Wed. July 18, 2018: Working Situations

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde


MYTH & INTERPRETATION
released yesterday, digitally. It will be out on Amazon in a few days. If you didn’t see the piece about it on A Biblio Paradise, I hope you will hop over and take a look. It’s a Gwen Finnegan between-the-books novella, and I’m happy with it. And, it’s only $1.99.

RELICS is humming along, although not as quickly as I’d like. But steady progress beats no progress. I’m behind where I want/need to be on it, which means I’m even further behind where I want/need to be on DAVY JONES DHARMA.

I talk about grief and work over on Ink-Dipped Advice today. Click over and take a peek. Add anything you feel I missed.

I found a way to explore this particular type of grief that I feel about my friend’s terminal illness in the book I’m outlining that’s set at Culzean Castle. Originally, the protagonist was trying to recover from the death of her long time partner, but a new character, also recently deceased, came into the mix — a long time friend. This way, I can contrast how the different losses impact the character. The way the book is taking on a life of its own is kind of beautiful.

Finished reading an advance copy of a colleague’s book and loved it. Will write about it soon.

Client work on-site was fine on Monday, and a little more difficult on Tuesday. The person who caused an issue between my client and me last week caused a problem between the client and another employee. And then, of course, pretends innocence. Okay, I get it now. THAT’s who and what she is. Done. I have no doubt it will be even more stressful today. Had another client appointment on Monday afternoon, but got home at a reasonable hour. It was too hot to do yard work or much of anything else, so I finished the book I have to review instead. That way, I didn’t have to feel guilty about not getting any work done!

The Quisling Narcisstic Sociopath’s behavior in Helsinki on Monday was appalling. Any doubt that he’s a traitor and fully owned by Russia is gone. The fact that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan enable him — and therefore are equally treasonous — is even more appalling. Russia has succeeded in dismantling our democracy. Ryan and McConnell must be held accountable for their responsibility in this. They don’t get to walk away giggling and smirking and cashing huge checks. The GOP is no longer an American party — it is filled with agents of a foreign government hostile to the US. It is disgusting. The Democrats’ lack of fight is equally infuriating.

Thank goodness for the Tuesday night group meeting for savasana/sukasana/reiki. It helps to get calm and centered. Because only from a place of groundedness, not denying the rage, but using it, can we come up with solutions.

I have a proposal and a few sample pages to write for a radio comedy, and I’m really not in the mood. But too bad for me. The work still has to get done.

Onward.

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Tues. July 17, 2018: Release Day Amid Sadness

MYTH&INTERPRETATION Cover

A Between-the-Books Novella

Stuck in NYC when plans for their next expedition fall through, Gwen and Justin accept teaching jobs at different local universities. Adjusting to their day-to-day  relationship, and juggling the academic and emotional demands of their students, they are embroiled in two different, disturbing, paranormal situations that have more than one unusual crossing point. Can they work together to find the answers? Or are new temptations too much to resist? For whom are they willing to put their lives on the line?

$1.99 on multiple digital channels here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde

It’s release day for the Gwen Finnegan novella, MYTH & INTERPRETATION. It’s only $1.99 on digital channels, and will be available on Amazon in a few days (there’s a delay for the Amazon listing with this distributor). Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read more about the process of the book, and an excerpt, and go on over to the Gwen Finnegan website for even more.

I feel good about this book. It was great to be back with Gwen and Justin, and now I’m excited again about THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, which will release in January of 2019.

I hope you enjoy it, too!

Difficult weekend. My friend, who is suffering from cancer, said her goodbyes to us, and is going into hospice. She is a shining light. I was confident she would beat this. It’s heartbreaking, especially for her parents, and for her daughter, who starts college this fall.

I didn’t get much writing done. I played with a few ideas, but didn’t work on any of the deadlined stuff, which means I’m getting far behind.

I managed to get the international play proposal out on Friday, along with one of the radio proposals. I have another couple of radio proposals to get out this week, along with at least one article pitch.

I’m on site for the first part of the week, working for a client, in the same space with the individual who caused a problem last week. We’ll see how it goes. I have no interest in engaging. I can be a pleasant work colleague and share space, and still stay out of the crap. I have no doubt she will do whatever she can to escalate the situation, but I don’t intend to participate. I have other priorities.

Decent day on RELICS on Monday, but I’m still behind. Hoping to get back on track with DHARMA, too.

Tonight is savasana/sukasana/reiki, and it is much needed.

Tomorrow, I’m back on site, and then I have a few other appointments, and, weather-permitting, yard work.

Onward.

 

Thurs. July 12, 2018: Clown Semen & Other Creative Adventures

Thursday, July 12, 2018
New moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to see why loving your job does not forfeit your right to earn a living at it.

The impromptu artists’ retreat with my friends last week gave me a lot to think about, and it will take me some time to work through it all. While I didn’t get a lot of words on paper during that time, I refilled the creative well, as we all helped each other refill our creative wells.

I helped brainstorm their creative projects; because that work is not mine, I can’t discuss it here, in a public space. The results of the brainstorming are theirs to use or not use, discuss or not discuss as they see fit. But I find helping others sort their way out of creative obstacles always teaches me a lot about my own work.

As far as my work, I now have:

— a clearer idea of how to proceed on the anti-gun violence play;

–a stronger thread for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE (breaking MYTH & INTERPRETATION out of it helped, but now it’s even more focused);

–a clearer idea of CRAVE THE HUNT, which needs to go back into the queue in late summer;

–how to incorporate the editorial notes I received recently on the two manuscripts in a way that solves the problems the editors pointed out without diluting my vision for the books. The only way I could see on one of them was to dumb it down, but now I know how to make what the editor feels is missing work while still driving the book’s unique edge, the thing that makes it different from other books in the genre;

–a new determination to work, in and around other projects on what I’ve called THE POWER OF WORDS, so the first six books will be ready to release one-a-month next spring or summer;

–a new determination to get back to THE FIX-IT GIRL edits (the book set in 1930s Hollywood), so that can go out on submission;

–the problem that had me stuck on THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS is untangled, and I can fix that; when, I’m not sure, but the “how” is handled;

–the outline for the first book in a more traditional mystery series that has a good chance of finding a home in a more traditional venue — if I can work in the time to do a good job on it;

–ideas for a couple of radio plays, and new venues to send existing radio plays;

So I would say it was a productive few days.

I went to Falmouth Art Center to the opening of an exhibit where a friend of mine had a couple of pieces. The drive was a nightmare, but the exhibit was lovely. Her pieces (ceramics) had a wonderful sense of fun. Of the other pieces, I found myself especially drawn to the oils. I loved their depth. It reminds me of the difference between film and video.

Came home to discover other family friends had stopped by, although they hadn’t been able to stay.

Once the last of the guests left. I did laundry and some tidying up, but cut myself a break to process ideas and read and rest. I felt a huge need to rest.

Part of me worried that I’m getting too far behind on the word count for RELICS; more of me felt I couldn’t put words of any value down, and it was better to rest.

One of the books I read was THE ADDRESS by Fiona Davis, which I really liked.

I tried to read some books by an author whose latest book I loved, but they were written in present tense, and I couldn’t. I loathe novels written in present tense. I don’t care how much praise they get. I find them unreadable. It’s the author getting between me and the story, screaming in my face about what a cool stylist the author is, instead of letting me experience the story.

A writer friend is coming to the Cape to teach at the Conference next month and wants to get together. I’m delighted.

Monday morning, I woke up early with a blasting headache. I ended up drafting most of a flash fiction piece — I still have to figure out how to end it. That alleviated the headache somewhat.

Client work, prepping and getting out a marketing campaign for an event the client has in August.

Steady work on RELICS, getting back into the groove with DHARMA. Researching my almanac articles. Getting ready to re-read HEADLONG this weekend so I can write the foreword. I’m so thrilled my friend asked me to write the foreword. What an honor. It remains one of my favorite books ever. I have to put some material together for a couple of proposals in the next few days, too.

I’d sent a pitch to a potential client through a recruiter — who sent it to THE WRONG COMPANY. My pitch was to join the marketing team for a company that promotes wellness in the workplace. Instead, the recruiter sent the pitch to a different company with the same first initials/acronym located in a different town. This one is a fast-paced, very corporate organization. I was puzzled at first, when the corporation contacted me to set up a meeting. Because I knew I hadn’t sent them anything. Then I did some research and realized what had happened. Then I did some research on the company and — no. Just no. We are not a good fit. The “leaders” stay in the shadows and the double-speak made me question their ethics. Plus, they’re looking for entry level to groom. I’m not entry level. Too many decades of work under my belt for that. I sent a polite email thanking them for their interest, explaining the mix-up, and withdrawing from consideration.

Savasana/sukasana/reiki was great. I love spending an hour a week lying in a quiet room with no expectations.

Then, Wednesday, there was some unpleasantness at one of the client sites. Unnecessary, manipulative unpleasantness. I was onsite, working on the client’s campaign for an upcoming event. However, another person in the workplace specifically sparked an incident that she knew would set off my client to go on a rant to which I would have to respond or be the type of compliant spineless moron I despise.This individual did it because she thought it was “funny.”Now, my client and I wound up being fine by remaining cordial and listening to each other, and giving each other respect for our differing views.

My fury (and believe me, it was fury) was at the person who sparked the incident, who threw me under the bus because she thought it was “funny.” My client left and I was finishing up what I needed to get done until I go back onsite next week. I was seething, but I figured I’d let myself cool down and then, if it was relevant, have a quiet word with the instigator next week.

But no, this one had to start joking about how funny it was. I told her to never put me in that situation again, and that I was angry, and didn’t appreciate she threw me under the bus. I have covered her ass plenty of times in that place. Then she denied that she “knew” it would cause a problem which either a flat out lie or she has cognitive issues, because we’ve discussed this more than once. Then she started the whole thing about how my anger “hurt her feelings.”

Too bad, bubbelah, maybe you should have considered that before deliberately stirring the pot. Her actions and her words are too far apart for me to believe her words. Anyone with a grain of common sense, consideration for someone else, and basic reasoning skills could have predicted what would happen.

Walk your fucking talk or get out of my life.

Of course, this is the same person who, last week, during a discussion about human rights violations, said she “doesn’t do politics. Besides, none of this affects me because I have white skin.”

Which just tells all of us all we need to know, right?

I’d much rather know someone’s true colors sooner rather than later. Now I know what I’m dealing with.

Fortunately, I got to have fun on Wednesday night, which is where the clown semen comes in.

My friend, author Ray Bartlett, did an event with another author, Mary Hart. I saw his post on Facebook about it, and hadn’t seen him in ages, so I figured it was a good time to get together, come out and support his book (I’d put together the launch party for it when it originally came out), and meet a new-to-me author. All good.

It was at Hyannis library, and tons of fun. Ray read from SUNSETS OF TULUM, and Mary read from SOME HORRIFIC EVENING. The audience was engaged, there was a great talk/question & answer session, and, best for them, the audience members bought books. It was lively and fun and creative.

I’m also looking forward to both of their next books.

After, we went to a nearby bar to chat and catch up. We ordered our various drinks. Mary ordered an IPA called something like “Clown Shoes”. It was clown something. Well, when it arrived at the table, it looked kind of like milky orange juice.

You get where I’m going with this, right?

We asked the waitress if it was supposed to look like that; she didn’t know, but suggested an app that has pictures and info on different beers. Mary pulled it up on her phone.

Uh, no, it wasn’t supposed to look like that. All the pictures were very different than what was in the glass in front of us. In the photos, it looked like beer.

What was in the glass didn’t look like beer.

Which is when the comment came up about it looking like “clown semen.”

Which quieted the men at the table into shocked silence for about 20 seconds.

Anyway, she sent it back and got something drinkable. But we started doing jokes about clown semen. Because it was just that kind of night.

We decided that it should be the title of her third book (because the title of her upcoming second book is already really cool). And if she doesn’t use it by her third book, I will.

I promised her I’d write about this today, so Mary, this one’s for you! 😉

And there was other laughter interspersed with the creative conversation, and it was fun. Also, when you go to one of Mary’s readings, ask about the story of how her parents met, because it’s really lovely.

Came home later than expected and puttered around.

This morning, it’s yard work, some remote client work. I need to up my game on RELICS & REQUIEM to make deadline, and I have to make sure I don’t drop the ball on DAVY JONES DHARMA.

Plus, you know, the novella, MYTH & INTERPRETATION, releases on Tuesday, so I better up the PR.

I need to prepare an international proposal for a play that needs to go out tomorrow, and two radio drama pitches to go out next week. I also want to get out some more LOIs this week.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some Adventures in Wildlife we’re having around the yard.

Back to the page!

 

Thurs. June 28, 2018: Creativity Must Win

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and humid

I went to the savasana/sukasana/reiki session Tuesday night, and it removed my migraine. First time it’s happened that way. We used the chakras to drain the pain. Interesting technique. Hard to verbalize, because it was so experiential. But it worked, and that’s what matters.

Worried that putting a between-the-books novella in the Gwen Finnegan series between BALTHAZAAR and SANDOVAHL will dilute the power of what’s happened between those two books and take away from the opening of SANDOVAHL. Is it more interesting to have them working on separate teams toward the same goal when they are tight as a couple, or when they are having problems? Each introduces a different dynamic. I don’t know which is more effective. A friend who’s a fan of the series says she would like to see one of each, to see the contrast in how they deal with each other.

This is where discussions with one’s editor are so important. There are always editors who shrug and say, “whatever you think is best” and then there are those who point out how the different dynamics affect the overall series.

MYTH & INTERPRETATION is up for pre-order on several channels. The link is here. It won’t be available on Amazon until several days after its release, because that’s what they do with some distribution. Since Amazon is not the publisher, but the distributor, they can make certain arbitrary decisions on how they will distribute from particular publishers. I don’t really care — the universal buy link gives the reader the choice of channel, and waiting a few days is no big deal. Yes, it affects pre-sales (because Amazon won’t allow them via this publisher), but I would rather be with my publisher and distributed via Amazon than be published by Amazon. I don’t like Amazon’s author contract. I’m fine with this compromise.

Pushing through a tough part of RELICS. Mentally, I’m several chapters ahead, but I have to get there. I also have to make some decisions on timeline. because arbitrary days of the week are not working for this.

Working on calendar articles. It’s slower than I expected, because I’m testing what I write about, to make sure it works. But the testing process is fun. Kind of like recipe development.

On Wednesday, one of my clients treated us all to lunch at the local Beach Club, an old-fashioned establishment on the water, which was nice, and then took us to her house to walk around the garden and show us her unique house, that was a labor of love. It’s a gorgeous place, curated with well-loved objects from a lifetime of travel. It was lovely, and very kind of her to share it with us.

I came home and worked on the front beds. They’d gotten kind of wild, and I had to weed and cut back a lot of invasives. An ongoing process.

I will be offline most of tomorrow (no blog post). I’m having adventures. Saturday are the protests against the government’s human rights violations. Sunday, I’ve got a couple of other things to do (including write and work in the garden).

Needless to say, I’m furious that Justice Kennedy is retiring. Another instance of a Republican putting party over country. In the interim, he is determined to do as much damage as possible. Traitor.

Next week is Independence Day. I’ll be offline that day, taking a break (and, of course, writing). Ink-Dipped Advice will also take a break. I considered scheduling an informational post, but taking breaks is just as important as getting people in the habit of a weekly visit. So it is a celebration post.

The June wrap-up with go live on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions tomorrow, and the July To Do List will go live on the same site on Monday.

Have a great weekend.!

Wed. June 27, 2018: Trying to Balance the Writing

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Day before full moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde

The retrogrades are stifling.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for my piece on billing for phone time.

Mowed the front lawn on Monday afternoon. Still don’t love it, but the reel push mower works better for me than the gas mower.

But then, of course, it was cocktail time!

MYTH & INTERPRETATION is going through the publication process. I should have the Universal buy link and pre-order information up soon. It releases on July 17. I’m finishing up the media kit for it, and then I’ll do the series media kit.

I have to up my game with RELICS & REQUIEM. I often say that every novel has its own innate rhythm. This one’s is slower than I need it to be in order to meet my deadlines. I have to up it by at least two pages a day. Not quite sure how I’ll do that yet.

Another Gwen Finnegan between-the-books novella has started churning in my head. This would be between Book #2, BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, and Book #3, SANDOVAHL SECRET. It puts them in competition, when they are hired by different teams after the same object. Given where they are at the end of BALTHAZAAR, it might be a fun piece. I may do an outline and give it to my editor, to see what she thinks.

Watched NATIONAL TREASURE for about the fortieth time on Monday night. I have such fun with that movie.

RELICS & REQUIEM, finessing the DAVY JONES DHARMA outline, client work. I got some LOIs out, and one of them already wants additional information, so that’s good.

Lost respect for several people because they don’t care enough to take action against the human rights violations done by our own government, because they don’t believe it affects them. I have no place in my life for cowards or appeasers.

There was a beautifully written editorial in the NY Times by Michelle Goldberg. The content was superb (unusual, because for months the NYT has been the Paper of Appeasement). But the writing, the sentence structure was glorious. I loved it, and tweeted about her.

I shouldn’t have been shocked that those who derided the writing – not the content, but the quality of the writing – were white men.

It’s a gorgeous piece. The use of language is the best of what being a writer can be.

Today, one of my clients is taking her team out to lunch overlooking the water. That should be fun. Depending on my schedule after that, I might to go Green Drinks in Mashpee later. Never a dull moment, and that’s the way it should be!

 

Tues. June 26, 2018: Good Writing Things While the Country Burns Down

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde

Five retrogrades. That’s a lot of weight.

Turned around the galleys for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. The book will be ready for pre-orders soon. I’m happy with it.

RELICS & REQUIEM is steaming along nicely. I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night, so I spent several hours lying in bed refining plot points and making mental adjustments to the Writers Rough outline. I’ve started putting those adjustments into practice. It makes a big adjustment to the romantic part of the romantic suspense arc, and I’m not quite sure it will work, but I’m going to give it a shot.

This week, along with RELICS, I get back into the saddle with DAVY JONES DHARMA, the second Nautical Namaste mystery. I need to re-read the material and take a look at the outline to get back into that headspace and voice.

The anti-gun violence play is going along slowly. But that’s okay. Every piece has its own innate rhythm. I don’t yet have a title for it, which is making it more difficult.

I received the check from the radio play. Always great to get those checks.

PJ Friel, the cover artist, is going to stay on as the cover artist for The Jain Lazarus Adventures, which is a relief. She created a specific look for the series, which I think works. My publisher agreed. I’m very proprietary about Jain, and I’m lucky that my publisher is giving me more leeway than is usual.

I’m also reading PJ’s debut novel, A TWIST OF WYRD, and loving it. It’s a terrific urban fantasy with a strong romance at its core. I’m looking forward to more in the series. PJ was a guest of mine on A Biblio Paradise when the book came out, a few weeks ago.

Friday night, I went out with a friend I haven’t seen in person since last fall, right after PLAYING THE ANGLES released. We went to Embargo, a tapas place in Hyannis. The food was surprisingly good, and we had a great catch-up. She invited me to participate in a fundraiser for a mutual friend of ours, which will happen in August. I’m going to write a new monologue for that, which I’ve started percolating. She is a ceramic artist, and is participating in a show in Falmouth opening in a couple of weeks, so I will go to that. And she’s encouraging me to apply for a reading slot at a local festival this fall. She’s right. All they can do is say no. But they can’t say yes if I don’t let them know I’m interested.

So it was a good, creative shoring up of each other’s work.

Saturday was a rainy day. I like listening to the rain here. I gave myself the day off. I needed it.

Sunday, I was back in the saddle for RELICS & REQUIEM, and got some solid work on it in. I also read over what I’ve got on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, now that I’ve cut out the material used for MYTH. It’s much tighter and more focused. I’ll have to massage a few things for the timeline and then move forward; I’ve lost several chapters of the material that was the foundation for MYTH. But now BALTHAZAAR has its necessary pace and focus, and I can move forward.

Re-read what I’ve got so far on CRAVE THE HUNT, the third Jain Lazarus. It’s a little more than the first quarter of the book, a little less than the first third. I like it. I found most of my outline notes, so I know where I’m going with it. I think I can whip it into shape for its release in March.

IF I stay focused on everything else that’s already contracted.

Yesterday was about client work and continuing to work on the media kit for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I had trouble getting my head back into RELICS, for some reason; but eventually, I got there.

Some idiot yesterday, here on Cape said, “I don’t have anything to worry about with politics. My skin is white.” And THIS is why we now live in a fascist dictatorship. The ignorance and lack of care is appalling.

Today is about more client work. I’m hoping to get to Reiki tonight. Because believe me, I need it!

 

Fri. June 22, 2018: Jain Lazarus Announcement (and Other Writing)

HexBreakerAlt

Friday, June 22, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Jain Lazarus announcement: Bluestockings and Gentlemen Press has picked up the series contract for The Jain Lazarus Adventures. HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK will be re-released along with the third book in the series, CRAVE THE HUNT, in Spring of 2019. The plan is for the first three books to re-release and release a week apart, and then one book a year for the next four books, should they pick up the option.

Wrote a couple of blog posts and scheduled them to post yesterday. I wasn’t in the mood for sitting in front of the computer.

Finished this round of galleys on MYTH and sending them off to my editor & copyeditor today. It wasn’t too bad; there were a few things I missed, and some paragraph indents that didn’t take. I’m hoping I can turn around the next set of proofs fast this weekend and we’ll have caught everything. It was nowhere near as mortifying as the copyedits on SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Not a good day on RELICS, as far as getting words on paper, but figured out a few things. I need to re-arrange some events, so the timeline works out. I want to do a big push on it this weekend, because starting next week, I have to juggle both RELICS and DAVY JONES DHARMA.

Did some preliminary research for the first three pieces I have to write for the 2020 Almanac, and will draft them and test them this weekend. If I do three a week, I have plenty of time to write and revise them before deadline.

And, of course, there’s a new idea tugging at me. As if there weren’t enough projects competing for my attention.

I did some weed whacking yesterday, in the front and the side yards. I have to mow the front later today, while the weather is still good.

Errands this morning — bill paying, stocking up on cat food. They’re working on my street again, so hopefully, I won’t have trouble getting in and out.

Last night was the Summer Solstice ceremony — lovely. As of today, the days start getting shorter.

I’m supposed to meet a friend this evening to catch up on life, the universe, and everything. It will be a nice start to what I hope is a productive, creative weekend.

Have a good one!

Wed. June 20, 2018: Writing and Meetings

Wednesday, July 20, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice to read my suggestions for doing the research that helps craft your pitch.

One of the checks I’m waiting for finally arrived on Monday. Yes, it was dated when it was supposed to be; but it was mailed last Friday, three days after I asked about it and was told it had been sent out on time. All they had to do was say, “we found the check; we thought it had gone out; sorry.” Instead, they lied and said they’d sent it on time, and that it would be at least a week before the accountant could write a new one. Why not just admit the mistake and apologize? We all make mistakes.

Still waiting for the other check, but it’s not at the point where I can question yet. Tomorrow will be one month, so next week, I can follow up.

Monday night, I went to Yarmouth to the Cultural Center to a Mass Cultural Council meeting. As a former grant recipient, I felt it was important to show up, especially since I’d been asked to come. Only two working artists were there; the other was a filmmaker from Falmouth. I didn’t think I knew anyone; but I was surprised how many people knew my work — under more than one name, no less. Even the regional representative knew who I was.

I met some very interesting people, including someone who just took a job on Nantucket, moving here from Houston. Since I was on tour in Houston, with a Broadway show, we had a lot to talk about.

Most of the participants were either from local Cultural Councils or town municipalities. I was positively struck by how committed the members of the councils are to the arts — which is, of course, why they are there. I also met the new (well, she’s been there for a couple of years) head of the Arts Foundation — we recognized each other from advocacy with Mass Creative and our state and federal legislators.

We were broken up into groups to discuss obstacles, positives, and potential solutions. Then, each group shared what they’d learned. There were a lot of overlaps, and some terrific ideas. Let’s hope that something happens and there’s action.

I spoke to the rep after about the necessity of having artists at the table for these discussions. She said there will be a separate meeting for artists, and then another putting things together. I’m putting together some thoughts and suggestions.

So, let’s hope these are positive steps. Nothing can happen if people don’t get involved.

I got a response to an LOI I sent out, but the rate offered is so far under my rate that, with travel to and from Maine, it doesn’t make sense. I will gracefully withdraw.

Got feedback on a manuscript. The feedback was interesting. Some of it makes total sense, some of it I disagree with, but I’ll send it to a couple of Trusted Readers to see if I get the same response. If they hit on the same points, I’ll know I’m on the wrong track and will adjust. One of the points the editor didn’t like was something the readers to date loved, so there’s a dilemma.

But at least it doesn’t have to go back into the queue right away.

Tuesday was about client work, RELICS & REQUIEM, galleys for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. At the time I’m scheduling this to post, I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to either of the two events to which I’ve been invited, or if I’m just going to go home and work on galleys.

Today (Wednesday) is about client work, some ghostwriting, RELICS & REQUIEM, MYTH & INTERPRETATION galleys. And I need to write ahead on a couple of blog posts. And get up a couple of articles that tie in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

 

Tues. June 19, 2018: Stressors

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

Four planets retrograde, with Mars going retrograde next week. Can I please just stay in bed until it’s all direct?

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise for “The Lost Art of Reading Aloud.”

Busy weekend. Most of it was focused on turning around the revisions of MYTH & INTERPRETATION back to my editor. We’re in galleys now. Since it’s a novella, not a novel, and just over 40K, I’m hoping the galley process won’t be as drawn out as with SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

Back in the saddle with RELICS & REQUIEM. Going at a good clip with that. I love the way the relationship is unfolding between Amanda and Phineas. It gets my full writing focus (as opposed to revision or proofreading focus) this week, because next week, DAVY JONES DHARMA gets back into the mix. I’m looking forward to spending time again with Sophie and the crew of the Charisma.

Did some work on the anti-gun violence play. It’s slow going. Instead of drafting in a rush, I’m working and reworking each scene, building the piece. It’s a different way of working than I usually use, but this play needs it. You change the process to meet the demands of a specific project.

It makes me shake my head when writers — usually un-published or under-published refuse to try something new because “that’s not my process.” Until you have a published track record, you’re still trying to find your process. And, even then, you have to change it when the work calls for it.

For the anti-gun violence play, all that time I’ve spent in DC working with senators and reps on legislation, talking to various members of Congress and their aides about issues has all come in handy. It allows me to give it texture, to layer in sights, sounds, smells, attitudes.

I’m still in touch with many of the people with whom I worked when I lived in New York, and have added the MA delegations to my contacts since I’ve moved here. Usually about once a day, always several times a week. Just because I don’t post about it all the time doesn’t mean I remain silent. Or uninvolved. Especially now, it’s vital to be immersed in our political process. My mother, who survived Russian prison camp in WWII, is horrified at the way the US is going down the road of Nazi Germany.

I am sickened by separating children from their families and putting them in cages. Every single individual who does this must be prosecuted AS AN INDIVIDUAL. No hiding behind “job” or “policy.” If your job or policy requires you to do something inhumane, you refuse. You fight. Period. If you commit an inhuman act because your job “requires” you to do it, YOU are inhumane. And must face consequences.

I take note of so many people who claim they are “religious” and “Christian” who agree with this inhumane policy of degrading people and putting children IN CAGES. Look at the AP reports. Look at John Moore’s photos. It’s happening. In our country. These people who protest outside of Planned Parenthood, want to deny women reproductive rights, are anti-abortion, delight when doctors who provide health care for women are SHOT, all in the name of RELIGION — they think putting children in cages and denying them basic human rights and dignity is just fine. Not only are they disgusting individuals with no moral compass or authority — they are hypocrites.

I saw a suggestion from a Catholic bishop to deny those implementing this inhumane treatment the sacrament. I am fully on board with that. Go further — excommunicate any individual who does not repent, not only in words, but in ACTION.

Ex-communicate Paul Ryan. This granny-starving sleazeball, who delights in taking away healthcare and other rights, posted a tone-deaf tweet for Father’s Day, while doing nothing to help the situation.

I’m deeply disappointed in Susan Collins from Maine. I have family in Maine; spent lots of time there. Have met with her, in Maine and in Washington. She seemed like a fairly reasonable, rational human being. How disturbing to find it was all a facade.

We are losing a generation of children. Physically and emotionally. It is inexcusable and must be stopped.

For all those who turn away and say they “aren’t political.” They’re coming for you next, you spineless pieces of crap. You won’t be spared. You’re useful to them now, because of your inaction. But you will be tossed away as soon as they choose.

THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS is dealing with some of these issues, as in, when you fight atrocity, how far into similar behavior can you descend without becoming what you fight? Who gets sacrificed? How can anyone come back from it?

Which is, of course, why the piece is pulling at me. Although, I suspect that, once the anti-gun violence play is drafted and goes out to Trusted Readers, I will write a play about this situation.

And, of course, POWER OF WORDS wants attention. We’ve come up with a new series title that we all like. We’ve even named the first six books, and I THINK those titles will stick. Now the question is, how realistically can I finish the material that will be broken into the rest of Book 4 and make up Books 5 & 6, with everything else going on? Books 1, 2 & 3 have been through multiple drafts. They are almost ready to send to the editor. But, because we want to have all six ready at once, I have to finish the rest. I have most of Book 4 done, and part of Book 5 (I skipped ahead). I have Book 6 outlined. But how to fit it in?

On top of that, the Jain Lazarus Adventures must now be factored back in. I need to finish CRAVE THE HUNT, so it can go into edits and be ready to release when HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK re-release. While still staying on track with the Coventina Circle books, the Nautical Namaste books, and the Gwen Finnegan books.

And, you know, client work.

STILL waiting for two checks, one that is now almost a month late. Where the place lied and said it was “sent” and that the accountant wouldn’t be in until this week, and there was nothing they could do about a replacement. You’re a business. You’re telling me that no one can take 5 minutes to write a check? That’s not business.

Feeling pressured and upset and in despair on multiple fronts. All I can do is put my head down and keep writing.

 

Fri. June 14, 2018: Cover Reveal & Writing Plans

 

MYTH&INTERPRETATION Cover

Myth & Interpretation

Stuck in NYC when plans for their next expedition fall through, Gwen and Justin accept teaching jobs at different local universities. Adjusting to their day-to-day  relationship, and juggling the academic and emotional demands of their students, they are embroiled in two different, disturbing, paranormal situations that have more than one unusual crossing point. Can they work together to find the answers? Or are new temptations too much to resist? For whom are they willing to put their lives on the line?

Friday, June 15, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Above is the cover for MYTH & INTERPRETATION, the between-the-books Gwen Finnegan novella, releasing digitally on July 17, from Bluestockings and Gentlemen Press.

Hop on over to the GDR site to see the mid-month check-in. I can’t believe we’re already in June. Pretty soon, it will be time for the mid-year assessment!

Feeling a little under the weather today.

Worked on articles yesterday, got out some LOIs, on the revisions of MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I’d hoped to get it to my editor today, but it looks like I need the weekend to work out some problems. But that means going into galleys early next week, which will still be fine. I’m finally getting used to the fact that digital releases work on a faster scale than print. When we move to the print releases, we’ll be back at molasses, which is why they are staggered so differently.

I’m a little behind on RELICS & REQUIEM, and don’t want to lose momentum. RELICS will have the main drafting focus up through the end of next week; the following week, I will be in writing mode for both RELICS and DAVY JONES DHARMA.

The publisher is waiting for one more piece of information before making the Jain Lazarus announcement. The wait is to accommodate someone I want to include –who hasn’t gotten back to me yet, and the publisher is getting impatient. Now, this individual might be on vacation – it’s someone trustworthy. But, if we don’t hear back, one way or another, SOON, the publisher will need to move on.

I planned to do yard work today, but it’s not very nice out. Plus, I’m not feeling well. So we’ll see.

An organization I used to work with sent a condescending email on how I could “help” them, acting as if I’d never shared a post or posted a Tweet. It was demeaning, considering how much of my business is in social media. I need to let it go, but I’m angry.

My mom had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and all is well, at least for the moment. So all was well.

The weekend will focus on MYTH, RELICS, the play, and maybe a little work on either THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS or POWER OF WORDS.

Good times!

Monday’s post for Upbeat Authors is a very personal essay on my journey.

I hope you’ll read it.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on June 15, 2018 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 14, 2018: Cover Reveal & Writing Plans  
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Thurs. June 14, 2018: Exciting Times (in a Good Way)

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Tuesday night, I went to a Social Entrepreneurs Networking Event at the Blue Rock Golf Course in South Yarmouth. Once I found the place, the event was great. There were about 40 people there –a good turnout for the Cape. The two people who convinced me to go, however, didn’t show up! Again, pretty typical of the Cape.

But the people I met were great. Lively, funny, interesting, passionate about what they do, and interested in what everyone else did. I exchanged many cards, and came home with a stack of cards — ALL for people with whom I’ll follow up.

I think I even found a person to fix an IT issue for one of my clients.

Not ONCE did anyone deride the fact that I’m a writer. In fact, it was celebrated. NOT ONCE did anyone try to demean that I publish under multiple names. They thought it was interesting. NOT ONCE, when I said, “I don’t do photos on social media; it’s part of writing under multiple names” was it met with bullying (the way it regularly is at other events, where people try to FORCE me to be in photos on social media). The response was, “I totally get that.”

What a difference, from events that are supposedly all about supporting WRITERS, where I am regularly accused of “hiding” or “What? You’re under the witness protection program? Ha, ha, ha.” Or like the exchange I had, when I went to a talk last year, at a supposedly writer-centric event:

Old White Guy: What do you do for a living?

Me: Write.

Old White Guy: No, I mean, what do you do to make money?”

Me: Write.

Old White Guy: No, I mean how to you earn your living? What’s your job?

Me: Write.

Old White Guy: No one does that.

Me: I do. (walks away).

It disturbs me that these organizations who are supposed to support writers and artists in their careers and help them find their way through the maze of professionalism allow this kind of behavior.

Which is why I stopped attending so many of these events.

And why Tuesday night was so refreshing.

It was also nice to talk to people from all different types of businesses. That’s one of the positives about this area. Because it’s a smaller community, it’s not as insulated. It’s far too easy to only interact with your own circle and then narrow your world. We all need new people and fresh experiences to keep growing. Fresh perspectives.

It was tough to haul myself out of the house (It had been a particularly discouraging day with a client who refuses to accept that the world won’t change to meet the way this client thinks it SHOULD be, and deal with how it is, and find interesting ways to work around it). Plus, the directions weren’t correct. I got frustrated, but I found the place by accident. Now, I’m glad I did.

It was really pretty, and the site suggested I could use it to meet with clients, which is also nice. Gives me a mid-Cape option other than just Cape Space or a bar or a coffee shop. Now that I actually know where the darn place is!

Picked up Chinese food on the way home (because I sure as hell wasn’t going to cook). Decompressed.

Up early on Wednesday to write. Focused primarily on the MYTH AND INTERPRETATION revisions (cover reveal will be in the next couple of days). I have a couple of things to still work out in the middle — a scene or two to add, and I made some cuts, and massaged a timeline that was off. It was fixed with a phrase that referred to the time lapse instead of a scene, so that’s a relief.

Waiting to hear back from someone about another piece of the Jain Lazarus Adventures puzzle before making that big announcement.

Chasing down a late payment from a client from whom I will part shortly. Again, what’s going on is legal. But I question the ethics, and can’t be a part of it. I want my last payment, and then we’re done. Also didn’t like that the person I dealt with about the missing payment lied, I knew she lied, and she knew I knew she lied.

The individual I met at the networking event was able to fit my client in to his schedule yesterday and start solving the IT issues. That made yesterday a bit less stressful.

Came home, made a very dry vodka martini, read a bit. Worked on some more MYTH revisions. Had more discussions about the future of Jain Lazarus. We have a couple of contract things to work out.

We also are discussing a kind of odd promotional item for the books. I’m not sure we’d be allowed to offer it on a large platform — it may have to go directly from the publisher’s website and my websites. We have to check with our distributor. The possibilities intrigue me. It would take some work to pull off, but if it sells more books in the long run, it would be worth it. We had originally talked about it being a print giveaway, but the thought grew to why not make it available digitially as well?

I received my contract from Llewellyn. I will be in the 2020 Spell-A-Day Calendar, under the Cerridwen Iris Shea name. I’m looking forward to it. I wrote for them for 16 years, and then felt I didn’t have anything left to say, so I took a break. And now I have something to say again, and they’re interested. That makes me happy. I’m sending off the signed contract today, and getting to work on the pieces this week. They are due in October.

More yard work today. Steady, solid work on RELICS & REQUIEM, steady work on the revisions for  MYTH, which I think can go out to the editor tomorrow. And the cover reveal for MYTH will also be tomorrow.

The good busy.

 

Published in: on June 14, 2018 at 8:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 14, 2018: Exciting Times (in a Good Way)  
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Wed. June 13, 2018: Creative Changes and Challenges

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Busy times. Revisions are going more slowly than I’d like for MYTH & INTERPRETATION, but I like how the book is taking shape.

RELICS & REQUIEM is moving forward very well. I’m happy with the pace and the way the book is taking shape.

There are negotiations about how the Jain Lazarus Adventures will move forward, and I will make the announcement as soon as that’s finalized. But it had me re-reading what I’ve written on CRAVE THE HUNT. There are definitely things I want to change/improve, but the bones are solid.

Some dumbass drove into the Centerville Library parking lot the wrong way up the one way exit and slammed into the building. I have never lived any place in the world where people are so stupid they regularly drive into buildings. I’m over it.

Weed whacked the back terraced area on Monday. I still have to mow, but it looks better. Slowly but surely, we are getting there.

Bought a plant to cheer up my elderly neighbors.

Client work yesterday and today (today will be challenging). It’s hard to switch away from my fictional worlds at the moment. Necessary, but difficult.

But it keeps my brain flexible and my thoughts fresh.

Published in: on June 13, 2018 at 4:21 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 13, 2018: Creative Changes and Challenges  
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Tues. June 12, 2018: A Happy Weekend

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

That was quite a weekend!

I mowed the center front yard Friday morning, with the reel push mower. This time, it worked better, and the yard looks darned good, if I say so! Saturday, I did the side and No Man’s Land. It needs some weed whacking, but it looks much better.

The newsletter went out on Friday, with the cover reveal for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I’ll do the public cover reveal later this week here, on the Gwen Finnegan website, on Facebook, on Twitter.

I started working on the media kit for MYTH and the one that will encompass the whole series. The latter will be updated each time a book is released.

I’m getting into the groove for RELICS & REQUIEM. Answered some of the “why” questions for myself, which will help me move the plot along smoothly. I need to do some tweaks in the outline, and then settle in for the ride. But I’ve got a good steady pace on it, about 1800-2000 words a day. Under what I’d like it to be, but decent.

I dug into the revisions for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. Made a few more connections, expanded some themes, cut some distractions. I’m happy with the way it’s going.

We started watching THE CROWN, which is interesting. Matt Smith does a wonderful job. I didn’t know about the fatal, coal-induced fog in the mid 1950s that triggered Britian’s Clear Air Act. It triggered the idea for a mystery.

It also infuriated me that Scott Pruitt wants to bring the United States back to worse than this, all as he continues to grift from the taxpayers.

Read Meg Wolitzer’s THE FEMALE PERSUASION. Absolutely loved it. I fall between the ages of Faith and Greer, so my experiences overlapped with some of each, and I could relate to both of them. The book is so well done. Hits on specifics, while making it feel universal, as all the best books do.

Did some work on THE POWER OF WORDS. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ve hit on a series title that might actually work, along with titles for the first two books. I’m drafting what will be book four, although I’ve written part of book five already.

Realized that I can’t move forward on THREE ROADS OF STRANGERS until I add in that chapter I need earlier. It ties in too much to what’s going on now. I’m touching on some of the human trafficking themes in this book, but if there’s a second Cuanoir Port novel, I think that human trafficking will be its central focus. This needs to be about the intervention of foreign powers and fighting it (sound familiar)? If I try to put everything into the book, it will get unfocused.

Not enough work on the anti-gun violence play. Not happy with how I’ve handled the opening.

Saturday, I finished my daily writing quota early enough to feel good about participating in Worldwide Knit in Public Day. My mom and I were invited to join the group at Salt Yarn Studios in Dennis. They’d put aside some yarn I liked, so I was there to pick it up as well as participate.

My mom already finished the back of the top I designed from the yarn with which I’d fallen in love the last time we were there. She started on the front. I started on a crochet project — because I prefer crocheting to knitting, and I’m better at it.

I also fell in love with some other yarn and bought it, because, well, YARN.

One of the women who works in the store loves reading on her Kindle. She was excited to meet an author. I gave her information on the books, and she’s going to read through the sites and the blurbs and find what interests her. So that was fun.

We were outside, in the garden, overlooking Rt. 6A, in our chairs, with our yarn, working and chatting. It was a nice group of people, and passers-by stopped to find out what we were doing, ask questions, be included.

What a different vibe than the knitting group in a neighboring town that we participated in a few years ago, where they ignored newcomers and only said snide, gossipy, judgmental things about everyone else. This was much more of what I want from a group knitting experience. Not to mention the mango Bellinis and watermelon!

On the way home, I planned to stop and pick up a prepared meal because I didn’t feel like cooking. I stopped at a local market and the shelves were practically bare! Guess plenty of other people didn’t feel like cooking, either. We wound up picking up a pizza.

Absolutely thrilled that Justify won the Belmont. Thrilled for the horse. Thrilled for Mike Smith, who I think is one of the best people on the planet. If it wasn’t for him, I would have never gotten the use back in my shoulder after it was dislocated. Not to mention the many other acts of kindness and friendship over the years. I also love that he won the 13th Triple Crown.

I love how Justify wired the race, how his stride remained smooth throughout. It was a thing of beauty. He went from unraced to Triple Crown winner in 112 days. Pretty darn spectacular.

I was filled with gratitude that Saturday was such a happy day. Those are too rare lately.

And Sunday was the Tony Awards! I was so proud of the Broadway/theatre communities and how they are working for positive change.

Client work yesterday, today, and tomorrow onsite. More flexiiblity later in the week. I can’t believe it’s nearly mid-June. That means I’ll have to post the mid-month check in for the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site by the end of the week.

There’s a big announcement regarding the Jain Lazarus Adventures coming out soon. Stay tuned!