Fri. March 30, 2012: A busy techie bee

Friday, March 29, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I was a busy little technical bee yesterday. As you can see from the sidebar, I’ve added pages for the Workshops and the Books — to help keep you up to date! I’ve got some great stuff going on in the coming months, and some of them are one day seminars (such as “Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions” and “Amazing Antagonists”) or two days (“Scene Meat”), which mix lectures and techniques with the chance to post snippets you’re having trouble with and get guidance. It’s great for those who can’t commit to a full month’s workshop, but still want a fresh approach to creating sparkling dialogue or struggle to create a fully complex antagonist or waste so many words in unneeded transitions that the important aspects of a scene are diluted.

I also rearranged the sidebar here for the books. I think it looks and flows better. I did a bunch of work for the HEX BREAKER launch (more details to follow), tried a smoked salmon deviled egg recipe for the client meeting, and had the client meeting. Bourne Bridge wasn’t bad (since the Sagamore’s under construction. Now that I understand the way to go, it makes sense, and it lets me off right near the facility.

Followed up on some pieces in last year’s submission log, just crossing t’s and dotting i’s. I hadn’t heard back on several pieces, so I want to close them out (sent a polite letter with the dates of submission, stating that, since I never heard back, I assume the piece did not meet their needs and I will, therefore, submit elsewhere). Found a rejection I’d been waiting for (because, after I sent it, I found a market I think is better-suited, and now I can submit it to this other market). Tweaking a short story that has to go out this weekend. It’s still not where I want it.

Caught up on student work. “Sensory Perceptions” winds up this weekend, and then I’m taking a steampunk class starting Monday, but “One Story, Many Voices” doesn’t start until April 9. That means I can really focus on my year-long students next week, since we’re setting up systems that will serve us well in the revisions. The setting-up bit is kind of a pain in the butt, but the results will be worth it, because it will save them huge amounts of time hunting stuff down as they revise.

I’ve got some press releases to get out today, more student work, but most of the day, I spend to put my head down and get to work on a novel I want to finish this weekend.

I hope the weather’s nice enough (even though cold) so I can get some yard work done, too.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Museum of American History, Smithsonian, Washington, DC

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Zero degrees in my neck of the woods today. At least I don’t have the 52 inches of snow they have upstate, or the 3 feet of snow the family in Maine’s dealing with.

I’m going to swaddle Elsa’s carrier in a blanket when I carry her to the car.

The webhost problems with had me in tears. Basically, with the inability to do my work and the billable hours I lose trying to salvage what I can quickly to do a host move — since everything has to be done by hand, nothing can be copied or moved electronically — I lose my entire income for January. Because of a fucking webhost who refuses to fix the problems they created with an “upgrade” that’s made it impossible to do anything.

Believe me, there will be consequences.

If you are looking for a reliable webhost, is not it. I’ve had almost daily problems with them for over a year. Not only is the lack of service appalling, the refusal to fix the problems is even more so. They know they’ve got me trapped. What’s involved in moving three domains, two subdomains, and tens of thousands of emails is massive. It can’t be done in an instant. They can just sit there and laugh at me and keep taking my money. And send me the same instructions, time and time again, that I’ve already told them DO NOT WORK.

I was in tears for a good part of the day yesterday. I shouldn’t pay to be upset.

I finally have a reliable computer, but I have an unreliable web host, and, since I’m a freelancer, I need BOTH to be reliable. I understand the occasional problem, but almost every day for over a year? Outrageous.

I need to keep track of the time spent on this, and then invoice them for it. At my normal rate.

I still managed to get my column polished and out to my editor, and write, polish, and schedule the SDR blog post for Wednesday. I wrote, polished, and uploaded the post for Jan. 20, too. I updated my software. I backed everything up on Time Machine. I set up the Submission and Pitch Logs for 2010. I followed up on some pitches from 2009, and did some check-ins with maybe-someday potential clients with whom I promised to keep in touch. I got to storage and brought back the ornament boxes, so I can pack up the decorations on Wednesday (in our family, it’s bad luck to take down the decorations before the Twelfth Day of Christmas. It’s considered a sign of disrespect).

Planning to spend some time at the page this morning, before bundling Elsa off to the vet. It’s at least an hour’s drive each way and who knows how long we wait before we’re seen, and probably 30-45 minutes in the office, so I’ve pretty much lost the whole day.

I planned for it, so I’m not behind in the writing. But I hate being away from the steampunk when it’s going so well. I don’t want to lose momentum.

I think I’m getting headaches because I need to get new glasses. Won’t be able to get to the eye doctor for at least two weeks. Sigh.

Tired, tired, tired. Would like to spend a day in bed, but don’t have that option for awhile.

Off to the vet.