Wed. June 28, 2017: Trying to Line Up Ducks Before the Holiday Weekend

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Monday was busy. I re-slanted and re-sent two pitches; sent out two new pitches; caught up on correspondence. Somehow, the day flew by.

I did research on several new-to-me markets. Some, I need to do some more in-depth digging; a couple, I think I can craft pitches and send them.

My mom has to have surgery in July, on her foot. Results of the biopsy done a couple of weeks ago. I want to know why her first doctor — the one that dropped her because she wasn’t making enough money off my mom — didn’t diagnose this wound properly a year and a half ago, when my mom showed it to her?

And, of course, I have to come up with the co-payment. Another expense I wasn’t counting on. Not to mention that my mom is 94 and any surgery is worrisome.

There’s a possible new-to-me micro-fiction market. They pay, but I have to figure out the details and ratio of word count/payment/frequency of assignment to see if it’s something I want to or can take on. They seem to be more legitimate and a better payer than the other company I talked to last week. We’ll see. There’s a humor market that could become a regular gig, but I’m not feeling particularly witty or funny right now.

Read Barbara Ross’s ICED UNDER, another Maine Clambake book. I really like this series.

Quite a contrast to another book I tried to read (by a different author). It was a mystery. The protagonist was a narrow-minded, unlikable little twit. The story was dumbed down, the characters were ciphers instead of people. The author was anti-artist and anti-anyone who chose more than being a traditional housewife. I made it to page 35, closed the book, and have put the author on my Will Not Read list. She insulted my intelligence AND my profession. Next!

I really want to take this upcoming holiday weekend as a writing/reading/yoga retreat. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.

Did a little bit of work on the Scottish mystery with the older protagonists on Tuesday, after running errands early enough in the morning so I didn’t get caught up in tourist traffic. That threw off my writing schedule, though.

Finished DRINKING THE RAIN by Alix Kates Shulman. Liked it a lot. And loving Helen Bevington’s THE JOURNEY IS EVERYTHING.

Worked on the June wrap-up, July’s To Do list, and, soon, I’ll have to do the mid-year assessment. We’ll see how far I’ve strayed.

Worked on the media kit. It’s always such journeyman work, but it’s important, and I always discover something I didn’t realize about my own work, because I have to look at it as though I’m handling someone else’s.

I came up with a series title for Playing the Angles and The Spirit Repository — but that makes me wonder if I should change the name under which the books appear. At the same time, I’m not completely sure I’ve hit exactly what I want with the series title. I’m feeling creatively drained.

The project in Orleans isn’t going to work out — they’re going with someone younger. That’s not what they said (which would be illegal), but that’s what they’re doing. Heaven forbid they hire someone with experience who expects a professional rate! Well, they’ll get what they paid for. I was having second thoughts myself — the money, the refusal to commit beyond the summer, and a few other elements. My ego’s bruised, but, deep down in my gut, I know it’s for the best.

Fretting because I’m waiting for two checks that are late. Not happy, because there are bills that need to be paid before the end of the month, and then I have to focus both on next month’s bills and on the co-payment for my mother’s surgery.

Got about half of “The Ramsey Chase” proofread. I’m creating the tracking sheets and character bible for the series as I go, which also slows me down.

Worked my way through a stack of research books that I hoped would be helpful as background for a project. Unfortunately, they were mostly self-indulgent navel-gazing masquerading as “self help.” There’s quite a stack to go back to the library.

I’m gathering questions for the Q&A section of the Devon Ellington media kit. Colin Galbraith had two interesting ones that I’m going to use. I’m hoping other people will post questions on Facebook, Twitter, and/or in the comments here on Ink.

I did quite a bit of work on the media kit yesterday afternoon. I’m through most of the fiction/series/shorts section. I’ve got some more Digital Delights to add in, make the links live.

Still fretting about the series title. That series title means it makes more sense to have the books appear under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name rather than the Annabel Aidan or Devon Ellington name. Also, the more I think about it, the more that series title fits a different series — one I’ve yet to write. So I’m on the hunt for another series title. Some of the books are set in New York, or at least start in New York and move outward. So the title needs to have a bit of an urban edge, but also fulfill the books when they move beyond the city limits. I came up with another series title, but it might also be a bit too soft. I’ll pull out the Thesaurus (the print one, not look online) and browse.

During this morning’s meditation, a new set of characters and situations dropped into my head. I still don’t have the plot, although I have a premise. I think it will be set on the outskirts of Portland, Maine.

Finished a science fiction short story this morning. Will revise it later today and tomorrow, and it can go out the door tomorrow. Now, have to turn my attention back to the more complicated, contemporary one and finish that to get it out the door.

I’m going to take the holiday weekend as a writing/yoga/meditation retreat. I need the mental and the physical break. If I can get my ducks in a row, and my deadlines met by Friday (gulp), that’s what I’ll do. Be offline from Friday afternoon until sometime on Wednesday.

Yet I’m sure there will be mowing in my future. I’ve been bad and haven’t done any this week, although the weather’s been good for it.

Errands, admin, and correspondence to do, and then, it’s back to the page.

Thurs. May 25, 2017: Fixing and Creating

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

So, yesterday, I fixed the mower by my damn self, with help from my neighbor. So much for the warranty on this chunk of garbage, and so much for the people who kept promising to show up to fix it. I bought a new spark plug for $3 at the hardware store, and my neighbor had the spark socket, and we did it. I don’t even have to wrestle with it anymore — it starts right up. I got about half the front mowed. It’s raining this morning, but as soon as it lets up, I’m going to finish the front and start the side. It’ll take me a few days to catch up on everything, but I’ll get there.

Received my first assignment from my new editor, and started on it. Sent off an article pitch; a different editor passed on a pitch I’d sent, so I sent off a new one today, and that one, slightly slanted, so someone else.

Wrestled the sample script pages. Cut them back, layered them some more, and they read much more subtly. I still have room in the page count, so I worked on a second scene. Then, I put all the pieces together, and the proposal went off this morning. Either it’s what this particular producer wants, or it’s not. Not much I can do about it now.

I shot off an email to an author I met once at the conference here on Cape to ask him to supply some emotional geography for the city in which I’ll have my meeting next week. Sounds wacky, but I’d rather get some insight from someone who knows the community than what’s up on a website somewhere. He may not have the time or inclination to answer, but nothing asked, nothing answered.

Worked on the short story; I’ve lost momentum and have to find it. I want to finish it, polish it this weekend, and send it out early next week. I also have to do a fresh read on WINNER TAKE ALL and get going on the next draft. I want to get the next draft of the screenplay done in the next couple of weeks; if it then passes muster, off it goes.

Having trouble finding the right images for the new cover for PLAYING THE ANGLES. I know I have a photograph that I took that would work for it, but darned if I can find it right now. I’m looking through the proof sheets for my camera disks. There’s a potential image I like, of stage lights on a bare stage, but I’m not sure. A bare stage with dramatic lighting doesn’t really communicate the story.

The new cover for CREATIVE STIMULUS went up, and works. Now that is in alignment with the other Topic Workbooks.

I’m working on the personal media kit that spans the different things I write, and it’s difficult. It’s much easier to write copy about the books and about other people than about myself. Believe it or not, I think I have to do a rough outline of the kit, so I can figure out the bits and pieces I want to include. Then I’ll work on each piece, trying to keep the same objective distance as when I put one together for someone else, and then arrange them until it has a good flow.

I should be able to start putting the changes into the next section of FIX IT GIRL today or tomorrow, too, and then move on the next section.

Prepping for my meeting next week; instead of worrying about anything beyond the actual meeting, I’m focusing on the meeting, and taking it from there.

Read Felicia Day’s memoir, which reads like a conversation with someone with whom one connects.

I got bitten by something working in the yard yesterday, right at the top of my tailbone. Not only is it an awkward place to treat, it hurts like hell. Not just discomfort, but actual pain.

It’s supposed to be a rainy weekend, so I hope that means it’ll be a productive one for writing!

Published in: on May 25, 2017 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 25, 2017: Fixing and Creating  
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Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

I am still sick. I’m not falling over all the time, but things are still not great in the old GI track. I’m pretty miserable. I need to eat, in order to heal and keep up my strength, but it’s awful when I do. Plus, now I have “the headache” that comes along with stomach issues, and is usually worse than the stomach issues in some ways, but I can’t take anything for it, because anything I take upsets my stomach even more. I had an absolutely miserable night last night, which means I’m not in great shape for today.

Yesterday, I finished both episodes due this week, and sent off the one due yesterday. I finalized a media kit I’ve been working on for a client for awhile, which has had its challenges, and I’ve gone as far as I can go with it, so we need to call it a day on that.

I went to Centerville Library to work for a couple of hours — since Comcast fucked me. Got everything done, and completely ran out of steam.

Soup for lunch, and in the afternoon, went over to the dark side and got a smart phone for myself and a cell phone for my mother. I HATE PHONES. I am not living at someone else’s convenience, and my writing CANNOT be interrupted by the phone. If the phone rings while I’m writing, it’s not an annoying interruption — I’ve lost the work. Period. It’s gone. I don’t get it back. The work is gone and my day is shot. From a single phone call. Therefore, it will still remain off most of the time, and is ONLY for family, friends, and emergencies.

Anyone who has legitimate business with me knows that I do not do business over the phone. If you want to do business with me, you email me or you send me something in writing via post. Anyone who calls for “business” therefore does not have legitimate business with me and can go fuck themselves. The few times I do agree to a SCHEDULED phone conversation (I do not accept unscheduled calls), I charge in fifteen minute increments, like a lawyer. 99.7% of all so-called “client” phone calls are a complete and utter waste of my time, and only consist of the client liking the sound of his own voice. Therefore, he can pay me for it.

I resent that I have been forced into this. Once I’m a few months in, I will see if this plan works, or if I need to change to something else. My mom’s phone is very much like her last phone, but with a different company than the previous ones. She feels more secure with a cell phone, and that’s important.

On the positive side, I watched one of the best movies I’ve seen in years last night. It’s called LIBERAL ARTS, by writer/director/star Josh Radnor. The acting and the writing were superb. It was funny, it was smart, it was surprising. There were times when it could have fallen into cliché and did not. I just loved it. One of the best things I’ve seen in years.

I’m going to attempt to go to work this morning, and see how far I get. I’ll stop at CVS to get some medication first. If this doesn’t clear up in the next day or so, I may have to call the doctor. And you know how much I hate going to the doctor.

One step at a time. That’s the best I can do. One step at a time.

Devon

Published in: on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side  
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Tues. May 13, 2014: Edits and New Episodes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Day before Full Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Busy day. The renter inspection (which the town does every year to make sure the landlords aren’t slumlords and the tenants aren’t letting too many friends and relatives live in unsafe conditions and all the smoke detectors/CO detectors are working) was supposed to happen yesterday, and the inspector never showed up and it was a frustrating morning. We got it sorted, and now he’s supposed to be here today. Once he actually shows up, it’s usually straightforward — we have a great landlord, and we’re doing what we should be). But it interrupts the day.

I still managed to get some work done on the Big Script Project and turn around my next round of edits on TRACKING MEDUSA, which was fun, although Track Changes was giving me fits, and it took longer than it should have. Also, I got about a third of the Series Bible done. I need that fully in place before I can go back to BALTHAZAAR. And then I have to finish the media kit and update a web page for this series and load in all the fun additions I have that go with the book.

Also managed to bake and frost a cake for the meeting.

Headed to NMLC for Mermaid Ball meeting, and then went over to a friend’s to chat and catch up. It was 11 PM by the time I got back, but driving under a full moon is always easier.

Up early this morning, out with Tessa for the first cup of coffee and meditation on the deck.

Today will be all about the Big Script Project, and finishing up some correspondence that needs to be dealt with. I also have to run out and get a copy of today’s CAPE COD TIMES — there’s supposed to be an article on Belmont, our baby seal in rehab!

Off we go.

Devon

Published in: on May 13, 2014 at 6:41 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 13, 2014: Edits and New Episodes  
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Wed. Jan. 29, 2014: Snowing and Writing

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Day Before Dark Moon
Snowy and cold

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to see what’s new in the garden.

Snowing! We’re really getting hammered here on the Cape this year.

Yesterday was a good day, albeit a busy one. Out the door by 8 AM, over to the Marine LIfe Center. I followed on rounds, taking all kinds of notes — you never know what weird little detail is going to be just the thing in the play. Figured out the murder weapon, too — an interesting instrument.

Spent the rest of the day working from the office, researching and putting together the information I need for the organization’s media kit. I have a very rough draft put together. I need to get scans of some articles to pop in, and then I can send it off for comments.

Caught up on email, pitched for a few jobs, played with the plot for the play.

Home by dinner time, a little tired, but happy with a good day’s work. Finished a book I was reading, did some research.

I’m reading Sharon Olds’s poems, THE UNSWEPT ROOM. I’ve always loved her work — the intensity of image, the succinct language.

To the page.

Devon

Published in: on January 29, 2014 at 7:38 am  Comments (2)  
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Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Finally! A bit of sun. I can’t believe it. Much-desired.

I’m teaching a free workshop on blogging during International Promo Day tomorrow at 4 PM EST.

My article “Eye Inspires Hand” is in the current issue of Coffee Break for Writers. Check it out if you get a chance.

Decently productive day yesterday. Worked on articles, worked on proofs, worked on a couple of media kits and press releases, got my errands done, had a big Stapes run and used my Rewards check, even got some reading in. Answered some intervie questions for a Twitter colleague who’s doing an article for WRITERS DIGEST. Decent writing session this morning, so far.

As usual, have a ton of stuff to do today. I want to get the articles finished and scheduled to post while I’m gone. I need to get a couple of press releases out today.

I need to keep working on the proofs, and I need to work on both FEMME FATALE and BLOOD SOUP today.

Lyncee, I’ll check the LASR loop today and answer your question.

So, I better get to it.

Devon