Tues. Oct. 24, 2017: Strange Skies & Pre-Op

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles buy links here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was basically a waste of food yesterday. I got a few things done, but it was difficult to focus. Had a bad case of both the blahs and the worries. Again, waiting for a payment from a particular publication that arrives later and later each month does not help. Hopefully, I can wind things up with them by the end of the year and be done.

I have an article about building momentum up over on Writers Weekly that’s gotten some good buzz, and readers are still discovering and enjoying the “Tracking Your Banged Bucks” article over on WOW-Women on Writing. I’m glad my experience can give others some fresh ideas.

PLAYING THE ANGLES also got a 5-star review on Amazon, which is a great start.

Yesterday, I got some work done on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN (in a tricky bit here). I worked on notes for the next review I have to write; it’s tricky, because the book pretends to be one thing when it’s really another, and I have to find a good way to express it. Did some research on material I’m gathering for a client for next Monday’s meeting.

Got back a request for edits from the editor to whom I’m trying to adjust (just happens to be the same publication where the payment lags. Gee, what a surprise. Not). I will turn those around today.

I also did some promotion work for PLAYING THE ANGLES.

SAVASANA AT SEA is now up for pre-order (Barnes & Noble and Google Play as of this morning). I still want to do one more proofreading pass before it releases, but I have to get the press out on that, too — probably at the end of this week.

Got the outdoor decorating done for the upcoming holiday. It’s kind of cute. I posted some photos to Facebook and Twitter.

This morning’s sunrise was amazing and eerie. I’ve never seen those shades of orange in a morning sky, and the atmosphere was a grey-green. Very odd. Wonderful, but odd.

Tomorrow, I won’t get to post on this blog — I’m with a new client most of the day, and we’re going to map out how we’re going to work together for the next few months.

Today is my mother’s last pre-op appointment and Thursday is the surgery. I hope to post while she’s there, and Friday should be a regular, late-morning post. Monday, then I won’t get to post at all — with one client most of the day and immediately into another meeting. So, after the weekend, it will be late in the day posting for Tuesday.

Posting times will be wonky for the next few weeks, until I get the schedule smoothed out. My apologies, but it’s all part of the upcoming transitions.

I see the next months as having three planned-for transitions. One is now, one will be in either March or April, with a major one next summer/late fall. Those are the planned ones — who knows how many unplanned will happen during that time? Many things happen during the course of a year!

In any case, off to get things done and then back to the page, and to prep for tomorrow. I’ve got a beef stew cooking in the crockpot, and I have to make a couscous salad, so I have something to bring with me for lunch.

Onward.

 

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Published in: on October 24, 2017 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Tues. Oct. 24, 2017: Strange Skies & Pre-Op  
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Wed. April 16, 2014: From One to The Other

SEAL TIDES flyer - 2nd version-1

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Last Day of Full Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing and cold

Yup. It’s snowing. Again.

Yesterday, I was up by 5:30 (which will be the norm for the coming weeks). Did some client work and other work and correspondence that had to go out. By 8:30, I was on the road for errands, thinking they would take until 10 or 10:30.

They took until nearly 3. No one’s fault, just everything took longer than expected. But it got done, and it means I don’t have to worry about errands for the rest of the week.

That put me behind on everything else, but I did some work on client projects, the storyboard for the script job, and interviewed potential stage managers/understudies. Worked on the next book that’s going to be reviewed and went over information sent to me about the upcoming days at the library. Worked on designing the prop I still have to build.

Woke up at 4:30 this morning, after weird theatre dreams. Yoga, meditation, the usual morning routine.

Got some work done this morning re: the play, the script job, and preparation for the day at the library. The car is packed for all the different tasks that need to be completed. Could not believe it is snowing again — glad I pulled in the plants last night.

The next round of edits on “Lake Justice” landed in my inbox this morning, so I’ll have to figure those in to the schedule over the next few days, too.

Going straight from a full day at the library today to rehearsal, and then back home to work on edits and client projects.

Busy day. Good busy, but I have to focus on the task at hand, and not get distracted by other demands.

If you can’t attend the production of SEAL TIDES next week here on the Cape, I hope you’ll consider supporting it via our indiegogo campaign. Even $10 makes a huge difference. Information here.

Devon

Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 7:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. Oct. 23, 2012: Good Meetings & Busy Times

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Morning meeting yesterday was at The Bay Pointe Club, and it was good. I like the facility — the space has a lot of natural light, it’s beautiful without being pretentious, it’s flexible, and the people running it listen and respond to what one says and help come up with ideas so it works for everybody. That’s the experience I’ve always had working with the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga, but has been the exception, rather than the norm in many other venues over the years, including here on the Cape. So, to find a venue where they both get it (in terms of an individual organization and what they do) and offer ideas that are better than what one thinks one needs to fix a concern — that, to me, is a good place to be. They’re also interested in participating in the community, rather than being separate from it, which gains them big points from me.

I’m glad that it looks like two organizations with whom I work like the venue as much as I do, and we’ll do events there.

Came back, did some follow-up, caught up on what came in while I was gone. Deadbeat client finally paid, so did that paperwork. That’s over and done, we parted civilly and I can take a deep breath and move on.

Three loads of laundry, cleaning the house for Costume Imp’s arrival, grocery shopping, checking to see if any notes came back from the agent re: the proposal that had to be turned around instantly. Didn’t hear, so I’m hoping that means the revision works. Spoke to my other editor, and I need to get on the ball with the book edits — I’m behind.

The owner came by with his wife to stake where the forsythias will move, and what else needs to be cut back and done. Flowering daphne will replace the forsythia in front of the garage — once it’s painted. Someday, the landscaper will deign to show up and it will actually get done! 😉

I’ve got a lot to finish up this morning, before heading to Providence to pick up Costume Imp from the Megabus. I’m going to have some long-ass days this week, but it will be worth it!

Iris is almost back to normal. We’re keeping close watch on her, and probably taking her in for a blood test soon. If she needs anti-seizure medication, I’d rather she had it sooner rather than later.

Devon

Tues. Sept. 18, 2012: Day 2 of the Migraine & No Time To Rest

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto DIRECT
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Day 2 of the Migraine. Not loving it.

Good day yesterday, especially on the edits for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I’m finding my groove, and, if I can keep it up, I can get them done on time. Spun the Marine Life mystery a bit; I feel I’ll be able to write my way into it pretty soon. Worked with tarot students. Watched the first two lectures for the Sustainability Course. Climate change — another depressing week! Watched the first hour of lectures from the History of the World Since 1300 and took the quiz at the end of each segment — too bad we’re not getting certified in that one, because I’m getting them all right! 😉 We’re going to have papers due once every two weeks in that class, and only 750 words, but they’re argumentative essays, so that will be an interesting challenge.

Went to the library; returned books, got out some more. Reading David McCullough’s THE GREATER JOURNEY: AMERICANS IN PARIS, which is wonderful.

Worked out. Needed it.

We’re going to have quite a storm today, so I’m going to go to the store early and be tucked back in before it starts. We still have lots of green tomatoes, but the stalks aren’t doing well. The Silvery Fir tomatoes had beautiful foliage, but the tomatoes themselves aren’t doing as well as the Principa Borghese tomatoes

Better get a move on things — lots to do, and limited time (so what else is new?)

And STILL waiting for payment from those clients!

Devon

Mon. Sept. 10, 2012: Great Writing News!

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It feels like a month has passed instead of a weekend. So much going on!

Great news! My one-act play “The Effie Effect” has been chosen as part of Tilden Art Center’s PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD Festival. It’s going to have a reading on Sept. 28. I will post more information as I get it. I’m very excited — it’s my theatrical debut on the Cape!

Last week’s paper for the Sustainability Course was “Sustainability Vs. Human Greed”. We can talk about what we “should” do in order to be sustainable all we want, but as long as there are people making huge profits from unsustainable practices, nothing will change. Cut off the money source, and we’ve got a chance, because the greedy special interests who line their own pockets aren’t going to change. That got some pretty good responses.

This week’s paper, “Education, Equality, and Rape”, which I wrote and uploaded on Sunday morning (after several days’ research) is also getting good feedback. There’s all this talk about how population growth/fertility rates remain highest among the poorest, most uneducated women — um, yeah, because they’re kept like brood mares. When you educate women, give them access to health care, equal rights, et al, which includes child survival rates rising, the population growth slows (although there’s still debate as to whether we’ve hit carrying capacity or can create the sustainable “S” curve). Of course, if the special interest right wing-nuts in this country get their way, women will be stripped of their rights and turned back into brood mares again, but that’s an argument for another day. The reason I wrote the paper is because the experts talk about the importance and impact of education and equality for women to affect sustainable population growth, but they all ignored rape and sexual violence as a tool of war, and the children that are born of that violence. Northern Sudan, Darfur, Bosnia — throughout history, rape is used as a tool of war. There aren’t even reliable statistics, because of the shame associated with rape. So last week’s paper addressed that issue.

Once I read this week’s material and see what annoys me about it, I’ll have my topic for this week’s paper!

I also wrote and posted the proposals for my two milestone projects. We only need to do one, but I can’t decide between them, so I’m doing two. The first is very traditional within the realms of the class, dealing with the Flood/Drought Rebalance and how I think it can be done in the US. I’ve got a bunch of sources, I know what I want to say, it’s something I’ve discussed with my Senate and Congressional offices, and I’ll finally have a document to hand them. The other project is fiction — which is rather out of the realm of what they’re used to in a class like this. It’s an environmentally-sustainable series that will give actual information in an entertaining and engaging way without falling into the cliches most fictional characters in this realm do. For the purposes of the class, I do the vision for the series, and the outline and first three chapters of this book. So that’s all good, and both projects are getting solid support from my classmates.

Got the welcome message from the World History Class, which starts next Monday. 70,000 in that class, which is a little depressing! And the textbook is so far out of my price range, I can’t even consider it at this point. So I will try to track it down in one of the many libraries to which I have access.

I’ve also been invited to submit to another project — 15K as soon as I get get it done. I’m having fun with it, so we’ll see.

With all that, I’m deep in edits for the second Jain Lazarus, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Billy Root has a few things to say about it here. AND I’m scrambling to get book #3 to the publishers on time.

I ran into some frustrations getting the text smoothed out for the anthology — there are formatting issues that take me longer than I’d like to resolve, and sections I have to re-key by hand. I want to get it off my desk today or tomorrow (I planned to finish it by yesterday), because I need it off my desk and onto the publisher’s! 😉

And I need to chase down some payments this week, start another article that’s due, do some more pitches, and finish the material for the latest Confidential Job #1. And, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to be a contest judge, so those materials should hit my desk today.

I drove to P-town yesterday to have brunch with some good friends in from NY, friends I haven’t seen since I moved to the Cape. In spite of the weather, it was great fun. We laughed a lot.

Tarot class is doing well. I’m having fun with them.

And I was mentioned in THE CAPE COD TIMES — they gave me a few paragraphs about my upcoming writing workshops in Falmouth.

I even got some mowing done on Friday, before the next round of storms hit! Isaac’s gone, but Leslie is affecting the surf here.

Got a big day of writing ahead of me, so off I go!

Devon

Mon. Feb. 27, 2012: Some Challenges, Some Rewards, Some Opportunities

Monday, February 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

Fascinating, challenging weekend. Friday, I shot myself in the creative foot by getting online too early to catch up with student work, and ruined my own creative part of the workday. The frustrations from that are on me, and I take responsibility for them. It is MY job to always put my own work first, and when I don’t and then get upset, I have only myself to blame.

However, I do not appreciate that students have been late (sometimes as much as 20 days late) and then dumped 100K on me all at once. There are not enough hours in the day to turn around 100K in a day or two, no matter what the price. And then, one of the students who has a pattern of lateness, procrastination, and time management problems got snarky with me. Publicly. Had to shut her down. Publicly. That cannot be condoned in the class.

My eyes are killing me. I’ve been using the chamomile compresses, but I need to add eyebright to the mix. Started using eye drops, too.

Took care of my mom, did four loads of laundry, got into the car to go to my lunch meeting and discovered one of my headlamps isn’t working. So I have to get that special-ordered and put in next week.

Fortunately, lunch was great. It’s with another writer, who also used to live in NY, and now lives locally. We like each other’s work, and just enjoy each other as people. We will both be teaching in a local program this spring, and brainstormed class ideas. She is opening the door to a potentially wonderful opportunity, and it’s up to me to rise to the occasion. I have to remember to be absolutely myself for it. We also talked about getting together once a month or so to support each other as we navigate the writing life.

We also talked a lot about the lack of commitment and follow-through so many people who say they want to write continue to show. When life gets tough, writers write though it. The writing is not what falls by the wayside. Because you don’t build a career – -in ANYTHING – -by making excuses not to do it. Writing is no different than biology or archaeology or finance or sports — put in the work, reap the rewards. Don’t, and you won’t succeed.

A local garden center contacted me to half-jokingly offer me a job. I nearly chucked the whole teaching thing and said yes! Pay would work out about the same, and at least the hours would be restricted!

This is definitely an interesting Saturn retrograde — but it’s doing what a Saturn retrograde is supposed to — making one redefine one’s life path.

Saturday, I finished this round of edits on HEX BREAKER. I’m excited about them. The editor encouraged me to open up some sections of the book in a new way. It’s going to help both this individual book and the whole series. I enjoy working with this editor a lot. I let the edits sit overnight, read it over on Sunday morning, and sent it off. I got the sweetest email from my editor this morning, saying how much she enjoys working with me. I got all misty! 😉

Saturday and Sunday I also worked hard to catch up with student work. One student lost track of what belongs where — hmm, let;s see, each exercise has the story number in it, and there are five stories – not brain surgery — and keeps saying she wants me to post a “key”. Babe, I’m not your personal administrative assistant. It was YOUR job to keep track during the class. You CHOSE not to when you fell behind. Go back, read through the exercises and figure it out. When I tell you there’s a story missing, don’t give me a link back to a story from a different exercise.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other students working their butts off who are doing terrific work. THOSE are the ones who need the attention, not the ones who don’t do the work.

This morning, first thing, I had to get off some information for a potential Big New Opportunity. Scares the life out of me, but if it works, it will make my life easier for a long time, AND up my pay. This week, I also have to prepare some material so it’s ready to go if this initial material is positively received. I would rather have it ready than have to scramble at the last minute. I’ve got some meetings to prepare for this week, and some work for some freelance clients, along with getting back to some other manuscripts that need to get out in the next few weeks.

The Holiday Hocus-Pocus Workshop was a lot of fun. It was pretty easy-going and stress-free, more information-oriented than anything else. The participants seem to have generated a lot of fun ideas out of it. This is the last week of 5 in 10 — by next week, those that actually kept up with the work will have five short stories out on submission. Some will have more, if they did the optional exercises, so a couple of people will have nine stories ready to go. Next week, Sensory Perceptions starts.

I’ve got two manuscripts to get back to this week and whip into shape before my next round of edits comes through, so I better hop to it.

My treat for finishing my edits on time was Heather Blake’s IT TAKES A WITCH, the first in her new series. It’s both well-written and fun.

A contrast to another book, in the same genre, I read recently, where I really liked the characters and the humor, but there were so many flaws in the logic — setting appointments for specific dates and times, they passed and no mention was ever made of recognition or missing them or consequences, things put in different places than established without logic, etc.

Lots to do today, and this week, so I better get moving. If the weather holds, I’ll give myself a couple of hours’ break and do some yard work.

Devon

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 9:01 am  Comments (3)  
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Feb. 24, 2012: Up Early Making Herbal Medicinal Concoctions

Friday, February 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sleet and cold

The weather out there is gross, and I’m worried about my tulips!

Yoga was great yesterday. I’m so thankful to be in that class!

Busy day yesterday. But it was a really, really good day on the HEX BREAKER rewrites. I’m happy with the progress, and I feel very, very lucky that I get a chance to revisit this book and make it better. I’m also mortified at some of the mistakes in it. But that’s why one has an editor, and, fortunately, I’ve got a good one. She likes the book, she gets what I’m trying to do, and she’s determined to improve it, while staying true to my voice — all the things a good editor should be.

Spent the rest of the day working on student stuff — another night at the desk until 11 PM. Hopefully, that will adjust down after next week.

My Excel Tracking Sheet for 5 in 10 went kerplooey, so I put it in Numbers instead — much better. much easier to work with.

My mom got sick in the night, so it was a case of being up and making the appropriate medicinal concoctions. Hopefully, I’ll get her settled soon, so I can get back to the page. I’ve got a lunch date with another writer — I’m really looking forward to it — more edits, work on the other WIPS and short stories, and work with my students.

I’m hoping to sneak a nap in there for a half hour or so this afternoon!

Devon

Published in: on February 24, 2012 at 6:53 am  Comments (7)  
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Tues. Feb. 21, 2012: HEX BREAKER cover

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
New Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

And here it is. The new cover for HEX BREAKER’S re-release. The artist is the amazing PJ Friel, who is one of my writing students (she’s an awesome writer as well as an awesome artist). I LOVE this cover, and the publisher approved it, so we’re good to go.

Now, I just have to get those revisions done this week!

I’ve also updated the Jain Lazarus site, and there’s some cool new information over there — about tie-in short stories, the new re-release, etc. As soon as I have a firm release date, I’ll be pestering people for interviews and blog tours!

I thought I’d be able to schedule something to post yesterday, but no luck. I spent the last five days working in CT. I like the gig, but it was hard to be away from home. I really do work better at home.

I didn’t get enough done on the HEX BREAKER edits. I got some good work done on HEART-BINDER, and I also got some great work done on the long short story and the shorter story. I sketched out a few ideas. And then, I went back and took another look at POWER OF WORDS, which, of course, really wants some attention because of everything else that is on deadline! There is potential here, although I think, because of the detail and the scope of the piece, it needs to go the indie route. Only an editor who’d actually worked on set would be able to effectively edit the piece, and that’s going to be next to impossible to find. If I go indie, I’ll get to interview the editors myself. Also, I think it’s kind of unfair to dump this muddle on a publisher. I need to get it streamlined and sorted and figure out a good presentation that will catch and hold the readers while still keeping the vision and integrity of the daily detail of the piece, WHILE juggling as many arcs and characters as the series does. But the piece just won’t let me rest, so, in a few weeks when I’ve got a few things cleared off my desk, I will give it a few hours’ worth of attention a week, without letting it take over, the way it usually does.

Got some good research done for another project, some of which feeds into the harpy trilogy, which was a happy surprise. Oh, and I even did the work for which I was brought down to CT!

I got the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, but haven’t had the chance to start it yet. HEX BREAKER edits are front and center all week.

I’m juggling three classes this week and the private students, which is a bit much, but, somehow, it will all get done.

This morning, I’m off to meditation, and then I have to take my mom to medical appointments. After that, the primary focus is on the HEX BREAKER edits, although the classes need some attention, too.

HOLIDAY HOCUS-POCUS has a good group in there, and looks like it will be fun. It’s more informational and brainstorming than “you have to write a 1500 word story by Friday”, but I’m still doing what I always do, which is tweak the lectures as I put them up, to make sure I have a lot of information that’s both broad and specific.

I’m going to try to knock out some words on HEART BINDER before I have to leave for meditation, and then, off we go, racing through the day.

I can’t believe how much Tessa grew in just a few days!

Devon

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Scheduled to Post

I spent most of the day finishing the galleys for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Technically, I’m done, and I only found four little tiny things. I’m terrified to hit the final “send” in case I missed something, so I might go over it one more time.

Spent time on the workshop.

I should have worked in the yard, since it wasn’t raining. My neighbors were all in their yards, and I’m feeling guilty, as you can read in my Gratitude and Growth post, Falling Behind.

But my deadline had to come first.

I’ve scheduled this to post, since I’m out the door early to help plant a butterfly garden at a local wildlife sanctuary this morning. I hope, this afternoon, to mow (my first time using a power lawnmower) and get some stuff done in the yard.

I’ve made a good start on the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, so I’m hoping to finish that and get it off by Monday morning. Next week will be packed full of work and gardening and writing and last minute errands for things that must be done before I head for my site job in CT.

It better not rain!!! 😉

To the wildlife sanctuary, then to the page, then to the yard.

Devon

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy, foggy, cool

Decent day’s work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Not an easy one, but at least I got more than the basic 1K done. I need to really up my game the next few weeks in order to get the draft in decent shape by its deadline. This is what I get for not creating a solid outline when it was hot in the brain. I remember the beginning, the end, the point, and the primary relationship, but lost the rest of it because I didn’t write it down. And now, that I have to go back to it on deadline, it’s nearly like starting from scratch. My own damn fault. I know better. So now I have to re-figure it all out and make it work in a timely manner.

And then I found this quote from Madeleine L’Engle, in A CIRCLE OF QUIET:
“Inspiration does not always precede the act of writing; it often follows it.” (p.162)
So true!

Read the second Crosswicks journal, THE SUMMER OF THE GREAT GRANDMOTHER. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Payment all sorted out, and problems resolved. Very glad to move on.

Had to get out a partial I wasn’t expecting to have to get out, so that took some time. All the bits were there, I just had to personalize the cover letter and print everything, so it wasn’t a Big Huge Deal, and I should be glad I had to get a partial out, right? 😉

Spent a good chunk of the afternoon up in the storeroom, sorting out the many boxes of books. I got most of the series juvenile fiction shelved (Nancy Drew, Penny Parker, Trixie Belden, Judy Bolton, Vicki Barr, Beverly Gray, Kay Tracy, Dorothy Dixon, the Dana Girls, Sue Barton, Cherry Ames, etc.) I even have a few shelves on which to put other books, and i have to figure out which ones should go there. But I’ve still got about 40 unpacked boxes of books up there with no idea where to put them, and close to 100 in the basement.

Yeah. I need more bookcases.

Gave some advice to a friend, found a request for a blog post and wondering where my contribution was to an anthology. Since this was the first I’d heard of it, it’s not yet written. I’m waiting to hear back on the deadline, to see if I can possibly whip something worthwhile out. The blog post I’d written and sent them over a year ago, so I’m not sure if they’re using it again, or just getting around to it.

The copyedits/galleys have come through for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, so I start those this morning. I’ve got ten days to turn them around, but I’m hoping, even working slowly with “copyeditor eye” instead of “writer eye”, that I can get them done by the weekend.

Today’s a deadline for the first assignment in the workshop, so I’ll spend some time with the students.

And I thought this would be a quiet week! 😉

But I would rather have all this good chaos going on than any other kind.

Last night was the first night I didn’t need the hot water bottle along with the big pile of blankets. I’m hoping I can slowly use fewer and fewer blankets, and soon switch from the flannel sheets to simple cotton ones. My neighbor’s tulips have bloomed, and are lovely. And the squirrel dashes over every morning, grabs his two lettuce leaves, and scrambles back up the tree. Too funny!

Devon

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 5:53 am  Comments (4)  
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Saturday, April 16, 2011


Skunknett Wildlife Sanctuary

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

I found the Skunknett Sanctuary, totally by accident.

I’ve been searching for it for months, and could never find it. Yesterday morning, I was on my way back from Osterville, took a turn to avoid a blocked road, and found it. Cue screeching tires and a U turn in the middle of a small road. Imagine that! Of the three near-by Audubon Sanctuaries, it’s the closest, and the wildest. And it has a holly trail, which made me very, very happy.


I love the moss down the right side of the path here.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read what I’m learning during my “Mornings on the Porch.”

I spent most of yesterday on the second round of edits. The first time through was dealing with the notes directly. Then, I went back and started reading it through more slowly, to see if I missed anything. I’ve caught a couple of inconsistencies, which I’ve fixed. I will send it off to my editor today, so she has it on her desk when she starts work on Monday.

Spent time on the workshop. Colin’s right — it’s amazing how different the dynamic is from workshop to workshop. Two of the most committed, positively dynamic groups I’ve had were in the last One Story, Many Voices class and the Unsticking Your Book class. Not only did they have a deep commitment to the work and take joy in it, they fed off each other’s energy in the best possible way. They all made each other better, which is the way it should be. I may be the leader of the expedition, but they’ll only get out as much as they put in. I set out the expectations at the top of the workshop, often in very harsh terms. Either stay and step up, or leave. I expect A LOT from the students. Having taken quite a few online workshops at this point, I know how often teachers just talk “at” students, or, when the students post work and the teacher just offers something vague. I put a LOT of individual time and effort into each student’s work, and I expect them to apply the notes moving forward. Tomorrow, I wind up this workshop. Because the moderator stated that the loop would remain open for a few extra days to give people a chance to download/print off information, several of the students stated they would just post the last few exercises “next week.” Uh, no. Tomorrow is the last day of the class. You post it today, the day it’s due, I will comment tomorrow, and then I am not commenting on any more. I am paid through TOMORROW, not through the end of next week, and I have other commitments. Some of the students are great. Some of them have such a lack of respect for my time and and a lack of commitment to the work that I find it appalling.

Finally found some pretty lace curtain panels in the stuff that’s still packed. I knew I’d accumulated all styles and textures of curtains over the years; it was just a case of finding the right ones. These are so sheer they are barely there — almost gossamer. They’ve got a delicate pattern of leaves and springs of flowers. I had four panels, a pair for each set of windows. Amazing how much just that simple addition softens the lines of the windows and perks up the room.

The moonlight coming through was amazing last night. It will be a full moon tomorrow, and it was so light, I could read by it.

Of course, it meant the cats were up running around and playing all night.

Today, I’m finishing up the edits and trying to get some work done in the yard before tonight’s rain storm. It’s still too cold to put in the pansies. In fact, Mahoney’s emailed a frost warning, suggesting people put blankets over anything that’s in the ground. Um, like fleece? Velour? Wool? Confused.

The bulbs and daffodils seemed to have survived the night without too much stress.

The house pixies are at it again. The lights in the laundry room turned on all by themselves. AGAIN. I’m meticulous about turning out lights behind me, and, when I did the laundry last week, I turned back halfway up the stairs to double check, and they were out. I was in the still room a couple of days ago,and they were out. My mom went down to get something this morning, and they were on. Maybe they think, because the hamper’s full, it’s time for me to do laundry again? 😉

Devon

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I finished the first round of edits and got them out to my editor by the end of the day. I think I’ve hit and fixed all the places she pointed out, and I cleaned up some messy writing, unnecessary repetitions, and things that should have been caught first time out. So that’s a relief. There’s got to be at least one more round of revisions, to clean up proofreading stuff I missed, and to hone some of the new material.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth and see the progress!

Found some Adirondack chairs that are comfortable AND within the budget, so grabbed them. Didn’t realize I have to put them together. Since it’s raining today and they’re too big to do inside and then get through the door, I’ll wait and put them together in a day or two when the weather’s nicer.

But at least we have all the furniture we need, it works together, and it’s comfortable.
Gotta love the shopping aspect of Mercury retrograde!

My mom’s medical appointment went well. Everyone at the medical facilities here is really pleasant, no one rushes, yet everything gets done much more efficiently than down in Westchester. At her previous doctor’s office, the front desk staff was beyond rude and unhelpful, they were always dashing around getting nothing done, paperwork and lab results were never where they were supposed to be in time for the appointment, and, if you were lucky, they might spend 3 1/2 minutes with a patient. Plus, whenever she went for a blood test, it would hurt and she’d have bruises for weeks. This technician was so skilled my mom barely felt the needle, and there’s no bruising. And she waited less than five minutes to be seen, even though there was a full waiting room. She always had to wait at least forty-five minutes to an hour past her appointed time in NY. The facility was very busy, but it ran calmly and smoothly, and everyone was seen in a reasonable time, but no one was tossed in and out of the room. It’s run much more humanely and efficiently, even though they’ve got just as high a caseload.

It was mild enough to eat on the porch yesterday afternoon (with a coat on). Iris stood at the door, peering out at us, feeling excluded. It was very funny. Next time I hit Target, I have to look for leashes and harnesses for them. Elsa used to come to the theatre with me in a harness and leash, but the twins have never had them on. That will be interesting!

Caught up with the workshop last night. There should be a lot new pieces posted today, although there are some students falling behind. I sent a bunch of pieces back for revision — I bet several students will simply ignore it. Or, they won’t get the request until after they’ve already posted the next exercise, because of the delay in the loop. Live and learn. I won’t agree to teach on a loop again. It doesn’t work for the structure of my classes, and to change the structure means to dilute the writing, which I’m not willing to do.

It is official, though. I’m teaching in person at the WriteAngles Writers’ Conference at Mt. Holyoke, MA on October 22. That should be a ton of fun, and I’m looking forward to it.

In either January or early February, I’d asked if I could restructure what I was going to teach this year for the another conference where I’ve taught for the last six years, and never received a response. A week or so ago, I withdrew from that conference, because fall has gotten so overbooked, I couldn’t give the conference the attention it needs without said restructuring — restructuring that might not work in that environment, which is why I wanted to discuss it and not just declare it. And, even with the restructuring, I had my doubts it would work this particular year. Of course, no response. It was definitely the right decision not to do it this year. I would have put myself in a situation where I was frustrated and unhappy, and that does not serve either me or the students well.

I’m tired of people not responding because they’re “too busy”. If you run a business, part of the responsibility is communicating with clients, potential clients, vendors, etc., even if the answer is “no.” We all get busy, we all fall behind, but communication is key to keeping positive business relationships working. And, by telling someone “I’m too busy”, you are letting the person know he is not worth the time it takes to respond. So why should the person want to do business with you?

We’re having a lovely thunderstorm here and a lot of rain. I waited to turn on the computer until the worst of it was past so nothing would go boom! It is, after all, Mercury retrograde.

Now, back to work. I’ve got to finish my taxes, a new local writing buddy asked me to be a first reader for her new book, and, tomorrow, I need to get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I need to update the media kit for ASSUMPTION before it goes out — we’ve rewritten the material I’m using as excerpts, making it stronger, and the kit needs to reflect the updated copy.

I was invited to help plant the Butterfly Mosaic garden at Long Pasture at the end of the month. I said yes. I think it’ll be fun!

Devon

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


sleepy cats

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

It was a raw, cold, rainy day yesterday. Ick. The mainland had all this lovely spring weather, but not here on the Cape. I had to get up last night and secure the patio furniture so that I wouldn’t have to chase it around the neighborhood!

Yesterday, all day, I spent in edits for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I’m close to the finish of this round, and hope to get them to my editor today. They’ve made this a stronger book, and I’m grateful to my editor for her suggestions and her keen eye. There were places where I knew it could be stronger, but wasn’t sure how to do it (because I’m so close to it), and her objective eye and good suggestions got me going in the right direction.

Went to the post office, went to the library. Got out a “mind candy” mystery as a treat — it’s so badly written I managed to get to page 28 and put it down. How this chick has published a dozen books when she uses exclamation points in every other sentence, passive voice, sloppy writing, tells rather than shows, and has cardboard cutout cliched characters is beyond me. Ick.

I have to take my mom for a medical appointment this morning, get more ink for the printer, mail some bills, and then, it’s back to the page until these edits are done. It’s supposed to rain for the next few days, so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I wish it would get just a tad warmer, so it’s not so raw.

Devon

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