Tues. July 10, 2012: Typing My Fingers Off

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

The weather has been gorgeous the last few days. May all of summer be this lovely!

Productive day yesterday: invoiced a client, edited three short stories for an anthology, sent off a contract, worked on three articles, worked on the ghostwriting project, worked on two short stories, started teaching the Scene Meat workshop, pitched for an editing job, worked on edits for HEART SNATCHER, finished reading the material for the latest assignment from Confidential Job #1. Ran an errand, swapping a donation a pro bono client is giving to a local auction, picking up the one they’re donating to my client’s auction, and picked up three gallons of water for tonight’s jazz concert.

I ordered some library books on women and aviation in the 40s for further research into the short story with potential for a novel. For the purposes of the piece due at the end of this week, I will take the first scene and turn it into a stand-alone short story, test-driving some of my ideas. I’m working on a writer’s rough outline for the novel. I need a better title for the whole darned thing, but that will come as my themes become clearer.

I’m reading Jeff Vandemeer’s BOOKLIFE — very clear-sighted breakdown of setting goals and separating out the private and public elements of the writing life.

“Town Crier” is no longer available, but don’t fret — a new Jain Lazarus story featuring Billy Root will be going live soon! “Town Crier” will be included in the collection of Jain Lazarus shorts released next year, that will also feature two brand-new novellas especially for the collection.

If you haven’t signed up for the Series Bible seminar on Saturday, you can still do that here. It is the only time the class will be offered this year.

I’ve got the ghostwriting to work on, more short stories to edit for the anthology, the introduction to work on, the classes to teach, and two more short stories to get out by this week, along with a new post up on Writers Vineyard for Thursday.

It’s a good busy, though, and that’s the way I like it!


Wed. April 11, 2012: Revisions and Writing

Don’t forget the 1-Day Dialogue Seminars & Solutions Seminar on April 14! Info here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday, but a good one. Worked with students. Ran errands, took books back to Sandwich, got out some others, including an amazing new release I’m going to have to track down and buy. It’s called NEW YORK DIARIES: 1609-2009, edited by Teresa Carpenter, containing diary excerpts from various individuals, organized by day (Jan. 1, Jan. 2, etc.) from those 400 years. Amazing stuff.

The recommendation is going into the resource list for the digital handbook going along with the course.

I saw a kid waiting for the school bus, with a worried expression on his face, on my way to meditation yesterday. Gave me an idea for a short story, but I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

Revised the first four chapters of HEART SNATCHER. Decided I want the opening scene (now called “Chapter 1”) to be a prologue, in spite of some agents and editors currently cranky with prologues. I love ‘em, and it serves this particular book. Moved the first section of Chapter 5 as the new Chapter 1 — the timeline works better, and the overall flow is much stronger. Developed Chapter 2 — Max’s first chapter — and worked on the caseload timeline/assignments within the squadroom so it’s truer to NYPD procedure, but still makes sense to the reader. Added in the Sex Crimes detective who needs to be in there, reshuffled the squadroom a bit, still have to add a small scene between Max and this new guy towards the end of Chapter 2. Chapters 3 & 4 mostly needed tightening in language choices and flow — cutting more than anything else. I’m going to re-read them for flow again this morning, before printing them out.

I’ve got a variety of tracking sheets — Day/Night timelines (since I’m moving between multiple points of view and sometimes the action overlaps — but it’s got to overlap on the right day), Character tracking sheets, the squadroom case tracking sheet. I probably need to set up a tracking sheet for Valerie’s caseload, too, so I don’t drop anything I started (unless I choose to cut a subplot). Since this is part of a trilogy, and I envision a couple of books taking place several years after the trilogy ends, I’m also starting a Series Bible. The multi-colored draft, original notes, and the Scene Purpose and Character Purpose sheets are all a big help.

I also write 928 words, in the sprint with the students, on HEART BINDER, the second book. Managed to do some re-envisioning of what’s not working for me in “Town Crier”, jot down some notes on some of the other arcs I want to happen in the Jain Lazarus short stories, so I can feed them into the series properly, polished the lectures and resources for Saturday’s workshop.

It looks like I’ll get the same editor and cover artist for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so I’m happy about that.

Today’s the first due date for One Story, Many Voices. Most of the students have taken the previous two short story workshops this year, so they’re used to the drill. I think some of the newcomers are a bit nervous. If they show up and actually write, they’ll get a lot out of it. If they don’t — well, that’s on them. My classes are geared for those who want to challenge themselves as writers by writing in the moment, not think about doing it someday in the future.

We should have a new lecture in the Steampunk class. I’m getting a lot of ideas.

Also have a bunch of paperwork to get done, and must make a dump run — both garbage bins in the garage are getting rather full! Time to empty out and not have to think about it for awhile!

This week is busy/crazy, but I’m hoping next week will settle down a bit. Back to the page.


Tues. April 10, 2012: Good News to Share!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, worked flat out all day. Worked with my students on the revision process, got out a requested partial, got out a couple of short stories, worked on some marketing and proposal stuff. Someone who wanted a manuscript by June 1 now wants to take a look at the opening chapters earlier, so I need to figure out how to fit that in. Got some good work done on HEART BINDER in the sprint with students. Did my work in the Steampunk class and started One Story, Many Voices.

Went to use the library’s computer to put in a “tweet this” button on my website for the workshops, but the website won’t hold the code. Typical. Next week, I need to meet with the Mac people and set up time to learn how to pull the materials the web host is holding hostage, so I can get the website move DONE. I should probably wait until some of the Fast & Funs are done, but I think my current host is interfering so much with my ability to earn a living that I should risk the move sooner rather than later.

The great news is that OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus book, was accepted by Solstice. I’ll send back the contract today, and off we go. I need to have the third book, CRAVE THE HUNT, done and out to them early in June.

Family’s coming down in May, and I had to get my Fast & Fun dates sorted for May and June. Looks like those are going to work out, so the pages and registration information will go up soon.

Overslept this morning, but still managed to get to meditation on time. We had a good session and an interesting discussion. Stopped at Nirvana on the way back for coffee and chocolate croissants. A couple very impressed with their own importance was in the place, talking to make sure they were overheard. Nothing they had to say was worth hearing. Geez, the only way I could use characters inspired by them is in a dark comedy, where a boulder falls on them or something after a snippet of their vapid exchange.

I’ve got a busy day stretching in front of me, and a migraine with which to contend. I better get to it — got to take back a stack of books to the Sandwich Library and see what else they’ve got waiting for me! And I’ve got an article to finish up. Plus all the writing.

Fingers crossed that submitted material just keeps hitting the target!


Don’t forget — Dialogue Dilemmas & Solutions, a one-day online seminar to help you create unique and sparkling dialogue. This is the only time I’ll be teaching a dialogue workshop online this year. Information and sign-up here.

Fri. Feb. 3: Gearing Up for SuperBowl Weekend

Friday, February 3, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Snowy and cold

We had a just a dusting of snow last night, enough to make it look pretty!

Yoga was great yesterday.. Came back and spent the whole rest of the day finishing the big client project. Technically, it’s not due until Monday, but I knew I had two more big projects coming in yesterday, AND I was in the flow for the project, so I wanted to keep that deep focus on it. Also, this way, the client can let it sit for a few days and enjoy the Super Bowl before sitting down with his next step.

Managed to head over to the Mashpee Library yesterday to pick up a few things.

Today, my students in the short story workshop have their 5K story due — I hope some of them get it up sooner rather than later, so that I don’t get 32 stories at 5K for a total of 150+K to read all at once. I also have to take my mom for some medical tests, maybe pop over to the Sandwich Library on the way back.

I found a couple of interesting jobs on Media Bistro yesterday, updated my CV and my resume, and will shoot over the proposals today.

Bookmom, you’re absolutely right. I was ten when my dad died, so going through his datebooks and papers as an adult with this viewpoint, is quite an experience. The researcher in me is chomping at the bit, and the fact he was my dad brings up the emotions.

Tomorrow, there’s an open house at a yoga studio in Sandwich, and I may go check it out. I love where I’m studying now and have no intention of leaving, but, so far, only one class per week fits into my schedule. So I’ll see what it’s all about. It’ll be fun, and give me a chance to meet new people.

Hopefully, I’ll get a good chunk of writing done this weekend, too. And, of course, it’s Super Bowl Sunday, and the Patriots are in it. My current home team playing my previous home’s team (that I wasn’t a fan of anyway). I’m hoping I’ll get to meditation group that afternoon and make it home before kick-off!

Have a great weekend, all!


Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 8:12 am  Comments (2)  
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Feb. 1: Workaday, workaday

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and cloudy

Lots of work yesterday, and another short story out on deadline. Client work, admin work, grocery shopping, errands. I think the old adage of “chop wood, carry water” is very important. Anytime you think you’re “too good” for the basic chores because you’re “an artist”, you’re already down the path to self-destruction.

There’s a new post over on Gratitude and Growth, about my garden dreaming and scheming. Check it out!

Great meeting at the National Marine Life Center yesterday. It was so good to see everyone! And my gingerbread was a hit. I warned them that I’m going to start experimenting on them with recipes pretty soon. They said they’re up for it! I’m going to start blogging from them soon — I’ll be sure you know all about it.

The library was closed, so I missed doing some important research for this other potential new opportunity I’m trying to fit into the mix. I’m not going to be able to get there, probably, until next week sometime, although maybe I can squeeze in some time on Friday.

Back to the page for HEART BINDER now, need to work on two more short stories, and then both client work and my students. The ones who just passed the finish line of “the end” on Draft 1 get three days to sleep; the rest of us keep going on. Confidential Job #1 sent the next assignment — I should have it in a day or two – -and I’ve got two big client projects that need to be finished this weekend. I’d like to get them done early enough so I can actually WATCH the Superbowl.

Of course I’m rooting for the Patriots! I didn’t like the Giants even when I lived in NY! 😉

Tessa decided she wanted to be a writer yesterday, when I got up to do something. I came back to the computer; things were deleted; things were added; my settings and preferences had been changed. It took me nearly two hours to get it sorted.

Note to self: Always close laptop cover, even when getting up “just for a minute”. Tessa is determined to show you anything me can do, she can do better!


Tues. Jan. 31: Busy, busy!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Flat out working all day yesterday until I couldn’t even see the screen anymore. Good work on the novel and short stories; more good work on another short story so far this morning, and will have to circle back to the novel later. Worked with my students, wrote and posted a few lectures, wrote a review, worked on a client manuscript, discussed a possible additional editing job.

Today, I have to be out and about for most of the day, popping back in to do some client work, and then there’s a meeting at the National Marine Life Center at 5 to start planning this year’s Mermaid Ball.

I felt discouraged about my lack of fitness, in spite of the yoga, and dreaded going back to weight training. However, it’s essential for a woman of my age to have that in the regimen. SoI went back — and to my delight and surprise, the heaviest weights I used to struggle with aren’t the slightest bit challenging any more. So the yoga truly has strengthened me, in gentle increments. And I have to go and buy heavier weights! In some cases, I was doing triple the reps, and it still wasn’t an effort. That made feel better about things, in general!

Got to get some correspondence out, and then I’m running errands for the rest of the day. Busy, busy! I’ll have to do some client work when I get home tonight.

Believe me, I’m grateful for the work coming in. February is often a slow month.


Published in: on January 31, 2012 at 9:22 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Jan. 30, 2012: New Possibilities, Good Work Pace

Monday, January 30, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. Happy with my new short story; can get it out today. Still have to polish two more, but they’re not on the same tight deadline, and get going on a third. Work continues on the second book of the Harpy Trilogy. Have to get back to the other book, and prepare for the edits on HEX BREAKER to come through soon.

Got a lot of client work done; will wrap up one project today and the other a few days early (I hope). In negotiation for a new one. Working with my private students; working on the lectures and listings for Holiday Hocus Pocus.

An interesting possibility has come up — it would take a good bit of work initially, but the payoff would be good, it would stretch me in new directions, and, if I can integrate it into the rest of the work, it might be worth it. I have to mull it over a bit more and do some planning, to see if it’s actually viable, or if I’m taking on too much.

Yesterday was my day off. I like making myself take at least one day a week off, and not even turning on the computer. But it definitely makes me feel more pressured when I return on Monday morning, even when I’m on top of the workload. But I need that day off, to read stuff because I WANT to read it, not because I HAVE to read it, and to putter around the house and do other stuff.

It was cold, but sunny, so we took a walk on Craigville Beach. Lovely. I found some lovely stones and shells. I need to get a book on shell recognition. I thought I had one somewhere — maybe it’s just not unpacked yet. Then we drove over to Sandy Neck beach — that was lovely, too. Amazing how the beach is filled with smooth chunks of granite. I picked up a few interesting ones there, too.

I’m working on garden planning — maybe “garden dreaming” is a better term. I’ve got plenty of seeds. I’m going to buy small herb plants this year and maybe some others, but, other than the Asian vegetables I want to grow, I’m in good shape with the seeds. I hope I will have a better harvest this year — but my primary focus is on herbs and medicinals, because that’s what I use the most.

Back to the page. A lot to get done today.


Fri. Jan. 20, 2012: Talking to Wallpaper

Tessa likes the toaster cover

Friday, January 20, 2012
Waning Moon
Snowy and cold

Most of yesterday was spent with students, commenting on work. I’m getting a little tired of feeling like I’m talking to wallpaper. If someone has taken classes with me for months, and I’ve given, repeatedly, the same comment on comma placement, I expect them to actually take the comments and do something about it. This refusal certain students have to learn the fundamentals of the craft is beyond irritating. When I say STRUNK & WHITE’S ELEMENTS OF STYLE is a required text, I mean it.

I discussed it with a writer acquaintance who shrugged and said, “Culls the herd. Dipshit can’t be bothered to learn craft, more open slots for those of use who do.”

Which made me laugh, but . . .as a teacher, I want my students to succeed. I want them to go off and live independent, successful, happy lives as writers. If I do my job properly, they’ll outgrow me, and good for them. So when they’re given the tools and REFUSE to use them, I get frustrated.

On the flip side of that, one of my best, most productive students has a new book out (she started working with me while she was writing it) and it’s getting great reviews. She deserves them — she’s talented AND works her butt off. And I’m happy in the wide range of topics that the 5 in 10 students are tackling. They’re taking some interesting chances, and some of them aren’t limiting themselves to a single genre. They truly are taking advantage of this opportunity to play and experiment out of their comfort zones.

Yoga was great yesterday, and then, in the evening, I went to a lecture on women’s health issues, was was both interesting and lots of fun. Lots of laughter AND lots of information, which is a good way to go. It’s also amazing how much misinformation is out there, especially as peddled by both insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies — for their own profit, of course.

It also confirmed something I know — I have to up my exercise ante at this stage of my life. I’ve been leaning entirely on yoga the last few months. I have to add the weight training back in, and, if I don’t run, I should at least walk. My mind doesn’t want to run, but my body’s craving it. I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the country. I can get out and walk a few miles a few times a week.

We had a little bit of snow — not much, just a bit. The owner’s coming to prime the fixed wall today. I’ve got a busy (and hopefully productive) weekend ahead of me. I’m spinning my wheels on a couple of projects, and I need to pull myself out of the muck and get down to it. A new client project comes in on Monday with a two-week turnaround, so there’s no room for any self-indulgence on my part.

I’m pretty happy with this batch of short stories I’m writing. They have a verve, an energy to them, that a lot of earlier work lacked. So at least I’m going in the right direction in some of my own work. Now, to get the novels back up to speed . . .


Published in: on January 20, 2012 at 8:31 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Jan. 19, 2012: Even the Cat is Busy


Thursday, January 19, 2012
Waning Moon
Still dark out

It’s supposed to be pretty stormy tonight into tomorrow, some snow, but not a lot. I’ll know what today’s weather is like in a bit when I leave for yoga.

Owner came to work on the wall yesterday. I got as much done as I could — a lecture on the writer’s need to remember he is a business person AND an artist, and that the two don’t cancel each other out, plus critiquing the latest 5 in 10 stories. With 32 in the class, and the lengths now in the just over 1K range, that’s 32K minimum for me to read, twice a week, which takes awhile.

Worked on my short stories. Not happy with the progress on either novel these past two weeks.

Went to a library one town over. Got out a book I need as research for the current assignment for Confidential Job #1, and some books that just looked interesting. Happens when I’m around books. On the sale shelf was an enormous, brand-new Monet book. The sign said $1 for sale shelf items, but I figured this book must have been left there by mistake. Nope. It was for sale and it was $1. I bought it. When I got home, the flap was still on — original price $75. Now THAT’s a sale! I’d love to do a collection of short stories inspired by his paintings of women by the sea or walking through gardens. There’s an optional assignment for the class next month to do a short story based on a painting — I’m going to use Hopper’s painting of a woman in a theatre lobby — but the plates in these books give me more ideas. I’d love to do a collection of short stories based on the work of each painter. A few years ago, a poet put out a volume of poems inspired by Hopper’s work. I’ve got it here somewhere — not unpacked yet.

I’ve got two sets of interview questions to get out for future guests on the book blog.

Last night was the Writers’ Night Out dinner. It was at a nice restaurant in Yarmouth. Sat with a memoirist I’d met at an earlier event, and met some new-to-me people who were very interesting, too. I like that the conversations at these events is always wide-ranging. So often at these types of events, conversation focuses on desperation of not being published (and that’s usually because the ones who want to be published aren’t actually using the butt glue and getting any writing done). Here, writers are writing, but they’re also doing all kinds of interesting things and can talk about them. The balance is better and the attitude is healthier.

The speaker was interesting, and I got to toss a few ideas around with him after the event. I also got to talk to my friend, who wants to get together for our next meeting on the theatre piece, and the Center’s director, who’s interested in having me speak at one of the breakfast meetings, which I think would be tons of fun.

When I came back, I discovered that Miss Tessa Houdini, the kitten, had not only found a way to get the dishwasher door open, she’d filled up the dishwasher. And not with dishes, but with pieces of paper and cat toys. Well, she sees me filling it up, so she figured she should “help out”. It was hilarious. The papers were in the slots for dishes and the cat toys were in the cutlery holders. She is extremely organized. And she was very, very proud of herself. The other two cats were running around howling. Typical evening, in other words. Tessa has Stuff To Do, while the other two act like the sky is falling.

Trouble getting up this morning — wanted to stay in bed. But I hauled myself out, and I’m trying to get a bit of writing done before I head to yoga. More work on the wall later this morning, must push through the student work, get further on Confidential Job #1’s assignment, get some paperwork filed, mail a signed copy of a book for a friend, and then, tonight, I’m attending a women’s health lecture.

Holiday Hocus Pocus will be a fun class. Even though it only runs a week, students will have a year’s worth of resources by the end of it, and notes that will serve them, probably, for the next five to ten.

I gave some students advice yesterday about “batch outlining” — outlining several projects in the space of a few days, and then working one’s way through, project by project. I think I might need to take some of my own advice. I’m a little derailed in my own schedule of the projects that need to get done and out this year, and I need to get back on track.

You know the drill: 1000 words a day, at least 5 days a week. Such is the life of a working writer. And most of the time, you damn well better be doing more than 1K/day, and it better be on more than one project, if you expect to keep a roof over your head.

To the page, and then to yoga.


Wed. Jan. 18, 2012: Busy Continues

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

There’s a new post up on Gratitude and Growth, the garden journal. I ran into someone in a bar a few weeks ago, who asked why I stopped writing it, because she enjoyed reading it. So — it’s back up. I’m in the planning stages for the coming year’s garden, so it’s good for me to write it out and muse about it for a bit.

Again, lots of wind last night.

The hole in the wall is patched; this morning, the owner’s coming to put another layer of joint compound on it. He also taught me how to empty the central vacuum bag (a good thing, since it needed emptying). I couldn’t find the brush attachment at first; later I found it. In a bureau drawer. I must have been distracted. But at least I found it!

Tessa, of course, had to participate, every step of the way!

Worked with my students; didn’t get enough of my own work done. Got some research taken care of, and started on the work for Confidential Job #1. Tonight is the monthly writers’ dinner, which should be fun.

Until then, to the page and the students! In addition to my daily quota on the novel, I need to knock out the draft of at least one short story today. I’ve got two that need to be done this week, but if I do one today and one tomorrow, that gives me the weekend to do rewrites. I also have to get some papers filed with various agencies about the situation with Comcast — who, by the way, is raising rates for the second time in a year. It’s ridiculous that they are the only choice on the Cape. I’ve also got a couple of articles I need to work on.

I’ll take good busy over dull any day!


Published in: on January 18, 2012 at 8:37 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Jan. 12: Webinar Works and Healing Day

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Waning Moon
Rainy and cold

Worked hard yesterday, revelling in the quiet. The neighborhood was really QUIET. I got a lot of work done. In addition to dealing with my students, I polished a 500-word flash fiction piece. I’m really excited about it. First of all, I don’t usually work that short, so it was a good challenge. Second, I thought it was one thing, and it took a very exciting direction elsewhere. The found inspiration was the dead blackbirds falling out of the sky in Arkansas, and the story ended up being about the secret life of besoms. I think I may write more with this character, picking up after the stopping point of this piece. There’s also kind of a dark humor, so that may serve me well.

I sketched out another piece, the first line coming to me over dinner, and, earlier, I’d figured out the next piece to write for class. I’m not posting my stories in the class, but I’m writing along with them.

Not happy with where I am in either of the novels, but at least I got the other requested novel out, and I’m hoping the short stories motivate me back into the novels.

I did about four loads of laundry — still have some more holiday fabric to do — and changed all the bed linens but mine (which will happen today or tomorrow). I kept getting caught up in what I was doing and forgetting the laundry was down there — thank goodness it’s in the house and I didn’t wander off somewhere and forget it.

I looked at some job listings — considered one, but the time/money ratio wasn’t enough to warrant putting together a package. They want so many hours for so little money that I couldn’t do anything else.

Got some reading done in the afternoon, and rested a bit, in preparation for the evening’s webinar. It went pretty well. We moved through the material a little faster than I expected — the students got to work on 9 short pieces over the course of the class, which is pretty decent. They’ve got material to work from. What they do with it and whether they do anything is something else, although this batch seemed pretty motivated. Having this scheduled when some of them came off the flash fiction assignment got them juiced for more work along those lines. The mix of talk and type was interesting. I think some people were intimidated. It was a little bizarre at first, but then it was like being in the classroom together.

The cats, however, were impossible. I’d played with them earlier; I’d settled them with snacks and toys in the other room. Ha! Racing through the house at top speed, screaming, hissing, spitting, jumping on the keyboard, howling, the whole thing. Screeching into the mic for all the hear their shenanigans. I don’t have doors to shut in the office, so I was at their mercy. Badly behaved little ones!

And then, as soon as the computer was shut down, they readjusted their tarnished halos and slept!

I’m getting some writing done this morning, then it’s off to yoga, and, after that, off to acupuncture. I’m not going to be able to eat until after noon, which will make me one cranky little person! But the rest of me will feel better, even if the tummy’s rumbling.

To the page, and then out into the rain. Funnily enough, today is Ganga’s day (the goddess for which the Ganges River is named, a day to wear yellow and wash away the detrius of the year. I’m sure I have a yellow candle somewhere, and the rain’s certainly washing!


Published in: on January 12, 2012 at 6:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Dec. 8: Spiky Rain

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, windy, rainy, and cold

Meant to get so much done yesterday. Wrote and worked with my students, and the next thing I knew, it was nearly 3 PM. I think I went out to run one errand, somewhere or other, but that was it. The weather was vile. We didn’t get the predicted snow, but the rain was cold and spiky.

Didn’t get the baking done, but got ribbons up around the door frames (and now we want them around the windows), and some more decorations up.

Worked on the book, then did another pass on “Catch Your Breath”, the contemporary short story I did for class, which I’ll get out on submission in early January, along with everyone else. It’s in pretty decent shape, and I really like it. I think it’s one of the strongest pieces I’ve written lately — funny, hits home, uses irony.

Also wrote about 1200 words of another short story, “Nine-Tenths” — using the same eavesdropped parking lot inspiration that set off “Catch Your Breath”. It’s in a very different voice, a very different premise, and keeps surprising me, in a good way. And I want to get back to “Professional Mourner” soon — I don’t want to lose its atmosphere.

I’m off to yoga now. When I get back, there will be errands and then baking. Also have to wrap some packages that need to be mailed tomorrow. The weekend will be busy, but I’m determined to get out the overseas cards.


Today’s word count (Book 2): 1065
Total word count (Book 2): 7,092

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 7:03 am  Comments (5)  
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Fri. Nov. 18: Learn from My (Writing) Mistakes

Iris naps

Friday, November 18, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I woke up at 3:30 AM yesterday. Not 5:30, when I wanted to wake up. 3:30. And couldn’t get back to sleep. By 4:45, I gave up and got up.

The cats looked at me and said, “You are INSANE. We, however, are CATS, and therefore will stay in BED until a reasonable hour.” Of course, all that dignity went out the window when they heard the can open!

So, I got up to write, even though I knew it meant I’d be toast by noon.

Very disappointed in the quality of yesterday’s words. I learned a lesson — don’t assume you remember what you meant while writing the outline unless you’ve also put in some detail. I had a note in the outline that two characters were “talking”. Um, about what, exactly? Yes, one of them arrived in a unique way, but the scene has to be about more than that, or it’s just wasted words. I remember how I felt when I wrote this part of the outline — the excitement, the sense of how much fun this scene would be. But it’s nearly 80K into the book, so by the time I got there, I couldn’t remember the details. I no longer had the excitement. The scene fell flat.

I either have to re-imagine it and bring back the verve I had about it initially, or it gets cut.

Learn from my mistakes! 😉

I outlined more for this trilogy than I usually do for a book, and it STILL wasn’t enough!

Did follow-up from the Writers’ Night Out, both before and after yoga. Yoga was great. Yes, I’m muttering sometimes in some of the poses, but she really makes us work, and that’s what I need.

Stopped at Staples on the way back to get some envelopes big enough for the media kits. Did more follow up from the previous evening. Was invited and accepted the invite to a beta testing program of a new business model for writers. The head of it had spoken to us at the meeting and then was gracious enough to take extra time after to answer some of my specific questions — since a lot of what I do is very different than many people in the group. He gave me some very interesting statistics that make me feel better about what I do in my own work, and how I’m guiding my students — more and more of them are successfully publishing,

Got one manuscript out on submission and have three more to get out this weekend. I’m doing a final proofread on each of them before they head out — lots of reading!

Spent time with students, did follow-up, worked on book club research, mulled over the short story I have due soon. I think the short stories queueing up to be written will be good palate cleansers in the proofreading I do this weekend.

Went to a holiday event at a local garden center last night. It was beautifully done — the place was gorgeous. The vendors were tucked in and around the lush plant displays. The music was definitely lounge-lizard variety — but the guy was in on the joke, so it was okay. They had local food vendors, which was good, in one sense, but I wasn’t about to buy something gooey and walk around with it. If one of the bigger restaurants had partnered to cater the event, circulating h’ors d’oeuvre trays or something, I would have been impressed and tried out the restaurant. But the food element didn’t quite work the way it was set up. And it was packed — had to park in the very last spot in the far corner of the event (and trudge back to the center in the pouring rain).

I was hoping to get some of my holiday shopping done, but there really wasn’t anything that was right for those on my list. It was lovely stuff, but not what I’m looking for.

I’ve got another event at another garden center tonight! 😉

My new camera arrived. It’s similar to my old one, but just annoyingly different enough so I have to use the manual! 😉

I went to bed crazy early last night. More busy dreams — this time, I behaved thoughtlessly and totally out of character for me, and then had to fix it. I did something I’ve never done that lead others in the dream to a type of worry I’ve been careful to never cause, so it’s interesting I had that kind of dream.

Back to the page — I have to do this morning’s words on the trilogy, work on the short story, proofread manuscripts before sending them off, and work in the garden. Oh, and run to the store to buy coffee. I’m out, after this morning’s batch, and that does not bode well for anyone!


Total word count (as of yesterday): 80,683

Published in: on November 18, 2011 at 8:39 am  Comments (4)  
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