Wed. March 31, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 313 — A Breath

image courtesy of pasja1000 via pixabay.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Waning Moon

Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a pretty productive day. Got out some LOIs. Got a couple of errands done. Decontaminated.

Switched over to client work and got several projects out.

Got some of my interview quotes in. I might have enough to finish the article, or I might send out one more request. Was really happy to get a quote from someone I’d worked with on Broadway, back in the day.

Got the article back from my editor at a magazine with quick turnaround edits – only it was the wrong version of the article.  The day after I sent her the first version, I’d gotten a really good quote from a source and reworked the article to include it, also tightening up a few other things. I’d addressed some of the things she brought up in the first version. Anyway, I reminded her of the second version and sent it again. She’s looking at it, so I will probably get it back at some point today and have to turn it around right away. Just sit there and get it done, right? She loves the piece, which is good.

Rental listings were disappointing. Still way too many scams. I’m forwarding some of the scams to the appropriate Attorneys General offices, so they can deal with them. A house in which we were interested turned out to only be a short-term rental, so that won’t work.

Worked on contest entries.

Didn’t get enough packing done. But I just keep chipping away at it. We will live amongst boxes for a bit, so when we do land a place, it’s just about getting the truck.

It’s very stressful.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. They are ready for Spring Break next week.

I’m facing a stressful day on site at a client’s today, no doubt battling to keep COVID protocols in place. Then, I’ll decontaminate, hopefully do Remote Chat, and turn my article around.

Playing with some short fiction ideas, just so I don’t lose that ability completely. I can’t really focus until we’re moved.

Will probably limit online time tomorrow, because I loathe April Fool’s Day. Far too many of the “pranks” are cruel.

Have a good one.

Published in: on March 31, 2021 at 4:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 31, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 313 — A Breath  
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Wed. Nov. 13, 2019: Progress & Incoming Winter

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Last Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

We’re supposed to have rain turning into snow early this morning. Since I’m scheduling this to post, I wonder if it happened? Yesterday morning was nasty when I woke up.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice, for a post about Creating Client Voice.

There was no meditation on Monday, and I missed it. But I came home and helped bag 6 more 30-gallon bags of leaves just from the center front yard before the storm. I’ll be making a trip to the dump on Thursday or Friday. I’m hoping it clears up later today, so we can start raking the side yard and back tomorrow and into the weekend. Every dry day, we do a little, and, eventually, it will all get done.

I’m pleased with the way the edits are going, although the fresh writing has slowed down while I focus on edits.

Got my next book to review. The pace and characters are good, the plot a bit convoluted, and easily-checked facts (about an area in which I grew up) are wrong, so it won’t get as high a review as it would if those facts were correct. We all make genuine mistakes; this is carelessness.

Reading books about Verona, Italy, and it’s giving me ideas for way down the line on GAMBIT COLONY.

Worked onsite with a client yesterday, trying to get ahead on a few projects, with Thanksgiving coming up. Doing the same today: up early thanks to the cats, writing, editing, on site with a client. While yesterday, I made a stop at the library on the way home, today I will pick up a couple of things at the grocery store and head straight back. I rarely go to the library on Wednesdays.

Still working on the GDR questions for 2020. Hope to have them up by tomorrow.

Remote Chat today. Looking forward to it.

I’m really proud of the progress the cats are making. Willa and Charlotte are starting to believe maybe they can stay after all, maybe they truly have a home and won’t be shoved around any more. Their behavior and demeanor has improved remarkably. They still get a little fussy with each other, but they are much better. When they find something new to explore (like the basement), they call a truce and do it together. We are trying to get Tessa re-integrated back into the mix, instead of her being separate, but she is not an alpha cat (although she needs to be, with these two). That will take some more time, but she, too, is getting more determined. It’s only been a little over five weeks, but it’s been a world of difference. I also think it’s hilarious that they prefer French and French Canadian jazz, rather like Celtic music, but dislike traditional classical and pop. Not that we play much pop in the house, but I wanted to see how they’d react.

I feel a little guilty for not missing the Nano participation this year. However, this year, doing Nano would be an obstacle, not an asset. And, this year, I’m enough of a grownup not to let my ego get in the way.

Live and learn, right?

Happy mid-week!

 

Wed. Oct. 16, 2019: And We’re Getting Another Storm

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

All it seems to do lately is rain. That cold, damp yucky rain. I have the fireplace on when I can, because it takes out the damp, but I’m going to have to go and get some more wood soon.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for the latest in my business musings.

Monday was a decent day at the client’s. I was the only one on site, which was a surprise — there had been discussion about coming in, but I was the only one who actually did. Which was fine. I got a lot done with uninterrupted work time, and we’re in good shape. I have a couple of campaigns to plan through the rest of the year, but the samples for the latter half of next year are priced, ready to send out to the reps, and ready to be photographed.

Came home, socialized the cats. Charlotte is fascinated when I meditate. Willa is fascinated with the water from the tap. Tessa sets down the rules. Charlotte pretty much ignores the other two, unless Willa gets in her face (which she does sometimes). Willa and Tessa still argue. Again, it’s all vocal; no physical fighting. They will get there. Eventually, they will decide what beds they want to sleep on, and that’s that. Willa also likes to sit on my lap when I type, which we’re still negotiating. She needs to learn to be a writer’s cat. Which means I need both hands to type, and she can’t lie down on one arm.

That disgusting video of the Narcissistic Sociopath killing people, shown at one of his resorts, is yet another reason not to join Reddit. I was thinking about that as an additional social media platform, but what they do doesn’t dovetail with what I want and need out of a social media network. Of course, he hasn’t condemned it. Just that half-baked statement his “Press Secretary” put out that means nothing.

Had a couple of really good conversations on Monday as a follow-up to the good conversation I had last Thursday. There’s nothing immediately for us to work on together, but we like and respect each other, and will check in every few weeks to see what’s what.

Working on my edits for the piece for the 2021 almanac. I’m lucky to have a terrific editor who is both enthusiastic about my work and specific about catching things that need to get better. Sometimes I cut words to fit word count, but they’re not the right words, so, with a little distance, I can find better ones to clarify. One of the reasons I stopped writing for the company a few years ago was that I was frustrated with my editor at the time. There were a couple of pieces where he added mistakes. I never saw a proof, and then it was published and not a good thing.

I had to go to four different stores to find the filter I need for the furnace cleaning on Friday. I finally had to break down and get it at Home Depot. Home Depot, Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby. How the Cape has diminished. Anyway, I found the filter at Home Depot and it was 3X what I paid for it anywhere else. So I’m grumpy.

Tuesday, I was on site with a client, and then went to grocery store and the library.
I’d been recommended to a company for a gig, it sounded like a great fit, and there it was – “make us a video of why you’d be perfect for the job.” No. I am not creating unpaid content for you. Buh-bye.

I’m reading a delightful book recommended by a friend, called MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK by D.E. Stevenson (Dorothy Emily), who was one of the Lighthouse Stevensons, and therefore related to Robert Louis. It’s odd and charming and funny. I enjoy it very much.

Today, I’m with a client, and then it’s home for pizza night. And cat socialization. And proofs. So it goes.

I can’t believe we’re in the middle of October.

Published in: on October 16, 2019 at 6:07 am  Comments Off on Wed. Oct. 16, 2019: And We’re Getting Another Storm  
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Tues. April 2, 2019: Regaining Equilibrium & Grabbing Opportunities

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Waning Moon

I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Mine was all over the place. The drama surrounding what should have been something simple intensified, and I’m fed up. In addition to being hurt and frustrated because I said if these particular actions were taken, these would be the results, and I would be the one who had to pay for it both financially and emotionally. That was ignored, I was hit with consequences for something that was not an action of MINE, and now I’m supposed to jump through more hoops to fix it, instead of the person who caused the issue in the first place. No. Just no.

Human beings make mistakes. It happens.

When I make a mistake, I apologize, first and foremost. Then I take actions to correct the mistake. Then I work to rebuild any trust that was broken because of the mistake. Especially the latter takes time, and isn’t always successful. But I make the effort.

Yet in this situation, when the other party made a mistake that affected me in more than one area of my life — I had to fight to get an acknowledgement and then a half-hearted apology. And then I was told the hoops I had to jump through to get it fixed with a third party– again, this was NOT my mistake — which I had told the person who made the mistake wouldn’t work in the first place, because I actually have worked in this field and know the manipulations. As I predicted, it did not work, I was badly treated, shamed, and mansplained to. The situation is still not resolved. We are now in Day 5 of something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and could have been fixed in FIVE MINUTES.

Even if it is, any future interactions will be tainted. What used to be in the life balance column is now in the life stressor column.

I don’t need that, especially not this month, when things are stretched to the max anyway.

In addition to the whole situation making me angry, I am so, so hurt. This was someone I trusted.

But now I know better.

And I’ve lost a sanctuary I deeply value. Which is painful.

So, basically, most of the weekend was spent in emotional pain management, trying to heal, and, every time I took a step to try to resolve the situation, getting another metaphorical slap in the face.

I didn’t get a lot of writing done, although I got some plotting, and I’m back working on GRAVE REACH this week. At least I can relate to Lesley’s pain and sense of betrayal. I’ll find a way to funnel it into the work.

I read my friend Arlene Kay’s DEATH BY DOG SHOW, which was really fun. Made me laugh a lot.

I worked on the books for review. I worked on contest entries. I got quite a bit done on the contest entries.

I started working in the yard. Saturday was so beautiful. I got the terraced area in the back raked out. I didn’t get as far as the border bed on the terraced area, but I got the rest of the beds raked out, did some pruning and cutting back. Got rid of a lot of bindweed that’s been creeping around. And some of the roses are taking over, so I’m going to have to do some serious hacking back in the next few weeks.

Worked on the proofs for the almanac. They went out yesterday morning.

Was with a client on Monday, and will be so today. Wednesday, Thursday, and maybe into Friday, I have an adventure. I’ll be able to share some of the details next week. And then I go into another intense weekend of writing and, next Saturday, going to see my radio play performed live in Boston.

My entire intent on Monday was to keep my head down. I don’t like April Fool’s Day. I don’t like that people feel liberated to be cruel — although, since the 2016 election, they feel that every day, and, especially around here, regularly act on it.

Onward.

 

Published in: on April 2, 2019 at 5:26 am  Comments Off on Tues. April 2, 2019: Regaining Equilibrium & Grabbing Opportunities  
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Wed. March 27, 2019: Gearing Up for the Right Kind of Busy

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

No post today on Ink-Dipped Advice.

I had the worst headache on Monday. Meditation helped, but it kept threatening on Tuesday.

I heard from the production in Florida that the night went well and the audience loved the play. They said there was “one big acting gaffe” that they’d fix in post-production before they uploaded the audio file. I’m not sure what that means, but I have to trust them to do their thing.

Production-wise, my attention is now focused on the piece that runs in Boston the first two weekends in April.

Worked on books for review Monday night and Tuesday. Did a little writing Tuesday morning and some editing.

A potential client wanted to have a phone conversation yesterday or today, but the only available times where when I was onsite, and I felt that was inappropriate, so I requested to set it, at their convenience, Thursday or Friday. She was happy to do so. I’m looking forward to it, tomorrow morning, but it means tomorrow’s post will go up late!

Got the proofs from my editor from the almanac articles. She’s asked for a couple of tweaks. No problem. I’ll work on them in the next few days, and turn them around.

Client work onsite yesterday, and then other writing and review work, to try to keep on top of deadlines.

Tired. Client work today. Then, if the weather still holds, maybe some yard work. It might get as high as 70 degrees this weekend, which means definite yard work.

But for now, it’s back to the page. And waiting to hear what’s going on between the WGA-ATA conflict.

 

Published in: on March 27, 2019 at 6:24 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 27, 2019: Gearing Up for the Right Kind of Busy  
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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.

 

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