Mon. Jan. 13, 2014: Writing, Clients, Research, Award Shows

Monday, January 13, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Busy weekend. Still annoyed with two clients. One is now three weeks late in paying me — and this is our first project together. It may well be our last. Being “on vacation” and “out of town on business” is not an excuse. The payment date was not a surprise. It was in our written agreement. Make arrangements for the check to be mailed while you’re gone, or pay me electronically. I fulfilled my part of the contract — now you fulfill yours. The other client, the perpetual random payer — is now over a week late. I’m not delivering the final two articles on the contract until I’m paid, and, once I’m paid for those — I’m done. There’s a reason both these clients have a high writer turnover — they’re unreliable. You want to keep good people? Show them respect, and part of that is paying on time per the contract.

On a happier note, I finished the airship steampunk, revised it, and sent it out. I had enough material for a novel and had to strip/throw out a lot of ideas. I kept notes, in case I ever want to expand it. Hopefully the story doesn’t read as compressed. I’m worried that there’s not enough conflict in the climax, although I invented some interesting gear used in it.

Totally cooked by Friday night — I wrote synopses for three different scripts. And another teleplay comes up in the editing/revision queue today. Gotta get that packet ready for February!

Had a meeting with a fellow writer and friend –we’re going to encourage each other along writing our novels. She’s outlined what she wants to work on — I have to decide which of three possibilities I want to work on with her.

I also have to get back to work on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, which I hope my new publisher will like. I have to find the full writer’s rough I did a few years ago.

I have some admin work to do today, and I also have a client meeting about an hour off-Cape. My materials are all together for that; I just have to give myself enough time to find the place and feel settled before the meeting starts.

Read a supposed thriller over the weekend which did not thrill me. Started another novel, whose premise excited me, but the author was one of those pretentious ones who uses dashes instead of quotation marks for dialogue AND writes in present tense. I lasted for ten pages and had to put it down. The structure did not support the novel. Since I wasn’t being paid to read it, I didn’t have to fight my way through it.

Found the letters from George Eliot to Harriet Beecher Stowe that I looked for in reference to the Charlotte Bronte conversation in a collection of Eliot’s letters. Copied out the relevant passages. Now, I want to read Harriet’s letters to see her side of it. So that project is developing.

Worked with students — I’m lucky to have a dedicated, committed batch this semester. They want it, and they’re willing to work for it, rather than making excuses.

Watched the Golden Globes last night, both for fun, and as background for a couple of projects that use award show scenes. Glad AMERICAN HUSTLE did well, but I feel that Jeremy Renner’s work is being unfairly overlooked. He went in a completely new direction for him, and I don’t feel the work is being properly appreciated.

Really pleased by the positive response to my short story “Catch Your Breath”. It encourages me to play more with contemporary literary fiction.

Off to get some writing done and then to the meeting.

Devon

Fri. December 27, 2013: Random Inspirations & Thoughts on the UPS Debacle

Friday, December 27, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Good writing day yesterday. Got some truly good work done on the holiday novella, figured out some plot stuff on the other novella, but spent most of the day on the Sparkle and Tarnish series — typing up the next chapter of TRUE HOME, and then adapting some of it for the teleplay. So those deadlines are chugging along.

Did some work for the Writers Center, pitched for some jobs, worked with students.

I found a few paragraphs about some correspondence in the George Eliot biography that sparked the idea for a new play (not the one I got the grant to write — I’ll have to write that one first, then I can work on this one). I tracked down the reference in the notes/bibilography, and now I’m going to see if I can get my hands on the primary material for research. This is very exciting!

Watched RATATOUILLE last night — very funny and clever. Glad I got to see it.

A word on the UPS Christmas delivery debacle: I’m not at all surprised. UPS has a horrible attitude towards customer service, which is why I don’t use them. When a customer pays extra to have a package arrive on time, it is UPS’s job to get it there. Period. If it doesn’t get there, it is up to UPS to refund the cost of shipping — which, in my experience, they NEVER do. A senator is getting on their case about this, and it’s about damn time. Yes, drivers work long hours during this season. But if UPS is going to charge the ridiculous fees they charge, they have to deliver — in EVERY sense of the word. Or pay the price. In every sense of the word. It’s not the drivers — although plenty of the drivers I’ve encountered are asshats, everything from refusing to deliver during the day because it’s a residential address while delivering next door when that’s considered a “business” (and I can see my package iN THE DAMN TRUCK) to leaving the box of books I judged last winter in the driveway in a rain storm to merely slowing down when they “deliver” and throwing the box out of the truck in the general direction of the front door — management sets the tone. It’s time that UPS management was replaced.

Still feeling a bit under the weather, but too bad for me. I’ve got to get the leaves and the recycling to the dump and do a library run.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on December 27, 2013 at 8:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Tues. Dec. 17, 2013: Writing, Baking, Meetings

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Check out the interview about Killion Slade’s new release on A Biblio Paradise here.

Busy day yesterday. Got some work done in the morning, some writing done on a script. Headed to the Writers Center, where we had sort-n-shred day, going through the archival boxes, deciding what to keep, what to toss, and learning a lot.

I’d made mac and cheese for lunch, which was a nice break.

We did some more sort-n-shred in the afternoon, then I hopped over to Osterville Library to work for a bit before heading home.

I had barely time to catch my breath and do some yoga before heading out the door for the Executive Committee meeting in Sandwich. Nearly got lost in the dark, but the full moon helped, and I found where I was going, eventually.

Meeting was good and lively. We have a group that’s active, rather than passive. We want to get things done, not talk about doing them some day.

But I’ve got a long list of things to get done!

Home, baked spice cupcakes for tonight. Fell into bed, exhausted.

Up early this morning, yoga, worked on a short story. Headed out to Wheldon Library to work, then have some errands to run, then back home to frost cupcakes and head out to the NMLC party.

Picked up a book I hoped would be an entertaining mystery, but it was dull and badly written, so back it goes. Don’t have the time to waste on badly written books unless I’m being paid to read them.

Started reading Kathryn Hughes’s biography of George Eliot. Very interesting, and makes me eager to get going reading and re-reading, in some cases, her work.

Off to work.

Devon

Published in: on December 17, 2013 at 9:27 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 17, 2013: Writing, Baking, Meetings  
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Fri. Jan. 27: Rainy and Raw — Good Day for Reading!


The twins

Friday, January 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and raw

Yoga was great yesterday. I was able to do both Triangle Pose and Revolved Triangle Pose correctly, without props — big breakthrough for me.

Had written an article and a review before I left at 7:30 AM. Decent start to the morning.

Came home, scarfed down some coffee and breakfast, headed back out to take my mom to her eye appointment — carting my work with me. However, it took much less time than they told us to expect, so I didn’t get as much done as I planned! 😉 But it went well, and that’s what matters.

Getting out early meant I had time to go to the Sandwich Library. I found some of what I needed, and a lot that wasn’t on my list, but was so interesting, I couldn’t resist!

I’ve started reading the Grim Reaper series by Judy Clemens — excellent. Really well done. I started with the third book,which I happened across browsing in the library, and now I’ve got the second. I plan to buy copies of all her books, and then read them in order. I’m also interested in her other series, the Stella Cross series. I like her style. It’s a clean, lean, spare style, but there’s a lot of complexity in character and situation.

Came home, polished and sent off the review,and spent the rest of the day with students. Until 11 PM. Little too much time on the computer, but there it is. Needed to get done. Spent some time on a couple of other client projects, too.

Which meant I had a slow start this morning, reluctant to turn on the machine. Had to take my mom to acupuncture at 8 AM anyway, and am just getting started now. My eyes are tired, so I’ll probably do a chamomile-lavender wash for them later this afternoon to rest them.

I need to finish up a short story later today, too, for my own deadlines, and get back to work on the novels. It’s a grey, rainy, raw day — I’d much rather be curled up with a good book.

And I’m reading one, too — in addition to the Judy Clemens books. I’m reading LITERARY WOMEN by Ellen Moers. Fascinating. She opens with a wry, hilarious letter from Harriet Beecher Stowe, detailing the dozens of things she, as a woman, got done, in the time it took the plumber to bother to show up and fix her sink. People only think UNCLE TOM’S CABIN when they think of Stowe, but her other writing is exceptionally lively and funny. If you ever get a chance to read her domestic comedies, do it. Moer also sets out a study of how Jane Austen’s EMMA influence George Eliot’s ADAM BEDE. Fascinating stuff.

Back to the page.

Devon