Fri. May 22, 2020: Taking A Long Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 22, 2020
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Got a bunch of work done yesterday, client work, LOIs, etc.

Putting together some relevant clips from some fairly old material got me started on a project I’d been putting off for ages. I’m going through all the old Llewellyn material, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name, and seeing what I can do with it. The pieces that haven’t been scanned for the clip file are being put into PDFs. I’m re-reading everything, taking notes on where I want to expand, how to organize, etc. The rights have all reverted back to me, so I can use the material however I want. In eBooks, on the website, etc. There’s a good article about Coventina that I will use on the Coventina Circle website.

My local library will start curbside pickup by appointment next week, and we can start leaving things in the book drop again. I took down two bags of books and a bag of DVDs, and it’s only about half of what I had out when everything shut down, so I will take down another load today and be done. They can only fill orders from their own shelves; most of what I have on order is from other libraries in the network. But I HAVE books from that library, and other people might want or need them, so I want to get everything back as soon as possible. I’m masked, I go down early in the morning when no one is around. Although a whole group of people was hanging out in the parking lot when I got there before 7:30 in the morning. At least they were masked, and keeping somewhat of a distance from each other.

Recycling opens at the dump next week. Maybe by the end of the week, I can take in at least the first carload. Supposedly, everyone must be masked. How will they enforce it?

Two of the local businesses I’d done my best to support during shutdown are now open to customers and have stopped curbside pickup. Well, I’m not going in there. Even if I trust the staff, I don’t trust the other customers. Everyone’s dancing around in groups without masks like it’s all over and nothing ever happened. We will be one of the nation’s hotspots in a few weeks, all because of greed for tourist dollars.

It’s too early to reopen. People didn’t follow protocols during Stay at Home, and they’re sure as hell not doing so now.

Planted some flower seeds. Let’s hope they come up.

Good first writing session of the day this morning (unlike yesterday). I’m gearing up to drop off more books, then have the day off. Yes, I’m going to write, but only what I feel like writing. And maybe the review for the book I read the other day, so I can send it to my editor first thing on Tuesday.

I hope the idiots with their power tools shut the hell up this weekend so I can actually enjoy my deck and my yard. I’d like to do some work on the beds, clean them out a bit more, and write and read outside as much as possible.

Last night, someone in the neighborhood had a fire pit going. I don’t think it was the usual neighbor, because his wood smells lovely and doesn’t give off much smoke. This time, the smoke billowed, and it smelled chemical, so I bet they were burning random painted wood. The smoke filled my bedroom and set off the smoke alarm in the house. Now, the houses aren’t that far from each other here, but they’re not that close, either.

So this morning, my throat is scratchy, and I can’t wait to jump in the shower and get the smoke smell out of my hair.

Have a great holiday weekend. Peace.

Fri. Oct. 18, 2019: Storm Day = Cat Socialization Work

Friday, October 18, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Clear and cool

Sorry about yesterday. No Ink in My Coffee. No Gratitude and Growth. But there’s a short post over on Affairs of the Pen today on shipboard activities.

The power went out around 1 AM on Thursday. We called it in, even though it was during the storm. Better to get in the queue early than to wait until it’s over and then have to wait even longer.

Tried to go back to sleep, but didn’t do more than doze. The winds screamed more than the new cats when they’re arguing about something.

It kept the cats quiet, that’s for sure. They didn’t like it.

I got up at the usual time, although it was still dark. The flashlight got me to the candles. I made coffee. The gas stove works in power outages (although the oven does not). The heat, also gas, does not work because it’s powered by an electric switch, which annoys me on multiple levels.

I fed the cats by candlelight. Charlotte was so cute. I told her I couldn’t see in the dark the way she could. She would run ahead of me a few feet, then come back and touch my leg with a paw, then run ahead a few feet, then come back. Like a seeing eye cat.

Willa and Charlotte have not been socialized much. It’s obvious their original human adored them and spoiled them. But they’ve never really learned how to interact, although they want to. So we’re working on that.

Willa is more outgoing. She’s already a lap cat, and loves to play and interact. But she gets oversitmulated, and then, even on a lap, can get yowly and growly. She nipped the first few days, but we’ve gotten her past that. She’s very sweet, for the most part, although she needs to learn to be a Writer’s Cat — I need BOTH hands to type, and will pet her in between paragraphs.

Willa does start the yowling and screeching with both of the others. I think she wants to be dominant cat. She might be dominant over Charlotte (although I suspect Charlotte only lets her think so sometimes), but Tessa is Head Cat in this house, and Tessa is not putting up with Willa’s antics.

Willa does back down from Tessa, though. Which is good.

Willa is also fascinated by running water. She likes to be on the bathroom counter when the tap is going, and she’s trying to learn how to turn it on herself. Fortunately, one needs thumbs for that. She doesn’t like closed doors, especially not bathroom doors. She loves the new perch we made for her on the old tea cart from Chicago’s Pump Room that’s in my office and usually holds plants. We put a fleece blanket on the top, which is even with the windowsill. She sits and watches the squirrels and neighborhood dogs and cars. Her behavior has vastly improved since we set that up.

She needs a lot to do. Lots of playtime, interaction. I’m thinking of getting her some battery-operated toys.

Charlotte is at the stage where she wants company, but she doesn’t know how to interact with people or other cats. She sits and watches most of the time, which is fine. She comes and asks for attention, but still won’t let anyone pet her.

I think she and Tessa will make friends first. They barely growl at each other anymore, and, when they do, it’s half-hearted.

Charlotte likes to be up — on the behemoth, on the bureau. She likes to be on the bed with me. Unfortunately, so do the others, so it can get a little dicey.

Tessa stomps around, keeping them in line.

Willa and Charlotte swat each other sometimes, but not Tessa. And they swat each other with soft paws. It’s more vocal than physical, thank goodness.

They’re getting lots of individual playtime, but now they want to be involved in each other’s playtime. But then they get upset that the other cats are there, and run away. But it’s already better.

Today is only two weeks since Willa arrived, and a little less for Charlotte. Tessa is much happier with them here, even though she’s telling them off. My cat vet in NY said that once, “It’s better for two cats to live together than alone. As long as they don’t attack each other, even if they don’t like each other, it gives them something to do.”

So this weird insistence here in MA shelters that adult cats have to be “only cats” makes no sense.

The Storm Day was good for socializing. With no power, no street lights, library closed, many businesses closed, and the sirens going for police and fire all day, I was lucky I could stay home.

Even without power, it wasn’t too cold. We bundled up in sweats & sweaters & socks & blankets. The cats settled in with us. We read and played with them. It was quiet (except for the neighbors’ generators). They got used to all being in the room together and associating good things with it.

Willa and Charlotte learn fast. They already know that “bedtime snacks” means treats and then I head upstairs for meditation and bed. Now, they gobble their snacks and get there ahead of me.

Charlotte is fascinated by the meditation space. Sometimes, she sleeps on the cushion when I’m not there.

The power came on for a few minutes in the early afternoon. Then it waved, off and on, until it steadied later in the afternoon. Cell service was out for most of the day. Most of the batteries I stockpiled for just such an emergency were new, yet didn’t work.

Candles are much more reliable.

The batteries in the radio worked, though, so we could get news, which was a help.

I finished reading MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK, which was odd and charming and delightful. I read a mystery by an author whose earlier work I adored, but whose turn into puritanical mystery in locations with no flavor and stock caricatures instead of characters disappoints me. I’d skipped her last few books, but thought I’d
try again. It didn’t work for me. The relationships, including the supposed romantic ones, are flat and bloodless. No, thanks.

Started reading a mystery by a new-to-me author who has a lot of books in the series (how did I miss her )? The location is unusual and well-rendered, the human-animal relationships are good, but I’m not sure about the rest yet.

My treat for myself this weekend is my friend Arlene Kay’s newest release, Homicide by Horse Show. Once I get everything done.

Made a Kripalu recipe of roasted eggplant, tomato, raisin, and mint over couscous for dinner. It was good. Hope to make cowboy cookies (from the Moosewood recipe) later today.

There’s a lot of yard cleanup to do. Plenty of branches came down, although I don’t think any big limbs did. Some idiot was out in the nor’easter yesterday using his leafblower.

I have some client meetings to finalize for next week, and some other work to get done at the library, along with pickups/drop-offs. The furnace guy is coming this afternoon for yearly maintenance. I have stuff to put away.

I didn’t turn around the edits for my Llewellyn article; will do it this weekend and send it off on Monday. I have some other edits to finish this weekend, too.

I gave myself yesterday off for the storm and cat socializing. Now, I need to get back to work.

Have a great weekend!

 

Fri. Aug. 9, 2019: Just A Quick Post

Friday, August 9, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was a bit blue yesterday, especially after an interaction with a potential new client that was a total waste of time. When you’re going to hire me for a marketing position, don’t expect me to fill out the form and answer the questions for a minimum wage customer facing position. They have nothing to do with each other. Not doing it. Not working for you.

Didn’t get enough writing done. Dashed around getting other stuff done.

But there are a few new ideas that are demanding attention and must be worked in and around the contracted stuff. Plus, the Llewellyn article needs to be finished this weekend.

Spent some time with a writer pal. He’s tired (back from Canada, headed to Japan, than the Yucatan, all on assignments AND prepping for the release of his new novel). But he’s doing well, and we always have fun together.

Did a Skype session with a playwright friend. Brainstormed some ideas with another friend. I’d hoped to lump them all into one piece, but, as my friend pointed out, there are two very distinctive sets of characters, and while some of the themes overlap, others don’t.

This morning, ran around doing errands. My mom got scared while I was out, because she heard a passel of police sirens and was sure there was a mass shooting at the grocery store. There wasn’t, but why are we agreeing to live in fear like that? We need to get all these corrupt politicians out, and then make sure this stops happening. It CAN be stopped. Every other civilized nation in the world manages.

Going to a late morning yoga class, then cleaning the house and preparing the food for our guests tomorrow morning.

Then, it’s back to the page.

Have a great weekend! Another inspiration post on Monday.

Namaste!

Published in: on August 9, 2019 at 8:55 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 9, 2019: Just A Quick Post  
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Wed. July 31, 2019: Learning, Growing, Planning

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury goes DIRECT today (thank goodness) — but it’s almost midnight by the time it does so
Hot, humid, storms in the evening

I don’t do well in this heat and humidity. I’m like the cats — all I want to do is lie around and do nothing.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to see the second chapter of Fred’s adventures trying to hire a writer for his small business.

Meditation was great on Monday afternoon. A big group, and a great session.

I’m reading Jean Claude Izzo’s Marseilles trilogy. It’s quite wonderful. His tone reminds me a bit of Ron MacLean’s in HEADLONG.

I’m learning a lot from reading these international novels in translation. Not books by Americans set overseas, but books by writers about their own countries. The tone, the pace, the structure is very different from what we consider the “formula” for the genre, and it works.

I hope my little tiny publisher grows to the point where it can sell/negotiate international rights. I already know my plays do better in the UK and Australia than in the US; my friends in France, Spain, and Germany think my books would do well there, if translated properly.

Up early on Tuesday. Great session on ELLA, mediocre one on GRAVE REACH, but I’m determined to get back into its groove. I need to get it out to my editor soon. Fortunately, THE BARD’S LAMENT and DEADLY GROVE are properly percolating, so I hope not to get behind on those. Although I have to jump right back into the next round of revisions for BALTHAZAAR and then for DHARMA when GRAVE REACH goes out.

I’ve figured out where I want the next two ELLA books to go (it was always meant to be a trilogy), and how to make each book stand alone, while the three will be satisfying together. After that, I can decide if I want to write more ELLA books, or if I’ve said everything I have to say. I’m nearly at the two thirds point with ELLA. It’s been fun to write steadily, but not have a daily quota or a deadline on it.

My friend was pleased with the blurb I wrote for his book. I’m glad; it’s a lovely book and deserves to do well.

Still trying to pull myself out of the mire of discouragement. Client work yesterday was challenging, and will be so today. I’m working on my article for Llewellyn — that will probably go out early next week. I’m polishing some pitches. They’re taking longer than I expected, but I’d rather do them well than rush them and alienate a potential new-to-me editor.

Tomorrow is Lammas, one of the biggest days in my personal calendar. I’m trying to decide if I want to take a few days to disconnect and focus on writing, yoga, meditation, and the changes I’m trying to make.

Next Monday, the upbeat authors posts start on inspiration for the month of August. Believe me, I have plenty to say about that!

Have a lovely day. If I do decide to take a break, also have a lovely weekend as we slide into August.

 

Published in: on July 31, 2019 at 5:13 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 31, 2019: Learning, Growing, Planning  
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Thurs. June 14, 2018: Exciting Times (in a Good Way)

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Tuesday night, I went to a Social Entrepreneurs Networking Event at the Blue Rock Golf Course in South Yarmouth. Once I found the place, the event was great. There were about 40 people there –a good turnout for the Cape. The two people who convinced me to go, however, didn’t show up! Again, pretty typical of the Cape.

But the people I met were great. Lively, funny, interesting, passionate about what they do, and interested in what everyone else did. I exchanged many cards, and came home with a stack of cards — ALL for people with whom I’ll follow up.

I think I even found a person to fix an IT issue for one of my clients.

Not ONCE did anyone deride the fact that I’m a writer. In fact, it was celebrated. NOT ONCE did anyone try to demean that I publish under multiple names. They thought it was interesting. NOT ONCE, when I said, “I don’t do photos on social media; it’s part of writing under multiple names” was it met with bullying (the way it regularly is at other events, where people try to FORCE me to be in photos on social media). The response was, “I totally get that.”

What a difference, from events that are supposedly all about supporting WRITERS, where I am regularly accused of “hiding” or “What? You’re under the witness protection program? Ha, ha, ha.” Or like the exchange I had, when I went to a talk last year, at a supposedly writer-centric event:

Old White Guy: What do you do for a living?

Me: Write.

Old White Guy: No, I mean, what do you do to make money?”

Me: Write.

Old White Guy: No, I mean how to you earn your living? What’s your job?

Me: Write.

Old White Guy: No one does that.

Me: I do. (walks away).

It disturbs me that these organizations who are supposed to support writers and artists in their careers and help them find their way through the maze of professionalism allow this kind of behavior.

Which is why I stopped attending so many of these events.

And why Tuesday night was so refreshing.

It was also nice to talk to people from all different types of businesses. That’s one of the positives about this area. Because it’s a smaller community, it’s not as insulated. It’s far too easy to only interact with your own circle and then narrow your world. We all need new people and fresh experiences to keep growing. Fresh perspectives.

It was tough to haul myself out of the house (It had been a particularly discouraging day with a client who refuses to accept that the world won’t change to meet the way this client thinks it SHOULD be, and deal with how it is, and find interesting ways to work around it). Plus, the directions weren’t correct. I got frustrated, but I found the place by accident. Now, I’m glad I did.

It was really pretty, and the site suggested I could use it to meet with clients, which is also nice. Gives me a mid-Cape option other than just Cape Space or a bar or a coffee shop. Now that I actually know where the darn place is!

Picked up Chinese food on the way home (because I sure as hell wasn’t going to cook). Decompressed.

Up early on Wednesday to write. Focused primarily on the MYTH AND INTERPRETATION revisions (cover reveal will be in the next couple of days). I have a couple of things to still work out in the middle — a scene or two to add, and I made some cuts, and massaged a timeline that was off. It was fixed with a phrase that referred to the time lapse instead of a scene, so that’s a relief.

Waiting to hear back from someone about another piece of the Jain Lazarus Adventures puzzle before making that big announcement.

Chasing down a late payment from a client from whom I will part shortly. Again, what’s going on is legal. But I question the ethics, and can’t be a part of it. I want my last payment, and then we’re done. Also didn’t like that the person I dealt with about the missing payment lied, I knew she lied, and she knew I knew she lied.

The individual I met at the networking event was able to fit my client in to his schedule yesterday and start solving the IT issues. That made yesterday a bit less stressful.

Came home, made a very dry vodka martini, read a bit. Worked on some more MYTH revisions. Had more discussions about the future of Jain Lazarus. We have a couple of contract things to work out.

We also are discussing a kind of odd promotional item for the books. I’m not sure we’d be allowed to offer it on a large platform — it may have to go directly from the publisher’s website and my websites. We have to check with our distributor. The possibilities intrigue me. It would take some work to pull off, but if it sells more books in the long run, it would be worth it. We had originally talked about it being a print giveaway, but the thought grew to why not make it available digitially as well?

I received my contract from Llewellyn. I will be in the 2020 Spell-A-Day Calendar, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name. I’m looking forward to it. I wrote for them for 16 years, and then felt I didn’t have anything left to say, so I took a break. And now I have something to say again, and they’re interested. That makes me happy. I’m sending off the signed contract today, and getting to work on the pieces this week. They are due in October.

More yard work today. Steady, solid work on RELICS & REQUIEM, steady work on the revisions for  MYTH, which I think can go out to the editor tomorrow. And the cover reveal for MYTH will also be tomorrow.

The good busy.

 

Published in: on June 14, 2018 at 8:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 14, 2018: Exciting Times (in a Good Way)  
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Monday, July 20, 2009

IMG_0353

Monday, July 20, 2009
Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

No wonder I was so tired yesterday — the day before the dark moon is my lowest energy day of the month.

Tried to catch up on some of the stuff that piled up while I was away, tried to catch up on blogs, etc., etc. Played with the cats, who wanted a lot of attention.

Did some percolating on some projects. I’m prepared for a big bout of unpleasantness with one publisher in particular and have made plans for alternatives. This is where one wants to practice detachment — it would be very easy to spiral into a personal fracas, and I refuse so to do. This is business. I’ve cut a lot of slack over the past few months, and I am at the boundary line.

On a happier note, the Llewellyn annuals for 2010 are out. Under the Cerridwen Iris Shea moniker, I am in both the Witches’ Calendar and the Datebook. It’s my last appearance there for awhile — I wrote for them for 15 years steadily, and I’m not in any of the 2011 annuals. I need a break! I need to find something new to say! 😉

I’ve been around there longer than most of the editors at this point!

Regarding PETA and the fly thing, if the policy truly is “harm to NO living creature” that’s fine, but when you make a fly MORE important than the life of a puppy or a kitten, I have a problem with it. If you choose to make them equal, that’s your choice. But my sense was that they went after the President regarding the fly because they knew they would garner attention and ignored both the skinned puppy and the cooked kitten because the perpetrators weren’t famous. To me, that’s hypocrisy.

I went up to CT yesterday afternoon, to a site where I’ve found some interesting stuff over the years. They used to clean out estates and sell the contents; now, they actually build reproduction furniture. Some of it’s great, but most of it is not as interesting as the found stuff. There was one lamp made out of a teapot that was very unique, but more than I wanted to spend for a lamp, and an old carousel horse that was WAAAAY out of my price range, but that was it. Disappointing.

I packed a bunch of boxes for storage and will take them over later today, then pack up some more. I want to get that sorted this week and do the furniture swap next week.

Decent but not brilliant writing session this morning. I need to get back into the groove of it all. I decided that I’m going to do a writing retreat this weekend, and possibly next weekend. Stay away from outside interference and just write.

Some client projects came in while I was gone, so I’ll get going on them this afternoon, and maybe even get some more stuff pulled off the PC. I really want to get that behemoth out of here and get my desk back. I also want to get to work on the prospect list I created while I was away, and get that mailing going, and I need to do another round of DIXIE DUST PR.

Off to work.

Devon

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 7:48 am  Comments (6)  
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