Thurs. April 4, 2018: Brief Sun Before More Snow

Thursday, April 5, 2018
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

They’re predicting another snow storm this weekend. Enough!

Tired, on many levels right now. I’m struggling.

Onsite work with one client was quiet, but busy this week. I’m behind where I want to be on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but that seems to be a theme for the book. I’m working on the outline for the serial, and need some more time for it. I’d like to get it out at some point next week.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest.

Working on next week’s post for Ink-Dipped Advice, next Monday’s #Upbeat Authors post, and for a guest post over for Writer’s Worth month on Words on the Page.

Need to get back on track with MYTH AND INTERPRETATION, too, although we’ve come up with a potential cover image to start building its cover. We also found some great stuff for the cover of RELICS & REQUIEM, and possibly even GRAVE REACH. SPIRIT REPOSITORY will have its cover reveal tomorrow. My newsletter subscribers got it first!

Working on the updated media kit for TRACKING MEDUSA (since the one I’d worked on dumped last week, and I’ve had to start from scratch). I still have a good deal of work to do on the Jain Lazarus site.

The main focus right now is finishing SPIRIT REPOSITORY so it can release on schedule, and get back in gear with both MYTH and RELICS & REQUIEM. I have to get started on DAVY JONES DHARMA pretty soon, too, to keep that on track.

I read Alice Hoffman’s THE RULES OF MAGIC. It’s about the early life of the aunts in PRACTICAL MAGIC, which is one of my favorite books. I loved a lot of this book, but I got frustrated with the characters sometimes, their refusal to learn more about what they are, the lack of curiosity. It also made me think about the thread throughout many books, of the healers in a community who are shunned by day, but people creep to the door for their help at night. Not just in this book, but in literature in general, across genre. It makes me wonder why characters and authors allow characters this type of hypocrisy without consequence. Yes, it happens in life. But I would also like to see some characters, sometime, somewhere, refuse to condone and enable it. It’s gotten me thinking, in a good way. Which means the book touched on something deep in me, even if every reaction to it wasn’t positive, and the book did its job of getting me to think, to feel, and to ask questions. So my final response is positive.

Today, I have to run some errands and go grocery shopping, do some more research on ANCESTRY, do some yard work (if the weather holds), and, most importantly, WRITE.

I feel like I’m juggling two-ton dictionaries right now.

Back to the page.

Wed. June 24, 2015: Blasting Through the Solstice

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy few days. By Friday afternoon, I was cooked. We moved books over to Liberty Hall for the book sale. We were short handed, so in between, I had to handle the desk myself in the afternoon. By the time I locked up on Friday afternoon, I was wiped out.

Tried to relax on the deck, but it was hard. Got some reading done — I’ve read a few books of a fairly well done cozy series, except the female protagonist of the pair makes really stupid mistakes. It’s one thing for an intelligent character to make a mistake based on mis-information or mis-interpretation of information. It’s quite different to make a mistake when you know better — and keep making that type of mistake, more than once per book and in multiple books. It shows a character who doesn’t learn, and that’s not someone with whom I choose to spend time. Even though a lot of the writing is lively, that is such a huge character flaw and shows a lack of growth that I can’t accept in characters I spend time with.

Next!

Cats loved having house guests. They got even more spoiled than before.

Prepped for the wedding Friday night and some of Saturday morning. Also got some research done on Saturday morning, and spent time with houseguests.

The day was gorgeous and the wedding was wonderful. It was at a church in Cotuit –the place was packed. The wedding was full of joy and laughter and beauty — the best of what one of those public rituals should be.

The party was fun, although I only stayed a couple of hours. I was worn out.

Tried to sleep in a bit on Sunday, fed the guests, got them on their way. The weather was dreadful — storms, thunder, lightening, pelting rain. Caught rainwater to use for plants. Spent most of the day doing research.

I’ve got two plays to work on, and I don’t want to lose momentum for BALTHAZAAR. There’s another idea percolating — I’m working with characters and situations, but I don’t quite have it yet. It would be contemporary.

And there’s another idea that’s taking shape, form, character, that would start in 1938. If it works, it has the potential to go all the way to present day. The backdrop is, of course, theatre, and it combines some of the other ideas and research I’ve done over several years, trying to find the right format.

Believe it or not, Agnes DeMille’s biography of Martha Graham provided the missing piece of inspiration to pull those years of playing with ideas together, and I did ten pages of notes for the overview and, specifically, for the first story.

Something else that is interesting about DeMille’s biography of Graham is that it is as much about DeMille as Graham! It shouldn’t be titled MARTHA GRAHAM, it should be MARTHA GRAHAM FROM AGNES DEMILLE’S PERSPECTIVE.

Read SPINSTER: MAKING A LIFE OF ONE’S OWN by Kate Bolick. The writing is good, and while there is a lot I like about it, I disagree that she’s “making a life of one’s own.” Yes, she remains unmarried. But she’s a serial dater, always involved in a relationship, always dating frenetically, as though she has to prove that, although she remains unmarried, she is still attractive and desired. She has no idea what it means to be alone — especially since she’s always running to her therapist. She’s unmarried, yes, but solitude is something she avoids. Being home alone one night to read a book and enjoying it is not “being alone”. It’s having a night off.

Read MUSE by Jonathan Galassi. Liked a lot of it, loved a lot of the writing and phrasing. However, stylistically, it was too narrative for my taste. It was like reading a book-long profile in THE NEW YORKER. I don’t want to hear ABOUT all these interesting people — I want to learn about them through active scenes. So, while I enjoyed the book and the writing a lot, I didn’t love it.

Lovely Summer Solstice celebration that will hopefully ground me well for the next cycle. I can’t believe the days are starting to get shorter! In a week or so, we’ll really notice.

Monday was an excellent writing day: 16 pages (just over one chapter ) of the mystery set on Cape Cod in 1938. The reading I’d done over the weekend fed the story and characters. While this mystery follows formula in some ways, it unfolds a little differently and a little more slowly than the current fashion. The title tells you the type of character who will meet a bad end, but, for the first couple of chapters, there are several possibilities. Also, setting the book in this time period, while Europe is in turmoil and America tried to stay out of it, sets up interesting conflicts between the more insular world the characters inhabit and how world events affect it — and how they try to fight it. It’s also a good way to explore various prejudices. I’d originally planned to start the book in the Midwest (my protagonist is from a small town outside Chicago) and have her receive a letter that is the catalyst to moving to New York. However, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to start building the relationships during a summer stock season on Cape Cod to set the stage (so to speak) for her break with her hometown and childhood sweetheart in active scenes. In other words, this first book will be here, on Cape Cod, before she makes the move to New York. She’ll move to New York in Book Two. I’m also taking some time to develop the first murder victim. I want the reader to know the individual and feel genuine sorrow at the death. It fits more the formula of some of the books written in the actual era, instead of starting in the midst of everything or giving us background we don’t need. Every scene has relevance to the plot, even the ones that won’t seem to until the murderer is revealed.

When I’d written myself out, I got gas for the car and the mower (prices have gone up AGAIN — I’m tired of the way gas prices are manipulated). I mowed the side yard and part of the front, although a big new crop of dandelions sprang up almost immediately.

The cats missed the house guests.

Read Barbara Delinsky’s LAKE NEWS last night. I enjoy her writing.

Up early Tuesday. I have more mowing and repotting to do today, hopefully before the next storm hits, but I also want to get some work done on both BALTHAZAAR and the 1938 mystery.

I’ve also been doing background reading for the one hour pilot. The research reinforces the more jaded view that people basically suck.

However, it was an excellent writing day on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, a total of 22 pages, finishing up one chapter and writing another completely. I was exhausted by the end of it, but it was worth it. I have the research books spread out all around me, and I keep referring back and forth. The constant fact-checking slowed me down, and I still have some more to do when I do the next draft, but I was able to at least make this first one work.

Bad storms came through, with both tornado watches and warnings. The cats were upset and all sat in my lap. We were lucky here, though: thunder, lightening, heavy rain (which we needed). But no tornadoes.

Tried to read a mystery on the Kindle with an interesting premise, but the author or copyeditor didn’t know the difference between a regular plural and a possessive plural, so, after four pages’ worth of mistakes, I gave up. That’s third grade level English, and there’s no excuse for those types of errors in a published book. Read another book on Kindle that was pleasant, but no great shakes. Needed brain candy, but, ultimately, that one left me unsatisfied, too.

Upped the yoga practice to more intensity. I want to try adding another yoga session at night. I used to do that, when I first moved here, and yoga twice a day was great — in the morning, it focuses me and gets me ready for the day; at night, it unwinds me.

Today will be a very long day at the library. We’re short-handed today, and there’s something that needs my full attention that HAS to get done (I started it, but the rest of the information won’t have arrived until today). That means I’ll be putting in extra hours, after the building is closed. I’m working tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday, and then I have Sunday and Monday for intense writing. Tuesday, next week, I have appointments.

Worked on BALTHAZAAR again this morning, before I left for the library, but after the intensity of the past few days, it didn’t feel like enough. It was a solid 1500 words, though, so I shouldn’t kick myself about it. There are so many great stories-within-the-story in BALTHAZAAR that I’m tempted to do some chapters set back in pirate days. However, as a reader, I don’t like that convention — having the reader get far ahead of the protagonists — and it doesn’t fit with the way I’ve set up the structure of chapters in the series. Maybe a tie-in novel set there in the future? Or would it be too much like CUTTHROAT CHARLOTTE? I don’t think so, but one never knows. We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll do a book with Balthazaar, Sybilla, and Charity as the focus, rather than the catalyst, at some point in the future.

The weather, however, is gorgeous, and a wonderful reminder of why I live here.

I have a bad headache which I hope won’t develop into a migraine.

Have a great week!

Devon

Published in: on June 24, 2015 at 10:29 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 24, 2015: Blasting Through the Solstice  
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Mon. Feb. 24, 2014: A Writing and Researching Weekend

Monday, February 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Good news! My western novella, ELUSIVE PRAYERS, has been accepted by Amber Quill Press. This is a tie-in novella to my previous WIDOW’S CHAMBER serial. It had been accepted by the WC publisher, who went out of business on release day. I’ve rewritten it substantially in the interim, and it will now come out in late July. Re-working it, I liked the characters, situation, and depth of research, so I’m excited.

I have four releases coming out between the end of March and the end of July. So I’m pretty excited. It means I’ll be gearing up for some serious PR soon — watch out! 😉

Busy weekend. Friday was frustrating, but I got through it. Saturday, I worked on the novel I’m going to write in tandem with a friend who’s also working on a novel. We’re brainstorming and exchanging chapters, which is fun. I’ve read her outline and the first three chapters; she’s now got my initial fragment, my character notes, and the ideas for some major turning point scenes that I have to flesh out into my Writer’s Rough. In two weeks, I’m going to give her the first chapter. That’s longer than I usually take to write a chapter (I usually have to cough up one or nearly one a day), but this is a different kind of book and is not on a contract schedule.

I also wound up my course work for the Environmental Law and Policy Class. Got 100% on my final quiz, and 100% on my research exercise. I love, love, loved this class, and definitely want to get more involved in this type of work. It also made me understand some of the policies in place at the National Marine Life Center more completely.

I did some reading over the weekend. My next two books for review arrived, and I’m excited to dig into them. I started a couple of novels from the library, was frustrated with them, returned them. I read one novel I really enjoyed, THE TWISTED THREAD, by Charlotte Bacon. I wanted to shoot her an email to let her know how much I enjoyed it, but couldn’t find contact information online, and realized how spoiled we’ve all become at being able to locate anyone we want instantly! Good for her for not playing the always-available game!

Did a lot of research for the Sparkle & Tarnish series on Victorian dining. Since food plays a big part in the books, I want to make sure I get it right. I found THE SECRET GARDEN COOKBOOK filled with lovely historical tidbits, and I’m reading FANNIE’S LAST SUPPER, about a chef researching and recreating a meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 cookbook.

The current Garrett POV chapter I’m working on in TRUE HOME is set in Boston in 1886, so I’ve also been doing extensive research on geography, et al, of the time in order to properly write the chapter. Now, I have to cross-check some information, because I’d like to use some food info that is in books about Boston at the time, only I want to use them in NY chapters, but have to find out if similar places were in existence in NY at the time.

I see a trip to the Massachusetts Historical Society in the not-so-distant future for a day’s research.

Saturday night, I stayed up way too late watching NOW YOU SEE ME. The movie got lukewarm reviews, so I wasn’t expecting much, and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it a lot. I figured out the big twist, but then, that’s what I do. I understand structure, and that choice made the most sense within the structure and the clues dropped in. I watched it again on Sunday, to pick up some details I’d missed.

Sunday, I researched, wrote, and scheduled articles for the wine blog all the way into mid-March. Took a break for more research, and then spent the afternoon at the Osterville Library, at a talk by author Paul Kemprecos, who writes a detective series set in this area, and also wrote several books with Clive Cussler. A colleague from the Writers Center was there, and they had a nice spread of wine, cheese, etc. It was a fun, lively afternoon.

Watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics — pretty, but I didn’t have the context for much of the symbolism. Although I appreciated the tribute to writers, the performance didn’t make much sense, and where were the women writers?

This will be a very stressful week for me, not to mention that I have to finish the revisions of the play.

Got an intriguing job offer that I need to investigate more closely. I think it would be fascinating, if we can work out the time/money part of it.

The expected overnight storm missed us, and now they’ve downgraded Wednesday’s storm from a foot of snow to only four inches. Phew!

Back to the page.

Devon

Wed. Feb. 19: Errands and Storms and Low-Quality Writing

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold with yet another storm coming

I realized I didn’t blog yesterday. Oops. Not much worth saying, so neither one of us missed much.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for seedling progress and the February Mid-Month Check-in for other progress, if you’re interested.

I had to run some errands before yesterday’s storm hit. The roads were awful. But I got in and out safely and then tucked in for the storm – plenty of snow, then switching over to rain, and we’re supposed to get another storm later today. I’m storm-weary at this point.

I lost all of Monday having to work on a particular document, but it’s done and out and let’s hope for the best.

Tuesday, I worked with students, got some pitches done, did some rewrites. I’m not happy with the quantity or the quality of my writing these past few weeks, and that’s very frustrating. I could live with a lower quantity if I was happy with the quality.

Did a bit of work on TRUE HOME and had to order a bunch of research books through the library to find out yet more stuff before I can write the current chapter. That’s why I usually prefer to research BEFORE I draft, but this is an entirely different process. Don’t get me wrong, though, I do love the research process.

Had errands to run this morning, as well. The driveway froze over and was a sheet of ice, in spite of shoveling, sanding, salting. Seriously, we could have run a few competitive events.

But I drive a VW, and the car handled it well. I ran my errands and then took the garbage to the dump. I only have to go every few months with household garbage. We recycle about 80% of what we create, so while we take recycling and yard waste about every ten days, the household garbage bins in the garage take a long time to fill and we don’t need many of those trips. Still, it always feels good to get it out of the house.

So, I’m late getting to the desk and getting the day underway.

I want to take my yoga practice deeper and more challenging. In these winter months, I tend to sleep in, but I’m going to start getting up earlier so that I can spend a longer time in my morning yoga and meditation practice.

My knee is healing well, but my back is still in bad shape, unfortunately. I hope the yoga can help with that, too.

Read a very disappointing novel. Great premise, but when your protag is an editor, the book damn well better be edited properly, and not full of structural, grammatical, and punctuation errors. Plus, the central love relationship had an undercurrent of nastiness to it (that was supposed to be humor) that made me uncomfortable. Add the lack of logic and plausibility, and not having the protagonist participate in the climax, and it was a disappointment.

Now, time to focus and get something worthwhile on the page. I’m feeling discouraged, and the only way to get out of the downward spiral is to do some good work.

Devon

Published in: on February 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm  Comments (2)  
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Mon. Nov. 4, 2013: Writing, THOR, & ROCKY HORROR

Monday, November 4, 2013
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. Working on the project that I’m developing. Trying to type up the material for the first three chapters I did in the development notebook, but layering in the details so it makes sense. Amazing how much detail I need to HAVE in order to pick the right details.

Bad storms and high winds on Friday made it difficult to get things done in a timely manner, with power wonkiness and all, but I got out a project, eventually, and then had to school the so-called “editor” who questioned the correct punctuation usage. Honey, if you are actually an editor, you should either know it or have a shelf full of style guides to look it up. If you can’t do either one, you don’t belong in an editor’s chair. So glad to be done with that client. Lowest paying client, biggest pain in the ass, insults me on a regular basis — um, no. If you were paying me six figures, I might put up with some of your shit, but for these rates . . .no.

Lots of reading — I’m reading a best selling author’s interconnected novels to deconstruct them — and I watched, finally THOR. My response was, “that’s it?” Seriously, with all the hype, I expected so much more. Chris Hemsworth does his Chris Hemsworth thing (which he does very well), Tom Hiddleston is terrific, Jeremy Renner has a sequence-stealing cameo, but for the most part, I was disappointed. The first 45 minutes could have bee handled in 17, and given us more of the growing relationship between Thor and Jane. It happened too fast and there wasn’t enough there. Thor has his big realization too quickly without enough to back it up. I would have liked more character interactions and less fighting. The character interactions that were there were good (Kenneth Brannagh directed, of course they were), but the film, as a whole, was out of balance. There was a lack of development in too many of the supporting characters that made them far too interchangeable. I should know why someone is there by what they say and do, not have only the costume as the scorecard.

Saturday, I got some work done in the morning, and then, in the evening, met friends at Lindsey’s in Wareham for drinks, and on to see the husband of one friend in THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. The friend’s husband was very good, and there was a lot of good stuff in the piece, but it was also rather uneven, and the tech needed work. Scene changes too long and awkward, sound mix weak. The band, however, was great I’m glad I went, it was a fun night out.

Sunday, I stayed offline all day, which was wonderful. Did exactly what I wanted. And did home-and-hearth stuff like taking the garbage to the dump, taking the leaves to the dump, grocery shopping, taking down the Samhain decorations, and doing laundry.

Today, it’s back to work, on a variety of projects. Some errands, over to Osterville Library to do a drop off/pick up. It will be a busy week.

Devon

Wed. Sept. 4, 2013: Writing Frenzy and Neuro-Ethics

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Day Before Dark Moon
Sunny and cooler

Flat out yesterday. 4707 words (18 pages) on one of the two priority projects I’m juggling. Just over 1200 words this morning, and nowhere near stopping, although this morning’s work was more of a struggle. I was fighting a scene in a different POV, because I don’t like switching POVS within a chapter. But I didn’t want this whole chapter in this second POV. But I needed the scene. I tried to do without, and it didn’t work. So I went back and added it in, and now the chapter is smoothing out a bit.

Also invoiced some articles, wrote, polished, invoiced, and sent off two reviews. Pitched a couple of jobs. Responded to some emails. Worked on the book proposal, but couldn’t finish it. I’ll have to finish it and get it out today.

I had to stop work for a few hours yesterday because of severe storms, and I didn’t want to blow out the computer. Thunder, lightening, torrential rain. Refilled the jugs with rainwater for the plants, though, but it was still a lot.

Sat down and watched THE BOURNE LEGACY all the way through last night. Hey, I pay for On Demand, I might as well use it. I liked it a lot better than I expected. Structurally, it’s astonishing. I mean, the action sequences are spectacular, too, but the way it’s written and edited, the structure is one of the strongest I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll have to watch it a few more times and break it down, really get inside the structure, live in its skin, and I’ll learn a lot. Renner and Weisz were excellent, and I love how, with Weisz’s character, every time she’s pushed beyond her limits and one thinks she’ll totally lose it, she steps up and comes through. Some of the supporting cast were a bit cardboard, but I figure those character developments were sacrificed for pace. I would have liked the assassin in that final chase to have been a threat from earlier on, but that’s just me wanting more development in antagonists in work — heck, I teach a class on antagonists. There were a couple of places where I wanted just a single beat of stillness — both these actors can use stillness to positive effect, and, especially in a movie where pace is so important, there were two or three scenes where I just wanted ONE more beat of stillness, especially between them. I felt the full connection was cut short in those particular edits.

What I found interesting in the plot was that it reminds me of research I did on various Super Soldier programs a few years ago – I wonder if the screenwriters and I read some of the same source material. Somewhere, still packed, I have the book on the program that I tracked down, after finding it at the library and knowing I had to have it as part of my research materials for a project. I remember working with Vietnam Vets years ago, and they were already talking about that kind of program. So it’s interesting to see how these theories and possibilities are creatively explored. And the question asked over and over again: Can you keep your moral compass, your integrity as a human being, and still participate in war? If you don’t participate in war, is the only choice being conquered? Do some have to hang up their moral/human integrity in the name of keeping the many safe? Where do you draw the line? I don’t think we have easy answers to that. I don’t think there have ever been easy answers to that, no matter what we want to think and believe on an individual basis. Warfare has always been about cruelty and dehumanization, and advances in technology and genome science have created new questions, not solved old ones.

That’s why I signed up for the Neuroethics class that keeps getting postponed. These are some of the questions we explore in regard to programs like developing Super Soldiers. I want to take that class, because I want to dig deeper.

Then watched LUTHER on BBC America, which is just so character-oriented that it’s always a terrific ride. I think it’s running four consecutive nights, so that will be good.

Lots of work today,and a blazing headache, so I better get to it.

Devon

Thursday, June 2, 2011

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT releases in 4 days from Champagne Books!

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

No idea what the weather is, because I’ve scheduled this to post. I’m headed for Martha’s Vineyard today, way earlier than I would have liked. Since the garden needs 1 hour of attention before I leave, I need 1 hour for yoga/meditation and 1 hour for writing — I’m up three hours earlier than normal.

Got some work done yesterday. Decided I wanted to mow the terraced back before it got too hot, so around 9:30, off I went. Just as I finished, thunderstorms broke out. Talk about timing! Took grass clippings to the dump, going a different way due to paving on Rt. 28. I found my way there and back without getting lost.

Hit the post office, hit Verizon, went to Home Goods and found three awesome planters in which to transplant the witch hazel, the Big King Eggplant, and the lilac. All one sale, for about 70% off. Also found a Ganesh-type statue for the deck. Looked at a couple of leaf-shaped birdbaths — that might be a better choice than the traditional basin-type. I have to think about it.

Stopped at Shaw’s to get in some supplies for tomorrow’s breakfast, since I have friends stopping by on their way further into the Cape. It also meant I had to dash around cleaning. I mean, I’ve been keeping up with the basics, but because of the unpacking and projects, I’ve scattered stuff around. So it was about tidying, wiping off the counters, etc. I’ll vacuum quickly tomorrow morning, clean the bathroom and the litter boxes shortly before they come, and it’s all good.

I was advised to take an overnight bag to the Vineyard in case there’s ferry trouble. Let’s hope there’s not, and I can get back this afternoon and do a few last-minute things for tomorrow!

Got out another article. Didn’t spend enough time on SPIRIT REPOSITORY or the article meant to start.

I’d pitched to be a guest poster, as Annabel Aidan, on The Writers Vineyard (which features Champagne authors) and . . . a slot opened up and I’ll be blogging there about once a month. My first post is on June 16. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you!

Good meeting for NMLC’s Mermaid Ball. Interesting mix of characters on the committee. We’ve all got different strengths, so as long as we let people do what they’re good at and not try to force them where they’re not, I think we’ll be in great shape. The chair of the committee and the head of the publicity committee are excellent, and I’m excited to work with them. I’m going to rough out some of the ideas over the weekend about what we discussed, in time for next week’s meeting.

Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final! Game still going on when I set this to post. Of course, one of the guys most vital to the evolution of CLEAR THE SLOT (the hockey novel) now plays for Vancouver and is in the playoffs. How can I not want him to do well, even though I’ve got to root for Boston?

Tornadoes did a good bit of damage in central MA. On the radio, driving back over the bridge, we were warned about severe weather and maybe even hail. I stacked the deck furniture and protected the plants as best I could. Fingers crossed it didn’t come to pass.

Lots to do when I came home. There’s no way I’ll get to bed early, but I still had to get up at 5 AM on Thursday! I’m looking forward to a meditation session before bed. I need to sit and just BE.

Iris keeps trying to dig open the door to the basement. I hope she’s not telling us we have to go down due to an incoming funnel!

I’ll have lots to tell you tomorrow, and lots to blog about!

Devon

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The rocking chair belongs to Violet

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Full Moon
Rainy and cold

Most of the snow washed away, which is good, because the next storm is on its way in.

Didn’t do much yesterday. Was distracted from my writing (which wasn’t going well anyway so it wasn’t hard) by having to deal with the abusive, incompetent administrative (extremely offensive reference deleted. Seriously, the word that best expresses what I mean is so vile I had to remove it because even I found it offensive) in New York, who won’t send my mother’s medical records to her new doctor. They want all sorts of hoops jumped through — and then they won’t do it anyway, making excuses or just ignoring the paperwork, as they always do — paperwork which they should have mentioned and included when they sent her the letter last September telling her that her doctor was leaving the practice, then refused to give her a final appointment with said doctor before she moved. These incompetent bitches have been a problem for years. They shouldn’t be allowed to work in the medical field AT ALL, and certainly not put in any position where they have to interact with the public or get any power to control the medical care.

Yes, the appropriate paperwork has been filed with the appropriate boards.

Fortunately, in spite of a bad shoulder and having to rest both shoulder and eyes regularly, the rest of the day was better. Caught up on classes (okay, when I say “no excuses” and you give me a list of excuses – honey, you ain’t that special, and I’m not making an exception). Read two hilarious books by Marcia Monbleau — THE INEVITABLE GUEST and ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. They were so funny, I read sections aloud to the cats. Iris pretended to pay attention; Violet opened one eye, glared at me, and went back to sleep. Sandra Worth’s newest, to release in February, arrived, and I’ll review it on BIBLIO PARADISE in a few weeks. Memberships cards arrived from Mass Audubon; Greenbriar confirmed by presence at the Plant-Identification event next week, an application for Mass Horticulture was dropped off.

Rained and rained and rained. Not looking forward to driving in Friday’s storm, but there’s no getting around it.

Had an additional yoga session in the evening, which was challenging in the right way, and good for the shoulder as well as the core.

Slept well and am getting used to be woken up by the Hounds of the Baskervilles. Hey, at least I don’t need an alarm clock. I think someone leaving for work sets them off, and it’s around the time I want to get up anyway, so . . .

Heard coyotes do a call-and-answer this morning, too. That’s always rather chilling — more because I worry that one of the neighborhood cats I’ve seen or maybe Imp Dog will get caught by them. We were opening the curtains (Iris now comes with me from window to window in the morning) when it started. Both cats absolutely froze — eyes huge, tails fluffing out. They didn’t run — I think they realize that the house is safe, but they acknowledged that whatever was out there was not out there wishing us well.

But the big black cat is nonchalantly lounging on the neighbor’s shed, so he’s not worried.

I have a lot to get done this morning and have to be very organized — writing, checking in on the workshop, getting out a requested query package to one place for one manuscript and a full manuscript out to another.

I have to be out the door at a very specific time because I’m attending a lecture on shipwrecks a couple of towns over, I have to give myself time to get lost (although I get lost much less on the Cape than elsewhere — maybe because if you get lost in any direction, you wind up at water fairly quickly), and get there on time. Some errands on the way back, but I’ve also got to finish up the work for Confidential Job #1 early, in case I have to make a run for it because the next storm moves in faster than expected.

Gee, I just might have to put in a few extra hours today. Imagine that! Well, that’s part of being a freelancer. Your hours aren’t 9-5, and if you’re determined to stick to those hours, you might as well work somewhere that pays benefits.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read what I’m learning about Light and Weather.

Back to the page.

Devon

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Bad storms yesterday into today. The beaches are closed, due to the rip currents connected with Hurricane Bill. And we’re on flood watch. I’ve got some errands to run this morning, and then I’m moving the car to higher ground.

Yesterday was busy — multiple trips to Staples, picking up more ink at Costco, session with Canon Tech support because the big printer and the computer weren’t speaking to each other properly to print postcards. The Staples closest to me is now officially sold out of glossy postcard stock. Designed postcards and business cards for the blog — yes, it’s useful to have business cards for this blog. I haven’t yet redesigned my personal business cards, because I like my previous design, only it’s in a program that’s incompatible with the Mac and I haven’t yet been able to import the graphic properly in order to tweak if for the card. But I will.

I got nearly 400 postcards printed, several hundred cards, a series of certificates, and signed some copies of the HEX BREAKER CD. And packed the envelopes. I’m on my way to the post office this morning to get them out.

I also turned around an emergency rush job for the client — he offered, without prompting, to triple my usual rush free (anything that has to be turned around in less than three business days gets a rush fee tacked on to it). He needed it done in a matter of hours, and therefore tripled the fee. He was especially desperate because he’d gone with a cheaper-priced writer (who works for mill content sites) who mucked it up royally, and he had tens of thousands of dollars on the line. I let the fee say, “I told you so” rather than saying it myself. If you hire someone who writes for mill content sites or bidding sites, that’s the quality you’re going to get. You get what you pay for. He was ecstatic with the copy I came up with. We’ll see if he’s learned.

I got a royalty check from a special performance of one of the plays. Royalties make me all warm and fuzzy.

I’m working a benefit in Saratoga for part of next week, so most of my focus turns to that. I’ve got a client project to get done, and then I can’t do any work for this client next week. The arrangements fell into place pretty nicely this year — I’m packing a lot into one single trip. I’ve also got to finish up a feature article for a publication.

And spend more time on my own writing.

And do some more prep for Prague — that’s coming up in just a few short weeks.

The next assignment came in for Confidential Job #1 and it looks awesome. Can’t wait to dive into it. I have to do a quick turnaround on that. I want to be able to invoice them and receive the check before Prague.

Great morning’s work on AMENDS. Yes, it’s too long to fit in quotes anymore. I’m about to write a scene about an animal shelter’s Death Row, which is as upsetting to write as it is to read, but it’s vital to the story.

Driving back from my final trip to Staples yesterday, I turned a corner and it was as though someone threw a blanket over the sun. In an instant, it went from bright sunshine to a deluge.

Off to do my errands and get back to the page.

Devon

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Partly sunny and pleasant

Supposedly we had horrible storms and hail all night. I slept through it; never heard a thing. The cats woke me up at 5 AM (so not cool), but it wasn’t because of storms. And I have an hilarious “bad kitties’ photo to post later this week. Little stinkers!

Spent about three hours working in the unit yesterday; got a lot done, started getting the medium-sized unit folded in. I found quite a few books I needed, and carted those home, and tossed quite a bit of stuff. Since I can’t leave the garbage there, I had to haul it back in my car and dispose of it here. I don’t know when the big move is yet, but I’m getting the energy and momentum going for it.

Ran a few errands. Did some client work in the afternoon. The assignment for Confidential Job #1 is a bit more complex than I expected, so I’m a bit behind. But I’ll catch up today. Client work, discussions with editors, pulled a couple of listings for possible pitches, but didn’t have the time to actually pitch them (guess I didn’t want them enough).

Did not watch the Michael Jackson memorial. I enjoyed his music growing up, I’m sorry he’s dead, but I didn’t know him, never worked with him, and it doesn’t have a lot of personal impact. I wish they’d stop carting his casket around and let the poor man rest in peace. I feel for his family and the friends who actually knew him and loved him, especially his kids. I have nothing but contempt for the so-called “friends” who were “too upset” to attend. This isn’t about you, bitches; you should have put aside your egos, pulled it together, and shown the man some public respect. With “friends” like that . . .

Cooked salmon in a sesame-ginger teriyaki sauce and put today’s pork chops in the maple chipotle marinade so they could soak all night. I have to go grocery shopping today after I spend a few hours working in the storage unit, and I need to make my list. I’m also going to do a rough inventory of everything, so that when I relocate I have an idea of what’s where.

Talked to a friend to make plans for dinner next week — we haven’t seen each other in awhile and want to catch up.

Lousy writing session this morning. I’m just going to have to navigate rough waters for a bit.

Watched the premiere of WAREHOUSE 13 last night. I thought most of it was clever. I had a few structural problems with it, although, for the most part, I liked the writing and the casting. Cross-cutting Artie in the warehouse hunting down the portrait with the building investigative MTV-byte-length scenes, in my opinion was a mis-use of comic relief — it dissipated tension/suspense instead of building it. And it was unclear why the professor brought back the book with the comb — it sounded as though he was ordered to do so, but if the comb is where the power lies, it doesn’t make sense he would just “happen” to find it and bring it back. It’s kind of a chicken-egg question that was ignored and never logically explained. I could conjecture, but I wanted to KNOW. It may well have been a scene that was shot and then cut. I also wanted more character development in the guest roles. I know one has to establish the leads and the core quickly, but give them interesting CHARACTERS to play off of each week, not just odd SITUATIONS. Although the nod to the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK warehouse situation did make me giggle. And the Sci-Fi channel now calls itself “SyFy”? Really? Barf. It’s not a “hip, cool re-name”. It’s stupid. It makes me not want to spend time on the channel because I feel as though those making the decisions are insulting my intelligence. Yeah, i know they do that anyway, especially with their Saturday movies which are so poorly written and executed that they’re laughable, excruciating, and unwatchable (I think I’ve lasted maybe four minutes on a couple of them, and less on most), but some of the series are actually pretty good. However, this re-name pushes me away from the channel rather than drawing me towards it because the name alone means I can’t trust the content.

Okay, I’m going to get some more work done on the assignment for Confidential Job #1 before heading back to storage.

The problem with having a subscription to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC is that they also publish fantastic books. And they have sales. Yes, I succumbed.

Devon