Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and COLD

Yesterday was a conflicted day, as far as work went. I’m on deadline for a couple of projects; at the same time, both REDEMPTION KILL and ANGEL HUNT are on a roll that I don’t want to stop.

I fought and fought and fought to keep away from ANGEL HUNT yesterday, trying to get to work on the other projects and then get back to ANGEL HUNT. I lost.

As I’m working on these last few chapters in the draft — I think I have three more to write, including the climactic sequence and the aftermath — I realize how much I’m going to have to cut. With three more chapters to go, I’m over 113K, which is unacceptable. I don’t have the clout to dump a manuscript of that size onto an editor’s or agent’s desk. The book also can’t be split into two books – it’s a single story. I already cut out an entire subplot and two whole sets of characters.

I broke one of my own rules and went back to re-read the early chapters. And I cut A LOT. There are scenes that work rhythmically unto themselves, or within the context of the chapter, but where I can cut out beats — or sometimes entire pages — without hurting the overall piece. In fact, it makes the book stronger and tighter, and keeps more of the focus on Lianna and Zeke. I’ve introduced Zeke earlier — in the first chapter, which is vitally important for the overall story, and his presence is felt in the first few pages, although about 2/3 of the initial scene between Lianna and Lucius DeWitt has been cut and tightened. There’s room for their verbal volleyball elsewhere, and just hinting at it here does the trick. Lachlan’s entrance remains where it is, although I’ve tightened a lot of the exposition. Gaston, who is a major figure in the bulk of the book is now mentioned early on, but doesn’t actually appear until much later because that serves the story best. HIs physical presence is a necessary catalyst, and to bring him in earlier would destroy the build of the piece, even though it’s an often-used convention to place all players on stage in the first few chapters. I’m careful not to make him a deus ex machina — in fact, I’m worried that such a character will show up in the climactic sequence and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. But I can cut a lot of the debate and wheel-spinning out, so that’s what I’m doing. At this point, all the subplots feed and strengthen the main plot, but I have to streamline and trim so every word, phrase, and beat drives the piece forward. Lianna may stop to take a breath here and there, but there’s no room for a vacation! 😉

I also did some work on the short story, and on the deadlined assignments. I’ll get the one due today out the door by the end of the business day — barely. And I’ve set specific daily goals for the essay for each day, so I’m not leaving it until the last minute — I need to turn in something polished by Monday, and since the details weren’t settled until yesterday . . .and my focus is completely elsewhere . . .you get the idea.

Layer on the fact that I’m writing about the Olympics over the next two weeks, and, well, it’ll be busy.

I had a wonderful first writing session this morning on REDEMPTION KILL. Eddie’s not getting everything his way, and he’s just about reached the limit of his flexibility. So now he’s being pushed further. He’s used to facing down physical dangers, but now, emotions he thought he’d controlled for years are returning to haunt –and taunt — him. In other words, right now, I have the upper hand with Eddie instead of the situation in the past week where he had the upper hand with me.

Yes, when I’m writing them, the characters are as real as anyone who walks through the door. I’m always surprised when I go to fix dinner and they’re not in the kitchen. 😉

I haven’t even packed yet, and I’m leaving around noon. I should have limited internet access over the weekend, although I may have to switch between MacGeorge and (oh, horrors) a PC.

Better get going — noon’s not too far away!

Have a great weekend, all, and I’ll catch up on the Prolific Blogger Award (From Kim Smith) and the Sunshine Award (from Michelle Miles) early next week. Thanks to both for the honors!

Devon

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 9:09 am  Comments (7)  
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Snowy and cold

We had about four inches of snow overnight. The roads look pretty clear, so I think I can hold on to my original intent to go to Greenwich Library after lunch to do some research.

Linkage stuff to share: My SDR blog is up “The Intersection of Life and Fiction.” The new issue of THE SCRUFFY DOG REVIEW is out, with my Literary Athlete column on workshops. Kim Smith kindly awarded me a “Prolific Blogger” award last week, and I haven’t had the chance to pay it forward, although I plan to in the next few days.

Acupuncture was great yesterday, and I felt so much better once I was done. Driving to and from Long Island wasn’t all that bad, either.

The writing went very well, so that was a relief. Switching between the long WIP I’ve been working on (tentatively titled POWER OF WORDS) and the dark piece (REDEMPTION KILL) works because they’re very different, and yet, they feed off each other in a weird way. Hey, I’m not going to argue, I’m just going to roll with it.

Two very interesting and different conversations yesterday re: scriptwriting jobs for which I’d pitched. The first really liked my samples, but they need someone local (in LA) to be on-site doing topical revisions — it’s the monologue for a small, daily show. They hired someone to fit that, but wanted to talk to me anyway about future projects. They’re in negotiations for a development deal for some scripted web projects, and wanted to know if they could keep me on file and contact me if and when they had funding for something like that. That project could be done mostly remotely, but, if and when they needed me present, they’d also have the funds to bring me out west as needed, whereas this project doesn’t have the budget. Everything’s an “if”, but they came across as having integrity, and should the opportunity come up, I think we’d work together well. If the opportunity doesn’t come up, at least we had a good talk! 😉

The second conversation was more typical. They like the samples, but wanted me to write a project-specific script for them to “help them make their decision.” Without pay. I refused. I said I’d write a partial at a specially-negotiated rate, but I don’t do free project-specific samples. I know that road — the “employer” sends out different “samples” to different individuals, tells everyone they’ve hired someone else and gets the whole project for free, not paying anyone. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. They also said that, although, in the ad, they’d listed a per-script rate (which I found acceptable but not brilliant), they’d decided that was the rate they were paying for ALL the scripts, not just one. I said no, thank you. These are NOT people I’d want to work with in the future.

So, I watched the premiere of LOST’s final season. I didn’t watch the narrated pre-show explanation — I stand by my belief that if you have to keep explaining things, you’re not telling the story well. I enjoyed seeing old, familiar faces from the first season, the season I liked. I enjoyed the scenes from “the plane didn’t crash” section. I see where they’re going with the rest of it, and I’m just sighing and shaking my head. As I’ve said frequently when I’ve dipped into it once I stopped watching regularly, I enjoy the scene work, but not the overall arc, and I don’t trust the creators to lead me on a fulfilling journey. I’m glad the show gets the support it does, it is truly innovative on so many levels, and I’m glad so many people are fanatically loyal to it — that helps everyone creatively, the show’s creators, the writers, the actors — and, once the knock-offs run out of steam, will hopefully open the door to more innovation. But LOST lost me at the top of Season 3 and never won me back. It’s really well done, and, in spite of it, I feel like they’re over-manipulating the audience. To me, that’s a turn-off. I’ll probably watch it here and there over the coming weeks, and I want to see the series finale to see if my speculations are correct. But I’m certainly not planning my week around it.

Imbolc ritual was lovely, honoring the stirring of what is to come.

Good first writing session this morning. The word count is low, but I’m writing a scene that’s both physically and emotionally complex and I’d rather take my time with it than rush through it. It’s pivotal to the rest of the book, so I’d rather get it mostly right (there’s always room for improvements during revision) than rush through it, blow it, and then not have built a strong foundation for the rest of the piece.

Back to the page for a bit, and then I’m headed off to the library.

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

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, rainy, hot, humid

I had the best time on Kim Smith’s radio show yesterday afternoon. We talked about a wide range of subjects. If you didn’t get a chance to listen in real time, you can listen at your leisure here.

Busy day. Wrote a lot in the morning. Read quite a bit in the afternoon — a new-to-me book on oil blends,which gives me a lot of ideas. And then I read a novel, a mystery and pseudo-ghost story. I really liked the first two thirds of it. However, then I got ahead of the protag and got impatient with him, and the ending was too fast and left too many loose ends. Ultimately, it was unsatisfying. It was a a stylistic experiment which didn’t quite work, in my opinion.

Went to Target. Bought more bins on sale. Also bought the cat toy Brandy talked about in her blog. All three cats are absolutely wild about it. It’s hilarious. I told them their “Auntie Brandy” recommended it. They’re not quite sure who Auntie Brandy is yet, but they’ll meet her someday, I hope.

I also had an interesting encounter in the checkout line at Target. The woman in line ahead of me had an overflowing cart and a toddler belted into the seat. She was struggling with her packages and her purse and everything else, completely overwhelmed. The toddler, with more dexterity than most adults I know, unsnapped the safety belt, stood up in the seat, and launched himself over the handlebars of the cart.

I stepped forward and caught him.

He thought it was the Best Game Ever.

I put him back into his seat and fastened the belt with one of my Magic Knots. When I was little, my dad wanted me to learn how to tie nautical knots. He bought me instructions and rope and I was supposed to spend time every day practicing. I was like six or seven at the time. I HATED it.

So I made up my own knots.

I used one of those knots to secure him back into the cart. He was wearing little khaki cargo pants, cute as can be, and the pockets were full of little games and toys. He had to take out every single one and show me.

I asked him how old he was, and his mother said, “Two.”

He frowned at her and said, “Two years, four months, and thirteen days.”

I stared at him, because two year olds aren’t usually that dexterous or that articulate, and he said, “I REALLY wanna be THREE.”

I was good. I didn’t laugh.

HIs mom finished paying and packing and I undid the knot so she could actually get him out of the cart and into the car seat. He grabbed a box of Cheerios and opened it (with a lot less trouble than I have opening a box of cereal). His mother took it away and said, “We’re not eating cereal now. We’re going to have a real lunch.”

He looked at me and said, “I think you need to come home with us and read books to me.”

It was very cute. That mother’s got her hands full — he’s smart as a whip, and I bet he’ll invent something really amazing when he’s a little older. Like seven.

I had a decent but not great writing session this morning on the story. I have to do some research — finding a word that spells one thing going in one direction and another going backwards. It’s a plot point, so I have to get it right.

I’ve got a bunch of correspondence and business to take care of, and then I hope to get in another writing session. I’m going to try to pack a bit today. I’m also doing the final prep for tomorrow morning’s interviews up county and tonight I’m attending a holistic seminar about two towns over.

My wrist still hurts like heck. The only yoga pose that bothers it is the “bound hands” pose, where you interlace your fingers and raise your arms over your head. Downward dog, plank, the ones you’d THINK would hurt — they’re fine. But a simple overhead stretch isn’t.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 8:38 am  Comments (5)  
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and humid

The lovely and talented Kim Smith is hosting me today on her BlogTalk radio show at 4 PM EST to talk about DIXIE DUST RUMORS:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kims

We’re finally getting some summer heat and humidity, but it’s still not too bad and I still haven’t put in the air conditioner. Not that I could lift it to put it in until the wrist heals anyway.

Yesterday wound up being more of a reading day than a writing day, which was fine. I trundled my package off to the post office. I’d brought tape and markers and all that because I had to buy the envelope and pack it there. So I’m taping my envelope shut when this chickie snatches the tape OUT OF MY HAND and walks off with it! If she’d asked to use it, I would have said fine, but to walk up to me and take it out of my hands when I’m using it — sorry, I”m far too much of a territorial only child to put up with that! So I followed her and took it back, and I told her that it was my personal tape (the post office now charges if they give you a piece of tape, which is probably why she took mine) and if she’d asked, I would have shared, but not under these circumstances.

She gets all pouty — well, as much as the Botox would let her move her facial muscles, and said, “You don’t have to be such a bitch.”

I just smiled and said, “Sweetie, you really don’t want to me around me when I’m a bitch. This is me being nice!”

I swear, the stupidity quotient around here is rising exponentially!

Anyway, I read a lot, took a nap in the afternoon (I had a good old-fashioned “tummy ache” for some reason), and roughed out three short stories that I hope will fall into the 3000 word range. Two of them are for an anthology, whose deadline is coming up quickly, and for which I was just recommended. The third is for another publication for which I’ve wanted to write for awhile, but haven’t figured out what to do for them yet, and which was inspired by a road rage incident in which I chose not to engage on Friday.

This morning, I wrote 1200 words on one of the stories (a comic mystery) and outlined a fourth piece, which I hope will come in at 2500 words, because I want to serialize over five months in the newsletter. Yes, Michelle, I got the idea from you!

The wrist is actually worse today for some reason, even though I rested, iced it, wrapped it, and babied it yesterday. Go figure. It’s not the sharp, shooting pain now, just a steady dull throb. Um, is that supposed to be an improvement?

Brandy, if you can find a good place that doesn’t charge too much to replace the springs, that’s one option. Or you can get a board cut to size that fits OVER the offending springs. You can either keep it as a separate underneath piece and make a new cushion with a combination of foam and batting and then make a cover for it, or you can put the board within the cushion itself and place the foam and batting on top of it. The former will make cleaning/washing easier, because if you use the second option, you’ll have to fasten it in a way that you can unfasten it in order to remove the board before washing. As long as the edges of the board are sanded and there’s a little trim on the bottom of the cushion to hide the board, you should be fine. Because I’m so close to NYC, the pros who do things like fix springs and reupholster are out of my price range — at least the ones who do the quality of work I want. It might be more reasonable in your area.

Regarding Verizon, Brandy, thank you for asking Chris about it, I totally appreciate it. The doctor’s office swears that no one there did any forwarding — all of a sudden in the afternoon, the calls simply stopped coming in to them, and switched to me. They checked with their answering service, who promises they didn’t do anything either. I think Verizon needs to do some line-checking. The calls have stopped coming to us — at least for now — but aren’t back to normal at the office, so someone else must be going through the same thing now. Somewhere, a line’s getting crossed or some electronic something is miscommunicating with something else. Maybe if the doctor’s office calls in a tech, they can figure it out. Thanks for the heads-up about the stores — I’m being really careful about which ones I go to. I need a phone upgrade and I need to adjust my plan, because the one I’m on isn’t meeting my needs, and I have to find one of the good stores who’s willing to take the time and cut the smarmy sales talk. The minute my eyes start to cross because of the double-talk – it’s time to go! 😉

Target discounted the big bins yet again and I need some more, so guess where I’m headed? Ooh, shiny . . .

I had a good yoga session this morning. The YOGA JOURNAL DVDs are great when I get up early enough so I don’t feel rushed. It’s silly — I make my own schedule, I should never feel rushed — but there are days when I do and that sort of works against the whole “mindfulness” principle of the practice!

Devon

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 8:38 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yeah, it’s STILL raining. I hope that means we’ll have lots of gorgeous flowers when it finally lets up.

Speaking of gorgeous flowers, my morning glories are blooming! Imagine! In a north-facing window! Beautiful! Hopefully, the moonflowers will bloom, too.

Hop on over to FEMMEFAN to read my Belmont Stakes wrap-up.

And if you haven’t read my interview with Kim Smith, please drop by here and leave a comment!

Yesterday was caught up in business, and I didn’t get much other stuff done. I helped my mom with a bunch of stuff. We stopped at our favorite Chinese restaurant on the way home and got some take out. The food is always excellent, and the prices are great. AND they’re really nice.

The issues with 1and1 seem to be cleared up, at least for the moment. Let’s hope they remain so. And Canon sent me the fixes for both printers, so that seems to be resolved. Many thanks to both of them. We think that, with the big printer, someone else’s wireless crossed communication with my printer, and my printer was printing from someone else’s computer. We hope that’s now fixed. I don’t have wi-fi, I don’t have my printer set up for wi-fi, but . . .

I’m a little behind where I’d like to be on client projects, although no deadlines are in jeopardy. I have to reshuffle a couple of projects over the next few days, but everything will get done. And I need to get back to my own fiction. I’m behind where I’d like to be on that, although, again, no deadlines are in jeopardy.

I’ve got some more business to take care of today, and if all goes well with that, the next few weeks will be crazy. Most of it will be great, some of it will be frustrating, it will be exhausting, but the outcome should be quite good.

I don’t plan to be online very much today. I’m a little cranky because someone broke the city code and woke me with a leaf blower (yes, in the middle of the rain) at 6:15 this morning. And ran it for 45 minutes. Leaf blowers are banned entirely by the city code from May 1 – either September 1 or October 1. So I have to put in a call to City Hall. I don’t care what day of the year it is — I should NEVER be woken up by a leaf blower at 6:15 in the morning.

I think leaf blowers should be banned anyway, all the time, especially around here. All they do is kick up dust,dirt, and noise pollution. The guys who run them just walk around pointing them randomly at the asphalt. I have yet to see them ever use them on LEAVES. And as far as leaves go? Use a damn rake! Much more eco-friendly. I understand if it’s the Town Park and there are acres and acres of leaves in the fall — but handkerchief-sized yards don’t need them, especially when they’re not used properly.

Come by Sole Struck Fashions tomorrow. It’ll be my monthly post.

I didn’t do anything particularly interesting that can be discussed on the blog. Sorry.

I’ll put in a good day’s work today. Tomorrow, I’m up early, because I have a meeting with a Congressional Representative at 9 AM. And I have another Mac class in CT at 2 PM. I’m going to go a little early and play with the iPod touch and ask some questions. I’m not actually going to BUY it tomorrow, but at least I’ll do my research, so when I’m ready, it’s just a case of the cash changing hands. I can Tweet from it, so soon — none of you will be safe!

I have another Mac workshop on Sunday morning, and one on Monday night. Then I think I’m done for about a week. Yeah. I’ll have taken nine workshops in a month. And I’ll know how to use my computer! These are the free workshops Apple offers. They’re incredibly helpful. I feel like I should bake them all brownies or something.

Speaking of brownies, I baked some for myself yesterday afternoon. Just because there must always be something chocolate in this house. It’s a requirement.

It’s supposed to clear up this afternoon. I’m going to run over and check the brook in a bit, and determine whether or not I need to move the car. Hopefully, I don’t.

I got my confirmation yesterday — I am officially a member of Broad Universe! Woo-hoo! I can’t wait to get involved supporting my fellow fantasy and science-fiction writers. And my renewal from PEN arrived, along with the new membership card. I’m delighted. I need to talk to them about the plans for the Laura Ling/Euna Lee situation, and also about Prague.

Slow day on the Matty book. The Lucy Gothic is starting to pull at me again, but I’ve got other projects to complete before I can get back to it.

Have a great day!

Devon

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 10. 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I wrote this last night and scheduled it to post because I signed up to take a Mac workshop in Stamford, CT that starts at 8:30 in the morning. Am I nuts? Rhetorical question. But it’s a Mobile Me workshop, and i just look at the program and go WTF? so It’s necessary. And I didn’t see it scheduled in White Plains. So I’m driving to another damned state to take it.

I finally finished the Belmont article and sent it off. I had facts to check and vet research to perform before I could send it off with a clear conscience.

Spent way too much time on Twitter, caught up on email, worked on client projects, worked on interview stuff, and, most importantly, printed postcards. The HEX BREAKER postcard didn’t print the way I wanted, so I had to adjust the design. I also had to figure out how to feed the paper. Then, the Canon Pixma 860,which is supposed to be this kickass printer, went rogue — it stared printing documents that weren’t in the cue — ON the postcard paper,wasting both paper and ink. Then it started eating the paper. Then it lied to me about the ink levels. I was a fit to be tied and sent QUITE the email to Canon. They’ve always been awesome, and the print quality on this printer is outstanding, but it doesn’t do as it’s told.

It can bite me, okay? Well, it sort of did

We finally reached a truce.

The postcards, both for HEX BREAKER and DIXIE DUST look fantastic. But I have to go buy more ink, like, today.

But I can send the HEX BREAKER postcards out and stat the DIXIE DUST mailing.

That was basically my day.

Hopefully, I had a good morning on the Matty book, even though I had to get up earlier than the cats to get it done before I left for class.

When I get back, I have to go the post office, the bank, and get back to the page. I have to finish a client project, too. I have no idea when I’ll get online today.

Enjoy your day. And hop over to A Biblio Paradise to read the review of Kim Smith’s mystery, AVENGING ANGEL.

Devon

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Severe Thunderstorms

Oh, my gosh, yesterday was just one of those days when I hated everybody and everything got on my nerves. So I kept as low and quiet as possible. There’s no reason I needed to take it out on anybody else.

Oh yeah, and Chase Bank gets yet another Middle Finger Award. Don’t ask. Between Chase Bank and UHaul, I’m up to my earlobes in assholes. Pardon the language, but it’s the best description.

The morning was eaten up by errands all over the place and well into CT. But I got a good deal on my postcard paper. I have to get the HEX BREAKER post cards out to the woman who wants to put them into the goody bags by tomorrow morning.

I struggled with the Belmont wrap article, for no good reasons. I should have just bitten the bullet and finished the whole thing on Saturday night, wiped as I was. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, the story of racing — and oh, so many other things, right?

Everything was much harder and I had to fight through much more resistance than I should have. Sometimes you have those days, and then you can breathe a sigh of relief when they’re over.

I forgot to mention that I went to the local farmers’ market on Sunday morning. I got very fresh sugar snap peas, which were lovely when tossed in some toasted sesame oil with cilantro. Also bought a delightful cherry pie. Elsa, however, managed to sit on a piece of that cherry pie — don’t ask. Do you know how hard it is to get cherry pie off a cat?

I did a lot of client work yesterday afternoon, and also worked on re-designing the ebooks. The new designs look really good, if I say so myself. The postcards are done, and I’ll figure out how to print them properly today (so that the text on the back is aligned correctly with the photos on the front).

Worked on the interview with my friend Kim Smith. I plan to post either a combo review/interview tomorrow, or the review tomorrow and the interview on Thursday. Stay tuned.

Started my friend Colin’s book STELLA last night. I really like it, but by the time I got to it, I had a raging headache and my eyes were overtired, so I couldn’t read as much as I wanted. I may end up printing it out and reading it on the page.

I’m getting spoiled with the Mac — unless I need to be connected to the internet, I can work anywhere. Moving around the space throughout the day keeps my brain fresh.

Good morning’s work on the Matty book. I have to stop and reconfigure the house design — the way I have the house set up in the book isn’t working. Urgh. Time to draw a floorplan.

I keep getting caught up in admin stuff and client projects, and the writing is suffering. I have to devote almost the whole day today to business correspondence and admin, but then I have to reconfigure my time for the rest of the week so the writing gets back in balance.

We’re having terrible thunderstorms and lightening today. I have to keep dashing downstairs to check the brook, and I doubt I’ll be online much. The cats don’t like the noise and the flashing lights. It really does sound like angels bowling above us — only in the APARTMENT above us, not somewhere up in the sky! 😉

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on June 9, 2009 at 8:35 am  Comments (5)  
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warm

I don’t know how I’m ever going to get my act together today. I’m overtired and unfocused. But I have to — lots to do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the praise you’ve showered on me for “The Retriever” in Books for Monsters. And for the suggestions to expand it into a book. I just may do that. If you want to see more of my work there, let the editor know!

Friday was reasonably productive. I cleared a bunch of stuff off my desk, got some writing done, worked on redesigning the ebooks — there are two possible ways to do it, and I’m going to see which one is more efficient and use that method. I finally got to start my friend Kim Smith’s book AVENGING ANGEL, which is a really fun mystery.

There were actually a half a dozen jobs on the boards Friday that I thought were worth pitching. And I’m working on a residency proposal. I don’t think I’m quite “literary” enough a writer for them, so I’m trying to play my other strengths. There’s also a contest I might enter — it seems fun.

Not much sleep Friday night into Saturday morning. A domestic disturbance in another apartment woke me around 1 AM — it settled down quickly; I don’t know if someone called the cops or what. Then, around 4:30, the cats and I were woken up by snarling and growling, but it sure didn’t sound like anything we’d ever heard before. The creature was in the tree outside the window — I couldn’t see what it was, but the cats believed it was a threat. Their eyes were enormous, the fur bristled, backs arched, tails low and waving, and they were growling and hissing right back. I shut the window, because a screen felt way too flimsy between us. It wasn’t a cat, it wasn’t a dog (obviously — it was in a tree), it wasn’t a skunk or a raccoon. I don’t know if possums make noise — we occasionally have them around here. I HOPE it’s not a fisher. If fishers have invaded the neighborhood, we’re all screwed. If I can get a good look at it and it IS a fisher, I’ll have to call some nature authority to come and deal with it, or no cat, small dog, squirrel, chipmunk, skunk, or small child is safe. The ones in Maine are VICIOUS. I didn’t smell the odor I normally associate with fishers, so I hope it’s not one of those.

But then, the cats decided that, since we were up anyway, it must be time for breakfast. Uh, no. But they are extraordinarily persistent, and it was well before six when they won. I’m seriously outnumbered.

I was in NO mood for a big day of racing. I managed to get a polish done on a submission and got it off before I had to turn my attention to the horses. The weather was gorgeous — low seventies with a breeze, unlike last year, when it was in the 90’s and disgustingly humid. It was a hit and miss day for me in my picks. I’m not quite sure how I wound up ahead by a little, but I did. I did not pick Summer Bird, the winner. He ran a great race, but I’m still not getting on his band wagon. What interests me in the whole thing is how this year’s Triple Crown affects the trainers of Mine That Bird and Summer Bird (half-brothers, sired by Birdstone). Both trainers weren’t well-known outside of their home tracks, and I’m interested in following their careers.

I also got a ton of inspiration for DEAD MAN’S STALL.

Sunday, I gave myself most of the day off. Did some catch-up. I have to make a decision about 1 and 1 before the end of the summer. They gave me a credit for the problems, as I asked, but the problem isn’t being solved. I missed a job opportunity yesterday because it was time sensitive, created in the email (because I didn’t have time to do it elsewhere and cut and paste), and the server error not only didn’t send it, but dumped the email without saving it as a draft or anything else. I now have a reliable computer. I need to expand that to a reliable web host. I understand that there are sometimes problems, but every day for the past two months and change? And at least three times a week for the four to five months prior. I love the components in the package and the price point, but if it doesn’t work when I need it to, it’s useless.

I finished some half-read books that needed attention — two that were quite disappointing — but learned from both of them. I finished my friend Kim’s book and sent off the interview questions for her appearance on A BIBLIO PARADISE. I bought my friend Colin’s book STELLA, and spent some time congratulating him on the Eternal Press loop.

Some new client projects came in, which I will start today.

I went to the Tony Award viewing party in the evening and it was great. I thought Neil Patrick Harris did a good job as a host, although they had the announcer on the God mike too often at times where he should have handled duties. I’m thrilled that HAIR won Best Revival, although I expected WEST SIDE STORY to win. The three “Billys” in Billy Elliot shared the award, which was great, and, in general, it was a delightful evening. I thought they showcased some great numbers, although the sound problems and the sound mix drove me nuts. In the course of a live show, everyone deals with each other much more constantly and intimately than in film or television, so everyone who works on a production is much more fully and emotionally invested. I think last night’s production communicated that investment better than many prior years. Tony Award night always makes me remember why I got into the business in the first place, and grateful for the long career I’ve had there. I don’t miss being backstage every night anymore, but I’m very grateful for the years I had back there.

The cats got me up early (big surprise). Nice morning’s work on the Matty book. Need to get back to the serial and to DEAD MAN’S STALL, and to finish, polish, and send the Belmont wrap-up article. Must do some stuff for my mom, design another postcard for a giveaway, do some work for the Prague trip, and the client work.

Busy day — better get to it!

Devon