Fri. June 6, 2014: Workshops and Summits and Crows

Friday, June 6, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day. Got out my next script episode before I headed to the library.

I’m starting to get some ideas on how to make Thursday mornings run more smoothly; hope to be able to implement them in the coming weeks. The printer at work is just — if it wasn’t littering, I’d drop-kick it into the canal. It prints; it doesn’t; it grabs six sheets; it doesn’t grab any sheets. And so forth and so on. Something that should take thirty seconds winds up taking 45 minutes. That has to stop — beyond my situation. How can we walk our talks on sustainability when our only printer options are printers that the companies make disposable, out of cheap-ass plastic parts so we have to replace them every couple of years and they can’t be fully recycled? The technology industry has to change how they manufacture — which means kicking out the overpriced CEOS and top executives who think more about their own pockets than a sustainable future for all of us.

Had to leave just after noon to get to a workshop in Chatham. The weather was awful. Hard to drive. But I got there (almost on time). The library is gorgeous out there, but parking is a nightmare. I wound up parking blocks away in front of some person’s house, and dashing through the rain.

I was NOT happy with the workshop. I’d hoped for a workshop on resources to help hunt down information to answer people’s questions. Let’s face it — librarians are the ultimate detectives. Instead, the presentation focused on how to stand when you talk to a patron and promoted an attitude of indentured servitude rather than being a professional partner in a hunt with a patron. I found it quite insulting to all of our intelligence.

I headed back to my library, finished out the day, dashed home, threw together some mac and cheese, bolted it down, dashed back out to the Community College for the Environmental Summit. I couldn’t attend the full Cape Coastal Conference this year, but I did manage to fit in the summit. I ran into some friends in the parking lot, and caught up with some people I’d met at last year’s conference when we got inside. They served us a full dinner we got in there (hmm, let’s see, did I overeat last night? Uh, yes) and then it was an interesting, interactive discussion with the purpose of getting the 29 non-profits that attended (and some that did not) to work together, sharing information and working towards common purposes, instead of everyone working in isolation. Yes, I signed up to help work on what I do best — create engaging narrative around actual information.

Afterwards, a couple of us went out to the bar at The Dolphin, in Barnstable, to continue the conversation, which was fun. One of my frustrations here is I don’t have a local hangout, so I’m trying places to see which place suits me best.

I rewrote the monologue for the actor this morning — we have several roads we can travel down next. I think the section on the loss of a particular relationship is too ordinary and what he’s usually played, so I have a couple of sections we could replace it with in that that explores loss of parent, sibling, mentor, etc., that might make it more unique. So that’s off.

So tired I could just fall over, but it’ll be a busy day at the library. Hope to come back tonight and relax. Have GOT to mow the meadow tomorrow afternoon when I get back from the library, because the grass is VERY high. While it’s good for the environment, and my grass now definitely had the chance to grow strong roots, I think my neighbors would like me to neaten it up a bit.

My murder of crows who hang out in the yard had a fit about something this morning. One of the smaller ones ended up coming up on the deck and hiding under one of the tables. I think he’d been attacked by something else, and the rest of the conclave was very, very upset. I got their attention (they shut up and listen when I call out to them and clap my hands) so we could get it sorted out — not sure what attacked the crow, but it’s out of the yard for now. He let me get close enough to him to watch him walk. He limped for a few steps, then flew a bit, then walked a little bit more, gaining strength, and flew off. So I guess I don’t have to bundle him up and take him to Cape Wildlife before work. He seems okay.

Off to work.

Final race of the Triple Crown tomorrow — go California Chrome! And Tony Awards on Sunday — my people! 😉

Devon

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Tues. June 3, 2014: Projects, Interviews, Writing

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I have an interview live over on A Biblio Paradise about how TRACKING MEDUSA evolved. Jump over and read it here.

Busy day yesterday. I lost most of the morning and a good part of the afternoon helping a colleague work on a project that was dumped on us at the last minute.

Then, I revised Episode #105 and most of #106 for the Big Script Project, while working on #109 (which has to be delivered today) and #110 (which is due on Thursday).

I tweaked a few things in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and finished Chapter 3 — it was nearly 10 PM by the time all that happened. And I realized this morning I have to do an “insert” to tweak something, or it will contradict (in the wrong way) information from TRACKING MEDUSA.

Dropped off my new boss’s birthday gifts at the library — she deserves to know she’s appreciated.

I started putting together the pieces of the Tip Sheet for tomorrow, but that has to be finished.

I have a lot of baking to do today, in preparation for tomorrow’s workshop, script work, and other stuff that all needs to get done TODAY.

I have to remember to do my own writing first, and not try to get work done for other people in the morning (my most creative time), because then I run out of words and creative energy later in the day. There’s a reason I start with MY OWN first thousand words of the day.

But I’m happy to be back on track with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Even though It’s a draft and will need work, it feels right again.

Devon

Mon. June 2, 2014: BALTHAZAAR TREASURE Back on Track

Monday, June 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend, but pretty good. Friday was a busy, somewhat chaotic day at the library, but it all worked out. A colleague and I are still trying to sort out the pile of (expletive deleted) that another colleague dropped into our laps (separate from the library work), but that will happen. I’m not going to waste my time in anger, nor am I going to leave my colleague holding the bag. We will sort it out, and I will make sure we’re not put in that position again.

My workshop for Wednesday is almost complete — I have to put together the tip sheet — it’s kind of in bits and pieces — and get some info from MWA, and we’re good to go.

Friday night, I was invited to the Unitarian Church to see a showing of the documentary TRASHED, about the problem and health risks associated with our trash. Eye-opening, although several of the people after with “questions” didn’t have questions at all, and were simply very impressed with the sounds of their own voices. Still, I’m glad I went.

Up early Saturday morning. Got some work done, stopped by the library to take care of something I forgot about, but most of the day was spent in errands. I thought they’d take two hours, and they took eight. Pierpont Glass, Christmas Tree Shops, Market Basket, Trader Joe’s. Ocean State — but got a lot done. Also finished the Media Kit for TRACKING MEDUSA, and the edits for “Severance” landed on my desk.

Read Ilona Andrews’s MAGIC BITES, which I really liked, and started another urban fantasy by a different author I’m not sure I like.

Watched THOR: THE DARK WORLD — was disappointed. I like the actors and their moments — especially the scenes between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston — but the action scenes needed to be edited down in some spots. When there ARE character moments, they are great, and there are some hilarious throwaway lines, but there’s not enough of that. Also watched THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, which wasn’t as bad as I’d heard. There were parts that I liked, and parts where it felt like scenes were edited/skipped, and information we needed for other scenes to make sense was simply ignored.

Was wiped out on Sunday, but suddenly BALTHAZAAR TREASURE started to make sense again. Wound up doing about forty pages’ worth of work on it, twenty plus of them new pages. Prologue still holds, but there’s a new opening chapter, what used to be chapter one is rewritten and now chapter two, what used to be the start of chapter two is now chapter three, and it’s nearly done, and they’re almost at the Bahamas. A new character walked in to cause more conflict between Gwen and Justin. Although Karl will still be the major wedge in their relationship, with Carolina and Irina causing some stress, the choice that Gwen makes to save her and Alec’s life in chapter one will now resonate through books two and three.

Watched some television, including GAME OF THRONES, although, as I’ve said before, the relentless brutality wears me out.

Lots to do today, including getting stuff done I didn’t get done yesterday, getting things sorted out for the muddled project, doing revisions on script episodes, new episodes, and working on both BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and “Severance.”

At least I feel good about BALTHAZAAR again, and feel it’s a viable project. I was having my doubts there for awhile.

Devon

Wed. April 25, 2012: Inspiration vs. Stomach Bug


Flowering Almond

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth for the latest on the garden with azaleas, lilacs, and our owl. Photos, too, though not of the owl, unfortunately.

First I had the flu; now I’ve got some sort of stomach bug and migraine. This is getting real old real fast!

Meditation was great yesterday, along with the discussion (which I think I mentioned in yesterday’s blog). Worked for a bit, had to run some errands over to Sandwich and in Marstons MIlls, came back, worked some more, managed to get part of the front mowed. Amazon untangled the mess I made of the author page; they were very nice about it, accepted my apology, and fixed it.

Then, had to dash off for the meeting for the theatre project. We met at Bobby Byrne’s, over in Masphee, and had a great discussion. We’re thinking along the same lines, took a bunch of notes. I’m going to draft up a bit of the proposal, send it to her for tweaks, and then we’ll submit it. We want to partner with two organizations, one on either end of the Cape, so we can do performances at both ends of the Cape. It may be too late to get funding for it, since we plan to do it in the fall, but we’ll give it a shot.

Still trying to chase down my check; still being ignored. Frustrating.

I have some unpleasant and stressful business to deal with this morning, then get the draft of this proposal out, a proposal out to another organization, work with my students, and work on a couple of other proposals.

I feel like crap, but I don’t have the option for another day in bed, and my mom’s next surgery is tomorrow, so there’s a lot to do.

However, stepping outside even for a few minutes to be in the garden is renewing.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t forget the Amazing Antagonists Seminar on Saturday, May 12th. More information and registration here.

Tues. April 10, 2012: Good News to Share!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mars Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, worked flat out all day. Worked with my students on the revision process, got out a requested partial, got out a couple of short stories, worked on some marketing and proposal stuff. Someone who wanted a manuscript by June 1 now wants to take a look at the opening chapters earlier, so I need to figure out how to fit that in. Got some good work done on HEART BINDER in the sprint with students. Did my work in the Steampunk class and started One Story, Many Voices.

Went to use the library’s computer to put in a “tweet this” button on my website for the workshops, but the website won’t hold the code. Typical. Next week, I need to meet with the Mac people and set up time to learn how to pull the materials the web host is holding hostage, so I can get the website move DONE. I should probably wait until some of the Fast & Funs are done, but I think my current host is interfering so much with my ability to earn a living that I should risk the move sooner rather than later.

The great news is that OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus book, was accepted by Solstice. I’ll send back the contract today, and off we go. I need to have the third book, CRAVE THE HUNT, done and out to them early in June.

Family’s coming down in May, and I had to get my Fast & Fun dates sorted for May and June. Looks like those are going to work out, so the pages and registration information will go up soon.

Overslept this morning, but still managed to get to meditation on time. We had a good session and an interesting discussion. Stopped at Nirvana on the way back for coffee and chocolate croissants. A couple very impressed with their own importance was in the place, talking to make sure they were overheard. Nothing they had to say was worth hearing. Geez, the only way I could use characters inspired by them is in a dark comedy, where a boulder falls on them or something after a snippet of their vapid exchange.

I’ve got a busy day stretching in front of me, and a migraine with which to contend. I better get to it — got to take back a stack of books to the Sandwich Library and see what else they’ve got waiting for me! And I’ve got an article to finish up. Plus all the writing.

Fingers crossed that submitted material just keeps hitting the target!

Devon

Don’t forget — Dialogue Dilemmas & Solutions, a one-day online seminar to help you create unique and sparkling dialogue. This is the only time I’ll be teaching a dialogue workshop online this year. Information and sign-up here.

Mon. Feb. 13, 2012: Pedal to the Metal in the Flurries

Monday, February 13, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold, snow flurries

Busy, busy weekend! My goodness, me!

On Friday, I drove to CT and back. We left at 6 AM, and I was back in the late afternoon, which was great, because I didn’t expect to get back until the evening. And I even managed to stop at the Book Barn in Niantic and in Mystic to pick up a few things!

The Thursday night live chat with my year-long students, brainstorming about the round robin novella we’re doing, was fun. We got to be silly and throw out all manner of ideas, but out of that came some solid elements we can use as our foundation.

Saturday, it was pedal to the metal all day long, working with my students and starting the HEX BREAKER revisions. Driving back on Friday, I came up with some interesting marketing ideas — there’s Jain’s fan base, and that needs to expand. I know more people, and, with the deepening of her character that’s happening in these revisions, she’ll also appeal to a wider audience, without coming across as diluted to her loyal fans. Billy’s been a fan favorite since Day 1, so it will also be Billy-centric. I also worked on the revised outline for HEART-BINDER, did some work on HEART-BINDER, and I’m working on scenario ideas for a few other pieces for this other opportunity. I’ve got a start on one of them — if I can keep up a steady pace with that while not dropping any of the other balls, I should be able to hit a June deadline.

Sunday was my Day of Rest. I needed it. I was wiped out. Okay, so I did a bit of work on HEX BREAKER, and I read the assignment for Confidential Job #1, but I stayed offline! I also wrote about 2500 words on a piece that’s been gnawing at me for awhile, and the character said, “Either give me some attention, or I’m outta here.” So I gave her some attention. I’m hoping it will be a story in the 10-12K range, but we’ll see.

Read a delightful book called SHELF LIFE by Suzanne Strempek Shea, about a writer who takes a job in a bookshop. It’s an MA author talking about an MA bookshop — which, of course, now I want to visit! So well done, and it makes me want to read her novels, too.

Made banana pudding (still needs tweaking) and cooked a nice chicken-and-sage pasta. Sighed over gardening catalogues.

I’ve got a lot of admin work and bill paying to get done, and then it’s time to go get some cat food! Those little darlings have a low provisions in the cupboard, and they’re not happy about it.

All three cats are being very, very clingy lately.
Devon

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Still dark out

I’m posting this early. I got up very early to write before yoga, and then I’m headed off to yoga.

My neighbor will be okay. They held him overnight for tests, but he should come home today, thank goodness. His wife called late in the afternoon to let me know and say thank you. I was glad to help. It’s part of being a neighbor. We’re all in this together.

Worked with my students, ran some errands, got more leaves to the dump. I meant to take a twenty minute nap and then go and mow the terraced back area, but I fell asleep and woke up in time to make dinner. I was stumbling around in a fog for most of the evening!

Got to see some of the meteor shower last night — it was a clear, beautiful night. Jupiter shone brightly near the moon, and the meteors danced across the sky like kittens playing chase. Lovely to be somewhere that I can look up and see night sky, not just electric lights.

Realized I’d left out a whole layer of procedure in the book that’s necessary for it to be realistic and not come across like a television police procedural. That meant adding more characters, and I didn’t want to get too distracted. I managed to plant a few references in early scenes. I introduced the characters at the crime scene where the fake evangelist has been killed — added an insert with about a page of interaction, and scattered a few lines here and there to keep them involved. I’m keeping it short and too the point. Fortunately, the characters are cooperating by being memorable, at the top of their game, and not trying to take over. So far, all good.

I’m writing a sequence this morning where my protag and I both get to go full out and vent our fury in a situation similar to the exotic animal debacle in Ohio a few weeks back. The incompetent, tiny-penised fictional sheriff who wants to feel like a man by playing Big Game Hunter will meet the poetically just end that the actual incompetent, tiny-penised sheriff who wanted to feel masculine by playing Big Game Hunter, who inspired the character, should meet. There will be blood and gore and justice. And it will be a good example of how there’s ALWAYS a choice, and, in this case, consequences for those who make harmful choices to further their own agendas, and those who follow them because someone in authority gave the order. As there should be.

At first, I was afraid it would just be a tangent in the storyline, but I’ve found a way to weave in several subplot strands that then feed the main plot, so I think it will be okay. I just can’t linger on it too long.

But I’d like to write the bulk of the scene before I go to yoga to find peace! Be a little hard to write a scene of someone being ripped apart (even though he deserves it) after a good yoga session! 😉

Back to the page.

Devon

Total word count is over 66K at this point.

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 6:11 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Fountain, Heritage Museum and Gardens

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and hot

I got a good writing day in yesterday, and cleaned up my computer a bit. I’ve been having trouble with Safari, and now Firefox is giving me headaches, so I’ve downloaded Google Chrome just in case. And yeah, I’ll be giving Apple Care a yelp soon!

Worked on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Once I can get through these two mucky chapters, I think I can hurtle to the end pretty well. Did some good planning work on the new book, and got an idea for a steampunk. Ideas tend to come in batches.

Am being encouraged in the direction of a non-fiction book. I may try an outline and the first three chapters to see if it’s worth pursuing. If I like it, I’ll make a list and start submitting.

I recently read a wonderful anthology called A SENSE OF PLACE, which was written by Cape Cod women writers. Definitely want to use it in any further Setting as Character workshops. Sent a quick note to the publisher, who responded and suggested I write for the site, so I’ll put together some article ideas and see if they fly.

Finished the biography of Joseph Campbell, which makes me want to go back and re-read him with a new sense of context. When I read him originally, years ago, the fact that he was revered as a demi-god made me deeply suspicious and interfered with my ability to read the actual material. I’m glad to know he was a scholar who did actual research instead of someone who made stuff up to boost his theories.

Watched the NY fireworks, then the Boston — nice to see how different they are. Some idiots in the neighborhood set off fireworks they weren’t able to handle and nearly set some roofs on fire. Not mine — they just curved away from the property! 😉

Up early this morning. Meant to work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but wound up started my Reading and Reviewing for Craft class instead.

Yoga on the Beach was great, in spite of the sand flies. We absolutely slathered each other in bug repellent or we couldn’t have survived. Today’s class was quite challenging, which was good. Next year, I’ll budget so I can take it 3-4 times/a week, both on a financial level and a time level — it’s a 4 hour commitment in the morning, my prime writing time, since it’s an hour and a half in each direction and an hour fifteen class, and then all the incidental traffic, et al things one doesn’t count on.

Stopped to grab an ice coffee on the way home, and thought I was being very smart by taking 137 up to 6 (6 is the Mid-Cape Highway). 6 was backed up from P-Town to the bridges, so I slid off the next exit and took 124 north to 6A and headed back along the bay side. Yes, it’s through the towns, but there wasn’t much traffic and it actually moved, so it was faster.

Watered, vacuumed out the car (I brought half the beach with me), ate a bowl of berries. Now, I’m settling in for a few hours of work before I go out and do things like buy cat food! I have a meeting in the late afternoon for a potential job in August. Yeah, I know, I wasn’t supposed to work in August, but this sounds too good to pass up.

Back to the page!

Devon

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The eggplant is growing!

Saturday, June 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and warmer

Yesterday was a Busy Day. Got some work done early, headed off to the breakfast. Overshot the Hyannis Yacht Club, but found a friendly local cop, parked behind his car, walked up and say, “Hey! Good morning! I’m lost!” He was very helpful. He recognized me as the one who always waved and said thank you to the cops guiding traffic around construction. The local cops seem to find me as entertaining as the guys at the dump do.

Got to the breakfast on time, shared a table with three very interesting women, and the speakers were great — one being Carol McCleary, who writes the Nelly Bly mysteries. It was so good to see her again! We talked for a hot minute before I had to dash to get home, change clothes, and do the make-up for TV.

I overshot the studio, too, but turned around and found it without police assistance this time! They were running behind a bit, which was fine, because we all just sat around and talked. Of course, I got lipstick on my shirt just as I was sitting on the set chair! Urgh!!!! The wardrobe girl in me was going nuts!!!

My interviewer was a lovely man, who’d actually taken the time to read the first third of the book — he doesn’t have an e-reader, so he printed out as much as he could before the ink ran out! He asked some really good questions, including one on belief that I answered honestly, when I should have probably been more circumspect, so let’s hope no one shows up on the lawn with torches and pitchforks! 😉 I’d hate to have traded the safety I feel here for a moment on television. But the crew actually came out of their various booths to chat after the interview, so at least they found it interesting. Of course, I’m fretting about some things I wish I’d phrased differently, but that always happens, even in the best interviews. You don’t get to edit when it’s live! 😉

The content of my talk was good, but my body position was tense, and I kept doing the death-grip on the arms of the chair, so I don’t think it LOOKS good –a downside for TV. I so prefer radio, because I can rely just on the voice and the content. But overall, it was a positive experience, and the show’s producer is also an actress and knows actresses who need monologues, so I may be doing some playwrighting again in the future!

I got home in time for supper, completely wrung out.

Managed to spend some quality time with my students. The next book and the students are my priority today. The interviewer got me talking about THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so I damn well better finish it soon! 😉

To bed early, tried to sleep in, but the cats weren’t having it. Have to do some bill-paying and running around today, but the bulk of the day will be spent on SPIRIT REPOSITORY and winding up the class.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was busy. Worked in the morning. Realized that some of my student comments vanished and I have to go back and re-read and re-comment on some of the work.

Costume Imp had to leave, and didn’t want to, and we didn’t want him to, so there was much foot-dragging going on. But we finally packed the car and got him to the bus. I headed back to pick up a few things. It wound up taking NINE HOURS for him to get back to New York, which is just completely ridiculous. It’s supposed to be five and a half.

I got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, and it looks really cool. I prepared the deviled eggs. I stripped the beds, did two loads of laundry, and vacuumed.

Just as I left for the meeting, the skies opened up, with thunder and lightening and rain as though someone tipped over a large bucket onto the Cape. It took me an hour to drive what usually takes about 35 minutes. But I got there, the meeting went really well, and we feel good about what we’re doing. The event’s going to be a lot of fun, and, with strong support, we’ll get this marine hospital done!

I returned one of the books I’d been lent as my “Recommended Reading” to get my science up to speed so I can be more useful. I’m keeping the other one, because I’m still working on it.

Came back and did the postcards, which was an exercise in frustration. I’ve been a loyal Canon customer for years, but the MX860’s plastic parts in the bottom tray suck. It doesn’t grab the paper properly; it says there’s no paper; it eats the paper; it won’t grab from the top tray. I’ve complained about it to them since I got the printer, and all I get are bullshit “there theres” instead of solutions. I am fed up. I have an all-in-one so I can run my business. By selling inferior products and not coming up with solutions, Canon is actively interfering in my ability to earn a living. And that is not acceptable.

Out of 48 post cards printed, only 22 are usable. The rest were chewed or smeared, and that’s once I actually got them to run through the printer. Not acceptable. I can’t afford to lose more than half of every batch I print. That’s ink and paper and time, which adds up to a lot of money.

I’d get my old one fixed, the Multipass I loved, which would print if you ran over it with a dump truck with barely a pause, but it’s not compatible with Mac. They phased it out without having the Mac software for it. And replaced it with a cheap piece of crap. I shouldn’t have to buy a new printer because the one they sold me sucks so badly bits of the plastic tray come apart in my hands, especially when I’ve complained about the same issues since the DAY I got it. Needless to say, Canon is getting a letter, cc’d to the BBB and other consumer organizations. With any other issue I had on any other product, they found a good solution immediately. The fact they won’t with this one and give me a song-and-dance about it means they KNOW it sucks and won’t take responsibility and fix the problem properly.

Anyway, I’m off to the Cape Cod Writers’ Association breakfast, and then I’m back to change and do the make up for the TV appearance, and then, this afternoon must be dedicated to my students.

It will be a busy day, and a social one. I’m a writer, used to being on my own with my characters. I’m not used to dealing with PEOPLE! 😉

Devon


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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


View from Martha’s Vineyard

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and damp

I started feeling very New-York-style stressed out yesterday, which is not a good thing.

A lot of it has to do with 1and1, the incompetent webhost. They “upgraded” the mail system — I still can’t download my mail to my hard drive, and now I can’t be on it to sort/purge/file the mail for more than 3.5 minutes at a time before my “session” expires. Which means, unless I’m writing very short emails, I can’t respond to emails in real time, either. They are such a fraudulent organization. I have GOT to get to Cape Mac and have them pull everything, so that I can move web hosts. I can’t lose tens of thousands of emails, and I can’t print them all out. I HAVE to be able to download them and store them. Right now, 1and1 holds them hostage, telling me there’s an ‘ftp error” and I can only use Outlook, which I can’t use on this computer.

I want to get safely moved off their site. And then, I will continue to press fraud charges against them with the appropriate authorities.

I’m really over Payloadz, too, as far as the ebooklets go. They change the links without telling me, and then people follow the only link I know about and can’t get the booklets. So I’m pulling all of them off Payloadz in the next few days, reconfiguring the writing booklets, and will re-release them in a few months through another venue. I’m going to put them into one package, and add tip sheets and other information into it. It will be a combo pack, but also have additional information. I’m also working on another book, but I think THE WRITER is already using the title I wanted! 😉

Class started. It always takes a few days to get people settled in, but people seem excited by the concept of having to write 1K/day and that they’re not in it alone.

Worked on some articles. Didn’t finish enough. Did laundry. Went to the dump. My back is going out again, which is disturbing. Stretched out the back. The neighbor mowed more in the rain, and edged — but not on my side this time. Sorted through stuff that accumulated by the big chair in the living room, so it’s cleaned up for company. Worked on stuff for the Mermaid Ball. Still didn’t hear a word about the baking, so baked two batches of traditional toll house cookies and two batches of lemon bars. I will plate them and wrap them to drop them off later this morning. Made up the downstairs bed, where I’ll sleep for the next ten days, giving Costume Imp my room. Finished most of the material for Confidential Job #1.

This morning, I’ve got more laundry going. Stripped my bed and put on the linens for Costume Imp. Dealt with the garden. Switching stuff around in different rooms that I need for the upcoming visit.

Wrote 2195 words on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, which I’m using for the class — I’m writing along with the class. Did all of chapter 7, which was a big break-through, although I thought the first 400 words were going to kill me. I was just choking. And then it clicked into place and was fine.

I have a LOT to do today, including finishing my first post for Writers Vineyard and scheduling it, dropping off the cookies, getting in some food, and clearing off some writing deadlines before I go pick up Imp at the drop off point.

So I better get going!

Devon

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT — 6 days to release from Champagne Books!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The Bruins are going to the Stanley Cup Final. The irises are starting to bloom. I have a book to finish and articles to write. It’s feeling like home.

I took the whole weekend off from work (except for wrapping up the Millennium Trilogy workshop). I actually had a holiday weekend. It felt good! It’s the first time I’ve done that in years.

Granted, I did a lot around the house. I did about eight loads of laundry, as I continue to unpack boxes. I switched the slipcovers from winter covers to summer ones. I unpacked more kitchen boxes, yarn boxes, etc., and I’m slowly sorting through stuff and figuring out where I want it to live, so I’m not rearranging it fifty times. I’m setting up the boxes for the flannel sheets and other winter stuff, so, as it’s clean, I can pack it and stack it where it needs to go, and I can actually get at it in the fall.

I worked in the garden — a lot. Kept deadheading the rhodies — can’t keep up with them. Finished digging out the vegetable bed (I’m out of buckets again). Put in the vegetables. Now I have my fingers crossed they survive and thrive! Fought the anthills that are all over the front lawn — the owner is going to have to call in a professional. Painted the small bookcase I got for free, and almost finished painting the bookcase that will go in my bedroom (once I’m sure it’s really, REALLY dry).

Did a lot of yoga, did a lot of meditation. Played with the cats.

Picked up the metal plant stand a few towns down the Cape. It was definitely worth the trip. Looks great on the deck. The sellers turned out to be nice; eccentric, but nice. But then, pretty much everyone who lives year-round on the Cape is a bit eccentric, in the right way. Drove to a farm one town over and picked up a sage green velvet-covered ottoman for $10. Violet has claimed it.

Washed the pollen off the patio furniture. If anyone told me I’d have to dust the deck, I’d have thought they were nuts!

Did some party planning.

Sorted out the details for my trip to the Vineyard later this week. It’s been a long time since I was on a boat. I hope I don’t get sea-sick on the ferry. I have those bracelet things just in case.

The traffic is awful. I’m sure it will be like this all summer. You can tell the off-Capers are here, because they drive the expensive cars and treat everyone like crap. Since I’m not in the service industry, I can be rude right back! 😉

Mowed the meadow. The lawn mower and I negotiated a deal. For every 20 minutes or one full bag of grass clippings, whichever comes first, we have a 20 minute cool-down. It seems fair, and, frankly, after 20 minutes, I’m ready for a break. Granted, a new mower shouldn’t be getting that hot in just 20 minutes. But, if during that 20 minutes, I stop the mower for any reason, I have to wait 20 minutes before it will start again. I can live with it for the next couple of years, providing it keeps up its end of the bargain. When I buy a place, I’ll see what kind of mower I need, and then buy a new one of a different brand. Anyway, it took several hours to mow the meadow, but it looks great, and I have many bags of grass clippings to take to the dump. The slope was difficult to negotiate with the mower — it looks like it rolls gently when you stare at it, but it’s quite a different story when you’re mowing it!

Changed all the beds (well, I do every week, but there’s something very satisfying about clean sheets). Vacuumed thoroughly. With the central vac, a quick vacuum of the whole house takes about 90 minutes, and a more diligent one a little over 2 hours, including using the attachments on the windows — which, now that they’re open most of the time, the sills need attention. Pollen everywhere. I give thanks every day that I don’t suffer those types of allergies.

I’ve been using herbs freshly cut from the garden in my cooking. It makes a big difference. It smells good, it tastes good, and there’s a wonderful satisfaction from knowing it came from my own little patch of earth.

Read a lot. I finished CE Murphy’s NEGOTIATOR series. I read THE RED LEATHER DIARY, a fascinating non-fiction book written by a woman who found a diary in the dumpster of her building and tracked down the owner, who lived quite a fabulous life in the NY of the early twentieth century. It’s as much a social history as anything else. Read Jim Butcher’s first Dresden Files book — STORM FRONT. I liked it. There was one section that felt forced to me, but I see why it was necessary for plot purposes. Caught up on magazines that have been stacking up.

I have two weeks off from teaching, so now I can focus on my own writing, get out some proposals, do a few articles, get out some more PR for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, get the newsletter out, etc. I sent out several requests for interviews in connection with the book.

Hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions to read my May Wrap-Up. I talk about trying to deal with career changes in a positive, rather than a negative way.

I’m excited to dive back into THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I’ve discovered that, in order to get the watering and weeding done properly in the garden, I’ll have to get up an hour earlier and do that before my first 1K of the day. However, I use the time as a combination of garden appreciation (be here now and appreciate it) and plotting what I’ll write next.

Carlos the Woodpecker is very busy. I don’t know why I call him Carlos — he seems like a Carlos. I hear him, and say, “Hey, Carlos, watcha doin’?”

He flies to a nearby branch and stares at me for a few minutes, and then gets back to his task. It’s become part of our morning and evening ritual. Woodpeckers are funny.

To the page. I’ve got to get grass clippings & recycling to the dump, pick up some stuff from the store, try to deadhead some more rhodies and yes, mow the front lawn. Dang, that grass grows fast! 😉

Devon

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday, I learned it takes a really long time to deadhead a rhododendron bush. I worked solidly for two hours, and got about 1/6th of it done. And I have several on the property. It’s not difficult, but it’s precise, because you have to snap off the faded flower at a specific point without disturbing new growth. And I took the advice to wear surgical gloves while working, because the faded flowers are sticky. Which is good, because it means we had happy bees, and, considering the problems in the bee population, I’ll take as many happy bees as chose to visit!

I finally came in because it started drizzling, which meant I couldn’t mow.

I handled the class, some of the students put in a request that I teach a class on Donna Leon’s work, which I’d like to do, but there’s no way I can do it before next year. I’m too booked.

I tried to get the garden soil I need, and was stuck for 35 minutes in non-moving traffic. For whatever reason, the police weren’t handling the traffic around the construction that was supposed to be done yesterday, so the construction vehicles simply sat whereever they wished in the road, not leaving room for traffic to go around them, not having anyone direct traffic, and not putting up signs for a detour. It was a big “Fuck You All” to all the people who’ve had to put up with them since the last snowstorm, and not acceptable. I turned up a side street (glad I did some exploring these last few months) and found my way home. Not acceptable.

I took care of some invoicing and reading. I checked my calendar, thank goodness, because the meeting I thought started at 7:30 ENDED at 7:30 and started at 5:30. So I rushed around, scrambling to get ready, and hit the road on time. The traffic to Buzzards Bay was awful, but I still managed to get there on time (which is why I left so early).

The meeting was the Annual Board Meeting for the National Marine Life Center, an organization which I supported even before I moved to the area. Two of the tanks that can hold turtles and small seals are ready, with a third one close. They’ve got the laundry and food prep facilities ready. They’re waiting their NOAA certification to open the section of the hospital that’s done, and, slowly, are raising money for more tanks, and a section that will have pools big enough for larger seals, dolphins, and even pilot whales. They’ve come a long way since the brunch in December. Met some really nice people, and now, that I’m feeling more settled, I want to get more involved.

I wound up on the committee for the Mermaid Ball this August, which is fine, because I’ve been working on galas for how many years now? Between the one in Saratoga and the awards show I put on for the foundation I worked on in New York. Our first meeting is next week. I made it very clear that dealing with the public is not my thing, but writing for the event, stuffing envelopes, doing physical work is much more along my line, and that’s fine. Unlike some other events, whose attitude is, “Just suck it up” — um, no. I’m a VOLUNTEER. I will lend my strengths, not do that which makes me uncomfortable. The chair of this event is fine with that, and appreciates that I’m honest up-front, so I think this will work out.

It’s a costume ball, and, since I worked in wardrobe, I feel the pressure! 😉 I also have to be able to move and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with, so it can’t be anything too elaborate or restrictive.

Costume Imp’s already working on it! 😉

Up early this morning. Tried to prune the lilac, but it started raining. I’m supposed to pick up a metal plant stand early this morning over in Yarmouth. Chickie refused to give me her address — told me to “call when you leave”. Honey, if you’re pretending to protect your address, don’t give me a phone number I can trace. I do not like being jerked around. I’m tempted to call the whole thing off, but really, it’s not that big a deal. I am going to make it very clear when I call that I already HAVE the address.

Will make another attempt to get to the garden center and pick up my soil — via a different route — once I’ve gotten the plant stand. Then, I am not going ANYWHERE during this crazy traffic weekend. Let it all flow around me. I’m going to write and enjoy my garden!

Have a great holiday weekend, all!

Devon

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