Tues. Oct. 31, 2017: Samhain

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Samhain/Halloween

Pretty intense few days.

Hop on over to Biblio Paradise to see its new look and please, drop a commment!

Hop on over to the GDR site to see the October wrap-up.

Hop on over to Kemmyrk, the blog tied to the Cerridwen Iris Shea work, to read a few ruminations.

The bulk of the weekend was the aftermath of my mom’s surgery. She’s doing really well, don’t get me wrong. She only took the Tylenol the first day — says she doesn’t need it now. But there’s a lot of post-op care to make sure the foot and the place under her collarbone where the skin was grafted heal properly. Plus, she’s exhausted, which makes sense, since surgery is a big trauma on the body.

Then, I’m exhausted, and I feel guilty about it, because I didn’t go through surgery.

But I feel what I feel, so I acknowledge it and try to let it go, while continuing on.

Friday I was wiped out. I did some research for yesterday’s meeting. I sent off my next review. But that was the extent of getting any writing done. I couldn’t focus.

I also have notes on multiple projects that I have to sort out and put into folders, or I’ll lose them and not have them when I need them.

There was a glitch with the car insurance, but it turned out the agent gave me the wrong information, and we got it all sorted out, thank goodness.

We watched season 3 of BROADCHURCH the past few days. Wow. Just wow.

Saturday, I had to run more errands, and then, finally, that check I’ve been waiting for arrived. That was a big relief. So, on that level, things are sorted out.

Started reading Hillary Clinton’s WHAT HAPPENED. It’s an exceptionally well-written book. I don’t know why that surprised me. Maybe because Tony Blair’s memoir, and so man other political tomes I’ve read weren’t? Over the decades, there have been times when I’ve disagreed with her, but so far, I agree with most of what she says in the book. And it would have been so nice to have a qualified, intelligent human being in the office instead of a narcissistic sociopath.
Also read a translation of Marc Levy’s PS FROM PARIS. I hadn’t read any of his work before. It’s joyful and surprising and wonderful. Loved the book, and am now eager to read more. It also makes me want to get my French back up to speed so that I could read it in its original language (although Sam Taylor’s translation was excellent).

ALSO read Louise Penny’s GLASS HOUSES. The Gamache series is intriguing. Penny is one of the few authors who I feel can pull off third person omniscient, although there was too much head-hopping in this book, and it wasn’t as smooth as usual. But her explorations into people and their motivations interest me.

One of my rocking horse statues broke while I was using the central vaccuum. It got caught in the hose — very frustrating. It will take me several weeks to put it back together properly — filling the cracks, getting the pieces to fit just right, layering it back on, then sanding down the fixative and doing some paint touch-ups.

Tessa is far too curious, and I’m worried she’ll get glue all over her.

We had quite the storm Sunday night into Monday. Lots of people without power, still, even. We were lucky — it flickered at 4 in the morning, but then came back on.

Yesterday was spent with clients — one for the bulk of the day, then came home to change my mother’s wound dressings, and then the other for a couple of hours. Two very different projects, but both terrific, engaging, and let me be creative. I’m very grateful.

Today is Samhain, a big day on my personal calendar. I have lots of running around in the morning (buying things like candy and cat food). Hopefully, we’ll have some trick or treaters tonight — the house is all dolled up!

Then, of course, the big ritual. Today is the end of the agricultural year, and tomorrow starts the new one. We’ve harvested the last of the tomatoes and herbs. Now, I still have to finish putting the yard to bed, and soon, we’ll take in the rest of the plants that overwinter inside or in the garage, and the deck furniture. And rake leaves forever, and cut back the beds.

Next spring, I either have to buy a new mower or hire someone in.

Lots and lots and LOTS of errands, et al to do today, then handing out candy tonight and then . . .ritual. The next few nights will be taken up with ceremonies for the dead — there’s an article about that over on Cerridwen’s Cottage.

I won’t post here tomorrow, but the November To-Do list will be up over on the GDR site.

I keep promising myself that I will NOT do Nano because of my deadlines, only stand at the sidelines, cheering others on. We’ll see what happens when November 1 hits. I’m definitely wavering. My ego is at war with my practicality. Because that’s what it is for me this year — ego. I want the satisfaction of another Nano win. It has nothing to do with the realities of what I HAVE to get done this month. And there’s no room for that type of ego in my life right now.

I got a little bit of MARRIAGE GARDEN done yesterday and today. I need to do a big push on THE FIX IT GIRL the rest of this week.

Back to the page.

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Fri. Oct. 27, 2017: Post-Op, CVS & Instafreebie Fail

Savasana at Sea Cover Choice 1

Savasana at Sea available for pre-order here.

Friday, October 27, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday day was a tough day all around. If it nearly wiped me out, I can only imagine how hard it was for my mom, who is in her nineties.

Dropped her off early for the surgery. Went to the library to get some work done, such as updating the buy links on the websites, et al. SAVASANA AT SEA is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Put together some materials for a client and sent it off, in preparation for Monday’s meeting.

Went home to wait for the call that I could pick up my mom from surgery. For some reason, they couldn’t get through, and wound up contacting the landlord, who managed to get hold of me. So much for the new damn phone. Seriously, as soon as I can afford it, I’m sucking it up and buying an iPhone. They seem to be the only phones that work.

I was told she’d be ready to come home by 2. I went back early, hoping I could spring her earlier. No such luck. They’d had to do additional surgery on the foot in order to get out all the cancerous cells. Which meant she had to go back in for a skin graft to patch up the foot. It was frightening and painful. Plus, she wasn’t hungry and had refused to each lunch, which meant she nearly passed out during the graft surgery.

Let me emphasize that the surgeon and her staff were great throughout. They made it as comfortable as possible. It’s just that it was a complicated and unpleasant procedure.

I finally got her in the car by about 3:30. The surgeon gave us a long list of post-op care for the next two weeks, and her office called in an antibiotic prescription to the pharmacy. She wanted me to get it immediately, so my mom could start taking it right away.

I get to the pharmacy, and they have no interest in filling the prescription. First, they denied getting the call. When I said I was standing next to the person who called (I was), she strolled across the floor, picked it up, put it back, shrugged, and said, “Yeah, we’ll get to it. Come back in an hour or so. We’re busy right now.”

Busy. Supposedly serving customers. Six customers, four people behind the desk and you’re too “busy” to fill the prescription.

I asked how much it would be. She refused to tell me. I asked to give an estimate. She refused. She said I should call in about an hour to see if they’d filled it and maybe they’d tell me the price then.

Now, every other pharmacy in the world I’ve dealt with, when you arrive with a prescription that’s been called in will ask if you want to wait and gives an estimate of the waiting time, and can tell you the range of the drug price.

But, you see, at CVS in Centerville, the customer is an inconvenience.

Had I said I would wait for it, ahe would have intentionally NOT filled it for at least an hour, probably longer.

I came home (because I couldn’t do any of the other errands until I knew how much this prescription was going to cost). I contacted the regional manager, who’d helped us a few months ago, when the pharmacy overcharged for the shingles shot that was supposed to be free (after refusing to give the shot six times), and dragged their feet/argued on other prescriptions. He said if there was ever a problem with them, I should get in touch. I did. I also told him we were getting the same runaround with the pneumonia shot. He took care of it.

I went back in an hour. They had the prescription put aside. I could tell they were FURIOUS that I’d complained and they’d been called out by the head office. Well, if they’d done their job in the first place, I wouldn’t have.

When we moved here, they were so nice, helpful, nothing was ever a problem. For the past two years or so, every prescription pick up or anything else is a major fight. They always act like serving a customer is beneath them and maybe they’ll deign to do it if they happen to feel like it. They’re required to ask if there are any questions for the pharmacist, but the answer is ALWAYS, “I don’t know.” Nor are they willing to find out.

I’m wondering if any of them actually went to school for pharmacy — all they do is stare like zombies at screens and fill bottles. When they can be bothered.

I’ve never had this poor attitude in any pharmacy, no matter where I’ve lived. And it’s not the fault of the insurance companies or the doctors, no matter how the right will howl about it. It’s this particular pharmacy can’t be bothered. They need new management and new staff.

I’m looking into moving the prescriptions elsewhere. It will be inconvenient, but dealing with a pharmacy that offers basic customer service — like actually filling a prescription or answering a question –might be worth it.

So, I finally had the antibiotic and could run the other necessary errands, and then get back and make sure my mom ate (because the antibiotic has to be taken on a full stomach) and do everything else that needed to be done post-op.

I was going to cheer myself up by taking advantage of an Instafreebie offer that an acquaintance was involved with. First of all, I saw this several days ago, and “claimed” my books. It took three days for them to show up in my email. Then, after 45 minutes of hoopjumping and having to sign in and “send” or “forward” files between multiple email addresses to get it to my Kindle – nothing. So I contacted Instafreebie – well, I have to download a specific program to a computer in order to get the book then sent to the Kindle. Um, no. I told them I needed to be able to open my email on my Kindle and pick it up on said Kindle, the way I do with any other book sent to me. I basically got a big fuck you from them, so fuck them.

I’m sure some will argue, well it’s free, so why complain because you have to do some work? Sorry, I’d rather pay for the book and actually be able to GET IT, then be promised the book free, waste more than an hour of BILLABLE TIME (so now it’s costing me money) for a “free” book I can’t access anyway. And then be told I have to download this program and that program to a desktop computer and THEN connect it with the Kindle in order to get the book. NO. And THEN be automatically signed up for authors’ email lists when I don’t even know if I like their work or want to keep in touch.

Again, I’d rather pay for the book.

My process with free deals is that I use them to try out new-to-me authors. If I like them, then I start buying their books. Unlike many people, who only read someone if they’re free. I believe in supporting living authors, and I buy as many of their books each month as my budget allows.

Also, as I’m trying out as a customer for various services, it gives me an idea of how they work. BookFunnel and Instafreebie have both been nightmares for me, on multiple occasions. Going forward, I will ignore their promos. It also means I won’t sign up for them as an author. I’m all for promos and giveaways and stuff, but I need to be convinced that if I use one of these “services”, interested readers can actually get what’s promised to them. Not happening with either BookFunnel or Instafreebie.

So they are crossed off my list of organizations with whom I want to do business as either a reader or an author.

Started watched season three of BROADCHURCH last night. Riveting. Just love David Tennant and Olivia Coleman.

My mom had a bad night. She’s in pain. Which means, she is at the stage where most people would be taking morphine and she’s taking liquid Tylenol. No, she wasn’t even offered painkillers after the surgery. Just Tylenol. Which is fine, because she doesn’t like painkillers and wouldn’t have taken them for more than a day or so. But when you think how many people take a narcotic the second they get a hangnail and she’s not even offered a painkiller after cancer surgery — something is wrong with the system.

I have to get a review out today, and do a few other things, but, mostly I want to stay close to home.

I’m STILL waiting for that freelance check. Yet, the client I worked with on Wednesday has already paid me. Unprofessional, meet professional.

I won’t get to post until sometime on Tuesday. Monday, I have client meetings all day.

Hope you have a great weekend. My mom’s birthday is on Sunday; I hope she’s feeling up to at least a small celebration.

I hope I can get some writing done.

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

PLAYING THE ANGLES available here.

Thurs. Oct. 26, 2017: Savasana Pre-Sale and My Mother’s Surgery

Savasana at Sea Cover Choice 1

Savasana at Sea is available for pre-orders. Links here and here.

Yoga Instructor Sophie Batchelder’s wonderful life gets turned upside down when she’s fired from her job and dumped by her fiancé in the same day. Grabbing the opportunity to assist the yoga instructor on a cruise ship headed for the Bahamas for ten days, she discovers her predecessor’s body, and the rumors that she’s taking over in that predecessor’s blackmail operation put her own life in danger. She must use intelligence, humor, and intuition to clear her name and save her own life.

Along the way, she’s swept up in the frenetic, stressful, life that happens beyond the “employees only” door of a cruise ship, and finds romantic possibilities and disappointments. Can she live a yogic path and survive cruise ship life? A Not-Quite-Cozy Mystery.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and warm

Savasana at Sea is available for pre-order. The easiest place to find the ever-increasing buy links is to visit the Pronoun page or the Savasana at Sea page on the Nautical Namaste website.

Today is my mother’s surgery. I dropped her off; it will take 3-6 hours. I’m going to do some work, and then go back and pick her up. Fingers crossed that it all goes well. I think I’m more nervous about it than she is.

Yesterday was my first day with a new client. I’ll be spending several days a week on site with the company, doing some co-writing, ghost-writing, deepening content, expanding their audience. It’s a small office, and I really like the two other people with whom I’m working.  I also learned how they price their merchandise, background on the company, and co-wrote/shaped the answers to interview questions with the designer. That all worked well.

Still no check from the other freelance gig. This is the latest they’ve ever been, and it’s annoying.

Only about 500 words on MARRIAGE GARDEN, but some words are better than no words.

Tuesday, I took my mom for her final pre-op appointment. It went well. While she was in her appointment, I worked on a survey for working writers that I will do on Survey Monkey. I’ll post the link all over the place, because I want the largest possible number of working writers possible to answer the questions. I will do an article about the findings at the very least; I also want to find out if there are other writers who feel that the current writing publications are geared too much to beginners. There are several options if that’s the case; none of which I can publicly discuss right now.

Taking another look at the galleys of SAVASANA, to see if we have to make any changes before the Nov. 15 release. Also finishing up the media kit so that I can get that up, and starting the marketing push. Trying to maintain/accelerate the marketing for PLAYING THE ANGLES at the same time.

Have a few things to send off to a different client today, ahead of Monday’s meeting.

But most of my focus is on hoping things go well with my mother’s surgery.

Onward.

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles, the first Coventina Circle Paranormal Romantic Suspense Novel, is available here and here.

Tues. Oct. 24, 2017: Strange Skies & Pre-Op

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles buy links here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was basically a waste of food yesterday. I got a few things done, but it was difficult to focus. Had a bad case of both the blahs and the worries. Again, waiting for a payment from a particular publication that arrives later and later each month does not help. Hopefully, I can wind things up with them by the end of the year and be done.

I have an article about building momentum up over on Writers Weekly that’s gotten some good buzz, and readers are still discovering and enjoying the “Tracking Your Banged Bucks” article over on WOW-Women on Writing. I’m glad my experience can give others some fresh ideas.

PLAYING THE ANGLES also got a 5-star review on Amazon, which is a great start.

Yesterday, I got some work done on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN (in a tricky bit here). I worked on notes for the next review I have to write; it’s tricky, because the book pretends to be one thing when it’s really another, and I have to find a good way to express it. Did some research on material I’m gathering for a client for next Monday’s meeting.

Got back a request for edits from the editor to whom I’m trying to adjust (just happens to be the same publication where the payment lags. Gee, what a surprise. Not). I will turn those around today.

I also did some promotion work for PLAYING THE ANGLES.

SAVASANA AT SEA is now up for pre-order (Barnes & Noble and Google Play as of this morning). I still want to do one more proofreading pass before it releases, but I have to get the press out on that, too — probably at the end of this week.

Got the outdoor decorating done for the upcoming holiday. It’s kind of cute. I posted some photos to Facebook and Twitter.

This morning’s sunrise was amazing and eerie. I’ve never seen those shades of orange in a morning sky, and the atmosphere was a grey-green. Very odd. Wonderful, but odd.

Tomorrow, I won’t get to post on this blog — I’m with a new client most of the day, and we’re going to map out how we’re going to work together for the next few months.

Today is my mother’s last pre-op appointment and Thursday is the surgery. I hope to post while she’s there, and Friday should be a regular, late-morning post. Monday, then I won’t get to post at all — with one client most of the day and immediately into another meeting. So, after the weekend, it will be late in the day posting for Tuesday.

Posting times will be wonky for the next few weeks, until I get the schedule smoothed out. My apologies, but it’s all part of the upcoming transitions.

I see the next months as having three planned-for transitions. One is now, one will be in either March or April, with a major one next summer/late fall. Those are the planned ones — who knows how many unplanned will happen during that time? Many things happen during the course of a year!

In any case, off to get things done and then back to the page, and to prep for tomorrow. I’ve got a beef stew cooking in the crockpot, and I have to make a couscous salad, so I have something to bring with me for lunch.

Onward.

 

Published in: on October 24, 2017 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Tues. Oct. 24, 2017: Strange Skies & Pre-Op  
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Mon. Oct. 23, 2017: Preparations for a Stressful Week

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles digital buy links

Monday, October 23, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was wiped out by Friday afternoon. I read a good deal, and did some work on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN. Did some work for one of my clients, and solidified our next meeting. Also worked on the next book for review, and picked up my next assignment.

It was even nice enough to sit outside for awhile.

Saturday wound up being a hearth-and-home day. Five loads of laundry, scrubbed the house from top to bottom, changed the beds, etc. I mean, I change the sheets on the beds regularly, but it always seems like something worth celebrating!

Read a bit — two books by John Scalzi, FUZZY NATION and THE GOD ENGINES. Loved the first one. The second one was exceptionally well-written and made me think, but to say I “enjoyed” it is a stretch. Definitely “appreciated” it, but not sure I “enjoyed” it.

Sunday, finished the book I have to review. Will write up the review later today and send it off tomorrow. If the book was meant as a satire, it fell short.

Wrote nearly 3K on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN yesterday.

Did another proofread of SAVASANA galleys. Found a couple of typos, and decided I had to change a date in the opening chapter of DAVY JONES DHARMA for it all to make more sense.

I considered moving the “Cast of Characters” to the back of the tale, but a survey on Facebook suggested that most readers prefer the front, so it stays in the front.

In spite of my sense that participating in Nano this year is the wrong choice, there’s a part of me that wonders if that’s a good way to get NOT BY THE BOOK back on track. I only need another 44K on it. But with the release of SAVASANA and “Miss Wintston Apologizes” and the edits for TRACKING MEDUSA and finishing FIX IT GIRL and writing the Lavinia Fontana play and my two new clients, it feels like taking on too much.

Nano sings a siren song like the Lorelei.

(If you don’t know who Lorelei is, on the Rhine River, look it up).

Slow start today; I’m having trouble getting my act together. Did a grocery run this morning and forgot a couple of major things, so I guess I’ll be doing another run later on.

This is the week of my mother’s surgery, with her final pre-op appointment tomorrow, client meetings this week, and the surgery itself on Thursday. I’m trying to prepare myself both mentally and physically.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, and that it’s a good week for you.

 

Fri. Oct. 20, 2017: Glad A Tough Week Comes to a Close

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles

Friday, October 20, 2017
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday morning was stressful; dealing with the Best Buy fiasco, trying to get back on track with the work.

I desperately needed the noon yoga class. It was great — the teacher is wonderful. A fellow Hob-Nobber was there, and I had a great conversation with another woman who also absolutely loved the class. I hope I can go to the teacher’s crystal sound meditation session in November.

Came home and worked on the next book for review. Mixed feelings about it.

A new editor and I are going through an adjustment process. We’ll see if we can make it work. I may depart in the next few months.

Dragging in the reading of a book I wanted to read for pleasure. Only, sadly, it’s not a pleasure. I don’t respect a protagonist who doesn’t pass on information or take action because she’s “tired” or “hungry”, and then someone dies, or evidence is destroyed. That means the protag is directly responsible for the death (not that those protags ever have a prick of conscience). In my universe, I’d want her karma to even it out by her being the next victim, because she’s too much of a fucking moron for me to respect her as a protagonist. I see more and more of this lamentable excuse to create inorganic plot complications in a way that makes me loathe the protagonist.

I might just skip to the end to see if I’m right about the murderer (I usually am), and then call it a day with this author.

I picked the book because I was interested in the location. That part is rendered pretty well; too bad the rest of the book is so annoying.

I contacted the “staffing service” that I felt pulled a bait-and-switch on me a few weeks ago, getting me in under false pretext, making me fill out all that paperwork, talking about the job in financial terms that were nearly 1K/week less than the listing, and promising to set up a meeting for said job — and I never heard from them again. I decided to behave the way I believe is professional, which was to contact them and tell them that, since I had never heard about the actual meeting set up or anything else, I assumed I was no longer in the running for that “job”, and that my situation had changed. My availability has changed, and I’m only available for freelance or short-term clients that required little on-site time, and it is a X rate. I received a somewhat polite response, thanking me and telling me that, in 25 years of doing HR, this was the only client she ever had looking for a writer! Hmm, and how does she think all those materials are created that those businesses she deals with use? I was right; they are a bait-and-switch, typical Cape Cod scam. Try to get in qualified people, then convince them to work shit jobs at even worse shit rates. Next!

Need to get back on track, writing-wise this weekend. I’m way too far behind on several projects.

Hopefully, I can also nail down the new design for A Biblio Paradise. I’m sure I’m making far too big a deal out of it. Just make a decision and do it, for goodness sake!

It’s supposed to be a nice weekend, so I can put up the outdoor decorations, and also do some more yard work. I swear there are a pair of squirrels sitting in one particular tree practicing their throws by aiming acorns at my head!

Gathering some material for an upcoming meeting with one client (a week from Monday, but I want to send the material ahead of time), and next week, I start with another new client, who will be a regular several-days-a-week writing and marketing gig for the next few months.

Working on replacing the gig I’ve been so unhappy with the past few months with something that works better for both of us, so I can ease out of that one.

Getting out some pitches for a few more one-offs to fill in here and there and round out the roster.

While doing all this, I have to keep promoting PLAYING THE ANGLES, keep the release of SAVASANA on track, finish the edits for TRACKING MEDUSA and get that to my editor, and get the digital shorts back on track. I’ve got “Miss Winston Apologizes” coming up, and I have to get the release of “Labor Intensive” done.

Heap on top of that finishing the last few chapters of THE FIX-IT GIRL and getting it out on submission, writing the Lavinia Fontana play, and getting the manuscripts that were derailed back on track.

Not to mention finish THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY, so that can go to the editor after the holidays.

Deadline pressure much?

Somehow, it will all get done.

The focus of both my physical and emotional energy next week will be my mother’s surgery. I posted on Facebook yesterday how I couldn’t believe how many so-called “well-meaning” people said things like “well, she’s old, you can’t expect her to survive the surgery.” Excuse me? Not helpful. Not comforting. It’s not being “honest”, it’s being cruel.

May YOUR weekend be filled with kindness.

Thurs. Oct. 19, 2017: Best Buy’s Third Strike — Detailed

Thursday, October 19, 2017
New Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Yesterday ran the gamut.

The morning sucked. My phone had pinged at me all night, and then, when I actually needed to check it in the morning — black screen of death.

The damn thing is four months old.

I don’t drop it or throw it. I don’t get it wet.

I went back to Best Buy, where I’d bought it, and where the woman who sold it to me had been so helpful. She was there, but her (male, white, condescending) manager “helped” me instead.

Help. Yeah, right.

He told me it was the operating system, and there was nothing they could do. I could either send it back under warranty and be without a phone for the WEEKS it would take, or I could buy another phone, only that one would be double what I paid for this one, plus an SD card for storage, which was double again. Oh, and I shouldn’t expect the phone to work for more than six months, and “you get what you pay for.” Then, he DARED me to find a better deal.

This was Best Buy’s third strike. This is the third phone in three years I’ve bought from them that’s lasted a year or less.

Actual customer service would have been to walk ten feet to the rack with these phones, swap it out, and send the defective phone in to the manufacturer, who would replace it with a fresh phone and balance out the inventory.

Customer service is working within the customer’s budget, not humiliating them because they ARE on a budget. Customer service is making things right, not smirking and saying that you don’t deserve a working device because you can’t afford the more expensive ones.

Also, if these phones have such a limited time span, it needs to be clearly marked ON THE BOX, and it needs to be made clear upon the sale. Anything less is fraud. Or, better yet, don’t sell the product, and leave it for the gas stations that sell burner phones.

Let me also point out that the other customer in the store with me got her phone replaced after she admitted it was broken because she threw it against the wall, and her service had been disconnected for non-payment. They just swapped it out and re-established her service.

I walked out.

I was practically in tears by then.

I was just going to leave and, I don’t know what. But then I figured, hell, my carrier is AT&T, I’ll go talk to them. So I walked a few hundred feet in the mall (I hate malls), to AT&T. I figured I’d look, price, clear my head.

The guy at AT&T was also male, young, African American, and not at all condescending. Great sense of humor, listened to me, responded to what I had to say, didn’t make me feel like I was less deserving of service because I wasn’t rich. I explained the situation and apologized for being so upset. He understood, and the first phone he picked up to show me was not only the next generation up from my phone, but was less expensive than the one that died. The SD card was less than half of what Best Buy had quoted me for the exact same size and make card.

I explained about being a freelancer on a budget. He said he totally understood, and he set me up WITHIN MY BUDGET (which was stretched tight anyway, since I hadn’t counted on having to shell out for yet another damn phone this month, with my mom’s medical costs and all). I told him as soon as I could afford it, I was going to suck it up and get an iPhone. He told me there are iPhones on my current plan, and the price is less than half of what I expected or I’d been quoted elsewhere. And it’s not just a deal for the week — I can come back in two, three months when I’ve got the cash put aside, and he’ll get me set up.

He couldn’t pull my information from one phone to the other because the phone wouldn’t turn on, but, other than about four photographs, I have everything else WRITTEN DOWN. It’ll take me awhile to put in my contacts again, but I’ll deal. I might even be able to transfer them from two phones back.

He gave me the information for the warranty — because I’m damn well going to demand satisfaction on a phone that died after four months.

I had contacted Best Buy and tweeted them before I left for the store. I got a response to the tweet stating they hoped everything was resolved. When I tweeted back that it wasn’t, with some of the details . . .no response. Not surprising at all.

Their nickname is “Worst Buy” for a reason. I have friends who work in management with them in Michigan who have high standards, and I doubt, had they been in charge of this store, I would have faced the same bad experience. But they are where they are, and I am where I am, so, sadly, buh-bye Best Buy for me.

I’m learning the new phone, and I don’t entirely trust it, but at least I have a working phone. Yes, I had to cough up some cash, but it was half of what Best Buy intended to part me from, and the guy at AT&T both gave me customer service and didn’t try to shame me into spending more than I could afford. It still puts me in a bad position for the rest of the month, with my mom’s surgery coming up, but I’ll deal.

So that was my morning. You better believe Best Buy corporate, AT&T corporate, and the consumer protection agencies (including AG Maura Healey) are going to hear about this. In addition to me not ever setting foot or spending another dime at Best Buy again (and yes, when I make these claims, I follow through).

I went home to calm down a bit, and then headed out for a meeting with a potential client. We hit it off, both as people, and because I like and respect what she does. She hired me on the spot, and we start working together next week.

So that was on the plus side.

I got very little writing or promotion or anything else done yesterday, since the time put aside for that was eaten by dealing with dolts.

Today is a lovely day. I’ve got some work to do at the library, and then yoga, and then, this afternoon, both writing and starting the next book for review. I’m putting together some information for another client, doing more promo on ANGLES. This weekend, I have to do another proofreading pass at SAVASANA, so it can go into pre-order, and next week, the media kit needs to be finished and the initial press releases go out.

I’d also like the redesign for BIBLIO PARADISE to happen today, if I can pull it off. I need to upload some author spotlights and schedule them for release.

While I’m both physically and emotionally exhausted, I’m excited to work with these new clients, and looking forward to settling in with my own writing. Next week will be difficult, with my mom’s pre-op appointment and then surgery; but we will get through it.

Enjoy the day!

Wed. Oct. 18, 2017: Best Buy Fails Again

Wed. Oct. 18, 2017
Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Best Buy fails yet again. My phone died this morning, so I am technologically crippled right now. Four months old, and the black screen of death. I don’t drop it; it doesn’t get wet. This is the third phone in three years that they’ve sold me that barely worked. This is their third strike. So, before an important client meeting, I have to hightail it over to the store and try to convince them to fix the problem — because I’m sure as hell not putting another cent into anything from their company. This is not acceptable.

Especially since the damn phone pinged me all night with this alert and that alert, and then, when I actually needed to check my email this morning, the screen went black. When I plug it in to charge it, the orange light goes on instead of the green, and the screen only stays black.

Yesterday afternoon was about getting new prescriptions for my mom and dealing with the upcoming surgery.

I managed to finish John Scalzi’s THE HUMAN DIVISION, and started a Carolyn Hart book set in Bermuda.

I wrote up some notes and ideas from the client meeting, and prepared for today’s client meeting.

But not a lot of creative work done.

THE MARRIAGE GARDEN is percolating. I’m giving the characters their heads for the moment, but I may have to change things back to the original plot. New developments have changed their decisions, and it’s a case of do those developments change their futures completely, or wind up bringing them back around to each other? I don’t yet have the answer. It’s a first draft, so I don’t yet have to, but I have to keep in mind what will, ultimately, be satisfying. I may not know that until I’ve finished the draft, set it aside, and then start tearing it apart again.

So, today will be difficult and stressful. I have to lay down the law at Best Buy and then get it together for my client meeting. This afternoon, I have to get back to creative work.

I’m looking forward to yoga tomorrow.

Onward.

Published in: on October 18, 2017 at 8:40 am  Comments Off on Wed. Oct. 18, 2017: Best Buy Fails Again  
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Tues. Oct. 17, 2017: Things are Moving Along!

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Day Before Dark Moon

Neptune Retrograde

Uranus Retrograde

Sunny and beautiful

Yesterday seems far away. Stressful day, with the medical appointments, and then trying to get work done. Got some done, but not enough.

Looking at templates for a major re-design of A BIBLIO PARADISE, because I’ve got some exciting guest authors in the next couple of months, and I want a bolder, more eye-catching look. My hesitation is that the current template is “retired”, so if I don’t like the new one, I can’t switch back. I need to be confident about the switch.

Didn’t get much writing done, which I hope to fix later in the week. I’ve got a couple of short story ideas percolating (as in, they damn well better be SHORT and under 1K) that I need to get down, and the “blowing off steam” piece needs attention because, hell, I need to blow off steam with all the trouble in the world that could easily be avoided if intelligent people were making decisions.

Had an excellent meeting for a project that’s local and something I totally believe in. We’re going to have a few meetings/consultations and see what we can build. I’m looking forward to it.

Most of this week and next week is focused on my mom’s medical needs, so I will try to read and write and create around it. I need to upgrade the memory card on my phone, too. Four months and it’s already used up — and it was double my previous phone’s memory. These forced updates that eat memory and prevent you from doing what you want are just a ploy to force you to spend more money.

Need to do more promo for ANGLES and do another proofreading pass on the SAVASANA galleys.

Somehow, it will all get done, and it’s enriching work, so it’s worth it.

Also, it’s a beautiful fall day here! I intend to enjoy it.

 

Published in: on October 17, 2017 at 11:45 am  Comments Off on Tues. Oct. 17, 2017: Things are Moving Along!  

Mon. Oct. 16, 2017: Stressful Weekend, but Good Writing

Monday, October 16, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Late posting today, due to more medical appointments for my mom.

I’m so angry at the insurance company. After telling me everything was fine, they contact me late on Friday afternoon with an encrypted message I can’t open — so I don’t know if there’s a problem. And they refuse to send it in a way I can access and read it, and refuse to give me the information that’s in it. So I don’t know if we’re on track or there’s a problem. That is not “customer service.” That is unethical, inhumane crap. And, because it was Friday, after a certain point, they simply ignored my contact.

In spite of all that chaos, I did another proofread of SAVASANA AT SEA. Caught another set of errors. I’m convinced the copy editor and I fixed some of them last go-round, but they didn’t save. So, in they go again. I got in the fixes on Saturday, and am sending this draft off today. Let’s see what we find this go-round. I need to get it up for pre-order and get the media kit finished.

I polished and sent off my article; I was paid by the end of the weekend.

I also did a couple of interviews connected to PLAYING THE ANGLES. Will let you know, as soon as the links go live. Every copy sold, every review that appears, makes a big difference.

The weather was vile on Saturday. I wrote 2700 words on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN. It’s taking some interesting twists and turns. It might decide to wind up in a different direction than I planned. Or maybe it will circle back to the original ending after some tangents. I’m letting this draft lead me, instead of the other way around.

I spent most of the afternoon immersed in books on Renaissance artists, as background for the Lavinia Fontana play. The book on TITIAN’S WOMEN also gave me material I will wind up using in THE MARRIAGE GARDEN.

I also baked my favorite chocolate walnut butter bread — yum, yum! And, for dinner, it was maple-coriander-marinated pork chops, that had marinated overnight. Pretty darned good, too.

Sunday, more work on THE MARRIAGE GARDEN. I couldn’t seem to stop work on it. By the end of the weekend, I’d written nearly 10K.

Worked on new material for A Biblio Paradise, which will go up shortly, and the mid-month check in for the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

Finished the book for review, and it was excellent. Best I’ve read for this particular publication since I’ve worked for them. Wrote and polished the review this morning; it will go off today, and then I start reading the next book in the queue.

Read REDSHIRTS by John Scalzi. Definitely a “ha-ha-ow” book, that makes you think and rethink multiple realities and their consequences, especially if you’re a writer.

I have a couple of meetings in the mornings during these next few days, so, chances are, I will post late.

Here’s hoping my copy editor and I finally caught ALL the typos in SAVASANA!

Back to the page.

 

Published in: on October 16, 2017 at 11:57 am  Comments Off on Mon. Oct. 16, 2017: Stressful Weekend, but Good Writing  
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Fri. Oct. 13, 2017: Lucky Friday & Trying to Make Sense of Things

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles available now!

Friday, October 13, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I love Friday the 13th!

Yesterday was difficult, but ultimately worked out. I realize yesterday’s blog was focused on the feigned outrage in the entertainment industry rather than on the writing life, but it affects my writing life, and affected my work life for decades.

Difficult few days; not happy with the writing progress. Plenty of pitching. Frustrated at the usual lack of professionalism here in this area.

Absolutely horrified by the wildfires in California. I spent a great deal of time in Santa Rosa and Calistoga and Sonoma when I lived in San Francisco. How can we help? Not just with the physical rebuilding, but how can we help the trauma of those who’ve lost everything? For the lives, both human and animal, that are being consumed?

And what’s this about giving Puerto Rico “loans” to rebuild while awarding “grants” to Florida and Texas? Oh, yeah, Puerto Rico isn’t white. I’m tired of this racist government.

The world is falling apart, and those in DC just laugh and grift more to line their own pockets. It’s disgusting.

Sold an article yesterday on the basis of its pitch. Wrote it, will give it a polish, and it goes out today. Waiting to hear back on a couple of other things.

Fighting with the insurance company again about my mother’s upcoming surgery. I sent a fax from the library. The machine at the library had the wrong date, so the insurance company THREW THE FAX AWAY. Didn’t look at the contents or the signature or the fact that it came out of their fax machine on the right date. Not only that, they couldn’t be bothered to let me know, so if I hadn’t nagged them about where the answer was, I wouldn’t have known, the paperwork wouldn’t have been done, and we would have been screwed when we showed up for the surgery.

The insurance industry is the biggest fucking scam in this country. Again, let me re-iterate that one of my first temp jobs, many years ago, was typing jewelry policies for an insurance company. They were delivered to my desk via handtruck, several hundred at a time. This was in the days before computers, when I used an IBM Selectric.

The agents who worked around me had, posted above each desk, the direction, “Always Say No the First Time.” They were instructed to refuse EVERY claim the first time it was sent in. They were told not even to read it, just to say no. The theory behind it was that 75% of the people refused wouldn’t fight it, and the company would save millions of dollars a year. Only if a claimant challenged the refusal would anyone bother to read it. How is that legal or ethical? It’s not. That’s yet another reason why all insurance companies should be non-profits. CEOs of insurance companies should not be making millions of dollars a year and bonuses off of other people’s misfortunes, especially when their sole purpose is to refuse claims.

The entire industry needs to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.

That won’t happen in this corrupt administration.

Pleased that this next book I’m reading for review is very, very good. Probably the best I’ve had to review from this publication since I started working for them.

Got my next round of proofs back on SAVASANA AT SEA. Will have to go over them again this weekend. I’m so grateful to my copy editor!

Need to do more promo on PLAYING THE ANGLES and start the promo for SAVASANA. Have a very long list of other things that “have” to be done as well.

Playing with a story idea that’s more blowing off steam than anything else. But, if it releases stress, it’s worth taking some time over. I like the idea and the characters and situation — it makes me feel like there ARE solutions to all the horrible things happening in the world. Solutions that don’t just benefit the corrupt, racist grifters at the top.

I’m feeling a little more optimistic today than I have the past few days. Hope I can ride the wave and make some good things happen.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thurs. Oct. 12, 2017: Feigned Outrage Hypocrisy

Thursday, October 11, 2107
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I have to say that I’m sick and tired of the feigned outrage at Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I don’t condone it at all; however, having worked in the business during the time he rose to power I know, first-hand, how he — and plenty of other people in power — were enabled and how most in the industry looked the other way. For decades. Many of those same individuals are now pretending to be shocked and outraged. Not because they are, but because it’s fashionable so to do.

When someone behaves this way in the entertainment industry, it’s not a secret. It is known by others who work in the business. You are warned not to be alone with the person, not to have meetings in hotel rooms or suites; make sure it’s in their office WITH OTHER STAFF AROUND, or in restaurants or hotel lobbies.

This can be difficult, because, especially in creative work, there are perfectly legitimate meetings that one wants to have in private — not because something predatory is going on, but because you want and need the freedom to get up and act out portions of the work. Pacing, muttering, running dialogue, brainstorming — none of those things can happen in public. It can happen in an office meeting; it can happen in a rehearsal studio. Often, very often, depending on schedules, it happens in hotel rooms or in residences. That doesn’t mean there’s the intent for anything beyond the work.

You have to know who you’re dealing with.

Also, the profession is a very tactile one. People are physically affectionate with each other. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sexual. It’s also important for everyone to be sensitive to what everyone else is comfortable with, and adjust one’s behavior so that EVERYONE is comfortable.

As a crew member, I had less to worry about on this level than actors do. Actors, regardless of gender, are vulnerable to more explicit overtures. As a wardrobe person, there were plenty of times when an actor was expecting a producer or a director in the dressing room and asked me to stay because he or she was uncomfortable being alone with that particular individual. Often, I’d busy myself in the background, making a repair on the costume. Basically, my job was similar to a Victorian-era chaperone. If the situation escalated to the point where the actor was uncomfortable, I made the choice to intervene in a passive-aggressive way (creating a task that physically put me between the individual and the actor) or an active way (saying I felt the behavior was inappropriate). I’ve done both. Sometimes, the individual would ask me to leave. Some actors would then speak up and say they were more comfortable with me in the room; others would throw me a terrified look, and it was up to me to say I would not leave, and I’d have to gauge the risk of whether or not to say why. Either way, it put my job at risk, but that is another reason why unions and their protections are so important. This was regardless of the actor’s gender; Both men and women have to deal with that, and they have to deal with it FROM both men and women.

In fact, during the late 1990s, predatory behavior from women was encouraged on some fronts as “leveling the playing field” and “acting like a man in a man’s world.” Um, no. Predatory behavior is predatory behavior.

As a wardrobe person, I rarely had to worry about inappropriate behavior FROM an actor. After all, you’re dealing with them in their underwear or less in the dressing room. There has to be implicit trust both ways. You are the actor’s first line of defense against the world. On the rare occasions when an actor did something that made me uncomfortable, I said, “That makes me uncomfortable.” I never encountered an actor who didn’t immediately apologize and the behavior was adjusted. We moved on without a problem. There were rare times when an actor I knew well approached me because another crew member made him or her uncomfortable, and then I pulled that person aside to deal with it. Usually, that was not the crew member’s intent and the behavior was adjusted. There was only one instance in nearly 30 years of backstage work where it had to go to a supervisor and the person was reassigned with warning, and that individual was more reserved in the future. Often, there is no malicious intent, and it’s a case of crossed wires. When that’s the case, being honest about comfort levels usually fixes the problem, and both sides can move on without suspicion. Open communication, actual listening, and behavioral adjustments solved the problem when it was a misunderstanding, and not a campaign of power or seduction. Sometimes, words or actions or intent are mis-interpreted. If you speak up right away, respectfully and diplomatically (but with directness), you can stop it from escalating in many instances.

Relationships/affairs, et al do happen in these environments. People are attracted to each other, especially in a high stress, creatively focused situation. People act on those attractions. Sometimes it’s only for the run of the show or the time it takes to film. Sometimes, the relationship is more substantial. The difference is whether both parties want it, or one party feels coerced and like he/she doesn’t have a choice because of the power structure. Or when one party says “no” and it’s not respected.

Predatory producers and directors don’t usually hit on crew. If something develops, it’s usually mutual. Plus, producers and directors are usually too busy with the actors to pay much attention to the crew.

If another crew member made me uncomfortable, I’d first talk to them directly about it. If the behavior didn’t change, I went to my supervisor. In fact, in most cases, when I ran interference for an actor with someone higher in the food chain, I also let my supervisor know. I was lucky with most of my supervisors; while we sometimes disagreed on certain protocols or issues, as far as protecting their people, most supervisors were dedicated. As I was, when I was a supervisor.

As a supervisor, if I needed to intervene and talk to the parties directly involved, I did. If that didn’t work, I talked to someone higher up in the food chain. It was unlikely that I would talk to someone, get a “yes ma’am” apology, and the behavior would continue unchecked; it’s difficult to keep secrets backstage. It’s easier on a film set, but, still, there’s always somebody who knows what’s going on. Plus, if I had to talk to someone, I’d then pay close attention to the behavior from that point out. I also kept logs: dates, times, when someone spoke to me, etc. If it could be resolved without going into official reports, it was; if the problem continued, I had the logs and could then put it into the report, along with the steps taken to try to resolve it before it was reported up the food chain. There have also been times when something struck me as uncomfortable, and I’ve asked the person about it and been told, “oh, no, I’m fine with it. We’re just playing.” Every situation is different, and the people directly involved have to make the decisions, be listened to, and the mutual choices respected.

As a writer, I had to deal with what would now be called “sexual harassment” much more directly. Most meetings with producers, agents, directors, assistants, et al, were fine. You connect or you don’t — and connection is so important on a creative project. You’re comfortable with each other or you’re not. You feel you can work together or not. As a writer, particularly in a competitive business, you are constantly tested on your boundaries — how far are you willing to compromise to get film or TV money? And it’s not just the money, but it can get your career on a track to more money, and also, seeing your project come to life? Creatively, it often has to do with how much you’re willing to change your vision to the ideas those who might pay you want. We’ve all heard about the meetings with the ridiculous notes, where the writer has to decide whether to keep going or bow out. If you haven’t read William Goldman or John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion’s experiences in Hollywood.

But sometimes, sometimes, the demand is for more. Usually, it’s just a suggestion. You try to ignore it or brush it off. I found the best way to deal with it was to make a joke of it and try to move on. If the individual has integrity and was just testing the waters, he/she laughs at the joke, drops the pressure, and you both move on to the work. If not, the pressure intensifies. That’s when you have to decide where your boundary is and when you’re willing to walk away. You walk away knowing that this individual, who is in a position of economic power over you, can derail your career.

If and when it gets physical, you decide how to respond. I always found flinging an ashtray useful. More difficult now, in these no-smoking days. When I was first starting out and afraid to speak up, it was more likely to go farther and have physical consequences. Also, I was younger and cuter. But, as I fought to build my self-esteem, and was more and more determined that “no means no,” the decision to walk away or speak up or get physical in self-defense was easier and easier.

Agents need to step up in this whole issue. Agents and casting directors KNOW who is predatory. Agents — whose job it is to protect their clients — need to do just that. If you don’t send your clients out to predatory creatives, they won’t have the talent pool to pull off their projects. If you speak up when one of your clients complains about inappropriate behavior, and if the agent pool as a whole spoke up, there would be less of it. However, for far too long, this behavior has been considered part of the industry. For how many decades have there been jokes about the casting couch or about chasing the actress around the desk? These stories come from actual experience. It doesn’t make it right, and it is definitely time for it to stop.

But the enablers of these predatory individuals HAVE to step up and be part of the solution, because they sure as hell have been part of the problem for decades.

At the same time, a lot of this particular “sensitivity training” is a joke. I worked for a TV show on a major network, while I still lived in New York. All the productions in the studio were shut down for a morning (putting us all behind schedule, meaning we’d be working until at least 1 AM that day, probably 3 AM, after a 6:30 AM start), to be herded into one of the sound stages set up for “sexual harassment sensitivity training.”

It was one of the stupidest mornings that I ever spent. Maybe it would have worked on third graders as an anti-bullying campaign. But it had very little to do with the reality of adults working on a set. It was also insulting to our collective intelligence. When we left the session, all of us walked out of there saying the most inappropriate and insensitive things we could think of, and pretended to make grabs at each other. It was all out of an attempt to break our frustration with humor, and no one in my group of people was offended by anyone else’s remarks or behavior IN THAT MOMENT. We were also a group, on our show at least, that was already good about communicating, and, frankly, on our schedule, too damn tired to harass each other seriously.

However, on another show on the same network that I left (for other reasons), I heard that there were problems with a couple of young actors regularly getting drunk in their trailers and being inappropriate with wardrobe personnel, PAs, etc. The show was cancelled (due to low ratings) and I don’t think any charges were ever filed; but most people I knew refused jobs from there out if those actors were involved. I might add that none of those actors made a big name for themselves.

The worst of this was before 2000. It’s been better since then, but there’s still a long way to go. In fact, in my upcoming novel THE FIX IT GIRL, set in Hollywood in the early 1930s, it deals with some of the issues women in the business faced.

As far as the Donna Karan controversy in her defense of Weinstein, again, there are layers, and there’s my personal opinion. On the one hand, good for her for sticking up for her friend. Your friends are your friends, and you have to decide where to draw the lines when it’s proven they do something you find reprehensible. Where can you say, “I think that was awful, you need to get help/change your behavior/make amends/be punished” and where do you throw in the towel? That has to be on personal weighing what the accusation is, what the proof is, and your direct experience with that individual, not the current media pressure. It has to be an individual decision, and, either way, the decision has consequences.

However, saying that some women “ask” for it rightly infuriates the mob. Let me be clear that I know of instances where so-called victims cried wolf in order to cause harm and take revenge. When I was in college for a year down south, where the bulk of my contemporaries were openly there to earn their “M-R-S” degrees, one of the girls (and I use “girl” not “woman” deliberately) who was in the suite across the bathroom from me openly talked about how she was going to falsely tell her ex-boyfriend she’d been attacked because then he’d feel sorry for her and get back together. Her mistake was that the ex in question was now currently dating ME. I’ve heard an actress declare that she was angry at not getting cast in a role, so she was going to tell people the director didn’t cast her because she wouldn’t sleep with him, even though he’d never made an overture. (There are cases where this is true and someone isn’t cast because they won’t play casting couch; but this was not one of them).

These instances are very, very rare. Unfortunately, in addition to destroying an innocent person’s reputation, a “victim” making a false accusation means the next 1000 true accusations won’t be taken seriously, because the false victim has just validated the “blame the victim” faction. That needs to change. Accusations need to be taken seriously and investigated. And when numerous people speak up against the same individual, it has to be taken seriously.

Plus, especially in the entertainment industry, in EVERY industry, the enablers need to stop enabling the behavior.

What’s also interesting/disturbing is that many of these predators don’t NEED to be predators. Their position alone means dozens of willing partners fling themselves at these individuals regularly. What is it about their psychology that makes them pressure those who say no?

I don’t know Donna Karan. I know, working in wardrobe, some of her pieces were used by costume designers. I liked some of her designs; I felt they were overpriced. She talks a lot about living a “yogic” lifestyle — organic, compassionate, et al — yet I feel her actions often betray that, especially when it comes to her price points. So I’m not surprised at her choice of words — which, to me, is counter to a “yogic” lifestyle. I’ve crossed paths with Weinstein over the years, but I don’t know him. I was way too far down on the food chain to be of any interest to him, which was fine with me. I just heard stories and was warned not to be alone with him.

While perceptions and standards of behavior are changing, again, predators are well-known. There’s often the “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” or the “well, that’s just the way he/she is, you need to deal with it.” So, all of this feigned outrage now that a power player’s been caught out and is paying the price is hypocrisy. We’ll see if anything actually changes.

After all, look who the GOP put in the White House, and how they are systematically waging a war against women on every front of civil and reproductive rights. I was talking to someone who is reading a book about abolition and pre-Civil War rights, who pointed out that we are being rolled back to those laws, against both women and non-whites.

I also want to point out that, in my personal experience, it was far worse as a temp in corporate environments, as I worked my way up to full-time theatre work. How often did I have to physically fend off drunken corporate types? How often did they go out to lunch, come back drunk, and get grabby? How many companies did I work in where “secretaries” did the actual work while handsy execs practiced golf swings in their offices? There were plenty of times when I had to physically defend myself. I’m not talking about slapping someone’s hand away AFTER I’d repeatedly told them to stop. I’m talking punch-in-the-jaw or knee-in-the-groin. It happened FAR more often to me in the corporate environment than in the entertainment environment.

And, when I reported it, well, too bad for me. If I went to HR in the company itself, “your services were no longer required. Why can’t you just go along with it? No one wants a troublemaker.” If I reported it to my temp agency — the good agencies moved me immediately to a different assignment. But, too often, I was told, “we don’t want to upset the client. Just stay quiet and work through it.”

Um, no. I walked out of several temp jobs and away from several agencies because they condoned and enabled the clients’ sexual harassment. I considered it a form of pimping. Sorry, not interested in being a prostitute.

This culture has to change. With the current administration in charge, I don’t think it will. There will be the occasional public sacrifices (“take one for the team”), but actual legislation will make things worse. It wouldn’t surprise me if this particular administration passed legislation legalizing rape.

It needs to change. Which means WE need to be the ones to change it. On legislative and personal levels.

 

Published in: on October 12, 2017 at 10:40 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Oct. 12, 2017: Feigned Outrage Hypocrisy  
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Wed. Oct. 11, 2017: I WILL This to be a Better Day

Playing The Angles Cover Sm

Playing the Angles

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and cooler

Yesterday was just one of those days that one is happy is done. Dozens of frustrations and incompetent people adding up to annoyance.

But it’s done, it’s over, and today will be better. I will MAKE it better.

Got out some pitches, heard back from a few places in the negative. Was supposed to have a meeting scheduled for today, but the person never bothered to get back to me as promised, responded when I asked, or let me know that the meeting had to be postponed. That individual better not think I will jump if suddenly that party decides the meeting should happen today. Some basic courtesy and professionalism is appreciated. Of course, that’s another strike against this potential gig. I already feel it was a bit of bait-and-switch. The signs point more and more to potential nightmare.

I’m working on the survey for working writers, which I think will be interesting both for those taking it and for me. I’m not yet sure how I’ll use the information, possibly as a basis for an article.

Matched the copy edit errors I caught with those my copy editor caught on SAVASANA. Of course, she caught more. Thank goodness. Put in all the fixes, and the manuscript goes off today for another proofread.

Then, I can turn my attention to the fixes I need to do on the edition of SETTING UP YOUR SUBMISSION SYSTEM for the new distributor.

I also have to prep the other workbooks for new distribution, and figure out when to schedule in the new ones.

I did a little bit of work on MARRIAGE GARDEN, but couldn’t concentrate.

I have to take a look at the BBC version of the radio play LIGHT BEHIND THE EYES, and maybe do some tweaks for a potential market over there.

Some promo on PLAYING THE ANGLES (it never feels like enough, does it?) and on the Topic Workbooks.

Started reading one of the two new books I need to review. I like it a lot, which is a relief. So far, anyway, it’s very well done.

Finished reading a memoir of a mucky-muck in the art world. The book is well-written, but I don’t think I’d have liked the person very much. Happy to admire his skills from afar.

I have some new article ideas to pitch to several publications, more promo to do, some permissions to hunt down for quotes I want to use in an article, and follow-ups.

I took twenty research books back to the library yesterday. Smaller stack today; small stack tomorrow, but big books. All in prep for the next slew of books coming in.

Also, have to clean out the garage while it’s still warm enough; give everything a good scrub, so that, as I bring in plants for the winter, they have a clean, safe place to sit until next spring. Might make bread later on, too.

Hoping I’ll be able to tackle the FIX IT GIRL section today and tomorrow. The end of the book is fairly close — maybe seven chapters? But this section is tricky to rewrite. Then, off it goes on submission. Long journey for this book, but worth it. My protagonist makes some choices that might shock some readers — which is why it falls into literary/historical rather than a genre with a tighter formula.

By next week, I hope to get back to the TRACKING MEDUSA edits. I need to get that out so we can turn around the galleys before the holiday madness.

Still trying to figure out when we can reschedule the release of “Labor Intensive”. That’s negatively affecting the Digital Delights schedule in general. I don’t want to take away from PLAYING THE ANGLES or SAVASANA AT SEA sales.

Also need to finish the media kit for SAVASANA AT SEA. I need to figure out one more excerpt, do the press release, and finish the Q & A, and then it can go out.

Never a dull moment, which is a good thing.