Fri. Jan. 24, 2014: Shuffling the Projects

Friday, January 24, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked at Sturgis Library yesterday morning — caught up on email, got some press releases out for approval, others just plain out. Pitched for some jobs, caught up with students, did some research for TRUE HOME, gathered quotes for my article.

Headed home for lunch. Cleaned out a set of drawers and moved it up beside my desk, so I’ve got more room for stuff I need to keep handy. Cleaned out and updated a project bin.

I’m cleaning/purging/rearranging my office, and it’s at the stage where it looks like a tornado hit it before it looks neat and clean. A necessary part of the process, but somewhat overwhelming.

Yesterday, I had a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona) over at Writer’s Vineyard. Check it out.

Afternoon session at Sturgis — got a lot done. Was there until the last possible minute, when they locked the doors! Got some good information.

One of the research books for the Eliot-Stowe-Bronte project was printed in 1898, and some of the pages had never been cut! When I returned it to the library today, they made a note, so a trained professional can handle it! It was rather thrilling.

Working on a proposal package for a publisher (unexpected opportunity), and getting back into the right headspace for BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, so I can re-construct the outline I can’t find (and make it better), and then get back to work on it. Frustrating, because I know I outlined the three remaining books in the cycle, and I put them in a Very Safe Place — which, since the move, has escaped me. I also still have scripts to write and polish for the March submission package.

Found some good opportunities regarding the Marine Life Center, and have to get to work on developing those.

It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep up with my schoolwork with the Comcast issues. I will be very upset if I lose the opportunity to certify in areas that make me more hire-able, because Comcast repeatedly breaks state and Federal Laws, believing they are above the law.

All I can do is what I can do, and trust that the Attorney General and the Director of Telecommunications will handle it.

I’m using the Tibetan Singing Bowl app on my iPod a LOT lately — having a great time with it. I’m not very skilled with holding a Singing Bowl in my lap, but I’m really good with the app! 😉 I don’t use many apps, so it’s pretty funny.

I’m working from Wheldon Library this morning, and not sure which library I’ll haunt at the end of the day.

I need to buckle down and work on the play, get a couple of script synopses written, and get BALTHAZAAR outlined. I found the part of the manuscript I wrote — it’s far fewer pages than I remembered.

I also found some interesting projects I’d drafted, then put aside. I want to find a way to rotate them back into the queue, too.

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 10:04 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Oct. 31, 2013: Samhain

Thursday, October 31, 2013
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

This is my busiest day of the year. However, check out my post on Writers Vineyard (in my Annabel Aidan persona) about “Fresh Starts and Turning Inward”.

I was frustrated yesterday, so by mid-afternoon, I decided to cut myself a break and go “out of office” early. Technically, I’m out of the office until tomorrow morning.

I did some research, did some reading, and wrote another 20+ pages in the development notebook. The first 3 chapters are roughed out. I want to type them up, rough out another chapter or two, and then sit down and outline, so I have my plot set out. It’s supposed to have a strong element of suspense in it, which means I need to figure out the plot and the escalations, not just see what happens.

Also, because it was a very sense-oriented time in history — even though there’s the steampunk element layered into it — I need to layer in a lot of sensory detail. Scent, texture, and sound are especially important to this piece working.

Today will be a busy day, but I’m looking forward to it. Then, tomorrow, it’s back to being productive!


Published in: on October 31, 2013 at 7:30 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 31, 2013: Samhain  
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Fri. Aug. 9, 2013: Wrapping Up the Conference

Friday, August 9, 2013
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and humid

Yesterday was a whirlwind, with a very stressful appointment in the morning, and then headed to Mystic, CT, to hand my mom off for her two-week jaunt in Greenwich, then driving back.

I was so tired that I was afraid I would fall asleep at the wheel, but I made it safely, in both directions.

Hop on over to the Writers Vineyard, where, in my Annabel Aidan persona, I talk about “The Joys of Conferences.”

Wednesday was great at the conference. I got to get some work done in the morning, and then had a great chat out by the pool with a new colleague. Then, it was off to read on the agents’ “Conference Idol”. The participants that day were more vocal and defensive than those the previous day, which I thought was interesting, since the set-up allowed participants to remain anonymous.

My agent and I talked about where to send the book — I gave her my “A” list of dream publishers. So, we’re getting the last few tweaks done so that can go out next week.

Had dinner with several conference people, including that night’s keynote speaker, Meg Wolitzer. I really like her books, and her mother’s book on writing is on my Recommended Reading list for my classes (and in the topic workbooks). In person, she’s even more delightful than she is on the page, something that is always a joy to discover! We had a great time talking about theatre and Edinburgh and Reykjavik. Her keynote address was wonderful, and I’m excited to read her newest release, THE INTERESTINGS.

She had some friends meeting her and they were headed to dinner in Hyannis, so I had them follow me to the restaurant (rather than trying to explain it, with the one-way streets, or having them go down a wrong one due to GPS), and then headed home.

Mermaid Ball stuff is coming together; I’ll have some running around to do next week, and I have to finish the costume.

The house is quiet. Iris misses my mom a lot, and Tessa just hates the fact that I’m not home much right now. Violet doesn’t really care, one way or another, as long as there’s kibble in the dish.

Got a lot to do today, so I better get going. I have to write two reviews and two articles this weekend, and prep some interview questions.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on August 9, 2013 at 7:46 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 9, 2013: Wrapping Up the Conference  
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Thurs. July 12, 2013: Today’s Another Day

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

Last day to sign up for the “Start Your Revision Engines” workshop, which begins tomorrow. Registration closes at 5 PM EST today, which means the combo discount offer for both the revision workshop and the “Develop Your Idea” workshop, running next week, also expires today. Info here.

While you’re clicking around, visit my article on “Character Balance” here, over on the Writers Vineyard in my Annabel Aidan persona. Something I’m struggling with in the current revision.

Yesterday just sucked six ways from Sunday, and I’m over a lot of people and a lot of situations. I do not want to make decisions out of haste or anger during Mercury retrograde, but there are changes coming.

But today is a new day, and therefore, it will be better!

Finished my archaeology paper, turned it in, started this week’s coursework, wrote and polished a review, sent it to my editor, and he’s already sent out the material for the next assignment. Love that rhythm! Got some writing done, but not enough, worked with students, battled with the revision.

My rib is giving me a lot of trouble. But I have a lot to do today before I can rest.

Better get going.


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!


Thurs. April 18, 2013: Writing and Talking

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

If you haven’t hopped over to Beth Barany’s blog to read my article on how my heroine Jain Lazarus personifies karmic return, please do. I’m also on The Writers Vineyard, in my Annabel Aidan persona, talking about the Boston Marathon and how grief can affect writing.

Wrote Chapter 10 of the book yesterday, just over 2300 words. I feel like I’m back in the flow. Did 10 pages on the non-fiction book. I have some questionnaires to complete and get out to artists and holistic therapists, which I will do today. Worked with students. Did an LOI. Had a few ideas percolating on stuff, but not sure how to follow through on them.

Spent part of the afternoon working in the yard. There’s a section on the side that’s overgrown with some prickly briar-type vines that I want to clear out. The forsythia bushes will move to that side eventually, and the owner’s putting some flowering daphne by the garage instead. I also took Tessa out and did some of my reading outside.

I’m reading Robert Olen Butler’s book of lectures on writing. There are some things I totally agree with — his insistence on writing every day, once you start a project, his use of “dreamstorming”, etc. However, his utter contempt for genre/commercial fiction is disappointing — yeah, there’s a lot of crap out there, but genre fiction also is an opportunity to make readers see the world in a way they might not otherwise be open to t he information. He also claims that writers with talent don’t outline, yet advocates the use of index cards to prepare the book — which is a form of outlining. Granted, he is much more successful in his career than I am, so he’s doing something that works for him — but I disagree with a lot of what he advocates.

Writers Night Out was last night. The good friend who’s been their business manager (and in my play) is moving to Amsterdam soon, and I met her replacement, who is a lovely person. I think I’ll enjoy working with her, too, but I’ll miss my friend. However, this is a brilliant adventure for her.

We had a lively table, a mix of people I knew and people I didn’t, so there was lots of good conversation. Four poets read (April is poetry month). Very different styles, so the juxtaposition was interesting. One guy, the youngest of them, reminded me a lot of the poets at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in the East Village in the 90s. The language is good, what he’s trying to do is interesting, but he read in a monotone, and hasn’t yet learned how to gauge his audience and adjust what he’s doing when they get restless. Since reading is performance, those are important skills to fold into one’s reading repertoire.

Came home, fell into bed early, but had a rough night. Lots of interruptions to my sleep, and then, early this morning, the carbon monoxide detector decided it had low batteries and started to chirp.

At least I’m going back to yoga today. I’ve been away from it for too long.

Must focus on the books today, and on polishing my presentation for next weekend’s conference. Hopefully, I can get some more work done in the yard today. The hyacinths are coming up — very pretty.


Thurs. March 19, 2013: Head Down Working

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Frost on the ground this morning, so a good thing my Ostara planting was inside yesterday! I talk about it in the entry on Gratitude and Growth.

I also have a post up (in my Annabel Aidan persona), entitled “Are You Happy?” on The Writers Vineyard.

We’re coming up on your last chance to join Saturday’s Query Clinic — line-by-line support on you query letters, and ways to make them stronger moving forward! Information here.

Finished Chapter Six and wrote Chapter Seven of the new book yesterday, which was a pretty decent day’s work. Sent out some pitches, and landed an assignment, so I will tackle that today. Worked with students — I’m really proud of them right now. Worked on the contest entries I’m judging.

Feel very burned out. I’ve got some difficult correspondence to tackle today, plus the writing, and I’m trying to rev up for it. Even though it’s cold, and we’re supposed to get another storm, maybe I’ll do some work in the yard, and that will help.


Thurs. Jan. 24, 2013: The Brain Outstrips the Fingers

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Final two days for the Reduced Rate Editing Special. Details here. Sign up before the 25th — because if you email me on Sunday about it, I’m already back to my regular rates!

And don’t forget to sign up for “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” to breathe fresh life into old projects, or set them to rest in a way that does not siphon creative energy from new projects, and/or “Journal into Fiction”, where you learn how to transform journal entries into viable fiction. Information and registration here.

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard today, talking about “Other Art as Inspiration”, where I go into detail about the 3K I wrote on a short story yesterday, inspired by Edward Hopper’s painting, “New York Movie”. I wanted to push through last night and finish it, but I was written out and couldn’t even speak a coherent sentence, much less write one by evening. I hope to get some more work done on it this morning.

I think I’ve figured out how to fix the second act of the play, too. I was ending it at the wrong point. And I figured out how to drop some more clues to make it more fun for the audience.

Worked with students, went over material for the upcoming Topic Workbooks still to release. For a couple of them, I have to get permission for some quotes, or I’ll have to change the material used within — which is fine, either way. I just want to make sure everyone is properly credited, and all the permissions are in order.

I’ve got to focus this morning, because I have a meeting at the possible venue for the play over the bridge at noon, and then a development meeting at NMLC at 2. So I’ll be tied up most of the day. But it’ll be good for me to get out of the house for a bit!

Baked gingerbread for the meeting.

Have a great day, everyone!


Thurs. Dec. 27, 2012: Storms and Oversleeping


Thursday, December 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Third Day of Christmas

I talk about “Constant Improvement” over on The Writers Vineyard. Stop by and leave a comment!

What did you dream about last night? That will be February.

The storm woke me up at 4 AM. I fell asleep, overslept, and missed yoga! Felt like an idiot.

Yesterday was good. I got some work done, but not enough. Had a good time working on the Second Day of Christmas story, “Cooing”, and am working on the Third Day of Christmas story, “The Fleur De Lys Bakery”. Yes, the third day is about three French hens, and no, they don’t wind up in pastry! 😉

I’m pleasantly surprised by how funny these stories are! I’m having such fun writing them. Hopefully, next year, you’ll all have fun reading them!

Worked on materials for the upcoming classes and my private students. Finished MISTBORN and started the next book, THE WELL OF ASCENSION. Learning a lot from how Sanderson structures. His imagination is great, but so is his structure. Very helpful.

Came up with a totally wacky idea that I will meld into proposal form and pitch to my agent. If she doesn’t want it, I have a few ideas on where to send it.

HEX BREAKER’S only 99 cents as Solstice Publishing right now, so if you haven’t bought your copy — go get it!

And don’t forget the free download of the New Year’s tie-in story, “First Feet”. It’s only available until January 2. Excerpt and download here.

I’ve got to run some errands today, get the invitations out for the party, and the thank-yous written. Plus, work on student material and hustle a few more jobs for the first week of the New Year. I want to make a good dent in the proposal — if it sells, it’ll be a ton of fun to do.

I’m trying to take it a bit easy this week, because I know I have to hit the ground running with classes, private students, and articles. My brain needs a bit of a rest and time to recharge, which is why I’m doing uncontracted writing and only reading what I feel like reading for a few days!


Don’t forget to sign up for “When Words Align” to get your manuscript back on track (Jan. 2-9) and “Sensory Perceptions” to work on layering sensory detail into your work (Jan. 2 – Feb. 3). Registration closes Dec. 30!

Two short Nina Bell comic mysteries for the holidays, along with “Just Jump in and Fly”, a romantic/comic/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths.

Thurs. Nov. 29, 2012: Writing, Decorating, Coursework

Tessa and Violet enjoy the sun

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

I’m over at The Writers Vineyard in my Annabel Aidan persona, talking about “Always Learning.”

Busy day yesterday. Writing, errands, libraries. Got the lights on the tree (my least favorite part of decorating). Got the lights up around the windows. I don’t want to start decorating outside until I know when the roofers are coming — and going. Got some of the ribbons up around the windows and doorways. I don’t understand why the decorating is taking so darned long this year. Usually, it took a day. Although decorating a house takes longer than an apartment.

Tessa helps.

I swear, that cat could pass the SATs. She understands every word I say.

I’ve got to get out a couple of press releases today, and set up the accounts at Smashwords, so I can upload my stories there. I still want to re-do the cover for “Mistletoe”, but didn’t manage to get my hands on any real mistletoe yesterday (and it was rainy and awful out, so ick).

I’m almost packed for the trip to NY. I’m working on a little something special for Costume Imp, and that has to be finished today.

Almost done with the Greek/Roman Mythology Course — finished the lectures and the quiz. Today, I have to evaluate five student papers, and, then — done! Started the Astronomy class — it looks wonderful, but I’m auditing, not going for certification. The math required is beyond me. But today, I’ll tackle the history course.

And, hopefully, get some more decorating done, and some more work on prepping “That Man in Tights” for upload.

Good writing session this morning, but missed yoga. 😦


Don’t forget to sign up for Flash 7 Workshop, running from Dec. 7-16. Write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Info and registration here.

Thurs. Aug. 9, 2012: LOVE this Conference!

First of all, the Cape Cod Writers Conference is awesome. I’m learning so much and having so much fun!

Second, I’m over on Book Boost talking about “Weeds in the Writing Garden” here, and “When Does Your Year Start?” (as Annabel Aidan) over on The Writers Vineyard here.

Published in: on August 9, 2012 at 11:50 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. July 13, 2012: Linky, Linky, Zombie Disco Party

Friday, July 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Happy Friday the 13th! Always one of my favorite days on the calendar.

Have I got links for you! 😉

First of all, I hope you’ll come join me today in a virtual Disco Zombie Party to celebrate the release of HEX BREAKER, over on Author Roast and Toast, later today, going well into the night. Attendees have the chance to get the new Billy Root story before it goes live!

Second, my article on “Smart Gardening” is up on Fifty is the New Fifty. I’m doing six articles for them (I sent off my fourth last night).

Third, I’ve got a piece up on the Writers Vineyard (as Annabel Aidan) about the pleasures of discovering a short story is the seed for something bigger.

Before I could even post this, I conducted an interview for another client. It went very well — I really, really like her and think we can work well together.

Yesterday was crazy busy. I kept thinking, “I can blog in the next hour” and then I couldn’t. My apologies.

Yoga was fantastic. I had to do some errands, including a stop at Country Gardens to pick up some petunias (the pansies in the urn are fading), and get more bamboo hoops, this time for the wisteria. I worked with students, worked on articles and short stories, and considered how to rework my resume geared to a specific Boston facility.

I’ve got a lot of writing and teaching to do today, along with errands, so I better get going. Tessa is grumpy this morning, because she can’t be outside as much as she’d like. She learned pouting and sulking from her big sister, Iris. Can’t the twins teach her any GOOD habits? 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone! It’s supposed to get hotter over the next few days — we’ve been so lucky, weather-wise.


Registration closes tonight for the Series Bible Seminar, tomorrow! If your story encompasses more than one book, this online seminar will help you keep it all organized! More information and registration here.

Thurs. June 14: Still Raining, Happy Plants, Still Writing

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked like crazy all day, but still didn’t get enough done. Story of my life right now. It gets discouraging sometimes, but that’s the way it is.

One of the fun things in my current life, however, is over on The Writers Vineyard blog, where, in my Annabel persona, I talk about this summer’s schedule realignment. And, if you didn’t get a chance to read the LASR interview yesterday, hop over and check it out here.

Finished reading the manuscripts for the critiques due Friday — two readings of three manuscripts. Will polish my notes today. Waiting for two contracts and one deposit to come through (because without them, the writing on those projects isn’t going to happen). Polished material for Saturday’s tarot workshop, got some reading in. I’m now officially addicted to Sarah Addison Allen’s work. I read four of her novels in the past week. Worked for another client — have to finish the work on that project when I get back from yoga.

I want to do one more polish on “Town Crier” and then I have to do all the formatting crap so that it’s ready for download tomorrow. And then I start on Billy Root’s story, which has to be ready by June 29!

I had a slow go yesterday on HEART BINDER — just over 600 words. The world of the book is expanding, and I’m wondering if that’s a good thing. It FEELS right, but it also feels like maybe this isn’t a trilogy, but a quartet. Take the overage from HEART SNATCHER and the new track this book has taken, end it at the end of my current chapter, and I’ve got enough for a volume of the book. It wouldn’t be HEART BINDER — I’d come up with another title — thought of one as I was falling asleep the other day, but didn’t write it down. I’ll see, once I’ve got everything written that I planned for the three original books. The right choice may be to do massive cuts. If I worry about business decisions in the draft process, I’ll never get the books done. And I want these particular books done before I start selling any of them. In the ideal world, I’d like them to release very quickly after each other, so readers can gobble them all up together.

Speaking of gobbling up books, I’ve got things sorted out with Payloadz, and some new little writing books will be appearing over the summer.

Off to yoga, have a long day ahead of me, and, in this case, if I don’t finish what I need to on time, a very long night.

To yoga!


Taste of the Tarot is for artists in all media to learn how to use the tarot for both inspiration and to break through blocks. Saturday, June 16, 2-5 PM at Three Fish and a Ram Community Art Center. Info here.