Tues. Nov. 20, 2018: Writing, Reconstruction, Announcements

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde

Busy weekend. I was lucky enough to focus on the writing.

I finished the 4th draft of HEART SNATCHER on Sunday morning, after spending part of Friday and most of Saturday on it. I wound up cutting seven chapters, doing a lot of tightening. It’s now back down within an acceptable range for genre, although I’d like it to be even leaner.

But I love Max and Valerie, and what they’re dealing with. The characters are well-developed, the plot moves.

I made some changes in the first third of HEART BINDER, the second book in the trilogy, and then went over the outline for books two and three, and made some changes to support the revisions in book 1.

I also found a place where I need to add a few words of description to an object that makes an appearance in Book 1 and then becomes vital to the plot in Books 2 &3.

I wrote another chapter on HEART BINDER on Sunday afternoon.

I’ll send HEART SNATCHER to my editor after the Thanksgiving holiday. I want it to marinate, so to speak, for a few days, and then I’ll do one more pass before I send it off. She liked the synopsis and sample chapters, and in the current climate of a toxic administration, it’s relevant.

Along with the discussions I’ve been having with editor and publisher, we are moving the release of DAVY JONES DHARMA into February, rather than December. I can’t get it into the shape I want by the end of this week. I need to tear it apart and reconstruct it. The contract schedule this year was just too tight for me.

From a marketing standpoint, it makes more sense to release a book set on a cruise ship in February, during the height of cruise season, so that all works.

THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE is on track, and retains its late January release date.

We may push back the re-release of the Jain Lazarus Adventures, and the future of the Gambit Colony series is up in the air, as far as when it will release.

That’s all dependant, of course, if the publisher wants the Justice by Harpy trilogy. If not, we still have to rearrange some of the schedule, so that each book we release is the best I can make it, within the time frame, and the time frame is realistic so it doesn’t suck.

I’m also at that weird stage I hit with certain books, where I don’t like to be physically separated from the manuscript.

Got a few pages done on the suicidal veteran piece.

Friday night, there was an NBC news piece about teaching kids to triage each other in active school shootings. Right, because the adults refuse common sense gun legislation.

But that got me thinking about the anti-gun violence play. I wrote a new opening, and I have the notes for a new closing. They will echo each other, without boring repetition (if I do it properly). Instead of writing this play linearly, the way I usually do — start at the beginning, write it through, and then revise — I’m writing it from both ends to the middle. It’s a variation on a technique I learned in a playwrighting workshop I took with the National Theatre when one of my plays was done at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

I found out about the deadline to submit the application on the last day. I went to the Fringe office to apply. A scene had to accompany the application, so I sat down and wrote one. When I turned it in, they asked me to wait. A few minutes later, the instructor said, “You wrote this just now? It’s not part of something else?”

I said, “No. I can’t use anything from the piece that’s running, because it would hurt both processes.”

He looked at me and said, “You’re in.”

It’s one of the best classes I ever took in my life, and I still use what I learned.

Anyway, I rewrote the opening scene. I sent it off to my UK actor pal (the one who told me to get out of my own way in the reading). He’s one of the few who sees an early draft of anything; he’s both supportive and critical. I asked him what it needed. His reply: “To be on stage. Now.”

So I’m on the right track.

Yard work suffered this weekend, but too damn bad. I was so sick and tired of all the damn leaf blowers. It’s autumn in New England. Leaves fall down. The lawn doesn’t have to be immaculate every moment.

It was a Twitter pal’s birthday yesterday. I sent him good wishes; but, because I wasn’t close enough to buy him a drink in person, I went to a local bar where veterans hang out (he’s a veteran) and anonymously bought a round for a table of them in his honor. I left before the bartender could point me out. Because none of this is about me.

The rest of this week’s posts are placeholders and good wishes for the holidays. The next post with teeth in it is next Monday, the Upbeat Authors post wondering if authors can have friends, since everything is material.

Back to the page.

Published in: on November 20, 2018 at 6:05 am  Comments Off on Tues. Nov. 20, 2018: Writing, Reconstruction, Announcements  
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Fri. June 22, 2012: Articles & Acceptances

Friday, June 22, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and warm

HOT day yesterday. 1and1 still hasn’t fixed the problem– so the site’s been unable to be updated for a week, as of today. I’m interviewing other webhosts. I’d liked the package from Fat Cow, but there are so many billing complaints filed against them that I’m rethinking that choice. IPages and Webhosting Hub look pretty good so far, but I’m still in early stages. It has to be a site I can handle myself at a price I can manage.

My article about the Mermaid Ball is live on Cape Cod Women Online here. Enjoy!

The house didn’t get too bad in the heat. We had fans going, and it was okay inside. The upstairs was too hot — but of course, that’s where the cats hung out, until about mid-afternoon,when they wised up and came down to the fans. Tessa is afraid of the fans, but the other two remembered them.

Sent off my first article for the series of six I’m doing for one publication; pitched about a half a dozen articles to another publication, and, after some to-ing and fro-ing, they were accepted. Heard from the person on the ghostwriting project that the check was mailed; once it arrives, I can get going on that.

Tried to work on the second book of the trilogy, but didn’t get very far. Ripped apart the next three chapters of the first book for the next revision. A group of us are putting together an anthology, which will be fun. The stories are REALLY cool. It’s the first appearance for my sci-fi character, Fiona Steele, and I’m looking forward to it. She doesn’t bother to take names — she just kicks ass! 😉

Got up very early this morning to water everything, then sat on the deck and wrote my first 1K of the day on one project (there are two projects I’m shifting between in the morning). I’ve got a writer’s breakfast this morning with the Cape Cod Writers Center over in Osterville, then I’ve got to get started on the next articles, write two press releases, and a PSA script. Busy day — but I’m looking forward to it.

Devon

Wednesday, February 15, 2012: Better Than Fiction


Sometimes the world looks better upside down

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction days. It was pretty funny.

First of all, I went to sit with a new-to-me meditation group. They are absolutely lovely, and I hope I can make the Tuesday morning sit regularly. We were talking about all kinds of things, like deadlines and commitment and stuff. I mentioned that I tell my students there are two choices: Write. Don’t write. If you CHOOSE not to write, that’s what it is — a choice. Don’t make excuses about life or family or whatever. You’ve chosen not to write. You live with the consequences, and don’t expect everyone else to accommodate you and change THEIR choices because you CHOSE not to write. The old Devon class mantra: No excuses; no whining. They pointed out it’s very much in line with the teaching: Do or don’t do. I hadn’t thought about it in that context, but at least I know I’m working along principles that are not counter to the internal work I’m doing!

I admit to not being “of empty mind” while we sat. It was great — 20 minutes sitting, 10 minutes walking, 20 minutes sitting. But we were in a church on a hillside, and as we sat, I got a great opening line for a story with a character I’m currently working with in the story that’s been obsessing me lately (the long short story). I admit — I explored it for awhile and memorized it before I let the “thinking” part float away.

Then a van pulled up. A prison van with guys on work release. So they’re working all around us, and they don’t really know we’re meditating (although us seated on cushions and the silence might have been a clue). It was pretty funny. I added it into the story idea and then shamelessly eavesdropped on them.

Hey, there was enlightenment, I learned a lot, just not in the traditional way!

After the session, we leave, and the work release guys said hello. So we say hello back. I smiled and looked each one who spoke to me in the eye and returned the greeting. You would have thought I gave them some sort of gift. They just lit up. They were being perfectly pleasant — why should I be the same in return?

On top of that, as I drove through the cemetery behind the church to get back to the main road, I discovered this is THE cemetery the family in Maine (coming to visit in a few months) dubbed as the most important visit for them to the Cape — it’s filled with ancestors! I’d been looking for it, but hadn’t yet found it, and there it was! I’m going to have to go back in nicer weather and really walk it. No wonder it was “talking to me” and giving me ideas for stories!

I stopped at Nirvana, on the way back — one of the few coffee places around here where one can go and hang out while having a cup of coffee. And ran into people I knew!

The session left me feeling with a lot of optimism for the day. I drove to the Sandwich Library to drop off books, and wound up picking up more than I planned (that’s what happens when you go to a really, really good library). I circled around back to the hardware store and the grocery store and the wine store.

Came home and worked — got some work done with the students, but there were site issues and I kept getting kicked off with “fatal error” — as were some of the other students (always helpful to know it’s not just me). Worked on the edits for HEX BREAKER. Spun some ideas. Had a breakthrough on the obstacle for HEART-BINDER, which means I have to go back and add stuff into HEART-SNATCHER, so I made some notes and wrote a few snippets that I’ll type and add in as excerpts, so they’re ready when I hit revisions.

Took some time off the read Heather Webber’s first Lucy Valentine book, TRULY, MADLY. Loved it. It’s such fun, it’s well-written, the characters and settings are wonderful, it’s a good mystery. Yeah, I figured out the twist, but I usually do, and it didn’t bother me, because the way Lucy discovered it made perfect sense and didn’t make me feel like I was waiting for her to catch up. Instead, I couldn’t wait to see HOW she figured out the same thing I had. Webber has two other mystery series (and uses multiple names), so I’ve got a lot to look forward to.

I have a boatload of stuff to get done today, and I won’t make it to Writers’ Night Out. 😦
But, it needs to get done — I have a very long day tomorrow, and I need to clear a lot off the desk before then. That includes knocking out and polishing a couple of articles.

Back to the page.

Devon

Fri. Nov. 18: Learn from My (Writing) Mistakes


Iris naps

Friday, November 18, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I woke up at 3:30 AM yesterday. Not 5:30, when I wanted to wake up. 3:30. And couldn’t get back to sleep. By 4:45, I gave up and got up.

The cats looked at me and said, “You are INSANE. We, however, are CATS, and therefore will stay in BED until a reasonable hour.” Of course, all that dignity went out the window when they heard the can open!

So, I got up to write, even though I knew it meant I’d be toast by noon.

Very disappointed in the quality of yesterday’s words. I learned a lesson — don’t assume you remember what you meant while writing the outline unless you’ve also put in some detail. I had a note in the outline that two characters were “talking”. Um, about what, exactly? Yes, one of them arrived in a unique way, but the scene has to be about more than that, or it’s just wasted words. I remember how I felt when I wrote this part of the outline — the excitement, the sense of how much fun this scene would be. But it’s nearly 80K into the book, so by the time I got there, I couldn’t remember the details. I no longer had the excitement. The scene fell flat.

I either have to re-imagine it and bring back the verve I had about it initially, or it gets cut.

Learn from my mistakes! 😉

I outlined more for this trilogy than I usually do for a book, and it STILL wasn’t enough!

Did follow-up from the Writers’ Night Out, both before and after yoga. Yoga was great. Yes, I’m muttering sometimes in some of the poses, but she really makes us work, and that’s what I need.

Stopped at Staples on the way back to get some envelopes big enough for the media kits. Did more follow up from the previous evening. Was invited and accepted the invite to a beta testing program of a new business model for writers. The head of it had spoken to us at the meeting and then was gracious enough to take extra time after to answer some of my specific questions — since a lot of what I do is very different than many people in the group. He gave me some very interesting statistics that make me feel better about what I do in my own work, and how I’m guiding my students — more and more of them are successfully publishing,

Got one manuscript out on submission and have three more to get out this weekend. I’m doing a final proofread on each of them before they head out — lots of reading!

Spent time with students, did follow-up, worked on book club research, mulled over the short story I have due soon. I think the short stories queueing up to be written will be good palate cleansers in the proofreading I do this weekend.

Went to a holiday event at a local garden center last night. It was beautifully done — the place was gorgeous. The vendors were tucked in and around the lush plant displays. The music was definitely lounge-lizard variety — but the guy was in on the joke, so it was okay. They had local food vendors, which was good, in one sense, but I wasn’t about to buy something gooey and walk around with it. If one of the bigger restaurants had partnered to cater the event, circulating h’ors d’oeuvre trays or something, I would have been impressed and tried out the restaurant. But the food element didn’t quite work the way it was set up. And it was packed — had to park in the very last spot in the far corner of the event (and trudge back to the center in the pouring rain).

I was hoping to get some of my holiday shopping done, but there really wasn’t anything that was right for those on my list. It was lovely stuff, but not what I’m looking for.

I’ve got another event at another garden center tonight! 😉

My new camera arrived. It’s similar to my old one, but just annoyingly different enough so I have to use the manual! 😉

I went to bed crazy early last night. More busy dreams — this time, I behaved thoughtlessly and totally out of character for me, and then had to fix it. I did something I’ve never done that lead others in the dream to a type of worry I’ve been careful to never cause, so it’s interesting I had that kind of dream.

Back to the page — I have to do this morning’s words on the trilogy, work on the short story, proofread manuscripts before sending them off, and work in the garden. Oh, and run to the store to buy coffee. I’m out, after this morning’s batch, and that does not bode well for anyone!

Devon

Total word count (as of yesterday): 80,683

Published in: on November 18, 2011 at 8:39 am  Comments (4)  
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