Posted by: devonellington | January 15, 2017

Jan. MidMonth Check-In

January 2017 Mid-Month Check In:

It has not been the productive start to the year for which I hoped, unfortunately, bu I got going on a few things. A great deal of my time is spent with my elected officials, making sure they know where I stand on current issues.

Done:
Rehearse MOBY DICK
Holiday decorations down and packed away — which took far longer than I anticipated!

In process:
Short Story for Anthology
Started cardio/strength training
Working with my elected officials
NOT BY THE BOOK
SONGBOUND SISTERS
First batch of contest entries arrived, and I started working on them.

Unexpected Additions:
Drafted outline for new novel
Three sets of contract negotiations going on – not sure where they were lead

Although I rehearsed MOBY DICK, I had to let it go, because a blizzard prevented me from participating in the marathon. Disappointing, but here on the Cape, our life is dictated by the weather.

Posted by: devonellington | January 3, 2017

To Do List January 2017

There’s a lot on my plate this month, but I’m diving in and doing the best I can.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

To Do List January 2017

Rehearse MOBY DICK
Read in MOBY DICK Marathon at New Bedford Whaling Museum
Short Story for Anthology (5K)
Short piece for Imbolc (10-15K)
Go back to work on NOT BY THE BOOK
22K on NOT BY THE BOOK
Go back to work on SONGBOUND SISTERS
Outline SONGBOUND SISTERS (Writer’s Rough)
17K on SONGBOUND SISTERS
Continue to Query DEATH OF A CHOLERIC
Deepen yoga & meditation practice
Start 6 month Fitness Training program w/strength & cardio training
Devon’s Random Newsletter
Work on marketing plan for the Topic Workbooks
Work on the marketing plan for Delectable Digital Delights
Regular contact with elected officials
Jan. 19 — Day of Resistance
Jan. 21 — Women’s March/Boston
Take down holiday decorations and pack away
Unpack 17 boxes from basement
Re-read FIX-IT GIRL and make some decisions/do research on it
Research and background for the television pilot

Posted by: devonellington | January 3, 2017

GDR Questions Answered for 2017 — Delayed

I had the work done – I have the pages printed out in my journal — but, for whatever reason, the file did not save and i have to retype it. Frustrating, but typical Mercury Retrograde. I will post it in the next few days, when I’ve retyped the file.

Posted by: devonellington | December 31, 2016

Dec. 31, 2016: 2016 Wrap-Up

GDR Wrap Up 2016

Looking back at 2016:
2016 was a difficult year. I was unhappy in my work situation, and feeling drained. When the position was eliminated at the end of June, I was shocked at the abruptness of it, but it was much better for me on many levels. I did theatre work through the summer and consulting work through the fall. Plus, I wrote. A LOT. I signed with a new agent, and we’ll see how that goes.

I also chose a word for 2016: Reciprocity. I felt things had gotten very out of balance. That, in certain situations, I was giving, supporting, paying, and getting nothing in return. By holding the word “reciprocity” in mind, I was able to re-balance some of that, and cut some toxic people out of my life. I also faced some hard realities about how the reality of living in this area does not live up to the fantasy. Now I have to make decisions as to what I want to do about it.

At this point, I have four novels out on submission, two plays out, and I had a radio play produced. I wrote two short stories, and re-released three digital shorts.

I had my first piece of mixed media art hung in a gallery show.

I have developed more than one book series, and am in the process about making some decisions about how I want to shape and handle my career.

I also said no to some freelance assignments I knew would be unfulfilling on both creative and financial levels, and I feel good about that.

I feel more confident about my abilities in the house and garden, and I cooked a lot.

I focused more on my yoga practice, but I still want to go deeper. I also re-connected with some spiritual practices that had fallen by the wayside.

The election of the Narcissistic Sociopath is a cause for great concern. While I would like to ignore that creature, he has put together a cabinet that is incompetent, corrupt, and bent on destroying what I believe are the founding principles of this country. I would like to simply ignore his existence for the coming years, but looking the other way is a form of acceptance, and I’m not willing so to do.

Do you feel you are on the right path? If so, what do you want to build on from this year to make next year even better? If not, what do you want to change? How do you intend to change those things?
Creatively, I feel like I’m getting there. I don’t like the way the traditional industry is going — what is “popular” and how it’s marketed isn’t the way I want to go. So I have to find a new way that balances the creative needs with unique marketing campaigns that put my work in front of the people who will positively respond.

Apart from my writing work, I’m not sure where I will land. I am not willing to stay in this location working a shit job I don’t like that barely pays minimum wage. I am willing to move for work I enjoy that also pays appropriately. The “gimme” attitude around here, where people want you to “donate” all the time, but aren’t willing to pay for skills or reciprocate in in-kind support, works my last nerve.

Take a look at the disappointments from this year. Can you find their root cause? Did you get something positive from them, in spite of the disappointments?
The disappointments have more to do with other people, rather than myself. My determination for 2016 was that it be a year of “reciprocity”. When that did not happen, people and situations got dropped from my life, and I got better at so doing. When things got out of balance, especially when I gave and gave and got nothing in return — something that happened far too often in 2015 — I got better at redrawing boundaries and being ruthless. I tried to do it with the least amount of unpleasantness to others, but when things were really out of whack, well, too damn bad.

For the past few years, I felt like a hamster on a wheel, just trying to survive. This year, I got angry enough to say, “No, this isn’t the ONLY way to do this and survive. I’m doing something else. Too bad if it doesn’t suit you, because you haven’t lived up to your end of the equation.” That’s hard to learn to do, but I’m learning.

Take a look at unexpected events which changed your path. Were the changes positive or negative? Did they send you in a new direction you might not have found otherwise, or where they a distraction?
The biggest unexpected event, in June, will, in the long run, be for the best. Even though I knew it at the time, it was still a shock. It set into motion some other decisions which had been necessary for a long time, but which I’d hesitated to take, again, issues where the reciprocity equation was unequal.

This year has certainly made me much more cynical, especially the election.

Do you feel fulfilled creatively, personally, spiritually? What contributes to that? If something is lacking in any of these areas, what actions do you need to take in the coming year?
The creative fulfillment in the process is growing. The Sophie Batchelder mystery is making the rounds with the agent; PLAYING THE ANGLES and TRACKING MEDUSA are both out on submission, looking for a home for re-release. DEATH OF A CHOLERIC is out on query/partial submission. “Courting the Lioness” is in New York. By the time this posts, JUST A DROP will also be on its way to New York. I re-released “Personal Revolution”, “Plot Bunnies”, and “Severance.” I wrote “Won if By Sea”, which is out on submission, and “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall”, a holiday present to readers. I worked on revisions for HEART SNATCHER, which should be ready for submission soon, am prepping to finish THE FIX-IT GIRL, and taking another look and another view at TAPESTRY. I’m preparing a solid writing schedule for next year, and I’ve been invited to submit to an anthology. I’m developing a new pilot script, and working on another play.

I also had my first piece of visual art in a gallery show. That was exciting for me.

Creatively, I’m getting back on track. Now, I need to re-form how I want to market that creativity. I don’t like the forced paths that marketers and publishers say I have to take. I want to find more unique, more inclusive ways to engage my audience.

Personally, it’s been up and down. When the creativity is sorted out, the personal tends to take care of itself.

I’m getting back on track spiritually. Work in progress, but I’m in a better place than this time last year, albeit a more cynical one.

Looking back at my three goals for 2016 and the steps to achieve them:

Goal 1. Meet the writing schedule I set out, yet have flexibility
when unexpected opportunities arise.

A. Don’t get distracted by other people’s agendas
B. Manage time and energy better; don’t let the energy vampires
drain me
C. Recognize the difference between “opportunity” and “ego.”

Result: In quantity, I met what I wanted to achieve with my writing, but the projects were shifted around due to opportunity. Some of those manuscripts need to be rolled over to finish in the coming year. I was better at not getting distracted by other people’s agendas, although it was difficult to balance the writing with the theatre work this summer. I managed my time and energy better, cutting out energy vampires, and taking off time when I needed so to do. I refused several things that I was tempted to take out of ego, rather than because they were good for me on any level. I’m pleased that I did not succumb to the Nano temptation — that would have really derailed me toward the end of the year.

I didn’t achieve it to the letter, but I’m pleased with the progress I made.

Goal 2. Can’t be shared publicly yet; just know that I’m in the process
of taking the steps to fulfill it.

Result: Part of it was achieved, although not in the way I anticipated, when my position was eliminated. The rest of the pieces are still in play. Partial victory.

Goal 3. Again, up the physical activity, and get back in shape.
A. Deepen the yoga practice
B. Add other physical activities to the roster
C. Recognize steady, but necessary increase increments

Result: The yoga practice was deepened, but I want to take it further. The theatre job got me temporarily back in shape, but I’m losing it again, and I have to find ways to do more physical activity I enjoy, and raise the increments. I’m better than I was at this point last year, not as fit as I was at the beginning of autumn, but I want to make sure I don’t backslide.

Dreams for 2016:
I didn’t discuss them publicly, and had to look back in my private journal. I worked on the dreams, but did not fulfill them this year. I’m tweaking them a little for next year, and working on them in a more practical way. I’ve also decided to let go of at least one, and replace it with something that fits more of what I want, not what I feel I should want.

Resolutions and Results for 2016:

Resolution 1. Excommunicate the toxic, the crazy, the saboteur, and the
energy vampires from my personal universe.
A. It’s tied in to some of the goals and dreams I can’t yet share.
B. Strengthen my personal shields.
C. Refuse to be drawn in to other people’s dysfunction.

Results: Made a lot of progress with this and feel good about it. Also getting better at recognizing early warning signs and removing myself before it becomes a crisis.

Resolution 2. Organize/purge/unpack basement
A. Get the supplies I need in place so I can organize and have
designated bins/areas to sort/purge
B. Create a reasonable schedule and stick to it.
C. Re-Feng-Shui the house. The place’s natural feng shui is
excellent, but the purging/organizing will help.

Result: Well, that didn’t really happen! It fell by the way side. That needs to roll over. I did some Feng-Shui work, which helped a lot, but the basement needs a lot of work.

Resolution 3. Try something new, out of my comfort zone.
A. Be open to new opportunities
B. Lack of energy is not an excuse
C. Realize it’s okay if I try something and decide I don’t
like it.

Result: This was a good one, and I’m happy with the result. I had to let go of Argentine Tango, because the time commitment and the emotional commitment was more than I could give. I still enjoy it and I’d like to get back to it someday, but this is not the time. Although it’s given me inspiration for several stories. I stretched myself into visual arts, and found I really enjoy it. I want to paint and experiment with abstract work a bit more. I also stretched myself by being a reader for the Moby Dick Marathon in Provincetown in April, and will stretch even further by participating in the marathon at the New Bedford Whaling Museum this coming January.

I’m at work with my personal plan for 2017, the plan beyond the GDRS, to set up the next few years. I hope to have it ready to share by mid-February.

On January 2, I will be back with my GDR questions answered for 2017, and on the 3rd, I will have my January To-Do list ready.

Happy New Year, and may next year bring you joy, creativity, and an abundance of all that is good.

Feel free to post your own reflections on 2016 below. We’ve lost so many inspirations this year, that we must be each others’ inspirations.

Posted by: devonellington | December 22, 2016

Goals, Dreams, Resolutions Questions for 2017

2016 has been a difficult year, on many levels.  But we’ve got the chance for a fresh start coming up in just over a week, and a good time to recalibrate.  Some of the questions are from last year, but there are some new ideas, and some things that build on the work last year.

You’ll see, in my wrap up of 2016, which will post on New Year’s Eve, why I lost focus, but, going back over the years, I also gained things I did not realize were gains at the time.  I hope you find that this past year has been more positive than it’s often felt, and let’s work together to make next year something wonderful.

Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Questions for 2017

Choose a word that encompasses what you hope will define 2017. ONE word, not a phrase. The word “positive” is a given before that word.

My word for 2017 is “Positive ______________”.

Here are some things to think about, as you look ahead to the coming year. I will post my answers on the second of January, 2017. There may be details related to various questions that are too personal to post publicly; that’s fine. You’re not required or expected to violate your own privacy, or anyone else’s. Write as completely and honestly for yourself as you can, and only post anything that is comfortable for you to share.

Take a look back at the last year, and give yourself an honest assessment. Remember to be kind to yourself. Did you achieve what you hoped to achieve? Where did you fall short of your own expectations, and why? Where did you exceed them? What unexpected events changed your direction? What did you choose to give up because it no longer fit your goals, dreams, resolutions, and life?

Do you feel you are on the right path? If so, what do you want to build on from this year to make next year even better? If not, what do you want to change? How do you intend to change those things?

What needs to be released? There is nothing wrong with removing things (or people) that no longer work for your life. What of those can you discuss and how will you let go of them in a postive way?

Take a look at the disappointments from this year. Can you find their root cause? Did you get something positive from them, in spite of the disappointments?

Take a look at unexpected events which changed your path. Were the changes positive or negative? Did they send you in a new direction you might not have found otherwise, or where they a distraction?

Do you feel fulfilled creatively, personally, spiritually? What contributes to that? If something is lacking in any of these areas, what actions do you need to take in the coming year?

How will you participate in your community? Go beyond yourself and make changes that will positively affect others? In this time of negativity and defensiveness, going beyond the self is very important. If you have spent a great deal of time out in the community this past year, what has fulfilled you? What has not? What changes will you make to prevent burn out?

List three goals for 2017 — concrete things that you wish to achieve. Under each goal, list three specific action steps you can do to achieve each of them.

List three dreams for 2017 — things you would like to do, but that may not be ready to manifest. List three action steps under each dream that you can start this coming year, on the road to manifestation.

List three resolutions for 2017– definite things you want to change about yourself or your life for the better. Under each one, list three action steps that you can take to start achieving those resolutions. Again, remember to be kind to yourself.

Take a look back at the last several years, and then look ahead to where you are and where you want to be. Take some time and figure out a one year, three year, and five year plan. Your personal “strategic plan”, so to speak. Your Personal Plan takes time and is a living document, which means you revisit it and change it as you see fit.

Let’s try to have our Personal Plans ready by mid-February.

Have a wonderful start to the New Year!

Please feel free to share your own goals, dreams, and resolutions below.

Posted by: devonellington | May 27, 2016

April & May Wrap-Up

I apologize for not posting an April Wrap-Up or a May To Do List. I went on vacation at the beginning of May. So I have both of these months included in the May wrap-up:

Complete:
5 submissions
Entries judged for the Indie Next Generation Book Awards
Entries judged for the Ear for Drama Radio Contest
1 short story written/polished/submitted*
DEATH OF A CHOLERIC 2nd draft – now it has to sit, because I have to cut at least 20K!

In Process:
SONGBOUND SISTERS first draft (behind)
“Just a Drop” first draft (behind)
Non-fiction #1
Garden

Moved/Dropped:
*Two short stories that were not contracted – I had decided not to do these, but the publication requested that I submit at least one piece, so I did.

Unexpected Additions:
Next round of edits for HEART SNATCHER started – not sure how to fit it into the schedule.
Need to find a way to put the entire Harpy Trilogy back onto the roster, without dropping anything else.
Re-reading INITIATE, and getting fired up about that again, but not sure what to do
Discussions with agent, who requested a rewrite of CHARISMA KILLINGS that resonates, so I have to figure out how to get it done on time without dropping the ball on anything else.

Disappointments:
Of a personal nature; not appropriate to discuss here.

Successes:
Agent interested in representing me.
Some risk-taking submissions

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and I’ll check back in with you for June’s list next week!

June is also the half-way point of our year, so at the end of June, we’ll be doing a reassessment.

Posted by: devonellington | April 15, 2016

April MidMonth Check In

Mid-Month Check-In April

How’s your April going?

Mine is busy – in the best possible sense of the word.

I decided to wait until early May to start revisions on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC. That gives it six weeks to rest – a good compromise between the month I scheduled and the two months I prefer.

SONGBOUND SISTERS and “Just a Drop” are on track – I still plan to have the first draft of the latter done by the end of the month.

I’m also looking for a way to add the next round of revisions of HEART SNATCHER and finishing the first draft of HEART BINDER back into the mix, without dropping the ball on any of the other schedule projects.

I may drop the two short stories, since they are not contracted. I think I have enough on my plate without them.

I finished the judging for one contest, and just received the entries for the radio contest.

I’m behind in submissions, but the work is going well on both nonfiction projects.

It’s rained almost every day I’ve had off, so I’m behind in the garden, but I hope to catch up this weekend!

Hope your April is spectacular!

Posted by: devonellington | April 1, 2016

April To Do List

 

My April To-Do List looks short, but is actually quite time-and-labor-intensive.  Writing the first draft of one book while revising the draft of a different book is always an interesting challenge.  At least CHOLERIC is in first person, while SONGBOUND is in third, so I’m not switching between first person voices.

Knocking out two short stories will be a challenge, but one is partially formed in my head.

The contests will take the biggest chunk of time, and are on the shortest deadline.  But it will be fun.  What does your April look like?

To-Do List April:

Work on SONGBOUND SISTERS
Start revisions on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC
Finish, edit, polish, and send off 2 short stories
Finish “Just a Drop”
3-5 submissions/pitches
Finish Contest entries
Judge high school radio contest
Continue work on Non-Fiction #1 and Non-Fiction #2
Garden

Posted by: devonellington | March 31, 2016

March Wrap-Up

How did your March go?  While the last few days have been challenging, to say the least, but, overall, when I look back at the month, I feel good about it.  When I look at some of the non-writing-life stuff I’m dealing with, I’m amazed I got as much done as I did.

March 2016 Wrap Up:

Completed:
First draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC
“Not Such A Bargain” short radio play
“Fright Shift” short radio play
Presented at CCWC’s WNO on “Point of View”
5 Submissions
2 Pitches

In Process:
Play on 17th Century Italy (now titled “Just a Drop”)
SONGBOUND SISTERS
Work on contest entries
2 Short Stories due the end of April

Moved/Dropped:
Moved TIE-CUTTER to the next slot; brought SONGBOUND SISTERS forward

Unexpected Opportunities:
Short radio plays
2 grant proposals
Campaign writing
2 new novel ideas in the process of outline
Material for what I thought would be essays are really the foundation for 2 non-fiction books.

Disappointments:
Had to pull out of interviewing for a project due to scheduling conflicts

Successes:
”Broken Links” placed first & will be produced/performed by On the Air Radio Players in June.
My mixed media piece “Have You Seen . . .?” was accepted into the “Unsafe” exhibit at Cotuit Center for the Arts

Posted by: devonellington | March 15, 2016

Mid-March Check-In

How is your March going? Are you getting into your groove?

I have three submissions out, and I finished the first draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC!
The book is going to sit and marinate for a month or two.

The rest of the month, I will focus on the first draft of the play set in 17th Century Italy, and also get going on SONGBOUND SISTERS.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I decided to flip the deadlines for SONGBOUND SISTERS and TIE-CUTTER, and I’m lucky enough to have the flexibility so to do.

Tomorrow, I’m speaking at Cape Cod Writers Center’s Writers Night Out. The topic is “Point of View.”

So, all in all, a good March! I’m excited about what’s been accomplished thus far, and the possibilities for the future.

Have a great March!

Posted by: devonellington | March 7, 2016

The Pull of Projects – Inspiration or Sabotage?

The Pull of Projects – Inspiration or Sabotage?

Many people, be they writers or in any other field, sabotage themselves by not finishing what they start. Whether it’s a stack of half-written projects or a stash of partially knitted pieces, unfinished work drains creative energy. If you drop something any time you get an adrenalin rush for something new, you won’t reach your goals. You’ll just hoard unfinished projects, which causes depression and anxiety.

At the same time, sometimes a project moves forward and demands attention. So what do you do?

First of all, it depends on the type of schedule you’re on. If someone else is counting on you to finish a project by a particular deadline, you do it. Whether or not you feel inspired; whether or not another project is pulling at you. Especially if you’re on a paid contract. You don’t have the right to screw up someone else’s schedule because you’re flaky.

If you’re in a situation that’s negative on many fronts, that’s something different. Then, you either fulfill your obligation as quickly as possible and make sure you don’t get in that situation again, or you find a replacement and withdraw gracefully.

But you don’t do that high-pitched little giggle and blame The Muse because YOU are unreliable.

Sometimes, however, you have to have enough flexibility to rearrange your schedule and deadlines to accommodate an additional project or a new opportunity. If you’re offered an outstanding opportunity, you don’t say no, and you especially don’t use the “I don’t have time” excuse. People who don’t MAKE time for opportunities soon find that Opportunity goes and knocks on someone else’s door – someone who will invite her in.

You factor in:
–how much you want to do this particular project
–how it fits into the overall vision for your career
–how much you’re being paid
–how many other people your participation or non-participation affects and where those individuals fit into your life
–how much time you have to MAKE in your schedule to add the project in and keep up with your other commitments.

So what if you’re tired? Get up earlier; go to bed later for a few weeks. Spend less time on your cell phone, on social media, or watching TV. Make your creative work your focus.

I’m facing a current dilemma about rearranging a couple of novels on this year’s roster. I’m nearly finished with the draft of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC – behind where I wanted to be, but I’m close. I can taste it. I’m pushing ahead to get it done, so it can marinate, and then I can come back to it with fresh eyes, do another draft (or two or three), put together my submission package, and get it out there.

The next novel on my roster is TIE-CUTTER, which I started last year. It has a slower innate pace than the mystery, and it was one of the two novels I wrote in tandem during last year’s Nano (the other being CHOLERIC). It’s also a very different direction for my writing. Originally, it was supposed to be completed in March. Because CHOLERIC is behind, so is TIE-CUTTER, so that deadline will have to be adjusted.

However, I’m pulled very strongly by the novel that’s supposed to be third on the year’s list, after TIE-CUTTER, called SONGBOUND SISTERS. That was originally started last August in a workshop; people loved it and encouraged me to continue. I put it aside because of other commitments, such as Nano and, at the time, BALTHAZAAR TREASURE (before I knew my publisher was going to shut its doors). I decided to put it on this year’s roster – it’s a fantasy novel, not completely outside what I usually do, but more epic sword-and-sorcery than urban fantasy.

I had SONGBOUND SISTERS with me when I went to the retreat in Vermont at the end of January. That is the piece I read in our work sessions – mostly because I had a bit of remove, and it is detrimental for me to read something to others I’ve just worked on that day. Again, SONGBOUND got a terrific response. I was confident in keeping it on the roster for this year.

I’m winding up the CHOLERIC draft – and SONGBOUND is pulling at me strongly. So, I’m considering flipping SONGBOUND with TIE-CUTTER. I’ve been making notes as ideas come to me – I haven’t written my way into it enough for my Writer’s Rough outline, although I have a general idea of the book’s shape. But SONGBOUND is filling the waking hours away from my writing, much the way CHOLERIC has done the previous months. Therefore, it makes more sense to work on SONGBOUND.

Why can I do this flip? Because neither book is under a contracted deadline. Do I have people who’ve requested First Look at all four novels this year? Yes. But it wasn’t on the typical meet-and-greet, what-do-you-have, send-it-in-48-hours. The First Look agreements came out of more casual conversations that sparked interest.

Flipping these two novel projects doesn’t affect the contracted deadlines – the two plays. The first one is still due on June 1; the second still due on November 1. Those are worked alongside the novels. I spend a portion of my writing day on whatever novel has the primary focus, then I switch to the play of the day, or the other way around.

When I go into edits for CHOLERIC, I will be drafting whatever is the primary novel of the time, writing the play, and editing CHOLERIC. All will need to be balanced in the time I have – and, if need be, I’ll work later at night or get up earlier in the morning.

There will be other projects inserted as well – freelance articles, revisions on the scripts that are currently out, new script commissions, short stories. Once the rights revert to me at the end of this month for the pieces published by Amber Quill, I have to take a breath, decide what’s next with each of them, and move forward on that. Several of the shorter pieces need companion pieces written for them before they can go out again. And new covers.

I have several pieces out on submission – they will need additional work once they go to contract. Plus I have other job responsibilities and my work as a Trustee of the Marine Life Center. And things like the garden and the house and the cooking – chop wood, carry water.

And there are other pieces demanding to be written, that are being developed through a few dozen pages here and there, with an eye to adding them to the schedule as possible, without overbooking myself.

That is how a career is built, and how it is maintained. Accept commitments that move you forward and be unrelentingly reliable once you agree; refuse what does not excite you or pay you well.

To what will I say no? Unpaid “work”. This month, I’m about to give my last speech without pay. The person who invited me to speak only accepts paying gigs – why shouldn’t I? That doesn’t mean I’ll never in my life do another freebie, but not for the foreseeable future. I’ve already changed my freelance business to focus on marketing writing and script work. When I do editing work, I’ll only take jobs from a publisher, not from an individual writer. That will cut the frustration level because the writing will have already been vetted at least once before I get it, and publishers (usually) are more reliable about paying than individuals. The unpaid work is where I “don’t have time”.

It’s always a delicate balance between being flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities that come up in a way that means you finish what you start, and that each project builds on the previous one. It can be done. But only if you put in the work.

Posted by: devonellington | March 1, 2016

March 2016 To Do List

The March list is short, sweet, and to the point:

 

March 2016 To Do List

3-5 Pitches/Submissions
Finish the first draft of TIE-CUTTER
Finish the first draft of the play set in 17th Century Italy
Continue work on contest entries
Finish draft of short story due end of April

Posted by: devonellington | February 29, 2016

February Wrap Up

February 2016 Wrap-Up

Complete:
“Confidence Confidant” adapted from stage play to radio play, in both BBC and US formats.
“Broken Links” converted into BBC radio format
2 submissions

In Process:
DEATH OF A CHOLERIC – very close to the finish I wanted for the end of this month
TIE-CUTTER
Continuing to work on contest entries
Play set in 17th Century Italy
Working on material for my presentation in March

Dropped/Moved:
Connected short stories put on hold for the moment

Additional:
Writing my way into the historical novel LAUGHTER RETURNED
Outlining a novel that’s a re-envisioning of an idea I played with for a long time.
Rewrote the first two and a half chapters of SONGBOUND SISTERS.
Writing my way into the re-envisioned novel, so I get an idea of what I want to outline.
Revamped the Fearless Ink Website and working on the Devon Ellington Work website

Disappointments:
1 rejection, although that editor wants to see something else.
When I’d prepared the material for my March presentation, the topic was changed, and I had to start over.

Successes:
Asked to be a panel judge for a high school radio writing contest
Happy I made the decision to focus on the aspects of the business and script writing that I enjoy most, and move away from the areas I found frustrating

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