Tues. Feb. 4, 2014: Crusty Snow and School Work

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had snow most of yesterday, the wet, icky kind. It didn’t stop until after dark, which means I got to shovel wet, crusty snow this morning. And that Toro Power Shovel? Piece of crap. I thought Toro products were good and reliable, but both the design on this and its unreliability make it a huge disappointment. Save your money and and buy a product that actually WORKS.

If you haven’t dropped a comment on my blogging article, please do so. I’d love to be asked back for a regular gig.

Finished up a book proposal yesterday, printed it out, and realized that there were font and formatting problems, so I had to go back, fix it, and reprint. It looked good on screen, but I hadn’t checked the details, and it wasn’t right, so . . .had to make it right. That will go into the mail today, when I get to the post office. I fell in love with the book all over again, working on the proposal.

Polished the sci-fi/horror/western novella and submitted it to Amber Quill, who let me know, a few hours later, that they accepted it! That was quick! We’re going to find a new title — which makes perfect sense — but they definitely want it. Nice, quick sale! Now, I need to polish another novella for them and get back to BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Did some work on the new play, but it still isn’t where I want it.

Made a quick library run to return some books and get out some novels for the snowstorm. Reading Jake Arnott’s THE HOUSE OF RUMOUR, whose chapters are structured on the Major Arcana of the tarot.

Trying to catch up on computational neuroscience work, but it’s giving me a headache (no pun intended). Catching up on Astrobiology — fascinating class, out of University of Edinburgh, and did the peer evaluations on the Environmental Law papers.

Did some thinking on an untitled novella (which seems to be expanding into a novel) and on the Sparkle and Tarnish project. Caught up on some correspondence.

I need to get a lot of writing done and work with students. I’ve got a new student, a guy whose college papers I proofread, who’s hired me to give him some grammar lessons along the way. So that’s all good.

Got paid for my last two articles on the random-date-paying market — earlier than I expected, which is nice.

I’ve got some wine research to do for Adventures in Vineland, and some other research on a couple of articles I’m interesting in pitching to markets that are a bit of a stretch for me.

I was invited to participate in an eco-festival this spring out in Provincetown. I’d wanted to do it last year, but didn’t find out about it until too late. This year, unfortunately, it conflict with the dates for the new play. Oh, well. It’ll happen when it’s time, I guess.

Back to the page, and to the school work.

Devon

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Published in: on February 4, 2014 at 9:22 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 4, 2014: Crusty Snow and School Work  
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Wed. Jan. 29, 2014: Snowing and Writing

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Day Before Dark Moon
Snowy and cold

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to see what’s new in the garden.

Snowing! We’re really getting hammered here on the Cape this year.

Yesterday was a good day, albeit a busy one. Out the door by 8 AM, over to the Marine LIfe Center. I followed on rounds, taking all kinds of notes — you never know what weird little detail is going to be just the thing in the play. Figured out the murder weapon, too — an interesting instrument.

Spent the rest of the day working from the office, researching and putting together the information I need for the organization’s media kit. I have a very rough draft put together. I need to get scans of some articles to pop in, and then I can send it off for comments.

Caught up on email, pitched for a few jobs, played with the plot for the play.

Home by dinner time, a little tired, but happy with a good day’s work. Finished a book I was reading, did some research.

I’m reading Sharon Olds’s poems, THE UNSWEPT ROOM. I’ve always loved her work — the intensity of image, the succinct language.

To the page.

Devon

Published in: on January 29, 2014 at 7:38 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Jan. 23, 2014: Post-Storm Writing

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy few days. Comcast is back to their old, extortionist tricks. They truly believe they are above the law. They are not.

In any case, on Monday, I got some good writing done, including a nice section at night on TRUE HOME. Tuesday, I wrote more on TRUE HOME before discovering that Comcast fucked me. Again.

Then, it was off to Centerville Library, to deal with what I had to deal with online — checking email, working with students, sorting out answers to interview questions for the test article that this new market and I are working on together. I’m actually pretty efficient with limited online time.

I knew that the storm would start early, no matter what the weather folk said. By the time I left the library, a little after noon, it was already snowing (they said it would start around seven p.m.). I picked up more batteries, and headed home.

In the afternoon, I worked on the big editing project for my client, and read some more of the Ben Franklin biography. I think I would have liked him. He was interested in just about everything, which made him interesting.

Also worked adapting some prose to script format.

Wrote more on TRUE HOME, finishing up Chapter Six, from Garrett’s point of view, and starting Chapter Seven, from Jem’s. I love writing from Jem’s point of view. I feel very connected to him.

I also unpacked a box from the many boxes still waiting to be unpacked in the basement and found a lot of really cool and useful stuff. I also found things I could purge. The purging feels good.

We had a blizzard all night, and it continued well into Wednesday. I already knew the libraries would be closed, and I’d be cut off, so I could prepare. I wrote ten pages in longhand on TRUE HOME, first thing in the morning, finishing Jem’s chapter, and getting ready to start Chapter Eight, from Antoinette’s point of view.

Still trying to decide how to get THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE back into the queue, and if I should buckle down and write the whole book, or if I should dig out the outline, polish it up, and submit the outline and the first few chapters. I could also ask the publisher — he said he wanted to see more from me. The question is, would I be able to make the deadlines set if I sold it on outline, with the new play coming up, the screenplay packets prepped, and the edits on both books coming out this spring? I need to think about it for a few days.

Wednesday, I completed the big editing project for my client, wrote four press releases, finished Jem’s Chapter Seven of TRUE HOME and made solid progress on the next Antoinette chapter, Chapter Eight.

I hunted for my outline notes for BALTHAZAAR and can’t find them, so I’ll have to re-read the fifty or so pages I wrote on the book and go from there. However, I found a lot of other useful material. Now, I have to decide what to do with it — it needs to get out into the world and earn its keep.

Took about two hours to dig out from the storm. Not as much as the storm early in the year — about 12 inches instead of two feet. It was fluffy, so easy to shovel.

I used the electric snowblower, which is a major pain in the ass and doesn’t work well. I bought it to be more eco-friendly than using a gas-powered one. If “they” want us to be eco-minded and give up fossil-fuel-powered tools, then design alternate energy tools that both work and are affordable. Without both of those factors, people cannot and will not change.

This morning, I polished up some exercises for my students and roughed out an article. I’m at the library, catching up. I also had to shovel out the driveway again, since the plow for the street just shoved all the snow back into the driveway.

And then, it’s back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 10:52 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 23, 2014: Post-Storm Writing  
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Thurs. Feb. 7, 2013: Projects, Escalating Stress, & Snow

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

So we’re prepping for this big storm and are all in a tizzy. I hope it won’t be anywhere near as bad as they’re saying.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day editing and working with students. I have an awful lot to get done today, because I have to get things cleared off before the storm and potential power outages and meetings and auditions coming up, etc. I’m feeling stressed out and overwhelmed out of proportion to what is actually going on.

Last night was a board meeting for the Writers’ Center, and I have follow-up and additional information to work on there, too.

I managed to fall in love all over again with one of my projects, which is always a good thing, but it’s a tricky one to pull off and I’m feeling so much pressure from so many different factions right now that I’m not sure what to do with the piece.

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for “Journal into Fiction”, which runs next Mon.-Fri. Information here.

I have a new workshop, the only one I’m teaching in March, running March 4-8, called “Prolonged Engagement: Developing the Series”. Information here.

HEX BREAKER just came out in print — woo-hoo!

Auditions for MURDER “SEALS” THE DEAL start next Monday — if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come by. Details here.

Have a safe weekend!

Devon

Mon. Dec. 31, 2012: New Year’s Eve & Pens are Hopping!

IMG_0784
Iris investigates the centerpiece, a gift from Lori! Thanks!

Monday, December 31, 2012
Waning Moon
New Year’s Eve

I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s!

Better hurry and download the free Jain Lazarus tale, “First Feet” — it’s only available until January 2!

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, wrote a lot on Friday. Worked up the rough of my wacky proposal for the agent. I love it. I let it rest over the weekend, and will tweak it over the next few days to send to her later this week. Ran errands on Saturday, and did a little raking, since the storm was coming. Worked on getting out party invites all weekend.

We got about 4 inches of snow on Saturday night — not bad, considering. Did some party planning, did some cleaning up and re-arranging. Was highly irritated at the snow plow guy. As usual, he shoved snow INTO everyone’s driveways. To a point, that’s understandable, but he left a boulder-sized snowball in the elderly neighbor’s driveway. There’s no reason he couldn’t have pushed it another foot out of the way, except this guy was either inexperienced, incompetent, a dickhead, or a combination. I went over to help the neighbor.

Got my own driveway and walkway shovelled — it wasn’t too bad, except for the stuff shoved into the driveway by the plow. AND the fact that the plow destroyed the whole bottom of the front yard — again, it’s marked, there’s no reason he couldn’t have paid attention and stayed in the road. If the boulders hadn’t been there protecting the rest of the yard, he would have torn it up halfway to the house. Unacceptable. Yes, I took photos, and yes, I will be making noise to the town!

It looks really pretty, though, except for the damaged area.

Found Rosemary Edghill’s SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER, the first Bast mystery, and re-read it. Now I have the whole set to lend to Costume Imp when he comes up in spring. I have the materials prepped for tonight’s ritual, for tomorrow morning’s ritual, have to pick up a few things for the NYDay breakfast. I’m doing laundry (because I have this thing about going into the New Year with clean clothes), and will vaccuum and mop this afternoon. Changed all the beds this morning.

We lit a fire in the fireplace last night, the first successful attempt since we moved it. It was wonderful! So much fun, worked so well. We’ll be doing that a lot more all winter.

I’m still having fun with the Twelfth Night stories, although I’m a bit behind. The story on the Five Gold Rings was more complicated than I expected. Not longer – just more complicated.

I realized the idea I’ve been playing with for a few days is actually an Ivy de le Livre piece (she’s my horse-playng tarot reader character) that is BEFORE the pieces I’ve been working on. That opens all kinds of exciting possibilities.

Bill Moyers interviewed a fascinating writer named Junot Diaz — now I’m eager to read his books. What a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent man.

The president of the Writers’ Center shot me a few ideas, and I shot back a response this morning. This year will be exciting!

I’m very excited that ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is circulating in the CLAMS library network! So, if you’re on Cape Cod — you can check it out of the library. What fun!

Lots to do to prep for the New Year. Have a safe and joyful holiday!

Stop by Biblio Paradise tomorrow — we’re starting the year with Shirley Wells’s latest! AND, stop by Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions tomorrow, where we start working on our New Year’s goals!

Devon

Mon. Nov. 5, 2012: Getting Organized

Monday, November 5, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend. On Friday, Costume Imp made a run for home, and got there. The trip down was smooth, and he “only” had to wait an hour for a bus to get over to Brooklyn. He’s relieved to be home.

We got home in one piece, changed the beds, did loads of laundry, took down the Samhain decorations, and put everything away. For some reason, it always takes longer to put things away than get them out, doesn’t it?

I was glad to hear the NYC Marathon was cancelled this weekend, and even more heartened by the many kindnesses marathoners showed to the city, volunteering in badly-stricken areas. One-to-one humanism always works better than organizations full of red tape.

I did the schoolwork for my Greek & Roman Mythology class, and I started work on the paper for the World History class, but had nothing in the tank for it. Fortunately, the deadline’s been extended until tomorrow at 6 PM — I’ll finish it and submit it today.

I worked with tarot students, I taught the “Dissecting Submission Guidelines” class. It was very quiet. No one said peep all day. Hopefully, they still got something out of it.

Sunday, I got the last of the bulbs into the ground — hyacinth, daffodil, tulip, crocus, glory-of-the-snow. Also got most of the front lawn put to bed. I can’t complete the side yard because the damn “landscaper” who was supposed to move the forsythias (and still hasn’t) and clear away the brush LEFT any brush under 3 feet. That whole side yard is a mess. I stacked as much of the debris he couldn’t be bothered with under the forsythia bushes, so if and when he ever bothers to show up to move them, he’ll have to deal with the brush first. How much you want to bet he just tosses it on the lawn and leaves it?

Also used the stinky fish fertilizer on the front beds — phew! But it’s supposed to be great, and last year’s tulips needed re-fertilizing.

I went to a rally last night to hear Elizabeth Warren speak. She helped me several years ago in a difficult situation, helped me navigate the complexities and fight the dickheads trying to take advantage of my elderly mother (we won). I’d forgotten how funny and witty she is in person, in addition to being incredibly intelligent and committed to justice.
The space the rally was held was too small, in my opinion, and people kept coming and coming and coming — which is great — but I stayed on the fringes, not wanting to get stuck in the middle of a crowd. I got the best of both worlds — good view, could hear everything, and also not get claustrophobic.

I finished the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK and got them back to my editor. I go back to work on the next book in the series, CRAVE THE HUNT, today. I need to finish a couple of short stories this week, too. Everything I sent one of my other editors last week bounced back (due to the Hurricane), so I’m waiting to hear back from him before I send my next review. However, I have to get interview questions out to someone he assigned me, or that article will be late.

I downloaded the MIT Opencourseware class on Medieval Women Writers I wanted to start today, but it makes no sense. There’s a calendar of assignments and a reading list, but no lectures. Coursera makes much more sense.

I got out a press release for the extended deadline for the application for the Playwriting Intensive. More information here. I got quite a few requests from people who meant to get it in just under the wire on the 1st, but couldn’t because of Sandy.

I had an idea for a book I can put together and pitch to the agent (once I’m sure she’s got her power back). I basically have all the material, it’s just a case of organizing it. I’ll organize it for the proposal, and then, basically, it will be done. I also have another idea that’s been swirling around. I took some notes on it, but it has to wait its turn. There are too many deadlined projects stacked up in front of it.

I need to do some yard work later today — the terraced back area, and part of the meadow. I need to hack back the dead hostas, too. Tomorrow will be busy — I’m out of the house doing research all day, after I vote — so Wednesday morning, I’ll have to finish the yard work, ahead of the expected snow.

Snow! Christmas! Not ready to deal with any of it.

Devon

Mon. Dec. 19: Time Flies When You’re Decorating

Monday, December 19, 2011
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a lovely dusting of snow yesterday. Things look lovely. But it’s cold.

Friday was busy. Finally got things to the dump — two trips, one for garbage and recycling, one for bags of leaves. Still have a couple of bags in the garage, but, for the most part — done. Still have some leaves to tidy up in the meadow, but can’t do it if they’re under snow.

Working on the domestic cards. Plan to get them out today.

The job I pitched for on Tuesday asked for more info by Wednesday, and I worked it up and sent it on Friday. Either they hire me, or they don’t. I’d love to add them to my roster as a regular gig, but I can’t tie myself in knots about it. They have a specific tone — either I managed to mimic it, or I didn’t. But the quick response was good for my morale!

The yoga party on Friday was fun. The yoga part was hard, much more challenging than I’m used to, but I’m glad I did it.

Saturday was about running errands and getting the rest of the house decorated. I didn’t even turn on the computer, and it was nice to be away from it for a day.

Yesterday was about newspapers, catching up with students, writing cards, and going to a neighbor’s party, which was fun. Tonight, I have a meeting on a possible theatre collaboration.

Violet is a little under the weather today. I’m hoping she just feels the need for a day off, too. I’m keeping an eye on her; hopefully, she’ll be fine and we won’t have to take a trip to the vet later this week.

I’m finally back on track with Book 2 of the trilogy. I’ve written and discarded about 6K over the past few days, but today’s words can stay (in this draft, anyway).

Devon

Today’s word count: 1789
Total word count: 14,162

Published in: on December 19, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (5)  
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Mon. Nov. 28: Ewwwww! Creepy-Crawly Chaos

Monday, November 28, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

It’s been quite a week!

Wednesday morning, our departure was delayed due to weather. We didn’t get on the road until nearly 10 AM. Fortunately, we missed the worst of the rain and didn’t hit snow until we were past Portland. Not a bad drive, and we managed a few stops on the way at “usual” places on our route. Eight inches of snow where we were staying. Talk about a winter wonderland!

My great uncle is very frail. He’s walking with a cane, thanks to a nasty spill a few weeks ago. He’ll be 95 next month, so, all told, he’s doing pretty well, and he was glad to see us.

The lasagna pan barely fit into the oven, but it did, and the lasagna was a bit hit, as were the salad and cake.

Up early on Thanksgiving. Managed to write 3K of a long short story that’s been percolating for nearly ten years now. It’s finally coming together, and I’m very excited about it.

Thanksgiving Dinner was great — good food, good company. Only 42 people this year, a little smaller than some of the previous years. But good fun. Lots of interesting social dynamics, in spite of everyone sticking to the “leave your egos and arguments at the door” rule. Came away with a stuffed belly and a head equally stuffed with ideas.

Quiet evening, with some visiting, and some packing. Up early on Friday, back on the road by 8. Stopped in Ongonquit for breakfast at Bessie’s. I’ve wanted to eat there for years, but this was the first time I figured out where to park. It was excellent.

Also stopped at a great thrift store at the York/Kittery line and got some wonderful deals, including a pair of metal deer that were obviously hand-crafted and bolted in a unique manner — I’ll have to photograph them at some point.

Home in the afternoon, unpacking, sorting out the cats. Exhausted.

Saturday, worked on the short story, ran around and did some errands. Started cleaning and straightening the place for the holidays. Wondered why the six-foot eggplant in the living rooms was so dusty — and realized it was MOVING! BUGS! The entire plant was infested. The other plants nearby were infested. The curtains were infested. Things were crawling up the walls.

Took the plant out, disposed of it responsibly and sterilized the pot. Washed the other plants to try to save them. Stripped the room and scrubbed it, sterilized it top to toe, vacuumed and laundered the curtains, washed the walls, vacuumed everything remotely vacuum-able, scrubbed everything scrubbable. Stripped down and scrubbed myself in the shower with castile soap (ow) and immediately washed all my clothes in hot water. It took hours. Sprinkled mint everywhere.

Tessa and the twins brawled. There was literally fur flying, but the twins have stopped picking on her.

The next morning, the mint worked and overcame anything left in the windows, but I found some other plants infested in two other rooms. We’ve lost all the eggplants (which were still giving us eggplants) and the green peppers. One of the strawberries was infested, and all the foxgloves.

Headed to Country Gardens. They told me it was spider mites, and what I thought were bites all over my hands, arms, and torso was an allergic reaction to their sticky secretions. Ginger (an anti-inflammatory) offset that. Anyway, they gave me a spray for the plants. I soaked whatever was salvageable, wiped off the dead things once the leaves were dry, and have those plants in quarantine. And scrubbed everything again.

The spray worked. And now I know how to deal with it the next time it happens.

Fourteen hours on it yesterday. The house looks like a tornado hit it. But it’s clean enough to use as an operating room.

I’m sure spider mites exist in NYC, but they tend to choke on the bus fumes, like the rest of us. I never had them in the apartment. I’d never seen the larvae, and didn’t know what it was. It looked like dust. Until it hatched and started moving. Ewwww. And they had to work fast, because we checked all the plants on Wednesday morning and they were fine.

Also managed to put together the Christmas tree and put up the Advent Table (it was the First of Advent yesterday). Deocration boxes are now also all over the place.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get it cleaned up by Christmas. 😦

Good morning writing session. Headed off-Cape for a meeting this morning, then back to try to get some yard work done (the neighbors spent all weekend making their lawns pristine and have ALL their decorations up — I feel so disorganized) and comment on the short story assignment for my class.

I’d love to have a mini-melt-down, but, honesty, there’s just no time.

Devon
Today’s word count: 1357
Total word count: 92,360

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days, and didn’t realize most of the morning was gone.

The weekend was all about getting the plants in and settled, getting up the grow light, enjoying the eggplants and the strawberries which are still coming fast and furiously, and trying to save the tomatoes. The patio furniture is in, but I still have to put teak oil on it before it’s completely done for the winter. The rest of the plants are adjusting to being inside.

The azalea, heather, mums, lilac, holly trees, and little oak are staying out, although the lilac will go into the garage soon to go dormant for winter.

I went out on Saturday to pick up wine before the storm hit. Seems like everyone else had the same idea — grocery stores weren’t too busy, but everyone’s cars were filled with rock salt and cases of liquor! Too funny.

The storm didn’t hit the Cape too badly — lots of rain and wind, but that’s it. My mom had a great birthday, I cooked her a good dinner, she’s enjoying the books. We lost power for a few minutes in the middle of the night, but that was all. The rest of the state was hammered — some places got 30 inches of snow. We were lucky

Sunday was a quiet day, for me, mostly catching up on stuff and winding up the Scaling the Wall class. I was afraid it hadn’t gone well, but the students who didn’t quit the first week were really happy with the new perspectives on their novels, and most of them have signed up for the short story class in January. So that’s all good.

I have a feeling a few more will drop out of the year-long shortly. On the one hand, it annoys me that everyone in the class has been investing time and energy in each other, and some of them can’t cut it. I don’t care what they claim as the reason — either you keep a commitment or you don’t. Books don’t write themselves, especially not 200 words once every six weeks. If you want to be a writer, you write. Period. If you don’t want to do the work and make the commitment, go do something else. On the other hand, I have to trust that this group will wind up being what it needs to be to do its best work.

Some people say things like, “oh, when you give this again, I’ll take it.” Um, first of all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if I did this again, the group dynamic would be different. Second, it’s highly unlikely I will do it again, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because of the amount of time and energy it takes in proportion to the rest of my work. I definitely wouldn’t offer it for several years. Third, why would they think they’d be accepted again, if they already proved they weren’t able to fulfill the commitment now? “De Nile” may be more than a river in Egypt, so what does that make “De Lusion”?

Whatever. I have my own writing to focus on.

I finally cracked the bar scene (thanks to the feedback from the class). It’s not perfect, but it works and makes sense, and I could move forward.

I also had batches of ideas for the short story segment. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do an adult contemporary for my first short story. If I can work in some of the other stories around my other work, I will also do that. But that’s the way it is — ideas come in batches.

Yesterday, I jumped at the opportunity to go on a cemetery tour in Marstons Mills. It wasn’t about ghosts or hooky-spookies. It was about the town founders and interesting graves in a cemetery whose early graves are pre-Revolutionary war and I even saw a grave as recent as 2008. Lots of great stories. And an absolutely gorgeous horse-drawn hearse from the 1880’s, originally made in New Bedford. It had a space for ice to keep the body cool, adjustable pegs for coffin length, velvet curtains, and beautiful finials on the top. The maker stopped building hearses to build unicycles, which were a big business as indoor racing — because the outdoor roads were too bad to race on!

Anyway, I got a few great ideas, and some of them I can combine into a single fantasy tale.

The grow light fell apart — the glass separated from the filament — so I have to take it back.

We had a good turnout of Trick or Treaters last night, in full costume. I had Tessa in her harness and leash, and she came to the door with me. She was a the Belle of Halloween! She was really good about it, too. She enjoyed the attention, unlike the twins, who hid the whole time.

Samhain ceremonies went well. Today is Day of the Dead, and the next few nights are the Tending the Dead ceremonies. Tomorrow, the Samhain decor is packed, and the Thanksgiving goes up. The tween girls last night were funny — they were excited to meet the person who lived in “the house with all the cool decorations.” And a group of my adult neighbors went around in costume, just saying hi — hilarious! Good times, all the way around.

And so, the wheel turns again, and I’m looking forward to the coming winter.

Devon

PS Best wishes to those of you doing Nano this year. Go forth and write!

Today’s word count: 1205
Total word count: 45,834

Published in: on November 1, 2011 at 9:35 am  Comments (5)  
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Friday, October 28, 2011


Tessa reaches for the stars

Friday, October 28, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cold and sunny

I hope you’ll give a very warm welcome to Mary Abshire, my guest on A Biblio Paradise today. She’s talking about the fourth novel in her series, called LOVE CONQUERS ALL EVIL. Stop by and give her some comment love!

It’s anything but warm here. Parts of Mass have snow already. Boston might get 2-5 inches over the weekend. Supposedly, we’re not getting any on the Cape, but there are some icy roads this morning, and it’s darned cold.

I was out of the house yesterday at 7:30 AM and didn’t get back until 2 PM. Yoga was fun — different teacher, but she was really good. Circled back just long enough to get my mom and take her to the eye doctor. The appointment took nearly two hours, and I’d brought my materials from Confidential Job #1 (assignment due today) and worked during her appointment. She will be prepped for her surgery just before Christmas, and probably have it the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The doctor was great, the staff was great, and she’s a lot less anxious about it then she was.

Plus, she passed a vision test so she could get a restricted driver’s license. She hadn’t been able to get her full license when we moved, and it depressed her a lot. But she passed the special screening, the doctor gave us the paperwork, and we headed to the DMV (sorry, called RMV here). She got her MA license, and was registered to vote. All in time for her 87th birthday, which is tomorrow! It’s lifted her spirits a lot. Once she’s had the surgery done on both eyes, we can go and update her license. We’re lucky, here. The people who work at the RMV are both efficient and pleasant. How often does one have that experience?

I found a good pumpkin at a garden center in Yarmouth, and it wasn’t very expensive. I’d visited this huge “pumpkin patch” on the lawn of a local church — hundreds of pumpkins, it looked great. Unfortunately, when you got up close and personal, a lot of the pumpkins were already rotting or had holes. This center had some really great ones, at a fair price. The kitten is fascinated!

Spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up Confidential Job #1. I will do the write-up and get it out this morning. Spent the evening on student work. Didn’t get to bed until nearly midnight, which means I woke up with eye strain and a stress headache this morning.

I need to reconfigure my time. I’m only spending about an hour and a half to two hours WRITING every day. The point of being here and creating my own schedule is to be able to spend five to six hours writing fiction, and then building the freelance assignments around that. I’ve hit a point where I need to look at my time management, my energy biorhythms, and readjust.

I’ve hit a point in the book where I have a pivotal chapter — where the two main characters are partially lying to each other because they don’t trust each other in spite of their attraction. I have to sort out what and how much they reveal to each other, and it’s not something I can blast through with placeholders and come back and fix. What happens in this particular scene informs the rest of the plot revelations. I’ve rewritten the crucial scene six different ways so far, and STILL don’t have it right.

So I’ll just keep at it until I do. Word-count wise, I’m fine in terms of deadline. I just hate hitting these bumps in the road, trying every trick I know, and still not finding my way through it.

Time to try some new tricks! 😉

Devon

Saturday, April 23, 2011


small forsythia at the back of the house

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury DIRECT
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

There’s news that it snowed and continues to snow north and west of us today. Brrr!

Check out how I’ve had to prioritize the garden list over on Gratitude and Growth. I’ve also got some photos.

Not a good day on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, unfortunately. That’s discouraging. So I have to dig in today to make up for it. I know what I want to say, but I’m not saying it well.

Went to tweak the exercises for the workshop that starts on Monday, and they’re gone. Can’t find them anywhere. The document vanished. So I’m recreating them from my notes. Also, for some reason, Safari’s not working. It keeps “quitting” on me after being up for a few seconds. So I’m on Firefox for the moment.

Still waiting to be paid for the workshop. Not acceptable. I don’t want to hear excuses, I don’t want to hear “holiday weekend”, I don’t want to hear “volunteer staff.” I want the money I more than earned, and I want it in a timely fashion. Instead of dicking around until they happen to feel like dealing with it, they should deal, so we can all close the book on this fiasco and move on.

I got another email yesterday from a different organization. They’d asked for pitches eighteen months ago; I pitched by return email; there was interest. Then no word. When I followed up, several months later, the organizer told me she’d get back to me “the next day”. Nothing. So I shrugged it off and went on to other things. Yesterday, I get an email announcing I’m booked for X dates, which had nothing to do with the original dates discussed (which, of course, have long since passed). I politely and firmly replied that no, I was not booked with them for X dates, because we had never discussed those dates and I was already booked elsewhere (which is absolutely true). The arrogance and disorganization of some of these places never ceases to amaze me.

All I really wanted to do by afternoon was curl up in the sun with a book, but I knew the weekend was supposed to be gloomy, so I did a few hours’ of yard work.

While I was outside, Violet told my mother that, for some reason, the door to the basement had opened and the light was on, and then proceeded to go downstairs to explore. We both remember shutting off the light and closing the door. In fact, I even said, “I’m turning off the light.” The house pixies are at it again!

Iris got Very Brave this morning and investigated the garage for the first time (the door to the outside was closed). She was very proud of herself.

I’m hoping that, because it’s a gloomy day, I can get in a few good writing sessions. I’m behind where I should be on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and it’s got to not only get done, but get done WELL.

Devon

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 8:12 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, March 24, 2011


One of the Alberta Spruces by the front door

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing – a lot

I’ll be off line most of the day, hurtling through the snow to take Costume Imp home.

My back’s been crippling me, unfortunately. Tuesday, we didn’t go out and about much, because I couldn’t do much; same with Wednesday. I have an appointment on April 5, but that seems very far away right now. AND I’m coming down with a cold. I haven’t had a cold in ages — I forgot how inconvenient they are. I don’t feel that bad — it’s at the annoying stage, and I’m at the whiny stage, so I know I’m pretty much okay.

Finished the layout for the course ebook; it still needs final proofing and page numbers, and then it’s ready for participants. I’m looking forward to Saturday — it will be a really fun day. I hope lots of you will join us! Hop on over to The Confident Freelancer page to register.

Got some correspondence done. Have to fight with Comcast yet again — the only bill that was correct was the very first one.

Most of the day was spent on conference work; the rest was spent on student work. And laundry. I find the homework for the class I’m taking a little puzzling, but I’m in someone else’s playground and it’s their rules. I’m rolling with it and seeing what I can learn.

Started reading a book that looked interesting in the library. It lost me by page 8.

Finished Allan Lacy’s THE INVITING GARDEN. I like most of it, but his contemptuous disdain for the meanings of plants and their folk uses offended me, so it’s not a book I’m looking to add to my permanent shelf. Plants DO have meaning; yes, they are imposed by humans (duh), but usually it has a relevance to something a human has learned from or about a plant. And there’s a reason herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years — when used correctly and respectfully, they work.

Take, for instance, my cough concoction — it’s a tea that includes horehound and coltsfoot and a few other things. When Imp arrived, he had a bad cough. I whipped some up, made him down a great, big cup, and he’s fine. I had a cup myself last night, to prevent the cough from migrating down into my chest. I forgot how vile it tastes (extra honey helps), but the cough is staying out of my chest, just tickling my throat. If the throat tickle continues, I’ll do some more with horehound and probably slippery elm. It won’t mask the symptoms, the way a prescription or over-the counter drug would (and, yes, sometimes even I just want it masked, especially at night to get some sleep), but this remedy will actually get to the cause of the problem and remove it. I have a six hour drive in a snowstorm ahead of me — cold medicine that’s going to make me drowsy is not an option.

When we went to bed after last night’s news, the weatherman said that the storm lost its bite and we’d just have a coating. It’s coming down pretty heavily, and it’s a good deal more than a coating, so it will be interesting to see what happens by the time we have to leave.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll join us for The Confident Freelancer on Saturday for a full day of motivation and inspiration and just plain writing fun. Information and registration here.

Devon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
The Ides of March
Sunny with frost on the ground.

It snowed. I cried. I had a glass of wine.

That nowhere near sums up the day! 😉

I spent the day on the Tele-Seminar. First, I realized I had to move the conference board, because, on the site I originally placed it, when you clicked to register, everything was in Swedish. Now, I enjoy Swedes and Swedish as much as the next one (especially Swedish hockey players), but that is not the most user-friendly way to deal with seminar participants who pay to attend a conference.

So I moved it somewhere that “English” was the default language.

Then, it turns out the subdomain I set up for it via 1and1 — I couldn’t embed the code for the registration button. Oh, I COULD — if I “upgraded” my package and paid the additional monthly equivalent to my three month fee every month. I think not.

I designed (again) a page on iWeb, and I was pretty happy with it.

HOWEVER — since 1and1 won’t give me access to the FTP –for which I PAY — in order to upload the site, I couldn’t upload it. They gave me every excuse under the sun from “technical difficulties” with the FTP to everything else slimy. Now, realize, that if they actually give me access to the FTP — for which I pay — that means I can download the web files they’ve been holding hostage for the past three years. Once I have the web files, I can move hosts. I can’t lose over 10K of emails including contracts and business correspondence, and that’s what would happen if I switched hosts without being able to download the web files to my hard drive. Nor can I forward everything. I’ve tried. And if any of you dare mention “Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Explorer” I will drive a stake through your heart, because you ARE the most evil vampire — I’m on a Mac, damn it, and I’ve been trying to find a way to download since I switched (not that they let me download my files to an FTP when I was still on PC with access to Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Explorer anyway — they had excuses for that, too).

1and1.com should not be allowed to do business, because all they do is cheat you.

Anyway, I whimpered to AppleCare, who taught me how to upload the site to Mobile Me (guess I’m renewing that in April).

And, Ta-Da, here is the site for the Confident Freelancer. I hope you’ll come join us and get inspired!

Now, that took me from the time I logged on to the computer in the morning until dinnertime, along with going back-and-forth with my lovely partner and making sure we both ok’d copy before it was posted anywhere. She was working her ass off on other aspects of the project, too.

On the upside, it was the best possible day for this to happen. We’ve troubleshot as much as possible in advance, and now people can register and have a great experience. Yeah, I didn’t get to do other stuff I would have liked to get off my list — but I’m not behind, and I’m not scrambling. So it’s fine.

It’s the only day all week I could spend a big chunk of time on it, because I actually have to be in specific places at specific times every other day this week, meaning at X time, I have to walk away from the computer, no matter what is going on, come back later for a bit, leave again at Y time, etc.

Managed a quick trip down to the library to return some books due and get out another interesting stack — three Cape-centric mysteries and a book about Van Gough and Gaugin sharing a studio for nine weeks in Arles. Started one of the mysteries — hideously written. All telling, no showing, sloppy writing, cliched characters. I’m taking all three of the books in the series back today. I only managed to get to page 28 of the first one, and my time is too valuable to spend with that kind of bad writing.

In the library, I found a “biography” “written” by an actress I worked with on Broadway. Of course, I had to flip to the sections dealing with the shows on which we both worked. Wow. I don’t know if she’s delusional or trying to rewrite history to look more kindly on her or that’s the way she really thinks it happened. My diary entries for that same time period are VERY different (and no, I’m not mentioned in it by name — we were on the same show, but I was working directly with other actors).

I’ll only be on line briefly today — a little this morning (after I work on the play) to comment on student work (they have a deadline today), work on the conference board (I need to make postcards to take to the dinner tomorrow), start getting ready for Costume Imp’s visit, go to the grocery store, and, possibly, get to Ashumet, if it stays sunny. And I’m going to start the layout on the e-book.

Gotta love Canon customer service. I forgot something really basic on the camera last night (and needed the answer before the Flower show on Thursday). My instruction manuals are still packed goodness knows where. Shot them an email; got a response in under two hours — at night! Now THAT’s service! As frustrated as I’ve been with this last generation of printer, in general, they’re a fantastic company.

There’s frost on the ground this morning, which means I’m glad I didn’t put the rosemary plant out last night. It’s not happy inside, even in full sun, but I think it’s still too cold to set it on the back porch.

So that’s that, and the play needs attention, or it won’t get out the door by the end of the month.

Devon