Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly

image courtesy of Myriams-Fotos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I’m still struggling to get back on my feet after the second vaccine dose. I’m not complaining (exactly). I’m grateful to be vaccinated. But the process of getting my feet back under me after this shot has been difficult.

I managed a good night’s sleep for once, Monday into Tuesday, although I woke up feeling awful. I managed to shower and get dressed and even put some makeup on, and then I had to go and lie down again. The weakness and dizziness and nausea were overwhelming at times.

I considered trying to postpone the Zoom meeting with the potential new client, but I know they need to move forward, and with all the juggling I’m doing, I need to know if they’re going to make me an offer, so I went ahead. If I don’t get the offer, I have no one but myself to blame, both for not presenting well in that meeting and for being utterly myself on social media. And I will live with those consequences.

I was far, far, FAR from my best. I would say it was one of the worst interviews I’ve ever given in my rather long and varied career.  I’m amazed I didn’t pass out during the meeting. There were one or two moments where I thought I would.  On top of that, the landlord had landscapers walking around the house looking at what needs to be done. At one point, they were right up against the windows talking (although I think I only flinched once, and I’m not sure that was caught by the other meeting attendees). Charlotte nearly got into the picture at one point, but I managed to keep her off my lap and off camera. And, of course, the neighborhood tree cutters were out with their chainsaws destroying more habitat.

The work itself? I could do it. I’d be good at it. I have years of most of the skills they need.  I’d sharpen some skills, especially with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite. I’m good at staying on deadline and keeping on top of organizational things, and it’s well within my field. I still might not be who they want and need for the position. And IF they make an offer, I have to look at the numbers and the benefits package and whether or not there’s relocation support.  It’s not just me in a studio apartment with the cats. I have a household to run and family for whom to care. No matter how much the job is in an arena I love (and this one is), if I can’t make the numbers work and need to take on a bucket of extra work in order to survive when I’m already working full time – I have to see how it all balances out.

What I should have said when they asked what I’m going to do about my other clients is say, “With the salary discussed, I have to keep some of them while working for you” but I wasn’t on my game enough to be that straightforward. Which could also kybosh the whole thing, but it would have been a more solid answer.

The likelihood they would give me an offer after that dismal performance today? Maybe 1%.  Possibly zero. I can’t imagine they don’t have better options from what they experienced this morning. When the best element of an interview is that one didn’t pass out, there’s a problem. Would it have been better to wait until I felt better? With so many other variables out there, maybe better for me, but they needed this to happen so they could make their decisions and move forward and stay on their schedule. And I need to know if I’m getting an offer, so I can figure out some of my own moving pieces.

As I said, I made the choices I made, I live with the consequences. Because hey, even if I had been at my best (or at least, better, or maybe even coherent), I STILL might not be what they’re looking for, and that is just the way things work out sometimes.

Still, by the end of the meeting, I was a total wreck.

I sent my thank you email. I got out a couple of LOIs. I sent the test sample contract to the other company who wanted me to go through a series of assessments.

I had an email meltdown with a friend who, because she’s a genuine friend, was very understanding.

I wrote up my next script coverage and sent that off.

I heard back from a few more LOIs who want to set up meetings to discuss upcoming projects. One of them even made it clear that any test samples requested are paid – and the rate they quoted me is more than satisfactory. So that’s an ethical company for whom I’d like to work.

Just for the record — I went back through the requests for unpaid labor/samples/tests as part of the interview process since February. Had I done them all, I would have put in 150 hours of unpaid labor since February. That’s 3.75 WEEKS of unpaid work. This is not counting the requests for one-way video interviews. I have a post on the actual cost of those up on Ink-Dipped Advice here.

And people wonder why I put together a contract for tests/assessments/project-specific samples.

Looked at some other rental possibilities online; got some paperwork to fill out. Will see if I can set up a few virtual tours for later this week.

Read the next script for coverage, and took a lot of notes. Will write them up later today and send them off. Was assigned the next script to cover, which I will read later today.

Tended to the lawn watering. I’m going to have to get the garage cleaned out this weekend, I think. I want to get it done before the landscapers start work, and I don’t think they’ll start work until the grass seed starts growing properly. I also want to put a few things up on craigslist. If I can get the ball rolling on that tomorrow, I’ll feel like I’ve made some progress.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. They missed me last Thursday, although one of the parents covered. The teens are excited that they’ll be able to get vaccinated soon, too.

Watched the last season of WILLIAM AND MARY. That was really a lovely show.

Woke up at 3 worrying. Made the mistake of going on Twitter, where the BOSTON GLOBE has an editorial from a “behavioral scientist” about how working from home isn’t healthy or natural – citing studies from the 1970s. Yet another privileged misogynist who calls himself an “influencer” and was obviously paid by some corporate entity to write this crap. Probably the Chamber of Commerce or some commercial reality place.

Still feel like absolute crap. I have to go onsite with a client today – at least, I’ll make the effort, and if I feel too bad, I’ll leave. I need to get in touch with my doctor and see what’s what. Being under the kind of stress I’m under right now isn’t helping me heal from the vaccine dose, I’m sure; I also want to make sure I don’t make bad decisions while I’m feeling awful.

There’s Remote Chat today, which should be fun.  I need to work on a short story due later this week, and on that article with which I’ve been struggling. A few calls for pitches landed on my desk (well, my inbox) yesterday, so I want to go through and see if there’s anything I should answer.

I desperately need rest, but I can’t right now, even though I know I’ll pay for not resting in a few days. Or maybe hours.

Onward.

Published in: on May 12, 2021 at 4:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly  
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Fri. April 30, 2021: It Keeps Piling On

photo by Devon Ellington

Friday, April 30, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Foggy and cool

Beltane Eve

Yesterday was a frustrating day, but it all worked out, somehow.

Dealing with a boundary issue with a client, which is frustrating.

At least I got out some LOIs and got some work done. The property manager missed the two potential phone appointments with no contact, and then sent me the rental application late last night, along with a time to drive a long way up and see the place that I already said wouldn’t work.  So, that place is out. Plus, my questions haven’t been answered on the lack of washer/dryer, the monthly fee for the garage, etc. I don’t think this is going to work. If we’re having this much difficulty communicating in getting basic information on the property, it’s a red flag to what it would be like if we actually moved in. It’s already near the top of my price range, and then with all these extras? I don’t see how it can work.

Heard back from a company to whom I’d sent an LOI months ago, and they want to talk today, so we have a video interview set up late this afternoon (my worst time of day, but so what). I have to bring up the rolling rack from the basement and drape fabric over it so act as a screen to hide all the packing going on in the office. It also means I’ll have to dress up and put on makeup.

Contacted another property, that’s also quite far away, but looks and sounds fantastic, and the price is good, too. It’s a little small, but workable, and in a place I hadn’t considered, but that would work.

Had a series of exchanges with a fairly local realtor, who contacted me after I told her that a property she represents showed up as a scam rental on craigslist. She’s been in touch a few times. I explained the situation, and she suggested some resources (all of which I’ve already contacted), but also admitted that there isn’t anything in the area to rent (that’s not a kazillion dollars and a short-term rental) and very little to buy. I mean, she was nice and all, but it didn’t get me any closer to solving the problem.

The stress continues to build.

photo by Devon Ellington

The septic company dropped off the digger yesterday afternoon. It’s a big old thing, stashed in the backyard, until they start up, first thing Monday morning.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. We’re all ready for this school year to be over.

Worked on contest entries. I should be finished by today, and can send off my choices tomorrow.

I had a horrible, horrible cramp in the arch of my foot last night, like a Charley horse in the arch. I don’t want to experience that again any time soon.

I have a lot of work and a lot of packing to do today, along with a grocery run. At least I had a good first writing session, although I didn’t get enough work done on the article or the story yesterday. Hopefully, I can make up for that today.

And tomorrow, the Kentucky Derby! AND Beltane!

Catch you on the other side. Hopefully, next week will look up as far as house hunting.

Published in: on April 30, 2021 at 5:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. April 30, 2021: It Keeps Piling On  
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Tues. June 16, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die for Tourist Dollars Day 29 — Bone Weary

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It was cool enough last night for the heat to kick on.

There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site, “Just Rest”, which I have to take to heart this week.

Up and down weekend. Not as productive as I wished, but I got work done. It just wasn’t what I needed to get done.

I felt as creative as wilted lettuce on Friday, so I concentrated on admin tasks. Cleared out a couple of inboxes, dealt with things, got out some LOIs.

I can’t remember if I made the new curtains for the bedroom on Thursday or Friday. Sheers with small roses on them, a little out of character for me, but they’re nice.

Saturday morning, geared up and went to Star Market early (after dropping my library books in the bin). People were masked, and there weren’t a lot in there, so it wasn’t bad, even though they don’t always follow the arrows.

On the way home, I saw lots of people out and about. All unmasked. All acting like nothing’s happened.

Basically, we stayed home to give the powers that be time to come up with solutions to keep us alive, and they did nothing. Now, they just want us to go back out there and die for their profit.

Still getting daily emails claiming my package will be delivered that day (whatever day it is). Of course, it’s not. Now, UPS marks the excuse as “emergency or natural disaster.” Um, no. There haven’t been any emergencies or natural disasters in the 11 miles between the facility and the house in the past ten days. It was either Friday or Saturday when the UPS truck drove right past the house, but didn’t stop.

Absolutely unacceptable.

If my package isn’t important enough for them, then they should hand it off to USPS, like they did the last one. At least USPS can be bothered to deliver.

UPS seems to forget that the only reason they exist is to deliver packages. If they can’t do that, then they need to be broken up.

Most of the weekend was taken up by GAMBIT COLONY revisions. I planned to spend an hour or two in re-reads. That piece is my favorite stress reliever. But I got caught up in it. I revised books 3 & what I have of 4. Book 4 is nearly finished. Book 5 is an interlude book, and I have bits and pieces of it done, and Book 6 is in basic outline.

Once all six books are done, I will do a big pass over them for continuity and hand them off to the editor. As we do the editor-based revisions, I will do the Series Bible, which is complex.

The plan, once the first six books are edited, is to release one a month over the course of six months. Although I have ideas for a few more books in the series, whether or not anything will come of them remains to be seen, and will be contingent upon how well the first six books do. They are of a piece; while they don’t act as cliffhangers, each book is a specific part of the journey.

I’ve been joking about the series being a “creative soap opera” since it deals with the behind-the-scenes filming of a television show. But, really, that’s what it is. And not your typical, clichéd, bitchy idiocy. But an exploration of creative process under pressure; some of it is a creative utopia I wish existed, some is about the actual conflicts that come up.

We’re looking at a 2022 release, but it could get pushed back, again, because of other contracts that need to be finished first.

If there are further books down the line, they will have to deal with the pandemic and how it affects the show. Maybe by then, I’ll have a better idea of how things actually work out.

Providing I survive. Which, when your government and your bosses are doing what they can to make sure one doesn’t, becomes a challenge.

I got a bit of yard work done. Not as much as I should have. Cut back some invasives. Did not get the front finished, which is something I need to do this week if the weather holds.

A lot of this week is getting in what I need for next week’s surgery and recovery. I think I have most of it; will get a few last things at the end of the week, and then play it as safe as I can until I have my COVID test next week, and, if it comes back negative, the surgery.

At each phase of the process, depending on what happens, there are different sets of protocols to follow, so it’s just one step at a time.

I decided, since GAMBIT COLONY is my stress-relief project (as complex as it is), that it will be my carrot. If I finish what I need to write that day, I get to spend some time on GAMBIT COLONY. If I don’t, no GAMBIT.

That should motivate!

Had weird dreams all weekend. Sunday night into Monday I had a good one, which was working on a Shakespeare production with Peter Dinklage. That would be great, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Decent first writing session on THE BARD’S LAMENT on Monday morning.

Headed in to the office. It was quiet for most of my stint, and I was on my own. A bit of overlap with a stressed out co-worker. There’s nothing I can do to help her. I’ve tried. I attempt to lend a sympathetic ear to her venting, but I leave feeling bruised from the negativity.

Home, got out some LOIs, had a really nice preliminary online interview with a company based in Australia. I don’t have enough expertise in their field, so I doubt they’d hire me, but the actual process was a pleasure. That is so rare when so many of these recruiters and application places either bait and switch or are so demeaning in the initial contact that I stop the process right there.

I’m so weary, weary all the way into my bones, running deep. Having a migraine didn’t help, either.

I took a two hour nap (I’m not a napper). It didn’t help.

Slogged through making dinner. Read a bit, went to bed early. Felt no better after nine hours of sleep.

The UPS package finally arrived. It wasn’t delivered for so long because it was small (smaller than I expected). Therefore, not important enough. They should have just handed it off to USPS, and not lied every day that it was going to be delivered.

I already decided NOT to buy a couple of things in the past few days because the companies use UPS to ship.

Ron Perlman taking Ted Cruz to the woodshed was funny as hell. Cruz behaved completely inappropriately for a sitting Senator – especially one who allowed the Sociopath to publicly trash both his wife and father. Perlman is smart, talented, and has integrity – everything Cruz does not.

The Supreme Court decision saying the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT was important. I was not impressed with Gorsuch’s opinion on it, and Alito’s disagreement was appalling and from the past century. But it passed, and the Supreme Court actually served justice and our population, which it hasn’t always done.

I’m hoping to have a good day both on the fiction front and the client front today, and mentally prepare for a difficult day onsite tomorrow.

But I still have a migraine, I’m weary unlike any exhaustion I’ve ever had before, and it will be a struggle. Hope it’s all better on your end.

Published in: on June 16, 2020 at 5:36 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 16, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die for Tourist Dollars Day 29 — Bone Weary  
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Thurs. Aug. 22, 2019: Sometimes You Have to Make the Break

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid, with incoming storms

If my father was still alive, this would have been his birthday.

Yesterday was okay. Had a decent morning’s work on GRAVE REACH before I headed to my client’s. Had a decent morning’s work on ELLA.

Got a good bit done at my client’s.

The Remote Chat was terrific. I always have such fun with that group.

Stopped at the grocery store, then went home.

Set up an interview with a potential new client near end of day next Tuesday. The company is fairly new, and their work interests me, so we’ll see what happens when we talk.

The Narcissistic Sociopath now claims to be “King of Israel” and the “Second Coming of God”? He’s insane. It’s so infuriating that no one will DO anything to hold him accountable.

Decided to end a friendship because the other person is so toxic in my life. I’ve tried to be a good friend over the years; she’s talented, and I know she’s struggling with mental health issues. But she continues to hurt, attack, stand me up, try to manipulate me all the time. I am done. Her position is that she has mental health issues and therefore can’t be held responsible for what she says or does. She needs to do what she needs to do in the moment to take care of herself, and if lashing out is what she needs to do, then she’s going to do that. She considers it my job to stand there and take it without complaint. Even when it’s behavior I have repeatedly told her is harmful to me. I agree that she has the right to do whatever she needs to. I also have the right not to be her whipping post. Not to constantly be expected to accept the poison and hurt she keeps trying to pour on me. I, too, have the right to take care of myself. We’re done. If her therapist is telling her it’s okay to commit deliberate acts of cruelty toward the people in her life, I have problems with that.

The loss of the good times and her potential and her talent will be mourned; her refusal to take any responsibility for toxic behavior will not.

Today is supposed to be brutally hot and humid, then storms that will break it. I hope that’s true.

I am focusing on my article and on GRAVE REACH today. Had an excellent morning on ELLA. The first draft of ELLA is a mess, all over the place, but I’m loving the process. I have a basic idea of the points I want to hit, but I’m not working from a detailed outline the way I often do.

It’s important to change up the process occasionally, and not get into a rut.

My hand is still bothering me. I have a few hours where I feel better, then a bunch of hours where I don’t. One day at a time, I guess.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on August 22, 2019 at 8:40 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 22, 2019: Sometimes You Have to Make the Break  
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Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017: The Relief of Release from a Bad Situ

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold
Imbolc

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

Devon

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.

Devon

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.

Devon

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!

Devon

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.

Devon


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.

Devon

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!

Devon

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.”

Sheesh!

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

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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