Posted by: devonellington | February 28, 2009

February Wrap-Up

February was a difficult and frustrating month for me. Life threw a lot into my way, and I felt like I couldn’t keep my head above water on a number of fronts.

I got a few things accomplished, but nowhere near what I needed to get done; a few glimmers of hope on the horizon, and a wonderful new cover for my next Jain Lazarus mystery, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. So, there were some bright spots.

Teaching at the CWCO was a wonderful experience — I was thrilled with the quality of student.

Here’s the wrap-up, and tomorrow comes the next to-do list for March. Let’s hope March is better on all fronts!

Pitches/Queries — 19
Taught at the CWCO
SDR blog – 1 (possibly a second post up today)
Work for Confidential Job #1
February Newsletter
Guest Blogger at Urban Muse
Contributor at Sole Struck Fashions
Juggled multiple site jobs

In Process:
Billy Root story
The Lucy Gothic (no schedule for this; work on it piecemeal)
3 Men’s Monologues
Mick Feeney story
F/U on 2008 log – not complete
Work on brochures
Creating the Jenny Storm web presence
3-5 backlogged stories – got out two

2 Women’s monologues – rolled over
ANGEL HUNT revisions – rolled to March
HEEBIES JEEBIES – rolled to Marc
OFDW edits – because they weren’t sent to me to work on
DDR edits – because they weren’t sent to me to work on
Start Project S – rolled over to April
Complete the Big Project – rolled to March

Unexpected Additions:
Developing the Ocean Fantasy Novel
Bedtime Louie Racetrack Tales
Corporate Proposals

The banks
Cancelled trip to Montreal
Not a frustration, but a stress: Elsa’s illness

Short story accepted by THE RANFURLY REVIEW
Great teaching experience


WRITERS AT WORK FIFTH SERIES. Edited by George Plimpton.

KISS HOLLYWOOD GOODBYE . Anita Loos. Memoir, by turns interesting and frustrating. Good background for THE FIX IT GIRL. (Re-read)

HELL AND EARTH. Elizabeth Bear. Fascinating fantasy novel set in Shakespeare’s time and faerie. Some reservations about it, but, overall, fascinating.

2 Books for Confidential Job #1. It’s confidential, so I can’t discuss it here, but it was good!

DEATH OF A BORE. MC Beaton. Hamish Macbeth mystery. Interesting for character, setting, structure.

DIARY OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, VOL. II. Dipped into here and there for inspiration.

A NOBLE RADIANCE. Donna Leon. I love these mysteries, set in Venice. They always surprise me, they always make me hungry (so much great food and wine in them), they always are a joy.


KITTY AND THE SILVER BULLET. Carrie Vaughn. This is the second Kitty book I’ve read. I like the character development. My only criticism in this book is that the character who is the “betrayer” is not close enough to the readers for us to feel the full impact of the betrayal. The character is too peripheral in the overall story, and one figures who it is, because of the character’s placement, but never why.

DEATH OF A MAID. M.C. Beaton. Another Hamish Macbeth mystery. I find it interesting where Beaton chooses to stay within the confines of genre, and where Beaton chooses to break those confines.

I think I read some other books this month, too, but I can’t remember them.


  1. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  2. You still got through a lot Devon despite “life”. I think there was something in the air because I, too, struggled through the month on just about everything. Roll on March!

    Here’s mine

    * Complete Blood Ties – still IP; struggling
    * Write one new flash/short story (and 1 from last month) – not done
    * Re-submit rejected/recalled short stories – complete
    * Enter at least one writing competition – complete
    * Complete working on the fiction output from October’s Muse Festival – 2 complete; 2 shorts left

    * Write one poem per week – 1/4 complete

    * Work on Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Spring edition (Apr) – not done; need to get my finger out
    * Query higher paying writing markets, not more lower-paying ones – still searching

    * Complete work amalgamating web design and freelance writing sites to – did nothing on this

    * Stay on top of RR submissions – complete
    * Complete laying out RR issue 6 – complete

    Marketing and Promotion
    * Brainstorm ideas for podcasts/videos – not done; technical upgrade for sound/video card possibly needed
    * Publish newsletter – complete
    * Keep website(s) up to date – complete

    Reading & Learning
    * Day by AL Kennedy – IP
    * Marketing Sherpa (writing for marketing book)
    * Always Be Testing (SEO writing book)

    * Keep diet going – IP; next weigh-in 7th March

    Things That Turned Up
    * Acceptance of Stella meant kicking in of development of new marketing plan
    * Worked on Greener is the Grass novella to vary my work more

    Submissions Made
    * How The Internet Works – poem submission to Writer’s Relief Competition
    * The English Teacher to Underground Voices

    Hunting Jack

    10 short stories still on sub

    Major success was my novella, Stella, being accepted for publication by Eternal Press.

    Output has dropped significantly due to outside demands being placed on my time. Strong need to reassess how I am going to manage my time.

  3. You had a very productive month, Colin, even though it feels like you didn’t.

    I admire how quickly you can turn around anything that needs resubmission and how you stay on top of the RR submissions.

    And the acceptance of STELLA is a wonderful reason for celebration!

  4. February was a bad month for me too, a total washout in fact. I did get odds and sods done, but nothing very tangible. The magazine was late being started, so I’m still on that now nearly halfway into March. I’m not going to depress myself further by putting a very short DONE list up this time. Sorry. But March will be better – it already is so far.

    I AM reading a novel a month or more, and the weight IS coming off. I’ve done several power walks and several Wii workouts. Everything else has been planning or admin or work-type stuff. And housework.

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