Tues. July 9, 2019: The Steadiness of Daily Writing

Tuesday, July 9
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Yup. Five damn retrogrades. July will not be an easy month.

If you missed any of the #31Prompts, you can catch up here.

The weekend was good, for the most part. Too much stupid from too many stupid people, but, whatever. Some friends stopped by on their way to the rest of their trip. Nice to catch up.

Other than visiting with friends, it was a quiet holiday, except for the numbnuts who set off fireworks in the neighborhood. The cops do NOTHING. It’s nudge, nudge, wink, wink, boys will be boys. It’s the same damn idiots every year who set them off. It’s illegal, so DO SOMETHING.

I will have a few words with my Town Councilor this week. Not that it will do anything — he’s a total waste of space and has done NOTHING for his district since he got elected. (And no, I did not vote for him. I knew he’d be a waste of space in the job).

The night of the 4th was spent on the floor, trying to soothe the terrified cats.

These jerks aren’t smart enough or skilled enough to be handling explosives.

Friday was an outstanding writing day — worked on ELLA, GRAVE REACH, typed up part of ELLA, did some revisions on GAMBIT COLONY. I love steadily working on projects. You can watch pages stack up, in a tangible way.

Got a contract signed and in the mail — wanted to get it done before Mercury went retrograde.

Finally switched the winter, fleece sofa and chair coverings to the cotton yoga blankets for the summer.

My order from Crystal Bar soaps arrived — just lovely. They have such excellent products.

Marinated tuna steaks in a soy-sesame-ginger sauce. Delicious.

Saturday, was up at five. Baked lemon cupcakes, chocolate chip devil’s food cupcakes, and a spiced chocolate banana bread with rum before it got too hot. Took a dozen of each cupcake to the new neighbors to welcome them. They are long-time Centerville residents, downsizing. Took another dozen of each type of cupcake to my lovely firemen — this is a busy weekend for them.

Got a little bit of writing done, but not much. It was too hot to think. Got a good bit of reading done instead.

The Goddess Provisions box arrived and is a delight. A book arrived, too — one of the Caribbean books I test drove from the library that I wanted to keep, so I bought a copy.

Started re-watching the Lord Peter Wimsey episodes starring Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walters. I’d forgotten how much he loves to play with props when he works.

Up early on Sunday. First writing session on the deck, on ELLA.

Plenty of loads of laundry, between clothes, sheets, and the winter furniture covers.

Worked on GRAVE REACH.

Started the short story inspired by the July 1 prompt on #31Prompts: The bagel has landed. I wanted it to be a flash fiction; it might be a short story, or the draft might be a short story, then edited down to be flash. We’ll see. Right now, I’m just writing. Stretching. That’s important.

Up early Monday. Worked on ELLA, worked on GRAVE REACH. Onsite with a client, then another appointment, then meditation group.

Today, I’m onsite with a client, then another appointment. Decent writing sessions on both ELLA and GRAVE REACH.

Not where I’d hoped to be by this point in the summer on anything, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

Mon. July 8, 2019: Commitment To Your Writing #UpbeatAuthors

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Image by Stocksnap via Pixabay

Monday, July 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Enough retrogrades for you? Buckle up, buttercups, it’s a rocky month. But the retrogrades will also help clear out a lot of the deadwood and make way for new growth.

We are Upbeat Authors. We want to make the world better through our writing. That doesn’t mean denying that bad things happen. It means exploring and sharing ways that we can work through the bad and build something better.

It means nothing if we can’t finish anything. If we perpetually start things and let put them aside when the next Shiny Idea floats in front of us.

Those of us who write full-time know that we have to juggle multiple projects and meet our commitments to keep a roof over our head and food on the table. Part-time writers and hobbyist writers face different challenges to also keep sheltered and fed.

Finishing projects is vital.

It’s great to play with ideas. Some of them will work. Some of them will not. You don’t want to hang on to a project that’s not going anywhere and drains energy.

But unfinished projects drain creative energy, and if we let too many unfinished projects hang around, it’s like drowning in quicksand.

I actually teach a course on this, and have a Topic Workbook called THE GRAVEYARD OF ABANDONED PROJECTS.

Also, some ideas formulate before they are ready to bloom into full projects. I have pieces where the idea arrived years before I actually write the project, and I’ve often had several false starts along the way.

There’s a big difference between DECIDING to put a project aside and just LETTING it slide.

Contracted projects on deadlines always get first attention. They have to. That’s the deal of being a professional writer. Earliest deadline/highest pay = first attention.

But there are always other projects begging for time that need to be slotted in around it. You need to be a time management whiz without feeling like you’re trapped and never have a minute to do anything fun with friends or family or just hang out and do nothing. All of that is important.

Ideas tend to come in batches. Some ideas demand to be spun out a bit. Some won’t work.

How do you handle it all?

I’m offering some suggestions that work for me, and there are specific exercises in the workbook.

When I get an idea, I jot it down as soon as possible. I try to keep a “Fragment” or “Whatevers” notebook with me at all times.

I DATE each entry. Like a journal. Because sometimes, when I go back to the idea, the context of WHEN it hit me winds up being important.

Contracted projects, like the Coventina Circle, Gwen Finnegan, and Nautical Namaste series, are outlined in advance. I need to be able to drop right down into them the moment I work on them, and not have to wonder about what happens next.

However, I consider outlines roadmaps rather than prisons. I deviate often. I follow where the story leads. Sometimes it leads back to the outline, sometimes not. Sometimes the tangents are cut, although I learn something important from writing them.

Remember, as a writer, nothing is ever wasted.

Uncontracted projects that have to work around the contracted ones, have a different process. Sometimes I’ll outline the whole piece. Other times, I’ll make notes, and then write my way into the book for about four chapters to see if it’s viable.

If it is, I find a way to work it into the schedule.

If it’s not, I write a temporary ending scene, wherever it stops. I either retire it or put it in stasis, and turn my attention back to the viable projects.

Every few months, I review the projects in stasis. Is there a project in there that’s calling? Has it reached its time? If so, I read through it, make notes, and fit it back into the schedule. If not, I leave it in stasis. Because it has a temporary ending, it’s not an unfinished project that’s draining energy through lack of attention.

Every couple of years, I review retired projects. Often, they stay retired. I needed to work on them to learn something — readers don’t need them.

But, every once in awhile, a project from the retired pile shows promise, and comes back out. Dusted off, freshened up, maybe a new perspective, and becomes viable again.

My minimum goal for my own fiction, plays, etc., (separate from marketing writing, articles assignments, reviews, etc.) is 1K/day. I generally do that first thing in the morning, and the pages add up. I up my game as I need to when under deadline pressure.

Right now, I’m working on contracted fiction and play projects at 1-2.5K/day and another 750-1000 words longhand on an uncontracted projected. This is around the other paid writing assignments. I will have to adjust upwards on the contracted fiction a bit, but the uncontracted — there’s no pressure, no deadline, so as long as I do a little every day, no guilt, only pleasure.

There are days I don’t write. Most of those are planned days off, and then I try to write more in the days BEFORE planned time off (because if you wait until after, you never catch up). I lost a few days a couple of weeks ago, when I was unexpectedly sick and couldn’t even think or sit up, much less write. It happens.

But, for the most part, I keep a steady pace. It keeps the momentum going, the pages adding up. I keep my commitment to the work, the deadlines, but most important of all — I keep my commitment to myself.

If you don’t respect yourself and your writing, no one else has any reason to, either.

How do you keep your commitment to your work?

Fri. June 21, 2019: Happy Summer Solstice!

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image courtesy of Nanou22 via http://www.pixabay.com

Friday, June 21, 2019
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Summer Solstice/Midsummer
Rainy and cool

Four planets in retrograde, with Mercury getting ready to join them in early July. Time to take the time for clarifications on multiple levels.

Blessed Summer Solstice! This is MID-summer, not the “first day of summer” as is so often erroneously cited.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise, where I finally have the post up about the play I read for the #ReaderExpansionChallenge.

Yesterday, I was up early, and on the bus to Boston. Even though it’s about a two hour trip, especially in traffic, since I’m not driving, I don’t mind. I managed my first 1K of the day on the bus by the time we hit Plymouth.

Traffic was bad from Hingham all the way up to Boston, but we were only five minutes behind schedule, and I was still very early for my meeting.

I enjoy South Station enormously. As I walked down the platform, from the bus terminal to the train terminal, the Acela from Boston to Washington was boarding, and they called out the name of my old hometown (Rye) as one of the stops. For some reason, that just tickled me.

It had started to rain quite heavily. It wasn’t a long walk from South Station to the meeting on Tremont Street — just up Summer Street, then Winter Street, then turn left on Tremont. About ten minutes, past stores and restaurants. But I was pretty soaked by the time I got there. I was early, and waited in the conference room, trying to keep the dripping in one place.

The meeting was short and went well. We’ll see. Either I’m what they’re looking for, or I’m not. I suspect they want to go with someone younger and with ad agency experience. And, of course, in the back of my mind I’m saying, “I had to make a four hour round trip for a half hour meeting?”

But I wanted to take advantage of being in Boston.

Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out for me to get to the MFA and research in their library.

But the rain had lessened to a drizzle by the time I left. I walked back toward the Station. I got my New York City smarts back the second I’d left the bus, so the grifters looking to hit on the tourists scattered the minute they spotted me. Don’t even, people, I lived a block from Times Square.

There was a green market on the plaza opposite the station. Small, but good quality. But I forgot all that when I saw there was a Vietnamese food truck. Bon Me. I haven’t had Vietnamese food since I moved to the Cape, and it’s my favorite of all the Asian cuisines.

I was enchanted by the choices and stood to one side, taking my time to make my choice, without getting in the way of people ordering. I decided on the Namesake sandwich (a banh my, from which the truck’s name is derived) and an Iced Vietnamese coffee. I adore Vietnamese coffee — didn’t even know one could get it iced.

Those of us who waited under the shelter of the awning (it started pouring again), laughed and chatted. It was so nice to be within a diverse group of people. I didn’t pay attention to it when I lived in New York, because it was a fact of life. But on Cape, it’s homogeneous, and not in a good way. So it was nice to be around a different group of people who were smart and funny and looking forward to their lunch.

I took my meal in to the station and sat at one of the high tables in the food area, enjoying it immensely and eavesdropping on various conversations, as writers do. I mentioned, at one point, that this was the second best sandwich I ever had. That meant that other people at the table wanted to know what was the best, which was the first muffaletta I ever had from Central Grocery in New Orleans.

I stopped at Au Bon Pain to get some chocolate croissants, and headed back down the train platform to the bus terminal and to the bus. I’d missed the previous bus by about five minutes, which is why I decided I could indulge in lunch. Although, once I spotted Bon Me, I would have happily missed the bus on purpose.

The bus I wanted didn’t show up; word was that it was cancelled. But then it showed up late, and took the first ten of us (all that could fit). Traffic was bad and it was raining. I settled back in the seat with my book to enjoy the ride.

An aging Southern Belle was on the bus, on her way to visit friends on Nantucket. She did that helpless thing that absolutely drives me nuts, to get the men to jump to her tune and help her, instead of just asking for someone to help. Then, when the bus hit the brakes because some stupid car from New Jersey cut in front, made an abrupt stop, and then gunned the engine and took off, she claimed she hit her face on the safety bar (she was in the front seat). She was moaning and carrying on how she needed ice and would have a black eye and scrambled to put on her oversized sunglasses.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Let me see.” I took a look and told her (in all truth), “Sweetie, your foundation’s not even smudged. It’s not going to get red, much less swollen or a black eye.”

She wasn’t pleased, because then she had to shut the hell up.

I didn’t make it home in time to get to the yoga class my friend was covering. But I made Moosewood’s “Best Chili” and cornbread for dinner, and it was darn good.

Today, I’m doing some remote work for a client and getting out some pitches. I have some errands to run (because we can’t run out of toilet paper, you know), and then I’m headed over to Old King’s Coffeehouse, which just opened up on the Hyannis/Yarmouth line. I’m looking forward to trying them.

It’s pouring with rain, so I might move some of my other errands to tomorrow. I’ll play most of the day by ear.

Have a lovely weekend! It’s supposed to be sunny and gorgeous here, so I’m going to alternate writing and working in the garden.

Published in: on June 21, 2019 at 8:45 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 21, 2019: Happy Summer Solstice!  
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Tues. Jan. 8, 2019: Please, Just Let Me Rest

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
No Retrogrades

I’d forgotten what it feels like not to have retrogrades.

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise for my take on “The Book Boyfriend Dilemma.”

Busy few days, and it was a little overwhelming. Friday morning was stressful with a client, then I had some errands in the afternoon. I ended up buying some clothes to freshen up my wardrobe, some pants and skirts. I need to have a bit more of a polished look this year.

When I’m writing at home, I can wear whatever I want (usually yoga clothes, never pajamas. I can’t write in pajamas). But when I actually have to leave the house, I need and want to look professional, even if it’s not to a formal meeting.

The Goddess Provisions box arrived on Friday, a day early, so that was a fun treat.

Saturday morning, I had errands — and wound up doing more clothes shopping — more pants and a few jackets. So I’m all set for the coming season.

Got two sets of notes on the radio play — which they claim they originally sent early in December, and I never received them. I had a conversation months ago, when they claimed they’d sent me something and I had never received it, which is why they didn’t get a response — if I don’t respond in 2-3 business days, it means I didn’t get it, and please follow up. I can’t respond if I don’t know they need something. Which they did not do, again. Now, they want a new draft in a little over two weeks. When I should have had seven.

I’m all signed up for a conference at which I’m a presenter — the schedule hasn’t officially been released yet, so I can’t give out the details. I will, as soon as I get the okay. Got a pitch for another radio play out (to a different company).

Started taking down the decorations. It took me a month to get them up; I don’t know why I thought I could get them down in an afternoon. And I used enough florists’ wire to build a small city.

Got some writing done, and some work on galleys. Not enough, I’m behind, and it frustrates me.

Got yet more contradictory information on my health insurance. I now have four sets of documents, all which contradict each other. I’m turning the whole mess over to Elizabeth Warren’s office. Don’t ever believe the marketing crap that health coverage in the state of Massachusetts works. It shouldn’t cost me several hundred dollars in repeatedly having to send documents via certified mail (which they always claim they never received, even when I have proof) and dozens of lost work hours every year to sign up for health coverage — all with the threat that I’ll have to pay a fine WHEN THEY SCREW IT UP EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Single payer. Anything else is just stupid.

Exhausted on Sunday. Had trouble getting going. Working on finishing up a book for review. Had to do some client work that I couldn’t get finished last week, and which had to be done by Monday.

Worked on taking down decorations. Still not done. The tree only has lights left on it, but it will be another day or two before I can get them off and take the tree apart. I haven’t even stripped the tree in my office of ornaments yet.

I’m just unbelievably exhausted, and don’t see any option for rest coming up. It’s not about sleep. It’s about rest.

Sunday night was a fancy dress party. The reason I’d been shopping earlier in the weekend was to find a dress for this party. I didn’t find one, although I found pieces to freshen my wardrobe. But it turns out that I could fit into my favorite navy blue velvet evening gown. I paired it with my new blue suede pumps, thigh-high stockings (I’m sticking to my resolution not to wear pantyhose anymore), a multi-colored velvet wrap, elbow-length red velvet gloves, and I had my hair up with a tiara. I was pretty pleased with the effect.

The party was fun. It was at a restaurant in Hyannis. There was live music, a dance floor. I had a few glasses of Prosecco, danced, talked to people I knew and didn’t.

When I got home, I changed into pajamas and made scrambled eggs and ham for a late, light supper.

Monday was spent in client work, a couple of other appointments, and then a new meditation class. I desperately, desperately needed it.

I was exhausted when I woke up on Monday, but proud of myself for sticking to the weight training. I do the weights before I do yoga, and that works much better. I used to do it the other way around, and it didn’t work.

My printer is acting up – just when I have A LOT that needs to be done in the next few days. I’m trying to replace the drum and hope that solves it; otherwise, I have to buy a new printer.

With a client today and tomorrow. Thursday, I start digging into the radio script revisions, and focus on some of the other writing.

Usually, even when I’m too tired to physically write much, I can work out plot points and story themes. But I’m so physically and mentally spent that I can’t even string two silent thoughts together. It’s very hard to be vocally coherent with clients.

And maybe, MAYBE this coming weekend, I can get some rest.

I’m going to figure out where I can take a few days off, either later this month, or early next month.

I still have two books coming out quickly that need to be marketed; and get back in the groove of GRAVE REACH, which comes out near the end of the year. And the plays. This year is about a lot of scripts.

I also have to get the registration of the websites shifted over to Name Silo. That means the sites will probably go down for a bit, as 1&1 tries to sabotage the transfer. But I’m happy with A2 as my host, and I want Name Silo to hold the registration. I want to finally be free of 1&1 for good. I wish I’d had the courage and the knowledge to leave them years ago. It’s cost me thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

But most of all, most of all, I am desperate for some rest.

Published in: on January 8, 2019 at 6:26 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 8, 2019: Please, Just Let Me Rest  
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Mon. Jan. 7, 2019: Long Term Practice Pays Off #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, January 7, 2018
Waxing Moon
NO RETROGRADES

Can you believe it? Nothing is in retrograde right now. We get the chance to catch our collective breath!

This month’s topic is self-care, and the first topic I’m going to tackle is how commitment to a practice over a long period of time pays off.

I’m using two long-term practices from my own life — writing and my yoga/meditation practice — as examples.

I have a commitment to write 1K day on what I call my “primary project.” Of course, as a full-time writer, who writes for others as well as creating my own work, I have to write a hell of a lot more than 1K/day to keep a roof over my head.

But that 1K/day, first thing, builds up the pages and the chapters and the books. It is the foundation of my writing career.

Before you start whining, writing 1K/day doesn’t mean you never get a day off. The difference is that you CHOOSE when you take time off instead of just letting the writing slide until days and weeks of not writing accumulate.

Uh, uh! What did I say about whining? You have a full-time job, but want to be a full-time writer? How badly do you want this? Do you simply want the idea of being a full-time writer, or do you actually want to be a full-time writer?

If it’s the latter, then treat your writing as your second job until it’s your ONLY job. That doesn’t negate the passion, the fun, or the creativity. It makes you a professional.

The other thing that separates pros (especially in the arts) from the rest is that the only purpose of the day job is to support the writing. That is, if you actually WANT to be a full-time writer. It means you change day jobs whenever you need to, and whenever it gets in the way of the writing.

When I worked in theatre (and I wrote then, too), I’d take non-theatre jobs in between shows. A show closed, I’d take a job. Usually with something arts-related. Trust me, you never, EVER want me as your waitress. I waitressed for two days, swore off, and haven’t had to work that gig since. I leave that to actors, who, you know, actually like people.

Anyway, I’d take a day job, and when I landed another theatre job, either the day job would let me work a flexible schedule that didn’t interfere with rehearsals, techs, shows, matinees, put-ins, etc. — or I’d quit the day job.

Until I reached the position where there was no down time between shows. I went from show-to-show-to-show, and then, on Broadway, I was lucky enough to land slots on long-running shows, such as MISS SAIGON, where I worked the last five years of the ten year Broadway run. 8 shows/week. Nights, weekends, holidays. I took my two weeks’ vacation once a year (usually a week twice a year). A couple of times, I took a leave for a month when one of the shows I wrote was produced overseas. But I was there. 8 shows/week for five years.

Theatre (and writing) always came first. ALWAYS. The work must always be protected. ALWAYS.

“But I have a family! I have responsibilities!”

So do I. But my family and my partners needed to be fully supportive, carry their weight, too (although, most of my life, I have been the primary breadwinner in any relationship). Any partner who didn’t carry his share of the physical and emotional work? Or, more importantly, who got in the way of it? Gone.

Because the RIGHT partner doesn’t get in the way of the work.

For me, it’s lonelier to be with the wrong person than to be single.

It paid off in theatre. I worked my way up to Broadway. And it was wonderful. And when it was time to leave and do something else, I accepted it, and did so.

It is paying off in writing (which is always a journey). Writing is my business as well as my vocation and my passion. It is not my hobby.

I am not rich (working on that–sort of a joke, sort of not). I’m not famous (thank goodness, and some of that is a choice, much of that is luck, and some of my decisions that may cost me cash that fame would bring, but buy me the peace to do the work — we’ll see how they’ve turned out at the end of my life/career).

I’ve given up plenty that society considers “normal.”

I don’t regret it.

I wanted it badly enough.

I show up and do the work.

I am relentless when I have to be. Ruthless when I have to be.

Long-term practice pays off.

Moving to the yoga/meditation practice, which I’m sure is more along the lines of what you expected from a self-care post, this past year of practice has caused a huge positive shift in my life.

Every single day of 2018, I did at least a short meditation. I admit, I skipped yoga on some days (and regretted it, every time).

But every single day, and often more than once a day, I maintained my meditation practice. Even when I had a session with a meditation group on any particular day. I kept up my own practice.

It helped my focus. It increased my concentration. It lowered my stress, which improved my health.

But I didn’t realize the full impact until New Year’s Eve.

This was the first New Year’s Eve in years where I wasn’t miserable.

I talk about that misery in detail in the January 3rd, post, so I won’t go back into it here.

I didn’t have it this year. I didn’t have the misery, the desperation, or any of that. I wasn’t happy and dancing around, but I was content. For the first time in years of New Year’s Eves, I was content.

Be where you are. Start where you are. You’re fine right now.

That’s what we work on at Kripalu.

That’s what I work on in the daily yoga and meditation practice.

It doesn’t mean to stop striving to be better or do more. But it means to stop hating yourself in the moment. It doesn’t mean give up and feel like nothing can or will ever change. It means taking stock of the moment.

Accept yourself.

Take care of yourself.

You are fine where you are.

Once you hit that point, then, THEN you can build something positive for the future.

Commit to something that makes you feel happy or content or serene or fulfilled. Do it, even for a few minutes every single day this year. When you’re tired, when you’re sick, when you’re overwhelmed.

Do one good thing for yourself for a few minutes every day.

Chart the difference until next year. You’ll be surprised.

You’ll be content.

You might even be happy.

Published in: on January 7, 2019 at 6:25 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 7, 2019: Long Term Practice Pays Off #UpbeatAuthors  
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Thurs. July 26, 2018: And Mercury Goes Retrograde, Too!

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Day Before Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

I’m tired of everything being perpetually warm and damp.

Mercury goes retrograde today, with all these other retrogrades, and right before a full moon with the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

Yesterday was not a productive day on RELICS, and I’ll have to make it up this weekend. I have a deadline looming (although my editor let me push it back a few days). But this new deadline still must be met. I have Amanda and Phineas’s first real love/sex scene to write, and it’s tricky. I haven’t been in the right headspace to write it, and I can’t just skip it, move on and go back, because how it plays out influences the rest of the book. I know the focus and drive of it and what happens after, but the nuances I’ll discover when actually writing the scene will make a big difference.

Review out, a few blog posts ahead on some other blogs. Worked with a client on a batch of blog posts. The new hire at that client’s place is working well, so far. We’re finding lots of mistakes from the person that left. I also got a raise at this gig, without having to be the one to say, “I’m raising my rate.” Which is nice.

Got some work done restructuring THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so I have an idea of what I have, how much, what needs to be tweaked since I split out the material that grew into MYTH & INTERPRETATION. Behind on where I want/need to be for DAVY JONES DHARMA, which will also have to get caught up this weekend.

The consensus on the DAVY JONES DHARMA cover was that it was too cutesy. Since the Nautical Namaste mysteries intentionally break some of the cozy formula rules, the covers can’t be entirely cozy, although they are more light-hearted than the ones for the other series. My cover designer showed me two other options. My editor, publisher, and I all liked the same one best, and I admit — they were right, I was wrong. The new one fits the tone of the book and the theme of the series better. We’re still debating whether or not to have the figure seated in lotus position, as we did on SAVASANA, to keep it consistent. But it looks wrong, so we might go without.

Also saw a rough of the cover for THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, which I love, love, love!!!! Completely different direction than I expected, and much better.

And the cover for RELICS & REQUIEM is beautiful. We also have a rough of the fourth boo in the Coventina Circle series, GRAVE REACH, which is lovely. The image was originally one of those proposed for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. It wasn’t right for that book, but was compelling and fit more in the style of the Coventina Circle books.

So all of those covers are done ahead of time and are in good shape. I’ll be working with my other cover designer on the covers for the re-release of the Jain Lazarus Adventures for next spring, and the next set of covers we need to worry about are those for what used to be POWER OF WORDS, but is now going to be called something else, and get its own logo and subdomain and website and all the rest, so it’s a lot.

I have a few things to do this morning and the library, and then it’s back home to write, write, write!

 

Published in: on July 26, 2018 at 8:42 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 26, 2018: And Mercury Goes Retrograde, Too!  
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Tues. June 26, 2018: Good Writing Things While the Country Burns Down

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mars Retrograde

Five retrogrades. That’s a lot of weight.

Turned around the galleys for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. The book will be ready for pre-orders soon. I’m happy with it.

RELICS & REQUIEM is steaming along nicely. I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night, so I spent several hours lying in bed refining plot points and making mental adjustments to the Writers Rough outline. I’ve started putting those adjustments into practice. It makes a big adjustment to the romantic part of the romantic suspense arc, and I’m not quite sure it will work, but I’m going to give it a shot.

This week, along with RELICS, I get back into the saddle with DAVY JONES DHARMA, the second Nautical Namaste mystery. I need to re-read the material and take a look at the outline to get back into that headspace and voice.

The anti-gun violence play is going along slowly. But that’s okay. Every piece has its own innate rhythm. I don’t yet have a title for it, which is making it more difficult.

I received the check from the radio play. Always great to get those checks.

PJ Friel, the cover artist, is going to stay on as the cover artist for The Jain Lazarus Adventures, which is a relief. She created a specific look for the series, which I think works. My publisher agreed. I’m very proprietary about Jain, and I’m lucky that my publisher is giving me more leeway than is usual.

I’m also reading PJ’s debut novel, A TWIST OF WYRD, and loving it. It’s a terrific urban fantasy with a strong romance at its core. I’m looking forward to more in the series. PJ was a guest of mine on A Biblio Paradise when the book came out, a few weeks ago.

Friday night, I went out with a friend I haven’t seen in person since last fall, right after PLAYING THE ANGLES released. We went to Embargo, a tapas place in Hyannis. The food was surprisingly good, and we had a great catch-up. She invited me to participate in a fundraiser for a mutual friend of ours, which will happen in August. I’m going to write a new monologue for that, which I’ve started percolating. She is a ceramic artist, and is participating in a show in Falmouth opening in a couple of weeks, so I will go to that. And she’s encouraging me to apply for a reading slot at a local festival this fall. She’s right. All they can do is say no. But they can’t say yes if I don’t let them know I’m interested.

So it was a good, creative shoring up of each other’s work.

Saturday was a rainy day. I like listening to the rain here. I gave myself the day off. I needed it.

Sunday, I was back in the saddle for RELICS & REQUIEM, and got some solid work on it in. I also read over what I’ve got on THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, now that I’ve cut out the material used for MYTH. It’s much tighter and more focused. I’ll have to massage a few things for the timeline and then move forward; I’ve lost several chapters of the material that was the foundation for MYTH. But now BALTHAZAAR has its necessary pace and focus, and I can move forward.

Re-read what I’ve got so far on CRAVE THE HUNT, the third Jain Lazarus. It’s a little more than the first quarter of the book, a little less than the first third. I like it. I found most of my outline notes, so I know where I’m going with it. I think I can whip it into shape for its release in March.

IF I stay focused on everything else that’s already contracted.

Yesterday was about client work and continuing to work on the media kit for MYTH & INTERPRETATION. I had trouble getting my head back into RELICS, for some reason; but eventually, I got there.

Some idiot yesterday, here on Cape said, “I don’t have anything to worry about with politics. My skin is white.” And THIS is why we now live in a fascist dictatorship. The ignorance and lack of care is appalling.

Today is about more client work. I’m hoping to get to Reiki tonight. Because believe me, I need it!

 

Published in: on June 26, 2018 at 1:44 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 26, 2018: Good Writing Things While the Country Burns Down  
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Mon. June 25, 2018: Fostering Optimism #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, June 25, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

 

Tomorrow Mars goes retrograde as well. We’ll be dealing with five retrogrades, which is not fun.

Today’s topic is “fostering optimism.” In these dark times, that’s difficult. We have a responsibility as human beings AND as artists to both bear witness to the atrocities AND, through art, help people find positive solutions and see the world in a better light. We have the capacity to write/create a way to a better world.

There’s a difference between an artist who creates positive work while striving to make the world a better place on every level and someone who keeps creating within a narrow space and shouts, “I stay out of politics!” while pretending nothing bad is going on.

Either choice is personal. But I admit there are several authors whose work I can no longer read. I pick up the books, and I feel sick within a few pages, because I’ve lost respect for them as people. I don’t attack them or their work publicly, because they have the right to make the choices they’ve made. And I have the right to disengage, both as a person and as a fellow artist.

In a climate like this, how do you foster optimism?

I’m trying several different ways. The success ebbs and flows depending on the day. It’s a constant struggle. I don’t have “the” solution, but I have some techniques I’m trying, and I hope to learn some more from my fellow Upbeat Authors.

I try to celebrate small victories, both my own and those of my colleagues. Someone else’s success does not mean any sort of loss for me. It is something to celebrate. I’m happy when a fellow author gets published or lands a contract or wins a prize. As far as I’m concerned, when one of us succeeds, it’s good for everyone.

I take joy in my house and in my garden. In my friends and family. Right now, the roses are in bloom here on Cape Cod, and they’re magnificent. I take joy each time I see one. The fact that roses can still bloom makes me believe there is still hope in the world.

I remain committed to a daily yoga and meditation practice. I’ve added an additional meditation session before bedtime to help me get to sleep. I feel anger high up in my chest, in my throat, in my neck, shoulders, and head (frequent migraines). The anger pulls me up from the ground and disconnects me. If I can stay connected, “earthed” and “grounded” — instead of being caught in an endless cycle of rage, I can channel the anger into positive action and use it as a catalyst.

I keep doing the work. I show up at the page every day. I work. Even on the tough days, I work. I try to learn from the way my characters navigate their challenges, how they respond to both the good and the bad in their worlds. I try to see the world through their eyes, not just my own, and learn from that. The steady, daily work does more for my personal optimism than any other action I take.

Seeing the world through other eyes is also why I read as much as I do. Not agreeing with a character’s choices is different than not understanding why that individual made them. The more you read of as many different authors across genres as you can, the more you expand your understanding of the world. Reading can be BOTH an escape and an expansion.

Through the daily commitment to activism, I have met some amazing people from all walks of life. If the situation wasn’t so dire, I would not have crossed paths with many of them. The intelligence, energy, and commitment gives me hope for the future.

I try to give compliments and encouragement as often as possible. Not to compliment or encourage something I think is vile, but compliment and encourage whenever possible.

There are plenty of ways I fail my own expectations of myself every single day. But I keep trying. Because I believe we have a responsibility to improve the world, both as people and as artists.

 

Published in: on June 25, 2018 at 4:48 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 25, 2018: Fostering Optimism #UpbeatAuthors  
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Fri. March 30, 2018: I Hate Retrogrades

Friday, March 30, 2018
Day before Full Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and windy

Yesterday was a mixed bag. Semi-productive with admin work. We went another couple of rounds on the cover for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and are all finally happy. The cover reveal was in the newsletter that also went out yesterday.

Got a little bit of writing done, but not enough. Worked through some contest entries.

Managed a few hours in the yard. Got most of the debris cleared out of the front, and one of the beds raked out. Slow going. I’m hoping that it clears up a bit today in order to get some more done. There’s a lot of work to do, and it’s going to take weeks, so I’d like to do a bit every day.

The Blue Moon meditation will go up on the Mediation page of Cerridwen’s Cottage later today.

And hop on over to the GDR site for the March wrap-up.

I have to track down a payment that was supposed to be in my account this morning and hasn’t shown up. This is from a reliable client, so I’m a bit concerned. I hate Mercury Retrograde, especially when it’s paired with Jupiter Retrograde.

I’m still having phone issues with AT&T. The phone hasn’t worked properly since the major cell service outage two storms ago. NOT acceptable.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

 

Published in: on March 30, 2018 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 30, 2018: I Hate Retrogrades  
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Wed. May 11, 2016: Back from Vacation!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter direct (as of the 9th)
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was on vacation. It was nice to have time off, although I didn’t get as much rest as I hoped. And it’s nice that one of the retrogrades has gone direct.

It rained almost the entire time, except for the past two days. That made things a bit more complicated, but I kind of like rain — gives one the chance to be a little more quiet.

I spent the first part of my vacation in the Berkshires, at Kripalu. I was looking forward to it enormously — which was probably one reason I was so disappointed. They no longer enforce the “electronic devices only in the Wifi lounge” policy. People were on their cell phones EVERYWHERE, even right under the signs that asked them not to. The Sunroom, which is supposed to be for quiet contemplation, was turned into an office by a group of people — laptops, file folders, bag lunches. They texted in the meditation room; they were on their phones in the silent dining room. People are now smoking outside (it used to be no smoking anywhere on the grounds). Not only is it contradictory to their stated mission (which makes them hypocrites), but it makes them any nameless, overpriced resort out there. There was NO WHERE on the entire property where one could go for quiet contemplation. Not acceptable.

I enjoyed some interested workshops, but it didn’t make up for the fact that there was nowhere to go to be quiet. The point of an R&R retreat is to have “rest” and “relaxation”. I got neither –and, at those prices, I expected both.

My favorite program was given by the chef — the food is still outstanding. I learned a lot I could take back with me and use. I met some great people, including a lovely woman from Syracuse who is a graphic designer.

I stayed at the Black Swan Inn — right across Laurel Lake from the Edith Wharton house. It’s a lovely hotel. I had a fantastic room with one of the most comfortable beds in which I’ve ever slept. Unfortunately, T-Mobile has no coverage in the Berkshires, so my cell phone was useless. The landline in my room didn’t work. My Kindle worked, on the hotel’s wifi, so I emailed a neighbor and asked him to contact home and let them know I got in safely.

Ironic — more electronically disconnected at the Inn than at Kripalu!

Once home, I focused on the writing. I’m just past the halfway mark on the DEATH OF A CHOLERIC rewrites. I believe the book will need one more round of revisions before it’s ready to send out. I also got a lot of work done on Nonfiction #1. And, I’ve started purging things — from the office, and then I’ll tackle all those unpacked boxes in the basement. It’s slow going, but at least there’s progress.

We’re also preparing for company to come in from Europe this weekend. Four people, so the little red house will be packed to the gills!

I’d put down fertilizer and grass seed before I left, on the front lawn. The daily rain did its thing while I was gone. I finally got the terraced back area mowed and fertilized, and got the front mowed again. I’d put in some creeping phlox at the bottom of the driveway, which is cheerful. I got a new, long hose for the front, so I’ve got long hoses both front and back to keep everything properly watered. I still have to rake out some beds and weed them, and I have to get in topsoil for the circular bed in No Man’s Land, so I can plant the bee/hummingbird plants.

I replanted most of the tomatoes, the peas, and the cucumber yesterday, and started zucchini, kale, and beans yesterday.

The mower’s being a pain in the butt — I’m fighting it so much to get it started that I barely have any energy left to actually mow! I still have to mow the meadow, and yank out some stuff that’s invaded.

I’d love another week to just read and sleep, but no such luck. It’s back to work today. I’m sure there are piles on my desk, and I have a program this upcoming weekend. I have a lot of PR to get out for upcoming programs.

The food is figured out when the guests arrive — I’ll be doing a lot of cooking as well as everything else.

I’ve been really careful in the revisions of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. I’m only revising three chapters per day, and then reading the next day’s material for revision. That way, I don’t burn out, and I can keep a good overall eye on the piece, instead of getting bogged down in the same types of things that bogged down the draft. In general, I’ve used a much slower pace on this book, and I like it. The quality of work is better. The drafting was still 1K/day, but the rest of it — I’m letting it marinate in between drafts, and I’m pacing the revisions in a way that allows for better work.

Work on “just a Drop” is much slower than I would like, and I won’t get a chance to work on it with guests this weekend, but that’s life. Still trying to figure out how to fit the revisions of HEART SNATCHER back in, without throwing the entire schedule off.

I feel like I’ve already put in a full day before going to work — in the garden before 6 AM, working on Nonfiction #1, and then working on revision chapters before heading to work. Ah, the life of a writer!

Hope you’re having a wonderful spring!

Devon

Published in: on May 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm  Comments Off on Wed. May 11, 2016: Back from Vacation!  
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Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and damp

I had contradictory information about the retrogrades, but I think I’ve got it sorted. Saturn is direct, thank goodness, because I don’t think I can take any more life lessons for awhile. Venus is still retrograde, which explains several things!

So the Cape Cod Writers Conference ran the past few days. It was the happiest I’ve been in months. What a great conference!

I spent most of Friday trying to get the wine tasting ball rolling for our next NMLC special event. I’m supposed to be “helping”, but it’s pretty much all been dumped into my lap. Therefore, I am assigning tasks and expecting them done. Because I CANNOT and WILL NOT do an entire event on my own. Been there, done that, not doing it again.

Raced to the conference in the evening, got situated, caught up with some people. Marge Piercy was the keynote speaker. I love that she won’t compromise her beliefs for fear of “annoying” potential readers. Everyone is told to be so careful and apolitical on social media — no, we have to stand for what we believe in it, work for it, and actually make change! So, I totally admire that about her. Her keynote was rich, almost too rich. There were so many sections, without transition, that one or two sections would have given us plenty to think about, and also given us a foundation to change our lives. Five sections was a little much. I felt like I missed a lot I could have otherwise absorbed and benefitted from, because I was trying to keep up.

Sat with poet Charles Coe, whom I adore, both as a poet and person. We had a good time. And, because I was going to the prose reading instead of the poetry reading, he recited the poem he planned to open with, just for me. What an honor, especially to hear something so beautiful.

After, there were readings. I had a friend reading in the prose section, which was run by another friend, so that’s where I ducked in. This year’s batch of readings were very, very good, and everyone had the chance to comment on them. It was a good evening.

Several of us repaired to the bar after, for a couple of drinks and a good chat. I was the only woman in the group (not planned), and we all had very different backgrounds, so it was an interesting and long-ranging conversation. It was also interesting that the men wanted harsher criticism. I think you can offer constructive criticism without being hurtful in a personal way.

We were there until after midnight, and, on my way home, I stopped at Covell’s beach to do my homework for the settings class.

Saturday morning, I was up early. I wanted to bring something in to the fantasy workshop. However, INITIATE is in a delicate stage where only someone with whom I’ve built trust can help, and the THREE ROADS is structured tightly in a way that didn’t just let me pull a couple of pages out of context.

So I sat down and wrote something new. It was like the piece was forming for me out of the mist. A pair of sisters is central, as is the idea that art is a threat to the throne. Wrote four pages, rushing a couple of scenes a bit because I wanted to get the twist into the page count. But it felt right — that tuning fork of resonance hit the note. So I printed up copies, and there we were.

Worked the registration desk from 10-1, talking to people, helping them find things, etc. At 1, I had the fantasy workshop, with Carol Buggé, who, in addition to being one of my favorite people in the world, is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the luck to study with. The class was great — a small, but lively group, supportive and interested in each other without getting cloying. People distributed their pieces, we learned a lot, and it was over far too quickly.

Chantelle Osman was also there — I took her wonderful screenwriting class last year, and was sorry I couldn’t take her class this year, but at least we got to chat here and there for a few minutes over the course of the weekend.

I ran into Indira Ganesan at the cabana window, and we sat together “just being” (quiet) for awhile. She’s a good one to be with in companionable silence.

She had a 3 PM appointment, and I stayed outside in the beautiful weather a little longer to write, then went in a bought books by both Indira and Claire Cook, the night’s keynote. Claire arrived, and got settled, and then I went in to Indira’s setting class — about a dozen people. We rearranged the room to be more of a circle, and wrote in class, then each read our scenes. There was a lot of good writing in the class, and I was also delighted that my scene, which was both painful and funny, hit home and got a lot of laughs.

That made me realize how much confidence I’ve lost in my work over the past few months, and made me start thinking about where I need to go from here, and what decisions to make.

Immediately over to the ballroom to hear Claire Cook — what a nice person, and what a terrific inspiration. She’s learned how to make the best of everything, and how to enjoy the journey. I can learn a lot from her.

If I ever reach the point where I think I can’t learn from others, I hope someone wallops me upside the head with a cast iron skillet!

Didn’t go to the banquet, because I had a previous commitment. Took care of that, then settled in to do my homework for class, commenting on my fellow students’ work for the fantasy class. I like the fact, this year, so many people are working on things that are different, not just mimicking already published work.

Up early on Sunday, baked cinnamon rolls, tried to relax before going in. We got some sad news about a family member with a long-term illness — hospice is in there now, so it’s a matter of days. That will change many things for a lot of us.

Worked the registration desk again in the morning. I’m happy that the entire Board stepped up for the conference and was a presence, much more so than last year. It makes a huge difference in the energy and morale of the conference.

Carol’s workshop was, of course, fabulous, and the four pages I’d written in an hour went over very well. The feedback was VERY helpful (which isn’t always the case in workshops), and people are eager to read more. So, more there will be. The piece goes into the queue.

Helped clean up post-conference, loaded all the easels into the car for Mermaid Ball, and the big posters for the conference — they wouldn’t fit in Sara’s car and people just stood around like the office was in Puerto Rico instead of Osterville. Puh-leeze. Stick ’em in my car and I’ll get ’em back.

Collapsed at home — no voice, absolutely exhausted. Read a bit and early to bed.

Sad news on Monday morning — my mom’s best friend died unexpectedly over the weekend. They were both in their 90s, and had been best friends since they were 14. It’s tough on my mom. I wish I could do more for her.

Had to go on vocal rest on Monday because of the voice problems. Could feel the bleeding, and it was painful. Carrying around a pad to write everything down, trying not to act like a bad Central Park Mime. Did some work on the wine event, dropped off a note for Mezza Luna to get the ball rolling on our NYU Alumni Event, dropped off the easels at NMLC, put gas in the car, came home and rested.

Let the fantasy piece I worked on in the workshop percolate. I know my anchoring protagonists and have a working title. I know how I’d like to expand the pages I wrote for class into a legitimate opening chapter.

Watched the last two episodes of season 1 of LINE OF DUTY on Monday night. It’s so well done, and, ultimately, so depressing!

Wanted to sleep in on Tuesday, but the cats weren’t having it. Managed to get the posters back to the writers’ center office before the rain started, then came back home to write and sleep.

It amazes me how much I’ve lost in the past months, especially when it comes to my work. The best way I can put it as that my writing has been out of tune, and when the writing isn’t working, nothing else works, either. I know WHY and I have a good idea of WHAT changes need to be made, but the details of the changes are something else altogether. The weekend gave me confidence and perspective, and it’s the first time I’ve been happy in months. Decisions need to be made from there.

Rested a lot, trying to get my feet back under me for a busy week at work, and then the Mermaid Ball. Worked on the world-building for the writing, enriching the environment, because that’s such a huge part of the characters and their conflicts — and their secrets.

Violet, my oldest and smallest cat, was sick yesterday afternoon, so I went out in the monsoon to get her organic baby food. That seems to have settled her stomach, and she’s much better today, thank goodness. I think it was a reaction to the flea and tick medicine.

Started watching the first season of PIE IN THE SKY, which is charming. Thoroughly enjoying it. Lots of gentle wit in the dialogue, yet it’s still a cop show. The structure is amazing.

Also enjoying Claire Cook’s NEVER TOO LATE, her non-fiction book on reinvention. To cheer up my mom during this difficult time, I’ve gotten her a stack of Claire Cook’s novels and a stack of Barbara Delinsky’s novels. There’s a warmth to both of their writing that’s necessary right now.

Mezza Luna is excited to have the NYU Alumni do their meet-and-greet., so that will get sorted, and there’s more work to do on the wine event.

This morning, the family in Maine said our relative wasn’t supposed to last the night, but sat up and asked for breakfast this morning! 😉

Some writing this morning (back on track with my first 1K of the day), then a long day at work. It’s too hard to have the conference and the Ball so close together. If it’s scheduled that way again next year, I’ll have to only do one. Today is always my lowest energy day of the month anyway (being the day before the dark moon), but now, all I REALLY want to do is sleep.

Also working on the questions for the GOALS, DREAMS AND RESOLUTIONS site for 2016. I want to post them in September, or, latest, October, so that we all have time to think about them. I think I might tweak the site a bit, too, with more suggestions and resources instead of everyone just working so much alone.

I need to update my websites, too.

I had a great idea for a short story, a comic science fiction that anyone who knows me well will get a good laugh out of! I’m figuring 1500 words or less, comic, with the last beat being a little disturbing. Got several of the characters and the setting, so it should flow pretty quickly.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying summer, and that this week is even better!

Devon

Published in: on August 12, 2015 at 9:15 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 12, 2015: Cape Cod Writers Conference Wrap-UP & Other Life Stuff  
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Mon. March 3, 2014: Retrogrades & Why You Need A Professonal-Level Editor

Monday, March 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing

I’ll have my March To-Do list up on the GDR site shortly.

Mercury went direct on Friday, thank goodness. It was like a huge weight was lifted off. Mars went retrograde on Saturday — so be careful about having too short a fuse and REacting instead of thinking first. Saturn went retrograde yesterday — it’s the planet of life lessons. If you refused to learn the last time it went retrograde and in the interim, while it was direct, if you’re not being true to yourself — Saturn will kick your ass even harder this time around.

There is something I’m doing, a commitment I must fulfill during this month, and then I will take a break from that particular part of my career. Doing it is too frustrating, takes too much energy without enough reward, and by continuing to agree to do it, I am not being true to myself. So I need to stop. Yes, Saturn, I am listening. Please don’t kick my ass! 😉

Worked flat out on Friday and Saturday. I’ve started working through the books that arrived for the contest — there are a lot of them. What I like about these is that, although they are indie published, so far, all of the ones I read hired in an actual, professional editor. What a huge difference from the contests I’ve judged where it was obvious there was no editor, or, if an editor was listed, it was obviously a cheap-ass, content-mill level editor.

As a writer who is grateful when I am paired with a good editor who pushes me to be my best, I know how important that partnership is. Unfortunately, too many aspiring writers don’t want to pay a professional price to get professional work, and can’t be bothered to learn the basics of third-grade level English themselves. Yes, that’s right — can’t be bothered. Every library has books on grammar, structure, editing. If you didn’t pay attention now, bother to learn.

If you can’t afford the rate for a professional to edit the whole novel, get the first three chapters line edited and APPLY IT TO THE REST. It’s called “critical thinking” and “reasoning”, and if you’re going to be in the world of words, you need to know how to do it.

A few months ago, an aspiring writer came to me for advice, complaining that the work was rejected over and over and over again. When I looked at it, there wasn’t a single sentence without a spelling, grammar, or punctuation error. A reader couldn’t even tell what the story was about because it was too hard to fight through the way it was presented to get to the content. When I pointed out the individual had to work on craft elements, the response was, “I don’t have time for that boring stuff. I’m an artist.”

All great artists fuse craft with art. They don’t always stick to the rules, but they know them inside out and choose when to break them.

Fortunately, so far, all the books I’ve read for this contest have at least had a good copy editor, and don’t get marked down on that aspect (yes, that is one of the things taken into consideration). Some of them could have used a strong content editor, but at least I can get to the story itself so it stands or falls on its own merits.

Landed an interview gig with someone based overseas. Am about to send off the questions. Should be fun.

Stuck to my staying-offline-on-Sundays (which, in most cases, is now a necessity — I need the break). Instead, I wrote, in longhand, nearly 30 pages of TRUE HOME. The research I’ve done the past week came together.

Watched the Oscars last night. Thought they were rather tepid. Also, award season’s gotten too cluttered.

Had a nice fire in the fireplace yesterday. When the snow stops in a few hours, I will go out and shovel.

The priority today is to finish the revisions on the play. I need to start casting this week.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 9:04 am  Comments (3)  
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Mon. April 9, 2012: Dialogue and Tulips and Taxes

Monday, April 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Billy Root’s blogging over on his site about auditions and how he wound up on the film that’s the backdrop for HEX BREAKER. Check it out here, and drop a comment so I know you visited!

Things are going well for the Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions Seminar on Saturday, April 14. At this point, it looks like it’s the only dialogue workshop I’ll be teaching all year online. So if you missed the others, or if you want some new information, make sure to sign up here.

The dates for the next Fast and Fun workshops will be finalized in the next couple of days, and then pages will go up with the registration information. Unfortunately, 1and1, yet again, won’t let me put buttons on my site via Mac, so I’m going to go to the library and use a PC every time I need to put in a button. Definitely time to move hosts, once I get the webmail they’re holding hostage away from them. I was lucky last time, because I was working somewhere where I had access to a PC. The webhost shouldn’t dictate what type of computer I can use. I can’t even put in a “tweet this” button!

My “One Story, Many Voices” class starts today, and I continue as a student in the steampunk class.

I don’t know if I remember all the way back to Friday — I know I didn’t feel well, and that I did a lot around the house in preparation for the weekend’s company — tidying, washing floors, vacuuming, rearranging, that kind of thing. The house looked great, but I still want to do more with the front yard. However, it has to be inexpensive, whatever I do.

Had a good writing sprint with the students — it’s working better, on this book, to write in company.

Saturday was fun — long-time friends from CT came by for a visit and lunch. I hadn’t seen them in years, so it was good to catch up. I actually fell asleep in the late afternoon for awhile, while doing some research for a project.

Sunday, I slept in, then spent most of the day catching up on the computer with what I hadn’t gotten done on Saturday. I like Sunday to be my day offline, but, oh, well. The work has to get done, and I wasn’t up to it on Saturday after company left. I worked with students, did some research for some proposals that will go out this week, got out some interview questions for a piece, and did some promo work. I had a weird dream about an old friend on Saturday night into Sunday, and woke up with an idea for a tweak on a piece I’m getting ready to send out.

I’m glad Mercury went direct, and I’ll be glad when Mars goes direct at the end of the week. However, Pluto goes retrograde tomorrow. THAT always brings some interesting revelations!

Lots to do today, both writing and administrative, so I better get to work. This will be a busy week – but then, lately, every week is busy. Fortunately, it’s “good busy”. But I’ve got to deal with the taxes this week — ick. Not so bad because I do quarterlies, but still, gathering all the paperwork (I was bad about keeping up all year) is a pain in the butt, and I just don’t feel like it. Too bad for me! 😉

Some of my tulips are already blooming — isn’t it a bit early?

Devon