Wed. Sept. 14, 2016: Creative Fuel

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy few days! I’ve been trying to balance work along with having company.

Company arrived Saturday, from NY via Megabus, although they changed the Megabus stop, so at first I was at the wrong place. Typical Mercury Retrograde!

But we found each other and got home. I’ve been cooking a lot for the company – good, homecooked, American food. We’ve gone out a few times—we spent Monday going all along the National Seashore, Eastham, Light houses, all the way down to Provincetown, where we had a wonderful lunch at Patio. The food there just gets better and better, and the service is great, too.

I’ve managed to get some writing done, one on a piece I’m calling UNBOUND, at least for now, and the other on an untitled short story that I have a feeling is going to turn into a novella.

The time in Provincetown on Monday gave me some ideas; I’m trying to decide if I want to write a contemporary suspense novel, or if I want to develop some of these ideas into one of the series on which I’m working. I have a feeling a one-off suspense novel will make more sense. So we’ll see. I’m playing with ideas.

Although time is short, the ideas are churning, which is always a good thing.

I helped some visual artists write grants this week, which is always fulfilling. I hope they get what they seek!

Next week, when the company is gone, I will go back into the next round of edits for DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’d like to get it submission-ready this fall, and have it start making the rounds.

Saturday, when we take our friend back to the bus in Providence, we will then drive to Newport, where I will do some research for the Victorian mystery, and also meet some other friends en route from Boston to Philadelphia for lunch.

I’m also developing my essays. Essays take me longer than long fiction!

Busy times, but good ones.

Hope you are all well and happy!

Devon

Published in: on September 14, 2016 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 14, 2016: Creative Fuel  
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Fri. Oct. 4, 2013: Annoying Start to the Day

Friday, October 4, 2013
New Moon
Sunny and cooler

Yesterday was a gorgeous, fun day. I worked in the morning, got stuff out, did pitches, got a review out, ran some errands.

Then, my friend and I got into the car and drove to Provincetown. It was a lovely day to drive. We went up to the Province Lands at Race Point — in spite of the facility being closed due to the government shutdown, we were able to go up on the exterior observatory deck and see the gorgeous views. We went down to Race Point beach proper (one of my favorite beaches on the East Coast), and then into P-town for a walk and a lunch. We didn’t stop at the National Seashore on the way back — National, shut down — but it was still a lovely drive, and then it was off to Chatham’s Lighthouse beach to watch seals play in the water and see real beach plums.

Home, I cooked dinner, and we watched BOURNE LEGACY in the evening. It’s become one of my favorite movies; never get tired of it. I’ve learned a lot about pace, structure, detailed acting work, sound editing, and camera placement from it.

This morning is already annoying; I’m dealing with a nightmare of an interview subject for an article, who is causing me to push back a deadline — and I may have to give up part of my weekend because of this individual. I will complete the assignment and tell my editor I never want to deal with this person again. Not just that I never want to — that I won’t.

On top of that, I pitched to a place that asked me what my article rate was. They said they wanted to use me — but they’re not paying, which is a direct contrast to their ad. I wouldn’t have pitched if they’d been honest in the ad.

Irritating.

Deep breath, and back to work.

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on October 4, 2013 at 7:13 am  Comments Off on Fri. Oct. 4, 2013: Annoying Start to the Day  
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Mon. Sept. 10, 2012: Great Writing News!

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It feels like a month has passed instead of a weekend. So much going on!

Great news! My one-act play “The Effie Effect” has been chosen as part of Tilden Art Center’s PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD Festival. It’s going to have a reading on Sept. 28. I will post more information as I get it. I’m very excited — it’s my theatrical debut on the Cape!

Last week’s paper for the Sustainability Course was “Sustainability Vs. Human Greed”. We can talk about what we “should” do in order to be sustainable all we want, but as long as there are people making huge profits from unsustainable practices, nothing will change. Cut off the money source, and we’ve got a chance, because the greedy special interests who line their own pockets aren’t going to change. That got some pretty good responses.

This week’s paper, “Education, Equality, and Rape”, which I wrote and uploaded on Sunday morning (after several days’ research) is also getting good feedback. There’s all this talk about how population growth/fertility rates remain highest among the poorest, most uneducated women — um, yeah, because they’re kept like brood mares. When you educate women, give them access to health care, equal rights, et al, which includes child survival rates rising, the population growth slows (although there’s still debate as to whether we’ve hit carrying capacity or can create the sustainable “S” curve). Of course, if the special interest right wing-nuts in this country get their way, women will be stripped of their rights and turned back into brood mares again, but that’s an argument for another day. The reason I wrote the paper is because the experts talk about the importance and impact of education and equality for women to affect sustainable population growth, but they all ignored rape and sexual violence as a tool of war, and the children that are born of that violence. Northern Sudan, Darfur, Bosnia — throughout history, rape is used as a tool of war. There aren’t even reliable statistics, because of the shame associated with rape. So last week’s paper addressed that issue.

Once I read this week’s material and see what annoys me about it, I’ll have my topic for this week’s paper!

I also wrote and posted the proposals for my two milestone projects. We only need to do one, but I can’t decide between them, so I’m doing two. The first is very traditional within the realms of the class, dealing with the Flood/Drought Rebalance and how I think it can be done in the US. I’ve got a bunch of sources, I know what I want to say, it’s something I’ve discussed with my Senate and Congressional offices, and I’ll finally have a document to hand them. The other project is fiction — which is rather out of the realm of what they’re used to in a class like this. It’s an environmentally-sustainable series that will give actual information in an entertaining and engaging way without falling into the cliches most fictional characters in this realm do. For the purposes of the class, I do the vision for the series, and the outline and first three chapters of this book. So that’s all good, and both projects are getting solid support from my classmates.

Got the welcome message from the World History Class, which starts next Monday. 70,000 in that class, which is a little depressing! And the textbook is so far out of my price range, I can’t even consider it at this point. So I will try to track it down in one of the many libraries to which I have access.

I’ve also been invited to submit to another project — 15K as soon as I get get it done. I’m having fun with it, so we’ll see.

With all that, I’m deep in edits for the second Jain Lazarus, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Billy Root has a few things to say about it here. AND I’m scrambling to get book #3 to the publishers on time.

I ran into some frustrations getting the text smoothed out for the anthology — there are formatting issues that take me longer than I’d like to resolve, and sections I have to re-key by hand. I want to get it off my desk today or tomorrow (I planned to finish it by yesterday), because I need it off my desk and onto the publisher’s! 😉

And I need to chase down some payments this week, start another article that’s due, do some more pitches, and finish the material for the latest Confidential Job #1. And, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to be a contest judge, so those materials should hit my desk today.

I drove to P-town yesterday to have brunch with some good friends in from NY, friends I haven’t seen since I moved to the Cape. In spite of the weather, it was great fun. We laughed a lot.

Tarot class is doing well. I’m having fun with them.

And I was mentioned in THE CAPE COD TIMES — they gave me a few paragraphs about my upcoming writing workshops in Falmouth.

I even got some mowing done on Friday, before the next round of storms hit! Isaac’s gone, but Leslie is affecting the surf here.

Got a big day of writing ahead of me, so off I go!

Devon

Mon. May 7, 2012: Intense Family Weekend


Mist over the dunes at the Province Lands Center, Provincetown

Monday, May 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Intense few days. Went to yoga on Thursday morning, came back, packed the car, and we were on the road a little after 11. Trip to Maine wasn’t bad, not much traffic, we made good time. We settled in, spent some time with my great uncle, I cooked dinner.

We were up early the next day, breakfast, picked up one cousin who lives down the street and one in Portland, and hit the road. The drive down wasn’t bad, either — we timed it well.

We hit Foxboro around 10:30 in the morning. I was born in Norwood, and Foxboro is where my grandmother lived for many years. I haven’t been back since the mid-90s.

We found the cemetery without any problem, and found my grandparent’s grave. The cemetery is beautiful — extremely well-cared for, and people are allowed to individually landscape each of the graves, which is great (unlike so many cemeteries, now, where everything is supposed to be identical and plain, and everyone is a number, not a memory of an individual). We also visited the nearby grave of another family friend. We spoke a few words by the site, and handed over the ashes to the caretaker, who will bury them today.

We drove past the house where my grandparents used to live, and where I have many happy memories. It looks lovely — the current owners take loving care of it, have landscaped it nicely, put on a new roof, etc. And the property next door (formerly belonging to the person whose other grave we visited) is also lovely. She had magnificent formal gardens, and the current owners have kept them up.

It was strange to see those childhood places through adult eyes.

Something is starting to tickle in the back of my head, an idea; I’m not sure where it

We continued around to the Cape and home. After getting the cousins settled in, we headed up to Cobb Hill — the cemetery where the first arrivals are buried. They came over from Kent, England, and one branch of the family went up to Maine. It was cold and rainy, so we didn’t spend as much time in the cemetery as we might have otherwise.

We went over to Sturgis Library and spent a few hours in their genealogy collection. They have a lot of information on the family — the branch that started here and wound up to Maine, another branch that wound up in West Virginia. It was fascinating.

I cooked dinner, and we all visited and played with the cats. I spent a bit of time with students.

To bed early, but also up early on Saturday. I baked apple spice bread for breakfast. Then, we headed out to Provincetown. Unfortunately, it was another cold, drizzly day. But we got to walk around town a bit (already quite busy) and had a nice lunch. We went up to the Province Lands Observation near Race Point, always one of my favorite places, and I got some interesting misty pictures.

We came home, and someone from Sturgis called — I’d left something important at the library the day before! Someone from the library was coming to my library for an event; I met her there, feeling both stupid and grateful. She is definitely getting a thank you note.

Cooked dinner, uploaded photos, made prints for them, copied the information from the library — by the time I tried to get online to deal with students, it was 9:30 at night and I was incoherent.

Up early on Sunday, made eggs benedict, and we were on the road a little after 9. Not a bad ride up to Maine, in spite of an accident on 93 and one inside the Big Dig tunnel. Dropped off the cousins and turned right around to go back.

I admit, I was getting a little tired.

But it was great to have the family from Maine here, to have them see where we live, and that this move was the right choice for us. They also have been working very hard, and I wanted to give them a happy, relaxing time.

We meant to stop for lunch, but didn’t find what we wanted, so wound up driving all the way back. Instead of going back through the Big Dig, we hooked around again on 128 so we could take the Bourne Bridge. The Sagamore had a two hour delay getting off-Cape, and that usually causes a tangle getting on the Cape, too. We shot over the Bourne Bridge and found off-Cape traffic backed up all the way to our little town, too. But we got home in a reasonable amount of time.

Heated up some dinner and went to bed. That was all I could take.

A LOT to do today, both online and off. The rain last week stimulated the grass — I’ve got to mow. And hit the bank. And put gas in the car. And do some work with my students. And help out a pro bono client. And polish my lectures for Saturday’s workshop.

Billy Root’s blog will go up later today.

Better get to it! I’m tired, but more optimistic this week. I’ve still got some stuff to figure out, but I’m getting there.

Devon

Don’t forget the Amazing Antagonists workshop on Saturday, May 12! You can turn your antagonists from ciphers to complex, fascinating individuals with these tips. More info and registration here.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Herring Cove Beach

Friday, November 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I was up at 5:30 in the morning yesterday, wrote 3500 words, and out the door by seven thirty for yoga. Yoga was good. We did a lot of work on immunity-building stuff for the winter, which means, of course, I’m getting rid of toxins today as they work their way out of the body and I’m not feeling so great! I was able to do fish pose properly for the first time, but there were a few poses I had trouble with, due to the rotator cuff problem in my shoulder. Part of it is that it’s gotten injured and re-injured so often that I’m overprotective of it in the wrong way, and I have to get over that in order to strengthen it.

It was such a nice day when I came home that I decided to just chuck everything else for the day and go to Provincetown. We walked on Herring Cove beach for a bit, gathered some stones (I found a really wonderful one). I drove to the inn where I want to set a section of POWER OF WORDS and took photos. My memory card filled, and, when I went to put in the new one, it didn’t work. I was not pleased.

Drove back along 6A, enjoying the nice fall weather. Found my receipt and took the memory card back to Staples. Turns out my camera is “too old” to handle anything over a 2 GB memory card, and they’re no longer manufacturing those. Now, why should I be forced to buy new equipment because some dumb corporate fucks decide to “stop making something”? They should not be allowed to force additional large purchases like that. And why isn’t that information ON the product itself?

Anyway, I found another memory card by a different manufacturer that fits and swapped them out. I’m wondering if I should order 3 or 4 more memory cards (they last me about a year and a half each) while it’s still possible to get them. I love this camera, and I plan to keep using it as long as possible.

Wrote a fun scene for class that I want to use at some point in the trilogy, but am not yet sure where it fits.

Early night — I was tired.

But check out my post on The Writer’s Vineyard about the importance of Daily Practice.

I need to finish the yard, but it looks like it’s going to rain, so that may not happen today. Need to spend time with students, polish lectures for next week, run media kits for the book, write some follow-up notes, and catch up on admin. All I want to do is work on the book and a couple of short stories, so I have to figure out how to best configure my time without letting any of the balls drop.

I also need to prepare a big marketing push for later this month, and I’m wondering whether or not I should rent a PO box for business correspondence.

I talk to Tessa, the kitten, so much every day, and she’s responding so well that she could probably ace the SATs at this point. She comprehends a larger vocabulary than many college-age students!

Need to unpack some more boxes from the garage and set up some more shelving in my room. And tonight, I’m attending a meditation workshop. Busy, busy! But good.

Devon

Today’s word count: 1,010
Total word count: 54,018

Friday, June 17, 2011


View from Province Lands Observatory, near Race Point

Friday, June 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny/cloudy/warm/humid

It turned out to be a gorgeous day. Costume Imp and I got on the road a little after 9 and headed east. Well, we had to go west first to get gas, but you get the idea. . .

Provincetown was surprisingly quiet for this time of year. We parked over on Bradford Street, walked Commercial Street and the pier, drifting in and out of stores. We drove up to the Province Lands Observatory — I’ve been going there since 1968. It was a beautiful warm day without too much wind.

We visited the Highland Lighthouse on the way back. It’s one of my favorites, and Edward Hopper’s painted it (which is why it may look familiar).

I wanted to take Imp to lunch at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet — but it was closed, because today is their big opening for the season!

So we came home, drank mojitos on the deck, cooked dinner together and relaxed.

I started commenting on student exercises, and something was annoying me on my upper thigh, itchy, painful. Turns out it was a spider bite that swelled to the size of a baseball. How it managed to bite me in just that spot — if I think about it, I’ll dance around the house yelping for the next hour, so we’re just not going to dwell on it. So everything had to stop while we treated it with vinegar, witch hazel, a slice of onion, rosemary oil, lavender oil, and ice. Got the swelling down, but this morning the bite area is still large, it still itches, and I have a bit of a fever. So, treating all of that. It’s better, but it’s still annoying, and it’s slowing me down. The cortisone cream I tried is making it worse, so I’m going to try a tumeric-and-olive oil poultice with a bit of baking soda to draw the venom later. Yes, Grandmother Spider, you got my attention, could you be a little clearer in your intent? 😉

This is what I get for forgetting to take the vitamin B every day. Vitamin B makes you smell bad to insects and taste bitter if they dare to bite. I completely forgot.

Got some great news from a friend last night. I’m delighted for her, and look forward to when she’s ready to make the announcement to the world.

Up early, usual routine. Have to mow the front lawn before the rain starts. Also have to head out to Sandwich for a few errands, and I want to grab some cucumber to cool me down from the inside!

I have to get off the write up for Confidential Job #1, and catch up with my students. Got my morning quota done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. It was rough, because I’m not feeling well, but I did it.

Devon

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010
Day Before Dark Moon
Rainy, windy, flood watch

The way the weather forecasters talked the past few days, I was looking up “Ark Rental” on the way home, because that’s what it sounded like I’d need. For the record, you can’t rent one — it’s a strictly build-your-own enterprise.

We left the Cape much earlier than we wanted to yesterday, after a lovely, but somewhat rainy birthday Thursday all the way out at the tip of the Cape, the Province Lands, and visiting old haunts of mine from the last 1960’s, early 1970’s. Provincetown seems to have lost its sense of fun. It’s not as openly hostile towards straight people as it was a few years ago, but it’s lost its sense of individuality and freewheeling, artistic fun because it’s trying to promote itself as supporting individualism, when, in reality, it supports a different type of conformity. The Province Lands themselves are still gorgeous, especially around Race Point, the ranger station (I took some almost Edward Hopper-esque photos out there), and the sea lions are finally coming back. There was also a major dolphin rescue going on in one of the Wellfleet Coves — a pod of 16 dolphins got stuck in almost quick-sand like mud, and they were trying to get them out. Not all of them survived, and it was still in progress when we left.

The birthday dinner was at The Beehive in Sandwich, always fun. We saw a wonderful Victorian house in Eastham — perfect size for the house, above the budget, and not enough land. The lot size was too small for me even to have a tiny garden, and I want a BIG garden. I want to have an herb patch, a vegetable patch, create a labyrinth walk, and have open space, as well, so that needs some land.

We’d be happy anywhere on the bay side of the Cape, in any of the towns stretching from Sandwich to Eastham, with Sandwich, Barnstable, and Brewster being our top choices. Everything we need, shopping-wise, is located on Rt. 132 in Hyannis and easy to reach, and the small, independent shops scattered throughout are pretty wonderful,too.

We were back home a little after noon yesterday, having skipped our planned stops in CT at the Book Barn, etc., because we were worried about the weather. The rain was pretty light all afternoon and evening. It picked up overnight. I boiled gallons of water, everything’s charged, we have batteries. The wind is hurricane-force. I got up at 5 AM and moved the car up to the hill, so if/when the brook regurgitates, the car will be safe. I’m going down to check on the brook every few hours, and it’s rising steadily, moving swiftly, and has the muddy brown color that usually bodes ill. The drains and gutters are already all full, with water pooling in the streets. The worst is supposed to hit us at 10 PM tonight, with unusually high tides.

Read Laura Resnick’s DOPPELGANGSTER, which was a lot of fun. I got a little ahead of it towards the middle, and figured out who did it about a hundred pages or so ahead of the heroine, but the way it escalated towards the end more than made up for it. I’d definitely read more books in the series.

One of the books I mooched arrived yesterday, CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE: POET AND SPY, which goes in the crate with the books for the Shakespeare project. It looks fabulous.

I did some follow-ups on submissions and have a list of things to get out the door this week, and I need to get back to the plays, but it’s difficult to concentrate with the storm. I hope it’s not going to be as bad as they predict, I hope it doesn’t flood, and I hope we don’t lose power. I’m ready in case we do, though. Just battening down the hatches.

And, I can always write in longhand by candlelight, which is what I usually wind up doing when it floods.

Fingers crossed.

Devon