February 28, 2007

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and thawing

Not much to say this morning. Yesterday was fine, both day work and show. I’m working with someone these next few weeks who actually does the work, not expects me to do everything. Part of me is furious because, being in the track now, I see how little the person did previously, and I should have said something. But, I need to let it go and do my thing. From what I hear, she had a tough week last week because she actually HAD to do all of her own work. And, after all, she’s in this endlessly, not me, so there.

I’m reading Susan Allen Toth’s book Ivy Days, a memoir of her time at Smith College, and it’s lovely. Her writing is always beautiful, and she’s had a huge impact on my life. Her books about traveling in the UK were a huge inspiration and she is the one who encouraged me to start renting from The National Trust. We’ve corresponded a bit off and on over the years, and she is just as lovely on that sort of page as she is in print.

I had dinner at Vinyl – grilled salmon burger and mixed green salad. Delicious, and perfect energy food for the show.

Got some work done on Changeling this morning – I’m toughing it out. I’m so far behind where I want to be on it, but I just have to cope and keep going. This middle part of the trilogy, which I thought would be the easiest and most fluent to write, is turning out to be the most difficult. Live and learn, right?

Will try to get up today’s Circadian Poem and the SDR entry before I leave for yet another 14-hour day.

Most of tomorrow needs to be dedicated to work on The Project. I need to get ahead on that, and the recipe testing is time-consuming.

I have to do the February wrap-up and the March goals tomorrow and the next day; no time this morning. Let’s just say that February was pretty much a wash, due to working on the show full time for two weeks and getting sick. Oh, well, just realign the goals. Some really GREAT things also happened during the month.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 29,217 words out of est. 45,000
65%

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Published in: on February 28, 2007 at 8:29 am  Comments (4)  

February 27, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and icky

Regarding yesterday’s tangent: considering how much I dislike the show Heroes, I thought it was strangely appropriate that my monster names includes “cheerleader obliterating”. I know it’s a big hit, but I’m tired of all the scenery chewing and bad acting. The only one who’s any good in it is the guy who plays Hiro. The scripts have some interesting ideas, but the arcs aren’t tight enough to hold my interest. And, considering the cheerleaders with whom I went to high school were the ultimate hypocrites, if my choice was “save the cheerleader, save the world” – I’d let the world GO.

I finally got to see the pilot for a show I worked on in October of 2005. I didn’t work on the rest of the series, just the pilot – it was eight months before it went back into production, with a new team, and I was already booked on something else. It had been a challenging (to say the least) shoot and the stories coming back from set when they went back in to production made me glad I wasn’t working on it. But I was still curious to see what the pilot looked like, all put together. I wasn’t granted the opportunity to read the script – only the sides for the days on which I worked – and, being on set, I couldn’t get an overall sense of the piece. So last night was interesting.

One of the roles had been recast since we shot the pilot – someone who just happens to be a friend of mine. The creative team decided they wanted a “star” name in the role instead. Whatever. I’d heard about the situation as it was happening, which made me even happier I wasn’t around on set for it. That meant re-shoots a good eight months after the original shoot, and I was interested to see what they did, continuity-wise (we’d had our share of continuity challenges on the pilot). They cut my friend’s dialogue scenes (without re-shooting them with the new actress), but left her in one of the long shots.

The piece itself turned out much better than I thought it would. There’s more humor in it than came across during the filming, dark humor, but it’s there. The piece is dark, about choices and consequences. The lead actor (who was a joy to work with) is excellent, and a colleague from off-Broadway days, with whom I’ve worked for at least twenty years on and off, has a supporting role and is also very good.

I was unprepared for the emotional impact on me. It was surprising, since I was the wardrobe additional, not part of the creative team. But, in addition to remembering the stories behind the shots as they appeared, I felt as though I had a lot at stake personally, in a way I didn’t with the other two series on which I’ve worked. It’s interesting, because the experience on this one was not necessarily the best. Not the worst, either, but it had many challenges and difficulties.

The piece can stand alone well, but it will be interesting to see how it unfolds as a series. I hope to see more episodes, and I hope, for the sake of those working on it, that it’s as big a hit as one of the critics yesterday predicted.

Although I don’t want to go back and work on it again.

Slow day. Stomped around in the snow doing some errands; caught up on some business. Trying to get as much paperwork done as possible, because I’ll just be too tired over the next few weeks.

I wrote an overview for a potential client – ultimately declining the account. The person has a great business, but wants a PR person, not a writer. I’m willing to do the writing, but there’s no way she has it in her budget to pay for me doing the legwork and distribution. That’s a completely different set of skills with a different pay rate. I was sad to turn down a job, but prolonging it would have brought us both frustration in the long run.

Wrote, polished, and sent off a couple of pitches for which I think I’m uniquely qualified. Whether they think so or not, who knows, but at least I tried, right? Sent off another pitch to someone who I think will pick a lower bid, but, hey, you get what you pay for. Sent off a couple of other inquiries in responses to ads – the money’s vague, and the clients seem to be a bit high-maintenance, which of course means my rate goes up. Call it “aggravation pay.”

I realized I have a stack of dark books in the “to be read” pile. I’m sure most of them are very well done, but I’m in the mood for something lighter right now. I won’t be able to do the book justice if I’m not in the mood to read it. For the hours and the commute on which I’m about to embark, I need something that’s more hopeful.

Of course, several of my colleagues have released books that may fit that bill – it’s up to me to get my butt to the store and buy them. Because of the weather, this weekend’s book-buying trip was aborted.

I’m struggling with the impulse to get cranky, depressed, and ASSUME I won’t be able to get any creative work done. Why not ASSUME that, somehow, I’ll find a way to make time for what needs to get done? Why not enjoy as much as I can about being on the show for the next three weeks, and let the backstage atmosphere stimulate me? So what if I don’t work on what I planned to work on? After all, I’m rather obsessing on that murdered clown article – who knows what that could turn in to? And “Illuminated Nude”, although it comes along slowly, is coming along, so . . .don’t give up, don’t give in, just build it word by word and see what happens. Just because I’m on someone else’s schedule and not my own doesn’t mean I have to lose all ability to do creative work. I simply have to approach it differently.

A bit of work done on Changeling this morning. I’m preparing for a 14-hour day at the theatre, with a massive headache. I hope it doesn’t flower into a migraine, or this will be a long and unpleasant day.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling — 28,217 words out of est. 45,000
62.7%

Published in: on February 27, 2007 at 8:38 am  Comments (4)  

Tangent


Intimidating, Nun-Kidnapping, Cheerleader-Obliterating Fiend from the Forbidden Enchanted Earth


Get Your Monster Name

Published in: on February 26, 2007 at 10:54 am  Comments (3)  

February 26, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy

Every once in awhile, patience is rewarded. I really want a set of L.M. Montgomery’s Journals; ordering them from Canada costs over $100, including shipping. Trying to get them in the states runs even higher.

I won volumes 1 and 2 on eBay yesterday – cost for both, with shipping, just under $20. So, by being patient (I’ve wanted them for nearly two years), I’ve got my hands, nearly, on two out of the five volumes. I’m going to remain patient and come up with the other three volumes.

Disengaged from yet another wanna-be who expects working writers to do her work for her and open doors for her when she hasn’t earned it. This is yet another person who can’t be bothered to learn the basics of the craft. Can’t be bothered; not worth my time. Someone else who wants everything for nothing, and believes that she doesn’t have to learn how to construct a sentence, how to spell, the difference between similar-sounding words, how to research, or how to do anything else. Everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s nothing wrong with starting at zero. But one has to be willing to learn and do one’s own work.

Coincidentally (I don’t believe in coincidence), the March issue of More magazine has an article on mentoring and how to deal with parasites.

Most of the day was spent cooking – working on a recipe for The Project, cooking for the party, etc., etc. Not a bad way to spend a day with a snowstorm threatening.

The Oscar party was fine. I thought the ceremony itself was rather dull and filled with unnecessary filler – if they want to it to move at a good pace, get rid of the crap. Focus on the awards and stop scripting silly banter that the actors don’t even bother to try to deliver with finesse.

Many of us ended up making it a sleepover, due to the weather. I’m going to head home in a bit, once the plows have come through again. So Circadian, Kemmryk, etc. will be late today. Oh, well. There’s plenty to do once I get home, to prepare for the next three weeks, when I somehow have to figure out how six hours of work each day has to fit into two.

Got some work done on Changeling this morning. Yes, I almost always have my writing bag with me, even if it’s living in the trunk of the car at a party!

Devon

Chasing the Changeling — 27,467 words out of est. 45,000

Published in: on February 26, 2007 at 9:27 am  Comments (6)  

February 25, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
About to dump a bunch of snow on us

Worked on The Project. Worked on the books I need to review. Worked on some pitches, but I’m not satisfied with them, so I’ll have to revise them before I send them out. Worked on the reconstructed newsletter, but am still not happy with the tone. It’s too precious now, and lost its lighthearted touch. Probably because I’m trying to do it when I’m upset. I need to get the excitement of the topic back, so that I can translate it onto the page.

Received the March issue of Vogue, which is the size of a coffee table. Should be fun.

Cooked pork chops with broccoli and carrots in a wine sauce – based on a Marcella Hazen recipe.

Playing with some ideas zooming around my brain (guess there’s plenty of room in there right now).

Printed more photos and worked on the 2006 album – I’m STILL printing out photos from Mohonk House last August! At least we’re moving into the garden photos at this point! Still, I think it would be great to set a YA mystery on the grounds of a place inspired by that resort.

I did a major grocery shopping trip this morning – 3 stores and about 16 bags of groceries. I still have a heck of a lot of work done before I leave for the black-tie Oscar party tonight. I’m making my regular deviled eggs, the variation with radishes, and the variation with smoked ham; the chicken dim sum dumplings; and some spicy beef empanadas. Should be fun.

Rhian – you an always amend the question to – what do you need in order to paint?

I have to go figure out how many cups of flour is meant by “two pounds of flour”. Sigh. One of the challenges of translating handed-down recipes.

Devon

Published in: on February 25, 2007 at 12:06 pm  Comments (6)  

February 24, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Revolting and disgusting Microsoft corrupted all my files, research, layout, etc. AND the back-up for the newsletter that was supposed to go out this weekend. I’d done everything three weeks ago, before my sojourn in the city. I’d checked every file, once it was saved. It was in a protected box. And I put it in tonight and it’s all corrupt, can’t be retrieved, and I’m screwed.

Now, in the “help” files there are several different ways that Microsoft swears up, down and sideways will retrieve corrupted information including “open and repair” and “recover text from any file”.

They lie. I know rugs that don’t lie as much as Microsoft does.

So I have to start from scratch – all the articles, all the information, the layout, etc. – and hope I match the tone. I’ll do it as a “March” newsletter instead and hope for the best. I’m upset and disappointed because it was one of the best, merriest things I’d written in a long time, and would have generated a LOT of business.

Oh, yeah, and the mailing list I took six weeks to painstakingly put together – gone. AND the backup. I hadn’t run hard copies because I planned to keep copies of the final for my file, and, before I printed it, I was going to go over it all one last time.

What’s the point of making a back-up if it doesn’t actually BACK THINGS UP?

Damn Microsoft and damn Bill Gates even more, for heading a company that builds things to fail.

I re-wrote about a third of the newsletter last night. I figured I could use those hours productively instead of simply being upset. I’m getting there. I have to do some more things tonally. I THINK I have a good part of the mailing list written in longhand somewhere, if I can find it, so recreating it shouldn’t take the six weeks it took to create in the first place.

My friend who commented that looking at houses in bad weather’s supposed to be a good thing is absolutely right – I wouldn’t have minded tromping through them in the weather; unfortunately, I couldn’t get up to the area in which I’m looking because of the roads. For bad weather house-hunting, I carry a pair of slippers with me so I can leave my muddy boots on the doorstep and not tramp stuff through the house they so carefully cleaned so people can look at it. It’s tough on the seller in many ways to have people coming through the house – physically and emotionally – you never know if someone with horrible energy is going to show up and taint the place.

Lara tagged me for “What do you need to write?”

What I NEED to write is this:

Pen
Paper

That’s it. I am capable of writing anywhere, and I like to do first drafts in longhand (except for articles, which I find easier to do directly onto the computer).

In the best of all possible worlds, I LIKE to have a large desk, plenty of books around me, fresh flowers, and my little inspiring knick-knacks from here and there. I like to have music playing, sometimes, but if I’m writing fiction, it has to be instrumental only. Absolutely NO soundtracks or I start getting influenced by the piece for which the soundtrack was written. No lyrics, because they influence the dialogue. Sometimes, to get me into the mood for a character, I’ll play music I believe the character would play, but, when it comes down to the actual writing, it needs to be instrumental only. Usually some sort of jazz or jazz funk or Celtic or Nordic. Sometimes classical, if I’ve had a particularly stressful day.

When I’m writing non-fiction, I can listen to anything that strikes my fancy at that moment.

When I’m writing, I prefer to have the CD player on as opposed to the MP3. I like the sense of space in having the music fill the room. I use the MP3 if it’s noisy outside and the CD can’t cover it, or if I’m away from home and want to cut out noise or vibration.

To remind me of the sense of place, I like to have a bulletin board with photos of the location someplace where I can look up and get inspiration.

But I don’t NEED any of that. I need the pen and the paper, and then I drop down the well and live in the world of the piece.

So I tag Anita, Debra, and Rhian. What do you need when you write?

Tons to do today – as of Tuesday, I’m back fulltime on the show, and there will be little room for anything else. It’s difficult to spend the necessary (and, in this case , it is NECESSARY, not OPTIONAL) six hours a day on the writing business when I have to spend 14 hours at the theatre, but, for three weeks, that’s what I have to do.

I didn’t get any sewing done this week, which I’d hoped to do. I’m not going to stress about it, it’s not on a deadline. I’ll get it in when I can. The fabric’s not going anywhere – unless the cats drag it out of the bin and stash it.

Speaking of cats, Iris is playing with a ball that has a bell in it, chasing it up and down the living room. Although the tingling is slightly annoying (not a good pitch), it’s great to see her having so much fun with something so simple.

Did just a touch of work on Changeling this morning – I need t go back to the notes. Yesterday’s scene was unexpected and a happy surprise, but there are still a few points I need to hit. I wonder if I brought Thierry into the story too late. I have a feeling Changeling will need a good bit of restructuring in the rewrite. Well, that’s why there ARE rewrites – once it’s all out there in a first draft, I can move things around. If there’s nothing there in the first place, there’s nothing to move.

Devon

Published in: on February 24, 2007 at 9:30 am  Comments (7)  

February 23, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and stormy simultaneously

I just realized I hadn’t actually posted this – just written it!

Okay, how’s this for more evidence of our administration’s incompetence? At Congressional hearings recently, there are over EIGHT BILLION dollars IN CASH that was flown to Iraq that’s unaccounted for out of the TWELVE BILLION IN CASH sent over.

How did they send it over, do you ask? They packed it in bricks, mostly made up of $100 bills, each brick worth $400,000, loaded it onto palettes, and fork-lifted it onto planes headed for Iraq. It was approximately 363 TONS of CASH.

For which they can’t account.

I’ll tell you where it’s gone – funding the people who are killing our troops every day. Who are now using chlorine gas to kill children.

Meanwhile, at Building 18 of Walter Reed Medical Center, the injured vets are living in conditions worse than slumlords keep in urban areas. And the Pentagon “doesn’t know about it”. Yeah, right. And whose pocketing that cash, I’d like to know?

They can’t rebuild New Orleans – they can’t even distribute the money regular citizens contributed to help after Hurricane Katrina – but they can airlift 363 tons of CASH to Iraq and lose two thirds of it, while leaving troops in a military hospital on American soil in sub-human conditions, while allowing credit agencies to repossess the veterans’ houses, cars, etc.

Completely unacceptable.

You don’t believe me? CNN and The Times UK both have articles on this debacle. Brian Williams of NBC News has followed the Walter Reed story all week, and there have been dozens of stories over the past months about veterans losing everything because they came back injured and the government is CHARGING them for their medical care and then turning everything over to collection agencies that seize their homes and belongings. This kind of treatment after they’ve fought for the US. Those stories inspired my short story “Not My Vote”, which is currently making the rounds.

Prince Harry of the UK is going to fight in Iraq. The Bush twins –and every other child of age belonging to anyone in Congress – should have to go over there as well. It was correctly spoken a few weeks ago in that Congressional hearing – the majority of the people making the decisions about troops have no personal stake in it – none of their loved ones are going. If they believe so much in this war, their children should have to go and fight in it.

Worked on The Project for a bit, and on Changeling, and on some notes for a few other things, but I’m not really in a creative groove. I’m terrified I’ll lose what little ground I gain this week by being on the show full-time for nearly three weeks. I just have to tackle it one day at a time, and not worry so much. Bit by bit, word by word, right?

Read the Coward diaries, which, from a craft standpoint, are really fascinating. When I’d originally read them, back in the 1980’s, it was from a backstage standpoint, because working backstage was the focus of my life. Now, with the shift to the writing, I’m noticing both his process and his productivity, which are fascinating.

The Fred Stone lithograph of John Henry arrived (an early birthday present) and it’s beautiful! I’m so glad to have it. And the three books I ordered from Strand for The Project – I think they’ll make good train and backstage reading, even though I’ll have to take notes sometimes.

Of course, I’ve come up with another few I need from them.

I started the books I’m set to review, and, thankfully, they’re good. That’s always a concern – that someone asks you to read something and review it and then you don’t like it.

Had a phone meeting with a potential client on the coast far too late in the day for me, which meant my head was spinning with ideas and I couldn’t get to sleep. That’ll teach me!

Had a slow start this morning, although I hauled myself out of bed at a reasonable hour. Had plenty of errands to run – banking; post office (always a chore, since it’s only open at random hours now); bill paying; driving over to Larchmont to a store to get some shirts; hitting Pier 1 for a particular china pattern they no longer carry; getting on I-95 and driving 30 minutes to CT to the Staples there because the one a mere mile from my house never has anything I need; stopping at Greenwich Library to find some Large Print mysteries on the discard shelves that I can send to my grandmother (I found five); the pet store to get apple bitter for a friend and dry food for my little bossy ones; back home, unpacking everything; putting together Chaz’s package to go to Newcastle and two packages of books for my grandmother; going BACK to the post office and getting them all out; going to the drug store to pick up some essentials; finally coming home and saying, “enough already!”

I want to finish reading the books I’m reviewing, work on The Project some more, and get started on a proposal for the potential client. And I haven’t even checked the job boards yet.

Not to mention the fact that zero creative work was done today. So I’ll have to make up for that tomorrow. First thing.

I have to do my creative writing first thing in the morning. Anything else, and I’m ruined for the day.

I have an idea for a new play babbling around my brain, and a completely weird newspaper article about murdered clowns is starting something else percolating. We’ll see.

Today’s house-hunting trip was postponed because of predicted bad weather. Of course, the weather was barely spitting snow down here, but, from reports, it’s pretty bad up near the Cape, so I’m glad I didn’t head out. I have a feeling I won’t be able to do any house-hunting until my next three-week stint at the show is over.

Oxford sent their weekly letter about what else they’re cutting from the health plan. I swear, they’re beyond inadequate; they’re practically non-existent. It’s a health plan in name only.

I’m going to have a cup of tea and read a bit before getting back to work.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Devon

February 22, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
About to storm

Sylvia tagged me, so here it goes:

5 Reasons Why I Blog:

–I look at it as “morning coffee” with friends and colleagues—it helps give me structure, focus, and enjoyment in the day;
–dissecting my process makes me understand it better, and, through some of the insights of my friends and readers, understand myself better, which in turn, makes the work better;
–I get to meet wonderful people with whom I might never have crossed paths in real life; and, when we do cross paths in real life, it’s always been grand;
–helping fellow artists get their work out to a wider audience, and they do the same for me;
–it’s exercise, keeping the writing muscles limber, the way a runner trains. A writing career is a long marathon, and you need to stay in shape!

I’d also like to point out that the reasons I blog now are slightly different than I did when I started – it was more about getting my name out there and building an audience. Now, that’s a lovely side perk, but the actual reasons I keep at it are those above.

I’m tagging Colin, Ann, and Tammy!

Landline and cell phone down for most of the day; DSL working on and off; power flickering; no trains. It actually warmed up on Tuesday, then, that night, we had another ice storm, and everything’s gone kaplooey. Mercury Retrograde!

You’re never going to believe this one: the twins can turn on the humidifier. Yes, Iris and Violet, the cats, figured out how to turn on Horace (okay, that sounds vaguely naughty, but you know what I mean).

I came in the living room yesterday morning, wondering why he was on, since I hadn’t turned the power on when I came back from the theatre the night before. The room felt great, but the water was getting low, so I turned it off and began to take off the ears, unscrew the head, etc., to refill it.

Iris walked right up to the back and pushed her paw on the switch to turn it on.

I dropped the ears, I was so surprised.

I turned it back off, took the head in to the kitchen sink to refill it, brought it back out, and was putting it all back together when Violet wandered past. She did a double take, walked up to the humidifier and pushed the “on” button, then went back to what she was doing.

Well, I guess they told ME, didn’t they?

I wish I had the camera handy so I could give you guys photographic evidence.

Fortunately, since it’s a child’s model, it has a safety switch that automatically turns off once the water goes below a certain level. I may have to unplug it when I’m not home. I already have to unplug the toaster because Violet’s so fascinated with it.

It will be good for them when we move to a bigger space. They won’t be so contained, and maybe they won’t get into so much. Or am I dreaming?

Oh, and ALL THREE tried to steal the banana bread. They’re running circles around me, let me tell you! I told Iris she was lucky I loved them so much, and she gave me the feline equivalent of a raspberry.

Sigh.

The positive of all the wonky phone/power problems was that, since I couldn’t work much on electronic stuff, it was mostly a reading and resting day. Got quite a bit done, but in a relaxed day.

And today, I’m feeling better.

What’s so inspiring about Coward is how much he got done. Yes, he was dashing around to parties with actors and writers and royalty and traveling the world. But he also got up in the morning, and, if he needed to, he’d work from 6:30 in the morning until 5 or 6 at night on whatever he wrote. He also painted and composed. He’d often write all day, perform on Broadway at night, then do a cabaret act at midnight, get home at 3 AM and be back at his desk in the morning. This was in his 50s! The man had stamina as well as brilliance. And, he was smart enough not to do drugs, and to cut back on the cocktails and the cigarettes when he felt they interfered with the work. He called his “long mornings” of writing “sacrosanct”. Truly an inspiration.

So, on with the catch-up. The show’s extended me an extra week, so, for the next three weeks, I’ll be both tired and have to be VERY organized.

Another storm’s heading in, so the house-hunting trip today was postponed. I’m going to try to get as much done electronically before the storm hits, in case the power goes out.

Great morning’s work done on Changeling. I feel as though I’m getting back into it.

Devon

Chasing the Changeling – 26,592 words out of est. 45,000

Published in: on February 22, 2007 at 9:13 am  Comments (12)  

February 21, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold
Ash Wednesday

Wren Fallon’s poem “Simple”, an homage to poets Sharon Olds and Jackie Kay, is up on Circadian.

Hopefully, there will be a new post on the SDR blog later this morning, or early afternoon.

I tried to comment on the Blogger blogs yesterday and was told I wasn’t “allowed” to. So, sorry, my friends, I tried. Blogger seems not to want anyone to read/comment on blogs unless you upgrade/give your firstborn/only bow to Blogger.

Much happier with Firefox than with IE7. I changed the look of it so the tool bar is made out of red and green cats. I guess you had to be there. But it makes me happy.

I’ve managed to pick up an ear infection on top of everything else, so my left ear is blocked, I can’t hear and my balance is off. Last time I was in Edinburgh (with an ear infection), I stumbled into the wonderful Napier’s, they took a look at me, sold me a bottle of drops, I put some in my ear and – two hours later, I was fine. I’m going to see if I have anything left in that bottle.

I got in to the city early enough to shoot across 42nd St. and drop down 9th Avenue to 40th Street to Empire Coffee and Tea to get some more fresh coffee – and I met Artie on the street on the way – he was on his way to pick up cat food and cat litter! So we did my errand, we hung out at Metropets – where I acquired Elsa twelve years ago! – and then I shot back up to 51st St. and the theatre.

I was terribly unfocused during day work. Everything got done, mind you – but thank goodness there wasn’t a quiz!

Back on the train home and found an awesome backpack from the Sierra Club waiting for me – along with an enormous box containing two teeny tiny ink cartridges for my printer and an enormous box containing the even smaller flashcard for the camera.

I know, I know – “They have to put them in big boxes or the delivery services lose them” – hell, then SWITCH damn delivery services! You’re PAYING them to PAY ATTENTION to each and every package, for crying out loud! If it’s the size of an earring, they shouldn’t lose it! The amount of waste just appalls me. However, I use the boxes over and over and OVER again, so I guess I’m doing my part to make up for it.

A colleague of mine is raising money for two wonderful-sounding dance projects – one will take place in Pennsylvania and one is a special commission either in or from Findhorn, Scotland. I can’t contribute much, but I can throw a little bit of money her way – and I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel. Instead of donating to a “cause”, where you never really know where your money goes, and always worry it’s going to someone’s expense account rather than the purpose of the organization – this money goes directly into the project. There will be a choreographed piece of dance/art resulting from it – and that prospect just thrills me.

I’ll ask her if there’s some sort of web link or something, so you guys can see the result!

Searched the job boards. Found a local writing job that might be interesting – I’ll send them a query and see if we’re a good match.

Did some prep work on The Project, but it was one of those evenings where there was a definite law of diminishing return.

So I gave up by 9:30 and decided to read a book instead (Noel Coward’s diaries), wrapped up in bed, with cats, hot water bottle, earache, and all. Sometimes, you just want to read about someone else’s life in the theatre.

I overslept this morning, much to the cats’ dismay. I have to re-read the 100+ pages I have on Changeling. By not working on it for over a week while I was sick, I completely lost the thread of the story. The only way I can get it back is to re-read what I’ve got and get back into the world. It’s quite discouraging. But that’s what happens when one breaks rhythm – the umbilical cord between writer and Muse is fragile, and if the Muse feels neglected (even for a good reason), sometimes she snaps the thread.

Rescheduled meeting with potential client for this afternoon, so I hope it goes well. I need to get some work done on the Tumble re-vision and also read over Assumption of Right in preparation for the revisions. AND, I was asked to review two e-books, so I have to read them this week so that I can review them properly next week. AND, a friend showed me some exquisite books she found at an antiques store in Wisconsin, and I want to write about them for Biblio Paradise. AND finish up the next Lit Athlete column.

And here I am, frittering away a good portion of the morning with sleep! 😉 Well, I needed it.

Have a happy day! I’m glad I don’t have to go into the city today – my train line is down, and there’s no way I’d drive in.

Devon

February 20, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Mardi Gras
Sunny and a little warmer

I’d like to say I had a really productive day yesterday, but . . .

I caught up on some email stuff; I put gas in the car; I drove to Trader Joe’s to get cat food and a few other things; I went to CT and did 3 loads of laundry at my friend’s house; he hasn’t felt well lately, and his dog desperately needed some active play time, so I did that; I cooked us all a nice, big dinner; and I read the March issue of Vanity Fair.

I actually enjoy doing laundry – good thing, because it’s part of my work in the theatre. In fact, I’m so fussy about the way I like my laundry done that I don’t let anyone else near it! Although I’m grateful to have laundry in the building, hauling it up and down four flights of stairs is a drag, AND paying $1.75 per load to wash and at least $1/load to dry adds up. So, whenever possible, I haul it over to my friend’s place (only three flights of stairs to the car) and cook for him in return for letting me do laundry in a pleasant, clean environment.

I can’t wait to have my very own laundry room – you would not believe how many detailed sketches I’ve drawn – it’s not just going to be a laundry room – but a laundry OASIS. And yes, you’re all invited to bring your laundry over, throw it in, and we’ll relax with a glass of wine and some tapas while it sloshes around in the machines.

Today, I’m back to the theatre, just for day work, and then I can come back and relax.

I’m still feeling that adjustment bump between the theatre life and the writing life (what I consider my “real” life).

Oh, and the big thing I did was to take Artie’s advice and get Firefox. The IE7 upgrade that was forced on me was getting on my last nerve. Every page “could not be displayed” at least five or six times before I got it, and I was OVER it. I’d used Firefox when I stayed at Artie’s and it runs much more smoothly.

Got some work yesterday done on The Project (as soon as a name’s been chosen, I’ll let you know). I have to take some photos for it later this week.

This morning, I put in a batch of banana bread first thing, so it could start baking while I did my yoga. Yum! The entire apartment smells lovely.

Managed to ease back in to Changeling a bit. It still feels a bit odd, because of the time away, but I’m just going to push through. I’m now behind on my personal schedule for it, which is frustrating.

The phone consultation didn’t happen yesterday – typically Mercury Retrograde. Will give it another go tomorrow.

Now, to slather some butter on warm banana bread, and then head off to the theatre . . .

Devon

Chasing the Changeling — 25,592 words out of est. 45,000

The World Meter account was suspended again, so no wordbar for me today. Oh, well.

Published in: on February 20, 2007 at 9:04 am  Comments (12)  

February 19, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and BRRRR cold!

A slightly belated Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who celebrate it!

Sylvia C’s poem ‘inviting my muse” is over on Circadian.

There will be a new post later today over on Kemmyrk.

This will be a rather short post. I overslept (I needed it) and I’ve got a ton to get done today. It was supposed to be a day off, but because I fell so far behind in everything when I was sick, I’ve got to make it all up today.

AND I have a phone meeting with a potential new writing client in the early afternoon.

Matinee was fine yesterday; we celebrated a few birthdays and the fact that it was Sunday, and we could look forward to a day off. The Project is starting to take shape, and I have a few ideas to toss over to my editor this week. I’m going to try to write a month ahead, and keep to that schedule, so in the best of all possible worlds, I’m very organized, and when life gets in the way, at least I can keep up my commitment.

After the matinee, Barbara and I went over to The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station for a couple of drinks. The Campbell Apartment is a very ornately, richly decorated space that used to be leased by a rich businessman in the station. Thick carpets, deep chairs, an enormous fireplace with a safe in it, high ceilings with wooden painted beams, and only old-fashioned cocktails. We had a couple of Rob Roys and chatted.

It was supposed to be a meeting about her photography page on the DE site – which I think will work better if we do it as a subdomain.

But we never got to discussing the web page because there was so much other stuff about which to chat!

I got home around 9:30, ate a little, caught up on the mail. And I gave myself the luxury of getting to bed by 11, something I haven’t done in over two weeks. Ah, the joy of a matinee day, where you only have one show (unlike Wed. and Sat.) AND get home before 1 AM!

I have a ton of laundry to do, not to mention getting out a newsletter this week, working on my column, getting back to Changeling, working more on The Project, getting out some more short stories, and starting on the Assumption of Right edit. At work, we were also talking about The Fix-It Girl, and my colleagues are getting me excited about that piece again.

I feel a tad dry creatively, because the past couple of weeks have not allowed me any percolation time. This week, I will need to schedule in a few large patches of that – time where the creative process can just chug along. It’s easier to balance the business writing and the non-fiction work with the show schedule; but for fiction, I need more stretches of silence and solitude than I can get on an eight-show week. I’d never really figured that out before. So, while I’m doing shows, I can push the practical side of the work, but in the patches in between – that’s when I can let the creation process flower.

Re-reading Journal of a Solitude and reading the Martha Gellhorn bio helped me articulate that discovery.

And now, to the page (before heading to the laundry – the hamper is starting to regurgitate).

Devon

February 18, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Dark and cold

I’m actually posting this before I go to bed this morning, sleeping in, and turning around to take the train in for the matinee.

The shows were fine – nothing particularly frustrating; no particularly funny anecdote to share. I’m tired and tetchy, but today’s the last show before I have a week away, so it’s all good. And the situation’s perfectly pleasant – I just can’t spend that much time doing things that aren’t writing, that’s all. Not at this point in time.

I’m looking forward to getting back to the creative work on Monday. I miss those 1500 words firsts thing in the morning!

I stopped at the French bookstore in Rockefeller Center and picked up a French/English version of Molière’s Les Femmes Savantes and Alfred de Musset’s Les Caprices de Marianne. The latter was published by Bordas in 1964 and has stills from the stage production. When I’m trying to get back/get comfortable in a language, reading plays and/or magazines are easier than other things. With Les Femmes Savantes, the English is on one side and the French on the other, so I can cross-check myself.

Artie, Barbara, and I had a terrific dinner at Mantra, a new Asian fusion restaurant on Ninth Avenue, in the space that used to house our beloved OTB. The food was excellent, the presentation was beautiful, all in all, a good choice.

Tried to get some work done on The Project, but the second I opened the notebook, there were interruptions. It’s fine – I’m paid to be there paying attention, not work on other projects.

The train back was filled with drunken stupid people. Hard to concentrate.

I finished a book on the train that absolutely depressed me – I understand the motivation of one of the characters, but the choices don’t ring true to me in this day and age, and, overall, the book left me feeling blue. I don’t want to go to sleep feeling that way, so I need to counter it.

I started re-reading May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude, because the opening sentence has relevance to The Project. Well, I’m 67 pages into it again, and I guess I’m reading the whole thing. Solitude and A House by the Sea are my favorites of her journals. I don’t think we would have gotten along in person – she thrived and craved far too much personal drama – but her journals have a lot of fascinating information.

I haven’t written enough this week and it’s left me feeling fractured. I could have written the past few days, but I’m trying to let the work build up so that it flows better, and I’m trying to get back my stamina from being ill.

I’m hoping the matinee will go smoothly. I have plans after for a quick drink with a friend and then I come home and resume my creative life for a week, before doing another week-and-change theatre commitment. Somehow, it will all balance out.

Now, to bed, so that I can wake up with some energy to face the matinee.

Devon

February 17, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Diane, wonderful editor that she is, pointed out that the description “cat humidifier” made her wonder why I’d want to humidify a cat. Of course, the un-lazy description would be “cat-shaped humidifier”. And, of course, at this point, it’s been decided that the humidifier is a male tom cat-type and his name is Horace.

Of course, “erranding” didn’t work out the way I hoped, it being Mercury Retrograde and all, but I simply shrugged and plodded along.

I came back, got another pitch out, did some groundwork on The Project, realized I have a deadline looming for something else that I completely forgot about once I was sick, ordered some stuff online, etc., etc.

The great thing about having Horace here puff away is that, although he’s a cool steam humidifier, keeping it moist makes the place feel warmer. Even the wonderful Lilac potpourri I got from Aphrodesia about two weeks ago revived and the entire apartment smells lovely.

Came across some other books relevant to The Project by accident at Strand, so I ordered them. I also need to make a trip to the Upper East Side and visit Kitchen Arts and Letters – if you’ve never been to this place, check it out. It’s awesome.

My mom gave me a scare – I was trying to reach her and she wasn’t answering her cell phone (she’s on a dog sitting job). So, I called a neighbor and had the neighbor go over and check on her. Fortunately, my mom was fine, and had just put the phone aside and didn’t hear it. But getting her to keep the phone handy is always a struggle. She’s in her 80s, recovering from a major injury – come on, here! I swear, when we get the room, I’m getting her a dog and training the dog so he knows she is his primary responsibility. He’ll be a herding dog or something, to keep track of her.

Grabbed a new notebook at the bookstore for The Project – I need to write pages and pages to figure out what I’m actually going to say in print. There are so many directions here, and I have to figure out how to weave things together properly.

Show was fine; slightly frustrating due to the personnel situation, but nothing insurmountable. I’m almost done with the week, have a week away from the fray, and then I’m in for someone else, so it’ll be fine.

The Martha Gellhorn biography is wonderful.

Off to finish the “erranding” this morning, and then I’m heading in to the city for yet another 14-hour day. It may take me 20 minutes to wrap up to go out in the cold, but it’s worth it once I’m out there. That LL Bean coat really IS good for up to 35 below zero! Keeps me toasty on the walk to and from the theatre!

I’m taking The Project notebook with me today to see if I can get some work done on the train. April isn’t all that far away, you know!

Devon