Mon. Dec. 15, 2012: Holiday Prep

IMG_0715
Tessa helps

Monday, December 15, 2012
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

It’s snowing up in Maine, but all we have here is rain.

What can one say about those shootings in CT? Well, plenty, but it’s going in an article, so I won’t spout off here. It’s horrible, and my heart goes out to all those families.

I read the anthology AN APPLE FOR THE CREATURE over the weekend, and, eerily enough, Charlaine Harris’s opening story had to do with a school shooting. One of my students in the Flash 7 class also wrote a powerful piece about it.

Roofers finished on Saturday, before the bad weather hit. They did a wonderful job, and we’re all snug for winter. The dumpster removal guy is here now, so the dumpster will be gone shortly, which is great.I spent a lot of time in holiday preparations, baking, etc. There’s still a lot more to do, but the holiday cards are out, I’ve made a start on the domestic cards, which I hope to finish today.

Finished my play Saturday night and got it out just under the deadline. Not happy with it, but I had to try. I’m letting it sit for a few days, and, next weekend, will do a revision. If it gets into the festival, I’ll swap out the revised version for the one they have. But at least I met the deadline.

Flash 7 class wound up. I was pleased at the quality of the work. Emotionally, the students went for the jugular in the best possible way. I’m revising my own pieces from the class and getting them out this week. I want to get as much off my desk as possible before the holidays. I’ll be writing over the holidays, but I want it to be what I want to write, not what I have to write. I also have to finish getting the short holiday pieces up on Smashwords, and prep “First Feet” for its free download on the Solstice. Plus get out some more pitches and hustle a few gigs for the first of the year.

I’ve got two classes starting on January 2 — a week-long “When Words Align” to help those who are stuck in their manuscripts or revisions, and a full month of “Sensory Perceptions”. I’ve got a full quota of private students, for the first portion of the year, but have a few slots for project-specific students. I’m also pursuing some higher-paying regular gigs.

I need to restructure so I can get the novels stacked up completed and out the door — if they’re not ready to go out and earn their keep, they’re not doing any of us any good, and I’ve spent too much time for too little money on other people’s work this year.

Later in the week, I hope to finish my new brochure, and then do a big mailing, so people will take a look at it and book me after the holidays.

Onward!

Devon

Wed. Dec. 12, 2012: Magic Day Starts with Frustration

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Dark Moon
Sunny and cool

12-12-12. Once in a lifetime, good day. Since the numbers add up to 9, the number of fulfillment, even better! 😉

But wordpress is working my LAST nerve today — hard to get into.

Yesterday was just a lost day. Total chaos. Not bad at all — I actually was in a pretty good mood for the day. Just couldn’t get much done. Got a little bit done with my students, got out a resume, some work done on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. Interacted with people who responded to the guest blog post, and did some marketing. Got some more decorating done. Worked on short stories.

When it was clear that I hit the point where I was a waste of food, I stopped. Rather than get frustrated, I figured I’d just roll with it.

I re-read two of Rosemary Edghill’s Bast mysteries, BOOK OF MOONS and THE BOWL OF NIGHT. I have SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER somewhere and have to find it and re-read that one, too. Loved these books now even more than when I originally read them. They speak so much to my life in New York City during those years (the years when the Nina Bell mysteries are set, actually). Yet, because I understand more and have more life experience, I enjoy both the memories and get a lot of the deeper references. I wish there were more books in the series, although I completely respect any writer’s decision to “be done” with a series or characters.

Today, the noise from the roofers is bothering me more than usual — probably because it’s right outside my office. I think I will take today to run errands. I have to get my overseas holiday cards written – they have to go out the door tomorrow. I got my online ordering done yesterday — not bad at all.

I’m going to spend some time with my students, and then get out of the house, while I still have at least one nerve intact! 😉

Devon Ellington

Check out the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays, featuring Nina Bell and, under the Ava Dunne name, Samantha Wright, in a romantic comedy/fantasy twist on familiar Yuletide myths.

Tues. Dec. 11, 2012: Total Chaos before 8 AM

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Day before Dark Moon
Rainy and cool

I’m over on Marian Lanouette’s blog today, talking about blog etiquette.

Can you say chaos?

Before 7:30 this morning, the roofers, the landscapers, and the plumber all descended. I’d gotten up at 6:30, donned pumps and a full-length coat over my pajamas to move the car. The plumber did his thing; the landscaper and the roofers got into it, because the roofers are working on the garage — and the landscapers were here to move the bushes in front of the garage. Since the landscapers were SIX WEEKS LATE, guess who won? The landscapers stomped off in a huff. I’ll be surprised if they ever show up. I think the owner should just get someone else in. I find this company unacceptable.

Then, the roofers had to leave because it started to rain.

By 9 AM, everyone was gone.

It’s going to be one of THOSE days.

The migraine still lingers. I got some work done yesterday, but not enough, although the work on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE and the new play both went pretty well. Worked with my students, got some stuff done around the house. Had to lie down for awhile in the afternoon because I felt so darned awful.

More to do today, but I have a feeling it won’t be the most productive of days! 😉

Devon

Published in: on December 11, 2012 at 9:03 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Dec. 10, 2012: Rainy Start and Lots of Writing

Monday, December 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Rainy and raw

Busy times!

Friday was about the roofers. Really, they aren’t anywhere near as noisy as I expected. I’m quite grateful for that.

Flash 7 class started. Quiet day on Friday. They had a whole day to read and digest material before the first story was due.

Most of Friday, I spent working on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. I’m happy with the way it’s going. Switching into first person made all the difference in the world. I typed up the first and part of the second chapter, while continuing to work on the fourth chapter in longhand. I’ve started my character charts and the other charts I need to track arcs and other elements that will need to remain consistent, especially from book to book (the seeds of what will grow into the Series Bible).

I also caught up on my World History homework. I thought this was the last week, but the class has been extended for two weeks. I enjoy it, but need to wrap my head around it.

Cleaned and prepped the various altars in the house for Yule. Got a little bit (but not enough) of decorating done.

Saturday morning, I wrote my 1K on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE, got the laundry done, ran the dishwasher, got the groceries in. Sat online most of the day on the class forum, but there wasn’t much activity.

Caught up on the Astronomy coursework. The physics of it, light, sound, wavelength, atoms, molecules, radiation, gravity — no problem. The mathematical equations – not so much. Much of that is my own fault — I am not willing to put in the time to break down the equations so I understand them and then put them back together. I want to know why everything has to be squared and then divided, or multiplied, squared, divided — it seems like there’s got to be a simpler way to set up the equations. It’s my usual resistance to math, believing these equations are created not to solve things, but because someone had too much time on his hands and likes to play with this shit. This is an unfair judgment on my part, but that’s my gut response to much of it. Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad that creating and using these equations makes people happy. More power to them! I am simply not one of them, and am glad they do it, so I don’t have to fret about it.

However, the demos are great, and seeing parts of these theories in practice makes a ll the difference.

Was feeling a little under the weather Saturday night, and by Sunday morning, had a full-blown migraine. Worst I’ve had in awhile. However, I worked with students and pushed through some more of the decorating. It’s still not done, but much more is up. The tree is pretty.

I like that we can decorate differently in the house each year. In the apartment, everything fit only one way. Here, we can try new things.

Polished a short story. Had to put aside a second one, because it didn’t fit the guidelines. I like it, and will continue with it, but guidelines are guidelines. Sent out two other stories that had stockpiled.

Have to do some business admin today, work with students, and get more writing done. I’m waiting on a few checks, which I hope arrive sooner rather than later. Also hope to start the history homework today, if there’s time. It all depends on the migraine, and how badly that affects me today.

Good first writing session on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE.

I have to say something about that dumb-ass prank phone call and those stupid Australian DJs who helped contribute to that British nurse’s suicide. Those two better start taking responsibility for their part in it. They feel bad? They should. They contributed to another human being’s death. To say there was “no malicious intent” is ridiculous. A prank call’s very nature is all about malicious intent. It’s about making fun of someone by humiliating them. When it’s done publicly, on a live show, even worse. The male DJ’s backpedaling of “every radio station in every country does it” — that’s the kind of lemming-like thinking that allows genocide. They’re in “hiding” and in “counseling” — yeah, probably paying someone to tell them what they did was okay. What they did was NOT okay, and instead of being cowards and trying to justify it, they should be looking for ways to make things right. Publicly crying about “how bad they feel” is a self-centered cop out. It’s not about them, and they SHOULD feel bad, if they have any pretensions at being ethical human beings. You fucked up big time, someone died, own it and now do something to make the world a better place. Stop the pity party. Actions have consequences, and they need to face the consequences for their actions. If there was no malicious intent, there wouldn’t have been a prank call. Everything they’ve said and done since this incident only fills me with more contempt. You did something stupid. Now do something positive to help get things in balance.

Devon

Two exciting classes coming up in January of 2013!

“When Words Align” — if you’re stuck in your manuscript or your edit, take this seven-day intensive to get back on track. Jan. 2-9.

“Sensory Perceptions”
— this popular class is back — in one month, learn how to use all the senses to make your writing more dynamic and engaging. You will work on stories specific to each sense, and one long, ever-evolving piece adding in sense-by-sense. January 2-Feb. 3.