Wed. June 1, 2016: Diagramming a Series for Structure

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend, but not with a lot to show for it.

Saturday was my Saturday “off” from the library. I ran around doing errands, and got the terraced back area mowed. It desperately needed it! Sunday, I worked on the meadow, but only got about ¼ of it done.

Sunday afternoon, I was lucky enough to see the amazing Neil McGarry in MY NAME IS ASHER LEV at Cape Rep in Brewster. It was a beautiful space, and a wonderfully done show. The entire cast was terrific, and the direction was superb. It was easily the best thing I’ve seen since I lived on Cape.

Monday and Tuesday rained, so I couldn’t work outside. I wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t get as much done inside as I would have liked, either. My lunch date was cancelled yesterday, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since I felt so bad, and I missed both the Mermaid Ball meeting and the Artist HobNob.

I did a lot of mental work on the rewrite of what’s been THE CHARISMA KILLINGS, but will shortly have a new title. I figured out the new opening, and how that affects the rest of the plot and red herrings and incorporates the other suggestions. I didn’t get a lot of words on paper, but I’ve got a good sense of direction for this revision. It didn’t LOOK like a lot of work got done, but it’s the part of the process that, unless you are an artist or writer, you don’t really understand, and it’s difficult to explain. I ran the response ideas past my agent and she liked them, and we’re working on both a new series title and new book titles.

I also worked on ideas for CHOLERIC’s revision. The contrast between the two series is interesting. Although they are both mysteries, the tone is very different for each. I broke down some of Philip Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard mysteries, because they are closer in tone to what I’m going for that something in CHARISMA’S subgenre. I was surprised by several things: the conservative tone of the books, which I hadn’t really noticed when I originally read them in the 90s and which I do not like now; and the number of characters, which I like A LOT.

I dislike books with too few characters. Even in a small community, you run into a lot of people, and keep crossing paths with people. If a writer doesn’t differentiate characters well enough, that’s one thing, or substitutes character quirks for actual character. Neither of those work for me. But if a reader’s too stupid to keep track of more than six characters, well, that’s not the reader for whom I’m writing, period. And I’m a little tired of all these content producers, across different mediums, claiming they want “diverse” characters, when in reality, they want the mention of different skin tones, but they want the characters to act like white people.

The exercise is very illuminating. I’m also doing it with Jane Langton’s Homer Kelly books.

I also took the opportunity of not feeling well and having little left over energy to re-read Sharon Shinn’s entire TWELVE HOUSES series. I’m nearly done with all five books. I love them more each time I re-read them. MYSTIC AND RIDER is still one of the books in my Top Ten list, and I still think it’s one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. I still sob at portions of THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE. I liked DARK MOON DEFENDER better this time around, and still love READER AND RAELYNX. I’m about half way through FORTUNE AND FATE.

I have to respect her decision to end the series when she feels she should, but I would love more in this world. I love all these characters a lot.

Back to work today; will be a long day, and then I have to tackle actually getting words on the page. I have a feeling, over the next few months, I’ll be writing both first thing in the morning, and adding another session at night.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Devon

Fri. Jan. 15, 2016: Early Morning Writing

Friday, January 15, 2016
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day at work yesterday. I’m still on a different computer; mine isn’t fixed enough for me to trust it. Got a lot of PR done, notes typed up from meetings, that type of thing. Also putting together some programs for the spring.

I got a friend some contacts for research information she needed in London. I’ve gathered enough research on the immediate characters for the first historical play to get a start on it soon. The research books coming in will help me add ambiance and social/historical detail.

I’m booked to talk about scriptwriting for the March Writers Night Out. That should be fun. I’m already working on the handout.

A friend gave me a draft of her novel to read, before it goes out on submission. I’m excited about it, and plan to get started on it this weekend.

I’m enjoying the first entries for the contest. Working my way through them. I really like getting them in batches, rather than one huge batch at the end, with a more compressed time frame. This way, I feel I can really give each entry extra attention. I always review all the entries when I’ve read everything — to make sure the “yes” pile is still my “yes” pile, re-reading the “maybe” pile to see if they move into “yes” or “no”, and checking the “no” pile to make sure they are a firm “no”.

I woke up early this morning. Rather than tossing and turning, I got up and went to the desk. I have some ideas for the next section of TIE-CUTTER, and I have a new story starting to percolate that could well evolve into one of the stories I need for an end of April deadline. I think I’ve figured out how to fix the short radio play, and will tackle that this weekend, and, hopefully finish the draft.

But what I spent my time on, during my early morning writing session, was fixing the problems in the funeral chapter in DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. It’s got a lot more dynamic now, and makes more sense. That will help me get out of the corner I wrote myself into in the next chapter.

We’re getting to the meat of it now, although I see a few places where I have to go back in the next draft to salt in a few clues and red herrings. But, after a few days of frustration on CHOLERIC, I’m back on track. That feels good.

Today will be a long day. Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, and then I have to get in another load of firewood. It’s a holiday weekend — not sure what the weather is going to be like, so I might push some errands back into next week.

I always feel better when the writing is going well.

Hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions, and see how I’m doing for the mid-month check-in.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on January 15, 2016 at 9:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 15, 2016: Early Morning Writing  
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Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015: Just Trying to Avoid Stupid

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday was a busy day at work, but a good one, in spite of a useless meeting in the afternoon, and the fact that we’re all so exhausted, we’re just trying to stay upright.

Home, spent some time on the deck with my martini, dinner, am watching the first season of SIX FEET UNDER. I’d watched it when it ran, but I’m now watching everything in order. Very clever. Also fun to see some of the actors I worked with, both off-Broadway and in television, in the show.

Up early this morning, got some editing done, and headed over to the Bourne Library for a Commonwealth eBook Training. Some good information, some frustrations, still. I’m very excited by Biblioboard and the unusual, quirky things one can find in there.

Reading Claire Cook’s WALLFLOWER IN BLOOM, which is fun.

Finishing up my last few tasks for the Cape Cod Writers Center — I’m stepping off the Board when my term ends this month.

Had a disappointment, which, in retrospect, is winding up to be a blessing in disguise, so I’m getting over it more quickly than I might otherwise. Nothing like dodging a bullet when you didn’t even realize you were in its way.

Working out some other stuff, where the decision makes me sad, but it’s necessary.

If I can just avoid being stupid for the next 26 hours or so, I have a bit of a break. I’m doing a writing/gardening/yoga retreat for a few days, starting tomorrow evening. I think that will be restorative. I don’t want to make decisions when I’m so tired I can’t think logically.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Devon

Published in: on September 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm  Comments Off on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015: Just Trying to Avoid Stupid  
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Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Challenging few days. On the upside, yesterday, I wrote 39 pages (three chapters) of a fantasy novel — approximately 9,750 words. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Thank goodness the Olympics in Boston is OFF. That was a damn stupid idea in the first place — the city simply does not have the space, and spreading out all over the state — one of the ideas floated — was ridiculous. People need to be able to get to the venues, and even a few miles in Boston traffic is impossible. It would have hurt Boston, not helped us, and cost us (not just financially) far more than it would have earned us.

So, I appreciate Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker’s standing up for the taxpayers. However, I’m still annoyed with Baker for vetoing a $2.3 million dollar funding increase for the arts in MA. Close the tax loopholes for the corporate fucks and fund the arts. We already have a population who’s losing the ability for independent thought. Fortunately, the Senate and House overturned the veto.

The weekend was rather chaotic. This was supposed to be my Saturday “off” rotation. However, I wanted to deal with an issue in a particular way that I believed would be best for all concerned and save face for us; my boss said no. She’s the boss, so be it. Then, at 5:18 that night — when I’m already home on the deck with my feet up and a martini, trying to sort out the writing for the weekend — I get a text saying she shouldn’t have butted in and if I wanted to handle it that way, go ahead. In other words, the answer I needed at 10 that morning.

Part of me just wanted to ignore it — technically, this is supposed to be a part-time gig and when I’m off, I’m supposed to be OFF so I can write. But being petty would only hurt all of us. Believe me, I seriously considered being petty. I’m not trying to present myself as “good” in this situation by any means, because I was angry.

But, I went in on Saturday, and started the ball rolling. I knew it would take several hours to get the definitive answer that would allow me to do all the rest connected to it — what I SHOULD have had all day Friday to do. I didn’t want to spend all those extra hours at work, and I certainly wasn’t going to deal with the public, not on my day “off”. So I left and ran errands, planning to go back near the end of the open hours to find the answers, take care of the rest of the domino effect, and take down last week’s specific event display.

Only there was a major truck accident on Rt. 28, the road was closed, and the cops sent us into a maze of side streets I’d never seen before, and I couldn’t “get there from here”. An hour and a half later, I figured out how to get home.

Which meant I had to go in on Sunday, too. I baked first thing, and then headed in to work, dodging people who are incapable of understanding that “closed” means they can’t come in and do whatever they want, and they have to come in when the place is actually open. I had the answer I needed, I then spent the necessary time taking the next steps, so everything is taken care of. Because it all had to be done by Monday, and certainly before I officially got back to work today.

So it all worked out, but I was still irritated (putting it mildly), because all that extra chaos could have been avoided if I’d simply been allowed to do my damn job, which includes making the decisions that are part of it.

Watched LINE OF DUTY over the weekend, which is well done, and JACK IRISH, which I liked a lot. I think Iain Glenn is great in JACK TAYLOR, but it was a little too consistently dark, whereas JACK IRISH has a better balance, and Guy Pearce is also excellent. Watched MY OLD LADY, which is packaged as a comedy, but is definitely NOT, and needed about 20 minutes of whining cut out of the middle of it. The actors were terrific, the camerawork was good, but the script needed some tweaking. I’m watching POWERS, with Sharlto Copley and Susan Heyward. I like the actors a LOT, and the scene work is terrific. I like the concept. I’m not convinced on some of the arcs yet. But I’ve watched 6 episodes out of the 10, and I’m still watching, which says something positive!

Throughout all of this, I read and I tried to write. I read Lisa Chaplin’s THE TIDE WATCHERS, which I thought was good, but I’m wondering if she’s setting up for a sequel, or just leaving us somewhat dangling at the end. I read Barbara Delinky’s BLUEPRINTS. I read THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET. I read some research books for various projects.

I worked on a couple of ideas for projects. Got about six solid pages done on one. Did seven pages of another, and then, as I was driving around yesterday, picking up things for the Mermaid Ball, I realized that I’d started it in the wrong place. General advice is to start later than you think you should (cutting unnecessary exposition). In this case, I started in the wrong place with the wrong characters. So I let that percolate for awhile.

Met with my editing student and we had a good session. She’s taking her time to learn the craft, which is necessary, and her premise is good. As long as she really LEARNS before she sends this out, she can then apply it moving forward.

Worked on Mermaid Ball stuff, running around picking things up and putting together packages. Amazon delivered three days later than guaranteed — this is the third time in the last two months, and I’m getting sick of it. Guess they’ve gotten so big, they no longer care about customer service. Which meant all the stuff I wanted to deliver on Sunday couldn’t be — not that I could have made it over the bridge anyway in good time, but that was my day to deliver packages.

You’d think Mercury was in retrograde! 😉

Yesterday, I wrote. From about 6 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. 39 pages of the re-envisioned piece. Obviously, it’s working now.

I ran over to pick up something at Cotuit Center for the Arts, then changed and went to Harvest Wine Bar and Gallery in Dennis for an artist HobNob event. We were a small group, but it was enormous fun — spent a lot of time talking to a choreographer, a musician, and a cabinet maker.

Home, dinner, POWERS, percolating some more writing. I have a play I have to work on, and work through the next section of BALTHAZARR. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with this book. It should have been done ages ago.

The whole Tom Brady/NFL suspension is ridiculous. Tom Brady is one of the few players who is consistently a class act, and people want to take him down. When I was on sports journalism gigs, football players and baseball players were my least favorite interviews. Hockey players were consistently interesting, not to mention nicer and more respectful. What’s the most disturbing, to me, is the anti-woman message the NFL is sending. Players can beat up on women and only get 2 suspensions, but because there’s less air in a piece of pigskin, that deserves 4? Totally out of balance. It says that the air in a football is more important that the treatment of women. For an organization that makes that much money and has that many people looking at them as role models (heaven forbid), it is appalling. I could understand 1 suspension, but 4? Aside from the fact I don’t think he had anything to do with it, and the whole “destroyed cellphone” thing — hell, I throw my phone across the room several times a week, not because I’m trying to hide something, but because the phone and TMobile are both garbage. It’s all crap. People — especially women — should boycott the NFL this season, make a point with their wallets. But they won’t, because until someone beats down on them personally, they don’t care enough to stand up for something that matters.

It’s also the anniversary of my father’s death in 1972, never an easy day for me.

On that happy note (yeah, that’s sarcasm), yet another long week begins.

Hope yours is terrific!

Devon

Published in: on July 30, 2015 at 7:56 am  Comments Off on Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston  
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Fri. Feb. 20, 2015: Last Day Before the (Stormy) Weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and very cold

My renewed driver’s license arrived yesterday – took just over a week to get it, after renewing online. Pretty slick! 😉

Work was busy. Good busy, but busy. Did a lot of research on a couple of things, and some press and programming stuff, and hopped on and off the desk as needed.

Home for a snack and to change, and then to tango. This was “milonga night”, so we newcomers could learn the milonga etiquette. It’s more for the experienced dancers than beginners, although two experienced dancers kindly took me on the floor to practice. Had an interesting conversation with many people, including another newcomer, a few people who’ve been coming on and off for years, the sister of someone I knew well from the library, a friend who works at another library, and a professional musician who’s part of a group and we might brainstorm on a collaboration.

Home, a couple of episodes of WEST WING, a late dinner.

Last night gave me some great ideas for the radio play.

Up early this morning; some work on the radio play and the hour-long pilot. I have to get out some press releases today and do a submission, in and around the work here at the library. We’re planning some really fun stuff for next week, in and around the book sale – author Kevin Parham will be here next Wednesday, talking about his book THE VINEYARD WE KNEW (weather-permitting, of course). And we’re doing something fun all day Wednesday, too – which I’ll reveal closer to the date! 😉

I’m looking forward to having a whole weekend off. I’ll be writing – and buying cat food before the next storm hits – but it’ll be nice to have the whole weekend on MY schedule. We’re supposed to get more snow on Saturday night into Sunday, rain all day Sunday, hard freeze on Monday, and more snow Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hopefully, that will mean a solid weekend of reading, writing, research, and student work.

Stay safe and warm!

Devon

Published in: on February 20, 2015 at 9:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Feb. 19, 2015: Trudging On

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, but lots of laughter. I had to register the pilot with WGA before sending it out (because I’m not an idiot, and I make sure I have all the protections in place before I submit).

Got several press releases done for the library, and a new poster, and a few other programming things. Did some planning for events, and brainstorming.

Tired when I got home – the snow is just wearying.

A bunch of research books came in, but still not the microfiche.

Watched the third Worricker – SALTING THE BATTLEFIELD – which was interesting, and a few WEST WING episodes.

Percolated the screenplay for a bit.

More snow overnight. I had to go out early to go grocery shopping – the roads were awful. My road is so bad I need to start braking a good 500 yards before the intersection, and forget more than one car on the road at a time. Even Old Stage Road was a total mess this morning.

My debit card was declined at Stop N Shop, which was weird, because I know I have money in the account. When I called the credit union, turns out someone’s been trying to make charges in Minnesota and Texas, so they shut down the card. We got the fraud paperwork done, and they’re issuing me a new card. I’m grateful the credit union caught it and is fixing it without a fuss (the big banks I’ve dealt with always acted like I was the one trying to con them out of something, instead of being the one whose account was violated).

Busy day at work, and then tango tonight. I’m looking forward to a hopefully quiet weekend. Got some stuff out for the writers center that needed to be done today for feedback, so I can send out the information tomorrow.

Didn’t get in the writing time I needed this morning, which has thrown off my rhythm for the day. Was too busy navigating unplowed roads.

Tomorrow should be busy, too, and then I’ll have the first Saturday off in, I think, about five weeks. I want to get in cat food, write, and sleep. Because, y’know, there’s another storm expected on Saturday night.

Devon

Published in: on February 19, 2015 at 11:16 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Oct 24, 2012: Wide Feedback and Wacky Road Conditions

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was about cleaning, yard work, trying to get information I needed in order to get it to someone else, waiting to hear word on a project, working with my students, making lasagna, etc. One of my editors fought for me and got $$ for something the publisher wants me to do, but didn’t want to pay me for. Love this editor.

Got my feedback on my final project for the Sustainability class — which was the first three chapters of the mystery novel. Two people thought it was a great idea, and, although I didn’t encompass every idea in the first three chapters, they could see where I was setting the seeds, and how it could grow. They loved the idea of subtly melding these ideas in a work of fiction, rather than standing on a soap box. The third peer reviewer HATED it. Hated everything about it, said I didn’t understand what a “class” was and what it meant to write a paper — now, considering how many of us were doing non-traditional, art-based projects and HAD PERMISSION to pursue them, that was inappropriate. The funniest comment was, “There’s no room for Nancy Drew in sustainability” and the individual was mad that there was a dead body in the first chapter instead of a treatise on conservation. Um, it’s a murder mystery — you need the dead body to set things into motion! Ouch, and yet I couldn’t help laughing, because the vitriol came from such a place of narrow-mindedness and self-righteousness, all one could do is shrug. You could say, “I see what the person is trying to do; I don’t think it’s effective” rather than people don’t have a right to express sustainability concerns in terms of art. I knew it wasn’t going to please everyone, but the response from the other two reviewers at least let me know I’m on the right track. They had some excellent suggestions to keep it on track and raise the stakes.

Got on the road a little after one. Dropped off the minutes for tonight’s meeting with the president of that organization, returned books at Sandwich library — one was overdue and I had to pay a fine. 2 cents. TWO CENTS. Seriously. I handed over two shiny pennies. Hilarious.

Drive to Providence wasn’t bad, although there was construction around New Bedford and the dipshits who cut around cars and force their way back in, in a single lane, because they think they’re so important they can’t be behind another car drive me nuts.

Didn’t get lost this time, found the bus drop-off, and there was Costume Imp! Drive back was fine, we got settled, heated up the lasagna, opened a bottle of cabernet, and had a good dinner.

Lots to do today, and then tonight, is the Writers Night Out Dinner and Annual Meeting.

I have papers to read, work to do with students, and edits to which to attend.

Devon

Published in: on October 24, 2012 at 6:51 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. July 9, 2012: Guest-Free & Geared For Insanity


Violet & Tessa get the bed back, once company leaves

Monday, July 9, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

All the guest are gone, which is good, since this week will be beyond insane. But that’s okay, I’m just going to deal with everything one piece at a time, and, somehow, it will all get done. It was great to have friends and family here, although having them converge unexpectedly at the same time, and both groups bring extra people I wasn’t expecting and didn’t know was a bit much. Everyone was nice and fairly easy-going, it was just a lot.

Friday was busy. Saturday, I just hated everybody. For no good reason, just everyone and everything worked my last nerve. Overtired, and tired of people who are lazy and incompetent making unreasonable demands. I don’t have time or tolerance, and I’m not going to waste my valuable time with them.

On the plus side, the weather is quite lovely, the garden is growing well (see the latest post on Gratitude and Growth), and I’m figuring out what I want to do next and what direction I want to take, career-wise. I’m getting rid of what no longer works, even if it’s scary to get rid of the known devil, and going after what I want.

I got the notebooks for the writers’ conference next month — yeah, it’s early, but fellow writers will nod and smile at the excitement of finding the right notebook for the job. Next month’s conference will be fun, and it will be nice to go hang out and not be responsible for anything except showing up and being a good student! 😉

The short story due last Friday, about a woman aviator in 1947, really wants to be a at least a novella, or maybe even a novel. I’m excited about the feedback on what I tried (even though it didn’t work as it stands), and looking forward to finding a way to slot it in and do more work on it.

Today is the last day “Town Crier” is available for download. Billy Root has a few things to say about it, and the upcoming story featuring him, “The Occasional Ghost”.

The Scene Meat workshop starts today — looking forward to it. But you can still sign up for the Series Bible seminar that runs on Saturday, and, if you’re on the Cape this weekend, for the Character and Situation Workshop over at Three Fish and A Ram.

Today, I’ve got to make arrangements for the yearly house inspection from the town, work on three articles, the ghostwriting project, deal with Nightmare Client, prepare for tomorrow’s jazz concert, do three chapters of revisions, deal with students, work on the edits for an anthology I’m collaborating on, polish “The Occasional Ghost”, deal with some more HEX BREAKER PR, and work on the deadlined novels.

NEWSROOM just gets better and better and better. How terrific that there’s a show on the air geared for intelligent people, instead of the reality-pay-them-for-being-their-worst-selves that dominates network television right now.

So, I better get going!

Have a great week, people!

Devon

Wed. May 16, 2012: All Three Cats to the Vet (Big Drama & Yowling)


Iris and Violet are not amused

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy day, but didn’t get enough done. Which means today I have to push even harder. Got some errands, done, though, which helped. And my meeting last night went very well — I’ll be teaching three in-person workshops in Falmouth in the fall — if people sign up!

Prepping for my workshop on Saturday — got my class list, and am looking forward to it. Putting together my “stuff” for the class. Prepping the Submission System Workshop for June 2 — there’s more information here and sign up. It’s so important to have an efficient system — it makes life a lot easier.

I’ve got five press releases (for my own work) to get out today. And I have to finish the write ups for confidential job #1 and finish the rough on my article. I’ll have to wait for a couple of quotes, but I want the article in good enough shape so that I can just pop ‘em in and send it out.

Check out Nancy Oliver’s post “When the Safety Net is Gone” over on Words on the Page, as part of Writers Worth Week.

I need to hustle some quick-turnaround and quick-paying work to make up for the money spent on the brakes and what I’ll have to spend today at the vet — all three little darlings are going in, and that’s going to be a big chunk of change. But, it has to be done.

Tonight is the Writers Night Out dinner, so I’m off to that. And I’ve got to buckle down on some of my other fiction deadlines. I’m behind. I’ve got to get back in balance with the short term work and the long term.

I’ve got a post up on Gratitude and Growth with garden photos.

Feeling a little run down, and am looking forward to next weekend, when I’ve got several consecutive days OFF.

Devon

Feb. 1: Workaday, workaday

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Rainy and cloudy

Lots of work yesterday, and another short story out on deadline. Client work, admin work, grocery shopping, errands. I think the old adage of “chop wood, carry water” is very important. Anytime you think you’re “too good” for the basic chores because you’re “an artist”, you’re already down the path to self-destruction.

There’s a new post over on Gratitude and Growth, about my garden dreaming and scheming. Check it out!

Great meeting at the National Marine Life Center yesterday. It was so good to see everyone! And my gingerbread was a hit. I warned them that I’m going to start experimenting on them with recipes pretty soon. They said they’re up for it! I’m going to start blogging from them soon — I’ll be sure you know all about it.

The library was closed, so I missed doing some important research for this other potential new opportunity I’m trying to fit into the mix. I’m not going to be able to get there, probably, until next week sometime, although maybe I can squeeze in some time on Friday.

Back to the page for HEART BINDER now, need to work on two more short stories, and then both client work and my students. The ones who just passed the finish line of “the end” on Draft 1 get three days to sleep; the rest of us keep going on. Confidential Job #1 sent the next assignment — I should have it in a day or two – -and I’ve got two big client projects that need to be finished this weekend. I’d like to get them done early enough so I can actually WATCH the Superbowl.

Of course I’m rooting for the Patriots! I didn’t like the Giants even when I lived in NY! 😉

Tessa decided she wanted to be a writer yesterday, when I got up to do something. I came back to the computer; things were deleted; things were added; my settings and preferences had been changed. It took me nearly two hours to get it sorted.

Note to self: Always close laptop cover, even when getting up “just for a minute”. Tessa is determined to show you anything me can do, she can do better!

Devon

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Sunshine-kissed kitty

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

More retrogrades, people! And, technically, the summer vacation-that-wasn’t for me is over, and this gig is nearly over. I needed to write 15K in these past two weeks, here on site. I got 500 done, due to interruptions and the amount of stuff piled onto me that had nothing to do with my job. I can’t write a single sentence without a massive interruption, and I cannot be in that situation. Even if I tried to stay up all night, after I was drained of every ounce of life force from this place, I’m interrupted constantly. Just not acceptable, and I can’t put myself in this situation again. The daily micromanaging has abated, slightly, but now I find out the client’s given out my cell phone number to this one and that one without permission — and I am extremely fierce about who gets that number. Again, not acceptable. Well, Friday, I’m gone.

I got the following sent to me about my former building in NY. Read the article here.

If I still lived there, I’d be in a hotel somewhere — and what would have happened to the cats? I moved at the right time. My heart breaks for my former neighbors. I talked to a couple of them yesterday — they are in shock, dazed, and angry. One expects something like this from the scumbag landlords, but the City is also liable, morally if not legally, for continuing to allow those basement apartments to be rented when they are regularly flooded out and the residents lose everything. WHEN someone dies — and, eventually, someone will — these scumbags will still feel nothing. Because both the landlords and the current City Council there don’t consider the tenants are worthwhile citizens. The landlords consider them an ATM machine, and the City Council doesn’t think they are “good enough” to live in that pretentious Westchester town because they’re renters instead of owners, so the Council doesn’t care

Yesterday was practically productive, if not creatively productive. I got out some questions for a press release I’m working on, to wrap up the Mermaid Ball, four sets of interview questions, and got the last details worked out for the Year-Long Intensive, which starts tomorrow. I got in two good sessions of yoga, and a good meditation sit, which helped a lot.

I thought about what book I want to start working on tomorrow (while I finish SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I simply can’t work on here, because I can’t get enough time in to write more than a line at a time without interruption, and then I lose my train of creativity). I circled back to the yoga mystery, reconnected a bit with it, and wondered if, maybe, that’s what I should work on. I’d be challenging myself within the formula, but not setting up so huge a challenge that I can’t meet it. In other words, it’s a pretty safe choice, which means I’m not sure I should do it. I’m trying to decide if I should do one of the two urban fantasy ideas I was playing with. Both are unique, stories I haven’t seen before, and I’m writing them because they are something I’d like to read. One rotates through three POVs — initially, it only rotated through two, but a character who was supposed to just be in a couple of scenes stepped up and said, “Hey, I’m important to this process!” The other one has a strong base in mythology and an intense central relationship, but never quite handled in this particular way. Then, of course, there’s the urban fantasy comic noir, which I originally envisioned as a series of linked short stories or novellas, but I could turn into a novel. And I need to make a decision — soon.

Today, I have to write the press release, work on the newsletter, and see if maybe I can possibly get any writing done. There will be a cleaning crew in here on site, so, again — constant interruptions.

Two more days. I just have to keep it together for two more days.

I feel very, very lucky and have enormous gratitude for the fact that I am HERE and not where I used to live, and that we had little storm damage and kept the power on. So many are so much worse off than I am, that, in perspective, these irritants are just that — irritants. They are something that I can,ultimately, not let happen again. But you can’t control a hurricane.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Tessa’s imitation of a supine Halloween kitty

Monday, August 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Saturday was a good day. I finished and got out the door two articles. I have a few days’ breather before I start on the next round of articles due in September. I finished reading an autobiography of a writer whose work and political activity I’m mildly acquainted with. Always interesting to read someone’s account of the same events I lived through, but through a very different lens. We have similar experience of some things, such as the country’s current economic collapse seeded in the Reagan years, where he took off the regulations so his rich friends could do whatever they want, and look where that’s gotten us — and entirely different experiences on many other fronts. Very interesting.

The party was a lot of fun, although I got terribly lost trying to get there. Thank goodness for locals who give good directions! Google Maps was sooo wrong! But it was lovely to kick back and relax with my colleagues for a couple of hours.

I forgot to mention that last Friday’s episode of TORCHWOOD was superb. The writing, the acting, the pace, the way the storylines paralleled and then met. I got a little ahead of it at one point, but didn’t mind, because it felt like I was meant to hit the realization a few scenes before the characters. I also like the way the series deals with power, corruption, greed, and cowardice.

Sunday was reasonably quiet. I read the papers, dashed home to pay a bill and do some refereeing. Worked here on site a lot, and got some writing done. I read over a couple of projects I’ve been playing with. They have solid potential. I just have to figure out how to slot them in, and do some outlining. The premises are unique, and the type of thing I want to read and can’t find. So I’m writing it. I got some work done on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Today, I need to write the most complicated scene in the book, so it better be quiet. And then, we’re galloping towards the end.

Did the work here on site. The client doesn’t trust me and constantly sends people to “check up” on me and “help.” Either you want me to do the job or you don’t — this constant interruption and mistrust is not acceptable.

Add to that, a coyote showed up right across the street, bold as brass, not in the least bit intimidated at being in the middle of a residential area. Whatever he’s doing on a coyote level, I recognized his message on a broader level, and I consider myself warned. Physical coyotes have crossed my paths at very specific times, with very specific meanings. I have a great deal of respect for them on every level.

It’s challenging to keep up my yoga/meditation practices in this environment, but this is when I really need them, so going to the mat regularly is helpful.
Onward. This week will be challenging, and then, the Mermaid Ball is next weekend, which should be a lot of fun!

As long as I can get pockets of uninterrupted writing time in, it will be fine.

Devon


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT available in print and digital versions from Champagne Books, and digitally on Amazon Kindle.
Annabel Aidan webpage here.

Published in: on August 22, 2011 at 7:25 am  Comments (2)  
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s really starting to feel and smell like fall in the early mornings and the evenings, even when the day time hours are summery.

Yoga was great yesterday — smaller class in the cloudy weather, but lots of fun. So many seals were on the sandbanks watching the humans do silly things! And then the sharks turned up, and all the beaches were closed, as far as getting in the water.

Came home, did some more grocery shopping, got to work, got as much done as I could, headed to Buzzards Bay, took the photographs, we had the meeting, did some more work when I got home.

Today, I’m off on a difficult assignment. I should have internet access while I’m there for the next few weeks, but, especially today and tomorrow, it will be challenging. I hate leaving my house and the yard and the cats, but that’s the reality. I’ve still got a couple of articles to finish this week, too, and more work for the Mermaid Ball. I’ve got my project bin packed, so that I can polish the fall courses.

Thank you, yesterday, for all your support when I was feeling so blue. I can’t wallow, because I have other assignments which need my focus, and I have to see what I can learn to do things better moving forward. I’m feeling creatively exhausted, along with physically, and, although August was supposed to be “vacation”, that’s not how it turned out. I’m about to go into an insanely busy autumn, and I have to dig deeper and find the inner resources for it. I’m trying to find pockets of time where I can renew myself, but the reality of what I want/need and what needs to get done aren’t in harmony right now. Hopefully, I can move them closer together over the next few weeks.

Devon


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

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