Thurs. Jan. 17, 2019: Ideas Come Even While Sick

Thursday, January 17, 2019
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

I’m still sick. Which means I’m behind on everything.

I had to cancel client work yesterday. There was no way I could go on site, without a voice, and hacking up a lung every few minutes.

I stayed in bed, reading, all morning. Reading for pleasure, and nothing that required too much concentration. In between dozing off now and again.

In the afternoon, I went over the radio script revision one last time. The original director wanted a minor character cut, so that’s what I did; the new director (the one I get on well with) liked him, so I put him back in and I also added him into the last scene.

Smoothed things over, did a few proofreads, and then, the pain-in-the-ass bit — added the line numbers.

You can’t format Word (or Pages) to put in the line numbers the way they’re needed. I don’t have Final Draft software for my old Mac, but I hear you can’t format that for radio scripts, either.

Which means adding the lines by hand on each line, and changing the spacing.

When I’m forced to work in line-numbered scripts for radio, I put the lines in last, because any revisions screw up the lines. You can’t just change one thing and have it adjust. It has to happen manually.

It’s a major pain in the ass, not to mention a time drain. Usually, it falls to the production manager to finalize the format on the production script (having held that role in multiple productions, yes, it fell to me). But smaller companies make the writer do it.

So I did it, and the script goes off today. I also did some dramaturgy.

And when I proofed it, right before sending, there were major line mistakes, so I had to do it all over again. I HATE NUMBERED SCRIPTS.

It makes me eager to get back to reworking the stage play into a full-length, rather than a one-act. There were so many layers in this particular undercover operation.

I wound up not sending a proposal to a particular summer conference because I was too sick to word it properly, and because it interfered with another conference I want to attend in DC a few days earlier. Rather than split my time and lose four days out of a week travelling to try to get a couple of days at each conference, I’m only going to one.

I’ve been asked to speak at the Writers Night Out in May; I will send my acceptance today. It was nice of them to think of me. I’ll have to make sure my handouts are up to date.

Did a little bit of noodling with a new idea. Not quite new — I’ve been working on variations of this for years. Sort of gothic, but with a twist and some comedy. It might never go anywhere, but lying in bed feeling miserable made me remember all those gothic-style books about invalids and governesses and brooding fathers and cliff top mansions.

I need to get some groceries in before tonight’s storm, but I’m not really well enough to do much of anything else. I have to finish a book for review. I need to get started on the contest entries. I have galleys to work on.

I’ll be glad when all the galleys are done and the books are ready to go, and I can work on the next Coventina Circle novel. It’s GRAVE REACH, Lesley’s book, and we already have the cover!

I didn’t do my weight training this morning because just picking up the weights exhausted me. Hopefully, I’ll feel up to it later in the day. I don’t want to start skipping. I did my morning yoga and meditation. Although I stuck to my meditation practice yesterday, I didn’t do yoga.

But I do get tired quickly. Pushing hard on the radio play yesterday took a lot out of me physically, although it was good for me mentally. I have to take it easy, or I’ll get sicker again. My whole body aches from coughing.

It will be nice when I’m not coughing all the time, too. So much for Robitussin’s 12 hour cough relief. I’m lucky if it works for 2. It’s not like I take it often, either. Maybe once a year. When they charge $16 for a small bottle, it damn well should work.

I miss Contact Cold Medicine and their “tiny time pills.” That always worked the best for me.

I have to get ahead on some blog posts, and then it’s back to the page for me.

 

Published in: on January 17, 2019 at 11:05 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 17, 2019: Ideas Come Even While Sick  
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Thurs. May 22, 2014: The Good Busy

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday was busy, but in the right way. Up early, the usual yoga/meditation/writing.
Even managed to do a little yard work, at way too early in the morning.

Managed to get a review out to my editor.

Off to the library, to get things set up, like the paging list, etc. A huge stack of boxes on my desk — incoming orders! Love that!

Dashed out after a half hour to drive to Hyannis to the CLAMS central office for a Reference Committee meeting. Got to meet a bunch of colleagues at other libraries, and we had an impromptu training session on the new Interlibrary loan system that goes into effect in a couple of weeks. I’m not the person who handles that at our library, so I took copious notes and will type it up and go over it with her.

Meeting ran until lunch time — ran back, bolted down my lunch, covered the desk for a bit, got some work done until the staff meeting. Staff meeting was fun — lots of laughter, which is as it should be.

Dashed out a little after five and drove BACK to Hyannis, to Uno’s, for the Cape Cod Writers Center Writers’ Night Out, where I was one of the speakers. Poet Charles Coe was also with us — in addition to his own creative work, he also works with Massachusetts Cultural Council, and was there to talk with us about the Council, and get a sense of what we do. Dinner was good, and I got to catch up with some colleagues on their exciting projects. Then, four of us were on the panel to discuss Writer’s Block. None of us are particularly sympathetic. It was a fun, lively panel.

Home, unwound, worked on the Big Script Project. My beaded tunic, purchased from the Rainforest Site, arrived. It’s even prettier than the photo! So happy.

Up early, the usual routine. Was upset to see that my lilacs are infested with some weird bug. I’m going to have to spray them. The smaller bushes I did, leaf-by-leaf by hand (pretty disgusting), but I can’t do the big bush, and I don’t want to lose it.

I was invited to a networking breakfast this morning, but I would have meant getting up at 4:30 instead of 5:30 to get everything done before I left, and I just couldn’t. I finished the polish on the script and sent it off.

I have to get a lot done at the library today, including getting out a mailing and working on press releases, calendars, stuff for the newsletter, etc. Somehow, it will all get done.

Tonight — more writing!

Devon

Wed. May 21, 2014: Iambe, Writings, Meetings, and Writers Night Out

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Celebration of Iambe

Today is the celebration of Iambe, the goddess of communication for whom Iambic pentameter was named.

Polished the revision on Episode 104 of the Big Script Project and sent it off, along with Episode 105. Episode 106 (due tomorrow) is in good shape, and I’ll give it a polish tonight and send it off tomorrow morning.

I also finished and printed out the Tip Sheets for tonight’s Writers Night Out, which is about Writer’s Block, and gathered some other useful materials. Went to the grocery store, got gas in the car, mowed the terraced back portion of the lawn (it looks really good now).

Finished a book I read to review. Need to do the review for my editor and get it out. It took me longer than usual. I struggled with it. I see what the author was trying to do, and I don’t think it worked.

The past few days, I’ve been looking at what was originally called POWER OF WORDS, but what I think I will rename CREATIVE UTOPIA. I really like it, and still believe in it. I wonder if my current publisher would take it on. It’s a weird project — I always assumed I’d have to get it out independently.

Fighting both a migraine and back spasms. They’re both winning right now, unfortunately.

I have a long day ahead of me — library, Reference Committee meeting, library, staff meeting, Writers Night Out, polish on the script.

The daily yoga/meditation/first cup of coffee on the deck really help me mentally focus for days like this.

It’s good busy, a feast of great things. I just can’t seem to get over the exhaustion.

Devon

Thurs. April 18, 2013: Writing and Talking

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

If you haven’t hopped over to Beth Barany’s blog to read my article on how my heroine Jain Lazarus personifies karmic return, please do. I’m also on The Writers Vineyard, in my Annabel Aidan persona, talking about the Boston Marathon and how grief can affect writing.

Wrote Chapter 10 of the book yesterday, just over 2300 words. I feel like I’m back in the flow. Did 10 pages on the non-fiction book. I have some questionnaires to complete and get out to artists and holistic therapists, which I will do today. Worked with students. Did an LOI. Had a few ideas percolating on stuff, but not sure how to follow through on them.

Spent part of the afternoon working in the yard. There’s a section on the side that’s overgrown with some prickly briar-type vines that I want to clear out. The forsythia bushes will move to that side eventually, and the owner’s putting some flowering daphne by the garage instead. I also took Tessa out and did some of my reading outside.

I’m reading Robert Olen Butler’s book of lectures on writing. There are some things I totally agree with — his insistence on writing every day, once you start a project, his use of “dreamstorming”, etc. However, his utter contempt for genre/commercial fiction is disappointing — yeah, there’s a lot of crap out there, but genre fiction also is an opportunity to make readers see the world in a way they might not otherwise be open to t he information. He also claims that writers with talent don’t outline, yet advocates the use of index cards to prepare the book — which is a form of outlining. Granted, he is much more successful in his career than I am, so he’s doing something that works for him — but I disagree with a lot of what he advocates.

Writers Night Out was last night. The good friend who’s been their business manager (and in my play) is moving to Amsterdam soon, and I met her replacement, who is a lovely person. I think I’ll enjoy working with her, too, but I’ll miss my friend. However, this is a brilliant adventure for her.

We had a lively table, a mix of people I knew and people I didn’t, so there was lots of good conversation. Four poets read (April is poetry month). Very different styles, so the juxtaposition was interesting. One guy, the youngest of them, reminded me a lot of the poets at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project in the East Village in the 90s. The language is good, what he’s trying to do is interesting, but he read in a monotone, and hasn’t yet learned how to gauge his audience and adjust what he’s doing when they get restless. Since reading is performance, those are important skills to fold into one’s reading repertoire.

Came home, fell into bed early, but had a rough night. Lots of interruptions to my sleep, and then, early this morning, the carbon monoxide detector decided it had low batteries and started to chirp.

At least I’m going back to yoga today. I’ve been away from it for too long.

Must focus on the books today, and on polishing my presentation for next weekend’s conference. Hopefully, I can get some more work done in the yard today. The hyacinths are coming up — very pretty.

Devon

Thurs. Feb. 21, 2013: Every Title I’ve Given This Post Was Way Too Snarky

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Worked hard yesterday. CREATIVE STIMULUS is almost ready to release — the Table of Contents is working my last nerve, with all the hyperlinks, etc. The ebook contains updated versions of the booklets for “5 in 10”, “Sensory Perceptions”, “Writing Rituals” and also contains the Tip Sheets I use in a lot of the classes.

I also did a lot of work on “Prolonged Engagement” — I’m excited to teach the class. I’ve gathered some good information in it.

I’m still on the fence about teaching anything in April aside from the “Setting as Character” I’ve got at NECRWA, and I’m not sure about May. In June, I’ve got the other RWA class, “Supporting Characters”, and I’m hoping July and August will be off. I need the break.

Hop on over to The Writers Vineyard, where I talk about “The Chance to Apprentice.” This goes back to online classes, where, unfortunately, too many aspiring writers look at online classes as a “service” rather than an “apprenticeship”. Classes are not services. They’re challenges, and they require commitment and work AND classes are done the way the teacher wants to run them, NOT the student.

Still dealing with casting; have a couple of dilemmas to resolve, which I hope to do today and tomorrow. We go into rehearsal on Monday, and, hey, guess what, we’re expected to get another snowstorm this week. Oy!

The Writers Night Out dinner was last night, and lots of fun, lively conversation (as always) and some readings. I also found out one of my closest friends here is moving to Amsterdam in a few months. It’s such a wonderful opportunity for her! And yet, I’ll miss her a lot. But that’s why there’s emails and letters and blogs.

Yoga was good this morning, I stopped at the beach on the way back and met a person walking two Scottie dogs (so cute), and I’m trying to clear off a few things before the 11 AM audition.

Also have to figure out how I’m going to resolve a delicate issue with a manipulative person who, while probably not actively wishing me harm, does not wish me well, and wants to be central to a particular situation for kudos, but not actually do any of the work. Which I won’t tolerate. I don’t care about the kudo bit, but if you’re going to be here and claim you’re a part of this, you are going to fucking do the work.

Busy day.

Devon

Thurs. Dec. 13, 2012: Working along in the New Moon

Thursday, December 13, 2012
New Moon
Uranus Direct
Sunny and cold
y

Yesterday was a decent workday. Went to the post office to get stamps for the cards; got a few small gifts that still need to be mailed, made a library run for some of books I’d ordered. Made the certificates for the people who successfully completed the tarot workshop. Spent time with my students.

Writers Night Out was a lot of fun last night. We were at Uno’s, in Hyannis, the usual place. Food’s not fancy, but fine – in fact, the pizza was very good. We had a lively, laughing table (many of us the new board members), and ten people read from their work, which was good.

Home at a fairly early hour, unwound reading in bed.

Up early this morning to move the car, meditate, get my first 1K of the day in on MURDER’S INTOLERANCE. I’m starting chapter five now, which means I need to sit down and do the outline for the whole book, or I’ll get derailed.

Helped my mom pack gifts for Germany. Sorted out the pumpkin seeds that have been drying from Samhain. One set from each pumpkin will be put away and planted in spring. I put aside some others to make pumpkin runes out of them — will have to get a nice Sharpie and some lacquer spray to do those.

Yoga was great this morning. Stopped at Craigville Beach on the way back — on Thursday mornings, coming back, it’s now my routine to take the road by the shore and stop for a few minutes at either Covell or Craigville Beach. I live on the Cape to be near the water — I plan to enjoy it whenever possible.

Must work with students and finish the play today, along with doing this week’s coursework and following up on some pitches. Also have to get the cards done and out. Roofers still here — they’re doing good work. Cats aren’t happy with the noise, but compared to the morons who worked on the building in NY, destroying more than they fixed, these guys are angels. They’re conscientious, know what they’re doing, give a damn, pleasant to be around, do quality work, and clean up after themselves.

Onward!

Devon

Don’t miss the Delectable Digital Delights for the holidays — small stories with big laughs and ideas — two Nina Bell tales and a twist on Yuletide myths.

Thurs. May 17, 2012: Recovering Felines, Horse-Loving Writers, and Writers Worth


Violet’s got some ‘tude

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’m over on The Writers Vineyard today, in my Annabel persona, talking about “The Scent of Lilacs” and how that’s important to writing. Hmm, think I’m a little obsessed with lilacs this year.

Yesterday was all about taking the three cats to the vet. Boxing and stuffing three frightened felines is a feat unto itself. It was definitely a challenge, in spite of setting out the crates the night before. Fortunately, I’m faster than they are, and crate them in a room where there’s no place to hide. Then, it was hauling them into the car. And driving.

Fortunately, the vet is close by. Iris, our little drama queen, howled the entire way. Violet sat there, plotting about all the horrible things she would do once we got home. Tessa was confused.

It was busy when we arrived, mostly dogs, who were very interested in the cats. The cats didn’t pay any attention. Iris did her “woe is me” routine, causing everyone to fuss over her, which is exactly what she wanted. It was pretty hilarious.

The actual vet visit wasn’t bad. They’re all in excellent health, and got all their shots updated. They won’t need rabies shots for another three years. Nobody needed a thermometer shoved up the butt, so they were spared that indignity. The twins were very good, although they were scared. Tessa was fine for the exam, her heart rate remarkably steady (the twins’ rates were elevated). That’s because, as Tessa made it quite clear, the people handling her had FAR more to worry about than she did. She was ferocious during the nail clipping. She lost that battle, but she put up a good fight.

Turns out, by trying to make it fun and non-threatening, I haven’t solved the problem. The vet said some of them just hate it, and they always will. The best thing to do is put a towel over their heads and upper bodies, pin ‘em down, and do it FAST. Good to know.

I also have to use flea and tick medicine on them all summer, thanks to the yard (but it means Tessa can come out on the deck in the puppy training crate, which she loves).

I expected them to be grumpy and lethargic when we got home. I know I was exhausted. Instead, they were all very hungry, ate like baby bears, and then they all wanted attention. It was pretty cute.

Got some work done in the afternoon, although not enough. Wrote press releases. I really enjoy that work, and I should hustle some more of that work from clients. I do a good job, when they pay as they should it’s worth it, and I enjoy it. Hey, momma’s got to make up for all that money spent on brakes and the vet! Unfortunately, a lot of people act like they’re being generous when they offer $20 to write a press release. Um, no, the going rate is about ten times that. More, if you expect me to sit there and do the distribution — which is time-and-labor intensive.

In the evening, I went to the Writers Night Out dinner in Hyannis. Lots of fun. The speaker was the person who suggested I’d be a good fit teaching in Falmouth, and I thanked her for the recommendation. Her presentation was terrific. My dinner companions were horse people (imagine — in a room full of writers, the horse-loving ones find each other — gotta love it). It was a great discussion. I respect this woman a lot because she’s working more than full time, taking care of two horses and MAKES the time to write. She’ll fulfill her writing dreams, because she’s putting in the work, and doesn’t let anything get in the way.

Off to yoga in a bit, then have to put gas in the car, come back, and work flat out all day and into the night. I have to make up for yesterday, when I couldn’t get everything done, catch up with students, get my own writing done, and get out some more pitches.

We had a lot of rain yesterday, and the fog last night was terrifying — for driving, not because I expected Coyote Cujo to emerge and attack or anything. It’s supposed to clear up today. You know what that means, don’t you? I gotta go out there and MOW again! 😉

Hop on over to Words on the Page for Paula Hendrickson’s great article, “Writers are Worth More than We Realize.”

The next section of revisions to tackle will be tricky. I’ve been pondering it, and am not sure I have a viable solution for it yet, but it needs to get done, so I will push through.

Devon

Need help creating an efficient submissions system? Join the one-day online Seminar on June 2, Setting Up Your Submission System, and I’ll walk you through it. Information and registration here.

Published in: on May 17, 2012 at 6:10 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 17, 2012: Recovering Felines, Horse-Loving Writers, and Writers Worth  
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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

Thursday, November 17, 2011: Writers’ Night Out = Awesome!

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Probably still raining

I’ve scheduled this to post, because I’ll hit the page at 5:30 this morning to get my 1000 words in on the book before heading to yoga at 7:30.

Writers’ Night Out was so much fun last night! Great food, great company. Some good networking — caught up with people I’d met a few weeks ago, met some new ones. I have A LOT of follow up to do today when I get back from yoga, but it will be worth it. Some great opportunities. AND . . .I’ll get to host some great authors on A BIBLIO PARADISE as their books come out. So you guys benefit, too! 😉

What I love about this group is that they are enthusiastic and supportive. They work on the principle I fully believe in — as writers, we are all in this together, not in competition. Whenever one of us succeeds, it helps all of us. And when we help each other succeed, it’s even better!

My students are working hard; I’m proud of them, even as I crack the whip.

It’s official: I’m only allowed adult sippy cups (AKA travel mugs) when I write. I spilled coffee over 92 manuscript pages of the Harpy book yesterday in a moment of stupidity. They are set out all over the house on towels, and the cats are rearranging them. Hey, they might have some editing tips, and it’s better than getting it over the computer, right?

When I get home, I’ll do follow-up from last night, get some media kits out to book groups, and work on one of the short stories (I’ve got four queued up to be written this weekend, in addition to the work on the novel), before heading out to an event in Falmouth.

Gotta love it!

Devon

Word count as of yesterday: Just over 79K