Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016: Lovely Solstice, Looking Forward to the Year’s End and More

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Don’t forget, “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall” is free here with Coupon Code QB74U until December 26, and “Just Jump in and Fly” is free here with Coupon Code LW63D until the same date.

Lovely Solstice celebration yesterday. Cheered me up considerably, which is part of the point of the ritual.

I have questions for the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions for 2017 up here. Please take some time and use them, if you connect with them. You are welcome to comment publicly on the site, or read along and work on your own. Some of the questions are from last year’s. There are also some new questions, and places where we build on the work done last year. You can access the questions here.

I’m working on the year-end wrap-up of Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. I will schedule it to post on December 31 at the GDR site.

I will not post my answers to my questions until January 2, because I intend to spend most of the 1st in deep contemplation. I am playing with ideas for a “dream” that will take several years to come to fruition, but, if I can pull it off, will be worth it. Or maybe it will stay a dream, but give me something about which to dream. We will see.

Today, I focus on writing JUST A DROP and the short story. After lunch, I deliver the last of the cookie platters to the neighbors. I’m almost finished decorating (finally). Tomorrow will be a major writing/cleaning day.

And then it’s Christmas! AND Chanukah! They both start on the same day this year.

Don’t forget to track your dreams on the Twelve Days of Christmas — they are portents of the coming year! I’m hoping to have positive ones. 2016 was a tough year, and I need a year of kindness to make up for it. With the incoming administration, it is unlikely to happen, but there’s still hope.

Devon

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Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 9:48 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 22, 2016: Lovely Solstice, Looking Forward to the Year’s End and More  
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Tues. Nov. 1, 2016: Revisions, Samhain, No Nano for Me

November 1, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend, but a good one. I got some solid work done on the 4th draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’m still worried I’m not cutting enough, but I am making cuts, so we’ll see where we end up. Since the focus of the book is the interweb of relationships and it’s set against the backdrop of the mystery, it’s a little different than a typical, formula mystery.

I also found that I had to write my way a bit into the second book, MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC, to satisfy myself on a few things in CHOLERIC.

I hope you enjoyed “The Possession of Nattie Filmore.” The link is down, and it’s no longer available, but you can take your coupon for the Yuletide comedy “Just Jump in and Fly” and use it until tomorrow.

Got plants repotted and stored either in the garage or found a spot in the house for the winter. The bed between the pines has been tilled and raked and cleaned; it has too much shade to be used for vegetables and herbs next year, but maybe I can put in some lovely shade plants. I still have quite a bit of work to do to get the whole yard to bed for the winter, but I’m getting there. And yes, there is still mowing that needs to happen!

Samhain was fun yesterday. The little kids were adorable, and they found the house delightful. The older girls were mostly dressed as superheroes, but will elaborately beaded and feathered masks. Gorgeous! A neighbor and I were the only ones participating in Halloween, which is kind of a shame. But it was fun.

Samhain ritual was good last night, too. It was the first time I’d done a formal ritual with all the bells and whistles, rather than a spontaneous one. I’m glad I did. Lots of work to do for the coming year! Lots of changes coming.

Baked “Day of the Dead” bread this morning — good stuff. Although I’m not a big fan of anise, I liked it here.

I have errands this morning, and then it’s back to the revisions, and, hopefully, doing some more writing, both on the prose and the plays. I am NOT participating in Nano this year –it will derail too much. But I wish everyone who’s doing it success and the joy of the process!

Devon

Published in: on November 1, 2016 at 8:41 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 1, 2016: Revisions, Samhain, No Nano for Me  
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Fri. Jan. 4, 2013: Gearing Up for A Busy Weekend

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Reindeer over the fireplace

Friday, January 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, in spite of the late start. Wrote 1K on LEADING OPPORTUNITIES — I’m starting to get back into its groove. Did a lot of admin. Worked with students. Cleaned up the back bedroom (I’m getting the house sorted for Sunday’s party). Finished the material for Confidential Job #1 — now I just have to write it up.

Got nearly 2K done on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE this morning. I need to type up what I’ve handwritten — I’m getting too far behind, and need to update my character charts and arcs. Am about to go and work with students, and then have a LOT to do, especially when it comes to admin, grocery shopping, and party prep.

A slot for a manuscript critique opened for January — if you’ve got a manuscript that needs a critique, or know someone who does, please contact me via email for pricing and details. Spread the word!

Read a book that came highly recommended. Liked the world building, but felt the plotting was weak, and the characters weren’t quite unique enough. Oh, well. Glad I test drove that author at the library! There are good things in the book, but I’m not sure I’d buy/read another. I took the recommendation because it was so highly recommended, and this author was compared to one of my favorites. I don’t see many similarities.

“Just Jump in and Fly”, “Tumble”, and “Too Much Mistletoe” are all available on Smashwords now (see the Short Stories page). I’m excited. I’m looking forward to putting up some more shorts in the coming weeks, and also starting to put up some Topic Workbooks that grew out of seminars I’ve taught. I need to do a cover shoot for “That Man in Tights”, because that’s the next in the queue to release.

Better get going — lots to do!

Devon

Thurs. Jan. 3, 2013: Writing, writing, writing, writing . . . .

IMG_0779

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and c-c-cold!

Good morning! A little late getting online today, because I was at yoga.

I’m so delighted by the enthusiasm and thoughtful posts over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions — it’s always such fun to work towards goals together in company!

I wrote 1K on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE yesterday and 1K on LEADING OPPORTUNITIES — good day for both books. I caught up on a lot of email, and I’m getting through the backlog, too — seeing what needs to be filed, what can be dumped, if there’s stuff I never dealt with, and organizing market listings so I can attack them methodically for either queries or submissions. Swapped interviews for slots on blogs — my guest will be here at the end of January, and she’ll host me on the release day of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

Spent most of the afternoon re-formatting “Too Much Mistletoe”, “Tumble”, and “Just Jump in and Fly” and getting them up on Smashwords. I’ll add the links to the appropriate pages on the website. I still have to tweak the covers some more — where Payloadz distorted the covers and said they were too big, Smashwords is saying they’re too small.

It’s made me realize that Nina Bell was really, in a lot of ways, a character ahead of her time. I’m looking forward to working with her more NOW, although, initially, the stories will be set back in the 1990s. I will move them forward — eventually, she’ll have to face 9/11. It will be interesting to see how she and her career evolve. I’m going to fix the parts of TAPESTRY that don’t work — since I know a lot more about structure than when I wrote it — while still keeping her character, well, Nina, because that’s what makes her memorable. The characters in “Just Jump in and Fly” and the energy in that piece just delights me — I look forward to working on the piece for Imbolc. I’ll probably release another Nina short in the next few weeks, and I also have to turn my attention to the re-release of “The Ramsey Chase” — now that I know I was writing time travel/steampunk/fantasy, I can actually use the expectations of each genre to support the structure better.

I’ll get those links up on the website later today — but I hope people find the stories and fall in love with the characters. Nina has always been a fan favorite — maybe, with my maturing a bit in terms of craft, now she can find her audience.

I’m also considering putting together a media kit that covers multiple books, etc., that I can use as a catch-all, in addition to having the more focused kits for the individual books.

I did a chunk of work on Confidential Job #1, and will be able to complete that assignment and get it out by tomorrow.

Still working on the proposal for my agent, and still working on the Twelve Days of Christmas stories — I have a feeling I’ll be working on those well into the month! But they’re fun, and I think, when they release during the holiday season at the end of this year, people will enjoy them.

Yoga was great — now, it’s digging in to work. Got some student assignments to check up on!

Devon

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

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

Friday, December 28, 2012
Full Moon
Sunny and cold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smallest cat, biggest furballs.

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

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

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

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

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

Also working on the wacky proposal for my agent.

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

Devon

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

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

Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 28, 2012: New Ideas & Proposals  
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Thurs. Dec. 27, 2012: Storms and Oversleeping

IMG_0758

Thursday, December 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Third Day of Christmas

I talk about “Constant Improvement” over on The Writers Vineyard. Stop by and leave a comment!

What did you dream about last night? That will be February.

The storm woke me up at 4 AM. I fell asleep, overslept, and missed yoga! Felt like an idiot.

Yesterday was good. I got some work done, but not enough. Had a good time working on the Second Day of Christmas story, “Cooing”, and am working on the Third Day of Christmas story, “The Fleur De Lys Bakery”. Yes, the third day is about three French hens, and no, they don’t wind up in pastry! 😉

I’m pleasantly surprised by how funny these stories are! I’m having such fun writing them. Hopefully, next year, you’ll all have fun reading them!

Worked on materials for the upcoming classes and my private students. Finished MISTBORN and started the next book, THE WELL OF ASCENSION. Learning a lot from how Sanderson structures. His imagination is great, but so is his structure. Very helpful.

Came up with a totally wacky idea that I will meld into proposal form and pitch to my agent. If she doesn’t want it, I have a few ideas on where to send it.

HEX BREAKER’S only 99 cents as Solstice Publishing right now, so if you haven’t bought your copy — go get it!

And don’t forget the free download of the New Year’s tie-in story, “First Feet”. It’s only available until January 2. Excerpt and download here.

I’ve got to run some errands today, get the invitations out for the party, and the thank-yous written. Plus, work on student material and hustle a few more jobs for the first week of the New Year. I want to make a good dent in the proposal — if it sells, it’ll be a ton of fun to do.

I’m trying to take it a bit easy this week, because I know I have to hit the ground running with classes, private students, and articles. My brain needs a bit of a rest and time to recharge, which is why I’m doing uncontracted writing and only reading what I feel like reading for a few days!

Devon

Don’t forget to sign up for “When Words Align” to get your manuscript back on track (Jan. 2-9) and “Sensory Perceptions” to work on layering sensory detail into your work (Jan. 2 – Feb. 3). Registration closes Dec. 30!

Two short Nina Bell comic mysteries for the holidays, along with “Just Jump in and Fly”, a romantic/comic/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths.

Wed. December 26, 2012: Holiday Writing Blitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devon

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

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

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

Tuesday, Dec. 18: Baking Exhaustion & Sugar Overload

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All three can finally share the same chair

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Yup, I thought yesterday was December 15 -hence the mistake in the Blog Post title. I truly thought it was the 15th, not the 17th, which meant I missed a live video chat last night I wanted to attend. Fortunately, I wasn’t the presenter!

Yesterday I buckled down to holiday cards. My disorganization from last year bit me in the butt, because I spent more time hunting down changes of address than I spent on cards, and only made it through the J’s. That’s for domestic — all the overseas went out last week, thank goodness.

I also baked the molasses spice cookies I’d prepped on Sunday — three batches of them. They came out very well. I baked one batch of the lemon sugar cookies. They taste great, but the batch doesn’t make as many as I hoped, and I discovered it takes two lemons to create 1/3 of a cup of zest. So I’ll be buying more lemons today. The cookies are good, but they are a pain to prep, so this will probably be the only year I do them. Instead of two more batches of those, I have to do three.

This morning, I baked two batches of red velvet cupcakes. I’ll have to do at least one batch more. I also designed and printed the tags for the cookie platters. I don’t know what happened to the gift tags I’ve made in other years — disappeared into the Gift Tag Vortex, I guess. I combined what’s on the platter onto the tag, so I don’t have to prep the sheets of photographs.

The batter for red velvet cupcakes looks like blood — they’d be good for a Halloween party!

My hip flexors are giving me a lot of problems. I took valerian last night, to relax it enough to get some sleep, but I’m groggy this morning — which I shouldn’t be, from valerian. Too much raw cookie dough, probably — sugar crash.

Lousy first morning writing session, but I’ve got to get all this other stuff done, and I want to start moving the cookie platters out either later today or tomorrow. Anything with red velvet in it can’t sit around. I realized I need to yank some of the subplots from this book and save them for one further in the series. I can plant the seeds for those arcs now, but otherwise, too much gets too sprawly too fast.

I started planning the food for the Twelfth Night party — that’s not too far away, and I have to start thinking about invites, etc. But first, I need to get the cards and cookies out!

I’d love an extended nap, but that’s not on the agenda right now!

Pat, to answer your question about swapping out a revised piece for a contest entry — no, that’s not usually allowed. I’m trading on the relationship I have with this particular production company IF this draft is strong enough to land me a slot. What you send is what you’re judged on — if you get in, then, there is often a revision process. Before something is published, it’s going to get an edit (one hopes). But once it’s in the pipeline, you don’t get to swap it out. That’s where careful copy editing and proof-reading is so important. If a mistake hits someone in the pipeline on a bad day and that individual finds it particularly grating, you’re out. My revision for this play — should I land the slot — is more than just typos. I want to do a structural change, and hope that the seven pages it takes me to accomplish that will be allowed. I won’t know until mid-January, but I want to have the next draft in good shape, and then, if this draft gets me in, I’ll request the swap. If the draft doesn’t get me in, if I blew it, that’s on me, but at least I tried. I’ll still have a rewritten draft to submit elsewhere.

Back to baking. I may have to take a nap for an hour or so this afternoon.

Devon

Nibble on the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays! Two Nina Bell shorts (read excerpts here) and an Ava Dunne romantic comedy/fantasy twist on traditional Yuletide myths (read excerpt here).

When Words Align is a one-week intensive to get you back on track with either your WIP or your revision, January 2-9.

Sensory Perceptions teaches you, story-by-story to focus on each of the senses, while layering them into a longer piece. January 2-February 3.

Fri. Dec. 14: Roofers Still Here and Frost on the Ground

Friday, December 14, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Ended up spending most of the day out doing errands, which was productive, but left a lot of work to do here at home. Roofers still here. I’m hoping they will be done either today or Monday.

Wrote my overseas cards. Need two addresses, but the others will go out today, and then I’ll tackle the domestic ones — I want everything out this weekend. I have a couple of things I still want to get for my mom and the stocking stuffers, but, for the most part, the holiday shopping is done. I’ve got most of the food for Christmas Eve dinner, and have to get the turkey for the Day closer to it, because there’s no room for it in the fridge.

I’m going to get started on the baking today, too. I think I’ll do the toll house cookies today, the molasses spice tomorrow, the lemon Sunday, the cupcakes Monday, and then I can do/deliver the plates starting Monday afternoon or Tuesday.

Good morning’s writing session on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. It was hard to stop. I want to clear a few things off my desk and then spend some long days on it over the holidays.

Got a few things that must get done today, in addition to holiday preparations, and must catch up on the schoolwork. Also, want to spend some quality time with my students.

I’m feeling on a fairly even keel — I just wish I had more holiday spirit! Nothing’s wrong, but I’m not in the holiday mood I’m usually in at this point.

I am, however, looking forward to tomorrow’s Holly Walk at the Audubon Sanctuary. It’s one of my favorite events all year.

Devon

Don’t miss the Delectable Digital Delights — holiday shorts for your busy season! Two Nina Bell tales and one romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths!

Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 8:15 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Dec. 13, 2012: Working along in the New Moon

Thursday, December 13, 2012
New Moon
Uranus Direct
Sunny and cold
y

Yesterday was a decent workday. Went to the post office to get stamps for the cards; got a few small gifts that still need to be mailed, made a library run for some of books I’d ordered. Made the certificates for the people who successfully completed the tarot workshop. Spent time with my students.

Writers Night Out was a lot of fun last night. We were at Uno’s, in Hyannis, the usual place. Food’s not fancy, but fine – in fact, the pizza was very good. We had a lively, laughing table (many of us the new board members), and ten people read from their work, which was good.

Home at a fairly early hour, unwound reading in bed.

Up early this morning to move the car, meditate, get my first 1K of the day in on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. I’m starting chapter five now, which means I need to sit down and do the outline for the whole book, or I’ll get derailed.

Helped my mom pack gifts for Germany. Sorted out the pumpkin seeds that have been drying from Samhain. One set from each pumpkin will be put away and planted in spring. I put aside some others to make pumpkin runes out of them — will have to get a nice Sharpie and some lacquer spray to do those.

Yoga was great this morning. Stopped at Craigville Beach on the way back — on Thursday mornings, coming back, it’s now my routine to take the road by the shore and stop for a few minutes at either Covell or Craigville Beach. I live on the Cape to be near the water — I plan to enjoy it whenever possible.

Must work with students and finish the play today, along with doing this week’s coursework and following up on some pitches. Also have to get the cards done and out. Roofers still here — they’re doing good work. Cats aren’t happy with the noise, but compared to the morons who worked on the building in NY, destroying more than they fixed, these guys are angels. They’re conscientious, know what they’re doing, give a damn, pleasant to be around, do quality work, and clean up after themselves.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t miss the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays — small stories with big laughs and ideas — two Nina Bell tales and a twist on Yuletide myths.

Wed. Nov. 28, 2012: “Just Jump in and Fly” — a fun twist on Yuletide Myths!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Full Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Here’s the cover for “Just Jump in a Fly” a romantic comedy/fantasy re-working of the Yuletide Myths that went up yesterday under the Ava Dunne name.

Blurb:
Samantha Wright has a problem. The attractive Kris Teague crash- landed his sleigh and eight not-so-tiny reindeer in her driveway. His uncle Nick happens to be THAT Nick – as in Claus – and they need Samantha Wright’s help to turn back the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at one of the Universal Gates not only to save Christmas, but keep Earth turning. A fresh, romantic comedy turn on Yuletide myths and traditions!

For an excerpt and Buy Link, go to the Ava Dunne page. It’s only 99 cents!

I love this story — I had such a great time playing with the myths of the season. I’m planning to do more with these characters for each turn of the wheel. Which means the next piece has to be released by February1!

I figured out how to do better covers in Pages. I realized, for the PDFs, I don’t have to work in .doc. I also learned how to save into PDF and transform that into a JPG. Unfortunately, the back cover fill doesn’t convert from Pages to PDF, so, while the stand-alone cover I’m using to promote the book has the background color I want, the download is in simple black and white.

I tweaked the cover for “Tumble”. I think it looks much better. Again, I can’t replace the cover in the PDF, but it’s close, and this looks better for promotion. It’s much easier to work with photographs than anything else, so I need to go find some mistletoe and re-do the other cover. The Nina stories are too much fun to suffer from poor covers!

And yes, I’m hiring a cover ARTIST for the Nina Bell book release on April Fool’s Day! 😉

My bio’s up on the Indie Book Award site, and I look forward to being one of their judges this winter/spring. Exciting!

Had a good writing session in the morning, both yesterday and a little tougher one today. Ran errands — had to find a new tree topper — it’s hard! Finally found one that I think will be pretty.

Got some raking done in the back — the terraced back area and one side of the house. That’s all we could get done before the sleet started. Took seven bags of leaves to the dump. Most of the day was about getting “Just Jump in and Fly” done.

Good meeting in the evening. I’m going to change the way we handle the mailing list, and set up a gmail account for the organization, which will make more sense and give us more flexibility. I’m also going to set up a WordPress site for them. We need to have an internet presence, and be able to link to other sites in the town, etc.

Started packing for the NY trip this weekend. Worked with tarot students. Set up a Tarot Lounge on the workshop board so that we can continue the conversation once class ends, and set up a Yahoo loop called “Myth-Drunk Writers” so we can continue the conversation once the Greek/Roman Mythology class is over.

I’ve got an article to write today, and I’ve got to prep “That Man in Tights” to upload, and get the lights on the darned tree — I finally found them. Tessa spends a lot of time playing with the tree — it makes her feel like outdoor kitty! Also have to go to the local library and Sandwich, and find mistletoe to photograph!

Busy times. But happy ones.

Devon

Don’t forget to sign up for Flash 7 — Write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days! Info and registration here.

New Year’s Eve!

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Full Moon
BLUE MOON
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowing!!!
New Year’s Eve

Holy crap, another year, another decade gone. Well, I’m ready for the next one. Oh, and by the way, I don’t have time for the world to end in 2012. I have too much to do, and the Apocalypse will have to make an appointment with me like everyone else! It’s really not going to work out until like 2075 or something, so just chill Horsemen, chill. 😉

I would not want to be in Times Square for anything – can you imagine, no toilets? And they don’t let you out once you’re in? Ick. When I had the apartment a block away and could see the ball drop from my window, it was really cool, but as the years progressed, I couldn’t even give a party, much less get home after my show because the whole Square is in lock-down. I’d have to go OUT — which I hated — until 1 AM. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that any more.

It’s snowing like crasy — looks like someone dumped a truck of powdered sugar all over everything. Lovely, especially since I don’t have to go out in it!

Dashed out early to the grocery store, came back, cooked like a mad woman all morning (hush, I can hear the comments all the way over here), packed things up, and delivered where they needed to be delivered, packed in the fridge what’s needed for today and tomorrow, did the errands for my mom, picked up the rest of the ritual stuff, and was home by about 3 PM. Poured a glass of wine and just could NOT face going in to the kitchen to even heat anything up for dinner. I’d had a huge lunch — because I needed the space in the fridge!

I’ve posted my year-end wrap up on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. Not happy with my progress, but I feel I learned a lot, and if I apply it moving forward, it will have been worth it.

Forgot to mention I watched the Louisa May Alcott documentary/recreation on PBS the other night. Since Louisa is one of my heroines, and one of the reasons I’m a writer, I had to sit down and watch it. I enjoyed most of it, loved Elizabeth Marvel in it, but felt bad because it was obvious they were on a small budget, and those paper animation thingys just didn’t work for me. I feel bad about not loving the whole thing; after all, I know what it’s like to work on a shoestring production budget.

I ran into one of my best friend at, of all places, the gas station, on my way home from errands. Too funny! We both wanted to top off the tanks to start the new decade with full tanks.

My plans today are to stay home and read and write and do exactly as I please. Ritual tonight (blue moon/full moon, after all). Everything’s ready for that, food just has to be popped into the oven. We’ll toast in the New Year with some champagne, and I have to force down some herring before midnight (not fond of herring, but it’s a family tradition for good luck). Lots of yoga, too. I want it to be a peaceful crossing into the new decade!

If you haven’t downloaded “Just Jump in and Fly”, you only have a few more days. It won’t be available after January 6. If you didn’t get to read “First Feet” last year, it’s still available — a Jain Lazarus Adventure influenced by the first footing custom. It’s below the excerpt from OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so scroll down a bit. Enjoy!

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Devon

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

So, did you miss me? 😉 I’ve been busy, working on a site job. The internet access is down there, so I couldn’t get back online until I dashed home this morning to feed the cats.

Honestly, i never even turned on the computer on Saturday or Sunday, and (please don’t be offended), didn’t miss it.

Christmas Day was a lot of fun — stockings and lots of food. Pannettone and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I roasted a turkey, made stuffing, we had cranberry sauce (I think it’s illegal for someone born in New England not to — besides, I LOVE cranberry almost-anything), green beans with hollandaise sauce, and mashed potatoes.

We were too stuffed from dinner to have dessert right away, so we put away the leftovers, I cooked the bones and made three large tubs of turkey soup (I’ll add in the noodles as I use each batch), and it was about 8 PM before we are the Buche de Noel. It was really good, although it’s completely different from any other I’ve had before. I’m used to chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. The cake was something really unusual — not your typical yellow cake, but in that family, darker, spicier, with the chocolate ganache. Really outstanding.

I was out of the house early, with a car stuffed to bursting. I dropped my mom off at her gig, headed on out to mine, got slightly unpacked, put on some make-up, and headed back to pick her up. We drove down Greenwich Ave. and were fortunate enough to find a parking spot not too far from the restaurant, where we met our friends (who’d come in from Pennsylvania) for lunch at Meli-Melo, which is a creperie. The food was fabulous, the service is great, and it’s a wonderful place.

It was great to see our friends and catch up. They’re doing well, and we’re all ready for the new decade.

Drove my mom back to where she’s staying, I went back to where I was staying. I got some work done, and even managed to sneak in a nap in the afternoon. No idea what I did in the evening — I think I watched a lot of mindless television that was so mindless I can’t even remember it.

Sunday morning, I slept in, did yoga and the usual routine, got some work done on-site, headed out. I went to Home Depot, which didn’t have what I wanted, and Michael’s, which didn’t have most of what I came for, but, fortunately, I can re-think creations on my feet, and I got other stuff, which I think will work just as well or better. Picked up a few things at the grocery store, and headed back to site.

I worked on the Winter Wreath in the afternoon, which will replace the pine-and-fruit spray currently hanging on the door. I’ll finish it this afternoon. I didn’t have all the materials I needed for the other craft project, which was a little frustrating, but oh well.

I should have worked on the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Instead, I’m reading Christopher Fowler’s WHITE CORRIDOR, which is different and enjoyable.

Cooked a lot: my parsnip-carrot dish and my leek-potato dish, and made a vegetable chili based on a SILVER PALATE recipe that’s outstanding.

Did research for the steampunk novella.

Overslept this morning, so I’m late heading back out to feed the cats. I’ll do some things at home for a couple of hours (like post this) and then head back to site.

I’ve got two ideas for literary fiction novels rolling around in my head, very different from what I’m known to write, but both explore questions of “what if?” that interest me. Both will be rather uncomfortable, both to write and to read, but I want to do them anyway. What’s the good if there’s no challenge involved? One needs to be outlined in advance, because every thing hinges on everything else fitting perfectly. However, that one doesn’t want to let me in on all its secrets yet. The other one — I’ve got the major scenes already in my head, and it’s a case of figuring out how to get from point to point.

I hope you’re enjoying “Just Jump in and Fly.” It’s available here until January 6. What was interesting is that elements of both the Apocalypse story AND the other anthology story on which I’ve been working wove themselves into this one.

Gotta go — there are hungry cats waiting for me.

Don’t forget — New Year’s Eve is a Blue Moon, and I’ve also designated it as a “Wishing Moon.” I’ll post information on Wishing Moons on Kemmyrk in the next day or two.

Devon