Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Check me out on LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS!

First, I want to congratulate my friend Michelle Miles on the release of her new novel, TAKE ME, I’M YOURS, published by Cobblestone Press. Way to go, Michelle! Check out her blog and her website for excerpts, purchase links, and more. She will be featured on A BIBLIO PARADISE at some point in the future.

Yesterday was an up-and-down day. I feel a bit overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. On the positive: My computer works beautifully and I can get it all done. On the negative: I’m burning out and have to pace myself better.

On Sunday, I re-read the first twelve chapters of the Helena Francis mystery and made some notes. Yesterday, I ran off Chapters 13-23 (there’s only about two pages of Chapter 23, so it doesn’t really count) and re-read those. The piece has good bones, I made good notes, I want to finish it, think about the overall series, and then go back and do a serious rewrite so I can get the book out the door sometime this summer.

By the end of the day, my publisher had the proofs of DIXIE DUST RUMORS back to me. I will start them today, with a clear head.

I did a big chunk of the media kit for DIXIE DUST RUMORS. I hope to finish it in the next few days and start getting it out there. When reviews for the book come in (if they’re good), I’ll add a reviews page. The media kit will be available on the website, once it’s done. I would have uploaded the excerpt onto the site, but 1and1’s server was down AGAIN. Every day, from 11 AM to 4 PM, EST, I get server errors when I try to access my email. This is not acceptable. I’ve complained for over a year, and they don’t fix the problem. Host moving is a nightmare, plus I’d lose everything I built on their templates, but I’m beginning to think that’s the only option.

I love the package I have with 1and1. I’m hosting three full sites plus numerous subdomains, and I can customize their website builder with my own designs. I have all the email addresses I need. But, at least 50% of the time, there are server problems and I can’t access either my email or my site. Don’t charge me if you’re not going to fulfill the contract. The price is great, what I get is great — but it doesn’t work when I need it to work.

Don’t suggest Go Daddy. Their commercials are enough to make me refuse to do business with them, and they don’t have the capacity for what I need.

Fat Cow Hosting looks really good, and someone called Pinch Hosting contacted me via Twitter when I bitched and moaned, so I’m going to do some looking.

It would need to be a midsummer move, where I could devote an entire week to site move and redesign. I can’t do it when I’m on crazy deadlines, and May/June will be nuts.

I dashed out and got ink for the manuscript printer (the Pixma 1800 is my “manuscript printer” and also some new flashdrives. I booted up the old PC after a week — what a nightmare. 22 minutes for the initial boot and three crashes before I even got the flashdrive in. I spent two hours transferring a lot of material from floppies to just one flashdrive. This is the one with drafts of novels on it. Who knew I’d done so much and so many drafts of some of them? I realized that I’ve got a big slew of projects that aren’t just being archived. Some need to be finished; some need to be retired; some need a simple polish and sent out into the world. I’ve got quite a backlog, and it’s time it went out and earned its keep!

It’s going to take months to back up over 500 floppies. A single exterior hard drive backup won’t work because I need to sort them properly, not just send them all somewhere in a lump. So, this is housecleaning. But, if I do a little bit every day, eventually, it will get done. And I’ve found some quicker ways to do it.

I’ve got a stack of articles to get done in the next couple of days, a media kit to finish, and proofs to do. Busy, busy, busy.

And next week will be just insane. Good insane, but insane.

They closed the swanky private school up the road from me due to swine flu concerns. There’s a part of me that rolls my eyes at all this swine flu stuff, and then there’s a part of me that wonders if the reason the outbreak isn’t worse than it’s been is because of those precautions. Parents are being forced to keep their kids home from school when they’re sick, and that’s a good thing. Far too often, around here, kids are sent to school sick. Part of that is because parents have to go to work, affordable child care is practically non-existent (and, let’s face it, you send a sick kid to day care and every one there gets sick, too), and bosses get mad if you’re constantly taking time off because of a sick kid. Which is understandable — the work still needs to get done. The boss is paying you to work, not to parent, and it’s a delicate balance. However, in this techno age, many jobs can be done from home, and, while the sick kid is sleeping, the parent can catch up on work from the office.

The newest salary survey showed that if stay-at-home moms were paid for what they do, they’d ear nearly $123,000/year. Frankly, they should be paid for their work. It has value, and far too often the partner that works outside of the home uses the paycheck as manipulation. And most stay-at-home moms don’t have a staff AND work 24/7, where as most people who work office jobs outside the house do (or they ARE the staff).
Anyway, I’ve got a lot to do, on DIXIE DUST RUMORS, have some pitches to get out, and i’ve got to get back to the plays. FEMME FATALE and BLOOD SOUP need to go out the door this week.

I got a rejection letter on a project that wasn’t unexpected, so it’s off to the next on the list I was also called “unprofessional” for refusing to give someone an “at least” nine-month exclusive on a different project. I said that writing is how I make my living, how I pay the bills. I can’t afford to tie something up on a “maybe” for nine months. Besides, everything I write eventually finds a home, so I need to keep it out there. The person faltered and said, “Everything?” “Yes, everything. Sometimes it takes awhile, but it all finds a home, and finished projects need to be out there earning their keep, not languishing on someone’s shelf. Thank you for your time and goodbye.” Obviously, this person and I are not a good match. And I don’t work on principles of intimidation and desperation. Next!

Decent writing session this morning. The Matty book needs a slower pace than some of the other stuff. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done, and most of it needed to get done yesterday, so I have to break it down by deadline and priority and just work on it one piece at a time.

Back to the page. And to pulling more stuff of the PC later today.

Oh, did I mention I’m going to Prague in September? Costume Imp convinced me to join him on some international travel!

Devon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Long and Short Reviews sent me an exciting email to let me know that HEX BREAKER is in the running as “Best Book” for this past week. It’s a poll, and voting is only open today and tomorrow. If you get a chance, please go here:

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm
and vote for me! (If you liked the book, of course, if you don’t have a book in the running, or if you don’t have a friend whose book you’d like to vote for).

It was nice to come back to that email, let me tell you, because yesterday was quite a day.

Chase gets yet another Middle Finger Award. ‘Nuff said. I have a distinct feeling it will get yet another of those rewards today, too.

Metro North was late – as usual. And the conductors are too damned stupid to figure out if doors are open or closed, so, please, just send them back to kindergarten and let five and six year olds who have some common sense run the railroads.

Manhattan was full of fashion disasters yesterday. One was a girl of about ten, who can be forgiven. She wore red and black plaid shorts with a red sweater and tights. Okay, not too bad. Except that the tights had a black and white checkerboard pattern that fought with the plaid in the shorts rather than complimented it. Even at age ten, she couldn’t pull it off.

Then, there was the woman in her thirties. Healthy figure, not too big, not stick thin. But she wore a skirt in cobalt blue, black, and yellow plaid SATIN, above the knee, that fell in ruffled tiers. Now, it was just shy of being a mini-skirt, so probably 14-20 inches from waist to hem. And it had FIVE tiers. I counted ‘em. It wouldn’t have suited a beanpole, much less a human being. It was paired with thick black tights, a blunt, flat boot, and a baggy cardigan sweater. And her friend, a few years younger, wore a mini dress in sparkling horizontal blue and gold stripes. Really not attractive. If it was for an evening event, paired with navy sheer stockings, a bit of a heel, and some simple jewelry, she could have pulled it off. But in the middle of the day, worn with clunky black opaque tights, flat UGGS, and a bulky, unattractive man’s varsity-style jacket she probably wore to tell the world that yes, she IS having sex – it didn’t work. I hope they lost a bet or something and hadn’t chosen those outfits! And I found it hard to believe that they were coming home from the previous night at 11 in the morning – if that was the case, they’d be cabbing it, not strolling up Fifth Avenue smoking menthol cigarettes!

They just didn’t have enough individual charisma to pull it off. There are those who could have looked like they were marching to a very unique fashion drummer, but not these two. Individually, the pieces weren’t all that bad (except, in my opinion, the plaid satin skirt), but the way they were put together didn’t work.

Came back home, ran some errands, visited my friend in her new place, cooked dinner, and had a quiet evening.

Woke up around 5 this morning after dreaming that I was doing some work with Vice President Elect Joe Biden. I mean, I know I’m enthusiastic about this new administration and all, but that’s a little ridiculous!

I’m at the struggling point in Nano, which I usually hit between 30-40K. Urgh. A struggle, even though I have a good idea where I’m going. But I just push through.

I heard from my editor and we seem to have worked things out. I’ll know by the end of next week. I’m little leery at this point.

Don’t forget, I’m on the radio tomorrow at 4 PM EST:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kims

Back to the page.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 35,044 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35 / 50
(70.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 35,044 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35 / 75
(46.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


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.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and chilly

Thanks so much for bringing the review to my attention! I had no idea that HEX BREAKER had been reviewed by Long and Short Reviews.

There’s also an excerpt up for “The Ramsey Chase”, the first Cornelia True/Roman Gray adventure.

Hopefully, that whets your appetite for the whole story!

Busy day yesterday, with lots of busy-ness and business, but it will all be fine. Chase gets yet another Middle Finger Award (I think they’re going for the world record). I don’t even want to go into it, I just want these banks held accountable for fucking up regularly and screwing their customers up various portions of their anatomy whenever possible.

Oh, and gee, that bailout package that the Treasury Secretary swore was necessary to get credit flowing? Turns out the banks aren’t flowing credit, they’re hoarding it and/or using it to give the executives who got us into this mess more bonuses. In other words, Mr. Treasury Secretary, the facts have NOT changed, as you claim – you implemented a stupid idea that the people of this country didn’t want because we’re all smart enough to KNOW it’s a stupid idea, you lied to Congress about accountability, and now we’ve all seen how it DOESN’T WORK. Why isn’t this guy being kicked to the curb? Oh, yeah, friend of Bush’s, so for the next 60 days or so, he can continue to destroy the country economically.

Got a bunch of books mailed off for BookMooch people, which was good.

Went up to Somers to visit long-time family friends, which was lovely, although the drive in the rain in unfamiliar territory was challenging.

Got yet another vague email from an editor who owes me a payment that has all sorts of excuses and apologies, but nothing about payment, so I sent an email that was an only slightly more diplomatic version of “s— or get off the pot.” This money was budgeted, I’ve been left dangling for SIX MONTHS, you either want it or you don’t, tell me and either pay me or don’t, but stop this nebulous maybe sometime honoring the contract in the future. Pay me or reject the piece. Not that I could ever use it for anything else, but, at this point, I honestly don’t care. The frustration level isn’t worth it.

This is why, if you ever see a clause that states “pays on acceptance”, you must, must MUST add a clause putting a time limit on said acceptance, or you can be kept dangling for years. Learn from my mistake! Also, when the contract says “pays on publication”, negotiate an actual date.

Really, was there enough yoga to calm me down last night? I don’t think so!

On a happy note, I will be on Kim Smith’s radio show this Sunday night, 4 PM EST, 3 PM CST, and here’s the URL:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kims

I will also appear on The League of Extraordinary Paranormal Women’s radio show on December 11 – but don’t worry, I’ll remind you again. AND, Long and Short Reviews, who gave HEX BREAKER such a nice mention, will also run an interview with me; as soon as I have the date, I’ll post it.

I’ve got to hop into the city quickly, run errands when I get back out, and get back to the page. I’ve hit my Week 2 Wall of Resistance in Nano – urgh. Barely got out 1500 words this morning.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery — 32,487 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32 / 50
(64.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery –32,487 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32 / 75
(42.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


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.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


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: