Fri. June 28, 2013: House Hostess & Townsend Goes Home!

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Friday, June 28, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Never managed to blog yesterday. Wednesday, I worked flat out in the morning. In the afternoon, I was one of the “hostesses” on the House Tour, benefitting a local library. THAT was quite the experience, let me tell you!

The house was gorgeous, no doubt about it. Absolutely beautifully designed and situated — view of the ocean from one side of windows, view of the river from the other. Everything perfectly chosen and staged — which was exactly that — it felt like a stage set. Or a film set. A beautiful one, but a set. I loved looking at it, I enjoyed the choices, but I didn’t want it — this house wouldn’t be conducive to the way I live my life. But I still appreciated its beauty — I simply did not covet it.

What was fascinating was the wide array of people who tromped through it, and the questions they asked. I did have to scold one woman, who started going through drawers and closets. The owners (or whoever staged the place for them) were smart and had removed everything from drawers and closets, and removed any little knick-knacks someone could have pocketed. But still–you’re not being shown through the place by a realtor with an eye to buying it. You’ve been invited to look at the exquisite design of someone’s home. At least PRETEND to have a little class and/or decorum!

Another guy got very agitated about who supplied the orchids in the house. We weren’t given ANY information about the place at all (which made it difficult to answer questions), so I certainly had no idea if the orchids belonged to the owner, the landscaper, the stager, or had been provided by the organization sponsoring the house tour. This gentleman was very adamant about whose job it was to provide them. They were THERE, so I didn’t see what the big deal was, and suggested that he ask the organizers.

People wanted to know things that made sense, like when the house was built (which, of course, we hadn’t been told) and things that didn’t, like which of the six bedrooms the family used as the master. Some came in and criticized everything. Yes, the decor might not be to everyone’s taste, but don’t deride it until you’re down the street! Especially when you come in wearing shorts and flip-flops from Walmart.

I got a LOT of material for future books and short stories, and I will gleefully skewer some of these people.

I’m glad I did it, I learned a lot (on many different levels), I enjoyed my fellow hostesses, and I was glad I wore comfortable shoes! 😉

Thursday, I managed to write 1000 words on a short story before yoga, went to yoga. Difficult class. Glad to be challenged, but I was struggling. Came back, got a few things done with students, editing clients, pitches, talk with my agent.

Iris wasn’t doing well yesterday, and my mom was very upset. She seems a little better today, but we’re still worried. Iris is my mother’s favorite, so she worries about her a lot. I figure if something’s really wrong, Violet or Tessa will let me know, because they’re good at that. She’s better today and has a good appetite, so let’s hope it was just another of her “episodes.”

In the afternoon, I headed over to the National Marine Life Center. It was time to release Townsend, our first seal, after 8 1/2 months of rehabilitation. Townsend was our poster boy, and the inspiration for Sammy in MURDER ‘SEALS’ THE DEAL. We will miss him a lot. He was so good when he got his satellite tag put on — he’s used to being handled by those specific individuals, so he trusts them.

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Mike and Ike

I also got to meet our two new little ragamuffins, Mike and Ike, who are just as cute as little buttons, and say hi to Lucky, who’s flipper is healing nicely and is in the big tank on his own.

We got Townsend loaded up and headed over to Scusset Beach, where a big crowd gathered to send him off. He bopped right down to the water, and once the crowd cheered him, spent time swimming back and forth nearby, showing off. He’s always been a hambone, and this was the biggest audience he ever had! He made the most of it, before taking off. It was great to see him having fun in the surf — may he have a long and happy seal life in the ocean!

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Home, dinner, Tessa flushed Iris out of her hiding place, to bed pretty early. Up early this morning, dealing with storm stuff, and lots of writing and editing to do today and throughout the weekend. Thunderstorms mean I should go offline for awhile — time to write in longhand!

Two submissions out already; would like to get at least one more out today, and then have some new short stories to finish, prep, and get out before Sunday.

Have a great one, people!

Devon

Mon. April 8, 2013: MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL is a hit!

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Monday, April 8, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We have a hit on our hands! MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL was sold out last night AND people loved it. The actors did a great job, the staff at Mezza Luna was amazing, and people had a really fun night out. We’ve got a really good company for this. I’m so happy that we have the actors we have for it, and delighted how committed they are to breathing life into the characters.

The weekend was all about prepping for the show. Didn’t do much other than that, and yesterday, we let her rip.

I’ve also gotten some really interesting offers from organizations who followed the progress of the show on social media and are now making overtures to creating some integrated work for them. Very exciting!

Lots to do today, in preparation for tonight’s performance. But I’m excited, and relieved, and delighted that so many people turned out for a good laugh for a good cause!

If you’re in the Cape Cod/South Shore area, you can still get tickets for tonight!

Devon

Published in: on April 8, 2013 at 8:17 am  Comments (3)  
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Wed. April 3, 2013: Final Dress & Arrivals

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Absolutely exhausted. Worked like crazy yesterday, trying to get a lot of stuff sorted out.

One of my articles is up, about writing a series, over on Writer’s Fun Zone. Check it out!

Did a targeted mailing and pitched for a couple more jobs.

Yesterday was our final dress rehearsal for the play, which had its challenges, although the actors are doing a great job. I feel like we’re in good shape to bring in an audience and go for it. Sunday’s the big day! And then Monday!

An article of mine that I wrote last week was accepted and will go up in a couple of weeks in a new-to-me venue. Very exciting.

Working on a proposal for a big project out of state, which would be tons of fun.

Not doing enough work on the book, so that has to adjust once the show is over.

Costume Imp arrives today AND I have a Writers Center Board meeting.

Best get going!

Devon

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Published in: on April 3, 2013 at 8:15 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. April 1, 2013: Homestreatch for the Play!

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Monday, April 1, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

Today is April Fool’s Day. Not one of my favorites, because too often the so-called “pranks” have an undertone of hostility and/or cruelty to them.

I spent a portion of each day working in the yard, cleaning it up and getting it ready for spring, which was good. Worked with students, did my own work (although not enough of it), worked on a prop for the show, worked through contest entries, and on material for Confidential Job #1.

Tessa scooted out one morning and dashed under the back deck –and was out in about a minute, back up at the kitchen door. She didn’t like it (fortunately). I brought her crate up from the basement, wiped it down and put a fresh towel in it, so she could be on the deck while I worked in the yard, or while I sat on the deck and read. She liked that a lot.

The seeds I started indoors are doing well, and soon I’ll start some more. The outdoor tulips are just shooting up leaves, but the indoor ones popped and have started to fade.

This time next week, we’ll have already performed our first show, and be prepping for our second. Hard to believe we’re in the homestretch! And Costume Imp arrives Wednesday night for eight days. Lots going on.

I finished an edit on a client’s book early — it’s really good, and I’m excited about it — so that means I can accept another line edit and/or manuscript critique in the next few days. So, if you have one or know of someone who needs a good editor or critique, have them contact fearlessinkworkshops – at – gmail – dot com to set it up.

Have to hit the ground running today. Lots to catch up on, and I have to clean the house and get it ready for the visit!

Devon

Published in: on April 1, 2013 at 7:17 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. March 27, 2013: Second Performance Added: MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Take a look at the flier! Yup, we’ve added a second performance of MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL. It’s Monday, April 8, the night after the initial performance. Monday’s show, doors open at 7:30 PM for an 8 PM go.

Very excited.

Worked yesterday, although I had trouble focusing, and had to do too much admin and not enough creative stuff. I managed to do some work on the book, although not enough, work with students, work on the play, and do things like get groceries and cat food in.

Today, I have to work full out, and then there’s another rehearsal tonight. I also have to work on the promotion for the second show.

It’s not even 9 AM, and I’m ready for a nap!

Devon

Published in: on March 27, 2013 at 8:00 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, March 4, 2013: Release Day for the Second Jain Lazarus Adventure!

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Monday, March 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Lots to discuss today!

First and foremost, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK releases today! Woo-hoo! I’m still waiting for the Buy Link from Solstice, but there’s a great interview with me on Cynthia Woolf’s blog, and there’s an excerpt and more information on Billy Root’s blog. Stop by one or both and say hey!

“Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series” workshop runs this week and should be lots of fun. I’m very excited about it.

AND, I’m teaching a one-day QUERY CLINIC on March 23, where you can bring in query letters from your various projects and we shape them, line-by-line, along with learning how to assemble the parts of a strong letter. More info here.

Busy weekend. On Friday, just before 5 PM, I got some great news from my agent! She’s very excited about a project I pitched her a few weeks ago, made some suggestions, and wants to go forward asap. That puts pressure on me I wasn’t expecting until the fall, at least as far adding an extra project to the mix, and means I have to reshuffle back some of the projects I was working on. My GDRS for March have to be re-worked. But I’m very excited!

Friday night was the staged reading of my new play, SEVEN OF SWORDS, which is not a comedy! I was on the bill with three other short plays, so we were a solid evening — what fun to share the bill with them. I liked my director a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the work of all the actors, including the ones in my piece. I got some interesting feedback to shape the piece in the next draft. It was a good night, but I was exhausted.

I was up early-early on Saturday morning. I worked on some revisions for MUDER “SEALS” THE DEAL, then I rewrote the first three chapters of the piece per my agent’s suggestions and wrote Chapter Four, which came in just over 3K. I worked with students, and did the final polish on the lectures for the workshop.

Busy day, but fulfilling.

Sunday, I was up early, putting in and printing out the revisions in the script. Then, I packed the car and headed off to the Marine Life Center for rehearsal — we blocked Acts II & III, then went over to the venue to look at the space and a drink and chat. It was fun.

Today is release day for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so I have to do the work associated with that. I have to write Chapter 5 of the other project, attend a funeral, and give the actors the cuts I made last night in the script when I got home.

Oh, and do some work that pays the bills! 😉

Busy, busy!

Devon

Fri. March 1, 2013: Stress and Prep

Friday, March 1, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Not feeling well. Managed to get some work done yesterday and go to my meeting, but feeling pretty bad. A lot of it is stress-induced.

Managed to write another article. I wanted to let it sit overnight, before editing and sending it out.

I’m supposed to be on Nadia Kim’s blog today — I checked this morning and don’t see it up yet, so I will check back later on and post the link.

Tonight, my play SEVEN OF SWORDS will be read as part of the Play With Your Food series at Tilden Arts Center. I’m looking forward to it, and to the other plays with whom I’m on the bill!

I’ve got a minor rewrite to do on MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL and a lot of writing to do today and tomorrow, along with prepping for Sunday’s rehearsal and doing a final polish on Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series. Registration closes today at 5 PM, and it’s the only time the course will be offered this year, so don’t miss it! March 4-8. Full information here.

Colin — you’re right — it’s wonderful to see actors bring the words to life, and the characters evolve.

Lots to do today, and not much time, so I better get going!

Devon

Mon. Feb. 25, 2013: Rehearsals Begin on a Full Moon

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Monday, February 25, 2013
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy and cold

We had more snow overnight, but it was a coating, no big deal. I like snow a lot, but even I am getting a little weary of it.

Busy weekend working on casting the final role in the show and setting up the rehearsal schedule. I met some really interesting people during this process, and I think it is opening up some doors for collaborative projects down the road. We have our first meeting/read-through tonight.

Read the materials for the next assignment from Confidential Job #1 and have to do the write-up today. Drafted an article last night, which I will type up and edit today, and hopefully get out the door. Turned around a client project in 24 hours — much faster than I thought, but a block of time opened, and I seized it. The client had paid me FULLY in advance, not just half, so it was worth it to quicken the promised turnaround time.

Creative Stimulus Cover

CREATIVE STIMULUS has released — a new workbook a little more comprehensive than the regular “Topic Workbooks” — this one combines updated material and exercises from the “5 in 10” workshop, the “Sensory Perceptions” Workbook, the “Writing Rituals” booklet and the infamous Tip Sheets, all in one place. It’s $6.99, over on Smashwords.

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK drops next Monday — I’m looking forward to it, and am doing quite a few guest blogs in the coming weeks to promote the release.

This is the last week to sign up for “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”. Putting together the materials for this class has been terrific. I’m very excited about it. More information on how to register here.

Read Anna Devere Smith’s LETTERS TO A YOUNG ARTIST. Terrific book for artists at any stages of their careers. Developing an idea based on some of Manet’s Paris cafe paintings. Reading a book called CREATIVE TIME AND SPACE: MAKING ROOM FOR MAKING ART, which is also very interesting.

I can take on one more full manuscript critique and/or edit or 3-5 short projects for a slot, but it must be booked this week. Please contact fearlessinkworkshops at gmail dot com for more information on rates and to set it up. Once I get deep into rehearsal, I cannot take on any more projects until the show is done.

My other show, SEVEN OF SWORDS, will be read this Friday at Tilden Art Center. That should be interesting. It’s definitely not a comedy, and it’s a raw piece that could go in several different directions.

I have to get a proposal for an arts festival out today or tomorrow — I have to figure out what I want to do for it.

Great morning’s session on the Dickensian steampunk.

That’s kind of where things stand, going into this week. I hope you have a good one!

Devon

Wed. Feb. 20, 2013: Recovering from Corporate Ineptitude

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I lost most of yesterday due to an issue that should have taken fifteen minutes with a competent individual willing to do her job. Instead, an aide from my congressman’s office had to intervene. This is NOT acceptable.

Incompetent individuals who hide behind “company policy” and pretend they’re “doing their jobs” MUST be held accountable as individuals as well as company representatives. With all the competent people out of work, the incompetent need to be fired and replaced. However, competent people need to be paid what they’re worth and tend to think for themselves, which is why so many companies retain the incompetent. We wouldn’t need so many regulations if individuals and corporations would behave with integrity. However, since so many are incapable of that, that’s why we have to have regulations, and that’s why they must be enforced.

So, in short, yesterday sucked, but today will be better!

I managed to get the next draft of MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL done and send it to the actors and the people behind the production who need it. I even managed to work with students. That was woefully inadequate for everything that needed to get done.

I did manage to refresh my hair color in and around all the chaos (I couldn’t stand it anymore), and that made me feel better about everything.

Today is a truncated work day because of a Writers Center event tonight, and tomorrow I have yoga AND a mid-afternoon meeting.

So I have to be focused today.

If you’re writing a series or thinking about it, I hope you join “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series” running March 4-8, which covers the wide range of things you need to think about in relation to the series. Information here.

Devon

Tues. Feb. 18: Hard Work & Frustration with Corporate Morons

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Before we get into it all, hop on over for Anne Lange’s outstanding post on “Quality in Writing” over at A Biblio Paradise. Anne took several classes with me, and was a joy as a student. I’m delighted she’s doing so well.

Tough weekend. Got as much done as possible on Friday, despite many obstacles. Between the morons in customer disservice at N-Star and Verizon Wireless, far too much time is being wasted. Individuals who break the law and/or cause harm to customers CANNOT be allowed to hide behind so-called “company policy”, especially when those policies clearly violate state and federal laws. The companies need to be held accountable, but so must the individuals who implement such policies. If you’re too stupid or too cowardly to refuse when someone tells you to do something wrong, you are a danger to society and should be treated as such.

I had to spend way too much time dealing with stupid people, all across the board. How do these people even leave the house or tie their shoes, much less earn a living, when they can’t comprehend the simplest of instructions? I have no patience with them.

Worked Saturday, too, not sure if the power would stay on with the storm coming, and wanted to clear off a few things from my desk, including material for Confidential Job #1 and starting to work on some essays I need to get out this week. They’ve both been percolating for awhile, and since they are based on my own emotional experience (hence the “essay” bit), they take longer to develop.

Had an idea for the Dickensian steampunk that I want to play with, although I’m worried that the cast is getting too big. I think I have to do some work on individual arcs. I hadn’t looked on it as a series, but the way I’m building the characters and arcs, it sure seems that way. Which means I have to settle on a book-specific arc for this one to make it satisfying to stand alone, while still being a part of a series.

Which brings me to my course, “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”, running from March 4-8, which will help you develop your own series. Sign up here.
And please do NOT send administrative questions to my personal email — they go to the Administrator of Fearless Ink Workshops, which is why we have one.

I had a fabulous audition with the actress to whom I’ve offered the role of Joye in MURDER ‘SEALS’ THE DEAL, and I’m working on Teri casting today. I’ve got to get some tweaks into the latest draft, and then send it out later today. We go into rehearsals next Monday.

Sunday, we had another 8 inches of snow here. I wasn’t feeling well, so I spent most of the day on the couch, reading. I needed to replenish. I read a couple of John Dunning novels.

The opening to THE BOOKWOMAN’S LAST FLING is brilliant: “The morning was angry but I was cool.” What an awesome opening line! I’m going to use that as an example in classes. Now THAT is a line that keeps me reading.

Monday, I woke up at 4 AM, thinking it was 6 AM(don’t ask) and was on the road earlier than I expected. There wasn’t much traffic, at least until Providence, and it being a holiday Monday helped. I made great time to CT, picked up my mom, we turned right around to get back, stopping for gas, to eat, and to sell some books at the Book Barn in Niantic. Yup, as I’m going through some of these 250 boxes of books in the basement, I’m culling some to sell. I’m keeping most of the non-fiction and reference books, but the fiction — especially if it’s something I don’t really like or find memorable — is going out, so that someone who’s really enthusiastic about it can enjoy it.

Back to work today — I am not looking forward to what the day holds, but when it’s done, I will feel better.

Devon

Published in: on February 19, 2013 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 18: Hard Work & Frustration with Corporate Morons  
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Fri. Feb. 8, 2013: Hunkering Down for the Blizzard

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Friday, February 8, 2013
Day before Dark Moon
Blizzard Coming!

I was very stressed out yesterday, trying to get everything done. Originally, I was supposed to hit the road this morning to go to CT, and then come back Saturday. Well, it was pretty obvious I wasn’t going to go anywhere on Saturday, much less get back home, so I figured I’d stay down there until Sunday. Fortunately, the trip’s been postponed.

I’d much rather ride out a blizzard safely at home, with the cats, then be on the road, or, even if I outran the storm, somewhere other than home.

It means doing some work through the weekend in preparation for the auditions on Monday that I planned to do Monday morning, but that’s okay.

Worked as fast as I could yesterday morning, got my students all set up for next week, etc. Annoyed with a late-paying client, especially since this is someone who got in just under the wire on a special deal.

Had a great conversation with my director for SEVEN OF SWORDS. I’m excited about the whole thing!

Good meeting at NMLC — everyone’s excited about the play.

I’m hunkering down for the storm — plan to do lots of reading and writing this weekend!

Stay safe!

Devon

Last day to sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, Feb. 11-15. Information and registration here.

Sign up for “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”, March 4-8, here.

Cape Cod/South Shore actors, come audition for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL Mon. & Wed. Feb. 11 & 13, 5:30-7:30 PM. Details here.

Thurs. Feb. 7, 2013: Projects, Escalating Stress, & Snow

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

So we’re prepping for this big storm and are all in a tizzy. I hope it won’t be anywhere near as bad as they’re saying.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day editing and working with students. I have an awful lot to get done today, because I have to get things cleared off before the storm and potential power outages and meetings and auditions coming up, etc. I’m feeling stressed out and overwhelmed out of proportion to what is actually going on.

Last night was a board meeting for the Writers’ Center, and I have follow-up and additional information to work on there, too.

I managed to fall in love all over again with one of my projects, which is always a good thing, but it’s a tricky one to pull off and I’m feeling so much pressure from so many different factions right now that I’m not sure what to do with the piece.

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, which runs next Mon.-Fri. Information here.

I have a new workshop, the only one I’m teaching in March, running March 4-8, called “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”. Information here.

HEX BREAKER just came out in print — woo-hoo!

Auditions for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL start next Monday — if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come by. Details here.

Have a safe weekend!

Devon

Wed. Feb. 6, 2013: Snow and Writing

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Got quite a bit of work done yesterday. I think SEVEN OF SWORDS is in decent shape, finally. I’m going to give it one more read this morning, and then send it off. Worked with students. I’m polishing the “Journal into Fiction” lectures and exercises — I had to cut some of the material out, because there was too much for a week-long class.

Had to turn something around quickly for one of my other editors, and sent out a few LOIs. Some paperwork came in for another confidential gig that the editor on Confidential Job #1 recommended me for, so that’s all good. The lunch meeting was good, although Beech Tree Cantina, where we wanted to meet, turned out to be closed. Um, it couldn’t have been on the landing page of the website? Especially with all the advertising they’ve been doing? There were a bunch of us, standing outside the door in the snow, totally confused.

We wound up at Rendezvous, the new crepe place. It was really good, with a nice atmosphere. Definitely a place to which I’d go back.

Roasted a chicken for dinner, did some reading, watched my friend’s show — some of the writing was a little heavy-handed, but he had some good scenes, and we dissected the episode, as we usually do after it airs.

Started re-reading POWER OF WORDS, which has been pulling at me lately. It’s such a sprawl — I think it’s really a serial novel about the making of a series. There’s no way I can stay true to its characters and themes and turn it into something that’s a more traditional novel. It’s going to be four novels’ worth of material just to get them through shooting the first season. But I think the dynamics of the individuals, and the creative nuts-and-bolts will be interesting to readers. Well, I need to write it at least through the first season’s shoot, and maybe partially into the second, and then decide what I want to do with it. I also re-read MODERN CREATION MYTHS the other day, and it holds together much better than I expected. I wrote the first draft material in script form (knowing it couldn’t stay a script), and I can see how to open it back out into prose. I think I will complete the draft as a script, though, because that’s giving me the dynamic. When I adapt it into prose, I’ll have to go much deeper into POV.

Did some of my fantasy/sci fi schoolwork yesterday (lectures). Really interesting insights into the Grimm tales.

I need to clear a lot off my desk today, because tomorrow is a busy day, most of it out of the house.

Devon

You can still sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, Feb. 11-14, learning how to transform journal entries into viable fiction. Information and registration here.

Cape Cod/South Shore Actors: Come audition for MURDER ‘SEALS’ THE DEAL, Feb 11 & 13, callbacks Feb. 15. Information and breakdown here.