Tues. April 24: Stormy Weather and Chasing Checks

Tuesday, April 25, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and drop a comment to cheer my pal Karina Fabian’s new release, LIVE AND LET FLY. We met at Muse Conference my first year since, and have supported each other’s work ever since! Her writing’s energetic and fun and she knows how to tell a darned good story!

Worked hard yesterday, but it was one of those days where it felt like nothing got done. Lots of business/admin/proposals/pitches/marketing. I pitched for a few jobs — I’m pretty sure one of them thought it would cost $75 for the job that I calculated at $1200. But there was no pay range, and I was told to state my rate, so I did. Even at that rate, I’m undercutting some other people who do the same thing. But I doubt I’ll get it. And that’s okay. I’m worth the $1200. Speaking of being worth the money, I’m chasing down a major check and not having much luck. Different client this time. I’m being ignored. Sounds like we’ll have a parting of the ways coming up.

I’m revamping the Fearless Ink website. The workshop page is done here, and I like the result. Now, I’ve got to get the other pages up to speed. I’m not using it to its full capacity.

Janelle, the Organizational Goddess of Fearless Ink Workshops put up a Facebook Page for the site, but I’m not sure how it all works yet. There will be a writing tip several days per week, and notices about upcoming workshops. I think this is the URL, but I’m not sure. I’m not good at Facebook.

Worked on the author page for Annabel Aidan over at Amazon. It should be up in a few days. Worked on the Devon Ellington page, too, but made a huge mistake when I was trying to add the anthologies in which I’m included, which makes me look like I’m claiming authorship in a way I’m not. I contacted their tech team and explained how I screwed up, that I didn’t mean it to come across the way it did, apologize, and ask them how to fix it.

Got a nice chunk done in the writing sprint with my students yesterday — two solid scenes, and the start on the third.

Caught up on student work. There’s some great writing in the class, some of them have taken to the class like a duck to water, and re-envisioning each genre in truly witty and unique ways.

Finished WANTING SHEILA DEAD. It’s the first of this author’s books that kind of disappointed me. A lot of the major action happened off the page, and we HEARD explanations of it after the fact, a style choice that drove me nuts. There was so much good stuff in the book that, for the climactic scene to just stop where it did and then there be pages of explanation, without us seeing the moments after the Big Reveals and the actual confrontations with the perpetrators of both crimes, that I felt cheated.

Today, I went to meditation (we had a good talk after about applying the moment-to-moment of both action and awareness in the current political climate), and now I’ve got a ton of errands. Then, I have to try to track down that damn check. I’ve got a lot of work to get through at the desk after errands, and a meeting about a theatre project this afternoon.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t forget the one-day online seminar, Amazing Antagonists, on Saturday, May 12. More information and registration here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Come visit Karina Fabian on A BIBLIO PARADISE and hear all about her great new trilogy!

Michelle Miles will be there on Thursday, talking about her new release, ONE KNIGHT ONLY.

I am home, thank goodness. Still a little queasy, but home. The cats are relieved.

Yesterday, I did as much as I could with my students, wrapped things up in CT, but had to rest a lot. I had what I call the “Poison Headache” — the kind that comes from food allergies food poisoning, etc., along with the nausea and dizziness. I managed to do a Costco run and also get some ginger cookies and an apple, which helped, and at least gave me enough energy for the drive home.

The drive home was okay; stuck around New Haven for about 40 minutes, but, other than that, even with heavy traffic, it moved. Got home a little after 8:30, unloaded, played with the cats, had some scrambled eggs.

I love the new Victorian bordello lamp I bought at the antique store. And, yes, it works. However, it doesn’t shut off. The switch won’t go off. So I have to unplug it. I paid $9 for it, so I’m not going to put in $50 for a new switch.

Still don’t feel well, but there’s a lot to do today — errands, working with students, work for the Marine Life Center, my own work, a meeting tonight. I have to take it slowly, because I still don’t feel well, but at least I’m home, and that makes up for a lot.

The fog was heavy from New Bedford on home, and this morning, it was even thicker.

Came up with a new Jain Lazarus short story while I was driving, though, so it was time well spent!

Devon

Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 7:17 am  Comments (9)  
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Saturday, August 14, 2010


Violet keeps an eye on things

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Free Muse Online Writers’ Conference registration closes tomorrow, so if you want to participate, or take either my Dialogue Workshop or my Story-Building Workshop, register before tomorrow. The Dialogue Workshop has a limited amount of spots available, and once they’re full, that’s it. I simply can’t correct 50-70 exercises per day and give each student my full attention — especially when students are late turning in exercises, don’t follow the instructions, etc. So, the Dialogue has a limited amount of participants. The Story-Building does not this time, because it’s my first time teaching it at Muse.

Dialogue Workshop Taught by Devon Ellington
Learn how to craft character-cohesive dialogue that moves along the story. Explore methods of cutting, crafting, and creating conversation that sparkles on the page and in the ear, and works in the context of the overall piece. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop, with daily assignments. Participants are expected to have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, proofreading, and structure, and the ability to process comments, apply them moving forward, and keep up with assignments rather than doing them in a batch. Daily assignments will build on each other. Newly created work is required in the class; please do not use something from a WIP or that is used for another class. It will trip you up as we build from assignment to assignment. Anyone is welcome to read and follow along on the assignments, but daily participation is limited to 30 students. If you sign up, please meet the commitment, or give up your slot within the first day so another interested participant can take it.

Story Building Workshop
Spend the week with Devon Ellington building your story scene-by-scene — but not in the way you’d expect! Learn to integrate the elements of plot, story, and character with dialogue, description, and action to create a complete draft of a short story over the course of the week. There will be intense, daily assignments with specific guidelines to delve into the day’s purpose. Please do not use previously written material in the class.

Registration for the Muse Online Conference is HERE. You may have to send a separate email once you’re registered to the “contact” address in order to sign up for the Dialogue Workshop. Sorry it’s so late going up, but there was a glitch on their end and my information wasn’t up until I mentioned it yesterday.

Even if you don’t sign up for my workshops, there are a lot of great workshops happening. I particularly recommend Karina Fabian’s World-building Workshop.

Now, onto Savvy Authors. The links are up for the deconstruction workshops. If you want to join the workshop to deconstruct a fantasy romance and learn how to apply it to your own writing, you can sign up here, and if you want to deconstruct a steampunk film and learn to apply the techniques to your own writing, you can sign up here. The fees are very reasonable for both members and non-members. And there’s no homework in the deconstruction workshops! You just have to read the book or watch the film before it starts.

Now, on to other stuff:

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Great writing session in the morning on the Willowspring Grove novel. I’m thinking about it a lot in between writing sessions, which is good. I’m averaging between 1500-2000 words per session, and I’m 86 pages in so far. i have to start putting them into the computer, or I’ll get too far behind.

I got out some of the backlog of short stories, and got out a stack of queries, all good. Decided not to submit to one particular publication — the way they wanted me to reformat out of standard manuscript format to their house format would have taken me so long that, even if they accepted the story, they didn’t pay enough to cover the time. There’s a reason it’s called ‘standard manuscript format” — the writer formats it once, professionally, and it should be acceptable to any professional publication. I can understand stipulating .doc or .rtf or even .pdf, but to expect writers to spend hours reformatting from market to market is a waste of time, except, maybe, for the desperate-to-be-published. it’s hoop-jumping, power-playing, and I’ve noticed that the markets that pay the least expect the most amount of hoop jumping.

NEXT!

Spent a few hours in storage. Consolidated 20 boxes into 8, bagged a bunch of stuff I’ll drop off as donations, tossed a lot of stuff that needed to be tossed. It feels good.

Plotting the next Annabel Aidan, whose working title is THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Will start the actual writing on Monday. The central character will be Bonnie, who we meet briefly in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Amanda and Phineas will have important secondary roles, and then they will be the focus of the third book. It’s not really a series, as each book stands alone with its own set of protagonists, but they are in the same paranormal, romantically suspenseful version of Manhattan, and they wander in and out of each other’s books.

Dinner with friends last night, which was fun. And, I managed to see just a tiny bit of the meteor shower last night — one quick sprint across the sky. Very exciting. I’d been so disappointed the previous night because I couldn’t see anything due to cloud cover.

Today, I’m writing in the morning, trying to get some organizational stuff done, then off to a friend’s in the afternoon. Tomorrow should be all about the writing. Because come Monday, my daily output has to either double or triple amongst the different projects, and I have to stay on top of everything else. The next few weeks/month will be very busy, not the least of which is getting the house-and-home situation sorted.

Devon

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and HOT

First of all, my wrap-up article on Belmont Stakes day is here. Enjoy.

Second, I have some teaching gigs I’m going to mention now, and then remind you about as they draw closer.

In fall and into winter, I’m doing three deconstruction seminars. Each runs for a week, analyzing structure and character development.

September 13-19: Fantasy/romance

September 20-26: Steampunk film

November 29-December 5: Paranormal mystery

These are all online through Savvy Authors, and I will direct you to the blurb and registration and fees once that’s all sorted.

I’m also teaching two workshops at The Muse Online Conference this year: My ever-popular Dialogue Workshop and also a Story-Building Workshop. Registration is limited and will close on August 15 for the conference in general. More importantly, my workshop is limited to the first 30 people who sign up; in previous years, something like 150 people have signed up, with 50+ posting each day, and it’s just too much for me to give feedback as intensively as is necessary for the workshop to a large group of students, especially those who ignore the directions in the exercise or who take on too much and don’t keep up with the work. If I can make the commitment of time and energy, I expect the same from the students.

The Muse Conference is free. If you’ve never participated, I suggest that you try it this year. It’s terrific. I’ve developed three novels and a collection of short stories in it over the years. There are some really great teachers this year. If either Karina Fabian or Christine Amsden are teaching world-building workshops, take them. They are amazing.

The conference runs from October 11-17, but, as I said, registration closes on August 15.

I’m also teaching One Story, Many Voices online over the month of January 2011 at Savvy Authors, and several workshops for the RWA in 2011, but I’ll post information closer to registration dates.

Yesterday was a pretty good, calm day. I spent time in the morning hanging out with the nieighbor’s cat, who first pinned me against the door when I came in, and, once he’d eaten, sat in my lap for the rest of the time. He’s 16 pounds, so that’s a lot of cat in the lap!

Drove to LI for my acupuncture appointment. Lots of traffic, but it moved and I gave myself plenty of time so I wouldn’t stress out. Started plotting the story that the “spiritual” center inspired while I drove. Acupuncture was great. Turns out the painful hip was a half inch out of alignment. She was surprised I could even walk around from the pain. I guess I just sort of got used to it. Anyway, she untangled me, got my neck back in the right spot, too, and unwound my back. Wow. What a difference.

But I had to rest for the remainder of the day (once I drove home). I can do most yoga, except for one sequence, but no running or weight training for two weeks, to make sure the body gets used to being in proper alignment. I’m definitely a little sore today, but always checking to make sure I’m not askew.

On the way home, I stopped at the wine store. Two older “businessmen” in cheap suits were hanging out in the store. One of them said to me, “Don’t you think it’s time you got a boob job?” And I said, “Don’t you think it’s time you got a personality job?” The proprietor was mortified — I go there a lot, and people there are always nice. Figures. The old, out-of-work, down-at-heel drunks are true gentlemen, and the older white guy in the business suit is the sleaze bag.

Anyway, hung out with the cat some more, wrote up the notes I’d come up with as I drove (always interesting to see how far a piece evolves from the original kernel of the idea — it’s already mutated a lot). Rested the hip.

The night was terrifying — bad thunder storms and a bolt of lightening struck right outside the bedroom window. It came down white, hit the asphalt and turned into an orange fire ball that sounded like an explosion. Cats flew in all directions, and I could feel the tingle of the electricity.

No running this morning, just some light stretching. Will do yoga later. It’s hot and humid. Will hang out with the neighbor’s cat early, then check in the afternoon to see if he needs the air on. Plan to write, read, and generally take it easier.

Sorted things out with my editor. I think we’ll be okay for the next few months. We’ll see how it works out. I have a loyalty to my editor, but there will come a point where I have to say, “enough.”

I’m invited to the opening of my pottery teacher’s new exhibit in two weeks. I’m looking forward to it. The pottery class I’m taking (with a different instructor) starts next week, and I’m looking forward to it.

Elsa is worse, unfortunately, and I am very worried.

Back to the page.

Devon

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Have you see the “Simon’s Cat” animation pieces on You Tube? Someone tweeted about them yesterday, and I spent way too much time watching them and howling with laughter. “Cat Man Do” is one of my favorites, although I love them all.

The scumbags actually gave us heat yesterday, without me having to call the Health Department first. I’m not sure if they just did it because they got a clue that we won’t back down, or if someone else called the Health Department. It was only a puff, in mid-afternoon, but it made a big difference.

My editor sent back the essay with some suggestions for cuts — I’m curious to see if her cuts are the same as my first cut instincts. The other editor was pleased with the cuts in the short story, which I thought was interesting, since I felt those cuts took all the detail and charm away, but whatever.

I’m doing the final prep for the workshop, so I can post the first exercise tomorrow. I’ve decided to rearrange the exercises a bit. The conference officially starts on Monday — it will be a busy week. I may stop into a couple of workshops — last year I took a couple of writing workshops — I world-built again in Karina Fabian’s wonderful class, and I took both Kim Smith’s cozy workshop and Jamieson Wolfe’s short story workshop. I developed a new book in Karina’s workshop, which is in the To Be Written Queue; Kim’s workshop was the start of the first Helena Francis mystery, which is nearly done; and the short stories I started work on in Jamieson’s workshop are making the rounds — one of them was published in THE RANFURLY REVIEW, and the others are on submission, and there are more to go to create a volume of linked short stories. This year, I don’t really want to create new material — I’m up to my eyeballs in partials that need sorting and completion. So I’m looking into workshops dealing more with business and practicality. There’s also a research workshop that looks wonderful, especially since I’m about to start digging in the National Archives.

I read most of the material for Confidential Job #1. I will finish it write up what I have to either today or tomorrow.

I was supposed to go to a Morgan Horse event tomorrow, but, honestly, I don’t know if I’m up to it after this week.

Plus, I need to get back to the Prague essays.

I’m delighted that the President was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When you travel outside of the United States and get away from the viewpoints of the liars and the hypocrites, the only people who come across on the world stage as fools are the obstructionists and screamers who are scared that an educated, rational viewpoint might hold some sway in the world, and that their own personal pockets will be lightened when the special interests no longer own the country. It’s going to take a long time to cut out the cancer that is comprised of corporate interests, but, hopefully, the people will continue to demand it. Our President is trying to do it peacefully and legally, and that is the way most people want it done, which is why he was elected.

And Representative Alan Graysin rocks — good for him, not kowtowing to the morons and telling it like it is.

Devon