Tues. Aug. 8, 2017: Small Victories Pave the Way

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Got out a short story and a couple of pitches yesterday. The medium-sized late payment (not the big one that’s nearly two months late) arrived, so yesterday afternoon and today is a flurry of catching up on bills. Also had a small victory with one of the insurance companies.  One down, three to go!

My web host is placating me for the moment — I now have the ability to build more subdomains, and I can still pay quarterly. I’m going to see how it goes for the next three months (since I’m paying this week). I’m still interviewing other hosts, But it also means I can build the subdomains for the Coventina Circle Paranormal Romantic Suspense books and for the Nautical Namaste books.

I came up with some fun stuff for the websites, and a couple of good things for the tour giveaway.

I worked on the final piece of back matter for PLAYING THE ANGLES, so I can get that darned thing out the door, but it needs some more work. I’m hoping if I dig in today, I can get the manuscript out to the publisher by tomorrow or Thursday, and then, once I clear it with them, book the release tour.

The paperwork arrived for my mother’s upcoming surgery. There’s a lot of it, unfortunately. Not too happy about that. The surgery itself will take five to six hours. Not happy about that, either. But it is what it is.

This morning is all about errands and starting the new series websites. This afternoon is about finishing the back matter for PLAYING THE ANGLES and doing yet another proofread so it can go out; if I can, I need to do more work on an essay, work on a pitch package that needs to go out by mail, and do work on both THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and THE FIX-IT GIRL. AND “Labor Intensive”. However, I have the feeling some of that will wind up bumped over to tomorrow.

I think I’ve figured out how to get “Labor Intensive” back on track. I’m lightening the plot a bit, and getting the tone right, but not losing some of the social prejudices I had in the darker version.

The cover is a problem, though. Fireworks seem more like July 4th, but there are fireworks in the story. I don’t have much time to come up with the cover — or finish and edit the story. It needs to drop at the end of the month. But I’ll figure it out. Somehow, I always do.

I also have to get the big fall cleaning started — yes, even though it’s only August. I’m trying to do it in little bits every day, once I finish my writing quota, rather than putting aside days to do big bits. We’ll see how that works.

It’s raining, so no yard work today. I can practically watch the grass growing. As soon as the weather clears up, there will be yet more mowing in my future.

Second day of a migraine, but at least I can fit into my favorite pair of jeans again. I’ve lost weight, which is a good thing. I’m not completely down to what I consider my ideal weight — I may never reach it again, but I look and feel better. And my clothes fit again.

Which is why I think those “organizers” who tell you to purge everything the minute you need a different size are full of crap. I’m convinced that most “professional” organizers are in league with stores to try to get their clients to spend as much money as possible, instead of making use of what they have.

Anyway, there’s a lot on the agenda today, so I better get moving! Trader Joe’s grocery run starts the day, along with putting some gas in the tank.

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Published in: on August 8, 2017 at 9:39 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 8, 2017: Small Victories Pave the Way  
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Mon. July 24, 2017: Time in Fictional Dimensions

Monday, July 24, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Intense weekend. Still dealing with personal issues.

Worked on the article; it should be ready to go out tomorrow. Roughed out two more articles and two flash fiction pieces I hope to get done this week.

Most of the weekend was spent working on the Coventina Circle series. I’ve got the edits done on PLAYING THE ANGLES. I have a bit more backmatter to add in over the next few days, and then it goes to my editor and copy editor.

Worked on the information for what will be the Coventina Circle Series Bible. I have most of the character information in there; now I need to do the place information.

We’ve roughed out the cover for THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, the second book in the series, too. The central protagonists are Bonnie and Rufus, and it deals with both contemporary times and with New York City’s history as New Amsterdam. The first chapter of SPIRIT REPOSITORY will be included in the back of PLAYING THE ANGLES.

I re-read what I have on the book. I thought I was nearly finished with it, but it’s really only about a third. I have to get cracking, since we now have a May 2018 release date for it. But I got a good sense of it, and have to sit down and work out some plot complications. It will take a few days to finish outlining it and then I can get back to work on it. That book has to go into the regular, daily writing schedule.

I also spent time doing Writers Rough Outlines on other books in the series. I have basic notes on the Lesley/Sam book and the Diana/Greg book. I spent most of my time focusing on Book 3 in the series, which has the tentative title of RELICS & REQUIEM. That book focuses on Amanda and Phineas.

Because the lives of these characters are so entwined, and I’ve set up some strong relationships in ANGLES, I find I need to work on the outlines in tandem. Things that happen further down the line need seeds planted in the earlier books. Each book stands alone, and has a different central pair of protagonists, as paranormal romantic suspense does, but they feed on each other.

It’s an interesting process, and I understand so much more about structure than I did when I first wrote ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Growth in a writer is a good thing.

Started reading WORDS ON THE AIR, which is the collected letters of poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. It’s gotten me thinking about writing an epistolary novel. Supposedly, that’s out of fashion, but it’s a style I enjoy. Made some notes. I think I want it to cover several decades of history. The characters are talking to me, telling me about their lives and how they want it to work. It will take quite a bit of research, I think.

Getting back into writing THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY means re-visiting some of New York City’s earliest history. I ordered some books from the library, then looked up and realized I owned one of them. When I first percolated the novel, I used Washington Irving’s diaries. I also bought a good biography of him, but didn’t read it. It’s sitting on the shelf next to his diaries. Time to read it.

One of the late payments arrived; the smallest one (of course), and only part of it. But better than nothing. The other payment better arrive in the next few days. This is ridiculous. “Processing” means the check will be written and mailed, not that you’re deciding to maybe someday pay or not pay. Use the right language.

The actor John Heard died. I was sorry to hear it. We worked together off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club on an Arthur Miller play quite a few year ago. He had a meticulous process approaching his work. He had the reputation for being difficult, but we got along well.

Watched PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES again this weekend. I liked it better this time around. My favorite scene is still the Bennett girls getting ready for the ball, hiding their weapons in their gowns. My 94 year-old mother, who doesn’t like paranormal movies, loved it. She’s re-reading Jane Austen right now, and we’re watching all the movies, and I wanted to see this one shortly after seeing the definitive PRIDE AND PREJUDICE with Colin Firth.

Lots to do today. I’d like to stay in the cocoon of the Coventina Circle books, but I have to deal with the real world in order to keep a roof over our heads. I have a project meeting on Thursday that I’m looking forward to.

I have to do some rearranging of front matter for a play that a producer is interested in; more to do with renumbering the pages than anything else. I gave it a proofread yesterday, and it holds up better than I remember, which is a good thing.

Already did a grocery run this morning (to avoid the tourists), and wrote two drafts on a flash fiction piece I’ve been turning around in my head for a few days. I hope to get it out the door soon. While I drove to the grocery store, I had another flash fiction idea about a butcher and his vegetarian customer who shops for her elderly neighbor. Will work on that when I’m done with the articles.

Because, you know, ideas come in batches.

Published in: on July 24, 2017 at 9:13 am  Comments Off on Mon. July 24, 2017: Time in Fictional Dimensions  
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Thursday, July 7, 2011


The lake at Heritage Museum and Gardens

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Got some work done yesterday before I had to take my mother to the doctor, only to find her appointment had been cancelled. They said they called and left a message; of course, they hadn’t. Typical.

Headed over to the National Marine Life Center to send out invitations. A thirty-five minute drive took TWO HOURS. Traffic here is worse than New York! It took me an hour to go one exit. So I hopped off 6, took 6A to the Sagamore Bridge, where there was a backup, and then there was another accident at the rotary. Meanwhile, I’m running out of gas, because my favorite gas station (20 cents cheaper a gallon than most places on the Cape, 50 cents a gallon cheaper than the station at the bottom of the road) is on the way. I chugged in there just in time. Usually, I never fall below half a tank, but I figured, since I was going to Buzzards Bay, I’d be fine.

A little stressful, but we made it!

The chairman of the Ball and I got out all the invitations, and had a good time doing it. I’d baked brownies, so we had some sustenance, too!

Fortunately, the drive back was smooth. I had some more ideas for potential sponsors, so I got to work on that once I got home.

Because I’d been up early, I went to bed early. And I’m up early today to get to yoga. Then, it will be, hopefully, a good day at the page, with work on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY and some stuff for the Ball, before heading back over for a meeting early this evening — let’s hope the traffic’s a little smoother. I also have to complete the materials for Confidential Job #1, which is due tomorrow.

The class is off to a good start. I think I’ve got a small group this time, but they are enthusiastic and lively. We’re having some good discussions.

Now — off to yoga!

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon
Kindle.

Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Fountain, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

I got a good writing day in yesterday, and cleaned up my computer a bit. I’ve been having trouble with Safari, and now Firefox is giving me headaches, so I’ve downloaded Google Chrome just in case. And yeah, I’ll be giving Apple Care a yelp soon!

Worked on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Once I can get through these two mucky chapters, I think I can hurtle to the end pretty well. Did some good planning work on the new book, and got an idea for a steampunk. Ideas tend to come in batches.

Am being encouraged in the direction of a non-fiction book. I may try an outline and the first three chapters to see if it’s worth pursuing. If I like it, I’ll make a list and start submitting.

I recently read a wonderful anthology called A SENSE OF PLACE, which was written by Cape Cod women writers. Definitely want to use it in any further Setting as Character workshops. Sent a quick note to the publisher, who responded and suggested I write for the site, so I’ll put together some article ideas and see if they fly.

Finished the biography of Joseph Campbell, which makes me want to go back and re-read him with a new sense of context. When I read him originally, years ago, the fact that he was revered as a demi-god made me deeply suspicious and interfered with my ability to read the actual material. I’m glad to know he was a scholar who did actual research instead of someone who made stuff up to boost his theories.

Watched the NY fireworks, then the Boston — nice to see how different they are. Some idiots in the neighborhood set off fireworks they weren’t able to handle and nearly set some roofs on fire. Not mine — they just curved away from the property! 😉

Up early this morning. Meant to work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but wound up started my Reading and Reviewing for Craft class instead.

Yoga on the Beach was great, in spite of the sand flies. We absolutely slathered each other in bug repellent or we couldn’t have survived. Today’s class was quite challenging, which was good. Next year, I’ll budget so I can take it 3-4 times/a week, both on a financial level and a time level — it’s a 4 hour commitment in the morning, my prime writing time, since it’s an hour and a half in each direction and an hour fifteen class, and then all the incidental traffic, et al things one doesn’t count on.

Stopped to grab an ice coffee on the way home, and thought I was being very smart by taking 137 up to 6 (6 is the Mid-Cape Highway). 6 was backed up from P-Town to the bridges, so I slid off the next exit and took 124 north to 6A and headed back along the bay side. Yes, it’s through the towns, but there wasn’t much traffic and it actually moved, so it was faster.

Watered, vacuumed out the car (I brought half the beach with me), ate a bowl of berries. Now, I’m settling in for a few hours of work before I go out and do things like buy cat food! I have a meeting in the late afternoon for a potential job in August. Yeah, I know, I wasn’t supposed to work in August, but this sounds too good to pass up.

Back to the page!

Devon

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Detail of lobelia planter, Rosecliff

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Day before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and humid

I dashed outside yesterday before my first cup of coffee because the Squirrel was digging in my vegetable bed. Excuse me, I did not give you permission to harvest the radishes! Actually, he was burying something, not digging it up, but I chased him anyway. By the time I’d finished the watering, I’d been bitten in three places on my legs — large welts. These aren’t spider bites, so they’re only itchy and uncomfortable and swollen, not making me sick. I poulticed the worst one, but again, it didn’t need a venom draw, even though it felt better. I think I have to adjust the formula slightly for mosquitos. I’m poulticing them all this afternoon, just to make sure.

Phone interview went well, in person interview went well. On the latter, my application has to be signed off by “The Man”, and I can’t see that happening, not with my history of activism, so we’ll see. Either it happens or it doesn’t. I have an in-person follow-up to the phone interview next week for the other job, and I think that will work out.

Stopped at the Sandwich Library to switch out some books — hard to find a parking space. But I used Ye Olde Parking Karma and got one anyway. So hard that one woman handed me books in the parking lot, asking if I’d take them in because she couldn’t park! Since they weren’t overdue, I said sure.

Spent the afternoon on paperwork and research.

Up early this morning. It was raining, so I didn’t have to water. It’s the little things in life, y’know? 😉 Took my mom to a medical appointment, and then we did all the week’s errands on the way back, which took most of the morning, so I’m late getting online. Got more paperwork to do, and I’ve started the next assignment for Confidential Job #1.

I need to do some plotting on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, because I re-arranged a few things, and then I want to spend some time with that.

I’ll be late getting online tomorrow, too, because I’m going out early for a yoga on the beach session. Then, in addition to the writing, etc., I’m going to have to get gas for the mower, mow at least the front, and maybe start painting the bureau.

I’m trying to keep it a quiet weekend for the holiday — doing stuff around the house, writing, maybe attending the Wampanoag Pow Wow on Sunday. I need to get some “home front” stuff done before my next class starts on Tuesday.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


View over Provincetown Harbor

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday was kind of rough. Didn’t feel well at all due to the bite. Called the health line (since I now actually have access to health care), but unless I’m going into shock, all they can do is give me cortisone cream, and that didn’t help anyway. It was so swollen that I couldn’t wear jeans — couldn’t get them on. Had to wear yoga pants.

I did my morning quota for SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but didn’t feel well enough to comment on student work, which puts me way behind for the rest of the weekend. But there’s no point in not being coherent — that doesn’t help them.

Costume Imp moved the ENTIRE lawn. He made some adjustments on the lawnmower and wrestled it into submission. And he showed me what he did, so the next time it acts up, I should be able to do it, too. It looks great.

We also found the ants moved under the urn — I’m ready to take a flamethrower to the front yard — it it was “make the lawn boil” again. And he found some damage to the base of a tall tree in the back that could be a problem, and I have a message in to the owner. I’d hate to lose that tree, but if it keeps getting eaten at the base, it’s going to go over, and it’ll hurt someone’s house badly.

I took him to lunch at the Beehive in Sandwich, one of our favorite places. Then, we went over to the Library, and I got my library card from them — they are on a different network than the rest of the cape, with a loan system consisting of 28 off-Cape libraries, including the fabulous one in Plymouth and the library at Tufts University. And i got out a nice stack of books here, too!

We stopped at Lavender Moon on the way back, and he found a couple more pieces for his collection, and then the grocery store. Turns out our colleague who’s leaving Broadway to come here made the front page of the local paper and will be only one town over from me, as an artist in residence. So we shot over a welcome message. He drives up (with his cats) tomorrow.

I did some research and adjusted a poultice recipe. I made a concoction of oats, baking soda, turmeric, and olive oil, mixed it well, slathered it on a wound pad, and taped it down over the bite. It’s not entirely logical — the fang marks are even, but spaced so far apart the jaw would belong to something about 40 pounds, and I’d notice a 40-pound something clamped to my leg! So I don’t know what it was, just that it hurt like hell. The poultice made a big difference. I could feel it draw, and then I could feel when it was done (about 90 minutes later). It drew out something icky, the swelling’s down, and, once I cleaned off the turmeric (which stained the skin a bit), it looked pretty good. I put on an echinacea-and-eucalyptus cream that worked better than the cortisone, and feel much better all the way around. Fever’s gone, too.

Imp prepared us a lovely light Tuscan supper of basil, mozzarella, tomato, prosciutto, and melon. Yum.

We watched THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE on HBO. Some clever moments, but there were passages I found downright offensive. Glad I didn’t pay to see it in the theatre!

At least I’m feeling better today and can hopefully make progress with everyone’s exercises. We’d hoped to go to an arts festival and a farmer’s market today, but if it’s raining a lot, we might skip it.

Had a decent work session on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. It keeps surprising me, in a good way. I just have to stay focused and finish.

Costume Imp woke up early and is already baking! So I’m doing my writing.

Devon