Tues. Jan. 31, 2017: January’s a Snowy Wrap

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

We’re going to have another snowstorm today. I can feel the pressure building in my head.

GDR wrap-up for January here.

Yesterday was another depressing and discouraging day, thanks to the Faux Emperor and his Puppet Masters. I’d accuse the GOP of being spineless, but it’s not that they’re spineless, it’s that they agree, which is even worse.

It looks like the contract for one project is going to go through, on terms that will work for both parties. We each gave, we each got, which is as it should be. That goes off today. That project should take me up through the spring.

Got some writing done. Started the Constitutional Law class. Worked on contest entries.

This morning, I did the final pass on the anthology story, and off it goes. I have class work and errands and writing all to do before the storm hits, so I better get going.

Hopefully, I’ll get some more writing done this afternoon. Writing-wise, February has to get back on track.

Onward.

Published in: on January 31, 2017 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mon. Jan. 30, 2017: Political and Personal and Art

Monday, January 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Busy weekend, a lot of it political. Although, within it all, I got some writing done.

The Unconstitutional, poorly thought out “travel ban” that went into effect late on Friday was the primary cause of it, along with removing legitimate security officials from the National Security Council to install an unqualified, unvetted white supremacist. Lots of activism, and thank you to the Federal judges who actually understand and uphold the law.

Every Senator and Representative who remained silent needs to be removed from office next year. The ACLU got five to six times more in donations this weekend than they typically get in a year. Better them than the DNC, in my opinion. The candidates need to start earning their keep before I give any money to them. Hopefully, we will see some contentious primaries and get some of these cowards out.

Ironically enough, I was re-reading the Constitution in preparation for today’s start of the Constitutional Law class. The Executive and Legislative Branches are not only ignoring it, they are using it as toilet paper.

I’ve also taken note of those, who, right after the election, kept insisting that even though they voted for the Sociopath, they were “good” people and would be the “first” to stand up if he violated the Constitution, yet remained silent this weekend. Duly noted. You didn’t stand and you won’t stand. Because you agree. Also duly noted.

I got nearly thirty pages written on one project. Too bad it wasn’t one of the ones I was supposed to be working on! But it felt good, to get back into the groove. Got some work on the short story due on Wednesday, although I didn’t finish it, and will have to so do today.

Worked on contest entries, finished re-reading POSSESSION, which remains one of my favorite books.

Waiting to hear back on two contract negotiations. Got a request for a meeting on another project that I’m hoping to set up later this week. Got an email from someone with whose company I parted on less-than-stellar terms who wants to know if I want to come back for the summer. Wondering what the ulterior motive is — we were relieved to be parted.

SAG Awards last night, and it was a lively night. I’m getting sick of those who try to demean or diminish artists for speaking out. Having spent most of my professional life working in the arts, most artists are intelligent, thoughtful, have a strong sense of justice, curious, and, in the course of researching their work — informed. The artists I’ve worked with, on the whole, have been much smarter than the non-artists I’ve worked with. Yet non-artists are quick to try to bully, condemn, and censor artists. All that does is show the lesser character of those non-artists.

Because genuine artists are the ones who change the world. And theatre, in particular, started out in Greece as a form of politics.

Speaking of artists making a difference, I’m re-reading Vaclav Havel’s THE ART OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: Politics and Morality in Practice.

One of my neighbors built a section of fence to block off his patio area from the street. Good for him, I have no problem with that. Privacy is important. Unfortunately, it’s one of the ugliest structures I’ve seen in a long time. It’s especially noticeable to me right now because, this weekend, I was researching different types of walls, fences, and gates for one of my novels, and designing something beautiful. Synchronicity!

The Constitutional Law class begins today. I’m excited and a bit apprehensive. I hope I can do the work. I really like my professor, who’s both soft-spoken and passionate about his topic.

I have to set up some appointments, and some places for appointments, so I’ll have some running around to do.

Another week, and Imbolic is only a few days away! First planting!

Onward.

Fri. Jan. 27, 2017: Trying to Get Back in Balance

Friday, January 27, 2017
New Moon
Chinese Lunar New Year — Year of the Fire Rooster
Cloudy and cold

Temperature’s going down again, but at least the rain’s let up for the moment.

Yesterday, I got some work done on the short story. I think it will be ready to go out on Monday (it’s due on Wednesday). As I was going to sleep last night, I had an “aha!” moment about it, which I will have to work in to the text today.

I sent off my proposals and we’ll see what happens next. I also worked on a counter proposal to the other contract negotiation. We’ll see if that works for both of us. If not, we part ways and wish each other well. I’m done accepting work for so far under my rate that it costs me. Pay me a fairly for a fair day’s work, or hire someone off Craigslist with no credits who mixes up possessives and plurals.

Turning over and over the themes and actions for the play. I hope to get a good chunk of it written this weekend, once the short story is done and simmering, prior to its final polish.

Worked on contest entries yesterday, and also on the research for the Italian Renaissance play. Found a tangent to my research — something very, very cool, but off-topic. However, it’s so cool that I made note of the sources and started a fresh file, so that I can go back and build a project just around that in the future.

Fascinating tangents are a pitfall of research. Many sniffily advise to “just ignore them.” I take notes, especially for sources, so I can go back to them once the project I’m researching is done. I find that works better for me — I don’t waste time on tangents (fifteen minutes to note sources is reasonable, in my opinion), and I don’t resent losing something interesting.

Did some political work, and have more to do today, including a potentially contentious encounter with someone whom I don’t think is living up to the obligations of the job.

One of my favorite authors, Nicole Peeler, has started a virtual book club as part of her activist and educational work. I joined, and ordered the first book. I’m looking forward to it — she’s putting together a smart group of people, and I think we can have some invigorating discussions.

I’m re-reading AS Byatt’s novel POSSESSION. I re-read it regularly, and it remains one of my favorite novels, although I wasn’t crazy about the film adaptation. I always get something new and nourishing from the text, as one does from well-written material.

I had hoped to get to Cape Cod National Seashore today, since our National Parks are about to be sold off, and I’d like to see it one last time. I don’t think I’ll make it until next week, but I’m determined to get there, thank the rangers in person, and take one last look before the destruction.

Back to the page.

Thurs. Jan. 26, 2016: Contracts, Decisions, Opportunities

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Dark Moon
Rainy and cold

At least it’s not snow, although I’m getting a little tired of rain. And it’s been so mild that the shrubs aren’t sure whether to stay dormant or to bud.

Got some work done on the short story yesterday, and on two proposals. Had a nice lunch at Captain Parker’s in Yarmouth, which is a fun restaurant with good food. Worked on contest entries.

Worked with my elected officials. We are differing on a couple of things, but are keeping it a civil discussion. Working with my elected officials, I don’t expect to get everything I want just because I ask for it; but they can’t represent me unless they know where I stand on things. When they make decisions counter to what I believe is the right choice, we discuss it. If their decisions are counter too often, I vote for someone else in the next election. But a good channel of communication is helpful. Even when I disagree, at least I know I’m being heard and not just ignored, especially when discussions hit specifics. And that’s the point of public services — you are representing many individuals, trying to make decisions that benefit as many as possible, within the value system of those who want you to represent them.

Walked away from a bad contract offer yesterday with the full support of my agent and lawyer. The offer was unacceptable as presented. Our side suggested changes, as one does. The other side said they don’t make any changes. Well, then, I’m not working with you. The first offer is where negotiations START, at least in the professional world. These smaller publishers who expect authors to sign boilerplates are delusional, and the authors so desperate they’re willing to give everything away just to get their names in print usually wind up regretting it.

A second contract negotiation on a different project walked back the money a LOT. We’re talking about walking back the workload to match. Otherwise, I won’t be doing that project, either. Which is fine, since I’d only even agreed to talk to the person as a favor to a friend. You’re not paying? I’m not working. This isn’t my cute lil hobby on the side.

Worked on a couple of proposals last night and this morning, and feel pretty good about them. We’ll see where they end up. This is in follow-up to Tuesday’s meeting.

Writing to do today, and research. The play I’ve been outlining gnaws at me. The last few scenes are very, very clear in my head. I may have to write them down so I don’t lose them.

I’d like to have the short story ready to submit by tomorrow or Saturday so that I can write a bit of the play and get it out of my head — and my heart. This one will be a gut-wrencher to write, which means I’m probably on the right track.

I forgot yesterday that it was both Burns Night and Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Salutes to both of them!

Back to the page.

Wed. Jan. 25, 2017: Meetings & Negotiations & National Parks

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and mild

Yesterday morning was about contract negotiations on two projects. We’ll see. At this point, either the terms will be accepted, or they won’t. I’m fine with either. I’m not willing to sign something detrimental to my interests. I’d rather walk away.

Got some work done on the short story. I feel good about what’s there, and where it’s going. It was nice to get in some solid writing time.

Drove to New Bedford in the afternoon for my meeting. Drive wasn’t bad, although the fog was thick and it was raining. I need to replace my windshield wipers. I don’t understand the idiots who’ll drive in that weather, refusing to put on their lights. It’s the law to have one’s lights on in this weather; would be nice if it was enforced. It would prevent a lot of accidents.

The meeting went very well. I have some materials to put together by tomorrow and we have to negotiate money. Hopefully, it will work.

On the way back, I plotted out a new play, and worked on the outline last night. It’s a rather bleak, dystopian piece. In other words, contemporary.

Had my orientation for Constitutional Law. I really like the professor. While I believe the class will be challenging, I think it will be worth it.

Picked up Chinese food on the way home, and worked on contest entries. The last couple have been very good.

Love watching WEST WING, but it makes an even starker contrast to what we’re facing.

Kudos to the National Park Service and the employees who are standing up to climate change facts being censored. The Park Service reports to the PEOPLE, who pay for them.

I have a lot of work to do today, along with errands and a lunch mid-Cape. I’ve been invited to an early morning coffee tomorrow morning by a networking organization. I’m tempted to go, but it’s during my best writing time, so I hesitate.

The White House is still ignoring the devastation caused by the tornadoes this weekend. In the states who voted for him. That is not okay. Too busy abusing executive order power and gagging federal agencies.

Tues. Jan. 24, 2017: Piling More on the Plate

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and mild

Yesterday was a busy day. I had contract negotiations on two different projects, admin work, a couple of hours’ work with the staffs of my elected officials, preparation for this afternoon’s meeting, writing (which did not go well), and research into both Italian Renaissance painting and 1930s fashion.

On top of that, I applied to and was accepted by, a Yale-based course in Constitutional Law, which starts next week. I want to be prepared. People are waving around the Constitution, but most of them haven’t read it. I studied it in school, but that was a while ago, and I want to learn the legalities. I received my orientation package, and made arrangements with the local library so I can study and do research there during open hours. It’s at least fifteen hours a week, and I’m sure it will kick my ass, but I think it will be worth it.

The local news mentioned that more people died in the tornadoes that hit this country this weekend than in all of last year. The only other information I could find on the tornadoes was on CNN, which confirmed that. I finally managed to get onto the Red Cross website to find out that they are on the ground, and donations can be made through their site, but I had to hunt for the information.

Why isn’t this being reported? More importantly, what kind of federal aid is being sent? Why is the White House continuing to whine and push false inauguration numbers while people are dying or have lost everything and need help? There should have been a strong message of support and comfort and promise of aid out of the Oval Office as soon as it happened.

I’m not surprised that there wasn’t, but there should have been.

More contract negotiations today, and more work with elected officials before I head off Cape for my meeting. I’m hoping to sneak in some writing.

If one of these contracts actually comes through, not only will I have a tight contract schedule on the book that’s being negotiated, I have to make the next book in the series a priority. That will mean re-arranging the year’s manuscript schedule. I hate being in a holding pattern, but the contract that was offered was against all of my interests in so many ways, I can’t believe it was actually offered. But that’s why I have an agent, a lawyer, and the Authors Guild.

The press release about the new play goes out today. That should be fun.

Meanwhile, I have a short story to finish and get out this week!

Mon. Jan. 23, 2017: Boston Women’s March & More Good News

Monday, January 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Nor’easter

Friday was a depressing as hell day, but Saturday more than made up for it.

Saturday, I traveled in to Boston to join the Women’s March. I admit, I went in with cynicism. It quickly dissipated.

It was a beautiful day. The bus was full, and energy was high. The walk to the Common was a lot of fun, as people converged from all directions.

There were many memorable moments. Some of my favorites include:

–The elderly Asian couple, holding hands, grinning from ear to ear, wearing pink pussy hats;

–Feminists in Kilts — a group of men in kilts who turned out to support, and they wore them well!

–The Duck statues honoring MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS outfitted in hats;

–A Fife & Drum Corp in full regalia, playing and carrying the banner with Abigail Adams’s quote: “Remember the Ladies.”

–Women Working for Oceans;

–Chinese Lion Dance, performed by the only all-female Chinese Lion Dance Troupe, to bless the event. As someone who worked on shows like MISS SAIGON and FLOWER DRUM SONG, where the dancers came to the theatre to bless us, this was personally meaningful to me.

–“Amazing Grace” sung in Cherokee;

–The Mashpee Wampanoag Clan Mothers giving a blessing;

–A passionate Mayor Marty Walsh, urging us to “Amplify!” I’d never seen him speak live before, and he was wonderful.

–Everything that came out of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s mouth. Especially her urge to be involved, to fight, and her belief in science.

–Senator Ed Markey, reminding us about the state’s long history with the American Revolution, Abolition Movement, Suffragist Movement, and Freedom Fighters. Again, I’d never heard him speak live before, and he was great.

–Attorney General Maura Healey, who gave an amazing speech and had this message for Trump: “We’ll see you in court!”

–Tisha Sullivan, of the NAACP’s speech.

–Frequent reminders that we continue to stand with Standing Rock.

–A quote whose attribution I did not write down: “A democracy is only as strong as we are engaged.”

–The impromptu dance party that broke out, when it took much longer than hoped for to funnel us all onto the march route, because instead of the 80,000 expected, 175,000 showed up.

It was a wonderful day. I was worried it would be bunnies and rainbows and “Kumbaya”, but it was about active engagement.

The Boston Police Department was fantastic. They made it clear they were here FOR us, not AGAINST us, and together we had a joyful, peaceful day. There was not one arrest. We got a thank you from the Commissioner.

The Parks Department thanked us for cleaning up after ourselves, and were amazed that an event so large could clean up so fast.

People who live in the townhouses flanking the Common were out on their balconies, enjoying things. The music was good, in between speakers and performances.

I couldn’t find any of the people I’d planned to meet, but I met many others, and everyone was looking out for each other.

The only trouble I personally experienced was walking back to South Street Station after. On Winter Street, three young white supremacists, with swastikas carved into their buzz cuts, yelled insults as people dispersed. Everyone just ignored them. They couldn’t get any attention. They were unable to incite trouble or hurt anyone’s mood.

There were a lot of men of all ages at the march — many of whom had marched against Vietnam and for Women’s Reproductive Rights. There were many young men, for whom this was a new experience, but they believe in equality and justice for all. There were women and children and pets. There were terrific signs and costumes and slogans. There were genuine ideas on how to work together to make things better.

On the bus on the way home, we laughed and groaned about how we weren’t as young as we used to be, and how we’d be soaking in Epsom salts that night.

When I got home, I watched footage and read comments from other marches all over the world — 50 states and 32 countries. Depending on the source, DC’s march had between one million and two million. Again, no violence.

Of course, Swamp Thing’s supporters were going crazy on social media. They were screaming on social media at the marchers (although, from reports, very few of them showed up in counter-protest). They posted fake photos of violence (that had happened the day before) and messes left by protestors (none of the “sources” I’ve seen so far were real, and I’ve yet to hear any Parks Department or Police Department complain.  Quite the opposite — there have been posted thanks from several).

Millions of people around the world asserted their right to peaceful protest. Those who are infuriated by said protest are ignoring the fact that no one told them they had to agree or join it. The event was there — join if you want; if you disagree, then don’t show up. No one tried to MAKE you show up. The fact that you are unable to stop screaming and jumping up and down like a thwarted toddler (but then, look who’s setting the example) just shows that you don’t understand either history or the Constitution. I’ve seen cries that protesting doesn’t change anything. Really? Did you ever actually take a class in history? Protests all over the world create change. Women’s right to vote, to chose, civil rights, and the Affordable Care Act are all proof of that. NO ONE CARES THAT YOU WEREN’T THERE. Your decision not to join in was respected. No one tried to coerce you. You made your choice; we made ours. There were plenty of us who were there, and we are going to move forward. Together. That’s what really irks the naysayers. They weren’t missed.

There will be a march on Friday in DC for Pro-Liferrs. Do I agree with their position? Of course not. But good for them for asserting their right to peaceful assembly, and I hope they have a good day. Will I be there? No. I’m busy taking action on the things that are important to me, while they are busy taking action on things that are important to them. We are engaging per our beliefs, and that’s a good thing. Elected officials don’t know how their constituents feel if their constituents don’t tell them. If only lobbyists engage, then we end up with what we have now: A giant mess with a potential for more mess.

I got home to the happy news that everything’s been finalized, and I get to write the play about Renaissance painter Lavinia Fontana for the group 365 Women in New York. I’ll have a little over five months to immerse myself in Renaissance painting, and nearly six months to write the play. I’m very excited.

Another contract negotiation that I thought was dead in the water seems to still have some potential, so my agent and I are focusing on that today. I have a third letter of agreement to get out to someone who wants to work with me and we have some details to work out.

I’m working on contest entries, and tomorrow I have a project meeting off-Cape. Because Heaven forbid any arts organization ON Cape is willing to pay artists properly. So I’m off-Cape tomorrow. Initial conversations have gone well, they like my work, so we’ll see what happens.

I’m way behind in my writing this month. I hope to get back on track this week. I feel like I’m in a holding pattern until these contract negotiations are finalized, when what I should be doing is doubling down and getting as much done as I can, because the contracts are for different projects and the schedule will have to be redone as soon as things are signed.

There’s also another opportunity dangling in front of me. I want to do it very, very badly, but I’m worried that I’m piling too much on my plate. I have to see what happens this week, and then I’ll be able to make a decision.

I have a lot of work to do this morning before the nor’easter hits, including work with my elected officials.

Saturday was inspiriting; yesterday was a day of recovery; today, it’s back to work, on all levels.

Published in: on January 23, 2017 at 10:44 am  Comments Off on Mon. Jan. 23, 2017: Boston Women’s March & More Good News  
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Thurs. Jan. 19: Day of Resistance (Part II)

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Waning Moon
Cloudy turning to sunshine and cool

Not a productive writing day yesterday, but got a bunch of other things done. One contract negotiation, in particular, is taking more and energy than it should. I’m being pushed towards signing something that is not in my best interest and is in conflict with the standards provided by the Authors’ Guild, and I’m not willing so to do. Yes, I am willing to walk away if necessary. But the person who fights me on it wants me to sign it anyway. Which I won’t. This “shut up, roll over and deal, even though you’re being fucked on every level” mentality especially irritates me because it reflects what Swamp Thing Elect’s supporters are demanding of the country in every capacity.

Got some research done, but not as much as I’d like. I’m on hold on some of the research, because that is yet another contract that needs to be finalized.

On the third ongoing contract negotiation, the other party asked for more time, which is fine. She needs to run things by her legal advisors, too.

Today is officially the Day of Resistance, before tomorrow’s inauguration and our country’s march into destruction.

I am not able to go to NYC for tonight’s rally led by Michael Moore and Mark Ruffalo, unfortunately. Unfortunately, I’m limited in how much I can afford to travel right now, and since I’ll be marching this weekend, and last weekend was the PEN event — something had to give somewhere. But I will attend it virtually.

Swamp Thing Elect, the Narcissistic Sociopath, that corrupt con man, is not my president. I will not give him the attention he craves. I will not capitulate to his bullying, nor will I become complicit as he tries to destroy the many good things this country stands for, and the progress we’ve made over the last fifty years.

I am not interested in “unity” with Swamp Things Elect’s supporters, who believe it’s okay to mock the disabled, to deny women healthcare, to sexually prey on others, to destroy Medicare — which is an EARNED benefit, to destroy Social Security — again, an EARNED benefit, to condone violence against those who disagree, to destroy the educational system, to destroy the very planet on which we live on, to deny equal rights and basic human decency based on skin color and/or religion, and/or sexual orientation, to force one’s particular brand of extreme religion down the country’s throats while claiming everyone else’s religion makes them a “terrorist”, to condone domestic terrorism as long as the individuals performing it are white, to deny the press access to what is going on so the corruption can go unhindered, to put people in charge of agencies they are bound and determined to destroy, and to get us into a nuclear war because of a Who-Has-the-Biggest-Dick contest.

I’ve heard Swamp Thing Elect’s supporters proclaim that, should they see anything unethical, immoral, or tactics that resemble fascist tactics, they will be the “first” to stand up, and they will protect the “others.” These idiots are completely ignoring that they HAVE seen countless demonstrations of all of that throughout the campaign and voted for him anyway. The behavior had only intensified since the election. They can’t expect anyone to take them seriously that they believe in “family values” when they vote for someone who is its antithesis. They ARE NOT and they WILL NOT stand up against Swamp Thing. or his goons. As usual, they’re blowing a lot of hot air. Paraphrasing the meme that’s been going around, when someone comes for them, there will be no one left to stand for them, because they did not stand for others.

He has had numerous opportunities to respond to criticism and dissent with statesmanship and dignity. He refuses so to do. Instead, he behaves like a spoiled, ranting toddler, and incites further hatred.

It also amazes me how many Swamp Thing Elect supporters think they’re on a “special list” because they voted for him. They genuinely believe that, while people who voted for Hillary will lose health care, Medicare, all health and human services, and Social Security, because they voted for the Swamp Thing, they will keep their benefits while the “others” lose them. Several have SAID that to me. “You’ll be left to die in a ditch, but I’m getting a Cadillac plan and I don’t have to pay for it, because I’m on The List.”

So when they’re shocked that they might lose their benefits and go crying to the media? Honey, this is what you voted for. There is no such thing as “one issue voting.” You voted for the whole package including advocating racism and violence and inequality. You voted to lose your healthcare, your benefits, your overtime pay at your minimum-wage job, and to have your house foreclosed. You are not exempt. You are not on a “special list.” The information was out there; you chose to ignore it.

All while Swamp Thing Elect and his buddies line their own pockets, plunder the US Treasury for themselves, sell us off to other countries, and probably put the contents of the White House up for sale on eBay.

No. I will not “unify”. I will not normalize one of the most unqualified and corrupt administrations in this country’s history.

It is BECAUSE I have respect for the Office of the President that I will not unify with those determined to destroy it for personal gain.

For eight years, anti-Obama factions refused to work with/unify/compromise with the Obama administration. The amount of racial insult against the President and his family, the constant obstructionism. Mitch McConnell declaring it was his mission to make sure Obama was a “one-term President”. Not that he would do his job to serve the country, but that his entire mission was to obstruct Obama. Mitch McConnell refusing to give Merrick Garland a fair hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy, and then whining that the Senate has to rubber stamp anyone Swamp Thing Elect puts forth. If the cabinet posts are any indication, the next nominee for the Supreme Court won’t even have any legal experience.

I will not “unify” with such hypocrites.

I will not give the Swamp Thing the attention he craves. When the Supreme Court betrayed the American people by handing the election to GW Bush, instead of allowing votes to be counted, I did not consider Bush my president, either. I ignored him as much as possible, working with my elected representatives on issues that mattered to me.

Then, of course, 9/11 happened. Even though Bush had the information on August 6 that would have prevented it. Read, or re-read, the 9/11 Commission Report if you’ve forgotten. So we had to pay attention. And then Bush came to speak to an anti-war rally in NYC, against getting into Iraq, and told the assembled crowed, “I don’t care what you think.” I was there. I heard the words. I wrote them down on the day. He was my EMPLOYEE. He damn well better care what I thought!

And here we are, with thousands of lives lost and thousands of veterans who aren’t being cared for, and who won’t, be cared for, under the incoming administration.

The dumbing-down began in the Reagan years. I lived through them. I remember. It got worse with reality television. And now a reality television celebutard is about to take an oath of office he will not fulfill, treat the job like a hobby that he will ignore when he doesn’t feel like doing it, destroy our relationships with our allies all over the world, do whatever Putin tells him, and probably get us into a nuclear war, because he thinks it’s like a video game, and, in his pathetic life, there have never been any consequences for any of the horrible things he’s done. He’s been bankrupt four times. If this cabinet picks are any indications of how he’s run his businesses, hiring the least qualified for every position, no wonder. Now he gets to bankrupt the country.

I will not give him the attention he craves. I will ignore him as much as possible, while working with my elected officials on issues that matter, and fighting the policies that will destroy us.

One of the first things to do is to remove Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell from their positions, because they are using Swamp Thing’s ignorance and bombastic posturing for their own ends.

I have been keeping up with the confirmation hearings this week for the inept and corrupt that want cabinet positions. So far, they’ve all been horrifyingly unqualified for the positions to which they were named. I have been letting my elected officials know how I feel about them. I will continue working with my elected officials, and I will work to help other ethical progressives get elected all over the country in 2018.

I will continue with my own creative work, in prose, on stage, on film, and on radio, and accepting gigs from organizations in whose missions I can believe. I will not normalize behavior, legislation, and corruption that are sickening to me, and I will not “unify” with people who promote, condone, and live those beliefs. If I have to, I will co-exist with them, provided they don’t try to force them on me, and I will continue to use my First Amendment rights to speak out.

I will continue working with organizations like PEN, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and environmental organizations that work for dignity and rights for all. I will cut ties with organizations who don’t take a stand.

I will continue to vote when votes come up, to read as many bills coming up as possible, and to find daily ways in my life to make the world around me a better place. That does not mean shutting up and ignoring the corruption around me.

There are plenty of progressive slogans being bandied about with which I don’t agree, because I think it’s too much bunnies and rainbows and not enough practicality. While we often need to unwind with cute cat videos and a glass of wine after a long day, bunnies and rainbows and “positive energy” won’t fix this. Hard work, cunning, intelligence, and a refusal to back down will.

That is my resistance.

I am not watching the inauguration tomorrow, for the first time since I can remember. I have other work to do, especially creative. I am also taking the trash to the dump — the gesture pleases me, in a small way. I intend to help take out the trash that is the incoming administration as much as possible in the coming months.

I will be offline from tomorrow until Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Jan. 19, 2017: Day of Resistance

I had a long post dedicated to today, and the computer ate it!

Ironic and telling.

Never fear, I am resisting — today and every day.

I will not give Swamp Thing the attention he craves, and I will continue working with my elected officials to work on policies that give everyone basic human rights and dignity.

I will be offline until Monday.

Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 11:03 am  Comments Off on Jan. 19, 2017: Day of Resistance  

Wed. Jan. 18, 2017: Day of Discouragement

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and raw

Very tired and a little discouraged. Going over one of the contract negotiations, one member of the team that’s supposed to represent me is not, in my estimation. That is always discouraging. I have no doubt that things will come to a head in the next few days.

I managed to write an article yesterday, which was good, and I got some errands done this morning. I need to get some research done this afternoon, and maybe even some writing.

I feel bleak about the future of so many things right now, personally, creatively, and in the bigger picture. Hopefully, just sitting down and doing some of the work will help and get me back on track.

Tomorrow is the Day of Resistance, and, of course, I’m participating. I will then be offline Friday through the weekend with other commitments.

And, hopefully, a breakthrough in the writing.

Onward, trudging slowly, unfortunately.

But it happens. Sometimes, one goes through a blues patch. Pretending it isn’t happening doesn’t do any good. Recognize it, own it, take steps to make it better.

And, of course, as a writer, remember how it feels, so when one of your characters goes through something similar, you can write it from the inside!

Published in: on January 18, 2017 at 12:25 pm  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 18, 2017: Day of Discouragement  

Tues. Jan. 17, 2017: Reading, Figuring, Negotiation

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise and take a look at “The Joy of Re-Reading.” Maybe it will inspire you to re-read some of your favorites.

Well, the weekend wasn’t as relaxing or productive as I hoped.

There was news happening, such as Swamp Thing Elect’s attack on John Lewis — right before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Typical of a self-centered Swamp Thing to attack someone vital to this country’s civil rights.

Not to mention that Biloxi, MS is now calling it “Great Americans Day”. That is not the name of the holiday, and you don’t get to change its name just because you’re a racist representing other racists.

Ringling Brothers’ Circus is closing after 146 years. Feld blames animal rights activists, and I call bullslhit on that. There are circuses without animal acts (such as Big Apple) who are doing fine without them. As someone who pitched to them several years ago to be part of their marketing department, I had a plan that would have brought them into the 21st Century while still paying tribute to their history and the history of “circus.” (Regular readers know I have several circus-themed projects in development — I have a good handle on the history). They weren’t interested. To their credit, they also didn’t start hiring third-rate reality celebutards to get them more attention. Am I saying that if they’d hired me they’d still be viable? No, because I’m sure other people pitched even better plans. But they weren’t willing to take big enough risks.

Sent off some material to a theatre that seems interested in working with me. We’ll see.

Did some more research for a pitch to a different theatre. I’d like to do the particular project I’ve been researching, so I sent off the pitch. Fingers crossed. It would mean six months of immersion in a period of time I’m interested in, but don’t know much about except peripherally. It would mean six months of immersion in beauty (as well as drama), which I could use right now.

I also re-thought another long-term project, which means one of my deadlines that was at the end of this month is now at the beginning of March, and then the next at the beginning of June, and so forth, every 12 weeks for the next two years, instead of every 6 weeks for a year. That will allow each of those pieces to be more in depth and more polished.

Because the point of honing one’s craft is that every piece one writes is better than the earlier ones.

Read Gail Godwin’s PUBLISHING: A MEMOIR, and recommended it to a friend who’s been going through a rough time. I didn’t realize how many publishers and editors she had — although she found the right agent early on and they stuck by each other. The right agent is so important. And difficult to find.

I used to read a lot of Godwin’s work, and really liked it. Until the religion overshadowed things like plot, character, and story, and then she lost me. I haven’t read the last few books, but I think I will try them. I also want to find the early ones, the ones I liked so much, that are packed away somewhere downstairs, and re-read them.

I don’t trust people who say they never re-read. A good book gives you fresh gifts every time you enter it. The “don’t have time” argument is just another bullshit excuse. There’s no such thing as “having” time for anything. You make the time for things that matter, and you ignore the rest.

Playing with a few things writing-wise, but it wasn’t anywhere near the productive writing weekend I needed it to be. I’m way, way behind where I need to be and frustrated.

I managed to write 14 pages on a piece on Saturday, but it wasn’t one of the pieces I should be working on. However, it was important in its own way, and I learned from it.

Read Miles Morland’s MILES AWAY: A WALK ACROSS FRANCE, which was fun.

There was an absolutely amazing event on Sunday at the New York Public Library, hosted by PEN America. It was the Louder Together Event, for writers to express the importance of protecting and fighting for free speech. There were people I knew there; people I didn’t know before but admired; new-to-me people who I now know. Writers of all kinds: novelists, poets, short story writers, essayists, translators, journalists (I’m talking REAL journalists who work stories, not news readers), and, most importantly to me, perhaps: playwrights. Because live theatre is a huge arena of change, because it is experiential rather than theoretical. Heroines of mine such as Anna Devere Smith and Eve Ensler spoke. I have always felt a great honor and a great responsibility as a member of PEN — it was strengthened on Sunday.

I was disappointed not to see any familiar faces from where I now live — Cape Cod. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and think they went to the sister rally held in Boston. However, I seriously doubt it. May I be proven wrong!

Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr., day, and a holiday. I took it as such. A contract offer came through — why it was sent to me instead of to my agent puzzles me. Negotiations will start this week, and it will be settled one way or the other.

I have a lot of lost ground to make up on both NOT BY THE BOOK and SONGBOUND SISTERS, although I’m feeling more confident in SONGBOUND SISTERS. Its natural rhythm is a bit slower than I’m used to; since it is yet to be contracted, I have the luxury of working with the book’s natural rhythm.

I started reading ITALIAN WAYS: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo by Tim Parks. He says something that resonates even more strongly in 2017 than in 2013, when the book was written: “In America the lack of investment in train travel speaks eloquently of a country always ready to appear righteous but pathologically averse to surrendering car and plane for a more eco-friendly, community-conscious form of mobility.” (p. viii, Preface).

Today, in addition to catching up on writing, I have a Very Long List of administrative tasks. Gotta keep up with them or they become overwhelming.

If the contract negotiations end positively later this week or early next week, there will be press releases to get out. Ditto if the play set in the Renaissance I pitched is commissioned. So, I have to be ready to jump on either of those instantly, should they come to pass.

I’m also working on a new marketing plan for the Topic Workbooks.

It’s always feast or famine; if even a handful of the opportunism work out, I’m entering a feast cycle, which will be good. I’ll need to step up to the plate and deliver. And adjust the uncontracted work so it still moves forward (because today’s uncontracted work is tomorrow’s contracted work) without sabotaging the contracted work.

It’s all about protecting the work while keeping one’s commitments, and knowing how to shift. And being able to work on more than one thing. Very few writers have the luxury any more, of being able to work on one project at a time. They should honor their agents and editors when they do.

Have a great week!

Fri. Jan. 13, 2017: Lucky Day & Retreat!

Friday, January 13, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Sunny and mild

Yesterday was rather a useless writing day — yet another one.

I managed to get started on the contest entries, though. That’s always a good thing.

I’m also in the early stages of negotiations for an interesting project in New Bedford — that would happen when it’s unlikely snow will derail me! Fingers crossed I’m what they’re looking for.

I decided, this morning, that, once I go offline after posting things, I’m offline until Tuesday. I’m giving myself a writing/yoga retreat for a few days. I want to work for a few days without distraction.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

May you take Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday to contemplate the positive change he created in the world and see how you can contribute to it.

Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 11:19 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 13, 2017: Lucky Day & Retreat!  
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Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Full Moon
Rainy and mild

Managed to get errands run before the storm hit yesterday; hoping to do the same today.

Lousy writing day. I’m having too many of those in a row. Not quite sure how to fix it, other than to keep showing up at the page and working my way through it.

In negotiations for a project that sounds interesting; fingers crossed it all works.

Very little of interest to say today; frustrated by the way Congress betrays us. Disgusted by the Creature who thinks he will take office next week, in spite of the fact that he’s going to screw over and pillage the entire country and sell us to his foreign business interests.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell need to be removed from their positions and tried, if not for treason, for crimes against the American people.

The story of an early Italian painter (female) interests me, and I’m wondering if I should accept the invitation to write about her for 365 Women this year. I have to do some more research.

I think I want to do some revisions on JUST A DROP. The bones are there, and there are scenes I really like, but some things, I want to change. One character in particular is much weaker than I originally envisioned him. While it works in the context of what I have, I wonder if making him stronger and more manipulative might ratchet up the tension.

This is a case where I wish I was in New York and had access to actors for a table read. That would help a lot. I need to HEAR it to really know what works and what doesn’t. Even if I had access to enough actors for this particular piece here, I don’t trust that they’re experienced enough to read without massive rehearsal and really give me an idea of the material. A table read is a specific skill. It’s the first creative dipping toes into the waters.

Full moon tonight. I need to decide on my focus. And Friday the 13th tomorrow! One of my favorite days.

Have a wonderful day.

Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 11:18 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017: Trying to Get the Work Done  
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