Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday, August 7, 2006
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and humid

Day 29 of Home Om.

I had weird dreams Saturday night about a stray cat that hangs out around the building (and plans to adopt my mother, although she doesn’t realize it yet), knocking silverware off a kitchen counter, and a kitchen window overlooking a lush garden with one of those windows that’s a mini-greenhouse sticking out – only Iris (AKA Princess Hellion) was lounging in the window, having knocked away all the plant pots. Elsa was playing with a dachshund out on the deck behind the kitchen, Violet was very busy in another room, and a West Highland Terrier and a Cairn Terrier were busily stealing socks from each other as they raced through the house.

Psychically, I’m settling in to a house I haven’t bought yet.

And how many times do I need to tell the cats “No kitties on counters?” Even in my dreams, I need to put those cookie sheets on the edges, so when they jump up, they land on the sheets, which fall down with a clatter and then they don’t do it again.

The well-known phrase is true: Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.

Oh, yeah, and I want a piano in the new house. I’ve always wanted a piano, and, dammit, I’m going to get one.

Yesterday was a restorative day. Some errands in the morning, a visit to my friend in CT for the bulk of the day. I brought a big bag of work and didn’t do any of it. Instead, we cooked, drank wine, and looked through Gourmet, Bon Appetit, House and Garden, Wine Spectator and discussed houses and gardens ad nauseum. It was pretty funny – I knew the people spotlit in three of the articles in one of the House and Garden issues.

I also got an idea for a new novel – working title Life Renovations. Definitely one for the Ava Dunne pantheon, not a Devon Ellington style at all. I worked on the outline – it’s another contender for Nano.

The Combo Project won’t be outlined tightly enough by November, and, if I don’t figure out a major puzzle for Treasure’s Hunt, that’s out of the running. Right now, it’s between Amadeus Doe and Life Renovations. Whichever pulls me harder and has the tighter outline will win. For the amount of words I have to cough up per day, the outline has to be solid. Because let’s face it – if I commit to Nano this year, I’m going to push to hit the 50K mark again.

Life Renovations is sometimes a struggle to outline, because parts of it ring too true and hit a bit too close to the bone. Which is part of what will make it work.

I’m not in the mood for historical fiction right now, and I’m not sure I should start a fantasy novel. I want to read something, fiction-wise – I’m not in the mood for any of my non-fiction. But I’ve got so many books stacked up here, waiting to be read, that I don’t feel right about going out and buying more.

I played with the articles, but they’re not right yet. I need to get Lit Athlete out tomorrow, and another one out a few days after. Plus, I need to churn out those 25 short articles – because the last two weeks of August are very busy, so I want to hit all my article deadlines by the 20th instead of the 31st.

Got some new ideas for Real, nice things to work in to the plot.

I’m feeling trapped right now, and while I know I should write myself out, feeling trapped makes it more difficult to write.

Last night, I had disturbing dreams. I can’t remember them – they slipped away the moment I opened my eyes (which happened several times over the course of the night) – but I’d been restless enough that the cats were all lined up in a row on the windowsill, tails curled around them, watching.

Also, ever since my early set calls last week, I wake up at 3:30 AM, and I have to convince myself that it’s okay to go back to sleep.

I had a political rant this morning – before my coffee, no less, always a mistake – about how the current administration, led by the Pretender, has the country on an unbelievable course of death and destruction, while his cohorts laugh all the way to the bank – and how we need more political parties. And how the Republican Party, has, unfortunately, come to personify many of the evils in this country, instead of remaining true to its Emancipation roots. And how the fundamentalists should break away/be driven out of the Republican Party and form the Social Conservative Party – because that’s what they are, and if that’s what they want, it’s their right, but don’t taint the party of Lincoln.

Anyway, it gave me an idea for a story. A crazy idea. I don’t think I’m clever enough to pull it off, because it needs cleverness on the level of Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde, and, sadly, I’m no Terry Pratchett. It’s an idea that, if it works, will be a wonderful social satire. If it doesn’t, it will simply be . . .stupid. There’s absolutely no middle ground. And the challenge of that intrigues me, too.

I found an amazing writer’s retreat in Ireland called Anam Cara. I asked them for a brochure, which they are sending, and emailed back and forth with their lovely director (who moved to Ireland from Boston). I don’t know when I can go there – if I can make it next year, it would be in fall, and I might have to choose between Ireland and Hawaii – but something about the place resonates with me. And I want to write there.

However, my main focus today is on articles, weaving in moments to steal away and write some fiction in and around the articles. Each time I finish a big chunk of an article, I will reward myself with a few pages of fiction.

Yes, I’m bribing myself. And there’s a big bar of organic dark chocolate waiting for me at the end.

Hop to it!



At 9:58 AM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

Okay I stopped reading at the piano thing because I looked at pianos yesterday. I want a piano too! Weird. Do you play? It's been a while for me but I love playing.

Okay...back to reading. :)

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Lara said...

I was going to mention the piano thing, too. I WANT ONE! And I want my kids to have lessons. I played the voilin. WHATEVER.

ANd yes, chocolate is a GREAT reward for writing! Happy writing!

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

I’m feeling trapped right now, and while I know I should write myself out, feeling trapped makes it more difficult to write.

Oh how I know that feeling well.

I grew up with a piano and we haven't had one in years - I've always wanted a baby grand.

Looks like you have a lot going in the writing department - good luck with it.

And I love the nickname "The Pretender" - I'll have to remember that.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

I broke down and got myself a Blogger ID so I could post on the blogs that don't allow anything but Blogger IDs...


I say go for the Pratchett/Fforde-esque book! You never know if you could do it unless you try. And I love both of them!!! I'm anxiously waiting for delivery of Jasper's latest Nursery Crimes book. *tapping foot* If the post office would get off their collective duffs and DELIVER it already!

Ahem. :)

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Looked at Anam Cara. What a lovely place. I've never been to Ireland--and it's been a long while since I've done a writing retreat. I can see myself there...d:) (PS: Go ahead with your social satire; bet you surprise yourself!)

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

It just occurred to me I sound kind of snarky in my previous comment. I didn't mean to. :)

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Devon Ellington said...

Toni-- you don't sound snarky at all!

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

Sigh...a writing retreat in Ireland. That sounds like absolute HEAVEN.

And so does a writing retreat in an Italian villa, in a French chateau, an English cottage...

Oh heck. Anywhere in Europe will do!!!


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