Fri. Nov. 7, 2014: Re-energized

Friday, November 07, 2014
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy couple of days, and my apologies for not blogging. Busy at work. Busy at home. A lot going on that has to be juggled.

We had a good Writers’ Center Board meeting on Wednesday night. The new board members bring fresh enthusiasm and Ideas – I hope we can implement some of them.

I’m not where I want to be on RED WIDOW, but the arcs for the entire series are becoming clearer, and I’m understanding what needs to be set up in this novella in order for them to make sense. I need to do a final pass over two novel manuscripts of other projects this weekend in order to submit them early next week.

Yesterday was another busy day at work. After, the magnificent Trisha Leaver taught a workshop on the craft of the short story. It was a small, but enthusiastic group, and we all got a lot out of it. It clarified a few points in some of my current work where I’m having trouble, and reminded me what to look for moving forward.

I’m doing the prep work for next Wednesday’s book club (Kate Carlisle’s HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER). I’m doing research on Colette (for INITIATE – which sounds weird, but there’s a method to this madness) and doing my wreck diving homework.

Last night, I finally gave up and took valerian root before bed. I don’t take it often, but I finally slept through the night for the first time in weeks and woke up without being in excruciating pain – this week has been very difficult. There’s still some echo pain, but, overall, I feel better. I was able to have a good yoga session this morning, and I hope to do some intense practice over the weekend, in and around the writing.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” here at the library, and Sunday morning, I’m going to catch the end of a conference located an hour or so upstate, connected to an organization I re-joined this month. Monday and Tuesday, I plan to be offline in the writing cave, writing and working on students’ manuscripts.

My calendars for next year are supposed to arrive soon – the dates are stacking up. I’ll be a guest blogger on C.L. Lawrence’s blog in late January – I’m already playing with ideas. I have to sit down with the manuscripts and contracts and make sure everything’s entered properly, and they’ve been reshuffled to fit the commitments. I also need to finish putting the garden to bed.

Have a wonderful weekend, all, and I’ll check back in next week!

It’s so nice to be almost pain-free. Even if it’s only for a few days, it makes a big difference.

Devon

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Got a nice chunk of writing done yesterday morning. Not necessarily what I was supposed to be working on, but it feels good to get back into the rhythm of daily writing. It’s kind of an odd little comic/paranormal/mystery, so we’ll see where it goes.

Didn’t get as much done on the blog posts that are due, so have to get back to those ASAP. Didn’t manage to get out to rake the flat back before the rains started. Oops. It’ll be icky to work with those leaves later this weekend.

Went to the small, individually owned hardware store one town over to get some replacement hardware, which had been lost in the move. They were really nice, and helped a lot, although finding replacement hardware for the Christmas tree stand was a challenge. That tree’s been in a box for nearly ten years and moved three times. Somewhere in all that, the bag of hardware I kept taped to the inside of the box got lost.

Anyway, came home, tried to put the stand together, found out that the bolts were just a tad too wide,drove back to the hardware store, got the next size down (why can’t they make it a fraction of an inch smaller instead of WAY smaller? I’m starting to understand why the company that made this tree went out of business). The prices are competitive with the big box stores and the people are really nice, so why not shop there and support a local kid who came back and bought the hardware store he worked in as a teen?

Also went to a lovely independent bookstore (next to the hardware store) called Books by the Sea, introduced myself to the people who work there, and bought some great stuff. They’re happy to have another writer in the area, and eager to be supportive.

Put the stand together — it doesn’t do exactly what it’s supposed to, but the tree is steady, and that’s what counts. With the angel on top, it nearly brushes the ceiling. Yep, it’s a big damned tree. And the ceilings in this house are kind of low. But it looks really pretty and full.

Wrestled with the lights (I am such a cliche when it comes to the lights, and it is my least favorite job). Didn’t have enough, so had to go out and get more. If I didn’t like this tree so darned much, I’d chuck it all and buy a pre-lit one, but this tree is special, so I’m just going to have to shut up and deal for its life.

Haven’t found all the ornaments yet — going on a treasure hunt in the storage area to find the rest of them, because we need to spread everything out in order to figure out what to put where. This tree is double the height and width of the one we put up in the apartment, so it will be fun. How did I ever fit it into my NYC apartment? Oh, yeah, I had to move it if I wanted to get to or from the couch!

Also have to get thumb tacks and ornament hangers. I know I have both, just don’t know where. . .

In the evening, watched some TV. Finally got a chance to watch the new season of HUMAN TARGET (and get my Jackie Earle Haley fix). New show runner, major changes. Yes, now they have female series regulars; I don’t know that I’m sold on them yet. There were female guest stars last year who would have made more sense as regulars this season, and it feels like last season’s arcs have been totally tossed and ignored to go in this new direction, rather than dealt with.

Started reading Kate Carlisle’s THE LIES THAT BIND. I like the series, so I’m enjoying it.

Up early, usual yoga, meditation, first 1K of the day, feeding the cats, etc. I want to focus on the tree today, finish up some freelance work, and find my Rolodex so I can start the overseas cards this weekend.

The animal shelter down the street is having a cat adoption weekend — 100 cats need homes. I don’t even know if I can apply to adopt, since I haven’t established myself with a local vet. And it may be too early to bring in the third — Iris and Violet are starting to settle, but they’re not completely comfortable yet.

Scumbag landlords lost their next round against the tenants, so I’m wondering what their next move will be. We haven’t heard peep from them since we left, but I’m sure they’re planning something. They won’t let us go without an attempt at one final big screw, even if their lawyers tell them they can’t win.

Really enjoying the workshop. The points brought up by the students are insightful and discussions are a lot of fun.

Devon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a busy day, but a good one. Got quite a bit of unpacking done — close to twenty boxes in the kitchen. Still have a lot more, but we’re getting there. I need to get more bins for the stuff I’m sorting and stashing in the basement, but may need in the future.

The plan was to get something done in the yard, but that didn’t happen.

However, I baked truffle brownies for tomorrow’s dinner, lemon cake for tonight’s dinner, and the beef stroganoff. The latter took nearly three hours, but I think it was worth it.

I took care of some administrative stuff. Sleepy’s delivered the split box — in and out, easy peasy, and the other bed is all set up. Mattress World will give me the same thing at a better price, half the delivery charge, and next day service, so I’m going to them for the second split box on Friday.

MARTHA STEWART LIVING mailed me a recipe for banana-walnut chocolate chunk cookies as a “welcome to your new home” thing — they look really good. Maybe I’ll try them over the weekend.

The guy came to pump out the septic tank — when he was supposed to, was very friendly, and it was done quickly. I picked up a copy of SHERLOCK HOLMES from the books I got from my grandmother, and started re-reading THE SIGN OF THE FOUR, which I haven’t read in probably about twenty years. Fascinating. I’d forgotten how good Conan Doyle was at evoking sense of place and atmosphere.

Had to use my Borders bucks, so I headed to the store and came back with Kate Carlisle’s latest in her bookbinding mysteries, THE LIES THAT BIND. I also picked up the first of a new series by a new-to-me author EJ Cooperman, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED — which, funnily enough, has a blurb from Kate Carlisle. Usually, the author blurbs on a cover cause me to put a book down rather than buy it, but I thought it was funny that I had Carlisle’s book in my hand and was drawn to something she advocated. Also got Norris Church Mailer’s memoir A TICKET TO THE CIRCUS. She died this past week. I was mildly acquainted years ago with both her and Norman (mostly seeing them at parties at the Chelsea Hotel) many years ago, and she died this past week, so I thought it would be interesting to read the memoir. They spent a lot of time in Provincetown.

I’m signed up for the owl seminar on Saturday. Looking forward to it.

As you can see from the time this is posted, I can leave at a civilized hour for Maine — pretty happy about that. Of course, because of that, I didn’t thoroughly pack last night, so I bet you I forget stuff. As long as I bring up the food, right?

It’s just a quick trip — up and back for the meal, because I don’t want to leave the cats for too long. They’re starting to settle in and define territory. Iris is sneezing a lot — I think she has kitty cold. Usually, she gets over it in two or three days; if she doesn’t, I’ll take her to the vet. I need to establish with a new vet anyway, especially if we bring a third into the house, which I hope to do before Christmas. Violet has decided she may be the smallest, be she is Dominant Kitty.

And so it goes. Hopefully, traffic around Boston won’t be too bad.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Devon

Monday, October 26, 2009

IMG_0673
Autumn in CT

Monday, October 26, 2009
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Still Dark Outside — hopefully good weather

I’m off on a commitment upstate today, so I’m scheduling this to post and hoping for the best.

I’ve got a piece up on Kemmyrk about the importance of careful notation as you work.

If you didn’t read my encounter about the guy freaked out about my car full of brooms, hop on over here — it’s pretty funny.

The weekend was pretty good, albeit rainy and raw. I was out of the house early on Saturday, complete with luggage, writing bag, yoga bag, food bag, and arrived at the site just after 7 AM. The drive through the foggy morning was delightfully, appropriately, seasonally spooky.

Got in, got set up, got to work (after reading the newspapers).

I had a hard time concentrating. The goal was to focus the bulk of the weekend on “Lake Justice”, but a bunch of other stories kept leaking in. And, I was worried about the word count for LJ, so that got in my way. I figured out a way to stop worrying about it — if I can’t keep the word count in check, then “Lake Justice” won’t go to the anthology either, and I thought of a half a dozen other potential markets for it, and used the experience as the basis for my next SDR blog post the first Wednesday of November. Take away that pressure, and “Lake Justice” started to flow again. I’m still not where I want to be with it, and now I have to figure out yet a third possible story for the anthology — and get it out this week.

I also realized something else. I was constantly trying to keep on a normal/theatre (which is different from most people’s “normal”) schedule, just in case I got called for a show. Now that I’ve taken the honorable withdrawal, my body is urging me to move back into its natural rhythm, which is more nocturnal. In other words, I’d stay up all night into the morning (because morning is always my most productive time), go to bed in the late morning, sleep all afternoon, get up in the early evening and start over. I wasn’t planning on reverting to this until after I relocated, but I can feel my body moving towards that now. Unfortunately, that makes the business writing more difficult because a lot of those deadlines and meetings need to happen within regular business hours.

So, while I’m not making that schedule switch yet, at least I’m aware of it.

I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s NEGOTIATING WITH THE DEAD: A WRITER ON WRITING. It’s fabulous. It’s not a how-to book; it’s a why-do book. She brings up very interesting points about internal splits, responsibility, society, and the writer-reader symbiotic. Absolutely fascinating. Atwood’s perceptions of humanity in general are always fascinating. Her conversation with Bill Moyers in his series FAITH AND REASON is one of the main reasons I joined PEN.

I did a lot of work on my NYFA samples. The playwrighting samples are almost set (I need to find the flash drive with GLAMOROUS HEARTS in it and add that) and just need to be printed. I need to do a final polish on all my “statements” that go along with the work, file the application online, and then get my number to enclose with the hard copies that must be mailed this week. I have to check one piece of information for the fiction samples, and then that’s the same. The chances of getting awarded either grant are infinitesimal, but, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think it’s been about ten years since I even considered applying, and my work has certainly matured during that time. It’s wroth a shot, and it may well be the last time I can apply for a state grant in New York – once I relocate, I’ll have to fulfill whatever residency requirements those states have for grants.

When I woke up on Sunday, I realized that I’d woken up at the same time I arrived the day before! I don’t know why I found that amusing, but I did. Sunday was a cold, crisp autumn day, lovely after the rain and tumult of the previous one.

Due to the weather, I might go off on my adventure tomorrow rather than on Wednesday. That means two truncated writing days in a row with deadlines coming up, but I’ll just have to somehow make it all work. I’ve got two short story deadlines (one the elusive anthology) and the NYFA applications to get out by the end of the week. Plus, Confidential Jobs #1 & 3 need some attention. And I’m basically away from my desk for two days. AND it’s Samhain on Saturday, which knocks that day out completely.

I might need to pack everything up and head to the library for a day or two, if it’s too noisy here.

I read an absolutely delightful mystery yesterday called HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER, the first of a new series by Kate Carlisle. It’s really delightful — melds the intricacies of book restoration with a lively mystery featuring a smart, engaging heroine and develops fantastic relationships with friends, family, coworkers, and handsome men! The title worried me a bit –the alliteration made me worry it would be one of those gimmick mysteries, where a single trait is substituted for a well-rounded character, but that was not the case at all. I highly recommend it. DruAnn, Lara, and Brandy — I thought of all three of you immediately as I read it.

Hopefully, I can track down the author and feature her on A BIBLIO PARADISE.

Got home early enough Sunday to do four loads of laundry and puzzle out the next Merry’s Dalliance story — this one damn well better be the right one for the anthology. Worked on it (and “Lake Justice”) a bit before I left this morning.

Yeah, I was up early.

Devon