Mon. June 12, 2017: Rev Up for a Creative Week

Monday, June 12, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warm

It took me awhile on Friday, to recover from the disappointment of the meeting. I spent the weekend composing my letter withdrawing from consideration. The more I worked on it, the angrier I got. I haven’t worked my way into a strong union, as a labor negotiator, and an advocate for fair pay for work to be told I wouldn’t be paid for hours worked, but only on the whim of the people with whom I dealt. That’s not a job; it’s a scam. I don’t care how they try to wrap it in legitimacy. It was my understanding, as of last December, it was also illegal.

On the upside, the finished, polished article I submitted, was accepted and paid within two hours.

I read a thriller which was, unfortunately, not thrilling. I was 20 chapters ahead of the protagonists by Chapter three.

Saturday was a combination of house-keeping: changing the beds, mowing the meadow, doing laundry, et al — and writing.

I wrote 20 more script pages, and a short story which will go out either today or tomorrow, depending on how much polishing it needs. I also did some outlining on a new script idea — I have a great group of characters, but I haven’t settled on a solid plot/story for them yet.

Tapwrit won the Belmont Stakes, with Irish War Cry second. They were a boxed exacta for me, so good for me. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to bet on the race. I didn’t realize until I moved here how important OTB was to my life — and my income.

Sunday, I gave myself off from writing. I worked on the next book I have to review, and I read some research books that will cover several projects.

I also obtained an exercise bicycle, off of Craigslist. It’s wonderful, and MCA Sport, with a timer and everything. It’s my mom’s favorite form of exercise, but we’re both going to do a session every morning and every night. I’ve lost some weight the last few weeks, but I’m still out of shape, even with a daily yoga practice. I hope adding in the cycling will help.

It was nice enough to eat lunch on the deck all weekend, and also take some of my work out there and work outside, in the nice weather.

Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the Stanley Cup! Second year in a row. Good for them!

And the Tony Awards were last night. Always a great night for the theatre. The producers and the network regard is as one big commercial to draw in ticket sales, but to the rest of us in the business, it’s far more than that.

Upped my meditation practice, too, adding in a night meditation session. I can already feel the difference, after just a few days. So, I will continue.

This morning, I’m drafting some pitches to go out later in the day, paying some bills, working on a couple more articles. I already mowed the lawn.

I hope I can get the “have-tos” done in a reasonable amount of time and switch back to the more creative “want-tos.”

Hope your week’s off to a great start!

Published in: on June 12, 2017 at 10:12 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 12, 2017: Rev Up for a Creative Week  
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Jan. 2, 2014: Hit the Ground Writing!

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cold, snowstorm, preparing for blizzard

Yup, we’re supposed to have a blizzard over the next 30 hours. Batten down the hatches!

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions blog to see the To-Do List for January. Quite a bit on my plate, but I’m optimistic.

It was nice to sign off early on New Year’s Eve and do a mini yoga/meditation retreat. I also got to read Val McDermid’s book CROSS AND BURN — excellent.

Salmon pasta with broccoli for dinner, and then a quiet New Year’s Eve, welcoming in 2014. I’m ready for a fresh start!

Up early on the Day, yoga, meditation, and some other rituals that make the start of the new year fun.

Polished and uploaded the first two weeks’ worth of assignments for the Editing Intensive, which starts on Monday, watched the Tournament of Roses Parade, started the JK Rowling book under her pseudonym, THE CUCKOO’S CALLING. It’s quite good. I didn’t like CASUAL VACANCY, her other adult novel. It was well-written, but I didn’t like or respect any of the characters. This book is both well-written, and there are characters to whom I can connect. Makes all the difference.

Started reading George Eliot’s ADAM BEDE. I’m reading the Estes and Lautier edition, published in 1887 (that is not a typo, that’s the edition). I’m turning pages very carefully and feel almost as though I should wear white gloves when I read.

Also did a nice chunk of work on TRUE HOME, about ten pages’ worth, finishing chapter five (from Ella’s POV) and starting chapter six (from Garrett’s).

I have some interesting offers in my inbox. I have to mull over the pros and cons and check some dates. I’ll have to say no to several of them, but I want to make sure I pick the opportunities that are most in alignment with what I want long-term and truest to myself.

Lots to do today, before the storm hits, so I better hop to it!

Happy New Year, all!

Devon

Tues. Dec. 31, 2013: Happy New Year’s Eve!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

Last day of 2013. It’s been challenging, to say the least, and I’m eager for 2014. But there were also a lot of blessings, as far as being surrounded by wonderful people, getting to do some good work, and learning new things.

I worked flat out yesterday, especially on admin and with students. Today, I’ve changed the beds, done laundry, will run the dishwasher, vaccuum, mop the floors, dust, and smudge the house. I plan to do a mini yoga/meditation retreat for most of today and tomorrow. There will be some posts up at various blogs of mine to celebrate the New Year tomorrow, and I will be back with you on Thursday.

Harvested the last of the peppers this morning — pretty good haul!

Have a safe Eve and a wonderful start to 2014! I cherish each and every one of you.

Devon

Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 8:54 am  Comments (3)  
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Mon. April 29, 2013: Terrific Weekend and Hitting the Ground Running

IMG_1015

Monday, April 29, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

QUITE the weekend!

Friday was about the final prep for the conference, including re-assembling the inspiration board for TRACKING MEDUSA.

I attended the Arbor Day ceremony, which was a tree planting in memory of one friend’s mother/another friend’s grandmother. It was great fun, and the photos, etc. will be up on the Beautification Blog either today or tomorrow.

Worked on Chapter 14 of the book, worked with students, put everything together for Saturday. Wrote a review, worked on finishing up stuff for the judging.

Did not sleep well Friday night, and had to get up at 5 AM Saturday. Yoga, meditation, walking the property, breakfast, and then it was into the car and up to Burlington, MA for the NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference.

It was a lot of fun. I went to a presentation on making historical characters come alive, I sat outside (It was a gorgeous day) and re-arranged my presentation. We had a good group, and I had stuff to hand out, which is always great — tipsheets and the like. It was a fun, lively presentation — and, of course, they had to write! But people kept coming up to me the rest of the day to tell me how much they enjoyed it.

Corinna Lawson, with whom I’m Twitter pals, and who I met at the Write Angles Conference was there, and we headed off to lunch together. The lunch was a lot of fun, lively conversation at the tables, and Caroline Linden as the speaker.

After lunch, I attended Donna Alwood’s presentation on staying sane in the fluctuations of the business, which got me thinking about a lot of things, and Ella Drake’s presentation on formatting. I went to the signing (I hadn’t signed up to sign), and by then, I was worn out, so I headed back.

Managed to get back while it was still light and relax with a glass of wine on the deck. Love the longer daylight hours!

I certainly slept well Saturday night.

Sunday, I was up early, morning routine, newspapers, off to the garden stores. We got some pansies and marigolds and things for the front urn, and black gloss rustoleum paint for the plant stand I bought a few years ago that needed a touch-up. Managed to get the plants in and the rack painted before jumping in the shower and leaving for yoga.

The Unitarian Church in Barnstable hosted a community yoga day. I went for the first session, Hatha Yoga, which was fun. The teacher’s style was very different than the teachers I usually study with, but I enjoyed it.

The plan was to then go to Nirvana, get some work done, and go back for meditation. Unfortunately, it was lively and noisy at Nirvana, and I couldn’t concentrate, so I went home and sat on the deck working instead.

Made it back for meditation, which was great — using singing bowls and something called “an ocean drum”.

Came home, cooked a great dinner, and relaxed in the evening.

It was a really good weekend.

However, I didn’t do a lot of the traditional work I need to do, so today, I have to hit the ground running, especially on the book, working with editing clients, getting some admin done, and winding up stuff for the contest and Arbor Day.

So I better get going!

There’s still time to sign up for the Manuscript Preparation Tips by emailing manuscript prep – at – fearless ink- dot – com. You get a free tip emailed every weekday from May 1-24, and a 10% discount on up to 30 pages of manuscript critiqued, AND signed up for the newsletter. Don’t miss out!

Devon

Tues. April 24: Stormy Weather and Chasing Checks

Tuesday, April 25, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and drop a comment to cheer my pal Karina Fabian’s new release, LIVE AND LET FLY. We met at Muse Conference my first year since, and have supported each other’s work ever since! Her writing’s energetic and fun and she knows how to tell a darned good story!

Worked hard yesterday, but it was one of those days where it felt like nothing got done. Lots of business/admin/proposals/pitches/marketing. I pitched for a few jobs — I’m pretty sure one of them thought it would cost $75 for the job that I calculated at $1200. But there was no pay range, and I was told to state my rate, so I did. Even at that rate, I’m undercutting some other people who do the same thing. But I doubt I’ll get it. And that’s okay. I’m worth the $1200. Speaking of being worth the money, I’m chasing down a major check and not having much luck. Different client this time. I’m being ignored. Sounds like we’ll have a parting of the ways coming up.

I’m revamping the Fearless Ink website. The workshop page is done here, and I like the result. Now, I’ve got to get the other pages up to speed. I’m not using it to its full capacity.

Janelle, the Organizational Goddess of Fearless Ink Workshops put up a Facebook Page for the site, but I’m not sure how it all works yet. There will be a writing tip several days per week, and notices about upcoming workshops. I think this is the URL, but I’m not sure. I’m not good at Facebook.

Worked on the author page for Annabel Aidan over at Amazon. It should be up in a few days. Worked on the Devon Ellington page, too, but made a huge mistake when I was trying to add the anthologies in which I’m included, which makes me look like I’m claiming authorship in a way I’m not. I contacted their tech team and explained how I screwed up, that I didn’t mean it to come across the way it did, apologize, and ask them how to fix it.

Got a nice chunk done in the writing sprint with my students yesterday — two solid scenes, and the start on the third.

Caught up on student work. There’s some great writing in the class, some of them have taken to the class like a duck to water, and re-envisioning each genre in truly witty and unique ways.

Finished WANTING SHEILA DEAD. It’s the first of this author’s books that kind of disappointed me. A lot of the major action happened off the page, and we HEARD explanations of it after the fact, a style choice that drove me nuts. There was so much good stuff in the book that, for the climactic scene to just stop where it did and then there be pages of explanation, without us seeing the moments after the Big Reveals and the actual confrontations with the perpetrators of both crimes, that I felt cheated.

Today, I went to meditation (we had a good talk after about applying the moment-to-moment of both action and awareness in the current political climate), and now I’ve got a ton of errands. Then, I have to try to track down that damn check. I’ve got a lot of work to get through at the desk after errands, and a meeting about a theatre project this afternoon.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t forget the one-day online seminar, Amazing Antagonists, on Saturday, May 12. More information and registration here.

Tues. April 10, 2012: Good News to Share!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, worked flat out all day. Worked with my students on the revision process, got out a requested partial, got out a couple of short stories, worked on some marketing and proposal stuff. Someone who wanted a manuscript by June 1 now wants to take a look at the opening chapters earlier, so I need to figure out how to fit that in. Got some good work done on HEART BINDER in the sprint with students. Did my work in the Steampunk class and started One Story, Many Voices.

Went to use the library’s computer to put in a “tweet this” button on my website for the workshops, but the website won’t hold the code. Typical. Next week, I need to meet with the Mac people and set up time to learn how to pull the materials the web host is holding hostage, so I can get the website move DONE. I should probably wait until some of the Fast & Funs are done, but I think my current host is interfering so much with my ability to earn a living that I should risk the move sooner rather than later.

The great news is that OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus book, was accepted by Solstice. I’ll send back the contract today, and off we go. I need to have the third book, CRAVE THE HUNT, done and out to them early in June.

Family’s coming down in May, and I had to get my Fast & Fun dates sorted for May and June. Looks like those are going to work out, so the pages and registration information will go up soon.

Overslept this morning, but still managed to get to meditation on time. We had a good session and an interesting discussion. Stopped at Nirvana on the way back for coffee and chocolate croissants. A couple very impressed with their own importance was in the place, talking to make sure they were overheard. Nothing they had to say was worth hearing. Geez, the only way I could use characters inspired by them is in a dark comedy, where a boulder falls on them or something after a snippet of their vapid exchange.

I’ve got a busy day stretching in front of me, and a migraine with which to contend. I better get to it — got to take back a stack of books to the Sandwich Library and see what else they’ve got waiting for me! And I’ve got an article to finish up. Plus all the writing.

Fingers crossed that submitted material just keeps hitting the target!

Devon

Don’t forget — Dialogue Dilemmas & Solutions, a one-day online seminar to help you create unique and sparkling dialogue. This is the only time I’ll be teaching a dialogue workshop online this year. Information and sign-up here.

Tues. March 20, 2012:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Spring Equinox
Cloudy and pleasant

Yesterday was just a gorgeous day! Did a lot of work in the morning, with students, on HEART BINDER, and on the HEX BREAKER edits. I have one more scene on the latter that needs tweaking, and then, off it goes. The editor is pleased with the last round (phew, I was worried). I have to work on the updated front matter, so I can send that off, too.

Worked a bit on the new project, but didn’t get it uploaded. Still have to finish writing up Confidential Job #1, which has to go off today. Worked on a couple of proposals that will go out this week, and started an article that I have to get off today, which will go live on Thursday. Packed (since I leave tomorrow for the site job) — have to finish packing the writing bag. Percolated on the new Jain Lazarus story that has to be finished by next week, so it can be copyedited, designed, and ready to go along with the book release. The previous stories will also get snazzy new covers.

Ran some errands in the late morning. It was a gorgeous day, so, later in the afternoon, Imp and I packed up some work and went to Ashumet Holly Sanctuary. Well, first we went to Craigville Beach, which was gorgeous, but the breeze was too brisk to really get much done. So we tucked ourselves into the pitch pine grove at Ashumet for a couple of hours.

We met a friend for drinks and appetizers at Siena, then came home and relaxed. I got some other work done.

Today, I’m headed off to meditation, then it’s flat out work (since I’ll be on the road for most of tomorrow, and, while I’m able to juggle, I also have to do the job for which I’m paid to be on site).

The weather was absolutely wonderful yesterday — warm, breezy, truly felt like spring. I hope this doesn’t herald a hideously hot summer. My neighbor fertilized his lawn yesterday, but it seems just a tad too early for me. Because once I fertilize, it means I gotta mow! 😉

Off to meditation. I did the early morning Spring Equinox ritual; will plant some seeds later today in starter pots. May pumpkins flowering on the vine be a sign of wonderful things to come in this cycle!

Devon

Wed. March 14, 2012: Company in town!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Still not paid by the errant client. Part of me wants to be petty enough to refuse to work on the current project until paid for the previous one; however, in the long run, it would hurt me more. Therefore, I grit my teeth and continue — but I’m cutting the hours way back and putting other things into motion. Somehow, I will get through this mess — but I will not be put in this position again. When I logged on this morning, I found an email stating they’d changed the payment model last year, everyone had been notified, etc., etc. Um, no, I had NOT been notified, or there would have been discussion. I was told an exception would be made, and payment put through last night (it’s not there). At least I know how the payments have changed — I can adjust my budget to it now, but I still need to cut back my hours and projects for this client moving on. This new business model may work for them; it does not work for me.

Did my background for some proposals yesterday; will mail them out today. Helped a friend with a couple of press releases. Meditation group was great.

Drove to Providence. Managed to find the bus stop this time and got Costume Imp, although I took a wrong turn getting back on the highway. He got there early — good trip from NY. I got there late — typical Mercury Retrograde! But we found each other, and had a good trip back. It was sunny and gorgeous in Providence; foggy and much cooler here on the Cape.

Came home, had dinner, got Imp settled. He’s glad to be back. The cats are getting bolder around him, which is pretty funny. We caught up on the first few episodes of season one of TORCHWOOD (one of my favorite shows, with which he’s not familiar), and David Tennant’s final episodes of DOCTOR WHO. I know I needed the break!

Up early this morning to get some work done and go to yoga. The rest of the day, we’ll play by ear (but I have student work to deal with). Tomorrow — it’s the Boston Horticulture Show! Looking forward to it.

Need to settle back in to the writing. The rhythm’s gotten erratic.

Devon

Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 5:57 am  Comments (4)  
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Wed. March 7, 2012: Tessa is Fascinated

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Day before Full Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

The garage door is being wonky — can’t close it from the outside with the opener. I can OPEN it, but to close it, I have to do so from inside, then go out the front door. Kind of a pain. Yet ANOTHER repair. And Mercury doesn’t even go retrograde until next week!

Made it to meditation, and glad I went. It was a really good session. I felt I had a better perspective afterwards.

Home, breakfast, some work, then off to Sandwich Library. I was supposed to just make returns, but, of course, I got a stack of books out, including SISTER by Rosamund Lipton. One of my students in a reviewing class suggested it a few months back, and this is the first time I’ve found it. I started it last night — excellent. I’m pretty sure I know who the murderer is, due to the use of language in certain places, but I might be surprised. Just finished FLIRTING WITH PETE by Barbara Delinsky. Her novel last year, ESCAPE, was one of my favorite books of 2011. This was published in 2003, and is very different. Another book I thoroughly enjoyed.

Grocery shopping, laundry, students, a typical day. My mom’s surgery is tomorrow, so I doubt I’ll be online much. I’m going to yoga today instead of my usual Thursday morning class. I’ve got to work on a new Jain Lazarus short story, and a new story with Morag, from ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.

Tessa sits n the window, staring across the street at the enormous black Maine coon cat, who’s sunning herself outside. Tessa’s just fascinated by her.

Costume Imp is coming up next week, and he’ll come along to the Boston Horticulture Show with us. That will be fun!

Devon

Wed. Feb. 29, 2012: Leap Days and Crossroads


Altogether, now, “Awwwww.” (That’s Violet & Tessa)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny, getting cloudy, prediction of snow
Leap Year Day

Happy Leap Year Day!

I’ve been up to some planting (indoors, don’t worry). Check it out on Gratitude and Growth. I posted a photo of the jasmine plant especially for Brandy!

Yesterday was one of those days when everything took longer than expected, except for meditation, which zipped right by. Bought some pots and soil, paid some bills, figured out some stuff. Realized I was out of ink, so just when I thought I was all settled, I had to go out again. And, on the way back, treated myself at the bakery out by the airport, this time to a hazelnut tart.

Confidential Job #1 has changed its format slightly; fortunately, it’s in a way that works better for me. Did more work than I expected for last night’s meeting, but it was all good. I’ve also been drafted to draft a letter to one of the Town Boards on behalf of the organization (plus, I’m writing my own opinion, which is in line with the organization’s view, but takes it further).

Caught up on student work. My eyes are really bothering me, so I have to be a little careful. Even the drops aren’t helping much.

I’ve got some writing of my own to concentrate on today, and some work to do in preparation for tomorrow night’s meeting with a pro bono client.

I pulled a card from The Well-Worn Path Deck this morning — The Crossroads. Yup, that’s exactly where I am right now, at a crossroads, rearranging aspects of my life so that I can move forward in my vision for my writing life, and have it sustainably supported in a way that doesn’t leave me depleted and resentful.

Devon

Published in: on February 29, 2012 at 9:15 am  Comments (3)  
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Feb. 22, 2012: Stockpiling the feast against the famine

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and wet

It rained last night, so everything glistens in the sun.

Meditation was good yesterday, but taking that time in the morning meant adding hours in to the back of the day, so I was working until 10 PM. That’s just the way this week will be — I have to finish the HEX BREAKER edits, keep up with my other writing, and teach three classes. I will enjoy the feast and stockpile against famine.

Speaking of teaching, the local writers’ center asked me to teach a day-long workshop in May for teens. I think that will be really fun, and I look forward to putting together something dynamic that gets their creative juices flowing far beyond the single day. From what I understand, these are bright, highly-motivated teens anyway, so they’re eager to jump in and DO. I’m pretty excited, and very honored that they asked.

I’ve got to finish tweaking another short story today and get it up for class — I went off on a tangent that did not work AT ALL — I discovered a lot about the characters, but now, I need to put something relevant on the page!

Also had some good pondering on HEART BINDER. So, even though I feel mired in so many “have-tos” this week, it’s still being a creative week.

I’m off to take my mom to a medical appointment now, and then, it’s back to the page.

Devon

HEX BREAKER: A Jain Lazarus Adventure
Coming soon from Solstice Publishing
http://hexbreaker.devonellingtonwork.com

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT
Still available in print and digital editions from Champagne Books

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 8:10 am  Comments (5)  
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Tues. Feb. 21, 2012: HEX BREAKER cover

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
New Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

And here it is. The new cover for HEX BREAKER’S re-release. The artist is the amazing PJ Friel, who is one of my writing students (she’s an awesome writer as well as an awesome artist). I LOVE this cover, and the publisher approved it, so we’re good to go.

Now, I just have to get those revisions done this week!

I’ve also updated the Jain Lazarus site, and there’s some cool new information over there — about tie-in short stories, the new re-release, etc. As soon as I have a firm release date, I’ll be pestering people for interviews and blog tours!

I thought I’d be able to schedule something to post yesterday, but no luck. I spent the last five days working in CT. I like the gig, but it was hard to be away from home. I really do work better at home.

I didn’t get enough done on the HEX BREAKER edits. I got some good work done on HEART-BINDER, and I also got some great work done on the long short story and the shorter story. I sketched out a few ideas. And then, I went back and took another look at POWER OF WORDS, which, of course, really wants some attention because of everything else that is on deadline! There is potential here, although I think, because of the detail and the scope of the piece, it needs to go the indie route. Only an editor who’d actually worked on set would be able to effectively edit the piece, and that’s going to be next to impossible to find. If I go indie, I’ll get to interview the editors myself. Also, I think it’s kind of unfair to dump this muddle on a publisher. I need to get it streamlined and sorted and figure out a good presentation that will catch and hold the readers while still keeping the vision and integrity of the daily detail of the piece, WHILE juggling as many arcs and characters as the series does. But the piece just won’t let me rest, so, in a few weeks when I’ve got a few things cleared off my desk, I will give it a few hours’ worth of attention a week, without letting it take over, the way it usually does.

Got some good research done for another project, some of which feeds into the harpy trilogy, which was a happy surprise. Oh, and I even did the work for which I was brought down to CT!

I got the next assignment for Confidential Job #1, but haven’t had the chance to start it yet. HEX BREAKER edits are front and center all week.

I’m juggling three classes this week and the private students, which is a bit much, but, somehow, it will all get done.

This morning, I’m off to meditation, and then I have to take my mom to medical appointments. After that, the primary focus is on the HEX BREAKER edits, although the classes need some attention, too.

HOLIDAY HOCUS-POCUS has a good group in there, and looks like it will be fun. It’s more informational and brainstorming than “you have to write a 1500 word story by Friday”, but I’m still doing what I always do, which is tweak the lectures as I put them up, to make sure I have a lot of information that’s both broad and specific.

I’m going to try to knock out some words on HEART BINDER before I have to leave for meditation, and then, off we go, racing through the day.

I can’t believe how much Tessa grew in just a few days!

Devon

Wednesday, February 15, 2012: Better Than Fiction


Sometimes the world looks better upside down

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction days. It was pretty funny.

First of all, I went to sit with a new-to-me meditation group. They are absolutely lovely, and I hope I can make the Tuesday morning sit regularly. We were talking about all kinds of things, like deadlines and commitment and stuff. I mentioned that I tell my students there are two choices: Write. Don’t write. If you CHOOSE not to write, that’s what it is — a choice. Don’t make excuses about life or family or whatever. You’ve chosen not to write. You live with the consequences, and don’t expect everyone else to accommodate you and change THEIR choices because you CHOSE not to write. The old Devon class mantra: No excuses; no whining. They pointed out it’s very much in line with the teaching: Do or don’t do. I hadn’t thought about it in that context, but at least I know I’m working along principles that are not counter to the internal work I’m doing!

I admit to not being “of empty mind” while we sat. It was great — 20 minutes sitting, 10 minutes walking, 20 minutes sitting. But we were in a church on a hillside, and as we sat, I got a great opening line for a story with a character I’m currently working with in the story that’s been obsessing me lately (the long short story). I admit — I explored it for awhile and memorized it before I let the “thinking” part float away.

Then a van pulled up. A prison van with guys on work release. So they’re working all around us, and they don’t really know we’re meditating (although us seated on cushions and the silence might have been a clue). It was pretty funny. I added it into the story idea and then shamelessly eavesdropped on them.

Hey, there was enlightenment, I learned a lot, just not in the traditional way!

After the session, we leave, and the work release guys said hello. So we say hello back. I smiled and looked each one who spoke to me in the eye and returned the greeting. You would have thought I gave them some sort of gift. They just lit up. They were being perfectly pleasant — why should I be the same in return?

On top of that, as I drove through the cemetery behind the church to get back to the main road, I discovered this is THE cemetery the family in Maine (coming to visit in a few months) dubbed as the most important visit for them to the Cape — it’s filled with ancestors! I’d been looking for it, but hadn’t yet found it, and there it was! I’m going to have to go back in nicer weather and really walk it. No wonder it was “talking to me” and giving me ideas for stories!

I stopped at Nirvana, on the way back — one of the few coffee places around here where one can go and hang out while having a cup of coffee. And ran into people I knew!

The session left me feeling with a lot of optimism for the day. I drove to the Sandwich Library to drop off books, and wound up picking up more than I planned (that’s what happens when you go to a really, really good library). I circled around back to the hardware store and the grocery store and the wine store.

Came home and worked — got some work done with the students, but there were site issues and I kept getting kicked off with “fatal error” — as were some of the other students (always helpful to know it’s not just me). Worked on the edits for HEX BREAKER. Spun some ideas. Had a breakthrough on the obstacle for HEART-BINDER, which means I have to go back and add stuff into HEART-SNATCHER, so I made some notes and wrote a few snippets that I’ll type and add in as excerpts, so they’re ready when I hit revisions.

Took some time off the read Heather Webber’s first Lucy Valentine book, TRULY, MADLY. Loved it. It’s such fun, it’s well-written, the characters and settings are wonderful, it’s a good mystery. Yeah, I figured out the twist, but I usually do, and it didn’t bother me, because the way Lucy discovered it made perfect sense and didn’t make me feel like I was waiting for her to catch up. Instead, I couldn’t wait to see HOW she figured out the same thing I had. Webber has two other mystery series (and uses multiple names), so I’ve got a lot to look forward to.

I have a boatload of stuff to get done today, and I won’t make it to Writers’ Night Out. 😦
But, it needs to get done — I have a very long day tomorrow, and I need to clear a lot off the desk before then. That includes knocking out and polishing a couple of articles.

Back to the page.

Devon