Tues. April 30, 2013: Contests and Writing and Paperwork

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

My guest on A Biblio Paradise today is Mike Robinson, talking about THE PRINCE OF EARTH. Stop by!

Worked like crazy yesterday, yet feel I got so little done.

On the plus side, I finished Chapter 14 and wrote Chapter 15. Which means I have to dive into Chapter 16 this morning. I have to make a decision by this chapter for the heat level of this book — there are several kinds of ways I could go with it, and I don’t want to lose the light tone I need, but I also want to let my protag go with her desires — that’s part of it. It’s also why it’s not marketed as a “romance”, because I’m giving her options.

My webhost was down yesterday, which hindered my work. I have to take a proofreading test for a big job today — must brush up on CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE — I use Strunk. And I don’t want to do it when I’m too tired, or I’ll make careless mistakes and lose the job.

People are signing up for the free tips — so glad. Had a nice exchange with another writer — we went to each other’s workshops this weekend.

Am finishing up the paperwork for the contest I’m judging — lots of paperwork. But picked my top choices and sent off the recommendations. Yesterday was about rearranging the stacks of books I’d read, comparing them against each other as well as individual stories.

Keyed in some data I needed, worked with students.

This morning, I’ve written a thousand words of a short story that started pulling at me. I hoped it would be only six pages (about 1500 words), but it’s growing like a dandelion and I want to see where it goes.

I need to start setting up my NY appointments for the end of next month, and make sure all my presentations and materials are in good shape. I’m juggling various projects, and need to make sure I don’t drop the ball on any of them, while still hustling enough freelance projects to pay the bills short term. Same old, same old.

But I love the longer days, and I’m definitely feeling more productive and more creative.

Devon

Last chance to sign up for the free Manuscript Preparation Tips in May. Signing up also gets you Devon’s Random Newsletter and a 10% discount off up to 30 pages critique. More information here.

Tues. April 23, 2013: Writing and Research

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This is one of the reasons I live here — isn’t it lovely?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Please hop over to A Biblio Paradise to welcome this week’s guest, Justin Robinson, talking about his release, Mr. Blank.

Yesterday was a tough writing day. I worked with students, was approached for a small editing job, and am happy by how man people are signing up for the “May is Manuscript Preparation Month” tips. Pat, I saw your comment yesterday — I cover short stories as well as novels and non-fiction in the prep, so they will still be useful.

Struggled with Chapter 12 of the book, mostly because I’m writing about an area with which I’m not as familiar, and had to integrate research along with the plot and story. I had to keep stopping to look things up, and I’m still worried that I haven’t quite captured the emotional geography. I need to layer in more sensory description. I didn’t finish the chapter — I hope to do that today, and move on to Chapter 13. This sequence, set in Nassau, is the most difficult for me to write on a sensory level. But it’s important to get it right,and also communicate some of my character’s sense of wonder at what she’s experiencing.

I also need to layer in a threat — maybe at the Straw Market? Maybe waiting for a water taxi? I’m not quite sure where yet, but I need to ratchet up the tension.

In any case, that chapter needs some more work, and it needs to be right before I can move on. Some of what’s going on in here I can’t fix later, because it’s important to set up what happens next.

We had our “moment of silence” for last week’s bombings at 2:50, and a few minutes later I had to leave for a meeting. I swung by the Sandwich library, which was closed, but I still dropped off some books in the depository. Then, I headed over to the Sandwich Taverna for my meeting. It was a lot of fun AND we got a lot done. Best of both worlds.

I had trouble settling when I got back in last night, and I dreamed about the book all night, so I feel as though I haven’t gotten much rest. Yes, we’re at THAT point of the book.

Today, I’m working on the book, pitching a few projects, preparing more conference materials, getting out a press release, preparing for yet another meeting tonight, doing more wrap-up on the play. I hope to sneak in some work on the non-fiction book and the adaptation, but I ‘m not sure I’ll be able to do so. Also, have to write a review, wrap up stuff for a contest I’m judging, and pick up a few groceries — we’re short on things like milk and eggs. And I have to bake for yet another event I’m attending tomorrow. This is a busy week.

The yard is starting to look really good, in spite of the clean-up that still has to be finished. Things are growing and sprouting and looking good. Hopefully, it will warm up soon and I can put some of these plants I’ve started in where they need to settle.

I hope this will be a good year for lilacs!

Devon

For more information and to sign up for your free Manuscript Preparation Tips in May, visit http://www.fearlessink.com/manuscript.html. In addition to a free tip each weekday from May 1-24, you get a 10% discount code on a critique of up to 30 pages, and signed up for Devon’s Random Newsletter. Come join the fun!

Mon. April 22, 2013: Earth Day, Mansuscript Prep, and Writing

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All nice and loamy in the front! 😉

Monday, April 22, 2103
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Earth Day

What a weekend!

Friday was mostly about the Boston area being locked down in order to find the terrorist. The news coverage was continuous. I don’t know how it was in other areas of the country, but we couldn’t access the national news, they just keep yapping about nothing for an almost twenty-four hour cycle. The coverage was lousy and irritating. I think the media is over-simplifying things and using slogans and sound bytes instead of giving real information. There’s way too much we still don’t know about it all, and, while I’m relieved that the perpetrators of last Monday’s attack seem to be caught, I’m not yet assured that this wasn’t the tip of a bigger iceberg. I’m as disturbed by the questions that aren’t being asked as by the circus aspect to all of this.

Got some work in the yard done, got some reading done, but it was difficult to concentrate with all the sirens (even down here — suspicious packages, the Sagamore bridge closed for awhile, etc.) and the chaos was not conducive to getting much done. I managed to get a nice chunk of the non-fiction book done, which was a relief. Got a mailing out for an Arbor Day event next week. Sat outside for awhile in the afternoon, just trying to get settled a bit. At least I’m back to my daily yoga practice.

Saturday was a rainy, gray day. I spent most of it writing. Not necessarily on the book I’m supposed to be working on, but that’s what it is. I did about 1500 words in longhand on something that’s been tugging at me. I worked on the non-fiction book. I worked with students. An old screenplay of mine that’s been haunting me lately got dug up. I read it and it holds together. While there’s not much I can do with it as a screenplay, I started adapting it to a romantic suspense/adventure novel. In the prose, I have to adjust some things to deepen POVs, but the story itself and the dialogue holds together. The ending needs a boost, but I now have the plotting skills to do that. It’s an old file, so I’m converting sections of the old screenplay that got wonked in the save, and then adapting each section into prose.

I also submitted a backlog of stories — and one of them was accepted within hours of submission. That’s what I call a good day’s work! It will publish in the fall, and is one of my favorite contemporary pieces.

Finished reading material for Confidential Job #1, and started the next assignment. Polished materials for the conference presentation next week, and now have to start printing stuff out. I need information as to how many to expect — I don’t want to print 200 copies of everything if only 60 people are there, but I don’t want to be caught short, either.

Yesterday, I was exhausted. Read the papers. Worked out in the yard for a bit. Came up with a cool event/promotion for May which I will detail a little further into the post, wrote up the promotional aspect, and also all the content for the three weeks’ worth of material. Wrote another chapter in the book I’m supposed to be writing. Took a walk on the beach. Aren’t these piles of shells fascinating? It was cold and windy, but it was a great day to be outside.

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May is Manuscript Preparation Month

With all the calls for submission and conferences coming up, May is a great month to prepare manuscripts. If you’re doing a consultation during a conference, you need to get your materials polished and in; if you want to take advantage of a submission call, you need to do the same. With events like BEA coming up at the beginning of June, where lots of deals are made, there’s a need to get going on prepping.

For the month of May, I’m emailing a free manuscript preparation tip every weekday from May 1-May 24 (ending at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend). Yup, a free tip to help you prepare your manuscript.

To sign up, send an email to manuscriptprep-at-fearlessink-dot-com with “Tip” in the subject line.

In addition to the free tip, you get a coupon for a 10% discount on a critique of 30 pages, which must be used between now and the end of the year, and you are automatically signed up for the newsletter.

I only posted the information yesterday afternoon, and I’m thrilled and delighted by how many people have already signed up. I hope you’ll join the group!

Now, I’ve got many pages to write today, so I better get back to it!

Devon