Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Dark Moon
Rainy and cold

At least it’s not snow, although I’m getting a little tired of rain. And it’s been so mild that the shrubs aren’t sure whether to stay dormant or to bud.

Got some work done on the short story yesterday, and on two proposals. Had a nice lunch at Captain Parker’s in Yarmouth, which is a fun restaurant with good food. Worked on contest entries.

Worked with my elected officials. We are differing on a couple of things, but are keeping it a civil discussion. Working with my elected officials, I don’t expect to get everything I want just because I ask for it; but they can’t represent me unless they know where I stand on things. When they make decisions counter to what I believe is the right choice, we discuss it. If their decisions are counter too often, I vote for someone else in the next election. But a good channel of communication is helpful. Even when I disagree, at least I know I’m being heard and not just ignored, especially when discussions hit specifics. And that’s the point of public services — you are representing many individuals, trying to make decisions that benefit as many as possible, within the value system of those who want you to represent them.

Walked away from a bad contract offer yesterday with the full support of my agent and lawyer. The offer was unacceptable as presented. Our side suggested changes, as one does. The other side said they don’t make any changes. Well, then, I’m not working with you. The first offer is where negotiations START, at least in the professional world. These smaller publishers who expect authors to sign boilerplates are delusional, and the authors so desperate they’re willing to give everything away just to get their names in print usually wind up regretting it.

A second contract negotiation on a different project walked back the money a LOT. We’re talking about walking back the workload to match. Otherwise, I won’t be doing that project, either. Which is fine, since I’d only even agreed to talk to the person as a favor to a friend. You’re not paying? I’m not working. This isn’t my cute lil hobby on the side.

Worked on a couple of proposals last night and this morning, and feel pretty good about them. We’ll see where they end up. This is in follow-up to Tuesday’s meeting.

Writing to do today, and research. The play I’ve been outlining gnaws at me. The last few scenes are very, very clear in my head. I may have to write them down so I don’t lose them.

I’d like to have the short story ready to submit by tomorrow or Saturday so that I can write a bit of the play and get it out of my head — and my heart. This one will be a gut-wrencher to write, which means I’m probably on the right track.

I forgot yesterday that it was both Burns Night and Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Salutes to both of them!

Back to the page.

Published in: on January 26, 2017 at 11:25 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities  
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Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Seventh Day of Hannukah
Fifth Day of Christmas
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa
Sunny and cold

I’ve had my head down to finish JUST A DROP. From commission to submission-ready draft, the play has taken me a year. There’s a lot I love about it, and it’s amazing how relevant the political scheming in 17th century Rome is to today.

Of course, there’s plenty of room for further development, through workshopping and rehearsal. But, for now, it makes its deadline, and heads down to 365 Women in New York City.

I can’t believe all the recent deaths. Why aren’t any of the Horrid being taken?

Usually, I’m wonderfully optimistic about the coming year, but I’m not this year. 2016 has been tough; I would like 2017 to be better, but I’m discouraged.

At least the writing’s been going well.

If I choose, I can take a break from writing until Monday. I understand that civilians call this a “weekend” and have them quite regularly. As a writer and theatre person, that is rarely an option for me.

Tomorrow, my wrap up for the year will be on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site here. I am taking Sunday to contemplate what I want from 2017, and on Monday, I will post my answers to the questions on the same site. And start the work for 2017. Even if I don’t have much hope for it, I’m going to dig down and do the work, which is an action I can take, and see what else happens. It’s either that or give up and never get out of bed again, and that’s not what I do.

I was thrown off track this year by many things, and that is just something that happens. I’ve survived, and I want to put things into place in the coming months so that I can thrive.

Happy, happy New Year to you all. I wish you joy and abundance in all that is good.

Devon

Published in: on December 30, 2016 at 10:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 30, 2016: Play Deadline Met, Buh-bye 2016!  
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Wed. Dec. 28, 2016: Dark Moon & Playwrighting

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Third Day of Christmas
Third Day of Kwanzaa
Fifth Day of Hannukah
Cloudy and mild

Tired, but all good. Working hard on JUST A DROP. Behind where I need to be in order for it to go out on Friday, so I’m digging down.

I loathe having Mercury Retrograde over the new year. Hard to do any positive work for it.

In spite of the pace of JUST A DROP (the creation, not the internal) being slower than I need, I love the way the play is shaping up. It is better than I hoped, which means, once it goes through the collaborative rehearsal process, it will really be something special.

It feels good.

I’m ready for a new moon and a new beginning.

Best wishes,

Devon

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 28, 2016: Dark Moon & Playwrighting  
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Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Day before Dark Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Second Day of Christmas
Second Day of Kwanzaa
Fourth Day of Hannukah
Stormy, windy, rainy, mild

It was a nice holiday weekend. Quiet on our part. Lots of reading, some planning, lots of eating. We spent Christmas Day with friends. It was nice.

Yesterday was a serious writing day. 26 pages on JUST A DROP. I love the shape the play is taking. It’s very naturally flowing into something that plays well. I’m excited to see where it takes me today. It goes out on Friday, so I have to dig in these last few days.

For the twelve days of Christmas, I can’t remember my dreams on either of the first two, so I hope that means January and February will be relatively quiet months.

I’ve been working on my GDR Wrap Up, which will post on Saturday, and on my GDRs and writing schedule for next year. We don’t even know if we have a future, so it sort of feels like I’m hedging my bets. But I intend to proceed, as long as I can, as though I do have a future, and sort out a writing schedule. I need to get a lot done. I’m giving myself more time for first drafts, which is probably a good thing. I just hope I can juggle as many projects as need juggling.

I’ve got some other stuff I’m working on, stuff I can’t yet talk about publicly. Don’t you hate it when someone posts like that? I certainly do. But it’s exciting, and while the initial planning may not pan out in the way it’s intended at the start, I think it opens some doors that may be worthwhile over the coming few years.

Along with that, I’m starting to think in terms of where I want to be in a year, in three years, in five years — even thought the Sociopathic Narcissist will probably cause a nuclear disaster by April. Still, I’d rather my final thoughts be, “damn, I didn’t get a chance to do that” rather than not having anything planned in the first place.

Planning the menu for New Year’s. We will have a quiet one at home. I hate going out for that holiday. Too much desperation for a good time. I’ve had too many miserable New Years in company. I’m much happier doing yoga and meditating.

Back to the page. I’m focusing only on the play this week. Next week, it’s back to NOT BY THE BOOK, figuring out the rest of THE FIX-IT GIRL, and drafting the short stories that are due at the end of January.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on December 27, 2016 at 10:46 am  Comments Off on Tues. Dec. 27, 2016: Calm Holiday, Making Plans  
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Mon. Nov. 21, 2016: Writing Retreat

Monday, November 21, 2016
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

They say we’ll have some snow flurries today. So much for yard work! The weather was so damp and windy the past few days I didn’t get much done.

This will probably be the only time I blog this week, except for a holiday greeting on Thursday. This week is about the writing. I want to dive into it, and stay off most media for the bulk of the week. Check in just enough to make sure the Apocalypse hasn’t started early.

On top of everything else, I broke some bones in my foot on Saturday. The poor toe that keeps getting broken got it again; and also a bone lower down on the side of my foot. I didn’t even break it doing anything interesting. I was merely careless. Can’t even get a good story out of it!

Most of the weekend was spent working on the play about the 14th century female pirate. That’s been pulling at me harder than the 17th century poisoning ring in Italy. So I’m focusing on this one first, then going back to JUST A DROP. I hate the working title I have for this play, and have to come up with a better one. But I’m having fun with the characters, and letting them lead me, in the context, into some interesting places.

This will be only the fifth time in 44 years we have not gone to Maine for Thanksgiving: three years when I lived on the west coast, one year when I was working on Broadway and couldn’t get coverage (I usually had Thanksgiving off and worked Christmas), and this year. We’ve been too sick for too long to feel up to the trip, and with a broken right foot, I can’t go anyway.

Relieved that both DEATH OF A CHOLERIC and PLAYING THE ANGLES are out. I’m prepping TRACKING MEDUSA for resubmission.

I also want to get back to work on THE FIX-IT GIRL, finish the draft, then start revisions. I think it might need less work than some of my other pieces, although I have to decide how explicit I want the love scenes to be.

Mark December 17th on your calendar. I’m doing a holiday jingle party on Facebook with Angela Aarons and Tracy Kincaid. My slot is from 1 to 1:30 PM, EST. There will be giveaways and games, and all kinds of fun stuff.

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you!

Have a lovely holiday week, and I’ll check back in next week!

Devon

Published in: on November 21, 2016 at 9:30 am  Comments Off on Mon. Nov. 21, 2016: Writing Retreat  
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Wed. March 16: Exciting News

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Foggy and cold

What a whirlwind the past few days have been!

Some big news, on several fronts:

First and foremost, I finished the first draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC last night. Technically, it was at 12:57 this morning, but since I hadn’t been to bed, I called it last night! 😉

I’m thrilled to have the draft done. I have some notes to make on changes I already know need to be made in the revisions, and then it goes away to marinate for about a month, so I can approach the revisions with a fresh eye.

The wonderful and slightly scary news is that a mixed media piece I worked on for a couple of months in early winter was submitted and accepted to an art show at Cotuit Center for the Arts for their exhibit “Unsafe”, about life post-9/11. I wish my uncles, who were artists were still alive; they would be proud.

If anything, working on it taught me how much I still have to learn about that craft of that particular medium! I liked working in it, though, and I want to learn –and do – more. I have to drop off the piece next Monday.

I’m also doing some campaign writing for someone who I think will be terrific in his job.

Today will be a long day at work, because we are woefully short-staffed. I’m leaving early, because I’m speaking tonight at the Cape Cod Writers Center Writers Night Out on Point of View.

The next primary focus is the first draft of the play set in 17th Century Italy – I hope to get a good push on that in the next couple of days. I want to finish the draft by the end of the month.

And, in a few days, I dive into the next first draft of the next novel – which is SONGBOUND SISTERS.

I have to take my mom in for some tests tomorrow at the hospital – I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s nothing serious. I’d like everything to remain on a positive trajectory!

Devon

Wed. May 8, 2013: A Harsh Reality of a Writer’s Life

IMG_1071

Wednesday May 8, 2013
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I have a post up on Gratitude and Growth about the ups and downs of the latest plantings. I hope you stop by and leave a comment.

I’m going to talk today a bit about the harsh reality of an author’s life, and the unrealistic expectations of part-time writers or non-writers put onto a writer.

I’m glad everyone enjoys the manuscript prep tips. Daily mailings like this take a LOT of time to put together, so it can only be something done sporadically. Because writing is my business and not my hobby, and how I pay the bills, what’s offered for free needs to generate enough new business to pay for more similar “events”. If it winds up being financially successful as well as building good will, I can do more. If people don’t buy my books and recommend my services, and it doesn’t generate new income, then I have to do something else that will INSTEAD of being able to put together another event like this. It’s that simple. Use the tips; land slots with publishers or magazines (I’ve created the tips because I genuinely want other writers to succeed — when one of us does well, it helps ALL of us); recommend my work as something that helped along the way, which will then generate new business for me, so I can afford to take the hours it requires to put together another event like this, offering a series of free useful things. Recommend my books (the novels and the Topic Workbooks) IF you like them and find them helpful. The income from book sales help pay the bills.

The time it takes to put together something like the daily mailing is the equivalent to writing about three chapters, and then the time it takes to do the daily mailing is the equivalent of about two pages’ worth of time each day. All of that is time away from my own, income-generating work. If it’s not my own work that’s put aside, it means it’s time away from a freelance writing or proofreading gig that will pay the electric bill for the month or get in that week’s groceries.

“Free” to you has cost to me — beyond just the time it takes to put together and the time away from my own work. It directly affects the bills. Eventually, it has to even out, or I can’t do it.

Would I write anyway with a “day job”? I did for many years, earning the right to be a full-time writer. When I left Broadway to be a full-time writer, I’d hit the crossroads where I could no longer do both. I HAD to make a decision. I chose writing. The harder of the two choices, but it also means I have to make more ruthless decisions and make sure I can pay my bills working at my PROFESSION.

That is the reality of a professional writer’s life. We pay the bills with our work, the same way the lawyer, the accountant, and the plumber do. That’s why it’s so important for those who label themselves “writer” to limit how much they write for “exposure” (when National Grid lets me pay my bills with “exposure”, I’ll be able to write for “exposure”), AND writers need to stop working for content mills, turning out dozens of articles a week for pennies and/or maybe/someday pay-per-click payments.

I want to write stories that people love and respond to. But if they don’t buy my books, I have to find another way to make a living. That doesn’t mean I’ll get a day job and write at night. It means I change careers. If people request a class, and I take the time to put it together and schedule it, it means I have turned down other paying work. If people then don’t sign up for the class, I’ve still put in that time and lost that other work, and now I have to hustle OTHER work to pay the bills — I don’t have the time or the financial cushion to re-schedule the class when it’s “convenient” — because, nine times out of ten, the people who wail the loudest about wanting/needing the class still won’t sign up for it, because they don’t want it badly enough to rearrange their schedules to do it. It’s not a priority for them. It’s something they’ll do if they have nothing better to do, including paint toe nails and watch reality TV. They don’t really want to be in a writing class that makes them actually, well, WRITE. It means the material is not in demand — therefore, there is no reason for me to offer it. That’s the way it works. I am the sole breadwinner in the family. I don’t have a husband or a trust fund to pay the bills. It’s all on ME.

If you like an author’s work — any author’s work, not just mine — go out there and buy books and post Amazon reviews and talk about the books on social media, so that said author can land another contract and write more books. Because if the author has to go get a job at McDonald’s or something else — to change careers — chances are, the other books won’t get written. Or, they might, but instead of being able to write a book a year or a book every two years, it might be a book every three or five, and few publishers and agents are going to invest in someone who can’t turn out regular content (yet too many publishers still don’t do their share in partnering with their authors to make sure the sales figures are high). We’re all on tight budgets — don’t cause yourself harm, or spend more than you can afford. But do whatever is in your power to encourage the people making the decisions to keep hiring the authors.

That’s reality.

Back to yesterday:

Many thanks to Donna Alward, who I met at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference. She writes at an amazing rate, working for one of the Harlequin lines, and also has a series of novellas out with Samhain. I happened to run across her on Twitter yesterday morning, when I was poking around not doing what I needed to do. She challenged us to an hour-long sprint 1K in one hour. I jumped at the chance. I did just over 1600 words in just under an hour, finishing the fourth chapter of LEADING OPPORTUNITIES. This is from Elliot’s, my male protag’s, POV, and it took some interesting turns. I like him a lot more than I originally envisioned. I mean, of course, my heroine has to adore him, but in the initial planning, he was a bit more of a dick than he is now. There’s still room for him to grow, but he’s more receptive to his surroundings (and still, loyal to a fault).

Worked with students, got some pitches out. Then, it was off to the Marine Life Center, and from there, on to New Bedford, to Gallery X, where the Marine Life Center may partner with the gallery for an exhibit in mid-June. The space is exciting. I wish I had the capacity at this point to create a piece for the exhibit. I’d love to do some soft sculpture, but I don’t think I can make it the priority it would need to be in order to get it done on time. I might do a mixed media words-and-image piece.

We then had lunch at No Problemo, which was really good. All in all, a lovely day.

On the way home, I started percolating on the new play — I have to submit ten pages by the end of the month — I realized that my initial opening and images are a different play than the original theme I intended. I need to separate those out and decide which play I’m writing NOW.

Spent some time reading on the deck. Both Tessa and Iris were in the enclosure. Iris has decided she’s missing out by staying inside, so now she wants to come out, as long as Tessa is close by (even though they stay as far apart as possible in the enclosure). I applied flea and tick medicine to all of them, so we’re covered in that arena.

Today, I have to work in the yard before the rain starts, do my 1K on LEADING OPPORTUNITIES, work on the non-fiction, work on the adaptation, and start ripping apart the book I finished on Sunday for revisions (I have only about 10 days to get this revision done). Early this evening, I have a Mermaid Ball meeting at the Marine Life Center.

So I better get going!

Devon

Fri. Aug. 31, 2012: Year-Long Class Ends on the Blue Moon

Friday, August 31, 2012
Blue Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Today wraps up the year-long novel-writing class I taught, which began on September 1 of last year. Out of the sixteen who started the class, eight made it through. They were required to write 1000 words per day, every day, for 7000 words per week. They finished one novel, revised it, swapped manuscripts, did another revision, put together a detailed submission package, started a second novel (some participants finished their second novel and started a third), and wrote a handful of short stories. Together, we created an anthology, which will be released later this year, called DEATH SPARKLES. All in all, they wrote a great deal — which one HAS to do in order to be a writer — and learned skills that will help them in all aspects of their careers. Now, they are ready to go off and explore new ways of working, with a wide variety of techniques in their tool box. Several of the students are now on a regular publishing schedule with a combination of books, novellas, and short stories, which is what is necessary in the current climate.

I dismantled the Creativity Altar I set up at the beginning of class last year. I will put together a new Creativity Altar later today to symbolize the coming cycle’s work. I will post my final remarks, pull a few things from the site that I need for the anthology, thank them for their commitment, and then — we go our ways.

Friendships will remain, and new paths followed, which is as it should be. They need to go out there and test their wings without Teacher looking over their shoulder. It’s time for them to explore new techniques and possibilities.

Yesterday was spent almost entirely on the play. I still have to fix the ending, but I’ve got a glimmer of that, and I will fix it and send it off this morning. Either it will be accepted or it won’t. I can’t worry too much about it, but I would have regretted it, had I not submitted.

I also finished the materials for Confidential Job #1, and will do that write up today, and finish the article that’s due tomorrow, but I want to get it off my desk before the start of the holiday weekend.

I won’t be having a holiday weekend — I’m working off site a good deal next week, so I’m hunkering down over the weekend to get it all done before I leave. And, today, I have to make up for the work I didn’t get done on the Sustainability Workshop yesterday.

So it’s busy, a day of mixed emotions, but so many new vistas are opening, and I want to fully experience them.

Enjoy the Blue Moon! And the holiday weekend!

Devon

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The eggplant is growing!

Saturday, June 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warmer

Yesterday was a Busy Day. Got some work done early, headed off to the breakfast. Overshot the Hyannis Yacht Club, but found a friendly local cop, parked behind his car, walked up and say, “Hey! Good morning! I’m lost!” He was very helpful. He recognized me as the one who always waved and said thank you to the cops guiding traffic around construction. The local cops seem to find me as entertaining as the guys at the dump do.

Got to the breakfast on time, shared a table with three very interesting women, and the speakers were great — one being Carol McCleary, who writes the Nelly Bly mysteries. It was so good to see her again! We talked for a hot minute before I had to dash to get home, change clothes, and do the make-up for TV.

I overshot the studio, too, but turned around and found it without police assistance this time! They were running behind a bit, which was fine, because we all just sat around and talked. Of course, I got lipstick on my shirt just as I was sitting on the set chair! Urgh!!!! The wardrobe girl in me was going nuts!!!

My interviewer was a lovely man, who’d actually taken the time to read the first third of the book — he doesn’t have an e-reader, so he printed out as much as he could before the ink ran out! He asked some really good questions, including one on belief that I answered honestly, when I should have probably been more circumspect, so let’s hope no one shows up on the lawn with torches and pitchforks! 😉 I’d hate to have traded the safety I feel here for a moment on television. But the crew actually came out of their various booths to chat after the interview, so at least they found it interesting. Of course, I’m fretting about some things I wish I’d phrased differently, but that always happens, even in the best interviews. You don’t get to edit when it’s live! 😉

The content of my talk was good, but my body position was tense, and I kept doing the death-grip on the arms of the chair, so I don’t think it LOOKS good –a downside for TV. I so prefer radio, because I can rely just on the voice and the content. But overall, it was a positive experience, and the show’s producer is also an actress and knows actresses who need monologues, so I may be doing some playwrighting again in the future!

I got home in time for supper, completely wrung out.

Managed to spend some quality time with my students. The next book and the students are my priority today. The interviewer got me talking about THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so I damn well better finish it soon! 😉

To bed early, tried to sleep in, but the cats weren’t having it. Have to do some bill-paying and running around today, but the bulk of the day will be spent on SPIRIT REPOSITORY and winding up the class.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy

Today’s my birthday, so I’ll be offline most of the day. I’ve got Fun Stuff to do! 😉

Yesterday was busy — spent time on the workshop, got some great work done on the play, had to do some research for the play (why do I insist on writing about lost civilizations and lost languages all the time, and then I have to go find them?), and working on the landing page for the seminar.

Web Design is not my forte, and, of course, because I could design a pretty nifty page on iWeb, I couldn’t upload it to my host. So I deleted one of my sub-domains (which needs revamping anyway) and used the host’s site builder to create a simple landing page. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but all the info is there. It wasn’t too much of a gut-wrenching nightmare, actually. It even let me cut-and-paste (usually I have to hand-enter every keystroke). It didn’t let me do everything of course, and I’m not particularly quick, but it’s done, and now we can tweak it over the next few days and jazz it up a bit, and then promote it. I also started setting up the conference board, but then hit the point where I couldn’t think straight any more. I’ll have to go back to it tomorrow.

I even spent some time cleaning up the fallen branches in the front yard, and, lo and behold, as I hauled them to the back to pile ‘em up, I found crocuses valiantly peeking up and around the rose bushes on the side of the house.

But that’s a post for tomorrow’s Gratitude and Growth! 😉

The next assignment has come in from Confidential Job #1, and I will start tackling that this weekend.

I’m reading a biography of Kay Thompson — I didn’t realize she had a long career in radio and in Hollywood as a singer and musical arranger before she wrote the Eloise books! Very interesting to see how radio worked in the thirties, forties, fifties, etc.

Last night’s kundalini yoga kicked my ass, but it sure helped my hip! 😉 This morning’s session was pretty good, too.

Tomorrow, it’s back to commenting on student work, setting up the conference, and working on my deadlined material, but today is all mine!

Devon

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 7:30 am  Comments (10)  
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Not only did I have a migraine (and still do), but it was a very much of a Saturn-retrograde day. Let’s hope I took the “lessons” part under advisement and applied them! 😉

I’m absolutely knocked out by the material the students are bringing into the class. Every time a slimy reality “star” puts out a “book” they “wrote”, I despair for the publishing industry, but then the students come in with this quality of material, and these unique and wonderful stories, and I think there’s hope. We made need a renaissance of small, independent houses and may need the behemoths to crumble under lack of book buying, but eventually, I think we’ll get there. Story-telling and story-accepting are deep needs hardwired into us.

It’s taking me longer to go through their initial materials, though, than I thought. Instead of spending about 20 minutes on each project for the initial, individual suggestions, it’s taking me anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour. With nearly thirty students, that’s a lot of time. I don’t mind putting it in, but I’m behind where I wanted to be, and hate to keep them waiting.

I got some work on the play done, and, now that I’m getting in to it, I’m having fun with it. The plot is taking a different direction than I expected, but that’s okay.

Finished A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES last night. Absolutely loved it. All of the things I urge the students to do — sensory detail, integrating backstory, keeping action and dialogue clear, strong sense of place as additional characters (one of the settings actually serves the purpose of a character), well-rounded and truly frightening antagonists — it’s there. As are a very clever melding of history, science, belief, and evolution.

I’ve never believed evolution and religious belief in creation cancel each other out. I just figure God’s seven days might not be the same as what we think of as seven days. In the course of the universe, our lives are relatively short. The segments we use as time, days, etc. are in blocks useful to us. That doesn’t mean deity runs on the same schedule. I actually think the two theories support each other. However, those who want dissension because they want to control others need to keep them separate so they can continue to exert control.

The book doesn’t delve into that particular argument, but it does beautifully mix magic, alchemy, and science, and explore both the evolution of species and its possible extinction. Definitely makes me want to go back and re-read Darwin with fresh eyes — haven’t read him since college.

I don’t want to give away spoilers for those who still have the book on their TBR list, but I will say this — as satisfying as the ending was (it’s the first book of a trilogy), I am also scared for where they’re headed (in a good way), thrilled by the possibilities that opens up for the next book, and care so much about the supporting characters that I hope they aren’t pushed aside completely in Book 2 in favor of the characters that are necessary for this next step on the journey.

Brandy, did you worry about the cat near the end as much as I did?

Go read this book– it’s wonderful on many levels! 😉

A project in negotiation fell through because the company decided they no longer wanted to work in the genre. They do, however, want something else of mine, so I’ve got to hunt through the backlog and see if there’s something that might fit. I can’t start something new right now unless there’s a lot of money up front. Unfortunately, it puts me back to square one with a project I thought had a home, and has a domino effect on the projects in that series that are lined up behind it, so it’s time to reshuffle a few things. It happens. You shrug, adjust, and move on.

Right now, I need to go back to the page, and then, later this morning, back to my students. I have trouble concentrating on anything when I know they’re waiting to hear comments on something.

Devon

Published in: on March 5, 2011 at 8:03 am  Comments (2)  
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Hey, it’s supposed to hit 30 degrees today! Positively balmy! (Yeah, I’m being sarcastic).

Got some good, practical work done yesterday, got the lectures to my partner, started reading through the material for the class.

Ran my errands in Plymouth — they didn’t have the final book I needed for my class, but I did finally manage to get my hands on a copy of Deborah Harkness’s novel A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, which I’ve been trying to get since it was released.

Everything went by the wayside for the rest of the day and well into the night, because once I started reading it, I only put it down when I was too tired to see straight. It’s terrific — beautifully researched with ancient texts, the interdependence of magic and science, a good dose of evolution and species extinction, beautifully integrated settings rendered so well you are living every moment of the book. Absolutely fantastic. I have about another 100 pages or so to go (it’s a big book) and I’ve put it away so I’m not tempted to go back to it until I’ve done my work for the day. It’s that damn good

I have a raging headache today, but it was worth it.

Launched into the play today (new moon, new project) and I love working on it. It’s fun, and the characters are coming beautifully to life.

In addition to the writing, I have to do some practical things today like laundry and vacuuming, and a bunch of administrative stuff. I have a couple of submissions that need to get out today, and start working on polishing the lectures for the RWA workshop I’m teaching the first two weeks of April. It’s one an email loop instead of a board, which will be good for the students, but a nightmare for me, and I have to figure out how to work in that format without wanting to tear my hair out. It was booked over a year ago, before I changed the contract and class requirements, so I just kind of have to roll with it.

I’m hoping it won’t be as much of a wet, miserable weekend as predicted, because I’d like to get out and clean up the yard a bit.

But for now — a couple of Advil and back to the page.

Devon

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

Here’s my essay, from the Anita Blake anthology.

Of course, I hope you buy the whole book and enjoy everyone’s essays, but my essay’s on offer for just a couple of days on the SmartPop web site.

I got some work done on the urban fantasy yesterday, and I also started adapting BEHIND THE MAN from a three-act interactive play to a two-act proscenium piece. I have to add a few more pages — it’s too short for traditional stage time, but it gives me a chance to add some scenes and some business that had to be cut from the original vision because of the production needs. BEHIND THE MAN, THE MATILDA MURDERS, and FEMME FATALE are all solidly constructed, fast-moving, and witty. There’s no reason they can’t have lives in traditional, small/regional venues.

So, I’m adapting it to two act format, prepping proposal packages (most theatres want a synopsis and the first ten pages), and then starting the theatre query process. I’ve researched some of my favorite small and regional theatres around the country, and found several I think would be a good match.

Speaking of the plays, the first royalty check for FEMME FATALE arrived, and I’m happy with it. I will miss those checks when the company closes up shop in the summer and moves to Florida! I hope the producer launches a company down there, but, we’ll see.

Struggled with the Derby wrap article, but got it to my editor. I’m not happy with it. It’s long on workmanship and short on sparkle.

It was so hot and sticky, I had to keep turning off the computer yesterday so it wouldn’t overheat. I put in the fans this morning. I’ve hesitated on the air conditioner, because Elsa seems to do better in humidity. Which really sucks, because the rest of us wilt in it.

Hopefully, the vet will have some information from the test results, and hopefully, it will be good.

In the meantime, back to the page. I’ve got to push through this section and get to the next bit. What i have to do is sit down and plot the whole rest of the novel. Flying blind isn’t working for me.

Must back and haul boxes to storage today, and get some groceries in.

Colin, the foiled car bomb reminded me of Glasgow, too, and the more information we get as the investigation progresses, the more disturbing it all is.

Devon

Published in: on May 4, 2010 at 6:22 am  Comments (5)  
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