Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Dark Moon
Cloudy and cool

Yasmine Galenorn has some great advice on getting it all done as a writer, over on the Witchy Chicks Blog. Check it out.

Colin, to answer your question, I don’t use the iPod on the runs. I can’t stand it when runners in this area don’t pay attention to what’s around them and expect everyone else to watch out for them, instead. It’s too busy, there’s too much traffic and other people and dogs and things for one not to pay attention to what’s going on all around. I want and need to be very aware of the surroundings, even if I’m thinking!

Michael, hope the pilot shoot went well, and I bet you someone sold the DAMNATION ALLEY vehicle on eBay, and it’s in someone’s backyard or something. I’ll check out the film you mentioned — I trust your judgement.

Lara, yeah, can you imagine, the machines were floating around in the basement, in all that sewage and muck. Instead of replacing them, they simply hosed them down. Ick.

My taxes are killing me, and today is do or die, since I start work out of town tomorrow. Every time I think I’ve filled out the form, I find another form to fill out. They’re getting, like 50 pages of material from me. And it turns out books are a depreciated expense, if I plan on using them over time. All I can do is the best I can do. If I screw it up, they’ll let me know. Turbo Tax is absolutely useless, by the way. I looked into it. All those little boxes don’t have enough variation for what I do.

I’ve never been a person who could fit into someone else’s box.

Got my column out, worked on the third chapter of the urban fantasy, got out five queries, worked on the taxes, did the business correspondence. Took one batch of stuff to the post office; another trip set for today.

Did a little bit of work on the urban fantasy. I’ve now hit the point where I have to sit down and plot before I can work on it anymore. I also should put it aside for the next few days and work solely on the novella, which must get out the door next week.

Back to taxes.

Devon

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 6:58 am  Comments (5)  
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

IMG_0249
The garden at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA

Sunday, September 6
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and lovely

For some reason, I thought the full moon was tomorrow, but it was on Friday. Sorry about that.

I forgot this was up: I guested on Catalyst Blogger on the 2nd. Oop. Stop by and drop a comment, okay?

I was a little annoyed at an email posted on a board about what I’m “supposed” to do on 9/11 as my “duty.” I lost a LOT of people on that day, firefighters from my neighborhood, people with whom I went to school, people I knew from work. NO ONE tells me what I HAVE to do on that day. Especially not someone who lives thousands of miles away and lost no one. I think it’s wonderful people are putting together events and using it as a day of service, but no one has the right to dictate how anyone else mourns.

Yesterday morning was very productive — I polished an article and sidebar and submitted them. I also got the guest blogs sorted and uploaded and scheduled to post — if they post properly, there will be some really great articles here while I’m gone!

I spent the afternoon relaxing, reading a mystery that was a delightful surprise. I expected something light and brain candy-ish, but it actually had some substance. The writer knew the ins and outs of her character’s profession (instead of assuming she knew it from stuff she’s seen on TV), and created good characters and plots. My only disappointment was that I pegged the murderer the minute the character made its first appearance. Even though lots of suspicion was pointed at two other characters, I knew who it really was the first time the character was introduced to the reader.

While I read, I had the iPod on, listening to waves on the beach through an application called Naturespace. Most of these “nature” sounds are usually pretty cheesy, but this one is actually good. It’s a free app I downloaded via iTunes; I figured if I hated it, I could delete it. But it’s actually good! I spent half the afternoon listening to beach waves and the other half listening to a river in the woods.

So it SOUNDED like I was on vacation, even though I was home!

Lazy evening, good morning’s yoga practice, having a hard time getting started on AMENDS. I have to go to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food and get in some more milk. It’s my last chance to get out that way until not only after Prague, but after the scallop festival.

Did I mention I got my hair chopped off on Friday? Over 12 inches off! I hadn’t had hair that long in 15 years. It’s short again, but a kind of a wavy, bouncy cut instead of a very short, sleek, to-the-head one. I’ll do the color either today or tomorrow, and then I’m good to go. Just about anywhere.

I did a little digging around, and Switzerland’s not going to work as a home base. First and foremost, I don’t feel the sense of belonging when I’m there and the sense of longing when I’m not, the way I do in other places. Second, it’s land-locked, and I prefer sea, not lakes. Third, the real estate negotiations are ridiculous. So, Switzerland’s a nice place to visit, but I don’t see myself living there.

I liked the idea of living someplace neutral, though, a place not caught up in other people’s arguments. Lichtenstein’s run out of land, so that’s out. Plus, I drove through it once without realizing it, which is not a good sign. Costa Rica — well, I’m not really a tropical girl. Sweden and Finland both intrigue me, though.

Heads up, Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow for three weeks: travel delays, technology problems, miscommunication, no large purchases, but great shopping for smaller stuff.

Mantra: Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.

Enjoy!

Devon
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the Library of Congress, in Washington, DC. A place of personal pilgrimmage for me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

It was supposed to storm yesterday and be pretty today, but they were wrong. Gee, what a surprise! 😉

Yesterday’s work day was truncated because I spent so much time on the phone with Apple Care. The Macbook is fine, but AGAIN, I’m having synch problems with the iPod. We couldn’t figure it out, so I’ve got another Genius Bar appointment on Saturday. Urgh. It seems to be connected to the Mobile Me. Mobile Me is supposed to make my life easier and more efficient; instead, I feel as though it’s limiting me. I’m getting really frustrated.

I also have HAD it with Verizon’s landline lack of service and the failing DSL. That’s because they’re trying to force everyone over to FIOS. I don’t want FIOS. They can bite me. Additionally, they still owe me a major credit they promised me TWO YEARS AGO, when we were without phone service for two weeks. They never posted it, and ignored all my contacts. They also have tried bait and switch offers too many times — an offer for better/cheaper/more efficient service,which, when you actually call to get it done, suddenly the offer’s expired, but they can offer it to you at double the price. Again, bite me. AND, they’ve refused any cooperation to stop the phone harassment situation with which I’ve been dealing for over a year. No, I am NOT changing my number. Give the damn number from which these calls originate to the authorities so they can deal with it. So I took the time to switch to Optimum yesterday. i save nearly $70/month AND actually receive customer service. Go figure. Of course, they have to send out a tech at the end of next week. The poor guy has to come into the middle of all this chaos — and I have to take down several bookcases so he can get to the correct wall jack.

It’s going to be a pain in the ass, but I’ll be happier in the long run, and I’ll be able to access wi-fi, which will also make my life easier. I’m keeping Verizon for wireless, but will also upgrade my phone and adjust my plan later this month. They used to be really good and helpful in most areas, but have really gone downhill in the past two years.

And the commercial, where they offer a “free” netbook — you ONLY have to pay the taxes and shipping? It’s either free or it’s not, and this isn’t free. The taxes and extra charges they add to everything — and raise every few months without proper notification — are ridiculous. And the daily solicitations, both by phone and mail, trying to get me to move to FIOS, even after I’ve told them orally AND in writing to stop — no. Buh-bye.

I know some really great individuals who work for Verizon, but the direction the company as a whole is taking is just not consumer-oriented enough to retain the bulk of my business.

On a happier note, I cleared off a bunch of client projects, and I’ve just got one or two more to finish tomorrow before I focus my attention on the site job next week. I applied for a job that could be really cool — if the price is right. I worked on a couple of proposals. The second mystery has really taken off — I think I can finish the first draft tomorrow, and then go back and make the cuts in the first ones. I’m happy with both these pieces — what I’ve learned over the past few months is applied, and it makes the pieces stronger.

Another story got rejected — I just love it when guidelines say they want something unique and quirky, but what they really mean is “mainstream neurotic.” The first issue of the publication I read made me think the piece could fit the publication, although I wondered why the voice of all the pieces in the issue were so similar. Now that I’ve read several issues (which, yes, I should have done first, but usually a full issue cover to cover gives you a good sense of a publication), ALL the pieces sound the same, and that’s worrying. I don’t know if they’re all actually written by the same person and appear under multiple names, or simply edited to sound uniform. Warning bells went off. In the interim, I found a market I think is a better fit, so out it goes again tomorrow.

I’m headed out to the city for a long lunch with Costume Imp for Prague Planning. In five weeks, we take off. And, even though it’s lunch, since it’s a three hour round trip, it becomes a day trip.

Have a great day all — I hope I don’t get rained on — we’re supposed to eat outside. Just in case — I’m switching OUT of the suede shoes to something more waterproof.

Devon

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 8:15 am  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and pleasant

Got business stuff done in the morning. Went grocery shopping, which is just about my favorite thing in the world. I always feel so creative. I even used the “notes” function on my iPod touch for my shopping list — pretty happy with it. (I love the font — makes creating notes fun).

Got out some correspondence, finished up a few client projects, talked to a couple of my editors, looked over some guidelines for new projects. Set up an interview for an article next week.

It was pouring with rain all day — if I took out my cardboard boxes, they’d be soaked by the time they got to the car, and it would just be icky in the unit. So I didn’t attempt it — just packed up more stuff, and now my hallway is filled with boxes. So I may have to make more than one trip today.

Also, I’m off to the library — not the one in my own town, but over to Greenwich, where they’re actually open when I need them to be open and have a much larger selection of the research materials I need. It amazes me — both Sandwich and Plymouth, MA are smaller towns than the one I live in, yet not only are their libraries larger, but the hours make sense and their post offices are also open during hours when I can actually use them! Can you imagine? I have a post office about two blocks from where I live, but, half the time, I have to drive 20 minutes to another town — and sometimes another state — because the hours are so wonky. And, when the post office IS open up the street, the lines are so long and they don’t have enough personnel. Work efficiently and give the service for which you’re paid, and maybe enough people would use you so you don’t have to whine about losing money all the time. Sheesh!

My computer reminded me I hadn’t used the Time Machine back up in ten days — so I plugged it in and everything was backed up in 90 seconds. It took me longer to plug it in than to back up the computer. Love it!

First things first, though: Got to head to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food.

Speaking of cats, Iris, AKA Princess Hellion, lived up to her name by waking me up at 4:20 this morning, rummaging, swearing she hadn’t eaten for a week. Right. That’s why you’re as round as a beach ball. She’s not quite overweight yet, but I’m watching her eating patterns carefully, so she doesn’t tip over into the danger zone. And I’m trying to give her more exercise.

Had a good writing session this morning — finally! The piece I’m writing is set in Southwest Scotland, and I was so surprised to look up and be at the kitchen table. So, I guess I really got into it. I’m taking the elements I love best from Felbrigg House in Norfolk and the elements I love best from the Culzean Castle property and mixing them in my fictional estate. If I keep stretching geography in that area of the world, pretty soon the shoreline will reach across the Irish Sea and touch Ireland! 😉

Anyway, I’m off. I’ve got a lot to get done today. When I get back this evening, I need to pack up some more stuff and haul another load to storage tomorrow. Getting rid of the clutter — good Feng shui!

Devon

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (6)  
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