Fri. July 24, 2015: Read, Write, Heal

Friday, July 24, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The heat wave’s done, and we are back to pleasant temperatures.

The painting went well on Wednesday. The Work Release Inmates came and did it – we call them our “pen pals”. Really nice guys, did a good job, although they need another day to finish it. We actually talk WITH them, rather than AT them.

Finished reading my friend’s galley Wednesday night and typing up the notes. His writing is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a beautiful book. Most of my comments had to do with structural stuff.

Thursday was a rough day, pain-wise, and, therefore, I couldn’t get a lot done. I was pretty cooked by the end of the day, and I wasn’t happy about missing tango yet again.

But I did my PT exercises at home and rested.

I’m reading DOPPELGANSTER, by Laura Resnick, and loving it. I’m actually laughing out loud as I read it.

I’m proud of myself for breaking a pattern that does not work for me. I was about to devise several different opportunities for several different organizations. As I planned it all out, I thought about it and thought, “Do I REALLY want to do this? I know they’ll nod and smile and not do a damn thing to make the project work – WHY should I do it, and why should I do it in more than one place?” I talked to the sponsor of the project, and she said, “I think you should do something YOU want to do, as an individual artist.”

So I’m re-thinking the whole thing and not stressing out about it, instead of just jumping in, and then getting frustrated.

I look forward to a weekend of reading, writing, and healing. The shoulder’s better, but it’s not where I’d like it to be.

Watching JACK TAYLOR, starring Iain Glen (who’s working A LOT and is very good). Enjoying it.

I’ll also be putting together things for the Mermaid Ball – I’m supposed to receive a couple of boxes’ worth of stuff.

I can’t believe the writers conference is in two weeks, the Mermaid Ball the week after, and then Casino Night.

And then it will be September. Time is FLYING!!!

Have a great weekend.

Devon

Published in: on July 24, 2015 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. July 22: The Butterly Girl

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

The writing’s taken a hit, due to the injured shoulder. I can’t type for long before it gets very uncomfortable, and writing longhand is frustrating (because of the injury — I usually love to write in longhand).

Worked Saturday; came home and tried to rest. Sunday, I should have run errands and I just had no energy. Tidied up the house Sunday, as much as I could one-armed, and baked drop cookies for Christmas in July. Rearranged some things in my office on Monday morning — Monday afternoon was the rental inspection, which takes all of ten minutes, because I have a good landlord. I had some help with the rearranging, since I was limited. The office feels much better — lighter and more roomy. I still have to sort through a lot of junk, get more file folders, and purge quite a bit, but at least I have a clean workspace.

The original anti-inflammatory I was on made it impossible to keep food down, so I’ve been switched to Naproxin. Not only can I eat again (although I don’t have much of an appetite), but it works more efficiently.

I have ideas for a couple of pieces for which I need to write scenarios/outlines. Not sure yet if they are prose or scripts. I have a feeling, initially, I might do them as scripts and then adapt them.

Tuesday morning, I was out the door by 7 AM for the National Marine Life Center Board Meeting. We got a lot done, including possibly adding an extra fundraising event in October. That means Mermaid Ball in August, this extra event in October, and Spectacle of the Trees in December. Pretty full roster.

Felt awful by the time I came home; it took awhile for the switched drug to kick in; once it did, I felt pretty good.

Evening board meeting was for the Writers Center, which also went well, although we didn’t have a quorum.

On the way home, on my street, there was a little girl wearing fairy wings, riding a tricycle, with her dad walking beside her. I told her she looked great; she said, “I’m the Butterfly Girl. Butterflies are very important for the en-vy-o-ment, you know. People should plant gardens so butterflies can come and play.” I told her she was right, and listed all the plants I have that butterflies like. She suggested I add milk thistle and bee balm, and I thanked her. Her dad was partly mortified, but mostly proud. It was so cute!

Home, martini on the deck, dinner, some reading, but early to bed. Being injured is exhausting.

Today will be a long day — the library is technically closed for painting, but I’m sure we will have plenty of patrons who will ignore it and be rude.

Onward.

Devon

Published in: on July 24, 2015 at 11:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. July 17, 2015: Trips to Newport and to Urgent Care

Friday, July 17, 2015
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Sorry I haven’t posted. It’s been, to say the least, chaotic.

Can I even remember all the way back to last weekend? I remember a lot of writing, especially on INITIATE, which was amazing. I was so happy to be back in that world. It’s one of my favorite writings.

I know I rescued a mouse that was caught in a sticky trap. I poured olive oil on the trap and helped the poor, frightened little thing work its way off and scamper into the bushes. I’m going to have to get some Hav-a-heart traps – I thought we were done with mice, but I was delusional. They’re cute little field mice, but the cats make friends with them instead of catching them (taking the “harm none” house policy a bit too far), and I’d rather have them outside rather than inside.

Tuesday was staff day – -the carpets were cleaned, so the library was closed, and we did a staff day out in Newport, Rhode Island. A van was rented, and we travelled in style to Newport, where we had a private tour of The Elms (a delightful house), lunch at The Chandler (which was wonderful), and then a tour of Chateau-Sur-Mer, which I also loved. It was truly a lovely day. We discussed work topics, too, and got revved up about possibilities and things we’d like to do to make the place even better.

Wednesday was rather chaotic at work. It didn’t look as though the carpet cleaners actually cleaned anything, although chairs were put on tables. We had eight crates of books, a long paging list, and two carts full of books in the book drop. Then the new furniture arrived. Only we – the staff of women who are not in their twenties – had to load it off the truck. Because heaven forbid they buy furniture from a company that does anything but curbside delivery. Personally, if I pay thousands of dollars for a bunch of stuff, I do not give that money to a company that dumps things on the curb.

Also, part of the point of the new furniture was that it is light enough for us to rearrange easily for programs. Some of us were even in on the early meetings and discussed, at length, what we needed from the furniture. Which was, of course, disregarded, at least where the new, heavy tables were concerned.

Came home and collapsed on Wednesday night. I’ve been watching CASE HISTORIES, starring Jason Isaacs. Very well done, but that character’s refusal to move on from always falling for broken women gets old after awhile, as, in the first season, the constant replaying of his sister’s death. A bit heavy-handed.

Woke up on Thursday not able to feel on the right side. When I finally could, I was in terrible pain. Got to work, felt worse and worse and worse. Had an off-site meeting in the afternoon, then went to urgent care. I have pinched nerves, the rotator cuff injury has flared up again, there are some strained tendons and pulled muscles. They were more concerned about the pre-heart attack symptoms I exhibited. All things considered, I was in and out of there pretty quickly.

I wasn’t about to take the list of medications they wanted for me, especially not the painkillers or muscle relaxers. I went home and put a lot of turmeric in my chicken dinner – within an hour, I could feel the inflammation going down. I took valerian root last night and knocked myself out, feeling much better when I woke up, and hawthorn this morning. I’m better, but I’ll be in a sling for a few days – of course, it’s my right shoulder and I’m right-handed. Oh, well.

Long day today, and tomorrow is my Saturday “on”. Lots of errands to run, lots of writing to get done. The rental inspection is on Monday afternoon, and I have two board meetings on Tuesday.

Let’s hope next week is calmer.

Devon

Friday, July 10, 2015: Interlude Before Rest

Friday, July 10, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

Yesterday was busy. We had a meeting to plan Spectacle of the Trees (in-house), and there were eight cartons of books going out and six cartons coming in. That kept us busy for awhile!

The painters only got the taping done, but not the painting, so we’ll have to close on the 22nd for them to actually paint.

Processed books, DVDs, periodicals. Finished my report for the BOT. Set up for tango, although I wasn’t feeling well enough to actually go.

Went home, relaxed for a bit, got some reading done. Watched the movie 5 FLIGHTS UP, which was kind of cute, but I kept getting ahead of it.

Up early, usual yoga/meditation routine. Made some notes on the contemporary theatre piece. Ran errands on the way to work.

Today will be another long day. I’m back on bedrest for the weekend. The mowing is caught up, so, hopefully, that won’t be an issue.

Next week will be quite the busy week, so I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done this weekend!

Have a great one.

Devon

Published in: on July 10, 2015 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thursday, July 9, 2015: After Being Under the Weather, Coming Back Up

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

Quite the week! I hope all of you had a great holiday.

Thursday night, I relaxed at home, and did some reading and writing. Cooked a chicken-and-zucchini dish that turned out really well. Friday, I spent most of the day doing garden work — including rescuing three sad-looking cucumber plants from the sale rack of a local garden store. They’re replanted, and doing well. Did some mowing, too! The borage and the morning glories are in bloom, along with the Shasta daisies, and the Hollyhocks are still going strong.

Friday night, I cooked a stuffed eggplant dish that was really good.

Saturday morning, I was up very early, and out the door by 7 AM to get over the bridge before the traffic got bad. There wasn’t much traffic, although the PowWow was set up at the Fairgrounds — good reminder that I couldn’t take the Bourne Bridge to come back, although there wasn’t a problem going over. Traffic coming on-Cape was already bad.

I was one of the first ones there, and I sat and worked on a short story while I waited. I helped set up the hospitality tent, and then worked the booth for awhile. I had to leave at noon.

The parade was terrific. I’ve marched in parades in New York, such as the Labor Day Parade, and, of course, if you work on Broadway, eventually you’re on something that’s participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — quite different than the local parade going down Main Street in Buzzards Bay! It was wonderful. People were really creative and having fun and throwing candy — hilarious. The Dive Shop, with their Pirate Ship and the Buzzards Bay Buccaneers, was a highlight.

CanalFest itself was quite good, better than I expected. And tons of people. I hope it did well for NMLC.

By the time I came home, I had chills and a fever. Not sure where that came from. I cancelled out of the afternoon and evening commitments and rested.

Traditional hamburger dinner on Saturday night — good fun.

The fireworks on Saturday night, in this neighborhood were awful. The idiots behind me (who certainly aren’t qualified to use explosives) set off such large explosives that a clock fell off the wall, glasses rattled on the shelves (fortunately, cabinet doors kept them from smashing), and the poor cats, especially Tessa, were terrified.

Not only that, but the debris littered our yard. We found crap all over the yard, the deck, the roof, including spent shells. The blue jays dislodged some bigger stuff from the trees the next morning. We were lucky the house and yard didn’t catch fire.

Our guests, who were expected on Sunday, postponed, which was a good thing, since I still felt awful on Sunday. After a consultation, I was told to go to bed and stay there for a few days.

Sunday night, more idiot fireworks.

Monday, I cheated and mowed some more, then did work on the piece set in 1938. The research I’m doing is enriching it enormously, and I’m pleased with the overall shape. But I did “rest” a lot!

Tuesday, I finished the mowing — I’m finally caught up, at least for the moment! I also went to the bookstore and bought some freshly released books: SPELLCASTING IN SILK by Juliet Blackwell, FATAL RESERVATIONS by Lucy Burdette, FLIGHT FROM DEATH by Yasmine Galenorn, and A MURDER OF MAGES by Marshall Ryan Maresca.

Since I was on “bedrest” — well, I was out on the deck on the bench — I read SPELLCASTING IN SILK first — love the Lily Ivory series. I’m interested in the character arcs growing throughout the series. I’m a big fan of Blackwell’s writing anyway. I also read most of FATAL RESERVATIONS, which was also fun.

I also tried to resolve some plot problems in the contemporary theatre piece.

Wednesday, I spent a good chunk of the day prepping a radio play for submission, and doing some work on a New Adult piece that I started awhile ago and put aside. It has some structural problems that need to be resolved so it can go back into the writing queue.

I read FLIGHT FROM DEATH, which I really liked — and I’m excited by Galenorn’s new Whisper Hollow series, which debuts in November. I read the first chapter, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Up early today. I’m feeling a little better, although the ear infection is still bothering me, and that affects my balance. A co-worker will be out all week because she fractured her ankle — she’s having a bad run of it, health-wise this year. It will be a busy at work, both today and tomorrow, but then I’m off again for the weekend, and can finish getting well. I’m not going to Tango tonight — not feeling well enough, and my balance is too messed up to be able to dance in heels.

Next week will be very busy — working the week, including the Saturday “on”, and also, we have a staff day on the Tuesday, which is usually my day off, but I’m doing it any way.

I think I’ve almost figured out the next bit of BALTHAZAAR, the part that wasn’t quite working, so I can get back to writing it.

I have Spectacle of the Trees stuff to do, the upcoming Christmas in July, Mermaid Ball stuff, and Casino night stuff. Also, I want to rearrange my office some more, and get more stuff sorted and purged. Hopefully, I’ll feel well enough to get back to it shortly.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Devon

Thurs. July 2, 2015: Tornado Warning Aftermath and Intensive Writing Prep

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Last Day of Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday morning was definitely stressful, with the tornado warnings and all. When I got to work – only four miles away – they’d just noticed it got dark and was raining a lot! ;)

Then, someone sent me a photograph of a “rotation” from my town – and it was right over my neighbor’s garage! To say I freaked out when I saw the photo was an understatement.

Workday was stressful and seemed 85 hours long instead of 8 hours long. I got some stuff done, and I’m trying to do all the year-end wrap ups and pull together material needed for the ARIS reports, etc. I’m working on some book and DVD orders.

I did some of my own ordering for research purposes, and also for stuff I’m putting together for the Mermaid Ball.

I’m looking forward to the next six days away from work, focusing on my writing. Yes, I’ll have gardening to do and Canal Fest for the Marine Life Center on Saturday morning. But I can really focus on the writing.

The contemporary play is the priority – I’ve got to get a draft with which I’m happy done, since I’ll hear back on the proposal by the end of the month. Hopefully, that will get me back in the swing of the historical play, too.

I have house guests arriving at some point, but I’m not exactly sure when.

I started reading a cozy mystery last night, but put it down after ten pages. I wanted to slap the protagonist after three. When the protagonist is a self-righteous, rightwing ignoramous who dislikes and disrespects artists – you lose me as a reader, and I cross that author off my list.

Finished up some other research books, including a collection of Edmund Wilson’s essays that had an interesting piece on Dawn Powell.

There’s a lot to get done today, since it will be next Thursday before I’m back. So I better get to it!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend and a wonderful start to next week.

Devon

Published in: on July 2, 2015 at 8:11 am  Comments (2)  
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July 1, 2015: Writing, Good Conversation, and Tornado Warnings

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and tornado warnings

I cut myself a break over the past few days and gave myself a chance to refill the creative well.

Saturday, I worked my four-hour stint. It was busy, and we were happy to lock the door and get out of there. There was an event at the building next door, and even though there were clear signs where to park, the attendees took our patrons’ half dozen spots, even when asked not to.

Relaxed on the deck Saturday afternoon. Sunday, I was wiped out. Read, relaxed, let the stories percolate. I tried to write a bit, but it was ready to be on the page yet; it was still forming.

Sunday night, headed back to Liberty Hall to pick up the Chicken BBQ dinners (they’re good to us, I’ll buy their chicken dinners a few times a year — give-and-take). It was great, but I overate! It was weird to walk into the Hall and know every person sitting down to the meal, and everyone in the kitchen. I’m used to far more anonymity. But it will be useful to use in a story one day.

The weather was vile on Sunday, so I couldn’t work outside.

Read two mediocre mysteries and started one so poorly written that I stopped reading it. Read another novel, THE FORGOTTEN SEAMSTRESS, by Liz Trenow, which was quite lovely.

Did a good bit of research on several projects. It’s going to feed in nicely to them, enrich the environment in which these stories and characters take place.

I was disappointed at the viciousness people displayed toward EL James in her Twitter chat. Her books don’t work for me, for a variety of reasons (as a writer, as a woman, as a feminist). However, plenty of people enjoy them, she’s successful, good for her. It’s hard to make a living in this business. While in the abstract, some of the snarky questions had elements of humor, the overall nastiness of the whole endeavor was disheartening. I was especially disappointed that other writers — most of whom have nowhere near her sales numbers — were positively gleeful that she’d been attacked. If you don’t like someone’s writing, don’t read it, don’t spend your money n it. If you’re a reviewer and it’s your job to comment on it, and you dislike it, that’s one thing (although there are so few qualified reviewers at this point, even that’s in question). But this envy, the jealousy of her success is truly unfortunate. I’m sure she will recover and continue laughing all the way to the bank, and I realize it says more about those who attacked her than about her, but it was disappointing. For people to defend it by saying, “Well, that’s what you get for going on Twitter”, um, no. I’ve found plenty of classy, supportive, intelligent people on Twitter, and landed some of my best freelance assignments on Twitter. I choose not to deal with the stupid, the ignorant, and the nasty on Twitter, much as I cut as many as possible out from my life in general.

The episode was definitely food for thought as I consider how I want to reshape the way I position my work and myself in the world. Not because I’m worried about the same kind of attack (although I’d sure love those dollars), but because I’ve always believed, especially for writers, that the work is public, but the individual is private. In fact, I believe a certain amount of privacy is necessary in order to incubate the work properly.

Speaking of writing, the past few days’ work on BALTHAZAAR is sub-par, and I’m very disappointed in myself. I have to get past this obstacle and move forward on the piece as a whole. Knowing that my editor (whom I adore) is retiring is part of what interfered with the work –suffering from separation anxiety. Now, I need to get over it, and get back to work.

I got some work done for the Marine Life Center and for the Writers Center, too, over the past few days, so things are firing on several cylinders. And I got the grocery shopping done, which was of vital importance! ;)

Tuesday was a lovely, sunny, warm day. The kind of summer day that reminds you why you put up with the summer people on Cape Cod.

I got the last part of the meadow mowed in the morning. It was looking more like an African savannah rather than a Cape Cod backyard, but now it’s under control. The yarrow’s coming in nicely. The chamomile I planted in the front several years ago is now coming up by the back stairs, waving at me. I’ll be moving that to the border in the terrace. The clematis and morning glories are in bloom, as are the geraniums and the gloxinia and the Stella D’oro llilies, with the shasta daisies getting ready to pop. Herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, et al, all doing well. The cherry bush I though was dead and stuck in a bucket has recovered. I’ve given away its pot, so I have to figure how to plant the poor thing. Its twin, who is in the ground, has also recovered.

Lunch with a colleague who is also a friend, over in Sandwich. We got some chatting done, sorting out life stuff, and also some business done.

Home, hung out on the deck in the sun with books and cats, enjoying the reason I live on Cape Cod and not somewhere else.

Out to the Artist HobNob. This month, it was at Pain D’Avignon, out by the airport. We were at tables outside, in the lovely weather, and, if you’re from New York or lived near Westchester Airport (as I am/did), the planes going over weren’t much of a distraction. We had a great, lively table of people. What I love about these monthly nights is that it’s all about working artists inspiring each other (instead of some other events, where wanna-be artists whine and make excuses about why they’re not creating). I knew one person at the table, and everyone at the table is someone I hope to spend more time with, and continue sharing information and inspiration with. The food was great, the wine was good, the company wonderful. A truly lovely evening.

It was nice to have actual conversations with people.

It also seems to have moved me past the obstacles in BALTHAZAAR. This morning’s writing session was better.

I’d promised dinner for a friend, trying a new-to-me recipe for chicken and zucchini, in a sauce out of onion, garlic, celery, white wine, sage, bay leaf, clove, and cinnamon. It was excellent.

It’s summer, which means I’m making batches of lime-and-cilantro mayonnaise (which also contains sour cream). I quadruple the recipe whenever I make it, because it’s so good and I use it for oh, so many things.

It will be a long day at work (and the weather’s supposed to be awful today). Full moon, so ritual tonight. We’ll have another full moon on July 31, just before one of the most important days in my personal calendar. Tomorrow will also be a long day, but no tango tomorrow night. I will come home and sit on the deck with my feet up!

Update: In the time between writing this and being able to post it, we got an emergency alert to get into the basement, because there was rotation in Falmouth (although nothing touched down). We grabbed the cats, cat food, important papers, some water, the radio, and went into the basement. It was awful. We could feel the house shaking from the thunderstorms and the rain was torrential. Once we got the all clear, we came up, but were asked to stay off the roads for another fifteen/twenty minutes. I’d texted work, but no one got it and, even though work is only four miles from home, the storm hadn’t been anywhere near as bad there. So I’m trying t recover from that. Hoping I don’t have to do that anytime soon again. Not fun.

After tomorrow, due to a combination of the holiday, my work schedule, and painting being done at work, I’m away from the library for six days. It’ll be a good, well-needed break for me. I have yard work to do on nice days, and Canal Fest in Buzzards Bay on the Fourth. I know, oh horrors, I have to go over the bridge on a WEEKEND!

But I’m hoping to spend the bulk of the time writing — the historical play, the contemporary play, BALTHAZAAR being the main focus, but I may jot down the short stories just to make space in my head. The vintage theatre piece is taking shape nicely, too. Getting that first chapter down helped enormously. Researching 1938 makes me realize that was a good choice as a starting point for the book and the series. I also realized that, in the theatre piece set in Maine, where my characters have to go to Mobile to retrieve some other characters, I’m going to take them to New Orleans to catch their collective breaths. That’s still several chapters down the road in that piece, but it solves some of the logistical problems (both physical and emotional) that keeping them in Mobile over that adjustment period caused.

So, after tomorrow, I will be offline until July 9th, which will be good for everyone involved! I’ll have plenty to say when I get back, I’m sure!

Hop over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site — I’ve got my mid-year assessment up.

If we don’t get our “morning coffee” chat tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend (my American friends) and just a darn wonderful weekend (for everyone else).

Devon

Published in: on July 1, 2015 at 10:10 am  Comments (2)  
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Fri. June 26, 2015: Tango’d and Tired

Friday, June 26, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Up and down day yesterday, sometimes quite stressful.

Came home, ate a quick bite, went to tango, which was really fun. I feel like I’m finally making positive progress.

Home, exhausted. Sat outside for awhile – -the fireflies are finally here! They’re late this year.

To bed. The cats got me up at 4, so I already put in a full day before leaving for work. Tessa and I went out on the deck for awhile – she didn’t even have to be in her enclosure. She sat between the tomatoes and the borage and watched the world go by.

Not a good writing morning; hopefully it will be better over the weekend.

Very tired and a little blue today. But, that’s the way it goes sometimes. Not every day is sunshine and roses.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on June 26, 2015 at 8:24 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 26, 2015: Tango’d and Tired  

Thurs. June 25, 2015: Early Errands, Not Much Writing

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday sucked, and just let’s leave it at that.

At least I wrote a little over 1500 words before I left.

On the positive side, a co-worker gave me a bag of fresh quahogs. I like them, but I’d never eaten them before. She even gave me a recipe, so it was stuffed quahogs for dinner! A late dinner, but they were worth the wait! The shells are so pretty; I’ll be using them for lots of things.

Tried to read a bit when I got home, but I was too tired, so I went to bed early.

Up even earlier than usual this morning. Only got a little bit done on BALTHAZAAR, which was discouraging, and then had to run an errand at 7 AM.

Will be another long day at work, but at least there’s tango tonight.

And the weather is beautiful!

Devon

Published in: on June 25, 2015 at 8:41 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 25, 2015: Early Errands, Not Much Writing  

Wed. June 24, 2015: Blasting Through the Solstice

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy few days. By Friday afternoon, I was cooked. We moved books over to Liberty Hall for the book sale. We were short handed, so in between, I had to handle the desk myself in the afternoon. By the time I locked up on Friday afternoon, I was wiped out.

Tried to relax on the deck, but it was hard. Got some reading done — I’ve read a few books of a fairly well done cozy series, except the female protagonist of the pair makes really stupid mistakes. It’s one thing for an intelligent character to make a mistake based on mis-information or mis-interpretation of information. It’s quite different to make a mistake when you know better — and keep making that type of mistake, more than once per book and in multiple books. It shows a character who doesn’t learn, and that’s not someone with whom I choose to spend time. Even though a lot of the writing is lively, that is such a huge character flaw and shows a lack of growth that I can’t accept in characters I spend time with.

Next!

Cats loved having house guests. They got even more spoiled than before.

Prepped for the wedding Friday night and some of Saturday morning. Also got some research done on Saturday morning, and spent time with houseguests.

The day was gorgeous and the wedding was wonderful. It was at a church in Cotuit –the place was packed. The wedding was full of joy and laughter and beauty — the best of what one of those public rituals should be.

The party was fun, although I only stayed a couple of hours. I was worn out.

Tried to sleep in a bit on Sunday, fed the guests, got them on their way. The weather was dreadful — storms, thunder, lightening, pelting rain. Caught rainwater to use for plants. Spent most of the day doing research.

I’ve got two plays to work on, and I don’t want to lose momentum for BALTHAZAAR. There’s another idea percolating — I’m working with characters and situations, but I don’t quite have it yet. It would be contemporary.

And there’s another idea that’s taking shape, form, character, that would start in 1938. If it works, it has the potential to go all the way to present day. The backdrop is, of course, theatre, and it combines some of the other ideas and research I’ve done over several years, trying to find the right format.

Believe it or not, Agnes DeMille’s biography of Martha Graham provided the missing piece of inspiration to pull those years of playing with ideas together, and I did ten pages of notes for the overview and, specifically, for the first story.

Something else that is interesting about DeMille’s biography of Graham is that it is as much about DeMille as Graham! It shouldn’t be titled MARTHA GRAHAM, it should be MARTHA GRAHAM FROM AGNES DEMILLE’S PERSPECTIVE.

Read SPINSTER: MAKING A LIFE OF ONE’S OWN by Kate Bolick. The writing is good, and while there is a lot I like about it, I disagree that she’s “making a life of one’s own.” Yes, she remains unmarried. But she’s a serial dater, always involved in a relationship, always dating frenetically, as though she has to prove that, although she remains unmarried, she is still attractive and desired. She has no idea what it means to be alone — especially since she’s always running to her therapist. She’s unmarried, yes, but solitude is something she avoids. Being home alone one night to read a book and enjoying it is not “being alone”. It’s having a night off.

Read MUSE by Jonathan Galassi. Liked a lot of it, loved a lot of the writing and phrasing. However, stylistically, it was too narrative for my taste. It was like reading a book-long profile in THE NEW YORKER. I don’t want to hear ABOUT all these interesting people — I want to learn about them through active scenes. So, while I enjoyed the book and the writing a lot, I didn’t love it.

Lovely Summer Solstice celebration that will hopefully ground me well for the next cycle. I can’t believe the days are starting to get shorter! In a week or so, we’ll really notice.

Monday was an excellent writing day: 16 pages (just over one chapter ) of the mystery set on Cape Cod in 1938. The reading I’d done over the weekend fed the story and characters. While this mystery follows formula in some ways, it unfolds a little differently and a little more slowly than the current fashion. The title tells you the type of character who will meet a bad end, but, for the first couple of chapters, there are several possibilities. Also, setting the book in this time period, while Europe is in turmoil and America tried to stay out of it, sets up interesting conflicts between the more insular world the characters inhabit and how world events affect it — and how they try to fight it. It’s also a good way to explore various prejudices. I’d originally planned to start the book in the Midwest (my protagonist is from a small town outside Chicago) and have her receive a letter that is the catalyst to moving to New York. However, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to start building the relationships during a summer stock season on Cape Cod to set the stage (so to speak) for her break with her hometown and childhood sweetheart in active scenes. In other words, this first book will be here, on Cape Cod, before she makes the move to New York. She’ll move to New York in Book Two. I’m also taking some time to develop the first murder victim. I want the reader to know the individual and feel genuine sorrow at the death. It fits more the formula of some of the books written in the actual era, instead of starting in the midst of everything or giving us background we don’t need. Every scene has relevance to the plot, even the ones that won’t seem to until the murderer is revealed.

When I’d written myself out, I got gas for the car and the mower (prices have gone up AGAIN — I’m tired of the way gas prices are manipulated). I mowed the side yard and part of the front, although a big new crop of dandelions sprang up almost immediately.

The cats missed the house guests.

Read Barbara Delinsky’s LAKE NEWS last night. I enjoy her writing.

Up early Tuesday. I have more mowing and repotting to do today, hopefully before the next storm hits, but I also want to get some work done on both BALTHAZAAR and the 1938 mystery.

I’ve also been doing background reading for the one hour pilot. The research reinforces the more jaded view that people basically suck.

However, it was an excellent writing day on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE, a total of 22 pages, finishing up one chapter and writing another completely. I was exhausted by the end of it, but it was worth it. I have the research books spread out all around me, and I keep referring back and forth. The constant fact-checking slowed me down, and I still have some more to do when I do the next draft, but I was able to at least make this first one work.

Bad storms came through, with both tornado watches and warnings. The cats were upset and all sat in my lap. We were lucky here, though: thunder, lightening, heavy rain (which we needed). But no tornadoes.

Tried to read a mystery on the Kindle with an interesting premise, but the author or copyeditor didn’t know the difference between a regular plural and a possessive plural, so, after four pages’ worth of mistakes, I gave up. That’s third grade level English, and there’s no excuse for those types of errors in a published book. Read another book on Kindle that was pleasant, but no great shakes. Needed brain candy, but, ultimately, that one left me unsatisfied, too.

Upped the yoga practice to more intensity. I want to try adding another yoga session at night. I used to do that, when I first moved here, and yoga twice a day was great — in the morning, it focuses me and gets me ready for the day; at night, it unwinds me.

Today will be a very long day at the library. We’re short-handed today, and there’s something that needs my full attention that HAS to get done (I started it, but the rest of the information won’t have arrived until today). That means I’ll be putting in extra hours, after the building is closed. I’m working tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday, and then I have Sunday and Monday for intense writing. Tuesday, next week, I have appointments.

Worked on BALTHAZAAR again this morning, before I left for the library, but after the intensity of the past few days, it didn’t feel like enough. It was a solid 1500 words, though, so I shouldn’t kick myself about it. There are so many great stories-within-the-story in BALTHAZAAR that I’m tempted to do some chapters set back in pirate days. However, as a reader, I don’t like that convention — having the reader get far ahead of the protagonists — and it doesn’t fit with the way I’ve set up the structure of chapters in the series. Maybe a tie-in novel set there in the future? Or would it be too much like CUTTHROAT CHARLOTTE? I don’t think so, but one never knows. We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll do a book with Balthazaar, Sybilla, and Charity as the focus, rather than the catalyst, at some point in the future.

The weather, however, is gorgeous, and a wonderful reminder of why I live here.

I have a bad headache which I hope won’t develop into a migraine.

Have a great week!

Devon

Published in: on June 24, 2015 at 10:29 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 24, 2015: Blasting Through the Solstice  
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Fri. June 19, 2015: Dancing and Houseguests

Friday, June 19, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Yesterday was busy, but good busy.

I also felt better because of the work on BALTHAZAAR.

Came home, read a bit, changed, put the blueberries on the lemon pudding servings, packed everything up, went to tango milonga. The weekend intensive made a difference. It was fun.

Home, exhausted, got my houseguests settled. The cats are making out like bandits. Tessa is charging a “petting toll” – if you want to go up or down the stairs, you have to stop and pet her. Three times on the head. Not twice, not four times. THREE times. The twins are conning extra treats out of everyone, with their “I’m so small, sad, and hungry” routine and the “aren’t I adorable? Feed me!” routine.

In other words, they like having houseguests.

Discovered it takes longer to get seven people sorted and out of the house on time in the morning than two! But all in good fun, and bacon and eggs always makes everything better.

It will be a busy day at work, setting up for the booksale, then zipping out to deal with wedding stuff, the wedding tomorrow, and Sunday – I was supposed to go to Newport, but the weather’s supposed to be vile, so I might just have a lazy morning with the houseguests and then write.

I’m trying to get up early enough to get my writing in before the guests wake up. The cats aren’t helpful, with their already early –and loud – rising.

Have a great weekend – and Happy Solstice!

Devon

Published in: on June 19, 2015 at 8:22 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 19, 2015: Dancing and Houseguests  

Thurs. June 18, 2015: Inspiration from Archer Mayor

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday, and quite stressful. In addition to the summer busy-ness, there are also situations going on in another group with whom I’m involved. I won’t be involved with that group much longer, but if I can help come up with some solutions in the interim, I will.

Archer Mayor presented at the library. He was wonderful. So articulate, so intelligent, so engaging. I’ve been a fan of the Joe Gunther series since Book 3 (SCENT OF EVIL), and then went back through books 1 & 2. SCENT OF EVIL came out in 1992, so I’ve been reading the books for a long time!

So much of what he said resonated, and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time, and, hopefully, applying it!

Home, exhausted. To bed early – couldn’t face any more cooking when I got home.

Up at 5:30 this morning to make the lemon pudding for milonga night. It will set while I’m at work.

Managed to get some work done on BALTHAZAAR this morning, too, before work. It’s not going as quickly as I’d like, and I have to fact check some things, but it’s going. The tensions are building, in ways that I think will surprise the reader (hopefully, in a good way).

Long day at work today, and then home for a quick bite, and milonga. Don’t know how long I’ll last – I’m exhausted.

Devon

Published in: on June 18, 2015 at 8:30 am  Comments Off on Thurs. June 18, 2015: Inspiration from Archer Mayor  
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Wed. June 17, 2015: Dance and Mystery!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy few days, but good ones.

So, DARK MATTER started on SYFY. Anthony Lemke’s in it, and I like his work, so that was my draw. He plays a character very different from the other work of his I’ve seen (which is always fun). It would have been easy to make the character a real unlikeable jerk. The fun part, when you follow a particular actor’s work, like I do with Lemke, is that I trust him, as an actor, to take me on an interesting journey and show me layers, and it doesn’t have to all happen in the first hour. So, I’m completely confident there’s more going on with the character than I’m seeing, and I look forward to the journey. I did get ahead of the plot a few times, but that’s okay. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Saturday was very busy at the library, but we got out on time. Headed home for a quick snack, changed, and headed to Wellfleet for Tango.

It was so much fun! We had a great group, and learned a lot. Drive home was smooth, and I was on the deck, with my feet soaking in Epsom salts, and a cocktail within 45 minutes of leaving.

Sunday, I was only a little sore. Went to a garden wholesaler and got some cool stuff, including sea holly. Headed back to Wellfleet for another great tango session, and drove the instructor back to Barnstable to catch the bus to Boston.

Yeah, by Sunday night, I was sore.

Monday was a rainy, icky day full of errands – had to take my mom to the doctor, get cat food, go grocery shopping, pay bills. Wiped out by the end of it.

Watched DANIEL DERONDA (homework for Masterpiece). It was well done, but I found all the leads annoying (not the actors, the characters). I didn’t believe for a minute that Daniel was actually in love with Mira – to me, it seemed he was in love with the IDEA of her, with what she represented. She was still a better choice than Gwendolyn.

Also, Monday, prepared the food for Tuesday.

Tuesday, I baked the cupcakes for today, and packed the food for the strategic planning session for NMLC, which happened in Wareham. We had a good session, and then some of us went out for Mexican food.

Didn’t have the weird progressive dream that I had Sunday and Monday.

Busy at work today, and then the wonderful Archer Mayor does a program for us tonight! Can’t wait!

I took a few days off from the book to research – got some interesting stuff to weave in.

This is probably one of the busier weeks of the summer, but it seems every week gets busier than the previous one.

Devon

Published in: on June 17, 2015 at 10:32 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 17, 2015: Dance and Mystery!  
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