Mon. May 28, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Pleasurable Indulgences

Monday, May 28, 2018
Day Before Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Memorial Day

It’s fitting that today’s post for #UpbeatAuthors should be about pleasurable indulgences.

In the past two weeks, I met four major deadlines. My pleasurable indulgence is doing exactly what I want this weekend! 😉

What gives me pleasure and makes me feel indulgent?

Writing always gives me pleasure. I prefer the writing to the “having written.” Of course I have difficult days, but they make the good ones even better. But an indulgence is to work on an undeadlined project. I’ll be doing that on two projects this weekend, a novel and a play.

Reading gives me pleasure. I read widely, both for research and for pleasure. I have a stack of books in my TBR pile, including Amanda Quick’s newest, and one from Marshall Ryan Maresca.

Gardening — there’s a case where the “having gardened” gives me more pleasure than the actual gardening. I especially hate to mow. But I will garden and then indulge in the pleasure of a beautiful space.

Cooking — I love to cook.

Yoga and meditation — although those are not indulgences for me, but necessities.

Unstructured time is my favorite indulgence. I need it in order to create. I seek some of it every day.

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

 

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Published in: on May 28, 2018 at 5:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. April 2, 2018: Relaxation #UpbeatAuthors

Mon. April 2, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde

Relaxation is important for us to keep healthy, both mentally and physically, especially during retrogrades. Mercury Retrograde is always a mess, with communication, travel, and electronics going wonky, Jupiter is a heavy planet, and planet of expansion, so when it goes retrograde, everything is harder. Plus, we have a Pluto retrograde coming up.

I find the most important part of relaxation is disconnecting. Turn the damn phone off. This idea that we have to be reachable 24/7 is ridiculous. There is always a way you can be reached in an emergency, even if your phone is off. Cell phones are a fairly recent invention.

I try to have one day a week that’s a “day of disconnect.” No internet, no phone, no social media. I loathe the phone anyway. I find it an intrusive device that destroys my creativity. In the days pre-cell phone, I had an answering machine and screened my calls. There were plenty of time, during my writing times, when I unplugged the phone.

When I am writing, as far as I’m concerned, the only acceptable excuse for interruption is a major emergency such as death or hospitalized illness. Anything other than that, wait until I’m done.

Where I live now, on Cape Cod, is a beautiful place. But, in summer, when so many other people come here to enjoy the beauty, it’s stressful. I’m lucky to have a big backyard (currently in need to post-storm cleanup) and a covered deck with beautiful skylights. Every spring, we build an enchanted garden on the deck, full of our container plants, and we have lilacs and beds of beautiful plants throughout. We eat as many meals as possible out there, and I do a great deal of writing.

If I’m working in my home office, I stop and have a glass of wine before dinner, out on the deck. Or a cocktail, in summer (we’ve reinstated cocktail hour here). I do the same when I get home from working on-site with a client. I even did it last week, after an afternoon of yard work! I poured myself a glass of wine and sat on the steps (since the furniture isn’t out yet; it’s still too cold).

For me, a glass of wine in my garden is one of the most relaxing and restorative things I can do.

I have a daily yoga and meditation practice, and that’s the other way I relax. Savasana is important. When you practice yoga, don’t skip Savasana!

In my yoga/cruise ship mystery, SAVASANA AT SEA, Sophie, my protagonist, doesn’t let her students leave class early to skip the pose! It’s a wonderful way to release and restore.

Relaxation allows you to appreciate the good things in your life, and paves the way for happiness.

So take some time for yourself, and relax!

Published in: on April 2, 2018 at 5:02 am  Comments Off on Mon. April 2, 2018: Relaxation #UpbeatAuthors  
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Mon. Feb. 19, 2018: “Be Kind To Your Mind” #UpbeatAuthors

The topic today is “Be Kind to Your Mind.”

I find that works in multiple parts.

Meditation
The first part has to do with making the time for meditation. Quiet time, to “just sit” and let the detritus of the day drop away is vital to mental health. When I find myself unable to concentrate, it’s usually because I haven’t taken the time to meditate.

I meditate every morning, after my yoga session. I started adding an additional meditation at night, right before bed. It’s helped my sleep patterns. Nights I don’t meditate, I tend to wake up around 1 or 3, my head filled with worries about the past day or the coming day, have trouble falling asleep again, and then struggle the next day. Nights when I stick to my meditation schedule, I can usually sleep through until about 5:30. I usually get up around 5:30 or 6 anyway.

Mindfulness
Studies prove “multi-tasking” is both a myth and detrimental. I’d rather do one thing well than five things half-assed. This is especially true when I write. I need quiet; if I have music on, it’s music without lyrics. I NEVER have TV or a DVD on when I write or edit. I can always tell when a student does that; I can usually even tell which program was on, or what was listened to. It infects the text.

Be kind to your mind by doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. You will do it well, you will complete it more quickly, and you might even enjoy it.

Instead of Negative Self-Talk, Positive Action
The other part of being kind to your mind is to stop the negative self-talk. Stop beating yourself up for a thoughtless comment or a mistake. When you make a thoughtless comment or a mistake, apologize and move on. Make sure it’s a genuine apology, without qualifiers. “I’m sorry IF I upset you” is NOT an apology. It’s not taking responsibility. “I’m sorry I upset you” is an apology. No excuses. An attempt to make it right.

“I’m sorry I made a mistake. I will be more careful moving forward.” In most work situations, that suffices. You and your supervisor or co-worker can build on that.

Also, stop qualifying when you say “no.” If someone asks you to do something and you say “no,” you don’t have to explain why, or flounder to come up with an explanation you think will be acceptable to the person you refused. You said “no.” That’s enough. If pushed, just remind that person, “I don’t have to explain. I said no.”

When someone criticizes you or blindsides you, yes, it hurts. It’s upsetting. Admit your feelings, to yourself if not to anyone else. Don’t repress them. “Yes, this person hurt me.” “Yes, I am angry.” Your feelings are your feelings.

Then, break down the feelings. Was the criticism justified? Is it something you want/need to address? Who is this person in your life? Someone important? Someone you need to remain cordial with? Someone who really doesn’t matter (such as an online troll)? Figure out the person’s place in your universe. If necessary, ex-communicate them from it. There’s nothing wrong with ending associations with toxic people.

If it’s justified criticism, and it’s something you need to address, admit your anger and upset, and then figure out why the criticism is justified and what you want to do about it. Do you need to think before you speak? Do you need to adjust your attitude in a certain situation? Are you behaving in a toxic way to others and it’s time to change? Figure it out and then take action.

Once you’ve made a decision and acted on it, you can stop replaying the incident over and over in your mind. Forgive yourself. Forgive the other. Move on and work on living a better life.

New Experiences/Artist Dates
Another way to be kind to your mind is to experience new things. Don’t just go to work and go home and turn on the TV. Read a book by a new-to-you author. Check a DVD out of the library of a type of movie you hardly ever watch. Pull up your local events calendar. Libraries often have programs free to the public. Art galleries have receptions for new shows, free to the public. At least once a week, go out and do something out of your ordinary schedule. As awful as the news is right now, find a trustworthy news source (not just one that reinforces what you already think, but one that shows multiple, well-sourced facets of a situation) and keep up. Let yourself do something fun and silly that you don’t usually do. Take a class. Play miniature golf. Go on a garden tour. Visit the small, local museum you drive by on the way to work. Volunteer at the nature sanctuary to help them put in a butterfly garden. Work in your own garden — without your phone nearby. Just take an hour and work in the garden, focusing on each task you do as though it’s the only task in the world.

Julia Cameron calls this an “Artist Date.” Many of her techniques don’t work for me, but this one does. She suggests doing your Artist Date alone. If you’re constantly surrounded by people, that’s great. It helps you hear your own inner voice and figure out your responses. But for many writers, who spend the bulk of their time alone (or with the myriad of characters that exist in our heads), a mix of solo Artist Dates and Artist Dates with people you don’t see often works better.

Get Rid of the Phrase “Guilty Pleasures”
I do not feel guilt in my pleasures. I don’t care if other people like them or approve of them or laugh at them. As long as they don’t hurt anyone, they are MINE, and I revel in my pleasure.

Keep a Journal
One of the best ways I’m kind to my mind is to keep a journal. Yes, there’s this blog, which talks about my process and how I try to integrate writing and life, and how they influence each other. But I also keep a private, handwritten journal where I am free to say anything. I can be my best self. I can also be my worst self and then work my way back to a better self without inflicting harm on anyone else. I can work out what I really think and feel about things that upset me, and figure out the actions I can take to live a better life, a life that inflicts as little harm as possible on those around me and on the environment.

Integrate
Keeping up the meditation practice WHILE you do these other actions becomes a self-supporting loop. It’s a step toward a more holistic life.

 

Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 7:43 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 19, 2018: “Be Kind To Your Mind” #UpbeatAuthors  
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Tues. Sept. 5, 2017: Into a Fresh Cycle

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
First Day of the Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT

Mercury goes direct today. Today could still be rough, but we’re almost there! It kicked my ass — again — this time around. Although there were also some good things.

We’re gearing up for Hurricane Irma, which might or might not have a huge impact on this area. They “don’t know”. So for all those ass wipes criticizing people for not evacuating Houston — first of all, we don’t get accurate information; second, we don’t get it early enough; third, the evacuation plans around here (I’m not in Houston, I’m talking personally) don’t work. So STFU and don’t criticize.

I don’t care how much the various staffs have been downsized. With the millions of dollars in equipment, they need to give us accurate information in enough time to make informed decisions that can be practically acted upon. In other words, we need information weeks ahead, not hours. 48 hours doesn’t cut it.

And saying you can’t predict the weather — hon, you’re PAID to predict the weather. Any other job with that much error and you’d be out on your ass. So do it, already.

I remember, way back in grade school in the 1970s when they told us about technology in development to fly into the eye of a hurricane and release a chemical that would dissipate the hurricane. Whatever happened to that? Probably found out the chemical killed people.

Anyway, busy weekend. Lots and lots and lots of yoga. Seriously sore.

Finished the proofs for PLAYING THE ANGLES. Let’s hope we caught everything this time around. They go off to the publisher today.

Worked on my review assignment. The book is denser than I expected, and I can’t read it as quickly as I’d like.

Read a lot. Also went through some research books, which, unfortunately, weren’t as useful as I’d hoped. They all go back today.

Worked on the overall series outlines for Nautical Namaste Mysteries and the Picaroon Island Mysteries. Did some more work on the overall outline for Coventina Circle.

Did some more work on “Labor Intensive”, which I think will be re-secheduled for release on September 12. Unless we’re in the middle of a hurricane.

Started preparing for the annual rental inspection, which happens tomorrow.

Got some yard work done, but not enough. The mower is cranky, and it rained quite a bit on Sunday (Harvey remnants), so I’m behind.

Re-reading LEAVING A TRACE, about journals. That gave me an idea for a literary fiction novel, written as diary entries. I wrote a writers’ rough outline and the first twelve pages. I think I have something worthwhile here, but don’t know how to fit it into the schedule. Will have to work on it piecemeal around other things.

Also got an idea for an odd, one-off thriller. Did the writers’ rough outline.

It was nice enough to do some work sitting out on the deck. But I feel like I’m not getting enough done.

I’m waiting to hear back on two gigs this week — one which would be the following week, and the other which would be from now through November. I’d like to do both, but we’ll see if I’m what they want.

I also have to get out at least one essay and one short story, not to mention some pitches and LOIs. I should hear back this week on a couple of pitches I sent to a publication with whom I work fairly regularly, and I’m waiting for payment on two other pieces.

Saturday night, I had a wonderful aha! moment in the evening meditation, that sends me back on the right track. I’ve lost too much of what I worked hard to gain, in personal terms, and I need to be less willing to compromise. But the realization when it all clicked into place — it gives me a huge sense of freedom.

The next few months will include a lot of long-term planning, and that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, for short-term planning, go hop onto the GDR site and see my September To Do List.

This morning, I did a major grocery shopping, and I got the proof of PLAYING THE ANGLES to the publisher. An article I pitched was accepted (for January, but I’ve been trying to break into this market, so great). I accepted the assignment this morning.

Still have a lot to do, and the traffic is still a nightmare (summer people, go home).

But it’s all good.

Published in: on September 5, 2017 at 9:09 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 5, 2017: Into a Fresh Cycle  
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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

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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