Mon. Feb. 6, 2023: Intent for the Week — Pace

image courtesy of Pete Linforth via pixabay.com

I have to deal with work across multiple arenas this week, so the key to the week will be pacing myself. I don’t want to push too hard too early in the week and have nothing left by the end. I don’t want to lag and then play catch-up at the end.

Steady pace.

Keep up.

Move forward.

What’s your intent for the week?

Published in: on February 6, 2023 at 7:50 am  Comments (1)  

Fri. Feb. 3, 2023: Brrrrrrr!

image courtesy of HANSUAN FABREGAS via pixabay.com

Friday, February 3, 2023

Waxing Moon

Bitterly cold

It is brutally cold out there, and an advisory went out, asking people to stay in unless absolutely necessary. I plan to heed that warning. Power outages are also rolling through, so it could be a cold, difficult weekend. The internet and phone keep going in and out, too.

Meditation didn’t happen yesterday. The leader was away; she’s very organized, but the person who organizes the group at the library doesn’t communicate well enough with the rest of us. This happens too often: we all show up, and then it’s canceled ten minutes in. It’s definitely easier because it’s virtual than if we all drove in and showed up, but it still gets frustrating.

The fourth episode of Angel Hunt drops today.

Yesterday was somewhat of a fractured, fiddly day. I did the social media rounds to promote Legerdemain and to drop the #28Prompts. Spoutible is still having issues, although, by the end of the day, they were claiming (on Twitter) to have fixed them and run faster than Twitter. Like I said yesterday, ballsy of them to openly do their admin on Twitter when they are a competitor, and Yegads Muskrat has worked so hard to prevent people from posting their links to Post or Mastodon. I guess I’ll find out today, when I do today’s rounds, how it’s running.

In the live Q&A pre-launch, they claim they want to support working artists who promote and share information about their work, so we’ll see if that’s the case.

I have to keep reminding myself that Twitter didn’t start paying off in engagement or in boosting sales right off the bat. I grew the audience over years, and continued to grow it. However, in that time lag it takes to grow new audiences and support on other platforms, my income takes a hit. So I have to come up with an interim marketing strategy as I grow on various platforms, and pull back from those who aren’t fulfilling any need (because it’s not all about boosting sales, but there’s no point in continuing to post on sites with zero interaction even on non-marketing posts).

I managed to get through a lot of email and deal with it, but the amount that remains across several inboxes is depressing. However, reading newsletters as palate-cleansers between tasks is working for me better than saving them to batch-read later.

Did some work on the article. Got part of what I needed from MassMOCA very fast, and we’ll see if I need to contact them for more information.

Having conversations about the possibility of a week-long residency in the fall. There are a bunch of pieces that need to fall into place (some of which have nothing to do with me), but if it works out, I’d really like to do it. I have the idea for a project I’d work on during that time, and it would shake up my process and stretch me, so I hope it comes to pass.

One of the handlers at an agency with which I’m signed is pitching me for a 3-month, 20-hour/week gig to a company. The money’s right, and 20 hours works with balancing the rest of what I do. It’s more big corporate than I usually do, but I’m definitely qualified for the work AND would learn a lot AND it’s only three months, which is the kind of thing I’m looking for. I updated my remote cover letter, did a project-specific blurb about my qualifications, updated the marketing portfolio and sent it off. We’ll see where it goes from there. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I’m pleased that she thought of me for the slot.

I managed to plant a pot of butterfly-friendly plants (Shasta daisy, Black-eyed Susan, Coneflower) and some of the Bergamot seeds from the local botanical garden, in honor of Imbolc. I have to update this year’s plant journal, and move some of the pages to the big, multi-year binder.

All those little dribs and drabs prevented me from any deep dive writing, and that’s part of what left me feeling unsettled all day. I’m taking note of that, so I can fix it for today and moving forward. A reminder that “oh, it’ll only take 10 minutes” putting a task before the first major writing session of the day often means I lose the day’s writing – because it NEVER takes just 10 minutes.

I’m trying to figure out how to set up my bedroom as more of a sanctuary. The space is fine (I’ll never have a bedroom as big as the one on Cape again, that was an anomaly), the furniture is fine, there’s a limited way to arrange things, but I can do more (on a budget) to make it feel more sanctuary-ish. I just have to figure out what that is. I am not one for a Spartan aesthetic. That stresses me out. I want cozy, warm, texture, books, crystals, soft lighting, etc. Getting a rug in there will help, and I know what I want, but haven’t yet found it (in my price range). Putting up curtains will also help. I have no issue with the blinds up there, but I’m more of a curtain person. Figuring out how to put something on the big wall behind the bed that feels elegant and cozy and doesn’t cause me to lose my deposit will help a lot, too. I have ideas on what I want it to look like; now I have to apply my theatre skills on how to pull it off.

Never let anyone tell you that skills you learn working in theatre are irrelevant in life. It’s simply not true. My theatre training in various aspects has done more to add value to the rest of my life than anything else.

I also need to do some work on my office again, organizing and straightening things out. Juggling projects has gotten a little messy, and I like the office to be tidier.

None of it has to happen all at once; I keep my eyes open for what will work in my price range and keep adjusting.

The weekend is about staying in, writing, reading, working on reviews and contest entries. If scripts come in, I’ll do them, since it was so light this week. Sunday should be warm enough to venture out and go grocery shopping. Next weekend, I might actually go out and do a few things – I’m signed up for a meditation session at my yoga studio, and I’m invited to an artist talk. The risk assessments and safety measures in place seem to work for both.

Have a good one!

Thurs. Feb. 2, 2023: Blessed (Cold) Imbolc

image courtesy of NoName_13 via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Waxing Moon

Bitterly cold

Imbolc

Hop over to Gratitude and Growth for more on the garden.

Yesterday was kind of all over the place. I had a bunch of admin work to do in the morning. Then I did the social media rounds to promote Angel Hunt, Ink-Dipped Advice, The Process Muse posts, and the day’s #28Prompts.

I got an email from Barnes & Noble stating I had to update payment information for an upcoming order. Which I did. And they WOULDN’T – not couldn’t, but WOULDN’T, due to ‘security reasons’ —  connect the updated payment information to the order. I have never worked with a company where, once I updated payment information, the order wasn’t simply put through with the new payment info that’s now default on the account and that was that. I’ve done with every account I have, from the storage unit to Amazon to the webhost, because Greylock issued new debit cards last fall for no damned good reason, and no one has a problem. I put in the new information, it’s confirmed, it’s marked as “default” and then we’re good to go. They get their money; I get my order. Basic business. I argued back and forth with them for TWO HOURS, and they finally said the best they could do was to cancel the order and have me put It through again, with the new information. Which also meant additional shipping charges.

No, mofo. Your antiquated system that won’t update from my end and then you REFUSE to update it on your end is not my problem. Cancel the order and lose me as a customer.

I will put the order through elsewhere. It’s for books by a friend of mine, and I just told her I’d pre-ordered them ages ago (which I had). So I want the damn books.

But I won’t be ordering anything from B&N anytime soon (if ever). I’d used them as an alternative to Amazon (along with Bookshop.org), but now it’s Bookshop, even though I don’t like the shipping fees.

And there was my morning, lost, without the writing I needed to do on Legerdemain or anything else. Because they wouldn’t tie the updated credit card information on the online account to the actual order. I’d cancel the whole account, but there’s no function to do so.

I switched over to reading some pitches and scoring sheets. And then I remembered Spoutible launched today, so I went over to get that all set up. I pre-registered MONTHS ago, and don’t like that we didn’t get any immediate link launch information. Signing up/in was a pain in the butt, because the server kept crashing (people are excited to be there). Then they want to verify my phone number. Let me be very clear – NOTHING about 2-factor verification using the phone is about security. EVERYTHING is about collecting data. I resent having everything tied to the phone. I wouldn’t even have a phone if I could get away with it. And the authentication wouldn’t go through, it kept saying it “couldn’t verify” my phone number.

I was about to tell them to bite me, too, but then it went through and everything was settled.

The server is running slowly because so many people tried to sign up all at once (rolling the launch over a few weeks like Post did would probably have made things smoother).

So many people are raving about how good it is, and how similar to Twitter it is and I’m like, meh? Probably because of the initial crush, but it’s very hard to move between screens. For instance, if I search a topic, I then have to wipe it from the search bar after I’ve dealt with it, because going back to “timeline” only gives me the search results again, instead of the overall timeline feed. I’m hoping things will smooth out, but with all the hype, especially the way they were talking in the live session yesterday, I expected more.

But I’ll give it a chance. I’ve already found some old writer pals and made some new ones.

I also think it’s ballsy that Spoutible does so much of their admin on Twitter, when their goal is to get people to leave Twitter for them.

I managed to get the prompt for the day even up on Hive, although that was another way-too-much-wasted-time event.

But I’m telling you, I was In A Mood by the end of it all. Not in the mood to do the one short coverage I had, but it wasn’t due, so I put it off. I want to give the script and the writer  full focus and solid attention, not grumpy pants attention. I’ll go back to it today. Writers put their hearts and souls into the work, and I want to make sure to give every piece I read, whether it’s coverage reading or reviews or contest entries, a fair shake.

On a happier note, answers to the interview questions started to come in, and I have to make an appointment over at MassMOCA next week or so to get some background for the article.

I’m getting very excited about the article.

I found some interesting submission calls for plays that I sent off to a friend. There’s one, at a playhouse I know, that I might also send something in for. There was another one that interested me, but the deadline is today, and I’m not sure I have the right material for it. Some residency application deadlines hit my desk – and were due yesterday or today. I wish they’d let people know about them earlier.

I did a quick revision on one short play I thought would be good for one organization and got that in. So we’ll see. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I still have time for the other.

I also signed up for the Dramatists’ Guild “End of Play” event in April. I will write one of the full-lengths I started developing in the workshop sponsored by Williamstown Theatre Festival last year.

I forgot to mention that, on Tuesday, I spent some quality time with the virtual alumni book group, talking about THE READING LIST, and it was a lot of fun. And a local theatre’s moved to a new space, inviting me to their open house at the end of the month. If the weather is okay, I think I will go.

Later in spring, I think we’ll do a day trip to Hobart, NY, which has a ton of second hand bookstores. A friend sent me an article about the place. It’s about two and a half hours away, which means it could be a reasonable day trip, when the weather is nicer.

The stores sound luscious.

I considered renting a place for a few days as a change of scenery to write, but honestly, if it’s not a residency with a private studio and meals provided, I might as well stay home and work, where I have my pots and pans and magic coffeemaker. Because if I have to do my own cooking in a different space (which, I admit, can be fun), I will be taking crates of equipment with me and spending more time in the kitchen than on my work. Especially since I’m not doing indoor dining yet.

I had the Black Screen of Death on the computer this morning, but managed to get it up and running. Told ya they hadn’t fixed it properly. How much do you want to bet it will have to go out again soon for repair?

Meditation this morning, then off to pay some bills before the weather turns too brutal. Then, I’ll spend some quality time on the page, finish off the coverage, and switch over to contest entries and the books for review. I’ll also do the social media rounds promoting today’s episode of Legerdemain, #28 Prompts, etc.

The Chewy delivery didn’t get here yesterday (which is fine, I always try to order early enough so it’s not a problem). The Midnight City Tarot is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and I’m very excited. I’m hoping to do some work later today with the Rackham Tarot on recent dreams, and I plan to set out and post a tarot spread for Imbolc.

I did some candle work last night, and today I will do the first planting.

Have a good one!

Wed. Feb. 1, 2023: Hello, February!

image courtesy of tlparadis via pixabay.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Waxing Moon

Grey and cold, turned to sunny and colder

Yesterday’s weather was all over the place. One minute it was snowing, then it was sunny, then there were flurries coming down in the sun. Pretty, though. We’re supposed to get a wave of absolutely brutal cold Thursday night into Saturday night, and they’ve advised people not to be out. I cancelled my weekend plans, although I still hope to get out Sunday for a big grocery shop.

There’s a tough love post over on Ink-Dipped Advice about how to follow your dreams, and a post over on today’s Process Muse about plots and subplots. Check them out when you have a minute.

I drafted another episode of Legerdemain and figured out the next few episodes (within the context of the larger outline). I did the social media rounds promoting Episode 55. I uploaded/scheduled the promotions for this week’s episodes of Angel Hunt and adjusted the graphic sizes on the Legerdemain episodes for the Instagram posts.

I did my errands: drop-off/pick up at the library; coffee, eggs, and bread at the grocery store; a bottle of wine. The people I encounter on this regular round of errands are really very nice, and I’m grateful.

I was feeling tired and grumpy, though, anyway, although I made sure not to take anything out on the people I encountered on my errands.

I put through the Chewy order for cat litter.

I attended the pre-launch live Q&A for Spoutible on Twitter (which is just weird to me, but whatever). Some of their policies are creating red flags for me. We’ll see. It’s supposed to launch today.

I honed and tweaked interview questions for an article and sent them off. I’m looking forward to this piece.

I created a new logo for The Process Muse. This one feels more like me. I’ve even updated it in the sidebar for this blog!

I started writing up the notes/scenes on the Urban Fantasy romance and hit an issue with the character names. The names that I’ve been using have meanings contrary to themes in the story (because who the fuck knows what the plot is at this point). But when I tried to change the names, I got stuck. So I guess the names are the names, at least for now. Again, trust the subconscious. It knows what it’s doing, even when the rest of me doesn’t. However, writing scenes when there’s no plot to hang it onto is difficult. I think I’ll add notes in parentheses about vaguely what should happen and then, the character interactions that are clear in my head, I can write as scenes.

A fantastic opportunity showed up on my desk in the afternoon, but I don’t know if I can put something together to take advantage of it by February 12th. But it is totally in my wheelhouse and would be hella fun if I could pull it off. Plus lucrative. Plus good for my career.

Worked on contest entries yesterday afternoon and evening, since I didn’t have any script coverages. The cat litter order from Chewy should arrive today, and the Midnight City Tarot shipped and should be here by Friday.

The third episode of ANGEL HUNT drops today (the last free episode). I hope you enjoy it. I’ll be making the social media rounds today to promote that, to promote The Process Muse and Ink-Dipped Advice. I’ll also be doing the rounds to post the first of the #28Prompts (it will drop on Twitter at noon EST). I’m hoping I can upload them to Hive via the tablet, but who knows?

Tues. Jan. 31, 2023: Starting With More Snow

image courtesy of StockSnap via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Waxing Moon

Snowy and cold

This won’t be as long as our usual Tuesday morning chat, because I just don’t have that much to say.

The month wrap up is over on the GDR site.

I wrote two book reviews on Friday morning, sent them in, invoiced, was paid, did a library run, came home. The weather was yucky. I had some scoring sheets and some pitches for coverage, that was it.

I have to say, these scoring sheets where the instructions are only to read the first page of the screenplay and score on that are teaching me a lot about how to open my own scripts.

I was done by mid-afternoon. My back hurt a lot, so I moved to the couch with the heating pad, and stayed there, reading for pleasure, pretty much all weekend. The weather was gray and icky.

Saturday’s reading was re-reading the 4th book of my own GAMBIT COLONY project and what I have of the 5th, on which I wanted to figure out and rework a few bits. I made some notes and did an insert scene. It’s not traditionally viable, so I’ll have to pitch it to a small publisher, and I have to make sure I have all the ducks in the row for the series. There’s a lot that works in it, and there’s also a lot that pushes boundaries. And there are cuts that need to be made, or information integrated differently, in order to let the focus remain on the large and ever-growing ensemble.

But in the late afternoon/evening, I switched over to reading for pleasure, and basically read all day Sunday.

There were some books that I started and went back in the return stack for the library after a few chapters because they just didn’t do it for me. But I read LAST TRAIN TO MEMPHIS by Elizabeth Peters (another Vicky Bliss), Lana Harper’s BACK IN A SPELL (which is really good), and AN UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS by M.E. Hilliard, which I think I’ve read before, but it was a pleasure to re-read (and order the next books in the series), and an early book by an author whose work I’ve read a lot of under various names; this one was a little on the cutesy side for me.

I should have dived into the books on Malta’s history for the Heist Romance screenplay. I did look through the travel guides and watched some local videos, and decide where I’m putting some of the key scenes, though. I should have worked on contest entries.

But I was in pain and feeling grumpy and unsettled, so I didn’t. I did, early on Saturday morning, dash out to get more ink. Getting in and out of the car was hard. But it had to be done.

Monday I had to get up and actually function, so I did some prep for Imbolcc, blogged, worked on Process Muse posts, and took the car in for inspection in the morning – new-to-me place, in and out in 12 minutes, which is less time than it took to drive there. But I’m all set until next year.

I only had a stack of scoring sheets to do in the script coverage, so I did that, and started working ahead on the Process Muse posts.

I have an idea tickling at the back of my brain. I thought it was going to be historical alt-fantasy or epic fantasy, but the characters have decided it is urban fantasy romance, so that’s what it will be. If I ever figure it out. Because some key scenes basically dropped into my head, and I have the story with the emotional arcs for the two protagonists, but not the plot. So I’ll make notes on the scenes (or maybe write them, there are not many of them), and let it percolate on the back burner of my brain to see if a plot evolves. All of last night’s dreams were in the world of that story, and through those characters’ experiences (rather than me being myself in one of my Dreamscapes), so there’s obviously something in there my subconscious believes is viable.

I ordered the Midnight City Pocket Tarot and am very excited to get it. The artwork is based on NYC locations, so it will have a resonance for me.

Soup class was fun – we did mulligatawny soup, and it was great. I missed the last couple of weeks of class, and missed the camaraderie, as well as the skills I’m learning. Once the food is created, everyone just hangs out and chats, and it’s fun. The best of Zoom (and makes Charlotte so happy).

I did a reading with the Spirit Allies Oracle deck, which came in the Goddess Provisions box a couple of months back. I don’t know why I’m surprised when it’s so accurate. It’s a terrific deck, by the way.

Anthony Lemke talked about a book he read that he really loved. It’s been on my TBR list for awhile, but I’m moving it up, because he’s never steered me wrong when it comes to books or good work!

We had a little snow overnight, maybe just over an inch. We have an ice warning out, and it’s kind of flurrying. I’ll wait until mid-day to do my library-grocery-liquor store run. I need more coffee. And I have to put in a Chewy order for cat litter.

The cats have adjusted to the whole not-being-fed-until-coffee. But the second the coffeemaker starts (it’s set for a specific time the night before) and the smell wafts through the house, all of them are making demands that I Get Up and Feed Them. It’s kind of hilarious.

I need to get my act together and focus today. There’s writing to do, interview questions to create and send off, contest entries to read, a book to start reading for review. No scripts in the queue, at least so far. I’m not in terrible shape this pay period, but I’m under what I hoped, and I’m very, very frustrated at the pressure to “double volume” when there aren’t enough scripts at a decent rate in the queue. So I need to add in other options.

#28Prompts starts tomorrow. I hope you have fun with it. I had fun coming up with the prompts. It will drop on Twitter at noon EST every day, and on the other social media channels (where I can’t schedule ahead of time) whenever I can get on them.

The next episode of Legerdemain drops today. I hope you enjoy it. Be well, my friends.

Mon. Jan. 30, 2023: Intent for the Week — Light & Heal

image courtesy of svklimkin via pixabay.com

Imbolc is this week, the stirring under the stillness.

I’ve definitely been still this past weekend, at least physically. My back’s been in bad shape, so it’s been about a lot of rest and some gentle movement.

This week, I want to celebrate Imbolc (which hits midweek) and heal, while still getting my work done. I don’t have the option of just taking off, unfortunaately. But I can rearrange my schedule so that I’m as gentle with myself as possible, while getting done what needs to be done.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on January 30, 2023 at 9:01 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. Jan. 27, 2023: Just Keep Typing

image courtesy StockSnap via pixabay.com

Friday, January 27, 2023

Waxing Moon

A little sun, a lot of clouds

Could that be a peek of sun, before the next storm comes in this weekend?

Meditation was good, and then I wrote 20 pages on the Heist Romance script. I did the entire section in Monte Carlo, and they’re back in Nice now. When I do break the script down into episodes (it’s definitely limited series, not a single screenplay), I think I’ve found the place to end the first episode in Monte Carlo. For this first script, I’m doing One Giant Overlong Script, and then I’ll break it down, once I see what I have, and structure each episode properly. As I write, I’ll keep an eye out for natural stopping points at the approximate page counts.

Not the way one is supposed to do it as a professional (write the pilot, don’t write more until it’s contracted), but it serves this piece better, so hey.

The second episode of Angel Hunt goes live today. I hope you enjoy it.

My lower back was in terrible pain yesterday, so bad I had to take something for it. Stretching helped a little. Figures downward dog, one of my least favorite asanas, is the one that helps the most.

I’m getting more and more frustrated with Twitter. Between one set of assholes just being right wing assholes, another set expecting us to do free administrative labor on their accounts (“tell me if I’m not following you” – no, mofo, look at your followers/following lists and  figure it out your damn self), and another set bullying (“if you follow X, I will unfollow you” – boo, just blocked ya, it’s all taken care of), I am getting sick of it. The same faux engagements questions showing up, over and over and OVER again. Numbnuts “sharing” snippets from an early draft and blowing first rights. Asking for resources, but really wanting perfect strangers to put themselves on the line to get you work when you have no intention of following through. No. Just stop. The other platforms have different focuses, depending on the platform, and there’s nothing, right now, with Twitter’s former reach.

But then, I also have to remind myself, I was on Twitter for 13 years, building community/a following. It’s not going to happen in two weeks anywhere else. I have to put in the work, which is just exhausting.

I managed to hop in for some of Freelance Chat, which was fine, and I did the social media rounds to promote yesterday’s episode of Legerdemain.

I turned around three coverages, and then read the two books for review. One was an absolute delight. The other had some good qualities, but the logic fell apart at the end. I will write up those reviews this morning, send them off, and invoice. I have a stack of scoring sheets, a pitch, and a treatment to read this afternoon. I really don’t want to read over the weekend; let’s hope something comes in for Monday and Tuesday, since Tuesday’s the end of this pay period.

I have a library run to do – plenty of books to drop off, and a stack’s come in since my visit earlier this week. But the priority is to find a place to get the car inspected and the bulb fixed. The bulb was Mercury Retrograde’s final middle finger in the shadow. Bad retrograde for all my tech, this time around.

And I need more ink for the printer, because of course I do. Black AND color.

Did some noodling notes on something in between projects yesterday. It’s turning out to be quite different than I expected from the initial idea (which is something I’ve played with on and  off for a couple of years, and couldn’t get to work). So we’ll see.

Back to the page.

Have a great weekend.

Thurs. Jan. 26, 2023: Grey Days

image courtesy of Lena Lindell via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Waxing Moon

Gray and cold

I like to spell the color both ways: “grey” and “gray” depending on mood and contest. “Grey” fit me better today.

The latest garden post is up over on Gratitude and Growth.

Did the social media rounds early yesterday, promoting The Process Muse and the Angel Hunt launch. Now that I finally have the direct link to the serial, I can start uploading/scheduling each episode’s logline. And, since I’m using the same graphic, it makes things simpler. I updated the links on various webpages.

Went out early to mail some letters and grab some groceries before the next storm came in. One of my lamps is out on the car, which means I have to find a place to fix it before the inspection. Which has to happen by Jan. 31. Argh. But I grabbed a few things (how did I run out of onions, for crying out loud?) and made it back before the snow started up again.

Considered signing up for a six week yoga program at the library in Williamstown. It’s on Thursday mornings, which means soon after the Zoom meditation with the group at Concord Library was finished, I’d get in the car and drive over to Williamstown. Which is doable; it just means rearranging my Thursdays to write extra early in the morning before meditation, and Thursdays mornings are All About Me. I kind of liked that idea. But, investigating the details of it, there are no COVID protocols in place, and it’s happening inside in the winter.

Nope.

We’re being pressured by the script coverage company to “double our volume” this year. Okay, first of all, then pay me more. Second of all, I’m already reading 10-15 scripts/week when they are available, and if I try to read 30, I’ll burn out even faster than I am now. Third, if you want us to work full time, that means salary AND BENEFITS INCLUDING PAID VACATION AND HEALTH CARE. Working 40 hours a week for a single company without a stable salary or benefits would just make me an idiot.

I mean, I know all of the readers are just part of the sausage factory, but we bust our asses, and the pay gets lower, but the volume of work gets higher. So I’m upping the LOIs (especially in the break between retrogrades) to get a wider range of clients over the coming months.

Because I’m burning out on this, and increasing the pressure on me is only going to make me burn out faster.

Went down a research rabbit hole on abandoned towns for sale as background for a piece, and it was a lot of fun.

Turned around four coverages and scores on a pitch.

Should have started reading the next book for review; instead, I read a book for pleasure, WELL TRAVELED by Jen DeLuca, which takes place at a series of Ren Faires. Deborah Blake recommended it, and I’m glad she did. It’s lots of fun.

The cats slept all day during the snow, and then were up all night causing trouble. I had to get up several times in the night to scold them. Then, they tried to blame each other, even though I fully knew all three were involved in the various escapades.

Busy times in the Dreamscape. All good, but it’s starting to feel like I’m leading a double life, and I’m tired of waking up tired.

Meditation this morning, and then some writing. I need to work on the article, get some more work done on LEGERDEMAIN, I think I’m just about ready to write the next section of the Heist Romance script. Have to do the social media rounds to promote the episode that goes live today. I have three coverages to do this afternoon. Tomorrow are dribs and drabs of score sheets and pitches. I think that’s all I’ll take, so I have room to finish the books for review tonight and tomorrow, and try to find a place to get the car done. I also need to do some extra yoga today; my lower back is unhappy from the shoveling, and then the sitting and couch potato-ing from the last few days. I need to stretch out the kinks.

Not sure if I’ll do coverage this weekend or not; I have to see what comes in, and what my energy levels are like. I’m under where I want to be, money-wise (in spite of a higher “volume” this pay period), but I’m also tired. And I want to focus on my own work this weekend. And maybe get some extra sleep.

We’ll see how today and tomorrow go. In the meantime, I hope you’re having a good day, easing into a good weekend.

Enjoy the next episode of Legerdemain!

Wed. Jan. 25, 2023: ANGEL HUNT Launch Day

Wednesday, January 25, 2022

Waxing Moon

Virginia Woolf’s birthday

Burns Night

ANGEL HUNT:

ANGEL HUNT launches today, with new episodes dropping on Wednesdays and Fridays. The episodes are intentionally short, usually less than a thousand words. I hope you check it out and follow it. The first three episodes are free, so you can read for free until the middle of next week.

A witch.

An angel.

An impossible task.

A devil calls in a marker, forcing witch Lianna Maplethorpe to hunt a renegade angel. It gets even more complicated and dangerous when the renegade turns out to be Lianna’s own Guardian Angel, who she believed abandoned her. As magical conflicts escalate in 2004’s New York City between differing factions, deeper and darker magic than Lianna has ever faced force her to grow – or die.

Urban Fantasy set in a slightly alt-New York City, beginning in 2004.

Direct Link Here.

Back to the Regular Blog:

The newest Process Muse post, talking about “Mindful Work” is here.

Wrote the loglines for the new LEGERDEMAIN and ANGEL HUNT episodes. Did the social media rounds promoting yesterday’s episode of LEGERDEMAIN. Created a double graphic for LEGERDEMAIN/ANGEL HUNT.

I need to get #28Prompts uploaded and scheduled soon, too. February is just around the corner.

Dug my car out. It wasn’t fun, but not as bad as expected. And I didn’t clear out all the space between cars, either, because I’m tired of being the only one who ever does it. But I made a nice little bowl around the car, so that I can run some errands this morning, before the next storm comes in.

Put up the Valentine’s decoration on the front door. I like having something fun up on the front door all the time, and switching it out every month or so.

Turned around 5 coverages and one score sheet in the afternoon. One of the coverages is for one of the best pieces I’ve ever read anywhere. What a delight! I can’t give more details, because NDA.

Worked on contest entries.

They’re backing off on how much snow is coming in. I might not do errands today, and do them tomorrow and Friday instead, although I need to mail a few things and get eggs. I might tromp down to the mailbox at the end of the street and then hit up Cumberland Farms and see if they have any eggs.

Pulled myself out of a weird dream last night. It wasn’t bad, just busy, and I realized it was the third time I’d been in the same dream in the same sequence (three distinct parts). Once I pulled myself out, I realized I should have stayed in it, because if I’ve had the same exact dream three times in a row, my subconscious is trying to feed me information I’m not getting. Go figure.

Discouraged with all social media platforms right now. February will be dialed back somewhat, focusing on the promotion drops and the #28Prompts. Then I’ll reassess. But I need to get the Topic Workbook promos going again. When I do those properly, they sell steadily.

I also need to figure out how I’m going to do wider promotion (paid advertising) for both Legerdemain and Angel Hunt (once there are more AH episodes live). I’m putting together a giveaway package of Legerdemain, and will probably do a series of bookmarks for it that will be a more general giveaway. I have to figure out what kind of giveaway I could do for AH.

Creating the giveaways isn’t that hard. It’s getting the material and getting them made up. Without the laser printer, I’m struggling. I wanted to do transfers of the logos so I could put them on bags and tee shirts, but this little printer isn’t gonna cut it. Maybe I can get them done at a print shop.

I have to do research for the next section of the Heist Romance script. Some of it is on Monte Carlo, where it takes place. The rest is on old German books containing woodcuts. I know a little bit about German woodcuts, because it was one of the things my uncle the artist was known for (along with stained glass windows, carved altar triptychs, and giant bronze sculptures), but I still need to refresh my memory on some details.

Writing this morning, script coverage, article work, and contest entries this afternoon. And so it goes.

Hope you have a good one, and please check out Angel Hunt. The first three episodes are free!

Tues. Jan. 24, 2023: Digging Out

image courtesy of Richard Duijnstee via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Waxing Moon

No Retrogrades

Snowy and cold

Whew! Finally, we are done, for a brief shining moment with retrogrades, since Uranus went direct on Sunday the 22nd.

Which was also Chinese Lunar New Year, and we are now in the Year of the Water Rabbit.

Which is why tomorrow was chosen as the launch day for ANGEL HUNT.

Got all that?

Good. Now we can sit down for our usual Tuesday natter.

Friday seems oh, so very long away. It snowed all day. I did the section of the Heist Romance set in Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland (yes, I’ve been there, too), back in London, and on the Eurostar to Paris. I spent about an hour and a half putting together a list of resources for a close friend of mine, who’s feeling stuck, and sent that off. Heard from a friend of a friend, who recently moved to the area and is now working at Williams College; we will get together when she feels more settled.

In the afternoon, I read both books for review, and then read for pleasure in the evening.

We got closer to 3 inches than six inches of snow overnight, but because of the constant freezing and snowing, digging out the car was not fun. But I did so, and got to the library to pick up the stack of 8 books waiting for me. So at least I have those in before the next storm.

The rest of the materials for the incomplete coverage arrived, so I read them and started the coverage. Did the usual Saturday chores, like changing the beds, etc. Made pasta with sausage for dinner.

Read Evelyn Salter’s memoir of her years working as Edith Sitwell’s secretary, which was very interesting, and relevant to one of the projects with which I’m noodling in longhand. And makes me want to read Evelyn Salter’s crime novels, which I’m having difficulty finding. Time to haul out WorldCat. Between the regional CW Mars network, the Commonwealth Catalog (all of the state), the ILL system of WorldCat, and the Gutenberg Project, I should be able to do it. I managed to finally find Alice Campbell’s JUGGERNAUT on Gutenberg, and order some of her other titles via Commonwealth Catalog. Her work was popular around the time of Agatha Christie’s work, though she was not as well known.

Speaking of Agatha Christie, I joined the reading challenge over on her website (run by her descendants). January’s title is SAD CYPRESS, which I haven’t reread in ages, so that will be fun.

Figured out how to plant a real clue and some red herrings in the section of the Heist Romance script set in Paris, and researched the neighborhood/architecture of the neighborhood where I want it to happen, so I can choreograph the action in a way that makes sense.

Up early on Sunday to make chocolate chip banana bread. The weather advisory shifted to up to 10 inches of snow falling between Sunday night and Monday evening.

So, instead of taking Sunday off, I finished the coverage and sent it off, wrote both book reviews and sent them off, and said I’d be ready for more, hoping the power would hold on Monday morning so I could download them and read them during the snow.

Wrote 16 pages on the Heist Romance screenplay, doing the Paris section, the train to Nice-Ville, and the train to Monte Carlo. Set up clues and red herrings.

Made spicy peanut noodles and dumplings for lunch, so we could celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year. I miss being included in family celebrations for this as I was during my Broadway days, working on shows like MISS SAIGON and FLOWER DRUM SONG.

Treated myself by reading the next Vicky Bliss book, TROJAN GOLD (I love that series so much), and working on contest entries.

It started snowing around dinnertime on Sunday, and snowed all day on Monday. I was glad I’d gotten everything out the door Sunday, although I got my next two books for review on Monday.

I also got a big stack of coverages to do today and tomorrow, for which I’m grateful, but it will keep me busy. Let’s hope the power holds.

I worked on The Process Muse post which drops tomorrow. I’m trying to keep the posts a little shorter than they’ve been thus far.

I polished, uploaded and scheduled the next four episodes of LEGERDEMAIN, which gets me through mid-February. I polished, uploaded, and scheduled the next eight episodes of ANGEL HUNT, which gets me through mid-April.

ANGEL HUNT goes live tomorrow, so I have to block off a few hours to promote, and to upload/schedule promotions on the first episodes, since Kindle Vella doesn’t give us the direct link to the serial until it goes live.

I have to write episode loglines for all 12 episodes, and do the graphics for the LEGERDEMAIN episodes.

Starting this week, people can read new episodes of mine Tuesdays through Fridays: LEGERDEMAIN episodes drop Tuesday and Thursday; ANGEL HUNT episodes drop Wednesday and Friday.

I went out to try and dig out the car once we hit 12 inches. It was still snowing, and I gave up after a bit; it was too difficult, and the plow had pushed large chunks of snow behind the car. I will try again today. We have another storm coming in tomorrow, although instead of the 8 inches predicted, now they’re only saying 4.

One of the few things I miss about living on Cape is the garage.

Worked on contest entries. Got some other reading done.

Chef Jeremy did a fundraising class for No Kid Hungry; I couldn’t attend the session (even though it was on Zoom), but I made a donation.

Frustrating when the premise is excellent, most of the writing is strong, and the protagonist is an idiot one wishes was the next murder victim.

Listened to the HADESTOWN cast album last night. It’s one of my favorite scores, and one of the shows I wish I’d had a chance to work on before I left working backstage.

Busy night in the Dreamscape. Nothing bad, just busy. Work up tired and grumpy. I have a feeling a good portion of the grumps is because I know I have to shovel out the car later, before the next storm hits. The very thought of it is exhausting.

And, somewhere between all the storms, I have to get the car inspected.

I plan to get some drafting done on the next LEGERDEMAIN episodes this morning, and maybe a few pages on the Heist Romance screenplay, before digging out the car and switching to script coverage. I’m grateful for the work, but I’m tired.

Have a good one! Enjoy today’s LEGERDEMAIN episode!

Mon. Jan. 23, 2023: Intent for the Week — Expand the Work

image courtesy of M. Maggs via pixabay.com

It’s snowing steadily today. It began last night and is supposed to continue until 10 PM tonight.

I finished yesterday and sent out anything due today.

I have writing to focus on as long as there’s power, and can switch to longhand if the power goes out.

With Mars, Mercury, and Uranus direct, and no other retrogrades at the moment, it’s time to expand, especially when it comes to work. Mars is still in Gemini until March, which causes some obstacles, but overall, it’s time for expansion, especially on professional and creative levels.

This week, it starts.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on January 23, 2023 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Jan. 20, 2023: Snow’s Here!

image courtesy of  Jörg Vieli via pixabay.com

Friday, January 20, 2023

Dark Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Snowy and cold

Yesterday was a good, if somewhat weird day.

After meditation, I sat down to layer in what I’d come up with in the Heist Romance script to make it more interesting. I usually push through a draft, but I needed to set up a few things to pay off further down the line, and because of the somewhat episodic nature of the piece, building each section properly is important.

Also, this is the opening. It needs to hook the reader/viewer immediately. How often have I received scripts to cover where the instructions were to only read the first page, the question was “does this first page make you want to read more?” and my answer was “No.” In the last few weeks, more often than not. I don’t want to fall into the same trap. And that’s something that’s come up a lot in the discussions I’ve had lately with fellow scriptwriters, analysts, and show runners – the best scripts capture the reader from the first page. If you need more than a page to “set it up” you need to go back and rewrite.

I got it where I wanted it, fixed the first six pages, established two more characters necessary for the rest of the piece. However, when I revised those first six pages, I kept going. By the time I hit a good stopping point, I was 27 pages in. I’d finished the section in New York, done the first section in London, and am ready to send one of my pair of central protagonists to Scotland (I still have to write a section in the British Museum Library reading room before he heads off).

I figured I’d worked for about an hour, until I looked at the clock.

I’d worked four hours.

It felt like nothing, although I was physically tired. It’s not as though the pages don’t need work, but it’s a solid foundation.

I turned around four script coverages in the afternoon, and a quick scoring sheet. There was nothing in the queue to grab, but overnight the missing materials from a script earlier in the week came through, so I will work on that today. And consider the rest of the time a gift.

I didn’t make the social media rounds yesterday to promote Legerdemain (I’m so grateful to the friends who saw the promotional graphics drop and boosted them). So I have to catch up on that today.

When I first woke up, it was barely snowing, and I thought I could do a library run to pick up the big stack of books that finally showed up. But the snow is intensifying, so I think I will just stay put, and hope I can dash out between storms tomorrow. We’re supposed to get 6 inches between now and tomorrow morning, and another storm coming through Sunday into Monday, and another midweek. Winter in New England.

 I do have to create the graphics for the next 4 episodes of Legerdemain and get them uploaded and scheduled. I did the loglines yesterday.

I want to do a little more on the Heist Romance, since it’s running hot in my brain, and then switch over to Legerdemain, and maybe upload some more ANGEL HUNT episodes (although I might leave that until tomorrow). I also want to get a jump on the next couple of weeks’ worth of The Process Muse.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll catch up next week.

Published in: on January 20, 2023 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. Jan. 19, 2023: Incoming Snow

image courtesy of Pexels, via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Day Before Dark Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Incoming storm

I don’t understand why I’m so slow this week. Everything is taking much longer than it should.

Post on Gratitude and Growth about the garden.

Post on Ink-Dipped Advice about why I like using Direct Mail.

I did the social media rounds promoting the Process Muse post and Ink-Dipped Advice. I’m enjoying Post more and more, although they are moving to a system of “trust metrics” which just sounds like another version of a popularity contest. So we’ll see. There’s not much interaction there, but there’s a lot of good reading material, and I enjoy my time there. CounterSocial and Mastodon, so far, are the best for genuine interaction.

I drafted a new episode of LEGERDEMAIN, which was a lot of fun. I have to work on the graphics for the episodes for the next two weeks, which are already uploaded and scheduled. I thought I wrote the loglines, and am puzzled that I can’t find them.

I turned around five script coverages. I’m glad I have four in today’s queue because, you guessed it, the rest is blank. I may have to read over the weekend, which I do not want to do. Motivation to get the new Fearless Ink postcard out, and the new brochure designed.

I figured out a way to make this first section of the Heist Romance script more logical, more creative, and funnier for the audience. Even though I SHOULD NOT DO IT, I am going back and rewriting, so that I can move on a few days down the line. Because, over there? In that other corner? The LUCKY NUMBERS script Is Not Happy.

Caught up with some correspondence with friends yesterday, too, which was nice. Did a little reading for pleasure (when I should have been reading for review). But it will all get done, and I need to give my brain rest from critical reading with pleasure reading, or I get burned out.

We’re supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow today. Originally, the storm was supposed to come in tonight and into tomorrow. Now, they’re saying it will start at 11 AM this morning and continue through Saturday morning. Sunrise this morning was a sky on fire. I have the pre-storm headache. And when I stepped outside, I could feel the storm coming in.

Because I pulled myself together when the alert came in, and went to the grocery store at 7 AM, when they opened, to pick up potatoes, orange juice, and toilet paper. Because, you know, priorities.

I’m going to make the stuffed eggplant tonight for dinner, which uses a lot of potatoes. I thought we had potatoes when I went grocery shopping earlier in the week, only to discover that we had ONE potato. But now we have enough for the recipe.

Online meditation this morning, and then, after breakfast, it’s back to the page!

Have a good one, and enjoy Episode 52 of Legerdemain, which drops today.