Fri. May 29, 2015: Dancing into the Weekend

Friday, May 29, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy day yesterday. Wrote so many PSAs that I wondered if I could ever write a lyrical sentence again instead of a sound byte.

Books came in and I processed them. Finished another order.

Did a lot of promo, and worked with three authors who will be appearing.

Found someone online with whom I’d worked years ago off-Broadway, and sent a long, catch-up email. Immediately I wondered if it came across as boastful.

Home, dinner, changed, Tango. Good night at tango last night. We learned a pattern that actually made sense to me, and that I could do. There’s still one person with whom I have the opposite of chemistry – the fact that he gets impatient with any partner who’s not perfect doesn’t help. We’re there to LEARN, and everyone learns differently. However, there were plenty of other partners there with whom I made progress. So, all in all, it was a good night.

There is a tango intensive in mid-June – -just before one of my busiest weeks of the year. I’d still really like to do it, so I’m going to see if I can make it happen.

This morning, I finished the polish on the last piece of the script package, and that goes out today.

Today will be busy, but at least I get to go home after work. Tomorrow is all about the garden. I am supposed to go away Sun. – Tues., but that might not happen this week. I won’t know until later tomorrow. If it doesn’t, I already have something else set up to take its place. I’m lucky in that there are some interesting opportunities presenting themselves. I don’t want to over-extend – the next few months will be crazy enough as it is – but I also don’t want to miss a good, solid, creative opportunity.

I’m also starting the historical play this weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Devon

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Published in: on May 29, 2015 at 8:27 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 29, 2015: Dancing into the Weekend  

Thurs., May 28: Working on Submissions

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Hopefully, we’ll get a good, solid rainstorm today. We need it badly. I feel guilty for saying that, in light of what Houston is going through. Having lived through some horrible floods in my life (including losing my car in one), I feel for them.

Work was busy, but good. Got some cataloging done, work on a book order, promotional stuff. I have a lot of promotional work to do today, to get June’s programming info where it needs to be.

Did some research/reading in the evening, and work on the play proposal that needs to go out tomorrow. Reworked my script writing resume, got out some pitches.

Up early this morning. Got some good, solid work done on the play proposal. I just have to massage the one-paragraph synopsis (it’s not a blurb, it’s a synopsis, which is an entirely different animal), and everything will be ready to go tomorrow. The actual deadline is Monday, but since I’m tied up away from online access all weekend, I want to get it out tomorrow.

Next on the agenda is the historical play, which I hope to finish by the end of June.

This weekend will be busy – between writing, meetings, and the garden.

Have a great one!

Devon

Published in: on May 28, 2015 at 7:59 am  Comments Off on Thurs., May 28: Working on Submissions  

Wed. May 27, 2015: Returning from Retreat

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Windy and humid

Overall, I had a really good retreat weekend. I wanted more “epiphany” than I got, but that’s life.

I read a lot – some good, some not so great. In fact, one of the cozies I read was so badly written that I wanted the protagonist to become the murderer’s next victim.

I worked on a novel, on the play, and on the hour-long pilot. I re-read some pieces I’d put aside, because I felt I’d lost the thread, and I was pleased to see that the work was stronger than I remembered, and that the thread was both strong and findable.

In and around the retreat, I got some mowing done, but not much else in the yard.

I spent a good bit of time trying to refill the creative well, and to define what I want and need out of this next phase, and some of the decisions I need to make to get there. Didn’t find all the answers I wanted, but I feel a little better about things.

I’m looking forward to June – some terrific adventures are coming up, and, as long as I keep my writing and deadlines on schedule, I think it will be a fun month.

Also scored a rolltop desk off the free Craiglist listings. It’s amazing. I’ve always wanted a desk like that, and I’m using it for my longhand work. I love it. It feels right, and I’m setting it up just as I want and need it. It’s also giving me inspiration to do a big rearrangement of my office, in general.

This will be a busy week, and then a busy weekend, but I’m looking forward to it.

I can’t believe May is almost finished!

I have a stage play proposal to get out by the end of the week – I think I’m in pretty good shape with it. Fingers crossed.

Devon

Published in: on May 27, 2015 at 9:20 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. May 22: Prep for Holiday Weekend

Friday, May 22, 2015

Waxing Moon

Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and cool

 

Busy day yesterday, but I managed to get through a lot of the mail, process the periodicals, and catalogue most of the DVDs, audio books, and books that came in while I was out.

Have you ever noticed that those with the most complaints are also those who have no solutions to offer (other than their own convenience) and are the least likely to contribute time, energy, or money to the situation? Roll up your sleeves and make a positive difference or shut the fuck up.

Home, quick dinner, back to tango. I feel like I’m backsliding in tango. I’m having a huge problem in the transition from choreographed dance (which I’m good at) to unchoreographed dance, especially with multiple partners. I haven’t yet found the key to unlock that particular issue.

Read a cozy mystery that was boring, implausible plot wise, and had stereotyped characters. Very disappointing, and I’m unlikely to read something by that author again. I’m surprised that editor chose it, having researched that particular editor.

Did some research for the rewrites on the play. The information will cause me to restructure the play a bit, because I have to make sure that this, the premise against which I’m setting the plot and characters remains the background and doesn’t overcome the play.

Eager to finish the play, finish the draft of the pilot, and then dig in to the historical play. I’ve almost figured it out completely.

I’m in a writing retreat as soon as I’m done with work tomorrow, through Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to it. I plan to be focused and hope the writing flows well.

I have a lot of work to do on June’s programs today.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Devon

Published in: on May 22, 2015 at 8:31 am  Comments (1)  

Thurs. May 21, 2015: Trying to Sustain the Writing Rhythm

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Waxing Moon

Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

 

Yesterday was busy. The library is full of Mercury Retrograde – printer problems, VCR problems, etc. The Reference Committee meeting in the morning was fun. Came back to the library, and, between all of us, we got the VCR working so the Masterpiece Book and Film Club could watch the first section of NOSTROMO. Then, we set up for the Hats, Hats, Hats program in the evening, which was a lot of fun.

Got home after 8, exhausted. Read a bit of the latest NEW YORKER, but that was about it.

Had managed some good work on the new play yesterday morning, before leaving for the meeting, and got some work done on the one-hour pilot set in Acadia this morning. I’m trying to keep the morning writing on track, no matter what’s on the agenda for the day.

Today will be busy, as we are shorter staffed than usual, and then there’s a Tango Milonga tonight.

Tomorrow and Saturday will be busy at the library, but Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and I’m doing a writer’s intensive so that I finish the play and get a good portion of the pilot done. I’m at the stage of work in the play where I’m second-guessing myself, and, what I have to do, is trust the momentum to finish the draft, then rip it apart early in the week and rewrite it for submission at the end of the week – a much more truncated process than I like, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Stuff stacked on my desk while I was gone to the rafters. Since I won’t have any uninterrupted work time in the near future – and that’s the ONLY way to get cataloging done – not sure how long it will take me to get it all done.

Devon

Published in: on May 21, 2015 at 7:41 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 21, 2015: Trying to Sustain the Writing Rhythm  

Wed. May 20, 2015: Back in Town!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Waxing Moon

Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

 

So, I’m back from my break, and it was a good one. I hope to post some photos in the coming days.

Back on May 10, we left early and drove to Acadia Park in Maine. We left early enough to make sure we got over the bridge before the traffic started — it’s already getting busy here. We drove up to Maine quickly, then took the coastal route all the way up, checking out Camden, eating lunch in Belfast, enjoying the towns.

The Quimby Inn was great, although they’d left us the wrong key, and we had to sort that out. But best mattresses ever — haven’t slept that well in months.

Absolutely loved Acadia Park. What a beautiful place. And so well run! The National Park Service gets some of the credit, but the specific individuals who work there deserve a lot of praise. We went up Cadillac Mountain (it kind of reminds me of Iceland), saw the Bubbles and Bubble Rock, Jordan Pond, Otter Cover, Thunder Hole (which is really interesting, the way the waves and the rocks create the sound), the Loop Road, the carriage houses, etc., etc. We spent the bulk of two days in the park — after all it was why we were there. I took lots of pictures and made lots of notes. I have plenty of information for the one hour drama pilot I want to set there, and got an idea for one of the books for a mystery series I hope to set in Maine.

I drove to Schoodic Peninsula, because I wanted to talk to the people at the Education Center about the Artist-in-Residency program. It’s in Acadia Park, but about an hour from the main section, on Mt. Desert Island, on the Schoodic Peninsula. We made it until about the last two miles, where they were working on a tiny bridge — there was no way I could get past the heavy equipment without falling off. Disappointing.

Ship’s Harbor was wonderful, and down around Bass Harbor. That was lovely. Some serious hiking in the fog.

There’s definitely an eerie, otherworldly quality about Maine.

The park itself was very busy, although it’s big enough that one doesn’t feel crowded. Lots of people there already.

I was less than thrilled with Bar Harbor. I thought it was over priced with a “let’s screw the tourists” attitude, especially now that so many cruise ships come in. If you’re going to charge New York prices, you better have high quality goods/food and New York service. They had neither. The food was okay, but not brilliant, and, not once did any server get the order right the first time. I am someone who rarely sends something back; however, when what is brought to the table is not remotely what I ordered, I do.

The library was terrific, though, just beautiful. It’s a very PRETTY town, don’t get me wrong. And the fire in 1947 or so that destroyed most of it was horrific. But if you’re a tourist-oriented town, I at least expect to find a level of hospitality and politeness (along with skill) that I found sorely lacking. If they’re already over the tourist season as it’s just getting under way, what will it be like by autumn? They were wonderful at the Inn, but the rest of my experience in the town was less than stellar. I mean, really, you open a place for coffee and baked goods at 7 AM (which I happen to think is late in a town near a National Park with hiking trails), and none of the baked goods are ready yet? You have two or three sad-looking leftovers from the day before (at prices that would make Starbucks blush) and you won’t bring out the fresh-baked stuff until you’ve sold them? I won’t be buying those sad leftovers, that’s for sure.

After our time at the park was done, we drove down to visit the family, just outside of Portland. We stayed at my great uncle’s house, although he’s in a nursing home. It was quiet there — no cell phone or internet in that area. I got a good bit of writing done, planning out a new book and writing a few chapters of it, designing the town in which it will take place, etc.

We visited with family, got to see my great uncle, and also spent some time in downtown Portland, and do a few other fun things.

We made a few stops on our drive back down, getting some shopping done, but I didn’t find everything I wanted/needed/expected to find on the trip. That’s okay. I will simply re-think those purchases.

I got a lot of ideas about how to put together my National Parks package for the Mermaid Ball.

Preakness was a great day. I was thrilled that American Pharoh won the second leg of the Triple Crown, and won it so well. Seven lengths in the mud and rain. Excellent. My other pick, Divining Rod, came in third. I hope American Pharoh wins the Belmont. We need a Triple Crown winner.

Went to a Sisters-in-Crime event in Dedham that the wonderful Arlene Kay organized, taught by the equally wonderful Carol Bugge. I’d studied with Carol at the Cape Cod Writers Conference, so it was great to do another session with her. We had a terrific table of people, the food was good, the session was great, and it was a lot of fun.

I worked in the yard — I’d gotten the mulch down before I left, and replanted the tomatoes, borage, and bok choy before we left. They seem to be doing well. I repainted one of the garden statues that faded, got the front and the terraced back mowed. I still have to do the meadow, this coming weekend.

Yesterday, we got much-needed rain. It was a pain the butt to drive in, but the plants and grass needed it. I had a National Marine Life Center Board Meeting in the morning, which went well –we’re on track for the 5K this coming weekend, for participation in Canal Fest, and the Mermaid Ball. We saw some of the rounds with two of the seals — the adorable little Dill, and the very sick Ginger.

Came back, tried to get some work done in the middle portion of the day, then had a Cape Cod Writers Center Board Meeting in the evening. That went well, too.

Up early this morning, trying to get some yard work done, getting some writing done. I have a reference committee meeting this morning, and then I’m back at the library. We have two programs today, and then I’m working tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday.

I’ve got to get a play revised and out by the end of next week, keep working on two books, and get started on the historical play. Plenty to do. Always, plenty to do.

I kind of feel like I spent too much time driving on vacation and not enough time being, but it was still a nice change of scenery. I didn’t get as much thinking, percolating, and contemplation time as I wanted, but if I create the bulk of Memorial Day weekend as a writing retreat, I hope I can get there.

Things are finally blooming — it was lovely to come home and see all the lilacs in bloom. Lilacs are my favorite!

Hope you’re having a wonderful start to spring.

Devon

Published in: on May 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm  Comments (4)  

Fri. May 8, 2015: Have Seen Better Days

Friday, May 08, 2015

Waning Moon

Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and warm

 

I survived yesterday, and the less publicly said about it, the better. Those who know me well will get plenty of bitching and moaning in private, although, honestly, if you weigh in all the angles, it’s just not worth it.

Let’s just say I was up at 5 AM and didn’t get to bed until well after 11 PM, and, unlike certain fictional characters, no, I did not get to “nap” in between. I actually had to work.

My feet were swollen and painful by the time I got home. I soaked them, but I woke up several times in the night in bad pain, and they don’t feel much better today. I’m a Pisces; it’s all about the feet.

Woke up at 5 AM this morning, in an absolutely foul mood, and I am in no mood for idiots today. No such luck.

I have a long day today, and a long day (work-wise, not hour-wise) tomorrow, and then I’ll be offline for ten days. Much-needed.

The day is beautiful, so hopefully, my mood will lift.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Devon

Published in: on May 8, 2015 at 8:28 am  Comments (1)  

Wed. May 6, 2015: A Bad Start

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Waning Moon

Saturn Retrograde

Pluto Retrograde

Cloudy and mild

 

Busy few days, but it feels good not to be under pressing deadlines.

Saturday, I was exhausted after work. Sat on the deck with the first martini of the season to recover.

Sunday was about yard work, reading, and packing. And spring cleaning. Lots of scrubbing and laundry and rearranging things.

Monday was for errands, including taking the leaves to the dump, picking up mulch, and starting to mulch the beds. I managed to clean up and get to my friend, Trisha Leaver’s book launch at Sturgis, for THE SECRETS WE KEEP. It’s a fantastic book, and I’m so happy for her.

Tuesday was about more yard work, more mulching, and doing things like re-upping Triple A. Lots of cooking all weekend, too, including roasting a chicken on Tuesday night.

I’ve given myself the week off from writing. I know, on my vacation, I’ll WANT to write, and I’ve been on a tight schedule these past weeks, between radio and short stories and the contest. If I want to write this week, I will, but I’m giving myself the time off, should I wish it. Right now, I wish it.

Today will be a long day at work, and tomorrow, even longer, because it’s our big fundraiser, Welcome Spring. Then, I’m working Friday and Saturday.

I’m reading Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman mysteries. There’s a lot I like about them, but all the napping the characters do irritates the hell out of me. They do one thing, have one conversation, work for a handful of hours — and nap. Hey, how many DECADES of one to three hours of sleep a night have I lived on? How many ten-out-of-twelves in production, and how many eighteen-hour -plus days working on film and television sets? No naps. Even if I’m up at four or five in the morning to write before going to work — I don’t get to nap. I WORK the whole damn day.

I wonder if it’s a cultural thing. Here, if you napped that much and weren’t in your nineties, you’d be tested for illness or put on antidepressants.   An actress might be allowed an hour’s nap between matinee and evening performances, but that’s it.

When someone’s life is at stake, you don’t stop everything and take a damn nap.

It’s a minor thing, really, because story and character and relationships and setting and all that is wonderful, but the napping drives me nuts. Granted, on some days, it’s a shorter drive than on others.

My hairdryer caught fire. Fortunately, I smelled the smoke and dropped it in the sink before either my hair or my hand caught fire, but the smoke alarms went off and the cats ran around screaming. Not the best way to start the day.

I plan to be offline then for about ten days, doing precisely what I please. I will come back with photos and stories and lots to tell, but I need the time to recharge.

I will be online for the next handful of days, so I’m sure there will be more to tell between now and then!

I’m looking forward to finishing the draft of the play during the offline time, and working on the draft of the hour-long television pilot. And, I’ve been working on something else, where the characters spoke strongly, so I’m writing my way into it. I’m not sure, structurally, on one particular plot point, but my characters are insisting, and I have to trust that they know more than I do.

Devon

Published in: on May 6, 2015 at 10:24 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. May 1, 2015: A Raw Beltane

Friday, May 1, 2015
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and Raw
Beltane

Busy day yesterday, but good busy.

Got the rewritten short story out, on deadline, and got an acknowledgement. I won’t hear back on the status of either story until autumn, so I’m not going to worry about them; I’ll just move on to the contemporary play.

Work was fine.

After work, headed to Cotuit Center for the Arts, for the Mid-Cape Cultural Council grantee reception. I received a grant last year from them for SEAL TIDES; this year, I’d been invited to cheer on the next round of recipients. So that was fun.

Stopped by tango to help clean up.

Read a bit when I got home, went over my final list again for the Indie Next Generation Book Awards – I am solid in my choices, I believe I picked the strongest entries in each category. They go off today.

Overslept a bit, ran errands this morning. Will be a long day, and there’s a lot to get done. I’m working tomorrow, because the person who would normally be “on” is on vacation. The rest of my days off will be about writing and about a major spring house cleaning and yard work.

I’ll celebrate Beltane when I get home tonight.

Have a wonderful start to May!

Devon

Published in: on May 1, 2015 at 8:16 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 1, 2015: A Raw Beltane  
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