Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Okay, so if you haven’t hopped over to NEW MYTHS and read “The Merry’s Dalliance”, go do it, okay? I’m very fond of this piece. In fact, there will be more with these characters, and they’ll get their own website soon.

I’m posting the GDRs for 2009 later today. If you haven’t participated in the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions before, give it a read. Even if you don’t use them, they might get you thinking.

Worked a lot on The Big Project yesterday. It’s going well, in spite of having to stop to fact check every now and again. Tasha’s a lot funnier than I expected, and tougher, but it works for the piece.

And Josiah, in the Western, just keeps surprising me, in the best possible way. He’s going to reveal his agenda when HE’S ready, not when I need it for the writing. He might have to get shot or something to shake him up. Not fatally, just to remind him who’s the creator over here! 😉

Seriously, though, I am going to have to toss chapter two yet again and restructure it to get where I need.

A lot of this week will be spent prepping for the Muse Conference, which starts next Sunday. Since I’m teaching AND signed up for too many workshops . .well, you know how it goes.

I’m doing a live chat on Wednesday at 7 PM over on FireDrakes Weyr. I hope you’ll stop by so I’m not talking to myself, or the wallpaper.

I hung out on Nano forums, very dangerous, playing catch up with former buddies. One of last year’s N3s is actually mentoring this year and said she had a good mentor last year – I was pleased that some of that tough love was useful last year. I think I’ll mentor a handful, even if I don’t do the traditional Nano. I’ll definitely write 50K or more during the month, so . . .

Lara tagged me, so here it goes:

If you have pets, do you see them merely as animals or part of the family?
I am owned by three cats, currently, and they are definitely family. Personally, I think they should get out there and start earning some cash to help with the cat food/litter/vet expenses, but hey, they were worshipped in Ancient Egypt and never let me forget it.

As soon as I get my house, I’ll have more cats and a few dogs. If I have enough land and a barn, I want to add in some rescued horses and maybe a few alpaca.

Yeah, I’d have to learn how to shear and spin, but it would be worth it!

And I spend so much time shoveling metaphorical manure that the real thing isn’t a problem!

If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
Earn enough money to buy enough land, buildings, and hire a staff for an animal refuge. Of course, I’d prefer to support that refuge with my writing! 😉


What is the one thing most hated by you?

Acts of deliberate cruelty.

What would you do with a billion dollars?
Pay off debts, invest WISELY, and set up the above-mentioned animal refuge. Maybe combine it with an artists’ retreat.

What helps pull you out of a bad mood?
Sex, friends, or chocolate.

Choose one letter out of your name and come up with a word to describe yourself:
V – volatile. In every sense of the word.

What’s your bedtime routine?
Depends on who’s waiting in the bed!

What kind of books do you buy?
A wide range, everything from science to research to historical to all genres of fiction. I read almost anything. A lot of my book-buying is dictated by whatever project I’m writing.

Where do you want to be in ten years?
Living in my dream house on the Cape, with a second home in Montreal (or maybe Iceland), traveling as much as I want, and continuing to live the writing life, but with less financial stress.

What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Sweet, generous, loving, smart, kind, compassionate, and very, very funny.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Move cats off various body parts on which they’ve climbed.

What’s your favorite food?
I have to pick one? Then it’s chocolate.

Formal wear or Casual Wear?
You mean I have to get dressed? 😉 Seriously, I love wearing yoga clothes to write, but my life requires a wide array of clothing, and I’ve learned to enjoy all the different wardrobe requirements. While I hate shopping for clothes, I love wearing clothes that make me feel great. And I’ve culled everything from my closet that doesn’t.

Trust me, when you attend the Tony Awards, you want to look delicious.

Sports: Football or baseball?
Can’t stand either one. I’m an ice hockey and horse racing fan. And sailing. And archery. And fencing. And skiing. And . . .whatever sport they’ll pay me to cover!

What do you consider your guilty pleasure?
You mean something I’m willing to post on the internet? Because there are a few you’ll never know unless you know me really well in person! Actually, come to think of it, I don’t feel guilty about anything that gives me pleasure.

People I’d like to tag:
How about Lori and PJ?

Back to the page.

Devon

Western Novella – 8,168 words out of est. 30,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8 / 30
(26.7%)

The Big Project – 5,195 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5 / 75
(6.7%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 8:59 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , ,

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Oh, dear. I had to stop working on the western for a bit. It seems the character I’d decided was the villain of the piece, Josiah, has decided to be the hero. Which means I have to toss out Chapter Two entirely, rewriting it with him as the main focus of it. Poor Ben, the sheriff who was supposed to be the hero! He’s about to be pushed out of the way by a far more interesting character. I wondered why I was having trouble with the outline, and how I was going to get Amanda and Ben together. It’s because Amanda’s supposed to be with Josiah.

Well, crap, now I have to back and do rewrites and get even farther behind!

So I rewrote chapter two and part of chapter three. I may have to revise chapter one again, and I’ll definitely have to rewrite chapter two YET AGAIN. It’s not working, using alternating points of view. It needs to all be from Amanda’s POV. Which means I lose some cool dialogue and character revelation, but it serves the overall story, gosh darn it, so it needs to be done!

Sigh.

I forgot to mention that I grabbed Sharon Shinn’s READER AND RAELYNX on Friday in the city. I started it on the train and read a good chunk of it today – I reward myself with a few chapters every time I hit a writing goal. I want to just sit and read it straight through – the Twelve Houses books are among my favorites – but I need to get a lot done. Of course, when I’d written myself out for the day, I sat up until well after midnight to finish it.

I did quite a bit of work on the new ebook, too. I want to have that out by midweek, provided I can get a good design figured out by then. And I got out a few submissions.

Started The Big Project this morning. Because I have to fit into material that’s already been created by others, I have to keep stopping to look things up. But it’s all good. Again, the characters are surprising me, but in the best possible way.

I just completed some author interview questions for a blog, and I’m doing a live chat with FireDrakes Weyr on Wednesday at 7 PM EST. Once I have the chatroom link, etc, I’ll post it.

Lara, you’re absolutely right about Nano. I think doing it this year is taking on too much and spreading myself too thin, in light of the other deadlines. Part of me wants to do it anyway – last year I hit 50K in the first 13 days, went well over 70K by the end of the month and also finished TRACKING MEDUSA. But that was extraordinary, and I wasn’t under the same deadline pressure. Plus, I didn’t rely on the writing income as completely as I do now. Taking a month off for Nano from paying work, right before the holidays in this economy? Not a smart move.

I still WANT to do it; I just don’t think it’s sane or practical. Plus, I get burned out and frustrated every year, in spite of the fun. So it might be good to skip it for a year and go back next year or some other year when I can clear the calendar and devote myself to it without worrying about anything else.

I know I can write 50K in a month. I’ve proved it three times with Nano, and, when I look at the amount of writing I do every week and month, it comes out to more than that anyway. I have nothing to prove.

But I do like the writing-in-community part.

Back to the page.

Devon

Western Novella – 6,300 words out of est. 30,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6 / 30
(20.0%)

The Big Project – 2,664 words out of est. 75,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2 / 75
(2.7%)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

If you haven’t yet read “The Merry’s Dalliance” over on NEW MYTHS, please hop on over there and do so. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written.

It was in the 30s last night, and the building scumbags actually provided heat without us having to place a call to the Health Department. Imagine that.

Dashed into the city yesterday, ran my errand dashed back. Got some work done on the Western, but not much. I’m trying to figure out how to bridge this section to the next section, and it’s slow going. The ironic thing is it’s slow going because I have to keep up the pace because the word count is limited, and the story would like to unfold a little more slowly than I need it to.

Got out a few pitches for some interesting-sounding jobs. One, in particular, I know I have more varied and relevant experience than anyone else who’s applying – because I’ve worked in several fields relevant to the job that the majority of copywriters have not. But I’m worried that they can’t afford me, even at a discounted rate. And there’s a certain point where I have to say, “sorry, I can’t work for this price.” So we’ll see.

Sorted through a few boxes from storage; found a bunch of good stuff I’d forgotten about. So I did a load of hand laundry, freshened the unwashables, and figured out where to put thing. One of the items I found was a pair of red velvet opera gloves. I’m a huge glove person – I adore all kinds of gloves. So you know I’ll look for an excuse to wear them over the holiday season! I also found a pair of small lavender crocheted gloves, great for spring.

I need to get a lot of writing done today, but maybe I’ll give myself a break in the afternoon and take a walk on the beach. The leaves in the park should be turning by now, and, although cold, I bet it’s going to be beautiful out there. Maybe I’ll get inspiration for some more “Dogs on Beach” stories. Or another Congress Corners story – in the votes, Aunt Doris and her young Italian boyfriend walked away with the most votes, so I’m figuring out something to do with them!

I’m still on the fence about Nano. I’m on too tight a deadline to be able to put something aside November 1st to do something new. I have a novel, a novella, and a play due during the month, plus I’ve got to get ANGEL HUNT cleared up and out. It doesn’t make sense. I know I’ll miss the sense of writing in community, and I don’t like it when people go, “oh, well, I’m not REALLY participating in Nano, I’m just going to work on something I’m already working on.” That’s not the point of Nano. The point of it is to start something fresh and write 50K in 30 days in community, not just do whatever the hell you want.

I signed up; the site crashed (of course, Mercury is retrograde), and I’ll just see how I feel closer to the date, and where I am with my deadlines. I want to do it, there are several pieces that would be appropriate, but I’m afraid I’ll blow some of these wonderful opportunities with which I’m being presented. I’ve spent the whole year saying “yes” to almost everything, so this will be an exercise is saying, “no” and finishing a bunch of projects and getting them into the world on time.

I watched the premiere of SANCTUARY last night. I like the production design a lot. I like most of the cast – a few of them still need to grow on me. I thought the first forty minutes were intriguing and wonderful, but then it slowed down and I got ahead of the story, which annoyed me. I wanted more surprise and delight (even a dark secret can be delightful when properly presented). I hope it will continue to have interaction between what happens in Sanctuary and the real world – the detective that Will worked with in the opening is great, and I hope he’s a recurring character. His world-weary “you’re a freak, but I kinda like you and I’m trying to watch your back” take on the material worked well. I have some logistical questions, like does Will keep his apartment, or has he moved in to Sanctuary? The design of the apartment was so terrific – even though it was a small space, the books and the art and the details were so telling about Will’s character – I want to see more of the apartment because of the production design! And I want Helen’s office/library. I’ll definitely watch more episodes, but I didn’t fall in love with it the way I wanted to.

I’m also really glad that LIFE is back – one of my favorite shows last year.

None of these shows make me change my schedule to accommodate them, but if I’m home, I’ll watch them.

I put up the Samhain decorations yesterday – the apartment looks cheerful, and I added even more stuff than usual to the front door – it’s got the special wreath, the bagua mirror AND a cut-out of an enormous black cat. The workmen better not splatter my stuff with anything . . .or they’ll wish they hadn’t! I’ve got my garland of ghosts up – I made them years ago, using Styrofoam balls stuck onto popsicle sticks, covered with handkerchiefs and tied, then with those paste-on moving eyes, and fastened them all to a strand so I can hang them. It’s one of my favorite decorations. Each ghost has a distinct personality, and they fascinate the cats.

Back to the page.

Devon

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

The meteorologists promised it wouldn’t rain over the next few days, but it looks like the clouds will spit up any minute.

Yesterday was a good writing day, in spite of the Verizon Fios guys showing up again and stating they’d have to drill holes in about three different locations to run lines for other apartments. I firmly and politely told them no and escorted them out. I’m not living with a bunch of patches in my wall simply because it’s convenient for them in the moment.

I immersed myself in the western. I love westerns – so yes, I’ll be going to the movies to see APPALOOSA in the next few weeks. I love watching them, reading them, writing them. The writing went more slowly than I would have liked, because I had to stop and research. This story takes place several years earlier and in a different region than anything from THE WIDOW’S CHAMBER or ELUSIVE PRAYERS, so I had to research details of dress, habit, etiquette, place. Like WC, I’m researching on the fly, because I’ve got a tight deadline and I don’t have three or four weeks to devote to research and then write. I’m writing, pausing when I hit a glitch, researching, writing it in, and moving on. It will need a heavy revision and probably a lot of cutting in the next go-round, but I’m putting as much in this draft as I can.

It’s a new set of characters, all with their secrets, and none of whom are sure who to trust, so it will be interesting to see how it develops. I’ve got the basic outline of the story arc, and I’m limited to 30K, so we’ll see what happens.

I have to dash into the city quickly for an appointment this morning; then it will be back to the western and, hopefully, I can get a start on THE BIG PROJECT, on which I am behind.

As disappointed as I am about the cancelled trip, I’m trying to make use of this gift of time. If I was on the road all day yesterday, and settling in to the place in Philly, less writing would have gotten done.

And, I pitched several jobs, and found a very intriguing one to which I will create a detailed proposal. Again, I’m going for the slightly off-the-wall gigs. The problem is that most of them can’t afford me, and it can’t cost me to work.

Devon

Western novella – 4,778 out of est. 30,000 words

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4 / 30
(13.3%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


Hex Breaker
by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 8:27 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,