2016: Back from Vacation!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter direct (as of the 9th)
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was on vacation. It was nice to have time off, although I didn’t get as much rest as I hoped. And it’s nice that one of the retrogrades has gone direct.

It rained almost the entire time, except for the past two days. That made things a bit more complicated, but I kind of like rain — gives one the chance to be a little more quiet.

I spent the first part of my vacation in the Berkshires, at Kripalu. I was looking forward to it enormously — which was probably one reason I was so disappointed. They no longer enforce the “electronic devices only in the Wifi lounge” policy. People were on their cell phones EVERYWHERE, even right under the signs that asked them not to. The Sunroom, which is supposed to be for quiet contemplation, was turned into an office by a group of people — laptops, file folders, bag lunches. They texted in the meditation room; they were on their phones in the silent dining room. People are now smoking outside (it used to be no smoking anywhere on the grounds). Not only is it contradictory to their stated mission (which makes them hypocrites), but it makes them any nameless, overpriced resort out there. There was NO WHERE on the entire property where one could go for quiet contemplation. Not acceptable.

I enjoyed some interested workshops, but it didn’t make up for the fact that there was nowhere to go to be quiet. The point of an R&R retreat is to have “rest” and “relaxation”. I got neither –and, at those prices, I expected both.

My favorite program was given by the chef — the food is still outstanding. I learned a lot I could take back with me and use. I met some great people, including a lovely woman from Syracuse who is a graphic designer.

I stayed at the Black Swan Inn — right across Laurel Lake from the Edith Wharton house. It’s a lovely hotel. I had a fantastic room with one of the most comfortable beds in which I’ve ever slept. Unfortunately, T-Mobile has no coverage in the Berkshires, so my cell phone was useless. The landline in my room didn’t work. My Kindle worked, on the hotel’s wifi, so I emailed a neighbor and asked him to contact home and let them know I got in safely.

Ironic — more electronically disconnected at the Inn than at Kripalu!

Once home, I focused on the writing. I’m just past the halfway mark on the DEATH OF A CHOLERIC rewrites. I believe the book will need one more round of revisions before it’s ready to send out. I also got a lot of work done on Nonfiction #1. And, I’ve started purging things — from the office, and then I’ll tackle all those unpacked boxes in the basement. It’s slow going, but at least there’s progress.

We’re also preparing for company to come in from Europe this weekend. Four people, so the little red house will be packed to the gills!

I’d put down fertilizer and grass seed before I left, on the front lawn. The daily rain did its thing while I was gone. I finally got the terraced back area mowed and fertilized, and got the front mowed again. I’d put in some creeping phlox at the bottom of the driveway, which is cheerful. I got a new, long hose for the front, so I’ve got long hoses both front and back to keep everything properly watered. I still have to rake out some beds and weed them, and I have to get in topsoil for the circular bed in No Man’s Land, so I can plant the bee/hummingbird plants.

I replanted most of the tomatoes, the peas, and the cucumber yesterday, and started zucchini, kale, and beans yesterday.

The mower’s being a pain in the butt — I’m fighting it so much to get it started that I barely have any energy left to actually mow! I still have to mow the meadow, and yank out some stuff that’s invaded.

I’d love another week to just read and sleep, but no such luck. It’s back to work today. I’m sure there are piles on my desk, and I have a program this upcoming weekend. I have a lot of PR to get out for upcoming programs.

The food is figured out when the guests arrive — I’ll be doing a lot of cooking as well as everything else.

I’ve been really careful in the revisions of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’m only revising three chapters per day, and then reading the next day’s material for revision. That way, I don’t burn out, and I can keep a good overall eye on the piece, instead of getting bogged down in the same types of things that bogged down the draft. In general, I’ve used a much slower pace on this book, and I like it. The quality of work is better. The drafting was still 1K/day, but the rest of it — I’m letting it marinate in between drafts, and I’m pacing the revisions in a way that allows for better work.

Work on “just a Drop” is much slower than I would like, and I won’t get a chance to work on it with guests this weekend, but that’s life. Still trying to figure out how to fit the revisions of HEART SNATCHER back in, without throwing the entire schedule off.

I feel like I’ve already put in a full day before going to work — in the garden before 6 AM, working on Nonfiction #1, and then working on revision chapters before heading to work. Ah, the life of a writer!

Hope you’re having a wonderful spring!

Devon

Published in: on May 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm  Comments Off on Wed. May 11, 2016: Back from Vacation!  
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Wed. June 3, 2015: June Blooms

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days.

Friday was busy at work. Picked up dinner from Osterville Fish Market and relaxed.

There was a contractual glitch with one publisher, but we seem to have worked it out. I’m glad I asked questions, instead of assuming the worst and getting angry.

The play submission got out and was acknowledged. I’ll hear by August on that. Either it’s what they want, and we move forward, or it’s not, and it goes somewhere else. I’m still going to work on the play in the interim.

Saturday was all about the garden. Bought dirt, bought flats of marigolds, pots of basil, various and sundry other plants, and NINE flats of petunias. Put together the hanging baskets for the deck. Still have to do the ones for the front of the house. Replanted the small trees in the front of the house and pruned them. Replanted one of the bush cherries in the ground, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the other one. Replanted all 28 tomato plants. Ran out of basil, but had enough marigolds for them. Also replanted some of the Brussel Sprouts, which are getting big. Planted the rosemary, oregano, thyme, and dill.

Sunday, I mowed the front (which needed it again). I kept thinking it would rain, it kept threatening to rain, but it didn’t. I was supposed to go to the Berkshires, but that trip got cancelled.

Then, I was going to go to Boston on Monday and Tuesday, but the weather was so miserable, I postponed it.

Monday rained just about all day. We needed it. It was good. I wasn’t feeling well, and gave myself the day off. I read a lot and tried to get better.

Yesterday, I ran errands and attended a birthday party in the early afternoon, then came home and tried to get my act together.

Did some more poker research, which was depressing. It’s not a game I ever enjoyed or felt affection for, although I admire people who play professionally.

Did some research on circuses and their history. Not sure where I’ll go with it, but an idea is percolating just under the surface.

Doing research on Matta, one of my favorite painters.

Writing wise, I did some work on one of the mysteries, and figured out the opening of the historical play. That was difficult. I didn’t want to start too early and do a lot of exposition, but I still have to make clear the sting operation. But I think I figured it out.

Someone I never heard of or met sent me a manuscript and announced I would edit it. That’s not the way it works, bubbelah. I’m constantly astonished by the arrogance of the unpublished. I don’t sit around waiting for someone to deign to send me a manuscript so I can edit for free and fun. First of all, it’s my business, and you ASK about terms and whether we are a good fit and whether I have time and, secondly, my own work ALWAYS comes first.

There’s enough information out there on how to work with editors and publishers that there is NO excuse for “not knowing”, even when you start out. We’re in the information age. Bother to look up some information.

Today will be a long day at work, with a long list of stuff I need to get done, and, no doubt, hundreds of interruptions.

American Pharoh goes for the Triple Crown this Saturday at Belmont Park, which is almost sold out already. I hope he wins. I’m afraid to count on it, but he looks so good and so happy, and he’s had so much FUN during the races so far that it gives me hope.

Trying to sort out travel glitches on a friend’s upcoming trip, and also prepare for overseas guest who will be staying a good, long time.

Have to change the batteries in one of the carbon monoxide detectors again, in spite of having done so on the Equinox.

Irritated that the gas and electric companies were allowed to raise their rates, respectively, 39% and 27%. If the few people who get raises only get a 2.5% cost of living increase, which has to cover EVERYTHING in life, then the utilities should be only allowed to raise their prices one quarter of one percent. Period. If they “can’t afford it”, they should cut executive salaries and they should be non-profit anyway, with profits going back into improving the grid instead of going to stockholders.

Hop on over to the GDR site for the latest.

Devon

Published in: on June 3, 2015 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 3, 2015: June Blooms  
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Wed. April 1, 2015: Where Fools Leap

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
April Fool’s Day

At least it didn’t snow last night, as threatened.

I’m not a fan of the way April Fool’s Day has evolved. My understanding of its original purpose is to show the ridiculousness in “establishment” and authority. Unfortunately, too many of the so-called pranks pulled on this day aren’t funny; they’re mean. There’s an undercurrent of hostility.

Busy few days off. I was immersed in COLLABORATIVE BIRTH. Rewrote nearly 300 pages. That included tearing apart and rewriting the Prague section AGAIN — but hey, keep at it until it’s right. Running a draft through spell check or auto crit is not an edit OR a revision — it’s running words through a tool. Both editing and revision are far more complex than that.

Rewrote the New Mexico section, which needs more re-structuring because of what I did in the Prague section. A couple of characters stepped forward more strongly than I expected, but, for the moment, I’m going with it.

The world of the novel(s) goes from fairly simple and protected to wider and wider as their work gets more noticed and more attention. It’s got a large cast of characters, which won’t work for some readers, but is necessary in order for the piece to make sense. I’ve read plenty of books that pretend to be behind-the-scenes looks at theatre or film or television, with a character of six or ten, and it’s simply not the way it works. No matter what you do on a production, you deal with a large number of different, determined people every single day.

Did a ridiculous amount of grocery shopping, but hopefully that means all I’ll have to buy over the next couple of weeks is milk, bread, eggs. Got some new summer clothes — I seem to be drawn to varying shades of blue and aqua this year.

The snow is melting, which means yard work can start this weekend (if it doesn’t rain). I managed to drag the downed tree limbs out of the front yard and stash them in the back. The crocuses are up, and some tulips, hyacinth, and glory-of-the-snow are fighting the good fight to emerge. Pretty soon, I can rake the beds and get things started for planting.

I have a LOT of work to do in the back yard, since I didn’t prepare it properly in the fall. So I’m paying the price now.

Went to Country Gardens. Bought a six-pack each of Boston, Salad Bowl, and Bibb Lettuces, and a six pack of Brussels sprouts. That gives me a head start on those. I don’t really like Brussels sprouts, but the plants are pretty, so if they form properly, I’ll eat them. Bought tomato seeds, but haven’t started them yet (yes, I know it’s late), and morning glory and moonflower seeds that I will start on the next planting day.

Baked lemon cupcakes for tomorrow night’s Tango session. I’ll frost them tonight.

Finished watching the first season of MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES, out of Australia. The production design is gorgeous, and the writing and acting are superb. I hope to watch the second season this week.

Also re-watched GAME CHANGE, which is a well-done film.

Dithering about the final cuts on the radio play LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES, but those have to be done in the next few days, and it has to go out as soon as I can get it finalized and registered. Then, I have to do the American version, and also get started on the radio play that’s going to the Parisian company.

Reading THE WRITERS by Miranda J. Banks, about the formation of the Writers Guild. Very inspiring.

I haven’t written about the plane crash in the French Alps, because I’ve been listening, in horror, as everyone else has. It’s important that people aren’t stigmatized by something like depression. However, being ill does NOT give an individual the right to murder 149 other people. Or any person, other than himself. Period.

The next three days at the library will be busy, and then I have a lot of writing, research, and gardening to do over next weekend.

I’m almost afraid to hope that it’s actually spring.

Devon

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 9:09 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 1, 2015: Where Fools Leap  
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Fri. Nov. 21, 2014: Prepping for Parties & Freelance Flow

Friday, November 21, 2014
Dark Moon
Sunny and cold

BUSY day at the library yesterday. Good busy, but busy, between patrons and short story group and programming and grant ideas and all of that.

Also, suddenly, I’m getting a lot of requests for my scripting and editing services. I need to make sure I don’t overbook. I wasn’t going to take on ANYTHING new between now and the end of the year, just finish what I’ve got and concentrate on my own writing, but some of these gigs are awfully tempting. And I’d like to bank a bit against both a rainy day and some of the things I need/want to do next year. But I also don’t want to overbook and not be able to give each piece the attention and skill it deserves. So I said yes to a few things, and asked for more information on other things. I’m grateful for a feast cycle, but I also don’t want to sabotage myself by taking on too much.

Grocery store after work, to get some additional things for Saturday’s party. I decided to make a few additional things.

Home, dinner, research. Exhausted and to bed early, which meant I woke up at 1 AM. Managed to get to sleep again.

Up early, writing, worked on student manuscripts. To work, for a busy day of promotion, programming, getting out information. Must run to the store again for a couple of last-minute things. I’ll be baking tonight and preparing what can be prepared ahead. Tomorrow, I’ll make three dozen devilled eggs, do the stuffed celery, and the chocolate bruschetta. I also have to run over to West Barnstable to visit the Woodturners’ event – they are always so good to us, I want to support them.

The book launch for CREED is tomorrow, late afternoon, here at the library. Sunday is going to be an intense writing and yard work day, as are Monday and Tuesday.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!

Have a happy one!

Devon

Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 9:33 am  Comments (4)  
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Mon. March 24, 2014: Gearing Up for a Stressful Week

Monday, March 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We are on yet another blizzard watch for tomorrow into Wednesday. So not looking forward to another foot of snow.

Busy weekend. Rehearsal for the show Friday night; we got some good beat-to-beat work done. Worked on the script over the weekend.

Did some great research on the ferry girls for the novel, including watching a documentary, which gave me more of an idea of the packs, the flight checks, etc. I have to do some tweaks on the pages I’ve done so far, but it’s all very exciting.

Spent most of the weekend working on contest entries. There were some really good ones, and some mediocre ones. Also did some work on the next book my editor sent me for review. Dragging my feet on it, because they’re late paying me and not giving me an explanation, which is unlike them.

I start a gig with a new client this morning that I’m really looking forward to, and will work with a returning client who is a pleasure as well this week.

I moved a potential new client meeting that was supposed to happen the morning of the blizzard back to later in the week, and should hear back on another gig by the end of the week. I’m debating whether or not to do a trial piece for a different gig — the rate is so far below my regular rate, but it’s regular work. I don’t think the time/money/work ratio will work out; at the same time, I’m wondering if I need it as a stop gap for a few months. I don’t want to take a gig out of fear and then resent it.

Only two more weeks with my editing students. They’ve fallen behind, so I hope they catch up.

I’m behind on BALTHAZAAR, but I’ll just have to make it up in May and June. April is going to be all about the play and a couple of freelance gigs looming on the horizon, and fitting in the ferry girl novel when I can, because that’s about researching a bit, writing a bit, researching a bit, writing a bit, and so forth. I’d like to have a first draft done by the end of summer (abnormally long time for me), but am not sure if that will happen. I also have some script work to finish up in the next three months.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on March 24, 2014 at 8:05 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. March 3, 2014: Retrogrades & Why You Need A Professonal-Level Editor

Monday, March 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing

I’ll have my March To-Do list up on the GDR site shortly.

Mercury went direct on Friday, thank goodness. It was like a huge weight was lifted off. Mars went retrograde on Saturday — so be careful about having too short a fuse and REacting instead of thinking first. Saturn went retrograde yesterday — it’s the planet of life lessons. If you refused to learn the last time it went retrograde and in the interim, while it was direct, if you’re not being true to yourself — Saturn will kick your ass even harder this time around.

There is something I’m doing, a commitment I must fulfill during this month, and then I will take a break from that particular part of my career. Doing it is too frustrating, takes too much energy without enough reward, and by continuing to agree to do it, I am not being true to myself. So I need to stop. Yes, Saturn, I am listening. Please don’t kick my ass! 😉

Worked flat out on Friday and Saturday. I’ve started working through the books that arrived for the contest — there are a lot of them. What I like about these is that, although they are indie published, so far, all of the ones I read hired in an actual, professional editor. What a huge difference from the contests I’ve judged where it was obvious there was no editor, or, if an editor was listed, it was obviously a cheap-ass, content-mill level editor.

As a writer who is grateful when I am paired with a good editor who pushes me to be my best, I know how important that partnership is. Unfortunately, too many aspiring writers don’t want to pay a professional price to get professional work, and can’t be bothered to learn the basics of third-grade level English themselves. Yes, that’s right — can’t be bothered. Every library has books on grammar, structure, editing. If you didn’t pay attention now, bother to learn.

If you can’t afford the rate for a professional to edit the whole novel, get the first three chapters line edited and APPLY IT TO THE REST. It’s called “critical thinking” and “reasoning”, and if you’re going to be in the world of words, you need to know how to do it.

A few months ago, an aspiring writer came to me for advice, complaining that the work was rejected over and over and over again. When I looked at it, there wasn’t a single sentence without a spelling, grammar, or punctuation error. A reader couldn’t even tell what the story was about because it was too hard to fight through the way it was presented to get to the content. When I pointed out the individual had to work on craft elements, the response was, “I don’t have time for that boring stuff. I’m an artist.”

All great artists fuse craft with art. They don’t always stick to the rules, but they know them inside out and choose when to break them.

Fortunately, so far, all the books I’ve read for this contest have at least had a good copy editor, and don’t get marked down on that aspect (yes, that is one of the things taken into consideration). Some of them could have used a strong content editor, but at least I can get to the story itself so it stands or falls on its own merits.

Landed an interview gig with someone based overseas. Am about to send off the questions. Should be fun.

Stuck to my staying-offline-on-Sundays (which, in most cases, is now a necessity — I need the break). Instead, I wrote, in longhand, nearly 30 pages of TRUE HOME. The research I’ve done the past week came together.

Watched the Oscars last night. Thought they were rather tepid. Also, award season’s gotten too cluttered.

Had a nice fire in the fireplace yesterday. When the snow stops in a few hours, I will go out and shovel.

The priority today is to finish the revisions on the play. I need to start casting this week.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 9:04 am  Comments (3)  
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Tues. Feb. 11, 2014: Example of a Positive Workday

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a very good workday. I worked on the novella in draft, I finished an editing pass on the other novella (and will do one more, layering in more sensory detail). My publisher and I agreed on the title for the sci-fi horror western. I worked on the play.

I also landed two new clients on two short projects. One is completely turned around (and paid). The other, I did my first pass and sent it back to the client for response, and it will go back and forth over the next couple of days (deposit paid). Both clients were a pleasure to deal with and had high quality work. Helped make the workday joyful.

Finished one of the books sent for review. The first half was great and it took a turn about midway through that was disappointing. Will write and send the review later today.

Started reading a book just because I want to, and I really like it. If I continue to like it, I will mention it as “Recommended Reading”.

I started on the week’s work for the Environmental Law and Policy class. Love it. We’re getting assigned a research project, which I’m eager to start.

Watched the Olympics, of course. Speed skating and skiing events.

My knee is healing nicely; my back is slower. But it’s healing, and yesterday’s snowfall wasn’t much, so the shoveling didn’t kill me. But we’re supposed to get slammed again all day Thursday. The very thought of it just makes me tired.

Devon

Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 11, 2014: Example of a Positive Workday  
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Tues. Nov. 26, 2013: Comcast sucks, stress, and late night cooking

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and snow showers

I lost most of yesterday, work-wise. I had a decent start, then went out to run errands, and then spent the afternoon dealing with Comcast, who majorly fucked me. There is no polite way to say it. I checked and guess what? They violated both Federal and State laws, and I filed complaints against them. I refuse to let these major corporations turn me into a victim, because they think they are above the law and no one will fight back.

But I lost a half a work day. For which they will pay, on more than one level.

There was some other unpleasantness to deal with, too.

Unfortunately, because of Comcast’s doucebaggery, I lost a job I was scheduled for yesterday, and also lost the ability to take an editing test for a BIIIIG upcoming job. I’m trying to reschedule the latter for today.

Ma Bell was broken up so they wouldn’t have a monopoly, yet that’s what Comcast has here on the Cape. How is that legal? They are my only choice.

Didn’t get the screenplay finished. Managed to work with students and get some other work done.

Wound up staying up until three a.m., doing the cooking and baking for which I’m responsible for the holiday. All that’s left to do is to frost the lemon cupcakes.

Today will be crazy busy, as will tomorrow, then the holiday, then the whole weekend crazy busy.

But not with shopping. I don’t shop on Black Friday and I sure as hell boycott the stores that are trying to lure customers in on Thanksgiving themselves — especially those who don’t pay their employees a living wage.

Devon

Published in: on November 26, 2013 at 7:52 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Nov. 13, 2013: Submission Catch-Up

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

It snowed most of the day yesterday, so I stayed home and worked. Glad I got so much yard work done the previous day!

Didn’t get enough of my own work done, although I did some work in the development notebook, got out a few submissions, and found a few interesting submission calls. I’ve been focused so much on other people’s work that I feel drained when it comes to my own, and that has to change. My own work must always come first.

Got paid for a piece by someone I’d written off; always a good thing. Still waiting for a project that was promised nearly a month ago — no communication, no project. This is why I’ve started to ask for a non-refundable booking deposit.

Errands to run today, and tomorrow I’m out the door very early for an NMLC Board meeting.

I need a vacation, but there’s no chance of one anytime soon.

Devon

Published in: on November 13, 2013 at 8:26 am  Comments (1)  
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