Thurs. Feb. 20, 2014: Striving for Craft

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and milder

Got some errands done in the morning yesterday, and also got the garbage to the dump — nice, clean bins now!

Came back and found out I landed a gig for mid-April to mid-May that I really wanted. So I have two upcoming gigs that I wanted and liked, and I’m looking forward to both.

Wrote a couple of articles for the wine blog. One is already up, and the other goes live on Friday. I’m going to finish up a few more and schedule them to post, so that I’m ahead of the game.

I’ve got a piece up, in my Annabel Aidan persona, over on Writers Vineyard, about “Inner Listening.”

Did some research for a couple of other things. Wasn’t happy with any of the fiction I wrote. Made some notes on characters that started yapping, trying to get them to be quiet.

Read some chapters of a friend’s WIP, which are very good. I had some suggestions, but I’m excited about this book.

I don’t understand it when someone (especially someone who claims to be a writer) says reading a good book is “depressing.” I find reading a good book thrilling. Why would I be depressed because a colleague does something brilliantly? It’s exciting and inspiring. It makes me want to hone my craft and let my imagination soar. I don’t want to write “like” anyone else. I want to write like me. But good writing always inspire me to set the bar higher for myself.

There’s no such thing as too many good writers. Human beings have an insatiable need for stories. What we, as writers, need to do, is keep working to be better with each piece, on both art and craft levels.

Back to the page for me. Lots to take care of today.


Published in: on February 20, 2014 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  
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Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013: After the Holidays . . .

Thursday, December 26, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Hop on over to Writers Vineyard, where in in Annabel Aidan persona, I talk about the blessings of the season.

Terrific couple of days off. I got a good bit of work done on Wednesday, especially on two novellas. Did the last-minute grocery shopping.

Christmas Eve dinner was pork loin with herbs and thyme gravy, mashed potatoes, red cabbage, green beans, and cranberry horseradish sauce. Very good! With traditional stollen for dessert.

Christmas Day, we did the stockings and then had a big breakfast before stuffing the turkey and wrestling it into the oven. Yes, I cook my stuffing IN the turkey and have never had a problem. I know how to cook thing so they don’t make people sick!

Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, corn for Christmas dinner, and for dessert, pears in warm chocolate sauce.

Then, we divvied up the food, boiled down the bones, strained them and made a lovely turkey soup!

In other words, I spent the day either cooking or doing dishes, but it was fine.

I did a lot of reading, too. Also watched the farewell tribute to Matt Smith on BBC America and his final DR. WHO episode. I wish they hadn’t hyped it so much — I thought most of the episode itself was a hot mess, trying to be too much in too many directions. Matt Smith was fun in the role, I still adore David Tennant, and I’m looking forward to Philip Capaldi. The beauty of the show is that each actor who plays the doctor has room to be unique.

Back to the grindstone today, although I’d love to have an actual vacation. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.

I did some work earlier this week with a lovely new client, and I hope we get a chance to do more work together.


Published in: on December 26, 2013 at 8:05 am  Comments (3)  
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Thurs. Oct. 4: Exciting Times and Time to Go Home!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and warm

Worked with my students yesterday, got some good work done on a few other projects. Got an apology from the slow-paying client with a promise to “pay next week”. We’ll see if that happens. Watched several of my Sustainability video lectures, and several of the World History lectures, and took the quizzes. This week’s lectures are useful in terms of my flood/drought project. I also did an email interview promoting both the Jain Lazarus books and ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT that will go up in late November.

Tessa is sulky and upset. She got out of the house and was difficult to catch yesterday, poor little thing. Hopefully, she will be glad to see me when I get home, and not act like Violet. Violet always does “talk to the tail” for three days before she forgives me.

I’m over at the Writers Vineyard today in my Annabel Aidan persona, giving thanks for this year’s Writing Harvest.

It’s more stressful here than it needs to be; I will be glad to go home. Although “home” will be chaotic for the next few weeks — the owner decided the outside of the house needs to be painted and a new roof put on.

I had a lovely meeting with an agent last night, and we had a good chat that ranged over many topics. We brainstormed some ideas, and now it’s up to me to see if I can come up with proposals that fulfill what we discussed. Excited about it.

I want to get the revisions on the article done before I head back today, and will try to get as much schoolwork done as possible. Well, I’d LIKE to curl up and read a good book, but that is not going to be an option until about Sunday! And that book will be something I’m reviewing!

Quick reminder — I’m over at the Muse Online Conference next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, teaching my Supporting Characters workshop. Hope to see you there!

Off we go — I hope the drive back won’t be bad this afternoon. I’m tired of driving in bad weather and dense traffic.


Thurs. March 22, 2012: Nap, Please?

Thursday, March 22, 2012
New Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Foggy and warm

Yesterday was just flat out. I was up around 6 AM and didn’t stop until 10 PM at night. It was a good day, but busy. HEX BREAKER edits and updated front matter are out to my editor. In my Annabel Aidan persona, I’ve got an article up on The Writers Vineyard about fear. I managed to log in to the workshop site (which I couldn’t get into on Tuesday afternoon or evening), but it was right before I had to leave, so I couldn’t do more than say I’d put in extra hours today and tomorrow.

Hit the road by 9 AM. Lots of fog and traffic. We stopped in Mystic for a few things, and then in Niantic. I found some things I was looking for, and some I didn’t know I needed at the Book Barn, we had a quick lunch, and then continued on. I got Costume Imp to his 4 PM train back to the city, and arrived at the site shortly thereafter.

I unloaded, got settled a bit, and then there was a dinner — good food, good wine, good conversation. But by the time everything was all wrapped up, it was 10 PM, and I was far too tired to even try to comment on student work. One of the other guests was also a teacher, and we talked about educational modules, etc. I’ve been talking to a lot of teachers, lately, who are involved in many different types of teaching. We all face very similar challenges, no matter what type of organization we’re connected with.

Up at 4:30 this morning, had to do work here on site until a few minutes ago. I’ve got to get the HEX BREAKER media kit done in the next couple of days. I’m going to hop online and comment on student work for a couple of hours, then do some more work here, then go back and comment more, etc. I might have to take a 40 minute nap or something this afternoon. I am rather wiped out.

I’ve got website updates to upload soon, and I’m working on the Jain Lazarus tie-in story and the Billy Root marketing idea that will coincide with HEX BREAKER’s release. So, lots to do, and limited amount of hours.

Back to it.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
A Dark and Stormy Morning
Bastille Day

Yoga on the Beach cancelled this morning, due to the weather. I focused on home practice instead. I usually don’t go out there on Fridays because of traffic, but I’ll see tomorrow. It rained and stormed since about dinner time last night, so I don’t have to worry about watering for awhile.

Hop on over to The Writers Vineyard and read my piece on “Why Are We Here?”, meaning with characters, not in the deep, esoteric sense. I replaced the original piece I had posted for today, because it felt out of tone and a little too strident with the overall voice of the blog.

Bastille Day has great personal significance because, in the mid-80’s, I chose that as the day to leave a toxic job situation. So I consider it my personal liberation day!

Iris is fine. She screamed her head off in the car coming and going; never said peep in the office. The vets are pleased that, although they are chronologically eleven years old this year, both cats are more like healthy three or four year olds. This also means that the Third Kitty Adoption Project can move forward. So many shelters, so many cats that need homes. It will be a hard decision, but I trust I’ll know when it’s the “right” one to fit into the family.

Confidential Job #1 sent me a project that’s a Very Big Deal. I’m quite excited about it and already started it, I’m also honored that they think I’m the person to handle it.

Worked on Confidential Job #1 yesterday afternoon, and got a nice chunk of work done on POWER OF WORDS in the evening. I’m restructuring the audition section. Unlike a lot of other books, where I prefer to work in full drafts, each section sets up so much for the following sections that the section has to be in good shape in order to move forward. I’m stuck in the section where they’re filming in Prague because of weaknesses n the audition and rehearsal sections. I may have to re-envision some of the Cape Cod filming section, too. When you have a large ensemble of characters and many of them are playing characters inside the piece, it’s going to be a challenge to keep it all straight. I’m juggling the story lines of the characters in the book along with the storylines of the characters played by the characters within the series.

Not to mention the fact that, in its current shape, it’s unpublishable, and not just because it’s an early draft. The project is so unwieldy, when I get it into solid shape as a good story, I’ll have to figure out how to break it down and package each section. But that is WAAAAY down the line.

This morning, however, will focus on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and then I have a whole lot of work to do for the Mermaid Ball!


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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iris rests up for Costume Imp’s visit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

I’m a guest over on Curling Up By the Fire (as Annabel), talking about character evolution. Come visit and drop a comment.

Hit the ground running yesterday, doing my work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, spending time with my students (who are really cool, by the way), changing the beds, dealing with the yard (in spite of drizzle), working on articles, working on stuff for the Mermaid Ball, dealing with more promo for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, forgetting to do my health care paperwork (I’m almost there, just gotta fill out the last bit), grocery shopping, more laundry, vacuuming, last-minute tidying, etc.

I plated the various cookies and lemon bars, wrapped them, loaded them all on a massive tray, covered them in foil, taped the note to the top, and dropped it off at the library. When I walked in, looking like I was carrying the Christmas Turkey, the whole library fell silent.

Then, one of the librarians darted forward and said, “This is AWESOME!”

The rest of the drop offs were one little plate each. Well, how the hell did I know? I had no information! All I knew was there were six houses on the tour. So I baked for six tables! 😉

Costume Imp got here safely — I pulled in just behind the bus. We came home, did a round in the yard, had a glass of wine on the chilly deck, got him settled in the room. I’d made potato salad, and then cooked some battered chicken (as in, dipped in batter, I didn’t beat it up or anything) and steamed green beans with butter.

Had a lot of email to deal with in the evening. Finished my first Writers Vineyard piece and scheduled it to post– let’s hope it does. Was invited to contribute an article to an interesting-sound mag for August that will also help promote ASSUMPTION. Still working on some other articles that need to get out the damn door.

The cats woke me at 4:30 this morning. I told them no one was paying me to be up that early, and I wasn’t gonna! Finally got up just before 6. Yoga, meditation, garden, and 1,212 words on SPIRIT REPOSITORY.

I’m really proud of the Write in Company class. They are sticking to it and brainstorming and chatting about ideas. It’s a good start, let’s hope we all build on the momentum.

I’ve got a lot of work to do in the morning while Imp sleeps in; then we are dashing around to farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Imp wants to cook while he’s here, which is fine with me! 😉

Tonight is Game 7 between Boston and Vancouver, and I’m gonna watch!

I finished the material for Confidential Job #1 and have to write it up, do some more work for the Mermaid Ball, and get a couple of other things out the door.



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