Mon. March 16, 2020: Intent for the Week — Preparation

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image courtesy of stevepb via pixabay.com

Monday, March 16, 2020
Waning Moon

My next procedure (an outpatient surgery) is on Friday, the 20th. So this week, I’m preparing, both mentally and physically.

I’m hoping it will be a quiet week at my client’s. I’m trying to keep other stresses to a minimum. I’m leaning on my yoga and meditation practices, trying to keep up my daily writing, and working to keep myself in a good place both mentally and physically.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on March 16, 2020 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. March 5, 2012: Weighing Contradictory Information


Heading here later today for some solitary time.

Monday, March 5, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend, both good and tiring.

Friday, after getting out the materials requested in the morning, I caught up with one of my classes, caught a few hours’ of sleep, and staggered around the house the rest of the day. The emotional exhaustion was worse than the physical exhaustion. Especially since all that work might not pay off anyway — which is the problem with fiction. You don’t know until it’s done. And, of course, when you’re tired, the Doubt Demons see you as easy prey.

The tarot was not much comfort. I’d already drawn The Crossroads from the Well-Worn Path. The tarot cards drawn Saturday morning — Death and the 5 of Wands. Could ya give me a little support here, cards? 😉 Crossroads — yeah, I figured that one out all by myself; Death — yes, I’ve been talking about new business plans, new directions for the career, re-envisioning what I want and need. So the card of transformation makes sense. 5 of Wands — redefining identity and career — yeah, pretty much where I am.

At least it wasn’t The Tower!

To bed early Friday (since I was pretty incoherent anyway). Up early Saturday and to a conference here on the Cape. It was a day-long conference on epublishing and marketing. It was great to be amongst my fellow writers again, and meet some new ones. We had a lovely group at our table.

The first part of the program was about the steps an ebook has to go through from text to purchasable copy. It was pretty technical. I thought it was interesting, and much easier to follow than I expected. But you could see the room — some people found it interesting, as I did. Some people struggled, unfamiliar with the terms, but were determined to understand. Some just couldn’t be bothered.

Which is of course why the speakers were there — they do formatting and preparation. For a price. It’s still up to the author to distribute, but they handle the coding, etc. You still have to give them edited, proofread copy because they don’t handle that aspect, and that’s where a lot of writers who indie publish drop the ball. They think because they’re indie-publishing and their story is so brilliant, it doesn’t matter if it’s a mess. Wrong. If I buy your indie-published book and there are errors all over it, it indicates to me you don’t respect me as a reader, you piss me off, and, not only will I resent forking out even a small amount of money for it, I won’t buy anything by the author again.

There was some murmurings that the speakers purposely complicated the presentation to drum up business; I disagree. I thought it was very clear, and I’m a techno-phobe. So, if I could understand it, it was clear. I was also very grateful for the coaching Colin Galbraith’s given me in HTML coding — I could apply it here. Yes, Colin, I actually retained it — shows you’re a good teacher.

A group of us had a very lively lunch in Hearth ‘N Kettle — good conversation, good food. What I love about this writers’ organization is that the members are interesting. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, they’re intelligent, observant, have a sense of humor — and they buckle down and write. They’re not there to write maybe-Someday. Either they had a writing career, took time off, and are getting back in the saddle, or they had other careers and now want to add writing in — but they WRITE.

Afternoon presentation was on marketing. The presenter was a little too hard-sell for me. “Buy my book, come to my class and you’ll learn how to market.” Honey, I paid for today’s seminar. I want useful information TODAY or you aren’t going to see me at anything else you do. I’m not here for a teaser — I’m here for information.

Fortunately, she got to that. She talked about business models for writers and the importance of marketing taking 50% of your time. I was not a happy camper to hear this — I was hoping to get away with 30%. I realize she’s being practical. Me not wanting to hear it doesn’t change its value. A lot of what she talked about, I already do. I just have to do more of it. So there was good information.

What was interesting about this day was the completely opposing point of view to the industry and its direction than I had from the conversations this past week from someone deep in the trenches with a long, well-established career in it. On the one hand, it was fascinating to hear both points of view, very passionately presented, so close together.

It was also a little overwhelming. By the time I got home on Saturday night, I was ready to curl up into a fetal position. It takes awhile to sort through contradictory information and weigh the different elements as to what’s best for one’s own life.

Up early Sunday, read the papers, checked in with my students, caught up on some work. I didn’t write. I feel like I’ve used up my week’s quota of words. Fortunately, I had material to read, and could refill the creative well. I’ve got a polish this morning on a piece for Confidential Job #1, and a polish for a deadlined article. I’m also wrapping up 5 in 10 and starting the Sensory Perceptions class. A friend is speaking at a local museum, and I’d like to get there this afternoon, but I’ve got errands, and I’ve got to get the headlight on the car fixed. The week’s busy — new class starting, my mother’s surgery, continuing classes and private students, and some other stuff coming up.

50% of the time marketing. Between 1 and 3 AM, maybe. But I have to figure out how to get a higher ratio done, whether it’s a bit every day, or set aside one day a week primarily for marketing.

At least today’s tarot card was The Wheel of Fortune — upright, so turning in my direction!

And my witch hazel’s bloomed — it’s gorgeous. The morning glories I planted last week are also starting to poke up. Carlos the woodpecker is back, and you can hear the owls crooning their mating calls. Spring is on the way.

Devon

Published in: on March 5, 2012 at 7:26 am  Comments (2)  
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Partly cloudy and cold

I’m happy to say the party debut of Imp and I was a success. A nice group of people who all enjoyed each other and interacted well, good food and drink, lots of laughter and actual conversation.

Spent the morning on the classes. Then, once Imp was up and about, we prepped the space and the food, and went out in mid-afternoon for the flowers and ice. We decided that, instead of cut flowers, we’d buy potted blooms (two yellow Victory roses, one red Victory rose, a peace lily, and a small, blooming kalachoe). They look lovely, and they’ll last longer than fresh cut.

I’d organized the class so, provided students turned in work on time, yesterday wasn’t a day when an assignment was due (today is). Of course, some of them didn’t, but there comes a point where that’s not my problem anymore.

And, since we cleaned up last night after everyone went home, it gives me plenty of time today to spend on the assignments so due.

Hardly anyone drank alcohol, so I’m glad I served Shirley Temples — and they were a big hit!

It was fun. They’re good,interesting, intelligent, fun people. I’m glad I met them. I’m glad I’m getting to know them, and I hope to build friendships with them moving forward. Friendship is based on time and shared experience, and now we get to share experiences.

I admit I was a little nervous — I used to be famous (or is it infamous?) for my parties when I lived on the west coast — monthly dinners for 20. I used to throw a lot of parties in Manhattan, especially when I had an apartment overlooking the ball drop at Times Square.

But my last living situation didn’t lend itself to much entertaining, so I had to kind of get my feet wet again. It was nice to do a small gathering on Twelfth Night in honor of a visiting friend.

Imp broke one of the wine glasses in the prep — not a big deal, it wasn’t one of the vintage 1950’s glasses from the Pump Room, just an inexpensive daily one from a box store — but there was glass everywhere — kind of like how could that much glass me in one, well, glass? It made me appreciate the central vac even more! No one got hurt, and we got it cleaned up before any kitty ventured in to see what the heck was going on.

Iris hid during the whole party. Violet made a flying appearance, dashing through, just to let them know she felt it was really, REALLY unacceptable to have all these strangers in the house (it was pretty funny). A flash of gray flying through the air.

The downstairs looks great — all tidy and everything put away. And what’s not put away has fabric artistically draped over it!

Unfortunately, a lot of what got stashed got stashed in my room, so I have my work cut out for me next week getting it sorted out and put away. But I want to PUT IT AWAY, give it a home, not just stash it in another place and then have to move it again six weeks down the line.

Today is about classes, shipping Imp’s books home so he doesn’t have to carry them, and just chilling out. There’s supposed to be a snow storm tonight into tomorrow. Depending on the moment, it’s next to nothing or a lot. So, when we wake up tomorrow morning and turn on the news and look out of the window, we’ll find out if we are heading back tomorrow, or on Sunday.

I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks of calm, where I can just write, focus on the class, unpack, and rest up from the past few months. Make that years.

I can finally take a breath!

Devon

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 7:46 am  Comments (9)  
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