Fri. Nov. 2, 2018: Survival and the Beginning of Women Write Change, My Alt-Nano

Relics 4

Friday, November 2, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and mild

Busy week.

RELICS & REQUIEM is out; if you haven’t yet bought a copy, I hope you do! As I’ve said a million times, I’m very fond of Amanda and Phineas.

There’s an article about cabinets of curiosities that’s only available in the book, and the first chapter of the fourth book, GRAVE REACH, which comes out next October. That book is Lesley and Sam’s.

Monday was caught up with my mom’s health issues. Tuesday, I was back onsite with a client, and also got some decent work on DAVY JONES DHARMA. Plus, doing some interaction on the Women Write Change forum.

I also got an idea for a new novel — something I don’t need right now. But the characters are insistent, and it was sparked by something I experienced this week. I’ve been playing with it, in and around other projects. I love my two protagonists. It deals with both gun violence and the opiod crisis, which means it could fit as something that can be developed in the Women Write Change project. Along with the other stuff I’m doing there. I just feel like I need to blow off some steam with this project.

Wednesday was a crazy-making day, having to run around and do errands at 7 AM, meet my client early to load up the vehicle for Thursday’s event, work onsite, and then get home and finish the prep for the holiday.

I picked up extra candy, and I’m glad I did, because we had more kids this year than we’ve ever had — around 30. We had two little ones early on, and I was worried they would be the only ones who showed up. But the rest came in large groups, later in the evening, much later than usual. There were some teenagers, and they seemed worried that they’d get flack for being out. But they had creative costumes and were interesting people, so I chatted with them for a bit and sent them on their way. There was also a flatbed truck, filled with about a dozen kids from toddler to about eight. The truck parked at the top of the street, and the kids went from house to house, then climbed back in and sang their way to the next street. It was adorable. And what a great idea!

I have to say, the fathers stepped up this year. I’m guessing the moms stayed home to hand out candy and the dads went out with the kids. Made me wish I’d prepped a pot of coffee or batch of hot chocolate in take-out cups for them.

Anyway, it was very cute.

And it turns out Lucy, our newish rescue cat, loves trick-or-treaters and they loved her! She wasn’t scared at all. She wanted to meet everyone. Tessa, my black cat, kept herding her away from the door.

Now that Lucy’s not afraid all the time, she’s starting to understand more and explore her freedoms. And she’s starting to understand us more when we talk to her. She and Tessa aren’t snuggling up together yet, but they’d rather be near each other than apart.

Samhain ritual was good. I kept it simple this year, and had done part of it earlier in the afternoon, and then the rest of it late at night. The next few nights are ceremonies for the dead.

Thursday was a long day. The cats got me up early. We had our morning routine, I remembered to put on the new registration sticker on the car and the new insurance cards in the glove compartment.

Then, I wrote. I worked on a new edition of 30 Tips for 30 Days, which I think I will release as a permanently free book via Draft2Digital. I need a new cover and maybe some graphics, but it could be a good tool. Since Nano is free, I wouldn’t feel right charging for anything that talked about Nano.

Thursday afternoon, I met my client, and we set up for the big event. I have to say, it was one of the worst organized events I have ever been involved with. That was not on my client – we were participating vendors. It was on the organizers.

Basically, it was set up like a trailer park yard sale. If I’d been a ticket buyer, I would have demanded my money back.

As a vendor, we were promised a designated space. Even though we bought a middle tiered slot, we were put in the back corner, facing away from the bulk of the events. We took out the ugly accoutrements they had and put up our own displays. So at least we looked good.

Our entry fee was supposed to include dinner. When I asked about when we were supposed to eat, I was told, “oh, just go to the food table whenever and bring it back to your booth.”

First of all, we can’t eat in the booth. Around clothes. Second, even if there wasn’t danger to the clothes, it’s tacky and unprofessional to be chowing down in front of customers.

So we wound up not eating.

Ticket holders were annoyed because it was advertised as serving drinks as part of the ticket (nothing about cash bar). Not only was the bar cash, but it was, literally, cash only. No cards.

The carpeting in the “ballroom” was old and dirty and disgusting. They’d set up a speaker next to us and we couldn’t hear our customers, and they couldn’t hear us. When we asked them to turn it down, they turned it up.

We weren’t asked to participate in the “fashion” show – my client is a clothing designer, how is that appropriate? They had a few box stores participating. Although, when you saw how the models clomped around and didn’t even bother to stand straight, maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

The organizers were passive aggressive. Everyone was supposed to do a raffle. Every time, in the prep weeks, I’d asked about the raffle, I was told something different. When I went to have the winner announced over the speaker system, the organizers told me that wouldn’t happen and we had to “figure out how to get people back to your booth and do it there.” WTF?

I hunted down the DJ myself and asked nicely. He was lovely, and, of course, agreed to do it.

Fortunately, we loaded out in about ten minutes as soon as it was done.

Nightmare.

Not worth our time.

Anything this particular “media group” runs around here is trash.

Not only will I not work another of these, I will advise my clients not to waste their money participating.

Home, exhausted.

Up late this morning, which means I’m behind on everything.

I’m meeting a new contact for coffee, which should be fun. I need the break. Then some more running around in the afternoon, and then writing and working on a couple of things for Women Write Change.
Took down the exterior decorations before the heavy rain started. It will take most of the weekend to put away the interior decorations and get the curtains switched out from spiderwebs to the heavy winter curtains.

Onward.

 

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Fri. Oct. 26, 2018: Upcoming Release and Errands

Relics 4

Relics & Requiem, Coventina Circle Romantic Suspense #3
Releases Oct. 30, 2018
Universal Buy Link

Friday, October 26, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

RELICS & REQUIEM releases on Tuesday. I’m excited about this book. I’m very fond of Amanda and Phineas, and their relationship. You can read excerpts and more here on the Relics page of the Coventina Circle Website.

Worked at home yesterday; didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but that’s the theme right now. I’m still struggling with the disappointment I received earlier in the week and trying not to spiral down into a discouragement that won’t help.

Did some yard work; we’ve gotten a good portion of the plants that need to overwinter inside. There’s still other stuff to cut back, clean out, and put away, not to mention one final mow of the season, but that can wait until after tomorrow’s storm.

Watched the second season of the Australian drama JANET KING. Outstanding. Really, really good. I like the complexity of the drama coming out of Australia and New Zealand. It’s not dumbed down and oversimplified.

Had to go to the RMV early this morning to renew the car registration, In and out of there in 5 minutes (and they’re so nice). Stuck in traffic on Rt. 28 for an hour.

It’s off season, and the traffic is just as bad all the time, as it was in summer. I’m sick of it.

Grocery shopping, and a few other errands. Most of today will be spent writing, I hope, but some of it will be prepping for the storm. I don’t plan to do much tomorrow except hunker down, write, and read.

Next week will be a challenging one, with a big event for one particular client. Fingers crossed it goes well. I will be exhausted by the end of it.

And I can’t get any farther behind on my writing than I am.

My mother’s 94th birthday is on Monday. I’m lucky to have her still around.

Back to the page.

Published in: on October 26, 2018 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. Oct. 25, 2018: Sometimes, You Just Have the Blues

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Yesterday sucked on a lot of levels, for several reasons. I got some disappointing personal news; I’m not feeling well; I’m dealing with a difficult client.

I’m getting back into the groove of DHARMA, thank goodness, and we finally have the upload for RELICS & REQUIEM cleanly copyedited and ready to go. It will actually release on time.

I’ve been updating both the Coventina Circle and the Devon Ellington web site. As soon as the buy links go live, I’ll add them.

I had a bad case of the blues, and felt like there was nothing of value I could really add to any conversation.

I did manage to submit a short story – a quick deadline for a flash fiction piece hit my desk and I happened to have something I could fit.

The problems with the Submittable account have been fixed, so that helps.

I have to take my mom to a medical appointment this morning, and then I’m supposed to go to a spa open house this afternoon, but I’m not sure I feel up to it.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

I’ll be online late, because I have to go to the RMV and renew the car registration.

I’m so tired, on so many levels right now.

Published in: on October 25, 2018 at 3:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. Oct. 24, 2018: It Keeps Going

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Day after Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cold and gray

Busy/crazy few days.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for a post on techniques I learned during Nano that apply well to freelance work.

Challenging days with the client.

There was some controversy over one of my published pieces. I am grateful that my editor backed me.

Finished yet another round of copyedits on RELICS. This better be it. The damn book is close to release. I’m getting a little fed up with the way Word changes text from draft to draft, auto-correcting even when I don’t want it to. There’s got to be a way to turn it off. I don’t like a computer program rewriting my text.

This has all put me far behind on DHARMA, which is causing even more stress.

On top of that, there were water spouts only a few miles away at the canal last night, and we were under tornado warnings. The cats were upset. But it turned out okay.

This weekend, the primary focus is on the DHARMA draft, and on yard work and finally getting up the decorations for next week.

On top of that, there are two short stories that are bothering me. I know if I don’t get some work on them, they will distract me from everything else.

And Jake’s book, in the Coventina Circle series, is taking form. That’s book #8. So I’m making notes. Morag’s is the first, Bonnie’s the second, Amanda’s the third, Lesley’s the fourth, Sylvie’s the fifth, Diana’s the sixth, Hartley Crain’s the seventh, Jake’s the eighth. I’ll either do another Morag as number nine, or a final book with everyone. That’s the plan so far. Who knows how it will actually shake out? .

From there, I can build the paranormal historicals and the side books that are seeded in the main books.

But for the next couple of years, I can only write one Coventina a year, not two. That’s just too much, juggling that and the Gwen Finnegan Mysteries and the Nautical Namaste mysteries and Jain Lazarus coming back and Justice by Harpy and the Gambit Colony books

Plus, there are other ideas I have that have nothing to do with the current series!

Oh, and I have to buy another bag of candy, because I ate one!

Rescheduled some coffee dates that got bumped.

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on October 24, 2018 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tues. Oct. 20, 2018: The Wrong Tired Early in the Week

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Day Before Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Busy, busy weekend.

The Global Human Rights conference was intense. Fortunately, I can catch up on sessions I missed over the next couple of weeks. So much material on so many levels. A lot that I can use as jumping off points for creative work.

By Saturday, I was worn out. I gave myself the second half of the day off. I went grocery shopping, did laundry, made parsnip-carrot-leek soup, roasted a chicken.

Read more than I wrote: LARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING by Donna Andrews, which had me laughing out loud. It’s nice to see how Andrews developed the community, and how the time and energy Meg has put into it is now being returned.

Also read SHELTER IN PLACE by Nora Roberts. This is one of her better books, in my opinion. Relevant and sad, dealing with the aftermath of a mass shooting, and how the survivors’ lives evolved. Not all of her books work for me, but this one did, on multiple levels. Well done.

Read a nonfiction book that came highly recommended, from other people and in reviews. Found it very disappointing. The narrator meandered around, being ungrateful for her opportunities and blowing them, and the “memoir” had very little point, other than making me not like or respect her very much. The constant tense shifts and second person gave me a headache. The framework of the piece made sense, but too much of the internal structure within that framework didn’t support the narrative, in my opinion.

Author Lauren Dane turned me on to the poetry of Warsan Shire. Wow. Just wow, on so many levels. One of the most powerful poets I’ve read in a long time.

I needed to take in work this weekend, rather than spewing it out.

But by Sunday, I was back on track with DAVY JONES DHARMA, and that draft is humming along nicely.

I also did another round of copyedits on RELICS. STILL finding errors that I know I changed. Still finding things that, when I changed, the “auto correct” on the machine changed back, and then I changed them again, and so forth and so on. It also angers me that the latest version of Word’s Grammar/Spellcheck doesn’t recognize “it’s” and always wants to change it to “its.”

I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A POSSESSIVE AND A CONTRACTION. STOP TRYING TO CHANGE IT TO THE ONE I DON’T WANT.

Yes, I am screaming.

Worked on site with a client, which had its challenges. This week and next will be difficult, with this particular client.

I have another round of copyedits to do on RELICS. This damn well better be the last one; we’re getting way too close to the release date, and it’s hurting the pre-orders.

But once this releases, I can get back into splitting my writing work between the latest draft of DAVY JONES DHARMA and the latest draft of THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Although, because I’m so deep in RELICS right now, I want to slide right into GRAVE REACH.

Prepping for the next revision on HEART SNATCHER, which I will do during the Women Write Change project.

Gathering research for both the anti-gun violence play and the multi-media performance piece.

In despair about the corruption of the US government right now. Voters better turn out.

Trying to schedule a bunch of appointments, and it’s all chaos.

Tired, tired, tired.

 

Fri. Oct. 19, 2018: Conference Lessons

Friday, October 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. Spent most of it in session at the Global Human Rights Conference. Took pages and pages and pages of notes, and gathered contact information. There’s so much information, and it’s relevant on so many different levels.

There’s also a realization that the US has been a disappointment on the world stage. Not just since 2016, although it’s gotten exponentially worse since then. But, as I’ve said for years, it’s devolved since Reagan. The lack of commitment and will to enhance, support, and expand universal human rights because it’s inconvenient for dictatorships and, especially, for multi-national corporations is appalling.

So is this current regime’s willingness to accept money to shrug off the murder and dismemberment of a journalist. I’m not surprised at this administration at all, but it’s revolting. This is the test balloon, to see how much killing they can get away with. They’ll do it overtly, and also by gutting healthcare, taking away earned benefits like Social Security, and the rest, with the intent that those who can’t afford to bribe them will die.

Women Write Change is going well; I’m enjoying the discussions, and I can feel new ideas percolating.

Got another round of copyedits/galleys done on RELICS, and hope the final round will be done this weekend.

Have to step up the work on DHARMA. This draft is behind, which then puts me behind on BALTHAZAAR.

Dithering about whether or not to submit a proposal to a conference that has a small chance of conflicting with another proposal I’m waiting to hear back on, at a different event. Not sure if submitting means I’m hedging my bets, or if it means I assume I won’t get the first, and have given up.

I gave my speech early this morning, video-conferencing in. Nothing like having to be camera-ready at 4:30 AM, due to time zones. It went well. We’ll see what the reaction is. I was definitely intimidated by the scope of the other contributors. I’m worried that mine was too simplistic: Basic human decency leading into holding individuals accountable AS individuals who commit human rights violations leading into the power and necessity of art to both bear witness and provoke change.

I’m glad it’s over, and immediately changed into fuzzy, comfort clothes when I was done. Since I won’t be on camera for sessions today, I can wear what I want!

Writing and edits and yard work and the last of the conference are on the agenda for today. I HAVE to get back on track for DHARMA.

And I have to get groceries into the house, or I will be very unhappy.

The car feels fantastic after the oil change. What a relief. I still have to get the hatch fixed, but one thing at a time.

Have a great weekend.

 

Thurs. Oct. 18, 2018: Human Rights Conference, Domain Issues (Again)

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Frustrating couple of days. A client overstepped bounds, in a way that left me in physical pain as well as being damn angry. Only spent two hours with the client on Wednesday and left.

Took care of myself, and then attended the opening of the Global Human Rights Conference. Which was amazing. Pages and pages of notes, intense discussions, new contacts.

Lots of relevance for several writing projects.

Looking forward to a full day today, and then participating in the Idea Bazaar on Friday, and the rest on Saturday.

The level of discussion, intellect, passion, and engagement is inspiring.

I also did not know that President Jimmy Carter signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1977, but the US has yet to ratify it, and is the only industrialized nation in the world not to do so.

Fascinating discussion about Linguistic Genocide. I did not know there were five facets of the definition of genocide and physical killing is only one. Also discussion about the myth of English as a “global language.”

Very few Americans involved in this conference, and fascinating to talk to the international community about the way America is currently viewed.

I’ve been saying that unless we take back our democracy in November, we are on the road to another World War, only this time the US will be the enemy in the way the Nazis were in World War II.

What I’ve heard today reinforces that.

1&1 is fucking with my domains again. Got a notice that the Devon Ellington Work site was set to renew. Great, it does that every year. Only no charge appears. I contact them — they tell me it’s fine until April next year. Which makes no sense. The extortion plan to hold the registrations renews in April, but the domains should renew when they renew.

I ask about the other two domains, for which I’ve also received notices. No information on Fearless Ink. But Cerridwen’s Cottage won’t renew unless I “toggle” something in the account — which I no longer have access to, because when I moved hosts and they extorted me into a “new plan” to hold the registrations, I lost access to everything.

After hours of fighting yesterday, it seems to be fixed. I still think there’s a good chance I’ll lost all my domains and will have to create new ones and build from scratch all seven sites.

It will be a nightmare.

But it will be better than the years of EXTORTION they’ve put me through.

I’ve come up with alternate domain names for everything except Fearless Ink. Would hate to lose that. But, if I have to, I will. I am who I am; I can rebuild the brands if I need to; tweak the names and the sites. I will not be held hostage by a company like 1&1.

Got an oil change this morning, am headed in for more conference sessions. Will use my lunch break for a yoga class, then more sessions.

Hopefully, will also get the next set of proofs of RELICS turned around by Friday. Or at least, Saturday.

Women Write Change is going great. We have some wonderfully creative people there. I’m so glad I set up the forum. It’s exactly what I need right now.

Back to the Global Human Rights Conference.

 

Wed. Oct. 17, 2018: Challenges

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Working steadily on the galleys for RELICS. Had hoped to turn around the first set yesterday, but couldn’t. So that’s on the agenda for today.

I’m behind on DHARMA because I misplaced the notes with all the treasure hunt clues. So I have to recreate them to fit the outline and drive the plot. I’ll do that the next few days and then dig in to write more than the daily quota on DHARMA this weekend.

That’s what I get for not having a typed copy, a backup copy, AND my handwritten notes.

Having fun with the Women Write Change forum. I think we’ll get some good work done.

In discussion with my publisher and cover designer about the designs for the Justice By Harpy Trilogy. It will have a very stark, distinct look.

Preparing for Friday. The conference officially starts today; I’ll spend some time on it tomorrow, but Friday is my big day.

Have to remind a client that the job parameters don’t get to change in the moment. They have to be discussed, and then compensated. It may be time to wind things up with this particular client in the next few months.

Hopefully, the weather will be good enough this weekend so I can do yard work, start putting the yard to bed for the winter, and put up the decorations.

Still trying to get the car appointments sorted out, and the rental inspection, and a few other things.

Back to the page.

I have to get an oil change first thing in the morning, so I’ll be late blogging.

Tues. Oct. 16, 2018: Creating and Other Busy Times

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Sorry I didn’t blog on Friday. I never even made it out of the house. We had bad storms, so I wasn’t online, and cancelled out of my appointments. I’m lucky I didn’t have to be out in that weather.

I stayed in and worked on the RELICS revision, and re-worked the first chapter of Coventina Circle #4, GRAVE REACH, which is Lesley’s story. It took 14 hours, but it was good work, and, when I finally could get online, it went out to my editor.

Now we’re in galleys. It’s a very tight turnaround, since the book releases this month, but the revision cycles we did for this make me feel good about the book. If we worked in print, it wouldn’t be possible to stay on this schedule.

Finished, polished, and sent the review I was working on. Worked on Friday’s speech.

Worked on the Women Write Change forum. We have a few new members. It’s going to take awhile to spread the word. And that’s okay. The point is to have a contained creative space with like-minded women, giving participating artists freedom to create.

One of my main email addresses on the fearlessink site was hacked, with the same threats. So now it’s about filing the paperwork, temporarily suspending the address, etc. I’m working with Submittable to merge my account under that address with my main personal email address, which is simpler.

This is on 1&1. They are punishing me for moving hosts by lowering security. They dragged their feet so I couldn’t move the domain registrations before they renewed, and now, until I can move over to Name Silo, I’m going to have these problems. They’re just awful. I will be glad when I’m disentangled them for good.

The weather was dreadful all weekend, except for Sunday, when I couldn’t work in the yard, so I didn’t get the yard work done. I’m trying to find a place to get a decent oil change around here. When did it become such a big deal to get a basic oil change? This area has really devolved in the past few years.

Client work yesterday was challenging, and I’m sure it will be today and tomorrow.

All I really want to do is finish the galleys, start the promotion for RELICS, and prep for Friday’s speech.

DAVY JONES DHARMA and THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE are chugging along. I think DAVY JONES, in particular, will be lots of fun. BALTHAZAAR has a few surprises in store that will shake readers.

I keep making notes for GRAVE REACH, which is percolating nicely, too. I have a very basic outline for it, done when I outlined the series. It won’t come out until next October; two books a year from this series is too tight a schedule right now. I’m happy with the first chapter, though. It hits some good points.

Developing some ideas that I want to work on for Women Write Change, in addition to the revision on HEART SNATCHER and researching the anti-gun violence play. I’m not sure if it will be a series of short pieces, or feed into something bigger. They’re mostly to blow off steam and frustration, but, after that initial cathartic draft, maybe I’ll have something that can be shaped into a viable piece.

I’m also playing with what I hope will be a flash fiction about solitary confinement.

I’m reading a wonderful book by Mary Gabriel called NINTH STREET WOMEN, about five women painters whose work changed the art landscape. It’s relevant to Women Write Change.

Back to the page.

Thurs. Oct. 11, 2018: Creativity & Women Write Change

 Thursday, October 11, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Muggy and cloudy

Dealt with a hell of a migraine yesterday. Left the client an hour early, because I couldn’t be productive. Light, which usually doesn’t bother me, did. Usually, it’s sound, because I have hyper-accusis, and I’m so hyper-sensitive to sound.

Came home and tried to rest. Took Tessa out onto the deck. It was covered, so I was protected from the glare. Even though it was hot and humid, I could relax. It took a few hours, but the migraine finally released its grip.

Stayed up late to work on RELICS & REQUIEM. Ripped apart and re-structured the section that was the most problematic. It’s much better now. It still needs a couple more tweaks.

Got most of the forum set up for Women Write Change. I have to do some introductory posts, finesse the guidelines, and then it can open for participants. The guidelines page is up on the Devon Ellington Work site, with the address to request an invitation.

I’m creating the project I need in my life right now. If there are others who want to take the journey, great. If not, I continue on my own.

Today, I have to work on Women Write Change, work on RELICS, and finish a review for a book. I also have to take my mom to a medical appointment and run some errands. I’m hoping to find a garage who will give me a fair price for an oil change.

Governor Baker is telling people to vote No on Question 1, that would require adequate staffing at hospitals. Yeah, the guy who refused to vote for one of the candidates for president in 2016 has NO grounds for telling anyone how to vote now.

Back to the page.

Published in: on October 11, 2018 at 9:14 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 11, 2018: Creativity & Women Write Change  
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Wed. Oct. 10, 2018: A Creative Place to Put the Rage

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for the latest post!

Disheartening times. We no longer have a functioning democratic republic in this country. We need to stop talking about “civility” and the “high road.”

Don’t even get me started on Susan Collins. She needs to be removed far before 2020. The fact her husband is a lobbyist should disqualify her (and any candidate) from office.

Friday was a blur of grocery shopping and appointments and trying to get my act together and feeling awful. Finally got a quote from the mechanic — they want to charge me over $100 for an oil change — before adding in labor — for something that usually costs me $40? I don’t think so. And they “can’t” give me an estimate on the rest of the work? Did they sell the business to someone? Or do I need to find a new mechanic?

Shopping around for other quotes. I might have to get the work done piecemeal.

PetSmart Customer Disservice is a disgrace. Instead of addressing and solving the problem, they sent me a form letter and a coupon. No. That’s not what I wanted. I don’t want free stuff. I want them to stop slapping me in the face after being a customer for over 20 years. I have to ask Purina where else they distribute ProPlan. Not shopping at PetSmart anymore.

The ARC I won from Jenn McKinlay, HITTING THE BOOKS arrived, and I read it. It’s well-done. Yes, I figured it out, but I still enjoyed the journey, and the way the character relationships are growing.

The Goddess Provisions box arrived, filled with great stuff. A nice treat.

It took most of the day to clean the oven and the stove, but it was worth it.

Was ill overnight on Friday, which meant I had to cancel out of plans on Saturday. Had to run a few errands. Baked a chive batter bread, which looks better than it tastes, sadly.

Saturday, I went to pick up a prescription for my mom. An old white man driving a Mercedes screamed at me in the CVS parking lot that he had the right of way (he didn’t), because “you’re only a woman.”

The Kavanaugh Effect has already started. White men emboldened to act on their misplaced senses of entitlement more than ever.

On the positive side, this new revision of RELICS & REQUIEM is going well. I’m fixing the problems. The book is much, much stronger now, and tearing out that secondary plot line allows the relationship between Amanda and Phineas to shine.

Unfortunately, that puts me even further behind on DAVY JONES DHARMA.

Needing something to do with all this rage, I went back and re-read HEART SNATCHER, the first in the Justice By Harpy Trilogy, and what I’ve written in HEART BINDER, the second book.

There’s a lot of stuff in there that works. And the timing of the book is right. I stopped submitting the book a few years ago. The universal notes from agents and editors were that the writing was strong, but “women’s rage makes readers uncomfortable.”

You know what? Too fucking bad.

This book’s time has come.

I sent the latest draft (which still needs work) to my editor, to see what she says about it. Since we’re still trying to negotiate only doing one Coventina Circle a year, and scheduling the re-release of the Jain Lazarus Adventures, maybe this is something they can use instead of two Coventina Circle Books. The whole trilogy is outlined, and i have a third of book 2 written. They would have to come out pretty close together to work, but it’s important that the first book ride the wave. It’s time is now, and if I hesitate, I’ll miss it.

I’ve been re-reading WOMEN ON THE CASE, a Sisters in Crime anthology edited by Sara Paretsky that came out in 1996. It’s eerily relevant (not to mention filled with gorgeous writing). It also makes me feel that Sisters in Crime has softened too much from its original purpose.

Barbara Ross wrote a piece on the need for cozy mysteries entertainment and escape during dark times on The Wickeds.  While I agree with it, and I think we need to write relevant work that writes our way to a better world, I think WOMEN ON THE CASE, and most of the early Sisters in Crime anthologies show it’s possible to do both.  Although, to give the cozy its due, the murderers are brought to justice. Which is something we’re not seeing enough of in the real world.

I mentioned on Twitter that, for this year’s Nano, we need a Women’s Rage/Women Write Change forum, dedicated to the politics of the day, the rage, and writing the change we want to see in the world. The Nanowrimo organization needs to stay neutral and completely inclusive. I respect that. But I need something different this year. So I will build it myself.

I’ve also been unhappy in the Nano forums the last couple of years. They used to be a big part of why I hung out on them. Interesting people from all over the world writing and getting to know each other. The last few years, though, any time I mentioned a published book or answered a question about publishing, the moderators scolded me for “self-promotion.” Which it wasn’t. It was using an example from something that actually got published. But I noticed the disdain so many moderators now have when published writers/working professionals actually participate.

The idea of #WomenWriteChange has gotten some positive feedback, so I’m going to put something together. Stay tuned.

Worked with a client yesterday, and will do so today. Yesterday with the client was exhausting on far too many levels. Ran around trying to get other quotes for the work that needs to happen on the car. It shouldn’t be this hard to get an oil change, for goodness’ sake. It never used to be.

RELICS needs to go into galleys by the end of the week, so I have to double down.

And I need to finish my speech for the human rights conference.

Onward.

 

Thurs. Oct. 4, 2018: Art & Rage

Thursday, October 4, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day with my client yesterday, but got some good work done. Will do an event with her in early November, which should be fun.

Stopped by a local newspaper to drop off some material from my client that will be used in the event. There was ONE person in the office. It truly was like a morgue. Disturbing, distressing, and frightening. But they shouldn’t be surprised that sales are down, when they’re outsourcing everything.

Home, too tired to do what I should have been doing.

However, I did write a proposal for a project (a multi-media performance piece) I’d like to develop in 2020. Yes, we look that far ahead. I’ve been playing with the ideas for bits and pieces for years now, but it wasn’t until I heard about this particular facility that it started coming together.

But it’s due soon. As in, I should send it today or tomorrow.

Writing the proposal nearly ripped my heart out, because the topic it covers is so relevant. I didn’t realize how passionate I am about the project until I dug into writing the proposal.

So I will do another edit/revision today, and hopefully get it out today or tomorrow.

The dilemma I have right now is not knowing which writing sample to include. They want 20 pages of a finished work. My best finished work is in a very different tone than this project. So I have to think about it.

Overslept, because I was woken in the night by rustling sounds. I don’t know if we have a critter inside, or if it was outside. Then, there was a weird, night-calling bird. Very creepy, all around.

So I’m having trouble getting my act together today. I have an appointment this morning, and then, I hope, yoga. And then, I have to finally put gas in the car and pick up milk, or I will be really sad!

In the shower this morning, I was thinking how frustrating the current situation is. How enraging. Then I remembered that I stopped submitting HEART SNATCHER because, although the writing was praised, the comments were, “Women’s rage makes readers uncomfortable.”

Well, those of us with brains, hearts, and ethics are enraged. Readers will have to deal. I will dust it off, do another revision on it, and start submitting. I was going to wait until I had the entire trilogy written, but it’s relevant NOW, so I better not miss the timing. It was ahead of its time before. Now, maybe, we can hit it properly.

I’m supposed to go to a spa open house this evening; I’ll see how I feel. I’d like to check them out.

Then, it’s polishing calendar articles, and back to the RELICS revisions and the DHARMA draft.

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Wed. Oct. 3, 2018: Work and Hacked!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for some ideas on post-network interactions.

I’m working on the 2019 questions for the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. This one is a bit different. It uses more visuals, along with the words. I hope to have it up by next week some time.

Had a great dinner with my friend on Monday night. We met at Stir Crazy, the Cambodian restaurant in Bourne. In spite of the weather turning awful, it was a fun night. We realized we hadn’t gotten together in person for about a year. Too long! But our schedules just never coincided.

Yesterday, another day of nasty weather, I got some client work done on site, worked polishing calendar articles, worked on my speech, worked on a proposal that has to go out in a couple of weeks, worked on RELICS revisions, worked on DHARMA.

The big problem is site hacking on several of the email addresses connected to the website. Complete with threats to “expose my secret life” and what kind of porn I’m watching. Now, first of all, I don’t watch porn. It’s boring and badly filmed, so why bother. Second, I don’t have a secret life. But the emails threaten extortion. So, I forwarded everything to the proper authorities, and my web host is trying to help me. Added filters, changed passwords, the works.

I bet that 1&1, who still holds the registration (since I haven’t been able to wrest them away to Name Silo yet) sold my information to the hackers. After all, the last time I had a problem with phishing and hacking and contacted them, they basically tried some extortion of their own. I can’t wait until I’m free of them.

So, if you get anything from hexbreaker@devonellingtonwork.com or devon@devonellingtonwork.com — DON’T OPEN IT!!!

The Devon address is a big deal, because I do so much of my business with it. I’ve taken the contact forms off the Jain Lazarus Site (since the books aren’t coming out until next year, it won’t be a problem. But the Devon address is a problem. So we’re dealing with it.

Frustrating, and it shouldn’t be necessary.

It’s not like I’m important enough to be hacked! 😉

I’m in discussions with my publisher and editor about changing the release schedule for the Coventina Circle books in general. At this point, two books a year puts me under too much pressure. I don’t feel like I have the time in the schedule to really step back and then dig into the edits the way I like. Yes, I can write them quickly. But the revision process is compressed to a scale that makes me uncomfortable. I need more breathing room for revisions. So that’s under discussion.

If I wasn’t juggling several other series, projects, plays, radio plays, scripts, and client work, I could probably do it. But I’m not in my twenties anymore, and while I can often put in twelve hour days, I can no longer put in sixteen hour days. Nor do I want to. So that’s one of the adjustments I want for next year.

I’m hoping to get a lot of work done today, both for my client and for myself. And then, weather-permitting, I need to do a lot of yard work in the next few days.

Onward.