Monday, May 21, 2012: Busy weekend and Kick-Ass Editing Morning!

Monday, May 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend! Honestly, I can’t remember what I was doing on Friday, other than prepping for class and getting press releases done and working with students.

Oh, wait — I went to an art opening at the Cape Cod Cultural Center in Yarmouth. That was fun. My friend (one of the inspirations for the upcoming Bellini Girls comic mysteries) invited me. The artist is the wife of a musician we know. Her work is lovely! I also met the mother of the previous tenant in this house (small world) and the associate director of the center. And a bunch of other people. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday was the Tomorrow’s Writers Today program. My fellow writer/teacher is terrific — he taught the non-fiction portion and I taught the fiction. We swapped books at the end — I can’t wait to read his book over Memorial Day weekend. What a treat! The kids were split into two groups and we each had one in the morning, and then we switched. I was pleased and impressed by the talent in the room. These kids are not writing pop culture derivatives. They’ve got IDEAS. And they’re more competent and understand the significance of things like spelling, grammar, and structure more than many of their adult counterparts. If I’m asked back, I’d structure it a little differently — I was trying to give them an overview of several different aspects, and each session had slightly different exercises. I think I’d want to either do a scene-by-scene story building or a revision intensive, if they wanted to bring me back. The sessions were so short, it was hard to build a group dynamic easily — if we worked, say, for two or three sessions together, it would have made sense to read aloud and split them into critique partners and stuff, but in a session this short, I didn’t want anyone to feel put on the spot. I might do a round-robin one-line of a story next time at the beginning to get them warmed up. IF I do it again.

But I’m glad I did it. I was wiped out, though, by the time I got home. I had a glass of wine on the deck, and then went in to watch the Preakness. As much as I wanted my friend to win, I was also glad that I’ll Have Another got the second leg, and there’s the chance for a Triple Crown this year. Creative Cause was still my favorite horse in the race, but I think both he and Gemologist will really come into their own during Saratoga and Del Mar.

A positive aspect of not officially covering the races this year is that I get the chance to simply enjoy them again. My coverage the past few years grew cynical. With this break, maybe next year I can approach it with a fresh enthusiasm.

I was so tired I did an hour of restorative yoga and was in bed by nine. I slept for 10 hours.

Sunday, I spent time with online students to make up for not being available Saturday, but finished fairly early. I walked to get the papers instead of taking the car, which was good, and read them out on the deck. Tessa was in the crate, having a good time. I also got some marigolds, so that I can transplant the tomatoes this week, and pair some eggplants with them, and put them in the new bed and the vegetable bed.

I already revised six chapters on HEART SNATCHER (today’s quota). I’ve got some pitches to get out, some follow-up to do, and hopefully the quotes for my article will come through today, so I can finish that and get it off. I want to do some work on HEART BINDER this afternoon and a couple of short stories. I was supposed to get a definitive answer on Friday about another manuscript, so I know how I have to fit that into the schedule, but nothing, so I’m not going to stress about it.

Over on Billy Root Blogs, “he” talks about Actors Filling Time. Writers Worth Week continues over on Lori Widmer’s blog on Finding Your Niche — which I totally DISagree with. Just so you know. 😉

My student and fellow author Nina Benneton has a great blog post over at Writer’s Digest here.

And hey, don’t forget to sign up for the Setting Up Your Submission System online seminar on June 2! You’ll be walked through each piece of the process and wind up with a reference guide that will help you for years! More information and sign-up here.

Devon