Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read about Andrew Singer’s wonderful memoir, China Sings To Me.

The 17th Anniversary of 9/11. I knew a lot of people who died that day. I still grieve. I perform my own ceremony of remembrance.

I get annoyed when people book social events, etc. on this day, but it’s not up to me. What is up to me is not engaging, and keeping it a day of remembrance in the way that works for me. People have the right to live their lives. I have the right to live mine.

For me, this day is about remembrance, commitment to those for whom I care, and trying to figure out how to make the world a better place that’s not fear-based. I have a long way to go, but at least I put in the work.

There was some sort of stomach bug prevalent in the house over the last few days. I had trouble Thursday and Saturday; my mom was sick Saturday into Sunday.

I managed to finish this draft of RELICS on Saturday night and get it off to my editor. I’ll get editing notes back later this week, turn it around, and then we go into galleys.

Meanwhile, DAVY JONES DHARMA moves into the Priority slot, with BALTHAZAAR TREASURE moving back into the secondary slot (out of the “I’ll work on it whenever” slot). CRAVE THE HUNT and the rest of what used to be POWER OF WORDS are in the “whenever” slot, and I’m percolating the opening chapter of GRAVE REACH, which goes into the back of RELICS.

GRAVE REACH is outlined, but I’m on a tight schedule for it, and have to get cracking. That will also be in a “whenever” slots.

I read some nonfiction books by an author whose work I’ve followed for decades. Some of her work resonates with me; some does not. She is not someone I want to meet or work with, though. Too many of her quirks annoy me: they’re not honest or endearing; I find them selfish and hypocritical.

But then, as someone pointed out a couple of years ago, we all have areas in which we’re hypocrites. We simply choose our level of hypocrisy. I’m trying to narrow those areas in my own life. Again, work in progress.

Also read an urban fantasy novel by a new-to-me author. I’d read one of her short stories in an anthology and liked it, so I figured I’d try a full-length book. The only book I could get from the library was in the middle of the series. Loved the action. Although, after awhile, it was too much action and not enough happening in between. The sex scenes were necessary to drive the plot, and were pretty well written, but ten pages plus, in my opinion, is too long in this case. Some of the best development of supporting characters I’ve seen in a long time. I wasn’t so thrilled about the protagonist. This was book six and she was in a place I’d have expected in the middle of book one or maybe book two. She doesn’t make a mistake once and then learn from it. She makes it five or six times, finds a solution by accident, but doesn’t apply it moving forward. That bothers me. She found out information and, at the end, it looked like she evolved, but when I read the reviews for the next few books in the series, it seems like she’s doing same old, same old. Also, according to the reviews, the cliffhanger set up at the end of this book still isn’t resolved two books down. I’m not sure I’m willing to go ahead indefinitely with constant cliffhangers, so that each book is like an overlong chapter. Especially since the cliffhanger involves the character that was my favorite in the book.

I rarely use reviews to make a decision about whether or not to read a book, but I had suspicions about where this was going, and wasn’t sure I wanted to put time into it, which is why I hunted down the reviews. I’m on the fence. If I can come across the next two books easily via the commonwealth catalogue or something (they’re not in CLAMS), I’ll try them.

Then I feel guilty, because I should support my fellow writers. However, this woman has plenty of sales — mine won’t matter! And, since a library book is a sale for her, it works all around.

I was really disgusted by the way Serena Williams was treated at the US Open. Men get away with questioning the umpire, but heaven forbid a woman, especially a talented black woman, do the same. The crowd also treated Naomi Osaka terribly. It should have been a glorious day for her, not a misogynistic one.

With Hurricane Florence a threat, I have to finish what I’m doing, cleaning-up wise, on the deck in the next few days. Here I’d hoped I’d have until nearly the end of October to use the deck as a staging area as I clean out, but I guess not.

Rehearsing for the reading, working on the calendar articles.

Onsite client work yesterday, today, tomorrow. Trying to find a new angle for the current and upcoming collections.

The newsletter went out on Friday, with cover reveals for the next three books. Next newsletter is December’s.

Working on my sell sheet for the weekend (and beyond), too.

Sent off a guest blog post. Working on the calendar articles. I want them done by the end of the month.

Got an idea from some of the non-fiction reading I’ve been doing for a novel. Playing with the setting, characters, themes, plot. We’ll see.

Working on the book I have to review.

Working. Working. Working.

I like it.

 

Published in: on September 11, 2018 at 3:17 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 11, 2018: Sad Anniversary; Steady Work  
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Mon. Sept. 10, 2018: Tolerance & Reciprocity

Monday, September 10, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

September’s theme for Upbeat Authors is “tolerance.”

There are different types of tolerance, and different meanings of tolerance.

To me, “tolerance” means giving those around me enough room to be individuals, providing they aren’t hurting me or anyone else. It also means they give me the same room.

Tolerance, like respect, is a two-way street.

Often, though, I find those who scream the loudest about intolerance are the ones who want to be allowed to do and say anything and everything they want without consequence, but that no one else is allowed to do or say anything they don’t like.

These are the same who whine and rage about respect and civility – as in demanding it without giving it in return.

But all three concepts need to be reciprocal in order to have a functioning society. When they are non-reciprocal, when “power over” becomes more important, or one faction making decisions that cause harm to those they deem “different”, we run into trouble.

All of these are part of a social contract that we, as human beings, need to negotiate. Since none of us, at this point in time, is the only human on the planet, we must live in reciprocity. We want respect? We want civility? We want tolerance? Then we must also give it.

If we give it and the other party believes that makes us weak or a doormat, then yes, absolutely, we have the right to set boundaries and refuse to be mistreated.

We also are not required to tolerate that which harms us or others. Going along to get along ends up in genocide. Those who stand aside and allow it are as culpable as those who commit the acts of atrocity.

So give those around you room to be individuals, to make their unique contributions to the world. And make sure you get the same in return.

Published in: on September 9, 2018 at 11:06 pm  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 10, 2018: Tolerance & Reciprocity  
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Fri. Sept. 7, 2018: The Right Kind of Busy

Friday, September 07, 2018
Day before Dark Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy, cloudy, warm

Yesterday, when the storm finally broke, I sat out on the covered deck and enjoyed it.

I am SO CLOSE to the end of this draft of RELICS. SO CLOSE. I just have to get there.

This morning, I had to flip around my usual schedule. Errands had to happen first. Then, I was lucky enough to hit a shoe sale – got a great pair of black suede ankle boots, gorgeous blue suede pumps with kitten heels, and a fabulous weekender bag – all within my budget.

I was just fretting the other day because several pairs of favorite shoes were wearing out – beyond what the cobbler can repair. Then, I realized I’d bought them FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. You know what? They earned their keep. They did right by me for fourteen years.

So the timing for all of this was wonderful.

My Goddess Provisions box arrived yesterday – Animal Spirits! What great, great products! Will keep me busy all months. I can’t say enough good things about them.

Sending off a few pieces today, and preparing a few proposals over the weekend. Along with finishing RELICS, getting DHARMA back on track, working on calendar articles, finishing the book I’m reviewing, rehearsing for the reading, and cleaning out some more boxes from the basement.

Busy. But the right kind of busy.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on September 7, 2018 at 10:55 am  Comments Off on Fri. Sept. 7, 2018: The Right Kind of Busy  
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Thurs. Sept. 6, 2018: The Need for Saturn to Go Direct

Thursday, September 6, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn DIRECT
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

Saturn goes direct today, and that’s a huge relief.

I was not feeling well yesterday, which wasn’t fun. Nauseated, no appetite. I ended up making chicken noodle soup from scratch, and that helped. Still not feeling great, but I can cope.

I’m so close to the end of this draft of RELICS, which is good, since we have to go into galleys soon. So I better get it right and damn fast!

Once it’s off to the editor, it means I can get back on track with DHARMA.

Working on calendar articles, rehearsing for my reading next weekend. Finishing up the newsletter so it can go out tomorrow. Working on articles from Biblio Paradise and the guest blog and Upbeat Authors and Ink-Dipped Advice. Sending out LOIS.

I still don’t have my September To Do list done.

I haven’t cleaned out any more boxes yet, either. But the stuff that’s being dealt with is BEING DEALT WITH, not just looked at and repacked to deal with someday further down the line.

The SCOTUS hearings are an abomination. Thank goodness for Cory Booker & Kamela Harris. Kavanaugh is not fit to be on the court. If he had the integrity he pretends, he would have insisted on the release of all documents, and he would have been cordial to Fred Guttenberg. Not to mention the whole he-shouldn’t-have-lied-under-oath thing. The GOP is so openly corrupt and refuses to provide checks and balances. They ALL need to GO. Not just be voted out, but investigated and prosecuted where appropriate. And those who have grifted and misused our tax dollars need to pay it back.

MAGAts igniting their Nikes on fire just prove, again, how stupid they are. You hurt a company’s bottom line by not buying their products. Destroying something for which you’ve paid does nothing except reveal that you are both stupid and a hypocrite, especially when it’s something that could be donated to help someone else. Nike’s response as “Just Do It –Safely” with tips how to safely burn their products is fucking brilliant.

Tessa and Lucy are working on getting along. It doesn’t always succeed. They want to be friends, but neither one is sure how. We’re teaching Lucy how to play. It’s kind of funny.

I had a meeting this morning, unfortunately with someone who acted mentally unstable, but had decision-making power over me, so it involved a lot of keeping my mouth shut (and, fortunately, nothing that actually impinged on my integrity and wouldn’t so allow me).

Massive grocery shopping. Now, it’s getting work done at the library.

And finish this draft of RELICS.

Back to the page.

Published in: on September 6, 2018 at 12:34 pm  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 6, 2018: The Need for Saturn to Go Direct  
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Wed. Sept. 5, 2018: Trying to Fuse the Past and Present Selves

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Saturn goes direct tomorrow, thank goodness.

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice, where I have a post up about teachers.

Busy weekend, and, emotionally difficult.

The writing went well, although it wasn’t enough, it’s never enough. But Sunday, in particular, was strong on RELICS, writing two and a half chapters.

Cleaning out boxes from the basement. It’s slow going, because there are many, many boxes. And I want to deal with EACH ITEM in each box, and make a decision on it. I’m tossing a good deal; found a few things to sell or give away. Some of the books are dusty and damaged, and I’m trying to restore them and repack them so I know what I have and where it is.

I’m finding a lot of mysteries, especially those written by women, from the 1990s. Books when Sisters in Crime was just coming to prominence, when the writing was fast and fresh and determined. I really feel that women’s rights, in general, have gone backwards since 2001. There have been some writers that have managed to break out, but so many have been forced into an ever-tightening formula that dumbs down the characters to make the readers feel better about themselves. There were so many more books dealing with different approaches to real issues. Definitely not enough diversity in either the writers or the characters. But when I look at these books and I look at a lot of what’s out there now, we’ve definitely backslid. Formulas are more restrictive; where characters used to be non-conformists and were accepted by the community by the end of it because of what they brought to the table, too many now are conforming by the end of the books. I see a loss of the independence we strove so hard to gain.

I wonder where some of these authors, who were so important to me then, have gone. Are they still writing? Did they give up or move onto other things, when they said all they felt they had to say in this arena? We all move and change. But I’m wondering what happened and where they are.

Once I started working on Broadway, I wasn’t active in most writers’ organizations for a long, long time. They met in the evenings; I worked. Even though I wrote, and I wrote every day, the bulk of my life was caught up with the theatre. The saying “Theatre is a jealous mistress” is not just words.

I still read a lot and constantly bought books (hey, Broadway salary, I could afford it). But, as I go through these boxes of books, I see that particular authors fell off my radar. It was the days before social media; heck, re-reading my 1995 diary, I’d just started on CompuServe.

Speaking of which, I found and re-read my journal form 1995. I was making the transition from off-Broadway to Broadway (which is huge; don’t ever let anyone tell you that different types of theatre aren’t vastly different). I was getting into the habit of writing every day (or, at least, most days). I was working 8 shows/week. I was also out at least 5X week at museums, gallery openings, screenings, music, other shows, etc., etc. A very full NYC life. I had a lot of energy, although I lived in a perpetual state of exhaustion.

I’d forgotten how much I’d dated that year. And, looking back, I’m grateful I didn’t wind up long-term with any of them!

I cry for my younger self, who, depending on how you look at it, was either naive or stupid. But I’m grateful for those experiences.

The problem with finding so many books is that I want to sit down and re-read most of them! That slows things down, too.

This cleanout is a combination of wonderful and painful.

I’m so close to the end of this draft of RELICS. And it feels like the horror movie where you run down the hall and it keeps getting longer.

Sad to hear about the death of Carole Shelley. We worked together on WICKED. A talented, formidable woman both on and off stage who did not suffer fools a all.

There are so many other issues I want to discuss – THE NEW YORKER acting like idiots offering a headline slot to a white supremacist – cancelling didn’t solve the issue. The joke of SCOTUS hearings – Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley are an embarrassment to the Senate. If Kavanaugh was actually worthy of the slot, he would request the hearings postponed and all the records released. The fact that he’s not demanding transparency tells us all we need to know.

 

Published in: on September 5, 2018 at 2:50 am  Comments Off on Wed. Sept. 5, 2018: Trying to Fuse the Past and Present Selves  
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Tues. Sept. 4, 2018: Diving Back into the Fray

diver-1081987_1920

image courtesy of Free Photos via Pixabay.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde

Today I’m

–writing

–voting

–spending extra hours with my client

Hop on over to A Biblio Paradise to read my piece about Donna Andrews’s Meg Langslow series.

I’ll be back blogging tomorrow, with a catch-up post!

Published in: on September 4, 2018 at 4:20 am  Comments Off on Tues. Sept. 4, 2018: Diving Back into the Fray  
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Mon. Sept. 3, 2018: Happy Labor Day!

pool-690034_1920

Image courtesy of  Free Photos via Pixabay.com

 

I’m still on my self-styled writer’s retreat. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Published in: on September 3, 2018 at 4:17 am  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 3, 2018: Happy Labor Day!