Wed. Sept. 9, 2015: Writing’s Organic Pace, PhoneFail, and Lack of Energy

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and hot

Tough few days. Friday was very difficult. I barely held it together (and sometimes didn’t). But I survived the day, and got home.

Went to bed early. Saturday, I’d do one thing, go back to bed. It was a gorgeous day, and I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

I managed to do some writing, and to get started on a solid fall cleaning, including the living room rug.

I’m playing with a few ideas that take me into a different direction, along with trying to keep up with my regular deadlines. The difference in each piece’s organic internal pace is very interesting, and sometimes the scenes that need the tightest, fastest pacing are the slowest to write.

In the middle of Saturday afternoon, my phone died. Not particularly surprising, considering it’s an Alcatel. It was too late and I was too exhausted to do anything about it on Saturday afternoon.

So, I went to Best Buy on Sunday. They were perfectly pleasant, but, as usual, unhelpful. They sent me over to T Mobile, my carrier. T Mobile was also unhelpful — and, had I bought a new phone from them, they would not have honored the fact that I just paid for the month’s plan, and made me buy it again. The phone, of course, was two months out of warranty — in other words, built to fail.

T Mobile sent me back to Best Buy, where I bought an inexpensive BLU phone that I can use with multiple carriers. I’d planned to dump T Mobile at the beginning of October anyway, and with this phone, I can keep this month’s paid-for plan, and then switch over next month.

Of course, all the photos I took in the past year are lost, as are all my contacts. So much for “tech assistance”. There was an issue with reading the SIM card at first — and I figured it out, not the so-called technicians. In any scenario where I am the most tech-savvy person in the room, we are in big trouble.

Not happy with Alcatel, not happy with T Mobile, not as happy as I could be with Best Buy, although they helped me put a Band-Aid on the situation.

Also, lost a half a day that was supposed to be for writing, which REALLY makes me unhappy.

I resent having to have a phone in the first place — I LOATHE the phone — and I hate the fact that the whole mobile phone industry is, basically, a giant scam.

I do like the new phone, though. It’s much crisper than the other phone, and, so far, runs much, much better. So, we’ll see.

I mowed the terraced back on Saturday, and got the front mowed yesterday. It was too hot Sunday and Monday to really do much. I also started cutting back what needs to be cut back in preparation for autumn, and yanked out some stuff that planted itself where I didn’t want it. Basically, tidying things up. The grass is brown and crisp, since I don’t have a sprinkler system, nor do I use chemicals or rolls of sod. I’ll put down some fertilizer soon, and then some grass seed.

Got some writing and reading done on Monday; a bit of cleaning. Tried to rest up, but I’m just not getting back my energy.

Unhappy that I’m being thrown under the bus on one project when someone else fucked up, but that’s life. Concerned about the direction of another project.

Violet still isn’t healthy. She was better over the weekend, and then worse again yesterday — because she got into Tessa’s food. I’m worried about her.

This will be a very long week, and I simply don’t feel I have the resources for it.

Devon

Published in: on September 9, 2015 at 11:39 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 9, 2015: Writing’s Organic Pace, PhoneFail, and Lack of Energy  
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Mon. July 21, 2014: Chaotic Start to the Week

Monday, July 21, 2014
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool
 

Friday was busy at the library, complicated by the fact that I don’t have a working computer at the moment, and different computers have different programs, so I migrated between six different computers over the course of the day, trying to get things done.

I also had to keep my phone on all day, because Iris was quite sick in the morning, and I was worried I’d have to rush her to the vet at a moment’s notice. But, she got better as the day wore on. I suspect it’s a bad reaction to the flea/tick medicine.

After work, my boss and I headed to Centerville Library, to support the dedication of the new addition. I hadn’t seen the whole thing yet — it’s gorgeous. The Community Room is huge, great for events, would be great for yoga. The bookstore is also magnificent. The renovation’s beautiful, and worth every penny. There was champagne, and there were h’ors d’oervres. Everything was lovely. Got to see some of the staff I’ve known since I moved to Centerville, and introduce my boss around. The director from Hyannis was also there, and I got to meet her, along with some other locals. It was good that we were there, supporting a fellow library. I was surprised and a bit dismayed that more library personnel from other libraries weren’t there.

We came back to the house for martinis on the deck, and then headed back to the Mills, where a sports auction was going on in Liberty Hall, the door take to benefit the library. I wound up bidding on (and getting) a wicker chair for my mom and some minor league hockey pins for myself.

Home, tired, unwound a bit. Saturday was my “on” day at the library, so I was up early and over there. Still no working computer for me, so I floated around to other computers, trying to complete paperwork and place some orders.

When I got back from the library, I cleaned, repaired, and sanded down the wicker chair. The caned seat needed to be fixed, and some of the wicker was coming unspun, so I fixed all of that. The frame is a good, sturdy wood. It’s been painted quite a few things, under the white — red, hot pink, and green.

Did some research for upcoming projects, got some reading in. Thoroughly enjoyed Ilona Andrews CLEAN SWEEP. Lori Roy’s UNTIL SHE COMES HOME is both claustrophobic and disturbing, but in a good way. Elizabeth Adler’s SAILING TO CAPRI was fun.

Watched COMPANY MEN — excellent movie. Didn’t get enough attention when it came out. What a terrific cast — Ben Affleck, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Kevin Costner, and great supporting actors as well. Really well done, but John Wells only does excellent work.

Slept in on Sunday. It was raining off and on, so I couldn’t mow. But I did head to Home Depot. Don’t like shopping there, but I hoped to replace a lamp globe I broke and pick up paint for the chair. The staff was disgustingly unhelpful with the lamp globe. Not only did they not know how to help, they didn’t care. I found the paint though — called “Spa Blue”. Painted the bottom of the chair. Took most of the day to dry.

Had to fix my bed frame and do stuff around the house. Also cooked some Sichuan Noodles and steamed vegetables in a ginger soy sauce for tonight’s meeting.

Planned to go to a climate change lecture, but something happened and the lecturer was delayed indefinitely, and I couldn’t wait around.

Got some research and other work done, then watched PEACE, LOVE, AND MISUNDERSTANDING, which was a lot of fun.

Up early this morning. Couldn’t find the flash drive with all my work on it. Drove to the library and found it in one of the public computers I’d been using on Saturday. This is what happens when I’m constantly interrupted. Came back, started to paint the front of the chair, ran out of paint, went back to Home Depot (only because it was the only place open that early), got more paint, finished painting the chair. It’s drying.

The writing plan for this morning is on POWER OF WORDS and BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. I have to nip out to one of the libraries to get a few things done, and then pick up a cushion at Christmas Tree Shops for the chair. I need to finish a review for my editor, work on some media kits, and then head to Buzzards Bay for a Mermaid Ball Meeting tonight.

Did about 1500 words on POWER OF WORDS. Have to nail down the writer’s rough on BALTHAZAAR. I’m going in circles every time I sit down to write. Book 3 is almost fully formed, but book 2 is not. It’s frustrating, because somewhere I HAVE a detailed writer’s rough, but I can’t find it in any of the files or the drives. So I have to start over.

Have a great week!

Devon

Mon. Oct. 22, 2012: Scary Times with Sick Kitty


Iris lounging on a better day

Monday, October 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Quite the weekend! But before we start on that, hop on over to A Bible Paradise for a cool round-table interview with some of the contributors from DEATH SPARKLES.

The big and scary thing for the weekend was that Iris was very sick. Yesterday morning, I couldn’t find her, and, when I did, I thought I had to rush her to the emergency vet. She was in bad shape, and I have no idea why. About 45 minutes later, she was a little better, so the vet & I agreed to keep her quiet and watch her, and, if it got worse, bring her in later.

She hid for a few hours (and we checked on her every 20 minutes), then came down on her own in the early afternoon, ate, and curled up in her usual spot. She was quieter than usual, but definitely not at death’s door. She even had bedtime snacks, although she decided to stay downstairs instead of coming up with the others. This morning, she was moving slowly and quiet, but she ate all her breakfast and most of Violet’s (the usual), so, hopefully, she’s on the mend.

I think she had another seizure, like she had four or five years ago. I’m going to watch her for a few days to see how she does, and maybe take her in for a blood test. Last time, they couldn’t find anything and said either they’d be infrequent, or she’d get more of them and have to be put on anti-seizure medication. This is the first one she’s had in years.

Scary times, and the other two cats worried and stuck close.

I don’t remember much of Friday, except I worked hard, and had a phone conference with an agent about the proposal. A few things I was worried about Thursday were cleared up Friday — as usual, I was fretting when no fretting was necessary. And I got my hair chopped off — it was too long and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m much happier with it now.

I read my fellow students’ projects for the Sustainability class and commented on them. I wrote my final paper (“Full Circle Humanity”) and submitted it, and commented on the discussion projects submitted for grading. Uploaded my lectures and exercises for my own class.

Saturday morning, I watched the video lectures for my final week in Sustainability and took the quizzes. I think one of the speakers in the TED talk video might be good for a keynote speaker at the Writers’ Conference next year. I’ll suggest it.

I worked with my students all afternoon and well into the evening (their work was awesome and it was a pleasure), and then caught up on the Greek & Roman Mythology lectures and took the quiz (got 100%). I started the lectures for the World History class and took the quizzes for the lectures I’d watched (100% on all of those).

Sunday, I had the worries with Iris, which framed the whole day. In and around that, I did follow-up with my students, watched the rest of my World History Lectures, took the quizzes (100% on all of them), and wrote my papers for both classes. I’d been working on them for the whole week, but it was a case of pulling it all together and on paper.

My Greek & Roman Mythology paper was, from a writer’s perspective, why Homer needed book 24 of the Odyssey, instead of stopping at Book 23. The original paper was nearly 1300 words (and could have been much more), but I had to cut it down to 350. Talk about a challenge! However, it was interesting, and I want to dig deeper and expand it out beyond class.

My World History paper was on how conversation changed the world. The very structures that allowed the moneyed and educated to meet and discuss ideas about liberty and rights — a structure that allowed for servants and/or slaves — made it possible for these “unseen” in the room to learn, too, and start applying those principles to themselves. I tried to integrate the feedback from the last paper — specifics from my research within the text — so I did that, this time. Again, this is something I want to expand on beyond class — a really interesting topic.

And my lovely, diplomatic professor addressed the whiners complaining that there is work for the class and deadlines that have to be met by pointing out that that’s part of the university experience!

I worked on the tweaks for the proposal last night and sent it off to the agent. We’re going to talk more this afternoon, for any final comments and changes, before she takes it out into the world.

I already spoke to the vet this morning, and I’m on my way out the door for meetings. When I come back, I have to clean the house (Costume Imp arrives tomorrow), get the recycling out, and finish the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

The Sustainability Course is done — I’m just waiting for my final grades, and having separation anxiety! So this week, only Mythology and History — along with all the other stuff that needs to get done!

Onward!

Devon

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Basically, Hurricane Earl burped in our direction and waddled off. Not even a single raindrop. After all the floods I’ve survived in this place, I’m grateful, but it meant a full day of the annoying “workmen”.

Won a small victory over the landlord, something they brought on by not being careful in language and I caught a language loophole. They are going to freak out when it’s brought to their attention by the appropriate agencies next week. They will hit back hard and nasty, but I’m going to savor this minor victory for a few days.

Unfortunately, Elsa took a turn for the worse yesterday, and it was frightening. I tried a chamomile treatment, and she rallied last night, and has shown real improvement this morning. I want her to be able to enjoy our new home!

Not a good writing morning, although, after I post, I will try again. My mind is all over the place. I managed to keep it still for morning meditation, but now it’s making up for it.

I met my deadline yesterday — at 3:30 PM, but it was still within the workday. This weekend is busy — we’re going to sort, purge, and pack the three remaining closets (yes, I’ll send a postcard from the back of my closet), I have to finish polishing my lecture notes, and write a few short (6-10 page) scripts for another gig. I’d like to polish some skits, but I’m not sure if that will happen. I’d also like to clean off my desk — how did it wind up with piles all over it again?

The workmen should be gone for the next three days, which means it should be relatively quiet, and maybe, just maybe, I can catch up. The chaos here sucks the life out of me. I keep thinking I should push hard at night, but I”m so exhausted that I collapse about an hour or two after the workmen leave. So three days without them will be a gift. They better not turn up on Labor Day!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on September 4, 2010 at 6:09 am  Comments (6)  
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010
Waxing Moon
Something must be retrograde, but darned if I know what it is

I am a wreck. Tough weekend.

First, I came back from the site job on Saturday afternoon with a sore throat and a fever. I took to my bed, with a book, and the cats, and plenty of fluids. The book was okay — I didn’t have to think too much, it was pleasant and poignant. But it set a section among actors, and, while it was obvious the author reads tabloids, it was equally obvious the author’s never spent any time around actual actors, and that spoiled the book for me. You could still get the fairy-tale quality the author strove for if you based it a little bit more on the way actors actually behave in those situations.

Fever broke in the early evening, returned later that night, broke again in the night. Sore throat faded the next day.

I wrote on Sunday, working on a short story that I want to get out in the next couple of weeks, getting out a few short stories, following up on a few pieces that have been twisting in the wind for far too long, and getting out a few queries.

I tried to watch — and like RIVERWORLD last night. I really did.

Uh, no.

It took me awhile to figure out why I didn’t like it — there were the elements there for a cracking good story. And it just didn’t work for me. The first forty minutes, I kept saying to myself, “Okay, just roll with it. Roll with it.” But, after a certain point, if you have to keep TELLING yourself to roll with it, there’s a problem. And then the Conquistadors came in, and it went south for me. There was too much right wing-nuttism trying to masquerade as social enlightenment. If they really meant the latter, not the former, they did a poor choice of showing it, because it came across that they supported the former. There were a lot of good actors in it; some performances worked for me, and some didn’t. The character of Jessie didn’t work for me — mostly, I think, due to the directing, which Made. Every. Moment. Equally. Important. instead of working with ebb and flow. But if Jessie’s our hope for humanity, we are all damned screwed — too much Twinkie, not enough substance.

Again, to be fair — I only suffered through the first two and a half hours, and missed the last hour and a half.

Because I had to rush Elsa to the emergency vet.

She’d been getting worse all day, more and more mucous-y, and when she sneezed blood, that was it. I packed her up and drove to the emergency vet in White Plains. They were very nice. She behaved very well. They have her a very strong antibiotic, faxed the info over to my regular vet at North Short Animal League, and I have to call them to day and get an appointment in the next few days. The BEST case scenario is that she may have pneumonia. The worst is, well, much worse. So please keep a good thought for her.

Got home well after midnight. Couldn’t sleep at first. It was pretty late (or early) depending upon how you look at it, when I finally got to bed. I didn’t set the alarm for 5:30 to run this morning, but Elsa woke me at six anyway, patting me with her paw and saying, “Hey? Aren’t you usually up by now?”

Tried to work on the short story this morning. Hard to concentrate. I have to choreograph a fight scene using a welding torch, which is a challenge, and, hopefully, will wind up being a welcome distraction.

I was sad to read that one of the Derby-pointed horses I was interested in broke down and had to be euthanized over the weekend. That always makes me cry.

Weird tax fact: You can write off a racehorse, but not a hearse.

The Doubt Demons attacked in force this morning, since I am overtired and worried. I have to juggle a few things around re: the vet bills, and, of course, there’s the little voice saying, “Who do you think you are, thinking you can make it as a full-time writer? If you’d stayed on Broadway, you wouldn’t have to worry.” Which is, of course, a crock, because Broadway’s a hard place to make a living, too, due to the limited amount of work available. But it’s a familiar challenge, where the writing is a fresh challenge each day. The fresh challenges are one of the reasons I like it, but at times of great stress, it makes it harder.

I was going to write an essay/post about the remake of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and how Jackie Earle Haley must be kicking ass as Freddy Krueger, because the movie’s not even out yet, and I”m getting a lot of people contacting me (well, Cerridwen Iris) about dream stalking. So the post was going to discuss dream stalking, and how important it is to separate the actor from the role. You may think Freddy Krueger’s stalking you in your dreams, but remember it’s the character and not the actor. I think it’s safe to say that Haley’s way too busy working and living his life to go around stalking individual viewer’s dreams, even if he was trained in the way so to do, not just the way the movie (a piece of fiction) depicts it. The man’s working a lot right now (thank goodness) and has a life. Tip of the hat to him, though — it must be one hell of a performance. But that post is going to have to wait.

Must light candles today — 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t believe it’s been 15 years. It still seems very fresh.

I have all sorts of business and admin stuff to deal with today, I have to take care of a very sick cat and see what we can do to get a full diagnosis and treatment, and I’ve got to find a club big enough to effectively beat back the Doubt Demons.

Devon

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2009
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Just a quick check-in this morning. I have to dash to CT briefly this morning, and then I’m returning to the page.

All I could think about yesterday was the steampunk. I couldn’t physically get back to the page after my errands for several reasons, the major one being most of my day was spent taking care of Elsa. But I worked out a bunch of plot points, tossed out some more possibilities that would make the piece too long, and I think I’ve got the whole piece worked out in my head. Now, to get it all on paper.

It took 40 minutes to get the ice off my car. Ah, for the day when I’ll have a garage! Trader Joe’s was a madhouse. I guess most people stayed in during the bad weather and had to stock up. Staples was a madhouse, but I got and set up my 2010 folders. Mrs. Green’s was better, and I grabbed the coffee I needed. Again, there’s this sense of desperate shopping. I don’t know why — the sales just aren’t that good this post-holiday season, and I’m not going to shop just to shop. The stores that had very little merchandise and didn’t carry what I wanted/needed are the stores I will pass by next year. As far as my business went, they gambled and lost.

And other stores, who stepped into the breech with both customer service and quality goods will continue to get my business.

I had to drive all the way to Purchase to mail my bills because I couldn’t get near, even on foot, the post office right up the street. Sigh.

Got a rejection from a publication that both threw me and annoyed me. I know the story stands up. This is the second rejection I’ve gotten from the editor — both times, the reasons given were things that should have been in the guidelines — if you don’t want stories with more than three characters (first rejection), or you don’t want a protag under the age of 18 (second rejection), that needs to be in the guidelines. Yes, a lot of writers don’t follow guidelines properly. But, for those of us who make our living at this and actually pay attention, the guidelines need to be accurate.

Bottom line is, this woman doesn’t like my work, so I’m scratching the publication off my list and moving on. In spite of the recession, there are plenty of publications out there. And some of them have published me before and want more from me, so I better get going on that.

And I already sent out the rejected story to another market. My first submission of 2010!

Got back the rider from one publisher who’s expanding an anthology in which I appear from print into digital as well. Very happy about that. I’ve really enjoyed working with them on this anthology and the one that’s coming out in April. I love my editor there — she’s fantastic. We can really go back and forth on the details of a piece, not in conflict, but working in tandem to make the piece the best and most effective it can be.

My SMITHSONIAN magazine started arriving (since I”m now a member). It’s really great. There’s so much information I can use as research for my writing — splendid! Even stuff set in the era in which I’m currently writing! I love synchronicity.

Have a good Sunday, all! Thanks for all the good wishes towards Elsa. We can certainly use them.

Devon

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (4)  
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