Posted by: devonellington | January 2, 2018

Answers to the 2018 Questions

GOALS, DREAMS, RESOLUTIONS — QUESTIONS FOR 2018

Here are my answers:
As you reflect on 2017, what is your assessment on how the year flowed in terms of:
–professional life
The Recalibration is working. There have been a few glitches along the way, but the choices I’m now making are working better for me. Even when I have to carve my own path in the jungle, it’s working better than others’ more well-worn paths.

–personal life
Holding my boundaries and removing toxic people from my life isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.

–creative life
Because the Recalibration is working, my creativity is enhanced. I’m more inspired, I’m more dedicated, I see connections better.

–political life
I’ve met some great people and learned a lot. I’ve been challenged in a good way. I’ve been forced to define what matters to me, and where my integrity lies. It has made me less tolerant of cowards and ignorant people, which is necessary in some cases, but I also have to be careful not to fall into generalizations.

Did your “word” to define 2017, chosen last year, materialize? Why or why not? What were your obstacles? What were your victories?
Some of it materialized. I’m definitely in better shape on all levels than I was last year. Part of the obstacles is that Cape Cod is a prime example of how the “trickle down” theory of economics DOES NOT WORK. So there are more changes coming, especially since my professional-rate clients tend to be off Cape.

What did you feel was out of your control? Where did you choose to relinquish your control? Do you have any regrets?
Too much political stuff was out of control. We have a corrupt, authoritarian regime gaining power. Those we elect to fight have to stop making excuses that they “don’t have the votes” to stop them. There are other (legal) ways to stop the corrupt. Use them.

What do you want to focus on next year? Is it different from this year’s focus?
I want to build on the foundation I set this year. My goals and my focus is sharper. I am going to be far more selfish this year. I’m not using “self-care” to hide behind. I am going to be self-ISH in certain areas of my life in order to achieve my goals. Without harm, I hope, but it will probably inconvenience some people. Too bad for them.

Are you on the same track, or have you made the choice to release what’s not working and go in a different direction? How did you come to these decisions?
I’ve been releasing things/people/practices that don’t work all last year. I plan to do more of that this year — cutting out deadwood on physical and emotional levels — to make room for better elements. Not with anger. Not with argument. Just, when I’m done, I’m done. The Recalibration continues, and I hope it will grow all year.

Were you hit by unexpected changes in 2017? Did anything seem positive at first and turn into a negative? What was the result? Did anything seem negative at first and turn into a positive? How did you create that?
The whole year felt like an unexpected change, with the country heading back to an atmosphere pre-Civil War. But, on a personal level, a couple of contracts looked like positives, but the details were negative. Instead of making the decision that I could live with those compromises, I walked away and did not sign, which prevented a lot of unhappiness down the line. Having to change webhosts seems like a negative because of the money and work involved, but will be a positive. Having to change distributors is negative in the short run, but will be positive in the long run. My mother’s cancer surgery was unexpected and frightening, but she’s doing well.

Are you satisfied on a creative level? Why or why not? How do you want to rearrange your schedule and your commitments to have a more fulfilling creative life?
I’m more satisfied this year. This year is a brutal deadline year for me, and I have to be an ace at time management. I need to be able to meet my contracted deadlines, have enough room for new inspirations that hit, be able to add in lucrative opportunities when they arrive, and keep the whole “life” part of it running, too. I may well need to get up even earlier to get the writing in, and I may need to add in an additional writing session at night.

List three goals for 2018. Under each, list three concrete steps to get you there.

1. Meet and Exceed My Deadlines
A. Be conscious of how much time activities actually take
B. Build in “percolation time” when it looks like I do nothing, but am creating
C. Keep upping the healthy lifestyle so I have the physical stamina for the
creative work.

2. Finish cleaning out the basement
A. Set a goal of X amount of boxes per week
B. If I’m on a roll, keep going
C. Deal with each item only once; don’t put it aside to deal with “later”
3. Read more poetry
A. Keep up with new, more diverse work
B. Order books from library and/or bookstores
C. Attend readings

4. Write more letters
A. Write a letter to those I only hear from at the holidays
B. Write letters to those whose work I admire
C. Read more collections of letters

Yup, more than 3 — but that’s the way it goes!

List three dreams for 2018 — things that might take more than a year to achieve, but where you want to set yourself on that path. Under each, list three steps to work towards each.

I still don’t feel I can discuss these publicly, but I am building on what I started last year.

List three resolutions for 2018 — definite things you want to change about yourself. Under each resolution, list three actions you will take to fulfill each.

1. Boundaries. Honor my own and others’ boundaries.
A. Go back to some of the qualities that served me well in my NY life that
I changed to fit in here. I don’t need to fit in.
B. Take time to weigh options and possibilities instead of simply reacting.
C. Remove myself from toxic situations sooner rather than later.

2. Physical Fitness — rebuild my fitness levels
A. Keep deepening the yoga practice
B. Add back in strength training
C. Find another activity that I enjoy to also add in

3. Build the Community I Want, not Change Myself to What is Here
A. Stop trying to find it elsewhere
B. Decide what I want and create it
C. The right people will find it
Basically, when I moved here, I joked a lot about “civilians” and I wanted to see what life was like outside of the intensely creative environment of New York City. While I am glad I no longer live in NYC, I have no interest in being a “civilian” and will resume being what I’ve always been and stop being “a good sport.” You like me as I am or we part ways. I’ve worked too hard to be whom I am — which is always evolving. But I will not conform to someone else’s idea of who I “should be.” I would have never made it to Broadway or gotten my plays produced internationally if I lived my life that way; no reason I should do this now. I had a few years’ of rest; now I’m ready to fully participate in my own life on my own terms again.

How are you in terms of the Personal Plan you drafted last February? Is it still relevant? Or has your life changed so much, you want to craft a new one?
I definitely need a new one. Will work on that this month.

Share whatever you feel comfortable sharing publicly below.

Tomorrow the To Do List goes up for January.

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Posted by: devonellington | December 29, 2017

2017 Wrap-Up

2017 Wrap Up

2017 was a tough year. A lot of that was due to the corruption in politics, and the fact that our Constitution is being shredded without consequence. The Republican Party has not had morals or ethics in my lifetime, although they always squawk about it. But now, they’re not even pretending. I do not believe the country can come back from this level of idiocy and corruption.

On a personal level, the recalibration that began in the spring is ongoing. I’m happy with it. I’m happy in feeling that I have more participation and control over my creative life again.

I feel that there is a possibility for a creative Renaissance. This is a chance for those who are serious about their dedication to their creative work to come up with new ways to support it and sell it. The way Susan Glaspell, Eugene O’Neill, et al, created a theatre movement that had a huge impact on the arts, the way the Impressionists and Fauvists and modernists created new movements, it’s now time for writers to do the same.

I loved being with Pronoun as my distributor, and chose them because they were a subsidiary of Macmillan. Unfortunately, they are closing their doors. I’ve switched over to Draft2Digital. TRACKING MEDUSA will re-release with them, and PLAYING THE ANGLES and SAVASANA AT SEA will move over to them in mid-January.

How I achieved (or didn’t) my goals for 2017:
A. Align my work with my values. I stuck to that this year. I refused clients who low-balled me. I also refused clients whose values are far apart from mine. I didn’t “go along to get along” and that was better for all of us.
B. Get the basement cleaned out. That didn’t happen. But it MUST happen this winter.
C. Put myself in a more financially stable situation. This is happening, mostly due to A.

The additional writing goals changed due to the recalibration of my writing life. I had wanted to have NOT BY THE BOOK, another novel, and SONGBOUND SISTERS done and out this year. That did not happen.

However, PLAYING THE ANGLES re-released, launching the Coventina Circle series, and SAVASANA AT SEA released, launching the Nautical Namaste series. TRACKING MEDUSA is set to re-release (pun intended) early next year. THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, RELICS AND REQUIEM, DAVY JONES DHARMA, and THE BALTHAZAAR TREASURE are all back on the schedule.

The novella did not happen. I did, however, write more than three short stories.

I wrote a play — which took all year, because it was more involved than I expected. I wrote a film script, and part of a mini-series script.
I revised THE FIX-IT GIRL, which has been in limbo, and it is almost ready to go out on submission. ANGEL HUNT is up next.
DEATH OF A CHOLERIC is out on submission; we’ll see what happens with that.

The writing was different than I expected, but productive.

COMPLETED:
Boston Women’s March
Outlines for several new novels and other projects
Short story: “A Place at the Table”
WINNER TAKE ALL screenplay — 2 drafts
“Axe to Grind” short radio play
Revisions on “Seven of Swords” one act (still needs more)
Short story: “Worth the Wait”
Short story: “Floral Arrangements”
“The Ramsey Chase” re-release
Play: SERENE AND DETERMINED
Short story: “Mind Games”
Short story: “Angel Auditions”
Short story: “Staff Training”
Short story: “Soul Catcher”

ONGOING:
Work with my elected officials
Deepening the yoga and meditation practices
Work on several long-term projects
FIX-IT GIRL revisions
Career recalibration
Several new projects that came up this year that aren’t on the official schedule, but
are worked on when they pull at me.
Fantasy Mini-Series — part 1 drafted; working on part 2

DROPPED/POSTPONED:
NOT BY THE BOOK — moved to 2018
SONGBOUND SISTERS — moved to 2018
Adaptation of two short stories for radio (time/money ratio didn’t work out)
Releases of “Labor Intensive” and “Miss Winston Apologizes” delayed due to
world events

DISAPPOINTMENTS:
Walked away from a ghostwriting project because the client asked for a quote, came
back with ONE-ELEVENTH of that quote, and then wanted to negotiate
down from there. No. Just no.
Walked away from a book contract (with full support of my agent and lawyer)
because it was unacceptable and their position is “they don’t negotiate.”
Best Buy’s lack of customer service
My webhost, 1and1.com, not allowing me to post photographs or upload
downloadable media kit without paying hostage fees above and beyond
my hosting package — which is supposed to include them.
An organization for whom I’d done a lot of pro bono work made it clear how little
they respect the work or me
Pronoun shutting down

SUCCESSES:
Upped my pitches
Landed some terrific new clients
Sold articles regularly at professional rates
7 short stories
1 screenplay (2 drafts done; one more to do)
2 novels released
1 novel revised
1 full length stage play
1 short radio play

The dreams I’m still not ready to share. Not as much progress as I’d like, but progress.

Resolutions:
I fell short of the physical fitness goal. However, I was politically engaged, which is necessary for survival right now. And I reworked my writing career in a way that works better for me.

Political Engagement –– that took up a LOT of time this year, more than I expected. But it’s necessary. Our individual survival and our survival as a country depends on it. However, I am not optimistic.

Career Recalibration — I like the way it’s going. I’m making good decisions FOR ME, not “what everyone else does.” It needs more work, it’s a living, growing thing, but I’m much happier and fulfilled, both creatively and financially, with these choices.

2017 was a tough year. I went from feeling like I was on a precipice to a turning point, and I am happier with the choices ahead of me, even though I know they will take a damn lot of work.

Posted by: devonellington | December 6, 2017

December To Do List

December To Do List:

Survive Mercury Retrograde
Holiday Cards Written and Out
Holiday Baking Completed and Out
Holiday Shopping
Continue the daily political work
Keep up with blogs
Keep working with my two new clients
Finish and submit SERENE AND DETERMINED
Finish TRACKING MEDUSA edits and get it to my editor
Finish FIX IT GIRL edits and prepare submission package
Work on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN
Work on the aging novel
Finish putting the yard to bed
Get “Labor Intensive” and “Miss Winston” back on track

What I’ve learned is that, next year, I need to redesign my schedule so that all of my big projects are off my desk by Thanksgiving.

I’ll see you mid-month. Are you working on your questions for 2018? 2018 is going to be a year of big transitions for me. I laid a lot of groundwork this year, and next year, it will start to take shape.

Posted by: devonellington | December 5, 2017

November Wrap-Up

Well, I lost steam as November continued. I was hit left and right with stuff to deal with, and now we’re in Mercury Retrograde until just after the Solstice, which suchs on many levels.


Complete
:
Several LOIs, but not as many as I wanted

In Process:
Working with the new clients
SERENE AND DETERMINED
TRACKING MEDUSA edits
FIX-IT GIRL revisions
Continued promotion for PLAYING THE ANGLES
Continued promotion for SAVASANA AT SEA
Work on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN
Novel on aging
Holiday shopping
Holiday cards
Putting the yard to bed

Moved/Dropped:

“Labor Intensive” release moved
“Miss Winston Apologizes” release moved

Unexpected Additions:

Life challenges
Working on a new business plan

Disappointments:
People
Organization for whom I’d done a lot of work

Successes:
Doing good work with my new clients

Tomorrow will post the December To Do List!

Posted by: devonellington | November 16, 2017

November Mid-Month Check In

 

I can’t believe it will be Thanksgiving next week! I have a lot for which to be thankful.

Here’s my mid-month check-in:

I’m working regularly with two new clients. One is at 14-15 hours a week onsite, the other is a combination of regular onsite work and remote work.

I got out a handful of new pitches and LOIs, but I’m concentrating on the two new clients for the moment.

The Lavinia Fontana play, SERENE AND DETERMINED, is on track, and will get to the producer on time in December.

FIX-IT GIRL revisions are happening, but won’t be finished until the end of the year.

TRACKING MEDUSA edits are on track (no pun intended), and I plan to get them to the publisher right after Thanksgiving.

Promotion for PLAYING THE ANGLES continues.

SAVASANA AT SEA released, and promotion continues.

I’m working on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN.

I’m also playing with an idea that explores some of my feelings on aging along with finding the perfect community at the perfect time.

I’m putting the yard to bed — slowly, but it’s happening.

There are still plenty of other things that have to happen this month, in terms of “Miss Winston Apologizes” and “Labor Intensive” and holidays — but the month feels good, although it’s flying past.

How is your November? Are you doing Nano this year? How is it going?

Not participating in Nano, even as a Rebel, was the right choice for me this year. It would have been the wrong kind of stress. But I hope those who are doing it are having a wonderful time with it!

Posted by: devonellington | November 2, 2017

Questions for 2018

Every autumn, I post questions to consider for a few months, and then, early in January, we share our ideas.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for 2018:

As you reflect on 2017, what is your assessment on how the year flowed in terms of:
–professional life
–personal life
–creative life
–political life

Did your “word” to define 2017, chosen last year, materialize? Why or why not? What were your obstacles? What were your victories?


What did you feel was out of your control? Where did you choose to relinquish your control? Do you have any regrets?

What do you want to focus on next year? Is it different from this year’s focus?

Are you on the same track, or have you made the choice to release what’s not working and go in a different direction? How did you come to these decisions?

Were you hit by unexpected changes in 2017? Did anything seem positive at first and turn into a negative? What was the result? Did anything seem negative at first and turn into a positive? How did you create that?

Are you satisfied on a creative level? Why or why not? How do you want to rearrange your schedule and your commitments to have a more fulfilling creative life?

We will do a year-end wrap up of 2017 at the end of December, but feel free to refer to your answers to those questions as you set goals, dreams, and resolutions for 2018.

List three goals for 2018. Under each, list three concrete steps to get you there.

List three dreams for 2018 — things that might take more than a year to achieve, but where you want to set yourself on that path. Under each, list three steps to work towards each.

List three resolutions for 2018 — definite things you want to change about yourself. Under each resolution, list three actions you will take to fulfill each.

How are you in terms of the Personal Plan you drafted last February? Is it still relevant? Or has your life changed so much, you want to craft a new one?

We will share any answers we feel comfortable sharing publicly in early January.

Posted by: devonellington | November 1, 2017

November To Do List

November has tight deadlines, which means I should not, must not heed the Siren Song of Nano. Here’s a list of what needs to get done:

November 2017 To Do List:

Work with my two new clients
15 new pitches out
Write Lavinia Fontana play
Finish FIX-IT GIRL revisions
Finish TRACKING MEDUSA edits
Release “Miss Winston Apologizes”
Release “Labor Intensive”
Continue with promotion for PLAYING THE ANGLES
Continue with promotion for SAVASANA AT SEA
Work on MARRIAGE GARDEN when possible
Start holiday shopping
Get overseas holiday cards out over Thanksgiving weekend
Finish putting the yard to bed

As you can see, there’s no room for Nano in here — it would interfere with my deadlines. And yet, I’m so tempted to use Nano to finish the draft of NOT BY THE BOOK, which is a year behind where I wanted to be with it at this point.

What are your plans for November?

Posted by: devonellington | October 31, 2017

October Wrap-Up

Quite a month, and I’m looking forward to a lovely celebration tonight.

Completed:
SAVASANA AT SEA ready to publish
Re-design of A Biblio Paradise
Pitches and LOIs
Review assignments

In Process:
Promotion for PLAYING THE ANGLES
pre-release promotion for SAVASANA AT SEA
Prepping the Topic Workbooks for expanded distribution
Additional Material for COVENTINA CIRCLE website
Winter garden prep
FIX IT GIRL revisions
TRACKING MEDUSA edits
200+ pages on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN

Moved/Dropped:
Lavinia Fontana play — will write in November
FIX-IT GIRL’s submission packets — moved to November
NOT BY THE BOOK – moved to after FIX IT and LAVINIA are done

Unexpected Additions:
Two new marketing clients

Disappointments:
4-month old phone dying
Best Buy not providing customer service
Trouble with CVS pharmacy again

Successes:
Two new marketing clients
MARRIAGE GARDEN
My mom’s surgery went well

How was your month?

Posted by: devonellington | October 16, 2017

October Mid-Month Check-In

October has been a roller coaster, mostly owing to my mother’s upcoming surgery.

The writing is going along pretty well, but the constant fighting with insurance companies and their insistence on de-humanizing people in crisis is enraging. I’m tired of the government and the people who’ve bribed the government constantly trying to kill me.

Anyway, here is where things stand so far for October:

Ongoing promotion for PLAYING THE ANGLES
Galleys for SAVASANA AT SEA are going back and forth in final copy edits;
Topic Workbooks are being prepped (one is in galleys)
Working on additional material for ANGLES website.
Working on pre-release marketing for SAVASANA
Pitches and LOIs going out daily
Winter garden prep happening when the weather allows
One set of review assignments done
Second set of review assignments in progress
Working on FIX IT GIRL revisions
Working on TRACKING MEDUSA edits
Not on the list but added: close to 200 pages in longhand on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN.

Not bad, so why do I feel like I’m so far behind?

How’s your October going?

Posted by: devonellington | October 3, 2017

October 2017 To Do List

I have to be focused to juggle these chainsaws, but I’m looking forward to it. What does your October look like?

Promote PLAYING THE ANGLES
Finish galleys for SAVASANA AT SEA and prep for release
Release “Labor Intensive”
Prep Topic Workbooks for new distributor (at least two)
Additional material for PLAYING THE ANGLES website
Draft short story for December newsletter
Pre-pub marketing for SAVASANA AT SEA
At least 12 pitches
LOIs
Prep garden for the winter
Finish review assignments
Request additional review assignments
Start drafting Lavinia Fontana play
Work on NOT BY THE BOOK
Finish FIX-IT GIRL
Finish FIX-IT GIRL’s submission packets
Start FIX-IT GIRL’s submission process
Work on edits for TRACKING MEDUSA re-release

Posted by: devonellington | October 2, 2017

Sept. 2017 Wrap-Up

Not a bad month creatively, all things considered.

Complete:
PLAYING THE ANGLES finalized for digital release
SAVASANA AT SEA to editor
First Chapter of DAVY JONES DHARMA written
Back matter for SAVASANA AT SEA
20+ pitches & LOIs
2 articles
Additional material for Coventina Circle website
Nautical Namaste site live

In Progress:
PR for PLAYING THE ANGLES
Marketing campaign for SAVASANA AT SEA plans
FIX-IT GIRL draft finished (expect it will be in the next couple of weeks
Submission package for FIX IT GIRL
Short story

Moved/Dropped:
“Labor Intensive” release moved due to natural disasters
Lavinia Fontana play draft — starts in October
NOT BY THE BOOK — moved to October

Unexpected Additions:
THE MARRIAGE GARDEN — nearly 140 pages written in longhand

Disappointments:
Our government
Fake job listings/bait and switch

Successes:
Terrific response to “Tracking Your Banged Buck” article
PLAYING THE ANGLES ready for release
Staying on track with SAVASANA AT SEA

Posted by: devonellington | September 5, 2017

September To Do List

August was a weird month, requiring a lot of flexibility. But now it’s September, and that requires some specific focus.

So here it goes:

September To Do List:

Finalize PLAYING THE ANGLES for digital release
Initial pre-pub press for PLAYING THE ANGLES
Finish SAVASANA AT SEAT draft and get it to editor
Write the first chapter of DAVY JONES DHARMA
Start planning marketing campaign for SAVASANA AT SEA
Back matter for SAVASANA AT SEA
“Labor Intensive” release
Finish draft of FIX IT GIRL
Finish submission package for FIX IT GIRL
Start drafting Lavinia Fontana play
At least 12 pitches
LOIs
At least one short story
At least two articles
Additional material for Coventina Circle website
Get Nautical Namaste site live
Get back on track with NOT BY THE BOOK

Posted by: devonellington | July 31, 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up

July 2017 Wrap-up:

 

My plans for July pretty much went out the window.  I had a good creative time, just not what was on the schedule.

 

Complete:

12 Pitches

“Ramsey Chase” release

PLAYING THE ANGLES proofs

PLAYING THE ANGLES cover

Book review assignments

THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY cover

NAUTICAL NAMASTE cover

Article written and turned in for WOW-Women on Writing

Article written and turned in for Authors Publish

2 short stories

PLAYING THE ANGLES media kit

2 essays

Webpage for Coventina Circle Series

Facebook page for Coventina Circle Series

 

In Process:

THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY

Cleaning/purging

Yard work

Revision of SAVASANA AT SEA

Lavinia Fontana final research

Devon Ellington Media Kit

“Labor Intensive”

Promotional work for PLAYING THE ANGLES and the Coventina Circle series

Outlining the Coventina Circle series

 

Moved/Dropped:

“Miss Winston Apologizes” moved to August

Rest of THE FIX IT GIRL revisions moved to August

work on the mini-series moved to August

Next draft of WINNER TAKE ALL and logline/submission packets moved to August

 

Unexpected Additions:

Work on OLD SCHOOL MAGIC

Work on INITIATE

Project meeting in Harwich

Outlining the entire Coventina Circle series

Outlining a few other projects

Project meeting

 

Disappointments:

Late payments

Betrayal by someone trusted

 

 

Successes:

Broke into a couple new-to-me markets

Getting the Coventina Circle series back on track

Getting the covers adjusted so I’m happy with them

 

How was your July?  Where do you feel you were on or off track?

 

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