Mon. July 10, 2017: “Ramsey Chase” release & lots of writing

Ransey Chase Cover 2 Small

Monday, July 10, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

“The Ramsey Chase” releases today, and I’m excited! Read an excerpt here. Buy links here.

Busy weekend.

Friday, I worked on the story for the hospitalized teen. I wrote about 2500 words, about 1/3 to 1/2 of the piece. Originally, it was supposed to be 500 words, but it grew.

Saturday, I sat down after breakfast to write 1000 words on INITIATE, before getting back to everything else I needed to do. When I next looked up, it was dinner time and I’d written nearly 30 pages (about 7500 words). But then, that’s what this particular piece does to me. Whenever I work on it, it becomes an all-consuming obsession.

I also managed to do some work on the proposals that need to go out this morning, and on the new essay that’s also going out. I’m frustrated because now two payments (one quite large, that I need for July’s bills) are now nearly three weeks late. At least I have a good shot at an interesting project meeting next week, that could lead to something long-term.

Sunday morning, I wrote another 15 pages (approximately 3750 words) on INITIATE. I finished a challenging section, and can now move on to the next section, which will also be a challenge, in its own way. Two more big chunks, and the part of the tale that will be broken down into WRAIG MATURE will be drafted. Then comes the INITIATE section that inspired the title, and then the KNIGHT WITCH section, which is a huge and complex undertaking.

I drafted an essay, which I polished this morning, and off it goes. I found a new market for an essay that was rejected, and that goes off; I have questions that need to be answered before I can polish and send off the serial pitch. I have questions and follow-ups on several fronts. A contract expires in the next few days, and I won’t extend — I want to take the work in a different direction.

Still need the Hearst Castle books, but can’t extend them any further, so have to send them back and then re-order them.

Worked on the Devon Ellington media kit and the “Ramsey Chase” media kit. Worked on the story for the hospitalized teen. Worked on scheduling issues for PLAYING THE ANGLES, the Gwen Finnegan books, and the Sophie Batchelder books. Prepped some queries to go out for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. Made lists of everything that has to get done today.

And, of course, I have to mow!

Had weird dreams last night, about helping someone move. We kept having to cross through a narrow, brick-lined courtyard filled with garden gnomes. Wonder what the heck that means!

Mowing, admin work, and then, back to the page. I want to finish the story for the teen in the next day or two and send it off. I’m feeling the time pressure, because I want it to do her some good. However, it also has to be good quality to be worth anything.

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Published in: on July 10, 2017 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Mon. July 10, 2017: “Ramsey Chase” release & lots of writing  
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Thurs. July 21, 2016: So Much To Do!

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Last Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Who knew being unemployed/partially employed could be so busy?

Hey, anyone who does 8 shows/week.

The confidentiality agreement prevents me from talking about the theatre job, but all is good, and it’s only until September 3 anyway.

The writing is going well – I had some additional changes to make on the book, and my new agent is sending it out.

I’m deep at work on scripts, and, especially, INITIATE, which burns my soul lately. I love these characters so much, I can’t stand to be separated from them.

Three new stories/sets of characters are burning within, too. I hope they are for novellas, not novels, or I’m in trouble!

And, of course, dealing with the intricacies of trying to get the unemployment benefits I earned, but they don’t want to pay. Because, hey, all they want to do is have people jump through hoops and take jobs in anything to get them off the rolls, not actually help people find jobs to better their lives.

I resigned from the Board of the National Marine Life Center, which broke my heart, but was necessary. I can’t give them what they need right now, not without sending myself over the edge. They asked me to move to the Advisory Board, and I’ve agreed to that.

We went to the Glasgow Lowlands Scottish Festival in central MA last Saturday. It was so much fun! Everyone was delightful, and we had a wonderful time, in spite of the heat. I was able to help a young man with his kilt emergency, thanks to still carrying safety pins. Of course, help one guy with his kilt, and suddenly they all want a hand!  But it was all in good fun. Caber toss always cracks me up. I got some great ideas I can incorporate to stories, though. It was a delightful day.

It was hard to get back over the bridge, but we managed.

I get to see an old friend today – we were tight in NY, and I haven’t seen her for at least 10 years She’s down for a few days doing a reading, and I can’t wait to see her.

If I don’t get back on wordpress tomorrow, have a great weekend! I am, of course, in shows.

Devon

Published in: on July 21, 2016 at 10:05 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 21, 2016: So Much To Do!  
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Mon. July 11, 2016: Loving the New Horizons

Monday, July 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Busy times! But good ones.

I sent off the revised book per the agents request on Friday morning. By Sunday morning, she contacted me to tell me she loved it. Whew! When all the paperwork is done, I’ll be able to reveal more. I can share that there’s a new series title, a new book title, and I renamed all of the first six books in the series overview to reflect that.

Once I got the book sent out, I packed up my poor little Macbook and took it to iCape Solutions, where they actually HAD a solution I could afford and live with. MacGeorge is running much better now. Phew! I was so afraid I’d have to run to Staples and buy a cheap PC laptop until I could afford to replace MacGeorge. Love me the folks at iCape Solutions. They actually solve things!

Then, I turned my attention back to the radio plays and to INITIATE. And to a bunch of errands and other things that needed my attention. I’m not satisfied with the radio plays yet. I’m thrilled with the way INITIATE is shaping up. I’m so in love with these characters and the scope of this playground.

I had a meeting on Saturday afternoon that will either turn into something or it won’t. If it does, it will be six weeks of fun and work; if not, I move on to something else.

Sunday, I met a friend for coffee and we caught up. Plans that had been made in misery wound up as a celebration. It was fun.

I treated myself to some books. I bought Juliet Blackwell’s newest A TOXIC TROUSSEAU. I like her Lily Ivory mysteries. I managed to scrounge around and locate the last copy in the store!

Errands and paperwork today, an adventure in Boston tomorrow.

And so it goes!

Devon

Published in: on July 11, 2016 at 10:31 am  Comments Off on Mon. July 11, 2016: Loving the New Horizons  
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Fri. July 1, 2016: Mars Makes His Move & I’m Independent

Personal Revolution CoverFriday, July 1, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Walked in to the library yesterday morning to be told I was fired, the position was “eliminated”. I would have stayed for a few hours to compile contacts info for upcoming programs and finish dangling ends, but I had to turn in my key and leave without even turning on the computer or anything else. Buh-bye.

Had to take my mom on some medical errands, but then I went down to the “Career Center” in Hyannis to fill out the unemployment paperwork and do all the registering and stuff one does in this situation. They were absolutely lovely AND I can go down there and do my job searches on their computers and book time and all kinds of things. In fact, I have to show my face once a week, which is fine, because they’re so helpful. I haven’t had to fill out unemployment paperwork since 1991. It’s kind of different now. But if you have half a brain, it’s not rocket science. They also suggested that I not put so much pressure on myself now (the first three hours after I was fired), and at least give myself the holiday to decompress.

Of course, I’ll be writing for the entire holiday weekend to finish the book that’s due at the end of next week, but that’s another whole ball of wax.

It also shores up how people took advantage of us at the Place That Shall Not Be Named when they demanded we fill out applications for them, instead of going to the center and learning how to do it them-damn-selves.

But that’s no longer my problem, and neither is anything else over there.

I let the people with whom I’d been negotiating projects know I was gone and they’d have to deal with Them directly.

Did the grocery shopping (chop wood, carry water). Did a little bit of work on INITIATE, and finished the proofs of “Personal Revolution”.

Read Lilith St. Crow’s CLOUD WATCHER, which I enjoyed.

I have a massive migraine, but that’s the stress, and once it releases, I’ll be okay.

Didn’t feel up to doing much of anything last night and went to bed early. I promised myself I’d give yesterday over to mourning, and then get on with it. Too many deadlines to indulge in a pity party.

Lots of support from friends all over the place, and suggestions from colleagues in the business who are off-Cape. Also getting a lot of love & support from some actor pals, even though we are all far-flung all over the world on different projects right now. Because when you’re “one of us”, you circle the wagons when the civilians behave like . . .well, civilians.

Up early this morning. Yoga outside, and my first writing session of the day on the deck (on INITIATE).

“Personal Revolution” released this morning. You can find it on Smashwords here. It’s set during an Independence Day event at a New England historical site (a fictional one), so it’s relevant to the weekend, and I was damned if I was going to drop that ball, even though it was rough getting it done. But done it is, and I hope people enjoy it.

Headed back to the page for the CHARISMA revisions. I have a wide stretch of uninterrupted worktime, and I intend to make the most of it and meet my deadlines.

The summer flirt boys are back in town, so that’s always amusing, too. Not that I take any of it seriously, but it’s a fun distraction.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! See you on the other side, when I’ll update where I am on the deadlines.

Happy 4th! Mars is kicking my ass, and “Independence Day” is a relevant meaning this year!  😉 It will all be good, it just sucks right now.

Devon

Published in: on July 1, 2016 at 9:32 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 1, 2016: Mars Makes His Move & I’m Independent  
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Wed. June 22, 2016: The Writing Fugue

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I will be so glad when this Mars retrograde is done. It has kicked my ass.

Saturday’s house & garden tour went well – people seemed to enjoy it. Things were busy. I stayed after the library closed and got some work done, and then went over to the play. It was cute, although I wasn’t really sure while all these Cape Codders were speaking in a southern accent.

Home, writing. Wrote all day Sunday, all day Monday, all day Tuesday. 100 pages in longhand, finishing a major section of INITIATE. Worked on the radio plays – trying to figure out as much in advance so that I can get what I need to in the ten minute limit. Developed a logline and quick pitch for the potential new series that the actor pal wants to send to his producer pal. These projects can take years to develop – so I stepped up, did my part, delivered what and when I said I would, and we’ll see what happens from there.

Was asked to return to an organization I left about a year ago; not going to do so. It would simply be yet another drain on my time, and people expecting me to put their demands before my own writing, which I am not willing to do. I tried working with them, and they were detrimental to my writing, not supportive of it; therefore, no.

This will be another long week, with long days at the library, and then, on Friday night, our Casino night fundraiser. On Saturday, I’m headed out to the flower show.

I hit up the wholesale nursery on Sunday and got some great plants, and then hit Country Gardens to get potting soil and a few other things. I mowed a lot, and put down more fertilizer, but there’s still a lot to do.

I’m behind where I want to be on CHARISMA KILLINGS, so that is where the bulk of my focus needs to be for the next few weeks. Somehow, everything will get done!

Devon

Sat. June 11, 2016: The Delightfully Clever Film PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES

Saturday, June 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was busy – lots of processing/receiving/scheduling, et al.

Wrote on my lunch break, which was good, because it lessened the tension of the scenes that built up over the morning.

Home exhausted. Got a bit of writing done after dinner, but not much; had to do the baking for today’s program.

Watched PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES. I did not expect to like it at all, and I liked it A LOT. It was clever, it was funny, it was deeply rooted in the source material. I’d wanted to see it because Matt Smith and Lena Headey were in it, and I always like their work. But everyone was great – the details were so sharp and so fluid, and it was so well done! Lily James and Sam Riley were exceptional. Riley found a way to inhabit Darcy that was neither an imitation of Colin Firth’s interpretation nor a fight against it – he found his own way, he was rooted in what he was doing, and he WAS. The argument/fight scene between Lizzie and Darcy was both funny and brilliant—choreography, writing, execution. What a wonderful surprise!

Didn’t get much writing done this morning. I’m approaching a difficult sequence in INITIATE, where I’m based in some known mythology, but I’ve spun it out to fit the world I’ve built. It’s so bizarre to hold the whole series in my head, and create each scene knowing not only how it drives the specific volume, but the overall series arc.

I have a long day today – it wouldn’t be my Saturday “on”, but I’m covering, and there are two events, plus more books arrived after I’d done the processing yesterday.

Over the weekend, of course, I have to tackle mowing the meadow. But I’ll also be juggling the CHARISMA rewrites, the next sequence in the play set in 17th Century Italy, and this next sequence in INITIATE.

I’ve got an NMLC Board meeting Monday, and something scheduled for almost every night next week. Somehow, I have to hold back enough energy to stay on track with the writing.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on June 11, 2016 at 9:07 am  Comments Off on Sat. June 11, 2016: The Delightfully Clever Film PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES  
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Wed. June 8, 2016: The Real World Feels Less Real Than My Fictional Worlds

Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy days. I’m disoriented. I’ve been very deep in the writing these past few days. So deep that when I stop, my house and everything around me looks unfamiliar. It’s good – I’m happy with the work and I love being that deep in the work – but it’s difficult to be out of the work at all.

Most of the work has been on INITIATE, although I’m restructuring and rewriting CHARISMA and working on the play at the same time. INITIATE, as usual, swallows me whole whenever I’m in it. I love these characters so much, even when they break my heart.

I got some of the mowing done – the front and side yards look good. The meadow still looks abandoned, but the front and side yards were the most important. Got all the garbage to the dump, got the new recycling sticker. Chop wood, carry water.

I also managed to reconnect with a couple of close college friends. One of them, I’m in semi-regular touch with; the other, I hadn’t spoken to for about twenty years or so, but we picked up right where we left off, which was great. There’s one more I contacted – we’ll see if I hear back. We were all such an integral and intense part of each others’ creative development in our early twenties.

I attended a seminar yesterday afternoon in my capacity as a Board Member. A friend was there, too, and we would up going to Sam Diego’s to catch up. Good practice for me to interact with an actual human being instead of a fictional one before I had to re-enter the world today.

This will be a long workweek for me, and I have to make sure I don’t lose the writing momentum. But, somehow, I will figure it all out. I’m looking forward to Mars going direct at the end of the month and getting some of my energy back.

I have two adventures coming up in the coming weeks, which should be fun. I’ll share them when I can.

The first performance of the radio play “Broken Links” went off last night; tonight is the second. I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear how it went.

Have a great week.

Devon

Published in: on June 8, 2016 at 9:27 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 8, 2016: The Real World Feels Less Real Than My Fictional Worlds  
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Sat. June 4, 2016: Writing and Longing

Saturday, June 04, 2016
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a blur. We were two short at work, so it was crazy/busy. But we handled it.

Plus, I had the details of the “Plot Bunnies” release. When I got home last night, I had to update the “Stories” page on this blog, and the various pages on the website. I have to put together a media kit for the piece, too, and get a press release out next week.

Meanwhile, I need to get going on the edits for “Personal Revolution”, and I need to think about getting another Topic Workbook out.

I started digging into the revisions on CHARISMA KILLINGS (new title still to be finalized with my agent). It feels right – I think I’ve got it on track. As long as I don’t get overwhelmed by the way I need to shuffle the pieces, I’ll be fine.

But I’m behind on the play, “Just a Drop”, and on SONGBOUND SISTERS, which I can’t drop, especially since I’m in the running for a grant for it. And INITIATE has been pulling very, very, VERY hard.

Of course, there are other demands on my time, and I’m hitting a point where I need to do another reassessment and get ruthless again. If it interferes with the writing instead of supports it, it has to go.

I’m also missing Scotland an awful lot. I’m missing it so badly it’s manifesting as physical pain. I need to find a way to get there next year or so. I’d just posted about it on Facebook and a writer friend plans to go to Scotland next July. So that’s something to plan toward. Ask and there it is!

Started thinking about an old friend this morning, and am trying to track him down. We lost touch even before I left NY – while I was still working on Broadway.

Once I’m done here, it’s back to the page. I’m eager for it, looking forward to it, craving it. There’s a lot to do, and the byword for the summer is “time management.”

I’m already over the summer people and wish they’d go away. I love the PLACE of the Cape, I feel connected to the land and sea, but it’s gotten too crowded. I need more quiet.

Lots to think about, but I also don’t want to make decisions when I’m feeling so unsettled. Once I get the strands of work sorted out and back in their grooves (so I can properly groove each day as I write), I will then be in a position to make rational decisions.

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Fri. May 20, 2016: Getting Back into Writing Rhythm

Friday, May 20, 2016
Day before Full Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was fine, lots to do, and I wound up with a massive headache by the end of the day.

Lawn’s growing fast – I have to get mowing this weekend!

A call for submission landed on my desk, and I managed to get it out. Either it will be what they want, or it won’t, but at least the piece is out there, trying to earn its place in the world.

Trying to figure out how I’m going to juggle DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, SONGBOUND SISTERS, “Just a Drop”, HEART SNATCHER, and INITIATE. Time management will be key.

I figure DEATH OF A CHOLERIC will need one more round of revisions before it’s submission-ready. I feel good about it; it’s one of the stronger pieces I’ve written lately. SONGBOUND and “Drop” are still in early drafts – pushing through to finish is key. HEART SNATCHER is in its final round of revisions before submission – finally – and I just need to tweak the submission packets. INITIATE will need finishing and several rounds of revisions before it’s submission-ready. It’s also a departure – and somewhat of a risk – for me, but that’s one of the reasons I’m so fond of it.

I’m also in the final prep for the re-release of “Severance”, and I have to put together the media kit. The next one that releases, I think, will be the comic romantic mystery, “Plot Bunnies” under the Ava Dunne name. And, it would make sense to re-release “Personal Revolutions” around the 4th of July, since that’s when it takes place.

Basically, everything needs to be finished and earn its keep! 😉

I do love the process of writing, though. I am one of those writers who loves the actual sitting down and putting words on paper. Do I like “having written’? Yes, that sense of accomplishment. But I love the actual writing even more.

Work tomorrow; there’s a tag sale next store, benefitting the library, so there will be chaos all day. I need to do a lot in the garden this weekend, and get back into my writing rhythm.

Read Amanda Quick’s TILL DEATH DO US PART. Enjoyed it. I enjoy her books. I also learn a lot about structure from her.

As busy as it gets in summer, I’m still trying to figure out how to have TWO days of disconnect per week. I need the quiet time for my own work.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on May 20, 2016 at 8:31 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 20, 2016: Getting Back into Writing Rhythm  
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Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and damp

I had contradictory information about the retrogrades, but I think I’ve got it sorted. Saturn is direct, thank goodness, because I don’t think I can take any more life lessons for awhile. Venus is still retrograde, which explains several things!

So the Cape Cod Writers Conference ran the past few days. It was the happiest I’ve been in months. What a great conference!

I spent most of Friday trying to get the wine tasting ball rolling for our next NMLC special event. I’m supposed to be “helping”, but it’s pretty much all been dumped into my lap. Therefore, I am assigning tasks and expecting them done. Because I CANNOT and WILL NOT do an entire event on my own. Been there, done that, not doing it again.

Raced to the conference in the evening, got situated, caught up with some people. Marge Piercy was the keynote speaker. I love that she won’t compromise her beliefs for fear of “annoying” potential readers. Everyone is told to be so careful and apolitical on social media — no, we have to stand for what we believe in it, work for it, and actually make change! So, I totally admire that about her. Her keynote was rich, almost too rich. There were so many sections, without transition, that one or two sections would have given us plenty to think about, and also given us a foundation to change our lives. Five sections was a little much. I felt like I missed a lot I could have otherwise absorbed and benefitted from, because I was trying to keep up.

Sat with poet Charles Coe, whom I adore, both as a poet and person. We had a good time. And, because I was going to the prose reading instead of the poetry reading, he recited the poem he planned to open with, just for me. What an honor, especially to hear something so beautiful.

After, there were readings. I had a friend reading in the prose section, which was run by another friend, so that’s where I ducked in. This year’s batch of readings were very, very good, and everyone had the chance to comment on them. It was a good evening.

Several of us repaired to the bar after, for a couple of drinks and a good chat. I was the only woman in the group (not planned), and we all had very different backgrounds, so it was an interesting and long-ranging conversation. It was also interesting that the men wanted harsher criticism. I think you can offer constructive criticism without being hurtful in a personal way.

We were there until after midnight, and, on my way home, I stopped at Covell’s beach to do my homework for the settings class.

Saturday morning, I was up early. I wanted to bring something in to the fantasy workshop. However, INITIATE is in a delicate stage where only someone with whom I’ve built trust can help, and the THREE ROADS is structured tightly in a way that didn’t just let me pull a couple of pages out of context.

So I sat down and wrote something new. It was like the piece was forming for me out of the mist. A pair of sisters is central, as is the idea that art is a threat to the throne. Wrote four pages, rushing a couple of scenes a bit because I wanted to get the twist into the page count. But it felt right — that tuning fork of resonance hit the note. So I printed up copies, and there we were.

Worked the registration desk from 10-1, talking to people, helping them find things, etc. At 1, I had the fantasy workshop, with Carol Buggé, who, in addition to being one of my favorite people in the world, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the luck to study with. The class was great — a small, but lively group, supportive and interested in each other without getting cloying. People distributed their pieces, we learned a lot, and it was over far too quickly.

Chantelle Osman was also there — I took her wonderful screenwriting class last year, and was sorry I couldn’t take her class this year, but at least we got to chat here and there for a few minutes over the course of the weekend.

I ran into Indira Ganesan at the cabana window, and we sat together “just being” (quiet) for awhile. She’s a good one to be with in companionable silence.

She had a 3 PM appointment, and I stayed outside in the beautiful weather a little longer to write, then went in a bought books by both Indira and Claire Cook, the night’s keynote. Claire arrived, and got settled, and then I went in to Indira’s setting class — about a dozen people. We rearranged the room to be more of a circle, and wrote in class, then each read our scenes. There was a lot of good writing in the class, and I was also delighted that my scene, which was both painful and funny, hit home and got a lot of laughs.

That made me realize how much confidence I’ve lost in my work over the past few months, and made me start thinking about where I need to go from here, and what decisions to make.

Immediately over to the ballroom to hear Claire Cook — what a nice person, and what a terrific inspiration. She’s learned how to make the best of everything, and how to enjoy the journey. I can learn a lot from her.

If I ever reach the point where I think I can’t learn from others, I hope someone wallops me upside the head with a cast iron skillet!

Didn’t go to the banquet, because I had a previous commitment. Took care of that, then settled in to do my homework for class, commenting on my fellow students’ work for the fantasy class. I like the fact, this year, so many people are working on things that are different, not just mimicking already published work.

Up early on Sunday, baked cinnamon rolls, tried to relax before going in. We got some sad news about a family member with a long-term illness — hospice is in there now, so it’s a matter of days. That will change many things for a lot of us.

Worked the registration desk again in the morning. I’m happy that the entire Board stepped up for the conference and was a presence, much more so than last year. It makes a huge difference in the energy and morale of the conference.

Carol’s workshop was, of course, fabulous, and the four pages I’d written in an hour went over very well. The feedback was VERY helpful (which isn’t always the case in workshops), and people are eager to read more. So, more there will be. The piece goes into the queue.

Helped clean up post-conference, loaded all the easels into the car for Mermaid Ball, and the big posters for the conference — they wouldn’t fit in Sara’s car and people just stood around like the office was in Puerto Rico instead of Osterville. Puh-leeze. Stick ’em in my car and I’ll get ’em back.

Collapsed at home — no voice, absolutely exhausted. Read a bit and early to bed.

Sad news on Monday morning — my mom’s best friend died unexpectedly over the weekend. They were both in their 90s, and had been best friends since they were 14. It’s tough on my mom. I wish I could do more for her.

Had to go on vocal rest on Monday because of the voice problems. Could feel the bleeding, and it was painful. Carrying around a pad to write everything down, trying not to act like a bad Central Park Mime. Did some work on the wine event, dropped off a note for Mezza Luna to get the ball rolling on our NYU Alumni Event, dropped off the easels at NMLC, put gas in the car, came home and rested.

Let the fantasy piece I worked on in the workshop percolate. I know my anchoring protagonists and have a working title. I know how I’d like to expand the pages I wrote for class into a legitimate opening chapter.

Watched the last two episodes of season 1 of LINE OF DUTY on Monday night. It’s so well done, and, ultimately, so depressing!

Wanted to sleep in on Tuesday, but the cats weren’t having it. Managed to get the posters back to the writers’ center office before the rain started, then came back home to write and sleep.

It amazes me how much I’ve lost in the past months, especially when it comes to my work. The best way I can put it as that my writing has been out of tune, and when the writing isn’t working, nothing else works, either. I know WHY and I have a good idea of WHAT changes need to be made, but the details of the changes are something else altogether. The weekend gave me confidence and perspective, and it’s the first time I’ve been happy in months. Decisions need to be made from there.

Rested a lot, trying to get my feet back under me for a busy week at work, and then the Mermaid Ball. Worked on the world-building for the writing, enriching the environment, because that’s such a huge part of the characters and their conflicts — and their secrets.

Violet, my oldest and smallest cat, was sick yesterday afternoon, so I went out in the monsoon to get her organic baby food. That seems to have settled her stomach, and she’s much better today, thank goodness. I think it was a reaction to the flea and tick medicine.

Started watching the first season of PIE IN THE SKY, which is charming. Thoroughly enjoying it. Lots of gentle wit in the dialogue, yet it’s still a cop show. The structure is amazing.

Also enjoying Claire Cook’s NEVER TOO LATE, her non-fiction book on reinvention. To cheer up my mom during this difficult time, I’ve gotten her a stack of Claire Cook’s novels and a stack of Barbara Delinsky’s novels. There’s a warmth to both of their writing that’s necessary right now.

Mezza Luna is excited to have the NYU Alumni do their meet-and-greet., so that will get sorted, and there’s more work to do on the wine event.

This morning, the family in Maine said our relative wasn’t supposed to last the night, but sat up and asked for breakfast this morning! 😉

Some writing this morning (back on track with my first 1K of the day), then a long day at work. It’s too hard to have the conference and the Ball so close together. If it’s scheduled that way again next year, I’ll have to only do one. Today is always my lowest energy day of the month anyway (being the day before the dark moon), but now, all I REALLY want to do is sleep.

Also working on the questions for the GOALS, DREAMS AND RESOLUTIONS site for 2016. I want to post them in September, or, latest, October, so that we all have time to think about them. I think I might tweak the site a bit, too, with more suggestions and resources instead of everyone just working so much alone.

I need to update my websites, too.

I had a great idea for a short story, a comic science fiction that anyone who knows me well will get a good laugh out of! I’m figuring 1500 words or less, comic, with the last beat being a little disturbing. Got several of the characters and the setting, so it should flow pretty quickly.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying summer, and that this week is even better!

Devon

Published in: on August 12, 2015 at 9:15 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff  
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Wed. Dec. 17, 2014: Recovering

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Hannukah

Well, I got sick on Friday, and wound up going home two hours early. There was plenty of coverage at work, so it wasn’t a problem. My head felt heavy, I alternated hot and cold chills, and was just miserable. So, I went home and went to bed.

Stayed quiet over the weekend, although I managed to get some student work done. Read a stack of books, most of which were disappointing. Finished watching the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY, which ended better than it began, I felt.

Did administrative work on several fronts. Got caught up on some stuff for the Writers Center. Had to go to the DMV — well, it’s called the RMV here — to sort out something on Monday. I expected it to take all day, but I was in and out in five minutes. Love that. Plus, they were very nice.

Grocery shopping, so now I can start baking. But I’m still not 100%, so by the time I got home, I was wrecked. Took it easy on Monday night.

Up early Tuesday, got some writing done. Took my mother to the doctor for her follow-up, and she left feeling worse than when she went in. Now, she has to go to a specialist.

Got started on the baking. I tried a sour cream cookie recipe that sounded good, but turned out rather bland. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have the zing I want for something I give as gifts. The lacy oatmeal cookie with currants, however, was wonderful. I’ll use those. And I made two batches of tollhouse cookies, always a favorite. The kitchen was like an operating theatre, everything was so darn sterilized, including me. Since I’m getting over this whatever-it-is, I wanted to make sure everything was sterile.

Again, exhausted, and can’t seem to get my energy back. Went to bed early.

Up early this morning. Today will be a long day at work. Normally, I’m in early and out early on the third Wednesday of the month, but today I’m in early and then there’s a program tonight, so I’ll just stay through. Tomorrow night, I need to finish the cookies; Friday night I’m going to a party off-Cape. Saturday is my Saturday “on” and then a party at work; Sunday is the Solstice. So it’s a busy time. I’m behind on my cards, too. My mom, of course, has all of hers out! 😉

Last night was the first night of Hannukah — best wishes to all who celebrate!

I think I’ve made decent progress untangling problems in the RED WIDOW; I’ve paid off the immediate threats I set up and set up some more. I need to untangle the beginning of this chapter, and then I think I can progress properly. It was supposed to be something I could dash off quickly, a fun, easy piece, but the characters have different ideas, and have more layers to them than I originally imagined. Which is good, but means that everything has to be planned a little more carefully.

INITIATE is getting impatient, because I’m not giving it enough attention, although I think about it all the time. I just feel so heavy and exhausted that it’s difficult to juggle everything, especially multiple writing projects. But, it must be done. The writing is the priority.

Read the anthology in which I’m included: NEW LEGENDS: MERCENARIES, ENGINEERS, CAPTAINS. It’s a lot of fun. My own story, “Loyalty Strata”, holds up better than expected. I was frustrated because, as I worked on it, I had ideas on how to open it as a novel, but I needed to keep it a short story within word count for the anthology. If I ever do open it up, the plot line will be quite different as it unfolds, but at least this was a good way to explore the characters, and I like these people.

Working on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions questions. I hope to have them up soon.

Have a great week, sliding into the holidays!

Devon

Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Nov. 7, 2014: Re-energized

Friday, November 07, 2014
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy couple of days, and my apologies for not blogging. Busy at work. Busy at home. A lot going on that has to be juggled.

We had a good Writers’ Center Board meeting on Wednesday night. The new board members bring fresh enthusiasm and Ideas – I hope we can implement some of them.

I’m not where I want to be on RED WIDOW, but the arcs for the entire series are becoming clearer, and I’m understanding what needs to be set up in this novella in order for them to make sense. I need to do a final pass over two novel manuscripts of other projects this weekend in order to submit them early next week.

Yesterday was another busy day at work. After, the magnificent Trisha Leaver taught a workshop on the craft of the short story. It was a small, but enthusiastic group, and we all got a lot out of it. It clarified a few points in some of my current work where I’m having trouble, and reminded me what to look for moving forward.

I’m doing the prep work for next Wednesday’s book club (Kate Carlisle’s HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER). I’m doing research on Colette (for INITIATE – which sounds weird, but there’s a method to this madness) and doing my wreck diving homework.

Last night, I finally gave up and took valerian root before bed. I don’t take it often, but I finally slept through the night for the first time in weeks and woke up without being in excruciating pain – this week has been very difficult. There’s still some echo pain, but, overall, I feel better. I was able to have a good yoga session this morning, and I hope to do some intense practice over the weekend, in and around the writing.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” here at the library, and Sunday morning, I’m going to catch the end of a conference located an hour or so upstate, connected to an organization I re-joined this month. Monday and Tuesday, I plan to be offline in the writing cave, writing and working on students’ manuscripts.

My calendars for next year are supposed to arrive soon – the dates are stacking up. I’ll be a guest blogger on C.L. Lawrence’s blog in late January – I’m already playing with ideas. I have to sit down with the manuscripts and contracts and make sure everything’s entered properly, and they’ve been reshuffled to fit the commitments. I also need to finish putting the garden to bed.

Have a wonderful weekend, all, and I’ll check back in next week!

It’s so nice to be almost pain-free. Even if it’s only for a few days, it makes a big difference.

Devon

Wed. Oct. 22, 2014: Writing Immersion and Diving Class

Wednesday, October 22, 2104
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Raining

Busy, busy time.

Friday morning, I was up at 4:30 AM and out the door around 5:45 AM, heading for Woods Hole. I couldn’t quite remember how to get to the Palmer Ave. lot for ferry parking, and, of course, Google Maps, Mapquest, AND GPS on the phone were wrong. Gee, there’s a surprise.

I found it anyway, but sort of remembering where to go when I got there, and made the 7 AM ferry. It was cold and wet outside, so I rode inside, and was able to do my 1K on INITIATE.

I had time, when I reached Vineyard Haven, to have a quick snack – coffee and chocolate croissant at Nat’s Nook, on Main Street. Very good, and it seems like a fun place to hang out. That’s one thing I miss about the area where I live now on Cape – a lack of coffee shops where I can hang out.

Arrived at the library. The workshop was GREAT. We had such fun, and it was very relevant to what I’m doing. I love spending time with the Vineyard Librarians, and I love that Martha’s Vineyard has SIX very distinct libraries, all on one island. I keep threatening to make a day trip and visit all of them!

Lunch at the Black Dog, near the water, burger and a beer. Caught an earlier ferry back than I expected, and it was so beautiful I rode outside the whole way. What a gorgeous day. Hard to come back.

Returned to the library/office for the last couple of hours of the day and tried to catch up. Some books came in that I knew had holds on them, so I went back on Saturday (my Saturday “off”) for about an hour to do processing, etc.

Watched PENNY DREADFUL all weekend. Had really mixed feelings about it. There may be spoilers in here, so read on at your own risk. Loved the production design. Would have been nice if they’d use an occasional key light here and there so we could actually see it. There’s dim lighting for mood effect and then there are scenes that are so poorly lit you can’t tell what’s going on, and this series has too much of the latter. And I started in lighting, and have lit theatre, film, and television, so yes, I know of what I speak. I had problems with the final confrontation with the vampires taking place in a theatre where a different storyline focused. It didn’t make sense, and felt like they’d run out of money for locations. If the vampires had nested in the theatre, the Creature (being not entirely human himself) would have known. And the vampires would have attacked the actors and the audience AND the Creature, so the logic set up in the world didn’t make sense. My biggest problem was, yet again, another male creator depicts negative female sexuality. The lead females were a consumptive whore and a woman possessed when she enjoys sex. Yes, those are common tropes of the era; however, when you’re going to take a genre to new heights, explore it in new ways – I expect better. By the time we got to the madhouse episode, I was irritated – yeah, let’s have an hour-long episode JUST about torturing the lead female character and call it “backstory” and “motivation”. And then the possession episode – right, because if a woman appears strong and in control and then loses control in a passionate encounter and wants/likes sex, she MUST be possessed by a demon. I was outright angry by the end of it. I thought there was a lot of depth and humanity in the other storyline, about Frankenstein and the Creature, but suddenly they have Victor as a morphine addict, several episodes in, without giving us an indication of it before? He wouldn’t be able to think, be as precise or as creative if he was an addict addled by drugs. I thought Harry Treadawell, Rory Kinnear, and Josh Hartnett were all very good. I’m interested in seeing what they do with the next season, but if they continue this negative portrayal of female sexuality (no matter how they pretend to justify it), I’ll stop watching. This is an outdated, overworn cliché that, if you’re going to break new ground with the genre, you have to go beyond “women who enjoy sex are possessed”. I realize that there are plenty of religious fundamentalists who still believe that, but the rest of us have moved beyond it.

The rest of the weekend was about writing INITIATE. Wrote a LOT. Typed up several earlier chapters, because I had to make fixes in a few things that needed to be set up in order for the chapters I’m doing now to work. Didn’t do enough work on RED WIDOW – will have to make up for that this week. I was as surprised as my character when he got unexpectedly seduced by a minor character.

Sent of the writers’ center board minutes on Monday. Spent most of Monday and Tuesday writing. Well, Sunday, too. In fact, I was up until midnight on Monday writing. Tuesday afternoon I had diving class in Onset – learning a lot that will help in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have homework, which I’m sure will spur more questions. I put on some of the equipment. It’s damn heavy. Good to get my hands on things.

To the library early this morning; have the annual meeting for the Writers Center, and then I have to bake, because tomorrow morning, I have a board meeting at the Marine Life Center.

Never a dull moment, and that’s a good thing.

Devon

Published in: on October 22, 2014 at 9:01 am  Comments (1)  
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