Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read about Andrew Singer’s wonderful memoir, China Sings To Me.

The 17th Anniversary of 9/11. I knew a lot of people who died that day. I still grieve. I perform my own ceremony of remembrance.

I get annoyed when people book social events, etc. on this day, but it’s not up to me. What is up to me is not engaging, and keeping it a day of remembrance in the way that works for me. People have the right to live their lives. I have the right to live mine.

For me, this day is about remembrance, commitment to those for whom I care, and trying to figure out how to make the world a better place that’s not fear-based. I have a long way to go, but at least I put in the work.

There was some sort of stomach bug prevalent in the house over the last few days. I had trouble Thursday and Saturday; my mom was sick Saturday into Sunday.

I managed to finish this draft of RELICS on Saturday night and get it off to my editor. I’ll get editing notes back later this week, turn it around, and then we go into galleys.

Meanwhile, DAVY JONES DHARMA moves into the Priority slot, with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE moving back into the secondary slot (out of the “I’ll work on it whenever” slot). CRAVE THE HUNT and the rest of what used to be POWER OF WORDS are in the “whenever” slot, and I’m percolating the opening chapter of GRAVE REACH, which goes into the back of RELICS.

GRAVE REACH is outlined, but I’m on a tight schedule for it, and have to get cracking. That will also be in a “whenever” slots.

I read some nonfiction books by an author whose work I’ve followed for decades. Some of her work resonates with me; some does not. She is not someone I want to meet or work with, though. Too many of her quirks annoy me: they’re not honest or endearing; I find them selfish and hypocritical.

But then, as someone pointed out a couple of years ago, we all have areas in which we’re hypocrites. We simply choose our level of hypocrisy. I’m trying to narrow those areas in my own life. Again, work in progress.

Also read an urban fantasy novel by a new-to-me author. I’d read one of her short stories in an anthology and liked it, so I figured I’d try a full-length book. The only book I could get from the library was in the middle of the series. Loved the action. Although, after awhile, it was too much action and not enough happening in between. The sex scenes were necessary to drive the plot, and were pretty well written, but ten pages plus, in my opinion, is too long in this case. Some of the best development of supporting characters I’ve seen in a long time. I wasn’t so thrilled about the protagonist. This was book six and she was in a place I’d have expected in the middle of book one or maybe book two. She doesn’t make a mistake once and then learn from it. She makes it five or six times, finds a solution by accident, but doesn’t apply it moving forward. That bothers me. She found out information and, at the end, it looked like she evolved, but when I read the reviews for the next few books in the series, it seems like she’s doing same old, same old. Also, according to the reviews, the cliffhanger set up at the end of this book still isn’t resolved two books down. I’m not sure I’m willing to go ahead indefinitely with constant cliffhangers, so that each book is like an overlong chapter. Especially since the cliffhanger involves the character that was my favorite in the book.

I rarely use reviews to make a decision about whether or not to read a book, but I had suspicions about where this was going, and wasn’t sure I wanted to put time into it, which is why I hunted down the reviews. I’m on the fence. If I can come across the next two books easily via the commonwealth catalogue or something (they’re not in CLAMS), I’ll try them.

Then I feel guilty, because I should support my fellow writers. However, this woman has plenty of sales — mine won’t matter! And, since a library book is a sale for her, it works all around.

I was really disgusted by the way Serena Williams was treated at the US Open. Men get away with questioning the umpire, but heaven forbid a woman, especially a talented black woman, do the same. The crowd also treated Naomi Osaka terribly. It should have been a glorious day for her, not a misogynistic one.

With Hurricane Florence a threat, I have to finish what I’m doing, cleaning-up wise, on the deck in the next few days. Here I’d hoped I’d have until nearly the end of October to use the deck as a staging area as I clean out, but I guess not.

Rehearsing for the reading, working on the calendar articles.

Onsite client work yesterday, today, tomorrow. Trying to find a new angle for the current and upcoming collections.

The newsletter went out on Friday, with cover reveals for the next three books. Next newsletter is December’s.

Working on my sell sheet for the weekend (and beyond), too.

Sent off a guest blog post. Working on the calendar articles. I want them done by the end of the month.

Got an idea from some of the non-fiction reading I’ve been doing for a novel. Playing with the setting, characters, themes, plot. We’ll see.

Working on the book I have to review.

Working. Working. Working.

I like it.

 

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Waning Moon
Cloudy and humid

It hit 90 degrees in Central Park yesterday, which is just wrong. It was only 80 out here, but still . ..

Did some good work on the urban fantasy. I’ve written what I outlined, so I’m flying blind for a bit, then outlining more.

Acupuncture was great. The traffic, in both directions, was a nightmare, and I wasn’t in as bad shape as I usually am. She also worked on my knee.

Came back, did a little more on the urban fantasy, but mostly had to let the treatment settle. I’m reading PD James’s book THE LIGHTHOUSE, which is very interesting. She moves POV in various chapters, but is consistent within a chapter, and shows us the mystery through several perspectives. I haven’t read her books in order, so I’m a little lost in the arcs that have developed over the series, but not so lost so that it’s distracting. It’s also set on a fictional island off Cornwall, and makes me miss Cornwall.

I’m learning a lot by breaking down this show on a craft level, so thanks for bearing with me. HUMAN TARGET was on last night, and, I’m happy to say, back on track, at least as far as I’m concerned. i nearly skipped it because the premise required such a far suspension of my disbelief, but I’m glad I watched. The writing and direction were much better this week. The two episodes I had a problem with were directed by the same guy, and this was directed by someone else. Huge difference. His work was really solid, and he let the actors fly, for the most part. Jackie Earle Haley’s Guerrero had the hair that reads well on camera again, AND he got to be very active in this episode, with actions including taking out a sniper and driving an ambulance. This production must OWN that frigging ambulance, because it keeps turning up in episodes. And I have to take a second to praise the crew on this show — the demands of this show means they’re flat out busting their asses at an enormous rate. It’s amazing that the continuity of the show is as good as it is. I’ve been there, I’ve had to watch for continuity, at least as far as wardrobe, so wardrobe and hair continuity and prop continuity are things I tend to notice. And it’s damn hard, especially when you’re working outside and so many factors can’t be controlled. You do the best you can and you hope that, if something doesn’t work, it’s small enough not to notice, or they don’t decide to use the take with the continuity error because the performance is better and the director figures no one will notice. Other than hating the Guerrero hair last week that read so flat on camera (in contrast to the texture it usually has), and that had to have been a much-discussed choice, not an error, I’ve picked up very little continuity stuff that bothered me — and not enough to write about. Script inconsistencies — that’s something else. But even that — they’ve been good about looping references and coming back to follow up on things set up in earlier episodes, and I admire that. As far as last night, Haley had both the writing and direction support to really shine, except for one scene, which I’ll get to later. It was set in New York, and, while the stock footage and art direction were more realistic than, in, say CASTLE (a show I enjoy for the dynamic between the actors, except they don’t even try to get the locations right, and it’s so obviously shot in LA not NY, but they pretend it’s NY and it bugs me), it still was obvious that it wasn’t New York. There were logistical lapses in the script — if Gerard AND Chance had hunted Connor, why didn’t Connor recognize Chance? And once Victoria spouted off about the uselessness of fencing lessons, you knew, in the final fight, she’d come out swinging a sword. Really, that could have been handled better. Not to mention that it was either a broadsword or a claymore in the fight scene, and if she took fencing lessons, she’d have learned epee (accent won’t come in, sorry), foil, and sabre. Totally different fighting styles. I fenced, remember? AND had stage combat training. So stuff like that drives me nuts (yeah, I know, short drive). Loved the actors who played Gerard and Connor — well-known faces, and the actor playing Gerard was just a guest on something or other I saw a few days ago. It might even have been CASTLE. The last Guerrero-Winston scene bothered me — it felt like the producers or someone had demanded it, and it was inorganic to the rest of the episode (and some of what’s been set up in the series). It was written so that what Guerrero said was somewhere between a sulk and a whine. Had the director of the previous two episodes been at the helm, I have no doubt he’d have forced Haley down that path. Fortunately, both Haley and the director of this episode were smart enough not to make that choice. Still, it didn’t ring true to me. Haley’s had to fight the direction in this show before, depending on the director — this was the first time he had to fight the writing. He almost pulled it off — he did the best he could with what he was given, and he’s so damned good that you want to roll with whatever choices he makes. But, let’s face it, once Guerrero sets his sights on something or someone — he’s going to win. Or die. Period. That’s what’s been defined in the character, and to have it challenged with something as weak as the context and content of that particular scene, rubbed me the wrong way. I also felt Chance should have been watched, in that last scene in the graveyard, to put an ominous button at the end of the episode. Next week is the season finale, and it’s supposed to show us Chance’s conversion to good guy Human Target. I don’t know if the creators’ reality can live up to what I’ve imagined, quite frankly, although I’m happy to see the character of Baptiste is back — he was so good in my favorite episode of the season.

Regarding the urban fantasy, I realized I have to go into NYC sometime soon and walk the neighborhoods where I’m setting the story. I’ve set in around City Hall, Tribeca, and the fringes of Chinatown and LIttle Italy. I’ve certainly spent enough time there,and I’ve shot on location there (part of it takes place while a cop show is shooting). But, as I sit here and write it, I’m drawing a blank on some important details. Pulling up the city maps isn’t helping. I have to get down there and WALK it.

I need to see the Native American Museum for another project, and that’s in the same neighborhood, so I may combine the two. The city’s not that far away, but it’s gotten so expensive to go in that I try to combine as much as possible. I’ll take the notebook and the camera with me and get some details.

I’m working out of town for the second half of next week, so it might have to be the following week.

Decent morning’s work on the urban fantasy, but not as good as I’d like. That’s because I’m feeling my way through it, rather than following notes on sections I’ve already figured out. I’ve also got a couple of B plot lines to weave in.

I want to thank Diane Parkin for the Beautiful Blogger award. I really appreciate it. If you don’t read her blog, you should. It’s fantastic, and she’s so on top of her creative life, she inspires me on a daily basis.

Back to the page, and, ugh, the taxes.

Devon