Mon. July 1, 2013: Riding the The Writing Train

Monday, July 1, 2013
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and muggy

I can’t believe it’s July already. Wow.

Don’t remember much from Friday, other than it was a work day, worked through, but didn’t feel like I got enough done (which is pretty usual, I guess). Pitched a couple of pieces and my agent set up a conference call for tomorrow afternoon on a project.

Saturday, I hit the ground running, writing-wise. I drafted three articles and wrote a whole short story. The short story was supposed to be a 1500 word piece of contemporary literary fiction, but wound up being a 3999 word piece of magical realism. Which is fine. I roughed out a couple more short stories in my head, working on characters and situations. It was a good writing day.

I also watched the pilot of CROSSING LINES. Spoiler alert. If you still want to see it, skip this part of the blog! I liked a lot, but a lot of it frustrated me. I love the idea of an ensemble cast/team that works across borders. Yes, it was a marketing decision, in many ways, to pull in the overseas sales, but I still liked it. I like a lot of the production detail, although we really don’t need a shot of the Eiffel Tower every time we cut back to Paris in order to be oriented. Give us some more emotional geography, and we’ll get it. I liked a lot of the scene work between the actors — the moment-to-moment stuff, when the ensemble went from full dynamics to two or three person scenes. I like William Fichtner’s work a lot — I was lucky to work with him off-Broadway years ago. His acting’s excellent, and he’s good to work with. I felt some tropes were imposed on the piece, and I could feel it whenever a mid-level network executive forced a note, because that’s where it rang false and became stolid, formula-style again, instead of using the formula as a foundation and letting it open out. I was angry that they killed off Sienna. It wasn’t a character-driven, plot-driven move, although they’re pretending it was done to reveal more about Tommy. It wasn’t. They killed the blonde because they knew they’d get crap for killing the Asian or (if they had one), the Latino. That’s one of the things we used to talk about backstage, especially on shows like MISS SAIGON (which had a very diverse company). We’d sit there and roll our eyes and go, “oh, this is the season where the Asian eats it first” or “this is the season they kill the Latino first”, because they overused the cliche of killing the black guy first. If you watch action or sci-fi a lot, you’ll see that the ethnicity of the first character killed off changes, depending on the mood of the executives, not what serves the story best. This time, it was the blonde. They’d set up some wonderful arcs to develop, and yes, it was good to care about a character that dies, instead of it being someone we haven’t gotten to know. But I’m REALLY sick of the trope of killing off a member of the team in the first episode of every damn action or ensemble show. Overused, people!!! I continued to have mixed feelings about last night’s episode, although I felt the creators were fighting more for their vision and giving in less just to get it on the air. We’ll see how it develops.

Sunday, I woke up cranky and just got worse. Vile mood, for most of the day. Didn’t help when I went to revise the short story I thought was due and found out that the publication to which it was originally aimed changed their submission guidelines and only will have open submissions in the fall. If I want to submit it on the date I originally used as the deadline — from the guidelines I read a few weeks ago AND a conversation I had with them — they’ll read it. For a fee. Um, no. I don’t pay reading fees. I am paid to write. I do not pay to write.

Did the revision, sent it off to a different market. At least I didn’t have to hustle on the other two short pieces (we’d originally talked about me submitting three to them by the 30th).

Caught up on my archaeology coursework, which I loved. Got a high grade on the quiz. Found I’d missed a deadline for a paper (somehow, that came on the radar while my computer was down, and I missed it), and that I have a paper due later today. No worries, I’ve got something fun planned. Did my Climate Literacy coursework, getting more and more frustrated with that class. Then, as I was taking my timed quiz, all three cats decided it was time to practice Feline Armageddon. Complete chaos going on in my office. I was being timed, taking the quiz online in real time, so I couldn’t get up and solve it. I just yelled at them over my shoulder and hoped, as they flew over the desk, they wouldn’t hit the keys and put in a wrong answer. I was sure I blew it.

I got 100%.

Maybe I should stop studying! :0

Had to send out a mailing for an organization. They provide the flyer, I send it. Only the flyer they provided was five years old and couldn’t be edited. Talk about one’s head up one’s ass. I will not renew my work with them, once this cycle runs out. There’s too much continual frustration involved.

Started reading a mystery that was so bad, I put it down by page 100. I didn’t care enough about any of these people to find out who did it and why. In fact, I kept wishing the murderer would take out the protagonists, because they were so damned stupid and there was no logic to the story.

Finished material for Confidential Job #1 and have to do the write up today. Worked on material for an editing client that’s taking longer than I expected. Have to edit and send out another article. Have to do my archaeology paper. Have to run errands, and do things like take my mom to the doctor.

The yard is suffering from Vacant Lot Syndrome, but I can’t mow when it’s raining. Shucks. Yes, that is sarcasm!

Have a wonderful start to the month!


Published in: on July 1, 2013 at 6:55 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,


  1. I have a book here that I dropped 100 pages or so in, as well. It’s touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread, the Internet sensation now in book form — it’s all gimmick. The story sucks and I couldn’t care less about the pathetic protagonist(s). Drivel and whining.

    We just snuck in a mowing yesterday and I managed to tame the incredibly wild front garden. It shows that I’m the primary gardener — six weeks where I can’t weed and no one else can get to it. Yuck!

    • Yeah, I’m a little tired of crap getting touted as something great. The influence of “reality” television, unfortunately.

  2. I came back tonight because I had last night’s Crossing Lines on DVR, but I missed the pilot. I, also, was no happy when they killed off Sienna. I really didn’t see the need to kill off a main character, but I guess they couldn’t have two wounded actress in the same show. I can’t wait to see where this is going. I watch part 1 and 2 on the computer and then the episode I DRV’d. I laughed when you mentioned the Eiffel Tower shots. Couldn’t they at least give us a different angle? Though we did she both day and night shots.

    • They could have contrasted the healing (or non-healing) processes of the two actresses. I felt it was, again, one of the network notes, along with the carnival chick trying to seduce Carl and he turns her down. It didn’t ring true with the rest of what had been set up. Which almost always means it came about from a network note.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: