Sat. Aug. 1, 2015: Lammas & Creative Energy

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Day After Full/Blue Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Lammas
Sunny and warm

Blessed Lammas to all!

Yesterday was busy at work, but good, which is always nice.

I can’t believe the Cape Cod Writers’ Conference is THIS WEEK! And the Mermaid Ball is NEXT WEEK!!! And Casino Night is on Aug. 28!!!!!!

And then August will be over. And I’ll be ready for a straitjacket! ;)

Overslept this morning and then ran errands before work – it’s my Saturday “on.”

Finished Tanya Huff’s SMOKE AND SHADOWS – set behind the scenes on a Vancouver television set. Very well done and lots of fun. Started SMOKE AND MIRRORS – equally well done, although if the wardrobe crew had behaved the way their wardrobe assistant does, she would have been fired in a heartbeat! ;) Even on some of the more dysfunctional sets, one couldn’t get away with her behavior, and wardrobe, in general, is much more the heartbeat of the set than on this particular production. Maybe it’s different on the West Coast and/or in Vancouver than out here in the East! ;)

I’m also chomping at the bit to finish the contemporary play and get back to work on both BALTHAZAAR and the fantasy novel on which I wrote so much earlier in the week. I will have to change the title of the latter – I LOVE the title, it’s one of the better ones I came up with – but, as the book develops, it’s no longer relevant. And the title needs to be relevant.

Have a great weekend – I’m sure I will have stories, next week, from the Writers’ Conference!

Devon

Fri. July 31, 2015: End of Another Month; Gearing up for Busy August

Friday, January 31, 2015
Full Moon/Blue Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Yesterday turned out to be a good day – productive in the morning. I took the Naproxin later than usual, but, unfortunately, once it kicked in, my shoulder felt better, but my brain stopped working. But at least I got a lot done in the morning.

No tango last night, so I got to go home and relax a bit, and work on stuff for the Mermaid Ball. Watched the rest of the first season of SPORTS NIGHT. Such good writing.

Made an appointment to get the car serviced on Monday in Plymouth – nervous about that; afraid it will need a lot of work.

I have a lot to say on several fronts, but I’m saving it for fiction right now.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on”, even though August 1 is one of the most important days in my personal calendar; but I have plans early on and in the evening. Weather permitting, there will be yard work in my weekend, a trip to the dump, and, no matter what the weather, lots of writing.

August is going to be a nutty month, with three huge events on which I’m working, each for a different organization. I’m looking forward to it, but I will definitely need some time off in September.

And my deadlines must be met before.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

Published in: on July 31, 2015 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thurs. July 30, 2015: Interesting Days and Creative Disagreement

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Day before Full Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Yesterday just sucked in many ways, and not just for me, but for my colleagues, which was a shame. But we’re all stretched beyond our limits at this point. I also had to set and hold a boundary, or be pushed even further into expectations and demands that are not what I signed on for, and that I won’t start accepting. There’s a difference between helping out in a pinch and having that turn into additional long-term responsibilities.

It also doesn’t help that my shoulder really, really still hurts.

Worked on a lot of PR and year end figures on this and that, and had to cover the desk for three hours, because we were short staffed.

Came home and collapsed. Watched the last four episodes of the first season of POWERS. Spoiler Alert! The twist at the end refuted what they claimed, in their interviews, was one of their intents — strong female characters. Instead, yet another strong female is killed a few hours after she has sex. And not with some random person, but with someone she’s loved for over twenty years. I’m really sick of female characters relentlessly punished and/or murdered in literature, film, and television whenever they take charge of their own sexuality. Victoria Dahl, Tessa Dare, and I were talking about it on Twitter earlier yesterday. I’m sure the creators on the show (men, of course) will say it was a necessary dramatic catalyst for the lead character into the next season, and I can see what they think is a clever red herring they’ve thrown in — and I disagree. While I thought the casting was superb, loved the acting moments, and liked the premise — to me, by that last beat of the show, I was both cheated and betrayed. Especially since it was the strongest character on the show, outside of the lead. Everyone’s scrambling to do the LOST/GAME OF THRONES “no one is safe” thing, and, far too often, it simply doesn’t work. You don’t kill of a strong character just to freak out the audience, and then pretend it’s a legitimate plot device. If you say you’re going to turn the genre inside out, do so.

Out first thing this morning to grocery shop, and then polished the blurb for my friend’s book and wrote up some auction item material for the Mermaid Ball.

To work — another long day, but Tango is cancelled tonight, and let’s hope it will be a better day than yesterday — for all of us.

Stay cool!

Devon

Published in: on July 30, 2015 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. July 29, 2015: 39 Pages, NFL Morons, and Thank Goodness No Olympics In Boston

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and hot

Challenging few days. On the upside, yesterday, I wrote 39 pages (three chapters) of a fantasy novel — approximately 9,750 words. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Thank goodness the Olympics in Boston is OFF. That was a damn stupid idea in the first place — the city simply does not have the space, and spreading out all over the state — one of the ideas floated — was ridiculous. People need to be able to get to the venues, and even a few miles in Boston traffic is impossible. It would have hurt Boston, not helped us, and cost us (not just financially) far more than it would have earned us.

So, I appreciate Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker’s standing up for the taxpayers. However, I’m still annoyed with Baker for vetoing a $2.3 million dollar funding increase for the arts in MA. Close the tax loopholes for the corporate fucks and fund the arts. We already have a population who’s losing the ability for independent thought. Fortunately, the Senate and House overturned the veto.

The weekend was rather chaotic. This was supposed to be my Saturday “off” rotation. However, I wanted to deal with an issue in a particular way that I believed would be best for all concerned and save face for us; my boss said no. She’s the boss, so be it. Then, at 5:18 that night — when I’m already home on the deck with my feet up and a martini, trying to sort out the writing for the weekend — I get a text saying she shouldn’t have butted in and if I wanted to handle it that way, go ahead. In other words, the answer I needed at 10 that morning.

Part of me just wanted to ignore it — technically, this is supposed to be a part-time gig and when I’m off, I’m supposed to be OFF so I can write. But being petty would only hurt all of us. Believe me, I seriously considered being petty. I’m not trying to present myself as “good” in this situation by any means, because I was angry.

But, I went in on Saturday, and started the ball rolling. I knew it would take several hours to get the definitive answer that would allow me to do all the rest connected to it — what I SHOULD have had all day Friday to do. I didn’t want to spend all those extra hours at work, and I certainly wasn’t going to deal with the public, not on my day “off”. So I left and ran errands, planning to go back near the end of the open hours to find the answers, take care of the rest of the domino effect, and take down last week’s specific event display.

Only there was a major truck accident on Rt. 28, the road was closed, and the cops sent us into a maze of side streets I’d never seen before, and I couldn’t “get there from here”. An hour and a half later, I figured out how to get home.

Which meant I had to go in on Sunday, too. I baked first thing, and then headed in to work, dodging people who are incapable of understanding that “closed” means they can’t come in and do whatever they want, and they have to come in when the place is actually open. I had the answer I needed, I then spent the necessary time taking the next steps, so everything is taken care of. Because it all had to be done by Monday, and certainly before I officially got back to work today.

So it all worked out, but I was still irritated (putting it mildly), because all that extra chaos could have been avoided if I’d simply been allowed to do my damn job, which includes making the decisions that are part of it.

Watched LINE OF DUTY over the weekend, which is well done, and JACK IRISH, which I liked a lot. I think Iain Glenn is great in JACK TAYLOR, but it was a little too consistently dark, whereas JACK IRISH has a better balance, and Guy Pearce is also excellent. Watched MY OLD LADY, which is packaged as a comedy, but is definitely NOT, and needed about 20 minutes of whining cut out of the middle of it. The actors were terrific, the camerawork was good, but the script needed some tweaking. I’m watching POWERS, with Sharlto Copley and Susan Heyward. I like the actors a LOT, and the scene work is terrific. I like the concept. I’m not convinced on some of the arcs yet. But I’ve watched 6 episodes out of the 10, and I’m still watching, which says something positive!

Throughout all of this, I read and I tried to write. I read Lisa Chaplin’s THE TIDE WATCHERS, which I thought was good, but I’m wondering if she’s setting up for a sequel, or just leaving us somewhat dangling at the end. I read Barbara Delinky’s BLUEPRINTS. I read THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET. I read some research books for various projects.

I worked on a couple of ideas for projects. Got about six solid pages done on one. Did seven pages of another, and then, as I was driving around yesterday, picking up things for the Mermaid Ball, I realized that I’d started it in the wrong place. General advice is to start later than you think you should (cutting unnecessary exposition). In this case, I started in the wrong place with the wrong characters. So I let that percolate for awhile.

Met with my editing student and we had a good session. She’s taking her time to learn the craft, which is necessary, and her premise is good. As long as she really LEARNS before she sends this out, she can then apply it moving forward.

Worked on Mermaid Ball stuff, running around picking things up and putting together packages. Amazon delivered three days later than guaranteed — this is the third time in the last two months, and I’m getting sick of it. Guess they’ve gotten so big, they no longer care about customer service. Which meant all the stuff I wanted to deliver on Sunday couldn’t be — not that I could have made it over the bridge anyway in good time, but that was my day to deliver packages.

You’d think Mercury was in retrograde! ;)

Yesterday, I wrote. From about 6 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. 39 pages of the re-envisioned piece. Obviously, it’s working now.

I ran over to pick up something at Cotuit Center for the Arts, then changed and went to Harvest Wine Bar and Gallery in Dennis for an artist HobNob event. We were a small group, but it was enormous fun — spent a lot of time talking to a choreographer, a musician, and a cabinet maker.

Home, dinner, POWERS, percolating some more writing. I have a play I have to work on, and work through the next section of BALTHAZARR. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with this book. It should have been done ages ago.

The whole Tom Brady/NFL suspension is ridiculous. Tom Brady is one of the few players who is consistently a class act, and people want to take him down. When I was on sports journalism gigs, football players and baseball players were my least favorite interviews. Hockey players were consistently interesting, not to mention nicer and more respectful. What’s the most disturbing, to me, is the anti-woman message the NFL is sending. Players can beat up on women and only get 2 suspensions, but because there’s less air in a piece of pigskin, that deserves 4? Totally out of balance. It says that the air in a football is more important that the treatment of women. For an organization that makes that much money and has that many people looking at them as role models (heaven forbid), it is appalling. I could understand 1 suspension, but 4? Aside from the fact I don’t think he had anything to do with it, and the whole “destroyed cellphone” thing — hell, I throw my phone across the room several times a week, not because I’m trying to hide something, but because the phone and TMobile are both garbage. It’s all crap. People — especially women — should boycott the NFL this season, make a point with their wallets. But they won’t, because until someone beats down on them personally, they don’t care enough to stand up for something that matters.

It’s also the anniversary of my father’s death in 1972, never an easy day for me.

On that happy note (yeah, that’s sarcasm), yet another long week begins.

Hope yours is terrific!

Devon

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  
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