Fri. Jan. 24, 2020: Gearing Up for A Busy Weekend

Friday, January 24, 2020
New Moon
Sunny and mild

There’s a new post on Affairs of the Pen, under the Ava Dunne name, about how we’re all kids eager to look for lost treasure.

Yesterday really felt like a lost day, work-wise. It was frustrating.

I got a little bit of writing done before the rental inspection. The inspection itself takes only a few minutes, especially since everything’s okay and we have an ethical landlord. But the timing of it means I couldn’t really start anything until it was over.

I managed to get to the library and get a few things done, but I was under time constraints. Couldn’t get anywhere near done what I needed to.

Dashed back, bolted down a quick lunch, and then took my mother to the doctor. Where we waited for an hour and a half for a five-minute appointment. So, basically, the afternoon was lost, too.

I got in some reading, and finished the book for review, and started reading a fascinating book on the literary world in 1922, where this author believes everything changed.

Had planned to take a walk on the beach, but by the time we got out of the doctor’s office, it had clouded up and gotten too windy.

Leftovers for dinner, and reading. I’m still working my way through my re-reads of Donna Leon’s Brunetti series.

I have to do some research on Chicago in 1856 to get the correct names of a few things for “A Woman for the Job.”

Started “A Rare Medium” — the next Kate Warne play, about a case of hers where she posed as a medium. I have to dig up my notes on names, but it’s percolating along nicely.

Working on revisions for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Some of it is sticky work, but once I fix the first half, where I got off track (again), the rest should fall into place pretty nicely.

Unpacked and purged a few boxes, and sorted out some clothes. Figuring out what to donate, what to get rid of, what to pack away as stock, and what to keep in the closet.

Yesterday was the first day of full peaceful co-existence for all three cats since Willa and Charlotte came to live here. Even Tessa and Charlotte ignored each other, while being in the same room, which is huge progress.

If Charlotte had ended up in a shelter, she would have been marked unadoptable. Fortunately, MA has only no-kill shelters, or she would have ended up on death row. She can’t stand confinement or closed doors or chaos and doesn’t do well with strangers. I’m glad she’s here and I figured out how to work with her to make her feel safe. The sunnier, sweeter side of her personality is starting to come out.

Willa just kind of does her own thing. She likes company, but refuses to engage when Charlotte has a tantrum. She’s very, very smart, and keeps at something until she figures it out. And friendly. She’s a friendly, easy-going cat most of the time.

Tessa is getting used to them. She doesn’t assert herself enough with them, but there’s peaceful co-existence. As my vet in NY said, it’s healthier for them to be together in the same room and ignore each other than be alone. After all, we took in these cats because Tessa hates being an only cat.

We’re getting there. I hope we’ve turned a corner. There will be some regression here and there, I’m sure, but consistency, boundaries, and lots and lots of affection have brought them a long way.

I had a meeting with a potential client late in the morning, which is why this is posting so late. The conversation was fine, but we are not what each other needs right now.

Now, I’m off to the grocery store, and then back to write the review and start the next book for review.

The weather’s supposed to be bad this weekend, so I’ll stay in to write, read, and purge boxes from the basement. Maybe run the leaves to the dump tomorrow morning, if the weather’s okay.

With a new moon, Burns Night, Virginia Woolf’s birthday, and Chinese Lunar New Year all hitting this weekend, I will be exhausted.

Received the second invitation to work without pay this week, this time a speaking engagement. I gracefully declined. What gets me about both invitations was that it comes from people who are paid and who don’t work without pay — yet they want me so to do.

Put in my share of that.

I looked over my clips and what I use where. I realized that my unpaid clips for “exposure” only resulted in requests for more unpaid work. Clips from paid gigs led to more paid gigs. That’s important information. I will sit down and figure out the exact stats, but it was an important realization.

How did I do with my intent to listen this week? I definitely listened. I definitely did not like a lot of what I heard. The Senate Trial is enraging and disheartening. The Republican Senators are a disgrace.

I listened to a lot of incidental conversations around me. As a writer, I do periodic eavesdropping anyway, as part of my process to catch cadence. But I was discouraged by the amount of intentional stupidity going around.

So, yes, I achieved my “intent” for the week, but the consequences were not what I foresaw. I still have a couple of days to go on the week, but I think I will focus on listening to music!

 

Wed. Nov. 2, 2016: Listening to Your Work

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cool

Ran errands yesterday morning, including discovering the location of Cape Cod Coffee, which was fun. Had an unfortunate lunch at a highly regarded place that was highly mediocre.

Worked on the revisions of CHOLERIC in the afternoon. Then realized, in the middle of the night, that I made a huge logistical error, so I have to go back six chapters and fix it, and carry it through. So much for making progress! But I’d much rather discover it NOW than once the piece is on submission.

People seem to be happily sailing into Nano this year, and I’m glad. I’m also at peace with not doing it myself. For me, it was the right decision this year.

One of the biggest challenges is learning how to respect the innate rhythm each novel naturally has, while still keeping on track schedule-wise. Before contract, it’s not to hard, since one’s deadlines are one’s own, and you can adjust as necessary. Within a contract, it’s more challenging. You have to stay true to the book’s integrity, but also meet the schedule of the dozens of people who are depending on you to get it done within a finite space of time, so they can do their jobs.

That’s where listening becomes so important. Listening to the team with whom you’re working, of course (and getting EVERYTHING in writing). But also, listening to the book. If you start going off the mark, tonally or in pace, you’ll hear it. That comes with experience.

I read a very disappointing true crime book yesterday. It was written by a supposedly award-winning journalist, but I didn’t see much journalism in it. It was a partisan rant with very little factual evidence set out, sloppy writing, and little to no journalism, much less investigative journalism. Although, looking at for whom the writer supposedly was a “journalist” before, I’m not surprised.

Lots to do today, on many different fronts. I got the outside Samhain decorations put away yesterday. Celebrated Day of the Dead last night, and more ceremonies for the dead. The rest of the decor is packed today, although I still have more ceremonies over the next few nights. Also have to wash out the empty pots, scrub down the deck furniture, oil it, and let it dry before putting it away. I’ll have to repaint one of the plant stands, too, and do quite a bit more yard work before the first snow falls. Bits and pieces, doing it all in bits and pieces, gets it done.

The plays are percolating; hopefully, they will be in shape to put down on paper soon.

Devon

Published in: on November 2, 2016 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 2, 2016: Listening to Your Work  
Tags: , , , ,