Sept. 12, 2012 — Eek!

Morning’s getting away from me, pedal to the metal — will check in again tomorrow!

Haven’t forgotten you, treasure all of you, but the weight of yesterday got to me, and I have to make up for it today!

Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 10:12 am  Comments (2)  

Tues. Sept. 11, 2012: Balancing Life With 9/11

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool
11th Anniversary of 9/11

My essay on “9/11 in Fiction” is here. I hope you will stop by to read it and drop a comment.

Today is always a difficult day, no matter where we are. Later on, I will perform the ceremony I created and add to over the years to commemorate the day.

I worked a lot yesterday, but didn’t get enough done. The anthology is off my desk and onto the publisher’s desk, which is a relief. I feel good about the book, and all our contributions to it, but getting all the bits to work smoothly when sending material between different operating systems was challenging.

Speaking of which, I have to update my operating system at the end of this week. The very thought of it gives me agita. But it needs to be done. In fact, first I have to upgrade to Snow Leopard, and only THEN can I put in the newest one, Mountain Lion. I can’t skip a cat.

I have to return a stack of research books today, so I pulled whatever information I still needed. I also have to pick up some books that are on hold for me.

The contest entries I agreed to judge arrived. I will get started on them today.

I was asked to teach a 12-week intensive at a rate that breaks down to $8 per WEEK. Are you kidding me? I was polite when I declined, but I was incredibly insulted by that rate.

Worked on my Sustainability assignments for the week. Worked with my tarot students. Had some preliminary discussions about other fall, winter, and spring classes that need to get on the roster. I’m teaching less, but at rates that reflect more the work put in. And each class is only offered once in year. I want people in class who want to be there, who make it a priority, not who figure, “oh, I can take it or something like it in three months instead”.

Didn’t get enough work done on the revisions, the novel, or the novella, and am not happy about that. However, I spent a couple of much-needed hours in the yard, and it shows. I have to start putting things to bed, and I think one of my rhodies has given up the ghost.

It was so cold this morning that the heat kicked in!

Lots to do today, and only a finite amount of hours (just like everybody else), so I better get going!

Devon

Mon. Sept. 10, 2012: Great Writing News!

Monday, Sept. 10, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It feels like a month has passed instead of a weekend. So much going on!

Great news! My one-act play “The Effie Effect” has been chosen as part of Tilden Art Center’s PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD Festival. It’s going to have a reading on Sept. 28. I will post more information as I get it. I’m very excited — it’s my theatrical debut on the Cape!

Last week’s paper for the Sustainability Course was “Sustainability Vs. Human Greed”. We can talk about what we “should” do in order to be sustainable all we want, but as long as there are people making huge profits from unsustainable practices, nothing will change. Cut off the money source, and we’ve got a chance, because the greedy special interests who line their own pockets aren’t going to change. That got some pretty good responses.

This week’s paper, “Education, Equality, and Rape”, which I wrote and uploaded on Sunday morning (after several days’ research) is also getting good feedback. There’s all this talk about how population growth/fertility rates remain highest among the poorest, most uneducated women — um, yeah, because they’re kept like brood mares. When you educate women, give them access to health care, equal rights, et al, which includes child survival rates rising, the population growth slows (although there’s still debate as to whether we’ve hit carrying capacity or can create the sustainable “S” curve). Of course, if the special interest right wing-nuts in this country get their way, women will be stripped of their rights and turned back into brood mares again, but that’s an argument for another day. The reason I wrote the paper is because the experts talk about the importance and impact of education and equality for women to affect sustainable population growth, but they all ignored rape and sexual violence as a tool of war, and the children that are born of that violence. Northern Sudan, Darfur, Bosnia — throughout history, rape is used as a tool of war. There aren’t even reliable statistics, because of the shame associated with rape. So last week’s paper addressed that issue.

Once I read this week’s material and see what annoys me about it, I’ll have my topic for this week’s paper!

I also wrote and posted the proposals for my two milestone projects. We only need to do one, but I can’t decide between them, so I’m doing two. The first is very traditional within the realms of the class, dealing with the Flood/Drought Rebalance and how I think it can be done in the US. I’ve got a bunch of sources, I know what I want to say, it’s something I’ve discussed with my Senate and Congressional offices, and I’ll finally have a document to hand them. The other project is fiction — which is rather out of the realm of what they’re used to in a class like this. It’s an environmentally-sustainable series that will give actual information in an entertaining and engaging way without falling into the cliches most fictional characters in this realm do. For the purposes of the class, I do the vision for the series, and the outline and first three chapters of this book. So that’s all good, and both projects are getting solid support from my classmates.

Got the welcome message from the World History Class, which starts next Monday. 70,000 in that class, which is a little depressing! And the textbook is so far out of my price range, I can’t even consider it at this point. So I will try to track it down in one of the many libraries to which I have access.

I’ve also been invited to submit to another project — 15K as soon as I get get it done. I’m having fun with it, so we’ll see.

With all that, I’m deep in edits for the second Jain Lazarus, OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. Billy Root has a few things to say about it here. AND I’m scrambling to get book #3 to the publishers on time.

I ran into some frustrations getting the text smoothed out for the anthology — there are formatting issues that take me longer than I’d like to resolve, and sections I have to re-key by hand. I want to get it off my desk today or tomorrow (I planned to finish it by yesterday), because I need it off my desk and onto the publisher’s! 😉

And I need to chase down some payments this week, start another article that’s due, do some more pitches, and finish the material for the latest Confidential Job #1. And, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to be a contest judge, so those materials should hit my desk today.

I drove to P-town yesterday to have brunch with some good friends in from NY, friends I haven’t seen since I moved to the Cape. In spite of the weather, it was great fun. We laughed a lot.

Tarot class is doing well. I’m having fun with them.

And I was mentioned in THE CAPE COD TIMES — they gave me a few paragraphs about my upcoming writing workshops in Falmouth.

I even got some mowing done on Friday, before the next round of storms hit! Isaac’s gone, but Leslie is affecting the surf here.

Got a big day of writing ahead of me, so off I go!

Devon

Fri. Sept. 7, 2012: I Love Riding the Ferry!

Friday, September 7, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and muggy

Yesterday was a really terrific day out on Martha’s Vineyard — I’ll have photos soon! Up at 5, had to do some things at the desk first, On the road a little before 7 — I was sure I would miss the 8:15 ferry, since I got caught behind every slowpoke on Rt. 28. But I made it, with 5 minutes to spare.

The ferry ride over was GORGEOUS. The weather was perfect, the water calm. 45 minutes of pleasure.

My friends were waiting for me at the Vineyard Haven dock. We went over to the Black Dog for breakfast. They had the blueberry pancakes — I had them last time I was there, and they are the best pancakes ever. I had an apple fritter, which was about the size of my head! We wandered around to thrift shops — I got a solid brass door knocker in the shape of a grandfather clock! It’s adorable. I’ve been looking for a door knocker since we moved to the Cape. I love it. And, of course, I’m always on the hunt for demitasse spoons, but didn’t find any. Found a baby spoon that can pinch hit if necessary. Wandered into bookstores and little other stores in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Had lunch at Linda Jean’s in Oak Bluffs. I bought a lovely candle by one of my favorite manufacturers in one store, and a lovely silver and aquamarine seahorse necklace in another. We hung out at the house overlooking the water, and I made the 5 PM ferry back — another lovely ride on a beautiful evening.

Even got back in time to vote in the district primary!!! And my person won, so I feel like my vote mattered! 😉

Relaxed in the evening, and the mind turned to some of the more frustrating elements I’ve been dealing with the past week. Fortunately, one of the outstanding clients paid — let’s hope the other one does soon, and that the checks that are due by the end of this week and early next week come in on time.

Iris dived under the covers this morning in the bed. Violet thought she was jumping on me, but landed on Iris, and there was much caterwauling, chasing, and carrying on. At 5 am. So much for sleeping in!

There was a good bit of damage to the garden from the storm. After I run some errands this morning, I’ll spend time in the garden. Hopefully, the rain will hold off long enough for me to mow the terraced back or I’ll need to hire people with machetes to come through!

The weekend will be devoted to the Jain Lazarus adventures — the short story, working on CRAVE THE HUNT, starting edits on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK. I have to schedule some day-long workshops with Fearless Ink, too, and look into a couple of grant application opportunities.

This morning, I parted ways with a client, and there’s a huge sense of relief. Gives me room to replace that client with a more positive match.

Have to finish the reading for the Sustainability Course, write my paper, do my project proposal, and take the quizzes.

Devon

Thurs. Sept. 6, 2012: Juxtaposition in Days

Thursday, September 6, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and hot

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. The past few days have been rough, weather-wise.

Tuesday, I got up at 4 AM, posted what I needed to for the Tarot class, and got on the road. I drove to CT — passing through some of the remnants of Isaac. Horrible driving. I got there, hip in bad shape, collapsed onto the couch. Managed to get a weak wi-fi signal later in the day and get some work done, but mostly read.

Wednesday, overslept a bit, but was still on the road before 7. Thank goodness, because when I hit RI, I met up with Isaac again. Horrible, horrible driving, and I was afraid to pull over because there was no telling if it would let up. I pushed through. The water on Rt. 6 once I got over the Sagamore was half way up the wheels, so I took backroads home and made it, in one piece. Later, I heard 6 & 28 were both flooded, and most of Fall River was in bad shape. A half hour later, and I wouldn’t have made it home.

But I’m home, in spite of bad hip and worse headache, and I even managed to get stuff done this afternoon.

The cats were both mad that I left and glad I was home, and huddled with me during the thunderstorms. Makes me glad I live in a sturdily-built house. Had to go out and dump the water out from the potted plants — saucers were full and pots themselves overflowing. I couldn’t be on the computer much because of the storm & flickering electricity.

The two clients whose checks were due yesterday (so I can pay my bills by Friday), of course haven’t fucking paid, and one of them is acting surprised. That gig will be over and done by December, and I will be glad to be DONE. I’m tired of not getting the resources I’m promised for any given project and never being paid on time. I’m ready to dump a third client for what I believe is unethical behavior that I will not condone.

Fortunately, I sent out a really cool pitch, so let’s hope it’s accepted. All about replacing the low-end, pain-in-the-butt clients with better ones. The PITB aren’t the majority, thank goodness, and I’m getting better about cutting bait sooner, rather than letting things drag out, giving multiple chances and too many benefits of the doubt. You use up what slack you’ve banked, you don’t pay on time, you try to change the parameters, and the rate’s too low — buh-bye.

The Tarot class is a great group, and they seem enthused, and they’re digging in, doing the work. They’re creative and inventive, reflective without the egotistical naval-gazing one has to sometimes contend with. Like ‘em a lot!

Really angry that “They” are cutting down 400 tress in Los Angeles to move the Shuttle. It’s a Shuttle, people — FLY the sucker. Find another way. There’s ALWAYS another way, but those making the decision are too stupid and lazy to look for it. This is an example where the “workers” are hiding behind the “company” and the old “I’m just doing my job” bullshit. If these workers were ethical, they would refuse to cut the trees. They’re not, so they’d rather destroy 400 beautiful, living creations that actually positively contribute to the planet, in order for a single object to be moved down the road . . .ONCE. Justifying it by hiding behind “their job.” They should be put through their own wood chippers. I’m sure the Universe will come up with something far more entertaining than I ever could for their karmic return — but I’ll still probably kill off a bunch of them in a book. It also shows what hypocrites the LA environmentalists are — no one’s out there trying to stop it. “Oh, I’m upset” — well fucking do something, you fucking moron. Don’t whine into the camera — oh, wait, all you CARE about is the camera. I forgot.

The Sustainability Class is difficult and fascinating, but I’ve decided I hate graphs. You can’t flatten humans into graph lines. There’s not enough dimension.

So life has been full of interesting juxtapositions for the past few days.

And today should be interesting, too!

Devon

Tues. Sept. 4, 2012: Rat Race Starts Again


Iris refuses to get caught up in anything stressful

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

You want a really good book to read? Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and read all about Sharon Buchbinder’s KILLER KISSES.

Busy work day — coursework, an article done and scheduled to post, worked with students, shored up an old friend for two hours.

I’m reading a really interesting book called INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES by Jennifer Lee Carrell, a Shakespearean mystery.

Worked on some of my own writing.

Lots to do today, so I better get going. Can you believe it’s already September?

Devon

Mon. Sept. 3, 2012: Sustainability Writing and Other Writing

Monday, September 3, 2012
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny and cool
Labor Day

Busy weekend! For the Sustainability course, I finished the reading materials, interacted with other students, took three quizzes (I got 100% on my first one, but think I blew the other two — will know in a few days), wrote my short paper on “Sustainability vs. Human Greed” and started developing a my course project about getting the flood/drought imbalance back into balance. Although, now I’ve got an idea to develop a fiction series based on what we’re learning and tied in to the National Marine Life Center, and I’m wondering if I should work on that, either in addition or instead of!

The year-long students are off now, in their own writing group. Good for them! Tomorrow, the three-month tarot intensive starts. I spent some time over the weekend working with the student who has to have a proposal ready for an agent meeting later this week — it’s in good shape. I put together an interview with Sharon Buchbinder, which will be up tomorrow morning. I have another article to write and schedule to post for Writers Vineyard today. I also had to get together some proposal materials and get them out for a project, and I have to pitch a proposal later today for next spring. Did some work on the DEATH SPARKLES anthology – -have to get it to the publisher later this week.

My editor loved OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK (Jain Lazarus #2) and is eager to get going on it — and I have to really dig down to finish CRAVE THE HUNT (#3) in the next couple of weeks, too.

Took a good long walk this morning, which was fun, and a lovely silver tabby streaked through the yard when Tessa and I were out this morning. On the one hand, Tessa wanted to make friends; on the other, I think she’s afraid I’ll trade her in. I’d never do that — I adore her!

Already have my second load of laundry in (I have to do four today) and am returning my gown later today to the lovely person who lent it to me for the Mermaid Ball. Because I’m working away from home a lot this week, anything that has to be done from home has to happen today!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Devon