Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes

image courtesy of Dzoko Stach via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Waxing Moon

Flurries/rain mix/cold

If you love encyclopedias as much as I do, or wonder WHY anyone would love an encyclopedia, I have a post about that up over on A Biblio Paradise.

It feels weird to have no retrogrades, but that will end on Saturday. Mercury goes into retrograde, and I’m not looking forward to it. I always dread it, but there’s so much that needs to get done; losing three weeks to a complicated retrograde is worrisome.

I would prefer to stay under the covers for the duration, but that is not an option. So I will shut up as much as possible and keep working on purging the basement.

Got an email early Friday morning about a new editor at a publication for which I recently started writing. Sent the introductory email to her, and then buckled down to finish the article that was due at the end of the day. I got it off at 5:03 – but the editor is in California, so it was still her workday, thank goodness. I hate being one of those people, who sends things just after the workday ends on a Friday.

Anyway, I got a lovely email from her about working together. I mulled over ideas over the weekend, and sent her some pitches yesterday, although with my willingness to be assigned articles as well as pitches.

I actually had a positive experience with a recruiter! Will wonders never cease! It’s for a 7-8 month writing assignment at an excellent rate. We had a good conversation, and I signed the representation agreement for this particular assignment. He actually answered my questions, and we had a conversation ranging along several topics, which gave us a good sense of each other.

An old family friend stopped by (on his way from Foxboro to Provincetown). He’d been cleaning out his basement and found two boxes of books from my grandmother and thought I’d want them. We followed health and safety protocols – especially since he had COVID last month, although he was asymptomatic.

And the books! They include the Daphne du Maurier books (one of the reasons we went to Cornwall back in 1999, because of her books), and books by Tolstoy, and more! I’m so excited. They bring back many happy memories of reading at my grandmother’s house next to the bog and the woods, as a kid.

They’re already packed in boxes. I quarantined them, and then took a look through them. I’m just going to seal and mark the boxes, and they’re ready for the move.

In and around the contest entries I’m reading, I’m reading another book for review, and hope to have the review done and out by tomorrow or Thursday. I also read THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs, which was recommended by Deborah Blake. Liked it a lot. I’m reading THE ART OF VIOLENCE by SJ Rozan, and enjoying that, too. Very well done.

In the book about the Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage I read over the weekend, I found a tidbit I didn’t know, but will be useful for a play I’m writing this year. (Not that the play is about either of them). Love when that happens!

Most of the weekend was dedicated to clearing out the basement. I honestly don’t understand how a person can do it in a day. The emotional baggage alone nearly killed me, and I only got ten boxes done. Got another one done yesterday, and want to get at least two done today. If I do a little bit every day, and more on weekends, it won’t be so overwhelming. I’ll have to do a dump run later this week, though, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so every week or two until we move.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2:48, worrying again, like before. I guess sleeping through the night was only temporary. The cats convinced me to get up and feed them at 5 (they were bothering me since 4:12), and then I curled up on the couch again for about an hour. It wasn’t sleep, but at least I wasn’t up and about.

Masked up, dropped books in the drop box at the library, went into the office. I was there on my own for most of it, but there was a little overlap that shouldn’t have happened. I blame the Governor. He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated, which is costing more lives. We need a Democratic governor in this state. At the beginning, he seemed to be doing a decent job of things, but he’s pro-business to the point of unnecessarily costing lives.

Had to stop by the post office on the way home, because the mail carrier at the office route refuses to pick up packages when the flag is up – even when we’ve put in a request for pickup.  He just drives right by. I’m tired of chasing him down the street, and then he refuses to take the package. Not to mention his refusal to wear a mask. I want the guy back who actually did his job. So I took it with me to MY post office, in MY town, where they actually do their jobs, and are nice about it. Also mailed a package for my mom, a birthday present for a friend of hers.

Home, decontaminated, lunch. The landlord had a guy come by to give an estimate for a new septic system (this one is original to the house, which was built in 1962). But they were outside and I was not, so it wasn’t an issue. Plus, they followed masking protocols.

Heard from my new editor, who liked the article I submitted on Friday, and wants the material I had to cut for word count as a “Part 2” so I’m going to do that today, along with getting some stuff done for a client, and getting out more LOIs. And getting two more boxes purged from the basement.

My seeds arrived yesterday, from both Territorial and Kitchen Garden seeds. I was going to order some more from Johnny’s today, but maybe I’ll skip it. I might just make do with what I have, at least until we know where we’re moving and get settled there. Then, I can look around and see what we need.

Once I know WHERE we’re moving, I can get everything else organized pretty quickly. It will be stressful, but it’s do-able. It’s getting the finances in place FOR the move, which will dictate so much of it, that is the main challenge.

Busy day ahead, especially with Mercury Retrograde looming.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on January 26, 2021 at 6:24 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes  
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Wed. Aug. 12, 2020: Die For Tourist Dollars Day 84 — Recruiter Fail, Writing Process, A Whisper of Hope

graffiti-1450798_1920
image courtesy of ShonEjal via pixabay.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

I’m still working on the piece for Ink-Dipped advice, about how companies drive away skilled workers, while whining they can’t find enough skilled workers.

Yesterday was hot and humid. I watered the yard in the morning, and the back both morning and evening. Watered this morning. The mosquitoes are relentless, and completely ignore the bug spray. It has no effect.

I tried to get as much done in the morning as possible, before it got too hot and my computer got too hot. I forgot how much PCs suck. This laptop is barely three months old and it makes changes in Word documents – jumping around in the document and adding or deleting. It takes 13 minutes to boot up. I’m grateful I have it, but I definitely want to go back to MAC as soon as I can afford it.

Got some LOIs out, got out a pitch to an editor for a site I’d really like to work on. A client to whom I’d pitched several months ago is interested in having me come on for a smaller job – I’m sending her some information this morning, and we’ll see if we can go from there.

Got a rejection from a company that puzzled me. I’d never applied to them for anything. First of all, the job from which I was rejected wasn’t something I’d try for anyway. Second, it was a company I knew wasn’t a good match. So how could they reject me from something I’d never wanted?

I contacted the HR person and explained my bafflement. Turns out a recruiter I’d talked to months ago – and decided NOT to work with – pitched me for the job. Without telling me.

No. Just no.

I contacted the recruiter and expressed my displeasure. In cordial terms, but this is not okay. The response? I should be “glad” this individual submitted me for anything, and I should take whatever I could get.

Again, No.

These people.

Got some reading done in the afternoon. Read another book by the person whose work I was on the fence about. Liked this one. Started a third book that will be the deciding vote! Anyway, glad I gave this author another chance, even if I disagree with some of her choices.

Made up an Asian-inspired chicken, vegetables, and noodle dish that was quite tasty.

Actually could sit outside and enjoy a breeze in the evening. First time it’s been quiet around here in MONTHS.

Noodling around on this new idea. Totally different development process for me, developing far more early on before I write any of it. I often outline, then write. Or I get an idea, think about it, jot some notes, then write my way in for about four chapters. If those four chapters work, I’ll sit down and outline the whole book, figure out where to put it in the queue, and work from there.

But this, I’m working on theme first, and then I’ve found my protagonist. Now I’m building around that, and from there, I will find my plot.

I’m keeping a diary specific to this novel, separate from everything else.

It’s helping to loosen the stuck creative bolts, and I’m hoping that will transfer to other projects that need attention.

Absolutely delighted that Kamala Harris is the VP choice. I feel more hopeful than I have in weeks.

Blocked a bunch of morons after the announcement. I’m sure I will have to call out racists fuckwits locally, because we have a lot of racist fuckwits locally.

I have to go into the office for a client today, along with other people. Not looking forward to it. But it’s only for a few hours, and I will be masked, so here’s hoping. They tend to be Sliding Mask Skanks after about 10 minutes. Which means I will probably leave shortly after they turn up.

At least I have Remote Chat to look forward to later.

Have a great midweek.

Wed. May 20, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 2

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Day Before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice, where I have a piece on “Don’t Be That Marketing Asshat.”

Yesterday went by fast. I did a lot, but it didn’t feel that way. I worked on the Square store I’m setting up for a client. Not thrilled with the Weebly platform, but hey. We do the best we can.

Sent out a bunch of LOIs – some of them were quite fun. There are some pretty interesting companies crossing my radar. I have to get the balance back for articles, though. I don’t want to drop the ball on that.

In the middle of an online meeting, there were crashes out on the deck. The wind knocked over and broke several of my large clay geranium pots. So there was a big mess to clean up. And, of course, it always has to happen when I’m in the middle of something work-related. Great way to impress a potential new client. “Just ignore all that noise; things are smashing right outside the window.”

This morning, I have to head back onsite for a particular client. She’s been good during all this, and we are supposedly taking precautions. We’ll see. Technically, offices aren’t open until next week, and then only at 25% capacity. The fact that’s being ignored does not make me feel confident. It’s the only client for whom I’m willing to do any onsite work through the end of this year.

I ended up troubleshooting something with the web developer for this particular client around 8 last night, so let’s hope that it worked. I’m the writer. I’m not the IT person.

At least I slept fairly well. Up early this morning. Decent, not brilliant, first writing session.

I’d heard from one of my editors, who had trouble opening the article I sent a few weeks back. I powered up the old Macbook, made the changes, saved it as an RTF, and sent it. Hopefully, that will work. Just in case, I printed off a copy. If there continues to be an issue with the current version of Word, I will just rekey it into Word. Do-able, and at least I didn’t lose the article.

I managed to do a workaround so I didn’t have to load a driver into the Macbook for the new laser printer. Since it’s USB connected, all it has to do is send the document. It worked, so, fingers crossed.

I am not looking forward to today’s battles. But all I can do is hold my boundaries and do the best I can to, literally, survive.

It definitely reinforced the whole, “I like individuals; not so fond of people.”

Hope you have a good day.

Published in: on May 20, 2020 at 6:34 am  Comments (2)  
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Wed. Oct. 24, 2018: It Keeps Going

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Day after Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cold and gray

Busy/crazy few days.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for a post on techniques I learned during Nano that apply well to freelance work.

Challenging days with the client.

There was some controversy over one of my published pieces. I am grateful that my editor backed me.

Finished yet another round of copyedits on RELICS. This better be it. The damn book is close to release. I’m getting a little fed up with the way Word changes text from draft to draft, auto-correcting even when I don’t want it to. There’s got to be a way to turn it off. I don’t like a computer program rewriting my text.

This has all put me far behind on DHARMA, which is causing even more stress.

On top of that, there were water spouts only a few miles away at the canal last night, and we were under tornado warnings. The cats were upset. But it turned out okay.

This weekend, the primary focus is on the DHARMA draft, and on yard work and finally getting up the decorations for next week.

On top of that, there are two short stories that are bothering me. I know if I don’t get some work on them, they will distract me from everything else.

And Jake’s book, in the Coventina Circle series, is taking form. That’s book #8. So I’m making notes. Morag’s is the first, Bonnie’s the second, Amanda’s the third, Lesley’s the fourth, Sylvie’s the fifth, Diana’s the sixth, Hartley Crain’s the seventh, Jake’s the eighth. I’ll either do another Morag as number nine, or a final book with everyone. That’s the plan so far. Who knows how it will actually shake out? .

From there, I can build the paranormal historicals and the side books that are seeded in the main books.

But for the next couple of years, I can only write one Coventina a year, not two. That’s just too much, juggling that and the Gwen Finnegan Mysteries and the Nautical Namaste mysteries and Jain Lazarus coming back and Justice by Harpy and the Gambit Colony books

Plus, there are other ideas I have that have nothing to do with the current series!

Oh, and I have to buy another bag of candy, because I ate one!

Rescheduled some coffee dates that got bumped.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on October 24, 2018 at 9:00 am  Comments Off on Wed. Oct. 24, 2018: It Keeps Going  
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Thurs. Aug. 9, 2018: Trying to Regain Equilibrium

Thursday, August 09, 2018
Day Before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

It’s been a tough week. But I’m slowly trying to regain equilibrium. Client work has been busy; I’ve managed to focus and get what needs to be done DONE, but not much beyond that.

The writing has not been going well, but I’m starting to feel like I can get back to that. I’m grateful to my editor for allowing me the room to grieve, and then guide me back on track. I’m lucky in my book editor; she gets me, doesn’t let me get away with anything, but also knows when to cut me slack so that I can do better work.

On the other hand, another editor, whose deadline isn’t immediate, has been haranguing me “is it done yet? If you have it early, I’ll take it.” Hon, if you wanted it two weeks early, THAT’s the date you should have contracted. No, you are not “following up” or “checking in.” You’re nagging, and that pisses me off. Yes, I’d planned to have it ready on Monday (well ahead of deadline). But, due to the deaths last week, it didn’t happen. I’m still on track, but you’re getting it on the agreed-upon deadline, not before.

I HATE it when editors nag. I’m going to start putting an anti-nagging clauses in my contracts.

Sukasana/savasana/reiki on Tuesday was a big help. And gave me some good ideas to apply to DAVY JONES DHARMA.

I was up most of the night with insomnia, but not enough to actually get up and DO anything. I worked out plot points for RELICS that have been bugging me (I’m so far away from the outline at this point it’s ridiculous), and worked out a few elements I hadn’t figured out for GRAVE REACH.

It’s supposed to storm badly today. I have dinner in the crockpot (hopefully the power won’t go out).

Tomorrow, I am not blogging, because I’m going off-Cape to pick up our new kitty. Fingers crossed it all works out.

I can finally say, “Back to the page.” Writing is the best way to start feeling like myself again.

Published in: on August 9, 2018 at 8:43 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 9, 2018: Trying to Regain Equilibrium  
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Fri. Oct. 20, 2017: Glad A Tough Week Comes to a Close

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles

Friday, October 20, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday morning was stressful; dealing with the Best Buy fiasco, trying to get back on track with the work.

I desperately needed the noon yoga class. It was great — the teacher is wonderful. A fellow Hob-Nobber was there, and I had a great conversation with another woman who also absolutely loved the class. I hope I can go to the teacher’s crystal sound meditation session in November.

Came home and worked on the next book for review. Mixed feelings about it.

A new editor and I are going through an adjustment process. We’ll see if we can make it work. I may depart in the next few months.

Dragging in the reading of a book I wanted to read for pleasure. Only, sadly, it’s not a pleasure. I don’t respect a protagonist who doesn’t pass on information or take action because she’s “tired” or “hungry”, and then someone dies, or evidence is destroyed. That means the protag is directly responsible for the death (not that those protags ever have a prick of conscience). In my universe, I’d want her karma to even it out by her being the next victim, because she’s too much of a fucking moron for me to respect her as a protagonist. I see more and more of this lamentable excuse to create inorganic plot complications in a way that makes me loathe the protagonist.

I might just skip to the end to see if I’m right about the murderer (I usually am), and then call it a day with this author.

I picked the book because I was interested in the location. That part is rendered pretty well; too bad the rest of the book is so annoying.

I contacted the “staffing service” that I felt pulled a bait-and-switch on me a few weeks ago, getting me in under false pretext, making me fill out all that paperwork, talking about the job in financial terms that were nearly 1K/week less than the listing, and promising to set up a meeting for said job — and I never heard from them again. I decided to behave the way I believe is professional, which was to contact them and tell them that, since I had never heard about the actual meeting set up or anything else, I assumed I was no longer in the running for that “job”, and that my situation had changed. My availability has changed, and I’m only available for freelance or short-term clients that required little on-site time, and it is a X rate. I received a somewhat polite response, thanking me and telling me that, in 25 years of doing HR, this was the only client she ever had looking for a writer! Hmm, and how does she think all those materials are created that those businesses she deals with use? I was right; they are a bait-and-switch, typical Cape Cod scam. Try to get in qualified people, then convince them to work shit jobs at even worse shit rates. Next!

Need to get back on track, writing-wise this weekend. I’m way too far behind on several projects.

Hopefully, I can also nail down the new design for A Biblio Paradise. I’m sure I’m making far too big a deal out of it. Just make a decision and do it, for goodness sake!

It’s supposed to be a nice weekend, so I can put up the outdoor decorations, and also do some more yard work. I swear there are a pair of squirrels sitting in one particular tree practicing their throws by aiming acorns at my head!

Gathering some material for an upcoming meeting with one client (a week from Monday, but I want to send the material ahead of time), and next week, I start with another new client, who will be a regular several-days-a-week writing and marketing gig for the next few months.

Working on replacing the gig I’ve been so unhappy with the past few months with something that works better for both of us, so I can ease out of that one.

Getting out some pitches for a few more one-offs to fill in here and there and round out the roster.

While doing all this, I have to keep promoting PLAYING THE ANGLES, keep the release of SAVASANA on track, finish the edits for TRACKING MEDUSA and get that to my editor, and get the digital shorts back on track. I’ve got “Miss Winston Apologizes” coming up, and I have to get the release of “Labor Intensive” done.

Heap on top of that finishing the last few chapters of THE FIX-IT GIRL and getting it out on submission, writing the Lavinia Fontana play, and getting the manuscripts that were derailed back on track.

Not to mention finish THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so that can go to the editor after the holidays.

Deadline pressure much?

Somehow, it will all get done.

The focus of both my physical and emotional energy next week will be my mother’s surgery. I posted on Facebook yesterday how I couldn’t believe how many so-called “well-meaning” people said things like “well, she’s old, you can’t expect her to survive the surgery.” Excuse me? Not helpful. Not comforting. It’s not being “honest”, it’s being cruel.

May YOUR weekend be filled with kindness.

Tues. July 11, 2017: More Freelancing Than Fiction

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise, where Colin Galbraith talks about his latest release, GATECRASH.

Yesterday was not a good writing day. That was frustrating.

I was reasonably productive, at least in the morning: mowing, errands, final polish on the essay.

Send out questions to two potential project partners (two different projects); followed up on some pitches where I haven’t yet heard back; sent off the essay; sent a thank you & goodbye to a collaborator where our contract is up tomorrow, and I’m not extending it; sent out a query and sample pages for another book project; posted a call for questions in one of the groups in which I participate (and will do the same in another group); promoted “The Ramsey Chase”; sent out some more pitches.

The cover designer and I worked with some of the images that are possible for the new PLAYING THE ANGLES cover, but we don’t like it. I wish I could find the photos I know will work. Also playing with images for another project (which will be revealed shortly). We’re closer there, which is worrisome, since it’s not releasing until after ANGLES.

The editor with whom I’ve had a rocky relationship really likes the last piece I sent in; maybe we’re on the right track. The lag in assignment and pay, however, still bother me. I’ll have to weigh them against each other.

Read a bit; it’s an author’s new book. I have mixed feelings about the author. She’s got a huge following, but a lot of her writing doesn’t work for me. I appreciate that she’s trying something new here, but it doesn’t quite work, in my opinion. However, her fans will love it and she’ll make a packet of money, so good for her.

Still waiting on those two late payments, which I need this week in order to pay the bills. One changed the terms of the agreement (which means he is in breach of the agreement, since I did NOT agree); the other is simply not responding. Very frustrating.

On the positive side, last night, I heard back from a publication for whom I’ve written before, and to whom I pitched a couple of weeks ago. They like my article and want to contract it (sold on query again, not pre-written), AND they’re going to pay me more than the usual rate. I’m pretty happy about that. It will be a month or so before I’m paid (the article will take between one and two weeks), but at least I know that’s on the horizon. Plus, I have good clips and always been paid on time from this publication, so that’s all good.

Unfortunately, the fiction suffered — a LOT — yesterday, and I didn’t work on the media kits, either.

Today, I’ve already done a Trader Joe’s run. I have to get all my article questions out this morning, a few more pitches, and hope I hear back from the places I contacted yesterday, so I know which projects are moving forward.

I hope to have an exciting announcement in a week or two, but I don’t want to count my chickens too early, and all that stuff.

I’m in the final edit of PLAYING THE ANGLES now, taking my time to make sure I hit all the points and get all the editorial notes handled. If we’re going to adhere to the October release date, I have to be thorough, but also can’t take too long. Then, I’ll have to edit the first chapter of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY so it can also go in. What a relief not to battle this “one-book-in-a-series” lack of commitment that far too many of the smaller publishers are currently doing. I understand that far too many of the writers are unreliable and can’t deliver regularly, but if the publishers were paying them proper advances, there’d be more motivation to get things done on time.

I’m frantic to get the story for the sick teen finished, too, and feeling the time pressure there. Every day that passes where it’s not done means more suffering for her.

Plus, the life pressures this week are at an almost intolerable point. Most of them would be solved if those damn late payments would show up.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 11, 2017 at 9:25 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 11, 2017: More Freelancing Than Fiction  
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Fri. May 18, 2012: Class Preparation, Writing, Reading

Friday, May 18, 2012
Day before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I pitched for a job before leaving for yoga yesterday morning, and wasn’t even late! If we like each other, I think it could be a very good fit — I hope they’re interested in what I pitched to them.

Yoga was good; came back home, got some work done, went out and mowed the front lawn — all of it in one go — both the mower and I were up for it. Then, I trimmed the edges with my hand clippers, and weeded all the front beds — they look much better. I still have to mulch, but that’s going to have to wait a week or two. It looks really nice. Some of the grass seed sprouted — it’s a blue fescue, so it looks really lush and pretty.

I have to mow the terraced area later this morning. The meadow’s going to be good for another week or two.

Dealt with my students during the day, which meant I had the evening to get some writing and reading done. I’m struggling with this next section of revisions.

I sent my editor two reviews for the last two books sent (both of which I enjoyed), and told my editor to send me something good for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend! He promised to get something out to me today.

For Writers Worth Week, today, there’s an article by Sharon Hurley Hall on “What are You Worth? You Decide!”

I’ve got to finish up the preparations for tomorrow’s class, and then get the press materials over to Falmouth for the fall. I’m going to an art opening tonight at the Cultural Center in Yarmouth, and I have a lot to get done before then. This morning, we tried to walk on Sandy Neck Beach, but it was closed, so we went to the Boardwalk at Sandwich, then came home for breakfast, Tessa and I read the paper on the deck, and headed back to Sandy Neck, and got in our walk. It was gorgeous — not even windy, for once.

I finished setting the stone edging for the new bed when we got back; now I have to decide what I’m going to put in there! The lettuce and greens are growing so fast we’re eating salad every day — not necessarily a bad thing!

Better get going — lots to do, and I have to be at the school by 8:30 AM tomorrow!

Devon

Don’t forget the Setting Up Your Submission System one-day online seminar on June 2. It walks you through all the bits you need and how to organize them so that putting together a pitch, a query, or a submission package is a snap! Registration and more information here.

Thurs. Jan. 26, 2012: The Teaching Juggling Act


Tessa checks out the buffet table, the morning after the party

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Still dark out

I’ve got a piece on “Fuel for a Weary Soul” over on Writers Vineyard (as Annabel). Go check it out!

Busy day yesterday. Read as much student work as I could before my eyes gave out. Got irritated because a student who wastes a lot of time expects ME to organize threads to HER convenience and keep HER organized, instead of taking responsibility for herself, and wants me to “add extra slots” in classes. First of all, I am not her personal assistant; second, every extra student adds at least 40 minutes to an hour to my work day; more if they have questions (which they’re encouraged to ask — you learn by asking questions and DOING). There are only twenty four hours in a day. I put limits on classes FOR A REASON. I’m not going to work 24/7 — not for these prices anyway — and too many students in a class means I can’t give the individual attention to each piece that it needs. I allowed two extra students in the current class, and I’m stretched beyond my limit, even though the class is lively and active and working their butts off and it’s all positive. The lack of respect some people have is just appalling. I’m sure all teachers go through it. Goes with the gig. People who don’t teach don’t understand the time OUTSIDE of direct interaction it takes to do the job effectively.

The wall is painted and looks lovely. Got a bunch of work done on Confidential Job #1,and will start the second part of the two-part project today, getting the write up of the first part out. Yoga this morning, then I have to take my mom to the eye doctor to get measured for her eye operation. That’s supposed to take three hours, so I will take a notebook and the materials for Confidential Job #1 with me.

I’m happy with the progress on HEART BINDER. I just have to get a few other of my own projects back on track, and I won’t feel so pressured and resentful. I need to remember to focus on and be grateful for all that is wonderful in the class situation and let the irritations slide off more. Everyone’s working hard AND doing good work. The year-longs are required to have their drafts finished by the 31st or they’re out of the class — 50% of them are done. Not too shabby. Most of the 5 in 10s are staying on schedule, and the work is terrific. Really impressive, and the range of topics and how they’re handled is wonderful. I ENJOY going to the page and reading the material each day — I’ve just got only X amount of time to get it all done! Being interested in the world helps make them better writers.

Not loving the Mars retrograde, I have to say. Struggling with the personal crap it brings up, and trying to handle it with a modicum of grace! It will be good to be in yoga class this morning, for some kick-booty Om! 😉 That’s part of the retrograde — gaining skills to help you deal with it positively. Saying “I am positively OVER this retrograde” probably isn’t what “they” had in mind! 😉

I was assigned my new editor for the reboot of HEX BREAKER, so let’s hope that’s going to be a good partnership. I need to start pulling together my press kit for that. Once I get my edits, they’re going to have to turn around pretty fast, I’d think — two weeks or so. So the more I can get cleared off my plate ahead of time, the less pressure.

To yoga, to medical appointments (scribbling in the waiting room), and then back to the page.

I’m reading the seed catalogs and dreaming of this year’s garden. Let’s hope I’ve learned something from both what did and did not work last year!

Devon

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2009
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Just a quick check-in this morning. I have to dash to CT briefly this morning, and then I’m returning to the page.

All I could think about yesterday was the steampunk. I couldn’t physically get back to the page after my errands for several reasons, the major one being most of my day was spent taking care of Elsa. But I worked out a bunch of plot points, tossed out some more possibilities that would make the piece too long, and I think I’ve got the whole piece worked out in my head. Now, to get it all on paper.

It took 40 minutes to get the ice off my car. Ah, for the day when I’ll have a garage! Trader Joe’s was a madhouse. I guess most people stayed in during the bad weather and had to stock up. Staples was a madhouse, but I got and set up my 2010 folders. Mrs. Green’s was better, and I grabbed the coffee I needed. Again, there’s this sense of desperate shopping. I don’t know why — the sales just aren’t that good this post-holiday season, and I’m not going to shop just to shop. The stores that had very little merchandise and didn’t carry what I wanted/needed are the stores I will pass by next year. As far as my business went, they gambled and lost.

And other stores, who stepped into the breech with both customer service and quality goods will continue to get my business.

I had to drive all the way to Purchase to mail my bills because I couldn’t get near, even on foot, the post office right up the street. Sigh.

Got a rejection from a publication that both threw me and annoyed me. I know the story stands up. This is the second rejection I’ve gotten from the editor — both times, the reasons given were things that should have been in the guidelines — if you don’t want stories with more than three characters (first rejection), or you don’t want a protag under the age of 18 (second rejection), that needs to be in the guidelines. Yes, a lot of writers don’t follow guidelines properly. But, for those of us who make our living at this and actually pay attention, the guidelines need to be accurate.

Bottom line is, this woman doesn’t like my work, so I’m scratching the publication off my list and moving on. In spite of the recession, there are plenty of publications out there. And some of them have published me before and want more from me, so I better get going on that.

And I already sent out the rejected story to another market. My first submission of 2010!

Got back the rider from one publisher who’s expanding an anthology in which I appear from print into digital as well. Very happy about that. I’ve really enjoyed working with them on this anthology and the one that’s coming out in April. I love my editor there — she’s fantastic. We can really go back and forth on the details of a piece, not in conflict, but working in tandem to make the piece the best and most effective it can be.

My SMITHSONIAN magazine started arriving (since I”m now a member). It’s really great. There’s so much information I can use as research for my writing — splendid! Even stuff set in the era in which I’m currently writing! I love synchronicity.

Have a good Sunday, all! Thanks for all the good wishes towards Elsa. We can certainly use them.

Devon

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (4)  
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