Mon. June 30, 2014: Go Direct Already, Mercury!

Monday, June 30, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny, warm, humid

Busy weekend.

Friday just sucked every possible way. I don’t even want to get into details, but I was furious by the time I left work, and had to reassess some of my goals and how best to get there. Hate it when Mercury and Saturn are retrograde at the same time.

Came home, and Tessa was like, “Mom, calm down. Play with the turquoise mouse. It’ll all be fine.”

Read a bit, wrote a bit, worked on the last three script episodes, finalized my PR materials for Saturday.

Friday night, we had coyotes in the yard. Woke us up at 2 AM, right up at the house. It’s a strongly bonded mated pair, and I think they’ve got little ones close by. They’re absolutely gorgeous animals — but they’re coyotes, and very close to the house. Tessa wasn’t phased at all, but the twins hid under the blankets. They were establishing territory — we heard them circle their two-mile patch for several hours. I don’t want them hurt, but I also don’t want them to hurt any person or animal in the neighborhood. If anything, I’m most worried that a neighbor will do something stupid and then officials will come in and hurt the animals. I’m hoping we can peacefully co-exist, but let’s face it — humans are stupid and arrogant, and it’s almost always the habitat that suffers.

Exhausted on Saturday, from lack of sleep. Sent off the last script episodes (will be happy when the final check arrives). Sent off some emails, took care of some business.

Headed home for lunch and to pack up the materials in the car, then over to Osterville Library’s tent for the AuthorPalooza event. There were 27 of us there, hosted by Books by the Sea. The copies of TRACKING MEDUSA didn’t arrive in time, but I had HEX BREAKER, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, and ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT in print copies, and the sell sheet for the three digital releases, and the sell sheet for the Topic Workbooks. We were a fun, lively group. I got to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and meet some interesting new ones, AND talk to some of authors about the possibility of doing a program at the library. My boss came from the library after work, my friend from NMLC came, and it was, all in all, a fun afternoon. We were on the grass, so every time I got tired, I could slide out of my shoes and put my bare feet on the grass and re-energize.

Stopped at the liquor store on the way home and found an affordable bottle of blue raspberry vodka. Toss in a squirt of lemon juice, and I have my blue lemonade. Yummy!

Watched AMERICAN HUSTLE on Saturday night, on DVD. I’d seen it in the theatres when it came out, and now wanted to see it again. Enjoyed it thoroughly. It reinforced my sense that Jeremy Renner’s work wasn’t given the praise it deserved (although he didn’t maintain the Jersey accent consistently, which I hadn’t noticed the first time I watched it, but noticed here). What an amazing cast. In the interviews, the director talks about inconsistencies in characters and how that interests them, but my sense was that they were true to their cores, and then layered the inconsistencies onto that core to get what they wanted and needed.

Yesterday, I was going to do many things, but decided to stay true to my commitment to Disconnected Sundays. I did, however, turn around my edits for “Elusive Prayers”, which I will send off to my editor.

I also read Lauren Owen’s debut novel, THE QUICK. It’s getting a lot of hype, and the initial printing was 100,000 copies, so her publisher is very confident. I read the whole thing yesterday. Yes, it’s a great, big, fat book, but it held my attention. I absolutely loved the first 100 pages — especially her phrasing. I liked and admired almost all of the rest, and was frustrated by the last chapter, although I saw what was supposed to be the final twist coming about 150 pages before it did. It’s a literary horror novel, and there are vampires involved. Anything more would give away too much. It’s very well done, much better than most, but I’m rather vampired out at the moment. It’s definitely a novel I would go back and re-read in a couple of years (especially if I manage to avoid most vampire novels in the interim, which I doubt I can do). It’s definitely up there, for me, with DRACULA (the original Bram Stoker one) and Elizabeth Kostova’s THE HISTORIAN (which I loved).

Read a cozy mystery where the protagonist’s best friends were so unlikeable I kept hoping one or both would be the murderer’s next victim. No such luck. Also, there was only one body drop, and the protagonist was never in any actual peril. Boooring. That author’s off my list. Not reading more of her books for myself, nor am I ordering any for the library, nor will I recommend them for the Cozy Mystery Book Group that we hope to start in the autumn.

Re-reading Elizabeth Elo’s NORTH OF BOSTON, because she’s coming to talk at the library in July. It’s kind of a modern Boston Noir (very different from other types of noir).

The coyotes did a howl-by last night as they raced through the yard, but that was it.

I’ve got to mow today, send off some materials, and then run errands. Monday is errand day, after all.

Champagne Publishing and I have parted ways, as of today. The last few copies of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT are the last copies (it’s officially out of print), and it’s no longer available online. You can get the print copies that remain through Books by the Sea in Osterville (as of later this week — I have to drop them off when the copies of TRACKING MEDUSA arrive). Cotuit Library also has a copy in circulation. The rights have reverted back to me. I wait thirty days, then I’m commissioning a new cover, changing the title, changing a few things in the text back to my original vision, and it will be re-released, both in digital and paperback formats. I will keep you up-to-date as things happen.

I will be so happy when Mercury goes direct tomorrow.

Have a great week!

Devon

Wed. June 25, 2014: Deadline Pressure & Focus

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Day Before Dark Moon
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day yesterday. Worked flat out, focusing on the revisions for the Big Script Project, and the galleys of “Severance”. Nipped over to Wheldon Library in the late morning to come up for air for a few minutes, connect to the internet, sort out a few things, and send off the finished products.

Then, it was back home and more writing. Also wrote about 750 words in longhand on something I hope is a novella, but I suspect may be longer. AND I figured out how I can tie one of the new ideas I outlined over the weekend to the world in which “Severance” is set.

Also discovered three new possible publishers for the Sophie Batchelder mystery series. I think I’ll re-read the first book and the proposal over the weekend, see if it needs any more tweaks, and then send it out next week, when Mercury goes direct.

I am so ready for Mercury to go direct!

Reading Rachel Aaron’s Eli Monpress series, which I thoroughly enjoy. The first book reminded me, in tone, of Robert Asparin’s first few M.Y.T.H. books, which I loved, and the second book went deeper in a good way. Looking forward to the third.

Working on the materials I’m taking to the Author Palooza event this weekend. I’ve got the copies of ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, HEX BREAKER, and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Fingers crossed the print copies of TRACKING MEDUSA are arrive on time, but hey, it’s Mercury Retrograde, so I’m not counting on anything.

Busy day today at the library — training session, getting as much work as I can, and then meetings at 4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM. I’m supposed to read at Cotuit Center of the Art’s Salon of Shorts tonight, too, but I wonder if I’ll have enough in the tank after three back-to-back meetings to do it. Then home, starting the food I’m bringing to tomorrow night’s party, and more revisions. And this, being the day before the Dark Moon, is my lowest energy day of the month. Tomorrow morning, when I get up, I have to finish prepping the devilled eggs while working on more revisions.

And here, I thought my schedule would slow down. Silly me!

But it’s all good busy, and I’m grateful.

Have a great day!

Devon

Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

I am still sick. I’m not falling over all the time, but things are still not great in the old GI track. I’m pretty miserable. I need to eat, in order to heal and keep up my strength, but it’s awful when I do. Plus, now I have “the headache” that comes along with stomach issues, and is usually worse than the stomach issues in some ways, but I can’t take anything for it, because anything I take upsets my stomach even more. I had an absolutely miserable night last night, which means I’m not in great shape for today.

Yesterday, I finished both episodes due this week, and sent off the one due yesterday. I finalized a media kit I’ve been working on for a client for awhile, which has had its challenges, and I’ve gone as far as I can go with it, so we need to call it a day on that.

I went to Centerville Library to work for a couple of hours — since Comcast fucked me. Got everything done, and completely ran out of steam.

Soup for lunch, and in the afternoon, went over to the dark side and got a smart phone for myself and a cell phone for my mother. I HATE PHONES. I am not living at someone else’s convenience, and my writing CANNOT be interrupted by the phone. If the phone rings while I’m writing, it’s not an annoying interruption — I’ve lost the work. Period. It’s gone. I don’t get it back. The work is gone and my day is shot. From a single phone call. Therefore, it will still remain off most of the time, and is ONLY for family, friends, and emergencies.

Anyone who has legitimate business with me knows that I do not do business over the phone. If you want to do business with me, you email me or you send me something in writing via post. Anyone who calls for “business” therefore does not have legitimate business with me and can go fuck themselves. The few times I do agree to a SCHEDULED phone conversation (I do not accept unscheduled calls), I charge in fifteen minute increments, like a lawyer. 99.7% of all so-called “client” phone calls are a complete and utter waste of my time, and only consist of the client liking the sound of his own voice. Therefore, he can pay me for it.

I resent that I have been forced into this. Once I’m a few months in, I will see if this plan works, or if I need to change to something else. My mom’s phone is very much like her last phone, but with a different company than the previous ones. She feels more secure with a cell phone, and that’s important.

On the positive side, I watched one of the best movies I’ve seen in years last night. It’s called LIBERAL ARTS, by writer/director/star Josh Radnor. The acting and the writing were superb. It was funny, it was smart, it was surprising. There were times when it could have fallen into cliché and did not. I just loved it. One of the best things I’ve seen in years.

I’m going to attempt to go to work this morning, and see how far I get. I’ll stop at CVS to get some medication first. If this doesn’t clear up in the next day or so, I may have to call the doctor. And you know how much I hate going to the doctor.

One step at a time. That’s the best I can do. One step at a time.

Devon

Published in: on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side  
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Thurs. June 5, 2014: Happy Tired and Workshops

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Felt like I’d put in a full day before I even got to the library yesterday. Had a lot of stuff to haul in for the workshop — it was quite comical.

Busy day pre-workshop — got in a lot of books, and it was all the admin that has to happen to get a book out of the box and onto the shelf — setting up the record, putting on barcodes, stamping, spine labels, etc. I’m very excited by some of our new arrivals.

The workshop itself was fun — staff, volunteers, and some people from other libraries, and the one who administers the grant. Lots of info, lively discussion. The great thing about this group is that they were genuinely interested in the CRAFT that goes behind the books on the shelves. So often, especially now, when you speak to a group that’s primarily writers instead of readers, they wriggle impatiently through the craft part and the only questions they’re interested in is how they get an agent and get published without having to bother to learn the actual craft and Write WELL. The dynamic in this discussion was terrific. I might get to do it at other libraries, too.

Came home, exhausted. Tried to work on the script, but I didn’t like what I was doing. Did a rough draft of the monologue.

Booked a fun workshop for the library in August, in which I will be a co-participant. Costume Imp will be here and we’re doing it together. Details to follow!

This morning, I have to finish and send out the script episode and deal with some admin work before heading back to the library. It will be a busy morning — I have some press releases to get out — and then I’m in Chatham for a librarian workshop this afternoon, head back to the library for an hour or so, and then head off to the College to participate in an Environmental Summit. I couldn’t go to the full Cape Coastal Conference this year, because it fell on workdays, but the summit is in the evening, specifically geared to nonprofits working together, so I’m excited. I’m going on behalf of the Marine Life Center.

Pretty soon, the galleys from “Severance” will land on my desk, and my editor’s already working on the edits for “Elusive Prayers.”

I’m excited for both the Belmont Stakes and the Tony Awards this weekend. I want California Chrome to win — the sport needs another Triple Crown winner, it’s been long enough, and this guy has the talent AND the self-possession to do it. However, Belmont is famous for long-shot upsets. I’ve certainly cashed in on enough of them through the years. So we’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic. Now that I’ve had a few years’ break from the dozen or so years covering the Triple Crown as a journalist, I can really ENJOY it again. And the Tony Award Show is the most fun of the award shows, with the strongest sense of community.

Off we go, to get it all done!

Devon