Thurs. May 17, 2012: Recovering Felines, Horse-Loving Writers, and Writers Worth

Violet’s got some ‘tude

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard today, in my Annabel persona, talking about “The Scent of Lilacs” and how that’s important to writing. Hmm, think I’m a little obsessed with lilacs this year.

Yesterday was all about taking the three cats to the vet. Boxing and stuffing three frightened felines is a feat unto itself. It was definitely a challenge, in spite of setting out the crates the night before. Fortunately, I’m faster than they are, and crate them in a room where there’s no place to hide. Then, it was hauling them into the car. And driving.

Fortunately, the vet is close by. Iris, our little drama queen, howled the entire way. Violet sat there, plotting about all the horrible things she would do once we got home. Tessa was confused.

It was busy when we arrived, mostly dogs, who were very interested in the cats. The cats didn’t pay any attention. Iris did her “woe is me” routine, causing everyone to fuss over her, which is exactly what she wanted. It was pretty hilarious.

The actual vet visit wasn’t bad. They’re all in excellent health, and got all their shots updated. They won’t need rabies shots for another three years. Nobody needed a thermometer shoved up the butt, so they were spared that indignity. The twins were very good, although they were scared. Tessa was fine for the exam, her heart rate remarkably steady (the twins’ rates were elevated). That’s because, as Tessa made it quite clear, the people handling her had FAR more to worry about than she did. She was ferocious during the nail clipping. She lost that battle, but she put up a good fight.

Turns out, by trying to make it fun and non-threatening, I haven’t solved the problem. The vet said some of them just hate it, and they always will. The best thing to do is put a towel over their heads and upper bodies, pin ‘em down, and do it FAST. Good to know.

I also have to use flea and tick medicine on them all summer, thanks to the yard (but it means Tessa can come out on the deck in the puppy training crate, which she loves).

I expected them to be grumpy and lethargic when we got home. I know I was exhausted. Instead, they were all very hungry, ate like baby bears, and then they all wanted attention. It was pretty cute.

Got some work done in the afternoon, although not enough. Wrote press releases. I really enjoy that work, and I should hustle some more of that work from clients. I do a good job, when they pay as they should it’s worth it, and I enjoy it. Hey, momma’s got to make up for all that money spent on brakes and the vet! Unfortunately, a lot of people act like they’re being generous when they offer $20 to write a press release. Um, no, the going rate is about ten times that. More, if you expect me to sit there and do the distribution — which is time-and-labor intensive.

In the evening, I went to the Writers Night Out dinner in Hyannis. Lots of fun. The speaker was the person who suggested I’d be a good fit teaching in Falmouth, and I thanked her for the recommendation. Her presentation was terrific. My dinner companions were horse people (imagine — in a room full of writers, the horse-loving ones find each other — gotta love it). It was a great discussion. I respect this woman a lot because she’s working more than full time, taking care of two horses and MAKES the time to write. She’ll fulfill her writing dreams, because she’s putting in the work, and doesn’t let anything get in the way.

Off to yoga in a bit, then have to put gas in the car, come back, and work flat out all day and into the night. I have to make up for yesterday, when I couldn’t get everything done, catch up with students, get my own writing done, and get out some more pitches.

We had a lot of rain yesterday, and the fog last night was terrifying — for driving, not because I expected Coyote Cujo to emerge and attack or anything. It’s supposed to clear up today. You know what that means, don’t you? I gotta go out there and MOW again! 😉

Hop on over to Words on the Page for Paula Hendrickson’s great article, “Writers are Worth More than We Realize.”

The next section of revisions to tackle will be tricky. I’ve been pondering it, and am not sure I have a viable solution for it yet, but it needs to get done, so I will push through.


Need help creating an efficient submissions system? Join the one-day online Seminar on June 2, Setting Up Your Submission System, and I’ll walk you through it. Information and registration here.

Published in: on May 17, 2012 at 6:10 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 17, 2012: Recovering Felines, Horse-Loving Writers, and Writers Worth  
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Thurs. April 19, 2012: Officially, The Flu

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Well, the mystery illness finally blossomed into full-blown flu last night — chills, fever, congestion, the works. At least I know what it is, so I can deal with it, instead of a little symptom of this here, another symptom there.

I cancelled out of everything I was supposed to do today, and am staying in bed, once I’m done with a few things here. It means missing yoga and a farewell lunch for a colleague, but illness is not an appropriate parting gift!

Caught up with students, mowed the terraced back (and then lay down in the grass for awhile to recover). I got some spray to make the mower catch faster, and it works. Fell in love with a Scotch Broom plant that’s a bit beyond my budget right now, but will keep an eye on it. My neighbor gave me three kinds of lettuce, and they went into the vegetable bed. Put down some grass seed in the front, where it’s looking a bit bald, and where I killed some grass fighting ants last year. Hopefully, it will come up.

We had our first taste of the garden– mixed greens and chives in yesterday’s lunch. Yummy!

Got some good edits done on the book, and also wrote 816 on the second book, in a half hour sprint with the students. Am pondering the proposals that need to go out tomorrow, and will finalize them later today.

I got up this morning to cancel out of obligations in a reasonable time, and to water the grass seed. Am going to check in with students, and then go back to bed and get rid of this damn flu once and for all. I think I’m past the worst of it — that was last night– but I want to make sure it’s gone!

I’m over at the Writers Vineyard today, talking about the garden’s influence on my writing.

Back to bed.


Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 7:11 am  Comments (6)  
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Feb. 23, 2012: Hoping to Asana My Way Out of Frustration

Thursday, February 23, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

I’m over at The Writers Vineyard talking about juggling today.

The crocuses are blooming in the yard, and the tulips are starting to come up. I’m panicking that we’ll get a big storm and all those lovely tulip bulbs I planted in fall (on time, no less) will rot and die. Photos to follow soon (probably on Gratitude and Growth).

Busy day yesterday. Took my mom to her medical appointment, and then we went out to breakfast at the 6A Restaurant in Sandwich — really good food, reasonable prices. Spent the rest of the day working flat out. I have huge amounts of backlog to read on student work, mostly because they were late getting it in — which is not an option for me this week, because of my own edits for the book. I will not be late with my own edits because they’re disorganized. But it meant working until 11 PM again last night. If you can’t meet a commitment of a six week class, you’re not going to meet the type of commitment it takes to write a novel or build a career.

Also, skimmed through and put aside a book that was supposedly about finding peace and balance, but in reality was a bunch of passive-aggressive, psycho-babble bullshit excuses about why this successful individual didn’t like her success. The book just left me so angry, and has turned me off this individual’s other writing permanently.

Business aspects are part of success. Deal or get out. Don’t get passive aggressive or take it out on those who have made it possible to succeed. And don’t hide behind psycho-babble. If you don’t like the results, change the path that brought you there, and change your attitude. Don’t keep doing the same thing and then blame others when they are doing their job — a good one, at that — just because you refuse to change any part of your attitude. Flexibility is a component of success, along with grace. commitment, and being able to think on your feet. You make a commitment, you keep it with a positive attitude. You don’t lash out at people who have nothing to do with your choices and your frustration.

I’m off to yoga, and then, it’s flat out again all day. My primary focus, today, though is HEX BREAKER. Every one else is just going to have to wait. Disorganization on their part does not constitute an emergency on my part. I have well over 60K to read this week, plus do my own work. I set up a reasonable time frame; if they refuse to meet it, they have to wait until I can circle back, since I’m not going to punish the students who are keeping on deadline because others are late. Those who are on time are read and commented on first; the latecomers will have to wait until I can circle back. They knew what was expected from Day 1.

On the flip side, I was glancing at some listings on Media Bistro and found some interesting possibilities. Will have to get out pitches over the weekend.

Hopefully, I can asana my way out of my current mood of frustration.


Thurs. Jan. 26, 2012: The Teaching Juggling Act

Tessa checks out the buffet table, the morning after the party

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Still dark out

I’ve got a piece on “Fuel for a Weary Soul” over on Writers Vineyard (as Annabel). Go check it out!

Busy day yesterday. Read as much student work as I could before my eyes gave out. Got irritated because a student who wastes a lot of time expects ME to organize threads to HER convenience and keep HER organized, instead of taking responsibility for herself, and wants me to “add extra slots” in classes. First of all, I am not her personal assistant; second, every extra student adds at least 40 minutes to an hour to my work day; more if they have questions (which they’re encouraged to ask — you learn by asking questions and DOING). There are only twenty four hours in a day. I put limits on classes FOR A REASON. I’m not going to work 24/7 — not for these prices anyway — and too many students in a class means I can’t give the individual attention to each piece that it needs. I allowed two extra students in the current class, and I’m stretched beyond my limit, even though the class is lively and active and working their butts off and it’s all positive. The lack of respect some people have is just appalling. I’m sure all teachers go through it. Goes with the gig. People who don’t teach don’t understand the time OUTSIDE of direct interaction it takes to do the job effectively.

The wall is painted and looks lovely. Got a bunch of work done on Confidential Job #1,and will start the second part of the two-part project today, getting the write up of the first part out. Yoga this morning, then I have to take my mom to the eye doctor to get measured for her eye operation. That’s supposed to take three hours, so I will take a notebook and the materials for Confidential Job #1 with me.

I’m happy with the progress on HEART BINDER. I just have to get a few other of my own projects back on track, and I won’t feel so pressured and resentful. I need to remember to focus on and be grateful for all that is wonderful in the class situation and let the irritations slide off more. Everyone’s working hard AND doing good work. The year-longs are required to have their drafts finished by the 31st or they’re out of the class — 50% of them are done. Not too shabby. Most of the 5 in 10s are staying on schedule, and the work is terrific. Really impressive, and the range of topics and how they’re handled is wonderful. I ENJOY going to the page and reading the material each day — I’ve just got only X amount of time to get it all done! Being interested in the world helps make them better writers.

Not loving the Mars retrograde, I have to say. Struggling with the personal crap it brings up, and trying to handle it with a modicum of grace! It will be good to be in yoga class this morning, for some kick-booty Om! 😉 That’s part of the retrograde — gaining skills to help you deal with it positively. Saying “I am positively OVER this retrograde” probably isn’t what “they” had in mind! 😉

I was assigned my new editor for the reboot of HEX BREAKER, so let’s hope that’s going to be a good partnership. I need to start pulling together my press kit for that. Once I get my edits, they’re going to have to turn around pretty fast, I’d think — two weeks or so. So the more I can get cleared off my plate ahead of time, the less pressure.

To yoga, to medical appointments (scribbling in the waiting room), and then back to the page.

I’m reading the seed catalogs and dreaming of this year’s garden. Let’s hope I’ve learned something from both what did and did not work last year!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard, talking about falling in love with your work. Stop by and drop a comment.

We had to turn on the heat. Yup, it’s that cold.

Worked with my students yesterday, and will have to work most of the day today with them. Working on the assignment for Confidential Job #1 — those 600+ pages are killing me, because 90% is telling, not showing. I will ask my editor for an extension over the holiday weekend. Worked on it most of the afternoon and barely made any progress.

Had a break-through on the Harpy book for one of my protagonists and one of my antagonists that, if I’m able to pull it off, will be heart-breaking, because it shows how much they cared for each other, and how their mutual betrayals hurt both of them, and the consequences. Those chapters are a bit down the road, but I’m counting on sense memory and notes.

Speaking of sense memory, I wondered why I’m so stressed out — aside from taking on too much work this month and all that. It feels as though my body remembers where we were last year at this time — negotiating the lease, preparing for the move, fighting the scumbag landlords — it’s almost like I’m having muscular flashbacks. They’re not visual, but my body feels the way it did last year at this time. Even more important for me to find a good yoga class for the winter and get back to meditation group.

Like I need this right now!

I can’t believe the morning is almost gone. Good day at the page, and then time spent with my students.

I’m a little frustrated, because I feel some of them are fighting the writing process, instead of enjoying having a reason to sit down at the page every day. Kinda makes me wonder why they’re there. It well may just be a phase for them, a part of the settling-in process. Books don’t write themselves. You have to MAKE the time to sit down and commit regularly and put words on paper.

And so it goes . . .


Today’s word count: 3448
Total word count: 13,896

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 10:08 am  Comments (5)  
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I’ll be over at the Writers Vineyard later today, talking about energy vampires.

Got a lot done on site yesterday morning, both online and wrapping up what needed to be done there, packing the car, etc. Due to torrential rains, I had to cancel acupuncture — the roads I needed in order to get there were flooded.

So, instead of heading south first, I headed straight north, once I left. Traffic was heavy, and then it started to rain heavily again, so it was a long journey home, punctuated with a nice stop in Mystic for a few minutes to pick up a few things. I got home in time for a late dinner, unpacked some stuff, and went to bed early.

Woke up around 4:30 this morning to thunder and lightening; cats and I tucked under the covers and went back to sleep. So, no yoga on the beach for me today, and a slow start.

Need to spend time with my students and do some work on my own books and sort stuff out from while I was away. I need to clean off my desk, and also start the fall cleaning. I’d like to be done with it by the Equinox. And I’ve got a meeting tonight in Buzzards Bay, post Ball.

I’m percolating on my books, which is why I’m not writing about them. I have to form them a bit more in my head before I can talk about them.


Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 8:01 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Quick check-in before I head off to yoga. Spent the day working yesterday. Got the interview questions out for the NMLC article. Paced and muttered a lot as I worked on the article, and on other stuff for the ball. Spent too much time on Twitter, but some of it was legitimate promotion!

Did some tidying up, because a friend from NY will be here tomorrow. Not ready for ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, but oh well.

My new yoga blanket and foam roller arrived, so I could roll out my hip and the tension in my neck, to help ease the migraine. Now on Day #3. It’s a little better, but it still sucks. I was doing better on migraines there for awhile. I have a feeling this is client-triggered.

Kitties are working things out. Tessa is jumping on the others now, wanting to play, and they don’t like it very much. I’m trying to pet them when they’re all together so they associate Tessa with positive attention. I didn’t play with her enough yesterday, so she was quite the little monkey!

Imp Dog came dancing down the street yesterday morning, and the Big Black Maine Coon from across the street shot forward like a furry black cannonball, chased off Imp Dog, and then sauntered down the lawn, tail held high, to the rosebush.

Of course, yesterday, I get an email from the person who was supposed to get back to me on Saturday, saying they couldn’t find the blog post and could I send it again. What part of I am not available this month is not clear? I should have just ignored it and let it go — I sent it in TWO WEEKS ahead of time and it was acknowledged. If this was the first time it happened, I could let it go, things happen, but it’s EVERY time. I re-sent it, but who knows when the hell it will go up? Or if they’ll reschedule and then, two minutes before it’s supposed to go live, they’ve “lost it” again? I can’t sit by the computer every time something’s supposed to go up, waiting for them not to have something that was sent and acknowledged. It’s too frustrating, and blogging for them needs to go off my roster.

Speaking of blogging, though, I’m over on The Writers Vineyard, with my monthly post, this time about People and their work. Drop a comment, let me know you came by!

Off to yoga, and then back to the page for the day. I may have to run to the Marine Life Center to take some photographs from the article, but haven’t heard back, and I’m not going unless I know they’ll be there.

Can’t wait for this Mercury Retrograde to be DONE. It’s a rough one.


Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 5:17 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Planter of petunias in the front yard

Thursday, June 16, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Boston won the Stanley Cup! I’m both delighted and surprised! It was quite a game yesterday. Winning something this big in someone else’s building is always bizarre.

I have my debut over on The Writers Vineyard talking about introductions, and then I’m also over on The Book Connection with talking about inspiration everywhere. Visit both and say hi!

Yesterday morning, I got a lot of my work done and spent time with students. Had a good session on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, did work for the Mermaid Ball, etc.

Costume Imp and I hit the road at 11. We drove out to Tobey Farm in Dennis to look around, stopped at Parnassus Books, and had lunch at The Optimist Cafe in Yarmouth, where both the atmosphere and the food are great. Then, it was back to Hyannis to the farmers’ market, Trader Joe’s, the liquor store, the the other grocery store.

I went back to work, doing some more stuff on Confidential Job #1, and Costume Imp cooked — pizza with pasta salad. He’s a fabulous cook, so it was great.

Watched hockey at night, celebrated the victory. Up early this morning – and Imp was up early, too (not my fault, swear)! I got my daily quota done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and then, in a little while, we’re headed east. We’re supposed to have a good day today, weather-wise, and I’m hoping there won’t be too much traffic/too many tourists.

I’ll have a lot to do when I get back (like mow, finish the work for Confidential Job #1, spend time with my students, work on articles). But I’ve also got to take advantage of the weather!


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Annabel Aidan webpage here.