Thurs. June 15, 2017: Tightening Deadlines and Ridiculous Request of the Day (RRD)

Personal Revolution Cover

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Promotion starts today for “Personal Revolution”, a short mystery set in a town near Concord, MA, that takes place around Independence Day. It’s only 99 cents, available on Smashwords, Kobo, Nook, and more.

Blurb:
When a man is hanged from the oak tree in a Redcoat uniform at an historic house just before the Independence Day program, Glenda is determined to both solve the murder and protect the newly-opened museum. What she finds is much darker — and more personal — than she bargained.
(End blurb)

I hope you enjoy it. I’m playing with the idea of doing more with these characters.

Yesterday seems very far away, somehow. Maybe it was all those mass shootings, and the ridiculous and irresponsible way they were covered by the press.

What did I do yesterday? Sent out some pitches. Worked on the 30 second script. Did more research for the article that I hope to finish, polish, and get out the door today. Checked email incessantly to see if another pitch was accepted (haven’t heard back yet). Looked at a website that’s been fallow for the past few years, with an eye to starting up that platform again.

The Ridiculous Request of the Day was from an “author” who “generously offered” (his words) to pay me $350 to do a line edit on his “blockbuster” novel — that runs 120,000 words. Um, no. 120,000 words breaks down to 480 pages in Standard Manuscript Format, and I bet his wasn’t. Bet it’s single-spaced. Sweetie, $350 gets you to page 70, and I’m on the low end of the editing price range. It’s not “generous”. It’s not even a professional rate. Plus, I’m taking on very few of that type of editing client — more for scripts than for novels at this point, unless it’s at the top of my rate. Now, I am sympathetic to someone’s tight budget. But don’t boast it’s a “blockbuster” (because if it was, you’d be under contract to an agent and one of the Big 5). Look for an editor where appropriate to your budget, such as a grad student in English, who can both use the cash AND potentially use it for credit in an independent study.

On a happier note, “The Ramsey Chase”, the first Cornelia True/Roman Gray adventure, will be ready for re-release sooner than I expected. The cover design will be done soon, and I should have the galleys shortly for a final proof read.

However, that means that I have to have the opening of the second Cornelia True/Roman Gray adventure ready to pop into the back of it, have the darned thing outlined, and meet a deadline for its release!

Considering that I also have to get moving on the next Twinkle Tavern comic mystery, which needs to be ready to release by Labor Day, that’s a new (but positive) pressure. That will feature the characters from “Plot Bunnies” and release under the Ava Dunne name.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Cornelia and Roman. It’s a satirical fantasy/adventure series, involving time travel and an alternate universe that’s somewhat familiar and somewhat not. There’s a wry, arch tone to it that’s a blast to write. I have a lot of fun turning genre formula inside out with it, and making pointed social commentary. When first released, in 2008, it was kind of relevant; it’s even more relevant now.

We’re also in talks to set the re-release date for Playing the Angles (which used to be Assumption of Right, or, as I joked, When Bad Titles Attack). Early October is looking good, with The Spirit Repository then releasing in May of 2018. This means we have to make sure the cover is ready sometime in July. Since we’ve been having difficulty finding the right cover image, that worries me.

I should have mowed yesterday, but didn’t. So guess what I had to do first thing today? Yup, side yard needs it.

So, there were two mass shootings yesterday in the country, one on the East Coast, one on the West. The UPS shooting is hardly getting any coverage, because only ordinary people were hurt and/or killed. The one involving a Congressman, a lobbyist, and other political types is getting attention, because of the GOP’s propaganda machine. The two Capitol police personnel who put themselves in the line of fire are being mostly ignored, while politicians who weren’t even there are tearful about their own “narrow escape.” The press is covering it irresponsibly, as usual. The GOP is blaming the left, because the shooter volunteered on the Sanders campaign. Of course, the fact that the Narcissistic Sociopath repeatedly incited and encouraged violence during his campaign and actually called for Hillary Clinton’s assassination is being ignored. As is the fact that the GOP is the party who votes to allow the mentally ill access to guns (because they expect shooting victims to be outside their own party — yesterday shocked them because they think only unarmed liberals will be shot). Paul Ryan is being lauded for the speech he gave on the floor; people are saying it was wonderful. I disagree. For the man who is determined to make inhuman cuts to healthcare, Social Security, Medicare and food stamps to declare “We don’t shed our humanity when we enter the Chamber” is hypocrisy. It’s typical of Lyin’ Ryan, but it is still hypocrisy.

They all make me sick.

On that not-so-happy note, I need to go and mow, and then it’s back to the page, because, no matter what the external stresses, I have to keep showing up at the page and getting it done.

Don’t forget to hop over to the GDR site, where I have the mid-month check-in posted. I can’t believe we’re half way through June!

Thurs. Jan. 3, 2013: Writing, writing, writing, writing . . . .

IMG_0779

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and c-c-cold!

Good morning! A little late getting online today, because I was at yoga.

I’m so delighted by the enthusiasm and thoughtful posts over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions — it’s always such fun to work towards goals together in company!

I wrote 1K on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE yesterday and 1K on LEADING OPPORTUNITIES — good day for both books. I caught up on a lot of email, and I’m getting through the backlog, too — seeing what needs to be filed, what can be dumped, if there’s stuff I never dealt with, and organizing market listings so I can attack them methodically for either queries or submissions. Swapped interviews for slots on blogs — my guest will be here at the end of January, and she’ll host me on the release day of OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK.

Spent most of the afternoon re-formatting “Too Much Mistletoe”, “Tumble”, and “Just Jump in and Fly” and getting them up on Smashwords. I’ll add the links to the appropriate pages on the website. I still have to tweak the covers some more — where Payloadz distorted the covers and said they were too big, Smashwords is saying they’re too small.

It’s made me realize that Nina Bell was really, in a lot of ways, a character ahead of her time. I’m looking forward to working with her more NOW, although, initially, the stories will be set back in the 1990s. I will move them forward — eventually, she’ll have to face 9/11. It will be interesting to see how she and her career evolve. I’m going to fix the parts of TAPESTRY that don’t work — since I know a lot more about structure than when I wrote it — while still keeping her character, well, Nina, because that’s what makes her memorable. The characters in “Just Jump in and Fly” and the energy in that piece just delights me — I look forward to working on the piece for Imbolc. I’ll probably release another Nina short in the next few weeks, and I also have to turn my attention to the re-release of “The Ramsey Chase” — now that I know I was writing time travel/steampunk/fantasy, I can actually use the expectations of each genre to support the structure better.

I’ll get those links up on the website later today — but I hope people find the stories and fall in love with the characters. Nina has always been a fan favorite — maybe, with my maturing a bit in terms of craft, now she can find her audience.

I’m also considering putting together a media kit that covers multiple books, etc., that I can use as a catch-all, in addition to having the more focused kits for the individual books.

I did a chunk of work on Confidential Job #1, and will be able to complete that assignment and get it out by tomorrow.

Still working on the proposal for my agent, and still working on the Twelve Days of Christmas stories — I have a feeling I’ll be working on those well into the month! But they’re fun, and I think, when they release during the holiday season at the end of this year, people will enjoy them.

Yoga was great — now, it’s digging in to work. Got some student assignments to check up on!

Devon

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2stacys-christmas-blogfest-081

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Here’s Stacy’s graphic again – isn’t it fun? I’m so excited about my date on her blog next week.

And hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read my review of Sandra Worth’s wonderful new book, THE KING’S DAUGHTER.

And hey, if you haven’t bought “The Ramsey Chase” and Too Much Mistletoe, consider it, okay? Buy both, and you’ve still spent less than five bucks, which is always great in this economy! They’re both fun, they’re inexpensive, and they’re worth the price! 😉 Yes, we have a moment of shameless self-promotion here – I want these volumes out and READ!

I got worse again yesterday, unfortunately. I managed to get a bit of work done, including working on my column, getting a few pitches out, working on a resume I can actually send out in cases where a resume and not a bio paragraph is called for, and creating a list of job prospects who will receive pitches today. And, I got out a slew of short story submissions, especially several of the stories I developed in the workshop in October, in my magical small town with the magical bakery. Hopefully, some of them will hit.

Had a bad night, and am still feeling awful this morning.

Got some work done on the Maine project. It’s taking a very interesting shape, in a way I didn’t expect. I have a long list of things that MUST get done today, whether I feel like crap or not.

Can we PLEASE get rid of Paulson NOW, before he totally destroys what’s left of the economy? On CNN last night, some pundit was saying that Paulson was “naïve” and “believed the banks would do the right thing” when handed billions of tax payer dollars. I don’t believe that for one second. Paulson is one of them; he’s handing out as much money to his pals so they can take it and run before the change of administrations, because he knows this administration will look the other way. We will NEVER get a return on it, and the consumer will NEVER benefit from this bailout, because it was structured so that the fat cats can keep getting fatter. Hell, if I know these scum are going to take the money and run, the damn Treasury secretary should be at least that smart. I believe this is calculated on his part. This is a man who ran a major corporation; he knows how they operate; he knew what would happen when he started handing out money with no strings attached.

Back to the page.

Shirley gave out a tag, and I figured, what the hey, I’ll do it:

7 Things I plan to do before I die: own my own home, have a wonderful garden, learn how to play the piano, learn how to paint, learn how to make pottery (do we see a theme here?), create something that gives people joy, take a trip around the world.

7 Things I do now: Write, take care of my family, yoga, read, cook, learn new things as often as possible, play with the cats.

7 Things I won’t do: Believe that what happens in the world “doesn’t affect me” or that who is in charge of this country has no direct affect on my life; refuse to show up on voting day; wiggle out of jury duty, spend money in places that do not respect either their workers or their customers; write 20 articles/week for $1/article; jump out of plane unless my life depends on it; eat shrimp (love it, but I’m deathly allergic).

7 Things that attract me to the opposite sex: A sense of humor, intelligence, compassion, a love for animals, courage, creativity, passion.

7 Celebrities I admire: I’ve probably worked with seven I admire, but since I don’t name names . . .

7 favorite foods: chocolate, mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, key lime pie, apples, blueberries, raspberries (I can’t believe I have to stop at seven).

Although I can’t eat right now. I can still think about what I like once I’m well enough to eat again, right?

Later!

Devon

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! Too Much Mistletoe A Nina Bell Holiday Mystery by Devon Ellington. Nina Bell is back! Still trying to make a living in the New York theatre world of the 1990s, she’s trying to figure out which is the bigger mystery – a college friend’s disappearance, or her ever-complicated love life, as every man she meets wants to hang mistletoe over her head. Read an excerpt here and purchase the story for only $2.99 USD here .

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free 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.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
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.


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:

Sautrday, November 22, 2008

ramsey-chase-cover1

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

It’s here! “The Ramsey Chase” is up and ready for purchase! It’s a retro-futuristic piece with touches of comedy and mystery, and the potential for a very interesting relationship to develop between Mr. Roman Gray and Miss Cornelia True in the eccentric town of Bodwin’s Ferry. If the villain, Dexter Ramsey, had a mustache, he’d twirl it. It’s just under 10K, and only $1.49 USD, and it’s the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release, so I hope you all enjoy it!

You can read an excerpt of it here, and there’s a purchase link below the excerpt.

There will be more adventures for Cornelia and Roman – they’re such fun. And there are plenty of directions for them to travel, both literally and emotionally!

The cover looks better than it’s reproducing – I look forward to investing, after the first of the year, in Page Plus, and then redesigning all my covers. Every time I have to deal with NitroPDF, I am less pleased with it. Actually, if I didn’t feel the sales team lied to me, I probably wouldn’t be so angry.

Yesterday was a rough day, emotionally, so I just cut myself a lot of slack.

I dashed into the city and back, which was fine, but the day quickly deteriorated from there. I was called to turn around and go back for the show, but I already had a commitment and couldn’t, which is okay, because I wasn’t emotionally ready to deal with everyone, as lovely and supportive as they all are.

Tons of errands to do today, preparing for the trip to Maine, getting the Nina Bell Christmas story up, and starting the first Mick Feeney adventure.

Good morning’s work on the mystery. I think I’ll dedicate it to my grandmother – she always loved a good mystery. Let’s hope this one is good.

We’re moving into the last week of Nano, the home stretch. Had to cut loose another of the N3s, who isn’t writing or communicating and broke the agreement. I’ve given her several chances to explain, but there’s just no contact and no writing, and that’s unacceptable. Don’t waste my time, especially not right now. Buh-bye.

Thanks again, for all your continued support during this difficult time.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 53,208 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meter
53 / 50
(106.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 53,208 out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
53 / 75
(70.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

NEW! “The Ramsey Chase” A Remarkable Adventure of Cornelia True and Roman Gray By Devon Ellington
Meet the adventurous Cornelia True of Bodwin’s Ferry, whose life changes forever when “fixer” Roman Gray lands naked in her petunias, and they combine forces to track down a serial killer determined to murder thirteen women in thirteen months for their blood, with his latest victim right there in Bodwin’s Ferry!
Only $1.49 USD for this 10K adventure, the very first Penny’s Dreadfuls release! Read an excerpt of the adventure here.
Purchase the story here.

THE JAIN LAZARUS ADVENTURES
Free limited download
“The Possession of Nattie Filmore: A Jain Lazarus Adventure” by Devon Ellington. If you loved HEX BREAKER, you’ll love spending time with Jain and Wyatt as they try to solve a haunted house mystery. Read an excerpt of the story and download it free 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.

BOOKS FOR WRITERS
Back By Popular Demand! 30 Tips for 30 Days: Kick Start Your Novel and Get Out of Your Own Way. A Nano Handbook by Devon Ellington. FREE!
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could survive National Novel Writing Month, this is the handbook for you! Ideas on preparations, setting goals, overcoming blocks, pushing yourself, tips for each day of the process, and ideas for going beyond, this handbook by veteran Nano-er Devon Ellington will help you survive. Best of all, it’s free! Download it here.
Limited time offer
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.


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:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Well, I did a bunch of stuff yesterday, but not necessarily what I was supposed to. Isn’t that often the way?

I worked on the mystery, and then I did some work on “The Ramsey Chase”. I’m making good progress on it, although not as fast as I’d like. However, I don’t want this last section and the ending to feel rushed. That will cheat the reader. And since I want them to enjoy Cornelia and Roman for many adventures to come . . .I need to make sure it’s clever enough to hook the readers and make them want more. The overall theme is a little darker than I expected, but the actual piece itself manages to be retro, futuristic, and comedic all at once.

I rearranged a bunch of stuff in living room, which made it look more chaotic, not less, at least temporarily (that always depresses the heck out of me); hauled a bunch of stuff to storage, brought back some huge cushions someone gave me a million years ago that I used to pile on the floor in order to watch TV. They’re now on the couch, replacing the old, wonky pillows. I cut back some plants – okay, seriously, some sort of citrus plant – can’t remember if it’s a lemon or a tangerine, but I grew it from seeds of the fruit I bought at the grocery store – is now about five feet tall and has BARK, so I was pruning it. Rearranged some bookcases and got a bunch off books off the floor and onto shelves. Got out the leather conditioner and revived two leather jackets that have been in storage since 2001 (I gave a third away). Found a small end table that needed a home and gave it one – I’ve got meditation symbols on it, and it’s beautiful. Got the cat condo out from the trunk of the car (where it’s rattled around for a month because I’m either hauling too much to get it up three flights of stairs, or, if I have nothing in the trunk, I forget). Figured out how to rearrange things to put up the Yule tree later this month. Make a big pot of ratatouille.

In other words, I did a lot that wasn’t writing!

The cats were NOT amused.

I forgot to mention that on Friday night, I helped my friend and her brother move a couch and an antique table to the new condo she bought. The condo’s great, absolutely adorable, and I’ll probably give her a hand in packing this coming week. But I’m sore!

I was ridiculously fatigued last night, ready for bed by 7:30; but if I’d done that, I’d have woken up a little after midnight and wound up being up for 24 hours straight right before a stressful Monday 14 hour+ day at the theatre, too. I don’t think so. I sat up and read instead.

Good morning’s work on the mystery. I hope to get a little bit done on “The Ramsey Chase” before I jump on the train.

Off to the theatre – two shows, fourteen hours, and my mind in a million other places with characters. Oh, well. I like the people, so it will all be good.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery: 23,246 out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 50
(46.5%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery: 23,246 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23 / 75
(30.7%)
Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 8:43 am  Comments (7)  
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