Thurs. Dec. 27, 2018: Hypocrisy & Artistry

Thursday, December 27, 2018
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Second Day of Christmas

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Solstice was a little more drama-ridden than I would have liked, and I was under more stress than I wanted, but it all worked out.

Nice ceremony, starting at dusk, when the house went into full dark. Then, the fire lit first, then the candles in each room, then the tree and all the lights I have around the windows, then the outside lights, then the ritual, followed by a nice meal.

The Narcissistic Sociopath shut down the government, screwing 800,000 federal workers right before Christmas. Typical. He’s such a vile and disgusting pretension of a human being, and those around him, like Ryan and McConnell, who enable him, are even worse.

Saturday was the full moon. Again, more drama than I would have liked (and less writing). More cookie platter deliveries, a few errands and things I had to get done.

Trader Joe’s was a zoo. People screaming into their cell phones and acting like it was the bumper car ride at an amusement park. I met a lovely elderly man there, clutching his list, his cane, and his cart. I walked through the aisles with him, more to keep him from getting knocked over than anything else. His wife was sick, and the family coming in, so he decided to take over cooking the dinner. He was a WWII pilot in the RAF; he guessed he could figure out how to cook a turkey.

What a contrast to that awful man at the library, a week or so ago, whining that his wife was recovering from surgery, couldn’t do anything, so his meals weren’t on time and the house was dirty? When challenged he should step up and help he said, “That’s not why I got married.”

I will use the lovely ex-RAF man in a book as a positive character, and kill off a character based on the nasty man.

Worked ahead on Sunday on a bunch of articles and posts I’ll need in the new year. Didn’t get enough work done on any fiction. But even writing non-fiction helped a lot. Steady writing helps me keep my equilibrium.

Started a proposal for one of the plays that will have to go out the first or second week of January.

I’m under enormous deadline pressure for the next few months, so I have to step it up. The emotional exhaustion of the past couple of months has led to physical exhaustion. I’m sleeping, but I’m not getting any rest.

I also had a chance to sit with a stack of books on Degas and Sargant, and figure out which painting I want to use as a clue in DAVY JONES DHARMA. I’ve got it — it’s a lovely painting of a dancer in an aqua-colored costume. That will be perfect for the Scavenger Hunt clue.

Woke up to a bit of snow on Monday, not quite a white Christmas Eve, but still pretty. Read and wrapped packages and wasted time on silly things and spent time with the guests.

Dinner was the traditional pork roast, with mashed potatoes, green beans with hollandaise sauce, and red cabbage. It was very good. We had home-made stollen for dessert.

Quiet evening, talking, burning down the advent candles and the bayberry candle. Sent some good wishes to friends and cyberfriends.

The hypocrisy of the so-called “Christians” is in even starker contrast this year than in previous ones. Going to church, talking about God and love, and then supporting the policies of this administration, the racism, the sexism. It’s sickening. I’m at the point where, when someone starts the whole “Jesus” tirade, I ask them what they’re doing about the wall, about the children in cages, about homeless veterans and homelessness in general? When they start to sputter, I say, “Live your path and then come tell me what you’ve accomplished. Not doing anything? STFU and get out of my face.” I’m done with these hypocrites.

Up late with the candles, then filled the stockings. Up early the next morning (the cats won’t have it any other way).

We opened the stockings, then I made our traditional breakfast of scrambled eggs served with thick slices of panettone. Then I stuffed the turkey and got it into the oven.

Then, we did presents. We usually do them on the Eve, but this year, we did them on the day.

Settled down to read, while the dinner cooked. Turkey with all the trimmings. It was delicious. Read, talked, listened to music for the rest of the day.

I read two theatre-oriented books: UNMASKED, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir, and SOMETHING WONDERFUL, about the Rodgers and Hammerstein partnership. Both books talk a lot about process, which I loved. It got me thinking in terms of structure and possibilities for the three plays I’ll write this coming year: the anti-gun violence play, the play set in Renaissance Venice, and the play with the two women authors central to it.

I need to figure out where to submit the other plays I’ve got. I haven’t been active enough about submissions in 2018. That changes in 2019. I need to get back to the Thirteen-in-Play, where there are always at least thirteen pieces out on submission or pitched. Separate from the client work pitches.

Someone told me about a production company that’s looking for new film scripts, but I don’t think what I do is in alignment with what they want. The two film scripts I have that are ready to go are very different: an action/adventure and a drama. I’ll do some more research on them, but why send them something they’re not looking for? Unless they’re on the hunt for good writers? But if I don’t like writing what they like producing, it’s a waste of both our time.

I’d like my client work in 2019 to have more script work for clients involved. I have to research companies that specialize in that kind of work and pitch to them, rather than to the corporations/small businesses directly. All I want to do is write the scripts for them, not produce the segment or any of the other production work that goes with it.

I spent most of yesterday onsite with a client. I’ll be with that same client today. Tomorrow morning, I have to take the car in over the bridge to Plymouth — in bad weather, and I’m worried the repair will cost more than I can afford. If it’s simpler than I fear, I’ll spend some time with my client. If not, I’ll do what needs to be done.

2018 was definitely better than 2017, but 2019 needs to put them both in the shade.

 

Published in: on December 27, 2018 at 6:13 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 27, 2018: Hypocrisy & Artistry  
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Tues. July 26, 2016: Day Disorientation

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Busy day yesterday, but when are they not? Errands, Career Center stuff, and then writing. Also got information from my agent on where the manuscript is submitted and who asked for fulls. Fingers crossed.

Somehow, I fell asleep yesterday afternoon, and when I woke up, I thought it was Tuesday morning, not Monday evening! Made the coffee and everything. I was so disoriented! It was a weird feeling, but also kind of funny. Good thing I wasn’t late for a show!

Also found out that I was stabbed in the back by someone I’d helped when that individual was in distress. I’m sure it was months in the making. The ironic thing is that she did to me what someone else did to her. I don’t think that’s what they mean by “pay it forward”.

I was very hurt for a bit, but the reality and the perspective is that the situation and the people involved are not a part of my life any longer and it doesn’t really matter. The situation hurts and is still wrong, but in the bigger picture – yes, it was time that could have been spent more positively. But I learned things I can use moving forward.

I also trust the universe to put things back in balance more creatively than I ever could. I’d rather use my energy to move forward instead of wallowing in the hurt of the past.

Some errands early morning, then lots of writing, then a show. Getting home so late means I’m doing another writing session late at night, but waking up later in the morning.

The writing is going well. The story and characters keep surprising me, for the right reasons. When I’ve got these drafts down, I’m going to figure out good places to break up the story into separate books. I’m not going to have a 1400 page book. I’d rather break it down and let readers breathe at appropriate moments. But I love this story and these characters – their capacity for love astonishes me.

All good.

Devon

Published in: on July 26, 2016 at 8:57 am  Comments Off on Tues. July 26, 2016: Day Disorientation  
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Sat. May 21, 2106: Release, Revision, Writing. Repeat.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Full Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was a busy day. Lots to do, and I had a migraine by the end of it.

On the upside: “Severance”, the sci-fi/horror/western short, has re-released through Smashwords. You can buy it for 99 cents here. It’s been accepted as a “Premium” listing, which means it ships out to other retailers like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, et al.

I also got back the galleys for “Plot Bunnies”, which is the next to release (although we’re still working on the cover), and the cover for “Personal Revolution”, which will release just before the Fourth of July weekend, since that’s when it’s set.

“Broken Links” is in rehearsal in Virginia. I’m looking forward to hearing it when it broadcasts in June.

ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT will be renamed PLAYING THE ANGLES. I need to do another pass on that, and then it goes out on submission again – there have been a few indications of interest, and I look forward to the possibility of its re-release.

I’m also in talks about reviving Nina Bell – in other words, rewriting TAPESTRY, although keeping it set in the 1990s, and having the series progress through the turn into the 21st century. Most likely, those books would go out via Smashwords. It breaks too many genre rules for it to make good business sense for a traditional publisher.

I’m looking forward to digging back in to DEATH OF A CHOLERIC this weekend. I’m hoping I can finish this round of revisions within a week. Then I can get going on the submission materials while it marinates – the logline, the one paragraph blurb, the query letter template, the beginning of the outline and synopsis. Those will change, and, obviously, I can’t finalize those materials or my first 3 chapter, first 10 pages, et al files until I have a submission-ready draft.

I admit, it’s hard not to get caught up in starting to query while I’m prepping what I consider is the “submission-ready draft”, but the Universe just likes to bite you in the butt when you try that. If you are sending out queries, the manuscript has to be ready to submit. When you get a “yes, I’d like to see it”, you send it within 48 hours. You don’t tell an agent or an editor that you need X more months to finish. Until you’re established and on contract cycles, you need a polished draft ready before you start querying.

“Just a Drop” also needs serious attention. And I have to find my notes for SONGBOUND SISTERS to get back on track for that. HEART SNATCHER and INITIATE will just have to sneak in when there’s room.

I’m going to have to mow the lawn when I get home. I stopped at Auberchon’s for some more starter fluid from the mower, and they tried to sell me fluid for a grill. I told them no, it’s for the mower. They argued. I pointed out that grill fluid on the lawn mower would make it blow up, and just because I’m female doesn’t mean I’m an idiot when it comes to machines. Geez, Louise.

Looking forward to getting some mowing done so I can settle on the deck with a glass of wine and a manuscript. Looking forward to a writing weekend.

Oh, and I got an idea overnight for a short story, and got going on that this morning.  I was asked to submit to an anthology — but it has to be this coming week.  I’m having fun playing with these characters in this situation, but I need to research sailboats.

Enjoy!

Devon

Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 9:57 am  Comments Off on Sat. May 21, 2106: Release, Revision, Writing. Repeat.  
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Saturday, August 14, 2010


Violet keeps an eye on things

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Free Muse Online Writers’ Conference registration closes tomorrow, so if you want to participate, or take either my Dialogue Workshop or my Story-Building Workshop, register before tomorrow. The Dialogue Workshop has a limited amount of spots available, and once they’re full, that’s it. I simply can’t correct 50-70 exercises per day and give each student my full attention — especially when students are late turning in exercises, don’t follow the instructions, etc. So, the Dialogue has a limited amount of participants. The Story-Building does not this time, because it’s my first time teaching it at Muse.

Dialogue Workshop Taught by Devon Ellington
Learn how to craft character-cohesive dialogue that moves along the story. Explore methods of cutting, crafting, and creating conversation that sparkles on the page and in the ear, and works in the context of the overall piece. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop, with daily assignments. Participants are expected to have a solid grasp of grammar, spelling, proofreading, and structure, and the ability to process comments, apply them moving forward, and keep up with assignments rather than doing them in a batch. Daily assignments will build on each other. Newly created work is required in the class; please do not use something from a WIP or that is used for another class. It will trip you up as we build from assignment to assignment. Anyone is welcome to read and follow along on the assignments, but daily participation is limited to 30 students. If you sign up, please meet the commitment, or give up your slot within the first day so another interested participant can take it.

Story Building Workshop
Spend the week with Devon Ellington building your story scene-by-scene — but not in the way you’d expect! Learn to integrate the elements of plot, story, and character with dialogue, description, and action to create a complete draft of a short story over the course of the week. There will be intense, daily assignments with specific guidelines to delve into the day’s purpose. Please do not use previously written material in the class.

Registration for the Muse Online Conference is HERE. You may have to send a separate email once you’re registered to the “contact” address in order to sign up for the Dialogue Workshop. Sorry it’s so late going up, but there was a glitch on their end and my information wasn’t up until I mentioned it yesterday.

Even if you don’t sign up for my workshops, there are a lot of great workshops happening. I particularly recommend Karina Fabian’s World-building Workshop.

Now, onto Savvy Authors. The links are up for the deconstruction workshops. If you want to join the workshop to deconstruct a fantasy romance and learn how to apply it to your own writing, you can sign up here, and if you want to deconstruct a steampunk film and learn to apply the techniques to your own writing, you can sign up here. The fees are very reasonable for both members and non-members. And there’s no homework in the deconstruction workshops! You just have to read the book or watch the film before it starts.

Now, on to other stuff:

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Great writing session in the morning on the Willowspring Grove novel. I’m thinking about it a lot in between writing sessions, which is good. I’m averaging between 1500-2000 words per session, and I’m 86 pages in so far. i have to start putting them into the computer, or I’ll get too far behind.

I got out some of the backlog of short stories, and got out a stack of queries, all good. Decided not to submit to one particular publication — the way they wanted me to reformat out of standard manuscript format to their house format would have taken me so long that, even if they accepted the story, they didn’t pay enough to cover the time. There’s a reason it’s called ‘standard manuscript format” — the writer formats it once, professionally, and it should be acceptable to any professional publication. I can understand stipulating .doc or .rtf or even .pdf, but to expect writers to spend hours reformatting from market to market is a waste of time, except, maybe, for the desperate-to-be-published. it’s hoop-jumping, power-playing, and I’ve noticed that the markets that pay the least expect the most amount of hoop jumping.

NEXT!

Spent a few hours in storage. Consolidated 20 boxes into 8, bagged a bunch of stuff I’ll drop off as donations, tossed a lot of stuff that needed to be tossed. It feels good.

Plotting the next Annabel Aidan, whose working title is THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Will start the actual writing on Monday. The central character will be Bonnie, who we meet briefly in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. Amanda and Phineas will have important secondary roles, and then they will be the focus of the third book. It’s not really a series, as each book stands alone with its own set of protagonists, but they are in the same paranormal, romantically suspenseful version of Manhattan, and they wander in and out of each other’s books.

Dinner with friends last night, which was fun. And, I managed to see just a tiny bit of the meteor shower last night — one quick sprint across the sky. Very exciting. I’d been so disappointed the previous night because I couldn’t see anything due to cloud cover.

Today, I’m writing in the morning, trying to get some organizational stuff done, then off to a friend’s in the afternoon. Tomorrow should be all about the writing. Because come Monday, my daily output has to either double or triple amongst the different projects, and I have to stay on top of everything else. The next few weeks/month will be very busy, not the least of which is getting the house-and-home situation sorted.

Devon

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and gorgeous

Yesterday was kind of a struggle. The noise and dust were horrible — in the three years since the scumbag landlords took over the building, there has been exactly ONE day that was not a Sunday or a holiday without total chaos, breaking the state law that tenants are entitled to “quiet enjoyment” of their apartments. I couldn’t pack up and work elsewhere because I had to be on hand for Elsa.

I got about 1300 words done on POWER OF WORDS, and it took me all afternoon (with headphones on) to write, polish, and get off an article that was nearly 2000 words.

The only skit I could come up with was one slaughtering noisy workmen, but it wasn’t particularly funny. It might become the seed of something entertaining, but in present form, it’s therapy, not theatre.

Elsa held steady. I changed from the ParaClenz mixture to an Allergy mixture, hoping to get rid of the congestion and stop the runny nose — I don’t think it’s helping. I also gave her a mixture of B and C vitamins, which I think does help a bit.

My neighbor’s going to Sweden for three weeks at the end of this week, so I’m going to go in every day to feed and hang out with her very large cat during that time. Elsa is NOT contagious (thank goodness, or Iris and Violet would be in danger), but I’ll still use the good old Purell coming and going.

I sent out a batch of queries yesterday and already got a request for a partial, so that goes off today. Fingers crossed!

Back to the page, to see if today will be more productive. It’s so nice, I might spend part of the day outside, too, taking a walk somewhere. And I have to get some groceries in.

Devon

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 6:02 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010
Waxing Moon
Foggy

It wasn’t foggy when I got up at 5:30 this morning and went out to run. In fact, it was really nice out.

Yes, I went running this morning. Pick yourselves up from the floor and stop laughing. I know it’s absolutely ludicrous, but I did it.

It’s a fact that I’m not as active as I was when I worked 8 shows/week on Broadway, and therefore not as fit. Yes, I do daily morning yoga, and some evening yoga, but that’s more for flexibility and serenity — I need more cardio. Twice a week with weights isn’t enough. I don’t have room for a treadmill or an exercise bike, and I wouldn’t use them, even if I did. I’m not going to go somewhere else to a gym. I”m not going to join a team and play sports. Running is the only thing that makes sense.

Even though I hate it.

So I’m going to try it, three times a week, for three months. If the effects are overall more positive than negative, I’ll continue. If not, I’ll have to come up with something else.

Honestly, I didn’t hate this morning as much as I thought I would. I did my time outside, a combination of running and walking and realizing how much fitness I’ve lost in the past year. But it was nice to be outside. I’d done a more active yoga routine as a warm-up, had a hot shower when I came home, and the coffee was ready, and hit the desk by 7 AM, which is when I like to start writing.

We’ll see how it goes.

Saturday was pretty productive, in spite of the news about the theatre company. I managed to get out 10 queries and a submission. A lot of them were via post rather than email, so there was a lot of additional work involved. I’m getting spoiled regarding email queries, and definitely prefer them. I’m definitely worried about the blow to the income that the loss of those commissions means, and I have to find ways to make up for it.

Posted the information for my Dialogue workshop, and today, the workshop officially starts. So the next two weeks will be busy.

Yesterday, I freaked out and worried about how I’m going to replace the income from the plays. Yes, I have until autumn, so at least I have some time to get a few things in the works, but it was steady monthly income in fall and then again in spring. And now it’s not there and has to be replaced by something else, and I have no idea what that is

Did a bunch of research (I just love it when I can count YouTube as “research”), and worked on POWER OF WORDS.

Worked on the short story this morning. Will hop on and off the workshop all day, and also focus on the steampunk, which can take front and center priority this week. I want to get it out the door next week, and go back to ANGEL HUNT, because I’d like to get that out the door by the end of April and turn my attention back to CRAVE THE HUNT.

I’ve got to pay some bills and get to the post office this morning. And get to work on my column. It would be nice to get out some more queries and submissions this week, too. I’ve let a backlog stack up, work I’ve written, but not sent out. It can’t earn money if it’s sitting in the computer.

The House passed the health care reform bill with some fixes that don’t make it as vile as the Senate’s bill. So at least I can stay in the country for the next two years, although I may still have to expatriate in 2012. It was also literally vital as to whether or not I was going to be around/alive long enough to have to worry about replacing fall and spring’s income. I need to get back on the house hunt this spring – Wall Street and special interests own New York, especially Albany, where the decisions are made, and it doesn’t make sense to live here any more. If the bill had failed, I would have had to leave the country by the end of the year latest, and probably by summer; now, perhaps I can actually live in the country where I was born. And where I’ve paid far too many taxes over the years that are wasted on bailing out banks, who then turn around and screw their customers. Since I’m not bound to the Broadway theatres, I don’t have to live in NY anymore. I can live out in the woods somewhere, as long as I have a good internet connection. That’s the plus side of technology.

So Hank Paulson has a book out? That SOB should be in jail for treason; instead, he got a book contract. Go figure.

We’re back on flood watch tomorrow; the down side of spring around here. When I move, I want to make sure it’s not to another flood plain. Enough already! I’m tired of having to worry every time a raindrop falls.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 6:47 am  Comments (9)  
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and lovely

Totally forgot to mention that, along with the other work I did this weekend, I also got out two fillers and two short stories. I’m trying to catch up on the backlog. I’d forgotten how long it takes to prepare hard copy submissions; however, a lot of the highest paying markets still require hard copies rather than electronic submission, and, since those are the markets I target, that’s what I have to do.

Managed to get through 480 pages of material for Confidential Job #1 yesterday. I’ll finish the in-depth analysis and get it off today. Whew!

Also took a few hours to walk in a local wildlife sanctuary, located behind the Amusement Park. I knew about it, but had never actually walked it. It was lovely. I’ll post photos when I get the chance.

Even got some writing squeezed in there, mostly notes. Some musings on ANGEL HUNT, some outline on another project, some structure on a third project. If you want to read more on the ANGEL HUNT breakthrough, read yesterday’s post, below this one.

ABC & Cablevision stopped acting like toddlers around 9 PM, so I got to see the last few hours of the Oscars. Wasn’t all that impressed with the production, but delighted that THE HURT LOCKER won both Best Director and Best Picture. The latter was a shock — I figured they’d split it between HL and AVATAR. I haven’t seen AVATAR, so I can’t comment on it. I went to see HURT LOCKER because I’m a big fan of Jeremy Renner’s work and of Kathryn Bigelow’s work — otherwise, the subject matter would have probably kept me away. And yet, I felt they did such a wonderful job showing the fight to retain humanity in situations beyond inhumane that I left a fan of the film itself. I”m pleased for Bigelow not just because she’s a woman and proved that women can handle topics that are usually thought “best left to men”, but because she’s been doing this for a lot of years, she’s damned good at it, and it’s about time she got public recognition for her work.

I’ve got laundry in the machines downstairs (hate having to haul it up and down four flights of stairs AND pay ridiculous sums of money to do laundry, but when I can’t take it to my friend’s place, that’s what happens). I’ve got some errands to run, packing to do, the assignment to polish and get out to Confidential Job #1, and then it’s back to MRS. TILLER.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on March 8, 2010 at 9:04 am  Comments (10)  
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

IMG_0155
View of the Cape Cod Canal

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

The weather folk are saying it will be a mild winter, yet the cats are growing in thick coats and the birds started heading south last week. I think I’ll believe the critters!

I got out a lot of submissions yesterday, catching up on most of my backlog. I found a couple of pieces I want to rework, and a few to retire, but, for the most part, everything that can earn its keep is going out the door so to do.

Finished Vaclav Havel’s TO THE CASTLE AND BACK. Havel says something about political parties, with which I agree, and I think this country has forgotten: “They (political parties) should not be superior to them (government, parliament), but, rather, serve them.” (p. 119, material in parenthesis mine) and: “Parties must not be more important that the public interest. They must, on the contrary, serve it.” (p. 120). It would be nice to see that in practice.

You can feel the heaviness descending on the area that always does in the days leading up to 9/11. This will not be an easy week.

I didn’t sleep well. It wasn’t the cats’ fault this time — I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep, I just couldn’t. I finally drifted off as the sky lightened –and a PC Richards truck pulled up BEFORE 7 AM to spit out the new appliances for the two apartments that are being renovated on the first floor. Lovely. Not. There was lots of jabbering into cell phones as they tried to find/wake up the super, who’s far too busy running his own business on the side with the building’s resources to actually do anything for the building. Now I get to listen to them install the appliances all day. Oh joy, oh rapture. I will probably have the iPod in all day — though, suddenly, it’s only giving me sound in mono instead of stereo (headdesk).

I’ve got some business correspondence to take care of today and a few more things to wind up this week. Six days and counting. This time next week, I should be in Prague, and there will be a guest blogger in this space.

I’m getting to a point in AMENDS where I need to stop and make some notes so I can stay consistent. Overall, though, it’s going well.

Devon

AMENDS, first draft: 23,000 words out of est. 75,000
IMG_0129

Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 8:36 am  Comments (5)  
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

I was at my desk, working steadily yesterday, for ten hours, and still didn’t get everything done that I hoped I would! It was good, steady, productive work, but there was a lot of it.

My only breaks were a half hour for lunch and a half hour when the couch arrived.

Ah, the couch. I ordered a flip couch that’s supposed to sleep two adults. That’s what I paid for. Unfortunately, they sent me a CHILD-SIZED couch. It fits better in the space, and it flips out to sleep one adult just fine (it’s really comfortable), but it’s not what I paid for. I’m perfectly willing to keep it — provided they refund the difference. There will be some negotiating. I checked my order — I ordered something different than was sent. They’re arguing about it, saying they don’t carry the adult-sized couch “anymore.” Um, that’s really not my problem. That’s what I ordered and the order was confirmed, so stick to your side of the deal.

The cats love it. It’s red micro-suede, and, in couch form, it’s the perfect size for them. Violet, in particular, considers it hers. I explained that I don’t pay that much money for a cat bed. She simply snorted at me.

Anyway, it was a productive day. In addition to work on client projects, I got out a half a dozen submissions and a half a dozen pitches. After months of low-paying, uninteresting jobs, the boards are starting to perk up again, both in pay rate and content. There’s a lot coming out of DC, in areas that actually interest me, such as environmentalism and conservation. I don’t know if I’ll land any of it — I haven’t written much in that arena, but I have the writing skills and the learning curve to pull it off. I’ve also got to warn everyone in pitches that I’ll be out of the country in September, and that might toss me out of contention on certain projects.

I was also asked to write an article for a colleague’s blog, to run while she’s on vacation, and I have to finish my column today. I’m behind on the GDRs and on the July/August newsletter, but those will happen. I got a few more anthology invites — I have to look over the deadlines and see if I can slot them in. They’re really fun, and at least one of them could involve the crew of The Merry’s Dalliance.

I sorted out upcoming get-togethers with friends over the next few weeks, and sat down to figure out the food for the site job next week — I always take it with me. There’s a great kitchen, and I love to cook there, so I bring in my own food and have a blast.

Today’s roster contains more client work — I hope to finish up a couple of pieces; the column; the guest article; starting to type up “Plot Bunnies”; a large grocery shopping trip; wrapping some fragile pictures in bubble wrap and getting them into storage.

I started the second mystery (everything is due on August 15 it seems). I’m struggling because it wants to be written in first person and I want it/need it to be written in third person. “Plot Bunnies” is in first person, and it makes more sense to have one story in first person and one in third, especially if they’re going to appear in the same anthology. But the damn piece wants to be written in first. I’m sure it will win, but I’m not going down without a fight.

Devon

Published in: on August 4, 2009 at 6:55 am  Comments (2)  
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and mild

I just realized that I hadn’t yet posted today. I’ve been so caught up in the unusual quiet and the writing that I completely forgot.

If you haven’t downloaded the free Jain Lazarus story, “First Feet”, about my take on the tradition of first footing, you can do so here. Also, if you haven’t downloaded the free mushy holiday story “Holiday Wish List” (under the Ava Dunne name), you can do so here. The latter will only be available until Twelfth Night, and then it comes down.

I’m still having computer problems, but I’m trying to deal and not get frustrated in the same way I usually do. I’m limited in how much I can do; what I can do is prepare as much as possible so that when the computer goes on, it’s more about revision and getting the file ready for the editor than doing all the work on the computer. Less efficient, but I’ll get there in the end.

And I’m dreaming of my new computer.

I had a great yoga session this morning and did not want to get off the mat.

I had a quiet evening yesterday, getting some work done, but, mostly, resting. This morning, I started the next Jain Lazarus novel, the one from Billy Root’s POV. I don’t have a title yet, but I wrote 1547 words, which isn’t a bad start.

I also wrote nearly thirteen pages on The Lucy Gothic – once I tumble into that world, it’s very difficult to leave. If I’m clever enough to pull this story off, it will be something.

I’ve got two pitches to finish putting together and a short story submission to get out tomorrow – it needs one more read-through before I’m completely ready to hit the “send” button. I also need to set up the new pitch and submission logs for 2009 and do follow-up on anything outstanding from 2008 to which editors haven’t yet responded. I’m knocking one publication off my list completely – they don’t pay very well, they send me constant emails about the editor’s reading schedule, but don’t respond to my submissions or to my follow-ups asking (after eight months and more) the status of my submissions. So I’ve pulled everything, told them to delete me from the email list, and I’m done. I’m just not putting up with this unprofessional behavior anymore.

The answers to questions 13-25 for the 2009 GRDS are up on the site. Go on over to read them or comment or put up your own answers. Tomorrow, I’ll put up my To-Do List for the month.

Back to the page.

Devon

Billy Root’s story – 1547 words out of est. 60,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 60
(1.7%)
Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

The interview with me continues on Gottawrite Girl. Check it out!

Got out the work for Confidential Job #1, and worked on the guest blog posts. I know I did some other stuff, but can’t remember what it was. Column went out. Got a “yes” from a query on a project, and submitted it. Fingers crossed.

I did some minor editing work on ANGEL HUNT at the show last night, and the next sections are starting to come together in my head. Lianna and Lachlan’s choices aren’t that surprising, actually; I didn’t even realize I seeded the possibility earlier in the pages of the serial – and in the serial, they never made this choice! But it makes sense, and it gives Lianna the motivation and the ability for the choices she needs to make later in the book for the Big Finale.

Today I have to do a few mundane chores, like grocery shop (which I love, in spite of the prices).

And I’m going to adapt the next section of ANGEL HUNT, I hope, and have more pages to take with me tonight.

I do want to rewrite one of the new sections I created – I think it needs to have a bit more detail. I couldn’t rewrite it backstage – I can’t create new material on the show, for some reason; only edit. Which is weird, because there are plenty of shows that are a lot busier where I COULD write backstage.

Show was fine last night. Good to see everyone; difficult to be away from the page.

I’m reading Joyce Carol Oates’s novel MIDDLE AGE: A ROMANCE, which is quite disturbing and haunting (and I mean that in a good way).

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 7:11 am  Comments (7)  
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