Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and hot

It’s been back up in the 90’s for the last few days, but low humidity. That seems to be changing — the humidity is rising to meet the temperatures. And it looks like we may have to deal with Hurricane Earl over the holiday weekend. Ick.

Yesterday was tough. The workman/landlord situation was bad in the morning, which of course, stressed me out and made Elsa worse. I spent most of the morning in tears out of sheer frustration and exhaustion.

Got some queries out. We’ll see what happens. Tried to start the assignment from Confidential Job #1, but couldn’t concentrate. Managed to get some research done in the afternoon, with the iPod on to Naturescape, which has to be my favorite app ever. Ran a few errands, put gas in the car, things like that. It cost me $10 more to put the same amount of gas in the car at the place near here with the best prices than it did up in Sturbridge last week.

I’m still eating the fudge I bought up there — best fudge I ever had. Smooth and creamy and rich. I have one little slice every day, and I still have a lot. That’s the way I like it!

Booked my tickets for the two Philly gigs in September. So that’s all sorted out. Even though it’s ridiculously early — I don’t leave for the first until the end of next week — I’ll probably pack in the next day or two.

Made a note the other night as I fell asleep for a story idea. Now I have to decipher it!

Had a lot of trouble sleeping. Well, I GET to sleep just fine. But I wake up completely anxiety-ridden.

Decent writing session this morning on the Willowspring Grove piece. Not a brilliant one, I’m having to fight for the words harder than I’d like, but I’m getting there. I’ve got to get back to SPIRIT REPOSITORY. Even if I don’t hit my goal every day, even a few pages a day would be better than no pages a day. But it’s noisy and dirty and chaotic here, and I can’t concentrate. As it is, I’m having to get up at 5 AM to get anything done before the rat bastards descend. And I can’t flip my schedule completely because I can’t sleep when they’re “working.” And I can’t leave to work elsewhere because I have to be around to make sure they don’t destroy the apartment.

I’m gathering references for the moving packets. Even though I can’t get my hands on the cash for a few more months, I want to have everything ready.

Will head to the museum this morning to see the exhibit before it closes (my mom is staying with the cats), and then come back to do some more sorting and purging. And I have to start Confidential Job #1 — it’s due on Friday.

Elsa is a little better this morning; let’s hope she doesn’t get worse now that the rat bastards are back.

It’s relentless, and it’s hard to keep any energy and focus. I feel like I’m fading and failing. And I have to hold the line until I can get out. Thanks so much for all your support. Sometimes it’s all that keeps me going.

I pitched a piece, never thinking they’d really want it, and they came back wanting more than one. I have to go over the terms and then sit down and get them done in the next 72 hours, provided the terms are acceptable. It would be some quick cash on something fun — if it works out. We’ll see.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, handwritten): 36, 125 words out of est. 100,000 (36%). I’m not sure how I wound up with a lower word count today than yesterday, when I wrote an additional 4 1/2 pages this morning. Headdesk).

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Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 6:59 am  Comments (5)  
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Monday, August 30, 2010


Slabwork tray made in July pottery workshop. This is one of my favorite pieces, and slab work is my favorite technique.

Monday, August 30, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and warm

Busy weekend, but a pretty good one. Lots of sorting and purging. Took a carload of boxes to storage. Sorted the linen closet (ours is huge and hasn’t been sorted in years). What we don’t need right now is packed and ready to go. What we might need is stacked in such a way that the whole closet can be packed in 30 minutes when it’s time so to do. Cleaned out the medicine cabinet and shelves in the bathroom. Threw out a lot of old cosmetics. Found some gorgeous old perfume bottles — but the apartment reeked as I poured down the old, turned perfume (I can’t wear perfume because I”m allergic to the fixative) and washed out the bottles.

The cats were not amused.

Elsa helped with everything, which was pretty cute. The other two ran around screaming for awhile, and then hid.

Got a little bit of writing done, got a stack of queries out. Nowhere near as much as I wanted to get done, but it takes me awhile to recover from the landlords’ harassment, and then, by the time I”m ready to tackle things, they’re back for more.

Sunday, I did a ceremony in memory of the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, when the Bush Administration caused the deaths of over 1800 people through incompetence, disregard, and negligence.

Attended an Emmy-watching party in the evening. It was fine, but my concentration wasn’t there. It’ll be awhile before the financials are sorted out for the move, due to what matures when, but I’m trying to do as much prep as possible.

Amazing how much better we all feel — cats and humans — when the rat bastards aren’t torturing us ten hours a day.

Tepid water this morning. After all, why should they give us the service they are required to by law while they’re screwing us?

Had a decent, but not great writing session this morning. Have to get out some correspondence, do a bunch of filing, hopefully work on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, start the new assignment for Confidential Job #1, get out some more pitches, and polish my lecture notes.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the Deconstruction Workshops, you can sign up for the fantasy romance here and the steampunk film here. Every student who signs up helps me get the hell away from these landlords and manage the move more quickly.

I’m angry because, yet again, I have to deal with someone’s disorganization — now the THIRD time I’ve had to send out the same, acknowledged information after being accused of missing the deadline (and proving that I didn’t). I may need to cut ties once my current commitments are fulfilled. I have way too much to deal with with deadlines and Evil Landlords and illness and all the rest to put up with someone else’s incompetence.

I just want to get OUT of here.

Devon

First Willowspring Grove novel (first draft, longhand): 34,750 words out of est. 100,000 (34.75%)

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 6:36 am  Comments (5)  
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Saturday, August 28, 2010


Sculpted leaf candleholder, made in July’s workshop. I’m really happy with this piece.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Most of yesterday was spent on paperwork dealing with the landlord situation. So much for earning a living, right? I can’t work when the only thing I can do all day every day is fight the landlords. The management company, of course, has ignored the documentation I sent about the raised window, has not apologized, refuses to give me the name of the company, and refuses to provide an affidavit that the materials being tossed from the roof don’t contain lead or asbestos.

And now the neighbor, with whom I spent most of the afternoon the other day explaining how to fill out the paperwork, is backing down. She’s like, “oh, they could actually do this?” They DID it, which is why we have to file paperwork in response. And she’s worried because she has to swear that her statement is true. Um, just tell the truth, and there’s no problem, right? Anything I’ve said in my paperwork can be backed up and I’d swear to under oath in front of a judge. I hate it when cowards waste my time. I’m not even on the Tenants’ Organization. Why isn’t the head of it helping people instead of prancing around in front of the press talking about issues that have nothing to do with the building?

I’m sure they’re gearing up for another attack.

Managed to run a few errands, including going to Target, where I bought The Bin That Ate Chicago. Honestly, it didn’t look that big when I bought it. Then I had trouble getting it in the car. Then, in the living room, every time I passed it, it had grown. I can use it as an ark next time it floods. Violet thought it was really cool.

But I packed it by the end of the night.

Also sorted and packed clothes I’m taking to the donation box. Five big bags. That makes nine bags of clothes donated in two weeks. The stuff is from storage, I cleaned it all and made sure it was in good shape. Most of it simply either doesn’t fit well anymore or doesn’t fit my life anymore. So, may someone else get joy from it.

A friend dropped off a carload (and she’s got an SUV) full of empty boxes for me. Woo-hoo! They’re the size equivalent to a case of paper. I’ve got almost enough to pack up the kitchen, and she’s going to bring more by next week.

Now I just need a place to GO.

Devon

Willowspring Grove Novel #1 (first draft, longhand): 33,000 words out of est. 100,000 — 33%.

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 6:56 am  Comments (6)  
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Friday, August 27, 2010


Small coil candleholder made in July pottery workshop. Actually, I’m using it for crystals right now instead of candles.

Friday, August 27, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Not a particularly productive day yesterday, most of it filled with anti-landlord paperwork, since they’ve launched their next attack.

Elsa’s treatment went very well. The Reiki practitioner thinks that, in spite of ups and downs, she’s responding more quickly to the treatments, which means her body’s natural healing is improving. However, she feels the environmental factors and chemical stresses caused by the landlord are compromising all of our healths. She thinks It would be a good idea for me to put Elsa in a harness and take her to a park on any nice day that it isn’t too hot or too cold so that Elsa can get about 20-30 minutes of sunshine and fresh air. That will help boost the treatments and encourage the healing to not only happen more quickly, but take hold more deeply. so that when the environmental and chemical stresses of the landlord’s attacks resume, she’s already built up a reserve, and they won’t take such a toll.

So now, here we are in the suburbs, and I’m having a problem finding a place to take Elsa. The Town Park and Beach still charge residents to use them — up until Labor Day, and then on weekends well past. Since I couldn’t afford the pass for the summer, I certainly can’t afford the daily rates, which work out higher. I have to park in that lot if I wanted to take her to the Bird Sanctuary — and let’s face it, taking a cat to a bird sanctuary isn’t a serene choice! I can’ t take her to the Nature Center, because there are deer and coyotes there.

The parks in Greenwich are for residents of that town only. As are most of the surrounding parks in the area. Imagine, you live in the suburbs to get some green and trees, and you still have to pay extra to enjoy it. I was better off living just off Times Square and going up to Central Park.

Labor Day is only a couple of weeks away, so maybe then I can start.

Worked on more paperwork to file against the landlords. Tried to figure out how to put together enough cash very quickly to get out. That means they win, but if I stay here, I just use up all my cash reserves to fight them, and then I’m in worse shape, so why not take everything and go? But that means I have NOTHING to fall back on — if I get sick or the car breaks down or Elsa gets worse — it means there is NOTHING. And that scares me.

The best possible scenario would be if someone knew someone in the area in which I want to relocate, and was willing to give me a reasonably priced, pet-friendly, two year lease so I could get the heck out of here and regroup. I put it out on Twitter — let’s see if I get any bites. Most of the listings on Craigslist sound very shady. And real estate places handle mostly vacation rentals, not year rounds.

I also found, through an organization to which I belong, some legitimate, high-paid, good jobs in the Boston area. I’m going to apply, even though I don’t live there yet, saying I’m in the process of relocating, and see if that will help land the job, and then the job can help land the apartment. It’s actually stuff I like doing, so why not throw my hat in the ring?

Also pitched for a script writing job that I can do anywhere. Short scripts, decent pay, checked out the company, they seem legit. Fingers crossed.

Anyone who has contacts in New England, especially in the South of Boston area, please put out the word that you know someone who’s looking for a place.

I’ve got to run errands today and maybe finally hit that museum exhibit I want to see over at the Bruce, since it closes next week.

I had a decent writing session this morning, but I’m nowhere near as productive as I need to be, because I’m so up in knots about the home situation.

Devon

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Small, three-legged pinch pot made during July’s workshop. What’s odd is that the glaze is supposed to be black, but it came out like this.

Thursday, August 26, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Didn’t get as much done as I would have liked yesterday. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, landlord-wise. They are trying to evict several of the tenants who have fought back. It’s been quieter directly under my windows, but I bet they’re gearing up for the next volley.

Ran errands in the morning, including going to the bookstore in Stamford to pick up a few things, and the farmer’s market right next door. Spent most of the afternoon helping out a neighbor with an issue. Landlord-related, of course.

Elsa’s not doing well, so I’m glad she’s getting a treatment today.

I had a pretty good writing session this morning, thank goodness, on the Willowspring Grove novel. After Elsa’s treatment, I hope to get some work done on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, and maybe even get out a few queries.

When my home is unstable, such as fighting with the scumbag landlords, I can’t work. If I can’t work, I can’t earn the money to leave, and it’s an endless downward spiral. I can’t leave to work somewhere else, because I have to be here to defend the premises — and the cats. It’s not a good situation.

I was offered a job on a movie in Michigan that supposedly stars A Very Well-Known Actress (who will remain nameless on this blog) starting “as soon as possible” — which means they are either very disorganized, or they couldn’t find anyone to work for that price, or their supervisor already quit because of the working conditions. I’m not sure why they called me, since I’m no longer in the union and don’t do this anymore, but I said no. Plus, the money was ridiculously low. Um, WHY would I put myself through the stress of supervising stars in another state and not get well compensated? I’m not just starting out. I don’t need the credit on my resume, and I’m certainly not star-struck. I mean, I have nothing against this particular actress, but I still expect to be well-paid to do this kind of work, if I was even still doing it. I also don’t like it when they call me and leave a message without leaving the name of the movie or the production company. That always sends off warning bells.

So, no thank you.

Hopefully, today will be a fairly productive day, in and around Elsa’s Reiki session. I’m feeling very discouraged about just about everything, though, and just want to find a way out of here.

Devon

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 7:27 am  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Mask made in July pottery workshop

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and muggy

Yesterday was a lot of fun. We were out the door early and drove up to Chicopee, MA. I expected Chicopee to be some cute, rural little town. But Chicopee (which, according to the city’s history page, means “river of elms”) dates back to the 1600’s, is much more industrial than I expected (one of their mottos is “Industriae Variae”), including things like bronze and bicycles. Anyway, if you want to read an excellent article on the city’s history in the historian’s words, rather than me telling you ABOUT what this guy says oh, so well, the link is here.

We visited Herbarium, which is a lovely store, and I stocked up on some herbs, oils, and incenses. Very good quality, very nice staff, and I can place online orders in the future.

After that little jaunt, we went round and round to find the Mass Pike (because, like the East Vassalboro, ME story goes, “You can’t get there from here”). Well, you can, but you have to go in circles a few times, because the signs are only in one direction, so you have to go back the way you came, get off the road, cross over it, go back towards the place you’re leaving, and then you find the exit. We finally found the Pike and only headed a couple of exits east (all of 45 cents on the toll road) to Sturbridge.

Ever since Earth Spirits closed, I’ve been looking for the garden center that is supposed to carry a wonderful assortment of herbs and some oils. I think they closed two or three years ago, and I’ve been looking for the center ever since. They’ve got a website. I got the directions the night before the travel. We followed the directions.

Can’t find it.

When I follow the directions, there’s empty space. Fields. Not fields belonging to a garden center, just fields. It doesn’t make sense.

Sort of like when I looked for the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, and, to me, they remained lost.

Instead, we went to the stores at Old Sturbridge Village, which are lovely. The Redware pottery is particularly interesting. I didn’t buy much — some mustard and some fudge — but it’s a place to which I’ll go back, especially in the spring, to stock up on heirloom seeds. Their seeds are supposed to grow exceptionally well.

Then, it was off to the Publick House, where I hadn’t been for a few years. It’s a lovely place, and maybe one day, I’ll get to treat myself to staying there for a couple of nights. As it was, we had an outstanding lunch — terrific wine, I had one of the best chicken pot pies ever. I overate, though, and thought they’d have to winch me out of chair so I could waddle back to the car.

Then, we took Rt. 20 E to Rt. 56 to Rt. 12 to Oxford, MA. I had forgotten that Clara Barton, one of my childhood heroines, was born there. I wasn’t in the mood to visit the site, but passed the plaque (and didn’t stop to read it — note this day in history, I usually stop to read EVERY plaque).

We went to Generations, which is a beautiful, beautiful store with oh, so many things I could have spent money on. But I showed some restraint — more incense, more stones, and some oils. They had some gorgeous jewelry and some gorgeous pottery, which I will save for the next trip.

Back over to Sturbridge, hopped I-84, and headed back home, getting home a little before 5.

Nice day, in spite of the weather, and quiet night, much needed. Elsa is not doing well, but she is hanging in there, and I hope tomorrow’s treatment will help a lot.

The blowback from the filings against the landlord will start any minute (thankfully, I am not the only person filing, for once), and they will be ugly, so I’m trying to prepare, both mentally and physically.

Got a little bit of writing done, but not much, this morning. Will try to remedy that, and get back on track. Have to run some errands this morning, and, this afternoon, will help a neighbor with something.

Devon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Small stoneware pinched pot that I made in the July workshop. It’s supposed to look rather like something one finds in an archeological dig!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
It may still be raining

I’m scheduling this to post, because, if all goes as planned, I’ll be on the road to take care of some stuff by the time you all wake up to read this.

Yesterday wound up being a mostly scumbag-workman-free day, due to the weather. But I spent almost the entire day filing paperwork against the landlords, so I was both exhausted and suffering from a raging migraine by the end of it.

It was not a good day for writing or getting much of anything else done.

Elsa improved a bit in the quiet, which was great. She’s such a sweetheart.

I’ve secured the place as best I can. I hope it will rain too much for them to work, but not enough — or that I can outrun the rain enough — so I can get done out of town what I need to get done.

Hopefully, I’ll have all kinds of amusing anecdotes to relate to you tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!

Devon

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 1:24 am  Comments (3)  
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August 23, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

We had some much-needed rain yesterday, and I hope it continues to rain all day today so those bastards can’t torment us again. Most of my day will be spent filing the appropriate paperwork against them. Some things have to be notarized, everything has to go via certified mail, etc. I hate losing the writing time, but the landlords count on people not “having the time” to do the proper filing, and then continuing to strong-arm us. And heaven forbid that the head of the Tenants’ Organization does his job and do anything for any of us unless there’s a camera or a reporter around.

Not much writing done over the weekend. I felt like crap, battling a migraine, which still lingers. Went to my friend’s on Saturday afternoon to hang out and do laundry.

Elsa had a very bad day yesterday, which worried me. She’s a little better today, but not eating much again. She has another Reiki treatment on Thursday.

Most of the work I got done was on the Willowspring Grove book. I have to get back to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY this week and do some serious work on it. I’m behind where I want and need to be on it. But it’s really hard to concentrate when your home is un-secure (as opposed to insecure) and threatened.

Well, the rat bastards are below my window again. I guess they’re going to torment us, even in the rain. Trust me, you don’t want to know what I wish on them, even though, I guess, ethically it’s “wrong”.

I’m going to go cry in the shower for awhile before I gear up to get back into the fight.

Devon

Willowspring Grove Novel #1 –(First draft, handwritten): 30,000 words out of est. 100,000 (30%).

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 6:26 am  Comments (6)  
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Well, yesterday was a DAY. It started out pleasantly enough. it looked like the “workmen” had finally moved past our windows, and they’d moved the renovation table saws, et al, from under the window. I thought perhaps some of all that filing I’ve done against them had an effect.

I wasn’t particularly productive — I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop — but I got through some other paperwork, finished off a few projects that needed attention, took care of the neighbor’s cat, etc.

Around noon, I went out to the grocery store to run a few errands and to the grocery store. My neighbor’s driving back from Texas — the least I can do is have a meal in the refrigerator for her to heat up when she gets back.

I come back, and the ropes are in front of my windows again. I start cooking, then go to turn on the fan — and find that my screen is completely open. Yup, those dicks opened my kitchen window screen, leaving everything exposed. The fan could have fallen out, the plants and dishes I keep on the sill could have fallen out, and the cats could have gotten out. And management admits they have no reason for access. What are they gong to do next? Take my computer? Pee in the teapot?

This is NOT acceptable, and I am filing — including a police report. I do not feel safe with them on the premises. They are either intentionally aggressive or incompetent, neither of which are acceptable. I do not feel safe staying in the apartment, but obviously I can’t leave, because every time I do, they’re destructive.

So I was furious all afternoon — and didn’t get anything done except work on paperwork. How the hell can I work on getting out of here if all my time is spent filing against these morons? But if it’s not documented and photographed, they’ll deny it.

I was cutting them the “they’re only guys doing a job” slack. No more. This is targeted aggression, and I will not tolerate it. I don’t roll over when someone attacks. Badger is one of my totems, and if you’ve ever seen a cornered badger, you know what that means. Panther is another totem, and panthers claws and teeth on par with badger.

So, needless to say, I didn’t go to my friend’s place. Since the workmen won’t be here today, I’ll go today instead.

Elsa didn’t eat much this morning — I think the stress is getting to her, too. Violet, the tiniest, was sitting on top of a chair growling at them yesterday. Iris, being a coward, just hid.

At least no one went through the open window.

Violet is very purry and cuddly this morning. She’s proud that she stood up for her home.

I am exhausted and upset. I need to focus on my work (got a new assignment from Confidential Job #1, which looks really cool), but it’s hard to focus on anything. I had trouble falling asleep — it’s almost as though I feel I should be working when they’re not around, because I can’t work when they are around, but I also can’t sleep when they’re here.

It’s disgusting that the agencies that are supposed to protect us from these scumbags and prevent this from happening just let it go.

I managed to get a single query out yesterday, that’s all. One can’t earn a living like that, and I need to earn a lot of money fast in order to pull off the move.

Devon

Published in: on August 21, 2010 at 7:00 am  Comments (5)  
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Friday, August 20, 2010


don’t disturb Iris unless you’re offering food

Friday, August 20, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Yep, Mercury goes retrograde today, until Sept. 12. If I didn’t have so much to do, I’d just go off the grid. I think my personal Mercury went retrograde about two weeks ago.

Good gig in CT, although I didn’t get as much of my own work done as I wanted. Got some solid work done on the Willowspring Grove novel, and that’s it.

On Wednesday afternoon, I fell asleep and had a dream-within-a-dream, which was weird. In the inner dream, I dreamt about an actor I don’t know and whose work I don’t particularly care about, so I have no idea why, of all people, he’d show up in my dream. I was pulled out of that dream, into my actual surroundings when I heard a toilet flush and heard a man call, “Jean? Jean?” But I couldn’t open my eyes. I kept thinking that it was weird that the dog wasn’t barking, but if someone had come in, I should talk to them. But I couldn’t get up, and I couldn’t open my eyes. I was still dreaming, although I thought I was awake and in the place where I was outside of the dream. When I finally pulled myself out of that dream, I called to the dog, who got up from her nap, ambled over and said, “What? Cookie?” It was very weird. Not the cookie part, that’s normal, but the rest of it.

I was completely disoriented for the rest of the day.

I drove home in the afternoon to check on Elsa and give her medicine, and, of course, the “workmen” were at it again. This time, there was a hammer left in my windowsill. I wanted to photograph it, then realized I’d left my camera on-site. I was going to take it in as evidence, when a workman climbed up on the fire escape (again — in violation of the City Code, which the City is too corrupt to enforce), grabbed it and waved it at me. Now, he could have been startled that I was there, but I felt threatened. And why was a hammer left on MY windowsill when, supposedly, they were working in a different section of the building? Because, perhaps, the SOB planned to smash my window, only I startled him? I think that is the most likely scenario, given the circumstances around here right now.

Once I knew they were gone for the day and everything secure, I headed back to the site. I gave up on getting the mail — it’s a 15 minute drive from the site to the mail box, because, in that area of Greenwich, the postal carriers are far too lazy to actually bring the mail to the house — they bring it to the bottom of the road, even though there’s a huge vandalism and theft problem at those mailboxes. I’d driven down four times by 8 PM and STILL no mail, so that was it for me. I’m driving through Red Riding Hood’s woods anyway to get there and back — not going back and forth all night.

I picked up the mail early in the morning — I had to hand off the car to my mom, who was going home to give Elsa her medicine and deal with the exterminator. She drove me back to site so I could get back to work, and headed home, where she found the workmen hanging from scaffolding outside our living room windows AGAIN.

Now, they are supposed to “do” 120 apartments in two months. So why are the ONLY focused, three weeks into this two-month stint, on the apartments of the tenants the landlord wants out? Because they are not legitimate workmen and this is not legitimate work.

And, of course, the exterminator never showed up. When my mom called the super he said, “Oh, I don’t think he’s coming today. We’ll just come in whenever he shows up.” And she said, ‘No, you will not. The appointment was today, between 10 and 11:30. I can’t sit here all day, and you do not have permission to enter when no one is home.”

That is a tenant’s right under NY State Law — the landlord MUST make an appointment unless it’s an emergency. The landlord can request access at other times, but it does not have to be granted. What these scumbags are trying to do is get tenants to agree to entry when no one is home once, and then go in and out as they please and do who-knows-what, claiming they have permission for entry. So we have a “stop notice” (provided by the Attorney General’s office) posted on the door, “reminding” them they do not have entry without an appointment. Past precedent has proven they are untrustworthy. They cannot enter without someone here in the apartment, ready for them. We have a special additional lock on the door that only we and the Fire Department have the authority to open — they can try to get in when on one’s home, but won’t get very far.

And then, on top of it all, my mom ran into another problem that normally would not have been a big deal, but, because of the stress and harassment, became one. Which I had to try to resolve by phone from where I was. So we had a rough day all the way around.

Elsa, funnily enough, is the calmest of everyone. She’s just getting through the day being very Zen.

I got home around 8 PM last night, unpacked, checked the windows (no further damage), etc. Elsa and Iris were glad to see me. Violet wouldn’t speak to me, but this morning, she is Velcro Kitty.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do here this morning, including preparing my neighbor’s apartment for her return tonight, and then I’m headed to a friend’s this afternoon to hang out and do laundry.

Hopefully, I’ll either have updated word counts tomorrow or next week.

I am not looking forward to this Mercury Retrograde. I’d really like to just go back to bed for a few hours, but, hey, the workmen are getting busy again, so I can’t.

I want to be long gone when the pack of Karma Dogs arrive for these guys.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to commute via train yesterday. In typical Mercury Retrograde fashion, Metro North didn’t run most of the morning. Ick. I have to travel towards the end of the retrograde — I’ll give myself plenty of extra time. And maybe some Valium.

Sorry the post lacks a focus on writing and is focused mostly on harassment from the landlords. I am, unfortunately, someone who needs an absolutely secure and calm home base (although I CAN write anywhere, I prefer to write in a serene home environment), and with the daily fights going on nearly three years, ebbing and flowing, it’s taken a huge toll.

Hopefully, the coming weeks will be more productive, both writing-wise and house-hunting wise, and I will get back into a steady focus on the work.

I considered flipping my schedule to write all night — but with the chaos, I can’t sleep during the day, and I can’t sleep elsewhere, because I have to be here to protect my home.

Have a good weekend.

Devon

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
No idea of the weather — hope it’s cooler!

I scheduled this to post, because I will be out the door to arrive at the site by 8 AM. I’ll be back at home at some point during the day to give Elsa her medicine and check on the cat next door.

I should have internet access where I am — guess you’ll find out tomorrow, eh, once you see whether or not there’s a post? Otherwise, I’ll be back with a word count update on Friday.

Brandy, I can’t get any names from the workmen. I have photographed them — but they refuse to give names or the name of the company employing them, which is illegal under NY State law — they are supposed to answer all questions and wear work ID displayed. Because these are not legitimate, licensed workers, they don’t, and the City agencies that are supposed to handle this refuse so to do. Besides, there are no consequences for violations. It’s no skin off their nose to pay a minor fee and just keep doing whatever they want.

The newest tactic is that they’ve set up their renovation work area right underneath my window. They have a workshop in the basement. And this “renovation area” is for an apartment in a different section of the building — the elderly lady who died recently, where they just tossed all her stuff to the curb when her family wouldn’t deal with it. Her family wouldn’t even honor her wishes to be buried up the street next to her sister. They cremated her and split her ashes — sending half to family who hated her in Ireland and half to family who couldn’t be bothered with her in Chicago. Making sure she can’t “rest in peace.” At least a friend rescued her cats and gave them a good home before the purge. Anyway, the landlords have gutted her apartment for a “luxury renovation”, and, even though it’s in a different section of the building, they’re doing the work under MY window.

Targeted much?

I filed appropriate paperwork and sent if via certified mail. Not a damn thing will happen, but at least I’ve got everything well documented.

Lousy writing day, but at least I got a lot done at storage — another 20 boxes consolidated into about 6. Washed a few loads of clothes, most of which will be donated, then purged, sorted, etc. I have one more row of boxes and all the “Misc.” boxes will have been handled. It gives me a good chunk of space that I can fill with stuff from the apartment to give myself more room here — so that there will be more room to pack when that blessed day comes!

I’m off to the site, will be back and forth a few times to give Elsa her medicine, and hopefully I can check back in tomorrow. I hope today will be a quiet, productive writing day. I need one. I need, like, 12, but one will be a good start.

Enjoy!

Devon

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 1:48 am  Comments (5)  
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Hot, humid, rainy

This weather is disgusting. We’ve gotten a bit of much-needed rain, but the oppressive humidity continues. The weather folk keep talking about a cold front, but I think it went somewhere else — or maybe they’ve got the weather confused with their central air!

Okay, so the first 400 words on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY nearly killed me, but then I got into the grove and wrote just over 2400 instead of 1500, the entire first chapter. Woo-hoo! I think I’ve got it now. We got heroes, we got villains, we got ghosts, we got cats, we got early NYC history when it was New Amsterdam. Good stuff. My villain is so engaging I (almost) regret the fact he’s the villain. Annabel, you did good, girl!

My joy was short-lived, however, because the “workmen” the landlord hired to harass the long-term tenants were again hanging outside my window making life hell. There are 120 apartments in this building. You can’t tell me that the ONLY apartments that need “masonry” work (read “unskilled drilling” in this case) just HAPPEN to be those of the tenants that the landlord wants out. This is now the third consecutive week in front of our windows, and using our fire escape as their personal stairwell.

I still got ten queries out, but it was HELL. I can’t turn up the radio or the iPod up loud enough to block them out. And I shouldn’t have to keep the windows shut for weeks on end in 90 degree weather.

The Buildings Department just sticks their fingers in their ears and sings, “La, la, la” even though it’s a clear violation of the city code. Because they’re being paid off.

Didn’t spend enough time with the neighbor’s cat. Didn’t spend enough time on my lectures. My foot hurt, my hip hurt, it was humid, the “workmen” were hateful –icky day all around, except for two great writing sessions, of which I tried to hang on to some of the glow. Nearly 4K is a decent day’s work in my book.

Today, I had to get up super-early, because I have to be out the door by 10 AM, and 3000 words have to hit the page before then, on the two different projects. There’s apartment maintenance to deal with, stuff to purge in storage, and other projects that need to get done. I also have to pack, because I’m on a site gig for the next two days in CT. Fortunately, it’s close enough so I can come home a couple of times a day to give Elsa her medicine and look after the neighbor’s cat.

I had a great first session on the Willowspring Grove novel, 1750 words instead of 1500. I was worried I couldn’t move between its world and that of SPIRIT REPOSITORY, since part of Willowspring and all of SPIRIT are set in contemporary Manhattan. But they are two different genres, two different pseudonyms, and two very different Manhattans, so it’s working out. The Willowspring Grove novel is far more complex than I originally envisioned. I thought these would be straight up mysteries with some paranormal touches, but they’re more coming-of-emotional-age stories with a hint of paranormal mystery.

Off to do my next 1500 words/day’s quota on SPIRIT REPOSITORY and get out the door on time. i didn’t sleep well, so I’m feeling disoriented.

Don’t have the pottery photos, either, sorry. It will probably be next week before I get them up.

Devon

Willowspring Grove Novel #1 (first draft, handwrittern): 27,250 words out of est. 100,000 (27.25%)

The Spirit Repository (first draft): 2,459 words out of est. 90,000 (2.73%)

Published in: on August 17, 2010 at 6:28 am  Comments (10)  
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Monday, August 16, 2010


Violet knows she looks good on aqua

Monday, August 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy, hot, humid

Weekend was pretty good. Saturday, I had a good first morning’s writing session, took care of some business, took care of Elsa (who was having an up-and-down day). Picked up some more of my work from the studio — I’m thrilled with some of it and will post pictures over the next few days. I’m still missing two pots, but I’ll try to hunt them down later in the week.

Went to a friend’s, did laundry, worked on a craft project, hung out.

Sunday, I wrote about 2000 words on the Willowspring Grove novel (which is flowing well and pleasantly surprises me every time I work on it), did some plotting for the next Annabel Aidan (working title THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY), and did a lot of research.

This morning, I did my 1500 words on the Willowspring Grove novel, made some notes on another character who won’t shut up (as she says, “I’m 72. You better listen to me NOW.”) I’m going to have some breakfast and then dive in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY — a little scary, but necessary.

I’ve got some queries to get out today, and a bunch of business to take care of, along with mundane tasks like vacuuming and looking after the neighbor’s cat, and do some more work on my lectures for the deconstruction workshops.

That’s pretty much it — lots of writing and trying to stay focused. The weather is so dreary I just want to curl up and go back to bed, but that’s not an option right now.

Devon

Willowspring Grove Novel #1 (first draft, handwritten) — 25, 500 out of est. 100,000 — 25.5% (not bad, considering I started this novel on July 18).

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 7:13 am  Comments (4)  
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