Thurs. Oct. 4, 2018: Art & Rage

Thursday, October 4, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day with my client yesterday, but got some good work done. Will do an event with her in early November, which should be fun.

Stopped by a local newspaper to drop off some material from my client that will be used in the event. There was ONE person in the office. It truly was like a morgue. Disturbing, distressing, and frightening. But they shouldn’t be surprised that sales are down, when they’re outsourcing everything.

Home, too tired to do what I should have been doing.

However, I did write a proposal for a project (a multi-media performance piece) I’d like to develop in 2020. Yes, we look that far ahead. I’ve been playing with the ideas for bits and pieces for years now, but it wasn’t until I heard about this particular facility that it started coming together.

But it’s due soon. As in, I should send it today or tomorrow.

Writing the proposal nearly ripped my heart out, because the topic it covers is so relevant. I didn’t realize how passionate I am about the project until I dug into writing the proposal.

So I will do another edit/revision today, and hopefully get it out today or tomorrow.

The dilemma I have right now is not knowing which writing sample to include. They want 20 pages of a finished work. My best finished work is in a very different tone than this project. So I have to think about it.

Overslept, because I was woken in the night by rustling sounds. I don’t know if we have a critter inside, or if it was outside. Then, there was a weird, night-calling bird. Very creepy, all around.

So I’m having trouble getting my act together today. I have an appointment this morning, and then, I hope, yoga. And then, I have to finally put gas in the car and pick up milk, or I will be really sad!

In the shower this morning, I was thinking how frustrating the current situation is. How enraging. Then I remembered that I stopped submitting HEART SNATCHER because, although the writing was praised, the comments were, “Women’s rage makes readers uncomfortable.”

Well, those of us with brains, hearts, and ethics are enraged. Readers will have to deal. I will dust it off, do another revision on it, and start submitting. I was going to wait until I had the entire trilogy written, but it’s relevant NOW, so I better not miss the timing. It was ahead of its time before. Now, maybe, we can hit it properly.

I’m supposed to go to a spa open house this evening; I’ll see how I feel. I’d like to check them out.

Then, it’s polishing calendar articles, and back to the RELICS revisions and the DHARMA draft.

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Published in: on October 4, 2018 at 9:54 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 4, 2018: Art & Rage  
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Thurs. March 24, 2016: Stacks of Work

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was a long and frustrating day. I’m glad it’s over. Today will also, no doubt, be long, but hopefully less frustrating.

We did have a program that ran well, though, in spite of a relatively low turnout. I have to make some adjustments on an upcoming program, though, which I hope can be done quickly so the proper PR can go out. I also have a lot of processing/cataloging to do.

I submitted the two short radio plays and the grant proposal. Both were acknowledged; either they are what is wanted in each individual situation, or they’re not. Time will tell.

Got a little bit of writing done this morning, but not enough. I’ve made some notes on revisions for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, even though that project Is supposed to be “out of sight, out of mind” for the next few weeks. But I didn’t want to forget these editing notes, so I jotted them down. One of them will require a major restructuring of certain relationships in the book, but it fixes a logistical problem that bothered me.

This weekend is my Saturday “on”, but I’m hoping to get some work done in the garden if it’s nice when I get home.

I also need to work on the latest stack of contest entries, work on the play set in 17th century Italy, and get to work drafting the stories that are due at the end of April. Plus, get back to work on SONGBOUND SISTERS, or I’ll get behind. I have another proposal due as soon as I can get it done for a project where the powers that be will try to make me do all the work without any money, which simply is not going to happen.

One step at a time, one word at a time.

Published in: on March 24, 2016 at 8:22 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 24, 2016: Stacks of Work  
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Mon. June 10, 2013: Head Down, Working

Monday, June 10, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

This cough is annoying me. It’s stuck in my throat (I’m grateful it hasn’t moved into my lungs), but my whole body is sore from coughing. I’m taking medicine, it only works sporadically.

It definitely affected my productivity this weekend, which was bad, because I had to dig down and work on the proposal my agent needs today.

I also finished some material for Confidential Job #1, which I have to write up today, completed my classwork for the Archaeology class and the Climate Literacy Class, took quizzes in both classes, and wrote and turned in my first paper for the Archaeology class.

I read Joelle Charbonneau’s newest release, the YA (or maybe it’s now called “New Adult”) dystopian novel, THE TESTING. In spite of it being written in present tense (which drives me nuts), I couldn’t put it down. She did an outstanding job with it, and I’m looking forward to the other two books in the trilogy.

I managed to get the front lawn mowed before the rain started on Friday. Did a few loads of laundry over the weekend, and yesterday, when it was sunny, I weeded the terraced bed and then hand washed the big living room drapes and hung them out to dry in the sun.

Tried fighting my cough, and fought to keep enough energy going to keep working. I felt like absolute, exhausted crap. But a deadline is a deadline, an opportunity is an opportunity, and I can’t have a shot at a contract if I don’t meet the challenges and opportunities offered.

The Belmont Stakes was on Saturday. Palace Malice, ridden by my pal Mike Smith (I’ve known him since I started covering racing) won, and I was thrilled for them. It was a great race.

The Tony Awards were last night, and the show was terrific. Neil Patrick Harris is a terrific host — his wit is razor-sharp. I was delighted to celebrate the success of many with whom I worked over the years, and it made me proud to be an alum of that community. I worked the Tonys once and attended two other times — not once did I make it home from the parties before dawn! Always great fun.

This morning, I’m polishing up my proposal and getting it onto my agent’s desk. My “Supporting Characters” workshop starts at RWA — I managed to log into the board, but haven’t been able to post anything yet. Also have a review and an article to write, and then it’s back to my writing schedule.
To the page!

Devon

Published in: on June 10, 2013 at 8:37 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 10, 2013: Head Down, Working  
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Fri. June 7, 2013: Coughing Zombie With Lawnmower

IMG_1306
Violet with the “special” dice

Friday, June 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I can’t believe I’ve had to put the big winter quilts back on the bed the last two days. It’s downright chilly!

Yesterday, I went to yoga, and then, had I been an art installation, my title would have been “Coughing Zombie with Lawnmower”. I had to mow the front before this weekend’s rains hit (courtesy of Tropical Storm Andrea), but I felt like utter crap. I got it done, but that was about it for me; managed to work with students and deal with some business stuff, but not much. Nothing in the tank.

Had to cancel out of the evening’s meeting — I knew I wasn’t on my game, nor was I feeling well enough to drive over the bridge and back.

Material for Confidential Job #1 is a slog.

Worked with students. Need to implement a new policy — too many people are booking slots and then flaking out, which wastes my time AND costs me money. So, a nonrefundable deposit will now be due upon the booking. If you flake, you don’t get it back, and I’m not totally financially screwed for the time I put aside that you can’t bother to keep your commitment; if you act like a professional and do what you say you’re going to do, the deposit is credited towards the final payment. I’m done with the irresponsible bullshit from wanna-bes.

That’s one of the things my college mentor and I discussed in NY — I asked him how he can keep up his excitement and joy in the teaching. I’m lucky in my current crop of private students, because they step up, but so often, in the bigger classes, the students just suck the life out of the class, because they can’t be bothered to do the work. My mentor can still find it exciting because of the stringent vetting process NYU has before letting people in to programs — they have to PROVE they DESERVE to be there, not that they just think it might be kinda cool to take that type of class. Plus, because it’s so expensive, they have to really WANT to be there in order to shell out the dough.

Speaking of classes, I’m teaching at RWA for the next two weeks, my “Supporting Characters” class, starting Monday. Here’s the link. If you have problems registering, I CAN’T FIX IT. I AM NOT THE ADMINISTRATOR. Contact them directly.

Had a great conversation with my agent yesterday. Something landed on her desk that she thought I would be perfect for. It’s something I would LOVE to do, so I’m putting together a proposal this weekend, and she’s going to look at it Monday, we’ll make what tweaks are needed, and off it goes to the requesting editor.

Today, I’ve got some correspondence to do, an article to finish, another one to send off, the partial to get to that other requesting editor, a review to write, and schoolwork to finish.

I wrote my archaeology paper in my head yesterday and will get it on paper today. I started the material for the Climate Literacy paper due next week. I also have to get to a couple of libraries to pick up materials on hold for me.

Better get going — the storm is supposed to hit this afternoon and be bad all weekend. I hope the Belmont Stakes isn’t a washout tomorrow, and then the Tony Awards are on Sunday!

Devon

Mon. May 20, 2013: The Book is Out in the World

IMG_0913
What I wish I was doing today!

Monday, May 20, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I’m still fuzzy and exhausted.

That final proofread on Friday? Turned out to be another entire revision. Stayed up through Friday and finished it late Saturday afternoon. I didn’t intend to pull an all-nighter and be up way too many hours in a row, but I also didn’t want to lose the sense of the piece as a whole.

Tweaked the proposal, and sent the third draft (which is the draft I like to send out, earlier ones usually need more work) and the revised proposal to my agent.

It is done.

At least, for now.

I managed to watch the Preakness — my favorite horse in the race, Oxbow, won. Sad we won’t have a Triple Crown winner again this year, happy my horse won, wish I’d been together enough to get a bet in.

Collapsed into bed.

I was out of words yesterday. I’d used them up in the revision!

I spent most of the day outside on the deck, reading. I read Deborah Tall’s FROM WHERE WE STAND, about the importance of place. That’s going to get added to my Recommended Reading List for the “Setting as Character” workshop. Am reading Mary Oliver’s book of essays, LONG LIFE, which is sending me back towards the life and work of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I spun out ideas for two short stories which will serve as palette cleansers. I put aside the ideas for the play I think the producers want in favor of the play I want to write, and should dig in to that today – I have to get out the proposal and first ten pages this week, if I want a shot at the slot. Had some ideas for the second book in the series, and made some notes. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but don’t want to lose momentum, either. Have to work with students, get out some work for Confidential Job #1, get out a couple of proposals, follow up on some LOIs, get going on a media kit for a client, update a blog for another client, prepare the next two weeks’ worth of material for Biblio Paradise, work on the next novel in the queue (LEADING OPPORTUNIES) set here on Cape Cod, and work on the adaptation of BLOOD AND BONE. And get back to the non-fiction book.

If it clears up enough, I HAVE to get some mowing done, since the weather was suitable for it all weekend, and I didn’t do any of it!

Last week of the Manuscript Prep tips. People are enjoying them, which is good. It was a good bit of work to put together and to do each day, but I’m glad I did it.

Devon

Fri. May 17, 2013: Next Step With Revision Process

IMG_1094

Friday, May 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and warmer

I didn’t mow yesterday, so I’m paying for it today! The front yard looks raggedy, so I’ll have to get my act together and do it. It’s cooler today, so it will be easier on the body to haul the machine around.

Yesterday, I focused on the revisions(once I’d worked with my students). Next five chapters done. I think I dropped a thread somewhere (sort of like dropping a stitch in knitting). When I go back for the final proofread later today, hopefully, I’ll catch it.

Two more chapters prepped last night, so I will finish them today. Then, this draft is done.

What does that mean?

I go over the proposal again, tweaking it, especially when it comes to the outline. I attach the freshly-polished first three chapters to the proposal.

I finish up the back matter — all those special tidbits for reader enjoyment that help set this book apart from others in the genre.

I proofread the whole thing again (even though I’ve been proofing each set of chapters as I revised them), making sure it holds together and fixing typos.

I put together this draft into one document for the full.

I send the proposal and the full to my agent.

I let go (although I’m so tempted to use the momentum to start the next book in the series). It’s at the point where I need feedback from the professional team.

At some point in the next few days, I will type up the Series Bible material I have (I worked in longhand, with the hard copy), print it out, and put everything in binders, so I’m ready for the next step.

I get to work, over the weekend, on the next book in the queue (different genre) and work on the new play, whose proposal and first ten pages have to go out next week.

I catch up on all the admin and other stuff that I let slide while I spent the last ten days deep in revisions. That includes finishing up some work for Confidential Job #1, which I hope to get done today.

Have a great weekend, all, and don’t forget — Preakness tomorrow!

Devon

Published in: on May 17, 2013 at 7:28 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. March 19, 2013: Another Storm

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing and sleeting

PRESS RELEASE SPECIAL!
Book me today to write your press release, send the deposit via Paypal before 5 PM EST and get a 20% discount. That’s a savings of $45! For information, email info-at-fearlessink-dot-com, for rates, turnaround time, and special savings.

What can I say? I’m in a press release writing mood today! 😉

Yet another storm, on a rehearsal day. I’m really frustrated. If this keeps up, I’m going to have to call off tonight’s rehearsal — there’s no way I can expect people to be on the road in this weather.

Rue Allyn is my guest over on Biblio Paradise, talking about the muse. Stop by and visit! I also updated the “About” page, in case passers-by want to book a slot.

You can still sign up for Saturday’s Query Clinic and get line-by-line support on your query letters. Information here.

I worked with students, got out some pitches,wrote and sent out two articles, but most of yesterday was about finishing up the proposal for my agent. I got it off to her late in the afternoon. I’m still not dancing with joy about the synopsis, but the rest of it, I think, is strong, especially the first three chapters. The name change I was forced to do over the weekend actually opened the way for something better, including a catchier title. I’m happy that I got it done (on time) and excited by the possibilities.

Today, I get back to writing the actual book. It’s such an icky day out, it should be a good day to stay home and write. I also have to set up the tracking sheets for the book, so I can keep the necessary details consistent, and start setting up what will evolve into the Series Bible for this book.

Yes, I use the techniques I teach — otherwise, why bother?

Confidential Job sent me my next assignments. I’m still waiting to hear what the heck is going on with February’s invoice! They’re usually meticulous about paying promptly so I don’t know what’s going on, and I feel like I’m getting the runaround.

Plenty to work on, so I better just put my head down and do it.

Devon

Mon. Feb. 25, 2013: Rehearsals Begin on a Full Moon

NMLC_Murder_Seals_the_Deal_LR-1

Monday, February 25, 2013
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy and cold

We had more snow overnight, but it was a coating, no big deal. I like snow a lot, but even I am getting a little weary of it.

Busy weekend working on casting the final role in the show and setting up the rehearsal schedule. I met some really interesting people during this process, and I think it is opening up some doors for collaborative projects down the road. We have our first meeting/read-through tonight.

Read the materials for the next assignment from Confidential Job #1 and have to do the write-up today. Drafted an article last night, which I will type up and edit today, and hopefully get out the door. Turned around a client project in 24 hours — much faster than I thought, but a block of time opened, and I seized it. The client had paid me FULLY in advance, not just half, so it was worth it to quicken the promised turnaround time.

Creative Stimulus Cover

CREATIVE STIMULUS has released — a new workbook a little more comprehensive than the regular “Topic Workbooks” — this one combines updated material and exercises from the “5 in 10” workshop, the “Sensory Perceptions” Workbook, the “Writing Rituals” booklet and the infamous Tip Sheets, all in one place. It’s $6.99, over on Smashwords.

OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK drops next Monday — I’m looking forward to it, and am doing quite a few guest blogs in the coming weeks to promote the release.

This is the last week to sign up for “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”. Putting together the materials for this class has been terrific. I’m very excited about it. More information on how to register here.

Read Anna Devere Smith’s LETTERS TO A YOUNG ARTIST. Terrific book for artists at any stages of their careers. Developing an idea based on some of Manet’s Paris cafe paintings. Reading a book called CREATIVE TIME AND SPACE: MAKING ROOM FOR MAKING ART, which is also very interesting.

I can take on one more full manuscript critique and/or edit or 3-5 short projects for a slot, but it must be booked this week. Please contact fearlessinkworkshops at gmail dot com for more information on rates and to set it up. Once I get deep into rehearsal, I cannot take on any more projects until the show is done.

My other show, SEVEN OF SWORDS, will be read this Friday at Tilden Art Center. That should be interesting. It’s definitely not a comedy, and it’s a raw piece that could go in several different directions.

I have to get a proposal for an arts festival out today or tomorrow — I have to figure out what I want to do for it.

Great morning’s session on the Dickensian steampunk.

That’s kind of where things stand, going into this week. I hope you have a good one!

Devon

Mon. Jan. 21, 2013: Strong Opening Chapters; Presentation Dilemma

IMG_0812
Violet wraps up against the cold

Monday, January 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Day

Only 5 more days to sign up for a reduced-rate editing slot for your first 30 pages– ends January 25! Go here to get the details.

Don’t forget “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6, and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14. Both are great sources of both practicality and inspiration. Information and registration here.

Slots for A Biblio Paradise are booked through the end of April, so you all have some exciting reading coming up! A really interesting mix of writers.

Friday had its share of frustrations, especially with the Canon printer. An empty ink tank shouldn’t keep it from scanning something to go to the computer and/or reading a memory card, as long as I’m not asking it to print. Yet, it balked. This MX-860 worked beautifully the first day I got it, and has been trouble ever since. The shoddy plastic paper tray at the bottom causes all kinds of problems and the feeder rolls don’t work properly. The camera I bought a year or so ago to replace the the one that broke is a piece of crap. Auto-focus that doesn’t focus. Canon used to have top-of-the-line products, and now they’re just shoddy. Even worse, their customer service, which used to be great, is practically non-existent, and they don’t give a damn about their long-term customers. I’ve been rabidly pro-Canon for over twenty years. No more. I’m not interested in disposable products. I want something that WORKS, and works for more than a day or a week. I need value for money, reliability, and customer service. If Canon is no longer able to meet that need, I will find someone else who does. It won’t be HP, with whom I’ve also had frequent issues.

Finished the media kit for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and also did one for the Jain Lazarus series as a whole. Some of the material overlaps, but now I can choose which one to send where. I need to do an overall Devon Ellington kit, too. Media kits are crucial to landing good exposure. Mine are simple, but effective, and I’m learning how to get faster at developing them!

Worked on the play, but it needs more work — not satisfied with what I have. That will be my primary focus today.

However, I finished the sample chapters for the proposal and they sing! They are exactly what I was going for. You know how I unlocked it? I changed my protag’s last name. Who would have thought something so simple had so much impact? The original name I gave her made me feel like I was trying to hard, and the first few pages reflected that. I changed the name and everything else fell into place. I wrote and edited over 3K in two sittings. I sent the chapters off to Trusted Readers and they were over the moon about them. What a great response to early-draft chapters. Now, I’m worried that the market I’m aiming for in the proposal will want to dilute the verve in them. I’m going to run the whole thing past my agent and see what she says — she’s got the business acumen and understands the creative position, and, best of all, she tells me the truth.

I’ve got business/admin stuff to do today, more LOIs, work with students, work with an editing client, and my own school work.

I’m going to pause in whatever I’m doing to watch the inauguration — the poet, Richard Blanco, is someone I met at PEN events in New York several years ago. I’m a big fan of his work!

Devon

Mon. Dec. 31, 2012: New Year’s Eve & Pens are Hopping!

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Iris investigates the centerpiece, a gift from Lori! Thanks!

Monday, December 31, 2012
Waning Moon
New Year’s Eve

I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s!

Better hurry and download the free Jain Lazarus tale, “First Feet” — it’s only available until January 2!

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, wrote a lot on Friday. Worked up the rough of my wacky proposal for the agent. I love it. I let it rest over the weekend, and will tweak it over the next few days to send to her later this week. Ran errands on Saturday, and did a little raking, since the storm was coming. Worked on getting out party invites all weekend.

We got about 4 inches of snow on Saturday night — not bad, considering. Did some party planning, did some cleaning up and re-arranging. Was highly irritated at the snow plow guy. As usual, he shoved snow INTO everyone’s driveways. To a point, that’s understandable, but he left a boulder-sized snowball in the elderly neighbor’s driveway. There’s no reason he couldn’t have pushed it another foot out of the way, except this guy was either inexperienced, incompetent, a dickhead, or a combination. I went over to help the neighbor.

Got my own driveway and walkway shovelled — it wasn’t too bad, except for the stuff shoved into the driveway by the plow. AND the fact that the plow destroyed the whole bottom of the front yard — again, it’s marked, there’s no reason he couldn’t have paid attention and stayed in the road. If the boulders hadn’t been there protecting the rest of the yard, he would have torn it up halfway to the house. Unacceptable. Yes, I took photos, and yes, I will be making noise to the town!

It looks really pretty, though, except for the damaged area.

Found Rosemary Edghill’s SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER, the first Bast mystery, and re-read it. Now I have the whole set to lend to Costume Imp when he comes up in spring. I have the materials prepped for tonight’s ritual, for tomorrow morning’s ritual, have to pick up a few things for the NYDay breakfast. I’m doing laundry (because I have this thing about going into the New Year with clean clothes), and will vaccuum and mop this afternoon. Changed all the beds this morning.

We lit a fire in the fireplace last night, the first successful attempt since we moved it. It was wonderful! So much fun, worked so well. We’ll be doing that a lot more all winter.

I’m still having fun with the Twelfth Night stories, although I’m a bit behind. The story on the Five Gold Rings was more complicated than I expected. Not longer – just more complicated.

I realized the idea I’ve been playing with for a few days is actually an Ivy de le Livre piece (she’s my horse-playng tarot reader character) that is BEFORE the pieces I’ve been working on. That opens all kinds of exciting possibilities.

Bill Moyers interviewed a fascinating writer named Junot Diaz — now I’m eager to read his books. What a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent man.

The president of the Writers’ Center shot me a few ideas, and I shot back a response this morning. This year will be exciting!

I’m very excited that ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is circulating in the CLAMS library network! So, if you’re on Cape Cod — you can check it out of the library. What fun!

Lots to do to prep for the New Year. Have a safe and joyful holiday!

Stop by Biblio Paradise tomorrow — we’re starting the year with Shirley Wells’s latest! AND, stop by Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions tomorrow, where we start working on our New Year’s goals!

Devon

Tues. Oct. 23, 2012: Good Meetings & Busy Times

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Morning meeting yesterday was at The Bay Pointe Club, and it was good. I like the facility — the space has a lot of natural light, it’s beautiful without being pretentious, it’s flexible, and the people running it listen and respond to what one says and help come up with ideas so it works for everybody. That’s the experience I’ve always had working with the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga, but has been the exception, rather than the norm in many other venues over the years, including here on the Cape. So, to find a venue where they both get it (in terms of an individual organization and what they do) and offer ideas that are better than what one thinks one needs to fix a concern — that, to me, is a good place to be. They’re also interested in participating in the community, rather than being separate from it, which gains them big points from me.

I’m glad that it looks like two organizations with whom I work like the venue as much as I do, and we’ll do events there.

Came back, did some follow-up, caught up on what came in while I was gone. Deadbeat client finally paid, so did that paperwork. That’s over and done, we parted civilly and I can take a deep breath and move on.

Three loads of laundry, cleaning the house for Costume Imp’s arrival, grocery shopping, checking to see if any notes came back from the agent re: the proposal that had to be turned around instantly. Didn’t hear, so I’m hoping that means the revision works. Spoke to my other editor, and I need to get on the ball with the book edits — I’m behind.

The owner came by with his wife to stake where the forsythias will move, and what else needs to be cut back and done. Flowering daphne will replace the forsythia in front of the garage — once it’s painted. Someday, the landscaper will deign to show up and it will actually get done! 😉

I’ve got a lot to finish up this morning, before heading to Providence to pick up Costume Imp from the Megabus. I’m going to have some long-ass days this week, but it will be worth it!

Iris is almost back to normal. We’re keeping close watch on her, and probably taking her in for a blood test soon. If she needs anti-seizure medication, I’d rather she had it sooner rather than later.

Devon

Mon. Oct. 22, 2012: Scary Times with Sick Kitty


Iris lounging on a better day

Monday, October 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Quite the weekend! But before we start on that, hop on over to A Bible Paradise for a cool round-table interview with some of the contributors from DEATH SPARKLES.

The big and scary thing for the weekend was that Iris was very sick. Yesterday morning, I couldn’t find her, and, when I did, I thought I had to rush her to the emergency vet. She was in bad shape, and I have no idea why. About 45 minutes later, she was a little better, so the vet & I agreed to keep her quiet and watch her, and, if it got worse, bring her in later.

She hid for a few hours (and we checked on her every 20 minutes), then came down on her own in the early afternoon, ate, and curled up in her usual spot. She was quieter than usual, but definitely not at death’s door. She even had bedtime snacks, although she decided to stay downstairs instead of coming up with the others. This morning, she was moving slowly and quiet, but she ate all her breakfast and most of Violet’s (the usual), so, hopefully, she’s on the mend.

I think she had another seizure, like she had four or five years ago. I’m going to watch her for a few days to see how she does, and maybe take her in for a blood test. Last time, they couldn’t find anything and said either they’d be infrequent, or she’d get more of them and have to be put on anti-seizure medication. This is the first one she’s had in years.

Scary times, and the other two cats worried and stuck close.

I don’t remember much of Friday, except I worked hard, and had a phone conference with an agent about the proposal. A few things I was worried about Thursday were cleared up Friday — as usual, I was fretting when no fretting was necessary. And I got my hair chopped off — it was too long and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m much happier with it now.

I read my fellow students’ projects for the Sustainability class and commented on them. I wrote my final paper (“Full Circle Humanity”) and submitted it, and commented on the discussion projects submitted for grading. Uploaded my lectures and exercises for my own class.

Saturday morning, I watched the video lectures for my final week in Sustainability and took the quizzes. I think one of the speakers in the TED talk video might be good for a keynote speaker at the Writers’ Conference next year. I’ll suggest it.

I worked with my students all afternoon and well into the evening (their work was awesome and it was a pleasure), and then caught up on the Greek & Roman Mythology lectures and took the quiz (got 100%). I started the lectures for the World History class and took the quizzes for the lectures I’d watched (100% on all of those).

Sunday, I had the worries with Iris, which framed the whole day. In and around that, I did follow-up with my students, watched the rest of my World History Lectures, took the quizzes (100% on all of them), and wrote my papers for both classes. I’d been working on them for the whole week, but it was a case of pulling it all together and on paper.

My Greek & Roman Mythology paper was, from a writer’s perspective, why Homer needed book 24 of the Odyssey, instead of stopping at Book 23. The original paper was nearly 1300 words (and could have been much more), but I had to cut it down to 350. Talk about a challenge! However, it was interesting, and I want to dig deeper and expand it out beyond class.

My World History paper was on how conversation changed the world. The very structures that allowed the moneyed and educated to meet and discuss ideas about liberty and rights — a structure that allowed for servants and/or slaves — made it possible for these “unseen” in the room to learn, too, and start applying those principles to themselves. I tried to integrate the feedback from the last paper — specifics from my research within the text — so I did that, this time. Again, this is something I want to expand on beyond class — a really interesting topic.

And my lovely, diplomatic professor addressed the whiners complaining that there is work for the class and deadlines that have to be met by pointing out that that’s part of the university experience!

I worked on the tweaks for the proposal last night and sent it off to the agent. We’re going to talk more this afternoon, for any final comments and changes, before she takes it out into the world.

I already spoke to the vet this morning, and I’m on my way out the door for meetings. When I come back, I have to clean the house (Costume Imp arrives tomorrow), get the recycling out, and finish the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

The Sustainability Course is done — I’m just waiting for my final grades, and having separation anxiety! So this week, only Mythology and History — along with all the other stuff that needs to get done!

Onward!

Devon

Need A Vacation, But No Break in Sight

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked with students yesterday, did some schoolwork, worked on proposal. Cut the essay by 2/3 and got it to my editor with 3 words’ wiggle room. It was a challenge, but it still holds together well, and is yet another example of how much one can cut.

It’s not the amount of words that gets the point across, it’s the specific words you choose.

Realized I pitched for a job I don’t really want, so I hope they’re not calling me. Ripped out the last vestiges of the tomato plants — there’s still some basil I can harvest. Cooked the last of the eggplants and tomatoes last night — yum. Went to the library. Forgot to look for the books I meant to get as research for a long article, but I’ll be back there before the end of the week, so that will be fine. Read a mystery by someone whose first book in the series I liked, but this was illogical and flat. Made some business decisions I didn’t want to make, but had to do in order to keep the money flowing in on time.

Today, I have to work with students, put up some more lectures, polish lectures for Saturday’s class (The First Three Pages: A Dynamic Opening — information here), work on the proposal, work on the edits for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, get started on two papers, and a couple of articles (so that the money is actually coming in to pay the bills).

I have to say, the whining on some of the course forums is working on my last nerve. We are studying with Ivy League professors — it’s not supposed to be easy, and we are supposed to meet deadlines when those deadlines are set. The workload is clearly stated for each class, and it’s in HOURS, not MINUTES. Deadlines and expectations are clearly stated early on. Welcome to the real world, asshats, where there are actual consequences when you don’t manage your time! And guess what? Saying you didn’t get an email alert is no excuse not to know what’s going on — it makes me froth at the mouth when online students say this in MY classes (especially, since on DAY ONE, they are told not to rely on them, but to check the fucking forum regularly), and it’s no excuse on these Coursera forums, either.

You see this in class situations, and then you realize why so many of the clients behave as badly as they do. But it sure as heck makes you appreciate the good ones! 😉

Things that make my head explode #84: When detailed conversations and scheduling held over weeks are suddenly news to some of the parties involved.

Things that make my head explode #85: When things gone over in class and then needed to be put into practice in the real world are suddenly treated like this is the first time anyone’s ever heard of them.

It’s that old adage: Your disorganization is not my emergency.

Your time is not more valuable than mine, and I am not readjusting everything to suit you, unless you’re paying me a boatload of money so to do.

Especially not right now, when, between now and early December, 18-20 hour days seven days a week are the norm. I am not cleaning up anyone else’s mess because they weren’t paying attention. I’ve got to build some down time in there somewhere or I will lose what’s left of my mind (and trust me, there’s not much left), but I don’t see how right now.

Tried to relax last night by watching REVOLUTION, but the logistical gaps bothered me. There’s no power, no windmills, no water wheels, but suddenly there’s a steam train? The scenes between Rachel and Bass have gotten too repetitive. I understood it the first time, I would have lived with it structurally three times, but now it’s five or six, and it’s overkill. Miles & Tom finally had a good scene together, and a lot of the moment-to-moment work is very good. But the things that are not working for me are starting to have more weight than what is working. Which is a shame, because I can see echoes of the themes in the Sustainability course, the World History Course, and even the Mythology course, which I find interesting.

Okay, I have to let go of my general frustration with the world today and focus on the work that needs to get done.

Devon