As Above, So Below

Important news from the stars for writers here on earth. Mercury will be retrograde from Halloween until November 20. I had to look at my calendar twice this morning because obstacles are already throwing themselves in my writing path. Luckily, I am in revision mode with the WIP, and Mercury Retrograde is an absolutely awesome time for revision.

Not such a great time for signing contracts or making new electronic purchases. Communication is a bit fraught during Mercury Retrograde, so watch your words, in manuscript and real life. That goes for delivery of mail electronically or through USPS, Amazon or any other kind of mail system.

Yesterday I was determined to get down to business on my WIP. I’ve been doing okay, more or less keeping up with my schedule despite some minor setbacks, but felt it was time to put all the pieces into one pile, read through everything I have, and see what needs to be cut and what still needs to be added.

Got all the various files into one master document and decided to print the whole damn thing out. I’m about halfway through my revisions, and know what still needs to be fixed and written. I even know how I’m going to do it. I have a plan plus notes and an outline. Not flying blind, here.

Was happily printing out my 62K words so far, when things started going !!!!! Literally. Laptop printer icon said !!!!! and printer flashed same !!!!! Also, the last twenty or so pages printed made it clear I needed to change the ink cartridge. Alas, my grand plan was foiled for the moment. And my tech guy (Al) was at the football game. He had recently ordered extra ink cartridges and so even though it was a new printer, and laser not ink jet, I figured I’d try to change the cartridge.

Things did not go well. I figured okay Al will eventually come home and when he gets time he will fix everything for me and I will be humming a happy tune once again. Also, I don’t use the printer on Mondays because I blog and everything is online. Then I remembered I was hosting my book group on Thursday and I needed to shop, clean, and cook before then. So…maybe I can finish what I started on Friday.

As long as things get sorted before Mercury appears to move backward in the sky, I’m good. For more on exactly what Mercury Retrograde is, see Susan’s post here.

Monster Moon

Today the full moon has an added bit of madness to the usual lunations. Susan Milller calls this “The Monster Moon” (she’s tweeting about it via #MonsterMoon) and I am very glad I was prepared for it. Yesterday was a great day for me. My birthday, showered with love and feel-good emotions. Got a great email from my editor, am reading a terrific book, heard from my sons and the rest of my beloved family, my husband and I are in sync. And that last one, well, it’s a miracle. We are moving out of the house we’ve lived in for 25 years, and we seem to be on the same page as we look for new homes. We are so often NOT on the same page or even reading the same book, so this is a welcome change of the status quo.

Today, not so much. Woke up to an insensitive email from a friend that sent me straight into a funk. But because of the Monster Moon, I was ready for it and deleted the sharp email I was ready to shoot back. Had I taken that step, and sent the email, our friendship would have been compromised. Instead, I wrote to an understanding and sympathetic friend, and it felt good just to get the heavy off my chest. If that’s all the Monster Moon throws at me today, I can handle it.

Full moons always bring things to completion and so I am thinking about this friendship and if it has run its course. I am thinking of ways to bow out gracefully or find other means of taking several steps back. For me, if a friendship is going to work, it needs to go both ways. This one is not doing that and it bothers me. There would be much fall out if I stepped back a few paces. Other friends I dearly love would be hurt and anxious. I’m not sure what to do or how to do it, but one thing I know for sure, I should not do it during the Monster Moon!

On top of that issue, I also feel general pressure. I have not had time to write for several days in a row and that bothers me, but I made plans with a friend for lunch today, plans with another friend for lunch Friday, and I am just wanting to crawl into my writer cave and work. If you find things in your life have reached a rolling boil today, blame it on the moon. And move forward with caution. Don’t say or do anything that you might regret later.

Messy Mercury

We are smack dab in the middle of Mercury Retrograde, which started February 23 and runs through March 17. What Mercury Retrograde means for writers is that it’s a good time to sit in the chair, revise your manuscript and concentrate on details. Bad time to start a new project, fire your agent or sign a contract. Good time to back up all files. Ideally you’d want to back up files before the retrograde. I would have warned you, but I was busy being sick on vacation.

There are several Mercury Retrogrades a year and it actually helps me to know when they are coming (and going away!) FYI the other two this year are June 26–July 20, and October 21–November 10. I plan for them now, still I’m not surprised when things go horribly wrong, or even slightly sideways. Plus, there’s a loophole in Mercury Retrograde: anything you start before the retrograde period is safe to continue. But don’t be surprised if things go a little haywire for the next week or so while this thing plays itself out.

I’ve had my share of nasty Mercury mess: a highly anticipated vacation turned into a super bad (and literal) bellyache. A rush of confidence about the blog turning an important corner got lost in the shuffle somewhere. I have started and deleted maybe ten posts in the last few days. Mercury Retrograde does not bode well for turning important new blogging corners. I’ll just have to blab along as per usual.

Also, I have no kitchen sink. Again, literally. There is hole in my kitchen where my sink used to be. Long story. Also, no mail. Because I told the postal carrier not to deliver since I would be on vacation but then I got home early and all attempts to get mail service returned have failed. Of course they have.

Even things I set up earlier, like having my morning Mah Jongg group over on Monday,  have gone awry. (No sink, no lunch. Sorry ladies!) I’m almost happy that I have not heard from my editor yet about the revisions I sent BEFORE Mercury went Retro. If it comes before March 17, it is bound to be bad news. OTOH, because it was a project started before the wreck of Merc, maybe she’ll write to say she loves it and also her cousin in L.A. wants to option it for a movie because Jennifer Lawrence read it and wants to play the lead.

You’ve heard this before: plan for the worst but expect the best. Always. Even in Mercury Retrograde.

Full Moon Eclipse

It’s not like I wasn’t ready for it. Full moon eclipses mean that things come to an end. But when you don’t know what’s going to end, how can you be ready for it? Plus this latest eclipse was the rare Transit of Venus. Won’t see another of those in my lifetime. Won’t bother me a bit.

Like so many others, I got hit hard by this recent eclipse. My work life went way off kilter and I finally realized after many years that I am not a romance writer. Now that the stardust has settled, I realize I can live with those changes. I’m a stubborn Aries, and all the writing advice books say “be persistent” so that potent cocktail kept me hammering away at the romance game until I finally got the unmistakable message that it is just not my path.

Which is funny, because I have a romance novel coming out next month. It’s only a romance because I had a very talented editor that chipped away at my story until all that was left was the love. It was hard for me to see big chunks of my plot go away–but I did what I thought I had to do. And it worked out okay. I’ve got a subplot begging to be a free story as a promo for the novel. But my days of trying to write like a romance writer are done. I’m fine with that.

Now I can add the voice that has been begging to be let into my current novel. Now I can come out and call myself a fiction writer with no genre restrictions. (I still have those paranormals in my closet…) The thing with eclipses and endings is that what comes after the ending is something new and better. So…

I’m still wondering what the message is for me and teaching. Actually, I know what it is. I am done. I have said this so many times and yet I always go back because it’s my job. It’s what I know how to do. And I have always enjoyed teaching creative writing. Using my book, being with other writers, what’s not to like? Well, personality clashes, conflicts over content, and dueling values to name a few of the things I am not liking right now. I’m going to respect my students and not tell the story, but I also thank them and the eclipse. The double whammy was like a slap upside the head saying “LISTEN, THIS IS NOT YOUR CALLING.” 

Universe? I hear you. And whatever is next? Bring it on!




Blame it on the Moon

So today we have a new moon, signaling new beginnings. The moon is in Aries, which makes it extra powerful for Aries (like me). So that must be why my writing room is almost empty and just about ready to paint. It must be why I’m buying new bookshelves and considering a new chair, too. It’s why I’m reconfiguring the furniture.

I may need a new computer soon, too. This one keeps going blue screen (this is a bad thing-it means something is wrong internally). After an hour of looking through all of my files AND all of Al’s, I have found manuals for things we no longer own, like a microwave, dishwasher, and television. But I have not found the manual for this laptop which Al claims is still under warranty.

I usually feel like a pretty organized person. But not today. So maybe I am heading for a time of life with the new unorganized me? Or at least the less tense and angry and frustrated me. Because I can’t find the file and I am not freaking out. I’m not calling Al and ranting. I’m not venting, well maybe this is venting a little bit right here. And okay, a small vent of FB.

But I will not tweet about it, phone a friend about it, or allude to it in any way to whoever I email today. Yes, I still email. I know most people don’t so much these days. So what does all this have to do with writing? Well, I’m not working on my WIP because I’m so busy looking for lost manuals, prepping my writing room to paint, and meditating on the beauty and luck of my life.

New moons are good in general for everyone to start a new project, new job, new relationship. If you find yourself doing something like that, blame it on the moon:)