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!

Mon. Sept. 17: Classes, Writing, Cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devon