Thurs. Feb. 22, 2018: Stresses and Deadlines

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Wacky weather.

Check out the latest post on Gratitude and Growth here. I’m trying to revive that blog, along with everything else.

I’m weary. There’s some stuff I can’t discuss publicly that has to be thought through and decisions made. It’s been a rough week. Especially since the bulk of the unpleasant chaos was unnecessary and caused by someone who is manipulative and a nasty piece of work.

On a happier note, the Devon Ellington Work site is coming along nicely. I’m pleased with the design; no muss, no fuss, easy to read. There are still a few glitches, some more material to add. But the host moved happened, and it’s just about ready to announce — once I figure out why the pages I trashed show up published under the home page!

I’m working my way through the emails, getting all the necessary accounts re-set, too.

The Coventina Circle site is also coming along well. It’s about halfway there, and should be ready for its live announcement in a few days. I’m building all the subdomains live, which is risky, but necessary.

Nautical Namaste, Gwen Finnegan, and Jain Lazarus all have temporary landing pages. I hope to have them finished next week, and then I’ll start on Cerridwen’s Cottage, get that moved, and then, last but not least, do Fearless Ink.

On a writing front, I’m frustrated with myself. I haven’t been pitching enough articles; I haven’t been sending enough LOIs; I am pushing to get THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY done on deadline, but I’m struggling.

Between the web host stress and difficulties on another front, I am worn out, physically and emotionally. But deadlines aren’t suggestions; they’re deadlines. So I’m pushing through. Once I get this book off my desk and to my editor, I’ll feel better.

Of course, then I’ll be focusing on MYTH & INTERPRETATION, and starting RELICS & REQUIEM. And finishing FIX-IT GIRL so it can go out on submission and getting back to NOT BY THE BOOK. But REPOSITORY must get the bulk of my writing attention now. I’m in the last few chapters. It’s just making them work, and picking up the pace.

We have some more cover discussion for SPIRIT, too, coming up.

Once the websites are live, then we can start putting our marketing ideas into play and get some promotion done on these books.

I found the photos for the special page on the Gwen Finnegan site, where I got inspirations for TRACKING MEDUSA. I’m excited, when I get to the point where I’m building that site, to put those up and share them.

Working steadily on the books submitted for the contest. I finished the first batch of mysteries, and I’m working on the fantasy genre now. I’m glad that the entries are so strong this year.

I’m looking forward to a productive few days, and then, maybe, maybe, just focusing on hearth and home issues this weekend!

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Wed. Feb. 21, 2018: Web Host Stress & Writing

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Waxing Moon

The Tactile Muse finally has a new post up, about removing wax from fabric.

I’m finally back in the rhythm of THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and it feels good. This is why I love to work with a good editor. I’ve been lucky with most of my editors. There was the one who hated the word “said” and removed it from the manuscript (without replacing it or suggesting replacements) and was ready to turn it in to the publisher until I pitched a fit. But, other than that, most of my editors, especially when it comes to the books, have been great at spotting problems, helping me figure out solutions, and, overall, making the work better.

We’re galloping into the home stretch with SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which is a relief. I’ll be glad to get the manuscript off my desk and onto my editor’s.

The focus is on that rather than MYTH & INTERPRETATION this week, although I’m working on that book, too. And, as soon as REPOSITORY goes off to the editor, I open a new file, pull up a blank page, and start RELICS & REQUIEM. The life of a series writer.

Saturday, in particular, was a productive day. I wrote 2600 words on REPOSITORY. I did a partial clean out of my closet and did 8 loads of laundry. I removed wax from various cloths (see the latest post on The Tactile Muse for more information on how to do that). I put the watery-looking fabric back up over the fireplace (since I don’t have a mirror that fits, I put fabric that looks like it’s underwater up — good feng shui. Never, EVER put your TV up over the fireplace. Bad feng shui). I baked two loaves of spiced pear bread, a new-to-me recipe from a French cookbook. I read.

I also had a three hour argument with my old webhost, the awful 1&1.com. Take my advice and stay away from them. My new host told me to expect a confirmation email about the DevonEllingtonWork transfer at a particular address. An address I haven’t had for eight years, and that I changed when I moved with my old host. I went into my account — even though I’ve regularly updated my information with them for ICANN, they had old information listed. Now, I’ve updated the information multiple times over the EIGHT YEARS since I moved. And, when the registration renewal document is sent to me, it’s correct on that. But it’s wrong in the information supposedly submitted to ICANN. Which makes no sense at all. So I updated it, and then they told me the domain was “locked” for 60 days and I couldn’t move off the host because I entered a “new registrant.” No, you fucking dumbasses, I’m the same person. I entered the correct information that’s been entered regularly FOR EIGHT YEARS, you incompetent jackassses. Now, 1 & 1 is notorious for not letting people move off the host.

I ripped them a new one, and I filed a complaint with ICANN directly.

Supposedly, the lock is off the site and it can move. We will see.

Of course, it doesn’t work. 1&1 blames A2; A2 blames 1&1.

It seems to FINALLY be resolved. The Devon Ellington Work site is on the new host, but it still needs some work. I will make an announcement when I feel it’s ready for visitors.

As soon as the DE site goes live, I have to go in and customize permalinks and add the links so it can move smoothly between the pages on the site. That will take some time. Then, I rebuild the subdomains for each series, one at a time, and I do so live, which is a risk, but will be quicker than the temp link and then switching it.

One the sites for the Coventina Circle, Nautical Namaste, Gwen Finnnegan Mysteries, and Hex Breaker go live again, I’ll set up a temporary URL for Fearless Ink, reload what I built when I tried to move it last time, switch the link back to the permanent link, and then initiate that transfer. I’ll do the same last, but not least, for Cerridwen’s Cottage. It won’t all be done by the end of this month, unfortunately (I wanted to demand some of the quarterly fee back), but maybe I can get it done by next month. I’m thinking I might move Cerridwen’s Cottage first. I have to see if I can get any of the damn sites moved, if any of these hosts WILL DO THEIR DAMNED JOBS.

I am sure 1&1 will create yet more ridiculous obstacles. I wish I’d had the courage to leave them years ago. Thank goodness I learned how to build and work in WordPress, even if I can’t do the fancy stuff. Once everything is on the new host, I think my life will be much easier, at least as far as my web life goes!

On Sunday, I wrote more, again on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Another 2600 words.

I also finished taking down the February/winter decorations and putting up some of the spring decorations (switching out fabrics on tables, etc). I have the heart off the front door, and the shamrocks up on it. The Ostara/Easter stuff will go up after St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around Easter and April Fool’s Day being the same day.

Monday, I was onsite with a client. No President’s Day holiday for me! And spent most of the day fighting with both 1&1 and A2.

Fortunately, I had written 3000 words on SPIRIT REPOSITORY in the morning, before the frustration resumed. That’s one of the worst parts of the webhost problems — not only are both these hosts interfering with my ability to earn a living (in addition to trying to extort additional money from me), they interfere with my creativity. The unnecessary stress they put me under by not doing the jobs for which they are paid make it difficult for me to create. But I have a deadline coming up, and I have to push through.

Yesterday, I was also onsite with a client. After I’d woken up at 5 AM because I was so upset about the webhosting issues I couldn’t sleep.

But at least I got a good chunk of SPIRIT REPOSITORY done on both days. Yesterday was more of a struggle, due to the webhost stress.

But I’m exhausted.

I’m also furious about the refusal of Congress to pass reasonable gun reform because they’re paid not to. I’m disgusted by Congress, and by the idiots on the right who are criticizing kids who saw their friends and classmates die. Kids who have the guts to stand up for more than adults ever have.

I know several people who own guns. Some of them hunt for food. They do not have automatic weapons. In fact, most of the hunters I know are bow hunters. They are responsible and eat what they hunt. They are careful to keep their weapons locked up when not in use. They understand that they have a responsibility to the community around them by owning and using these weapons.

The gun owners I know who go around thumping their chests about their rights to gun ownership aren’t smart enough to own guns, or responsible enough. Listen to any of them talk for five minutes, and you don’t want them owning a gun, because they are not capable of intelligent, responsible decisions. They want the rush of knowing they can end a life. They claim it’s for “protection,” but it’s easy to see through both the lies and the delusion. It’s about having power over someone else’s life. Having a power they do not have the right to have and for which they do not have the intelligence, ethics, or responsibility to act appropriately.

In the meantime, while I’m fighting on those fronts, I have to waste time and energy fighting with webhosts. Which in the scheme of the bigger picture means little, but in my personal universe, is huge.

I can walk into a store or a gun show and walk out with a weapon no civilian should be allowed to own faster than I can most a WEBSITE. It’s ridiculous.

At least the first hurdle, webhost-wise, seems to be handled, and I’m fixing the DE site, and building the subdomains. When that is done, in a week or so, I’ll start working on the Cerridwen’s Cottage and Fearless Ink sites.

Fingers crossed!

 

Wed. Feb. 7, 2018: So Lucky with My Editor

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Waning moon
Stormy and cold

Challenging week. Even when I try to rest, I’m having trouble recharging.

So, Super Bowl Sunday — congratulations to the Eagles. It was a well-deserved win. I prefer close games, because they are more interesting. I’m not a football fan, so the Super Bowl is usually the only game I pay much attention to all year.

I know people have many reasons for disliking Tom Brady, but I was disappointed and perturbed by the viciousness with which he was attacked. He’s good at his job and has been for years. He’s skilled. He has five rings to prove it. I’m not a particular fan of his, but I respect his skills.

Didn’t like the halftime show. I’m not a particular fan of Justin Timberlake any
way — again, I respect what he’s achieved, but I don’t go out of my way to listen to or buy his music. I disagreed with the choice to have the projection of Prince included. Prince was vocal about not agreeing with that choice while he was still alive. His halftime show in 2007 (I think that was the year) was one of the best performances I’ve seen anywhere. Pouring rain, he came out and did his thing, no muss, no fuss, and he was brilliant. No other halftime show, in my opinion, has ever come close.

Got some decent work on MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I’m taking my editor’s concerns about the outline into account and finding places to simplify, combine elements to drive the narrative better, and to cut things completely. It’s great to be back with Gwen and Justin again.

Figured out why I’m struggling with SPIRIT REPOSITORY. It’s not just that I have the deadline looming. It’s that I made a major mistake in the logic. I have to go back and untangle the mistake in order to move forward. It’s not something where I can put in a placeholder to fix “later” because of the way it affects everything that happens later.

Talked to my editor and got a 10-day extension on the deadline. Now, I feel like I can meet it with something worthwhile. That pushes the start of RELICS  & REQUIEM back ten days — I’m not sure how I’m going to make that up, since the schedule for that is already tight. But I have a solid outline for it, which will help. And scenes with Amanda and Phineas are spinning in my head, and some of the scenes between Bonnie and Amanda in SPIRIT REPOSITORY will plant seeds for R & R, even while driving the plot of REPOSITORY.

Saw yet another agent on Manuscript Wish List asking for diverse manuscripts. I pointed out my own experience and that of other writers I know who submit such manuscripts — the notes that come back are all about whitening it up so “mainstream readers” can relate. Characters described in Starbucks coffee colors, acting like white people, names that aren’t “too ethnic” and the like. Complaints that heroines are “too independent.” Notes that don’t add to the structure or story, but strip out the diverse elements that make a book unique. The elements that these agents and writers claim to want.

When actual diverse books are published, promoted, and hit the best seller lists, instead of “thrillers” about white male assassins who sometimes sleep with a beautiful ethnic villainess who is then killed off, I’ll believe that’s what the agents and editors really want.

Ilona Andrews and I had a conversation about this several months ago — always be wary when they make a point of asking for diversity. It’s usually hollow.

Monday was a long day with clients – wound up being a twelve hour day. Tuesday was long, too, including website rebuilding. Today will be long, too. The weather is bad, so I may go straight home after I work with my client – I’ll have to see how it goes.

But I feel optimistic again about THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and even figured out a way for Phineas to make a cameo in it, ahead of taking his place as one of the central protagonists of RELICS AND REQUIEM.

 

Thurs. Jan. 25, 2018: The Attempt to Keep on Track

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Waxing Moon
Sunny and Cold
Virginia Woolf’s Birthday
Burns Night

I admit, I’m a bit tired and dispirited. By several things. But all I can do is reassess and move on. That’s the way it goes.

I’m behind where I want to be on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, although I feel good about the work that’s actually getting done. However, in order to meet my editor’s deadline, I have to write a minimum of 1900 words/day for the next 19 days. Doesn’t give me much wiggle room.

Got the recycling and some grocery shopping done this morning. I have a morning meeting off-Cape tomorrow, and will be late blogging. I have some more client work to do in preparation for Monday’s meeting.

Reading THE EX by Alafair Burke, and enjoying it very much.

I don’t have much of interest to say right now; I’m either exhausted and discouraged, or I’m digging deeper to get the writing done. Neither is particularly interesting for an audience.

I may go out and do some yard work later on, too. There’s stuff that needs to be done before spring.

I’m amazed by how much RELICS & REQUIEM is forming in my head as I’m writing SPIRIT REPOSITORY. But I’m jotting notes and forming arcs, and that will be ready to dive into as soon as REPOSITORY goes off.

Along with the fact that I need to get going on MYTH AND INTERPRETATION and on DAVY JONES DHARMA.

Never dull, that’s for sure, and that’s a good thing.

I’ll try to get over myself and cheer up by tomorrow!

Published in: on January 25, 2018 at 11:36 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 25, 2018: The Attempt to Keep on Track  
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