Tues. June 10, 2014: Slow Recovery

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and muggy

So, even though I’ve done exactly what I said I would, and we have a so-called “mediator”, Comcast fucked me again. They can go to hell. It’s about time that the people who are supposed to be consumer advocates and who are supposed to keep these corporations in line with the law and regulations actually do their jobs, instead of being in Comcast’s pocket and sitting around with their thumbs up their asses.

Yesterday, I was really sick. I was up a good part of the night with a nasty stomach virus. I was so weak for the rest of the day that, most of the time, I couldn’t even sit up. I cancelled just about everything I could. There was one contract I had to go over to Osterville to sign. My mom had to drive me, because I was too sick to drive. I couldn’t eat at all — although I managed to hydrate. I had to cut short a Skype rehearsal with the actor overseas. Most of the time, I was lying down, either on the floor or in bed. I hope I don’t feel anywhere near that bad again anytime soon.

I’m a little better today — I can sit up. I ate a little. I’m catching up on the work I couldn’t do yesterday. I can’t be online much because Comcast fucked me, but that’s life.

I’m doing the polish for the scripts, and then I’ll head to the library to hook up to the internet and do what I need to do. I hope the rain ends soon, so that I can take the garbage to the dump. The bins are full, the recycling needs to go, and I have a lot of yard waste to add to the pile that becomes loam.

The “Elusive Prayers” edits landed on my desk yesterday, so I’ll have to get going on those, too.

This will be a busy week, but I just have to cut back wherever I can until I’m well enough to be 100%.

Devon

Published in: on June 10, 2014 at 11:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Mon. June 9, 2014: Belmont, Tony Awards, and Stomach Virus

Monday, June 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Foggy and muggy

Busy weekend. Busy but good day at the library on Friday. We had a power failure twenty minutes before closing time. Brief, but enough to totally freak the computers out. Came home, cooked, tried to relax a bit, did some work. Agreed to participate in a big local author signing event, which should be fun.

Worked at the library on Saturday. Good day, again busy. Came home and watched Belmont Stakes day. I was disappointed that California Chrome lost, but not particularly surprised. I felt bad for the poor horse. Not only did he come out of it bleeding (he hurt his foot early on), he didn’t understand why his people were upset. He was calm before and during the race, but got anxious when his people were unhappy. He was like, “I ran around really fast in a circle, just like you asked. Why are you mad at me?”

I was disappointed in the owner’s outburst. I understand the anger and disappointment in the heat of the moment, but the Triple Crown is not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be won by the freak horses like Secretariat. Yes, three races in five weeks is hard. Yes, the fact that the people who make the rules allow fresh, rested horses in the race makes it an unfair playing field, to some extent. But then be mad at those who make the rules, not at the horse who wins. To call Tomalist and his people “cowards”? No. Strategists, maybe. Cowards, no. And this guy’s behavior allows the snobs to sniff and say that’s why they don’t like it when “regular” guys think they can enter the race. The owner positioned himself, during the PR madness surrounding the races, to represent more than himself. HE took on and accepted that mantle. That man did not represent me. Of course he’s angry and disappointed, but grace under pressure would have been a better choice.

Sunday, I worked in the yard — mowing (still not done), and got some plants at the garden stores — flowers, veggies, etc. Started putting in them in.

The Tony Awards were last night. Hugh Jackman demonstrated, once again, why he is the most beloved man on Broadway. He was a fantastic host. Great mix of humor, skill, intelligence. It was a fun show, and I was delighted for the winners.

Came down with a nasty stomach virus in the night. I am miserable. I had to cut short the international Skype rehearsal early, early this morning, because I was too sick to function. JUST what you want to happen when you start a new working partnership. But my actor was very sweet and wanted to know if there was someone he could call to come and take care of me.

I have so much that HAS to get done TODAY. Can’t be put off because I’m sick. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’ll have to figure it out. A couple of things I can move, but there’s a list that can’t be moved.

The edits for ELUSIVE PRAYERS also landed on my desk this morning. I have another round of edits to get going on.

Yesterday, I stayed true to my “one day a week unplugged” (except for watching the Tony Awards). I desperately needed it, but it means getting sick today puts me far behind.

I’m going to try to go to bed for a few hours, and then see if I can get back on track.

Bad timing. 😦

Devon

Fri. June 6, 2014: Workshops and Summits and Crows

Friday, June 6, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day. Got out my next script episode before I headed to the library.

I’m starting to get some ideas on how to make Thursday mornings run more smoothly; hope to be able to implement them in the coming weeks. The printer at work is just — if it wasn’t littering, I’d drop-kick it into the canal. It prints; it doesn’t; it grabs six sheets; it doesn’t grab any sheets. And so forth and so on. Something that should take thirty seconds winds up taking 45 minutes. That has to stop — beyond my situation. How can we walk our talks on sustainability when our only printer options are printers that the companies make disposable, out of cheap-ass plastic parts so we have to replace them every couple of years and they can’t be fully recycled? The technology industry has to change how they manufacture — which means kicking out the overpriced CEOS and top executives who think more about their own pockets than a sustainable future for all of us.

Had to leave just after noon to get to a workshop in Chatham. The weather was awful. Hard to drive. But I got there (almost on time). The library is gorgeous out there, but parking is a nightmare. I wound up parking blocks away in front of some person’s house, and dashing through the rain.

I was NOT happy with the workshop. I’d hoped for a workshop on resources to help hunt down information to answer people’s questions. Let’s face it — librarians are the ultimate detectives. Instead, the presentation focused on how to stand when you talk to a patron and promoted an attitude of indentured servitude rather than being a professional partner in a hunt with a patron. I found it quite insulting to all of our intelligence.

I headed back to my library, finished out the day, dashed home, threw together some mac and cheese, bolted it down, dashed back out to the Community College for the Environmental Summit. I couldn’t attend the full Cape Coastal Conference this year, but I did manage to fit in the summit. I ran into some friends in the parking lot, and caught up with some people I’d met at last year’s conference when we got inside. They served us a full dinner we got in there (hmm, let’s see, did I overeat last night? Uh, yes) and then it was an interesting, interactive discussion with the purpose of getting the 29 non-profits that attended (and some that did not) to work together, sharing information and working towards common purposes, instead of everyone working in isolation. Yes, I signed up to help work on what I do best — create engaging narrative around actual information.

Afterwards, a couple of us went out to the bar at The Dolphin, in Barnstable, to continue the conversation, which was fun. One of my frustrations here is I don’t have a local hangout, so I’m trying places to see which place suits me best.

I rewrote the monologue for the actor this morning — we have several roads we can travel down next. I think the section on the loss of a particular relationship is too ordinary and what he’s usually played, so I have a couple of sections we could replace it with in that that explores loss of parent, sibling, mentor, etc., that might make it more unique. So that’s off.

So tired I could just fall over, but it’ll be a busy day at the library. Hope to come back tonight and relax. Have GOT to mow the meadow tomorrow afternoon when I get back from the library, because the grass is VERY high. While it’s good for the environment, and my grass now definitely had the chance to grow strong roots, I think my neighbors would like me to neaten it up a bit.

My murder of crows who hang out in the yard had a fit about something this morning. One of the smaller ones ended up coming up on the deck and hiding under one of the tables. I think he’d been attacked by something else, and the rest of the conclave was very, very upset. I got their attention (they shut up and listen when I call out to them and clap my hands) so we could get it sorted out — not sure what attacked the crow, but it’s out of the yard for now. He let me get close enough to him to watch him walk. He limped for a few steps, then flew a bit, then walked a little bit more, gaining strength, and flew off. So I guess I don’t have to bundle him up and take him to Cape Wildlife before work. He seems okay.

Off to work.

Final race of the Triple Crown tomorrow — go California Chrome! And Tony Awards on Sunday — my people! 😉

Devon

Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 7:34 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 6, 2014: Workshops and Summits and Crows  
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Thurs. June 5, 2014: Happy Tired and Workshops

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Felt like I’d put in a full day before I even got to the library yesterday. Had a lot of stuff to haul in for the workshop — it was quite comical.

Busy day pre-workshop — got in a lot of books, and it was all the admin that has to happen to get a book out of the box and onto the shelf — setting up the record, putting on barcodes, stamping, spine labels, etc. I’m very excited by some of our new arrivals.

The workshop itself was fun — staff, volunteers, and some people from other libraries, and the one who administers the grant. Lots of info, lively discussion. The great thing about this group is that they were genuinely interested in the CRAFT that goes behind the books on the shelves. So often, especially now, when you speak to a group that’s primarily writers instead of readers, they wriggle impatiently through the craft part and the only questions they’re interested in is how they get an agent and get published without having to bother to learn the actual craft and Write WELL. The dynamic in this discussion was terrific. I might get to do it at other libraries, too.

Came home, exhausted. Tried to work on the script, but I didn’t like what I was doing. Did a rough draft of the monologue.

Booked a fun workshop for the library in August, in which I will be a co-participant. Costume Imp will be here and we’re doing it together. Details to follow!

This morning, I have to finish and send out the script episode and deal with some admin work before heading back to the library. It will be a busy morning — I have some press releases to get out — and then I’m in Chatham for a librarian workshop this afternoon, head back to the library for an hour or so, and then head off to the College to participate in an Environmental Summit. I couldn’t go to the full Cape Coastal Conference this year, because it fell on workdays, but the summit is in the evening, specifically geared to nonprofits working together, so I’m excited. I’m going on behalf of the Marine Life Center.

Pretty soon, the galleys from “Severance” will land on my desk, and my editor’s already working on the edits for “Elusive Prayers.”

I’m excited for both the Belmont Stakes and the Tony Awards this weekend. I want California Chrome to win — the sport needs another Triple Crown winner, it’s been long enough, and this guy has the talent AND the self-possession to do it. However, Belmont is famous for long-shot upsets. I’ve certainly cashed in on enough of them through the years. So we’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic. Now that I’ve had a few years’ break from the dozen or so years covering the Triple Crown as a journalist, I can really ENJOY it again. And the Tony Award Show is the most fun of the award shows, with the strongest sense of community.

Off we go, to get it all done!

Devon

Wed. June 4, 2014: Collaboration Via Skype

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked flat out yesterday and this morning. Got Episode #105 revised and back out; got the new Episode #109 polished and out, and then got some work done on Episode #110.

Made some notes for POWER OF WORDS series, whose title will shortly change, and got some work done on BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Turned around the edits for “Severance.”

Worked on a resource list for today’s workshop, and also on the Tip Sheet — which runs 8 pages!

Baked lemon bars, tollhouse cookies, and banana-chocolate chip — oatmeal–walnut cookies for the workshop, along with making black bean hummus.

Did some work on the Contest I’m helping with.

In one of those weird synchronicity things, an actor I’ve never met (except via social media), but whose work I know and like and who likes my work introduced an actor HE knows — whose movie I just happened to see the other night — to my work, and THAT actor contacted me to ask me to help him create an audition monologue that combines his musical abilities and fight combat skills. He’s got a terrific, highly unusual look, and he’s been a part of some big pieces, but is still at the point where he has to audition for serious work (although he gets called for plenty of B and below-type scripts). He needs something to merge the looks with intelligence and depth of character in a well-crafted character that plays to his strengths both as an actor and that particular character, so people will look beyond the pretty. The challenge intrigues me. The first actor (who found my work via an actor I’d actually worked with several years ago) had also contacted me and asked me to hear this other guy out “even though he’s a model; trust me, he’s got talent, too”, knowing how little patience I have with models. So we had a couple of exchanges, and the project intrigues me. This morning, we did some brainstorming/improv via Skype (since the actor is in the UK and I’m in the US). I like and respect this guy a lot more than I thought I would — he knows how to turn it on for the camera, but he’s also smart, kind of goofy, and has absolutely no filters. Since I don’t suffer fools gladly, we can be blunt with each other without being cruel, and actually, even in a short Skype session, started to forge a working language. So it’s interesting, and I’ll try it.

I’m about twice this guy’s age, so there are times in conversation where I think, “God, he’s so YOUNG”, but he’s aware he doesn’t know everything, is hungry to learn anything he can, and once we’re actually into the creative work of creating character and backstory and merging words and action, age doesn’t factor into it at all. In spite of us being thousands of miles apart and working through video, it was quite similar to being in the rehearsal room together because we could interact in real time. I liked working with him because there was no bullshit. With some actors, they’re so into themselves and their “moment” that it’s like talking to wallpaper. With this guy, I can start to say something, he’ll get it immediately, take it further, toss it back and I’ll build on it, and so forth and so on. We’re developing a good creative language together, which is so important for the process to work and the piece to resonate with writer, actor, and, eventually, audience.

I’m surprisingly enjoying the experience, and I think we’ll both get a good little piece of work out of it.

So, yeah, I was up at 4 AM so we could Skype a rehearsal at 5 (about 11 AM his time), but it was worth it.

Today, I’m at the library all day, which includes teaching a mystery workshop from 2-4 PM. Then I have to come home and polish Episode #110, so it can go out tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a long day — at the library, at a library workshop in Chatham, and then at an Environmental Summit back here.

Onward!

Published in: on June 4, 2014 at 7:21 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 4, 2014: Collaboration Via Skype  
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Tues. June 3, 2014: Projects, Interviews, Writing

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I have an interview live over on A Biblio Paradise about how TRACKING MEDUSA evolved. Jump over and read it here.

Busy day yesterday. I lost most of the morning and a good part of the afternoon helping a colleague work on a project that was dumped on us at the last minute.

Then, I revised Episode #105 and most of #106 for the Big Script Project, while working on #109 (which has to be delivered today) and #110 (which is due on Thursday).

I tweaked a few things in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and finished Chapter 3 — it was nearly 10 PM by the time all that happened. And I realized this morning I have to do an “insert” to tweak something, or it will contradict (in the wrong way) information from TRACKING MEDUSA.

Dropped off my new boss’s birthday gifts at the library — she deserves to know she’s appreciated.

I started putting together the pieces of the Tip Sheet for tomorrow, but that has to be finished.

I have a lot of baking to do today, in preparation for tomorrow’s workshop, script work, and other stuff that all needs to get done TODAY.

I have to remember to do my own writing first, and not try to get work done for other people in the morning (my most creative time), because then I run out of words and creative energy later in the day. There’s a reason I start with MY OWN first thousand words of the day.

But I’m happy to be back on track with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE. Even though It’s a draft and will need work, it feels right again.

Devon

Mon. June 2, 2014: BALTHAZAAR TREASURE Back on Track

Monday, June 2, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy weekend, but pretty good. Friday was a busy, somewhat chaotic day at the library, but it all worked out. A colleague and I are still trying to sort out the pile of (expletive deleted) that another colleague dropped into our laps (separate from the library work), but that will happen. I’m not going to waste my time in anger, nor am I going to leave my colleague holding the bag. We will sort it out, and I will make sure we’re not put in that position again.

My workshop for Wednesday is almost complete — I have to put together the tip sheet — it’s kind of in bits and pieces — and get some info from MWA, and we’re good to go.

Friday night, I was invited to the Unitarian Church to see a showing of the documentary TRASHED, about the problem and health risks associated with our trash. Eye-opening, although several of the people after with “questions” didn’t have questions at all, and were simply very impressed with the sounds of their own voices. Still, I’m glad I went.

Up early Saturday morning. Got some work done, stopped by the library to take care of something I forgot about, but most of the day was spent in errands. I thought they’d take two hours, and they took eight. Pierpont Glass, Christmas Tree Shops, Market Basket, Trader Joe’s. Ocean State — but got a lot done. Also finished the Media Kit for TRACKING MEDUSA, and the edits for “Severance” landed on my desk.

Read Ilona Andrews’s MAGIC BITES, which I really liked, and started another urban fantasy by a different author I’m not sure I like.

Watched THOR: THE DARK WORLD — was disappointed. I like the actors and their moments — especially the scenes between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston — but the action scenes needed to be edited down in some spots. When there ARE character moments, they are great, and there are some hilarious throwaway lines, but there’s not enough of that. Also watched THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, which wasn’t as bad as I’d heard. There were parts that I liked, and parts where it felt like scenes were edited/skipped, and information we needed for other scenes to make sense was simply ignored.

Was wiped out on Sunday, but suddenly BALTHAZAAR TREASURE started to make sense again. Wound up doing about forty pages’ worth of work on it, twenty plus of them new pages. Prologue still holds, but there’s a new opening chapter, what used to be chapter one is rewritten and now chapter two, what used to be the start of chapter two is now chapter three, and it’s nearly done, and they’re almost at the Bahamas. A new character walked in to cause more conflict between Gwen and Justin. Although Karl will still be the major wedge in their relationship, with Carolina and Irina causing some stress, the choice that Gwen makes to save her and Alec’s life in chapter one will now resonate through books two and three.

Watched some television, including GAME OF THRONES, although, as I’ve said before, the relentless brutality wears me out.

Lots to do today, including getting stuff done I didn’t get done yesterday, getting things sorted out for the muddled project, doing revisions on script episodes, new episodes, and working on both BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and “Severance.”

At least I feel good about BALTHAZAAR again, and feel it’s a viable project. I was having my doubts there for awhile.

Devon