October 12, 2007

October 12, 2007
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
No idea; it’s still dark, it’s about 1:30 in the morning

So, it wasn’t even retrograde yesterday and I was already f—ked!

One of the publications, for whom I turned out quite a few articles in the past few weeks is now saying that I “misunderstood” the rate and it’s really less. Um, no, we talked about the rate and I was never told that different articles were paid at different rates or I would have said “no.” I want my money, and I don’t want to work for them again. Or, if I do, we renegotiate terms, and that’s what I told them. It’s a shame, because it was a fun gig. But, had the rate they want to pay me been the rate in the ad, I wouldn’t have even bothered to answer it.

By the time I got home, there were promises to pay, and a line saying, “If we don’t use you for January, February, or March, it’s not personal; we’re trying to cut costs.” Uh, if you don’t meet my terms, you won’t be using me those months or any others, because I’m not doing the work! Some always try to get in the last word, you know?

So goes the life of a freelance writer.

And it always feels like such a body blow when they try to screw you. So you have to step back, take a deep breath, remind yourself it’s business and respond in kind.

I’m in the process of adopting Nano Newbies for November. Shall I call them N3s? I figured, fuck it, I want to do Nano again, I enjoy working with the newbies, if I have to bag it to move, then that’s what I do, but why cut myself off from it before I know what November will bring? It will bring freedom in some areas, stresses in others, but why assume Nano’s a no-go?

And then I went to the train to begin my trip to the theatre and my life turned into something out of a Janet Evanovich novel.

First of all, it was pouring rain. I had to move the car, because the street was already flooding, although the brook held. Then, I’m standing there on the platform, in my long black trench, looking like a reject from The Lost Boys, waiting for my late train, wallowing in “poor me-isms”. The train from NYC pulls up on the other platform. I see Mr. Chivalry get off, from the other day – the guy who lent me his suit jacket when I was cold. He spotted me and started across the overpass to my side of the train tracks. My train pulled up. I got on; he sprinted the last part of the way, down the steps, and got on the train, sitting next to me! I was surprised, to say the least.

We’ve barely pulled out of the station, and a face pops up from the seat in front – narrow little face framed in curly brown hair with big brown eyes. For a minute, I thought it was an elf, but in reality, it was a 14 year old boy who said, “I know you.”

“Yeah, right.”

He told me my name, and then he said, “You went to school with my dad.”

“Who’s your dad?”

He told me, and it was a guy I’d gone to school with, in both elementary and high school. “He had a really big crush on you.”

“No, he didn’t.”

“He did.”

“Trust me. I was there. He didn’t.”

“He has a scrapbook of your writing, all the way back to when you wrote for The Chronicle and Garnet and Black.”

(The former was the local paper; the latter the high school paper, both of which contained my articles).

I found this a little weird, to say the least. And then the kid’s going, “And I read your stuff, too, especially about horses.”

“You don’t even know the names I use.”

“Do so.” And he reeled off about half of them. I’d have been really embarrassed if he’d known any of the erotica ones! Then he says, “You have to be my godmother.”


“I’m fourteen. My dad’s divorced and my mom’s not around. I’m at the age where I need a strong female role model in my life.”

“I could so kick your ass.”

“I know. That’s why you’re a great role model.”

“You are so full of it.” But I have to admit, he was pretty funny.

Then, he launches into a whole social justice monologue – that seems to be his passion in life. He got off a few stops down, still chattering a mile a minute.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chivalry’s watching all this like we’re some weird sort of science experiment. Then, Mr. Chivalry and I finally get to talk without the interruption of a teenaged elf boy. He’s at a personal crossroads; I’m at so many crossroads there aren’t even signposts. I told him to trust his gut. His head and heart will take him on the most complicated path, but his gut will steer him true.

So we get to Grand Central Station, and, thanks to my Lost Boys trench, I’m pulled over to get my bag searched (but I got to play with the bomb-sniffing dog). And they pull my huge pliers out of my bag and want to know why I’m carrying them around.

“I dress flying monkeys for a living.”


I spoke very slowly and clearly, as though I was speaking to the intellectually challenged. “I. Dress. Flying Monkeys. For a living.”

“Uh –“

Meanwhile, the bomb-sniffing dog is wagging his tail and gazing at me adoringly. So they let me go.

We get out of the station and there are film trucks all over, and it turns out I know one of the actors from something else I worked on a couple of years ago, and we joke around for a bit until we go on our merry way. Meanwhile, Mr. Chivalry’s looking at me like I’m some sort of space alien and I say, “Welcome to my freaking life.”

Somehow, even though he has my number, I seriously doubt I’ll be hearing from him.

I was exhausted before I ever reached the theatre.

Got to the show, got through the show, and that’s all I have to say about that. I was trailing, but it’s not with the actor with whom I’ll actually work next week, so there will be plenty I don’t know. Whatever. Costume Imp gave me a thorough talking-to the other day and he’s right, and it’s helped clarify some things. Kick a few signposts, so to speak.

I missed the 11:10 train by ONE MINUTE – Mercury Retrograde – so I got home much later than I wanted, but, oh well.

I have to work on conference stuff today, and maybe, just maybe, get the Samhain decorations up. I bought a pumpkin the other day. Now I have to decorate it.

Downstairs Neighbor’s back to running the television at full blast all night long. If I was a different type of person, I’d cut his cable line.

Hmm, the Loving Kindness Meditation doesn’t seem to be working. You think?

Let’s just say I’ve upgraded from depression to melancholy.

I’m going to try to get some sleep now, and get up early enough to get things done later today.



  1. Depression to melancholy is good. Mr Chivalry is even better. New Godson was brilliant (if you put that in a work of fiction they’d pass it off as unbelievable). And, as I have no such qualms, I’d cut his cable … in fact, I’ll nip over right now and do it.

  2. I’d cut his cable too. Or get Diane to stick pins in him. Things happen to people she doesn’t like…
    And keep us up to date on Mr Chivalry!

  3. You had me ROLLING on the floor with this post! Your life is at the very least, not boring!!! 😀

    I’m impressed Mr. Chivalry ran you down like that. Hmmm…..

    Get all your Halloween decorations up! That cheered me up. It feels festive and holiday-ey around here now! And warm. There’s something about Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations (pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales, etc) that is just…inviting. Maybe that will help with the Melancholy…


  4. Okay, I have to say it. Love this post. Really. The Chivalrous dude, the wanna-be Godson and the Bomb sniffing dog are all great. You’re right, it did sound as though it were a Janet Evanovich book.
    But, HUGS on it all. And I am still sending good thoughts and prayers.

  5. LOL! What a mostly delightful post. 🙂

    As for Obnoxious Neighbor Dude, I’d cut his cable, too.

  6. Devon, I didn’t want to laugh, but you had a humorous day. I would have loved to see the expression on their face when you said you dressed flying monkeys. Too darn funny.

    I hope you had a wonderful Saturday and a good weekend. We’re back to our fall temps.

  7. That was a great post! Interesting things do seem to happen to you, Devon. I love your life.

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