Tues. July 2, 2019: Slow Recovery, Healing Arts

Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I finally started feeling like I’d turned the corner and was getting better.

I ran errands on Friday, which was tough. Got a few work-related things done.

Went home and tried to feel better. Which didn’t work.

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, one of the errands was getting the newest books by Juliet Blackwell, Barbara Ross, and Jenn McKinlay. I started reading Juliet’s BEWITCHED AND BETROTHED. Lily Ivory is one of my favorite series protagonists.

A space opened up in the sound bath at the yoga studio that night, and I decided to go. Because I’m so hyper sensitive to sound, this type of experience is often very healing (my acupuncturist in NY used tuning forks on me, because I was so sensitive to specific sounds and responded so well).

Arrived, got myself set up. It takes about 15-20 minutes to set up one’s “nest” as the instructor calls it, to make sure we’re comfortable for the 90 minutes. I was just all settled when this woman stomped in and demanded that I move. Um, no. Huge breach of protocol. She wanted that spot? She should have arrived earlier. So she huffed and puffed and flung her belongings around setting up. I put my eye pillow on and ignored her. As much as she wanted to make the entire evening about her and intrude/punish me because I didn’t do what she wanted — no game, honey. I’m from NY. You’re amateur hour.

Once it started, I settled in, set a healing intent, and worked on bending the various sounds to where I thought they’d have the most healing effect. It’s difficult to articulate, because it’s such an experiential thing, and because most people have a very different relationship to sound than I do.

By the end of the session, I was not only pain free, I was ravenously hungry.

I cleaned up my spot, thanked the instructor, and went home. I made a salmon banh mí for a late dinner and sucked it right down. It even stayed.

Stayed up to finish Juliet’s book, which left me wondering if this is where the series ends. I’ll always want more Lily, but if this is the last book in the series, it’s also a satisfying last book.

Slept well, slept in on Saturday. Woke up feeling more like myself for the first time since I got sick. Still have a long way to go, but getting there.

Unfortunately, the illness triggered several other issues, kind of a domino effect, and I’m dealing with them one at a time. But I’m isolating and then solving each as I can.

I also haven’t had alcohol since I got sick. I miss the idea of it more than I miss the actual drinks.

Did a little bit of work on ELLA BY THE BAY in the morning. I need to catch up on typing the chapters I’ve written in longhand. I’m about 135 pages/one-third of the way through the book, and only the first two chapters are typed. I’m losing track of certain details, which makes it harder to move forward. I need to catch up, print out, and start tracking sheets, or I’ll be in a mess.

I also have to sit down and draw the map of this fictional Caribbean island. And do some renderings of the protagonist’s house and garden. You know me. Setting is an additional character.

Kept down breakfast (big win).

Read Barbara Ross’s JANE DARROWFIELD, PROFESSIONAL BUSYBODY, the first book in her new series. It’s lovely and charming. I think this will be a fun series. I’m already a fan of her Maine Clambake series.

In the afternoon, I did transplanting and planting (it was a planting day, according to the agricultural calendar). I transplanted all the rest of the tomatoes — I had four more kinds of tomatoes to transplant. I have a total of 7 varieties, over 100 plants. I might have been a little overzealous this year.

I also planted bush beans, peas, snow peas, zucchini, cucumber, zinnia, honesty, and milkweed. Yes, it’s late, but it’s been cold. Fingers crossed everything comes up.

The lettuce is thriving. The eggplants and peppers are doing well. So, we’ll see.

Then, I read Jenn McKinlay’s DYING FOR DEVIL’S FOOD, which was really fun, too. This series inspired me to create the Stained Glass Cupcakes I made for the holiday baking last year.

Slept well again, although a test of something that might cause a problem — well, it is. I was cautious, so it’s not a major setback, and now I know something else to avoid.

Worked on ELLA, caught up with a Twitter pal, took pictures in the yard. The pale pink roses are in full bloom, and the scent wafts up into my room, which is lovely.

Got some decent work done on GRAVE REACH.

Worked on the book I’m reading for review, a truly splendid book of poetry.

Still run out of energy too quickly.

Spent most of Sunday out on the deck, reading and writing. It was nice.

Up early on Monday. Worked on ELLA, worked on GRAVE REACH. I’ve started the second notebook of ELLA — starting with Chapter 11. I’m just over a third of the way into the book now. This draft needs a lot of rearranging and certain bits need more research, but the bones are good, and I like the characters.

I’ve started something for July called #31Prompts. For the month of July, I’m going to post, on Twitter, a different prompt that can be used as a jumping off point for prose, poetry, song, dance, visual art or anything else. I’m setting up another page on this blog and will upload the prompts every few days. But I’ll post each day’s on Twitter. I hope people enjoy it.

Spent time with a client, a session that was both fun and productive. Got some other work done. Went to meditation.

Up early this morning. Worked on ELLA, worked on GRAVE REACH. Will be with a client today and tomorrow, then I’m taking the long holiday weekend to rest and fully recuperate. And, hopefully, to get a lot of writing done!

Fri. June 28, 2019: Compounded Illness

Friday, June 28, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

I had a major relapse yesterday and was quite sick.

I managed to drag myself out of bed to finish a project for a client which couldn’t wait.

As soon as I could, I went back home to rest.

It seems to be more complicated than the original illness — and, on top of it, I’m having severe muscle pain. Morning yoga this morning was difficult — nearly every pose was excruciating. But, by the time I kept pushing through, I started to be able to move again.

But I’m pretty miserable.

Had to go out and run errands. Have a few things to do at the library. Then, I’m going to spend time reading on the deck and trying to get well. I stopped at the bookstore to pick up the newest by Jenn McKinlay, Juliet Blackwell, and Barbara Ross. It’s going to be a happy reading weekend!

Hopefully, I’ll get some writing done, too. I’m getting behind again.

But I can’t do much of anything with this type of sickness.

Have a good weekend, all!

Published in: on June 28, 2019 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. May 28, 2019: Hit The Stress Running

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

So much for having five days off. When the best laid plans go awry, and all that.

Wednesday morning, I’d had a brief conversation with a potential new client. This would be a big deal. Good money. The conference went well, and the person with whom I spoke wanted the next steps up the food chain to happen on Thursday morning, via Skype, and Friday, in person in Boston.

Only I never got the necessary information by end of day on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, I let her know that I hadn’t had any information, and I would not cancel my Friday and go into Boston, on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. That’s just nuts. I said I could arrange to go up next Thursday or Friday, but I needed to know by next Wednesday noon. I’m getting a little tired of this attitude that I’m supposed to be at their beck and call when they’re not paying me.

I got a message back stating that the Thursday morning conference couldn’t happen, could we do it in the afternoon?

Good thing I hadn’t booked office space at Cape Space, as I originally planned. Or I would have had to pay for it, even if I canceled. They seem to have difficulty understanding that I actually work for a living; I’m not lounging around the house in pajamas waiting for their summons.

The Skype meeting went well, although it was 45 minutes, longer than I expected. I haven’t heard anything about whether or not the meeting in Boston is on for next week. If I don’t hear by my deadline, it won’t be.

They requested writing samples, which I provided from my portfolios. On top of it, they want me to do a project-specific “assessment” — which, if they weren’t such an established company with a good reputation, I would refuse to do without pay. But again, I’m losing billable hours for AN INTERVIEW. Red flags going up.

In the meantime, I had a very, very busy Wednesday with a client, and was exhausted by the time I got home in the afternoon. But glad that I had five days away from clients. We have a big project coming up that’s more difficult than it needs to be, because the other party responsible for organizing it is clueless.

I was supposed to have five full days off. However, once the Thursday Skype meeting was moved, I got some other work out of the way in the morning, and then mowed the front yard in the afternoon before my meeting. It looks pretty darn good. The push mower does a far better job than the gas mower ever did.

I finished the final polish on “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” and sent it off to the producer.

Started plotting the next Frieda/Lazarus radio play, which will take place on the Brighton Pier — provided I can get the research in. I’ve been in Brighton, but I need to do some of the historical research. It’s hard to find books in the MA library system on historical Brighton, England.

Working on the stage play that’s due next week.

Friday, I ran some errands, including stopping by the mechanic to make arrangements for the rest of the car repairs, which are happening today. Downloaded the materials for the “writing assessment” and did a couple of other things.

Managed to get some decent work done on ELLA BY THE BAY throughout the weekend. I find it relaxing to do a few pages with my morning coffee, even before I do yoga and start the rest of the day.

Finished a chunk of research on forensic psychology, so I can draft Sam’s professional scenes in GRAVE REACH.

Mowed the side yard.

I’m taking as much time as possible to enjoy being on the deck. I rubbed the wooden furniture with teak oil; I’m starting to put out the garden ornaments.

I managed to get a lot of reading done: MURDER AT OCHRE COURT and A MURDEROUS MARRIAGE, both by Alyssa Maxwell, although each is from a different series; THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE and LETTERS FROM PARIS, both by Juliet Blackwell. Started reading a serial killer novel, but the cat was murdered, so I’m done. I’m tired of pets and women constantly brutalized in fiction (not to mention real life).

Saturday, I ran some books back to the library, and got out a pitch for an opportunity that landed on my desk late Friday night.

The stage play I was writing took a turn to the more dramatic; I started another, more comic play that I think will work better for the piece I have to submit at the end of the week.

Mowed No Man’s Land and about half of the terrace back part of the yard. An enormous tree limb crashed down in the meadow, and I’m not sure if I should be worried about the rest of the tree. Not to mention that I don’t think I can move the tree limb by myself.

Cooked a lot and ate too much on Saturday. Complete indulgence. A Spanish-style tuna with relish, olive, and tomato along with an Italian anti-pasto plate, French bread, and French wine for lunch (and a sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries). A French bistro recipe for chicken, shallots, tomato, and tarragon for dinner.

The hordes of tourists have descended and Cape Cod is a nightmare. They are rude, they are arrogant, they drive on the wrong side of the road while texting on their phones. They are sloppy and they litter.

Sitting on the deck on Saturday afternoon, it smelled like Cape Cod, but with the noise of traffic and sirens, it sounded like New York City, and I felt claustrophobic.

A thunder storm woke me overnight Saturday into Sunday, but it passed quickly. It was the first night we left the plants out, and they seem to have survived.

Up early on Sunday, reading and writing. Especially on ELLA BY THE BAY. It’s got a nice, steady pace. I need to transfer some of that pace to GRAVE REACH, and up it a bit.

I should have mowed, but I didn’t. Instead, I tried to enjoy the day.

I am, however, worried about a tree in the backyard that’s leaning. Only I’m not sure if it’s on my property or my neighbor’s. So I will have to ask the landlord. But I’m worried that it will come down and hurt someone or something.

Wrote and polished an article which will go out today. Worked on the “assessment” assignment for the potential new client. Read Tami Hoag’s DUST TO DUST, which was quite good.

Noodled with some ideas for stories and for plays (different ideas). We will see which ones work and which ones don’t.

Got an idea for a short play, which I think will work better for the play on deadline than either of the ideas with which I’ve been playing.

Monday, morning, up early. Worked on ELLA BY THE BAY. Worked on the new play, called “Qualified Personnel.” Got the first draft done. Will let it simmer for a day or two before I revise it and then I want to get it out by Thursday, if possible.

Got more stuff out on the deck, to build our enchanted garden there. Put in the solar stakes. Started mowing the meadow, which is a nightmare, because it’s uneven. Wondering if I’ll have to get in someone to do it for me, at least mow it down the first time.

Reading about the history of Havana. Fretting about the “writing assessment.” I should have simply stated I was away for the weekend, and had the initial interview, etc. this week. It’s my own fault, but I didn’t get the rest I needed, and am still feeling cooked, instead of revived and ready to face the hell that is summer on Cape Cod. It should be wonderful because it’s so beautiful, but it’s not.

Just when I hit a low point, a friend sent me a link to his new song, which is quite beautiful. That cheered me up.

Thought I’d bought ground lamb for dinner, but it was beef. Made burgers for dinner. They were very good, but the last few times I’ve eaten beef, I’ve felt awful, and this wasn’t much different.

Up early today, stressed, and off to get the car fixed. Hope it stays within the estimate and can all get done.

Exhausted and out of sorts, when I should be renewed and ready to face what’s coming. Not a good way to start the coming months.

Tues. May 14, 2019: Trying to Get Some Equilibrium Back

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

I tried to take some time off this weekend to regroup.

I’m keeping up the Go Fund Me at least through this week. I’ve landed two article assignments that I have to turn around this week, have pitched a couple more, and am in the process of pitching more.

I’ve done the Tip Sheets for tomorrow night’s talk in Brewster. I have my other materials — list of favorite writing books, promotional materials — ready.

I did some work on the book I have to review, but I needed to give myself a break, at least on Sunday, and not do anything that was a “have to.” I needed some quiet.

Friday, I had to go onsite with a client, because I couldn’t get there on Wednesday because of the car situation. Got a bunch of work done, then did the grocery shopping. Saturday morning, took the garbage to the dump and picked up a few Mother’s Day essentials. I did a little work in the yard — some pruning — but nowhere near as much as I should have. It was nice to enjoy a sunny, pleasant day.

Did a little bit of work on the play that has to go out at the end of the month. It’s supposed to be a gentle comedy, but I don’t feel very funny right now. I have to let the characters talk and let the humor evolve organically, then shape it to build proper beats and laughs.

We got the curtains switched out to the lace panels in the windows. I washed the winter curtains and put them away. I polished the wooden front door. I’m working on washing and packing away the thick winter sweaters — although we still have frost warnings, and it snowed in the Berkshires.

I’m behind on the planting, but I can’t do any of the outdoor planting until it gets warmer, and we’re out of room inside.

Sunday it was wet and cold and raining. I cooked a big Mother’s Day breakfast for my mom, and we spent a quiet day, mostly reading. I had a fire going in the fireplace to take off the damp chill.

I finally got to read Juliet Blackwell’s A MAGICAL MATCH, which I really liked. I’m also re-reading Louisa May Alcott’s Journals, which soothe me.

Yesterday, I was onsite with a client, and then worked on my articles, and then worked on more pitches. I was also dealing with my car insurance – since I have comprehensive insurance, they might cover part of the repair.

This morning, the adjustor/inspector is coming to check the car. Fingers crossed.

Desperately needed meditation group by the time I got there.

I’ve been working pretty steadily in longhand on ELLA BY THE BAY, but I’m behind where I want to be on GRAVE REACH, and that has to change this week.

Mostly, I am desperate for some rest.

 

Published in: on May 14, 2019 at 5:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 14, 2019: Trying to Get Some Equilibrium Back  
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Wed. July 9, 2014: Back To It

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Humid and ready to rain

I’ve been offline for a few days, for a much-needed break. I’m creatively exhausted right now, and need a chance to reinvigorate. The past few months have been at a ridiculous pace, and took their toll.

Thursday was a busy day at the library — people stocking up for the holiday weekend. That’s always fun — people who are excited about taking out books for the weekend, or for any other time. It’s one of my favorite things about the work — helping people find reading material that they enjoy and that engages in them. Also managed to get my desk cleared off for the first time since I was hired.

Exhausted Thursday night, and grateful that Friday was a holiday.

However, I was up at 5:30 on Friday morning. Since Hurricane Arthur was set to hit, we had to bring in all the plants from the deck and all the outdoor furniture and all the statuary, etc. We set down old sheets on the floor in the living room and the back bedroom and hauled everything in. We had to lock Iris in the downstairs bedroom and Violet and Tessa in my room, or we would have lost them, since we had to have doors to both outside and the garage propped open.

But we got everything in and then . . .waited. Most of the day was spent in humid suspended animation, waiting for the damn storm. I wrote a bit, read a lot, and battled the pre-storm headache. The storm didn’t hit until evening, and then I was glad I’d brought everything in.

Watched the Joss Whedon version of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which was very clever.

Saturday, I took out some of the plants before I left for work. Since there were so many power outages, I was afraid the library’d been hit, and didn’t want my colleague there in a dark building on her own. So I went in early, the Exec Director went in early, our colleague was there, and the power was on. So it was all good. But it was busy, and there was no book delivery, which meant we couldn’t give people the books they’d ordered, and it was more chaotic than I’d hoped.

Came home, exhausted, and got the rest of the plants, furniture, statuary, etc., back out onto the deck. Read.

Sunday, I was out early and got us a Dunkin Donuts treat. Wrote a bit, then ran errands — had to do things like get the re-up cards for the phone. Looked at Kindles, and a few other things. We even went to the mall (oh, horrors) to get the phone cards and to pick up some things at Crabtree & Evelyn, where we had one of the nicest salespeople I’ve ever encountered. So nice, I’m letting the office know. Got a case for my phone, too.

Back home to read and write a bit. Juliet Blackwell’s newest, A VISION IN VELVET, arrived on Saturday, and I read it. I enjoy the Lily Ivory series.

Worked on the final round of edits for “Elusive Prayers”, which will go out to my editor today. Wrote the press release and the PSA for the Mermaid Ball.

Monday, up early and off to run errands in Falmouth. Stuck in traffic all day. Gave up after awhile, realizing it was going to take as long as it would take, and that was simply that. Getting upset wasn’t going to change anything.

Wrote a bit, came home long enough to make a black bean ful, and then headed to the Marine Life Center for the Mermaid Ball meeting. It took me an hour and a half. The meeting was the meeting, and, fortunately, coming home was quicker than getting there.

Watched FROST/NIXON — excellent. Fascinating interpretation of a period in history though which I lived.

Up early yesterday. Writing, but feeling burnt out. The weather didn’t help much, either. Went to Just Picked, where I found some good deals, but mostly was an uncreative lump, reading, and trying to replenish. I’m so tired that everything is a ridiculous amount of effort right now.

Up early this morning. Usual routine (which I’ve managed to keep up every morning, in spite of the exhaustion) of yoga, meditation, etc. Had a bad night — I had trouble sleeping and was fretful, for some reason. The last thing I need to do right now is borrow trouble. Getting some work done before I head to the library. I’m sure it will be a busy day — it always is when I come back from a few days away — and then we have a program meeting in the afternoon.

Onwards. I need to get back in the groove of BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, and it hasn’t quite clicked yet.

The copies of TRACKING MEDUSA that were supposed to be here for the signing, and then the bookstore haven’t arrived, but the copy that the library ordered is there. Go figure.

I settled on the new title for the re-release of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, and have to book the new cover artist. I’m getting print quotes. I hope to re-release it under the new imprint, title, and cover in October. Stay tuned.

That also means I have to get THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY back on track, because I won’t be releasing it through Champagne, I’ll do it through the new imprint.
I’ve got to get BALTHAZAAR back on track, get back to the ferry girl novel, do another pass on CHARISMA KILLINGS and submit that to an interested party ASAP, and do the next Bronwyn Rowan piece.

Yet I’m feeling about as creative as wilted lettuce.

I’m also tracking my activity/commitment with an organization with which I’m working to decide whether I will remain past my commitment (which ends next year) or not. If the financial ratio and the ratio of emotional give/receive do not balance better than they have in the past two years, I will withdraw when my commitment is complete. I would like to withdraw now, but it is unfair not to fulfill my commitment to the best of my ability, and not to spend a reasonable amount of time gathering actual data to review, rather than making a decision based solely on emotion.

Onward.

Devon

Mon. July 8, 2013: New Moon!

Monday, July 8, 2013
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy weekend. Wow! Do I even remember Fourth of July? I know on Wednesday, I started tackling the revisions on the book. I did 110 pages, but it felt like I didn’t do anything, and I’m not happy.

I also finished a major edit for a client, and accepted another editing job.

The Media Kit Seminar on Wednesday had to be cancelled because of a scheduling problem. All course fees have been refunded.

Instead, I’m doing a revision intensive for the first 10 pages, from July 12-15. We’ll nitpick to get that opening perfect, and then you can apply the same techniques to the rest of the book. Details here.

Cut myself a break on the 4th. Read a lot.

Got some other editing work done over the weekend, and responses from happy clients. Very pleased about that.

The corset arrived for the Mermaid Ball and it’s perfect. I’m so happy with it! Now I can get to work on the rest of the costume. I have to redesign the tail of the costume. It’s out of proportion and unwieldy. If I was going to BE a float, maybe. But as part of an overall costume — I need to wear the tail. The tail cannot wear me. Back to the drawing board. Better to find out now that the day of the Ball!

Read Juliet Blackwell’s TARNISHED AND TORN, and Kevin Hearne’s HUNTED. Enjoyed them both. Did my coursework for Archaeology and Climate Literacy. Did a photo shoot to go with the still room article that was accepted last week. Did laundry.

Started a mystery/fantasy hybrid that whomped me upside of the head. 17 handwritten pages yesterday — love it. I’d hoped it would only be 20 pages total, but it’s more likely 50. I can play with wonderful sensory detail, action, adventure, mystery, and sociological elements wrapped in fantasy. It’s a palate cleanser before going back to the revisions.

Must run some errands today, turn around another editing project, write a review, promote my workshop, work on the short story, and finish two articles. Hop to it, hop to it, right? At least it’s a little cooler today.

Devon

Wed. December 26, 2012: Holiday Writing Blitz

IMG_0757

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.

Fri. July 20, 2012: Steampunk & Retrogrades

Friday, July 20, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’m having a bad Mercury Retrograde time. I’m not going to whine about it (well, not too much), just state it. Sorry I haven’t been around much. I set things up so the next six or so weeks would be organized and relatively stress-free, and it all blew up in my face. And not because of me, but because of entities which should not have any right to make decisions that affect me AT ALL. So I’m having to deal with that.

On a happier note, I’m working on my business plan for the coming year, preparing for Costume Imp’s arrival, and working on research for a quartet of very different projects that all have a lot of promise. I’m also working on some small writing guidebooks, both generalist, and a series of “Topic Workbooks” that I think people will enjoy. They’ll be affordable, but still chock-full of resources and links. The ghost writing project is going well.

I managed to fit in Juliet Blackwell’s latest Lily Ivory mystery, IN A WITCH’S WARDROBE, which I really liked, and I’m sneaking off for fifteen minutes here and there to read a few pages of SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second in Deborah Harkness’s trilogy that started with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The workload’s been heavy, so I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like. Now, if some of these people would cough up the cash on time for work done, all would be good.

THE STEAMPUNK TAROT arrived, by Barbara Moore, with art by Ally Fell. Wow. Just magnificent. The interpretations are layered and inspired, and the art work is spectacular. Not only is it gorgeous, it reads superbly. I’m going to use it for the three-month tarot intensive I’m teaching in the fall, and it’s already one of my favorite decks.

I’m determined to have a good weekend, and have some time for fun (with Costume Imp here, how could I not?).

Have a great time, people. It was a tough week, but the great thing is that I never have to live it exactly the same way again.

See you on the other side!

Devon

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend, but what else is new? Up early on Saturday. Out to the park, for a lovely, fun ceremony burying the time capsule.

Headed out to Staples, where I spent enough money on three cases of paper and a lot of ink tanks to make me want to throw up. But the rest of the weekend was spent finishing the 150 packets (at 22 pages each, mostly double-sided) of handouts for the conference. I still have to print more postcards, but I’m out of ink and patience.

I also need to polish my presentation.

I’m packing everything in crates as it’s done, so I can just load the car on Friday afternoon.

Cleaned up a couple of email accounts while I was printing, which was a good thing. Of course, the “improvements” to the web accounts via 1and1 (AKA Scum of the Earth Web Host) means I can’t create new folders and file my mail. And I can’t download off the web to file it, either. I’ve got to get to the computer guy so he can release my web-files and I can move hosts.

It was too wet to put the bulbs in, but I managed to deadhead the mums. I’m sad that the orange ones, which glowed so beautifully, are already almost all faded.

Got three loads of laundry done. And fixed the hot water heater all by my damn self, so I finally had a hot shower for the first time in over a week.

My treat was to read Sharon Shinn’s newest release, TROUBLED WATERS. It was fantastic. I read it straight through. The level of detail and joy she puts into her world-building is magnificent. I loved it.

Hop on over to A BIBLIO PARADISE. Juliet Blackwell’s Lily Ivory was celebrated yesterday, and Ann Aguiree’s Corine Solomon his honored today.

I need to spend time with my students today, and get everything possible cleared off my desk, so I don’t have to worry this coming weekend, when I’m at the conference.

The book is plugging along well, and I’m happy where it’s headed.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1559
Total wordcount (including the weekend’s additions): 31,266

Monday, June 13, 2011


Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard

Monday June 13, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Friday was all about the house. The Fire/Health Dept. inspection took all of ten minutes, and the guy was twenty minutes early. When does that happen? Good thing I was ready!

Right after lunch, the owner came to help me do stuff around the house, and teach me what I didn’t know. We put a washer into the hoses so they don’t sputter. We walked the property lines, so now I actually know what they are! We discussed the downed limbs and the broken limb of what turns out to be an “autumn olive” — it seems to be repairing itself, so we’re not worried. The three windows I couldn’t switch from storm to screen are now done. The two sets of back doors now have the screens in place. The screen door from the front door is bent, so we’re not putting it in. He’s going to schedule a plumber to fix the downstairs toilet, and, at some point this summer, someone’s going to come to clean the furnace. We also worked on the dryer.

So I think we’re set now!

After he left, I planted the petunias, dusty miller, and coleus in the urn — it looks great.

Finished Juliet Blackwell’s HEXES AND HEMLINES, which I really liked, and Laurie R. King’s A GRAVE TALENT, which I liked in a different way. Also read Jennifer Crusie’s TRUST ME ON THIS, which was fun.

Sat on the deck reading for awhile in the evening, wrestled the freshly painted bookcase upstairs, and will fill it today. It looks really good. It’s a little too damp to paint today, I think (rain predicted), so I might have to wait until tomorrow to start painting the bureau and the other two small bookcases.

Writing-wise, I gave myself the weekend off. I start writing with my students on Monday, for Write in Company. I need to read the material for Confidential Job #1 and do some work for the Mermaid Ball.

Saturday, up early, yoga, meditation, tended the garden, and of course it immediately started raining. My neighbor mowed his lawn in the rain. Whatever. I’d rather not rust out my blades. Ran some errands, but spent mostly a quiet afternoon at home. Signed up to bake cookies for an event benefitting the local library & museum. They needed only one more person, and I’d been considering it since I saw the sign-up, so why not? I’m good at baking & it’s for a good cause.

Read Laurie R. King’s THE ART OF DETECTION. It’s from the same series as A GRAVE TALENT, with TALENT being the first book and DETECTION being the most recent. The latter is twelve years later in the characters’ histories from the first, yet I didn’t feel lost. Hopefully, via the various libraries, I can get them all and then read them to fill in. DETECTION is also interesting because the murder victim is a Sherlock Holmes enthusiastic and King’s other series focuses on Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. One doesn’t often get the chance to call crime fiction “elegant”, but I definitely felt that King’s writing was elegant. She tells a good story, her characters have depth, her settings are wonderful, not a word is wasted, and the tone is . . . elegant without being artificial. That’s the only way I can describe it.

Covered the Belmont Stakes via live stream. Just as they’re going to the post, a stranger POUNDS on the door — doesn’t knock, POUNDS. I think there’s something wrong, and the dimwit is there to SELL me something — something about opening a new carpet cleaning business. I take a flyer, explain this is a bad time because I’m covering the horse race. He snatched the flyer back, saying,”I’m taking this, because I only have a limited number” and storms off. NOT the way to get me enthusiastic about your new business you’re trying to build, asshole.

Worked on my Triple Crown article. Did some work for the Mermaid Ball. Dealt with the month’s bills (ick) including my quarterly taxes, which were fine. Had the money put aside, had the paperwork, not a big deal. Some of the other stuff sets my teeth on edge, but the quarterlies are much easier than the once-a-year stuff. Big perk of freelancing.

Rearranged the books in my room — moved the things I want in the freshly painted bookcase there, unpacked two boxes of my grandmother’s leather-bound books for the other bookcase. We’re getting there.

Sunday — up early, yoga, meditation. Since it was pouring with rain, I didn’t have to water the garden! Got in the papers, had a leisurely morning.

Repotted some plants, including the Big King Eggplant and the mints guarding the front door into new pots and got them settled. Managed to plant the sunflowers, but ran out of soil before I could do the zinnias. Another trip for more soil (sigh).

Reading Henning Mannkell’s ONE STEP BEHIND. He definitely inhabits the same Sweden as Larsson, although the tone is a bit quieter and sadder, without that fiery undertone of frustration at lack of social justice, just a weary awareness of it. Amazing how different the different translators make it sound. Larsson’s translator used much more Americanized language, while Mannkell’s is very British. Makes me wish I could read Swedish, so I could read both authors in their native languages.

Watched the Tony Awards, and was delighted by how many of my former colleagues were on stage! And some of them won! I thought the show was well done. Last year, it focused too much on the Hollywood invaders — this year, it was about the theatre people again, and the show was both better and more fun. Neil Patrick Harris was a great host, and his number with Hugh Jackman was hilarious (as were the opening and closing numbers — the latter of which had been written during the show).

The Tony Awards makes me miss the joy of working on Broadway, but really, thinking about it later, I know I made the right decision to leave. To work on Broadway, you need to use all your time and all your heart — I did that for years, and now there are other things I want to do and experience.

Up early this morning. Because of all the rain, I didn’t have to haul out the hose. I’ve got a bunch of business correspondence to get out, work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, two articles, some research for the Ball, a trip to the dump, baking for Wednesday’s event (no one’s given me any information, there’s no information on who to contact — it’s a little late, I’m not going to start baking at midnight). So I’ll bake whatever I damn well please! 😉 At least it won’t be too hot to bake — the heat kicked on. And I’ve got to do laundry and get the house in shape for Costume Imp’s arrival tomorrow.

My class starts this morning, for the next two weeks of intensive writing. I need it as much as the students!

Back to the page.

Devon

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, available from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan’s webpage here.

Friday, June 10, 2011


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHTavailable from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, June 10, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The delightful Shirley Wells is hosting me over on her blog on how “Dressing is Not for the Faint of Heart.” Since Morag, one of the two main protagonists of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, is a Broadway dresser, yes, it ties in to the release!

Yesterday was busy. Ran around a lot, doing errands, which somehow always takes longer than I expect. Managed to get more cat food in (huge priority), get a small table to match my Adirondack chairs for the deck, some other small plant tables, Juliet’s new book HEXES AND HEMLINES, and some other stuff. Also stopped by Country Gardens to get the petunias for the planter (where the lobelia failed to come up) and some other stuff, including something so I could treat the lawn for ants. The guy said I should do it ASAP, since we’re supposed to have rain that night, and rain is better than the hose for getting the stuff into the ground.

Spent some time in the basement dealing with boxes, doing some unpacking, getting things ready for today’s inspection.

Came home, treated the lawn, watered it in, and, of course, it was the day every dog in the neighborhood came by to play, so I had to chase them off and warn the owners to wash their feet! The water makes the stuff BUBBLE, which is a little disconcerting.

I hated the thought of using this stuff (even though it’s EPA approved), but, according to the garden center, there’s no fully organic way to get rid of ants. Ants are very persistent. I can divert them from the house with the mint and the tansy and the red pepper, but to get them off the lawn, I have to treat it.

Dashed off to Buzzards Bay for a really good meeting on the Mermaid Ball. I really like the people at the National Marine Life Center, and I’m glad I can do some work with them. I’m also doing some “recommended reading” — I don’t have a background in marine biology or oceanography, so I’m playing catch-up. I should probably take a course of two at the local junior college.

Drove back in a bad storm. It was both gorgeous and frightening to cross the metal Sagamore Bridge with lightening streaking down on both sides. Rt. 6 had some very deep water-pits along the way. It drains off quickly, but until it drains — it was up to the running board in some spots.

But I got home safely, ate, didn’t go online, and started Juliet’s book instead. I really enjoy the Lily Ivory series, so I was glad to get my hands on the newest book!

When I pulled into the driveway, the lawn, where I put down the ant treatment was absolutely frothing! It’s not supposed to hurt birds or pets or people after a few hours — I hope that’s true!

Up early this morning. Didn’t have to water because of the rain. The crows haven’t managed to pry the crystals out of the vegetable bed (the crystals are too big and heavy).

I don’t feel like I can start much until the inspection is done, and then the owner is going to come over and help me prep the house for summer, so today’s pretty much a wash. I’ve got a few things to do for the Mermaid Ball, and I’d like to get some writing done, but the primary focus today is on the house. Which is a good thing.

The Belmont Stakes are tomorrow, and my next class, the Write in Company, starts on Monday, so busy, busy. But it’s good busy, and there’s a bunch of stuff coming up that I really want to do with the local wellness community, and Costume Imp is coming in next week, and the garden stakes are in and . . .

You get the idea! 😉

Devon

Wednesday, July 8, 2011

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books now.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and HOT!

When you’re done here, hop on over to Diane Parkin’s blog. She’s got me (as Annabel) with a guest post on mixing what you know and what you don’t in your writing, and how that contributed to the creation of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.

Hit the ground running yesterday. Since I have to get the early morning watering/garden stuff done BEFORE I sit down at the desk for my first 1K (or I’d have to do my 1K at 4 AM), I now need two hours before hitting the desk instead of one for the yoga/meditation, and that means getting up earlier so that I can still be at my desk early enough in the morning to tap into my best productivity. If I wait to water the garden too late, it cooks, so it needs to be done early. I like to be very present when I’m working in the garden, not just thinking about what I should be writing (except when I’m deadheading the rhodies), so it’s kind of thrown off my process a bit. I’ll get used to it, it just takes some adjustment.

Did some work on various projects, not enough on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, dumped the next round of grass clippings at the dump, came back, loaded up the car, and drove to CT. It was an hour later than I’d hoped to start. It was a lovely day, though,

However, I wondered why the heck I was so grumpy, since it was such a lovely and sunny day. Then, I realized that I’d forgotten to eat breakfast and it was now past lunchtime. Since I am an army who moves on my stomach, I stopped near the MA-RI border at a McDonald’s, gobbled down a quick meal, and was in a much better mood by the time I got back on the road.

It was an okay ride — sunshine, I had music playing, I could hear myself think. Lots of traffic around Providence, as usual, and then from Madison on down was pretty intense.

But I got here just fine, in the late afternoon, got to work, and it was all good. Had a relaxing evening. It’s so much warmer down here — high 80s, low 90s.

Up very early this morning, yoga, meditation, and writing. I’m going to spend some more time on the page with SPIRIT REPOSITORY this morning, hopefully get some work done on Confidential Job #1, make a Costco run, do the work I’m here to do, and then head back. I need to wrestle this chapter of REPOSITORY onto the page, so that I can move on. I don’t want to write the Bonnie chapter first again and then go back to the Rufus chapter — I need to write chronologically for awhile, and I need to pick up the pace so we don’t hit “middle sag.”

Gas is 32 cents a gallon cheaper up where I am than down here, so I’m glad I can get back without having to fill the tank here!

I’m going to make the rounds now, and then get back to the page. There’s another book to get out.

I want to shout out to Juliet Blackwell — her third Lily Ivory mystery, HEXES AND HEMLINES, released yesterday. I look forward to reading it!

Devon Ellington

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010
Day before dark moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cooler

The humidity finally broke overnight, and it feels a little better today.

Although yesterday and today are supposed to be the worst astrological days (and we don’t see this configuration again for 500 years or so, hoorah), it felt as though the knots loosened a bit yesterday, so perhaps, in my individual transits, it hit a few days earlier. Let’s hope — I’ll still be cautious.

The “workmen” were more careful, but they’re definitely targeting the apartments of the long-term tenants, to make it as unpleasant as possible. The clouds of brick dust floating around were rather disgusting. I closed the windows early on. But it was still gross in the heat and humidity not to be able to run the air conditioner. There were times when I did anyway, because the dust seemed a better choice — until I started coughing so badly I had to turn it off.

I stayed quiet yesterday, mostly reading. I finished Juliet Blackwell’s A CAST-OFF COVEN, which was tremendous fun, and I’m reading CE Murphy’s WALKING DEAD, which is excellent, too.

I forgot to mention that, on Thursday, I came up with a new herbal mixture for cleaning. Well, I can use the herbs for several things, but I also steeped them in boiling water, cooled the mixture, strained it, and put it in a big jug to use as the rinse after I wash with Murphy’s Oil soap. It’s strong enough to clean, but since I used the herbs steeped rather than oils, it doesn’t strip away finishes. It’s got enough antiseptic herbs, etc., to not only get rid of dirt, but get rid of germs or anything else icky that may tiptoe its way inside. I’m pretty happy with it, but I’ve also been careful to mark the containers as “do not ingest” — it looks a bit like iced tea, but a few of the herbs in there do not agree with the digestive system, let’s just say. I’m going to use some of it on the windows, as well. I’m fortunate, too, in that it smells great, although that wasn’t the most important element. The cleansing was the most important, and the good smell is just an added bonus. I notated as I worked, and copied the recipe in a safe place, so I can make more as necessary. A gallon of the stuff should last about 3 months, even with washing the floors a few times a week.

Elsa has made slow, but steady improvement over the past week. I wrote a polite email to the vet, asking for a refill on the Nalpoxtrene (you would have all been so proud of me), and he responded with 3 refills. I’m going to call the pharmacy today to make sure they’ve sent it out, and we should be in decent shape for the next few months. Elsa is eating mcuh better, and the Reiki helps a lot with the acid reflux, making it possible for her to eat. I’ve stripped away almost all the other medications — I’m alternating the Vitamin B and the olive leaf, and weaning her off the steroid. In about a week and a half, she’ll only be on the Vitaman B/olive leaf cycle, the Nalpoxtrene, and the Reiki. She especially likes the tummy massage in the Reiki, and that seems to help the most. She helped me clean out cabinets the other day and “supervised” the workmen yesterday, sitting in the window, so one can tell she’s feeling better. When she didn’t like what they were doing, she would tap on the window and meow at them, scolding them until they changed their behavior. It was pretty funny to see burly workmen being bossed around by an eight-pound cat.

Hauled stuff to storage. Tried to get a walking cast and the clerk at the local drugstore told me, in a completely condescending tone, that “people get them from their doctors; there’s no need to carry them” — his attitude that, if you don’t have insurance, you don’t deserve one. Bite me.

I’ll head to the family-run private pharmacy across town in the next few days — the place that helped Elsa so much when the vet ignored us. They have all kinds of stuff, and, if it’s not in stock, they’ll get it for me. Since I’ve been staying quiet and resting it, and wrapping it in herb-soaked cloths, it’s dong better.

I’m spending most of the day at a friend’s, working over there, catching up on laundry, etc. I think it’s going to be quiet around here today, so it’s safe to go somewhere else for a few hours.

Tomorrow, I’ll work at home — it should be quiet and reasonably temperate. I want to finish the notes on ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, make decisions about the excerpts, and notes on the new book. I also want to finish typing/sorting my notes on the lectures for the books, get out a newsletter (finally), and start deconstructing the film. And then we’ll see what next week brings.

Didn’t have a good writing session this morning, but it happens sometimes. Will bring the work with me to my friend’s place and see if I can get more done there.

Have a good weekend.

Devon