Thurs. Oct. 27, 2016: Lucifer, Choleric, and Cooking

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

I’ve been binge-watching the first season of LUCIFER. Spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it, skip down a few paragraphs.

For the most part, I really liked it. I think the cast is great, and there’s a lot of wit in the writing. The cast has chemistry together, and that’s always fun to watch. They add detail, so the work isn’t just in broad strokes. The raise of an eyebrow, a particular inflection, a gesture — it’s those little things that make it unique. Every once in awhile, there was a clunker of a line or a twist in it, and it was obvious it was a network note. I got ahead of where it was going a few times, but it surprised me more than not, which is good.

However, in the set-up for season two with “mum” escaping — I will be seriously irritated if “mum” turns out to be Lilith. I’m tired of that depiction, and they will have to be very clever to win me back if that’s what it is. That’s one of the places where the Shadowhunters books irritated me, too — with the depiction of Lilith. As if women aren’t “demonized” enough anyway, on multiple levels.

At the same time, every creative person has the right and obligation to be true to his or her vision. I can always stop watching/reading if it bothers me that much. I don’t expect anyone to modify their vision just because I don’t like it, any more than I will modify my vision because someone else doesn’t like it.

So we’ll see what Season Two is like.

But, as I said, I like the acting and most of the writing. I like the production design, although Lucifer as a nightclub owner — I’d rather have seen him do something more unexpected. But the character behaves unexpectedly, so I like that. I know it’s based on a graphic novel series, and I’m purposely staying away from reading those in order not to skew my perspective.

Spoilers done.

I was so excited yesterday afternoon when I finished the third draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. Then, I was totally bummed, because in spite of cutting nearly two dozen characters and plot lines, it’s still too damn long. In fact, with all the cutting, I came up with nearly the same word count. I’m four chapters shorter, but there’s still work to do.

Part of it is defining what the book is — my protagonist’s personal journey to returning to her life after a period of mourning, set against a mystery. It’s more literary than mystery, and more about the community she’s trying to participate in than about keeping the pace and leanness of a thriller. But that still doesn’t justify the length. I need to make some more serious cuts.

I know where I can do it. I lose some atmosphere there, but it will be necessary. I have to get the same feeling across, but with few and better words.

I wanted to put it aside and then re-attack it in a few weeks, but if I’m going to get it out before holiday madness descends on the industry, I need to get right back into it.

So disappointed in myself.

But that’s the way it goes. I’m lucky this wasn’t part of a contract schedule, or I’d really be screwed.

It’s also interesting to see how far the novel has evolved since I started writing it last November. It’s a much better novel now. Originally, I thought it would be a cozy. It got darker and darker, and I thought it would be a more traditional mystery with an amateur sleuth. Now it’s more literary fiction against a mystery backdrop.

Trying to get back into the rhythm of the two projects that started out with such energy a few weeks ago. I got some decent work done on one of them, but my frustration with CHOLERIC is now shadowing everything else, unfortunately. I need to let go of the frustration and the fact that I’m behind, and just write.

The weather is supposed to turn nasty. I’m going to do a turkey meatloaf for tonight (my special recipe). For my mother’s 92nd birthday, on Saturday, she’s requested lasagna, so I’ve got the ingredients for that and will make that on Saturday. I think I’ll use the recipe from THE NEW BASICS cookbook, one of my favorites. And, of course, she has cheesecake.

Don’t forget to come back here tomorrow for the link to the free download of “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on October 27, 2016 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 27, 2016: Lucifer, Choleric, and Cooking  
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Fri. Oct. 7, 2016: Going with the Writing Flow

Friday, October 7, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Here’s hoping Hurricane Matthew isn’t hitting the SE United States as badly as predicted.

Got a good bit of research done yesterday afternoon, and I’m ready, later today, to do some more work on the Victorian mystery.

I also did a fresh pass on “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, the Jain Lazarus short that’s set in this season, and added in some excerpts from some of the other Digital Delights. I will post it as a free download toward the end of the month. I have to check some links, to make sure I’ve got them right. Next week, I’ll get the marketing started for that.

This morning, I wrote just over 1900 words on one project and 1599 on a second project — the two projects I can’t yet talk about, but am working steadily on.

I also got the terraced area mowed, which is a big relief.

On my way to do some errands, then it’s back to the page. Lots to do, and deadlines looming.

I could have done either of these two new projects as Nano pieces, but they’re catching fire now. I may write “along with” Nano in November, using the creative energy of so many people working at once to fuel them, but I don’t think I’ll start a new project in less than a month. I have too many pieces competing for my attention that need completion.

Hope to get some work done on the Victorian mystery this afternoon, and a few more chapters of revision on CHOLERIC.

This is a holiday weekend, so I hope I can get some uninterrupted work time both on the page and in the garden.

Have a great one!

Devon

Published in: on October 7, 2016 at 10:14 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 7, 2016: Going with the Writing Flow  
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Fri. Jan. 8, 2016: Revising the Writing Schedule and Goals

Friday, January 8, 2016
Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Meeting in Hyannis yesterday morning. It was fine; at least I didn’t want to jab my eye with a fork, like I do at some of these meetings.

Back to work, tried to catch up. Computer isn’t working properly, so that makes it more difficult.

I got some sad news: Amber Quill, with whom I have half a dozen titles, is shutting its doors on March 30. LAKE JUSTICE, SEVERANCE, ELUSIVE PRAYERS, and TRACKING MEDUSA will cease to be available from them at that time. I wish I’d found out directly from THEM instead of through a second party, but, other than that, I’ve always been treated well by them. I loved my editor; they paid on time; they gave me good covers. They believed in their authors. I will miss being a part of the company.

So what does that mean for my writing?

Several different things.

I’m meeting with my advisors to decide what to do. There are still two months until the doors close, two months until rights revert back. Once rights revert back, unless I’m going the indie route, it doesn’t make sense to just shoot the titles straight out again. While it makes me nervous to have anything go out of print, at the same time, I need time to launch a re-release properly, wherever and however I decide to do it. I expect they will be out of print until at least September. If I go independent, I’m going to have to marshal massive marketing resources to make it worthwhile. Right now, that much marketing emphasis isn’t going to fit my schedule. I’m not convinced the independent route is the right choice for me. I prefer to work in a more traditional model right now.

I do realize that, when I’m ready to launch the series that started life as THE POWER OF WORDS (which now has multiple titles as it breaks down into multiple books), it is most likely I have to use the independent model, because it would be exceedingly difficult for a traditional publisher to put it out in the usual channels. It’s a strange monster – one I love, but one that would require the type of Gentleman (or Bluestocking) Publisher to take it on, a type of publisher who no longer exists.

I was in the throes of planning a big marketing campaign for everything over the next few months, which now will not include the titles that won’t be available, for obvious reasons.

I also had three books scheduled to go to Amber Quill this year, all Gwen Finnegan books: BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, SANDOVAL SECRET, and SHAKESPEARE’S BACON. It was a pressurized schedule, but I wanted to make sure I finished the Gwen Finnegan cycle quickly for them, with an eye to moving in some new directions, as inspired by last August’s conference, where Claire Cook gave me the push I needed to give what’s now TIE-CUTTER a shot, and Carole Bugge encouraged me to continue work on SONGBOUND SISTERS.

With those three books off the schedule, at least for the moment (which means I’ll work on them in and around other projects, without the pressure) it moves up SONGBIRD SISTERS and the aviation mystery set in the late 1940s that I’ve been playing with for a few years.

I do love Gwen and Justin, and I want to see their stories to completion, but a break may not be a bad thing. As I kept saying last year, struggling with BALTHAZAAR, I can do it fast or I can do it well. Both aren’t happening in tandem right now.

HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the Jain Lazarus books, are still with Solstice, and I’m not sure what’s next with them; we’re in a bit of a holding pattern.

I have several play scripts and radio scripts on the slate for the year, and some film and television scripts on which I worked last year, which go out on submission this year.

The focus will be more on writing, polishing, and submitting this year, building on the previous writing, but taking me in new directions that I’ve been interested in for the past few months. That’s a positive. It moves up the timeline for me, but it’s a positive. It takes a lot of the “write as fast as possible” pressure off me – something that’s bogged me down over the past couple of years and actually interfered with my productivity, instead of increasing it.

As saddened as I am by the news, I think it’s the push I need right now. My gut tells me this is a positive in the long run.

I’ll have a long day at work today, but, since I’m feeling run down, I pulled out of my commitments for this weekend. I have some work to do for Monday’s NMLC Board meeting, and I’m going to write. I want to finish the first draft of the short radio play that goes out at the end of the month, and I’ve been approached to adapt the historical play into a radio play. I’ll take a look at that to see if it makes sense. I use a good deal of sound in the play anyway, and I think if I make some changes to make it more aural than visual, it will work. I also need to get LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES into US radio format from BBC format, because I have a US market interested.

Plus, I want to stay on schedule with TIE-CUTTER and DEATH OF A CHOLERIC.

So I’ll have a solid writing weekend ahead of me.

This certainly didn’t happen the way I wanted it to, but I have a feeling that, in the long run, these changes will be positive.

I remain hugely grateful to Amber Quill for their support, belief in me, and everything they’ve done for me and for my writing over the years I spent with them. I wish all the partners well in their new ventures, and I hope we can all stay in touch and support each other’s work. Thank you, Amber Quill!

Have a great weekend, people.

Devon

Thurs. Oct. 10, 2013: Jain Lazarus Short and More Instincts

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cool

If you haven’t read “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, the short story Jain Lazarus tie-in that takes place between the events of HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, it’s available as a free download on the Hex Breaker site. Enjoy!

Yesterday was a day of fretting and not getting much done. Very frustrating.

I withdrew from consideration from a project because, frankly, I don’t believe it’s real. For two weeks, I’ve said that, in order to continue talks, I need to know the schedule and financials associated with the project. The only response is that the potential client wants to “talk”. First of all, I charge for phone time, like a lawyer. Second, I repeatedly said I would not schedule a phone conference without knowing if the schedule and financials worked. I was repeatedly ignored. So I withdrew. If this was a real project, the so-called client would give me this very basic information. “Talking” is a waste of time — 97% of phone calls with clients are a waste of time, which is why I charge for them — and the so-called client is not going to “talk’ me into doing the project for free.

Once I withdrew, I was so relieved. Just the frustration alone of not getting the information I needed to look over the schedule and see if it would work financially and every other way took a toll.

Did some pitches, prepped the story. First thing in the morning, a contest opportunity landed on my desk that sounded kind of cool. I rarely enter contests, but this was fun, and I had something for it, AND, because I walk my talk as far as my SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM, I had everything in place and it only took 15 minutes to submit. If I had to put everything together from scratch, it would have taken me a couple of hours, and I wouldn’t have had time to do it.

I have to finish an article today — the interview sources are dragging their feet getting the info to me, so I’m moving on. They’re not THAT important that they can’t respond to an email within the standard business protocol of 48 hours. If you’re not in the office, set up an auto-respond. If they didn’t want to be quoted, a simple “no” takes 15 seconds to type and send. The rude turn the bulk of the so-called “business community” has taken is appalling. Also have to finish a couple of grant proposals, and work on the novella, the short story, and Project B, which suddenly has an early November deadline (when I thought I had until spring to finish it).

So I better get going.

Devon

Tues. June 25, 2013: Typing Along

IMG_1360

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow. Ick. I better clear a lot off my desk today! 😉

Yesterday was all about the work — working with students, getting an article out, getting a new editing client set up, working on a new web page, getting some invoices out, taking a copyediting test for a potential new gig, and creating what I call the “Back Pocket Document” for my agent.

What’s a “Back Pocket Document?” That contains the loglines of the additional projects you’re ready to pitch when the agent or editor you’re pitching to says, “That’s not really what I’m looking for right now. What else have you got?”

Instead of looking like a fool and stuttering, you’re ready to go with other possibilities. Because agents and editors are looking for long-term investments, not one shot wonders, unless you’re a wonder along the lines of Harper Lee.

Dropped off some books at Centerville Library and picked up what they had for me; dropped off and picked up some books at Sturgis Library, wishing I’d brought work with me. It was nice and quiet, and I would have loved to tuck myself into a corner to work.

Today, I have to figure out why a mailing that I thought went through a few days ago didn’t, and make sure it gets out, order some stuff from Amazon, work with my new editing client, work on some stories, and start the next couple of articles. It looks like this afternoon’s meeting has been cancelled, which is great news.

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK is going into print sooner than expected, so I have to give the PDF another last look and make sure everything’s all good to go with that one.

I got a rejection on a novelette (which I was rather expecting — this market was a long shot), so I’m trying to figure out what to do with the piece. I love the piece, but it’s an odd length and a bit of slipstream, genre-wise. Unfortunately, it’s at the right length for this particular piece. Must figure out if I want to try to put it out on my own, or keep submitting.

Devon

Tues. March 12, 2013: Wyatt, Exhaustion, & Trespassers

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I have an in-depth piece on Biblio Paradise about Wyatt as the heart of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. It talks about the emotional throughline I’m building underneath the plot — I hope you stop by and drop a comment.

Yesterday definitely had its challenges. Getting another year older is always something to face, especially for women. The other pressures bearing down on me in this cycle made it difficult, too. But I had many warm wishes, from old friends and cyber-friends, and kept it fairly low-key. And I got my chocolate cake, so that’s all good! 😉

Worked with students, worked on the book (but not as much as I liked), did some pitches. I’m trying to sort down the missing monies from clients, some of which are a month late now. Some of these clients have NEVER stumbled on payment, so when they say it was sent, I know it was , but tracking it down takes time I don’t have right now, because I need that money in the bank. I want to know where the money is when it’s removed from one account, yet it’s not yet at the other one. I know it’s earning money for someone somewhere, and I suspect that banks intentionally delay postings of incoming monies while hurrying outgoing monies in order to charge more fees.

Working through the stack of books I’m judging for the contest. Interesting stuff.

Through Fearless Ink, I’m now offering Author Services including help with cover/query letters and putting out media kits and press releases. Check it out here.

I had very little in the tank yesterday, and have to get back on track with the new book. I finished some research materials, which gave me some good ideas, and showed me where I have to fix a few things, but now I have to implement them.

Having problems with the trespassing neighbor. I confronted him yesterday and got yet more attitude. My only option at this point is to get the police involved. This has been going on for months. He has no right to be on this property — EVER — and his convenience doesn’t take precedence over my right to not have trespassers.

Rehearsal tonight — I need to gear up for that, along with taking care of some unpleasant business today.

I really need a break.

Devon

Mon. March 11, 2013: New Moon Birthday!

Monday, March 11, 2013
New Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

I have now outlived my father. He never made it to the age I turn today.

Yup, it’s my birthday. I’m keeping it low-key and quiet — I need some rest. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still work to do — the next chapter on the new book, working with students, preparing for tomorrow night’s rehearsal. But I’m trying to keep it mellow and pleasant.

Weekend was busy. I’m reading the books for one of the contests I’m judging — wide range of topics and quality, which makes it interesting. I’m back in the groove on the new book, and pretty happy with it, and got an important research book for it that the Sandwich Library tracked down for me. I’ve been devouring that book, too, and already seeing where I need to make adjustments in past chapters.

I agreed to teach a two-part workshop the final two weeks of March on adapting a short story to the stage, and a short play into a short story. One can choose to take one or both sections, but there is an application process — no lurkers are allowed, and anyone who does not complete the daily assignment for ANY reason will be dropped without a refund. The application process closes on March 13 — this Wednesday — and the class runs from the 18-31 (with no class on either Palm Sunday or Easter), so get in your applications! Instructions for the application are here.

Don’t forget the Query Clinic on Sat. March 23, where you can bring in query letters for line-by-line critique and strengthening, and also learn how to make the process of writing future queries easier. Information here.

Yesterday’s rehearsal was good, although filled with Mercury Retrograde-type mishaps. I’m very happy with the cast, though. It may have been a rocky road to find them, but they are each and every one of them worth it!

I need to contact some more client prospects today, but I’m hoping for a light day online — and that some of these late checks that are supposedly “in the mail” — and have been for nearly a month now — actually show up. Wouldn’t that be a nice treat for my birthday?

Back to the page.

Devon

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus Adventure is now available. Excerpt and Buy Link here.

Tuesday, March 5:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

The book didn’t release. Details are in dispute.

The rest of the day was taken up with a funeral and its aftermath. The deceased is the mother of one friend, and the grandmother of another one. The service itself was here, at a local Catholic church. I hadn’t set foot in a Catholic ceremony since a seventh-grade classmate was killed by a drunk driver and the priest said that he must have done something to “deserve” that kind of death, and it was a good thing the kid died because it filled the church. This ceremony was very different, with lovely readings and eulogy from the family, but the priest went off on some (to me) inappropriate tangents. And anyone who says the Catholic service is “the same” as Episcopal (where I used to be an acolyte) — um, no. The prayers and liturgy are quite different. Then, we drove to the cemetery in Bourne for a short service, and then went to Brookside for the reception. It was nice to be able to chat with people and really celebrate the woman’s life and legacy. The funeral began at 11 in the morning, and I got home at 4 in the afternoon. A different chapter in life starts for all of them, and this was an important transition day.

Not a lot got done, but I’m prepping for tonight’s meeting, and getting ready for tomorrow afternoon’s meeting, along with having to rewrite an article, and working on the material for my agent.

So, I better get to it!

Devon

Published in: on March 5, 2013 at 7:28 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. Jan. 21, 2013: Strong Opening Chapters; Presentation Dilemma

IMG_0812
Violet wraps up against the cold

Monday, January 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Day

Only 5 more days to sign up for a reduced-rate editing slot for your first 30 pages– ends January 25! Go here to get the details.

Don’t forget “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6, and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14. Both are great sources of both practicality and inspiration. Information and registration here.

Slots for A Biblio Paradise are booked through the end of April, so you all have some exciting reading coming up! A really interesting mix of writers.

Friday had its share of frustrations, especially with the Canon printer. An empty ink tank shouldn’t keep it from scanning something to go to the computer and/or reading a memory card, as long as I’m not asking it to print. Yet, it balked. This MX-860 worked beautifully the first day I got it, and has been trouble ever since. The shoddy plastic paper tray at the bottom causes all kinds of problems and the feeder rolls don’t work properly. The camera I bought a year or so ago to replace the the one that broke is a piece of crap. Auto-focus that doesn’t focus. Canon used to have top-of-the-line products, and now they’re just shoddy. Even worse, their customer service, which used to be great, is practically non-existent, and they don’t give a damn about their long-term customers. I’ve been rabidly pro-Canon for over twenty years. No more. I’m not interested in disposable products. I want something that WORKS, and works for more than a day or a week. I need value for money, reliability, and customer service. If Canon is no longer able to meet that need, I will find someone else who does. It won’t be HP, with whom I’ve also had frequent issues.

Finished the media kit for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and also did one for the Jain Lazarus series as a whole. Some of the material overlaps, but now I can choose which one to send where. I need to do an overall Devon Ellington kit, too. Media kits are crucial to landing good exposure. Mine are simple, but effective, and I’m learning how to get faster at developing them!

Worked on the play, but it needs more work — not satisfied with what I have. That will be my primary focus today.

However, I finished the sample chapters for the proposal and they sing! They are exactly what I was going for. You know how I unlocked it? I changed my protag’s last name. Who would have thought something so simple had so much impact? The original name I gave her made me feel like I was trying to hard, and the first few pages reflected that. I changed the name and everything else fell into place. I wrote and edited over 3K in two sittings. I sent the chapters off to Trusted Readers and they were over the moon about them. What a great response to early-draft chapters. Now, I’m worried that the market I’m aiming for in the proposal will want to dilute the verve in them. I’m going to run the whole thing past my agent and see what she says — she’s got the business acumen and understands the creative position, and, best of all, she tells me the truth.

I’ve got business/admin stuff to do today, more LOIs, work with students, work with an editing client, and my own school work.

I’m going to pause in whatever I’m doing to watch the inauguration — the poet, Richard Blanco, is someone I met at PEN events in New York several years ago. I’m a big fan of his work!

Devon

Mon. Dec. 31, 2012: New Year’s Eve & Pens are Hopping!

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Iris investigates the centerpiece, a gift from Lori! Thanks!

Monday, December 31, 2012
Waning Moon
New Year’s Eve

I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s!

Better hurry and download the free Jain Lazarus tale, “First Feet” — it’s only available until January 2!

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, wrote a lot on Friday. Worked up the rough of my wacky proposal for the agent. I love it. I let it rest over the weekend, and will tweak it over the next few days to send to her later this week. Ran errands on Saturday, and did a little raking, since the storm was coming. Worked on getting out party invites all weekend.

We got about 4 inches of snow on Saturday night — not bad, considering. Did some party planning, did some cleaning up and re-arranging. Was highly irritated at the snow plow guy. As usual, he shoved snow INTO everyone’s driveways. To a point, that’s understandable, but he left a boulder-sized snowball in the elderly neighbor’s driveway. There’s no reason he couldn’t have pushed it another foot out of the way, except this guy was either inexperienced, incompetent, a dickhead, or a combination. I went over to help the neighbor.

Got my own driveway and walkway shovelled — it wasn’t too bad, except for the stuff shoved into the driveway by the plow. AND the fact that the plow destroyed the whole bottom of the front yard — again, it’s marked, there’s no reason he couldn’t have paid attention and stayed in the road. If the boulders hadn’t been there protecting the rest of the yard, he would have torn it up halfway to the house. Unacceptable. Yes, I took photos, and yes, I will be making noise to the town!

It looks really pretty, though, except for the damaged area.

Found Rosemary Edghill’s SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER, the first Bast mystery, and re-read it. Now I have the whole set to lend to Costume Imp when he comes up in spring. I have the materials prepped for tonight’s ritual, for tomorrow morning’s ritual, have to pick up a few things for the NYDay breakfast. I’m doing laundry (because I have this thing about going into the New Year with clean clothes), and will vaccuum and mop this afternoon. Changed all the beds this morning.

We lit a fire in the fireplace last night, the first successful attempt since we moved it. It was wonderful! So much fun, worked so well. We’ll be doing that a lot more all winter.

I’m still having fun with the Twelfth Night stories, although I’m a bit behind. The story on the Five Gold Rings was more complicated than I expected. Not longer – just more complicated.

I realized the idea I’ve been playing with for a few days is actually an Ivy de le Livre piece (she’s my horse-playng tarot reader character) that is BEFORE the pieces I’ve been working on. That opens all kinds of exciting possibilities.

Bill Moyers interviewed a fascinating writer named Junot Diaz — now I’m eager to read his books. What a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent man.

The president of the Writers’ Center shot me a few ideas, and I shot back a response this morning. This year will be exciting!

I’m very excited that ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is circulating in the CLAMS library network! So, if you’re on Cape Cod — you can check it out of the library. What fun!

Lots to do to prep for the New Year. Have a safe and joyful holiday!

Stop by Biblio Paradise tomorrow — we’re starting the year with Shirley Wells’s latest! AND, stop by Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions tomorrow, where we start working on our New Year’s goals!

Devon

Fri. Dec. 28, 2012: New Ideas & Proposals

IMG_0715
I know I posted this picture of Tessa, the computer, and the Dragons bumper sticker, but it cracks me up, so I’m using it again!

Friday, December 28, 2012
Full Moon
Sunny and cold

We’re supposed to get snow tonight. I’d like a little white, but not too much!

I’m also really, really, REALLY excited because ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, by Annabel Aidan, is in circulation in the CLAMS network library system!

I was FINALLY able to reset my Facebook password and get back into my Devon Ellington page. The address for the page is here.

With in that Devon Ellington faction, I set up a Jain Lazarus Adventures page. Check it out here.

I still have all kinds of issues with Facebook, but it’s a promotional tool I need to learn how to utilize properly.

So, come on, sign up for those two workshops in January, “When Words Align” and “Sensory Perceptions”. Get your manuscript back on track. Learn how to layer in sensory detail. Come play with us!

So, last night’s dreams are for March. It’s the third night, AKA third month, although today is the fourth DAY. I had two sets of dreams. One, I was reading a post-apocalyptic novel (which is better than being IN one, I guess), and the other dream fled as soon as Violet woke me up by hurling a fur ball.

Smallest cat, biggest furballs.

Yesterday, we picked up some ornaments on sale — mostly cardinals, which we wanted for the tree, and put them on. Also bought another Christmas cactus and a Cyclamen plant.

I wrote my three French hens story, and this morning, I started on the four calling birds one. I’m having a blast with these tales. I’m pretty sure they’re in the Ava Dunne voice.

I’m juggling three very different projects right now, with three distinct protagonists — all in first person. I tried third person for all of them, and it didn’t work for any of them, so, first person it is.

I’ve got to get out the party invites and the thank you notes today, and start uploading class materials. I’m still tweaking stuff for the When Words Align class, and I’ll be tweaking exercises all the way along, as it’s so much about individual projects. I also have to finish prepping stuff for the private students starting.

I sent out two LOIs and resumes yesterday to two very different organizations, both of which I’m panting to work with. I’m trying to create my own position within each — I’ve found a way to meet their current needs AND my wish to remain a freelancer, so let’s hope one or both of them take a chance on me.

Also working on the wacky proposal for my agent.

Lots to do and limited time, so I better get moving!

Devon

Two Nina Bell holiday shorts and a romantic/comedy/fantasy twist in Yuletide myths. Don’t miss them!

And get your FREE copy of the Jain Lazarus tie-in, “First Feet”, only available until January 2!

Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 28, 2012: New Ideas & Proposals  
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Wed. December 26, 2012: Holiday Writing Blitz

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Boxing Day
Second Day of Christmas

So what did you dream last night? That’s what January will be about!

My dreams were very confusing, between watching DR. WHO and reading most of Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN yesterday. Hopefully, the dream itself denotes creativity, not chaos!

I had a quiet Christmas Eve and Day. I’d offered to be on call for the Marine Life Center in case someone couldn’t come in, but didn’t hear from them, so I’m assuming they were covered.

I did some work on the Eve, wrapped packages, and wrote about 2700 words on the Dickensian Steampunk. This gives me the shape of it. Some of the characters are surprising me, in a good way. Now I can figure out where I want to go with it, and do a rough outline. I’m not yet sure where it fits in to the schedule, but I like what I’m doing with it, and where I’m going.

Worked on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. Didn’t realize, until I worked on them, how angry I am about a few things that happened last year. Full out fury and resentment. I’m glad I wrote what I did, but I’ll post something a lot more diplomatic! 😉 It helped to purge it and figure out what I can do differently and more positively next year, and made me realize I was right to cut ties with someone who’d been a major client last year, but whose business model and payment arrangements caused me a great deal of stress and pain. The client is not worth it. I am done. Although I prefer to transition between clients, easing out one as I take in new assignments, in practice, I find that I must take a leap and clear out the old in order to make room for the new, even when I don’t always know what that new is.

Dug out some of my old cookbooks that I hadn’t unpacked and re-acquainted myself with a lot of great stuff. Also, found some recipes I used to be very fond of and thought, “how could I have ever served THAT?”

Worked on the list and the menu for the Twelfth Night party. I have to design and start sending out invitations today.

Christmas Eve dinner was roast pork with a spice marinade, green beans in hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and corn. All good.

We open our presents on Christmas Eve — a wealth of books made me happy. The cats LOVE opening presents — they help! I was up with the burning bayberry candle until after 2 AM (it has to burn all the way out on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve — can’t be extinguished and re-lit). Fortunately, I had the new Juliet Blackwell to keep me entertained — and the cats.

Up early on the Day for stockings and pancakes. Spent most of the rainy day reading, playing with the cats, and cooking the turkey. Yup, roast turkey, cranberry dressing, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn for dinner. We were too full to eat the plum pudding.

Costume Imp gave me a Brandon Sanderson trilogy for Yule, and I read most of MISTBORN yesterday. Love how he creates magical systems, and the detail in his world-building. I can learn a lot from him.

Wrote the first of the Twelve Days stories, which will need to be retitled, but uses the partridge in a pear tree theme. It was supposed to be four pages, and wound up being eleven. But it’s fun. I’ve got about half way through the second story this morning, writing four pages, and I think it will be eight. Will go back to that, once I’ve posted here and prepped tomorrow’s post for Writers Vineyard.

Will see how much I can get done on my list, but only planning to work a half day today. I want to finish that book and get some more writing done!

Have the self-clean function on for the oven — it was time. But it makes the house smell AWFUL.

I’m clearing up my desk, prepping folders for 2013, and, generally, trying to catch up on admin work over the last few days. I let the admin slide terribly last year, and now I have to make up for it.

Don’t forget to sign up before December 30 for “When Words Align” to get your WIP or revision back on track, and “Sensory Perceptions”, for a month of learning how to layer sensory detail into your work, taking it to the next level.

Devon

“First Feet”, the Jain Lazarus New Year’s tie-in is available as a free download here until Jan. 2.

Two holiday Nina Bell tales available via Payloadz! Read excerpts and find buy links here.

Even though Christmas is past, you can still enjoy “Just Jump in and Fly”, a comic/romantic/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths here.

Monday, December 24, 2012: Christmas Eve & Plenty of Stirring (Bowls, Pots, etc.)

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Monday, December 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Christmas Eve
Sunny and cold

Merry Christmas! It’s a frosty morning here, but beautiful.

Billy Root’s got some info on the free Jain Lazarus holiday story now available — for a limited time. Go visit him here.

Busy, busy weekend. Lots of food and fun. Caught up with schoolwork on Saturday, finishing off my World History course. Jeremy Adelman, the professor, truly opened my eyes and got me looking at the world and how and why patterns appear and continue in new ways, and I’m grateful to him for that. This class will stay with me, support, and influence my work for years.

I’m behind in the Astronomy course, but will catch up this week. Since I’m auditing it, rather than going for certification, I’m not under the same kind of deadline pressure.

Decorating is done, food shopping is done, cards are done. There are a few e-cards that have to go out today, but the rest is done. I also have to wrap presents.

MURDER’S INTOLERANCE is coming along well. I have the new manuscript deadline for CRAVE THE HUNT, which means that goes back into the roster as of January 1. I’m prepping the classes and the private student segments for the beginning of the year, and working on the new brochure. I’m working on my questions for Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions — and getting some surprising answers.

The Twelve Days of Christmas stories are coming along — they are pretty funny. Kurt and Daisy, my two protagonists, are pretty wacky. I am, however, glad I didn’t put the pressure on myself to write, revise, and upload them for THIS year — I think that would have taken the fun out of it. As it is, I can WRITE them over this year, then put them away, look at them over the summer, and offer them next year — which should be a ton of fun.

Got an idea for a pseudo-Dickensian steampunk — I’m making notes for it, so I can figure out how and when to add it to the queue.

I’m easing up on hustling work for the next couple of days, but by Thursday, I need to get back into the swing of it. I need substantially more dollars coming in for January than are currently booked. Part of that is extricating myself from some slow-paying and low-paying clients (a recurring theme for this year).

I have some articles to write over the next ten days — looking forward to that.

I’d offered to be the on-call backup for the Marine Life Center these next few days, but haven’t heard, so I’m assuming they’re covered.

The Solstice ceremony itself was lovely. I added in a remembrance for those in Newtown, CT.

I had to cut a whole section out of the post, because it overlapped too much with material from an upcoming article.

In any case, I intend to read a lot, write a lot, and cook a lot over the next few days.

I wish you a lovely, peaceful, and safe holiday!

Devon

Two Nina Bell comic mysteries available for the holidays! Excerpts and buy links here.

A romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths by Ava Dunne here!