Fri. Nov. 4, 2016: Friday Already?

Friday, November 4, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and mild

I was such a waste of food yesterday, it wasn’t even funny. I did not get much done. A little work on revisions, some procedural research, some Newport research, switching out the spiderweb curtains to the winter curtains, making chocolate walnut butter bread. Not much to show for the day, although the bread is very good!

Just felt out of sorts, and not particularly creative. Realized I have to go back a few chapters in CHOLERIC and fix something else. Again, every time I get frustrated, I remind myself better to catch it now than have it go out with those mistakes. I should have caught some of them in earlier drafts, though.

Put together pitches on a couple of projects, so we’ll see where that goes. Unfortunately, several projects in which I’m involved will be affected by who wins the election next week, so I’m in a holding pattern on a few things, and I’m putting together alternate plans, just in case.

Had a lovely online conversation with author Paige Shelton yesterday. I’m looking forward to her story “A Christmas Tartan” that I downloaded a few days ago, but haven’t yet read. I like her work.

I read Eric R. Asher’s DAYS GONE BAD last night, on the Kindle. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is lively and fun, I liked the characters, and Asher made good choices about where to play within the formula and where to break it. I’ll definitely read more of his work.

Some errands to run, and hopefully, it’s warm enough to paint those pieces I need to paint before putting them away for the winter. I’m going to try to oil some of the teak furniture, too, so it has time to dry before I put it away.

And get back to the edits. I have two pieces I need to finish editing and get out on submission before the holiday madness starts, so it doesn’t give me much time. But I need to make sure they’re in the best shape possible BEFORE submission, instead of rushing it just to get it out. That tender balance is always tough.

I can’t believe it’s Friday! If the weather is decent, the weekend means lots of yard work for me; otherwise it’s all edits, all the time.

Have a great one!

Devon

Published in: on November 4, 2016 at 9:46 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 4, 2016: Friday Already?  
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Wed. April 20, 2016: Writing Intensifies – So Does the Garden

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Two retrogrades, and Mercury goes retrograde next week. Can I please just stay in bed until everything goes direct?

The past few days were good, although flat out busy. Saturday, I had lots of errands, but managed to get to the NMLC Seal Pup Shower, which kicks off April vacation week. We got a lot of donations of basic necessities — Pedialite, laundry soap, etc. First thing that morning, I’d done a major run to Country Gardens. Got the fertilizer for the lawn, lettuce plants, basil plants, etc. We’ve planted pansies in hanging baskets for the front and the deck — they’re happy in this cool weather. The lettuce is repotted, and so is the basil.

We’d bought a small table at Restore, and I repainted it an apple red, and repainted one of our metal plant stands green. I painted a few planters. I still have two more tables and a shelf unit. We put some of the furniture on the deck — we tend to rearrange every year — and some of the hardier plants.

I worked on the HEART SNATCHER rewrites. I have Max’s first chapter where I want it, so I think the Prologue and first three chapters are in good shape. I worked on the following six chapters. I’m still not happy with Carey’s introductory chapter. It needs more work. But the chapters where Max and Valerie keep running into each other are working. I’m doing quite a bit of tightening, better use of language, more sensory detail. I’m also about to cut a chapter.

I started re-reading DEATH OF A CHOLERIC with an eye to its revisions. I think it will need two more revisions, not just one. I’ve had to do a major shift in some of the relationships so it makes more sense, and I need to put those in and then read it through again, and THEN do another draft before that’s ready to go out.

Did a nice chunk of work on Nonfiction #1.

Received the radio contest entries, read them, made notes. I found it disturbing that not a single entry is in correct radio format. One of them is a screenplay; another is a stage play. Some of them tried, but don’t understand the use of sound in radio.

Worked on the pages for the MOBY DICK marathon reading in which I’m participating next weekend.

Did some yard work, although not enough. Somehow, it’s never enough, is it?

Read a couple of delightful mysteries: KILLER TAKEOUT by Lucy Burdette, and, especially, THE CRACKED SPINE by Paige Shelton, which is set in Edinburgh. Enjoyed them both.

Got some submission materials completed for a major script entry I have coming up.

Baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and almond cookies, and made a non-alcoholic syllabub for tonight’s Tribute to Shakespeare. I’d done the programs last week. I tried to put together the Globe Theatre model, but it was a disaster. No instructions, it makes no sense, and it doesn’t work to watch a You Tube Video. I want step-by-step, well-written instructions. Will never deal with THAT company again!

Up early this morning. Worked on Nonfiction #1, and also did a bit of yard work. Today will be a ten hour day for me at work — the full day, and then the Tribute to Shakespeare tonight. It will be a very long week. So will next week, especially since I’ll be flat out every day I’m not at the library, but then, I have a much-needed vacation.

I’m so wiped out when I get home at night that I can’t get anything done in the yard, so I’m going out on nice days in the early, early morning. Even twenty, thirty minutes here and there will eventually add up.

Onward.

Published in: on April 20, 2016 at 9:10 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 20, 2016: Writing Intensifies – So Does the Garden  
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Wed. March 9, 2016: Excellent Writing Weekend

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Busy few days! It was nice not to work on Saturday. I ran errands and did research, and, generally, gave myself a day off.

That meant Sunday morning was for research, and then back to DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I went over the whole book, fixing things (my process is completely different with this one) and then wrote about twenty additional pages.

Monday, I wrote another chapter. Yesterday, another chapter. I’m past the 300 page mark. I figure I have, at the most, five chapters left. I can see the end. I know where I’m going, although I don’t have all the details about getting there. I’m excited! I’m at the point where I don’t really want to talk about the details, because I’m worried that it will derail the momentum.

I also woke up in the middle of the night with a solution to a logistical problem that’s bothered me in the book, that will also solve a second dilemma. It will mean quite a few tweaks in the revision, and I don’t want to put them in now, but it’s important, because that particular lapse in the story left the reader (me, at this point), with the feeling of something not adding up properly. And, in a mystery, everything has to add up — that’s the comfort of it. A thriller can get away with loose ends, or a fatalistic ending. A mystery has to give the reader comfort that justice was served.

I got the next batch of books for the contest. More mystery, more novella, more fantasy. Considering how many strong contenders were in the mystery category in the first batch, it’s exciting.

I’m finishing up the handouts for my talk on the 16th. Nowhere near as detailed as the ones I had for the script topic, but that’s what happens when you switch things out on me after I’ve done my prep. A friend told me I should have just refused to change topics, or, if they didn’t want the topic, withdrawn from the event. She’s probably right — I’ve spent too much time being a “good sport” with these people over the years, and it’s yielded absolutely nothing. It certainly hasn’t garnered book sales.

Got in a good bit of reading, too, this weekend. Reading I WANTED to do, rather than HAD to do. My favorites were TO HELVETICA AND BACK by Paige Shelton, a surprisingly good cozy, and Stephanie Barron’s latest Jane Austen mystery, JANE AND THE WATERLOO MAP. I read several mediocre books, too, but I’d rather applaud the books I enjoy than trash ones that aren’t really worth the time.

Nasty dream last night about a home invasion — this home. Not a good dream.

Long day at work today. I have a lot to get done. I finished my taxes last night, so that’s something off my plate, thank goodness.

And got another chapter written on the mystery before I left. End is in sight!

Devon

Published in: on March 9, 2016 at 10:37 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 9, 2016: Excellent Writing Weekend  
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