Sat. May 21, 2106: Release, Revision, Writing. Repeat.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Full Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was a busy day. Lots to do, and I had a migraine by the end of it.

On the upside: “Severance”, the sci-fi/horror/western short, has re-released through Smashwords. You can buy it for 99 cents here. It’s been accepted as a “Premium” listing, which means it ships out to other retailers like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, et al.

I also got back the galleys for “Plot Bunnies”, which is the next to release (although we’re still working on the cover), and the cover for “Personal Revolution”, which will release just before the Fourth of July weekend, since that’s when it’s set.

“Broken Links” is in rehearsal in Virginia. I’m looking forward to hearing it when it broadcasts in June.

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT will be renamed PLAYING THE ANGLES. I need to do another pass on that, and then it goes out on submission again – there have been a few indications of interest, and I look forward to the possibility of its re-release.

I’m also in talks about reviving Nina Bell – in other words, rewriting TAPESTRY, although keeping it set in the 1990s, and having the series progress through the turn into the 21st century. Most likely, those books would go out via Smashwords. It breaks too many genre rules for it to make good business sense for a traditional publisher.

I’m looking forward to digging back in to DEATH OF A CHOLERIC this weekend. I’m hoping I can finish this round of revisions within a week. Then I can get going on the submission materials while it marinates – the logline, the one paragraph blurb, the query letter template, the beginning of the outline and synopsis. Those will change, and, obviously, I can’t finalize those materials or my first 3 chapter, first 10 pages, et al files until I have a submission-ready draft.

I admit, it’s hard not to get caught up in starting to query while I’m prepping what I consider is the “submission-ready draft”, but the Universe just likes to bite you in the butt when you try that. If you are sending out queries, the manuscript has to be ready to submit. When you get a “yes, I’d like to see it”, you send it within 48 hours. You don’t tell an agent or an editor that you need X more months to finish. Until you’re established and on contract cycles, you need a polished draft ready before you start querying.

“Just a Drop” also needs serious attention. And I have to find my notes for SONGBOUND SISTERS to get back on track for that. HEART SNATCHER and INITIATE will just have to sneak in when there’s room.

I’m going to have to mow the lawn when I get home. I stopped at Auberchon’s for some more starter fluid from the mower, and they tried to sell me fluid for a grill. I told them no, it’s for the mower. They argued. I pointed out that grill fluid on the lawn mower would make it blow up, and just because I’m female doesn’t mean I’m an idiot when it comes to machines. Geez, Louise.

Looking forward to getting some mowing done so I can settle on the deck with a glass of wine and a manuscript. Looking forward to a writing weekend.

Oh, and I got an idea overnight for a short story, and got going on that this morning.  I was asked to submit to an anthology — but it has to be this coming week.  I’m having fun playing with these characters in this situation, but I need to research sailboats.

Enjoy!

Devon

Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 9:57 am  Comments Off on Sat. May 21, 2106: Release, Revision, Writing. Repeat.  
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Tues. Jan. 7, 2014: Working and Offers

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and c-c-cold

I’ve got an essay on choosing the first and last books of the year over on A Biblio Paradise. Check it out!

Yesterday, I worked flat out. I caught up on admin, pitched for some jobs, worked with students, wrote a book review, polished a feature article pitch and queried it, did some background for the new play, and for a feature article. Also mailed a package, did a library run, got in some cat food, and baked a cake for the neighbor who dug me out in the snowstorm last week.

This morning, I found an interesting offer in my inbox, and have started negotiations. If we can work out a few details, I’ll have some good news soon. If not, I’ll be disappointed, but move on.

I need to work on the airship steampunk story today, and get going on the revisions for the half hour teleplay, work with students, etc.

Hopefully, I won’t have to go out — it’s bitterly cold, and I’d rather stay safe inside.

Devon

Published in: on January 7, 2014 at 8:33 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 7, 2014: Working and Offers  
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Thurs. Jan. 3, 2013: Writing, writing, writing, writing . . . .

IMG_0779

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and c-c-cold!

Good morning! A little late getting online today, because I was at yoga.

I’m so delighted by the enthusiasm and thoughtful posts over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions — it’s always such fun to work towards goals together in company!

I wrote 1K on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE yesterday and 1K on LEADING OPPORTUNITIES — good day for both books. I caught up on a lot of email, and I’m getting through the backlog, too — seeing what needs to be filed, what can be dumped, if there’s stuff I never dealt with, and organizing market listings so I can attack them methodically for either queries or submissions. Swapped interviews for slots on blogs — my guest will be here at the end of January, and she’ll host me on the release day of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

Spent most of the afternoon re-formatting “Too Much Mistletoe”, “Tumble”, and “Just Jump in and Fly” and getting them up on Smashwords. I’ll add the links to the appropriate pages on the website. I still have to tweak the covers some more — where Payloadz distorted the covers and said they were too big, Smashwords is saying they’re too small.

It’s made me realize that Nina Bell was really, in a lot of ways, a character ahead of her time. I’m looking forward to working with her more NOW, although, initially, the stories will be set back in the 1990s. I will move them forward — eventually, she’ll have to face 9/11. It will be interesting to see how she and her career evolve. I’m going to fix the parts of TAPESTRY that don’t work — since I know a lot more about structure than when I wrote it — while still keeping her character, well, Nina, because that’s what makes her memorable. The characters in “Just Jump in and Fly” and the energy in that piece just delights me — I look forward to working on the piece for Imbolc. I’ll probably release another Nina short in the next few weeks, and I also have to turn my attention to the re-release of “The Ramsey Chase” — now that I know I was writing time travel/steampunk/fantasy, I can actually use the expectations of each genre to support the structure better.

I’ll get those links up on the website later today — but I hope people find the stories and fall in love with the characters. Nina has always been a fan favorite — maybe, with my maturing a bit in terms of craft, now she can find her audience.

I’m also considering putting together a media kit that covers multiple books, etc., that I can use as a catch-all, in addition to having the more focused kits for the individual books.

I did a chunk of work on Confidential Job #1, and will be able to complete that assignment and get it out by tomorrow.

Still working on the proposal for my agent, and still working on the Twelve Days of Christmas stories — I have a feeling I’ll be working on those well into the month! But they’re fun, and I think, when they release during the holiday season at the end of this year, people will enjoy them.

Yoga was great — now, it’s digging in to work. Got some student assignments to check up on!

Devon

February 3, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing

Yep, it’s snowing agian. Just flurries, it’s pretty, but I am over it.

Unfocused day yesterday, although I managed to track down the address of someone I used to work with a long time ago and send him a “hey, how are you” missive. He’s been on my mind a lot lately, so I thought I’d reconnect and wish him well.

I didn’t post in the garden journal because “It’s snowing again” just didn’t seem worth a post.

I found some of the really intense, handwritten writer’s rough for CRAVE THE HUNT — thank goodness. I was worried I’d lost it. I still have to find the rest of it, which somehow got separated in the move, but at least I have this in hand, which will help with the next sections, and, if I have to, I can always rewrite the rest of the outline, because I remember where I was going with it. Once the first draft is written, I’ll probably have to do some massive cuts, but I’m just following all the threads here until I see what I have. It’s a complex story, and Billy Root’s fans will be thrilled with the way his character grows — plus there are great arcs for Jain and Wyatt, both as individuals and with their relationship.

Water coming into the basement via the bulkhead, so I had to put a tarp over the top of it, use the wet vac (which the owner left, fortunately), and check every few hours. Had to weight the tarp with the new planters — nice to know they can multi-task.

Found POWER OF WORDS, and re-read the parts of that I’ve written so far. It holds up better than I remembered, although it needs tweaking and cutting. Unfortunately, in the move, the 200+ pages of notes I’d written for it — which CAN’T be recreated — got separated — I’d gone as far as to mapping and the series arc of the piece they’re filming within the piece, and even production schedules, all of which I need handy in order to keep writing. So I can’t do much more on that until I find it in the boxes.

Got out a couple of queries yesterday, which was good, and got paid for an article (day after I sent the invoice — love that) and a workshop. That means I’ll be able to pay some bills before I leave on the site gigs.

Finished the reading for Confidential Job #1 (it’s wonderful); just have to do the write-up, send it off, and send off the invoice.

Decided that the exercises I created for the Setting as Character Workshop aren’t challenging enough, so I’m working on a new set.

Did some Tower of London research,and am finding ways to integrate some of the “fun facts” that even I didn’t know into the scene of the WIP.

My back is getting worse instead of better, which is worrisome. It’s annoying to be limited in what I can do, and being in pain drains away energy that needs to be used for writing. I might have to book an acupuncture appointment here and not wait until I see my regular acupuncturist in NY at the end of the month.

Watched HUMAN TARGET to get my Jackie Earle Haley fix. In spite of the problems with the series, he finds the core of his character, adds specific details, and stays true to the integrity of the character. He can do more with a tilt of the head or an inflection of a word than most people do with a whole page of dialogue, and in a way that enhances everyone’s performance around him, so it’s always worth tuning in for him. The show itself, though, is struggling, and it wouldn’t surprise me if next week’s season finale is also the series finale. The vision feels unclear, like there are too many notes coming in from too many different directions. Now that they’ve added two female series regulars, the writing for them is much weaker than the writing for the female guest stars last season (who were given stronger and more interesting characters to play–even on Monday’s episode, the female guest star had a better-written role than the series regulars, and her chemistry with Mark Valley was off the charts), the creators are not developing them, the creators are diluting the wonderful chemistry between the three male leads, and there’s a lack of balance between the A & B episode storylines and the overall series arcs. Last season definitely had its problems, but it also had an element of fun and a lot of potential; this season just feels unfocused and panicked from the creative aspect of it. I hurt for the people working on it — I’ve worked on shows that are struggling, and it is hard. You want it to work, you have a loyalty to it, you care about what you’re doing, but the people making the decisions and supplying the cash aren’t capable of making the types of decisions that would actually help the show. Every day you go in to work hoping there’s a breakthrough; every day, you get your heart broken. I certainly hope this experience doesn’t turn JEH off from doing television ever again.

My fun lunch was cancelled — the weather’s caused a domino effect, but I’ll have to get out when the roads de-ice a bit to get ink at Staples and print off those manuscripts. They need to go out the door tomorrow.

I’m going to try for a few really focused days at the page — I want the first draft of this book done before I head for CT, so I can spend time down there on revisions.

Back to the page — with an icepack against my back.

Devon

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It’s been back up in the 90’s for the last few days, but low humidity. That seems to be changing — the humidity is rising to meet the temperatures. And it looks like we may have to deal with Hurricane Earl over the holiday weekend. Ick.

Yesterday was tough. The workman/landlord situation was bad in the morning, which of course, stressed me out and made Elsa worse. I spent most of the morning in tears out of sheer frustration and exhaustion.

Got some queries out. We’ll see what happens. Tried to start the assignment from Confidential Job #1, but couldn’t concentrate. Managed to get some research done in the afternoon, with the iPod on to Naturescape, which has to be my favorite app ever. Ran a few errands, put gas in the car, things like that. It cost me $10 more to put the same amount of gas in the car at the place near here with the best prices than it did up in Sturbridge last week.

I’m still eating the fudge I bought up there — best fudge I ever had. Smooth and creamy and rich. I have one little slice every day, and I still have a lot. That’s the way I like it!

Booked my tickets for the two Philly gigs in September. So that’s all sorted out. Even though it’s ridiculously early — I don’t leave for the first until the end of next week — I’ll probably pack in the next day or two.

Made a note the other night as I fell asleep for a story idea. Now I have to decipher it!

Had a lot of trouble sleeping. Well, I GET to sleep just fine. But I wake up completely anxiety-ridden.

Decent writing session this morning on the Willowspring Grove piece. Not a brilliant one, I’m having to fight for the words harder than I’d like, but I’m getting there. I’ve got to get back to SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Even if I don’t hit my goal every day, even a few pages a day would be better than no pages a day. But it’s noisy and dirty and chaotic here, and I can’t concentrate. As it is, I’m having to get up at 5 AM to get anything done before the rat bastards descend. And I can’t flip my schedule completely because I can’t sleep when they’re “working.” And I can’t leave to work elsewhere because I have to be around to make sure they don’t destroy the apartment.

I’m gathering references for the moving packets. Even though I can’t get my hands on the cash for a few more months, I want to have everything ready.

Will head to the museum this morning to see the exhibit before it closes (my mom is staying with the cats), and then come back to do some more sorting and purging. And I have to start Confidential Job #1 — it’s due on Friday.

Elsa is a little better this morning; let’s hope she doesn’t get worse now that the rat bastards are back.

It’s relentless, and it’s hard to keep any energy and focus. I feel like I’m fading and failing. And I have to hold the line until I can get out. Thanks so much for all your support. Sometimes it’s all that keeps me going.

I pitched a piece, never thinking they’d really want it, and they came back wanting more than one. I have to go over the terms and then sit down and get them done in the next 72 hours, provided the terms are acceptable. It would be some quick cash on something fun — if it works out. We’ll see.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, handwritten): 36, 125 words out of est. 100,000 (36%). I’m not sure how I wound up with a lower word count today than yesterday, when I wrote an additional 4 1/2 pages this morning. Headdesk).

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 6:59 am  Comments (5)  
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

This weather is disgusting. We’ve gotten a bit of much-needed rain, but the oppressive humidity continues. The weather folk keep talking about a cold front, but I think it went somewhere else — or maybe they’ve got the weather confused with their central air!

Okay, so the first 400 words on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY nearly killed me, but then I got into the grove and wrote just over 2400 instead of 1500, the entire first chapter. Woo-hoo! I think I’ve got it now. We got heroes, we got villains, we got ghosts, we got cats, we got early NYC history when it was New Amsterdam. Good stuff. My villain is so engaging I (almost) regret the fact he’s the villain. Annabel, you did good, girl!

My joy was short-lived, however, because the “workmen” the landlord hired to harass the long-term tenants were again hanging outside my window making life hell. There are 120 apartments in this building. You can’t tell me that the ONLY apartments that need “masonry” work (read “unskilled drilling” in this case) just HAPPEN to be those of the tenants that the landlord wants out. This is now the third consecutive week in front of our windows, and using our fire escape as their personal stairwell.

I still got ten queries out, but it was HELL. I can’t turn up the radio or the iPod up loud enough to block them out. And I shouldn’t have to keep the windows shut for weeks on end in 90 degree weather.

The Buildings Department just sticks their fingers in their ears and sings, “La, la, la” even though it’s a clear violation of the city code. Because they’re being paid off.

Didn’t spend enough time with the neighbor’s cat. Didn’t spend enough time on my lectures. My foot hurt, my hip hurt, it was humid, the “workmen” were hateful –icky day all around, except for two great writing sessions, of which I tried to hang on to some of the glow. Nearly 4K is a decent day’s work in my book.

Today, I had to get up super-early, because I have to be out the door by 10 AM, and 3000 words have to hit the page before then, on the two different projects. There’s apartment maintenance to deal with, stuff to purge in storage, and other projects that need to get done. I also have to pack, because I’m on a site gig for the next two days in CT. Fortunately, it’s close enough so I can come home a couple of times a day to give Elsa her medicine and look after the neighbor’s cat.

I had a great first session on the Willowspring Grove novel, 1750 words instead of 1500. I was worried I couldn’t move between its world and that of SPIRIT REPOSITORY, since part of Willowspring and all of SPIRIT are set in contemporary Manhattan. But they are two different genres, two different pseudonyms, and two very different Manhattans, so it’s working out. The Willowspring Grove novel is far more complex than I originally envisioned. I thought these would be straight up mysteries with some paranormal touches, but they’re more coming-of-emotional-age stories with a hint of paranormal mystery.

Off to do my next 1500 words/day’s quota on SPIRIT REPOSITORY and get out the door on time. i didn’t sleep well, so I’m feeling disoriented.

Don’t have the pottery photos, either, sorry. It will probably be next week before I get them up.

Devon

Willowspring Grove Novel #1 (first draft, handwrittern): 27,250 words out of est. 100,000 (27.25%)

The Spirit Repository (first draft): 2,459 words out of est. 90,000 (2.73%)

Published in: on August 17, 2010 at 6:28 am  Comments (10)  
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Saturday, August 14, 2010


Violet keeps an eye on things

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Free Muse Online Writers’ Conference registration closes tomorrow, so if you want to participate, or take either my Dialogue Workshop or my Story-Building Workshop, register before tomorrow. The Dialogue Workshop has a limited amount of spots available, and once they’re full, that’s it. I simply can’t correct 50-70 exercises per day and give each student my full attention — especially when students are late turning in exercises, don’t follow the instructions, etc. So, the Dialogue has a limited amount of participants. The Story-Building does not this time, because it’s my first time teaching it at Muse.

Dialogue Workshop Taught by Devon Ellington
Learn how to craft character-cohesive dialogue that moves along the story. Explore methods of cutting, crafting, and creating conversation that sparkles on the page and in the ear, and works in the context of the overall piece. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop, with daily assignments. Participants are expected to have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, proofreading, and structure, and the ability to process comments, apply them moving forward, and keep up with assignments rather than doing them in a batch. Daily assignments will build on each other. Newly created work is required in the class; please do not use something from a WIP or that is used for another class. It will trip you up as we build from assignment to assignment. Anyone is welcome to read and follow along on the assignments, but daily participation is limited to 30 students. If you sign up, please meet the commitment, or give up your slot within the first day so another interested participant can take it.

Story Building Workshop
Spend the week with Devon Ellington building your story scene-by-scene — but not in the way you’d expect! Learn to integrate the elements of plot, story, and character with dialogue, description, and action to create a complete draft of a short story over the course of the week. There will be intense, daily assignments with specific guidelines to delve into the day’s purpose. Please do not use previously written material in the class.

Registration for the Muse Online Conference is HERE. You may have to send a separate email once you’re registered to the “contact” address in order to sign up for the Dialogue Workshop. Sorry it’s so late going up, but there was a glitch on their end and my information wasn’t up until I mentioned it yesterday.

Even if you don’t sign up for my workshops, there are a lot of great workshops happening. I particularly recommend Karina Fabian’s World-building Workshop.

Now, onto Savvy Authors. The links are up for the deconstruction workshops. If you want to join the workshop to deconstruct a fantasy romance and learn how to apply it to your own writing, you can sign up here, and if you want to deconstruct a steampunk film and learn to apply the techniques to your own writing, you can sign up here. The fees are very reasonable for both members and non-members. And there’s no homework in the deconstruction workshops! You just have to read the book or watch the film before it starts.

Now, on to other stuff:

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Great writing session in the morning on the Willowspring Grove novel. I’m thinking about it a lot in between writing sessions, which is good. I’m averaging between 1500-2000 words per session, and I’m 86 pages in so far. i have to start putting them into the computer, or I’ll get too far behind.

I got out some of the backlog of short stories, and got out a stack of queries, all good. Decided not to submit to one particular publication — the way they wanted me to reformat out of standard manuscript format to their house format would have taken me so long that, even if they accepted the story, they didn’t pay enough to cover the time. There’s a reason it’s called ‘standard manuscript format” — the writer formats it once, professionally, and it should be acceptable to any professional publication. I can understand stipulating .doc or .rtf or even .pdf, but to expect writers to spend hours reformatting from market to market is a waste of time, except, maybe, for the desperate-to-be-published. it’s hoop-jumping, power-playing, and I’ve noticed that the markets that pay the least expect the most amount of hoop jumping.

NEXT!

Spent a few hours in storage. Consolidated 20 boxes into 8, bagged a bunch of stuff I’ll drop off as donations, tossed a lot of stuff that needed to be tossed. It feels good.

Plotting the next Annabel Aidan, whose working title is THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Will start the actual writing on Monday. The central character will be Bonnie, who we meet briefly in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Amanda and Phineas will have important secondary roles, and then they will be the focus of the third book. It’s not really a series, as each book stands alone with its own set of protagonists, but they are in the same paranormal, romantically suspenseful version of Manhattan, and they wander in and out of each other’s books.

Dinner with friends last night, which was fun. And, I managed to see just a tiny bit of the meteor shower last night — one quick sprint across the sky. Very exciting. I’d been so disappointed the previous night because I couldn’t see anything due to cloud cover.

Today, I’m writing in the morning, trying to get some organizational stuff done, then off to a friend’s in the afternoon. Tomorrow should be all about the writing. Because come Monday, my daily output has to either double or triple amongst the different projects, and I have to stay on top of everything else. The next few weeks/month will be very busy, not the least of which is getting the house-and-home situation sorted.

Devon

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It was hotter and more humid than predicted, but oh, well. Got out a batch of queries and five pitches, which was pretty decent. One of them is based in London, although I’d telecommute — it would be very cool to land that one. And it pays pretty well, too. Spent time with the cat next door, both morning and afternoon. Finished the wonderful Pepys biography by Claire Tomalin and went back to Joyce Carol Oates’s diary. Received my next assignment from Confidential Job #1. Made some notes on the Solstice Mystery.

Savvy Authors sent me the post for my Ons Story, Many Voices Workshop. Problem is, they’d promoted it as starting in August, only we’d moved it to January. We got it sorted, but I had a few minutes where I nearly had a heart attack, wondering how I was going to manage it with the time I’m booked to spend on the road, if we HAD to move it back to August, and also if I was crazy and had somehow written it down wrong.

But the paper trail was there, my calendar was right, and it’s sorted for January. That workshop is very unique because we start with a flash fiction story that’s literary fiction and then move it from genre to genre throughout the month, using the protocols of each genre to tweak it and explore it. By the end, you’ve either settled on a genre in which to expand the piece, or you have a handful of short stories in different genres. It’s not an easy workshop, by any means, but it’s really cool. I created it several years ago, when I was looking for something like this and couldn’t find it. So far, the students have loved it.

It’s January, it’s a long way down the road, but I hope to see a lot of you there. When it’s properly posted, I’ll put up the link.

I had some unpleasant business to deal with on my mother’s account. Some of it was handled; some will continue over the weekend and into next week. And I have to figure out my dates down in DC for some meetings, in the fall, but around the teaching jobs. I’m getting excited about going to Philly for a gig in a few weeks – not only will the work be tons of fun, and I’ll also have time to write, but I’ll get to hang out with some writer pals.

Today will be busy: writing, looking after the cat next door, sorting out some correspondence, clearing off the desk, taking a carload of stuff to storage, picking up some stuff from a couple of stores, maybe getting over to Target or Home Goods to replace the wine glasses I accidentally broke the other day (a bandaged hand is slowing me down). I want to get most of it done sooner rather than later, because it’s going to be a hot one. It never cooled down the way they promised yesterday.

Elsa improved quite a bit yesterday, and she seems even better today. She’s really working at getting better, and I’m doing everything I can to help her.

Not that we’ve heard back from the vet or anything since I contacted him on TUESDAY.

Back to the page.

Devon

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010
Waxing Moon
Foggy

It wasn’t foggy when I got up at 5:30 this morning and went out to run. In fact, it was really nice out.

Yes, I went running this morning. Pick yourselves up from the floor and stop laughing. I know it’s absolutely ludicrous, but I did it.

It’s a fact that I’m not as active as I was when I worked 8 shows/week on Broadway, and therefore not as fit. Yes, I do daily morning yoga, and some evening yoga, but that’s more for flexibility and serenity — I need more cardio. Twice a week with weights isn’t enough. I don’t have room for a treadmill or an exercise bike, and I wouldn’t use them, even if I did. I’m not going to go somewhere else to a gym. I”m not going to join a team and play sports. Running is the only thing that makes sense.

Even though I hate it.

So I’m going to try it, three times a week, for three months. If the effects are overall more positive than negative, I’ll continue. If not, I’ll have to come up with something else.

Honestly, I didn’t hate this morning as much as I thought I would. I did my time outside, a combination of running and walking and realizing how much fitness I’ve lost in the past year. But it was nice to be outside. I’d done a more active yoga routine as a warm-up, had a hot shower when I came home, and the coffee was ready, and hit the desk by 7 AM, which is when I like to start writing.

We’ll see how it goes.

Saturday was pretty productive, in spite of the news about the theatre company. I managed to get out 10 queries and a submission. A lot of them were via post rather than email, so there was a lot of additional work involved. I’m getting spoiled regarding email queries, and definitely prefer them. I’m definitely worried about the blow to the income that the loss of those commissions means, and I have to find ways to make up for it.

Posted the information for my Dialogue workshop, and today, the workshop officially starts. So the next two weeks will be busy.

Yesterday, I freaked out and worried about how I’m going to replace the income from the plays. Yes, I have until autumn, so at least I have some time to get a few things in the works, but it was steady monthly income in fall and then again in spring. And now it’s not there and has to be replaced by something else, and I have no idea what that is

Did a bunch of research (I just love it when I can count YouTube as “research”), and worked on POWER OF WORDS.

Worked on the short story this morning. Will hop on and off the workshop all day, and also focus on the steampunk, which can take front and center priority this week. I want to get it out the door next week, and go back to ANGEL HUNT, because I’d like to get that out the door by the end of April and turn my attention back to CRAVE THE HUNT.

I’ve got to pay some bills and get to the post office this morning. And get to work on my column. It would be nice to get out some more queries and submissions this week, too. I’ve let a backlog stack up, work I’ve written, but not sent out. It can’t earn money if it’s sitting in the computer.

The House passed the health care reform bill with some fixes that don’t make it as vile as the Senate’s bill. So at least I can stay in the country for the next two years, although I may still have to expatriate in 2012. It was also literally vital as to whether or not I was going to be around/alive long enough to have to worry about replacing fall and spring’s income. I need to get back on the house hunt this spring – Wall Street and special interests own New York, especially Albany, where the decisions are made, and it doesn’t make sense to live here any more. If the bill had failed, I would have had to leave the country by the end of the year latest, and probably by summer; now, perhaps I can actually live in the country where I was born. And where I’ve paid far too many taxes over the years that are wasted on bailing out banks, who then turn around and screw their customers. Since I’m not bound to the Broadway theatres, I don’t have to live in NY anymore. I can live out in the woods somewhere, as long as I have a good internet connection. That’s the plus side of technology.

So Hank Paulson has a book out? That SOB should be in jail for treason; instead, he got a book contract. Go figure.

We’re back on flood watch tomorrow; the down side of spring around here. When I move, I want to make sure it’s not to another flood plain. Enough already! I’m tired of having to worry every time a raindrop falls.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 6:47 am  Comments (9)  
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Waxing Moon
Sunny and pleasant
Ostara

I adapted my tipsheet as an article. When it goes up, I’ll post the link. I also researched, wrote, and sent the questions for my next Biblio Paradise guest. That should be fun. I did some email admin, cleaning up accounts, catching up on old mail that fell through the cracks or needed follow-up, and making sure that things were properly entered into the Submission and Pitch Logs. I wrote a guest blog post as promised.

I had problems with a client trying to pull a manipulative power play. I dug in, although it stressed me out and pretty much ruined the afternoon’s work. I had a lousy session on POWER OF WORDS, I beat back the Doubt Demons with the Karma Fairy Wand (a prop from a show I co-wrote a few years ago — it’s out of foam, one end spiked, the other end with a star and glitter), and I did a dream analysis as a favor for an acquaintance of a colleague.

No wonder I’ve been feeling resistance on finishing the plays! My producer contacted me and told me that, after FEMME FATALE closes, she and her husband and closing up shop and moving to Florida. They hope to start another company there. If it happens, and she wants more from me, great. If not, that’s life. But somehow, somewhere, I knew, and that’s why I was struggling. At least she told me before I nearly killed myself trying to finish two plays for her next week while I’m teaching. It’s a big hit to my income as of next season — but it also gives me time to find something that hopefully pays better to replace them. I can put aside these partial plays for the moment, concentrate on other work, and even the drama, VINDICATION. I can still market the plays whose rights reverted back to me — and now I can market them in this area as well, since there won’t be any conflict of interest. In the short term, it’s a disappointment; in the long-term, it will all be good. After a few months, I can go back to the partials and write them with more freedom, since I”m not bound by the interactive and flexible staging elements I’ve had to use when writing for her.

I’m starting to get into CAPRICA and enjoy it more. I love the way they’ve built the world. Tamara and Sam are my favorite characters (and actors) in it. However, if Zoe actually killed the dog in last night’s episode, I would have turned it off permanently. I don’t care how many people are killed in a piece, but you start murdering pets and I’m gone. That’s my line, and once it’s crossed, that’s it for me.

I came up with some good ideas for POWER OF WORDS in the shower this morning, had a great morning’s work on the short story, and am eager to get back to the steampunk, since I can now put aside the stress of the plays.

Today, it’s about getting out some queries, working on POWER OF WORDS and the steampunk, and doing some more admin work. Already this morning, I wrote about 1500 words on the short story, tweaked an author bio for a friend, and answered some questions about the workshop that starts on Monday.

Today will be a GOOD day.

And happy Ostara!

Devon

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Okay, I’m getting a little tired of people saying how women in their forties are “invisible” as in not only are they not noticed or acknowledged as attractive, but not noticed at all, as though they’re wallpaper or scenery. Uh, no. I’m in my forties, and I’ve never been more visible — when I choose. Yesterday, I chose — I was casually but WELL dressed in grays and navys with red shoes and a red jasper necklace, and I had people falling all over themselves being “helpful” and complimentary. I definitely know how to be invisible when I choose, but it’s a choice. It has NOTHING to do with age!

Red shoes definitely help. Maybe that’s why I have several pairs in various styles.

It takes the same amount of time to put together a look with a bit of panache as it does to throw on sweats and a stained t-shirt, so you might as well go out looking good!

Appropriate attire got me what I wanted faster and with less hassle on my errands, so hoorah for that. AND I hauled the Christmas tree to storage. AND I took my mother shoe shopping. She got a beautiful pair of blue-grey loafers, and I got a fantastic pair of Elie Tahari black stacked heels with gold chains that will go with absolutely everything. Plus, they’re astonishingly comfortable.

Went to the bookstore-which -was-supposed-to-close-but-didn’t to look for the other Deanna Raybourn books. Of course, they didn’t have them, the store is useless (and yet I’m glad it didn’t close), so I’ve ordered them via Amazon. I hardly ever use Amazon anymore — they’ve grown into a behemoth that advocates and kowtows to censorship, in my opinion — but, occasionally, they’re useful, when I need something in a a hurry. I only do 1% of my book shopping through them now. This may well have been it for the year.

Really loved SILENT IN THE GRAVE. I did figure out the villain before the protag did, but not so far ahead that I got frustrated, and the story still managed to have some surprises in it at the end. The writing’s gorgeous, and, again, it’s a case where the author doesn’t allow the genre to confine her, but uses a mixture of genre protocols to her advantage. So I’ve ordered SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY AND SILENT ON THE MOOR. I plan to gobble them up just as soon as they arrive, and then I’ll be ready for the book she’s got coming out at the end of February, THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST.

Got some of my own writing done, always a good thing, and plan to work on the first act of the new play today. The steampunk’s going well, and I hope to keep up a steady pace in the coming week. Elsa and my mom’s improving health makes that easier. I have a couple of article queries to work on this weekend, too. And I’ve got two short stories to edit next week, in addition to everything else I’m juggling, because they need to get out the door. And there’s another idea just starting to buzz right behind my third eye, but I haven’t gotten enough of a grasp on it yet to write down any notes.

I had strange dreams last night. Trying to grasp enough to get down — they mean something, but whether it’s relevant to life or fiction, I haven’t quite figured out yet.

Great morning’s work on the steampunk. Finished Chapter 5, started Chapter 6.

I’m off to spend the day at my friend’s in CT, doing laundry, reading, writing, hanging out and cooking. I’m ready!

Devon

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 10:11 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday, December 10, 2009


Elsa is in the doghouse, metaphorically speaking

Thursday, December 10
Waning Moon
Uranus Direct (oh, so many dates were given for this one)
Sunny and COLD!

I never got around to posting yesterday, but you had the Tuesday update, so I didn’t feel too guilty.

I’m really tired of feeling nauseous all the time. Wish the stomach bug would clear up. I still have an appetite — it’s just the consequences kind of suck. I’m a little better today, and hope that means I’m on the road to feeling like myself again.

Got the assignment for Confidential Job #1 finished and out the door. Phew! Now, I have to drive to the public library in Greenwich today so I can invoice them, since they only take invoices over IE, and I can’t run IE on this machine without major re-arranging. So I send the invoice from the library computer, which runs IE. Yippy Skippy.

Got quite a bit of writing done, although it always feels like it isn’t enough. I let the pressure build on the Apocalypse story so it would flow well this morning. There’s more of a fractured fairy tale feel to it than anything else. I suppose one could argue that the Apocalypse isn’t funny, but one has to find humor in tragedy, and sometimes, you get the point across better. That’s what I hope to pull off, anyway.

I got an idea for a thoroughbred-oriented tale for another anthology percolating, too. I was going to pass on that deadline (again, the end of the month), but this morning, the idea started going, so . . .if I can clear the Apocalypse tale off the desk by next week, I’ll go for it.

Did a lot of work on the outline I mentioned the other day. However, I don’t know how I want it to end. I may have to write my way into it in order to find out.

Had a good writing session this morning.

To answer some of the comments on the Tuesday update, no, telling the characters to shut up doesn’t work. But at least I feel like I’m being active, rather than just letting them muck around inside my head too much. I’m trying to prioritize projects for 2010,while still leaving room for the unexpected — the unexpected opportunities, for me, tend to be the ones that pay off both in financial and creative terms, so I don’t want to lock myself in to too much.

Sent out nearly two dozen pitches/queries for the plays whose rights are now coming available. They don’t do any good just sitting in the drawer — they need to get out in the world and earn their keep.

Perhaps I’ve simply gotten addicted to royalties! 😉

Longing for the days when there were so many magazines publishing fiction one could make a living at it,

Read some of the reviews for ALICE. I’m surprised that a lot of the reviewers think TIN MAN was better; I think ALICE was. It was tighter, more focused, and the chemistry between Scorsone and Potts worked really well, in my opinion. In particular, Potts is completely present and committed in every moment of every shot he’s in, whether the focus is on him or not, and that brings out more from those around him. You can tell he was trained in the theatre, and it serves him well.

Well, that’s what reviews are, aren’t they? Opinions. I’ve certainly read some reviews on my work and wondered what they hell they watched/read, because it had nothing to do with what I believe I wrote!

On the agenda for today: writing, baking, a few errands, working to get the decorations up. I feel a little better, but sill not great.

Annoyed at FedEx — they delivered a package, but not only did they contact a neighbor instead of me, they left the cardboard package out in the pouring rain. I am NOT amused, and I have let them know my lack of amusement.

Very tired. Was woken up by a disturbance at 3:30 this morning, and, after that, the cats didn’t let me go back to sleep. Ah, to live in a place where the doors actually close, and the little darlings can be locked out! All the doors in the apartment have so many coats of paint on them that only the front door actually shuts. In general, the cats were difficult anyway — running around squeaking all day, Elsa got out and had to be chased down the stairs before she could get out of the building (she was so proud of her adventure; she boasted to the others for the rest of the day); they were all rummaging all the time. It was like having a trio of two year olds in the full throes of “The Terrible Twos.”

Speaking of which, as I wrote the above, Elsa jumped on a table (where she shouldn’t) and knocked over a candleholder, breaking off the head of the figure and smashing the glass insert. That cat is in the doghouse today!

I cleaned it all up, I’m posting this, and then it’s back to the page. I put the figure’s head back on and fixed another ceramic piece Elsa knocked over and injured a few days ago. Sigh.

Devon

PS. I heard a shriek from the kitchen. Iris investigated the repaired ceramic figures. She’d someone managed to knock the head off one figure again, and it was stuck to her tail with the wet glue. I had to chase her through the apartment to get it off before the glue dried and repair the figure again and well, you can imagine . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
New Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Yesterday turned out to be really busy, but flew past. I had a lot of business stuff to catch up on, which is a good thing, and I got out a requested partial on one project and a batch of queries on another. I found some interesting submissions listings that I will work on over the next few weeks, and did some work on the brochure.

In the afternoon, I took a load of stuff to storage, repacked some of the boxes that needed a little help, and reorganized things a bit. I can’t find the lamp I wanted, which is frustrating, but oh, well.

Some books arrived, one of which is LIBRARIES IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, which I need as research for a project. The other is REBORN, the first volume of Susan Sontag’s journals and notebooks. I was never a big fan of hers — to me, she always seemed far too impressed with her own intellect, quite judgmental, and demanded a level of adoration from her admirers that I found off-putting. Our paths crossed a few times, and, while I certainly can’t claim to know her, even as an acquaintance, the fleeting in-person impressions I had of her were not very positive. And yet, her journals are fascinating. I definitely have more respect for her and her work through reading them, while still convinced that we would not have gotten along well, had we spent a lot of time together!

I had a decent writing session this morning — not brilliant, but decent. I found a lot of the “great house” brochures and photos from my various trips, and I’ve got them handy for research. Of course, I keep getting distracted by happy memories! I’ve got some more business correspondence to get out today, some more groundwork for Prague, and I start my attempts to learn some rudimentary Czech today. I’ve also got some client work to do, another load of boxes to take to storage (darting between the raindrops) and more to pack. Oh, yeah, and grocery shopping. That’s kind of important!

We’re supposed to get a lot of rain in a short time, so I’ll be checking the brook regularly. I hope to have a productive morning, so that I can have a fairly quiet afternoon.

I did my weight training work out last night, so I’m getting back on track with the evening workouts again. Boy, missing a whole week’s worth was bad. It’s amazing how quickly one back-slides.

The morning glory vines reach almost to the ceiling, and the tomato plants are nearly five feet tall — no little tomatoes, though. The plants are gorgeous, so I don’t really mind, but I don’t think I get enough sun with a northern exposure.

The telephone forwarding problem seems to be solved, although it would have been nice for the person who caused it to apologize for the inconvenience. Dru, I never even thought about the fact we’d be charged for those minutes. Thanks. I will write a formal letter stating I want the minutes credited back.

Iris is running up and down the living room, playing with one of her favorite balls. It’s really cute. Oh, now she’s brought it to me and is meowing — I’m supposed to throw it so we can play “fetch.”

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 7:55 am  Comments (3)  
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