Fri. March 31, 2017: Musing on Writing Dilemmas

Friday, March 31, 2017
Waxing Moon
Venus Retrograde
Rainy and foggy and cold

Morning was filled with errands. Errands always irritate me, because I feel like I should use the time to write, especially since morning is my prime writing time. But, around here, it makes so much more sense to get errands done early. So I write even EARLIER, and then run errands, and then come back and try to write some more.

Worked mostly on POWER OF WORDS. I got a research book I need on corporate espionage for NOT BY THE BOOK that I hope to devour this weekend, which will help me get back on track for that.

On POWER OF WORDS, I added some inserts — I’m honing the world building of the created world that the characters are filming.

I’m starting to wonder if it makes more sense to release the piece as a full-out serial, instead of as a serial novel. Chapters run between 20-30 pages. There’s no way, that I can see, of making it financially feasible. The contents of each book really need to be somewhere between $4.99 and $7.99 for it to make sense for readers. The mechanics of setting it up as a serial, releasing a chapter a week, seem overwhelming at the moment. For the shorter “sections” (what I’m calling the books, should they be so released), someone would pay for the whole thing, and then receive a chapter per week. At the end of each “book”, the individual would have the option to renew the subscription for the next one or not. One would hope it would build in popularity, but with people wanting to binge-watch and binge-stream and people bitching and moaning that they want the entire series finished before they read a first book — it may no longer be feasible.

There’s too much “I want it now!” rather than enjoying a piece and then looking forward to the next piece. People are greedy rather than grateful. It’s a gluttony of the spirit, not just of the flesh, as pretentious as that sounds.

While I love to binge read a whole series, there’s also something lovely about the anticipation. Although, I get just as frustrated as anyone else when the next book isn’t ready on time. I’m wrestling with that right now from one of my favorite series — her release date has changed several times over the years (instead of being consistent, which, to me, is important in a series). Her next book is going to be three or four months late. I’m sure she has a good reason. But, the greedy part of me DOESN’T CARE. I feel let down (and it’s more likely to be the fault of the publisher than the author, in this particular case, because she’s good about deadlines, et al).

In other words, I am not immune to this phenomenon.

Where does that leave POWER OF WORDS (or whatever I finally decide to call it)? I’m not sure. So why do I keep working on it, when it’s gotten so unwieldy and out of control?

Because it’s my creative utopia. The central characters know they’re creating something new and different. It’s difficult and exhausting, but the exhilaration exceeds the exhaustion. As they find the right creative home, and as they expand to the other creative possibilities, there are more conflicts (both in scheduling, creative approaches, and personal lives) and more opportunities.

There’s an ever-expanding cast of characters, although there is a core group on whose creativity things are focused. As I rewrite and hone sections, I spread out the balance a bit better. First drafting, certain sections tend to tilt one way or the other.

On a professional, financial, business sense, this project makes no sense at all. It is definitely a project of the heart, and I have to keep the more financially feasible projects on their burners, and keep all these plates spinning (while mixing metaphors) in order to have a career.

But there is SOMETHING here. I think I can find it, if I keep at it. I have no idea how long it will eventually be (too long). I have no idea into how many volumes I will eventually break it down. I do know that one of the central relationships, that I thought would be able to endure, won’t. Making it endure would be too much of a fairy tale, and not organic to the characters. They love each other, but there are certain drives in each of them that won’t allow them to stay together as romantic partners in an HEA, although for a good portion of the central part of the books, they will.

The balancing act, however, with this project and others, is difficult, and I often spend more of the workday on this than the other projects which also require attention.

I tried forcing myself to work on the other un-contracted (but with a better chance of moving into the “contracted” category) projects first and letting the work on POWER be my “reward”, but then all I wind up doing is staring at a blank page for something else, while my mind spins with what should be going on in POWER.

It could be considered a lack of discipline, or an over-abundance of passion. Take your pick.

However, when there’s a contracted, deadlined piece in the mix, no matter what I “want” to work on, the contracted, deadlined piece comes first. He who pays the most and has the tightest deadline gets the first attention. That’s what you have to do as a professional.

While inside, I’m wild to get back to POWER. This is a case where I need to trust in its process and led it lead me where it will. Meanwhile, I will also play with different business models for its eventual release, and see where the two converge. It’s not possible to use a traditional model — there’s no way it could keep what makes it special, and still be feasible for a traditional publisher to take a chance on it. It’s not even fair to ask/pitch/submit, because the necessary changes would destroy what I’m trying to do.

So I have to figure out something else. I don’t know if I’m clever enough to create a new model, but we will see what happens.

Sometimes, just to relieve some of the creative pressure, I adapt some of it to teleplay format, and that shows me places to tighten, cut, keep the text moving better. Although I can’t see this succeeding as a television show, either, due to the enormous cast. Still, a strong pilot would be useful in the portfolio as a writing sample. Not as something I’m actually trying to get done, but a sample.

I’ve been re-reading William Goldman’s ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE. I always learn something from that book. It also shows how much has changed in the business since the early 1980s — the advent of “reality” television, even some of the formatting techniques for a screenplay, the shortening of the screenplay, et al. Some things, such as endless, usually useless meetings, and the adage to “protect the star” in vehicles are the same, perhaps even more emphasized. But “No one really knows anything” is still true, as, I think, it is in any creative venture. You don’t know if something will hit until it hits, until it resonates with people, for whatever reason. And it may resonate for awhile, and then stop.

Great art — Shakespeare, Austen, the art of Michelangelo, the performances of Olivier — they sustain.

I wonder who will be considered our great artists? We certainly lack great statesmen.

At any rate, I have more errands to run today. We’re supposed to get yet another snowstorm tonight.

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. I loathe April Fool’s day. Far too many of the “jokes” come out of cruelty, not a joyful comedy.

Have a great weekend. I have a wrap-up over on the GDR site –– I did not live up to my own expectations as far as my “To Do” list there.

Onward.

Thurs. March 30, 2017: Preparing for Yet More Snow (and Writing)

March 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Busy day yesterday, but it didn’t feel particularly productive. Worked on NOT BY THE BOOK (not as much as I wanted to). Worked on POWER OF WORDS.

I may have to divide up the latter into even more volumes, to make them manageable. The unifying theme is the expansion of creativity, so expansion is a big part of the series. However, there also have to be cuts in order to keep the pace, but I won’t know what to cut until I over-expand a bit more.

Worked on contest entries. Worked on some admin that needed attention. Promotion the Topic Workbooks and “Plot Bunnies.” As always, daily working with senators and representatives, trying to get to the bottom of the corruption.

I had hoped for a good weekend, so I could get started on yard work, but we’re supposed to get yet more snow. Ick.

So, it’s back to the page, and maybe, just maybe, doing my taxes.

I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of March.

I loathe April Fool’s Day. In addition to the snow, I’ll probably use it as my offline day for the week.

Back to the page.

Published in: on March 30, 2017 at 9:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wed. March 29, 2017: Tree Safely Removed!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Waxing Moon
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and mild

The Tree Frogs were here yesterday, and got down the damaged tress amazingly quickly. They also said it was a “fun climb” — good for them. I kept them supplied with cupcakes.

I miss the tree, though; it was like losing an old friend.

I had some difficult admin to take care of, and errands to run. Got everything done.

Didn’t get much writing done, unfortunately, but I worked through more contest entries. There was one with the world-building so exquisite, that it would be a serious contender for the winning slot — except for the poor copy editing. Since grammar/punctuation, et al is part of the judging, it loses the winning slot (and I didn’t think any book could even come close to the one I read a week or so ago that was so good).

Copy editing MATTERS.

We’re supposed to get more snow this weekend. Here, I’d hoped it would be warm enough and dry enough to get out there and do some yard work.

I hope to have a few good writing days in a row; the last few haven’t been satisfactory. It happens; what’s important is that you show up at the page and do the work, no matter what.

Published in: on March 29, 2017 at 9:17 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 29, 2017: Tree Safely Removed!  
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Tues. March 28, 2017: Contest Entries, Chapter Work, and Tree Removal.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
New Moon
Venus Retrograde
Rainy cool

Busy weekend. Some writing, but mostly working on contest entries. There are some very strong entries this year, which makes it both more pleasurable and more difficult. The top finalists will be difficult to winnow down.

I’m trying to get back on track with NOT BY THE BOOK. I wrote the section set in Paris for POWER OF WORDS, and it was a good reminder of how much I like the city. I still need to layer in some sensory details.

Some stressful things are going on, but I’m dealing with them as best I can.

On the positive side, the Tree Frogs are here today to take care of the damaged tree before it hurts anyone. They’re so sweet. I baked them cupcakes, which they’re enjoying.

Also, I’m pleased that the Ryan Death Care Bill failed.  They can throw blame all they want, but the GOP promoted a bill that would have cost thousands of lives, in order to give people who don’t need it a tax cut.  The bill was lousy, intentionally cruel, poorly written.  They had seven years to come up with something good, and they couldn’t be bothered.  Because that’s what it was:  not that they couldn’t do it, but that they couldn’t be BOTHERED to examine the issues and find something good.

I worked (with many others) on the the good ACA, the one before the 168 worthless Republican amendments.  Most of the problems people complain about are BECAUSE of those amendments.  It’s difficult, but it’s possible, to come up with something good.

But they don’t care so to do.

Of the general population, few really care whose name is on a piece of legislation or where it originates.  But we want policies that make our lives BETTER, not worse.  This bill made things worse.  I’m glad it didn’t go through.

We can ALL do better.

I need to get back to the page and back to dealing with life stuff.

HobNob is two years old today! Can’t believe it.

I wish I could be with them tonight, but I can’t.

Have a wonderful week! I can’t believe it’s nearly April!

Published in: on March 28, 2017 at 9:35 am  Comments Off on Tues. March 28, 2017: Contest Entries, Chapter Work, and Tree Removal.  

Fri. March 24, 2017: Creative Productivity

Friday, March 24, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

We’re supposed to get a mix of rain and wet snow today. Ick.

Yesterday was fairly productive. Got some admin done, did some promotion for the Topic Workbooks. I’ve set up a page on the Devon Ellington website that’s dedicated to the Topic Workbooks here, and I’ll keep adding information on all of them until it’s all there.

I revised about a third of a new Topic Workbook, one that I hope to release in April. I’m updating it and adding new material. I want to deepen what’s there and give some really detailed, useful information.

I also did just over 1K on NOT BY THE BOOK. I’m not really back into its groove yet, but I’m confident if I keep showing up at the page every day, I’ll get there. I’ve got just over 10K on this first draft, and I need another 44K. For the target market, I need to keep it around 55K, which , since I’m holding the book in my head and keeping it active and lean, I ought to be able to do.

I did some research on an upcoming section of POWER OF WORDS. I might have to write the section set in Venice ahead of where it comes in the order of the story, simply because the research materials I ordered are here NOW, and I need to use them while I have them. I rarely like writing out of order (although I’m doing so more than usual on INITIATE), but here, it’s a case of making the best use of the research materials from the library while I have them.

I’m also figuring out the fashion stuff I need for the rest of THE FIX-IT GIRL, I hope to dig back into that early in April. I’d like to finish the first draft sometime in June, let it percolate, then go into serious revisions over late summer, getting it out on submission in early fall.

Reading an excellent contest entry. Not quite as good as the one that got a perfect score (this has to be docked a couple of points for mis-use of words, grammar errors, and length — it could use about 75 pages cut), but it’s a strong contender as one of the finalists in its category. I’m enjoying it, but, because it’s so darned long, it’s putting me behind where I want to be in my entry pace.

I’m starting a promotion for the digital short comic mystery “”Plot Bunnies” under the Ava Dunne name, since it’s Easter-themed and Easter’s coming up. Seems like a good time to promote! It’s available digitally on Smashwords here.

I have paperwork and other admin to deal with this weekend, along with, I hope, a lot of writing, and maybe even getting some yard work done. I’m feeling emotionally exhausted and stressed by several things right now, so I’m counting on showing up at the page every day, my yoga and medication practices to keep me balanced and able to move forward and deal with what needs to be dealt with.

I have several choice words for other things going on in the world, but I’ll save them until after the weekend. I want to see how a few things play out first! 😉

Have a great weekend.

It would be so nice if we actually moved into spring by next week!

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 24, 2017: Creative Productivity  
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Thurs. March 23, 2017: Processing (and Activating) Process

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Busy day yesterday. I had lots of admin work to do and situations to handle, so I did.

I wrote about six pages. That’s not bad, but since there were so many days when I wrote so much more each these last few months, it felt like I was behind.

Re-read and did some editing on several projects, and I’m getting back into NOT BY THE BOOK, which is good, because that needs to get back on track.

Worked on contest entries — reading another darn good one, which is always invigorating. Truly, each time I pick up a new entry, I want to fall in love with it. I WANT them to be good, I WANT them to succeed on every level. It’s not possible to have too many good books out there.

Working on promotions for the Topic Workbooks, mostly on social media. I’m trying timed promotions on specific outlets one at a time, to see which are the most successful. I’m sure “what works” will regularly change up!

Discouraged about a few things, and trying to keep my spirits up. I’m trying to gear up to work on some short stories, but not feeling inspired in that direction. If I’m not excited by a piece, there’s no way I can infuse it with enough passion to engage a reader, so I’ve put aside several potential short stories I planned to work on.

It’s important to get NOT BY THE BOOK back on track, because it’s a fun piece and I’ve also got a target market in my sights; same with SONGBOUND SISTERS (which will need more time and careful attention), and HEART THIEF.

While, of course, working on the never-ending POWER OF WORDS, which is how I blow off steam and keep steady. I’m figuring POWER OF WORDS (and the actual books it eventually breaks down into) needs about another three years before it’s ready for publication. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. It’s not going to be earning its keep for awhile — but I think, once it does get out there, it will intrigue people who are interested in the process of creating, and how it’s done collaboratively (and sometimes combatively), and how one goes off to create alone, and then brings it forward to meld it with other collaborators, to make it work better.

The never-ending first draft is the skeleton, and not active enough. As I rework sections (which often happens as I’m moving forward — it’s a process unlike any other I’ve ever used for a book or series), it gets more active, more invigorating, more engaging. The process about making process active is interesting.

Have to take my mom for a medical check, and then run some errands. This afternoon, I have a meeting a few towns over, and then, it’s back to the page.

I had to cancel my weekend plans, which is disappointing, but that’s life.

Onward, with pen in hand.

Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 23, 2017: Processing (and Activating) Process  
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Wed. March 22, 2017: Obstacles and Challenges

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday wasn’t as productive as I would have liked, due to receiving some news that threw me for a loop and changes a few things. Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.

Managed to get a submission out and work on contest entries. Ran far too many errands. Did a little research.

Today will be productive in different ways than I had hoped, as there is much to be done, but fingers crossed, all will work out for the best.

I hate to be cryptic; hopefully, there will be some good news in a few weeks.

I managed, over the past few days, to do a rewrite on a script. It’s better; it’s still not where I want it to be in order for it to enter the portfolio, but it’s getting there. I need to do the yearly perusal of the script portfolio, decide what works, what could use another polish, what scripts (of established shows) need to be removed because they’re no longer relevant, and figure out what shows need to be added.

Scripts are not only far more collaborative than many other forms, such as novels or short stories, but they are also alive, even before they are ever placed in an actor’s hands.

Meanwhile, it’s back to dealing with what needs to be done, and hopefully, get back to the page. I can’t lose focus on the writing because of other demands. The steadiness, the daily commitment to the writing, is what will pay off in the long term, although I have to make some adjustments for things in the short term.

I’m feeling discouraged on several fronts; I’m hoping that will change soon. Part of life—there will always be challenges, and you have to decide how to meet them.

Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 22, 2017: Obstacles and Challenges  

Tues. March 21, 2017: The Importance of the Right Match

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Not as productive a day as I hoped yesterday, but I got some writing done, some research done, and worked my way through contest entries. One of the entries got a perfect score — it was fabulous. I can’t imagine any of the other entries being a serious threat in that particular category. It was just that good.

Got a swift and defensive response from the person from whose project I refused to do for free. I’m not entering into an argument. I’m not working for free on that project, nor am I going to work on a project that I believe will run into copyright infringement issues, or with someone who expects me to jump whenever fingers are snapped.

I’m also not happy about the “but I contacted you on Facebook” excuse. Um, social media is just that — SOCIAL. It’s for socialization, information, exchange, events. It is not for business negotiations. You might find a gig or a project via social media, but the actual business/contract negotiations need to go through proper channels. I decided not to go forward with a particular publisher on a project, because they “only” communicate via social media. I am not comfortable with that, I said I wasn’t comfortable with that, I wanted things to go through my agent, but “oh, we’re modern, we don’t do that.” Well, hon-bun, then I’m not working with you. I’m not discussing finances and contract details on social media. Period.

Nor am I on social media (or even online) every day. Business protocol is to respond in two business days; if you don’t hear from someone in, say, two weeks, then you contact again. But pounding someone daily on social media for “not getting back” to you, or insisting on discussing publicly things that should be handled either privately or via agents — not someone I’m going to work with. Buh-bye.

I’m not twenty-two and starting out. I’ve worked my way to a place where I get to choose projects, and get to choose with whom I work. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to move up a tier to the next level of work. But I’m in it for the work, not for fame. Fair day’s pay and professional behavior with a fair day’s work, hopefully on a project that excites and inspires me. Otherwise, it’s a bad deal for everyone involved. Even a twenty-two year old starting out shouldn’t do the above. If you want to be treated like a professional — act like one.

There are also projects to which I’m simply not suited. Not only do they NOT excite me, but I know I am the wrong person for the gig. When I know that, I am upfront about it, and say I’m wrong for the job, you need to find someone who’s a better fit and will serve the project better. It’s not an attack on the project; it’s wanting the project to be the best it can be, and knowing I am not the individual to bring it to pass. Not every individual is right for every project, no matter how professional. That’s part of creativity. You want to find the best match. It’s heartbreaking for everyone when it doesn’t work. It’s exhilarating, when it does.

So go for exhilaration, and don’t settle for less.

Too many errands will eat up too much writing time today, and then it’s back to the page.

Published in: on March 21, 2017 at 9:13 am  Comments Off on Tues. March 21, 2017: The Importance of the Right Match  
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Mon. March 20, 2017: Trying to Stay Equitable for the Equinox

Monday, March 20, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny, cold, windy
Spring Equinox

It snowed yesterday, although we were lucky enough not to have accumulation. Windy, though, and some hail and wet snow.

Busy weekend, mostly writing, working on contest entries, and researching. Also, doing things like starting the spring cleaning and doing mounds of laundry. Chop wood, carry water, keep yourself grounded. All in all, a productive weekend. I’m hoping it will warm up a bit this week, so I can do yard work.

The tree is still suspended over the yard. Hopefully, the tree people will show up in the next week or so and take it down, because I will be worried until it’s done. Too much room for additional damage.

Angered by a demand that I do substantial work on someone else’s project for free with payment “maybe someday” in the future. Same person who never said “thank you” for the free critique. Not only a demand, but a demand for instant response. First of all, I don’t work for you and I’m not on your schedule. Second of all, nagging gets you a “no”, as if there weren’t a dozen other reasons to say no. When I saw the initial email (on a Friday night, no less — only my agent gets to made demands on the weekend), and then, continued badgering all weekend — not appropriate. I took my time to compose a firm, but still (barely) polite response, which went out this morning. An actual, legitimate offer would have come via the agents, and would have contained a project proposal and a fee schedule. I knew I was angry, but didn’t realize how angry until I’d actually sent the email. But that’s done, and I’m done with this individual.

Had some irritating admin to do this morning, and some other things to take care of, and then it’s back to the page. The Equinox ceremony was nice, but I’m feeling a little under the weather, and I want to get back home and dig in.

So the GOP stance on cutting arts funding is, “You can’t expect a coal miner to pay for the arts.” Why not? First of all, the arts have romanticized and celebrated coal miners through film and song. Second, my tax dollars are going into the pool for services for coal miners, so why shouldn’t coal miners support the arts? They need the arts as much or more than any corporate executive. The whole argument is ridiculous. Gee, there’s a surprise. Not.

There’s plenty of work to do, and only a finite number of hours in the day. Writing time is necessary, but so is percolation time. I’m always surprised by how much percolation time something needs to really come together.

I am having an awful lot of fun with my sketches, though, and now that I have a sense of geography, architecture, how they’re moving through the workplace where they spend about 18 hours a day, how it’s decorated, the contrasts between the choices different personalities make, how those choices affect character, response, plot. The little details that make a piece special.

There is so much cutting and reshaping in future drafts, but it’s fun to go for the basic skeletal structure in the first draft, to set the groundwork, and then hone, hone, hone.

I really do love the craft of writing as much as the art.

By stepping back and taking some time to work on pieces through multi-layered drafts instead of just putting out material to feed the machine, the work is better, and I’m enjoying it more. When contract demands and payments need me to speed up, I will do so, but when those aren’t in place, and I can take the time (though still doing a minimum of 1K/day – I’m doing more like 3K right now) to do the drafts and the re-envisioning that revisions need, the result is much more rewarding on all levels.

Let’s hope we have a lovely soft, warm, spring.

Published in: on March 20, 2017 at 10:10 am  Comments Off on Mon. March 20, 2017: Trying to Stay Equitable for the Equinox  
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Fri. March 17, 2017: Creative Wasteland & Gov’t Plans on Premeditated Murder

Friday, March 17, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold
St. Patrick’s Day

Ran my errands yesterday, got some admin done, wrote. The last few days, I’ve been sketching the fictional studio outside of Vancouver, where a good deal of the action happens. I need the physical geography in order to lay out the emotional geography. Since so much of the characters’ lives are caught up in the studio, moving between projects, meeting people on other projects, etc., and the founders of the studio plan to make it an international creative utopia, the relationship of where things are, and, importantly and unusual for a studio, the amount of green space involved, is important.

I’ve created this amazing environment for my characters to blossom while I, personally feel like I’m in a creative wasteland. I thought I was moving to a creative Petri dish when I came here seven years ago, and I was wrong. Some of it will improve when the weather is mild enough so I can get outside in the yard. Playing in the dirt again will help me feel better about my environment, and I also need to dig in to spring cleaning. Re Feng-shui a few things. Get to work on purging what I don’t need from all those boxes in the basement.

I run into people who talk about creative projects, but I see very little coming to fruition. Art is considered a hobby out here, when, in reality, it is a profession.

It’s frustrating that here, art is what’s done “on the side.” I’m used to being around people whose day jobs only exist so they can do art. The minimum is invested in the day job; when it interferes with art, one quits the day job, does the art, lands another day job, until one gets into the union or pays enough dues learning art and craft, and is paid appropriately so as not to need day jobs. Here, the day job comes first, and the art suffers. The creators can’t position themselves to earn their living by their art, because they’re not willing to risk anything to create their art. The level of art and craft required to earn a living at it can only be achieved when you are willing to put the art FIRST. Not to mention that artists shouldn’t have to have day jobs. Being an artist IS a full-time job, and should be appropriately paid.

Of course, with the upcoming budget, where arts funding is cut, where environmental protections are cut, for God’s sake, where Meals-on-Wheels are cut? Revolting. All so the Narcissistic Sociopath can use the US Treasury as his own personal piggy bank, benefit himself and his friends, and, with Paul Ryan dancing with glee, let’s starve the elderly and the poor. The fact that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell didn’t immediately speak out against cutting Meals-on-Wheels is yet further proof they are unfit to be in any position considered a “leader”. Our government is premeditating murder of the sick and the elderly, and people are doing NOTHING.

Yet his supporters refuse to see reason. They still believe they’re on a “protected list” and only the liberals will lose health care and other benefits. Then, they’re shocked when they wind up dead. Why would they think this fascist faction gives a damn about them? The faction got the vote; now they will do whatever the hell they want. The information was out there, and these morons refused to do their due diligence.

This is what the defunding of education has done, and it will only get worse. Now you have the incompetent corporate asshole who calls himself “Secretary of State” huffing and puffing about military action in North Korea.

The entire administration is made of selfish, self-important morons. They must ALL be removed from office before they destroy the planet. The fact that the so-called “Intelligence Committee” (from whom we’ve yet to see any signs of intelligence or cognitive ability) investigates the Sociopath’s whining that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, finds no evidence, AND YET THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THE LIES , SLANDER, LIBEL, AND WASTE OF TIME, yet refuse to thoroughly investigate the Russian connection, for which there IS evidence, shows how deeply our system is failing.

No wonder I prefer the fictional creative utopia of my characters, just outside of Vancouver.

I plan to do all my errands early today, before the drunks are out. Hope they have fun; I intend to stay safely at home. Writing.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on March 17, 2017 at 9:06 am  Comments Off on Fri. March 17, 2017: Creative Wasteland & Gov’t Plans on Premeditated Murder  
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Thurs. March 16, 2017: Between Storms

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Waning Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Somehow, Monday’s post vanished. Not quite sure how that happened. So there’s lots of catching up to do.

It was a cold weekend; I stayed in and wrote most of the time. The rest of the books arrived for the contest, so I also worked on contest entries.

Re-watched the first two LIBRARIAN movies. I hadn’t thought much of them before, and that still holds. The series is much better.

Friday, we had about six inches of snow. It was a day snug inside. Hard to shovel, though, because it froze — had to count on the sun’s help.

Another storm was expected to hit Monday into Tuesday– blizzard. .

Saturday was my birthday. Kept it a nice, quiet day. I don’t do well with birthdays — my own, that is. I was grateful for many good wishes from friends and colleagues, and tried to keep it a quiet, even-keeled day.

Ran around doing errands Monday morning, making sure everything was done before the storm hits. Then, we’ll hunker down and emerge later in the week.

Still a little stunned at the rudeness of a distant acquaintance who nagged for a favor and then couldn’t even say thank you. Well, cross that person off the list and move on. No room for that behavior. Someone takes time out of their work to help with yours, especially someone with more experience/credits? Say “thank you”, even if it’s not what you wanted to hear. Stop leading with your ego, and you might actually learn something.

I can’t believe the Equinox is coming up soon! Although the days are getting longer (I dislike springing ahead — I’m exhausted for weeks).

Fortunately, Tuesday’s storm started as snow, then changed over to hail, then rain. Otherwise, we would have been hammered, the way Western Mass and Maine were hammered.

Unfortunately, one of the scrub pines in the backyard splintered and is teetering. A forty-foot tree being held off the ground by two companion oaks. I was scared to death. Called the landlord, who called the Tree Frogs. The landlord came over and checked it out — he’s convinced that, even if it crashes down, it won’t hit the neighbor’s house behind us, although it might hit the side neighbor’s fence. I warned the neighbors, and told them we were getting it taken down as soon as we could get someone in. They were much more nonchalant about it than I am.

The Tree Frog guy came yesterday to check on it. He swears it’s not going anywhere, and isn’t an emergency. It’s going to be a challenge to get to the tree and get it down, so who knows when they’ll get here.

As of this morning, it’s still sort of up — but we’re getting more storms this weekend, and it worries me.

I’ve been watching travel documentaries and doing research. My protagonist in POWER OF WORDS is going to Venice for the holiday break, (Paris first, then Venice via Orient Express), and I want to make sure I get the emotional geography as correct as the physical geography. The emotional geography of Paris is still imprinted from my own experience, but I need to get Venice right.

Also, she’s climbed a few echelons of recognizability and creativity, so even though she thinks she can travel anonymously, she really can’t.

I’m also doing research on the Hollywood studio system. Part of it is for POWER OF WORDS, where an impresario is setting up a modern-style studio system, melding the best of what worked in the old system — a creative home base and resources — with the more individualized creative styles that artists want and need. Part of it is because I’m reworking THE FIX-IT GIRL and finishing it, with an eye to getting it out on submission at some point this year, and I need to get my details right.

I’m still researching the Italian Renaissance. There’s information on what Lavinia Fontana did, but not really on who she was. I haven’t found that pivotal moment that will make good drama. I found many for Kate Warne; I found those moments with both Giulia Tofana and Jeanne de Clisson. But I haven’t yet found it for Lavinia. So I keep digging.

I hope to spend most of the day writing and working on contest entries. I also have to get going on my spring cleaning.

I have hope that spring will eventually arrive!

Published in: on March 16, 2017 at 9:17 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 16, 2017: Between Storms  
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Thurs. March 9, 2017: Preparing for Another Storm

Thursday, March 09, 2017
Waxing Moon
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Supposedly, we have a big storm coming tonight, so I’m running around like a maniac getting done all the errands that would otherwise be spread out. My head is killing me, so there’s a storm coming.

Yesterday, was the Day Without Women. I was sick anyway, and grateful to have the chance to rest. I read some, dosed myself with all kinds of herbal remedies, and didn’t write (although I thought about writing a lot). I mentally worked on POWER OF WORDS, NOT BY THE BOOK and SONGBOUND SISTERS, so I hope to get words on the page for all of those today.

I did more Italian Renaissance research. I wish we had minds like that working nowadays. We wouldn’t be in such a great big mess.

Took my mom to the lovely firemen to get her blood pressure checked.  In four days on the new medication, it’s adjusted to where it should be.  A good doctor makes a difference.  Plus, you know, my firemen are the best.

Today, I’m racing around doing errands and then writing. I’m not sure if I’ll get online tomorrow – it depends if they’re right about the snow and how much we get.

Here on Cape Cod, our lives are dictated by weather. And climate change.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 10:50 am  Comments Off on Thurs. March 9, 2017: Preparing for Another Storm  
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Wed. March 8, 2017: On Strike!

I’m participating in the #DayWithoutWomen for International Women’s Day.

Sounds contradictory, but we’ll see.

See you tomorrow!

Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 1:23 am  Comments Off on Wed. March 8, 2017: On Strike!