Fri. Jan. 16, 2016: Gearing up for a Busy Week AND Mercury Retrograde

Friday, January 16, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day at work yesterday, juggling lots of different tasks, writing press releases, booking people, helping with patrons, etc. It was one of those cases where each patron needed a lot of individual time. Which is fine, it just put everything else back.

The weather worsened as the day wore on. Several libraries closed early, due to black ice. As I drove home, the water hit the windshield and froze. I drove home with the heat blasting, but my window rolled down and my head hanging out of the window like a puppy. Not fun.

Watching the British version of HOUSE OF CARDS. Interesting to see the different interpretations. You’d think, though, these women would learn that they won’t be the one who’s different, the one that won’t wind up dead.

Going through a stack of research books I needed to return, I discovered that a book I’d checked out for another project had a chapter relevant to the research on the historical play. Love how that works.

I have both readers for the Burns/Woolf tribute. We do a read-through on Monday afternoon, and we do it next Saturday. I got out the press for the program on weather by the ex-NASA meteorologist that’s happening in two weeks, and today I’ll write the press release for the Valentine’s Day tea. I ordered the DVDs of the Oscar-nominated movies and sorted out some stuff for the book clubs. Helped a patron fill his Kindle for an upcoming vacation, helped another patron learn how to use the copier, helped another patron find several new-to-him authors. Dealt with correspondence and emails, and questions at the front desk. Set up for Tango.

Going back and forth with the Harvard Library. They have copies of the research papers I need (the originals are in the Library of Congress), and they’re available for interlibrary loan, but I have to fill out the right paperwork. They told me to talk to my local library. I pointed out that I AM my local library, and I just needed to know which paperwork they wanted me to fill out. I’ll probably wind up booking a “research appointment” up there at some point, but if I can get those initial reels, that will give me an idea where else to look in the files.

Did some work on the edits for KILLER QUINTET last night. Hope to finish them tonight and get them to my editor tomorrow. Also have to fill out the PR sheet.

Threw a pork roast and some sauce in the slow cooker before I left this morning, so dinner will be just about ready when I get home tonight.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, and then it’s a cat food run and back to writing. Sunday is all about writing; Monday is about writing and rehearsal. Tuesday, I have a board meeting over the bridge, a program at the library, and another board meeting in Hyannis.

Next week will be hugely busy, AND Mercury goes retrograde. I’m already nervous about it. Fingers crossed.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on January 16, 2015 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. Nov. 30, 2012: Rich Writing & Trip Prep

IMG_0659

Friday, November 30, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Worked flat out yesterday. One press release was approved,and out it went The second press release was tweaked and I had to wait for photos, but those arrived last night and it will go out this morning. That will clear off the desk before I leave.

Polishing the Flash 7 Workshop that starts a week from today. The exercises are REALLY fun — I may well write along with the class, even if I don’t post the pieces. There’s still time to sign up here — it’ll be a great class, writing, revising, and submitting 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 days, and they’ll all be out the door before the holiday insanity starts! 😉

I started working on the Smashwords formatting — I think, once I get the hang of it, it will be pretty smooth, but the first one is always the hardest. I doubt I can get them up before I go to NY.

Caught up on my World History class. Next week is the last week of lectures, but we have until the end of the month to finish our final paper and wrap up.

Good writing sessions yesterday morning and this morning. There’s a richness in these characters’ lives that I enjoy writing, and something I find missing from a lot of the books I’ve read lately. Unfortunately, about the last dozen or so books I’ve read (from the library) have been awful. Very disappointing. I’m trying to pick the books for the trip carefully, so that I’m not disappointed.

Managed to get a few decorations up on the tree this morning, but it’s slow going. However, I am packed for my trip (except for the books). I need to finish Costume Imp’s birthday present today, and get a few other things done, and I’m good to go.

Devon

Published in: on November 30, 2012 at 9:33 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 30, 2012: Rich Writing & Trip Prep  
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Mon. Nov. 12, 2012: Good Writing News

Monday, November 12, 2012
Dark of the Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend. Trying to juggle lots of things on Friday, including getting out press releases and discussing the possible play commission. One short story was rejected — have to get that back out — but another was accepted.

My 200-word flash fiction piece “Love in a Wok” was picked up by DAILY LOVE, and will run on November 26. Don’t worry — I’ll remind you!

Which is a good segueway into the flash fiction workshop, Flash 7, I’m teaching from December 7-16. Students will write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 days. Since they should all be writing 1000 words a day anyway, and no assignment is more than that, there better not be any excuses! You’re all done and submitted before the holiday madness strikes! 😉 More information here.

Here’s a press release about the Playwright Intensive. The CAPE COD TIMES was also very kind to run something about it in the Sunday paper.

Saturday, the Beautification Committee did a work day at Mother’s Park. We had a lot of fun. It was definitely a time of “many hands make light work” — got everything done and had time for coffee, cake, and a chat before heading home. At home, I kept going, cutting back and getting the beds in the front of the house done for the winter.

I’m luxuriating in the NOTEBOOKS OF HENRY JAMES in my down time. Fascinating stuff.

Sunday was all about catching up on school work. Watched all the lectures for the World HIstory class and aced all the quizzes but one. Watched all the lectures for the Mythology class — we studied the Orestia this week, which I practically know by heart. So, yeah, I did well on the quizzes, too.

Got some writing done, but not enough, so I have to buckle down some more today — have to get work done on two novels, a non-fiction project, and revise a press release — and, hopefully, hustle a few quick-pay, quick-turnaround short gigs, such as press releases.

Busy week this week, lots going on — I have the final galleys for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK — and I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is already next week!

Devon

Fri. Nov. 9, 2012: Exciting Writing!

Friday, November 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We were battered for two days by the nor’easter, but now it seems to be moving on. The Callaich Storm Hag was on a roll!

Actually, got a lot done. Revised and sent out a play that had been requested. It was good to revisit it, and it holds up better than I expected. Revised a novella, and sent that out. That was in better shape than I remembered, too, although I managed to remove 15 qualifiers I hadn’t previously caught! I also got out about a half a dozen short stories that got piled up, and pitched to two organizations for whom I’d love to work — they don’t really have the position I want there, so I pitched to create it! I’ve also got someone interested in a book that’s only partially written, so I need to focus a little more on that one for the next few weeks.

This morning, I opened my email to find out that someone wants me to write a mystery play for their winter fundraiser. Tons of fun — totally would love to do it. So I hope it works out!

Read a frustrating book by a Pulitzer-prize author — basically, not much happened except people changed partners a few times, realized they liked their original partner, and navel-gazed a lot. Big disappointment, even if it was set locally!

I’ve got two press releases to write this morning, and then it’s the errands that didn’t get done in the past two days. I ducked out to pay some bills yesterday, but that was it.

Excited by the possibilities!

Devon

Reminder:
The Application deadline for the Playwrighting Intensive has been extended to November 20. More information and application here.

NEW:
Flash 7, a flash fiction course where participants create, revise, and submit 7 pieces of flash fiction in 10 days is open for registration now. More information here.

Wed. June 27, 2012: Busy

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus DIRECT
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Wrote 3 PSA scripts, two press releases, outlined two articles, sent out interview requests, distributed a press release, pitched a series of articles, and worked on the ebook. Assisted in setting up a shoot for Thursday for one of the PSAs I wrote. Found out that the check that’s two weeks late probably hasn’t even been mailed yet. Frustrated with one organization — they have an exclusivity clause, so I don’t teach the same class for X months on either side of my commitment to them anywhere else. Totally understandable. Yet, they are booking instructors with classes similar to each other (and mine) very closely together — and there are even people using the titles that I originated. Without paying for the class, I don’t know how similar the material is to mine — I’m sure all our teaching styles are very different. And yes, all my materials and handouts are copyrighted. In the classes I’ve taken there, there’s not much writing involved. In the classes I teach, I demand that they write every day. But I’m not happy abut the whole situation. It’s not good for any of the teachers — it dilutes all of our classes. Offer one of each type of class per quarter, not a half a dozen of the same type of class. Saw somebody listed to teach a class on juggling writing and life — who couldn’t keep up in one of my classes and dropped out. The fact that someone who couldn’t successfully juggle is teaching a class on the topic just floors me. Not fulfilling one’s commitment does not equate with successfully juggling, in my eyes. But, that’s the way it goes. You gotta shrug and move on, or it’ll drive you crazy.

Reading a trilogy by another writer and the inconsistencies are driving me batty! Even if the writer didn’t catch all the logistical errors, where were the editors? Someone needs my Series Bible class! 😉

Revised three chapters of HEART SNATCHER. This is a quick revision for reshaping — I’ll go back in August and do another one in more detail. This revision makes it more of a paranormal mystery, a tighter-paced, tighter-focused read, and I have to decide if that’s what I want for the trilogy, or if I want to go back to the bigger canvas of social and political issues. It’ll be interesting to read the two drafts side-by-side and see which is the stronger book.

We had some cracking good thunderstorms here yesterday afternoon. The cats weren’t too happy, and some of the smaller plants needed to be rescued, but, overall, I love being inside with a good Cape Cod storm outside!

My computer was a little unhappy — making noise and getting hot — so I shut it down for the duration of the thunderstorm. Gotta keep the Macbook happy!

Poked around in Scrivener. Basically, it’s iPages on steroids with spiffier graphics. In other words, I don’t need it. And there’s no reason why material done in Scrivener can’t be posted in Standard Manuscript Format — you can set up the template to work in it. Yet again, more excuses without foundation from students (not in the year-long, though, they’ve all got the finish line in sight and are doing a great job at this point).

Meeting last night was good — lots done in an hour, just the way I like it. Came home and watched NEWSROOM again. Still loved it, although I caught a couple of continuity errors this time around and the music swelling under some of the speeches didn’t work for me. But I still can’t wait to see the next episode. And I don’t often say that about something on TV!

Up early this morning. Wrote a few pages in longhand on the magical realism piece (with Tessa on the deck) and then wrote a little over 2000 words on a contemporary piece. I like the contemporary — I find it both exciting and restful to work on. Am about to tackle three more chapters on HEART SNATCHER revisions, and then go back to the articles, pull some stuff together for tomorrow’s video shoot, and draft a cover letter for a client. Before looking around to see if there’s anything else worth pitching towards. I’m tempted to throw my hat in the ring for an editing job, but not sure I have the patience to work in the genre they need. Depends on the money — they meet my rate, I’ll give it a go. They try to lowball me and I refuse.

Back to the page!

Devon

Learn how to create focused scenes with impact in the Scene Meat workshop, July 9-13. Learn how to create and maintain a series bible in a one-day seminar on July 14. Take both classes together and save $15!

And don’t forget — “Town Crier” is available, as a free download, on the Jain Lazarus site until July 9.

Wed. June 6, 2012: Reconfiguring Writing Time

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I worked like crazy yesterday, but don’t feel like I got that much accomplished. On the up side, I finished the first pass on one of the swapped manuscripts and really enjoyed it . On the other, I struggled with the short story, and, although I got a lot of admin work done, it never gives me the feeling of satisfaction that writing pages gives me. Promotional stuff, etc. In negotiations for a potential workshop next year for a different organization, where I think the time/payment ratio is going to be saner. Pitched for a press release job, but I bet they want someone cheaper. Invoiced another job.

The rain’s finally stopped, which means I’ll have to mow today! I guess I should be happy that it’s healthy and growing well!

Here’s a press release about the upcoming one-day tarot workshop, live, here on the Cape, on June 16. I’m still putting together the week-long mix of workshops for July, but that should go up shortly. I need to get a press release for HEX BREAKER out to the local papers. So much to do, so little time. Just like everyone else, right?

I’m taking my mom to the doctor this morning — which means I’ll lost most of the morning, because, even with no one in the waiting room, they make us wait at least an hour and a half, which is ridiculous.

I really like the direction in which the anthology story is going, although I went on a tangent yesterday and had to cut almost everything that I wrote. Still need to do more work on “Town Crier” before I’ll feel good about posting it for download. I’ve got some other ideas swirling, so I have to figure out how to reconfigure my time to have more time to write fiction, and yet still be able to earn a living.

But it’s pretty today, so maybe I’ll do some of my writing outside!

Devon

Hex Breaker, $2.99 from Amazon Kindle and Solstice Publishing.

Published in: on June 6, 2012 at 6:19 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. May 17, 2012: Recovering Felines, Horse-Loving Writers, and Writers Worth


Violet’s got some ‘tude

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard today, in my Annabel persona, talking about “The Scent of Lilacs” and how that’s important to writing. Hmm, think I’m a little obsessed with lilacs this year.

Yesterday was all about taking the three cats to the vet. Boxing and stuffing three frightened felines is a feat unto itself. It was definitely a challenge, in spite of setting out the crates the night before. Fortunately, I’m faster than they are, and crate them in a room where there’s no place to hide. Then, it was hauling them into the car. And driving.

Fortunately, the vet is close by. Iris, our little drama queen, howled the entire way. Violet sat there, plotting about all the horrible things she would do once we got home. Tessa was confused.

It was busy when we arrived, mostly dogs, who were very interested in the cats. The cats didn’t pay any attention. Iris did her “woe is me” routine, causing everyone to fuss over her, which is exactly what she wanted. It was pretty hilarious.

The actual vet visit wasn’t bad. They’re all in excellent health, and got all their shots updated. They won’t need rabies shots for another three years. Nobody needed a thermometer shoved up the butt, so they were spared that indignity. The twins were very good, although they were scared. Tessa was fine for the exam, her heart rate remarkably steady (the twins’ rates were elevated). That’s because, as Tessa made it quite clear, the people handling her had FAR more to worry about than she did. She was ferocious during the nail clipping. She lost that battle, but she put up a good fight.

Turns out, by trying to make it fun and non-threatening, I haven’t solved the problem. The vet said some of them just hate it, and they always will. The best thing to do is put a towel over their heads and upper bodies, pin ‘em down, and do it FAST. Good to know.

I also have to use flea and tick medicine on them all summer, thanks to the yard (but it means Tessa can come out on the deck in the puppy training crate, which she loves).

I expected them to be grumpy and lethargic when we got home. I know I was exhausted. Instead, they were all very hungry, ate like baby bears, and then they all wanted attention. It was pretty cute.

Got some work done in the afternoon, although not enough. Wrote press releases. I really enjoy that work, and I should hustle some more of that work from clients. I do a good job, when they pay as they should it’s worth it, and I enjoy it. Hey, momma’s got to make up for all that money spent on brakes and the vet! Unfortunately, a lot of people act like they’re being generous when they offer $20 to write a press release. Um, no, the going rate is about ten times that. More, if you expect me to sit there and do the distribution — which is time-and-labor intensive.

In the evening, I went to the Writers Night Out dinner in Hyannis. Lots of fun. The speaker was the person who suggested I’d be a good fit teaching in Falmouth, and I thanked her for the recommendation. Her presentation was terrific. My dinner companions were horse people (imagine — in a room full of writers, the horse-loving ones find each other — gotta love it). It was a great discussion. I respect this woman a lot because she’s working more than full time, taking care of two horses and MAKES the time to write. She’ll fulfill her writing dreams, because she’s putting in the work, and doesn’t let anything get in the way.

Off to yoga in a bit, then have to put gas in the car, come back, and work flat out all day and into the night. I have to make up for yesterday, when I couldn’t get everything done, catch up with students, get my own writing done, and get out some more pitches.

We had a lot of rain yesterday, and the fog last night was terrifying — for driving, not because I expected Coyote Cujo to emerge and attack or anything. It’s supposed to clear up today. You know what that means, don’t you? I gotta go out there and MOW again! 😉

Hop on over to Words on the Page for Paula Hendrickson’s great article, “Writers are Worth More than We Realize.”

The next section of revisions to tackle will be tricky. I’ve been pondering it, and am not sure I have a viable solution for it yet, but it needs to get done, so I will push through.

Devon

Need help creating an efficient submissions system? Join the one-day online Seminar on June 2, Setting Up Your Submission System, and I’ll walk you through it. Information and registration here.

Published in: on May 17, 2012 at 6:10 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 17, 2012: Recovering Felines, Horse-Loving Writers, and Writers Worth  
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Wed. May 16, 2012: All Three Cats to the Vet (Big Drama & Yowling)


Iris and Violet are not amused

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy day, but didn’t get enough done. Which means today I have to push even harder. Got some errands, done, though, which helped. And my meeting last night went very well — I’ll be teaching three in-person workshops in Falmouth in the fall — if people sign up!

Prepping for my workshop on Saturday — got my class list, and am looking forward to it. Putting together my “stuff” for the class. Prepping the Submission System Workshop for June 2 — there’s more information here and sign up. It’s so important to have an efficient system — it makes life a lot easier.

I’ve got five press releases (for my own work) to get out today. And I have to finish the write ups for confidential job #1 and finish the rough on my article. I’ll have to wait for a couple of quotes, but I want the article in good enough shape so that I can just pop ‘em in and send it out.

Check out Nancy Oliver’s post “When the Safety Net is Gone” over on Words on the Page, as part of Writers Worth Week.

I need to hustle some quick-turnaround and quick-paying work to make up for the money spent on the brakes and what I’ll have to spend today at the vet — all three little darlings are going in, and that’s going to be a big chunk of change. But, it has to be done.

Tonight is the Writers Night Out dinner, so I’m off to that. And I’ve got to buckle down on some of my other fiction deadlines. I’m behind. I’ve got to get back in balance with the short term work and the long term.

I’ve got a post up on Gratitude and Growth with garden photos.

Feeling a little run down, and am looking forward to next weekend, when I’ve got several consecutive days OFF.

Devon

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I finished “The Possession of Nattie Filmore”, the Jain Lazarus short story, which isn’t anywhere near as short as I hoped. I wanted it to be 1500 words; it’s over 6000. But I promised you a free download in time for Halloween, and so you shall have it. I hope to have it designed and uploaded within the next few days. It’s a ghost story, it’s got Jain and Wyatt. There are also some new smart women in the piece, including medical examiner Diane Baker, who’s got her eye on Wyatt, and fellow detective Patty Brayne. I like surrounding Wyatt with strong women – he can hold his own!

My guest blog post will be up on Wild on Books on October 29, next Wednesday. I hope you’ll hop over and visit. They’re doing a month-long promotion.

Chase Bank gets yet another Middle Finger Award. Remember last week, when they pulled me out of line for all that personal attention and hand-carried my deposit to the teller, etc.? They never credited it to the account. I had to go into my local branch and request a trace. I had the receipt – but it was never posted. Not only do the majority of people who work in the NYC offices as “executives” spew misinformation every time they open their mouths, the tellers are sloppy. Hate them, hate them, hate them!

Worked on a story yesterday, but the Jain Lazarus piece wore me out. I’m also doing some website design (don’t faint now) for a new project which should launch in early November, amidst all the Nano insanity.

Got a press release out yesterday; have a few more to do. Got to get those e-books moving!

Not a word from the bums in the freelancer group who didn’t show up for the event, or from the office so eager to know how it went. One would think someone somewhere would at least send an apology or pretend to have an explanation. I’m well rid of them, that’s for sure.

I’ve got a couple of articles to write, some business correspondence to get out, and a lot of writing/editing/design work to handle today – AND I have a show tonight.

Better get to it.

Devon

The Big Project – 20,006 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 75
(26.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 7:41 am  Comments (7)  
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