Mon. Oct. 22, 2012: Scary Times with Sick Kitty


Iris lounging on a better day

Monday, October 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Quite the weekend! But before we start on that, hop on over to A Bible Paradise for a cool round-table interview with some of the contributors from DEATH SPARKLES.

The big and scary thing for the weekend was that Iris was very sick. Yesterday morning, I couldn’t find her, and, when I did, I thought I had to rush her to the emergency vet. She was in bad shape, and I have no idea why. About 45 minutes later, she was a little better, so the vet & I agreed to keep her quiet and watch her, and, if it got worse, bring her in later.

She hid for a few hours (and we checked on her every 20 minutes), then came down on her own in the early afternoon, ate, and curled up in her usual spot. She was quieter than usual, but definitely not at death’s door. She even had bedtime snacks, although she decided to stay downstairs instead of coming up with the others. This morning, she was moving slowly and quiet, but she ate all her breakfast and most of Violet’s (the usual), so, hopefully, she’s on the mend.

I think she had another seizure, like she had four or five years ago. I’m going to watch her for a few days to see how she does, and maybe take her in for a blood test. Last time, they couldn’t find anything and said either they’d be infrequent, or she’d get more of them and have to be put on anti-seizure medication. This is the first one she’s had in years.

Scary times, and the other two cats worried and stuck close.

I don’t remember much of Friday, except I worked hard, and had a phone conference with an agent about the proposal. A few things I was worried about Thursday were cleared up Friday — as usual, I was fretting when no fretting was necessary. And I got my hair chopped off — it was too long and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m much happier with it now.

I read my fellow students’ projects for the Sustainability class and commented on them. I wrote my final paper (“Full Circle Humanity”) and submitted it, and commented on the discussion projects submitted for grading. Uploaded my lectures and exercises for my own class.

Saturday morning, I watched the video lectures for my final week in Sustainability and took the quizzes. I think one of the speakers in the TED talk video might be good for a keynote speaker at the Writers’ Conference next year. I’ll suggest it.

I worked with my students all afternoon and well into the evening (their work was awesome and it was a pleasure), and then caught up on the Greek & Roman Mythology lectures and took the quiz (got 100%). I started the lectures for the World History class and took the quizzes for the lectures I’d watched (100% on all of those).

Sunday, I had the worries with Iris, which framed the whole day. In and around that, I did follow-up with my students, watched the rest of my World History Lectures, took the quizzes (100% on all of them), and wrote my papers for both classes. I’d been working on them for the whole week, but it was a case of pulling it all together and on paper.

My Greek & Roman Mythology paper was, from a writer’s perspective, why Homer needed book 24 of the Odyssey, instead of stopping at Book 23. The original paper was nearly 1300 words (and could have been much more), but I had to cut it down to 350. Talk about a challenge! However, it was interesting, and I want to dig deeper and expand it out beyond class.

My World History paper was on how conversation changed the world. The very structures that allowed the moneyed and educated to meet and discuss ideas about liberty and rights — a structure that allowed for servants and/or slaves — made it possible for these “unseen” in the room to learn, too, and start applying those principles to themselves. I tried to integrate the feedback from the last paper — specifics from my research within the text — so I did that, this time. Again, this is something I want to expand on beyond class — a really interesting topic.

And my lovely, diplomatic professor addressed the whiners complaining that there is work for the class and deadlines that have to be met by pointing out that that’s part of the university experience!

I worked on the tweaks for the proposal last night and sent it off to the agent. We’re going to talk more this afternoon, for any final comments and changes, before she takes it out into the world.

I already spoke to the vet this morning, and I’m on my way out the door for meetings. When I come back, I have to clean the house (Costume Imp arrives tomorrow), get the recycling out, and finish the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

The Sustainability Course is done — I’m just waiting for my final grades, and having separation anxiety! So this week, only Mythology and History — along with all the other stuff that needs to get done!

Onward!

Devon

Wed. Oct. 3: Power Outage and Deadbeat Client

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We had a power outage yesterday, just as I was working with my tarot students. The computer is fine, thank goodness, but it was a little chaotic, with the generator kicking in and having to report it and then getting the power back on. Couldn’t get back online the rest of the day. But it meant I couldn’t watch any of the video lectures for class, so that gets all lumped in today.

I got back a lot of information I needed yesterday and now have to integrate it into various projects, and am talking this project and that project with several different editors. Finished the submissions, and am glad to be done. Live and learn.

Sent yet another reminder/invoice to the ghostwriting client, who still owes me the balance for the work and has gone completely unresponsive to the last questions so we can wrap this project up. This is why clients have to pay 50% up front -so the writer is not completely screwed. Also last time I give a deep discount because it’s set up by someone I know.

Word from home is that there’s a leak in the ceiling (the landlord came by yesterday and will fix it tomorrow), and a woodpecker’s torn a hole near my room and built a nest (naughty Carlos). Tessa is depressed and mopey — not eating much, won’t play, lies on my bed and looks sad. Poor little thing.

The week Costume Imp comes up to visit, about 6 kazillion things are going on, so I’m giving him the options, and he can choose to participate or not as he pleases. After all, it IS his vacation.

I need to spend some time on my Sustainability Projects today. The first chapter of the mystery will be the easiest, so I’ll probably work on that first. I’ve got my notes — I just have to sit down and focus. It’s more difficult when there’s someone else on the site.

I have a meeting with an agent this evening — I’m looking forward to it. A full morning here tomorrow, and then I’m back on the road to GO HOME.

Looks like DEATH SPARKLES will release on October 12 — how exciting!

Devon

Mon. Oct. 1, 2012: Great Start to a Busy Week!

Monday, October 1, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend.

As I posted late Friday night, I was pleased with the reading of my play. I saw (and heard) where I can make it better, and the feedback from both the actors and the audience was helpful. And it was nice to have some friendly faces in the audience!

Saturday morning, I hit the road, by 8 AM, as planned. Traffic going south was awful. I stopped in Mystic to pick up some truffles (since I hadn’t made it to Cape Cod Chocolatier before I left, I stopped at Munson’s, instead). I arrived safely in CT, and was absolutely exhausted (I was too wound up after the reading to sleep well).

Got settled in, tried to get set up for the week’s work. Discovered that the Cablevision connection is much weaker and wonkier than the Comcast connection. You know it’s bad when I’m praising Comcast. The videos I need for my schoolwork come in fits and spurts, not smoothly streaming. Frustrating — a time eater as well as hard to follow. A 19 minute video took nearly an hour and half to watch. Considering I have six hours’ worth of video to watch between the three classes this week, plus finish the rough drafts of both Sustainability Projects, write another Sustainability paper and write my first paper for — gosh darn, I can’t remember if it’s World History of the Mythology class — one of them — I have my hands full.

Read a mystery that frustrated me — the protagonist was such an idiot, I almost hoped the murderer would get her. “Who did it” and why the Who actually Did It made no sense. And the author created a paranormal mystery, yet obviously has utter contempt for the paranormal elements. A waste of time. Won’t be reading anything by that one again!

Re- watched the scene in REVOLUTION that bothered me so much last Monday — yup, still bothers me, and for the same reasons. Won’t get to see tonight’s episode, because I’m busy, so I’ll have to catch up when I get home.

A doe calmly ate her dinner in the yard Saturday evening, not in the least bit disturbed by proximity to others. I kept the dog away from her until she was done.

The dog woke me a little before 1 AM, barking at something — but I couldn’t find whatever upset her. She then woke me up a little after 5 AM, needing to go out.

Lots in the NY TIMES, including pages and pages on the life of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, its publisher, who died on Friday. Sunday’s edition had many of the elements that make the NY TIMES one of the best papers in the world. It’s not the best with every article every day, but it’s damn good, and everything I read in it on Sunday supported that.

Watched my school work videos — as long and as frustrating at it was. Wrote my paper for the week for Sustainability on learning how to value energy if/when it’s affordable, without losing the impetus to conserve.

One of the many things I love about the three classes is that the professors encourage us in critical thinking — approaching a theory from different angles, poking it with a stick, and fact-checking, not just accepting sound bytes or a single source.

Drove to White Plains, to the Asian grocery store (since I can’t find one on Cape Cod), and stocked up on all kinds of things I haven’t been able to find. White Plains itself was dirty, crowded, and full of rude people. If I hadn’t been so delighted by the contents of the market, I would have left immediately. But I got some delightful things, including another bagua mirror for the BACK door (I have one on the front door).

On the way back, I stopped at a favorite store when I lived here that has no branch up near me — and they had Christmas cards on sale, so I stocked up! I have enough Christmas Cards for the season — now I have to put together the postage and the presents! 😉

Shortly after I got back to my base camp for the week, we had a hail storm. Very bizarre.

Spent most of the evening finishing up the week’s work for the World History class. Watched the season premiere of ONCE UPON A TIME — I thought they tried to stuff an awful lot of plot into the first episode. Watched the season premiere of THE GOOD WIFE — nice to see so many familiar Broadway faces in the cast.

This morning, I sent off some information for an interview, did some follow-up from the play reading, and worked on a short story. I have to do a polish on an article and get it out the door in the morning, and then batch some ideas to another editor.

This afternoon will be busy — an old friend is stopping by, someone I haven’t seen since I moved. And someone else will be on site for the next few days, so I’ll have to adjust where I do my work — considering how much of it I’ve got to do! I better get going, lots to do, and, as always, limited time.

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 27, 2012: Juggling Courses and Deadlines


Still a few hibiscus in the garden

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a few projects off my desk, but not enough — familiar refrain. Had to control a case of the crankies when someone for whom I’m doing a favor nagged me about it — even though I’m well ahead of schedule on it, Miss Thing knows she’s going to get it over a week ahead of deadline and is still bitching about it, and it’s usually something for which I’d be charging a good chunk of change. Live and learn, won’t make that mistake again. The important thing is not to take it out on the material.

Worked with students, struggled with CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to attack this particular sequence (set in Iceland) from a different angle, because what I’m doing right now isn’t working, and I’m out of time. This book needs to be done and on the publisher’s desk. I’ve got other deadlines looming, and can’t drag my feet anymore. What I’ve got thus far is good, where it’s going works, so I don’t know what my darn problem is.

Got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1 — it’s massive and fascinating, and I gave my editor the heads-up that I’d submit two versions of the usual write-up — the regular short, within word count, and a longer one, and he can then choose which he wants. He thinks that’s a great idea.

Put together the samples for the gig I hope to land — at this point, either my voice fits what they’re looking for or it doesn’t, so I can’t tie myself in knots about it. I’ve got a couple more pitches to get out before I leave this weekend — I want to pitch to a couple of places in Boston.

Set up a meeting with an agent for next week, which will be fun.

Watched a little over half the video lectures for the Sustainability Course last night. Interesting information, but a little depressing. Plan to do some work today on this week’s paper, and also either on the flood/drought rebalance, or try to knock out five or six pages of the mystery for that class.

Watched half the lectures for the Greek and Roman Mythology course — I like the instructor a lot, and it’s giving me a chance to go even deeper in the revisions for the Harpy trilogy, new ideas, an even stronger mythical foundation for those books. Very excited. We only have two short papers to write for that class — wish it was more.

Yoga was great this morning, and then I had the chance to go home and change before a committee vetting interview. I had a good time talking with them, but either they feel I’m a good fit with them or they don’t. It’s really out of my control, and all I can do is be exactly who I am, not what I think they want.

I need to go through some more submissions today, I want to work on the next article for WOW — it’s not due until Monday, but I want to send it out tomorrow. Still have no idea what’s going on with the play tomorrow night, so I’m going to show up, notebook in hand, and take notes. I want to knock off one set of lectures for the World History Class, and then either finish the Sustainability lectures or the Myth lectures.

I’ve blocked out most of the weekend, out of town, to really focus on CRAVE THE HUNT. Hopefully, I’ll have a lot of uninterrupted writing time – things don’t really get busy down there until Monday.

Back to the page.

Devon

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Mon. Sept. 24: The Autumnal Roll!

Monday, September 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy, busy, busy weekend. I was on the road, supposed to have internet, but THAT didn’t work out! I felt guilty about my tarot students, but, for the rest of my work, it was fine. I’d cleared a lot of work off my desk before I headed out.

The most important thing was that I finished the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and got them back to my editor a couple of days early. The cover (again by the amazing PJ Friel) is set to be ready on October 5, and once it’s approved by the publisher, I’ll post it. The latest word I have on the DEATH SPARKLES anthology (in which you’ll meet one of my favorite new characters, Fiona Steele), is that it will release in October.

I’m working away on CRAVE THE HUNT, and the new book (which is still in too delicate a state to really discuss) is flying out of my fingers. I’m ready to do my first chapters for the mystery I’m using as one of my sustainability projects, and ready to do the opening on the aviation book. I’m putting together the article due Oct. 1 (I need to get it out by Friday, before I hit the road again on Saturday), and this morning, I have a write-up to do for Confidential Job #1.

On Friday morning, I had to get out the door early and drive to CT. The traffic was dreadful — for some reason, we were stuck around Fall River for nearly an hour, and then it was bad again around Stratford. Got there, exhausted. Since I didn’t have an internet connection, I concentrated on writing and on the materials for Confidential Job #1 (which were really good). To bed early, up early, more writing, back on the road later that day, and home.

Saturday was the Equinox, and I managed to get back in time to do my sunset ceremony.

Sunday, couldn’t get in to the forum where I’m teaching for some reason, which meant I couldn’t catch up with the tarot students — must to that today. However, I managed to watch the last lectures for both classes and take the quizzes and do my short weekly paper (whew). Also went to Country Gardens to pick up a few things so I can put the garden to bed for the winter.

The Sustainability Course is half-way through (we start Week 5 this week), those of the original 26,000 who are still there. Of the 70,000 in the World History class, we seem to be hanging in there. The Greek and Roman Mythology class, taught by Dr. Peter Struck of the University of Pennsylvania, starts today, and there are 50,000 of us in the class!

I have a LOT of writing to do this week. Tomorrow night’s meeting was cancelled, thank goodness, but I have a meeting on Thursday directly after yoga — I’ll have to make sure I bolt a quick snack between yoga and the meeting. Friday night, my one-act is going to be read at the Play With Your Food Festival at Tilden Arts Center, and Saturday, I hit the road again — I’m working in CT next week. Busy, busy, and keeping on top of the articles and the writing deadlines and the coursework, and I still have some manuscripts to read for that acquaintance’s submission overflow (I rarely say “never”, but in this case, I’ll say “not again without major payment”).

Costume Imp is coming down late in October, I’ve got to settle a few days for Fast & Fun Workshops and finalize the information for the Playwrighting Class, so that the application can go up.

One word at a time – -that’s how it all gets done!

The guy’s here to clean the furnace this morning, and then I have to pick up/drop off some books at a couple of the local libraries. Other than that, it’s a day of being chained to the desk (but loving it).

Did you have a good Autumnal Equinox? I’m so grateful for the many good things in my life!

Devon

Mon. Sept. 17: Classes, Writing, Cleaning

Monday, September 17, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. I didn’t get as far in either the writing or the editing as I hoped, so I have to buckle down this week, because OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK has to go back to my editor by the end of the week. I haven’t fully let myself drop back into that world, which is slowing down these edits and the work on CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to get my act together on both of those NOW. I don’t have time to wait for the Muse to show up — I’m on deadline. Thank goodness for outlines, or I’d really be lost.

Lost far too much of Friday dealing with official paperwork that had to go out on Friday, but it had to be done; it just took longer than I would have liked. Finished washing and rehanging the living room drapes, washed and switched out the summer chair covers for winter ones, started on the fall decorating. This week, I have to spend some time in the basement every day, moving boxes so that the furnace guy can get to all the duct work when he shows up next Monday.

Worked with my students. Prepped for upcoming classes. Worked on some of the small workbooks that will be released later this fall. A friend told about a job she heard about at one of the local papers — I shot off a resume and cover letter.

I took my quizzes in the Sustainability Course, wrote my Tragedy of the Commons short paper for the week on beachgoers at Craigville being pigs and not cleaning up after themselves (actually, that’s an insult to pigs). I did the outline for the Flood/Drought rebalance and worked on the fiction project for the class.

The book needs more percolation time, so I didn’t do a traditional outline for it. I did more of a teaser that gives elements of plot, character, and machination, but it’s definitely more of an elongated blurb to get people interested than an outline. I’ll go back and do the Writer’s Rough once I’ve drafted the first three chapters.

I’m also realizing how much I don’t know about the daily routine at the Marine Life Center, and how many questions I’ll have to ask. But I need to write my way in for a bit, so I know what I need to ask. I think I’ll see if I can just shadow them all for a day at the Center to really get the details of what everybody does. That will help in the articles I write for them AND the book.

My fictional marine life center is very different from the real one, but I need to use the foundation of their day as a jumping off point.

The History of the World Since 1300 class, taught by Jeremy Adelman of Princeton University, starts today. We’ve been yapping in the discussion forums, and I think it will be a fun course. The writing assignments seem to be all about argumentative essays — that’ll be a stretch (although I seem to be naturally argumentative in some cases).

Ducked out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon to join a friend listening to some jazz up in Hyannis. I love the mix of people of all ages that show up to play there, from teenagers to those who have been playing for decades. The musicians are all quite good. The singers are often hit-and-miss. It’s one thing to use something like this to work on your pieces (as the musicians do). It’s another to get up there for your own ego, do the same pieces, and not even attempt to improve from session to session or learn from what wasn’t working (as some of the singers do). There are singers who are good, who understand tones and sharps and flats and breath, and who you can hear grow. Some of them, though . . .But then, I’m spoiled – I worked on Broadway musicals. I expect not only a high level of quality to reach my ears, I expect the people singing to always strive to be better.

Already getting the interview quotes I need for the next article — looking forward to getting that done and out ahead of time.

I have to go “remind” a couple of clients they still owe me money, and I need to get back to the edits. Juggling two classes with all the other stuff this week should be interesting — there’s no room for me to slack off!

I still have to upload the promised photos from Martha’s Vineyard — will have to get that done this week, too!

Devon

Mon. Sept. 10, 2012: Great Writing News!

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It feels like a month has passed instead of a weekend. So much going on!

Great news! My one-act play “The Effie Effect” has been chosen as part of Tilden Art Center’s PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD Festival. It’s going to have a reading on Sept. 28. I will post more information as I get it. I’m very excited — it’s my theatrical debut on the Cape!

Last week’s paper for the Sustainability Course was “Sustainability Vs. Human Greed”. We can talk about what we “should” do in order to be sustainable all we want, but as long as there are people making huge profits from unsustainable practices, nothing will change. Cut off the money source, and we’ve got a chance, because the greedy special interests who line their own pockets aren’t going to change. That got some pretty good responses.

This week’s paper, “Education, Equality, and Rape”, which I wrote and uploaded on Sunday morning (after several days’ research) is also getting good feedback. There’s all this talk about how population growth/fertility rates remain highest among the poorest, most uneducated women — um, yeah, because they’re kept like brood mares. When you educate women, give them access to health care, equal rights, et al, which includes child survival rates rising, the population growth slows (although there’s still debate as to whether we’ve hit carrying capacity or can create the sustainable “S” curve). Of course, if the special interest right wing-nuts in this country get their way, women will be stripped of their rights and turned back into brood mares again, but that’s an argument for another day. The reason I wrote the paper is because the experts talk about the importance and impact of education and equality for women to affect sustainable population growth, but they all ignored rape and sexual violence as a tool of war, and the children that are born of that violence. Northern Sudan, Darfur, Bosnia — throughout history, rape is used as a tool of war. There aren’t even reliable statistics, because of the shame associated with rape. So last week’s paper addressed that issue.

Once I read this week’s material and see what annoys me about it, I’ll have my topic for this week’s paper!

I also wrote and posted the proposals for my two milestone projects. We only need to do one, but I can’t decide between them, so I’m doing two. The first is very traditional within the realms of the class, dealing with the Flood/Drought Rebalance and how I think it can be done in the US. I’ve got a bunch of sources, I know what I want to say, it’s something I’ve discussed with my Senate and Congressional offices, and I’ll finally have a document to hand them. The other project is fiction — which is rather out of the realm of what they’re used to in a class like this. It’s an environmentally-sustainable series that will give actual information in an entertaining and engaging way without falling into the cliches most fictional characters in this realm do. For the purposes of the class, I do the vision for the series, and the outline and first three chapters of this book. So that’s all good, and both projects are getting solid support from my classmates.

Got the welcome message from the World History Class, which starts next Monday. 70,000 in that class, which is a little depressing! And the textbook is so far out of my price range, I can’t even consider it at this point. So I will try to track it down in one of the many libraries to which I have access.

I’ve also been invited to submit to another project — 15K as soon as I get get it done. I’m having fun with it, so we’ll see.

With all that, I’m deep in edits for the second Jain Lazarus, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Billy Root has a few things to say about it here. AND I’m scrambling to get book #3 to the publishers on time.

I ran into some frustrations getting the text smoothed out for the anthology — there are formatting issues that take me longer than I’d like to resolve, and sections I have to re-key by hand. I want to get it off my desk today or tomorrow (I planned to finish it by yesterday), because I need it off my desk and onto the publisher’s! 😉

And I need to chase down some payments this week, start another article that’s due, do some more pitches, and finish the material for the latest Confidential Job #1. And, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to be a contest judge, so those materials should hit my desk today.

I drove to P-town yesterday to have brunch with some good friends in from NY, friends I haven’t seen since I moved to the Cape. In spite of the weather, it was great fun. We laughed a lot.

Tarot class is doing well. I’m having fun with them.

And I was mentioned in THE CAPE COD TIMES — they gave me a few paragraphs about my upcoming writing workshops in Falmouth.

I even got some mowing done on Friday, before the next round of storms hit! Isaac’s gone, but Leslie is affecting the surf here.

Got a big day of writing ahead of me, so off I go!

Devon

Fri. Sept. 7, 2012: I Love Riding the Ferry!

Friday, September 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Yesterday was a really terrific day out on Martha’s Vineyard — I’ll have photos soon! Up at 5, had to do some things at the desk first, On the road a little before 7 — I was sure I would miss the 8:15 ferry, since I got caught behind every slowpoke on Rt. 28. But I made it, with 5 minutes to spare.

The ferry ride over was GORGEOUS. The weather was perfect, the water calm. 45 minutes of pleasure.

My friends were waiting for me at the Vineyard Haven dock. We went over to the Black Dog for breakfast. They had the blueberry pancakes — I had them last time I was there, and they are the best pancakes ever. I had an apple fritter, which was about the size of my head! We wandered around to thrift shops — I got a solid brass door knocker in the shape of a grandfather clock! It’s adorable. I’ve been looking for a door knocker since we moved to the Cape. I love it. And, of course, I’m always on the hunt for demitasse spoons, but didn’t find any. Found a baby spoon that can pinch hit if necessary. Wandered into bookstores and little other stores in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Had lunch at Linda Jean’s in Oak Bluffs. I bought a lovely candle by one of my favorite manufacturers in one store, and a lovely silver and aquamarine seahorse necklace in another. We hung out at the house overlooking the water, and I made the 5 PM ferry back — another lovely ride on a beautiful evening.

Even got back in time to vote in the district primary!!! And my person won, so I feel like my vote mattered! 😉

Relaxed in the evening, and the mind turned to some of the more frustrating elements I’ve been dealing with the past week. Fortunately, one of the outstanding clients paid — let’s hope the other one does soon, and that the checks that are due by the end of this week and early next week come in on time.

Iris dived under the covers this morning in the bed. Violet thought she was jumping on me, but landed on Iris, and there was much caterwauling, chasing, and carrying on. At 5 am. So much for sleeping in!

There was a good bit of damage to the garden from the storm. After I run some errands this morning, I’ll spend time in the garden. Hopefully, the rain will hold off long enough for me to mow the terraced back or I’ll need to hire people with machetes to come through!

The weekend will be devoted to the Jain Lazarus adventures — the short story, working on CRAVE THE HUNT, starting edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I have to schedule some day-long workshops with Fearless Ink, too, and look into a couple of grant application opportunities.

This morning, I parted ways with a client, and there’s a huge sense of relief. Gives me room to replace that client with a more positive match.

Have to finish the reading for the Sustainability Course, write my paper, do my project proposal, and take the quizzes.

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 6, 2012: Juxtaposition in Days

Thursday, September 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and hot

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. The past few days have been rough, weather-wise.

Tuesday, I got up at 4 AM, posted what I needed to for the Tarot class, and got on the road. I drove to CT — passing through some of the remnants of Isaac. Horrible driving. I got there, hip in bad shape, collapsed onto the couch. Managed to get a weak wi-fi signal later in the day and get some work done, but mostly read.

Wednesday, overslept a bit, but was still on the road before 7. Thank goodness, because when I hit RI, I met up with Isaac again. Horrible, horrible driving, and I was afraid to pull over because there was no telling if it would let up. I pushed through. The water on Rt. 6 once I got over the Sagamore was half way up the wheels, so I took backroads home and made it, in one piece. Later, I heard 6 & 28 were both flooded, and most of Fall River was in bad shape. A half hour later, and I wouldn’t have made it home.

But I’m home, in spite of bad hip and worse headache, and I even managed to get stuff done this afternoon.

The cats were both mad that I left and glad I was home, and huddled with me during the thunderstorms. Makes me glad I live in a sturdily-built house. Had to go out and dump the water out from the potted plants — saucers were full and pots themselves overflowing. I couldn’t be on the computer much because of the storm & flickering electricity.

The two clients whose checks were due yesterday (so I can pay my bills by Friday), of course haven’t fucking paid, and one of them is acting surprised. That gig will be over and done by December, and I will be glad to be DONE. I’m tired of not getting the resources I’m promised for any given project and never being paid on time. I’m ready to dump a third client for what I believe is unethical behavior that I will not condone.

Fortunately, I sent out a really cool pitch, so let’s hope it’s accepted. All about replacing the low-end, pain-in-the-butt clients with better ones. The PITB aren’t the majority, thank goodness, and I’m getting better about cutting bait sooner, rather than letting things drag out, giving multiple chances and too many benefits of the doubt. You use up what slack you’ve banked, you don’t pay on time, you try to change the parameters, and the rate’s too low — buh-bye.

The Tarot class is a great group, and they seem enthused, and they’re digging in, doing the work. They’re creative and inventive, reflective without the egotistical naval-gazing one has to sometimes contend with. Like ‘em a lot!

Really angry that “They” are cutting down 400 tress in Los Angeles to move the Shuttle. It’s a Shuttle, people — FLY the sucker. Find another way. There’s ALWAYS another way, but those making the decision are too stupid and lazy to look for it. This is an example where the “workers” are hiding behind the “company” and the old “I’m just doing my job” bullshit. If these workers were ethical, they would refuse to cut the trees. They’re not, so they’d rather destroy 400 beautiful, living creations that actually positively contribute to the planet, in order for a single object to be moved down the road . . .ONCE. Justifying it by hiding behind “their job.” They should be put through their own wood chippers. I’m sure the Universe will come up with something far more entertaining than I ever could for their karmic return — but I’ll still probably kill off a bunch of them in a book. It also shows what hypocrites the LA environmentalists are — no one’s out there trying to stop it. “Oh, I’m upset” — well fucking do something, you fucking moron. Don’t whine into the camera — oh, wait, all you CARE about is the camera. I forgot.

The Sustainability Class is difficult and fascinating, but I’ve decided I hate graphs. You can’t flatten humans into graph lines. There’s not enough dimension.

So life has been full of interesting juxtapositions for the past few days.

And today should be interesting, too!

Devon

Wed. Aug. 29, 2012: 21 Pages and Counting . . .

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Lots of rain yesterday, but we needed it. Unfortunately, poor New Orleans does NOT need the battering they get from Hurricane Isaac, on the 7th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is simply tragic.

Got a short article out yesterday, proofed an ad, worked with students, worked on DEATH SPARKLES galleys, worked on next assignment from Confidential Job #1, worked on the Sustainability coursework, repacked the decorations from the Mermaid Ball and took them back to NMLC. Got to hang out with my friends there for a bit, before heading back.

Last night, wrote 21 pages of the 40 page project that has to go out first thing Friday morning. Will finish the next 19 pages this morning, type it up and let it sit overnight, revise tomorrow, and off it goes on Friday. That feels good. I’m also very excited about the piece. I had most of it written in my head before I started, so once I picked up the pen, it flowed easily.

My students are enjoying their Certificates of Completion — hey, they earned them! Writing for a full year, every day, no excuses, finishing a novel, starting another, completing and submitting a handful of short stories, and putting together a submission package — not for the faint of heart!

Will have to mow the terraced back area later today — ick — and get a bunch of other stuff done. More errands later on, but at least I’m getting more efficient in planning my routes.

It definitely feels like autumn.

Devon

Tues. Aug. 28: First Day of Sustainability Course at Coursera

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and muggy

I worked all day yesterday, but don’t feel like I got much accomplished. I was tired, so it took the neurons longer to fire to get anything done. I managed to mow the front — the leaves are already falling. Got the party gown to the dry cleaners, made a trip to the library, worked with students, interviewed a source for an article (what could have been a 20 minute call took THREE because we were both prepared). Worked on the article for the NMLC and didn’t like any of the versions I came up with, so I have to figure it out this morning.

Started my class at Coursera, Introduction to Sustainability, taught by Dr. Jonathan Tomkin. There are 26,000 people signed up for the course. Yup. Twenty-six THOUSAND. Kind of cuts into the one-on-one time, y’know? 😉 Anyway, I read through the orientation material and spent some time on the forum with the other students, which is a required part of the class. It’s a little overwhelming, but I think I can hack the academic aspect of it. I plan to do most of the reading today, to give me time to take notes, write this week’s paper, interact some more, and take both quizzes.

Authors’ meeting, via Webinar, with one of my publishers last night was a bit frustrating. First of all, I resented that it started at 9 PM my time — that’s inappropriate, to expect me to attend a business meeting that late. Second — I didn’t find the information relevant to my relationship with the company. And now they’re talking about setting up another such meeting. Unless it’s during the reasonable course of my work day, no.

Talked to my editor — we’re getting ready to dive into OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE work, which puts the squeeze on CRAVE THE HUNT, but I have to find a way to juggle. Also, have to get at least 20 pages of a 40 page project drafted today, and have to take back the carload of stuff to NMLC.

I made Certificates of Completion for my year-long students. I thought that would be something fun to have as a remembrance from the course. Hopefully, I set it up properly, and they can download them!

Back to work.

Devon

Mon. Aug. 27, 2012: Mermaid Ball a Success!

Monday, August 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend! Worked like crazy on Friday, trying to get things cleared off the desk.

Saturday morning, over to the country club first thing, and we set up for the Mermaid Ball. Back home in the afternoon for a quick break to get ready — Tessa followed me around. She was fascinated by the hair preparation, the make-up, all of it. She wanted to be involved in everything. It was really cute.

The Mermaid Ball itself was a lot of fun. Busy, hectic, but fun. People looked beautiful, they bid on auction items, all in all, a good time.

Then, of course, we had to take the room apart! And load up. I had a car full of decorations. I had to unload when I got home, and then my feet hurt, so by 1 AM, I was sitting in the living room, my feet soaking, and a glass of Talisker by my side!

Up at 4:30 on Sunday morning, on the road just before 6. Drove to CT, picked up my mom, turned around and drove back to the Cape. We stopped in Niantic for lunch. I was exhausted by the time we got back. I was in bed by 7:30 last night.

Up early this morning. Out on the deck to tend the plants and for the first writing session of the day. I’m about to mow the front. Then, I have a phone interview for an article (getting quotes), a rewrite of a piece due today, and I have to head up to Sturgis Library and take the borrowed dress to the cleaners.

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK is going into edits, and I’ve got my beloved Shawna Williams back to guide me through it. I’ve got to get back to CRAVE THE HUNT, and back to another project that dropped into my lap and has to be turned around this week. The ghostwriting project went off Saturday morning, so I’m waiting to hear back on that; I’d like to be able to finish it and invoice it by next week. I’m still waiting for some of the galleys on DEATH SPARKLES. I’m wrapping things up with the year-long people. Most of them plan to form their own writing group and keep working together, which is great. They need to fly free without Teacher looking over their shoulder all the time. They’re ready.

My Introduction to Sustainability class begins today — with 26,000 signed up. Sigh. Here I was hoping for actual interaction with the teacher. Oh, well, we’ll see how it goes. Assignments are due every Sunday, for those of us who want certification, so I want to get started earlier, rather than later. I don’t want to scramble at the last minutes, especially since it’s a field new to me.

Finishing up the prep for the Tarot Workshop. We’ve got a few slots left, so if you’re interested in a basic class on reading and then developing readings for characters in your work and using tarot to break through blocks, you can apply here. Well, I was going to give you the link, but it’s not coming up on the site. Do NOT get me started.

Got to go mow so it’s done before my phone interview. Busy, hectic week. So much for taking August off! Also have to have a planning meeting for some of my other classes, so we can schedule them.

Off to the races!

Devon