Fri. May 11, 2018: Uncreative Start, but A Beautiful Day

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Friday, May 11, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

A bad night’s sleep makes for a slow, cranky, uncreative start.

Yesterday, I got a few things done. There’s a special promotion going on for the Coventina Circle Series. THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which just released, is available on multiple digital channels for $3.99. But many people prefer to start a series with the first book. So, PLAYING THE ANGLES is available, for a limited time, for 99 cents here.

I did a Facebook ad for the promotion, and I’m not happy with either Canva or Facebook. The ad was made on Canva. In order for the links to work, it had to be downloaded as a PDF. Only Facebook does not allow a PDF to be uploaded and used as an ad. I was forced to SHARE the PDF version of the ad from the Canva site — and Facebook didn’t allow me to boost the post. So I paid for an ad where you can’t click through the links, because they wouldn’t let me boost the one that worked properly. I am NOT a happy camper.

I added the promo info to the landing page of the Coventina Circle site and the News page on Devon Ellington Work. But I seriously doubt the ad will earn its keep. Last time I listen to Canva.

Worked on HEART THEFT.

Worked on the contest entries. I will be done with two of my three genres later today and send off the winners and finalists tomorrow. The final category, which is huge, will need Sunday and Monday to be finished properly, and I’ll send out that information on Monday.

Next week, I’ll buy my basic push mower and do the grass. It’s growing quickly — which is a good thing, but hey, it’s growing quickly.

This morning, I’m headed to Market Basket — haven’t been there in awhile. Then, I’ll work at the library for a bit, work on HEART THEFT, finish the two categories of contest entries — and dig out all the poison ivy that’s taken up residence in the yard.

I’m glad there’s never a dull moment, but I’m tired, and it’s definitely hurting my creativity.

I’ve been watching the Ken Burns documentary JAZZ and loving it.

Have a great weekend, and happy Mother’s Day!

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Fri. May 4, 2018: Company and Writing

The Spirit Repository.6

The Spirit Repository,  the second Coventina Circle romantic suspense novel, releases on May 8. Blurb here. Universal Buy Link here.

Friday, May 04, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy/sunny and pleasant

The house is clean. Beds are changed. Fresh towels out. Cookies are baked. The food and liquor are in. I have a chocolate mousse still to prepare, and then we are ready for our weekend guests!

SPIRIT REPOSITORY is available for pre-order here, and will go to Amazon as soon as it releases on Tuesday.

The major writing focus right on is on HEART FOCUS and then NOT BY THE BOOK, with MYTH & INTERPRETATION and RELICS & REQUIEM working around that.

I’m working on contest entries.

I’m making notes for the serial, but not letting it pull too much focus.

I’ll lose some writing time with my guests this weekend, but I’m looking at the break as a way to refill the creative well.

I’m tired, oh so tired, but determined to enjoy the weekend!

And, hey, SPIRIT REPOSITORY comes out on Tuesday!

Thurs. May 3, 2018: Warmth & Progress

Thursday, May 3, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Finally, some warmth!

And, finally, the galleys are done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. They go out for the final time today. Sending out galleys always makes me slightly ill. I’m always sure we missed something important. That’s especially true with this book, where the galley process has been a nightmare. I swear gremlins enter the manuscript in between turnarounds to add errors.

Working steadily on HEART THEFT, and contest entries. Making notes on the serial. Created gift certificates for a client yesterday. The online templates suck. Pages (Mac) used to have good ones, but they don’t have them in the newer versions. Most of the design software can only be used online now; you can’t download and design offline, which is how I like to do it. And they try to force it into conformist models, which don’t work for the businesses with which I work. So I have to design from scratch.

At least I’m building skills that bring up my rates.

Preparing the house for our weekend company. On the one hand, it’s all overwhelming. On the other hand, it’ll be really fun to see and spend time with friends.

The grass is growing. I’m going to have to mow soon.

Ick.

Back to the page!

Published in: on May 3, 2018 at 8:36 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. May 2, 2018: Stuck Between Exhaustion and Deadlines

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

By late afternoon yesterday, I was so tired, all I could do was cry.

I’m still fighting with the galleys on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I’m doing client work and contest work and the work for the interested editors. I’m preparing for company. And I’m exhausted.

There will be no break for me until the end of May. That’s just the way it is.

I’m frustrated, because I no longer have the stamina to just stay up as long as it takes to get things done. By midnight, I’m cooked. When I get up at 5:30 in the morning, I have to finish what wasn’t finished by midnight, and then get behind on the morning’s work. I feel like I’m never going to catch up. I can’t move any of the deadlines. I have to MEET THEM or else.

So I’ll just have to push harder and get it done.

But right now, I’m in despair.

Published in: on May 2, 2018 at 3:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Tues. May 1, 2018: Overwhelmed With Deadlines

Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Beltane

Busy weekend. The copy edits for SPIRIT REPOSITORY are killing me. I’m so grateful to my copy editor, but how the hell did I miss some of this stuff the first time out? And, when I put in the changes, how the hell do we keep finding new errors? I’m at the stage, which I reach during copy edits on every book, where I’m second-guessing everything.

Got a good chunk of work done on HEART THEFT, but not as much as I wanted. I feel like that’s my mantra lately. I’m worried, because I won’t get much done next weekend, with guests here. Not to mention everything I have to do this week to prepare for guests.

I’m also worried because they’re working on our street, and it will be tough to get in and out of the house. I contacted the manager of the project for coordination.

Worked on contest entries, too, and am making progress. Grateful the deadline is the 15th of May and not the 1st.

Did another revision for the client with whom I’m trying to wrap things up. I disagree with the direction, but that’s one of the reasons we need to part ways. The check for last month’s work still isn’t here; contractually, it was due yesterday. Getting a little tired of that, too. I always get paid eventually; I can never count on when, even though it’s clearly spelled out in the contract. They won’t change, so I must remove myself from the situation.

Put out some invitations to potential guests on Biblio Paradise, and posted some questions for quotes for two upcoming pieces on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Client work on site yesterday, today, tomorrow. A batch of LOIs out — I need to replace the client with whom I just finished until fall, and the one I’m parting with permanently, plus add in some one-offs. All I WANT to do is focus on HEART THEFT and NOT BY THE BOOK, but that’s not an option right now.

Back to the page.

I hope I get SPIRIT REPOSITORY finalized by tomorrow.

 

Published in: on May 1, 2018 at 1:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. April 27, 2018: Immersed in My Fictional Worlds

Friday, April 27, 2018
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The work continues: On the galleys of SPIRIT REPOSITORY; on HEART THEFT and NOT BY THE BOOK. On the contest entries. On the garden.

Deep in all this writing, trying to keep on top of MYTH & INTERPRETATION and RELICS & REQUIEM. I finally figured out the relic – thanks to an article suggested by a Twitter contact, just because that person thought I might be interested. And the article solved the problem of what kind of artifact I needed.

Finishing up a project for a client, and will make a break with this particular client. I’ve been working with this company for a year as of the end of May, and I’m uncomfortable with too many of their business practices for me to stay. They’re not doing anything illegal; I just question some of the ethics, and I shouldn’t be the person in the position. Someone else, more aligned with the company’s mission, will be a better fit. Our relationship has been cordial; they do pay, although not as regularly as the contract stated. It’s just best for me to be done. To make room for something that’s a better match, for both of us.

Some admin work to take care of, yard work before the next rain moves in, and then, all weekend, writing, writing, writing. I want to get one of these partials out early the week of May 7, and the other about a week or so after. I don’t want to wait until the end May deadline.

The serial still pulls. I’m designing the city as well as several of the houses/strongholds in it. I need RPG-style map-making software to really do it well. Right now, I’m doing a combination of drawing and blueprints/floorplans. I suck at the former, but developed some skills in the latter when I learned set and lighting design. I worry that the time I’m taking on this project is a form of procrastination on the deadlined stuff. After all, I won’t know about the serial for at least another month; if it’s a no, it gets adapted back to novel and goes farther back into the queue anyway.

But it pulls at me. The world opens up, heartbeat by heartbeat, and I don’t want to lose it.

Have a great weekend.

 

Wed. April 25, 2018: The Need For Focus, The Immersion in Worlds

Wednesday, April 25, 2016
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

It’s difficult to let go of the serial right now. The proposal is out; either they want it or they don’t. But I’m immersed in the world and the energy of the piece, and it’s difficult to put it aside until it’s back on the schedule.

But I have to.

The primary focus right now has to be on doing the additional work I need to do on HEART THEFT and NOT BY THE BOOK and get them to the interested editors. I also have to keep up with the work on MYTH & INTERPRETATION and on RELICS & REQUEIM. It’s difficult enough to juggle four projects. Five is beyond imagination.

And yet. . .

The next round of copyedits on SPIRIT REPOSITORY goes out tomorrow. I hope this is it. The review went out yesterday; I’m still working on contest entries, both for the fiction contest and for the radio contest. I’ll have the decisions for the radio contest tomorrow.

The slideshow plug-in I tried for the Devon Ellington site didn’t work the way I need it to — it mangles the cover images instead of adjusting them. So I’ll try a different one. There are plenty of them out there.

Sales of the Topic Workbooks have picked up, which is a good thing. I want to put together an ad for them and see if that helps, too. I’m also putting together the ad for SPIRIT REPOSITORY’s launch and a special promotion that will run for a few weeks.

I’m working on a couple of presentations for one of my clients. I’m having fun with it. Who knew Keynote/PowerPoint could be so much fun?

Hop over to Ink-Dipped Advice for my article on “Craft and Passion.”

Monday was such a gorgeous day. I should have worked in the yard. I was angry, though; they’re repairing my street. At the end of the workday, they “cleaned” up after themselves by using a leaf blower to put the debris onto my yard. I am NOT happy with it. That’s not the way to do the job, assholes.

I’m not going to re-clean the front until they’re done and gone. I have plenty to do in the back, but, instead, I had the first official glass of wine out on the deck, while doing some other reading. I didn’t want to waste time being disgruntled; I wanted to enjoy the beautiful day.

Tuesday, I buckled down and did some work in the back. Grudgingly, but I did. It’s supposed to rain today, so, gee, aw shucks, no yard work!

Tomorrow will be a busy day filled with doctor’s appointments for my mom. I have a lot to do, too, a lot to finish before I dig in for another intense weekend of writing, yard work, and cleaning up for the guests that are coming next week.

But it’s all good. I love the writing I’m doing, I’m happy that sales are picking up.

I just have to stay focused and creative.

 

Thurs. April 12, 2018: Evolving Process

Thursday, April 12, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Garden update on Gratitude and Growth goes up tomorrow, because I’m performing the tasks I’ll write about later today!

If you didn’t stop by Fearless Ink yesterday to read my post on “Morning-After Networking,” please do, and leave me some comment love!

This week, I pushed hard to create and hone a presentation for one of my clients. She got a great opportunity to pitch her product to some decision makers with access to a 2-million person client base next week. So we dug in and did it. I did the design AND the text, we used a mix of photos, and it can be used as PowerPoint/Keynote, a handout, or a PDF. She’s thrilled, and I’m pleased by the whole thing. I have samples for my sample book, and it’s all good. It was a lot of concentrated work, but the result was worth it.

There’s a marketing piece I worked on for another client, and he stubbornly insists on using language that makes him sound down-market in a completely different field. I’m debating whether I should even use samples of that in my portfolio.

I have one more big project for another client, and then we’re done until autumn. I have to finish up a couple of small things for another client, and then I want to cordially move on. That client uses some business practices that make me uncomfortable, even though they are technically legal.

I have a bunch of LOIs out, I’m waiting to go to contract with a company for whom I used to do a lot of work, and I have some meetings coming up.

I cannot emphasize what a big, positive difference having the redesigned websites on the new web host have made. I’m shocked and horrified by how much business the old host cost me, because they kept making sure the sites didn’t work properly. Learn from my mistakes, my friends.

I’m doing the last pass on this draft of SPIRIT REPOSITORY today, and adding in the back matter, which includes polishing the first chapter of RELICS & REQUIEM, adding a short article on the concept of “genius locii” and putting in the information for the other books. Tomorrow morning, it will go off to my editor, so we can go into galleys.

The major attention then turns to the drafts of MYTH & INTERPRETATION and RELLICS & REQUIEM, both of which have to be juggled in tandem. NOT BY THE BOOK is sneaking in there, too, and finishing up the rough outline for the serial, so I can distill it down into a pitch-worthy synopsis.

A note on evolving process: as much as I hate working on index cards to sort scenes, for this serial, I find I need to. I have plenty of background notes and other stuff as well, but I need to work the beats of each chapter/episode on cards, and then shuffle and re-shuffle. Some of that will further change as I actually write the chapters, since each chapter is in a different character’s POV. I think I need to write one more round in each POV, and I’m wondering if I should add another character’s POV. It would open up the world, but it then feels out of balance. As it is, the title has a “Three”in it, and I’m writing in four points of view. To expand it to five — not so sure it will work.

I’m eager to get some admin stuff out of the way and get back to the page.

Not so eager to finish my taxes this afternoon! This year, especially, I resent it. I do not want to give a single penny to this corrupt administration of grifters.

Onward.

 

Published in: on April 12, 2018 at 8:46 am  Comments Off on Thurs. April 12, 2018: Evolving Process  
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Wed. April 11, 2018: Visions and Re-visions

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde

Hop on over to the Fearless Ink site for the latest post on Ink-Dipped Advice.

Busy couple of days. I’m prepping a presentation for a client. The opportunity came in on Monday, and the presentation is next week; today is my last day with the client before the presentation. And so it goes. But it’s an interesting project, and I enjoy the process as much as the result — which is why I do this in the first place.

The work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY is going very well. I did six chapters on Monday morning before my client meeting and four more that night. That left me only six more chapters to do. I got up at 5 yesterday, to get at it. Two seriously rewritten chapters in the morning, another at night.  I have to add an entire section to the last chapter to plug a hole and had to rewrite one of the earlier chapters in a different character’s POV. But I think I can send it to my editor either tomorrow or Friday, so we can get into galleys.

The glitch with Amazon for both PLAYING THE ANGLES and TRACKING MEDUSA has been solved, and they are both available for Kindle. Big relief. I’m pleased that all three books are selling steadily on Kobo and B&N, too. I’m amazed and delighted by the positive difference the new websites on the better host make. Learn from me, my writer friends — the website matters! Do your research, invest the money. It’s worth it.

Need to polish up the first chapter of RELICS & REQUIEM to include in the back of SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Need to polish the book-exclusive article on genius locii. Need to finalize both the Acknowledgements and the Dedication. Then, put it all together, and off we go. This phase of the book is always exciting and terrifying.

Back to the page! With relish today, instead of dread. I prefer it this way, and, more often than not, that’s what I feel. I am a writer who loves WRITING, not just HAVING WRITTEN. Big difference.

 

Published in: on April 11, 2018 at 2:34 am  Comments Off on Wed. April 11, 2018: Visions and Re-visions  
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Wed. April 4, 2018: Writing and Family History

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for some of the answer’s to “Where’s The Work?”

Monday’s snow gave me the grumpies. I have yard work to do and other things to do, and don’t have time for any more bad weather. In the snow, I had to take 14 bags of leaves (420 gallons) to the dump at 7:30 AM, or I wouldn’t have been able to get my car out of the garage. Not exactly how I’d prefer to start my week! But it’s a part of the responsibility of stewardship of a yard, and it’s really not that big a deal. I’m just tired, on all levels right now, so everything is a bigger deal than it should be.

Some douchebag ignoramuses who don’t understand the first thing about citizenship or the Constitution are at it again. They’re not even worth the rant. Zero tolerance for stupidity and chosen ignorance.

Another coffee maker bit the dust. During a Mercury Retrograde. This one last only six months. At least the other one lasted six years.

Client work was fine the past few days; another day on site today and I’m wrapped with this client for the week.

A couple of LOIs went out this week, which is a good thing. I need to sit down and work on some article pitches next week. I also need to follow up with a publication for which I used to write (for a long stretch) — we talked about working together again, and they told me to get back in touch in April or May. I’d rather wait until Mercury goes direct to sign any contract, so I might wait until next week.

Edits on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY are going slowly. I need to stop beating myself up for not seeing certain problems in the heat of the writing (or even the first couple of drafts) and just get it done now. What matters is to get it done.

Working on the outline for the serial (so that I can distill it down into a synopsis). One of the other characters wants to have sections in his point of view now. I’m worried it’s too many points of view, and too hard to switch back and forth. But, if I keep the story moving forward and not backtrack each event through multiple points of view, only have a little overlap, it might open the piece out in a positive way.

I need a day or two where the serial is the only thing I need to focus on or worry about. And it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

I found out some interesting information about one branch of the family tree, and, on Monday, after I wrapped with my client for the day, I went to the library to dig into Ancestry.com and see what I can find. It’s my great-grandmother’s family, my mother’s father’s mother. Turns out she was one of nine children — which my mother never knew (seven survived). I’m tracing each of the kids, and trying to trace back even farther, back into Belgium, where that family originated. My great-great-grandfather was a clockmaker. I wonder if that has anything to do with my fascination with clocks!

I’ve traced back into Belgium to 1782, and will see if I can go beyond that. I also want to trace her siblings and their families to find out if and where the connection that was brought up this weekend fits in.

It’s interesting, and as relevant or irrelevant as I choose to make it.

On top of that, last night, I took apart my favorite clock that wasn’t working and figured out how to fix it. Coincidence? Or channeling the ancestor? You decide!

Hopefully, the weather will hold and I can work on the yard, the ancestors, the outline, and SPIRIT REPOSITORY over the next few days. Oh, and do my taxes.

Back to the page.

Published in: on April 3, 2018 at 11:50 pm  Comments Off on Wed. April 4, 2018: Writing and Family History  
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Tues. April 3, 2018: Snow and Second Thoughts

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde

Snow yesterday. Not a happy camper.

The weekend wasn’t good for writing, but good for home and hearth. I started spring cleaning; I got yard work done.

I found out some interesting information about one branch on the family tree. I need to verify the information; if it’s true, I’ll share it. If not, it was still an interesting possibility.

Yet another coffee maker bit the dust this Mercury retrograde. This one last six months. That makes me grumpy.

Having second thoughts about the serial pitch. Not the worth of the pitch or the project, but I’m hearing people talk about the company, and I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not. Not sure the financials would work out, and the more I hear, the more it sounds like the company expects the writer to bring the audience instead of working with the writer to grow the audience. My interest is in GROWING my audience, not handing my readers on a platter to someone else for THEIR profit. So, we’ll see.

Digging into the SPIRIT REPOSITORY edits. There’s a lot of work to be done. Instead of beating myself up about it, I need to buckle down and do it.

The retrogrades are weighing on me.

Published in: on April 3, 2018 at 1:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. April 3, 2018: Snow and Second Thoughts  
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Thurs. March 29, 2018: Writing & Yard Work

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden.

Yesterday was a decent day, as far as client work. Got a lot done.

I made excellent progress on the serial outline, and on an outline for another project. Didn’t do much on MYTH.

I have to finish up the newsletter today and dig back into the TRACKING MEDUSA media kit, to recreate what I lost earlier in the week. I want to get that back up, so I can re-work the kits for HEX BREAKER and OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. also need to rework the Hex Breaker website.

I get back my notes for SPIRIT REPOSITORY today and then get back to that. I’m doing a cover reveal in the newsletter, and then, in a couple of weeks, will do the public cover reveal. I will be glad to get this book out there.

Of course, that also means putting up additional material related to the book up on the Coventina Circle website and get to work on both the SPIRIT REPOSITORY media kit and the more general Coventina Circle kit, which will be regularly updated as each book releases.

Never a dull moment, right? Which is a good thing.

I got some LOIs out this week. I got some yard work done. If the weather holds, I’ll do more yard work this afternoon, along with work on MYTH, RELICS, and NOT BY THE BOOK.

I’m also working on contest entries.

I feel lucky and blessed today, in my creative life.

 

Published in: on March 29, 2018 at 9:01 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 29, 2018: Writing & Yard Work  
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Tues. March 27, 2018: Multiple Writing Tracks

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde

Yes, Jupiter went retrograde on March 9 (I’ve been in denial). And now Mercury is retrograde. It’s like walking on eggshells.

Busy weekend. Spent the bulk of it working on the Writer’s Rough Outline so I can finesse it into a synopsis for the project going out in a few weeks. Nowhere near done. Also made notes on another project pulling at me.

Any minute now, I’ll get back the edits on SPIRIT REPOSITORY and have to dig in, so we stay on track for it.

Worked on the newsletter; worked on the new media kit for TRACKING MEDUSA. Pondered new content for the Jain Lazarus site.

The new websites are working, though; people are finding them and, therefore, finding the books, the stories, the workbooks. It’s so good to have working sites again that support what I do.

Saturday, I had to take my mom for an ultrasound, but it came back clear. But we were still exhausted. The timing of the test meant I had to cancel my plans to join the March for Our Lives, which disappointed me. I am in awe of these teenagers who refuse to be murdered by special interests and refuse to let corrupt politicians look the other way. Maybe there is hope for our country, after all. If we can take it back before the authoritarians destroy us all, in order to line their own pockets. We are, sadly, living a portion of a dystopian nightmare. The lack of action by those who put their hands over their ears and sang, “lah, lah, lah, it doesn’t affect me” is coming back to bite us all in the butt.

Worked on contest entries. Can’t believe it’s already another week, and the last week of March.

Client work yesterday, and client work today, both onsite.

Continuing to work on MYTH & INTERPRETATION and the outline. Hoping the weather will hold this week, so I can get out there and clear up the debris from the last four storms we’ve had.

Onward.

Published in: on March 27, 2018 at 5:38 am  Comments Off on Tues. March 27, 2018: Multiple Writing Tracks  
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