Tues. Aug. 8, 2017: Small Victories Pave the Way

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Got out a short story and a couple of pitches yesterday. The medium-sized late payment (not the big one that’s nearly two months late) arrived, so yesterday afternoon and today is a flurry of catching up on bills. Also had a small victory with one of the insurance companies.  One down, three to go!

My web host is placating me for the moment — I now have the ability to build more subdomains, and I can still pay quarterly. I’m going to see how it goes for the next three months (since I’m paying this week). I’m still interviewing other hosts, But it also means I can build the subdomains for the Coventina Circle Paranormal Romantic Suspense books and for the Nautical Namaste books.

I came up with some fun stuff for the websites, and a couple of good things for the tour giveaway.

I worked on the final piece of back matter for PLAYING THE ANGLES, so I can get that darned thing out the door, but it needs some more work. I’m hoping if I dig in today, I can get the manuscript out to the publisher by tomorrow or Thursday, and then, once I clear it with them, book the release tour.

The paperwork arrived for my mother’s upcoming surgery. There’s a lot of it, unfortunately. Not too happy about that. The surgery itself will take five to six hours. Not happy about that, either. But it is what it is.

This morning is all about errands and starting the new series websites. This afternoon is about finishing the back matter for PLAYING THE ANGLES and doing yet another proofread so it can go out; if I can, I need to do more work on an essay, work on a pitch package that needs to go out by mail, and do work on both THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and THE FIX-IT GIRL. AND “Labor Intensive”. However, I have the feeling some of that will wind up bumped over to tomorrow.

I think I’ve figured out how to get “Labor Intensive” back on track. I’m lightening the plot a bit, and getting the tone right, but not losing some of the social prejudices I had in the darker version.

The cover is a problem, though. Fireworks seem more like July 4th, but there are fireworks in the story. I don’t have much time to come up with the cover — or finish and edit the story. It needs to drop at the end of the month. But I’ll figure it out. Somehow, I always do.

I also have to get the big fall cleaning started — yes, even though it’s only August. I’m trying to do it in little bits every day, once I finish my writing quota, rather than putting aside days to do big bits. We’ll see how that works.

It’s raining, so no yard work today. I can practically watch the grass growing. As soon as the weather clears up, there will be yet more mowing in my future.

Second day of a migraine, but at least I can fit into my favorite pair of jeans again. I’ve lost weight, which is a good thing. I’m not completely down to what I consider my ideal weight — I may never reach it again, but I look and feel better. And my clothes fit again.

Which is why I think those “organizers” who tell you to purge everything the minute you need a different size are full of crap. I’m convinced that most “professional” organizers are in league with stores to try to get their clients to spend as much money as possible, instead of making use of what they have.

Anyway, there’s a lot on the agenda today, so I better get moving! Trader Joe’s grocery run starts the day, along with putting some gas in the tank.

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Published in: on August 8, 2017 at 9:39 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 8, 2017: Small Victories Pave the Way  
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Mon. Sept. 10, 2012: Great Writing News!

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It feels like a month has passed instead of a weekend. So much going on!

Great news! My one-act play “The Effie Effect” has been chosen as part of Tilden Art Center’s PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD Festival. It’s going to have a reading on Sept. 28. I will post more information as I get it. I’m very excited — it’s my theatrical debut on the Cape!

Last week’s paper for the Sustainability Course was “Sustainability Vs. Human Greed”. We can talk about what we “should” do in order to be sustainable all we want, but as long as there are people making huge profits from unsustainable practices, nothing will change. Cut off the money source, and we’ve got a chance, because the greedy special interests who line their own pockets aren’t going to change. That got some pretty good responses.

This week’s paper, “Education, Equality, and Rape”, which I wrote and uploaded on Sunday morning (after several days’ research) is also getting good feedback. There’s all this talk about how population growth/fertility rates remain highest among the poorest, most uneducated women — um, yeah, because they’re kept like brood mares. When you educate women, give them access to health care, equal rights, et al, which includes child survival rates rising, the population growth slows (although there’s still debate as to whether we’ve hit carrying capacity or can create the sustainable “S” curve). Of course, if the special interest right wing-nuts in this country get their way, women will be stripped of their rights and turned back into brood mares again, but that’s an argument for another day. The reason I wrote the paper is because the experts talk about the importance and impact of education and equality for women to affect sustainable population growth, but they all ignored rape and sexual violence as a tool of war, and the children that are born of that violence. Northern Sudan, Darfur, Bosnia — throughout history, rape is used as a tool of war. There aren’t even reliable statistics, because of the shame associated with rape. So last week’s paper addressed that issue.

Once I read this week’s material and see what annoys me about it, I’ll have my topic for this week’s paper!

I also wrote and posted the proposals for my two milestone projects. We only need to do one, but I can’t decide between them, so I’m doing two. The first is very traditional within the realms of the class, dealing with the Flood/Drought Rebalance and how I think it can be done in the US. I’ve got a bunch of sources, I know what I want to say, it’s something I’ve discussed with my Senate and Congressional offices, and I’ll finally have a document to hand them. The other project is fiction — which is rather out of the realm of what they’re used to in a class like this. It’s an environmentally-sustainable series that will give actual information in an entertaining and engaging way without falling into the cliches most fictional characters in this realm do. For the purposes of the class, I do the vision for the series, and the outline and first three chapters of this book. So that’s all good, and both projects are getting solid support from my classmates.

Got the welcome message from the World History Class, which starts next Monday. 70,000 in that class, which is a little depressing! And the textbook is so far out of my price range, I can’t even consider it at this point. So I will try to track it down in one of the many libraries to which I have access.

I’ve also been invited to submit to another project — 15K as soon as I get get it done. I’m having fun with it, so we’ll see.

With all that, I’m deep in edits for the second Jain Lazarus, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Billy Root has a few things to say about it here. AND I’m scrambling to get book #3 to the publishers on time.

I ran into some frustrations getting the text smoothed out for the anthology — there are formatting issues that take me longer than I’d like to resolve, and sections I have to re-key by hand. I want to get it off my desk today or tomorrow (I planned to finish it by yesterday), because I need it off my desk and onto the publisher’s! 😉

And I need to chase down some payments this week, start another article that’s due, do some more pitches, and finish the material for the latest Confidential Job #1. And, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to be a contest judge, so those materials should hit my desk today.

I drove to P-town yesterday to have brunch with some good friends in from NY, friends I haven’t seen since I moved to the Cape. In spite of the weather, it was great fun. We laughed a lot.

Tarot class is doing well. I’m having fun with them.

And I was mentioned in THE CAPE COD TIMES — they gave me a few paragraphs about my upcoming writing workshops in Falmouth.

I even got some mowing done on Friday, before the next round of storms hit! Isaac’s gone, but Leslie is affecting the surf here.

Got a big day of writing ahead of me, so off I go!

Devon

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Earth Day

Today actually IS Earth Day, and I will celebrate by spending time in stewardship of my own little patch of it later today.

Lots of admin yesterday. Got the payment situation for the workshop sorted out, and should be paid soon. Glad I asked — or I wouldn’t have seen the money.

Good day’s work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which was nice. It’s starting to come together and make a little more sense. I have a feeling that Daisy and Dulcie, the two Yorkshire terriers who share the protag’s life, are going to be scene-stealers!

Ran some errands, picked up some books that the library got in for me on Sissinghurst, the famous English garden. When we travelled in the UK, we visited a lot of big houses and their wonderful gardens. Felbrigg, where we stayed in “the Mustard Pot” cottage had gorgeous gardens, including a walled garden and an orangerie filled with camellias and tropical plants. Blickling Hall, not too far away, had gorgeous, formal Italian gardens — and even some stone sphinxes and a pyramid! The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall remained lost to us — never could find ‘em –but I hear they’re wonderful. Anyway, I love visiting and looking at the formal gardens, but I don’t think I could live with one — and not just because of the upkeep. I admire the designs very much, but I need a garden I can live in. Someone asked my garden style and I said, “Enchanted cottage garden with gothic touches”. I like to tuck in surprises that will make those with good intentions laugh at the contradictions, and those without good intentions will get a jolt.

Took a drive down to the large, shoreline compounds on the water in and around Hyannis. Beautiful stuff. The water was an amazing shade of blue-green yesterday, really wonderful. Again, a lot of these large summer houses are too formal for me. They’re pretty, I appreciate them, but I need something that can be lived in, not just admired.

People who live here year-round do most of their own yard work and planting, while people who live here part-time hire in landscapers and the rest — which makes perfect sense, because they’re not here, and someone’s got to stay on top of it. But again, there’s a difference. The landscaped properties look sterile and aloof, whereas the ones where the individual owners do the work are filled with life and enchantment. In CT, where I still work a lot, almost everyone hires in people to “do” the yards, which means they mow and use leaf blowers all the time, but things rarely look enchanted and individual — just cut. It’s interesting to see the contrasts in different styles.

Started working on the back bed of my own yard, which will take MUUUUCH longer than I expected. I got maybe an eighth of it done in the hours I spent on it yesterday. I’ll write about it in detail in tomorrow’s garden post.

Unpacked some stuff in my office, and then unpacked six of the kitchen boxes still in the garage. Found some cool stuff, including a set of martini glasses I didn’t remember owning. I need to get a couple more shelf units for the basement, so I can store everything properly. Slowly but surely, we’re getting there.

Occasionally, I watch THE MENTALIST, because I like the ensemble cast. I happened to flip it on last night, and it was a story-line that supposedly took place at a racetrack. It was AWFUL. Either the writer did ZERO research, or the showrunner/producers/network execs decided to ignore the research. The episode was a slap in the face to anyone who works in the industry and who loves horse racing. So many details had nothing to do with what it’s actually like to work on the backstretch — and most of the story took place there. It wasn’t even remotely plausible. I understand that some things may need to be changed for dramatic reasons, but at least root it in the reality of the world, so it’s got some relevance. Absolutely an offensive and insulting episode. The lack of research and respect for an intense and unique industry was unacceptable. Guess I won’t be watching that show again.

Frost again last night — Mahoney’s sent around another warning to cover the in-ground plants. I saw a squirrel run away with a few tiny leaves of the neighbor’s lettuce this morning, which was pretty funny.

If you celebrate Easter weekend, may you have a beautiful time.

Devon

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 7:13 am  Comments (3)  
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