Fri. Nov. 18, 2016: Rolling the Writing Ball

Friday, Nov. 18, 2016
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cool

I forgot to post yesterday. I apologize. So this post combines both day’s thoughts.

Busy few days. Got some painting done, some yard work done (but I can’t stay ahead of the leaves).

DEATH OF A CHOLERIC was ready to go out on submission yesterday, but I had file compatibility problems, so it has to go out today instead. However, the completed revisions of PLAYING THE ANGLES went out, and will hopefully be picked up and re-issued soon. I’m going over TRACKING MEDUSA in a few days, and then that will go out the door in search of re-issue, too. HEART-SNATCHER is almost through revisions and will be ready to go on submission either before the end of the year, or just after the first of the year.

I love PLAYING THE ANGLES (what used to be ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT). It’s still one of my favorite books that I’ve written.

I think I’m going to do the Nina Bell books myself; they’re too quirky to make business sense for a traditional publisher. I need to do a new cover in the next few weeks for one of the shorts, and then work on the first Nina and the beginning of the second Nina so that I can release the first one in spring. It makes me laugh (uncomfortably) that a range of time I lived through could now be called “period”.

I found an older novel of mine, that needs about 100 more pages to complete, which I loved, but put away. It’s called THE FIX-IT GIRL, and is set in 1930s Hollywood. I read it yesterday. There’s a lot of good stuff there. I made notes on revisions, and I’ve got an idea of what to do with the last 100 pages. I think I can whip it into shape to be ready for submission by late winter or early spring.

I want to make sure I get through the backlog, and that everything out there is earning its keep!

Did some work on MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC, and also on the sci-fi/fantasy/mystery. and the contemporary play. I need to get back to the contemporary intrigue/romance, and the two historical plays.

I have to stop eating red meat for awhile again; that seems to be what’s been making me sick lately. That happened a few years ago — I had to stop eating red meat for about six months. I’ve eaten too much of it since our company came in September (they were big fans of red meat), and now I’m paying the price. So, back to a lighter diet.

I’ve got to finish up some research on Gilded Age Newport in the next few days and get those books back to the library. I think I need to focus on plot and character for this draft, and then layer in historical detail in the next. I’ve got a decent idea of time and place, but the research is interfering with the story at this point. I need to write the story to see what I have, and then see what needs to change for it to make sense within its historical context, and where my character chooses to break the social norms. That’s one of the themes of the series — that she chooses to break convention, and then has to pay the price.

I’m hoping it clears up a bit in the coming hours, so I can get more yard work done. I mowed the front day before yesterday. It looked good for about five minutes until it filled with leaves again. I still need to do no-man’s land, the terrace, and the meadow, and then start raking the front.

However, I need to take the yard waste and recycling in as soon as the weather clears. It rained off and on yesterday. It’s miserable trying to unload the car and get it all the bins and on the yard waste piles in bad weather. But the garage is about to pop.

I think I’m done painting until spring, unless I paint some of the shells I’ve collected, with an eye to the holidays.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on November 18, 2016 at 9:40 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 18, 2016: Rolling the Writing Ball  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mon. Sept. 19, 2016: Getting Back to a Writing Rhythm

Monday, September 19, 2016
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and humid

We finally have some much-needed rain!

Saturday, we were up and out very early, headed to Providence. We dropped our friend off, then headed down to Newport. It was a gorgeous day.

The International Boat Show was in Newport. The place was packed! And I happened to walk into a store, and there was my fellow Sister-in-Crime, Alyssa Maxwell, doing a book signing for her Gilded Age mystery series set in Newport! I knew her work, of course, but we’d never met before. It was great to have a chat, meet, and I bought and she signed the book I didn’t have! 😉

We met friends for lunch at the Red Parrot (lots of choices, but a bit disappointing). I did some geographical research for the Victorian mystery.

Exhausted by the time we got home, and the cold came back full force. To bed early.

Sunday, I gave myself the day off, mostly reading and doing a few errands.

Today, it’s back to the page, once I’ve done some errands. I need to start opening out CONFIDENCE CONFIDANT (I need to submit the full length within the next few weeks), and work on the other projects I’m juggling. I’m also starting the next round of edits on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, and preparing for another trip later in the week.

Busy, busy, but good busy.

I think I know what’s coming next for the characters in “Lake Justice” – so I’ll have to get that going soon. I want to pair three shorts for the “Lake Justice” characters – one set in a ski resort, and the other set on an island in Maine. That will make a good set of stories to put together with the re-released “Lake Justice.”

I also want to do another Twinkle Tavern series mystery – probably a novella.

Somehow, I have to figure out how to fit them in with the projects I’m juggling, including the plays and CHOLERIC and SONGBOUND.

But it’s a good dilemma to have!

I will be very relieved when Mercury goes direct in a few days – and the Equinox is coming up!

Devon

Wed. Sept. 14, 2016: Creative Fuel

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy few days! I’ve been trying to balance work along with having company.

Company arrived Saturday, from NY via Megabus, although they changed the Megabus stop, so at first I was at the wrong place. Typical Mercury Retrograde!

But we found each other and got home. I’ve been cooking a lot for the company – good, homecooked, American food. We’ve gone out a few times—we spent Monday going all along the National Seashore, Eastham, Light houses, all the way down to Provincetown, where we had a wonderful lunch at Patio. The food there just gets better and better, and the service is great, too.

I’ve managed to get some writing done, one on a piece I’m calling UNBOUND, at least for now, and the other on an untitled short story that I have a feeling is going to turn into a novella.

The time in Provincetown on Monday gave me some ideas; I’m trying to decide if I want to write a contemporary suspense novel, or if I want to develop some of these ideas into one of the series on which I’m working. I have a feeling a one-off suspense novel will make more sense. So we’ll see. I’m playing with ideas.

Although time is short, the ideas are churning, which is always a good thing.

I helped some visual artists write grants this week, which is always fulfilling. I hope they get what they seek!

Next week, when the company is gone, I will go back into the next round of edits for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’d like to get it submission-ready this fall, and have it start making the rounds.

Saturday, when we take our friend back to the bus in Providence, we will then drive to Newport, where I will do some research for the Victorian mystery, and also meet some other friends en route from Boston to Philadelphia for lunch.

I’m also developing my essays. Essays take me longer than long fiction!

Busy times, but good ones.

Hope you are all well and happy!

Devon

Published in: on September 14, 2016 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 14, 2016: Creative Fuel  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fri. July 17, 2015: Trips to Newport and to Urgent Care

Friday, July 17, 2015
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Sorry I haven’t posted. It’s been, to say the least, chaotic.

Can I even remember all the way back to last weekend? I remember a lot of writing, especially on INITIATE, which was amazing. I was so happy to be back in that world. It’s one of my favorite writings.

I know I rescued a mouse that was caught in a sticky trap. I poured olive oil on the trap and helped the poor, frightened little thing work its way off and scamper into the bushes. I’m going to have to get some Hav-a-heart traps – I thought we were done with mice, but I was delusional. They’re cute little field mice, but the cats make friends with them instead of catching them (taking the “harm none” house policy a bit too far), and I’d rather have them outside rather than inside.

Tuesday was staff day – -the carpets were cleaned, so the library was closed, and we did a staff day out in Newport, Rhode Island. A van was rented, and we travelled in style to Newport, where we had a private tour of The Elms (a delightful house), lunch at The Chandler (which was wonderful), and then a tour of Chateau-Sur-Mer, which I also loved. It was truly a lovely day. We discussed work topics, too, and got revved up about possibilities and things we’d like to do to make the place even better.

Wednesday was rather chaotic at work. It didn’t look as though the carpet cleaners actually cleaned anything, although chairs were put on tables. We had eight crates of books, a long paging list, and two carts full of books in the book drop. Then the new furniture arrived. Only we – the staff of women who are not in their twenties – had to load it off the truck. Because heaven forbid they buy furniture from a company that does anything but curbside delivery. Personally, if I pay thousands of dollars for a bunch of stuff, I do not give that money to a company that dumps things on the curb.

Also, part of the point of the new furniture was that it is light enough for us to rearrange easily for programs. Some of us were even in on the early meetings and discussed, at length, what we needed from the furniture. Which was, of course, disregarded, at least where the new, heavy tables were concerned.

Came home and collapsed on Wednesday night. I’ve been watching CASE HISTORIES, starring Jason Isaacs. Very well done, but that character’s refusal to move on from always falling for broken women gets old after awhile, as, in the first season, the constant replaying of his sister’s death. A bit heavy-handed.

Woke up on Thursday not able to feel on the right side. When I finally could, I was in terrible pain. Got to work, felt worse and worse and worse. Had an off-site meeting in the afternoon, then went to urgent care. I have pinched nerves, the rotator cuff injury has flared up again, there are some strained tendons and pulled muscles. They were more concerned about the pre-heart attack symptoms I exhibited. All things considered, I was in and out of there pretty quickly.

I wasn’t about to take the list of medications they wanted for me, especially not the painkillers or muscle relaxers. I went home and put a lot of turmeric in my chicken dinner – within an hour, I could feel the inflammation going down. I took valerian root last night and knocked myself out, feeling much better when I woke up, and hawthorn this morning. I’m better, but I’ll be in a sling for a few days – of course, it’s my right shoulder and I’m right-handed. Oh, well.

Long day today, and tomorrow is my Saturday “on”. Lots of errands to run, lots of writing to get done. The rental inspection is on Monday afternoon, and I have two board meetings on Tuesday.

Let’s hope next week is calmer.

Devon

Published in: on July 17, 2015 at 8:42 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 17, 2015: Trips to Newport and to Urgent Care  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 30, 2011


View of the water in Newport
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

One of my students, Carol Dunsford, gave me a nice mention in her blog, talking about my “Setting as Character” class and my recommendation of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Stop by and check out her blog — it’s good stuff (and not just because she mentioned me). Give her some comment love!

I’m late posting this morning, because I left at 6:30 to drive to Chatham for Yoga on the Beach, by the lighthouse. It was the best yoga class I’ve ever taken. The teacher is amazing — she knows how to encourage and challenge without incurring injury. It’s Kripalu style, with which I’m comfortable, and I discovered I’m a lot more able to do many of the poses than I expected. She also had wonderful suggestions for the backbends, which I have the most problems with. There were about 30 people, men and women, from about eight years old to eighty. Great group. It was an hour and fifteen minutes, but felt like fifteen minutes. My thighs currently aren’t speaking to me, but they’ll get over it! 😉

I love practicing in the sand — there’s more give than on a hardwood floor, but there’s also support. They meet every day; I can’t take that four hour chunk of time out of my morning every day, but I hope to go at least twice a week.

Missed the turn back to 28 going home, so drove all the way out to the Eastham rotary and took Rt. 6 coming back.

Came back, watered the garden, showered, ate, and am hitting the page. I want to spend some quality time on SPIRIT REPOSITORY this morning, and then I’ll have to mow the front lawn in the afternoon.

Yesterday, I poulticed the swollen bites, which meant I had to stay quiet for 90 minutes with my legs elevated — yay, reading time! Everything’s much better now.

The annoying neighbor I call Idiot Boy was putting metal through his wood chipper yesterday. When he’s not working my last nerve by walking away and leaving his power tools on (right across from my writing room window) or sitting in his truck idling the engine for 30 minute stretches (and then moaning about the price of gas), he’s putting metal through a wood chipper. Hence, the nickname.

In spite of him, I managed to revise a short story and get it out to an anthology call that unexpectedly landed on my desk.

Bessie the Squirrel is Very Busy burying things in the vegetable bed. I hope she won’t think I’m after her stuff when I go to harvest my vegetables. The strawberries are starting to ripen, so, provided the birds don’t get them first, we may actually have a strawberry harvest soon.

Obviously, no matter how hard I work on “loving kindness” aspects of practice, I’m going to fall short when it comes to insects. I’m an ant murderess, often before breakfast (which, I suppose, is better than being an aunt murderess). If the ants would stay at the bottom of the yard, we could leave each other in peace. However, since they insist on pock-marking and weakening the whole front yard in their tunnel-building towards the house, I do not consider them practicing “loving kindness” towards me, either! 😉

In other words, although there are aspects of Buddhist Practice I try to incorporate in my own life, I’m going to keep killing ants. And mosquitos. Etc. I tried negotiating. I tried using natural pests to eat other pests. The ants are relentless. I have a momentary victory, but I’ve hardly won the war, and next spring, I will have to be much more aggressive far earlier.

On that happy note, I’m going back to the page. 😉

update: The June Wrap-up for Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions is here.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.