Thurs. Jan. 24, 2013: The Brain Outstrips the Fingers

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Final two days for the Reduced Rate Editing Special. Details here. Sign up before the 25th — because if you email me on Sunday about it, I’m already back to my regular rates!

And don’t forget to sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” to breathe fresh life into old projects, or set them to rest in a way that does not siphon creative energy from new projects, and/or “Journal into Fiction”, where you learn how to transform journal entries into viable fiction. Information and registration here.

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard today, talking about “Other Art as Inspiration”, where I go into detail about the 3K I wrote on a short story yesterday, inspired by Edward Hopper’s painting, “New York Movie”. I wanted to push through last night and finish it, but I was written out and couldn’t even speak a coherent sentence, much less write one by evening. I hope to get some more work done on it this morning.

I think I’ve figured out how to fix the second act of the play, too. I was ending it at the wrong point. And I figured out how to drop some more clues to make it more fun for the audience.

Worked with students, went over material for the upcoming Topic Workbooks still to release. For a couple of them, I have to get permission for some quotes, or I’ll have to change the material used within — which is fine, either way. I just want to make sure everyone is properly credited, and all the permissions are in order.

I’ve got to focus this morning, because I have a meeting at the possible venue for the play over the bridge at noon, and then a development meeting at NMLC at 2. So I’ll be tied up most of the day. But it’ll be good for me to get out of the house for a bit!

Baked gingerbread for the meeting.

Have a great day, everyone!

Devon

Mon. Jan. 21, 2013: Strong Opening Chapters; Presentation Dilemma

IMG_0812
Violet wraps up against the cold

Monday, January 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King Day

Only 5 more days to sign up for a reduced-rate editing slot for your first 30 pages– ends January 25! Go here to get the details.

Don’t forget “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” from Feb. 4-6, and “Journal into Fiction” from Feb. 11-14. Both are great sources of both practicality and inspiration. Information and registration here.

Slots for A Biblio Paradise are booked through the end of April, so you all have some exciting reading coming up! A really interesting mix of writers.

Friday had its share of frustrations, especially with the Canon printer. An empty ink tank shouldn’t keep it from scanning something to go to the computer and/or reading a memory card, as long as I’m not asking it to print. Yet, it balked. This MX-860 worked beautifully the first day I got it, and has been trouble ever since. The shoddy plastic paper tray at the bottom causes all kinds of problems and the feeder rolls don’t work properly. The camera I bought a year or so ago to replace the the one that broke is a piece of crap. Auto-focus that doesn’t focus. Canon used to have top-of-the-line products, and now they’re just shoddy. Even worse, their customer service, which used to be great, is practically non-existent, and they don’t give a damn about their long-term customers. I’ve been rabidly pro-Canon for over twenty years. No more. I’m not interested in disposable products. I want something that WORKS, and works for more than a day or a week. I need value for money, reliability, and customer service. If Canon is no longer able to meet that need, I will find someone else who does. It won’t be HP, with whom I’ve also had frequent issues.

Finished the media kit for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and also did one for the Jain Lazarus series as a whole. Some of the material overlaps, but now I can choose which one to send where. I need to do an overall Devon Ellington kit, too. Media kits are crucial to landing good exposure. Mine are simple, but effective, and I’m learning how to get faster at developing them!

Worked on the play, but it needs more work — not satisfied with what I have. That will be my primary focus today.

However, I finished the sample chapters for the proposal and they sing! They are exactly what I was going for. You know how I unlocked it? I changed my protag’s last name. Who would have thought something so simple had so much impact? The original name I gave her made me feel like I was trying to hard, and the first few pages reflected that. I changed the name and everything else fell into place. I wrote and edited over 3K in two sittings. I sent the chapters off to Trusted Readers and they were over the moon about them. What a great response to early-draft chapters. Now, I’m worried that the market I’m aiming for in the proposal will want to dilute the verve in them. I’m going to run the whole thing past my agent and see what she says — she’s got the business acumen and understands the creative position, and, best of all, she tells me the truth.

I’ve got business/admin stuff to do today, more LOIs, work with students, work with an editing client, and my own school work.

I’m going to pause in whatever I’m doing to watch the inauguration — the poet, Richard Blanco, is someone I met at PEN events in New York several years ago. I’m a big fan of his work!

Devon