Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend

Friday, February 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

We had a fantastic meeting with the historical society yesterday about our next display. When we’re ready to reveal it, I’ll post a picture here. We all got very excited about it.

Spent far too much time hunting down contact information from magazine mastheads that should be readily available. Getting a little tired of these “media groups” that aren’t publishing actual articles and stories in their magazines, just glorified ads, and the only people you can contact are those in the advertising department.

When it started snowing again in the afternoon, I was just ready to put my head down on the desk and cry. I usually LIKE snow, but this is just too much. Mostly because I have to drive around in it, and the roads continue to be total crap. Even Old Stage Road, which is usually in good shape, has been under par.

Worked on a new order list, did a lot of research, started pondering a full marketing plan.

Raced home, quick dinner, and then back for Tango. It was a really good lesson. It’s an entirely different way of not just listening to music, but to your partner’s body. Talk about having to deal with trust issues! 😉 But it was fun. I was worried that what we worked on was too complicated, especially since I’d missed a lesson, but I picked it up. Whether or not I can retain it is something else.

Had a snack when I came home, watched a few episodes of WEST WING Season 5, fell into bed.

Had weird dreams. Even though the dreams were realistic, they must be representational, because the literal terms don’t make sense in my life.

My vacation dates for May are confirmed – my first vacation since Costume Imp and I went to Prague. Something to which to look forward.

The Pinkerton Case Files arrived – from Indiana! Totally looking forward to spending the research time on them.

Tomorrow is my Saturday “on” at the library – and I have to come in early for a meeting. Then, I have to go and pick up my mother’s medication, and then head to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the opening for an exhibit in which a friend is featured.

Sunday will be about errands and writing; Monday, there’s a reception in the morning at the Law Library, and the rest of the day is about writing. Tuesday – not sure if I can snag a machine to read the case files, or if I’ll just stay home and write. Wednesday it all starts up again.

I’d like to finish the second draft of LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES so it can sit for a couple of weeks before I do the third draft, register it with WGA, and send it off.

I have also got to get some organizing done in the house. Things are stacked up all over the place; I need to purge a bunch of stuff, and put a bunch of other stuff away.

I can’t believe we’re nearly in March!


Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 9:29 am  Comments Off on Fri. February 27, 2015: More Snow, Tango, and Planning for a Busy Weekend  
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Thurs. February 26, 2015: KILLER QUINTET released and First Draft of radio play done!


Thursday, February 26, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

KILLER QUINTET released in digital format. You can purchase it from Amber Quill Press here.

Most of last weekend, I was immersed in the writing cave. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to finally have a Saturday off.

I finished the first draft of the first of the radio plays by Tuesday morning. I’d almost finished it on Monday night, but wrote myself out and just had no more creativity left. So, Tuesday morning, I attacked it and finished it. What a great feeling!

I started typing it that afternoon – which basically means starting the second draft. Looking at the difference in formatting between the various U.S. Radio Formats and BBC Radio Format, they didn’t look very different – but when I was actually keying it in, it makes a huge difference. This company is very specific about wanting to hit the number of pages in BBC Radio Format, and I’m worried that LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES will run long. So be it; then I’ll cut in the third draft. It’s got at least those two drafts to get through before I send it off. Plus, I have to register it with WGA East.

Did some percolating on the second radio play (found a title for that, a quote out of PERICLES, of all things). Did some percolation on the hour-long pilot, too.

More snow over the weekend, which meant more shoveling, and more snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, which meant I was out there at 6:15 AM shoveling again. Of course, not a plow in sight. Eight inches of rutted ice on the street, so even though our driveway and path is fine, the road gets more treacherous every day. Why does Bureaucracy have to wait until somebody dies before they take anything seriously? The Town Council has certainly failed the residents, sending a message that’s loud and clear – “You don’t matter, only the businesses do.” Well, bubbelah, if we can’t get out of our houses to patronize the businesses, they’re fucked, too. Unacceptable. I also don’t like the fact that none of the Councilors are actually out there on the streets finding out what needs to be done. Or is it only in my precinct? One thing about Rye, for all its faults – the city councilors and the mayor were out and about every single time there was a problem, finding out what needed to be done, and then finding solutions. If I find out my precinct representative is wintering in Florida while we’re all up here struggling, I’m going to be really upset.

Yesterday, we cancelled the author who was scheduled to speak, because the roads were so bad, no one could come. We had our Luau – which was fun, we decorated the place to beat the band. We didn’t have a lot of people – again, it’s so hard to get from the residential roads onto the main roads, people are afraid to go out. But the ones we had really liked it. And we had fun.

Came home, exhausted. Watching WEST WING SEASON 5.

Today is busy, and I’ve got Tango tonight. It was supposed to snow again last night and it didn’t, but it looks like it will start again any minute.

On a happier note, a friend sent me horse racing books – she’s cleaning out. So pleased!

I’m suffering from some serious snow fatigue. And it’s snowing again.


Published in: on February 26, 2015 at 11:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Fri. Feb. 20, 2015: Last Day Before the (Stormy) Weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and very cold

My renewed driver’s license arrived yesterday – took just over a week to get it, after renewing online. Pretty slick! 😉

Work was busy. Good busy, but busy. Did a lot of research on a couple of things, and some press and programming stuff, and hopped on and off the desk as needed.

Home for a snack and to change, and then to tango. This was “milonga night”, so we newcomers could learn the milonga etiquette. It’s more for the experienced dancers than beginners, although two experienced dancers kindly took me on the floor to practice. Had an interesting conversation with many people, including another newcomer, a few people who’ve been coming on and off for years, the sister of someone I knew well from the library, a friend who works at another library, and a professional musician who’s part of a group and we might brainstorm on a collaboration.

Home, a couple of episodes of WEST WING, a late dinner.

Last night gave me some great ideas for the radio play.

Up early this morning; some work on the radio play and the hour-long pilot. I have to get out some press releases today and do a submission, in and around the work here at the library. We’re planning some really fun stuff for next week, in and around the book sale – author Kevin Parham will be here next Wednesday, talking about his book THE VINEYARD WE KNEW (weather-permitting, of course). And we’re doing something fun all day Wednesday, too – which I’ll reveal closer to the date! 😉

I’m looking forward to having a whole weekend off. I’ll be writing – and buying cat food before the next storm hits – but it’ll be nice to have the whole weekend on MY schedule. We’re supposed to get more snow on Saturday night into Sunday, rain all day Sunday, hard freeze on Monday, and more snow Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hopefully, that will mean a solid weekend of reading, writing, research, and student work.

Stay safe and warm!


Published in: on February 20, 2015 at 9:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Feb. 19, 2015: Trudging On

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Waxing Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, but lots of laughter. I had to register the pilot with WGA before sending it out (because I’m not an idiot, and I make sure I have all the protections in place before I submit).

Got several press releases done for the library, and a new poster, and a few other programming things. Did some planning for events, and brainstorming.

Tired when I got home – the snow is just wearying.

A bunch of research books came in, but still not the microfiche.

Watched the third Worricker – SALTING THE BATTLEFIELD – which was interesting, and a few WEST WING episodes.

Percolated the screenplay for a bit.

More snow overnight. I had to go out early to go grocery shopping – the roads were awful. My road is so bad I need to start braking a good 500 yards before the intersection, and forget more than one car on the road at a time. Even Old Stage Road was a total mess this morning.

My debit card was declined at Stop N Shop, which was weird, because I know I have money in the account. When I called the credit union, turns out someone’s been trying to make charges in Minnesota and Texas, so they shut down the card. We got the fraud paperwork done, and they’re issuing me a new card. I’m grateful the credit union caught it and is fixing it without a fuss (the big banks I’ve dealt with always acted like I was the one trying to con them out of something, instead of being the one whose account was violated).

Busy day at work, and then tango tonight. I’m looking forward to a hopefully quiet weekend. Got some stuff out for the writers center that needed to be done today for feedback, so I can send out the information tomorrow.

Didn’t get in the writing time I needed this morning, which has thrown off my rhythm for the day. Was too busy navigating unplowed roads.

Tomorrow should be busy, too, and then I’ll have the first Saturday off in, I think, about five weeks. I want to get in cat food, write, and sleep. Because, y’know, there’s another storm expected on Saturday night.


Published in: on February 19, 2015 at 11:16 am  Comments (1)  
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Wed. Feb. 18, 2015: Sneaking Between Storms

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
New Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy, snowy, cold
Snow Fatigue

I don’t see how we’ll get the snow melted and gone until sometime in July.

Saturday was fine. It was my Saturday “on” at the library. It wasn’t as hectic as I expected, although it was busy enough for me to spend the bulk of my time on the desk.

Read a couple of books, which were a disappointment, including one highly regarded one which I put down by page 2, because it’s written in the present tense, and I felt like the author kept yelling, “Look at ME! Look at ME!” instead of telling me the story.

Started snowing in the evening, so I tucked in and watched more of STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP. So much I like about that show, but it did dip and get uneven there for awhile.

Had stopped snowing on Sunday when I woke up at 5:30, and it was that lovely quiet. By 6:30, it started again.

Read Norman Lear’s autobiography, which was interesting. I worked with his daughter Maggie at MCC in the late 80s/early 90s, and we had a retreat up at the place in Vermont. I have very fond memories of it. I was disturbed by the fact that 9/11 was not mentioned in the book at all. He lived through it; he’s a social activist. How could it not even get a mention? Especially when it affected us so deeply?

I finished the galleys for KILLER QUINTET and reformatted the pilot of THE BROWNSTONE to the specific guidelines to which I’m submitting.

Started shovelling; got about 3/4 of the driveway done. Got the rest done on Monday morning — about 8 more inches, total, had fallen over the weekend. Of course, as soon as I jumped in the shower, the plow came by and blocked the bottom of my cleared driveway again. At least the plows showed up this time, and they’ve scraped the ruts down in the street, so it’s about 5 inches of pure ice, with just a little bit of ruttage, and easier to get traction.

Headed to the library. Although we were closed for President’s Day, some of us came in to set up for the book sale. I could only stay for about two hours, because I had a meeting on a potential project. THAT was a total waste of time — the person I met with basically likes to hear himself talk, and it won’t go anywhere. I repeated several times that when there’s money on the table and a contract, we can get into specifics, but this is my business, not my hobby, and I’m not working for free, especially not on something that doesn’t have the pieces in place. I’ve learned the hard way from blowhards like this — you get the pieces in play and THEN I will write something beyond a one-page synopsis.

Ron Perlman’s memoir was a lot of fun. I’ve always liked his work. Tried to read a novel, and it was awful, so I put it down.

Got an idea for an hour-long pilot. Wrote a few opening scenes, and I like it. I have to do some research for it, but I think it will make a solid sample.

Not happy with where I am in the radio play. I have to rethink some of it. I might over-write and then cut — usually that works better than under-writing and then padding.

Watching Season 4 of WEST WING.

Had hoped I could do some errands on Tuesday morning before the snow started, but it started at 8 AM and everything I needed to reach didn’t open until 9, so I stayed home. Did some more tweaking to THE BROWNSTONE pilot — there was one character I’d sorely underwritten, and I added a quick scene that makes it more balanced. Now I have to stop fiddling with it, or I’ll hit the point of diminishing return.

Wrote up the minutes from the last Writers’ Center board meeting, and a press release and a set of guidelines I promised them. I’m missing some information, and the press release has to go out this week, so if the person who is supposed to supply to me doesn’t, we don’t get the information into the magazines. Deadlines are deadlines. It’s very tough to do what I’m assigned to do on time, and then not get the rest. But my term is up in October.

Read a couple of mediocre novels and was disappointed. Got an idea for a screenplay — I’ve been playing with the premise for awhile, but suddenly the missing piece clicked into place. so I can write a synopsis, and then do the script — after I finish the radio plays for Ireland and Paris. The one I want to do for Paris is percolating.

Had a false start on a chapter for BALTHAZAAR. Need to get back to that. I have to get that done and out before doing another pass on CLEAR THE SLOT and getting THAT done and out.

Nice fire in the fireplace last night, and a good glass of wine. Of course, it was wine o’clock by 2:30 — either that or sob into the ice melt.

Today will be a long day at the library, but, hopefully a good one. I’ve got a couple of press releases to write, and some finagling to do on March programs. I’ve got more research books coming in.

The microfiche/film that I thought I was getting from Harvard that was shipped on January 21 and still hasn’t shown up — turns out Harvard didn’t send it after all. They wanted to charge a lot of money — not that money ever came up into the multiple emails going back and forth when I asked if they’d do an interlibrary loan in the first place. Turns out it’s coming in from the University of Indiana — bless ’em! They sent it to the distribution center in Quincy, rather than directly to our library, so it’s in snowbank somewhere. But they’re cool about it, and will give me a month with it once it arrives.

So here’s Harvard only, about 70 miles away, and they’re less cooperative with a fellow citizen of the Commonwealth than both the Library of Congress and a midwestern university. Go figure. Seriously, it would have taken less time and been less frustrating to go to DC for a week.

Hop on over to the GDR site, and see my updates for mid-February. Stay safe and warm — we’re supposed to get more snow today.


Fri. Feb. 13, 2015: Love the 13th, But not the Black Eye

Friday, February 13, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday was busy. I wrenched my ankle. I didn’t remember hitting my face, but by the afternoon, the left side around the eye was swollen and looked like someone hit me. Not my best look.

I set up for Tango, but had to pull out of actually attending it. I lay on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my face and a bag of frozen spinach on my ankle, feeling like an idiot. I have a whole new respect for the tube of concealer I carry in my purse.

Wrote a kick ass “ask” letter for the library yesterday, and we had a good meeting on a potential upcoming project. Afternoon was mostly spent at the desk, since both our volunteers for the day couldn’t come in.

My street is worse than ever. The town says they’re out of sand, yet they sanded a completely clean road I take to work. Yesterday, one of the frontloaders was taking snow from a mound of snow that was already out of the way and moving it from one side to the other. Because, you know, actually clearing a street that needs it would be too much to hope for.

Couldn’t work on my galleys last night because I couldn’t see well enough to work on them.

Down from pain to discomfort this morning. Swelling’s down, and a trip to urgent care averted.

Ordered some fun stuff for the Luau that will happen the last week of the month, and renewed my driver’s license online.

The wellies I ordered from the Animal Rescue Site arrived yesterday – so cute, black with multi-colored dogs on them! They will be well used.

Busy day today, and then I’m going home to work on my galleys and rest up. We’re getting hit with another blizzard tomorrow night. I have to get the garbage and recycling to the dump in the morning and do some last-minute shopping before work. Once I leave work at 2 PM, I am going home and not emerging until the storm is done!

I have a feeling Sunday and Monday will require a lot of shoveling.

May do a radio play for a company in Paris after I finish the one for the company in Ireland. That will be fun.

Re-read the pilot of THE BROWNSTONE. It holds up well. I’m going to tweak it a bit and write the season synopsis for it and send it out next week.

Also plan to get a good chunk of the radio play done, and work on BALTHAZAAR – once the galleys are done, of course.

Monday is a holiday, and the library is closed, but we’re setting up for the book sale; if I get the writing done, I’ll come in and help for a couple of hours.

In the meantime, stay safe!


Published in: on February 13, 2015 at 11:15 am  Comments (1)  
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Thurs. Feb. 12, 2015: Here Comes Another One

Thursday, February 12, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Supposed to get more snow today. I salted the street at the bottom of my driveway so I could actually get out onto the street (with my own personal salt), but then fishtailed all the way down the street, because it’s so gutted and slippery my tires can’t get any traction.

Yet the plows keep driving up and down the streets – not plowing. Haven’t seen a sand truck since two days after the initial blizzard.

Yesterday was busy at work. We used eight bags of rock salt on our parking lot first thing in the morning, then had to go out and get more, while also buying salt (separately) for ourselves. One town over says they’re out of salt and sand and the state won’t give them any more.

I’m wondering how many people have to die in crashes because of roads that still haven’t been cleared before anyone does anything. The town’s sending a very clear message to those of us who live on tertiary streets: “You don’t matter.”

Meetings yesterday, and cozy mystery book club. I have to write some material for the library. Got a freelance request from someone to whom I’d pitched over a year ago. We’ll see how that goes, but I have a feeling that my rates – even at the non-profit discount – are too high. Oh, well, then I’m not doing it. I’m sick and tired of the attitude around here that I should do what I do FOR A LIVING for nothing. Um, no.

I have to read over the two television pilots this weekend and decide which one to submit for something – will have to come up with a season synopsis, too. I’m leaning more towards THE BROWNSTONE than to TALENT, because I think the place to which I’m submitting is more likely to respond to THE BROWNSTONE. But I’ll read over both and see which is stronger.

Got the final galleys back for KILLER QUINTET. Managed to proof “Personal Revolution” this morning. One down, four to go.

Watching STUDIO 60 FROM THE SUNSET STRIP on DVD. Forgot how much I enjoyed the show, and how much I related to it.

I’m hoping to get a good chunk of the radio play done this weekend, along with the galleys. Fingers crossed.

I have a feeling tango will be cancelled tonight – it’s such a mess that even a little bit more snow will make it dangerous.

Stay safe.


Wed. Feb. 11, 2015: Writing on Snow Days

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Direct
Snowy and cold

Snowy bunch of days since I last wrote. We’re all suffering from snow fatigue. I keep reminding myself at least it started in late January and not in October.

Mercury goes direct today, thank goodness.

I’m getting a little sick of the so-called DPW Updates, where they say how hard they’re working. You want to know my experience? They’re sure as hell not working on my street. Yes, the plows drive back and forth. Most of the time, the plow is up, not actually plowing — and it’s not like I’m on a through street. The few times the plow deigns to have the blade DOWN, all they do is scrape the surface and shove it into people’s driveways. No sand trucks have gone through since the first blizzard two weeks ago. The rutted snow in the street melts a bit, freezes over at night, melts a bit, freezes over at night. It gets worse every day and is almost impossible on which to drive. There are two more storms coming in the next week. The main roads have been pristine since two days after the blizzard two weeks ago. Come on, people! Actually CLEAR the side streets. And stop piling it in my damn driveway — which, by the way, I’ve repeatedly cleared all the way down to pavement, far more than the plow trucks have done. Enough already!

I see plenty of the “heavy equipment” they talk about driving on the already cleared roads. I haven’t seen ANY of it actually clearing any of the streets that need it.

Saturday’s Courtship Tea was lovely. I’m glad I brought my china cups. It was lots of fun. It was snowing again by the time I got home.

Sunday was outside a gloomy day. Inside, I read, a couple of Ellen Pall’s Nine Muses Mysteries, which were pretty good, set in New York. I started another mystery, by another author, and put it down by page 7 because it was so poorly done.

Finished watching Season 3 of THE WEST WING and started watching STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP. Love both shows.

I’ve been listening to Argentine Tango music since Saturday — have it on almost all the time, trying to get it into my body, and been working on some of the steps. Last week, I concentrated on steps and trying to communicate with m partner, but didn’t actually get to feel the music. I prefer to work from music, so I figure if I immerse myself in the music for the next few weeks, that will help me get the steps and communicate with my partner better.

The music is also helping me with ideas for the radio play.

I have to go another pass at one of the TV pilots and send it off next week — that will be interesting. I have to decide which one to submit. I think the pilot for THE BROWNSTONE might work better for this particular venue than TALENT, which is the pilot for the Sparkle & Tarnish series, but I need to re-read both of them and see.

I did a lot of research for the historical play over the past few days, especially since Monday we were pretty much snowed in again and yesterday I only went out to pick up a new prescription for my mother and get some more ice melt). The play itself will only focus on one case in this individual’s life — it’s got a limit of 60 pages, and I can do one episode well or do an overview poorly. I’d rather focus on one episode and do it well. But I’m gathering a wealth of material, and will either do a novel, or I’ll take some of the most interesting incidents in her life and do an historical novel on each.

I’m about ready to really dive in to BALTHAZAAR TREASURE again, and get serious about it. I did a lot of percolating about it the past few days. I can’t find the original outline I wrote for it, so I’m just going to rethink the whole piece. I know the basic themes I’m going to explore, it’s just plot and story points that need modification. They already needed some because the character of Alec sauntered in.

Anyway, I have a long day at the library today, with meetings and the cozy mystery book group. I have to talk to Tango’s organizer — we’re supposed to get slammed again tomorrow night, and we have to decide when to call it tomorrow or go ahead and meet.

I have press releases to write for the library, for NMLC, and for the Writers Center this week. I’d like to finish a draft of the radio play by the end of next weekend.

I scored some terrific equipment that will help me enormously in my research, but I have to drive two hours upstate to pick it up. Obviously, that’s not going to happen for awhile! We’re supposed to get another storm tomorrow, and then another one on Sunday into Monday. Fortunately, Monday is President’s Day, so most people were planning to stay home or to escape. I have a feeling staying home might be in the mix for a lot of us.

The power went out briefly, but only for a couple of minutes, so it wasn’t a big deal. We’ve been very, very lucky so far through all these storms.

I’m rationing the firewood, because pretty much every vendor is completely out of firewood. If the power goes off, I want to make sure I have enough. If it stays on, I can have fires through spring and summer. So it all works out.

Stay safe and warm, all! I’ll have an update on the GDR site either at the end of the week (since the 15th is a Sunday) or next week sometme.


Fri. Feb. 6, 2015: Dancing in the Snow

Friday, February 6, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

A little tired and a little sore this morning, but last night I took my first Tango class and it was fun! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Investing in the shoes was worth it. I’m still thinking too much, and I was focused more on trying to figure out what my partner was doing (although some partners I clicked with very quickly) rather than really connecting to the music. Hopefully, I can meld the two over the coming weeks. There are steps and music and etiquette. Everyone’s really friendly and from very different backgrounds, so it’s nice to meet a whole different group of people than I’ve met since I’ve moved here.

A friend of mine from all the way down in P-town drives up for Tango on Thursdays, and she’d like me to come and speak about my work to a group down there, which will be fun.

A poet walked into the library yesterday, and I wound up booking her for two programs. I like her work, and she’s seems like she’ll be a lot of fun to work with.

It was a busy day yesterday, but a good one, with lots of laughter, which is always good.

So, Harper Lee is going to release the book she wrote BEFORE she wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I love her writing, I’m interested to read it, but I hope people don’t try to hurt her, either because it’s actually the first novel, or because they’re upset she hasn’t released anything in 55 years. I hope the book is allowed to stand on its merits, but I doubt that will be the case.

The Metro North crash in Valhalla a few days ago was horrible. I’m so grateful none of my friends were on the train. I saw some photos – the front of the train was melted from the fire. Truly awful.

Watching the third season of WEST WING. I loved that show, and re-watching it all together just reminds me how good it was.

Some of the scenes in the radio play will be set against a tango background – last night gave me lots of ideas. I have all kinds of ideas for another piece, too, but it has to wait its turn.

Tomorrow, there’s a “Courtship Tea” at the library. Tomorrow night is the Ham and Bean supper at Liberty Hall (thanks to the Village Association). I promised to bake, so I’ll be making batches of lemon cupcakes and batches of fudge brownies tonight. I’m also supplying some of the china for the tea tomorrow. I have to take my mom over to Mashpee for some medical tests in the morning, get in some cat food and wine, and a couple of Argentine Tango CDs – and then I’m in for the next few snowy days.

Have a great weekend!


Thurs. Feb. 5, 2015: Waiting Pattern for Next Storm

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Yesterday was busy, but we got to laugh a lot, so it was okay.

The roads are awful. The main roads are fine, but the town will only race through and plow the side streets once in the course of – well, I’m starting to think it’s in the course of the whole winter. We’ve been plowed once, two days after the blizzard, and all that’s happening is that bits are somewhat melting and then freezing into chunks of ice, making the road worse and worse every day. We have another storm coming in today, and then snow expected Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. It will only get worse. Time for a letter to my Town Councilor.

On the way home, I stopped to pick up some groceries, and then over to the hardware store to get ice melt and firestarters.

Home, exhausted, dinner. Not much writing.

Started watching Season 3 of WEST WING. I’d forgotten how powerful the stand-alone, post 9/11 episode was.

I’m sure today will be busy, and so will tonight. Hopefully, we won’t get walloped too badly.

Hope you’re all staying safe and warm.


Published in: on February 5, 2015 at 9:01 am  Comments (1)  

Wed. February 4, 2015: Trying to Dig Out Before We Get Hit Again

Blizzard House

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Last Day of Full Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’m sharing photos from last week’s blizzard. 27 inches of snow — not easy to dig out.

I’ve been offline more than I planned, and for that I apologize.

Two weeks ago, there was chaos going on; things were difficult on several different fronts. I can’t discuss it in detail, because a lot of it has to do with someone else’s personal life, and it’s not fair for me to publicly discuss it. Some of it has to do with someone sabotaging me and doing that person’s best to make my life hell, but that’s that.

The Burns/Woolf piece got a warm reception. The audience was small, but they wanted more, and we wound up adding additional readings when the scripted piece was done. There was also lively conversation, and the desire, on the audience’s part, that we do an actual Burns night supper next year.

The day after the performance, I was just exhausted, on many levels. I read and researched more than anything else.

Monday the 26th, in anticipation of the blizzard, I checked in with the library, got a carload of firewood, more water, and more wine, and then we hunkered down for the storm. Tuesday, it snowed all day and well into Wednesday. The power stayed on, for which I was very grateful, and the snow insulated the house nicely, so it was actually quite cozy. We had lights to read by and heat and could cook, so it was fine. The cats alternated between fascination at the windows and napping.


I worked on research for the historical play, working my way through materials that came in from Worcester and Wellesley libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Took a lot of notes. For the particular play for 365 Women, I want to focus on one particular case, and maybe just reference some of the others. I don’t want it to be the most famous case — I need to go through the case files and find one that’s interesting, but not famous. I have some ideas, but I need more information.

Wednesday, it took us seven hours to shovel the driveway and get part of the deck cleared. Seven hours. Twenty-seven inches of snow high, a driveway that is fifty feet long and about five feet wide. Nearly killed us. Our neighbors were digging out. The street hadn’t been plowed, so they couldn’t even get to us to help us. Their own snowblowers were having trouble, so we were all digging out old school, with shovels.

Blizzard Deck
By Thursday morning, the plow FINALLY came down the street — and packed five feet of compacted snow back into my driveway. I physically could not chip it down to shovel it. My neighbor managed to get the snowblower over and help dig me out.

I mean, that’s ridiculous. The town only does a single pass on “tertiary” roads and we’re warned that we will be fined if we shovel from our properties onto the street, yet they are allowed to completely block out the driveways and pathways we’ve taken hours to clear so that we’re in compliance with the law. Just wrong.

Did a few pages on a new play. Not either of the plays I’m supposed to be working on, but at least the opening scene is down and the characters can stop yapping at me.

The library was open on Friday. We had a busy day, trying to process books, waive fines, and catch up. The bookdrop was not only frozen shut, the town plow had plowed the snow up against it. Even though we’d hired a private guy to plow our parking area and he’d cleared everything beautifully.

Brought home fish dinners from the fish market and tried to relax. Completely exhausted.

My mom called the doctor’s office to change her appointment for Monday morning, and they wouldn’t let her. They told her she should wait and call in on Monday, before she had to leave the house (7 AM), and the answering service would let her know whether or not the appointment was cancelled. I thought that was ridiculous — if she wants to change the appointment, they should change the damn appointment — but they didn’t want to.

Saturday, I had to get my mom’s prescriptions filled (because they wouldn’t refill them BEFORE the storm because it wasn’t time and they wouldn’t refill them early). Also went to the grocery store. Then, got into the library early.

It was very busy, with people dumping the books from the blizzard and trying to stock up for the upcoming storm. My colleague and I managed to wrestle the bookdrop open, and I passed books and videos over the snowdrift to her, and, together, we managed to get it shut again. We got everything processed, along with six bins of books in delivery.

Exhausted by the time it was closing time, and then we had a CCWC contest meeting. We figured out what needs to be done, and in what time frame, and have our marching orders. It’s Mercury Retrograde, and I have a feeling that some of what I said might have been misunderstood; hopefully not.

Sunday, we ran a bunch of errands, including buying the shoes I’ll wear for tango. I’ve been breaking them in, wearing them a few times a day.

Sunday night, we hunkered down again, in preparation for the storm. Superbowl 49 was on, Patriots vs. Seahawks. I have to say, the Twitter commentaries were more fun than the game, although the Patriots pulled it out there, near the end, and won 28-24.

Monday morning was awful. My mom called the doctor’s answering service, who told her the office was open and she should go in for her appointment. It was a nightmare going out. We got to the office — and it was locked. The answering service’s response was that it wasn’t their problem and “they have no control”. When we finally got a nurse to open the door, she said it was my mother’s fault for going out into the storm, and she was responsible for herself, and of course she was in control of changing her appointment if she wanted to.

Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? How dare you blame a 90 year old woman for doing what her doctor’s office TELLS HER TO DO, and dragging her out in a snowstorm? Completely unacceptable.

This whole “Oh, we wouldn’t have charged you if you didn’t come in” — um, yeah, mofo, you would have. Been down this road before. If you cancel on the day of and the office is considered “open”, legally one can be charged, weather or not, and that’s what’s happened in the past. Refusing to let her change the appointment, when she called THREE DAYS EARLIER and requested it and then BLAMING her for going out in a storm because the fucking answering service TOLD her to go is unacceptable.

Now, in my pre-Broadway days, when I was working whatever jobs I needed to keep a roof over my head while I worked in theatre, I worked for both a doctor’s office and an answering service. In the case of the doctor’s office, if someone called and asked to change an appointment, you CHANGE THE DAMN APPOINTMENT. If it was a matter of life or death and the doctor felt the patient needed to go in right away and the patient was trying not to go, that was one thing, but simply changing an appointment, be it for weather or because the ride fell through or whatever was a simple request and DONE.

When I worked for an answering service, if the weather was bad, it was the SERVICE’S job to call the clients and find out not only if they were considered “open”, but if anyone was actually on the premises, so when people called in, we had actual and accurate information. We didn’t sit around with our thumbs up our asses and wait until someone got around to letting us know. It was OUR job to get the information. If we’d behaved like this inept, rude, incompetent service behaved, we’d have been out of business in a week. Of course, this is the same service that, when my mother was sick a few weeks ago, didn’t put in the call promptly to the doctor, and it was SEVEN HOURS LATER before the doctor’s office called, and I’d already taken my mom to urgent care.

And, if you’re an answering service for a doctor, that means you need to have bedside manner. You are dealing with sometimes life-and-death, and often people who are highly frightened and stressed. It is your fucking JOB to have correct information and be compassionate. Not just take a phone number and abscond all responsibility.

The doctor herself is very nice and very good with my mom, but the staff, and, especially the answering service are a nightmare. I understand that reception has to buffer the doctor — I used to do it — but this level of incompetence is ridiculous.

The doctor showed up an hour later — like I said, the roads were a nightmare. My mom had her appointment. Her medication has to change, and she has to have some tests next week. We managed to get home and settle in for the rest of the day. I was furious and exhausted.

I read a little, but didn’t get much writing done. I shoveled the slush out of the driveway and the path, so it wouldn’t freeze over, and we had snow/rain/snow/rain/snow all day and into the night.

Yesterday was bright and sunny. I got to work on the radio play, and realized that the sequence I’ve used as the prologue in BALTHAZAAAR TREASURE actually needs to be at the end, not the beginning. Well, at least I know my horizon line. It’s unfair to the reader to start with that, not to mention breaks the style of the previous novel.

I have a screenplay due mid-March now — I know what I’m going to submit, I just need to polish it a bit. So — radio drama, stage play, screenplay, novel — all in the next few months, along with everything else. That should keep me busy.

I’m not feeling very creatively confident right now, so I hope just showing up and doing the work every day will help me regain that confidence.

In spite of that, I got some good, solid pages done on the radio play. There’s more humor in it than I expected.

Hop on over to the GDR blog to see what’s going on there.

Stay safe and warm.


Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Comments (1)