Thurs. Feb. 15, 2018: Back After A Tough Few Days

Thursday, February 15, 2018
New Moon
Cloudy and mild

It’s been a rough few days. I’ve been out of town, which is one reason why I skipped the post yesterday and on Tuesday.

On Saturday night, we learned a second family member had died, also up in Maine. This was more expected, after a year-long illness. And on Sunday, I learned that an actress I’d worked with as we both made our way up the ladder to Broadway, had died of cancer. Three deaths in about two weeks. It was rough.

On Sunday morning, we packed the car and headed up to Maine in the rain. It wasn’t too bad of a drive, and we made better time than we thought. We made a few stops in Kittery to pick up some things we needed. The hotel we originally planned to stay in was undergoing renovation; even though they were taking in guests, the added stress of the noise and the overall creepiness was more than we could cope with at the moment.

We kept going until we hit the Ogunquit Resort. They had a room at a good rate, we booked in. It was a wonderful room. Bigger than most New York City apartments. Great beds, a desk, a table and chairs, plenty of floor space. Enough floor space for me to roll out my mat and do yoga without hitting anything.

We settled in and tried to have a relaxing afternoon. Reading and research for me. I read Ann Hood’s THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST. I like her writing. I also did some research on New Amsterdam for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I knew I lost writing days, so I wanted to make some use of the time. Pizza from a favorite local joint for dinner, watching the Olympics at night.

Monday morning, up early and into Portland for the memorial service for the family member who died unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago. The funeral home and its staff were lovely, although I couldn’t help but think of SIX FEET UNDER. Members of her knitting group were there, telling funny stories. In spite of the sorrow, it was uplifting. Too much religion for my taste, but then, it wasn’t about me, was it?

After, we convened at a brew pub in Scarborough for lunch and to catch up. We raised a glass to the family member who died on Saturday; he gets a graveside military funeral, so he’s on ice (literally) until the ground is soft enough to dig in spring.

Back to the hotel, exhausted. Read a bit, researched a bit, played with the opening to a short story. I have two openings for two different pieces rolling around in my head, and I’m trying to see if they are two sides to the same piece (doesn’t seem that way) or two different pieces (more likely). Also have a story idea spinning based on the past few days (although it will take a different direction, with higher stakes or it wouldn’t be worth reading. Or writing).

More Olympics, which is really the only thing worth watching.

I am sickened by how many commercials for drugs are on TV. And in magazines. And they wonder why people are addicted. It also enrages me that most of these drugs are supposed to be taken “with” another drug that isn’t effective enough. No, dumbass, you don’t take four different things to “help” whose side effects make you nauseated, dizzy, and break out in rashes and could kill you. It means the initial medication ISN’T WORKING and the damn doctor needs to find ONE medication, the RIGHT medication, that solves the problem without side effects.

I am convinced these drugs are created not to work completely, to force people onto multiple medications with horrible side effects, so they have to take even more medications to counteract those effects. Pharma is a scam. It’s not about making people healthy; it’s about keeping people sick in order to make money off them.

Up early and out the door on Tuesday, headed back to the Cape. I tried to time it so I got through the Big Dig in Boston after rush hour, but before the noon traffic. It was still awful, with slowdowns and crashes and roadwork.

I was a wreck with a migraine by the time we got home. We unpacked, comforted the cats (who were upset we’d gone), paid some bills. Did some stretches. Tried to rest.

I was in bed by 8 PM. Woke up with a migraine on Wednesday and felt awful, but dragged myself to work with a client, dropped off/picked up some books at the library, and came home.

Finally started feeling better in the evening.

Today, I have to get some writing done, work on the website (I hope to start the move tomorrow or Saturday), and work with another client. I also have to take down the February decorations and start putting up the spring decorations.

Both the snapdragons and the sweet peas I planted in pos are coming up. I’m going to start the tomatoes and the lettuce soon.

I need to get it together on SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

I also need to buy a new drum for my laser printer. The thing I ordered was the wrong piece. That’s what I get for trying to cut corners.

Onward.

 

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Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Challenging few days. On the upside, yesterday, I wrote 39 pages (three chapters) of a fantasy novel — approximately 9,750 words. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Thank goodness the Olympics in Boston is OFF. That was a damn stupid idea in the first place — the city simply does not have the space, and spreading out all over the state — one of the ideas floated — was ridiculous. People need to be able to get to the venues, and even a few miles in Boston traffic is impossible. It would have hurt Boston, not helped us, and cost us (not just financially) far more than it would have earned us.

So, I appreciate Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker’s standing up for the taxpayers. However, I’m still annoyed with Baker for vetoing a $2.3 million dollar funding increase for the arts in MA. Close the tax loopholes for the corporate fucks and fund the arts. We already have a population who’s losing the ability for independent thought. Fortunately, the Senate and House overturned the veto.

The weekend was rather chaotic. This was supposed to be my Saturday “off” rotation. However, I wanted to deal with an issue in a particular way that I believed would be best for all concerned and save face for us; my boss said no. She’s the boss, so be it. Then, at 5:18 that night — when I’m already home on the deck with my feet up and a martini, trying to sort out the writing for the weekend — I get a text saying she shouldn’t have butted in and if I wanted to handle it that way, go ahead. In other words, the answer I needed at 10 that morning.

Part of me just wanted to ignore it — technically, this is supposed to be a part-time gig and when I’m off, I’m supposed to be OFF so I can write. But being petty would only hurt all of us. Believe me, I seriously considered being petty. I’m not trying to present myself as “good” in this situation by any means, because I was angry.

But, I went in on Saturday, and started the ball rolling. I knew it would take several hours to get the definitive answer that would allow me to do all the rest connected to it — what I SHOULD have had all day Friday to do. I didn’t want to spend all those extra hours at work, and I certainly wasn’t going to deal with the public, not on my day “off”. So I left and ran errands, planning to go back near the end of the open hours to find the answers, take care of the rest of the domino effect, and take down last week’s specific event display.

Only there was a major truck accident on Rt. 28, the road was closed, and the cops sent us into a maze of side streets I’d never seen before, and I couldn’t “get there from here”. An hour and a half later, I figured out how to get home.

Which meant I had to go in on Sunday, too. I baked first thing, and then headed in to work, dodging people who are incapable of understanding that “closed” means they can’t come in and do whatever they want, and they have to come in when the place is actually open. I had the answer I needed, I then spent the necessary time taking the next steps, so everything is taken care of. Because it all had to be done by Monday, and certainly before I officially got back to work today.

So it all worked out, but I was still irritated (putting it mildly), because all that extra chaos could have been avoided if I’d simply been allowed to do my damn job, which includes making the decisions that are part of it.

Watched LINE OF DUTY over the weekend, which is well done, and JACK IRISH, which I liked a lot. I think Iain Glenn is great in JACK TAYLOR, but it was a little too consistently dark, whereas JACK IRISH has a better balance, and Guy Pearce is also excellent. Watched MY OLD LADY, which is packaged as a comedy, but is definitely NOT, and needed about 20 minutes of whining cut out of the middle of it. The actors were terrific, the camerawork was good, but the script needed some tweaking. I’m watching POWERS, with Sharlto Copley and Susan Heyward. I like the actors a LOT, and the scene work is terrific. I like the concept. I’m not convinced on some of the arcs yet. But I’ve watched 6 episodes out of the 10, and I’m still watching, which says something positive!

Throughout all of this, I read and I tried to write. I read Lisa Chaplin’s THE TIDE WATCHERS, which I thought was good, but I’m wondering if she’s setting up for a sequel, or just leaving us somewhat dangling at the end. I read Barbara Delinky’s BLUEPRINTS. I read THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET. I read some research books for various projects.

I worked on a couple of ideas for projects. Got about six solid pages done on one. Did seven pages of another, and then, as I was driving around yesterday, picking up things for the Mermaid Ball, I realized that I’d started it in the wrong place. General advice is to start later than you think you should (cutting unnecessary exposition). In this case, I started in the wrong place with the wrong characters. So I let that percolate for awhile.

Met with my editing student and we had a good session. She’s taking her time to learn the craft, which is necessary, and her premise is good. As long as she really LEARNS before she sends this out, she can then apply it moving forward.

Worked on Mermaid Ball stuff, running around picking things up and putting together packages. Amazon delivered three days later than guaranteed — this is the third time in the last two months, and I’m getting sick of it. Guess they’ve gotten so big, they no longer care about customer service. Which meant all the stuff I wanted to deliver on Sunday couldn’t be — not that I could have made it over the bridge anyway in good time, but that was my day to deliver packages.

You’d think Mercury was in retrograde! 😉

Yesterday, I wrote. From about 6 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. 39 pages of the re-envisioned piece. Obviously, it’s working now.

I ran over to pick up something at Cotuit Center for the Arts, then changed and went to Harvest Wine Bar and Gallery in Dennis for an artist HobNob event. We were a small group, but it was enormous fun — spent a lot of time talking to a choreographer, a musician, and a cabinet maker.

Home, dinner, POWERS, percolating some more writing. I have a play I have to work on, and work through the next section of BALTHAZARR. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with this book. It should have been done ages ago.

The whole Tom Brady/NFL suspension is ridiculous. Tom Brady is one of the few players who is consistently a class act, and people want to take him down. When I was on sports journalism gigs, football players and baseball players were my least favorite interviews. Hockey players were consistently interesting, not to mention nicer and more respectful. What’s the most disturbing, to me, is the anti-woman message the NFL is sending. Players can beat up on women and only get 2 suspensions, but because there’s less air in a piece of pigskin, that deserves 4? Totally out of balance. It says that the air in a football is more important that the treatment of women. For an organization that makes that much money and has that many people looking at them as role models (heaven forbid), it is appalling. I could understand 1 suspension, but 4? Aside from the fact I don’t think he had anything to do with it, and the whole “destroyed cellphone” thing — hell, I throw my phone across the room several times a week, not because I’m trying to hide something, but because the phone and TMobile are both garbage. It’s all crap. People — especially women — should boycott the NFL this season, make a point with their wallets. But they won’t, because until someone beats down on them personally, they don’t care enough to stand up for something that matters.

It’s also the anniversary of my father’s death in 1972, never an easy day for me.

On that happy note (yeah, that’s sarcasm), yet another long week begins.

Hope yours is terrific!

Devon

Published in: on July 30, 2015 at 7:56 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston  
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Mon. Feb. 24, 2014: A Writing and Researching Weekend

Monday, February 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Good news! My western novella, ELUSIVE PRAYERS, has been accepted by Amber Quill Press. This is a tie-in novella to my previous WIDOW’S CHAMBER serial. It had been accepted by the WC publisher, who went out of business on release day. I’ve rewritten it substantially in the interim, and it will now come out in late July. Re-working it, I liked the characters, situation, and depth of research, so I’m excited.

I have four releases coming out between the end of March and the end of July. So I’m pretty excited. It means I’ll be gearing up for some serious PR soon — watch out! 😉

Busy weekend. Friday was frustrating, but I got through it. Saturday, I worked on the novel I’m going to write in tandem with a friend who’s also working on a novel. We’re brainstorming and exchanging chapters, which is fun. I’ve read her outline and the first three chapters; she’s now got my initial fragment, my character notes, and the ideas for some major turning point scenes that I have to flesh out into my Writer’s Rough. In two weeks, I’m going to give her the first chapter. That’s longer than I usually take to write a chapter (I usually have to cough up one or nearly one a day), but this is a different kind of book and is not on a contract schedule.

I also wound up my course work for the Environmental Law and Policy Class. Got 100% on my final quiz, and 100% on my research exercise. I love, love, loved this class, and definitely want to get more involved in this type of work. It also made me understand some of the policies in place at the National Marine Life Center more completely.

I did some reading over the weekend. My next two books for review arrived, and I’m excited to dig into them. I started a couple of novels from the library, was frustrated with them, returned them. I read one novel I really enjoyed, THE TWISTED THREAD, by Charlotte Bacon. I wanted to shoot her an email to let her know how much I enjoyed it, but couldn’t find contact information online, and realized how spoiled we’ve all become at being able to locate anyone we want instantly! Good for her for not playing the always-available game!

Did a lot of research for the Sparkle & Tarnish series on Victorian dining. Since food plays a big part in the books, I want to make sure I get it right. I found THE SECRET GARDEN COOKBOOK filled with lovely historical tidbits, and I’m reading FANNIE’S LAST SUPPER, about a chef researching and recreating a meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 cookbook.

The current Garrett POV chapter I’m working on in TRUE HOME is set in Boston in 1886, so I’ve also been doing extensive research on geography, et al, of the time in order to properly write the chapter. Now, I have to cross-check some information, because I’d like to use some food info that is in books about Boston at the time, only I want to use them in NY chapters, but have to find out if similar places were in existence in NY at the time.

I see a trip to the Massachusetts Historical Society in the not-so-distant future for a day’s research.

Saturday night, I stayed up way too late watching NOW YOU SEE ME. The movie got lukewarm reviews, so I wasn’t expecting much, and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it a lot. I figured out the big twist, but then, that’s what I do. I understand structure, and that choice made the most sense within the structure and the clues dropped in. I watched it again on Sunday, to pick up some details I’d missed.

Sunday, I researched, wrote, and scheduled articles for the wine blog all the way into mid-March. Took a break for more research, and then spent the afternoon at the Osterville Library, at a talk by author Paul Kemprecos, who writes a detective series set in this area, and also wrote several books with Clive Cussler. A colleague from the Writers Center was there, and they had a nice spread of wine, cheese, etc. It was a fun, lively afternoon.

Watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics — pretty, but I didn’t have the context for much of the symbolism. Although I appreciated the tribute to writers, the performance didn’t make much sense, and where were the women writers?

This will be a very stressful week for me, not to mention that I have to finish the revisions of the play.

Got an intriguing job offer that I need to investigate more closely. I think it would be fascinating, if we can work out the time/money part of it.

The expected overnight storm missed us, and now they’ve downgraded Wednesday’s storm from a foot of snow to only four inches. Phew!

Back to the page.

Devon

Tues. Feb. 11, 2014: Example of a Positive Workday

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a very good workday. I worked on the novella in draft, I finished an editing pass on the other novella (and will do one more, layering in more sensory detail). My publisher and I agreed on the title for the sci-fi horror western. I worked on the play.

I also landed two new clients on two short projects. One is completely turned around (and paid). The other, I did my first pass and sent it back to the client for response, and it will go back and forth over the next couple of days (deposit paid). Both clients were a pleasure to deal with and had high quality work. Helped make the workday joyful.

Finished one of the books sent for review. The first half was great and it took a turn about midway through that was disappointing. Will write and send the review later today.

Started reading a book just because I want to, and I really like it. If I continue to like it, I will mention it as “Recommended Reading”.

I started on the week’s work for the Environmental Law and Policy class. Love it. We’re getting assigned a research project, which I’m eager to start.

Watched the Olympics, of course. Speed skating and skiing events.

My knee is healing nicely; my back is slower. But it’s healing, and yesterday’s snowfall wasn’t much, so the shoveling didn’t kill me. But we’re supposed to get slammed again all day Thursday. The very thought of it just makes me tired.

Devon

Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 8:48 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 11, 2014: Example of a Positive Workday  
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Fri. July 27, 2012: Just a Social Butterfly

Friday, July 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Put my head down and got work done yesterday, a big push, and sent things off on time. Draining, although the projects themselves were fun, but they’re out on time, and now, on one, I have to wait for a response, to make sure we’re going on the same/right direction.

Didn’t get a reading slot at the conference; at first I was upset, but, really, the world is not going to come to an end because I don’t get to read for 5 minutes at 10 PM on a Tuesday night. This takes ALL the pressure off me, and now I can just enjoy myself and play at the conference, which is exactly what I need to do right now.

I signed up with Coursera for a Sustainability class, a world history, a Greek & Roman Mythology (as mentioned yesterday) and an intro to Astronomy. I want to take the Cosmology class, but I don’t have the background — the professor was very clear he wants strong astronomy backgrounds in the class not “Astro 101 for Poets”, and one needs strong calculus skills, which I don’t have. So that’s out for me, disappointing, but that’s the way it goes. I’m not interested in calculus; I’m interested in why and how the comos form and un-form, but not the math that made it happen. I expect students coming into my classes to respect the prerequisites I set (not that most of them do), and I will give other teachers the same respect.

We had dinner with friends up the street last night, which was great fun. Barbecue, Appletinis, good company, good conversation. Today, I’m doing some work, I’ve got some errands, and then some friends of Costume Imp’s who are in for a few days will come visit.

And tonight, the Olympics start. Woo-hoo!

Devon

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Gray and gloomy

Yesterday was mostly about the conference, which is as it should be. We are buckling down to work. It’s a smaller conference than the Muse, so it’s easier to give the students more individual attention. It’s easier to work in depth with a dozen students than over a hundred, which is what I’ve sometimes had.

Comcast is driving me nuts. I’m kind of shocked by how badly Comcast sucks. I’m managing to get the work done, but I’m worried about the live chat this afternoon. I’m deeply grateful I have Optimum back home.

Cooked tuna steaks for supper, which was great. Watched the Olympics for a bit. Fox’s idea of supporting HUMAN TARGET was to run a marathon of the few episodes already aired on FX — but with more commercials and cutting scenes, most of which were Jackie Earle Haley’s, which royally pissed me off, since I think they’re the best scenes in the show. People work so hard to put on a show — 18, 20+ hours a day, and, having worked on hour-long dramas, I know how hard it is. And then the network messes around and makes stupid decisions. You know the old adage, “Those who can’t do, teach?” — which isn’t true if you get a good teacher. What is true is “Those without a creative or commonsensical bone in their bodies become network executives.”

Did just over 1000 words on one of the short stories, which was good. Did notes on another piece. Worked on my next assignment for the humor workshop. My first two assignments were well-received, so hopefully, I’m on the right track. It’s a challenge, but I like it.

Word from home is I received a royalty check — always like that. I think I’m going to use it for a pottery workshop in May. I haven’t been able to afford the 14-week course, in either financial or time-related terms, but there’s a one-day introductory workshop in mid-May I’d like to get into at the professional studio next town over.

That’s pretty much it. I commented on exercises in both workshops this morning. I have a live chat on freelancing as a career not a hobby (look out, content mills, I am saying exactly what I think of you), commenting on more exercises, working on my assignment, and, hopefully, getting more writing done. The plays are percolating, so once I get home this week, I’ll put time into those. I have to get two of them out to my producer by mid-March, and well, tomorrow will be March.

Back to the page.

Devon

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I’m back home, for a couple of days. Weekend gig was good, but busy. I could only get online via the very slow PC, so all I did was check messages and tweet occasionally. The essay I busted my ass so much to get in on time — still not up. Typical. Last time I take a quick turn-around demand from them seriously.

Didn’t do much work on ANGEL HUNT. I’ve gutted chapters 10 & 11. I’m going to combine them in the current draft, and I think I’ll write most of it from scratch without looking at the earlier draft, and then fold in anything that’s still relevant. Right now, by trying to revise what’s on the page, I’m getting caged by it, when what I need to do is take the literal meaning of the work and Re-Vision what purpose the chapter needs to serve and how to get there. I won’t be able to take the hard copy with me to Philly — I’m not hauling around several hundred pages of manuscript — so I won’t do much work on it while I’m there.

Besides, the conference starts on Friday — I’m teaching two workshops for an entire week AND doing a live chat on Sunday afternoon. That will take up the bulk of my time.

Made some notes on a few other pending projects, worked a bit on the short stories. I’m trying to gear up and get back into the headspace for the commissioned plays, but the light humor isn’t coming through. I need to get on the ball with those — the producer has to plan next season, and I want to be a part of it.

I did start another play, a much more serious one. that just sort of came to me out of nowhere, and wrote the first two scenes.

Reading-wise, I finished THE SWAN THIEVES. I liked it, although I felt the end was a little anti-climactic, and there were questions left unanswered (not directly related to the main plot) that I needed answered. In a way, it reminds me a little of AS Byatt’s POSSESSION, which is one of my favorite novels (never saw the movie).

After THE SWAN THIEVES, I needed something light and completely different. I read Michael Thomas Ford’s JANE BITES BACK, which is quite clever and funny, riding the Austen and the historical figure re-creationist wave while also poking fun at it.

I also picked up another book that I loathed. I won’t bash the writer here — it’s too hard to make a living doing this. Let’s just say that, after 50 pages, I was so furious, and the fury gained when I skimmed it, that I took it back to the store and swapped it out for something else. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that before. It was unrelenting, unnecessary gore, and unrelenting violence towards animals, which is one of my personal “don’t cross” boundaries. In the first 50 pages, a horse was brutally slaughtered in detail AND a supposed favorite pet dog was handed to a character to be eaten alive — no way. And that’s not even touching what was done to people.

Elegantly sparse prose can communicate horror much more effectively, in my opinion, than the verbal equivalent of a slasher film. And that’s what this was. Not for me.

I picked up something that looks far more interesting. I stuck it in my bag to serve as my travel book to Philly later this week, and, if I like it as much as I hope, I’ll write about it.

Watched the Olympics nearly non-stop. I don’t think I’ve ever had the television on so much in my life. The US Women’s Hockey Team continues to thrill me. I just can’t get enough of them. The US Men’s Hockey Team has come together nicely, as evidenced by their 5-3 win over Canada last night, which was a great game. and goalie Ryan Miller is obviously one of the unsung heros, until now, of the sport. These Olympics will change all that. Earlier in the day, I’d called the game as going 4-3 to the US, but they got that extra, empty net goal. The Russia-Czech Republic game was also great, although I expected at any minute, they’d start ignoring the puck and go after each other swinging. Yes, you can’t have physical fights in Olympic hockey, the way you can in the NHL, but you could tell they REALLY wanted to!

One of the things I like about the snowboarding is how much individuality the participants retain. Watch someone do a run once or twice and you don’t need to look at the screen anymore to know who it is — the style is that distinctive. I hope that doesn’t get sponsored out of the sport.

Watched a lot of the skiing, the aerialists, the ski cross (first year for that). I’m annoyed that the Olympic committee won’t allow women to have a ski jumping event — they do it, why not include it? Watched the speed skating and short track — so glad for Apolo Ohno. As I said before, it’s wonderful to watch him really grow into himself. Delighted that Bode Miller’s doing so well, and loved his interview about his definition of success and basically telling everyone who tries to force him to define himself in their terms to F*&k off. I totally relate, since I live by my definition of success in my field and am constantly attacked for it — especially by those who can’t earn a living at it. He articulated what I feel very well.

I love that fact that Julia Mancuso wore a tiara to the medal ceremony. She’s my favorite of the female skiers. And tiaras and cookies make everything better, in my opinion!

Good for Evan Lysacek, congrats to him. I felt Johnny Weir’s program was underscored, though, because it was gentle instead of flamboyant, and he should have gotten third or fourth.

I know I’m forgetting some of the fun moments, but I didn’t write them down, so, oh well.

Research books were waiting for me when I got home, including one on taxes (since this is the year I start the whole self-employment tax thing), the Mac, and the new WRITER’S MARKET. I started going through the WM. So far, I have 15 pages of single-spaced notes on markets to which to pitch articles. ARTICLES, not fiction or anything else. And that’s just the list that covers topics with which I’m familiar and don’t have to spend hours or days in additional research. So, when some wanna-be who defends content mills and getting paid for pennies starts up that there’s no work out there — if I can have 15 pages of notes on well-paying markets just on topics where I can pitch myself as experienced — there’s well-paid work out there.

More fuel for my live chat on Sunday on making a living as a freelancer.

I’m reworking my workshops a bit, tinkering to make them the best they can be for this group, and will post Welcome messages hopefully later today.

The next few days are filled with practicalities, admin, pitches, errands. I leave later in the week for Philly, and every duck has to be in a row before that. But it’s a good busy, so I’m going to enjoy it.

Devon

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Snowing

We had about another two inches of snow overnight and it’s going to snow off and on all day. I took care of the errands yesterday, so I can just stay tucked at home today.

I ran my errands in the morning, and attacked the essay in the afternoon. I was reading it over about twenty minutes before deadline and realized just how badly it sucked. Completely flat, the equivalent of “blah, blah, blah.”

So I threw it out and started over. I rewrote the whole piece with a much stronger focus and got it in on deadline. Not my preferred working method — I like to hone and polish over a period of days — but it’s there, and I’ll post the link when it goes live at the end of the week.

Went out and played hard last night to blow off some steam, then came back and worked on a short story. It’s set in jain Lazarus’s world, although she is not the primary focus. She’s only going to appear in a single phone conversation, just to tie her into the world. A colleague of hers, who we haven’t yet met in the series, Hillary, is, and she gets herself into a pickle in San Antonio. I haven’t been to San Antonio in about 15 years or more, so I’ll have to do some digging, invest in a street map, get on Twitter and ask native San Antonians questions. Because I can’t go down there to re-research the city for a short story.

Snow plows woke me up at 5:30, so I only got about three hours’ sleep.

I think I’ll give myself a snow day today. I’m getting mentally fatigued, and need a break from the dark psyches I’ve had to inhabit over the past few weeks in my writing. I bought Elizabeth Kostova’s THE SWAN THIEVES yesterday, so I may start that. Men’s hockey starts today at the Olympics, so, if they’re covering the game live, I’ll watch that. Delighted by Seth Westcott’s win. I’m one of the five people on the planet not enamoured by figure skating, but I still enjoyed the gold and silver medalists from China. And can I just say Lindsay Vonn hasn’t even skied yet and I’m sick of her? Way too much coverage on someone who hasn’t performed yet. I’m going to have to root around online and find some more international coverage — I want to know about the international athletes, the ones I only get to see during the Games.

I’ve been watching and watching and watching the trailer for SHUTTER ISLAND (because the promos are on a lot). Suddenly, I got suspicious and thought, “What if X is really the big twist at the end? I’ll be so annoyed.” And I did some spoiler research and discovered I was right. So, now I’m on the fence about seeing the movie. I know what happens at the end, and that choice is a device that doesn’t work for me. But the filmmaking looks wonderful and I’m interested in some of the performances. Also, after having spent weeks deep within dark psyches, is it really a good idea to go out and see more? So I’m not yet sure what I’ll do.

Okay, back to the page for a bit — before I start my official snow day, I’ve got a bit of work to do on a couple of articles. But the bulk of the day will be spent playing. I need some light=hearted time to counterbalance the unrelenting darkness of Zeke and Eddie.

Devon

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 7:54 am  Comments (4)  
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I finally saw it: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon’s internet extravaganza. I liked it a lot – I’m not as fanatically head-over-heels about it as some people, but I thought the writing, production values, acting, etc., were all top notch, and, of course, I’d expect nothing less from Whedon. I liked most of the music, although I thought some of the songs where they wrote it atonally might have worked a bit better with either more harmony or even a further atonal choice. And Neil Patrick Harris – talk about an actor who’s fucking brilliant. He’s one of those rare actors who can take material and go from broad comedy to snarky to simple and direct to sarcastic to vulnerable to sweet, turning on a dime and completely taking the audience on the journey. Every time I see him do something, I appreciate him more – one of those actors who’s both thoughtful and instinctive in his work, has layers of craft along with talent, and knows how to pull it all together.

I also have to admit that I’m not watching the Olympics much this time around. I’m more of a Winter Olympics fan than a summer one anyway. I’m keeping tabs on Michael Phelps – good for him, that talent and work ethic are paying off – but that’s about it. And kudos to Phelps for giving the credit for his eighth gold medal of the games to his teammates in the relay, acknowledging that not everything revolves around him. He’s got his head screwed on straight, and I hope that, once the games are over, some of the media frenzy around him calms down and he can just go and play without people judging him. No one can be a perfect role model all the time, and he deserves to be able to blow off some steam.

Every time I turn on the television, they have volleyball on, and that is a sport I absolutely LOATHE. Anything I have to say about it is mean and out of line, so I’ll keep it to the fact that I loathe it. I wanted to see more of the archery, and haven’t (although those Ukranian archers are HOT), and the fencing, sailing, and equestrien events. So far, not much luck – the hours I can watch don’t seem to be the hours those events are broadcast, if they’re even being broadcast at all. I have to say I’m kind of glad I’m not over there, trying to cover it, as fascinating as it would be to travel to China.

I’m already prepping to cover the Vancouver 2010 games, believe it or not.

A friend called and invited me over for the afternoon, so I packed a writing bag and headed over to sit by the pool. Worked on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but got something done, and got some work done on the article.

I cooked dinner over there, then came back home to pack for Philly. As soon as I pulled out the suitcase, all three cats threw up. So we know how they feel about it. I’m still trying to figure out what to pack in the writing bag – I don’t want to take too many projects. If I limit which projects I take, I’ll have to actually focus on them.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this working trip. I’ve hit a point where I work much more efficiently when I’m away from New York.

Back to the page.

Devon