Aug. 31, 2017: Gearing Up For Long-Range Plans

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

The end of August and the flannel sheets are already on the bed. There’s talk it might go down into the 30s this weekend. Brrr.

I got conflicting information about Irma. One report I saw said that was the cause of yesterday’s rain — it was out to sea, passing by. Another report says it’s just forming down south. Anyway, it wasn’t bad rain, just steady for a few hours.

Got some pitches out, worked on some writing, worked on some information coordination, and worked on a freelance assignment.

I’m tempted to start the holiday weekend at the end of today, but I’ll probably work through today and start it tomorrow around noon or so.

I want to take some time this weekend to recharge, but I also have a lot to do. It’s about being efficient with time and keeping things balanced. Now that one major decision is done, that affects me for the next year, I can set other plans into motion to plan for the year and beyond. I don’t mean to sound mysterious, but this is a situation where public brainstorming isn’t going to help. I need to review the information, make the decisions, set plans in motion, and then I can share them.

The year of transition will be difficult, but, in the long run, it will work well. I just have to be focused, efficient, and flexible, all at once. Back to thinking on my feet, the way I had to do backstage, only apply those techniques to outside life.

Part of it is cutting deadwood out of my life, something which has to happen periodically. People who are toxic. I don’t argue with them; they’re just gone. And each time I do that, I feel a bit brighter and more relaxed, and more like I’m getting back to the person I am, rather than the person those around me want to be. I spent decades not being that person, so why backtrack now?

This morning, I have a couple of pitches to send out, and do things like get cat litter. Chop wood, carry water, staying rooted in the daily tasks matters, in my opinion. The one task I hope to hand off by next spring, though, is the mowing. I really hate it. In seven years, I have not been able to find pleasure in it. So, if I can afford it come spring, I’m going to hire someone to do it. I’ll then get rid of the hunk of junk I for which I overpaid (never again Poulan Pro, they’re awful and lack customer service). I’d rather have a manual push mower, like my grandmother used, just on hand in case I need it, but have someone else actually mow every two weeks. But I’ll make sure they know NO LEAFBLOWERS.

It’s already autumn here, which is nice, because that’s my favorite season. The traffic is a nightmare, and there’s so much work to be done on so many fronts, and yet, I’m starting to feel optimistic again.

Onward.

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Published in: on August 31, 2017 at 8:41 am  Comments Off on Aug. 31, 2017: Gearing Up For Long-Range Plans  
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Wed. Aug. 29, 2017: Short-Term and Long-Term Relief Planning, Balancing With Work

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and cool

We’re getting the very outer grazings of Tropical Storm Irma. Not bad, especially not in perspective with what’s going on down south, but still worth paying attention to and not taking unnecessary risks.

The Narcissistic Sociopath lived up to his name yesterday on his visit to flood stricken areas. Not a word of comfort or support or empathy. He treated it like a campaign rally, going on about “crowd size.” Excuse me? And the tone-deaf wife, insensitive to the losses of those around them — the whole propaganda event was sickening.

Amy Siskind, with whom I often agree, especially as she documents how our civil rights are being methodically stripped away every day, said we shouldn’t criticize the wife because it reflects how we treat women in general. I disagree. You don’t get respect BECAUSE of your gender. You get basic respect as a human being, because every human being should get that, and build that WITH YOUR ACTIONS. Or you lose it WITH YOUR ACTIONS. The fact that too often women are objectified and criticized for their appearance or choices doesn’t mean that, simply because one is a woman, one can’t criticize or be criticized by another woman. The wife is in a position of leadership, and it is her JOB to behave with grace, class, and sensitivity towards ALL the people who live in or visit this country. She has done nothing, EVER, to earn respect, at least not from me. To say she’s “learning on the job” is crap — all First Ladies learn on the job, because there’s no other job quite like it. And yes, it is a job, and don’t give me that crap that she didn’t “choose” it. She didn’t walk away from it. She CHOSE to stay. Top offices are a package deal, and yes, there are politicians who have not gotten my vote because I thought their partners weren’t up to the job, and would, in fact, be a detriment. One person holds the elected office, but the couple is in it together.

And then, the Nashville Statement? Disgusting. Again, I was in Nashville several years ago to cover the NHL draft. Six days in Nashville was five days too many, as far as I was concerned. They were talking about secession and creating a country which recognized that slavery was a “good” thing. I still have the newspaper coverage tucked away in some file somewhere.

I’m trying to come up with a plan for long-term giving. I don’t have the financial resources right now to do a lot, but I’m doing what I can, and planning what I can do over the long-term, because the area will need help long-term. So far, with my due diligence, I’m focusing on food banks for people and the Texas SPCA and Pets Alive in Austin for animals. When the immediate need eases, I’ll focus on Habitat for Humanity for people. My friend, author Joelle Charbonneau, who always goes the extra mile for everyone, gave me information on Global Giving, so I’ll also do what I can with them.

I’m reading the material on why one shouldn’t give to the Red Cross. It disturbs me. I agree that the company that took over in the past few years isn’t transparent enough, especially with donations. I volunteered with the Red Cross in NYC during Desert Storm (I was a military case worker). I learned a lot, disagreed with some of their policies, but overall, had a great deal of respect with them at the time. As far as being helped by them, in my personal experience, I found them good at immediate, short-term assistance — such as when the building I lived in caught fire, and when my hometown flooded — but not structured to handle long-term issues. The Text and $10 goes to them option is, in my opinion, good in the short term, but for longer term help, I’m going to give elsewhere.

The phone scams for false charities are already in full swing. Half a dozen calls yesterday morning alone. I don’t give out my phone number, so how do they get it? Which corporation (of the few that have it — utility companies, etc.) is selling phone numbers? That needs to stop. I’m on every Do Not Call list there is. In any case, be careful, and don’t make donations by phone, unless you’re texting one to a vetted organization.

All of this has to balance with the writing, or I can’t keep a roof over my head.

Not much writing done yesterday, although I have to get back on track for that. I got out an article pitch and another pitch, so, hopefully, they’ll hit home. I need to do some research for a batch of LOIs to go out next week, when Mercury goes direct and after the holiday weekend.

I’ve gotten several questions as to when NOT BY THE BOOK will be ready to submit (some publishing people are interested), so that has to get back on the schedule, along with everything else.

August was a month away from the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions in the sense of not sticking to a list, but relevant due to the internal work.

Finished Alyssa Maxwell’s MURDER AT CHATEAU SUR MER, one of her Gilded Newport Mysteries. I love the series, and I love the growth of Emma Cross.

I have to figure out a new release date for “Labor Intensive”. Since it takes place on Labor Day Weekend, I don’t want it to be too far out, but I also don’t want to do a big promotion when people are drowning in Harvey.

I like the new covers for both “Labor Intensive” and “Plot Bunnies”. I think they fit the scope of the series better.

More ideas are coming in for the Picaroon Island series. I need to jot them down before I lose them. The ideas pouring in right now are for what would be the fifth book in the series. The first book is out on submission. Visiting Nantucket got me thinking about it again.

Next week, the first pre-pub push for PLAYING THE ANGLES goes out. Lots of juggling going on.

Not to mention that I really want to get SAVASANA AT SEA to my editor by mid-September.

I have one more pass at ANGLES to go, and that needs to happen this weekend.

Never a dull moment, which is good.

Tues. Aug. 29, 2017: Just Doing Whatever Little Bits I Can

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Doing whatever I small bits I can to help those suffering from Hurricane Harvey. It doesn’t feel like much, or enough, but I have to remember that many individuals doing as much as they can eventually adds up.

Didn’t get much writing done; can’t concentrate.

Am irritated at more late payments. Am pitching to a different tier or client – ones that pay on time.

I never give my phone number out; so how do the donation scammers already popping up in response to Harvey have the number to call? Which of the few places that have my number – utility companies, phone company, etc., is selling my number?

I’ve decided to postpone the release of “Labor Intensive” until next week. It just doesn’t feel right to promote right now. That’s not a judgment on anyone else making a different choice – it’s just what I need to do.

I’m dropping off a ream of paper at the local animal shelter (“Tessa’s orphanage”). They put out a call on Facebook that they were out of paper, and I have an extra ream, so over it goes.

Early morning grocery shopping. This afternoon, I have to write, research, work on final galleys for PLAYING THE ANGLES (according to the copy editor, there are only two tiny fixes, but I want to do a full proof), and read another assignment.

We’re going to be clipped by Tropical Storm Irma tomorrow, and then get the remnants of Harvey on Sunday.

Onward.

Published in: on August 29, 2017 at 9:18 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 29, 2017: Just Doing Whatever Little Bits I Can  
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Mon. Aug. 28, 2017: Hurricane Harvey

Monday, August 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Eight more days of Mercury Retrograde. Argh.

If you’re looking for the Upbeat Authors post on inspirational places, please scroll down. That post is below this one.

Initially, it was the only post planned for today, but with what’s going on in Texas, I couldn’t ignore it.

Southeast Texas is drowning. A show I worked on had a sit-down in Houston, several years ago. I found it a mixed bag of a city, but then, all cities are. One of the things discussed with the local crew at bars, over dinner, etc., was how Houston has an entire warren of underground shops. Montreal has that, so people can shop when it’s brutally cold out; Houston has it when it’s brutally hot.

When discussing previous storms, I heard stories of how that whole underground network of shops was wiped out. It’s far beyond that here.

The photos I’m seeing, of water rising to rooftops, reminds me of Katrina, of course, like it does to most people; also, to the floods that regularly wiped out neighborhoods in my hometown, outside of New York. The car I drive now is the replacement for a car I lost in such a flood in 2007. I remember well the feelings of horror and helplessness.

There’s all this debate about why people didn’t evacuate, and why no evacuation order was given. First of all, most people live paycheck to paycheck, and don’t have the one or two thousand dollars in cash on hand to evacuate. Saying “well, they should know better” doesn’t help, when you’re already spending every penny to feed your family and keep the utilities from being turned off. To leave, people need money, transportation, and a place to go.

Evacuating a major city is not easy. It requires a plan that works neighborhood by neighborhood, time, and cooperation. Panicked people don’t cooperate.

It also requires legislators spending time and money IN ADVANCE on planning and resources, instead of taking away people’s right to use a bathroom or health care. And, of course, denying climate change, which is one of the major factors in the storm’s severity.

Southeast Texas drowns and the Narcissistic Sociopath tweets a book recommendation, crows about an upcoming rally in Missouri where he can attack Democrats and anyone who disagrees with him, and, when he refers to the hurricane, gives out misinformation and makes completely inappropriate comments. This, after he pardons Arpaio on Friday night (which caused such outrage people barely realized Gorka’s finally gone).

McConnell and Ryan aid and abet him. There’s some discussion that it’s only until they push through the tax cut for their rich pals, but I think it’s because they privately agree with them, and that’s why any public condemnation is either tepid or non-existent.

Unacceptable on every level.

First, the people of that region need rescue. Then, they need help to rebuild. If that disgusting group of people in the People’s House had any ethics or empathy, they would take the supposed wealth they have and LEAD the donations for rescue/recovery, letting people know about ethical organizations to which to donate and offering to match donations. But they do NOTHING and say NOTHING because they aren’t rich; they’re grifting off our tax dollars for everything they can get.

Instead, it’s authors who have stepped up –there’s an author relay going on, with authors like Joelle Charbonneau and Ann Aguirre and many others — when www.globalgiving.com’s donations reach X amount, each author gives X donation, and then passes it on for the next 10K. Pretty spectacular.

People are showing up with their own boats and going neighborhood to neighborhood to rescue those who need it — people and animals. Are the major oil companies, who get huge subsidies and make BILLIONS of dollars in profit every year helping? Are they bringing in tankers with fuel donated to help first responders and volunteers? Of course not. Instead, they wring their hands, “Woe are we!” with the refineries that are shut down that only make TEN PERCENT of our oil, and promising to raise gas prices as much as 25 cents per week until they go back online.

Unacceptable.

As an individual, it’s difficult to know how to help or what to do or if there is any way to help. I’d say research organizations. Talk to people whose judgment you trust. Take a look on Charity Navigator. Do what you can where you can. If every individual does SOMETHING, it will matter.

The biggest SOMETHING we all have to do as soon as possible is to remove this corrupt, inept administration and put in competent, empathic, JUST people.

Until then, decide where your donations can do the most good. I’m splitting mine between organizations that help humans and those that help animals. As a freelancer, there’s not much I can do financially right now, but I will do what I can. As I learn about new possibilities, and vet them through my due diligence, I will expand.

I doubt I’ll talk much about what I am doing on social media, other than sharing links to organizations I believe are putting the money to good use. I don’t want to make it all about me. I will do what I do quietly, but I WILL DO.

I am debating whether or not to postpone the release of “Labor Intensive”. For it to release well, I need to heavily promote this week, and I feel that is inappropriate. I’m not saying other authors should suspend their promotions — I am saying that, for ME, it is inappropriate to say “buy my book this week” when Harvey survivors need help.

There’s always the point that I could say “buy my book and I’ll donate 50%/70%/whatever of royalties to relief organizations, but again, for me, that feels like trying to profit from tragedy, even with the donation. For me, it feels wrong.

It’s not up to me to make that decision for anyone else or comment on anyone else’s decision. But I don’t want to do that with my own work.

On other topics, I wrote, I read, I worked on the house. I tried to mow this morning, but the mower broke down again, halfway through the front lawn. I am NOT a happy camper about that.

I was in an awful, depressed mood on Saturday, and then I felt guilty, because, in comparison to Harvey, I really have only minor complaints. Guilt made me feel worse, and then it spiralled, so I finally just said, “I feel what I feel, time to let it go and focus on what’s important.”

One major decision for the next few months has been made, and that allows me to start working on some longer-range plans, which is a good thing.

The next eight or nine months will be a test of my time management, organizational, and creative skills on many fronts.

In the meantime, I’m going to do what I can where I can to help Harvey survivors and to keep fighting the administration policies that allow people to turn away as their fellow citizens suffer and die, because the greed of a chosen few.

Published in: on August 28, 2017 at 10:30 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 28, 2017: Hurricane Harvey  

Inspiration from Place #UpbeatAuthors

Note: This was a previously-committed to post for the #upbeatauthors group. If you want to read about my response to Hurricane Harvey, it is the post above this one. I am not ignoring the suffering.

Trish Milburn‘s topic for the day is “Places that Inspire”. That covers a lot of ground. I can find ANY place I visit inspiring. I keep detailed travel journals when I go anywhere, and write up the details, especially sensory details. I collect maps and historical information. I collect contact information for chambers of commerce and tourism boards, so when I write about a place, I can go back and get the emotional geography correct.

Because setting is a character in my work (and I teach courses on it), it’s important to me to get the physical and emotional geography of a place correct. I’m pretty good at discerning when an author hasn’t visited a place and hasn’t done enough research to understand its unique feel/personality. Yes, it’s fiction, and it’s important to use imagination. But, if you are going to use a real place, or do what I call “stretching geography”, where you add the fictional places that support your story into a real environment, you need to get the physical and the sensory details right.

That’s a lecture for another day. 😉

For today, I am going to share with you some of the places that have inspired specific pieces of work. I’m having trouble posting photographs, but clicking through the links will get you all kinds of great images and information.

New York City
I grew up in a suburb of New York City, and spent plenty of time there. After a year of college elsewhere, I transferred back to NYU for film and television production, and then, after two years in San Francisco and a miserable year in Seattle, I moved back and worked my way up in theatre until I worked on Broadway. I loved the city, especially Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the various New York Public Libraries, NYU itself, and all the neighborhoods. I lived through 9/11, in which 42 people I knew (firefighters, mostly, and cops, and people I’d gone to school with who worked in the towers). New York is an important part of my work.

It’s the primary setting for the Nina Bell Mysteries, which are in the 1990s, following a college graduate trying to build her life in the arts. She lives on E. 6th Street, and is an NYU alum, and works at theatres similar to the Public. I use my diaries from those years to make sure I have the geography right, and the events and how they affected those of us trying to ignore said events.

It’s where TRACKING MEDUSA, the first Gwen Finnegan mystery starts and ends. The book starts in the Gramercy Park area, and has major events at the main New York Public Library and a chase scene inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(The book re-releases in January 2018. Visit http://gwenfinneganmysteries.devonellingtonwork.com for more information).

PLAYING THE ANGLES, the first Coventina Circle mystery, releasing on October 2, takes places in various NYC locations, most of it in the Broadway neighborhood, since much of the action takes place backstage on a Broadway show. So that’s midtown. I used to live in the area, on the corner of 42nd St. and 8th Avenue, over a strip club which is now a comedy club, across from the Port Authority bus terminal, and a short walk to the Broadway theatres at which I worked. I’d regularly walk back from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so I could spend time in Central Park. ANGLES also has scenes in Greenwich Village and Morag’s Upper West Side apartment. The second book in the series, THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY is mostly set in Greenwich village, around the publisher for whom Bonnie works, and the bookshop that Rupert owns, with forays to the Upper West Side and down to the Bowery. Most of the books in the series will have NYC locations, although I plan to get them out of the city at times! (http://www.coventinacircle.devonellingtonwork.com)

SAVASANA AT SEA, the first Nautical Namaste Mystery that releases in November, starts in New York City, at Union Square, where yoga studios have bloomed in the last few years. It also has locations at the cruise ship piers, and Sophie shares a brownstone in Brooklyn, inspired by one owned by a friend of mine.

I love the city deeply; I just don’t want to live there any more!

SCOTLAND
I have a deep love of Scotland. Two of my shows have been produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and I lived in Edinburgh for a month at a time with each. I’ve visited the city frequently, and travelled a good deal throughout the country: St. Andrews, Skye, the borders, but especially Ayrshire, where I’ve rented an apartment in Culzean Castle through the Scottish National Trust a couple of times.

The area is amazing — friendly people, beautiful scenery, great food. A basic conversation in passing can be the seed of a story.

A big chunk of TRACKING MEDUSA is set in a fictional town in Ayrshire, not far from Culzean, where Gwen and Justin confront Gwen’s past and discover the secrets of the Medusa statue.

Eastern and Western Scotland are very different from each other, in atmosphere, in geography, in sensory detail. The jet stream allows Culzean to grow tropical plants. The coast around St. Andrews can’t mistaken for the isle of Arran in the west. And the Highlands are a world unto themselves (not to mention that the signs are in Scots Gaelic first and sometimes English underneath). Someone from Glasgow speaks differently than someone from Edinburgh than someone from Skye. The cadence is difference, the timbre is different. Yes, there’s a “Scottish” accent different from English or Welsh or Irish, but there are also regional differences within it. Each one is delightful in its own way, but easy to pick up a false ring in a piece.

It’s very obvious when a writer sets something in Scotland and has never visited — it comes across more like a Rennfaire in upstate New York than genuinely in Scotland.

Northumbria
This is Hotspur Percy country, which is why I originally visited when I first graduated high school, and I keep coming back. The border shifted — it’s England, it’s Scotland, it’s England, it’s Scot– you get the idea.

Northumbrians have a thick north England accent, thicker than Yorkshire, but different from Scotland. They are very proud of their area.

My favorite places are Alnwick (now famous because the castle is used for Hogwarts) and Alnmouth. But my ultimate favorite is Lindisfarne, Holy Island, still cut off by the tide twice a day.

Lindisfarne has the ruins of a Priory, where illuminated manuscripts were created, and a castle. Two hotels, several pubs and shops, holiday cottages, a few people, a lot of sheep. When the tourists leave and the tide comes in, and it’s cut off, it’s magic.

I first learned about Lindisfarne when I was a kid, reading HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN magazine, when they had a story about monks saving the illuminated manuscripts. I vowed to visit, and did, right after high school. I can’t stay away. I have photographs that show the erosion of the ruins over the years.

A section of TRACKING MEDUSA is set there, at some of my favorite places, including the Abbey, the beach, and the kilns.

I’ve also visited the battle site of Otterburn. It was autumn when I was there; no one else around. I walked through the darkening woods, it got quieter and the birds stopped chirping. You could feel the weight of the dead. I had similar sensations when visiting Glencoe and Culloden in Scotland, but because Otterburn is smaller, more isolated, and more overgrown, it stayed with me more strongly.

Prague
Prague is an amazing city, centuries of history handled like they happened last week.

Locals sigh and talk about how nothing has been the same since The Battle of the White Mountain. I thought that was in WWII, and understood how it could still have an impact. Then I looked it up at it was in 1620! That gives you a good sense of the emotional geography of the place.

One also always has the sense of being watched. It’s not “Big Brother” or left over from Soviet occupation. It’s all the statues on the roofline that stare down at you.

I plan to use Prague as a setting for several pieces, but it’s in an upcoming serial novel about filming a television show, and part of the pilot is shot in Prague. There’s a lovely sequence on the Charles Bridge between Old Town and Mala Strana, because it’s so different on either side of the bridge.

Cape Cod
One of the reasons I moved here is because the place inspired me so much. My family’s visited since 1968. The National Seashore at Eastham and Race Point Beach in Provincetown are two big favorites, as is the Aschumet Sanctuary with all its holly trees, closer to where I actually live.

I’ve set a lot of pieces on Cape Cod. Morag’s family has a house here in PLAYING THE ANGLES. I’ve used it in quite a few short stories, and in an upcoming novel called THE TIE-CUTTER (Ayrshire, Scotland, is also heavily involved, as is Iceland).

Living here and visiting are very different, so I encourage any author who writes about the place to do more than a flying visit, if you expect me to believe your characters are more than summer people! No matter how many years I live here, I will always be a washashore, which is fine with me. It’s also a term I’d never heard in all the years I visited, but everyone made it clear to me once I moved in!

Any place can provide inspiration, if you look for it. Take time and get to know your home region. When you travel, don’t just post on social media and take video with your phone — experience the place directly, and then it will resonate in your writing.

Fri. Aug. 25, 2017: Thoughts on Forced Extroversion by an Introvert

Friday, August 25, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Ten more days of Mercury Retrograde. Ack!

Sent out some pitches and an initial step of a proposal for a project I’d really like to do. I only heard about it very close to their deadline, so they may already have hired someone, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, and it’s in my wheelhouse, right on target (to mix metaphors), so I gave it a shot.

Worked on “Labor Intensive”, which lived up to its name.

Worked on the revisions for SAVASANA AT SEA. I thought I’d done so much, because I’m in serious beat-to-beat change territory, but it was only a few chapters. A little discouraging, but slow progress is better than no progress.

Got another round of copy edits back on PLAYING THE ANGLES. I don’t understand all of them — some of them refer to changes I made — so I have to go over it with the copy editor. Not sure if the changes didn’t save properly, or if I have to enter them differently in the document or what. We’ll get it sorted out.

Sending back some research books for projects that are farther out in the schedule, because I can’t effectively use them in the current timeline. Noted them, so I can order them again when I need them.

Did some promo for the Topic Workbook The Graveyard of Abandoned Projects which holds up well. This fall, I need to apply some of the techniques, as I reschedule projects for 2018.

Getting the balance right between the fiction and the nonfiction is always tricky. That and deciding where and how to use the peak of my creative energy on any given day.

There was a fantastic piece posted on Facebook, leading back to an article about introverts. As an introvert, it resonated. One of the things I deeply resent about living here is that I’m constantly forced into extroversion, which is painful and makes me miserable. In NY, you were who you were, and, as long as you did your work, no one cared. Here, the pressure to be constantly extroverted — and always to someone else’s convenience — makes me both miserable and furious.

I feel like I’ve lost a vital part of what made me good at what I do, living here. On the one hand, the place itself — the ocean, the land — have definitely helped my work, and in some ways, the quality of life is better. But the constant intrusions into my personal space and needs and the demands that I change the core of who I am to “fit” — well, guess what? I won’t. “Fitting in” has never driven me. I tried to be a civilian and a part of community life, and the prevalent “gimme culture” here doesn’t work, along with the lack of support for the arts (in spite of pretending the opposite). So I’m redrawing boundaries, and I don’t really care if it suits anyone else.

The theory that one can’t have privacy or a personal life if you work in the arts or set foot in social media (or even outside one’s own door) is ridiculous. I get to decide what to share with others. They get to decide what to share with me. The only exception is if any of us are involved in something that actively hurts those around us, instead of peaceful co-existence.

Remember, fellow female travelers, all those times you walk down the street, minding your own business, mulling over whatever needs attention and some jackass calls out, “Smile, honey!”

Forced constant extroversion is the same thing.

I’m not going to damn smile if I don’t want to. Not then nor now. (Which, since I usually am smiling, if I’m not, you can be sure there’s a reason for it, and back the eff off).

I’m not going to be forced into being someone I am not, and someone I do not wish to become.

Nor do I have to explain WHY I don’t want to do something or go somewhere. If I say “no” it is no, and I don’t need to qualify it.

I’m going back to being who I am.

Wherever that may lead.

That’s how I got to Broadway and lived my dream. That’ll work moving forward.

In any case, have a great weekend! I have lots of hearth-tending to do this weekend, along with A LOT of writing.

Best wishes to those in the path of Hurricane Harvey. I hope something happens and the storm weakens and it’s not anywhere near as bad as predicted.

Published in: on August 25, 2017 at 8:49 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 25, 2017: Thoughts on Forced Extroversion by an Introvert  
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Thurs. Aug. 24, 2017: Getting Motivated Again

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cool

I had trouble getting going yesterday. Eventually, I did, and sent off the edits for PLAYING THE ANGLES. Got a couple of pitches out. Heard back from an LOI I’d sent to a company that sounded interesting, but I don’t think we’re the right match.

Read a JD Robb novella, featuring Eve Dallas. Those are the science fiction/mystery/romance novels Nora Roberts writes. I enjoyed it; I’d read more. I like how she works with elements of all three genres. Structurally, I found it very strong, and I like the characters.

Got some work done on “Labor Intensive”, but not enough. That piece has to be ready to go next week, and I’m dragging my feet. I have to buckle down and get it done. I need to do some work on the essays, and get both FIX-IT GIRL and SAVASANA AT SEA revisions back on track.

One of the elements I’ve found most time-consuming in preparing these manuscripts is the back matter — excerpts from other books, additional material relevant to the books, etc. I enjoy writing and researching and sharing these materials, but it takes time, which means it has to be carefully built into the schedule.

I’m feeling creatively drained and fallow right now, without the usual stories and characters buzzing around in my head. Those are the stretches were one has to lean on craft first, and hope the creativity comes out of that. The foundation in craft is vital for a sustainable writing career. It also makes me very grateful for tools like my Writers Rough Outlines. They keep me on track, even on the rough days.

Alyssa Maxwell (a fellow Sister-in-Crime who writes the mysteries set in Newport) recommended the Hattie Darvish books written by Anna Loan-Wilsey. Hattie is a private secretary, earning her living, so each book is in a different location and different professional setting. I started with the first book in the series, A LACK OF TEMPERANCE. She’s very good with historical detail, makes it come alive well.

Several things are in limbo right now, and I’m trying to get things ready for my mother’s upcoming surgery. It’s in October, but there’s a great deal to be done before then, especially since she’s in her nineties, and any surgery can have difficult consequences.

Plenty to do today — research-wise and writing-wise.

One of the many good things about the trip to Nantucket is that it solidified my decision to set the whaling mysteries in New Bedford. I wasn’t sure which location I should pick, although I leaned toward New Bedford. What I need to serve the story makes more sense to put in New Bedford than on Nantucket, although, with its importance in the whaling industry, I’m sure there will at least be scenes set there.

Setting is so important to me, in what I read and what I write. Yes, the fictional elements of a setting are important, but they need to be grounded in reality if it’s in a real place or near a real place, and has to be believable as that area, not generic “small town” or “coast town” or “Southern town” or “English village” or whatever.

As I’ve spoken and taught for years, emotional geography matters.

In September, I really need to get to work writing the Lavinia Fontana play (it’s due in December). Some of the scenes are starting to take shape in my mind, but I still lack the throughline. I have themes, but not yet a plot. I’m character-building, and I may write one or two of the scenes to see how I can get a plot to emerge. The social structure of Bologna, especially amongst the noblewomen, will be an important part of that, and how Lavinia navigates that, with the burden of being the primary breadwinner for a large family, and the fact that she was constantly pregnant. It didn’t slow down her painting, though.

I feel like I’m using so much creative energy with the writing that pays the bills, it’s much more difficult to find the energy for the percolating time I need. The fiction and the non-fiction usually feed each other well, but, right now, I’m creatively weary and I don’t have the luxury of taking a break. X amount has to go out regularly, so X amount of dollars come in.

Smashwords has started paying monthly. Honestly, I prefer quarterly and/or twice-a-year payments for royalties.

In any case, I need to dig down and get back to work.

Buzz is starting to build for Nano again. With a book releasing in November, I don’t think this is a good year to do it. I might “write along with” Nano, riding the energy wave to finish THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, but I don’t think I should “do” Nano, as in starting a new book on November 1. I have to say, though, the tandem Nano I did two years ago was a good thing, winding up with DEATH OF A CHOLERIC, and a good chunk done on THE TIE-CUTTER (which has to go back on the schedule soon).

Preparing for the weekend, lots of reading and writing needs to happen (I have a reviewing assignment I need to finish), plus it’s toxic disposal day at the dump, so I can get rid of used batteries, light bulbs, aerosol cans, etc.

And, of course, I need to catch up on mowing. I’m sure you can all feel the eye roll, even though you can’t see it. 😉

Back to the page.

Published in: on August 24, 2017 at 9:22 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 24, 2017: Getting Motivated Again  
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Wed. Aug. 23, 2017: Ground To Cover, Books to Write

Wednesday, April 23, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Lots of ground to cover. Lots went on.

Friday was a prime example of Mercury Retrograde. The negotiations broke down with the gig I’d been offered and the offer was rescinded. It could have been worked out, but the other side’s position of not allowing disagreement or discussion made it impossible. Although the whole situation left me feeling bruised, better to know early on and not go on than be mired in it and have it worse later on. I also found out something, that, had I known it about the company, I wouldn’t have pitched to work there in the first place. That is totally on me — I did not do my due diligence on the company. I looked at the parts of the job that appealed to me, rather than looking at the whole thing.

Mercury Retrograde is a time when people are likely to mis-communicate and mis-understand each other. It is also a time when one is supposed to avoid signing a contract. I’d hoped I could circumvent the possibilities with it this go-round and it didn’t work out.

I did some research for another publication with whom I’m in discussions. Coming up with suitable pitches for them will be an intriguing challenge.

Worked on the proofs for PLAYING THE ANGLES. Grateful to the copy editor for the catches, and annoyed with myself that I didn’t catch them. But that’s why one puts another pair of eyes on it, isn’t it? Also, reading the digital proofs on the Kindle, and then looking at the manuscript/Track Changes made me realize more than just looking at the manuscript on the screen.

I’m learning a lot with this process, which is great. Each book should teach something. The craft in each book needs to build on the previous books.

The cover for “Labor Intensive” is done — finally, I think we’ve hit on the style and tone for these covers. The cover of “Plot Bunnies” was then re-worked, to fit the series.

Now I just have to finish the damned piece! I’m cutting it a little too close for comfort.

Friday night into Saturday morning, we were woken by the most intensive rainstorm we experienced since moving here. Torrential. By the time we got the windows closed, water was across half the room. Dried pretty quickly, thank goodness. But it was hard to get back to sleep.

Saturday was the counter protest to the so-called “Free Speech Rally” in Boston. After Charlottesville, and the Narcissistic Sociopath’s response on Tuesday, supporting the white supremacists, I was worried that the violence would be worse in Boston than it had been in VA. I was wrong, and glad to be so proven.

100 people showed up for the rally. 40,000 showed up in an anti-hate counter protest. The “rally” lasted a little less than an hour. There were some arrests — 33 was the last number I heard on the news — and protestors were afraid of people playing the tuba.

The counter-protest had music (tuba, drums, bagpipes), dancing, and anti-hate chants. Had the rally ACTUALLY been about “free speech” and not “hate speech” — the organizers would have welcomed the counter protestors and invited some of them to speak at the “rally”.

I felt the mood was much darker and more cynical than at the Women’s March in January — or maybe that’s because my mood is so much darker and more cynical. Still, I think we can all be proud of how Boston behaved — a mostly peaceful protest standing against hate.

The Narcissistic Sociopath tweeted against the march at first, calling it “anti-police”, and then somebody changed his tune, and he started praising Boston. There was a lot of discussion on social media about mis-spelling “heal” as “heel”. Yes, it could have been a Freudian slip; it could also have been Auto-Incorrect. I certainly struggle with that enough when I’m typing on my phone. Even when I check it before hitting send, Auto-Correct sometimes changes it just as I hit “send.” So the spelling is not an issue where I feel I have any right to criticize. Content, yes. Spelling — when I’m able to overcome Auto-Incorrect on a regular basis, then I can.

I read over the short story I’m not sure where to place, the one where a friend thinks it’s the germ of a novel. I see possibilities. At the same time, I wonder how I can possibly expand a piece intentionally tightly written to be under 8K to novel length. With a good plot and outline. Strengthen the supporting characters. Add a couple of subplots. The potential is there; it’s just making the time in the schedule to get it all done without dropping the ball on anything else. I’ve already pushed back several manuscripts that I fully believed I could have out the door this year.

I put in the changes to PLAYING THE ANGLES — it can go back out today. I still want to look at it again before it goes to publish.

Monday was my “day off” — just like in theatre days. I enjoyed myself, preparing for my trip, and reading E.J. Kahn’s memoir of his years at THE NEW YORKER, and having fun, both virtually and in real life, with the eclipse. We only had a partial here, but it was interesting — the birds upset, the cats restless, everything going quiet except for the crickets, the quality of light all wispy, shadowy, and textured. Eerie silence. Then, getting brighter — Bratty Bird, our resident nuthatch, was the first to start yelling. When I stepped onto the deck, the Murder of Crows who hangs out around here came right up to tell me all the news. They are so funny!

Things brightened up quickly, and, of course, the damn neighbor started right back up with their damned power tools. Could we have 24 hours without them once in awhile, please?

There was a passage of only a couple of paragraphs in Kahn’s memoir, but it sent me on a fun “what if?” for either a section of a piece I’m already outlining (mostly likely) or its own piece.

Making time for all of this is the key.

Tuesday, we were up at 4:30 AM and out of the house by 5:30. After a bit of parking lot kerflamma, we were on the 6:30 AM ferry to Nantucket. It was great — only about ten people and a dog on the whole big ferry. Mostly truck drivers, who settled themselves onto the benches and went to sleep. Beautiful and quiet.

I meant to write on the 2 hr. 45 minute ride — I got about a page written. But it was so beautiful that I just sat back and enjoyed it.

A friend met us at the dock. We went to breakfast at Met on Main, which was terrific. We sat outside and I had the enormous and delicious “Met Muffin”. We toured around the town — too many tourists, to which we helped contribute, I’m afraid. Library, Whaling Museum, Oldest House and its Kitchen Garden, etc. Drove around the island, seeing the sites. Spent the afternoon at the house the friends rented for their vacation, sitting out on the deck, looking at the water, and talking. It was fun.

Steven Axelrod’s books will make ever so much more sense now! 😉

5:30 PM ferry back — many more people this time, and lots of dogs. Among the passengers was a pack containing 5 standard poodles — one white (the King), one black and white, one black, and two brown. They were gorgeous and regal and beautifully behaved — better behaved than some of the children on that boat, that’s for sure.

It was still a decent ride back, although not as good as the ride out. The crew on the ferry is always terrific, and boy, they sure know their stuff.

Home a little after eight. The cats were upset, and relieved we were back. Although we had to grovel appropriately.

Hard to get back into the swing of things today. I liked having a couple of days off. I was disgusted by the rally in Phoenix last night. Others are articulating the event far better than I can, so I’ll leave them to it.

I’d really like a few more days off.

But, the manuscript needs to go back to the publisher with the accepted changes. That’s the most important.

I also have to withdraw from consideration for a gig. It sounded like a fun topic and steady work. I was asked for my rate, and gave them a range for the range of work they claim to want. They came back with an offer that’s 1/3 of the lowest number of my range, and said they assign articles to those with the lowest rate first, and higher-paid writers get assigned anything “left over”, while insisting they hired “fantastic writers.”

Um, no. First of all, I don’t know ANY “fantastic” writer who would work for the rate quoted. “Fantastic” writers are paid professional rates and have enough self-esteem not to work for rates that are barely above content mill level. Second, I don’t work for 1/3 of what I told you was my lowest rate. Third, if you’re going to put me on staff for “steady” work, I don’t wait around for the leftover crap assignments, simply because I get a decent rate.

Buh-bye.

On to other pitches.

I’d like to take a few more days off, but work (especially “Labor Intensive”) dictates otherwise.

Onward.

Published in: on August 23, 2017 at 8:43 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 23, 2017: Ground To Cover, Books to Write  
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Fri. Aug. 18, 2017: Working Through the Weekend to Earn Play Time

Friday, August 18, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and humid

The “audition” assignment was a success. The editor only had to change one punctuation mark, and that was because I used Strunk instead of Chicago Style. I’ve been offered the position. We have one more point of negotiation, which could put the kybosh on my joining the staff, but hopefully, we can iron it out.

Picked up the assignment from the other publication. Got out a couple of pitches. The market I wanted to submit the essay to isn’t appropriate, so I’ll have to re-slant it for a different publication and expand it. The markets for the short story aren’t quite right.

A friend, who is a particular champion of this short story and these characters, believes I should expand it into a book, or at least a novella. WHEN I’m supposed to do this, I’m not sure. But I’m going to print it out and look at it and see. I do love these characters, and I planned to use them for a series of stories, so maybe.

Went to Cotuit Library to do some research, but the materials that were in the catalog as being there “for library use only” — aren’t. Wasted trip. They were very apologetic, and it was a typical Mercury Retrograde event. Not that big a deal, just annoying, and certainly I’m not mad at them about it. These things happen. Stuff vanishes. Puts me behind in terms of the research I need for this interview, though.

Spent the afternoon going over the galleys of PLAYING THE ANGLES. Got the first six chapters done. Grateful to my copy editor for catching mistakes that I find mortifying. Also did some work with my PR person for the launch. I need to do a couple of tweaks in the media kit and reload it, and then we can send the kit out with the PR letter. We also started talking about the PR for SAVASANA AT SEA.

I have a feeling I’ll work straight through the weekend and take Monday off, since I’m taking Tuesday off to go on an adventure. In other words, I doubt I’ll post here until next Wednesday.

I was wide awake at 4:32 this morning. After tossing and turning, I got my day started. Re-read a fragment of a piece that has excellent bones and a good outline; need to figure out how to get it back into the queue. Spent some time working on FIX-IT GIRL, trying to solve a dilemma. Without the solution, I can’t finish this draft. Ultimately, I have to make the choice that’s organic to the characters’ intergrity as they’ve been set up.

Already did a Trader Joe’s run this morning.

Published in: on August 18, 2017 at 9:52 am  Comments Off on Fri. Aug. 18, 2017: Working Through the Weekend to Earn Play Time  

Thurs. Aug. 17, 2017: The Workday Work Day

Thursday, August 17, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was a decent workday, in spite of the chaos, and yet another day of Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s refusal to uphold the Constitution. Sent out three pitches, sent out two essays. The markets to which I wanted to send the short story are closed to submissions right now, so I will have to look elsewhere, and I didn’t have the right information with me for another essay market, so I’ll have to take care of that today.

The afternoon was spent finishing the “audition” assignment for the new-to-me publication that hired me a couple of weeks ago. This morning, it got a polish before going off, ahead of deadline, in case they need revisions. Hopefully, they like what I’ve done and I can continue.

The next assignment from the publication I want to leave was sent, and I pick it up today. Hopefully, this will be the last assignment for them, and they’ll pay everything they owe for work done.

Today, I have some pitches to send out, the audition assignment, the essay, and the short story. I have some research to do in a nearby town. This afternoon, I get started on the PLAYING THE ANGLES galleys.

Not much first draft work done this weekend, but at least I’m clearing out a lot of other stuff.

I have to do some follow-up on other pitches, because I don’t like hanging in limbo. This “we only respond if we like it” is unprofessional b.s., in my opinion. Don’t like it? Fine. Say no. Don’t just say nothing. I don’t care how many submissions you claim you get. It’s unprofessional.

While I worked outside on the deck yesterday afternoon, I got an idea for a new piece — it will need some research, but, if I can make it work and sell it, it will make people re-think a few things about their approach to their reading and their work.

Working on the list for the initial press list/media kit push for the PLAYING THE ANGLES release. I want to send out that information as soon as Mercury goes direct.

I can’t believe tomorrow is already Friday again!

Published in: on August 17, 2017 at 9:03 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Aug. 17, 2017: The Workday Work Day  
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Wed. Aug. 16, 2017: Freelance Range

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Oh, how I long for the days when all we had to worry about was a book review or whether or not the wine delivery was on time. I want to go back to the days of talking about books and art and cat videos. Unfortunately, our very lives depend on our current choices and actions. We are in the midst of a Civil War.

And the idiot who is at the helm clearly aligned himself with Nazis yesterday in a press conference that was irrational and irredeemable. Yet Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell continue to do nothing, because having him where he is suits their personal agendas. They are just as corrupt and must also be removed. Every day they refuse to do their jobs, they continue to prove they agree with him, they align with him (no matter what their empty words contain), and they refuse to uphold their oaths to the Constitution.

But, apart from my daily activist work, I also have to keep a roof over my head, and that means writing.

I sent off my article in the morning; by afternoon, it was accepted and paid, which is one of the reasons I love working with this particular publication.

I’m in discussions with a publication whose work I admire, who liked my samples, and who is interested in having me on staff. There’s more research and pitching on my part, and more decisions on their part, but if it all works out, I will be excited.

Pitched for a corporate script job out west (I’d work remotely), and for two other gigs, wildly different topics, both well in my wheelhouse, but which would still let me stretch. It would be steady work that paid fairly, if one or both work out. I had to pull samples and create a different type of sample packet for one of the pitches, but I think it reads well.

In the afternoon, I alternated between reading A WALK BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH: A PERSONAL JOURNAL ON WRITING AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS by Burghild Nina Holzer, and working on the first assignment for the new publication that hired me a couple of weeks ago.

This is why I’m the Anti-Niche, and why I refuse to be locked into the myth of “niche writing”. I get to live many lives and follow a wide variety of interests, do it well, and get paid.

I gave myself a break from fiction yesterday, although I have to get back on the stick with that. I’ll have to juggle the final galleys on PLAYING THE ANGLES with the revision of SAVASANA AT SEA. Which is fine, but I want to finish the assignment from the editor today and get that off tomorrow morning.

This morning, I have a couple of essays to work on and then send off. I need to research a market for a short story and get that out, and research another market for an essay.

It’s hard to create in the midst of destruction, and hard to balance creation with then necessary work to ensure survival on both an individual and a cultural basis. But it’s necessary.

Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Wed. Aug. 16, 2017: Freelance Range  
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Tues. Aug. 15, 2017: Writing In Spite, Not With Spite

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy and humid

So instead of gathering Intel on hate groups, the DOJ is demanding web hosts turn over information of those who disagree with the Narcisstic Sociopath. I think that tells us we no longer live in a democracy, don’t you? It’s more important to leave a hate monger in power than uphold the Constitution.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, as usual, do nothing. They are complicit, they are as corrupt as anyone else in the administration, and they must go.

Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh said hate groups “were not welcome” in Boston (but didn’t forbid them from holding their rally this coming Saturday). Governor Baker remains silent. Not surprising, but disappointing.

Somehow, in all this chaos –meant to wear people down so they’re so worn and beaten they’ll do what they’re told instead of standing up for their rights — I had to get back to work.

I sent out a short story; I sent out an article pitch that was accepted. I sent out a pitch to a local magazine that sounds interesting. I sent out a couple of other things.

I have more pitches to send out today.

I received a new assignment from one of my editors. I have an assignment for another editor that has to be finished first, but I have a long enough deadline so it’s not a problem.

As usual, I’m waiting for payments. The place that is now TWO MONTHS late doesn’t even respond anymore.

The final galleys arrived for PLAYING THE ANGLES, and I have to get going with them this week. They look good, but I’ve already caught a few things I need to fix, just in a quick glance.

Rewrote five chapters of SAVASANA AT SEA. Happy with the way it’s developing. This draft is taking a few elements in different directions than any of the previous (seven) drafts. It feels much better than the last two drafts.

Also did some work on the material for the Nautical Namaste website, and started gathering material for the article on the goddess Coventina for the Coventina Circle website.

Worked on the new article assignment; will finish, polish, and send it out later today.

I’m behind on “Labor Intensive” and not quite sure how to catch up.

And I’m heartsick at what this country has turned into.

Published in: on August 15, 2017 at 10:12 am  Comments Off on Tues. Aug. 15, 2017: Writing In Spite, Not With Spite  

Mon. Aug. 14, 2017: Time to Decide

Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

What a horrible weekend for the United States. Sickening and disheartening. Not at all a surprising one. We are in the midst of another Civil War on our own soil. It began openly when the Narcissistic Sociopath was given the GOP nomination and he encouraged people to be their worst, violent selves, giving them the freedom to crawl out from under their rocks. NONE of this is surprising. ALL of it could have been prevented. The roots of this go back decades.

He has never hidden who he is. Enough people agreed with him to put him where he is now. This call for him to be something else won’t work. The entire administration needs to be removed.

I also find it interesting that everyone I personally know who tried to justify a vote for the Sociopath last fall, and swore that they were “good people” and would be “the first” to stand up if he abused his power or tried to cause the harm we KNEW he would — they are all silent.

Because they are complicit.

Because they agree.

On social media, people are saying, “This is not who we are.”

Obviously, it’s who quite a few people are, or we wouldn’t be in this situation.

The seeds of this were sown in the Reagan years, when the radical right built their long game. This has been decades in the making, and too many people turned away, covered their ears, singing, “la, la, la.” Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. I remember talking about this back in those days, and being called an alarmist.

If there truly is “no room for white supremacists” in the US (and there will be necessary Constitutional fights about that and decisions made about where to draw lines on the right to one’s beliefs and where beliefs and acting on them are legal or illegal), there are ACTIONS that must be taken to fulfill that “no room” policy, which include:

–Prosecuting illegal acts;
–Stripping these individuals of their citizenship;
–Sending them into exile;
–Removing the corrupt administration and having a new election.

My first year of college, in Tallahassee, Florida, back in the early 80s, the Klan was open and arrogant in their actions and intentions. They behaved with impunity. I witnessed it regularly. It was part of my decision to leave after a year.

The GOP responses I saw have been tepid, to say the least. Marketing spin, hoping something new will come on the radar in a day or two (like the impending nuclear war with N. Korea) to take the focus off their responsibility in creating this mess, and their refusal to fix it. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are as much to blame as the Sociopath. Neither one will take the necessary actions, because they are still getting what they want from the situation. AG Sessions, of course, defends the Sociopath’s response, because he, too, has a proven record of racism and should never have been confirmed in the job in the first place. On top of the fact that he stands there and accepts the way his boss has demeaned him over the past few weeks.

If the GOP was serious about their outrage, and actually decided to put country over party for the first time in nearly a decade, Congress would go back into session TODAY and steps would be taken to remove this administration. That won’t happen because too many of them secretly agree with the Narcissistic Sociopath’s base, and were put in power by the same base. It’s all hot air, smoke and mirrors.

Don’t forget that the GOP has bills on the table ALLOWING cars to run over protestors, which is how Heather Heyer was murdered. They encourage this type of murder.

We need to remember Heather Heyer. We need to remember the two Virginia State troopers killed in the helicopter crash, and get justice for the young black man beaten.

GoDaddy showed surprising class by telling the “publication” that slut-shamed Heather Heyer they were in violation of the Terms of Service and had to move the site. It will be interesting to see which web host accepts them. It better not be mine. Tiki’s statement was better than the Sociopath’s (no surprise there). The Detroit Red Wings took a stand (I’d have been disappointed if one of my favorite Original Six teams had done less).

WBZ Radio Boston was shameful in last night’s broadcast at 5:30 PM. The host chirped that the injured “showed improvement” after a “car plowed” into a crowd — not calling it what it is, an act of domestic terrorism. Heather Heyer’s murder was not even mentioned. In fact, they wrapped the sound byte into a piece with two local DUI crashes, making them all sound of a piece. Disgraceful. This morning, they had a carefully-worded, non-informational 60 seconds about the “alleged” driver going to court this morning. All carefully worded to please the far right. WBZ has been a disgrace since the campaign, moving farther and farther right, until they’re almost in the same category as Fox News. I expect better from a CBS affiliate. Especially one in Boston.

The same organization that created the Charlottesville march has one scheduled in Boston on the 19th. Counter-protests are being organized. I have no doubt that even more bloodshed will happen here next weekend than happened in Charlottesville. I’m sure there will be debates about their legal right to assemble. Of course, if they were serious about their right to “peaceful assembly”, they wouldn’t be hiring private militia and they wouldn’t be chanting slogans that encourage mass murder. They may have the legal right to be here, and I will have legal specialists debate the details of that — but I don’t want them here. It comes down to both who has the right to assemble and who gets to decide who has the right. If there is truly “no place for white supremacy”, then the assembly needs to be denied. However, that sets a precedent to allow what the Administration is trying to set up, which is that any type of dissent, including assemblies such as the Women’s March, March for Science, etc, can also be denied. It becomes about where to draw the line and who gets to make the decisions. If I deny someone else the right to assembly, that means, in turn, I will also be denied that right. No matter which side stands for “good” or “evil”. While we fought a war that defined Nazism as “evil”, society as a whole is fickle and easily swayed, and the victors get to change the social contract to their own purposes.

The Kumbaya attitude of “let’s listen to the other side and understand them” is not going to prevent this escalating violence. One can’t reason with fanatics. It’s not about different views to get to an overall better result for the population of this country. It is about a single group that wants to exterminate anyone who disagrees.

World War II was all about these same issues, and, because it was not fought on US soil, too many haven’t learned — thanks to the defunding of education that’s been going on since Reagan, and the revisionist history that so many of the right-wing states have put into the school system. Now, we have another Civil War on our own soil. Instead of popping anti-anxiety medication and pretending it doesn’t exist, people damn well better start taking action –or THEY won’t exist.

I remember, several years ago, going to Nashville, TN for the NHL draft. At that time, Tennessee was talking secession, about “building a wall” (sound familiar?), and creating a “country” which remembered that slavery was a good thing. I still have the front-page news story tucked away somewhere. I was so disgusted, I was ready to leave the same day, rather than stay and cover the draft. But I stayed. I listened to the uneducated, racist, bigoted talk that I heard in almost every local establishment I visited. None of this is new. It’s been building for years, and too many people ignored it. Too many people also agree with it.

My direct family members survived WWII. Some of my family was torn apart when the Berlin Wall went up. I remember visiting the Wall; seeing someone try to escape, get shot, and dragged back. I remember the Wall coming down, and going into the East three days after reunification and seeing a place stopped in time. Driving behind Soviet tanks (it was still the Soviet Union then) as they prepared to pull out. Talking to young Soviet soldiers who’d never seen an American girl before (they got into trouble — they weren’t allowed to talk to anyone outside of their unit). Drinking with a commander who’d known my grandfather (we were in a town that my grandfather, an architect, had rebuilt after the war).

To most Americans, World War II is Captain America or a video game. It’s not.

We are now suffering the consequences of not paying attention. Unless we, as a people, take action, we will be the new Nazi regime, and the rest of the world will be forced to take action against us, the way we were forced to take action in World War II. Only, in World War III, no one gets out alive.

Decide where you stand. And then DO something about it.

Published in: on August 14, 2017 at 9:35 am  Comments Off on Mon. Aug. 14, 2017: Time to Decide  
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