Tues. July 9, 2019: The Steadiness of Daily Writing

Tuesday, July 9
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Yup. Five damn retrogrades. July will not be an easy month.

If you missed any of the #31Prompts, you can catch up here.

The weekend was good, for the most part. Too much stupid from too many stupid people, but, whatever. Some friends stopped by on their way to the rest of their trip. Nice to catch up.

Other than visiting with friends, it was a quiet holiday, except for the numbnuts who set off fireworks in the neighborhood. The cops do NOTHING. It’s nudge, nudge, wink, wink, boys will be boys. It’s the same damn idiots every year who set them off. It’s illegal, so DO SOMETHING.

I will have a few words with my Town Councilor this week. Not that it will do anything — he’s a total waste of space and has done NOTHING for his district since he got elected. (And no, I did not vote for him. I knew he’d be a waste of space in the job).

The night of the 4th was spent on the floor, trying to soothe the terrified cats.

These jerks aren’t smart enough or skilled enough to be handling explosives.

Friday was an outstanding writing day — worked on ELLA, GRAVE REACH, typed up part of ELLA, did some revisions on GAMBIT COLONY. I love steadily working on projects. You can watch pages stack up, in a tangible way.

Got a contract signed and in the mail — wanted to get it done before Mercury went retrograde.

Finally switched the winter, fleece sofa and chair coverings to the cotton yoga blankets for the summer.

My order from Crystal Bar soaps arrived — just lovely. They have such excellent products.

Marinated tuna steaks in a soy-sesame-ginger sauce. Delicious.

Saturday, was up at five. Baked lemon cupcakes, chocolate chip devil’s food cupcakes, and a spiced chocolate banana bread with rum before it got too hot. Took a dozen of each cupcake to the new neighbors to welcome them. They are long-time Centerville residents, downsizing. Took another dozen of each type of cupcake to my lovely firemen — this is a busy weekend for them.

Got a little bit of writing done, but not much. It was too hot to think. Got a good bit of reading done instead.

The Goddess Provisions box arrived and is a delight. A book arrived, too — one of the Caribbean books I test drove from the library that I wanted to keep, so I bought a copy.

Started re-watching the Lord Peter Wimsey episodes starring Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walters. I’d forgotten how much he loves to play with props when he works.

Up early on Sunday. First writing session on the deck, on ELLA.

Plenty of loads of laundry, between clothes, sheets, and the winter furniture covers.

Worked on GRAVE REACH.

Started the short story inspired by the July 1 prompt on #31Prompts: The bagel has landed. I wanted it to be a flash fiction; it might be a short story, or the draft might be a short story, then edited down to be flash. We’ll see. Right now, I’m just writing. Stretching. That’s important.

Up early Monday. Worked on ELLA, worked on GRAVE REACH. Onsite with a client, then another appointment, then meditation group.

Today, I’m onsite with a client, then another appointment. Decent writing sessions on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH.

Not where I’d hoped to be by this point in the summer on anything, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

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Thurs. July 5, 2012: Over the Holiday Hump

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy times! Hope you had a great holiday! I was off line earlier than I expected as of Wednesday, with this and that going on, and a houseful of people and all that. Lots of cooking, eating, conversation. Some thunderstorms, too — in Boston, they had to evacuate the Esplanade before the fireworks for awhile. But everyone was safe, and the show continued.

Wound up working mostly on the deck on Tuesday — took my work outside. It was a lovely day, with storms moving in later, but by then I was running around getting ready for company, and Wednesday, when there were quite a few storms, I just stayed offline.

House full of people for a few days — Tessa thinks it’s wonderful. A neighbor invited us over yesterday, but we never managed to get over to the party he was having, which was a shame, but that’s the way it goes. Everyone sort of goes their own way, and then converges for food and conversation, so there’s no pressure, and I’m getting some work done.

Of course, today there’s a ton to do, since I was offline, and I’ll put in some extra hours tonight. Article due, have to get some bookings into the calendar so I don’t blow them, catch up with students, get out the newsletter, get out a mailing for an organization of which I’m the secretary, work on the ghostwriting project. It will all get done, I just have to look at each piece and deal with it, not get overwhelmed by the entire list. Also, HAVE to get cat food in — Tessa’s at the bottom of her bag. Everyone fills the bowl when they walk past and see it empty, so she’s feasting. Fortunately, she’s still growing and allowed for the next few months!

I’m starting to notice weak editing when I read. Read a fantasy novel that didn’t deliver on its promise, but a lot of the problems could have been fixed by an editor with a sharper eye. The grammar, spelling, etc. was all great (always a relief), but there were some logistical elements that I could see the writing missing, but the editor should have caught.

Also re-read Susan Wittig Albert’s wonderful memoir, TOGETHER, ALONE. Beautiful book. And I’m re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s WRITING DOWN THE BONES. THUNDER & LIGHTENING is my favorite of hers, but WDB is good to re-read. I remembered it being much more self-indulgent — it’s really not, and it talks about first draft freedom. Unfortunately, too many of the book’s disciples use it to mean you don’t have to EVER worry about things like grammar, spelling, structure, whereas she’s saying don’t let it trip you up in the first draft. Use the freedom to explore, and then work and massage the material so it makes sense –which is what all good writing teachers say. She advocates showing up at the page every day, writing specifics, showing instead of telling. Too many writers think the first draft is THE draft. It’s THE draft once it’s published — before that, everything’s up for change! 😉

I’m off to yoga, and then a busy day.

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!
And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Fountain, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

I got a good writing day in yesterday, and cleaned up my computer a bit. I’ve been having trouble with Safari, and now Firefox is giving me headaches, so I’ve downloaded Google Chrome just in case. And yeah, I’ll be giving Apple Care a yelp soon!

Worked on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Once I can get through these two mucky chapters, I think I can hurtle to the end pretty well. Did some good planning work on the new book, and got an idea for a steampunk. Ideas tend to come in batches.

Am being encouraged in the direction of a non-fiction book. I may try an outline and the first three chapters to see if it’s worth pursuing. If I like it, I’ll make a list and start submitting.

I recently read a wonderful anthology called A SENSE OF PLACE, which was written by Cape Cod women writers. Definitely want to use it in any further Setting as Character workshops. Sent a quick note to the publisher, who responded and suggested I write for the site, so I’ll put together some article ideas and see if they fly.

Finished the biography of Joseph Campbell, which makes me want to go back and re-read him with a new sense of context. When I read him originally, years ago, the fact that he was revered as a demi-god made me deeply suspicious and interfered with my ability to read the actual material. I’m glad to know he was a scholar who did actual research instead of someone who made stuff up to boost his theories.

Watched the NY fireworks, then the Boston — nice to see how different they are. Some idiots in the neighborhood set off fireworks they weren’t able to handle and nearly set some roofs on fire. Not mine — they just curved away from the property! 😉

Up early this morning. Meant to work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but wound up started my Reading and Reviewing for Craft class instead.

Yoga on the Beach was great, in spite of the sand flies. We absolutely slathered each other in bug repellent or we couldn’t have survived. Today’s class was quite challenging, which was good. Next year, I’ll budget so I can take it 3-4 times/a week, both on a financial level and a time level — it’s a 4 hour commitment in the morning, my prime writing time, since it’s an hour and a half in each direction and an hour fifteen class, and then all the incidental traffic, et al things one doesn’t count on.

Stopped to grab an ice coffee on the way home, and thought I was being very smart by taking 137 up to 6 (6 is the Mid-Cape Highway). 6 was backed up from P-Town to the bridges, so I slid off the next exit and took 124 north to 6A and headed back along the bay side. Yes, it’s through the towns, but there wasn’t much traffic and it actually moved, so it was faster.

Watered, vacuumed out the car (I brought half the beach with me), ate a bowl of berries. Now, I’m settling in for a few hours of work before I go out and do things like buy cat food! I have a meeting in the late afternoon for a potential job in August. Yeah, I know, I wasn’t supposed to work in August, but this sounds too good to pass up.

Back to the page!

Devon

Saturday, January 1, 2011 — Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and mild

First and foremost, Happy New Year! I hope this year brings us all an abundance of health, joy, and the stamina to make our dreams come true.

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog so you can see how I’ve retooled my wishes for the coming year. And hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read my “Wish for the Garden.”

I’ve put together my To-Do list for January (daily to-do lists get in my way, but a monthly helps keep me on track). In addition to all the short turnaround, quick-pay jobs to make sure I stay on top of bills, and waiting to hear from my editor so I can actually do the edits on the book that’s slated for July release and all the new ideas that are pulling at me, I want to finish stuff and get it out.

I have way too much of a back log. Some of it is work that’s finished, polished, and is either waiting to go out, or came back and needs another look before it heads out again. I have one novel out on the submission process (it should be a lot more than that). I have a series that needs to change publishers, which means retooling that and rethinking the overall arc of the series. I have to make sure the second book is ready to go when the first book launches for a particular publisher, and I’ve only done a single chapter (I’d hoped to have a whole draft done by today). I have a great opportunity to do a YA book for a contest, provided I set it in one of my favorite places in the world, and I don’t want to drop the ball on that.

And then there’s ANGEL HUNT. It started as a series several years ago, evolved into a novel when the publisher went belly up, and I did some major reworking over the last two years. It moved from occult to paranormal to urban fantasy. The problem is that, when I work on it, I’m completely consumed and obsessed by it, and nothing else gets done. What I have to do is carve out that patch of time so I can obsess about it, finish the new ending, rewrite the query, and start getting it out there. I think about it constantly, but I haven’t done any actual physical work on it in months.

That has to change.

Because I’m so obsessed with it, there’s an element of fear involved in actually getting it finished and out the door. Not because I’m worried about rejection — either it gets rejected or it doesn’t, until I find the match, big whoop — but because I don’t want to let go of it and not obsess about it anymore.

I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but there are times when a writer’s psyche doesn’t make sense.

What I need to do with this book is get out of my own way, give it the finish it deserves, and get it out the door so it can live its life.

I know what I have to do; now it’s just about the doing.

The owner stopped by to give me a choice of fire extinguishers. He wants to make sure we have no more emergencies and is trying to think of every possibility. I actually have a pair of extinguishers I brought up in the move, but I don’t know if they’re still good — might be too old.

Repairman showed up and put in the new hose. In and out in ten minutes. Fingers crossed it actually works!

Still getting the annoying texts. Verizon is bound and determined to extort more money out of me. Guess it’s time to file a formal complaint. And now I start billing both Verizon and the point of origin of the annoying texts. Although, I tried a little something-something and managed to get a confirmation that the texts would stop. So far, so good. No thanks to Verizon!

Off to Harwich for the rocking chair. I got lost — because the owner gave me the wrong directions. I kind of don’t understand how you don’t know where you’ve lived for 30 years, but whatever; he realized it, we connected, he gave me directions to a Dunkin Donuts, from where I followed him to the house. It’s a lovely house overlooking a lake with two lovely rescued dachshunds. Of course, I had to play with them for awhile.

The rocking chair is gorgeous, the proper money changed hands, it fit into the VW, and off I came home, stopping on the way to pick up a few things at the store.

Once I got the chair situated, I did my hair, scrubbed the bathrooms, washed the floors, and vacuumed the whole house. Can’t go into a New Year with last year’s dirt on any level, now can we?

Got up some of the first lectures for both workshops — I’m doing some rewriting on the Plum ones, so the first of those will go up later today, although the Welcome is up.

Cooked salmon fillets in a cumin glaze for supper, played with the cats, enjoyed seeing out the old year quietly with a glass of champagne. Just before midnight, opened the back door to let the old year out; just after the midnight toast, opened the front door to welcome to the New Year, and, much to my surprised, get first-footed! Don’t know who the lovely dark-haired gentleman was, but it was much appreciated.

Times Square looked like an even worse zoo than usual, and I was glad to be away from New York. The celebration in Boston looked like a ton of fun, though — lots of creative performances by people and local groups, kinetic artwork and ice sculpture, not just bringing in a bunch of wanna-be and/or washed up pop stars like they do now in Times Square.

Well, it was quiet until the drunken dumbasses around the corner set off fireworks next to their garage, which is directly opposite my front window and doors. They weren’t the pretty kind that do anything — basically, it was just canisters of blasting powder that made a big noise. The first time it went off, I thought one of the houses on the street had exploded. But it was just the drunken jerks. I may not have kept up my pyro license from my special effects days, but at least I’m properly trained. They keep machinery filled with gasoline and cans of gas in that garage — how stupid do you have to be to set off explosives next to it? The ground is all black over there this morning.

It was nearly 2 AM before the bayberry candle “burned to the sprocket” for prosperity in the year –even though I’d started it at 4 PM! We were at the point where I sat on the couch with Iris on one side and Violet on the other and just stared at it, willing it to burn down!

Up early, great yoga and meditation session, lovely Greeting-the-Dawn New Year’s Day ritual, good first writing session. How goeth the writing goeth the year, and I don’t like to take New Year’s Day off from writing, although I sometimes take off other holidays.

Packed to drive my mom to CT and then pick up Costume Imp. Still not organized enough for the party, but that’ll happen.

The Christmas Cactus is in full bloom. When I bought it, I thought the blossoms would white, but they’re actually a very pale pink.

Will watch the Tournament of Roses parade this morning, cook a lot, eat a lot, play with the cats, do some more last minute tidying up for Costume Imp’s visit, polish the Plum lectures one final time.

And the New Year starts!

Happy New Year, all!

Devon