Wed. Oct. 11, 2017: I WILL This to be a Better Day

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Yesterday was just one of those days that one is happy is done. Dozens of frustrations and incompetent people adding up to annoyance.

But it’s done, it’s over, and today will be better. I will MAKE it better.

Got out some pitches, heard back from a few places in the negative. Was supposed to have a meeting scheduled for today, but the person never bothered to get back to me as promised, responded when I asked, or let me know that the meeting had to be postponed. That individual better not think I will jump if suddenly that party decides the meeting should happen today. Some basic courtesy and professionalism is appreciated. Of course, that’s another strike against this potential gig. I already feel it was a bit of bait-and-switch. The signs point more and more to potential nightmare.

I’m working on the survey for working writers, which I think will be interesting both for those taking it and for me. I’m not yet sure how I’ll use the information, possibly as a basis for an article.

Matched the copy edit errors I caught with those my copy editor caught on SAVASANA. Of course, she caught more. Thank goodness. Put in all the fixes, and the manuscript goes off today for another proofread.

Then, I can turn my attention to the fixes I need to do on the edition of SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM for the new distributor.

I also have to prep the other workbooks for new distribution, and figure out when to schedule in the new ones.

I did a little bit of work on MARRIAGE GARDEN, but couldn’t concentrate.

I have to take a look at the BBC version of the radio play LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES, and maybe do some tweaks for a potential market over there.

Some promo on PLAYING THE ANGLES (it never feels like enough, does it?) and on the Topic Workbooks.

Started reading one of the two new books I need to review. I like it a lot, which is a relief. So far, anyway, it’s very well done.

Finished reading a memoir of a mucky-muck in the art world. The book is well-written, but I don’t think I’d have liked the person very much. Happy to admire his skills from afar.

I have some new article ideas to pitch to several publications, more promo to do, some permissions to hunt down for quotes I want to use in an article, and follow-ups.

I took twenty research books back to the library yesterday. Smaller stack today; small stack tomorrow, but big books. All in prep for the next slew of books coming in.

Also, have to clean out the garage while it’s still warm enough; give everything a good scrub, so that, as I bring in plants for the winter, they have a clean, safe place to sit until next spring. Might make bread later on, too.

Hoping I’ll be able to tackle the FIX IT GIRL section today and tomorrow. The end of the book is fairly close — maybe seven chapters? But this section is tricky to rewrite. Then, off it goes on submission. Long journey for this book, but worth it. My protagonist makes some choices that might shock some readers — which is why it falls into literary/historical rather than a genre with a tighter formula.

By next week, I hope to get back to the TRACKING MEDUSA edits. I need to get that out so we can turn around the galleys before the holiday madness.

Still trying to figure out when we can reschedule the release of “Labor Intensive”. That’s negatively affecting the Digital Delights schedule in general. I don’t want to take away from PLAYING THE ANGLES or SAVASANA AT SEA sales.

Also need to finish the media kit for SAVASANA AT SEA. I need to figure out one more excerpt, do the press release, and finish the Q & A, and then it can go out.

Never a dull moment, which is a good thing.

 

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Tues. Oct. 3, 2017: Releases, Writing, Worrying

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Plenty of links today. First, check out the piece about PLAYING THE ANGLES over on A Biblio Paradise. Don’t forget to order your copy in any of the various digital formats. Links here.

Second, my October To Do list is up on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. I’ll also post questions to think about between now and the end of the year shortly.

Yesterday, I did promotion for PLAYING THE ANGLES. I also got some new material up on the Nautical Namaste website. I’ll be linking and promoting that site in a few weeks, when SAVASANA AT SEA becomes available for pre-order. Right now, I want to focus on PLAYING THE ANGLES.

Sent out some pitches, did some follow-up on pieces. Sent out two short stories, which had come back from other markets. It’s always a dance, finding the right partner for a piece.

Finished both books I have to review, and the reviews will go out today. My new editor told me I hadn’t acknowledged receipt of the books — but I had, weeks ago, when I received them. I always do. I HATE the “dashboard” system they have us working in.

Started working on the galleys for SAVASANA AT SEA. There are lots of little, fiddly things the copy editor and I have both caught. Also, although some grammatical choices are technically correct according to the style guide we’re using, they look awful on the Kindle. In some cases, the fix is as simple as using Chicago Manual of Style rather than Strunk; in other instances, I’d rather change how I communicate the material. There are a few places where the copy editor and I are working together to see what is correct and still looks and feels right.

I haven’t even had the chance to work on the galleys of SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM.

Got a weird idea for what I hope will be a flash fiction piece and wrote about 400 words on it. It’s an odd little piece. It will take time and shaping, but I like the premise. Now I have to add in the craft.

The mass shooting in Las Vegas is both heart-breaking and infuriating. It could have been prevented. Again, the GOP doesn’t care how many people die, as long as it’s those who don’t buy them off. The NRA isn’t about responsible gun ownership, it’s about profit. I have never heard the NRA or anyone who boasts about their association with them, talk about RESPONSIBLE gun ownership. There’s just a lot of chest thumping and “Me have right to own guns.” In fact, most of the people I have met who scream about their right to own guns lack the IQ, in my opinion, to be allowed such ownership.

Every member of Congress who votes against responsible, common-sense gun laws should be prosecuted AS AN INDIVIDUAL for every murder that results in their legislation. They can’t be allowed to hide behind their jobs or use tax payer dollars for defense or if and when they are convicted. The only way it will change is when it costs them more to vote against pro-gun legislation than for it. Because Congress, especially the members of the GOP, don’t care about individual lives. They care about personal profit. They demonstrate this over and over again, with every vote. So make it cost them.

John Scalzi wrote a beautiful piece on his blog about how difficult it is to work amidst all this chaos. You can find it here. I read it at 3:30 this morning, when I couldn’t sleep, and it helps.

Of course, the current administration is anti-art. They WANT us not to be able to create. Artists are the biggest threat to autocracy that there is, because good art makes people see and understand the world beyond themselves.

Keep making art.

Back to the page.

Fri. Sept. 29, 2017: If You Don’t Respect the Value of Your Work, Why Should Anyone Else?

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Friday, September 29, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy/sunny/cool

Yesterday was about sending out pitches and preparing SAVASANA AT SEA to go off to the publisher today.

I can’t believe PLAYING THE ANGLES releases on Monday! Excited and nervous all at once.

So, fixed the problem in the first chapter of DAVY JONES DHARMA (that goes in the back of SAVASANA), fixed a few errors, and SAVASANA goes off today.

Also went over the manuscript of SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM, which is going to an additional distributor — all the Topic Workbooks will, eventually. I want to get them on Amazon and into libraries.

That goes out today, too.

There’s been an editorial change at one of my regular gigs. I wish the editor himself had told me, instead of sending out a merry message about assignment distribution a few days ago, and then we get another message yesterday that he’s gone. He should have told us himself (unless he was unexpectedly fired).

I people’d yesterday, went out for the first time in too long, to a lecture sponsored by the Writers Center at Hyannis Library. It’s been nearly two years since I did anything with this group — can’t believe how the time has flown! Saw only a handful of familiar faces, met plenty of new and interesting people.

However, there were some annoyances, based in the typical attitude around here that what we do (writing) has no value. Three exchanges.

The first was with a board member, who talked to me about stepping in occasionally to interview authors. She said the interviews take place on Friday afternoons “when most people work.”

Um, what I do isn’t work? I beg to differ.

Second was with another writer. We talked about our writing, and he said, “What do you do for a living?”

Me: Write.

Man: I mean, your day job.

Me: Write.

Man: I mean, how do you make money?

Me: Write.

His incredulity was quite insulting.

Third encounter, I was talking to a lovely woman who happened to be friends with the former partner of someone I knew in New York. We had a great conversation about this, that and the other, and talked about writing. She dismissed the writing she does for companies and non-profits as “not real writing.”

Um, no. It IS real writing, it’s a specific skill, and deserves to be valued.

Until we value our own work, no one else has any reason to value it, either.

I was sitting with a lovely man who lives in New York, near where I grew up, and has a house in Falmouth. He’s writing a book about Ireland, during the famine. It sounds quite wonderful. He didn’t know one could rent from the National Trust, so I gave him the information.

Figures I’d connect with a fellow New Yorker. No insults about day jobs or writing not being work from him!

Anyway, the speaker was quite wonderful — an historian. I got some great ideas for better note-taking when I research, and I’m very excited to read his books. His name is John Cumbler, and the book I’m most interested to read is FROM ABOLITION RIGHTS TO RIGHTS FOR ALL: THE MAKING OF A REFORM COMMUNITY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.

All in all, it was a good evening, and I’m glad I went. But those encounters with people who don’t value what they do and what we, as a writing community do, are disturbing. This attitude is one of the biggest disappointments about living in this area. I thought I was moving to a progressive community that supported artists — not just by talking about how much they support arts, but by making it possible for artists to live and work with dignity. That is, unfortunately, not the case. If you come in with money and a best seller, they fall all over you. If you actually want to live here and work, you’re looked at as though something must be wrong with you, or you “couldn’t make it” elsewhere. Which is simply not the case. Writers (and many other types of artists) can and should work anywhere that calls to them.

A community that does not support its artists (and that includes financially) is doomed to ignorance and lack of progress. And, eventually, will fail in all other respects as well. Because artists are visionaries. They not only bear witness to the good and bad of current society, they hold the lessons of history, and they envision what the future can be — both good and bad.

Anyway, today is about errands and then pitches, work on some articles, getting both book manuscripts out, working on prepping the SERIES BIBLE manuscript for this other distributor, working on the books I have to review.

I’m having coffee with an artist friend this afternoon, which should be fun. Yes, I’m peopling two days in a row. It may take me days to recover!

I also have to do a big push on the FIX IT GIRL today, do the sections set in San Simeon, since those books have arrived, and start figuring out how I’m going to structure the Lavinia Fontana play.

I know I want to root it in how the nobles’ wives created the opportunities for her to compete for commissions with the male artists, but I have to figure out the details. I also know she will be pregnant in the play, as she was pregnant for much of her working life. I don’t want to have actual children on stage (not practical), but will use sound effects.

I’ve got some research for the novel within the MARRIAGE GARDEN, and I need to use those books and get them back.

Have a great weekend!

Don’t forget — PLAYING THE ANGLES releases on Monday! Woo-hooo!

 

Tues. July 9, 2013: Jazz and Writing

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Foggy and cooler

If you’re in the area today, come up to the Tabernacle for a free jazz concert. Details here.

And, time is running out for the “Start Your Revision Engines” workshop, running July 12-15. Details here.

Worked on the short story, thought through some revisions, worked with students, got out a mailing for a client, finished an edit for another client. Ran some errands.

Some spam idiot posted a comment berating me for only posting videos on my blog instead of something intelligent for people to read. Um, I have NEVER posted a video on any of my blogs. Talk about a quick kick to the spam file! Like I’d come visit your site when you insult me. Moron.

I need to mow today — the grass is getting a little high and raggedy. It was too hot during the heat wave. Even though it looks like it’s going to rain, I hope I can get some done today.

Brandy, to answer your question, the corset for the Mermaid Ball is a navy blue brocade. Really pretty.

For those of you who’ve taken my “Setting as Character” course, I have a book to recommend. It’s called SENSE OF PLACE: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN LITERARY LANDSCAPE, by Frederick Turner, and discusses how American writers found and used a sense of place, from Thoreau to Leslie Marmon Silko. Beautiful book.

Speaking of good books, I got a 5-star review for my Topic Workbook SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM. I’m delighted that this workbook is getting such a positive response.

Lots to do today and this week, and only a limited amount of time to do it, so I better get going.

I’m having such fun with the long short story — it’s a nice mix of mystery and high fantasy, although it’s longer than I envisioned. But I like these characters and this world.

The tiger lilies have started to bloom! I love tiger lilies — they’re so cheerful!

Devon

Wed. Jan. 9, 2013: SETTING UP SUBMISSION SYSTEM Available!

Submissions Cover 6X9 PDF

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Day Before dark moon
Sunny and cold

I have a fun interview up with Sharon Buchbinder over here. Many thanks to her for hosting me!

Worked with my students, which was fun. And I have a new ebook up on Smashwords — SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM. It’s based on the seminar I taught last year, with some updates and additional information. Only $2.99 in various e-formats, and definitely worth it. What it does is help you streamline your submission process so that, as you finish projects, you assemble all the piece. When the opportunity comes to submit, it takes 15 minutes to put together a packet, rather than starting from scratch and taking hours or days. Check out the book here.

I’ll be releasing several of the Topic Workbooks over the next few months.

Very tired and have a lot on my mind. Trying to get a bunch of different things sorted out, with obstacles every step of the way. You do what you can, right? Spent too much time dithering.

That was most of my day yesterday — working on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE, working with students, prepping the book for release, doing the photo shoot for the cover (the basic cover design will serve all of the Topic Workbooks, with the different titles, to tie them together). I got a little bit of work done on the Dickensian Steampunk in the evening.

Napped for about an hour in the afternoon. Just feel run down and icky. Today is the day before the dark moon — always my lowest energy day of the month.

Have some unpleasant business to deal with this morning, but the sooner dealt with, the sooner handled.

Hopefully, some of the pitches and LOIs I’ve been sending out will hit soon.

Devon

Published in: on January 9, 2013 at 7:34 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. May 31, 2012: Fun, Work, Writing

Thursday, May 31, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Worked like crazy yesterday morning, polishing lectures, revising my manuscript, updating my sites for the HEX BREAKER release. The revision has to be done tonight — it’ll be done, but I’ll be typing until the last minute. I found some wowzer problems near the end.

A friend came up from Pennsylvania — we haven’t seen each other in about three years. It was great to have a visit. Tessa, of course, was a wonderful little hostess, while the twins were drama queens. We visited out on the deck (I’d made devilled eggs, black bean hummus, etc.). We drove around to show him the area a bit, and then had a fantastic dinner at the Beehive. We came back for more visiting after.

This morning, we are going out to breakfast. He heads home, and I put my nose to the grindstone all day, and probably well into the night. I have to miss yoga this morning — but I’m hoping to go tomorrow night.

Today and tomorrow are the last days to sign up for the Setting Up Your Submission System Seminar on June 2. It’s the only time it’ll be offered this year, so if you snooze — you lose! 😉 Information and registration here.

The newsletter went out this morning for June. Once I get the book revision done today, I have to do another revision on “Town Crier” so that can release the second week of June. I also have to drop off a signed book to the library in Dennis for their auction. I’m on the fourth day of a migraine — so not fun, but I don’t have the time right now to let it slow me down. Hopefully, I can rest up Sunday.

And then, it’s back to finishing Book 3 of the Jain Lazarus Adventures!

Devon

Read an excerpt of Hex Breaker here. The book is available from Solstice Publishing and on Amazon Kindle.

Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 6:27 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 31, 2012: Fun, Work, Writing  
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Fri. April 20, 2012: Back to the World of the Living


Bugleweed and Scotch Moss

Friday, April 20, 2012
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday, I stayed in bed. I mean, I did a few things on the computer and watered the grass, but then I stayed in bed for the rest of the day. I feel better today, just low-energy. It was the right choice. And one day is misery was, I think, getting off pretty easy. I felt icky for about a week, but I really had only one bad day.

Mostly, I napped, read a book on meditation, and read Edmund Wilson’s diaries from the 1960s. I had a breakthrough of an idea in the book I’m editing, which will then spill into the second book in the trilogy. I mapped out, mentally, a few more proposals that will go out today, and came up with three ideas for non-fiction books that I plan to get into proposal stage over the next few weeks. The great thing about non-fiction is you can submit a PROPOSAL with the first three chapters, rather than fiction, where, until you have a long-term contract, you have to write the whole book first. I did some blah-blah, talking off the top of my head, and I even have a few people willing to look at them, with an eye towards contract.

The next two Fast & Fun Workshop registrations are live. The detailed information on Amazing Antagonists, on May 12, is here, and the Setting Up Your Submission System, on June 2, is here. Both are one-day, quick, and information-packed, well worth the price.

Later this morning, I head off to a friend’s (one of my fellow Bellini Girls) to pick up a small holly tree she needs to re-home and some violets. Hey, if it’s a holly tree, I’ll find a spot!

The tulips are gorgeous, the flowering almond is blooming, even some of last year’s pansies decided to be perennials instead of annuals.

Now, if I can settle down and get the work done — it’s all good! Hope to get a lot of writing done this weekend, and some more mowing and garden stuff. And get a bunch of proposals out, so that the coming moon cycle is rosy and abundant! Sunday, I’ve been invited to a Green Drinks event — not really sure what that is, but it sounds like fun, so why not? If I’m feeling up to it.

Devon