Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
No idea about the weather – it’s still dark

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. We did, and this is the first morning in a long time where I woke up, raring to go. Of course, it was at 5:30, a little earlier than usual, but hey, might as well get an early start!

I got quite a bit cleared off my desk on Christmas Eve. I only worked an hour longer than planned, and shut everything down by 4 PM. The office is closed until the New Year, and everything simply has to wait until then.

I can’t tell you what a difference it made not to work this holiday. For over twenty years, I had a show to work either on the Eve or the Day; in the early years on both. Then, once I stopped full-time work and did part-time, I had the constant stress of being on call and the possibility that I could get called to swing at the last minute. This year, I was free of all that, and the level of relaxation made all the difference in the world.

The office was closed, and that was it. Yes, some things for which I’d set deadlines and asked did not arrive before I shut down for the week – although nothing was given less than a 10 day lead time. And you know what? It’s not my problem. Now it has to wait until 2008!

“Disorganization on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

Not unless you’re paying Triple.

I met my own outgoing deadlines, and that was the important thing, getting out material for Confidential Job #1, doing some work on Confidential Job #2, preparing the material and uploading it to appear tomorrow and Friday on Biblio Paradise, etc., etc. I hope you’ll stop by A Biblio Paradise tomorrow and Friday to visit with author Cat Muldoon.

I cooked a lot, ate a lot, celebrated at lot. One of my favorite gifts came from Elfboy, who tracked down the biography of Washington Irving that came out early in 2007, and which I hadn’t been able to find. It’s terrific, and hard to put down. It was nice and quiet in the building – I’m the only one nutty enough to cook a massive meal in our tiny kitchens, so it’s all good. The cats were funny and, all in all, it was a warm, relaxing couple of days filled with food, friends, family, and happiness.

I didn’t do any writing, which was just fine. It gave the material time to percolate.

I returned to Earth Bride this morning, working on the wedding reception scene. Unfortunately, I had a low word count and have to go back and check some of the stuff I set up in previous chapters – I think I need to do a character tracking sheet, because I set up some intricate relationships that are now going to come into play here and into the fourth section of the book, and I want to make sure I have everyone sorted out properly.

I’m about to get back to work on Hex Breaker, and see where I stand with that. Over the holidays, I didn’t want to deal with curses, etc. I have to say, I was disappointed at the dearth of fun holiday movies on TV. It was mostly about death and cruelty.

So I didn’t watch much TV.

I have thank you notes and other correspondence to deal with today, some errands to run, etc., but, all in all, I’m looking forward to a few days concentrated on my own writing.

I hope you had a lovely time. I hope you have a lovely week.

I’m working on those GDRS – not sure if I’ll post the year’s wrap-up over the weekend or on the 31st, before I go on retreat. I did lots of contemplative work the past few days. And worked out! I made some adjustments in my weight training – different weights for different exercises – and it’s made a big difference. I’m hoping to get back on track with my evening workouts – I’ve been good about the daily yoga, but I want to up the meditation.

I join the ranks of the uninsured in less than a week, and I’m not looking forward to it. Although this year, thanks to the way our union screwed us, the insurance has been more in name only than anything else, it was still in name. As of the first of the year, I don’t even have that.

That, for me, is the biggest issue in deciding for whom I will vote next year. Who has not only the best health care plan, but the one most likely to be implemented? I agree – the insurance companies need to be dismantled. The fact that “investors” make a profit off of people’s illness is disgusting. The fact that insurance companies make billion dollar profits by refusing people health care is also disgusting. Give investors back the money they initially put into the companies (they’ve made plenty of profits over the years), call them what they are, which is “unethical”, and change the entire way the industry is run. Profit should not be made from illness. Period.

I’ve heard ideas from four candidates about restructuring the health care industry. I need to do more research in each and see which plan I think will work the best, overall. And that will be the biggest part of my voting decision.

There are definitely other factors, but the health care issue is my number one priority.

And I haven’t decided for whom to vote yet. I’m not aligned with a political party. I make my decision based on who I think will represent ME, my issues and concerns most effectively. Under whose regime is my life most likely to improve? Because if my life improves, so will the majority of people’s in this country. And that’s what we need to work towards.

I mean, come on, two and a half years after Katrina, and look at what a bad state New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still in! Where did all the money all of us raised and gave to various organizations go? It sure didn’t go to the people who needed it. Where is it? I want to see the books! If it wasn’t for individuals like Harry Connick, Jr. and Brad Pitt and organizations like Hands On and Habitat for Humanity, the whole area would still be in rubble.

It’s a reflection of our government. And it has to be corrected. We went from a surplus to the worst debt in this country’s history; we’re involved in a war; and the top execs in companies are getting away with, sometimes literally, murder. Certainly the murder of the middle class – the people who actually get things done, come up with new ideas, and create progress in any economy. It all trickles down from the top. We either have to vote out those who are corrupt next year, or, a few years down the road, we will be in yet another revolution on our own soil. I’d like to think there are more effective and less violent ways to effect change.

But humans never learn from history, do they? The corrupt remain corrupt, most people are too lazy and apathetic to do anything but complain, and then it hits a point of explosion and all starts over. It would be nice to think humans were capable of evolution, but I’m starting to wonder! It’s interesting to see how many of the concerns in Washington Irving’s time (the early 1800’s) are so similar to what we face now.

On that happy note (;)), it’s back to Hex Breaker and my errands.


Earth Bride – 116,692 words out of est. 120,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
116 / 120

Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Published in: on December 26, 2007 at 7:34 am  Comments (7)  


  1. Devon,

    I work in the health care industry and I have been a political activist for years. You would think that would mean that I would pore over the minutiae in the various candidates proposals.


    In fact, I have not looked at them at all. Why? Because I am well aware of exactly how the legislative process works, and I know that what eventually comes out may not bear much resemblance of what it looked like going in. It is the old saying of “there are two things you never want to see being made: sausage and legislation.”

    It does not matter which candidate has the best Ten Point Plan, because ultimately it will not be what passes. If anything passes.

    Instead, I am looking at how the candidates approach problems and their experience at building consensus.

    Barack Obama to me has the best experience at bringing people together to address problems and creating progress toward solutions.

    His years as a community organizer was instrumental in developing his process of making sure that everyone who had a stake in the game was allowed to “sit at the table” and participate in determining the outcome.



    Loretta Augustine-Herron, a member of the DCP board that hired him, remembers him as someone who always followed the high road. “You’ve got to do it right,” she recalls him insisting. “Be open with the issues. Include the community instead of going behind the community’s back–and he would include people we didn’t like sometimes. You’ve got to bring people together. If you exclude people, you’re only weakening yourself. If you meet behind doors and make decisions for them, they’ll never take ownership of the issue.”

    Obama has been called naive by some for suggesting that insurance companies and pharmaceuticals be included in determining how to change health care in the country. Honestly, if they are not included then they will put a considerable amount of their money in lobbying campaigns to kill the bill.

    Just like they did when the Clintons tried to overhaul health care in 1993.

    It is also important to remember that any plan will need at least a majority of the 435 members of the House and 60 members of the Senate. (To achieve cloture and not the mere 51 votes for passage.)

    That’s a lot of consensus building.

    Barack has developed a reputation of working with people of all ideological stripes from his community organizing days, his stint as president of Harvard’s Law Review, and his terms in the Illinois State Senate both in the minority and majority.

    I recommend reading pages 57-59 in his book The Audacity of Hope to see an anecdote of how he worked diligently on a piece of legislation regarding videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital crimes. The bill was given no chance of passage, but by the time he finished working with all parties who had originally opposed the bill – it passed unanimously in the senate and signed into law.

    Obama was elected as president of the Harvard Law Review in large part due to the votes and support by conservatives. Once their candidates were all eliminated in the balloting process, they sided with him. That is because they thought that he was the only candidate left in the running who would be likely to give their opinions a fair hearing.

    He did, and he was criticized by many liberals who had hoped that having a black at the helm would “shake things up.” Instead he wanted the journal to reflect the full diversity of legal opinion within Harvard.

    I look at his candidacy and see someone who wants to be president of all the people of this country and not just a segment that represents an ideological base.

    I think he will help to heal the partisan wounds that have afflicted this country for so long and help restore our international standing.

    I support Barack Obama for president. I hope my comments will help to give you some food for thought.


    P.S. I also like the idea of Obama’s experience as being a Constitutional law professor. Having someone with respect versus contempt for the Constitution is something that resonates strongly with me.

  2. Devon, I so agree with you about the health care industry, and Linda, your comment is illuminating. You’re right about how what goes in is never what comes out. I’ve long thought the profit motive needs to be taken out of the health care insurance industry. This recent tragedy involving Cigna and the young woman who died is a case in point. I know health care insurance companies are not charities–that’s why a systemic change is badly needed. A human life should not be subject to some corporation’s bottom line, and these companies and their shareholders should not be allowed to profit from human misery. debra

  3. Here’s what bothers me – that we need insurance at all. Health care should be more affordable, period. My husband’s staph infection over the summer cost us, all total, (hospital, doctors, tests, medicine) $100,000. The three week stay in the hospital alone was $45,000. COME ON. And here’s another thing. If they know you don’t have insurance (which hubby didn’t), they don’t charge you the full price. If you DO have insurance, they charge as much as allowed.

    The entire system is corrupt – from the top down.

  4. Oh, BTW, glad you had a nice, relaxing Christmas! We did, as well. 🙂

  5. I disagree with the notion that insurance companies should be dismantled. America is a capitalistic society, and we want the country to continue to be as it is. However, I like the idea of the government competing with the insurance companies in the health care business — that would lower costs and increase benefits.

    I also believe that any health care plan that does not cover everyone is just a ploy to maintain the status quo. I like Obama, but his plan is insufficient; he is also politically naive. Bill Clinton paid dearly for his inexperience early in his presidency. The situation now is much graver — Hillary is the only person who can get healthcare reforms implemented and passed.

  6. Having been on the inside and watching the Clinton health care campaign unravel (small businesses aren’t imnportant – I heard that said), and seeing the compromises that were being made – well, I’m for Obama. Because I’ve been an organizer (20 years)and I can say first hand that a good organizer knows where the experts are and thus doesn’t have to know the nuances of every issue – otherwise how would you ever organize? A good organizer makes the space for others to become empowered (no, one does NOT “empower” another person) and thus things move along by people who come to believe that their actions actually make a difference (because they do). Hillary is a traditional politician and she voted for the way in Iraq. As much as it kills me not to be able to get behind the first woman who’s ever had a chance to be president, I cannot support her.

    Meanwhile, Devon, re holiday movies: I so wanted to see Scrooged! and could not find it anywhere!

    Have an amazing New Year!

  7. You’re right, something needs to be done about Healthcare. I won’t go into my opinions because others have already expressed my same thoughts more eloquetnly(sp) than I could.
    NOW, that said.
    I am glad you “shut down the office”! A break is a wonderful thing and I am sure made all the difference in your Holiday experience.
    You’re also right about the Holiday movies this year, what the heck happened to the fun, light-hearted Holiday movies? *g*

    Have a good day and enjoy your week!

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