Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Scheduled to post

I LOVE Friday the 13th!!! One of my favorite days in the calendar!

Yeah, I’m scheduling it to post, since I’m on the road again, headed back to CT. Wednesday was busy. And Thursday was busy and I didn’t manage my time properly, so by the time I could sit down at the computer, it was kind of pointless to post.

We went to Wareham to hit a bunch of the box stores. Not much worthwhile — that’s what you get when you’re doing that kind of shopping when Mercury is NOT retrograde! 😉 But I found good buckets at Lowe’s for a good price. And some spring cosmetics. And a shopping bag full of chocolate from the new Lindt factory outlet!

Managed to get some of the plants in the ground — hope they like it there! There were about 45 minutes of sun, and I took advantage of it to plant.

Caught up with my students, worked on prep for the lecture class starting May 23, fielded offers to write some articles for a couple of publications I like a lot and read regularly, but have to figure out if it will work on both creative and financial levels in this time frame.

Anyway, I’m on the road, and I have an intense weekend of work ahead of me. I’m already looking forward to heading back home on Monday night!


Published in: on May 13, 2011 at 1:19 am  Comments (2)  
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Today, my strengths are in time mis-management rather than time management, and it’s too late to blog, so . . .catch up with you tomorrow! 😉


Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm  Comments Off on Oops!  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The cat watches and waits

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Monday was a gorgeous, sunny day in CT. Even better was that I wrote 5K on THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. By about 10 AM. I’ve been writing all the chapters from Bonnie’s POV, instead of alternating the two main protagonists, as I did in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, where Morag has the odd-numbered chapters and Simon has the even-numbered chapters. Bonnie’s side of the story was more accessible to me so far, so I figured maybe the whole thing had to be written from her POV. But I struggled. And I felt too far removed from Rufus. Since a lot of the premise has to do with Rufus’s ancestors who lived in New York when it was New Amsterdam, I was losing a lot of the point of the book by not having chapters from Rufus’s POV. I realized that over the weekend, and Monday, I went back and put them in. So, very quickly, the book’s doubled in size, and the two storylines which seem to be parallel are closer to crossing.

Finished reading the time-travel-bland-setting book. On the fence about it. There are some elements I like about it and some I don’t.

Re-reading ARIADNE’S THREAD, a book important to me in the 1990s. With the years of life experience since I last read it, I’m getting a lot more out of it now.

Did some yoga out on the sunny deck. The warmth did my tired muscles good.

Started revisions on a novella I need to get out the door. It was originally written several years ago, and I’ve extensively rewritten it since. One of the things I noticed the most strongly was the amount of typos in it. The story stands well, although, if I remember correctly, I will have to fix some of the logistical problems near the end. If I could get that out the door over the weekend or early next week, it would be a good thing. While I keep working on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, of course.

Up very early on Tuesday morning and on the road by 5:30. Hit Niantic by 7 and ate at the diner. A group of security officers sat at the next table, and I eavesdropped shamelessly, soaking up material I’ll use someday. I was so happy driving over the MA state line, I nearly cheered in the car.

Got home in the late morning, unpacked, repacked, did two loads of laundry, went through the mail that stacked up, received the new assignment from Confidential Job #1, dealt with some client work, did some work on the upcoming workshop which starts on May 23. Got on line in the evening to catch up commenting on student work.

It’s nearly 30 degrees colder on the cape than it was in CT, and wet and rainy. And it’s supposed to stay that way all week, which means I can’t mow. I’m heartbroken, can’t you tell? 😉

I’ll have a new post up on Gratitude and Growth later today, I hope. There’s a lot to tell, and I’ve got photos to upload.

A couple of clients have worked my last nerve lately. Now, in the overall scheme, their requests aren’t all that off-the-wall. However, for some reason, I was getting really angry. I finally sat down and figured out WHY I was angry, so now I can come up with a positive solution. In this particular case, anger is not a productive response. I still haven’t figured out what the solution is, but at least I know where my reaction comes from. A step in the right direction.

Iris was happy to see me. Violet ignored me, until bedtime, when she slept on top of me all night. She’s a small cat, but, after awhile, even she gets heavy!

Back to the page today, first to SPIRIT REPOSITORY, then to some client work, then to class prep. I’ve got to go grocery shopping and pick up a few other things at various places in the area today. I think tomorrow I’ll head back over the bridge to Wareham and hit Target and Lowe’s for a few things.

The next few days will be full out, until I head back to CT.


Guest Lori Widmer Asks Fiction Readers: What Is Your Writer Worth?

I am on the road today, so the wonderful and talented Lori Widmer has a guest post here, in preparation for Writers Worth Day.

Fiction Readers: What is Your Writer Worth?
By Lori Widmer

You loved that latest book, didn’t you? The story was compelling, and the writer took the time to develop the intricacies of the plot. You felt moved by it, entertained by it, and maybe even changed by it a little. That begs the question – do you know what your writer was paid for all that work?

This week marks the 4th anniversary of Writers Worth Week (extended to a week this year), an annual awareness-building campaign designed to help writers realize their value as skilled professionals. Make no mistake – fiction writers are no less business people than non-fiction writers. Yet many factors in the publishing industry are working against fiction writers. Did you know:

Writers are being expected to pay for book promotion. Once a standard part of a publishing contract, promotion is a bill now being pushed onto the writers. Publishers budget less for marketing and promotion for anything but the top-selling authors. The writer is now expected to pick up the slack. Swag costs money, and most publishers aren’t paying for it. More and more publishers demand a marketing plan as part of the submission package. It doesn’t help that self-styled “marketing gurus” and even other other authors encourage or demand writers to spend the advance on marketing.

Writers are being burdened with more promotional responsibilities. Publishers are requiring writers to put in much more time into promoting their own products. So now writers have to be not only great writers, but also sales and publicity experts.

Writers are receiving lower and lower advances. Gone are the days of huge advances for that killer book. Writers are fortunate to receive four figures let alone six.

Writers are expected to churn. It’s why that last book by your favorite author wasn’t as good as the first one. Writers lucky enough to receive multiple-book deals are expected to supply up to two new books annually.

Writers are being asked to pay for consideration. Some publishers are willing to consider your work – for a fee. Or worse, they promise publication – online – for a fee. This practice devalues a writer’s skills and value in the market.

In the spirit of Writers Worth Week, tell your favorite writer today what his or her work means to you. Also, write to the publisher and let them know, as well. Help writers protect their value and increase their ability to earn a living at their craft. Boycott products from publishers that charge for reading or publication. Let them know you expect better treatment of writers by the industry, and that you won’t stand for it as a consumer.

Lori Widmer is a veteran writer, editor, and author of The Worthy Writer’s Guide to Building a Better Business.” She blogs to the writing community at Words on the Page.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Heather in front of the house

Monday, May 9, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’m still in CT. It’s so green and bloom-y here! So much farther along than the Cape. Quite beautiful.

Saturday was a damned long day. Up at 4, out the door a little after 5. Traffic wasn’t too bad most of the way down (except around Providence, as usual). I was glad to hop on the Merritt around New Haven, because a section of I-95 was closed due to an accident, and, at the time I was in the area, people had been stuck behind it for over three hours.

Arrived a little after 9, took care of a few things, ran some errands in my former hometown, which meant dealing with the over-indulged suburbanites. Don’t miss them at all.

Spent the afternoon covering the Kentucky Derby via live stream. Had a decent, but not brilliant betting day, but not overstudying brought back some of the enjoyment. I think I’ll study a little for the Preakness, but not overly much. My favorite horse did not do well in the Derby itself, but one of my other choices came in third, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Roughed out the article, sent out a few questions on some injuries that occurred during the course of the day, hoping none of them are life-threatening.

Went to bed EARLY. Had lots of weird, disturbing dreams.

It amazes me that, after being here just a couple of hours, I was fighting a migraine again. Although I’ve had a few headaches since the move (on several different levels), they are nowhere near the frequency and severity that I have down here. I wonder how much is physical environment and how much is emotional? And how does one separate them out?

Sunday was a gorgeous day. My mom found the card I’d hidden for her for Mother’s Day– with a little coaching. I’d hidden it a bit too well. Violet cried the first three hours I was gone,and wouldn’t have anything to do with anyone for the rest of the day.

Had a good morning yoga session.

I read the papers, worked on my article, caught up on email, caught up on student comments. I’ve been having trouble finding a couple of things in my new home region, so I thought I’d check “old, familiar places.” No luck here, either (sigh).

Picked up a book by an author whose work I’ve read before and enjoyed. But (probably because I’m teaching a course on setting), I’m finding her setting so vague and “Castle Anywhere” that I get frustrated. And the depiction of the relationship between the two protagonists is annoying. Yes, it get it that they’re fascinated with each other — you don’t have to beat me over the head with it in every scene. I’m paying attention! 😉

Got a little bit of writing done, a scene on Yet-Something-Else-I-Shouldn’t-Be-Working-on-Right-Now. But had a HUGE breakthrough on SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so not feeling so guilty.

Got to brainstorm with two writing pals (separately) about new career trajectories for them. Love that! Love to help talented friends look at new possibilities.

The images from my dreams were so disturbing that I was afraid to go to sleep on Saturday night. I HAVE to figure out a way to incorporate them into a piece. I don’t usually write horror, but these would be appropriate for a horror story.

Lots of writing on the agenda today, and then packing in preparation to GO HOME. Now that I have a home I love, I hate to be away from it, even for good things.

Saw a very pretty fountain — not cheap, but a fair price, considering materials and workmanship. However, the description said, “Avoid extreme temperatures.” Considering what a harsh winter we had, I thought I should check. So I called the store and asked them for the temperature range I should avoid.

Clerk: Y’know, extreme temperature. Like, too hot or too cold.

Me: I know the definition. I need the temperature range.

Clerk: I dunno.

Me: Could you find out?

Clerk: No. You’d have to ask the manufacturer.

Me: Who’s the manufacturer?

Clerk: I dunno. It’s on the box.

Me: Could you take a look at the box and tell me, please?

Clerk: You’ll read it on the box when it arrives.

Me: Since I’m not going to order it unless I know it can take the temperatures, that’s not going to happen.

Needless to say, the store lost the sale. Talk about totally different than the local Cape stores, where I was looking, in general, and asked about temperature concerns. I was told, “If we carry it, we’ve tested it. We brought in a bunch of these planters last fall and over-wintered them outside to make sure the manufacturer was telling the truth.” Now THAT’s customer service! 😉

I’m leaving early tomorrow to head back to the Cape, so Lori Widmer has graciously agreed to guest-post, in preparation for Writers Worth Day on the 15th. This week, I have to catch up on the garden, get out a few proposals to convince a couple of companies which fascinate me that they can’t possibly live without hiring me part-time, write a lot, and prepare to head, on Friday morning, the the next site job.


Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 6:09 am  Comments (4)  
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Woods Hole, MA

Saturday, May 7, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Kentucky Derby Day
Scheduled to Post

If you’re looking for Racing Ink, there isn’t one this year. I’m not handicapping the races ahead of time. I’m choosing my horses before each race as they happen. I feel that, the past few years, I over-researched and lost a lot of the sense of fun and excitement I have on the day.

I’m scheduling this to post because I’m on the road Very Early, since I have to arrive at the site before 10 AM. Let’s hope it’s clear driving.

So not looking forward to this month’s gasoline bill.

Hate leaving the garden, even for a few days. But that’s the gig. Gotta earn a living so I can have a garden! 😉

Took garbage and recycling to the dump, picked up some wine for my trip, made sure my mom and the cats have enough food in the cupboards and refrigerator while I’m gone (those cats will be so spoiled). I’m going to have to mow the damn lawn again as soon as I get back! Got my site dates squared away for the rest of the month. To-ing and fro-ing more than I’d like, but it will all be good.

Caught up with the students. They are a committed, enthusiastic group, and a total pleasure. We had a couple of people join late, but they are working their butts off to catch up and keep up, so it’s all good.

Chapter Four of the WIP-I-Shouldn’t-Be-Working-On turned out very intense, and exposed the themes of the book. I usually don’t figure those out until about the third draft, but they’re pretty clear here in the first and will help shape the book. And then I ran out of ink. And then the ball bearings fell out of the desk.

Yeah, time to go! 😉

Will check in Monday.


Published in: on May 7, 2011 at 1:11 am  Comments (3)  
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Isn’t that pretty? That’s a Stewartstonian Azalea. There are so many azaleas and rhododendrons in the area that I’m kind of over them, but I fell in love with this one. It’s going to go in another of the cedar barrels. Because I’m taking it with me when I move! 😉

Got about 3K done on the untitled book yesterday — Chapter 4’s nearly done. I had to stop writing in order to drive to Plymouth for the car servicing appointment.

Dropped off the car, headed to the waterfront, browsed through stores and favorite places. Picked up a few things to take with me this weekend.

Had coffee and a pastry at a really nice cafe called Blue Blinds (it’s in an old house, and the shutters are blue). Fair trade coffee, pastries made with whole, fresh ingredients, good all the way around.

The car needed new spark plugs, so that was an expense I wasn’t expecting, but it was okay. And I’d rather know they’re working than get stuck on the road with all the driving I have to do this month. The car’s much happier with the oil change and the spark plugs and everything re-calibrated, so I think I’m set for the next few trips.

Came home, caught up on commenting on student work, did two loads of laundry, took care of some other business, including working on what I’m getting ready for my Senator. There’s a complex fact-checking and sourcing process involved in order for the material to be taken seriously. I’m not one of the ignoramuses who believes and repeats partisan sound bites. I do my own research, come to my own conclusions, and when I present a proposal, the facts are established and sourced. There’s room to disagree on the principles, of course, but the facts are solid. Unfortunately, it’s time consuming. But if even part of the proposal is accepted, it will make life easier for everyone.

Caught up on GAME OF THRONES last night. Mixed feelings on the first episode, didn’t like the second episode, liked the third episode. Sean Bean had some great scenes with the actress who plays his youngest daughter, and with the actress who plays his wife. I think one of the problems I have with the piece is that there are so many unlikeable characters in it. Yeah, I know, the actors call them “complex” — they have to, in order to invest in them. But they are unlikeable. And one gets tired of that many scenes of ugliness. We have to deal with enough ugliness in the world right now. I want to see better worlds, not worse ones in my fiction, at this point. That’s a personal point of view, but there it is. The production design is so gorgeous, though.

Found out I have to leave earlier than I expected tomorrow — probably will hit the road around 5:30 AM. I have to finish packing the writing bag and do a Time Machine Back Up on the computer later, but, for the most part, I’m in good shape.

Tomorrow will be a Very Long Day, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.


Published in: on May 6, 2011 at 6:33 am  Comments (5)  
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Busy day yesterday, but mostly writing, which is as it should be. I managed 5K on, completing three chapters and starting a fourth on a piece. Unfortunately, it’s not the piece I should be working on, so I need to figure out a balance to work on the two simultaneously. I need to work on the piece pulling at me hard, demanding to be written; I need to work on the piece that’s on deadline. And I need to up the ante on the PR for ASSUMPTION, since I have four weeks less to do it than I expected.

The problem with the new, as-yet untitled piece (it’s an urban fantasy) is that the first chapter wants to be written in third person omniscient as a prologue, but, in order to serve the rest of the book, it needs to be written in third person through the POV of one of the protagonists.

But it’s flowing well, and I’m not about to get in my own way this early in the process.

Got my hair cut — it hasn’t been this short in about fifteen years. Took books back to the library.

Got to spend some time commenting on student work, but a storm created power issues, and I couldn’t get everything done that needed to get done. Must make up for that today. Of course, we were told there would be intermittent showers, and then we had a cracking good thunderstorm with a downpour.

Even more mystery plants are coming in to fill the back bed. I have a feeling I can use that as a cutting garden this summer, which might be nice.

To the page, and then, in an hour or so, I’ve got to take the car in for servicing.


Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 6:27 am  Comments (6)  
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool; rain off and on

The publisher is excited about ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, and will release it in June, rather than July. Which means I’ve got to ramp up the PR — I have a month less for the initial push than I thought. But I’m glad they’re excited. I’m excited, too!

Yesterday was about grocery shopping and catching up with exercises (students had a deadline). The individual pieces are quite interesting, which makes it fun to read and to help them figure out how to make it even stronger. Time-consuming, but fun.

Some great pots were on sale, so I grabbed them. Still don’t have “the” pot for the lilac and the huckleberry bushes, but I’m looking.

Didn’t get out in the yard, unfortunately.

Had a meeting at night with a new local group I’ve joined, and I’ll help them out on a few events this summer. Got to ask some questions about the garden.

Came home in time to watch NCIS:LA. I wanted to make sure I saw last night’s episode, because it was centered on the character played by Eric Christian Olsen, who’s my favorite actor on the show. He’s always good in it, but last night, his work was outstanding. He got to put a lot of light and shade in his character details. I noticed a couple of logistical lapses/unexplained details (probably necessary cuts for time constraints), but none of them were enough to throw me off the course of the episode. There were a few episodes earlier this season that I felt cheated his character, tried to dilute what he and the show’s creators set up for the character, but this episode (called “Plan B”) and an episode a few weeks back called “Personal” more than made up for it. It will be interesting to see how the creative team builds on it.

Playing with some ideas for a piece. One of the characters has been haunting me for a year or so now, and I’ve been trying to find a good context for her. I think I’m finding it. I don’t want to get too far off-course — I’ve got THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY to worry about — but I’ll make some notes, do a rough outline, and maybe a few pages to see if this is where it needs to go.

The big thing on today’s agenda is getting my hair cut, and then, I’ve got to get the changes into the media kit for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, do a press release, and start getting the kit out.

The changeable weather makes me sleepy, but I need to stay awake and get things done!

On a more serious note, I do not want to see a death photo of Bin Laden. It’s macabre in the wrong way. I think it will cause more problems than it solves. The disbelievers are not going to be mollified — they’re the birthers and the religious extremists who are determined to martyr the terrorist — both of whom fall into the same ignorant, anti-American category, no matter what their citizenship papers claim. They’ve made up their minds, and their minds are too small to change.


Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 7:25 am  Comments (5)  
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
New Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Partly sunny and mild

Tired, but in a good way.

Yesterday packed an emotional wallop. I didn’t expect that kind of response to Bin Laden’s death. I spoke to several people who also lost friends and loved ones that day and some of my former firefighter acquaintances — all of us were on an emotional roller coaster, all of us felt walloped, relieved, emotional, and wondering why we didn’t feel joy. We’re glad, but it’s much more complex than a single emotion. We look around at people who didn’t have the immediate loss, and they are joyful, and we wonder why we aren’t feeling it, too?

I handled the insurance stuff that needed handling (some day, the State of MA and I will be on the same page — I hope). I did my write up for Confidential Job #1 and sent it off. I checked in with my students. I went over the book one more time and sent the final corrections. All I can do is hope for the best.

The rest of the day was spent working on the garden. I picked up mulch and potting soil and another barrel and pot feet and all kinds of other stuff. After lunch, we got to work: Cleaning the side yard (AKA “No Man’s Land”), etc. I mulched the pair of oaks in the front — I’ve chosen a black pine bark, which is really pretty, a nice contrast to the red house. Mulched the tree to the side of the driveway, and one of the Mystery bushes. Cleaned up a lot of debris in the side yard. I need a lot more mulch.

I’m having a terrible time with the hose — it’s spraying where I fasten it to the spigot, and I’m not sure why. I’ve taken it out and re-fastened it a few times. It has a collar that’s supposed to prevent it. The hoses are also woefully short for what I need — I underestimated. I think I’ll move the back hose to the front (which is longer) and buy a longer hose for the back.

I put new soil into the two front beds on either side of the driveway, and planted some cosmos in and amongst the other stuff that’s there. Not that I know what a “cosmo” is, but Costume Imp said they’d look good there, so that’s what I planted. They’ll either come up or they won’t. We found some pansies –who turned out to be horribly pot bound — and put them in the front, a clump on each side. Actually, I spread them out a bit, so they’re not clumped like they were in the pot, so maybe I should say “a grouping”. I tossed foxglove, hollyhock, and delphinium close to the house for some height, and we’ll see what comes up. I planted the morning glories and the mooonflowers on the side of the house, near the wheel. When they come up, I’ll train them up the wheel.

I also planted the pink heather in one of the cedar barrels, and it’s out front, looking perky.

Really, everything looks much, much better. It feels good.

There wasn’t time to do anything at the back, but at least the front is tidied up. Tomorrow, I’ll start putting in the plants I bought for the back.

But I was wiped out, and all the emotions I tried to avoid all day raced back as soon as I sat down on the deck with a glass of wine. Grief is a process, not something with a fixed endpoint.

Caught up with the students, watched a little television. Today, I’ve got writing to do, my students have a deadline, and I want to get some plants in at the back.

I’ve got the April Wrap-Up and the May To Do List up on the GDR site. I have a good bit of traveling to do this month — later in the week, I’m getting my hair cut and getting the car serviced, so that I’ll be all set. I’ve got to go grocery shopping and do a bunch of other things, although I’d rather just sit and BE for a bit today, and try to sort out all these complicated emotional reactions.


Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 7:37 am  Comments (4)  
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011
Dark of the Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

A busy weekend, but, ultimately, a good one. I was out the door early on Saturday morning, for the drive up to Long Pasture Sanctuary. Forty of us gathered to work on the butterfly mosaic trail, which is a network of ten plots geared to please different types of butterflies. It was a great group of people, lots of fun. I learned a lot. Most of them know a lot more about gardening than I do (not too hard) and were happy to teach me.

We finished our plot quickly (weeding and mulching), and then built a mud hole, AKA “imbibing station”, or, as I called it, “The Butterfly Spa”. We dug out a stretch of the loamy soil (cows used to graze there), set a length of special tarp down (left over from the new vernal pool built at Ashumet earlier this week), and covered it in earth. We set a few stones in there, so the butterflies have spots on which to rest. Water will collect, and they’ll have a place to “imbibe.”

Needless to say, we’re all excited to keep visiting all summer to see how things continue to grow and change!

Back home, ate lunch, and then I had to use the lawnmower for the first time. I only managed to cut the front lawn and the terraced section in the back. I still have to do what I’m starting to call “the meadow.” I was simply too exhausted, especially with the weird slopy thing the land does, to do the whole property.

Hopefully, I will develop mowing skills over the summer and start to enjoy it, because right now? Not so much.

Caught up with my students, studied in the evening, but went to bed early. Ran my eye over the galleys again.

On Sunday, we read the papers. The neighbors were all busy in their yards. I felt guilty. Again, no one’s ever been less than lovely, but I feel like I’m constantly behind. But weekends are my busiest time; I don’t have eight hours on ANY day to spend in the yard. I have, tops, two. So, I just do as much as I can.

Yesterday was about going to nurseries for me, though. The pansies have all died in these places — they were left outside unprotected in the series of frosts, and haven’t recovered. So I think I missed the pansy window this year.

However, I bought heather, silver mound artemesia, red salvia, bugleweed, Scotch moss, stonecrop, catmint, and an absolutely gorgeous red Stewarstonian Azalea. Got more soil, a barrel for the heather, etc.

The plants are sitting on the deck, and I’m hardening off the lilac, the iris, and the borage. I had to bring all the small plants in last night, because it went down to almost freezing. And brought them all out this morning.

Spent time with the student work last night, and finished reading the assignment for Confidential Job #1. Must do the write up for it today. Must also send some more information to set up my insurance, and hit the final “send” on the galleys for ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT. For me, final galleys are the most frightening part of any book production process. My editor helped me strengthen the scenes I’m using in the marketing materials, so I have to update all of those.

I also need to go and pick up mulch, more soil, and another barrel (for the azalea). I’m going to work on the front of the property today, cleaning up a section between my place and one neighbor’s, that’s kind of a mess, do some mulching (which will make everything look neater), and some planting in the front, at one side, and in the back — some of these small plants need to go in.

Just the thought of everything that needs to get done overwhelms me.

The tornadoes in the South are just heartbreaking. I’m doing what I can from here, but everything feels like it’s not enough.

I’m waking up to news that Osama bin Laden is finally dead. I haven’t heard/read the news reports in full yet, but I keep thinking that, especially since I knew so many people who died on 9/11, I should feel more than weary relief, and wonder how bad the retaliation will be. Makes kind of sense that it would happen on Dark of the Moon — bringing closure to many of the 9/11 families.