Wed. April 13, 2016: Intense Writing

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Intense few days. Very productive, but intense.

The two new Topic Workbooks, THE GRAVEYARD OF ABANDONED PROJECTS and ORGANIZE YOUR WRITING LIFE , are both available here and through the Premium Catalog (which means Kobo, Nook, etc.). I’m pleased that they turned out so well. I’ll be adding them in to the various necessary web pages this week.

I worked on Saturday, and was exhausted by the time I came home. I spent Saturday and most of Sunday working on contest entries. I can’t believe how many entries are well beyond 500 pages — I’m talking 750, 850, 1410! And, in all those cases, it’s Book 1 which is so long! Few of them are well-written enough to sustain that length. Most of them are overwritten, have pages of info dump, and the pace can’t maintain the marathon. The characters and the plot aren’t strong enough to compensate.

Monday morning, off to Buzzards Bay for the Board meeting, followed by the Capital Campaign meeting.

When I got back, I was ready to dig in to the writing. On a whim, I pulled out the second draft of HEART SNATCHER, which I’d put in stasis for awhile, because I was frustrated with it. I was surprised by how well it held up. I made notes — mostly having to do with cuts. It’s in good shape, and I think in another draft, it will be ready to go. I then started re-reading what I have of the second book in the trilogy, HEART BINDER — needs work, but there’s promise, especially since I outlined the entire trilogy and smoothed over logistical lapses early on. I want to find a way to add it into the current schedule, while not dropping the ball on either SONGBOUND SISTERS or “Just a Drop.”

Got some work done on Non-Fiction #2, which is chugging along nicely.

Tuesday morning, I rewrote about the first 100 pages of HEART BINDER, fixing a lot of the problems and making it continue smoothly from HEART SNATCHER.

In the afternoon, I finished up the contest entries and made sure the choices were the ones I believed in most strongly.

By the end of this week, I’ll get in the entries for the radio contest, and those will be done by the end of the month.

This morning, I revised the prologue and first three chapters on the next draft of HEART SNATCHER. It will be a long day at work, but I’m eager to get back home this evening and write some more. I’m going to spend the next three days on this trilogy, and then, once I’ve got that in the groove, add in SONGBOUND and “Drop” over the weekend.

Of course, because I have to be inside for the next three days, it’s gorgeous out. But the weather is supposed to hold all weekend and finally get warmer, so maybe we can start setting up the deck.


Published in: on April 13, 2016 at 9:49 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 13, 2016: Intense Writing  
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Fri. Dec. 6, 2013: Slick Marketing Over Platitudes

Friday, December 6, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yup, we’re definitely in winter.

Yesterday was a weird day. I was at a day-long conference, as a guest of someone. It was like being in the middle of a cult experience. It was supposed to be inspiring and empowering, but all I heard were slick platitudes without any actual information. Yet people around me lapped it up. It was well-marketed, but it was all style without any substance behind it.

I would up being on Facebook and doing other things most of the day (thank goodness I brought the laptop).

I came home feeling like I needed a shower, and very, very discouraged about EVERYTHING.

Yes, I admit it. I watched the live broadcast of SOUND OF MUSIC last night. How could I not, when it was such an interesting mix of theatre and broadcast, along the lines of the way television was done early on? I am NOT a Carrie Underwood fan at all. I have to hand it to her — she sang it well. But she can’t act, and every time that was necessary, it was wooden and unconvincing. The rest of the cast had stage experience, and it showed. Overall, I thought it was well done, and enjoyed it. It was a nice interlude, something different.

Very stressed out right now, with no relief in sight. I’m trying to take the actions needed to change the situation, but am met with blocks everywhere I turn.

Tomorrow is the Organize Your Writing Life Seminar. Should be tons of fun. You can still sign up until 5 PM tonight here.

Have a great weekend,


Published in: on December 6, 2013 at 6:51 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Dec. 5, 2013: Workday

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Gray and cold

Worked flat out yesterday, pitches, with students, admin stuff, writing. Mid-afternoon, I set up “ornament hospital” to repair some ornaments, and we did some more decorating. It’s coming together.

At a conference today — taking the laptop, so I can hop on and off line as needed.

Very tired, physically and mentally.


Last Chance to sign up for Organize Your Writing Life here.

Published in: on December 5, 2013 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. Dec. 3, 2013: Fun Trees and Lack of Sleep

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde

Lovely little flakes.

Very tired and frustrated. I’m at the end of my rope about a couple of things, and don’t see an end in sight. I just don’t know what to do.

Got work done in the morning, something stupid came up at the last minute, and then I headed off to the JFK museum in Hyannis to help out setting up the NMLC tree for Spectacle of the Trees. I’d never been to the museum before, so that was interesting. A group of non-profits set up trees and sell raffle tickets. The winner gets all the prizes under the tree and the decorated tree!

Ours was an exercise in logistics because one of the prizes is a boat. We had to get it off the trailer, into the narrow doors of the museum, and into our designated spot. A woman walking past on the street stopped to help. We wrestled it into the museum, but it didn’t fit in our designated space. After some negotiation, we swapped spaces with another organization, and were able to prop the boat upright, put our tree IN the boat, and tie it to the ceiling. It looks great. All the trees look good. What a fun event!

If you want to buy a raffle ticket, you can go here.

I was exhausted and sore by the time I got home, and then had to deal with more crap (nothing to do with the above adventures), which looks like it’s only going to escalate over the next few days.

Had to cut off negotiations for a potential gig because the client won’t be upfront about money. There’s no point in “getting to know each other” if you’re not going to be upfront about the money. That means you don’t plan to pay a fair rate. Professionals say, “This is the budget, this is the rate” and work from there. Having “getting to know you” conversations means you plan to offer different people different rates, if you are actually planning to pay at all.

Or those who say, “I don’t pay a deposit.” Well, honey, I don’t work without one. I’m not going to put in the time and effort into the job and then you vanish into the ether with it. Professionals pay deposits. Scam artists expect the work done with nothing upfront and then run off with it.

Or those who say, “I don’t want to pay for the edit.” Then it’s not “hiring” an editor. Then it’s getting someone to do a free read for you. You don’t contact a professional editor with whom you have no previous relationship and demand that individual work for free. It’s inappropriate on many levels.

It’s amazing how many fraudulent “clients” are out there.

What it does, though, is make you appreciate your good ones! I will certainly be sending warm and fuzzy holiday greetings to the clients of which I’m fond!!!

Couldn’t sleep, was up by five. Sent out some pitches, wrote and submitted an article that’s due this week.

I’ll be working offsite at the Writers Center for most of the day, which will be both fun and productive.

Hopefully, I can get things back on track over the next few days.

If you haven’t signed up for Organize Your Writing Life, please do so here. We’ve got a great group, and it will be tons of fun.


Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 3, 2013: Fun Trees and Lack of Sleep  
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Wed. Nov. 20, 2013: Change of Venue

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. 15 pages on a screenplay, worked on the critique project, pitched for some jobs. Gave some requested quotes.

Was out of the house before noon and to Sandwich to the storage unit. A group of us from the Writers Center sorted out 50 years’ worth of material that had stacked up. Some of it was tossed; some repacked; some will have to be sorted in detail over time and shredded (because of personal information). But we can definitely move everything to a smaller (and cheaper) unit.

On the down side, they auctioned off the contents of another unit. I don’t care about the “why” — seeing the ghoulish vultures descend upon the space made me SICK.

After we were done in the unit, I headed over the bridge to Buzzards Bay for a development committee meeting at NMLC. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing, but we worked on some ideas.

Had to dash home and step in as moderator for a live chat during a television show, featuring actors and fans. A friend of a friend was supposed to do it, and then had a medical emergency, so I stepped in. I’ve worked with moderators when I was the featured guest before, so I knew how to do it, but I’d never actually juggled the chainsaws before. It went well, was fun, and several of the actors and fans thanked me after the chat.

Today. I have to get a lot of work cleared off the desk to make up for being offsite yesterday, although it was nice to have a change of venue.

Talk about feeling silly — I took such good care of myself hauling the heavy materials, and then wrenched my foot later, at home, taking off my boot of all things!


PS Sign up for “Organize Your Writing Life” on Dec. 7, here. Three hours online, and a year’s worth of writing organization.

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 8:42 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 20, 2013: Change of Venue  
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Fri. Nov. 8: Reassurance and Need For a Weekend

Friday, November 8, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Come join us to Organize Your Writing Life in 2014. Spend a day, stay on track for a year. Information on how to sign up here.

Frustrating day yesterday. I finally had to go to the lawyer and a union rep, as well as seeking advice from trusted colleagues in the field, because the soon-to-be-ex client crossed a line. I was assured that I am in the right, well within the terms of the contract, and advised to cut ties as soon as possible. I’d prefer to be paid first for the work done, but I don’t know if that will happen.

The whole thing just threw of the day’s rhythm and got me off my game. It shouldn’t, but it did. I worked on the big editing project, worked with students, got out a press release, and got some other stuff done, but it wasn’t enough. I have to finish up two other articles today and get them out, and I’d like to get out the big editing project (a week early).

Not much work done on my own stuff, but got some research done. And, I’m reading novelist Eloisa James’s memoir PARIS IN LOVE, which is delightful. I’m laughing out loud a lot, and I certainly need to laugh this week.

I’m having trouble staying connected to the internet today, which is yet another headache.

I’m looking forward to the weekend!

Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 8:10 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 8: Reassurance and Need For a Weekend  
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