Wed. Aug. 29, 2017: Short-Term and Long-Term Relief Planning, Balancing With Work

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

We’re getting the very outer grazings of Tropical Storm Irma. Not bad, especially not in perspective with what’s going on down south, but still worth paying attention to and not taking unnecessary risks.

The Narcissistic Sociopath lived up to his name yesterday on his visit to flood stricken areas. Not a word of comfort or support or empathy. He treated it like a campaign rally, going on about “crowd size.” Excuse me? And the tone-deaf wife, insensitive to the losses of those around them — the whole propaganda event was sickening.

Amy Siskind, with whom I often agree, especially as she documents how our civil rights are being methodically stripped away every day, said we shouldn’t criticize the wife because it reflects how we treat women in general. I disagree. You don’t get respect BECAUSE of your gender. You get basic respect as a human being, because every human being should get that, and build that WITH YOUR ACTIONS. Or you lose it WITH YOUR ACTIONS. The fact that too often women are objectified and criticized for their appearance or choices doesn’t mean that, simply because one is a woman, one can’t criticize or be criticized by another woman. The wife is in a position of leadership, and it is her JOB to behave with grace, class, and sensitivity towards ALL the people who live in or visit this country. She has done nothing, EVER, to earn respect, at least not from me. To say she’s “learning on the job” is crap — all First Ladies learn on the job, because there’s no other job quite like it. And yes, it is a job, and don’t give me that crap that she didn’t “choose” it. She didn’t walk away from it. She CHOSE to stay. Top offices are a package deal, and yes, there are politicians who have not gotten my vote because I thought their partners weren’t up to the job, and would, in fact, be a detriment. One person holds the elected office, but the couple is in it together.

And then, the Nashville Statement? Disgusting. Again, I was in Nashville several years ago to cover the NHL draft. Six days in Nashville was five days too many, as far as I was concerned. They were talking about secession and creating a country which recognized that slavery was a “good” thing. I still have the newspaper coverage tucked away in some file somewhere.

I’m trying to come up with a plan for long-term giving. I don’t have the financial resources right now to do a lot, but I’m doing what I can, and planning what I can do over the long-term, because the area will need help long-term. So far, with my due diligence, I’m focusing on food banks for people and the Texas SPCA and Pets Alive in Austin for animals. When the immediate need eases, I’ll focus on Habitat for Humanity for people. My friend, author Joelle Charbonneau, who always goes the extra mile for everyone, gave me information on Global Giving, so I’ll also do what I can with them.

I’m reading the material on why one shouldn’t give to the Red Cross. It disturbs me. I agree that the company that took over in the past few years isn’t transparent enough, especially with donations. I volunteered with the Red Cross in NYC during Desert Storm (I was a military case worker). I learned a lot, disagreed with some of their policies, but overall, had a great deal of respect with them at the time. As far as being helped by them, in my personal experience, I found them good at immediate, short-term assistance — such as when the building I lived in caught fire, and when my hometown flooded — but not structured to handle long-term issues. The Text and $10 goes to them option is, in my opinion, good in the short term, but for longer term help, I’m going to give elsewhere.

The phone scams for false charities are already in full swing. Half a dozen calls yesterday morning alone. I don’t give out my phone number, so how do they get it? Which corporation (of the few that have it — utility companies, etc.) is selling phone numbers? That needs to stop. I’m on every Do Not Call list there is. In any case, be careful, and don’t make donations by phone, unless you’re texting one to a vetted organization.

All of this has to balance with the writing, or I can’t keep a roof over my head.

Not much writing done yesterday, although I have to get back on track for that. I got out an article pitch and another pitch, so, hopefully, they’ll hit home. I need to do some research for a batch of LOIs to go out next week, when Mercury goes direct and after the holiday weekend.

I’ve gotten several questions as to when NOT BY THE BOOK will be ready to submit (some publishing people are interested), so that has to get back on the schedule, along with everything else.

August was a month away from the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions in the sense of not sticking to a list, but relevant due to the internal work.

Finished Alyssa Maxwell’s MURDER AT CHATEAU SUR MER, one of her Gilded Newport Mysteries. I love the series, and I love the growth of Emma Cross.

I have to figure out a new release date for “Labor Intensive”. Since it takes place on Labor Day Weekend, I don’t want it to be too far out, but I also don’t want to do a big promotion when people are drowning in Harvey.

I like the new covers for both “Labor Intensive” and “Plot Bunnies”. I think they fit the scope of the series better.

More ideas are coming in for the Picaroon Island series. I need to jot them down before I lose them. The ideas pouring in right now are for what would be the fifth book in the series. The first book is out on submission. Visiting Nantucket got me thinking about it again.

Next week, the first pre-pub push for PLAYING THE ANGLES goes out. Lots of juggling going on.

Not to mention that I really want to get SAVASANA AT SEA to my editor by mid-September.

I have one more pass at ANGLES to go, and that needs to happen this weekend.

Never a dull moment, which is good.

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Fri. July 7, 2017: Writing For Someone Specific (and Special)

Friday, July 7, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Ran errands, caught up on stuff, sent out a few pitches.

Decided against some assignments: one guy wanted a ghostwriter to write 60K category romances, for-hire (no rights or royalties) — for $2500/pop. Um, no, add a few more zeros in there. If I’m going to write category romances, I can retain my rights/royalties and sell them directly to Harlequin. I’m not ghostwriting for such a pittance. Another wanted a novel edited — 100K (about 400 pages) for $100. Um, no. $100 gets you the first 20 pages.

My time and talent are worth more than that. If it’s going under someone else’s name, and that someone is profiting, they’re going to pay me WELL and UPFRONT. I have no issue with for-hire — it’s simply at a high rate.

Most of yesterday, however, was spent writing a story for a sick young girl. Somehow, my friend Joelle Charbonneau knows her or about her; she posted on both Facebook and Twitter. This young girl was in a serious car accident and has a slow, painful recovery ahead of her. She loves to read (daughter of a librarian), and loves fantasy.

So I’m writing a fantasy/mystery especially for her, with the protagonist named in her honor. It was supposed to be a quick 500 word piece with room for more — but I’m already 10 pages in. I think it’s going to be between 20-30 pages. I’m determined to finish it in the next day or so and get it in the mail to her. If she wants more, I’ll write them. At least it will take her mind off things for a bit. It’s set in a spooky castle on the Northumbrian coast.

That doesn’t mean I can drop the ball on anything else — “Ramsey Chase” goes to the publisher today for Monday’s release, and I’m digging in to FIX IT GIRL.

Still waiting for those damn late payments. Hopefully, some of the stuff I’ve sent off in the last few weeks will hit properly, and additional checks will be on their way soon. But that still means I have more pitching –and more writing — to do.

Have a great weekend. We’re supposed to get some bad storms today. Guess there’s no mowing for me. Will have to catch up on the weekend.

July To Do list up on the GDR site — it’s busy!

Published in: on July 7, 2017 at 9:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 7, 2017: Writing For Someone Specific (and Special)  
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Mon. June 10, 2013: Head Down, Working

Monday, June 10, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

This cough is annoying me. It’s stuck in my throat (I’m grateful it hasn’t moved into my lungs), but my whole body is sore from coughing. I’m taking medicine, it only works sporadically.

It definitely affected my productivity this weekend, which was bad, because I had to dig down and work on the proposal my agent needs today.

I also finished some material for Confidential Job #1, which I have to write up today, completed my classwork for the Archaeology class and the Climate Literacy Class, took quizzes in both classes, and wrote and turned in my first paper for the Archaeology class.

I read Joelle Charbonneau’s newest release, the YA (or maybe it’s now called “New Adult”) dystopian novel, THE TESTING. In spite of it being written in present tense (which drives me nuts), I couldn’t put it down. She did an outstanding job with it, and I’m looking forward to the other two books in the trilogy.

I managed to get the front lawn mowed before the rain started on Friday. Did a few loads of laundry over the weekend, and yesterday, when it was sunny, I weeded the terraced bed and then hand washed the big living room drapes and hung them out to dry in the sun.

Tried fighting my cough, and fought to keep enough energy going to keep working. I felt like absolute, exhausted crap. But a deadline is a deadline, an opportunity is an opportunity, and I can’t have a shot at a contract if I don’t meet the challenges and opportunities offered.

The Belmont Stakes was on Saturday. Palace Malice, ridden by my pal Mike Smith (I’ve known him since I started covering racing) won, and I was thrilled for them. It was a great race.

The Tony Awards were last night, and the show was terrific. Neil Patrick Harris is a terrific host — his wit is razor-sharp. I was delighted to celebrate the success of many with whom I worked over the years, and it made me proud to be an alum of that community. I worked the Tonys once and attended two other times — not once did I make it home from the parties before dawn! Always great fun.

This morning, I’m polishing up my proposal and getting it onto my agent’s desk. My “Supporting Characters” workshop starts at RWA — I managed to log into the board, but haven’t been able to post anything yet. Also have a review and an article to write, and then it’s back to my writing schedule.
To the page!

Devon

Published in: on June 10, 2013 at 8:37 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 10, 2013: Head Down, Working  
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Thurs. May 30, 2013: Busy NY Days and Having to Wear Shoes

IMG_1145
The small pools at Rockefeller Center

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Yesterday was a wonderful, albeit exhausting day. Up early, left Brooklyn at a reasonable hour, rolled into Rockefeller Center.

First stop: Christie’s Auction House. They had a viewing for the upcoming Latin American Art Auction. It was amazing. There’s a reason Christie’s has such a stellar reputation — not only are the pieces stunning, but they are well-curated, and the staff is pleasant.

Of course, I gravitated immediately to Matta’s work. His paintings have spoken to me since I was in college and saw them when my roommate studied him in Art History class. If there’s a Matta, I find it instinctively.

There was also work from a Cuban painter named Tomas Sanchez that I loved — his use of light and color and the four elements. And Emilio Sanchez’s use of light reminded me of Edward Hopper.

What a great way to start the day!

Headed up Fifth Avenue. Stopped at St. Patrick’s (under renovation) to visit the Brigid altar. Stopped in St. Thomas’s because I attended the ordination of one of the first women priests (Anglican) there when I was in high school. I thought it was somehow appropriate that, when you stand in front of the church’s 9/11 Memorial, you can hear and feel the subway moving underneath.

Further up to the MOMA, where I found a card of the Edward Hopper painting that inspired one of my short stories. Bought it and will frame it when I get home.

Up to the park, where I had coffee and a nice chat with one of my students. Then did the Broadway matinee sweep, but didn’t really want to bother anyone during the shows.

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I swung by my beloved Belasco Theatre to take photographs — nothing’s running in it right now, but that theatre holds a special place in my heart. It’s a little gem, and I wish a bit more would be invested in it to preserve it. The history, the stories, the atmosphere of it are completely unique to any theatre in which I’ve ever worked.

Headed for the NY Public Library, where I spent quality time with Patience and Fortitude, and used the reading room to get some work done. Got some background written for something I want to work on.
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To the Harvard Club, where the Indie Next Generation Awards Ceremony was held. The Harvard Club has many strict rules and nut dispensers, and that’s all I’m going to say on that topic. But our function was lovely — how can you not love a place that hands you a glass of champagne as you walk in? I met a lot of great people, caught up with my agent, and got to applaud the authors. I’m glad I was a part of it as a judge.

Once I left the Harvard Club, I went back to Broadway, backstage at NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, to catch up with friends. It was great to see people and catch up and all that good stuff.

From there, I headed up 9th Avenue to Molloy’s Pub. Got there before any of the people I was meeting, so had dinner (hey, it was past 8 PM & I hadn’t eaten since breakfast). Joelle Charbonneau joined me after her signing at Books of Wonder and we had a good natter about the business, and then Costume Imp joined us when he got out of work at the ballet (they knew each other in college). So we had a great time.

By the time Imp and I got back to Brooklyn and settled, it was nearly 1 AM.

Up early again this morning — the concentration today is downtown and the Village. Walking the old neighborhoods, getting the changes photographed and logged in for the HEART SNATCHER trilogy, HUNTING THE DREAMSTALKER, and a couple of other things that use contemporary NY as a background.

I should wear the cute shoes that go with the dress, but my feet are swollen from yesterday, so to hell with it, I’m wearing the sneakers. The Knickerbocker Club (where I have a meeting with a former mentor this afternoon) is just going to have to deal. 😉

I’m not used to wearing shoes anymore. I don’t wear them at home, except to run to the store or to go out for a meeting. An hour, two hours a day, tops. Having to wear shoes all the time is much harder than it sounds!

Devon