Monday, May 4, 2009

storm-rumors-cover

Monday, May 4, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Well, I was just a little cranky pants yesterday. Part of it was post-race let-down. Part of it is that I’m angry that I had to cancel my trip for these three days. But, everything I need to research is outside — seashore, nature, turtles, shipwrecks, etc. — and it can’t be done in the pouring rain. No point driving 300 miles to watch the rain from a hotel window. But it made me cranky.

Got off the post-Derby article — FEMME FAN’S going through a re-design. According to my editor, it will go up anyway this week. I will keep you posted.

Got a note from my publisher asking where the materials for DIXIE DUST RUMORS were. — materials I sent out last Thursday. So that was a little frustrating. I re-sent everything, and asked several times if it went through. Don’t know what to think now. I busted my ass to turn around the material quickly. I don’t want it floating around in the ether somewhere.

And, when I tried to reheat the rest of the ravioli, it fell apart. A mess of boiled water, ricotta and spinach in the pot. Inedible.

It was not a good day.

On a better note, I started printing out the draft of the Helena Francis mystery I started last year, to see what I have. I thought I’d written eight chapters. Turns out I’ve written 23, so I’m farther along than I thought. Which is good, but now I need to get it finished. It definitely needs some shaping, and, since it’s the first of a series, I need to think about the overall arc of the series and feed some of that into the revision while making sure one doesn’t need to read the series in order. If it was a house, I’d say its bones were good. There’s definitely some good stuff there; it definitely needs work.

Scumbag landlords are turning off the water toda — again. It wasn’t supposed to affect me because I wasn’t supposed to be here. Bitter much? Uh, yeah. But, hopefully, I can get a productive writing day in anyway.

I have to re-learn pacing. Because my computer now works properly, I’m pushing myself at a rate where I’m feeling burned out. I need to find a good pace again. Part of the adjustment process.

Sigh.

But in the Great News Category: DIXIE DUST RUMORS could release as early as next week!

Hey? Anyone want to host me on my blog tour? Anyone know anyone who hosts YA authors?

Devon

Published in: on May 4, 2009 at 7:35 am  Comments (7)  
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008
Almost full moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and icky

I’m going to rant about television for a bit, and then get to the important stuff:

I forgot to mention all weekend how annoyed I was with last Friday’s episode of SANCTUARY. I want to like that show, I really do. But Friday’s episode annoyed me. I disagreed with the way they twisted and diluted the legend of the Morrigan (not to mention the way they costumed them). I could understand if the villains had captured three powerful women of their time and manipulated them because they had the potential to be LIKE the Morrigan, but the Morrigan themselves were goddesses, and not under the power of these fruit loops. And they each had individual names, none of which were “Danu”, “Tatha” and “Caird.” The “Tuatha De Danann” is very specific to the Celtic Pantheon, but not part of this myth. There is an Irish goddess “Dana’ sometimes written “Danu”, but she is connected to Brigid and healing, not the Morrigan and war. There is an Irish goddess named “Caireen” – protective of children. Again, no association to the Morrigan or war. There is an Irish goddess “Taillte’, also spelled “Telta” – closest I could find to “Tatha” — who is a goddess of the harvest, not connected to the Morrigan or war. And they were Irish, when according to the show storyline, this trio was discovered in a crypt in Scotland. Which looked like Vancouver.

Um, hate to break it to you, writers and producers, but Irish culture/myth and Scottish culture/myth are DIFFERENT. Just because they fall under the loose “Celt” banner doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable.

What, do the writers think none of us have any knowledge of Celtic myth?

I understand using mythology as a jumping off point for imagination, but this didn’t work for me. There’s nothing wrong with using “found goddesses” or morphing a myth in a way that’s believable, but don’t just ignore what’s already out there or get it wrong. It was beyond not working for me, I found it insulting.

And I keep getting ahead of the storylines, which annoys me. I liked the whole “freedom of choice” theme, but felt it could have been developed in a more believable fashion.

I lasted ten minutes into ELEVENTH HOUR and won’t be back. I love Rufus Sewell’s stage work, but in this, as good as he looks, as many interesting mannerisms as he comes up with, he’s always looking just past his fellow performers and it drives me insane. I find myself shouting at the television, “Look at the people you’re talking with! At least occasionally!!!! Connect!!!!” I can’t stand it when actors don’t look at each other when they work together. He connects with his fellow performers onstage, so I can only assume it’s some creative choice on someone’s part, and I hope it’s not his, because it sure as hell doesn’t work.

At least CHUCK is still funny, and LIFE is better than ever.

Muse Online Conference starts today. I hung out on the boards for a bit yesterday and posted the exercises for my workshops, so that anyone in international time zones apart from mine could start at THEIR midnight. I visited the forums of the courses I want to take; did some homework. In homework for one class, I had HUGE resistance – it’s a little psychobabble for me. Yet, BECAUSE I’m having huge resistance, I’m doing it, because I want to see where it takes me. I think I can get something good out of it by getting out my own way, and learn something new. I’m excited to visit some of the “rooms” run by the publishers and meet some new-to-me publishers. I checked the first batch of assignments, posted my assignments on the workshops I’m taking, asked some questions, etc. I’ll hop back on later in the day.

Wrote some short stories. One was over 2500 words, longer than I planned, but that’s how long it took to get it done. It had its own rhythm, and I had to respect that.

Pushed hard on the new ebook. Today, I need to proof it and finish the cover, then convert and lock the file, and I can upload it for sale. Don’t worry, it’s a low price point, only $1.29.

Even better, because I wanted to do another test run for the exercises, I have drafts of seven new stories. They need some revision, but I should be able to start submitting them by the end of the month. Of course, I’m taking a short story workshop this week, so I have to figure if there’s anything left in that creative well. Stores tend to come in bunches, and I thought I’d bunched out. I’d hoped the test stories for the ebook would run between 500-1000 words, but that rarely happened.

30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS, the free Nano handbook, is again available for download. I’ll add it back to the bookshelf in the next few days.

I had a good morning’s work on The Big Project. Now, I’m off to the conference, then finish the cover and the publication of the ebook, then work on some articles. Busy day.

Devon

The Big Project – 14,617 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14 / 75
(18.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

If you haven’t yet read “The Merry’s Dalliance” over on NEW MYTHS, please hop on over there and do so. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written.

It was in the 30s last night, and the building scumbags actually provided heat without us having to place a call to the Health Department. Imagine that.

Dashed into the city yesterday, ran my errand dashed back. Got some work done on the Western, but not much. I’m trying to figure out how to bridge this section to the next section, and it’s slow going. The ironic thing is it’s slow going because I have to keep up the pace because the word count is limited, and the story would like to unfold a little more slowly than I need it to.

Got out a few pitches for some interesting-sounding jobs. One, in particular, I know I have more varied and relevant experience than anyone else who’s applying – because I’ve worked in several fields relevant to the job that the majority of copywriters have not. But I’m worried that they can’t afford me, even at a discounted rate. And there’s a certain point where I have to say, “sorry, I can’t work for this price.” So we’ll see.

Sorted through a few boxes from storage; found a bunch of good stuff I’d forgotten about. So I did a load of hand laundry, freshened the unwashables, and figured out where to put thing. One of the items I found was a pair of red velvet opera gloves. I’m a huge glove person – I adore all kinds of gloves. So you know I’ll look for an excuse to wear them over the holiday season! I also found a pair of small lavender crocheted gloves, great for spring.

I need to get a lot of writing done today, but maybe I’ll give myself a break in the afternoon and take a walk on the beach. The leaves in the park should be turning by now, and, although cold, I bet it’s going to be beautiful out there. Maybe I’ll get inspiration for some more “Dogs on Beach” stories. Or another Congress Corners story – in the votes, Aunt Doris and her young Italian boyfriend walked away with the most votes, so I’m figuring out something to do with them!

I’m still on the fence about Nano. I’m on too tight a deadline to be able to put something aside November 1st to do something new. I have a novel, a novella, and a play due during the month, plus I’ve got to get ANGEL HUNT cleared up and out. It doesn’t make sense. I know I’ll miss the sense of writing in community, and I don’t like it when people go, “oh, well, I’m not REALLY participating in Nano, I’m just going to work on something I’m already working on.” That’s not the point of Nano. The point of it is to start something fresh and write 50K in 30 days in community, not just do whatever the hell you want.

I signed up; the site crashed (of course, Mercury is retrograde), and I’ll just see how I feel closer to the date, and where I am with my deadlines. I want to do it, there are several pieces that would be appropriate, but I’m afraid I’ll blow some of these wonderful opportunities with which I’m being presented. I’ve spent the whole year saying “yes” to almost everything, so this will be an exercise is saying, “no” and finishing a bunch of projects and getting them into the world on time.

I watched the premiere of SANCTUARY last night. I like the production design a lot. I like most of the cast – a few of them still need to grow on me. I thought the first forty minutes were intriguing and wonderful, but then it slowed down and I got ahead of the story, which annoyed me. I wanted more surprise and delight (even a dark secret can be delightful when properly presented). I hope it will continue to have interaction between what happens in Sanctuary and the real world – the detective that Will worked with in the opening is great, and I hope he’s a recurring character. His world-weary “you’re a freak, but I kinda like you and I’m trying to watch your back” take on the material worked well. I have some logistical questions, like does Will keep his apartment, or has he moved in to Sanctuary? The design of the apartment was so terrific – even though it was a small space, the books and the art and the details were so telling about Will’s character – I want to see more of the apartment because of the production design! And I want Helen’s office/library. I’ll definitely watch more episodes, but I didn’t fall in love with it the way I wanted to.

I’m also really glad that LIFE is back – one of my favorite shows last year.

None of these shows make me change my schedule to accommodate them, but if I’m home, I’ll watch them.

I put up the Samhain decorations yesterday – the apartment looks cheerful, and I added even more stuff than usual to the front door – it’s got the special wreath, the bagua mirror AND a cut-out of an enormous black cat. The workmen better not splatter my stuff with anything . . .or they’ll wish they hadn’t! I’ve got my garland of ghosts up – I made them years ago, using Styrofoam balls stuck onto popsicle sticks, covered with handkerchiefs and tied, then with those paste-on moving eyes, and fastened them all to a strand so I can hang them. It’s one of my favorite decorations. Each ghost has a distinct personality, and they fascinate the cats.

Back to the page.

Devon

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

The Hex Breaker site is live – no cover art yet, but an excerpt, and it’s here.

Yes, the photo is one of mine.

Worked partially on a bunch of stuff yesterday, which means nothing feels accomplished. I had to go to my storage unit out here to do a little dance – and was looking for a box of scripts that I can’t find, although I know I have it around here somewhere, so I swore a lot.

Picked up some CDs my grandmother wants to listen to in her hospital room, and on the way back into the building I saw the most beautiful gray and white tuxedo cat. We just stared at each other for a minute. And then I realized the cat held a dead rat in its mouth and I screamed. Cat ran away, keeping firm hold on the rat. I heard a cat crying outside in the night and went looking for it, but couldn’t find it. I assumed it was the same one.

The cat started crying again around 4 this morning, so I went out to hunt for it. It’s a different cat – about a six month old, longhaired kitten. I couldn’t get near it, but I put out some food. It was very hungry. I think it’s lost. It keeps crying, but I can’t catch it (so far), and my cats sit in the window, worrying because it’s out there crying. And I kind of relate to how the cat feels right now.

I worked on all three plays yesterday: BEHIND THE MAN, MATILDA MURDERS, and HOSTAGE. The first two need to be finished and sent to my producer before I leave for Maine in the morning. I’m struggling with THE MATILDA MURDERS. I need to put more humor in it, but it’s not working.

The Doubt Demons have attacked again, and I’m really too tired to deal with them. Part of me feels really good about the writing; part of me is terrified that maybe the competence and creativity are all an illusion. I’m in that place of despair where the work isn’t going well and I’m feeling overwhelmed by other events in my life. It’ll all be fine; it’s just going to be a rough few days.

I’ll be off-line for a few days, dealing with family stuff.

I’ll check in with everyone next week!

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 6:31 am  Comments (8)  
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