Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Sunny and cold
Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow. Buckle up! These three retrogrades together will not be fun.
I was exhausted when I got back from work on Saturday, but I managed some work on nonfiction #1, and went over the material for the next day’s reading marathon.
Up very early on Sunday, on the road before 8 AM. I did vocal exercises in the car, so my voice wouldn’t sound like I’d just woken up, or start squeaking. Thank goodness for theatre training. Made it to P-town, in spite of road construction, by my 9 AM call. The reading was set up on the second floor of the library, in front of the ship the Dorothea Rose (they have holes in the ceiling to accommodate the masts). It was a lovely, sunny room. The readers were a nice, fun group. The audience ebbed and flowed, but it was a pretty good turnout. Some of them were die-hard Ishamael-ites, reading along in their own copies as we read; others simply listened.
I approached the text like an actor. I had Chapter 104 “The Fossil Whale” and the beginning of Chapter 105. All narration, filled with difficult-to-pronounce words. Even though I’d rehearsed them all, I still stumbled a bit. But I asked myself, who is this person telling the story? Why is it important to him? I tried to fill the reading with a sense of personality and wonder, and I even found some humor in it. I never thought of Melville having a sense of humor, but there was a bit of wry humor hidden in there.
It worked, and the audience was very responsive. I stayed to listen to a few readers behind me, and several people caught up to me as I slipped out, to tell me how much they enjoyed my pages. Gratifying.
Commercial Street was a nightmare. It’s always been awful to drive down, but now, they’ve painted parking spaces on the right side, allowing street parking. Which means no one actually parks close to the curb, but any way they want. It’s almost impossible to squeeze by on the left. There was free parking on the Wharf for April, to encourage more visitors, so I parked there — plenty of parking when I arrived, nearly full when I left at noon. I skittered across Commercial Street up to Bradford Street to get the heck out of Dodge, driving over to the Province Lands, which were gorgeous. I was tempted to spend a few hours out there, but I wanted to avoid the traffic back.
Provincetown itself looked kind of tired and tatty, even trying to prepare for the season. Several of the long-term residents I met and spoke with at the reading are worried it’s getting too honky tonk, and becoming unlivable, which would be a shame. It’s been very overbuilt, and not smartly done. When the next big storm comes in, most of it will be wiped out, especially all the new construction. It’s a shame, because the place is so unique.
Drove back on 6-A, which was beautiful, but slow. There was construction along there, too, so I didn’t make any time. Picked up Chinese food at Tiki Port when I got back, but it was too cold to eat outside on the deck.
Did some work on HEART SNATCHER edits and on DEATH OF A CHOLERIC edits. i still don’t have Carey’s opening chapter in the former quite right, and it’s frustrating. I can’t structure the rest of the edits properly without getting that right.
The world of DEATH OF A CHOLERIC is expanding, but I have to decide what to leave out of this book. There will be more books (I hope), and I can keep enriching the world with each book.
Monday was Errand Day — I had lots of running around to do (including picking up a sketchbook and some pencils at Michael’s) and picking up my canvas of “Have You Seen . . .?” at Cotuit Center for the Arts. When I got home, I mowed the front lawn, then fed it and watered it. There’s been a lot of damage over the past few years, and I’m trying to fix it. The mower is just awful. It’s never worked properly, since I bought it, and Poulan refused to respect the warranty. The supposed “kink-free” hoses are also anything but that. Nothing like trying to get the work done with substandard tools.
Worked on Nonfiction #1, and also did some more research for “Just a Drop”. I’m having trouble with it, and won’t meet my self-imposed deadline of a draft by April 30. I’m going to take it with me when I go on retreat next week, and see if I can do it then. It seems to be a piece that wants to be written “away” instead of in my regular office.
Yesterday, I had a lot of admin work to do for myself. Did mountains of laundry. Packed. Worked on Nonfiction #1. The good thing about packing for a yoga retreat is that the clothes don’t require a lot of room! More room for books! 😉
It was raining, so I couldn’t do any yard work. And I can’t do any this morning, before I leave for work, unfortunately. I have to get the terraced back mowed — it’s getting long. I hope, before I leave this weekend, I can get the grass seed down in the front.
I have a Reference Committee meeting in Hyannis this morning, then an Historical Society meeting this afternoon at work. It will be a long day today, tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday. On Saturday, we have the ArtWeek Boston panel discussion with Rohma Abbas, Gary Braver, and Karen Day, so that should be fun. But I’ll definitely be ready for my vacation by Saturday night!
Poor SONGBOUND SISTERS has suffered in the past few weeks — it has not gotten the attention it deserves. But I need to clear off “Just a Drop”, HEART SNATCHER, and DEATH OF A CHOLERIC so I won’t be distracted when I work on it. It will need intense focus.
We had frost last night — I hope it warms up soon, so that we can put more plants outside. It’s getting a little crowded in here.
Hope you’re having a great week!