Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I can’t believe it’s the end of the month.

I’m so tired I feel as though I’ve been hit by a truck. Monday, I should be able to get some rest.

I had an interesting dream last night: I dreamed that a colleague was rooting through my closet, giving away my clothes. When I said that those weren’t the ones I wanted to give away (because I liked them, wore them, etc.), she said, “I’m trying to help; you should be grateful.”

I think that encapsulates a lot of my frustrations there, but I’m interested in hearing your opinions!

And, let’s face it: Are any of these frustrations going to matter in a hundred years? No. Of course not. People now pay $120 bucks a pop to come see the little skit, and have a good time. I only have a few more months there, and there’s no reason to let the petty stuff get to me. There’s big stuff going on, where it makes sense to draw boundaries. But the petty stuff?

There are too many things in my life that matter. Let it go.

On the “let it go” front, I turned down a writing job yesterday for, certainly, more money than I’ve ever seen in one place, because it was a long-range campaign to promote something to which I am solidly opposed. Was it hard to turn down the money? Of course. However, how could I live with myself if I worked to, literally, seduce people towards a product that I believe (and studies have backed this up over the years) that’s dangerous? Just so I can pocket some cash? No, thanks.

On a more ironic note, I was approached to do some writing about golf. I know nothing about golf and it’s never particularly interested me, although I respect the fact that people are obsessed by it. Instead of writing coverage pieces, though, I’m going to write some destination pieces, which makes sense. Those are due in the next two weeks, along with all the other pieces scheduled.

I’m going to watch Race 6 of the America’s Cup Challenge before I go to the theatre (for a two show day). I’m excited, even though I’m exhausted. I think I have to put Races 3-6 in the article for next week, and put tomorrow’s Race 7 (and 8 & 9, if they happen) in an article for the following week. There’s too much information both to double-check thoroughly and to keep to a reasonable length by tomorrow night’s deadline.

I also have a couple of press releases to write in the coming week, a restaurant review, another article, and I have to do the half-year review of the GDRs (Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions, for those of you new to the site). I’ve got some serious time to put in on an admin level, and I need to excavate my desk, once again. I have a binder for the sailing info, and have to file the Draft info, the Triple Crown info, and update both the clip files and the CV. Once you let that stuff slide, it’s difficult to catch up, and you end up wasting time when you pitch for fresh work, because you’ve got to hunt for clips rather than just pull them out of the file or have them all on one disk for attachments.

Finished Archie Mayor’s The Scent of Evil and started The Dark Root. He’s such an excellent writer, and it’s interesting to read the books set in Vermont. I always like to read books well-set in a place with which I’m familiar.

I’d love to write some fiction against the backdrop of sailing. However, my protag would need to come at it the way I am – as new to the sport, and grow from book to book. Ideas are starting to tickle. They’ll probably need to percolate for a few months, and I’ll have to see if there’s anything else like it out there.


Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 6:40 am  Comments (5)  

Friday, June 29, 1007

Friday, June 29, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy, hazy, humid

Condolences to my friend BK Birch, for the loss of her dog. There are no words to make the loss of such a valued family member any easier.

Spooky update: the stray cat who was our guest during the last flood, then spirited way, then ran away from his new home was found, after two months. Supposedly, he’s in rough shape – I lent his owner a cat carrier (again) so he could take the cat to the vet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be okay.

I’m suffering from serious Flood Fatigue. Between the constant flooding and the developers crawling all over the building trying to un-home 100 families, it’s been a tough fight for the past two years. However, succumbing to the sometimes bone-crushing depression the fights bring on is not an option. It doesn’t get anything done. It’s also difficult to house-hunt when it’s too dangerous to leave the present premises unattended. I’m searching for a way to break the cycle; I have a few ideas, so it’s all down to trial and error. Unfortunately, I simply don’t have room to make errors.

On the Cup Challenge front, Emirates Team New Zealand lodged a protest against Alinghi after Race 4 because it is their belief Alinghi violated one of the rules. The press were downright gleeful (gave them something to do on a day without racing), and I spent several hours reading hundreds of pages of coverage. Some of it was quite entertaining; much of it made me roll my eyes. I’ll discuss it in more detail in the next FemmeFan article. In any case, the protest was reviewed and then dismissed. I’m sure conspiracy theorists will have a field day. I’m much more interested in the intent and the psychological politics of the whole thing than the actual protest.

One of the things I enjoy most about what I do (writing) is that I get to enter many worlds I might never get to experience otherwise. Whether it’s ice hockey or thoroughbred racing or sailing or theatre or writing a restaurant review or doing a profile of someone who’s made a positive difference – I’m dealing with intelligent, interesting, dedicated, skilled individuals. It makes the contrast between the vapid, self-styled celebrities and “Reality” television” even sharper.

Started background research for the profiles, and started sending out interview requests. Worked on the article that’s due next week for the other publication. Dealt with flood crap. Dealt with a migraine.

Got to the theatre; did the show. Many of the bodices of the costumes are boned in order to give a shape (a corset within the garment rather than a separate layer) and last night was the night for bones to fight their way out through fabric and jab singers and dancers in the ribs. Many pins with red ribbons as markers were put in for today’s stitching call!

Managed to catch the 11:10, and the train was close to being on time, so I got home a little after midnight. Thursday’s rains weren’t as bad as Wednesday’s, so we managed to avoid another flood.

Up early this morning to watch Race 5 of the Cup Challenge. What a race! New Zealand was aggressive at the start, but a tear in a sail compounded by the second sail going up getting tangled in the torn sail made for quite a dramatic day. I was astonished at how quickly NZ recovered (like when there’s a problem backstage – you have to drop it and move on, or you lose the act), and Alinghi beat them by only 19 seconds. Quite exciting.

So Alinghi’s won 3, New Zealand 2. Of course, I’d like to see it go the full nine races.

Ran some errands, and am now back to do an hour or two of article writing before heading back out to the theatre. The excitement of the race certainly perked up my whole day.

I’d like about a twenty minute nap before heading out, but somehow, I get the feeling that’s not going to happen.


PS to ME Ellis – Blogspot won’t let me comment on the blog, but I do still stop by – just can’t say anything! Thanks for coming by here – you’re always welcome to come and “talk” as long as you like!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Flash flood watch/hot/humid/rainy

Yes, we had another flood yesterday – the third flood in four months. If the various municipal agencies don’t stop TALKING and start DOING, there are going to be riots. People have had enough.

Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as the past two floods in March and April. The brook overflowed its banks, and I think there was only about two or three feet of water – instead of nine or ten. But again – no warning. How hard is it to push a damned button and have the sirens go off?

I was at the show, but fortunately, my mom was around and got the car out as the water rose on the street. She got it up to the train station (the highest point in our town) and sloshed back home. And, it wasn’t bad enough to lose power – yet. We have another round of storms coming through today.

I managed to get home, and ran into a friend who’s also a neighbor and managed to catch up. The downed trees were the biggest problem – about two blocks up the street, some poor person has a tree resting on his roof.

Three inches of rain fell in one hour.

Yesterday, I managed to see the America’s Cup Challenge Race 4 before I had to leave for the show. Very exciting race. The more I watch, the more fascinated I am with the balance the tacticians have to strike between concentrating on their own boat and trying to outthink and respond to what the other boat does. Alinghi won this race, so it’s now 2-2. That made me happy – because I want this Challenge to go the full nine races!

Shows were fine. We had some technical problems in the second show, with scenery not moving properly or not moving at all, which added some excitement. But it all worked out and we kept going.

A friend and I had dinner at Sosa Borella, the Argentinean place around the corner from the theatre. Excellent, as always.

I’m exhausted – the Flood Fatigue layers all the other exhaustion. But I need to get to work on those articles and also write up the races I’ve watched the past few days, so I can see where I need to do some more research, get a couple of quotes, et.. I think I’ll be able to watch/write about two more races before this article is due.

I also want to get some work done on Good Names and Tracking Medusa. The flood put the kybosh on City of Lost – there’s no way I can focus and push through 10K when I have to deal with yet more flood crap on the home front.

I need about two weeks where all I have to do is sleep and read good books. However, that’s not going to happen any time soon, so I’m going to have to deal. Show-wise, the schedule lightens up after this week, which will make the writing easier; but I also have to step up the house hunt.


Published in: on June 28, 2007 at 7:22 am  Comments (9)  

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hazy, hot, humid

I do not do well in this weather. I’m much more of a snow and ice girl than a heat and humidity girl.

Here are some articles for you to read:

“The Future of the NHL: Musings on the 2007 Draft”


“The 32nd America’s Cup Challenge: Races 1 and 2”


And, exciting news: remember that pitch I worked on for most of Monday, with a list of articles, towards a new publication that I like? Well, the editor emailed me yesterday – she wants ALL of them. ALL NINE ARTICLES. Woo-hoo!

Of course, now I have to write them. I’m working out a schedule with her now. Four of them are profiles of women who’ve achieved unique successes in their fields. I’m very excited.

One of the email accounts can’t receive mail today, for some reason – so if there’s a lag in getting back to you, I haven’t yet received the email, and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

I’m still debating Script Frenzy: Do I push to finish in order to finish, because I don’t want any more unfinished projects draining my energy? Or do I cut my losses on something that doesn’t work.

Stay tuned to learn the answer, because I don’t know it yet, either.

I missed watching Race 3 live yesterday. It was postponed for two hours due to weather conditions, and I couldn’t wait any longer before heading to the theatre. As angry as I am at company management right now, I made a commitment to the production for this week, and I will fulfill it and I will fulfill it graciously (even if it’s sometimes through gritted teeth). I will dot my own “i”s and cross my own “t”s and not respond in kind to that with which I disagree.

In any case, I managed to catch some of the video when I got home late that night and listen to the press conference. Emirates Team New Zealand won, and from what I gather, it was quite an exciting race. I’ll have to do some more research on it before I can write about it. Hopefully, today’s race will go off on time and I’ll be able to watch it live before heading to the matinee

Day work and the show were fine yesterday. People were glad to see me, glad I was back. From what I gather, they had a rocky time of it while I was off writing about the Draft and the Challenge with swings just learning the show. I’m trying very hard to enjoy the things I enjoy about the show these last few months I have with it, but my heart’s not in the work. I work extra hard to be conscientious, because I won’t take it out on my colleagues, but it’s time to move on. I want to slide gently out of the work when I find my new home

On the creative writing front – no work on City of Lost, Good Names, or Tracking Medusa yesterday, and there won’t be any today, since I’ll be watching the Challenge up until the last second I have to leave to catch my train. I plan to return to work on them tomorrow – and get started on those articles for the publication. I’m very excited about this opportunity.

And, I admit it – I’m hooked on the sailing races!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny, hazy, hot

I bought yarn yesterday. You can read all about it over on The Tactile Muse. It was a good way to relax – especially when a workman cut the wrong cable downstairs and the emergency lights and the fire alarms went off! Never a dull moment.

One of the reasons that the writing about sports events seems to hit a positive chord with people is that I take my sports very personally. I’m not interested in numbers on a piece of paper, and I don’t pry into personal lives. I’m interested in the dynamic of what makes a particular game/match/event work or not work. It’s about live beings (whether it’s players or sailors or horses) and it’s that interaction, which can’t always be predicted, that makes it interesting. You layer the skill along with personality, and you get an exciting cocktail.

So I don’t pretend to be a journalist. I’m someone who’s excited about whatever sport it is I’m covering, and I want to find a way to effectively communicate what I find interesting to the readers.

And, of course, plenty of seeds for fiction are planted along the way.

I was up far too early so that I could get something done before watching the next Cup Challenge Race. If I’m lucky, I’ll just squeak in to the theatre before call time, since the race runs past the time my usual train leaves. But, unless Metro North has problems again, I should still get there on time. And I’m not looking forward to the inevitable confrontation there about money.

I want to do one more polish on the Literary Athlete column before I send it. Before the race.

Colin makes a good point, over on Freedom from the Mundane. His Script Frenzy isn’t working, and therefore, he’s stopping. For him, it’s a waste of time and energy to turn out crap simply to meet a word count. Again, I’m pointing out that this event should never have set its criteria via word count in the first place, because that is not how professional scripts are created. And Colin’s right. But, of course, even though my script isn’t working either, I’m pushing forward. I want to complete it to complete it, and then I’ll have tried the process and never have to do it again. Because I don’t think the way this particular event is set up shores up the way I like to work on a play. I thought it would, since I like to write plays in tight, intense periods of time –but the strictures set up here hurt my process instead of helped it. Which is interesting, since it doesn’t hurt me during Nano at all. So, of course, instead of working on the script yesterday, I worried about it. That means my only hope is to write all of Act II on Thursday and Friday during the day, and I’m just not sure I can come up with 10K over 2 days when I’m working an 8 show B’way schedule.

Learning curve, that’s all.

And I finally got my pre-order in for the last Harry Potter. Those last few days of July will be interesting – silence throughout major chunks of the world, as people of all ages sit with their noses in the books.

Worked on a detailed pitch for the magazine per its request – keep your fingers crossed. It wouldn’t be a ton of money, but it’s a great publication and I could get some nice clips out of it. I need to spend some serious admin time next week updating my CV and my clip files – I’ve fallen far behind.

One of my favorite editors is leaving a company for which I’ve written for over a dozen years. I’m excited for her – she’s moving on to a great new opportunity – but one of the few reasons I pitched this year to them again was to get to work with her. So I guess this’ll be the last year I write for them. Of course, the work is with an eye on 2009, but still . . .

Too much to juggle right now, but I’m doing my best. I have to do this other work before the race, but hopefully, I can sneak in a little bit of work on Good Names this morning. And Gwen and Justin want to know when I’ll rejoin them in Tracking Medusa – because that’s the project that (outside of following the yacht races) really excites me right now. And I’m learning a lot right now that I can use when they’re on that yacht in the Mediterranean . . .

Julia – what great news about the Queen’s Plate race! Woo-hoo! I wish I’d been able to watch – maybe I can get the video somewhere. Thanks for letting me know.


Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 6:18 am  Comments (3)  

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday, June 26, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

It did not start out well.

I managed to get my hair cut first thing on Friday morning. And then, I went to the bank, to get my money for my trip. Only, the show – which pulls in a million dollars per week – hadn’t bothered to deposit my direct deposit. AGAIN. I had the receipt that payroll had gone in. But the money wasn’t released. AGAIN. This is aside from the fact that our pay day is on Thursday, and, by law, the money is supposed to be available on Thursday and is never available until Friday. Except on the weeks where they can’t be bothered to deposit it until Monday.

I was not amused. And I left a few stern messages making that very clear.

Both the law and the union contract make payment terms very clear, and I’m sick of the hit show, which can afford to pay people on time, deciding that payment dates are optional. I’m tired of their excuses and passing the buck. It needs to be fixed, and there need to be consequences when they continue to fuck up.

You know what the show’s response is? “If you don’t like it, don’t have direct deposit.” WTF????

Time to call in the union rep and the Department of Labor.

Why does EVERY effing thing have to be a fight? Why should I put in the work, the hours, and the pain if they’re not going to pay me on time as contracted?

I’ve had direct deposit with many organizations over the years, and this is the only time I’ve ever had a problem. And, of course, they are raking in tons of money.

Reworked some of Act I on City of Lost and this time, really did finish the act. Not happy with it. Not happy with the whole darned piece. I seriously doubt there’s anything salvageable in it. At this point, I’m trying to push through to salvage my ego. In order to get 20K, I have to go far beyond a logical page count/running time for a full-length play. That, Sylvia, is why it annoys me so much that Script Frenzy is being run by word count. Plays and screen plays are gauged by running time.

The problem is that I can’t write a play just to write a play. I have to write a play when it demands to be written – as a play.

The Columbus Blue Jackets ran a hell of a good draft, and they’re good hosts. Night and day from the way Nashville ran the ’03. I got to cheer for the guys I’d picked for my 5 Year Watch List – and, as I always do, added some additional players to the list. I’m going to try to get some interviews with them over the coming weeks and months, as well as catch up on my past years’ picks. I’ve been writing about hockey for five years now – can you believe it? And my first batch of draft picks are five years further into their careers – so I should do final interviews with them at the beginning of this season and wave bye-bye (though there are several to whom I’ll remain a loyal fan for as long as they play).

The America’s Cup Challenge began on Saturday morning, in Valencia. Since I was obviously not in Valencia, but covering it from Stateside, I was happy to have live stream video via computer.

At one point, I’m dealing with the minute-by-minute of the NHL Draft while still watching the Cup race on live stream video. My head was spinning.

I had to make sure that I didn’t mistakenly put Kyle Turris on a yacht instead of with the Phoenix Coyotes or suddenly announce that Brad Butterworth was the newest New York Ranger instead of skippering Alinghi.

I was even happier that I’d only had a single glass of wine at the very late after-first-round dinner or I would have gotten seasick simply watching the race onscreen. The water was a bit choppy.

Alinghi, the defending champion, won the first race by 35 seconds. However, on Day 2 of the races, Emirates Team New Zealand took over the lead and won that race by 28 seconds. Thrilling stuff, really! Next race is on Tuesday, and I can hardly wait. You’ll just have to read the article for the details (it should be out mid-week). I’m excited by the sport, and I want to track several teams over the next few years to see how they put together the next challenge.

Nothing like doing articles on the run. My head’s spinning. Two very different sports and two articles in three days – it was my own challenge, and I’m glad that I rose to it. I’m tired in a good way, but who knew that being a spectator could be so exhausting?

I have to admit, I’m getting addicted to the whole America’s Cup event. It’s fascinating. It’s beautiful, with the boats and the physical skill, but what I really find intriguing is the tactics. I want to learn more about the internal dynamics of putting something like this together.

I’ll be adding some blogs and links to my list at the right today and tomorrow regarding the Cup.

I thought I’d get ever so much reading and other writing done during this time. Ha! As you can see by the word counts below, that didn’t really happen. It was difficult to switch out of race yachting and ice hockey mode into the conniving of my characters in Reykjavik for City of Lost, the upcoming murder of the governess in 1903 New York in Good Names, or even the banter as Gwen and Justin figure out the secrets in Tracking Medusa.

A magazine asked me to pitch some ideas, so I need to get to work on that this week (the more writing work I book, the less time I have to spend at the show after this full week). I want to come up with some interesting ideas and hopefully they’ll hire me for more than one assignment.

I also have to polish my Literary Athlete column and get it off to my editor, before hitting City of Lost and trying to make a run down this final stretch. I said I’d do Script Frenzy, I’m going to hit 20K, dammit, even if I have to cut a lot of it later. I doubt I’ll do it again, though, unless they change the silliness of word count for running time

And, because of all the stresses here at the building and now, too, with payment problems at the show, I was in tears at the prospect of coming “home”. This no longer is home to me, and I have to get it together to settle myself someplace that IS home, MY home, where I can rebuild the life I want and deserve – the life built around writing and traveling. Not stuck dealing with people who have no respect for anyone else and go out of their way to cause harm. The friction between the two parts of my life is getting more intense, and it’s time to cut away what’s not working. Which means both the show and living in this building.


Good Names –29,012 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
29 / 100

City of Lost — 10,800 words out of 20,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 20

92 pages out of 120 pages

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
92 / 120

June 22, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Some solid work on City of Lost. I’m flying by the seat of my pants here, but I trust the characters to lead me true. Almost 6K yesterday, and I finished Act I. I can’t imagine how it can be 20K. Every time I think about the word count demand for a play (can you say “amateur hour”?), my teeth start to grind. But I’ll push on and see what we come up with. I was rather frustrated by the end of the day, but walking back to the train after the show, I had a few ideas which I think might help sort things out.

Read Philip R. Craig’s Vineyard Prey. Very good. I like his writing. I figured out the who, but it took me awhile to get the why.

A bit of work done on Good Names this morning. I’m trying to get as much done as possible.

Show was fine yesterday, but I’m glad to be away from it for awhile. Next week will be tough.

My presence online will be sporadic in the next few days. The NHL Draft starts tonight and the America’s Cup Challenge starts tomorrow – both of which I’m covering for FemmeFan. My schedule revolves around those schedules – and I have to shift everything else – the other writing I need to do – around that.


Good Names – 29,012 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
29 / 100

City of Lost – 9,812 words out of 20,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9 / 20
Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 7:56 am  Comments (3)  

June 21, 2007 — Summer Solstice

Thursday, June 21, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and warm
Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day and shortest night of the year. After today, which many mistakenly call “the first day” of Summer – it’s actually MIDsummer, the days start shortening, and the wheel begins its turn towards the dark half of the year.

Thanks so much for your support regarding the problems here in the building. In spite of my “itchy feet” and love of travel, I need a very secure home base. When that’s threatened, I go into warrior mode. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the better part of two years in that mode, and I have battle fatigue. Also, because the people with whom I’ve fought side by side for two years are equally fatigued, and they don’t want to believe that there are those who’ve switched sides (for money, of course) and don’t want to believe it’s all starting again, they simply ignore it and think it’ll go away. I’m being accused of being Cassandra, but you know what? She was RIGHT. And so am I. The emotional reality is that I’m deeply hurt that they’d pick the choice of ignorance rather than continue to fight for their homes, but the actual reality is that they owe me nothing – and, in the same vein, I owe them nothing. I need to do what’s best for me and my family. The choice of ignorance has never been what’s best, and I refuse it now. The challenge is to find the right place to live and not move in panic, which could land me in a worse spot than I am now. So it’s keeping up the guard on the home front, while trying to find a better situation. The stress of that is enormous, but that’s what the next few months will be like, until I can pull it off. It’s hard to go house-hunting when it’s not safe to leave the current home unattended.

Exhausted and achy. The track I’m currently doing on the show spends most of its time on the raked stage, which is hell on the body. So a whole different set of things hurt than do on some of the other tracks. Fortunately, I’m more on my own with this track, which is helpful, since I haven’t been particularly brilliant company lately.

Shows were fine, but I was glad to get out. Metro North, as usual, was a hassle.

A friend and I went out to dinner between shows, sitting outside at New World Grill. It was fun, but I ate too much and waddled through the second show.

I read a fantastic book over the past couple of days: Changeling by Yasmine Galenorn. As a story, it’s excellent. Reading it for structure as a writer was also a wonderful lesson – the depth to which she’s built the world of the story, the minutiae she knows (but doesn’t tell every detail – you just know SHE knows it, and it comes through in the story). The pace, the characters, the plot, the detail, the overall arcs were all great. I had two minor disagreements with it: the first is that a character that’s a potential romantic rival for the protagonist is tossed in late in the book only to be killed off in the big confrontation – it doesn’t matter as much as it should because we haven’t had the chance to know the character. It’s one of my problems as a writer, which is why I probably picked up on it – I don’t want to kill characters about which I care. And, since this is a book in a series, I wanted to know a little more about what happened to this point. Some indications are well-sprinkled throughout the book, but all I needed were about three or four more to feel like I was up to speed. Those are minor, minor things, and I bet if I wasn’t a writer, I wouldn’t have even picked up on them.

Her fantastic structure and world building made me think about my own work. I’ve built my world well in Shallid, but I’m still struggling in Chasing the Changeling. The biggest weakness in that book is that I haven’t figured out the world and its mythologies yet, and I need to do that in order for it to work.

First thing I have to do today is to finish up the report for Confidential Job #1 and get that off – it’s due today. Then, it’s back to the page. I’m going to keep the admin work to a minimum, if I can, and get some creative work done. There’s a lot on my plate for the next few days, and I’m trying to keep it all in balance, while still paying the bills.

Off to the theatre for a show tonight, and then no theatre until next week – the weekend is all about the NHL Draft and the America’s Cup Challenge.


Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 8:18 am  Comments (9)  

June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and hot

I’m better, finally. The acupuncture helped, a lot, although this practitioner used many more needles than my regular one does. But it got rid of the migraine, untwisted a lot of the knots, and I’m feeling better, both mentally and physically.

Of course, the workmen came to my mother’s apartment when management knew I’d be at work. Because they wanted to save $5 on running a cable, she now can’t answer her own door. And they think there won’t be consequences, the damned fools. Plus, the Evil Developer’s number one henchman has moved in to the building (for those of you who’ve read this long enough to remember “The Situation” that tore all our lives apart from November of 2005 to August of 2006). The majority of the residents can cover their ears and sing “la la la” and think “De Nial” is a river in Egypt, but I can see what’s going down. The greed involved in the whole situation is something to behold.

When the Karma Dogs arrive on the doorstep of some of these people involved – I really don’t want to be around. It’s going to get ugly.

In any case, at least I’m feeling well enough to do some planning and calculating, so that we’re not caught up in the same old b.s. as has been going on for the past two years.

You know it’s bad when I go into a bookstore and don’t buy any books!

I’m doing the prep for the articles I’ll be working on this weekend. I’m also going to take some other writing with me, and see if I can work on City of Lost, Good Names, and Tracking Medusa. I especially want to get back to the latter. It feels the best of anything I’ve written in a long time.

I don’t see how I can write 16,000 words in ten days to actually finish Script Frenzy – but, you never know. If I can have a good few days, I can do it. If I can write 50K in 20 days, I should be able to write 16K in 10, right?

Off to the theatre to do two shows today – still on my least favorite track. Oh, well. I said I’d do it to help out – I’m not going to whine about it.

I am going to try to get a little writing done. Tomorrow, I’ll have to put the headphones on. The noise and the dust and the general chaos are still out of control.


Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 7:24 am  Comments (7)  

June 19, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Partly sunny and HOT

Yesterday was a lost day. I had a particularly crippling migraine. Usually, I can push through. Yesterday, I couldn’t. I was ready to cut off my head just to feel better.

I managed to get the air conditioner in that morning. Plus, we waited ALL DAY for the intercom guys – who, of course, never showed up. Because it’s known that Monday is my day off from the theatre, and I made it clear that I am not going to tolerate the dumb ass behavior on their part, they’re waiting until today, when I have to go to work, and then they will bully my elderly mother into putting the intercom in a place where it basically makes it impossible for her to open her own door – all because it’s more convenient for them and the cheap labor they picked up somewhere instead of using people who know what they’re doing, who might actually do something correctly and logically. So, when I get home tonight and find that’s what they’ve done, I’m filing a complaint with the State. That’s why we have ETPA – to protect and advocate for tenants.

Anyway, most of the day was spent trying not to have my head explode.

Today I have day work and then, thank goodness, acupuncture. I’m in so much pain it’s ridiculous, and I’m sure the biggest trigger is the stress from the problems in the building.

Needless to say, absolutely no writing got done (even if I hadn’t had a migraine, the noise and the dirt and the chaos around here make it difficult if not impossible to work), and I’m very far behind on everything.

I did manage to finish the material for Confidential Job #1 on Sunday, on the train home from the show, so I can get that write-up off in the next day or two.

I’m upset and frustrated. And how can I get out to look at places to which to move when it’s not safe to leave the apartment unattended? It’s a vicious cycle, and if I need the State to come in and break it, that’s what I’ll do.

Off to the city – and prepared for a heck of a fight when I return home, migraine or no migraine.

Sorry there isn’t more about writing in today’s post – there’s certainly plenty of writing that needs to be done.


Published in: on June 19, 2007 at 6:32 am  Comments (11)  

June 17, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Happy Father’s Day to those of you who celebrate it!

Thanks for all the good wishes, everybody. Believe me, I want to get the heck out of this Dodge, and I’m working on it. Unfortunately (?), since I want it to be a single move, I can’t make it a panic move – I have to find the place where I want to be and then secure it. And the move itself is going to be massive – yet, in a way, I’m looking forward to it, because it’ll be so much better on the other side. Unfortunately, with both Jupiter AND Mercury Retrograde – the chances are I wouldn’t be able to find something with them retrograde and if I did, the Jupiter Retrograde (which means you lose stability and instead of expanding in areas of home and money, you contract) and the Mercury Retrograde (don’t buy big ticket items or sign contracts or you’ll be really, REALLY sorry) – the next few weeks don’t look so good!

And, of course, one should be prepared for travel delays during Mercury Retrograde and what am I doing? Travelling nearly the entire time for writing gigs.

It looks like this will be a particularly nasty MR, so I better batten down the hatches.

Julia mentioned the beauty of the music of Manon and the two lovely scenes – the bedroom pas de deux and the brother’s drunken revelry – the music and those scenes are worth the ticket price, definitely, but I have a hard time feeling sympathy for characters who don’t learn from their mistakes, and neither Manon nor her lover did. But yes, the piece itself is lovely, as is the music.

Yesterday, on the train into the city, we stopped at New Rochelle (as we do). A little kid got on the train, and the doors shut before his mother could step on. About twenty of us are screaming at the engineer (who was less than ten feet away from us) to stop, and for the conductor. They IGNORED us. So someone finally pulled the emergency brake. And the kid was reunited with his mother before the train left the station. Yet another incident where the incompetence of Metro North shines brightly. When twenty people are yelling,” Stop! Wait! Don’t pull out!” there’s probably a good reason, you dumbass.

Can you imagine how scared that kid and his mother were? The kid couldn’t have been more than six or seven. And the mother had two smaller kids in a stroller. What would have happened if they’d actually been separated, due to the stupidity of the Metro North crew? By the way, the bell that’s supposed to ring before the doors close – didn’t.

Both shows were fine. The person who set the show up has a very different thought process than I do, and I don’t follow her logic. But if I follow the notes, for the most part, I can get through it. There was an important move missing from the notes in the first act, which set up a domino effect for awhile, but we got through it and caught up. I fixed it in the notes so I wouldn’t make the same mistake in the second show, but then one of the labeled baskets wandered off somewhere in the second show, so I have to go searching for it when I get in today. Far too much basket ballet.

A friend and I went out to Ciro’s for dinner. The food was good, but a few too many tourists in the place for my taste.

Back for the matinee today, and then straight home. I need to actually put in the air conditioner tonight – it’s supposed to be hot tomorrow. I meant to do it a couple of weeks ago, but the temperatures never got as high as they predicted, so I didn’t.

I need to work on an article this morning before I leave, and maybe, maybe, get a bit of other writing done, although I’m so tired I doubt it. I was so exhausted when I got home at nearly one this morning from a two show day that I was ready to cry out of sheer fatigue. I fell into bed, and the cats nestled up with me and purred me to sleep.

I’m exhausted, mentally and physically, and I’m tired of two years of non-stop problems in this building. All people want to do is to be left alone to live their lives. That’s not too much to ask.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Hot and humid

Terrific couple of days, but came home to complete and utter chaos.

Newport was fascinating, and I learned ever so much. I know how different it feels to use a tiller or a wheel. I know the difference between a wood hull and a fiberglass one. I realized how enormous an actual sail is as it’s hoisted. I’m trying to cram in over 150 years of history. It’s frustrating, because so little was written recently. The weather was pretty blustery, which made it even more interesting.

The layers of Newport are interesting – the regular people who live and work there, who are friendly and helpful and very inclusive; the insulated and isolated super-rich; and the rude effing tourists who behave horribly. In Newport, the locals are still polite to rude tourists, whereas in NYC, they’ll ream your ass when you’re rude,

There’s so much information that my head is spinning, and I don’t know how I’ll distill it down for the article. I’ll have to find a way.

Lovely time at the Book Barn in Niantic – found some great books, and sat under a tree in a chair to read one for awhile, drinking coffee and playing with several of the place’s thirteen cats.

Came home tired, but happy – but that quickly eroded. The dirt, the noise, the debris are out of control. It’s been two months since the second flood and three months since the first. One expects some chaos in the clean up and rebuilding process, but not only are things getting worse instead of better, the landlords and workers are getting more and more heavy-handed, less communicative, and throwing their weight around. Uh, no. And then they’re using very loud power tools in the parking lot next door – the other building in the complex – and the noise echoes off all the walls and is even louder. And they kept it up until nearly ten o’clock at night. For no discernable reasons. Had they gone past ten, I would have called the cops because they’d have broken the city noise ordinance. Needless to say, I got a migraine.

In addition, they went in to replace the intercom at my neighbor’s – if you’ll remember, I told them they couldn’t come in while I was away. Not only did they not put it next to the door, where the intercom was before – and where it’s logical for an intercom to go – they ripped out part of her kitchen to put it in (let me add that, in the layout of these places, that is the FARTHEST point in these apartments from the door), didn’t move what was in the way, they made a mess and didn’t clean up after themselves. This is NOT acceptable. I shot off an angry missive to the tenants’ organization (since I’m merely a tenant now and not a representative). And, if they try to pull that s*** with me next week, I’ll toss them out by their belt loops. I’m not rearranging my kitchen so they can put in something that won’t work for me in that location. And, if the position of the intercoms needed to be changed, we needed to know BEFORE they invaded the various apartments. They certainly don’t have the right to come in and tear up whatever they want without the tenant’s prior knowledge or consent.

So instead of being able to work on my article and get back to City of Lost, I had to deal with this crap. I’m sick of it!

And today I have two shows on my least favorite track.

Yeah, Mercury’s Retrograde all right!

Thank goodness I had a couple of days away or I’d be in the hospital from the sheer stress of it all by now.


Published in: on June 16, 2007 at 6:23 am  Comments (6)  

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Dark of the Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Here’s my Belmont article: “A Flash of History”

What a wacky day yesterday turned out to be!

When I left for the train, I noticed that a notice had been posted downstairs, stating that the intercom system was being updated, and, as of today, access to our apartments was required for the next ten days, whether or not we were home.

Uh, no. First of all, you have to be a dumbass to word it identically to the demands made by the Evil Developer last year at this time and not think people would get upset. Secondly, under the Tenants’ Rights Laws of this state, we have the right to deny access for a non-emergency situation and set up a mutually convenient appointment. They can ask for a span of days, but we do not have to agree to it. AND we have the right to the names and credentials of those coming in to work in the apartment BEFORE they show up.

I was ready to hit the roof. I am NOT giving up my trip this week, not losing any more work because this building is a total disaster, and they are NOT coming in to the apartment without someone being there. Workman always break things unless you watch them non-stop, PLUS they’d be careless with the doors and the cats might wander out.

But I wrote a polite letter stating they were granted access at any point today or next week (I can have someone at the apartment at all times), but NOT Thursday or Friday. I’ll post a legal STOP notice on the door before I leave tomorrow, and use the Big Lock, for which they don’t have a key. Access for six days out of the requested nine is more than generous, and the state backs me up.

Then, I lost all patience with an acquaintance. This is someone who repeatedly engages in behaviour that is hurtful to others. When it is brought to her attention, instead of apologizing and trying to work out a compromise, she lists excuses. I’m sorry, but none of them give her the right cause harm. On top of that, she then escalates her behaviour towards those around her until they snap and fight back – then starts screaming and crying that they’re “abusing” her. What I can choose to do is not engage on any but the most perfunctory level. We’ve had the conversation five or six times about this, and a few weeks later, she acts like it never happened. Bluntly, at this point, I don’t give a damn why she’s trapped in this pattern – I refuse to be on the receiving end.

I have to cut short my trip to Newport because one of my friends on the show is having a family emergency, and I’m going to cover Saturday and Sunday for her, and possibly the first half of next week, before the NHL Draft. It’s my least favorite track on the show, but it’s an emergency, and I’ll deal.

A friend and I had talked about going to the ballet after day work tonight; the friend flaked, but I decided it’s been years since I went to the ballet, so I’d go anyway. I headed up to Lincoln Center, where ABT is performing at the Met. I got my ticket, then wandered around looking for a place to eat. I settled on Il Violino, not far from the complex, up on Amsterdam Avenue. It’s an older haunt, frequented by locals, not yuppies or tourists. I had two long-time theatre-going babes behind me, who grew up on the Lower East Side, but now live on the Upper East Side, with successful husbands nearing retirement, and using cars and drivers to get everywhere. They discussed all their friends and the bad marriages (“she didn’t even appreciate the condo he bought her in Florida”; “He bought her another mink so she’d stop whining”; “She’s not a loving person. She rates her husband’s worth by how many diamonds he buys her from Tiffany. Is it surprising he looks for affection elsewhere?”). It was hilarious. It was also one of the best meals I’ve had a in a long time – home-made tortellini stuffed with spinach and ricotta, in a cream sauce with salmon and asparagus. Heaven!

After, I wandered to the bookstore (note: it only rained whenever I set foot outside – as soon as I went into any building, it stopped). I bought a couple of yoga books on which I’d had my eye, and headed back to Lincoln Center. I tucked myself in to a covered niche for awhile, reading my book. The wind changed and I started to get wet anyway, so I went inside. The head usher suggested I come in before the house opened and go up to my tier to the bar – you should have seen the looks on the faces of the people who had to actually wait for the house to open!

What can I say? Theatre people recognize each other.

Somewhere along the way, there was some sort of reception, and, as I made my way up the red, circular staircase, a flute of champagne was pressed into my hand. More champagne! Not that I’m complaining!

So I had a glass of champagne while waiting for the house to open, looking out of the enormous arched windows of the Metropolitan Opera House onto the city. I forget how lovely it is (in spite of people moaning that Lincoln Center is boxy and soul-less). Working on Broadway shows, you tend to shy away from being in another theatre on your day off. But the Met is gorgeous. And offers affordable tickets which still have great views.

The ballet was ABT’s Manon, which I had never seen. The sets, costumes, and most of the dance were beautiful. The scheduled lead was sick, so Julie Kent took over, and was exquisite. She’s so fluid and her lines are gorgeous. I thought the corps was sloppy. First, I thought maybe it was choreographed so some dancers would be off the beat, but the more I watched, the more I realized it was just plain sloppy. That’s a disappointment. Everyone has an off day once in awhile, but for the majority of the corps to be that far off all together – no.

As beautiful as it was, as the ballet wore on, I mentally nicknamed it Moron. I found it hard to have any sympathy for the lead characters – three hours watching bad, destructive choices annoys me. I didn’t find their story tragic – I felt the characters had zero learning curve and weren’t very bright. And I quickly lost sympathy for them, as much as I enjoyed the beauty of the actual dancers.

As we exited the theatre, sirens blazed everywhere. All the way down the street, as far as the eye could see, were police cars, sirens screaming. More and more joined them. I didn’t know what it was about, but it couldn’t be good. I ducked back into the Met, and bolted down the stairs to the underground tunnels. I popped up in Avery Fisher Hall like a prairie dog, and made my way to the side exit, as far from the commotion as possible. For all I knew, they would lock down Lincoln Center, and I wasn’t about to be caught in it. I sauntered across the street – very important, head up, New York Woman on the move. If you go with the instincts and try to hurry by with your head down, someone’s going to wonder what you’re up to. I slipped into a crowd of people exiting a restaurant and moved down a few blocks with them (hard to blend in when you’re wearing turquoise). I abandoned them and shot east to skirt Central Park, go along Central Park South, through the yuppie cocaine deals going down at the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel, and down Fifth Avenue until I could cut across to Grand Central Station. I made it from Lincoln Center to Grand Central in 33 minutes on foot – which, if you know Manhattan, is pretty fast.

And you know what? NOTHING on the news. NOTHING. I’m sorry, but several dozen police cars blocking a street only two blocks from the ABC News station should warrant a little bit of coverage.

Got on the train with a crazy woman and her cat – the cat was not amused; she was fighting on her cell phone with the boyfriend, swearing in front of the nine year old seated across from us, which I thought was inappropriate. She was obviously in love with the drama of it all. If I was that annoyed, I wouldn’t keep picking up the phone every time he called, keep getting into it, and then letting him hang up on me. I’d have turned off the damn phone and called it a day. She kept hauling the cat out of the carrier and I was afraid he’d dart out when the doors opened at a stop. I’m sure she adores her cat, but she made consistently stupid choices about his safety. When I got off at my stop, he glared at me like, “How can you leave me here?”

Good morning’s work on Good Names.

I need to finish prepping for the trip, and then work on City of Lost – or I’ll lose it and the opportunity to complete Script Frenzy. And you all know I don’t like to lose.

I’ll be off line for a few days. I’ll check in when I get back.


Good Names – 28,387 words out of est. 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
28 / 100
Published in: on June 13, 2007 at 9:09 am  Comments (12)