Fri. May 3, 2019: The Slow Climb Back to Productivity

Friday, May 3, 2019
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Feeling a little better. Physically tired, but the emotional exhaustion is starting to level off. I’ll take whatever progress I can get.

Wrote yesterday morning, then got some work done at the library. Got some LOIs out. Yoga. Afternoon and evening spent on contest entries. I plan to finish them this weekend, so I can make my final decisions early next week. I’m delighted that there are so many strong contenders, but the final decision will be difficult for the same reason. I can’t give all the deserving books an award. I have to pick the best for the limited slots.

This morning, wrote some more into the new project. It feels good, although it’s taking some unusual twists. Worked on GRAVE REACH. Figured out an important catalyst in THE BARD’S LAMENT, which is Sylvie’s book, the fifth Coventina Circle.

Working on an article about Coventina. Working on my other article. Working on a letter of support for an organization with which I used to work closely.

Some errands today, and then I’m focused on writing and contest entries all weekend. If the weather allows, I’ll sneak in some yard work.

May you have a beautiful weekend!

Published in: on May 3, 2019 at 8:53 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 3, 2019: The Slow Climb Back to Productivity  
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Thurs. May 2, 2019: Trying to Get Back in The Groove

Thursday, May 2, 2019
Day Before Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and chilly

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

I’m still struggling to get my energy back. Still feeling burned to a crisp. I’m going to take a little extra time around Memorial Day Weekend and just relax. But that’s still four weeks away. I have to find pockets of rest in there, or I won’t make it.

Onsite work with a client was fine. I played with some ideas for a new marketing campaign. Threw out most of them, because I couldn’t see how we’d get a worthwhile return. There were a couple of minor irritants, but nothing that was a big deal. The long term picture is getting sharper, and I’m more aware of the pieces I have to rearrange to achieve what I need and want.

Picked up a few groceries. I was so tired in the store that I stood holding a can of tuna wondering why the label made no sense — until I realized it was cat food, not people food.

Came home, worked on contest entries, made dinner, re-watched THE NEWSROOM. Played with some ideas.

Woke up around 3 AM, managed to get back to sleep for a few hours. Wrote 1K of a new project. I’m going to write about four chapters to see if it’s viable. Then my 1K on GRAVE REACH. I actually have to up the 1K/day on GRAVE REACH this month, in order to get everything done.

Headed for the library to get some work done, bring back some books, pick up some books. Then, there’s yoga. I might swing by a client’s quickly in the afternoon to take care of one thing so it’s not hanging over me.

Then, it’s back to contest entries. I’m doing a big push on them this weekend, so I can start making my final decisions next week. They’re due on the 10th, and I want to make sure everything is in good shape. I’m also starting to fill out the electronic scoring sheets. It’s a process.

I’m working on the Tip Sheet for the panel discussion for the event I’m doing on the 15th.

At some point in the next few days, I have to make multiple dump runs for the household garbage, recycling, and yard waste. Don’t like doing it in the rain, though.

Doing more Caribbean research, and continuing with classic ocean liner research.

Need to get some LOIs out, and work on an article, and an article pitch. Also have to make requests for a couple more article quotes. I have to finish and send off some letters in support of an organization with which I used to be affiliated, and also prepare some interview questions for a writer who’s guesting on the blog.

Never a dull moment. Which is a good thing. If I can beat this fatigue, I’ll be fine. It’s hard to think straight when I’m so tired, and I’m making stupid mistakes.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on May 2, 2019 at 9:22 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 2, 2019: Trying to Get Back in The Groove  
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Wed. April 10, 2019: Sorting Out Priorities

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Waxing Moon

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for more on the Personal Strategic Plan.

Yesterday morning, I woke up around 3:30, wondering about the evolution of language. Not sure why that would wake me up in the middle of the night, but there you go. I managed to fall back asleep, but had a hard time getting up when the alarm woke me.

Worked on contest entries and a bit of writing in the morning. I’m shaping an essay for submission, and working on a few pitches.

I need to contact some sources for the essay, just to get a few good quotes. I need to do the final polish on the trade magazine pitch I’ve worked on for weeks and keep putting aside, because, should it hit properly, it would be both a fun and lucrative assignment.

I need to finish putting together the presentation for my NECRWA workshop, and start printing the handouts. Because, remember, I am the Queen of Handouts, and when someone takes one of my workshops, they get a Big Packet of Stuff to take away with them. I also have to start packing the pieces I’m going to take with me, and the books I want to show. I’m bringing a rolling rack and about a dozen garments, along with some accessories, books, and maybe even a few vision boards.

I have to ask where I can stash it on the morning of the conference before my workshop. I have to ask the conference organizers what they’d like me to do. I also need to decide if I’m going to do a Power Point presentation or have it all tangible. Because clothing is so tangible, I’m tempted to do the latter.

I’d gotten out five LOIs on Monday afternoon; heard back from one the same day, from two different people, one saying they were interested, one saying they weren’t. I’m going to assume the latter, because that just sends up red flags.

Frustrated by a couple of things, but also have a sense that things are falling into place the way that will be for the best in the long run.

Worked with a client, worked on GRAVE REACH, got out some more LOIs, worked on pitches, worked on the essay.

Today, I’ll be with a client, then working on more contest essays, and whatever writing I can get done.

At some point, in the next few days, I have to do my taxes. I resent funding the golfing grifters.

Published in: on April 10, 2019 at 5:43 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 10, 2019: Sorting Out Priorities  
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Fri. March 8, 2019: International Women’s Day

Friday, March 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold
International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

How about we all treat each other with respect and dignity EVERY day?

Yesterday seems long ago and far away.

Hop over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest gardening post.

I wrote in the morning. I did some work at the library. Got out some LOIs. I went to yoga, which was great.

I made a Thai-style chicken noodle soup for lunch, good on a cold day, but I still don’t like coconut milk. I have to research if there’s something I can substitute.

Read, worked on contest entries, worked out plot points on stories.

Finished re-watching the Roger Rees-starring NICHOLAS NICKLEBY. He was such a damn good actor. That show had a huge impact on me when it came to Broadway. I was just starting out then.

Errands in the morning, work at the library. I’ve got to get another month’s worth of Twuffer posts up and out for marketing purposes. Then, I’m meeting a friend for coffee in Falmouth. More errands in the afternoon, then reading and working on contest entries. I need to finish the book I’m reviewing, write and polish the review, so it can go out on Monday.

Most of the weekend will be focused on writing. I need to particularly focus on the monologues and on the straw hat play. Of course, it’s GAMBIT COLONY that wants attention. Because of course it is.

Pretty soon, I have to get down to work with GRAVE REACH. I have to get a draft of that to my editor in a few months.

Not happy that we’re “springing forward.” I always feel like I’m behind the beat for a couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on March 8, 2019 at 9:55 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 8, 2019: International Women’s Day  
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Fri. March 1, 2019: Stormy Writing Weekend

Friday, March 1, 2019
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

This will be a short post; I’ve got to prep for a double storm whammy this weekend.

I already ran some errands and did the big grocery shop. I forgot to grab the cat food, so I guess I’m heading out again!

Yesterday, I got out some LOIs. Got an enthusiastic response from one almost immediately, BUT — they sent me a link with a series of hoops and a “test” project to write – without pay, so that’s an immediate no deal. AND, the link to do all of this is part of a conglomerate run by someone I think is a charlatan and wouldn’t work for anyway. NOTHING about this guy was on the website or in the original information about the marketing person they claim they need. Or I wouldn’t have pitched in the first place.

No. Just no, on so many levels.

Now, there’s also a big controversy about Contently starting to charge their writers to access the money they earned. Um, no. Writers do not pay to access the wages they earned. If there’s an agency fee, it’s added as part of the customer invoice, not taken out of the writer’s fee. How much you want to bet Contently already does this, and this is their way of double-dipping? I think the Contently writers should check with their AGs to find out if it’s even legal.

It also makes me glad I never signed on with them.

Yesterday afternoon, I met a writer pal at a bar a few towns over. Nothing like sitting at an almost empty bar at two in the afternoon to make you feel decadent! But I was early and he was totally on time. And we had Bourbon Plums, which is a mixture of bourbon, plum wine, pomegranate juice and lime. Yummy! And hey, it has pomegranate juice, so it’s healthy, right?

I paced myself, and I’d eaten a HUGE lunch, so I was okay to get home.

But it was great to sit with a fellow writer who also travels (he’s a travel writer as well as a novelist) and brainstorm ideas and share stories and just figure things out.

This weekend, I dive into the writing, especially if the weather’s bad. I got an idea for a totally weird piece that I have to work on in and around the other stuff because it’s just so darn weird.

Off to buy cat food and then back to the page.

Have a great weekend and happy March!

 

Published in: on March 1, 2019 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 1, 2019: Stormy Writing Weekend  
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Thurs. Nov. 29, 2018: Sick, but Writing

Thursday, November 29, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m still sick, at least as far as coughing and exhaustion goes.

I cancelled out of the networking event this morning, because I’m in no shape to make a good impression.

Work with the client yesterday was fine, and then I came home, exhausted.

I wrote 7 pages in longhand on INNATE POWER, a new fantasy novel that tugs at me (I wrote the outline on Monday, I believe, while I was home sick).

Today’s plans are to write a few pages on INNATE POWER, at least a chapter on the latest draft of BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, at least once scene on the anti-gun violence play, a few blog posts, and some LOIs.

I need to get back to decorating, too. The boxes are stacked all over the place; they need to be emptied and the contents put where they need to go.

This weekend, I plan to dig into the writing, the decorating, and write the overseas holiday cards.

As soon as I’m not sick, I’ll start the holiday baking, because baking when I’m sick would be eww.

Navigating a new friendship with someone very different from me, and we have to learn to communicate on the same plane. On some levels, we understand each other very well; on others, not at all. Mercury in retrograde doesn’t help, either. Patience and caution are key. This person is serving as a muse on several projects, and that gets tricky. Some people like it; some feel used. But the truth is, if you know me on any level, you will be absorbed into the work somehow.

Working on my GDRS for next year, and looking at my list for this month and next month. I wish I didn’t feel such an overwhelming exhaustion, which is worsened by the administrative corruption in DC.

But the next few days are about the writing, so it’s back to the page.

And planning some holiday marketing campaigns!

 

Published in: on November 29, 2018 at 9:53 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 29, 2018: Sick, but Writing  
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Fri. Oct. 3, 2018: Digging In

Friday, October 5, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was busy, but I didn’t get as much done as I needed to (that seems to be a theme lately).

The writing was unproductive, I had some errands.

On the up side, I got some good work done on the proposal, and got some LOIs out. I made myself take the time for my yoga class, and definitely needed it, then finally made it to the gas station to get gas in the car.

I’m still waiting on an estimate from my mechanic, so I can get some necessary repairs on the car.

Today will be an infuriating day for anyone who actually values Justice and the Constitution.

I’m doing a lot of writing in my head. That’s great for when I finally sit down and write, but now I have to sit down and DO IT.

This weekend, I need to dig in and get a lot of writing done. After tomorrow’s vote, I will probably stay offline through the holiday.

I doubt I’ll have a chance to blog on Tuesday, so I’ll be back up on Wednesday. I do have an #upbeatauthors post scheduled for Monday.

Have a great autumnal weekend!

Published in: on October 5, 2018 at 10:12 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 3, 2018: Digging In  
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Thurs. Sept. 13, 2018: Just the Stead Work

Thursday, September 13, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, warm, humid

Tired.

Work onsite with a client yesterday, then got some grocery shopping done.

Had a good day on DAVY JONES DHARMA yesterday; so far not too good today, but I’m hoping it will get better.

Having fun with the unscheduled, uncontracted piece I’ve been playing with, set on a retreat center in New Mexico.

I’m starting another semester of studying the process of the International Courts at the Hague. This semester will be in English, rather than French, so I expect it will be easier. I’m still only auditing. I might take the classes again in a year or two for credit. There’s so much information, I don’t absorb it all the first time around.

Put down a novel I started yesterday because it was in the Angsty Young White Man Whining category, and I’m tired of them.

I have some LOIs to get out today, and some other proposals to work on, along with the regular writing. I should get my editing notes for the next round of RELICS & REQUIEM, so I will start those tomorrow or Sunday. Probably Sunday.

Rehearsing and prepping for Saturday’s reading. I shouldn’t be nervous at this point, but I always am.

Back to the page.

Published in: on September 13, 2018 at 9:03 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 13, 2018: Just the Stead Work  
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Fri. Aug. 17, 2018: Tucking In to a Weekend of Inspiration & Writing

Friday, August 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

Here’s hoping I can hang on until Mercury goes direct!

Yesterday, not enough writing done. But I got some LOIs out, updated the websites. I’m trying out the new Fearless Ink logo, and I changed the background color on the site. As my work evolves, so must the site. The concept for the site wasn’t meshing enough with the practicality.

Did some updates on the Devon Ellington site, too. Tweaked the information; added a couple of necessary things. I really like the slideshow of book covers on the Welcome page; I’d like to add additional slideshows to the top of the Delectable Digital Delights Page and the Anthologies Page. Eventually, the Topic Workbooks will have one, too.

We’re working on a new look for the Topic Workbooks. So far, the consensus is that the old covers work better! So I guess we’ll keep working.

Saw a couple of roughs for the cover of what will be the new book in the first of what used to be the Power of Words series. I really like it. It’s very different from anything I’ve seen out there. It gives information on the cover without over-extending titles and gives an idea of what the series is about. We’re going to start building the website offline, so it can go live when we’re done.

About twenty research books arrived at the library — some I’d ordered quite awhile ago. Most of them already go back today.

Did some good work on something I had to research for RELICS. I think feeling insecure about some of the research is what’s tripping me up and making me second guess. Also, the massive overdose in New Haven, CT is supporting what I’m dealing with in the book.

A new character walked into DAVY JONES DHARMA and is going to give Sophie a hard time — in more than one book, it looks like!

Writing this morning. Then, I have to do a few things at the library, and then it’s off to the Cahoon Museum to see their exhibits.

Tessa and Lucy are doing really well. They’re adjusting to each other. Tessa’s mood has improved enormously since Lucy joined the household. Lucy came from a difficult situation, so she’s cautious, but she’s starting to feel safer and more confident.

I plan to dig in this weekend. It’s all about writing and working on the house.

Back to the page, and then off to get some inspiration!

Have a great weekend!

 

Published in: on August 17, 2018 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 17, 2018: Tucking In to a Weekend of Inspiration & Writing  
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Wed. May 23, 2018: Juggling Deadlines Again

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

It’s official. I still hate mowing. Yes, I like the new reel mower better than the other one. But it still has issues — it sticks, it doesn’t cut down certain types of grass. Really, I’m not asking for much. I’m asking that the damn wheels turn in the direction I push, and that the damn blade cuts GRASS. Which is, supposedly, what a lawn mower does. Why is that so difficult?

Big project for the client is stressful. It’ll get done, but the client doesn’t understand that it doesn’t happen by magically pushing a button on the computer.

Sent out a couple of LOIs. The media kit for the Coventina Circle series is done and up in that site’s Media Room. There’s a media kit for each book, and then there’s the media kit for the entire series, which will be updated with each release.

I’m behind on getting the judging sheets done, because of the mowing.

Working steadily on NOT BY THE BOOK, but struggling. The partial has to go out tomorrow, and I’m worried. The voice is strong, but I’m having the same struggle I’ve had in these past months trying to get it back on the roster — it’s not flowing.

Plus, both the serial and THE POWER OF WORDS are pulling at me, and I’m under the gun for MYTH & INTERPRETATION.

I want to get NOT BY THE BOOK out the door and then give myself breathing room, resting room for the long holiday weekend. I’m sure I will write, but I won’t pressure myself as to what.

I want to play with the ideas my actress friend and I discussed. I’ve come up with a couple of working titles. I’m still not sure if it will be one piece, or a pair of one acts hooked together on a common theme to make an evening.

But I need breathing room, thinking room, daydreaming room. I’m just so exhausted. Our country is being dismantled by grifters and criminals, and it’s difficult to create. But I must, or I truly will die.

I have to finish a couple of things for a client today. And then, I need to write and polish. It’s hard for me to write at the end of the day; my best working time is in the morning. But, when I’m under deadline pressure, I have to.

I’m so sick and tired of writers who say you don’t have to write every day. “Writing every day” doesn’t mean you never take a day off or a vacation. It means you choose when and how to take time off, and the rest of the time, you show up like a professional. Writing is a “real job.” Writers deserve to be paid well for what they do, and not derided because they love what they do. Professionals in all fields show up at the job and do the work. You have a major agent who can negotiate with a major publisher so you can take as long as you want to write something? Good for you. You make enough at the day job so you can only write if you “feel like it?” Good for you. You have a spouse or partner who takes care of the bills so you can write when the mood strikes? Good for you. But I — and most of my working peers — need to show up every day and do the work, whether we feel like it or not. It doesn’t make us love it any less. Getting paid doesn’t mean our work is “less than” someone who “writes for love.” We love it, too. We also value our work and demand a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Earning a living at it means it’s our profession. So we act like professionals.

On a happier note, I re-read the first four of Kate Parker’s Victorian Bookshop mysteries. I really like that series. I want to read her two series, too.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on May 23, 2018 at 2:34 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 23, 2018: Juggling Deadlines Again  
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Thurs. April 12, 2018: Evolving Process

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Garden update on Gratitude and Growth goes up tomorrow, because I’m performing the tasks I’ll write about later today!

If you didn’t stop by Fearless Ink yesterday to read my post on “Morning-After Networking,” please do, and leave me some comment love!

This week, I pushed hard to create and hone a presentation for one of my clients. She got a great opportunity to pitch her product to some decision makers with access to a 2-million person client base next week. So we dug in and did it. I did the design AND the text, we used a mix of photos, and it can be used as PowerPoint/Keynote, a handout, or a PDF. She’s thrilled, and I’m pleased by the whole thing. I have samples for my sample book, and it’s all good. It was a lot of concentrated work, but the result was worth it.

There’s a marketing piece I worked on for another client, and he stubbornly insists on using language that makes him sound down-market in a completely different field. I’m debating whether I should even use samples of that in my portfolio.

I have one more big project for another client, and then we’re done until autumn. I have to finish up a couple of small things for another client, and then I want to cordially move on. That client uses some business practices that make me uncomfortable, even though they are technically legal.

I have a bunch of LOIs out, I’m waiting to go to contract with a company for whom I used to do a lot of work, and I have some meetings coming up.

I cannot emphasize what a big, positive difference having the redesigned websites on the new web host have made. I’m shocked and horrified by how much business the old host cost me, because they kept making sure the sites didn’t work properly. Learn from my mistakes, my friends.

I’m doing the last pass on this draft of SPIRIT REPOSITORY today, and adding in the back matter, which includes polishing the first chapter of RELICS & REQUIEM, adding a short article on the concept of “genius locii” and putting in the information for the other books. Tomorrow morning, it will go off to my editor, so we can go into galleys.

The major attention then turns to the drafts of MYTH & INTERPRETATION and RELLICS & REQUIEM, both of which have to be juggled in tandem. NOT BY THE BOOK is sneaking in there, too, and finishing up the rough outline for the serial, so I can distill it down into a pitch-worthy synopsis.

A note on evolving process: as much as I hate working on index cards to sort scenes, for this serial, I find I need to. I have plenty of background notes and other stuff as well, but I need to work the beats of each chapter/episode on cards, and then shuffle and re-shuffle. Some of that will further change as I actually write the chapters, since each chapter is in a different character’s POV. I think I need to write one more round in each POV, and I’m wondering if I should add another character’s POV. It would open up the world, but it then feels out of balance. As it is, the title has a “Three”in it, and I’m writing in four points of view. To expand it to five — not so sure it will work.

I’m eager to get some admin stuff out of the way and get back to the page.

Not so eager to finish my taxes this afternoon! This year, especially, I resent it. I do not want to give a single penny to this corrupt administration of grifters.

Onward.

 

Published in: on April 12, 2018 at 8:46 am  Comments Off on Thurs. April 12, 2018: Evolving Process  
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Tues. April 16, 2013: Grief

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

To think, yesterday started so well.

I mean, 3700 words on the new book. LOIs. Follow-up on the LOIs from January (and gaining some immediate positive responses. 10 pages on the next non-fiction book up in the queue (that will be traditionally published). I percolated on the play that’s due at the end of May, and started thinking about the appointments I need to set up in NY.

And then — the explosions at the Boston Marathon. We’ve had non-stop coverage, of course, on all the channels. Which would be great if there was actual news to report, and they didn’t just retread the same ground over and over and over again. There needs to be a limit to how often a piece of tape depicting a disaster can be rolled.

The latest numbers this morning are 3 dead, over 140 injured. It’s just appalling. It reminds me too much of incidents in NY. I’ve been crying off and on since it happened, then feeling guilty about being so upset, because I’m fine out here, and so far, everyone I’ve managed to track down (there are still a few outstanding) are safe, too. There are plenty who are worse off than I am. I alternate between the pain and the numbness of grief, yet I’m also aware that it’s more abstract for me than for people with direct experience, the same way that, when I was directly impacted by other events (losing people I knew and cared about), it was abstract for others. The rational and the emotional sides haven’t aligned yet.

Sat outside this morning, with Tessa and the first cup of coffee, just grateful for the sunshine and the bird song of the moment.

On a completely different topic, Penny Estelle is my guest today over on Biblio Paradise, talking about her latest release, Hike Up Devil’s Mountain. In spite of everything that’s going on, I hope you’ll stop by and drop her a comment — she’s also doing a giveaway.

Devon