Wed. Aug. 16, 2017: Freelance Range

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Oh, how I long for the days when all we had to worry about was a book review or whether or not the wine delivery was on time. I want to go back to the days of talking about books and art and cat videos. Unfortunately, our very lives depend on our current choices and actions. We are in the midst of a Civil War.

And the idiot who is at the helm clearly aligned himself with Nazis yesterday in a press conference that was irrational and irredeemable. Yet Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell continue to do nothing, because having him where he is suits their personal agendas. They are just as corrupt and must also be removed. Every day they refuse to do their jobs, they continue to prove they agree with him, they align with him (no matter what their empty words contain), and they refuse to uphold their oaths to the Constitution.

But, apart from my daily activist work, I also have to keep a roof over my head, and that means writing.

I sent off my article in the morning; by afternoon, it was accepted and paid, which is one of the reasons I love working with this particular publication.

I’m in discussions with a publication whose work I admire, who liked my samples, and who is interested in having me on staff. There’s more research and pitching on my part, and more decisions on their part, but if it all works out, I will be excited.

Pitched for a corporate script job out west (I’d work remotely), and for two other gigs, wildly different topics, both well in my wheelhouse, but which would still let me stretch. It would be steady work that paid fairly, if one or both work out. I had to pull samples and create a different type of sample packet for one of the pitches, but I think it reads well.

In the afternoon, I alternated between reading A WALK BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH: A PERSONAL JOURNAL ON WRITING AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS by Burghild Nina Holzer, and working on the first assignment for the new publication that hired me a couple of weeks ago.

This is why I’m the Anti-Niche, and why I refuse to be locked into the myth of “niche writing”. I get to live many lives and follow a wide variety of interests, do it well, and get paid.

I gave myself a break from fiction yesterday, although I have to get back on the stick with that. I’ll have to juggle the final galleys on PLAYING THE ANGLES with the revision of SAVASANA AT SEA. Which is fine, but I want to finish the assignment from the editor today and get that off tomorrow morning.

This morning, I have a couple of essays to work on and then send off. I need to research a market for a short story and get that out, and research another market for an essay.

It’s hard to create in the midst of destruction, and hard to balance creation with then necessary work to ensure survival on both an individual and a cultural basis. But it’s necessary.

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Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 16, 2017: Freelance Range  
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Mon. July 31, 2017: Author, not “Author”, Women’s Memoir Cliches, and Unfair Expectations

Monday, July 31, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It definitely smells like autumn. Tomorrow is the first harvest festival, so it makes sense.

The cats and I were up most of the night because a neighborhood dog was crying. We couldn’t figure out where it was, or I would have comforted it. Poor thing!

I gave myself the weekend off, mostly. I needed to recharge; I was mentally exhausted, even more than physically.

I did some yard work. I read a lot, which was hit and miss. I read a mystery that was set “backstage” in a “professional” theatre. Yeah, right. The performers went around quoting the Scottish play without comment or consequence. DOESN’T HAPPEN. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t be an “author”. Be an author or a writer.

I read another mystery, first book in the series, where the characters were okay, but the plot forced to fit into a tight formula that didn’t work for the premise, and the writing weak.

I read Val McDermid’s OUT OF BOUNDS, which was excellent.

At least it was nice enough to read outside most of the time. A little cool, but nice. I prefer cool weather to hot, anyway, which is why I live in a place with seasons.

I’m reading a stack of books and memoirs about the NEW YORKER magazine, as background for a piece. Hit and miss interesting. I’m looking more for the daily-ness of working at the publication set against the historical backdrop, and what made the people tick, not the navel-gazing.

I’m so tired of memoirs by women who spent the whole book “finding” their “independence”, only to get married (or get married again). Basically, they’re just circling back to where they started, but with a different guy. But people buy into all this “I’m now an independent woman” — um, no, you’re still acting like a 1950s college grad with her MRS degree. Leaving one guy, “travelling” mentally and physically, in order to wind up with another guy, doesn’t make you “independent”. It makes you a cliché.

Worked on notes for a couple of projects.

Finished the next book I have to review. I want to get the review out today, and then request the next book. Hopefully, it won’t take them two weeks to assign it this time. To me “steady work” means the next assignment arrives when I turn in the previous one. They still owe me for the last two reviews, too.

I have two essays and two short stories to finish, plus a couple of pitches to get out. I SHOULD have done them this weekend, but the quality would have been crap. I’m still within my deadline, so it was a better choice to give myself a break, and then be able to attack them with fresh eyes this morning.

I already did a pre-tourist grocery run, so I’m doing okay! 😉

Little annoyed with a friend. I didn’t hear from him for about six months; fine, no problem. But I received an email from him late Friday night, and another one early this morning, berating me for not instantly getting back to him. Um, no. This was a “hey, how are you?” email, not an emergency or a question that required immediate response, and taking the weekend off-line is something he KNOWS I do. Not answering until this morning (just over 48 hours later) is not too long, especially since the last contact was at Christmas. I don’t say “how high?” when someone says “Jump”. I’m more likely to tell that person to eff off. 😉

Tomorrow is the cover reveal for PLAYING THE ANGLES. I’m nervous!

July wrap-up is over on the GDR site.

Back to the page.

Published in: on July 31, 2017 at 9:40 am  Comments Off on Mon. July 31, 2017: Author, not “Author”, Women’s Memoir Cliches, and Unfair Expectations  
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Fri. July 28, 2017: Progress, Prep, and Difficult Weekend Ahead

Friday, July 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Didn’t get a chance to post yesterday; apologies.

Some good work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I’m reshaping the opening a bit — I want it more atmospheric, and I’m getting rid of some lazy language. That’s delayed sending the final edit of PLAYING THE ANGLES back to my editor and copy editor, since they have to edit and copy edit my back matter, and the first chapters of both SPIRIT REPOSITORY and SAVASANA AT SEA are included. I’m also working on a back matter piece about theatre ghosts, which I think readers will enjoy.

I have plenty to say about the health care issue, but it’s going into an article, not on the blog. Last night’s vote was a relief; I’m spending far too much time trying to sort things out for my mother’s upcoming surgery, and correct errors by both providers and the insurance company. (hint: double-dipping by some providers involved).

Sent off the contracted article Wednesday morning. Also wrote, polished, and sent off an essay for a new-to-me site with whom I’d had a discussion last week. The email kept bouncing back. When I went back to look at the site, turns out they’d gone out of business over the weekend. So why did they say they wanted to hire me? Frustrating.

Fortunately, I can re-slant the piece slightly for another, higher-paying market. That will go out early next week. I have another essay that also needs to go out next week, to another new-to-me market.

We’re reworked and simplified the cover for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Much better now.

The cover reveal for PLAYING THE ANGLES will be August 1.

I finished the media kit for PLAYING THE ANGLES, and I’ve created a Facebook page for the Coventina Circle series. I hope you’ll hop over there and “like” it. I’m going to invite people to the page on the day of the cover reveal, and I’m going try to post interesting tidbits on theatre and healing circles between now and the release date.
I’m going to sit down and figure out the posts and schedule ahead of time, so as things get busy, it doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Had a good meeting in Harwich yesterday; should hear by early next week. It’s a situation that requires close proximity, so the client has to choose the person with whom she feels the most affinity and alignment with what she wants.

Got some good work done on the latest book sent for review. I will finish it today, and the review will be ready to go out on Monday.

This time of year is always a challenge. Tomorrow (the 29th) is the anniversary of my father’s death. Yes, it was a long time ago, but still reverberates. The 30th is the anniversary of my own serious surgery — again, a long time ago, but it’s amazing how the body captures sense memory. Then, we upswing to the 1st of August — a big, positive day on my own personal calendar.

Watching a documentary about some of the great houses in Scotland sparked an idea last night, so I took some notes. This morning, I’m also working on the flash fiction of the butcher and his vegetarian customer. I like these characters; they have a good sense of humor, along with common sense, even though they approach the world from very different places.

I’m going to try to get some rest this weekend. I overworked last weekend, and it set me back during the week, because I was mentally exhausted. I need to rest the mind as well as the body.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on July 28, 2017 at 8:58 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 28, 2017: Progress, Prep, and Difficult Weekend Ahead  
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Fri. June 30, 2017: When the Road Not Taken is Best Left Untrod

Friday, June 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

Two essays and a short story went out the door yesterday. I don’t write many essays — they make me feel too exposed.

Finished the reading for an assignment and got to work on it. Will polish it this morning and send it off.

As of about mid-day, I’ll be offline until Wednesday. I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to a party tonight in Dennis at a friend’s place; the rest of the weekend is about reading, writing, meditation, yoga. Recharging the batteries.

I got an idea for a new short story that I hope to draft; I want to finish another short story that needs to go out; and I want to dig in and finish the draft of FIX IT GIRL. Plus, I have to finish the proofs on “Ramsey Chase”. Cover reveal for the latter will be next week.

I realized, in this morning’s meditation as my mind wandered over roads not taken, that not taking them was the right choice. That lifts quite a load off the worries.

Had to dash out way too early this morning to do errands, grocery shop, pick up my mom’s medication, etc. Even though everything was done before 9 AM, the traffic was still unbearable. The 20 minute drive to Dennis tonight will probably take an hour.

Hop on over to the GDR site and see the June wrap-up. The July to Do list won’t be up until next week, and I’m working on the Mid-Year Assessment.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Published in: on June 30, 2017 at 9:46 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 30, 2017: When the Road Not Taken is Best Left Untrod  
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Thurs. June 29, 2017: Writing Frenzy to Prep for a Long Weekend

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was busy, but, ultimately productive. I skipped the mowing (I’m going to pay for skipping so much mowing soon).

But I got a stack of books back to the library, and returned with another stack.

I submitted a short story and got out a couple of pitches. I got some necessary research done, and caught up on the correspondence that had come in yesterday.

I sorted out the information when I got home, so it’s where I need it when I need it, and I don’t have to go hunting it down.

I got some weeding done in the terraced bed, and then some writing, before the morons with power tools destroyed my afternoon.

I managed to get to work on an essay that needs to go out today. I finished another essay and a short story, which also have to go out today. On one essay, I had to cut over 300 words (I’d mis-remembered the word count limit as 800 when it was 600; my draft had 927 words, so there was some seriously red pen action). On the other essay, I had to come up with an additional 100+ words to meet the lower end of the limit. Two different topics, so I couldn’t take the cut words from one and rework them into the other.

The short story (actually flash fiction) is a fun, weird little piece. I hope it hits. The first line of it came to me while I was doing something else. It was so weird, I jotted it down and then off we went.

I should have completed the copy edits on “Ramsey Chase”, but my eyes were too tired. I’ll have to get back to it today. I also have to complete an assignment for the editor and get it out the door tomorrow, so he can tell me what he hates over the weekend.

I’ll be offline from about mid-day tomorrow until Wednesday morning. I have to say, I’m looking forward to the break. I’ll be writing of course — that’s part of the reason I’m disconnecting. I want to finish the FIX IT GIRL edits. I’d like to write another essay and finish the short story that’s giving me trouble, too, but that might be too ambitious.

Plus, I need to finish “Ramsey Chase” edits and get the back matter into the manuscript.

Plus, there’s a big fat book I really want to read as a reward for all this hard work.

And the yoga. And the meditation. And the garden.

So I’d better get to work and get it all done, hadn’t I?

Published in: on June 29, 2017 at 9:38 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 29, 2017: Writing Frenzy to Prep for a Long Weekend  
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Fri. Oct. 25, 2013: Percolating Ideas

Friday, October 23, 2013
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I got some good work done on the palate-cleanser yesterday, and I’ve figured out the ending, which means I have something for which to aim. Two characters wandered in that I wasn’t expecting, but they are demanding their share of page/screen time. Pushing through on the screenplay, even though I know it needs massive revision.

Worked on articles, worked with students, did some pitches, did some grocery shopping, did some yard work, but it feels overwhelming. Kind of feel like I’m going in circles, which I hate.

Developing an essay idea that I hope to flesh out and submit early next week. Actually, I have two ideas, but I’m going to do one, and then the other.

Will spend time on the novella this weekend, and also, hopefully, some time at the Marine Life Center, if I can sort everything out. Must run over to Osterville Library today to pick up some material they’ve gathered for me.

Short post because so much of what’s in my head is figuring out stuff for the WIPS, and if I talk it too much before writing it, everything will dissipate.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on October 25, 2013 at 6:51 am  Comments (1)  
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