Mon. Sept. 17: Classes, Writing, Cleaning

Monday, September 17, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. I didn’t get as far in either the writing or the editing as I hoped, so I have to buckle down this week, because OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK has to go back to my editor by the end of the week. I haven’t fully let myself drop back into that world, which is slowing down these edits and the work on CRAVE THE HUNT. I need to get my act together on both of those NOW. I don’t have time to wait for the Muse to show up — I’m on deadline. Thank goodness for outlines, or I’d really be lost.

Lost far too much of Friday dealing with official paperwork that had to go out on Friday, but it had to be done; it just took longer than I would have liked. Finished washing and rehanging the living room drapes, washed and switched out the summer chair covers for winter ones, started on the fall decorating. This week, I have to spend some time in the basement every day, moving boxes so that the furnace guy can get to all the duct work when he shows up next Monday.

Worked with my students. Prepped for upcoming classes. Worked on some of the small workbooks that will be released later this fall. A friend told about a job she heard about at one of the local papers — I shot off a resume and cover letter.

I took my quizzes in the Sustainability Course, wrote my Tragedy of the Commons short paper for the week on beachgoers at Craigville being pigs and not cleaning up after themselves (actually, that’s an insult to pigs). I did the outline for the Flood/Drought rebalance and worked on the fiction project for the class.

The book needs more percolation time, so I didn’t do a traditional outline for it. I did more of a teaser that gives elements of plot, character, and machination, but it’s definitely more of an elongated blurb to get people interested than an outline. I’ll go back and do the Writer’s Rough once I’ve drafted the first three chapters.

I’m also realizing how much I don’t know about the daily routine at the Marine Life Center, and how many questions I’ll have to ask. But I need to write my way in for a bit, so I know what I need to ask. I think I’ll see if I can just shadow them all for a day at the Center to really get the details of what everybody does. That will help in the articles I write for them AND the book.

My fictional marine life center is very different from the real one, but I need to use the foundation of their day as a jumping off point.

The History of the World Since 1300 class, taught by Jeremy Adelman of Princeton University, starts today. We’ve been yapping in the discussion forums, and I think it will be a fun course. The writing assignments seem to be all about argumentative essays — that’ll be a stretch (although I seem to be naturally argumentative in some cases).

Ducked out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon to join a friend listening to some jazz up in Hyannis. I love the mix of people of all ages that show up to play there, from teenagers to those who have been playing for decades. The musicians are all quite good. The singers are often hit-and-miss. It’s one thing to use something like this to work on your pieces (as the musicians do). It’s another to get up there for your own ego, do the same pieces, and not even attempt to improve from session to session or learn from what wasn’t working (as some of the singers do). There are singers who are good, who understand tones and sharps and flats and breath, and who you can hear grow. Some of them, though . . .But then, I’m spoiled – I worked on Broadway musicals. I expect not only a high level of quality to reach my ears, I expect the people singing to always strive to be better.

Already getting the interview quotes I need for the next article — looking forward to getting that done and out ahead of time.

I have to go “remind” a couple of clients they still owe me money, and I need to get back to the edits. Juggling two classes with all the other stuff this week should be interesting — there’s no room for me to slack off!

I still have to upload the promised photos from Martha’s Vineyard — will have to get that done this week, too!

Devon

Fri. Sept. 14, 2012: Writing, Washing, and 7 Things

Friday, September 14, 2012
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I got out a slew of interview requests out for my next article, and I’m also getting responses from authors I’m interviewing for BIBLIO PARADISE over the next few weeks. I pitched for a job that sounds like a lot of fun, although they want someone onsite and I need to telecommute. So, we’ll see. Heard from a dear friend in the UK — hoping she can visit this fall.

Yoga was great yesterday. Helped enormously, on many levels. I wish I could work my schedule (and my finances) so I could take class three times a week, instead of one. Even daily practice as home isn’t as helpful as being in class.

I’m starting the fall cleaning. I’m doing the heavy velour drapes in the living room. They can’t go into the washing machine, because it’s a top load, and the agitator would chew them to pieces. So I wash and rinse them in the bathtub and then set them out on the deck to dry in the sun, with a quick fluff in the dryer. They’re so big and bulky, I can only do one per day. I did one yesterday, doing one today, will do one tomorrow. Washed the yoga mat yesterday, too, and had it dry in the sun. Always smells so nice when I do that!

Also, this morning, I’ve got blankets and chair covers to wash — again, from the living room. I’m working room by room. Switching out the summer covers, washing them, pulling out the cozy fleece covers.

Mermaid Ball wrap-up meeting was good last night, and then we went out to dinner at Lindsay’s, which was a lot of fun.

I’ve got errands to run later, including the most important — getting in cat food. We’re very low in that respect.

Most of the weekend will be focused on writing. I have a lot to get done, and the only way to do it is to keep the butt in the chair and DO it. And finish up the week’s work for the Sustainability Course — the Tragedy of the Commons theory is quite discouraging. Personally, I think Mars was once similar to Earth (with adjustments for being closer to the sun and all), and they overused the resources and that’s why it’s in the state it’s in. We’re probably going down the same path. I love watching what little Curiosity Rover is up to, dashing around up there and taking photographs.

My pal Debra over on Pendrifter gave me the “Seven Things About Me” Award. Thank you!

So here they are:

1. I can’t swim (and I live on Cape Cod)!

2. I will probably never find my Mowing Zen.

3. I do yoga every day.

4. I work with tarot cards.

5. I used to work on Broadway and on set in wardrobe (I’m a recovering wardrobian).

6. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be part of the National Marine Life Center.

7. Moving to Cape Cod was one of the best choices of my life.

Rules:
Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
List 7 Things about yourself. Can be anything you want.
Nominate 7 other people.
Enjoy!

I nominate:
Lori Widmer, Words on the Page
Diane Parkin, Tales from Baggins Bottom
Lara, Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom
Chad, Soundtrack of a Life
Nina Benneton, Romance With a Dose of Humor
KT Wagner, Northern Lights Gothic
Suzanne Purvis, Passions and Pursuits

Enjoy!

Back to the page and the washing machines for me!

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 13, 2012: Searching For Flow in My Own Work

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Day before Dark of the Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday just got away from me. I started taking care of stuff on the internet before blogging, and we all know where that leads! Worked with students. Took down the previous individual workshop pages. The info for the Falmouth workshops starting next week are here.

I’ll have some other pages up soon, talking about the upcoming Fast & Fun workshops, and I’m almost ready to upload the information for the playwrighting workshop and get the application uploaded. That’s going to be a highly competitive class to get into, and mix reading and writing. Should be a ton of fun for those who get in, though.

Went in to Cape Mac to find out how to upgrade my operating system. Brandy, you’re right — I can’t get all the way up to Mountain Lion. My trackpad won’t support it. But the guy is going to upgrade me to Snow Leopard and give MacGeorge a good, thorough scour so I can still use it for about another year, when Snow Leopard will no longer be supported. That gives me a year to put aside money, a bit at a time, to buy a new computer. I’m not happy about this — I wanted to keep this one for three or four more years, and I don’t like that I’m being FORCED to purchase a new one, because I won’t be able to get online and do my work if I don’t. But the fact that they can work it so I have a year instead of say, a week, to get together the money for a new system is a relief.

So, in the next week or two, I’ll be offline for a day or two while I get all that done. So this weekend, I have to push very hard on deadlines.

Still chasing down $$$ and getting sick of it. I’m trying to let go of the anger of the job that broke down to $8 per week — hey, I said no, move on already — but after working for several years for this company, they should be offering me more money, not less. Another editor asked for more article pitches — honey, when you pay me the outstanding money you owe me, I’ll be happy to, but I’m not writing one more word for your publication until you cough up what’s past due. And waiting for another check on a project that was invoiced several weeks ago — I put in a second request.

Working on my wrap-up/suggestion package for this afternoon’s Mermaid Ball meeting. Didn’t get enough of my own writing or editing done, so have to address that over the next few days.

Helping someone I barely know out by reading an overflow of submissions and remember why I don’t do this anymore, and why I charge a good bit of money to critique. The lack of quality on these submissions is appalling. Makes me even prouder of my graduated students, though — no wonder they’re placing their work, it’s good!

The Sustainability Course is depressing this week — we’re discussing the Tragedy of the Commons, where one’s individual actions might not seem to make a big change, but collectively, they mean we’re screwed. The poor professor — not easy to deal with 26,000 disheartened students! 😉 I’m sure we’re not all blue about this week’s information, but those of us who are are being vocal about it. Have to finish the outlines today for both my projects for that class.

Gearing up for the World History Class that starts next week (70,000 strong) and the Greek/Roman Mythology course that starts the week after. No idea how many people are in the latter, but the instructor’s welcome was very funny, and we’ll be reading THE ODYSSEY as our first book. Haven’t read that since high school — should be interesting to revisit it.

Off to yoga, and then I’ve got to hunker down and really get a lot of work done today. I haven’t felt well the past few days, but too bad for me — time to get things done!

Devon