Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The Elsa Memorial Orchid reblooms

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

In the 30’s today, but at least the sun is out. Maybe I can get out this week and clean up some of the beds. And I have to get that lawnmower — not the best thing to do during a Mercury Retrograde, but it’s a small lawnmower, not a car or a refrigerator, so I’ll consider it a small purchase, not a major one!

Went to acupuncture yesterday morning. He worked on my back, and needled me for the cough. Buh-bye, cough. I have what’s more like a deep throat clearing once or twice a day, but the cough is gone, which means the back can heal, and I’m back to regular stretching and strengthening exercises. Carefully, but consistently.

I’ve got a new post up on Gratitude and Growth about what’s going on in the garden, and the Ever-Growing Eggplant.

Grocery shopping and resting to let the treatment set for awhile yesterday, then commented on exercises in the workshop, posted the new one, and got started on the edits for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I like my editor, which helps a lot. She’s got great ideas, and she’s very enthusiastic about the book. I’ve also got to get back into the rhythm of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and I have an idea for another Annabel Aidan book, which has nothing to do with these characters. I need to organize my time. And not neglect the taxes,which hang around and are just a major magilla this year. I have something like eight extra schedules to file this year. Hopefully, next year’s taxes will be easier. At least I won’t have to file in NY State, which is just one of the meanest state tax organizations with whom I’ve ever dealt. Nothing like systematically cashing checks without applying it where it’s supposed to be, right?

I have to do the write-up for Confidential Job #1 today, too.

Got a few errands to run, but I want to get some good time in at the desk first, and, once I come in from the garden this afternoon, some quality time with edits.

A dear friend’s cat died, and I just hurt for him. I know how awful those last few hours are, with the animal in pain. It’s heartbreaking.

Devon

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Quite the weekend. I am exhausted, even though I was supposedly spending it getting better.

Bad night Friday night into Saturday. I don’t think I turned on the computer at all on Saturday — I gave it to myself as a tech-free day, which I needed.

Saturday was a bright, reasonably mild day. We went to several garden centers to look at things, get ideas, and stock up on items like saucers, Ozmocote, etc., and found some lovely pots on sale at Home Goods. When we came back, we repotted the plants that arrived on Thursday, who were still traumatized by a trip from Oregon, and some other plants who’ve outgrown their pots, and then had to rearrange everything. The avocado is nearly as tall as I am, with the pot now on the floor. The Black King eggplant grows as you watch it – it’s like time-lapse photography, only happening right in front of you. It doubles in size every day. It was repotted on Saturday and may need yet another pot by tomorrow. I can’t put it in the ground for another six weeks. Too cold.

By early afternoon, we were done, and I was coughing myself nearly inside out. I asked the pharmacist what to do, and he suggested a very strong OC medicine, but warned me I couldn’t have anything else in my system — no vitamins, no supplements, no ibuprofen, nothing. It reacts with EVERYTHING.

Everything was long gone from my system by then, so I took it. And it knocked me on my ass. Good thing I didn’t have to drive or do anything else. I couldn’t formulate a coherent sentence, much less do anything useful. I lay on the couch, dozing and reading. It stopped the cough, though, and gave me a chance to heal a bit.

Sunday was a quiet, but busy day with newspapers, final prep for the class that starts today, and wound up the class I was taking. I was sick for half of it, but it was mostly lectures and not actual application of the lectures. It gave me some ideas, but not the means to actually apply them. To be fair, I don’t know if I’d have been able to do the work, had it been assigned. But I’m still a little frustrated, and I need to stop worrying that, if my posts for class aren’t up exactly at midnight when a class starts, that I”m cheating the students. Because, in so many of the classes I’ve taken, the teacher shows up when the teacher shows up. And certainly not every day, giving students individual attention. Oh, well, different styles.

I’ve been booked for several more workshops over the next few months, and I’ve booked post-release interviews for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT in August with both Long and Short Reviews and Coffee Time Romance. I completed one of the interviews, and the other will happen in June. This morning, I regretfully withdrew from this year’s Muse Conference — October is already insane, and I just can’t give it the time it deserves to be done properly. There are months in the fall where I’m teaching four workshops at once, along with my regular writing, so I’ve got to put the brakes on somewhere.

By evening, I was coughing again. I took the medicine, hoping to knock myself out for the night.

Nothing.

I finally managed to quiet down with a combination of slippery elm and licorice. I can’t stand licorice, much less the extract, but it shut down the cough. Unfortunately, by then, most of the night was gone and my back was a mess.

I posted my Welcome & Expectations, Tip sheets, and first exercise on the Dialogue Workshop loop this morning. I’m a little worried because it clearly states that it is an Advanced Workshop, and, except for a few familiar faces, it seems that most of these people are new to all aspects of the craft. Well, we’ll see who rises to the challenge, and who falls by the wayside.

I started the assignment for confidential job #1 — it lost me in the first paragraph, and I’ve got over 300 pages to go. Sigh. I’ve almost got the April newsletter ready, and hope to get it out in the next few days. I’ve updated the Workshop page on the Devon Ellington site (after much fighting with 1and1 because, suddenly, it wouldn’t let me change font size), adding the Steig Larsson deconstruction in May, the Write in Company in June, the Revise in Company in July, and another round of Scaling the Wall: Unsticking Your Book in October. I’ve got one more workshop that will go up in July.

I’ve got to start the taxes today. Ick. I’m going to start with the SE for 2011 and get my quarterlies out, and then work backwards from there.

The Elsa Memorial Orchid is blooming again and looks lovely!

Devon

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and milder

I was going to sign up for an intense inversion yoga workshop at the end of March (right after the teleseminar), but I’ve lost so much flexibility during the six weeks my back was completely out that I think I’ll be risking too much. As I’m easing back into my previous daily yoga practice, I realize how much flexibility I’ve lost in the past six weeks, especially in my hamstrings. The level of that workshop is more than I can safely and happily do, even working every day to regain the ground I’ve lost.

There are workshops in April and May that I think I’ll be able to handle and will sign up for those instead.

The Elsa Memorial Orchid is getting new buds,so I think it will bloom again this spring and summer. I’ll make sure to post photographs when it does.

Yesterday was rainy and dreary. I had to go to the post office, but other than that, I was home most of the day.

I found my notes for the play, but now I’m second-guessing if the play I want to write is the play they want. And the format they need it in is different than I’m used to, so I’m having to adjust. I need to put all that aside and just write the damn play, and then see what I have.

I finally found the 200+ pages of notes on POWER OF WORDS, which is a huge relief. I’d been inserting scenes for a necessary conflict — two of which I’m going to take out, because the only place they make sense in the story slow it down too much, and I think, with the other material, it works without it. And, with the notes, I can move forward. It’s not on my March list, it’s kind of what I want to work on for me, but right now, it’s pulling at me very strongly, and I want to balance it with the work on the play and the other pieces.

I got a short story out, and I need to get another short story out. I’m tempted to pitch a serial, but I have to look at the time frame and see if the time and money balance out.

The other day, I was talking to an actor acquaintance from the city about needing to buy a hoe for the garden. He thought I was talking about a ‘ho, and wanted to know why I thought a streetwalker could garden! I explained that really wasn’t a strong enough premise for FUNNY OR DIE, but hey, he tried.

I’ve been getting invitations to an event this spring where I’m supposed to pay what I think is a silly amount of money to have lunch with a Well Known Actor. Not someone I know personally, but I know the name and the work. I ignored the first few emails about it, it doesn’t fit into my schedule or what I want to do, but the emails got more and more aggressive. Funnily enough, it was an actor I’d been discussing with another friend that very day. I finally sent back a somewhat snarky email saying that I spent many years in wardrobe and I do not pay to deal with actors — I AM paid, and to stop these escalating demands to attend. The conference person forwarded the email TO THE ACTOR. Not cool at all. Fortunately, the actor has a similarly dark and warped sense of humor to mine and emailed me that he could always attend the lunch without pants. To which I shot back, “then I’d be forced to change you” to which he replied, “I’ll bring a rack of choices.” It worked out to be all in good fun (and he’s aware enough to know what a wardrobe person actually does), I’m still not going to attend and I think the conference intern or organizer or whoever it was who forwarded the email should be fired, but at least everything’s cool between the actor and me. I certainly did not want to hurt or offend him — but I won’t be bullied into attending an event I don’t want to attend, just because I could sit at lunch with a Famous Person. I can have lunch with “famous people” any time I want (although the commute is a little longer at this point). I don’t care about the “famous” part. I care about spending time with individuals like and respect.

The old water tower is already down — it took them only three days. That’s efficiency for you. I’m glad I photographed it before it disappeared.

Got some work to do this morning and then some errands. At least the snow’s gone from the yard and things should dry up a bit. I might even get to go and clean up the yard a bit tomorrow.

I thought of another exercise I want to insert to the Unstick Your Book Workshop which starts on Thursday — and is full, I’m pleased to add. And then I want to rearrange the exercises for the Advanced Dialogue Workshop in April and the Setting as Character workshop April into May. They’re still not quite where I want them.

Confidential Job #1 sent me my next assignment, so I’ll start that this afternoon. But for now — the page.

Hop on to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions to see my To-Do list for March.

Devon