Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2009
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Just a quick check-in this morning. I have to dash to CT briefly this morning, and then I’m returning to the page.

All I could think about yesterday was the steampunk. I couldn’t physically get back to the page after my errands for several reasons, the major one being most of my day was spent taking care of Elsa. But I worked out a bunch of plot points, tossed out some more possibilities that would make the piece too long, and I think I’ve got the whole piece worked out in my head. Now, to get it all on paper.

It took 40 minutes to get the ice off my car. Ah, for the day when I’ll have a garage! Trader Joe’s was a madhouse. I guess most people stayed in during the bad weather and had to stock up. Staples was a madhouse, but I got and set up my 2010 folders. Mrs. Green’s was better, and I grabbed the coffee I needed. Again, there’s this sense of desperate shopping. I don’t know why — the sales just aren’t that good this post-holiday season, and I’m not going to shop just to shop. The stores that had very little merchandise and didn’t carry what I wanted/needed are the stores I will pass by next year. As far as my business went, they gambled and lost.

And other stores, who stepped into the breech with both customer service and quality goods will continue to get my business.

I had to drive all the way to Purchase to mail my bills because I couldn’t get near, even on foot, the post office right up the street. Sigh.

Got a rejection from a publication that both threw me and annoyed me. I know the story stands up. This is the second rejection I’ve gotten from the editor — both times, the reasons given were things that should have been in the guidelines — if you don’t want stories with more than three characters (first rejection), or you don’t want a protag under the age of 18 (second rejection), that needs to be in the guidelines. Yes, a lot of writers don’t follow guidelines properly. But, for those of us who make our living at this and actually pay attention, the guidelines need to be accurate.

Bottom line is, this woman doesn’t like my work, so I’m scratching the publication off my list and moving on. In spite of the recession, there are plenty of publications out there. And some of them have published me before and want more from me, so I better get going on that.

And I already sent out the rejected story to another market. My first submission of 2010!

Got back the rider from one publisher who’s expanding an anthology in which I appear from print into digital as well. Very happy about that. I’ve really enjoyed working with them on this anthology and the one that’s coming out in April. I love my editor there — she’s fantastic. We can really go back and forth on the details of a piece, not in conflict, but working in tandem to make the piece the best and most effective it can be.

My SMITHSONIAN magazine started arriving (since I”m now a member). It’s really great. There’s so much information I can use as research for my writing — splendid! Even stuff set in the era in which I’m currently writing! I love synchronicity.

Have a good Sunday, all! Thanks for all the good wishes towards Elsa. We can certainly use them.

Devon

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

So, did you miss me? 😉 I’ve been busy, working on a site job. The internet access is down there, so I couldn’t get back online until I dashed home this morning to feed the cats.

Honestly, i never even turned on the computer on Saturday or Sunday, and (please don’t be offended), didn’t miss it.

Christmas Day was a lot of fun — stockings and lots of food. Pannettone and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I roasted a turkey, made stuffing, we had cranberry sauce (I think it’s illegal for someone born in New England not to — besides, I LOVE cranberry almost-anything), green beans with hollandaise sauce, and mashed potatoes.

We were too stuffed from dinner to have dessert right away, so we put away the leftovers, I cooked the bones and made three large tubs of turkey soup (I’ll add in the noodles as I use each batch), and it was about 8 PM before we are the Buche de Noel. It was really good, although it’s completely different from any other I’ve had before. I’m used to chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. The cake was something really unusual — not your typical yellow cake, but in that family, darker, spicier, with the chocolate ganache. Really outstanding.

I was out of the house early, with a car stuffed to bursting. I dropped my mom off at her gig, headed on out to mine, got slightly unpacked, put on some make-up, and headed back to pick her up. We drove down Greenwich Ave. and were fortunate enough to find a parking spot not too far from the restaurant, where we met our friends (who’d come in from Pennsylvania) for lunch at Meli-Melo, which is a creperie. The food was fabulous, the service is great, and it’s a wonderful place.

It was great to see our friends and catch up. They’re doing well, and we’re all ready for the new decade.

Drove my mom back to where she’s staying, I went back to where I was staying. I got some work done, and even managed to sneak in a nap in the afternoon. No idea what I did in the evening — I think I watched a lot of mindless television that was so mindless I can’t even remember it.

Sunday morning, I slept in, did yoga and the usual routine, got some work done on-site, headed out. I went to Home Depot, which didn’t have what I wanted, and Michael’s, which didn’t have most of what I came for, but, fortunately, I can re-think creations on my feet, and I got other stuff, which I think will work just as well or better. Picked up a few things at the grocery store, and headed back to site.

I worked on the Winter Wreath in the afternoon, which will replace the pine-and-fruit spray currently hanging on the door. I’ll finish it this afternoon. I didn’t have all the materials I needed for the other craft project, which was a little frustrating, but oh well.

I should have worked on the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Instead, I’m reading Christopher Fowler’s WHITE CORRIDOR, which is different and enjoyable.

Cooked a lot: my parsnip-carrot dish and my leek-potato dish, and made a vegetable chili based on a SILVER PALATE recipe that’s outstanding.

Did research for the steampunk novella.

Overslept this morning, so I’m late heading back out to feed the cats. I’ll do some things at home for a couple of hours (like post this) and then head back to site.

I’ve got two ideas for literary fiction novels rolling around in my head, very different from what I’m known to write, but both explore questions of “what if?” that interest me. Both will be rather uncomfortable, both to write and to read, but I want to do them anyway. What’s the good if there’s no challenge involved? One needs to be outlined in advance, because every thing hinges on everything else fitting perfectly. However, that one doesn’t want to let me in on all its secrets yet. The other one — I’ve got the major scenes already in my head, and it’s a case of figuring out how to get from point to point.

I hope you’re enjoying “Just Jump in and Fly.” It’s available here until January 6. What was interesting is that elements of both the Apocalypse story AND the other anthology story on which I’ve been working wove themselves into this one.

Gotta go — there are hungry cats waiting for me.

Don’t forget — New Year’s Eve is a Blue Moon, and I’ve also designated it as a “Wishing Moon.” I’ll post information on Wishing Moons on Kemmyrk in the next day or two.

Devon

Friday, October 30, 2009

IMG_0705

Friday, October 30, 2009
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Important: If you get an email supposedly from me that has nothing in the subject line or just “Re:” and blank, don’t open it. I received an email this morning supposedly from my publisher with such a header. I opened it, saw a “prayer” — which is not something she’d send me — and then the line “there’s a virus in this message.” I deleted mine immediately — Macs don’t get viruses, so I’m not all that worried. But in case it somehow grabbed my address book and sent out reproductions, be aware.

Really struggled with the writing yesterday. Part of it was because I didn’t feel like it. Part of it was the noise problem. Part of it was that I was simply struggling. Oh, well.

I need to get over my worries about the grant proposals and just print them and get them out. Either I get them or I don’t. There’s no middle ground. But there’s absolutely nothing if I don’t at least try. I feel the playwrighting grant is solid. I’m waffling on the sample choices for the fiction.

Thanks for all the happy birthday wishes for my mom. She had a great day and thanks all of you. And invites you to come visit once we have the house on the Cape.

Was offered a gig for which I’m totally wrong, so I’m putting together a list of recommendations for the potential employer of really great people.

A few days ago, a friend sent me a submission call for a steampunk anthology. It sounded really interesting, the deadline’s not until April, it’s only 25K. Yesterday afternoon, the characters and the basic story came to me, so I jotted them down. I have to clear off “The Misappropriation of Talent”, “Lake Justice”, another 2500 word piece and the Christmas story before I can start it, but at least I can outline over the next couple of weeks. Steampunk is right up my ally, melding history and fantasy and wild west! I get to pull out all my research on steam trains — yippee!

So that has to be slotted in to next year’s roster. Depending on which grants or residencies come through or don’t come through, that roster may need to change. Plus, I have to keep up the deadlined, contracted stuff.

Sorted all the little post-its for 2010 and got them into the actual calendar. I have to confirm one more set of dates, and then I can start looking at where I need to fill in and book some additional bits.

Worked on my presentation for Monday — I’m speaking at the place where I used to attend middle school! And I’ve been invited to a local Election Night party, since we’re having some local elections and some of my friends are running.

Had some questions regarding the grants, was pleased by the quick response, but the answers didn’t really help. So I’m just interpreting as best I can and hoping for the best.

Working on my Christmas lists.

I’ve got a neighbor who lost her job a few months ago and has been really struggling. She had a hard time holding a job before the recession. She loves being a victim. I try not to engage too much, because my philosophy is “if something in your life doesn’t work, change it. Own your life. Stop blaming everyone else.” Anyway, I found a great, legitimate site for jobs in the arts and sent her the link. If I was looking for a full-time gig, there are at least 3 dozen I’d go after on that one site. THREE DOZEN. All I got back was an argument about why the first job on the list was a stretch. Heck, if I only applied for jobs in which I felt comfortable, I’d never grow. If I like the organization, if it interests me, I create a pitch to show them that they can’t live without me. And it often works. Her attitude is just frustrating. But it’s her life, not mine, so all I can do is step back.

Anyway, I feel much better today — it was so nice to wake up and not feel like my head wanted to explode. I’m off to print the grant proposals, do the final polish on the paperwork, and finish both “The Misappropriation of Talent” and “Lake Justice.”

Better get going.

Devon

Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 6:34 am  Comments (3)  
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