Tues. Jan. 24, 2017: Piling More on the Plate

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and mild

Yesterday was a busy day. I had contract negotiations on two different projects, admin work, a couple of hours’ work with the staffs of my elected officials, preparation for this afternoon’s meeting, writing (which did not go well), and research into both Italian Renaissance painting and 1930s fashion.

On top of that, I applied to and was accepted by, a Yale-based course in Constitutional Law, which starts next week. I want to be prepared. People are waving around the Constitution, but most of them haven’t read it. I studied it in school, but that was a while ago, and I want to learn the legalities. I received my orientation package, and made arrangements with the local library so I can study and do research there during open hours. It’s at least fifteen hours a week, and I’m sure it will kick my ass, but I think it will be worth it.

The local news mentioned that more people died in the tornadoes that hit this country this weekend than in all of last year. The only other information I could find on the tornadoes was on CNN, which confirmed that. I finally managed to get onto the Red Cross website to find out that they are on the ground, and donations can be made through their site, but I had to hunt for the information.

Why isn’t this being reported? More importantly, what kind of federal aid is being sent? Why is the White House continuing to whine and push false inauguration numbers while people are dying or have lost everything and need help? There should have been a strong message of support and comfort and promise of aid out of the Oval Office as soon as it happened.

I’m not surprised that there wasn’t, but there should have been.

More contract negotiations today, and more work with elected officials before I head off Cape for my meeting. I’m hoping to sneak in some writing.

If one of these contracts actually comes through, not only will I have a tight contract schedule on the book that’s being negotiated, I have to make the next book in the series a priority. That will mean re-arranging the year’s manuscript schedule. I hate being in a holding pattern, but the contract that was offered was against all of my interests in so many ways, I can’t believe it was actually offered. But that’s why I have an agent, a lawyer, and the Authors Guild.

The press release about the new play goes out today. That should be fun.

Meanwhile, I have a short story to finish and get out this week!

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Fri. Nov. 8: Reassurance and Need For a Weekend

Friday, November 8, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Come join us to Organize Your Writing Life in 2014. Spend a day, stay on track for a year. Information on how to sign up here.

Frustrating day yesterday. I finally had to go to the lawyer and a union rep, as well as seeking advice from trusted colleagues in the field, because the soon-to-be-ex client crossed a line. I was assured that I am in the right, well within the terms of the contract, and advised to cut ties as soon as possible. I’d prefer to be paid first for the work done, but I don’t know if that will happen.

The whole thing just threw of the day’s rhythm and got me off my game. It shouldn’t, but it did. I worked on the big editing project, worked with students, got out a press release, and got some other stuff done, but it wasn’t enough. I have to finish up two other articles today and get them out, and I’d like to get out the big editing project (a week early).

Not much work done on my own stuff, but got some research done. And, I’m reading novelist Eloisa James’s memoir PARIS IN LOVE, which is delightful. I’m laughing out loud a lot, and I certainly need to laugh this week.

I’m having trouble staying connected to the internet today, which is yet another headache.

I’m looking forward to the weekend!

Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 8:10 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 8: Reassurance and Need For a Weekend  
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Thurs. June 13, 2013: Good Workday and Eager for Conference

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I was productive yesterday. Got out my review (last for this editor, whaaa — but I’m excited for his new opportunities). Wrote a press release and a blurb for the previous day’s committee meeting, per what I promised and am waiting for feedback. Worked with private students and the Supporting Characters students. Wrote an article. Roughed out a second article. Did some research on Venetian painting (I could have spent all day on that — delightful). Realized I had to return books, so I pulled one of them (that I can’t renew any more) and took the notes I needed before making the trip.

You know you spend a lot of time in local libraries when the librarian greets you by name as you walk in and brings over the next stack of books put aside! Cape Cod has some of the best libraries and best librarians ever. I am truly blessed.

Watched lectures for both my Climate Literacy class and the Archaeology class. Interesting how some of the issues intersect.

Worked up general notes for a new series and started outlining the opening of the first book. This is in an historical context, which means I get to do a whole lot of fun things with it!

Prepped for the conference I’m attending today and tomorrow. It’s about Cape Cod’s changing coast — feeds directly into the climate literacy class, and I expect that information here and from my friend at NMLC will give me the background I need for my first climate literacy paper.

I’m going to try to work with some students now, before I leave for the conference (yes, it’s just after 6 AM — the beauty of an online course).

I’m in my Annabel Aidan persona over on the Writers Vineyard, talking about trusting your creative subconscious here.

Looking forward to the day — in spite of the nor’easter heading our way!

Devon

Wed. March 14, 2012: Company in town!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Still not paid by the errant client. Part of me wants to be petty enough to refuse to work on the current project until paid for the previous one; however, in the long run, it would hurt me more. Therefore, I grit my teeth and continue — but I’m cutting the hours way back and putting other things into motion. Somehow, I will get through this mess — but I will not be put in this position again. When I logged on this morning, I found an email stating they’d changed the payment model last year, everyone had been notified, etc., etc. Um, no, I had NOT been notified, or there would have been discussion. I was told an exception would be made, and payment put through last night (it’s not there). At least I know how the payments have changed — I can adjust my budget to it now, but I still need to cut back my hours and projects for this client moving on. This new business model may work for them; it does not work for me.

Did my background for some proposals yesterday; will mail them out today. Helped a friend with a couple of press releases. Meditation group was great.

Drove to Providence. Managed to find the bus stop this time and got Costume Imp, although I took a wrong turn getting back on the highway. He got there early — good trip from NY. I got there late — typical Mercury Retrograde! But we found each other, and had a good trip back. It was sunny and gorgeous in Providence; foggy and much cooler here on the Cape.

Came home, had dinner, got Imp settled. He’s glad to be back. The cats are getting bolder around him, which is pretty funny. We caught up on the first few episodes of season one of TORCHWOOD (one of my favorite shows, with which he’s not familiar), and David Tennant’s final episodes of DOCTOR WHO. I know I needed the break!

Up early this morning to get some work done and go to yoga. The rest of the day, we’ll play by ear (but I have student work to deal with). Tomorrow — it’s the Boston Horticulture Show! Looking forward to it.

Need to settle back in to the writing. The rhythm’s gotten erratic.

Devon

Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 5:57 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Assumption of Right is available from Champagne Books.
Annabel’s website is here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warmer

When you’re finished here, hop on over to Lori Widmer’s Words on the Page, where I’ve got an article up about how writing fiction helps me land business writing contracts. Yes, it is part of the ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT launch week!

And thank you so much for all the good wishes and wonderful support, making my release day truly special!

Busy, busy weekend. Friends came over on Friday morning for breakfast. We had a lovely visit, and then I raced around trying to get everything done. Can’t remember if I mowed the terraced back last Thursday or Friday — it’s all one long mow for me! 😉

Took stuff to the dump, got some writing done, but as usual, never enough. The next assignment for Confidential Job #1 arrived. So I guess, even with the transition, they’re keeping me for awhile! 😉

Saturday, I got out a press release in the morning, did some promo for the book, and then headed up to Wellfleet for lunch with my friends. It was beautiful. I hadn’t actually been to Wellfleet in years — usually I was up in the winter, when everything was closed. The Wellfleet Preservation Hall has re-opened and the renovation is gorgeous. Really lovely. They have a wonderful schedule of events, so I think I’ll go up and participate in some of them. I also found the Wellfleet Mass Audubon Sanctuary, which I’ve yet to visit — will have to get up there so to do at some point. We wandered the stores, I bought a lovely piece of batik (I’m like a crow and shiny jewelry when it comes to batik), and we walked over Uncle Tim’s Bridge and looked around. There were lady slippers growing wild, which I’d never seen before. Exciting!

We had lunch at a place called the Beachcomber, which lived up to its name by being tucked in the sand dunes. The food was fantastic — I had fish tacos with a black bean and corn salsa that were just terrific. We walked down to the beach and enjoyed the windy day.

I headed back to find my retired neighbor who spends ten hours a day in his garden over in my yard, hacking at things with the edger! I’d like to think it was out of kindness, but, knowing him, it’s more out of a sense that I’m not getting things done fast enough to suit him. Well, hon bun, I don’t have ten hours a day to spend in the garden. I have two, if I’m lucky. And, while I admire your formal beds that you dig up every six weeks and completely replant, I want something more organic in MY yard. I don’t care if it’s a weed if it’s blooming and pretty! Besides, some of the plants you consider weeds, I consider invaluable in my stillroom!

I’m going to work in MY yard on MY schedule. It’s bad enough I get dirty looks if I’m sitting on my deck reading a book while those neighbors are gardening. Not their business what happens on this side of the fence, as long as it’s not harmful or illegal.

I worked very hard not to let it sour my day.

Slept very well Saturday night, was up early Sunday, getting the papers, etc. Came outside early because a neighbor’s kid (I’d say he’s about ten) got his new kite stuck in one of my trees, so brought out a sturdy chair and climbed up to untangle it. I really need to invest in a ladder!

Read the papers, and went out into the garden to try to do some deadheading. Pruned what I could reach of the big lilac, deadheaded the Stewartstonian Azalea in the back and the white fluffy one that popped and faded in the front. Got to work deadheading the rhodie in the back nearest the porch. Got about half of it done when my friend from Martha’s Vineyard called, asking if she could stop by on her way back to New York. Of course, I said yes!

Then I ran around getting cleaned up and setting out lunch things.

We had a lovely visit. She’s excited about the house, and thinks the yard is lovely. She agrees that it’s an awful lot of yard for me to handle on my own, mowing-wise, especially the way it undulates.

Went back to the page for awhile once she left, and also back to reading. I read two books over the weekend. One of them was COMMITTED by Elizabeth Gilbert (from the library), which I liked much more than I expected. I’m going to write a piece about it on the other blog in the next few weeks. The other was KNIT ONE, KILL TWO by Maggie Sefton. Usually, I get very impatient with what I call “gimmick mysteries”, but this one was very well done, and I’d love to read more of her work.

Watched GAME OF THRONES. Jane Espenson’s episode was definitely the best of the season. I’m getting a little tired of the unrelenting brutality, and I keep getting ahead of the story and waiting for it to catch up. The production values are absolutely gorgeous, but the piece takes itself a little to seriously ALL the time for my taste.

Monday was release day, and a very nice one it was, too! I flitted around from site to site in promotions. Hopefully, people will buy the book, and, even more hopefully, people will LIKE the book.

It definitely inspires me to keep going on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY!

Also, yesterday, did three loads of laundry, mowed the meadow, took the clippings to the dump, got more potting soil, mowed the front (which couldn’t wait until the end of the week), worked on a couple of articles that were a challenge because I don’t have the scientific background for them, and I kept having to stop and look things up. It will definitely need someone on staff to fact-check. I contacted the owner about my “list” of things to ready the property for summer, and, hopefully, we can set up a time late this week or early next week, and he can teach me how to do stuff.

Read some last night, did some yoga, but was so tired from the mowing, etc., that I went to bed early. Woke up early, too. Spent about an hour in the yard, watering thoroughly, weeding, etc. Then I showered and dressed (I put on gardening clothes for the morning garden routine — don’t worry, I’m not running around out there in my PJs! ) ;). Had my coffee out on the deck, which is lovely, and then came back to hit the page.

I need to get my daily quota done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY — this chapter is giving me agita — and then tackle the articles again. I’ve got appointments out of office for most of the day, so these early hours have to be very organized. As I leave for my appointments, going to swing by the dump to drop off yesterday’s grass clippings. Gotta love an integrated life!

Devon