Thurs. June 13, 2013: Good Workday and Eager for Conference

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I was productive yesterday. Got out my review (last for this editor, whaaa — but I’m excited for his new opportunities). Wrote a press release and a blurb for the previous day’s committee meeting, per what I promised and am waiting for feedback. Worked with private students and the Supporting Characters students. Wrote an article. Roughed out a second article. Did some research on Venetian painting (I could have spent all day on that — delightful). Realized I had to return books, so I pulled one of them (that I can’t renew any more) and took the notes I needed before making the trip.

You know you spend a lot of time in local libraries when the librarian greets you by name as you walk in and brings over the next stack of books put aside! Cape Cod has some of the best libraries and best librarians ever. I am truly blessed.

Watched lectures for both my Climate Literacy class and the Archaeology class. Interesting how some of the issues intersect.

Worked up general notes for a new series and started outlining the opening of the first book. This is in an historical context, which means I get to do a whole lot of fun things with it!

Prepped for the conference I’m attending today and tomorrow. It’s about Cape Cod’s changing coast — feeds directly into the climate literacy class, and I expect that information here and from my friend at NMLC will give me the background I need for my first climate literacy paper.

I’m going to try to work with some students now, before I leave for the conference (yes, it’s just after 6 AM — the beauty of an online course).

I’m in my Annabel Aidan persona over on the Writers Vineyard, talking about trusting your creative subconscious here.

Looking forward to the day — in spite of the nor’easter heading our way!

Devon

Fri. June 7, 2013: Coughing Zombie With Lawnmower

IMG_1306
Violet with the “special” dice

Friday, June 7, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I can’t believe I’ve had to put the big winter quilts back on the bed the last two days. It’s downright chilly!

Yesterday, I went to yoga, and then, had I been an art installation, my title would have been “Coughing Zombie with Lawnmower”. I had to mow the front before this weekend’s rains hit (courtesy of Tropical Storm Andrea), but I felt like utter crap. I got it done, but that was about it for me; managed to work with students and deal with some business stuff, but not much. Nothing in the tank.

Had to cancel out of the evening’s meeting — I knew I wasn’t on my game, nor was I feeling well enough to drive over the bridge and back.

Material for Confidential Job #1 is a slog.

Worked with students. Need to implement a new policy — too many people are booking slots and then flaking out, which wastes my time AND costs me money. So, a nonrefundable deposit will now be due upon the booking. If you flake, you don’t get it back, and I’m not totally financially screwed for the time I put aside that you can’t bother to keep your commitment; if you act like a professional and do what you say you’re going to do, the deposit is credited towards the final payment. I’m done with the irresponsible bullshit from wanna-bes.

That’s one of the things my college mentor and I discussed in NY — I asked him how he can keep up his excitement and joy in the teaching. I’m lucky in my current crop of private students, because they step up, but so often, in the bigger classes, the students just suck the life out of the class, because they can’t be bothered to do the work. My mentor can still find it exciting because of the stringent vetting process NYU has before letting people in to programs — they have to PROVE they DESERVE to be there, not that they just think it might be kinda cool to take that type of class. Plus, because it’s so expensive, they have to really WANT to be there in order to shell out the dough.

Speaking of classes, I’m teaching at RWA for the next two weeks, my “Supporting Characters” class, starting Monday. Here’s the link. If you have problems registering, I CAN’T FIX IT. I AM NOT THE ADMINISTRATOR. Contact them directly.

Had a great conversation with my agent yesterday. Something landed on her desk that she thought I would be perfect for. It’s something I would LOVE to do, so I’m putting together a proposal this weekend, and she’s going to look at it Monday, we’ll make what tweaks are needed, and off it goes to the requesting editor.

Today, I’ve got some correspondence to do, an article to finish, another one to send off, the partial to get to that other requesting editor, a review to write, and schoolwork to finish.

I wrote my archaeology paper in my head yesterday and will get it on paper today. I started the material for the Climate Literacy paper due next week. I also have to get to a couple of libraries to pick up materials on hold for me.

Better get going — the storm is supposed to hit this afternoon and be bad all weekend. I hope the Belmont Stakes isn’t a washout tomorrow, and then the Tony Awards are on Sunday!

Devon

Tues. May 28, 2013: Getting Ready to Hit the Road

IMG_1108
I will miss this over the next few days!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Check out my opinion of Twyla Tharp’s THE CREATIVE HABIT, a book I found helpful.

Also, I’m teaching my Supporting Characters Workshop for RWA from June 10-24. Sign up here. There will be a lot of writing involved! Only $15.

Weekend was busy. I was trying to clear things off for this week’s trip. I mowed, yesterday, the front and No Man’s Land. Didn’t get the terraced back done. I finished the meadow last week — was it Friday? I can’t remember. It’s one long day after awhile. Battled the ants. They are destroying the front yard.

Did my classwork for the Climate Literacy Class for last week and worked ahead and completed this week’s work, so that it’s not hanging over me. Finalized some appointments, moved around some other appointments, printed out a schedule, set up some “if I’m in the neighborhood and can fit it in” type things.

It will be HOT in NY this week — I’m going from having to put the winter quilts back on the bed because it was so cold to running around in 90 degree weather.

Cleared off a review, some library books that needed handling, some pitches and article stuff, and some correspondence. I’d like to finish an article this morning before I leave, but don’t know if that will happen.

The pollen’s been so bad that everything’s covered in a film of yellow. Iris and Violet are miserable, and even I’m having allergy issues. From tree pollen to smog in a matter of hours — gotta love it.

The cats are in a tizzy. They hate the suitcase. They know what it means.

So much of this trip is research for upcoming/ongoing projects, as well as trying to land some new ones. I’m trying to balance what I have to do, what’s expected of me, with what I want to do.

New SD card in the camera — I plan to take A LOT of photos this week.

I’m not going to be gone for long — just a couple of days. I don’t know why it feels like it will be months. The change of location and lifestyle, I guess. I’ve worked so hard in the last few weeks, doing energy alignments with the land. It’s going to be weird to be in a space with layers of frenetic energy.

Off to get things done, and then hit the road.

Devon

Fri. Oct. 12, 2012: Release Day for DEATH SPARKLES!

Friday, October 12, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny/Cloudy/Cold

We’re going to get our first frost tonight — this is going to be a long, cold winter!

Update: Tomorrow’s “Dissecting Submission Guidelines” is cancelled, because I am under the weather. I will reschedule it, probably for early November.

The Oct. 20th workshop, “The First Three Pages: Dynamic Openings”, however, is open for registration.

It’s here! The Death Sparkles Anthology is available. Here’s the Kindle link, and it will also be available on B&N and Smashwords. I wrote the introduction and have the final story, “Sea Diamond” , a science-fiction mystery that introduces the ass-kicking, take-no prisoners Fiona Steele. We WILL see more of her.

Nine authors contributed to this anthology, inspired from the prompt “the diamond necklace dangled from the dead woman’s hand” and nine very different interpretations of that. The wonderful PJ Friel did the cover AND is a contributor, with “The Needing”.

It’s a perfect pre-Halloween read!

Yesterday was crazy busy. Yoga was terrific. Came home and worked with my students — finally got into the Savvy forum, so I could work with tarot students and catch up a bit. I wrapped up my three day Supporting Characters workshop at the Muse Online Writing Conference, and was invited to stop in to the “Finish What You Start” Workshop and offer some tips on completion.

I wasn’t able to take anything this year, because of my schedule. They had a lot of terrific workshops, but most of them are geared to beginning writers, so there really wasn’t anything I felt I missed. There really needs to be more geared towards the intermediate/advanced and working writer –even if the person isn’t writing full-time, perpetually staying in Beginner’s classes starts having a negative return after awhile.

A royalty check for an anthology I was involved in years ago landed on my desk yesterday — a substantial one. I was thrilled. Not only did it lift my morale, it saved my bill-paying ass, since my ghostwriting client who swore up, down, and sideways, that she’d sent the check this week — STILL hasn’t paid me. I knew this project would be a pain in the butt when I took it on. As soon as I get the money, I am done with this individual.

The next round of edits came in for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so I need to get to work on that. I’ll be releasing the cover on Monday for that!

Ran some errands, got cat food in, worked with students, worked on the material for Confidential Job #1, which is due today. I’m very behind in this week’s school work. Must catch up today.

I’ve got a book proposal to write over the weekend, so there’s no time off for me this weekend.

I need a vacation — but I’m awfully thrilled about the upcoming releases.

I hope you enjoy DEATH SPARKLES!

Devon

Fri. Sept. 28, 2012: Organization and Freelance Roller Coaster

Friday, September 28, 2012
Waxing Moon (nearly full)
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Managed to get some good work done yesterday afternoon, but, alas, not enough. I’ve really got to focus today to get a lot cleared off before I leave tomorrow. At least I had a good start to the day — I have a spice cake in the oven and the first load of laundry in, and it’s not even 8 AM!

Also, found out that a grant deadline is Monday. Turns out there are two separate grant councils in the area — one has a deadline of Monday, the other the 15th. I thought they were one and the same. I’m going to pull together a proposal because I’ll regret it if I don’t at least give it a shot. Plus, you usually have to go through several proposal cycles before you’ve actually got a shot at landing a grant. Meanwhile, while I’m out of town next week, I’ll put together the proposal for the other grant. The last time I applied for a grant in NY, I was one of over 690,000 people applying. I think the application pool is probably a little smaller here. It also means putting together a new version of the resume for the grant.

I am teaching a three-day Supporting Characters workshop at the Muse Online Conference Oct. 9, 10 & 11. There’s more information here. (You have to scroll down pretty far to get to it). The Muse Conference, in general, is a great experience. I’ve developed several novels and had the chance to test drive some fun classes there.

I need to finish an article and schedule a blog post for next week while I’m gone. I got an idea for a new article that I’ll pitch to a publication, and I owe another publication (who, thankfully, finally got around to paying me) another batch of ideas. I’ve still got one outstanding client payment — the final ghostwriting payment, which is not at all a surprise, but a disappointment. Another client is being dithery, and I just don’t have time for it — will be easing away from that one. I’ve said, bluntly, that the dithering has to stop, especially at the distance that separates us. If i have to travel several hundred miles, the dates have to be set and fixed. Got out another project early, that I wanted to clear off before I left, and will finish that client’s batch of work today. Pitched yesterday for a job way out of my wheelhouse, but I’m just different from the people who’d apply for it to be the right choice. One of my editors has also asked me to do an interview with someone (as the interviewer), which will be fun, although her publicist is about 12 and needs to learn how to check her facts.

The reading of my play is tonight. I’m interested to see how it goes. My notebook is ready.

I’m packed for tomorrow’s trip, except for the stuff that’s still in the laundry, and the food that has to go in the cooler in the morning. This time tomorrow, I will be on the road.

Lots to do between now and then!

Devon