Feb. 23, 2012: Hoping to Asana My Way Out of Frustration

Thursday, February 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

I’m over at The Writers Vineyard talking about juggling today.

The crocuses are blooming in the yard, and the tulips are starting to come up. I’m panicking that we’ll get a big storm and all those lovely tulip bulbs I planted in fall (on time, no less) will rot and die. Photos to follow soon (probably on Gratitude and Growth).

Busy day yesterday. Took my mom to her medical appointment, and then we went out to breakfast at the 6A Restaurant in Sandwich — really good food, reasonable prices. Spent the rest of the day working flat out. I have huge amounts of backlog to read on student work, mostly because they were late getting it in — which is not an option for me this week, because of my own edits for the book. I will not be late with my own edits because they’re disorganized. But it meant working until 11 PM again last night. If you can’t meet a commitment of a six week class, you’re not going to meet the type of commitment it takes to write a novel or build a career.

Also, skimmed through and put aside a book that was supposedly about finding peace and balance, but in reality was a bunch of passive-aggressive, psycho-babble bullshit excuses about why this successful individual didn’t like her success. The book just left me so angry, and has turned me off this individual’s other writing permanently.

Business aspects are part of success. Deal or get out. Don’t get passive aggressive or take it out on those who have made it possible to succeed. And don’t hide behind psycho-babble. If you don’t like the results, change the path that brought you there, and change your attitude. Don’t keep doing the same thing and then blame others when they are doing their job — a good one, at that — just because you refuse to change any part of your attitude. Flexibility is a component of success, along with grace. commitment, and being able to think on your feet. You make a commitment, you keep it with a positive attitude. You don’t lash out at people who have nothing to do with your choices and your frustration.

I’m off to yoga, and then, it’s flat out again all day. My primary focus, today, though is HEX BREAKER. Every one else is just going to have to wait. Disorganization on their part does not constitute an emergency on my part. I have well over 60K to read this week, plus do my own work. I set up a reasonable time frame; if they refuse to meet it, they have to wait until I can circle back, since I’m not going to punish the students who are keeping on deadline because others are late. Those who are on time are read and commented on first; the latecomers will have to wait until I can circle back. They knew what was expected from Day 1.

On the flip side, I was glancing at some listings on Media Bistro and found some interesting possibilities. Will have to get out pitches over the weekend.

Hopefully, I can asana my way out of my current mood of frustration.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a few snow flurries yesterday. Nothing major, but it was very pretty, and it happened in full sunshine.

I’ve discovered that it is always sunny over Sandwich. Doesn’t matter what’s going on anywhere else, I drive to Sandwich, and the sun is out. Kind of cool.

Got some writing done (but not enough), did some more work on the workshops, ran some errands (which took far longer than expected). One was a wild goose chase looking for some small tables and lamps. Y’know, shopping for small/antique items is supposed to be great during Mercury Retrograde,and, usually it is, but not this time around.

So I guess the “go shopping” part of my Mercury Retrograde mantra (stay low, stay quiet, go shopping) doesn’t really work this time around.

Got out a bunch more packages and what I thought were the last of the cards (until I got some cards from people I haven’t heard from in a long time and had to write back). I have two more packages to get out today, and then I am done! A week later than I’d hoped, but it’s done and I’m not scrambling.

One of the things I like about the holiday card tradition is that, with some people, it’s the one time of year we actually all sit down and catch up. I love to hear what people have been up to!

Got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1, due just before the end of the year. It looks really interesting, and I plan to dig into it over the weekend.

Decided that, while I’ll probably let an anthology call due Jan. 1 go, because I’m just not feeling it (and I can let it go because there’s no signed contract), I am inspired to answer a contest call due at the end of February. The opening is coming clear, the characters are introducing themselves to me. I made a few pages of notes this morning, sorting out what’s been whirling in my head, and we’ll see how it goes. I also need to get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and POWER OF WORDS is pulling at me again. When I last left them, they were filming the pilot of the show on .. .Cape Cod!

Hopefully, I can get the insurance stuff finally sorted today, and tomorrow I’ll get in some supplies — they’re saying Sunday’s snow storm might last until Wednesday. We might not get up to Maine for Christmas Day after all, so I’m going to have Plan A and Plan B ready, and whichever way the weather goes, we’re ready.

I’ve also got to find time to get the old mantel clock and the 400 Days clock to a local clockmaker and get them fixed. I have several clocks that need fixing, but those are the most important. I’m a clock person, and we haven’t unpacked our clocks. I don’t like relying on the cell phone to tell me what time it is. I want CLOCKS up in the various rooms.

I was working on an assignment for a client the other day and realized, “I don’t want to do this.” Of course, I did it — it was contracted, there’s nothing wrong with the client, perfectly nice, pays on time, etc. I simply don’t want to focus on that element of the business. So I have to re-think things a bit, how I can gracefully withdraw from that type of writing and replace it with paid work that I WANT to do.

Not only do we have a full moon on the Solstice (Tuesday) but there’s a full lunar eclipse at 3:17 in the morning. I love how the local weather folk here get so excited by things like eclipses.

Eek, it’s after 9 AM, I better get going, or I’ll be behind all day. Again.


Published in: on December 17, 2010 at 9:15 am  Comments (4)  
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010
Day Before Dark Moon
Rainy, windy, flood watch

The way the weather forecasters talked the past few days, I was looking up “Ark Rental” on the way home, because that’s what it sounded like I’d need. For the record, you can’t rent one — it’s a strictly build-your-own enterprise.

We left the Cape much earlier than we wanted to yesterday, after a lovely, but somewhat rainy birthday Thursday all the way out at the tip of the Cape, the Province Lands, and visiting old haunts of mine from the last 1960’s, early 1970’s. Provincetown seems to have lost its sense of fun. It’s not as openly hostile towards straight people as it was a few years ago, but it’s lost its sense of individuality and freewheeling, artistic fun because it’s trying to promote itself as supporting individualism, when, in reality, it supports a different type of conformity. The Province Lands themselves are still gorgeous, especially around Race Point, the ranger station (I took some almost Edward Hopper-esque photos out there), and the sea lions are finally coming back. There was also a major dolphin rescue going on in one of the Wellfleet Coves — a pod of 16 dolphins got stuck in almost quick-sand like mud, and they were trying to get them out. Not all of them survived, and it was still in progress when we left.

The birthday dinner was at The Beehive in Sandwich, always fun. We saw a wonderful Victorian house in Eastham — perfect size for the house, above the budget, and not enough land. The lot size was too small for me even to have a tiny garden, and I want a BIG garden. I want to have an herb patch, a vegetable patch, create a labyrinth walk, and have open space, as well, so that needs some land.

We’d be happy anywhere on the bay side of the Cape, in any of the towns stretching from Sandwich to Eastham, with Sandwich, Barnstable, and Brewster being our top choices. Everything we need, shopping-wise, is located on Rt. 132 in Hyannis and easy to reach, and the small, independent shops scattered throughout are pretty wonderful,too.

We were back home a little after noon yesterday, having skipped our planned stops in CT at the Book Barn, etc., because we were worried about the weather. The rain was pretty light all afternoon and evening. It picked up overnight. I boiled gallons of water, everything’s charged, we have batteries. The wind is hurricane-force. I got up at 5 AM and moved the car up to the hill, so if/when the brook regurgitates, the car will be safe. I’m going down to check on the brook every few hours, and it’s rising steadily, moving swiftly, and has the muddy brown color that usually bodes ill. The drains and gutters are already all full, with water pooling in the streets. The worst is supposed to hit us at 10 PM tonight, with unusually high tides.

Read Laura Resnick’s DOPPELGANGSTER, which was a lot of fun. I got a little ahead of it towards the middle, and figured out who did it about a hundred pages or so ahead of the heroine, but the way it escalated towards the end more than made up for it. I’d definitely read more books in the series.

One of the books I mooched arrived yesterday, CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE: POET AND SPY, which goes in the crate with the books for the Shakespeare project. It looks fabulous.

I did some follow-ups on submissions and have a list of things to get out the door this week, and I need to get back to the plays, but it’s difficult to concentrate with the storm. I hope it’s not going to be as bad as they predict, I hope it doesn’t flood, and I hope we don’t lose power. I’m ready in case we do, though. Just battening down the hatches.

And, I can always write in longhand by candlelight, which is what I usually wind up doing when it floods.

Fingers crossed.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Cape view

If all goes as planned, I’m covering the Bourne Scallop Festival today, and then, hopefully, there will be some time to walk the marshlands in Sandwich.


Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 1:12 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cape Cod View

From a landlocked country to an open sea view — and, more importantly, fresh sea air after a week of being in a place where 99.9% of the people around you are chain smokers.

I’m headed to the Cape today. On today’s agenda is The National Marine Life Rescue Center, hopefully checking into a hotel in Sandwich, and buying some fabric in Hyannis. I’m sure I’ll stop at the bookstores while I’m there.

And then, a no doubt early dinner at the Beehive Tavern, since I’m still ridiculously jet lagged.

I miss my father’s best friend, a history and linguistics professor who taught for decades at McGill University in Montreal. He was my father’s best man at my parents’ wedding in Montreal in 1952, and he and my father used to go out drinking. He spoke 7 or 8 languages, and had a wonderful personality, Even as a small child, I adored him, and he always was generous and humorous with me. I remember almost everything he told me, so I can only imagine how great he was with his students.

He was from Yugoslavia, and had fought in the Resistance. He was very politically aware and adept, and had a large circle of European ex-pat friends around him in Montreal.

He would have been a wonderful resource, both before the trip and after, helping process it.

I always thought he died of cancer. I was stunned when my mom corrected me– he committed suicide, slitting his wrists in the tub one day while his wife was at the market.

A bit of a shock.


Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 1:08 am  Comments (3)  
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

HEX BREAKER got a great review over on FALLEN ANGEL REVIEWS. Check it out! I’m thrilled!

Maine was a roller coaster, as usual, and as tends to happen when one is dealing with long-term illness. It’s tough on everyone, from the day-to-day caretakers, to the people who are ill, to those who come up and try to play catch-up whenever possible. On the positive side, we all try to enjoy every moment we have together and sit down and figure out practicalities. No time is wasted on guilt or argument. So that’s a plus.

The trip up was surprisingly smooth, considering we’re in a Mercury Retrograde. Nice weather, very little traffic. We stopped at Stonewall Kitchen in York to pick up some necessities – can I just say that their Lemon Pear Marmalade is superb? I’ve never tasted anything quite like it, and I love it. We had lunch at Mike’s Clam Shack in Wells, which was good, and did some shopping up in Windham. The colors popped in Kennebunk more than anywhere below or above the town – as though someone painted in the trees for their upcoming pumpkin festival! It was quite lovely.

We had another excellent dinner at Gilbert’s Chowder House in Windham, where I had their excellent steamed mussels again. I’ve been thinking about those since the last time I had them, back in August! This time, I kept the shells – I can use some, and I know people who do art with found objects, so they can use them, too. No reason for them to be tossed in the trash.

I’ve been looking for a large oval tray and found a brass/copper engraved one in Plymouth – I’m thrilled, I can’t wait to set it up for Samhain. It’s gorgeous. And we found the BEST, most magical, wonderful independent bookshop in East Sandwich called Titcomb’s. When I relocate to the area, that’s where you’ll find me several times a week. I plan to do an article on them for A Biblio Paradise in the next few weeks.

I bought a fascinating book in the gift shop near the Mayflower II, of all places, in Plymouth, a YA (or maybe it’s middle grade) called STEALING SHAKESPEARE. Yeah, I know, buy a book about Shakespeare at Plymouth Rock (or, as I call it, Plymouth Pebble). But hey, that gift shop (and the one at Plimoth Plantation) carry a GREAT selection of books for all ages. You know when I have something appropriate I’m going to use the fact that I spend so much time (and money) in those gift shops to convince them to carry MY books. Actually, one of the managers and I talked about a YA mystery type she’d love to see and carry in the store – I’m tempted to write it just for her!

The minute I drive over the Sagamore Bridge and land on the Cape, I’m happy, and I’m always sad to leave. I can’t wait until driving over the bridge towards the Cape means I’m headed home. It is absolutely the right place for me.

Believe it or not, I got some writing done, although not necessarily what I should be working on. I have a project I call my Blowing Off Steam Project. It may never go anywhere, but I enjoy writing it.

I packed both the bag for Maine and the bag for Philadelphia before I left for Maine, so it’s only a case of switching a few things around and re- packing my writing bag.

I’ve got to pay some bills, deal with building scum, and load up the info on a brand new flash drive dedicated to The Big Project before I head off to Philadelphia. I need to get some writing done, too, so I better get back to the page.

As difficult as some of the family illness is to deal with, it was a wonderful trip to New England, and I wish I could have stayed longer.

Now, it’s off in the other direction for some more hopefully focused work.

I cooked like crazy all day Sunday, and there’s barely room in the refrigerator or freezer for a pretzel stick, much less anything else. I love a full larder!


Devon’s Bookstore:

Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 7:51 am  Comments (6)  
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