Mon. Oct. 22, 2012: Scary Times with Sick Kitty


Iris lounging on a better day

Monday, October 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Quite the weekend! But before we start on that, hop on over to A Bible Paradise for a cool round-table interview with some of the contributors from DEATH SPARKLES.

The big and scary thing for the weekend was that Iris was very sick. Yesterday morning, I couldn’t find her, and, when I did, I thought I had to rush her to the emergency vet. She was in bad shape, and I have no idea why. About 45 minutes later, she was a little better, so the vet & I agreed to keep her quiet and watch her, and, if it got worse, bring her in later.

She hid for a few hours (and we checked on her every 20 minutes), then came down on her own in the early afternoon, ate, and curled up in her usual spot. She was quieter than usual, but definitely not at death’s door. She even had bedtime snacks, although she decided to stay downstairs instead of coming up with the others. This morning, she was moving slowly and quiet, but she ate all her breakfast and most of Violet’s (the usual), so, hopefully, she’s on the mend.

I think she had another seizure, like she had four or five years ago. I’m going to watch her for a few days to see how she does, and maybe take her in for a blood test. Last time, they couldn’t find anything and said either they’d be infrequent, or she’d get more of them and have to be put on anti-seizure medication. This is the first one she’s had in years.

Scary times, and the other two cats worried and stuck close.

I don’t remember much of Friday, except I worked hard, and had a phone conference with an agent about the proposal. A few things I was worried about Thursday were cleared up Friday — as usual, I was fretting when no fretting was necessary. And I got my hair chopped off — it was too long and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m much happier with it now.

I read my fellow students’ projects for the Sustainability class and commented on them. I wrote my final paper (“Full Circle Humanity”) and submitted it, and commented on the discussion projects submitted for grading. Uploaded my lectures and exercises for my own class.

Saturday morning, I watched the video lectures for my final week in Sustainability and took the quizzes. I think one of the speakers in the TED talk video might be good for a keynote speaker at the Writers’ Conference next year. I’ll suggest it.

I worked with my students all afternoon and well into the evening (their work was awesome and it was a pleasure), and then caught up on the Greek & Roman Mythology lectures and took the quiz (got 100%). I started the lectures for the World History class and took the quizzes for the lectures I’d watched (100% on all of those).

Sunday, I had the worries with Iris, which framed the whole day. In and around that, I did follow-up with my students, watched the rest of my World History Lectures, took the quizzes (100% on all of them), and wrote my papers for both classes. I’d been working on them for the whole week, but it was a case of pulling it all together and on paper.

My Greek & Roman Mythology paper was, from a writer’s perspective, why Homer needed book 24 of the Odyssey, instead of stopping at Book 23. The original paper was nearly 1300 words (and could have been much more), but I had to cut it down to 350. Talk about a challenge! However, it was interesting, and I want to dig deeper and expand it out beyond class.

My World History paper was on how conversation changed the world. The very structures that allowed the moneyed and educated to meet and discuss ideas about liberty and rights — a structure that allowed for servants and/or slaves — made it possible for these “unseen” in the room to learn, too, and start applying those principles to themselves. I tried to integrate the feedback from the last paper — specifics from my research within the text — so I did that, this time. Again, this is something I want to expand on beyond class — a really interesting topic.

And my lovely, diplomatic professor addressed the whiners complaining that there is work for the class and deadlines that have to be met by pointing out that that’s part of the university experience!

I worked on the tweaks for the proposal last night and sent it off to the agent. We’re going to talk more this afternoon, for any final comments and changes, before she takes it out into the world.

I already spoke to the vet this morning, and I’m on my way out the door for meetings. When I come back, I have to clean the house (Costume Imp arrives tomorrow), get the recycling out, and finish the edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

The Sustainability Course is done — I’m just waiting for my final grades, and having separation anxiety! So this week, only Mythology and History — along with all the other stuff that needs to get done!

Onward!

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