Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017: The Relief of Release from a Bad Situ

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

I sent off my letter of withdrawal from the ghost writing project. The author apologized, saying she hadn’t meant to insult me. What did she think the response would be to “imaginary research”? She also seemed to think that I would say all was forgiven and I’d work for her substandard rate that would work out as cents per hour, instead of a fair rate. That would be “no.” So we have officially parted ways. What a relief.

I discussed it with my one of my freelancers’ groups — professionals, not wannabes — and almost every single one of them has stopped working with individual authors for similar reasons: the arrogance and the reluctance to pay a fair rate. They want professional work for nothing. Why? This is a profession, not a hobby.

At this point, I have one long-term author client with whom I’m working to finish a project, and that’s it. Only accepting contracts to work with authors through publishers beyond that. Work that the publisher has contracted, and where I know I’ll get paid fairly and on time. Not worth the hell these unprofessional dilettantes put us through.

Worked on contest entries yesterday and made good progress. Re-read some work on a piece I’d put aside. It’s better than I remembered it.

The Constitutional Law class is a challenge, but a good one. I hope I can keep up! Things are so chaotic in the world, it’s hard to start at the beginning in order to learn the foundation, but it’s so, so important.

Today’s interview was moved to next week. I think I’ll get my hair cut, instead. It’s been months, and it needs it, especially since I’m out and about in the world interviewing and working. I hate getting my hair cut. I find it stressful to sit in the chair during the process. I never know if it’ll come out, and I’m not interested in confiding in the hair dresser.

I’m really tired of Congress selling this country down the river. Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State? Spare me.

Last night, I dreamed I was walking down a crowded street, and someone shoved a leash in my hand and walked away. And that’s how I got a dog named Molly. She was very sweet, a corgi mix. I do want a dog, although I can’t adopt one right now. I wonder what else the dream means? It was very clear.

The cats were both staring at me when I woke up, like they knew.

Hope to get some writing done before I head for the hair dresser, and then, when I get back from the library.

I hate the fact that there’s no collaborative office space available around here. They have it in Boston; they had it in New York; heck, they even had it in White Plains. I expected the Cape to be progressive, but I swear, I often think it’s stuck in 1956.

Today is Imbolc, so I’ve got a celebration and the first planting to do. In spite of the snow on the ground.

Published in: on February 2, 2017 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. June 3, 2014: Projects, Interviews, Writing

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I have an interview live over on A Biblio Paradise about how TRACKING MEDUSA evolved. Jump over and read it here.

Busy day yesterday. I lost most of the morning and a good part of the afternoon helping a colleague work on a project that was dumped on us at the last minute.

Then, I revised Episode #105 and most of #106 for the Big Script Project, while working on #109 (which has to be delivered today) and #110 (which is due on Thursday).

I tweaked a few things in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and finished Chapter 3 — it was nearly 10 PM by the time all that happened. And I realized this morning I have to do an “insert” to tweak something, or it will contradict (in the wrong way) information from TRACKING MEDUSA.

Dropped off my new boss’s birthday gifts at the library — she deserves to know she’s appreciated.

I started putting together the pieces of the Tip Sheet for tomorrow, but that has to be finished.

I have a lot of baking to do today, in preparation for tomorrow’s workshop, script work, and other stuff that all needs to get done TODAY.

I have to remember to do my own writing first, and not try to get work done for other people in the morning (my most creative time), because then I run out of words and creative energy later in the day. There’s a reason I start with MY OWN first thousand words of the day.

But I’m happy to be back on track with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Even though It’s a draft and will need work, it feels right again.


Wed. Jan. 9, 2013: SETTING UP SUBMISSION SYSTEM Available!

Submissions Cover 6X9 PDF

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Day Before dark moon
Sunny and cold

I have a fun interview up with Sharon Buchbinder over here. Many thanks to her for hosting me!

Worked with my students, which was fun. And I have a new ebook up on Smashwords — SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM. It’s based on the seminar I taught last year, with some updates and additional information. Only $2.99 in various e-formats, and definitely worth it. What it does is help you streamline your submission process so that, as you finish projects, you assemble all the piece. When the opportunity comes to submit, it takes 15 minutes to put together a packet, rather than starting from scratch and taking hours or days. Check out the book here.

I’ll be releasing several of the Topic Workbooks over the next few months.

Very tired and have a lot on my mind. Trying to get a bunch of different things sorted out, with obstacles every step of the way. You do what you can, right? Spent too much time dithering.

That was most of my day yesterday — working on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE, working with students, prepping the book for release, doing the photo shoot for the cover (the basic cover design will serve all of the Topic Workbooks, with the different titles, to tie them together). I got a little bit of work done on the Dickensian Steampunk in the evening.

Napped for about an hour in the afternoon. Just feel run down and icky. Today is the day before the dark moon — always my lowest energy day of the month.

Have some unpleasant business to deal with this morning, but the sooner dealt with, the sooner handled.

Hopefully, some of the pitches and LOIs I’ve been sending out will hit soon.


Published in: on January 9, 2013 at 7:34 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Nov. 19, 2012: So ready for a New Week! = Why didn’t this publish this AM? Darned Merc Ret!

Monday, November 19, 2012
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend. Friday was a discouraging day, on many fronts. By noon, I was just about ready to give up. But I pushed through, and just kept at it. But I was very discouraged and blue by the end of it — although a trip to the library cheered me up somewhat, as such trips do. Managed to get out a review, an interview, and an invoice, so it wasn’t completely a lost day.

Saturday was busy — yard work, hauling leaves to the dump, writing, doing article pitches, doing promotional stuff, and finishing up the final galleys for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. They are done, they are out. I turned around two sets of novel galleys this week — exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Also caught up on my World History coursework for the week (and aced all the quizzes).

Sunday was about newspapers and laundry and doing stuff around the house. The dump was accepting brush up until yesterday, post-hurricane, so I loaded up the car with all the brush the landscapers couldn’t be bothered to gather (although they were paid so to do and it was all in one pile) and dumped it myself. Sent a photo of the stuffed car to the landlord, so he can see how much debris had been left behind.

Did my mythology coursework for the week. The class is so helpful, and is feeding a lot of my fiction.

Read a couple of mysteries — the premise is good, but the protagonist is a man of certain age. Nothing wrong with that, except all the female characters of every age are morons who fall all over him in embarrassing ways and he’s always the smug, self-serving hero. Ick. And the stories lack logic — they discover something important, but don’t do anything about it for a few days, even though they know it’s important, and are then surprised when something goes to hell in a hand basket.

Writing is percolating — now I have to get stuff down on paper. It was really percolating yesterday, on more than one burner, but I purposely gave myself the day off writing to recharge and let it build up, so I can write more this week.

I got a solid 1000 words done on a project where I don’t know where it’s going, but I like the feel of it, and I know the overall shape I want it to take. Of course, that means I still have to turn my attention to several other deadlined projects today, as well as do things like yard work and taking the garbage to the dump and other home and hearth stuff.
I’m also going to do my World History coursework for the week today and the Mythology tomorrow, so I don’t have it hanging over me during the holiday.


Don’t forget — the deadline for the Playwright Intensive is November 25. Three months — a submission-ready play. More info and application here.

And the Flash 7 Flash Fiction workshop — Dec. 7-16 — write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 days. Info here.

Interviewed on Long & Short Romance!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

First and foremost, hop on over to LASR to read an interview with me — it was a ton of fun — I just love working with them.

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT will be available at the bookstore in the Cape Cod Writers Center Conference — woo hoo! If HEX BREAKER isn’t in print yet, they told me to go ahead and leave promotional materials in the store. Talk about a much better arrangement than at Write Angles last year, which segregated authors, lied to me about carrying me in the store, and then, the night before the conference dumped the whole problem into my lap. This was easy-peasy — I emailed the guy running the bookstore, he sent me the form, and we’re good to go. No drama, no “you’re not with a big enough publisher and not important enough for our store”, none of that. Which is one reason this conference is one of the most respected in the country.

Yesterday, I worked a lot, but didn’t get enough done. Sound familiar? But I got some ideas to one of my new editors, got some work in for another client, mowed the terraced back area, took all the clippings to the dump, In the afternoon, I managed to write 1857 words (a whole chapter) on HEART BINDER, and I read 70 pages of a manuscript for critique. And baked a cake.

I went to the client meeting at 6:30 last night, and didn’t get home until after 11. It was fun, and nice to do focused work in company, but I was beat by the time I got in. Overslept this morning, and then did some more work for that client before I even got a chance to blog.

Tessa was mad at me — our routine this summer has been that I take her out with me in the morning and put her in her cage on the deck. She watches me water, and then is out with me while I have my first cup of coffee, percolate ideas, and write the first 1K of the day in longhand. Later, at the end of the day, she comes out with me again, while I have a glass of wine on the deck and either read or write some more.

Well, yesterday afternoon, I was behind in the work, and couldn’t take her out before I left. And this morning, it was rainy. She was one sulky girl. I took her out this morning in my arms and she got rained on — which, of course, in her feline mind, is all my fault.

Anyway, I’ve got a LOT on my plate today — better get to it.

I’m so happy with the LASR interview!


Don’t forget — Taste of Tarot workshop for artists in all media, this Saturday afternoon, June 16, at Three Fish and a Ram Community Art Center in Mashpee. More info here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunflowers on my deck. Wish I was there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Temperatures are going down, and it’s lovely outside. Too bad I’m someplace where I can’t even crack a window!

There’s a lively interview with me over on Long and Short Romance — some interesting questions. Stop on by! And I’ll be on their chat loop all day tomorrow, answering questions.

Got some work done yesterday. I’m struggling with a difficult chapter on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Yesterday, the chapter won. Today, I need to take back the authorial edge. That particular scene needs to be there in the book because it’s a turning point in the plot; it doesn’t work anywhere else, and it’s the key to hurtling us towards the last third of the book.

Got a bunch of promo work done for ASSUMPTION, and some for the Mermaid Ball. It’s at the end of the week! I’m looking forward to having a break from this site gig, which is more stressful than it needs to be. Today, I get to have a confrontation with yet someone else the client sent to check up on me — and the client lied to both of us about our positions on the project, which is part of the problem. I’m really tired of the lying, the manipulation, and the distrust. Unfortunately, I can’t walk away until I fulfill the contract. I should have trusted my very first instinct when I came to discuss the job — the instinct was, “This won’t work. Stay away.” It should have been a straight-forward, simple, stress-free job. And it’s not. The money’s good, but it’s still not worth it.

Well, I have a lot to look forward to in September, and for the rest of the year. I just have to keep going. This is temporary; I can’t let it define the other aspects of my life. I have too much to do, and too many wonderful possibilities opening up. This gig was a step backwards, and, while there may be planets in retrograde, I need to move my life forward.


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010
Waning Moon
Rainy and warm

Got up at 5:30 and didn’t run because of the bad storm. Tomorrow’s supposed to be lovely, so that will be my third run of the week instead.

No wonder I liked the actor who played “Connor Dunham” so much on Wednesday’s episode of HUMAN TARGET — it’s Christopher Heyerdahl, whose work I’ve enjoyed so much on SANCTUARY. And the other actor, who played Gerard, is Erik Avari, who’s always working and always good. Hey, give credit where it’s due and not just call them “those actors I liked”, right?

I think it’s really exciting that so much has gone/is going into production this pilot season. It’ll be even more interesting to see what actually makes it to release/airing, and pretty soon, the final renewal list will be in. Hopefully, the pendulum is moving away from reality crap and back to scripted shows, and hopefully, there will be an interesting array of actors.

Pilot season somewhat makes me miss being on set — a little. However, most pilots are shot on as tight a budget as they can get away with, which puts an awful lot of pressure on the crew. Depending on the production and the network, if it gets picked up, and there are names with enough clout attached who aren’t afraid to use it, the budget gets more realistic; otherwise, they continue to nickel and dime, and usually, those are the shows that tank pretty fast. You burn people out if you use as few as possible and push them for 18-hour days over a period of months. That part, I don’t miss. Nor do I miss the politics involved when the network demands actors are re-cast and stuff re-shot.

What’s frustrating is this assumption that a solid, healthy, loving relationship is boring. Lead characters who love each other are either kept apart forever or the show ends as soon as they get together. Most publishers who bring out “romance novels” – which seems to include any time a character kisses or has sex — want new pairs who get together in a book, rather than exploring the adventure of a healthy, solid relationship once the characters get together. Yes, it’s often in the submission guidelines. Some mysteries and urban fantasy have sustained relationships over the course of a series, but usually the threat du jour becomes a direct threat to the relationship, instead of letting the relationship grow and introducing a variety of threats. I think that does a huge disservice — it sends a message that sustained love isn’t interesting. Instead, it should be celebrated, and it should be celebrated in at least a solid fraction of our entertainment. Not just a brief reference to 80-somethings who’ve been together for years, but let us watch solid, healthy relationships evolve over the course of several seasons or the course of a series.

Yesterday was a frustrating day. Didn’t get much done, the taxes are a mess, etc., etc. Didn’t get enough writing done, wasted too much time puttering around on the internet.

An actor friend sent me a link to a YouTube interview. A fan was interviewing an actor whose work I enjoy. The fan, bless his pointy little head, was enthusiastic, but hadn’t done his homework and was just an awful interviewer. The actor was a little stunned by a few of the more ignorant questions, but, kudos to him, he collected himself and was as gracious and charming as he could be. I sat there, cringing with embarrassment for both of them — especially since the interviewer had no idea how badly he came across. I will have to write a scene along those lines for either this urban fantasy or in POWER OF WORDS.

Gotta love it, though, when watching a YouTube video counts as “research” for one’s writing! 😉

Good morning’s work on the urban fantasy today. Still feeling my way through the chapter, but I think I need to make some discoveries before outlining the next section. I have the loose frame of the entire piece in my head, but don’t yet want to write it down. I know what I’m aiming towards, and I have a couple of intense scenes to hit, but I need the whys. I also have to figure out where to introduce the antagonist, so that it makes sense and it’s a strong contest of skills and wills.

Gotta go to Trader Joe’s today — out of cat food. And work on taxes. And, hopefully, the writing day will improve.


Corrected Interview Link

The regular “Ink” post runs below.

The gender confusion was cleared up in the interview, and it runs today and tomorrow here.

Come check it out. If there’s a place to comment, drop a comment!

Enjoy — I get to talk more about music than I usually do, as well as writing!


Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 9:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool
Autumn Equinox

I was all excited about an interview that runs today and tomorrow and I go to check if it’s live this morning . . .and the interviewer’s got my GENDER wrong! In paragraph after paragraph.

First of all, part of a writer’s job is “never assume”. Check your facts.

Second, I talk about reading Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Beverly Gray, and the Little House on the Prairie books growing up. Um, I don’t know a lot of GUYS who do that, do you? Instead of assuming I’m a gay MALE because I work on Broadway, how about checking?

I pointed it out semi-diplomatically. If and when the correction is made, I’ll post the link.

I’m tired. I appreciate the good wishes, people, but tell me: Since I worked shows 14 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday, exactly WHEN was I supposed to get in that productive writing weekend you all talked about?

Shows were fine. My actors were as sweet and lovely as they could be. The interview with the actor/songwriter went VERY well – it’ll run in the Winter issue of THE SCRUFFY DOG REVIEW, and you guys will love it. He’s an extraordinarily talented human being, and one of my favorite people to work with.

I had dinner on Saturday between shows with some friends (some of whom came to the show later that night). We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Pepe Rosso, on W. 52nd St. Unfortunately, the manager’s wife brought their two toddlers into the restaurant. The brats screamed and shrieked non-stop the entire time they were there. They banged dishes with spoons. They smashed glassware. They ran around the tables screaming. It was behaviour completely inappropriate to a place of business, not to mention this was my one hour break in a 14 hour day and I was furious. We complained, AND I’m writing to the owners, stating that we WERE regular customers, but we will not be returning.

Sunday, we wandered the street fair. I bought some handmade soap. The rock-n-roll kid running the booth saw my triskele necklace and said, “Wow, you’re wearing the Led Zeppelin symbol.”

“Um, sweetie, this symbol is s a lot older than Led Zeppelin,” I retorted. “I know that’s hard to believe.”


I’m about to embark on an exciting project that, if everything works out, will be pretty exciting in the long run. I can’t go into the details yet (sorry), so I’m calling it The Big Project. It needs more preparation than anything I’ve done to date, because I have to fit into material that’s already been created, although it also has to stand alone. I’m excited and I’m trying to absorb the information and make notes and formulate my part in it. And by Big Project, I mean around 75K.

I’ll have to reshuffle things to fit it into an already tight schedule, because it needs to be done sooner rather than later. I may do it as my Nano – but if I do, I’ll have to skip mentoring this year. Or maybe limit myself to three.

My grandmother and her brother have both taken a turn for the worse. Next week, I’ll head up to Maine before I head down to Philadelphia.

I have a phone appointment with my producer for the play opening in January at 10 AM, and then it’s back to the page. I’ve got a lot to get done today.

So far, I’m not booked for the show at all this week – we’ll see how long that lasts! 😉


Devon’s Bookstore:

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.

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:

Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 8:16 am  Comments (7)  
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy, muggy, musty

Hey, only one retrograde, will ya look at that? Too bad it’s my ruling planet! 😉

The lovely Susan Gray started running an interview with me on Gottawritergirl. She’s kind enough to call me “daring” and “dynamic”, which is a nice way to start the day, as I stumble around trying to remember where I put the coffee grinder and, while lying in Corpse Pose during yoga, getting thwacked in the head by a little yellow ball with a bell in it batted by one of the cats! Hop on over and read it.

Okay, to clarify about ANGEL HUNT. I’m glad you’re as excited as I am about its progress, but remember, I had 106 episodes of the serial to ADAPT to novel format. I didn’t write 72K from scratch. I’ve cut, changed, reworked, revised, added new scenes, honed the plot, focused the characters, and done a lot of work – but it’s not 72K of new material. I will have to write about 25K of new material starting later this week, and it certainly won’t be at the same blistering pace at which I’ve been able to adapt. I’ve worked a lot faster than I normally do, until I can barely see on most days, because the story’s rolling well again, and it’s finally starting to fulfill its potential. But the 72K is not from scratch.

And there will be several more drafts to work through before it’s ready for submission.

One of the biggest mistakes I see writers make as they break into the business is thinking the second draft is ready to submit. It rarely is. You’ve got to put the manuscript aside so you can approach it with fresh eyes. And then you’ve got to put it aside again. Not every book has to go through 6, 7, 8 drafts, but it’s very, very, VERY rare that a single edit is going to land you a publishing contract with a traditional print publishing house. The longer you write, the more you publish, the more you streamline the writing/editing process and the fewer drafts you need, but at the beginning – figure you’ll need between three and five drafts.

Even this technically “second” draft of ANGEL HUNT is more than that. It’s based on serial episodes that were published several years ago. That means those episodes were rewritten several times (in spite of the blistering pace I kept up, writing four serials simultaneously) before they were published (and I’m still catching mistakes not caught by the editor that make me cringe). And, as I revise ANGEL HUNT, I’m going back through and reworking batches of chapters at a time, and then going back and making more changes in the chapters already worked on to strengthen and streamline the whole thing. So this revision is about three-in-one, and there will still be more when I think this draft is “done”.

“The Merry’s Dalliance”, one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written, is supposedly up on NEW MYTHS. However, when I try to access its page, it’s blank. It was there about a week ago for a few hours, I saw it. I’ve been paid for it. I emailed the editor and am waiting to hear back if I’m having some weird browser issue or if something’s wrong. I want people to be able to read it!

I finished my column; I want to read it through one last time before I hit “send”. I still haven’t done the work for Confidential Job #1, which must be finished today before I leave for the show, and I have two guest blog posts to write.

I better get going – today starts the eight-show week!


Angel Hunt — 87,797 words out of est. 125,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
87 / 125

Devon’s Bookstore:

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.

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:

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 8:13 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,