Posted by: devonellington | April 15, 2019

Mon. April 15, 2019: Mid-Month Check-In

Mid-April Check-In

There was no list for April, because everything is in motion, and I must be poised for change at any moment.

I feel like I haven’t done much, but that’s actually not true.

Here’s how April’s gone so far:

Unexpected trip to Vermont
Attended live performance of my radio play in Boston
Getting back into the groove for GRAVE REACH
First draft of “Intrigue on the Aurora Nightingale” done
Working on second draft of the above
Working on “Organizing the Dead” radio play first draft
Working on “Dashed Dreams” radio play first draft
Revision on stage play of “Confidence Confidant”
Polishing article pitches
20 LOIs out

How is your April going?

Getting back to the Personal Strategic Plan, I’ve been discussing it on the business-based blog Ink-Dipped Advice. You can scroll through the posts here.

Posted by: devonellington | March 15, 2019

March 15: Mid-March Check-In


Did anyone notice there was no To Do list for March?

March has taken on a life of its own. Trying to balance new opportunities, keep up with current work, handle unexpected life news, and work on the changes that are coming up in the next few months has been a challenge.

So even the idea of the To-Do list is out the window.

Considering how booked April is, to the point of over-booked, I’m trying to clear the decks as much as possible.

Considering that Mercury is also in retrograde, everything is more of a challenge and takes longer than I’d like.

Things are going well, for the most part. But things are also moving quickly. I have to be agile and adaptive to change in the moment.

This month, having a list felt like it would be a detriment instead of a valuable tool.

So I decided not to cage myself with it, and handle what needs handling.

How is your March going?

Posted by: devonellington | February 28, 2019

February Wrap-Up

February 2019 Wrap-Up

Well, February took its own turns, as things do. I strayed from my list, because of other opportunities, especially when it came to radio plays.

All domains moved to Name Silo. Completely free of 1&1–finally!
17 LOIs
Comic ghost story radio play finished and pitched to 2 companies

In Progress:
Contest Entries
Keeping up with books sent for review
Personal strategic plan
Straw Hat Radio drama
Research for play on Canaletto’s sisters
First act of anti-gun violence play
Catching up on Gwen Finnegan things
Catching up on Nautical Namaste things
Working on GRAVE REACH (Coventina Circle #4)
NECRWA workshop
Keeping up with client work

Justice By Harpy work is moved until I catch up on Gwen Finnegan & Nautical Namaste

Unexpected Additions:
2 meetings with potential clients; one was not a good fit & I withdrew from consideration, the other I liked and am waiting to hear back.
Requests for more radio plays
Received 3D covers for my books

Didn’t get a meeting with a client I pitched and really wanted, although I knew it was a stretch
Taking longer to wind up a client project and move on than I would like

The positive reception of the radio plays
The client meetings I’ve landed from the LOIs (even when it wasn’t the right fit, landing the meeting was positive)

I’m working on the personal strategic plan. Over on Ink-Dipped Advice, I talk about the Vision Statement.

How did your February go? What are your plans for March?


Posted by: devonellington | February 15, 2019

Mid-February Check-In

I’m behind on things, but here’s the update:

My domains are moved; I am finally completely free of 1& It took over a year of concentrated effort, after years of paying for services they refused to provide. This liberation will do a lot in growing my business.

I’m keeping up with reviews, and working on my contest entries.

I’m on track for LOIs, but behind in article pitches.

I had a meeting with a potential client and then withdrew from consideration, because I knew I wasn’t the right fit for what they need; I have another meeting with a potential client next week, so we’ll see if we’re more compatible.

I’m working on my personal strategic plan.

The comic ghost story play had to have the second half ripped out and revised, but it will go out in a day or two.

I’m about ready to work on the straw hat comic radio mystery.

I’m working on the monologues, and hope to start testing the first of them this month.

I’ve been working on blog posts, and on my NECRWA presentation.

I’ve planted the eggplants, leeks, and scallions inside for spring, and I’m about to start planting tomatoes.

I’m working on the novels, but haven’t done much work on the anti-gun violence play.

I’ve also been working with my publisher on a marketing plan.

So the list isn’t quite as short as I thought!

It’s been an emotional roller coaster for various reasons, but I hope it’s evening out a bit.

How’s your February going?

Posted by: devonellington | February 1, 2019

February 2019 To Do List

February is a short month. I try to keep the lists short, but it rarely works. Things are picking up on several fronts, so by March, I might have to recalibrate my goals again. It’s all good, but I need to be flexible. How is your year going so far?

February 2019 To Do List

Catch up on all things Gwen Finnegan
Catch up on all things Nautical Namaste
Get back on track with GRAVE REACH
Keep up with reviews
Work on contest entries
Client meetings
12-15 LOIS
3-5 article pitches
Comic ghost story radio play written, polished, out
Comic straw hat mystery radio play written, polished, out
Domain registrations moved
Act one of the anti-gun violence play complete
2 monologues for WOMEN WITH AN EDGE RESIST written
Blog posts
Continued work on Justice by Harpy Trilogy
Work on NECRWA presentation
First planting for spring

Posted by: devonellington | February 1, 2019

February To-Do List

February 2019 To Do List

Catch up on all things Gwen Finnegan
Catch up on all things Nautical Namaste
Get back on track with GRAVE REACH
Keep up with reviews
Work on contest entries
12-15 LOIS
3-5 article pitches
Comic ghost story radio play written, polished, out
Comic straw hat mystery radio play written, polished, out
Domain registrations moved
Act one of the anti-gun violence play complete
2 monologues for WOMEN WITH AN EDGE RESIST written
Blog posts
Continued work on Justice by Harpy Trilogy
Work on NECRWA presentation
First planting for spring

Posted by: devonellington | January 31, 2019

January Wrap Up


January was a difficult month thanks to challenging clients and being sick, which put me behind on way too much.

Client work
12 LOIs/pitches
Domain renewals/host renewals
Venetian play proposal submitted & accepted
Blog posts
Holiday decorations put away

In Process:
I’m behind on everything to do with Gwen Finnegan and Nautical Namaste
Work with cover designer and editor on Justice by Harpy trilogy

Distribution on some of the shorts moved to spring

Unexpected Additions:
Requested revision on one radio play
Acceptance of another radio play
Requests for more radio plays

Sickness put me behind


Posted by: devonellington | January 15, 2019

January 2019 Mid-Month Check-In

How’s your January going? How does it feel not to have anything in retrograde?

Honestly, I had a rough start in some respects, and I’m behind where I’d like to be.

Here’s where I am:
Keeping up with client work
Proposal sent out for play in Renaissance Venice
On track with all the blog posts
A little behind where I need to be for the BALTHAZAAR TREASURE release
A lot behind where I need to be on DAVY JONES DHARMA
Still taking down holiday decorations

I also sent out a pitch for another script and got a request for a full;
Got notes on a play that’s being produced and am in revisions for that;
Got an invite to submit a conference proposal, which will go out today;
Started writing the monologues for WOMEN WITH AN EDGE RESIST.

Where are you in your list?

Posted by: devonellington | January 14, 2019

Jan. 14, 2019: Add One More Thing

Last week, we talked about “just doing one thing.”

As much as we want to shoot out of the gate to commit to a list of new goals, dreams, and resolutions for the year, sometimes we over-commit at the beginning and then get discouraged.

But if we start with a bit more gentleness and then build each block along the year, we’ll get farther.

What was the “one thing” you did last week?

I stretched and pitched a script to a market that I would normally consider out of my reach. Within four days, they responded back, asking for the full script. That doesn’t mean they’ll contract it; but, at the very least, I tried, and I was encouraged.

So, this week, we add one more thing.

I realized, in my yearly GDRs, I didn’t talk much about physical fitness. Last year, I made solid progress, by committing to almost-daily yoga and daily meditation. This year, I am building on it by adding in weight training. I actually started the weight training on New Year’s Eve, but I’ve kept up and it feels good.

I’m trying to add the exercise bike in, but I’m not sure I can sustain it because of knee pain. If I can’t, I will let it go without berating myself, and find something to take its place.

What one more thing will you add this week?

Tomorrow is our mid-month check in.

Hope your January is going well.

Posted by: devonellington | January 7, 2019

Jan. 7, 2019: Just One Thing

So often, we start the New Year with a long list of what we want to accomplish. Writing the list makes us feel good; looking at it depresses us.

That’s one of the reasons resolutions so often fall by the wayside.

How do you combat that?

I break my yearly list into monthly goals, which tend to shift over the course of the year, as my life changes.

Within the GDRs, I try to list at least three actions I can take toward a goal, dream, or resolution.

Especially this year, which will be a year of huge changes for me, I am determined, at least once a week, to do “just one thing” on that list.

Yes, I look at my overall list for the month and break it down into what I need to get done every week (daily To Do lists make me feel restricted).

But I also want to step back and, if not looking at the entire forest, maybe a whole chunk of trees instead of a single tree/task, and then choose one of them, “just one thing” to do this week, that’s different from the dailiness, but feeds into the bigger picture.

What is Just One Thing you can do this week to kick off the year right and get you closer to your goals?

Posted by: devonellington | January 2, 2019

January 2019 To Do List

Let’s hit the ground running, shall we?

What’s on your list? Here’s mine.

January To Do List:

TBT media kit
Update Gwen Finnegan media kit
Market TBT
Client work
12-15 LOIs
4-6 Article pitches
Domain renewals/host renewals
Domain registration moves initiated
Work on Act One of anti-gun violence play
Send out proposal for play set in Renaissance Venice
Finalize outline for 2 women authors play
Work on Justice by Harpy notes and work with cover designer
Ink in My Coffee posts
5 Ink-Dipped Advice posts
Keep up with other blog posts
Visit other bloggers and leave comments
Move distribution for “Just Jump in and Fly”, “Too Much Mistletoe”, and “Tumble”.
Holiday decorations down and packed
Furniture rearranged
20 boxes purged from basement

Posted by: devonellington | January 1, 2019

2019 Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions

Answers to the 2019 GDRS:

Assessment of 2018:
By the end of the year, with last-minute challenges thrown at me, it felt like I had accomplished nothing, and was worthless. Truly, the day before Christmas Eve was a rough one. I felt like a complete, utter failure.

But putting together the year-end wrap-up, I got quite a bit done:
3 novels published
1 novella published
1 radio play produced/performed
1 radio play accepted for production in 2019
Wrote for a Llewellyn Almanac again
Moved webhosts & built 7 websites
A few articles and blog posts
Studied the International Tribunals at The Hague
Participated in a Global Human Rights Conference
Almost daily political activism

That’s not bad.

As far at the Goals I set:
1. Meet and exceed deadlines.
I was good about that until the deadlines for the books/series became unrealistic. Then I spoke up — a huge step for me. And realigned a few things. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t keep up the pace, but at least I spoke up and we fixed it.

2. Getting the Basement Cleaned Out
Still working on it. That has to accelerate this winter. I procrastinated on it more than I should have. I do not consider this a successfully reached goal.

3. Read more poetry
Yes — and was turned on to amazing poets like Warshan Shine.

4. Write more letters — that was mostly confined to the holidays.

The dreams (which I did not share publicly) were not achieved, although I made some progress toward them.

1. Physical Fitness — it’s better, but not where I hoped it would be. I’ve deepened the yoga and meditation practices considerably, but have not added enough other activities into them.

2. Political Engagement and Conscientious Consumerism — yes. This I feel I did well. Almost-daily engagement, and being careful and aware of where and how I spent my money. I consider this reached, but not finished. I will keep on this path. This was originally a resolution for 2017, but this year I feel I fulfilled it.

3. Boundaries — I’m getting better and better at setting and holding them.

4. Build the community I want instead of adjusting to the community that is there — I’ve started it, and plan to keep going.

So, 2018 wasn’t a total loss after all.

Looking ahead to 2019:

I’m still working on the “ideals” mentioned in the GDR questions. I’m still “mapping” — that terms sounds too psycho-babble, but that’s what I’m doing.

There are elements in each situation where I might be creatively on track, but the financial is not meeting it, and so forth and so on. It’s much more of a map with multiple levels and lines than a straight ladder of progress.

My ideal creative situation is the continued ability to move between novels, novellas, stage plays, radio plays, screenplays, short stories, articles, and anything else I want to write, but get a higher rate for all of them. Part of creating the ideal creative situation is to craft a better and more practical marketing plan.

My ideal living situation: I love the house in which I currently live, but I want to own my own home. That means making changes on multiple levels to make that possible. I have to decide where I can compromise in order to make that happen, and for how long.

My ideal work situation: To go back to working completely remotely, and not work on site at all. That might not happen this year, but I’m working toward it.

My ideal partnership situation: Mutual support, not me being expected to handle the bulk of the physical and emotional work, as has happened in previous situations. I’m taking longer to commit, because I’m not willing to make certain compromises anymore. And anyone who interferes with my writing is kicked to the curb.

2019 Goals:

1. Keep on track with the contracted books: 3 novels are set to release this year; more might re-release. But keep on top of it, and get ahead for 2020’s releases.
A. More than 1 writing session a day, if necessary;
B. Higher word count each session;
C. Outline farther ahead.

2. Improve my French. I need it for upcoming projects and other work that interests me.
A. Get out the textbooks and apply myself regularly;
B. Read as much as possible;
C. Try to get into some conversational situations to get more comfortable speaking;
D. Work on the Latin as well.

3. Readjust some of the freelance work and move up a tier.
A. More research/more LOIS;
B. No more online “applications” — if they don’t read a pitch letter/resume/samples or accept them via Submittable, it’s not a place that’s a good fit. I will never be a good match with a company that chooses its workforce through computer-generated algorhythms.
C. More far-reaching proposal packages rather than LOIs; time to get back to creating the position I want with companies that interest me;
D. Start pitching to trade magazines again. That fell by the wayside this year.

Again, at this point, I am not comfortable sharing them publicly.

1. Build on last year’s political activism and continue
A. Keep interacting with my elected officials;
B. Keep working with others who are working toward the same social, economic and human justice goals;
C. Keep studying international law;
D. Keep practicing conscientious consumerism.

2. Continue to build community instead of trying to fit into community
A. Continue and grow the Women Write Change forum;
B. Resume the weekly “artist date” routine;
C. Pitch to more conferences, workshops, etc.

3. Expand the marketing reach
A. Keep exploring new social media platforms, especially one to replace FB;
B. Draft up a workable, realistic marketing plan that can fire on several levels;
C. Do more press releases and pitches to media outlets and bloggers.

I’m still working on these. I’m not sure yet what I consider a leap this year. I suspect it will be attached to one of the dreams.

In addition to this, I intend to work on my physical fitness and continue to deepen my yoga and meditation practices.

Please feel free to share what you’ve come up with, and then we’ll work on them together.

I plan to post suggestions for implementation at regular intervals, along with the lists and check-ins.

Let’s make 2019 a great year, personally and professionally, and one better in terms of our place in the world.

Posted by: devonellington | December 31, 2018

2018 Wrap Up

2018 Wrap-Up (Different from Assessment)

PLAYING THE ANGLES distributor switch
SAVASANA AT SEA distributor switch
Switched webhosts
New Fearless Ink logo
7 websites built and moved
NOT BY THE BOOK partial draft pitched & requested
HEART THIEF partial draft pitched & requested
INK-DIPPED ADVICE blog begun on Fearless Ink site
Judge for a book contest
MYTH & INTERPRETATION novella released
Wrote for Llewellyn worldwide almanac again
Reviewed a colleague’s book
Wrote a foreword for another colleague’s book
10 weeks of a savasana/sukasana/reiki workshop
Stayed on top of client work
Speech for Global Human Rights Conference
Creating the Women Write Change Forum
Outlining several new novels
30 TIPS FOR 30 DAYS on permanent free release
Proposal for new play set in Renaissance Venice
Outline for new play involving two famous female authors

In Progress:
Boxes purged from basement
Anti-gun violence play
Jain Lazarus re-release, and continuation of the series
Conversations about POWER OF WORDS (now the Gambit Colony series)

FIX IT GIRL revisions moved to 2019

Unexpected Additions:
Outlining and developing a slew of new ideas

Deaths in extended family and friends
NOT BY THE BOOK partial rejected
HEART THIEF partial rejected
Another rejection for an international project that cost me a lot of confidence
That I let the article writing slide this year

Websites rebuilt and moved
Ink-Dipped Advice blog started
Growth of the Ink in My Coffee blog
LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES radio play produced/performed in Florida
MYTH & INTERPRETATION novella released
Returning to write for Llewellyn Worldwide
Creating the Women Write Change forum
Participating in a Global Human Right conference
Studied the International Tribunal Courts at the Hague, via U. Leiden online
Almost daily political activism

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