Wed. Aug. 9, 2017: Building & Happiness

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday. Early morning errands and bill paying, including a major grocery shop. I love grocery shopping. I love looking at what’s fresh and in season, and, because I cook, I can make up recipes as I shop.

Built two websites yesterday, one for the Coventina Circle series and one for the Nautical Namaste series. They’re not live yet; I want to get most of the material on the site before I send it live.

At first, it looked like the host wouldn’t let me build any more without yet another fee, but then I figured out how to do it. As usual, customer disservice was useless.

I’m happy with the look of both sites, although I need to wrangle the graphics on the Nautical Namaste site a bit more.

Finished the last piece of backmatter for the PLAYING THE ANGLES manuscript. One more major proofread, and off it goes. I need to get it out the door before Mercury goes retrograde! I have to change a few links, since I directed readers to the web PAGE for the Coventina Circle series on the Devon Ellington site, whereas now they will go to the web SITE dedicated to the series. And I’ve got some fun stuff going on the site, too!

I had a lovely wine/cheese/gab session with someone yesterday afternoon. Good catch-up. And, for dinner, baked chicken with Thai sweet chili, basil, and garlic, along with mashed potatoes and spinach. Yummy! And I baked chocolate chip cookies, because I wanted to.

It was nice to spend a few hours relaxed and happy after the unrelenting stress of the past few months.

Today, it’s getting the manuscript out the door, uploading more material to the Coventina Circle website, getting in cat food, and probably buying a new phone.

I’ve been having trouble with this phone for months now. It’s constantly telling me I’m “running out of internal storage”. I’ve taken out almost all the apps; I have about 11 emails in my inbox. And it keeps “running out of storage”. That’s because the manufacturer, BLU, is trying to force me to buy a more expensive phone. I may well do that, but it won’t be from this company. It stopped letting me take photos months ago, claiming there wasn’t any room; and the camera isn’t anywhere near as good as it was on the other phone. The other phone wasn’t very good, either (Alcatel), and I won’t buy another of those. BLU was useful in the transition from T-Mobile to AT&T. T-Mobile was a crap carrier; AT&T serves my needs much better. But this particular phone causes me grief on a daily basis. I need a smart phone for email and to do internet research. I never TALK on the phone — my hyperaccusis makes it painful. I don’t do business by phone. But I need something reliable for email and social media, and so I can look things up when I write. So I’m off to hunt down a new, affordable

And it all needs to happen before Mercury turns retrograde, or I’m really screwed.

I’m still not back into a good writing rhythm, but I hope to get that handled later today.

“Labor Intensive”, SAVASANA AT SEA, and SPIRIT REPOSITORY are the priorities here.

Onward.

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Published in: on August 9, 2017 at 8:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 9, 2017: Building & Happiness  
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Thurs. July 6, 2017: Trying to Get It Together

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I am having trouble getting it together today. I woke up around 3:30 and had trouble getting back to sleep. When I finally got back to sleep, I overslept and staggered around this morning.

I had a lot of email and admin to catch up on yesterday. I got the front mowed; I have to get more gas for the mower, and then I can continue. Not that I’m looking forward to it.

The afternoon was spent on researching new freelance markets, working on the schedule to add the Gwen Finnegan mysteries back into the mix, and putting together a potential list of book bloggers to pitch PLAYING THE ANGLES. “Ramsey Chase” PR also went out.

I wanted a day to clear my head from “Ramsey Chase” proof — I have to look at it again today.

A writer friend contacted me about a very sick little girl, daughter of a librarian, who could use cards and letters to cheer her up. I’m going to send her a card and write a flash fiction piece just for her.

Grocery shopping this morning. Now, I’m off to send some pitches, post information about “Ramsey” on the website, then to get gas for the mower and mow the side yard. I want to write the flash fiction piece this afternoon, proofread “Ramsey” one final time, and do some work on FIX IT GIRL. All I want to do is go back to bed, but that’s not an option.

I’m still frustrated by the continued late payments from two places that are adding unnecessary stress to this month. I may well cut ties with both places once I’m paid.

Frustrated by a few other things, but it won’t help to publicly vent. One thing that I realized is really bothering me — it shocks me that New York City is more supportive of introverts than Cape Cod. I am sick and tired of people trying to force me to be an extrovert here — that I HAVE to do this or that with people I don’t know and don’t care to know. No, I do NOT have to interact with them. I am not here to make YOUR life more convenient; I am here to live my own. Fuck off.

On that happy, note (yes, that’s sarcasm), I am off to get going on my day. Late, but I still need to get a lot done.

I’m looking forward in getting back to the page. I hate it when I have to do errands early to avoid the stupid tourists, and then it throws my writing schedule off. Makes me think I should have just gotten up at 3:30 AM and written then.

I’m happy about “Ramsey Chase”, though. It’s a fun piece and says what I wanted it to say.

Fingers crossed some of these pitches hit today.

Published in: on July 6, 2017 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 6, 2017: Trying to Get It Together  
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Friday, April 1, 2011


Looking forward to better weather so I can walk in Ashumet Holly Sanctuary again

Friday, April 1, 2011
Day before dark moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy
April Fool’s Day

I worked so concentratedly yesterday morning, when we got back from the dump and grocery shopping, that when I stopped for lunch, I thought it was dinner time! Oops!

Went to the dump early, got rid of the garbage and recycling that stacked up. Felt good to get all those bins empty. We really only go about every 6-8 weeks, and usually only have one bag of garbage — the rest of the car is stuffed with recycling.

Went grocery shopping, worked on updating the Annabel Aidan web page, popping the cover art in wherever I could, and I’m almost finished with the media kit. Now, at some point before the book launches, I better join RWA!

Caught up on student work, dealt with piles of correspondence, tidied things up post-webinar, backed up some files. I need to do a Time Machine back-up today.

I need to decide what kind of swag to do for the book — something appropriate to the content, but also fun. I’m going to do the postcards at home, because I’ve got the set-up, but I’ll job out the bookmarks — there are, supposedly, some really good printers in the area. Time to get to know them!

Did my quarterly taxes, easy peasey, will write the checks in a few days. Still have the mountains of tax returns to sort out (amazing how many schedules you have to attach when you freelance, get royalties, and move), and figure out how much I overpaid in quarterlies last year, compared to what went out on all the other stuff! My first quarter earnings this year are way above last year’s, so I can already see how much better the move has been for my work.

I’m outlining THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY — I want to take it in a slightly different direction than originally planned. I also want to take what I’ve learned from ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — and the other books I’ve written in the interim — and apply it to SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Someone asked me if the knowledge that locals and students are reading my blog is going to make me self-censor. No. I’m not saying here anything I wouldn’t say to their faces, and, in fact, if they read something here, we’ve probably already discussed it, so I don’t see this is a source of Big Drama.

UPS, Fed Ex, and the mailman all arrived together — plant delivery, next assignment from Confidential Job #1, and the mail. Guess they wanted to get everything done before the storm, which hit several hours earlier than predicted.

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day, because so many of the “pranks” are mean-spirited, so I’m glad I don’t have to go and deal with anyone today.

We were lucky — we’re getting a lot of rain, but no snow. The rest of the state looks pretty slammed.

My back is still sore, but I’m slowly making progress. Mixing the slippery elm with echinecea and honey seems to be doing more than anything else.

The March wrap-up and April To -do list are up over on the GDR site .

Back to the page for awhile, and then some queries based on discussions we had in The Confident Freelancer.

Devon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, sticky, icky

I pretty much wilted yesterday, and fairly early. Got the grocery shopping done, hung out with the neighbor’s cat, got a bit of writing done.

In spite of honoring Fandango, the Air Conditioner Goddess (thank you, Barbara Ardinger), I had all the excitement of a wet dishrag. I am a Winter Girl, born in a snowstorm under a full moon. Heat and humidity don’t do it for me.

The cats got absolutely frantic in the afternoon, trying to get out of the air conditioned room. At first, I thought it was their usual hatred of closed doors. But then, Elsa, who had not been doing well all afternoon (I thought I’d be posting her obituary today), hauled herself up, yanked away the barrier that blocked them from opening the door, pried it open, and led them to “safety.”

Turns out there was an earthquake near Ottawa, and it could be felt all the way down here! I sure didn’t feel it, but the cats did.

Funny thing is, whenever Elsa gets very busy, we always tease her with, “Is there an earthquake in New Jersey?” because once, when there was one, she practically climbed the walls. And this wasn’t in New Jersey, but she could sense it anyway. Always trust the cats and dogs, right? They know what’s going on.

Checked on the neighbor’s cat in the afternoon. That apartment wasn’t too hot. I actually fell asleep with him on my lap for about an hour, which was pretty funny, but at least he had some company. Three weeks is a long time for a cat, and that’s how long his human is away.

I wasn’t very productive yesterday. Today’s supposed to be hotter and more humid, so more of the same. We were supposed to head to Plymouth, MA and just over the bridge on the Cape to take care of a few things, but I can’t leave the cats in this heat. They need the air, and it’s not safe to leave the air on without us here — too much of a fire risk. So we’ll try to go sometime next week instead.

Elsa’s having a hard time eating, still. She wants to, but it’s like she physically can’t. I haven’t heard back from the vet yet, so I’m going to get some Pedialyte and see if that will help. The vet had suggested it earlier, and that’s what we give to actors when they’re ill, but we still have to get them onstage. Feeding her a few teaspoons every couple of hours is keeping her going, but now we need to find something stronger and more longterm. And it’s hard on the other cats, too, especially Violet, who adores Elsa. Iris has my mother as her own, personal human slave, but Violet and Elsa have always been very close. Elsa’s illness is breaking Violet’s heart, as well as not being much fun for Elsa.

I’m going to try to get some work done on a few articles this morning, before it gets too hot to work, and maybe a little bit of work on POWER OF WORDS. I need to work on some proposals, but I’m not up to zippy, excited language today. More like mojito-on-the-beach language.

I am grateful to live someplace where the seasons are clearly defined. I don’t do well in the heat, but I do even less well when there’s an unchangeable climate. I like variety.

Devon

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 5:43 am  Comments (8)  
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Do you realize that we have a Blue Moon on New Year’s Eve? The second full moon to fall within a calendar month? That’s kind of cool.

So, we’re supposed to get 6-12 inches of snow tomorrow and guess what? No hot water. Again. Guess who’s going to call the Buildings Department yet again when they open this morning?

I don’t care WHY there’s no hot water. They are legally obligated to provide hot water 24/7 and they better damn do it. it’s bad enough that they turn off the heat at 9 AM and don’t turn it on again until after 5 PM because “everybody” works from 9-5 (at least 1/3 of the tenants don’t). There’s a reason I live in the 21st century in a first world country, and a big part of that is HOT WATER. Also, I expect to get what I pay for, and hot water is one of the things covered under the lease agreement.

Yesterday, I picked up the final present for my mom. I am officially DONE with the shopping. I ordered a couple of things online for us to enjoy (it was the big free shipping day) — they weren’t have-to’s, but they were there, so . . .

And I bought I pair of Liz Claiborne grey suede half-shoe/half-boot. They’re not exactly what I was looking for in a grey boot, but they look terrific with either pants or dresses AND they are extraordinarily comfortable. Square toe (plenty of room for my long toes), block heels, very cool. On clearance.

Went grocery shopping. Shopped a lot more than I planned. But now, the only thing I have to pick up the day before Christmas is the turkey for Christmas Day. Because there is no way in hell a cracker can fit in the fridge right now, much less a turkey!

I was in one of the aisles when a little kid carrying an oversize candy cane walked up to me and said, “Hi! I”m Abe. Like Lincoln, only I’m shorter.”

That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life. I was howling with laughter. His mom thought it was pretty funny, too, when she caught up with us.

Worked on cards all afternoon. Except for a few addresses I still have to track down, they are DONE. This batch goes out, and, if I have to, I will tromp out in the snow to mail the last few cards. There are a few people where I don’t have current addresses OR emails, so I’m hoping they write me first, so I can write back!

I’m actually looking forward to the snow — provided we have hot water — because I can stay in and finish the decorations.

This morning, I’m going to the post office, I’ll pay a few bills, and then I have to dash to Costco to get ink for the big printer — I have a feeling I’m about to run out, and that’s all I need in the middle of a snow storm.

I look forward to repairing ornaments and writing this afternoon. And filing paperwork to get after the scumbags for continuing to deny us hot water!

Devon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Partly sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday, but definitely a step up from the last few. Good writing day on the contemporary Christmas story. Stopped at some stores that didn’t have what I needed, paid storage, picked up the cheesecakes for the trip and the fixings for the shepherd’s pie I’m making today to bring up for tomorrow night’s dinner. Lunch with a friend, back home, some reading, some writing, some correspondence. Glass of wine and a snack with another friend. Worked on the grocery lists for baking. I need to build in a day to try the various stollen recipes somewhere, and I’m adding those supplies to the list (can you say a lot of yeast and a mountain of candied fruit)?

Writing going well on the new Christmas story. It feels right. In addition to the usual holiday issues of family and estrangement, I get in a few jabs at ignorance and injustice, but as a trusted friend pointed out, hey, Dickens wrote about the social problems of the time, too, so I’m in good company.

Today’s agenda consists of writing, baking, cooking, wrapping the presents that go up to Maine, and deciding what the heck to wear for the dinner. I hate not being packed the day before I leave — I like to pack ahead of time and not stress.

Bad headache today, but I hope it will dissipate as the day progresses. The constant leaf blower noise doesn’t help either. We had no heat for most of the day yesterday and it got a little raw in here towards mid-afternoon. Now, they’re turning off the heat BEFORE 9 am, when they figure people have left for work, and don’t turn it back on until AFTER 5 PM, when they figure people are on their way home. Because anyone who’s here during the day isn’t worth considering. Yes, it’s illegal, and no, they don’t care, because all that happens is a slap on the wrist, and they go back to doing the same crap.

At least I’m baking and cooking for most of the afternoon, so that will keep the place warm.

Devon

Published in: on November 24, 2009 at 8:40 am  Comments (3)  
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Got business stuff done in the morning. Went grocery shopping, which is just about my favorite thing in the world. I always feel so creative. I even used the “notes” function on my iPod touch for my shopping list — pretty happy with it. (I love the font — makes creating notes fun).

Got out some correspondence, finished up a few client projects, talked to a couple of my editors, looked over some guidelines for new projects. Set up an interview for an article next week.

It was pouring with rain all day — if I took out my cardboard boxes, they’d be soaked by the time they got to the car, and it would just be icky in the unit. So I didn’t attempt it — just packed up more stuff, and now my hallway is filled with boxes. So I may have to make more than one trip today.

Also, I’m off to the library — not the one in my own town, but over to Greenwich, where they’re actually open when I need them to be open and have a much larger selection of the research materials I need. It amazes me — both Sandwich and Plymouth, MA are smaller towns than the one I live in, yet not only are their libraries larger, but the hours make sense and their post offices are also open during hours when I can actually use them! Can you imagine? I have a post office about two blocks from where I live, but, half the time, I have to drive 20 minutes to another town — and sometimes another state — because the hours are so wonky. And, when the post office IS open up the street, the lines are so long and they don’t have enough personnel. Work efficiently and give the service for which you’re paid, and maybe enough people would use you so you don’t have to whine about losing money all the time. Sheesh!

My computer reminded me I hadn’t used the Time Machine back up in ten days — so I plugged it in and everything was backed up in 90 seconds. It took me longer to plug it in than to back up the computer. Love it!

First things first, though: Got to head to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food.

Speaking of cats, Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, lived up to her name by waking me up at 4:20 this morning, rummaging, swearing she hadn’t eaten for a week. Right. That’s why you’re as round as a beach ball. She’s not quite overweight yet, but I’m watching her eating patterns carefully, so she doesn’t tip over into the danger zone. And I’m trying to give her more exercise.

Had a good writing session this morning — finally! The piece I’m writing is set in Southwest Scotland, and I was so surprised to look up and be at the kitchen table. So, I guess I really got into it. I’m taking the elements I love best from Felbrigg House in Norfolk and the elements I love best from the Culzean Castle property and mixing them in my fictional estate. If I keep stretching geography in that area of the world, pretty soon the shoreline will reach across the Irish Sea and touch Ireland! 😉

Anyway, I’m off. I’ve got a lot to get done today. When I get back this evening, I need to pack up some more stuff and haul another load to storage tomorrow. Getting rid of the clutter — good Feng shui!

Devon

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (6)  
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