Posted by: devonellington | April 14, 2021

Temporary Hiatus

image courtesy of Renate Hille via pixabay.com

This blog is on temporary hiatus, until after the move.

Thank you for your patience.

Posted by: devonellington | March 1, 2021

March

image courtesy of Conger Design via pixabay.com

March

For me, March will be a tumultuous month of big changes. I have to be ready for anything.

I feel like this tiny seedling, struggling to find light, warmth, support.

What are your plans for March?

Posted by: devonellington | February 28, 2021

February 2021 Wrap-Up

image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

All in all, it wasn’t a bad month, although a stressful one.

But I just kept at it steadily, and this is what got done:

February Wrap-Up

Completed:

My mom got her first vaccine dose (this was the best and most important)

3 pitches for stage plays accepted (they are due at the end of the year)

Part 2 of my article “In the Company of (Historical) Women went live

Landed 3 more article assignments

Client work

Purged boxes from the basement – 100

Daily yoga/meditation practice

Weekly online meditation group

Regular blogging

LOIs – 50

One conversation with a bait-and-switch recruiter that was a waste of time

Grant proposal

Contest submission

Short story submission

Play submission

Book reviews: 3

One article completed and turned in

In Process:

Steady writing/revision on GAMBIT COLONY

Started writing DAWN AND DOROTHY IN THE AFTERLIFE play

Worked on contest entries

Second article in progress (will be ready first week of March)

Dropped/Moved:

Creative Commons proposal

NEA proposal

New Additions:

None. I stayed on track this month, for once.

Disappointments:

One conversation with a bait-and-switch recruiter that was a waste of time

Another recruiter who tried to get me to accept a truck driving job

Personal disappointment that can’t be discussed publicly

Successes:

My mother’s first vaccine dose

Steady work on basement purging

Articles live

More article assignments

How was your February?

Posted by: devonellington | February 15, 2021

Feb. 15, 2021: Mid-Month Check-In

image by Peter H courtesy of pixabay.com

Here’s what I’ve managed so far this month:

Steady writing/revision on GAMBIT COLONY

3 pitches for stage plays accepted (they are due at the end of the year)

Started writing DAWN AND DOROTHY IN THE AFTERLIFE play

Part 2 of my article “In the Company of (Historical) Women went live

Landed 3 more article assignments

Worked on contest entries

Client work

Purged boxes from the basement – 55

Daily yoga/meditation practice

Weekly online meditation group

Regular blogging

Spent way too many hours trying to land a vaccine appointment for my elderly mother

LOIs – 26

One conversation with a bait-and-switch recruiter that was a waste of time

Working on 2 grant proposals

It feels like I haven’t done much, and yet, when I look at the list, it’s pretty good. How’s your month going?

Posted by: devonellington | February 1, 2021

February

image courtesy of Terri Cnudde via pixabay.com

It’s the start of February, and we’re finally getting some February-like weather here.

I’m not making a To-Do list for the month. There are certain things that need to get done, especially on the moving front; Mercury is retrograde for most of it, so I have to proceed with caution. I have to make some decisions on the writing front as to where I want — and need — my attention this month, and get back into the daily rhythm. I needed the break; now I need to get back into the flow.

What are your plans for February?

Posted by: devonellington | January 31, 2021

Jan. 31: Monthly Wrap-Up

image courtesy of Free Photos via pixabay.com

Although this is still in list format, and some of the categories are familiar, there are also some tweaks.

How do you feel about this month?

Here’s where I am, as of today. While it is in list format, and there are some familiar categories, there are also some tweaks. Please feel free to share in the comments where you are and how you’re doing.

Looking at the list, I realize how much I focused on productivity rather than creativity, although I needed creativity in order to be productive.

Early in the month, I’d decided to give myself a break from writing fiction for the month, other than playing with the short stories, because I’m tired. While it alarms me not to have “written more” — my morning 1K was on different projects, not just a single novel considered my “primary project” — I needed the break. I’m lucky i have editors who allowed it.

Completed:

Holiday decorations taken down and put away

Books reviewed: 2

LOIs: 74

Article Pitches: 4

Finished Articles: 2

Book Proposals: 1

Script Pitches: 3

Submissions: 1

Ink in My Coffee Posts: 21

Ink-Dipped Advice Posts: 4

A Biblio Paradise Posts: 4

Gratitude and Growth Posts: 4

Boxes Purged: 25 (on track for the total to be 35 by the end of today)

Daily exercise bike

Daily yoga

Twice-daily meditation

Client work

I took the pressure off myself to work on fiction, except for the short stories; my brain needed the break.

In Process:

12 Days of Christmas short stories

GAMBIT COLONY revisions

Reading and judging contest entries

Dropped/Moved:

Nothing that wasn’t already decided so to do.

Unexpected Additions:

Some story ideas that are percolating

I suddenly realized the core problem of INITIATE and how to fix it; when that will happen, I have no idea. But it was a breakthrough.

Disappointments:

Rejection of a short story of which I’m fond

People, in general, around here, not following COVID protocols

The MA Governor turning his back on the population during vaccine distribution problems

Achievements/Pleasures:

Articles

Discussion of more articles with that publication in the future

Getting back on track with the box purging

Surviving

Posted by: devonellington | January 25, 2021

Jan. 25, 2021: Releasing to Make Room for Change

image courtesy of Alexas_Fotos via pixabay.com

This is something we talk about seasonally, or at the year-end. But it can be ongoing.

As I go through boxes of whatevers in preparation for moving, I reconnect with my past. I am so grateful for so many things.

I am not someone who lives by “if you haven’t used it in a year, throw it out.” I would not have made it through lean financial times OR the pandemic that way. I keep things. Not only do I keep things, I end up USING them – sometimes years after I’ve accumulated them.

“You can always replace it” is a fallacy. Companies intentionally stop making products and build products to fail to force purchase of more product. Books go out of print or vanish from the Kindle.

When you find something wonderful, keep it. Use it. Enjoy it.

If and when it no longer serves your life, donate it, or toss it, or otherwise remove it, unless it has positive emotional value or holds an important POSITIVE memory.

But do it because it serves YOUR life, not because someone else claims to know so much more about how you “should” live your life or what you should and shouldn’t keep. It’s YOUR life.

As I sort through things, I release what I no longer want and need, I give thanks for the time that they were in my life and worked in my life. And I wish them well on their next adventure.

Releasing what is no longer needed is liberating – as long as I am the one making the decisions!

Releasing objects also makes me think about the patterns to which they are attached – patterns that I can release because they no longer fit into the way I am re-structuring my life.

Recovering from last year, both mentally and physically, will be difficult. We can’t go back to the way it was. There’s been too much loss, too much grief, too much cruelty. But we can build something out of the ashes that works better.

That may mean releasing some people from our lives, as well as objects. I’m doing that, too.

Part of that is making room in your life for the “better” both in a physical and an emotional sense. We don’t need to know what it is yet, or have all the answers. The fact that we are taking small, regular actions – MINDFUL actions – matters.

What are you releasing?

Posted by: devonellington | January 18, 2021

Jan. 18, 2021: Physical and Emotional Space

image courtesy of rottonara via pixabay.com

As I’m reviewing options and obstacles for the upcoming move, one of the things I realized I need is both physical and emotional space.

I lived in NYC for years, and before that, I grew up in a suburban apartment. I spent decades in small spaces, and learned how to be creative in them.

As I got older, and one of the shifts to living here on Cape Cod was that I wanted more space. Space to live in a house and have a garden. I’ve had that here.

But the Cape is getting overbuilt. Neighbors change. Sadly, too many of them destroy the environment by cutting down their trees, destroying habit, overbuilding.

I’ve both physically and emotionally expanded to fill this space. My neighbors have done the same in their spaces. A neighborhood that used to feel spacious yet cozy now feels claustrophobic.

While many of my choices for the move are dictated by financial resources, I’m looking for a place within my budget that fulfills my spatial needs – especially emotionally.

I like fences, so enclosed space is not a problem. I like cozy. But I need to feel less claustrophobic, on multiple levels.

What are your needs for space? How do you fulfill them or adapt when you can’t?

Posted by: devonellington | January 15, 2021

Jan. 15, 2021: Mid-Month Check-in

Image courtesy cvtgs via pixabay.com

How are you? How’s your month — and your year — starting?

As I expected, making a list of where I am made me feel like I’m already behind, the first of the year. It’s not a bad list for the first fifteen days of the month, especially considering there was an attempt to overthrow the government, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic. But it’s not as much as I hoped to accomplish.

My first 1K of the day has not always been on a specific fiction project, which has thrown off both my pace and my creative orientation. The positive aspect about this list is it brought that into focus, so I can fix it moving forward for the rest of the month and beyond.

This is what I’ve done so far in January:

LOIs: 32

Article Proposals: 4 (1 acceptance, article in process)

Book Proposals: 1 (goes out this weekend)

Script Pitches: 3

Boxes Purged: 5 (it should be at least 3 times that by this point)

Exercise Bike – 15 min/day

Daily yoga

Twice-daily meditation

Weekly meditation group on Zoom

Daily interaction with elected officials

Holiday decorations packed & put away

Client work

Regular blog posts on Ink in My Coffee, GDR, Gratitude and Growth, A Biblio Paradise, Ink-Dipped Advice

Books Reviewed: 1

1K day/first thing on various projects, but not on one specific project

I can look at this and make necessary adjustments moving forward.

Posted by: devonellington | January 11, 2021

Jan. 11: Celebrating the Done, Not Fretting the Undone

image courtesy of Alexas_Fotos via pixabay.com

I decided that, at least to start the year, I will not torment myself with To Do Lists.

I may create specific project lists and put deadlines in calendars, but the To do Lists were sabotaging me, rather than supporting me.

I’d hoped a monthly “To Do” would work – I already knew daily lists did not.

But even the monthly lists became overwhelming.

Yes, I will keep track of what needs to be done and get it done – on time.

But I will not create a list that burdens me instead of empowers me.

So many people find that making a list and crossing each item off makes them feel wonderful. I used to be one of those people.

I am not in that group any longer.

Therefore, I try something different, and see how that works.

What are you trying to do differently this year, built on what has not worked for you in the past?

Posted by: devonellington | January 4, 2021

Jan. 4, 2021: Easing Into the New Year

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Most years, I hit the ground running, filled with plans and hopes and dreams for the coming year.

I had SUCH high hopes and big dreams for 2020. The start of a new decade. I was so excited, only to have my dreams dashed upon the rocks of the pandemic, my own health issues, and the rot in the United States government.

I want to hope for better, but I don’t want 2021 to say, “Ha! You thought LAST year was bad? Wait and see what’s in store!”

I’ve almost forgotten how to be hopeful and positive, and I don’t want to lose the part of myself that believes in creating positive change.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m picking one thing to focus on for 2021. It has a lot of moving parts, pun intended.

Moving is one of the most stressful things to do in one’s life.

But, in this case, it’s necessary, and I want it to be as positive as possible.

I need to know WHERE I’m moving – that’s still up in the air, although I have a list of possible locations.

I know WHEN – my lease is up at the end of April.

I’m putting together the HOW – which has to do with resources/money for the move, cleaning things out, and organization. It means taking on extra work and working differently to put together the financials in order to make this happen.

It means getting serious about purging the boxes in the basement, something I keep starting and stopping over the years, because every four or five boxes, I’m overwhelmed again.

There’s no room for being overwhelmed.

At the same time, I have to juggle daily life: taking care of home and family, dealing with clients and assignments I have, while piling on more.

The next few months are a juggling act.

Posted by: devonellington | January 1, 2021

Jan. 1, 2021: The Answers to The Questions Posed for 2021

Janus image courtesy of Loudon Dodd via GNU Free Documentation License. Statue part of Jthe collection at the Vatican Museums

January 1, 2021: Janus

Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology.

One of our rituals for the New Year is  one minute before midnight, we open the back door to let out the old year’s energy. One minute after midnight, we open the front door to let in the new year’s energy.

This year, we need new energy. Most importantly, we need hope.

Now, to answer our questions.

Look back on 2020. Do not consider anything left undone a failure. You survived. That’s the baseline for 2020.

It’s very difficult to look back on 2020 and not feel like a failure. I was so sick for so much of it – three surgeries and two cancer scares. I had to push back book deadlines. But, when I look at the year, it wasn’t a total loss. I was able to accomplish a few things, albeit in a smaller scale:

–Survived 3 surgeries and 2 cancer scares

–Maintained my daily yoga practice

–Maintained my twice-daily meditation practice

–Had an article published in THE WRITER magazine, a publication I’ve wanted to crack for years

–Had an article published in SCRIPTMAG, another publication I wanted to get into

–My radio play “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” was produced/performed before everything was shut down by the pandemic

–“By Her Pointed Quill”, the one-act play inspired by the life of Susanna Centlivre was researched, written, and submitted to the 365 Women Project.

–“Family Layers”, the one-act play inspired by the life of Isabella Goodwin, was researched, written, and submitted to the 365 Women Project.

–JUST A DROP, the full-length play about Giulia Tofana’s circle of herbalists, was revised.

–SERENE AND DETERMINED, the full-length play about Lavinia Fontana, was revised.

–Wrote “A Woman for the Job”, another one-act play based on Kate Warne’s career

–“Holiday Transitions” flash fiction written, accepted, and published by Weird Christmas Anthology

–“Help, No Questions Asked” short story written, accepted, and a finalist in the Body Be Gone contest

Article on settings published on the Cape Cod Writers Center site

Judged two categories in a contest

Regular book reviewing gig

Client work

Blogging, including reviving the food blog, Comfort and Contradiction

2021 Almanac piece published

Contracted and wrote a piece for a 2022 Almanac

Put together the “Trinity of Teasers” promotional giveaway

Re-released the short “Just Jump in and Fly”

Re-released the short “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall”

In process:

–started writing “A Rare Medium”, a one-act play based on another one of Kate Warne’s cases

–started revisions on the screenplay VISCERAL INVISIBLES

–working on revisions and re-releases in the Topic Workbooks

–deadlines pushed back on books

–tried some new directions in fiction

So, it wasn’t a completely lost year.

Grieve as needed. There were many losses on many fronts. Visit Grief To Art for a site dedicated to collective mourning, and a list of resources.

Lots of grief, lots of loss. In additional to personal losses, the realization that the people who are paid and take an oath to protect us and this country don’t give a damn and will let us die was difficult to navigate.

I was also sorry to give up my dream/hope of getting a piano and starting lessons. It would have been a wonderful distraction during the pandemic, but there just isn’t any room in this house.

Communicate your experience of the year, through words, music, visuals, dance. Purge as much of it as you can.

The effects of this year will ripple forth in my work for the rest of my life.

Survival as the key component of 2021. That is your main task.

Pick one thing you want/need to achieve in 2021. It can be small. It can be simple. But instead of breaking the year down into goals, dreams, and resolutions, pick one thing and craft a plan to achieve it.

The one thing that must happen this year is moving. My lease is up and it can’t be renewed, as of the end of April. Putting together the move is my priority. Then, it will be about recovering from it and building a new life in a new place.

Daydream. You can rebuild and heal by dreaming about the future you want. Start setting the foundation for more in 2022.

Allowing myself the space to dream again will be the biggest gift I can give myself. I have not fully comprehended how much long-lasting trauma this past year has caused.

Posted by: devonellington | December 31, 2020

Happy New Year!

image courtesy of Quince Creative via pixabay.com

I am not going to admonish myself for what was not done. I am going to celebrate that it will soon by 2021. Happy New Year, friends!

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