Wed. June 29, 2022: Creativity, Cats, and Yoga

image courtesy of Tamba Budiarsana via pixabay.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune Retrograde

Sunny and warm

I’m happy with the work I did on The Big Project yesterday, and that will probably be the biggest focus for the upcoming weekend: getting the edits on the first large section done while working on the second large section (this will all make sense when I reveal what this project actually is). It’s bizarre not to finish the entire thing and then edit the entire thing, but since there’s technically not and “end” (although there are options to impose one), that’s how this needs to be done.

The editor confirmed that I am in the first volume of The Monthology shared world anthology. I’m very excited, and I’m excited about my fellow contributors. There are still contracts to sign and edits to complete and all of that, but I’m happy. I’ve wanted to be part of a shared world anthology since Thieves’ World first showed up in the 1980’s, and now I am. Always nice when a creative dream comes true!

Played with the horror short story. If I don’t choose the right way to tell it, it will read voyeuristic and exploitative, instead of terrifying. I think I’ve got the right angle on it now; we’ll see as more words go on the page.

Spent a lot of time in the morning updating the links for the “Personal Revolution” re-release, and putting up the ad for it every damn where I could think to put it. Scheduled a bunch of tweets with the ad through next Wednesday on Tweetdeck, one per day. Don’t want to do overkill; at the same time, it needs promotion. Even with a list, I’m sure I missed a few places that will come to mind over the next few days.

Hopped down to the pharmacy to pick up my mom’s prescription.

Willa wanted to come out on the back balcony when I watered all the plants yesterday morning. I told her she couldn’t, and she was unhappy. I promised her that I’d take her out after lunch, in her playpen, and I did. At first she was happy, but then she was restless, so I brought her back in. Charlotte, who was upset that she couldn’t come, too, had given up by then and fallen asleep. But Tessa insisted that she wanted to go out. I told her it had to be in the playpen, and she let me put her in her playpen (each of the three cats has her own playpen) without trying to rip my lungs out, the way she usually does.

I took her out and she had a good time. She was interested in everything, especially all the different birds we have. There are a lot of different kinds of trees and tree-like shrubs nearby, with a large variety of birds. I need to look them up in the bird book. I don’t know what some of them are.

When we came back in, Willa kept running into the laundry room and trying to drag out her now folded up playpen, to go back outside.

I’m glad Tessa enjoyed herself. She always loved going out on the deck at the other house, although I didn’t need to put her in the playpen. She knew the boundaries and stayed on the deck. But the back balcony isn’t safe unless they’re in their playpens.

The computer was being wonky and frustrating. Again. And my phone is limping alone, just about done.

Something I ordered way back at the start of the month arrived, and was a big disappointment. The photo of the piece was highly stylized. Had I known what it really was, I wouldn’t have bought it. It was also presented as something created and made by an individual artisan (which is why I paid what I paid for it), but it is poorly mass-manufactured. It’s not worth returning, but I am unlikely to order from that company again. I will take some time with it and fix it up to be unique and what I want it to be, but it should have arrived that way.

I tried to concentrate on client work in the afternoon, but with the January 6 Hearings, I just couldn’t. Every seditionist and supporter needs to be removed from power any and every way necessary and prosecuted. The way nothing is happening is disgusting.

SCOTUS upholding gerrymandering in Louisiana to disenfranchise black voters doesn’t help, either. Dems need to stop telling us to “vote harder” and THEY need to fight smarter.

I went to my first in-person yoga class in nearly three years yesterday. Local place, in walking distance, should I choose. Loved the vibe of the place, liked the way the teacher teaches, enjoyed the other members of the class. The vaccination requirement is strictly enforced, some of the students still choose to mask, there’s plenty of room for everyone, and great ventilation.  I felt safe within the space (although I’ll still test in three days, then six days), along with feeling renewed after class. I definitely would like to take more classes there. It’s a little late in the game to buy the unlimited summer pass (maybe I’ll do that next year). I’m going to see about buying the 10-class pass in a week or two, once the bills are paid – and once I know how much the new phone will run me.

The place in Pittsfield doesn’t have the phone I want (and is unlikely to help me switch everything over if I order it online). I might switch carriers. A different carrier with a store a few blocks away has a similar phone (but one step up) that may be a little more expensive, or it may be on sale and around the same price. The monthly no-contract plan is less than what I’m paying now, for about double the capacity. I’ll go down and talk to them today, after I do my library run. If they can’t/won’t do what I need, I’ll stick with my carrier, get the phone I want online, and see if I can do the transfer myself (urgh). But let’s hope I don’t have to.

This morning, though, before I run my errands, I want to get the horror story drafted (it’s short), and maybe work on some of the format wonk in the SUBMISSIONS SYSTEM workbook. This afternoon has to focus on client work.

The kitchen island cart is still in pieces all over the place. It’ll be the weekend before I can deal with that, too.

For the moment, though, now, it’s back to the page.

Tues. May 29, 2012: Giving Myself a Raise

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

I needed this break. Except for voting for the National Marine Life Center on Saturday, I was offline nearly all weekend. I read a lot — nothing I was supposed to, but many things I wanted to. I wrote a little, playing with some new ideas, not because I had to, but because I wanted to — since I was up on all my deadlines, I’d earned that right. I pushed hard in the weeks leading up to the break, rather than procrastinating. Got to visit with friends and hang out and have a real break.

I worked in the garden a bit. I mowed on Sunday, the terraced back, and for some reason, was ready to pass out by the end of it. Don’t know what that was about. I’ve got to do the front today — we’ve got more company coming in tomorrow. Bought pinwheels for the beds, to scare away the birds.

Saturday was gorgeous. We went to Eastham, to take a tour of the Captain Penniman house. Several years ago, I bought a copy of Augusta’s journals — now I saw her house! She went on several voyages with her husband. They were a lively, interesting family. It got an idea tickling at the back of my head, a way to mix several ideas I’ve played with for several years, but not been able to make work. Needs percolation time, but could be a lot of fun.

Thought about how I’m going to change my business model, where I will and won’t work moving forward. Fewer classes at higher prices is part of it. Offering a class only once a year or once every few years to particular organizations is another. And focus on the places that make a financial commitment to me regardless of student flakiness and who actually earn administration fees by vetting the applicants. If I say, “Intermediate and above”, they should be screening the samples and not even forwarding me the ones that are a mess, especially if they’re keeping 50% of the class fee.

So yes, it’s time I give myself a raise.

It means filling in with different types of work for awhile, but that’s okay. I’m ready for fresh challenges.

The Cape had a hugely successful Memorial Day weekend — sold out hotels and packed shops and restaurants –it’s up to me to tap into that market.

I’m off to meditation now, and then I hit the ground running. I’ve got a very busy week ahead, culminating in the one day online Setting Up Your Submission Systems seminar on Saturday. If you haven’t signed up, you better do so here. Best price you’ll get, and the only time it’s being offered this year!

Devon

Fri. May 18, 2012: Class Preparation, Writing, Reading

Friday, May 18, 2012
Day before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I pitched for a job before leaving for yoga yesterday morning, and wasn’t even late! If we like each other, I think it could be a very good fit — I hope they’re interested in what I pitched to them.

Yoga was good; came back home, got some work done, went out and mowed the front lawn — all of it in one go — both the mower and I were up for it. Then, I trimmed the edges with my hand clippers, and weeded all the front beds — they look much better. I still have to mulch, but that’s going to have to wait a week or two. It looks really nice. Some of the grass seed sprouted — it’s a blue fescue, so it looks really lush and pretty.

I have to mow the terraced area later this morning. The meadow’s going to be good for another week or two.

Dealt with my students during the day, which meant I had the evening to get some writing and reading done. I’m struggling with this next section of revisions.

I sent my editor two reviews for the last two books sent (both of which I enjoyed), and told my editor to send me something good for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend! He promised to get something out to me today.

For Writers Worth Week, today, there’s an article by Sharon Hurley Hall on “What are You Worth? You Decide!”

I’ve got to finish up the preparations for tomorrow’s class, and then get the press materials over to Falmouth for the fall. I’m going to an art opening tonight at the Cultural Center in Yarmouth, and I have a lot to get done before then. This morning, we tried to walk on Sandy Neck Beach, but it was closed, so we went to the Boardwalk at Sandwich, then came home for breakfast, Tessa and I read the paper on the deck, and headed back to Sandy Neck, and got in our walk. It was gorgeous — not even windy, for once.

I finished setting the stone edging for the new bed when we got back; now I have to decide what I’m going to put in there! The lettuce and greens are growing so fast we’re eating salad every day — not necessarily a bad thing!

Better get going — lots to do, and I have to be at the school by 8:30 AM tomorrow!

Devon

Don’t forget the Setting Up Your Submission System one-day online seminar on June 2. It walks you through all the bits you need and how to organize them so that putting together a pitch, a query, or a submission package is a snap! Registration and more information here.

April 16, 2012: Lovely weather for Patriot’s Day!

Monday, April 16, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy weekend, and I’m exhausted. Had to work hard, and now I’m feeling like I’m coming down with something, so I’m being a bit careful.

Friday was a busy day, prepping for the seminar. But I took the promised break in the middle of the day — I’d been invited to go with friends to Heritage Museums and Gardens for an author talk about Eudora Welty and the garden. I went with two friends, and we had a great time. After the lecture, we got to walk the grounds — it didn’t open for the season until the next day. The landscaping is stunning there, and everyone we met was enjoying the final preparations and the day. It was so beautiful out — sunny and not too hot.

We stopped in Sandwich at a shop called The Spotted Cod, which has some really nice stuff, and then went to the Beehive Tavern for a little snack. We were brainstorming/half-joking about a mystery series called “The Bellini Girls” about a trio of Bellini-swigging women (who loved Nancy Drew growing up) who wind up solving mysteries on Cape Cod. In other words, comic cozies. I think it would be fun to play with that idea. I’m sure, by the time I finish, it will have grown away from our original joking around, but it seems like something fun.

First, though, I have to get my contracted deadlines out of the way! 😉

Was up working on smoothing out the last minute technical stuff for the seminar until nearly midnight on Friday. Add to that the frustration of not being able to access the Savvy Authors forum at all to comment on student work — kept getting “attack page” warnings. Poor things, they’re working hard to fix the problem, and it’s been dragging on now for a couple of months. Makes it hard for all of us to meet our deadlines, but, as I said to them, we just do the best we can, give each other a bit of room. There are quite a few regulars, and I know that they’re conscientious, and I don’t want them to feel bad for something that’s not their fault.

Managed to catch up on the student work from both classes on Saturday in and around being online non-stop for the seminar hours. It was good group, although some of them were a little shy. Some of them are new students, and we’re learning our rhythms with each other.

Saturday night, I had to go to bed early (raging migraine). Read the papers Sunday, wound up the final seminar questions, finished the PDF of the companion handbook to the seminar — had to drop in the cover, add the indicia page, and add the resources. I put together a reading list of books that I think cover what we discussed, plus some of my favorite writing books, plus a pretty extensive list of volumes of diaries and letters that are helpful in attaining the cadences of an historical time period. Since I collect volumes of diaries and letters, I had to pick and choose, or the list would have run close to 30 pages! I think the final one is about three! Had to proofread it, too, and wowza! Missed some doozies of typos in the lectures, but they’re fixed in the handbook, so it’s all good. The handbook went out last night, so everyone’s got a long term reference guide.

The next one-day seminar is on Antagonists, and it’s May 12, and then, on June 2, I have a one-day seminar on Setting Up Your Submission System. The registration for both of those will open later this week. They’re the same deal — in real time on Saturday, where participants can read lectures, post relevant snippets, ask questions, get individual feedback, final questions on Sunday, and then a PDF of the lectures, exercises, and additional resources.

It’s Monday, which means Billy Root’s blogging, so go on over and check it out. Good news!

This week will be crazy-busy, but in a different, hopefully less stressful way than last week. This afternoon (even though it’s a holiday here), I’ve got a client meeting. I’m looking forward to it — hopefully, we’re a good fit and can start a mutually beneficial relationship over the next few months.

And I’ve GOT to get back to the page. I’ve done only the minimum the past few days, and that’s not enough.

Got to do some yard work today, and will do it early, before it gets too hot. Sometimes, Mother Nature’s deadlines are more pressing than anyone else’s!

Devon