Mon. June 25, 2012: “Town Crier” finally live — and free!

Monday, June 25, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Lots of catching up to do!

First, I have to say that the premiere of NEWSROOM on HBO was one of the best-written television episodes I’ve ever seen. The opening alone is brilliant, and it just got better from there. I was thrilled to see John Gallagher, Jr. in one of the best roles –we worked together on Broadway in SPRING AWAKENING. He’s terrific, both on and off stage, and I’m so happy to see him in such a great show. Loved the show, thought it was great, thought the writing and the casting were terrific, and can’t wait to see more.

Second, 1and1 finally fixed the website bug, and “Town Crier” is now available for a free download until July 9. You can read an excerpt and then download the story here. I had a totally cool cover that I had to crop and change because the file upload couldn’t support it, so I’m bummed, but the story’s fun. And it ties in to both HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, although it takes place ten years before the events of HEX BREAKER.

Friday’s Breakfast with the Authors was terrific. All three — Joseph Doolin, Terri Arthur, and Randall Peffer — have books I can’t wait to read. I’ve read some of Peffer’s previous work, and look forward to the newest of his mysteries. We sat together at breakfast and had a great conversation.

Went home, worked flat out all the rest of the day. The next two assignments have arrived for Confidential Job #1, and look good. I did some more pitches, and started working on upcoming articles. I managed to get an absolutely fantastic source for the one due this week — someone whose work I’ve admired since I’ve moved to the Cape, so I’m very excited. Pitched for a few other jobs — fingers crossed.

Worked with students, got a good bit of work done on a rewrite of a small writing book I want to release in the coming weeks.

Sunday’s class was cancelled. The director told me that people were interested, but didn’t want to commit ahead of time. Well, honey, I’m not going to sit around and see if people show up. She also mentioned that people want “light creative writing classes.” That’s just insulting. “Creative writing” is what you as an eighth grade elective or as therapy. It’s not what I do. I work with people who are serious about and committed to writing. That venue is simply not the right match for me. I have one more thing scheduled in mid-July with them, but I’m not holding my breath.

The “Scene Meat” and “Series Bible” classes are filling up nicely, and those should be great fun. I’m really looking forward to them.

Worked on the revisions for HEART SNATCHER. For this draft, I’m cutting all the chapters from secondary characters’ POVs, and focusing on those in the POV of Valerie, Max, and Carey. I’ll sprinkle in necessary information from those cut chapters through other POVs. I’m also putting Max’s first chapter right after the prologue, where it was in the original draft (I’d moved it in the second draft to chapter two, moving Valerie’s first chapter, originally chapter 5, as chapter 1). I’ll give Max one, maybe two chapters, then do Valerie’s, cut Grace’s, and then have Carey’s. It makes it more of an urban fantasy mystery/suspense than the wider ranging fantasy, but it might serve the book better. The changes are based on both the actual notes from the critique swap and new ideas inspired by those notes.

However, changing the first book in the trilogy is making it harder to write the first draft of the second book.

I wrote out on the deck this morning, some work on a magical realism piece. I’m going to work on a couple of articles today, a couple of press releases, get out two more pitches, and get started on the short story due July 6 and start the Billy Root story that has to go live on July 13. Hopefully, the deposit check I keep getting promised for the ghost writing assignment will arrive today, so I can get that in, too.

It was supposed to rain this morning, so I overslept instead of going to yoga. I need to mow the front before the rain starts (it hasn’t yet) — we’re starting to suffer from vacant lot syndrome again, even though it wasn’t that long since I mowed.

Dreamed about an adventure story — movie, really, with Henry Ian Cusick playing the male lead. I mean, he wasn’t himself, he was a character, so I assume I dreamed a script. I have no reason for him to turn up in a dream, and I wasn’t in it anywhere, so I was dreaming a story. Jotted some notes to see if it’s something I can work with in the future.

Back to the page. And the lawn mower.

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!

Fri. June 22, 2012: Articles & Acceptances

Friday, June 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

HOT day yesterday. 1and1 still hasn’t fixed the problem– so the site’s been unable to be updated for a week, as of today. I’m interviewing other webhosts. I’d liked the package from Fat Cow, but there are so many billing complaints filed against them that I’m rethinking that choice. IPages and Webhosting Hub look pretty good so far, but I’m still in early stages. It has to be a site I can handle myself at a price I can manage.

My article about the Mermaid Ball is live on Cape Cod Women Online here. Enjoy!

The house didn’t get too bad in the heat. We had fans going, and it was okay inside. The upstairs was too hot — but of course, that’s where the cats hung out, until about mid-afternoon,when they wised up and came down to the fans. Tessa is afraid of the fans, but the other two remembered them.

Sent off my first article for the series of six I’m doing for one publication; pitched about a half a dozen articles to another publication, and, after some to-ing and fro-ing, they were accepted. Heard from the person on the ghostwriting project that the check was mailed; once it arrives, I can get going on that.

Tried to work on the second book of the trilogy, but didn’t get very far. Ripped apart the next three chapters of the first book for the next revision. A group of us are putting together an anthology, which will be fun. The stories are REALLY cool. It’s the first appearance for my sci-fi character, Fiona Steele, and I’m looking forward to it. She doesn’t bother to take names — she just kicks ass! 😉

Got up very early this morning to water everything, then sat on the deck and wrote my first 1K of the day on one project (there are two projects I’m shifting between in the morning). I’ve got a writer’s breakfast this morning with the Cape Cod Writers Center over in Osterville, then I’ve got to get started on the next articles, write two press releases, and a PSA script. Busy day — but I’m looking forward to it.

Devon

Tues. June 12: Gotta love the new Opportunities!


Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a flat-out work day of negotiations, reading material, and pitching jobs. I’ve changed my early morning routine a bit — I’m writing outside on the deck, now, after I feed the cats. I take Tessa out, along with a notebook, pen, and coffee, and we spend the first one thousand words of the day outside. I’m not spending enough time actually WRITING, and that has to change.

Another trip to the libraries around here– returning books, taking out more books. I’m trying to refill the creative well. I feel like I’m spinning, and writing by rote instead of serving the stories well. It’s the time/deadline/money pressure.

Got the front mowed, and I hope to get the terraced back mowed today, squeaking in just after the rain. I’ve got a client meeting tonight, and two blog posts to write before the, along with a slew of short stories to read, and a short story deadline of my own to meet.

Billy Root’s got some news about HEX BREAKER, and the upcoming appearance schedule is over on A Biblio Paradise.

It looks like the ghostwriting gig will happen — although I’m not counting on anything until there’s a signed contract and a deposit. And an editor made an offer for me to do a paid blog gig. We’re sorting out the final details. My price fits her budget, and she likes my samples. So far, so good.

Excited about the potential new gigs, but don’t want to count my chickens before they’re hatched. And I’ve got fiction deadlines looming — have to reconfigure my day a bit to keep the balance with both.

Had a great session on the second book yesterday — just over 1300 words in the sprint.

I’ve been taking some garden photos — will have to upload them to the computer, so I can share them. The daylilies are exceptionally beautiful this year.

Devon

Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 8:28 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. June 8, 2012: PR Up the Ying-Yang

Friday, June 8, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yoga was great yesterday, and then I worked flat out all day, reading manuscripts, trying to write, getting off on a tangent, doing PR for the book and another client, sending out a couple of pitches.

I had to head to the library to add my registration buttons on their computer (because heaven forbid 1and1 actually give me the service for which I pay them). It took awhile, but the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13 and the Series Bible One-Day Seminar, July 14, are now up and ready for registration. The former is three days of intense writing, focusing on the purpose and “meat” of the scenes, then layering in additional elements, including transitions. It’s only $40. The Series Bible seminar is a one-day seminar on how to create and maintain a series bible, which is necessary if your story encompasses more than one book — be it a sequel, trilogy, or series (with or without a finite end point). That’s $25. I’m also doing a special offer for those who want to take both — $50.

I’ve gotten some details sorted out with Payloadz, and a series of small writing topic booklets will release over the next few months.

Baked a cake, got it together for the meeting in Buzzards Bay (it was pouring with rain when I left). Good meeting, but, of course, I opened my big mouth with ideas and now I have to follow through! 😉 So I’ll be doing a lot of that today, along with PR for the tarot workshop on June 16, the writer/performer workshop on the 24th, for the Mermaid Ball, and for the HEX BREAKER release. Busy day, so I better get going.

The sun is coming out, so you know what that means — I gotta mow! 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Devon

Want a great urban fantasy adventure over the weekend? HEX BREAKER’s only $2.99 on Amazon Kindle and Solstice Publishing.

Published in: on June 8, 2012 at 7:25 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. June 6, 2012: Reconfiguring Writing Time

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I worked like crazy yesterday, but don’t feel like I got that much accomplished. On the up side, I finished the first pass on one of the swapped manuscripts and really enjoyed it . On the other, I struggled with the short story, and, although I got a lot of admin work done, it never gives me the feeling of satisfaction that writing pages gives me. Promotional stuff, etc. In negotiations for a potential workshop next year for a different organization, where I think the time/payment ratio is going to be saner. Pitched for a press release job, but I bet they want someone cheaper. Invoiced another job.

The rain’s finally stopped, which means I’ll have to mow today! I guess I should be happy that it’s healthy and growing well!

Here’s a press release about the upcoming one-day tarot workshop, live, here on the Cape, on June 16. I’m still putting together the week-long mix of workshops for July, but that should go up shortly. I need to get a press release for HEX BREAKER out to the local papers. So much to do, so little time. Just like everyone else, right?

I’m taking my mom to the doctor this morning — which means I’ll lost most of the morning, because, even with no one in the waiting room, they make us wait at least an hour and a half, which is ridiculous.

I really like the direction in which the anthology story is going, although I went on a tangent yesterday and had to cut almost everything that I wrote. Still need to do more work on “Town Crier” before I’ll feel good about posting it for download. I’ve got some other ideas swirling, so I have to figure out how to reconfigure my time to have more time to write fiction, and yet still be able to earn a living.

But it’s pretty today, so maybe I’ll do some of my writing outside!

Devon

Hex Breaker, $2.99 from Amazon Kindle and Solstice Publishing.

Published in: on June 6, 2012 at 6:19 am  Comments (3)  
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Mon. June 4, 2012: New excerpt, back to writing, and all that!

Monday, June 4, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend. Final prep for the seminar on Friday, dashing around on errands, working in the garden, working with students, worked on HEX BREAKER PR campaign. Got out some proposals.

Hop on over to Billy Root’s blog. There’s an excerpt from HEX BREAKER (featuring Billy, of course), that’s not in the media kit or on the website. It’s a lot of fun.

Manuscript swap is complete in the year-long. We lost one person who didn’t finish on deadline, unfortunately, but everyone else’s manuscripts (including mine) are out and being read.

Worked on the rewrite of a story for an anthology. Actually, I tossed my previous idea and started from scratch. This is a sci-fi, different than I usually do, but it feels right. I finally have a spot for a character who’s been bugging me for awhile.

Saturday was the Setting Up Your Submission System Seminar. The participants were pretty quiet, but there was a LOT of information, and a few people took advantage of the opportunity to post blurbs and winnow down descriptions. I was rather shocked no one posted an outline or synopsis for comment — usually, that’s what people struggle with the most. They got a 73-page reference guide at the end, that they can use for years, complete with information, links, templates, etc. The companion handbook went out yesterday.

Sunday, I answered any final questions, relaxed for part of the day, but also finished two books I have to review and started reading the first of the three manuscripts I’m reading for the swap in the year-long. I’m loving it The students have come SO far this year. I’m delighted.

Today, I’ve got a LOT of work to do, I’ve got to write the two book reviews, I’ve got to read more for the critique swap, work on HEART BINDER and dive back into CRAVE THE HUNT (the third Jain Lazarus), which needs to go out by the end of the month. I’m tweaking the offerings for July workshops — those should go up soon. I had a request for a one-day seminar on a specific topic, and that’s what’s taking priority.

I was rather dismayed, when I posted “a typical day” in the workshop as to how little writing I get to do every day. That has to get back in balance. I need to write more, and spend less time on all the other stuff. Which means, even though my submission and follow-up systems are fairly streamlined now, I have to come up with better ways to do a few other things.

Back to the page.

Devon

HEX BREAKER, only $2.99 from Amazon Kindle and Solstice Publishing.

Tues. May 22, 2012: Roller Coaster Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was such and up-and-down day! Managed to revised six chapters of HEART SNATCHER, which was a great note on which to start. Got some other work done, spent time with students.

Had a few hours of alternating fury and misery when I discovered that some individuals on a job in whom I invested hundreds of hours of time and trust just threw it back in my face. Well, what are you going to do? I already knew the situation was not one in which I wanted to stay past the current commitments — but at least I FULFILL my commitments. It’s about fear, power, manipulation, done via passive aggression — you know how well THAT goes over with me! You don’t get your own way all the time, Pickle, especially when you’re wrong and doing something destructive to yourself and others. Imagining how to fictionally kill them off in a story made me realize just how ridiculous it all is, and how it’s not worth my time and energy. New doors are opening for me; I have no reason not to take fresh risks. Especially not out of misplaced loyalty.

The Writers Center wants to put me on their regular roster for Tomorrow’s Writers Today — they thought I did well, the kids responded positively, and they want me back. Good! I can take what I learned from this go-round, switch up a few things, focus it differently, and make it better.

I got some more good news — a piece one of my private students worked on under guidance has been offered a contract! I’m thrilled for her. She worked hard on it, and it was a case of taking a good idea and going deeper, that’s all.

I got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1 — a double this time! Can’t wait to do it. Didn’t manage to finish the article (still waiting for quotes). Managed, however, to do a good deal of press for my upcoming workshops — putting them up in local events calendars, etc. — and got some ads for business services out there. Got a negative response back on a pitch — but the content of the refusal had nothing to do with what I actually pitched, so I think they might have sent me someone else’s letter. In other words, I dodged a bullet!

Very tired, but that’s just the way it is right now. Looking forward to the holiday weekend break. I’ll be writing, but not interacting.

The West Dennis Library is doing a benefit on June 10. They asked me to donate a signed copy of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT for the Book Basket they’re auctioning off. I’m delighted! More information here.

A few things to think about/remember/check out:

On Saturday, May 26, from 10 AM to Midnight EST, please click over to 100carsforgood.com with your Facebook account and vote for the National Marine Life Center — we’re a finalist in the program, and have the chance to win a Highlander in order to transport wildlife to and from the hospital. It would make a huge difference to the center, so please stop by and give us a vote!

Writers Worth Week continues with Kimberly Ben’s article on Flexing Your Confidence Muscle.

Don’t forget to sign up for Setting Up Your Submissions System online seminar on June 2. I’ll walk you through bios, loglines, submission packets, clip files, the types of ways to prepare your files so all you have to do is attach, and more. The resource guide is worth the price. More information and registration here.

If you’re in and around the Cape area in June and July, I’m teaching in person at Three Fish and A Ram Community Art Center in Mashpee. There’s a tarot class for artists in all media, a writer/performer collaborative, and a writing workshop to stretch technique. I’ve got a page with details set up here.

I’m off to mediation now — I need it! Then, it’s back to work.

Devon

Monday, May 21, 2012: Busy weekend and Kick-Ass Editing Morning!

Monday, May 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend! Honestly, I can’t remember what I was doing on Friday, other than prepping for class and getting press releases done and working with students.

Oh, wait — I went to an art opening at the Cape Cod Cultural Center in Yarmouth. That was fun. My friend (one of the inspirations for the upcoming Bellini Girls comic mysteries) invited me. The artist is the wife of a musician we know. Her work is lovely! I also met the mother of the previous tenant in this house (small world) and the associate director of the center. And a bunch of other people. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday was the Tomorrow’s Writers Today program. My fellow writer/teacher is terrific — he taught the non-fiction portion and I taught the fiction. We swapped books at the end — I can’t wait to read his book over Memorial Day weekend. What a treat! The kids were split into two groups and we each had one in the morning, and then we switched. I was pleased and impressed by the talent in the room. These kids are not writing pop culture derivatives. They’ve got IDEAS. And they’re more competent and understand the significance of things like spelling, grammar, and structure more than many of their adult counterparts. If I’m asked back, I’d structure it a little differently — I was trying to give them an overview of several different aspects, and each session had slightly different exercises. I think I’d want to either do a scene-by-scene story building or a revision intensive, if they wanted to bring me back. The sessions were so short, it was hard to build a group dynamic easily — if we worked, say, for two or three sessions together, it would have made sense to read aloud and split them into critique partners and stuff, but in a session this short, I didn’t want anyone to feel put on the spot. I might do a round-robin one-line of a story next time at the beginning to get them warmed up. IF I do it again.

But I’m glad I did it. I was wiped out, though, by the time I got home. I had a glass of wine on the deck, and then went in to watch the Preakness. As much as I wanted my friend to win, I was also glad that I’ll Have Another got the second leg, and there’s the chance for a Triple Crown this year. Creative Cause was still my favorite horse in the race, but I think both he and Gemologist will really come into their own during Saratoga and Del Mar.

A positive aspect of not officially covering the races this year is that I get the chance to simply enjoy them again. My coverage the past few years grew cynical. With this break, maybe next year I can approach it with a fresh enthusiasm.

I was so tired I did an hour of restorative yoga and was in bed by nine. I slept for 10 hours.

Sunday, I spent time with online students to make up for not being available Saturday, but finished fairly early. I walked to get the papers instead of taking the car, which was good, and read them out on the deck. Tessa was in the crate, having a good time. I also got some marigolds, so that I can transplant the tomatoes this week, and pair some eggplants with them, and put them in the new bed and the vegetable bed.

I already revised six chapters on HEART SNATCHER (today’s quota). I’ve got some pitches to get out, some follow-up to do, and hopefully the quotes for my article will come through today, so I can finish that and get it off. I want to do some work on HEART BINDER this afternoon and a couple of short stories. I was supposed to get a definitive answer on Friday about another manuscript, so I know how I have to fit that into the schedule, but nothing, so I’m not going to stress about it.

Over on Billy Root Blogs, “he” talks about Actors Filling Time. Writers Worth Week continues over on Lori Widmer’s blog on Finding Your Niche — which I totally DISagree with. Just so you know. 😉

My student and fellow author Nina Benneton has a great blog post over at Writer’s Digest here.

And hey, don’t forget to sign up for the Setting Up Your Submission System online seminar on June 2! You’ll be walked through each piece of the process and wind up with a reference guide that will help you for years! More information and sign-up here.

Devon

Fri. May 18, 2012: Class Preparation, Writing, Reading

Friday, May 18, 2012
Day before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I pitched for a job before leaving for yoga yesterday morning, and wasn’t even late! If we like each other, I think it could be a very good fit — I hope they’re interested in what I pitched to them.

Yoga was good; came back home, got some work done, went out and mowed the front lawn — all of it in one go — both the mower and I were up for it. Then, I trimmed the edges with my hand clippers, and weeded all the front beds — they look much better. I still have to mulch, but that’s going to have to wait a week or two. It looks really nice. Some of the grass seed sprouted — it’s a blue fescue, so it looks really lush and pretty.

I have to mow the terraced area later this morning. The meadow’s going to be good for another week or two.

Dealt with my students during the day, which meant I had the evening to get some writing and reading done. I’m struggling with this next section of revisions.

I sent my editor two reviews for the last two books sent (both of which I enjoyed), and told my editor to send me something good for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend! He promised to get something out to me today.

For Writers Worth Week, today, there’s an article by Sharon Hurley Hall on “What are You Worth? You Decide!”

I’ve got to finish up the preparations for tomorrow’s class, and then get the press materials over to Falmouth for the fall. I’m going to an art opening tonight at the Cultural Center in Yarmouth, and I have a lot to get done before then. This morning, we tried to walk on Sandy Neck Beach, but it was closed, so we went to the Boardwalk at Sandwich, then came home for breakfast, Tessa and I read the paper on the deck, and headed back to Sandy Neck, and got in our walk. It was gorgeous — not even windy, for once.

I finished setting the stone edging for the new bed when we got back; now I have to decide what I’m going to put in there! The lettuce and greens are growing so fast we’re eating salad every day — not necessarily a bad thing!

Better get going — lots to do, and I have to be at the school by 8:30 AM tomorrow!

Devon

Don’t forget the Setting Up Your Submission System one-day online seminar on June 2. It walks you through all the bits you need and how to organize them so that putting together a pitch, a query, or a submission package is a snap! Registration and more information here.

Wed. May 16, 2012: All Three Cats to the Vet (Big Drama & Yowling)


Iris and Violet are not amused

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy day, but didn’t get enough done. Which means today I have to push even harder. Got some errands, done, though, which helped. And my meeting last night went very well — I’ll be teaching three in-person workshops in Falmouth in the fall — if people sign up!

Prepping for my workshop on Saturday — got my class list, and am looking forward to it. Putting together my “stuff” for the class. Prepping the Submission System Workshop for June 2 — there’s more information here and sign up. It’s so important to have an efficient system — it makes life a lot easier.

I’ve got five press releases (for my own work) to get out today. And I have to finish the write ups for confidential job #1 and finish the rough on my article. I’ll have to wait for a couple of quotes, but I want the article in good enough shape so that I can just pop ‘em in and send it out.

Check out Nancy Oliver’s post “When the Safety Net is Gone” over on Words on the Page, as part of Writers Worth Week.

I need to hustle some quick-turnaround and quick-paying work to make up for the money spent on the brakes and what I’ll have to spend today at the vet — all three little darlings are going in, and that’s going to be a big chunk of change. But, it has to be done.

Tonight is the Writers Night Out dinner, so I’m off to that. And I’ve got to buckle down on some of my other fiction deadlines. I’m behind. I’ve got to get back in balance with the short term work and the long term.

I’ve got a post up on Gratitude and Growth with garden photos.

Feeling a little run down, and am looking forward to next weekend, when I’ve got several consecutive days OFF.

Devon

Tues. May 15, 2012: Intoxicating Lilacs

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Got a lot done, yesterday, which is good. Weeded the vegetable bed. Planted peas, spinach, bok choy, and radishes. Started creating a new, round bed in a rather desolate patch (someone used to have a woodpile there) where I will grow herbs. I need to get a few more stones for the edge, and then I can put loam in it and start planting. Got the morning glories and the moonflowers into the ground — the morning glories are starting to bloom, and they’re lovely. The lilacs are absolutely intoxicating this year, and I often just stop whatever I’m doing and inhale.

Revised six chapters of HEART SNATCHER, wrote about 840 words on HEART BINDER, and then went back and tightened things some more in the revisions. I worked on my article, caught up with my students, etc.

Finalized some dates — I’ll be teaching locally for Three Fish & a Ram Community Art Center in June and July — a tarot workshop, a writer/performer workshop, and a writing workshop. The first two are detailed up on the Workshop page here on the blog (I’ll have to update my website later today). And I’ve got some more Fast & Fun topics coming up.

I went to meditation this morning, but no one was there. I hope everything’s okay. So I stopped at Nirvana, got my usual Tuesday morning treat, and came home to enjoy the morning on the deck. I’ve got a lot of work to do today, plus things like grocery shopping, finish my article, and finish the write ups for Confidential Job #1.

I have a meeting tonight about another possible teaching gig in Falmouth — looking forward to it.

Hop on over to Lori Widmer’s Words on the Page for Writers Worth Week — today’s article is by Susan Johnston about the per word rate.

Onward!

Devon

Mon. May 14: Busy, Productive Days


The Stewartsonian Azalea

Monday, May 14, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Partly sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend, but a good one. Friday was all about all kinds of work, catching up with students, and finishing the prep for the workshop. And working on revisions. I got out the newsletter (yay, rah, rah) and did some work on the Fearless Ink website. I’d like to change the template, but I’m not sure to what. Basically, I just want to fill the background a bit, but it’s not working.

Worked on my article. Worked on the assignments for Confidential Job #1. Looked at some listings, and will send out pitches this week, some of which are in Boston. It would be good to get into Boston on a regular basis! Ran some errands, got in some stuff for Mother’s Day.

I also started mowing the meadow, and I had an idea about an additional bed I want to put in.

Saturday, I was up early, checked on the conference forum, then went out and mowed the rest of the meadow. It looks REALLY good. I’m pleased as punch about it, and the mower and I seem to have reached detente.

The Amazing Antagonists workshop went really well. It was lively, interactive, those who participated got a lot of information and individual attention. I had a great time (I even stayed live for nearly an extra hour). It was fun. I’m adding some extra resources into the resource guide in the next day or two, and then out it goes.

And, of course, I’m prepping for this weekend’s Tomorrow’s Writers Today at the high school, and for the Submissions Workshop for June 2. I’ve got to confirm some other dates and then put up the next round of Fast and Fun workshops, and I’ve got some in-person meetings this week on other projects.

Mother’s Day was good. I wound up the Antagonists workshop, finished two projects for Confidential Job #1, and discovered that I’m back battling ants on the front lawn!

This morning, we were up early to take a walk on Sandy Neck Beach. Tons of fun.

Busy week — in addition to writing up the assignments for Confidential Job #1, getting out the workshop handbook, writing an article and working with my students, I’ve got a project meeting tomorrow night, Writer’s Night Out Wednesday night, and an art opening on Friday night. Plus, a slew of proposals to get out and my own writing. Busy, busy!

I plan to do some work in the garden today, in the vegetable bed, and then put in the morning glories and moonflowers. We’re supposed to get rain, so I better get out in the garden sooner rather than later!

Billy Root and I had an epiphany — check it out on his blog.

And Writers Worth Week starts this week over on Lori Widmer’s blog. Today’s entry is from Ashley Festa on “How To Use Your Time Wisely.” Check it out!

Devon

Wed. May 9, 2012: Rain, Project Shifts, and New Circles


The tulip tree at my great uncle’s in Maine

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Saturday’s the Amazing Antagonists Workshop, a day of creating fascinating, complex characters to be good obstacles for your protagonist. Sign up now — registration closes Friday night, so you can’t suddenly wake up Saturday morning and decide you want in!
Information and registration here.

Worked flat out all day yesterday, trying to get it all done, get the grocery shopping, bill paying, all that other stuff done along with the actual work so I can pay the bills! 😉 It was too wet to mow (aw), but hopefully, it will help both the grass seed and the anti-ant stuff I had to put down (yet again). And I’m doing the laundry rather piece-meal — a few loads here, a few loads there.

Designed and printed a new Fearless Ink business card. I really want to redesign the website, too. It’s a little too simple, and I think I’ll upload the portfolio, so there are samples.

Spent some time with students, sent back a bunch of assignments where I asked for two scenes and they submitted four or five. Two scenes means TWO scenes. And, when I’ve provided a tip sheet on what a scene IS and you ignore it — no, the assignment goes back. When I say you can’t use something from a current WIP, and I recognize the characters and the location from another class — it’s going back. There’s a reason the assignments are structured in a certain way and build in a certain way. I’m trying to get them to look at structure in a way that supports their overall work, so they’re very aware of the weight and balance of each scene and the importance of each scene in relation to the scenes around it, and don’t dilute their stories with needless wandering. Learn how to read and apply guidelines. It’ll help a lot of submissions being deleted unread when you submit!

Didn’t get as much of my own writing done as I would have liked, but I’ll make up for it today.

Drafted a PSA and a press release for my pro bono client; am waiting for the green light to get it out. Contacted an editor to find out when I’ll get the specs for an article they asked me to write — they forgot to send them or thought someone else was sending them or something. In any case, I never got them, and the deadline was last Monday. But they are holding the spot for me, and I’ll do it this week.

Two new assignments from Confidential Job #1, both of which look terrific, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.

Made the appointments to get the car serviced (tomorrow) and the cats to the vet next week. Yup. All three at once. Get it over with. Whew! That’ll be a chunk of change!

Attended an open house for the American Business Women’s Association over in Hyannis. I had a good time and met some interesting people. I’ve been to a couple of these type of events elsewhere, and it’s all corporate types gossiping about things that aren’t any of their business (well, that’s what gossip is, isn’t it?) This event was completely different. The participants were lively and interesting, representing a wide array of professions, and they could talk about a vast array of topics. One could have a conversation, not just blah, blah, blah, buy this, blah, blah, blah. I’m glad I went, and I’m interested in spending more time with them to find out what they’re about. I don’t know how much I can do that this summer — which is already booked to the gills between teaching and visitors and the Cape Cod Writers Conference and yoga and my own book deadlines. But it’s nice to know it’s there, and I may get more involved in the fall.

A potential client who talked big of course did not come through. Not at all surprising, and I’m relieved to be out of that one! If you’re trying to present yourself as progressive and ethically responsible, you better be able to back it up, and this one can’t. Doesn’t have the balls.

The positive result is that the project that this individual had blown a lot of hot air about how fabulous it was, how important participating in it was, and then backed out of because the individual can’t walk the talk, is taking a new direction that’s both more economically viable and will get us a broader, international audience. So it all worked out for the best.

A colleague of mine had a great episode central to his character on his TV show last night. He did an awesome job. So happy for him.

I’m going to yoga this morning, since I have to take in the car tomorrow to Plymouth. It always rains when I go to yoga!

Going to try to get a little bit of time on the page before yoga.

Devon