Mon. Sept. 3, 2012: Sustainability Writing and Other Writing

Monday, September 3, 2012
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Labor Day

Busy weekend! For the Sustainability course, I finished the reading materials, interacted with other students, took three quizzes (I got 100% on my first one, but think I blew the other two — will know in a few days), wrote my short paper on “Sustainability vs. Human Greed” and started developing a my course project about getting the flood/drought imbalance back into balance. Although, now I’ve got an idea to develop a fiction series based on what we’re learning and tied in to the National Marine Life Center, and I’m wondering if I should work on that, either in addition or instead of!

The year-long students are off now, in their own writing group. Good for them! Tomorrow, the three-month tarot intensive starts. I spent some time over the weekend working with the student who has to have a proposal ready for an agent meeting later this week — it’s in good shape. I put together an interview with Sharon Buchbinder, which will be up tomorrow morning. I have another article to write and schedule to post for Writers Vineyard today. I also had to get together some proposal materials and get them out for a project, and I have to pitch a proposal later today for next spring. Did some work on the DEATH SPARKLES anthology – -have to get it to the publisher later this week.

My editor loved OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK (Jain Lazarus #2) and is eager to get going on it — and I have to really dig down to finish CRAVE THE HUNT (#3) in the next couple of weeks, too.

Took a good long walk this morning, which was fun, and a lovely silver tabby streaked through the yard when Tessa and I were out this morning. On the one hand, Tessa wanted to make friends; on the other, I think she’s afraid I’ll trade her in. I’d never do that — I adore her!

Already have my second load of laundry in (I have to do four today) and am returning my gown later today to the lovely person who lent it to me for the Mermaid Ball. Because I’m working away from home a lot this week, anything that has to be done from home has to happen today!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Devon

Friday, July 1, 2011


roses on the side of the house

Friday, July 1, 2011
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and gorgeous

Can you believe it’s July? I’ve got my July To-Do list up here, and the Mid-Year Evaluation here, over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Site. Join in the conversation this month!

I’m also participating in Christmas in July. My day is July 18 — and you can win a critique as part of the festivities. There are great prizes, etc., all month — join in the fun.

I was on the Yoga Bliss high all day long from the Yoga on the Beach. Not a particularly productive day, but I was happy to Just Be.

Yeah, that means I didn’t mow the lawn! 😉

Next week, I will get up earlier and do my first 1K of the day well BEFORE I leave for class! Even if it means getting up at 5! 😉

This morning, I learned more of the value of yesterday’s class, as I applied it to my morning practice. Yes, my thighs and core are sore, but in the right way — but I could also connect the breath and adjust/correct some of the postures, and therefore get more out of them.

In general, a class is useless past the moment unless you apply what you do in it moving forward. I’m fortunate that I was able to do so.

After yoga, meditation, and watering the garden, I did a brisk, three mile walk, down the street, with a circuit through a nearby cemetery, and picking up the paper on the way back. I’m not quite up to running again (either physically or mentally), but the walk was great, especially in this beautiful weather.

I hope to have a decent day of writing and mowing ahead of me, which will be a good start to the holiday weekend.

Have a great one, everyone!

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available from Champagne Books and Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Summer Solstice
Hot and humid

May you have a blessed and joyful Summer Solstice — longest day and shortest night of the year.

This is NOT the start of summer — it’s midsummer, in spite of “oh it’s the first day of summer.” No, the Solstice is MIDSUMMER, as in Midsummer’s Eve, as in, starting tomorrow, the days get shorter until we hit the Fall Equinox when night and day are even again.

A friend and I are going to the celebration at a local spiritual center tonight. I’ve never attended one of their rituals. I went to a couple of events there last year — it’s one of the premiere centers in the area and it’s in my town. In the past, I’ve found them overpriced and catering to the local rich suburban women who live off their husbands, don’t do anything but shop and indulge themselves and want to play at being “spiritual” out of guilt, but by playing at spirituality, they don’t actually have to take responsibility for anything or take any actions that will truly make a difference. In previous experiences, I’ve liked the practitioners, but loathed the attendees. So tonight could be interesting. It could be wonderful, or it could be an exercise in gritting my teeth. All depends who shows up.

I started getting really angry and resentful about it last night — more angry at me than anything else, because I put myself in a stupid situation — my friend asked me for a ride. I’d said yes, not thinking about it. And then I realized: it’s an hour to go pick her up, and hour to get back to the event, an hour to drive her home and an hour for me to get back. That’s four hours to attend an event that’s in my town — a five minute drive from me. It’s too much. I emailed her last night to ask if we could split the difference — if she would take the train to White Plains and I’ll pick her up, and then I’ll drive her back upcounty after the event. That would save me an hour and a half. She better check her email!

The weekend was pretty quiet, thank goodness. Saturday wasn’t as hot as predicted. I actually made a peach spice cake, not the brightest thing to do on a hot summer’s day, but I needed to use up the fresh peaches. It takes five bowls and an hour to prepare and an hour to bake, but it’s really good. It’s from Mollie Katzen’s STILL LIFE WITH MENU cookbook.

Had a great writing session on POWER OF WORDS on Saturday. Went next door to hang out with the neighbor’s cat. Finished THE DEVLIN DIARY. I liked it a lot. Some of it takes place in 1672, some of it in 2008. The material in 1672 is written in the present. It’s a bold stylistic choice and I completely understand why it was made. However, present tense, especially when it’s something that takes place hundreds of years in the past, pushes me out of the narrative and keeps me outside of it, instead of serving its purpose, which is to make me feel in the midst of it. That’s a personal issue I’ve always had with present tense used in anything other than a script. It pushes me out of the narrative and makes me feel excluded. So, even though the sections set in the past — which are, actually, the Diary — were fascinating, I always felt on the outside looking in. So, while I really liked the book a lot, and I want to read THE ROSSETTI LETTERS by the same author, parts of it were a struggle for me. I could never completely lose myself in those sections of the book, the way I could in other sections. LIke I said, it’s a personal response I have to present tense used in this kind of prose, and the book is worth reading.

The book also sent me back to Claire Tomalin’s wonderful biography of Samuel Pepys, which I’ve started to re-read.

Okay, so what is this bullshit in the British press that criticizing BP means criticizing Britain? The money-grubbing greed and carelessness of specific BP executives — and, unless they release names we don’t know where the hell they’re from — caused the deaths of 11 people and is destroying an entire region of the United States. That’s not “Britain” — that’s specific individuals in a typical example of corrupt corporate culture. No one cares that Tony Hayward is British — we care that he’s an irresponsible dick. The fury would be the same, no matter where he was from.

Speaking of corruption, our landlords bought off the current City Council and they sold us out. Typical Republican City Council — hand them money and they close their eyes to any illegalities going on. So when I keep posting about the problems here, and you keep telling me to go to City Hall — the City’s been paid off by the scumbags and has turned their back on us. The landlords can inflict any abuse on us they want, and the city will stand by and laugh, because the price was right. In this town, when Republicans run things, the only way to get anything done is to be the highest bidder. Law, ethics, and values mean nothing. That’s the way it’s worked since we moved here in the 1960’s.

Sunday was hot,humid, and not particularly productive. Elsa was worse, unfortunately. I didn’t get much writing done. I got some reading done, I hung out with the neighbor’s cat. I wound up going through email — since 1and1 actually let me access my accounts. I may be booking four more teaching gigs — three this fall, seminars deconstructing a couple of novels and a film — and teaching one or two workshops for someone else next year. That ups my teaching next year quite a bit, which is good, because it also ups my income. I also spoke to the head of the Muse Conference, explaining that i need to limit the amount of students this year — I can’t do intensive one-on-one comments — which is what the class requires — on an unlimited number of students, and I can’t have people wandering in and out of class whenever they feel like it. Commit and do the work, or don’t. She was very open to that, thank goodness, and understands.

Went to the farmer’s market — radishes, cilantro, a mixed berry tart, blueberry muffins, apple cinnamon muffins, fresh rolls — all wonderful. More than I wanted to spend, but the taste and health differentials are worth it. I used up the cilantro right away, making a triple batch of the lime-cilantro mayonnaise, some of which we then had on the rest of the roast beef — it was wonderful.

Unfortunately, we got some bad news about another family member — one who’s younger than I am, married with a couple of kids. He’s very, very ill and it doesn’t loo good.

We had the air conditioner on for awhile yesterday afternoon — once the cats got over their diva fits about the door needing to be closed, they liked it. Even Elsa perked up a bit. She woke me up at three wheezing, but since then, seems to have improved slightly.

I got up and ran this morning — well, walked. It was so humid, when I tried to run, I felt like I was choking and had to stop. I came across an enormous raccoon sorting through the garbage — it was funny. He scuttled under a bush and I made sure to give him plenty of space not to spook him. It was later than I’ve usually been going — instead of setting the alarm, I let myself wake up naturally and just do it. I’d given my body a break from everything all weekend — I didn’t even do any yoga. It needed it.

I also didn’t get any work done on ANGEL HUNT, but oh, well. POWER OF WORDS is coming along nicely. Hopefully, the Solstice celebration will be lovely and joyful. And hopefully, Elsa will make up the ground she lost yesterday and continue to improve.

I’m going back to the page for a few hours, and then I’ve got the ever-present errands. It always amazes me how I keep doing errands and more come up!

Devon

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

It was lovely to get up and run this morning. They said it would rain and be miserable, but it was cool and lovely.

I got some work done on POWER OF WORDS yesterday, and the rest was admin, getting out requested material. I went grocery shopping. I love grocery shopping, so that was fun. Drove to CT, because I wanted to take a nature walk; arrived to discover a high admission fee, which wasn’t on any of the materials about the place. Sorry, I know you’ve got to maintain the space, but right now I can’t afford you.

These places whining about low attendance and jacking up their fees to make up for it need to learn that, if they lowered the fee, they’d get a higher turnover and ultimately make more money. In my own case, if these fees were more reasonable, not only would I go more often, but I’d bring people. Whatever.

I went to the bookstore down the road from the place instead and got two novels. I’m reading the first one, BREAKFAST WITH BUDDHA, by Roland Merullo, and really enjoying it. I simply wasn’t in the mood for genre. I love a good genre novel, but I needed something non-formularic. This certainly fits the bill. It’s charmingly written and relatable, with a gentle humor that actually makes me laugh out loud, and then the cats stare at me. I keep forgetting it’s a novel — the voice is so conversational. I’m really enjoying it. It was the perfect choice for me right now.

On the agenda for today: writing, cleaning, going over things with the neighbor who’s cat I’m looking after for the next three weeks, reading. I’m going to try and have a quiet day, because tomorrow will be a little on the zany/busy side.

Elsa’s hanging in there. Wrote a long email to the vet, detailing how I got her back to eating/stopped the nausea, my concerns about the mucus (is there an holistic Mucinex for cats?), and asking what we try next. I think the infection is mutating; we try something, it works for a few days, the infection adapts. We need to blast out the infection and then figure out the cause so it won’t come back.

ANGEL HUNT is calling to me, so I’ll probably get back to that this weekend, finally. It’s such an intense book I need to take breaks between each section.

Cooked yesterday — herbed crabmeat salad served on lettuce and red peppers for lunch and chicken breast with a blue cheese sauce for dinner. I’m not a fan of blue cheese, but even I thought it was pretty good!

Devon

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 5:15 am  Comments (6)  
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