Fri. Jan. 27, 2017: Trying to Get Back in Balance

Friday, January 27, 2017
New Moon
Chinese Lunar New Year — Year of the Fire Rooster
Cloudy and cold

Temperature’s going down again, but at least the rain’s let up for the moment.

Yesterday, I got some work done on the short story. I think it will be ready to go out on Monday (it’s due on Wednesday). As I was going to sleep last night, I had an “aha!” moment about it, which I will have to work in to the text today.

I sent off my proposals and we’ll see what happens next. I also worked on a counter proposal to the other contract negotiation. We’ll see if that works for both of us. If not, we part ways and wish each other well. I’m done accepting work for so far under my rate that it costs me. Pay me a fairly for a fair day’s work, or hire someone off Craigslist with no credits who mixes up possessives and plurals.

Turning over and over the themes and actions for the play. I hope to get a good chunk of it written this weekend, once the short story is done and simmering, prior to its final polish.

Worked on contest entries yesterday, and also on the research for the Italian Renaissance play. Found a tangent to my research — something very, very cool, but off-topic. However, it’s so cool that I made note of the sources and started a fresh file, so that I can go back and build a project just around that in the future.

Fascinating tangents are a pitfall of research. Many sniffily advise to “just ignore them.” I take notes, especially for sources, so I can go back to them once the project I’m researching is done. I find that works better for me — I don’t waste time on tangents (fifteen minutes to note sources is reasonable, in my opinion), and I don’t resent losing something interesting.

Did some political work, and have more to do today, including a potentially contentious encounter with someone whom I don’t think is living up to the obligations of the job.

One of my favorite authors, Nicole Peeler, has started a virtual book club as part of her activist and educational work. I joined, and ordered the first book. I’m looking forward to it — she’s putting together a smart group of people, and I think we can have some invigorating discussions.

I’m re-reading AS Byatt’s novel POSSESSION. I re-read it regularly, and it remains one of my favorite novels, although I wasn’t crazy about the film adaptation. I always get something new and nourishing from the text, as one does from well-written material.

I had hoped to get to Cape Cod National Seashore today, since our National Parks are about to be sold off, and I’d like to see it one last time. I don’t think I’ll make it until next week, but I’m determined to get there, thank the rangers in person, and take one last look before the destruction.

Back to the page.

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Published in: on January 27, 2017 at 10:13 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 27, 2017: Trying to Get Back in Balance  
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Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Dark Moon
Rainy and cold

At least it’s not snow, although I’m getting a little tired of rain. And it’s been so mild that the shrubs aren’t sure whether to stay dormant or to bud.

Got some work done on the short story yesterday, and on two proposals. Had a nice lunch at Captain Parker’s in Yarmouth, which is a fun restaurant with good food. Worked on contest entries.

Worked with my elected officials. We are differing on a couple of things, but are keeping it a civil discussion. Working with my elected officials, I don’t expect to get everything I want just because I ask for it; but they can’t represent me unless they know where I stand on things. When they make decisions counter to what I believe is the right choice, we discuss it. If their decisions are counter too often, I vote for someone else in the next election. But a good channel of communication is helpful. Even when I disagree, at least I know I’m being heard and not just ignored, especially when discussions hit specifics. And that’s the point of public services — you are representing many individuals, trying to make decisions that benefit as many as possible, within the value system of those who want you to represent them.

Walked away from a bad contract offer yesterday with the full support of my agent and lawyer. The offer was unacceptable as presented. Our side suggested changes, as one does. The other side said they don’t make any changes. Well, then, I’m not working with you. The first offer is where negotiations START, at least in the professional world. These smaller publishers who expect authors to sign boilerplates are delusional, and the authors so desperate they’re willing to give everything away just to get their names in print usually wind up regretting it.

A second contract negotiation on a different project walked back the money a LOT. We’re talking about walking back the workload to match. Otherwise, I won’t be doing that project, either. Which is fine, since I’d only even agreed to talk to the person as a favor to a friend. You’re not paying? I’m not working. This isn’t my cute lil hobby on the side.

Worked on a couple of proposals last night and this morning, and feel pretty good about them. We’ll see where they end up. This is in follow-up to Tuesday’s meeting.

Writing to do today, and research. The play I’ve been outlining gnaws at me. The last few scenes are very, very clear in my head. I may have to write them down so I don’t lose them.

I’d like to have the short story ready to submit by tomorrow or Saturday so that I can write a bit of the play and get it out of my head — and my heart. This one will be a gut-wrencher to write, which means I’m probably on the right track.

I forgot yesterday that it was both Burns Night and Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Salutes to both of them!

Back to the page.

Published in: on January 26, 2017 at 11:25 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities  
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Mon. March 2, 2016: Art, Politics, and Flexibility

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Busy few days. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I left the library on Saturday afternoon. But it was a beautiful day. I managed some studio time in the good light.

Friday night, I attended my HobNob colleague Leonore Lyons opening reception of her exhibit THE KEY IDEA at Centerville Historical Museum. It was wonderful – her project, a community art piece, is expanding exponentially, and the staff and volunteers at the Historical Museum were terrific. I’m glad I went.

I did a lot of work on notes for SONGBOUND SISTERS, which is pulling strongly at me. I may have to flip work on TIE-CUTTER with work on SONGBOUND, so I don’t lose momentum. I also got another submission out, and did some reformatting a radio play –halfway through, I realized I was doing the wrong formatting for that particular venue. So I’ve got to go back and fix it sometime this week.

Worked on two proposals — one is almost ready to go out, a co-teaching proposal with a friend that would happen locally. The other still needs some more work, and would be regional, not just local, and needs some more work on budgeting.

Sunday was about studio time, and also searching for one more object I needed for the piece. Couldn’t find it. Store after store after store.

Sunday afternoon, I went to a house party to meet a candidate for State Senate named Julian Cyr. One of the board members at the library had invited me, and he’s also an NYU alum, so I was interested. We hit it off immediately, talking like we’d known each other for years. The fact that he listens and responds to what is actually said to him will take him far, I think. He’s got great ideas, lots of energy, he’s smart in knowing how to get things done, and has integrity, the latter of which is very important to me. I’m glad he’s running for the seat that’s about to be vacant — I didn’t hate the current holder of said seat, but didn’t feel he was responsive enough to individuals, and he wouldn’t do things like take on Comcast when they broke the law (since Comcast believes they are above the law).

Cyr is about solutions for the lives people actually live here, not buzzwords and putting band-aids on amputations. The bulk of his work has been in public health, and he sees how what are often split into different issues are all connected. That’s important, especially on Cape Cod, where the fragile ecological balance affects absolutely everything else.

I also met some very interesting people at the house, who are involved in film production. One woman, a casting director, feels very much the way I felt when I left Broadway to come here. I’ve been through it — I offered to be a sounding board whenever she needs one.

Came home a little tired, but also energized by the prospects that, even if politics is going to the insane and incompetent on a national level, we might be able to do something positive here.

More studio time.

Monday morning, up early. Studio time. Finally found the final object for the project – in the 27th store I visited in three days. Times like this, I miss New York, where they actually HAVE what you need in the logical places. More studio time.

I’d rearranged my day for an afternoon appointment with a potential client. Never happened, never heard. Considering how much I needed both the studio time and the writing time, it told me all I needed to know. In the evening, I emailed, wishing them well. Heard back Tuesday morning for a re-schedule, but none of the times work for me, and I’m done. I realize things happen, but it was a “I don’t think you’re the right person but want to talk to you” kind of thing, so I’m not losing anything by not engaging.

Yesterday, sent off the information about the project. Either it will be accepted, or it won’t. If not, I’m still glad I did it — I learned a lot. People kept telling me it would be “cathartic”. It wasn’t. It was painful. But I’m still glad I did it.

Sending it off, and getting it out the door left me exhausted, though.

I got my hair cut — short, cute, a bit vintage. My mom and I went and voted — always a satisfying feeling, although I miss the big machines with the levers. Then, you REALLY feel like you accomplished something!

Our treat for getting out and voting was lunch at Crisp, in Osterville. I had a gift card from the holidays, and their food is excellent. So that was a good choice.

Roasted a chicken for dinner, read a bit, and watched election results until I was too tired.

Today, work turns back to DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’m behind where I want to be on it, but I think I can catch up during the coming week. I want to get this draft done so it can marinate while I work on SONGBOUND SISTERS, and then, when SONGBOUND is done, I’ll go back to TIE-CUTTER. The creative balance, I think, will work, since there’s more of a difference lining up CHOLERIC, SONGBOUND, TIE-CUTTER, and then the 1947 aviation novel, rather than having CHOLERIC and TIE-CUTTER back to back.

I also want to get the first draft of the play about the 17th Century poisoner in Italy done this month. I want it out the door by June.

Long day at work, with lots of PR writing to get done. Onward.

Published in: on March 2, 2016 at 10:35 am  Comments Off on Mon. March 2, 2016: Art, Politics, and Flexibility  
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Fri. Jan. 24, 2014: Shuffling the Projects

Friday, January 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked at Sturgis Library yesterday morning — caught up on email, got some press releases out for approval, others just plain out. Pitched for some jobs, caught up with students, did some research for TRUE HOME, gathered quotes for my article.

Headed home for lunch. Cleaned out a set of drawers and moved it up beside my desk, so I’ve got more room for stuff I need to keep handy. Cleaned out and updated a project bin.

I’m cleaning/purging/rearranging my office, and it’s at the stage where it looks like a tornado hit it before it looks neat and clean. A necessary part of the process, but somewhat overwhelming.

Yesterday, I had a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona) over at Writer’s Vineyard. Check it out.

Afternoon session at Sturgis — got a lot done. Was there until the last possible minute, when they locked the doors! Got some good information.

One of the research books for the Eliot-Stowe-Bronte project was printed in 1898, and some of the pages had never been cut! When I returned it to the library today, they made a note, so a trained professional can handle it! It was rather thrilling.

Working on a proposal package for a publisher (unexpected opportunity), and getting back into the right headspace for BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so I can re-construct the outline I can’t find (and make it better), and then get back to work on it. Frustrating, because I know I outlined the three remaining books in the cycle, and I put them in a Very Safe Place — which, since the move, has escaped me. I also still have scripts to write and polish for the March submission package.

Found some good opportunities regarding the Marine Life Center, and have to get to work on developing those.

It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep up with my schoolwork with the Comcast issues. I will be very upset if I lose the opportunity to certify in areas that make me more hire-able, because Comcast repeatedly breaks state and Federal Laws, believing they are above the law.

All I can do is what I can do, and trust that the Attorney General and the Director of Telecommunications will handle it.

I’m using the Tibetan Singing Bowl app on my iPod a LOT lately — having a great time with it. I’m not very skilled with holding a Singing Bowl in my lap, but I’m really good with the app! 😉 I don’t use many apps, so it’s pretty funny.

I’m working from Wheldon Library this morning, and not sure which library I’ll haunt at the end of the day.

I need to buckle down and work on the play, get a couple of script synopses written, and get BALTHAZAAR outlined. I found the part of the manuscript I wrote — it’s far fewer pages than I remembered.

I also found some interesting projects I’d drafted, then put aside. I want to find a way to rotate them back into the queue, too.

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 10:04 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. May 22, 2013: Trying to Clear the Desk

IMG_1101
The beach down the street

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Want to see how my garden grows? Hop over to Gratitude and Growth to check out the new photos.

Monday, I worked flat out, and was exhausted. Part of that is a new playwrighting opportunity dropped into my lap, and I worked on the proposal. I have to proofread and tweak it today, and get it out. Then, I have to massage a different playwrighting proposal and get that off my desk, too.

Got material out for Confidential Job #1, and got my next assignments. Working on my appointments for the trip next week. Having trouble settling back into the Cape Cod theatre novel. Did some work on the adaptation. Roughed out a few articles, a couple of which I need to get off my desk this week. Pitched. Followed up. Worked with students. Got some reading done. Sketched out ideas for a couple of short stories. Did five loads of laundry. Worked in the yard — the meadow is finally mowed.

My heart hurts for the people in Oklahoma devastated by the tornado. I remember, back in the 70s, they talked about coming up with chemicals that planes could spray into hurricanes and tornados to make them dissipate (something that was being worked on). Whatever happened to that? Did it not work? Did it lose funding? Did they realize the chemicals would kill more people than the weather?

Started my schoolwork for the Climate Literacy class I’m taking over the next ten weeks, from two professors at the University of British Columbia. A LOT of information (and maybe they can answer some of the above questions). But I think it will be a fascinating class, and certification in this and the one I got in Sustainability last fall certainly make me more hire-able in the eco-friendly fields.

Meeting last night was good. I have work to do in connection with that — again, most of which has to get done before I leave on my trip next week. I have a feeling I’ll be working flat out all weekend. I’ll sleep on the bus, right?

Lots to do and not a lot of hours — Mermaid Ball meeting in Buzzards Bay late this afternoon.

Better hop to it.

Devon

Wed. Jan. 23, 2013: Difference Between “Aspiring” & “Professional” — Getting It DONE!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and c-c-c-old!

Yesterday wound up being a pretty decent writing day, thank goodness!

I’m still struggling with the play — it feels like I’m trying too hard. Probably because I am. I need to step back and let it be what it is, and trust that then I can tweak it where it needs to go.

Also got a review out to an editor, and an additional assignment from him. He always tosses me a good extra assignment when he can.

Got a terrific, personal letter from an editor at a major publication into which I’ve tried to break in for awhile. She loved the writing on the current piece, and, although she ultimately rejected it more for genre elements than anything else, wants to see the next one. So now I have to WRITE the next one with an eye to that particular pub! 😉 I’ve submitted there for several years — this is the first non-form letter I’ve gotten, so I’m in the right direction.

To answer a question about my definition of a creative energy vampire — it’s someone who intentionally creates conflict in order to siphon off creative energy for his/her own project/life by draining someone else’s energy, creating and maintaining a constant atmosphere of tension. I’d cut off most of them from my life, but every once in awhile, someone circles around, or slides in and then attaches like a leech and has to be removed.

Got some great work done on the Dickensian steampunk. Read over notes from a project I’d spun out for a bit, then decided to put aside in favor of another one, and now this one wants attention. There’s potential there, but I don’t see how it can be slotted in right now. Talked about two projects with my agent; tweaked the sample chapters on one and sent it out to her. She’s taking around one of the projects already, and we’ll decide the best route for the other. I’m also working on a third for her (non-fiction), but I need to have the manuscript complete before I can write the proposal in this particular case, so again, it has to be worked around the stuff that’s immediately paying the bills.

I need to do some more work on the piece that needs to release in Imbolc. Which is next week. The plot is shaping up nicely, but the tone is still a bit off.

After being ready to shriek with frustration at several aspiring writers who are whining about “not having time” to do an outline for a book (some whining that two weeks isn’t enough, others that a month isn’t enough), look at this example: A writer whose work I like and respect A LOT finished copy edits on his latest book and sent them off on Sunday night. Yesterday morning, when we all got on line to yap, he started the outline for his next book. By the end of the day, he was done (and celebrating with a nice, 15-year-old whiskey). This morning, he opens a new file and starts the damn book. THAT is a committed, professional writer.

Waiting to find out if there’s a meeting today to look at the venue for the play. In the meantime, I need to get back to the play itself.

You can still enter to win the giveaway of Cynthia Woolf’s book on A BIBLIO PARADISE here.

Devon

Only three more days until the Special Editing offer expires — get your first 30 pages (in Standard Manuscript Format only) line edited for only $75. Expires on January 25. Information here.

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 8:38 am  Comments (5)  
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Thurs. Oct. 4: Exciting Times and Time to Go Home!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Worked with my students yesterday, got some good work done on a few other projects. Got an apology from the slow-paying client with a promise to “pay next week”. We’ll see if that happens. Watched several of my Sustainability video lectures, and several of the World History lectures, and took the quizzes. This week’s lectures are useful in terms of my flood/drought project. I also did an email interview promoting both the Jain Lazarus books and ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT that will go up in late November.

Tessa is sulky and upset. She got out of the house and was difficult to catch yesterday, poor little thing. Hopefully, she will be glad to see me when I get home, and not act like Violet. Violet always does “talk to the tail” for three days before she forgives me.

I’m over at the Writers Vineyard today in my Annabel Aidan persona, giving thanks for this year’s Writing Harvest.

It’s more stressful here than it needs to be; I will be glad to go home. Although “home” will be chaotic for the next few weeks — the owner decided the outside of the house needs to be painted and a new roof put on.

I had a lovely meeting with an agent last night, and we had a good chat that ranged over many topics. We brainstormed some ideas, and now it’s up to me to see if I can come up with proposals that fulfill what we discussed. Excited about it.

I want to get the revisions on the article done before I head back today, and will try to get as much schoolwork done as possible. Well, I’d LIKE to curl up and read a good book, but that is not going to be an option until about Sunday! And that book will be something I’m reviewing!

Quick reminder — I’m over at the Muse Online Conference next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, teaching my Supporting Characters workshop. Hope to see you there!

Off we go — I hope the drive back won’t be bad this afternoon. I’m tired of driving in bad weather and dense traffic.

Devon

Mon. April 23, 2012: Energizing Writing Weekend

Monday, April 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

A terrific writing weekend — now, if it can only spill over into the week!

First of all, I’ve got an essay up on Cape Cod Women Online, “The Leap Over the Canal” about moving to the Cape. It’s got both book covers in it, and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. The two book covers look really nice together — I may do that for a mailing.

Second, Billy Root blogs about what it feels like to be an actor — a nice little behind-the-scenes taste. I hope you’ll stop by — and maybe even drop a comment. I’m very happy with the way this piece turned out.

I can’t remember all the way back to Friday, but I know it was busy. I know that I did about 1700 words in the sprint with the students, and I picked up violets and holly cuttings from a friend (we couldn’t dig up the whole tree–the root system’s too deep). It was a gorgeous day, and we drove around for a bit, exploring new-to-us back roads that will make life easier when the tourists clutter the main roads in the summer.

Got the proposal that was due out on time; now the waiting begins. Set up a meeting for tomorrow on the theatre projects.

Worked with my students in the evening.

Saturday, I rewrote a half a dozen short stories (some of them massively) and sent them out. Slowly, but surely, I’m catching up on the backlog. I worked with my students.

Sunday, I decided to leisurely start something I thought was due mid-May (a first chapter and an outline), so I wouldn’t have to rush. I re-read the submission materials request and realized — it’s due TODAY. Mid-May is if you make it past the initial round.

Okaaay. Butt in chair, kick the brain into gear. I’d played with the idea, so I had a good sense of where I wanted to go with it. As I worked it, however, I realized that I’d focused on the wrong character as the primary male protagonist. So I tweaked it, and suddenly the whole book opened out. The chapter worked better than it had initially (I’d worked on it a few weeks ago, before I even got the request). The synopsis, which I’d loosely sorted in my head, came together beautifully. I’ve got a solid piece now, and I’m happy with it. Revised the chapter a few times, tightened the synopsis, and out it went. I feel good about it. Even if this particular place decides not to take it, I’ve got something solid I can work on and sell elsewhere.

Started percolating on some non-fiction proposals I want to get out in the next few weeks. I re-read Michael Larsen’s book on proposals. I kind of do most of that anyway when I put together a proposal package, but re-reading it made me more aware of the steps, and the order.

I skipped the Green Drinks event — the weather was vile, and I was in that fragile state of percolation/creation that can be derailed at the slightest wrong prod. So I stayed home and worked. And seeded the lawn right before the rain.

Read Sonia Singh’s novel GHOST, INTERRUPTED, which was really fun, and started Jane Haddam’s WANTING SHEILA DEAD, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

Long day ahead of me at the desk. I hope I can use some of that positive momentum I achieved this weekend to propel me through the week. It was heaven to spend the bulk of the day on my own writing.

However, I’ve also got some business and PR stuff to attend to today.

Better hop to it!

Devon

Don’t forget the next two one-day seminars! Amazing Antagonists on May 12 and Setting Up Your Submission System on June 2.

Fri. April 20, 2012: Back to the World of the Living


Bugleweed and Scotch Moss

Friday, April 20, 2012
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday, I stayed in bed. I mean, I did a few things on the computer and watered the grass, but then I stayed in bed for the rest of the day. I feel better today, just low-energy. It was the right choice. And one day is misery was, I think, getting off pretty easy. I felt icky for about a week, but I really had only one bad day.

Mostly, I napped, read a book on meditation, and read Edmund Wilson’s diaries from the 1960s. I had a breakthrough of an idea in the book I’m editing, which will then spill into the second book in the trilogy. I mapped out, mentally, a few more proposals that will go out today, and came up with three ideas for non-fiction books that I plan to get into proposal stage over the next few weeks. The great thing about non-fiction is you can submit a PROPOSAL with the first three chapters, rather than fiction, where, until you have a long-term contract, you have to write the whole book first. I did some blah-blah, talking off the top of my head, and I even have a few people willing to look at them, with an eye towards contract.

The next two Fast & Fun Workshop registrations are live. The detailed information on Amazing Antagonists, on May 12, is here, and the Setting Up Your Submission System, on June 2, is here. Both are one-day, quick, and information-packed, well worth the price.

Later this morning, I head off to a friend’s (one of my fellow Bellini Girls) to pick up a small holly tree she needs to re-home and some violets. Hey, if it’s a holly tree, I’ll find a spot!

The tulips are gorgeous, the flowering almond is blooming, even some of last year’s pansies decided to be perennials instead of annuals.

Now, if I can settle down and get the work done — it’s all good! Hope to get a lot of writing done this weekend, and some more mowing and garden stuff. And get a bunch of proposals out, so that the coming moon cycle is rosy and abundant! Sunday, I’ve been invited to a Green Drinks event — not really sure what that is, but it sounds like fun, so why not? If I’m feeling up to it.

Devon

Thurs. April 19, 2012: Officially, The Flu

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Well, the mystery illness finally blossomed into full-blown flu last night — chills, fever, congestion, the works. At least I know what it is, so I can deal with it, instead of a little symptom of this here, another symptom there.

I cancelled out of everything I was supposed to do today, and am staying in bed, once I’m done with a few things here. It means missing yoga and a farewell lunch for a colleague, but illness is not an appropriate parting gift!

Caught up with students, mowed the terraced back (and then lay down in the grass for awhile to recover). I got some spray to make the mower catch faster, and it works. Fell in love with a Scotch Broom plant that’s a bit beyond my budget right now, but will keep an eye on it. My neighbor gave me three kinds of lettuce, and they went into the vegetable bed. Put down some grass seed in the front, where it’s looking a bit bald, and where I killed some grass fighting ants last year. Hopefully, it will come up.

We had our first taste of the garden– mixed greens and chives in yesterday’s lunch. Yummy!

Got some good edits done on the book, and also wrote 816 on the second book, in a half hour sprint with the students. Am pondering the proposals that need to go out tomorrow, and will finalize them later today.

I got up this morning to cancel out of obligations in a reasonable time, and to water the grass seed. Am going to check in with students, and then go back to bed and get rid of this damn flu once and for all. I think I’m past the worst of it — that was last night– but I want to make sure it’s gone!

I’m over at the Writers Vineyard today, talking about the garden’s influence on my writing.

Back to bed.

Devon

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 7:11 am  Comments (6)  
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Tues. April 10, 2012: Good News to Share!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, worked flat out all day. Worked with my students on the revision process, got out a requested partial, got out a couple of short stories, worked on some marketing and proposal stuff. Someone who wanted a manuscript by June 1 now wants to take a look at the opening chapters earlier, so I need to figure out how to fit that in. Got some good work done on HEART BINDER in the sprint with students. Did my work in the Steampunk class and started One Story, Many Voices.

Went to use the library’s computer to put in a “tweet this” button on my website for the workshops, but the website won’t hold the code. Typical. Next week, I need to meet with the Mac people and set up time to learn how to pull the materials the web host is holding hostage, so I can get the website move DONE. I should probably wait until some of the Fast & Funs are done, but I think my current host is interfering so much with my ability to earn a living that I should risk the move sooner rather than later.

The great news is that OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus book, was accepted by Solstice. I’ll send back the contract today, and off we go. I need to have the third book, CRAVE THE HUNT, done and out to them early in June.

Family’s coming down in May, and I had to get my Fast & Fun dates sorted for May and June. Looks like those are going to work out, so the pages and registration information will go up soon.

Overslept this morning, but still managed to get to meditation on time. We had a good session and an interesting discussion. Stopped at Nirvana on the way back for coffee and chocolate croissants. A couple very impressed with their own importance was in the place, talking to make sure they were overheard. Nothing they had to say was worth hearing. Geez, the only way I could use characters inspired by them is in a dark comedy, where a boulder falls on them or something after a snippet of their vapid exchange.

I’ve got a busy day stretching in front of me, and a migraine with which to contend. I better get to it — got to take back a stack of books to the Sandwich Library and see what else they’ve got waiting for me! And I’ve got an article to finish up. Plus all the writing.

Fingers crossed that submitted material just keeps hitting the target!

Devon

Don’t forget — Dialogue Dilemmas & Solutions, a one-day online seminar to help you create unique and sparkling dialogue. This is the only time I’ll be teaching a dialogue workshop online this year. Information and sign-up here.

Wed. April 4, 2012: Head Down & Working

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT — thank goodness!
Sunny and pleasant

Didn’t spend as much time on the computer as I needed to yesterday, but at least my back and eyes got some rest. Ran errands, did some yard work, worked on a few proposals, worked on stuff for classes (both as teacher and student).

I’m moving back and forth between two novels set in (different realities) in NY. It makes me a little dizzy, and I have to be very, very careful not to get the two New Yorks mixed up.

Read Yasmine Galenorn’s SHADED VISION, of her Otherword series, and liked it. I enjoy the series anyway, and the Delilah books are my favorite.

Working on articles, proposals, and the materials for next week’s meeting. We’re having company in from CT this weekend, so there’s also a whirlwind of cleaning and tidying going on!

I’d like to plant the pansies in the urn outside, but I’m worried it’s too cold.

I’m going to teach a short workshop at the Muse Conference in October, just a couple of days, instead of the entire week. That should be fun. As soon as the info goes live, I’ll post it.

Nothing particularly exciting to report — just head down and to work!

Devon

Don’t forget the 1-day Dialogue Seminar on April 14!

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 7:24 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

There’s a new, short post up on Gratitude and Growth.

I’m angry that Borders is closing the two stores within a decent driving distance from me. As much as I prefer spending my money at independent bookstores, there are times when Borders came in handy, and the two stores they’re closing were packed ALL THE TIME. As in, six check out people and a line winding back and forth no matter what day of the week or time or day I was there. There is no reason to close those stores other than Borders Corporate Management is greedy and bad at what they do (hence having to file for bankruptcy). They keep touting the website, but it sucks, and they’ve never gotten a single order correct for me, so I stopped using them. I’ll close out my gift cards and then, to hell with them. I feel bad for the wonderful people in my area who worked for them and were helpful, friendly, and supported local authors. But management in the head office? Deserve to be kicked to the curb. Corporate office management has sucked for at least the past five years, probably longer.

It’s not the death knell for bookstores. What this does is open slots for more independent bookstores (I’m so lucky that the Cape is full of them), and also, make room for a hopefully more successful, literate, book-friendly (meaning both digital and print) model. The death of the Corporate Bookstore is only going to help actual individual booksellers, authors, and readers. There are other business models where everyone wins. I’m not going to bore you with them here, but I’ve researched and written about those possibilities elsewhere, and how to make them work. Unfortunately, because so many publishers are now corporations, too, it makes it harder to convince the big houses there’s a better way to do things.

Someone stopped following me on Twitter because that “person” — I think it was a fake name — kept sending me links to write for content mills & I asked the person to stop, saying I don’t write for content mills and they couldn’t afford me. So I’m “dropped”. So sad. Not. 😉

Working on a set of proposals for some for-hire work. Tight turnaround time, clean copy, write fast and well, mimic the style previously set up. I can do all that. An assignment from a one of these establishments wouldn’t be easy, but I think it would be good experience, so I’m going to toss my hat into a couple of rings and see what comes up. If they like me, they’ll keep me on file and contact me whenever it seems there’s a good fit. It could be intermittent, short-term work that pays decently, and I can manage it with my teaching schedule and my own writing. And I’ve got some more teaching proposals to get out, for in-person, local workshops.

It’s all about time management. We all have 24 hours in every day. It’s how we choose to use them that defines us.

And my work is not separate from my life — few fiction writers’ work is. It is INTEGRATED into my life.

I finalized another deconstruction workshop for May — someone dropped out and they asked me to take over, so I have to get up to speed on the books — they’re on my To Be Read list, but now I have to sit down, read them back-to-back, taking notes, and read them for an entirely different perspective than to read it just to read it. Should be fun.

The work on the book went slowly, but pretty well yesterday. I need to get some more done this morning before I pack up and head up to Site #2, where I’ll be for the rest of the week.

Devon

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 9:44 am  Comments (7)  
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