Wed. Nov. 30: Close to the End of the Draft

Tessa gets more decorating done than I do

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cooler

The morning just flew away. Yesterday was busy, too. Worked with my students, ran errands, prepped for the meeting in the evening, including doing photo collages of a couple of events. Meeting went well — my first as official Secretary of the organization. I’m going to type up the minutes later today, while it’s still all fresh.

The garage door was being persnickety yesterday — typical Mercury Retrograde.

Good morning’s work on HEART SNATCHER — only about one or two more chapters, and I’m done with the draft. I think it’ll come in around 112K, which gives me room for a lot of cutting, and some expansion. It gets tucked away until the whole class (or what’s left of it) starts the revision process in April. But I’m starting Book 2 (since it’s a trilogy) almost immediately, because Books 2 and 3 will influence the edits on Book 1.

Batted around some ideas yesterday and have to write up a couple of proposals. They’re a little whacky, but if we can pull them off, I think they’ll be a ton of fun — productive sessions that will give students something tangible to take with them.

Tons of errands today, more work with students (critiquing the short stories takes time and I can only do as much as I can do). I’m going to a Writers’ event this evening, which should be fun. Part of me thinks I should cancel — but I know I’ll resent it if I do. So I’m going — that will be the Artist Date for the week.

I am so ready for yoga tomorrow!

I still have a ton of prep to do for the Independent Book Fair in which I’m participating on Saturday. There are some long nights ahead of me this week.


Today’s word count: 2565
Total word count: 97,371

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 11:12 am  Comments (3)  
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day yesterday. Cyber-Mondayed. I have almost all my shopping done now, between Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday. I have a handful of small things to pick up and we’re good to go. Just wrapping, mailing, cards, and baking left.

And putting the house back together.

Good meeting yesterday. I pulled materials I need to make up the press kit for this client, and will turn my attention to that a little later this week. I’ve got the bones of it done, but need to scan in press clippings and arrange them to show the growth of the organization.

Lunch with a friend at a Thai restaurant — always fun.

Interesting discussion with a top notch agent. Can’t be my top-notch agent, because she doesn’t handle genre fiction, but we had a good chat about the changing business model of the market, and how she’s dumping the writers who don’t sit down and write every day and turn out books regularly — unless they’ve already earned the right not to with a solid track record of glowing reviews and high sales. She said slow writers, or writers who only write “when they have time” or “when the mood strikes them” are, nine times out of ten, no longer a viable option for either an agent or a publisher. The days of “your process” or “doing what works for you” are done. If you want to a career, any career, you learn what’s necessary in that field and you do it. Fiction is the same as anything else. Just because you can do it at odd hours doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn the protocols of both craft and business. She pointed out that if you expect to publish in the fiction market, using the excuse of not showing up at that particular page because you’ve got other paid work going on and this isn’t yet contracted is simply a cop-out and indicates you’re not serious about your fiction. The fiction must always come first. Writing — especially fiction writing — is not a nine-to-five endeavor, and if you treat it like a corporate job, you cut yourself off at the knees –and the publisher. Nothing wrong with only having only one book in you, but it better be a good one. And if you take years to write it, there really will only be one. She’s a big believer in writing a minimum of 1000 words a day, and says that’s what makes the difference between “a writing career and a cute lil hobby no one’s gonna take seriously.” Interesting perspective. She’s a tough one — makes me look like a sweet little cupcake! 😉

Especially interesting timing on this conversation, because yet another student dropped out of the year-long because she feels 1000 words a day is too much.

Afternoon busy with commenting on the short story exercises coming in. I’m pleased by the high quality of the work and how clever the plots and stories are.

Worked on the assignment for Confidential Job #1, but got my dates mixed up — kept thinking yesterday was the 27th instead of the 28th. Must get that sorted out right now.

Good morning writing session on HEART-SNATCHER (the first Harpy book in the trilogy).

I’ve got some freelance work to take care of, some errands, and then back to commenting on student work.


Today’s word count: 2446
Total word count: 94,806

Mon. Nov. 28: Ewwwww! Creepy-Crawly Chaos

Monday, November 28, 2011
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

It’s been quite a week!

Wednesday morning, our departure was delayed due to weather. We didn’t get on the road until nearly 10 AM. Fortunately, we missed the worst of the rain and didn’t hit snow until we were past Portland. Not a bad drive, and we managed a few stops on the way at “usual” places on our route. Eight inches of snow where we were staying. Talk about a winter wonderland!

My great uncle is very frail. He’s walking with a cane, thanks to a nasty spill a few weeks ago. He’ll be 95 next month, so, all told, he’s doing pretty well, and he was glad to see us.

The lasagna pan barely fit into the oven, but it did, and the lasagna was a bit hit, as were the salad and cake.

Up early on Thanksgiving. Managed to write 3K of a long short story that’s been percolating for nearly ten years now. It’s finally coming together, and I’m very excited about it.

Thanksgiving Dinner was great — good food, good company. Only 42 people this year, a little smaller than some of the previous years. But good fun. Lots of interesting social dynamics, in spite of everyone sticking to the “leave your egos and arguments at the door” rule. Came away with a stuffed belly and a head equally stuffed with ideas.

Quiet evening, with some visiting, and some packing. Up early on Friday, back on the road by 8. Stopped in Ongonquit for breakfast at Bessie’s. I’ve wanted to eat there for years, but this was the first time I figured out where to park. It was excellent.

Also stopped at a great thrift store at the York/Kittery line and got some wonderful deals, including a pair of metal deer that were obviously hand-crafted and bolted in a unique manner — I’ll have to photograph them at some point.

Home in the afternoon, unpacking, sorting out the cats. Exhausted.

Saturday, worked on the short story, ran around and did some errands. Started cleaning and straightening the place for the holidays. Wondered why the six-foot eggplant in the living rooms was so dusty — and realized it was MOVING! BUGS! The entire plant was infested. The other plants nearby were infested. The curtains were infested. Things were crawling up the walls.

Took the plant out, disposed of it responsibly and sterilized the pot. Washed the other plants to try to save them. Stripped the room and scrubbed it, sterilized it top to toe, vacuumed and laundered the curtains, washed the walls, vacuumed everything remotely vacuum-able, scrubbed everything scrubbable. Stripped down and scrubbed myself in the shower with castile soap (ow) and immediately washed all my clothes in hot water. It took hours. Sprinkled mint everywhere.

Tessa and the twins brawled. There was literally fur flying, but the twins have stopped picking on her.

The next morning, the mint worked and overcame anything left in the windows, but I found some other plants infested in two other rooms. We’ve lost all the eggplants (which were still giving us eggplants) and the green peppers. One of the strawberries was infested, and all the foxgloves.

Headed to Country Gardens. They told me it was spider mites, and what I thought were bites all over my hands, arms, and torso was an allergic reaction to their sticky secretions. Ginger (an anti-inflammatory) offset that. Anyway, they gave me a spray for the plants. I soaked whatever was salvageable, wiped off the dead things once the leaves were dry, and have those plants in quarantine. And scrubbed everything again.

The spray worked. And now I know how to deal with it the next time it happens.

Fourteen hours on it yesterday. The house looks like a tornado hit it. But it’s clean enough to use as an operating room.

I’m sure spider mites exist in NYC, but they tend to choke on the bus fumes, like the rest of us. I never had them in the apartment. I’d never seen the larvae, and didn’t know what it was. It looked like dust. Until it hatched and started moving. Ewwww. And they had to work fast, because we checked all the plants on Wednesday morning and they were fine.

Also managed to put together the Christmas tree and put up the Advent Table (it was the First of Advent yesterday). Deocration boxes are now also all over the place.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get it cleaned up by Christmas. 😦

Good morning writing session. Headed off-Cape for a meeting this morning, then back to try to get some yard work done (the neighbors spent all weekend making their lawns pristine and have ALL their decorations up — I feel so disorganized) and comment on the short story assignment for my class.

I’d love to have a mini-melt-down, but, honesty, there’s just no time.

Today’s word count: 1357
Total word count: 92,360

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 9:45 am  Comments (4)  
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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, colleagues, readers, writers!

And remember, Mercury goes retrograde today: speak thoughtfully, listen well, travel with care and —

Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping!


Published in: on November 24, 2011 at 8:05 am  Comments (4)  

Nov. 23: Weather Crimps Travel Plans

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Day before Dark Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cold

Bad weather today, unfortunately. I hope it doesn’t last too long.

Busy day yesterday. After a great morning on the book, I took the recycling and the leaves to the dump, got in a few more groceries, and spent the afternoon cooking. Baked a lemon cake and a fudge marble cake. Made a lasagna for twelve, with the fixings sorted and ready to go. Packed.

Rolling around a story in my head, a short story, about a professional mourner. I’ve wanted to write about that since I first heard about it years ago in New Orleans, and I think I’m ready.

Slow morning start on the book, because I’m distracted by holiday preparations.

Have a great one, people!


Published in: on November 23, 2011 at 8:05 am  Comments (4)  
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Nov. 22: Writing, Cats, Not Packed for the Holiday

Violet recovers

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Didn’t realize how late it was!

Hop on over to A BIBLIO PARADISE, and give my colleague, and one of the students in my year-long intensive, Kymber Rowean, some comment love on her newest release!

I don’t even know if I remember yesterday, other than it was busy! I know I dropped off some stuff at the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay.

Today is even busier. I wanted to finish a chapter on the book, and it wound up being nearly 4500 words, and took longer than I expected, because I had to stop and figure out a few things. But I’m really close to finishing book one of the trilogy.

I’ve got tentative names for the book and the trilogy, which I have to roll around a bit before I can share them.

The best news is that Violet is fine. We were in and out of the vet in 15 minutes, got the paw taken care of, and I just have to keep an eye on it. She was so good and everyone fell in love with her. She really took to one of the vet techs, which is great, since she’s so often shy around new people.

New slipcovers arrived for the wing back chairs — a deep red, kind of plushy. The silk damask isn’t pet-friendly enough, so I decided to put washable covers on. They’ve worked out well.

I’m not packed for Maine yet — me, who always packs a week ahead of time. I’ve been writing, people! 😉

Gotta hit the grocery store, then bake two cakes and do the lasagna this afternoon, touch up the hair, back — and write some more!


Today’s word count: 4,447
Total word count: 91,000

Nov. 21, 2011: It All Goes To Hell Before the Holidays

Violet hiding behind the teapots so I can’t take her to the vet

Monday, November 21, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

It always all goes to hell before the holidays, doesn’t it?

The weekend was good. I didn’t get to work in the yard more, but on Saturday, we visited Green Briar Jam Kitchen’s holiday fair. It was lovely. The Santa room, decorated all in vintage Santas, was lovely. I picked up some jam and some gifts for the godkids.

The first two Jain Lazarus books are out on request, as the series, not individual books. I’m reading over another manuscript that has to be uploaded ASAP, and found a major POV problem that I need to fix before getting it out. Why did I miss it in seven drafts again? Urgh.

The place I was supposed to teach in Sandwich in January screwed me yet again. We’d set dates for January. I kept emailing and emailing and emailing for confirmation (even though, technically, it was agreed upon in early October IN WRITING), because I have promotional deadlines to meet, and this time, the class was supposed to be under the correct name, so I could promote it. The emails went unanswered. The catalog was in yesterday’s paper — and I’m not in it. Hey, if they don’t want to run the class, fine, but not to have the basic courtesy to tell me? I have to find out by looking at the catalog and seeing that I’m not in it? Unacceptable, and I told them that.

So, I have to make up for that lost income — and, considering I turned down much higher-paying jobs in order to keep the dates I promised them, and can’t get that work back, I am angry.

Another student is dropping out of the year long intensive. At least she had the courtesy to let me know, so those are points in her favor. But again– I have to replace that money. And I specifically didn’t book extra classes in December so I could focus on the year-long people.

And a bunch of them are whining that 1000 words a day are “quantity over quality”? What is this bullshit? FOUR PAGES is not quantity. And working writers need to cough up a hell of a lot more than that to survive.

At the same time, there are a bunch of people who are writing their hearts out, keeping up, turning out wonderful work, and I don’t want them to get short shrift.

If I ever do a class like this again, I will not agree to pay-by-the-month. It makes it too easy for people to quit. Non-refundable, six months up front. I shouldn’t have to re-scramble my schedule every month because someone can’t cut it.

Aren’t I a little cranky pants today? 😉

On my way to the vet with Violet — she needs something looked at. I have to find her to crate her — she knows something is up, and is hiding.

So much to do before I head for Maine over the holiday. Let the frustrations wash off and move forward. Whenever things don’t work out, it usually means something better is on the horizon. I don’t want to repress the frustration and anger, but I can acknowledge it and let it go, rather than letting it fester. Learn what I can from the situation, and see how I can adjust in the future –without lowering the bar on my work.

Nine of my students have landed publishing contracts in the last few months, based on work done in my classes. I’m doing something right for some of them!

Having fun with some short stories, and the novel is going well. That’s at least, in the right direction.


Today’s word count: 3,873
Total word count: 86,556

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 9:52 am  Comments (6)  
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Sat. Nov. 19: Yesterday It was One Year!

We’re still getting eggplants

Saturday, November 19, 2011
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and windy

Got some work done yesterday, and also spent 6 1/2 hours working on the front yard. Raked and bagged, slimy hostas pulled, everything that’s supposed to be pruned in the fall is pruned, everything fed (azaleas, rhodies, hollies, hydrangas, etc.)

Yesterday was also the one year anniversary of moving to Cape Cod, so it was a special day all the way around. I’m really happy I moved here. It made such a positive difference in my life. I can be active in my life again, instead of being re-active to scumbag landlords performing illegal activities on a daily basis. I can actually get some work done. The quality of work and the quality of life has greatly improved.

Worked on proofing the manuscripts I have to get out, but didn’t get as far as I wished.

Attended a lovely event at another local garden center. This one had a harpist, the owner baked and set out cheese and crackers, and mulled cider, there was a seating area amongst the pre-lit trees to eat, drink, and chat, the vendors were demonstrating all kinds of things like wreath-making and edible ornaments for birds, and all the rest. It was lovely.

Today, I’m headed to Green Briar for their holiday fair — after I take some leaves to the dump!

Then, it’s back to work. I’ve got to catch up with my students and get back to proof-reading — three novel-length manuscripts need to go out this weekend, maybe four.

New camera seems to work well. I have to upload the software to download the photos.

All three cats played nicely this morning — maybe Tessa’s on the way to full acceptance! She and Violet are at least in peaceful co-existence. It’s Iris who looks at her every morning like she’s never seen her before. I think Iris thinks 60+ black kittens have made their way through the house in the past few months!

Good morning’s work on the book. Fun chapter. Not quite done, but found a good stopping point. I’m thinking of cutting some of the chapters I used as “interludes” and keeping the focus on the two protagonists and the character who refuses to be a villain, although he is an antagonist.

Have a great weekend!


Total word count: 82,683

Published in: on November 19, 2011 at 10:52 am  Comments (5)  
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Fri. Nov. 18: Learn from My (Writing) Mistakes

Iris naps

Friday, November 18, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I woke up at 3:30 AM yesterday. Not 5:30, when I wanted to wake up. 3:30. And couldn’t get back to sleep. By 4:45, I gave up and got up.

The cats looked at me and said, “You are INSANE. We, however, are CATS, and therefore will stay in BED until a reasonable hour.” Of course, all that dignity went out the window when they heard the can open!

So, I got up to write, even though I knew it meant I’d be toast by noon.

Very disappointed in the quality of yesterday’s words. I learned a lesson — don’t assume you remember what you meant while writing the outline unless you’ve also put in some detail. I had a note in the outline that two characters were “talking”. Um, about what, exactly? Yes, one of them arrived in a unique way, but the scene has to be about more than that, or it’s just wasted words. I remember how I felt when I wrote this part of the outline — the excitement, the sense of how much fun this scene would be. But it’s nearly 80K into the book, so by the time I got there, I couldn’t remember the details. I no longer had the excitement. The scene fell flat.

I either have to re-imagine it and bring back the verve I had about it initially, or it gets cut.

Learn from my mistakes! 😉

I outlined more for this trilogy than I usually do for a book, and it STILL wasn’t enough!

Did follow-up from the Writers’ Night Out, both before and after yoga. Yoga was great. Yes, I’m muttering sometimes in some of the poses, but she really makes us work, and that’s what I need.

Stopped at Staples on the way back to get some envelopes big enough for the media kits. Did more follow up from the previous evening. Was invited and accepted the invite to a beta testing program of a new business model for writers. The head of it had spoken to us at the meeting and then was gracious enough to take extra time after to answer some of my specific questions — since a lot of what I do is very different than many people in the group. He gave me some very interesting statistics that make me feel better about what I do in my own work, and how I’m guiding my students — more and more of them are successfully publishing,

Got one manuscript out on submission and have three more to get out this weekend. I’m doing a final proofread on each of them before they head out — lots of reading!

Spent time with students, did follow-up, worked on book club research, mulled over the short story I have due soon. I think the short stories queueing up to be written will be good palate cleansers in the proofreading I do this weekend.

Went to a holiday event at a local garden center last night. It was beautifully done — the place was gorgeous. The vendors were tucked in and around the lush plant displays. The music was definitely lounge-lizard variety — but the guy was in on the joke, so it was okay. They had local food vendors, which was good, in one sense, but I wasn’t about to buy something gooey and walk around with it. If one of the bigger restaurants had partnered to cater the event, circulating h’ors d’oeuvre trays or something, I would have been impressed and tried out the restaurant. But the food element didn’t quite work the way it was set up. And it was packed — had to park in the very last spot in the far corner of the event (and trudge back to the center in the pouring rain).

I was hoping to get some of my holiday shopping done, but there really wasn’t anything that was right for those on my list. It was lovely stuff, but not what I’m looking for.

I’ve got another event at another garden center tonight! 😉

My new camera arrived. It’s similar to my old one, but just annoyingly different enough so I have to use the manual! 😉

I went to bed crazy early last night. More busy dreams — this time, I behaved thoughtlessly and totally out of character for me, and then had to fix it. I did something I’ve never done that lead others in the dream to a type of worry I’ve been careful to never cause, so it’s interesting I had that kind of dream.

Back to the page — I have to do this morning’s words on the trilogy, work on the short story, proofread manuscripts before sending them off, and work in the garden. Oh, and run to the store to buy coffee. I’m out, after this morning’s batch, and that does not bode well for anyone!


Total word count (as of yesterday): 80,683

Published in: on November 18, 2011 at 8:39 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday, November 17, 2011: Writers’ Night Out = Awesome!

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Probably still raining

I’ve scheduled this to post, because I’ll hit the page at 5:30 this morning to get my 1000 words in on the book before heading to yoga at 7:30.

Writers’ Night Out was so much fun last night! Great food, great company. Some good networking — caught up with people I’d met a few weeks ago, met some new ones. I have A LOT of follow up to do today when I get back from yoga, but it will be worth it. Some great opportunities. AND . . .I’ll get to host some great authors on A BIBLIO PARADISE as their books come out. So you guys benefit, too! 😉

What I love about this group is that they are enthusiastic and supportive. They work on the principle I fully believe in — as writers, we are all in this together, not in competition. Whenever one of us succeeds, it helps all of us. And when we help each other succeed, it’s even better!

My students are working hard; I’m proud of them, even as I crack the whip.

It’s official: I’m only allowed adult sippy cups (AKA travel mugs) when I write. I spilled coffee over 92 manuscript pages of the Harpy book yesterday in a moment of stupidity. They are set out all over the house on towels, and the cats are rearranging them. Hey, they might have some editing tips, and it’s better than getting it over the computer, right?

When I get home, I’ll do follow-up from last night, get some media kits out to book groups, and work on one of the short stories (I’ve got four queued up to be written this weekend, in addition to the work on the novel), before heading out to an event in Falmouth.

Gotta love it!


Word count as of yesterday: Just over 79K

Wednesday, November 16, 2011: Busy Dreams

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Just a quick check-in, before too much of the day gets away from me. I had more “busy dreams” last night, and woke up, feeling exhausted. This would make the good basis for a story — about a someone killing the witnesses at an execution with the same type of drug. But I’m a little tired of having these vivid, busy dreams — some of them organizing a gala, organizing a conference, preventing a break-in at the old apartment, picking people up at the airport — I wake up feeling like I’ve already put in a full day.

Also woke up with the idea for a Christmas story. Not sure if I can get it out in time, or what I’ll do with it if I do, but we’ll see what happens. I SHOULD have written it in July — but I didn’t have the idea then! 😉

We had company yesterday — glad I got my writing done early. It was a lot of fun, and she was delighted to see the house and see what a good move it was, all the way around. My neighbor (the one who was ill last week) is back up and around, and took our leaves to the dump for us in his pick-up truck, which was very sweet.

Back to the page today — a lot to do, and I’ve been re-prioritizing projects. I’m writing steadily, but I have to up the variety a bit, and catch up on the backlog. Everything that could possibly be out there earning its keep needs to go out, and anything that needs tweaking, needs to be tweaked and THEN go out and earn its keep.

I’ve got a Writers’ Association dinner tonight, which should be fun. But there’s a lot that needs to get done before then.

Finished Jasper Fforde’s ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING, which was very, very funny. And very relevant to the class I’m currently teaching.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was just one of those Murphy’s Law days. But it’s over and today is a new day!

After the morning chaos, I had a tough time focusing. Got some business out of the way. Ordered a new camera — went with a Canon. Got a good deal on the camera and a battery charging kit, and it’ll be here on Thursday. Sorting out the details for the book festival I’m doing the first weekend of December in Plymouth.

Cleaned the house, baked a cake, prepared the deviled eggs and the chicken salad for today’s lunch. Will go the proscuitto with figs as soon as this is posted. I’ve been cooking a lot the last days: lasagna; chicken & sausage with penne; pork chops smothered in red wine, mushrooms, and sage; ham and noodle casserole.

Managed to get about 1800 words done on the book, and another 1100 this morning. With what I wrote over the weekend, I’m just over 76K, a good place to be.

Still have to put the garden to bed and do a million other things, but as long as the writing goes well, everything else falls into place. Got the royalty report for ASSUMPTION. Decent, not brilliant. Will have to push some more, and also get SPIRIT REPOSITORY done and off, so there can be two books for people to enjoy in this fictional world.

I have my next assignment for Confidential Job #1, so I have to get going on that one, too. It looks pretty darned good.


Today’s word count: 1165
Total word count: 76,861

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 8:13 am  Comments (2)  
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Monday, November 14, 2011

The tree in Mother’s Park before the storm

Monday, November 14, 2011
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I think my Mercury went retrograde a week and a half early! 😉

Busy weekend. Worked a lot on Friday, had a good day at the page. On an impulse, went to the yarn store and bought yarn for two projects. I want to crochet a chakra blanket (the chakra colors in order) for meditation. Found cotton yarn for that, so I can use it year-round. Also found a lovely blue alpaca yarn for a sweater my mom will knit for me. Started the blanket.

Saturday was busy – writing, then going to help clean up Mother’s Park. It was a lot of fun. We had a great group of people. Sadly, the enormous white pine that will be 100 years old had a section sheared off in the last storm — more than 20 feel lying on the ground. Heartbreaking.

One of the women I worked with is in a book group, so I gave her information, in case the group is interested in ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT and having me come and speak.

I took lots of pictures of the day to document it, since that’s now my job as Secretary of the organization. When I went home to upload them, I found out that there’s a CCD problem with my camera, and it won’t take pictures in daylight anymore. With low light and no flash, I can kinda sorta get some pictures, but the quality is rapidly deteriorating.

We headed off to the stores in Wareham. Found some additional alpaca in the same dye lot and also some yarn for another project I’d like to do. I looked at other cameras in Staples and Best Buy. Honestly, between the camera and the printer, I’m wondering if I should re-think my twenty plus years of loyalty to Canon. The Nikons are very tempting. I can’t spend much, and I don’t need anything too fancy. But I need to carry a camera around with me all the time. That’s part of the gig.

I was frustrated, so I bought the shoes: a lovely pair of Anne Klein navy pumps. They’re gorgeous and go with just about everything.

Swung by the park on the way home. The angle of the sun had changed and I was able to get photos that, with enhancement, are somewhat usable, although not great. You can see the poor tree’s plight. As you see, the photo’s not great, even with enhancement, but it’s better than nothing, and at least it’s not all white light space.

injured tree after storm

Worked with the students, did some more work on the blanket. Even though I’m going all the way to the end and chaining up, I’m decreasing. I don’t understand why. Emailed Canon to find out my options.

Sunday, woke up early, got the papers, gave myself the day off writing. Wound up the Harry Potter class, did some work around the house. Canon got back to me — they gave me one trouble-shooting option I can try (but the light sensors are probably shot, so it may not work). My other options are to send it in for a refurbished one “at a customer loyalty discount” or get it repaired, which will cost more than a new one. Since soon I won’t be able to get the memory cards for this camera anyway, I think I should probably get a new one. While their camera customer service is definitely better than the printer customer service, I’m still on the fence about staying with them. Asked advice and was told that both Sony and Kodak are unreliable, so that narrows it down to saying with Canon or switching to Nikon. I usually avoid anything with a celebrity spokesperson on principle, but I played with some Nikons on Sunday and kind of liked them. We’ll see.

I’m going to see if there’s such a thing as a “disposable digital” — remember those disposable cameras a few years ago? — to tide me over. I have an older Canon digital that I had to stop using because the film sets couldn’t use the memory cards, which is why I bought this one for my kit in the first place. It’s still packed — somewhere. If I can find it and it works, maybe it will tide me over. I probably will wait until Mercury goes direct in mid-December. Even though it doesn’t turn retrograde until Thanksgiving Day (lucky me, on the road all day — yes, that was sarcasm), I’m already having so many technical difficulties that I want to be cautious. All I need is to buy something during the retrograde and have it implode as soon as Mercury goes direct. I’m doing an extra Time Machine backup on the computer later today, just to be sure.

Then, this morning, my mother’s bed frame collapsed — we’ve had problems since the movers put it together — they did a lousy job. So we took apart the frame and her bed is now on the floor like a college student’s. And the cable TV crapped out — AGAIN. Called Comcast, they “fixed” it — and twenty minutes later, it was out again. I am so sick of them, and so sick of them being the only option on the Cape. Their customer service people are perfectly pleasant, which is a point in their favor, but the company does not resolve problems. They use band-aids on amputations. One thousand points detracted.

I have SO much to get done today AND I have to clean the house top to toe because we have company coming tomorrow (at least they called first — and we really want to see them) for lunch, so I have to figure out what to serve.

I still have to put the garden to bed, but it’s been so windy, I haven’t had the chance to go out and do much.

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