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