Thurs. Jan. 17, 2013: Real-Time Webinar Kerflamma & Excellent Student Writing

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Still feeling a little under the weather, although better than yesterday.

Yesterday was rather frustrating. I was supposed to attend a live webinar at 11 AM, so I focused and got a lot done earlier. Then, the GoToMeeting software wouldn’t let me in — even though I had it downloaded, was registered, had the ID and password. It kept saying, “error, try again later.” Um, isn’t the point of GoToMeeting to be there in REAL time? “Later” doesn’t cut it. The LIVE meeting was NOW. Support was no help, and someone on Twitter contacted me to supposedly help, but vanished after two Tweets that proved the company was “responsive”, although they resolved NOTHING.

I’ve never found GoToMeeting to be reliable, and I’m done with them. I just won’t sign up for anything anymore that’s presented on them. It was time wasted that could have been spent earning a living.

The conference materials had been sent out ahead of time, so I went through those. Some good information I can use as a jumping off point. However, there were too many ads for services BEFORE materials, and every few pages was another ad hawking services I became more and more convinced I didn’t want. Also, I felt some of the contributors/speakers were saying one thing, but doing another.

Regarding the questions on the SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSIONS SYSTEM ebook, I plan to have it up as long as it sells and earns its keep! Yes, please, spread the word to writing groups and more! I’m honored!

Did some work on a non-fiction book in the afternoon and some admin stuff; got out a few LOIs. Worked with students. Was blown away by the depth, beauty, and quality of the pieces in the Sensory Perceptions workshop. Writing like that is what makes teaching a class exciting. These students are starting to come into their own as powerful and unique writers, and I’m proud of them.

Most of today needs to focus on the new play — we have a brainstorming/pre-production meeting tonight. I also want to get some work done on that other proposal for my agent, and the non-fiction book. I need to write a letter to the neighbor of a family member overseas, who wrote to let us know we hadn’t heard from the family member because he’d died back in September. We didn’t even know he was ill — we only ever heard from him at the holidays. It was very kind of the neighbor to take the time to get in touch.

Onward.

Devon

“The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects” — bring up to 5 projects you’ve put aside; see which ones are viable and breathe new life into them, and which ones need to be permanently retired. Feb. 4-6.

“Journal into Fiction” – learn how to transform journal entries into viable fiction, how to let characters evolve from the original inspiration, and how to keep a travel diary that will provide material for years’ worth of projects. Feb. 11-14.

More information here:
http://www.devonellingtonwork.com/fastandfun.html

Thurs. Jan. 12: Webinar Works and Healing Day

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Waning Moon
Rainy and cold

Worked hard yesterday, revelling in the quiet. The neighborhood was really QUIET. I got a lot of work done. In addition to dealing with my students, I polished a 500-word flash fiction piece. I’m really excited about it. First of all, I don’t usually work that short, so it was a good challenge. Second, I thought it was one thing, and it took a very exciting direction elsewhere. The found inspiration was the dead blackbirds falling out of the sky in Arkansas, and the story ended up being about the secret life of besoms. I think I may write more with this character, picking up after the stopping point of this piece. There’s also kind of a dark humor, so that may serve me well.

I sketched out another piece, the first line coming to me over dinner, and, earlier, I’d figured out the next piece to write for class. I’m not posting my stories in the class, but I’m writing along with them.

Not happy with where I am in either of the novels, but at least I got the other requested novel out, and I’m hoping the short stories motivate me back into the novels.

I did about four loads of laundry — still have some more holiday fabric to do — and changed all the bed linens but mine (which will happen today or tomorrow). I kept getting caught up in what I was doing and forgetting the laundry was down there — thank goodness it’s in the house and I didn’t wander off somewhere and forget it.

I looked at some job listings — considered one, but the time/money ratio wasn’t enough to warrant putting together a package. They want so many hours for so little money that I couldn’t do anything else.

Got some reading done in the afternoon, and rested a bit, in preparation for the evening’s webinar. It went pretty well. We moved through the material a little faster than I expected — the students got to work on 9 short pieces over the course of the class, which is pretty decent. They’ve got material to work from. What they do with it and whether they do anything is something else, although this batch seemed pretty motivated. Having this scheduled when some of them came off the flash fiction assignment got them juiced for more work along those lines. The mix of talk and type was interesting. I think some people were intimidated. It was a little bizarre at first, but then it was like being in the classroom together.

The cats, however, were impossible. I’d played with them earlier; I’d settled them with snacks and toys in the other room. Ha! Racing through the house at top speed, screaming, hissing, spitting, jumping on the keyboard, howling, the whole thing. Screeching into the mic for all the hear their shenanigans. I don’t have doors to shut in the office, so I was at their mercy. Badly behaved little ones!

And then, as soon as the computer was shut down, they readjusted their tarnished halos and slept!

I’m getting some writing done this morning, then it’s off to yoga, and, after that, off to acupuncture. I’m not going to be able to eat until after noon, which will make me one cranky little person! But the rest of me will feel better, even if the tummy’s rumbling.

To the page, and then out into the rain. Funnily enough, today is Ganga’s day (the goddess for which the Ganges River is named, a day to wear yellow and wash away the detrius of the year. I’m sure I have a yellow candle somewhere, and the rain’s certainly washing!

Devon

Published in: on January 12, 2012 at 6:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. Dec. 5: Bad Day Out, Good Days In

Monday, December 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool
St. Nicholas Eve

Friday simply sucked, six ways from Sunday, as they say. A piece I was sure I’d uploaded before I left for Thanksgiving was supposed to go live on Writers Vineyard on Thursday. I didn’t get a chance to check it until Friday, and nothing. Not in the queue mis-dated, nothing. Somehow, I managed to lose it. I apologized to the blog coordinator. It was MY responsibility to check the night before and make sure it was ready to go live. And I didn’t. I feel badly about it, and promised to be more careful moving forward. Then, I got shortchanged at the bank, but, because I didn’t realize it until I was home, setting up the cashbox for the press fair, I was SOL. It wasn’t much money, but I’m still kicking myself around the block for not paying closer attention. Again, that was on ME. And then a bunch of other things that were out of my control, typical Mercury Retrograde stuff.

The good thing about a bad day is that, once it’s over, you never have to live it exactly the same way again.

And I have a piece up called “Rhythm” on the Savvy Author’s Den, about finding and keeping a rhythm when writing your book.

Up early Saturday. Tried to write; didn’t get much done. Loaded up the car, made a pit stop at Michael’s for a few things and headed for Plymouth. I was sure I’d be late, but I was there on time. We arrived, picked our tables in the conference room, and set up. The Indie Press Book Fair was an interesting experience. Not a lot of traffic and not a lot of sales. But I’m glad I brought flyers about workshops and postcards for everything — most of those went. The people who did come by, stayed, even though they didn’t buy. And talked. Not necessarily about writing. It was interesting. People tend to be more conversation-oriented here than elsewhere anyway, but it was interesting that they’d wander in and talk about things that have nothing to do with one’s books. It was a little odd, but it was also nice to put away the marketing sound bytes one always memorizes for public appearances, and really LISTEN to them, and respond to what they were saying, rather than angling everything towards a sale. Someone better at marketing than I am could have done both, simultaneously, but my purpose was to see what something like this was all about from the other side of the table — not as someone who wanders a fair, but as someone with something to sell. It was interesting.

I got lots of compliments about my table — I’ll post photos later this week. As I joked, “I may not know what I’m doing here, but at least it’ll look pretty.”

Got to chat with other writers, which was fun, and swap books with a few. Always great to enlarge one’s circle of writers. My “table neighbor” and I spent a lot of the down time chatting about life, the universe, and everything, which was fun. Definitely someone with whom I want to keep in touch, and she’ll probably be a guest on A Biblio Paradise at some point.

Came home, exhausted. Unpacked. I’ve got my next assignment for Confidential Job #1, so I’ll get to work on that.

Yesterday, my internet was down. So all the intentions I had of working with student went out the window. Comcast messing with me — again. We need more internet options on the Cape.

No internet, and giving myself a day off writing, I decorated. And the house still isn’t done! It used to take me eight hours to decorate the apartment. Now it takes days to do the house. But, what’s getting done looks really good! This year, the mantel holds the Santas instead of the Nutcrackers, with the deer (a whole herd of ‘em) grazing on the hearth below. The Nutcrackers are still lined up across the front, until I figure out where to put them. Polished a lot of silver so everything gleams. Got the lights on the tree inside AND on the two small trees outside. And that took the whole day. I’ve got all the bits and bobs to put together the cookie platters, too — the plates, the bags, the organza ribbon I like to use on them. Baking will start later this week, or early next. The overseas cards and packages have to go out this week, and I want to get a solid start on all the cards. I want everything out by the end of next week. My list has changed a bit, because of the people I’ve met and activities in which I’ve participated this year, so I have to make sure it’s updated.

Today, it’s back to the page and back to the students. I’ve got to catch up on being away from them, and put together the details of a webinar I’m doing in the middle of January. I’ve also got some errands to run. I have a sneaking suspicion the first few chapters in what I’m working on now as Book 2 of the trilogy will wind up back in Book 1. They feel wrong here. It will mean more cutting and rearranging in Book 1, but that needs to be done anyway.

Tonight is St. Nicholas Eve — always celebrated in our house. We put out a shoe, and tomorrow morning it will be filled with treats — provided the kitten doesn’t empty it first and start playing with them!

Have a lovely start to your week!

Devon

Published in: on December 5, 2011 at 7:45 am  Comments (3)  
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