Thurs. Jan. 18, 2018: Pushing Through Illness

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Still sick. I feel a little better (although I sound worse). My friend Jenn Mattern suggested oil of oregano and tart cherry juice, and that made a big difference. But it still lingers and slows me down. I’m too sick to go to yoga today, which makes me sad (although I keep up my practice at home).

It’s also slowed me down on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I know what I’m going to write, but it’s harder getting the words on the page.

It was busy on-site with the client, but I got a lot done. My colleagues were worried I’d be upset about a thoughtless gesture; I decided not to be. It’s not that big a deal, although it’s telling in the bigger picture, and is reflective of how much more self-involved people are here than they are in the arts in New York. It amazes me how city dwellers are always portrayed as being selfish and isolated, when it’s really much worse away from cities.

I also have to rework my review. A few weeks ago, I got an email from my editor, citing new guidelines and rates. Okay, fine, I implemented them, I tried to upload my review, and it wouldn’t take. So I emailed her to ask why, and was told that those guidelines aren’t for the division for which I write. So why send them to writers for whom it doesn’t apply? Makes no sense to me. And annoys me, because I’d followed the new guidelines perfectly. Whatever. Back to the page on that one.

The Fearless Ink redesign is nearly done. I’m happy with it. I need to tweak some text, and then we move. I have just over a week to build the other six sites, which scares me, since it took me nearly two weeks to build this one. I’m hoping I get faster as I get more fluent and confident in the web language.

I also have to remember that these sites are living entities. They’ll grow and change all the time, because the content will grow and change. So, while I want to feel good about each site BEFORE it goes live, there are still tweaks I need to do to each one as it does.

I’m terrified of the move of the Devon Ellington Work domain and all the subdomains connected to the different series. I’m probably making it a much bigger deal than it is, but after years of lies and misinformation from my previous web host, I’m finding it difficult to fully trust the new one. In spite of the fact that they’ve been so clear in explanations, so helpful, and completely reliable in this first re-design and move. I need to get out of my own way and just do it.

I’m in talks to go to contract to write again for a series of publications for whom I wrote for many years. I’d stopped because I felt I’d said all I had to say; now I have more to say, and they’re delighted I want to come back. We’re going to talk contract specifics in early April. This is for 2020 — we work two years ahead. But I’m pleased to be back with them.

A writer friend just landed a contract with a great traditional publishing house! As soon as she makes it official, I’ll share. I am so happy for her! She deserves it — she’s an excellent writer, puts in the work, and it’s finally paying off! As I said, when she makes the formal announcement, I’ll celebrate her here with more details. She shot me an email about it last night. Happy dance for her!

Reading contest entries. They run the gamut. The top choices are going to be very competitive. There are some other entries where the author’s message is important and relevant, but the execution is so poor that they’re knocked out of contention. You don’t get a prize just for showing up or because you’re writing about an important issue — you also have to have the craft to communicate it with power.

I started reading a WONDERFUL book last night, in between all the other stuff I have to read. This is something I WANT to read, and I came across its existence reading about it in another book. It’s called POET’S PUB by Eric Linklater, and was one of the original ten books that launched the Penguin line. It’s a delight. I borrowed it through the Commonwealth Catalog from another library off Cape; I’m going to have to hunt down my own copy. I must own this book.

Taking my mom to get her blood pressure checked, sending off the revised review, working on the web redesigns for a couple of hours. Then home to rest and recover, do some client work, and dig back in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I also have another book review due next week, so I’ll dig into that either tonight or tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I need to buy cat food, or there will be consequences!

Onward.

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Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Waxing Moon
Stormy and cold

We had some light snow on Monday, during the day. Just a couple of inches, but enough to make the drive home unpleasant. And, heaven forbid, DPW even come through with sand or salt on our little street. I can understand not plowing, because it was so little accumulation. But the tire tracks in the snow, which then freeze, cause a risk. But, you know, that would mean we actually get services for our taxes. I guess I’ll have to ride the new Town Councilor for this district — the one I didn’t vote for — to see if he lives up to his “promises.”

I went directly home after working with my client on site, curled up in the big chair with hot tea, honey, and lemon, and read while I rested. I felt awful. I was in bed just after eight.

At least I’d written a full chapter on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY that morning!

Tuesday, I was up early. Still felt bad. Wrote another chapter on SPIRIT REPOSITORY before heading out to work with my client.

Also had to write and polish my review, which will go out today. I have another review due early next week, so I’ll get to work on that book either today or tomorrow.

Did some work for another client.

Worked on the Fearless Ink Website Re-design. We’re just about ready to move. There will definitely be some tweaking once it’s live, but until it is live, I can’t do much more.

I’m terribly disappointed that I won’t be able to keep the look for www.cerridwenscottage.com. I love that interior page design look. But my new web host doesn’t have a template that can replicate it, and I haven’t been able to find another template that does. I’m disappointed.

I’ve found a pleasant enough template that will do — very simple, and in keeping with the theme of the site. I will set it up on that, along with the new logo/header, and then keep searching for The Template of My Dreams. The site doesn’t generate enough income for me to hire in a custom design, nor is it meant so to do. So I can’t justify the expense.

The Devon Ellington Work site is the design/move that concerns me the most, because of all the subdomains. I have a feeling I will have to lose all the subdomains connected to the site when I move the main site, and then have to rebuild them/send them live. I don’t see how I can get it all done before the end of the month.

So, I’m going to try to get the three main sites rebuilt and moved by the end of the month, cancel my contract with my former, awful webhost, and then build and go live with the sites for each series as best as I can do it and still do it right.

I can do it fast and sloppy, or I can build something that’s worthwhile, that will actually be a viable tool for my work. I’d rather do the latter.

I’m learning a lot with the Fearless Ink build, but it IS learning a foreign language, and learning a language I don’t particularly enjoy.

But, every profession grows and changes. You can learn the new tools and figure out how to make them uniquely yours, or you can get left behind.

Being sick while being under such deadline pressure doesn’t help.

This morning, I worked on SPIRIT REPOSITORY again (manuscript deadlines are not suggestions, especially when they are contracted). I’ll be working onsite with a client, and doing additional work for another client, before going back to working on my own websites. Hopefully, Fearless Ink will move either tomorrow, or on Friday.

One of these days, I’ll get healthy and can focus for more than a few minutes.

 

 

Published in: on January 17, 2018 at 2:23 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 17, 2018: Keeping On Keeping On  
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Wed. Dec. 17, 2014: Recovering

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold
Hannukah

Well, I got sick on Friday, and wound up going home two hours early. There was plenty of coverage at work, so it wasn’t a problem. My head felt heavy, I alternated hot and cold chills, and was just miserable. So, I went home and went to bed.

Stayed quiet over the weekend, although I managed to get some student work done. Read a stack of books, most of which were disappointing. Finished watching the fourth season of DOWNTON ABBEY, which ended better than it began, I felt.

Did administrative work on several fronts. Got caught up on some stuff for the Writers Center. Had to go to the DMV — well, it’s called the RMV here — to sort out something on Monday. I expected it to take all day, but I was in and out in five minutes. Love that. Plus, they were very nice.

Grocery shopping, so now I can start baking. But I’m still not 100%, so by the time I got home, I was wrecked. Took it easy on Monday night.

Up early Tuesday, got some writing done. Took my mother to the doctor for her follow-up, and she left feeling worse than when she went in. Now, she has to go to a specialist.

Got started on the baking. I tried a sour cream cookie recipe that sounded good, but turned out rather bland. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have the zing I want for something I give as gifts. The lacy oatmeal cookie with currants, however, was wonderful. I’ll use those. And I made two batches of tollhouse cookies, always a favorite. The kitchen was like an operating theatre, everything was so darn sterilized, including me. Since I’m getting over this whatever-it-is, I wanted to make sure everything was sterile.

Again, exhausted, and can’t seem to get my energy back. Went to bed early.

Up early this morning. Today will be a long day at work. Normally, I’m in early and out early on the third Wednesday of the month, but today I’m in early and then there’s a program tonight, so I’ll just stay through. Tomorrow night, I need to finish the cookies; Friday night I’m going to a party off-Cape. Saturday is my Saturday “on” and then a party at work; Sunday is the Solstice. So it’s a busy time. I’m behind on my cards, too. My mom, of course, has all of hers out! 😉

Last night was the first night of Hannukah — best wishes to all who celebrate!

I think I’ve made decent progress untangling problems in the RED WIDOW; I’ve paid off the immediate threats I set up and set up some more. I need to untangle the beginning of this chapter, and then I think I can progress properly. It was supposed to be something I could dash off quickly, a fun, easy piece, but the characters have different ideas, and have more layers to them than I originally imagined. Which is good, but means that everything has to be planned a little more carefully.

INITIATE is getting impatient, because I’m not giving it enough attention, although I think about it all the time. I just feel so heavy and exhausted that it’s difficult to juggle everything, especially multiple writing projects. But, it must be done. The writing is the priority.

Read the anthology in which I’m included: NEW LEGENDS: MERCENARIES, ENGINEERS, CAPTAINS. It’s a lot of fun. My own story, “Loyalty Strata”, holds up better than expected. I was frustrated because, as I worked on it, I had ideas on how to open it as a novel, but I needed to keep it a short story within word count for the anthology. If I ever do open it up, the plot line will be quite different as it unfolds, but at least this was a good way to explore the characters, and I like these people.

Working on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions questions. I hope to have them up soon.

Have a great week, sliding into the holidays!

Devon

Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

I am still sick. I’m not falling over all the time, but things are still not great in the old GI track. I’m pretty miserable. I need to eat, in order to heal and keep up my strength, but it’s awful when I do. Plus, now I have “the headache” that comes along with stomach issues, and is usually worse than the stomach issues in some ways, but I can’t take anything for it, because anything I take upsets my stomach even more. I had an absolutely miserable night last night, which means I’m not in great shape for today.

Yesterday, I finished both episodes due this week, and sent off the one due yesterday. I finalized a media kit I’ve been working on for a client for awhile, which has had its challenges, and I’ve gone as far as I can go with it, so we need to call it a day on that.

I went to Centerville Library to work for a couple of hours — since Comcast fucked me. Got everything done, and completely ran out of steam.

Soup for lunch, and in the afternoon, went over to the dark side and got a smart phone for myself and a cell phone for my mother. I HATE PHONES. I am not living at someone else’s convenience, and my writing CANNOT be interrupted by the phone. If the phone rings while I’m writing, it’s not an annoying interruption — I’ve lost the work. Period. It’s gone. I don’t get it back. The work is gone and my day is shot. From a single phone call. Therefore, it will still remain off most of the time, and is ONLY for family, friends, and emergencies.

Anyone who has legitimate business with me knows that I do not do business over the phone. If you want to do business with me, you email me or you send me something in writing via post. Anyone who calls for “business” therefore does not have legitimate business with me and can go fuck themselves. The few times I do agree to a SCHEDULED phone conversation (I do not accept unscheduled calls), I charge in fifteen minute increments, like a lawyer. 99.7% of all so-called “client” phone calls are a complete and utter waste of my time, and only consist of the client liking the sound of his own voice. Therefore, he can pay me for it.

I resent that I have been forced into this. Once I’m a few months in, I will see if this plan works, or if I need to change to something else. My mom’s phone is very much like her last phone, but with a different company than the previous ones. She feels more secure with a cell phone, and that’s important.

On the positive side, I watched one of the best movies I’ve seen in years last night. It’s called LIBERAL ARTS, by writer/director/star Josh Radnor. The acting and the writing were superb. It was funny, it was smart, it was surprising. There were times when it could have fallen into cliché and did not. I just loved it. One of the best things I’ve seen in years.

I’m going to attempt to go to work this morning, and see how far I get. I’ll stop at CVS to get some medication first. If this doesn’t clear up in the next day or so, I may have to call the doctor. And you know how much I hate going to the doctor.

One step at a time. That’s the best I can do. One step at a time.

Devon

Published in: on June 11, 2014 at 9:05 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 11, 2014: Backsliding Health & Joining the Dark Side  
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Mon. Dec. 30, 2013: How I Develop Material & Juggle Projects

Monday, December 30, 2013
Day before Dark Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Friday was busy, busy, busy. Took the leaves and the recycling to the dump. The place was so busy! But it’s heartwarming to see how dedicated people are to recycling in this area.

Picked up a few groceries, ran some books back to Wheldon Library (and, of course, got out some more), picked up something waiting for me at Sturgis Library, and then headed back. Got out some job pitches, worked with students.

Set up the development notebook for the Stowe-Eliot-Bronte project, even though I’m not really sure what it is yet. Ordered some books for it via the library network. Wrote up the passage that got the wheels turning in the first place, sourced it, and copied out the bibliographic notes.

Dug out the Hedrick biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Using the index, I tried to cross-check the info from the Eliot bio, and didn’t find confirmation. So I’ll be re-reading the entire biography — which will give me plenty of background for the piece in general. Asked a friend who knows a lot about the Brontes if she’d ever heard the reference. Found the Rugoff biography of the Beecher clan, and there’s a reference to the same incident, but not enough to hang my hat on. I hope getting my hands on the volumes of letters will give me what I need!

My friend and colleague Nancy Rubin Stuart’s wonderful book DEFIANT BRIDES was named a Best Book of 2013! I’m so thrilled for her. It’s an amazing book, and well-deserved recognition.

Saturday, I finished and printed out the pilot episode of a one-hour drama. It’s in the editing queue. I started the third teleplay for this packet, an adaptation of one of my novels. Got some good work done on it and fell in love with my characters all over again.

Unfortunately, I was also under the weather, sneezing and coughing, although I didn’t feel that bad. I felt much worse by Sunday, where I ended up fighting some sort of stomach upset. Don’t know why — I’ve been the least self-indulgent during this holiday season that I’ve been in years. Irritating.

Read Donna Leon’s THE GOLDEN EGG, one of her Venetian mysteries, which I love. Also started Kim Edwards’s THE LAKE OF DREAMS, which is quite good, and got some reading done on the Stowe bio. Treated myself to a chapter in an excellent art history tome as background for a different project.

Got some good work done on TRUE HOME, the initial novel in the Sparkle & Tarnish series. I love the way it’s developing. I’m working very differently with this project — developing a section, writing a few chapters, typing them, adapting them to script. The amount of research is enormous, and I’m looking forward to layering in a lot more detail.

I spent hours with Gilded Age Mansion house plans over the weekend, and am about to design their NYC mansion, remembering that they’ve taken over a mansion that was originally built several years earlier by an eccentric, and then having their architect modify it for the Gilded Age. As always the librarians at the New York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, and the JP Morgan Library have gone out of their way to be helpful, and will all be thanked in the Acknowledgements.

Speaking of Acknowledgements, I start keeping a list as soon as I need to ask someone for something when I’m researching a book. Every time someone is helpful, I add that individual to the list, so by the time the book is ready to go through the production process, it’s all there, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting anyone. Again, something I learned the hard way by not keeping track during the writing and then screwing up and forgetting people when the manuscript went to press.

Hey, if you can learn from my mistakes, they’ll have been worth it!

Still a little queasy this morning, but have a lot to do. I have an editing intensive workshop starting on the 6th, and I need to polish up the exercises. Those students are getting a lot for their money, but they’ll also have to put in a lot of work!

I want to wait and run my errands tomorrow, but I will have to run down to Centerville Library later today to drop off/pick up some books. Yes, I go to one of the local libraries ALMOST every day.

I want to get some work done on the novellas, the teleplay, and the airship steampunk piece. I need to get back into the latter — I’ve lost my momentum in it, and that’s a shame. I need to find those threads again and get back on track.

Day before the dark moon is always my lowest-energy day of the month. I’d like to crawl back into bed, but that is not an option.

I can’t believe 2013 is nearly over. It’s been challenging, and I’m ready for a better year next go-round!

Devon

Wed. Dec. 18, 2013: Reconnected for the Moment & Awards

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Snowy and cold

For the moment, the Comcast is working again. I realize it could go down again at any moment, but I’m enjoying it while I can.

Yesterday, I got a lot of work done at Wheldon in the morning, came home to frost cupcakes, and then came down with a fever and chills. So no party or festivities for me! I wrapped up in quilts with hot liquids and books on Victorian architecture and furnishings and took care of myself. I feel better today, but still not 100%.

I was awarded a grant to write a play, which is pretty exciting, and I will share full details once I have the logo and all the other stuff I have to put on any and all materials about it.

Lots of work to do today to make up for what didn’t get done yesterday, but I’m having an awful lot of fun with a script caper set in the art world and working on the Sparkle & Tarnish series.

Devon

Published in: on December 18, 2013 at 9:20 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Apirl 18, 2012: Pay now or Pay later?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I’ve got a new post over on Gratitude and Growth about the tulips! I’m so delighted with them.

Yesterday was just frustrating, because I felt so lousy. I kept getting dizzy, which meant I had to keep lying down. Pared back errands to the absolute minimum, and couldn’t even get on line to deal with student work until the evening. I managed to bake a cake for a neighbor’s birthday and take it over, and I got most of the vegetable seeds planted, but that’s it. And a bit of editing. Not much on the creative front though — I realized the last 6K or so I wrote on the second book in the trilogy isn’t appropriate for the book, so I had to cut it and put it in another file for use somewhere else later, if appropriate. Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean the reader has to read it! 😉

Still feel low this morning, but hope I can get it together to get some more stuff done. Want to get a bit of yard work done, have to pay some bills, have to follow up on a big check that should have arrived already, and see if I can get the mower working.

Will also try to rest. There’s always that dilemma — do I rest now to try to make the illness shorter, or push through to get done what needs to be done and pay more later?

Devon

Published in: on April 18, 2012 at 8:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. Feb. 17, 2012: Yoga and Anti-Yoga

Friday, February 17, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday wound up being an unexpected sick day. I felt like crap when I woke up, but had to get on the road early. The traffic was awful and I felt worse when I got there, so I did the work I was there to do, and then took the day off from workshops, et al. I figured I could take a day early and take care of myself, or push and lose a week when I got REALLY sick. It means I have to do more work this weekend with my students, but at least I feel better today.

Up very early this morning, and to yoga class at a studio not far from the site job. It was a great class – when I’m in this area again, I definitely want to take from the teacher again. We got to work on some of my big trouble spots, and places where I wasn’t doing the correct alignment and cheating with weight distribution, which threw the alignments off even more. Good stuff to work on. Ran some errands, and am back to work.

Went to Yoga Accessories to order something and had the usual ordering torture from them. Their price and quality are outstanding, but every order is a Major Drama and Nightmare to get through — with no reason. I finally emailed them and said fix it today, or I’m taking my business elsewhere permanently. I realize I’m not their biggest customer, but it shouldn’t take three or four days to sort out placing an internet order, which is what usually happens — the password doesn’t work, they say the “email is in use” — um, yeah, I’m your customer, you have my email and so forth and so on. They ship fast and the stuff is great, BUT getting in the order is enough to send you to the hospital with high blood pressure. This has been an ongoing problem for the past year, and they really don’t seem to give a damn about fixing it, so why should they get my money? We’ll see how the day goes.

Okay, back to my students, who deserve some quality time from me in the next few days!

Devon

Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 11:31 am  Comments (4)  
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Tues. Jan. 10, 2012: Recovering from the Party

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Last Day of Full Moon
Cloudy and cold

I’m back! Good to be home! I’m fighting a cold, but, that’s the way it goes.

Got a lot of work done on Friday, and then it was party prep.

Friday night’s party was a ton of fun. Eighteen people in the little house, lots of food, drink, and laughter. Everyone talked to everyone, and got along. The food was good, the decorations looked good, we’d set up the buffet tables to work with the natural flow of the house — one could basically graze one’s way through the house. Turns out one of my colleagues at the Marine Life Center is the niece of the owner of the house!

Tessa Houdini slipped her harness twenty minutes in, but was much happier roaming and playing extra hostess. She never tried to dash out the door as people came and went. She had a blast, because everyone adored her. The other two hid.

We cleaned up after it was over and pulled down the boxes for the holiday decorations before going to bed.

I woke up feeling like I could sleep for a week. But we started taking down the decorations. It took all day, but they’re packed and put away. And a trip to the dump to get all the party debris out.

Then it was packing for the trip and leftovers, which was all we had the energy to heat up.

Up early Sunday morning, loaded the car, on the road a little after eight. Stopped in Niantic for some books (always a treat) and in Old Saybrook, where I found a few little things, then on to Greenwich. Dropped Costume Imp off at the train and my mom at her site.

Found out I the site has now locked wireless access, so I couldn’t use my own computer. I HAD to get online, so I borrowed a computer and caught up with students. Some of them are pushing boundaries — I am not on call 24/7, nor am I required to explain where I am, AND I’m allowed to take off a day here and there, just like anyone else. At the same time, I appreciate that they want to make sure I’m not lying in a ditch somewhere. One of the students, however, pulled an absolutely unacceptable manipulation move. To say I hit the roof is an understatement. The passive aggression and constant turmoil this individual causes must stop NOW. Line crossed. Unacceptable.

I thought I was shaking because I was so angry — turns out I was also running a fever and had chills. Broke it with good, ole-fashioned aspirin.

Up early on Sunday, back in the car. Drove straight through to the Cape — well, I had to stop for gas, but that’s it. The cats were glad I was home — it looks so bare without all the decorations! I have to do laundry and convert the big buffet table in my office back into the low workspace table and get back to the routine.

I was congested and feeling icky. Broke down and took a Sudafed, which has always been my go-to. Nothing but an upset stomach from it. So, when its term was done, I fired up the oil burner and mixed eucalyptus, tangerine, and pine oils, letting it burn for a few hours. I could breathe all night without distress.

My throat is a little scratchy, but, other than that, I seem in decent shape. Will hit the page for a few hours. I’ve also got to finish a review and type up the minutes for tonight’s meeting. Then, it’s checking in with the students in both classes. The Year-Longs are soldiering along (5 out of 12 have completed the first draft that has to be done by the end of the month). The 5-in 10-ers have their first flash fiction piece due today. Of the four pieces I’ve read so far, all four are excellent. They took the found inspiration and ran with it, kept their unique voices, and kept within the word count limits. The stories are lively and pack a punch. Good stuff! My new private student’s doing really, really well, too. I’ve got some polishing to do for tomorrow’s Webinar — I hope some of you will join me. It’ll be fun.

I’ve got a busy week ahead of me. It’ll be fun, but demanding. I’m also looking forward to next week, which I’m trying to keep very quiet.

Devon

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Quite the weekend. I am exhausted, even though I was supposedly spending it getting better.

Bad night Friday night into Saturday. I don’t think I turned on the computer at all on Saturday — I gave it to myself as a tech-free day, which I needed.

Saturday was a bright, reasonably mild day. We went to several garden centers to look at things, get ideas, and stock up on items like saucers, Ozmocote, etc., and found some lovely pots on sale at Home Goods. When we came back, we repotted the plants that arrived on Thursday, who were still traumatized by a trip from Oregon, and some other plants who’ve outgrown their pots, and then had to rearrange everything. The avocado is nearly as tall as I am, with the pot now on the floor. The Black King eggplant grows as you watch it – it’s like time-lapse photography, only happening right in front of you. It doubles in size every day. It was repotted on Saturday and may need yet another pot by tomorrow. I can’t put it in the ground for another six weeks. Too cold.

By early afternoon, we were done, and I was coughing myself nearly inside out. I asked the pharmacist what to do, and he suggested a very strong OC medicine, but warned me I couldn’t have anything else in my system — no vitamins, no supplements, no ibuprofen, nothing. It reacts with EVERYTHING.

Everything was long gone from my system by then, so I took it. And it knocked me on my ass. Good thing I didn’t have to drive or do anything else. I couldn’t formulate a coherent sentence, much less do anything useful. I lay on the couch, dozing and reading. It stopped the cough, though, and gave me a chance to heal a bit.

Sunday was a quiet, but busy day with newspapers, final prep for the class that starts today, and wound up the class I was taking. I was sick for half of it, but it was mostly lectures and not actual application of the lectures. It gave me some ideas, but not the means to actually apply them. To be fair, I don’t know if I’d have been able to do the work, had it been assigned. But I’m still a little frustrated, and I need to stop worrying that, if my posts for class aren’t up exactly at midnight when a class starts, that I”m cheating the students. Because, in so many of the classes I’ve taken, the teacher shows up when the teacher shows up. And certainly not every day, giving students individual attention. Oh, well, different styles.

I’ve been booked for several more workshops over the next few months, and I’ve booked post-release interviews for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT in August with both Long and Short Reviews and Coffee Time Romance. I completed one of the interviews, and the other will happen in June. This morning, I regretfully withdrew from this year’s Muse Conference — October is already insane, and I just can’t give it the time it deserves to be done properly. There are months in the fall where I’m teaching four workshops at once, along with my regular writing, so I’ve got to put the brakes on somewhere.

By evening, I was coughing again. I took the medicine, hoping to knock myself out for the night.

Nothing.

I finally managed to quiet down with a combination of slippery elm and licorice. I can’t stand licorice, much less the extract, but it shut down the cough. Unfortunately, by then, most of the night was gone and my back was a mess.

I posted my Welcome & Expectations, Tip sheets, and first exercise on the Dialogue Workshop loop this morning. I’m a little worried because it clearly states that it is an Advanced Workshop, and, except for a few familiar faces, it seems that most of these people are new to all aspects of the craft. Well, we’ll see who rises to the challenge, and who falls by the wayside.

I started the assignment for confidential job #1 — it lost me in the first paragraph, and I’ve got over 300 pages to go. Sigh. I’ve almost got the April newsletter ready, and hope to get it out in the next few days. I’ve updated the Workshop page on the Devon Ellington site (after much fighting with 1and1 because, suddenly, it wouldn’t let me change font size), adding the Steig Larsson deconstruction in May, the Write in Company in June, the Revise in Company in July, and another round of Scaling the Wall: Unsticking Your Book in October. I’ve got one more workshop that will go up in July.

I’ve got to start the taxes today. Ick. I’m going to start with the SE for 2011 and get my quarterlies out, and then work backwards from there.

The Elsa Memorial Orchid is blooming again and looks lovely!

Devon

Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 9:17 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde

I have not been this sick in a long time, so I’m offline today. If it was just the cold with the fever, chills, etc., it would be annoying, but not that big a deal. Unfortunately, every time I sneeze or cough (as one does with a cold), It feels like someone’s ripping apart my lower back and insides with talons. Seriously, getting eaten by coyotes would hurt less and be quicker. We considered going to the ER on Sunday morning, but really, what the hell were they going to do? Give me a muscle relaxer and tell me to sleep sitting up.

The Confident Freelancer was great on Saturday. Good, lively, interesting mix, and lots of lively interaction. A ton of fun, and the day flew by. Sunday was about finishing up the admin, getting the coursebooks out, helping a straggler, generating the contest winners.

Today, I plan to stay in bed. I still have a play that has to get to London by the end of the month, supposedly I’m supposed to turn around revisions on the book (although I have yet to hear boo from my editor), and I’m sure my students would like to “see” me. But that’s it.

The cough medicines don’t do a damn thing, so I’m going to have to pull out the books and find something that will not just keep it out of my chest, but get rid of it once and for all, so I’m not practically passing out every few minutes when I cough.

Have a good start to the week, all!

Devon

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 1:18 am  Comments (6)  
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was a lousy writing day. I kept getting chills/fever and be out of it for a few hours. Then I’d feel better and try to get some work done, then it would hit again. One lung is fine again, but the weaker lung is still in trouble. It’s the one that always took longer to heal all those years when I struggled with constant bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis (from the time I was a kid until I was in my mid-thirties). I’ll focus on lung clearage and keep trying to rest, and should be back to sort of normal in a few days.

February’s well-booked, and most of it is filled with gigs that aren’t dependent on the web host — thank goodness, because, yet again, 1and1.com was completely useless yesterday. I could read email, i even managed to respond to ONE — and then, nothing.

I tried to download the FTP thing that’s supposed to make it possible to pull my webmail files and IT DOESN’T WORK ON A MAC. In fact, I didn’t even hit the download button, because it clearly states it’s only for Windows. Now, why the hell did they tell me to use it when it doesn’t work on a Mac, and I’ve clearly told them in every email that I’m on a Mac? Fucking idiots, pardon my language.

And, honestly, i felt too lousy to keep looking for something that worked. I’ll have to get back to that when I’m feeling better.

Didn’t get much writing done. Frustrated with the play because the tone’s too heavy and it’s supposed to have a lot of humor in it. I can’t write it and then layer in the humor, because the humor has to grow organically out of character and situation. So I have to attack it from another angle.

The WIP is going slowly, but okay. This particular catalyst happened, the new character is in to add to the conflict, the chemistry’s working, yeah, now if I only had the energy to keep up the kind of pace I had in the last couple of weeks.

Watched some TV yesterday. Liked HUMAN TARGET episode better than the first two in some ways, but there were a few things that really bothered me. They probably won’t bother most of the audience, but they bothered me. First of all, again, I knew who the villain was in the first shot in which the villain appeared on screen. Second, I never feel there’s any actual threat from the villains, because they’re not well-developed characters. For the hero to really shine, the villain has to be a good match and a real threat. In the first three episodes, they haven’t been. Third, they never named the poison — they had Guerrero make a vague reference to it being “airborne and lethal.” He’s my favorite character, but, um, DUH. And yes, it came through the vent, but was it released into the overall ventilation system, or just in the single apartment? Not naming the poison (a creative team choice, not an actor choice) was a lazy and illogical choice on both writing and research levels. In spite of the cute banter between Chance and the female op about the ear piece, again, a lazy creative team choice. She’s a pro; she’d expect him to have an earpiece. It made her look unprofessional. If the villain was really such an important DC mucky muck, he would have had an apartment, not a hotel room.

Things I liked: Jackie Earle Haley’s work, which is why I keep watching the show. I was never familiar with his work as a child/teen actor, just his work as an adult, and I really like it. HIs performance in LITTLE CHILDREN ranks up there in the top handful of performances I’ve seen in my life that I find completely unforgettable — and is one of the few film performances on that list — most of the others are theatre performances. I should be familiar with his earlier work — we’re close in age — but it wasn’t stuff I watched, and once I started working in theatre in my late teens, I was working all the time and didn’t get to see much unless it was the work of people I knew in the theatre. I like the rapport between the three leads — it doesn’t even bother me that there’s not a regular female character in the mix yet, the way it usually would. I liked the touch of having Guerrero read the manual for the defibrillator. It would have worked better had Chance not done the same thing in the airline cockpit last week, but will work even more strongly if, next week, Winston uses a manual for something — that gives us a tie between the three of them; they’re all ready to learn whatever they don’t know to get the job done, and they don’t come into the situations knowing everything. A none-of-my-business creative choice: Rather than finding the antidote in a hotel fridge, I’d rather Guerrero pinpointed the poison, the antidote and either knew how to make one or knew someone who could. Again, that feeds into several shaky logistics in the writing, and I might be more aware of the details because of my own research into poisons and the close way I followed the several news stories that were the basis/inspiration for the episode. The look and style of the show are good; I like the way the actors work together. The pace was better in this episode than the previous two. The writing’s still a little surface for me; too many logistical lapses (which could be fixed in a word or phrase; you don’t need a big scene) and the villains need to be more three dimensional and more lethal. But as long as Haley’s around peeling back layers of Guerrero. I’ll keep watching.

Back to the page today, and some stuff to get out to my new publisher. I’ve also got to go grocery shopping — a woman cannot live on red wine and mayonnaise alone.

My characters call. I must respond.

Devon