Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

I’ve gotten some really nice emails/comments about both yesterday’s Jenny Storm interview and the Anita Blake essay. Thank you! I learned a lot writing both, and hope I can apply that moving forward. Talk about work in two very different arenas, right? But that’s what makes writing such fun. I can switch between a rather innocent piece for middle grade readers and an examination of using sex as a character-building device.

I’m going over the first six chapters of POWER OF WORDS and sending them to Trusted Readers. Normally, I wouldn’t send first draft pages – I usually send out about third draft — but I need to know specifics about what does and doesn’t work in certain elements here in order to focus on the next bit. The next bit, the section dealing with rehearsals, has to be massively rewritten. A lot of that is because of changes I made in this section, dealing with the audition process.

Relationships in this industry tend to be transient, not because the people are shallow, but because, when you spend 18 hours a day for months working on a creative process, creating as a group, there’s a special bond and intensity that no one outside of that specific project shares or understands. The project ends, as it must, you scatter to other projects, and it starts again. Some people you never see again, and that’s okay; some you miss a lot, but lose touch with. Some strong friendships are formed, and you keep in touch regularly wherever you go. Some people you don’t really keep in touch with, but if you land on another project again or even run into each other in the street, the warmth is there instantly and you pick up the conversation right where you left off. It’s very different than working in any other industry. People truly do fall in love during a project — it just is often not a “forever” type of love portrayed in romance novels. That doesn’t make it any less real or less intense, but it’s a different kind of love than most people see as the traditional, settle down forever love. It takes a lot of life experience, self-knowledge, and self-esteem not to blur the line between the creative process and one’s life. And there are all kinds of strong emotional bonds created on a production that have nothing to do with affairs or romance. Some do, of course, but plenty don’t. You’re dependent on each other for your creative and emotional lives. And since each project is sooo different and each experience so different, only those on a particular project can ever really understand the experience. Even when it’s bad, there’s a bond. It’s much closer to the type of bond soldiers share in the field than people going to an office. The threat of physical death rarely exists on a production (unless the director and producers are totally irresponsible, hence the strong safety regulations enforced by unions), but the threat of emotional devastation is always there. Some directors feel they get better work out of actors if they are emotionally or verbally abusive. I think that’s a crock, myself, but that’s the way some people work. Or, you can pour your heart and soul into a project, but sometimes it still doesn’t work No one WANTS to make a bad film, but sometimes the elements just don’t come together, for a variety of reasons. That’s devastating, not just because it can make it harder to get hired again, but because you gave your all and it failed. Usually, it’s because the original vision was diluted by a bunch of executives who shouldn’t be making creative decisions, but are trying to justify their salaries. The more diluted the vision, the more of a mess the project. Or, if you cast because you want a name instead of getting someone who’s not only right for the role but enthusiastic, you can run into problems. You want someone low-key, with a strong work ethic, who treats people well and can retain a sense of humor in difficult situations. Theatre-trained people tend to fit that bill better, because it takes a lot of stamina, professionalism, and humor to do eight shows a week indefinitely. It’s one reason, when I have a say in the casting process of my own work, I am adamant that there’s a good theatre resume. Most big name actors who are known for their acting rather than their lives have solid theatre credentials, and come back to Broadway when they can (Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Hugh Jackman, etc.).

It’s an interesting challenge to try to present the complexity of relationships on a production. I did a bit of that in REAL, although the circumstances of the production and the primary relationship in that book were very different. There are some similarities — the creative team has enough clout to tell many an exec to go f–um, go away! 😉

I have to say something about Tuesday’s episode of LOST. Yes, it was sad and very well-acted, but really, how could anyone be surprised by this? Look at the way they’ve jerked around the audience for six years. Again, much as I like the scene work and the actors, I sit there and shake my head and say, “Of course they chose that.” The creators never regained my trust after they broke it several years ago. I think they created a wonderful phenomena, and the amount of creative control they were granted shows how good work can happen when you leave the creative team alone to fulfill their vision and keep executives from diluting it as mentioned above. I wish networks would learn from this, but instead, they try to copy the show, instead of developing other creative teams’ unique potentials. Yes, I’m watching this final season. And I have yet to be surprised. They moved around the order of a few things I expected, but nothing, so far, has surprised me. I appreciate the talent and the vision that goes into the piece, and I think it will remain as a wonderful example of creation, even when I don’t find it personally fulfilling overall. I’ve certainly learned a lot from it. I hope the people from the show don’t keep getting hired in the hopes of recreating it; it would be nice to let them fulfill new visions, and not compare everything they do to LOST. Once it’s done, let it be what it is and appreciate it as an entity unto itself, because that’s what it deserves. However I feel about certain elements of it, it’s always been a top quality production.

A bit of work on the urban fantasy this morning, then another pass at POWER OF WORDS so I can get those chapters out (along with a list of very specific questions). Some of the typos I’ve caught are screamingly funny and entirely change the context of the chapter they’re in. Then, it’s tackling the ANGEL HUNT revision. I think I’ve finally figured out how to wrestle what I need from chapters 12 & 13. I’m going to combine them, strip them, and then rebuild them. It’s a true “re-envisioning” of this section, not just fixing a few typos. This book has made such a huge transformation since its original life as a serial, and I’m so passionate about it. It’s the best, riskiest, most challenging thing I’ve ever written.

I also need to get back to the BEHIND THE MAN adaptation. So I’ve got a busy day.

We’re adjusted Elsa’s medication to wean her off the steroid, and she’s in that delicate transitional stage, where one minute she’s better and then she’s not.

Devon

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Up early, out the door by 5:15 for my run. It’s getting lighter and lighter earlier and earlier, and it’s interesting to watch the moon’s progress. Also, it’s interesting to see how many more people are up early on a Wednesday than a Monday. I don’t know why I find it interesting, but I do.

There’s an interview with me in my Jenny Storm persona, for DIXIE DUST RUMORS here, on Katie Hines’s blog. I hope you hop over and drop a comment. Thanks to Katie for including me in her blog.

I got some work done on the urban fantasy yesterday. I’m almost done with the scene with which I’m having trouble. I’m re-thinking the end of the first scene in BEHIND THE MAN. Because of production constraints, I had Max and Sally Sweet retreat to his office offstage and that what gets Ida out of her good-girl persona and start some actual detecting on her own, instead of being the “sweet office girl”. In the adaptation, I think I’m going to have Max’s office on stage, and what Ida overhears them do in the office serve as additional impetus. I think I could get into some funny and farcical elements.

I have a really difficult section to tackle on POWER OF WORDS — because of the changes I did in part one of the book, it completely changes this section. I have to expand it and develop a lot of different themes and weave in character arcs without losing sight of the ones I feel are the center of the book.

I spent far too much time fighting with 1and1 yesterday. I feel like they’re holding my webmail files hostage — I haven’t been able to download them through a file manager, and I can’t move hosts until I have my old mail, contracts, etc. It’s fat too much for me to be able to print them out. And, I’m discovering that a good many of my work-related emails aren’t getting through, and I’m not receiving a lot. I need the professional address for work. I can’t have some other non-site-related address. As it is, I’m having to send and receive a good portion of email by pulling it through mail2web, because most of the time I can’t get into the webmail, and, if I can get into it, I can’t actually get any work done in it. Plus, with their fucking “upgrade”, not only are my address books useless, but now I can’t even read some of the email that comes in. It’s so frustrating. I’m paying them and losing work — some of which can never be replaced.

In better news, I got an email from the vet this morning. There’s no tumor in Elsa’s nasal passages, just inflammation. One of the lab tests still isn’t back, but the other indicates more of a fungal infection than cancer. That’s a relief. It’s not definitive yet, but it gives us another place to work from. He doesn’t think she needs a CT scan (thank goodness). I’m weaning her off the steriod and have her on the supplement and, in a week, we’ll see how she is and see what other course of treatment to start her on to fight the inflammation that won’t trigger the rest of the infection — the antibiotics and steriod helped with the inflammation, but triggered the infection. It’s good news, but there’s still a long road ahead for the little kitty. She was doing great yesterday and has backslid a bit today, so I hope she steadies.

I have some sort of irritation on my little finger of my left hand. I’d originally hurt it during the Prague trip and didn’t think much about it, but it’s been bothering me on and off since. I took a good look at it yesterday, and something’s wrong. Of course, I can’t go to a doctor, because I don’t have insurance, and a basic out-of-pocket 5 minute consultation starts at $285 around here — that’s just for a doctor to open the door, and only at places where they’d actually agree to see someone without insurance. I’m not going to the emergency room unless I think the damn thing’s ready to explode or fall off or something.

I’m going to acupuncture today, so I’ll have her treat it and then do some homeopathic/herbal treatments and see where we go from there. But it makes typing difficult.

I’m reading an autobiography of a Very Famous Actor. I’ve never worked with the guy, but we’ve worked at some of the same places and with a lot of the same people over the years. I thought it would be interesting, and give me a good idea of the atmosphere of the era on Broadway just before I came up in the ranks. Because, of course, we always think the years just before us were so much better. In addition to the book being appallingly badly written, this guy spent so much time drinking and screwing around that it’s amazing he ever found the stage door on any given night, much less managed to get his lines out. Drunks just aren’t that interesting to anyone but themselves or fellow drunks. A bit of a disappointment, and he comes across as not a particularly nice person or loyal friend at all. Maybe that’s part of the point — confessional? Or that presenting himself as a total ass would sell more books? In any case, it’s certainly made me glad I’ve never worked with him! There’s some good atmospheric detail in a couple of the anecdotes that may be useful should I ever set something backstage during that era, but, overall, far too much I-love-my-drink-and-constant-sex and not enough approach to character or sense of fun in the overall process. Maybe part of the point is that he wasn’t having fun? I don’t know. It’s fun to read his opinion on some of the people I’ve worked with over the years, though, and anecdotes I’ve heard from them backstage told from a different point of view. Interesting, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who wasn’t doing specific research.

I need to get back to the page. I’ve got a truncated writing day today, because I’m heading off to acupuncture in the late morning, and, when I return, I’ll have to let it set.

Back to the page.

Devon

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Just a quick check in. I have many opinions about the debacle in MA yesterday, which denies me health care for the rest of my life and has the Republicans circling around me, clapping and singing, “Die fast.” However, right now, there is far too much rude language in what I have to say, and there’s a more elegant and stronger way to say it, so I’ll wait, and I’ll revise it into a paid opinion piece (yes, people do pay me for my opinions) instead of simply ranting on the blog. I’m not surprised the Democrats lost the seat — the day Vicki Kennedy sneered that she “wasn’t interested” in running, as though it was beneath her, was the day she slapped everyone in the state in the face and guaranteed Republican victory. She didn’t have to run; what she had to do was phrase her choice it in a less insulting manner, and the family needed to be active in the campaign, instead of washing their hands of it because none of them were running.

On a happier note, I had a great writing day yesterday. I wrote about 20 pages in longhand (yes, my hand hurts) on the project that’s currently on fire, while percolating the next section of the steampunk, which will get the bulk of my attention this weekend.

I never made it to meditation — the writing was going well, and I was not about to stop.

I nearly forgot that I have a piece up on the SDR blog. That’s what I get for being organized and writing all my articles for the publication and blog at the top of the month! 😉 It’s called “Setting Up a Successful 2010”, and it’s about setting up systems to make your submission/pitch/query process easier.

I’m going back to the page for about an hour, and then I’m headed up-county to have lunch with a friend in a small town on the Hudson River. It’s a lovely day — perfect to get outside for a bit, though well-bundled.

And then it will be back to the page. I’ve got some straightening up to do, and tomorrow’s my last day of prep before the trip. The final proofs of the anthology essay came through yesterday, so I have to take a look at that and turn it around before I leave on Friday morning. I think the book itself drops in early April.

If you haven’t read my kids’ story, “Mina’s Test”, it’s in the current issue of STORIES FOR CHILDREN magazine, under the Jenny Storm name. It’s my first shot at a piece for 7-9 year olds, and it’s kind of cute.

Have a great day!

Devon

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IMG_0665
Violet loves Samhain

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It’s the third Wednesday of the month, which means my next SDR blog post is up. This one is about “Reading To Write.”
Note: I just realized it’s TUESDAY, not Wednesday, so this post is up a day early. headdesk.

I got up at 6 and was at my desk at 7 this morning. That hour makes all the difference, mentally and creatively. For once, the cats weren’t rummaging at 4 AM, so when the alarm went off, they were like, “What? it’s dark outside!”

But I’m so much more productive if I get up at 6 than if I get up at 7, that it’s worth it.

I had a great session on “Lake Justice.” It’s weird, because I feel like I’m doing so much work and covering so much ground, but the word count doesn’t seem to rise very quickly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since this is a short story. But I look down and go, “I’ve covered all this ground and I’m only 300 words ahead?”

Good news: One of my children’s stories, under the Jenny Storm name, has been accepted for publication in January. When it comes out, I’ll point you all towards it. I’m delighted. Jenny needs a few more credits!

I’m booked to teach both the Dialogue Workshop and a Story Building Workshop at the 2010 Muse Online Conference, next October. AND, I’ve been invited back to the Catholic Writers Online Conference in February to teach the Dialogue Workshop and the One Story, Many Voices Workshop.

I think I’ve found my new web host. I’m pretty excited. So I’m trying to move forward a little more quickly on the website redesigns so I can move before the end of the year.

More legal paperwork to do today — it’s taking longer than I’d like because, the deeper we dig, the more points need to be articulated. But it will all be good when it’s done.

Good progress on BE THE MONSTER and a novella. I’ve got to read through another set of edits for the essay and then, hopefully, we’re done.

So I better get back to work!

Devon

Friday, June 26, 2009

I am on the road, but in the meantime, hop on over to Lara’s blog, Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom where she hosts a stop on the DIXIE DUST RUMORS blog tour!

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 8:03 am  Comments (1)  
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Raining. Again.

Well, the sun didn’t last long enough yesterday for me to get out and enjoy it. Boo. 😦

I’m back, as Jenny, talking about writing without a contract in place, on Diane Parkin’s blog.

Pretty productive day, though. Got my assignment polished and out to Confidential Job #1. Took care of some business correspondence. Finished off a client project. Went to Trader Joe’s to restock the cat food supply.

I printed out CRAVE THE HUNT and had it stacked on the desk, waiting to go into a binder. And Iris had a temper tantrum and scattered the pages all over the living room. Sigh. Fortunately, they’re numbered.

I found that, if I use Safari, I can override the 1and1 server error. I can’t get into my sites to work on them, but at least I can access my email. Not perfect, but a stopgap until I can move things.

Trying to get back on track with the serial and CRAVE THE HUNT. There are some things looming in the near future that take a lot of energy and focus right now, and it’s negatively affecting the writing. Hopefully, once that’s sorted, I can get back in the groove.

I’m making preparations for the DC trip next week — so far I am not impressed with the organization, or lack thereof, and I’m setting a bunch of appointments on my own. I’m not going to stand around doing nothing, and it wouldn’t be right if I slipped away to a museum! So I’ll do my bit at the rally,and then I’ve got appointments with people who can actually create some positive change. I need affordable health care. This week is a good example — I don’t have insurance, and I can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars for a five minute doctor visit out of pocket (which is what it is here) unless I REALLY need it. I’m feeling off, not awful; I’ll deal. I had DECADES of pouring money into health insurance, and hardly ever needed to see a doctor. All of that should be credited, and I should be able to draw on it now Instead, I threw out money for years BECAUSE I WAS HEALTHY. How twisted is that? Plus, I’m sick and tired of the way they glance at you and order a plethora of tests, almost all unnecessary, because they can’t be bothered to spend the time to get to know you and your individual health issues. Assembly-line medicine doesn’t work. I do much better with my acupuncturist, and I’m calling her today to see if she can fit me in before she leaves for Saratoga. Whenever I leave a doctor’s office, I feel completely dehumanized. When I leave my acupunturist’s, I feel I can take on the world. The insurance companies in this country need to be gutted, and the health care industry needs to be rebuilt from the ground up so that doctors can provide individualized care and patients are treated like people, not like the plastic dummies one practices on in First Aid training sessions.

Next week is going to be a long day! 😉

I’m also prepping for the NHL Draft, which starts the day after the rally in DC. And, in a few weeks, I’m going to head up to Maine for a couple of days, to see my great uncle, and maybe visit some farms where they spin and die the yarn they shear from their sheep.

Hopefully the laundry room renovations are done. Six weeks ago, they told us it would take “about ten days”. Right. My friend’s out of town, so I can’t pop over to do laundry there, and the laundry bag’s about to burst at the seams. Fingers crossed.

I’ve got a fiction deadline coming up for a short story. I’ve got it percolating, and I’ve also got a couple of other short pieces percolating. Maybe, with everything going on these next couple of weeks, it makes more sense to focus on shorter pieces, pieces I can actually get done.

Now that I’ve visited The Mount in Lenox, it really makes Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton biography come even more to life. It’s also making me itch to back to GOOD NAMES.

Back to business. There’s a lot to do. Maybe if I keep focused on work, I won’t notice that it’s raining. AGAIN. There are flood warnings, so I’ll be jumping up and down to check the brook every few hours, and see if I have to move the car. And I’m boiling and bottling water, just in case. Maybe today’s NOT a good day to do laundry!

Prepared fried cod cakes last night with home-made tartar sauce (wonderful) and roasted potato wedges (with oregano, cumin, and olive oil) dipped in lime-cilantro mayonnaise. Yum.

Back to work.

Devon

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Dreary and cool

Stop by Diane Parkin’s blog today and read her interview with me (“The Evolution of Dixie and Jenny”), and visit Hywela Lyn’s blog for another stop on the DIXIE DUST tour!

Thanks to both of you for being such lovely and gracious hosts.

There was so much hail in New Jersey yesterday that people were out (in their shorts) with snow shovels!

For some reason, I couldn’t shake off my fatigue and lethargy yesterday. I scanned the job boards. There was some good material, but it was site work, and too far away for me. Still, it was nice to see a better quality of work up there.

Worked on the DIXIE DUST postcard mailing. The first list is almost complete and ready. As soon as I’ve got the second wave compiled, that should go out in a week or so.

Designed the postcard for Fearless Ink. It’s a first wave post-card, going out as part of a mass-mailing, different than the targeted list with the brochure. I also have to design a second card, that’s the follow-up card to the targeted mailing. I need to find scored, colored postcard stock. Any ideas? All the colored stock I’ve found is unscored. Me with a paper cutter and three curious cats? Now that’s an accident waiting to happen. I’d rather used scored cards.

Struggled with the write up for Confidential Job #1. I know what I want to say, but I’m not saying it well.

Worked on client projects, but it was slower going than I expected, and not because of the projects, but because my brain felt unfocused, so eventually I put it aside. My clients deserve SHARP focus.

I’m getting caught up on my filing and excavating my desk. Once the PC is done, I’ll have a desk back so I can work — right now, I use the Macbok on the part of the desk that used to house the PC keyboard, while the old monitor dominates the desk. I think I’ll put the monitor up on Freecycle eventually, with a bunch of other things, remove the hard drive, and then take the tower to the next county electronics recycling day. My old PC in storage also needs to go. Now that I know HOW to remove a hard drive, it’s not such a big deal. Plus, since I won’t need the damned thing once the transfer is complete, I don’t have to stress about screwing something up.

Pulled off a bunch more stuff from the PC, converted short stories from floppies, etc. The PC crashed every 6 or 7 minutes and took approx. 18-22 minutes to reboot. I HATE it. I can’t wait to be done with Dell for good. What a piece of crap. Not to mention that the older Microsoft programs can’t even be read by the newer ones. If I thought about all the lost time and productivity over the past years, because I never bit the bullet and got a Mac before this year, I could just kill myself. It’s amazing I ever managed to get ANYTHING out to a publisher or an editor.

By 3:30, I was feeling pretty lousy, and cancelled out of that evening’s workshop. It’ll come around again in a month or so, so I haven’t lost my opportunity forever. I had a quiet night, eating lots of vegetables, drinking juice, going to bed early. I feel a little better this morning, but still not all that sharp. I figure if I don’t push too hard for the next few days, I should get my feet back under me and be fine. Everything really starts to accelerate next week, so slowing down a bit this week and building up my reserves makes sense.

I have a big grocery shopping trip today (possibly to Trader Joe’s as well as to the usual store. I’m trying some great recipes this week, and I’m very excited.

I plan to clear some client projects off my desk this afternoon, and then spend a few days this week focused primarily on my fiction.

I worry that I’m spending so much time on re-organization and admin and workshops and all that, but, if I do it now, and reconfigure my workspace and my files and everything, it will streamline the rest of the year and help me be more productive.

Oh, and Chase Bank gets yet another Middle Finger Award. Yeah, like that’s a surprise.

Anyway, I better get going. I want to get a lot done early in the day and then rest. in spite of feeling under the weather last night, I pushed through my workout, and, once I was done, I was glad I did. During it, I wasn’t so sure, but it was the right choice.

Before I go to DC next week, I’m going to upload all the photos on the camera so far to the computer, just in case something goes wonky through one of the security areas. i fI lose the photos from the day, I’ll be sad, but I’ll deal. But if I lose everything I’ve put on the card so far, I’ll be very upset. So I’ll back it up first.

I’m going to Target in the next week or so. I need more bins, and, as I finish with the boxes of floppies, I’ll stash them in a bin and take them to storage. More room for the stuff I actually use! There’s going to be a lot of cleaning out of things over the next few months!

The fix Canon sent me for the little printer worked, and I printed out what I have of CRAVE THE HUNT, the Billy Root piece, so I can get back to it this week. I hadn’t realized how much I’d written. This will be the biggest book of the series so far. It’s kind of a turning point for several characters, so it makes sense.

Back to the page.

Devon

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Hop on over to Lori Widmer’s Words on the Page. She’s hosting the latest stop on the Jenny Storm DIXIE DUST RUMORS blog tour. I talk about the process of writing this book, and how it was a little different than my usual process — but not because it’s middle grade instead of adult! The comments are open for questions all day, and I’ll be hopping on an off, so I hope you stop by.

Got another project out the door yesterday, and onto the submission go-round. Gotta get them out there or they can’t get contracted, right? Spent time marketing DIXIE DUST (hey, at $3.95, it’s a good buy, if I say so myself).

Converted some more floppies. Only spent about an hour and a half on it, but found some interesting stuff. I think I actually have a completed novel that I finished and forgot. I may have to take a look at it and see if there’s anything worth salvaging (and get another project out the door in the next few weeks). I’ve got another project that needs another draft, and then I’m re-thinking how I want to market it. If I could get two more novels out the door this summer, while still juggling those in process, I’ll be content. Sooner or later, the short stories need some attention. I’m writing them and they’re stacked up, but I’m not doing anything with them, which doesn’t serve any of us.

Of course, some of the short stories are in limbo because they really need to be novels or novellas. So, this summer is about a lot of literary housekeeping on my part. Which is a good thing. And some need to be “retired” and not go out. They were exercises, not pieces of marketable writing.

UHaul pulled another crap move. I’m livid, and at the end of my rope with them.

Finished reading my friend’s manuscript, and sent her the notes. I enjoyed it a lot — can’t wait until it finds its perfect home!

Good morning’s work on the Matty book this morning, and a GREAT session on the serial.

Lots to do today. Back to the page.

Devon

Serial: 4,052 words out of 50,000

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and COLD!

First of all, Happy Birthday to my friend Michelle Miles! Woo-hoo!

Second, hop over onto her blog, Ye Olde Inkwell, and see the interview with Jenny Storm there!

Those darn cats! I woke up this morning, shivering, it was in the 40’s (Farenheit) here. The feather bed was pulled off and wadded into a ball at the bottom of the bed, with three little, furry faces peering out of it. Stinkers!

Yesterday was just a Murphy’s Law day. Went to the bank, went to the post office, did a big shop at Costco. They don’t carry Izze water anymore, which makes me sad, but I got to enjoy two cases of it after not having it for several years, so that’s the way it goes.

The afternoon was spent on client projects, following up on previous pitches, and sending out some new ones. The scam artists are writing better ads to draw you in, and then doing bait and switch. I usually just shrug it off, but one response in particular so enraged me yesterday that I engaged in debate. But, to counter-balance that, one of the follow-ups got an enthusiastic response and the possibility of future legitimate– and legitimately paying work – I’ll keep in touch with that one!

Had to go on the old PC to get on IE in order to invoice Confidential Job #1 — their invoicing system ONLY works on IE, which is a pain, and means once the PC is removed from the house, I have to drive to a library every time I want to invoice this job. Urgh. It took 65 minutes to do something that should have taken 3. Thank goodness I no longer have to rely on that computer.

Read a nice big chunk of my friend’s manuscript last night — finally. I’m behind. And I’m really enjoying it.

Good morning’s work on the Matty book and good morning’s work on the new serial. I’m hoping for a productive day. I have a lot of correspondence to write, I need to get some stuff over to an eBay service that will list/ship/deal with it for me, and got to get back to work pulling stuff off the PC. More client work this afternoon, and the back to my friend’s manuscript. I also have a manuscript of my own to get out the door today.

Better get back to work.

Devon

1st draft new serial: 3,087 words out of 50,000

Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 8:03 am  Comments (5)  
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and rainy
Beltane

I spent way too much time pretending to be a designer yesterday. I got the Jenny Storm webpage up, and I’m pretty happy with it. I found an original photo I took that doesn’t have rights issues with the location and am using that at the Jenny Storm icon. I managed to reconfigure it to three different sizes. Turns out there’s something that the iPhoto in Mac can’t do — resize. But the very nice Apple tech guy told me about a super site called shrinkpictures.com and it was fabulous.

Got all the front and back matter to my publisher. So, when the final proofs come back, I go through them, send them off and there we are. I have an inkling DIXIE DUST RUMORS will release before OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK does. So I have to get out of paranormal head and into YA head.

Not happy with the MySpace page. I hate that I can’t make it do what I need it to do as far as setting up the page the way I want, etc. I have to figure out where to find a template I like, design the page the way I want and then upload. Any suggestions?

Even though it took a long time to do all that, it was still much easier on the Mac.

Caught up with a lot of email and various sites. I’m still behind, but I’m better.

For dinner, I made ravioli filled with ricotta, spinach, and prosciutto. It’s really good, but filling them is, shall we say, labor-intensive. The wonton skins work well, but I think the next time I make this, I will make ravioli pasta from scratch. I like a thicker texture for ravioli and the wonton skins are too thin, They work, they’re fine, but I want to try something else.

Trying to catch up with a bunch of materials to review, and to get everything sorted for the Promo Day Workshop I’m teaching next week on May 9. It’s about how to use your blog as a marketing tool for your book, while not annoying the crap out of people by making it sound like one big advertisement.

The GDR wrap-up for April is up on the GDR site. I will have RACING INK, the picks for tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby, up in the early afternoon.

Busy, busy, busy. Thank goodness I have a computer that works well. Today is my one week Mac-aversary.

Had a good morning’s writing session on the Matty book. I need to sit down and outline it now. I’m about four chapters in to it, and have a good idea of the themes, characters, storyline, so now I have to sit down and construct the plot. This is more along the lines of literary fiction than the genre work, and it’s got a very different rhythm.

Finished proofreading ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, and it’s officially on the query-go-round. Let’s hope it finds a home soon.

To answer your question, Brandy, yes, the children’s and YA material will appear under the “Jenny Storm” name.

I have two articles to get done today, and a polish, along with handicapping the race card for tomorrow and getting back to the plays. Busy day.

Have a great weekend, all!

Devon

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was a busy day. The DIXIE DUST RUMORS publisher asked for the front and back matter for the book, so she can send me the final proofs. I spent a good part of the day transferring stuff like acknowledgments, book blurb, creating the Jenny Storm bio, etc., so that I can send it to her. I decided that I didn’t like the material I shot for the Jenny Storm icon. There’s another photo I want to use, one I shot, but I have to find out if there’s a rights issue involved. I don’t think there is, but I want to do some checking.

Polished the two articles. One will go out today, another in a couple of days. I’ve got two more to write. Plus, tomorrow, I’ve got to handicap the race card for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Proofed about five chapters of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. I’ve got three more to go and it’s done, complete, ready for submission. I need to get that book out the door. It’s in pretty decent shape. I just hope I’m targeting properly, so it’s contracted sooner rather than later.

I set up the MySpace account for the Jenny Storm work, but I haven’t had a chance to design it yet. The next few days are about getting the cover and excerpt up on the website and the page. I may also redesign the Jain Lazarus My Space page. I have to take a look at everything. After that, it’s about designing postcards and promotional materials. I’m going to focus on DIXIE DUST RUMORS, since that release seems as though it will overtake the release of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

And then I have to see what else goes out under Jenny Storm. If my publisher likes DDR, I’ve got a hockey-based book to finish for the same age group that I’d like to submit to her when submissions re-open in the fall.

The cats are fascinated by the new computer. They keep trying to mark it, making it “theirs”, and I keep wiping it off. The Mac is MINE! 😉

Got some errands done yesterday; have a few more to do today. Found the wonton wrappers at the Asian market in White Plains — bought two pounds worth for about $3! But most of the time will be spent writing. I have to get back to the plays. I wanted both FEMME FATALE and BLOOD SOUP ready to submit by tomorrow, but that’s just not going to happen. I’m hoping the end of next week will work for that.

Good morning’s writing session. Now, to catch up with practicalities. The April Wrap-Up will go up on The GDR site later today or tomorrow.

Devon

Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 6:51 am  Comments (2)  
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