Tues. March 13, 2018: And Another Storm

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Waning Moon

We’re set to have another snowstorm today. Boston might get up to 18″ of snow.

My mother isn’t feeling well, so that’s a worry, especially in bad weather.

Speaking of Boston, that’s where we spent Saturday. Up early, on the bus into South Station, a cab to the MFA — which cost a lot of money. It would take three different trains on the T, but I’m thinking we should have done that instead. Not happy about the cab costs.

Anyway, we met some friends and wandered around the MFA, and saw exhibits including Jewelry Revival, Musical Instruments, Phantasmagoria (which I can use in upcoming books), Regency furniture, Klimt, Escher, Monet, and some of the Dutch and Flemish painters. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was for good art.

When I lived in NYC, I was a regular at the Met, and often visited the MOMA and the Guggeneheim; less often the Whitney and the Frick. Not to mention popping in to gallery openings here and there. I miss the access to wonderful artists. Yes, there are artists here, and some of them are quite good; but not on the scale of artists whose work has been around for decades or hundreds of years with good reason.

Originally, we were going to have lunch at the museum; however, I wasn’t thrilled with any of the choices. The most expensive restaurant’s choices were too much for a light lunch. New American Cafe was a loud, overpriced cafeteria with poor acoustics and screaming children. Taste looked like it accumulated Starbucks’ leftovers. The Garden was, again, full of screaming children. No. Just no.

Hey, great there are so many kids, get ’em hooked on art when they’re young. But there was no way I was going to have my meal disrupted by them.

So we skipped lunch.

We headed back on the bus in the afternoon, and had Chinese take-out with a nice wine. Much more satisfying, all around.

Sunday was my actual birthday. It was lovely to have so many warm wishes flying across the internet. I felt really special.

It was a day for prosecco, good food, chocolate, and relaxation. There were plenty of things I should have done, it being a nice day and a day off. But I didn’t. I took the time off.

Of course, I was a big groggy and cranky from “jump ahead.” I HATE jumping ahead for daylight savings time, and resent it when it’s on my birthday. I prefer jumping back in fall, and gaining an hour.

So Sunday felt very short, and I felt I couldn’t get much done.

I cooked a lot — a potato, egg, and andouille salad for this week’s lunch, and a huge pan of lasagna for dinner. Both turned out very well. Yes, I cooked on my birthday and enjoyed it!

I took the weekend off writing, for the most part. In spite of being on deadline. I needed the break. I did, however, jot down some notes for some ideas that started percolating. One idea, in particular, is being very insistent. But the notes are down, and it will have to wait its turn. The characters are arguing about their names — I will probably change them. Because they know what their names are, and if I impose them, it won’t work.

Monday, was back to work, writing. I’m so close to the end of REPOSITORY I can taste it. I can’t wait to get it off my desk and on my editor’s desk.

Fearless Ink, the business website, is up and live. Part of it is a new, business-oriented blog called Ink-Dipped Advice, that will premiere tomorrow and run on Wednesdays, talking about my odd way of approaching business writing, how I meld it with my fiction, and why it works for me. Doesn’t mean it will work for everyone, but it works for me. I hope you will check it out. I hope you will become a regular reader.

We’ll see what the storm does. If I’m not online tomorrow, it’s due to the storm. I will be late on Thursday, because my mother has medical appointments.

Have a great week!

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Published in: on March 13, 2018 at 6:55 am  Comments Off on Tues. March 13, 2018: And Another Storm  
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Fri. Jan. 19, 2018: Frustration and Illness

Friday, January 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was long and frustrating. I spent most of the morning working on the websites, and upset because the person who was working with me kept telling me I couldn’t do what I need to do — even though I was specific in asking if that was possible before I ever signed with this host and was told that it was. I’m hoping we can sort it all out today.

After four hours, I was so sick and so disgusted that I stopped. But the Fearless Ink site is in decent enough shape so that I can take care of a few things on my old host this morning, and then start the transfer. Even once it goes live, I’ll have to go in and customize the perma-links and then change some other linking. But it looks good, although it’s simple and clean, and it does what I need it to do. I just wish the links could be a different color!

Fortunately, I had rewritten and submitted my review and also done some other client work before I started the website work.

Came home and felt awful, so settled in to rest. Which, of course, meant I read. I read one book for pleasure — just came out by an author whose work I often read. It was not taxing at all — perfect for being sick and wrapped up in blankets on the couch. Everything was a little too easy for the characters, but it also meant I didn’t have to work too hard, which was good since I wasn’t up to it.

Then, I got serious and read the next novel for review. This one was very good, although too long (over 500 pages). Well-done and heart-breaking. The review goes out today.

I started another book, a cozy mystery where the protagonist is supposedly Wiccan. I disagree with the portrayal and the way this person practices. Neo-pagan, maybe. But Wicca has structures and redes, and this chick doesn’t follow them; in fact, she deliberately casts manipulative spells. Which, in traditional Wiccan practice, is breaking the Oath one takes at initiation. Perhaps the point is that they backlash with consequences, but so far, I don’t see it. There are certain things I like in the book, but I don’t trust the author. I’m not sure if she merely did surface research and doesn’t know, or if she’s deliberately trying to cast a negative light on Wiccan practice. There are many ways to practice on the path, but what I’m reading makes me distrust the author and her motives. Perhaps that will change as I read more (I’m only about a quarter of a way into the book). But that’s my initial, gut response. Still, I’m willing to read it all the way through to see where she’s going with it. At least her protag has a brain and a heart, although I find her lacking in courage. But perhaps gaining courage is part of her journey.

Had trouble getting to sleep, but once I did, I slept through the night, which I haven’t done for quite awhile.

Woke up still feeling awful.

Unfortunately, I have a review and client work to get out today, pull the final material from the old host so I can start the Fearless Ink host transfer, and get to work on the other sites. I’m feeling the pressure of getting everything done by the 31st.

I also have errands to run, medication to pick up for my mom, bills to pay, and cat food and litter to buy.

When all I really want to do is stay in bed.

All I can do is the best I can do. Have a great weekend!

 

Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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Wed. Dec. 21: Getting Things Done

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Finished the holiday cards yesterday. Did some job negotiation. Worked with students.

Felt like crap, so put myself to bed for the afternoon, and then felt better.

Lots of errands to run today. I originally wanted to split them up over yesterday and today, but wasn’t feeling up to it, so I’ll do everything today.

Good writing session this morning on the harpy trilogy. Have to put some energy today towards other manuscripts on deadline — I’ll be doing a lot of switching back and forth during this “break” and running through the class prep for the January workshops.

I do plan to take Christmas weekend and New Year’s weekend off, but I want to get a lot of other work done in the interim.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1329
Total word count: 16,266

Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 7:30 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Chilly and sunny

Jump on over to A Biblio Paradise to read about one of my favorite characters, Diana Tregarde!

The Write Angles conference fucked me. There is no diplomatic or other way to put it. They were not truthful or complete in their information, and now I’m stuck doing things I told them early on I wouldn’t, and out nearly a thousand dollars in books and conference materials when they haven’t kept up their end of the deal. Because I am published by smaller publishers such as Champagne and SmartPop, and not Random House or HarperCollins, I’m suddenly being treated like am amateur self-published wanna-be — although they still expect me to do a professional presentation FOR FREE. This conference was going to be my give-back-to-the-writing community, the pro bono thing I can only afford to do once a year. I do this for a living, people. I am one of the few who doesn’t have a day job. Even authors who sell through major publishers like Jackie Kessler have day jobs. I do not.

The bookstore even REFUSED to carry my books. It’s not just that they didn’t bother to order them (as I was told)– they refused to carry my books. So, if I want to sell any of them, I have to haul them around like a carny barker on my own — which I told them up front I wouldn’t do. If they wanted me there WITH BOOKS, I expected THEM to handle the sales. When they said they “messed up” the ordering, and I got the books in time, it was my understanding — and I stated it clearly — that I would drop off the books with the person designated at the bookstore. If I wasn’t considered “legitimate” because I’m not with a big NY publisher — I needed to be TOLD that early enough to make an informed decision. How hard is it to say, “If you’re not with a Big Trade Publisher, you’re responsible for your own books and sales”? If that’s your policy, that’s your policy. Don’t hide it. Be clear and honest about it. Don’t set up a network of lies and then spring it on me the night before. Not acceptable. I’m not set up to handle a cash box and credit cards and checks and make change. Nor should I have to be. That’s THEIR job.

It’s not that I think I’m so important or famous. I’m not. Just be honest so I can make an informed decision, which wills serve us ALL better.

So now I’m out over a grand with books and conference materials before I even start, for a gig where I’m not even being paid.

I’m very tempted to say “fuck you” right back at them and cancel, but leaving a hole in their program doesn’t serve a purpose for me, either. I have made my displeasure known. For crying out loud, I was doing panels at conferences in the US and the UK before I was a full-time writer and I wasn’t treated like this.

They still might find a way to make it right. Somehow, I doubt it. Which is a shame, because I’ve been looking forward to this since the spring. And I worked really hard to create a fun, 55-minute session the touches on the major elements in the month-long class.

This has thrown a monkey wrench into my morning writing.

And this, after a horrible night. I finally went to CVS last night because I needed something for the cold. They made a suggestion. I took their “nighttime relief” medication. In two hours, I was so sick, I thought I was going to have to call the EMTS and head for the emergency room. It exponentially worsened the symptoms I had and created new ones. And then — although it’s supposed to make you sleep — I was as wired as if I had four pots of coffee.

I finally got up and whipped up one of my herbal remedies, which defeated the chemicals and I could do things, like, well, breathe again and not feel like I was having a heart attack (and I didn’t even know how badly the conference was fucking me then).

I’m going back when the pharmacy opens to get my money back and get something I know works. Does Contact still do their tiny time pills? They were always helpful.

So I’m sicker than I was before, had no sleep, have a long drive, am losing my voice, and have to teach somewhere that fucked me.

Not shaping up to be a great weekend! 😉

I keep thinking something good must come out of all of this, but damned if I know what it is yet.

Devon

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and lovely

Yesterday turned out to be a great day, after a very rocky start.

By rocky start, I mean we were all suffering from, shall we say “gastric distress” in the morning — I believe our water’s contaminated, and even boiling it isn’t helping. I used the pH strips I got for Elsa’s testing — extremely high on the acidic side. Fortunately, most of the time, the cats get bottled water, not boiled tap water. I’d put boiled tap water down for them this morning and they refused to drink it. Then, we got sick, so I switched it all to bottled, and they drank the good stuff and were fine.

So, yeah, basically, although I doubt it would stand up in court, the landlords are poisoning us. Plus, my downstairs neighbor moved out yesterday, which means they will start the renovation torture and it will be impossible to think or breathe or survive as of Monday.

If I COULD move out this week, I would. But people in this neck of the woods won’t rent to an unmarried female freelancer, no matter how reliable or what the law says. Besides, I don’t want to live HERE — I want to relocate. Which I’m trying to do, in spite of obstacles. I need everyone to hook into Diane’s heavy-duty moving vibes, and we’ll get it done. The move itself will cost at least $10K, which isn’t chump change, and it’s a case of having someplace to GO.

Immodium AD is a beautiful thing, and we were able to get on the road only about an hour late. We drove up to Old Saybrook, to my favorite “recycled furniture store”. I bought a set of Japanware cups and saucers for the shoot, a beautiful blue outside with a lovely gold glaze inside. It’s a little more modern than I originally envisioned, but it gives us options. I also found an almost-complete set of silver plate flatware that is monogrammed with my initial AND the pattern complements the William Rogers pattern I use daily. This flatware is by Old Company, but it’s beautiful. I may use some of it in the shoot, too. Everything came to $25, well within my projected budget.

We walked across the street to a warren of antique dealers, and I found a pair of Bond Ware cups and saucers with the rose pattern on the outside I wanted, and even inside, which are perfect for the shoot. $10 for the pair, still within budget.

From Old Saybrook, we hopped back on I-95 and headed up to Mystic, CT, where we wandered around the shopping village (rather than the historical village). I found Mystical Elements, the shop I wanted to visit. Their oil suppller is not one I particularly like, so I skipped the oil, picked up some of the herbs on my list, and stocked up on some much-needed crystals — the price and quality of the crystals are great. Also got some candles.

Headed southward again, to Niantic, to all three locations of the Book Barn. Found some books for my mom by her favorite author (Mary Balogh), but nothing for me. Youo know I’m sick when I walk around thousands of books and don’t buy ANY. I had three black cats accompanying me on my travels around the book sheds. It was hilarious. One led the way, telling me where to go, and the two younger ones trailed behind. I miss having black cats.

The drive back was a bit of a chore, because the traffic was bad. Not as bad as coming north, though — both I-95 and the Merritt Parkway seemed to be backed up all the way from Manhattan to New Haven. I felt sorry for those stuck, and grateful that, although traffic was heavy and moved slowly on our side, at least it moved.

Carefully washed the cups and saucers and pulled some other choices out of the cupboard. Couldn’t find what I wanted — those should NOT be in storage, but I’ll look.

Picked up Chinese food on the way home, had a quiet evening of EUREKA and HAVEN. I’m getting a little ahead of HAVEN, perhaps — each case is caused by something similar — strong emotion. Make the connection already and work on it! EUREKA’s fun, though. The invisible cat just made me howl. I could watch James Callis in every scene — I still think he’s being somewhat under-utilized. They brought him in beautifully, but aren’t using him enough. However, next week are the cross-over episodes with WAREHOUSE 13, and that should be fun.

Today, I’ve got to dig out some more dishes and props from storage, then head to Target for bins and other supplies, and find a pair of matching (or complimentary) blank books for a project. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do the photo shoot today, and then, if I don’t like how it came out, I can do another round of photos tomorrow.

Must also read my friend’s piece and re-read the book just accepted so that I can do the marketing and cover art questionnaires and get them back out — along with the photos — early next week.

Had an excellent first writing session this morning.

Busy, but all good.

Devon

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Can I just say I am over it all? I was on the phone with Cablevision this morning because the internet and the landline were down due to the landlords fucking around. Having to call tech support at 6 AM is not my idea of a good time. And yesterday, the blog vanished for part of the day — I am done.

Elsa made solid improvement yesterday — eating a lot, interacting, being very cheerful — and then backslid last night. So we were up and down most of the night, and I”m tired. I feel that the vet has written us off because I can’t afford the expensive treatment. Elsa ate well this morning and is now sleeping peacefully. If I can keep her eating well, I can start working on the other problems.

I finally managed to finish Chapter 13 of POWER OF WORDS the first chapter on Part III, and I’m content with it. Always room for improvement, but there’s a solid foundation. Violet now sits in my lap whenever I work on the computer. Elsa’s illness is hard on her, too, because she adores Elsa. Iris just ignores it all. But Violet is turning out to be quite the little editor.

I’ll probably have to nap in the afternoon. I’m supposed to go to a friend’s place for dinner tonight, and my mom will watch Elsa. I have to make a run to Costco today, and also get in more cat food and maybe get another remedy from the herbal pharmacy.

I truly appreciate all of your support. It makes me feel less alone going through all of this. Sometimes I do feel isolated and that my back’s against the wall here, but all of you help in that a lot.

Hopefully, I can get in some decent writing, too. If I don’t keep that up, I can’t pay the bills. I got a brief note from one of my editors — who I tracked down when he didn’t give me the new information once the company moved, and it makes me paranoid that he’s trying to tell me something — and he said he got the assignment and I’d hear more from him soon. Really, it’s too hard to send out an email to one’s staff saying the company was sold and you’re moving? Come on! I get it if you don’t know what’s going to happen to any of us yet, but at least tell us where you are. If they try to cut our pay again, I’ll quit.

At this point, I’m ready to tell about 70% of the world to go to hell and go live in a cave in Maine somewhere so I don’t have to deal with people anymore.

Devon

Published in: on June 10, 2010 at 5:47 am  Comments (5)  
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Saturday, June 5, 2010 — Belmont Race Day

Saturday, June 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Hot, humid, stormy

My handicapping for today’s Belmont race card is in the post below this one.

I did not run on Friday morning — too tired. I got a little bit of Gerber’s baby food into Elsa, but she didn’t eat much. She’s interested in food, which is a good sign, but is having trouble actually eating it. I hope in the next day or two, her stomach settles enough so she wants more. I finally found an organic baby food that’s meat-based (most are just fruits and/or vegetables, which won’t work for her). She likes it better than the Gerber, and I fed her a few spoonfuls every couple of hours. At least she’s interested in food — or I’d be hauling her right back to the vet. Over the course of the day yesterday, I got almost a whole jar into her, a spoonful at a time, which is a good thing. She had a rough night, though, and I’m not sure what today will bring.

Left early, took the car in for servicing. It feels much better now. They think the constant tire problems are due to someone playing pranks in the parking area and letting air out of the tires. I guess it’s better than slashing, but I’m still not happy about it.

Bought an eco-friendly water bottle that matches my car’s color. Because I thought it was funny.

Picked up a few things I forgot yesterday at the store, found the organic food, and then stopped at Clay Art Center to pick up the pieces I made in the workshop a few weeks ago and buy my tools for next month’s class. They don’t look as bad as I remembered. Hopefully, I’ll make progress. My mom’s already making a list of things she wants me to make. She thought it was kind of silly to take the class — but now she’s in love with the pieces. Go figure!

Worked on the Shakespeare research while I waited for the car. It was nice to sit and have that uninterrupted work time. The research will actually be used in at least three different projects, and it’s been months since I did anything on it. It was fun.

Did some work on POWER OF WORDS. The rehearsal section should be tweaked enough to go out later today. I have to add a couple of short scenes, I’ve cut some stuff, and I’ve tweaked the material a bit.

Today’s Belmont day, so I’ll be tied up with horse racing all day. In incredibly hot and muggy weather. Somehow, though, organic cotton yoga pants and a sports bra are not proper racing attendance attire.

Philadelphia beat Chicago in last night’s game 4 of the Stanley Cup final. Now, they’ve each got two and they need four, so we’ve got a couple more to go. They’re great games, though — the two teams are well-matched. I feel like i should be rooting for Philly, because of all the time I spent there, but most of “my” guys are gone from the team, and Chicago is an Original Six team, for which I have a soft spot.

Back to the page and to taking care of Elsa.

Devon

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Snowing!

So, they told us we’d get “some” snow when the arctic front comes through on Saturday. Of course, that meant we woke up to about a half inch of snow and it’s coming down at the rate of about an inch an hour now.

I don’t mind — it’s pretty and I don’t have to go anywhere.

I feel a little better. The weaker lung only hurts sometimes when I breathe now, instead of all the time, the cough’s almost gone. I want to sleep all the time and have no appetite, but the fever’s finally gone.

Didn’t watch any TV last night. Read Deanna Raybourn’s SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY instead, and really liked it. There’s a lot of warmth and humor woven within the Victorian, Gothic, mystery, and romance elements, and it’s done well. I love how even minor characters are memorable — it’s what I always try to do in prose and scripts — and I’m reading the books for structure as much as pleasure.

So, the iPad came out yesterday. I have a problem with the name — I think iTablet has more panache and sounds less like an electronic feminine hygiene product. Plus, if we have the iPOd, the tablet should be called something more distinctly different. It looks like it’s fun, but I don’t need it. It won’t serve me any more than a netbook would serve me — it can’t hold the amount of manuscript information and research I need to cart around with me on the laptop. I hope it does well, but I don’t personally need it.

What I need to go is get back to the page and make up for the time I lost this week. I lost one assignment yesterday because of webhost problems, and time-sensitive material that supposedly went out — didn’t. The dickheads in tech non-support didn’t help at all, simply argued with me that there isn’t any problem. Pardon my language, but, really, that’s the term that best describes them. If all I can do is stare at the screen and none of the applications work, there’s a problem. Stop arguing and start looking for a solution. And when you tell me to do something, I try it and IT DOESN’T WORK, come up with something else. And then they had the balls to send me a “Satisfied with our Service?” email. Hmm, let’s see: You cost me the bulk of January’s income AND refuse to fix the problem AND argue with me. What do YOU think? The sooner I can pull off my webmail files and get away from them, the better.

I had to get another pitch out to a company for a really good, long term job, so I had to use my personal email on gmail instead of my professional website-linked address and was not happy about it.

Okay, deep breath, Om and all that. I need to get back to the page. A short story started knocking around inside my head yesterday. If it’s actually willing to remain SHORT, I’ll draft it out so the characters will leave me alone, and then get back to my other work.

Devon

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 9:25 am  Comments (2)  
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Tuesday Update

Well, i managed not to toss my cookies at the meeting (there were a few scary moments and I truly WAS the same shade of green as my coat). The meeting went much better than expected, we have a compromise sorted while I fill out a mountain of paperwork over the next few months, and the people who gave me misinformation/threatened me/ignored the paperwork I filed are getting official reprimands (and yes, I requested copies). So that’s sorted, at least for the moment.

Hauled a carload of stuff to storage and brought the rest of the decorations back. The weather’s supposed to be dreadful for the next few days and, if I have everything here, I can work at whatever speed (or lack thereof) I can.

The plays are creating such a cacophony in my head I had to tell the little character darlings to shut up for the moment, because if I lose my mind, how the heck can I write the stories, and THEN where will they all be? Quiet down, dearies, and take a number in the queue. I’ll get to you, I promise. It’s just that I’ve got a story about the Apocalypse due at the end of the month . . .

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm  Comments (11)  
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
About to snow/cold
St. Nicholas Eve

Yes, we’re supposed to get snow today. Woo-hoo! That puts me in the holiday spirit, although I’m not going to go to storage and haul out my stuff and get it all wet. Not that there’s room for it anyway — I still don’t have the apartment completely sorted out, although I got a lot done yesterday and we’re getting there.

Had some ginger in the morning for the nausea and celery for the headache and felt human again. Had to run some errands — couldn’t find what I needed locally, so wound up at Target in White Plains — I’ve been to WP every day this week, it’s ridiculous. And here I’m trying to plan the errands so I’m not dashing all over creation! But Target had what I needed and more, so I got a lot done. Got done everything I needed at the bookstore — which is closing in January, which totally sucks. I mean, it wasn’t a great one, but still . . .

Realized I was running a fever, so I went home, rested up a bit, took whatever supplements I’m not allergic to that could pound out whatever’s trying to take me down,and got back to work. I got a lot done, sorting, purging, organzing. I’m trying to find a place for everything, and if I can’t, it either gets given away or goes to storage. The challenge is then keeping storage organized enough so I can get at things as I need them.

I’m purging a lot of clothes that either don’t fit properly and aren’t worth the alterations, or just don’t suit the way my style has evolved. I found two coats that were in storage for years and took them downstairs to the new cleaners that opened up — they are so nice! Lovely people. I considered buying a new dressy winter coat this year, but the one in storage is lovely — really well cut, full-length, navy blue — and my black pea coat, that I bought way back in college in Greenwich Village when I was caught in a snowstorm without a coat — will be fine once it’s cleaned and I put the silver buttons back on (I’d lent it to a show and took my good buttons off so they wouldn’t get lost). I also found an almost-finished dress in one of my favorite styles — very simple, tailored, slight flare below the knee. All it needs is the finishing on the hem, the neckline, and the armholes, and I can wear it in spring. It’s a lovely soft pattern in blues and grays and greens with just a hint of burgundy in it. I love shopping in my closet!

I’m putting together several bags of clothes I will then sort into stuff that gets donated and stuff that goes to a local consignment store. I’ve got some beautiful theatrical pieces like a beaded formal skirt (given as a Secret Santa gift that’s never fit me) which are nearly new, tried on but never worn, and someone could enjoy them.

I’ve sorted out a lot of my books and reconfigured the bookcases. So why do I STILL have piles of books on the floor with no place to put them? Unfortunately, a lot of them are in use in various projects.

Started work on Confidential Job #1, which seems like it’ll be really cool. Got some decorating ideas that I will start this weekend, and then, as I can bring stuff in from storage, I can add to it. I’m finding some great fabric as I’m going through packed stuff, and I’m sorting the fabric and the yarn and all the rest so I know where everything is, can complete any uncompleted projects, and actually get at everything.

The fever broke at some point in the night, so I’m feeling much better. I did an extra-challenging yoga session in the morning — swore somewhat during the process, but feel better now. I’ve got a bunch of errands to do before the snow starts, and then it’s back to trying to sort out the apartment.

I’ve got the menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day sorted,and I’m trying to figure out what to do for the Solstice.

I had a good writing session this morning; feels good after two days away from the page. I get cranky and more neurotic than usual if I skip a day or several days of writing. Everything is on track, writing wise, although I’m not spending as many hours at the page as usual. But, even if I can snatch a half hour here and there, I sit down and I focus and I DO IT. Every few words on the page is a few more than I had before, and it’ amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes if you don’t procrastinate and keep saying, “Oh, it’s only 15 minutes, what can I do?” You can write a bunch of words, that’s what you can do.

Tonight, we put out our shoes, in the Dutch (?) tradition, and St. Nicholas comes and fills them with treats (unless the cats get there first).

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 8:44 am  Comments (9)  
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday turned out to be an odd day. I headed out to do my errands and got a Really Bad Feeling. I tried to shake it off. I couldn’t. I was practically nauseous by the time I got to the car.

So I didn’t go.

These errands were not stress-inducing, and there was no reason for me to dread them. I just had a strong sensation that I shouldn’t go to that particular town that day. don’t know why — might never know why. But I felt better as soon as I listened to my gut. They weren’t anything that had to be done at that moment.

Instead, I finished the job for Confidential Job #1 — finally, what a slog THAT was this time! — and got it out the door. I finished some other client projects. I had chills and a scratchy throat and that achy feeling and thought, “Oh, no.”

So, when I finished my work at 2:30, I logged off, went back to bed with some hot tea and the book about Felbrigg Hall, and spent the afternoon in bed, warmed by cuddly cats. I felt well enough to cook dinner and eat, and then went back to bed, alternating between reading and watching TV.

I feel much better this morning. It was probably exhaustion that could have turned into an illness, but was caught early enough not to. I hope so, anyway!
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Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, lived up to her name this morning, thundering through the apartment, yelling at the top of her little kitty lungs(at 5 AM), plunging over and under the bed. She even tried to dig her way up through the mattress and box spring. Elsa just ducked and stayed out of the way. Violet finally got so annoyed she whacked her sister right out of the air as though she was a baseball. It was pretty funny.

I finally had a good, solid writing session this morning, so let’s hope that’s all sorted. I’m getting back into the groove of a couple of WIPs, and making notes on a new project that actually combines several ideas that have knocked around in my brain for awhile.

I’ve got some correspondence to get out this morning, head off to the post office, and then run some errands. If I feel like doing the ones I put off yesterday, I will. Otherwise, they can wait until next week.

I hope to do some packing this afternoon. Those of you with “spare rooms” probably have a piece of furniture you never use, and “stuff” accumulates on it. I’ve got that too — only it’s not in a spare room! So it’s time to excavate the stuff off it and prepare it to go to storage. I’d rather use the space for bookcases and another bureau.

So, we haven’t needed to use much power because the weather’s been temperate. Yet the power company raised rates because they’re losing money due to the good weather. Of course, when the weather is vile and we USE the power, they raise the rates, too, because we’re using so much power and they’re trying to ‘teach” us to live green. Yeah, right. I like my fairy tales to actually have plots and characters.

Hopefully, it will be a calm, low stress day, and maybe I’ll even get another writing session this afternoon. Fingers crossed! Hope you’re having a great weekend, all!

Devon

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 7:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

I can’t believe it’s March 1! February will be known as “The Lost Month of 2009.”

Later today, or maybe tomorrow morning, I’ll post my To-Do List for March on the GDR site. March will be about a lot of catch-up from January and February.

We had a dusting of snow last night, like someone sifted powdered sugar over us all. It’s pretty, but we’re supposed to get a foot of snow tonight.

I’m kind of glad I’m not driving out to Long Island to see my show tonight – it would be rough getting home! Instead, I’m going out in a couple of weeks. I do want to see the production and meet everyone.

Elsa is pretty much the same – paying attention to everything, snuffily, taking her medicine like a good girl, eating everything she can get her paws on, opening the cat food cupboard and pulling out more cans, then getting frustrated because she can’t open them. I’m glad she’s not lying in a heap in the corner, but the respiratory stuff doesn’t seem to clear up at all. And I keep saying it – the Rescue Remedy seems to give her the most relief. When I give it to her in tandem with the antibiotics, she’s much better than with just the antibiotics.

I’m being careful to give all three lots of individual attention. They always get lots of individual attention, but they know something’s different, and I’m checking on Elsa every two minutes, so I have to give EVERYBODY extra attention.

I put up a “Buy My Books, Help My Cat” page on my website. If you know of anyone who might be interested in the fiction or the writing ebooklets (and are cat people), they can click on the link and it’s got all the information. Once Elsa’s all healthy again and the vet bills are paid, I’ll take down the page (after leaving a “thank you” up for a few days).

I got some work done yesterday, but, honestly, I felt quite under the weather, so I called it an early day. The first Bedtime Louie story, tentatively entitled “Death by Ice Cube” is going to be a heck of a lot of fun, but will need more research. I did some research on the subways and Jamaica racetrack in 1933, when I plan to set it, but wound up sending out quite a few emails to check historical details. When I first envisioned the story, who knew I’d have to find out whether or not the stop at Jamaica was an elevated subway or a trolley? Or that I needed to know if there was an admission fee at Jamaica racetrack in 1933 and how much it was? Yet, all those things come into play. I might have to make a trip in the next few weeks and go digging in some archives (one of my favorite things to do).

I went to bed at 7:30 last night and slept for 11 hours. Needless to say, I feel much better, revived and focused, ready to work on some fiction this morning, and then do some work for a client with energy and clear focus, which is what it deserves.

I made my infamous turkey chili last night – each time I make the recipe, it gets better. I like using actual chunks of turkey in it rather than ground turkey, and I’ve upped the cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder a bit to give it extra kick. And, instead of green peppers, I find celery tastes better in this particular concoction, especially since I upped the spices.

I might have to trudge out and get some more milk in before the storm really hits. But, other than that, it’s a day tucked home and working.

Hope the rest of your weekend’s great.

Devon

Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 8:29 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

2stacys-christmas-blogfest-081

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Here’s Stacy’s graphic again – isn’t it fun? I’m so excited about my date on her blog next week.

And hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read my review of Sandra Worth’s wonderful new book, THE KING’S DAUGHTER.

And hey, if you haven’t bought “The Ramsey Chase” and Too Much Mistletoe, consider it, okay? Buy both, and you’ve still spent less than five bucks, which is always great in this economy! They’re both fun, they’re inexpensive, and they’re worth the price! 😉 Yes, we have a moment of shameless self-promotion here – I want these volumes out and READ!

I got worse again yesterday, unfortunately. I managed to get a bit of work done, including working on my column, getting a few pitches out, working on a resume I can actually send out in cases where a resume and not a bio paragraph is called for, and creating a list of job prospects who will receive pitches today. And, I got out a slew of short story submissions, especially several of the stories I developed in the workshop in October, in my magical small town with the magical bakery. Hopefully, some of them will hit.

Had a bad night, and am still feeling awful this morning.

Got some work done on the Maine project. It’s taking a very interesting shape, in a way I didn’t expect. I have a long list of things that MUST get done today, whether I feel like crap or not.

Can we PLEASE get rid of Paulson NOW, before he totally destroys what’s left of the economy? On CNN last night, some pundit was saying that Paulson was “naïve” and “believed the banks would do the right thing” when handed billions of tax payer dollars. I don’t believe that for one second. Paulson is one of them; he’s handing out as much money to his pals so they can take it and run before the change of administrations, because he knows this administration will look the other way. We will NEVER get a return on it, and the consumer will NEVER benefit from this bailout, because it was structured so that the fat cats can keep getting fatter. Hell, if I know these scum are going to take the money and run, the damn Treasury secretary should be at least that smart. I believe this is calculated on his part. This is a man who ran a major corporation; he knows how they operate; he knew what would happen when he started handing out money with no strings attached.

Back to the page.

Shirley gave out a tag, and I figured, what the hey, I’ll do it:

7 Things I plan to do before I die: own my own home, have a wonderful garden, learn how to play the piano, learn how to paint, learn how to make pottery (do we see a theme here?), create something that gives people joy, take a trip around the world.

7 Things I do now: Write, take care of my family, yoga, read, cook, learn new things as often as possible, play with the cats.

7 Things I won’t do: Believe that what happens in the world “doesn’t affect me” or that who is in charge of this country has no direct affect on my life; refuse to show up on voting day; wiggle out of jury duty, spend money in places that do not respect either their workers or their customers; write 20 articles/week for $1/article; jump out of plane unless my life depends on it; eat shrimp (love it, but I’m deathly allergic).

7 Things that attract me to the opposite sex: A sense of humor, intelligence, compassion, a love for animals, courage, creativity, passion.

7 Celebrities I admire: I’ve probably worked with seven I admire, but since I don’t name names . . .

7 favorite foods: chocolate, mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, key lime pie, apples, blueberries, raspberries (I can’t believe I have to stop at seven).

Although I can’t eat right now. I can still think about what I like once I’m well enough to eat again, right?

Later!

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here: