Friday, November 13, 2009


Friday, November 13, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, raw, cold
Friday the 13th!

Woo-hoo! It’s Friday the 13th, always a good luck day for me.

I’ve got a post up on Sole Struck Fashions about “Holiday Prep Work” and a post up on Kemmyrk about “Daily Chakra Cleansing”. Stop by and drop a comment!

Do I even remember what I did yesterday? Hmm, I wrote, always a good thing. The Christmas story is coming along very well. I have to keep stopping to research, since, although it’s set in a fictional town (inspired by Saratoga and the Adelphi Hotel), it’s in a real time period.

I dashed to Greenwich to put something into my safe deposit box. I stopped at the library sale on the way back and picked up some interesting books. One, that I got on a whim, is a biography of Marjorie Merriweather Post. Her father, CW Post, was the cereal giant and invented things like Postum (shout out to Lara). Not only is the book exceptionally well written, it contains social history of the period in which I’m writing, and even mentions Saratoga!

Seshat, the goddess of libraries and scribes, was certainly looking out for me!

Back to the page for a couple of hours, and then I head to the site job. it’s my favorite site, so I’m really looking forward to it. The work there is fun, and I also have quiet time to work on my own writing and reading.

I probably won’t blog tomorrow, but I’ll check in on Sunday, and then, while I’m in DC, there will be various this-and-that posts — I’ve got articles going up at various sites while I’m gone. I’m supposed to have wi-fi in the hotel room, and I’m lugging the laptop with me, so I’ll try to blog from DC.

My goal this weekend is to finish the first draft of the Christmas story so I can edit in on the bus to and from DC and then finish the design and get it to the printer before I leave for Maine. I also want to do some more work on “Digging” — it’s coming along decently. I’m thrilled that so many of you are enjoying it!

I’ve got some business correspondence to get out today before I leave for the site, and a trip to the post office — hopefully it will be open; otherwise, I’ll have to make a detour to another town on the way to site.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 12, 2009


Thursday, November 12, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I’d only planned to be out for about an hour. It was six hours before I got home. We went to Trader Joe’s, to stock up. We went to one of my favorite go-to stores in Larchmont, got there early, and wandered around the block, enjoying all the small shops and speciality food stores in the area — really great stuff. The go-to didn’t have my skirt — or anything else. Stopped at a few other stores. Nothing — although I did pick u some lovely glass ornaments. Kohl’s — a store I can’t stand but every once in awhile can find something basic. Nothing. The one here is just as rude and filthy as ever. On a whim, we went to White Plains — Target included. Nothing. Nordstrom Rack. I’ve never found anything I liked at Nordstrom Rack, so I could have skipped it. Nothing except a bunch of sick, snotty, crying children spewing germs all over the merchandise while their mothers ignored them to shop. I’m sorry, but especially in the era of H1N1, when you have a kid in the top risk category and the kid is sick — STAY HOME! It’s not fair to the kid to drag him around, and it’s not fair to put others at risk.

Had a lovely lunch at Legal Seafoods. Tried TJ Maxx — nothing. Stopped in at Christmas Tree Shops — packed, merchandise all over the floor, dirty, generally gross. The one in Hyannis is much nicer.

Didn’t make it to Macy’s or JP Penny. Had HAD it. I looked at Land’s End online – no luck. No luck at J. Crew or Gap or Banana Republic, either.

I’m pulling out the pattern books and also going through my patterns to see what I have for skirt patterns and fabric. There’s no way I can make something in time for Thanksgiving — between the site job, the DC trip and the other stuff that has to happen between getting back form DC and leaving from Maine — I’ll have to figure out a fallback outfit for the dinner and maybe pick up something in Kittery. Maybe Ann Taylor or Liz Claiborne will have something.

Finished re-reading THE ALCOTTS and also read Deborah Blake’s THE GODDESS IS IN THE DETAILS, which is quite a lovely book.

Worked on “Digging”, The Christmas story, and Blair Holland. Working out of sequence on Blair Holland, I see the enormous plot holes. I’m going to use travel time to and from DC next week to percolate and plug those plot holes. The Christmas story is going very well, although I have to keep stopping in order to do research on Christmas in this region in 1898.

I’ve got to run and put something in the safety deposit box this morning, but then it’s back to the page.

Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving two weeks from TODAY?


Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 8:13 am  Comments (6)  
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold
Veterans’ Day

We had a few mild days of Indian-summer like weather, and now it’s back to being cold.

Ran around looking for a simple, black, mid-calf skirt. 5 stores, no luck. Either they’re micro minis (not happening), or pencil skirts (need one, but not in black) or disgustingly cheap ass material that doesn’t drape well. I have a feeling I’ll wind up making some skirts — not happy with colors, styles, patterns currently available. Did find a coat and some boots I might order. I have my big LL Bean coat for the winter, which is great for casual work/driving/set work – but I need a dressy coat. Also looking for my ultimate writing bag — know what I want, haven’t found it yet in my price range.

Went grocery shopping to pick up a few things to get us through the next few days until I leave for the site job and then DC. Have to go in the other direction to Trader Joe’s today to stock up on cat food.

Decent but not brilliant day on ‘Digging” and Blair Holland. Slow start to the Christmas story, but it’s getting there. I want to get a draft done before I leave for DC, so I can edit it and get it to the printer before Thanksgiving. Hoping I’ll have a more focused and productive writing day today.

Finished Louisa May Alcott’s journals. I’d forgotten how frustrated she often grew in Concord — the museum at Orchard House (which she called “Apple Slump”) idealizes the time spent there. Started re-reading Madelon Bedell’s terrific book THE ALCOTTS.

The newest A.S. Byatt novel, THE CHILDREN’S BOOK, arrived yesterday. Can’t wait to read it. Her novel POSSESSION remains one of my all-time favorites. I’ve got NEVER AFTER, with stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Yasmine Galenorn, Marjorie M. Liu, and Sharon Shinn’s pieces in it for the trip to DC. I’m tempted to start it earlier, but it’s a paperback and the Byatt book is a hardcover, so the paperback is easier to maneuver while travelling.

My bags for the site job and DC are packed. I’ll have to add a few bits (like the computer and some files) to the writing bag for the site, and then switch it to the writing bag I’m taking to DC, but, for the most part, I’m set, so I can just focus on the writing and not have to worry about packing.

Mixed up a batch of spiced apple bread for breakfast. It smells good as it’s baking, and gives me inspiration as I write.

Remember the Veterans today, from all the wars, and salute them.


Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 7:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and mild

I’ve been dipping into OUR PRIVATE LIVES: JOURNALS, NOTEBOOKS AND DIARIES, which contains selections from 40 individuals including Paul Bowles, Bill Clinton when he was still a Governor, Gretel Ehrlich, Keith Basso, Tess Gallagher, Gail Godwin, Jim Harrison, Ursula K. LeGuin, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Oliver Sacks, and Stephen Spender. I originally read it in 1990 — interesting to see how perspectives have shifted since, both my own and culturally. And also interesting to see what stayed the same.

Early morning TV instead of early morning writing got me all out of sorts, and the constant leaf blowers didn’t help. I never really got back on track yesterday.

I was nearly forced into an accident while running errands. One of the dumbass leaf blower guys at one of the houses up the street deliberately blew the leaves into my windshield as I drove past, completely obliterating it. He thought it was funny. I couldn’t see anything and slammed on the brakes. Thank goodness I didn’t swerve into the oncoming lane or I would have had a possibly fatal collision with an SUV. I should have pulled over and called 9-1-1 and had the leaf blower guy arrested; to be honest, I was so shaken I didn’t think of it until later.

Got out some submissions and other correspondence; there’s still more stacked up that needs to be dealt with. Started packing for both the site job later this week and the DC trip next week.

Most of the day was spent emailing and tweeting back and forth with family and friends in Europe about the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. It brings up memories and emotions. It brings up memories of seeing someone, in 1973, get shot about 500 yards away from me as he tried to get from East Berlin into West Berlin. It brings back memories of being stuck in East Germany, with the Stasi asking questions and not wanting us — American citizens — to go back through to the West, in spite of our paperwork. It brings back memories of changing trains in the underground at a station that was technically in the East, with armed guards pointing assault weapons at the us as we moved from train to train.

When the Wall went up, one brutal regime was simply replaced with another, only this time with the consent of the world. All of the politicians in this country who so casually toss around terms of “socialism” and “communism” so inaccurately should have to actually experience it before they can use the terms. Unfortunately, politicians don’t have to conform to any standards of truth. They should be held accountable for the numerous libelous and slanderous statements they make the way anyone else is — it’s not a matter of interpretation — there’s way too much deliberate lying going on at all levels of government. The fall of the Wall should be a lesson in what happens when the general population is fed up and revolts.

Decent morning writing session today on both “Digging” and the Blair Holland project. I’m writing the latter out of sequence, which is a weird challenge, but it’s getting words on paper.

I need to get to the grocery store today to stock up on a few things to get me through the next few days until I leave.

My editor’s happy with the copyedits — I’ll see final proofs in January, and the book is on track to publish in April. And my producer let me know that THE MATILDA MURDERS is getting an enormously warm and enthusiastic response, which makes me feel like i’m headed in the right direction with my work.

I want to do some more work on Blair Holland and start the Christmas story today.


Monday, November 9, 2009


Monday, November 9, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Today is a huge, emotional day for my family: The 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Having had family on both sides of the wall — and knowing what it actually MEANS to live under such oppression, unlike the GOP wingnuts in this country who don’t know what they’re talking about in their overprotected circumstances — this is a big day. Tom Brokaw had some wonderful insights, especially on the emotional divides between what used to be East and West Germany.

I feel guilty about not being over there today, but I have cousins who are celebrating in my name!

And Zenyetta won the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday — the first mare so to do under the brilliant rider Mike Smith. Woo-hoo!

Yesterday was a pretty productive day. I had a good writing session in the morning. I also managed to get through the final copy edits of the Anita Blake essay for the anthology and get it off to my editor. I am truly grateful to have such a good editor who knew what I was trying to get it and helped me sort through the muck to get there.

After that, I got a bunch of conference paperwork off to where I’m teaching in February.

I finished the newsletter and it’s out. Now I can reveal information on “Digging”. It’s a serial story that’s just for the newsletter. Originally, it was meant to be short — 5 installments of 500 words each. Let’s just say — it’s longer. I plan to write the rest of it before December’s newsletter comes out, and then just put in each installment as each month rolls around. I don’t think I’ll do anything that would change the beginning significantly. It’s a ghost story — fewer paranormal elements than some of my other stuff (in spite of being a ghost story). So we’ll see, and it’s a bit of playtime for me. I missed writing a serial. This has deadline pressure and the type of pressure in that I want my subscribers to enjoy it, but no publisher pressure.

If you don’t subscribe to the newsletter, unfortunately, you don’t get to read it. If you want to subscribe, just send an email to with “subscribe” in the subject line. I’ll put you on the list, and send out this newsletter.

I’m getting better at the graphic element, too. It’s much easier on the Mac.

The questions for 2010 are up at the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. If you’re having trouble figuring out your priorities for next year – even if they have nothing to do with writing — these questions might help.

Oh, yeah, and there’s a new post up on Kemmyrk.

I had a good second writing session on The Untitled Blair Holland Project. I’d planned some back stories for the characters, but it turns out that their actual back stories are quite different. Sigh. And I need to work out some more about the antagonists and the why of the antagonists. I have a lot of strong thematic material, but I need to layer some additional plot structure involving the antagonists over it.

So it’s writing, percolating, writing, percolating. I know scenes I want to write, but I have to figure out plot stuff so I can GET to those scenes.

Unless I decide to write this piece out of order. That’s an option. The more I think about it, the more I may do that.

Right now, I feel the plot has expanded so it’s bigger than the story/themes I want to tell. Certain revelations have to happen in the first chapter to set up what’s going on, but my sense is that they’re not the right revelations. So I may write scenes from different parts of the book, put them together like jigsaw puzzles, and then see where I need to create bridges and re-think plot points.

I’ve never worked like that before and it’s a little scary, but that’s the point — to keep challenging myself. Otherwise, I might as well be in 9-5 land.

Up early to watch a colleague on a show at 7:30 in the morning — and then he was bumped back to 6:30, so I missed him anyway. So my morning routine is screwed up. Writing to do, errands to run, but I’m hoping for a good, productive day.


Sunday, November 8, 2009


Sunday, November 8, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I had so much trouble focusing yesterday. I kept procrastinating, using any possible excuse not to focus on what needed to be done. I don’t know why — I’m usually pretty good at getting down to it. It’s almost as though the fact it was quiet threw me more than the usual noise.

I got a chunk of “Digging” done and I think the first part is in good enough shape so I can get it up. I wanted to write the whole thing before I sent out the first part, but that’s just not going to happen. The first part will go out this week, and I just have to make sure that I continue work on it every day until it’s done — hopefully, I’ll have the whole thing done and the whole thing edited before Part II has to go out next month.

Yes, I realize you don’t know what “Digging” is, but all will be revealed soon.

I ran some errands in the early afternoon, took a nap, ordered some books I need, and puttered around a bit, trying to get focused. I did some research for a piece that’s percolating.

I had a great evening writing session on something temporarily called Untitled Blair Holland Project. It’s on fire. I had another great session on it this morning, writing over 1500 words.

I’m going to grab a bite of breakfast, and then do some more work on “Digging”, Untitled Blair Holland, and finish the essay copy edits, so I can get those out to my editor today.

I slept in until seven, which means I was late getting to the desk, but at least I feel somewhat refreshed.


Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 9:31 am  Comments (3)  

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Saturday, November 7, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Today is the Breeders’ Cup and I haven’t handicapped it. Oops.

I have my November To-Do list up on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site. I’m working on next year’s questions.

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy at Ft. Hood. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the dead and injured.

Yesterday, my nerves were shot be midmorning, between the lack of heat and the noise outside. I was happy to pack up and head out in the afternoon. I didn’t get any work done, but I managed to have some relaxation time, and I also got 4 loads of laundry done!

Lazy night. I watched part of SANCTUARY and part of WHITE COLLAR, which meant I didn’t really follow either story too closely. I love Tim DeKay’s work on WHITE COLLAR — his extensive experience working in theatre serves him well here — he’s got a lot of nuances. In SANCTUARY, there was some sort of post-apocalyptic storyline and they put Robin Dunne in a mullet and a tank top for the Rambo reference. It was kind of funny — and I’m not entirely sure it was meant to be funny — but I kind of wish the design for his look had been a little more unique.

Some dates are changing in my site work the next couple of months. On a time/work level, it takes some of the pressure off, but on a financial level, it means less money.

Brandy, yesterday’s picture was taken up in Maine — I like it, too. I’m going to pass on the party in Lenox today because it’s driving 2 1/2 hours in each direction for a party based around wine-tasting — since I can’t stay overnight up there, and if I was going to have to get on the road, I couldn’t really enjoy the wine — I’m going to skip a 5 hour round trip.

Hitting the page early. I need to get a lot done on “Digging”, the short story today. It’s in the high 20’s outside — hopefully they’ll keep the heat on at least for a little while. I may do some errands later, or I may just stay in and keep writing, if it’s going well.


Published in: on November 7, 2009 at 6:52 am  Comments (1)  
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Friday, November 6, 2009


Friday, November 6, 2009
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

So much for having a day off! Actually, it was a pretty quiet day. I felt a little under the weather in the morning, but better as the day progressed.

Got the assignment finished, polished and out for Confidential Job #1. Received the final copy edits for the anthology essay — I’ll look that over this weekend, and get it out the door by Monday.

Finally got a hotel booked in DC. Not the one I wanted, but I think it’ll be fine — clean, not too expensive, in a decent neighborhood. I’d seen one I wanted across the street from the Library of Congress at a rate on the top end of my budget, but I figured I was paying for convenience — but when I tried to book it, the rate came back at $100/night MORE than was advertised. I don’t think so. A lovely place up near DuPont Circle was recommended by a colleague, but they were booked on those dates. So I’m at a chain hotel a bit out of the fray, but still in a safe neighborhood near a metro station with a reputation for large, clean rooms. So it’s all good.

Received royalties from one of the plays — all warm and fuzzy with that one. Got my final check from Llewellyn — late as usual, which was the disappointing pattern for the last few years, but it got here, and I feel strange knowing that, after fifteen years, this was my last time writing for them — at least for the foreseeable future.

Got a little reading in. Caught up on some mail.

Had a great morning’s writing session on a short story. Did an extra 1000 words more than I expected, always a good thing.

I’ve got a focused writing morning, and then I’m out in the afternoon. I want to chill with friends tonight, but the weekend should be fairly writing-focused. Got a couple of short stories and a newsletter to get out, two novellas to work on, the essay copy edits, and a novel revision to dig into.


Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 7:21 am  Comments (1)  
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

View of Adelphi Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune DIRECT
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I’ve got a detailed piece up on the SDR blog about how I use anthology calls as inspiration, breaking down the process. You might find it interesting. I wrote it as I worked on the stories mentioned over the course of the last few weeks — and forgot to schedule it to post while I was away yesterday. Ooops.

So, the Yankees won a World Series on their first year in the stadium. Good for them, fans are happy, I don’t follow baseball, so I can enjoy as a disinterested observer.

Not happy at all with the local election results. The town is moving back towards the petty small-mindedness that caused me to leave in the first place, years ago. Some elections were pretty galvanized, but around here — when you live in a town of somewhere between 15-20,000 and less than 4000 people vote, it’s a problem. So now I have to look at my overall life plan and switch a few things around, and then, as of tomorrow, put my head down and get back to some serious work.

I take away a few things about overall election results. First of all, these were local elections, and people dealt with the issues that affect their overall, every day lives Second, when you look at how many incumbents got a boot up the ass, people made it clear, “You had a chance. You didn’t listen. Buh-bye.” Which is the way it should be. It’s usually pretty hard to remove incumbents, and this time, it wasn’t. Whether I personally agree or disagree with an election result (unless it’s the one that affects my daily life), I do think it’s good that people are removing those they feel do not represent them. That’s why we have a voting process in place. I also have zero respect for people who can’t be bothered to vote. It takes five minutes.

I really don’t feel only two parties can represent the variety of viewpoints we have across the country. We truly need five or six legitimate parties, as they do in Britain and in other countries, so people aren’t forced to accept package deals and can really put individuals in place with more focused positions. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t. But voters shouldn’t be limited by having to pick from one or two individuals who have to bundle policy positions to try to fit a wide range.

On to other things. Yesterday, we were out of the house by 6 AM. The drive up to Saratoga was nice — great, crisp autumn weather. We hit Mrs. London’s a little after 9 for a snack. We went to the bookstore and picked up a few things, walked around a bit, and I dealt with some business. We drove past the college — Skidmore is a beautiful campus, and I use it and the town of Saratoga as the inspiration for the location in the Casherick Drualtys stories (SHALLID, et al). We stopped to pick up a few things at the store, and then headed west out of town to a small town called Galway, which isn’t too far away.

An artist friend of mine had an exhibit up in the Town Hall there, where she photographed people in town and asked them who they were — not just surface, but who they really ARE. Fascinating piece. She originally had artwork in MOONTRIBE TALES — The International Women’s Day Project that I co-created and co-produced several years ago, and we’ve kept in touch. I’m so thrilled that I was able to see her exhibit. Because she’s such a warm individual, people open up to her easily, and she’s got such a great eye and knows how to capture, in a photograph, more than just what’s on the surface.

Got back on the road heading South, turned East at Albany, and took I-90 into MA, and then up to Lenox. We had lunch at The Haven, which was great, as always, walked around a bit, I got some business done, picked up a great bottle of Burgundy, got invited to a party on Saturday (I am so tempted to drive back up for it), and headed back.

I was in bed ridiculously early.

I’ve got to get out the assignment for Confidential Job #1 and finish up a short story, but other than that, I’m giving myself the day off to reassess and reconfigure a few things.

Then, it’s back to work tomorrow with a vengeance.

And I mean “vengeance.”


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
No idea the weather — it’s supposed to be nice.

Well, yesterday was. . .unusual.

On the emotional side, I was attacked by the Doubt Demons big time. We all go through times like this, where we doubt our choices, wonder if we’re good enough, whatever. You power through and hope you get out relatively unscathed on the other side. But it’s icky and uncomfortable and painful. And it really sucks to wake up to it and wrestle with it all day.

And, right now, I just have no time. Not to mention the fact that friends of mine are going through actual life challenges right now, and it’s entirely inappropriate for me to indulge in any of this Dark Night of the Soul crap.

On a practical side, the day was fine. I was at the dealer by 7:30 AM. A nasty “heart doctor” shoved his way to the front of the line because, of course, he’s so much more IMPORTANT than all the rest of us — bite me, asshole, it’s not like you’ve ever be saving MY life since I’m one of the uninsured, and, from your attitude towards the people who work here, who you think are so far below you, obviously you went into medicine for the Almighty Dollar and not because you have an interest in healing. adn you know what? I know where to rent a jacket and a stethoscope, too, so I am not impressed. After all it was Halloween last weekend, and I don’t really believe this guy WAS a doctor.

There was also a woman there with the cutest spaniel puppy ever who was just absolutely convinced we were all there to be his new best friends. Hilarious.

When I got to the desk, I told the guy I needed the regular checkup (I haven’t had a check-up in ages, but I’m meticulous about servicing the car), and gave him the list of things for him to check. He looked at me like I grew an extra head. I told him I might be overly cautious, but these particular things just didn’t feel right lately while I drove, plus I needed him to check the patch on the tire that was fixed a few weeks back, and one of my front tires is giving me agita.

Turns out I was right on every single count, except my worry about the battery. So a bunch of stuff has been fixed/adjusted and the other tire had a slow leak, too, and was patched, plus they replaced the first patch. Two punctured tires in my own parking lot within a month? When I haven’t had any sort of flat tire in over 20 years? My inner warning lights are screaming.

Meanwhile, this bitch comes in and starts screaming that she had no idea, when she bought her car that she ever had to come in and get it serviced. “I’m not a mechanic! Why didn’t someone tell me?”

Are you fucking KIDDING me? She didn’t KNOW she had to service the car every 5000 miles? What, she thought the Oil Elves and the Tire Fairies came and took care of it while she slept? This was no teenager or college kid, either. This was a supposedly professional woman. Not.

Oh, and by the way, they DO tell you about the regular servicing when you buy the car. Especially at that dealer. And they email you and send you reminder cards and all the rest.

The service guy comes out and starts talking to me about the different stuff they’re doing and how I was right on the money, and bitch interrupts with, “How could you possibly KNOW that? Your boyfriend must have told you what to say here.”

Those guys at the dealership knew me pretty well by now. Everyone took a step back. Even the puppy stepped back and sat down.

I made it very clear I was dismissing her: “My car and I are partners. I can feel it when something’s not right. Unlike YOU, I actually give a fuck and pay attention, and don’t believe the entire world revolves around me.” And I went back to my conversation.

So she gets on her cell phone and starts talking really loudly about me. I looked at her over my shoulder and said, “I am so not impressed because you so do not matter in my life.” She couldn’t believe it. She really had trouble wrapping her head around the fact that her opinions and tirades didn’t matter to someone else.

When I got in my car, one of the managers came out to apologize for her behavior, and I said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll just kill off a character based on her in my next book.”

Even the Doubt Demons shut up for awhile during all that.

Drove home (the car felt so much better and buzzed along happily). Went to the post office, went to the bank, went to vote.

We still have those great old machines with the levers, so you really feel like you VOTED, like you did something and it matters. Love that. Anyway, I get in, shut the curtain — and there are two propositions on which to vote at the top. Now, none of the newspapers carried anything about them and we didn’t get voter guides or anything else. So I’d never seen either one before and therefore had no time to research. I read them, standing there in the booth, hoped I understood them correctly, and tried to use common sense to make my decision. I felt really uninformed, and I felt that those who should have informed us about these things dropped the ball.

Stopped at two local stores on the way home to pick up some yummy speciality food items. They’re both family owned and have been in town for 20+ years, so whenever I can give them some business, I try so to do. Their quality is excellent.

And really, what could be better for lunch than a tuna melt with real Swiss cheese on homemade French bread with real bacon crumbled into it?

After lunch, headed to White Plains. Stopped in for a quick meeting — all great. Back in the car. Headed to the shoe outlet – can never remember the name of it, but I can tell you how to get there. Found gray suede boots, but they both zipped and laced and took longer to get into and out of than some of the corsets in Shakespearean productions. So, uh, no. Another pair of black boots with which I fell in love didn’t come in my size. Deep, sad sigh. Home Goods didn’t have what I needed. I knew i needed something from Barnes & Noble, couldn’t remember what it was, and remembered about three hours later I needed a good, RECENT map for my DC trip.

Stopped at Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food and my decadent Belgian dark chocolate crisps.

Drove to Hartsdale to Chef Central, a really great place for both professional and home cooks. I had a list of stuff that’s stacked up over the past months, and got almost everything: a large pan with six smaller, holiday-themed cake tins in it; an oven-safe glass dish so I can cook the meal for the day before Thanksgiving (I’m cooking for the family members who are setting up the dinner for all 50 of us) — I can use this dish for a ton of stuff, but I needed it specifically for Thanksgiving; a bear-shaped cookie cutter (okay, so I didn’t need it, but it was cute); a small whisk to compliment my larger whisks; a flour sifter because I broke the one my family’s had since 1965 — it finally gave up its nuts and bolts and went to the big scrap metal heap in the sky; some Stonewall Kitchen sauces I’d run out of (they carry Stonewall Kitchen products, my favorite). They didn’t have the espresso pot to replace the one I broke from my machine, but they gave me the number of the place that will “just send you a new one.” I’m assuming I have to pay for it, which is fine, but still . . .in the interim, I bought a set of cute glass espresso shot cups that I can use.

I cooked a pork roast for supper — I’d gotten a large hunk of meat and cut it into three roasts, one of which will be used on Christmas Eve. The meat’s not as good a quality as I hoped, so I’ll come up with a good marinade and marinade it for at least 24 hours before I cook the next one.

I managed to tweak my lower back somehow, and couldn’t sit for meditation group, so I had to miss it yet again.

Didn’t feel well, so didn’t go to Election Night party. As of the time I wrote and scheduled this to post, I have no idea who won in my town — the election that’s important to me.

Packed my bag. I’m headed back to Saratoga and Lenox today, because I didn’t get everything done last time. Should be fun with a torqued back, but, really, it is always fun. Hopefully, my mood will improve.

Tomorrow, I’m staying in bed all day and finishing the assignment for Confidential Job #1. This one is a struggle — I dislike the material.


Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 4:56 am  Comments (5)  

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Yesterday was the full moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
No idea re: weather — I’m scheduling this to post the night before

Yeah, I never managed to blog yesterday. Oops.

And I’m headed off at the crack of — to get my car serviced, so I actually scheduled this to post on Monday night.

I’m trying to remember if I have a good book depicting Edward Hopper’s paintings in storage, or if I need to go and buy one. I know I have a big biography and books ABOUT him, but I don’t think I’ve got a book of plates of the paintings. And I need it for a project. Guess I’ll be haunting the Bargain Books section of the major bookstores soon (like I don’t anyway?).

Re-reading THE JOURNALS OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT. Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe are still my heroes, and they’ve been that since I was about eight.

Gave myself Sunday off from writing because my brain was exhausted. Two proposals, a 5K story and a 9K story all out within 48 hours was a bit much, even though I’d been working on everything over a period of time. I’ve got a 2500 word story that needs to be done in the next couple of days, the Christmas story, and another anthology story that need to happen in the next couple of weeks.

I had a BLAAAAST talking to those middle schoolers yesterday. I brought in my wardrobe kit and showed them how a bunch of stuff worked, talked about quick changes, talked about the differences in wardrobe needs between theatre and film, and how that feeds into the writing. They asked very insightful questions. They seemed interested and engaged. Almost all of them had seen WICKED, and, since I swung on that show for 3 1/2 years (gee, I bet you had NO IDEA that’s where I worked with all the flying monkey talk, huh? 😉 ) I used a lot of examples and anecdotes from that show. It was a lot of fun, the time flew, and the seemed pretty engaged. I was totally honest with them, especially about where I’m a royal pain in the ass and where I break the rules, why, and both how I’ve made it work and where it’s made things harder.

Came home and was pretty much a waste of food all afternoon. I booked the tickets for DC and am having hotel trauma. I thought I’d found this GREAT hotel at a GREAT price, but it turns out the neighborhood is too skeevy even for someone who used to live a block off Times Square, so I’m looking for something else that’s not totally out of my price range, but close to where I need to be. Not fun.

Anyway, I’m off getting the car serviced for its regular check up. Then, I have to go vote for friends who are running for re-election locally (and doing a damned good job). More errands after that AND some writing AND finishing up Confidential Job #1.

Then, it’s off to the meditation group, taking a change of clothes with me so I can hit the election party on the way back.

It would be really, really, really a good idea to get some writing done today, too.

Since, well, tomorrow’s another adventure!



Those Middle Schoolers rock!

Just sayin’ . . .

Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 11:38 am  Comments (5)  

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Sunday, November 1, 2009
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Editing a story and staying within a word limit is like bartering — for every word you wish to add, you have to give up one.

That’s how it was, editing “The Misappropriation of Talent”, the Merry’s Dalliance tale, but I got it edited, polished, and out. Either they’ll like it or they won’t, and, if they don’t, I have other markets that will accept it.

Had to make a trip to Costco, never a good idea on a Saturday. But managed to sail through pretty fast and stock up on a few things, including a 4-lb bag of Nestle’s semi-sweet morsels. Yeah, I’m planning to bake a lot in the next few weeks!

Wrestled with “Lake Justice.” It’s going well, just slowly, and I don’t have the luxury of “slowly” right now. I prefer to have time in between projects, time to decompress, but the deadlines fell together this go-round, so I don’t. And I’ve got three more stories to write in the next two weeks.

The noise and chaos around here with ridiculous all day and made it really hard to work. I think the workmen scared away the Trick or Treaters, which is a shame.

It was well into the evening by the time I realized I’d written 1500 words into a corner, and to keep going in that direction just made all my characters look stupid. But I didn’t know how to get them out of it.

So I took a shower.

And the solution came.

I jumped back to the desk and fixed it. And keep going.

I managed to get “Lake Justice” out the door by 11:22 PM — cutting it a little closer than I’d like to the midnight deadline. It’s definitely flawed, but I hope there’s enough there to get us to the editing phase. If not, and it comes back rejected, I will do another edit before I send it out again.

But I made the deadline, and that was very important to me, rather than just letting it fall by the wayside. I’ve let too many deadlines slide over the last few months. Some of it I had to, because of higher paying work needing to replace uncontracted work. But I needed to get this done for ME.

My GDR wrap-up is online for October, and I’ll post November’s To Do list in the next couple of days.

Once the deadlines were met, I could enjoy Samhain, and also the days of Tending the Dead, which are over the next few days — long nights ahead of me. If you want to know what I mean by Tending the Dead, you can read about it here.

I should jump into the next story, the 2500 word one that has to go out in the next few days, but I think I’ll give myself the day off writing. I’ve got some errands to run, and I need to get to work on Confidential Job #1’s next assignment. This is yet another very busy week, with a bunch of travelling.

If I’d committed to do Nano this year, I’d already be in despair.

I baked cinnamon rolls this morning. Well, I stuck them in the oven. Pillsbury prepared them. I couldn’t get the carton open with a spoon — you’re supposed to press down with a spoon and it pops open. Only it wouldn’t.

So I used a hammer.

And it flew across the kitchen when it popped, but I caught it in midair, so it was okay.

I’m off early tomorrow, talking to middle schoolers at my former school about career as a living, evolving organism, rather than a straight line. Why did I agree to do this again?


Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 8:20 am  Comments (2)  
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