Tues. Jan. 15, 2013: Herding WordCats (Real Cats are Easier)

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Violet likes the cleared-off table — the one she’s not supposed to be on!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Temperatures are going down today. It will be chilly!

Stop by the mid-month check in on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions, and let’s see how we’re doing this month.

I’ve got the laundry going — amazing how fast it piles up.

Yesterday felt a bit like herding cats, so today I have to remove myself from much of that and buckle down to a lot of writing. I spent a lot of hours working, I did a lot, but felt like nothing was really accomplished by the end of the day.

The NMLC got some great coverage of the seal release in several papers, which was exciting. In fact, when I went to my afternoon meeting at another organization, they’d seen it and were all excited, too. Which is great, because no matter what field we’re in, we’re all in this together, right?

“Too Much Mistletoe” was just approved for the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which is exciting. Now, I have to make the other edits and see if I can get the other pieces in there, too.

My list of things that has to get done today is LOOONG and it won’t do itself (darn it, wish I could teach those words to type themselves).

Have a great day, everyone!

Devon

Come join us at “The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” workshop Feb. 4-6. Take a look at projects you’ve put aside. Learn how to get promising ones back into your schedule, and how to lay to rest the ones of which you need to let go. Information and registration here.

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Fri. Jan. 4, 2013: Gearing Up for A Busy Weekend

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Reindeer over the fireplace

Friday, January 4, 2013
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, in spite of the late start. Wrote 1K on LEADING OPPORTUNITIES — I’m starting to get back into its groove. Did a lot of admin. Worked with students. Cleaned up the back bedroom (I’m getting the house sorted for Sunday’s party). Finished the material for Confidential Job #1 — now I just have to write it up.

Got nearly 2K done on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE this morning. I need to type up what I’ve handwritten — I’m getting too far behind, and need to update my character charts and arcs. Am about to go and work with students, and then have a LOT to do, especially when it comes to admin, grocery shopping, and party prep.

A slot for a manuscript critique opened for January — if you’ve got a manuscript that needs a critique, or know someone who does, please contact me via email for pricing and details. Spread the word!

Read a book that came highly recommended. Liked the world building, but felt the plotting was weak, and the characters weren’t quite unique enough. Oh, well. Glad I test drove that author at the library! There are good things in the book, but I’m not sure I’d buy/read another. I took the recommendation because it was so highly recommended, and this author was compared to one of my favorites. I don’t see many similarities.

“Just Jump in and Fly”, “Tumble”, and “Too Much Mistletoe” are all available on Smashwords now (see the Short Stories page). I’m excited. I’m looking forward to putting up some more shorts in the coming weeks, and also starting to put up some Topic Workbooks that grew out of seminars I’ve taught. I need to do a cover shoot for “That Man in Tights”, because that’s the next in the queue to release.

Better get going — lots to do!

Devon

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

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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

Thurs. Dec. 27, 2012: Storms and Oversleeping

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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!

Devon

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.

Wed. December 26, 2012: Holiday Writing Blitz

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold
Boxing Day
Second Day of Christmas

So what did you dream last night? That’s what January will be about!

My dreams were very confusing, between watching DR. WHO and reading most of Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN yesterday. Hopefully, the dream itself denotes creativity, not chaos!

I had a quiet Christmas Eve and Day. I’d offered to be on call for the Marine Life Center in case someone couldn’t come in, but didn’t hear from them, so I’m assuming they were covered.

I did some work on the Eve, wrapped packages, and wrote about 2700 words on the Dickensian Steampunk. This gives me the shape of it. Some of the characters are surprising me, in a good way. Now I can figure out where I want to go with it, and do a rough outline. I’m not yet sure where it fits in to the schedule, but I like what I’m doing with it, and where I’m going.

Worked on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions. Didn’t realize, until I worked on them, how angry I am about a few things that happened last year. Full out fury and resentment. I’m glad I wrote what I did, but I’ll post something a lot more diplomatic! 😉 It helped to purge it and figure out what I can do differently and more positively next year, and made me realize I was right to cut ties with someone who’d been a major client last year, but whose business model and payment arrangements caused me a great deal of stress and pain. The client is not worth it. I am done. Although I prefer to transition between clients, easing out one as I take in new assignments, in practice, I find that I must take a leap and clear out the old in order to make room for the new, even when I don’t always know what that new is.

Dug out some of my old cookbooks that I hadn’t unpacked and re-acquainted myself with a lot of great stuff. Also, found some recipes I used to be very fond of and thought, “how could I have ever served THAT?”

Worked on the list and the menu for the Twelfth Night party. I have to design and start sending out invitations today.

Christmas Eve dinner was roast pork with a spice marinade, green beans in hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and corn. All good.

We open our presents on Christmas Eve — a wealth of books made me happy. The cats LOVE opening presents — they help! I was up with the burning bayberry candle until after 2 AM (it has to burn all the way out on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve — can’t be extinguished and re-lit). Fortunately, I had the new Juliet Blackwell to keep me entertained — and the cats.

Up early on the Day for stockings and pancakes. Spent most of the rainy day reading, playing with the cats, and cooking the turkey. Yup, roast turkey, cranberry dressing, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn for dinner. We were too full to eat the plum pudding.

Costume Imp gave me a Brandon Sanderson trilogy for Yule, and I read most of MISTBORN yesterday. Love how he creates magical systems, and the detail in his world-building. I can learn a lot from him.

Wrote the first of the Twelve Days stories, which will need to be retitled, but uses the partridge in a pear tree theme. It was supposed to be four pages, and wound up being eleven. But it’s fun. I’ve got about half way through the second story this morning, writing four pages, and I think it will be eight. Will go back to that, once I’ve posted here and prepped tomorrow’s post for Writers Vineyard.

Will see how much I can get done on my list, but only planning to work a half day today. I want to finish that book and get some more writing done!

Have the self-clean function on for the oven — it was time. But it makes the house smell AWFUL.

I’m clearing up my desk, prepping folders for 2013, and, generally, trying to catch up on admin work over the last few days. I let the admin slide terribly last year, and now I have to make up for it.

Don’t forget to sign up before December 30 for “When Words Align” to get your WIP or revision back on track, and “Sensory Perceptions”, for a month of learning how to layer sensory detail into your work, taking it to the next level.

Devon

“First Feet”, the Jain Lazarus New Year’s tie-in is available as a free download here until Jan. 2.

Two holiday Nina Bell tales available via Payloadz! Read excerpts and find buy links here.

Even though Christmas is past, you can still enjoy “Just Jump in and Fly”, a comic/romantic/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths here.

Tuesday, Dec. 18: Baking Exhaustion & Sugar Overload

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All three can finally share the same chair

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

Yup, I thought yesterday was December 15 -hence the mistake in the Blog Post title. I truly thought it was the 15th, not the 17th, which meant I missed a live video chat last night I wanted to attend. Fortunately, I wasn’t the presenter!

Yesterday I buckled down to holiday cards. My disorganization from last year bit me in the butt, because I spent more time hunting down changes of address than I spent on cards, and only made it through the J’s. That’s for domestic — all the overseas went out last week, thank goodness.

I also baked the molasses spice cookies I’d prepped on Sunday — three batches of them. They came out very well. I baked one batch of the lemon sugar cookies. They taste great, but the batch doesn’t make as many as I hoped, and I discovered it takes two lemons to create 1/3 of a cup of zest. So I’ll be buying more lemons today. The cookies are good, but they are a pain to prep, so this will probably be the only year I do them. Instead of two more batches of those, I have to do three.

This morning, I baked two batches of red velvet cupcakes. I’ll have to do at least one batch more. I also designed and printed the tags for the cookie platters. I don’t know what happened to the gift tags I’ve made in other years — disappeared into the Gift Tag Vortex, I guess. I combined what’s on the platter onto the tag, so I don’t have to prep the sheets of photographs.

The batter for red velvet cupcakes looks like blood — they’d be good for a Halloween party!

My hip flexors are giving me a lot of problems. I took valerian last night, to relax it enough to get some sleep, but I’m groggy this morning — which I shouldn’t be, from valerian. Too much raw cookie dough, probably — sugar crash.

Lousy first morning writing session, but I’ve got to get all this other stuff done, and I want to start moving the cookie platters out either later today or tomorrow. Anything with red velvet in it can’t sit around. I realized I need to yank some of the subplots from this book and save them for one further in the series. I can plant the seeds for those arcs now, but otherwise, too much gets too sprawly too fast.

I started planning the food for the Twelfth Night party — that’s not too far away, and I have to start thinking about invites, etc. But first, I need to get the cards and cookies out!

I’d love an extended nap, but that’s not on the agenda right now!

Pat, to answer your question about swapping out a revised piece for a contest entry — no, that’s not usually allowed. I’m trading on the relationship I have with this particular production company IF this draft is strong enough to land me a slot. What you send is what you’re judged on — if you get in, then, there is often a revision process. Before something is published, it’s going to get an edit (one hopes). But once it’s in the pipeline, you don’t get to swap it out. That’s where careful copy editing and proof-reading is so important. If a mistake hits someone in the pipeline on a bad day and that individual finds it particularly grating, you’re out. My revision for this play — should I land the slot — is more than just typos. I want to do a structural change, and hope that the seven pages it takes me to accomplish that will be allowed. I won’t know until mid-January, but I want to have the next draft in good shape, and then, if this draft gets me in, I’ll request the swap. If the draft doesn’t get me in, if I blew it, that’s on me, but at least I tried. I’ll still have a rewritten draft to submit elsewhere.

Back to baking. I may have to take a nap for an hour or so this afternoon.

Devon

Nibble on the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays! Two Nina Bell shorts (read excerpts here) and an Ava Dunne romantic comedy/fantasy twist on traditional Yuletide myths (read excerpt here).

When Words Align is a one-week intensive to get you back on track with either your WIP or your revision, January 2-9.

Sensory Perceptions teaches you, story-by-story to focus on each of the senses, while layering them into a longer piece. January 2-February 3.

Tues. Nov. 27, 2012: Two Nina Bell stories out: “Too Much Mistletoe” and “Tumble”!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We’re going to get snow today!

Okay, there are TWO Nina Bell short pieces available now! The holiday-themed novella Too Much Mistletoe, where Nina’s complicated love life both helps and hinders her search for a missing college friend. Excerpt and buy link here.

AND

there’s the shorter piece, “Tumble”, taking place around New Year’s, when Nina discovers the body of a co-worker in the theatre’s dryer and realizes the murderer has to be someone in their theatre. As usual, she gets herself into all kinds of trouble and has a complicated love life. Excerpt and buy links here, below the excerpt for Too Much Mistletoe.

If you like Stephanie Plum, you’ll love Nina Bell! A little humor, a little mystery, a little romance. These two pieces are a lot of fun. I love Nina, and people keep asking when she’s coming back. So, she’ll be around a lot more! I never thought I’d be old enough to write a “period piece”.

I’ve added a page to the blog with blurbs and information on the stories, too.

For the most part, I’m happy with the covers, although when I uploaded them into the Payloadz site, they got warped on the store page. It was a lot of fun to set up the shoot for “Tumble” and stage the bloody hand print on the dryer. Fortunately, my basement looks an awful lot like the theatre basement in the story. 😉 I wish I could have filled the background with a color, but I love the font. I would have liked to do a photo shoot for Mistletoe, staging a spring of mistletoe into the Scotch, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on a reasonable piece of mistletoe. If I can, I’ll redo the cover. I really need to get a good cover design program. The lack of manipulation my programs give me with images is appalling. What is so fucking hard about just letting me re-size? I downloaded the Gimp software, that’s supposed to allow image manipulation and layering, but haven’t figured it out yet. In iWeb, I could fill background — why can’t I do that on a regular page? Very frustrating. And none of the Canon programs that are supposed to let me do whatever I want with a JPG actually DO anything worthwhile.

What was even worse was that 1and1.com’s servers were down, and I couldn’t access my email most of the day, nor could I update the websites. Cyber Monday, busiest online shopping day of the year, and they couldn’t be bothered. Unacceptable. And when I complain, they do the usual — shrug and say THEY have no problem.

So, cover kerflamma took longer than it should have. I’m almost done editing “Just Jump in and Fly”, a re-working of a lot of familiar holiday myths, and I hope to have that ready later today.

Worked in the garden — got the terraced border raked out and cut back, and got a section of the meadow raked. I’m going out to do some more in a few minutes — trying to get as much done as possible before the snow starts later. And I’ve GOT to get cat food in. It won’t be a bad snow, just . . . snow, which means the leaves left will be wet and icky, but there’s no way I can get the whole meadow done today, not with everything else going on.

Meeting tonight, and have to do the minutes for it. The Astronomy class starts today — looking forward to that. Greek & Roman Mythology wraps up this week, and World History next week. Then, I’ll have about two or three weeks where I’m only taking ONE class! 😉

Managed to get a few more decorations up yesterday, and found the lights. The lights have to go on the tree before we can go any further.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t forget the Flash 7 Workshop from Dec. 7-16. Write, revise, and submit 7 flash fiction pieces in 10 Days. Information and registration here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

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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:

Monday, November 24, 2008

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Monday, November 24, 2008
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

There’s a press release making the rounds about TOO MUCH MISTLETOE:

Of course, I hope you all want to read the actual piece, too and not just the press release! 😉

Yesterday was a DAY, let me tell you.

Had to get out a stack of unpleasant business-related correspondence – icky, but necessary, and, of course, took longer than I wished.

Wandered up to the CVS in walking distance to pick up a few things. They’re so darned rude I can barely stand shopping there, and try to avoid it unless I have no other choice. They didn’t have everything I needed, so I got what I could and then walked across town to a local mom-and-pop shop which I hoped would have the rest. They did, and they’re always fun to talk to, so it was all good.

Wandered back through the main street of my town, which was closed off for some sort of holiday fair, with lots of inflatable slides and games for kids, some vendors, stilt walkers, carolers, and people dressed in snowman and reindeer costumes, poor things. It was cute; I just wasn’t in the mood.

Came back, took care of a few things, was startled by the phone and accidentally dripped nail polish remover in my eye. Don’t ask, it’s a situation that doesn’t even make sense to me. If you’ve never done it, I suggest keeping it that way. Hurts like hell and doesn’t wash out easily. Kept putting drops in my eyes to soothe them every half hour or so for the rest of the day.

Made the cappuccino brownies. The recipe is a pain in the ass. It’s not hard, but it has a lot of steps, and not all the steps are explained correctly. I wound up doing a good deal of notating, so I’ll do it right the first time on the next go-round. But it’s one of the best recipes I’ve ever made – almost as good as the brownie recipe I developed myself – so I guess spending nearly three hours making brownies occasionally is worth it. I may use the whipped cappuccino topping on other things as well, because it’s REALLY good.

Lots of stories and characters are clamoring for attention in my head, so I have to get things sorted out. Got a rejection on a piece that was disappointing, but oh, well. If it’s not the right fit, it’s not the right fit, right? On to the next name on the list. Actually, I think I’m going to wait until the New Year to resubmit – I thought of a couple of things I want to tweak, with more of a big picture view.

Re-reading Alexandra Johnson’s LEAVING A TRACE, an excellent book for writers. Although it’s primarily about journal-keeping techniques, she also talks about using the journal material to craft fiction, and many of her techniques are great for things like silencing the censor. My ways of using the journal for fiction are a little different (as anyone who’s taken my workshop JOURNAL INTO FICTION knows), but I find her suggestions fascinating and useful beyond the journal-into-fiction process.

If you haven’t checked out the new releases I have, the Nina Bell holiday mystery “Too Much Mistletoe” and the first Penny’s Dreadfuls release, “The Ramsey Chase”, scroll on down to the posts from the past weekend for the details.

Slow morning on the mystery. I was distracted, and wound up writing under 1000 words. However, I hit a good stopping point, a cliff hanger, so I stopped. It gives me a good place at which to pick it up tomorrow.

Lots of hearth-and-home errands to do today, getting stuff out of storage, going to several stores, baking for the holidays (yes, more baking, but this time it’s for other people), and cooking a stew I’m bringing up for my great-uncle.

And then, it’s back to the page, and finishing the assignment for Confidential Job #1. I want to get it out and invoiced today. I also have to get the deadlines for December sorted – there are a lot of them.

Spent a lot of time last night musing about The Big Project, to which I will return after Nano. Because that really needs to get done.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,995 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 50
(110.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,995 words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 75
(73.3%)

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
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 23, 2008

too-much-mistletoe-cover

Sunday, November 23, 2008
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Nina Bell is back! Yes, all of you who’ve loved her and missed her, she’s just as much of an impulsive mess as ever as she tries to figure out what happened to a college friend, while juggling an ever-complicated love life, and trying to make a living in NYC’s theatre world of 1993. The novella Too Much Mistletoe, just over 20,000 words is available for only $2.99. You can read an excerpt of it here and purchase it here.

That took up most of yesterday, dealing with Nina and her proclivities. I also managed to go to my friend’s place and give the dog a good workout. I wanted to make cappuccino brownies, but realized I have no powdered sugar, so I have to take care of that today.

Emotionally, it was an up and down day, as I’m sure each day will be for the next few weeks. Thank you so much for your continued support. It means a lot to me.

And the cats were absolute Velcro kitties – stuck to me all day long. They also managed to knock my phone down somewhere, and I can’t find it, so, at a reasonable hour when it won’t disturb the neighbors, I’ll have to call myself from the landline to track it down.

Sigh.

Got tons of stuff to do today – it’s really cold, in the thirties, so I’m all bundled up. Making brownies this afternoon will help, although (knock wood), they’ve actually given us some heat these last few days.

Also need to get Confidential Job #1’s next assignment done.

And, of course, the check I was promised over a week ago from that one particular editor who got that “s— or get off the pot” email from me and promised me a check, has yet to arrive.

Guess I won’t be working for them again.

Decent morning’s work on the mystery. I’m back down to a saner pace, and now I can fill in some of the other pieces that also need to get done. I achieved part of what I set out to do – hit the 50K in November, tried a new-to-me genre. I still have to finish the draft, then put it away and figure out what to do with it, but I’m turning my attention to the myriad of December deadlines looming before me, figuring out how to balance them with all the holiday stuff that must be done.

To answer Diane’s quilting question from a few days ago, primarily I will machine quilt the pieces of quilt top I found. I may do some hand quilting in the actual quilting stage, but we’ll have to see where I am at that point. I’m piecing it all by machine. If I do hand quilt, I’ll get one of the oval quilt frames. When I hand quilt on my own, I find the oval frames easier to deal with, while if I hand quilt in a group, the rectangular frames work better, because it’s easier to range people around the frame.

I’m very excited, though, about both “The Ramsey Chase” and “Too Much Mistletoe”. The first Mick Feeney story is also taking a nice shape, so I think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

The latest issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter went out yesterday. If you didn’t get your copy, or you ‘d like to sign up, go here.

Devon

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,055 words out of 50,000 (Nano goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 50
(110.0%)

Untitled Helena Francis Mystery – 55,0ff words out of est. 75,000 (total goal)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55 / 75
(73.3%)

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
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: