Thurs. Nov. 13, 2014: Working in All Directions

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Waning Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Busy few days. Can I even remember back that far?

Been busy at work, been busy at home. Doing a lot of research; working on RED WIDOW. Also went back to a couple of other projects that are in various stages, went over the material, and I’m re-sorting those priorities. Not getting enough yard work done. Getting paperwork done, especially on the home front, contracts, and the like, and preparing submissions.

Got another small royalty check and the payment for the anthology that’s about to release. I’m excited – my first steampunk story in print! That will drop at the end of next week.

Doing my wreck diving homework for the background on BALTHAZAAR – behind where I’d like to be, but it’s getting done, and a lot of it is creative work, sitting on the floor with a large piece of paper, trying to visualize things. Putting together lots of questions.

A project in DC I thought was dead due to the change in Congress is still on the burner – it may be another six months to a year before it’s up and running, but there’s grant writing and proposal writing to be done in the meantime, interviews to be conducted, etc. If it happens (and there are so many “ifs” involved), it will mean going to DC on some of the days I’m not scheduled to work elsewhere. Not that I mind, especially if someone else is making the arrangements and paying for it! It’s a project I really want to be involved with, although I’m a way out of the box choice – which is exactly why the person heading the project, a former professor of mine, is bound and determined that I remain a part of it.

Got a request for a play of mine – a company in Florida is interested in it. That might be kind of fun, adding it to the resume. I’d just license it, not go down and work on it.

Went to see a facility here on the Cape in connection with another project, earlier this week. I was disappointed. I expected more from the location. I’m still glad I saw it, and it made the creative wheels turn, but I don’t see how we can work out the practicalities in the near future.

Yesterday, Talin Bookbindery did a program at the library. It was magnificent, one of the best programs I’ve attended anywhere. I was even more enchanted with the bookbinding process by the end of it than at the beginning. And the process of making marbled papers! A true art. Wonderful.

Spending lots of time on student work. Hopefully, the students are getting something positive out of it. It was the right route to go for the past few months, only working with private students, and teaching groups in one-shot deals, not long-term classes. I’m under too much deadline pressure right now for anything else.

Even though I was “on” last Saturday here, I switched with a colleague for this weekend, who has a commitment. Not a problem at all. And I have to participate in “Taste of the Mills” this weekend, and write up some proposals for new programs. Monday, I’m in the writing cave; Tuesday, I’m spending the day on Martha’s Vineyard. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate!

The webs in RED WIDOW and the novellas connected to it intrigue me. I’m wondering just how far I can push certain elements in this series. Guess I’ll find out soon, huh?

Devon

Mon. June 2, 2014: BALTHAZAAR TREASURE Back on Track

Monday, June 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend, but pretty good. Friday was a busy, somewhat chaotic day at the library, but it all worked out. A colleague and I are still trying to sort out the pile of (expletive deleted) that another colleague dropped into our laps (separate from the library work), but that will happen. I’m not going to waste my time in anger, nor am I going to leave my colleague holding the bag. We will sort it out, and I will make sure we’re not put in that position again.

My workshop for Wednesday is almost complete — I have to put together the tip sheet — it’s kind of in bits and pieces — and get some info from MWA, and we’re good to go.

Friday night, I was invited to the Unitarian Church to see a showing of the documentary TRASHED, about the problem and health risks associated with our trash. Eye-opening, although several of the people after with “questions” didn’t have questions at all, and were simply very impressed with the sounds of their own voices. Still, I’m glad I went.

Up early Saturday morning. Got some work done, stopped by the library to take care of something I forgot about, but most of the day was spent in errands. I thought they’d take two hours, and they took eight. Pierpont Glass, Christmas Tree Shops, Market Basket, Trader Joe’s. Ocean State — but got a lot done. Also finished the Media Kit for TRACKING MEDUSA, and the edits for “Severance” landed on my desk.

Read Ilona Andrews’s MAGIC BITES, which I really liked, and started another urban fantasy by a different author I’m not sure I like.

Watched THOR: THE DARK WORLD — was disappointed. I like the actors and their moments — especially the scenes between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston — but the action scenes needed to be edited down in some spots. When there ARE character moments, they are great, and there are some hilarious throwaway lines, but there’s not enough of that. Also watched THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, which wasn’t as bad as I’d heard. There were parts that I liked, and parts where it felt like scenes were edited/skipped, and information we needed for other scenes to make sense was simply ignored.

Was wiped out on Sunday, but suddenly BALTHAZAAR TREASURE started to make sense again. Wound up doing about forty pages’ worth of work on it, twenty plus of them new pages. Prologue still holds, but there’s a new opening chapter, what used to be chapter one is rewritten and now chapter two, what used to be the start of chapter two is now chapter three, and it’s nearly done, and they’re almost at the Bahamas. A new character walked in to cause more conflict between Gwen and Justin. Although Karl will still be the major wedge in their relationship, with Carolina and Irina causing some stress, the choice that Gwen makes to save her and Alec’s life in chapter one will now resonate through books two and three.

Watched some television, including GAME OF THRONES, although, as I’ve said before, the relentless brutality wears me out.

Lots to do today, including getting stuff done I didn’t get done yesterday, getting things sorted out for the muddled project, doing revisions on script episodes, new episodes, and working on both BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and “Severance.”

At least I feel good about BALTHAZAAR again, and feel it’s a viable project. I was having my doubts there for awhile.

Devon

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

I seem to have a perpetual heat exhaustion headache. Ick.

Anyway, Saturday was good. I got some stuff done in the morning, cooled down the bedroom with the air conditioning for the cats, and headed off to open studio hours in the afternoon.

I made six little objects: three pinch pots, one raised round disk on square feet that I think will be a candle holder (for pillars), a slab-rolled cut-out leaf design that’s too open to be a bowl, so I think it will hold one of my crystal balls, and a small tray.

I’d stopped at Michael’s to buy a package of loose leaves (like autumn leaves, not tea leaves), because I wanted to try the slab leaf projects a teacher showed us on Wednesday. But these leaves didn’t have deep enough ribs, so, when I tried to roll them onto the slab (using a rolling pin — it’s amazing how useful kitchen tools are in ceramics) it didn’t make a deep enough design. The larger leaves have the clearly defined ribs and work better. So, instead, I used the leaf as a pattern to trace into the slab/tray bottom with my needle tool, and then I drew in the leaves. I rolled, cut, measured, and attached the sides of the tray, putting in extra clay for shrinkage, and hoping it won’t separate once it dries.

There were three other people working in open studio, all on the wheel. We wound up putting out our pieces to dry in the parking lot in the sun (talk about old style) because it was more efficient than just sitting it in front of the fan.

I was there for the whole open studio time — and STILL have clay left over! 😉

But I had a blast. I love, love, love handbuilding and slab work. If there’s a class for that which is for a beginner in the fall, that’s what I want to take. I feel like I should tackle the stuff I’m not good at, but I want it to stay fun. A mixed class would probably be best, but if there’s just a handbuilding class that’s not too advanced, I have a feeling I’ll take that instead. I love rolling the clay (between two cloths) through the slab roller. I love checking it and using the needle tool to remove air bubbles, then sliding it through again a few times. I love figuring out how to cut and shape and playing with tools and texture. It made me happy.

One of the other women there has been taking class for two years. She said that, for the first eighteen months, she couldn’t get the feel of the wheel at all. Then, suddenly, she had a breakthrough, and now she’s obsessed.

Hopefully, I’ll hit a point where I can do wheel as well, but right now, it just discourages and intimidates me. Maybe, once I’ve moved, I’ll take a few private lessons (if I can find a really good teacher), who can baby-step me through both the theoretical and the experiential. Because so much of wheel work is understanding the feel of the clay.

My morning glory somehow managed to grow through the screen and is trailing down the side of the building. Oops!

I go this from Brandy, who got this from Dru . . .

Five things always in my purse: lipstick, pens, small screwdriver for my glasses, a couple of crystals, a Susan B. Anthony dollar (for luck, not to spend)

Five things always in my wallet: driver’s license, bank card, store discount cards (actually, at this point, only Costco, Borders, and Staples Rewards — all the rest are in their own wallet), too many receipts, National Wildlife Federation card.

Five things always in my refrigerator: milk, wine, eggs, cranberry juice, lemons and limes.

Five things always in my closet: Well, my closet is kind of like the one in THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE — it looks small, but I keep putting things into it and it expands to meet need. When I empty it to move, I may find Jimmy Hoffa and a trail to another country in there. At this point, stuff in there includes clothes, my childhood sled, offseason shoes (on-season are on a shoe rack in the bedroom or in the front hall for easy access), boxes of fabric, childhood ballet costumes.

Five things always on my desk: Printer (computer is a laptop, so it travels), gargoyle, crystals, Ganesh statue, too many projects (not that I’m complaining — it means the work is going well).

Sunday was pretty quiet. I got some work done in the morning. I packed up the baking materials and went to my friend’s place, where I baked brownies all afternoon and worked on notes for a new series while the brownies were in the oven and cooling. It was a nice, quiet workspace, both the oven and the airconditioning worked, and I got a lot done.

Quiet night reading and playing with the cats. In the morning, Elsa scooped a blueberry right out of my bowl and started playing with it on the floor, so at least she felt well enough to play.

Hopefully, her medicine arrives today, so we can start it before I leave. I’ve got to do a lot of last minute running around — a bit of bill paying, getting my tickets and money sorted, finish packing, return my friend’s key.

I should have internet in Philly (famous last words), and, for some reason, I’ve decided I want tea towels with Ben Franklin and/or the Liberty Bell on them. Yeah, I don’t get it, either. I’m building up my stock of tea towels/kitchen towels, and am on a novelty tea towel kick.

I’m trying to limit the projects I’m taking, because it will be a busy week: the work for Confidential Job #1, notebooks for two projects, the new booklet, the books on which I’m lecturing, and a couple of other books just to read for fun. That, along with what I’m doing while down there,should give me a productive week.

I do plan to blog all week, internet- permitting, and I hope to get the last bit of the potential contract sorted out, so that I’ll have good news by next week. Here’s hoping.

In the 90’s+ all week in New York, which means it will be even hotter in Philly. I have to mentally gear myself up for a lot of running around hauling luggage in hot weather tomorrow.

Devon

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday, December 25,2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Christmas Day

The weather’s lousy here today, and supposed to get worse. I’m glad I don’t have to go anywhere, although I have to leave for the site job tomorrow fairly early. Which means, of course, that today I have to pack. I have three different BIG projects that have to go with me, so that means three different BIG bags and/or crates. And the food. And the yoga paraphernalia. And i have a VW Rabbit! 😉 Hauling all that up and down three flights of stairs will NOT be fun, but, as I finish projects, I hope to bring stuff back over the course of the week when I return to feed the cats.

Violet is fascinated with the Advent table, as you can see. Of course, she decided to redesign in — paw on the small plate where an ornament used to be.

Sigh.


Iris if fascinated by the tree.

Yesterday was a good, though fairly quiet day. I got the free holiday story download up, “Just Jump in and Fly”. It’s only available until the 6th of January, so hop over to the Ava Dunne page to read an excerpt and then download it before then, if you want to read it.

I dashed out just before noon to pick up more dishes for the leftovers. The store was packed, the parking lot was packed, everyone looked unhappy and almost in tears or in tears, so I felt bad for them and wished everyone I could a happy holiday.

Heard from some old friends, which was great. Got the most wonderful card from my best friend from college and his wife — they sound good, and we truly will get together in the New Year to catch up. Dropped off the cookie platter to the ex-friend who never called back, but finally called back with a lame excuse a week later — and then seemed disappointed when I refused to get into an argument about it. Sorry you have holiday-related issues; I am not going to aid you in repeating destructive patterns, nor am I your therapist. I’m just trying to have a joyful holiday. If you choose not to, that is YOUR choice, and I choose not to participate in a joy-less holiday. I dashed over to make the drop-off; I was in the middle of food preparation and couldn’t hang out.


Speaking off food, marinating the pork roast for 30 hours worked well. It was tender and succulent and perfect. I better write down the marinade recipe before I forget it — I sort of made it up on the spot.

I gathered together the different recipes I used for this holiday season so I can put together the notes and then put them together in a holiday binder, instead of just the regular binder. I got the idea from a story I’ve been working on called “Christmas Cancellation Project” (which may wind up being next year’s download), where the protag’s godkids want to make the Christmas cookies from her infamous “The Binder.”


Tried a new-to-me recipe for potatoes au gratin — it was pretty good, but I think next time, I’ll put in less milk and keep the cream amount the same. Red cabbage and green peas rounded out the menu, with plum pudding and brandy sauce for dessert.

We had to rest up after putting away the leftovers and doing the dishes. And then it was time for presents. We always open the gifts on the Eve and have the stockings on the Morning. Elsa usually loves opening presents, so I woke her up and brought her into the room. She stalked back to her nap. Iris and Violet had a ball playing with the wrapping and the ribbons and all the rest. Elsa woke up once we were done and wanted to know when we were going to open the presents!

This morning we had the stockings (cats get a stocking, too, and get to unpack it). Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs and panettone. I made the stuffing for the turkey, and it’s in the oven. I’m going to pack now, and sort out the projects that need to go with me, and then enjoy a nice dinner and a calm, family-oriented evening. I’ve adjusted the aromatherapy blend — more pine and clove, less citrus. Now it’s exactly what I want.

Heads up! Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow. Which means travel and computers will go kerplooey, and people will look at you when you talk like you’re speaking an unknown language. But the end-of-year sales will rock!

I wish you all the Merriest of Christmases, and lots of love and good cheer.

Devon

Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 10:33 am  Comments (12)  
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