Mon. July 9, 2018: Say “Yes” — #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, July 9, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde

 

There’s a saying I’ve heard about both opportunity and the Muse: that when it knocks, you better answer or it will move on to someone else.

I believe that.

Of course, there are those who will insist they are “offering” you an “opportunity” to try to get them to work for free while they do nothing. Laugh and walk away. That is not something you to which you want to say “yes.”

But say “yes” to new experiences that are out of your comfort zone, but that you might enjoy. I did that with Argentine Tango – I said “yes” to taking classes for a few months. Not only did I have the chance to do something I hadn’t done in years – dance – I met new people, learned about a world-wide community, and gathered material for at least three new books. I even put a tango scene into my radio play “Light Behind the Eyes” which was produced this past March.

I said “yes” to attending my very first Bouchercon way back in the mid-1990s, and that was the catalyst to writing novels again. I said “yes” to my very first Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which led me to an invitation to participate in the Adelaide Festival Fringe, which meant I got to go to Australia, something I’d always wanted to do. And I got to go there as a working artist.

In Australia, I said “yes” to a local networking meeting someone I’d met in passing invited me to, which led me to saying “yes” to a curator for the library, who invited me to see an illuminated manuscript, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen in my life. I said “yes” to doing a promo on a local radio show – which got such a positive response that I wound up co-hosting the show while we were at festival. I said “yes” to an invitation to an art gallery opening, where I was exposed to stunning work by Aboriginal artists depicting the sections in Australia where the ozone layers are burned all the way through. I said “yes” to an invitation to join a group of Aborginal women artists for their morning coffee – a rare honor, since they didn’t mingle with the other festival participants often – and learned a whole new way of communicating and relating.

I said “yes” the first time I was invited, in my first theatre lighting class in college, to working on the crew of a show – and that, eventually, led me to my career on Broadway.

I said “yes” in high school, when I was starting to learn cello, but they needed more viola players and asked me to switch. And I learned the viola (not that I remember it after all these years, but still . . .)

I said “yes” when I was just getting back into thoroughbred racing to work on a benefit to help racetrack workers have access to childcare and ended up with lifelong friends among trainers, jockeys, backstretch workers, which led me to pitch (and accept) a job covering the Triple Crown for thirteen years, and go to races in England and Scotland.

I said “yes” when given the opportunity to write about ice hockey and spent months with a minor league time; I said “yes” when given the opportunity to cover America’s Cup and learned about sailing and those beautiful old Newport yachts (even though I can’t swim). I said “yes” to covering Highland Games and local sports and lighthouses and restaurants and anything else that sounded interesting.

I can’t even count the times I’ve said “yes” – because I say “yes” more than I say “no” – especially if it means a new experience. I trust my gut – if something seems off about the offer, or I figure it’s dangerous in the wrong way, I decline.

But I trust my gut, and saying “yes” means I had opportunities and experiences many others around me haven’t. I ask questions. I’m interested in the world. So when someone offers me a chance to do something unique, especially by someone who is passionate about their interests, I try to say “yes” and then enjoy it!

 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Got some good writing done yesterday, and caught up with my students, too. Booked a spot at Friday’s writers’ breakfast — I get to support Carol McCleary, who I met a few months ago and who writes the mysteries featuring Nelly Bly. The organizer congratulated me on my new book, and wondered if I’d step into a slot on the radio show taping Friday afternoon, since someone cancelled? I jumped at the chance. So I’ll be headed from the breakfast to the studio!

The owner came home and fixed the toilet, so we’re back to having two working toilets in the house, which is great. Costume Imp did some stuff in the yard.

Imp and I drove over to Falmouth, to the new farmers’ market over on the Barnstable Fairgrounds. It’s in early stages, so not much was there yet, but I bought some fabulous soap! I know, me and my soap, every time I see handmade soap, I’ve got to buy some.

I showed him Ashumet Holly Sanctuary, which is right beside the Fairgrounds. Last time I was there, the fields were completely flat, and the hollies were prominent because the other trees were bare. Now, the fields are waist high in clover and daisies and other plants, and all the trees are leafy, so the hollies are tucked in among them.

We were hungry, and decided to head over to Dennis to the new Summer Stock restaurant. It’s on the grounds that house the Cape Playhouse, the cinema, and the art museum. The Cape Playhouse has been running since 1927 — a place based on such a compound would be a great setting for a comic mystery.

The restaurant is wonderful. The design’s good, the presentation’s good, and the food is outstanding. Prices are reasonable — not cheap, but fair for the area and what you get is well worth it. The staff is really friendly. Definitely a place to which I want to return often.

We wandered back to the Playhouse’s gift shop and found a poster featuring one of the actresses we’ve both worked with, along with one of my favorite actors. They appeared in a show here together — from the photo, it looks like sometime in the 70s or early 80s. I had to get it! Can’t wait to tell her what I found!

Took a peek at the Art Museum. They have some interesting opportunities there, not your run-of-the-mill stuff. I’ll have to look into it further.

Came home, hung out on the deck for a bit, and Imp cooked dinner. I scarfed it down, and then dashed down the road to the Beautification Committee meeting. We had a good meeting, we each have a list of things we need to get done, and solid dates.

Came home, and Imp and I had our Summer Solstice out on the deck. It was lovely. Nice way to turn the wheel!

To bed late, up early. It wasn’t supposed to rain, so I did my morning watering, but now it looks like there will be a cloudburst any minute! I have a LOT to get done today, wrapping up a few things for the Mermaid Ball meeting tomorrow, getting postcards printed to take to the breakfast, preparing myself for the radio interview, and preparing for the trip to Newport this weekend. Imp and I have to deal with my costume for the Ball today, too, and he has to get ready, because he heads back to “the concrete jungle” tomorrow. I’ve got some environmental science books I have to finish reading/taking notes on, and a press list to cross check. And my daily writing quota, and my students.

Off I go!

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHTavailable from Champagne Books.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Long and Short Reviews sent me an exciting email to let me know that HEX BREAKER is in the running as “Best Book” for this past week. It’s a poll, and voting is only open today and tomorrow. If you get a chance, please go here:

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm
and vote for me! (If you liked the book, of course, if you don’t have a book in the running, or if you don’t have a friend whose book you’d like to vote for).

It was nice to come back to that email, let me tell you, because yesterday was quite a day.

Chase gets yet another Middle Finger Award. ‘Nuff said. I have a distinct feeling it will get yet another of those rewards today, too.

Metro North was late – as usual. And the conductors are too damned stupid to figure out if doors are open or closed, so, please, just send them back to kindergarten and let five and six year olds who have some common sense run the railroads.

Manhattan was full of fashion disasters yesterday. One was a girl of about ten, who can be forgiven. She wore red and black plaid shorts with a red sweater and tights. Okay, not too bad. Except that the tights had a black and white checkerboard pattern that fought with the plaid in the shorts rather than complimented it. Even at age ten, she couldn’t pull it off.

Then, there was the woman in her thirties. Healthy figure, not too big, not stick thin. But she wore a skirt in cobalt blue, black, and yellow plaid SATIN, above the knee, that fell in ruffled tiers. Now, it was just shy of being a mini-skirt, so probably 14-20 inches from waist to hem. And it had FIVE tiers. I counted ‘em. It wouldn’t have suited a beanpole, much less a human being. It was paired with thick black tights, a blunt, flat boot, and a baggy cardigan sweater. And her friend, a few years younger, wore a mini dress in sparkling horizontal blue and gold stripes. Really not attractive. If it was for an evening event, paired with navy sheer stockings, a bit of a heel, and some simple jewelry, she could have pulled it off. But in the middle of the day, worn with clunky black opaque tights, flat UGGS, and a bulky, unattractive man’s varsity-style jacket she probably wore to tell the world that yes, she IS having sex – it didn’t work. I hope they lost a bet or something and hadn’t chosen those outfits! And I found it hard to believe that they were coming home from the previous night at 11 in the morning – if that was the case, they’d be cabbing it, not strolling up Fifth Avenue smoking menthol cigarettes!

They just didn’t have enough individual charisma to pull it off. There are those who could have looked like they were marching to a very unique fashion drummer, but not these two. Individually, the pieces weren’t all that bad (except, in my opinion, the plaid satin skirt), but the way they were put together didn’t work.

Came back home, ran some errands, visited my friend in her new place, cooked dinner, and had a quiet evening.

Woke up around 5 this morning after dreaming that I was doing some work with Vice President Elect Joe Biden. I mean, I know I’m enthusiastic about this new administration and all, but that’s a little ridiculous!

I’m at the struggling point in Nano, which I usually hit between 30-40K. Urgh. A struggle, even though I have a good idea where I’m going. But I just push through.

I heard from my editor and we seem to have worked things out. I’ll know by the end of next week. I’m little leery at this point.

Don’t forget, I’m on the radio tomorrow at 4 PM EST:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kims

Back to the page.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 35,044 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35 / 50
(70.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 35,044 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35 / 75
(46.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and chilly

Thanks so much for bringing the review to my attention! I had no idea that HEX BREAKER had been reviewed by Long and Short Reviews.

There’s also an excerpt up for “The Ramsey Chase”, the first Cornelia True/Roman Gray adventure.

Hopefully, that whets your appetite for the whole story!

Busy day yesterday, with lots of busy-ness and business, but it will all be fine. Chase gets yet another Middle Finger Award (I think they’re going for the world record). I don’t even want to go into it, I just want these banks held accountable for fucking up regularly and screwing their customers up various portions of their anatomy whenever possible.

Oh, and gee, that bailout package that the Treasury Secretary swore was necessary to get credit flowing? Turns out the banks aren’t flowing credit, they’re hoarding it and/or using it to give the executives who got us into this mess more bonuses. In other words, Mr. Treasury Secretary, the facts have NOT changed, as you claim – you implemented a stupid idea that the people of this country didn’t want because we’re all smart enough to KNOW it’s a stupid idea, you lied to Congress about accountability, and now we’ve all seen how it DOESN’T WORK. Why isn’t this guy being kicked to the curb? Oh, yeah, friend of Bush’s, so for the next 60 days or so, he can continue to destroy the country economically.

Got a bunch of books mailed off for BookMooch people, which was good.

Went up to Somers to visit long-time family friends, which was lovely, although the drive in the rain in unfamiliar territory was challenging.

Got yet another vague email from an editor who owes me a payment that has all sorts of excuses and apologies, but nothing about payment, so I sent an email that was an only slightly more diplomatic version of “s— or get off the pot.” This money was budgeted, I’ve been left dangling for SIX MONTHS, you either want it or you don’t, tell me and either pay me or don’t, but stop this nebulous maybe sometime honoring the contract in the future. Pay me or reject the piece. Not that I could ever use it for anything else, but, at this point, I honestly don’t care. The frustration level isn’t worth it.

This is why, if you ever see a clause that states “pays on acceptance”, you must, must MUST add a clause putting a time limit on said acceptance, or you can be kept dangling for years. Learn from my mistake! Also, when the contract says “pays on publication”, negotiate an actual date.

Really, was there enough yoga to calm me down last night? I don’t think so!

On a happy note, I will be on Kim Smith’s radio show this Sunday night, 4 PM EST, 3 PM CST, and here’s the URL:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kims

I will also appear on The League of Extraordinary Paranormal Women’s radio show on December 11 – but don’t worry, I’ll remind you again. AND, Long and Short Reviews, who gave HEX BREAKER such a nice mention, will also run an interview with me; as soon as I have the date, I’ll post it.

I’ve got to hop into the city quickly, run errands when I get back out, and get back to the page. I’ve hit my Week 2 Wall of Resistance in Nano – urgh. Barely got out 1500 words this morning.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery — 32,487 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32 / 50
(64.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery –32,487 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32 / 75
(42.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free here


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

Back By Popular Demand!
30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

Well, THAT was an adventure! I got a call around 6 PM last night from my publisher, inviting me to be on her radio show, Dragon’s Den – in two hours! Of course I said yes. Jumped in with both feet. Hopefully I didn’t sound like too much of an idiot – at least there were three of us there. I love doing radio, so I had a good time.

You can hear the whole one hour broadcast yourself here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FDWP

It would be the broadcast with last night’s date on it. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s up yet, or if it will be uploaded later.

They wanted to know something no one knows about me. Um, isn’t there a reason why NO ONE KNOWS IT? 😉 Seriously, though, I said that I was 35 before I gave up my dream of being an astronaut. Which is true.

And then someone made a comment about reaching the stars, and I said, “No, I dress them.”

Which, for those of you who know I work on Broadway, makes sense. For the rest, not so much.

But for any of you who found this blog thanks to last night’s radio show: Hi and welcome. And thanks for all the wonderful emails coming in about the show!

Oh, and I was told my release date for HEX BREAKER: August 1.

Again, those of you who know me well know what an important date August 1 is to me.

There will be an audio version of the book, and I may even teach some online workshops for the company.

I’ll post cover art as soon as I have it, and, as soon as I have it, I can start ordering the “stuff” that you’ll be able to win!

Had a great meeting with my producer regarding SIDEKICK. The title will be changed, and there are a few tweaks that need to happen, but we’re all set and going to contract. The play will open the theatre’s season in January 2009.

I’ve got some other play news percolating – if we go to contract on anything, I will make sure to let everyone know.

Got my contract for the date book articles. I can get started on them this week.

Thanks for all the good wishes for my grandmother’s recovery. The sad truth is that she won’t recover; she may rally for awhile, but she’s been so ill for so long, that it’s simply more of a slow fade out. And it’s heartbreaking.

I didn’t get much writing done yesterday; I was too frazzled between my grandmother’s illness, the arrangements that need to be made, and building crap. Yes, there’s more building crap.

So I need to get my head together today and get to work. Now that I have more deadlines piling up, there’s no luxury for having slow writing days. I need to get my contracted articles out of the way, I need to get to work on the next story with the crew of The Merry’s Dalliance, tentatively entitled “The Poison Gold”. Many thanks to one of my actors on the show – something he said to me the other night gave me the idea for the story, thank goodness, because I had no idea what adventure to take my characters on next! And now I do!

I need to finish OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK asap and get started on revisions, so that can go to my publisher, and get started on the story told through Billy Root’s eyes (we first meet Billy in HEX BREAKER as well). I think I’ll call Billy’s story LESSONS IN PRACTICALITY. I need to do the revisions on SIDEKICK and THE MATILDA MURDERS. I need to do a revision on “Yuri’s Tale” and get that out.

In other words, no more lazy days or excuses – there’s writing to be done!

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 6:16 am  Comments (7)  
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