Tues. Oct. 2, 2018: Autumn Means Busy (in the right way)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto DIRECT (as of Sunday)
Uranus Retrograde

We’re already into October. Wow, this year is going quickly.

Hop on over to the GDR site to see my list for October.

The end of last week was a travesty for anyone who values human rights or justice. I have a distinct feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

It was difficult to get anything done (especially with a raging migraine).

I caught up on most of my follow-up, from the Coffee Chat and from the breakfast and all the way back to the Provincetown Book Festival. I still have a few more notes to write, but I’m getting there. Follow-up and thank-yous are so important.

To my delight, I’m getting together for further interaction/meetings/hanging out/networking with half of the group I met last week, so far.

I’m debating whether or not to pitch a workshop for a couple of spring conferences, but I’m waiting to hear on some other schedule things before I do. That might mean I miss the deadline, but if I do, that’s the way it goes.

Friday night and most of Saturday was spent doing a major revision on RELICS & REQUIEM. Completing reframing the secondary plot line. So major, I wondered if we have to postpone the release, although my editor doesn’t think so. I’m feeling huge pressure, but so far, I seem to be coming through. I hope that remains the case.

Sunday, I focused on the calendar articles, polishing, revising, and getting them ready to go to my editor next week.

Got some more pieces polished Monday and today, so I feel pretty good about that.

Working on my speech for the human rights conference. There are several different elements I want to incorporate, and it has to build properly. So that’s what I’m working on.

Yesterday I spent time with one client on site, got some other work done elsewhere, and had dinner with a friend with whom I hadn’t spent time in awhile. Today, I’m on site for the bulk of the day with one client, and then other appointments. I was supposed to go to a non-profit meeting tonight, but I have to cancel, due to other work commitments.

Behind where I want to be on DAVY JONES, but I hope to get on track when we go into galleys for RELICS.

Some of the pressures I’ve been under (non-work-related) have eased a bit as of this weekend. So I’m hoping that I can regroup and dig back in.

To relieve pressure, I’ve been doing some work on THE REAPER’S RETREAT. Because, of course, when you have half a dozen deadlines looming, why not work on the project that has none!

But it’s a pressure-release valve, and then I can get back to the deadlined work!

 

Published in: on October 2, 2018 at 2:08 am  Comments Off on Tues. Oct. 2, 2018: Autumn Means Busy (in the right way)  
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Thurs. Sept. 27, 2018: Getting Out of Your Own Way

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

It’s hot and humid and yucky again. Urgh. On the one hand, it’s good, because then the heat doesn’t kick on (although it did earlier this week), and I don’t have to worry about heating bills. But I’m tired of the heat and humidity.

I’m tired, in general, feeling exhausted from the last few weeks, but too bad for me. There’s still a lot to do.

And I wish the damn tourists would go home already. I’m glad people come and enjoy the beauty of Cape Cod, and spend money, but they’re rude, with false senses of entitlement, and trash the place. Go home already!

Even though I was exhausted, I got up early, put myself together, and got out (in the rain) to the Hearth and Kettle in Yarmouth for the CCWA Coffee Chat meeting. It was a lot of fun. There were about thirteen women there, all interesting and passionate about what they do. It was great to talk to them, learn about their different businesses, and exchange information.

I’m following up with everyone I met this morning; a couple of people wanted more information on my marketing writing services, so that will go out. We’ll see what happens. There’s a lack of follow through here on Cape, so I just do what I do, and see what happens.

I also got invited to a couple of events hosted by other members, and they sound cool, so if I can fit them in, I want to go. I talk about reciprocity a lot — part of that is also doing my bit to accept invitations and get out there.

Made it to my client’s office on time. I’d brought a weekend bag with a change of clothes, so I changed, got some marketing/promotional material posted, and then went out back to the warehouse to help with some inventory and get some samples out for a big sale on the West Coast.

Some of those pieces are great for auditions. I talked to an acquaintance of mine who’s a casting assistant and described the pieces. She’s going to tell me if they show up on actors auditioning! It will be fun to hear about it.

Dealt with some frustrations during the day that only reinforce the decisions I’m making. I still have things to put in place, puzzle pieces to set, but there’s a lot to get done in the coming months.

When I finally got home, I should have dug into the RELICS revisions, but I was just too damn tired. There’s a point where pushing through no longer works.

I also have to stop beating myself up about being tired. I am no longer in my twenties. I am in my mid-fifties. This is what it is. I still do more and get a lot more done than many people around me. I have the right to admit it when I’m tired, and to do what I need to in order to recharge, so that I can continue, instead of just pushing through until I collapse.

I have an appointment this morning, and then I have to head back; they’re cleaning the furnace for the upcoming winter. The afternoon MUST be spent in revisions and working on calendar articles.

I’m also going through material for my Idea Bazaar speech at the human rights conference. The flow seems like tangents, but when I really look at it, I can rearrange it so it builds and is of a piece. I’m starting to look forward to it.

When I was so nervous about speaking at the Provincetown Book Festival, an actor friend in the UK said, “Do you trust the work?”

I did. The monologue is part of a play that was produced twice, and the monologue has been performed internationally on stage and radio. The prose scene was from TRACKING MEDUSA, a book in which I have confidence. So my answer to the question was “yes.”

“Then get out of the way and let the work speak.”

Which is what I did. And it worked.

Even though I was nervous about giving the acceptance speech at the award ceremony on Tuesday, it wasn’t about me. It was about my client, who received the award. So by getting out of the way and speaking from the heart, I could honor her properly.

The speech for the human rights conference is again, not about me. It’s about a much larger issue that we must all be invested in, or we will ALL suffer.

Which is one of the things that drives me nuts about this area of the country. Unless it’s a personal threat, too few people around here give a damn. I am done with those people.

Digging in to DAVY JONES DHARMA again this morning, and then working on some articles to post. Somehow, it will all get done.

Back to the page.

 

Wed. Sept. 19, 2018: The Great Busy

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Humid, Rainy, Warm

So much has been going on. Most of it good, but it’s been busy.

Friday, I had to go into the office for one of my clients and coordinate a film shoot for Monday for a package about an award she’s getting next week. She will still be out of the country. So we’re talking and emailing over the date line.

Friday afternoon, I had to catch up with what I hadn’t done that morning. I also had to prep for Saturday.

I rehearsed most of Friday afternoon. I made some cuts in the material, so I wasn’t just talking at top speed, but could put nuances in.

Up at 5:30 on Saturday morning, out the door a little after 8. Pleasant drive to Provincetown, parked in my usual lot. Headed for the library.

The whole day was just great. The Festival was beautifully organized, everyone was so nice! The new library director there is wonderful. My fellow authors were terrific, and ran the gamut. We were all deeply invested in each other’s work. My friend Andrew, a fellow author, was there with his book, China Sings to Me (he wasn’t reading, unfortunately, but he was part of the festival outside). The reading was packed. We had a great time.

I talked to a lot of new-to-me people. I had the chance to walk around a bit. Provincteown was still packed. It was a beautiful day, and although it was crowded, people were in a good mood. All day, I was stopped by people who enjoyed the reading.

I spent some time up in the reading room, overlooking the bay, resting up and reading Tavis Smiley’s memoir of Maya Angelou.

I attended a cooking demonstration by Justin Chapple of Food & Wine and Tom Acitelli, who specializes in liquor/travel writing. It was a great session, with lots of lively chat and terrific information.

I re-met a radio host I’d met through my late friend Pam a year or so ago, and we caught up.

I headed back home in the late afternoon, made my infamous devilled eggs, and headed for the party in Dennis. We had a great time, although I probably shouldn’t have eaten two hamburgers!

Up early on Sunday, but pretty tired. However, Sunday afternoon, I attended a picnic/town meeting for Attorney General Maura Healey in Hyannis. It’s always great to see her — she’s committed, lively, smart, and gets it done. My state Senator, Julian Cyr, was also there, and I got a chance to catch up with him and ask him about an issue a colleague of mine is struggling with. He gave me the information needed, which I passed on to my colleague on Monday. Also ran into some other people I knew, and helped someone with his brand-new, lively, rambunctious yellow lab puppy. I was really glad I went, tired or not.

I have a TON of follow-up/thank you notes to write this week.

Monday was all about filming stuff for the awards package at two locations. It is always more chaotic than one wants. My end of it was organized, but a lot of the rest of it was on the fly. Our people, though, represented well. I wish I trusted the producer not to twist things in the editing room.

I barely got any sleep on Monday night. I was getting incoming texts and emails that had to be dealt with immediately until about midnight. Then the coyotes were howling. Then, in the middle of the night, the crazy neighbor behind me decided he had to work on his motorcycle. By the time I finally fell asleep, the alarm went off.

I was dragging yesterday.

But it was more organizational stuff, international phone calls, flurry of emails trying to get permissions for materials to use that aren’t ours (shouldn’t the producing team be doing that?) and more.

Had one pickup to do at the library after work, then cancelled the next meeting because we got a weather alert — all the phones screeching at once. I managed to get home just as the storms moved in — the remnants of Hurricane Florence that did so much damage down south. It was only a few hours, but it was intense.

To bed very early, and at least got some sleep.

Onsite at my client’s today, doing the organizational stuff for the award ceremony, which is next Tuesday morning.

I have to look at the edits for RELICS and get them turned around fast, review a book and send that off. I’m also up on Ari Meghlen’s blog today, talking about organization. But I don’t think it’s live yet.

I’m leaving the blog up from last week at Ink-Dipped Advice, because I think it’s still relevant.

I’m behind on DAVY JONES DHARMA, but I’ve been working on what used to be POWER OF WORDS.

Onward.

Published in: on September 19, 2018 at 9:14 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 19, 2018: The Great Busy  
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Fri. Sept. 14, 2018: Exciting and Busy Times

Friday, September 14, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Why, yes, I was up at 5 and at my client’s at 7:30 this morning on site, so she could call from overseas and we could figure out the details because she’s won an award! I’m very excited for her, and it will be fun. I’m handling all the details up to and including the ceremony, which happens while she’s still out of town. She sent a video clip that I’m editing in iMovie that will be used in the ceremony.

So I’m behind on DHARMA, and I haven’t received the edits yet for RELICS. But I’m working on the idea set in New Mexico, and doing another pass on the first book of what used to be POWER OF WORDS.

And rehearsing for my reading tomorrow.

Exciting times!

But there’s plenty to worry about elsewhere — a series of explosions north of Boston — at one point over 50 fires burning. Hurricane Florence hitting the Carolinas.

I hope they figure out the WHY of these gas explosions. And I hope the Hurricane loses power quickly, so that those who’ve lost power can regain it, and that the storm surges and rainfall totals aren’t as bad as expected.

Quick reminder — if you’re on Cape tomorrow, please stop by the Provincetown Library, where I’m one of ten readers appearing between 10-11:30 AM as part of the Provincetown Book Festival.

Cover reveal for RELICS & REQUIEM to the public next week!

Have a great weekend, and stay safe!

Published in: on September 14, 2018 at 7:43 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 14, 2018: Exciting and Busy Times  
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Wed. Aug. 29, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Blisteringly hot & humid

Hop on over to the Fearless Ink Site for the latest on Ink-Dipped Advice.

I’ve been onsite with a client the last few days, doing studio/design work. She leaves for Thailand early in September and needs to get this done. It’s interesting work, the way she designs clothes, and very different from costume design in theatre.

I’m re-reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s TENDER IS THE NIGHT and wallowing in the beauty of the language. Which is weird, because when one breaks down certain sections of it, it shouldn’t work. But when you put it together, it does.

Since I’m reading EVERYONE WAS SO YOUNG, which deals with the inspiration for TENDER IS THE NIGHT, it’s an interesting juxtaposition.

Ari Meghlen invited me to guest on her blog (it will go up next year) and I said yes. I also invited her onto Biblio Paradise. I need to get the next few dozen posts on that sorted this week.

Working on the calendar articles. The first book for my new reviewing gig arrived, and I really like it. I hope to finish it this weekend and get the review out early next week. Worked on the newsletter, which will go out early next week.

Shameless promotional note: If you haven’t signed up for my quarterly newsletter yet, you can do so here.

This newsletter has a triple cover reveal: RELICS & REQUIEM, DAVY JONES DHARMA, and THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Pushing for the end of this draft of RELICS. Behind where I need to be on DHARMA. But BALTHAZAAR is where it should be, and CRAVE THE HUNT needs to get back into the mix once RELICS is in galleys and the next draft of DHARMA is done.

Right now, the goal is a minimum of 2500 words/day on RELICS (more if I can) and 1K on DHARMA, but that doesn’t always happen.

Getting more comfortable on Tumblr; loving Ello; joined Triberr, and we’ll see how that goes. I’m ready to give up on Vero — if I’m having trouble with even the sign-up, a client less IT fluent won’t like it at all. Their support people have been lovely, but the problem’s not solved. We’re going on a week here. And it’s just about signing up and my email address (that I use a dozen times a day) coming up in the sign-up as invalid. It’s not.

I have to start rehearsing the material for the Ptown Book Festival Reading and put together a flyer/handout for it.

Discussions on the Jain Lazarus covers with that cover designer. The cover I want to go back to was not by that designer — paint me mortified! I have to figure out what to do about OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. CRAVE THE HUNT is more important now.

We got the new subdomain for the new series set up and WordPress on it. Now, I have to take it offline so we can build privately. The first three books in the series are in good shape. The cover for the first is great; we have to tweak the second a bit. The fourth book is almost ready; the fifth is partially done, and the sixth outlined and has to get back into the writing roster. How the next few books in the other series stay on track and what goes on with CRAVE THE HUNT will decide a lot about the schedule for this series.

It’s a juggling act.

The cleanout of the basement is going more slowly than I’d like. The heat and humidity has a negative effect.

Last night was our last session of Savasana/Sukasana/Reiki for the season. It’s been a beautiful experience, and I am glad I made it to every session.

Today, I’m with a client for most of the day, and then I hope to get more basement cleaning done. The humidity/heat is set to break either tomorrow or Friday, so maybe I’ll have a productive weekend.

Back to the page.

Wed. Aug. 22, 2018: Creative Expansion & Annoyance at Forced Terms

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Today would have been my father’s birthday, if he was still alive.

Hop on over for the latest freelancing advice over on the Fearless Ink website, Ink-Dipped Advice. I’ve tweaked the look of it a bit, too.

I hurt my back on Monday, and it’s still bothering me. On top of it, yesterday, I had an awful headache.

I’m surprised by how upset I am at Facebook’s new terms, where authors can’t talk about their books on their personal pages. Because talking about them IS promoting them — it’s all integrated. My work is deeply entwined with who I am — even though my work is public and my life is private. My reason for being on social media is to talk about the work (and watch food porn and share pet photos, but that’s secondary). To force authors and all artists to move their work to business pages in order to force all of that to be paid promotion — I’m angry.

I’m also disappointed in Mark Zuckerberg, and his journey from creative entrepreneur to greedy corporate owner. People don’t change (although one hopes they grow), so it was always there. I had hoped it wouldn’t be what he leads with, but now it is. It’s bad enough he sold out his country to foreign entities, fake news, and hate groups. All these changes, which he claims are part of controlling that are crap. All he’s doing is hurting the small businesses and individual artists.

So, yes, I’m putting up a Devon Ellington Author page tied to my other pages. For the moment, I am still on FB. But if I’m kicked off, while I will miss some of my FB-only contacts, I’m going to shrug and move on.

I signed up on Tumblr, and you can find me here. I’m still figuring out how to use it.

I signed up on Ello, and you can find me here. I’m digging the creative energy over there, and I think I’m going to like it.

Once I upgrade my phone, I might join Vero, but the jury’s still out on that.

I’m thinking about reviving my old My Space account, even.

It all has to evolve, doesn’t it?

I use Twitter differently than I use Facebook. Facebook is more for hanging out. Twitter is more hard-edged and focused. Although I’ve gotten some of my highest-paid gigs off Twitter.

I might have to suck it up and try to be active on Goodreads, although I can’t stand the thought of it. But I need to be able to connect with readers and potential readers.

The whole thing is discouraging, depressing, and dispiriting. As usual, it’s about screwing the individual artist.

Negotiations for the gig are ongoing. I’d like to land it, but we have a few things to work out. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll shrug and move on.

Lucy loves to sit in my lap as I type. Lucy loves to sit in my lap no matter what. It makes Tessa grumpy, so I make sure to give Tessa plenty of extra attention.

Needless to say, I really, really needed Savasana/Sukasana/Reiki last night!

Continuing on with RELICS, happy that I see the end in sight for this draft and moving toward it.

DHARMA is heating up; once that moves back into the primary position, I think it will cook along fine.

BALTHAZAAR is also taking shape nicely, and I’m eager to get back to that, and to CRAVE THE HUNT.

We’re working on the relaunch of the Jain Lazarus books. My editor has asked me for a few tweaks, especially when it comes to OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. And I’ll have to do some major work on the website. I’m going to get it more in alignment with the other series sites.

We’re also talking about the series POWER OF WORDS is evolving into. The cover for the first book is stunning. I’m so happy with it. The second still needs some more tweaks, but it communicates what the book is about. We should see some proofs for the upcoming books shortly. We’re still tweaking titles on some of them, and starting to build the website.

Client work today; I’ll be late getting posts up both Thursday and Friday, because of things that have to get done in the morning before I can post. I hope to spend most of the upcoming weekend writing and working on the house and garden. With any luck, it will be cool enough and dry enough so to do.

I’m absolutely delighted that I was chosen to read at the Provincetown Book Festival on September 15. We’ll be in the Marc Jacobs room at the Provincetown Library, from 10-11:30 AM. Can’t wait.

Back to the page!