Mon. Feb. 27, 2017: Some “Mistakes” Are Not Okay

Monday, February 27, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

The weekend seems far away, even though it’s not.

Most of it was spent writing. Some studying, some researching, but mostly writing. That is a good thing, and I intend to take advantage of it.

I ran some errands, should have done some yard work and didn’t. I’ve got the edges of a migraine threatening, and I hope it doesn’t blow up full force, or I will be in bad shape.

The weather was unseasonably warm early on, so I did some of my work out on the deck.

I’m reading Alyssa Maxwell’s A PINCH OF POISON, which is a lot of fun.

Also watched the first season of THE LIBRARIANS, which is more clever and funnier than I expected. It’s also structured very well, so I’m watching it for structure as much as for content. There was one episode where you could tell there were just too many writers in the room, but, other than that, I was pleasantly surprised.

Tried watching another show that came highly recommended, but stopped watching. I’d read the books, and wasn’t as thrilled about them as a lot of people. I’d absolutely loathed one of the protagonists in the book, and I didn’t like her any better in the series. The primary protagonist, around whom the story is built, was okay but not my favorite in the books — I found the actor irritating. He was difficult for me to watch, both in the show and in his interviews. There was something about him I didn’t like and didn’t trust, and I found it difficult to go on a complicated journey with him.

So I didn’t.

Diving into a busy week; I have to finish reading and commenting on my colleague’s script, I have to study for Constitutional Law, I have to research both the Italian Renaissance and fashion in 1931 Hollywood. I have to work with my elected officials.

I’d hoped to go to Salem next weekend to see the shoe exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.

Mixed feelings about the Oscars last night. Kudos to the winners — the work was very good. I was glad to see the blue ACLU ribbons and the refusal to bow down to fascism and be silent.

Unfortunately, all the good done and the credibility of the evening was destroyed with the Best Picture Fuck Up. It is inexcusable. It’s not a “simple mistake.” You do not humiliate, in front of millions of viewers, a group of people who worked as long and put as much heart into their work as the LA-LA LAND company did by calling them onstage with the win and then say, “Oops. Kidding. Not yours after all.”

Not only is it being cruel, it negates the credibility of the entire evening, which was the chance to do some good in the world, by showing artists being creative, vocal, and engaged.

There is no room for this kind of “mistake”. There better be some heads rolling this morning.

It’s cruel to the company of LA-LA LAND and undermines the company of MOONLIGHT. Both films are extraordinary in their own ways, and they deserve better.

That’s what happens when you give bean counters too much power.

Back to the page.

Thurs. April 21, 2016: Shakespeare Joy

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday wound up being a fun day. Got a lot done at work, including processing books, videos, and magazines, and then the amazing Neil McGarry performed a “Tribute To Shakespeare” that he created specifically for this event. It was beautiful and powerful and personal. It reminded me, yet again, why I love Shakespeare so much, and that I could work on Shakespeare for the rest of my life.

I also met some terrific people who attended the event, and we had a great conversation about creative projects.

Last night also gave me fuel for a piece I’ve been playing with, set against the background of the Scottish play.

Once home, I worked on the new version of “Severance”, the first of the shorts to be re-released, hopefully in mid-May. I tightened the text a bit. The voice is unique, and I didn’t want to make it too much like the voices of other first person characters, so I had to be careful.

I do like the piece. I’d always thought it was a one-off, but if it gets enough response, I might write another piece with Eidolinn and Riker.

I think “Plot Bunnies” will be the next one to re-release, in June.

Managed to get the major script material in for the Big Deal Deadline. I won’t hear anything about it until early August, but at least it’s out. It’s either what they want, or it’s not.

Didn’t have a chance to do any yard work this morning, but I did manage some work on Non-fiction #1.

I have a lot on my agenda today, but hopefully, I’ll get a chance to get most of it done. Then, more writing tonight. I don’t particularly like to write at night, but if that’s when it needs to be done, then that’s when it needs to be done.

At least the weather is lovely – I see more yard work and replanting in the future!

Published in: on April 21, 2016 at 8:20 am  Comments Off on Thurs. April 21, 2016: Shakespeare Joy  
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Thurs. June 19: Inspiration and Choice

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Yesterday was a busy, busy day. I was up by 5:30 and at my desk to work on script episodes, then headed over to the library an hour before my “start” time to get a few things done in peace and quiet before setting up for the author event.

We did the set up — we know how to feed people. Not only are we “the fun library”, we know how to feed people at events.

Our author this morning was Ron MacLean, who wrote HEADLONG. I absolutely love this book. It’s technically shelved as a “mystery”, but it’s so much more — it deals with the complex lives we have, trying to juggle and made decisions and walk our talk on a daily basis in a complicated world.

Ron is one of the best speakers I’ve heard in a long time — maybe ever. He’s funny, articulate, intelligent, and thoughtful. He gave me a lot to think about, both as a writer and as a human being. Since writing and reading are about exploring experience and viewpoints, it was the best type of take-away from an event — not just agreeing with what he said, but “oh, I didn’t think of it in those terms before. I need to spend some more time thinking about it now.”

On a personal level, it was hugely satisfying. On behalf of the Writers Center (as a board member, and with authorization from the Executive Director), I invited him to present at a WNO next season and at the 2015 Conference. Hopefully, that will all work out.

I was a little disappointed at the low turnout, in spite of the publicity that had gone out about it. The people that were there were delightful, lively, and engaged, which made it interactive and fun, which was great. Trust in the adage that we were all where we were meant to be in the moment.

A few people came in and were surprised we were having an event. Now — it was clearly posted on flyers IN the library; there was a sign OUTSIDE the library; fliers went out two weeks ago to ALL the libraries in the CLAMS network; it went out to newspapers, blogs, events calendars, radio stations. It was in our monthly newsletter. It was on the landing page of the website. If you are a library patron and STILL don’t know about it — that’s CHOOSING not to pay attention to anything around you, and I can’t help you. I’m tired of people making excuses for remaining oblivious. If I remained oblivious when I worked backstage, I would have been taken out by a two-ton moving pylon in a set change twenty years ago. Or shot on a NYC subway platform. I realize that I’m somewhat hyper-aware at times — I couldn’t have lived on the Deuce in NYC otherwise — and it literally saved my life on more than one occasion.

After we cleaned up, I was happy to have several boxes of books to unpack. I’m so excited about the new titles I’ve ordered. I’m in the process of the administrative work to get them on the shelves and out to patrons as soon as possible. I hope the people who come in to the library and scour our shelves for “new” books and “new-to-them” authors are excited, too.

We had a communications glitch about something for today, but I think it’s all straightened out. Mercury Retrograde — we need to all have a little extra patience and compassion, which is often hard.

Came home, cooked dinner (I could keep food down! I was very excited). Sat on the deck as the sun set with Tessa, reading. Went to bed pretty early.

Up early this morning to get some writing done before heading back in to the library.
I’ve got the episode due for delivery today done, and I wanted to have the final episode done, too, but it needs a bit more work. So hopefully, I can polish it this morning and tomorrow morning, and send it off tomorrow, and then focus on revisions for all the episodes next week. And then, the Big Script Project is done.

Onward, and to the page.

Devon

Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 8:11 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 19: Inspiration and Choice  
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Wed. May 14, 2014: A Day of Writing

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Full Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Worked flat out yesterday on the scripts. Ran into some obstacles with revisions on one episode, but got the episode that was due polished and out, and got some decent work done on the one due tomorrow.

Finished Ann Patchett’s THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE, which is excellent. Started the next book I have to review for my editor — it’s in present tense, so the writer already lost me. It’s also very impressed with itself.

And that was pretty much my day. Writing all day. Pretty decent day.

Today, I’m off for a full day at the library, and then some grocery shopping, then polishing the next episode. The Marine Life Center will be featured in a segment on CHRONICLE tonight, so if you watch it, please do!

Devon

Published in: on May 14, 2014 at 6:51 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 14, 2014: A Day of Writing  
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Fri. May 9, 2014: Library, Scripts, Contest Entries, and Edits

Friday, May 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy day at the library. A lot of it was spent coaxing our machines to do what they’re supposed to do — what should have been a fairly straightforward project took much longer than it should have. A solid reminder of why I loathe Microsoft and how much happier I am with my Mac. However, I also got some other work done, on outreach for the theatre collection and to writers, encouraging them to use our library as a resource and even write their books on site, polish my report for the board next week, etc. There were also all those things that come up during the day, to help patrons find something they want, and to deal with the dozens of issues that come up during the day that need attention to keep the collection running so patrons can get what they need when they need it.

Today, I’ll be finishing up the big project from yesterday and printing a lot of book spine labels, along with everything else. A few things came up yesterday that I need the Circulation Director to teach me how to do properly, too! Always something new to learn, which keeps things fun.

Before I’d gone to work, I’d polished and sent the second episode of The Big Script Project. I’d integrated notes from the first episode that affect the second episode, and tried a few things that are easy fixes if they want a different direction. Later today, I’ll get started on Episodes 3 & 4, which need to be delivered next week, along with the revisions of Episode 1.

The next round of edits for TRACKING MEDUSA arrived yesterday morning (I think I mentioned that in yesterday’s blog post), so I’ll turn those around this weekend, finalize the Series Bible for it, and do the “Odd Word Sheet” for “Severance”, which is the next Amber Quill release coming down the pike for me.

Stopped at the store and the liquor store on the way home from the library. Had a glass of wine on the deck — Tessa was pouting and wouldn’t come out. Cooked dinner, and then got to work on contest entries. I have one stack to finish up over the weekend, and I’m supposed to meet with a colleague after work to go over entries on another contest.

Donna Leon’s newest release, BY ITS COVER, is out (and I got it, I’d put it on hold). It’s set against a Venetian library. I’m in heaven! Now, I just have to make sure I carve out some time over the weekend to read it.

At some point, I also have to get gas for the mower, fire it up, and start mowing my lawn, before it looks like a jungle!

Have a great weekend, all, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Devon

Hey, if you want a fun read for the weekend, pick up a copy of my ghost story, “Lake Justice”, released by Amber Quill Press here.

Published in: on May 9, 2014 at 5:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 9, 2014: Library, Scripts, Contest Entries, and Edits  
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Fri. March 21, 2014: Buckling Down

Friday, March 21, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I was absolutely exhausted yesterday. However, I pitched for some jobs, worked on the script, worked on contest entries, had an interview with a new client, and set up an interview for today with another potential new client. I circulated information to fill the two tech positions, and hope to fill them in the next week or so.

Today, I will work with students, work on the script for tonight’s rehearsal, probably pitch a few more jobs, do the client interview, and, hopefully, get some of my own writing done.

One of my most reliable clients is late paying the last invoice, and is ignoring my questions about it, which is a little disconcerting.

This next week will be difficult — I’m waiting to hear back on a potential gig that I really, really want, and I’ll be so disappointed if they go with someone else. But it will also be a busy week because the Grant Awardee Reception is next week, and I have to prep my actors for it.

Time to buckle down and get things done.

Visit Adventures in Vineland to read about the latest adventure here.

Devon

Published in: on March 21, 2014 at 6:43 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Jan. 23, 2014: Post-Storm Writing

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. Comcast is back to their old, extortionist tricks. They truly believe they are above the law. They are not.

In any case, on Monday, I got some good writing done, including a nice section at night on TRUE HOME. Tuesday, I wrote more on TRUE HOME before discovering that Comcast fucked me. Again.

Then, it was off to Centerville Library, to deal with what I had to deal with online — checking email, working with students, sorting out answers to interview questions for the test article that this new market and I are working on together. I’m actually pretty efficient with limited online time.

I knew that the storm would start early, no matter what the weather folk said. By the time I left the library, a little after noon, it was already snowing (they said it would start around seven p.m.). I picked up more batteries, and headed home.

In the afternoon, I worked on the big editing project for my client, and read some more of the Ben Franklin biography. I think I would have liked him. He was interested in just about everything, which made him interesting.

Also worked adapting some prose to script format.

Wrote more on TRUE HOME, finishing up Chapter Six, from Garrett’s point of view, and starting Chapter Seven, from Jem’s. I love writing from Jem’s point of view. I feel very connected to him.

I also unpacked a box from the many boxes still waiting to be unpacked in the basement and found a lot of really cool and useful stuff. I also found things I could purge. The purging feels good.

We had a blizzard all night, and it continued well into Wednesday. I already knew the libraries would be closed, and I’d be cut off, so I could prepare. I wrote ten pages in longhand on TRUE HOME, first thing in the morning, finishing Jem’s chapter, and getting ready to start Chapter Eight, from Antoinette’s point of view.

Still trying to decide how to get THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE back into the queue, and if I should buckle down and write the whole book, or if I should dig out the outline, polish it up, and submit the outline and the first few chapters. I could also ask the publisher — he said he wanted to see more from me. The question is, would I be able to make the deadlines set if I sold it on outline, with the new play coming up, the screenplay packets prepped, and the edits on both books coming out this spring? I need to think about it for a few days.

Wednesday, I completed the big editing project for my client, wrote four press releases, finished Jem’s Chapter Seven of TRUE HOME and made solid progress on the next Antoinette chapter, Chapter Eight.

I hunted for my outline notes for BALTHAZAAR and can’t find them, so I’ll have to re-read the fifty or so pages I wrote on the book and go from there. However, I found a lot of other useful material. Now, I have to decide what to do with it — it needs to get out into the world and earn its keep.

Took about two hours to dig out from the storm. Not as much as the storm early in the year — about 12 inches instead of two feet. It was fluffy, so easy to shovel.

I used the electric snowblower, which is a major pain in the ass and doesn’t work well. I bought it to be more eco-friendly than using a gas-powered one. If “they” want us to be eco-minded and give up fossil-fuel-powered tools, then design alternate energy tools that both work and are affordable. Without both of those factors, people cannot and will not change.

This morning, I polished up some exercises for my students and roughed out an article. I’m at the library, catching up. I also had to shovel out the driveway again, since the plow for the street just shoved all the snow back into the driveway.

And then, it’s back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 10:52 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 23, 2014: Post-Storm Writing  
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Fri. Sept. 6, 2013: The Evolving Novel

Friday, September 6, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

It’s definitely autumn. The heat would kick on if I’d let it.

I struggled yesterday. It took me all day to write one chapter, just over 5200 words. Not a good thing. It shouldn’t have taken that long.

I managed a trip to the library to drop off some books and then took a walk on the beach. The beaches are ours again, now that it’s past Labor Day. I’ve missed being on the beach regularly. I need the sound of the waves.

Wrote some letters, got some admin work done. When I finish today’s fiction quota, I’ve got some articles to knock out.

An actor friend wants me to write a caper script. Amazing, how when a civilian says, “You should write”, I just want to smack him, but an actor I like working with mentions something, and off I trot to the desk. Occupational hazard, I guess. Made some notes on the caper script and on another piece that I thought would be prose, but might start as a script and then I’ll adapt it.

I hope this will be a quiet, writing-centric weekend.

The book on which I’ve been writing a chapter a day started as a potential category piece, but is evolving into more of a contemporary exploration of loyalty and fame. I’m just going to let it be what it is, and then take it from there.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 8:12 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues., June 4, 2013: Trying to Get Back into the Groove

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hard to get back into the swing of things yesterday, especially with a sore throat. I think it’s bus fumes, not getting sick, although I feel logy and over tired.

Yesterday was about catching up with what I’d missed, working with students, trying to get back on top of things. Torrential rain, which made it hard to get anything done outside the house. Plenty of rain water gathered for the week’s watering, though! 😉

Pitched a couple of jobs. Was insulted that a couple of jobs to which I pitched, which sounded legitimate, were actually paying content mill rates of $5 and $10 per article. Considering another place offered me $150 for the same word count — guess where I’ll be working? An article was turned down and immediately picked up by a better publication.

I did some work on Confidential Job #1’s material, and made some notes for an upcoming project.

Finally managed to settle down and fixed about 20 pages on the BLOOD AND BONE script, then adapted it into 15 pages of prose. Working on the script and the novel in tandem is an interesting exercise, especially when it comes to point of view, and in whose POV any particular scene or chapter needs to be in. Once the novel draft is done, I’ll have to let it sit for a bit, and then flesh it out with some more sensory detail, although I’m doing a bit of that now.

Have to get out the June newsletter. Should have prepped it before New York, but I ran out of time.

Reading Eleanor Coppola’s NOTES ON A LIFE. Gives me ideas on enriching some of the atmosphere POWER OF WORDS (which will shortly be renamed).

We have a seal release this afternoon over at NMLC, so I have t make sure everything is handled and I can go out there and photograph it.

Better get to work. Wish I felt better.

Devon

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 7:40 am  Comments (1)  
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