Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold


First, I want to congratulate my friend Michelle Miles on the release of her new novel, TAKE ME, I’M YOURS, published by Cobblestone Press. Way to go, Michelle! Check out her blog and her website for excerpts, purchase links, and more. She will be featured on A BIBLIO PARADISE at some point in the future.

Yesterday was an up-and-down day. I feel a bit overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. On the positive: My computer works beautifully and I can get it all done. On the negative: I’m burning out and have to pace myself better.

On Sunday, I re-read the first twelve chapters of the Helena Francis mystery and made some notes. Yesterday, I ran off Chapters 13-23 (there’s only about two pages of Chapter 23, so it doesn’t really count) and re-read those. The piece has good bones, I made good notes, I want to finish it, think about the overall series, and then go back and do a serious rewrite so I can get the book out the door sometime this summer.

By the end of the day, my publisher had the proofs of DIXIE DUST RUMORS back to me. I will start them today, with a clear head.

I did a big chunk of the media kit for DIXIE DUST RUMORS. I hope to finish it in the next few days and start getting it out there. When reviews for the book come in (if they’re good), I’ll add a reviews page. The media kit will be available on the website, once it’s done. I would have uploaded the excerpt onto the site, but 1and1’s server was down AGAIN. Every day, from 11 AM to 4 PM, EST, I get server errors when I try to access my email. This is not acceptable. I’ve complained for over a year, and they don’t fix the problem. Host moving is a nightmare, plus I’d lose everything I built on their templates, but I’m beginning to think that’s the only option.

I love the package I have with 1and1. I’m hosting three full sites plus numerous subdomains, and I can customize their website builder with my own designs. I have all the email addresses I need. But, at least 50% of the time, there are server problems and I can’t access either my email or my site. Don’t charge me if you’re not going to fulfill the contract. The price is great, what I get is great — but it doesn’t work when I need it to work.

Don’t suggest Go Daddy. Their commercials are enough to make me refuse to do business with them, and they don’t have the capacity for what I need.

Fat Cow Hosting looks really good, and someone called Pinch Hosting contacted me via Twitter when I bitched and moaned, so I’m going to do some looking.

It would need to be a midsummer move, where I could devote an entire week to site move and redesign. I can’t do it when I’m on crazy deadlines, and May/June will be nuts.

I dashed out and got ink for the manuscript printer (the Pixma 1800 is my “manuscript printer” and also some new flashdrives. I booted up the old PC after a week — what a nightmare. 22 minutes for the initial boot and three crashes before I even got the flashdrive in. I spent two hours transferring a lot of material from floppies to just one flashdrive. This is the one with drafts of novels on it. Who knew I’d done so much and so many drafts of some of them? I realized that I’ve got a big slew of projects that aren’t just being archived. Some need to be finished; some need to be retired; some need a simple polish and sent out into the world. I’ve got quite a backlog, and it’s time it went out and earned its keep!

It’s going to take months to back up over 500 floppies. A single exterior hard drive backup won’t work because I need to sort them properly, not just send them all somewhere in a lump. So, this is housecleaning. But, if I do a little bit every day, eventually, it will get done. And I’ve found some quicker ways to do it.

I’ve got a stack of articles to get done in the next couple of days, a media kit to finish, and proofs to do. Busy, busy, busy.

And next week will be just insane. Good insane, but insane.

They closed the swanky private school up the road from me due to swine flu concerns. There’s a part of me that rolls my eyes at all this swine flu stuff, and then there’s a part of me that wonders if the reason the outbreak isn’t worse than it’s been is because of those precautions. Parents are being forced to keep their kids home from school when they’re sick, and that’s a good thing. Far too often, around here, kids are sent to school sick. Part of that is because parents have to go to work, affordable child care is practically non-existent (and, let’s face it, you send a sick kid to day care and every one there gets sick, too), and bosses get mad if you’re constantly taking time off because of a sick kid. Which is understandable — the work still needs to get done. The boss is paying you to work, not to parent, and it’s a delicate balance. However, in this techno age, many jobs can be done from home, and, while the sick kid is sleeping, the parent can catch up on work from the office.

The newest salary survey showed that if stay-at-home moms were paid for what they do, they’d ear nearly $123,000/year. Frankly, they should be paid for their work. It has value, and far too often the partner that works outside of the home uses the paycheck as manipulation. And most stay-at-home moms don’t have a staff AND work 24/7, where as most people who work office jobs outside the house do (or they ARE the staff).
Anyway, I’ve got a lot to do, on DIXIE DUST RUMORS, have some pitches to get out, and i’ve got to get back to the plays. FEMME FATALE and BLOOD SOUP need to go out the door this week.

I got a rejection letter on a project that wasn’t unexpected, so it’s off to the next on the list I was also called “unprofessional” for refusing to give someone an “at least” nine-month exclusive on a different project. I said that writing is how I make my living, how I pay the bills. I can’t afford to tie something up on a “maybe” for nine months. Besides, everything I write eventually finds a home, so I need to keep it out there. The person faltered and said, “Everything?” “Yes, everything. Sometimes it takes awhile, but it all finds a home, and finished projects need to be out there earning their keep, not languishing on someone’s shelf. Thank you for your time and goodbye.” Obviously, this person and I are not a good match. And I don’t work on principles of intimidation and desperation. Next!

Decent writing session this morning. The Matty book needs a slower pace than some of the other stuff. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done, and most of it needed to get done yesterday, so I have to break it down by deadline and priority and just work on it one piece at a time.

Back to the page. And to pulling more stuff of the PC later today.

Oh, did I mention I’m going to Prague in September? Costume Imp convinced me to join him on some international travel!