Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I managed to get some errands done (everything in White Plains, which was great, so I didn’t have to criss-cross the county a half a dozen times), worked on the Billy Root story, worked on the article until the file went kaplooey (again), but that was about it. Oh, yeah, I got the January newsletter out. If you didn’t get your copy, drop me a line and I’ll send it to you; if you want to sign up, the link is in the sidebar.

Today, I’m hoping to coax the file back out and finish the article, which is already late, so I can get it to my patient editor. And I have a very long list of other things to get done as well.

I’ll post my January To-Do list up on the GDR site this afternoon.

Reminder: “Holiday Wish List” comes down on January 6 (tomorrow), so if you don’t have it yet and want it, visit the Ava Dunne page for the free download.

And if you haven’t downloaded the free Jain Lazarus story “First Feet”, you can do so here.

I had a good morning’s work on the Billy Root story, just over 1400 words. Nice way to start the day and week. I like viewing the world through his eyes. He’s much more scattered that Wyatt, and his emotions are much closer to the surface, but he’s a lot of fun. I’m about halfway through Chapter Two. By the end of Chapter Two, or, by the latest, the end of Chapter Three, I’ll be able to stop and outline the whole story, because I’ll have a strong enough idea of where I’m going.

I also have to update the Jain Lazarus character/continuity notebook soon – there’s a lot I need to look up, and it’s much easier if it’s all in the book, a single spot, instead of having to go back through the two books and the short story.

Now, if I can just get everything else properly organized, I’ll have a shot at getting things done this week, this month, this year. I’ve got three pitches to get out today, and at least one submission, along with all the rest.

To answer a couple of questions:
–I’m not an experienced astrologer, although I keep track of the moon cycles and the planets because I’ve found they impact my daily life and when I’m aware of what’s going on, it’s a good heads-up.
–Laura, I get the word bar at Zokutou. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get any of the Writertopia stuff to work for me.

Back to the page.


Billy Root story – 4,262 words out of est. 60,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4 / 60

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

I just realized that I hadn’t yet posted today. I’ve been so caught up in the unusual quiet and the writing that I completely forgot.

If you haven’t downloaded the free Jain Lazarus story, “First Feet”, about my take on the tradition of first footing, you can do so here. Also, if you haven’t downloaded the free mushy holiday story “Holiday Wish List” (under the Ava Dunne name), you can do so here. The latter will only be available until Twelfth Night, and then it comes down.

I’m still having computer problems, but I’m trying to deal and not get frustrated in the same way I usually do. I’m limited in how much I can do; what I can do is prepare as much as possible so that when the computer goes on, it’s more about revision and getting the file ready for the editor than doing all the work on the computer. Less efficient, but I’ll get there in the end.

And I’m dreaming of my new computer.

I had a great yoga session this morning and did not want to get off the mat.

I had a quiet evening yesterday, getting some work done, but, mostly, resting. This morning, I started the next Jain Lazarus novel, the one from Billy Root’s POV. I don’t have a title yet, but I wrote 1547 words, which isn’t a bad start.

I also wrote nearly thirteen pages on The Lucy Gothic – once I tumble into that world, it’s very difficult to leave. If I’m clever enough to pull this story off, it will be something.

I’ve got two pitches to finish putting together and a short story submission to get out tomorrow – it needs one more read-through before I’m completely ready to hit the “send” button. I also need to set up the new pitch and submission logs for 2009 and do follow-up on anything outstanding from 2008 to which editors haven’t yet responded. I’m knocking one publication off my list completely – they don’t pay very well, they send me constant emails about the editor’s reading schedule, but don’t respond to my submissions or to my follow-ups asking (after eight months and more) the status of my submissions. So I’ve pulled everything, told them to delete me from the email list, and I’m done. I’m just not putting up with this unprofessional behavior anymore.

The answers to questions 13-25 for the 2009 GRDS are up on the site. Go on over to read them or comment or put up your own answers. Tomorrow, I’ll put up my To-Do List for the month.

Back to the page.


Billy Root’s story – 1547 words out of est. 60,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 60
Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Day before the Dark Moon
Christmas Eve
Rainy and mild

Yes, it’s here and it’s ready – my holiday gift to you, a new Congress Corners story called “Holiday Wish List”. It’s a free download on the Ava Dunne page of the Devon Ellington website. It will only be available until Twelfth Night, so enjoy it while you can! There’s an excerpt at the bottom of this page.

I’m warning you, it’s a mushy Christmas tale, so if you’re not into that kind of piece, skip it.

Hey, you can always buy TOO MUCH MISTLETOE, if you haven’t yet, and get something a little more comic and edgy, right? You can get TOO MUCH MISTLETOE here.

I had a pretty good writing day, although massive computer problems meant I didn’t actually finish “Holiday Wish List” until after midnight. Yeah, it was supposed to be 1500 words and it’s about 8500 – so you’re getting a long short story!

I cannot wait to get rid of this crappy computer and get my Mac in February. If I can just coax this one along for a few more months . . .

Couldn’t get my car out, so that’s on the agenda for today. It’s thawed quite a bit and it’s raining, so I ought to be able to manage it.

Hopefully, it won’t now flood! I’ll traipse down every few hours to keep an eye on the brook!

I’ve got to get to the grocery store for just a few more things. I’m serving a pork roast tonight, with red cabbage, baked potatoes, and green beans in hollandaise sauce. And we’re having plum pudding for dessert.

Have a lovely holiday!


Excerpt from “Holiday Wish List” ©2008 Ava Dunne:

Why, oh why did Cassio have to go and ruin a perfectly wonderful, romantic Christmas with an engagement ring?

But maybe it wasn’t an engagement ring. Maybe it was just . . .a ring.

Believe that and I’ve got a bridge you can get cheap in Brooklyn, she said to herself.

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to interfere, but are you all right?”

Doris blinked away tears and looked up into a pair of kind, very dark blue eyes. “Uh, yes, I’m sorry, I’m being silly.” She took a good look at the man. He was tall, lean, handsome in an untraditional way. His thick, fair hair had a bit of a wave to it, almost touching his collar, and his eyes were a blue so deep they were almost purple. He wore a well-tailored charcoal gray coat with black gloves and a deeper gray scarf. By the lines around his eyes, she figured him to be in his late thirties or maybe early forties. If she was looking, she’d be looking at him, he had such an air of self-possession and intelligence about him.

“The holidays can get stressful. American?” He sat on the bench beside her.

“Originally.” Doris was naturally cautious.

“Me, too, although I like to think of the world as my home.” He gave a rueful smile. “Never could stay in one place for long. Though I admit, sometimes around the holidays, it makes me feel . . .” he paused, searching for the words, “nostalgic.”

“For the type of old-home, picture perfect Christmases that never happened?” Doris couldn’t resist asking.

You can download the full story from the Ava Dunne page here.

Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 9:08 am  Comments (7)  
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