Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Well, I have a migraine, so not a great start to the day. Get through, it right? There’s way too much that needs to get done.

Chase Bank bites. Yesterday, I got pulled out of line by an Account Exec who made all these promises about these great changes in my account to reduce fees. Yeah, but they haven’t cleared my payroll check – which, I might add, is from another Chase account and has always cleared from Friday to Saturday – because I deposited several checks together, so they hold them ALL. I swear, they charge you every time you breathe, and every promise they make is a bait-and-switch to more fees they “forgot” to tell you about.

Chase Bank gets the Middle Finger Award for the week.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to move banks right now, because if you’re not throwing a ton of cash at them to open the account, they don’t want you.

The chat went really well last night. Lots of people, a lot of good questions.

Caught up on commenting on everyone’s exercises this morning. I’m way behind on my exercises for other workshops, so I want to get that done, and I have an idea for a couple more ebooks. Now, I just have to figure out when to slot them in!

Most of the conference has been great. Two of the instructors annoy me, because I get the feeling that they “don’t want to give it away for free.” In one, the exercises have been frustrating, but I figured I could learn something, that whole “work past your resistance/try something new”. However, the instructor doesn’t give individual feedback on how to APPLY what we do in the exercises, or why something works or doesn’t work. Just makes it clear she is available for private hire. The other instructor claims she didn’t know she was signed up to give a week long workshop – which is bullpucky, because we were sent emails over a course of many weeks with links to check our information, our virtual room, etc. and instructions on what to do if something was wrong or listed in the wrong spot or whatever. We had WEEKS to make sure it was accurate. There is no way this chick could “not know” unless she didn’t bother to check her information, and that is HER fault, no one else’s. In addition, she says she’s “too busy” to interact (which is a real slap in the face to conference goers, in my opinion), but again, available for private hire.

I tried the old “oh, there are different ways of teaching” philosophy. It doesn’t wash in this case, in my opinion. I’m sorry, but WHY would I spend money on either of those two when I’ve gotten NOTHING from them in their workshops but the hand out? And neither handout gave me any new or intriguing information? I can spend my money better elsewhere, on instructors who actually step up to the plate and to their jobs. Oh, and when you download the handout, you automatically are signed up for their email blasts. Guess who’s going to opt out first thing Monday morning?

And then there are the great workshops, like the short story one and the cozy workshop, and a couple of others where I just wandered in off the virtual street, so to speak, and ended up staying. Where the instructors interact, share information, encourage, point out where things could be stronger, are open to discussion and new ideas, ask interesting questions, and, in general, actually TEACH A WORKSHOP. I’ve developed material for two very different collections of short stories in the short story workshop. I’m developing material for the first book of what could be a series in the cozy workshop. I’ve gotten fresh ideas about website media rooms from another workshop, and gotten into interesting discussions about writing groups in yet another workshop.

And I’m so proud of many of my own students, who show progress over the course of the week. Several of them have ended up with a near-complete short story in the scene building optional exercises, and there have been some fascinating scenes posted in the daily exercises which I hope they take farther.

So there’s a lot of diversity here, which is part of what I think makes it such a good conference, and, in spite of some of the frustrating elements, a great overall experience.

I have so much writing to catch up on today, so I have to push past the headache and get to it. I have a feeling I will sleep in on Monday morning.

I lost hours of potential work time again yesterday due to computer kerflamma. And then, my Firefox decided to dump all my Favorites. Colin told me where to look for them, so, hopefully, I can restore them. Both Dell and Microsoft also receive Middle Finger Awards this week, although I’ve run out of hands and need to borrow someone else’s! 😉


Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW!Sensory Perceptions: Techniques to Improve Your Writing Through the Six Senses by Devon Ellington. Use the six senses to take your writing to the next level via a series of sense-specific exercises. By the end of seven weeks, you complete seven short stories!. $1.29 USD. Here.

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: