Fri. May 1, 2015: A Raw Beltane

Friday, May 1, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and Raw
Beltane

Busy day yesterday, but good busy.

Got the rewritten short story out, on deadline, and got an acknowledgement. I won’t hear back on the status of either story until autumn, so I’m not going to worry about them; I’ll just move on to the contemporary play.

Work was fine.

After work, headed to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the Mid-Cape Cultural Council grantee reception. I received a grant last year from them for SEAL TIDES; this year, I’d been invited to cheer on the next round of recipients. So that was fun.

Stopped by tango to help clean up.

Read a bit when I got home, went over my final list again for the Indie Next Generation Book Awards – I am solid in my choices, I believe I picked the strongest entries in each category. They go off today.

Overslept a bit, ran errands this morning. Will be a long day, and there’s a lot to get done. I’m working tomorrow, because the person who would normally be “on” is on vacation. The rest of my days off will be about writing and about a major spring house cleaning and yard work.

I’ll celebrate Beltane when I get home tonight.

Have a wonderful start to May!

Devon

Thurs. April 30, 2015: Deadlines Met

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy, but good day yesterday. Got a lot done.

Came home, worked on the contest entries and the short story. I feel confident about my choices for the Awards. These are the books that stand out from the pack.

At 5 AM this morning, I bolted up and rewrote the short story. I decided that I wasn’t being true to my characters, and trying to force them into a physical, violent solution instead of a more intellectual one that was more in alignment with who they are. So I rewrote it, I’m much happier with it, and it’s off. On time.

So, both short stories and contest materials are done on time. Now, my focus changes to the contemporary play due on June 1, the historical play I want to finish by July first, and the next radio play.

Tonight, I’m going to the Grant Reception for the new recipients of the Mid-Cape Cultural Grants (since I got one last year, they invited me to this year’s reception). Then, I’ll swing by Liberty Hall to help clean up after tango (I won’t be able to participate this week). I’ve got some more research to do tonight for books that are due back into the ComCat system tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be busy, as will the weekend, but I’m looking forward to reading whatever catches my fancy this weekend.

Have a great day!

Devon

Published in: on April 30, 2015 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. April 29, 2015: Excellent Writing Days

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy, but good weekend. Excellent writing time.

Saturday, I came back from work, read a bit, cooked dinner, worked on contest entries.

Sunday, I wrote. I wrote nearly two chapters on a book, and I finished the edits on one of the short stories. I realized that the other short story I’m working on has a slower innate pace than what is needed for the intended venue — I can tighten the pace and hurt the story, or I can trust the pace and find a different home for it. I got an idea for a replacement story with a faster pace and more of a noir feel that is more natural to the intended market, so I worked on that.

Sunday night, I was invited to a tango practica in Cotuit — the couple who invited us transformed their basement into a dance studio. It’s magnificent. I learned a lot, and I have some specifics on which to work over the next few weeks. I’ll miss the Thursday lessons and the Sunday practicas, but I’ll also be able to work on a few techniques. If I really put in the work, I won’t fall too far behind.

Monday, I wrote all morning. I proofread the edited story and found some typos. That’s why it’s so important to wait before proofreading — if you proofread as soon as you finish, your brain fixes the typos instead of finding them. Wrote some more on the book. Percolated on the new story.

In the afternoon, I dug into contest entries. My final decisions are due this week, and I want to make sure I give each submission a fair shot. They were created out of love and hard work, and deserve to be given respect, even when the craft is weak. What irks me is when it’s obvious the printed books haven’t been proofread.

Monday night, watched DEATH AT PEMBERLEY. Well done, but the actress who played Elizabeth had poor posture, very modern, and even being in a corset didn’t help. It bothered me. The Empire style of dress shows the shoulder blades and emphasizes the shoulder, so perfect posture is important.

Yesterday, I sent off the completed short stories (typos corrected), ran some errands, and worked on contest entries.

In the evening, I went to an event at the Naked Oyster in Hyannis called “Hobnob”, which was great fun — artists in all disciplines getting together to talk about what they do. I met some very interesting people.

Stopped at the beach on the way home — just love our beaches. I love being near ocean. It’s soothing. In spite of rising sea levels!

Home, am almost finished with the contest entries. I want to go over my top choices one more time tonight.

Also have to finish the noir story tonight and get it out tomorrow.

Today will be a busy day at work, as will tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday. I was lazy when it came to yard work this weekend — the broadcast kept saying it would rain, but it was nicer than suspected. Hopefully, this weekend, I can dig in (literally and figuratively) to the yard, and also do a solid houseclean, in preparation for the upcoming vacation and house guests.

Hope you’re having a GREAT week.

Devon

Published in: on April 29, 2015 at 8:47 am  Comments (2)  
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Sat. April 25, 2015: In Support of Shondra Rhimes

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busy. Mostly good busy, but busy. Got some cataloging done and some periodicals processed. Worked on programming stuff and book orders and PR. All that good stuff.

Tired when I got home. Cooked dinner, tried to relax a bit. Read until late, but it was worth it. Got some work done on what I hope will be a short story that test drives some characters for a book.

The new play is exciting. I won’t be able to devote full attention to it until next weekend, after I finish the contest entries and short stories due this week, but I feel like I’m actually SAYING something that’s been on my mind for awhile, in an entertaining fashion through interesting characters in a unique situation. I hope I’m right and it’s not just falling too much in love with the piece! ;) That’s due June 1, so I have time to play with it.

Just shaking my head with the inane reaction people are having because Patrick Dempsey left GRAY’S ANATOMY and the hate-mongering towards Shondra Rhimes. Some of it by people who claim to be writers – but, of course, have never worked on a television production or been in a WGA writer’s room. He’d been on the show for ten years. If it was time to move on, it was time to move on, and it’s not like anyone who isn’t directly involved with the show is ever going to know the full, true story. There are multiple points of view and possibilities, and this gossip mongering by people who aren’t in the business and haven’t even set foot on a set just shows how stupid and ignorant the gossips are. The fact that so-called “writers” are trashing one of their own without knowing the story is disgusting.

I stopped watching the show several years ago for lots of reasons. But I respect Shondra Rhimes enormously, and hey, any show that can survive into its 11th season has a lot going for it. Good for all of them. It launched a lot of careers, and supported others in shorter arcs. They worked hard and have something to show for it. Whether or not I personally watch it every week doesn’t matter. Shondra Rhimes is a fellow writer, and I support her. Not that she needs it; she’s doing just fine without me! ;)

If some of the rumors are true and she writes people out when they become a pain in the ass, good for her. One works too long and too hard on a production to put up with crap from anyone, and I have a lot more respect for someone who cuts the deadwood than who allows anyone – be it an actor or a producer or a crew member – get away with treating people badly. I’m actually doing that in my backstage piece — an actor thinks he’s more than he is and becomes a PIA — and he’s gone. Written out. Sayonara, baby, and good riddance to you. If you’ve got that kind of control on your own show — use it.

But the rumors might be just that – rumors. I’m not on the show. I don’t know. I don’t even care that much. I do care that people who work hard are being trashed by those who don’t know anything about the profession and trashed by people who have a hard time finding their own asses with both hands.

Everyone has a right to an opinion on the quality of the show, and whether or not they choose to watch it. But to pass judgment on people they don’t know working in a profession they also know nothing about — a clip of a backstage interview is QUITE different than actually working on set, and I know, because I spent my life working backstage in theatre, film, and television — if you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut the fuck up. Who do you think you are, a Republican political candidate? They’re the ones who think because it drips from their poisoned lips, it’s a fact, even though most of them wouldn’t recognize a fact if it hit them with a two by four.

Up early this morning. Got some work done. Have a breakthrough in the edits of one of the stories. I have to cut one of the scenes I really like, and integrate some of the information into the previous scene. That will get me in under the word count AND serve the piece, so it’s all good.

Headed to CVS – they got my mother’s prescriptions wrong AGAIN. Third month in a row. They used to be great, and would be helpful in fixing a problem – back when we first moved here. And there were rarely problems. The last year and a half or so, there are constant errors and they have no interest in fixing the problems. Seems to me it’s time to switch pharmacies.

Working today, then going back to CVS, hoping they’ve sorted things out, then home to do some yard work and then work on contest entries. I want to get them done by Wednesday.

I also have lots of writing and editing to do.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on April 25, 2015 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. April 24, 2015: Looming Deadlines

April 24, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cold

There was actually snow in certain parts of the state yesterday. I would have cried if there was snow here.

Yesterday was busy, but a good busy. Shakespeare’s birthday went well. They ate all the sugar cookies with almond and all the lemon syllabub.

Put together a big book order (pre-ordering all the way into September) and a big Amazon order.

Dashed home, ate something, and came back for Tango. I’ve somehow managed to injure my foot, so I had trouble dancing, but it was a good class, and I’m going to an extra practica this weekend.

Came home, foot aching, soaked it, got a bit of work done, but to bed early.

Up early this morning, got some work done (but not enough), and off to the library. It will be a busy day, and tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, so it will also be busy. Actually, I’m working the next three Saturdays – all the way up until vacation.

I’m buried in deadlines this coming week. I have to get A LOT done – both writing and finishing the contest entries. I need to finish and edit two short stories and get them out. Never a dull moment.

I’m also hoping to get some work done in the garden.

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on April 24, 2015 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. April 23, 2015: Onward

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Shakespeare’s birthday

Yesterday was a good day. Got things signed in Plymouth, was at work by noon, had a good afternoon. Got the magazines processed and out, and got a little bit of cataloging done. I can’t be interrupted while cataloging, and there are constant interruptions, so it’s nearly impossible to get the cataloging done properly while the library is open.

We had a program on edible landscaping in the evening, which was great.

Came home, ate, read, did some work, puttered around. Got the lemon syllabub done. Since I had everything out and some bananas left from the banana bread, I made banana pudding, too.

Up early this morning, got some writing and editing done. To work on time. Will be a busy day, then tango tonight.

I hope to get some editing done tonight, and some more writing done in the morning.

Today is Shakespeare’s birthday. Well, it might be a different day, since he was baptized on the 26th, but this was the day most of the reliable sources choose to celebrate. I’ve got a display up and have lemon syllabub and sugar cookies with almonds out for patrons.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on April 23, 2015 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. April 22, 2015: Feeling Human Again

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Earth Day

The last few days were very helpful in restoring a sense of well-being and perspective.

I was an exhausted wreck when I came home on Friday night — complete with chills and fever. I read a bit and went to bed horribly early.

I cancelled out of the conference I was supposed to attend on Saturday, because I knew, if I didn’t take care of myself, I’d get really sick.

Saturday was beautiful. I ran some errands, did some yard work (wasn’t up to much). Read a lot, dosed myself with some of my herbal concoctions, worked on contest entries, spun stories. It was the thinking phase, before the writing phase. Took a nice walk on the beach, which was restorative.

An idea for a play dropped onto me — first the characters came, then the situation (as is normal), then the motivation. I’m excited to get to work on it. It’s a contemporary piece, a drama with some dark humor in it, not one of the comic noir pieces I’ve written so much of in the last few years.

Sunday, I started to feel better, but didn’t want to push. Did some more yard work, worked on contest entries, read (I’m loving the Phryne Fisher books).

Percolated the two stories and the play. I have a feeling one of the stories is actually a novel — there’s too much I want to cover for it to make sense in the short story form.

Worked on several lemon syllabub recipes for Thursday. Haven’t gotten it quite where I want it yet.

Monday was dreary and cold. It was Patriots’ Day and Boston Marathon Day. I spent most of the day writing — over 2K (close to 3K) on one of the stories. I wanted to finish it, but I hit a plot block, and I have to rethink some of it.

Worked out more of the play in my head, and also more of the character relationships in the other story. The other story was supposed to be set on Cape Cod, but I’m moving it to Maine, because the Maine coastline will fit the plot and the themes better.

Yesterday started out rainy and miserable, but perked up. I did some work on the stories and the play, spun some ideas for the historical play, worked on contest entries, and read. Spent a good portion of the afternoon on the wonderful covered deck. I love taking my work outside. Tessa’s remembered she actually likes to be outside now. She’ll be less pleased as of May 1 when she gets dosed with flea and tick medication, but that’s the way it goes.

Watched THE 100 FOOT JOURNEY last night. Enjoyed it.

Up early, Baked chocolate chip banana bread for tonight’s program and sugar cookies topped with almonds for tomorrow. I’ll do the lemon syllabub tonight. I have to modernize it, or no one will eat it. One of the recipes is pretty good, but it has alcohol in it, so I can’t serve it to patrons (especially not kids coming in).

Worked on revisions for the short story I drafted last week, and the other stories.

Took a walk on the beach early in the morning. This is why I live here, and not somewhere else. So I can walk on the beach any time I want. Lots of shells and seaweed.

I’m going in to work late today, because I have to drive to Plymouth to get some paperwork signed. But, with the program tonight, I won’t get home until at least 8 PM, so it all evens out.

This week will be busy, but hopefully not as hectic as last week.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on April 22, 2015 at 12:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Fri. April 17, 2015: Trudging On in the Rain

Friday, April 17, 2015
Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Yesterday was busy. Couldn’t get much done, because most of my time was at the desk. Got some programming and other paperwork done, and some promotional stuff. Got periodicals processed and on the shelves.

Wasn’t feeling well, which didn’t help.

I started feeling better in the afternoon, which was great. Went home, sat out on the deck in the sun for a few minutes, then prepared the food for the tango milonga.

Went over, helped set up, danced for a couple of hours, chatted, came home. Fell into bed.

Up early this morning. Feel like I’m coming down with something. We’re still short-staffed at the library, but we’ll do what we can.

I’m supposed to go to a conference tomorrow in Providence, along with doing things like going to the dump and getting in cat food. I’ll see how I feel. Things might have to wait until Sunday.

Monday is Patriots’ Day and the Boston Marathon. The two-year anniversary of the bombing was on tax day – sad day for all. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Those events, like 9/11 – you don’t get over it. You learn to live with it. It doesn’t go away – it becomes part of the fabric of life.

I’m going to work on contest entries, short stories, and plays this weekend.

As part of the Saturn Retrograde, the questions are: what makes you happy? What are you doing now that doesn’t make you happy? What can you do to align the two?

Next week is another busy one.

Vacation in 23 days.

Have a great one.

Devon

Published in: on April 17, 2015 at 8:54 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. April 16, 2015: Human After Sleep

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

Yesterday was busy. We were short-staffed in the morning, and then we had a big event in the afternoon. But it went well and people were happy, so it was all good.

It was my day to leave at 5 instead of 6; I was supposed to be in two places at once, so I prepped material and sent it to the meeting I couldn’t make; I had to stop at the store before the meeting I could make, and then was stuck in traffic and missed it anyway.

So I went home, had a glass of wine on the deck, a healthy dinner, and was in bed by 8:30. Slept until 5:30 this morning. Feel a little more human, but still feel as though I’m coming down with something.

Had to run some errands early in the morning (not putting gas in the car would make everyone sad) and went to work.

Today will be busy, and tonight is the big third anniversary of the tango group. I don’t know how long I’ll last dancing tonight, but I want to give it a shot.

I’ve got a lot of writing to do this weekend, so I need to store some energy in order to be creative. I also plan to finish the next genre of books for the writing contest.

A few days off will be restorative, even if they’re busy. I also hope to get a good bit of yard work done. I know I have to get the garbage and the recycling to the dump.

Devon

Published in: on April 16, 2015 at 9:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Wed. April 15, 2015: Tax Day Taxing Not Just For Taxes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and beautiful

Hectic and difficult few days. Lots of good stuff going on, but it’s been rough. I’d swear more than Saturn was retrograde. I’m overworked, overtired, and my patience is non-existent.

As tempted as I am to go into detail, it would not be wise. Let’s just call it a clusterfuck and leave it at that. I do find it totally unacceptable that everyone vanished after one of the programs and my 90 year old mother was hauling chairs around so we could get out of there at a reasonable hour.

I would like to thank both TAPS and Moments in Time Vintage Dance for their wonderful, beautiful, fascinating presentations.

I was sick on Sunday, so I wasn’t very productive. Read a little bit, but couldn’t really function on any of the things I was supposed to get done.

Monday I got some yard work done and finished the last two microfilm reels for the historical play. I got some relevant information. It’s interesting how much contradictory information there is, but the incident I want to use for the play is starting to form in my head.

Tuesday, I still felt lousy, but was looking forward to most of a day off. I got my taxes done and mailed. I mailed back the microfilm. I found out that I had to cover a meeting for work – which turned out to be fine; I’m glad I went. But I couldn’t help resenting giving up yet another day off.

Came home, packed the baked goods, had a quick bite, headed back for an evening program. It was lovely. We also all worked together to set up the space for today’s large program.

Got home, baked more cupcakes and more muffins. Fell into bed. Slept badly, nearly overslept, but was up at 5:30 to bake scones and frost the cupcakes.

Was going to wash and pack extra china for today’s program, but, honestly, I don’t trust these people not to break it, and it’s not like I’d even get an apology. I’m not risking pieces that each have a personal story attached and can’t be replaced.

We’re short staffed today and it’s busy, but we’re getting by.

I’m very, very, very tired, and looking forward to getting some rest this weekend. I also have deadlines looming and need to get to work on them. But I’m practically incoherent with exhaustion, so it has to wait a few days.

Published in: on April 15, 2015 at 10:43 am  Comments (1)  
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Fri. April 10, 2015: One Year Work-a-Versary

Friday, April 10, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and raw

I was wiped out by the end of the day, but I went home and went to Tango anyway. I was all getting my legs tangled – not my most graceful night, by a long shot. It’s also interesting how my previous dance training works against me here. One of my strengths as a dancer was always that I picked up combinations and routines quickly. However, tango is about responding to one’s partner in the moment. When I don’t understand what my partner is trying to get me to do (which is more often than I’d like), I get into trouble. Also, when I learn steps as a combination or a sequence, I get ahead of my partner, and it may not be what my partner has in mind. With some leaders, I can just relax and follow – even if I don’t get every step, we can usually adjust. With others, it becomes a battle for control. It’s an interesting journey.

Went home early and crashed. Just too tired to even think straight.

Up at 5:30 this morning, out of the house a little after 7:30, realized that, somewhere in all this pothole mess in the streets, I’ve lost a hubcab.

Cape Cod Chamber Breakfast this morning, at Gourmet Brunch in Hyannis. Met some really nice people, and I think the Chamber will be a big help promoting our events; I also think we can support other Chamber members by hosting programs about what they do.

So, all in all, it was good.

Today is my one year anniversary in this job. It went by quickly.

Tonight, The Atlantic Paranormal Society is doing a program with us, and tomorrow, Moments in Time Dance will be here, doing early Downton-era dance. It will be fun. But today is a darn long day (I’ll be lucky to be home by 10 PM), and tomorrow is another long day.

I want to sleep in on Sunday, but there’s an event in Falmouth that looks like fun.

Sigh.

Devon

Published in: on April 10, 2015 at 10:18 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. April 9: Life Sorting

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Yesterday was a busy, but good day at the library. Got a lot of nuts-and-bolts work done in the morning and brainstorming work in the afternoon.

With my relative’s death overseas, not only am I dealing with the paperwork in a foreign language, but, because she was the widow of another relative who was an artist (who died a year ago), there are further layers. It will take some sorting out, especially since I’m not sure exactly what’s expected of me. So I’ve got a few months of a learning curve.

Came home, exhausted. Ate, got some work done, watched GRANTCHESTER, went to bed early.

I was up before 5 AM this morning, baking for Saturday’s program. By 7, I was ready to go back to bed.

No such luck, though, I’ll be going until about 10 or 11 tonight.

The second story I need to write for the month-end deadline is almost ready for the page. Another story idea popped up early this morning, but, as I’m sorting through it, I realize it’s a novel-length idea. Trying to fit it into 5K will strip it of a great deal of what will make it work for the reader – the character’s journey through the plot obstacles. The premise won’t work for the form – it’s not a “lift the veil on a moment of change” piece, which is what a short story needs to be. It’s “here’s a catalyst and look at the journey” piece.

I have to manage my time very well over the next few days, because there’s a lot competing for my attention, and a lot I need to complete.

Devon

Published in: on April 9, 2015 at 8:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. April 8: Lost Weekend — Writing, Not Liquor!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter DIRECT
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy few days. Thursday and Friday were rough at work. Less said, the better. Really frustrated with the group that bought the CAPE COD TIMES newspaper. Not only did they dump all the calendar entries for April’s programs that took me several hours to load — and they dumped them AFTER they’d confirmed them — now, every calendar entry has to be approved by someone sitting in an office in Tennessee. That is simply not acceptable. Someone in Tennessee should not have the authority to approve or refuse a calendar entry about a local event on Cape Cod. Who ever is sitting there probably has never even visited, much less has any idea what’s important to residents. It’s WRONG on so many levels. Local calendar entries for the newspaper need to be handled LOCALLY.

So, I had to lose more hours re-entering everything into a new system, and now I have to wait for approval. From Tennessee. Especially with these crap “religious freedom” laws (which are, in actuality, laws to allow bigotry and discrimination to anyone the passers deem they want to discriminate against), it makes even less sense. If someone in the TN office decides a Cape Cod program is “against” his so-called “religious beliefs”, does that give him the right to refuse publication?

Finished watching the second season of MISS FISHER over the weekend. The energy and pace were off in a few of the early episodes, and then it picked up steam again as the season progressed. Read the first three books, too. Very different from the series. Since each is a completely different format, each works in its own way. The Phryne-Jack relationship is vital to the series, as is the Dot-Hugh relationship, in a way that isn’t in the books (Hugh isn’t even in the three I’ve read so far). Those relationships are what connect the viewer and make the episodes work within the time framework of each one, whereas the prose canvas is broader, and there’s more room for the other elements. Very interesting to see the differences, and how each works in its own format.

Scriptwriting isn’t “just dialogue” as so many prose writers who want to adapt their novels think. Scriptwriting is visual storytelling. Yes, dialogue is important, but so is choosing what the audience sees, and putting it on the page in such a way that the director and the creative team can fulfill the vision, without dictating every detail.
It’s a completely different way of telling the story.

Worked through quite a few contest entries. The disparity between what works and what doesn’t is far larger this year than in previous years. I finished all the print entries in one of the categories (I still have a few on Kindle), and I’m diving into the second category. The third category has only a few entries, so that won’t take long.

Watched THE IMITATION GAME over the weekend. It was well done, but Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance was a little too mannered for me. I like his intensity, I like his work, but he rarely surprises me any more. Keira Knightley was terrific. Also watched INTO THE WOODS. I’m a big Sondheim fan, and I loved the Broadway production. This one was clever, but I still think it works better on stage than on screen. Meryl Streep was wonderful. The actors playing Jack and Red Riding Hood reminded me of typical Broadway belter kids. There were lots of great moments by everyone throughout, although I thought Johnny Depp’s work was too close to his work in both ALICE IN WONDERLAND and WILLIE WONKA.

We got news of the death of a family member in Europe. It wasn’t someone I knew well, but it still leaves a hole, and there’s paperwork, and lots of other things to take care of.

Sunday was Easter. Since it didn’t rain, I did quite a bit of yard work. Not that it’s visible yet. There’s still plenty more to do. Monday it was supposed to rain, but didn’t, so I did even more yard work, including starting to clean out the front beds. There’s a little progress there, but I still have a lot more work to do, and I can’t do any of it until next weekend. Took a carload full of leaf bags to the dump. Replanted all eighteen heads of lettuce and six Brussels sprout plants. Started two kinds of tomato seeds, borage, feverfew, basil, parsley, and bok choy. Moved some of the potted trees and shrubs out of the garage and back onto the deck.

Tuesday, I was supposed to do taxes and finish the microfilm reels. Instead, I wrote a 5691 draft of a new short story. I have two short stories due at the end of the month. I’d been thinking, percolating, on some ideas, and this one burst forth. I thought I was only going to write 1 or 2K, but I was on a roll, and just kept going. Wrote the whole first draft in one day (practically one sitting, although I got up to pace and mutter fairly frequently).

It felt good, I got to figure out some stuff that was bothering me, and push it to its ridiculous limits and enjoy it. I like the characters, I like the premise. It’s 691 words above the limit, so there’s some serious cutting in its future. Either that, or I need to expand it by about 2K for a different market, and that leaves me still having to write two stories by the end of the month. So I’ll try to cut first. There’s a little too much of my Freudian slip showing in this one, so I’ll have to smooth this out. Great to have catharsis in writing, but therapy is not interesting to readers. Time to cut the navel-gazing and layer in the craft.

Far too many “writers”, when faced with a word count limit (especially in class assignments), ignore it. When called out about it, they go, “ha, ha, ha, I had too much story to fit.” Well, bunny boo, the limit is the limit. Either cut it down to fit, OR WRITE ANOTHER DAMN STORY THAT DOES. It’s called “craft.”

I was exhausted and out of words by the end of the day, although the next story is poking up from the subconscious to the conscious. I’m worried that, if I start it, I’ll lose all track of everything again.

Because, last night, I screwed up. I was supposed to attend a town meeting having to do with changes in parking and sidewalks that will adversely affect the library. I looked at the clock and had plenty of time. I started to do “one more thing.” The next time I looked at the clock, it was 9 PM, and I’m sure the meeting was winding up. I tried to justify it by reminding myself that it was my day off, and I put in far too many hours above and beyond my scheduled work time, but I still felt badly. There’s no excuse, no matter how I try to make myself feel better. I should have been there, and I wasn’t.

I had odd dreams all weekend. One night, I dreamed I moved back to San Francisco. Another night, I dreamed about genealogy. I don’t know WHOSE genealogy I was working on — it sure wasn’t my own family’s.

The upcoming week will be stressful, as will next week. Today is a basic, long workday. Tomorrow is pretty basic, with tango at night. Friday, I have a Chamber breakfast in Hyannis before work, then the work day, then a program that will probably last until 10 PM. I have to be in first thing on Saturday, and then there’s another program on Saturday afternoon, so I’m pulling a 10-5 day instead of a 10-2 day. I have Sunday and Monday to finish taxes and microfilm. Tuesday, I have a meeting in the afternoon (where I’m there for two different organizations), and then a program at the library at night. A week from today is another big program at the library, and so on and so forth.

I was up at 5:30 this morning, because I have so much to do before I go to work, including paperwork that has to go off to Germany. Somewhere in all this, I have to figure out where I’m going to bake and prepare “the light refreshments” we’re serving Saturday afternoon.

Thirty-two days until my vacation. I desperately need it. BEFORE that, I have to finish the contest entries, two stories, do the final edit on the radio play, and get it out. Plus all the programs at work. Plus put together some materials for the Marine Life Center.

It’s a busy month.

Devon

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