Tues. Feb. 21, 2017: Popping Up After Intense Writing

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend that rather passed in a haze. Mostly because I was writing; I’ve managed to adapt the pilot and two episodes of a script from a novel, and am working on the third. Adaptation is always interesting, because it forces you to look at the material in a different way, and to tell the story in a different way.

Wrote about 40-50 pages of prose as well, on another project. Hey, you’ve gotta work on the piece that’s on fire, as long as you’re not screwing up a contracted deadline.

I’m working on reading and commenting on a colleague’s script, but it needs a lot of notes, and it’s hard to concentrate on that when I’m so deep on my own work. But I don’t want it to take forever, either; that’s not fair to the colleague. So, I’m trying.

Did work on the Constitutional Law class and lots of Renaissance research. On the one hand, it made me realize how much I missed stretching and learning; on the other, sometimes I feel like I’m stuffing too much information in my head.

One of the rogue National Park accounts has put together a legislative calendar of all the anti-environmental and anti-science stuff the GOP is trying to push through, so we can get in touch with our elected representatives. You better believe that’s something I’m going to check every day.

Pulled out of a potential project because the logistics didn’t make sense; we like each other, but getting to where we need to do the work would mean at least three hours of commuting for me each way (that’s a total of six hours commute time a day), and I can’t see how that’s viable within the other parameters of the project. Relocation for this particular project doesn’t make sense, especially without support from them so to do.

Am going to pull out of consideration for another project because I don’t like or agree with the people putting it together. They want and need a new and fresh approach to what they’re doing, because they’re floundering, but they’re not willing to make the changes necessary to succeed. At this point in my life and career, I don’t have the patience for it. My time and energy is better spent elsewhere. It’s a shame, because the potential for the project and the location were terrific. But, again, there’s no way I could get them the results they want within the restrictions they’ve set. And I’m not willing to nod and smile and pretend to go along, and then do whatever I want. That’s not fair to anyone.

It’s always hard to make that kind of call, but the good thing about established in one’s career means that you don’t have to say yes to projects you suspect are going to be more frustrating than rewarding. You do when you’re paying your dues, because if you don’t accumulate some war stories as you progress, it creates suspicion. But when you’ve put in your twenty-plus years, you’ve learned when it makes sense to say no.

I have some errands to run, and then I’m eager to get back to the page. I’ve got a good rhythm going, and I intend to make the most of it.

Published in: on February 21, 2017 at 10:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. Feb. 17, 2017: Writing Intensive Weekend

Friday, February 17, 2017
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold

Not much to say about yesterday, other than I wrote a lot. Some of it was prose; some of it was adapting a novel into a television script. I was pretty pleased when I managed to condense 14 pages of prose into a 4-line exchange that got the content across.

Short break to be horrified at the Narcissistic Sociopath’s press conference. The level of delusion, paranoia, self-aggrandizement, and outright lying was embarrassing. It doesn’t help that the Speaker and the Senate Leader enable him daily, thereby also breaking their oaths to uphold the Constitution daily.

Studying and working on my Constitutional Law paper, along with a quick meeting on a potential long-term project and back to the page.

I’m going to look at the bulk of this President’s Day weekend as a writing retreat; I want to get a lot done on several different projects. I also have to read a script for a colleague and get some more work done on contest entries.

The front yard still looks like winter, with the shrinking snowpack. The back has mostly melted, and it looks like a very messy spring. If it’s sunny enough and dry enough this weekend, I might get some yard work done, too. I haven’t even planned what I’m doing, planting-wise, for the spring.

Published in: on February 17, 2017 at 10:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Feb. 16, 2017: Getting Back to the Creative Groove

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Waning Moon
Snowy and cold

Not much to stay about yesterday. I wrote, I studied, I researched.

I’m in negotiations for several interesting projects; we’ll see how they go. I think I’m going to withdraw from consideration for one — it’s intriguing, but when I weigh in all the factors, I don’t think we’re the right fit for each other. Rather than finding that out when we’re committed, I think I should trust my instincts.

I also have two plays to get out this week — they’re written and polished, but there’s an opportunity, and I’m going to see if these particular plays are right for it.

Happy that the nominee for Labor Secretary withdrew his nomination. We don’t need someone accused of domestic abuse who doesn’t believe in minimum wage heading the Department of Labor.

You want to look back at a great Labor Secretary? Research Frances Perkins. She witnessed the Triangle Factory Fire (those of you who know me know why that tragedy is so important to me), and then, later, when she became Labor Secretary, she actually cared about people who work for a living and implemented policies for them, not just for the employers who are more interested in personal profit than a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

All of these Republicans who are blocking fair and independent investigations into the Russia connections and other security breaches — after relentless investigations into Clinton THAT FOUND NOTHING BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING TO FIND — all they’re doing is raising suspicion that they’re in on the fix and that they, too, are treasonous and need to be investigated. A lot of people need to be removed from their jobs in DC, and a lot of indictments need to be handed down.

I have to work on writing a paper for Constitutional Law in the next few days. It’s short — 500-750 words. But it has to be not just good, but great.

Never short of challenges, which is a good thing.

At least I’m getting my creative groove back. I think I’m ready to tackle the next chapter of SONGBOUND SISTERS later today (after I do some work on WORDS) and maybe even can get back to NOT BY THE BOOK this weekend.

Fingers crossed.

Monday is a holiday, so maybe it’ll be quiet and I can get a lot done.

Published in: on February 16, 2017 at 9:54 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wed. Feb. 15, 2017: Of Words and Firemen

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Waning Moon
Rainy and cold

Yesterday was an odd day. Dump run in the morning, to get rid of the trash. Errands. Library.

Had a huge craving for fish and chips. My characters ate it in a recent scene, while they were having a production meeting, and suddenly, all I could think of was how badly I wanted fish and chips.

There’s a place just down the street from me, a chain restaurant I usually avoid, but they were close and reasonably price.

As I pull up and get out of the car, three fire trucks pull up. And the guys, my firemen, are busting my chops, because here we all are again. Together.

Turns out the power outages caused problems in the sprinkler system for the whole plaza, and they had to check each pressure point. The fire alarms were going off all over the place, including in the restaurant. They couldn’t cook, but people could stay. Most didn’t.

I hung out, nursing a beer, and about a half hour later, it was all settled, and I got my fish and chips. Worth the wait. The manager knocked 50% off, but I left the waitress a huge tip, because three tables had walked out on her, and she was having a rough day.

So it was all good.

But I didn’t get started on my writing day until nearly 3 PM, and only got 14 pages in. Which is still decent.

I figured, as I was doing my mid-month GDR evaluation, that I’ve written 177 pages so far this month, a little over 44K words. Even though it’s not on the projects I planned, it’s a good pace.

I’m rethinking some of the plot points of SONGBOUND SISTERS, and I hope to get back into that this weekend. I’m not quite sure how I can get back on track with NOT BY THE BOOK, but I’d like to, because it’s high energy, fun, and romantic, and I think readers would enjoy it.

I’m hoping to have a solid writing and research day today, and later, spend some time on Constitutional Law. I’ve also got some material to work on for FIX-IT GIRL.

Back to the page, which is my favorite place to be.

Tues. Feb. 14, 2017: We Vote So We’ll Be Left Alone

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Waning Moon
Sunny and cold
Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. Please know that each of you is valued.

When you live on Cape Cod, your life revolves around the weather no matter what else is going on in the world.

So it was this weekend. We had some storms come through, although not as bad for us as predicted. The family in Maine got about two more feet of snow dumped on them, with more on the way.

But I stayed in, wrote A LOT (I think nearly 70 pages in total), researched the Italian Renaissance, studied Constitutional Law. On Sunday, I had to drive to a designated site to take the quiz. It was not a space conducive to concentration. I did reasonably well on the quiz — two questions wrong. But, for my own standards, getting any wrong is not okay, so I’m frustrated with myself. But when you’re on a timed site and people keep coming up and talking to you, demanding you drop what you’re doing to take care of them — even though it’s not your job, and you’re just there as a fellow patron — even if you say, “I can’t talk, I’m on a timed site”, it breaks the concentration needed to be successful on the material. However, there’s no room for excuses. It was what it was, and I’ll just have to do better next time, no matter what the distractions.

Add to that snow shoveling and power fluctuations, and I’m a little tired.

Add to that the work I’ve been doing with my elected officials, and I’m even more tired.

So, General Flynn apologized and resigned, and now we’re supposed to forget. Um, no. There’s no way he behaved in a vacuum. He knowingly took actions that sabotaged a sitting president and put the country at risk, and I believe he did so with the full knowledge and encouragement of the incoming president. That is not okay.

There needs to be a full and independent investigation, not just of this portion of it, but of the interconnections. Treason is going on. Not a mistake, not jumping the gun — treason.

Every Senator who agreed to the rushed confirmation and voted for this guy needs to apologize to the American people (with additional apologies to their own constituencies) and cooperate in the investigation. I believe that the investigation will find that some of them colluded and others were complicit in their silence. It needs to be untangled.

Supporters of the Narcissistic Sociopath now want David Patreus to take over. Someone who’d have to get permission from his parole officer to travel. Someone who shared confidential security information with his mistress. Just because she was also American doesn’t make it okay.

Anyone who is nominated must be thoroughly vetted BEFORE confirmation. No more of this rushing. The GOP needs to stop ramming both the unqualified and the corrupt down our throats.

Any Senator who continues so to do must be removed as soon as is possible, be it in the next election, or because that individual, too, is discovered to have committed treason.

Treason is not “disagreeing” with the government, or protesting. It is knowingly and willingly working to undermine it, which the GOP has been doing since 2008. It has to stop. Their oath is to Constitution (meaning “We the People”), not party. Anyone who does otherwise has to go.

That’s why, in all this discussion about flipping districts, I’m not blindly supporting someone just because there’s a “D” next to the name. The individual needs to be researched. If I don’t think a candidate is ethical or able to stand up for beliefs, that candidate is not getting my support, no matter what the letter next to the name. Blue Dog Dems need to go — there’s no reason to have someone in there with a “D” next to the name if they’re going to vote blindly Republican instead of Democrat, or at least standing as an individual. The party platforms are now far enough apart so that if you support one or the other, that’s the party you sign with. If you don’t believe in healthcare or Medicare or Social Security, then don’t run as a Democrat. Putting someone in to a slot just to get enough letters in a particular column doesn’t do any good if they disagree with the policies that got them into office in the first place. You can be bipartisan without betraying either party or country. It sounds contradictory — support your party, but don’t be afraid to stand up to them. Some would say that’s what Blue Dogs do. It’s the “why” that needs to be dissected.

It’s great when there are issues that can be bipartisan — let’s hope the Flynn/Russia interference with elections investigation is one of them, and that there can be more. The point of bipartisan is that you’ve reached a consensus that works IN A POSITIVE WAY for the largest number of people possible. You don’t diminish the greater good; you add to it. And yes, you put your constituency and country AND YOUR OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION before your party. But not out of a fear of not being re-elected; out of a belief that what you are doing is right FOR THE PEOPLE you represent. FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS. When you’re getting thousands of calls from your constituency telling you to vote against something and you vote for it because it’s the party line — you need to go. You don’t vote the way companies or special interests want, just because they bribed you, as our Secretary of Education did. Call it “donation” all you want — that chick bought her position and is woefully unqualified for it.

Again, I think we need more than two legitimate parties. Not fringe, foil-hatted parties. But genuine parties with clearly defined positions on a variety of issues. Right now, the bigoted racist misogynists have hijacked the GOP. Let them have their own party, and the GOP can go back to being the party of Lincoln. The Democrats are a hot mess, it’s worse than herding cats, because at least cats have common sense. The DNC is trying to appeal to everyone, and therefore only succeeds at pleasing no one. The party, in general, is just right of center, when it needs to break up to be slightly left of center and far left.

The far reaches of each party need to balance each other. Most of us vote because we want someone to represent our point of view so that we can live our lives and not bother with every bill and worry about every decision and every vote. We want to be left the hell alone to live our lives. There’s a need for extreme on both the left and the right, so there’s compromise in the middle that does the least damage. The most good is rarely done — the past couple of decades it’s been about the least damage. Most of us will live with that — win a few, lose a few, don’t take away my earned benefits or mess with my personal, bodily rights. Go do your jobs and leave me alone to live my life.

Unfortunately, that is not possible right now. The GOP is not only violating the Constitution and supporting the Narcissist in his daily dismantling of it, the GOP is actively interfering in my daily life.

The party that claims to want SMALLER government is determined to regulate women’s bodies, decide who one can love and marry, decide who is allowed to use a toilet, diminish education, force religion into schools and onto people who don’t believe in it, deny others rights because of their religion, take away food safety standards, allow polluters to destroy the earth, encourage the collapse of the ice shelves that will drown a good percentage of the population, sell off our natural resources to special interests who will build condos no one can afford anyway, force the elderly into poverty, force wages down so that people can never climb out of poverty (don’t you fucking say “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” when most people live paycheck to paycheck while the top executives WHO DO NOTHING line their pockets will millions). All of this is being LEGISLATED by the party who claims to want SMALLER government. The hypocrisy is astonishing.

My fellow artists and I want nothing more than to be able to go back to creating full time and not worrying about all the rest, but we take our responsibilities as citizens very seriously. We will keep working against corruption, and to move through the current dystopia to the best possible lives for people, where they have individual freedoms, while also respecting others. We will not shut up. We’re not stupid because we work in the arts. One of the things I’ve learned, since I moved away from an art-centric culture, is how much SMARTER people who make their living in the arts are, in most cases (reality show participants don’t count — they are not artists — they are paid spokespeople).

So, no, artists will not shut up. Art has always changed the world, since the time of papyrus and Greek ritual theatre and Shakespeare and Vaclav Havel. It will continue so to do.

Sat. Feb. 11, 2017: Peeking Out from the Snowbank

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Last Day of Full Moon
Day after Lunar Eclipse
Snowy and cold

I don’t often post on a Saturday; let’s see if I can today, or if nothing’s working.

We had a blizzard on Thursday. Basically, the Cape shut down. The Governor told people to stay home. Although it didn’t hit the Cape until around noon, people paid attention — schools, libraries, lots of businesses closed. Most things were closed yesterday, although it wasn’t as bad as predicted.

During the blizzard, I looked out of the window, and there was something flapping in one of the snow banks. It looked like a person in distress. I bundled up and dashed out, wondering if I was going to have to call my lovely firemen. But it wasn’t a person — it was my neighbor’s flag, whose line had snapped. The way it landed in the snow bank looked like a body (it’s a big flag). I managed to grab it before it ever technically hit the ground (it was above the ground on the snow bank) and took it in. I hung it in the bathroom to let it dry off, then folded it up and gave it back yesterday, when he came over to help us dig out the bottom of the driveway. He was glad to get it back — and glad it hadn’t touched the ground.

I wrote, although not on what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m back working on what was originally called POWER OF WORDS. Now that I know what I want to do with it, once it’s all done and goes through a massive editing process, I’m inspired again. Yesterday, I finished what will eventually be Book 2 of the series and started Book 3. Yesterday I got about 40 pages done. I’m first-drafting right now, so it’s fast. It’s the basic plot and character drives, and then, in the second draft, I fill it out and deepen it. I’d already done the second draft for book 1 and part of book 2. The tandem drafting is a little odd, but every project requires its own process.

I studied Constitutional Law. It’s depressing to see how the GOP have turned into such oathbreakers. The level of corruption in the current administration is appalling. The courts are our last line of defense, and the administration is bound and determined to shred them, too. But I’m learning a lot in the class. My professor is terrific, and the course is very well done. My professor is much more optimistic than I am, that’s for sure!

I’ve been researching the Italian Renaissance, which is such a pleasure. It’s also relevant — in terms of the development of humanism and the need for art. It’s interesting how the wealthy of that time were determined to make the world better, not just for themselves, but for everyone, becoming patrons of the arts to create things that were both beautiful and challenging. The present-day rich only want to take more from themselves and hurt others. They want to shut down beauty, challenge, and, especially, education.

That is why art is always political and always important. It can also be entertaining and a relief from the strife of daily life, but, for it to connect to people, there’s got to be something meaningful there. Otherwise, it’s just empty calories. Sometimes one needs that as a stress relief valve, but genuine art always challenges and always makes the world better, even when it’s uncomfortable.

I’ve got a stack of books out of the various libraries in the network, and I’ve also checked out “Great Courses” in both art and in history. The lectures are interesting, although dense, and it’s interesting to see how connected everything is. Both professors are committed to context, and that is so important.

In other words, I’m making good use of my snowed-in time!

I have to venture out today to return some books, send off some material, and run some errands. We had more snow overnight — which means more shoveling — and expect another storm tomorrow into Monday, which could wipe out most of Monday.

Last year, the wood lasted all winter. I’m already running low. Might have to restock the wood next week.

Back to the page — things are rolling with this piece, and I want to keep up the momentum. SONGBOUND SISTERS also is starting to pull again, as is NOT BY THE BOOK, so I’m hoping I can give them some attention soon, too.

However, the bulk of the day and tomorrow morning must be about studying for the Constitutional Law quiz. If I can even take it, depending on the power situation.

Power issues all week have put me behind in getting stuff out.

At least I can write in longhand by candlelight, if necessary! 😉

Wed. Feb. 8, 2017: Prepping for More Snow

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Waxing Moon
Rainy and warm

Yesterday’s choice to rent office space was a good one. First of all, Cape Space is great. Second of all, I got a lot done. I’ll definitely use them again.

Came home to power outages off and on all afternoon. As usual, Eversource sucks. Plus, my phone is dying. I’m so sick of these phones that only last a year.

Got some excellent work done on a project yesterday – nearly 30 pages. Not what I should be working on, but it has a future, so it’s about reshuffling. I have that luxury right now, about being able to flow with projects that pull strongly. I’ll keep in that groove, while also doing some work on SYMPATHETIC MAGIC, for which I had some ideas as I was running errands this morning.

Out and about early this morning, because we’re supposed to get hit with another foot of snow tomorrow. Groceries, cat food, wood, firestarters, liquor. We’re all good.

I’ll either spend the day alternating between studying Constitutional Law and researching Italian Renaissance paintings, or writing in longhand.

Because you KNOW the power’s gonna go out! 😉

I’ll build a fire first thing, so I can light it as soon as the power goes.

Putting together some additional material from yesterday’s meeting, and doing further research. Hoping I can get it all out on Friday.

Looking forward to a snow day!

Published in: on February 8, 2017 at 10:39 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Opportunities & Intriguing Projects

Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cold

I got some decent writing done yesterday morning, and some very interesting Renaissance art books arrived for background research on the play.

I then got sidetracked looking up something in a manuscript I’d put aside, and then got all caught up in it again. So much so, that I spent the rest of the day in revisions for it and worked forward on it this morning. I love the piece – it’s about backstage on a television shoot – but it would have to be very carefully placed and marketed to both attract its audience and sustain it, because, like a series, it keeps going. It’s broken down into manageable books, but the first three (or maybe four) in the series are of a piece. So that kind of placement in the marketplace, to make sure no one feels cheated if they only pick up one, is important.

It’s also something to deal with once the books are written.

I rented office space today, so I could have an interview without interruption (still power fluctuations and who-knows-what at home) and also do some Constitutional Law interactive work.

The meeting was interesting, and I want to dig deeper. The job itself is interesting – the pace would be quick, the topics are those that interest me, and it would be a challenge in the right way to generate exciting content. We’re both going to do more research on each other, I’m going to send more in-depth samples, and we’ll go from there. I could contribute a lot to the organization, I believe, and I’d also learn a lot, which is always key to me in a job. It’s not a place where one can grow stale, which is one of the reasons it intrigues me.

Yesterday afternoon, I got word that a short-term gig wasn’t going to happen. That organization is going with someone with less experience, and therefore cheaper. So it goes, sometimes. There was the “hope we can work together in the future”, but I’ll believe that when I see a contract! 😉

Worked with my elected officials yesterday on several issues. The deeper I get into the Constitutional Law class, the more alarmed I am about what’s going on. But what I can do is to do what I can to contribute, in the most positive way I can. I’m not going to shut up and roll over. Nor do I have much respect for people who think if they can just ignore it, it will all go away. Yes, we have to live our lives, but we have to balance it with the responsibilities that go along with it. That’s why I get so irritated at people who refuse to serve jury duty. That’s an integral part of our responsibility.

But that’s a whole other debate.

Back to the page, and to the Constitutional Law books. The weather’s supposed to be awful the rest of the week, but I’m hoping to get to the law library and spend some quality time with Constitutional crafters.

Onward.

Published in: on February 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Mon. Feb. 6, 2017: Holding SuperBowl Advertisers to Their Message

Monday, February 6, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend.

Friday was mostly about research and studying. Saturday, I got some writing done, but there was more research and studying.

Sunday started out very well, writing-wise, and then the power went out around 9:30 in the morning. It had fluctuated a bit earlier, but Autosave had saved most of the larger document on which I was working. I corrected, saved, printed, and then the power went off for the rest of the day, and I lost the next 750 words of a new chapter, which sucks. Especially since I’d gone off the notes/outline and can’t recreate it.

Put a fire in the fireplace, and did what I could to keep the house at a reasonable temperature. It was sunny, so I read. Michael Connolly’s THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, which was very good.

Eversource, as usual, was a nightmare to deal with. It’s illegal in this state to be entirely off the grid; you HAVE to be connected to Eversource. Yet, when the power goes out, their lack of interest in fixing it is insulting, as is their shrug and suggestion, “Go get a generator.” If I need a generator, and add solar panels and a wind turbine, I shouldn’t have to be connected to YOU. We were okay, but I felt bad for all the people in the area who were having Super Bowl parties and had to prep.

A local newswire said it was a transformer fire just up the street, but the “outage map” showed no power outages. I emailed them and told them they were wrong. But, actually correcting an article from a source on the site is not the Cape Cod Way. Far better to have the wrong information up.

I was supposed to go to a political meeting in Brewster in the early afternoon, but there was no way I was going out on the road without traffic lights. Local drivers consider them suggestions at the best of times; no lights and many accidents. No, thank you.

And if you think a transformer fire “just happened” to occur on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re incredibly naive. Either the transformer was tampered with by someone who wanted to mess with game day, or the transformer was tampered with by someone inside who wanted the company to be considered “heroes” for getting the power back on in time for the game. However, they just looked like idiots all the way around — not the linemen, who actually do the work. They’re good, as always. But Eversource Management, which isn’t even located in New England, doesn’t understand the northeast, and doesn’t care. Although, from what I heard today, it was a pretty massive fire, so who knows?

The power went on for about two or three minutes at a time, and then off again half a dozen times between four and six o’clock. They’re lucky they got it up and running again before kickoff or they would have had a riot on their hands.

We need a smaller, local company that actually gives a damn and has an ethic or two.

I’m not a football person, so I didn’t really care about the game one way or another. Usually, I’d root for the Patriots, because, well, I live here. I rooted for the Patriots when I lived in New York because the Jets and Giants both played in New Jersey, so they can say “New York” all they wanted, but they still played in New Jersey, so who cares?

I’ve had less respect for them over the past few months because of the connection to the Narcissistic Sociopath. Hey, you stick by your friends, good for you. Most have tried to keep politics out of the game, good for them. But my respect for them went down. But my neighbors and people I deal with here on a regular basis are ardent fans, and I wanted to see them happy. At the same time, I felt they were going in with a lot of arrogance, and it was a given that they would win.

I always thought “deflategaate” was a crock. You look at the charges, at the evidence, and it was Roger Goodell wanting to give Tom Brady and the Patriots a smack down. There was nothing legitimate in it. I think he thought — and so did football fans all over the country — that with a 1/4 season suspension, even undeserved, the team couldn’t get into the Super Bowl.

They were wrong.

I also didn’t like a lot of the nasty Tweets that were going on, beyond trash talk, especially once the Patriots started pulling it out. To compare it with election night? Get over yourself. This is a football game. Decisions made no matter which side wins don’t change the direction of the country.

The Patriots had an amazing comeback. The Falcons were ahead, 28-3, and by the end of the game, the Patriots tied, and then won in overtime. When the pressure seems insurmountable, Brady and Belicheck dig deeper and pull it out. They did it. The team did it. They deserved the win. Goodell got his karmic return.

I have lots of happy, hung over neighbors this morning!

Lady Gaga’s halftime show was spectacular. Prince’s is still my favorite, but this comes very close. It WAS political, but it didn’t need to speak politics. The show itself was about the positive, the inclusive, the joy of creation. She’s a hell of a performer, and she showed it last night.

The commercials were pretty surprising, too. Corporations gave the people who reject the evangelical, white supremacist trajectory on which this country is headed what they wanted. I mean, let’s face it, Coca Cola has always been good at this. They did the whole “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and the “world harmony” thing decades ago. They gave us our vision of Santa Claus. I was pleasantly surprised by Budweiser, Air Bnb, 84 Lumber. Good for them.

Not that I trust a corporation. Ever. They gave us what we wanted last night. It wasn’t quite a promise, but it was a message of inclusion. Now, we hold them to it. We thank them. We buy their products. We keep track of where they make political contributions. And if they’re backing people who are contrary to last night’s message, we call them out on it.

I did have to laugh at the Tweets responding to the threatened boycotts of Coca Cola, Pepsi (who did the halftime show) and Budweiser by suggesting that those boycotting individuals drink Flint’s water.

Meanwhile, Nieman Marcus (known in the wardrobe trade as “Needless Mark-up”) and Nordstrom’s dropped things in lines made by the Sociopath’s Daughter. I never bought anything anyway by any of the family brands, because I’ve practiced conscientious consumerism for years. Not spending my money on their products is not new to me. But I also didn’t buy any of the designs or products because the craftsmanship was always poor, and, frankly, I thought the designs were tacky. Very Bridge and Tunnel. (New Yorkers will know what that means). I stopped shopping Macy’s when they added that family’s product line to their stores. To me, that was a sign that Macy’s no longer cared about quality.

This morning is cold and sunny. As I said, lots of happy, hung over neighbors. I have a lot of writing to do today, I start my second week of Constitutional Law classes, and I have a few errands. Plus, research. A great deal of the next five months will be about research.

Tomorrow, I spend time in the rented office. That should be interesting.

Meanwhile, another week, another chance go do some solid work. Let’s hope I can, and that there aren’t yet more illegal Executive Orders stripping us of more rights.

In one of the pieces on which I’m working, the architecture is vital to the plot. I used a real house as the inspiration, but then I spent time this weekend drawing blueprints/floorplans to make the story work. I added a rotunda to one side, I changed a few things. My architecture books came in handy. But now, I have to think twice, when I work on the book, and when I think about the house — do I mean the real house who inspired the fictional house, or do I mean the fictional house? Interesting dilemma.

Back to the page.

Fri. Feb. 3, 2017: Microsoft is being inappropriate and other research

Friday, February 03, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday, trying to get things sorted out.

I found office space to rent for my meeting next week, and that’s all handled. I’m looking forward to it. I might use the place regularly, if it works out. It’s very reasonable, and they do a lot for one.

I am extremely annoyed at Microsoft, who handles Skype. I hadn’t used my Skype account – not for a couple of years, since I was working with an actor in the UK. Microsoft/Skype won’t let me sign in to the account without using my gender and giving them three email addresses from my gmail address book. Why is that relevant? Why can’t it just be my user name and password? It sounds highly illegal to me, and I’m putting in complaints with the AG’s office and the FCC.

Constitutional Law homework and research into Italian Renaissance painting took up the afternoon.

I’m behind on the writing, but hope to get ahead this weekend.

Did my daily dose of work with elected officials. For now, one of the bills to sell off public lands is off the table. I’m sure they’ll try to sneak it in as an amendment to something else. But at least it’s gone for now.

Getting tired of the supposed “friends” who are trying to censor me. Sorry, won’t work, and all you’re doing is proving you’re NOT my friend. I already know if the chips were down you wouldn’t defend me. I already lost a lot of respect for you and think you’re a coward, but your choices and decisions are yours. What I think doesn’t really matter. I don’t expect or demand you go against your decisions, but don’t tell ME how to live my life. Or that I should look the other way as the Constitution is being shredded. My family risked too much to become American citizens.

Superbowl weekend. I wish I cared. I do think, however, that the noise around the Pats is very arrogant, the assumption they’ll win. The team is staying more circumspect, which is good, but the noise around them is going to get in the way if they’re not careful.

Back to the page.

Published in: on February 3, 2017 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017: The Relief of Release from a Bad Situ

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold
Imbolc

I sent off my letter of withdrawal from the ghost writing project. The author apologized, saying she hadn’t meant to insult me. What did she think the response would be to “imaginary research”? She also seemed to think that I would say all was forgiven and I’d work for her substandard rate that would work out as cents per hour, instead of a fair rate. That would be “no.” So we have officially parted ways. What a relief.

I discussed it with my one of my freelancers’ groups — professionals, not wannabes — and almost every single one of them has stopped working with individual authors for similar reasons: the arrogance and the reluctance to pay a fair rate. They want professional work for nothing. Why? This is a profession, not a hobby.

At this point, I have one long-term author client with whom I’m working to finish a project, and that’s it. Only accepting contracts to work with authors through publishers beyond that. Work that the publisher has contracted, and where I know I’ll get paid fairly and on time. Not worth the hell these unprofessional dilettantes put us through.

Worked on contest entries yesterday and made good progress. Re-read some work on a piece I’d put aside. It’s better than I remembered it.

The Constitutional Law class is a challenge, but a good one. I hope I can keep up! Things are so chaotic in the world, it’s hard to start at the beginning in order to learn the foundation, but it’s so, so important.

Today’s interview was moved to next week. I think I’ll get my hair cut, instead. It’s been months, and it needs it, especially since I’m out and about in the world interviewing and working. I hate getting my hair cut. I find it stressful to sit in the chair during the process. I never know if it’ll come out, and I’m not interested in confiding in the hair dresser.

I’m really tired of Congress selling this country down the river. Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State? Spare me.

Last night, I dreamed I was walking down a crowded street, and someone shoved a leash in my hand and walked away. And that’s how I got a dog named Molly. She was very sweet, a corgi mix. I do want a dog, although I can’t adopt one right now. I wonder what else the dream means? It was very clear.

The cats were both staring at me when I woke up, like they knew.

Hope to get some writing done before I head for the hair dresser, and then, when I get back from the library.

I hate the fact that there’s no collaborative office space available around here. They have it in Boston; they had it in New York; heck, they even had it in White Plains. I expected the Cape to be progressive, but I swear, I often think it’s stuck in 1956.

Today is Imbolc, so I’ve got a celebration and the first planting to do. In spite of the snow on the ground.

Published in: on February 2, 2017 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Wed. Feb. 1, 2017: The Lawyer’s “I Told You So” Song

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

We had snow yesterday! Enough to cancel my evening plans, although not so much we were stuck and had to be rescued. Again.

Busy day yesterday. Short story out to the anthology, the Constitutional Law textbook arrived and I can dig in. Worked on contest entries. Worked with my elected officials.

Not enough writing done, which is something that has to be remedied this month.

Contract negotiations that were seemingly settled blew up last night on the ghostwriting project– after I’d sent out the paperwork at the author’s request. The other side came at me with new terms — even worse than the terms to which I’d agreed. Not only that, but I was accused of “imaginary research” — for a non-fiction project. We’d talked about research — the author wanted me to do research, handle photo permissions, and all that — and then decided she didn’t want to pay for it. Um, no. I put in the work, you pay for the work, and for any permissions fees. So we agreed to a provision where I wouldn’t put in any time or incur any costs without prior written permission from her on specific parameters. So she comes back with capping “imaginary research” at a specific fee.

I don’t know of a single professional working in non-fiction who doesn’t research the topic in question. I can understand if she was talking to advisors and that term was bandied about in conversation — but to try to put that language into a contract?

I wrote a rebuttal and formally withdrew from the project. She’d already kept scaling back and scaling back — trying to get out of a fair rate. No. Line. Crossed it. Done. Find someone on craigslist who’s going to do substandard work and screw you six ways from Sunday. Because it sure as heck won’t be me working on this.

My lawyer warned me it would come to this, back when she negotiated back the fee the first time. He gets to do the “I Told You So” song, and I’m going to have to acknowledge that, as usual, he was right.

This is the second referral from the same person who tried to screw me on money. I’m going to tell this individual to not give out my name and information any more.

I’ve got my To-Do list for February up on the GDR site. Let’s hope I’m more productive in February than I was in January!

Back to the page — and to the Constitutional Law textbook!