Tues. May 23, 2017: Personal Scale, Grand Scale

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy/sunny/cool

Yesterday was a day. The stress is getting to me. I’m getting tired of the platitudes people offer. This isn’t about attitude, this is about situation, trying to change the situation, and setting fresh boundaries. I realize people mouth platitudes because it makes THEM feel better (and has little to do with the person to whom it’s being offered), but, really, if you can’t offer useful action, just back off, please.

There have been times, over the last few weeks, where I’ve felt as though I was on the brink of collapse. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of that type of indulgence, so I have to carry on, no matter when I’m feeling.

Frustrated with the pages for the play proposal. They’re not doing what I want/need them to do. I’m running out of time, so I have to figure out how to make them work.

Played with some other ideas. One mixes two genres, fantasy and mystery. We’ll see. The other is a contemporary piece, set in, of all places, Washington DC. The focus of it won’t be political, although one can’t set something in DC without politics affecting it.

Read an early novel of a writer whose work I’ve read quite a bit of. I see the seeds of how far she’s come, but boy, that book needed an editor. Copy editing mistakes up the ying yang, inconsistencies, and so many exclamation points the characters all sound breathless. But the characters, dialogue, and plotting are all solid, and I can see how that one-off book set the foundation for her other books. It’s also wonderful to see how much she’s grown.

The attack in Manchester is awful. Words fail. I have to say, I’m not impressed with the reaction so far from Ariana Grande’s camp. Yes, it’s a shock, and yes, it’s devastating. But for the reports to merely say she’s “inconsolable” and she’s cancelled concerts because she “can’t perform” — honey, this isn’t about YOU. This is about the people who died or were injured, and their families. Of course upcoming concerts had to be cancelled, out of respect. On top of that, come out swinging. A strongly-worded statement against this type of attack, and providing actual HELP to the injured and families of the dead. Not platitudes. Not acting like this is about you. Not hiding in one’s room crying and being “inconsolable”. It’s time to show public strength and class, and be devastated in private. As an artist whose venue/work was chosen as the site of the attack, it’s necessary to be a warrior in response, not pose as another victim.

Errands to do today. I wish I could get the damn mower fixed so that the yard wouldn’t look like a vacant lot. Hopefully, by tomorrow. I’d like to get the yard handled over the upcoming holiday weekend.

Finally heard from the editor who supposedly hired me several weeks ago. Looks like I’ll be getting my first assignment in the next few days. I’m ready to dig in.

Doing research and getting price quotes on several fronts in order to implement the writing plan worked on last week. I have to keep reminding myself to break things down into manageable steps. Having some interesting discussions with distributors, and also with swag providers.

In the next few months, I’d like to do some general swag for Ink in My Coffee, the Devon Ellington site, and the Fearless Ink site. There’s also some generalized swag I can do for the Topic Workbooks. Then, I can do book-specific swags for releases.

I’m also in the process of doing a general Devon Ellington media kit, along with the media kits that are project-specific. I should probably do one for the Topic Workbooks as well.

It’s hard to keep everything balanced, since the marketing uses different parts of the brain than the writing or editing.

All I’m craving lately are fruits and vegetables. I can’t seem to get enough cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, peppers, and the like. Well, if I’m going to stress eat, better a cucumber than a doughnut, right? 😉

Getting some pages done on several projects in the exploratory stage, so that I can see which will catch fire and should be pursued. Researching the next part of the FIX IT GIRL, so I can get the changes into the next chapters on the revision. Working on the short story I’d like to get out the door sooner rather than later.

Feel like I need to sleep for about a week, but not an option.

Onward!

Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 9:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 23, 2017: Personal Scale, Grand Scale  
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Mon. April 24, 2017: Digging In, Moving On

Monday, April 24, 2017
Waning Moon (Day Before Dark Moon)
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

My lowest energy day of the month, always.

Busy weekend.

I should be used to the deterioration of basic human courtesy around here, but it still surprises me. I remember, when we first moved here, I was so wonderfully surprised because people were “nice.” Well, Trumptattitude has taken over, ever since the election, and you can tell those who voted for them, because they now feel free to be their worst selves all the time. They’re the rudest, the worst drivers, the ones who take without conscience. Just like the one they follow. No patience with that. They need to go crawl back under their rocks.

Friday, I got some admin work done, some research done, and then worked my way through contest entries. Finished my third print category, and got to work on the digital entries. The weather was lousy, so it was nice to be able to stay tucked inside and get paid to read.

Ten script pages done on Friday and six pages on Saturday for WINNER TAKE ALL. I’m galloping toward the climax. Gave myself Sunday off from writing.

Saturday was Earth Day, and also the March for Science. Important. Unfortunately, as I feared, the march out here in Falmouth was poorly organized. If you want a successful event, you have to plan for parking and porta-potties. Never got close enough to check out the porta-potty situation, because they hadn’t made any arrangements for attendees to park. The attitude was “oh, there are public lots”. Well, at the best of times, in winter, parking is nearly impossible in Falmouth. In season, it’s a nightmare. For something like a rally? MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE TOWN SO PEOPLE HAVE A PLACE TO PARK. Make arrangements with public transportation. Or you won’t get the attendance you want. It’s not brain surgery. They estimated a crowd of 600, which is decent, but no wonder there wasn’t any parking!

It is, however, typical of Cape Cod. There isn’t enough parking anywhere, and people ignore it, and then are shocked when they lose business or attendance. The lack of a learning curve around here is one of the reasons I find it frustrating.

Worked and worked and WORKED to fix the problems in “Seven of Swords.” I don’t want to lose all the ambiguity, but when ambiguity=mess, there need to be some clarifications. I sometimes wonder if the play CAN be fixed, or if I should just retire it into a drawer and be done with it.

Finished the Orient Express section on POWER OF WORDS. Now, to deal with the section set in Venice.

I want to travel to Venice probably more than anywhere else in the world right now.

Except, maybe, Bologna, for the Lavinia Fontana play.

Dug in all weekend and finished the contest entries. Now, in the next few days, I’ll go over them and make my choices in each category, finish the admin, and send the information to the organizers, so they can announce the winners on May 1. Read a couple of entries that came close — there was nothing, technically, wrong with them, but they lacked sparkle. They served the genre, they were serviceable stories, but they didn’t stand out against the best of the batch.

My reward for finishing was to re-read a novel I’d read back in 1989 that I’d loved; unfortunately, as I reread it now, I’m impatient with it. Rather a disappointment.

Switched out the winter curtains to lace curtains for summer downstairs — big difference in light. Switched out some of the fabric. Did a few loads of laundry. The amaryllis (which bloomed last July) has decided it’s time to bloom again. Go figure.

Admin work to do this morning, and, hopefully, some yard work in the afternoon. I wrote eight pages on the screenplay: later, I’ll tackle the one act and the short radio play. I’m still not convinced that I’m the right person to adapt the short stories for radio, but I’ll play with them a bit this week and then make my decision.

What I’d like to do is go back to bed and sleep all day, but, after days of rain, it’s far too nice a day so to do.

Time to tackle the week!

Published in: on April 24, 2017 at 10:05 am  Comments Off on Mon. April 24, 2017: Digging In, Moving On  
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Fri. Jan. 27, 2017: Trying to Get Back in Balance

Friday, January 27, 2017
New Moon
Chinese Lunar New Year — Year of the Fire Rooster
Cloudy and cold

Temperature’s going down again, but at least the rain’s let up for the moment.

Yesterday, I got some work done on the short story. I think it will be ready to go out on Monday (it’s due on Wednesday). As I was going to sleep last night, I had an “aha!” moment about it, which I will have to work in to the text today.

I sent off my proposals and we’ll see what happens next. I also worked on a counter proposal to the other contract negotiation. We’ll see if that works for both of us. If not, we part ways and wish each other well. I’m done accepting work for so far under my rate that it costs me. Pay me a fairly for a fair day’s work, or hire someone off Craigslist with no credits who mixes up possessives and plurals.

Turning over and over the themes and actions for the play. I hope to get a good chunk of it written this weekend, once the short story is done and simmering, prior to its final polish.

Worked on contest entries yesterday, and also on the research for the Italian Renaissance play. Found a tangent to my research — something very, very cool, but off-topic. However, it’s so cool that I made note of the sources and started a fresh file, so that I can go back and build a project just around that in the future.

Fascinating tangents are a pitfall of research. Many sniffily advise to “just ignore them.” I take notes, especially for sources, so I can go back to them once the project I’m researching is done. I find that works better for me — I don’t waste time on tangents (fifteen minutes to note sources is reasonable, in my opinion), and I don’t resent losing something interesting.

Did some political work, and have more to do today, including a potentially contentious encounter with someone whom I don’t think is living up to the obligations of the job.

One of my favorite authors, Nicole Peeler, has started a virtual book club as part of her activist and educational work. I joined, and ordered the first book. I’m looking forward to it — she’s putting together a smart group of people, and I think we can have some invigorating discussions.

I’m re-reading AS Byatt’s novel POSSESSION. I re-read it regularly, and it remains one of my favorite novels, although I wasn’t crazy about the film adaptation. I always get something new and nourishing from the text, as one does from well-written material.

I had hoped to get to Cape Cod National Seashore today, since our National Parks are about to be sold off, and I’d like to see it one last time. I don’t think I’ll make it until next week, but I’m determined to get there, thank the rangers in person, and take one last look before the destruction.

Back to the page.

Published in: on January 27, 2017 at 10:13 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 27, 2017: Trying to Get Back in Balance  
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Fri. Dec. 2, 2016: Redefining How I Want to Handle My Writing Career

Friday, December 2, 2016
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday, I got some errands done and then started on the rewrite of TAPESTRY, which needs to be done in mid-January. I had forgotten how much fun that book is; definitely quirky and breaks formula a lot. Some of it I can make work; some will have to be rewritten, because there are logistical problems. I’ve tweaked the frame of the piece a bit, which I think works better, but kept the action in the mid-1990s.

I’m also starting a binge read of the books by Vicki Delany. I read her Constable Molly Smith novel NEGATIVE IMAGE and really liked it, so I’ve ordered everything else I can find by her from the library. And then, yes, I’ll be BUYING her work, because I believe in supporting living authors with my dollars. Dead ones, not so much. It’s not my job to support their descendants. Living authors — we all need to support each other to make sure we can continue writing.

It took awhile to get gussied up for the Spectacle of Trees party, but it was worth it. Used every Broadway wardrobe trick in the book on myself, and it worked. The party was a lot of fun, the wreaths went for good sums of money. I helped clean up, got home, and got right into my jammies. We needed something sparkly and joyful after the month we’ve lived through. And I got the sweetest thank you from the event organizers this morning for all my extra help.

The last of the books I need to finish the play arrived, so I can dig into that either later today or tomorrow. I want the play (with a new title, I hope), out the door by next Tuesday. Then, the attention goes back to JUST A DROP, and also to the short story I have to submit for inclusion in the anthology.

Yet my mind is churning with creative ideas; I want to keep WIPs on track, so that there’s material ready to launch as other pieces fall into place, especially where the various series are concerned; I want to revise, polish, and get out some of the projects I put aside out of frustration, but which have potential.

It’s about finding the right people to partner with, not just trying to change material to please them. If I’m going to do the latter, it’ll be a for-hire contract with a big paycheck up front; if it’s going to be MY vision, then I need to be true to it and not compromise on elements that dilute the work. The work needs to be as strong and unique as possible, and that’s what will enchant the reader.

If all I do is try to conform to formula, it will dilute my unique, quirky characters and stories, go against the themes I’m trying to explore, and not engage the readers I want to engage. Readers who only enjoy tight formulas and want the comfort of knowing the ending when they start the book aren’t the readers who will respond to the themes, characters, and situations I write anyway. Rather than trying to please them, it’s far more important to please myself (within the context of always improving my craft).

Every book or story I write needs to be better than the previous one, on a craft level and every other level. If I don’t like the other books an agent represents, it’s probably not the right agent for me; same thing with a publisher.

I’ve been truly lucky in most of my editors with my published work. They’ve understood what I was trying to achieve and guided me to make the material stronger without losing what makes it unique. I am so grateful to my editors.

I want the security of a traditional publisher with a recognizable name, only that security doesn’t exist any more. I watch the authors I like reading best dropped from their Big Five contracts, and authors whose work I don’t like (because they’re bland, lack craft, and, in some cases, the protagonists are bigoted, racist fools, and not because the author is trying to communicate that’s a negative) being heavily promoted.

The books I enjoy are, for the most part, coming out of small presses and, in some cases, independently published. Indie publishing is always hit and miss, because so many of those books are so published because the author lacks the craft to land an agent or a traditional contract. Yet, more and more ARE well-crafted, and have more interesting characters and situations and a broader context than that coming out of traditional houses.

Small presses are great because they are small, and they’re willing to take chances on the unusual. If you find the right small press with which to click, everything is possible. Of course, because they are small, even if you, as an individual, do your part, if every other author in the stable isn’t holding up their end, the publisher can burn out.

There’s a difference between incorporating notes/feedback into a manuscript to make it the best it can be, and changing it to fit someone else’s formula. If all they like and all they can sell is X, and I’d rather do Y, then I have to have enough savvy to realize that when they want it to conform to X, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s to make it better. It’s to make it fit. I don’t have to fit, if I’m willing to put in the thought, time, and effort, to do something else. It means not signing with them, but so what? The advances have gone down considerably in most cases, and few traditional houses are putting effort into promoting anything that doesn’t have to do with manipulating the so-called “best seller ” lists.

It wasn’t until I worked in a library that I realized just how much manipulation goes into those lists, and how little has to do with the actual worth of a book.

All of that has to be taken into consideration as I make my decisions in the coming months. I also want to redefine how I promote my work. I don’t WANT to do the same thing everyone else does — there’s a saturation of desperate promotion that works for very few. Instead, I want to craft campaigns that are as unique and quirky as the material I’m promoting.

The next couple of years should be interesting, craft-and-career-wise.

In the meantime — I have a play to finish!

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on December 2, 2016 at 10:14 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 2, 2016: Redefining How I Want to Handle My Writing Career  
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Mon. Nov. 28, 2016: Writing Progress

Monday, November 28, 2016
Dark Moon
Sunny and cold

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Week.

I concentrated on letting the broken foot heal and on writing. The play about the 14th century pirate is nearly done and will go out at the end of the week. The proof of TRACKING MEDUSA will be done later today, and it will go out on resubmission tomorrow. Plus, I got some work done on a couple of other projects, including MURDER OF A MELANCHOLIC.

I need to do a couple of tweaks to the end of CHOLERIC, and then another batch of queries go out on that, too. Although I think that series will be a challenge for any thing that smacks of corporate structure, since the series breaks so many rules. But I wrote the book (and am developing the series) that I want to read, but can’t find anywhere.

I’ve studied structure, and I have craft, although I intend to keep honing the craft my entire career. When I break rules now, it’s by choice. Unless I’m being paid a VERY high for-hire fee, I’m going to write what I want and stand by it. I’m going to run my career the way I want to, not the way others tell me I “should.”

Participated in the Not Bannon postcard avalanche. It may not do any good, but it’s better than doing nothing.

This week is the set-up for Spectacle of Trees in Hyannis. I’m going to help decorate this afternoon, and we’ll see what the next few days holds for that.

Once the current play is out, I go back to JUST A DROP, because that’s due in a few weeks, and still needs a lot of work.

Tomorrow starts a new moon. Wouldn’t it be nice if, during that time, the Electoral College showed some guts and integrity? They won’t, however. They’re cowards, just like everyone else who is supposed to stand up for us.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on November 28, 2016 at 10:11 am  Comments Off on Mon. Nov. 28, 2016: Writing Progress  
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Wed. June 22, 2016: The Writing Fugue

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I will be so glad when this Mars retrograde is done. It has kicked my ass.

Saturday’s house & garden tour went well – people seemed to enjoy it. Things were busy. I stayed after the library closed and got some work done, and then went over to the play. It was cute, although I wasn’t really sure while all these Cape Codders were speaking in a southern accent.

Home, writing. Wrote all day Sunday, all day Monday, all day Tuesday. 100 pages in longhand, finishing a major section of INITIATE. Worked on the radio plays – trying to figure out as much in advance so that I can get what I need to in the ten minute limit. Developed a logline and quick pitch for the potential new series that the actor pal wants to send to his producer pal. These projects can take years to develop – so I stepped up, did my part, delivered what and when I said I would, and we’ll see what happens from there.

Was asked to return to an organization I left about a year ago; not going to do so. It would simply be yet another drain on my time, and people expecting me to put their demands before my own writing, which I am not willing to do. I tried working with them, and they were detrimental to my writing, not supportive of it; therefore, no.

This will be another long week, with long days at the library, and then, on Friday night, our Casino night fundraiser. On Saturday, I’m headed out to the flower show.

I hit up the wholesale nursery on Sunday and got some great plants, and then hit Country Gardens to get potting soil and a few other things. I mowed a lot, and put down more fertilizer, but there’s still a lot to do.

I’m behind where I want to be on CHARISMA KILLINGS, so that is where the bulk of my focus needs to be for the next few weeks. Somehow, everything will get done!

Devon

Wed. June 8, 2016: The Real World Feels Less Real Than My Fictional Worlds

Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy days. I’m disoriented. I’ve been very deep in the writing these past few days. So deep that when I stop, my house and everything around me looks unfamiliar. It’s good – I’m happy with the work and I love being that deep in the work – but it’s difficult to be out of the work at all.

Most of the work has been on INITIATE, although I’m restructuring and rewriting CHARISMA and working on the play at the same time. INITIATE, as usual, swallows me whole whenever I’m in it. I love these characters so much, even when they break my heart.

I got some of the mowing done – the front and side yards look good. The meadow still looks abandoned, but the front and side yards were the most important. Got all the garbage to the dump, got the new recycling sticker. Chop wood, carry water.

I also managed to reconnect with a couple of close college friends. One of them, I’m in semi-regular touch with; the other, I hadn’t spoken to for about twenty years or so, but we picked up right where we left off, which was great. There’s one more I contacted – we’ll see if I hear back. We were all such an integral and intense part of each others’ creative development in our early twenties.

I attended a seminar yesterday afternoon in my capacity as a Board Member. A friend was there, too, and we would up going to Sam Diego’s to catch up. Good practice for me to interact with an actual human being instead of a fictional one before I had to re-enter the world today.

This will be a long workweek for me, and I have to make sure I don’t lose the writing momentum. But, somehow, I will figure it all out. I’m looking forward to Mars going direct at the end of the month and getting some of my energy back.

I have two adventures coming up in the coming weeks, which should be fun. I’ll share them when I can.

The first performance of the radio play “Broken Links” went off last night; tonight is the second. I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear how it went.

Have a great week.

Devon

Published in: on June 8, 2016 at 9:27 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 8, 2016: The Real World Feels Less Real Than My Fictional Worlds  
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Sat. March 12, 2016: Post-Birthday Writing

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and gorgeous

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday, everyone! I had a good day. I didn’t do much. I’d hoped to do some yard work, but the weather didn’t clear up until too late in the day for me to be productive.

I ate and read and ran some errands. I worked on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC – I’ll have the first draft finished by the 15th. Then it can marinate for awhile, while I work on the play and get to work on SONGBOUND SISTERS. I’ve definitely decided to flip it with TIE-CUTTER. I’m making notes on the major changes I have to handle in the edits, to fix the big logistical problem that led to several smaller problems in the manuscript, so when I officially start edits in a month or so, I will have everything set and can dig in.  I have a working title for the new play, which is always exciting.  The right title helps focus.

Three months is really too tight a timeframe for a first draft, unless I can spent 10 or so hours a day at the desk, and am not juggling multiple projects.. Four months makes for a stronger manuscript.

I was going to bake for today’s Caroline Kepnes author event, but she’s ill and had to cancel. It’s been rescheduled for next Saturday, so I’ll bake then.

I basically just chilled out. Ate too much cake! 😉 Did a lot of yoga.

When I get home after locking up today, I’ll get back to work on the book, and do my final push tomorrow and Monday. Monday, I have to be up extra early, because I have a Marine Life Center Board meeting, but when I come home, it’ll be that final stretch so I can write “The End.” It’s so close, I can taste it!

It’s a gorgeous day outside. It’ll be too late to do yard work when I get home, but I hope I can sit outside and enjoy it a bit.

Some black locust has invaded the side front yard, in front of the dogwood. As soon as the ground is mushy enough, I’m going to have to yank all of it out, and put in wildflowers and other plants that will attract bees and butterflies.

Looking forward to spring! This winter hasn’t been bad, especially not compared to last winter, but I’m still ready for it to be over. Hate losing an hour of sleep to “spring forward” tonight, though.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on March 12, 2016 at 10:36 am  Comments Off on Sat. March 12, 2016: Post-Birthday Writing  
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Fri. Jan. 15, 2016: Early Morning Writing

Friday, January 15, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day at work yesterday. I’m still on a different computer; mine isn’t fixed enough for me to trust it. Got a lot of PR done, notes typed up from meetings, that type of thing. Also putting together some programs for the spring.

I got a friend some contacts for research information she needed in London. I’ve gathered enough research on the immediate characters for the first historical play to get a start on it soon. The research books coming in will help me add ambiance and social/historical detail.

I’m booked to talk about scriptwriting for the March Writers Night Out. That should be fun. I’m already working on the handout.

A friend gave me a draft of her novel to read, before it goes out on submission. I’m excited about it, and plan to get started on it this weekend.

I’m enjoying the first entries for the contest. Working my way through them. I really like getting them in batches, rather than one huge batch at the end, with a more compressed time frame. This way, I feel I can really give each entry extra attention. I always review all the entries when I’ve read everything — to make sure the “yes” pile is still my “yes” pile, re-reading the “maybe” pile to see if they move into “yes” or “no”, and checking the “no” pile to make sure they are a firm “no”.

I woke up early this morning. Rather than tossing and turning, I got up and went to the desk. I have some ideas for the next section of TIE-CUTTER, and I have a new story starting to percolate that could well evolve into one of the stories I need for an end of April deadline. I think I’ve figured out how to fix the short radio play, and will tackle that this weekend, and, hopefully finish the draft.

But what I spent my time on, during my early morning writing session, was fixing the problems in the funeral chapter in DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. It’s got a lot more dynamic now, and makes more sense. That will help me get out of the corner I wrote myself into in the next chapter.

We’re getting to the meat of it now, although I see a few places where I have to go back in the next draft to salt in a few clues and red herrings. But, after a few days of frustration on CHOLERIC, I’m back on track. That feels good.

Today will be a long day. Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, and then I have to get in another load of firewood. It’s a holiday weekend — not sure what the weather is going to be like, so I might push some errands back into next week.

I always feel better when the writing is going well.

Hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions, and see how I’m doing for the mid-month check-in.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on January 15, 2016 at 9:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 15, 2016: Early Morning Writing  
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Thurs. Jan. 14, 2016: Digging into 17th Century Italy

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Gray and cold

Long, busy day yesterday. More problems with the work computer. An IT guy came in and put out the worst of the fires, but until he can come in and really do some serious work on it, I’m bouncing from pillar to post, which makes it difficult to work efficiently.

Day ended with a long meeting. Glad to get home, eat, knit a bit, and start the research on 17th century Italy for the next play.

I also think I might have cracked the problem on the short radio play. I’ll know for sure this weekend, when I can really dig into it.

Did a bit of work on TIE-CUTTER this morning, mostly structural. Not enough, but a little.

Facing another long day, but, hopefully, a productive evening with the research and writing. I feel like I have enough information to start the play in the next couple of weeks, filling in some of the atmosphere and social history as I go. I have a stack of research books headed my way, which is always hugely satisfying.

Have a great day!

Devon

Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 9:35 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 14, 2016: Digging into 17th Century Italy  
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Dec. 23, 2015: Preparing for a Warm Holiday (in every sense of the Word)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Waxing Moon
Sunny and warm

Can’t believe how warm it’s been. Things are starting to blooms!

Still working on holiday cards – got a stack of them in the mail this morning, but I suspect some of the them will be more like New Year’s cards. My apologies!

Tough few days, but I survived, simply because I am not going to succumb to manipulative b.s.

I finally finished the historical play and submitted it to the company in New York! It’s called “Confidence Confidant” and is about one of Kate Warne’s cases. Kate was the first female hired by Allan Pinkerton. She was known for her undercover work – good at gaining the confidence of the suspected criminals. Basically, she pulled the long con on the con artists! This play focuses on her work on the Adams Express Company case. I spent months researching, and it was fun to write.

I’ve got a company overseas interested in a full-length version, so I’m going to open it out a bit.

But it was good to get the deadline met and done.

Knitting group was fun last night.

Supposedly I’ve won a writers’ retreat stay in Vermont, but I’m having trouble actually getting a response from them to settle the details. Hopefully, it’s not a scam.

Tomorrow will be my first day off in 25 days, and I’m looking forward to it. I want a nice, quiet Christmas of family, food, reading, and writing!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Devon

Published in: on December 23, 2015 at 10:38 am  Comments Off on Dec. 23, 2015: Preparing for a Warm Holiday (in every sense of the Word)  
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Thurs. April 30, 2015: Deadlines Met

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy, but good day yesterday. Got a lot done.

Came home, worked on the contest entries and the short story. I feel confident about my choices for the Awards. These are the books that stand out from the pack.

At 5 AM this morning, I bolted up and rewrote the short story. I decided that I wasn’t being true to my characters, and trying to force them into a physical, violent solution instead of a more intellectual one that was more in alignment with who they are. So I rewrote it, I’m much happier with it, and it’s off. On time.

So, both short stories and contest materials are done on time. Now, my focus changes to the contemporary play due on June 1, the historical play I want to finish by July first, and the next radio play.

Tonight, I’m going to the Grant Reception for the new recipients of the Mid-Cape Cultural Grants (since I got one last year, they invited me to this year’s reception). Then, I’ll swing by Liberty Hall to help clean up after tango (I won’t be able to participate this week). I’ve got some more research to do tonight for books that are due back into the ComCat system tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be busy, as will the weekend, but I’m looking forward to reading whatever catches my fancy this weekend.

Have a great day!

Devon

Published in: on April 30, 2015 at 9:42 am  Comments Off on Thurs. April 30, 2015: Deadlines Met  
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Sat. April 25, 2015: In Support of Shondra Rhimes

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busy. Mostly good busy, but busy. Got some cataloging done and some periodicals processed. Worked on programming stuff and book orders and PR. All that good stuff.

Tired when I got home. Cooked dinner, tried to relax a bit. Read until late, but it was worth it. Got some work done on what I hope will be a short story that test drives some characters for a book.

The new play is exciting. I won’t be able to devote full attention to it until next weekend, after I finish the contest entries and short stories due this week, but I feel like I’m actually SAYING something that’s been on my mind for awhile, in an entertaining fashion through interesting characters in a unique situation. I hope I’m right and it’s not just falling too much in love with the piece! 😉 That’s due June 1, so I have time to play with it.

Just shaking my head with the inane reaction people are having because Patrick Dempsey left GRAY’S ANATOMY and the hate-mongering towards Shondra Rhimes. Some of it by people who claim to be writers – but, of course, have never worked on a television production or been in a WGA writer’s room. He’d been on the show for ten years. If it was time to move on, it was time to move on, and it’s not like anyone who isn’t directly involved with the show is ever going to know the full, true story. There are multiple points of view and possibilities, and this gossip mongering by people who aren’t in the business and haven’t even set foot on a set just shows how stupid and ignorant the gossips are. The fact that so-called “writers” are trashing one of their own without knowing the story is disgusting.

I stopped watching the show several years ago for lots of reasons. But I respect Shondra Rhimes enormously, and hey, any show that can survive into its 11th season has a lot going for it. Good for all of them. It launched a lot of careers, and supported others in shorter arcs. They worked hard and have something to show for it. Whether or not I personally watch it every week doesn’t matter. Shondra Rhimes is a fellow writer, and I support her. Not that she needs it; she’s doing just fine without me! 😉

If some of the rumors are true and she writes people out when they become a pain in the ass, good for her. One works too long and too hard on a production to put up with crap from anyone, and I have a lot more respect for someone who cuts the deadwood than who allows anyone – be it an actor or a producer or a crew member – get away with treating people badly. I’m actually doing that in my backstage piece — an actor thinks he’s more than he is and becomes a PIA — and he’s gone. Written out. Sayonara, baby, and good riddance to you. If you’ve got that kind of control on your own show — use it.

But the rumors might be just that – rumors. I’m not on the show. I don’t know. I don’t even care that much. I do care that people who work hard are being trashed by those who don’t know anything about the profession and trashed by people who have a hard time finding their own asses with both hands.

Everyone has a right to an opinion on the quality of the show, and whether or not they choose to watch it. But to pass judgment on people they don’t know working in a profession they also know nothing about — a clip of a backstage interview is QUITE different than actually working on set, and I know, because I spent my life working backstage in theatre, film, and television — if you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut the fuck up. Who do you think you are, a Republican political candidate? They’re the ones who think because it drips from their poisoned lips, it’s a fact, even though most of them wouldn’t recognize a fact if it hit them with a two by four.

Up early this morning. Got some work done. Have a breakthrough in the edits of one of the stories. I have to cut one of the scenes I really like, and integrate some of the information into the previous scene. That will get me in under the word count AND serve the piece, so it’s all good.

Headed to CVS – they got my mother’s prescriptions wrong AGAIN. Third month in a row. They used to be great, and would be helpful in fixing a problem – back when we first moved here. And there were rarely problems. The last year and a half or so, there are constant errors and they have no interest in fixing the problems. Seems to me it’s time to switch pharmacies.

Working today, then going back to CVS, hoping they’ve sorted things out, then home to do some yard work and then work on contest entries. I want to get them done by Wednesday.

I also have lots of writing and editing to do.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on April 25, 2015 at 9:34 am  Comments Off on Sat. April 25, 2015: In Support of Shondra Rhimes  
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